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All's Fair in Love and War

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"Do you, Arthur Kirkland, promise to uphold your duties as queen, protect the people of your nation, and guide the king through his leading?"

Arthur swallowed hard. He had been preparing for this moment for years, almost his entire life. Even the midwife knew his destiny, she had seen the spade birthmark on his lower back. He had been raised knowing that one day he would be coronated with the Prince and marry him. He was born to lead. So why did this feel... Wrong? But Arthur knew he had no choice. Nonetheless, he responded.

"I do."

The bishop nodded. He picked up the pillow holding a crown and Arthur bowed his head. The bishop placed the crown on Arthur's head, then stepped aside so Arthur could face the Prince-turned-King, Alfred. Alfred smiled sweetly at him, and Arthur half-heartedly returned it. He looked into Alfred's eyes, and although he had come to love Alfred, he couldn't help but to see someone else in Alfred's blue eyes, someone who was now thousands of miles away, enchanting someone new with his violet eyes.

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On the other side of the mountain range, in a warm court room full of Windows, stood the man in question. He held his petite queen's hands, bestowing a gentle kiss on the both of them. His queen was beautiful, indeed. She was youthful, at about 18 years of age, versus his 26. Her strawberry blonde hair hung in a bob at her shoulders. A diamond studded bow held her hair out of her face. Her yellow dress fanned out at her knees, in perfect coordination with her husbands yellow and orange coat. They had been married for two years.

"Lilly, my queen." King Francis murmured against her knuckles. She smiled down at him. "Yes, my dear?" She replied cheerfully, although she knew where this conversation would go.

Francis straightened up, still holding her hands. "Our people are expecting children. They need the reassurance that the line will continue. They wonder why the bloodline is dry after two years." Lilly's stomach turned. Although they were married, Lilly didn't feel that way about Francis; and she knew he didn't either.

"I understand you do not see me romantically," Francis continued. "But raising children is necessary for the bloodline to continue. Our nation must keep the same bloodline over time, and the heir must be a direct descendant." Lilly contemplated this. "Well, I have always wanted to be a mother..."

Francis spun her in the air, and Lilly giggled. "Fancy me as a friend, then, my queen. We could raise children platonically." Lilly smiled wistfully; his words reminded her of another's- one whom she had not seen in years.

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Elizaveta had all she could ask for- a loving and powerful husband, riches, status, and control. Still, she felt as if something was missing. She missed the burn of life, the blazing fire you feel from being defiant. The on flickers she felt now was when she caught the Jack's gaze from across the room, and a small, fleeting, flame when he smiled at her.

She knew little about him, though. She knew he played piano in his down time. She knew he spoke infrequently. She knew that he had beautiful eyes. Buts she knew his eyes were almost identical to the man who stole what was rightfully hers. She could say this about her husband, also. Maybe that is why they were passionate but loveless. No, he loved her. She couldn't bring herself to.

And now? Now Queen Elizaveta's loving husband was kindly asking her for heirs. She didn't want to bear him children. She didn't want to be married to him. She wanted the woman who was pulled away from her.

Sighing, she got up from her grand bed and walked to her desk. Here, she sat and wrote. Little did she know that at this moment in time, she was far fro, the only noble doing so.

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My Dearest Queen Lily of Diamonds,
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Your Great and Noble Highness, King Francis of Diamonds,
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To The New Queen of Spades,
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Dear Lovely Queen Kiku of Hearts,
...