I’m here with a new short story, because why not? I did mention that if I ran out of ideas for a post, I’d do a bonus short story, so here we are!
I wanted to do this prompt because I want to get into a different kind of romance, instead of the cheese-fest we’ve had before:
‘When your character’s country loses a long war, your character is tasked with negotiating the surrender. The person across the table holds the fate of both countries in their hands … and they’re pretty darn cute, too.’
I looked ahead at the person who held my future in his hands. His stoic expression left me too scared to even put a hair out of line. I gulped, afraid of this man, but entranced by his green eyes, boring into me. I tried to look anywhere other than at his eyes, but he was just…
Huh, he’s kinda cute for an enemy, I thought to myself, as I straightened up.
‘I’m here to negotiate my terms of Eldoor’s surrender to Lumaria. I am sure we can figure something out,’ I announced. The Lumarian court chamber was enormous, and with so little furniture, my voice echoed horribly. The man across the table narrowed his eyes. His guards flanked towards him, weapons drawn. He waved almost too casually with his arms, and the guards retreated to their original positions.
‘State your name and position,’ he said. His voice was controlled, it didn’t echo through the chamber. His voice was serious, deep and alluring. Oh no.
‘My name is Ellie Stewart. I am a soldier of the Infiltration and Espionage team,’ I replied, controlling my own voice so that it did not echo.
‘Troy Bryant, leader of Lumaria. I see that you are part of the Infiltration and Espionage team. How do I know you don’t have your men here already?’ the man named Troy barked. I stood my ground.
‘We have lost everything. I am the only survivor in my team. Your men defeated ours. I am only here to negotiate current terms to end this war. We have fought for twenty years. I was born into this war. I was trained when I was five years old. Our numbers are now too few to revolt against you. I do not want these negotiations to be any more difficult than they already are.’ Troy nodded in agreement, unclenching his hands that were clasped together.
‘Very well. Any betrayal from these negotiations will result in your death. Do you understand?’ Troy asked. I knew that would be the case, but it didn’t stop me from being scared of him. It was hard enough, but I was also scared of how cute he was when he was an- no!
‘I understand,’ I responded, feigning confidence. Did he see through it? Most likely. Would he take advantage of it? Definitely.
‘I have been requested for several years to take a wife. Even now that the war is over, times are turbulent. I am required to take a wife and produce heirs. Even though you are an enemy, I have decided that all you are required to do for your country is to enter a marriage with me. You appear to be a suitable candidate’
MARRIAGE? Okay, act cool. You are here to negotiate. What can he offer in return?
‘If I become your wife, what will you do in return?’ I asked confidently, knowing that he would have to give me something in return for the marriage.
‘I would ensure that our nations stop fighting each other. Call it a small alliance, if you will. However, if you betray the marriage, you will be sentenced to death, and I will go to war with Eldoor again.’ I was floored. I’d never even had my first kiss, and here I was, being proposed to in order to save my country from further destruction.
‘A question, if I may,’ I requested, with Troy nodding for me to continue, ‘Why is it that you are offering me the marriage when there are other women in your country who would be more than happy to service you?’ To my surprise, Troy remained calm at my question. He seemed to be in thought, deliberating. Then, he finally spoke:
‘A marriage between myself and a woman from my country would not be beneficial to either of us. Here, I am offering your country guaranteed ceasefire. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. You are talented and loyal. Unfortunately, Eldoor would not stop the war. I have been trying in vain for the past five years to end this war. Hopefully, our union will unite both of our countries. I do not want to have to kill you and start a fresh war.’ When Troy explained the situation and reasons, I felt his stress and pain of running a country constantly locked into war. I hadn’t wanted to fight either, but everyone that could fight had to fight.
‘I would have nothing to gain from betraying the terms of the negotiation. I have decided to accept the terms of the negotiation. I will marry you.’
It was only then when the guards loosened their composure. Troy stood, beckoning me to his side. I could feel my face warming up, being in close proximity to a cute man for the first time without the killing intent.
In the end, I was sure we would come to love each other.