The date is set, invitations have been sent out. A traditional afternoon ceremony at a church in her family’s home city, and a party thereafter at a hotel.
Anthea took me with her and her mother to approve a simple cream dress, suitable for a widow remarrying. She has always said we like the same things on her (and how I’d like to help her take them off – but we don’t talk about that). I thought she looked absolutely beautiful in it and told her so. Another of our cousins will be her attendant. Philip has asked David from his embassy to be his best man. His mother, brother and family as well as his sister and her husband are coming. They will all be staying at the hotel where the party is to be held.
My father and I will attend, and we have ensured we stay at a different hotel.
Anthea and I have not had much time together lately, her job, plus some of her time running the glass enterprise, and her work for the orphanage take up enough, and then, of course, she spends most of the rest of her time with Philip.
I invited them over for dinner one evening when her parents were visiting. It was a rather strained event. For some reason the man does not relax when in a family setting.
Last night was the annual freedom day ball at the palace. Only a year ago I stole Anthea away from Philip at the end of the ball, how I wish I had realised that night she was all I could ever want in a wife and lover.
Philip was there as a representative of his country, now our biggest trading partner. Anthea as his partner. How I wished she was walking in on my arm, she looked stunning and very sexy in a sleek black dress off one shoulder.
When I reasonably could, I went and asked her to dance. Philip looked annoyed, but that’s his problem, not mine. She still fits in my arms on a dance floor as she did when we were teenagers learning to dance that winter in the palace. We always were each other’s favourite partners. She laughed and told me she felt as giddily happy as she had for her first wedding. Then the music stopped, and as I saw Philip walk onto the floor towards us, a tango began. We have always danced it well, my brother had once crudely said, as though we were having steamy sex on the dance floor. And so I danced my last tango with Anthea, wishing to make her realise how much I love and desire her.
The atmosphere between us was electric, both acting out the dance as it should be.
At the end we realised we were the only ones dancing, everyone had given us space and applauded. I wondered if it was just polite applause for my role as king, or if everyone had felt the electricity as we had.
A short while later I looked for her again, but could not find her. My father said she and Philip had left rather stiffly shortly after our dance.