I’m awake. It’s early, still almost dark.
Leo, now my husband, is lying on his back, snoring gently. I cuddle into him and he changes position to hold me, the snore stops. I keep my eyes closed, going over the previous day in my mind. How eventful it had been, all going by in a bit of a blur.
Now the peace together. We had consummated our marriage last night, Leo smiling as he took me to bed, saying “Now for the first time as husband and wife. I love you my wife, my queen”.
He moves slightly, his breath tickling my ear. I try harder to be asleep. Now I know he’s deliberately breathing heavily in my ear to wake me. I slide my hand over and grab him. “Once more in my ear and you’ll be walking funny all day” I whisper menacingly.
“And you’ll be sorry too” he chuckles, pulling me into his arms. “Oh really” I mumble, as he proceeds to show me what I’d be missing if I’d really carried out my threat. And so we pass the time in a most delightful way, until we are late for breakfast.
We hurriedly shower and dress, scuttling into the dining room 15 minutes later than is our normal time. The staff on duty smile at us. We apologise and make up for it by eating a huge breakfast. Neither of us had much lunch or supper yesterday, I know I had just been overwhelmed by the importance of it to me.
We have a quiet morning together, starting out checking off what we are taking along on honeymoon, as we are going to Thailand and Vietnam for a month. Autumn there is fairly pleasant weather. Suddenly Leo says “I forgot your present”, and comes back with a box for me. I open it, and inside is a necklace and bracelet, in the same style as my engagement ring. It’s beautiful, and would have looked so stunning with my suit for the ceremony yesterday. Leo smiles sheepishly. “I was going to give it to you yesterday, before the ceremony, but somehow there was just so much going on that I completely forgot.”
I laugh and make him kiss me to apologise. That leads back to the bed and to me forgetting to give him his present for quite a while. When we recover from the kiss and the consequences, I remember his present. I have to search a bit in all my things that had been moved, eventually I find the envelope and give it to him. He looks carefully at the drawings and photographs, and smiling says he’s delighted with it. He knows the perfect place for it. He has a good eye for this, and we start to discuss building our private home.
It is wonderful to plan our shared future together.
We have lunch with Gerard, my parents and David my brother. Afterwards over coffee we show them our presents to each other. My parents are delighted we are going to be utilising my portion of the estate, and start discussing how to re-create the old house with modern conveniences for their retirement one day.
It’s 5pm, the hairdresser and makeup team are back again. One of these days I’m going to take lessons from them all. My new necklace and bracelet also look wonderful with my party gown. So I wear those instead of the jewellery I had originally planned.
By 7 we are all back downstairs in the ballroom, greeting our guests as they arrive. Everyone is admiring my present from Leo.
Some family speeches, toasts to us and to our parents. And then we get down to the party. A great local band, a DJ with music from our teens and twenties. Supper is a huge success; 7 courses, each more delicious than the previous, spread over several hours.
Eventually around 2am, the party winds down. After the last guests leave, we return to the family side of the palace. I’m feeling a little cold suddenly, Leo runs me a bath, and we both get in, to get warm. Of course all that nakedness starts other processes, and we don’t even get to sleep at all. As the dawn is breaking Leo says “you know I could get used to this married thing. “
We hurry and dress, calling in the maid and valet to finish packing as we go for breakfast. A hurried meal, and then off to the airport for a very early flight to Thailand.
Our driver is one of the security team, apparently a very senior member who has been on some secret mission for a while. He and Leo seem to have some kind of background. In the car he starts telling us that Philip will not be a problem again. His words are a bit chilling “That man is discovering just how nasty a trumped-up case can be”.