Becoming Sophia (80)

“What about you, Marina?”

I laughed outright at him. “What about me, altesse?”

“Please, call me Andrien,” he ordered. “I have to choose a wife by the end of this night. I would like someone who at least vaguely understands me, someone who can carry on a conversation with me and who isn’t a complete stranger.”

“You hardly know me! You know the twelve year old me from birthday parties with big eyes and no sense! And I doubt I know you better than any of the ladies in this room.”

“They know rumors and trivial things like my favorite food.”

“That isn’t important?”

“Not in the slightest,” Andrien dismissed the thought as ridiculous. “You understand, Marina.”

“Understand what?”

He paused as if trying to find just the right words. The song ended and he bowed; I curtsied back. He looked into my eyes and it was impossible to miss how serious he had become. “That we are more than just our titles.”

“How do you know I understand?” I challenged.

“You always did,” he replied matter-of-factly.

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