More Precious than a Crown(54)

By: Carol Marinelli


It was.

Whatever the ramifications, they would face them together.

The service was quick, given that it was held in the fierce midday sun, but the part she would always remember best was after Zahid made his vows and then offered her a bracelet that had an Arabic saying engraved in English.

‘I mean it,’ he said as she read what was inscribed inside.

What is coming is better than what is gone.

With Zahid it was always better, Trinity knew.

There was no kissing his bride. Instead, he took her hand and led her back to the palace.

Trinity smiled at her parents and at Yvette, who was a few months ahead of Trinity in her pregnancy.

They were friends now and, as Zahid had pointed out, their children would be cousins.

She would be taken care of too.

There was Princess Sameena, who curtsied to the new princess as her parents stood severely at her side, and they shared a small smile, for the future of both their countries was so bright.

The rest of the guests followed them and still Trinity did not ask his father’s reaction to the news.

‘We meet the people now,’ Zahid said, and squeezed her hand. The memory of Trinity scowling at the camera did not make him smile now. He was, not that he could show it, worried by the reception from the people. He did not want their wedding day to be one where he asked her to force a smile. ‘It won’t take long.’ Zahid cleared his throat. ‘If they are a little hesitant, know that soon they will take to the news...’ He frowned as she simply nodded and Zahid actually wondered if she had been shielded from the scandal that had hit Ishla. ‘They may—’

‘Zahid,’ Trinity said, ‘I’m not going to apologise or be ashamed.’

‘Good.’

As the balcony doors opened and they went to step out, they were halted, as instead of the happy couple leading the way King Fahid did instead.

Zahid blinked.

His father had at that meeting reminded his son that he was still king and that he would sort it.

Zahid had wondered how.

Now he knew, for Fahid walked out onto the balcony to the surprise of the people and met them with a smile they had not seen on his face since before Princess Layla had been born.

He held out an arm and welcomed the couple.

‘He welcomed the news,’ Zahid said, and Trinity swallowed.

‘Really?’

‘It took only an hour for him to say that he could not be happier. He does not have much time and this way he gets to meet our child...’

With the king’s clear blessing, as the happy couple stepped onto the balcony they were met with cheers and waves. The silence had been broken for things that had never been discussed in Ishla were being talked about now.

How, Trinity wondered, as Zahid now kissed his bride, could she rue the years that had been wasted?

Time knew best.

They were together now.