Antia stared down sadly at her hands as the carriage drew closer to the dark keep. Her fingers gripped her dress and her heart fluttered in fear. The idea of an arrange marriage was abhorrent to her, even if it was necessary. "You know I wouldn't ask this of you if there was any other way." Her father said, his voice tinged with worry.
"I know." Of course she knew. He was a good man, kind and gentle, he cared for his people like they were his family and what his family needed was peace with one who had once been their enemy.
"He promises not to harm you."
"He's a demon king, he could be lying. They are known for their brutality."
He reached over and placed his hand on hers. "He seems a man of his word. If we are to unite our people then this must be done. I'm sorry, Antia."
"It's okay daddy, it's not your fault." She gave him a smile, trying not to show her fear. "I'm the oldest, I can do this." She was terrified of meeting her husband to be, even more terrified to be alone with him. She had heard rumors about him from her father's soldiers. She swallowed when the carriage pulled to a stop, her heart giving a leap.
"Be brave, Antia."
"I will." The door opened and her father climbed out then turned and helped her. Her eyes moved up the stone steps, following the line of the castle to the highest tower. There was a coldness here, but she knew she could do this and if she had to, she would fight him.