one breath, kneeling in front of Duke Martel.

Although the words moved Iris heart, it seemed to annoy her father to no end.

”So that was your plan, ” the duke muttered. ”You cunning bastard! I won let you have your way, Iris will never marry you. ”

”But father, I love him! I love him so much! Why are you so against this union? ” Iris started crying. ”I want to marry him! ”

”We will talk at home, Iris! This ball ends here for you, ” he stated, before dragging her by the arm to the carriage. She only had a moment to turn and look at her lovers eyes which were angry for a second, but then a warm feeling came from them. He also loved her, now she was sure of it.

The duke closed the door to the carriage and he shouted to drive home as fast as the driver could. Iris didn want to see her father at all, she was so angry with him. He, who would avoid her so much after her mothers death, who even made her younger brother the heir of the dukedom, ignoring that she was his firstborn, was now interfering with the first thing she wanted. Iris didn even think about talking to her father now.

After that night, the events that lead to the wedding happened at a fast pace. Iris indeed didn want to talk about anything with her father and avoided even meeting him. She heard from her maids that Lord Benjamin was visiting the castle everyday, asking for her hand in marriage. Only after a week did the duke agree, only because they were seen that night in the garden. There were other people in the garden who witnessed what happened and the gossip spread. Now duke Martels daughters reputation was tainted and who would ever want to marry her now.

But for Iris, those news were nothing but happy as after months of uncertainty, he finally showed her his feelings. It felt like yesterday when she first met him, the tall and handsome lord who was one of the best swordsmen in the country. The rumors about him were known by all young women and many were enamored with him. But Iris could not believe all of that. In the end how could the man that was said to push back all the monsters in the Black Wood be so elegant and graceful. And a man who was rumored to have many lovers could not possibly be this shy and awkward with the ladies. The hand that slightly trembled when asking her for the first dance couldn be a hand that knew women.

The sound of the door stopped her thoughts and her husband was now entering the wedding chamber. They had to consummate the marriage, preferably on the first night, so that nobody would be able to interfere. Iris heart began beating harder until it felt galloping in her chest, anticipating his touch.

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