I was in the library, and the Prince knew that’s where I’d be.
He’d been thinking, he said, about some of the things we’d discussed during our argument.
I thought, oh, no; here comes the lecture.
But it wasn’t a lecture. He said he had watched me struggling, knew I needed a way to fit in. “I am not lecturing, Gwyn, and I am not telling you this is your home. I am talking about making it clear to everyone else.”
I didn’t understand. I was waiting for the lecture about how much younger than everybody else I was, and I had to learn all the customs before anybody was going to listen to me about anything. I asked him what he meant, exactly.
He looked at me. I knew it was going to be something important.
“I am already your mentor and protector, yes, yes; I know you don’t need one. I am suggesting you become my official ward.”
I didn’t know what to say, so I just resorted to asking questions. I asked him what that meant.
“It means that you will be a member of the Royal Family of Rónaofa, and that I am your guardian.”
I said yes.
Aoibheann came in then, and something was wrong but I couldn’t see it; I was too caught up in the complete and wondrous realisation that he wanted me to be his ward. His daughter. Somebody wanted me to be a daughter. My fae parents gave me away. My human parents didn’t know me, really, although they cared about me, and I didn’t really know them, I don’t think. They never told me. I don’t even know if they knew. I don’t know if there was another me who would have fit in better with them. I don’t know if there was another me or what happened to her.
I said yes.
The proclamation went out the following day. Nothing felt real, but it was real, and there we were, two not so different, but I didn’t see it. He did. I’d never tell him this. We can fight and argue all day and all night and scream and cry (well, I cry; he never does) and disagree on anything, but if he ever said flatly to me, do this because it is the right thing to do? I’d do it. Or the opposite. It’s that he seems to understand what the right and wrong things are. I trust that. I trust him.