I arrived at the door to the dining hall. Theon carefully opened the door and inside I saw that long dining table. At one end, prince Gladiolus was sitting gracefully, a true picture of a crown prince. Like I thought, he was really here waiting for me.
"Good morning Alicia." Gladiolus stood up once he saw me entering.
"Good morning Gladiolus." I greeted back.
"You are even more beautiful than yesterday." Gladiolus complimented me. "You are more radiant and glowing today."
I have been immune to his compliment since a few days ago. Every time he comes to visit, he always compliments me with such flowery words.
"Thank you for the compliment." I tentatively smiled at him.
Of course I feel more relaxed after Tricia’s pampering just a while ago so Gladiolus’ compliment may not be just lip service. But still, the words coming from his mouth feels like something to lure me in.
"Please take a sit." I gestured to Gladiolus. "Theon, tell the kitchen staff to serve breakfast."
"Yes your highness." Theon bowed and left the dining hall.
I walked towards my sit which is across Gladiolus.
"Thank you for allowing me to accompany you for breakfast." Gladiolus said.
"I know you will not take no for an answer." I sarcastically replied to him doubled with a sweet smile.
I can see Gladiolus chuckle lightly.
’Does he think I am being funny? Even though I am being sarcastic.’ I thought.
"I can see you are a little feisty. I like that." Gladiolus said. "Actually it runs in the family."
"Oh, is that so?" I simply brushed his words off not seemingly interested.
Not long the kitchen staff came and carried in the breakfast. They placed the plates of pancakes, toasted breads, eggs, and ham on the table. They also put down the jars of strawberry jam and butter at the center. At the side was hot water with the choice of tea and coffee.
"I do not know your highness’ food preference so I have them bring a variety to choose from." I said politely.
"Do not worry. I am not a picky eater." Gladiolus replied with a smile. "And you are being formal with me again. Like I said you don’t need to speak formally towards me."
Gladiolus has asked me to call him by his name which is a huge leap being we had just met. I agreed, because he is said to be family from my mother side. But still, I cannot just take away the formality between the both of us that easily. I only met him just a few days ago.
"I am sorry Gladiolus. It is just I am not yet used to it. We have just met and as you are a crown prince of Jennova, I cannot just take away my formal tone." I explained.
Gladiolus sighed. "Okay, at least for now. But in the future when we get to know each other more, then let’s skip the formalities. We are a family, Alicia." He smiled.
Gladiolus smile gave me the chills. He may say that we are family but I cannot understand the feeling that I am getting from him. I really don’t want to get any closer to him as I possibly can.
"Well then, let’s start." I smiled awkwardly.
I put a pancake on my plate and spread some butter on top of it. I also get an egg and put it beside the pancake. I slowly lifted my fork and knife and started eating.
There was silence between Gladiolus and I, only the sounds of the utensils can be heard for a while. I felt a little bit tense and awkward.
’Really, how can I eat when he is staring at me like that?’ I groaned inwardly.
Gladiolus was eating with no problems but his glances at me more often than I can take.
"Alicia, have you thought about it?" Gladiolus broke the awkward silence.
I looked up at Gladiolus and remembered what he has been asking these past few days. He wants me to come with him to Jennova. Of course I only have one answer for him.
"Gladiolus, my reply to you will never change." I said while I put down my knife and fork. I get a napkin to wipe my mouth clean. I looked at him seriously. "I cannot go with you to Jennova now. I am the fiancée of the crown prince of Grandcrest. It is my duty to follow him to his country after the grand parade. I can visit Jennova after I am married. Of course with my husband’s permission, that is."
Gladiolus looked at me straight to my eyes and sighed. "What a pity. I thought I can fulfill my promise to your mother. But I guess she has to wait for a while longer." He smiled sadly.
Gladiolus’ words pinched my heart. He knows that the mention my mother is a soft spot for me.
I hear the door of the dining hall opened and see Theon looking outside.
"Your highness, crown prince Regaleon is here." Theon announced.
Not long I see Regaleon enter the dining hall. He was wearing his casual prince attire of white long sleeved shirt and black pants. He was wearing a black mask on the upper half of his face.
"Leon." I cannot hide the happiness when I saw him enter.
"Good morning Lili." Regaleon greeted me.
"Have you eaten breakfast? Come and have a seat here." I patted the seat beside me. "Tricia, get a plate set for Leon." I ordered.
"A cup of coffee will do." Regaleon said. "I ate breakfast before coming here."
Regaleon’s gaze sweep by to Gladiolus who was sitting across me in the dining table. Regaleon just nodded his head towards Gladiolus as a greeting. Gladiolus replied with a nod as well.
"I didn’t know that the crown prince of Jennova will come by this early in the morning." Regaleon said with a sarcastic tone.
"I asked to have breakfast with the princess." Gladiolus replied with a smile.
"Well that’s okay. Knowing that this will be the last time you see Alicia." Regaleon smiled back.
Regaleon took the seat right next to me.
"I am sure this won’t be the last time I will see Alicia." Gladiolus retorted back to Regaleon’s words.