#midweektease Trope: arranged marriage | Book: The Future King
We're back with another #weddingseason teaser.
This week I'm sharing from THE FUTURE KING. In this scene, it's Zik and Amara's wedding day. Enjoy.
PS: If you've read The Future King and you're waiting for the extended epilogue, part one is available for my forum members.
She followed the women downstairs. Joya held the train of her dress to keep her from tripping.
Music blasted from the speakers, the DJ already set up under one of the canopies. There would be a live band later in the day for the actual wedding reception.
They had to get through other rituals first. Like getting the consent of her Umunna, the extended family, for the wedding and then Zik’s family paying the dowry.
The spacious gazebo had been decorated festively with flowers and crystal decorations, making it look like a glittering wonderland. A long red carpet stretched across the courtyard from the door.
Seated on settees on one side was her family—her father, His Majesty Igwe Obiora Ernest Onoh, her mother Queen Ego, oldest brother Osita, her uncle and aunt. On the other side were King Ibrahim, Queen Sapphire, Zik, and his brother Zediah.
“Adaeze, bia. Come,” Uchenna’s father beckoned.
Adaeze literally meant daughter of the king and was how many people in her hometown addressed her.
Joya and Isha waited by the house while Amara walked the rest of the way on the plush carpet. Years of practice ensured she didn’t snag her stilettoes on the hem of the silk gown embedded with thousands of crystals.
Her skin prickled, and she glanced in Zik’s direction. Even seated, he looked imposing and regal dressed in the mulberry-mauve embroidered tunic and trouser set. He was usually dressed in European suits so it seemed like beholding him for the first time in this attire. She hadn’t looked at him properly in a long time because she tended to avoid him. During Riona’s baby shower about six months ago, she hadn’t noticed much of him.
Zik was gorgeous, no doubt about it. Maybe because she hadn’t seen him physically since they got engaged, he took her breath away. The short hair, dark eyes, slash of cheekbones, and sensuous lips. The most noticeable change since the last time she’d seen him? He’d grown a beard, trimmed neatly. He looked virile and powerful. Grown.
He watched her with an intensity she’d never known, and she had to break the gaze so she wouldn’t stumble as her knees wobbled.
She kept her stare fixed at her father when she reached the bottom of the gazebo, gathered the hem of her skirt, and sank into a deep graceful curtsy. “Your Majesties, Your Graces.”
“Rise, our daughter,” her uncle said. “Do you know this young man here, Azikiwe?”
This was part of the formal process for her clan to conduct the marriage ritual. Although the proposal had already been made and accepted, it had to be done again in front of her people.
Amara met Zik’s unwavering gaze. Butterflies fluttered in her belly, and her cheeks heated. “Yes, Uncle. I know him.”
“Good. Azikiwe came with his family and brought many gifts. He says he wants to marry you. Do you want to marry him? Should we accept his gifts?”
She met Zik’s gaze again. His expression left her breathless. They were not married yet. If she turned him down now, it would all be over. Yet, his gaze said he’d claimed her already. That she was his. That he knew she would say yes.
Her mouth dried out, and her heart raced. Movement at the edge of her vision made her glance there. Uchenna stood at the edge of the gazebo, arms crossed over her chest, watching.
Amara’s jaw tightened, and she fought to maintain her composure.
To hell with this. She was going to say yes. She was going to become Zik’s wife. But he was still an arrogant jerk. And if he thought he would get an easy ride with her, he had another think coming.
“Yes, Uncle. Accept his gifts. I will marry him.”
About The Future King (Royal House of Saene #8)
Prince Azikiwe didn’t get the ‘Player Zik’ moniker by chance. Life is for living, and rules are boring. Then his older brother jilts his betrothed and abdicates his royal title. Suddenly the constrictive crown prince title is thrust upon Zik, and his partying days come to an abrupt halt. The least of his worries, though. Now, he contends with the scorned, furious bride chosen for him and a nation at risk of falling into anarchy. Does he have what it takes to become the future king?