You look away. "I am afraid that it must remain confusing for a little. I'm afraid..." You are afraid he would think you mad if you told him it was all the work of magic. "Do you trust me, Eugene?"

He looks into your eyes. "I do."

"Then trust me, and remain confused for a little while, if you will," you say. "Can you?"

Eugene bows. "I can."

You smile. "I think, that when you learn the truth, it will also answer the other question I think you want to ask."

"Will it?" Eugene says with a laugh. "And what is my second question?"

"Why did I leave?" you say.

Eugene snorts. "Am I so obvious or are you so astute?"

"The question is obvious, I think," you say.

"I was afraid the answer would be that I had driven you away," Eugene confesses.

"Driven me away?" you say, chuckling. "With what, pray? Your hideous looks?"

"My poor manners?" Eugene says.

"You were a perfect gentleman," you say.

"A perfect gentleman would not have grabbed you by the arm to prevent you going," Eugene says.

"Very well then," you say. "An almost perfect gentleman."

Eugene laughs. "You have a clever tongue, Cinderella."

"You are too kind," you say. "Eugene, I know I have not answered your questions, but nevertheless, may I ask one in turn?"

"Of course." Eugene smiles. "Though I may give as cryptic a response as you have given me."

You snort. "That would be only fair, and I can hardly complain. Why me? Out of all the girls at the ball, why did you ask me to dance with you?"

"Why did you say yes?" Eugene replies. "You did not know who I was, but you took a stranger's arm and spent all night with him. I could as easily turn your question upon you."

"You could, if I had not asked first," you say.

Eugene is very still, as still as any of the statues that decorate the gardens. When he speaks, his voice is soft, and quiet, as if he fears that what he speaks might be heard. "Because you did not know me. Because something about you drew my eye. Because you are beautiful. Because...who can know what fate intends? Because you are you. It sounds absurd but there it is; there is no one thing about you that I can point to and say that that is what I love, because I love you all entire."

He drops to one knee. "And I will love you, if you will allow it, for all the days that we shall live from this day forth. Cinderella, will you let me care for you when you are sick, protect you when you are in danger, lift you up when you are sunk in misery? Will you live with me and be mine as I am yours?" He reaches into his pocket, and produces a band of gold, topped with a diamond of brilliant cut, flanked by a pair of sapphires. "Will you be my queen, my princess, my bride?"


Status: Betrothed to the Prince, if you wish it so

Prince Eugene's Devotion to You: High

Court Opinion of You: Unknown

Popular Opinion of You: Unknown

Popular Standing of the Monarchy: Moderate

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