EXCERPT: I don't have a choice in this matter, do I.
Marcelo’s lips parted, and he turned his head to gaze out the open window. How sheltered he’d been. Ignorant and sheltered. Ignorant of the ways of the world, at any rate. Why had no one told him such things weren’t forbidden? Or would they have done so if he had ever shown interest in making a match?
Royal sons were pampered, but not celebrated in the way that daughters were. He’d had full access to the library and had made good use of it. Although his formal education had ended earlier than that of his sisters—there’d been no need to continue beyond the basics as he would never be a statesman—he’d always had a thirst for knowledge.
Clearly there were many things to learn that nobody had ventured to put into print.
So, a man could bed with another man, and presumably Prince Efren would expect that as part of their marriage. A shiver ran up his spine, and he rubbed the back of his neck. Did he actually welcome the thought?
The prince had looked at him from across the hall, sized him up, and decided Marcelo would make an acceptable partner. Prince Efren would be a hundred times worldlier than Marcelo, and probably knew that history about Sheburat’s royal sons better than he, who actually was one.
But what of Prince Efren? He’d been prepared to marry Marcela. Would he have preferred a woman? Was his desire to complete the terms of the treaty sooner rather than later more important to him than his personal choice for a spouse? And more importantly…
“Why doesn’t he care that he can’t have any legitimate heirs if he marries me?”
“Perhaps he is satisfied with letting his younger siblings and their children carry on the line.”
Marcelo stared at the fallen cup that had rolled toward the fireplace. He had so many questions, but most he would be uncomfortable asking his father.
“I don’t have a choice in this matter, do I.” It was a statement, not a question.
“No. I’m sorry, but you don’t.”