Benito clambered up the stairs in three's, his long legs appreciating the stretch. As he headed towards his bedroom, he immediately closed the door behind him and headed straight to the safe and putting in the combination, as the door opened with a spring, the green emerald twinkled back at him. It sat on black velvet in the far end of the safe, the greenest of the green sitting on a thin band of gold, it was his mothers and his mother's mother before that and in his heart, he wanted Lenny to have it. He loved her, he couldn't think of anyone else who deserved it more. He pulled the ring out, such a delicate stone as he looked at it, the sun shine making it twinkle and sparkle, he sighed thinking of the words to say... when the door opened and he spun around to see her hand on the door handle and Lenny leaning against the doorjamb.
Benito was on his knees and in his fingers he held a ring. She could see how beautiful it was, from where she was standing. The light from outside touched it and it glowed with colour, making the green more pronounced. His eyes were soft and there was a warmth to them, she had only seen when she had caught him staring at her. He was on his feet before she could bat an eyelid, closing the distance between them. The ring disappeared and she felt his fingers touch the fringe of her hair, he was looking at her with new emotion, emotion she knew, that he needn't explain. It was strange, she seemed to know these things with a mere feeling, a sense of touch, either that or she was completely infatuated with this man. He had saved her and he'd been there, even if she didn't know it herself at the beginning. She had been rescued and how on earth was she going to tell him, she-
"There's something that I have to tell you Lenora and I had hoped to tell you in Siena," he began, his eyes never leaving her face.
"What is it?" she said, with a hint of panic in her voice.
She watched as he went down on one knee and everything she wanted to say, escaped her. He was proposing to her. She could do nothing but gawp at him, very un-princess like but to hell with her title, she stood here as a woman and he stood there as a man, who wanted to spend his life with her.
"Why Siena?" she rambled.
"Because Siena is beautiful and I know you would like it, but as you have indeed caught me red handed, we shall see it another time, perhaps. I have asked your grandfather for your hand in marriage and Lenny, it would be the greatest honour if you would be my wife?" His eyes locked on to hers.
"Is that it?" she said, "Is that all you needed to say?" She pulled away and saw his features cloud over and still he didn't get it. She turned away slowly and left the room.
Benito was on his feet and was after her, she was already on the ground floor and her back was to him, biting her finger nails as she stared outside the window, before he got any closer to her, she spoke out, her voice melancholy, "Marriage is great, but without a key ingredient... it's meaningless... just a piece of paper... I know I should be happy now, smiling from ear to ear but somehow I feel, I don't know... lost."
Benito turned her towards him, cupping her face with his hand, "Lenny look at me," her eyes stole away from his and he shrugged, "I love you, I have loved you probably since the first time I was told to watch out for you... and in my head, I don't know... I just wanted to be with you... we don't have to get married, if you don't want to-" He didn't get to finish what he wanted to say as she lunged into his arms and hugged him.
"Of course I want to marry you, I just wanted to hear you say you love me first because I love you so much, love you, love you, love you," splattering kisses all over his face.
"Wait a minute beautiful," he grinned, "I haven't done the most important thing yet,"
"What's that?" she drew back at inch
"Put a ring on it," he smiled, slipping the precious emerald onto her finger.
"Benito and Lenora were wed in the cathedral where all the previous generations of the Italian monarchy had wed, it was a lavish affair, covered by all the press around the world. Lenora wore a specially made Vera Wang dress, encrusted with Swarovski crystals and yards upon yards of silk and Benito had dressed in his military uniform and now they were husband and wife. To them, it was just a fusion of their love and the joining of their lives, but it indeed is much, much more" Albert said, smiling as he read the caption from the newspaper, as he sat in his Vintage bookshop, "My sweet Lenny, you are a Princess afterall."