You stared at yourself in the vanity, growling at the strings of the corset that constricted your chest. You rubbed your neck, being careful to mind the complex pins that swept your hair up. I don’t want to go.... you thought to yourself as you watched your reflection. Your mother always forced you to go to these parties and you were honestly getting sick of them.
The only good thing about the entire thing was that you could see Mathias and his brothers again. The Dane had been one of your closest friends since you were kids, but ever since that incident with the dress you weren’t allowed to go and see him.
Not that that stopped him, he often snuck in through your window and got you outside.
The lights of the arriving carriages twinkled in the twilight and you gazed outside for a moment, the numerous guests arriving and stepping inside your house. Your guests weren’t normal people either, a lot of them were important representatives for countries and some of them even were countries.
One of them was Prussia, or Gilbert as he normally went as at these kind of parties. It was one of the first times he’d gone to one of these parties in a while, so he still hadn’t gotten used to the irritating clothing he was required to wear.
As the albino stepped out of his coach, he pulled on his collar. It was already stifling to him and the tight fitting clothes weren’t helping him. As he entered the hall several people came to greet him, his friends Antonio and Francis clapping him on the back.
A group of women surrounded the trio and Gilbert smirked, knowing they were interested. He looked them all over once, but decided they weren’t worth his time. True, they were pretty and all, but nothing truly interesting.
An urgent tap on the door made you look up. You straightened your dress as you stood, crossing the room to open your door. “It’s time.” You sighed, your nerves getting the better of you. Coming down the stairs always unnerved you as everyone and I mean everyone always stared at you.
Whether that was a good thing or a bad thing, you didn’t know but you didn’t like it. C’mon, Mathias is down there... somewhere! You tried to give yourself some pep-talk as you slid your hand over the banister.
Making yourself smile gently, you started descending, your dress flowing after you as you took the steps one by one. The murmur of the crowd vanished and it seemed all eyes were on you. A self-conscious blush rose to your cheeks as you kept your gaze on the floor and the people around you found themselves craving to pinch those rosy cheeks of yours.
Gilbert stared at you and even though the noise had died down, it felt like he’d been plunged into cold water. Everything dimmed in contrast to you and he stepped forward, wanting to- well what exactly was it that he wanted?
You made it to the bottom of the steps without slipping up and you started to look around for Mathias, smiling now that the previous conversations had been started up again. Gilbert blinked, finding himself in front of you and he turned red, not knowing what had come over him.
He coughed a bit and you looked at him curiously, tilting your head to the side. “Good evening.” He bowed to you, taking your hand in his gently and pressing a kiss on your knuckles. “Might I inquire as to what your name is?”
You blushed at his bold question, looking away from his intense red stare. “I-it’s (y/n). I mean that is my name.” You stammered, looking up when you felt your hand being squeezed. Gilbert nodded and tasted your name for a moment.
But before you had the chance to ask him for his name, you felt your hand being wrenched away from his and you snapped your head around to see Mathias.
He gripped your hand tightly, sending Gilbert a hateful glance. Then he turned to you, already having spoken with your mother about the timing of the announcement. He smiled at you and pressed a kiss to your hands.
“My dear friends and family! Could I have your attention please?” Mathias stood on the stairs, making sure everyone was able to see him. “I have a wonderful announcement to make! I, Mathias Kohler will wed the fair (y/n) (l/n) this summer!”
The silent crowd broke out in applause but Gilbert stood frozen, feeling a slight sting. He had been hoping you didn’t have any suitors and he glowered as he made his way to the balcony to sulk. Knowing it was strange to get so peeved over a stranger, he stared at his friends, hoping their antics would make him smile or at least crack a laugh, but so far they were only flirting with women.
Your eyes widened at the announcement, trembling as your friend claimed you as his fiancé. The two of you walked through to the centre of the ballroom, the crowd parting as you did so. You walked in a daze, only following Mathias as he had a firm grip on your hand.
At a ball like this, which was in honour of an engagement, the newly engaged would open the evening with a dance, which meant you had no choice in the matter.
Mathias grinned at you, his hand on your waist and the other holding out. “So how are you feeling, my bride-to-be?” He asked, chuckling as he spun you out and back to him. “How about we get married in my country? It’ll look so pretty in the summer!” He continued talking as the two of you danced, hardly letting you get a word in edgeways.
Gilbert scowled, crossing his arms. The aura around him was so dark, that it made the people who made eye-contact with him, accidental or not, flinch away. The Dane looked so happy when he talked to you, it made him turn red with anger and jealousy. It wasn’t normal he felt this much for you, but there was something about the way you entered the room previously that had drawn him to you.
Was it your beautiful (h/c) hair that glimmered in the chandelier’s light? Maybe it was the sparkle in your eyes that made you look like you were brimming with life? It was probably your smile, he thought as he recalled it.
You licked your lips nervously as Mathias continued to prattle on. “I suppose my evening has been alright, though mother tightened the corset way too much.” You joked and then asked that important question.
“And this kind of came as a surprise.” You murmured, not knowing if you loved the loud Dane in that way. You certainly loved him like a brother, but did it go further than that? Well, there were worse people to get engaged to, you were sure of that.
Mathias smiled sheepishly, burying his face in your neck. “Your mother mentioned how you hadn’t any suitors you liked, and since we’ve known each other for so long... we deemed it a good idea. Are you pleased with this?” He asked you, his expression serious as he gazed into your eyes .
You looked away from him, truly not knowing the answer. “I hope we’ll be happy together.” You whispered, hiding your face in his chest. He grinned in response, kissing your hand as the music died away.
“I’ll get us a drink, I’ll be back.” He told you, turning to get you some. The moment the blond stepped away from you, Gilbert saw his chance and he quickly joined you on the floor before you could leave.
“May I have this dance?” He asked, his earnest eyes seeming to glow in the light. You blushed, but figured that this was the last evening you could ever dance with someone other than your fiancé, so you nodded and took his outstretched hand. Just this once... you thought to yourself as he spun you around.
Gilbert examined every inch of you closely, smiling when he saw how much more stunning you were close up. He was used to stealing other men’s property, so he hoped wooing you to be his wouldn’t be much harder.
You in turn, stared at his red eyes, completely enraptured by them as the dance continued, flowing into a different song several times.
Gilbert chuckled when you didn’t look away from him and he glanced around for your fiancé. “Are you sure this Mathias won’t strike me down when he sees me dancing with you?” He asked, leaning close to your ear to whisper it.
You laughed, knowing what Mathias was like when it came to alcoholic beverages. “I think he’s probably too drunk to walk in a straight line by now.” You said, semi-serious and smiling impishly at him. And you were right as well, Mathias had forgotten about his mission after a couple of ales and was now drunkenly slurring compliments at a couple of women, Lukas standing close by to make sure he didn’t do anything to them.
“Ah, I haven’t asked you for your name, good sir.” You realised, looking up at him curiously.
“I am the rising country of Prussia, but you may call me Gilbert, sweet (y/n).” He reached up to stroked your cheek as he spoke. “It’s such a shame you got engaged just tonight, I found you so beautiful when you came down the stairs before. Not that I’ve changed my mind of course.”
You blushed at his compliment, finding it hard to meet his eyes again. To distract yourself you glanced over the groups of people, seeing your mother looking at you disapprovingly. Merely rolling your eyes, you sighed.
Gilbert noticed you, glancing at your mother as well and sending her a dazzling smile, spinning you away from that side of the room. “Your mother doesn’t seem pleased.” He murmured at you and you nodded sadly.
“Yes, well she isn’t pleased with me most of the time. In fact she was the one who arranged this whole marriage thing with Mathias.... you’d think she could have told me at least.” You muttered, frustrated with the turn of events. Gilbert’s eyes narrowed, now realising that the marriage had been thrown on you. For a moment he pondered on how he could break the engagement, but shook his head.
“That’s quite unfortunate, do you know your husband to be?”
You winced at hearing his title. “I do, actually he’s one of my closest friends... a perfect match no? But... I don’t love him that way.” You added, resting your head on the albino’s shoulder and voicing your true feelings for the first time.
“If you don’t want to get married to him, why not break the engagement? Why would Mathias have you suffer through a marriage you don’t want? I mean if Matthias truly cares about you.”
You laughed wryly. “I believe my mother has set her eyes on Mathias’s wealth and she’s not someone you want to defy. I don’t know what to do....”
Gilbert tucked his fingers underneath your chin, making you look up at him. “I told you before I’m a rising country and I would like the chance to court you before you marry him. Your mother must let you have a chance at finding happiness.” He stroked your hair gently. “Not that I am claiming to be your happiness, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want a chance to be.”
You felt your face heat up and you stared at his collar avidly. “I’ll talk to mother about it. But I can’t promise anything, it’s hard to convince mother otherwise when she’s set her mind on something.”
He smiled at you, pressing his lips against your forehead. “I’ll be waiting for you either way, my sweet (y/n).” He bowed to you as the song ended and left you.
Laughing exhilarated, you turned to find your fiancé and you eventually discovered him completely drunk. Sighing, you got your friend out of the seat he was slumped in and hauled him upstairs, not wanting him to disrupt the party.
You nodded at Lukas and he gave you a nod back, a faint smile ghosting over his lips. “Heeeey, gorgeousss~ how are yaaa?” Mathias slurred, his hand tightly around your wrist. “You’re drunk.” You told him, pulling him to your room to lie him on the bed to sleep.
You tugged against his pull, biting your lip when he managed to pull you on the bed with him. “Naaah~” He said, rolling on top of you. Trying to kiss you, he missed and kissed the sheets beside your head. “Get off me!” You cried, panic starting to rage through your body.
He smirked maliciously, leaning down to bite your neck. “Better get used to it missy, we’re going to be going at it a lot when we’re married.” He said, suddenly not sounding as drunk as he was. “I want a big family.” He added, nibbling on your ear. You gasped and tried to shift him off you but to no avail, he was too heavy for you.
No! You thought furiously, I haven’t told Gilbert my answer yet! Mathias carried on violating your neck, trails of bites scattered on your skin. “Mathias! Get off!” You shouted in the hope someone would hear.
Luckily, your saviour arrived not a second too late. Gilbert stormed through the door, pulling Mathias off of you roughly and throwing him to the floor. The next moment he had his arms around you protectively. “Are you alright?” He asked, his voice wracked with worry.
Nodding in shock, your bottom lip trembled and you took hold of him, burying your face in his chest.
Lukas hauled Mathias off the floor. “I’m sorry. I’ll talk to him once he’s sober.” He said and with that Gilbert took you to a different room to collect yourself.
“Did he do anything to you?” He asked, kneeling in front of you when you’d sat down on the bed in the spare room. You quivered slightly, but relaxed when he took hold of your hands. “J-just my neck.” You murmured and he glanced towards it, cussing in a harsh sounding language.
“I shouldn’t have left you.” He cooed, sitting next to you and pulling you in his arms again. “I promise he won’t hurt you again.”
“I’ll be fine.” You replied, but leaned into his warm embrace, still shaken up from the difference in your childhood friend. “I was worried about you, Mathias seemed so wobbly with you and you took such a long time to get back. I thought you’d changed your mind.” He told you, stroking your cheek.
You shook your head. “If anything, that’s made me decide.” He looked at you in confusion and you bumped your head with his. A smile crept its way to his lips as he caught your drift and he leant down to peck your lips, not being able to help himself.
“All I can do is help you escape, from there on out it’s up to you to decide. You can stay with me, but you can also choose someone else in the end. I want to give you that freedom.” He whispered, interlacing your hands.
You nodded once and he stood up, pulling you along with him. “Shall we go then?”