The afternoon flew by. Before everyone knew it, the time to start getting ready for dinner drew round. Dinner was the first appearance made by King Daniel and Queen Caroline since Julie's family had arrived, and a whirlwind of conversation ensued.
"I hoped you didn't mind our absence upon your arrival. Caroline and I thought we would give you all a chance to be alone to catch up on things," King Daniel stated.
"Oh, Anna, I have missed having you here at the palace," Caroline said.
"Believe me, I have missed being here with you too."
Julie smiled as she watched Malaydee and John. They seemed to find it hard to tear themselves away from each other long enough to join in on the dinner conversation. Julie saw that Drake reveled in watching her happiness at having her family close.
"So tell me, Edward, is it going to be a good year for the crops?" Daniel asked.
"It will be a fine year. What do you think about our children and their engagement?"
"Your daughter will make a fine addition to our family."
Julie couldn't believe her father and the king. They acted like long lost friends. Maybe in another time and place they were.
"It was a long ride here," Mark said, joining in.
Instead of each going their separate ways after dinner like every other night, all decided to adjourn to the sitting room for further conversation and visiting. It didn't take long, though, before Malaydee asked her father, "Would you please excuse John and I? We would like to visit the garden."
"You may leave," King Daniel said.
They will be lost to everyone until tomorrow….
When the time came for everyone to retire for the night, Drake walked Julie to the garden and stole a few moments of her undivided attention. The two had not been alone together all day and had very little precious time left.
"I do not want a day to go by that we don't spend time together, just the two of us," Drake said.
"I would like to spend every waking moment with you." Julie slid into his open arms.