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Two blurry weeks had passed between her revival and today—her wedding day—and sometimes Snow still felt like she was frozen, life passing her unknowing body by.

In a few hours, I will be Mrs. Charming. But what did that mean? Per the customs of his land, she and the prince had only spent a small amount of time together since he rescued her. It didn’t matter that he’d already kissed her on the mouth without her permission—no, that scandalous detail was frequently left out of the “how they met” story when told in polite company—there were rules. Until they were officially bound in the eyes of God and his congregation, they needed a chaperone in order to be in the same room with each other.

It didn’t help that the chaperone was often his mother, who made Snow wonder if she was trading one murderous mother for another.

Not that the queen ever made any specific threats to Snow’s person. There was just a coldness that emanated from her. The business about seven small diamond miners being added to the guest list at Snow’s request—seven men whom she’d briefly lived with, chaperone and marital vow-free—probably hadn’t helped. (No matter that Snow’s purity had been verified, in a horrifying ceremony that she’d rather not relive.) The queen seemed to take a quick disliking to her daughter-in-law-to-be and her former life. Perhaps she felt like the whole “Snow’s former stepmother, who was a queen in her own right, is now mysteriously dead” thing was a bad omen?

I shouldn’t be bothered. We’re not staying here. The prince had promised they’d have their own castle, away from his mother’s judging eyes and his father’s prying ones. That’s the thing about not technically consenting to a kiss but accepting a proposal: a lot of powerful men think that means you’re up for anything. Even men who created the very man you’re marrying.

Still. Snow felt like there was a chance of a legitimate connection with the prince, all the questionable stuff notwithstanding. He had kind of been egged on by the dwarves when it came to the kiss, and she couldn’t be mad at them. They gave her a place to stay when her stepmother tried to have her murdered, and in that time, she’d gotten used to their strange notions about life and death and love. It was a little concerning that the prince was so amenable to a bunch of strange men telling him to kiss a dead girl in a glass coffin in the middle of the forest, but she wasn’t going to ask too many questions.

Plus, how many other dead girls could he possibly come across?

We just need time to know one another. Snow was confident in this—potentially the only thing she was confident in right now. She would’ve been married off to a veritable stranger anyway, had her father lived, so the concept was one she’d come to terms with. Kind of. And the prince was handsome. Charming even. She thought she’d noticed a sense of humor—an eye roll here and there when his mother was being particularly overbearing—and she knew that he hummed to himself when he was thinking.

These were nice qualities. Qualities she could grow to love.

As long as he only kissed her while she was conscious.

And for God’s sake—no apples.

N. Alysha Lewis

N. Alysha Lewis is an editor and blogger with author aspirations whose love can absolutely be bought with french fries.

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