He grasped the small cross hanging around his neck. He prayed it would slow his change long enough to get his new bride situated after the ceremony. He did not want her to know his secret, not yet.
He hoped Beth would be the one to break his horrible curse, but he also knew what it would take to fall in love with the man he had become. He had no illusions regarding this marriage. It was superficial and planned, but it was the only chance he had. "I don't think I can go through with this." He paused. "Look at me. I'm repulsive."
"Your Majesty, please do not be so hard on yourself." Jameson had come up behind his Prince and friend holding the jacket Tristan would wear to take his vows. Jameson had been his servant and trusted friend for a very long time, and Tristan knew his friend could read what he was feeling by the expression on his face.
"Why shouldn't I be? Look at me! No woman would find me attractive, much less a Princess." His head lowered slightly. "What if this whole thing fails miserably?"
"No." Jameson countered. "This marriage, as unfair as you think it to her, is the last hope we have of breaking the curse."
"You think this is unfair to her?"
Jameson sighed, helping Tristan slip on his coat. "I think the rose is beginning to wilt."
Tristan turned to get a good look at himself in the large mirror. The elegant clothes did little to take away from his face. "It is hopeless." His whisper was full of disgust as he thought about the up coming wedding ceremony. "Jameson, can I confide in you?"
"Of course, Your Highness."
"It has been a long time since I was with a woman, and I do not think I can ... bring myself to ... to..."