"Mari," Marius sighed with exasperation, already knowing that he wouldn't win. They'd had this argument several times now, and it always ended in the same way. "You're so stubborn."
"Takes one to know one," she said with an air of forced lightheartedness. "I told you that it's fine, Marius. You and Cassia will be free to become a couple after the Coronation and seeing you two so happy together is enough for me. And while you two are on your trip around the world, I'm perfectly happy staying here at the Palace in case Thalia has need of me." Her daughter wouldn't, she knew. Thalia had grown up into a wonderful young lady who had more than enough grace and poise to rule with all of the elegance her parents had once possessed.