Marie Antoinette viewed the four candles on the cake. Four years. Had it really been so long?
She remembered the first time she saw the little girl selling flowers in the street. She had sent her servant to purchase a bunch, and the look of pure joy on the urchin's face had melted her heart. So much payment for such a small thing as money.
And yet she knew the importance. Marriages were made for money, Kingdoms were allied for gains in power and wealth. The day to day drudgery of the lower classes was all for the sake of earning enough bread to keep their bellies full so they wouldn't starve.
Ever since that fateful day, she had sent daily for word of the urchin's progress. The girl earned enough to keep hunger at bay; Marie made sure of it. When the girl reached marriageable age, the Queen arranged for one of her servants, a handsome and generous person, to take the girl to wife. She monitored the situation, happy to find the couple prosperous and loving.
Today marked the fourth year of that happy union, and as she blew out the candles on her cake, she knew of at least one happy marriage.