From web-published novella Golden Souls by Lynda Williams.
"Let me make this much clear -- marrying me would expose you to ridicule," said Amel. "It's no honor. I graduated from the UnderDocks to a more wholesome situation as a West Alcove courtesan!" He smiled to help convey this was a joke. "Liege Vrel was one of my clients. She's, uh, finding it hard to adjust. So princess, if I do not propose, it is not for lack of respect for your position. Quite the opposite. Perhaps there is some other way to accomplish the same result?" He thought a moment. "Maybe you could adopt me."
How --" Dela hiccuped and tried again. It helped calm her nerves to stare up at him. He was so beautiful. "How old are you?"
"Seventeen. And a few months. Going on eighteen, really!"
Dela nodded. "Yes, I think I had better adopt you," she agreed.
Golden princess Dela needs to establish a family relationship with Amel if she wants to hang onto Dee Manor, after Vretla Vrel wins it for Amel in a duel with Dela's little-missed, late husband.