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The King stood with his arms outstretched on either side of his small, frail body, palms facing the ceiling as his seamstress finished pinning the hem of his pants. His cough was gone, his energy returned, and he had grown two inches overnight it seemed. When the doors to his chambers opened, he grinned at the sight of his naval Captain holding the door so his personal Healer… the gifted and lovely Lady Kennard… could enter before her. Christopher was delighted to see the duo.
“Ahhh! Welcome! What do you think of this outfit, Captain Porter?” He turned first one way then the other, clearly delighted with his own appearance. “How do I look? I am having a whole new wardrobe made for our voyage north.”
“Yes! Our voyage! I intend to come with you! I told you this already. Did you forget? I wouldn’t miss it for the world…” stepping down from the stepstool, Christopher approached the couple, Bette trying unsuccessfully to hide the look of utter horror at the very idea of the King traveling with them.
“On your own ship… right? Your Majesty? I mean you wanted the King’s Maiden to be your vessel… it’s been outfitted for the trip and Lord Ivan will be your Captain…”
He waved a hand at the brunette to be quiet, jewels on four of his five fingers.
“Details, details, Captain. Boring. That is your job…” Twirling, Christopher beamed at the couple.
Bette took a step towards the door, wanting to escape, even as Tina curtsied, extending one hand for the King to kiss, her other finding Bette’s, keeping the brunette close, their fingers linking. No way was Bette leaving without her.
She knew Bette was impatient, ready to leave the King and his soggy kingdom behind. It had been many weeks of nonsense from the King. Changes in battle plans, meaningless dinners and celebrations, long, dreary meetings with the King’s Council that led nowhere and drove the brunette to the very edge of her dwindling tolerance.
“Your Majesty…” the blonde purred, hoping to keep the tiny King’s attention on her instead of Bette…. “… you look well, I am pleased. Your new outfit becomes you.”
“I feel grand, my Lady. Just grand, thanks to you. I’ve ordered some fabulous decorative garlands for the launch of our fleet. Bright, new paint for the Maiden and flags as well. The ships can sail off into the seas with all the beauty that only a King’s navy commands…”