There was a knock at my door

And I answered it to find Kalen there

He had a tray of food, and asked if he could come in I opened the door wider, and motioned him inside He sat the tray down, and turned to leave, but I blocked

his way

"Stay and join me, Kalen."

"I cannot, my princess, it wouldn't be proper." And he tried to walk around me

"Wait. Since I am a princess, I can give orders that

must be followed. Is that right?"

"Yes, unless they contradict orders from the queen." "But, in her absense, I'm the reigning monarch.


"Yes, but really, princess, it would not be in your best

interests to have me dine with you in your chambers." "DON'T tell me what is in my best interests, Kalen!

Apparently someone else has acted in what they thought was my best interests my whole life! I will make those decisions now! However, if it's so repugnant to you to dine with me, then just leave! I will not beg you."

"I never meant to imply dining with you was repugnant to

me, Tara. I was only trying to do the proper thing." "Well, then do it! Leave!"

I only wished he would leave while I still had a bit of

my dignity in tact

"Does that mean you've retracted your invitation?" "What difference would it make? You're so determined

to stick to your infernal protocol! For what it's worth, though, the invitation still stands." "Then I would be honored to accept." He said, and from

the look in his eyes, I knew he truly meant it "What about your precious appearances?" I asked, still

stinging from his earlier words

"As you pointed out, Tara, other people have been making

decisions for you for too long. If we both wish to dine together, then I think we should."

"Do we want to dine together? Both of us, I mean." "We do, My Princess." He said with a bow "Cut that out!" I said

And with a laugh, he straightend and offered me his arm

Terri Lyn Stanfield


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