The Pauper Prince – Part 27

The Pauper Prince
Chapter 27

There were no comfortable positions anymore at this stage, at least not when lying down. This time Mara did not care, for it had been five months since her husband had warmed his side of the bed. Rather than her usual post-coital position of lying on her side, her arm draped across his chest, her breath gently warming his shoulder, she was on her back, staring at the ceiling. Kelvin had fallen asleep in an odd position that was fine for him but uncomfortable for her, and she was indulging it as long as possible. He was lying on his side, facing her, with his head resting between her extra-large belly and breasts that seemed larger than the last time he’d seen them. He was slumbering very contentedly.

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The Pauper Prince – Part 26

The Pauper Prince
Chapter 26

The two Princesses and their respective attendants were taking a final stroll through the garden. Heather, like the other handmaidens, stayed a few paces behind, and while out of sight of her Lady, she was free to appear as glum as she felt. The Princesses chatted and murmured and giggled to one another like the firm friends they had become. Heather was not paying any attention to their words and trod behind them obediently. Then she was stopped by an outstretched hand near her face. She looked up to see her Lady looking back, smiling to her and wiggling her fingers to beckon her forward. Heather stepped up and stood beside her, and Mara wrapped her arms around her in a brief hug, then rubbed her shoulder while speaking to Anne.

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The Pauper Prince – Part 25

The Pauper Prince
Chapter 25

Before Princess Anne returned home, she offered an open invitation to her peer to visit her home in the kingdom of Halliard “anytime.” The Queen accepted immediately on Mara’s behalf, and even set the time for her of a month’s hence. The trip would be four days by carriage, and as always, with an armed escort. Mara hoped to impress upon the King and Queen that a less obvious way of traveling would reduce her chances of being attacked, but they were unmoved. No incognito travel and certainly without protection. No longer a commoner, indeed.

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The Pauper Prince – Part 23

The Pauper Prince
Chapter 23

Bells rang, people shouted “Huzzah!,” well-wishers came or sent emissaries to do so, gifts were sent, feasts were held, and there was joy in Gildern. The Princess Mara was with child. For three weeks there were festivities almost daily of one kind or another, both in and out of the castle. In fairness, it did not take much reason for rich and poor alike to drop what they were doing and celebrate with music, singing, dancing, games, food and drink. Mostly drink. When one party spontaneously broke out in Allcourt upon the news, a day or two later most of the participants would be hard-pressed to remember the original reason for it. The people’s hearts were in the right place, though.

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The Pauper Prince – Part 22

The Pauper Prince
Chapter 22

Mara’s apprenticeship with the Queen to become Mistress of the Castle had grown to include the task of taking notes during their inspections and meeting minutes with the master tradesmen (and women). Ordinarily this would have remained the task of an attendant or handmaiden, but she had made the mistake of admitting to the Queen that she did not enjoy writing and postponed her practices until just before the lessons. The next time out with the Queen, she was getting more “practice” than she would ever want. Whether or not anyone could read her notes, including the Princess herself, was another matter.

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The Pauper Prince – Part 21

The Pauper Prince
Chapter 21

Kelvin did not object to mingling with the commoners during the wedding reception, for this had been planned long ago; he objected to his wife’s timing for it. Nevertheless he had made the best of their hour-long visit before excusing the both of them from the room and all but running with her in tow to their bedroom. They did not leave the room until after noon the next day, and only then to get some food and drink and return.

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