Virgin Bride(198)

By: B. B. Hamel

At least I was learning Starklandian. I wasn’t fluent yet, but I was pretty good. I could hold conversations and answer questions and such, but as soon as someone started speaking quickly or had a strange accent, I was totally lost.

But I was working on that, like I was working on a thousand things. Being a foreign queen in a country like Starkland wasn’t easy, and people had been pretty upset when Trip announced the marriage.

But they got over it when he crushed the rebels. It took him three months, and that was it. With the intelligence gathered from his victory over Corvin, they managed to find out their main supply bases and identify their leadership, and in three short months Trip sent all of his forces to annihilate them.

He didn’t underestimate them, not like his brother had. And unlike his brother, he won.

Defeating the rebels made him all that much more popular. In the days following our marriage and my coronation, which was lavish and incredible, the pro-monarchy feeling in Starkland was at an all-time high.

And so it came as a shock when Trip announced his Freedom Reforms.

I came to the end of the hall and turned right. I was pretty good at navigating the castle, though nobody knew it quite like Trip did. I finally found his office and opened the door.

He looked up from his desk. My heart skipped a beat.

“There they are,” he said, “my two favorite people in the world.”

I walked over to him and kissed him. “Your Majesty.”

“Your Highness,” he said back, laughing.

I handed him Leo. “How’s it going?”

“Oh fine,” he said. “Who knew that bringing a little democracy to this country was going to be so much work?”

I shrugged and sat down in the chair next to his desk. “You have to write the rules, dear.”

“The ministers should do it.”

“They are. You’re just approving them. And then the elections can happen.”

“But I don’t lose my job.”

“No,” I agreed, “but your powers will be severely limited.”

“Like that damn English queen.”

“Not that bad,” I said, smiling.

“Please, don’t let us ever get corgis and wear stupid hats.”

“I promise.”

He bounced little Leo in his arms, smiling. We’d wanted to get pregnant right away, but so much was happening in the country that we decided to wait. Plus, I needed to learn how to be a queen before I could learn to be a mother.

Leo was like a gift from the heavens, though, and he filled my days with so much joy that I couldn’t even begin to explain it. He was everything we needed, and more.

And when he got overwhelming, Lucy and my father stepped in. They came to live in the castle with us, mostly because I insisted on it, despite Lucy being even more obnoxious than usual. Trip gave in to me eventually, though he did put up a stronger fight than usual. But when it came to Trip, I could reliably get what I wanted.

He rubbed his eyes, looking tired, and then handed me Leo back. “One year,” he said.

“One year,” I agreed.

“Then elections will happen, and Starkland will no longer be a true monarchy.”

“How do you feel about being the King who brought democracy to his people?”

“I feel okay about it,” he admitted. “Damn good about it, actually.”

“Good.” I stood up. “Come find me in the royal chambers tonight.”

He grinned. “Is Lucy taking Leo?”

“She is.”

“Good. I know where to find you.”

I kissed him again, and then I left. I had a meeting to attend soon, and I needed to get Leo down for his nap.

This was my life now. I took care of my baby and I helped to run a country that was transitioning to democracy. I couldn’t have felt more proud about that, and I knew I was doing something good and worthwhile with my life.

Plus, Trip made everything easy. The way he smiled, the way he kissed me, the way he fucked me, it all still felt fresh and new and exciting. There was nothing routine or rote about our relationship.

We may have been king and queen, but we weren’t stuffy.

We were just in love. I would give anything for Trip, and I already had. And I knew Trip would sacrifice anything for me.

We’d build this country into the greatest country possible. We’d do it together, because we were a team.

I needed him, and he needed me.

That was all I could ever ask for or need.

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