Chapter 1: Wardrobes

"Oh Preston, if we could abolish formal dances, would you?"

"Ayne, I was just thinking about the same thing."

The King and Queen of Rifthold sat on their bed massaging their sore feet as they complained. This was the third formal ball in a week and neither felt like moving. There was a soft knock at the door and in walked the couple's closest friend and advisor.

"Getting old are we?" Alek Summers asked of the pair.

Preston Avenici grinned, "Maybe so, but not as old as you though."

Alek shook his head, "I still hardly count being a day older than you much to boast about."

"Alek, what would happen if we abolished dances?" Ayne inquired.

Alek thought a moment before replying, "Your daughter would kill you most likely."

"Oh? And why would this be?" Preston inquired.

"Because she loves dancing with her friends and with the people from the town, but not with her suitor mind you." Alek answered.

"Honestly I can't fault her on the last point. I dislike that boy as well. He's too... stuck up." Preston commented.

"You could take him on a hunting trip dearest. You and your friends could... loosen him up." Ayne suggested.

"Not in a milion years Ayne. He'd scare all the game away with his boasting about his hair and what not." There was a very brief knock at the door before, practically, in flew the princess who immediatly made her way to one of her mother's wardrobes and hid inside.

"I doubt you could have run that fast in your prime old man." Alek joked as Preston shrugged and made his way over to the wardrobe.

"Honey, are you alright?"

"I want him gone dad. He's a selfish, no-good, lazy, stuck-up bum!" replied the wardrobe forcefully.

"Would it help if I told you that your mother and I both dislike him?"

A pause, "Maybe,"

Preston smiled then cocked his head to one side as there was another knock at the door.

"Yes?" He inquired.

"David Faradine, my lord. I thought I saw Jacklyn run this way and wondered if anything was the matter."

"Your daughter is a smart girl you know," Alek said before slipping into one of Preston's wardrobes.

Preston rolled his eyes at the circus that was unfolding before him and then answered the door, "I'm affraid not young Faradine. I have not seen her since the dance."

There was a barely audible sigh from the other side of the door, "I guess I shall continue looking then. Good night my lord and appologies for the intrusion."

A few moments passed before the wardrobe with Jacklyn spoke up, "Is he gone?"

"Aye luv, he's left." Preston replied. At once, both wardrobes flung open and depositied their inhabitants, one of which was smiling.

"Not the first time I've hid in your wardrobe, eh Preston?" Alek joked as he stretched his sore muscles.

"Indeed, and knowing us, not the last time either." Preston replied with a chuckle that had Ayne rolling her eyes. Preston then turned to Jacklyn who was attentively stairing at the door.

"I want him gone." Jacklyn said with finality.

Preston smiled and hugged his only child, "I know Jackie, don't worry, he'll be gone in the morning."

"Good, it's about time." Jacklyn commented. "I'm going to bed, night mum, dad and get lost you old coot." Alek smiled at the last comment as Jacklyn Dawn Avenici slipped out of the room and into the hall beyond.

"She's turning more and more into you with each day Preston." Alek noted.

Ayne groaned as she collapsed flat on the bed, "That's what I'm afraid of Alek."

Both Alek and Preston chuckled at this as both knew that Alek was only antagonizing the poor queen, as he had for many years, "Maybe so. I'd better get to bed myself if I'm going to see everyone off in the morning. Good night you two." And with that, Alek left the room and left Preston and Ayne alone.

"Finally, peace and quiet." Ayne said.

"Too true luv, too true." Preston replied.

The End

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