Brandon was lying in bed, eyes shut tight. This was going to work. This was definitely going to work. Why wouldn't it?
He heard a creak and rolled over, pulling his plush pillow over his ears, physically scrunching up his face in an effort to go to sleep. As many would agree, the singlularly most surefire way of not getting to sleep. After a while he opened his eyes ever so slightly and squinted around him...to his annoyance the room was still the one in which he had awoken that morning.
He got up and briefly tried examining the bed, as if hoping to find some switch or secret compartment. All the talk of war and this Kewn Guire fellow had unnerved Brandon quite a bit. He admitted defeat to himself silently, although his subconscious knew it was never going to work, and he pulled on a grand midnight blue dressing gown.
He crept outside and took a pondering walk through the castle, alone with himself and his thoughts. It was full of grand paintings and even a suit of armor or two. The iron brackets that held lights along the corridors glistened and shone ever so slightly through patches of rust. As he found himself becoming so engrossed with all these minor details, Brandon stopped, somewhere on what he assumed to be the ground floor, as he took in an incredible sight.
A huge portrait stood before him in a large hall section of the castle, it must have been 20 feet high. "King Tassian III" it read on a small plague at the base of the portraits grand golden frame.
There he was, smiling warmly through a snowy white beard and shoulder length hair, with what looked like some kind of Royal staff with a ruby on the end. He was amazed and overwhelmed, it made it all seem more real. Yet at the same time, more surreal.
"Finally found it then?" Came a soft, playful voice from behind him.
He spun around, jumping slightly to see Tiffy standing behind him in a much less colourful dressing gown.
He felt suddenly self-conscious. She smiled at him. "Must be very strange, if this is the first time you remember coming here, huh?" She said, looking past Brandon at the huge painting with interest. "The bravest king this land has ever seen." She added.
Brandon scratched the back of his head in embarassment. "Well er.. I don't really think that...well...maybe, well no, no I'm no big deal really" He stuttered, feeling rather annoyed with himself for even opening his mouth.
"Oh no." Tiffy said matter-of-factly, "I meant King Kewn Guire." "Oh." "Look see?"
Brandon turned back around and noticed that a portrait of Kewn Guire was not far off from his own, though it was a little smaller and looked like it had been there for an age or two. The plaque was so rusted the phrase Tiffy had just uttered was hardly visible.
"I think you're much better than that scumbag," Tiffy added, with the same that-is-that tone.
"Oh, well thanks..." Brandon smiled at her. She smiled back warmly and realised how lovely she looked under the dreamy half-light of the candle brackets. "I probably shouldn't say this..." He began, taking a subtle a gulp as he could to swallow the knot in his throat, "But has anyone ever told you how..how beautiful you look?"
Tiffy's eyes momentarily widened with what Brandon could've sworn was shock, before quickly readjusting, perhaps he had imagined it. She scratched the back of her head in embarassment and looked at the floor, Brandon looked there too.
"That's um..that's really nice My Lord. Thank you."
"Sorry. I shouldn't have...I just err..was just being nice..yeah that's all really." For the first time since he put his foot in it, Brandon saw Tiffy resume her normal nature with a playful smile. She shoved him gleefully and laughed.
"You're a sweet man. Silly, but sweet."
Brandon laughed and it felt as though the tension was gone.
"I probably shouldn't be talking to the King like that," she chuckled, "but then again, you probably shouldn't be talking to your seamstress like that."
"Fair point, well I'll probably go and get some sleep. Roary and Senny seem to think we'll have a reply from Guire by tomorrow."
"Ok, well goodnight My Lord." Tiffy said, bowing jokingly and slinking off down the corridor to the right.
"Goodnight!" Brandon called back. He swerved and looked down the corridor to the left instinctively after hearing something, for a split second he thought he saw someone running away, but it was probably just a trick of the light.