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Ever After

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The sight of my new betrothed lying on my bed is not at all what I expect when I retire to my room for the day.

There he is, though. Beau is still fully clothed, boots and all, curled up on top of my sheets; he looks no less comfortable for it, either. In fact, if I weren’t looking directly at his clothes, I’d think he was wrapped up in nothing but a long, soft nightshirt. His bangs are still over one eye, although they’re sweeping over as if trying to also cover his other as well. Dark blonde lashes are closed tightly, yet, at the same time, they look as if he could wake up any second.

However, I don’t think that’s even a possibility. He looks as if he’s sleeping the sleep of the dead. It might alarm me a bit, if I couldn’t see that his chest is slowly rising and falling. So he’s still breathing. He’s fine… just asleep. For once, he doesn’t have a scowl on his face or look indifferent to everything around him. He actually looks… sort of peaceful.

Pity that he chose to look peaceful in my bed.

Not even the crackling of the fireball I’ve just conjured is enough to rouse him. You would think most people would jump a mile at the sound of that. I sigh and the flames match my frustration, growing a little brighter. Am I really going to have to do this the hard way? Heavy sleeper or not, this seems ridiculous.

“Prince Beau!” My free hand grabs his shoulder, giving him as rough a shake as I dare to. “Wake up!”

Wow. All he does is stir slightly, one hand reaching to brush at my fingers. Though his eyebrows draw together as if he’s only mildly disturbed, they fall back into a more relaxed position quickly enough. “Mmmnnn…” Legs tuck up underneath him further, moving as if there’s been a sudden draft and he’s gotten cold.

That’s two things I’ve tried that haven’t worked. Gods, what is with him? A curse of being constantly tired is one thing, but that doesn’t mean he’s allowed to just sleep wherever he pleases – especially in my palace. “Prince Beau!” I repeat, more harshly this time. My grip on his shoulder tightens significantly, and I bring my fireball just close enough so that he can feel its heat. “ Wake up! If I have to say it a third time, it will not be pleasant for you!”

What I’ve researched about his curse leads me to believe there’s some kind of ‘true love’s kiss’ element. Is that really the case? Does he have to be kissed to wake up? If so, I’ll simply levitate him out of here. I’m not going to tolerate his presence in my room at night, nor am I going to kiss a slumbering man I’ve known for barely a day.

Thankfully, it seems that the warmth of the blaze is what pulls him out of whatever dream he was having. His eyes flutter open, golden orbs full of fatigue despite (I assume) having been resting for a while peering up at me. “Princess… great…” Rosebud lips part briefly as a yawn breaks through his speech, and amazingly enough, he does nothing but turn onto his other side. “I don’t care what you want… I’m sleeping, so… it can wait…” Another yawn interrupts him, so forceful this time that it makes his entire slender frame shudder. “… Until tomorrow…” He shifts his head around, nuzzling his cheek against the fabric of my topmost blanket. “Get out of… my room…”

Your room?!” His words surprise me so much that my magic dissipates in an instant. Anger bubbles up inside of me at the thought that he has so much nerve to command me to leave when it’s my room he’s fallen asleep in. Why on Earth does he think it’s his?! “I don’t know what kind of dream you’re having, Prince Beau…” When my hands grab him for a second time, I stay true to my threat. Gentle is not the word I’d use to describe how I pull him into a sitting position on the edge of the bed. “… But you are in my room! I’m tired, too, and I’d like to go to sleep! Kindly get off my bed and go to your own room!”

My less-than-sweet touches and tone seem to snap him back to being almost fully alert. His eyes are half-lidded as if he’s still tremendously exhausted, and he’s looking around in a confused daze. A third yawn cuts through the silence as he rubs at his visible eye. At least he seems like he’s actually paying attention now. “… Your room…?” He pouts for half a second, then it evolves into a complete scowl. Ah. There’s the ill-tempered prince I’ve been dealing with. “A thousand pardons.” The bed hardly creaks as he gets to his feet, nearly tripping over himself as he starts toward the door. I don’t miss the sarcasm in his voice as he ‘apologizes’, either. “Excuse me.”

 >[Just dismiss it.]

Why he was in my room in the first place, I’m sure I’ll never know. His curse renders him constantly weary, though, so whatever he was doing in here, he probably doesn’t ever intend to fall asleep in odd places. It’s not worth a fight.

“Goodnight!” I call after him, albeit a little bitterly.

Though I can’t be sure, I think I hear a quiet scoff before he shuts the door.

Urgh. You’d think a prince would have better manners.

Whatever. It doesn’t matter. Tomorrow we leave to begin the courting period in the Dream Kingdom, so I’d better get my rest instead of being upset with Beau. Hopefully, the next two months will be as uneventful as possible.

 >[Ask him why he was in your room.]

“Hey, wait just a second!”

Thrice now I’ve grabbed him by the arm, and when he turns to glance at me, he doesn’t look thrilled. If I were to wager a guess, I’d call the look on his face irritation. “What? I thought you wanted me out of your room.”

My teeth chew at my lower lip for a moment, because there’s nothing I can say to that. He’s right, I do want him out. It’s not like I’d rather have him stay, for heaven’s sake! “… I do. But you owe me an explanation. What were you doing snooping around in my room in the first place?”

Snooping.” As if judging my word choice, he snorts before rubbing at his eye again. How long has he been asleep? Shouldn’t he be rested enough to not look like he’s about to keel over? “That isn’t becoming of a prince. I wasn’t here on purpose.”

Something about his words strikes me, strangely, as true. It’s enough that I release my grip on his arm. “Then why were you here?”

His eyes narrow for a second, then return to just looking drawn. “Like I said, it wasn’t on purpose. Not like I was waiting for you or anything like that. I was tired, heading back to my room, and I… just… must have gone into the wrong room.”

I blink, and in a flash, he’s heading out. “Have a good night.”

“Ah–” By the time I can stammer out a, “You too,” he’s disappeared down the hall.

… I’m starting to feel a little drained myself.

It still annoys me that he fell asleep in my room, but… I can’t bring myself to truly be angry at him. Tomorrow we leave to Dream Kingdom for the courting period, so I should probably get some sleep, as well. Hopefully, the next two months will just go smoothly.