Author: Spouse of Orestes PM
While visiting a foreign country, Susan defends her brother from a different kind of evil. An outtake from my “Lessons and Diplomacy” and “Queen Susan’s Marriage” universe.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor - Chapters: 2 - Words: 10,921 - Reviews: 54 - Favs: 68 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 04-01-06 - Published: 03-29-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2867613
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Sorry for the wait, I kept editing and adding more details so it lengthened to 14 pages (on Word). So here's the conclusion, hope you like it. Thanks for all those who reviewed and tell me what you think about this.
"What is it, Peter?" she asked when she saw her brother framed in the doorway, a candle in his hand.
Peter grabbed her by the arm and led her across the hall and into his room. "Mr. Endon and the others are staying at the end of the hall. I'm all alone. Stay with me tonight," he said.
Susan shook her arm away from his hand and gave a yawn. "I'm tired Peter, let's just talk tomorrow. I just want to get some sleep."
"Then sleep here," he said. He shut the heavy door and locked it. "This castle is giving me the creeps."
Normally, Susan would pick this opportunity to tease him, but right now, she was just tired. "Oh for heaven's sake's, Peter Pevensie, you are twenty-six years old and you're the High King of Narnia you're not supposed to be afraid of the dark," she said irritably. She tried to open the door but he barricaded it with his body.
"Su, please. It's not the dark I'm afraid of, it's well the…" He suddenly looked a bit ashamed and mumbled something under his breath.
"The what?" asked Susan.
"The princesses," he said and Susan could see him blushing in the dark. "They might try to come in tonight."
Susan stared at him for a moment then laughed out loud. Oh this was priceless! Who would have imagined that the Peter the Magnificent, High King of Narnia, Lord of Cair Paravel, Emperor of the Lone Islands and the most powerful monarch in the known world who had fought giants, witches and mighty armies was afraid of being invaded in his room by five silly girls?
"Su, it's not funny," he said seriously. "Remember what happened to Edmund last year? I don't want to wake up tomorrow with a naked girl in my bed and her father demanding I marry her."
Susan was still laughing so hard her stomach ached.
"I'm serious Su," he insisted. "I'm not going to risk being compromised into a marriage."
Susan abruptly stopped. "Peter, you are being ridiculous! The idea that any girl would climb into your bed at night… that's just so egotistic of you!"
"Well it happened to Edmund!"
"So the Countess of Galma was a little crazy to pull off a stunt like that, it doesn't mean King Valdima's daughters would be that desperate."
"They were desperate enough to chase me all evening. I don't have to tell you what happened at dinner and the ball was worse. Amelia and Adela tried several times to lure me to dark corners while Agatha kept trying to kiss me all night. Athina didn't even try to be subtle. While dancing she offered me—" he stopped and blushed again. "Something that isn't decent for me to repeat."
Susan rolled her eyes at him. "They're just flirting, Peter. It's not like they can do that when you're in your room. She yawned and made a move to the door. "I'm going to bed."
But Peter put on his best pout, the one that always melted her. "Su, please, I'm begging. Sleep next to me tonight."
Susan sighed. She thought it was really an absurd idea. Even if the princesses would try anything funny, no one could get through a locked door. But she supposed it wouldn't hurt to give him some peace of mind. Besides, she had seen his bed. It was an enormous heavy wooden four poster with a canopy that was even bigger than the one in her room. The pillows that lined the head board appeared fluffier than the ones in her room. When she sat down on the mattress, she was lost in its softness. It was far superior than the one assigned to her. Oh why does the king always get the better beds?
"Alright fine," she said, still pretending to be mad, though she was secretly happy that she had an excuse to sleep with better accommodations. "Just don't hog the blankets," she warned.
"I don't hog the blankets," he defended.
"Yes you do. When we used to sleep together when we were little I always end up cold because you take away the blankets for yourself."
"I've learned to share since then," he said while grinning at her. He lifted the end of the blanket and let her slide in before coming in after her at the left side of the bed.
"Comfy?" he asked.
"Oh heavenly," she replied.
"Goodnight then." He kissed her temple then turned his back to her.
Susan shut her eyes and let her mind close. But it wasn't long after that she was jagged awake by a horrid buzzing that sounded like a plane engine trying without success to take off. For a moment, she thought she was back in Finchley when the war planes came flying low to bomb the city. She tried to get up and realized she couldn't move. There was something clamping her to the bed. She realized it was an arm that was currently draped around her in a firm grip. The arm unfortunately, was connected to a body with a face that was hovering behind her head and creating that nasty buzzing that had awaken her in the first place.
"Peter!" she whispered crossly as she tried to move away. He responded by tightening his grip on her waist, while his face hovered even closer to her ear. For several minutes she struggled to remove his annoying presence away from her but it was rather useless to wake him. She knew he slept like he was in a coma and would only awaken in his own good time.
When she finally succeeded in pushing him away, he fully turned over, dragging a sizeable amount of blanket with him.
"Darn it!" she said. She was ready to fight him and pull back her own share of the blanket when she heard a thumping sound outside the door. She lay very still and listened intently and was rewarded by a faint jingling followed by the sound of something like metal scarping against the door handle.
Susan's heart beat in alarm. Was somebody trying to get through the door? If so, who? They were welcomed well in Ebon, but there was always the possibility of political enemies who might want to take this opportunity to assassinate the unarmed royals of Narnia. Their guards were staying at the end of the hall, but there was no way she could call them when the intruder was already outside the door. She alone had to figure out a way to defend them.
Susan quickly got up from bed as quietly as she could and tiptoed her way to the grate. She found a poker beside the crackling fire and took it with her as she headed to the door. She raised it high, ready to bring it down if anyone tried to come in.
The sound of scraping continued even louder. This time whoever it was didn't even bother to be quiet. Susan stood with poker in hand and waited.
And waited… for what seemed like an hour.
By then, Susan was already exasperated. Whoever was trying to pick the lock was doing a pathetic job at it. Finally, she decided that if someone was that bad at picking locks, he or she wasn't much of a challenge.
She got her poker ready with one hand and with the other turned the lock on the door, ready to scream at a moment's notice. She threw open the door and there was a tiny shriek that didn't come from her own throat while something small and metallic fell to the floor.
Susan stared at the intruder. It was Princess Adela, the youngest daughter who was wearing nothing but a very thin pink shift and if possible an even paler face. There was no doubt to Susan what exactly her intentions were.
"Is there a problem?" glared Susan in the most venomous voice she could muster. The girl stared at her, her mouth agape and her eyes wide with fear before she turned and fled noisily down the hall. Susan grabbed the tiny piece of metal the girl was using to pick the lock, shut the door behind her and locked it firmly.
"Stupid girl," she muttered, though she had to giggle at the fact that Peter was right after all. Susan very well doubted, though, that Adela could get in. The lock on the door was very heavy and secure. Adela could have tried picking it all night and wouldn't even make a dent in it.
She walked back to bed which was now flooded with moonlight through the open window. The fire was starting to die down so it was a bit cold and a lot darker. She lay back in bed and tried to cover herself with the remaining end of the blanket that Peter allowed her to have. It wasn't as much as she wanted but it at least covered most of her body.
From her position lying sideways, she could see the full moon from the open window, casting eerie shadows into the room. The dark curtains that hung across it, as well as the canopy and tassles that surrounded the bed would move occasionally when a gentle breeze passed by and added to the creepy effect of the room. Susan was reminded of a motion picture about Dracula that she had once seen with Peter back in England and a shiver run right through her. But she reminded herself that that was just a fictional tale and closed her eyes.
Susan opened her eyes. The sound seemed to be coming from outside their window but when she turned to look she saw nothing but the moon and the curtains blowing and a piece of black cloth flowing through the edge of the window sill. She closed her eyes again.
Piece of cloth by the window sill! Susan's heart hammered and she stared back at the window, but there was nothing there. Susan decided she must have imagined it and was about to tear her gaze away when she saw something white move through the edges of the window sill. She stared at it for a long time, thinking it must be some part of the window when it moved again and this time it grew larger. She realized with horror what she was seeing: It was a set of fingers with sharp pointed nails grasping the corner of the window sill!
It's not real, it's not real, Susan told herself. It's just my imagination playing tricks on me. She hid her face at the corner of her blanket so she couldn't see the window. I'm just remembering that vampire movie. There are no vampires in Narnia who come in through windows to suck people's blood while they're sleeping. I'll look again and there's nothing there.
Slowly, she pulled down the blanket and looked. She almost hid back again as she saw there were now two sets of fingers clawing at the edge of the window sill and she could make out a loose black sleeve from each wrist. Susan shrank backwards into the bed until her back was touching her brother's body.
"Peter…" she called shakily. His only answer was his loud snores.
Something bigger was emerging from the other edge of the window sill. Susan could make out a pale white foot underneath folds of thin black silk trying to climb over. But it slipped back outside and she could hear a female voice cursing rather creatively.
Susan's fear quickly left her as she knew vampires didn't curse, or at least they didn't have such an extensive vocabulary as this invading harpy seemed to have. Susan quickly got up from bed and headed straight to the window and looked out.
There, hanging by her hands on the window sill with her feet balanced on a vine trellis directly below the window was the Princess Amelia in her black nightgown. Susan crossed her arms and glared at her. The princess eyed her for a moment with a bit of shock and took the hint. She began climbing down the trellis as fast as she could. She missed a step and fell crashing into a bush below. Susan could tell by the way she was cursing that the princess had managed to bruise herself in several places but the Narnian Queen wasn't feeling the least bit sorry for her. Susan pulled the wooden shutters of the window to close it and was relieved to see it also had a lock that could be slid into place. The room grew dark as only very little moonlight could come in slivers through gaps of the wooden shutters, but it was enough for Susan to see where she was going.
Susan hobbled back into bed, mumbling under her breath about bothersome girls who kept interrupting her sleep. She assured herself that she and Peter were locked tight and no one could get past the door unless they battered it with a ram or blasted it open with a hand grenade (which she very well doubt was available in this world).
She settled back under the sheets. Peter's snoring had tempered a bit or perhaps she was just getting used to it, it didn't bother her as much.
Susan's eyes opened wide. She turned to the window, it was still locked tight. The door hadn't moved either. Then she noticed the bare wall at the left side of the room. The smooth floral patterned wall paper that adorned the wall had noticeable lines that weren't there before. Slowly, the lines became visibly clearer and Susan realized that it wasn't just an ordinary wall. It was hidden door that was gradually swinging open.
Susan sank back under the blankets and waited with bated breath for whatever was on the other side to come out. She didn't have to wait long. A figure in white emerged and with it came a cold draft that made Susan shiver despite being under the blanket. The figure glided across the room and Susan couldn't help but tremble as she imagined it as a ghost. It made its way towards Peter's side of the bed and was about to lift his covers when Susan got hold of her senses and felt a deep outrage at this intrusion.
Phantom or no phantom, she's not touching my brother!
She threw the blankets down and got up in a flash shouting: "BOO!"
The "ghost" jerked in surprise and lost its balance. It fell to the floor in a tangle of white silk. Susan was up in a second and grabbed the figure by the hair. The room was dark as the fire had died down to a few embers but she could clearly make out the eldest princess, Athina's terrified face as she struggled with what she thought was a ghost.
"What are you doing here?" Susan demanded.
The girl continued struggling in a fit of panic. Susan viciously pulled at her hair even tighter until the girl realized Susan was flesh and blood.
"I said what are you doing here?" Susan hissed even more menacingly.
The girl whimpered but said nothing coherent. She was looking at Susan as if she was even more terrifying than a real ghost. Susan pulled her roughly by the arm to force her to stand up.
"How did you get in here?" Susan demanded and when the girl didn't respond, Susan pulled at her hair again. "Answer me!"
"S-secret door. T-there's one in every g-guest room."
"Is there another aside from the one you just came in?"
That was all Susan needed to know. She dragged the girl back to the secret door and pushed her into the dark, damp and cold passageway on the other side.
"Stay out! You and your sisters don't ever come through here again or I'll make you sorry you even tried!" Susan then slammed the door and moved a large and heavy dresser across it. She surveyed the room. There were other areas of the wall that were bare. The girl said there were no other secret doors but Susan wasn't going to take her word for it.
For the next two hours or so, Susan found herself dragging every bit of furniture she could push to cover every inch of bare wall that could possibly be a door. When she felt satisfied with the room's defenses, she climbed back into bed.
Susan was completely exhausted and was just looking forward to getting some sleep. But just as she had found herself comfortable, Peter, the human octopus, turned over yet again. He had her body locked in the mercy of his heavy arm, while his monstrous mouth breathed heavily at her neck.
Susan was ready to scream at him so he'd wake up when he suddenly mumbled:
"I love you, Shu... and Ed… and Lushee"
Susan's heart softened. "And if I didn't love you too you horrid prat, I wouldn't be up all night defending your honour."
She stared up at his face and couldn't help but soften at his peaceful countenance. Even though he was a nuisance, he did look adorable when he slept. Perhaps not as adorable as Edmund, who had his moments of being sweet when he wanted to, or Lucy who could get away with just about anything with a single smile; but he did come close enough.
Susan was used to sleeping next to her younger siblings, but never with Peter. When Lucy was younger, Susan would tuck her in and stay next to her sometimes until morning like their mother used to do. At times when she didn't come to stay in Lucy's bedroom, Susan would often wake up to find her sister begging entrance to her bed. Susan always welcomed her presence and found the warmth of her sister's body next to hers reassuring. During their first few years in Narnia, Edmund was the same. Often, she would wake up whenever Edmund cried due to nightmares. She would lie next to him and stroke his hair for hours until he was calm again. Both Edmund and Lucy had long grown up and had stopped asking her for these small comforts. Once in a while, however, Susan would still come to check on them and spend time just holding them close to her. Susan realized this was the first time she had ever slept next to Peter since they were little children. He never needed comforting in bed or tucking in like the younger ones. Occasionally, when it was she who needed comforting with nightmares and Edmund and Lucy weren't there, Peter would come to her room and sit in a chair next to her bed until she fell asleep.
Susan stroked the tendrils of hair that covered Peter's face for several minutes. She decided he deserved his sleep. He was probably more exhausted than her after dancing the whole night and evading princesses. She could forgive him for the slight discomfort of his snoring and his arm around her. There was nothing left for her to do but go to sleep herself. She lay back down and closed her eyes.
Susan kept her eyes shut, but inside she was screaming: No! No! No! No! No! I will not get up for this!
Damn it! I've barricaded the entire room! Where could they possibly come through?
She opened her eyes and peeked from under Peter's arm. There was nothing in the room. Then she caught a slight movement. The door of the huge wardrobe in the corner was open.
But that's ridiculous, she told herself. Who in their right mind would hide inside a wardrobe? She remembered that she and siblings did so a long time ago which was why they ended up in this world. Her imagination suddenly went flying. What if it wasn't one of the princesses in there? What if the wardrobe was another gateway to another world and someone else or something else was coming out of it?
Susan never believed in the story of the boogeyman coming out from the closet, even when it was a popular tale that she and Peter would often tell to Lucy and Edmund when they were young to shut them up and make them sleep. But after her experience about different worlds and getting into Narnia, she knew better than to trust plain old wardrobes.
Reluctantly, she pushed Peter's arm aside, which fortunately she was able to do without much of a struggle. She quietly got up from the bed to investigate the wardrobe. She stood in front of the slightly open door but couldn't see anything but pitch black. She decided she should just shut the door and made to do so, when a hand shot out from inside and pulled her in.
Susan was frozen with fear. A strong arm held her pressed to what she felt was a body built bigger than her own and a hand was clamped to her mouth to silence her scream.
What if it's taking me to another world? Maybe back to that old world! I can't leave Narnia! Everything I love is here! No! I won't let myself be taken!
She grasped at anything she could find to pull herself away but it was difficult to see anything in the dark and the heavy fabrics in the wardrobe that were snagging her hair added to the confusion.
Suddenly she heard a sweet little voice rasping in her ear. "Don't worry your majesty, you're in good hands."
Susan stopped struggling as she realized who she was with. Her assailant however, took this as a sign of encouragement and began caressing Susan's arm suggestively. Susan felt sick but it was that jolt that set her reflexes back into action. She jerked her arms away then grabbed what she knew was the Princess Agatha and roughly pulled at her. Agatha didn't fight back and let herself be tugged.
"Oh your majesty," the princess giggled in what she thought was a seductive way. To Susan, however, it sounded more like a screeching parakeet. "You'd like to move into the be—"
Her last words died as she and Susan fell out of the wardrobe. The princess was still giggling in that awfully irritating way, but she abruptly stopped when she saw Peter lying in his bed fast asleep. The princess turned to Susan and the Narnian queen could see through the princess' blood shot eyes utter shock that morphed into complete terror in a span of two seconds. Susan realized the girl had probably just woken up from sleeping in the wardrobe. Susan's indignation grew at how desperate and stupid this girl was to risk sleeping inside a shut wardrobe just to get to her brother.
"No, I want you to move outside!" cried Susan. She grabbed the princess by the arm, and with a strength that she didn't know she had, hauled her to the door. She threw it open and shoved the amazon out before slamming it in her face and locking the door tight.
Susan then ran back to the wardrobe and threw open both its doors. "Come out! If there's any more of you in there!" she demanded. There was no answer but Susan wasn't taking a chance. She pushed away the garments inside until she was satisfied no one was there. Then she began to search every inch of the wardrobe for a possible secret door. She found a few holes on the side of the wardrobe that allowed a bit of air in, allowing Agatha to breathe while she was there, but no further surprises can be found.
Still, Susan felt it wasn't enough. There were five princesses and so far, four had come. That left one more left. She began to search every nook and cranny that could be a hiding place for anyone, though she found there wasn't anything big enough to fit a body except for the wardrobe, behind the curtains or the bathtub in the bathroom that was also empty. When she got tired, she sat very still on the floor at the foot of the bed and waited for the slightest sound. She remained there for what might have been hours, but nothing happened. Finally her eyelids couldn't take it anymore. She decided that the last princess, Alana, was probably sensible enough not to try anything stupid like her sisters. After all, Susan didn't notice her last night. She had disappeared after dinner and didn't make any move towards Peter. Susan decided it was time she went back to bed.
To her dismay, she found that Peter had taken advantage of her absence to play conquering emperor. He lay spread-eagled at the center of the bed leaving her with little room to lie in. When she tried to move him, he stubbornly refused. Susan no longer had the strength to engage him in battle to recover her rightful territory, so she grudgingly accepted exile at the small unguarded area at his feet. Susan curled up in a ball and used her hands as a pillow (Peter refused to give up that precious resource). She managed to steal an end of the blanket but couldn't get as much as she wanted unless she risked getting his big feet in her face.
She lay still in utter misery for a long time wondering why any girl would want to get into his bed at all. It was a horribly uncomfortable position to be in. Finally she let her eyes droop and embraced blissful sleep.
It seemed like only a second that she was unconscious when she was awaken by the feeling of something like a warm breath prickling the skin of her neck and cheek. She decided to ignore it and continued to seek sleep.
Suddenly, someone blew hard on her ear. She jerked awake, rolled over and fell off the end of the bed. She expected to hit the hard floor but her fall was stopped by a pair of arms that pulled her back into the mattress.
"Sorry Su, didn't mean to startle you, but it's time to wake up."
Susan groaned and pushed hard at your savior. "Damn you, let me sleep!" she shouted but the words that came out sounded like: "Dmmm yrrr, ret me shreeeep!"
The room was brighter now as the first rays of dawn were filtering in through their window, but Susan didn't care. She crawled into the now vacated "prime real estate" and laid her head on the warm pillows. She grabbed the blanket and covered herself with it up to her head. A second later, however, the blanket was ripped away from her body and she felt irritating fingers nudging her arm.
"Su, it's a brand new day! Wake up! We're setting sail after breakfast." Susan slapped his hand away and refused to give in.
The next sensation she felt was the weight of his body crushing hers. "Su, come on," Peter teased. "Get up!"
Susan had had enough. She pushed at him roughly that he almost fell off the bed. "Go away! Leave me alone!" she roared.
Peter seemed to take the hint. "Alright fine, fifteen more minutes. I'll go see Mr. Endon and the others but I'll be back and you better be up by then," he warned. He covered her with the blanket and got out of bed. Susan sank back into the covers just as she heard the door open then close. Peter's footsteps faded away. Susan let herself savor even this short time of peace. Finally, some quiet and the full bed to herself.
Susan could swear it was less than ten minutes later when she felt a weight shift in the bed and a hand rub up her leg.
"Not fifteen minutes yet," she mumbled.
Peter didn't answer but the sensation in her leg continued. It moved up her leg in a way that made her very uncomfortable. Suddenly there were fingers inching their way into her inner thigh. Susan grew alarmed and grabbed the hand to stop it. But when she did, she was surprised to feel the hand smooth and smaller than she expected. Susan felt an overwhelming sense of dread and she turned to her left and hurriedly threw open the covers.
Susan took one look at the pale face lying on the pillow next to her and gave blood-curling scream.
There was Princess Alana wearing nothing at all and in the next instant she was wailing like a banshee. Susan quickly backed away from her and promptly fell off the side of the bed.
Susan heard the door burst open and what seemed like a dozen pairs of feet came trampling into the room. She grabbed one of the bedposts with one hand to lift herself from the floor but stopped from emerging fully when a furious voice called out:
"You rogue! How dare you dishonour my daughter! And in my own house!" The raging voice was that of King Valdima. But Susan immediately knew this was all an act. She boiled with fury at the idea that the king and his daughters had plotted to set her brother up.
"Father," quivered the princess. "I think you should know—"
"Quiet!" he bellowed. "Don't try to defend him! Oh no! If he be an honourable man he would not treat us this way. I demand you marry my daughter immediately!"
Susan had to cover her mouth with her other hand to keep from laughing. She decided to hide in her corner for just a while longer.
"Speak up!" fumed the king. "Stop hiding behind the bed! Come out and face me like a man and a king!"
Susan slowly got up and stared straight at King Valdima whose eyes seemed to grow as wide as dinner plates at the sight of her.
Susan crossed her arms and eyed him and his courtiers with an amused grin. "I'm afraid, your highness, I wouldn't be able to do that, seeing as I am neither a man nor a king. And I'd like to assure you that your daughter's honour is safe with me, though I am not sure if my honour is safe with her, or any of her sisters. I seem to recall being visited by all of them last night and I have reason to doubt such visits have honourable intentions."
Peter came bursting in, sword in hand and followed by their Narnian escorts.
"What's going on here? Su, are you alright!" He was by her side in a second and he stared in confusion at King Valdima, the dozen men that were with him and the princess that was lying on the bed wrapped in blankets.
"Oh it's nothing, Peter," assured Susan casually. "I just received a proposal from King Valdima to marry his daughter. Your majesty," she said addressing the speechless Ebon king. "As charming as your daughter is, I confess I am a woman with more... conventional tastes. So I must, with all due respect, decline." She gave him a graceful bow before walking out the room with her head held high and a serious expression on her face.
"What just happened, Su?" Peter asked when he caught up to her in the corridor. Their other Narnian companions were giving her equally curious looks.
Susan shook her head, unable to answer and burst out laughing.
Susan yawned. She had just woken up from a long nap in her private quarters below deck and was still rather irked that Peter had dragged her up here so soon to satisfy his curiosity about the rather unusual "marriage proposal" she received in Ebon. She had already related most of the events of her adventurous night on the carriage trip to the port, but Peter kept pestering her for more details. He and the rest of their other Narnians escorts seemed to find the tale very amusing.
"Yes," she answered nonchalantly. "I forgot to check under the bed, of all places. It's the only place that I left out, unless there's another secret door I missed, but that's not likely. She was probably waiting for dawn to get into your bed. It was her bad luck that she found me instead."
Peter smiled. "Good luck for me then. But what I don't understand is that she didn't even wake up the whole time. I thought you were making a lot of noise when you got rid of the other four."
"Peter, you didn't wake up either!"
Peter blushed guiltily.
"You know what, Peter," she complained. "I think you deserve either Princesses Alana or Agatha. All three of you sleep like the dead. I could have been murdered last night and you wouldn't even know until morning."
"Oh come off it," said Peter. He grinned at her. "You managed to thwart five princesses. You're an excellent body guard Su, nobody would dare murder you."
Susan normally had a sense of humour and would appreciate that compliment, but she was remembering all the discomfort she had gone through for him. Oh, he could laugh about it but she was the one who ended up tired and sore. She felt she had been much abused last night. She punched Peter hard on the chest.
"Oww! I was only kidding! You pack quite a punch. No wonder those princesses couldn't stand a chance."
Susan swung her fist at him again and Peter ducked then grabbed her arms from behind her before she could make another move. He held her in a tight embrace to restrain her.
"It's not funny, you know," she scowled at him. "They denied me sleep, scared me half to death and…" She couldn't bring herself to describe what the Princesses Agatha and Alana did when they thought she was Peter. Her brother however, got the idea and roared with laughter.
Susan used her elbows to poke him hard at the ribs. Peter stopped laughing as he bowled over in pain but he didn't let go of his grip. "It's all your fault!" she barked.
"Alright, alright, I'm sorry," he said then added tenderly: "Oh, what would I do without you?"
"My guess is you're going to spend a miserable life with a silly empty-headed wife who looks like a vampire, giggles like a squawking parrot, likes to play games inside the wardrobe, and crawls through bedroom windows and secret doors. It's what you deserve for what you put me through last night. I ought to leave you open prey for the next crazy girl that tries to get into your bed."
"No you won't," he said confidently. "Because then you'll have to endure having a really irritating sister-in-law for the rest of your life, and you wouldn't want that, would you?"
Susan glared at him. He was right of course.
He gave her a tight squeeze then covered the top of her head with a series of quick kisses like the ones Lucy gave any of them when she wanted her way. Darn it! He knows I give in to Lucy when she does that! He's discovered her secret! Against Susan's will, she let out a smile.
"I appreciate it Su," he said seriously. "I really do. Thank you." He let go of her but not before Susan gave him one last hard jab in the ribs with her elbow. She rolled her eyes at Peter's overreaction to her minor assault.
There was a shout from the upper deck that announced they had just docked at Cepris. Susan and Peter quickly assumed their dignified poses and graciously met their welcoming party. They were led from the port into special carriages and were brought directly to Cepris' palace where they were received warmly as befitting visiting monarchs.
The king introduced them to his three children. All of them were young unmarried men, who eyed Susan with much interest. Susan gave a sigh of relief. She expected that by the end of this week-long visit, she would be getting more than one proposal, but that was familiar territory and she knew how to handle it.
But the King wasn't finished with the introductions and spoke again: "May I also introduce my nieces? They're visiting from the country and we'll be having the pleasure of their company for this week."
The doors opened and in came eight young girls who giggled and blushed at the sight of Peter. Susan stared at them in horror.
She caught Peter's gaze and his eyes were begging the same question he asked her yesterday evening. Susan wanted nothing more than to just say "no." There was no way she was going to endure that all over again for an entire week!
But Peter put on an adorable little smile that was all too familiar. Susan swore he was learning to be more like Lucy everyday.
"Only if we sleep in my room every night," she whispered firmly to him. "And you're staying in a chair."