Kile was waiting in the men's parlour watching the other competitors trickle through the door still shaking from their first meeting with the future queen or as Kile liked to call her the spoiled brat. He sighed as he watched his fellow men settle into the men's room and begin to chat.
They all had a brief meeting with each other beforehand, lots of banter and Kile was happy for that someone else to share the torture with.
"Boy, she is scary." Mumbled a boy as he settled next to Kile on the sofa.
"Try living with her for 18 years." Kile said back with a sardonic smile as the guy looked sympathetic.
"Kile right?" he asked looking at him intently before holding out his hand "Hale Garner" he stated warmly.
Kile smiled back and shook his hand "Hey" before continuing to stare at the door.
"How many left?" he asked as more and more boys piled through the doors and the volume of the men's parlour grew steadily.
"One left the foreign one." Hale replied as he strained his neck to see the door. "He has a translator right?" he continued.
Kile nodded and remembered the two men standing away from the group conversed quietly as they waited for the Princess to meet them. One was quiet with dark hair and blue eyes, he was the translator…Eric and then there was the selected boy. A gangly youth with wild light brown hair that curled crazily.
Just as he nodded the said youth and his friend walked through the door. He was bouncing on the balls of his feet as he chatted happily to Eric.
"I take it their meeting went better than ours did." Hale said with a smile as they watched the men approach.
Before they could walk passed Kile stopped them and held out his hand "Kile Woodwork" he said smiling comfortingly at the boy.
He beamed back and took his hand and said brightly "Hello! My name it Henri!" as Eric politely nodded his head.
Hale shook his hand next and gave a muffled greeting which Henri eagerly replied before saying in broken english.
"How- are you?" he asked while turning back to Eric who gave a thumbs up.
Kile thought simple words were the best "Good, really good" he said slowly.
Henri nodded obviously understanding what was being said and made himself comfortable on the sofa next to Hale.
He grabbed Kile's hand and pulled him down too and spoke some quick Swedish to Eric who rolled his eyes and joined them.
"Henri says it good to meet new friends" before laughing as Henri wrapped his arms around Hale and Kile in a friendly manner.
Hale laughed and agreed and Kile said "We feel the same way." As he looked at Henri and smiled.
"Do you want to sit next to me at dinner?" he asked slowly while looking at Eric for a translation.
Eric referred this to Henri who nodded quickly making his curly hair look even more static and crazy.
"Good good" he said while beaming simultaneously at Hale and Kile.
"Good good" Kile replied as the butler came to inform them dinner was ready and that it was time to go.
Hale and Henri stuck close as Kile knew where he was going. Eric excused himself and sat away from the boys so that the royals wouldn't be confused.
Kile didn't think that was necessary as Eadlyn stared at her plate the majority of dinner. So he ignored her and talked to Hale and Henri.
Hale was a tailor and that explained a lot especially his two-toned shoes and Henri was a baker that moved from Swedenway to Illea along with his family and younger sister.
"You have sister?" he asked slowly as Henri's brow furrowed as he tried to concentrate on the words.
"Sister?" Kile repeated again gesturing to Eadlyn and her brother. Henri then understood "Da!" he said happily before repeating a name over and over "Annika" he said smiling sweetly.
"Annika that's a nice name" Hale chimed in giving Henri a thumbs up.
Henri laughed "Tank you" he said as he turned to Eric and gave him a thumbs up who did it back and returned to his plate.
"I have a sister, her names Josie" he said watching as Henri smiled and nodded "They should meet up maybe?" Kile continued while using his fingers making two stick figures walking towards each other.
Henri nodded laughing endearingly as he copied the gestured "Yes yes" he continued brightly. Kile nodded and resumed eating with a smile on his face.
It was 2 am in the morning and Kile could not sleep, he wanted to go back to his old room where the bed was soft and he wanted to be near his books (call him a nerd). It was frightening being in the selection one of these men might be King consort to the spoiled brat.
Kile knew one thing it would not be him. No way in hell. He needed to get out of here and Eadlyn promised she wouldn't pick him.
"Calm down Woodwork" he mumbled to himself as he turned on his side feeling the new sheets rustle.
He began to drop off until he heard footsteps and a mumbled phrase in a language he didn't understand. He smiled slightly when he saw Henri looking like a lost puppy in fluffy slippers.
"Everything…good good?" He asked laughing slightly as Henri let out a sigh of relief.
"Yes but-" he stuttered to a stop because he didn't know the word. He let out a frustrated sound before grabbing Kile's hand and pulling him to the end of the hall and pointing at the garden.
"What word?" he asked as he looked out the window.
"Garden" Kile replied "You want to go out to the garden?" he guessed.
He guessed correctly as Henri smiled and nodded "Da!" he said loudly; too loudly so Kile clapped his hand over Henri's mouth.
"Shhhh" he said as Henri giggled muffled by the hand over his mouth. He clasped it gently and pulled it away from his mouth holding it to his chest.
For some reason Kile's heart seized up and he laughed softly too. "This way" he said still letting Henri hold his hand as they snuck through corridors laughing like children.
Finally, they reached the humid garden and Henri bounced forward and lent down to smell a lily. He then turned back round to Kile.
"You have a favourite?" he asked as he flailed towards the flowers.
Kile shook his head "No" he answered honestly when he was younger he was allergic to pollen to he tended to avoid flowers.
Henri nodded and looked around at all the flowers pursing his lips, he brushed passed Kile and picked a yellow rose, smelt it and then gently handed it to Kile.
"For friend!" he said quietly as Kile smiled "Thanks" he replied as he took a sniff.
They spent ages in the garden and soon they snuck back up to the boys landing with their hands linked even though they didn't mention it.
Soon they were back at Kile's door, they stood their awkwardly with their hands linked, Kile was still holding the rose.
"Well goodnight" he whispered softly.
Henri didn't say anything but leant in and kissed his cheek softly.
"Godnatt min käraste Kile" he murmured softly as he walked away.
Kile smiled softly as he went back into his room, he put the rose on his bedstand and sunk back into his mattress.
"Goodnight Henri" he whispered as the sun rose and with that Kile slept.