Disclaimer: I don't own the 10th kingdom

A Little Trouble

Chapter 1

Wolf stumbled with the keys to his apartment when the door was suddenly pulled open and a very amused looking Virginia leaned on the doorframe. "I would have opened it eventually!"

Virginia chuckled softly, "Of course you would have, especially since you took every key in this apartment except the one to open the door." she dangled a key in front of her husband who looked suddenly embarrassed.

"That's not fair, you moved it!" Wolf growled playfully. Virginia was about to retort when a little blur shot passed her and attached to Wolf's leg.


"Hey there, how's my little pup doing?" He said lifting the little child into the air.

"Mom was helping me make cookies!" The little girl grinned flashing a smile that mimicked her father's.

"I can see that…" Wolf laughed taking in the flour that nearly completely covered the child in white. Instantly the girl moved from her father's arms and rushed back to the kitchen. "You know if you don't hurry back, she's going to eat the whole bowl of dough…"

Virginia smiled softly and looked towards the door her daughter had just barreled through before turning back to look at her husband. "How are the plans going for the restaurant?"

"Everything is going well actually. All the work should be done in about a month or so and then we can finally open!" Wolf said excitedly before stepping closer to his wife and kissing her passionately.

All at once though a sudden knock rang through the apartment. Wolf and Virginia briskly broke apart to look at the door. "I wonder who that could be?" Virginia muttered grabbing the door knob. At once Wendell and Tony were inside the apartment. "Hi dad, Wendell. Why are you here?"

"Virginia and Wolf. I apologize for coming in so suddenly and unannounced but it seems we are having so problems in the kingdoms." Wendell quickly announced in his cordial manner.

"Problems?…"Wolf questioned.

"You see-" Tony began when suddenly the little girl appeared again covered in more flour with her mouth full of cookie dough.

"Grandpa! Uncle Wendell!" Came her muffled cry as she came over to give them each a hug.

"Linda! It's so good to see you! What have you been up to?" Tony said as he gave her a hug before she rushed to her uncle.

Linda stepped back and made a struggled gulp of cookie dough so she could speak more clearly. "I was making cookies!"

"And eating them too it seems." Wendell said good heartedly.

"Hey Linda dear, why don't you go off and play, ok?" Virginia said as she cast a glance at her father.

"I'll go take Linda out for a bit of a walk." Wendell cut in as Tony was about to speak. "Why don't you explain the current events to Wolf and your daughter."

Tony cast the king an annoyed glare not wanting to be dumped with the job of filling his daughter and son-in-law in. "Hey Linda, wouldn't you rather your grandfather to take you out for a bit so the your parents can talk?"

Linda scrunched up her face as if in deep thought as she looked between her slightly indolent grandfather and the young overly formal king. "Ummm…. Uncle Wendy." Wendell instantly grimaced from the nickname and cast an annoyed look in Wolf's general direction which went right by said person as he suddenly found a chair extremely interesting. Tony's face fell at that and instantly the little girl attempted to make amends. "Only cause he's not familiar with New York and its fun to show him around And last time I was with you."

Tony couldn't help but laugh at that and pat the little child on the head. "You go and have fun then… but when you get back I'm expecting a rather large favor from a particular person of royalty." Wendell flashed a fast smile and farewell, quickly rushed out the room with Linda trotting behind him.

Virginia was about to stop them but the two were already out the door and down the hall. 'Oh well, Wendell will just have to find a way to get all that flour of her outside.' she thought lightly before turning to her father and instantly becoming more serious. "So Dad, what is this all about?"

Wendell followed the overly excited Linda down the crowded street. "Linda dear, where are we going?"

"Don't worry Uncle Wendy! I have a place to show you and I know exactly how to get there so we won't get lost." Linda said with childish excitement without pausing for a second in her hurried pace.

Wendell winced again partially for the use of his "nickname" and in part due to the prospects of what following a four year would lead to. He looked hopelessly down at the still flour covered child and sighed heavily. 'I should have waited a bit and had Linda get cleaned up a bit but then again I couldn't let Anthony slip out and make me tell Wolf and Virginia exactly why we so suddenly came.' He was then rudely jolted out of his thoughts when he nearly fell on top of the child who had been but seconds ago dragging him down the streets of New York City.

"We're here!" the little girl squealed with a rather proud and excited look on her face.

Wendell couldn't help but chuckle at her before looking at the store that they had stopped in front of. "What do you want here?" Wendell asked curiously but as he posed his question a little ring came to his ear and he noticed he was standing alone. "Linda!"

"So you see…we need both of your help to get out of this mess."

Both Virginia and Wolf were silent for a long moment. "Why do you need our help anyways?"

Tony gave an exasperated look at his son-in-law. "Were you even listening?"

"Well honestly…" Wolf muttered rubbing the back of his head nervously, "everything got a bit confusing so just give me the simplified abridged version of what you just said."

"Is there even a point of telling you anything?" Tony sighed.

"Well if you weren't so boring, I might have found you more interesting than the T.V. screen."

"But the T.V. is off. Its just a just a black screen." Virginia muttered.

"Exactly!" Wolf said with his flashing grin. Virginia couldn't help but chuckle at her husband's antics but Tony was more than livid.

Virginia quickly choked down her laugh at her fathers rising color and was quick to make reparations. The last thing she wanted was a fight between her father and husband. "Dad, I did end up getting a bit confused. Do you mind giving us a more condensed version?"

Tony sighed in defeat shooting Wolf a final glare that was met with a victorious smile. "Basically the Ice Queen of the 8th kingdom has decided to try and take over all the kingdoms. She has placed a barrier around all of her kingdom that prevents anyone in the 9 kingdoms from crossing it."

"Then what does that have to do with us?" Virginia asked.

"I'm getting to that. Now, it seems that it only effects people who have lived their entire life up to the point when the barrier was raised in the Kingdoms. This of course excludes me and King Wendell."

"Why Wendell?" Wolf asked suddenly focused after his wife subtly kicked his leg to get him to focus.

"Because he has been here for a short time. We are also having the three trolls help us out."

"Those three?" Both Virginia and Wolf chorused.

"Yes, they agreed to help in return for a supply of 50 new shoes from the 10th kingdom. But that's not what's important. If we don't stop the Queen, she'll turn all the nine kingdoms to ice and snow."

"But what about Linda? We can't just leave her and we absolutely can not take her with us!" Virginia said looking to Wolf who nodded in agreement.

"Wendell suggested before we got here that Linda should stay in the castle."

"I don't know if that's such a good idea…" Virginia muttered remembering the first time she had left Linda at the castle with the maids while she and Wolf had taken a romantic day to themselves.

Wolf instantly knew what she was referring to and nodded his head. "Little wolfies are always overly energetic and being in a castle surrounded by magic and new things to explore is definitely a bad idea. Cripes, when I was a pup my mother practically had to lock me in the house if she ever had to do something that would cause her to lose track of my for more than a second."

Linda instantly sat up straight with a stunned look. "This parfait is delicious!" Linda said with a grin. Wendell just gave her a strange look as she took another spoonful and smiling happily.

"We could find her a babysitter here if you want." Tony suggested.

"I guess that could work. Though we will need somebody to stay with her until we can get back. Maybe Candy or my grandmother could do it?" Virginia muttered still not enthralled with the idea of having to leave her little girl with anyone. Wolf and Tony gave a horrified look.

"As your father and Linda's grandfather, I am not allowing you to leave Linda with your grandmother, Virginia." Tony snapped quickly with Wolf nodding in agreement. He had only met the woman once but knew that he was not going to leave his little girl with her.

"Candy can't do it either. After all she will be to busy over looking the construction of the new restaurant." Wolf quickly pointed out. In truth he didn't like Candy at all. That girl was definitely not one of the most brilliant specimens of humanity and she had an awful habit of snapping her gum which made a completely disgusting sound. (that sentence came out of the book with a bit of modification to fit here)

"Then who do you both propose?" Virginia said, crossing her arms in front of her and tapping her foot expectantly. Wolf gulped and Tony shifted his weight to his heels in nervousness.

At that moment though the men were both saved by a soft knock on the door. Wolf instantly moved to get it. "Don't worry, I've got it." He let out a sigh of relieve and pulled the door open.

An elderly woman stood on the outside with kind eyes and pleasant smile. "Ah, hello my dear! I was wondering if and your family would care for some left over cake. It was my grandson's birthday and I was wondering if you and your family would care for some."

Wolf placed on his charming smile and held the door open. "That would be lovely Mrs. Manson. Why don't you come in for a moment?" he asked politely while taking the cake to the kitchen and fetching a drink for the old woman.

"Thank you" Mrs. Manson smiled softly and walked into the apartment. She headed in with Wolf behind her and smiled sweetly when she came into the living room with Tony and Virginia and gave a greeting to the three of them.

Ever since the Graves's had moved out of the apartment next door, Mrs. Manson had moved in with the intent of switching apartments with her daughter Lisa and her family once Tom reached the age of five so that the family would have more space.

Mrs. Manson looked at the three people in the house as she sat across from them all holding a tea cup. "Where is Linda? She is such a sweet little girl."

"Linda is out with her uncle at the moment but should be home soon." Virginia said with a smile.

"You do know dear that if you and your lovely husband ever want to have some time alone together, I would be more then happy to watch over her. Linda is just the sweetest little child and Tom absolutely adores playing with her."

Tony suddenly smiled and looked at his daughter. "Mrs. Manson, actually your offer would be greatly appreciated right now. You see Virginia, Wolf and I are all going away for a bit but we can't bring Linda along."

"Oh, where is it that you are going?"

Tony blanked at this when suddenly Wolf cut in. "My mother just passed away and we were all going to the funeral. Me and Virginia don't want to bring Linda along and be surrounded by such a somber atmosphere." Both Virginia and Tony were stunned at how easily Wolf lied.

"Oh, I am so sorry for your loss. I completely understand why you would not want to bring little Linda along. Children her age are far to young to experience death. I would love to watch over her. Do you know about how long you will be gone?"

"About a month or so I should think. It's going to have to do a lot of family business when we go." Wolf said simply.

"Yes, of course. Take as long as you need. I'll make sure Linda is completely taken care of. When will you be leaving?"

"Tomorrow. Thank you so much for helping us out."

"Of course. I am glad I could be of help." Mrs. Manson smiled and then glanced at the clock. "Oh, I hadn't realized the time. I have to be on my way. Thank you and be sure to give my condolences to the rest of your family. Bye." And with that the old woman was gone.

Wolf sighed, "She'll have her hands full. We'll have to get rid of this problem fast."

Virginia smiled as another knock came at the door and a moment later a very happy looking girl and a rather hassled King walked into the apartment. "Hi there sweetheart, did you have fun with your uncle?" Virginia asked.

"Yea mom! Uncle Wendell bought me a strawberry parfait and it was really yummy!"

"That's wonderful darling." She then glanced up at Wendell, "How did you pay for it?"

"Anthony gave me a quick lesson on the concept of your monetary system as well as giving my some."

"My father taught you financing?" Virginia chuckled to her father's dismay and then looked down at Linda. "By the way Linda, me and your father are going to be going away for a little while and we are going to have Mrs. Manson stay here to watch you. Is that alright?"

Linda nodded her head after a second of thought. "I guess as long as she will buy me some ice cream and more parfaits." She said with a mischievous smile. "Where are you going?"

"To Wendell's castle. There are some problems there and we can't bring you along."

"Ok, be careful when you go though!"

"We will, now why don't we finish those cookies. Oh and I should call Candy to let her know that we will be gone." Virginia smiled down at Linda and led her to the kitchen.

"I see you have decided to help." Wendell said with an approving nod.

"Yea, we couldn't just let the kingdoms freeze over." Wolf said with a chuckle. Wendell missed the humor in the statement.

"We can just stay the night and all leave in the morning then." Tony said as he fell onto the couch and grabbed the remote. One thing Tony sorely missed from New York was watching T.V. with a beer in hand. "Oh, and grab me a beer, Wolf." Wolf simply rolled his eyes and went off to fetch two for the both of them.

"Well Anthony, I need to go back to the Kingdoms. Be sure to come around noon so that we can start dealing with this problem." Tony nodded and Wendell left after saying farewell to everyone else.

None of them knew what would happen in the kingdoms but importantly, poor Mrs. Manson hadn't realized what she had gotten herself into.

This is a short prequal to my other story, Crimson Moon, and it's something I came up with this friday (yay snowday!) when I was trying to work on my other stories (I'm hoping to update those soon!). I hope you enjoyed the chapter and please review!!