Mother fell silent, but her eyes still spoke volumes. Actually, both her mother and father's eyes spoke volumes. They were looking at each other in that way again, as if they were the only two people in the room. Leana decided that, for once, she was going to interrupt them.
"Mother, that's a-…" she began, pausing as she tried to figure out which word to use. Ultimately, she decided to use her father's favorite. "…stupendous story! Thank you for telling it to me."
Mother blinked for a moment, and then smiled. "You're welcome, sweet. I just hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed telling it."
Father frowned. "Hey," he protested. "I told parts of it too. What about me?"
Mother glanced at him mischievously. "Well," she said slowly. "I suppose you told your parts well."
"You suppose? Really?" he said incredulously. "I made them laugh way more than you did!"
Leana grimaced. She hadn't meant for her parents to start squabbling about who told the story better. She looked at her brothers helplessly. Do something, she pleaded with her eyes. Flynn just smirked, Edward just kept his perpetual smile, but Arthur nodded. Typically, Arthur was the only one who understood what she meant. And as usual, Arthur was the one who stopped them from bickering. "You both told it fantastically," he said diplomatically.
Father smiled once again as he turned to Mother. "Rapunzel," he said. "How did we manage to have a son with so much tact? I mean, as many wonderful traits as I have, I don't really think that diplomacy is one of my strongest ones. So where did he get it?"
Mother smirked, much to Leana's amusement. "Where do you think? I did put up with all those lessons about diplomacy, you know. And I did get you out of jail back in Screlandria."
"Ah," he said. "That is true..."
"Of course it is," Mother said briskly. "And on that note…." She looked significantly at Leana and her brothers.
Leana sighed, certain that she know Mother's meaning: it was time for bed. Again. Well, she didn't want to go to bed once iota, but by the slant of the moonlight, she realized that her parents had already let them all stay up much later than normal. "All right," she said. "I'm going to bed now." She stood up, and sent a meaningful look toward her brothers.
Arthur immediately smiled and said, "I'm going too," as he left the room. Edward followed him cheerfully. Flynn followed him grudgingly. Typical behavior of all three of them.
Leana turned to do the same, but her mother's voice stopped her. "Thank you, sweet."
Leana smiled slightly. "Oh, it's no trouble, Mother. I know if I go, they go." Even though Leana had just told her mother it was nothing, sometimes it was hard being the oldest- everyone seemed to expect more of her. If Flynn wasn't so….Flynn they would probably expect more from him too, considering he was the second oldest. As it was, they expected nothing from him. Well, except a headache and lots and lots of witticisms, that is.
Father laughed. "Or Arthur will make them go."
Mother chuckled. "So true. Dear boy."
Leana silently agreed with her mother. Arthur really was a dear. She knew some girls in the castle sometimes complained about their ten year old brothers, but she never had any qualms about Arthur (or Edward either). It was always Flynn that annoyed her, but considering how Father was, maybe Flynn would turn out all right one day too. All he needed was the right girl…. "Right. Well, I'm going off to bed now."
"Would you like me to come with you?" Mother asked. "I can…."
….tuck you in. Leana knew that's what her mother meant, and somehow she didn't really mind today. It would give her a chance to ask her mother her final question about the story. "No," she answered softly. "Please do."
Back in her room- and as her mother tucked the covers around her- Leana asked her final question. "So I was named after Princess Leana because she warned you about what her brother was going to do?"
Mother smiled. "Yes. I couldn't help but be grateful to her for all her help in the Lorcan incident, and in another matter. Plus, she was- and is- one of my dearest friends."
Leana's brow wrinkled in confusion. "But I don't remember any Leana from our visits to Screlandria."
"That's because both she and Geralt changed their names at their coronation," she said. "You know them as Prince Gerald and Princess Lena."
Leana's eyes lit up. "Oh, now I remember them," she exclaimed. "They were so nice to all of us last winter when we went to Screlandria."
"Of course they were," Mother said softly. "They're wonderful people." She paused for a moment. "So, Leana, how do you feel about your name now?"
Leana thought for a moment. Indeed, it was her name that had started the whole story in the first place. Hmmm. Well, she decided, it was different from everybody else's name here, but she realized that differences could be a good thing sometimes. Besides that, her name would always remind her of her parents' wonderful story, and the brave princess who helped save her father from Lorcan. Really, without Princess Lena, Leana herself might not have been born! "I like it," she told her mother earnestly. "I really do."
A slow smile appeared on her mother's face. "I'm glad. Goodnight, my sweet Leana." She bent to kiss Leana's forehead, then walked toward the door.
"Goodnight, Mother," Leana said. Then she remembered that her mother had said that Princess Lena had helped her mother again. "Mother, what 'other matter' did Princess Lena help you with?"
Her mother's eyes twinkled. "That's another story for another time. Sweet dreams." She shut the door behind her softly.
Leana snuggled down to sleep. Another story for another time, indeed. Her curiosity was definetly piqued by that. But she could ask about it some other day.
For now, she just wanted to sleep and dream about her parents' grand adventure in Screlandria. And the brave princess that she was named after.
AN: So, I'm really sorry that it took so long for me to get this up. I just had a really hard time writing it, and then I started to write Chasing Daydreams and so this was kind of put on the shelf. It's still not everything I wanted it to be, but sometimes that's just the way it is with stories with me: sometimes I'm perfectly happy, and sometimes I'm not. But oh well.
For the names of the characters I was quite careful in the ones I picked because I wanted their names to reflect their characters. Since the story is over now, here is a list of the names of all my characters and their meanings:
Andrew, Rapunzel's tutor: manly, brave, wise
Arthur, Leana's brother: stone, bear
Catherine, Rapunzel's maid and friend: pure
Ciara, one of Rapunzel's maids: black
Edward, Leana's brother: happy, prosperous
Eugene, Rapunzel's beau, later fiancé: well born, noble
Flynn, Leana's brother: red one, son of the red one
Gerald/Geralt, Princess Leana's fiancé, later husband: rule of the spear
Guinevere, Rapunzel's mother, queen of Corona: white, fair, blessed
Herbert, Eugene's father: bright, famous, army or warrior
Ian, servant who helps Eugene: God is gracious
Leana, Rapunzel's daughter; other Leana, the princess of Screlandria (Lena): bright one, shining one, light
Lorcan, prince of Screlandria, nemesis of Eugene: little fierce one, cruel, fierce
Margaret, Rapunzel's etiquette teacher: pearl
Neasa, one of Rapunzel''s maids: not gentle
Niall, Lorcan's assistant: champion, cloud, passionate
Ostwald, Rapunzel's father, king of Corona: divine power, rule of God
Philip, Rapunzel's horse riding teacher, Catherine's beau, Eugene's friend: lover/friend of horses
Thomas, Corona's diplomat: twin
Vivian, Eugene's mother: alive, lively
Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed this story! I really appreciate the time you spent reading my writing.
It might sound odd, but my parents owe a thank you here too for helping me with this plot- my dad came up with the whole spy bit, and my mom with how Lorcan died...so THANK YOU.