"Home again Captain!" said Grant Ward, one of the crew members, as he threw down the ropes to the men on dock
"Good job crew," said Captain Julian Berlin, who stood looking at the buildings on the shore of Alpinotch as he smoked his cigar.
"You don't look too happy to be home sir,"
"Of course I am," he told his crew member "Home is home, it's always a great joy to be back after a safe voyage."
"Right ye are sir. You'd like me to take your bags on the dock?"
"Please," he said and watched as Grant left for the Captain's cabin to fetch his suitcase. "This won't just be home for long..." he muttered to himself as he saw Peeves running down the dock toward the ship.
Peeves was Julian's right hand, he was always there for him, even as a boy. Julian grew up to be successful and handsome, Peeves...well, he's just Peeves. Short, fat, not very attractive. Plus, being around Peeves made Julian ten times more attractive.
"Peeves," he greeted his old friend.
"Julian," Peeves greeted him back. The two shook hands and nodded.
"The Queen no longer has a desire to live," he blurted out.
Julian smiled, throwing his cigar into the water. "Go on,"
"The maids have tried everything to make her temperature go down, it won't. She's dying as we speak."
"Well then," Julian said straightening his shoulders "Plans shall proceed, when Arianna dies, I will take her sweet Anna, marry her and become King of this promising kingdom."
Peeves frowned "Sir, only one problem."
"Queen Arianna's son, Prince Andrew."
"We'll kill him," Julian said simply.
"Are you stupid?" Peeves blurted "You mean out of all this time smooching with the Queen, holding her hand, undoing her dress and touching her-her, you know...you didn't know of the Elven blood that ran through the royal family?"
"I did too know!" he snapped at Peeves. "What do the elves have to do with Andrew?"
"The one born with the Elven ears is the next chosen for the throne. Jack was born with the ears, Anna was not. He can't be killed until he becomes King, he is protected by the elves until then."
"This is just dumb," Julian punched the railing on the ship.
"Yes, it is."
"Well, can't we just kill him when he becomes King?"
"Yes, but there is just one more thing..."
"What?" Julian asked becoming impatient.
"We'll have to find Prince Andrew first...he ran away from the Castle when he was 16, took his horse and fled."
"Idiot," Julian said shaking his head "We'll find him." he started for the dock
"Where are you going?" Peeves asked
"To see my Queen of course," Julian said smirking
"You tiger," Peeves shouted at Julian as he continued down the dock.
Julian walked through the gates to the Castle and waved at the guards in thanks of opening them. He made his way up the stairs, through the doors and to the Queen's bedroom which was at the top of the Castle.
Once he reached her room, he knocked and waited for one of the maids to open the door.
"Welcome back Captain!" she said smiling at him "Nice voyage?"
"Yes, we blew up two enemy ships; can I please talk to the Queen alone?"
"Certainly sir!" the maid hurried out of the room, closing the double doors behind her.
Queen Arianna smiled when she saw Julian.
"Hello my love," she said touching his face with her hand when he took a seat in the chair by her bedside. "I've been waiting for you,"
Her voice was very weak, unlike her usual. Her body was extremely pale and her shining blue eyes didn't seem to shine as bright.
"I've missed you," she said looking in Julian's green eyes. "Didn't you miss me?" she added when he didn't say anything.
He reached his hand under the blanket and touched her shoulder before smiling. "Of course,"
"Good," she smiled back. "Tell me about your trip,"
"There isn't much to say," Julian replied
"Of course there is, there is always something to say,"
"It was a nice trip, the weather was sunny the whole way there and back except one day of rain."
The Queen smiled "Is it sunny now?"
"Yes," he touched her still young face. The Queen was only 38 as her son and daughter were twenty-one and seven-teen.. Julian's hand moved to her black hair.
"Something is bothering you," she sat up straighter
"No," he said. "I just don't want to see you go,"
"Death isn't such a sad thing," she said "It's not about what you take with you when you go, it's about what you leave behind. Julian, I've always loved you. Even when I had to marry Edward, I did it for my people. My love for you never died. Tell me you love me,"
Julian leaned in and kissed her lips softly. He felt her arms wrap around his neck and he moved his hands under her shoulders to support her. He closed his eyes as she kissed his neck.
"I love you so much Julian," she said as her lips pulled away from his. She laid herself back down in her pillow and looked him at. One second her eyes were full of life and the next the glow died down and went out. He touched her dead arm and whispered
"I love you," kissing her cheek before leaving the room.