2025 a.t.b.


Peace was the phantom he'd been seeking his whole life. Peace was now his reality. It was still surreal to him, he was always paranoid as though what he had achieved would eventually be ripped from his grasp.

Cornelia was his grounding. She was, perhaps, the ultimate source of his peace. They had been able to spend their days together, no longer having to worry about war, about brutal deaths, or tyrannical reign. Everything was perfect.

He watched his wife, a smile upon his face. She was engrossed in identifying cloud shapes with a very small pink haired girl. Both were talking animatedly. Cornelia caught Guilford's glance and returned his smile, a slight pink flooding to her cheeks.

Guilford felt a small tug on his sleeve. He looked down to see an angelic face framed by curly brown hair.

"Father," the small voice cried. "I've lost my bracelet." Guilford smiled. Little Euphemia had been quite proud of the bracelets she'd constructed for herself; her sister, Lynette; and her mother. He silently reached down to pick daisies.

"I've got something better for you," he said, kneeling down to her eye level. He quickly twisted the stems of the flowers, weaving the delicate green together. He gently placed the crown of flower's atop Euphemia's hair and gently brushed her tears away with his thumbs.

"A Princess deserves to wear a crown," he said, winking. Euphemia quickly brightened, grinning largely. She threw her arms around her father and kissed him. Guilford laughed.

"We've got to make some for your mother and Lynette," he said, gathering more daisies. "There are three Princesses whose company I am enjoying." He repeated his motions and made two more crowns. He handed one to Euphemia and they walked hand in hand toward Cornelia and Lynette.

Euphemia crowned her younger sister, and Guilford crowned his own Princess, kissing her gently on the cheek.

"Father says Princesses deserve to wear crowns," Euphemia announced proudly to her mother and sister.

Lynette took her crown off her head and studied it for a moment with intense curiosity. Her face held a smile as she placed the crown atop her unruly pink hair.

"You think I'm a Princess, Daddy?" she asked, running up to him. He caught her in his arms and kissed her nose.

"Of course I do," he said. "You're my little Princess." Lynette smiled.

Guilford wished Blanks could see her neice. Though Lynette closely resembled her mother, there were things she did that reminded him of Blanks. Lynette would be fortunate if she turned out to be anything like Blanks. Euphemia was the same. She looked a little more like Guilford, but her mannerisms were gentle and mild, much like the late Euphemia Li Britannia.

"What are you, then, Father?" Euphemia asked, grasping her father's pant leg and looking up at him inquisitively. "If Mother is a Princess, you must be a Prince, right?"

"No," Cornelia said, shaking her head. "He's infinitely better than a Prince." She smiled, taking Guilford's hand. "He's my Knight in shining armor."