Author's Note: This was extremely hard to write! I hope you all enjoy!
"It's a girl," She had her hands on hips and met her husband's gaze defiantly. Her lips were pouted and her eyes held a hidden challenge within them—almost as if she was daring her husband to disagree with her. "We have been over this, Liam."
"You don't know that, Elena," Liam protested drowsily as his wife stood over him. "Now, would you come back to bed? It's early!"
"Liam," Elena chuckled as she opened the curtains of their bedroom chamber. Sweet sunlight flooded the room, illuminating every dark crevice and corner. "You know we have so many things to do."
"Five more minutes," He hissed from his huddled spot on the bed. He had a pillow covering his face and blankets wrapped around him protectively like a cocoon. Smiling softly, Elena walked over to her husband a gently tugged on his arm. Suddenly, he yanked his wife and pulled her back into bed. "Got you!"
"Let go!" Elena laughed as he held her in his arms. "Liam!"
"Just five more minutes," He whispered as he placed a hand over his wife's stomach. "It's hard to believe that we're having a child." Elena grinned proudly.
"Well, in a few more months when my stomach is huge, you'll believe it." She retorted. She relished the feeling of her husband's hand on her tummy. They were a family now—it was no longer just the King and the Queen of Corona—and soon the whole Kingdom would welcome the newest addition to the Royal Family.
"We'll have to pick a name." Liam told her.
"I know," Elena answered. "The whole Kingdom will be more excited for that announcement than they will be for the Sun Celebration." Liam laughed softly and then gently placed a hand on his wife's cheek. He pulled her gently towards him and kissed her. Pulling back, he rubbed her cheek gently with his hand.
"I love you." He said sincerely. She embraced him.
"I love you too." They remained like that until a furious knocking at their door reminded them of their duties.
"Your Majesties!" Melinda's high-pitched voice called. "We mustn't run late! We have appointments to keep!"
"Why haven't we fired her yet?" Liam muttered and Elena folded her arms across her chest and smiled playfully.
"She is the best secretary we've ever had," Elena replied. "And she prevents your laziness from ruining our Kingdom."
"Laziness?" The King echoed. "Well, then, why don't we let Melinda be King if you feel that way!"
"Liam," Elena began in a warning tone. "We must get up now."
"Your Majesties!" Melinda exclaimed.
"I think she will break down that door unless you get up." Elena said honestly. Sighing, the King forced himself out of bed and he and his wife got dressed. Then, hand in hand, they left their bedroom.
"Your Majesties," Melinda began bowing to the Royal couple. "We have so much to do today!" Melinda prattled on and Liam leaned over and whispered in her wife's ear.
"A," He told her and her eyes widened with shock. "You have until dinner." Then, he allowed himself to be dragged away by Melinda. The Queen smiled for she knew what her husband was doing—
The name game.
It had started out as a way to get better acquainted when they had been teenagers. Liam and Elena had been practically pushed together by their parents in the hopes that they might one day wed. The two teens had been awkward around each other and really wanted nothing to do with one another, but everyday for two hours, they were forced to be together on the palace grounds. It was Liam who had started the game by one day just saying a random letter. Elena had replied with an object that began with that letter and together, they had exchanged letters and words until they had eventually gone on to having full conversations. Elena had thought that when they were married, the game would die.
But, in secret, the game continued.
And now Elena had until dinnertime to come up with the perfect name for the letter "A". Hopefully, her husband would love the name too and then they would be able to move on from their morning arguments over the baby.
Dinner arrived and after hours of scouring books and observing the palace grounds, Elena was confident that she had found the perfect name that she and Liam would agree on. Smiling smugly, she sat down at the grand dining table across from her husband. Served her dinner—consisting tonight of grilled chicken and rice—she nodded to the chef who stood next to her. Ever since the palace staff had found out about her "condition", the kitchen always was prepared to give her a new dinner in case she got suddenly sick over her current one. When they had been finally left alone, she met her husband's gaze and tried to keep a smug grin over her face.
"A?" Liam questioned.
"Arianne," Elena told him proudly. "It's beautiful."
"And if our princess turns out to be a prince?" Liam asked and Elena sighed.
"The baby is a girl!" She exclaimed. Liam just chuckled.
It was clear that the letter "A" was out.
"M," Elena told him as she added another stich and then rubbed her tummy. She was only two months away from giving birth to the latest addition to the Royal Family and found that her mobility had suffered dramatically. Sometimes, she felt so weak that she could barely get out of bed. The Royal Physician had suggested bed-rest for three hours a day and then very little exercise when she was allowed out. So, Elena had taken her time resting to knit and design her child's nursery. Ignoring her husband's worries over the possibility that their child could be born a boy, Elena had designed the nursery to be filled with very adorable and cute objects. Currently, Elena was sewing a little chameleon for the mobile that would hang over the baby's crib. "You have until the sun sets."
"For a boy or just a girl?" She raised an eyebrow and he smiled. News of his wife's condition had worried him immensely and while he wished Elena would just remain in bed all day, he knew better than to expect a free spirit like her to stay put. Despite all his fear, their banter remained the same. He couldn't let his worry be known to Elena. He didn't want her stress to be added to.
"Liam." Her tone was no-nonsense and Liam through his hands up in a show of backing-down. They had been through so many letters now and none of the names they had come up with had been right. He kissed his wife's cheek and then left the room.
The sunset came much too quickly for the King and he was startled by his wife pulling him into her warm embrace. He quickly kissed her and then pressed a kiss to her to stomach.
"How are you?" Liam asked, concern lacing his tone. She waved her hand dismissively.
"I'm fine," She assured him. "Everyone worries too much."
"M?" Liam nodded his head and held her hand within his own.
"Marianne." He told her simply. Elena thought for a second and stared out at the sun. Hues of yellow, pink, and red colored the sky and Elena found it exquisitely beautiful.
"No," Elena replied. "It's just . . . It's not right." Liam sighed, but said anything. Then, with a smirk on his face, he placed a hand on her shoulder and said:
Elena just smiled.
"Your Majesty," Melinda's voice was soft and Liam would've been caught off-guard if not for the events of the last few days. "She's asking for you." Liam forced himself to breathe—he was a King. He could not appear weak, not now. He had to be strong for Elena and for their people.
"Any word on the—?" He didn't turn around, too afraid that his emotions would betray him.
"No, your Majesty," Melinda replied. "But the whole Kingdom is searching for it. The flower shall be found." Liam let a shuddery breath out and bit back the bitter feeling that was threatening to overtake him.
"I should be out there looking with the rest of them," Liam spat angrily, tears threatening to overtake him. "I should be—" He felt a hand placed on his shoulder and the King turned around.
"If I may be so bold, your Majesty," Melinda said softly, a sad smile on her face. "Your place is here. The Queen awaits you." She curtsied and then left the King to his thoughts. Taking one last look out the window, the King could see the lights of lanterns from all over the Kingdom. This flower was their only chance. Without it, both his wife and child would perish.
Stepping away from the window, the King forced his expression to be stoic as he walked down the twisting corridors to his bedchambers. He could hear his wife's labored breathing followed by hushed whispering. When he entered the room, Elena's attendants bowed respectfully and quickly left the room. Now alone, the mask of indifference melted away and Liam quickly sat on the bed and held his wife's hands within my own.
"Liam," Elena choked out. Her face was full of worry and pain. Seeing his fear though, she tried to smile. "The flower?"
"We're going to find it, Elena," Liam swore. "I promise."
"The baby—" Her voice cut off as she bit her lip as pain once again consumed her.
"Don't worry," He told her gently, taking up the damp cloth and placing it on her forehead. "It'll be alright." He pressed a kiss to her forehead and she raised a clammy hand to his cheek. She wiped a tear away and the King furiously tried to stop the flow of tears.
"Liam," He met her gaze. "Give me a letter."
"Now?" He questioned. "Elena, the game, it doesn't matter—" They had stopped playing when Elena's condition had worsened just a few days before the date that they were expected to deliver.
Names had been of little importance recently, not when the life of their child and his wife was on the line.
"A letter," She pleaded softly. "Please."
"R." It was the one they had last left on. She thought for a second and her eyes glazed over and for a second, Liam thought his worst fears had been realized. Then, Elena suddenly snapped back into life and tried to breathe deeply.
"Rapunzel," She mumbled. "That's what her name will be."
"Rapunzel," The King nodded. "Okay."
"Okay?" She smiled for a second, the pain gone from her face.
"Yes," He told her softly. "Rapunzel."
The door suddenly burst open, but Liam did not take his gaze of his Elena's.
"Your Majesty!" A guard's voice exclaimed. "We found the flower."
"Bring it," Liam ordered, with a smile on his face. "Quickly!" The guard ran out of the room and Liam grinned at his wife.
"See?" Elena rasped. "Rapunzel was the right name." Liam just laughed as some tears of joy came out of his eyes.
A few hours later, his wife was resting with their daughter—Elena had been right—resting in her arms. Liam had never felt so happy and relieved. He had come so close to losing his whole family and now that they were safe, the King never wanted to have to experience that fear again.
"L." He said suddenly and Elena looked at him curiously.
"Lucky?" She guessed; Liam shook his head.
"Love." He answered as he kissed both his wife and his daughter.
Everything was finally perfect.
Author's Note: Phew . . . This was hard to write. I hope you all enjoyed! Please review!