Gift for Katty

Wishing list prompt "Prince Gareth and his parents (Mastiff related)"

Gareth's birthdays had always been special. Lunedda told him it was because he was a prince and princes were special. Mama said it was because he was loved and that was special.

But whatever the reason, Gareth's birthdays were always big and fancy and, well, special.

He couldn't remember his first birthday, or his second, but he was told they were wonderful. His first birthday attracted the biggest celebrations the realm had seen all year. Some even said they surpassed the celebrations of his birth.

Gareth had only hazy memories of his third birthday. They mostly revolved around the pony his Uncle Baird gave him and which he was too scared to ride.

His fourth was not much better. There were a lot of people there and they all wanted to talk to him. Gareth had been told he was too old to hide behind Mama's skirt anymore. Instead, he had to stand with Papa and politely greet everyone and receive their birthday wishes with thanks. Visualising them in their loincloths didn't help. Gareth was glad when Lunedda took him off to bed.

By the time Gareth turned five, an awful lot had happened to him. He'd been kidnapped and rescued. He had a new captain of his personal guard whom he adored. And best of all, he'd helped free all the slaves. He didn't think any birthday party could ever beat that, even if Papa was letting him invite Beka and Farmer and Lady Sabine and Achoo.

But the best thing about his fifth birthday turned out not to be the party or even his friends. No, the best thing was Mama coming to his rooms early in the morning, radiating happiness and giving him the present he'd been wishing for since he was three. Gareth was going to be a big brother.