Urgit fidgeted on his throne, squirming on the cushions. His newest general, Akago, felt the irresistible urge to describe in the greatest detail to his king every intricate move of their garrisons.
"...and the 31st squad has run out of beans, Your Majesty, while we still have enough..."
The door at the other side of the throne room opened, and a jaunty figure in a purple doublet and pale hose entered, trailed by an anxious guard.
"Your Majesty, I tried to stop him, knowing you were in conference with--"
Urgit interrupted both the guard and the still-droning general as he jumped up and raced down the hall to embrace the familiar figure.
Silk was rocked back by the force of his brother's charge. "Urgit, is this your customary greeting?" he asked, breathless. "I seem to remember that you did this last time I saw you, too."
Laughing, Urgit pulled back to look over Silk. "You're looking good, Kheldar. Clean-shaved?"
Silk ruefully touched his chin. "Liselle's been embarking on a quest to improve yours truly. I didn't care particularly for it, so I said there was an urgent message to deliver to you, and slipped away."
"I'm afraid you won't find it any better here, Kheldar. Prala seems to think she owns me now."
"She does, my brother. Most assuredly, she does."
"How are you handling matrimony, Kheldar?"
"Not very well, I'm afraid. She won't even let me get drunk regularly. Speaking of such," Silk looked up, "do you have a tankard handy anywhere?"
"I'll ring a servant. But you won't catch me getting drunk. One hangover was enough."
Silk shrugged. "It's up to you, of course, but if you had ever gone through the Cherek Bore, you'd understand." He paused. "How's the little boy?"
A wide grin split Urgit's face. "Come on, I'll show you to him."
Prala, queen of Cthol Murgos, sat on a velvet stool, gently rocking the cradle of her dark-haired son. She was humming softly, peering down into her child's face. She heard the door creak open and turned to see Silk and Urgit entering. A small smile creased her perfect mouth, and she absentmindedly straightened Urgit's iron crown. "How's Liselle doing, Kheldar? Is her pregnancy proceeding well?"
Silk winced as Urgit turned to him, shock on his face. "Kheldar! You didn't say the Margravine was going to have a baby!"
"I had hoped to avoid it," Silk muttered, but Urgit had a sly grin on his face.
"Kheldar, you're going to change the whole definition of fatherhood." He burst out laughing. "I can just imagine it. The two-year-old kid barely toddling, and Kheldar's teaching him to pick pockets."
"That's not funny, Urgit," his wife reprimanded him.
"The almighty Prince Kheldar, brought low by responsibility."
"Shut up, my brother, unless you have a hand to spare."
"You wouldn't!" Urgit looked shocked.
"Oh, I'm sure you wouldn't need it that much," Silk shrugged.
"Kheldar, stop threatening him and come look at the baby," Prala interrupted.
Urgit crowded Silk forward and they gazed down at the sleeping child. He had dark hair like his mother, a slender face, and a pointed nose like his father and uncle. He was wearing a long, soft drape, and was sleeping quietly.
Silk smiled wryly. "I guess that nose is a dominant trait in us." He reached down and the little boy sleepily grabbed his finger. Silk winced. "Strong grip."
"Yes." Urgit's face suddenly grew thoughtful. "By the way, Kheldar, I'm having some rather important visitors this afternoon. You might want to come along, to keep me from having a nervous breakdown."
Any suggestions or corrections, whether it be punctuation, capitalization, and so on, or something I was mistaken in the story, please inform me. Flames are allowed, but they must have a reason. You can't just flame me because you don't like the size font I used. (And if you do, I might just flame right back.)