[b]Prologue[/b]

"You cannot do this to me, Maxwell!" Michael growled on the cellphone. "This isn't legal."

"There's no legal or illegal for me, Michael. I'm your king."

Michael muttered a string of curses unfit to be written in polite company. He glanced out the window of the helicopter. It was so provincial. There was a beach, and it didn't even have white sand. It was your normal everyday beach that had twigs and shells lying around in a not so artsy fashion. [I]Must be nature[/I], he thought snidely. "You have no right to exile me here, Max. I have performed all my duties!"

"You broke a direct order from your king," came the authoritative voice again.

"You can't exile me just because I don't want to marry your sister!"

"Look around you, Michael. I just did."

"Dam-mit, Max! This isn't fair. The parliament will not agree to this." Michael's face was growing red from fury and blue from lack of oxygen.

"Well guess what, Michael. The parliament doesn't know where you are."

"Give me a mission. Any mission. Just don't throw me like a garbage."

Max chuckled on the other end of the line. "Think of it as a retreat, my friend. And call me when you've changed your mind. And then you can go back." He hung up on the frustrated general.

Michael stepped off the helicopter and trudged to the lone cabin up on the rocks. His boots left deep marks on the sand because of his weight. A crab quickly made its way from a rock a few feet from him to the water. [I]Great, just great.[/I]

When he got to the cabin, he immediately looked for a pen and paper and sat on a desk to write to his beautiful blonde childhood sweetheart. He hadn't seen her for years, ever since he and Max started the campaign against the enemies from the neighboring country. He missed her. She was funny and sweet, and she always agreed to anything he said. Maybe he can convince her to come here to his "retreat," as Max called it.

Let's see who would bend first. Max wouldn't last in war without him, and Michael can stay here forever if she would only come.

[I]Dear Tess.[/I]