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Once upon a time there was an old miller who had two children who were twins. The boy-twin was named Hans, and he was very greedy. The girl-twin was named Hilda, and she was very lazy. Hans and Hilda had no mother, because she died whilst giving birth to their third sibling, named Engel, who had been sent away to live wtih the gypsies. Hans and Hilda were never allowed out of the mill, even when the miller went away to the market.

One day, Hans was especially greedy and Hilda was especially lazy, and the old miller wept with anger as he locked them in the cellar, to teach them to be good.

"Let us try to escape and live with the gypsies," said Hans, and Hilda agreed.

While they were looking for a way out, a Big Brown Rat came out from behind the log pile.

"I will help you escape and show you the way to the gypsies' campl," said the Big Brown Rat, "if you bring me all your father's grain."

So Hans and Hilda waited until their father let them out, and the next day, when the miller went to the market and left the children locked inside the mill, they carried all the grain down to the cellar. The Big Brown Rat gobbled up the grain until there was none left, and then went to sleep behind the log pile.

When the miller came home and found out, he declared that he was ruined and that they would all starve to death, and he locked the children in the cellar, and wept with fear as he turned the key.

The Big Brown Rat was waiting.

"I will only help the boy-child to escape and show him the way to the gypsies' camp," said the Big Brown Rat, "because the girl-child must stay behind and be my wife. Come back once you've organized the wedding."

"Once I've escaped, I find our brother Engel and lead him back to rescue you," whispered Hans to Hilda. So Hans and Hilda waited until their father let them out.

The next day, when the miller was out bartering for new grain, they made a trail of bread crumbs all round the mill and into the cellar, to show the wedding guests where to go. They took the most important pages out of the hymnal, so that the priest would have the right words to say. Then they stole the miller's best Sunday jacket, and took in the shoulders so that it would fit Hans, and they stole their mother's wedding dress and took up the hem so that it would fit Hilda. Then she put it on and she looked lovely, but when the miller returned from the market and saw them dressed up in the wedding clothes, he wept with shame as he beat them, and threw them both into the cellar once more.

The wedding guests were already assembled. There were mice and voles and stoats in the congregation. The choir was made up of crows, who were already singing. The registrar was a big fat spider, with spectacles on. And the priest was a long, grey weasel, who was busy rehearsing the right words from the hymnal.

Hans walked Hilda down the aisle, and the Big Brown Rat was waiting.

The weasel said, "Do you accept this offered paw in binding and inescapable holy matrimony, Hilda Girl-Child?"

Hilda looked at Hans, who nodded as if to remind her that he would rescue her.

"I do," said Hilda.

The weasel said, "Do you take this innocent young hand for your very own, Engel Monstrous Rat-Baby?"

"I do," said the Big Brown Rat before anyone could interrupt.

"Then I now pronounce you man and wife," squeaked the weasel as quick as he could, and in a flash all of the wedding party scattered, and Hans and Hilda were left alone with the Big Brown Rat.

"I don't understand," said Hans.

The Big Brown Rat pushed Hans through a secret tunnel that led down to the river bank, and Hans escaped and ran off and became a beggar boy. Of course, he never found his brother Engel, and never rescued Hilda. The old miller finally hung himself, but nobody minded, and Hilda died whilst giving birth to a beautiful litter of thirteen baby rats who grew fat on the miller's grain and lived happily ever after.

Excerpt from the game "Bon-Bon"

"I can be ruler." I urged them. "I can be a great ruler. I can ensure that. I'm not a monster. So what if my parents were? No human, animal or any other living thing deserves death, no matter what their wrongs are. My sister is young, a child, she still doesn't know who she is. More or less... to die. I can be a great king. I an ensure that. My family doesn't deserve death. No one does. People can change. Plus, they will be out of their rule, no more then mere "peasants." I want my little sister to live and have a life." I eyes fell on Chad. "You can't make me pick between the two. If you leave me out now and be that great king then I'll even give you a spot on the royal members team. Were you to assist the king, me. We can make this a presidency, no more monarchy, like America. We could become that group to govern these people."

"Sorry, this is not a negotiation, this country runs on a monarchy, and it's not about to change because of your idealistic naivety," Shawna sneered.

"You have been living in that so-called Land of the Free for so long, you have no idea how this country works," Alex snorted. "This is England, not America. No one is going to bow down to a King who doesn't even want a monarchy. You want this country to be like America? Have you even SEEN what your so-called democracy has done to that country? Pfft! Dream on."

"We gave you an ultimatum, either abdicate or die. Now get your head together and choose!" Shawna growled.

"I appreciate the gesture, but I hate to admit it, bro, they're right," Chad whispered. "You can't be a King overnight without knowing the first thing about being King. Can you honestly tell me you were trained for this? You were born a royal, but you were not raised one. You don't know the first thing about running this country."

I wanted to retaliate but I knew Chad was right. My foster parent raised me just like any other American kid. I love fast food, dirt biking and roller coasters in summer theme parks. I love going to school, getting into friendly scuffles with the neighborhood kids. Hell, even my current job as a library assistant seemed more desirable than trying to decide the fate of the country. If I take the throne, it still will not wipe away my reputation as the son of the King who murdered thousands over a few bucks. I took a deep breath.

"OK, I will leave. I will leave and never turn back. But only if Stephanie comes with me, and that you will never pursue us again."

I grinned as Shawna agreed and ordered some guards to release my sister, me and Chad, leaving my parents to quietly weep. Once I could feel my hands, I quickly grabbed Stephanie and pulled her into my arms, then standing in front of Chad, protectively. Stephanie coughed and whined. "Mommy!!" 

"Stephanie, no. Let's go." I hugged her tightly before circling around the two and leaving with Chad by my side. "I can't do anything. I can't break a deal."

"Bu-but...." She whined and burst into tears.

"They're terrible people, sis. Both our parents and the Drake family. But we're going to ditch this place and actually live a good life, with no worries. It's OK, Steph."

Stephanie was still sobbing as we went, but her eyes told me that she knew I was right. She had lived with my royal parents longer than I ever did. She was privy to the workings of my parents and how they run the country. Deep down, she knows Shawna and Alex spoke the truth. But I understand her grief as well since she spent time longer with my parents than I did, so there is an inevitable bond between them. But at least now she will be free from the royal drama, and have a normal life, like I did, like I am going to now. All she could do was hold me tight and not let go the only family she had left. We were escorted to the Drake family jet where my foster family was already waiting, along with a very familiar face.

"Hello, Desmond Dunn."

"You!" I exclaimed, pointing at the man. "You're the guy who came to my house and started all this mess!"

"Richie~!" Stephanie squealed and rushed to hug the big man.

"Richie?" Chad raised a brow. "Am I missing something here?"

"He's the Benedict family head of security and my personal bodyguard!" Stephanie gushed over him. "I haven't heard from you since Mommy and Daddy sent you to America on a mission! Where have you been?"

"America? Wait..." My brain finally clicked. "You came to retrieve me, on my family's orders. Those guys at Earl's, they were also wearing the same suit as you. They're your guys?"

"Woah, that means that Claire bitch killed them AND Earl..." Chad seemed to have caught up too.

I groaned in frustration. "This would've been a much different story if I had let myself to taken by you." I immediately started to regret my decision. "Ugh..."

Richie laughed. "I shouldn't have been so "secretive" about it. C'mon, Stephanie, we are no longer welcome here." Stephanie looked up and me sadly, yet nodded in agreement. 

I looked over at Chad, yet still curious about the earlier topic i brought up. "So uhhh... about me liking you..."

"Yeah, that..." Chad scratched his chin a little awkwardly.

"It's OK if you don't have the same feelings for me," I said as I paid attention to my shoes. "I mean, I just needed to get it off my chest, not leave things unsaid if we didn't make it, like you said."

About a few seconds (which felt almost like eternity to me), I heard an exasperated groan and my collar suddenly get pulled.

"Fuck it."

Before I knew it, a pair of lips were against mine.

I blushed red. Stephanie looked up at us and giggled. "brother has a boyfriend~" She giggled and hugged my leg.

I pulled away and immediately the tension between us grew very awkward. It was very quiet, but my little sister broke it.

"Brother. I'm getting tired.." She raised her small arms in hopes of my picking her up, but before I could, Chad grabbed her and threw her on his shoulder. "Dude, you have an adorable little sister. Nothing like you!"

Stephanie giggled and playfully kicked about trying to get away but Chad held onto her so that he doesn't accidentally drop her.

"Haha, very funny," I rolled my eyes. "Now give her back, she wants me."

"Nuh-uh, you get to hog her forever. Let me hog her for once, since this is technically the first time we've met. Hi, I'm Chad. Nice to meet you."

"I know. I'm Stephanie. Nice to meet you too," she giggled, making me roll my eyes again.

"So what is this Richie guy doing here? I thought we dumped his ass back in America."

"Richie told me that he hacked the GPS system in the car you stole from him and tracked it to the junkyard where you dumped it to get it back. He figured from the location of the junkyard, he triangulated several places you might hide around the area and found one of your long distance friend Earl that you might go to. He sent some men to intercept you, but Drake's assassin had been secretly bugging their comms and got there first to kill them and Earl and wait for you. Then he did some sleuthing and figured out Alex was the mole who helped the assassin bug the comms and was going to come arrest him when he found out about the deal you made with them. He was offered to escort us back to America in exchange for him to leave the Drakes alone."

"So that explains that. Now for our next issue. Am I just going to go live in my old home alone with my sister, or should I move for safety reasons?" I asked, mainly myself.


"I'm tired of my fake name. Call me Sheridan."

"Ok, Dan." Chad teased. "I think you should move to a bigger house, you know? Taking care of a child is hard enough yet, you two need room for both. Plus, just to stay safe. I know just a house too and I can move in with you to help out with the girl." He smirked. "I bet you'd love that." He cooed and stuck his tongue out at me before running to the other side of the plane to avoid being tackled.

Stephanie was still in his arms as she squealed in delight, being carried along when Chad ran away. I blushed for a bit before chuckling and shouted after him, "Oh, you're such a fucking tease, bro! Get back here!"

As I chased after Chad and Stephanie with my foster family and Richie laughing in the background, the jet soon took off, on its way back to my home in America, and hopefully, to a new and better life ahead.

I stared at my royal father, looking hesitant and not meeting me in the eye.

"Tell them!!" Shawna screamed as she landed a hard whack behind his head with her switch, causing my mother and my sister to whimper. "Tell them what exactly did your family do to this country, to my family, to many other families who didn't follow your iron fists, huh?! TELL THEM!!!"

Shawna landed a few more blows onto him before my royal father finally spoke, "I'm... I'm sorry, son... They're... They're right... I have done things... Your grandfather had done things... But it was for the good of the country..."

"Good for the country my ass," Alex snorted. "Is eliminating an entire village just because they couldn't afford your taxes 'good for the country'? Take a good look and see what 'good' your family did for the country!"

So saying, he tossed a huge bunch of newspaper clippings towards my face. As I looked down at the headlines, there it was:





"No..." I could only breathed out.

I rose my head high and stared at Alex straight in the eye, accepting what I saw. "So. Just because my family were monsters, that makes me a monster? I love your logic, it's such nonsense. I would never murder a soul. Wha---"

Chad interrupted. "As so proven earlier. That poor guard."

Honestly, I was lost. Completely. So much was running through my head. Why did my father do that? What side am I even on anymore?...

"Your family has done nothing but cause harm to this country," Alex said. "We're just simply taking back what should be ours and make things right. That poor guard? His family opposed your father's choice to marry your mother because your mother is the daughter of Duchess Anastrovka."

"Duchess Anastrovka?" Chad gasped. "You mean the Russian duchess who's rumoured to have murdered her way up to the top of the ranks and secure her royal rank?"

"Not a rumour anymore. Like mother, like daughter. Your mother was one of the candidates to marry your father, but she didn't stand a chance against the other candidates who are higher rank than her, so she followed her mother's footsteps and sabotaged her competitors, causing the death of some of them. And when the guard's family tries to bring proof, your grandfather thinks her ruthlessness was a perfect match for his son and had them executed to shut them up."

"Is... Is it true, Mother?" I whispered. My royal mother didn't reply, but the lack of regret on her face as she looked at me told me enough.

I glared at both of them. "Just let me go please... I'm not going to be as horrible as they were. You have to remember, I was raised with a different family, different parents. Full of kindness, respect, trust, as mercy. I'm not going to murder someone. I'm nothing like my parents, and if you seem to think I do, then that's just pretty sad. You killed many to try to take the throne. Pathetic. How you come here and insult the way they rule when you do just the same. Funny. Very funny. Stupid hypocrites."

"We only kill those who deserve it," Shawna said. "Compared to the kill count your family had done, ours seem pretty miniscule. Call it however you want. Hypocrite or whatever. It's not gonna be any different than what you're about to do."

"What are you talking about...?" I glared at them.

"We're gonna cut you some slack. Like she said, we only kill those who deserve it. We're not that dumb to include you. We know you've been raised better than these monsters. So we will give you a choice. You can walk out of here, home free with your boyfriend, and go back to your old life with your foster parents, or you can join us and be a Drake, but you will still give up your right to rule to Shawna, OR you can join your precious family over there and die by sunrise tomorrow. Your choice."

I hesitated, looking at my royal family (especially my sobbing sister) that I have finally been able to reunite with after so many years apart, and at Chad whom I finally realized my feelings for. I was at a loss. What should I do...?

My eyes fluttered open, blinking to adjust to the light. "The princess finally woke up." I heard Chad's voice beside me, frowning. I lay on the cold floor. "Where's Alex?" I asked before turning to face Chad who was tied up. My eyes widened in horror. I tried to move my arms and legs, but i couldn't either. "Please explain" I cried.

I heard another voice behind me and a slight chuckle. "I can."

My eyes finally adjusted to the light as I looked up to see Alex and Shawna standing side by side. My brain clicked as I glared at the both of them.

"Alex! How could you? You're in on this too?"

"Sorry, Your Highness," Alex shrugged dismissively. "Hate to let you find out this way."

"Why? Why did you do it? Why are you in league with the enemy?!" Chad demanded.

"I'm not in league with anyone. I'm just taking my lover's side and supporting her," Alex said as he wrap an arm around Shawna's waist, earning a kiss on the cheek from her. "I'm on the winning team, buddy."

"How... How could you...?"

"How could I? Why don't you ask your parents why?"

So saying, he increased the brightness of the room with a remote, and it revealed my royal family sitting at the far end of the room.

"Father..... Mother..." I glared at Alex. "Stupid faggot. Always knew you were going to end up nothing more than a peice of cow manure. Hah. Nice to know you're dating someone that looks as if she's in her 80's, so caught up in her hopeless dreams that she aged quicker than she should've. Tell me, darling, how did that feel?" I smiled sweetly yet devilishly.

Alex walked up to me and smacked me before sending me flying with a harsh kick to the stomach. My sister whined and rolled over to me. "You listen here, you're the faggot, Mister I'm-in-love-with-my-guy-best-friend. Don't ever insult my love. Or..." He made his face towards Chad and gently rubbed a knife again his cheek. "You can see him get brutally murdered."

I stiffened and looked away speechless. "Not much of a talker now huh?" Alex smirked.

I glared up at him. "Power hungry people never win. Oh, you just wait," I faced my parents. "Father. What are they talking about?"

"Yeah, Your Majesty," Alex said mockingly. "Why don't you tell them what your family really does while they're running the country?"

We made our way towards the end of the hallway  and made a left into a room. There tied up to a chair, was a man, he looked fairly old, around 40? He has to have a family by now.

"Dude, are you sure you wanna do this? Threaten death and everything?" Chad whispered to my ear. "What if he doesn't care if he lives or dies? What if he doesn't have a family? What if he has nothing to lose?"

"Then I have nothing to lose as well if I kill him, wouldn't I?" I glared at Chad. "He betrayed my family and sold them out to the enemy. That is considered treason."

"Yes, but you are not the King, you don't get to decide who lives and who dies. And you're the last person I would think to have blood on their hands. That is not the King, or the Prince, I expected you to be. You're better than that."

I hesitated, lowering the gun, not sure what to do.

"I'll just threaten him... Chad. Not actually kill him.. you know.. give him a good scare? Maybe we will.. plus.. how else will I get my family back? Or my sister?"

Chad sighed. "You're the prince, you decide, I'm not gonna choose for you." He disapproved sadly.

"Erm..." Now I was really uncertain of what to decide to do. I gripped onto the gun and tossed it over to Alex.

"Pah! Bloody weak prince who don't have the guts to get his hands dirty," the man sneered as he spat at the floor. "No wonder this country is in shambles. The king can't even raise his son right, let a bunch of pansy commoners turn him into a big ol' softy."

Before I could say anything, Chad suddenly pushed past me and grabbed the old man by the collar. "You listen here, you old fogey! He may not have been raised the royal way, but he is a way better fucking human being than you who probably sold off the royal family to the enemy for probably a bit of cash! He could've ignored my advice and exercise his right as a royal and killed you, right here and now! It takes guts to look someone who sent their whole family to their death straight in the eye and not put a bullet between them! You practically sentenced his family to death and he is considering to spare your life, which is way more than I can do if I were in his shoes, so DON'T you DARE call him weak!"

"Wow, your mate is a spitfire, I'll give him that," Alex whispered to me. I was speechless. I've seen Chad pissed, but never THAT pissed before.

"Alex shushh..." It was kinda awkward for me to see him this mad. I approached the tied up man. "You know you are really pathetic. How would you like it if I imprisoned you for life. You'll be ditching your family forever and honestly if i do it in secret, they won't even know and think you were some d*ckhead that left them for another. Now no, wouldn't that be lovely."

"I ain't got no family! Your family killed mine when I was just a kid because they didn't like the way they tried to speak their mind! I ain't got anything to lose! So throw me anywhere you want! Throw me in the gulag for all I care! Your family is not fit to rule this country! I'd rather take my chances with your cousin!"

"Oh yeah? And how can you be sure you won't be treated fairly when my cousin takes over the throne? Do you think she'll let you live once the crown is on her head?" I crossed my arms.

"Like I said, I'd rather take my chances than serve your family. My parents never stood a chance against your grandfather when he was in rule, and your father is starting to become a chip off the old block as well! Good riddance to bad rubbish!" He spat onto my face this time

I was pissed, but I held back at trying to smack him right then and there. Instead, I broke out into a creepy laughter, where as even Alex and Chad aeemed confused and weirded out. "You don't know them! Ahahah. Most of the people they used that i encountered were killed after! We're practically giving you that chance to love and here you are, perfering to die in their hands. Says a lot about you. You disgust me. That's probably why your family was killed!"

"Don't you DARE talk about my family like that! Don't you DARE!!" The man struggled against his binds. "They spoke the truth, and your grandfather couldn't handle the truth and killed them for it. Go ask your precious father what exactly happened! I'm not saying another word!!"

"Why you..." I lost my cool and was ready to give the guy a good sock on the face when Alex grabbed my wrist and shook his head.

"Forget it. It's not worth it. It's clear where his allegiance lies. We're going nowhere with him," Alex said as he led me out of the room, leaving the guy to laugh maniacally at us.

"Ask your precious Daddy! See what he has to say about his father killing my family just because they didn't agree with who your father married! Go ask him! Hahahahahahahaha!!!"

Alex glared at the man one last time before slamming the door, locking it, his muffled laughter still can be heard behind the door.

I was absolutely furious, i wanted to go back at smack that guy so hard, he'll regret everything he had said. Chad oatted my back realizing so. "Ey bro, you a'ight?"

I nodded and was simply dragged back to Chad's room by both of them. "I have to find my family... guys... cmon let's go.."

The shook their head. "You ain't going anywhere, princess." Chad chuckled. Always with the jokes. Alex looked at Chad dead straight in the eyes. "You aren't either."

"Wait, what?" Chad was taken by surprise.

"Both of your safety are my concerns," Alex said, hands on his hips. "Shawna is after you, Your Highness, and you, Chad, are her means to an end, a collateral that Shawna will see fit to use to gain leverage. I'll go look for leads and bring your family back. You stay here and be safe."

"Now wait just a minute--"

Before I could say something, I felt a sharp thwack on my forehead, and before everything went black, I could hear Chad's cry at my name and then his groan as well...

I must've overslept because when I woke up, the moon was high in the sky and the time on my phone read 7.30pm. Holy shit, was I asleep that long? Why didn't anyone wake me up? Did I miss dinner? I got off the bed as quickly as my body could catch up with the adrenaline and stepped out of my room.

"Hello? Hello~! Anyone?"

Silence. Complete silence. And not the comfortable kind. This was not right. I have a bad feeling about this...

"Alex! Father! Guards!" My eyes slowly adjusted to the drakness of the castle. I walked along the hallway, stumbling over something i could not recall. I reached up to grab onto someting and felt a doorknob. I knocked furiously at the door. "Excuse me??!!"

I swung open the door, immediately, i recognized, this was Chad's room.

I looked around frantically. Chad was not in his bed, nor was he hooked onto the hospital equipment. Where could he be? Shit, has someone from Drake family gotten to him? "Chad? Chad?! Chad, where are you?!" Suddenly my hand was yanked and I was pulled into the en-suite bathroom of Chad's room.

"Shh! Dude! Keep it down!"

"Um.... Chad? What are you doing out bed and what the hell is go---" He interrupted me. "Bro, I said shut up!" He hissed quietly at me and covered my mouth. "They're here. Be as quiet as you can be. Do you want to die?!"

I shook my head, glad he was OK, but now worried for both our lives. "So where is everyone else? When did they come? My parents? Alex?"

"I dunno about Alex," Chad admitted. "I just heard a bunch of loud shouting and gunshots and I quickly unplugged myself and hid under the bed first. I barely managed to dodge the search, but I was lucky they gave up quickly and left the room. I was about to go find you when I heard you come in. Of course I thought whoever it is has doubled back to check here again, but I was relieved it was you."

"I knew it. Alex was right; Shawna is behind this. She's still at large and still after the throne..."

"Woah, dude, wait, who's Shawna? Who's Alex? What's going on here?"

I sighed and finally told him everything that had happened since I took that plane Claire sent me into. It wasn't the ideal time, but it was better than nothing, and Chad needed to be up to speed. "....yeah so that's the gist of it."

"Bro... you put yourself in so much danger to come bring me here... why? Why did you do it. You're a prince, man, you could've died. You're crazy, man! But why?"

I shrugged and lost my eye contact with him. "You're a close friend and I thought they'd get to you..." It was true, but not completely.

I felt Chad's stern stare on me. 5 minutes passed and he broke the silence. "Bro, I know you. You were always great at holding eye contact. I know you. When you look away, it's like your way of admitting it's a lie or partly true, which is why you can't maintain eye contact. It's like you feel guilty for doing so. Bro... tell me."

"I... I'm not lying, not... really..." I shook my head, trying to get rid of the thoughts that plagued my mind. "Anyway is this really the time? We need to go find both my real parents and my foster parents, and my sister, and Alex. Oh god, I wonder what happened--"

A pair of strong hands grabbed my face and made me face Chad's. I gasped. I've never seen Chad so serious before.

"No, you are not getting out of this. I know you have something to say, and if you don't say it now and one of us don't make it out of this alive, we are going to regret it for the rest of our lives, maybe even in the afterlife if BOTH of us don't make it. So spit it out!"

"I LOVE YOU, OK?!" I finally blurted it out. "I did this all for you because I am fucking in love with you and I didn't even realize I actually HAVE feelings for you until I knew you were hurt or you were gonna die or that I'm gonna die! I love you more than a friend, more than a bro! And it makes me sick inside that you might not feel the same way for me, so I don't want to admit it! You happy now?!"

Chad stiffened, but soon his grip on me grew weak. His face was expressionless, too hard to tell if he loved me back or not, and it was killing me. I heard him sigh. Was it relief? Happiness? Sadness? Regret? "Chad.."

"Bro, Shut up."

"E-errr... I-I'm sorry, I didn't think that yo---"

He placed his finger on my lips, interrupting me. "No, seriously, shut up! I'll get back to that later, but I think I hear something and I need you to be quiet."

I stiffened up at his finger on my lip and perked my ears, trying to listen. There was definitely footsteps coming in, slow and deliberate ones, as if the person is trying to be cautious and quiet.

"Arm yourself," Chad whispered so silently I almost couldn't hear him. "On the count of three, we pounce."

I nodded and looked around. There was a broom right to my left. It wasn't the best, but it'll have to do. Chad armed himself with a toilet plunger, then used his fingers to do the countdown. Once he hit one, we both let out a battle cry and ran out of the bathroom, tackling whoever it was that entered the room, piling onto him and whack him for all its worth with our lame-ass "weapons".

Before I smacked the man's face with my amazing and creative broom, i stopped and pushed Chad off of him. "Alex?"

"Sup bro~" He said somewhat weakly. I grabbed his arms and pulled him into the bathroom. "Alex please, you seem to know everything. What exactly is going on?"

"By the way, nice to finally meet you, heard so much about you," Alex grinned at Chad before turning to me. "As I feared, it was Shawna. One of the hired help betrayed us. He was a mole for her and disabled all the security in this castle and paved the way for Shawna to attack. I barely managed to get your foster parents to safety in one of our safe houses, but they've got your royal parents and your sister."

"Shit! We really gotta save them! Where are they headed?" I said worriedly.

"I'm trying to crack the mole into telling us right now. So far, he's not budging."

"Fine, then we kill him if he doesn't. I bet he has a family to get to now? Right? Imma go march in there myself." I reached her his gun.

"Huh, I didn't want to seem too mean but why not? Here, follow me, guys." Alex said before walking out the room.

I tried to control myself as he lay down on the hospital bed, but i couldn't. I ran over and gave him a huge hug. "Bro... You had me so worried." I said as I enjoyed the embrace before pulled back and gently slapping him. "Don't do that again! Crazy my bro!"

Chad chuckled lightly, you could tell his energy and health was getting better. "Geez bro, calm down!"

"I was really worried about you. I almost thought you... You died..."

"Heh, ain't no one's keeping this bad boy down. I've got lives like a cat," Chad grinned proudly.

"I'm serious, bro. If you died, I don't know what I'd do... I... I..." I couldn't control the tears of fear and relief as they rolled down my cheeks, dripping off my chin and onto Chad's hand. The thought of him being dead, gone out of my life was too much for me to bear. I've never felt so vulnerable.

"Hey, hey, dude. It's OK," I felt Chad's hand on my sopping wet cheek. "I'm here, aren't I?"

I nodded but I couldn't stop crying. I laid my head on the head. I felt Chad rest his hand on my head and rub my hair. "Cmon bro don't cry! Are you ok? Bro you can't cry. You need to tell be about what happened to you!"

"I-I'm fine..." I looked up at him, my eyes red and puffy from crying. "Bro, there's so much that went on... could we wait till you're out of the hospital first?"

"Yeah, I'm still feeling a little pooped out," Chad admitted. "I feel like I could sleep for a week."

"Sure, go ahead. Rest up. I promise I'll tell you everything when you're better," I said as I dried my eyes.

"Cool," Chad yawned. "See ya when I see ya, bro."

I smiled and stayed next to him, watching him until he finally drifted off to sleep.

No one was around the hospital room when I looked around. I saw Chad fast asleep so I leaned over and seeked kissed on his cheek, before getting up to leave.

"I saw that." I jumped, thinking it was Chad.

"I-it's not what you think!" I said quickly only to find out it was Alex.

Alex was laughing. I rolled my eyes. "Alex bro! Shut up! He's trying to sleep. And no speaking of this!"

Alex patted his back. "Whatever you say so... Your Highness." He chuckled and closed the door after i walked out with him.

"I'm serious! Shut up~!" I pouted as I walked alongside him.

"You're going to have to tell him sooner or later."

"I will, when the time is right."

"Well that time better be quick, coz you're not gonna be able to get your happily ever after when you're dead."

"What do you mean?" I looked at him confusedly.

"Shawna escaped. When our paramilitary troops got to the Drake Manor, we've caught and killed everyone. Everyone except Shawna and her immediate family."

"She would never come here! That's ridiculous! She'd be killed immediately! And how are you sure that she is going to kill me! For god's sake, Alex don't joke like that."

Alex sighed. "They were unable to find her, or where she went... you'll be put on high security."

I looked at him like if he was crazy. "What about Chad though! What if they get to him! Or my parents or my sister!!"

"Which is why everything in this castle will be highly fortified and double the security. We cannot underestimate the willingness of Shawna to achieve the throne. She's just as stubborn as her old man. Rumour has it she had undergone various trainings, including stealth and infiltration. We can't afford to take any chances."

I frowned at the thought of Shawna still walking on this Earth, still plotting to take over the throne. "She's determined, I'll give her that," I muttered as I absentmindedly touched the welt on my cheek where she bitch-slapped me with her switch.

"So meanwhile that happens... how and when do you think said coronation will be? Like... do you think.. if I became king, she would be unable to achieve the throne?" I asked him hopefully thinking she would give up after.

Alex looked at me and half smiled. "I don't know... they could easily kill you and your sister. Who else would be left?"

"I don't know. I mean... Daddy only has one sister, who is Shawna's mom and my aunt. He was supposed to have another brother, but my grandmother died giving birth due to complications, and the baby was born stillborn. There's no other contender for the throne," I said. "And if there is no one from mine or Drake's family to take the throne, the next in line is probably the Duke of Nottingham, but that is worse case scenario only..."

"Well, I don't think Shawna would aim for the Duke, a person as conceited as her wouldn't even think a low level royal like him as a threat," Alex replied. "Besides your coronation won't happen until your father officially abdicates or pass away, so you're still a free man for now. Right now, your safety is the highest priority until we get rid of Shawna, so the coronation will have to take the backseat for now."

I nodded in agreement. "Honestly... I wanna go rest now, but what if they attack me while so?"

Alex chuckled. "You're getting paranoid now. Security will be on you at all times, bro!"

"Let's go catch something to eat. I remember my parents prefer to eat as a family at dinner. When is that?"

Alex looked at his phone. "Should be around 6pm, that gives you 4 hours. You should take a rest. It's been a super long day."

I nodded, fatigue finally settling in after days and days of high octane action and death riding on my back. Alex informed one of the butlers to escort me to my room to rest. As I entered, I realized that it was my childhood room, the room I spent the first few years of my life as a royal Prince. Everything was kept clean and pristine, even the toys I played when I was a toddler. It was as if I've never left.

I chuckled as I picked up a teddy bear. "You're coming with me Sheriff!" I jumped into my bed and cuddled the fluffy toy. I wish I had spent more time here, but honestly my foster parents' home was fun too.

I lay on the bed for a while, sleepiness and my tiredness finally catching up to me as I slowly fell asleep.

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