“Was that your son?”

Catherine turned around nervously. Her father-in-law could be downright harsh if his wishes were not followed to the letter.

“I am sorry,” her bowed head completed her sincere apology. “He said he’s coming soon.”

King Gregory V smiled. It was so unnatural for him to do so in front of his late son’s foreign wife. Obviously, he wanted to make peace with her from the moment they arrived from America.

She always felt distant, never forgetting the recriminations before and after her marriage. As a commoner, the loud objections against her being queen made her renounced her claim to the title. She completed the snub when she forced her husband to live far away.

“You should adjust to your future post. Your son will be king when I decide to step down.”

She forced herself to smile. Title or no title, she would always be the mother. No royalty could take away that crown from her.

“I don’t doubt your judgment, Your Highness, but my son is a bit young, He’s only fourteen.”

“I was crowned when I was fifteen. What’s a year, or months in his case?”

“You’re robbing him of his time as a normal teenager. That’s not fair.”

The king was not used to being lectured: he was always right. He was about to raise his voice when they heard a playful whistling to the tune of God Save the King.

“Grandpa, I narrowed down my candidates to three.”

“What are you talking about?” the monarch was taken aback.

“Didn’t Ma told you?” Prince Kerry was ecstatic. He knew the king would not object. “I will be the new king, right?

“In due time,” King Gregory was not fond of surprises. “I have to say when.”

“So, I decided to prepare myself for the job. I studied everything you asked me to learn.”

“Son, stop beating around the bush. Spit it out.”

The king frowned. He disliked the colorful language of his daughter-in-law.

“What do you have in mind?”

“I have trouble choosing,” he sighed. “Can I marry all three?”



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