Jul. 24th, 2015

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"Sir Benjamin Forrest of the Eastern Mountains." The king's voice thundered, echoing throughout the castle's Great Hall. Were the formalities really necessary? As if the king's dramatic tone wasn't enough to make the brunet cringe already. 
He was kneeling before the throne, head bowed to stare at the red carpet. Finally, a mission he could complete despite being a newcomer. After all, he was the only knight bred in the mountains. Not so disposable now, huh? The higher-ups would eat their words.

"You may rise." The king nodded down to the freckled knight. Half of the kingdom had come to see Ben's return. It had only been a mountain journey, holy hell. He hadn't slain any dragons. A couple ogres and possessed animals, yes, but no dragons. The plan should still work, no matter the extra eyes. They'd worked on this for weeks.

The second he stood up, Ben's eyes flicked around the throne area of the room. The king's many daughters were seated around him, while the buff-looking princes sat on smaller thrones at his sides, excluding the youngest. The princesses were all quite pretty, dressed up in jewel colors and all sorts of crazy hairpieces (Ben couldn't understand royal fashion trends).

The king smiled toothily, outstretching his arms. "As a reward for your valiant efforts, I will allow your marriage to one of my daughters." Unsurprisingly, not one of the princesses looked too pleased by this statement.
Ben immediately shook his head, looking the king right in the eye. Go time.

"Actually, I'd prefer something else, your majesty." Ben replied, biting back a frightened grimace. There was no turning back now. He straightened up, trying to sound confident. This was their chance!
"I would like your youngest son." 

At the mention of the youngest prince, a pretty raven-haired boy around Ben's age (possibly older?) practically strutted into the Great Hall and over to the king's side. Ben reminded himself to yell at the little drama queen later. 
"So you're in need of a servant? Riches?" The king raised a gray brow, puzzled by Ben's sudden statement. The youngest prince looked mildly annoyed by the usage of "servant". 

"No, your majesty." The jade-eyed knight bowed deeply, avoiding the judgmental look he was about to receive. "I wish for his hand. Not one your daughters'." 
The prince was bouncing on the balls of his feet, looking mighty excited. The king groaned, resting his chin in one hand and making a shooing motion with the other. 
"Fine, fine. You can have him. All he does is whine and embroider, anyway."

At that, the prince just barely barreled into Ben, the two laughing and smiling. It was as if the rest of the room didn't matter. 
"It worked, Ben! It worked! I can't believe you actually did it!" Kai, the youngest of the princes, rejoiced.
"Shut up, you fool!" Ben ruffled the other's hair, pressing a quick peck to his forehead.
The two laughed, clasping hands and heading towards the castle door. 

The shocked looks of the royals and townsfolk didn't matter. Nothing mattered to Ben except Kai, and now they wouldn't have to hide their affections. Not from his family, not from the servants, not from the rest of the world. No more midnight room visits or secret embraces in the corridors.

Ben supposed there really were such thing as happily ever afters.


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