“His name is...”
Alice’s curiosity could barely stand the suspense, however she tried to remain calm. Tarrant glanced briefly at her, as if to see if she would take the bait, before continuing to speak.
“Alice, his name is Charles.”
“Like father...” Alice murmured, trying not to reveal her excitement. Her father had often told her about magical and fantastical places where anything could happen and Alice dearly hoped that her father had found his way to Underland and had not perished in the sea as she had been told her entire life.
“Tarrant, do you think it could be my father?” Alice asked hopefully.
Tarrant looked at Alice with comfort in his eyes as he replied, “Alice, Charles came to Mirana when you arrived last time. He asked her to not reveal his presence to you, for some reason. On the Frabjous day, he refused to fight, mentioning pain. That’s all I know about this man.” Tarrant finished with a shrug.
Alice tried to fight her curiosity, however it won out.
“Tarrant, surely you know more.” Alice begged, desperate for answers as to what happened to her father, as she did not want to believe that he had perished in the sea.
“Please Alice; it is not for me to tell. You will have to ask Mirana about it, for she knows more than I. Shall we continue to your room?” Tarrant asked brightly before continuing down the hall.
Sighing, Alice nodded and followed Tarrant down the hallway. He stopped at a door that appeared to be the same as all of the others in the hall, except for the slightly blue hue that seemed to make the door glow in an ethereal manner.
With a smile, Tarrant opened the door with a flourish and beckoned Alice into the room, a smile on his face the entire time.
The room was tastefully decorated in blue of various shades- the bedspread and cushions were navy blue, whilst the feature wall behind the bed was Alice blue. As for the rest of the room, the white complemented the blue and contrasted to the rest of the room. At the end of the room, there was a balcony which sported a view of the palace gardens. The balcony was particularly special for Alice and Tarrant as it had witnessed their flourishing relationship on the night before Frabjous Day.
Alice stared in awe at her room. She walked over every inch of it until her curiosity was satisfied, at which point she stood in the middle of the room.
Tarrant had been quietly observing Alice’s reaction to her spacious room and smiled. She was exactly the way he remembered- curious. As he continued to watch her, he concluded that their earlier conversation about Charles would need to be completed at a later time, for Alice’s curiosity had not been satisfied on this topic.
“So do you approve, Champion?” Tarrant asked, trying to gain Alice’s attention once more as he felt quite forgotten whilst she was exploring her new/old room.
“Champion? Tarrant, why the sudden formality? Of course I absolutely love the room, especially the memories of our time during my last visit on the balcony.” Alice replied with a smile, turning to face Tarrant.
Tarrant smiled sheepishly, replying, “I merely wished to gain your attention. You were so wrapped up in your own thoughts that it felt like I did not exist,” as his eyes settled on the ground.
“Hatter,” Alice asked gently before continuing, “please. You are so important to me and I never want to make you feel unimportant in any way. Just now, I was remembering the last conversation we had on the balcony, but especially the way I made you feel. You seemed so upset when I told you that you weren’t real and I...”
Tarrant interrupted Alice’s rambling with his soft lips upon her own. The kiss was tender and full of the love that Tarrant felt for Alice. Soon enough, they were forced to part.
Alice looked at Tarrant and found that he was gazing at her, his eyes fading into purple and gold, thus revealing his true feelings for Alice. They smiled at each other before Tarrant spoke.
“If you’ll excuse me, I feel that I must retire for the evening.” Tarrant said with a slight bow before walking to the door.
“Tarrant, goodnight...” Alice said with a smile.
Chess grinned his signature, infuriating grin as he floated undetected out of Alice’s room. He knew that his Champion had feelings for one of his closest friends, despite the trouble he caused him on an almost daily basis.
Whilst Chess wanted to remain in the confidence of his Champion and his friend, Mirana had said that she wished to be apprised of the situation as she knew that they had feelings for each other but may take a while to admit it.
Her majesty sat in her private quarters, staring into the hearth at the blazing fire. She wondered of Alice and Tarrant had admitted their feelings to each other, as it would make the ball she had planned more interesting and lovely for her Champion.
Chess slowly faded into the room, his grin being the first feature to appear.
“Chess, a pleasure to see you so soon. Do you have something you wished to speak to me about?” Mirana asked with her eyebrows raised slightly.
“I do. Majesty, they did admit their feelings for each other.” Chess announced gleefully.
Mirana squealed in excitement. She could not be happier for her two dearest friends.
“Thank you Chess.” Mirana said with a nod, having regained her composure, effectively dismissing Chess.
Mirana smiled to herself. Everything was working perfectly.
Just as Mirana was about to settle into her bed, a knock at the door announced the presence of someone who needed her.
She opened the door, only to find Charles her captain of the guard standing there out of breath and dishevelled.
“Charles? Is everything alright?” Mirana asked, urgency seeping into her voice.
“Majesty, there are soldiers ready to defend you. There is nothing to worry about; Underland is safe, for now. I wished to speak to you about Alice.” Charles said, slightly out of breath as he had hurried from his duties to the queen’s quarters.
“Alice? Is everything alright?” Mirana asked anxiously.
Charles sighed before continuing, “Mirana, has Alice said anything to you about me? I ask only because I feel that she may get curious about my identity. You have permission to tell her about me and who I am, if she asks.” Charles said.
Mirana nodded before a yawn forced her to admit to herself that she was tired. Seeing this, Charles excused himself.
With thoughts of joy regarding her Champion and milliner and the steps that would be taken in order to reunite Alice with the father she never knew, Mirana fell into a deep slumber.