Chapter Twenty-Six: The Other Prince
Leih looked up at the dock’s captain. The man looked nervous as he stood before him.
“What is it?” Leih asked as he looked back down at his paperwork.
He hadn’t realized how much work his mother had been doing for the Space Station. Now that she’s gone, it has all fallen into his lap.
“There is a ship coming in from one of the other Stations.” The captain said as he watched his prince.
Leih looked up at the man again. “Probably coming to talk about the memory serums.”
“No, Sire. He said something about coming to claim his bride.” The captain said as he watched the young prince.
“His what?” Leih asked confused.
“His bride, your highness.” The man said with a bow.
“Who is he claiming to be his bride?” Leih asked confused.
“According to him, the High Princess.”
“Nahla is too young,” Leih said as he looked back down at his papers.
“No, Sire. The oldest.”
Leih slowly looked back up at the man. “Dahonnah is on Sobrieh, and already married with a family of her own.”
“Yes, Sire. That is what I had said to him. He responded with, the oldest who was born on the Station.”
Leih slowly got to his feet. “What the hell are you talking about?” He demanded with a growl to his voice.
The man quickly backed away. “He claims his father was promised a High Princess for his bride.”
“Damn it, Gio,” Leih growled as he moved around the desk.
“What do you want me to do, Sire? Deny his landing?”
“No,” Leih said as he moved over to the door. “We can’t disrespect royalty. We’ll just have to let him down easily when we tell him that the High Princess is already married.” He said as he opened the door. “To me.”
The captain followed his prince out of the office suites and to the Royal Corridor. Leih walked straight into his family’s suite and found Gio in his office. He knew the women were out on their lady’s day out.
He shoved the door open, making it slam into the wall. Gio jumped in his desk as he looked up at him and sighed with relief when he saw Leih, then frowned when he saw the angry look on the boy’s face.
“What’s wrong?” He asked as he got to his feet.
“The king, you had promised a daughter to thousands of years ago,” Leih said as he watched his uncle.
“Yeah, what about him?” Gio asked as he came around the desk.
“Well, his son has come to claim his damn bride!” Leih yelled as he glared at his uncle. “My wife!”
“Crap,” Gio grumbled as he stopped just in front of his nephew.
“Crap? Is that all you have to say?” Leih asked angrily.
“Calm down, boy,” Gio said as he watched the young man. “I’m going to get enough shit from my wife, don’t need you too.”
“She can’t kill you, uncle. But I have no problem with it.” Leih growled, half-jokingly.
“Let’s get this worked out, shall we,” Gio said as he slapped his nephew on the back.
“Yeah, sure Uncle,” Leih said with a growl as he followed the man out of the suite.
Gio and Leih stood at the dock as they waited for the arrival of the ship. Leih still looked pissed, and Gio couldn’t blame him. They only had to wait about ten minutes for the ship to dock. They watched three Sobriehtons emerge from the ship. Two males and a female.
They saw Gio and Leih and walked over to them.
“My king.” The taller man said as he bowed to Gio.
“Tamhas,” Gio said as he held his hand out to the man. “Been a long time.”
Tamhas grinned as he shook his king’s hand. “So, it has.”
“What brings you here?” Gio asked, as though he didn’t already know.
“I was assigned to my king’s son the day he was born. So, where the young prince goes, I go.” Tamhas said with a smile.
“I see,” Gio said as he looked over at the young man and the girl at his side.
“Where are my manors,” Tamhas said as he looked at the two beside him. “This is Prince Justaine and Princess Psyanne. Children, this is our High King.”
“My king,” Psyanne said as she bowed to Gio.
“My king,” Justaine said with a small bow.
“We are happy to have you here,” Gio said as he nodded to them.
“How many times do we have to say, we’re not children anymore?” Psyanne asked as she looked at her brother’s bodyguard.
“When you have your first millennium, I will stop calling you children,” Tamhas said with a laugh.
“You haven’t answered my question, old friend,” Gio said as he watched the trio.
“Ah, yes,” Tamhas said as he nodded to his king. “So sorry, I do apologize. We are here on my king’s orders, to remind you of your deal.”
“What deal?” Gio asked.
Leih stared at Gio. What kind of game was he playing here? He knows exactly what they are here for. They’re here to try and steal away his wife.
“The deal you made with my father that your next daughter will be mine,” Justaine said as he watched the High King.
“Justaine!” Tamhas growled at the boy.
Psyanne nudged her brother with her elbow. Justaine ignored them both and kept his eyes on the High King.
“Ah, that promise,” Gio said with a nod. “Do you know how many promises I had had to make that day to get my people to do a simple task as to go across the Galaxy and find new life?”
“Yeah, a simple task,” Tamhas said with a laugh as he eyed his High King. “You aren’t backing out, are you, My king?”
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Gio said with a grin.
“Uncle…” Leih started to say then stopped when Gio put up his hand to stop him.
“But I am afraid, my daughter’s hand has already been taken,” Gio said as he watched Tamhas and the young royal siblings.
“Already taken?” Tamhas asked as he watched Gio. “How so?”
“She’s married to the prince of this station,” Gio said as he nodded towards Leih.
“I see. So, you broke the promise…” Tamhas started to say.
Gio held up a hand. “Not entirely, my friend. The promise was if she is not already taken when she is of age.”
“That is not what I was told by my king,” Tamhas said as he eyed Gio.
“Let’s talk to your king, shall we,” Gio said as he gestured for them to follow him.
Leih stayed back as he watched the four walk towards one of the communication rooms, to call the other Space Station, and talk to the king there.
The man who was here to steal away his wife is what he guessed a woman would find attractive. He had a feeling his wife will. But he knows she would never choose anyone over him. Would she?
She does still have the Earth girl tucked away inside her, somewhere. Maybe the memories of the three years they had together before she was taken away, wasn’t enough to keep her here.
But the year she had with him as Gretta, was that enough to compensate for the years they had lost?
Not to mention, she’s carrying your babies, you idiot.
He sighed as he scoffed at himself for his stupid thoughts. Gresha’s pity party was rubbing off on him. He shook his head as he headed for the communications room.
Gio nodded as he hung up the receiver. Justaine grunted as he turned towards the door, then paused for a moment and turned back to Gio.
“They were married when she was another person?” He asked as he remembered the story, he heard Gio tell his father.
“She grew up on Earth as Gretta,” Gio said with a nod.
Justaine grinned. “Then that means they’re not married.”
“Seriously?” Leih asked as he moved away from the wall.
“Hey, I was promised a High Princess,” Justaine said as he watched Leih.
“So was I,” Leih said with annoyance.
“What?” Tamhas asked as he looked at Leih.
Gio grunted. “Bigmouth.” He grumbled as he looked at his nephew.
“You promised your daughter to two families?” Tamhas asked Gio.
“I didn’t think I’d ever get remarried,” Gio grumbled.
“She’s fair game now,” Justaine said with a smirk on his face.
“Don’t even think about it…” Leih stopped talking when Gio stood and moved to stand between them.
“I won’t allow anyone to fight over my daughter.” He warned them.
“Who’s fighting?” Justaine said with a smile.
“She’s my wife!” Leih hollered.
“Not legally,” Justaine said as he opened the door. “How about we let her decide.” He said as he smiled at Leih then left the room.
Tamhas bowed to Gio, then followed his prince out the door.
Psyanne smiled at them as she bowed. “Sorry about my brother.” She whispered, then walked out the door.
“I’m not going to let that creep take my wife from me on a stupid technicality!” Leih hollered at his uncle.
“Stay calm, Leih. You know Gresha won’t choose someone over you. You’re her Shanook.” Gio said as he watched his nephew’s angry face.
“I know. But the thought of him…”
“Leih, go home. Wait for your wife there. You know in your family’s eyes that you two are married. And she is carrying your children. I won’t let that brat raise my grandchildren; you can count on that.” Gio said with a growl as he stormed out of the room.
Leih sighed as he did as his uncle told him. But waiting for his wife was more brain-racking than ever before. How was he going to keep his wayward thoughts of his wife and another man out of his mind?
By remembering that she loves you, always has, always will. He smiled at the thought. Just as he will always love her.
“They did what now?” Gwyneth hollered at her husband as their family sat around the living room to discuss the new trouble brewing on their Station.
“They fought over Gresha for a minute, until I got between them and told them…”
“Do you think you doing that now, makes up for the fact that what we fought about all those years ago, has come to pass?!” Gwyneth yelled as she glared at her husband.
“I didn’t think it would actually happen,” Gio said as he frowned at his wife.
“Wait a minute,” Gresha said as she looked from her father to her husband and back again. “Are you telling me that Leih and this other prince are actually fighting over me?”
“That is what I am saying,” Gio said with a nod.
“Leih?” Gresha asked as she looked at her husband.
“I’m sorry, Short Stack,” Leih said sheepishly. “I went into macho mode when someone threatened to take my wife and children away.”
Gresha pulled herself to her feet and moved over to the chair where her husband was sitting. She moved his arms from in front of him, then pushed him to lean back against the back of the chair and sat on his lap, then laid her head on his chest. Stunned, Leih sat there and held onto her.
“Silly man.” She whispered. “Don’t you know by now that no one and nothing can separate us? Not even a bloody memory serum.”
“Or death.” Tenyar pointed out.
“Right,” Gresha said as she smiled at her bodyguard.
“So, what do we do about him?” Gwyneth asked as she looked around the room at her family.
“I say, let him be for now,” Gio said with a sigh. “He won’t leave until Gresha and Leih are legally married, anyways. He will soon see that he has no chance with her, especially once he sees she’s pregnant.” Gio said with a smile as he looked at Gresha’s stomach.
Gresha placed a hand over her stomach and smiled. “You’ve got that right.” She said as she sat up, on her husband’s lap and smiled at him. “Now stop worrying your pretty face.”
Leih laughed as he pulled her against him again. “Okay, Short Stack, I’ll stop worrying.” He said, then kissed her forehead as he held her close.
“What if he doesn’t back off?” Pilar asked as he looked from his cousin and sister to his parents.
“Then we will deal with it,” Gio assured them.
“Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that,” Gwyneth said with a nod.
“Let’s hope,” Gresha whispered as she cuddled further into her husband’s arms.
“I told you this was going to happen,” Gwyneth mumbled as she crawled into bed beside her husband.
Gio sighed as he pulled her against him. “I know, Tiey Vail. I never thought I’d…”
“I know,” Gwyneth said as she laid her head on his shoulder. “You never thought you would find someone to spend your life with, let alone have daughters with.”
“Right,” Gio said with a nod.
“Just promise me everything will be Gresha’s choice.”
“It will be, Tiey Vail, I promise.” He swore as he kissed her forehead.
“Good.” She said with a yawn as she sighed and started to fall asleep.
“Going to sleep?” He whispered into her hair.
“Baby is tired.” She said as she cuddled closer to him.
Gio laughed as he pulled her against his side. He had never allowed himself to think he would ever hold her again. Twenty-one years without her had been hell. Now he has forever with her.
He sighed as he closed his eyes. Forever isn’t nearly long enough.