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The More Things Change

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This is kind of a free day for me, this doesn't normally happen, but let me take the story from where we left it...

Now, returning a child to her parents is enough satisfaction, but what can you do when those parents are determined to repay you? Fact is, the kings of Corona had strange ideas about what constituted a reward. I felt more than pleased when my past transgressions were summarily forgiven, but my reputation would suffer somewhat if I accepted a position in the palace. No, I could not accept.  I had to disappear from her life, but one look from those green eyes convinced me otherwise. Let me tell you, Rapunzel can be quite persuasive, even without the frying pan.

Their Majesties were so happy to recover the princess that the first year there was a ball almost every day and I have to admit, I was dying of jealousy at seeing Rapunzel courted by so many young, handsome and rich noble brats. In her honor, I have to say that she paid them little atttention. I guess she had to quench the thirst that consumed her, and being able to walk by any party to her heart's content seemed to make her happier than any words of love. Not that I had much chance to follow her footsteps, at that time I was buried under loads, and loads, and loads of Chancery work.

And then, the second year was quieter for her since she had princess stuff to do. I saw her little, since she had to learn some ‘gentle arts’ or so she informed me one night when we crashed into each other in the royal gardens. And me? I was acing at writing letters to manage imports, or so my superiors assured me. Those years I saw her so little, but, hey! She was growing her hair again; I reckon her tiara didn’t fit without a good hair pillow.

Third year was my year, also it was the year I accompanied on Her Highness her Royal Supervisory Travel through the Corona kingdom. Rapunzel and I traveled a lot and had assorted adventures of the non-risky type. That was the year when romance really started. I worried a little about her princess status, but she was just as cool as always. When we returned to the castle, we had to face up to her parents. Lucky for me they are still grateful.

Our wedding was the social event of the fifth year. Gunter made an outstanding arrangement in the Throne Salon, all was gleaming with gold and yellow. Bruiser and Killer created the most astonishing wedding dress for Rapunzel; they even got all the golden threads on it. Attila's cupcakes –they were sublime, you have my word on it- were piled up in a gold gilded dish in the center of the Salon; they almost reached the ceiling. Hook played the wedding march, and he was an impressive sight, not to mention how much he had improved since the times of the Snuggly Duckling. A wedding planned and carried out by thugs was strange but it couldn’t make us happier. We were really the happiest couple on Corona, and I’m not bragging when I said we were elated. When I lifted Rapunzel’s knitted veil, I knew my dreams really had come true.

Both of us spent our honeymoon in her tower. It was her idea. I think Rapunzel wanted to exorcise Mother Gothel’s ghost with our mindless happiness. We were to live at the royal castle, but at that time we chose to take a tour of our neighboring countries. To get us acquainted with the other royal families, so to speak. Rapunzel seemed so thrilled and excited; I proudly report that I did not let her down, it seems like my time at Chancery paid off in the end.

We are now a happy princely couple. We live with her parents. The lodgings are not too shabby, let me tell you. Rapunzel does the Charities, I focus on Chancery, and our time is short, but it was splendidly spent. Nothing could lift an awful day from my shoulders like seeing her smiling at my return. What? Are you asking me when the heir will arrive? That is classified information, buddy! The future of the kingdom depends on it, and you couldn’t retrieve that information from a Prince and Chancellor!

I believe the baby will be born in June, or perhaps in July, but don't spread the word. Rapunzel wants to tell her parents first.

And today, as I said, is kind of a free day and I want to spend it with my precious mother to be. As I took my way toward her chambers, the guards saluted my presence as usual: by presenting their frying pans. Don’t know about you but every time I see those cast-iron implements at the height of my head, I have to flinch. Those are great deterrent weapon and must be the reason by which crime has fallen so low in Corona. When I arrived, I saw my Princess busy with her headdress. She was giving the final touches to her thick braid and looked positively radiant. What I can say? I've got a thing for brunettes, especially with green eyes!

“Eugene!” Her voice was as clear and youthful as the day I met her in the tower.

“Rapunzel,” I replied and kissed her. No, I will not give details. “How are you today?”

“I’m so happy! This is the night, we will dine with my parents and we can let out our secret.”

“They are going to go bananas over this, aren’t they?”

“Can you blame them?” Rapunzel asked me before kissing me again. “The last baby in this castle was kidnapped.”

“But now there is no Mother Gothel.”

“Nor a Golden Flower.” 

“But there is a Rapunzel, and that is what matters.”

“And this Rapunzel had a gift for her parents,” she said and clapped her hands.

“You are not talking about...” I made some hand gestures because she asked me not to talk about her condition until she told her parents.

“No, Eugene. I made a portrait for their chambers!” she announced making a graceful sign to the guards who brought a portrait covered with fabric.

The guards pulled the fabric. First I saw my boots and the hem of her dress, then my pants and her dress, then our arms interlocked and finally...

“Aww, you didn’t get my nose right!”

“No, I painted exactly to the model,” she argued standing on the tips of her toes to kiss my nose.

“You did it for sheer cruelty,” I accused her; the kiss had not changed my mind.

“Your nose is perfect, Eugene,” Rapunzel reassured me. I could read in her eyes that she mean it. Then she dropped her voice to the faintest whisper. “I want it for our baby...”

Did not I tell you she was fabulous?

I took her into my arms and made her fall backwards, kissing her properly.