The King’s New Clothes

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Sam didn’t give a damn about appearances, but he’d been told repeatedly that they were important, so for his first public appearance as king, Sam dressed the part.

He liked the idea of the boots more than the boots themselves. Hitting his mid-thigh, they’d been a pain to sit through the lacing of, and the two-inch lift on them seemed like a good idea to give him an imposing height, but just made him feel wobbly when he walked in them, and hurt his feet a little. He knew he’d feel powerful once he figured out how to move without feeling like he was going to fall over. And maybe once he’d found a way around this little chafing problem he had up at the tops. They were going to need to be lined with something softer.

The velvet shorts he was wearing were so short they needed a more hyperbolic word. Really they were a pouch for the royal package and not much else, but being a tiny piece of fabric away from exposure made it clear that Sam had nothing to fear, so he wore them proudly. He wasn’t afraid of anything. They could look all they wanted.

There were belts criss-crossing his chest. Sam wasn’t sure what the point of those were, and they itched against his bare skin, but he tolerated them for the effect they would give. The leather gloves were studded down the backs of his hands and had pointed fingertips that gave the impression he had claws. He wondered if they were sharp enough to cut skin.

The coat, now Sam liked the coat. Sam never wanted to wear anything but this coat. Sweeping on the floor behind him, the coat was heavy and made of smooth leather that Sam liked running his fingers over. It whispered when he moved, gliding through the air on his body. He’d take the whole rest of the ensemble off and just wear the coat, but apparently that would send the wrong message.

People who could see were really too stupid to live if they thought that the way a person looked defined what they could do.

But since there were more of them than there were of Sam, he played their game, dressed like a king.

There was a whip clipped to the side of the coat, which Sam hoped he could use someday. Just because it seemed fun, even though his magic was just so much more practical.

Sam stalked back and forth across his room a few times to get a sense of how to walk in all this. When he was ready, he had Henry escort him to the throne room. He hadn’t gotten much of a sense of Henry’s attire from touching it, but it seemed to be mostly a lot of leather straps, many of which were connected to the collar on his neck, so Sam approved. He didn’t care anyway.

The doors to the throne room were pushed open—both of them, kings didn’t go in only one door—and Sam strode down the length of the room, liking the hush that fell, the fact that his boots clicking on the floor was the only sound. There had been a carpet before that had been torn up in the battle, but Sam was going to tell them not to replace it.

Hips swaying back and forth as he strutted, Sam smirked. Yes, this felt good. This had been a good decision after all.

Sam knew the length of this room just fine. When he reached the dais, he ascended, then turned, letting the coat turn with him in a way that had it flaring out behind him for a moment before he sat, crossing one leg over his knee as he waited. A moment later, someone put the crown on his head, and Sam leaned against the arm of the throne, resting on his elbow.

To the people arrayed in front of him, Sam smirked and said, “Kneel for your king.”



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