Dragon, 120

“It seems like he had an aneurysm,” said Georgina, after she’d come into the room. They’d all been sitting waiting for the doctor to talk to her. She’d clearly been crying, and she sat down on a couch. Gavin got up and went to go sit beside her, hugging her. “There was nothing anyone could have done.”

“That’s when a blood vessel gathers a lot of blood and breaks open,” Boey said quietly, for Greg’s benefit. Owen would have done it, but he didn’t know what an aneurysm was. “It’s pretty rare, but it is something that can happen to a healthy person.”

“He didn’t seem sick at all,” Gabrielle said. She was in a chair, but she’d pulled it closer to the couch Franz was on and was holding his hand.

“He wouldn’t have,” said Gloria. She was sitting by herself, rubbing her arms, looking distant. “He would have felt fine until maybe a few seconds before it happened.”

Grey Rain tugged Owen’s sleeve. Did it hurt a lot?

Noble, 51

Geoffrey had expected to be snuck into the Dolovin palace through a servants’ entrance and taken to some quiet clandestine room to have his secret meeting with the queen. Instead, the servants who appeared took him to a nice restaurant not far from his inn, and Geoffrey and Javier were waved through the red and white front room to a private dining room in the back.

The table was already set and the queen of Dolovai was already sitting there, and the door shut behind Geoffrey. “Good afternoon, your Highness,” said Geoffrey, bowing.

“And to you, Lord Geoffrey,” said Georgina ven Sancte. She was a tall, fair woman with a stately face and a strong neck. “Please, sit. The food is still hot. There’s a setting for your companion as well.”

Others, 50

It was a good day to get married.

It had been a long enough betrothal, though Gabrielle knew that was stupid. Lots of people were betrothed for years and years, the fact that hers had only lasted a year and a half wasn’t such a big deal, even if she had wanted it to be shorter. She’d always liked Remin too, so the first was a good day for their future anniversary to be on.

But none of that was as important as the fact that Gabrielle was happy to be getting married. Not finally getting married or getting it over with or anything like that. It was her wedding day and she was happy.

Dragon, 104

“Why did the orgy cost so much?” Owen asked, frowning at an expense sheet.

“It didn’t.” Gavin was writing notes on another sheet.

“Uh.” Owen looked at the expenses again. “Yes, it did? The food cost more than it costs my parents to run their inn for a week.”

Gavin frowned, took the expense sheet and looked at it. “How much did your parents pay you to help at the inn?”

“They didn’t, that’s not how family works.”

Prince, 83

“That was far less eventful than the last time we knighted people,” Franz observed, drinking some wine. “Not a single person got engaged.” Or exonerated of a murder charge.

“I think that an engagement where only one person got engaged probably didn’t succeed by definition,” Gabrielle said.

“Not necessarily. One of the two people could have already been engaged to a third person who wasn’t present, and when the new engagement happened, they broke off their old engagement simultaneous to accepting the new one, and therefore their new partner was the only person who got engaged.”

“I think,” Gabrielle said, obviously thinking about how clever her future husband was, “that if you have to come up with a convoluted and ridiculous scenario so that you can technically be right, it’s probably because you were wrong and should have just admitted it instead of doubling down.”

Full House

“Your parents are here,” Gavin called out.

Owen nodded, then remembered he couldn’t nod when they weren’t in the same place. “Okay, I’m coming.” He lit a match, got the barbeque going, and shut the lid. He grabbed his phone off the side table and texted Darby on his way in. Your grandparents are here, get dressed.

Then, to Greg, he sent, Grandma and grandpa are here, can you please guilt Darby into getting dressed?

As he was hitting send, he got a response from Darby. You can’t make me get dressed in my own house!

Okay. We’ll be down in a minute, said Greg.

Prince, 76

“With your entire family having migrated up here,” said Gerard, looking not at Franz but at Francis in his arms. “It’s time to decide what to do.”

“I’m buying a house for them,” Franz said. “Don’t worry, I’ve got it all figured out.”

“That isn’t what I mean, Franz.”

Franz nodded. He knew that, but he wasn’t ready to play the game his future father by law wanted to play. “You’re mistaken,” he said instead.

Gerard raised an eyebrow. “Excuse me?”