The Man in the Mirror

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The queen’s favorite cousin, a peacock named Alastair, sauntered into the room with barely a nod towards his cousin. With a calculatedly careless toss of his shaggy blonde hair Alastair surveyed the room, scanning for the next lucky lady to be graced with his attention. A smirk that he considered to look roguish pulled at the corner of his lips, two brunettes were whispering to each either at the edge of the crowd and Alastair knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was the center of their attention. With his chest puffed out just a bit further and his head held higher, Alastair continued to sweep the room. A ginger was the next to catch his eye and for a moment he held her gaze and allowed a boyish grin to replace the smirk. Alastair couldn’t blame the poor porcelain skinned doll for being transfixed in his gaze. He knew from hours of admiring himself in the mirrors that dotted the palace corridors that his eyes were a particularly piercing shade of green, he himself would describe them as hypnotic. With a wink he moved on to position himself next to the queen and made a mental note to come back to the redhead again, she was obviously very into him.

Alastair loved standing by his cousin, when they were side by side the resemblance was uncanny. They shared the same honeyed shade of blonde hair, the same elegant facial structure, and towering over her majesty by several inches made Alastair feel more regal. If they hadn’t been so closely related, Alastair had no doubt that he could have easily been king if he had wanted the title, it was no secret that she favored him and always had. Instead, a brown haired man, whose name escaped Alastair at the moment, was the one with his arm around the queen’s waist and a claim on the throne. The queen’s fiancee attempted polite chitchat, but Alastair quickly grew bored and wandered off to flirt with an ambassador's daughter. A hushed conversation sprung up at his departure and again Alastair smirked. No doubt they were again talking about him.

In reality the queen’s entourage was talking about Alastair, but about his arrogance and disrespect toward their liege. The brunettes that he had earlier dismissed giggled to themselves. They had lived in the palace all their lives and had watched the pompous brat coast on the queen’s good will. He had been handsome once, but his hair was now too long, his once muscled physique was starting to lapse, and the swagger that he had adopted brought to mind a flabby rooster. The redhead hid her face in her brother’s shoulder to smother her laughter. She regained just enough composure to explain that she had been staring off into the middle distance when a random guy had winked at her. Her brother scowled and eyed the man from across the room, only returning to his conversation when he realized who it was. One did not scowl at the queen’s favorite, but neither was he particularly worried about Alastair. Arrogant but essentially harmless, Alastair was the running joke throughout the kingdom, but everyone was unflappably polite to his face to curry the queen’s favor. The queen’s fiancee bristled at Alastair’s rude departure as the entourage tittered. He leaned down to whisper in the queen’s ear, “Why exactly is your favorite cousin have to be the rudest of the bunch?” The queen giggled in a most un-regal way and had to stand on tiptoe to answer.

“At first I hoped he would secure an alliance, but now its just too much fun to watch all of the courtiers grovel to someone they so obviously disdain.” She smiled wickedly. Her fiancee smirked and pulled her closer as Alastair strutted through the crowd with people falling at his feet and whispering behind his back.





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