Too Much To Ask For
The ambassadors seemed to think that High King Peter and Queen Susan wouldn’t know how to handle guests. They seemed to think that the year old Kings and Queens would lack the experience of throwing parties.
Oh how they were wrong. Queen Susan had reveled in hosting parties at her mother’s side at home, and now that she was in charge, she had nothing holding her back from throwing gala after gala. King Peter, being the oldest, had often stood by his father’s side to greet and entertain their military guests, and he showed every bit of it here. King Edmund, too, though less receptive of the girls due to his rather famous temper and lack of patience, knew how to handle himself here. Even young Queen Lucy, with her charm and open arms, knew how to throw a party.
But underneath the smiles and laughter, the politeness and coolness, the dancing and sometimes even flirting, Lucy could see the impatience and tiredness in Peter’s eyes and stature. The seventeen year old king was the constant center of female attention, and Susan could easily see his annoyance and disgust.
After one such gala, the High King found himself standing on the beach, staring out over the water. “Why don’t they see that I do not care for dismal and so obvious attempts? Why do they not understand?” he asked the waves.
Of course, they did not answer. But a Nereid did. “They are not from your world, Your Majesty. They do not understand you. All they understand is that you are a King, an unmarried King, who they want for themselves. They cannot see you as just a young man. Give it time. Perhaps, someday, you’ll find a woman who can see you for the man you are, not just the King you’ve become,” she told him.
“Thank you. Might I ask your name?” he replied, sighing.
“Narre, milord,” she smiled gently at him, and then disappeared into the waves once more.
“How is it that she understands but none of the girls that are praised for their intelligence do?” Peter asked the moon that was rising over the castle. He just wanted a girl who he could go for a gallop with, show around the armory and have her understand, talk about hunting with, and basically just really be able to talk to her. He wanted a girl that would understand his challenges, a girl with whom he could just be himself. He wanted a girl who was independent, who didn’t need to throw herself at him to get his attention. He wanted a girl who could be tough and a warrior, but then dance and sing and be a lady. Was that so hard to find? Was that too much to ask for? Peter didn’t think so. Now he just had to find her.