This is my latest submission to nifty. I hope that you guys enjoy it! As with all my other stories, I welcome your comments and questions. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer -- This is a work of fiction depicting a situation involving homosexual men. If you are offended or are under the legal age to view such matierials, please do not read further. By continuing, you agree that neither the author nor nifty are responsible for any actions that occur as a result of this story or an individual's interpretation. Also, if you are a "bible thumper," please email me any comments you have. I will rebuke every claim that you make. If you have other comments, feel free to email me if you wish. The address is email@example.com.
"Alexander, Prince of Lorenzia"
The sun shined through the window, lightening Alex's suite with the tame reminder that a new day had begun. It was a day of hope, though, as this day was to start the newest chapter of his life. As the light progressed over Alex's bed, he was brought to consciousness. Naked, he became suddenly aware of his entire body, his youthful 19 year old body sculpted from hours of running and sport. He felt his firm ass, then the raging hard on that he, like most other guys his age, experienced first thing in the morning. His left hand slowly made its way from his chest down his torso into the region he'd only been fortunate enough to explore himself. The feeling of his tight, black pubic hairs reminded him that he was becoming more than the boy that everyone around him still considered him to be. His balls were large, with the two of them filling up his entire hand. He liked the way it felt to tug on them and play with them that early in the morning. Because of his youth, he didn't really need any inspiration other than his own sexual drive to fuel these morning sessions, but he found that if he thought about the men he'd seen in American movies or the men he'd stealthily check out at Lorenzia's beaches, his orgasms were more intense, once he actually did turn his attention to the object that stood out 20 centimetres (or eight inches, as he'd come to know it in American measurements) from his body when fully erect. He would enjoy those orgasms so very much as stream after stream of what he termed "gooey goodness" blasted his chest in a coating of white.
He wouldn't enjoy them long, though, as he remembered his father saying to him countless times, "El deber antes del amor." Rather, "Duty before love." Before his death, Alex's father reminded him often that HE was the future of their nation. As Crown Prince and first in line for the throne should something happen to his mother, Queen Isabel III, he was responsible for ensuring the line of succession. Therefore, he knew beyond doubt that he'd never be able to realise those feelings that lingered inside him, for if he did, he'd certainly be causing problems for the security of his nation and his family. Despite all this, he woke every morning and did what he felt needed to be done that day.
As hey lay in his bed on one particular January morning, though, he couldn't help but smile. That day, after months of work and convincing, he was to leave for America. His mother, after being worn away by your youngest child, had given him permission to travel to America for a semester to study. For the first time in his life, he'd be travelling without all the pomp, circumstance, and tradition that kept him in the palace for the most part. He, in a way, detested being surrounded constantly by people. In going to America, though, he could blend in. He could be anonymous. He could study in the comfort of his own solitude for a bit. He could experience what it meant to be a completely independent, for once in his life.
"Highness?" his chamber man asked as he came in to wake Alex up.
"Morning, Mr. Chamblis. How are you?" Alex asked after quickly recovering his naked body in an attempt to hide the `morning adventure' as he referred to it in his mind.
"I'm fine, sir. Your mother requests that you join her in her office for breakfast at nine."
"Alright. I will be down there in a bit."
"Very good. I'll let her know," his chamber man said as he closed the door as he left. Alex exhaled deeply, grabbing a cloth from beneath the table beside his bed and wiping the cum from his body.
Clean, he pulled himself from the bed and walked into the bathroom. He looked at his face in the mirror for a moment. There were no blemishes; there were no marks, only a slight scruffiness from the facial hair that he'd not shaved in two days. He climbed into the shower and washed himself thoroughly. The heat of the water awoke all his other senses. As he washed his hair, he thought about the dorm in which he'd be staying. `Napier Hall,' he thought to himself as he rinsed the soap from his hair, `sounds like an interesting place.'
He turned the water off and climbed from the shower, grabbing a towel and running it over his head. "So, little brother. Ready to get going?" a female voice called as he wrapped his towel over his jet black hair.
"FUCK!" he yelled as he scampered to cover himself. He watched as his sister laughed hysterically at his embarrassment. "What the hell are you doing in here?"
"I just came to see my baby brother on the morning he left for the life I wish that I could have!" she said, turning around so that he could at least pull a pair of underwear over his muscular legs.
"You could have waited just a few more minutes, though, couldn't you?" he asked, slightly perturbed at his sister's intrusion.
"I could have, but then I wouldn't have gotten the laugh I so desperately needed this morning," his sister answered as she walked into Alex's bedroom.
"Why? What happened?"
"The usual," she said, sitting in a leather chair at Alex's desk.
"Mags!" Alex said, using the diminutive of his twin's full name, Margaret.
"Yeah. Security caught up with me after my ninth Vodka tonic at Charlie's Pub."
"Have you seen Mom this morning?"
"Yeah. I just got back up. She's not happy with me, needless to say." She sat there for a second as Alex pulled on a pair of jeans and a fashionable shirt. "You know, Alex, I am going to miss you. There are so many times that I sit back and think that my only friend in the world is my brother. How goofy am I?"
"You're not goofy. I feel the same way about you," Alex confessed. He walked over to his sister and took her hand.
"I wish I could go with you."
"Then come on. I'm sure that Mom could swing for a two bedroom apartment away from campus or something."
Mags smiled at her brother, willing to share something that he wanted so dearly with her. "Thanks, little brother, but this is your thing. You need this for you. It will make you a better person in the end." She stood up and hugged her brother. "I seriously am going to miss you, and if Mom ever lets me leave the palace again, I will come and visit."
"Promise?" he asked.
"Promise!" she answered. "Oh! I've got a gift for you. Let me run to my room and get it," she said, walking past her brother and out of the room. Alex used the free moment to sit at his computer and check his email. He'd made a few friends via the internet, but had closely guarded his identity to them. There were several messages wishing him the best of luck. "Here!" Mags said, handing him a box, neatly wrapped with a green ribbon around it.
"What is it?"
"Open it!" she said proudly. Alex quickly undid the ribbon and pulled the paper from the box. Inside, there was a book. Alex opened it to find pictures pasted, covering every millimetre of the pages. There were official pictures, stamps with portraits of the family from both before and after their father passed. There were snapshots taken with disposable cameras that Mags had convinced the palace's employee's to have developed. There were pictures of them as children on the floor of Parliament, trying to sit professionally as their mother gave speeches.
"OH MY GOD! Look at Elizabeth's hair!" Alex joked as he found a picture of their older sister holding them when they were babies.
"Doesn't she just look so happy?" Mags said sarcastically.
"You wouldn't be happy either you'd just been fucked in the ass by a 300-year-old law," Alex joked.
"Well, she has had more than one opportunity to take the corn cob out of her ass in nineteen years!" Mags said.
"Right," Alex joked. "This is so amazing," he said, continuing to thumb through the pages. "Thank you so much, Mags. I will treasure this."
"Just think about me from time to time."
Alex pulled his sister into another hug. "I love you, Mags."
"I love you, too, baby brother."
"We're only three minutes apart, Mags."
"I know, but I was still the first one out." She smiled at Alex. "Alright," she said after looking at him for a second. "Well. I guess I better go. If I'm not in my room when Mr. Chamblis comes by to check on me, I'll be back in Mom's office for another tongue lashing."
"Have fun in America, OK? And if you lose your virginity over there, make sure you use protection. I'm not ready to be an aunt yet!"
"We have two nephews, Mags."
"Elizabeth's kids don't count, since we've only seen them nine times in their entire lives!" Mags said, showing her disdain for their sister, who was seventeen years their senior.
"They still count. They just can't help it their mother is a bruja!" Alex said. (Bruja is the Spanish word for witch.)
"Oh well. Go have breakfast with Mom. I'll see you again before you leave."
"Alright," Alex said smiling as his sister turned to leave his suite. Alex again exhaled deeply, letting the gravity of his impending departure settle a bit. With the photo album in his hand, he left the suite and walked down the stairs to his mother's office on the floor below.
Walking into his office, he found his mother's assistant, Marcia on the phone. "Morning, Highness," she said after putting the call on hold. "Your mother is expecting you," she said, pressing a few of the buttons on her phone. "Yes ma'am. Prince Alexander is here," she said to the other line. "Yes ma'am." She put the phone back on its hook. "You can go in," she said, smiling at Alex. Alex, with a smile on his face and the album in hand, walked into his mother's office.
"Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister," the Queen said to the tall man standing in her office dressed professionally in a black suit with a red tie. He handed her a piece of paper to which she affixed her signature. "Morning, Alex."
"Morning, Mom. Mr. Stevens," he said, extending his arm to shake the Prime Minister's hand.
"Good morning, Highness. Ready for the big trip?"
"It would be a lie if I said I weren't," Alex answered.
"America is an interesting place! You'll have a lot of fun!" he said. "I remember University days in America. It was a great time!"
"I'm looking very forward to it."
"Mr. Prime Minister," the Queen interrupted, smiling at her representative in Parliament. "Here is the signature you needed. Please tell the new Minister of Defence that I can't wait for our first meeting."
"I'm sure that he will be excited," the Prime Minister said, "and I will be out of your hair, Majesty. Good luck in America, Alex. We'll see you in a few months."
"Yes sir," Alex said.
"Morning, Majesty," he said as he walked out of the office.
The Queen exhaled. "When you are behind the desk, you will know what it feels like to get up at six in the morning for meetings that don't serve any real purpose."
"Hopefully not for a VERY long time," Alex said. The Queen smiled.
"What have you got there?" she asked.
"Mags made me a photo album." The two of them sat on the couch and thumbed through the pages. "You know that she doesn't mean to be a problem, right?"
"Yes. I know that, Alex," the Queen said sweetly. "She's a great kid. The two of you are both great kids. I'm honoured to be your mother." She pulled Alex into a hug. "Oh, God! Look at Elizabeth's hair!" The two of them laughed for a few minutes until breakfast was brought into the office.
"This looks good," Alex said to Maria, the Palace's head chef.
"I hope you like it, Highness," she said with a prideful smile on her face.
"I'm sure that I will. I always love eating your cooking!" Alex said, returning the petite lady's smile.
"Majesty. Highness," she said as she took the cart on which she'd brought their plates and left the office. The Queen smiled as she exited.
"Alex. I'm sorry about having to have breakfast in the office instead of the Royal apartment. I hope that you won't hold it against me."
"No, Mom. This is nice. I'm going to miss you guys, even though I begged to go."
"We're going to miss you, too, Alex. Mags especially! You've become the buffer between the two of us at times."
"I promise I won't be too hard on her," the Queen said, smiling as she ate a piece of fruit.
"Good!" Alex said, chuckling as he enjoyed the Belgian style waffle with freshly whipped cream and strawberries. "Will you let her come and visit sometime?"
"Perhaps! I make no promises, though."
They continued to eat and converse as any mother and son would. At ten, Marcia came into the office and reminded the Queen about an appointment that she had. Alex and the Queen embraced lovingly for a second. "Be careful!" the Queen warned him. As he was walking out of the office, she remembered a gift that she had for him. "Alex! I almost forgot!" she said handing him a security envelope. Alex opened it up to find an EU passport inside.
"MOM!" he exclaimed. "YAY!" he said as he looked at the inside. His mother had arranged for him to get a passport printed without his official title.
"So now you're Alexander Joaquin Saavedra!" the Queen said, calling him by his family name.
"I'm excited," Alex said, giving his mother another hug.
"Just be careful!" she warned him again, smiling at him.
"Yes ma'am," Alex said as he practically ran from the office.
He smiled at Marcia one last time and ran up the stairs, skipping a step at the time. Running into his sister's room, he was excited as he showed off the document. What might not have been a big deal for most people meant the world to him, and he was very proud of the shiny red folder that would be forever a part of his personal history. Mags was proud for him, noting that she was jealous that he got to travel without what she referred to as "the mark of the beast," the shiny green diplomatic passport that the heirs to the throne carried normally.
After the passage of a few minutes, Alex and Mags went to his suite to pack up his clothes and few personal belongings that he was going to take to America with him. Within an hour, the two had filled two large, leather suitcases with his clothes and some other belongings. Mr. Chamblis called for the car to take Alex to the airport. Together, he and Mags carried Alex's bags downstairs. As they walked outside in the cold air, Mags took a moment to give her brother one last hug. Alex, in his own style, hugged each of the members of the staff that had assembled outside, including Mr. Chamblis, who normally was a quite standoffish person.
As Alex climbed in the car and it drove off, Alex looked back to see his sister standing in front of the crowd of people. He wished that she could go with him. She was, after all, his best friend. The car stopped temporarily at the gate and then went down the hill toward the city of Cabocha, Lorenzia's capital. As the driver went down Queen Martha's Highway, he thought about all the good times he'd had. The drive took the long way to the airport, taking Alex past the beach on the way. As they pulled into the airport, the drive took him around to the hanger where his mother's personal jet was stationed. It, along with a crew assembled from among the security forces would take him to Birmingham, Alabama, where the consular office there would take him to the University of Montevallo, the university that he'd be attending for the coming semester.
"Good luck, Highness," the gentleman said as he pulled Alex's bags from the car.
"Thank you. What's your name again?" Alex asked.
"George Arsherre," the man said. Alex extended his hand to shake the man's. George looked oddly at the prince for a second.
"Thank you very much for bringing me, sir." The man took Alex's hand and shook it.
"Highness?" A lady said behind him.
"I'm Commander Katherine Sherry. I will be your flight director today," she saluted the Prince, who returned the salute.
"Thank you, Commander."
"Well, we should be off, sir."
"Alright," Alex said as he was escorted onto the plane.
By two, the plane had taken off, headed west, toward America and Alex's new world. After eight hours in the air, the plane landed at the Birmingham International Airport. It would have been almost 10 pm in Lorenzia, but given the time difference, Alex was in America at 3PM. Alex, without much warning, was shooed off to the hotel where he'd be spending that night so that he could rest from the long flight over. As they drove down the interstate, Alex got his first glimpse of Birmingham. It was an important city for his country, with relations between Birmingham and Cabocha having stretched since the former's founding in 1875, with its prosperous iron ore deposits and steel foundries that helped supply Cabocha's ship building industry in the beginning and middle part of the 20th century.
"Highness?" the assistant to the consular officer started as they drove down Interstate 65.
"Yes, Jenny?" he asked, having remembered her name from their first introduction.
"I was just wondering if there were anything you needed. Sheets, towels, and things like that?"
"Do they not supply those things?" Alex asked innocently.
"Not in America. When you're staying in the dorms, you have to bring all of those things with you," Jenny wisely stated.
"Oh. Then I have to do some shopping," Alex said, looking through the window at the city he'd be calling home for the next few months.
"Well. It just so happens," Jenny started, "that the hotel that you'll be staying in is also connected to Birmingham's largest commercial complex, the Galleria. We can go down shopping, if you'd like."
"That will probably be best," Alex said. Jenny pulled out her mobile phone and started dialling a number. After a quick conversation with someone at the embassy, she smiled at Alex.
"Everything you need to get will be covered by the embassy," she said, giving him a good once over. `I wonder what he looks like underneath those jeans,' she thought to herself. Despite the fact that he was 10 years her junior, she still thought he was quite attractive. She thought for a moment as Alex looked out into the distance what little princes and princesses might look like if they were to get together.
After jumping from I65 to the I459, the car took the Galleria flyover exit, an exit whose ramp took them almost to the front door of the hotel. After a short trip to their room to freshen up, Jenny offered to treat the prince to something that he'd never experienced before: a food court. It all looked oddly appealing for him. He looked over Manchu Wok, Sarku Japan, Taco Bell and Sabarro, deciding finally on Chik-Fil-A. Something about the place appealed to him. Perhaps it was the swath of people that had assembled around, a swath of ordinary Americans, living their day-to-day lives without the encumbrance and constraints of a Royal Court. It also came highly recommended by Jenny, who'd grown quite accustomed to Southern cuisine.
"Can I help you?" a large woman asked from behind the counter of the shop. Alex wasn't paying attention to her the first time. "Can I help you?" she repeated, in a louder, harsher tone.
"Oh. Sorry. I'll have a chicken sandwich," Alex said.
"What to drink?" she repeated.
"What do you have?"
"Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Dr. Pepper, Lemonade, Diet Lemonade, and Sweet Tea," she answered shortly.
"I'll have sweet tea," he said, having never tried it.
"That'll be $7.75," the lady answered.
"Oh, goodness. I don't have any American money," Alex said, turning to Jenny.
"It's OK. It's on me, as they say here," Jenny said, stepping to the counter to place her own order before handing the lady a US$50 note. The umbrellas weren't really necessary, since the food court was covered. Alex savored every bite of the sandwich, taking the time to indulge in the lightness of the bread, the savory chicken, and the freshness of the pickle. He didn't really care for mayonnaise, but dealt with it as a part of the beauty that was this delectable morsel in his mouth. Jenny laughed as she watched him chew every bite completely before taking a sip of sweet tea.
"I think you're hooked," she said, after a moment.
"Yes. I believe so." He smiled at Jenny. He knew from the look in her eyes that he could have her that night if he wanted. She seemed almost in complete lust over him. He smiled, but stole glances past her, to look at the American men that walked around. Jenny didn't seem to notice.
In just a moment, as Alex was scarfing down his waffle fries, Jenny got a call and stepped away from the table. Alex was left alone to watch, from a distance, all the people that walked around the food court. There were teenagers, old people, families with small children, all of whom seemed to enjoy being in the mall. There were people of an array of ethnicities walking all around, seeming to interweave themselves effortlessly. This was far different from his homeland, which was dominated by those of European ethnicities, with a sprinkling of Greeks, Arabs and Turks from the migrations of the late 1800s. There was no security, and his only contact with his homeland was Jenny, who'd taken her leave of him momentarily.
"Excuse me," a voice came from behind him, removing him from his daydreaming and people watching.
"Yes ma'am?" Alex said as he turned around to find four older white women talking to him.
"We were listening to you and the young lady talking, and we're trying to decide where you're from. Jean here," she said pointing to a lady who raised her hand, "says that you're from France, but Lois," another lady at the table, "says your Italian. Now I say you're from Spain, but we would like you to settle this argument if you could."
"Well. Unfortunately, all of you are wrong. I'm from Lorenzia. Our national language is English, but in the western Province, Spanish and Catalan are spoken. In the east, we speak Italian, and in the North we speak French. In Cabocha, the capital city, we speak English more than anything. So all of you were kind of right in a way; the accent is just a mixing of all of the ones around us."
"Well doesn't that beat all!" the lady said. "You're the first person I've met from Lorenzia. I'm Lois."
"Well, Alex, thank you for settling our little argument."
"Not a problem, I assure you," he said sweetly.
"I wonder if he's a Prince," one of the ladies whispered as Alex turned around to inhale the waffle fries that had been placed on his tray.
Jenny returned a moment later and said that they'd better get shopping if they wanted to get into the stores before they closed. Sears and JCPenneys were the first two stops, to get bedclothes and other necessities for the room itself. Before they left the mall, Alex and Jenny went into American Eagle, and Alex's favorite American store, Abercrombie and Fitch. He was cautious not to spend too much money in either store, buying two shirts and some boxers from both stores combined. Jenny took them over Bust Buy where Alex asked the salesperson a million questions about computers. He settled for a MacBook with Intel processor, an 80 Gig hard drive and a CD/DVD Combo drive. He was pleased as they drove back to the hotel. Jenny took her leave of Alex and went into her room. Alex found the executive suite comfortable, especially the silk sheets that were on the bed. By 11:00, he was in bed, fast asleep.
Before heading to his room, he'd asked Jenny to let him sleep in. He didn't have to be at the University until two to meet with the president, and then he had an entire weekend to do whatever it was that he wanted, for the first time in his recent memory. Around eleven, Jenny woke him by rapping on his door. It stopped for a second as Alex came around. She started again, forcing him to pull himself from beneath the silk sheets. As usual, he slept naked. As he walked to the door, he became aware of his nudity, turning at the closet of his suite to grab a robe the hotel had provided. "Just a moment," he said to Jenny, who was still waiting outside. "Sorry about that," he said as he opened the door to a more than perky smile.
"Morning, Highness," she said.
"Good morning," he said, smiling at her.
"I took the liberty of ordering breakfast for you, Highness. It should be up in a moment," she said as Alex invited her into the room.
"Please call me Alex," he instructed as she sat down at a table in the room.
"Very well, then...Alex," she said, smiling at him. "If you'd like, we should have time for you to take a quick shower before breakfast arrives."
"That would be nice," he said, scratching his head and yawning. He went to the closet and pulled one of the suitcases out, placing it on the bed. "iHigHHigasdfHigghaf;kjasdSo what is there to do in this town?"
"Oh. There are a lot of things. The zoo is nice. Then there are the Botanical Gardens. Oh! Sloss furnace is interesting, especially on Halloween."
"I'll have to keep that in mind."
Alex took his leave of the Ambassador's assistant and walked from the room into the bathroom. The hot water washed over his body, relaxing his muscles and waking him up more and more. He took a moment longer than normal to wash his body. Not only did he want to make sure that his whole body was clean, but that he had a moment to enjoy himself. Visions of the men he'd seen the night before ran through his head. "Oh yeah," he whispered to himself as he leaned against the back of the shower and began to slowly stroke his young, hard cock. Imagining the men, in all their glory, was amazing. He'd seen so many men the night before that he found so attractive. As his left hand stroked his penis, his right hand rubbed against his chest and torso. His balls flapped against his thigh as his pace picked up until he was at the point of no return. Cum streamed from his groin and onto the floor of the shower; the water washed it down the drain. He breathed heavily a few times, until the reality of his surroundings again captured his fascination. With one last deep breath, he turned off the shower and climbed out of the tub. With a large, soft, white towel, he dried himself slowly, almost deliberately. Donning his clothes, he returned to an impressive array of Southern cuisine. He perused the table quickly.
"What's this?" he asked, pointing to a white sauce served in a bowl surrounded by Southern-style biscuits.
"It's Sawmill gravy, High...Alex," Jenny answered.
"How do you eat it?"
"Most people split open the biscuit and scoop the gravy on top," Jenny answered.
"Nice," he said, taking a plate and doing as Jenny instructed. Sitting at the small table in the room, he ate the two biscuits he'd opened. "This is really good," he said to her as she sipped a cup of coffee. "Aren't you going to eat?"
"Oh, no sir. I ate this morning."
"Ah...You ordered a lot of food, though."
"To be honest, I didn't know what you ate, so I just had them bring up a sampling of food."
"Ah. Makes sense, then. I eat almost anything, though."
"Very nice. I'll keep that in mind," she said. Her mind instantly went to a place it shouldn't have, but she remembered her duty to the Crown and put those thoughts out of her mind. "So you have 2 p.m. appointment with the president of the University?"
"Yes ma'am," Alex said as he stood to get another biscuit with gravy.
"So I have a little surprise for you."
"Well, I got permission from the ambassador to use my personal car to take you to the University, so that you can keep up the persona that you've established."
"Really? Wow! I appreciate that!" he said.
"I know what it means to you to be here, so it's not a problem. Just promise me that you'll invite me to the coronation," she said.
"I think that can be arranged," Alex said.
"So...have you arranged your schedule yet?"
"Yes. I'm taking European History, English, Spanish, and Biology."
"Sounds like a full load."
"I'm ready for it, though," he said, stuffing another bite of the biscuit into his mouth.
"Good. You'll make the Queen proud."
"I hope so. She's not very excited about me being here by myself."
"I would imagine. You're the heir to the throne of Lorenzia." She paused for a second. "Can I be totally honest with you about something and not be offended?"
"I'll try my best not to be offended by anything. Kind of the family insanity trait," Alex joked.
"I hope that this all goes well for you, and that you're safe and careful. The thought of your older sister as Queen frightens me."
"To be honest, it frightens me, too. She's never really liked me very much to begin with. I took all her glory from her when I was born."
"For which we are forever grateful to your mother and father," she said, raising her cup of coffee.
"She refused to have anything to do with Margaret and me when we were younger. She's has always been cold. I hope her children don't turn out that way."
"Here here," Jenny said, raising her cup to the young prince. "Alright. Once you're finished, we'll head toward the University. We also need to stop and get you a mobile phone."
"I almost forgot about that! I was going to ask if I needed one, since mine from Lorenzia won't work over here," Alex answered.
"We'll get you set up in just a bit and then we'll be down at the University in time for your appointment," Jenny said. "Would you like me to have someone come and take your bags down?"
"That would be nice," Alex answered, finishing up his breakfast. Jenny made a call to the front desk, and in a moment, a man came to take the bags to Jenny's car. Alex and Jenny checked out of the hotel room and made their way to the closest T-Mobile store to pick up a shiny new Moto Razr for Alex.
As they drove down I-65, Alex looked around in amazement as the city turned into countryside. They took the closest exit to the University and wound their way through country roads. Alex was amazed by the scenery. He loved the way the trees stood regally, but lifelessly. The cold of January had stripped away all the green except from the pine trees that scattered themselves between small cluster of hardwoods. When they arrived in Montevallo, the town was dead except for a couple of people loitering in front of McDonald's on Main Street. Alex navigated Jenny through the maze of streets on the University. Again, Alex was almost brought down as they drove over the red brick streets in Jenny's late model Honda Civic. They passed Wills and Comer Halls, King House, Hill House and pulled to a four way stop just across from the President's mansion, Flower Hill.
"Wow," Alex said as he looked up the long driveway to the house, built in the traditions of a bygone era of the American South.
"I know. I came down here last week to look around the place, to get my bearings. I was amazed. I almost wish I'd come here instead of going to school in New York."
"So I am a lucky one," Alex said, smiling as Jenny crossed through the intersection and went up to the house.
As Jenny pulled the car to a stop, Alex got a better look at the house. He was amazed by the architecture of the building, and how it compared to the architecture at home.
"Alex?" a balding, older man asked as he opened the door to the house."
"Yes." The man walked down from the house, extending his hand to the young man before him.
"I'm Bob McChesney. Welcome to the University of Montevallo!" he said.
"Thank you, Mr. President," Alex said. "It's nice to be here."
"Well, we're glad to have you. If you'll step inside, I've got some tea coming out for us."
"Thank you, Mr. President." Alex introduced the President to Jenny, who was also invited into the house to share tea with the two of them. The President introduced them to Lisa Atkinson, the person who was the director of Napier Hall, the dorm he was to live in for the semester. She was a nice person, who promised to make sure that Alex was comfortable and safe. Dr. John McCaw was the next person to whom he was introduced. The man was to be his advisor for the coming semester. They had each been made aware of Alex's unique situation, but both promised to maintain his anonymity, as it were. The chief of police for both the town and the University were made aware of Alex's presence, but weren't able to attend the meeting. Alex was immediately put at ease by these people, all of whom seemed to have established a rapport with one another before Alex's arrival. They cracked jokes toward him. They gave him a sense of security and comfort. Jenny felt confident enough to leave at around five in the evening. After quickly telling Alex good-bye and putting her number into his phone, she pulled her car out of the parking lot.
"So Alex," Lisa started, "my friends Austin and Lee and I are going out to dinner tonight. Would you like to join us?" There was a sincere interest in her voice. She wanted to help make this the best experience for him.
"Where were you planning on eating?" he asked.
"We're going to IHOP, most likely."
"This may sound odd to you," Alex started, putting a smile on his face, "but do they serve gravy?"
"Does a bear shit in the woods?" Lisa asked. Alex looked confused at her, having never heard the colourful Southern vernacular. "It doesn't require an answer," Lisa explained, much to the relief of the young Prince. "They also won't know about you. I promise."
"Thank you, Lisa. Should I call you Ms. Atkinson?"
"If you call me, Ms. Atkinson, I will slap you."
"Alright," Alex said, smiling before starting to chuckle as Dr. McCaw helped Alex load his things into his car. He offered to drive the two of them to the dorm, so that they wouldn't have to walk in the cold January wind. The three of them shared a quick conversation as they wound back around to the dorm. The three of them took Alex's things to his room, number 127 on Napier's first floor. "This is cool," he said as he walked into the spartanly decorated interior. He looked around at the lack of decoration.
"I know it's not what you're used to," Lisa said.
"Honestly, it's perfect. I can't wait to get some decorations on the wall," he said. Lisa looked at him in a funny way for a second. How could the simplicity of two beds and two desks, one on each side of the room, and large bulletin boards be exciting? Despite her misunderstanding, she couldn't begrudge Alex this desire he had. As Alex opened up one of his suitcases, she helped him hang a large Lorenzian flag on the bulletin board on the left side of the room. It took up almost the whole wall.
"You'll have to tell me About Lorenzia sometime," she said.
"I certainly can do that. I will actually show you family pictures at some point in the future."
"That would be so amazing. You know, this is the first time I've ever been in the presence of a prince."
"It can be amazing fun," he said, winking at her and smiling. She returned with a giggle. Alex then went to work with setting up the rest of the room. Lisa was called away on the business of the Housing Department, but gave Alex her cell phone number in case he needed anything. Alex began setting up the bedroom, putting his bedclothes onto the bed before anything else. He was proud of doing it on his own, as he'd never been forced to rely on himself to get the most mundane things accomplished. He set up his computer on the desk on his side of the room. "So it's six o'clock here," he said, looking at his watch and trying to calculate the time difference. "Perfect time to call my sister!" He grabbed his phone and dialled his sister's personal cell phone number.
"Hello?" Mags answered.
"Hello there, Highness!"
"Alex!" she said as enthusiastically as any person who'd just been woken up from the middle of a period of dream. "How are you?"
"I am GREAT!"
"How's the University?"
"It's awesome. It's so lovely and pristine."
"Found me a boyfriend yet?" she asked, jokingly.
"Not yet. That's my top priority for the morning!" Alex said jokingly.
"Yeah. Make sure he's got a HUGE..."
"MAGS!" he stopped her, forcing her to laugh.
"I love you, Alex. I'm glad that you made it there safely and that you're getting things up and going. When can I visit?"
"Anytime you want, sister."
"Nice," she said. Alex could hear her smile. "OK. I love you, and as much as I love you, I am about to go to sleep. Call me in the morning."
"Alright, sis. Talk to you then."
"Night, baby brother."
"Night." He hung up the phone and lay down on his bed. "This really is quite nice," he stated to himself. "I'm glad Mom let me come."
He fell asleep quickly. It was a great nap. He stayed there calmly until Lisa came by to pick him up. Her friends were nice. Lee, he thought, was especially cute, with a very cute butt. Austin was just as cute, though, with a beautiful smile and entrancing eyes. Alex let himself get lost in conversation with them until the wee hours of the morning, when the jet lag finally overtook the energy that he'd had from the running of adreneline.