It was a lazy summer day in the rural town of Remlap, Alabama. A man, in his late 30s, sat on a large front porch attached to a larger than average three story home nestled deep in the woods, away from the traffic of the highway that ran through town. He was reading a book called "The History of Lorenzia." In just two days, he'd managed to read 500 pages of the 700 page book. He was enthralled about the accounts of the Kings and Queens of Lorenzia, followed by the three presidents that had served after the peaceful ouster of King Alexander III. The book treated both the monarchs and presidents with equal respect, noting the contributions of each of the people to what Lorenzian society had become over more than four centuries of independence.
His attention was pulled away from the book though as he heard a car coming up his mile-long drive with its radio so loud that it disturbed the peaceful tranquility of the surroundings in which he found himself. The car, a black BMW convertible, was being driven by a man in his early twenties, with brown hair and a muscular frame. He wanted as the driver of the car pulled into the drive just behind his brand-new 2024, black Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. The radio continued to blare as the driver closed the top of the car, stopping only when the cover was completely in place and when car was turned off. Opening the door, a man, about 6'1" pulled himself out of the small car. He carried with him a small gift bag.
The older man stood to greet the obviously younger man as he walked up to the front of the house. "Don't you realize that people live here?" he asked jokingly.
"Oh. I'm sorry. I forgot it was two OLD fuckers!" the younger jabbed in the same joking manner.
"I can still kick your ass!"
"I'd like to see you try, ya' old fart!" the younger continued as the two wrapped themselves into an embrace.
"Nah. I'll save you that embarrassment," the older said as the two went and sat on the front porch, beneath a slowly twirling ceiling fan.
"Thanks for your generosity!" the younger said as he took a seat.
"So I take it that you're enjoying the car?" the older said.
"DUDE! I've picked up so many hot chicks in that car, it's not even funny! I can't thank y'all enough," he said. After a very brief pause he continued, "Don't tell Mom, but it was my favorite graduation gift."
"I won't say a word," the older said with a smile. "You did have fun in Puerto Rico, though, right?" he asked.
"Oh yeah! I stayed drunk the whole time! And when I wasn't drunk, I was getting high...or fucking some really hot babe. It was great."
"I won't tell your mom about the getting high part either."
"Thanks!" the younger said. "For real, though, it's an amazing piece of machinery. I love it!"
"Well. We felt like it was the right gift. After all, it's not every day that a guy gets his TWO masters degrees in history and creative writing," the older said. The younger guy blushed a little bit, having still not gotten used to the idea that he'd been one of the few people in the history of the University of Alabama to get two graduate degrees simultaneously.
"So what's in the bag?" the older asked after a moment of silence.
"OH! It's Gavin's birthday gift," the younger one said. "Wanna see it?"
"Sure," the older answered as the younger pulled out a book.
In a thick European accent, the older man read the simple title of the book. "The Prince," he said with pride as he looked at the picture on the cover, "by Conner Butler." There was another moment of peaceful silence. "This is amazing. I am truly lucky to have a cool brother-in-law like you."
"Awww...shucks. In my opinion, I have a really cool brother-in-law, too, BUT," he said, pointing a finger into the air, "my brother-in-law has a REALLY, REALLY hot sister!" They both laughed. Conner had had a crush on Margaret since he was little. He confessed to Alex and Gavin when he became more aware of the changes in his body that she'd been the first girl that he'd ever gotten a hard-on from. She was the girl he'd fantasized about when he realized the joy of self-pleasure, he also confessed. She'd found out one night just a few of years before, as the four of them sat at Alex and Gavin's house getting drunk after Conner's undergraduate graduation party. He confessed it to her after their eighth shot of tequila. Oddly enough, she was honored that he'd thought about her in such a situation.
"Well," Alex said, "I could say that same thing about your brother."
"True. I mean, the two of you probably wouldn't have gotten married if you didn't at least find him moderately attractive!"
"It's so much more than that, though, Conner. I mean, you know, you wrote the book about us!"
"Yeah," Conner said. "I decided to stop it right at the point when you guys got back together. I figured it would be nicer for both of you."
"Thank you," Alex said sincerely. "There were so many good times after that, but there were also some that, thankfully, I will never have to repeat again," Alex confessed. The two continued to talk, but Alex's mind seemed to slip into the memories it had accumulated over time.
He thought momentarily about his coronation. It was one of the most surreal experiences in his life. The Royal Lorenzian Symphony had performed the traditional pieces: the national anthem in memory of Queen Isabel, the 1812 Overture, complete with green and white fireworks that could be seen from the ceiling of the coronation hall at Parliament, and the national anthem in honor of King Alexander's ceremonial installation as monarch. Gavin had stood with him through all of that.
A few weeks later, Gavin had gone with him to Chacra prison for one last visit with Elizabeth. He stood behind Alex as he offered one last chance at clemency, which she refused, just before spitting in Alex's face. Despite Alex's conflicting thoughts on the situation, the Prime Minister strongly encouraged him to do what 'the right thing' for the nation was by signing the death warrant. Reluctantly, he did. For the next 10 days, he prayed that Elizabeth would appeal for clemency, a clemency that he would have granted in a moment. When no appeal came within the time, Alex's heart sank a little bit. Despite the fact that she was a bitch, she was still his sister. On the 11th day after his signature, the prison called to inform them that the date had been set for two days after that. Alex didn't sleep the entire time; Gavin stayed up with him, don't whatever he could to comfort Alex. On the 13th morning after his signature, at 5 am local time, Gavin and Alex went to Chacra prison. They were escorted to the warden's office, which overlooked the courtyard. Alex saw as the witnesses were escorted into a special section of the courtyard that had been set up for them. It was a few meters from the platform built for the event. Elizabeth was soon brought from her cell. The Bishop of Cabocha stood beside her, reading from the bible as Alex's sister, in a black dress and handcuffs was taken by two large guards to the center of the platform. In keeping with Lorenzian tradition, the hangman wore a black mask pulled over his head. Massimo was brought out at his request. The guards stood beside him as he stood there, in a grey jumpsuit and watched as his wife was being put to death. The warden asked if she had any last words. She raised her head and looked directly at Alex. She screamed a few words in Bulgarian at him before the warden told her that the time had come. She was put into place just before the hangman put a black mask over her head. He affixed the thick rope around her neck and securely fastened it. The Bishop of Cabocha said one last prayer as the hangman looked at Alex. When the prayer ended, he pulled a large lever, releasing a trap door beneath Elizabeth's feet. Alex watched intently as her body fell. He and Gavin were still in the office, but since the window was open, he could almost hear her neck snap. Alex stared, without blinking, as his sister's body twitched a few times before falling completely limp. He crossed his arms as the Minister of Health inspected the body. Gavin took his right hand and softly rubbed Alex's back. A few minutes later, they left, before the Minister of Health even officially declared her dead. Marcia cancelled all of his appointments for that day, and he and Gavin spent the rest of the day in the Royal Suite, lounging around. The next day, Alex and Prime Minister worked out a way to completely ban the procedure of putting people to death. Treason was the only legal reason to use execution as a penalty for a crime, but with Alex's encouragement, the procedure was banned completely.
The next fall, Gavin began taking classes at the American University of Cabocha. Even though Alex had offered for him to stay in the palace with him, Gavin chose to rent a small flat close to campus. Many people thought it was sweet that Alex would often leave the comforts of the palace to spend the evening (and sometimes the whole night) at Gavin's flat. None of his neighbors bothered them. This was the case for four years, as Gavin finished his degree in Political Science. It wasn't what he'd initially wanted to major in, but he felt that it would do him good. He ended up enjoying the courses and the professors. On the day of his graduation, Alex and Margaret hosted a party for all the students and professors in the department. It was also the day that Alex asked Gavin to marry him under the Civil Marriage Act. Of course, after four years of courting one another, Gavin accepted. In a rather quick turnaround, they were married two weeks later at the palace. The President of the Chamber of Deputies officiated the ceremony. Margaret was there, as were Gavin's parents, brother, and grandparents. The Prime Minister presented Gavin with his title after the ceremony was over. It lacked every single shred of pomp and circumstance typically associated with a European Royal Wedding.
The lived together in the palace for two years. Gavin had taken a position in a not-for-profit organization as a political liaison. He didn't have to work, but he wanted to. It gave him something to do while Alex was busy with state business during the day.
At close to the end of their second year as a married couple, and six years after Alex's coronation, the people had become quite tired of the Liberal party and its promises that never saw the light of day. In the last year before the election, three different Prime Ministers became mired in scandals, either related to sex or finances. When about half of their members broke away and formed a separate party, the Prime Minister was forced to ask Alex to call for an election. Six weeks later, only 9 of the previously elected liberals returned to the Chamber of Deputies. The Conservatives had kept all of their seats but hadn't won any others. With that said, the Socialist Party moved from third to first place, getting 178 seats in the 311 member Chamber of Deputies. In the Senate, they won 59 or 101 seats, giving them a majority of the seats in both houses of Parliament. Immediately after taking office, they set out a wide variety of reforms to the government. Alex exercised his right to veto the bills on several occasions. With the support of the Conservatives and the few Liberals still left, they held off all their vetos. It was at that point that the Socialists made good on one of the less popular platforms of their party manifesto. They submitted a bill in the Chamber to call for a vote on a constitutional amendment: to replace the monarchy with a republic. It was approved along party lines in the Chamber; the same thing happened in the Senate. Under the Constitution, Alex had no choice but to allow the vote, since Royal vetos didn't apply to amendment votes. Eight long weeks of campaigning ensued. Both sides made their appeals to the people of Lorenzia. No one expected that the vote would win, though. So when the Republicans won by fewer than 1,000 votes, it came as a total surprise to everyone, including the government. Six months later, Alex made his final appearance as monarch of Lorenzia. The government allowed Alex to keep all his titles, property and money. Margaret was afforded the same courtesy, having inherited some property and money from her mother's estate.
Alex and Gavin, to give the new President room enough to act on his own, left Lorenzia for America. They stayed with Paula and Ray for a few days, until Margaret joined them in America. She bought a condominium in Birmingham two weeks after arriving; Alex and Gavin searched for a house for more than a month until they settled on the house they still lived in. It was nestled deep in the woods, with no one around. There was a long driveway leading to the house. They both fell in love with it the moment the real estate lady showed it to them. Alex wrote a check for the house that day, and the couple spent that night in their new home, despite its lack of furniture. They very joyously christened the house that evening, lighting a fire in the fire place and making love right on the living room floor.
As Conner and Alex sat there talking, another car pulled up the drive, parking beside the SUV. Out climbed a rather skinny girl with flowing blond hair. "Well hello," Alex said as she walked up the front steps of the house. She looked as though she'd been liberated from some repression she had been experiencing for some time.
"How are you all this wonderful afternoon?" she asked with a smile.
"I'm great, Margaret," Alex responded. "And Conner just popped a boner," he joked.
"Oh really?!" Margaret said.
"Yeah," Conner answered jokingly, sitting back in the chair and smiling. Margaret set the two large brown bags down just beside them and promptly sat down on Conner's lap. Since his adulthood, Conner and Margaret had an odd, flirtatious relationship, though she said that nothing would ever happen between them. She leaned over and hugged him.
After just a second, she lifted off of him. "There. That should give you wet dreams for at least a month!" she said, winking at him.
"Thanks there, Mags," Conner said, winking back at her. She gave him a little smile, a playfully naughty smile.
"God! I could use a good foot massage," Margaret said randomly. Conner smiled again. "So I brought some stuff from that Lorenzian restaurant in Hoover," she continued. The restaurant, owned by two Lorenzians that had moved to America a few years before, was a big hit in Birmingham. Dyllane and Brados, the owners, even gave them free food when they came in. It was the only place in Birmingham where they had become stars.
"What did you get?"
"I don't know. Those two just packed the bags full of things for me. I got a whiff of fried gnocci, though!"
"YUM!" Alex said.
"I know it! I'm almost tempted to break them open right now."
"But then you'd ruin your dinner," Conner joked.
"Yes! And your mother is bringing her famous chicken pot pie!" Margaret said.
"Yep," Conner said.
The three of them, after a few minutes of talking on the porch, moved inside the house. Conner was really the star of their own little show. He made everyone laugh, especially Margaret. Alex enjoyed hearing his sister laugh. Time hadn't been kind to her in some respects. When they moved to America, she quickly found a condo in Birmingham. She began building up her photography business, "Princess Pictures," and with that, earned a certain respect from the city and its inhabitants. After two years of working, though, she was forced to take some time off, though. She initially decided to take the time off after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She decided, though, to fight it, and fight she did. She went through round and round of treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, and counseling. After a year, there was no trace of the cancer in her body. She'd lost her left breast, in the process, though. The process left her once intimidating self-confidence shattered. She threw herself back into her business, rebuilding it to a point beyond what it had been before. She also, though, began publishing books of her pictures, under the name of Margaret Petrova. Rather than pocketing the profits, though, she set up a fund that gave scholarships to children and young adults that had survived cancer. She worked with the Susan G. Komen foundation some as well, doing three TV announcements to increase people's awareness of breast cancer and its effect. In one, she was there, covering her right breast with her right hand. She introduced herself as Princess Margaret of Lorenzia. The camera opened with just her face, and then moved out to show her chest. The scar from her mastectomy was completely visible as she spoke about her experience and made a plea to find a cure.
After her complete recovery, she met a local man, named George. They seemed to hit it off quickly, but to Alex and Gavin, something didn't seem right about the man. After only a few months of courting, they were married. The marriage lasted two years, with no one other than Margaret knowing the horrible experiences she'd had. He didn't beat her; he didn't talk bad to her. On the one hand, he was a good man to her. His only problem is that he couldn't keep it in his pants. After what she lated described as two years of living hell for her, she divorced him, leaving him with no money and no way to get more. She took it upon herself to ruin his life completely. When she was finished with him, she vowed that she would NEVER put herself in such a situation again. She set out to simply enjoy her life. She went out with several men, none of them worked out for her, though.
Then, the weekend immediately before they were to all assemble for Gavin's birthday, she met a rather interesting person at a bar close to her house. She was sitting there, innocently sipping a few drinks with several friends, when a man came up from behind her and placed his hands over her eyes. The person told her to guess who he was. Of course, she immediately recognized the voice. When the man revealed himself, she jumped up and hugged him. They talked for a second before she introduced him as her hot brother-in-law's little brother. One of the women in the group joked about there being nothing little about him. The other women and the one gay man in the group with her agreed. Conner blushed a little bit, but joined them for a few minutes, just to chat and jab at Margaret. She was joking back with him though just as fast.
Slowly the people in her group began to leave, eventually leaving herself alone with Conner. A couple of his friends had come to join the group, but they too left after a short time. She asked him why he wasn't trying to get with one of the hot girls in the place that kept looking at him. He told her simply that he was with the best looking woman in the place. She smiled. When the bar closed at two, Margaret offered to give Conner a lift back to his place, since the person his roommate (whom he'd come to the bar with) left well before they did.
Something happened in the scope of their conversation; when they arrived at his apartment complex just off Highway 280, Margaret parked the car. They talked for a moment as Margaret's car idled just in front of Alex's apartment. Their talking somehow led to them beginning to make out. Neither of them was expecting it to happen. They reluctantly broke apart for a few minutes. Conner reached up and touched her face, running his strong finger along her jaw. He knew that she was finally puddy in his hands with the expression she had on her face when he told her that she was the most beautiful woman he'd ever had the pleasure of knowing. He knew, in that moment, that she was completely exposed to him. He invited her into his apartment. She struggled in her mind with her thoughts. Should she or shouldn't she? The gentle touch of his lips against hers settled her troubled mind, though, and she went into his room with him. They began to passionately make out again There kisses were only broken as Margaret pulled the polo-style shirt from Conner's body. He had no problem unfastening each of the buttons of her shirt. It was when it came time to undo Margaret's bra that she tried to stop him. The thought of exposing her scar to him made her ever more conscious of her own imperfection. Conner, using the Butler charm he'd inherited from his brother and father, smiled at her and gently kissed her collar bone. He pulled down the edge of her customer made bra, just exposing part of her scar. He looked at her again and smiled. In just a moment, he lowered his head and kissed what he could see of the scar. A whole new set of sensations surged throughout her entire body. When Conner removed his lips from her chest, he pulled back up to kiss her again. She stopped him by holding one finger over his lips. She gently pushed him back a few inches from her so that he could get the full view. Looking directly into his eyes as he looked directly into hers, she unfastened her bra from the front. With the third clasp undone, she let the bra fall where it would. In the back of her mind, she couldn't believe what she was doing. Only three men had ever seen the scar: her husband, her brother and her brother in law. The latter two didn't care anything about her boobs; the first preferred that she keep her bra on during sex. (The asshole!) Conner couldn't believe what was happening either. He'd fantasized about this moment so many times as he shot fiery loads of cum all over his chest while jacking off. She worried that he would be repulsed; he wasn't. She worried that he'd be weird; he wouldn't. Conner leaned down, though and kissed the top of the scar again. The sensations came back with a stronger force than before. They continued to run through her very being as he kissed the entire length of the scar. She moaned audibly, calling his name in a loud whisper so as not to wake up his roommates. He moved to her right breast next, sucking, licking, and biting the nipple as he massaged the rest of the orb with his strong hand. As he returned to kissing her lips, he gently wrapped his arms around her narrow waist, picking her up and gently placing her on the bed. They continued to make out for a few moments, with Conner supporting himself so as not to crush her. With his right hand, he gently moved up her left thigh. His touch was gentle. She'd had sex with several people before that, but none of them, not even the man she'd married, handled her with such caring, tender touches. For him, it was just an amazing experience. He didn't want to be too aggressive with her; he wanted to have a nice experience, a memorable experience. After all, he was living out his wildest fantasies in that moment. A few more minutes of their making out passed as Conner played with the edge of her panties that ran along the top of her thighs.
From the sound of her breathing, Conner knew that she needed a moment to relax. With that, he pulled away from her, leaving a void in her mouth where his tongue had been. He gently moved her into a different position on the bed and sat next to her feet. He undid the clasp of her right shoe before gently removing it and putting it on the floor. He massaged the foot thoroughly with his masculine hands. She complimented him on his technique. He smiled as he repeated the same action on her left foot. She had no choice but to lay there and enjoy it. By the time he was finished with all the foot action she was going to get for the evening, she was ready to get fucked. She longed for the release that she knew was coming. Conner removed her skirt next, asking her to momentarily lift her hips so that he could remove them and put them on the floor beside her shoes and her shirt. He kissed her right leg all the way to the middle of the thigh before repeating the action on her left leg. Never had she experienced the sensations that he was inflicting upon her; never had he imagined that HE would get her as hot and bothered as she obviously was.
Before he could continue with what he was planning in his mind, she instructed him to take off the jeans he was wearing. He stood up and undid the first button, taking a moment to took look at her before continuing. With her eyes, she begged for more. Conner smiled once more and then undid the remaining buttons of his jeans, pushing them slightly to make them fall to the floor. He climbed out of his shoes and then stepped completely away from his jeans. Before her, he stood in a pair of green briefs that were barely large enough to cover the impressive cock hiding inside. They were wet from the precum that had oozed from his erect shaft. She pointed a finger at them with a naughty grin on her face. He responded by pulling them off quickly, letting them fall to the floor just as he'd done with his jeans. His dick and balls were free from the constraints of the underwear. His balls fell between his thighs; his dick stood erect and proud from his muscular frame, toned from playing football in the shadows of his older brother. Margaret felt herself more and more excited as he moved back toward the bed.
He positioned himself between her thighs, gently kissing the inside, inching closer and closer to his own personal prize. She moved her legs apart as his head got closer and closer to her wet pussy. With her still wearing the lace panties, he kissed all around her, from the place there the lets met her pelvis to the lower parts of her tummy. She reached down once to play with herself, but he pushed her hands away, telling her that he wanted to be the one that got her off. She agreed, and he continued kissing and touching her gently. After a few minutes, and burning desire within both of them for what was to come, Conner pulled off the panties, tossing them in whatever direction as he stared at her. Before him was her chocha; it was lovelier than he'd ever imagined. With his right hand, he reached down and touched it gently. He soaked up the way it felt with the tips of his fingers. It was only a moment until he found her clit with his thumb. He played with it for a second, smiling as he watched Margaret's facial expressions change. At one point, when her eyes had been closed for a few minutes, he leant back down over her and replaced his thumb with his tongue. She tasted as sweet as he'd imagined; she smelled heavenly as he flicked her clit with his tongue. It felt so good for her that her back arched every time he would take it into his mouth and suck on it. While he played with her clit with his mouth, he put his middle finger into her pussy and moved it around. She grabbed a hold of the sheets on his bed as she got closer and closer to orgasm. Conner continued to lap, suck, lick, and enjoy himself as her soft moaning turned to regular volume and then to almost screams of sheer pleasure and ecstasy. Every muscle in her body seemed to contract and contract. With a force she'd never experienced, she pulled and tugged at the sheets, ripping them in the process. She screamed with pleasure, which made Conner smile like he'd never smiled before. He kept his face in her crotch until her orgasm had passed and she'd become sensitive. He lifted himself up, taking his finger from her pussy and holding it to her mouth. As she watched, he put the finger in his mouth and licked off all of her sweet juices. He smiled and told her how tasty she was. She giggled for a second as he breathing began to regulate itself. She knew that this was only the tip of the iceberg for her and Conner, and that she would most likely feel something again in just a few minutes. She apologized for the sheets as he lay down next to her for a few minutes. He said not to worry about them, that they represented a fulfillment of his fantasies and that he would probably keep them for a very long time.
They talked for a few minutes. Between them, it was as if nothing were different from every other time they'd talked. They cut up and joked with one another freely. Conner gave her every sordid detail of his fantasy and how it had evolved from his youth through his adulthood. Conner was still hard as a rock, though, and his dick twitched in the cool air of the room. Margaret wrapped her hands around it, only able to touch the ends of her fingers with her thumb. She squeezed a couple of times before beginning to stroke it slowly. Conner could have just lived with eating her out, but she had other plants. Hearing the details of his fantasy kept her level of excitement up and up. Knowing what he really wanted, Margaret straddled herself over his dick. She teased him a couple of times by running his dick along her clit before burying the head inside her. Conner freely spoke a few expletives as she slowly lowered herself further and further onto him. He was big, to say that least, and filled her up with intense pleasure. He took her hands and wrapped his fingers around hers. She began to slowly move herself up and down on the erect shaft standing almost perfectly straight from his body. She seemed to fit him perfectly, and vice versa. After a moment, Conner knew he couldn't take much more and, wanting the opportunity to pound her a few good times, looked at her evilly and winked. He leaned up and kissed her on the lips, wrapping his arms around her waist and setting her onto the bed. They kissed for a moment as Conner stayed deep inside her. Slowly, he began moving his hips and getting into the rhythm of things. After a moment, he began pumping her, still with rhythm, but with more force. As he inched closer and closer to orgasm, she did too. Conner lifted himself from kissing her and put his hands on her hips. He lifted them up a little bit and began to feverishly pump her. The sound of flesh hitting flesh not only filled the room but the whole apartment. Their neighbors could even hear that they were both enjoying themselves more than two people should. As Margaret reached climax again, Conner could sense it. He continued to pound her hard until she literally screamed with pleasure. She yelled his name more than once, which brought him closer and closer himself. He'd intended to pull himself out before orgasm, but couldn't stop himself in time. He shot two loads before pulling out and bathing her clit and pubic area with millions of his potential children. As their breathing returned to normal, Margaret ran one of her fingers in his goo and put it in her mouth. She complimented him on how sweet his cum tasted; he grinned as he seemed to glow with pride. He walked into his bathroom and grabbed a cloth to clean her up with as she climbed off the bed and began to search for his panties. She told him that she should probably be going; he wouldn't have stopped her, but told her the final part of his fantasy: to lie with her as they both glowed from their orgasm. He explained that he wanted to hold her as the slept next to each other. She smiled at his sweetness and agreed to stay. Conner wiped the cum off of her body and then arranged the sheets and comforter on his bed for them. He covered Margaret before walking around to the opposite side of his queen-sized bed and climbed in behind her. Their naked bodies molded to one another perfectly, as if some cosmic power had intended for that moment to be shared between them.
When they awoke the next afternoon, Conner's roommate plead for information. Conner only told him that she'd given her a foot massage and that they'd cuddled. It wasn't a lie; he just failed to mention the amazing sex, the best sex of his life. The next night, the pair spent the night at Margaret's condo, where the walls were a bit thicker.
Alex, Conner, and Margaret talked in the kitchen for a bit more as they got Margaret's contribution to the meal ready. Alex noted that there was something that the other two weren't telling him, but he couldn't put his finger on it. As they talked, Paula, Edna, and Ray pulled up in the drive. Paula and Ray practically jumped out of the large car. Edna was old, but insisted that she could still drive and do other things just like she'd been able to do when she was 20. Paula, who'd previously promised never to ride with her again, was convinced by her loving husband that everything would be OK. He vowed, after that trip, that he would also never ride with his mother-in-law again. Paula carried her casserole into the house, while Ray carried Gavin's gifts from them and from Edna. Paul had passed a few years before that, leaving Edna alone in the world. She didn't seem to fret, though; something inside her knew that they'd see each other soon enough.
There were rounds of hugs between all six of them as they arrived. They talked about the ride down, but in code so that Edna's feelings wouldn't, in some way, be hurt. Edna knew they were talking about her, but didn't care. She'd developed a 'hankerin' for friend gnocchi, and popped a few of them when no one was looking.
"Mom," Conner said, "I got the book!"
"Oh really?!?!?!" Paula exclaimed. Conner showed it to them with pride.
Alex, who'd been quite contemplative that entire day, recalled the day he first met Gavin's parents. They opened up their home to him without knowing anything about him, and they'd done so happily. When Isabel died, they were there for Alex and Margaret. Paula had 'officially' coordinated Alex's ceremonial coronation, for which she'd been awarded the title "Duchess-in-Right of Lorenzia." With her title, she, her husband, and their children, Gavin and Conner, had become citizens of Lorenzia. When they returned to America, more or less as refugees, they again opened their home. Alex really knew of no way in his mind that he could repay them, but it's not like he didn't try.
When they returned to America, Paula and Ray were mired in debt. The farm wasn't doing as well as they'd hoped, and they often found themselves turning to Edna and Paul for loans. With Jenny's help from the Republican Consulate in Birmingham, Alex managed to find out how much money they owed to various creditors. Anonymously, they were sent a check that every single penny of their debt and enough money to help them live comfortably, if it were invested properly, for the rest of their lives. Paula knew exactly what had happened, but said nothing to Gavin or Alex. She considered it a blessing from God and that was that.
Out from under their budens, Ray managed to rebuild the farm bit by bit. Paula decided to take classes at a community college in nearby Boaz, Alabama. The courses she took in Culinary Sciences culminated in an associates degree from the institution. Taking that, she went to a chef's training school in Birmingham. The entire family, including the extended members, Margaret and Alex, cheered for her as she was given the title "Master Chef." Her endeavors brought her back to north Alabama, where she opened a nice restaurant in nearby Guntersville, Alabama. She became renowned locally for her contributions to the culinary culture of North Alabama. Her three cookbooks brought in a lot of money, all of which she proudly donated to Margaret's Scholarship fund.
Edna, on the one hand, had been happy the entire time Alex had known her. He loved her, partly because she reminded him of his own grandmother, who died when the twins were quite young. When Paul died, Edna stayed with Gavin and Alex for a couple of weeks. She needed the rest; Gavin needed to make sure that she was OK; Alex was right up there with Gavin. When she finally did leave, Gavin was more than worried about her. He took comfort in knowing, though, that Alex would be there with him, no matter what would happen.
A few months later, Alex received a call from someone in Lorenzia who wanted to buy his mother's country home in Periñán. It had been used a couple of times by random people who wanted to stay there for the thrill of being inside the home of a monarch, but for the most part, it wasn't used. Alex decided to travel over there to handle the final sale of the property, and he took Edna along with him. While there were over there, Alex fell in love with his homeland again, and decided not to sell the property. The two went to Cabocha for a few days as well. Alex wanted to check on Marcia, who'd retired just a couple of months after his formal coronation, in compliance with the Queen's wishes. The three of them ate at a small restaurant beside where Margaret's shop had been in the old city. After they ate, Marcia and Edna went on a guided tour of the palace, which had been turned into a museum, and the Parliament building. Alex took a taxi to Chacra Prison, where he was recognized by some and not by others. He received special permission from the warden to see Massimo, who he'd come to find out was suffering from a lung disease caused by the fact that he'd smoked for years and years. They talked for hours, and when the warden came in to tell them that time for visitations had run out, Massimo did something Alex never thought he would never do. He apologized to Alex for not stopping Elizabeth and told him that her getting caught was probably the best thing for Lorenzian history. Alex appreciated the words; they brought him almost to the point of tears. Two weeks after that, Massimo was released from prison, because of his poor health, and was allowed to return to Italy, where the government, again because of his health, didn't press any charges against him for the crimes he'd committed before his incarceration in Lorenzia. He died only six days after returning to his native Abruzzo.
Alex's thoughts returned to the situation at hand. All of those that had assembled at his house made their way into the living room, where they all awaited the arrival of the evening's star, Gavin, the birthday boy! At around 8 that evening, the phone in their home rang. Alex walked into the kitchen and answered it.
"Hello?" he said, not knowing who was calling since the number hadn't come up on Caller ID.
"Hello Gorgeous!" Gavin said.
"Hey, Babe. Are you on your way home?"
"Yeah. I'm actually about to pull in the drive. Is Margaret there for my surprise party."
"HOW DID YOU KNOW?"
"I know all!" Gavin joked. Alex smiled. Just hearing Gavin's voice still made him tingle inside as it had done so many years before. "So anyway. I want you and Margaret to meet me when i get here. I've got a surprise for y'all."
"What is it?"
"It's a fucking surprise. That's what it is!" Gavin jokingly said.
"OK. We'll meet you out there then," Alex complied. They said their good-byes and Alex went to get Margaret. They walked out to the porch, followed by the rest of the family. They arrived just in time to see Gavin pulling his truck into the yard beside the driveway. From the massive vehicle climbed four people. Gavin pulled himself out of the driver's seat. A man, just a few years older than Conner, climbed out of the front seat. A lady a bit younger climbed out of the back, followed by a little girl.
Gavin and Margaret both looked surprised. The guy looked just like his father; the little girl was obviously his. The young lady, unfortunately they thought, had some of her mother's traits, but with hair just like Margaret's. It was even the same shade.
"Hey babe!" Gavin called as the four walked toward the porch. Alex and Margaret were speechless. There was even a tear moving down her cheek. She ran down the stairs, with Alex closely behind her. She took them both into an embrace and kissed both of them on the cheek. There were smiles all around. Any animosity that any of them felt between them was no where in the air.
"Who are they?" Paula asked Conner as the four of them remained on the porch.
"That would be the entire Lorenzian Royal Family," Conner said with a smile on his face.
"You knew about this?" Paula said with a smile and a tear.
"I know all!" Conner joked. Little did he know that a sixth was on the way.
Alex and Margaret talked with their niece, nephew, and great-niece for practically the entire night. Their great-niece, named Isabel, made Conner tell her a story before she went to bed and before he left. He told her the story of Cevellodoro, in his second language, Cabochean. Alex and Margaret found out that their father had told him the whole truth, a truth that their grandmother had kept from them when they were young. They knew what their mother had done, and they knew that Alex had to do what he had to do. They were frank and honest with each other about everything.
That night, they stayed with Gavin and Alex. At around 1, when the lights were turned off in their bedroom after a long evening of festivities and everyone else had left, Alex turned to Gavin, looked him directly in the eye, and thanked him for being there through everything.
"Nahhhh....It's not a big deal," Gavin responded humbly.
"It's a very big deal. You helped make me the man I am today, and I will always love you!"
"Well. It's kinda hard not to be completely nice to you," Gavin responded. "You see, I realized a LONG time ago that I was totally, madly deeply in love with you."
"When was the first moment?" Alex asked, having never asked that before.
"Looking back on it, I think I fell in love with you the first time I ever saw. In the shower that night," Gavin said as Alex rubbed his chest.
"We should recreate that scene some time."
"We really should," Gavin said.
"I love you, Gavin Butler."
"And I love you, Alexander Saavedra," Gavin said. They both rolled over into their usual position and fell completely asleep, in complete love with one another.
This has been a story of great love, a love that has endured the ravages of time and society. Alex and Gavin had their happily ever after. Where there was risk, there was reward. Where there was pain and heartache, there was earth-shattering love. There were times when both were equal; there were times when one depended on the other. What makes this story truly unique is that, despite all the obstacles that were put in their way, they managed to get over them, together and in love.