One quiet morning a few days later, the pair were assuming their usual reading position. The sun shone brightly in the sky, gently caressing the flowers, enriching their vibrant shades in the gardens. Prince Theodore’s cold was a little better, although evidence of his chesty cough still remained. Theodore decided to break the silence which lingered.

“Bonita I was wondering. I very much enjoyed our stroll the other day. Might we take another shortly?”

Bonnie smiled. “Why of course! The weather looks more promising today your majesty. I don’t think it will rain.” She gazed out of the window at the pure sky. “As far as  I can see there is not a cloud in the sky. Would you like to go now? Only so long as you are not tired.”

Theodore nodded. “Yes please.”

“Very well your highness. We shall not make it a long walk.”

“Why ever not?” Prince Theodore sounded surprised.

“I feel that you are not fully recovered from your chest cold.”

Theodore tutted in disapproval and sighed. Bonnie, sensing that Theodore did not like her reply thought of an alternative answer.

“I suppose we could lengthen the walk if you would like.”

Yes I should like that. I believe the fresh air will do me good. Would you fetch my coat Bonita?”

“Of course.”

His coat was heavily woven and expensive. Theodore placed it over himself and fastened the buttons successfully with his nimble fingers.

“There at last I am ready.” He smiled.

Bonnie gently touched Prince Theodore’s shoulder. “Shall we go?”

“Yes. Might I take your arm Bonita? I have to admit I am feeling a little unnerved.”

“I understand” Bonnie said gently looping her arm in a teacup handle fashion.

Theodore threaded his arm through hers and they exited the building, strolling into the grounds. It was beautiful outside.

“My what a sublime day it is today! The palace grounds look magnificent!”

A smile spread across Theodore’s face.“What is it?” Bonnie questioned.

“Miss Bonita! I find it highly amusing that you are beginning to sound like me! You wouldn’t be spending too much time in my company would you?”

“Yes, but I treasure every minute my friend.” Bonnie squeezed his arm.

Theodore felt flattered. “Oh and I also. Bonita would you please describe the surroundings as you did before?”

Bonnie smiled delighted with his response. How changed Prince Theodore was of late. “Of course. But I think we should be seated first. There is a bench here.”

Bonnie guided Theodore gently to the seat, placing him to the safety of the back rest. It was there he sat ever so quietly.

“Now then. Not a great deal has changed. There is a little covering of frost upon the grass. The sky is pure blue and a small flock of birds are flying overhead.”

Unexpectedly, Prince Theodore squeezed his eyes tightly shut, bowing his head and grasping tightly onto the edge of the bench. He was ever so pale, almost chalk like in colour.  “Aaaargh!”  Theodore let out a cry, his tone sounding exasperated.

Bonnie was alarmed. “Your majesty is all alright?!”

Theodore did not speak but gritted his teeth and exhaled deeply, his eyes remaining shut. Five minutes passed before he felt well enough to speak.

“A sharp spasm pierced my chest momentarily, it is over now.”

“You get them often?”

“M-more often than late, but it is nothing to worry about. I’m afraid my cough aggravates them.”

“Your grace have you spoken to your physician?”

“My family and physician are aware, but do not fret. I am just a little under the weather.”

Bonnie let Theodore rest until the colour eventually flooded back to his pasty cheeks. The pain had vanished as quickly as it had overcome him.

“If you are able shall we go inside?”

“Of course I am able” Theodore smiled trying to brush off the incident, appearing to almost  bounce back to his own self. Bonnie gently led Theodore inside. He was still ever so pale. She made sure that he was carefully seated in the chair once more, propped him up with pillows and covered him with a blanket.

“Are you sure that you are quite recovered from the pain?” Bonnie poured Theodore a glass of water and placed it safely into his hand.

“Yes, quite Bonita thank you.”

“Here drink this. Shall we resume our reading session? You need to rest your majesty, I feel that you are not properly recovered from your chest cold.”

“Shakespeare?”

“Ah a good plan as ever your majesty!”

“Well I am always so full of them!” he grinned mischievously.

They both laughed heartily and the pair continued to go about their reading, putting the significant incident behind them.

To be continued….

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