Bonnie sighed, running her fingertips over the ring upon his finger once more.
“I have already said this once, that beautiful ring of yours should go on your bedside table when you are asleep.”
“Then, I would never wear it.”
“I suppose not, still it would be far too pretty a thing to lose.”
“It is so comforting, having you by my side.”
“Ah, you have changed the subject.I feel happier staying with you. How is your chest?” She took his hand in hers and massaged his pale palm.
“That is soothing. Oh, my chest? It feels; strange.”
“How so? Please explain what you mean.”
“Feel for yourself.”
Bonnie placed a hand upon his chest, taking care not to place any weight upon it. She spread her fingers into a fan, but where was the beat? There was almost nothing to feel. Bonnie glanced at his pale face once more, putting her head upon her chest and blocking the sound in one ear with her index finger, closing her eyes.
“It’s failing Bonnie.”
She raised her head, slipping her arm around his neck and rested her chin upon his shoulder. Bonnie wiped away the glistening tears which fell upon his near translucent cheeks.
“Would you like a drink?”
“Please, a little water. Bonnie, you must go and rest now.”
“I am staying right here.”
“Please ring the bell.”
“Of course.”

“So efficient as always; Mr Howard.”
“Thank you, your Grace.”
“I have a favour to ask you.”
“Of course.”
“Well, as I am 21 it seems so silly that I am dying and my affairs are not even in order, that will not do. Would you please send for my Lawyer.”
“I will fetch him myself.”
“I should let you be.”  Bonnie stated.
“You must rest then, but only when he gets here.”
“Yes.”
“Now, I’ll go and inform your Mother and Father.” He glanced out of the curtain, seated on the bench where Bonnie and Theodore often used to sit. “Ah, they are outside, well I will speak to them and then fetch him.”
“Thank you.”

“Good day, your majesties. You both look well.”
“Yes.” Queen Evangeline smiled. “Rupert and I are beginning to make amends. How is Theodore? We shall go and see him soon.”
“Now would be a good time, Miss McGrath is going to go and eat some brunch as she missed breakfast, but presently she is still with him.”
“Come along then Rupert, you do not want to waste any more time.”
“So you keep saying, I am already riddled with guilt, do not make me feel worse about it!”
Queen Evangeline shook her head.
“I am just about to fetch Prince Theodore’s lawyer. Is it alright if I do so?”
“Theodore is a man, and should be allowed to make his own decisions, yes my son is sensible and that is a very good idea. Rupert and I shall be witnesses, wont we dear.”
Rupert cleared his throat. “Of course, we had better go and see him.”
Theodore lay with a hand upon his chest, with Aggie under his arm at one side. She purred, resting her chin on top of the coverlet.  The King and Queen glanced at each other in a sad sort of way, relieved that he looked so peaceful at present. Theodore opened his eyes.
“Theodore, it is us, your Mother and Father.”
“Both of you?” He beamed.
“Yes dear. Mr Howard will return soon with Mr Turner.”
“That is good to hear, I cannot believe it, what a joy it is that we are all reunited as a family.”
“As we used to be.” Queen Evangeline agreed.
“Yes, Mr Howard must stay with us when he returns. It is sensible to have a third witness in these circumstances.”
King Rupert laughed.“Something amuses you Father?”
“How you have grown up my boy, you have such an old head upon your shoulders these days.”
“You have Miss McGrath to thank, I have done a lot of growing up of late. I feel that I met her as an adolescent boy, and now I am a man.”
“Perhaps.” The king nodded.
“And Mr Howard must stay with us.” Theodore continued, closing his eyes as there came an ache in his chest. “He must be here, as it is helpful to have a third witness in such circumstances. Oh it is not so important, I care little for my possessions now, you can do what you like with most of them. Give my clothes away to the needy and sell any jewellery I have and please donate the money to the poor. Bonnie can have all the books that she chooses from my book collection, which was once Grandfather’s and please make sure that she is always welcome here and never in need, which is why I have decided something. I will not say now, we must wait for Mr Turner to arrive.Whatever I have to say, do not be alarmed, for it is my decision to do this.”
“Oh, um alright my dear.” Queen Evangeline puzzled, straining the pillow beside her son’s head.
“I can assure you that I am still sane.” He grinned weakly. “For now anyhow.”

“Your Graces, Mr Turner.”
“My God Howard! How quick you were!” The Queen exclaimed.
“Trustworthy as ever.” Added King Rupert.
“I came as quickly as I could, I am quite out of breath.” He laughed, seating himself in the plainer chair of the three.
“Mr Turner are you quite ready, here now bring that table closer to yourself so that you have something to lean on.”
“I am ready when Prince Theodore is, are you your Grace.”
“I am.” He paused and sighed. “I did not expect to be doing this at age 21, but anyhow..”
Queen Evangeline gasped, placing a hand over her mouth.
“I shall have to compose myself and act in a calm manner. Where do I even begin, like I said I care little for my clothes and jewels, you may sell them and donate the money to something charitable. On a more sensible note, we should discuss properties.”
“Yes, the house.”
Which was to belong to Miss Mallis and I, once we were married.”
“Yes, it is still yours dearest. It is such a shame that you never did see it, we were going to organise a tour, the day after your engagement party.”
“Oh.”
“Well, I shall tell you all about it.”
“Now that I never shall see inside, you may as well.”
“Yes. It is a house easily large enough for 6. It has 2 double bedrooms and two single ones, all of a generous size. But it was the grounds which attracted us to it Rupert, was it not.”
“The grounds were perfect.”
“It has 2.5 acres of land, a stable and forests and…”
“I should have liked to have seen it, it is a great shame. Still I have thought of the perfect solution.”
“Solution?”
“Mother, you needn’t sell it.”
“Oh?”
“Yes, for I have thought of a perfect family to entrust it to.”

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

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