Cruz Castle, Windenburg, 2021
An hour had past since Alex had arrived from the Windenburg Airport and he was sobbing.
He barely noticed cousin Alfred's gleeful stare.
"Homesick much cousin?" smiled Alfred.
Alex continued to weep.
"I pity you. Coming all this way from Mexico to rule a kingdom that'll never truly be yours," said Alfred.
"Never truly be mine?"
"Well, you're not a true Simslander, not truly royal, and a successful ruler knows their country well. Aunty told me."
"Aunty Charlize, Duchess of Newcrest."
I am to be stuck with snobs for the rest of my life. Cool!
"I was born here," said Alex. "In Simsland."
"But your mother shipped you away to live with your grandparents. You're not one of us."
"Mama didn't ship me away. We flew to Selvadorada together. Mama felt it best if my early years were kept out of the public eye."
"Anyway, aunty wishes to send you away again."
I can imagine.
"Aunty wants to ship you away on a Philosopher's camp. Keep you out of our hair for a while."
"Well aunty has to get past mama and papa," said Alex.
"Your mama and papa think it's a good idea too."
"And guess what, cousin? I hope you never return."
Cruz Castle, Windenburg, 2031
Alex was in a wonderful mood. Oh how I've longed for this opportunity to murder cousin 'Snobfred.'
He turned and entered through the door behind him into the royal library.
"Alex!" Alfred snapped his book shut and waited as Alex crossed the room.
"Oh," said Alfred. Alex had never given him a hug before.
"Just wanted to let you know, Alfred, sending me away on Philosopher's camp was the kindest thing your snobby family has ever done for me."
"Why were we so kind sending you on Philosophers camp when you were already homesick?"
"Because Alfred," Alex replied, "I met a wonderful boy who turned into a wonderful man."
"And?" said Alfred.
"I love him," Alex replied. "You see, Alfred, had your family not been so... cruel, I may have never met this kind, gentle-hearted man."
"Why are you telling me this?"
"Because it does not matter what I tell you, Alfred. I can reveal to you his name, Henry Fyres. Ahh 'Hen-ry' doesn't it make you sigh when you say it? We are to be wedded when the war is over."
"Are you feeling alright Alex?"
Alex smiled smugly. "I was actually about to ask you the same thing."
How I adore mama's secret potions' room. Right. I better head off and announce my departure to Egypt.
Brindleton Pawspital, Brindleton Bay, 2031
"Beth? I thought you were in Ireland with your wife and son," said Jonathon, startled that his sister had shown up at all, given the two had not spoken in years.
"Ah don't worry. Fleur and Quintin are fine. They're in Ireland, it's me who decided to stay a little longer... we need to talk, Jonathon."
"Beth, we've been through this. We're not going to Ireland! It's not safe for Henry to leave the Sweglords."
"Can I at least persuade you otherwise?"
"You can try, but you're wasting your time, Beth."
"I got the two of us talking again, didn't I?"
"Enjoy it while it lasts, but as soon as you board that plane to your Evil Genius wife and son, I don't want to hear from you again. Okay?"
"Now, Jon, my wife and I are very happy to pay for your son's protection in Ireland..."
"Yeah, no," said Jonathon. "The Sweglords are highly skilled hitmen. I really think they should be called assassins. You can 'protect' Henry all you like in Ireland, but his family will find him. So no, he's staying with me."
"You can't keep him here, Jon. It's not safe. Either the war will kill him or the sweaty shivers pandemic. Please consider sending him to Ireland."
"Did you not hear what I said, Beth?" snapped Jon.
"Yes I did and it appears you have no faith in the bigger and better organisation - The Evil Geniuses. Do you not think we know what we're doing? We can protect Henry."
"Wealth, power, intelligence. We have connections in Ireland. We can keep Henry hidden, wipe him from the records even, if we must. But we can keep him safe."
"If you are so good at keeping yourselves safe, then why are the Sweglords so good at killing you?"
"If they are so good at killing us, Jon, then why haven't they murdered in three years?" Beth stood up. "I think we're done here."