Status: In Progress

The Majesty of Choice


He hates how loud his knuckles sound as they rap against the door. It’s too loud, filling too much space. He’s been in here before, why is he so nervous about it? Usually, his Uncle doesn’t send for him. He’d rather avoid Frank or maybe hide from Frank what he’s done.

Why did he leave Gerard all alone? Yes, his Uncle asked to speak with him privately, but that’s not an excuse to be away from Gerard.

Poor Gerard, all alone in Frank’s room. He put some clothes on, because they both thought that would be beneficial. Gerard seemed fine, Frank went and grabbed Gerard’s book which he’s so fond of that he decides to travel the Kingdom with it, and that made him happy enough. Though he did make fun of Frank for having a couch and chairs in his bedroom because apparently there’s too much seating in the castle.

He just wants to make this chat quick so that he can go back to Gerard. That’s what he wants from everything right now, he wants to make it quick so that he can go be with Gerard.

“Ah, nephew,” Edgar says in a voice that they both know is feigning excitement but neither of them is going to acknowledge it. “Do come in.”

“Yes, you sent for me?” Frank says.

“I did, yes,” he nods, and gestures a gloved hand towards a chair, but Frank declines to sit in it, preferring to stand and look at his uncle awkwardly.

“What is this about?”

“Well, nephew, you are very close to becoming King.”

“Of course,” Frank says, nodding. Please don’t bring up his coronation, please, please. Frank doesn’t want to think about it actually happening. Yes, he’s more prepared for it now than he ever has been, and he’s almost excited to be King, but he’s terrified of it actually happening. It’s one thing to know you want something, it’s another thing to be given it.

“Well, as a soon to be King, I am wondering what inclined you to bring not one, but three strangers into this castle? Surely you must realize how dangerous that is. Any one of these individuals could be traitors to the crown or attempt to bring you down an incorrect path.”

“Is that… is that really what you wanted to talk about? That I brought friends?”

“These are strangers! I have heard that one of them is an elf! Frank, you really shouldn’t be consorting with-”

“He’s my friend. They’re all my friends.”

“Nephew, you don’t have friends. Never before have you-”

“Well I have friends now. And I brought them to the castle for various reasons. Specifically, I’m going to be showing one of them to the hall of records. He’s looking for someone, and I intend to help him look. About him-”

Edgar is the one to interrupt Frank this time, “You must understand how dangerous that is. You don’t know these boys, they could mean you ill will. Or mean me ill will. You’ve only just met them. If you don’t send these boys away, I’ll have it done myself.”

“Okay, well that’s not going to happen,” Frank says, and this is the first time in his entire life where he’s ever talked back to his Uncle, and he’s done it like three times in the last minute.


“I’m practically King. My word is very important too, Uncle. You don’t have total power. If I say that they are to stay, then they are to stay. You can’t stop that.”

The two of them war each other with eyes only, Edgar daring him to say something, Frank maintaining his hold. Frank isn’t wrong. Just because Edgar is King doesn’t mean Frank is stripped of rights. If they’re Frank’s guests in the castle, they’re his guests. He’s waiting for his Uncle to challenge him. Because honestly, they both know Frank will win. There are a few Knights who have total and utter devotion to Edgar, and some that have respect in a more healthy dosage to Frank. He’s not sure which of them has more supporters, but either way he knows that no one, not even the one’s devoted entirely to his Uncle, would dare challenge the man who is viewed by many people to be the rightful King.

The Knights that his Uncle commands are almost a different breed from the rest. They’re beefier, sort of less human feeling. They’re humorless, witless. Bravery and strength are absolutes, but they’re not very personable. Not like Travie, Hayley, Ryan, or Alex. Realistically, Frank should be able to trust every single one of his knights, but there are some he’s on more uncertain terms with.

“Very well,” Edgar says, lips pursed. He’s not happy. Frank has disrespected him, and he’s not alright with that. “You’re dismissed, Frank.”

“Actually Uncle, I must tell you, there is quite… an important matter that we must discuss.”

“What might that be, boy?” Edgar says, voice sounding both uninterested and annoyed.

“Well, it’s about, Gerard.”

“That peasant boy you brought with you to dinner? What of him?” He says it in a smarmy sort of way which heats up Frank’s blood a little bit. He would raise swords with anyone who dare insult Gerard, but he can’t well do that in the presence of the King.

“Well, the thing is. I discovered Gerard in his town, in Frell. He taught me,” Frank smiles, he can’t stop the smile when he thinks about him, “he taught me so many things. About this kingdom, about myself. He told me stories of who he is, his childhood, his dreams.”

“Get to the point.”

“Okay, I guess my point is that my father, he… when my mother died, my father and I grew closer. He really did love her, you know. Their marriage was arranged, but they grew to love each other, so when she died, he was heartbroken. He, well he couldn’t bare to think of her. He gave me her ring, her wedding band, to hold onto, it made him too sad to look at. I have done, I’ve kept it safe with me.” Frank pulls the chain from out of his pocket, the chain containing two different rings. Once, he had worn this around his neck everywhere he went. “But once my father died, the ring grew to be too heavy. As did the ring that he had left behind when he passed.”

“I asked you to get to the point, Frank.”

“My point is that my father left me his ring as well. His ring. His wedding ring. It’s a ring I mean to give to Gerard.”

Edgar feels his blood run cold. The birds outside the window stop chirping as everything centers around him, so that only his breath exists across the earth. “By what token do you mean of this?”

“Is it not obvious, Uncle? Can you not read it on my face? Could you not read it at dinner? I’m in love with him. I have been since that day back in Frell. The token of the ring is that I’m going to use it to propose. I’m going to ask him to marry me.”

“Marry you? Nephew, you must be joking.”

“I’m not! He’s… he’s everything. He’s the brightest star I’ve ever seen and to spend a day away from him would kill me. I must. I must marry him. Without him, I don’t know who I am.”

“What evil has been whispering in your ears, nephew? To think you desire the company of a man.”

“Where does it say I can’t? What law, what rule? Nothing! Nowhere! I can, and by my own heart, I will,” Frank says.

“Every King should have a wife. Not a… I won’t even speak the word.”

“A husband. Where is your queen, Uncle?”

“That’s different!”

“So am I. What makes my situation lesser? You only arose because of my father’s death, and yet you were supposed to take a wife when you ascended, but it’s been years and you haven’t. I feel the governance has been lenient on the matter, but you are all alone. You are not ruling in tandem, that is now how this Kingdom is supposed to function. Do not think for one second that my people will turn their noses up at the prospect of two monarchs who actually care for this land. Can they say the same of you?” Those words light a fire in both of them, two drastically different types of fire.

“What do you imply, child?” He’s never called Frank “child” before. A little out of place considering this is the most adult conversation the two of them have ever had. They rarely converse, they never argue, because you have to converse to argue. Frank can feel all of the things Gerard has told him about his Uncle festering. Enslavement, segregation, murder. He understands what his Uncle means by saying that his new friends could be feeding him “lies” but the problem is that Gerard’s “lies” sound a whole lot realer than his Uncles “truths.”

He decides to say it, although very vaguely, just to see what type of reaction he can get. “Don’t make me wash myself in the blood you’ve spilled. I’m marrying Gerard.”

His jaw becomes very slack, almost like he’s gearing towards pouncing on his prey and he’s trying to give off a false sense of security. It’s an intimidating look for sure. “I cannot allow this, nephew. I must forbid it.”

“Uncle, I think you have misunderstood me. It seems that you believe I’m asking you. But I am not seeking your permission. I do not need your consent at all in the matter, in fact. I am going to ask him to marry me. It’s up to you whether you accept that fact or not, but it is decided. The only person whose opinion I will hear on the matter is Gerard’s, but I don’t doubt he loves me. I don’t doubt he’ll say yes. It will happen with you by my side, or it will happen with you estranged, but make no mistake, it will happen.”

“I simply will not allow this. It is… unnatural, it’s disgusting. If you were any person other than my nephew, I’d have you locked up for such words.”

“On what grounds? It’s not illegal to love. You can’t stop me, Uncle. This is the decision that I’ve made.”

“You are not the King, my nephew.”

“I will be very soon.”

“As your King, I forbid it.”

“As your future king, I care not,” Frank says, biting the words back with an almost audible clashing sound firing up between the two of them.


“Edgar,” Frank interrupts. Both of them stop immediately when they hear Frank use his name. He’s never done that before. Uncle Edgar, he’s said that, but never just the one word. That must be significant. “If I have to become King before I am able to marry him, then I will become King tomorrow. I need him with all of my heart. This Kingdom needs him with all of theirs. He will do this Kingdom more good than anyone, more even than me. I can’t rule alone, that is quite clear. Certainly, you are proof that no one should ever have this power solely to themselves.”

Edgar’s mouth opens and closes, like a fish, shocked at Frank’s words. He means to say something, to defend himself, but Frank doesn’t allow it.

“He is smarter than anyone I’ve ever met. He is wise and insightful. And he knows what the common people need, because he’s lived that life. Who better than someone who’s lived on the other side of wealth than to know what people need? He has shown me so much, given me so much happiness, made me really understand everything, and I could do nothing worse than prevent him from being a King. Gerard deserves it far more than I. I’m beginning to realize that King is a title I want. I’ve always thought I despised the idea of it and living under you has grown that thought in me, but Gerard has shown me the world. I want to be King, Uncle, but I want him to rule alongside me.”

“It’s unnatural,” Edgar says, and he really does try to say more, but Frank is enflamed. He’s not going to let his Uncle say anything at all if Frank thinks he won’t want to hear it.

“Says who?” Frank shouts, almost screams. “Who has ever said it? I’ve looked, Uncle, I’ve looked. I’ve scoured every law, every declaration, everything from this line of Kings and lines before us, which isn’t easy because I can barely read two words without them floating off a page, so I know. There’s nothing that says it’s unlawful. I have every right. Anyone, everyone has a right.”

“You can’t just decide something like this because you want it, Frank, you cannot forego the traditions of the past because you want to. You are royalty, you are not a god.”

“Again, you force me to bring your case up. You have foregone tradition too! You remain unmarried. You are King, you are expected to find a wife, and you have not. You are more a traitor to your own laws than I, because only one of us has broken them.”

Edgar is fuming, and Frank doesn’t care. He sees it. He sees what Gerard had been saying. How could he have been so blind to it? This is not a good man. Frank hopes, with all of his heart, he hopes that Edgar is not as evil as Gerard has made him out to be, but he’s not so sure in this moment. Everything he’s ever known about his Kingdom has turned upside down in the last month. Everything he wanted before knowing Gerard was just to find him. He didn’t want to be King. He wanted to find his Gerard. But now that he has Gerard, he sees that he has so many other things he wants too, and Gerard was able to show him that. He wants to leave this Kingdom better off than when he was given it. And he knows how to now. And the way forward is to break apart the pieces that Edgar built, rebuild it correctly this time.

“Frank, how can you not see how wrong this is? What you want, it’s not possible, it’s not-”

“How can love be wrong? How is my love for him going to hurt anyone or anything? I don’t mean to do anyone any harm. I just mean to love him. And we both love this Kingdom so much. You love this Kingdom, too Uncle. I need you to understand that there will never be any two people more dedicated to making this a good place to live than Gerard and me. He’s the one. He’s my one. There are all those old bedtime stories about princes finding their one true love. Well, I’ve found mine.”


“I’ve had enough of this conversation. It’s happening whether you want it or not.” Frank says it, throwing his hands up in the air as well. He’s given up on bringing his Uncle into this reality. He won’t accept it. Frank is going to have to go over his head in order for him to marry Gerard, but it’s not like he’s unwilling to do that. For Gerard? He’d do anything.

“You’re too young, Frank. We must push back your coronation until you see sense. When you’re older, then you will know. Then you will see how ridiculous this play of yours is.”

“You cannot make me unlove him. You cannot. I’d die before I let go of my love for Gerard. It is because of him that I have found passion. In fact, I will become King. I will, Edgar. For him, I’d do anything. I will make arrangements. At the end of this week, Uncle. At the end of this week one of two things will happen. Either I’ll marry him, or I will become King first so as to marry him after. In this matter, you have only those two choices. I’m ready to start making decisions. I’m ready for it all. I’m ready to marry Gerard. I am ready to be King.”