Lucky Luck – Part 18

Lucky Luck

by AJ Marks

Part 18 (End)

A Lucky Proposal

Gwen made her way through the palace in search for someone in particular.  It had been several days since she had temporally taken over and now it seemed that everyone had settled down into a routine.  The city seemed back to normal, and in fact many had thanked her for taking over and asking when she would be officially be taking over.  Each time she politely refused to comment, but the pressure and idea of taking over weighted heavily on her mind.  She asked herself many times if she could just up and leave allowing someone else to take over.

Entering the room she spotted her query sitting in the kitchen talking with the cooks, again.  Making her way over she noticed the intent look on Zoe’s face as she listened to something the cook was talking about.  As Gwen got closer she realized it was a story about her when she was younger even as the cooks looked up.

“Don’t you have any better stories?” Gwen asked.

“Nope,” the cook replied cheerfully.

“Wonderful,” Gwen replied switching her attention back to the blonde sitting at the counter watching her back.  “Spoiling your appetite?”

“Nope, waiting for you to join me,” Zoe replied.

“Well then, I shouldn’t keep you waiting,” Gwen bantered back leading her away from the kitchen and back to their room.  She heard the cook say a tray would be up shortly.

“So, how are things in the Realm?” Zoe asked as they climbed the stairs to the second level.

“Settling down, the ambassadors have left with warnings and I sent a copy of the message to the Green Empire.  They’ll be arguing over that one for a while,” Gwen replied back to her.  “You ready to get moving?”

Gwen looked over at Zoe who had a strange look on her face.

“I don’t know,” she finally replied back and Gwen waited for more.  “I just think we can do so much more staying here.”

The problem she was dealing with herself that when she left, who did she leave in charge considering everyone was looking at her for leadership.  Did she actually trust anyone to actually take over when she left?  The question bugged her for a while now but didn’t want to say anything to Zoe.

Gwen started to repeat her mantra of not being leadership material, but knew the only person it seemed to work on was herself.  Zoe seemed to know she was trying to fool everyone else and would give her a look.

They entered the room and sat down as Gwen moved to look out the window at the town below.  She saw merchants, guards, customers and citizens all milling about.  Things had settled down to allow everyone a normal life again.  What would happen when she left?

She could hand it over to some council made up of merchants and nobles, but she had a feeling they wouldn’t make an effective government either.  They already bickered too much between them to be effective in making laws, let alone react to a threat to the Realm.

She turned to see Dawn walk into the room with a tray of food for them.  Zoe told her thanks and the former slave blushed a bit before heading back out.

“See, she has a crush,” Gwen said to Zoe.

“No she doesn’t,” Zoe replied back.

“Keep telling yourself that,” Gwen said with a smile and grabbing a bit to eat and watching the blonde as she ate as well.

“So, what are you going to do?” Zoe asked a bit later.

“I don’t know,” Gwen replied having been giving it some thought.  “Not sure I completely trust the nobles, nor the merchants, and give them both power they’ll fight over control without someone else to keep them balanced.  There is Cilie, but she didn’t seem to want the power either, only revenge.”

“You can be that leader,” Zoe said.  “The people actually like you.”

“I think it’s you they like,” Gwen replied watching as Zoe blushed a bit.

“Well, I think we should stay,” Zoe stated.  Gwen looked on at Zoe, who merely looked back at her before continuing on.  “We both know things are running smoother with you here.”

Gwen rolled her eyes, but understood what Zoe said despite not wanting to.  Things were going smoothly at the moment, which brought the question if she left would things remain calm?

Looking at the food she recognized some of her favorites, along with Zoe’s.  It made her realize the people in the castle liked her, did she really want to impose someone else who might not feel the same way.

What would they say if she decided to stay?  Giving that some thought, she had a feeling several people would be happy, including Zoe.  She jumped slightly when she felt arms encircle her and looked to see that Zoe had moved behind her.

“So, what’s your plan?” she asked.

“I must be going crazy,” Gwen said, feeling Zoe hug her.

“No, you’re being reasonable, and you know what everyone already knows, you’re the best person for the position,” Zoe said putting her chin on Gwen’s shoulder.

“I think you’re biased,” Gwen replied.

“Nah, just know the truth.”

“Now I know you’re not right in the mind,” Gwen said feeling Zoe push her back.

“You’re a real comedian,” Zoe said as Dawn came walking back into the room along with a surprise, Valerie.

“Sorry to disturb you, but she wished to speak with you,” Dawn said with a slight bow.

“Its all right,” Zoe sad, slipping from where she was over to them as Dawn walked back out leaving them along.

“Thought you had left?” Gwen said, wondering why the merchant was still here.

“Working out some details for a new trade partner here,” Valerie said.  “Figured you might want to hear somethings which I’ve overheard while out there.”

“Oh, people screaming for me to leave?” Gwen stated, something she would not be surprised to hear behind her back only to hear a chuckle from Valerie.

“Nope, not even close,” she replied back to them as they sat down at the table as Zoe took another bite to eat.

“Are they celebrating?” Gwen asked, a bit of surprise in her voice.

“No, they are scared,” Valerie replied back to her.  Gwen understood that, of course she would be afraid if someone like her took over, but Valerie’s next statement took her by surprise.  “They fear you leaving the position of Queen.”

Gwen felt glad she was not eating, choking would not look very dignified at the moment.

“I’ve been trying to tell her that,” Zoe said.

“Are you saying people actually want me here?” Gwen asked, unsure about it all.

“Yes, there is real fear that you’ll leave and put someone else in charge, someone who isn’t listening to others like you are,” Valerie said.

Gwen thought about saying something else when Dawn returned with Lori and two others.  It took Gwen a few seconds to recognize the two men as Hectar and Larras standing there.

“Empress,” Hectar said with a grin.  “I think my dad might actually be impressed if he saw you again.”

Gwen groaned at that knowing Hectar’s father was one of the most stubborn men she had ever come across.  But their appearance made her frown.

“Why are you here?” she asked.

“Simple, we’ve been hearing all types of things from the Shadowlnds, and after that sudden call for rebellion and how it died down almost as suddenly, we had to check things out,” Hectar said.

“And things look very stable, we might open a shop here as well, it appears a great spot for some wares from the Shadowlands,” Larras stated.  “Something we’ve been thinking about for a while now.”

“But with how things were under the previous king, we were unwilling to open anything with such uncertainty around it,” Hactar said.

“You are staying?” Larras said.

Gwen looked at them all seeing that they were all looking at her, but it was Zoe who’s eyes who she looked at.  Her lover was calmly waiting almost as if she already knew the answer.

“If I stay you know you’ll probably becoming the queen one day,” Gwen stated.

“I think I could get used to this,” Zoe finally said.

Gwen looked over at Dawn who was still in the room.  “Tell Tinis to assemble everyone, I have an announcement to make, it appears I’ll be staying.”

She felt Zoe jump slightly in excitement even as the others smiled as Dawn went running from the room.

“I must be crazy,” Gwen finally said.

“Nah, just lucky,” Zoe replied.

The End.

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