Eloran found his father in his private room, about to have dinner. The King invited his son to join him. Father and son spoke of small things as they ate. Once dessert was served Eloran asked about Anan.
“I would like permission to invite Anan to the ball.”
The King gave a small laugh. “I take it your visit with her went well?”
Prince Eloran smiled. “Yes.”
He nodded. “One moment.” The King turned to a guard standing nearby. “Fetch Klaes for me.”
“Yes, your majesty.”
As the guard turned and left the room, the King looked back to his son.
“Klaes seems to know a bit about Anan, and I would like his opinion on this.”
“She’s Finaran, father. An elf. Youngest daughter of King Nassir.”
King Falk nodded. “Klaes informed me of this when you first mentioned her. As I am not certain how this would be seen to the Finarans I am inclined to ask my advisor. Hold your thoughts until then.”
They spoke of the weather until Klaes arrived a few minutes later. He bowed to the King and Prince.
“How may I help you, your majesty?”
“Prince Eloran would like to invite Princess Anan to the ball tomorrow.”
Klaes shook his head. “It would not be prudent to ask her. She would accept, but there is not enough time to make arrangements.”
Prince Eloran frowned. “I don’t understand.”
“She is the Guardian of the Gate. Should you ask her to the ball, she would have to leave now to arrive in time to ready herself for the ball. If she leaves, she also does not have time to ask for a replacement for the Gate, meaning that no one would be able to leave or return to Finara. This can be a dangerous thing. If you wish her to accompany you to a ball, Prince Eloran, invite her to your brother’s birthday celebration that will take place in one month. This gives her time to accept, and find a replacement. If King Falk agrees, of course.”
Prince Eloran nodded, as did the King. The King spoke. “And should the invitation be sent to her father, King Nassir, or to her?”
“It depends. If it is Prince Eloran inviting Princess Anan, then the invitation can go to her. If it is the King asking for his son, then it should be sent to King Nassir.”
“What will King Nassir do when he finds out about the invitation?”
“If Anan tells him, he will think nothing of it and she will be free to come as a human. If the King of Grenlacks sends the invitation, she can still come as a human, but she will thank you publicly as the King’s daughter.”
The King looked to his youngest. “Laurence will not be back for Seth’s birthday, but there will be guests that may give you problems.”
Prince Eloran nodded and sighed. “I will speak with Anan after this ball and see what she would like to do. Then I will decide. I care not what the world thinks of us, but I want her to be safe.”
King Falk nodded. “Do as you please son, and know that I am behind whichever decision you make.”
The Prince sat taller in his chair. “Thank you, your majesty.”
Father and son smiled to each other, the King dismissed Klaes and King Falk and Prince Eloran continued with their dinner.