While everyone was stunned, AJ finally spoke up, ”Well, what happened, Your Majesty? Royal cat got your tongue? ”

Like a guppy fish, King William opened and closed his mouth speechless at the accusation that the young woman had thrown at him! His face turning red, from anger or from blushing, no one could say, King William continued to sit there stunned.

Happy at having shocked him, Mia continued, ” Well, I can see you no longer remember me. But rest assured, I have no nefarious designs on your grandson! If I had to aim to become a royal, I promise you I would seduce you into eloping with me! Why settle for small fry when you can get the big fish? You will die at most in a few years and Ill still be young to enjoy the inheritance you will leave me. ”

Well, now King William was angry for sure. This girl was just too…much. His hand clutched at the stick itching to hit her with it but he reminded himself that the stick was never to be raised on a woman. Seeing his grandfather about to implode and maybe try and order Mia to be beheaded, AJ decided to intervene.

”Before you make any further plans of enjoying my grandfathers wealth, why don you introduce yourself? ”

Mia cast an ironic glance at the man, remembering the many instances she had practised introducing herself in the Royal Society for her future debut but now all her titles had changed, ”Your Majesty, I am ex-Royal Highness No longer Princess Mia of nowhere formerly known as Mia Brighton of Valleys to you. ”

The recognition was instant and so was the welcoming smile that graced the face of King William.

”My little Mimi! Youve grown so big. Come close come close! Let me see you. You were a wee little girl when I last saw you… ” As if remembering the sad incidents that had led her to being away from them, King William tapered off. But Mia was not one to dwell on the past, she came forward and kneeled in front of the old man, placing her hand over his old gnarled ones, ” How are you doing grandpa! You were such an old man when I last saw but now you are practically ancient… ”

Laughing robustly, King William patted the little girls cheek and spoke, ” How is your mother doing,little mimi? ”

A sad look passed over her face while her hand tightened over the old mans for a moment, ” She passed away a couple of years ago, grandpa. ” She threw a glance at AJ uncertainly and continued, ” The prince did send his condolences. I thought you knew. ”

King William threw a glance at his grandson and then at the little girl and finally it seemed as if a piece of an unsolved puzzle had been put into place. His grandson had kept an eye on the little girl and her mother when the rest of the world had forgotten about her. And from their childhood days, AJ had always had a soft spot for the little princess who was always following him. While the others had been chased away, little mimi had always managed to retain her place by his side.

A knowing gleam shining in his eyes, he looked at the girl and then at his grandson before asking her casually, ” And how old are you now? ”

Mia smiled innocently, not recognizing that the jolly grandpa had been replaced by the calculating king and said, ” Grandpa, I turned eighteen last night! ”

”And you celebrated your eighteenth birthday with AJ? ”

”Yes, grandpa! It was going to be my first time drinking. Of course I had to do it with someone whom I trusted. And AJ really is trustworthy! ”

”But he is a man ad you are a young girl. You were intoxicated…What if he had done something… ”

A knock sounded on the door and the assistant rushed to bring in the food that must have arrived while Mia questioned the King, ” Are you saying that I should not trust AJ, your majesty? IS there anyone more trustworthy that your grandson? ”

Nodding, King William stood up, offering his arm to the girl and said, ” Yes my grandson is indeed very trustworthy. Come, little Mia. You must be hungry. We have a lot of catching up to do You must tell me all about what you are doing these days and how you have stayed in touch with AJ all these years… ”

Threading her arms through the old mans Mia smiled and continued, ” I am so hungry I could eat a horse, grandpa! Last night, I drank too much and then got sick. Thankfully, AJ called the doctor and gave me shots to settle my stomach or else you wouldn be seeing me like this. ”

Patting his grandson on the shoulder as they walked by, King William spoke, ” Yes, AJ is a responsible lad. Come AJ, lets have breakfast. ”

”Now I am AJ, ” the prince mumbled under his breath but obediently followed the two people to the table where the veritable feast was being laid down.

”Mimi! What are you doing tonight? I want to invite you to our hotel and have dinner with us tonight! Lily will be so happy to see you. AJ can bring you to see us. We are leaving tomorrow… ”

”Of course, I will be there grandpa! Don worry! It has been so long! ”

As the rest of the breakfast passed serenely, opposite to all expectations, Mia looked up and winked at AJ once the King had turned back to talk to his assistants. Crown Prince AJ nodded once in acknowledgement before his face turned to its old impersonal self.

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