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    R. Eric
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His Royal Highness, Prince Vincent - 11. The Music of Norway

You know there's more. It's coming. Now, to go forward in time again and back to Time Square.  :hug:

The Music of Norway

I was starting to really like being in Norway and some Norwegians. Back in the room we used I was thinking.

“Can’t you take a break from all that thinking you do?” Vincent asked closing the door behind us.

Turning to him, I smirked. “I can’t help it!” I tapped my forehead, “I’ve got a lot to think about.”

Vincent nodded and came over and put his arms around me, “Okay, just don’t burn your brain out.” He kissed my forehead and then he moved his head back a little, “By the way, what language do you think in?”

“What?” I asked and then thought about the question. “I don’t know…my thoughts are usually about something particular.”

“Okay,” Vincent chuckled. “What language do you dream in? Mine are in Danish and English.”

“I…never…” I began, “thought about it. They usually fade as soon as I wake up.”

Vincent leaned in kissing me, “None that you remember?”

I grinned, “I remember some of them with you in them.”

“And you don’t remember what language?”

I chuckled as my arms came around him, “The parts I do remember…we didn’t do much talking.”

Vincent nodded, “Oh? What were we doing?” He had a knowing smile.

“I’ll show you,” I looked around the bright room. “You’re not worried about peepholes?”

“No,” Vincent said, but then stopped as he was thinking. “But let’s not take any unnecessary risks.” He reached backward and locked the door and the cut the power to the lights. “Just in case.” He laughed lightly, “If you need to get up, turn a light on. Don’t hurt yourself.”

I remembered Marco from Wentworth Academy. The wealthy son of this Italian Merchant? I remember his love of girls. He was a nice enough guy, but he left a long line of brokenhearted women behind. He really only had one requirement, they had to be pretty. He didn’t care how smart they were. He was charming and once he got what he was after, he was on to the next conquest. He loved the game. But he never got to know these girls. Many of those guys in the underground in Paris would say that kind of relationship wasn’t possible. Maybe, but you could. It takes work. Vincent and I spent a long time working on our relationship and got to know each other.

The novelty of sex was gone. I don’t mean we didn’t have anything to learn, we made discoveries all through the years such as a longer caress or after a certain level of arousal a certain touch made was good explosive. Now, one knew the other and what to do to please. That familiarity was comforting and made love making even sweeter. I was in love with Vincent, I liked Vincent and we loved our lives together as friends.

As that wonderful afterglow gave us both that comfort. We settled down for sleep.

“What were you thinking about earlier,” Vincent asked me.

I hadn’t told him. I chuckled, “Okey. As far as secret affairs of the heart, we have it much easier than Angelica and Harald.”

“Because?”

“It’s sad to say,” I began. “We’re both men. We have more freedom to go and come as needed.”

“Are we looking at the same equation?” Vincent asked, “We can’t be, because if we are, how do you explain how we reach totally different conclusions?”

It was dark, so we really couldn’t see each other’s’ expressions. “A math analogy?”

“Yes!” Vincent defended, “Situation by circumstance. It doesn’t add up.”

“Perhaps you’re not seeing the variables I am,” I said. “And maybe you just can’t do the math!”

“I think Angelica and Harald have it easier,” Vincent said. “They are more of a traditional couple...”

“Except for the whole royal duty and class issue,” I pushed, interrupting.

“They are not like that!” Vincent said louder, “King Olav even put Harald on duty at the palace so they can see each other!”

“Because he was hoping his daughter’s crush would die like most teenage girls!” I said as loud, “He knows if he and Queen Martha objected and told Angelica not to see Harald, that would make it sweeter!”

“What!?”

I laughed, “The Forbidden Fruit can be so tempting!”

“That tactic didn’t work,” Vincent said. “Did it?”

“That’s obvious,” I shot back. “Here I am, with you in Oslo. I can go with you when you have to go somewhere…”

“Unless your job demands that you stay or sent somewhere else!” Vincent argued.

“And that will happen,” I nodded. “My job is to represent the United States here in Denmark and Norway…”

“So far!”

“Even if and when Finland and Sweden accept me,” I chuckled, “Even Iceland, if I can practice their language.” I shrugged. “I’m not rushing Uncle Fred into retirement!” Using his father’s nickname I had chosen to use, made Vincent chuckle. I went on, “He needs to stay on that throne a few more decades! But most of the diplomacy negotiations for Denmark will be handled by the king of Denmark! One day that will be you!” I hated that I couldn’t see his face in the dark, so I turned the bedside lamp on making Vincent wince and shielded his eyes, “He may have you sitting with him to learn, but…” I sat up and raised the finger to point out my question, “Angelica will remain here until she gives birth and visit Copenhagen to show the people their next heir or new princess.”

“Yeah,” Vincent agreed.

“But Angelica will be the Queen of Denmark!” I said as I thought. “She’ll have to live there!”

“She can come back to Oslo!” Vincent argued.

I nodded, “To visit! Yes, but that little prince or princess is from Denmark!”

Vincent’s voice lowered to just above a growl, “You’re telling me things we already know.”

“Where’s Harald going to be?” I asked. “If he’s in palace guard and she’s in Denmark…”

Vincent blew a frustrated breath, “I don’t know! It will be a while yet.” Then he sat up, “Well, there went that nice comfortable feeling after sex gives.”

I looked at him sadly and said in mocking sympathetic voice, “Aw, and you can never have another one. What a shame!”

“That’s not the point!” He pointed an unknown in the darkness. “I wanted that one. I was enjoying it.”

“I’ll feel sorry later,” I said and shoved him lightly. “This is kind of important!”

“We can’t solve it now!” Vincent nearly shouted.

“Hey,” I pointed at him. “I was fine enjoying the feeling, too.” I smiled and dramatically said, “But nooo! You had to know what I was thinking about.” I shrugged, “I’m just telling you what you wanted to know.”

Vincent nodded, “It’s my fault.”

“Yes,” I answered simply. “It is. You know how I get when I work out a problem in my head.”

“Sorry I asked,” Vincent muttered pulling the cover up and plopped back down and rolled away from me.

Of course, I couldn’t let him get away, “Well, Harald could come, too.” I lay over Vincent’s back. “Angelica will live in Denmark and guarded by the palace guards of Denmark. We can’t assume Harald would become a Danish Citizen. Why would he? He’s Norwegian!” I said right above Vincent’s ear. “He’ll need a position. A title. Did you know Mistresses did get a title in some kingdoms? Like I said before, the mistress and queen often lived in the same palace! I read a couple of them were friends with the queen!” I propped on my elbow, but still talked to Vincent. “I don’t believe Harald would like to be known as the Queen Angelica’s consort. I’m the future king’s consort, but if that were known there could be deaths...” In spite of the fact that I was annoying the Hell out of him, he was smiling. It was all in the delivery. I knew how to do it and was always funny. “King Olav could appoint him as her personal guard, but Uncle Fred and Aunt Maregete wouldn’t like that.” Then I sat up suddenly, “Hey! I could hire him!! He could keep his Norwegian Citizenship and be my liaison to Norway!” I frowned, “No, wait, that wouldn’t work…”

Vincent suddenly rolled back over me and wrestled me for my right arm and pulling my right in front of him and his body held my arm down and body back. He began pulling harder on my right index finger and I felt him try to pull the Ring of Trust off harder, but the ring stayed put. “Damn!” He glanced at me, “Did you glue it on?” He growled and pulled again.

I wasn’t worried. If he really wanted to, he could have pulled it off. He could do some serious harm to me. Then again, I could do serious harm to him! “Ow!” I said as he tried to take it off. I felt it, but it didn’t hurt. I slapped his back with my one free hand, “Let go, ya stupid Viking!! You just told me I was to wear it all my life! You should kill me first, that make what you said honest. My life would end first, then remove the ring!”

Vincent looked at me, “That’s a very good idea!” He grinned and tackled me flat on my back on the bed we were already in as Vincent lay over me, again pinning me down. We play wrestled for years, but the problem was neither of us minded being pinned down and offered little resistance against the other. “Why do I love you?” He smiled and leaned down and kissed me. “You can be such a pain in my ass.”

I grinned, “You love me because I can be a pain in your ass!” I pointed out.

“No one else would dare!”

“That wasn’t meant for when I make love to you, was it?” I asked.

“No,” Vincent smiled. “Any pain and soreness stopped after the first few times. Now, it feels really good.” Then he nodded a shrug, “Well, it did a little again when we got back together…”

“Preventative medicine! We need to keep it up now,” I said. “I was sore for three days.” I put my arms around him. “We can try to get the afterglow back.”

“You’re ready to go again!?” Vincent asked amazed. “We just finished!”

I shrugged, “It’s kind of fun trying.”

We got the afterglow back.

I loved Norway now. The pleasant people in Norway caused that to happen. I needed to go to Sweden and Finland. I’m sure I’d love them, too. Iceland would be a trip. It was farther north of Scotland or Ireland. From Copenhagen it was a little more than 1,500 miles! It really only had one big city that was their capitol. Reykjavik or “The Bay of Smokes.” There were other smaller communities around the island country. Almost all were fishing villages. I read that only a small portion of land could be planted and grow crops. Yes, it was cold in the winter as they were just below the Artic Circle. I mean it just touched the Artic Circle. Mountains were there and Iceland was volcanic. There were many geysers that spewed hot gases and those heated homes and buildings. There were glaciers. About a thousand years ago, those Vikings I am so fond of came and settled Iceland. Due to this isolation…well, they weren’t totally isolated, but traded a lot with Norway. These Vikings that settled in Iceland might have come from Norway! Their language changed, but was not as influenced by Great Britain or Europe. That underwater current and that gusty air current that got the Dannebrog II back so quickly pushed warm air and water to Great Britain and also the air and water went to Iceland!

Yes, I love this world. The Shoshone, as with most Indians, believes we came from this world. She is our Mother! Be it a deity or nature, we are all connected to this world and all life here with each other and even down to the blades of grass. We should think the world is beautiful.

I wanted to see Iceland, but I needed to go for the purpose of the visit!

Vincent closed the trunk he had put his clothes in and latched it. He looked at me as I was pulling the spread down. His eyebrows came together in confusion.

“You’re making the bed?” He asked.

I did always make up beds I used. There were people employed to do that, I know, but that didn’t mean they had to do everything! I grinned at Vincent and shook my head, “No, I’m getting the bed ready for the next guest to stay here.”

His frown grew, “That could be days or even weeks away!”

“It could be!” I agreed. I waved at the sheet I uncovered, “These sheets need to be changed to clean ones for a new guest. Even if they use these same sheets, they need to cleaned before used again.” I took a big pillow and pulled the cloth that the pillow was in off. “The linens will be removed and set aside so whomever can just pick them up and take them…” I waved my hand to indicate out of the room and in the palace, “wherever it is they do laundry.” I returned to work again, “Dad taught me a lot about ranching.” I nodded and then stopped at looked at Vincent and pointed at him, “But Mom, with the stagecoach coming at the least once a week, sometime two or three times a week, she would have guests for the night.” I looked at Vincent, “You knew that, right?”

Vincent nodded and asked incredibly, “She did everybody’s laundry!?”

“What?” I shook my head, “No, of course, not.” Then I stopped as I thought. “Well, kind of.” I held my hands up. “I helped her, grandma helped…and when,” I held a finger up. “I didn’t say if. When the hired hands needed their clothes washed, Dad knew that he would take three or four of the guys to help her.” I threw my arms out to show it was inevitable, “They should! It’s their laundry! That was only on Tuesday and Friday. She washed all their bedlinens…”

“Damn!” Vincent’s eyes widened, “How did she find time to do anything else?”

“Why do you think I made that washing tub where the agitator is was powered by the waterwheel?” I asked with a shrug. “If necessary, she would hire from the Pohogwe! She couldn’t have done it alone. With Grandma and even Cookie when he was able…”

“Cookie!?” Vincent asked startled, “That really old, old man!?”

“He helped!” I defended Cookie, “Grandma would iron and Cookie folded!”

“Wait,” Vincent said as he thought. “Your mother charged the passengers on the stagecoach to stay and eat?”

“No! She charged the stagecoach’s company!” I said as a mean grin came on my face. “Mom was a business woman! She could be ruthless!” I went on, “The passengers already paid to travel, why should they pay additional charges?” The chuckle came out as I remembered. “Most companies didn’t hesitate to pay Mom.” I shrugged, “It wasn’t that we needed the money, but services were rendered and payment was obligatory. It was the principle! A man that owned and ran one company died. His son inherited the business, but he refused to pay.” I laughed, “I was twelve that year. As nice as my mother is…a child would be allowed in, with the parent. The child would be fed, not the parent. Mom explained why to the adults. All of it. The mother or whatever had to watch the child eat, but the adult went hungry! Any sleeping was done in the carriage.”

“That worked?” Vincent smiled.

“It took a little more than a year!” I nodded. “The original owner paid what was fair. But you get a few angry complaints, especially from the husbands of those mothers, yes. It worked. That son was losing money as no one wanted his stagecoach! His rival offered competition and Mom got the money. Even the missed payments.”

“Damn!”

“Hell, yeah!” I nodded. “The son assuming Mom would be simple to ignore because she is a woman!! She taught him! Damn, for sure!” I said proudly. “She never forgets a face.” I pointed again. “She kept a list of bad guests in her head. She told me to make sure I stayed off the bad guest list and make myself welcomed every time!”

Vincent smiled at me and waved at the bed as he came on the other side of the bed, “Well, don’t just stand there yammering. Let’s do this!”

“Yammering?” I grinned, “Where did you learn that?”

“Less,” Vincent said. “Lester? One of the ranch hands you had there for years! It was a word he used almost all the time every day! If he wanted to get things done, that was the word he used.” Vincent then went into an accent that had Less’ country twang, “Come on, Ladies. Instead of yammerin’, let’s get ‘er done! I’m hongry!”

He even sounded like Lester. I smiled at Vincent.

Someone knocked on our door. In the couple of days we’d been here, no one had done that. Then again, we weren’t in the room during the day.

I was closer, so I answered the door for Harald. Alone. He was again in uniform. “Hi, Harald!”

Unlike Vincent or me, Harald didn’t have the bold personality we did. His smile was on his face, but his eyes looked ready to be lowered any time. He raised his right hand and waved, “Hello, David.”

“Well don’t just stand in the hall!” Vincent said waving Harald in. “You’re always welcome. Come in!” He came around the bed, “Hello, Harald!”

Harald let out a small chuckle and came in, “Hello,” then he added, “Vincent.” Vincent’s name was used so he could get used to using it. It was easy to see what Angelica found charming about Harald.

“You were shy as a child,” I said to him.

Harald’s eyes widened, “Oh, yes. I was very shy.” He shrugged, “But I work on it now. I’m still shy.”

“What’s it like? Being shy?” Vincent asked with a smile. “He’s never been shy!”

I turned to Vincent, “And when were you!? You had to look it up in a dictionary to know what the word means!”

Harald laughed, “I go on duty in a few minutes.” He explained and waved toward the door to the palace. “You leave this morning.”

“We do,” I nodded. “We have to.”

“A command appearance by Queen Maregete,” Vincent explained.

Harald was relaxing more, “I just wanted to say; I enjoyed meeting both of you, have a safe journey back and I look forward to seeing you again.” Harald held his hand out for us to shake.

I shook my head, “No. No shaking hands.” I said seriously. I watched Harald’s face looked worried a second. “Shaking hands is what friends do…”

“And we aren’t friends,” Vincent added also seriously. Then he smiled grandly at Harald and grabbed Harald into a tight hug. “We are way passed friends.”

“We’re family!” I said and hugged them both together.

We went to Angelica’s room and then escorted her downstairs where we had breakfast with King Olav and Queen Martha.

“I hope you had a good visit,” King Olav said as we dined. It was a question he didn’t address to anyone specifically. He looked up at Vincent and me.

Vincent looked at me quickly and then said, “Yes! Angelica is well taken care of and healthy. I got some good instructions on taking care of the baby.”

King Olav nodded, “And you, David?”

“Me?” I asked.

Olav smiled and laughed lightly, “You are the American Ambassador for Norway. What is your impression of Norway?”

“I will be honest,” I said seriously. “I want to know more. So far, I have loved everything about Norway. It has been more than just the landscape, which I am so much looking forward to seeing more so I can here the music of Norway.” I smiled, “There are so many wonderful people that is Norway and I fell in love with that part of Norway.”

“Hear the music?” Angelica asked.

“Yes,” I nodded. “The world has a song it has been singing nonstop from the beginning.” I smiled, “And each part of the world has it’s own song.” I chuckled, but from a memory. “My grandmother taught me to hear it.” I looked at her, “Every season and every moment adds and changes the song. This is very much the Pohogwe, but…it’s not music you hear with your ears. You listen with your soul. Everything from a gentle wind that blows dandelion seeds, the rain, the roar of water in a waterfall, to the majestic sounds of mountains,” I pointed at King Olav, “And Norway has some very majestic mountains. Even snow falling has a sound. It’s very peaceful.” I shrugged. “It can also be chaotic and frenzied with storms or even volcanos that erupt, but mostly it’s peaceful. We relax and even sleep better when it rains as the Earth sings to us. The people add to the song. It can be so beautiful.” I looked at Vincent. “I’m sorry. It’s easy to get carried away. I hate to leave.” I grinned at them, “We’ll be back.”

“That,” Queen Martha said quietly, “was just beautiful!”

Angelica smiled, “I wish I could listen that way.”

Vincent smiled, “He’s teaching me.” He looked at Angelica, “He’ll be around a long time. It’s very calming. I know he’ll teach you.”

King Olav was smiling even more, “He can teach all of us. I’m looking forward to getting more acquainted.”

Angelica began to pull Vincent away, and turned to me, “You, too.” In a private area, she stopped us and took each of our hands in hers. “When you two came to Oslo, I didn’t know how to feel about either of you.” She squeezed Vincent’s hand, “The male psyche is hard to understand. You will be king, but that night we met, you pretty much said you hoped I had someone in my life meaning it wouldn’t be you. Then you had the minister take the promises to love, honor and obey out of the vows and you didn’t make either of us swear not to be unfaithful…I had hope. Many kings cheat on their wives, but the wives are expected to remain faithful to the king.” She shrugged, “But not you.” She smiled at me, “And you! I know you love Vincent. At a very low point in your life, losing your father that you love so dearly and watching Vincent marry me? I did not expect we would become such good friends!” She shook her head, “And both of you accepted Harald and want us all to be in the baby’s life…” she rubbed the swell at her abdomen with affection, “That is a miracle.” She hugged me and kissed me on the cheek. “We are good friends. I love you.” Then she hugged Vincent and kissed him on the cheek. “I love you, Vincent.” She smiled again at me, “And you charmed my mother with the music of the world talk.”

“It isn’t just talk,” I smiled. “It’s very real. Norway has a beautiful song and I want to hear more.”

“I look forward to getting to know Harald, too.” Vincent said and then nudged me forward slightly, “He just needs to get used to David’s warped sense of humor.”

My warped sense of humor!?” I blurted to Vincent and turned to Angelica, “Vinnie here had Harald so worried with the whole we’re not friends stuff when Vinnie refused to shake hands with Harald!”

“You wouldn’t shake his hand!” Vincent corrected and smiled. “I hugged him and said we were family!” Angelica was laughing.

“Those horns on the side of the helmet must clog your ears,” I grumbled. “I told Harald we were family.”

“Okay!” Vincent shot back, “Technically, you’re right. I said we were more than friends.” Vincent pointed his thumb at me. “He said we were family.” He reached over and knocked gently on my head, “Get this in your head! How many times do I have to say it? Vikings didn’t have the horns!”

Angelica now laughed harder and hugged us both again. “Take care of each other.”

This whole system stunk! Two royal families who presented to the people one image of life in the palace, while really living an entirely different life in reality! But they didn’t tell anyone! They knew about Harald. They knew about Vincent and me! They did! That explained why King Olav was so happy that we both were getting along with Angelica! We cared about her. Queen Martha saw Vincent learning to put nappies on a doll! He wanted to care for the baby. He wanted the baby. The illusion would last another generation! But it all smelled like horse manure!

It was pretty damned cold out of the castle. I knew it was colder than the night we got here. The sleigh we took to the palace was an open sleigh. This one was enclosed, but ornate! When the ground is covered with snow for months at a time, these clever Vikings found a way to get around comfortably. We told Angelica and Queen Martha good-bye, King Olav was going to ride with us to the dock, but Vincent insisted it wasn’t necessary. Now you understand the sleigh! The king couldn’t ride in a plain sleigh. And get this! When we got in, the inside was warm!! Not just because we were out of the wind, it was warm in the sleigh! It came from the floor!! Heat rises. When your feet are cold, it is almost impossible to get warm. Vincent felt the rug at our feet and then pulled it back. The floor was metal with tiny holes all across it, but the holes weren’t big enough to get your pinky in. A red glow was a few inches below the floor. There were pieces of coal were burning.

My eyes widened, “How do they keep this from setting fire to the sleigh?” I asked amazed.

“I have no idea!” Vincent chuckled and put the rug back. “I got an answer to my own question this morning.”

“What question?”

“Why I love you,” Vincent answered with a smile. “You’re so positive! You love everybody!!”

“There are some…”

“Did you ever hate my mother?” Vincent asked.

“No!!” I said quickly.

“She sure hated you!” Vincent chuckled.

“She was just scared,” I shook my head. “She was a mother and worried about you. I’ve begun to love her now.”

“Frank Dupont?” Vincent asked.

I know my lip curled remembering the guy from Wentworth Academy that played that almost deadly “joke” on Vincent, “That was a close one, but he was stupid and jealous. I feel sorry for him.” I wondered what happened to him after he was expelled from Wentworth. “He made an enemy out of Queen Victoria!”

Vincent nodded as his smile grew, “The way you view the world! The way you see me. Even the way you bother me, that only you can do.” He leaned in a kissed me. “Don’t ever stop. I love you, David.”

Copyright © 2016 R. Eric; All Rights Reserved.
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Good old Vincent and crew... I love these guys and can't wait to see what the baby turns out to be. Shame they couldn't stay until he( ??? ) arrives. Loving it... 

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3 minutes ago, Kev said:

Good old Vincent and crew... I love these guys and can't wait to see what the baby turns out to be. Shame they couldn't stay until he( ??? ) arrives. Loving it... 

What do you think? Read the comment I wrote after you mentioned be christened!

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