“Dad, what are you doing?” Maggie’s rough whisper came from his left. She tugged on his tunic. “Are you all right?”
Yes, he was going to do this. He was going to ask the queen to dance. And if she rejected him, he would hang his head in shame and leave. She would never see him again.
“I’m going to ask the queen for a dance.”
“Are you mad?” Maggie jumped to her feet next to him, her hand on his arm, keeping him in place. “You can’t do that.”
“Why not?” he asked and it sounded more like a challenge than a question.
“B-because she’s the queen.” Maggie stole a glance at her before looking back at him. “And I forbid it.”
He nearly laughed. “You forbid it?”
“You…you can’t, Dad.”
“Why not?” he asked again, this time wanting a real answer.
“She’s….she’s the mother of my best friend. It would be…weird.”
“Mags, you’re a grown woman. Married. I seriously doubt it would be weird to ask her for a dance.” He paused, thought about his words when his daughter raised an eyebrow. “Okay, aside from the fact she’s a queen and I’m a…a…you know.”
“Human,” she whispered roughly.
“But she doesn’t know that.”
“Not yet!” She fisted her hands and perched them on her hips. “What if she says no? Then what?”
“Then I’ll look silly, won’t I?” He straightened his tunic. “Don’t worry, my little magpie. If she says no, I swear not to bother her again. But I don’t think she will. I may be old, but I still have some charms.”
Maggie scowled, looking every bit like the teenager he remembered. “Dad. Ew.”