Zerrin made it back to his office before he had a mini breakdown. How could he be attracted to his chef? She wouldn’t make a good wife. He rolled that idea around in his head for a bit. Okay, maybe a good wife, he could easily imagine her in his bed. Too easily.
Unfortunately what made a good wife might not make the best queen. He couldn’t imagine Bella sitting still during long meetings or having the patience to deal with court politics. She struck him as a tell it like it is kind of person who could wreck destruction on years of political relationship building.
Sighing he plopped down in his chair and planted his face in his hands. He had a looming disaster on his hands. There had to be a woman who could be his queen without possibly endangering the country.
“Is there problem, your highness?” Crell peeked into the room.
Zerrin rubbed his face and made a decision. “I need you to draw up a list of potential brides. I need to remarry and soon. My sons have been motherless long enough. They need someone to read them stories and tuck them in at night.
“They have nannies for that,” Crell reminded him. “They are well adjusted happy boys don’t marry because you think they need a mother. Marry because you want a wife.”
Zerrin turned to face his advisor. “But what if I pick the wrong woman?” So many things depended on him choosing correctly.
Crell frowned. “Did you have someone in mind? I doubt you’d select a woman who’d make a poor queen, you are too aware of your position for that.
Zerrin wondered if that were true. Even a few hours ago he’d swear he’d never contemplate putting anything ahead of his kingdom. Unfortunately one thought of Bella injured by the duke and he’d lost his mind.
“Tell the Duke of Greel I expect him to attend me in the morning. He needs to learn he can’t kidnap my staff and get away with it.”
“What are you going to do?”
Zerrin smiled. “I think he needs to pay restitution to my chef for kidnapping her. She is new to the planet and doesn’t know her rights.”
Crell smiled. “He’s going to hate having to make amends.”
“I know.” The more he thought about the idea the more he liked it. “Make sure he knows his attendance is mandatory. I’ve let too many of his incidents pass without acting. I can’t let him grab members of my staff and think that’s acceptable.”
Crell tilted his head as he examined the king. “Is it because it was a staff member or because your chef is an extremely attractive woman?”
“I don’t care if my chef is a man the duke still went too far.” That was his story and he planned to stick to it.
“As you will, your highness.” Crell bowed. “I’ll send off the invitation.”
Invitation was a polite way of stating it. Zerrin didn’t really care how it was phrased as long as the duke showed up.