His Name

Characters:

Emre Young noble, Joanna's friend, crown prince-to-be

Earl Noble, King's friend, Emre's father

Countess Noble, King's friend, Emre's mother

Wesley Young noble, Emre's older brother, earl-to-be

Aurora Young noble, Emre's younger sister

King Joanna's father

Philip King's right-hand man

Sigrid Aurora's maid

Setting:

Hallway outside the King's study

Act II, Scene I

(Lights come on. Stage is set only with a few chairs against the Upper wall/curtain. There is a door leading off Right. EMRE, the EARL, the COUNTESS, WESLEY, and AURORA enter Left, talking. SIGRID follows at a respectful distance)

EMRE: – and I can't believe it's been a whole month since I saw any of you! I know that you had to leave right after the betrothal to start preparing for the wedding; Joanna and I have barely had a moment's peace ourselves. But it would be nice to see a family member once in a while…

EARL: You may as well get used to that. You'll be seeing even less of us after the wedding.

WESLEY: (Dripping with obviously false sympathy) Poor Emre, all alone in the big, bad castle, with nobody to keep him from being scared at night. How will he ever bear it? (AURORA giggles and EMRE scowls. WESLEY grins evilly) Ah, well, I'm sure he won't mind quite so much after two months. Then he'll have his pretty young princess to keep him company, eh, little brother?

AURORA: (Gasps, scandalized, hands flying to her mouth) Wesley!

(The EARL turns away, stifling laughter. SIGRID covers her mouth delicately with a hand, hiding her amusement with more success than the EARL)

EMRE: (Glaring at WESLEY) Watch it, you.

COUNTESS: (Sharply) One more disrespectful comment like that, and you won't be taking another hunting trip for months.

WESLEY: (Stumbles back, grin dropping from his face at once) Y-you wouldn't.

COUNTESS: Don't try to challenge my authority, young man.

WESLEY: (Swallows) It was only a jest. I-I meant nothing by it.

COUNTESS: (Sternly, rounding on the EARL) And I don't ever want to see you supporting such a mockery of the royal family.

EARL: (Sobering quickly) I'm sorry, my dear.

COUNTESS: Emre, I'm afraid we're only here for a couple of days before we return to Medrathia, but we'll be back a month before the wedding to stay for all the festivities.

EMRE: You'll be staying at the Faithful Hound inn along the way?

COUNTESS: (Smiling) We always do.

EMRE: (With nostalgia) I'll miss that. (Looks suddenly to WESLEY, who has somewhat regained his swagger) Speaking of missing, why didn't you attend the betrothal ceremony, Wesley? I mean, I'm not trying to be bigheaded here, but what could you have been doing that's more important than the announcement of the future king?!

WESLEY: (Shrugs, avoiding all gazes) Hunting. It was a week-long trip that time.

EMRE: (Suspiciously) Since when were so keen on hunting? I thought you'd given up after that time you were nearly mauled by a wild boar.

WESLEY: (Grins, looking into the distance) Since I discovered the type of game a man can catch when he really puts his mind to it.

EARL: (Frowning) Funny, I don't seem to remember you catching much of anything.

AURORA: And yet you about fainted just now when Mother threatened to keep you from it.

WESLEY: (Nervous) I just enjoy it, all right? The Cernnunos Woods are very… invigorating. (Holds his hands up defensively) Aren't I allowed a favorite pastime?!

COUNTESS: Not when it interferes with you duties as heir of the earldom.

(WESLEY is spared from having to reply when the door opens and the KING enters Right, PHILIP following. ALL turn and bow or curtsy to the KING)

KING: Ah, you're all here. I apologize for the delay. I hope you weren't waiting too long.

COUNTESS: Not at all, Majesty.

KING: You're here to arrange another marriage, correct?

AURORA: (Proudly) Two marriages.

KING: (Surprised) Is that right? (To the COUNTESS) Why, Lydia, I didn't expect you to try to get rid of you children so quickly. Are you sure you want all your chicks leaving the nest at once?

COUNTESS: (Smiling, a little sadly) I know when I's time to let them go.

WESLEY: (Waving his hands) Wait a moment, two more marriages? Wasn't it only Aurora and Leopold who were getting betrothed? Not me, too!

EARL: (Putting a hand to his forehead) Wesley, we've been discussing this for months, now. Maybe if you were "hunting" less, and spent more time doing what you're supposed to, you would remember these conversations.

WESLEY: (Panicky) But I can't get married! I'm–

COUNTESS: (Firmly) That's enough out of you, Wesley. (To the KING) If we could begin, Your Majesty?

KING: (Turning and walking Right) I know we're all very busy, so I'll try not to keep you for long. (KING exits through the door)

AURORA: (To SIGRID, as the EARL, the COUNTESS, WESLEY, and EMRE follow the KING offstage Right) Just wait for us out here, Sigrid.

SIGRID: (Curtsying promptly) Yes, milady.

(AURORA exits Right. PHILIP closes the door after her, remaining onstage, and stands at attention. SIGRID sits in a chair and smooths out her skirt. She is trying to keep still, but cannot stop herself from stealing glances at PHILIP, who is studiously ignoring her. She clasps her hands in her lap and stares at them. After a minute or so of this behavior, SIGRID suddenly gets up and crosses to stand directly in front of PHILIP. The tension between them is almost palpable)

SIGRID: (Timidly) Ah…um…Philip?

PHILIP: (Finally looking at SIGRID. His tone is strictly professional) Do you require some assistance, Miss Sigrid?

SIGRID: (Wringing her hands) No, it's just that I… (Hesitates, but presses on) In about a fortnight, there's to be a public dance in the main courtyard…and it just so happens that I'm free from duties that evening… (Nervous) I couldn't help but wonder if I might- (Swallows) might see you there?

PHILIP: (Flatly) No.

SIGRID: (Taken aback at his blunt response) Oh. (Embarrassed, she looks down for a moment, then back up) Well, I haven't yet an escort for the Feast of Fancies next month. (Hopeful) Would you possibly consider-

PHILIP: As I believe I have told you before, Miss Sigrid, my duties to the King extend over any sort of common holiday or resting day. Must I also remind you that this means I cannot escort you on any public occasion?

SIGRID: …I see. (She frowns at the floor. A pained expression flashes across PHILIP's face as he watches SIGRID; but he masters himself quickly. SIGRID seems to recall something; her head snaps up) All right then, what about the royal wedding? You couldn't possibly not attend that!

PHILIP: (Seriously) The wedding will be packed with guests, both trustworthy and otherwise; ambassadors, foreign dignitaries, politicians, representatives of every influential family in the country, as well as anyone thought worthy enough to be recognized by the court, and many people who do not fit any of these descriptions. Every individual could have plans that involve the royal family, and the means to attempt to carry them out. (PHILIP pauses. SIGRID is staring at him with her mouth slightly open) In an atmosphere such as that, do you really think I could leave His Majesty unattended for even a moment? For some frivolous activity like dancing?

SIGRID: No…but I… (Trails off)

PHILIP: That, I think, settles the matter.

SIGRID: (Bites her lip and looks away, then says quietly) You don't have to dance with me. (Still not looking at him, almost to herself) Could I just…stand next to you? (Claps a hand over her mouth, shocked at her own words)

PHILIP: (Genuinely surprised, a sharp contrast to his usual emotionless mask) Sigrid…what-?

SIGRID: (Turns and stalks Left, fists clenched) Sorry. (Clearly on the verge of tears) I-I'm sorry.

(Half-reaching for her, PHILIP opens his mouth to speak, but is interrupted by some shouting offstage Right. His head snaps toward it, and makes to open the door, but before he can, WESLEY bursts onstage Right, red-faced and furious. He stalks to Center stage, then whirls around angrily)

WESLEY: (Bellowing as the COUNTESS, the EARL, EMRE, and AURORA enter Right more slowly, all looking shocked) This is in no way just! I will not be forced into an unwanted marriage when I- (Stops himself abruptly, as if biting his tongue, the turns and stalks offstage Left)

COUNTESS: (Irate, as the KING enters also) Well, I never!

KING: What was that about?

COUNTESS: (To the EARL) Mervin, we need to get this sorted out immediately.

EARL: Yes, of course. (To the KING, as the COUNTESS begins to hurry offstage Left) I apologize, Nathaniel, but it seems we're going to have to finish this some other time.

KING: Understandable, my friend. I look forward to seeing you all again.

EARL: Emre, come see us off, or you'll never hear the end of it from your mother.

(EMRE nods, accompanying the EARL and AURORA as they follow the COUNTESS. SIGRID starts to leave, but turns to look at PHILIP one last time. Their eyes meet and she turns away sharply to exit Left. PHILIP watches her go with a confused expression)

KING: (Noticing PHILIP's distraction) Is something wrong, Philip?

PHILIP: (Gives himself a little shake) No, Your Majesty, everything is fine. (The KING looks between PHILIP and the spot where SIGRID exited)

KING: (Slowly) All right, then, we'd better get back to the seating arrangements.

(BOTH exit through the door Right, PHILIP closing it after them. Scene fades to black)

A/N: I did have this ready on Tuesday, I just didn't have Internet access for a couple days. I hope the long scene makes up for it!

I've removed Sigrid's accent, both here and in Act I, Scene IV, because it's irrelevant and I don't remember the plot point it was originally for. Plus I'm lazy. And yes, I made another couple. I just can't get enough of the romantic drama! I think Philip and Sigrid are my favorites, though. What do you guys think about them?

Funny story: While I was typing up Emre's line "Why didn't you attend the betrothal ceremony, Wesley?", I accidentally put "Why didn't you attend the betrothal ceremony, Brother?" It didn't get caught until my sister was proofreading it. It seems I have been watching WAAAAAY too much Fullmetal Alchemist lately.

Equivalent exchange: I write a story, you write a review. Next update in twelve days.

Edit 12/14/12: I just realized the next update day is Christmas Day, so I'm going to postpone that for a couple days, both because I have better things to do on Christmas (no offense), and because vacations = no guarantee of Internet access. Sooooo, basically expect Act II, Scene II sometime around the 28th. Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Mid-Winter's Day, Snoggletog, or whatever the heck it is you celebrate :)