You groan as you hear your son yelling for you, burying your head under your pillow.
Youre being called, mi amor, Toni mumbles, nudging you with his foot. You growl at him, unimpressed with being woken up.
You go. I need my sleep. All pregnant women of the world should have the right for their husbands to take the night shift, especially if theyre carrying two, you reply, running a finger over your belly quickly before pulling the duvet up further.
Apparently this doesnt matter to your son, Luis, who gets out of bed, wanders out of his room and opens your bedroom door, quietly. He, however, is not quiet.
Mama? he says, walking over to the bed and climbing onto it.
You smile to yourself before you surface from under the sheets and sit up, Whats wrong, sweetie?
I heard something, he whispers, as if whatever he thinks he heard is listening. Theres a pause as he shuffles towards you and attaches himself to your arm, and then he continues to whisper, It howled. I think it was a wolf.
You cant help but giggle. Of course, you dont get wolves in or around the area you live. You continue to laugh until Toni sits up, too, ruffling his hair in the dark.
What are you laughing at? he asks, snapping on the bedside lamp so that you can see. The light is intense at first, but then your eyes start to adjust to the new brightness, also allowing you to see the grin your husband has on his face.
He thinks he heard a wolf howling, you explain, hugging your son to your chest. Luis frowns, looking pretty angry at the fact youre laughing when you should be concerned about the wolf. You kiss his cheek, Luis, sweetie, we dont get wolves--
Ah, you must have heard Anton howling, Toni suddenly says with a shrug and a sad sigh. Luis looks up, interested, but you just stare at your husband, totally confused.
What? you ask, shaking your head in disbelief at what hes doing at
eleven thirty at night! This isnt the time to be playing around. To be honest, its not surprising that he would say something like this, but if its just going to freak your son out and stop him from sleeping, then youd rather he didnt start at eleven thirty at night.
I havent told you about Anton? he asks, slipping his arm around your shoulders. You dont say a word, still staring at him in confusion. Youre too tired for this
Luis, on the other hand, is now very fascinated in the mysterious howler that now has a name.
Whos Anton, papa? he asks, sitting cross legged in front of him. Toni relaxes back against the headboard of the bed as you rest your head on his shoulder, waiting patiently to hear what hes planning on telling your son.
Anton, Toni starts with a grin, is a big, brown wolf.
His hair is a lot like mine.
Brown and messy? you ask, reaching up and ruffling his hair.
He chuckles, Si, okay, kinda messy, but the same brown, anyways. So, Anton isnt just a wolf hes a prince!
A prince?! Luis eyes widen at the sound of a wolf-prince.
You snort and shake your head again, A prince? Okay, what is seriously going on in your head?
Just listen, chica, it gets better! Toni insists, grinning widely. You shrug and let him get on with it, hoping that whatever story hes about to tell will send your son to sleep.
Okay, were listening, you say, beckoning Luis towards you so that you can wrap your arms around him. He leans against you, seeming to be a little sleepy, but he still seems alert enough to hear what his father has to say. You twirl locks of his hair around your fingers, gently, and Toni continues to tell the story.
Good. Now, youll like this one, he tells you quietly before clearing his throat. Anton hasnt always been a wolf, Toni explains, holding his hands in front of the lamp to create a shadow puppet wolf. He then skilfully changes the shape to a human face, He was a man. Like I said, he was a prince. People dont usually call him Anton because nobody knew who this beast of a wolf really was.
You watch as your husband gets to his feet, dramatically putting his hands on his hips, saying, without even seeming to think about it, His real name was Prince Anton
Luis watches his father, anxious for him to continue. You smirk at the subtle changes Toni has made to create the princes name, even though his initials are still A F C.
He was brave, fearless, smart and very handsome, Toni says, counting the things off on his fingers as he grins at you.
Smart and handsome? You make that part up, did you? you joke with a wink.
He frowns and nods his head, He was smart and handsome! Thats why the princess fell in love with him!
Let me guess, the princess name was-
________! he says with another nod.
Thats just like mamas name! Luis says, looking up at you as if a crown will suddenly materialize on your head.
Si! Thats why shes so beautiful. I think your mamas related to the princess, Toni whispers to your son as he sits back on the bed and you roll your eyes, even though a blush appears on your cheeks.
Anyway, Princess ________ was the most beautiful in the whole world. She had (h/l)(h/c) hair, gorgeous big (e/c) eyes, and the perfect pair of--
You smack Toni hard on the back of the head as you see his hands hover in front of his chest.
Dont you dare, you mutter. Luis looks up at you, confused, so you change what Toni was about to say to, She was very pretty and thats it.
Toni chuckles, I was kidding, chica
He shakes his head and gets back to what he was saying, So, she was so beautiful, and many, many princes wanted to marry her, including the Prussian Prince Beilschmidt and the French Prince Bonnefoy.
You snort at the suggestion, unimpressed. Okay, so maybe the two other members of your husbands little trio of friends constantly used to flirt with you, especially Prince Bonnefoy, but marry is a bit much.
But, the princess didnt like either of them, or any of the princes that tried so hard to get her attention, because she was in love with another, the great Prince Castellano! Isnt that right, mi amor? he asks, looking at you.
Yes, I suppose youre right, you reply, to his amusement.
The princess thought he was so handsome and brave and smart and--
Yeah, alright, Toni, get on with it! you interrupt, and he kisses your cheek quickly before continuing.
Okay, so the Princess sat on her throne in her castle the biggest castle as her father was the king and he was the richest of all waiting for her father as he had something to tell her of high importance. After a long enough wait, the king entered the room. He said, My daughter, you are to be married to the best suitor in the land so that you can continue to rule in my position. The princess didnt like the sound of this, so she said
Toni waits, looking at you expectantly.
What? you ask.
The princess said
You sigh, So the princess said, But, father, I do not want to marry any of the suitors you have chosen.
Toni nods, sadly, But the King shook his head and said, Nonsense! You need to marry so you can rule the land in my place! Of course, her father didnt know that the princess was in love with Prince Castellano, but even if he did, he wouldnt have let her marry him.
Why? Luis questions with a frown.
Because even though he was handsome and brave and smart and--
We get it, Toni! you say.
Toni grins, sheepishly, but carries on,
Well, even though he was all of those things, the King would never allow his daughter to marry him as he wasnt powerful enough to rule the land to his liking. You see, Prince Castellano wasnt the richest and he didnt have the qualities that the king thought to be important for the new king to have. Princess ________ didnt care about anything else, however, because all she wanted was to be with her Spanish Prince, the handsomest of all of them.
Toni suddenly jumps up and runs out of the room. Luis looks at you,
Mama, where did Papa go?
I dont wanna know
you say, shaking your head, but you cant help smile at his antics. Hes crazy, and you love it.
After a moment, Toni runs back in, clutching the toy sword and little shield that he bought Luis for his last birthday, saying, So, unbeknown to the king, the princess left the castle to go and visit Prince Castellano, who waited outside of the walls surrounding her castle with his sword and shield every day so that they could meet in secret. The Prince was so happy to see her, but he instantly saw that she was sad. He said, My beautiful princess, why are you so upset?
Toni waits patiently, but you dont need encouraging this time as it seems that you are taking on the role of the princess. You say, The princess hugged him tightly and said, My handsome Prince, Anton! My father expects me to marry one of the other princes! What can I do?
Toni grins at the fact youre happily playing along now, and says, Prince Castellano wasnt shocked to hear of this news, as he knew the King was looking for a husband for his daughter, even though he was not permitted to be a suitor. He returned her hug to try and cheer her up, saying, Mi amor, I can see why you are upset, so I will try and convince your father that I am the perfect prince to marry you!
He may not listen. My father has already chosen suitors, so how can you change his mind?
I can do anything, for I am the bravest Prince in all of Spain! And with that, Prince Castellano kissed his princess and left her to find the entrance to the castle on his valiant steed!
His what? Luis questions.
Horse, you tell him.
Toni ignores this to continue, quite excited with where this is going, Well, Prince Castellano had to get past the guards first. He hopped down from his horse to see many guards spread across the hill. He had to work out how to sneak past them all. First, he
he climbed up the vines on the side of the vertical cliff side! Yeah! And then, he carefully jumped down on the other side of the first gate. Then, he cautiously walked up the hill and past two guards stood here to run across the stretch of grass here, which made him sneak past four more guards! Here, he climbed up more vines, over the last hill and jumped down into the moat, where he could swim around to the entrance of the castle!
You let out a loud laugh at the fact he had so easily ripped off the sneaking into the castle part of Ocarina of Time to add a little danger for the poor prince, shaking your head, unable to stop giggling for a moment.
Youre crazy, you tell him.
I think you mean Prince Castellano is crazy, he replies, grinning.
Couldnt the princess have taken him inside? Luis asks, which makes Toni looks at him, thinking about this for a moment. You raise an eyebrow, waiting to hear the answer.
No, because he would have been taken away whether she was there or not, Toni says with a shrug, Anyway, once he had gotten inside, he simply walked past the few guards in here when they werent looking and found his way to the throne room where the King sat. The King was angry at how he had managed to enter the castle, so he yelled at Prince Castellano, How did you get into my castle?! At this moment, the Princess entered the room to try and calm her father down.
You continue, Please dont get mad at him, father! she said, worried for Castellanos safety. She walked up to the King and said, I wish for him to be my husband.
Nonsense! the King shouted, He is one of the worst excuses for a prince in the land! He cannot take my place as King! Now leave my castle, or I will have you beheaded!
But I love him, she cried, Please dont-
No, my princess, the Prince interrupted her, quietly, I shall go.
Toni said the last line full of sadness, as if it were really him in the Princes position.
The Prince left the castle sadly and the Princess disappeared up to her room. But, while she was not in the room, the King called for his three best sorcerers, Arthur, Lukas and Vladimir.
You laugh again at this point, knowing that your three friends are heavily involved with practicing magic.
When the trio appeared, he said, I have a favour to ask of you. My daughter is in love with that disgrace of a prince. I need you to make sure their love can never be. So, the three of them disappeared to their magic room where they concocted a potion. Meanwhile, the Prince got onto his valia-- horse and rode off, only to be stopped later on by Arthur, except he was in disguise!
Disguised as what, Papa? Luis asks with a yawn. You run your fingers through his hair and kiss the top of his head.
He was disguised as an old man selling churros! he says, making you giggle, Churros were the princes favourite food, so when it was offered, Prince Castellano couldnt resist! He took a bite of the churro given to him and collapsed, for he had been given the potion that the magical sorcerers had created in the churro!
What happened? you find yourself asking. It takes you a moment to realise youre covering your mouth in shock at Tonis story. You slip your arms back around Luis, waiting patiently.
He lay there in such a deep sleep that it would have been impossible to wake him. He slept for three days, his body changing. Brown fur grew all over his body, he got bigger, grew a snout and a long, bushy tail. His ears pointed upwards and he received large paws with a huge claw on the end of each toe. He had changed into a gigantic wolf.
Anton! Luis announces, receiving a confirming nod from his father.
Si. The Prince, now changed to a wolf, woke up and discovered the change as he looked at his reflection in a pond, Toni explains, Of course, he had to let his princess know what had happened, but how? Well, the princess was walking outside of the castle grounds, hoping to see Prince Castellano, but she didnt expect to see the giant beast that appeared before her. At the first sight of him, she screamed, but the colour of his fur and eyes caught her eye and she paused as she noticed the beast was not going to hurt her in any way, as he wasnt growling like you would expect such a wolf to do. The princess said
You take over,
Anton? she asked, and after another look into his big, sparkling green eyes she dropped to her knees and wrapped her arms around his neck, crying into his fur. She knew exactly who was behind this. Her father must have sent his sorcerers after him to stop them from ever being together!
Exactly! Toni continues, However, there was nothing the princess could do, for she couldnt reverse the spell and the sorcerers would never change him back as they dont listen to anyone but the King. So, the Princess had to leave her Princes side.
Wed better wrap this up, Toni, you say, quietly, seeing Luis trying to keep himself awake.
Of course. Well, the Princess needed to marry someone who her father chose, now, seeing as she couldnt be with Castellano. She was forced into marrying one of the richest princes in the land.
What happened to Castellano, Papa? he says, with a big yawn, practically falling asleep if it werent for his determination to hear the end of the story.
He couldnt be changed back because he couldnt speak to anyone. Once the princess was married, he couldnt see her anymore, but he often howled to her from outside of the castle wall. The Prince was spotted from time to time by people from the village and, because all they saw was a monster as they didnt know it was Castellano, they named him the monster wolf, so he led a sad life from then on. The thing is, Castellano could never recover from the potion and he could never speak, so he could only spend time with other wolves. He now roams the land, howling at the moon every night for the loss of both his life and the love of his life, his princess.
Thats so sad, you whisper.
Hes lonely, Luis mutters.
Toni sees him falling asleep and picks him up, ready to carry him back to his bedroom, and he replies, Ah, but hes not completely lonely. Hes friends with the other wolves, even if he doesnt have his princess.
You stand up and kiss Luis forehead, Goodnight, sweetie.
Goodnight, Mama, he manages to say before he falls asleep in your husbands arms. Toni smiles and carries him back to his bedroom. You go back under the duvet and smile to yourself. The story was a sad one, but it was good.
When the lights go out and Toni returns, you grin at him. He snaps the light off and puts his arm around you, kissing your cheek. You giggle and say, Oh, Anton, stop~!
He whispers into your ear, so quietly that you barely hear him, Te amo, Mi princesa ________.
Te amo, también, you reply, equally as quietly, Although, I must ask, where did that story come from?
He shrugs, I just wanted a little fun.
It was so sad, though. Not really something to tell to a child. Stories are meant to have happy endings.
Not all of them, he says. Besides, I was going to let you handle it at first, anyway.
Thanks, sweetie. Youre so kind to me, you say, sarcastically, shaking your head, But, seriously, if the twins come out and have nightmares about being turned into wolves when theyre a little older, Ill know youre to blame.
That depends on if I havent turned into a wolf myself, he says, But would you stand by my side, chica, if I turned into a big monster?
You could never be a monster, even if you were a wolf. But, even so, I wouldnt leave you, you tell him, pressing a kiss on his lips, softly. Theres a few moments quiet, but then you mumble,
Unless someone really rich came along
You start to laugh as he tickles your side, fingers swiftly running across your hip and swollen tummy.
I was kidding! Stop~! you wail. When he gives up, he kisses your neck as you say, Nice way to handle Luis, though. You can tell the stories from now on.
It was nothing. Besides, I was going to tell him that Anton is a huge wolf that eats little kids that dont stay in bed all night.
You stare at him,
He chuckles, Nah, that wouldnt scare him after I already told him thats what you do.
After all, what do you think he thinks about how the babies got into your belly and--
Tonis voice is swiftly cut off as he takes a pillow to the face.