To all who read this, please read and review at your earliest convenience as this is my first story ever. Any and all criticism, good or bad, but hopefully good, would be welcome.

Author Note: I first wrote the preceding story, epic, or whatever you wish to call it following the birth of my great-nephew Benjamin Randall Barr in an attempt to bring to fruition a dream I had long since held of becoming a writer, an otherwise futile attempt to be sure, but one which i had made nonetheless in the sure and certain hope that he would one day not look upon me with praise and adoration but in and otherwise with a congratulatory tone and manner befitting someone such as myself. I can only hope that I have otherwise been able to accomplish that very goal even now, seeing as though my first attempt was not only in and of itself futile but had become inherently discombobulated ( i.e., lost and/or deleted chapters) disjointed(i.e., incoherent train of thought, alliterative, albeit fictional, characters, etc.) and just plain no good (i.e., not being able to keep up with my thought processes in general)and for that I sincerely apologize to him. And now, as the saying goes, on with the show.

The Adventures of Sir Edward And His Son Sir Christopher:

A Tale of Love vs. Hate, Good vs. Evil And Everything In Between

By Ben Gauger

Chapter One

My Life Thus Far

Once in the land of The Kingdom Where Everything Was Pure and Holy there lived a wise yet learned king, Randall by name, who had taken for himself a wife, also a wise yet learned queen, Sandrine by name, who had borne for him four extraordinary children: Lords Adam and Lucas and their sisters Ladies Abigail and Emily, who in their later years would come to have husbands and-or wives of their own, one of which, Lady Jennifer, Lord Adam's eventual bride, would bear him a son, Benjamin Randall, who would in all wise come to be named as such not just for the sake of having a name but also for that of having been named for who would perhaps be the two most important people in his life, King Randall and nephew and soon-to-be great-uncle Prince Benjamin, both members of House Worthington, for that is who and otherwise what he as well as his cousins were, Worthingtons, of the highest caliber to be sure, and as such would and otherwise could do anything and everything he set his as yet to be formed Worthingtonian mind to, for if anything that was what would and otherwise could come to symbolize the very core of the family Worthington, King Randall and Queen Sandrine most especially, for they were not just your average, ordinary power couple lounging about on couch chairs or being catered to by their servants, as most power couples if not couples in general were known if not prone to do, they were in fact unafraid of pounding the pavement at home and abroad, of getting their hands dirty insofar as helping their fellow man out was concerned, of being amongst the masses, nee throngs, of many of their kingdom's' less fortunate population, which when you thought about it made the sanest, most stalwart individual weep like a baby, okay, so maybe that a little bit too far-fetched, the point being that in order to show their worth, their true worth, not to mention prove to the citizenry tucked away within said kingdom that the family Worthington in and of themselves just blowing smoke when matters pertaining to the kingdom as a whole they (i.e. King Randall and Queen Sandrine) had in and of themselves decided to travel outside Castle Worthington's' walls in order to see for themselves just how much help was needed in order to help improve the lives of their fellow man, if not within the kingdom itself then abroad, and trust me when I say it was needed it was needed, especially in the poor and impoverished areas in the outlying territories, seeing as though that population in and of itself hadn't quite literally had two pennies to rub together, in which case they quite literally would have died of starvation had someone, anyone not stepped in and contributed to their health and well being by establishing a feeding program for the villages' children, or if not just that then an inoculation program where diseases like malaria and dysentery would not be allowed to thrive in places where the drinking water was impure and unhealthy in which case any and all disease-carrying vermin were allowed to run rampant, thereby wreaking havoc with the villages general population, but moreover the little ones, for they were in and of themselves perhaps the most vulnerable therein, and in so being were more likely to die at an early age than their less than vulnerable counterparts, in which case whilst one population thrived the strived to stay alive, thereby all but being offered as proof of just how serious a pandemic those less fortunate were facing, and so in the end the situation in the territories into which Their Majesties were about to sally forth would be considered most dire if they (i.e., King Randall and Queen Sandrine)hadn't not stepped in and don't something straight away, one action which young Prince Benjamin found to be the most admirable within the family Worthington, in part because it came not only from within the family but because it came from the two most admirable people at the head of the family, King Randall and Queen Sandrine, even more so because they were the ones who in and of themselves made the second eldest Prince of Worthington, Prince Timothy being the first eldest, feel at ease and more comfortable with himself than anyone else he ever knew, including, but not limited to, sister and fellow queen and mother Queen Janice and Father King Reuel, lest we forget third eldest sibling Princess Amanda, but I, I mean he, digressed, the point being that had it not been for Uncle and Auntie dearest the prince in and of himself wouldn'tve had anybody in his corner, I mean this is the selfsame brood whose first eldest son, Lord Adam, the prince had bunked with during their younger years, not to mention had been gifted with a binocular-compass combination by their fellow kith and kin Lord Leigh, one gift which the prince would not and otherwise could not ever have forgotten, seeing as though it had been bestowed upon him during the first-ever Worthington reunion in County Sussex, one bestowal which in and of himself Prince Benjamin would not and otherwise could not ever forget, not that he could, unintenionally at least, though anything with him was possible, especially given the nature of his condition and how it in and of itself impacted his quality of life not to mention had sent him into near fits of rage and sobbing uncontrollably purely at the thought of him not being able to run and play like other children his age, in which case he'd had no choice to sit back and just let life pass him by, one life which in and of itself was fraught with and all perils imaginable, the thought of having gifts and such being lavished on him left and right not the least of which was among them, and so he had avowed there and then to never let anything stand in the way of living his life any way he saw fit, oh, and then of course their was the financial aspect of it all, one which father King Reuel would have to assume unless and until such time as the prince in and of himself was able to assume said aspect, not to mention the fact that that would in all wise be taking place during his (i.e., Prince Benjamin's)time at the facility geared toward handling conditions like his own, in which case his life as he knew it then and there would be absolutely, irrevocably turned upside down, if not just because it would rend his home life asunder from the get-go then because it would in all wise leave him absolutely, unequivocally vulnerable to the outside world and all its temptations, in which case he would in all wise be susceptible if not suggestible to the influences that lay within as well as without, especially without, seeing as though to him, most especially then and there and only then and there, the world seemed as though it were one great big wonderland of pleasure and fantasy and all else when in fact it was nothing but one great big ball of sin and debauchery and grade A 100% fornication, a most unholy combination to be sure, especially considering the fact that its number one target was the son of a preacher man, as the song goes, and as such gave it carte blanche to wreak havoc with his emotions left, right, up, down and sideways, more or less, not to mention mess with his head in much the same way, in which case the once and future Prince of Worthington was well on his way to living a life most if not all people in his situation dreamed of, one dream which in and of itself was clearly not meant to be given the fact it would and otherwise could promise nothing viable but heartache and pain and just plain empty promises, but then again that was how his life felt in general, empty, for nothing ever would and otherwise could seek to completely fill it like he wanted, not wealth or health or riches in general, given of course the fact that he had had very limited resources as it was, seeing as though he'd received but a monthly stipend or two from the government in and of itself and even that wasn't even to whet the young royal's appetite for all things financial, or even if it did it wouldn'tve lasted all that long, and so in the end nothing ever would've or ever even could've made him happier than he could've ever possibly have hoped to have ever been in his life, that is until he chanced upon the fairest, most beautiful maiden in all the land, one who would and could in all wise bring him immense happiness and joy for all eternity, if at all possible, in which case nothing, and I mean nothing, could've ever compared to it otherwise, that is unless of course someone better than her came along, in which case all bets were off, not that he was one to going placing bets on all his conquests, platonic or otherwise, like some desperate, lovestruck teenager hoping to cash in on the first piece of tail he'd seen and-or saw crossing his path, for that was not what he was, what he was was in fact someone looking to connect with someone whose was just as honest and genuine and whose motives for love were just as pure as his were and-or ever will be, for he was not one who took lightly the concept of love in and of itself, at least not as lightly as the outside world made it out to be, for when he loved someone such as he did and otherwise had the as yet to be named maiden he chanced upon whilst out for a stroll one fine spring day, he loved both heart and soul and not with some half-hearted intent such as one who was in all wise devoid of feeling and emotion would ever be, in short the love 'em and leave 'em type, in which case he mightn't not as well have loved at all, thereby all but being classified into the very group he detested the most, not that he ever couldn't not have been like that, it was just his condition gave him very little freedom as is to be the kind of person he had otherwise envisioned himself to be, and so as a result he was left to his own devices, both mentally and physically, if not mentally alone, in which case his mind as he and he alone himself knew and-or had otherwise known it was left to wander through the forest which was his subconscious, free-flowing with thoughts of six-of-one-half-a-dozen-of-the-other, or some such nonsense, in which case he never would and otherwise could never be able to live his life as normally as anybody and everybody else was able to, and so in the end he would in all wise become one helluva messed up member of the family Worthington, more so mentally then physically to be sure, though with Aunt/Queen Sandrine and Uncle/King Randall being able to set him straight, more or less, he oughtn't not worry about a thing, and believe you me that was one time being set straight he didn't not mind, not that he wouldnt've minded any and all others, save of course from Mom Queen Janice and Dad King Reuel, which he didn't, it just seemed as though Aunt/Queen Sandrine and Uncle/King Randall were more on his level of thinking than any and everybody else within the family Worthington combined, including, but not limited to, Aunts Aletha, Agnes, and Linda and Uncles David, Jerold and Phil, respectively, all of which would go on to have divers professions as a teacher, farmer's wife, and one of that who dabbled in the electrical arts, though in the current day and age their was little, if any, work for those in that profession, and as for the uncles' professions, they would each in and of themselves become a clergyman, a farmer and an applied scientist of the electrical arts, though like I said their was little, if any, work for those in that profession, given of course the current day and age, but that was neither here nor there right now, and as for those in the profession of the clergy, of which their were three to Prince Benjamin's knowledge (i.e. Kings Randall, Reuel and Uncle David), well, let's us just say that that was perhaps the most noble profession of them all, next to farming, of course, which of course is where thirdmost Uncle Jerold came in, seeing as though the area where he and thirdmost Aunt Agnes had planted their roots, as it were, was rife with farmland, and as such gave them all the more an opportunity to contribute to the kingdom's economy, seeing as though times were in and of themselves were tough in perhaps the remotest of areas, and believe you me where they were was pretty remote, though with daughters/ladies Diana, Charlotte and Cheryl around, who could go wrong?, seeing as though they weren't being totally bereft of any and all human contact, and although their ladyships led disparate lives with husbands and kids, save of course for Lady Charlotte, whose husband Lord Bradley ascribed to the very group which Prince Prince Benjamin detested, if not swore he'd never become a card-carrying member of (i.e., the love 'em and leave 'em type) but not before they'd borne a daughter, Lady Heather, who would one fine day find her own truelove, that that fivesome would remain as close as ever, that is unless and until the day came when father/farmer Jerold was called home heavenward, in which case they in and of themselves would remain bereft of a father/husband until one fine day when one of similar ilk, if not within the family Worthington in and of itself came along for then, and only then, would they be forever complete, one completion which in and of itself would not be without its' obstacles, seeing as though Lady Charlotte is, was and perhaps would always be her father's daughter no matter what, and although it would be hard at first having someone replacing father Jerold, she would eventually warm to the idea, and as for where sisters/ladies Diana Cheryl were concerned, at least in the husband department, they couldn't be more happier now than they were in the beginning, in which case nothing, and I mean nothing, would and otherwise could ever take that away from them, though that in and of itself would soon change, for sooner or later, or sooner rather than later, the family Worthington would in and of itself experience the deaths of those closest to them, Queen Mum/Grandma Ella and King/Grandpa Gerhardt, for then and only then would that happiness in and of itself come crashing down all around them, thereby cementing a life and future without their children's' grandparents around, in which case life in and of itself would never be the same for neither Lady Diana nor Lady Cheryl's families, as well as that of Lady Charlotte and daughter Heather, not to mention the family Worthington in and of itself, seeing as though at the heart and soul of every family were the grandparents, and as such their job was to pass down any and all knowledge accrued during their lifetime, in the hopes that one day that that knowledge would serve as a guide if not as proof of their roots, well, that and some darn good tales to be told around the dinner table to be sure, but sadly enough that wouldn't get to happen, for sooner or later, or sooner rather than later, King Gerhardt would in and of himself succumb to death by none other than natural causes, thereby leaving Queen Mum Ella to rule all by her lonesome, as a result leaving the kingdom without its' secondmost ruler, in which case then-Princesses Janice and Sandrine would in and of themselves have to step in and fill the void, thereby sealing the gap left by the otherwise untimely death of King Gerhardt, though were it not for the support of then-Princes Jerold, David and Phil not to mention then-Prince Reuel's mother the Dowager Queen Ella, who unlike Queen Ella had lost her husband by similar means, the former wouldn'tve had had the strength to carry on, in which case the kingdom which the family Worthington held so dear would in and of itself crumble from within, one crumbling which in and of itself would be just plain not good, if not for the monarchy in and of itself then for the people as a whole, thereby signifying the end of an era, one which in and of itself was fraught with happiness and joy from one end of the kingdom to the other, that is had it not been for the stalwartness of then-Princesses Janice and Sandrine and then-Princes Jerold, Phil and David, for if nothing else they absolutely, unequivocally refused to let that happen, to wit, the letting the kingdom crumble part, okay, so maybe that was a bit, tiny as it was, of a stretch, the point being that without King Gerhardt it could get a might lonely ruling a kingdom all by oneself, not totally though, for as long as Her Royal Highness had had the backing of friends and family, if not family alone, the kingdom as a whole could get through anything and everything that was thrown its' way, which was in and of itself especially true for young Prince Benjamin, for it was and otherwise would be during this time that he would be witness to seeing the once vibrant body of his grandfather resting comfortably in ye olde polished pine box all peaceful and whatnot the young royal would suddenly be overcome with grief ,or as the Yiddish say become feklempt, but that was neither here nor there right now, what was was the all too stark realization that the one person, the one person whom Prince Benjamin had known up until that point in time had suddenly yet irrevocably passed away and their wasn't a damn thing he could do about it, all he could do was sit back and watch events as he knew them unfold until the tears started flowing, and started flowing they did, which of course was thanks in no part to his condition, for what happened on the inside came out in waves on the outside, if you know what I mean, for there was no time when this was more apparent during that of when the summer festival had taken place prior to King Gerhardt's passing and he was in and of himself able to be free unless and until such time as it had ended, in which case the young royal would be left to ponder his time with the aforementioned mystery maiden, insofar as he would in all respects become quite taken with her that he would in all wise become heartsick when he would never see her again after that, especially if and when, if not when, Mum Queen Janice and King Dad Reu had anything to say about it, and boy did they, though not so much verbally as phyiscally, for it was amd otherwise would be considerably sometime after that very encounter that the time would come when said mystery maiden would be accepted by rite of confirmation into the body of Christ that Prince Benjamin had had it in and of himself to purchase a congratulatory trinket in hopes of bestowing it upon Her Maidenship, but not even that would be possible, for just as soon as he had, it would in all wise fall by the wayside and be considered nothing more than a worthless piece of jewelry whose value was not and otherwise would not be considered much more important by the glitterati of western society than if a bum in and of themselves had walked right up to the nearest waste receptacle and fished it out in hopes of polishing it and restoring it to its' natural beauty, in which case it might in and of itself be worth something to someone after all if not its original, nee intended owner, which would in all wise would have been Her Maidenship had Their Majesties had the cojones to admit that second eldest son Prince Benjamin's heart had been in the right place rather than just dismissing him as one of their subjects, which of course with a little luck and ingenuity, which of course is and otherwise would be code for holding their feet to the fire, would happen sooner or later or sooner rather than later, in which case he would in all wise be able to put an end to feeling so subservient to his parents, but not even that was in and of itself possible, if for no other reason than that of the prince feeling as though he would and otherwise could quite possibly turn into as much of a bear, both literally and figuratively, if not literally, than his father was or even had been, and so in the end he (i.e., Prince Benjamin) had had no choice but to go slogging off as if he were the medieval equivalent of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, with his tail between his legs, no less, with an otherwise heavy heart to be sure, and nothing but Grade A, unbridled contempt for both his parents, a contempt which would in all wise stay with him to this very day, which as he as well as anybody else knew is, was and otherwise would not be good for him, both physically and mentally, if not physically, especially since his blood pressure would go skyrocketing through the castle roof, in which case the end result would and otherwise could have serious repercussions for all involved, so much so that he as well as Mummy and Daddy Worthington could quite literally kiss their kingdom good-bye, and that, that was something which in and of itself would be just plain not good, if not for the citizenry in and of itself than for the monarchy in and of itself, for for a kingdom not to have its' governing body in existence would be just plain wrong, well, that and the fact that it would in and of itself unknowningly be the cause of the death of the monarchy's seniormost member Her Royal Majesty Queen Ella, on Queen Janice's side, not King Reuel's side, well, it least not yet, seeing as though one member of that side of the family (i.e., Queen Janice's) had been lost due to natural causes and they most certainly were not yet due to lose another, not yet at least, one loss which would be as equally devastating as that of King Gerhardt, for he, along with Queen Ella were the quintessential It couple, and as such were valued more highly than all the wealth in the outlying kingdoms combined, which when one considered it compared to their own kingdom's wealth didn't and otherwise hadn't amounted to a hill of beans when compared to the wealth of experience they would've otherwise had to offer to any and all future generations of Worthingtons, but unfortunately due to King Gerhardt's passing they wouldn't get to have that opportunity, and so in the end they would have to settle for Queen Ella herself, who amazingly enough was as strong and resilient than most people would've given her credit for, though eventually that strength and resiliency wouldn'tve in and of itself have lasted all that long, for sooner or later, or sooner rather than later she herself would succumb to death by natural causes, thereby leaving Queen Janice to ascend to the throne which mother/grandma Queen Ella and perhaps countless generations of Worthingtons had ascended before her, in which case Queen Janice would in all wise be groomed to take her place, and as for King Reuel's ascendancy to the throne, well, that was on a total lark, seeing as though father King Emil's death was perhaps as unexpected as they come, and so in the end was not only the future of the throne at stake but also that of then-Prince Reuel, not to mention the fact that Prince Benjamin in and of himself wouldn't have had the chance to get to know him, in which case he would have and otherwise had felt devoid of knowing the one person, who unlike King/Grandpa Gerhardt, had in and of himself accomplished so much before his life had otherwise been iunjustly demanded from him, as a result leaving the second eldest Worthington to grieve for the one soul in the all too crazy, mixed-up amalgam which was in and of itself the family Worthington, and trust me when I say it was crazy, it was crazy, nuts even, but that was neither here nor there right now, what of course was was the fact that a newer, perhaps stronger generation of Worthingtons was soon to abound and when and otherwise once it did, there would be a whole lot of changes going on left, right and sideways even, okay, so maybe that last one was a bit of a stretch, the point being that eventually change in and of itself was gonna come at and first it would be scary but as time went on it would in all wise be doable, at least for those who it didn't otherwise come creeping up on them unexpectedly, Prince Benjamin on the other hand, well, let's us just say he wasn't exactly a fan of it in and of itself, I mean sure it was inevitable, and that was fine and all, but just how inevitable was more what scared the bejeevers out of him, seeing as though it would in and of itself come to affect him in perhaps the worst way possible, more so where any and all relationships he had as well as come to have were concerned, especially with the mystery maiden whose acquaintance he had made at the summer festival, as well as perhaps as those of any and all others like her, some perhaps more than others, including one who in particular would serve to play a part in the spring formal which he would in and of himself be attending at the institution which was geared to handle conditions like his, in perhaps more than one way to be sure, so much so that the comments he would make to her during the course of the evening would in all wise seek to become his downfall, and that was the last thing he intended to happen, believe you me, but unfortunately it would, and even more unfortunate was and otherwise would be that he would have to live with its consequences the rest of his naturally born and otherwise royal life, that is until he left there many years later, in which case any and all memories that were had there would in all wise be expunged from his subsconcious, though the feelings in and of themselves would still be there, never to leave him unless and until he in and of himself had made peace with them, in which case he would and otherwise could put them to rest, forever to be forgotten, but until then they would haunt him forevermore, one task which in and of itself would not be easy, considering the fact that their would almost always be someone or something right there staring him in the face until it drove him absolutely, unequivocally insane, though not too much or else he'd be outrightly accused of being mentally unstable, which as anyone who knew him could tell you was just not true, I mean sure he'd had his problems, but then again, who didn't?,; true, his circumstances weren't not his own, what with him having to be carted back and forth from Worthington Manor on occasion until it was in and of itself decreed by the instructors at the institution that he ought to be brought back earlier than expected until it was exceedingly unbearable for him to handle, in which case he would in all wise act out in the worst way possible in one form or another, for then and only then would he in and of himself come to realize just how inanely screwed up his life had become thus far, so much so that he'd not otherwise had a snowball's chance in hell of surviving being there had it not been for his Worthingtonian strength and resiliency not to mention the friendships of two of the kingdom's citizenry, Citizens Dwight and Wade, well, them and that of the mystery maiden whose acquaintance he would make during the night of the institution's spring formal, the very same to whom the comments he would make would in all wise become his downfall, as a result never being able to look her or any other of the mystery maidens, of which there were many, if not half as many in the eye ever again, thereby resigning himself to the fact that he royally, both literally and figuratively, sucked at being around anybody and everybody of the female persuasion, in which case he might as well be holed upin his room at the institution for the rest of his natural days unless and until such time as he left there, which with any luck would be soon and very soon, and that, that was perhaps the best part ever, though what wasn't all that much was and otherwise would be when the secondmost eldest heir to the throne of the House of Worthington would in and of himself transition, slowly but surely, into his role as Citizen Worthington and not Prince Worthington, one role which was and otherwise would be just as hard to transition into as that of being the kingdom's secondmost heir to his family's throne, especially given the fact that he himself had had his limitations, socially, emotionally, physically, you name it, it, or rather they, were there, and as such set the once and future heir to the throne of the House of Worthington up for a life of disappointment and heartache and whatever else have you, in which case his future, romantic or otherwise, as he knew it, would have complications abounding left, right and sideways, including, but not limited to, any and all relationships he would seek to have with the remainder of the mystery maidens, of which their were four or more others, whose identities were unbeknownst to him even then but would be revealed at a later time, in which case he would and otherwise could be able to express his feelings of love to them, that is had Mummy and Daddy Worthington not had anything to say about it, which of course they would, at least within their purview, the prince's was something else entirely, seeing as though their aquaintances would be made by him during his time at the institution that was geared to handle conditions like his own, with the remaining five being made before and/or during his entry into preparatory school, one which he had hoped would be his date to the picture show playing at the local moviehouse that summer but was sadly rebuffed, seeing as though her heart belonged to another, which in all respects absolutely, unequivocally devastated him to no end, though were that the only devastation set to occur that in and of itself would have been it, but sadly it was not, for years before said entrance into preparatory the first such devastation would occur when maiden number two would in and of herself decline to be the prince's date to the instution's spring formal due to a previous engagement, in which case the way would be clear for maiden number three to become said date, one which was in and of itself fraught with misstep after misstep, more specifically having to settle for maiden number three having to be his date to the institution's spring formal after maiden number two had declined, not to mention having met her parents, one meeting during which he would launch straight into panic mode, well, maybe not panic mode panic mode exactly more like deer-in-the-headlights followed by blithering idiot followed by looking as though he'd seen a striptease artist go full-frontal, seeing as though the world of dating was anathema to him, thanks in no part to father King Reuel and mother Queen Janice not being the best of role models, especially when it came to the conclusion of said spring formal and instead of sticking around he bolted out of the gymnasium like a bat out of hell, if for no other reason than for that of how the comments he'd made to maiden number two had been overheard by another of the spring formal's attendees and as a result she'd taken umbrage with them, in which case he'd never look at any of the mystery maidens the same way ever again, then of course there were maidens number three and four, the two daughters of one of the institution's' physical attendants, both, if not one, of which the young prince was in and of himself convinced could have loved inexorably, yet another attempt which had failed, and then there was maiden number five, a sister of one of the instution's residents who in and of herself who had tried to get the young prince to dance with her on one occasion or another, which of course brings us to those whom the young royal had encountered prior to his entrance into preparatory school, more specifically the one whom he had thought would be his date to the picture show playing at the local moviehouse that summer but had declined for the sole reason that her heart belonged to another, one declination which in and of itself had otherwise been hastened by the nosyness of the prince's sister, Princess Amanda, her with her dolls with their fine hair, which quite frankly wanted to make him gag, either that or he'd had one helluva of a gag reflex which had gone straight into overload, given of course his condition and how it made his person feel, not to mention any and all other girlie finery, which of course she would grow out of over time but the feeling was still there nonetheless and which had been put a stop to by his mother, Queen Janice, the listening in on by Prince Amanda and not the girlie finery bit, that is, but by then the damage had already irrevocably been done, and so in the end what choice had he had but to go to the moviehouse, pay for his ticket, purchase some liquid as well as non-liquid refreshment, and sit through the entire picture show, tears streaming down his face and at the same time wonder what the hell was wrong with him hence the never-being-able-to-look-the-same-way-at-any-of-the-mystery-maidens-ever-again angle, then as well as during his first day therein, in which case he would otherwise be confronted with the all too stark realization that any relationship, however platonic it might be, was verboten, thereby causing the prince to feel unworthy in their eyes, and here he thought it was the other way around, go figure, for no sooner had it been made known that maiden number five's heart had belonged to another than it would be revealed that maiden number six's would be too, and as for the remaining three (i.e., maidens seven, eight and nine) they were and had been nothing to the prince but his go-to gals, to wit, one he had danced with during prom his junior year when he went stag, one he danced with as his date senior year, and the last whom he had danced with during homecoming also senior year, thereby capping off an otherwise madcap string of the misadventures of one and only then-Prince now-Citizen Benjamin Worthington, though the years, most especially the first, wouldn't be without its' challenges, for no sooner would the young royal begin his schooling than the time would come when he would be whisked away to have acouple surgeries be perfomed on his person, more specifically his back, in which case he would miss any and all remaining weeks thereafter, though the time would in and of itself come when he would slowly but surely battle back if only to compete in the local spelling competition in the eighth form, thereby trouncing any and all other attendees thereat, in which case he would in all wise be victorious over his inability to compensate in other areas of his life, one such victory which he would in all wise come to remember as fondly as any and all others, including, but not limited to, that of the preparatory school's annual committee, two accomplishments for which won he awards, thank you very much, thereby cementing his place in and amongst those whose accomplishments were noble, if not just as noble, be they theatre or sports, the latter of which classmate Lady Stephanie went so far as to thank him for having been a part of in the preparatory school's cheering section on the back of her senior year photograph, yet another accomplishment he could be proud of, and although he hadn't earned an award for it, he was in and of himself proud, though not conceivably too proud, for having otherwise contributed to the morale of women's' sports at the prep school level, along with Lady Tara of course, though were that the only instance where Lady Stephanie in and of herself was concerned it'd be just that, but surprisingly enough it wasn't for just weeks, if not days, before she and the prince were set to graduate from said preparatory school he would in and of himself step in and once and again save the day, in which case the stress of a being an all too typical prep schooler would be lessened, one lessening which in and of itself the prince himself would be thankful for for that very day would in and of itself come when he along with their ladyships would be gathered on the gymnasium stage ready to receive their diplomas with scores of frends and family looking on in there once-in-a-lifetime moment, the pressure in and of itself being all too palpable, hearts racing, if not theirs then his and his alone, so much so that it was bound to jump out of his chest, tears beginning, if not having begun, to well up in his eyes at the thought of this the final year of his schooling having come to the point of completion even after all the hell he'd been through thus far, and quite frankly it'd scared the hell, make that almighty hell, out of him so much he'd be a mere two seconds from fainting dead away, in which case they'd really have a situation on their hands, though not wishing to panic anybody and everybody anymore than they already were, he'd just chalked it up to nerves, though the one bright spot in that whole mess was the fact that he'd not been tasked with giving the valedictorian address or else he'd really been screwed, royally or otherwise, just as much as he'd been on the day of his confirmation, which, irony of ironies, had been on the same day as first eldest brother Prince Timothy's graduation from prep school years earlier, one which had gone exceedingly well that anyone, Prince Timothy himself included, could've ever hoped for, Prince Benjamin's confirmation not so much, considering the fact that special consideration had to be given where grandma Queen Ella number one on daughter Queen Janice's side was concerned, more so because of her age and how infirmed she was, in which case he could see where Mummy and Daddy were concerned, in other ways not so much, especially where him giving his testimony was concerned, especially since he'd had to throw it together at the last minute and hope to you-know-who it passed muster, well, that and the fact that he'd had to have father then-Father Reuel read it for him on account of sonny boy numero dos having not been able to do it himself on account of the chapel not being well-equipped for the young royal to do so, though the laying on of hands during the blessing was a nice touch, in the end having finally put an end to an all too awkward situation, in which case the young royal could sit back and take in the revelry which was his special day, one which, although he was glad he was able to spend it with family and friends, he was even more glad that it was done with altogether, seeing as though it'd taken a whole helluva of planning and preparation on Queen Janice's part for it to be pulled off, and all he himself had had to do was make sure that everything in and of itself had run smoothly, well, that and chip in as much was in him as possible, which it did for the most part, though he in and of himself couldn'tve helped to have felt nervous about the whole thing, especially considering the fact that he'd committed many, if not half as many, sins of the heart, though who could blame him?, I mean Mummy and Daddy Worthington were as much to blame, as strange as it may seem, though he was really to blame was society in and of itself, what with its many diversions if not promises of bigger houses, fast cars and more money which in and of itself was enough to make Donald Trump in and of himself blush, but also which in and of themselves had had him hooked in the worst way, so much so that he in and of himself would've done anything to escape the monotny which was his life, if not improve it as a whole, in which case he'd been well on his way to living the kind of life he'd only dreamed of, I mean he was a prince, a prince for the love of God, after all, and as such he could've had any and all maidens his heart desired fawning after him if not falling at his feet waiting and wanting to be with that they would've given anything and everything for it to be so, hell, for all he knew they would've sold their soul to the devil himself if it'd meant they'd could've spent one day, just one day, in the lap of luxury, dining with dignitaries and been waited on hand and foot by the many servants in Their Majesties employ, and as for he himself, well, let's us just say that the feeling was mutual, minus of course the been waited on hand and foot part, more like being able to pound the pavement and get his hands dirty much like dear 'ol Aunt Queen Sandrine and Uncle King Randall had done, but because of his condition having had its' limitations it was virtually impossible for him to do so, and so in the end he'd had to settle for second best, which while it mightn't not have bothered any and all other kids his age, royal as well as nonroyal, it sure as hell did him, seeing as though he was once and again a prince and would've, could've and otherwise should've been able to have any pick of the litter of maidens waiting to grace the halls of Castle Worthington as well as well as Worthington Manor with their presence, in which case he'd be as well as had been as happy as a clam right about now, but sadly enough with Mummy and Daddy not to mention Princess Amanda, yes that Princess Amanda, lurking around like the yentas that they were hadn't not had a snowball's chance in hell now more than in the beginning of ever, and I mean ever, finding love as much as the rest of society had had, at least not a true, longlasting kind of love, one which would in of itself surpass the bonds if not bounds, of wealth and power and prestige just to name a few, and also one which in and of itself would not be cheapened by the tawdriness and trashiness exhibited by those who would seek and otherwise had sought to undermine the basic human concept of love in and of itself if only to rend asunder the very fabric which is, was and always will be the stability of the modern family in and of itself, and in so being be able to strengthen the bonds between husbands and wives, parents and children, and the like until nothing would and could in and of itself be proven otherwise, in which case said relationships were and would otherwise be in and of themselves stronger than was humanly possible, and although that might be true for the whole of western society it was in and of itself quite the opposite for the family Worthington, if not just for Lady Charlotte and daughter Heather than for Lady Ruth and son Devin, for they were and otherwise would become victims of the self-ascribed 'love 'em and leave 'em type, more so Lady Ruth than son Devin, insofar as it would take one single act of indiscretion or cowardice or whatever have you by Lord Devin the first to be considered as grounds for an annulment for that which was considered sacred in the eyes of God not to mention the Church to become less of what it already was and otherwise had been, in which case their would in no wise be any hope for the future of the family Worthington now than was ever thought possible, for sooner or later, or sooner rather than later would King Randall's second eldest daughter Lady Emily come to find herself in that very position, and although she mightn't not come to bear any children as a result, the thought, the very thought, of her having to go through what Ladies Charlotte and Ruth had had to go through once upon a time, no pun intended, would be unbearable, and although she might in all wise be able to recover from it just as they had, the feeling would still be there, so it wasn't as if Prince Benjamin wasn't not in sync with his cousin, make that cousins, dear, just not in that way, and although marriage wasn't exactly in the cards for him, if ever, the thought, the very thought, of him having to experience love and loss in his own way was and otherwise would be unbearable for him just the same, the only difference being that Mummy and Daddy Worthington would be front and center ready to quash his romantic ideals to bits without giving it so much as a second thought, in which case he would be destined to remain single for the rest of his royal yet natural life, which if anything made him all the more determined to strike out on his own after graduation, thereby proving to Mummy and Daddy dearest that he was in fact capable of making it on his own and no longer had to ride their coattails as a result, though it wouldn't be easy at first, considering the fact that up until the day he'd entered said prep school they'd overseen if not scrutinized his finances to the nearest dollar they'd had made Ebenezer Scrooge look like a freakin' millionaire, either him or the aforementioned Mr. Trump, the point being that either way someone was bound to come out on top and when they did, people'd been knocking the prince's door down left and right clamoring to find out just what his secret was, and then of course would tell them, that is if Mummy and Daddy Worthington wouldn'tve been in the mix, I mean it was fine that they were helping him do that and all but not so much when it came to playing the yenta card, as he would soon come to find out while awaiting word from the rehab center on whether or not he would become its' newest resident or not, which of course wouldn'tve happened had he chosen to live with Mummy and Daddy Worthington and had chosen to live with brother Prince Timothy, which of course was and otherwise wouldn't be all that easy considering the fact that he himself lived in quarters which weren't all that well built for someone such as Prince Benjamin, and so in the end he'd had to make the best of it in the end, just as much as he'd had to while living at the institution that was geared toward handling conditions such as his own, not to mention the time he'd be spending at the rehab facility learning how to successfully navigate his own life through its' unending maze of challenges, including, but not limited to, those which centered on his faith life, if not in general, though the one bright spot in the whole mess was at least he'd get to be closer to family he hadn't known he'd had before now, Lord Norman and Lady Judith to name a few, one closeness he'd craved since that first ever Worthington reunion in County Sussex, although that in and of itself would come to be well, and I do mean well, before he'd known hide nor hair about them (i.e., Lord Norman and Lady Judith) in and of themselves, but that was neither here nor there right now, what was was the fact that family was family and and no matter how much or how little you knew about them their was no way, conceivable or otherwise, of changing them or who they were or even how they were the way they were or even how much you wanted to get to know them, and so in the end that would be that, no matter how much Prince Benjamin had wished it were otherwise, which of course he did on an almost daily basis, though what really got his goat was the fact that while everybody around him, family or not, were free to go and do as they pleased, he on the other hand had had to depend Mummy and Daddy Worthington for everything from A to Z, one dependency which he in and of himself had sworn even back then would change, okay, so maybe it wasn't back then back then exactly (i.e., during the first ever Worthington reunion in County Sussex), but it came dang near close to it, although he was just a kid back then and didn't and otherwise hadn't know what he'd wanted back then, so what else was new?, save of course for the fact that their was this gorgeous, amazing, otherwise headstrong girl out there whom he had found love, or at least he'd thought it was love, with and for some insane reason he couldn't get himself to tell her he loved her, though he would and otherwise conceivably feel it on the tip of his tongue just waiting to explode forth from the depths of his soul, but before he knew it it was being shut away like some old, forgotten relic never to be seen by the naked human eye ever again until years later when it was finally dug up all dirty and covered with cobwebs and whatnot if only to have that very dirt and those cobwebs be brushed away with the back of one's shirt sleeve, or in this case cloak, or unlike the whole bum-walking-right-up-to-the-nearest-waste-receptacle-and-fishing-it-out-and-polishing-it-off-if-only-to-reveal-its-true-beauty scenario, doing just exactly that, but instead of claiming it as their own encasing it in glass for the whole world to see and marvel at, in the end wanting and waiting to shout at the top of your lungs 'I LOVE YOU ECHO MARIE THORNGOODE AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT!', thereby releasing said relic from its' confinement, the tiger from its' cage, and any and all euphemisms one could think of thus far, but instead of doing just that, you, or rather he, was forced to keep it bottled up inside until it came out in one great big torrent of passion and emotion and exploded out into the open and was left bouncing off the trees and incinerating the grass and breaking apart the rocks and withering the flowers and causing the birds to dive bomb straight to the ground until nothing was left but a pile of bones where life once existed, thereby leaving nothing short of death and destruction topped of by devastation behind, in which case you're left asking yourself just what the hell happened and how you could be the cause of something so vile and disgusting when in fact you were a champion for all things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, as the song goes, but because of the primal need of one among you to be a hunter and gatherer, if not just a hunter, you were ruined by the one act which you abhorred and abhorred greatly, which of course was that of the use of a shotgun for the purpose of killing one of God's most precious creatures and later consuming its' meat for the purpose of living off the land if not survival in and of itself, but then again, why should it matter a whit what you, or rather what he, meaning Prince Benjamin, thought when he was just trying to grasp the meaning of life and love in and if itself when his parents, his parents for the love of God, were less than stellar role models?, which is why he in and of himself found favor with none other than dear 'ol Aunt/Queen Sandrine and Uncle/King Randall, for they and they alone were what made life for him oh so bearable, well, them and dear 'ol cousin numero uno Lord Adam, for he was the one who in and of himself had bestowed upon the prince that binocular-compass combination, one which he and of himself would treasure always, though should he come to lose it it would in all wise leave him devastated, just devastated, and believe you me devastation did not, and I repeat did not, exactly wear well on the prince, not that he was in danger of losing his mental faculties or anything, at least he'd hoped he wasn't, it was more his blood pressure that was the problem, seeing as though any little sign of stress was enough to send it lancing straight through the stratosphere and then whammo! the tears in and of themselves would most assuredly start flowing, in which case you best watch out because what happened on the inside came out in spades on the outside, and of that the young royal could be sure, even surer than sure, which of course is why the presence, or rather presences, of a maiden or two were crucial to the prince's sanity, if not the lowering of his blood pressure in general, well, that and making darn sure nothing ever, and I do mean ever disturbed said blood pressure or else he'd be back to square one, which is the one place he'd rather not have to visit, if ever, seeing as though things could in and of themselves get a little heated at Casa da Worthington, hell, it'd get so heated there it'd make the bowels of Hell look like the North Pole if not Antarctica, okay, so maybe that was a bit of an understatement, the point being that once things reached ye olde fevered pitch there was no telling what would or even could happen, I mean it was one thing where Prince Benjamin himself was concerned but entirely another Dad King Reuel was concerned given of course the fact that he'd had his own issues, health or otherwise, to deal with, and so in the end it wasn't as if Prince Benjamin wasn't alone, which of course he wasn't, at least physically, emotionally hell yeah, seeing as though dear 'ol Daddy Reuel, king to the general populace, was a cause, if not the cause of son Benjamin's romantic downfall, with of course Mummy Queen Janice following right behind him, in which case any and all further relationships, or rather attempts thereat, would be made exceedingly difficult by Mummy and Daddy dearest, including, but not limited to, maidens one through nine, if not maiden one in and of herself, maidens two through nine on the other hand were a different story, seeing as though Prince Benjamin could handle them nothing doing, at least as far as having no further, if any, interferences from Mummy and Daddy Worthington if not Princess Amanda was concerned, in which case he would and otherwise could be able to sail through them, or rather the relationships thereto, easy peasy lemon squeezy, ha! like that was really gonna happen, especially since it was during, if not prior to, nee, especially prior to, the evening of the institution's spring formal when the young royal in and of himself would make the comments to maiden number three which unfortunately one of the follow spring formal attendees and then, and only then, would the prince in and of himself consider himself unworthy to be around any and all other maidens forthwith, either that or he would make a beeline straight for the gymnasium door once said formal was over, in which case the evening would in and of itself be sunk, which when you think about it was just as well, considering the fact that His Royal Highness' mental state wasn't all it was cracked up to be, not that he would've hurt any or all of the attendees, God forbid, it just seemed as though it was an outright perpetration if not perpetuation of a lie which was and otherwise had been used to cover up the fact that the lives of those in attendance were no better off then then they were in the beginning, and as much as it may and-or might have hurt to hear that it was the God's honest truth, one truth which try as he might the prince would never and otherwise could never live down, oh no, not him, not the once and future heir to the throne of the House of Worthington, for he was perhaps the most guilible of the three Worthington children, one such guilibility which would not only affect him now, but also in future years, including, but not limited to, his eventual entry into preparatory school, more specifically during the one, maybe two weeks prior to when his invitation to maiden number six to be his date to the picture show would in all wise be turned down in response to her heart belonging to another, one response which in all likelihood wouldn't sit well with the prince seeing as though their was so much more behind it than even she would come to know, not that he in and of himself was looking to propose marriage, oh heavens no, more like him being able to prove to Mummy and Daddy dearest that he was in fact capable of being able to have a good time without them having to hover over if not around him like the classic helicopter parents nowadays, that is until sister Princess Amanda entered the picture and then Lord have mercy on her soul for then and only then would Prince Benjamin seek to break open ye olde world's biggest can of whoopass royal-style, seeing as though she just couldn't help herself by butting in on something so personal yet private which would and otherwise could be offered as proof of brother Prince Benjamin having the cojones in and of himself to make decisions which would not only affect anything there and then but also on the day of his graduation, perhaps the one day which, after having had an otherwise rocky start to entering the world of prep school academia, not to mention having been away for the first eight years of his life at the institution which was geared to handle conditions like his own, would seem nonexistent, or if it wasn't than he sure as hell wished it was, for then and only then would he be able to move on from that hell in and of itself to bigger, better more happier times rather than have to envision himself being dropped off there like a stack of tied up newspapers waiting to be picked up by the paperboy, or if not that than at the very least being, if not having been, relegated to feeling as though he were the next available bag of garbage waiting to be picked up curbside by the garbage collector if only to wind up in the landfill, okay, so maybe that last one was a little too harsh, hell, it was way past harsh, more like brutal, the point being that either way circumstances were the way they were and there was no conceivable way of changing them, not even if the prince in and of himself had tried, in which case he'd be stuck in limbo for the rest of his naturally born yet royal life, that is until he left ye olde hell hole, for then and only then would he finally be free of it, and although he would be saying so long to it physically, emotionally it would be an entirely different matter altogether, seeing as though the wounds would in and of themselves still be so fresh, maybe not physically but emotionally, and trust me when I say when their wounds, their were wounds, again more emotionally than physically, especially when it came to the night of the institution's spring formal and the prince, along with maiden number three and Citizen Joel along with yet another maiden were awaiting the arrival of the meal of the evening and in so doing engaged in a little pre-dinner conversation whereby another one of the formal's attendees had overheard His Royal Highness make the comments to Her Maidenship which would in all inevitability become his downfall, and then and only then would he in and of himself realize that he was no more fit to be around anyone of the female gender now more than ever, and so in the end that was when he in and of himself had decided to make a beeline for the gymnasium door though not right away or else it would've seemed totally uncouth, at least until the formal was over and then he would make a beeline for the gymnasium door, thereby fleeing out into the night before maiden number three had so much as had a chance to thank him for a wonderful evening, or at least it would've seemed that way had he not had bolted out of said gymnasium like a bat outta hell, tears streaming down his face, wondering what the hell'd just happened, in which case he'd resigned himself to the fact that then and there and only then and there would he never ever be able to look any and all other maidens in the eye ever again, which if anything was fine and dandy like sugar candy with him, seeing as though he and of himself was as emotionally bankrupt as they came, one bankruptcy which would've suited him just fine, seeing as though there wouldn'tve been a single soul on this God's green earth that would've had the cojones or even the patience of Job to tackle someone like him emotionally, or him them, but that was neither here nor there right now, what was was the fact that when it came to being emotional, he was emotional, and not just when it came to funerals, birthdays, Christmases, more specifically the Christmas after the year of King Gerhardt's passing and Mum Queen Janice had corraled the family together for the first ever, or at least it seemed like the first ever, Worthington family portrait, during which Prince TImothy in and of himself had tried to lighten the mood, one which was especially somber considering the fact that then-father Father Reuel had just finished holding Christmas Eve services then was in and of himself ready to hit the hay as the saying goes, and who could've blamed him?, except maybe Queen Janice herself, and maybe, emphasis on maybe, Prince Benjamin, but then again, how could he have when he was and otherwise had been in tears at the time?, but that was neither here nor there right now, what was was the fact that when Prince Benjamin got emotional, he got emotional, as was and otherwise would be the case on the eve of his graduation from preparatory school when he would fall into the arms of not only Mum Queen Janice but also Lady Stephanie's mother Citizen Diane, for then and only then would he realize that he had in fact entered the real world, though how real it would be was and otherwise would be in dispute, considering the fact that the prince in and of himself had had one helluva imagination in as well as on him, given the fact that his condition required he had nothing less than brain surgery be performed once in a while, in which case he'd been in and out of the hospital so much he could hardly keep track anymore, well, that and the fact that it was the only place he ever felt he could be himself without Mummy and Daddy Worthington getting as well as having gotten in the way of him being him, not to mention the fact that their were physicians there, one or more who they weren't exactly fond of, more specifically Physicians Charles and Robert, if not Robert, moreover because the one, Physician Charles, had thought the prince was faking the brain-related episodes associated with his condition and thusly sought to send the young royal home with his parents until they, or rather it, got increasingly worse and then and only then would the prince in and of himself be taken seriously, and as for Physician Robert, well, Mummy and Daddy Worthington just plain hadn't trusted him altogether, in part because they felt he wasn't being treated fairly, and who could blame them?, and what was even worse was Prince Benjamin was stuck in the middle - literally - of it all, with absolutely no hope of escape whatsoever, not even if he'd gone all Tim Conway ala The Carol Burnett Show via the skit where he's the patient and Harvey Korman is the surgeon, on them, or at the very least be holed up on the roof of the hospital until someone, anyone for that matter, had had the sense that God gave geese to listen to him, actually physically listen to him and not, as was previously stated, be relegated to the role of his parents subjects, in which case he was not and otherwise would not be better off now than if he was and otherwise had been himself, but as it was even now all he could ever do was lay in bed and stare at the ceiling and hope and pray to God that after all was said and done that things would hopefully improve, both physically and mentally, if not mentally, for the prince, seeing as though once he got something stuck in his craw he never would or ever could get it unstuck, in which case it would remain right where it was until the next round of mind-numbing agony was inflicted upon him, for then and only then would a counselor from the next county be called in to address as well as assess his mental state, if not his fitness to be his kingdom's next ruler in general, as a result putting the future of The Kingdom Where Everything was Pure and Holy if not the land therein in total jeopardy, and as such setting up the citizenry therein for the biggest fall of their lives, one which would in all wise not only come at them physically but emotionally if not spiritually, most especially spiritually, for then and only then would their worst fears come to be manifested in evil in its' purest form, and although it might, emphasis on might, seem minimal to them at best, it would in all wise seem more like that to the prince, in part because of how that royally-minded brain of his worked, one which was in and of itself in overdrive half, if not all, the time in way of conjuring up dreams, fantasies really, of how life, his life to be more specific, would and otherwise could be so much more improved if he would and otherwise could give himself over to the powers that be (i.e., the dark side) in which case he could have anything and everything his royal little heart desired, including, but not limited to, the one thing, the one thing it desired the most, the love of a certain young maiden from an otherwise prominent family in Their Majesties' social circle, though any and all circumstances might appear to be otherwise, the point being that with her in his life it would in and of itself seem more bearable than previously thought, without her he would be nothing short of the class geek who day after day dreamt of being on the arm of the head cheerleader being shown around like he was the cat's meow but instead of everybody purring over him they were and otherwise would be nonetheless waiting to make gagging motions and-or noises behind his back, in which case the likelihood that he would be accepted would in and of itself be next to nil, thereby being offered as proof that who he thought were his friends clearly weren't, and so in the end he would in all wise wind up being just as loveless if not friendless as the next available guilible soul with a target painted right smack dab in the small of his back would be, that is until a certain other maiden from his soon to be prep school days came along and showed him just how much she cared for him, well, that and save his otherwise royal backside from becoming a bag of bones after having been placed in peril by yet another classmate, this one a non-maiden, in which case he mightn't not have been able to have survived all that much without her, that is after having experienced the rocky start he had to the world of prep school academia, including, but not limited to, having his heart summarily crushed by maiden number six after she straight out told him that her heart belonged to another, which of course was itself all the more compounded by the fact that Princess Amanda had in and of herself nothing better to do but listen in on Prince Benjamin's conversation with and invitation to said maiden to attend the picture show with him, if only to in the end have Mum Queen intervene and subsequently save the day, though at that point the damage had in and of itself been done, thereby leaving the prince's spirit as sunken as that of a snitch at the bottom of the East River while sporting an otherwise stylish, or not, pair of cement shoes, if not the remnants of the Titanic having been turned into a glorified reef, either way, his plans for then had in and of themselves sorely been derailed, one derailing which he in and of himself hadn't exactly taken kindly to having happened, and so in the end what choice had he but to, as was previously stated, go to the moviehouse, purchase some liquid as well as non-liquid refreshment, and sit through the entire picture show, including, but not limited to, the battle scene, tears streaming down his face, all the while wondering what the hell was wrong with him, if not Mummy and Daddy and le peace de resistance, Princess Amanda,for she alone was the cause of and otherwise for his romantic downfall just as much, if not more, than Mummy and Daddy Worthington ever were, at least then and there, as far as where maiden numero uno was concerned, well, that one was totally on them, in perhaps more ways than one, the chiefest one being their otherwise uncanny ability, if not need, to be in control, whereas where he himself was concerned he had had just exactly the opposite (i.e., the inability, if not need, to let them be in control), one inability which he hated, he hated to let be, in which case he was, and would always foerever be, governed by the ruling right hand of his father the king and mother the queen, one which he would in all wise come to put a stop to the day he graduated, or rather would come to graduate from, prep school, and in so doing begin his journey of independence from under Mummy and Daddy Worthington's thumbs, one which in and of itself wasn't not going to be al that easy considering the fact that he'd lived such a sheltered, if not too sheltered, life thus far and their were going to be, just as their had always been from the very beginning (i.e. during his years at the institution that was geared to handle conditions like his own), temptations abounding left and right, so much so that he'd feel, if not had felt, virtually powerless to stop them from being, well, that and the fact that he'd not bunked with anyone since Prince Timothy and he'd shared a room during their youth, in which case the thought, the very thought, of them having to do so while Prince Benjamin had in and of himself waited to hear from the residential rehab on whether or not he was accepted would in and of itself be one helluva jolt to him, both physically and emotionally, if not physically, considering the fact that it was and otherwise would be well after Prince Timothy had graduated from university and would be living on his own in the aforementioned close quarters, for lack of a better term, ones which weren't, as was previously stated, exactly up to snuff for someone such as Prince Benjamin, but then again, neither were the ones at university, but that was neither here nor there right now, what was was the fact that as long as he'd continue to live at home he'd not have a snowball's chance in hell of getting to live the life he'd only dreamt of, which of course was that of being independent and otherwise free from under Mummy and Daddy Worthington's thumbs, and although that was in and of itself the simple part, the not-so-simple, or rather hard part, would in and of itself come when, instead of living with Mummy and Daddy dearest in preparation for the move to the residential rehab, Prince Benjamin in and of himself had chosen to live with Prince Timothy, which in and of itself might seem simple to most other people, but to Prince Benjamin not so much, given of course the fact that his condition had in and of itself limited his mobility to the point he was and otherwise had come to be dependent on other people to help him up and down stairs and the like, one such person being Prince Timothy, especially since he'd elected to live with him and all, not to mention the fact that when it came to his temper as well as temperament, well, that was in and of itself a whole new matter altogether, especially when he and Princess Amanda were little and they were at the local swimming hole and she for one reason or another had pushed him under and he'd started flailing about not to mention gasping for air thinking that he would drown and then once he came up for air he'd been all pissed at her and had let his displeasure be made known to Mum Queen Janice and Lifeguard Carmen about how the rules clearly said their was and otherwise would be no drowning allowed but of course they'd not believed him for one second, but then again why should anyone, let alone Mummy Dearest much less Lifeguard Carmen come to believe anything and everything that came out of his dang fool mouth to begin with it?, I mean he was only a kid who even at that age wouldn'tve as well as hadn'tve known any better than most other kids his age, which if anything was anywhere from seven years and on up, and as such wouldn'tve even believed him if he'd gone all Chicken Little on them by saying the sky was falling, but I, or rather he, digressed, the point being that even at that time in particular things were still just so new, if not new new, to him and for that at ye olde swimming hole to have had happened to him, well, that was the proverbial icing on the cake then and there, and would in all wise continue to be so unless and until he grew out of it, which even for him wasn't all that likely given of course the fact that once he'd been wronged or sleighted or whatever the hell you wanna call it there was no telling how long he in all his princely glory would hang on to it, it of course being anything and everything from not being able to maiden number one how he felt about her at the summer festival as well as on the day of her confirmation, to oh, let's see, maidens number two and three having been his choice for his date to the institution's formal and then having been summarily rejected by maiden number two and subsequently been accepted by maiden number three, oh, and then of course there were maidens number four and five, one, if not both, whom he'd fallen hard for from the get-go, and then their was maiden number six who'd tried rather unsuccessfully to get him to dance with her at a dance, and that was the proverbial icing on the cake pre-prep school, and as for prep school in and of itself, there were as many, if not half as many including, but not limited to, maiden number seven who, as was previously stated, would come to decline his invitation to attend the picture show with him on the premise that her heart had belonged to another, ditto with maiden number eight, though she herself would come to greatly affect him in more ways than one in way of saving him from becoming ye olde bag of bones after having had his life be put in mortal danger by ye olde non-maiden classmate, and then their were maidens eight, nine and ten who had subsequently dance with at prom both junior year and senior year, respectively, junior year because he'd gone stag and senior year on the advice of maiden number seven, which of course leaves maiden number ten, who in and of herself was the clencher, the closer or whatever the hell you wanna call it, she of course he danced with at the homecoming dance senior year; all in all it wasn't a bad five years, socially speaking, academically speaking it was a whole different story altogether, considering the fact that he'd missed out on those last, though not last last, few weeks of school during the time when traveled to the next municipality to have those procedures be performed on his back, thereby wresting him away from anything and everything he knew or otherwise had known thus far, including, but not limited to, the citizenry, if not family, in which case he would in all wise have nothing more to pull him through than cards and a letter or two, the former of which was especially true considering the fact that they were due to come from sister Princess Amanda's classmates at the local grammar school, and for that he would be always and eternally grateful, the same of which could be said about the letter he'd be due to receive from the senior class at Sussex County Prep, during which time The First War Between The Cultures was due to take place, in which case their would be bloodshed aplenty, not to mention families would in and of themselves be torn apart, and religious freedom would in and of itself be called into question, in short it would be hell on earth, both literally and figuratively, if not literally, thereby being offered as proof that all was not quiet on the western front, as the saying goes, but then again how could it not be given the fact that there were hundreds if not millions being persecuted for their faith, not to mention the fact that half the world's population were getting rich off their neighbors' spoils while the rest were found to be living in poverty at home as well as abroad, and furthermore that that very wealth was in and of itself causing said neighbors to become all the more envious of that which they could not have, more so monetarily rather than not, which is just exactly how Prince Benjamin felt (i.e., the 'or not' part), I mean it was one thing when it came to his wealth in and of itself, for which the government was paying him an otherwise handsome stipend, by the bye, but when it came to having that which he truly desired the most (i.e., the love of a maiden or two) it become all the more painfully aware to him that that just was not meant to be, and so in the end he had had to sit by, if not back, and watch anybody and practically everybody, mostly able-bodied, go walking by hand-in-hand laughing at the other's joke or whatnot while he had had to stay cooped up in ye olde bedchamber staring out the nearest latticed window wondering once and again what the hell was wrong with him and him alone, all the while wishing, hoping, and praying that someone, anyone had had enough sense in and of themselves to realize that he was as bored as hell being secreted away to ye olde Worthington stronghold at the drop of a hat just when things were in and of themselves getting good, in which case he would and otherwise could be out having just as a good time as they were but instead was obedient to a higher power, and no, it wasn't God, thank you very much, more like a higher ruling power, to wit, Mummy and Daddy Worthington, for what they said went, and their was absolutely no possible way of it being otherwise, try as Prince Benjamin might he just couldn't get them to see things his way, that is unless of course he barred all the doors and locked all the windows and had had a rather forced yet civil sit-down with Daddy Dearest and got him to see that not all people were as bad as he thought, not that he (i.e., King Reuel) thought that, it was just that with everything, if not everybody, being the way they were it was hard to tell who was genuine and who was waiting to play you like a bass fiddle, given of course the fact that their were all manner of hucksters and charlatans just waiting to take you for every penny you had, either that or bring harm upon you and your family by way of kidnapping you and quite literally demanding a king's ransom from your family for your safe return, and so in the end you as the father had had no choice but to pay said ransom in hopes that your son or daughter were returned safe and sound and that no harm had befallen you as a result of your little adventure, if it honestly could be called that, though the third scenario almost always existed which was that they were almost always out to gain your trust in one way or another in hopes, or not, that they left you penniless and practically out on the street with no hope whatsoever of gaining your former life back even if it killed you, more or less, and so you in and of yourself had had no choice but to try your darndest to do just that in hopes that you were once and again well-liked and in addition well-respected amongst your peers, which almost always happened with King Reuel and Queen Janice, wealth or no wealth, for they were in and of themselves just as likable as the next guy, and in so being hadn't had to worry about being bamboozled by anybody and everybody they encountered, though if any would have had to worry about that it'd been Prince Benjamin, for sooner or later, or sooner rather than later he'd been out on his own exploring new territories and making friends with everyone he met, that is just as long as they didn't and otherwise hadn't taken him for a fool, if you know what I mean, in which case he'd be more well-respected and well-liked now than he'd been in the beginning, and although King Reuel said as much out loud (i.e., that he'd wished that Prince Benjamin would be just that, safe) he somehow knew he would be, he was a Worthington after all.