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The Imperial Suite

THUMP. ‘Finally,’ thought Malus, ‘they are on their way.’ THUMP. You need to grip him tighter at the ankles, he heard Tobias’s complain from the stairway leading from the bar to the boarding house above the Gangplank.

“Why is he so friggin’ heavy?” Kaylee cursed. He ain’t all that tall.”

“You have the mechanical arms. You should be able to carry him without me to help you,” Tobias pointed out.

“I ain’t got no mechanical back, you dork,” said Kaylee. “‘Sides, ain’cha ever heard of chivalry?”

“Would you two be careful?” Malus held the door. “You are going to wake him up before you get him into bed.”

Kaylee nearly dropped the Emperor when she saw that Malus was now as pale as Tobias. “What the… Is that my flour in your hair? You better not have messed up my kitchen by switchin’ with me tonight!”

Malus fussed with the old fashioned white jabot he had tied around his neck. “I couldn’t let him see me at the bar, silly. It would have messed up the plan. I’m my grandfather’s ghost. I have the same voice as he does.”

“He does,” agreed Tobias. “He fooled me the first time I met him.”

“If I find one hair while I’m making pies tomorrow, I am going to kill you!”

Emperor Crumb stirred in his precarious position suspended between Kaylee and Tobias and tried to rub his nose.

“Shut up! Get him in here,” hissed Malus, beckoning from an empty room. Malus turned down the bedsheets so that Kaylee and Tobias could set the royal personage down comfortably. When they got the Emperor into the bed, they took off his boots and loosened his tie to make him more comfortable.

“There,” whispered Malus. “Let’s give him a little time to sleep it off. If he is like most drunkards, he will wake up in about an hour on his own. If I wake him just before that, it will seem like a dream.”

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