“Would you kindly join me in America, Your Highness?” Prince Marcos Sayid asked over an international phone line.
Eli rose from his seat on the sofa in the king’s office to answer Mark’s call. He suspected there was only one reason why Mark would invite him to the United States. “Are you planning a wedding by any chance?”
“Already planned,” Mark corrected him. “We’re practically eloping we pulled things together so quickly. It’s amazing the doors you can open when the daughter of a senator wants to marry a prince.”
Eli laughed heartily along with Mark, keeping his back to the group of men waiting for him, suspecting they could hear everything he said. “When’s the big day?”
“July 15th if all goes according to plan.”
“Geesh, you don’t mess around.” Eli stared out the window at the dry landscape beyond the edge of the city. The rocky terrain of the desert burned waves of heat rising like an endless mirage, with his little kingdom oasis tucked in the center.
“Look who’s talking, mister I’m-getting-married-tomorrow.”
“We would have gotten married the day she came home from Jerusalem if the choice had been Savannah’s.”
“Speaking of, how is your lovely bride?”
“Pregnant,” Eli said. He had to pull the phone away from his ear because Mark whooped so loud it reminded Eli of the day he’d told Kadin.
“Geesh, who’s messing around now?” Mark teased.
“We are,” Eli said. “Frequently.” Eli’s eyes glazed over as he thought of their nights together with fondness. And afternoons. Mornings weren’t quite as much fun. His mind floated back to earth as he remembered the phone still to his ear.
“Jealous,” Mark said.
“Worth waiting for.”
“Good answer,” Mark said. “Hey, how’s the king doing? Do you think he’d be up for a trip across the Atlantic? I’d love to have him officiate at our wedding.”
“You can ask him yourself,” Eli said, turning around and striding back to the group of men sitting around the low sofas in his great-grandfather’s ostentatious office. He lowered himself to the sofa again. “He’s sitting right next to me. I’ll put you on speakerphone.”
Eli touched the screen of his phone.
“Okay, Your Highness, you are now officially in a meeting with three members of the royal family and our advisors since we were just convening when your name showed up on my caller ID.”
King Sayid leaned close to the phone. “Greetings, Your Highness.”
“Greetings, Your Majesty,” Mark answered. “Who else is in the room?”
“Hello, Your Highness, this is Prince Omar. My advisor, Ahmed, my son’s advisor, Kadin, and the king’s advisor, Damian, are also in attendance.”
“Well gentlemen,” Mark said. “I’d like to extend an invitation to visit Washington D.C. and meet Senator Alejandro Cohen as he graciously hands his daughter into my care for safe keeping till death do us part.”
There was a general mayhem of congratulations as everyone in the room spoke at once. Eli waited and then reminded Mark, “Did you have something you wanted to ask the king?”
“Oh yes, thank you for reminding me. Your Majesty, if you’re feeling up to an international expedition, we’d be honored to have you officiate at our wedding.”
“I think I might be able to fit that into my schedule.” King Sayid winked at Eli. “Can you arrange a meeting with your president while I’m there?”
“P—president?” Mark stuttered. “As in president of the United States?”
“That is where you live, isn’t it?” Sayid creased his brows. “You didn’t move back to Mexico did you?”
“No, Your Majesty, we’re here in the United States, very close to the Capitol actually. It’s just that most people don’t request a meeting with the president.”
“Most people are not a king…” Sayid shrugged as if Mark could see him through the phone.
“Good point. I’ll ask Senator Cohen if he can help make the arrangements.”
“Very good. I’ll look forward to visiting.” The king nodded his finality.
“Let me know how many people will be coming and the status of sleeping arrangements,” Mark said. “I want to make sure I have enough hotel suites reserved.”
“We’ll get back with you in a few days, Your Highness,” Eli said.
“Thank you, Your Highness. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.”
Eli touched the screen of his phone to end the call and shrugged at his father, great-grandfather, and their three advisors. “Who wants to fly with me to America?”