Kelley and Bronson were gone for several weeks, seeing the world as they poofed! from one exotic location to another. Bronson seemed to have an endless supply of gold pieces (and indeed he did. Gnomes may be uglier than sin but they are richer than Midas with the ability to fabricate gold from thin air. Quite a handy trick to have up one’s sleeve…) and for the first time in her life, Kelley lived like an actual Princess. Only the fanciest hotels, the snobbiest of restaurants, the most beautiful and magnificent snowy white stallions pulling the most pimped out carriages, and gorgeous gowns in every color imaginable and from the mostly costly of fabrics. And jewelry. Bronson draped her in rubies, emeralds, dazzling sapphires, huge glittering diamonds. Kelley soon had enough earrings, bracelets, necklaces to outfit an entire gaggle of girls. She was even given a crystal studded soap cutter that Bronson commissioned a wood artisan in one of the larger cities to create. She shrieked in joy at the sight of it. Her very own custom cutter! No soap maker in history had had such a fabulous device. This was the life and Kelley was sublimely happy.
But life being what it is, the honeymoon drew to a close and after summoning an army of elven men to help carry everything back to Freedom, Bronson grasped Kelley’s hand and they poofed! back to reality. Or at least that’s what Kelley thought. However, upon opening her eyes once they arrived, she found herself standing in front of a stately stone house. A dancing fountain gurgled merrily in the entry, ivy grew wildly up the walls, and a line of what appeared to be servants bowed as one before them. Fragrant gardens bursting with flowers and fruit trees lined the sides of the dwelling and several puppies ran by, tumbling one after the other in a clumsy game of chase. Kelley was baffled.
“What is this, dearest?” she wondered. “I thought we were going home?”
“And we did,” Bronson answered with a smile. “Welcome to your new home, Princess!”
“Welcome, Princess Kelley,” the staff exclaimed and bowed again.
Kelley turned red with embarrassment. They should’t be bowing to her! She was just an ordinary farm girl who happened to marry the most fabulous man in the world and well, ok.. she WAS a Princess-Becoming, but still. To have servants bowing to her? But before she could spend much more time dwelling on that thought, Bronson grabbed her hand, pulled her inside the house and took her on a tour of her new home. It was magnificent. Beautiful furniture, a huge kitchen, cozy bedrooms draped in silk and velvet, a bathroom with the biggest bathtub she’d ever seen.
But the best part was the room he showed her last – next to the library was a large, windowless room that was lined with worktables and shelving on which were oodles of oils, fragrances, molds, containers, and related supplies to create countless batches of soap, lotions, balms, scrubs, perfumes, and more. Kelley was awestruck.
Bronson explained that this was her personal workshop. Like the crazy scientist who creates life in his lab, here Kelley could create anything and everything that struck her fancy or wandered into her thoughts. Bronson led her out of the room and showed her the sign on the door – “Princess Soap Lab.” It was at this point that Kelley burst into tears. This was all too much. The wedding, Bronson transforming into a super stud, the honeymoon and everything that was lavished upon her, the deference of her staff, the grandeur of her new home, and now her own private Princess Lab! She flung herself at Bronson and began to plant wild kisses all over his face as she thought about what a lucky, lucky girl she was and how fortunate for her that she would run into the hideous gnome on the road those several years ago.
Bronson laughed, hugged her tightly and then said, “Something you should know… it was always going to be you, Kelley. It was always going to be you.”