Anna stepped into the study as Duke Skov held the door open for her. His heavy, sweet smelling cologne nearly took her breath away as she passed him. "I still don't understand why we couldn't discuss this in the ballroom." She turned to find the man standing beside her. She jumped back at the unexpected closeness.
"Princess, I merely wished to speak with you somewhere…quiet."
Memories of the last time a man had cornered her in the room caused Anna to ease back a step. "Okay, so speak?"
"I wished to express my concern at your current situation." He stepped closer.
Anna's brow furrowed as she stepped back. "What situation?"
"This so called, engagement." He waved a hand as if the word left a foul smell behind. "I know the ice harvester aided you during those unfortunate events last summer. But there are better ways to reward him, then marriage."
Teal eyes narrowed, focusing on the man. "You think I'm marrying Kristoff because I owe him something?"
"Well, why else would you even consider such a union? After all, it would be so much more, beneficial, if you were to choose someone more, worthy, of your…affections." He stepped forward. "It would be in you and your sister's best interest."
Anna didn't retreat, her fists clenched at her sides. "Are you saying Kristoff isn't worthy of my love?"
"Love?" He laughed. "Love, is such a fickle thing. One can hardly trust it to form the best alliances."
"Alliances?" There was a bite in the word as Anna hissed it from between clenched teeth.
"I don't mean to offend you, Princess."
"Funny, cause you're doing a good job of it."
A smirk settled on his lips as he chuckled at her. "Please, my dear, you're taking this too personal."
"You insult my fiance, make veiled threats against my sister and country, then tell me not to take it personal." She leaned in as close as she could. "I take insults and threats against my family and home very personal."
"Now, now, Anna," He tsked, shaking his head. "Threats is such a nasty word. Consider it more of a suggestion."
"I suggest you leave." The deep red flush on her face nearly washed out her freckles.
He straightened, the smile gone. "You should not dismiss me so haphazardly, my dear."
"I'm not your dear. I am Her Royal Highness, Princess Anna of Arendelle. From now on you will address me by the proper titles. As for your suggestions, I've had enough of them and you. Goodnight." She stepped around him.
He caught her arm.
"Oww, let go of me."
"Don't turn your back on me, little girl. I'm not that dumb mountain man. You maybe a princess, but my country could squash this little hovel, you call a kingdom without breaking a sweat. Even your freak of nature sister would not be able to stop us. So you will show me some respect."
"Why you…" Anna drew her fist back. In her rage she failed to notice the sudden drop in temperature.
"And you will show my sister the proper respect she deserves." Commanded a firm, cold voice.
All eyes went to the woman standing in the doorway.
"Elsa!" Anger faded to relief at the sight of her beloved sister. Anna realized she could see her breath in the cold air. Her eyes narrowed as she turned to the Duke and jerked her arm free. She paused a moment to dare the man to touch her again. He stepped back, straightening his jacket. With a twitch in her eyes Anna spun on her heels and ran to her sister's side. She ignored the cold radiating through Elsa's sleeve as she wrapped both hands around a slender arm.
"Are you alright?" Cerulean eyes swept up and down the petite red head looking for any signs of damage.
"I'm fine." She offered her sister a wide, reassuring smile.
Elsa smiled back, patting the hands on her arm.
"Your Majesty." The Duke flinched as both sisters fixed him with icy stares. He forced a cordial smile, giving a formal bow. "I thought you had retired for the evening."
Elsa's voice was nearly as cold as her gaze. "So you took that as an opportunity to threaten and assault my sister?"
A nervous laugh came from the man as he tugged at the bottom of his jacket. "We were just having a discussion, it became a bit…heated."
"And I'm going to make sure it cools off." She glared at him a moment longer, till he began to squirm. The ice in her gaze faded as she looked to her sister. "Are you sure you're okay?"
"I'm fine." Anna's eyes sparkled as she smiled at her sister. The smile vanished as she turned to glare at the Duke. "We are through."
Elsa looked at the Duke "We're not. I believe you were explaining to my sister how your army would crush my, hovel of a country."
The nervous laugh returned as he forced a smile. "Please, forgive my choice of words, Your Majesty."
"Which one, hovel or freak?" Elsa deadpanned.
All the blood rushed from the Duke's face as he struggled to keep a smile in place. He opened his mouth to respond, but Elsa cut him off.
"Tell me, Skov," Elsa felt a twinge of amusement as he bristled that she had made a point of ignoring his title. "were you not presence at the ball announcing my sister's engagement to Master Bjorgman?"
"Yes, Your Majesty, I was."
"So you are aware that said engagement has my whole hearted blessing?"
The man dipped into a deep bow. "Yes, Your Majesty. Please, forgive my rudeness."
"I'm not the one you should be apologizing too."
As he straightened he checked the flash of anger that crossed his face, but not before Elsa noticed. He turned to Anna and bowed. "I offer my sincere apologizes, Your Highness."
Before Anna could reply, Elsa cut in. "That's a good start. But, there is someone else you owe an apology."
A shadow filled the door behind Elsa. The shadow morphed into a large man as Kristoff entered and moved to Elsa's side, opposite Anna. He fixed the Duke with a hard glare.
"Kristoff!" All anger and offenses were forgotten as Anna stepped toward him.
Cool, slender fingers caught her arm, holding her in place. She opened her mouth to protest, but Elsa silenced her with a look. "Duke Skov, I have asked Master Bjorgman here to have a, word, with you."
Skov looked from Elsa to the ice harvester and back again. "Your Majesty, with all due respect. I do not wish to speak with him."
The room grew colder. "You're wishes are not my concern." Elsa replied. "Now, my sister and I are going to leave you two alone, to discuss this matter."
Skov's eyes cut to the large mountain man. Kristoff glared at him, his fists clenched at his side. He was not smiling. "Your Majesty, surely you're not going to leave me alone with this…" He waved a hand at Kristoff, unable to hide his disdain for the man.
"Future member of the Royal family." Elsa finished the sentence for him. "I surely am. I will be notifying your King that you are no longer welcome on Arendelle soil. But, before you go, Master Bjorgman is going to explain the importance of his position, not only in Arendelle, but in this family. My family. And you may feel free to share his explanation with others. And if, for some reason they do not understand. You may inform them that I will be pleased, to arrange a private conversation for them with Master Bjorgman."
Elsa offered the man a cold smile, before turning her gaze to Kristoff. "Ice Master, would you like for me to hold your jacket? I wouldn't want you to be constrained during your discussion."
Kristoff smirked as he shrugged off the jacket, handing it to her. "Thank you, Your Majesty."
Anna looked between the two, uncertain if they were joking. "Elsa, what are you doing?"
She folded the jacket over one arm. "Practicing a form of diplomacy I think the Duke will finally understand." With a nod to Kristoff, she took hold of Anna's arm and led her to the door. In the doorway she paused, turning back to the men. "Oh wait, one more thing before you gentlemen start." With a wave of her hand, four ice walls formed, creating a small ice room. With an approving nod, she smiled at the men. "Carry on."
Anna stood in the threshold staring at the ice walls. "Why did you do that?"
"Just protecting the family treasures." She smiled.
"Your Majesty!" Skov started for the door, but Kristoff blocked his path. He stepped back watching the man with a weary eye. "Please, can't we talk about this?"
"Master Bjorgman, will be happy to discuss this matter at length with you. And just so we're clear, whatever he says, has my full support and blessing." She turned and pushed Anna out of the room.
"Hey! Wait." Anna kept trying to look over her sister's shoulder, till Elsa pulled the door closed. "Elsa, Kristoff is going to hurt him."
"I certainly hope so." She addressed the two guards who had followed her to the study. "Master Bjorgman is in a very important conference. He is not to be disturbed and no one is to enter the study until he has finished his meeting. Understood?"
"Yes, Your Majesty." The corporal came to attention. A hint of a smirk played over his lips.
"Good." Beyond the door, Elsa heard a high pitched shriek followed by a thud.
Kristoff's muffled voice drifted through the door. "There's no where to run."
A smile settled on Elsa's face as she slipped an arm through Anna's pulling her down the hallway. "Come along, sister dear."
Neither saw the corporal hold out his hand to his counterpart. Who placed several coins in the outstretched palm. The corporal smirked as he slipped the coins into his pocket.
"Elsa, I don't need Kristoff to fight my battles for me."
"This isn't your battle, it's his. Besides, your knuckles need a rest."
Anna leaned into her sister and sniffed. "Have you been drinking?"
A sly smile tugged at the Queen's lips. "Only a couple of toasts." She wrapped her arm around her sister's waist, hugging her close. "Come on, let's see if there's any chocolate cake left." Humming a cheerful tune she strolled down the hall with her sister in tow.
Hope you enjoyed the journey