A boy a little older than Thrill watched the prince from afar, leaning from the edge of the wall. So far Gale hadn’t really interacted with any other children, because it wasn’t like there were any daycare’s for kids like him. His two coloured orbs were big with wonder and fascination for the older boy. There was something about his aura that reminded him of his father’s as well.
Trick was a prince of shadows, a little lord of all things that lurk in the night—he could sense when he was being watched.
It was not difficult to find the culprit. With a sly and casual glance about the ballroom, Trick was surprised to find that his admirer was a child—no, a toddler, perhaps only two or three years of age. Old enough to form sentences, surely. Old enough to be curious about his surroundings.
Young as he was himself, Trick was not privy to the complex lives of adults, nor the workings of their relationships. He did not know that this small boy was his own brother, and nor did he know how his own existence or this boy’s defined the relationships of their parents. But their family was so strange and ill-defined at best—perhaps it didn’t matter who their shared father was married to or not, so long as everyone was healthy and happy.
Trick tried not to let on that he was aware of the child’s staring eyes, but he could not help but turn and study the boy in return. Though he was small, there was something grand about him—and something familiar as well. Trick was inexplicably drawn to the child.
The Nightmare Prince easily slipped away from his father; Jack Frost was quite distracted by well-wishers and the own small bundle in his arms, a babe nearly a year old, Trick’s little sister, Thrill. She cooed and giggled and utterly delighted the crowd, providing excellent cover for Trick to vanish and slide his way across the ballroom.
He came right up close to the curious boy, but when he got there, Trick was quite suddenly struck dumb. His mouth opened, but he did not know what to say. He, too, had never truly interacted with children, save his occasional romp into the night to blacken their dreams into nightmares. His only real experience with toddlers were those he had with his sister—perhaps the antics that amused Thrill would amuse this boy as well.
Trick pulled at his own ears and puffed out his cheeks to make a silly face, then grimaced and pulled his lips into an exaggerated frown. In this way he made a series of ridiculous faces, each one more gruesome or fantastic than the last, all in hopes of making the child laugh.