Red, White &Royal Blue By Casey McQuiston , Chapter 3

FROM AMERICA, WITH LOVE: Henry and Alex Flaunt Friendship NEW BROMANCE ALERT? Pics of FSOTUS and Prince Henry PHOTOS: Alex’s Weekend in London For the first time in a week, Alex isn’t pissed off scrolling through his Google alerts. It helps they’ve given People an exclusive—a few generic quotes about how much Alex “cherishes” his friendship with Henry and their “shared life experience” as sons of world leaders. Alex thinks their main shared life experience is probably wishing they could set that quote adrift on the ocean between them and watch it drown. His mother doesn’t want him fake-dead anymore, though, and he’s stopped getting a thousand vitriolic tweets an hour, so he counts it as a win. He dodges a starstruck freshman gawking at him and exits the hall onto the east side of campus, draining the last cold sip of his coffee. First class today was an elective he’s taking out of a combination of morbid fascination and academic curiosity: The Press and the Presidency. He’s currently jetlagged to all hell from trying to keep the press from ruining the presidency, and the irony isn’t lost on him. Today’s lecture was on presidential sex scandals through history, and he texts Nora: numbers on one of us getting involved in a sex scandal before the end of second term? Her response comes within seconds: 94% probability of your dick becoming a recurring personality on face the nation. btw, have you seen this? There’s a link attached: a blog post full of images, animated GIFs of himself and Henry on This Morning. The fist bump. Shared smiles that pass for genuine. Conspiratorial glances. Underneath are hundreds of comments about how handsome they are, how nice they look together. omfg, one commenter writes, make out already. Alex laughs so hard he almost falls in a fountain.
As usual, the day guard at the Dirksen Building glares at him as he slides through security. She’s certain he was the one who vandalized the sign outside one particular senator’s office to read BITCH MCCONNELL, but she’ll never prove it.
Cash tags along for some of Alex’s Senate recon missions so nobody panics when he disappears for a few hours. Today, Cash hangs back on a bench, catching up on his podcasts. He’s always been the most indulgent of Alex’s antics. Alex has had the layout of the building memorized since his dad first got elected to the Senate. It’s where he’s picked up his encyclopedic knowledge of policy and procedure, and where he spends more afternoons than he’s supposed to, charming aides and trawling for gossip. His mom pretends to be annoyed but slyly asks for intel later. Since Senator Oscar Diaz is in California speaking at a rally for gun control today, Alex punches the button for the fifth floor instead. His favorite senator is Rafael Luna, an Independent from Colorado and the newest kid on the block at only thirty-nine. Alex’s dad took him under his wing back when he was merely a promising attorney, and now he’s the darling of national politics for (A) winning a special election and a general in consecutive upsets for his Senate seat, and (B) dominating The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful. Alex spent summer 2018 in Denver on Luna’s campaign, so they have their own dysfunctional relationship built on tropical-flavored Skittles from gas stations and all-nighters drafting press releases. He sometimes feels the ghost of carpal tunnel creeping back, a fond ache. He finds Luna in his office, horn-rimmed reading glasses doing nothing to detract from his usual appearance of a movie star who tripped and fell sideways into politics. Alex has always suspected the soulful brown eyes and perfectly groomed stubble and dramatic cheekbones won back any votes Luna lost by being both Latino and openly gay. The album playing low in the room is an old favorite Alex remembers from Denver: Muddy Waters. When Luna looks up and sees Alex in his doorway, he drops his pen on a haphazard pile of papers and leans back in his chair. “Fuck you doing here, kid?” he says, watching him like a cat. Alex reaches into his pocket and pulls out a packet of Skittles, and Luna’s face immediately softens into a smile. “Atta boy,” he says, scooping the bag up as soon as Alex drops it on his blotter. He kicks the chair in front of the desk out for him. Alex sits, watching Luna rip open the packet with his teeth. “Whatcha working on today?”
“You already know more than you’re supposed to about everything on this desk.” Alex does know—the same health care reform as last year, the one stalled out since they lost the Senate in midterms. “Why are you really here?” “Hmm.” Alex hooks a leg over one armrest of the chair. “I resent the idea I can’t come visit a dear family friend without ulterior motives.” “Bullshit.” He clutches his chest. “You wound me.” “You exhaust me.” “I enchant you.” “I’ll call security.” “Fair enough.” “Instead, let’s talk about your little European vacation,” Luna says. He fixes Alex with shrewd eyes. “Can I expect a joint Christmas present from you and the prince this year?” “Actually,” Alex swerves, “since I’m here, I do have a question for you.” Luna laughs, leaning back and lacing his hands together behind his head. Alex feels his face flash hot for half a second, a zip of good-banter adrenaline that means he’s getting somewhere. “Of course you do.” “I wondered if you had heard anything about Connor,” Alex asks. “We could really use an endorsement from another Independent senator. Do you think he’s close to making one?” He kicks his foot innocently where it’s dangling over the armrest, like he’s asking something as innocuous as the weather. Stanley Connor, Delaware’s kooky and beloved old Independent with a social media team stacked with millennials, would be a big get down the line in a race projected to be this close, and they both know it. Luna sucks on a Skittle. “Are you asking if he’s close to endorsing, or if I know what strings need to be pulled to get him to endorse?” “Raf. Pal. Buddy. You know I’d never ask you anything so unseemly.” Luna sighs, swivels in his chair. “He’s a free agent. Social issues would push him your way usually, but you know how he feels about your mom’s economic platform. You probably know his voting record better than I do, kid. He doesn’t fall on one side of the aisle. He might go for something radically different on taxes.” “And as for something you know that I don’t?”
He smirks. “I know Richards is promising Independents a centrist platform with big shake-ups on non-social issues. And I know part of that platform might not line up with Connor’s position on healthcare. Somewhere to start, perhaps. Hypothetically, if I were going to engage with your scheming.” “And you don’t think there’s any point in chasing down leads on Republican candidates who aren’t Richards?” “Shit,” Luna says, the set of his mouth turning grim. “Chances of your mother facing off against a candidate who’s not the fucking anointed messiah of right-wing populism and heir to the Richards family legacy? Highly fucking unlikely.” Alex smiles. “You complete me, Raf.” Luna rolls his eyes again. “Let’s circle back to you,” he says. “Don’t think I didn’t notice you changing the subject. For the record, I won the office pool on how long it’d take you to cause an international incident.” “Wow, I thought I could trust you.” Alex gasps, mock-betrayed. “What’s the deal there?” “There’s no deal,” Alex says. “Henry is … a person I know. And we did something stupid. I had to fix it. It’s fine.” “Okay, okay,” Luna says, holding up both hands. “He’s a looker, huh?” Alex pulls a face. “Yeah, I mean, if you’re into, like, fairy-tale princes.” “Is anyone not?” “I’m not,” Alex says. Luna arches an eyebrow. “Right.” “What?” “Just thinking about last summer,” he says. “I have this really vivid memory of you basically making a Prince Henry voodoo doll on your desk.” “I did not.” “Or was it a dartboard with a photo of his face on it?” Alex swings his foot back over the armrest so he can plant both feet on the floor and fold his arms indignantly. “I had a magazine with his face on it at my desk, once, because I was in it and he happened to be on the cover.” “You stared at it for an hour.” “Lies,” Alex says. “Slander.” “It was like you were trying to set him on fire with your mind.” “What is your point?”
“I think it’s interesting,” he says. “How fast the times they are achangin’.” “Come on,” Alex says. “It’s … politics.” “Uh-huh.” Alex shakes his head, doglike, as if it’s going to disperse the topic from the room. “Besides, I came here to talk about endorsements, not my embarrassing public relations nightmares.” “Ah,” Luna says slyly, “but I thought you were here to pay a family friend a visit?” “Of course. That’s what I meant.” “Alex, don’t you have something else to do on a Friday afternoon? You’re twenty-one. You should be playing beer pong or getting ready for a party or something.” “I do all of those things,” he lies. “I just also do this.” “Come on. I’m trying to give you some advice, from one old man to a much younger version of himself.” “You’re thirty-nine.” “My liver is ninety-three.” “That’s not my fault.” “Some late nights in Denver would beg to differ.” Alex laughs. “See, this is why we’re friends.” “Alex, you need other friends,” Luna tells him. “Friends who aren’t in Congress.” “I have friends! I have June and Nora.” “Yes, your sister and a girl who is also a supercomputer,” Luna deadpans. “You need to take some time for yourself before you burn out, kid. You need a bigger support system.” “Stop calling me ‘kid,’” Alex says. “Ay.” Luna sighs. “Are you done? I do have some actual work to do.” “Yeah, yeah,” Alex says, gathering himself up from his chair. “Hey, is Maxine in town?” “Waters?” Luna asks, crooking his head. “Shit, you really have a death wish, huh?”
As political legacies go, the Richards family is one of the most complex bits of history Alex has tried to unravel.
On one of the Post-it notes stuck to his laptop he’s written: KENNEDYS + BUSHES + BIZARRO MAFIA OLD MONEY SITH POWERS = RICHARDSES? It’s pretty much the thesis of what he’s dug up so far. Jeffrey Richards, the current and supposedly only frontrunner to be his mother’s opponent in the general, has been a senator for Utah nearly twenty years, which means plenty of voting history and legislation that his mother’s team has already gone over. Alex is more interested in the things harder to sniff out. There are so many generations of Attorney General Richards and Federal Judge Richards, they’d be able to bury anything. His phone buzzes under a stack of files on his desk. A text from June: Dinner? I miss your face. He loves June—truly, more than anything in the world—but he’s kind of in the zone. He’ll respond when he hits a stopping point in like thirty minutes. He glances at the video of a Richards interview pulled up in a tab, checking the man’s face for nonverbal cues. Gray hair—natural, not a piece. Shiny white teeth, like a shark’s. Heavy Uncle Sam jaw. Great salesman, considering he’s blatantly lying about a bill in the clip. Alex takes a note. It’s an hour and a half later before another buzz pulls him out of a deep dive into Richards’s uncle’s suspicious 1986 taxes. A text from his mother in the family group chat, a pizza emoji. He bookmarks his page and heads upstairs. Family dinners are rare but less over-the-top than everything else that happens in the White House. His mother sends someone to pick up pizzas, and they take over the game room on the third floor with paper plates and bottles of Shiner shipped in from Texas. It’s always amusing to catch one of the burly suits speaking in code over their earpieces: “Black Bear has requested extra banana peppers.” June’s already on the chaise and sipping a beer. A stab of guilt immediately hits when he remembers her text. “Shit, I’m an asshole,” he says. “Mm-hmm, you are.” “But, technically … I am having dinner with you?” “Just bring me my pizza,” she says with a sigh. After Secret Service misread an olive-based shouting match in 2017 and almost put the Residence on lockdown, they now each get their own pizzas. “Sure thing, Bug.” He finds June’s—margherita—and his—pepperoni and mushroom.
“Hi, Alex,” says a voice from somewhere behind the television as he settles in with his pizza. “Hey, Leo,” he answers. His stepdad is fiddling with the wiring, probably rewiring it to do something that’d make more sense in an Iron Man comic, like he does with most electronics—eccentric millionaire inventor habits die hard. He’s about to ask for a dumbed-down explanation when his mother comes blazing in. “Why did y’all let me run for president?” she says, tapping too forcefully at her phone’s keyboard in little staccato stabs. She kicks off her heels into the corner, throwing her phone after them. “Because we all knew better than to try to stop you,” Leo’s voice says. He peeks his bearded, bespectacled head out and adds, “And because the world would fall apart without you, my radiant orchid.” His mother rolls her eyes but smiles. It’s always been like that with them, ever since they first met at a charity event when Alex was fourteen. She was the Speaker of the House, and he was a genius with a dozen patents and money to burn on women’s health initiatives. Now, she’s the president, and he’s sold his companies to spend his time fulfilling First Gentleman duties. Ellen releases two inches of zipper on the back of her skirt, the sign she’s officially done for the day, and scoops up a slice. “All right,” she says. She does a scrubbing gesture in the air in front of her face—president face off, mom face on. “Hi, babies.” “’Lo,” Alex and June mumble in unison through mouthfuls of food. Ellen sighs and looks over at Leo. “I did that, didn’t I? No goddamn manners. Like a couple of little opossums. This is why they say women can’t have it all.” “They are masterpieces,” Leo says. “One good thing, one bad thing,” she says. “Let’s do this.” It’s her lifelong system for catching up on their days when she’s at her busiest. Alex grew up with a mother who was a sometimes baffling combination of intensely organized and committed to lines of emotional communication, like an overly invested life coach. When he got his first girlfriend, she made a PowerPoint presentation. “Mmm.” June swallows a bite. “Good thing. Oh! Oh my God. Ronan Farrow tweeted about my essay for New York magazine, and we totally engaged in witty Twitter repartee. Part one of my long game to force him to be my friend is underway.”
“Don’t act like this isn’t all part of your extra-long game of abusing your position to murder Woody Allen and make it look like an accident,” Alex says. “He’s just so frail; it’d only take one good push—” “How many times do I have to tell y’all not to discuss your murder plots in front of a sitting president?” their mother interrupts. “Plausible deniability. Come on.” “Anyway,” June says. “One bad thing would be, uh … well, Woody Allen’s still alive. Your turn, Alex.” “Good thing,” Alex says, “I filibustered one of my professors into agreeing a question on our last exam was misleading so I would get full credit for my answer, which was correct.” He takes a swig of beer. “Bad thing—Mom, I saw the new art in the hall on the second floor, and I need to know why you allowed a George W. Bush terrier painting in our home.” “It’s a bipartisan gesture,” Ellen says. “People find them endearing.” “I have to walk past it whenever I go to my room,” Alex says. “Its beady little eyes follow me everywhere.” “It’s staying.” Alex sighs. “Fine.” Leo goes next—as usual, his bad thing is somehow also a good thing— and then Ellen’s up. “Well, my UN ambassador fucked up his one job and said something idiotic about Israel, and now I have to call Netanyahu and personally apologize. But the good thing is it’s two in the morning in Tel Aviv, so I can put it off until tomorrow and have dinner with you two instead.” Alex smiles at her. He’s still in awe, sometimes, of hearing her talk about presidential pains in the ass, even three years in. They lapse into idle conversation, little barbs and inside jokes, and these nights may be rare, but they’re still nice. “So,” Ellen says, starting on another slice crust-first. “I ever tell you I used to hustle pool at my mom’s bar?” June stops short, her beer halfway to her mouth. “You did what now?” “Yep,” she tells them. Alex exchanges an incredulous look with June. “Momma managed this shitty bar when I was sixteen. The Tipsy Grackle. She’d let me come in after school and do my homework at the bar, had a bouncer friend make sure none of the old drunks hit on me. I got pretty good at pool after a few months and started betting the regulars I could beat them,
except I’d play dumb. Hold the stick the wrong way, pretend to forget if I was stripes or solid. I’d lose one game, then take them double or nothing and get twice the payout.” “You’ve got to be kidding me,” Alex says, except he can totally picture it. She has always been scary-good at pool and even better at strategy. “All true,” Leo says. “How do you think she learned to get what she wants from strung-out old white men? The most important skill of an effective politician.” Alex’s mother accepts a kiss to the side of her square jaw from Leo as she passes by, like a queen gliding through a crowd of admirers. She sets her half-eaten slice down on a paper towel and selects a cue stick from the rack. “Anyway,” she says. “The point is, you’re never too young to figure out your skills and use them to get shit accomplished.” “Okay,” Alex says. He meets her eyes, and they swap appraising looks. “Including…” she says thoughtfully, “a job on a presidential reelection campaign, maybe.” June puts down her slice. “Mom, he’s not even out of college yet.” “Uh, yeah, that’s the point,” Alex says impatiently. He’s been waiting for this offer. “No gaps in the resume.” “It’s not only for Alex,” their mother says. “It’s for both of you.” June’s expression changes from pinched apprehension to pinched dread. Alex makes a shooing motion in June’s direction. A mushroom flies off his pizza and hits the side of her nose. “Tell me, tell me, tell me.” “I’ve been thinking,” Ellen says, “this time around, y’all—the ‘White House Trio.’” She puts it in air quotes, as if she didn’t sign off on the name herself. “Y’all shouldn’t only be faces. Y’all are more than that. You have skills. You’re smart. You’re talented. We could use y’all not only as surrogates, but as staffers.” “Mom…” June starts. “What positions?” Alex interjects. She pauses, drifts back over to her slice of pizza. “Alex, you’re the family wonk,” she says, taking a bite. “We could have you running point on policy. This means a lot of research and a lot of writing.” “Fuck yes,” Alex says. “Lemme romance the hell out of some focus groups. I’m in.” “Alex—” June starts again, but their mom cuts her off.
“June, I’m thinking communications,” she goes on. “Since your degree is mass comm, I was thinking you can come handle some of the day-to-day liaising with media outlets, working on messaging, analyzing the audience—” “Mom, I have a job,” she says. “Oh, yeah. I mean, of course, sugar. But this could be full-time. Connections, upward mobility, real experience in the field doing some amazing work.” “I, um…” June rips a piece of crust off her pizza. “Don’t remember ever saying I wanted to do anything like that. That’s, uh, kind of a big assumption to make, Mom. And you realize if I go into campaign communications now, I’m basically shutting down my chances of ever being a journalist, because, like, journalistic neutrality and everything. I can barely get anyone to let me write a column as it is.” “Baby girl,” their mom says. She’s got that look on her face she gets when she’s saying something with a fifty-fifty chance of pissing you off. “You’re so talented, and I know you work hard, but at some point, you have to be realistic.” “What’s that supposed to mean?” “I just mean … I don’t know if you’re happy,” she says, “and maybe it’s time to try something different. That’s all.” “I’m not y’all,” June tells her. “This isn’t my thing.” “Juuuuune,” Alex says, tilting his head back to look at her upside down over the arm of his chair. “Just think about it? I’m doing it.” He looks back at their mom. “Are you offering a job to Nora too?” She nods. “Mike is talking to her tomorrow about a position in analytics. If she takes it, she’ll start ASAP. You, mister, are not starting until after graduation.” “Oh man, the White House Trio, riding into battle. This is awesome.” He looks over at Leo, who has abandoned his project with the TV and is now happily eating a slice of cheesy bread. “They offer you a job too, Leo?” “No,” he says. “As usual, my duties as First Gentleman are to work on my tablescapes and look pretty.” “Your tablescapes are really coming along, baby,” Ellen says, giving him a sarcastic little kiss. “I really liked the burlap placemats.” “Can you believe the decorator thought velvet looked better?” “Bless her heart.”
“I don’t like this,” June says to Alex while their mother is distracted talking about decorative pears. “Are you sure you want this job?” “It’s gonna be fine, June,” he tells her. “Hey, if you wanna keep an eye on me, you can always take the offer too.” She shakes him off, returning to her pizza with an unreadable expression. The next day there are three matching sticky notes on the whiteboard in Zahra’s office. CAMPAIGN JOBS: ALEX-NORA-JUNE, the board reads. The sticky notes under his and Nora’s names read YES. Under June’s, in what is unmistakably her own handwriting, NO.
Alex is taking notes in a policy lecture when he gets the first text. This bloke looks like you. There’s a picture attached, an image of a laptop screen paused on Chief Chirpa from Return of the Jedi: tiny, commanding, adorable, pissed off. This is Henry, by the way. He rolls his eyes, but adds the new contact to his phone: HRH Prince Dickhead. Poop emoji. He’s honestly not planning to respond, but a week later he sees a headline on the cover of People—PRINCE HENRY FLIES SOUTH FOR WINTER—complete with a photo of Henry artistically posed on an Australian beach in a pair of sensible yet miniscule navy swim trunks, and he can’t stop himself. you have a lot of moles, he texts, along with a snap of the spread. is that a result of the inbreeding? Henry’s retort comes two days later by way of a screenshot of a Daily Mail tweet that reads, Is Alex Claremont-Diaz going to be a father? The attached message says, But we were ever so careful, dear , which surprises a big enough laugh out of Alex that Zahra ejects him from her weekly debriefing with him and June. So, it turns out Henry can be funny. Alex adds that to his mental file. It also turns out Henry is fond of texting when he’s trapped in moments of royal monotony, like being shuttled to and from appearances, or sitting through meandering briefings on his family’s land holdings, or, once, begrudgingly and hilariously receiving a spray tan. Alex wouldn’t say he likes Henry, but he does enjoy the quick rhythm of arguments they fall into. He knows he talks too much, hopeless at moderating his feelings, which he usually hides under ten layers of charm, but he ultimately doesn’t care what Henry thinks of him, so he doesn’t bother.
Instead, he’s as weird and manic as he wants to be, and Henry jabs back in sharp flashes of startling wit. So, when he’s bored or stressed or between coffee refills, he’ll check for a text bubble popping up. Henry with a dig at some weird quote from his latest interview, Henry with a random thought about English beer versus American beer, a picture of Henry’s dog wearing a Slytherin scarf. (i don’t know WHO you think you’re kidding, you hufflepuff-ass bitch, Alex texts back, before Henry clarifies his dog, not him, is a Slytherin.) He learns about Henry’s life through a weird osmosis of text messages and social media. It’s meticulously scheduled by Shaan, with whom Alex is slightly obsessed, especially when Henry texts him things like, Did I tell you Shaan has a motorbike? or Shaan is on the phone with Portugal. It’s quickly becoming apparent the HRH Prince Henry Fact Sheet either omitted the most interesting stuff or was outright fabricated. Henry’s favorite food isn’t mutton pie but a cheap falafel stand ten minutes from the palace, and he’s spent most of his gap year thus far working on charities around the world, half of them owned by his best friend, Pez. Alex learns Henry’s super into classical mythology and can rattle off the configurations of a few dozen constellations if you let him get going. Alex hears more about the tedious details of operating a sailboat than he would ever care to know and sends back nothing but: cool. Eight hours later. Henry hardly ever swears, but at least he doesn’t seem to mind Alex’s filthy fucking mouth. Henry’s sister, Beatrice—she goes by Bea, Alex finds out—pops up often, since she lives in Kensington Palace as well. From what he gathers, the two of them are closer than either are to their brother. They compare notes on the trials and tribulations of having older sisters. did bea force you into dresses as a child too? Has June also got a fondness for sneaking your leftover curry out of the refrigerator in the dead of night like a Dickensian street urchin? More common are cameos by Pez, a man who cuts such an intriguing and bizarre figure that Alex wonders how someone like him ever became best friends with someone like Henry, who can drone on about Lord Byron until you threaten to block his number. He’s always either doing something insane —BASE jumping in Malaysia, eating plantains with someone who might be Jay-Z, showing up to lunch wearing a studded, hot-pink Gucci jacket—or launching a new nonprofit. It’s kind of incredible.
He realizes that he’s shared June and Nora too, when Henry remembers June’s Secret Service codename is Bluebonnet or jokes about how eerie Nora’s photographic memory is. It’s weird, considering how fiercely protective Alex is of them, that he never even noticed until Henry’s Twitter exchange with June about their mutual love of the 2005 Pride & Prejudice movie goes viral. “That’s not your emails-from-Zahra face,” Nora says, nosing her way over his shoulder. He elbows her away. “You keep doing that stupid smile every time you look at your phone. Who are you texting?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about, and literally no one,” Alex tells her. From the screen in his hand, Henry’s message reads, In world’s most boring meeting with Philip. Don’t let the papers print lies about me after I’ve garroted myself with my tie. “Wait,” she says, reaching for his phone again, “are you watching videos of Justin Trudeau speaking French again?” “That’s not a thing I do!” “That is a thing I have caught you doing at least twice since you met him at the state dinner last year, so yeah, it is,” she says. Alex flips her off. “Wait, oh my God, is it fan fiction about yourself? And you didn’t invite me? Who do they have you boning now? Did you read the one I sent you with Macron? I died.” “If you don’t stop, I’m gonna call Taylor Swift and tell her you changed your mind and want to go to her Fourth of July party after all.” “That is not a proportional response.” Later that night, once he’s alone at his desk, he replies: was it a meeting about which of your cousins have to marry each other to take back casterly rock? Ha. It was about royal finances. I’ll be hearing Philip’s voice saying the words “return on investment” in my nightmares for the rest of time. Alex rolls his eyes and sends back, the harrowing struggle of managing the empire’s blood money. Henry’s response comes a minute later. That was actually the crux of the meeting—I’ve tried to refuse my share of the crown’s money. Dad left us each more than enough, and I’d rather cover my expenses with that than the spoils of, you know, centuries of genocide. Philip thinks I’m being ridiculous.
Alex scans the message twice to make sure he’s read it correctly. i am low-key impressed. He stares at the screen, at his own message, for a few seconds too long, suddenly afraid it was a stupid thing to say. He shakes his head, puts the phone down. Locks it. Changes his mind, picks it up again. Unlocks it. Sees the little typing bubble on Henry’s side of the conversation. Puts the phone down. Looks away. Looks back. One does not foster a lifelong love of Star Wars without knowing an “empire” isn’t a good thing. He would really appreciate it if Henry would stop proving him wrong.

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