I Know He's a King Ch. 10byJane Shield©
Hardly anyone noticed that suddenly the king had left the army to go back to the capital, Islanda. Chores were carried out as usual, as well as the training. My own training started the day he left.
Until I got the hang of it – meditation – it was so dull, so boring that I could rip my eyes out. But when I mastered the relaxation technique and how to sit and clear my mind, it was the most amazing state I had ever been in. I found myself drifting into another world, somewhere beautiful. It was abstract, colours floating before my eyes and I felt like I did not have any worries at all. I could sit for hours meditating.
But perhaps I sat too long. My limbs went weak, so weak that one day I collapsed after a really long period of meditating. Goovar and Joanja gave me a terrible lecture about exercising and eating properly. Together with Bea they split up my schedule and since then I have not been able to meditate for longer than two hours at a time. Bea helped me with the meditation and Goovar made sure I ate.
Joanja drilled me hard during exercise. Every time she saw that I was close to collapsing from exhaustion, she pushed me further. If she was having a good day, she would push me even more, so much more that my usually happy self became a raging maniac. I was afraid that an accident would happen during these bouts of extreme fatigue, but because of the trials they put me though I learned to control myself. I did not have to be afraid.
After a week of Alexander's absence, the Wilijies saw this as our weakness and began attacking. Stealth and speed was their strongest weapon. Their first attack was hardly discernible; they came so quietly into camp through gaps in our guard system and killed a few soldiers in their sleep. Then it got more serious. Every other daybreak they attacked us, appearing like bandits raiding a village. The first times they were so quick and we were so unprepared that although there were only fifty of them it felt like five hundred. After a few times we got used to their technique and we were able to predict their attacks. Just as suddenly as the Wilijies attacked, they disappeared.
The attacks may have stopped, but we did not relax for one moment. The guard watch was reorganised and strengthened – no loopholes were to exist. Every division – even in the centre of camp – had guards keeping watch day and night.
The initial anxiety and excitement subsided quickly for me. I missed them. Yes, Vicdaen and Alexander. I could not stop thinking about either of them. The only time they steered clear of my mind was in meditation. I blame them for my inability to focus during meditation as well as why I need such long meditation sessions. And since I could not meditate for longer than a couple of hours, I fell into a kind of depression.
I blamed all the bad things happening on the absence of Vicdaen and Alexander. That bad things happened was kind of naïve of me to think. Of course it had only to do with me. I, oh embarrassment, cut myself while sparring with the sword. I fell and stumbled, and hit my knee, or fell into the lake with my clothes on – that happened only once! And those things happened not because I was clumsy, but I thought of either Alexander or Vicdaen, and I was totally distracted and I am just happy I did not land myself into bigger trouble.
Sooner or later in the absence of my two – alright, only one – suitors, I stopped thinking about one of them, and what was left of my thoughts of them were undeniably spent thinking of the other. I felt a bit confused, and even more hurt, because there is nothing that hurts more than love lost.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
'Where is he?' said the ice cold voice.
'I don't know...' another voice replied, trembling.
'But milady, he...'
'He will come back to her. And when he does, you know what to do.'
The icy cold air was cut open with the sound of my mother's voice.
'Amram, wake up.'
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Amram, wake up."
"Just a little bit more, please mama."
"If I had known I had such a female voice I would never have spoken to you", Vicdaen chuckled in my ear. "If you think of your mom when I speak to you I will leave you be."
I opened my eyes, and indeed it was Vicdaen peering over me. He was too close for me to feel comfortable, so I tried to scoot away from him.
"What a cold welcome back I receive. I imagined you screaming and yelling and hugging me, perhaps even a real kiss." His eyes were smouldering hot, and the curl of his lips made me think of the wolf he was so like.
"I did not expect you back so soon."
"Nor did I... What do you say about the kiss?"
My cheeks burnt as I imagined him kissing me. If I let him kiss me would it be like the time in the lake or would it feel different from then? There was only one way to find out, and I did not need to encourage him to kiss me since he leaned over me at my silence.
It was chaste as our lips touched first, my lips dry and his lips soft and wet in anticipating salivation. As I took one step forward, he took two steps. I licked my lips to accommodate him easier, and he slid his tongue out to meet it. I lost myself in the complex dance he engaged my tongue in, and I could not hold my head up as he closed his arms around my waist to press me against him.
In that movement I revealed my neck and shoulders to him, parts that had been hidden beneath a rough blanket. He lost no time in the lack of decorum I displayed and plunged for the soft skin at the base of my neck. If the tongue-dance had been overwhelming the neck nipping was a few steps away from nirvana. And that, of course, disturbed me.
"Please, Vicdaen, we shouldn't", I croaked. My voice was peculiarly hoarse.
"I promise you, Amram; I won't do anything that you don't want me to do."
"That's not fair", I answered after a moments consideration.
"When is life fair? Now, do you want this or not?"
As embarrassing as it may seem, it was I who pulled him down for another go at my mouth, but at the moment I was not the slightest embarrassed. That kiss was nothing chaste. It was the complete opposite of chaste. He had made my knees go weak with the other kiss, but now I felt fiery hot and that fire seemed to originate from my lower abdomen and even lower. Sounds emanated from my mouth, and I did not even realise it was me until he withdrew from my mouth to look at me while he drew his fingers down my stomach. Any try to stop making those sounds was forgotten in the instant he found the wet folds between my legs and – oh my, what was he doing?
'Where have my clothes gone?' I thought a bit secluded minded. 'Where are his clothes?' All those thought vanished as Vicdaen found a little nodule in between the damp folds. Then my mind stopped caring at all, it was overloaded by the pleasure. Instincts took over the reactions of my body – hips thrusting against him, my back arching like a string bow. Not to mention the moaning.
He groaned as my hips made contact with his own hips. I looked down at where our bodies connected and blushed at the intense image of him aroused. I had seen a few men aroused before, but they had not been for me – the only one that had been aroused because of me had wanted to rape me.
"What?" He pulled away from me to give me space.
"It's just... I don't think you'll fit."
He flashed his canines at me in an amused smile. He choked down laughter – he better or I would have kicked him out of the tent. Then he lay down beside me on my thin mattress with a sigh.
Without him atop of me it seemed awful cold. I shivered and reached for the blanket. The thing was that the blanket lay behind Vicdaen so I had to lean over him to get it. As I did he caressed my arms, shoulders and breasts. But he did so without the passion he had used earlier in his touch. From the look in his eyes it was possessiveness that ruled his actions, but the touch was cheerful, like he valued the feel of my skin.
"You're afraid, aren't you? It's not that I won't fit inside you, you fear that I won't fit with you." How awfully acute of him. Painfully correct. So, I felt that way, but not because of the reasons he thought I did.
"I don't love Lex any longer." He transferred his gaze from my chest to my eyes questioningly. "Well, I do, but not that way, you know."
"What way?" he said with a grin. He knew what way. THAT way! That way that I hope you love me, that I know I love you.
"Uhn... This way..." I leaned into him and stroked tenderly across his brow, a wrinkle creasing his magnificent forehead.
He smiled a knowing smile of male appreciation. That smug grin that annoys you so much, but you still cherish it when you see it. He rolled around so that I suddenly was on the bottom again, and he on top. Then he kissed me, kissed me with all the passion he had, and stole my breath. He stopped for a moment, making sure I could breathe.
"This way?" Again that grin, and he thrust his hips against mine and made me moan in consent. I closed my eyes, much to stop thinking dirty thoughts, but also because it felt too much, too much sensation at one time. When I opened my eyes again it was dark around us – he had released his black hair from the knot on his head and now we were enclosed in velvety darkness. It helped, made me forget that we were in camp, with tents just a few feet away from my tent.
He was everywhere. He touched my skin with tender gentleness, one place at a time, but it felt like he was everywhere. He had squeezed himself in between my legs and covered my upper body with his chest. Our lips were locked in a kiss, but his hands were drawing light circles on my skin – tracing my flesh from my eyes, cheeks and chin, down to my hips and thighs. He continued to coax sounds from my throat, some soft and high-pitched, others growling low like thunder. He kept quiet, making me blush from humiliation. How could he stay quiet, and I had to fight against every sound?
Determined to make him groan like he had earlier I let my hands roam his body. I was mesmerized by his arse. So hard, but yet so soft. I kneaded his flesh, pushed at it, pulled him against me, and suddenly I felt a sharp pain between my legs. I had pushed at him so hard I had pushed him inside me. Stupid, I thought, but my own fault. I pulled away from Vicdaen's lips, trying to swallow down the pain. He slid further inside me, and this was not without pain, but it had eased a bit.
"Vicdaen", I gasped as he started thrusting back and forth, in and out. Forget the pain, this was... Wow. It ended too soon.
"Amram", he cried out and fell down over me. He gasped for air against my neck. I tried hard to be happy about it, but it felt like it had been far from finished for my part. I wanted him hard again, moving in and out of me, in that place where none had ever been before.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Amram. I... I promise it won't be like this the next time", he said as he rolled over on his side. "It won't hurt, and I'll last longer."
I sniffed and pointed my tongue at him. "It'd better be longer next time."
"Disappointed? I'll make you happy", he said and threw himself over me. His hands where everywhere – though this time not to touch and sense, but to tickle. I rolled into a small ball, trying to escape his relentless attacks. He did not go on for long, soon he was stroking my thighs and calves, letting me catch my breath.
"Amram, you're late for exercise", a familiar voice sounded outside the tent. A hand pushed away the tent cloth and Goovar's head looked inside.
"Ooh... I smell love", she sniffed in the air, smiling widely. She did not tease about us being naked and everything in full view, just pointing it out subtly. I smelled the air, and I could feel that sweet fragrance I had sensed in Goovar's tent a long time ago when I had joined the Moonsisters. I must have looked like a tomato, not just from the tickling but from the clear evidence of what I and Vicdaen had done.
"I had my vote for you, Vicdaen. She finally came to her senses..."
"I thought you weren't in favour of me to have a relationship with either Vicdaen or Alexander."
"Tsh, that was some bull that I let Joanja and Bea say. I don't bother. Besides, with the meditation going on and everything, it'll be okay. Now, go and clean up, and then come back here. Let's hope you're back to your nimble self now that you don't have to think about two persons at the same time", she excused herself, leaving with a laugh.
Vicdaen started to pull his clothes on. He looked very serious; he almost avoided looking at me when he dressed. I came to think about the day he left. How he had said to Alexander that with Vicdaen my heritage did not matter. Vicdaen was the rightful prince of Veriton. If I married him, would that make me princess?
"Vicdaen. Did you mean what you said?"
He looked at me, smiling questioningly. "Sorry, what do you mean?"
"The day you left, you argued with Lex. You said that with you, in Veriton, I would no longer be a peasant. Did you mean that, and if you did, does that mean you want to marry me?"
"It must have sounded like that", he answered after a long consideration time. "I... It's... Damn, I normally never lose my words like this... It's true. I do want to marry you. And, I want you to be my queen."
I had prepared myself to hear him say: 'No way, I won't marry you... You're whiny and stupid, and who would ever want to marry you?" so I released my breath in a shudder. "You really mean that?"
Queen? Me queen of Veriton? No, completely impossible. I could be his mistress, anything, but me as a peasant girl on the throne, next to Vicdaen – it did not make sense. He could say that my heritage made no difference, but I would still feel it. I would feel like a mouse around cats.
It was too overwhelming, I gulped down my fear – he noticed. "You're afraid... again."
"It is hard not to be... It's so much, you know. And then I wonder if there is an end to it."
"What do you mean?" he asked, perplexed.
"You say so much, promise so much... What if it doesn't come true? What if we lose against Veriton – you'll never be king."
Certainty painted his face as well as rage and arrogance. "I will be king of Veriton. No bloody Placident will stop me!" he yelled.
I scooted away from him. Such fire, such passion – it was enough to make me shiver.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. But I will be king", he said softly, smiling reassuringly. "Do you want to be my queen?"
"I'll have to think about it, Vicdaen", I said honestly. "It's not something I can put my foot down on right now."
He pulled me in for an embrace. I leaned my head on his chest, trying to forget that he was fully clothed. This was how I would feel next to him, him as king and I as a queen. I would feel naked under everybody's gaze. I pulled away from him and took on my dress. It was dirty and old worn, but kept my flesh from peeking through.
"It's going to be fine", he said as if he could feel what I was feeling. He could not.
I ran out from the tent.
"Amram!" he yelled after me.
"Leave me alone."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"It's not going to be fine... Shit!"
I ran towards the dam, still intent to clean up before training with Goovar. I did not watch my step, so I tripped when I reached the water and fell with a loud splash. I roared in frustration. Now my clothes were all wet! I pulled off the dress – it tried to stay on me, the wet cloth straining against my ministrations. I finally had it off and threw it down in the water triumphantly.
"Ha!" I thought the battle to be won, but as I say a white cloudiness sift through the fabric, tainting the water I knew I had lost. The herbs!
I pulled it quickly out of the water. Searching through all the hidden compartments my fingers went sticky with water-soluble drugs. It was of no use any longer. The herbs my mother gave me vanished into the black water.
Mama. She must be worried sick by now. But... I was not in that kind of danger she worried about. Of course it had been close for a while, but not any longer. She and I had believed I would lose my virginity to a mindless brute, but here I was – still tender after the lovemaking of Vicdaen – and he wanted to marry me! Now, that was a turn of events. I wanted to contact her, somehow, to let her know everything was okay. 'I'm fine, mama, everything will be alright. I'm going to marry a king. Not the king you thought I wanted to marry, but close. You will become the queen's mother, the king's mother in law. And I'll kill papa, he can never do anything to you again, I'll make sure of that.'
The last of the whiteness disappeared into the black water. I should have been sorry, but it was different now. I was no prostitute. The soldier who had wanted me to be was dead, my father was miles away – I could not even remember the sound of his voice. And Calem, my brother, was an impotent idiot – I could handle him, I never saw him anyway.
"I'm fine, mama", I whispered into the wind. Perhaps the wind could whisper for me, whisper into her ear. I am fine.
I shivered in the cool water. Someone was watching. A twig snapped and the faint sound of metal against metal echoed over the water.
I dove into the water. Lex was calling my name. 'Not now, please' I thought. He could not come now, when I was still aching between my legs. It was too soon to meet him.
"Amram, what have you done?" He appeared out from the bushes, riding his black stallion, his helmet reflected the sun. He dismounted and kneeled by the shore, picking up my wet dress from the water, then removing his helmet from his head. The metal cladding his broad upper body rattled and shrieked in protest as he almost bent double.
"I fell", I said with a smile, although I knew that this was no laughing matter.
"You fell, alright", he said angrily. Ferocity blazed in his eyes. "Why did you have to fall for him?"
"Why did you fall for him?" he cried out, throwing the garment down in the dirt. He gave it a punch; the dress would be black if I picked it up.
"Who else would I fall for?" I protested sharply. "It's not like I could fall for you. I did fall for you, but that was ten years ago... Why do you care? You're married!"
He looked up, the metal shrieking again as he unbent. Sadness poured into his face. A tear left his right eye – a tear he quickly wiped away. "I'm not married. I'm engaged. That's why we left, because I had to court, I had to..." He trailed off, whispering softly: "Why did you believe I was married?"
I felt dumbstruck as the realization hit me. 'Vicdaen is a liar', I thought. 'How could he?' I did not even care about the fact that Lex was free – free to love – all I cared about was that Vicdaen lied. He made me believe that Alexander was going to marry. Did Vicdaen carry out a grand scheme, like Placident – the one he accused of being a conspirator?
"It was Vicdaen, wasn't it? He told you that I was going to get married. Well it wasn't a lie, not exactly, but I'm not wed locked yet!"
"Does it matter? I don't feel that way for you!" I turned away from him, not daring to see his reaction. It must have stung. Before he left I offered myself to him, I wanted to be his and I wanted him as mine. I loved him... but now...
The sound of hooves on dirt reached me, Alexander softly cooed behind me. I glanced over my shoulder, Lex mounted his stallion, looking anxiously over the water. "They're coming."
"The Wilijies." I followed his line of sight and saw two Wilijies appearing out of the woods, on the other side of the dam. Soon, four other followed close.
"Get out of the water and get help. Amram! Now!"
Propriety was not the first thing I thought of as I tried to get out of the water. Water is a force – if you are not careful it will take you down – and a force to conquer. Running in water feels like someone has tied weights to your feet, dragging you downward. And if the Wilijies or Alexander could see my naked body as I ran was not one of my concerns.