Lost in the Woods Ch. 04byMarty82©
Little by little, the countryside all around us began to change.
Barbarians had set everything on fire, although clear signs of reconstructions were visible. As the sun rose and made its journey in the sky, I could see some partially cottages, freshly tended fields and above all this, nature was winning its battle against the man.
Green young plants were starting to cover the landscape again. My soul felt exactly the same. After all the losses I had to suffer, the scar inside me was beginning to slowly heal.
I was feeling excited, and curious. I wanted to know something more about the man who was travelling by my side on his black horse.
All that I knew was that he was the bastard son of the former King, who could not prevent his legitimate son to be cruel and immoral. That he began a hard battle against his half brother...that he was helping the poor, betrayed people. I also knew that his wife had been killed by his brother's allies, who where somehow responsible of the disappearance of her mother, charged for witchcraft. Needless to say, I also experienced what a passionate lover he was.
I was thinking about all this when he abruptly called my name.
"Caroline. Look." He gently made my horse stop. I looked in the distance and realized that we were no longer alone.
Many peasants were ploughing the fields; I could see some poor cottages and hear voices of children and women in the distance. An ordinary scene of life surrounded by the result of war. I raised my eyebrows, and turned my head toward Guillaume. "Who are they?" I asked him.
"These are the people I'm fighting for. Come, we will pass undisturbed. My castle is over this small town." He said, a joyful smile on his face.
We moved forward, but we didn't go fast. After some instants, Guillaume greeted one peasant after another. "Greetings, You Grace. We heard that you won the last battle. We believe in you and are here to help in any way we can." One peasant said, shaking Guillaume's hand.
"I know, you're all strong and faithful. I need you to be even stronger and prepared for the future, this battle won't be the last one. If you all need something, just ask for me." He answered, smiling back and looking at every single person who had gathered around in the meantime.
The peasants smiled at me, too, and they kept watching us even when we were far. I felt embarrassed, but didn't mind.
"They are nice and hard workers," he said. I could hear pride in his words.
"And really curious about me", I added. He smiled.
"Yes, they obviously are." He only answered.
We passed by a small stream, whose silvery waters were rippling and whispering, and then we crossed a small stretch of forest. I smelled the fresh scent of green leaves and moss and I enjoyed the shadow. The sun was still powerful, but evening was taking advantage of the hot day.
We eventually found ourselves in front of a big lake. The scenery was breathtaking: the sun was dipping into the violet water, the sky was almost red, as if on fire...I couldn't talk for a while, lost in this contemplation.
At our right hand side, there was a castle. It was a dark, elegant building. Two towers were built at both sides. Flags were placed on each tower: a star with a spark was Guillaume's symbol. I recalled his star shaped mole on his groin and smiled
I looked at the castle again. It was more like a fortress. Thick brick walls encircled the western part of the building. The other part was facing the high mountains.
"Welcome to my home, my lady," he ironically said. I turned to him.
"It's...very..." I began to speak, but I couldn't find the words. It was so different from my destroyed castle. A particular atmosphere surrounded the place, so strong and powerful.
"...Original, I know. My Father gave me the most secluded one. But I don't mind, I like living here and the mountains protect us from possible attacks." He told me. I nodded.
"We have to follow that path in order to reach the entrance to the main portal." He instructed me.
"What will your men ask about me?" I wondered. He softly giggled.
"They will just be astonished. I'll introduce them to you, don't worry." I nodded again, and I nervously grabbed the reins.
We trotted quickly and reached the castle when the sun was setting.
We crossed the bridge and two pairs of shocked guards stared at me, speechless. I smiled, nervous.
Guillaume maintained his cool expression. "This is Caroline of Peverell, a young noblewoman I helped when I was patrolling the Wild Woods. Thank God I found her alive. She is here to be prepared for her further journey in search of her family's allies."
"Perfect, Your Grace. We will open the gate in a moment. Good day, mylady." The First Guard said. I replied to his greeting as politely as I could.
They were all looking at me interested. I was quite irritated at this point.
"Have they ever seen a woman before?" I mumbled as we reached the yard.
"Not here with me. I bet you're nervous." He playfully said.
"I'm anything but nervous, Your Grace," I said, ironic.
We gave the horses to a servant and we entered the salon from an enormous, wooden door. Everything was neat; a warm atmosphere surrounded the place. I felt something more, as if even the objects in the castle were expecting someone, something. Freedom? Peace?
Stone walls were covered by rich tapestries. A big mahogany table with benches and chairs was positioned in the middle, and servants were already lighting torches all around the room. I stood there, taking my time to observe everything.
Guillaume was calm, controlled. It was clear that he had regained his territory and with it his power and his role. Yet, every time he looked me in the eye, I sensed he was somehow vulnerable. I understood that he was showing me something very intimate. I tried not to be too curious, but I wanted to know about his life in the castle, about his relationship with his allies and much more...
We climbed a large staircase that leaded to the first floor.
"You will meet my only female maid. She is here since I inherited the castle, I'm sure you'll like her." I smiled. Finally I could talk to another woman again.
"You must be tired. Myra will show you your room. We will meet for dinner. We will be alone tonight; my men are patrolling the countryside." He said, and then called the maid. A middle aged woman obviously astonished to see "His Grace" with a woman in the castle, opened a door and reached us in the corridor.
She bowed, I smiled at her. She was short, plump, with blue intelligent eyes and grey hair which was tightly tied. She comforted me with his smile only.
Guillaume briefly introduced me to her. "Lady Caroline fled from Peverell, her family had been killed by Barbarians and her castle destroyed. She is here to be trained and equipped for her journey. She has to find her father's former allies. I want you to stay by her side during her stay." He told her. The woman nodded.
"It will be done, Your Grace." She smiled; her blue eyes expressed loyalty as she turned to me and said:
"These are hard times, My Lady. Come with me, please."
Guillaume told me: "I have things to arrange. See you later." He said, then walked to the ground floor.
Myra noticed my confused look and sighed.
"Come with me, I will draw you a bath and give you new clothes." "Thank you, Myra." I smiled to her.
My new room was large and comfortable. A queen sized bed was in the middle, it was similar to the one in the cottage. I blushed...and I blamed myself for having done so. She immediately noticed, but didn't say anything. Then she began to speak.
"I know His Grace since he was 19. He is now 34 and I still cannot understand some of his decisions...but your coming here in the Castle is something that came totally unexpected. I'm glad you're here." She said, smiling warmly at me while helping me removing my dirty dress.
I blushed and shook my head. "It's not what you think. As soon as I am ready I will leave. He offered me his help and I gladly accepted. That's all." She looked at me, pouring warm water inside the tub.
"I don't dare judging you, mylady. I am but a poor servant, rescued by His Grace when I lost my husband in a terrible battle. After two years I became his wife's personal maid.
"He was a young man at that time, but already strong and determinate. And very, very sure of his choices. I don't know if he'll let you go so easily now that he found you. I noticed the way he looks at you." She was fixing the things for the bath a she spoke to me in a sweet voice. I sat in the warm water and sighed, helped by her. I blushed violently.
"Did he suffer a lot when his wife died?" I asked.
"You're the first woman I see after poor Lady Eylin's death. He surely did. Not to mention his mother's disappearance." She began scrubbing my back. I could feel that she was fighting her feelings, but she must have suffered, too.
"Tell me something about his wife." I couldn't help but ask. She sadly smiled.
"Lady Eylin was a fine, sweet, gentle and noble creature. She was all this man needed to find peace. But she was...somehow too fragile to face the tremendous fight and rivalry between the King and him. I was her personal maid and sometimes she was really overwhelmed by all this anger, all the cruelty the Prince kept inside his heart towards Guillaume. It has always been like this, the Queen wanted Clovis to be Guillaume's greatest danger. And so it is. She died, but she still lives in his son's twisted soul."
I nodded, even if I didn't completely understand her words. We became silent for a while, and she kept on scrubbing my tired back.
"You must be a warrior. Look at these muscles! You're a beautiful, charming lady, but I bet you can fight very well." I laughed. Then, I explained everything about my past life and training. She listened like a mother, and I could easily understand why Guillaume still needed her in his Castle.
After I was finished, she helped me dry and applied lotion on my skin. Then, without words, she opened some drawers and gave me underwear garments and a blue dress with a matching gown. "Don't worry, she never wore these," she whispered.
"Thank you." I replied, slightly embarrassed.
"If you want a piece of advice...be patient, My Lady. And don't be too astonished. Guillaume and this castle are really special." She said. I nodded and smiled.
After some rest, I got dressed. I looked at my image in the window while I was brushing my hair, and sighed. Here I was again: a young, noble lady in a castle...after a while, I took a look at the window the night falling on the lake, and I was really astonished that no signs of war and destructions were there.
I asked Myra if I could take a walk in the castle's gardens. She smiled a ironic smile:
"You'll like it there. Guillaume told me that you can have free access to the garden. Follow me." The maid guided me back to the ground floor. Guillaume was sitting at the huge table, together with three of his men. He smiled briefly as he saw me, and the men bowed. I nodded, and I exited the castle through a door on his west side.
"You can walk alone without fear, milady. You won't see a garden like this in other castles, I assure you..." she said, winking at me. Then she backed away.
I walked down the main path, and enjoyed the view. There were some species of flowers and plants that I had never seen in my life. This garden resembled like a small forest, with little streams, cascades, roses and fruits growing everywhere. They made me think of fertility, joy and sensuality...I felt incredibly good as I found a bench under a willow tree and next to a fountain. After some time, I noticed a big blue iris. It was so beautiful that I couldn't resist. I neared my face to the flower and inhaled its strong scent. After a few instants, a wonderful feeling took advantage of me. I had to lay down on the grass under the tree, because my legs were shaky. I was feeling incredibly aroused. A part of me wondered why, but the excitement was too much for me to handle and I closed my eyes...I fell asleep after some moments.
I awoke in pleasure. Something wet and smooth was probing my nub between my legs...I moaned, half asleep. I wanted to open my eyes, but I couldn't, I was too weak...was I dreaming? I tried to speak, but my words were muffled by a soft kiss. I responded, while the tongue between my thighs bathed in my juices.
Then, I felt two hands opening my corset slowly. My heart was beating even faster as expert fingers began to play with my hard nipples...
I reluctantly opened my eyes and what I saw shocked me, but I didn't have the strength to get up and run away. I wasn't alone. Someone was with me, but I felt so deliciously heavy that I couldn't even open my eyes.
"What's happ..." I tried to speak, but gentle, smooth lips landed on mine and kissed me deeply. Those were the lips of a woman! Instead of feeling shocked, I just gave in to the kiss. The more I kissed her, the more I wanted to look at her. I finally managed to open her eyes, but it was too late. She was all over me, kissing my body and opening my corset. My nipples grew hard by the cool air of the night. I could smell her scent, my hands caught a dark stray of hair. I caressed her velvet skin.
"What's your name?" I whispered to her.
"Call me Iris" she replied. I smiled. She was born from the flower.
"Let me enjoy you" she then said, and she opened my legs. As soon as she started caressing my inner thighs, I couldn't keep my eyes open. The pleasure was too strong to be fought.
She probed my wet sex with the tip of her tongue. I moaned and caressed her back, urging her to go on. And she obliged. She started licking me all over my labia, then she reached my slit.
All I could see was her head bobbing up and down faster, harder , causing my body to arch and shake. I gripped my legs around her as her tongue darted on my clit until I experienced a breathtaking orgasm. I screamed as my juices ran down.
"Mmm, yes, Caroline. Like this." A familiar voice said.
I opened my eyes, still lost in my aftershocks. Guillaume was sitting on the bench and looking at me with eyes full of lust. At the same time, the creature who made me explode so beautifully raised her head, and I faced a gorgeous woman, with hazel eyes, who was smiling at me. I smiled back.
Guillaume stepped closer and whispered in my ear: "Welcome to my garden, Caroline...every fantasy becomes reality here. At least, every fantasy in which evil isn't involved. This is my forbidden Universe, and you're the first woman to ever see it." As the girl caressed me, he explained: "You smelled the most sensual flower of my garden, and this made you create a fantasy of your own. She came from there. You were thinking of me while you were experiencing it, that's why I could see it entirely. I thank you for this...it made me so hard for you."
I bit my lips. "Always tell me what you want, Caroline. Let yourself go. There's no fear, as long as you believe in all this." He sweetly said.
His voice vanished and I found myself laying once again on the bed...had I dreamed?
I looked at the window. The night had fallen down and I had to dress for the night...
He bowed as I entered the room, and resembled as a young devil. He wore a black new dress, and I could inhale his delicious scent as I approached him. I was once again disappointed with myself: why could he control my sensations so easily? He showed me my chair at the dining table.
"Please, sit. And relax. You must be tired." He politely told me. I just smiled, and nodded. We stared into each other's eyes for a moment and I immediately knew that I hadn't dreamt.
"You have inherited a wonderful place. I like the atmosphere. I am sure that many people have found salvation and peace in you manor. And not only..."I said, smiling. He smiled back.
"I started to love it after a while. And I also love a special characteristic of it. My brother cannot find this Castle."
I raised my eyebrows.
"Yes. This Castle isn't to be found in maps, my brother can't see it. It's endowed with a strong power...that's why people persecuted by the King are living here under my protection." He explained.
Astonished, I turned to see if anyone else was listening.
"Is it a joke?" I reluctantly asked. "Why could I see it?" I asked, unable to believe his words.
He smiled again.
"I didn't say that it was invisible to everyone. I said that it was to Clovis. For this reason I told you to stay here for your own safety and never go out of its borders." He said.
"I see. And does he know about it?" I asked. I couldn't believe it. The Castle, endowed with magical powers...just like his horses.
"Yes, he does. He knows that our father owned a magical Castle. He knows that it must be somewhere in these lands. But he doesn't know how to find it." He said. His eyes locked with mine.
"Guillaume...please answer a question." I quietly said.
"Go on." He answered.
"Why are you so worried about a possible meeting between me and your brother? He doesn't know me...or does he?" the question came out of my lips so quickly that I took him by surprise. He pressed his lips tightly together, and let out a long breath.
"I cannot answer you here. Let's have dinner and we will talk in a silent place."
We walked upstairs once again. This time we passed by my room and walked down a semi-dark corridor, lit by several candles.
We entered a small library with a mahogany desk and chair. It was similar to my father's study.
We sat on two different armchairs after he lit some torches.
"Caroline...it's not easy to answer this question." He began.
"What do you mean Guillaume? I just want to know your feelings..." I bit my lips, hard. "...your feelings about this complicated situation. You were already full of people to help. Why me? And why are you so obsessed with a possible meeting between the King and me?" I said.
In response, he took something from his pocket and handed it to me.
It was a document. I read and could not believe in what I saw. It was a list, a wicked list of all the young noble maidens that were in my province; most of them were realtives or friends. And of course, there was my name. The only one underlined with red ink.
"What is this?" I blurted out.
"My brother...he was looking for you. I just know that. He wants you as his...let's say wife, but I don't know if it's the correct term to use." He seemed embarrassed and sad as he said these words.
I became furious in a moment. "Why are you telling me this now? I had the right to know everything before all... this started." I told him, standing from the chair.
He softly laughed and that increased my anger. "So you could marry him?" he ironically asked.
My breath quickened. "That doesn't make any sense."
"If I had told you before, you would have gone God knows where." He seriously said.
"Where did you found this thing?" I coldly asked.
"A pilgrim discovered this document. He went to me while I was fighting in the nearby fields and gave me this. He didn't want to reveal his identity, but told me that you were in danger. He was totally covered in a cloak and I couldn't see him, but took his words for granted. I knew that Clovis wanted a wife and was searching for her throughout the Reign." He paused.
"I didn't have a clue about you. But I was sure I had to find you. Caroline...the Barbarians apparently defeated and destroyed your family and the town as they always do...but I'm afraid that Clovis wanted them to spare your life in order to abduct you as soon as you reached our Reign and..." he didn't finish the sentence. "Have you ever heard about the ius primae noctis, right?" he asked.
I nodded, and shivered: I hated that horrible law. Because of it, a man of royal descent could deflower every girl in the country who was about to marry. Obviously, the current King was using it as much as he could.