Portal Ch. 02bytenicka©
"Welcome to Mera Lethas, my Lady." Anithis pressed his lips against the top of my hand as he led me into a building that seemed to be made of pure marble. It was as if someone took an enormous block of stone and carved from the inside out, as the floors, walls and ceiling were all made of the material. I followed him to a spiral staircase and down we went. He was a very soft spoken man, this cream-skinned elf-like man, and I found myself growing rather fond of him. Not in a sexy type way, but more like a friendly, almost brotherly way. "The Drow scum will pay for what they have done to you, my lady. I assure you that much." His words did not assure me though. Apparently Anithis and his fair-skinned people did not call themselves 'elves' but "people of the old" or "Old ones" for short. Vytex and his dark kin were called "people of the mountain" or "Drow" for short.
"Really, Anithis, Vytex didn't hurt me." I had to repeat myself once for him as they were still having a little trouble understanding me with my thick Bostonian accent. Ah well, it did not matter where I was from anymore. This place, this Mera Lethas, was apparently my new home. "And you can call me Kendall if you want." I added as we stepped onto a large landing that held quite a few more marble-carved buildings along it in a row. One of them was my new place and I wondered if I would ever get used to seeing so much white marble. It was almost blinding in fact, but I knew I'd adjust. I just needed some time. Anithis, when he was not away on hunting expeditions or treatsing with the fairies to the west and the dragonkin to the east, would spend as much time with me as possible.
I appreciated his attentions, but my heart seemed to be pulled to the mountains. I found myself wondering if Vytex missed me. Why didn't he make love to me when he had the chance? Was it because he thought me pretty but not pretty enough to do much else but kiss? The though was painful so I tried to not dwell on it. The fact that I was parading around as a princess bothered me as well. The elves... er Old ones as well as the humans both seemed to treat me as such, which meant plenty of "my lady" comments and bowing, scraping at my skirt's hemline. And the clothes they gave me as gifts -- they were simply gorgeous and made me feel elegant and princess-like. Each night we'd have feasts and I'd dance with Anithis. I wondered if there had been a spell cast on me because each time I danced with him, I'd find myself thinking of Vytex instead. It troubled me.
The brown-bearded man, called Trendon, shadowed me always. He was Prince Anithis' bodyguard and best friend, never leaving his Prince's side except when he was with me.
I regarded him as a large teddybear-like man, with rippling, bulging muscles and a smile that was easy to put on his face. It was good to be me.
"My lady?" Trendon's question brought me to attention as I was sitting in one of the many courtyards, contemplating the way things had worked out for me. I stood, staring at him questioningly. "Prince Anithis has requested that you dine specifically in his quarters with him. Do you accept?" The man seemed a little nervous and I wondered what the deal was. After I nodded, he seemed much more relieved, which I thought was cute. It was almost as if he was nervous for the Prince. But the only thing that would cause that would be first-date jitters. Oh. My. Was it a date? Wordlessly, I followed Trendon into the Prince's outer chambers, waiting while he checked on his master.
My fellow human opened the doors wide for me and pecked me affectionately on the cheek as I entered. I was blushing when I stepped inside, admiring the golden decorations that surrounded the marble within the Prince's chamber. It was truly a place fit for a king.
"Ahh, my Lady Kendall, I am so grateful you have decided to join me tonight." Prince Anithis rose gracefully and took my hand, kissing it politely as he led me to the small table set up for two. It was cozy and I smiled at the gesture, sliding in to the chair opposite of his. We began to dine, making small talk. I never spoke of my homeland because I knew it would be too odd for them. How could I possibly explain such contraptions like cars and airplanes? It would boggle their poor medieval-like minds!
As soon as dinner was done, the Prince led me to the courtyard that was set just outside of his bedroom. A tall, thick wall surrounded us, granting both of us complete privacy. He encompassed his arms around me, pressing me gently against his chest. He was wearing a robe and I could hear his heart thudding like crazy under his ribcage. Placing his forefinger under my chin, he lifted so that I was staring up at him, into his startling azure blue eyes. He leaned in and pressed a kiss against my lips, which made my heart flutter. I soon felt my eyes close in bliss as we began to kiss passionately, lips becoming one just like it had happened with Vytex. Only something was missing this time. I couldn't put my finger on it and tried to not worry about it. But still, it ate at my subconscious, needling me until I finally had to pull back.
"I am sorry, my lady, am I pressing too swiftly in my affection for you?" Anithis' words were eloquent, but I didn't think they were sincere. That's what was wrong! Anithis seemed to have a hidden agenda behind everything he did. It was almost as if he were hiding secrets in every action or word. It troubled me, but I tried to just enjoy myself and not dwell on it. No reason to worry. The Prince had done nothing but treat me perfectly.
"I feel as if I have known you my entire life." His voice was filled with affection and I smiled at him, appreciating his words. "How could I get so charmed as to have such a beautiful woman in my arms?" The Prince certainly knew how to push my buttons with compliments like that! "Lady Kendall, I want to take you as my wife. Will you marry me?" I smiled blissfully as I took in his question... until I comprehended what he had just asked me.
"Will you be my bride?" Prince Anithis smiled warmly at me, pressing his lips to my left cheek and then my right. "I want you to be wed to me. We can have the ceremony as soon as possible. I want you to be my wife." I gasped at the suddenness of it, stepping backward and out of his grasp as I did. The pain I inflicted from the action made me feel bad but I wasn't ready to marry some stranger! And yet, I would have been so ready to jump in the sack with Vytex? What was the difference? Marriage was binding in the new world I had found myself in, and so I knew I had to be careful with such a proposition.
"Er, that's a little fast for me, Prince." I backpedaled, uncomfortable with the idea. "I need time. I need to get to know you more." He took my hands within his, stroking the tops gently with his thumbs.
"Take as much time as you need, but I want you as my wife by the next full moon." His words were soft, but there was an implication there -- my welcome would be worn if I did not accept. Uh oh. And Vytex probably wouldn't want me back after I had been away so long. I really didn't see any option.
"How soon until the next full moon?" I queried, paling when he told me four days. Four days! I had four days to decide to marry the Prince or be turned on my ear. I knew by the look he gave when I asked that he meant business. Uh oh!
"I would want you pure, of course." Anithis continued as if I had told him "yes". "You are pure, correct?" I hated the look he gave me then. It was point-blank accusatory. As if I were a slut. I nodded, blushing bright pink at the affirmation. He wrapped me into his arms and sighed in relief. "I knew you were. I knew it." Despite the softness of his voice, I felt myself resenting the question. So what if I wasn't? Would he have married me still? Why would that have made the difference?
"Then I shall walk you to your quarters now, my lady, and be left with thoughts of our joyful union." He held out a hand and I put mine on top, letting him escort me back to the marble hole I now called 'home'. He kissed me a few moments just inside of the door and I felt my insides turning to mush. What was it with these men that they made me feel so gooey inside? "Until we meet on the morrow." Anithis kissed me once more, smiling warmly as he exited my room, shutting the door behind him. I felt as if I could float as I turned to walk in the darkness of my room. I went to a candle and began to light the wick, shedding flickering shadows on the wall as I did. The back door was open, which was odd. I did not recall leaving it that way and went to close it as it was bringing unnecessary chill into the room.
I was smiling to myself when I began to pull the soft silk dress over my head, but grunted when it became stuck on my fancy hairdo that one of my maids-in-waiting had prepared for me. I began to mutter unsavory words as I struggled with the stupid thing, until finally, as if hands were helping, it came off of me, leaving me to shiver in my under-slip. It was at that point I realized I had actually been helped and I jumped, startled at the presence of my visitor. But I relaxed the moment I saw it was only Trendon.
"Oh man! You scared me." I groused, slightly ill-tempered as I pushed the dress in front of me to cover my body. I knew the slip was slight enough that it left nothing to the imagination.
"My lady is quite fetching." The feral look in the human male's eye was new to me. I had never seen him look so aggressively at me before. Backing up slightly, I cast a quick glance to the door, but knew I'd never make it in time if he attacked me. But then again, why would he? Trendon knew I belonged to the Prince! He would never betray his master that way.
"T-thanks, Trendon." I stuttered, mind trying to work up a plan to prevent anything negative from happening between us. "Look, I'm really tired. Do you mind?" I nodded to the door, hoping he would get the point.
"Not at all, my lady Kendall." He stepped closer and I knew I was in trouble.
"Trendon? I belong to the Prince. I'm gonna wed him in like four days." I stretched the truth as I had not really decided on marrying him yet. I had some thinking to do about that first.
"I am going to save you from the plans he has set, Lady." Trendon's face twisted into an animalistic grin. I backed up each step he took forward, hoping to keep myself from being pinned by a wall or worse -- the bed. "I will make you my woman. Once I lay with you, the Prince will no longer want you and you will be safe. Then I will take you to be my wife." It sounded as if he had spent hours planning, but I had to disappoint him on so many levels.
"I don't think so." I put myself into a defensive stance, knowing how to take care of myself. Somewhat.
"Oh yes, lady." His grin split his entire face by whatever deviant thoughts his brain held. "I will spear you like a rabbit." With his words, he leaped at me, intent clear. But I was quick and I was able to dodge his outstretched hands. I raked my fingernails against one side of his face, drawing blood in an attempt to protect myself.
"Ahhhgh! Foul wench! Insolent bitch! I will make you pay for that!" Trendon, once labeled a 'teddy bear' by myself, was now a raving grizzly and I feared not only for my virginity but my life. It was this fear that caused me to start ranting, calling him every name I knew that was not a positive one.
"Speak my tongue or do not speak at all!" He snapped as he prepared to leap again. I began to chant words, words I did not understand. They just flowed from my mouth and the moment I finished, another colorful swirly thing appeared beside me. My way home? Or a way to a different world? I was not sure. I did not hesitate though, as I knew if I stayed, I would become a victim and so I jumped into the swirl, leaving a cursing, yelling Trendon behind me.
When I stood shakily on my feet, I sighed in relief upon noting I was in the museum's Celtic display area once more. But then again, I had lost something in the transfer. I looked down to see I was in the slip and nothing more. At my feet lay my glasses, a slight crack in one lens, but salvageable, so I put them on and looked down at my wrist.
My watch was working again and by the date stamp it showed the same day I had jumped into the first swirl -- ten minutes later. What had taken me a week in the other place, only ten minutes had registered on this side of the swirl? Interesting.
But I was home, which was both good and bad. My shapely figure I had grown so accustomed to was gone. I was back to 'A' cup breasts instead of 'C'. I felt like mourning! I was back to being plain-jane me and I hated it. But I knew that if I had stayed, I would have regretted it worse, so with a heavy heart, I went back to my office, tossed on my coat and went home to my apartment. Back to my mundane, ordinary life.
For the next few days, I existed as if in a daze. My heart physically ached to be back in the other world. I longed to feel warm elfish-like arms around me, soft lips against mine. I realized I had to go back. After tasting such ambrosia, I could not settle for spam! I wanted that life back and thought that perhaps if I went back, I could figure out a way of protecting myself against Trendon. So, after purchasing a dress that was supposed to be a Halloween costume for "Romeo and Juliet", I went back to the Celtic display after museum hours and read the same words as before.
I was not sure why I had been able to speak them so easily back in the other world, so just chalked it up to being under duress. My subconscious must have known the words and had spoken them for me. Now, though, I had to re-read from the book. I touched the stone as I did and just like before, the swirl appeared. I was so delighted I nearly forgot to take off my glasses. I put them on the edge of the tome's table and jumped into the colors, anxious to be in the meadow once again just like before -- my new home.
But I did not end up in the meadow this time.
I was back in my old marble-carved room. And there was no soft body to land upon, so down upon the hard rock floor I landed.
"Ouuuch!" I cried out as I landed hard on my hip. That would be a nasty bruise for sure! I scrambled to my feet to find the bedchamber looking as if it had not been used in a while. There was no dust, as I knew the servants would have kept it clean like the rest of the royal palace. I paced for a few moments, wondering why I was having difficulty breathing. I was huffing and felt as if there was something tight and constricting around my chest. I stared in the full-length looking glass and realized the dress I had worn to get here was ill fitting for my large boobs. Laughing happily at the dilemma, I quickly changed from the smaller gown into one that had been made for me, still hanging in the armoire.
"Ahhh, much better." I nodded happily at the full-figured, buxom girl in the mirror and began to formulate a plan to get me to the Prince without a run-in with Trendon. I had no doubt he'd eliminate me before I could "tattle" on him. Peering out the door cautiously, I began to walk with a purpose to the main part of the marble palace, hoping to catch the Prince in his quarters. What I found instead was that he was just leaving that part of the palace as I approached on the stairs.
"My Lady Kendall?" Anithis was definitely shocked to see me and could only stare for a few moments as if not trusting in what his eyes were telling him. When Trendon stepped beside him, I grimaced. The man did not look pleased.
"Is it true, Lady? Did you attempt to seduce my man?" The Prince's tone was accusatory and I knew Trendon had filled his head with nonsense.
"Not at all! It was the opposite, your highness—" I was going to verbally defend myself, but Trendon pulled out a nasty curved mini-sword and would have sliced me if it weren't for the Prince. He put a hand up to stop Trendon before he could advance.
"Let her speak, Trendon." His stare was not friendly to his man, but it was less than that to me. "The fact is, the lady has returned. If she is guilty of all charges, I do not believe she would have shown here again."
"Unless she is here to kill you!" Trendon growled through clenched teeth, sending me a warning glare.
"Of course not!" I retorted in resentment. I was the innocent here! Except for pretending to be a princess of course. "Trendon attacked me. His exact words were 'I will mate you like rabbits'!" I purposefully misquoted and like I had hoped, Trendon showed his lack of brainpower in his reply.
"It was 'I will spear you like a rabbit', you buffoon!" The moment he barked the words, Trendon knew he was in trouble. HE was the buffoon! "I mean, that is what she had said to me, sire!" I smirked at him as he stammered for mercy, but the Prince showed him none and quickly sliced his own sword against his best man's throat. I looked away, not wanting to see him suffer, despite the animosity I felt towards the man. I looked up when I felt a gently force pull me forward until I was completely embraced within the Prince's arms. But he was wearing his thick golden breastplate and so I began to squirm uncomfortably against it. I rapped against the plate and smiled up at him, causing him to laugh an attractive laugh.
"Come, I shall postpone my trek to the Wetlands for another time. I missed you sorely." Anithis wrapped an arm around my waist and led me into his chambers, sitting me down on a bench so that he could sit with me. He wrapped me within his arms and kissed my forehead a few times. We were silent for a long time until we both spoke.
"Look, Prince Anithis—"
"My Lady Kendall, I want—"
We both laughed nervously at the collision of words and I motioned him to go first.
"I missed you so greatly, Lady Kendall, but I had a feeling within my gut that you would return to me." His words sounded sincere, but I was not completely certain they were true. If he thought me an evil temptress, wouldn't he hate me? Even a little? At least not trust me anymore?
"I missed you too. I could not stay away." I told him honestly, but for some odd reason, the image of Vytex appeared in my mind. Stupid girl! I had something good and I couldn't blow it!
"There is a full moon tomorrow night. It is a special full moon too -- a harvester's moon. Will you marry me then?" Anithis' stare was piercing and I could not tear my gaze away from him. Slowly, my head began to move until I found myself nodding in agreement.
"Wonderful! I shall begin the preparations immediately!" His joyful voice sounded throughout the entire room as he pulled me into his arms in animated glee. "You have made the right decision, my Lady!"
How come I didn't feel like it?
How come I felt I was walking down a road that would lead to my death?
To be continued...