Rumpelstiltskin Ch. 03bynicolefox12370©
Gareth spent hours sitting in a dark corner of the tavern, waiting on the girl to arrive and pay her father's debt. He blended into the darkness. His mind made mental notes as he listened to the common folk complain about the lack or food and resources. He had much information to report to James upon his return to the castle. If the girl's father lied about her ability, James would have to marry King Robert's daughter. His people were ready to rebel, and the land would fall into lawlessness.
Gareth placed his metal goblet on a wobbly table; he leaned back in his chair as he watched the girl entered the dingy tavern. He noticed that her stride was regal for her level of birth. She was amazingly beautiful. His eyes narrowed as he watched the townspeople interact with her. He had expected as least one miscreant would slap her bottom or offer her a quick tumble. He was mystified by their almost adulation for the girl. She was beautiful in her worn dress that displayed very curve of her body. Gareth realized that girl had a calming effect on these people.
He watched her standing in front of the tavern owner, a bundle on her back. Her laughter floated around, brightening the space. Gareth leaned forward, observing the girl with keen eyes. He saw her deposit the package into the tavern owner's arms. She reached up and pressed a quick kiss to his fat cheek. She turned, and moved towards the door. Unexpectedly, she stopped, and swirled on her feet. She blew one last kiss to the tavern owner. A roar of laughter filled the tavern. Gareth watched the girl leave the establishment. He flicked his hands to signal the knights to arrest the girl, and bring her to the castle. He finished his drink as his knights carried out his bidding.
Eleanor trembled as tears streamed from her confused eyes. She clutched the bars of the cart as the King's knight wheeled her towards the castle. The townsfolk covered their mouths in horror as their beloved Eleanor was trapped like an animal, and hauled away to an unknown fate. Carl, a young boy of nine, dashed towards the Miller's home, in search of Eleanor's father. He hoped that he could help her as she faced an uncertain fate.
Eleanor bounced around in the cart as it moved rapidly towards the castle. She pondered over what crime that she could have committed. The knights refused to answer her question about her transgression against the King. She had done nothing, ever, in all of her life. She paid her taxes with her meager earnings. She struggled to understand. She wiped delicate hands across her tear-stained face. Her heart thumped as she arrived at the castle. Her breath caught in her throat, the large stone building was intimidating. She shuddered to think of her crime, and her punishment deep in the castle walls.
James sat on his throne watching the young woman trembling before him. Stray prices of hay sticking in her long blonde hair, he wondered if it was as soft as it appeared. His fingers wanted to tug the golden silk as he claimed her as his. James pushed those thoughts of his head. It was hard for him to think as she sat quivering on his Council room floor, her breasts pushed to the top of her bodice, he wondered if her nipples would harden under his touch. James acknowledged that he was mesmerized by her beauty, but he didn't have time to take a mistress. He walked calmly down a few steps that elevated his Throne platform; he stopped in front of Eleanor. He dropped to his knees, and cupped his large hand under her chin. He smiled in pleasure when he realize that her skin was silky soft. His thumb caressed her jawbone. He enjoyed watching her body trembled and shake under his touch.
"Raise your eyes to your king."
Eleanor swallowed nervously as the warmth from the king's hand invaded her senses. Timidly, Eleanor looked into the King's rich emerald eyes. She decided to ignore the feeling that his thumb created as he stroked her face ever so gently.
"Is your father the miller?"
"Yes, milord," Eleanor whispered.
James liked that she demurred to him, instead of presenting like a hellcat. He wondered what it would take to enflame her passions. Too see Eleanor in her full glory.
"Your father told a story, yesterday in the tavern. He claimed that you could spin hay into gold." James stared deeply into her eyes as his hand tightened on her chin.
Eleanor felt her heart dropped into her stomach as fear spread through her. She could believe that her father told such an outrageous story to everyone in the village. Her blonde head shook furiously.
"No, milord," she insisted calmly. "I cannot do such a thing. No one can do... such a thing."
"So, your father lied to his king?"
Eleanor smiled weakly. She knew her words could sentence her father to death or a harsh punishment from the king. Her brows knitted together as she attempted to think of an answer to satisfy the king. "Never, my liege, my father was an honest loyal subject. He would never lie to his king," Eleanor offered sadly.
"So, you will spin straw into gold, or you will forfeit your life in the morning."
"Of course, milord."
King James' behavior mortified Rumplestiltskin; he couldn't believe his ears when James' harsh words floated to his ears. He was equally stunned to see the girl from the meadow trembling before the king. Fat tears streaming from her eyes as her chest heaved in exhaustion. He stood in the shadows as the guards dragged the young girl down to a large chamber filled with clean fresh straw.
Rumplestiltskin realized that King James was caught in a difficult place. However, his behavior towards the girl was unacceptable. He ignored a wave of guilt; he did place James in this tenuous position. He attempted to force fate, in an effort to assist his sister.
Rumplestiltskin watched the young king walk to his throne. His large body slumped in his chair. He hoped guilt ate at his soul. Carefully, Rumplesklitin emerged from the shadows. His footsteps fell softly on the marble floors as he walked to face the young king.
He twisted his lips as he pondered over the correct words to approach the moody king.
James' redhead lifted to view the wizard. He noticed censure in his deep dark eyes almost as dark as night. James stiffened in his throne, "To what do I owe the honor of your visit, Wizard?"
Rumplestiltskin smiled at his young charge. "I come to offer you a break... a reprieve from King Robert's daughter."
"She desires another man to be her lawfully wedded husband. Her father will send her dowry as a peace offering, a gesture of goodwill."
James's handsome face illuminated with joy over the news. Her dowry would be enough to buy seed for the farms of his land. He could began to rebuild his barren land. "I'll accept."
A wry smiled crossed Rumplestiltskin's face. "If the girl is able to spin the straw into gold, you must make her your queen."
James stared at the wizard in amazement. Yes, the girl was quite lovely. His loins stirred in desire when he stared at her. He wanted to plunge deeply into her warm willing body. However, she was merely a peasant. His queen must come from an alliance to ensure the success of his kingdom.
Rumplestiltskin gave the young king a hard look. "Come with me." He pointed towards the balcony. He walked evenly to the balcony overlooking James' lands. A strong arm pointed to the crowds of people standing, wondering about Eleanor's fate.
"They love and care about the girl. Marry her and mend your people."
James looked at his wizard with respect and awe as realized the wizard showed him the way. "As you command."