tagRomanceThe Marriage Ch. 03

The Marriage Ch. 03

byDreamCloud©

Author's Note: There are nine chapters in all. Tim413413 and I edit one every couple of days. Tim uses three colors to identify my errors. The first draft always comes back looking like Joseph's technicolor dreamcoat. I really should have paid more attention to English in school.

*****

I entered the throne room with a terrible intent. I ignored the gathered court, and concentrated on the scene before me. Alia was standing before the throne, alone. 'She would be alone no more,' I thought as I moved quickly to intercede. It was Angelica who stopped me. She was off to the side, and signaled for me to hold, giving me a knowing smile. I slowed to a stop and watched in confusion.

"You agree with all the crown offers?" my father asked in his omnipotent voice.

"Yes, your Highness," Alia answered. I could hear the confusion in her voice. My father smiled and addressed the court.

"Let it be known, from this day forward, Lady Alia Targot is our ward. To be considered our blood family, and carries with her our love and devotion." The court applauded, and Alia curtsied to the king. I stood dumbfounded, sweating profusely in my inappropriate attire.

Angelica gathered a stunned Alia from the front of the throne as the court began to disassemble. My father approached me with a grin of state on his face.

"Did you not have time to change, Prince?" my father queried as he moved among the court.

"I was not aware court would be held today, Sire" I replied, trying not to sound too out of sorts.

"Your mother deemed it necessary," my father said to the growing throng, "Lady Alia has been so instrumental in your bride's acclimation, your mother thought it necessary she join the court. I could not have agreed more. The princess was overjoyed." There were volumes of information for me in that statement. An agreement had been set between my parents and me.

"We missed the queen, your Highness," a courtier said, joining the conversation. I was sure others had noticed as well. My father turned to him.

"Alas, Reginald, the queen has taken ill. Nothing serious, mind you," my father spoke easily, "she did not wish to risk it spreading. Even I am to stay away, though I suspect she will recover soon." The last part was directed to me, although he was addressing Reginald.

"I hope you will convey our best wishes, your Highness," Reginald added formally. The king nodded and turned toward me.

"I should look in on Mother, Sire," I said quickly.

"The love of her only child would do more than all the physickers combined," my father smiled at me, "of course, you may want to bathe first." The gathered court snickered at my expense. I could only grin and accept the jibe.

"I will be off at once, Sire," I said, with a courtly bow. There was relief in my father's eyes, although I was the only one who recognized it.

I raced after Alia and found her with Angelica, traveling the hall toward the Douderson suite of rooms. It was a bold risk, but my heart could not wait.

"You will not leave me now?" I begged quietly. Angelica turned away from the conversation.

"I thought you would leave me," Alia responded, her confusion was still evident.

"My mother has fixed it." I ran my hand along her hair, such beautiful curls. "I was ready to run with you last night. I would have left it all to be with you." I saw Alia's eyes swell so I pulled her to me. I heard Angelica cough in warning. I pushed Alia gently away; the hallway was not the place.

"I must see my mother," I said quietly, "I said terrible things that wounded her greatly. I fear I let my anger lead me astray." Alia smiled at me, and my heart filled.

"I will see you tonight, my love," Alia whispered. There was everything in those words. Angelica took Alia's hand, and gave me a sly smile.

"You should bathe first, my Prince," Angelica said. Alia giggled her agreement and they moved off, hand in hand. My future wife and my love. It was indeed a strange family I was building.

<<<<<>>>>>

I, clean and calm, entered my mother's room. I had said things I now regretted, and could only hope I had not gone too far. I did not immediately find her, the curtains were all drawn, and the sitting room was dark. I feared she may had retired early.

"I was a stupid woman," my mother's voice came weakly from a dark chair in the corner. My own words had hurt me badly.

"And I a stupid son," I said as I moved toward a chair near hers.

"I was vain," my mother continued, "I did not want you to love a maid so."

"You made her a lady," I offered as I sat close.

"She is more a lady than I," my mother said sadly, "I chose not to see it, and, instead, damaged it greatly. I am ashamed, and I lost my son in the doing of it." I could tell she was crying, though she hid it from her voice. I had done great damage.

"You have not lost me," I said, "I only hope you can forgive my words. It was my broken heart screaming last night."

"You do not hate me, then?" my mother asked. My eyes teared as I fully comprehended the pain I had imparted last night. I dropped to my knees before her and laid my head in her lap.

"Only love," I said as her hand caressed my head. I had been here many years before, a young boy seeking solace from his travails. We needed to return to that, if only for a moment. She would always be my mother.

"I did not know about Angelica," my mother said in a way of an apology, "I suppose this Mylle is special to her?"

"Yes, very special," I answered.

"I understand more of what you two have done," my mother confessed, "I will support it, as will your father, but it is a strange thing."

"It is that," I said.

"Will you bring Alia and Angelica to tea tomorrow?" my mother asked, "I wish to discuss things and make amends. I could see to some of the practicalities of this union. Mayhap ease your burden."

"I would like nothing better," I answered truthfully. A queen could see to things unquestionably. My mother urged me to my feet and stood by my side.

"None of what I did was meant to hurt," my mother said, "I was blinded by what I thought was best for you. I had it wrong, so very wrong." I hugged her then. It was good to feel her love again.

"Father seems to think you do not wish to see him," I said. Mother broke from me, and opened the curtains. I could see she had not taken care of herself this morning. It was rare to see her so disheveled.

"Ah, yes," my mother thought out loud, "anger and shame make you say things you wish you had not." I nodded, not wishing to rehash my ignorance. She cradled my face in her hands and kissed my forehead. "You tell your father to come see me," a sly smile formed on her face, "tell him I wish to have a long talk with him."

I found Father conversing with a mason. One of the flanking towers was showing signs of weather wear. The discussion was regarding how best to make the repairs without bringing down the whole structure.

"The queen is feeling better, Sire," I said formally, since others were present. My father smiled and nodded. He went back to his discussions. I turned to walk away, and remembered my mother's words. "She wishes to have a long talk with you," I added, looking back. My father's face brightened.

"We will return to this on the morrow," my father said quickly. The discussion was over in a flurry of bows the king did not slow to watch. He was off with a silly grin on his face. It hit me then, my mother had used me to set up a dalliance. Images came unbidden to my mind, and I forced them away. I would just have to assume my father would accept the apology.

<<<<<>>>>>

Happiness has many definitions. To some, it was measured in wine, women and song. In others, the pursuit of one's dreams. To Alia, it was sitting at the main table. Angelica sat between us, a good thing since my groping would have given us away. Alia wore a new dress, something from Angelica's wardrobe I assumed. It was a soft pink, trimmed by a flowery twirl the color of brass. The sleeves flared out wildly, almost forming wings. The sides were cinched by darker pink lace ending in bows at her hips, the trailing ends flowing to the floor. It was an overwhelming visage enhanced by her unbidden smile.

I spent most of the dinner watching Alia. Angelica would intercede, to maintain our illusion, but my eyes always traveled back to Alia when they could. There were small white daisies weaved into her curls, and they danced when she moved her head. My mother made it a point to talk with her, and pull her into other conversations.

"Can you look any more smitten?" Angelica whispered. My eyes snapped to hers, my mind now aware.

"She is so happy," I quietly replied. Angelica smiled and kicked my leg under the table. I laughed at her sister-like maneuver.

"Will you take me riding tomorrow, my Prince?" Angelica asked in a less quiet manner. I would have preferred spending the day with Alia. My duties would not allow it at this time. My bride would need my attention.

"Of course, I look forward to it, my Princess," I answered brightly, "I believe I owe you a contest, one a little more fair than the first."

"Was the contest not fair the first time?" King Toric asked, interjecting himself.

"Alas, your Highness, I failed to mention the easier route to my lady," I said with a grin. The king slapped his knee and laughed.

"I wondered how Sunrise could lose to that warhorse of yours," the king said. Storm was bred for strength. He could move full armor at great speed across the battlefield, weight that would crush Sunrise. Unarmored, he did not have Sunrise's light, supple nature.

"Do you fault me for taking an advantage, your Highness?" I asked.

"No. Not at all," the king answered with humor, "I know my daughter - take your victories when you can. They will be few." To that I laughed. It earned me another kick under the table. I then saw Angelica jerk a bit. Alia was smiling at me. I do believed she kicked Angelica for me. The conversation turned to horse breeding and training. It was a pleasant dinner, all told. My strange family was getting used to itself. My mother and father content, or at least tolerant of the situation.

<<<<<>>>>>

"What you have lost has been found, my Lord." Lucius said with smile. He was outside my room when I had desired to retire. "If there is nothing more you need me for, I will retire."

"Is there someone in my room, Lucius?" I asked, knowing the answer.

"Aye, my Lord," Lucius bowed, then headed off without my leave. He knew he already had it. I took a few deep breaths. Last night had not gone so well. I let the memory fade away; I did not want to bring it inside with me. I opened the door and entered with a smile.

Alia was seated in the same chair as last night. She held a glass full of wine, and another was waiting for me. The fire was highlighting her hair as before. Instead of silks, she was wearing the pink dress from dinner - with the same smile. I smiled weakly, memories from last night flooded back. She looked at me, and crossed one leg comfortably over the other.

"Are you in the habit of making a lady wait?" Alia asked sternly. She took a dainty sip of her wine as I stared. I was not sure if playing tonight was worth the risk. A repeat of last night would be beyond horrible.

"Alia...it is a little soon for...this," I said as nicely as I could. She took another sip of her wine, stood and placed the glass on the table. Smiling, she loosened the ties on both sides of her dress, and lifted it over her head. Naked, she regrasped her wine, sat back down and recrossed her legs. This no longer looked like last night.

"You have no undergarments, my Lady," I said with an large grin.

"I thought they might get in the way." Alia swirled the wine in her glass, and calmly took another sip.

"I am sorry for keeping you waiting, my Lady," I said, entering the game. Alia gestured to the glass on the table. I retrieved it and tasted the same heady wine from last night. I sat in the closest chair to her, and her expression changed.

"You sit unbidden?" Alia asked strictly. She was having a hard time keeping a straight face. Simply adorable. I jumped to my feet.

"A thousand pardons, my Lady," I said with contrition. She waved her hand absently, as if to forgive my mistake. No permission to sit was given, so I stood.

"I have gone an entire day without being satisfied," Alia sighed, looking into her wine glass, "I question if you are capable." She looked me up and down like one would to value a horse. I was trying desperately to not laugh. I also felt a strong stirring betwixt my legs. Her nakedness was awakening me.

"More than capable, my Lady," I said with an uncontrolled smile. Alia pursed her lips to stop her own smile and looked at her wine.

"Disrobe, I will see if anything pleases me." Alia waved her hand in command again. I set down my wine.

"As my Lady wishes." I removed my shirt and tossed it in the corner. I struggled to remove my boots while standing, a difficult chore for anyone over the age of ten. I almost fell over which elicited a suppressed giggle. My boots, my pants and my undergarment found their way on top of my shirt. I stood naked, my phallus stiff with anticipation.

Alia bit her lower lip to suppress her smile. She absently waved me forward. I approached, a bit embarrassed by my swinging manhood. She studied it, then reached out and took the shaft between two fingers. She lifted it; then she let it drop. I jerked involuntarily. "Impressive, but has it been bathed?" She took another sip of her wine, awaiting my answer.

"I would never appear unbathed before my lady," I said, continuing the game.

"What flavor is it?" Alia asked. This time her stern lips were cracking into a smile. I had no answer for her. I fumbled with the half answer I could think of.

"Man flavored, my Lady," I said. I was backed up with laughter and arousal. It was an enjoyable game. Alia shook her head.

"Tsk, tsk, that will never do." Alia's smile turned sly. She glanced up briefly, then dumped the contents of her wineglass along my phallus. This time her laughter broke as I sucked in my breath against the sensation. I started to step back in surprise, but her other hand grasped my bum and pulled me forward. Her lips wrapped softly around me, and she took me into her mouth.

Alia's warmth engulfed my erection. The vision of her lips moving slowly down then back along my phallus was more pleasurable than anything before it. I struggled to remain still, and enjoy her machinations. I felt her tongue moving strongly on the underside, teasing more pleasure into me. Her cheeks caved as she pulled me deeper, ever deeper. I heard her wineglass hit the rug as her hand ran up the inside of my thigh. When it reached the junction, where my legs met my sex, the sensation became too much.

"Alia..." I warned. I held back, almost painfully, to give her time. She pulled me deeper, loving all of me. I no longer controlled my destiny, and groaned loudly as I emptied myself. She gently coaxed me to completion, never leaving me. My legs became unstable, her hands holding me steady. I loved her deeply for the love she showed. My real wife.

Alia lightly kissed the tip when my body returned to me. She rose, looking into my eyes. "There will never be another night like last, Cayden." She said it with conviction, and my heart believed her without reservation. I pulled her to me and kissed her deeply, not caring about the taste of myself.

"My lady is still unsatisfied," I whispered in her ear.

"Mmmmm, I leave that to you, my Lord," Alia cooed. I carried my naked beauty to the bed and laid her there. I started with her toes. The fire was embers by the time she lay fully sated in my arms. We slept unmoving, secure within each other.

It was pleasant to wake with Alia. She woke so sensually, stretching slowly like one would expect from a cat. My ears welcomed her small girlish moans and soft caresses. I kissed her shoulder, and she snuggled closer. I would have stayed the day had I not promised Angelica to go riding.

"Come riding with us," I suggested. Alia's brown morning eyes opened. She looked at mine, trying to discern my meaning.

"I have never been on a horse," Alia responded as though the idea was absurd.

"Then I shall teach you," I said, "I would choose to see you out of bed more, if I could." Alia smiled at me. Her morning smile was more adorable than her evening one.

"Angelica will be jealous, you know," Alia said softly. It was an odd statement. I played with the ends of her hair as I thought on it. "She likes her time with you, she told me so." I also enjoyed the rides I took with Angelica. It seemed, at first, that adding Alia would make it even better. Thinking on it, and Angelica's worry at dinner, I was moving away from her.

"I had not thought past you," I said with smile, "I have to remember I have a bride. You will have to stop being so alluring, mayhap grow a beard." It was getting easier to make Alia laugh.

"Ride with your bride today," Alia said with a kiss, "let the kingdom see the two of you as one. Then come back to me." I kissed her again before she crawled out of bed.

"Some day I will teach you to ride, my Lady," I said, my eyes absorbing her nakedness. She looked back at me as she dressed.

"I look forward to it," Alia smiled, "truly, I do." I bounded out of bed, happy with my future thoughts. I could see myself and Alia riding across the fields and sitting under the trees. When Mylle arrived, Angelica would wish as much for herself.

Cory was waiting, holding Storm's lead. Angelica was already pacing Sunrise around the stocks, obviously anxious to get going. I was in a good mood so I jested with Cory.

"You betrayed your prince, Cory." I enjoyed the confusion on his face. "Your loyalties become fickle in the presence of a beautiful princess." I had not expected him to catch on right away, but our earlier bantering had schooled him.

"Alas, my Lord, the princess smiled and I surrendered all," Cory played along.

"One would think you prefer her to win," I jested further. Angelica was grinning brightly at the exchange.

"Forgive me, my Lord," Cory said contritely, "I have no defense for it. If my future queen desires it, it is in my heart also." Cory had a quicker mind than I had known. I had a new respect for him.

"Forgiven," I said loudly, "the princess has me entranced as well. We men have no defense against such beauty." Angelica blushed. It pleased me more than it should. Cory bowed slightly and handed Storm's lead to me. I mounted Storm with a flourish - I was feeling especially good. Angelica nudged Sunrise to a trot. Storm and I followed.

"Good morn, my Princess," I said joyfully as I pulled alongside.

"Good morn, my Prince," Angelica replied, "I wondered, for a moment, if I would be riding alone." Her voice was pleasant, though I sensed some hurt.

"I allowed myself to be...distracted," I said in a way of apology, "it would pain me to miss riding with you. I enjoy our time together. It stimulates me." Angelica smiled, and I could see her former self return.

"So, you find Alia distracting?" Angelica teased.

"My mind will drift to her, I admit," I said truthfully, "know that I value what we have as well. Your mind is quick, and the company pleasing. I cannot imagine anyone else as my queen." Angelica slowed Sunrise and Storm matched the pace.

"You would not want Alia as your queen?" Angelica asked.

"Alia would be a good queen, you will be a great one," I answered honestly, "I must think for the kingdoms, yours and mine."

"I was offended this morning," Angelica admitted, "sharing your attention is more difficult than I first thought. Does that surprise you?" I pulled Storm to a stop, and Sunrise followed.

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