tagSci-Fi & FantasyThe Most Beautiful Eyes Ch. 17

The Most Beautiful Eyes Ch. 17

byDreamerByTheDiamonds©

Author's Note: More pointless, long clothing descriptions will be here. I like wedding dresses.

***

Inside the carriage with Princess Arya, Muriel tried to tell her story with a calm voice, but by the end of it she was crying. She believed she had committed a crime, or at least the government would see it that way. She had assaulted the Crown Prince. She would be imprisoned, put through a trial that wouldn't do much for her, and then hanged for everyone to see.

When Muriel was reduced to a blubbering, almost sickly thing, wiping mucus and tears off her face with one hand and covering an eye with the other, Princess Arya reached across the space between them. She shook Muriel's shoulder and said with a stern but not truly cruel voice, "Hush, hush Child! I don't believe you'll be arrested."

"Eh ... excuse me?" Muriel crudely sniffed down more mucus. Then she weakly asked, "How could you believe that? I've stabbed the Crown Prince! That's enough for death!"

Princess Arya's fingers wrapped around each other so tightly that they shook. She leaned back in her seat and looked out a window. "Emil has a ... difficult relationship with his father. If Emil reported this assault, then he'll have to answer why your kidnapper brought you to him. You might think, 'Oh, none of that will be a problem for him, he's the Crown Prince!' Well, it will be a problem. His Majesty has nearly made it his life's work to keep his older son out of trouble. Image is everything. Public perception is everything, and not even the king can escape the opinions of the masses."

Trying to pat herself dry, knowing her light face paint was ruined, Muriel asked, "What would His Majesty do if my crime was presented to him?"

"He'd bribe you into never speaking of it," answered the princess. "You wouldn't be punished, but neither would Emil. At the worst, he'd receive a scolding. Reporting this crime would be a waste of Emil's time. But ... I do wonder," here, the princess sighed, "just how much longer will His Majesty be able to keep his patience? And if His Majesty does lose his patience, would Emil harm him out of spite?"

Muriel found the princess' calm words to be disturbing. "Your Highness, is the king in danger?"

"I was only thinking aloud, Muriel." Princess Arya gave her an impatient look. "The king's safe. Fret over your own fortune."

Muriel gripped her skirts and sighed. "What should we do?"

"There's nothing to do," the princess said.

"Nothing to do? Truly?"

"Nothing advantageous." The princess' hands relaxed in her lap. "I should explain what happened to me in the maze."

Nodding, Muriel said, "Yes, please. Were you harmed?"

"A man quietly threatened me with a knife, just as you were, but he led me to a location in the maze. When Vidar found me, he attacked my kidnapper. I believe this was a plot meant to keep Vidar away from you. My kidnapper didn't try to run. He seemed willing to have Vidar striking his face and nearly breaking his arms. Still, I wondered about you, and I cried out, 'Where's Muriel?!' Vidar then threw my kidnapper aside, put me on his back, and went to search for you."

"Prince Emil might have paid both of our kidnappers a great sum of money," Muriel said.

"The vandalism in the hedge maze will be in the papers within a day, I imagine," the princess said with a windy voice.

"But they won't know the older prince was behind it," Muriel pointed out as she put her hands back into her pockets. Out of frustration, she crumpled up her paper.

When they were back inside the townhouse, Muriel explained what had happened to her to Vidar, and he reacted in a way she didn't quite expect.

In full view of his mother and some maids, Vidar grabbed a painting of a landscape and thrust one of his hands inside it, piercing the painted canvas and nearly bending the frame. These actions caused the maids to run away. Then Vidar threw the ruined thing across the room and put an arm around Muriel's back, pressing his face against her neck.

Every word in his whisper quivered.

"He's harmed you. He tried to strangle you, all because of his impulsive, childish, evil mind."

Muriel heard Princess Arya approach and pat one of his shoulders. "I know it's horrifying, my dear Vidar. I understand your pain, but please calm yourself. Have a cup of green tea. We can't do anything brash."

"He should die!" Vidar argued. "Slowly!"

The last thing Muriel wanted was for him to act more impulsively than his older brother.

She reached up and touched the back of his head, feeling his warm skin. "Don't think such deadly things."

And ... oddly enough, that was when Vidar left Muriel and started walking to the nearest door. He blurted out, "I'm going to kill him!"

Oh no!

Both women ran to him, dug their fingers into his clothes, and pulled him back with all their strength.

"You'll be executed!!" the princess cried out.

"You'll ruin your chances at a decent life!!" Muriel screamed.

"Huh?" That was Vidar. He let the women sit him down on a chair. His heavy brow rose as he looked down at the floor. "Why did I ... why did I suddenly think I could ...?"

"Vidar?" Princess Arya caressed his long, angular cheek with her finger joints. "What came over you? You've never been so uncaring of your own life before. I'd expected you to conceive a methodical plan against your brother, but to decide you're going to seek him out and simply murder him? That's too rash, even with your love taken into consideration."

"I can't give an explanation, Mother." Vidar's head moved back and forth as he looked down at one of his hands. There were tiny wounds there from the thorns in the hedge maze. "I'm still livid. I still want him dead. However, I don't know why I thought to do such a foolish thing."

"Well, hold onto your peace, my dear son," Princess Arya said. "There's isn't much to do, regardless. At the most, we should wait and see if Prince Emil will strike again, and just how badly he might ruin himself in the process."

Muriel frowned. "Madam? Would the Crown Prince ruin himself? He seems too clever to do such a thing."

With a shake of her head, the princess said, "Even the most talented genius will make a mistake when given enough time. We must add to our defenses, sharpen our eyes, and never be deceived. Otherwise he won't be able to ruin himself."

***

Vidar's birthday was in the beginning of summer. They had a nice little dinner to celebrate with the finest desserts available. Princess Arya gave him a present, a small gilded box that played music after turning a key a few times. The tune was lively and simple, but Vidar loved it. Muriel gave him a miniature painting of white puppies cuddling on a pillow. It was framed in gold and protected by clear crystal. It technically functioned as a brooch, but Muriel knew he wouldn't use it that way. He'd only keep it somewhere safe and occasionally pull it out to admire the innocent, comforting image.

They'd attended only a few balls since the stabbing incident. The Crown Prince didn't show up to any of them. He had still been healing from his wound, or that's what Muriel assumed at first. Eventually she wondered, after he had finished recuperating, if he was keeping away for a reason. He might have been plotting another evil scheme.

When it was nearly time for the Capital Season to finish, that was when the wedding took place.

The throne room in the Royal Palace had been richly decorated with white roses, lush ivy, and grand blue ribbons. The bright morning's sunlight gave the air a hopeful glow. Musicians were playing solemn tunes. The flashy, glittering elites all looked towards the bride as she slowly, gradually marched between them.

A wedding dress of glistening, silver colored silk, so beautifully arranged that it almost looked like liquid when the light shone in a particular way. A neckline, nearly ridiculously low, but that was considered acceptable for adult women on formal occasions. A flowing train so long that two male attendants had been hired to grip the end to make sure it didn't cause any accidents. Elbow length sleeves with tiered lace and draping strings of pearls. Matching pearls arranged across the underskirt with longer curved shapes. A stomacher that was filled in with more pearls, no room for fabric, only pearls. A long bib necklace that hardly allowed any flesh beneath it to be seen, made of silver, more pearls, pale diamonds, and occasional tiny white bow-knots.

Muriel was the best dressed person in the room, even more expensively coated than that current Queen Consort. This was a rare exception to the normal rules. Muriel was the bride here.

Sadly, her poor husband had refused to wear anything fancy, except for one thing. He stood near the throne's platform in his typical dull garb. He even wore a long cloth mask out of apparent shame, but there was a purple cloak tied over him, trimmed with ermine fur. Muriel assumed ... or at least hoped ... that he was enjoying the wedding in his way.

Her teased and frizzed hair had been carefully shaped into something tall with a few stiff curls on each side of her face. Even more pearls, some diamonds, and white feathers had been put in her hair in the form of several ornaments, including an aigrette, loops and festoons, and more white bow-knots. Her face had only the lightest, most innocent shades of pink. Her betrothal ring was on the opposite hand to make way for a wedding band.

Not even the blank expression on the Crown Prince's face could ruin this day!

Both Prince Emil and his step-mother were near the seated king. Neither seemed excited. That was fine. This was meant to be a serious occasion. No cheering, laughing, or even clapping were allowed.

When Muriel was close to the end of the throne room, also close to where Vidar stood, she gave a curtsy so deep that she almost kneeled, and the music stopped. The king stepped down from his throne and said some ritualistic words. They were mostly for show. An attendant soon approached the king and held a pillow up to him. On the pillow, there were two golden bands. The king took the rings. He handed the larger one to Muriel and the smaller one to Vidar.

More words, more words that Muriel barely listened to.

Muriel straightened.

Vidar put her wedding ring on her finger. She did the same with one of his many hands. She vaguely wondered if he'd put the ring on a different hand every morning.

King Thorvaldo put a second purple cloak on Muriel's shoulders.

Considering how culturally significant and historically important this wedding was, it didn't last very long.

With her temporary attendants guiding her gown's train, Muriel held Vidar's hand and walked with him down the throne room. She saw Princess Arya sigh as if she had expected a bomb to go off. She saw her father doing his best to suppress a grin. She saw her sisters curiously stare at her. They had likely never expected this to happen.

Muriel was now a princess. Princess Consort Muriel Petran.

Her name would be written down in history books. Her character would be debated by scholars.

She hoped they'd have a good amount of material to work with, including her possible relationships with her future children and grandchildren.

***

As expected, the trio didn't have long to rest before the ball at the palace. Muriel even took an extra nap while wearing her ballgown. It was nowhere near as elaborate nor cumbersome as her wedding dress, but it was pretty and costly.

Even though he was one of the reasons for the ball, Vidar stubbornly hid behind his wooden panels. Normally, the royal groom and his bride would perform a dance for all the guests to watch. This never happened. It was enough to have Muriel pouting.

While the royal family attended this ball, only the king himself asked Muriel for a dance. Prince Emil was noticeably distant, as if he was trying to ignore the new couple. Later, Muriel sent Princess Arya a concerned look, but the princess only gave her an impatiently flapping gesture with her folding fan. She could almost hear the princess' thoughts. "What are you doing?! Smile!! Smile for the guests!! Don't let anyone even wonder if there's anything wrong!!"

When the sun was just beginning to peek out from the horizons, the ball was finished, and while most guests stayed at the palace to sleep, Muriel and her new family left. Between the three of them, Muriel had done the most dancing and socializing, and she was exhausted. She nearly fainted on the way out of the palace. Vidar had to carry her into the carriage. While inside, she snoozed like a fidgeting baby.

At the Vantrim Castle, Muriel was in an irritable daze when she walked to her bedchamber, or rather, her old bedchamber. A new one had been opened up and filled with nice things all for her. A maid helped her to undress and bathe. Then she held Muriel's hand to keep her steady as she escorted her to the new bedchamber. It was huge, but Muriel was too sleepy to enjoy the luxurious beauty. She passed out on the bed.

The next time her eyes opened, Muriel saw the sun beginning to set again. Through an elegantly carved window, she saw the multicolored sky. She walked to that window and looked down at the gardens.

A sigh.

Tonight, the marriage would be consummated.

Muriel had no qualms with that, but she was understandably nervous. All kinds of problems could arise.

She didn't want to leave her room for a long time. She remained for a while, combing her hair, testing out all her bottles of perfumes, occasionally rinsing certain body parts just in case. It was a quiet form of self-torture, in a way.

When it was dark, a maid knocked on the door.

Muriel answered the door and listened to the maid's words. Prince Vidar had very gently requested his new bride's presence.

She nodded and walked to his quarters. She had on her soft jumps and a casual skirt that didn't even have a bum roll underneath. If she had been out on the streets, people would have blushed or laughed at her. Only a lower class working woman could get away with that sort of public display, and only if their work was so hot and stuffy that they needed less clothing to keep from suffocating.

Muriel knocked on Vidar's bedroom door.

"Dearest? It's Muriel."

"Please enter, my Rose Bud," he said.

She opened the door and smoothly stepped into the room.

So dark, so thickly dark, but there was still the lit fireplace to guide her. Mindlessly gazing at the flames, Muriel walked towards them.

A hand went to her arm, stopping her.

"Muriel, are you well?"

"I'm well."

"Have you eaten?"

"Not since I awakened."

He reached up to lightly tug on her ear as a scolding mother might do, but there were no cross words. She yipped as she was pulled against the cloth covered bundle of arms that made up a good portion of Vidar's body. Then her topknot was also being tugged on.

"I have some treats for you," Vidar said with his smooth and peaceful voice.

"That sounds lovely." She let him take her to the bed, where they sat. Vidar put a dish with a lid on her lap. As he lit an oil lamp on a nightstand, Muriel pulled the lid away.

Crackers that smelled like dried tomatoes and basil. Fantastic! Muriel held one of the square things to her nose. "It reminds me of pasta dishes from the eastern countries."

"Perhaps we should visit one of those countries one day," Vidar said as he slid something a bit heavy off the nightstand. It turned out to be a small flask. Muriel crunched and gulped down as many of the crackers as her stomach allowed while Vidar talked to her about olives from the east, exotic fruits from the more extreme south, and heavily fermented fish from the north. Muriel took his flask and sipped the contents. It was mead. It seemed to clean her whole mouth and throat.

But, when she sighed and returned the flask to Vidar, he lowered his darkened head and said, "What unfiltered nonsense have I dared to utter? I can't stay in another country, not without horrible misunderstandings occurring."

"Don't fill your head with sadness, Vidar. This is meant to be a lovely time."

He took the dish and put it on the nightstand. "Forgive me, Muriel." His voice perked up when he said her name. "This is our time." But then he said, "Excuse me!" Muriel curiously watched him open up the big compartment under the nightstand's drawer. He then took out a chamber pot. Muriel hoped it was empty and clean.

Vidar put the pot's lid on the floor, where it gently clacked. He left the bed and went to a dark corner of the room. Then he held the pot with two hands and retched into the thing. He sounded terribly ill.

Muriel put a palm to her face and sighed.

The poor thing was more nervous than she was.

She stood up and said, "I'll find some mint water and toast. Please wait a moment."

He was still vomiting as she went through the door.

Some time passed on, and Muriel returned to Vidar's room. The chamber pot was in the hallway, with the lid politely keeping the smell of vomit away. Muriel almost shrugged, but she had a tray in her hands that she didn't want to tilt. On the tray, there was mild toast, mint water, little peppermint tablets, and a small pot of ginger tea with a single cup.

She saw that Vidar's dark shape was back on the bed. He was curled over as if in shame. Muriel cooed out to him, "Vidar, oh Viiiiidar, your servants were very quick, and now you have your own treats."

"Oh? That's good, then."

Patiently, Muriel waited as Vidar rinsed his mouth out, then took a cup of ginger tea and munched on the toast. She talked about silly things as he took the peppermint tablets and loudly broke them with his teeth. Then, when both parties were certain that Vidar smelled clean and fresh again, Muriel leaned against him and sighed. "Are you well now?"

"I don't know."

"Well, you need to have a calm belly in order to accomplish our goal."

He put a hand on one of her wrists. "My belly's mostly empty now, at least."

Muriel lightly brushed his hand away. "I shouldn't sit here with all my clothes on, now should I?" She started untying her jumps, but her fingers were a little clumsy. It was strange, really. He'd seen her naked before. This shouldn't be a problem, but it nearly was one. Vidar let her do as she pleased, never interfering, never helping. His breath was calm and his body was still.

When Muriel was so naked that even her legs were bare, Muriel nodded her head and folded her arms under her bosom. "Well," she said, "I'm here for you."

"I wish you sounded more eager."

"Maybe you should hold me close, then?"

So, he put an arm around her shoulders and put his long face against her neck. That sent a fire to Muriel's cheeks. She closed her eyes and listened to his soft little compliments. Soon, she was nudged backwards, and her face was parallel to the canopy ceiling.

Kisses on her throat and shoulder, heat above her, a palm caressing her waist. Nothing too special, but soon there was something new. Licking, bold licking painting hot strokes all over her. Muriel whined and shook almost as if she hated the feeling, but she didn't. She even giggled a little. His tongue ran over her right nipple. Her toes dug into the bed. She touched the arm closest to her and groaned.

He carefully drew her nipple into his mouth and lapped at the tip. The fuzzy, hazy feeling sharpened Muriel's voice as she whined and shook her head from side to side.

Then, almost out of nowhere, a hand lashed down between her thighs. There was no time for adjustment given. A long middle finger reached inside and pressed hard.

Muriel's legs spread wide in a nearly vulgar way. Her hips jerked up and down. She hissed and scratched the bedclothes. Her womanhood was happy to lubricate the digit, putting even more pleasure there, contracting and constricting, hot and hysterical.

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