Twelve Days of Hrive 'Isia Ch. 05byRedHairedandFriendly©
On the ninth day of Hrive 'Isia
The sharp pain of her hair being yanked and her head being tilted back brought Gilraen awake. She cried out and tried to jerk free. A pair of eyes, black as night, stared down at her and hair that looked thin and oily created a veil around her face. She pulled away, as the elf's breath threatened to force the contents from last night's meal to be expelled. "She is the Princess," the elf muttered, pushed Gilraen's head back down then moved to cup her breasts. Again she jerked away, only to realize she was still trapped. A pinch was given to each nipple, and her chin was grasped, her face studied by means of being turned harshly one way than the other. "I had heard a rumor that the Princess had been kidnapped, and a part of me was curious if that was who you was bringing me. You put me in a bad place, giving me this chit and then taking off, leaving me holding her and you free from her father's arrow."
"Her father is still an invalid, and her betrothed is heading in the wrong direction. You've dealt with precious treasures before – she will be no different."
"I will bear no ill will toward you, if you but release me now – Turgon will only slay my mother and her companion, but you will have your freedom," Gilraen tried to reason with the merchant. His saliva landed in plops, marking her clothing. Her stomach rolled in disgust.
The elf's long fingers trailed down to the hem of Gilraen's gown. He grinned as she closed her legs, he pushed her knees apart and reached further up her dress. His hand pushed against her underclothes. Long nails dragged the material to the side. "She's got a nice cunt there, may have to taste that myself before putting her to work." She felt a long finger slide into the dry canal. Her lips quivered, and tears filled her eyes. The elf pulled his hand free, brought the digit up to his nose and breathed deep. "You didn't give me used wares did you? She smells slightly used."
Gilraen blushed as a tear slipped down her crimson features. She heard her mother laugh. "No, the little slut's pussy erupted last night while she watched her mother in the act."
The merchant chuckled, spittle flew and landed on Gilraen's face, she turned away. "I'll get a high bid for the first round of cocks. They'll be lining up once they learn they are going to be fuckin' a royal pussy."
"Let us be about this business. Dmitri is readying our horses and the quicker I rid myself of this," Eáránë waved to Gilraen, "the sooner I can work to bring the favored jewel to me."
"You got another for sell do you? I know she's got a sister, a young one like her – oh, but what a price she'd fetch."
Eáránë hissed, "The other is not for you to ever lay your hands upon. Take this one and be gone, do not ever step foot on my lands, or her father's. If I find out you have – you will not live to see the morning light."
The merchant only grinned, and moved to free Gilraen from her bindings. She felt the ropes loosen, and acted on whatever instincts she had been born with. The Princess dragged her nails across the merchant's face, kicked the chair back and spun around to face her mother. The jug that housed the wine she'd drank last night was soon in her grasp, she flung it at the Queen, then darted toward the door. Eáránë reached out, and grasped Gilraen's hair, she pulled her back, and moved to slap her face.
Gilraen screamed, and scratched at her mother. She kicked and hit her with a clenched fist. Eáránë was taken back, surprised by the fight in her daughter. Gilraen pressed onward, taking with her whatever advantage she held and tried to multiply it. She leaped on her mother, pummeled her repeatedly with her fist and clawed at her with her fingertips. A hand pulled her away, but she pushed it off, kicking at the woman who struggled to rise from the floor. The jug had broken, pieces of clay lay scattered on the ground. Gilraen grabbed a large jagged chunk, dragged it across her mother's face. She heard the scream and cry for help. Eáránë bucked at her daughter. The merchant again tried to pull the crazed Princess from the Queen's chest. Once more he was pushed off, thirteen years of controlled rage had been released.
The shard cut into Gilraen's hand as she swiped it again across her mother, this time into her throat. Blood spurted, coating her. From far away, Gilraen heard shouts and screams. Footsteps and cries of anguish bounced to and fro in her head. A grip, unlike any she'd felt before came down like a vise around her arms and chest. She was lifted and thrown away, discarded like nothing more than a pebble. She landed against the wall, crumbling onto the cottage floor. Her vision cleared, limp fingers wiped at the fluid that dripped down her face. She stared at her hands; they were covered in her mother's blood. Gilraen turned away, vomiting what little had not been digested through the night. A bellowing soulful cry reached into her chest and she turned to face Dmitri.
He held her mother in his arms. Her face buried into his chest. He shook violently and tears fell fast down his cheeks. The merchant stood still, his fingers fretting and his step uneasy. Gilraen looked at him, he stared back at her. She rose up, and moved closer. The old elf stepped back. The Princess curled her lips, and advanced. Again he retreated, Dmitri made no move to stop her as she willed her steps toward the door. The merchant seemed than to realize he was about to lose his prize. He moved to grab her, only to be stopped by Dmitri. Gilraen felt her pulse quicken. Would her mother's lover take revenge on her? "Run Princess – as fast as you can – as far as you can."
Gilraen did not need a second invitation. She opened the door and rushed out. The winter air bit into her skin, it went ignored. Gilraen rushed to the horses, they stomped back – the smell of her mother's blood filled their nostrils, they shied from the offensive odor. She grabbed the halter of one, cooed words of comfort into its ear, and then pulled herself up onto its back. Gilraen turned the horse toward the trees, and galloped as hard and as fast as she could down a narrow path that led into the woods.
After a short time Gilraen slowed her mount. She brushed at her face with her sleeve, and felt the caking of her mother's blood flake off. A shudder rolled through her. The horse stopped, reading its rider's needs. Gilraen's tears fell, her body shook in sorrow. In time she felt the knowing signs of a coming storm. "We're going," she muttered to the creature beneath her, as he showed his agitation in remaining in one spot. The trail she took slowly opened into a larger more used path. She prayed she would pass no one, that the turning whether would deter them from traveling.
It was an hour into her travels before Gilraen came across another cottage, this one bustled with activity. A pair of young elven girls threw balls of snow at each other, and a mother stood on the porch, holding a smaller elf child. Gilraen stopped her steed and waited to be noticed.
The children saw her first, they ran to their mother, who ushered them inside, passing the babe to the taller of the two girls. Gilraen dismounted, stumbled slightly, patted the horse's neck and pulled its reigns behind her as she timidly made her way to the woman. She knew her visage was horrific and understood the cautious nature of the elven female. "Mistress, I am Princess Gilraen Lúinwë, daughter to King Lúinwë and Queen Eáránë, grand-daughter to Lord Séregon, who owns these lands. Please I seek comfort."
The woman gasped, and hurried forward, taking the Princess's hand and shouting for someone named Ferandi. A boy appeared in the doorway of the house, he was the same height as the girl who had been given the baby. Gilraen gave over the reigns of the horse to the boy, and followed the mother into the home. She was greeted immediately to the warmth of the cozy home. Fragrant aromas of fresh baked breads, and sweet treats wafted into her nostrils. She closed her eyes embracing the comfort.
"Your Highness, this way." The woman urged her onward. Gilraen moved with her, glancing at the young faces that stared back at her. "Back to work," their mother said, as she took the Princess into a chamber, and closed the door behind them. "There is warm water over the fire, and fresh clothes hanging in that closet. They will be loose on you, but will do. I will have Ferandi send a message to Lord Séregon and another to the Queen, please don't..."
"No – the Queen is dead. This is her blood. I will explain all, but for now, send the message to my grandfather and to my kingdom."
"My husband will carry the other the one to your kingdom, he will return soon from his hunt."
Gilraen nodded her head in understanding, and waited for the woman to close the door behind her before she began to pull off her bloodied clothes and try to repair her molested state.
The Princess emerged from the woman and her husband's chambers to be greeted once again by the fresh aromas of a tempting meal. Her stomach growled, she pressed her palm against it. She paused when she saw a male elf standing next to the woman. "Your husband?" she asked, then smiled when the woman introduced him as such. "I am honored, and appreciate the use of your home as my refuge."
"I had heard rumor that you were stolen from the castle, but none thought you would end up here. And I heard the Queen was behind it all – I've not filled my wife in with all the details, but I know you have been through a great ordeal. You may rest here. My son has tended to your horse, and already runs swiftly to our Lord to give him news of your plight."
"Thank you," Gilraen whispered.
"I will be off as well. My lady wife wishes for me to see to the message for your betrothed. Remain within these walls and you will be safe. We are a quiet people." She watched the couple kiss, and hoped that he spoke true, and she would be safe within their humble home.
The husband left, and the Princess was urged to sit down. She took the offered seat and thanked the mother for the food and drink that was soon placed before her. In time she found herself relaxing and enjoying the sound of the two girls who would whisper amongst themselves. She could sense their curiosity with her, and their eagerness to stare upon her features. She blushed under their scrutiny, but did nothing to deter their continued awe.
"My girls are rude," the mother said, then sent the girls scurrying to do something more productive. Each one gathered needle and thread and bent quietly over their stitchery. "Your grandfather will be happy to finally meet you."
Gilraen laughed softly. "Will he? I was told he wanted nothing to do with me. After my mother was wed to the King, he abandoned her."
"Oh no, Princess. Our Lord loved your mother and his heart ached when she refused his audience. Your mother, the Queen," she lowered her head, "I should not speak ill of the dead."
"Please, tell me what you know. I only have heard the stories from her lips." Gilraen touched the other elf's hand. Had her mother lied about this as well? Did her grandfather truly want a relationship and her mother had denied it? Was there no end to the lives the woman had tormented? She closed her eyes – yes, it had ended by her hand. She sighed deep, opened her eyes and looked at the woman before her. "Please, tell me."
The woman smiled. "Your grandfather is a great leader, a fine man, but old from time and his body weak and weary from unrest. He loved your grandmother, and after her death he worked hard to arrange for someone to take care of his only daughter – Lady Eáránë. Your mother though, she was a selfish girl and though I do not yet know the circumstances of her death, I know in my heart, it was brought on by herself."
"My grandfather wanted to be in my life?"
"Oh yes, he was sent away, time and time again, until the second daughter was born, and then he was ordered to no longer step upon Lúinwë grounds, or a war would be fought, in which he would most assuredly lose."
Gilraen pushed her fingers through her hair. "There is so much I have lost, by keeping myself hidden from my mother and her followers. It is as if I live in a kingdom – in a world – where I know nothing and yet I am to be a leader among my people."
The woman clucked like a mother hen, and patted Gilraen's hand. "You will learn, and I am sure you are betrothed to a great leader, and your grandfather will be made of your presence, you will have much guidance in your future. Do not fret on the past Your Highness, but embrace your future."
Hours slipped by with Gilraen spending time playing with the two daughters, and tending – as best she could – the small baby girl. She helped their mother with mending as well as preparing an afternoon meal, which was eaten just as halfheartedly as the morning one had been. As the sun moved into position to signal the promise of another day being passed, several riders were heard reigning in their mounts outside of the elven home.
Gilraen chewed on her lip, as the Mistress of the house peered outside. She stepped back, curtsied, and remained slightly bent as an older elf gentleman crossed over the threshold. Gilraen rose from the floor, where she'd been playing with the girls. She knew without any doubt that the man before was her mother's father – her grandfather – Lord Séregon. Her gaze held his for what seemed like an eternity. When he opened his arms, she ran into them. He held her close, petted her hair and hugged her tight. Gilraen cried into his shoulder, her tears wet his outerwear. He stroked her back, and whispered her name. She sniffled, and wiped at her eyes, led him to a bench and sat down beside him. They held hands for a long time before either could speak. "You are as lovely as your grandmother. You have her eyes." He stroked her cheek, and kissed her forehead.
The Princess wiped her eyes. "Mother – mother is dead," she sniffed, lowered her gaze and whispered, "I killed her."
A heavy silence weighed down the room. "Tell me the story," her grandfather said, his hand still held hers.
She looked up, needing to read his expression – to see if the evil she often saw in her mother's gaze was held in her grandfather's. When she felt she was safe in the telling of her life, she released all that had transpired since the day her mother began to strike out at her with the canes.
After the story was told, Gilraen watched Lord Séregon rise, and make his way to the fire. He stared at the burning logs, lost in his own thoughts. A sharp rap on the door brought everyone's attentions back to the present. The door was thrust open, and Turgon entered, followed by the Master of the house. Gilraen's eyes locked with her betrothed's. She ran into his arms and buried her face into his neck. Again tears fell; she was amazed she still had some to spare.
When she felt Turgon urging her to look at him, she did so. He lowered his mouth to hers and kissed her deeply, allowing her to softly melt back into him. "I'm sorry I was not there to protect you," he whispered once their mouths took a moment to cease feeding off the other. She only shook her head, and knew he hurt just as she did. She held his hand as she turned to introduce her to the family as well as her grandfather. The two men seemed to size each other up, each gauging the level of commitment the other shared toward Gilraen's safekeeping. Eventually, Lord Séregon reached out and embraced the young Lord, clapped him on the back and congratulated him on the betrothal. When he heard the wedding was to take place on the twelfth day of Hrive 'Isia, joy seemed to bubble up from his chest and explode in hearty laughter.
The evening progressed with more tears, smiles, joy, and some heartache as the various elven folk, from various walks of life, shared stories, food, and drink. That night as the moon claimed its place in the sky, their hosts slept soundly in their room, Gilraen slept in the bed of one of the girls, who had been sent to sleep with her sister. Lord Séregon slept in the bed of the young boy's and the other men, including Turgon stayed in the family's barn.
On the tenth day of Hrive 'Isia
The large group of travelers left early the following morning. Lord Séregon and Lord Turgon both had laid a large amount of coin into the husband's hand, before taking their leave, and Princess Gilraen had embraced the children, kissed the boy and baby, and promised their parents that they would be welcomed upon the lands of Lúinwë and Celebrindal as special guests. Gilraen rode her steed, surrounded by over two dozen armed men, as well as a grandfather and a very protective husband-to-be. She felt safer than she had in a long time.
"Turgon, what of mother, Dmitri and the merchant?" she asked, as another hour passed by them on the pathway to home.
"I sent men to the cottage you spoke of, your mother's body was gone, but a fresh grave had been laid for her. Your father, decided to leave her where her lover had placed her. I am sure, in time he will mark her grave in a fashion befitting her station in life, but for now, he works to come to terms with not only her loss, but the knowledge of how little regard she had for everyone around her."
Gilraen glanced at her grandfather, and was surprised at how quickly her heart had accepted him into her life. Turgon continued. "Dmitri's tracks disappeared into the forest, and from what I suspect he is a skilled warrior; I don't think you have to fear him. He allowed you to leave, had he been set on seeking revenge on what happened with your mother, he would have run you through then. The merchant, he was cornered, questioned and threatened that if he were to ever visit the realms of any we are loyal to he would not survive the stay in our dungeons."
She took in his words, and kept her thoughts her own. "Princess –," Turgon called to her.
"Do not feel guilt for what happened with your mother. You fought for your freedom, and from what you have told me, your sister's freedom as well."
"Will she forgive me? Madrician. Do you think she will see in my mind and know I was not myself, that I was a woman crazed? Will she fear me when she stands before me and enters my thoughts? Will I lose her too?"
Turgon reached over and touched her hand, their horses slowed. "You give your sister so little credit. She may read minds, but I believe she reads souls. She sees deep inside a person, and can tell if they are worthy of her love. Did you not say she saw such horrors from your mother's mind that she purposely sought out a way to protect herself – she will see inside you, and find what she has always found – love."
Gilraen smiled, and squeezed her betrothed's hand. No more words on the subject were spoken, instead Turgon took the time to address one of his men. When she asked about Círdan, he explained he had stayed with Madrician, in order to protect her from any attempts on her person.
They made camp, Turgon and her grandfather stayed within the canvas walled protection of her shelter. She felt cocooned in their strength. Turgon slept at the opening of the tent, her grandfather slept toward the back. Each kept a hand on their sword.
She lay awake for many hours, contemplating on what would her betroth do if she were to go to him, and offer to do for him what Ireth had done for Huro, or what her mother had done with Dmitri. She closed her eyes and tried to not think about her mother and what had transpired with the elf warrior, but she could not help to be curious as to the emotions and feelings that had been involved, as well as the sensations. A long sigh escaped her parted lips.
"Go to sleep Gilraen," Lord Séregon's voice whispered into the night.
"Yes, grandfather." She heard Turgon chuckle, she rolled over and willed for the next day to come and go swiftly.