A Royal Sacrifice Ch. 13byRedHairedandFriendly©
Author's Note: This is a chapter that was written for a chain story under the same title "A Royal Sacrifice." The work that follows is my own and has been written in order to replace a chapter that was removed when one of the writers in the chain had their work taken down from the site. I will be replacing the final missing chapter or a member of the original team will. If you are new to this chain and have stumbled across this story because it is a "new" submission to Lit. I encourage you to read the previous chapters and even the following ones. Ch. 19 will soon grace the chain once more. Thank you very much again to Dark for editing suggestions and as always votes (one per reader) and comments are appreciated. ~ Red
The night sky was full of dark luminous clouds that seemed to share the weight of the Kingdom of Vix. Drest looked upon them wishing they would part and reveal to him the answers to the questions that occupied his thoughts.
His sister was gone; she'd been banished and sent back to their father – a man who would most likely force her to disappear even further from him. He would deal swiftly with his sister as well as harshly. Their father had raised Drest to be a great leader and had hoped to one day use Viviane to bring more wealth to his kingdom. Now those plans had gone awry. The truth of his relationship with his sister had been revealed; Evelyn would forever look upon him with disgust. How could she not? He could barely stand his visage. Drest lowered his face to his hands and buried it between his palms.
He saw his past. His sister, their joining. He felt the accusing stare of the one he wanted to trust beyond all reason. Yet, he had trusted his sister too, hadn't he. Wasn't it trust that had taken him down the path of immorality? Wasn't it love? A twisted, sick, perverted love? She had done that. She'd taken the love of an innocent, the love of a sibling, and made it something wrong and disgusting. He had been weak and weakness was something he could not afford, not now with Bagdemagus lurking.
No, he would not let another take advantage of him, not his mind, body, nor his heart or soul. A hard fist was formed when his fingers curled at his side. His jaw ached from the intense grip the muscles had been in for such a long period of time. The sound of footsteps interrupting his musings brought him back to reality. He turned to face whomever dare invade his self-imposed sanctuary.
"Chancellor," Drest lowered his head slightly, indicating the respect he had for the man.
"Your highness," Benedict answered back, "may I speak with you?"
Drest sighed. He knew there would come a time when the other man would address him. He was glad it was done in private. More humiliation on top of what he'd already endured was something he was not sure he could deal with sanely. "You may speak freely," he answered.
"What has transpired can be fixed and though it will not be forgotten it is forgivable," the elder of the two said. "It is how you chose to act on it that will define you from this moment on."
The prince smirked. "Is it not for the Queen to define what happens from this moment on?"
Benedict's brows rose. "Yes, in some ways – but she is not a fool and she knows the value you bring to the altar."
"Value? Is that all I am now? Valuable?"
"Your highness, it may sting to hear the words, but that is all you were the moment you were conceived," Benedict told him.
"You do not mix words do you?"
The Chancellor shrugged his shoulders. "I see no need. Though I will admit when in the presence of Evelyn and Muriel I seem to chose them more wisely."
Drest laughed. "That is probably the best thing to do."
"I want you to know that even though your sister and your relationship has come to light, you are still expected to be at the Queen's side, if not physically than your men will be there to represent your presence. You must focus on the now and the future, not the past and not the errors of others. What has transpired is not all your fault and though you may feel responsible because of your gender, I have learned over these past months that gender does not make one wiser than another."
"So you are learning things from our young Queen," Drest answered with a smirk on his lips.
"I am, though I will deny it if necessary."
"I will stand by the kingdom. I will stand by my word and I will remain here for as long as she'll allow me. The evil one must be dealt with; Bagdemagus' terror must be put to rest by all means necessary, by all hands available," Drest promised.
"Before I leave you to your musings, I must ask your thoughts on our newest player to the game," Benedict's question brought Drest's brows together.
"Lord Dorr?" Drest said, though he knew the answer and proceeded to give his opinion, "I am curious as to his sudden arrival and how quickly he was able to find a place under the Queen's roof, and most likely a favor in her eye. Yes, he needs rewarded for his deeds, but he bears watching."
Benedict agreed. "I am leery of any and all newcomers that suddenly find themselves saving our lady from threats that revolve around the Spectre."
"Then we will be sure he is watched."
Drest sighed. "I find myself wanting to go to her and try to rectify the situation."
"I ask that you don't. Let her find others to console her. Let her trust others so that those we deem questionable will eventually show their true colors," Benedict suggested.
"I am sure that will be quite easy, because no matter how much I wish to converse with the Queen, I highly doubt I am on her list of close friends and acquaintances."
The two men continued to talk long into the night; eventually the clouds parted and the stars revealed their glory.
While the two men in the garden reflected on Lord Dorr and his motives, the man in question was in the room Evelyn had ordered ready for him. His gaze drank in the feminine physique that ordered two serving lads around. Both boys had delivered the tub for his bath and the woman had appeared when they brought buckets of water. The lads poured the water into the tub, while the maid quickly covered the mattress with a thick cloth, followed by thick pillows, and a blanket to ward off the chill. The boys left and the maid turned to take her leave. Guy grinned inwardly, stepped up and slipped his arm behind her back. He drew her closer to him; his gaze held hers with a knowing stare.
"My Lord!" she squealed in protest.
Guy's brows rose as if questioning her displeasure. He made no effort to restrain her, allowing his eyes to cast a spell over her that spoke nothing of magic.
A deep voice echoed through the chambers. The woman screeched; the door shut soundlessly and Guy pulled the woman behind him. Bagdemagus stared at the couple.
The maid clutched Guy's shirt as they both stared into Bagdemagus gaze. The Spectre casually strolled up to the woman and touched her cheek. She stood silently, her breath lodged in her throat, fear etched in her pale features.
Guy watched Bagdemagus trail one finger over the girl's lips and under her nose. The skin he touched began to shimmer. The woman smiled, blushed and rubbed against Guy in a provocative manner. Bagdemaus smirked and took the woman's hand. "Prepare yourself for my servant," he said. The maid slowly began to disrobe.
As she did, Guy gazed longingly at her exposed flesh. "You are a great man to be allied with," he said as he began to pull off his clothes. His bath water was forgotten. By the aroused need evident in the woman, now crawling over his bed, she would not care how dirty he was.
"She'll keep," Bagdemagus said when Guy moved to approach the bed. "I have no wish to watch you rut with her, but I do find myself curious as to why you seek the pleasures of the flesh when you have at your disposable the perfect opportunity to discover secrets and lay traps."
"I am in the castle, am I not? And I am allowed to walk freely among those loyal to her. I know my purpose and I know where my loyalties lie," Guy promised.
"Be sure that you remember that," the wizard warned. He looked back at the woman, who was masturbating with slick fingers. "Make use of her while you can. Send her back to her chambers before the hour. She will recall none of this, so if I were you, I would focus only on my own pleasure."
"An hour?" Guy gasped, "You give me but an hour and stand here wasting..." he stopped when The Spectre glared heatedly at him. "An hour, I thank you for the gift."
Guy turned back to the woman, crossed the room and when he turned to again thank his employer there was no one there.
"Are you coming my Lord?" the woman asked.
Guy smiled. "Soon, very soon." He finished taking off his clothes and moved to the side of the bed. "My cock, lady – I believe your mouth will fit nicely around it."
He was right, it did.
~ ~ ~ * ~ ~ ~
The following day arrived in much the same way it had since the dawn of time. The sun rose, the clouds drifted haphazardly across the sky. Evelyn had slept fitfully; her eyes were tired, her body ached. She had thought about Drest and his sister and what it meant for their future. Could she forgive him? Was he truly charmed and enchanted by her? Was it all a ploy to gain a firmer hold on her holdings? Did he love her as Evelyn? Or as the Queen of Vix? Were they one and the same?
All her thoughts seemed to collide with each other. They bounced back and forth on the walls of her mind. Visions of Bagdemagus floated in front of her. She shuddered. How she hated that foul wizard. He had invaded her life and was gloating somewhere in the shadows of her castle. She knew it. Her skin sometimes crawled with his presence. Self-doubt crept in as she thought over her actions concerning her people up to this point. Was she a good Queen? Was she worthy to wear the crown? Was she strong enough to conquer the demon that tormented Vix?
The visage of her parents replaced her worry. She smiled at their memory and peace settled around her as she recalled the teachings of her mother and father. They were gone, but she knew they watched over her. She knew they had faith, even if she did not. Evelyn ached for the tranquil life she'd led before the death of the King. She licked her lips as an idea formed in her mind. Without warning to her ladies she darted back to her rooms and quickly pulled off her clothes. Eventually she emerged wearing the clothes of a stable boy.
Evelyn rounded the corner that led into the great room. Her hair was tucked under her cap. She kept her face down, which caused her to stumble into Rebecca. "Your Highness!" Rebecca gasped.
Evelyn grabbed the girl and hauled her back to the shadows. "Quiet!"
"But – but what are you doing?" the girl asked.
"I am off to see an old friend and I have need of secrecy, thus I must demand your silence in what you see!"
"Your Highness," Rebecca whispered, "it is not safe for you to go. I know I cannot stop you, but take John with you. He will keep your secret as will I."
The Queen frowned, but saw the truth in her maid's words. John could be trusted and he was certainly a man willing and able to protect her if needed. "Go to him, have him meet me at the stables with two horses ready."
"Yes, Your Majesty!"
Rebecca hurried away. Evelyn quickened her steps, pausing in the kitchens to prepare a basket full of freshly baked breads, as well as various meats and fruits that were being readied for the afternoon meal.
John was not happy with Evelyn, but like Rebecca he knew who his Queen was and when arguing with her was pointless. The first stop on their journey was to the old crone of Vix, a wizened woman who had been sought by many for various remedies and potions.
Evelyn dismounted and John watched as she approached the woman who sat quietly spinning her wheel just outside of her cottage door. "Your Highness, a pleasure to see you."
The Queen lowered the basket of various foods and took a seat on the ground next to the woman. She pulled at the wool and began to pluck various debris from its coarse strands. "I am sorry I have been remiss in my visits."
A soft cackle left the woman's aged lips. "You are a Queen now. I am but a lowly servant."
Evelyn rested her hand on the old woman's knee. "You are more than that. You are the most wise of all of Vix and had you been born into wealth you would have been more fit to run this kingdom than I."
The crone's laughter filled the air.
"What should I do Mistress?" Evelyn asked.
"Follow your heart."
"You speak of the man I am to wed," the Queen whispered.
"I speak of all things. Your heart and your head. Lead with it, and it will guide you on the proper path."
Evelyn sat next to the woman, added her in her tasks and carried her food into the cottage. The time they shared was silent, but it was the peace and tranquility that projected from the woman that Evelyn had truly needed. When she and John left she felt better, though in truth she still did not know the answers to her problems.
John remained silent as they traveled over the lands that would take them to Evelyn's parents' home. She stared at it for several long minutes. Her escort chose to stay back, sensing her need to come to terms with her past and accept her future.
The Queen recalled the laughter and joy that had spread through every room. Her father's strong hands as he held her close whenever she hurt. Her mother's kisses when boys teased and tormented her when she began to go from girl to women. What stood now was an empty shell and she knew it was time to say good-bye. She left the cottage, made her way back to John. Her home was the castle now; this place would be destroyed and in its place something beautiful would someday grow.