The Harem Ch. 02byAswrite03©
Once again, no sex. It's taking a little longer to get them there than I had originally thought--they seem to have a mind of their own. Stay tuned.
"Well, at least they were finally able to make her stop screaming. Forsooth, if it had lasted much longer, my brains would have leaked out of my head." Helenia lounged against a cerise colored cushion, absently twirling a lock of hair. Beside her, Tansazia rolled her eyes and smirked.
"Forsooth, Helenia, it would have been a very small leak. Although I did not appreciate the early morning awakening, it was understandable given the circumstances. I for one have not forgotten how you wept for a month when you were brought to the High Lord's harem. Have you, Analyndia?"
"Be silent, all of you. Kallisana and I are both older than the three of you, and remember quite well how disgraceful you all were when you were brought to us." Cyrenia looked up from the tapestry she was working on and scowled at them. "One would think that you had not been here for too long, considering the behavior you are exhibiting right now. Magdalyn will be joining us for the nooning meal. It is expected that you all welcome her as the High Lord would wish."
Helenia settled further back into the cushions, frowning slightly. "Have you still received no word on why she was brought to the harem? She is clearly not a lady. Her hands were calloused and her skin as rough as tree bark. And in this century who does not speak at least Desnilgi in addition to their own tongue?"
"Those who work to survive, and are not the pampered daughters of elderly fathers. I have said be silent, and it would be wise of you to do so." Cyrenia returned to her tapestry, an elegant work showing the High Lord's manor from the village. "This girl will not kowtow to you three, no matter your greater years. You would be wise to become her friend, and not her enemy."
"Humph. We shall see." Helenia closed her eyes and napped. Analyndia and Tansazia exchanged looks and nods. Any person who would stand against Helenia was a person to have as a friend, not an enemy.
Magdalyn shifted from one foot to the other nervously, causing the lilac colored silk to rustle softly. Behind her, the woman assigned to her as a handmaid tutted and pulled the brush through her hair with more force than necessary. Magdalyn winced but said nothing. Her own mother had often done the same exact thing.
At the thought of her mother, tears welled up in Madgalyn's eyes, but she blinked rapidly, refusing to let them fall. She had known from the minute the soldiers had arrived that she would be taken away, that her family was as good as dead to her. She had expected to spend the rest of her life as a servant or other lowly worker.
At the present time, she was undecided if her current situation was better or worse than the one she had imagined.
The other women had been kind to her when she had joined them for the noon meal, with the exception of one, a tall, slender redhead that put her in mind of fairies and sprites. Helenia, as she had announced herself, had simply watched her with a sly look that did more to annoy her than to frighten her, as had undoubtedly been the intent. Cyrenia had begun teaching her Desnilgi, what she called the common language of the worlds, by pointing to each item on the table and saying its name in first English, then Desnilgi. The words were difficult for Magdalyn to pronounce, having no contact with no language but English, but Cyrenia had assured her that in time she would be able to speak Desnilgi as fluently as she did.
A loud knock fell on the door, causing Magdalyn to jump in surprise. The handmaid stepped back, placing the brush on the mirrored dresser and folding her hands in front of her. Both women watched as the door opened, the silhouette of the High Lord blocking most of the torch light from the hall.
Magdalyn swallowed nervously, remembering at the last moment to bow her head. She heard a chuckle, and then a low voice say, "So now the brave one will be shy and unassuming. I think, my dear, that it is too late to try for such things."
Not knowing how to respond, Magdalyn kept her head lowered, watching as the shadow drew closer towards her. When he stopped, she could see his black boots inches away from her bare toes. At the rustle of fabric behind her, and the quiet closing of the door, she knew that this man, the High Lord, had dismissed her woman.
His hand grasped her chin, and she would have jerked back in surprise except for the firm grip his calloused fingers held. At the slight pressure, she raised her head, still keeping her eyes lowered. Only at his low command to look at him did she raise her lashes, meeting his gaze directly.
Nictolanus, the High Lord, smiled slightly, causing a small dent, what some would call a dimple, to pop in his right cheek. He could tell by the look in her violet eyes that he was not what she had been expecting. When one was called the High Lord always and by ones given name rarely it led to an image that would have undoubtedly made any maiden tremble in fear.
Nictolanus was thirty, and had been High Lord since his father's death ten years prior. There had been some that had doubted his ability to hold the lands and title at such a tender age, but he had proven them wrong, enriching Lasnandia ten times over. The years had streaked silver through his black hair, and caused faint, fine lines around his onyx eyes, but he was otherwise healthy and whole.
"They tell me that you woke my entire harem this morning with your screams."
Magdalyn nodded slowly.
"They also tell me that you required the attendence of half a dozen of the bathing staff, since you were so uncooperative."
Magdalyn nodded again, unsure where such remarks were leading.
Nictolanus smiled slowly, and Magdalyn felt her stomach flutter slightly, a strange feeling. "I believe that I shall promote the soldier who found you and brought you back to Lasnandia. He has done me a great service, indeed."
Before Magdalyn could ponder out the meaning of his words, he had lowered his head and pressed his lips firmly against hers. Frozen, Magdalyn's eyes remained open, and she found herself staring into intense jet black eyes. When his hand slid around to cup the curve of her cheek, stroking softly, she relaxed slightly, her lips growing warm and soft. As long moments passed, and the High Lord continued to move his lips softly against hers, she relaxed further, her body softening and leaning into his. On a sigh, her lashes fluttered shut, and her small hand lay against his chest.
It had been many years since Nictolanus had laid with a virgin, but he well remembered that patience was of the utmost importance. Too quick an introduction to passion could cause fear, or worse, promiscuity, neither a result he desired. When he sensed her surrender to his kiss, he indulged himself for a time, savoring the flavor and texture of her mouth. When he felt his own desire grow too dangerous, he drew back, breaking the kiss. He smiled at the small sigh of disappointment she made.
"We shall dine together tomorrow evening, and continue our lessons then." Stepping back, Nictolanus turned and left the room before his self control could be tested too much.
Magdalyn stood stone still, then raised her hand to her lips. Touching them in wonder, she stepped back and sank down into the mattress.