Friday, July 3, 2015
After Andrew left, I took a small nap, waking inexplicably a couple hours later. My mother poked her head into my room, so I guess she had just come home. I waved to her sleepily as she blew me a kiss and then left.
Feeling somewhat awake, I decided to pack a bag. After giving it some thought, I realized that bras and underwear were not as important as I had originally thought they would be, but I packed a couple just in case. More important was a couple of yoga pants and things to wear when I wasn't in the mood to wear dresses.
Looking back, it had been pretty darn strange to practice sword fighting in a nearly full length dress, but not because it was hard to fight in that dress. It's just that when I picture a sword fight, I picture a warrior wearing some form of armor. Pants at the very least! Not something that might be considered a ball gown here.
I added some accessories and makeup to my bag, not to mention my tiara. It took some thought, but then I realized that I wanted to bring my cellphone too. After all, it was useful for so much more than phone calls! I could take pictures, play music, and even watch videos if I wanted. There were also games to play if I got bored, but I didn't really see that happening.
The only problem was that it would probably run out of battery before I decided to come home. Biting my lip in thought, I wondered how to solve the problem. Wait a minute! This is just like going camping!
Giddy with excitement, I ran into my closet and dug around until I found my camping gear. Sure enough, in a backpack, I had a solar-powered charger. Actually, it had a crank handle as well, but basically, if set out in the sun, it would charge a deep cycle battery, and then that battery would be able to charge things like a cell phone or a laptop. Both and more if it was nice and sunny out. If it wasn't, I could turn the crank, but that was very time consuming.
Checking the gauge, I saw that the battery was still about half full from the last time I used it. I turned the crank about 20 or 30 times to see if it still worked and was delighted to find that it did. Unless the other world literally killed electricity somehow, this should keep my phone charged just fine.
Ready to go, I almost kissed my mirror, but then stopped and set my bag aside. I turned and frowned at my bedroom door. You know... it would be nice to have something to do when that sizzling started to drive me crazy...
Coming to a decision, I ran to get my cyr wheel, and then ran back to my room before my mother wondered what I was up to. Feeling ready at last, I leaned forward to kiss the mirror and then stopped again.
“My dress!” I exclaimed aloud. It would be a shame to leave it in this world where my mom would eventually insist that I get rid of it. Sighing, I grabbed it from the hanger in my closet.
Finally, I was ready to go!
“Your Majesty!” Sir Barrett exclaimed. “You're back!”
“I was beginning to think that you would never return!” Nathan informed me grumpily. The two of them were playing cards at the table in my Royal bedroom.
“Who's winning?” I wondered curiously.
“Why are you naked and carrying your dress?” Nathan blurted out, clearly curious about this strange concept.
“I didn't even think to bring my dress until the last second,” I replied with a shrug.
“Lord Nathan is winning,” Sir Barrett replied to my previous question. “What's that?” He pointed to my cyr wheel.
I flapped a hand at him dismissively. “I'll explain later. For now, how long have I been gone?”
I had returned home in the morning, spent the night there, then an entire day. This was probably more than just five days. Sure enough, both men gave me this look like I had shirked my duty.
“Seven and a half days,” Nathan informed me. “I was beginning to think you had decided to never return.”
I sighed as I set all my stuff aside, and then tried my best to be patient. “According to your God, five days pass here for every one day that passes there. Therefore, I wasn't even gone two full days! I realize that it may seem like a long time to you, but you have to understand that I do want to spend time with my family as well.”
I laughed as a thought occurred to me. “My mother was shocked almost speechless when she saw my coronation dress! I couldn't tell her what it was for – of course – but she was positively scandalized! In her opinion, I should never ever wear red before I get married.”
“So what did you tell her it was for?” Sir Barrett wondered with an amused smirk.
“I didn't, not really. I claimed that a friend gave it to me and I was just trying it on for fun,” I stated. I giggled again. “If my grandmother had seen it, she might have died on the spot!”
Turning to dig in my bag, I quickly located my cell phone. Even though this was a dream world, it would be awesome if I could take pictures. I figured that it was worth a try.
“Smile!” I ordered in a cheery tone as I prepared my phone.
They both gave me a strange smile as if trying to comply but not sure why I was asking. I tapped the icon and huffed happily when I heard it play a fake camera sound. A moment later, the picture was ready to view, and I tapped on it so that it would display it fully.
“Aww, you two look so cute with those goofy grins!” I said, and then walked over to show them the picture.
“What in the Great One's name!” Nathan exclaimed as he leapt to his feet.
Sir Barrett took my phone so that he could examine it carefully. “Does this capture a person's soul?”
I snorted a laugh. “Does that magic portrait the maid painted of me capture my soul?”
“No,” Sir Barrett admitted, sounding reluctant. He looked the entire phone over again, and then handed it back to me. “What is this thing?”
“It's actually a cellphone, used to make calls to people who aren't with you – or send messages – but since there's no service here, I brought it for other reasons. I just used the camera app, but it can play music too. I'll show you,” I murmured absently as I searched through my phone for a good song to play. Nothing too shocking... Aha!
LaurenHill's version of “You're just too good to be true” started playing. I swayed to it happily, resisting the urge to sing along. I smiled at Nathan since this was a good description of how I felt about him. Mostly... I don't think I could call it love just yet, but I definitely loved the way he looked.
Nathan frown and tilted his head to the side as he stared at my phone. I handed it to him so that he could look it over like Sir Barrett had. He kept turning it over as if the other side was going to change somehow and explain how it worked. I laughed softly and took it back when he accidentally turned the music off.
“I broke it!” He exclaimed in dismay.
“No. You just turned it off.” I played around with my phone for a moment until the camera app was ready again, and then I slung an arm around his shoulder and kissed him on the cheek as I took a selfie of us. “See?”
He smiled at the picture, hugging me since I was already in his arms.
“I should probably go tell everyone that you've returned,” Sir Barrett suggested.
“Actually,” I said, holding up a hand to stop him. “Could you pretend I haven't yet?”
“Why?” He wondered with a frown.
“It was bedtime when I left home and I'm tired. I'd like nothing more than to snuggle with my gorgeous fiancé for a while. What time is it here anyway?”
“Late afternoon, not quite dinner time,” Nathan answered, obviously happy with my suggestion.
Sir Barrett bowed his head respectfully. “Of course, Your Majesty. I'll tell everyone that you are not officially here until tomorrow morning.”
“Thank you!” I nearly sang as he walked toward the door.
The moment he was gone, Nathan swept me off my feet and carried me to bed. We had plenty of time to explore each other thoroughly. I found myself purring almost constantly like a happy kitty.
After I pleased him with my mouth – which he stopped me before he came – I inserted my diaphragm and grinned at him lustily. “Which would you prefer? Me on my back or me on my hands and knees?”
“On your back?” He answered hesitantly. I don't think he could quite picture how we would do it with me on my hands and knees.
With a mother like his, how could he not know these things?! Not saying that she would teach him, but surely he was curious about sex at some point and asked questions. I don't think that she would have avoided the subject. She seemed pretty open about her sex life. I mentally shrugged and focused on Nathan.
He got into position and entered me with far more confidence than our first time together. I sighed happily, thrusting my hips up to meet him each time he plunged into me. After he finished and we had snuggled up together, I realized that that sizzling hadn't quite returned yet. To be clear, it had never actually disappeared, but it had lessened enough that I could ignore it. At the moment, I might be able to sleep before it came back.
As it turned out, I was wrong. Well, not entirely. I did fall asleep and probably even got a full eight hours. Nathan had left for dinner and then returned at some point, but that wasn't what had woken me. It was that damn sizzling!
So here I was, laying awake in the middle of the night wishing I could drink a potion or something to make the strange feeling stop! After tossing and turning for at least an hour, I decided to finally just get out of bed and do something constructive. Starting with yoga.
“This is going to do wonders for my practice!” I muttered unappreciatively. “I never seem to have time when I'm at home.”
An hour later, I was definitely more relaxed, but still, my blood sizzled. Sighing, I wondered if I should bother getting dressed before I take off for my jog. With a shrug, I decided that I didn't really want to. It was nice and warm here, and the air felt good on my naked body as I ran.
The guards seemed surprised to see me, but once again, they didn't bother me or leave their posts. I ran circles around the palace, feeling the sizzling turn to something that felt strangely like singing. I was definitely getting tired of running, but not tired enough to sleep. I bent over to pant for a few moments before sitting on the soft cool grass.
“Can't sleep?” Sir Barrett asked, startling me. “Sorry,” he apologized as he sat down next to me.
“No,” I admitted with a sigh. “Whenever I'm here, I get this strange feeling in my blood that I just don't understand. I call it sizzling. In my world, there's a thing called a jacuzzi that is basically a tub full of hot water that has special air or water jets to blow the water around the tub. They're strong enough that if you sit in front of them, you can get a pretty decent massage. Anyway, I feel like they're in my blood. It's frustrating!”
“Why?” Sir Barrett asked curiously. Clearly he didn't understand what I was talking about.
“Well,” I said as I thought about how to explain it. “Partly I'm afraid that something is wrong. Partly because it hurts a little. Some of it is that it makes it hard for me to sleep and wakes me up in the middle of the night. And mostly because I just don't know how to get it to stop!”
“I see...” Sir Barrett murmured, thinking this over. “What have you tried?”
“Not too much, yet,” I admitted with a shrug. “Just running mostly... and sex. Both work a little, but only for a while.”
“Hence the reason why you are out here in the middle of the night running like you are being chased by an enemy army,” he remarked, making me wonder how long he had been watching me. “Naked...”
I laughed at that. “Yeah.”
“Are you hoping that one of the guards will try to take advantage of you?” He wondered with a frown. “As an attempt to stop the – what did you call it – sizzling?”
“No,” I answered honestly. “I hadn't thought about that at all.”
“Good,” he stated. “Because the guards know that they would be fired instantly for leaving their post.”
“Even if I ordered them to?” I asked, not sure if they could disobey me if I ordered them to leave their post.
“Well... I guess that's different,” Sir Barrett reasoned. “They are your guards, after all. I meant that if they simply saw you sitting here naked and left their post to do anything with you without your say so, they would be fired.”
A thought occurred to me. “So far, like when I asked you if you'd even guard me in bed and you said you would if I wanted you to, everyone I've asked has pretty much said the same thing. Does that mean that no one is allowed to say no to me? For anything?”
Sir Barrett chuckled. “We can say no all we want. Of course, you could always charge us with treason for doing so and have us executed, but I don't think you'd do that.”
“Okay,” I murmured softly as I thought this through. “So, if I went up to a guard and ordered him to romp in the hay with me, he could tell me to go away without worrying that I might fire him?”
“Would you fire him?” Sir Barrett asked.
“Not for something like that,” I assured him.
“Then yes, he could, but I doubt he would,” he answered with a smirk. “You don't seem to realize how badly most of us want you.”
“Even you?” I whispered softly, leaning over until our lips were almost touching.
“Even me,” he confessed, closing the last little bit of space between us. His kiss was warm and passionate. I moaned and leaned into him, wondering what the guards would do if we suddenly had sex in the middle of the front lawn.
Before I even finished thinking this, Sir Barrett grabbed my hand and got to his feet. “Come on,” he urged as he helped me to my feet. “Let's go somewhere private.”
I followed him in silence for a while, but then stopped, forcing him to stop too. “Wait... What about Nathan? I'm not sure he would be okay with this.”
“Okay?” Sir Barrett asked, confused by the word.
I shook my head. “That's not important. I just need a minute to think about this.”
“Of course,” he murmured in agreement.
The problem was that the harder I tried to think, the more my blood sizzled. It made it impossible for me to complete an entire thought! The only thing I could keep clearly in my mind was that this was my dream and so I should be able to do whatever I wanted!
“Ah, the hell with it!” I blurted out and threw my arms around Sir Barrett's neck.
He swept me into his arms and carried me through the door we had stopped in front of. As it turned out, it was the patio door to his bedroom. This meant that we were rather abruptly in his bed.
He had no qualms about fucking me quite thoroughly. It was sheer bliss! Even better, it calmed the sizzling in my blood just enough that I might be able to sleep a little more. When we were done – thank the Gods I was still wearing my diaphragm! – I was lethargic and sleepy.
“Mmm... thank you!” I praised him. “That was much needed.”
“You're welcome,” he drawled with a grin.
I crawled out of his bed and swayed woozily. “Where is my room from here?”
“Just down the hall on the left. You should recognize it as you get closer.”
I nodded in understanding, and then left his room. If he was as sleepy as I was, he was probably already passed out. I slipped back into my room quietly, thankful that the door wasn't locked since I had no idea where the key might be. My door guards had watched me silently, pretending that it was common for me to be wandering the palace in the dark of night.
My bed was large and enticing at the moment, so I flopped on it. I barely had the thought to get comfortable before I curled up and fell asleep. In the back of my mind, I heard Nathan moan sleepily and snuggle up to me.
Later on, I woke up all on my own. I wondered if this meant that no one thought I was here, or if Sir Barrett had ordered everyone to leave me alone. Maybe two minutes passed in glorious silence while I watched Nathan sleep. My heart beat just a bit faster when his gorgeous green eyes opened and he looked at me.
“Good morning,” he greeted me with a smile.
“Mornin',” I drawled in return.
Just then, someone knocked softly on the door and let themselves in before I even had a chance to grant permission. It was the maids and Lord Antony. He looked around in confusion.
“That's strange... Sir Barrett is usually the first one to arrive,” Lord Antony remarked, and then shrugged. “No matter, that just means that I get Your Majesty all to myself this morning.”
“And what about me?” Nathan grumbled, sounding only slightly offended.
Lord Antony flapped a hand at him dismissively. “I meant as an assistant.”
“I don't really need an assistant in the morning,” I murmured, not really caring one way or the other.
“Your Majesty doesn't need me?” Lord Anthony asked in a tone that suggested that I had just shot him in the chest.
“Of course I need you,” I assured him. “Just not first thing in the morning. In fact, I don't really need the maids right away either. I'd much prefer to wake up on my own, ogle my handsome fiancé for a while, take a bath, and then call for assistance.
“Aww!” The maids all cried out in disappointment.
“But if no one comes in to wake you, you might be late for breakfast, and that would make Lord Gregory cranky,” Lord Antony protested.
“Would Lord Gregory be likely to come in here and drag me out?” I wondered, picturing him do exactly that.
“No,” Lord Antony replied uncertainly. “I don't think so...”
I laughed at his confused expression. “Then I really don't care how grumpy Lord Gregory is!”
“You will when he piles all those reports on you!” Lord Antony snorted.
I groaned as I pictured the stack of reports that had likely built up while I was away. “There has got to be a better way to do that! Can we at least do it in the dining hall so that I can munch on snacks and drink tea while we work?”
I was afraid to ask for tea in my office since it had so much paperwork piled everywhere. Plus, the dining hall was more spacious and airy. My office had this strange odor that hinted that no one had dared to open a window in there in many years!
Lord Antony sighed and bowed his head slightly. “If you wish it.”
“I do!” I exclaimed insistently.
“Then I had better go warn Lord Gregory,” he murmured. “By your leave.”
I raised one eyebrow at him since it felt silly to say it out loud. “You may leave.”
After he was gone, I got out of bed and stretched for a minute or two before going into the bathroom. Nathan followed me, yawning and scratching his head. I grinned at him, looking forward to bathing with him in my outrageously huge tub.
When we were clean and dry, the maids dressed me up in a new fabulous creation by Lady Leeza. I spun happily in front of the mirror for a moment before letting them braid my hair. They took advantage of my good mood by each braiding a section of my hair, and then winding the sections around each other and pinning them to my head.
I kissed all four of them as a reward for their helpfulness. “And remind me to kiss Lady Leeza too!”
“I wouldn't,” Nathan stated without even a hint of jealousy. He had finished dressing before me and now stood in front of the large mirror fussing with his hair. “If you do, she may take that as an invitation to drag you to her secret lair and do unspeakable things to you.”
“Is that so?” I asked with deep intrigue.
Nathan laughed, turning to face me. “It's not as fun as it sounds! I've heard Lord Gregory scream in terror...”
“Oh really???” I inquired, more intrigued than ever now.
Each of the maids looked at the floor in case I was asking them. Nathan shrugged and returned to inspecting his reflection in the mirror. I decided to let the matter drop.
Ready to go, I tapped a finger against my lips in thought. If we were going to be in the dining hall, I might just want to bring my wheel with me so that I could work with it after I'd finished those reports. If that was the case, I might also want to bring something to change into. It was easy enough to grab my small bag and my wheel. Nathan looked curiously at me, but otherwise remained silent.
To my surprise, the entire breakfast table was moved to the dining hall – which was cleared of everything else. Apparently, Lord Antony had decided that I wanted as much space as possible while we worked, which I actually did. I greeted everyone by name and with a smile. When I got to Lady Leeza, I put a hand on her shoulder.
“I'm told that you are the reason why I have all these beautiful dresses. Thank you so much!” I praised her, and then – despite Nathan's warning – kissed her full on the lips.
She made a sound of delight. “My pleasure, Your Majesty!”
“Hey now!” Lady Sophia cried out in disappointment. “I want a kiss too!”
“Mother!” Nathan growled in protest.
Lady Leeza laughed and leaned across the table to kiss Lady Sophia. “Better?”
Lady Sophia decided to be pacified and smirked. “Yes.”
Lord Gregory sighed, sounding both frustrated and irritated. I watched him force himself to be patient and wondered again if he had something going on with Lady Leeza. I decided not to ask and simply took my seat.
After a delicious breakfast, Lord Gregory waited just long enough for the dirty dishes to be cleared before he grabbed some reports off a rolling cart and thumped them onto the table. “Item number one,” he stated as if I had ordered him to begin our work for the day. I groaned again as I saw the actual pile of reports. It was bigger than I had imagined!
Lady Leeza and Lady Sophia left after only a few minutes, but everyone else stayed. Sir Barrett winked at me whenever I seemed bored, which made me smile. Nathan looked ready to fall back asleep, and tried hard to stifle several yawns. He made it almost a whole hour before getting to his feet.
“I'm supposed to be in the training yard in 10 minutes!” He announced with a gasp, and then ran off.
“Is he really?” I asked, wondering if he would get in trouble or if he could claim that I had ordered him to stay with me.
“Yes,” Sir Barrett confirmed. “He's in charge of an entire unit that he likes to keep in top shape. Two years ago, his unit was instrumental in creating our current peace.”
“Only after your unit nearly won the war!” Lord Gregory reminded Sir Barrett, sounding unhappy by this. I finally decided that Lord Gregory was incapable of feeling anything other than unhappiness.
“I'd love to hear about it sometime,” I said, fidgeting because I was both bored and plagued by sizzling blood. A quick glance at the work pile showed that it was barely a quarter shorter than it had started out. I heaved a deep sigh.
“Would Your Majesty like to take a break?” Lord Antony asked, pouring me a fresh cup of tea. I sipped it automatically, mildly curious what their blend was that tasted so good.
“Actually, the way this has worked so far is that you take turns reading reports to me, and then I give you my thoughts on the matter and sign off on things I approve of, right? Therefore, I don't need to just sit here, do I? So long as I am listening, I can exercise, right?”
Lord Antony was inclined to agree with me but looked to Lord Gregory for confirmation. The tall Lord with long black hair and cold blue eyes sighed and rolled his eyes before looking at me directly. He looked ready to call me all kinds of names – such as slacker – but he forced himself to be polite.
“Of course. Your Majesty can do whatever you want.”
“Excellent!” I cried out cheerfully. Standing, I walked a few feet from the table and twirled around in my dress to see what it moved like. As I suspected, it was too long to be practical if I wanted to use my cyr wheel. “Continue,” I ordered expectantly.
Lord Antony picked up the next report and started reading it. As he did so, I stripped out of my dress and tossed it in my chair. I heard Lord Gregory make an incredulous sound, but since most of what I wore showed off my body anyway, he couldn't really say anything.
Wiping a foot on the floor, I saw that it was not dirty exactly. I'm sure that it was cleaned regularly, however, people walked on it enough that my foot now had a little schmutz on it. I didn't want my butt to get dirty when I inevitably landed on it, so I grabbed a pair of yoga pants from my bag and slipped them on.
Next, I stretched until I felt limber. Grabbing my cyr wheel, I spun it in circles in front of me. This was to see if the floor had any imperfections that might trip me up, but it was perfectly smooth.
“I understand,” I replied to everything Lord Antony had said so far. This was simply an update on repairs to a bridge I had already authorized. Apparently, not much progress had been made yet. Lord Antony set the report in a pile that I didn't need to sign as Lord Gregory picked up the next report.
Just as he started to read, I stepped one foot on my cyr wheel and pushed off with my other foot several times. This had the effect of spinning me in circles, which was exactly what I wanted. When I was sure that it was spinning just right, I started moving my body through a routine I liked to do when Ian wasn't around to spin with me.
“This report has to do with war,” I stated, startling Lord Gregory, who hadn't believed I was actually listening to him. “I am against war, so I am not quite sure how to respond. Let me think this report over. I'll bring it to my room and reread it later and make a decision when I think I know the right thing to do.”
He was silent for a moment, and then set the report aside. “As you wish.”
Lord Antony had been watching me with an expression of amazement – as was Sir Barrett – but now he picked up the next report and started reading it. While he was, I did every trick I could think of with my wheel. Slowly, something strange came to my attention...
This was absurdly easy! I mean I had practiced enough that I knew what I was doing, but here, I could do things that were normally hard for me. Such as lifting myself above the top of the wheel. That was hard to do without falling, but right now, I could not only do it, but I could do it for longer than I should be able to.
I tried all the hard tricks again. Sure enough, they seemed as easy as breathing! “I'm going to regret this,” I muttered under my breath before attempting to do something that should be impossible. Lifting myself above the wheel again, I settled my stomach on it like I was a gymnast practicing on the high bars, and then I rolled around it, mentally preparing for a nasty fall.
To my surprise, I didn't wobble or tumble in the slightest! I was able to circle around the top of the wheel exactly as I would be able to on a flat bar. This shouldn't be possible! The force of the spinning wheel should be thrown off by this!
I returned to the inside of the wheel so that I could come to a stop. Panting from shock more than exertion, I walked to the table to sip on my tea, sending my wheel rolling lazily.
“So, one of the Lords needs money to help offset a bad harvest?” I summed up the report. “I don't see a problem with that...” I was purposely evasive because I didn't really know what protocol was in such situations.
“I agree,” Lord Antony replied as Lord Gregory nodded his head.
“Put it in the pile for me to sign,” I instructed as I set my now empty cup back on the table and walked to my wheel. I watched it slowly roll around the room and stood in the path it would take as it returned to me. For the first time, I realized that the sizzling in my blood had quieted down significantly. It was still there, but much more bearable.
I stepped into my wheel and immediately continued my routine as if I hadn't stopped. I leaned to the right as if performing a cartwheel, and the cyr wheel responded by rolling me around the room. I felt like I was flying! I made plans to try new things with my wheel in the future, but for now, I was perfectly content to simply dance. The wheel was like a partner, helping me dance almost as gracefully as a ballerina.
Eventually I got dizzy and decided to stop. The pile was a little under halfway finished, which was disappointing, but still far better than it had been. Flopping in my chair, I shifted my dress to the side so that it wasn't an uncomfortable lump under me.
“Are we really obligated to send money to any of the Lords simply to throw a party?” I wondered with a frown.
“Well no,” Lord Antony answered, then shrugged. “But if you do, he will owe you a favor in the future.”
“The party is intended to honor you,” Lord Gregory added, sounding resigned to the matter.
I sighed and leaned back in my chair so I could think this over. Silence stretched out for almost a full minute before anyone said anything. I didn't really want to send money to a Lord for a party to honor me, but I also didn't want to offend him.
“May I ask, Your Majesty, what the point of that exercise is?” Lord Gregory asked. I couldn't quite tell if he was curious or disapproving.
“Simply for fun,” I answered with a bright smile.
“Then – if you must exercise while we work – why not do something useful and spar?” He suggested, gesturing to Sir Barrett, who looked so bored that I was sure he must be daydreaming. It suddenly occurred to me that Lord Gregory was trying to be kind! I was shocked enough that my jaw almost dropped, but I bit my lip to prevent it.
I pointed to the pitcher of water expectantly and smiled at Lord Antony when he poured me a glass of water. I gulped it down, thirsty from my spinning. After I set the glass back on the table, I turned my attention to Sir Barrett.
“What do you think? Should we spar?”
He seemed to wake up slightly, and then grinned at me. “Allow me to get the practice swords!”
While he was gone, we managed to get through seven more reports. All of them were short and mostly greetings from various nobles along with status updates on their lands. I was extremely relieved to see the pile shrink considerably!
When Sir Barrett returned, he handed me my practice sword, and then smirked at my bare chest. I could tell that he was delighted that I hadn't bothered to find a shirt. Smirking at him in return, I invited him to attack me.
It was a bit harder to pay attention to the reports while sparring, but we eventually managed to get through all of them. By this time, we had taken a break for lunch and had cookies and tea a couple hours later. All in all, it was a far more pleasant experience than working in my office had been!
Nathan now sat watching us spar, his face puckered in a thoughtful frown. When I noticed this, I decided to end the match and take a break. “What's wrong?” I asked him.
“Nothing,” he said, emphasizing it by shaking his head. “It just occurred to me that you were keeping up with Sir Barrett, who is the greatest swordsman in the whole Kingdom. I think that makes you better than me...”
“Ah,” I murmured tactfully. So he was upset because I might be able to kick his ass in a sword fight. I decided to not suggest we spar anytime soon.
“Actually,” Sir Barrett demurred. “King Henry was the best swordsman in Rolandia, and I am almost certain that he passed his skill on to her. As we spar, it feels just like sparring with him.”
“I noticed that too,” both Lord Gregory and Lord Antony remarked.
“Oh, so that's why!” I exclaimed with a nod. “I was wondering why I seemed to know what I was doing even though I had never touched a sword before in my life.”
As I drank some water, I realized that the sizzling in my blood – which had calmed down while I was sparring too – was slowly returning. Sighing in frustration, I was tempted to throw the glass across the room, but I resisted the urge.
“Anyone feel like going for a run?” I asked.
“I wouldn't mind a run,” Sir Barrett replied with a shrug.
“I just ran with my men, but I could go again,” Nathan informed me.
“Not me, I have more work to do,” Lord Gregory stated.
“As do I,” Lord Antony added.
“Don't work too hard,” I advised before leading the way out of the room.
Here are some Cyr Wheel performances that Kaitlynn MIGHT be doing :-D
Okay, so there wasn't much in this chapter to include, but still, I love to watch these things, lol!
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
The morning of my coronation dawned bright. I watched the sun stream through my window and wondered how long it would be before people came in to wake me and get me ready for my big day. A glance over at Nathan assured me that he was sleeping as soundly as ever.
A smile tugged at my lips as I remembered him unpacking a small trunk of his belongings. He had officially moved in with me, wardrobe, stuffed dog and all. I loved to look at him. Especially when he was sleeping!
Sighing morosely, I wished I could sleep a bit more too. It seemed like the longer I was in this dream world, the less I could sleep. I felt strangely tired and full of energy at the same time. The sizzling in my blood was currently stronger than ever, making me wish I could just slash my wrists and let it all drain out.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't want to die, I simply couldn't stand it any longer! It was slowly driving me crazy! Taking a deep breath in, I forced myself not to fidget and wake Nathan up.
Biting my lip, I thought back over the past few days. Only when I was doing something active and strenuous was the sizzling somewhat calm and bearable. At times like this – when I was quiet and still – the sizzling got so bad that I was tempted to get up and go running again.
The worst part was no one seemed to have any idea what I was talking about. When I asked about the odd feeling in my blood, they all stared at me as if I was crazy. With another sigh, I decided to finally get out of bed.
Looking at Nathan, I wondered if I should do some yoga and then practice my dancing until the maids arrived. Would he wake up? I didn't want to disturb his sleep.
Well, yoga is quiet enough at least, so I decided to start with that. It took my mind off the sizzling for a little while, but not long enough. Not caring in the slightest that I was still naked, I opened the glass door that led to a patio, and then jogged around the palace.
“Please don't let there be any mosquitoes here!” I prayed fervently. It would suck to be miserable and itchy during my coronation simply because I jogged naked through a swarm of blood sucking vampires!
I guess I got lucky, because there were no insects of any kind that I could see. My jogging drew astonished attention from the guards, but they remained at their posts. I was mildly impressed!
Eventually, Sir Barrett found me and insisted that I go inside and take a bath so that my maids could fuss over me. I agreed, feeling good, except I was slightly hungry. My maids clucked when they saw the sweat covering my body, but didn't say anything. Instead, they served me breakfast.
An hour later, I had eaten, bathed, and had my hair arranged in an elaborate crown of braids. Some braids formed loops that jewels dangled from, and others had flowers tucked into them. When they were done, I felt a bit like a fairy princess!
And then there was my dress... I stared at it in astonishment! It was made entirely of red lace and really didn't cover anything even as it covered everything. I utterly loved it! The only drawback was that it had an extremely long train, but this was only a drawback because I was afraid that I'd get it dirty.
I stepped into the dress and waited patiently as all the little buttons along my spine were fastened. “I feel like a bride!” I exclaimed joyously.
“Well, that's because today, you marry the Kingdom,” one of the maids informed me.
“I guess I never thought of it like that,” I murmured, biting my lip in thought. “This dress is gorgeous! I'd love to kiss the seamstress!”
“It's actually Lady Leeza,” one of the maids admitted with a proud grin. “But we help her. She doesn't want you to make a fuss about it though since her magic makes it easy for her to create fabulous creations.”
“Ah,” I murmured with a pleased smile. “So that's why I thought our wardrobes were so similar.” I had often admired her dresses, which specialized in revealing as much as they hid. “Um... but why red?”
“It's Rolandia's Royal color,” Nathan answered, letting me know that he was awake now. “You look amazing! I could look at you all day...”
I chuckled softly. “Funny, I'm always thinking the same thing about you.”
Unfortunately, I couldn't stay and watch him get dressed. I was ushered to an empty room where an enormous empty canvas stood ready. I looked around curiously, wondering if a painter planned to come start a portrait of me. To my surprise, it was one of the maids who took up a brush. She waited patiently for the other three maids to pose me and arrange my dress so that it flowed perfectly.
When everything was perfect, she dipped a brush in a pot of clear viscous liquid. Her face puckered adorably in concentration, and then her hand started to glow. I tried not to look astonished, but completely failed. My mouth hung open in shock.
“Your Majesty, please,” she begged prettily. I composed myself and smiled happily for her. With a nod of approval, she swept the brush across the canvas, dipping it in the clear liquid as needed. Once the entire canvas had been coated with paint – or at least I think it's some form of paint – she stepped back and sighed joyously in accomplishment.
To my amazement, my portrait slowly appeared on the canvas. It looked like someone had taken my picture, only it was definitely painted rather than photographed. As it “developed,” I walked closer to watch it.
“Fascinating!” I exclaimed, impressed.
“Isn't it?” The maid asked proudly. “It's part of my magic.”
“Then why don't you quit working here and become a professional painter?” I wondered since this seemed like the obvious solution to me.
“I love being a maid!” She fervently insisted, sounding scandalized by the suggestion. “Besides, not too many people would pay for something so frivolous.”
“But,” I protested with a frown. “Why not? Don't most people want to remember the good times?”
The maids all shrugged. “Maybe. We haven't really had a lot of good times...”
“Oh...” I murmured, not knowing what else to say.
I thought about this all though my coronation ceremony. It was simple enough, all I had to do was walk down the aisle in the throne room and let a Priestess place a crown on my head. She blessed me, saying prayers for a very long time, and then kissed me briefly on the lips.
“And now you are anointed by our most beloved God as his chosen Queen,” she pronounced loudly for all to hear. I knew that this wasn't the same elderly lady that I had met before, so I wondered who she was. I didn't have time to ask, though, because she left almost immediately and I had to sit on my throne as everyone came to profess their fealty.
That dragged on forever! The sizzling in my blood grew almost unbearable! Finally, a feast was held, and after I'd eaten a decent amount, I managed to claim that I needed to use a privy.
Speaking of, it was strange to have a fancy palace, but no modern plumbing. How hard could that really be? At least the privy designated for me was kept clean and didn't smell.
Escaping into my room, I leaned against the door and sighed in relief. The mirror beckoned to me enticingly. I was going home now whether they liked it or not! Just as I stepped in front of the mirror, the door opened.
“Your Majesty?” Sir Barrett asked, clearly concerned about me.
“Later!” I called out as I tossed him a smirk over my shoulder. The next second, I kissed the mirror and sighed in relief when the reflection changed to that of my real bedroom in the real world.
A knock on my door startled me and I turned around to watch my mother enter my room. “I know it's still early – oh! Kaitlynn, what are you wearing?!”
Her eyes boggled just about as big as I had ever seen them, which made me want to giggle. Instead, I took a deep breath and forced myself to remain calm. As if I was wearing the properest and most modest of dresses, I shrugged.
“Do you like it? I was considering wearing it to my engagement party.”
“No you will not!!!” She cried out firmly. “Even if you wore a slip under it to preserve your modesty, it's red! You know how I feel about wearing red until after you are married!”
“Yes mother,” I agreed with a sigh.
She bit her tongue to stop herself from yelling any further, and then studied my dress a bit more carefully. “I will admit that it is a gorgeous dress, but it is not appropriate for you. Where did you get it?”
“A friend from school,” I lied. I couldn't exactly tell her that it was my coronation dress from a dream world!
She smiled at that. “You girls still keep in touch even after you've all graduated?” Which had happened in June, it was now August.
I laughed softly. “They were all just at my party.”
“I know,” she stated. “But that was a special occasion.”
“Yes, were all still the best of friends,” I assured her.
“Good! Having a network you can rely on is important,” she reminded me.
“I know,” I said, since it was something she had told me quite often.
“Here, let me help you out of that,” my mother offered, probably assuming that it was the quickest way to get me into something more appropriate. “Where did you buy this tiara? It's exquisite!”
“I don't remember,” I replied with a shrug. Taking the tiara and setting it on my dresser. Unlike the huge monstrosity I had expected, it was a simple little thing made out of gold that had been delicately worked until it almost looked like lace. Diamonds of at least a carat each were set into the design here and there, making it sparkle when the light caught them.
“And these buttons! However did you manage to button this dress up by yourself?” My mother was clearly baffled by this concept.
I reached back and buttoned one of the ones she had already undone. “Easy enough.”
“Hmm...” she stated, not believing me. She shrugged and let the matter drop.
I decided to change the subject before she could ask me anything else I'd have to lie about. “Mom... How did my father die? Didn't you say he had a strange disease?”
“Yes,” she replied softly, still saddened by his death after all these years. “His best friend said that they had gone to check out a new potential site for a mall – or was it a hotel? In any case, your father noticed something oozing from the ground and touched it with just the very tip of his finger. He said it had no odor, so he wiped it on his pants and forgot all about it.
“They left, walking home since it wasn't too far away and they felt like exercising. I'm told that some of the workers at the site also touched the ooze and died more or less instantly, but not your father. He took a few days...” her voice wavered.
She paused to take a deep breath, and then continued on. “First, he was oddly clumsy, and had a hard time remembering basic information – such as where he lived. It wasn't alarming enough to go see a doctor though, or so I thought. He also looked noticeably older – as if he had aged 10 years overnight! Lastly, I noticed that one of his eyes turned black – well... dark brown...
“That right there was enough to concern me. I wanted him to see a doctor to find out what was wrong! Only he was so sweet and charming that he talked me out of it. We spent his last two days in bliss...”
I purred in sympathy and hugged her tight. She was finished with the buttons now anyway. “I'm so sorry...”
She savored my embrace for a moment, and then pushed me away. “After you were born, I panicked when I saw that one of your eyes is dark brown too, but the doctors assured me that there was nothing wrong with you. A surprising amount of people in the world have two different colored eyes.”
I had nothing that I could say since I now knew that – at least according to my strange and surprisingly long dream – my father wasn't from this world. I looked to the ceiling as I wondered if this was the reason I was having this crazy dream. Was I simply missing the father I had never met? If that was so, then why had he died in my dream almost right away?
Sighing, I shook the thoughts from my head.
“So... what should I wear today?” I asked.
My mother stepped into my closet with a big grin. “I hid a cute little dress in here for you!”
Sure enough, she pulled a dress bag out of my closet and opened it to reveal a short blue dress that resembled the black one Audrey Hepburn wore in Sabrina. Her eyes swept over me for a moment. With a smirk, she informed me: “I love your hair. What made you decide to do something different?”
“I'm going shopping for my ring today, duh!” I stated as if this was the only possible explanation. “I want to look pretty for my fiancé!”
“You know, when I first saw you this morning, I couldn't help but think that I was looking at a regal Queen. Getting engaged has sure brought out the best in you!”
I hugged my mother again. “Aww, that's sweet of you to say!”
“Let's go eat breakfast,” my mother suggested.
“No thanks, I pigged out at the feast,” I told her, and then blushed when I realized my mistake. “I mean, I dreamt I ate a huge feast, and now I'm not hungry in the slightest!”
My mother shook her head at my silliness. “At least have some yogurt.”
“Fine,” I acquiesced.
Andrew arrived about an hour before noon, and promptly praised me on how good I looked. I accepted his compliment with a pleased blush, and then rewarded him with a soft kiss. As I did so, I realized that that sizzling in my blood I felt in my dream was very faint. It hadn't gone away completely, but it wasn't really bothering me at the moment either.
Thank the Gods for small miracles! I praised silently. Being an atheist, I refused to honor any God in particular, not even in my nonsensical sayings.
Andrew and I left to visit several expensive jewelry shops, but I didn't find anything that appealed to me until we came to a huge shop dedicated to diamond rings. There, I found a diamond cut into an oval shape that was surrounded by delicate gold work. The whole thing was about an inch long from top to bottom, with a slight point at each end, and about half an inch wide.
I fell in love with it immediately!
Andrew selected a band that had three smaller oval diamonds in a row. It was a very manly ring that complimented mine well. I purred happily in his ear as he ordered the clerk to ring us up. We chose to wear our new rings right away, but had them put the papers of authenticity in a box so that I could put them in my safe.
We strolled along hand in hand, not having anywhere in particular to go.
“Andrew?” I asked. “I need to ask you something important.”
“Ask away,” he permitted, kissing my hand. “I promise to answer as honestly as possible.”
“Do you know anything about Polyamory?” I wondered.
“Ah...” he murmured knowingly. “I had actually wondered about that. It seemed only natural to me that someone who agreed to marry someone she just met would probably be open to polyamorism.”
“Are you open to it?” I inquired curiously.
“Actually, yes,” he answered with a nod. “I wanted to get married for a few different reasons, one of which is that I plan to get famous as an actor. I needed a wife who I knew wasn't after my fame or money. I decided to accept the invitation to your party because you come from the same type of family as me, and I know that you were raised to overlook... infidelity...”
I laughed in amusement. “So you do plan to be unfaithful!”
He laughed in return. “No! I plan to be famous, and famous men seem to attract beautiful women. I just assume that so much temptation might eventually bear fruit.”
“I'm glad we are having this conversation,” I murmured with a genuine smile.
He nudged me playfully. “What about you? Why are you planning to get married?”
I shrugged. “It's just what I've always wanted to do. My mother and I used to play dress up all the time when I was a girl. To tell you the truth, I've had so many wedding dresses over the years that it might be a bit hard to find one to wear for real! And then... Well, even more than getting married, I want to be a mother.”
“I hope you won't be too disappointed waiting a bit for that,” Andrew said, looking apologetic. “I personally want to be married two or three years before I have kids. That way, we will hopefully know if we are suited to each other and can raise children together without fighting.”
I was disappointed, but not too much. “That makes sense, I guess. Better to raise a child with love rather than obligation, right?”
“Right!” Andrew agreed, kissing me. I felt my toes curl and clung to him so that I wouldn't fall over. When he ended the kiss, he gave me an interesting look, like he was trying to figure me out.
“So...” he began hesitantly. “Rumor has it that you have a deep and loving relationship with your best friend.”
I laughed raucously at that! “No! Ian is my best friend, and yes we do occasionally have sex, but I am not in love with him like that!”
Andrew smirked, seeming amused by my reaction. “I'd like to meet him. Maybe tomorrow?”
“Maybe,” I stated, not sure if he would be busy or not.
“I need to tell you something,” Andrew said, changing the subject. “I'm actually flying across country in two days, so I hope to spend every possible second with you before then.”
“Where are you going?” I asked with a frown.
“To an audition,” Andrew informed me. “Actually, it's more like a call back. I've already done a couple of interviews and online auditions. Now I have been asked to fly there in person. If all goes well, I'll be cast in a TV show.”
“Cool!” I exclaimed, excited for him.
He grinned in agreement, and then seemed to get sad. “Yeah, but there's a problem. One of the directors I've worked with had me sign a contract a while back agreeing to film a movie with him if he ever got a budget for it, and it looks like it might actually happen soon. If it does, it'll conflict with filming on my new TV show.”
I stroked his cheek in sympathy. “Don't worry, I'm a firm believer that everything will work out the way it's supposed to.”
“Me too,” he murmured before kissing me again.
After that, we went to lunch, and then returned to my house. I showed off my ring to the delighted squeals of my mother and grandmother. Andrew delicately explained his obligation to leave soon and obtained permission to stay here with me until he had to go. I was impressed that my mother and grandmother were so progressive when it came to him staying with us, but they simply smiled as if they were pretending to ignore the possibility of hanky panky.
We chatted until dinner, and then watched a movie while snuggling on the couch. By the time he hinted that we go to bed, I was yawning with exhaustion. If one counted the time during my dream, I had been awake an entire day during my coronation, and then another entire day with Andrew. I was ready to drop!
The moment we entered my room, I smacked my forehead and mentally called myself stupid.
“Problem?” Andrew asked in amused concern.
“Yes, I just realized that I left my diaphragm and condoms, uh, somewhere else,” I explained, blushing in embarrassment when I realized that I almost said that I'd left them in my dream.
“No problem, I came prepared,” Andrew assured me. It was true that he'd had a small bag of clothes in his car, so it made sense that he would have stuck a box of condoms in there.
“Oh good!” I exclaimed in relief. “That means you normally use protection and so probably don't have any STDs.”
He nodded. “I tested clean... But maybe you should get on birth control,” he suggested. “Since we agreed not to have any babies yet.”
“That's what my diaphragm is for,” I informed him with a patient smile. “I refuse to take synthetic hormones.”
“Oh,” he stated with a shrug. “Okay, as long as you have something.”
I nodded in agreement, and then led him to my bed. I tried my hardest to stifle a yawn, but he noticed it anyway.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes,” I replied with a reassuring smile. “I'm sorry, I was just so excited last night that I couldn't sleep at all.”
“I understand,” he murmured with a soft chuckle. “I had a hard time sleeping myself.”
My cellphone rang, but rather than answer it, I sent a text to the caller – Ian – informing him that I was getting busy and that I'd talk to him tomorrow. Andrew read this over my shoulder and laughed. He kissed my neck and then bit my ear.
“Tell him to come over for lunch tomorrow. That way, I can meet him,” he suggested.
I sent out that text, and then waited until I received a reply. “He says that he'd like to meet you too, so it's a date!”
“Perfect!” Andrew stated, and then helped me strip. I returned the favor, and soon we were tumbling into bed.
My fiancé clearly had skill when it came to pleasing the ladies! I moaned and sighed happily as he licked me, and then held him tight as he positioned himself between my legs. He took a moment to put on a condom, and then slid into me with a confident thrust.
“Oh!” I gasped in surprise. “You're bigger than I'm used to.”
“Why thank you,” he drawled happily. He kissed me and then focused on his thrusts. The bed thumped and banged loudly, making me blush. I half expected either my mother or my grandmother to pound on the door and tell us to keep it down!
He finished with a soft grunt, and then lay on me so that he could kiss me some more. I tangled my fingers in his hair, feeling lethargic and sleepy. All in all, this was the perfect end to a long and exhausting day.
“Good night,” I whispered in his ear.
“Sweet dreams,” he replied, making me inhale a gasp.
“Don't say that! I want actual sleep tonight!”
He laughed and snuggled me closer as we both drifted off to sleep.
Ian and Andrew got along great. I was surprised, thinking that there might be some jealousy between them, but no. Ian thought Andrew was a decent man, and Andrew thought that Ian was fascinating in that he had such a wide variety of interests.
“You should be an actor,” Andrew suggested. “If you find the right part, you can turn all that into a career.”
“Maybe,” Ian admitted with a shrug. “But probably not. Besides, my parents will eventually leave me an enormous amount of money, so why bother?”
Andrew frowned almost petulantly. “My parents are going to leave me a lot of money too, but I still want to do something with my life.”
Ian nearly glared at him. “I am doing something with my life, just not working.”
I felt like I needed to come to the rescue. “Ian likes to teach poor kids the fun things he knows.”
“Oh,” Andrew remarked, sounding embarrassed. “Sorry man, I shouldn't have assumed...”
“No problem,” Ian stated gruffly. He didn't like to talk about his philanthropy. People always called him a suck up or a wanna be when he talked about it. I ruffled his hair to lighten the mood.
“Hey, can you show me something?” Andrew asked curiously. “Like that wheel thingy you were talking about?”
Ian and I exchanged a quick look, and then we both shrugged.
“Why not?” I asked. It took me about two minutes to retrieve my cyr wheel from the closet, but then another five to assemble it since it had been broken down for storage.
Ian and I rolled the wheel back and forth between us for a few moments, mostly to remember how much it weighed and how it moved. A cyr wheel was like a large hula hoop, only it was taller than either of us and was heavy enough that it would be nearly impossible to twirl it around my waist.
I stepped into the wheel first and spun around a couple of times before rolling it back over to Ian. He stepped in and spun once or twice just to gauge how different this one was from his. His was actually slightly heavier, but he could use mine just fine.
Once upon a time ago, we had watched a pair of professionals do a whole routine at a circus, videoed it, and then spent the entire summer trying to copy it exactly. Now, we could do it more or less flawlessly. But before we started, we both stepped in the hoop and spun around before rolling in circles to make sure that we still knew what we were doing.
We barely got halfway through our routine before Andrew jumped up and clapped loudly. “That's amazing! I want to try!”
Chuckling just slightly evilly, we stopped the wheel and gestured for him to come over. Even after we explained how it worked – demonstrating it a couple of times – Andrew still had a very hard time not falling. He kept trying though, definitely one of those that was determined to do his best in everything.
“Watch your hands!” I shouted just in time. He had nearly rolled in a circle without opening his hands – which would have crushed his fingers.
Eventually, he admitted defeat. “This is just a bit too hard for me.”
I gave him a thorough kiss as a reward for trying. “You get an A for effort though!”
Ian got a phone call and excused himself. When he returned a few minutes later, he kissed me on the cheek. “I've gotta go. My mom is in town for a few hours and she insists that we have dinner.”
“Bye,” I said, kissing him on the cheek. “Tell her I said hi.”
“Will do,” he promised, and then waved to Andrew before he left. “Nice meeting you!”
“You too,” Andrew called after him. When we were alone, he pulled me close for another kiss. “I like him and I approve of him as a friend with benefits.”
I laughed impishly. “For me or for you?”
He rolled his eyes, and then affected a lisp as he flapped his hand at me. “For both of us, don't you know!”
“Really?” I wondered curiously.
“Nah,” he stated honestly. “I'll play a gay character and even kiss and whatever I'm asked to do for a scene, but I am not gay in real life. Although, judging by how your eye wandered while we were shopping, I'm pretty sure that you like the ladies too.”
“Guilty as charged,” I admitted with a laugh.
“I don't mind. It brings intriguing possibilities to mind!” Andrew said, wiggling his eyebrows at me.
I laughed and snuggled into him. “I'm beginning to think that our marriage is going to be so much fun!”
“I agree,” he stated and then led me to my bedroom. “Let's have a bit of fun before I go. Since my flight is at 4 AM, I shouldn't spend the night.”
I nodded in agreement, and then ran hand in hand with him. We threw our clothes all around my room and then hit the bed with a loud thunk. I am so glad that my mother and grandmother aren't home right now!