Friday, September 11, 2015
If you don't remember this story, you can read it from the beginning, or just catch up on the last chapter :-)
Rohana was startled awake the next morning. She sat up abruptly with a gasp. Felix chuckled, finding her reaction adorable.
“That is your body servant, Pongo. I hope he is to your liking,” Felix murmured with a grin. “If not, we can always find you a body servant you prefer more.”
Rohana gaped at the handsome man with creamy chocolate skin who was between her legs. He was currently massaging her thighs. She looked over to find an utterly gorgeous woman with soft cocoa colored skin doing the same to Felix.
“Why are they doing that?” Rohana asked, half curious, half shocked.
“In Uridian, all nobles – and anyone who can afford servants – have body servants to help wake them up pleasantly, get them dressed, and attend to any needs,” Felix explained. “The only thing you need to be concerned about is creating a child. He knows it will be the end of his career if he penetrates you before you definitely carry my child.”
“Wait!” Rohana blurted out in astonishment. “You mean that he is supposed to be touching me... there?!”
“Yes,” Felix confirmed with a chuckle. “When you are ready, we will try again to create a child.”
“Oh...” Rohana exhaled in understanding, and then lay back down and tried to relax.
Just like the Priests had done the night before, her body servant used his mouth on her to make her scream with pleasure. She lay gasping in the aftermath, wondering why the people of the Valley Kingdom didn't have body servants to wake them up too. Felix grinned at her with an interesting expression.
“You look positively beautiful when your face is infused with passion,” he informed her. “I love seeing it!”
Rohana blushed in embarrassment, and turned away from him shyly. “Thanks... I think...”
“Every day until you conceive my child, we shall do this once or twice. In the morning when the servants give us a pleasant wake up is the most convenient time, but also perhaps when we go to bed at night. I suppose that depends on how tired we are,” Felix murmured in thought.
“Once or twice a day!” Rohana gasped in alarm. “I had no idea people did this so often!”
“Newlyweds do,” Felix informed her with a chuckle and a grin. “Or so I'm told.”
Rohana blushed again, covering her face with a pillow. “That means that everyone in the palace is going to be looking at me and just know that we did this!”
Felix laughed, kissing her as he shifted to lay on top of her. “I think that they were going to know that anyway since it was our wedding night!”
Rohana actually chuckled at that. “Well, I suppose you're right about that.” She kissed him and spread her legs wide so that he could enter her. Having a body servant to wake her up pleasantly worked wonders! She was more than ready to have her husband inside her.
Felix was in the mood to take his time – much to the dismay of his chief adviser, who was made to wait out in the hall for a long time. Rohana found her husband fun and playful, making her laugh and purr happily. Even so, she had to beg him to wait for a moment at one point so that she could visit their private privy.
He made use of it after her, but then they returned to bed to finish their morning romp. By the time they were done, Rohana was of the opinion that their bedsharing would be no hardship at all! She lay resting her head on his shoulder and hummed lightly. Her fingers loved to stroke his short and tightly curly black hair.
A thought occurred to her. “So... if we do have a child soon, what would we name him or her?”
Felix shrugged. “Felix the third for a boy. Not so sure about a girl...”
“What do you think about Failina?” Rohana asked with a smile. “It sounds a bit like Felix.”
“That's an interesting name,” Felix agreed, kissing her. He then got very quiet for a moment. Long enough to make her very curious.
“What?” She asked, shifting to look him in the eyes.
“I know we haven't been together long enough to decide if we love each other or not, but can you at least pretend to love me in public?” Felix asked, quite seriously.
Rohana smiled at him. “I will be as kind and attentive to you as I ever was,” she promised. “Most people will probably see that as love anyway.”
“Yes,” he murmured in agreement. “I know I did think that until you looked so miserable by the prospect of marrying me. I'm sorry that you had to give up your beloved for me.”
“I chose this...” Rohana murmured very softly. She didn't want to think about all the plans for the future that she'd made that would never come to be now.
Felix was quiet for another long moment before speaking again. “You could choose him as your official body servant,” he suggested. “That way, you could still be together. However, as I said earlier, your body servant is not allowed to penetrate you until after you clearly carry my child. I could see that being frustrating...”
Rohana shook her head. “I couldn't do that to either of us. It would just be too heartbreaking.”
Felix kissed her on the cheek, and brushed some stray hair out of her face. “I must warn you that even though Uridian may seem like it is sexually open, lovers and infidelity are frowned upon. If you were caught bedding him, I would be expected to punish you. However, lest you feel this unfair to women, know that the same holds true for me. If I am caught in bed with another woman, you have the right and duty to punish me.”
“Do you realize how confusing that is!” Rohana cried out, sitting up to stare at him. “Your Kingdom allows and expects body servants to practically make love to a person on a daily basis, but taking on a lover can get you punished?!”
Felix shrugged, sitting up so that he could hold her hands. “I can understand how this is confusing. But body servants have strict rules to follow. Such as no penetration before a child is conceived. An unmarried woman is expected to have a female body servant or a male one who has been caged. – You actually could have a female one if you prefer,” he interrupted his explanation to give her that bit of information.
Rohana thought this over. “So... I think I understand. A body servant is a lover, but one with rules. This is to prevent infidelity and ensure that children are conceived by the right people. But... wouldn't it be easier to just... not have sex with anyone but one's spouse?”
“You ask that as a newly wedded wife,” Felix pointed out with a chuckle. “Wait until you've been married many years and then ask that! Actually, our Gods feel that sexual pleasure is a divine right.” He sighed and shrugged. “I guess I cannot explain it very well. Perhaps you should call for a Priest or Priestess to come explain it to you. They've been trained in this and should know the answers to your questions.”
“Wait...” Rohana murmured in thought. “Priests don't count, do they? They are like teachers, and so may be called upon to...” She faltered, unsure how to finish that sentence.
Felix nodded with an understanding smile. “That is true. If a person feels that they are not experiencing genuine pleasure, they may go to or call for a Priest or Priestess to teach them what to do or work through any problems they might have.”
“Oh!” Rohana exclaimed softly in understanding. “That makes some sense...” Which was true despite the fact that nothing seemed to make sense here!
“Your Majesty...” the female body servant dared to interrupt them. “Would you like me to bring you something for breakfast, now that you've missed it...”
“Yes Perdita, that would be wonderful,” Felix stated, covering his stomach as it growled.
“My Queen, would you like to get dressed, or would you prefer to wear a robe for now and take a bath before getting dressed?”
Rohana looked at her body servant. He was very good looking with his creamy chocolate skin, bald head, and soft brown eyes. It was a good thing that someone chose him for her, because if she had to try to chose a body servant, knowing that he would be fairly intimate with her, she would never have been able to choose!
“Yes – I mean, I would like a robe and then a bath after breakfast,” she replied.
Breakfast was interesting in that Felix told her anecdotes from his childhood that made her giggle. He was a kind and patient man who liked to make people laugh, and this was part of the reason he made such a terrible King. He wanted to please people and hadn't yet learned how to act in the best interests of the Kingdom.
Rohana at least knew a bit about that. Farming in general was a practice in doing what was best for everything so that it all grew well and didn't compete for nutrients. When she thought of running a Kingdom like running a farm, she felt a bit better about being Queen.
After breakfast, Felix and Rohana went to the palace bath, bringing their body servants with them. Rohana looked around the bath in awe. Prior to now, she had been using a portable tub that servants carried into her room, filled with water for her to bathe in, and then emptied and carried away when she was done. This was a large room containing a huge tub!
“Why is it so big?” Rohana asked. “If it is intended for only the King to use, shouldn't it be just big enough for one or two people?”
Felix laughed and kissed her hand. “This is not here just for me! This bath is intended for use by everyone in the palace!”
“But!” Rohana protested, trying to wrap her mind around this concept. “Wouldn't that lead to a long line if too many people wanted to use it at the same time?”
Felix tried his best not to laugh at her, but their body servants were softly sniggering behind them. “Bathing here is usually done together. I would guess that the only reason we have it all to ourselves at the moment is that we waited until most people had already bathed for the morning. It'll get crowded again later on.”
Rohana felt faint. “Th-th-then p-p-people will s-s-see me naked!”
“Eventually,” Felix murmured gently. “Don't worry, you will always have your body servant on hand to help you and keep an eye on you. If you also wish it, you can have a bodyguard to ensure your safety. However, I'm telling you now that bathing together is quite safe.”
Rohana thought this over in silence as her body servant, Pongo, helped her out of her robe and set it aside. He had already slipped out of the tiny garment that covered his genitals, and now led her into the large tub. She followed him meekly.
“My Queen, I shall scrub your back and hair. Only if you wish it will I scrub anything else. There is a variety of scents I can rub into your lovely hair once it's clean if you'd like.”
He pointed to a collection of bottles sitting in a basket on the ledge of the tub. This gave her something to think about as her body servant busied himself washing her up. As she smelled the various scents, she watched Felix.
“This one,” she stated and set a particular bottle aside once she had decided upon it. Felix smiled at her, holding his arms out so that his body servant could scrub him thoroughly.
“You're used to this, aren't you?” She asked, seeing how relaxed and at ease he was.
“Well yes,” Felix answered with a shrug. “I've been bathing like this my whole life.”
“In the Valley Kingdom, we have a room in each house dedicated to bathing. It's a very private experience. Outside the room, there's a barrel set over a fire to keep it warm, and another barrel full of colder water. When one begins, they tug a rope that signals water from each barrel to mix so that it is warm and won't burn. Then it sprays out from a pipe just long enough to get the bather wet.”
Rohana took the washcloth from Pongo and used it to scrub her front. “After that, they soap up their body and hair as the mixing bucket refills with hot and cold water. When the bather is ready to rinse off, they pull the rope again. Sometimes, they need a second rinse to get rid of all the soap, but then they are done and it is their duty to refill the buckets and make sure that the fire is well fueled.”
“That sounds interesting,” Felix remarked with a smile. “I'm sure I could ask one of my smarter courtiers to work on something similar, if you'd like.”
“Hmm...” Rohana hummed in thought.
“Of course, the device would be installed in here...” Felix added in warning.”
Rohana laughed softly, finding him adorable at the moment. “Of course.”
“Now that we are clean, do you wish to linger and relax?” Felix wondered, leaving the decision up to her.
She shrugged, moaning lightly as Pongo massaged the wonderful scent into her long and wet red hair. “I don't know. I'm not used to sitting in a tub.”
“Then we'll return to our chamber and get dressed,” Felix stated with a smile. “I daresay that my adviser is probably chomping at the bit by now!”
“Poor him! We should have hurried!” Rohana exclaimed in dismay.
“No,” Felix denied confidently. “If we work on the schedule of our advisers, we'd never get any sleep! They would work us to death!”
“Oh...” Rohana murmured in enlightenment. “I see...”
They exited the tub, slipped into their robes, and then walked back to their spacious chambers. Neither touched the other because Rohana was feeling inexplicably shy again, but his body servant whispered an assurance in her ear that it was normal for her to be shy for a while after marriage.
She nodded in thanks even as she blushed and looked to the floor. “I'm not sure I'll ever get used to our servants being nearly naked!”
“But it's fun to be naked!” Perdita protested with a pout.
Rohana laughed and shook her head as she turned to look at Perdita. “I'll have to take your word for it!”
“A word, Queen Rohana?” Lord Arturos asked politely. He even bowed slightly to her, which shocked her a bit.
“I object!” The main adviser to King Felix protested. “I have been waiting to meet with them for hours!”
“Well you must wait a while longer,” Felix stated mildly. “My Queen and I have yet to dress.”
Rohana looked from Lord Arturos to Prince Orion – who looked towards the ceiling with a blush – to Chyllen. She then looked to the floor as a blush settled on her own cheeks. Never in the Valley Kingdom could she have imagined having a situation occur in which she would be wearing only a robe as she walked around in public.
Felix saw her suddenly ashamed expression and kissed her hand. “I'll leave this decision up to you. If you would like to invite your dear Valleyins into Our Royal Chambers for a private chat, you may.”
“But your Majesty!” His adviser protested, feeling cheated.
“Hush!” Felix commanded. “Her Majesty is feeling a bit homesick this morning and I am certain that a visit from her companions will do her a world of good!”
“Yes, my King...” his adviser stated with a sigh, and then got comfortable waiting on a bench once more.
Rohana smiled at her husband gratefully. “Actually yes, I would like to invite them in for a chat. Pongo, are you the one I would ask for tea? And perhaps some cookies?”
Pongo looked delighted to hear her address him by name. He grinned at her and gave her a deep bow. “Yes, my Queen! Right away!”
Guards opened the door as Pongo rushed off. “Majesty,” they intoned respectfully. Felix led the way into their chamber, and then kissed Rohana's hand again.
“I shall be in the closet if you need me,” Felix informed her.
“My Queen,” his body servant murmured as she bobbed a curtsey to Rohana and then followed her master into his closet.
Rohana felt embarrassed by the fact that she was wearing nothing but a robe, but since it covered her thoroughly, she forced herself to remain calm and sit at the table. It was big enough for six to eight people to sit around, so she gestured an invitation for them to sit as well. Lord Arturos gave her a compassionate smile as he sat, Prince Orion and Chyllen following his lead.
“How are you today, my dear?” Lord Arturos asked with a sympathetic smile.
“I'm as well as can be expected,” Rohana murmured, wishing she had a cup of tea already to hide her blush in.
“He didn't... hurt you...” Chyllen asked, looking to the floor. Rohana could see that he was in mental agony thinking about all the things that could have gone wrong.
“No,” Rohana assured him with a tiny smile. “We had a half dozen religious clerics to witness... it... I am fairly certain that if he was hurting me, at least one of them would have stopped him and lectured him until he could not hurt me.”
Chyllen dared to look her in the eye. “But I know you. I don't think you would have let on that you were being hurt if you thought you were doing the right thing!”
Rohana smiled at him, happy that he was concerned for her, and also eager to reassure him. “I'm serious. The Priestesses were very helpful in telling me what to expect and the Priests helped to calm me down and be relaxed. I am not hurt!”
Chyllen sighed in relief. “I was so afraid that...”
“I know,” Rohana murmured softly. “I was afraid of that too, at first.”
Pongo arrived just then with their tea. He quietly handed out cups, poured the tea, and then arranged a selection of cookies on small plates for each of them. When he was done, he stepped back and pretended to be nonexistent as he attended to her every need.
“Thank you Pongo,” Rohana murmured, looking vaguely in his general direction. She wasn't used to servants waiting on her and wasn't quite sure how to treat him yet.
“My pleasure, my Queen,” Pongo stated with a respectful bow. He noticed that she didn't really look at him, but since most people never even bothered to thank them, he already felt like the luckiest servant alive.
“May I ask,” Lord Arturos began with an interested smile. “What exactly happens during the Ritual of Blessing?”
Rohana blushed just about as red as she ever had and buried her face in her hands. “By the Gods! Don't ask me to explain it to you!”
“What is there to be embarrassed about?” Pongo asked curiously, forgetting for a moment that he wasn't supposed to speak without permission. “Three Priests and three Priestesses come to prepare a newly wedded couple for their wedding night according to our Gods' wishes so that they may conceive a child.”
“Prepare how?” Lord Arturos wondered, smirking at Rohana in a way that let everyone know he found her embarrassment adorable.
“Well, they start with a massage...” Pongo replied, putting a finger to his lip and staring at the ceiling as he thought this over.
“Thus calming and relaxing a newly married couple, I see,” Lord Arturos stated with a nod. This made sense to him. He half wished that there were Priestesses available to come to him on his wedding night, once upon a time ago. He had been so nervous that he still wasn't confident that he had pleased his wife.
Rohana got to her feet. “Pongo, I'd really like to get dressed now.”
“Yes, my Queen,” he said obediently.
“I'm sorry to cut this visit short,” Rohana apologized. She hadn't planned to, but she just couldn't hear her servant explain what had happened. It was far too embarrassing!
“Wait just a moment more,” Lord Arturos bid before she could rush away.
“We need to tell you something important,” Prince Orion added, feeling relieved now that the conversation no longer revolved around her wedding night.
“What?” Rohana asked curiously.
“We're... leaving...” Prince Orion announced apologetically. “Our mission here is done.”
“I see...” Rohana murmured sadly. She looked at Chyllen. The expression of hidden misery on his face tugged at her heart. She dared to take his hand into hers. “I'll miss you more than you'll ever know.”
“I still say that you should hire him as your official body servant,” Felix stated unexpectedly, alerting them to the fact that he had returned from the closet. He leaned in the doorway, watching her with a smile.
“That wouldn't be fair to either of us,” Rohana murmured. “In the Valley Kingdom, we do not have such servants, and forcing him to walk around wearing only that would be far more embarrassing than I can stand!” She pointed to Pongo's tiny garment.
Felix chuckled. “I daresay that you'd get used to it very quickly.” He then shrugged. “Whatever you want. I only wish for you to be happy.” He turned to walk to the door so that he could finally meet with his adviser, stopping a few feet later. “Perhaps you could hire him as your bodyguard.”
Rohana looked at Chyllen's hand in hers. A big part of her did not want to let him leave the Uridian palace, ever, but most of her wanted him to be happy. She just didn't think that he could do that here.
He shook his head. “No... I could not bear that.”
“I didn't think so,” Rohana murmured sadly.
Felix walked over and nodded his head at Chyllen regally. “I am truly sorry that I have stolen the woman you were meant to marry. I promise that I will treat her well.”
“That's all I ask,” Chyllen murmured, got to his feet, bowed to King Felix, and then left the room.
Rohana noticed that her hand – the one that had been in his – followed him of its own will, so she pulled it back and cradled it against her heart. Lord Arturos got to his feet and gave her a compassionate hug. He brushed the damp hair out of her face and bestowed a kiss on her forehead.
“Do not fret about him too much,” Lord Arturos advised. “More than anything, he wishes for you to be happy.”
“As I wish for him,” Rohana replied, returning the Lord's hug. “Please watch over him for me and make sure that he doesn't mope and wallow.”
Next, as her husband let his adviser into the room, Rohana gave Prince Orion a small hug that made him blush. “I hope I'll get to see you again someday.”
He dared to return her hug, and then as he tried to pull away, she kissed him on the cheek. He blushed a bit harder, holding a hand to his cheek. “You have represented our Kingdom well. I'll make sure that everyone knows of your bravery and heroism.”
“Thank you,” she murmured softly, feeling the very opposite of brave at the moment.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Hi all! So back when I posted the last chapter of Mirror of Dreams, I stated on my facebook that it was the end; that I had an epilogue written, but that I felt it was missing something. I knew what I felt was missing, but waited a while to write it in case I changed my mind. Today, I realized that I felt the same, and so wrote the part I felt was missing. Thus, everything after Andrew and Kaitlynn's declaration of love is newly written today, and is what was in the back of my mind. I hope this makes the story have a sense of closure :-)
After I had finished moving in with Andrew, I tried again to explain to him that I was part of a whole other world. He still didn't quite believe me, assuming that I was seriously loyal to my LARPing. I chuckled and kissed him.
He didn't have much time to help me unpack and set up our house before he had to start filming his TV show. This meant that he often worked late, and sometimes he even had to spend the night in his trailer. But he always came home whenever he could.
This actually worked in my favor because – as I had once asked Bruce for the power – I actually did skip through as much time in my original world as possible. I had a clock and my cellphone placed in front of my mirror there so that I could check on it from the mirror in my Royal Bedroom. If I got a call from Andrew or if it was getting close to the time that he planned to come home, I'd return. If I couldn't return right away, I'd disconnect the mirrors, which would in essence stop time at that point for me to return to later.
At the moment, I was currently sitting on the cushy bench in front of my mirror in my Royal Bedroom. I faced away from it as the maids worked on my hair. I'd just come from a bath, so I was naked except for a towel wrapped around my hips to catch the water as it dripped from my hair so that it wouldn't ruin the cushion I sat on.
My maids knew they had plenty of time to fuss over my hair because I had more or less nothing to do at all that day until a party in my honor began later on. They planned to try out as many styles on me as possible until I fell in love with one of them. Of course, they peppered their pampering with frequent kisses.
I hummed softly, thoroughly enjoying their touch and the fact that I was now almost four months along in my pregnancy. This meant I was over the queasiness and starting to get hungry. Not at this exact moment, but in general.
Soon, I would start showing, and then I would either have to fully convince Andrew of the truth, or I would have to remain here until after I'd given birth. Not to mentioned stopped bleeding! A large part of me hoped that Andrew would want to share in my experience even a little, happy that it wasn't going to affect his life. We would wait to have our kids as long as he wanted.
After one particularly deep kiss, my maid looked up and shrieked in terror. I looked around to see what she was so afraid of. In my mirror, Andrew stood watching us with a confused expression. A glance at the clock showed me that he was home early.
Happy, I gestured for my maids to stand aside. Getting to my feet, I walked over and kissed my mirror. After that, I turned to face Andrew with a joyous grin.
“I'm so happy to see you! What are you doing home so soon?” I asked after I'd kissed him.
He pointed to the mirror, trying but failing to say something. I looked over my shoulder and noticed that my maids were talking to each other as they watched us, only it looked like they were a TV show being played at five times the normal speed. I waved my hand at the mirror and broke the connection so that neither mirror showed the other world.
“Wh-wh-wh-what the?!” Andrew finally managed to stutter.
“Oh, that's just my other world,” I informed him cheerfully. “You know, the one where I'm the Queen and I fight with swords and have magic.”
“B-b-but that's role-playing!” He protested, looking as if all the blood had drained from his face.
“Baby...” I purred, holding his face so that he had to stop staring at my mirror and look at me. “I hate to be in a rush, but I don't really have a lot of time to explain all this now. I have to be back in about five hours, which means I can only stay here for an hour at the most.”
He tilted his head in confusion but didn't say anything. I kissed him again, and then hugged him for a few long moments. When he felt a bit calmer, I tried again.
“Andrew, my love, why are you home early? Do you want to go out for dinner?” I asked, trying to be positive because he had once told me that coming home early likely meant that he was fired or the show had been canceled.
“Uh... Uh... Oh! Right! I have great news!” He informed me when he finally managed to drag his thoughts away from my mirror world. He kissed me and then grinned at me. “We're going to be filming an episode on location in Hawaii! I came home to pack. It won't be an actual honeymoon, but it can be like a mini pre honeymoon before we get the time to have one for real!”
“That's awesome!” I cheered as I threw my arms around him. “I can't wait!”
“We're asked to only bring the basic necessities,” Andrew informed me insistently, as if afraid that I might insist on bringing everything we owned.
“Travel light, got it!” I exclaimed with a grin. To prove that I took him seriously, I pulled out a small, carry on sized bag, and stuffed it with my favorite red bikini, a pair of yoga pants with matching cami, and a sarong. I'd add things like my phone just before we left. “Done!”
He looked my bag over from where he was busy packing his own bag, and then smirked at me. “I think you might need at least one dress!”
I giggled. “No problem! I'll be right back.”
Walking over to my mirror, I kissed it and then reassured my maids that everything was all right. They spent a few more hours finishing my hair – using a combination of braids and curls that looked oh so good on me. Then they dressed me up in a new creation by Lady Leeza. This one had been covered generously in tiny jewels – probably crystals – that flashed almost blindingly.
The party was wonderful! People were finally learning how to dance and enjoy themselves. The musicians made far less mistakes than before. I had a great time! Near the end, Nathan took me into his arms to whirl me around the dance floor.
“When is Ian coming back?” He wondered, and then blushed lightly. “I was thinking that maybe we could, uh...”
I bit my lip and grinned at his suggestion. “Oh Gods! Now I want to hunt him down and drag him back here!”
Nathan rolled his eyes at me and snorted dryly.
“Unfortunately, he asked for me to let him have some time to himself, and I gave my word, so he won't be back until he calls me and asks to come back,” I explained.
“That's too bad,” Nathan murmured, and then leaned to whisper in my ear. “But maybe we should go to bed anyway.”
I groaned in a combination of temptation and frustration. “I'm sorry, I promised my other husband that I'd hurry back and spend some time with him.”
Seeing a look of protest on Nathan's face, I cut him off. “But I promise that I plan to be here for a long time when I get back. Probably the rest of my pregnancy... Therefore, you'll get me all to yourself for months!”
He grinned at me. “I look forward to it.”
Excusing myself from the party – it was winding down anyway – I returned to my room hand in hand with Nathan. Once there, I rummaged through my closet until I found a knee-length blue dress that I loved, and a calf-length green dress that might possibly be the most modest one that Lady Leeza had ever made me, provided that the light didn't hit it just right.
Kissing Nathan, I was powerfully tempted to stay with him for the rest of the night at the very least, but I resisted. “I'll miss you!” I promised. “See you in a few days. Not sure how long it'll be...”
“I'll see you when you return...” he murmured, obviously not eager to see me go, but trying to smile for me anyway.
After kissing my mirror, I turned around and held up my dresses for Andrew. “So... which one do you like better?”
“Whoa!” Andrew exclaimed. “How did you do that?! You, like... vanished! And then a second later, you're back in an exquisite evening gown with your hair looking fantastic! And I say that as a straight man,” he muttered the last bit.
“Magic...” I stated with a patient smile. “More importantly, which dress do you like better, the green one or the blue one?”
“Uh... both?” He stated, looking them over. “The blue one looks a bit daring... But hey, if you can't walk around practically naked on a beach in Hawaii, then where can you?!” He then looked over the sparkly dress I wore again. “More importantly, what are you wearing?! I love it! That looks perfect for attending a premier!”
“I thought so too!” I replied with a grin.
“Our flight leaves in the morning,” Andrew informed me huskily. “How would you like to spend the rest of the evening in bed with me?”
“That sounds heavenly!” I agreed with a blissful sigh. But before I let him pull me into bed with him, I stopped him. “I have something important to ask you...”
He intuitively understood that it was about my other world. He looked over at my mirror again. He bit his lip slightly as he thought.
“You're a Queen over there, right? That means that you have responsibilities and stuff...” he murmured. “Although I still can't believe that it's real!”
I nodded in response to his first two statements, and then smirked softly. Then I half frowned as I looked down. How he reacted to this could change our entire lives!
“One of the things that happened over there is that I... Well... I'm carrying an Heir. You know? Like a future King or Queen. Possibly.” That actually depended on Bruce and who he felt was the right person to succeed me. “I can stay over there the entire time and you'll never even know I'm gone. But I was kind of hoping that you'd want to see me from time to time as I get bigger, like a kind of practice run for when we decide to have babies of our own.”
He stared at me silently for a long time, but I could tell that he was confused more than anything. “But wait... wouldn't your mom see your pregnant belly when you Skype? Wouldn't she think that this was my baby?”
I smiled softly at him. “You don't understand. I could be gone from here for months or even years, and come back to the moment I left.” I pointed at the mirror. “Just then? I was gone for several hours – got pampered by my maids, attended a party, almost spent the night – but I came back a second after I left. I could spend my entire pregnancy there and no one here would ever even know I had been gone...”
“Hmm...” Andrew murmured, his face puckered in thought. This seemed almost too much for him to wrap his head around.
“But you can also return whenever you want, and you want to know if I would be comfortable seeing you grow large with another man's child. A baby that I probably won't ever meet...”
I was impressed that he had taken this so well. He'd grasped the situation perfectly! I gave him a tiny hopeful smile.
He sighed and pulled me into a hug. “There's this whole other world that you've tried to share with me, and I didn't truly believe you. It's almost exactly like my TV show! I go to work and pretend to be a person in a slightly different reality from ours...”
By this, he was referring to TV Land, not an actual alternate universe like in Farscape or Sliders.
“I could come home and say something like: Today I got married to Shelly and she's secretly not pregnant even though she told me that she was so I'd marry her. You'd know that I was talking TV, but it's like a whole other life, right? If you came home and told me: Today I knighted someone and nearly fell over because the baby kicked so hard that it practically knocked me off my feet! I'd know you were talking about your other world, but anyone else could assume that you were working on a TV show too. It's kind of the same thing, right?” Andrew looked at me like he thought he might have just mumbled an utter mess.
I grinned at him, impressed even more. “It is kind of the same thing!”
He kissed me. “So just do whatever you were already doing. I'll share in your life as much as I can.” He frowned as a thought occurred to him. “If you're spending months or years over there at a time, wouldn't you eventually start to look older than me?”
“You'd be surprised!” I replied with a giggle. Now that the important stuff was taken care of, I pulled him into bed with me. “Just think, tomorrow, we get to go on a mini honeymoon!”
He chuckled and kissed me. “At times like this, I feel like the best thing I've ever done was marry you! You certainly know how to keep life interesting!”
“Aww,” I purred before kissing him again. At this very moment, I couldn't agree with him more. “I love you...”
“I love you too...”
“Bruce... I need to talk...” I informed him a bit nervously.
“I know,” he stated calmly. “I've watched you struggle to make a decision for months.”
I nodded and paced the temple in silence for a few moments. The dedicated High Priestess watched me, which caught my attention. This was not the same old woman I was used to. This was a different elderly woman – one who seemed a bit kinder by nature. I guess the other one had retired at some point over the years.
“Bruce...” I murmured. “I've been Queen now for over a 150 years. I've served my required century, and to be honest, I would be content to serve until I die!”
“Yes, you've been a good Queen; bringing about and maintaining peace,” Bruce assured me. “I would love to see you continue on.”
I nodded in understanding and then sighed impatiently. “However, I really feel like I must step down.”
Bruce seemed a little taken aback by my statement. “Why?”
I smiled softly. “I have obligations to my other world too, remember? When Chianna was born, I spent the majority of my time here. I wanted to spend every second with her and Nathan, and as a result, only 5 years have passed in my other world.”
I paused to smile a happy memory from this morning. “Andrew is finally ready to start a family!” After I announced this, I purposely looked up and into Bruce's eyes. I wanted him to see just how excited I was by this prospect. “I will finally be able to have the baby I have dreamed of my whole life! My mother and I will be able to dote on him or her and – and... Well, I'll have to spend the majority of my time there. Especially during my pregnancy.”
“I see,” Bruce murmured, but I don't think he fully grasped what I was getting at.
“So I've decided that I should step down as Queen,” I announced as if tearing a band-aid off. “After all, even if I only devoted just 5 or 6 years to my new child – just until school started – that would still be 25 to 30 years here. I really don't think it would be fair to Rolandia if the Queen only popped in for a day or so every couple of months.”
I sighed morosely. “It wouldn't be fair to anyone...”
Bruce looked sad and disappointed. “I understand.”
“But I have an idea, if you'll agree to it,” I added hopefully.
Bruce nodded to indicate that he was willing to listen. After I was done explaining, he had a wry smirk twisting his lips. A soft chuckle escaped him.
“I love it!”
I strode into the dining hall as regally as ever. I had just come from my visit to Bruce, and so I was dressed up as fabulously as I ever had been. With a joyous grin, I looked around my court. It was nearing dinner time, so everyone was here.
“You're looking happier than you have in quite some time,” Nathan remarked. His expression was guarded. Even though I hadn't talked to him at all about the possibility of stepping down – or even written about it in my journal – I think he knew it had been on my mind.
“It's about time you got back!” Chianna huffed almost petulantly. “I'm starving!”
She was a mystery to me. At about 150 years old, I would expect her to be a mature adult, but she still seemed like spoiled teenager. One who had been raised as a Princess at that.
Which wasn't to say that she was a horrible person, just that she was strong willed and a bit selfish. In many ways, she reminded me of Nathan when I'd first met him. I smiled at her, and then cast a lovey dovey glance at my wonderful husband.
“What's that you are carrying?” Nathan asked me, gesturing to indicate the scroll tucked in the tight hem over my left breast.
I pulled it free and held it up. “It's a message from God. Who wants to be the official messenger?”
Everyone except Chianna looked at each other seriously. A message from God was no light matter! Chianna – who had been exposed to my atheist views on more than one occasion – looked impatient and bored.
Lord Antony finally stood up and stepped forward. “It would be my honor,” he said with a formal bow.
I handed him the message with a kiss on his cheek. “Cheer up,” I whispered in his ear. “It's good news.”
He smiled at me as he kissed the hand he'd taken the message from. “Yes, my Queen.”
I settled myself in my usual chair as he reverently broke the divine seal on the scroll and rolled it open. He cleared his throat delicately and took a deep breath. He even cast a nervous glance at me before beginning.
“Our most beloved God – in his divine wisdom – has heard her Majesty's concerns and made an edict; witnessed by all of the Priestesses and his Holiness...”
Lord Antony gasped in surprise and clutched his heart as his eyes bulged and flew to me. “Your Majesty!”
“Keep reading,” I insisted with cheerful firmness.
He took a deeply fortifying breath. His voice shook slightly as he continued.
“In God's own words: I hereby accept the resignation of Queen Kaitlynn as the ruler of Rolandia and appoint Lord Nathan as King.”
There was a shocked silence punctuated by several soft gasps. No one could speak for a moment, not even Nathan – who looked a bit pale. In my mind, I heard the voice of our dearly departed Lady Sophia squeal: Oh Natey! I always knew you had the making of a King inside you!
Slowly, as people recovered, they looked to Nathan for his reaction. Even Chianna was silent in astonishment. She probably couldn't understand why I would resign since I'd told her that I wanted to be the Queen until I died. Even so, she understood that this was a huge moment for all of Rolandia.
Nathan finally found his voice, a hint of color returning to his face. “Wait... Me?!” He shook his head in confusion. “Why me?”
I smiled at him. “Because you have been by my side – more or less – for my entire reign. You know what it takes to rule a Kingdom in a time of peace because you've watched me do it. I happen to agree with God on this.”
Actually, he happened to agree with me, since this was my plan, but I wasn't going to tell Nathan that because then he'd think he had the option to refuse. I am certain that he would want to decline and pass the honor on to our daughter, but I felt that she wasn't quite mature enough to be Queen yet. Ironically, I didn't have to mention that to Bruce. He had already come to that conclusion on his own, and was concerned about having to choose between the members of the Royal Houses.
Nathan narrowed his eyes at me suspiciously. Other than Ian, he knew me better than anyone. “Wait. Why are you resigning?”
I sighed a bit sadly. “I'd prefer to tell you that in the privacy of our bedroom.”
Nathan had a look of enlightenment cross his face. “Ah. That. You may as well say it in front of everyone since you'd only have to explain it to them later. Or worse, I'd have to!”
“If you're sure,” I murmured. He nodded. “Fine. I've decided that it's not right for me to remain Queen now that I'm going back home for a few years. Andrew's TV show has ended and he's contracted to do a few movies. Even so, the time is right for us to finally have a family of our own, and so I am going to devote my time to him, just as I have devoted most of the last 150 years to you.”
Nathan nodded in acceptance. He and I both knew that he was the greatest love of my life, but that didn't mean that Andrew meant nothing to me. He honestly did. He was the second greatest love of my life.
Well technically Chianna was the greatest love of my life, but that wasn't really relevant in this situation. She was a fully grown adult now, even if she didn't quite act like it yet. For possibly the first time ever, she was holding back her opinion. One look at her told me that she was more confused than anything at the moment.
“Fine,” Nathan replied after everyone had a moment to come to terms with this news. I think somewhere deep down, he had always expected this to happen eventually. “I accept and promise to rule this Kingdom in a way that will make you proud.”
I squealed happily and threw my arms around him so I could hold him tight and give him a passionate kiss. “I'm already so proud of you!”
A few days later, as many people from around the Kingdom as could fit in the palace were here for Nathan's coronation. He wore a regal outfit that looked a lot like what my father wore on his coronation day. I watched from afar as the maids prepared him.
When it came time for his portrait to be painted, he looked breathtaking! In my eyes, he was far more regal than I had ever been. He seemed to shine from an inner light.
I watched about an hour later as a loving and graceful Priestess placed the crown on his head and pronounced him King. The moment was strangely emotional for me. Far more emotional than my own coronation had been, but that was probably because I really thought I was dreaming at the time.
Unable to stop myself, I leapt up from where I was sitting in the first row next to Chianna and threw my arms around him the moment he turned to face the crowded throne room. I was practically sobbing tears of joy! Our lips sealed together for several long moments as the crowd roared and clapped in congratulations.
There was a feast and dancing, which was possibly the best part of the day. I naturally wore a gorgeously sheer dress. Nathan loved to stroke my body as we danced.
Eventually, we decided it was time to retire to our bedroom and continue the celebration in private. When we were done, Nathan fell into a deep and peaceful sleep. I slept on and off, but then simply watched him until the sun rose and his eyes opened.
“You're leaving, aren't you?” He asked before I could even say a word.
“Yes,” I confirmed, taking his hand in mine and squeezing it. “But I'll check up on you often through my mirror. If you ever need me for anything, simply leave a note in front of the mirror asking me to come and I will.”
“I love you,” he stated as he kissed my hand.
“I love you so much!” I assured him, leaning over to kiss his lips.
“Please go before the maids arrive. I don't want anyone watching me when you leave,” Nathan murmured. Even though me leaving was an ordinary occurrence by now, I am almost certain that he was going to cry this time once I was gone.
“It's not like you'll never see me again. I will be back from time to time,” I reminded him.
“But it won't be the same,” he said, sounding sad.
“I know,” I whispered, unable to think of anything else to say. Kissing him one last time – a beautiful kiss to remember – I stood up and went to my mirror.
He waved to me almost dismissively.
“Goodbye,” I murmured, waving to him in return.
“Bye,” he whispered, his voice sounding choked up.
Kissing my mirror, I turned to find Andrew waiting for me. He grinned at me for a moment before it faded in concern. “Something wrong?”
Without warning, I cried on his shoulder for a long time. When I was done, I felt much lighter. He simply held me and rubbed my back.
“I told Nathan that I was going to stay here with you for a long time so that we could finally start our own family. It was hard, but I know it was the right thing to do,” I explained, and then smiled at him as I held up something from the pocket of my robe. “But I brought a tea almost guaranteed to help us with that!”
Andrew remembered me telling him about that and grinned at me. “So... you want to drink some of that now, and then go to bed?”
I laughed softly. “I'd be delighted!”
Hand in hand and giggling like little kids, we raced to our bedroom. Very soon, our family would get a little bigger, but if I had learned anything after all these years, it was that these precious moments were always worth the wait!