I think this week, has been the most incredible of my whole life. I study and help Annalise during the days and at night, when he’s through his duties and mine, I find myself in different gardens with William.
Or in parlors, or well, in his room. His room is wonderful. It’s simple and clean and smells like him. And his smell, clean linen, mixed with grass and gunpowder. He holds me close and whispers my name and kisses me and his hands move over me and, it’s wonderful.
He uses his hands on me, well, in me and that’s even more wonderful. I use mine, and I think it’s clumsy, but he hasn’t complained. It’s amazing.
“I want you,” he whispered in my ear tonight as I nuzzled against his neck in a rose garden. “I’ve never wanted anyone,” he let out a soft moan, “gods Marina, stop!” I drew back. “I’m sorry, I might,” he looked down.
“I’m not ready for that,” I said softly. He nodded. “I do care about you, and,” he kissed my palms.
“I know, love, it’s alright.” I nodded. We kissed deeply. “What we did last night should satisfy me.” I giggled and the clock struck.
“Goddess,” I mumbled, “it’s late, I have to check on Annalise.” He drew me close and kissed me again. I ran off into the palace and to the apartment.
Analise was sitting at her desk, which was unusual. She normally writes from the couch and reads from her bed.
“What is it?” I asked. She looked up. I noticed that Tristan and Aaron were standing leaning against the doors to the bedroom. Tristan was still in uniform, and he looked angry. Aaron was wearing a long blue tunic, and was pressing his fingers against the bridge of his nose, like he was fighting a head ache.
“They aren’t coming,” she whispered. “All of that, I don’t know what I expected.” She got up and walked into the bedroom, slamming her door, Tristan followed her.
“Who isn’t coming?” I asked.
“The Phanians,” Aaron said softly. “Read it, I doubt she’ll mind.” I walked over.
My Dearest Cousin,
While it is my dearest wish, and that of my husband to know you and celebrate your return and your safe begin to your reign, we will be unable to accept your warm invitation.
At the moment I don’t think that any of our beloved family will be able to join you however, we hope you would welcome a visit from our darling brother Eric this summer, to celebrate your eighteenth birthday. He is not with us now, else we would send him.
Welcome home, and may we grow ever in the light of The Goddess.
Your Affectionate Cousin,
Queen Elana of Phania
“They aren’t coming,” I repeated. Aaron nodded. “But he is, in the summer.”
“Yes,” Aaron said, “you missed quite the show. Tristan was sarcastic I didn’t think he was capable.” I nodded. “She wanted it to be over.”
“I know,” I said softly.
“You look quite rumpled,” he grinned. “Is William sitting in a courtyard feeling frustrated at the moment?”
“I think he may be,” I said walking over and pouring myself a cup of tea. “Will he stay in Dovetail?”
“William?” He asked. I nodded. “He’s in the guard, he’ll go where he’s stationed. Frankly, I thought he’d ask to be with my mother so he could go home.” I nodded. “But that was before.”
“Before,” I whispered. He looked at me. “You think he’d stay for me?”
“I don’t know,” he said, “I can see him staying because he thinks the guard is a good opportunity. He’s a fairly practical man. You of course would not be a reason to leave.” I blushed. “Rina, it’s alright, you know, for you to just enjoy something for a change.”
“It isn’t that,” I said softly. “It’s just that things are progressing more quickly with William than I am ready for.” He frowned. “Nothing like that, I mean, he clearly would like to, and I think I may too, it’s only,” I sighed. “It’s silly.”
“You don’t want to be pregnant,” Aaron shrugged. I raised my eyebrows. “I mentioned the kitchen maids and farm girls yes? It’s a fairly common excuse.”
“I’m working on something for that,” I mumbled. I am, I think I’ve found it too, it would be a potion that would regulate a woman’s cycle so that she wouldn’t have to worry about pregnancy unless she wanted to.
Elodie says it’s genius and could change the world.
“Really?” He said. “Thena would be interested.”
“I”m sure she would,” I smirked, “but that isn’t why I don’t want to go to bed with William. I don’t want him to expect anything.” He smirked.
“Ah, yes, you after all, are a Duchess, and he is an inkeeper.” He repeated Athena’s exact phrase. I nodded. “Not such a monumental difference, of course, if our queen marries a soldier.”
“If our queen marries a soldier,” I said, “it’s even more likely that a duchess has to marry a prince.”
“Ah,” Aaron said, “yes, that.” He sighed. “My mother shouldn’t have told you that plan.”
“She didn’t,” I said, “I did the math on my own. But it’s been discussed?”
“Hypothetically,” he said. “What do you think of it?”
“Hypothetically?” I returned. He nodded. “I think it’s logical though not likely what they want. Brightcoast is a prize in Cammadan, but elsewhere?” He nodded. “They’d be more likely to push Princess Karina on you.”
“King Daniel’s daughter?” He frowned. “But she’s his only child, she’s the heir?”
“Phanian women can’t inherit,” I shook my head, “I’d be Duchess of Brightcoast and the future Lady of Tumona if they could.” I sighed. “It’s all very complicated.” He nodded.
“Well, regardless, it’s something worth considering, on your end,” he shook his head. “Lisette won’t do as she’s told, or what she thinks is her fate. She’s too contrary.” I nodded. “William is probably a welcome distraction.” He grinned. I picked up a pillow and threw it at him.