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Sunday, June 28, 2015
Mirror of Dreams - Chapter 2
“How are you holding up?” My best friend asked me. He was only a little taller than me with black hair and black eyes. Since he was Asian, I naturally thought he was adorable, but we were not interested in a romantic relationship. This was probably for the best since – while his family was just as wealthy as mine, maybe even more so – he did not fit the image my mother and grandmother had of a suitable husband.
I laughed bubbly. “I'm having a blast! What about you?”
“I'm totally flirting with one of your school friends,” he admitted with a grin.
“Good luck,” I wished him with a laugh. The truly funny thing was that he could probably sleep with all my school friends if he wanted tonight.
Despite attending a super old-fashioned school, we were not expected to be celibate. In fact, after having at least one or two girls get pregnant each year for many years, the school had finally updated its sex ed classes to one of the most progressive ones in the country. We were now taught every aspect of birth control, and also the finer points of consent. Not only had the unplanned pregnancy rate vanished, but I'd like to think that the class empowered us all to wait until we were truly ready to start having sex.
But that did not mean that we had no peer pressure. For my class, at the very least, the moment the first girl lost her virginity at 16 and bragged to us all about it non-stop, it seemed to be all any of us could think about. One by one, the girls each chose good-looking boys to have fun with.
I wasn't the first one nor was I the last. I wanted to find someone I wouldn't regret being with, and had eventually decided on Ian – my best friend. That's how we knew that we wouldn't make a good married couple, we really were too much like best friends and not enough like lovers. Although, anyone who ever saw us together assumed that we were going out.
I suppose that in a way, it could be considered true. We got together a lot because we always had fun together. His parents – who were never home – had sent him to any school he wanted (while I was at my old fashioned girls' school), and he'd learn the strangest things. Once, he learned how to spin a Cyr Wheel, and that summer, he taught me. It's now one of my favorite things to do!
In addition to that, we danced together, sang duets at karaoke, and watched movies on his huge flat screen TV while munching on popcorn dripping in butter. I spent a lot of time at his house when I wasn't away at school because he could make me laugh like no one else. We had a very fun and comfortable “friends with benefits” type of relationship.
“I rather hope that you're flirting with Kaylee,” I stated with a grin. “She's that blonde with green eyes that make my toes curl when I look at them.”
Ian laughed and leaned over so that he could whisper in my ear. “Are you sure you're supposed to be drooling over girls at a party where you're going to meet your future husband?”
I smirked wryly. “Maybe not, but I'm betting that my mom doesn't want me looking all lovey dovey over here in the corner with you either.”
“So... anyone catch your interest yet?” Ian asked curiously as he subtly pointed out a pretty brunette named Brittany. The way she was looking at him left no doubt that they were going to hook-up later.
“Good choice,” I praised him. “She's one of the picky ones, so I am fairly sure that she thinks you're special. And to answer your question...” I shrugged. “They all seem interesting. If my mother and grandmother weren't so adamant about making the final choice, I'd be tempted to try them all out in bed and see which one has the most chemistry with me.”
Ian shook his head. “I honestly don't get you! You act like you don't care in the slightest who you marry!”
“I don't,” I stated seriously. “I know that I can get along well with any man, therefore it's not the who that's important, it's the getting married and having children that's important. It's the only thing I have ever wanted in my whole life.”
“Not so me!” Ian snorted derisively. “I want the fairy tale come true. I want a woman who makes my heart pound and my toes curl. I want a woman who is a Goddess in bed and simply amazing when not in bed. I want to look at her and think: Wow! That's the woman I'm married to!”
“Really?” I asked curiously. “I'd rather gotten the impression that I am the only girl you have ever even considered having sex with.” Aside from flirting with my school friends – and pretty girls in general – I had never actually seen him hook-up with a girl.
He flapped his hand dismissively. “That's because I want the real deal when it comes to my future woman. With guys, I can just play around and nobody gets hurt. It means nothing.” This reminded me that he had said this before, more than once.
“I suppose that's true,” I agreed with a soft chuckle. “I know that guys are usually overjoyed when they find out that I am at the dance club simply to hook-up – no strings attached.”
That was something my friends at school and I liked doing. We'd go out on weekends to a dance club that didn't serve alcohol, so we could get in and party. We'd huddle together after arriving, checking out who was cute, and then deciding who to go after for the night. We'd get pictures of the lucky guys on our cellphones, and then compare them after we'd returned to our dorm in time for curfew.
Because of this, certain guys were in demand for hook-ups and others had been advised to learn what they were doing before trying to hook-up again.
“Ooo!” I blurted out in appreciation. I stood up straight and got a good look at the handsome man who had just arrived at my party. “Do you see him? The blond...”
“What is it with you and blonds!” Ian asked with a laugh. “That's supposed to be my thing... But yes, I'll admit that he is darn good-looking!”
“I love that messy I-can't-be-bothered-to-do-my-hair look, even though I know full well that it takes hours to get it to look just right,” I reminded my BFF, just in case he had forgotten.
“I kind of like that look myself,” Ian replied with a sexy grin.
“I saw him first!” I insisted, nudging him with my shoulder. “And besides, it's my party!”
“So go ask him to dance,” Ian responded, literally pushing me in the direction of the handsome man. Without a word, I took his suggestion.
As I got closer to him, I noted that he was between 22-25 and had olive green eyes. His hair was a shade often called “dirty,” but his eyes were extremely smoky and dazzling. Even more than blond hair, I had a weakness for green eyes...
He saw me coming and grinned. “Ah, the birthday girl... Would you like to dance?”
“Yes please,” I answered eagerly, smiling at him as my eyes roamed his body. I liked what I saw. “Do you play football?” I asked because it was a safe bet that he probably did. I rather hoped that he wouldn't take this as an invitation to drone on and on about it.
“Nope, but I do play baseball from time to time. For me, it's more of an at-home hobby than a passion,” he informed me.
“That sounds wonderful,” I said honestly, relieved that he wasn't bombarding me with useless baseball information. “Then what is your passion?”
“Acting,” he stated with a happy grin. “I haven't landed any big roles yet, but I've had minor parts on various soap operas.”
“Then I am afraid that I haven't seen you,” I stated with an apologetic shrug. “I don't watch soaps. I'm far more likely to be out dancing with a friend... or singing,” I added as an afterthought.
“I think I like that about you,” handsome blond remarked. “That you don't watch soaps, I mean. Most of the girls I meet do watch them, and then they always want to talk about the scenes my character was in until I want to scream!” He chuckled nervously. “I probably shouldn't have admitted that out loud...”
I laughed warmly. “Don't worry, I understand completely.”
The song came to an end, so we drifted off to the side of the dance floor to wait until another song caught our attention. In the background, I could see my mother and paternal grandmother watching us with rapt attention. They were talking together and nodding their heads. If they had just decided on this man to be my future husband, I can honestly say that I agree with their decision!
To reinforce my point, I decided to take him by the hand and lead him to my mother. She grinned even wider when she saw us coming. She and my grandmother hastily decided to stop talking before we overheard something they didn't want us to.
“Ladies,” handsome blond greeted them, affecting a slight bow. “I'm Andrew; thank you for inviting me to this lovely lady's birthday celebration.” He kissed my hand for added effect. I giggled happily.
“May we be shockingly direct?” My grandmother asked.
“Of course,” Andrew permitted with a fond smile.
“You are the man we feel would make the best match for my granddaughter,” she stated bluntly. “Now that you have met her, do you think that she would suit you?”
Andrew smiled at me, taking in the reddish hue of my hair and my strangely colored eyes. “Yes, actually I think we would get along well together. What do you say, my dear?” He asked me, and then clarified in case I might be confused. “Would you marry me?”
My heart skipped a beat and then felt like birds were carrying it to the heavens on soft wings. “Yes!” I gasped out happily.
“Oh how wonderful!” My mother cried out, tears streaming from her face. “I'm so happy for you two!” She hugged us each tight for a moment, and then stepped back to simply look at us.
Andrew slung an arm across my shoulders and I snuggled into him. It's amazing how easily everything falls into place when one makes a detailed plan. If things keep on like this, I might accomplish all my goals by this time next year!
Andrew caressed my cheek. “I knew that this party was so a suitable husband could be chosen for you, but I really didn't think it would be me, therefore I didn't bring a ring, but I promise to take you shopping tomorrow and buy you any ring you want.”
I purred happily and gave him a soft kiss. “Deal!”
We danced with mostly each other for the rest of the night. I did dance with a few others to be polite, but already, I felt like I belonged to my fiancé. By the time most of the guests were ready to leave, I was exhausted!
Ian waited until Andrew had left – with a promise to come get me mid-morning – and then pulled me aside. He hugged me, and then playfully pushed my nose in. I giggled and shook him off.
“I see that things went well with your handsome blond,” Ian stated with an amused smirk.
“He's taking me ring shopping tomorrow!” I blurted out excitedly.
“Sounds fun,” Ian replied honestly. “I sort of wish that I could tag along, but I am sure that you don't want to have to explain our unique relationship to him just yet.”
“What's to explain?” I asked with a snort. “You're my best friend, end of story. If he needs me to explain it more than that, then I feel sorry for him.”
“So... I guess that this officially means no more benefits?” Ian asked, his attention actually on Brittany, who was still patiently waiting for him to take her home for the night.
“Well...” I murmured diplomatically. “At least not right now. I'll have to ask him what he thinks about playing around. I sincerely pray that he is fine with playing around because I have so much fun when I go out dancing at club looking for a hook-up.”
“Except that now, you can probably just hook-up with him,” Ian replied with a shrug. “I'm glad you're on the path to your happily ever after, but I'm going to leave now.” He kissed me on the cheek. “I've got a girl waiting, and even though I am pretty sure she's not the one, I like her enough to give her a chance. I'll see you later.”
“Later!” I called out after him as he walked away. “And remember to come over or call me tomorrow night! Aside from finding out how things went with Brittney, I'd like to tell you about my crazy dream!”
Ian simply waved in my direction, as if saying: yeah yeah, of course!
About a half an hour later, in my bedroom, I undressed with a sigh. I was so unbelievably tired! If I thought I could stay awake long enough, I'd take a bath! As it was, I barely managed to strip and fall on my bed before I fell asleep.
In the morning, the sun pried my eyes open long before I actually wanted to wake up. To my delight, my mother had let me sleep in. Of course, I had to get up soon if I wanted to take a bath and get ready before Andrew arrived.
After my quick shower – I was too afraid that Andrew would show up before I was ready – I studied my reflection in the mirror. Even though I looked no different, I felt like I had become a real woman overnight. With a smirk, I kissed my reflection before I could even think to stop myself.
“It's about time you came back! Oh! I'm terribly sorry, my Queen,” one of the Lords apologized with a becoming blush. He had leapt to his feet from a chair next to a table at the sight of me. “I did not realize that you'd be naked...”
I turned around to face him, a finger tapping my mouth as I tried to remember his name. “Uh... Lord Antony, right?” He was the one with whitish hair and blue eyes so pale that I thought he might be blind. I guess he must be able to see after all if he noticed that I was naked.
“Yes Majesty,” he replied with a respectful bow. “Shall I send for some maids to come dress you?”
“Uhhh... I suppose that depends on if there's anything here for me to wear. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I hadn't planned on coming back,” I said, and then blushed when I realized that I meant that literally, so I hastily added. “So soon, I mean. I had planned to get dressed first, but I got carried away while looking at my reflection.”
Lord Antony pointed to the bed. “Unfortunately, the room is still being cleaned of all of His Majesty Henry's things, but the Royal Seamstress did leave you one newly made dress. Based on what you were wearing before, she thinks that this might suit you.” He had lowered his gaze to the ground and continued to stare at the floor while I stood there wishing that my hair was already dry.
“Lord Antony?” I asked as I stepped over to the bed and looked at the dress. “Can you tell me – um, how should I put this...? I've seen the previous Queen, and she seems rather immodest – as did Lady Leeza – so, can you tell me if modesty is expected in this Kingdom, or if it is optional?”
“Modesty?” Lord Antony thought this over with a finger on his lip as he stared at the ceiling. “Actually, I guess you are right. The women in the Palace have always seemed to have a certain disregard for modesty.”
“Thus,” I stated with a delighted smile. “You have not fled the room in embarrassment over my nudity because you intuitively understand that I also have no regard for modesty.”
“I guess you could say that,” Lord Antony murmured. “Aside from your private Royal Bath, the rest of the residents of the palace share one large bath. It's generally mixed, but there are certain times set aside each day for men only or women only – in case someone is uncomfortable in mixed company.”
I listened to him as I looked the dress over. It was red and gorgeous. A bit flirty, but not revealing in the slightest. I loved the way the skirt flared. At calf length, it would spin beautifully if I danced.
The sizzling in my blood – which had thankfully mostly disappeared when I returned home – was back in full force. I don't really know what causes it, but at the moment, it felt a lot like lust. I smirked at Lord Antony mysteriously.
“Hypothetically, if I wanted to take on a lover, would I be allowed to?”
He looked up to watch me dance with my dress. “Of course, Majesty, why wouldn't you be allowed to? You are the Queen, and as such, you can do whatever you want.”
I stepped closer to him. “And what if I wanted you?” I asked, kissing him to emphasize my question.
“I would be honored, of course,” he stated with a slight bow, and then a soft smile full of admiration for my body.
“Hmm...” I purred in thought, and then mentally slapped myself. I have a fiancé now! I shouldn't be hitting on the first man I see!
Then again, this is only a dream. I can't exactly be considered a cheater if I only mess around in my dreams...
Just then, the door opened. “Has she – oh!” Lady Sophia gasped at the sight of me standing naked so close to Lord Antony that I could kiss him again if I wanted. “My my! I hadn't thought you be so bold so quickly, Majesty!”
Clearly, she approved of my boldness. She shut the door behind her and walked over to me. Purring like a cat, she stroked my neck.
“I'd like to be the first to tell you that I am an excellent lover!”
“Mmm...” I moaned in longing, stroking her gorgeously long blonde hair. Her eyes may be blue, but they still sparkled like jewels. “Does everyone in the palace make an excellent lover?” I wondered.
Both Lord Antony and Lady Sophia shrugged. The Lady answered my question. “I suppose. I tend to focus my attention on commoners, so I wouldn't actually know.”
“Whereas I have devoted myself to serving the King so entirely that I never had time for a relationship,” Lord Antony explained.
“And before you ask,” Lady Sophia added with a knowing smirk. “No, King Henry wasn't into men. Nor women that I know of. I am not entirely sure if he ever had a lover.”
“Aside from your mother, obviously,” Lord Antony added, bowing his head ever so slightly in my direction.
I shrugged. To tell the truth, I was not interested in his love life in the slightest. “Good to know, I guess.”
Gesturing to Lady Sophia, I indicated that I would like her help to put on this beautiful red dress. The Lady bit her lip slightly as she smoothed the dress out once it was on me. I twirled around happily, liking the way it looked.
“I think your breasts are just a bit too big for that dress,” she murmured.
“I disagree,” Lord Antony stated with a grin.
I examined my breasts carefully. Both were right. If I was wearing a bra, I'm sure that my breasts would fit in the dress just fine, but without my bra, the dress looked like it was straining slightly to hold my breasts in. I smirked.
“I like the way it looks,” I pronounced. My mother might kill me if she knew what I was wearing, but all my friends from school would be jealous. We had a communal shower room complete with large tub we could all soak in. We'd spend hours trying on each other's clothes, often shopping as a group so that we'd be able to coordinate our outfits.
My mother thought she had sent me to a school that produced good girls, little did she know that our definition of good was vastly different than the school's! I giggled just thinking about it. Even so, I was usually more reserved than this. Something about this world made me act out of character.
The sizzling in my blood intensified, making me tempted to scratch my arms. Purely to distract myself, I turned to Lord Antony. “Is there anything I'm supposed to be doing right now?”
“Actually yes,” he confirmed with a softly disappointed smile. “Lord Gregory and I would like to go over a few things with you after breakfast.”
“Lead the way!” I exclaimed, gesturing for him to walk in front of me.
“You are supposed to walk in front of me, my Queen,” he stated firmly.
“And I will, once I have learned my way around,” I assured him, thinking that it was silly to be strict about something so minor. “But in the meantime, I need you to lead the way.”
“Of course,” he murmured with a hint of disapproval, and then decided to solve the problem by offering his arm.
Nodding in understanding, I slipped my hand into the crook of his arm and let him guide me out of the room.
When we arrived at the beautiful glass room, I was interested to see that everyone was already eating and looked at me as if I had just caught them shoplifting. “Your Majesty!” They all exclaimed and practically leapt to their feet.
I frowned as it occurred to me that they had not done this for my father, so why did they do this for me? I turned to look at Lady Sophia. She smirked as if she could read my mind.
“Do they have to stand when I enter the room?” I asked.
“Technically yes, but I am sure that you can break them of the habit eventually,” Lady Sophia replied. She slipped one of her hands in mine and then rubbed me with the other.
I smiled at her. “Will you remind me if I forget anyone's name?”
“Certainly, Majesty,” she responded, kissing me on the cheek.
“Good morning, Lord Gregory, Lord Nathan, Lady Leeza, and Sir... uh, Barrett?” I fumbled, not confident that I had gotten it right.
“Very good, Majesty!” Lady Sophia congratulated me, rewarding me with another kiss on the cheek.
“Kaitlynn,” I reminded her, just in case she had forgotten.
Lord Antony helped me into my seat and I immediately noticed that the super gorgeous Lord Nathan was seated on my right. Lady Sophia took the seat on my left, and Lord Antony settled in the remaining chair. Maids hastily brought us food, but before I could even remember to thank them, I caught myself staring at Nathan. His green eyes studied me carefully, making me weak in the knees. Good thing I was already sitting!
“Oh wow,” I muttered softly. “You're so good looking that I just want to marry you and have your babies!”
“You what?!” He spluttered in astonishment.
“Oh Gods!” I gushed with an embarrassed blush. “Did I say that out loud?!”
Lady Sophia giggled in delight. “Well now! Such a passionate young Queen. Of course you have an excellent eye, Majesty.”
Lord Nathan seemed at a loss for words for a moment. He looked around the table to see that everyone was watching him with interest. Looking down, he blushed, which made him absolutely adorable!
“Well... I suppose that if you want, we can get married...” he replied, not able to look me in the eye.
I smiled wryly, also not able to look at him. “I guess that you can't really say no to me since I'm the Queen, huh? Please disregard my silliness, I wasn't asking you to do anything you don't want to.”
Lord Nathan sat back in his chair – since he had already finished eating – and stroked his chin as he thought this through. “Actually, it makes sense. There are only a few men that could marry you, and practically half of them are already in this room. I'm really the only one of a similar age, and I'm sure that someone would have insisted that we get married at some point or other.”
I felt inexplicably happy to hear him say that... and also strangely upset. It was baffling. He continued.
“Actually getting engaged now is better than waiting for someone else to bring it up. It'll make the whole Kingdom happy!” He turned to face me completely and took my hand in his. “So lets do it! Let's get engaged and let my mother plan out a fabulous wedding celebration like this Kingdom hasn't seen since...” he faltered, unsure of when the last big wedding was.
“Since I got married to your father,” Lady Sophia stated, purring happily.
I felt like melting into a puddle at his feet and eyed his hand on mine with a shy smile. But I shouldn't get carried away too soon. Dream or not, I feel like I am being swept away on a wild ride!
“Alright,” I agreed softly. “We'll get engaged right now, but only on the condition that we don't set a date to get married for at least six months.”
“Why?” He wondered curiously.
I shrugged. I don't think I could explain to him that I had another fiancé in the real world who would probably agree to marry me in exactly six months, and that I probably shouldn't be marrying anyone else before that. It didn't occur to me that there was a time difference between the worlds. I decided to avoid that entire conversation.
“Well, we just met. Don't you think we should get to know each other a little better before we set an official date?” This sounded plausible, although I guess I didn't really believe it myself. I'd marry Andrew tomorrow if we could plan out a decent wedding for all of our family and friends fast enough.
I am so ready to be married!
Lord Nathan nodded in agreement. “Yes, that's probably for the best.”
“Oh!” Lady Sophia squealed shrilly in the exact manner that my friends and I did whenever we found something adorable. “My baby's getting married!” She leapt to her feet to glom onto him and press a thousand kisses to his cheek.
I grinned at them, knowing exactly how she felt. I rather wanted to kiss him myself. Even better, I could totally picture my mother and I jumping for joy later today when I got my ring from Andrew.
For a moment, I wondered if it was true that I could stay here for months and even years and still go home to the exact moment I left. I frowned as I realized that I couldn't really prove it unless I stayed here for a while. Yesterday, I had been here for most of a day before going home, and it was certainly true then that I had arrived just after I'd left.
Lady Sophia hugged me tightly and pressed a kiss to my cheek before returning to her seat. I got the impression that she still hoped I'd visit her bed and discover just how good a lover she really was. The idea wasn't bad at all!
To get my mind off of her, I looked over at Lord Antony. “Excuse me? How long was I gone?”
Antony looked delighted that I was paying attention to him. “About five days,” he replied.
“So that part was true then,” I murmured with a sigh. It would be rather hard to fulfill my 100 years if every time I went home for the night, five days passed before I returned here in the morning. Or would that be two and a half? It was hurting my head to think about!
Lord Gregory gestured for a maid to take away his empty plate, and then cleared his throat to gain my attention. “Your Majesty, we need to discuss your coronation. It should happen as soon as possible.”
“Define as soon as possible,” I stated with a polite smile.
“I think we could gather all the Royal Lords and Nobles here in the palace in three days. Messengers have already been sent out to inform everyone of the death of our beloved King Henry - ”
“May he rest in peace,” everyone murmured as they looked down for a moment.
“So,” Gregory continued after the respectful silence. “They're all expecting a summons. Three days should also be enough time for the palace chefs to prepare a fabulous feast...”
“And the maids will be able to thoroughly clean the throne room and ballroom,” Lady Sophia added. “You know,” she winked at Lord Gregory. “You're not actually suited to party planning. Why don't you leave that to me?”
Lord Gregory nodded in agreement. “I'll send messengers out as soon as possible, and I'll also send word to the Temple of our beloved God so that a Priestess can be selected to perform the ceremony.”
“Although I am sure that they are well ahead of us on that account,” Sir Barrett murmured, smiling at me. “Were His Majesty's last moments pain free?”
I noticed that everyone was interested in the answer to this. I gave them all a tiny smile. “As far as I could tell, yes. He hugged me and then simply disappeared.”
Everyone exchanged a confused look. Lady Leeza leaned forward to get a slightly better look at me. “So... his body is not resting in the Temple?”
“Then how do you know he died?” Sir Barrett asked, frowning in concern.
“Well, I was told by him that he was going to die, and that transparent man who calls himself your God said he had died,” I replied, trying to be sensitive to their feeling since I just realized that they were all in various stages of grief. “He seemed to explode into a burst of light that zoomed into me before I could even understand what was happening.”
“Oh,” they all murmured, lowering their eyes so that they weren't looking at me.
“Yes, it's rare, but that is a form of death,” Lady Leeza stated. She looked up at me and then turned her attention to Lady Sophia. “I wonder why he chose to do that?”
Lady Sophia simply shrugged. It was Sir Barrett that attempted to answer her. “It was well known that he was suffering from an incurable disease. I'm sure he simply wanted his last act as King to be one that would best serve our Kingdom.”
“Yes, that's pretty much what he said,” I murmured, feeling a bit bad that I wasn't more sad about his death. Even though he claimed to be my father, I really didn't know him well enough to miss him.
The conversation moved on to other matters that I needed to think about and make a decision on as the Queen. The most important was necessary repairs on a bridge that had been flooded recently. I knew nothing about the Kingdom yet, so I found this strange that they were asking me about it.
“If it's important, then why not just do it?” I asked.
“Because,” Lord Gregory explained a little too patiently. “Only you can authorize the spending of funds from the Royal Treasury.”
I was torn because as much as I didn't want to have to deal with such mundane details, I could see why it was important for me to authorize it. This way, the money meant to maintain Rolandia could not be frittered away behind my back. I sighed and wondered if I was going to have to approve every little thing that happened in the Kingdom.
“As I gather, King Henry trusted you implicitly. Would he make you obtain authorization from him first?” I asked, wondering how the man who actually knew how to rule had handled things.
“Yes,” both Lord Gregory and Lord Antony stated firmly.
Lord Antony continued. “In any matter that concerned money, King Henry always made sure to deal with the issue personally.”
“Why?” I wondered curiously. “Surely if a budget was made, any expected expense could be handled by the official in charge.”
A strange look traveled around the table. “Well...” Lord Gregory began hesitantly. “In times of war, the budget could get overextended pretty easily, so the King always liked to make sure that he knew exactly how much was in the Royal Treasury at all times.”
In that moment, I just knew that I would have to go over the entire budget for the Kingdom and familiarize myself with it. Lucky for me, handling money and household accounts was actually part of my schooling. I harrumphed softly.
“Let me guess, I also have to approve the budget and expenditures for the upcoming coronation,” I stated more than asked.
“Of course,” Lord Gregory replied, his tone that of someone whose patience was getting thin.
“Of course,” I muttered, ever so slightly mocking him.
Guessing by the fact that I was no longer eating that I was finished, Lord Antony got to his feet and bowed to me. “If you will follow me, Your Majesty, we can go to your office and take care of all this paperwork right away.”
I got to my feet and took him by the arm. He led the way with Lord Gregory following behind us. Lord Gregory towered over me, the same as Lord Antony – who was also fairly tall, but not as tall as Lord Gregory. I felt almost intimidated by them, and wondered if I should make it a point to wear platform shoes from now on.
Talk about tedious!!! By the time I could escape my office, I wanted nothing more than to take a nap! Dinner also seemed to drag out forever, but finally, I was free. I felt a headache coming on and decided to ask a maid for tea. I sunk into a chair in my spacious bedroom, and stared at the mirror as if mesmerized.
Escaping back to the real world was extremely tempting at the moment, but after going through the budget for the coronation, I couldn't risk going home and not returning in time for the ceremony. The maid arrived with my tea, banishing all thoughts of escape for the moment. With her was a handsome and welcome sight.
“Sir Barrett!” I exclaimed in delight.
“I hope I am not intruding,” he murmured politely. “But I thought that now might be a good time to explain some things to you.”
“By all means,” I said, sweeping a hand towards a chair to invite him to sit.
“In the palace, it's not quite as necessary, but from this moment on, you need to be aware that I am supposed to go with you everywhere you go. Even if you leave the palace to go to the Temple, I am required to be at your side. Since it is my job, I will likely stay with you most of the time in the palace too,” he explained.
“Oh... right,” I murmured in understanding. “You're my personal bodyguard.” A mischievous imp settled on my shoulder just then, making me smirk. I stood up and settled myself on his lap. “Will you be sleeping with me as well?”
“Uh...” he uttered, stunned by my directness. “Well, if you want me to...”
I kissed him softly. “You're far too handsome for your own good.”
I mean seriously, my mind had surrounded me with drool worthy men! This dream was jam-packed with eye candy! It was enough to make me swoon...
“Your Majesty?” Sir Barrett questioned with a husky smirk.
A knock interrupted us before I could say anything. Sir Barrett groaned softly in disappointment before setting me on my feet. I promptly sat back in the seat where my tea was waiting for me.
“Allow me to get that for you,” Sir Barrett offered, although I got the impression that he wouldn't have let me do it myself anyway. A moment later, he opened the door to reveal Lord Nathan.
“Sorry to bother you...” he began hesitantly. It appeared to me that he was both accepting of the fact that Sir Barrett was already guarding over me, and embarrassed that he had to say whatever he came to say in front of an audience. Coming to a decision, he nodded his head just once. “May I talk with you in private?”
“Of course,” I granted permission. After all, this man was my fiancé – one of two, oh boy! – So as I saw it, he had the right to talk to me in private all he wanted.
Sir Barrett bowed to me before leaving the room. Lord Nathan exhaled in relief and then smiled at me. He pulled a chair right in front of me, sat in it, and then took my hands in his.
“As your official fiancé, I was wondering what you thought about, uh... sharing a bed at night,” he said with a blush. “Ever since the time of my mother as Queen, it has been acceptable for engaged couples to live together prior to marriage, so...”
I grinned at him. My look probably left no doubt that I couldn't wait to get him into my bed! “Actually, I think it's a great idea! What better way to get to know each other?”
“You do?” He asked in surprise.
I tilted my head at him suspiciously. “Don't tell me that you've never had a lover before.” My tone probably sounded just a little astonished by this concept.
“Well,” he grumbled with another blush. “Yes, but only rarely.” His hands trembled, making me wonder if he had just lied to me. Slowly, he leaned forward until he could kiss me.
“Mmm,” I moaned, simply dying to find out what he would be like in bed. He broke off the kiss just as I was really getting into it, and then pulled away from me.
“I need to get something from my room,” he blurted out, and then rushed out of the room.
“I do too,” I murmured absently as Sir Barrett poked his head back into the room.
“Something wrong?” He asked in concern.
“No,” I assured him. “I'm just exhausted and plan to go to bed soon.”
He was smart enough to understand that I wasn't inviting him to join me just yet. “I see,” he murmured with a smile even though he was disappointed. “Then good night, Your Majesty. May you have pleasant dreams.”
I kissed him before returning his well wishes, and then watched him leave. The moment he was gone, I rushed to the mirror and kissed it. My bedroom was still empty, so I knew that no time had passed. Even so, I had to hurry before my mother came looking for me. Digging in my bedside drawer, I quickly found my diaphragm and a box of condoms. A moment later, I kissed the mirror again.
I tossed the paraphernalia onto my bed and then slumped onto it with a sigh. “As long as I was grabbing things, I should have packed a small bag with underwear and whatnot. Guess my head wasn't in the right place!”
As I waited for Lord Nathan to return, I nearly fell asleep. I even wobbled woozily until I lay down. That sizzling in my blood seemed to get hotter and hotter until I wished I would just pass out and be oblivious to it for a while.
Finally, a soft knock on the door announced the return of my fiancé. He let himself into my room before I even had a chance to say anything, which was a good thing, since I was half asleep. I opened one eye to watch him walk over to the bed.
Damn! He looked glorious!
I sat up to get a better look at him and noticed he was carrying a dog. “Aww, you brought me a puppy!”
He smiled and shook his head. “No, this is actually a stuffed animal made for me by my mother when I was young. I've always considered it to be extremely good luck, so I thought that if I am going to be sleeping in your bed from now on, I should bring him with.”
I took the dog from him reverently, touched that he had something so intimate to share with me. The dog was extraordinarily soft, and obviously well loved. I ruffled its long floppy ears as if it was a real dog, and then kissed it.
“Does he have a name?” I asked, noticing that he looked very happy that I was playing with his dog like this.
“Wolf,” Nathan stated with a shrug. He then looked at the items I'd tossed on my bed. “What're those?”
I smiled at him, waving one of the dog's paws at him playfully. “Well, considering the big differences between this world and my world, I didn't think you guys had any sort of protection. I mean that we are probably not quite ready for babies yet, so I popped home real quick and got my diaphragm and some condoms. I'll explain how they work and you can decide which one you'd rather use.”
He listened in fascination as I explained the merits of each form of birth control, and then examined the box of condoms closely. “That's brilliant!” He exclaimed. “We don't have anything like that here.”
I chuckled softly.
He looked at me again. “Which would you prefer?”
“I like the diaphragm because once it's inside me, I can't feel it, and I am not really a big fan of condoms. I only have them so that I won't get any diseases if I – ” I opted not to tell him that I often went out to hook-up with strangers.
“Diseases?” Nathan asked with a frown.
“Yes,” I confirmed. “In my world, there are a few diseases that are passed on during sex, but most of the time, they can be prevented by using condoms.”
“So the fact that you have these condoms means that you don't have any of these diseases?” Nathan asked, sounding both curious and upset by the prospect of me getting into such a situation.
“Well,” I answered with a soft laugh. “Actually, me using protection and getting tested regularly means that I don't have any of those diseases.”
“Good,” he stated with a nod of satisfaction. “We don't have any of those diseases here – that I know of – and so I do not have them either.” He tossed the box of condoms onto my bed. “Do you need help with that thing?”
“Nope, I've got it,” I told him as I pulled my diaphragm out of its box and reached under my skirt to insert it in me. “Now that we've got the responsible stuff out the way, it's time to focus on the sexy stuff.” I held my hand out to him.
He took my hand and then squeaked in surprise when I tugged him into bed with me. He landed half on top of me and simply stared at me as if wondering what to do. I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him, slipping my tongue in his mouth.
Tugging his clothes off, I wiggled my hips to encourage him to explore under my dress. His hands would stroke me slowly, and then stop as if he was afraid that I was going to tell him no. The moment I stripped him naked, I realized that he was literally trembling. I broke off our thoroughly deep kiss and stared at him in astonishment.
He noticed my look and blushed. “I was hoping that you wouldn't notice...” he mumbled, looking away. “I haven't actually done this before and I'm so nervous!”
“Then why did you tell me you had?” I wondered in confusion.
“Well, you made it sound like you had lots of experience at this, and I didn't want to sound like an idiot,” he explained, clearly embarrassed.
“Oh...” I murmured in understanding. “Then you probably feel like I'm rushing you. I'm sorry! It's just that I am actually really tired, so I sort of am rushing this, and I shouldn't be.”
“No, I don't feel rushed,” Nathan replied sincerely. “I just can't believe this is really happening!” True to his words, he had stopped trembling and smiled at me. Much more confidently now, he slid his hands under my dress and helped me take it off.
Knowing that this was his first time, I felt a bit awkward. I didn't know whether to lay back and let him do anything he wanted to me, or take charge and show him how it's done. He solved my dilemma by getting in position between my legs rather quickly.
I wrapped my arms around his neck and held him to me tightly as he slowly entered me. He started out somewhat timidly, but soon gained confidence and speed. I sighed blissfully with every thrust, feeling something indescribable that I had never felt before. The sizzling in my blood temporarily calmed down. By the time he finished, I was impressed. For a first time, he lasted a good 15 minutes.
I thought back to my super awkward first time with Ian. It had been his first too, and neither of us were sure of what we were doing. I am certain that it was over in less than five minutes, but we had tried again later on and did much better when we weren't so nervous.
A smile stretched my lips as Nathan settled himself on top of me. I held him close, feeling happier than I could remember feeling in a long time. Which was really saying something because I was a happy person in general, but this... this felt special somehow.
We drifted off to sleep snuggled up together, his stuffed dog watching us from the corner of the bed where we had tossed him earlier.
Go To Chapter 3
Go To Chapter 3