Go To Chapter 19
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Mirror of Dreams - Chapter 18
By the time we'd made it back to the palace, I was fairly confident that King Francis was sincere in his desire for peace. We had become good friends. Much to Nathan's dismay, I taught Fritz how to flirt, and he had a ton of fun practicing on me. I couldn't wait to see what would happen when he met Lady Sophia!
We returned to the palace rather quietly. Since I was traveling under a low profile, it wasn't like there were runners I could send ahead to warn them of my impending arrival. This was fine by me.
“Looks like we're in plenty of time for dinner!” I stated happily. I was bouncy and exuberant, but this wasn't all good. Considering that I hadn't been back to my world in over three months and I hadn't had a chance to use my magic often at all, I was currently running on absolutely no sleep for a good three days. And very little in the days before that.
I am almost certain I was ready to go insane!
“Stop here!” I insisted. Nathan pulled on the reins until the horse stopped. Sir Barrett was sharing a horse with Ian (since neither of us knew how to ride), but he also stopped. This meant that Fritz and his two bodyguards were forced to stop as well.
“We've literally just passed through the gate,” Nathan protested. “In just a few hundred feet, we'll be able to dismount.”
“You'll have to go ahead without me!” I called out as I slid down from the horse and took off running. “Later!” I waved at them.
“Ah... I see,” Sir Barrett remarked as he continued on toward the stables.
Nathan sighed and shook his head. “She can never sit still.”
But I wasn't able to hear them, nor would I have paid them any attention. I pulled my clothes off and threw them carelessly away as I ran. Soldiers, guards, groundskeepers, and even maids waved to me as I ran by, calling out: “Welcome home, Your Majesty!”
I completed at least 10 full circles around the palace before I felt calm enough and exhausted enough to fling myself to the ground and look up at the sky. Laying with my arms and legs flung wide, I panted and heaved until I cooled down. The sizzling in my blood that never truly left me alone was only slightly lessened by my running.
It had been building ever higher during my tour until I had not only not slept, but I had basically shagged Nathan, Ian, and Sir Barrett in rotating shifts each night until they were growing quite exhausted by the lack of sleep too. I think they were all just as relieved to be back in the palace as I was. I knew they expected me to go home to my world for at least a weekend to get some decent sleep.
“Or else I'm going to have to put on a magic show like never before!” I blurted out, and then giggled as I pictured this.
I got to my feet and swayed woozily toward the dining hall. I was starting to feel drunk. And not in a good way!
My loyal court had respectfully waited to greet me home until I was ready, and now waited for me in the dining hall, having correctly guess that I would probably go there next to spin in my cyr wheel if I still felt the need to exercise. Just one glance was enough to assure me that Nathan and Sir Barrett had introduced my guest to everyone and they were trying to make him feel at home.
“Your Majesty!” Lord Antony, Lady Sophia, and Lady Leeza exclaimed happily, practically leaping to their feet. Lord Gregory sighed as if he was already annoyed by me, but he also got to his feet and said: “Welcome home.”
I hugged Lord Antony first, giving him a quick but passionate kiss. “I missed you!” He was the one who was scheduled to meet me with reports most recently, but I had sent word of my slightly early return to prevent him from wasting a trip. Thus I hadn't seen him in longer than I hadn't seen Lord Gregory.
Even more, I hadn't seen my Ladies at all in the time I was gone. I hugged and kissed each of them. “As we missed you!” They assured me.
I gave Lord Gregory a look of challenge, but he resisted the dare. So I simply walked over to him and forced a hug on him. He sighed as if capitulating to an onerous task, and then kissed me. I decided to tease him.
“I think I might even have missed your grumpy face too!”
He snorted a short laugh and pushed me away. Next, my pretty maids nearly swamped me as they enthusiastically enveloped me in a group hug and claimed as many kisses as I felt like giving out. Their squeals of joy were music to my soul.
Lastly, I passed out kisses to a small handful of guards who had gotten permission from around the palace to leave their posts and come greet me. These were ones who I occasionally came across at night and asked for scandalous encounters. Unlike my maids, they knelt and waited for me to come to them.
“Now that everyone has welcomed me home, I have an announcement to make!” I exclaimed, holding up my hands as if asking for silence, even though no one was really making a sound. “I'm going home for a weekend. That means two days there and ten days here.” (Someone had to explain this to Fritz later on.)
“But Your Majesty!” Lord Gregory protested in dismay. “You have far too much work piled up as it is! If you leave for another ten days, we'll be swamped!”
“It's that or run circles around my palace until I die!” I yelled out in exaggeration. But only slightly.
Lady Leeza took hold of my hand. “Let us make a compromise,” she suggested. “You're suffering from sizzling, right?”
I nodded. “And it's worse than ever!”
“So let me drag you to my lair and squeeze every drop of magic out of you!” Lady Leeza insisted.
“Treason!” Lord Gregory called out, echoed by the rest of my court – although they were chuckling. Leeza stuck her tongue out at him.
“That actually sounds like fun,” I murmured, casting a dreamy look at the ceiling.
Leeza squealed in delight. “That settles it!” She started to literally drag me from the room.
“Wait!” Nathan called out. “We still have important guests. Kaitlynn probably shouldn't disappear into the dark depths of the palace until one of us gathers up the courage to go rescue her from you.”
“Good luck with that!” Lord Gregory wished him sarcastically.
Ian stood up and bowed to Lady Leeza. “Would you be satisfied with me? I also have a troubling feeling like my blood is boiling, and would be interested to see this lair of yours.”
“Deal!” Lady Leeza accepted, intuitively understanding that Nathan would probably get in her way until she gave up anyway. She marched over to Ian, tossed him over her petite shoulder, and then marched out of the room.
Several people made the sign of prayer to their God and muttered: “We'll be sure to give you a proper burial should you die!” (Fritz looked shocked by this!)
I laughed and waved at Ian. He was giving me a look like: what did I get myself into?
“Well, I guess that still leaves me crossing over to my world,” I stated, throwing my hands up in the air.
Lord Gregory growled in frustration. “Oh just turn on your power and fly around the room already! You'll feel better!”
I sighed as I thought this over. I decided that a compromise might be for the best after all. “Fine... I'll do that and stay until after we finish our reports tomorrow, but then I am going home, understand?!”
Everyone in my court nodded in acceptance. Closing my eyes, I realized that I was being rude. I mentally kicked myself since I tended to forget my manners when I was this damn crazy.
“Fritz!” I cried out cheerfully as I looked at him and gave him a beautiful smile. “I am so sorry to basically ignore you like this, but I have a serious problem. Whenever I am in this world, my blood sizzles until I want to tear my hair out and murder everyone in my path!” I stated, sounding just as cheerful, which I admit came across as creepy.
Meanwhile, Fritz was still looking around the room, clearly baffled by everything that had happened so far. He looked almost as flustered as when I first met him and offered to make him my love slave. Tilting his head at me curiously, he gathered his composure enough to ask: “And... so... how do you deal with this problem?” His eyes swept across my naked body, but then returned to my eyes.
“Well nothing really works for long, but using my magic seems to help,” I explained.
“Hmm...” he remarked, biting his lip in thought for a moment. “They say that Rolandia is particularly blessed when it comes to magic...”
I scoffed. “From my perspective, it feels more like a curse!” I then shrugged. “Anyway, please don't be alarmed by what you see. I just need to work off some steam...”
Turning my back on everyone, I closed my eyes and activated my ultimate power. Once I felt the blue flames crawling on my skin, I opened my eyes and held out a hand. My cyr wheel flew to me and I caught it as easily as breathing. Stepping inside it, I started spinning, and then willed the wheel into the air so that I could zoom around the room to my heart's content. I did my entire routine somewhere near the ceiling, and then dropped back down to the floor and let my power fade.
I let my wheel drop with a loud clatter – which was so rare I couldn't remember ever doing so before. I was suddenly so tired that I could barely stand! I groaned pathetically, swaying erratically as I tried to walk in the direction of my Royal Bedroom.
Nathan rushed to my side and scooped me up. “I've got you!” He assured me before carrying me to our room.
“Nathan...” I sighed happily, snuggling my face into his shoulder and passing out. He kissed my temple, holding me close as he carried me to bed and then lay me down. I think I murmured his name again, but then I was too far gone to notice anything.
I slept through the night, woke up in time to do the reports – which Fritz asked and was allowed to listen in to – but when we were done, I insisted that I was going home. Ian reappeared looking very haggard right about then, and informed me that he was going to go home too.
We linked arms and walked back to my bedroom. Nathan rushed to catch up with me. He had apparently paid a messenger to keep an eye on me and send word to him the moment I decided to leave.
“I'm going to miss you fiercely,” he informed me, and then gave me a goodbye kiss to remember.
“Keep an eye on Fritz for me,” I ordered needlessly.
“Of course,” he stated with a nod.
After that, I kissed the mirror, and both Ian and I sighed in relief when we looked around and confirmed that we were in fact home.
“Something wrong?” Kyle asked, still watching from my open doorway.
“No,” we both answered.
“It's just been so long!” I added.
“Felt like forever!” Ian agreed.
“If I ever want to travel the Kingdom again, just shoot me!” I blurted out dramatically.
Ian simply rolled his eyes.
I looked around and pulled at my hair as I groaned. “Argh! And now I have to finish packing here!”
“Good luck!” Ian wished me with a snort, and then kissed me on the cheek before walking over to my brother and taking him by the hand. “Come, let's hang out for a while before you have to return to school.”
Kyle grinned at him. “My thoughts exactly!”
Nathan sat down at the table in the room he shared with Kaitlynn and poured himself a nice cup of tea. With a soft smile, he decided to read her journal and see if she had written anything new about him. He loved reading the little snippets she wrote, and was grateful that she hadn't ever insisted that he stop reading her journal.
Opening the journal to the last page he had read – before they'd left on the tour of the Kingdom – he reread it.
Nathan sleeps like an angel! I love watching him. Sometimes I wish I could just tickle him with a feather and see those gorgeous lips pucker up in annoyance. It's so not fair that he can sleep through the night! Oh well, at least I have the opportunity to watch him like a crazy stalker and he doesn't mind. Oh Nathan...
That page ended so he turned the page and took a sip of tea before reading. He barely got through three whole paragraphs before he spit out his tea and leapt to his feet. He raced to the dining hall where he found Lords Antony and Gregory discussing the possibility of permanent peace.
Nathan gestured to the guards. “Find Lady Leeza and Sir Barrett, now!”
“What's the matter?” Lord Antony asked in concern.
Nathan held up the journal and shook it slightly. “I just read something that concerns everyone!” Upon reflection, he pointed to another guard. “And go find that lady medic, Major... something....”
“Nivea?” Lord Gregory supplied helpfully.
“Yeah! Major Nivea!” Nathan agreed.
“This sounds serious...” Lords Antony and Gregory murmured, agreeing with each other.
Nathan asked the maids to bring them a variety of refreshments. Time seemed to pass slowly, but eventually, everyone was gathered. Even Lady Sophia had noticed something was going on, so she brought King Francis and his guards back from touring the palace to the dining hall.
Nathan took a deep breath and looked around the room. “As you may all recall, it was agreed that if I ever read something in Kaitlynn's journal that was important to know, I'd bring it out and read it to everyone, right?”
Everyone nodded, except for King Francis and his guards. The King protested: “But wait, if this is Her Majesty's private thoughts, wouldn't this constitute treason?”
“Nah,” everyone stated dismissively.
“She gave us permission,” Nathan assured him.
“Uh...huh...” King Francis murmured, thinking that the strange Queen certainly had an odd way of communicating with her court.
Nathan opened to the page in question and took a deep breath.
“So, now that I've obtained all the herbs listed in the old journal I found, it's time to test them out. I mixed them up and put them in a jar, and then carried that jar with me all day. See the herbs are intended to guarantee both fertility and a desire to go light the bed on fire.
“One of the things I've noticed is that there just aren't enough children in my Kingdom. They say it's because of the war, but I don't know what to believe. So – if this mixture of herbs works out – I might just sell it across the country for a few months to get some babies made. But first, I need to test it out.
“By pure chance, I happened to go to breakfast early and found Lord Gregory carrying reports into the dining hall. 'Care for some tea?' I asked him, and then steeped some of the herbs in a pot. I subtly tasted some with a finger and thanked my lucky stars that it was tasty. Lady Leeza entered the room and asked for a cup of tea too.
“I served them both and then pretended to sip my tea as they drank theirs. Within minutes, they both made flimsy excuses and left the room. With a happy grin, I watched them go. If all goes well, I might hear some good news in a couple of months!”
“Oh! So that's why!” Lady Leeza burst out, and then covered her mouth with a hand as she glanced towards Lord Gregory.
He looked like he was about to be ill. Looking up at her, he realized that she looked guilty for some reason. “Why what?”
“Why I've been feeling so nauseous lately...” she replied very slowly.
“Oh God...” he whispered equally as slowly.
“Oh my!” Lady Sophia exclaimed in her signature purr of approval.
“That must have been a powerful mixture of herbs to overcome my anti-pregnancy charm!” Lady Leeza exclaimed, sounding impressed. She looked away from Lord Gregory and muttered. “Ah, it was probably about time anyway...”
Lord Gregory took a few deep breaths. He looked very much like he wanted to run screaming from the room. When he seemed a bit calmer, he took a sip of tea. “Yeah... perhaps it is time...”
Nathan cleared his throat, and then decided to resume reading before anyone could say anything else.
“Next, a woman whose name I don't remember – but she's an officer and a medic – entered the room looking for Lord Gregory. Something about a check up. I offered her tea, and the funny thing is that I had actually forgotten that it was a special blend! She accepted as the maids came in to set out breakfast. I invited the four of them to join me for tea as well.
“And then Sir Barrett entered the room...”
“OH GOD!” Sir Barrett roared, his face as red as it could possibly be. He looked like he was about to have a heart attack. The maids and Nivea all gasped and gave each other incredulous looks.
“They got a bit flirty while drinking the tea, and then it was suggested by my maids that Nivea – so that's her name! – and Sir Barrett might want to join them in their room for some kinky cosplay, although they called it naughty dress up. I was invited too, but declined because I suddenly remembered that I had spiked their tea with a fertility blend. I'm not going to risk having a baby with anyone other than – ”
Nathan gasped and blushed, looking away from everyone to try to hide this. Lady Sophia purred happily. “Aww! Looks like I might be a grandmother soon after all!”
Nathan looked a bit sad for a moment. “Probably not. She has used her diaphragm every single time.”
“Don't worry,” Lady Sophia consoled her son, holding one of his hands. “She's definitely thinking about it. It'll happen, just you wait!”
Nathan shrugged and returned his attention to the journal.
“As for Lady Sophia, she's already had plenty of children, so I trust that if she really wanted another, she'd have one. But at her age, is she even capable of having another? It's sort of a shame too because she and Lord Antony entered the room at the same time. Sighing, I decided not to cave into temptation. Instead, I asked Lady Sophia to go get something from my room, and then I offered the tea to Lord Antony. He accepted it – using up the last I'd prepared, though I still had more herbs in the jar. As he drank, I excused myself, met Lady Sophia as she returned, and invited her to take a bath with me.
I have no idea if or who Lord Antony came across next, but I'm willing to bet he got a bit flirty with that person. I'm just sorry I wasn't around to see it...
“Oh my...” Lord Antony murmured, looking up at the ceiling. “As I recall, I went for a walk and came across a female soldier...”
Lady Sophia giggled. “Well! I guess this means that we're soon to be overrun by the pitter patter of tiny feet!”
Sir Barrett still looked like he was about ready to hyperventilate! The maids all patted his back soothingly as Major Nivea calmly took his pulse. She smiled up at the maids.
“Looks like my services are about to be in strong demand!”
“Looks like!” They all giggled.
Nathan tilted his head curiously. “Wait! Don't tell me that... You mean to say... All of you!”
Major Nivea winked at him. “What can I say? It was a morning to remember!”
Sir Barrett snorted, finally looking closer to normal. “You can say that again!”
“Don't worry, Sir Barrett,” the maids attempted to assure him. “We won't expect more than you can handle. We have great paying jobs and a nice place to live. We really don't need anything.”
Nathan had flipped the page and added: “Not to mention that Kaitlynn has a list of ideas to help if you should turn up pregnant. She plans to give you raises and bigger living quarters. She feels that it's her duty to support any children she helps create.”
“There, you see?” The maids purred happily. “You won't need to worry about that. You can be there as much or as little as you want.”
Sir Barrett sat up straighter. “What kind of man do you think I am? I would never just create a child and then abandon it!”
Nivea exchanged a look with the maids. It was clear that they felt that the responsibility of five unexpected children would prove to be too much for him.
A sort of awkward silence fell around the table as it sank in that life was about to change quite dramatically. King Francis cleared his throat. “Sounds like Queen Kaitlynn is certainly, uh...”
“Interesting,” Lady Sophia supplied.
“Unique?” Lord Antony suggested.
“A pain in the ass!” Lord Gregory blurted out.
“My kind of woman!” Lady Leeza said with a dreamy sigh.
“Uh... All of the above,” King Francis replied, chuckling. “She certainly has a way of interacting with her court that I could never – would never even think of trying!”
“That's our beloved Queen!” Lady Sophia drawled with a grin.
Lady Leeza glared at Lord Gregory. “I'm still not marrying you, so don't even ask!”
“Who'd marry you?!” Lord Gregory blurted out in astonishment.
“I can never tell if it's love or hate with you two,” Nathan muttered.
“Hate!” Both harrumphed, but then snuck a look to see what the other was doing.
“Sure sure,” Lady Sophia agreed cheekily. “Well why don't you to go hate each other in private for a while so that you can talk about a certain blessèd event.”
Both looked like they were reluctant to admit that that was a good idea, but then shrugged and sighed. “Fine...” They got up and calmly walked out of the room.
“I should probably go explain things to that soldier...” Lord Antony murmured, getting to his feet.
“Let me know how it turns out,” Major Nivea called after him. “I'm probably going to have to give her a check up soon.”
“Will do,” Lord Antony promised.
“So... Sir Barrett,” Major Nivea began. “Since we're both free at the moment, how would you like to go somewhere and, uh, talk?”
The maids pouted in disappointment. Sir Barrett chuckled, got to his feet, and tucked the Major's hand in the crook of his arm. “Sounds like a good idea. In fact, we should all talk about how this is going to work.” They left the room.
“Well, my dear King Francis,” Lady Sophia purred. “How would you like a tour of my bedroom?”
“Uh...” King Francis hesitated, taken aback. “That sounds... fun...”
Nathan got to his feet and waved goodbye to them as he carried the journal back to his room. If he was lucky, no more emergency meetings would lie in its pages.
Go To Chapter 19
Go To Chapter 19