As promised, I'm continuing The King's Theif. And, I'm doing it after I cut my finger.
Don't ask...it was my stupid.
In the future, I want to have sketches of the characters done so you can visualize the characters as I see them. That's always fun! So perhaps next story update, I'll have sketches! Oh! What about covers portraying the chapters! That might be cool! Squee! I'm getting excited over an internet story. :)
If it's your first time here, you'll need to catch up! So go click the categories tag "The King's Thief" and find the first entry or click the button below for the first entry.
The King's Theif
Twenty years ago I’d urged her to flight with me, on the run from the Randish. At eighteen years of age, she’d been calm, collected. Her stoicism was refreshing. Deep warmth and kindness still radiated from her, even if she did sell her body to every bidder.
Having a whore as a queen might not sit well with the men, but, if spun as a goad against the Randish…yes, it could work. Look at what they’ve done—what they’ve forced our nobility to suffer at their hands. Never shall our women circumvent themselves to survive.
The troops would call to arms.
I knew that when we arrived, the men would fall in love with her, she wouldn’t have to say a word. Truth of it was Dauphine held the only right to be monarchy. Detrien? There were too many discrepancies—though he would’ve been less trouble, he wasn’t suited as king. Dauphine, however, she’d been groomed and possessed the finesse, the grace and inveiglement of a great queen.
Surrounded by comforts of a captain’s cabin I poured myself a glass of wine. Time to evaluate. A quilt patched as an unmarked map of Quenarre lay over my captain’s desk. A red patch for the Randish occupancy that once was Quennare. A black blotch for Maralon. A green chunk for Valron and so on.
I hadn’t forgotten the other nations but they were added as needed. Chess pieces sprawled in strategic locale on the cloth map. The white rook resembling Detrien stayed in Xaxyia. He’d remain my eyes and ears while covering for Dauphine. I slid the white queen piece from Xaxyia to the port of Chardogne, ever closer to the black king representing his holiness’ throne in Cadia. Seeing the opposing pieces so close gave me a thrill only peril could provide. But for the first time, I didn’t want the feeling. Dauphine would be too close for me to take chances.
A knock and Dauphine’s voice on the other side of the door stayed any future calculations.
I swung open the entry a there stood Dauphine poised as a Lady for verbal war. My glorious smile seemed less effective on her than other women.
“May I come in?”
My smile widened. “Yes, M’Lady.”
Stepping back, I acknowledged my future queen and bowed. I stayed down waiting for her reverence, which would allow me to straighten. Until she gave me leave to rise, I'd remain proper--as any subject would his queen.
“No.” Her one word rejection conveyed an apathy that could only come from hate so cold it numbed all decency. “I am not a queen. I am a whore.”
Those words scalded a heart I’d thought long since calloused to it’s core. No more could I strike a woman than I could an infant, but I wanted to beat her to sense. It had not mattered what she had done to survive. She could fuck his holiness himself and I’d never think less of her.
“You are not a queen. You are my queen. Soon you will be all of Quennare’s queen.” I remained bowed.
It was a contest of will. She’d soon find I would not rise. Not when it was a point of contention. She had to accept her place and start acting as Rouelle Royalty. It would not due for her to deny her affiliation of her home country. If she won this belligerency, the battle would never end. I had eleven, maybe twelve days, before she’d be presented to the men who’d battle on her behalf.
She skirted around me and looked around. I remained bent over but kept my peripheral sight trained on her.
The first thing she noticed were the chess pieces upon the map. My baldric, slug over the chair, held her attention next. She unsheathed the sword, admired the steel and made sure I was watching.
“So, traveling to Chardogne are we?” She eyed my throat with malice intention. “You have troops in Canfren, Voorhaden, Skald, Diesen, and Nouene. Dietrien is to stay in Xaxyia, you have a spy in Santa Briara. What’s your next move?” She returned my sword to its sheath and took a closer look at the chess pieces upon the unmarked map.
"This bishop here,” She tapped the piece atop Lazar Sa a’s Tower. “Could only be the great Lazar SA A’S. Oh, I’m sorry, the great and powerful Lazar SA A’S.” Her impression of the sorcerer almost broke my stoicism. Almost. “Be careful Chartan. He might find offense in being just a bishop. Does he owe you a favor? What did you steal for him, theif?”
Holding my grunt while she dismantled my plot proved difficult. Dauphine was not just clever, she was intelligent. A perfect queen.
"But the other...” She tapped the head of the other bishop piece over Rouelle. “Must have been a court sorcerer. Bowden perhaps?"
Decades of training prevented any outward slip. If I were a lesser man, she could probably devise more.
"Is he alive?" She whispered. Bowden meant something to her. So many had been ripped away from her life. Closing my eyes was all I could do to prevent her divining more of my plans. I could not jeapordize Bowden's scheme. He was in enough danger as it was.
Dauphine picked up the queen piece from the map and set it aside on the table. “But, you can leave me out of it.”
Her skirt tickled my face as she went by and slammed the door. A draw. She hadn’t acknowledged her status but I hadn’t let it go.
Taking the queen piece, I put it back on the unmarked map.
Perhaps she needed stronger coercion. That could be arranged.
Until next week! Happy reading!