For the next few weeks we’re sharing snippets of a new story, tentatively titled Something Amis in Alerald, a LGBT Fairy Tale.
Princess Reanna is having a confrontation with her parents, King Reynard and Queen Amica, over her not wanting to marry any of the Prince’s that have come looking for her hand. The Queen is suspicious about the closeness between the Princess and her serving girl, Nahla. The King announces a ball, where Reanna will either choose one of the suitors, or the King will choose one. Reanna comes up with a plan. She’s been secreting food away, and has been spending time in the stables to familiarize herself with the horses. But then…Catherine Hyll, Princess of Zaylor arrives at the ball and throws Reanna’s emotions into a whirlwind.
This week in Tuesday Tales, we’re writing to the prompt ‘hip’. Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read more snippets from several different genres.
Trumpets sounded, to announce Princess Reanna. The crowd stilled and turned to see the young girl that they were there to honor. The eligible men in the room salivated when they saw her youth and her beauty. Although, the dowry they sought was a tempting prize of itself. They all lusted after the riches that were promised to the man chosen as the Princess’s husband. Because of the largess of the dowry, they’d anticipated a plump and ugly duckling. Instead a young, elegant swan stood in their vision, filling the old men with lustful longing, and rising the trousers of the younger ones who still had vigor under the covers.
One by one, the young – and old – men were brought and presented to Reanna. Others danced while the introductions were made. The men were chaste to leave, not wanting to abandon the lovely lass to the attentions of the other suitors. Soon Reanna was flocked in a throng of drooling men, each clamoring to garner her admiration.
Reminds me of a pack of wild, hungry dogs, snarling around a chunk of meat, Reanna thought. She scanned the room, searching for a glimpse of her beloved Nahla. Not seeing her, she turned and caught the bold stare of a set of obsidian eyes. An enchantress with ebony tresses and a plunging neckline accenting the full cleavage it surrounded stood across the room. Reanna’s breath caught and she felt a sudden rush of longing in her loins. She longed to stride across the room and fondle the breast that threatened to spill out the gown.
What would all these men do then? The thought of how the circling vultures would respond if Reanna had the courage to act on the thoughts in her head caused her to laugh with pleasure. The men preened, all certain that they were the ones that brought the glow to Reanna’s face.
Reanna turned to find her mother. Seeing her not far away, she sidled over. “Mother, who is that woman over there? The one in the daffodil gown and the jet black hair.”
Queen Amica turned where Reanna’s gaze was locked. “Her? That’s Catherine Hyll, of Zaylor. Haven’t you met before?”
“No, I’ve never seen her before.”
“Are you certain? I’m sure she’s been at gatherings we’ve been to.”
“No, Mother. I’m positive. If we would have met before, I would have remembered her.”
“We shall remedy that. Come, dear, I’ll introduce you.” As the two women made their way across the room, the Queen bent her head and whispered, “I’m sure she’s just here to pick up one of your crumbs. She hasn’t been able to find a husband either.”
Catherine and Reanna’s eyes were locked and never wavering as the two women made their way across the room. The images that came unbidden to Reanna brought a pinkness to her cheeks.
“Catherine, it’s come to my attention that you’ve never met my daughter. Princess Reanna, this is Princess Catherine, come from the north, from the Land of Zaylor.”
Reanna thrust her hand out. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m so glad you traveled all this way for my ball. Was it a long and tedious trip?”
Catherine enveloped Reanna’s hand with both her own, closing them around the dainty offering and filling it with her warmth. “The pleasure, my dear, is mine. No, the trip wasn’t horrid. Two days journey is all.”
“Two days? You’ve been on the road that long? Then you must stay here and rest, as our guests,” Reanna blurted out. “Mother?”
“Why, of course,” Queen Amica replied. “I’ve had several rooms made up for those coming a distance. You must stay.” A tap on her shoulder turned the Queen from the conversation as she gave her attention to another Queen from a nearby land.
No one seemed to notice that the two girls stood in rapt discussion, their hands still clasped together.
Dancers whirling around the room intruded on the guest’s space that lingered along the sidelines. They soon forced the women back closer to the wall. They dropped hands as Reanna turned slightly and tried to appear that she was watching the room, instead of the ravishing beauty standing beside her. They stood closely, almost hip to hip, as they spoke, oblivious to anyone else around them.
“So, I hear you’re to marry one of the men that are sniffing around you,” Catherine said.
“That’s my father’s plan. That doesn’t mean that it’s mine.” At these words, Reanna had a quick moment of despair as she thought of Nahla, the love of her life. What am I doing, entranced by another, when I love one? Then, Catherine spoke again, and all thoughts of Nahla fled.
“Are you drawn to any of them?”
“No, none at all. I can honestly say that there’s not one man out there that tempts me, nor delights me.” Reanna spoke breathlessly as the fever of longing filled her. “What of you? I hear you’ve not wed. Is there one out there that you long for?”
The soft pink tip of Catherine’s tongue etched the length of her lips as she hesitated before answering. “Not I. I have no desire to bed with a man.”
“Me either! I thought I was the only one. Just the thought is revolting.”
Finding that they had a common bond sent a rush through both of them. They continued speaking, leaning closer together, and their talk becoming more intense.
Nahla quietly made her way around the room, carrying a serving tray filled with tankards of the household’s finest mead. She offered the goods to the visitors, while keeping an eye out for Reanna. She finally spotted her ensconced in the back, talking to Catherine. Seeing Reanna standing there, so close and cozy with the visiting Princess from Zaylor, filled Nahla with a sense of dread and foreboding.