The Fey Bride of Elfland: Cp4A

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The Fey Bride of Elfland
Chapter Four – Part One
The Home of My Wife

I met the others of my wife’s dance troupe after leaving the throne room. We had barely passed back out through the doors when I was surrounded by a number of light, delicate elf ladies. I considered Rabbit the loveliest simply because she was mine. If King Naderron had bestowed another upon me, I probably would have treasured her appearance as well. All of them moved, so I really did not get a good impression of their forms. They wanted to meet me, and Rabbit seemed eager to show me off, so I did have moments of being able to gaze upon each of the six others beside my wife who danced before the king.

As an official escorted us to our chamber, he informed us that supper would not be long before occurring. As a secondary child of the monarch, I would have a place in the main chamber. Rabbit was informed that she would also have a seat set for her beside mine, although would not be free to join me until after her official duty had been completed. We both agreed, and upon coming to a strong looking door set in what I considered a main hallway the official stopped to inform us of something personal.

“Master Kevin, let me say that you handled yourself well before the king and his primary children. I hope that you have a happy life here.”

I cheerfully replied, “I hope for that as well. I suspect that I have a lot to learn, but I did not come here to be a disruptive influence.”

“That is good to know.”

He opened the door for us, and my wife and I entered a rather pleasant apartment. It consisted of little more than a front room with a small table and a few padded chairs with one huge elegant bedroom and one lesser room with a simple bed and area for bathing. Annie stepped out of this room, and spoke once the door to the apartment was closed.

“So, you have become a slave owner, Kevin?”

I sternly replied, “You have to watch statements like that here, Annie, as the implication is that you have become a slave.”

I saw her body stiffen as a shocked expression came to her face, then she knelt and said, “I do have no other place here. It also gives me the chance to watch over you. I will serve as best I can.”

Her actions disturbed me, even as I felt them to be the best option for her. I knew basically nothing of my surroundings, and certainly had no idea how to get her home. While her occupation might be as a slave, I approached to assure her that I was still her friend.

“Take your notes, sociology major. They might come in use one day.”

She did lift her eyes upon me as she said, “Yes, Master. Is there anything you need?”

“We need to do what we can while preparing for supper.” I turned to my wife to ask, “Rabbit, do you have anything for Annie to do?”

My wife answered, “Certainly, as I must be quick to return and prepare with my dance troupe. Come, Annie.” My wife then moved to kiss me before saying, “And there is nothing that shall be revealed that you cannot see.”

I replied, “I will be preparing as well, which is something Annie probably should not see.”

“Of course, so you go behind the screen.”

I had seen such things in movies, but never really considered them pieces of furniture. I however found the screen useful as I changed into a better set of clothes while my wife also altered her appearance. While Rabbit had been in something closer to the style of Roman toga, she now put on a light dress of a thin violet linen through which I could see certain undergarments. What few items of jewelry were still on her body, she took off only replacing her earrings with delicate gold studs shaped into birds. When I came from behind the screen, Rabbit moved to kiss me, then told me that she hoped I enjoyed watching her dance.

It unnerved me that after my wife left the room, Annie looked to me and asked, “Is there anything you need for me to do, Master?”

“No, Annie. I am sure that there is food for you as well. You might need to ask around, but basically that is what I will be doing as well.”

“Of course, Master, as we both need to learn our place.”

I looked into her eyes. While there was a hope of the fire I sensed in her before coming to this land, I however found myself wondering what to do about her gentle, submissive gaze. What bothered me was not that she was under some enchantment, but whether it should concern me. Having her as my slave enabled me to assure she was treated properly. I also had seen no sign of people being mistreated. I thus suspected that all would go well, and when I got a chance I could send Annie home where she would return to her normal self. I thus shifted my gaze from her eyes to looking at the rest of her, and finding nothing to complain about I mentioned that we both needed to find our way to where we would eat.

Just being a proper gentleman, I had Annie step out the door ahead of me. I then told her to stop as I saw the guards to each side of the doorway. Their presence did not take me by surprise, as I had seen armored figures on station at other doorways, but I had ignored their presence at my own door. Looking at one, I indicated Annie as I sought advice on what to do with her.

“We are both new to the castle. I figure that the main dining room should not be too hard to find, but my slave needs to find her way to the kitchen.”

They both came to attention, but only the guard that I had spoken to responded. “Yes, Master Kevin. I could show her. As for you, return down this corridor and basically head back to the throne room.”

“Thank you.”

Again both saluted, but only the one I had spoken to took to leading Annie. She did not look back to me, but lowered her head as she walked behind the guard. Wondering about my behavior, I followed my memory of the steps I had taken to reach my apartment.

I did recognize the hall, although the fully armored men coming to attention and opening the double doors did help let me know that I had reached the right part of the castle. The throne was still in its place, but now there were tables about the perimeter of the room. While there was a wide place in the middle of the ring of places to sit, I wondered about the room for a dance troupe to move. Guessing that I would learn, I looked around for someone to show me my place to dine.

“Must have had a rough childhood.”

I turned to see the primary eldest child, Chamorrick, approach from a place in the corner. His hair appeared gray, although I noticed that it had a blue tint and not one of age. His eyes were about the same blue as mine, although I had to slightly look down to see them. I nodded to him, but stayed silent. I guess that he expected me to speak, but only did so after a period of silence on my part.

“I meant your quick claim not to be a bastard.”

“You would have to know the parents I had to understand. Actually, though, it was not a bad childhood.”

I guess that my response was not scathing enough, as he kept a rather cold tone to his voice as he tried another phrase to get me to react. “You actually came here because of that trollop my father gave you for a wife.”

“Our father, and yes. If I am not wanted, I will take my wife and leave. I did not come here with any dreams of power. If you are in line for the throne, well and good. I would rather a ruler that I can converse with than one who does not listen to the people he is to serve.”

“No, no, my good half-brother. I don’t believe that you understand. It just takes a certain – attitude to get along in a place like this. I really was not expecting someone of your personality. As for Asarebbaire, I guess that she is able to please a man.”

I recognized the actual name of my wife. What caught my attention however was the casual way the name was said. I decided that I needed to say something, and felt pleased that something did come to mind.

“I guess that any lady can fill the basic requirements of a wife. Having one so willing to make me glad to have her for a wife is something special. Rabbit does that, and I can only hope you find such a lady as well.”

“I guess.” Chamorrick was distracted as I was by a lady approaching, and as she curtsied to us he introduced her. “Kevin, I don’t believe father introduced you to Gaolerra. She is a half-sister to both of us. Quite the beauty, but really of common birth. If you see other strange young men wandering about, they are probably suitors for her.”

She looked to me while saying, “None at present, for which I am glad, as it allows me to learn about Kevin. Our father did get around.”

I replied, “Both of my parents got around, which caused me not to argue with Rabbit when she mentioned me being the son of King Naderron.”

Both of my half-siblings chuckled, then Gaolerra asked what I felt was a basic question. “Do you enjoy dancing, Kevin?”

“Cannot say that I enjoy it, but I enjoy the socializing that can go along with a dance. Rabbit moves rather quickly however, but I have found my movements with her rather interesting.”

Again they both chuckled. Chamorrick excused himself with Gaolerra stating that she would show me to my seat. I thanked her, but she simply moved a hand to indicate a direction as she spoke.

“Your place should be obvious, as your slave is there to wait on you.”

It did bother me to see Annie curtsey upon seeing me look to her. I however did not know what I could possibly do about her situation. I simply thanked Gaolerra for her help, then headed to allow Annie to perform her duty.

Being someone that did enjoy the outdoors, I had heard stories of what people ate before our modern methods enabled a more varied diet. Having enjoyed a meal of bugs prepared by my wife, I found myself actually interested in what I would be served in her home. The food came to the table not on plates, but on large serving platters. A large leg of meat was placed on my table, then followed by platters of various breads and beans. Annie moved to see that I gained what I could not reach, and other servants did the same for others. As I filled my plate, I found myself feeling that I was eating a regular plate lunch and not some exotic cuisine of this strange land.

The entertainment for the meal was not just my wife’s dancing troupe. A minstrel came out and told a story of a knight rescuing a fair maiden from some satyrs. I had seen such creatures in the castle, so wondered if they would react hearing their kind depicted as such ravishing monsters. They laughed along with others in the methods used to rescue the lady, and I felt good that political correctness was not as strong here as it was back on the college campus. The minstrel had mostly strum his lyre as a means to hold attention between verses, but at the end of his tale he plucked a steady beat as the dancing troupe entered the room.

Again I saw the fast fluid movement of Rabbit, although this time supported by six other dancers. They did not perform a calisthenics routine with some special moves, as would a cheerleading squad or some rap group. They ran, although visually they appeared to glide. They moved their arms, but I saw their facial expressions or certain images presented without really registering the appendages at work. The minstrel had told the tale of the rescue of the lady, but now I felt a witness to the events as the dance brought out the emotions and actions in a more vivid manner than the spoken verses.

I noticed that people did speak acknowledgement of the entertainment. They had been relatively quiet at the end of the minstrel’s performance, although in him keeping up a tempo on his lyre I felt that he was just the opening act for the dancers. At the conclusion, he bowed with the ladies.

All the other dancers flowed back out the door, but Rabbit gained a rather elegant robe from a guard and came back to move where she could sit next to me. She did pause to speak with some seated in the room, but soon enough I found her exchanging a quick kiss with me before settling beside me speaking of being hungry. Annie whispered her own pleasure in the performance while helping Rabbit get helpings of what she desired.

And Kevin learns even more about the land and people.