Bellona holds Clarissant’s hand as they step through the portal, not knowing what to expect once on the other side.
“I hope you are sure about this!” the queen says as they step through the portal.
Once they land, they open their eyes to find themselves in the House of Andromeda, on their butts no less, which is not a dignified landing at all, landing on someone’s butt, especially if one is of royal blood, but all are safe and sound. Everyone, including the sovereign, hopes that whatever she has planned will succeed. She stated the main purpose for their presence in the United States of America was to find her a consors.
The manor, a grand manor with a high iron gate out front with a long driveway leading up to the house, took three years of careful planning and construction, and is coming along nicely. Two very large front doors, with two large potted plants on either side, adorn the house. The entryway, large enough for three people to stand side by side, has a coat closet near the door. Once inside, there is a seating area with plush carpeting so soft and luxurious the queen could not help but to sink her toes into it. The queen does enjoy the luxuries life has to offer. There is a study, a laboratory, a bathing room, the archives, kitchen, and the dining room downstairs, with the sleeping chambers upstairs. Security is of the utmost importance, along with the idea that Andromeda’s culture needs to stay intact. Andromeda does not have doors on any of the rooms, such as the sleeping chamber or the bathing room, they have draperies. Convincing the architect and the decorator that this is Andromeda’s culture is not working, so the sovereign and the queen see to these details themselves, and that is why it took three years to create the manor. All that is needed now is the garden then all will be complete.
A year has now passed since that undignified entry into their new living establishment, with the day to day household chores running smoothly, the queen herself seeing to it that it does. Of the many duties the queen has is to see to the organization of social events, one of which is to ascertain that the sovereign remembers their dinner invitation on Saturday. The House of Andromeda is two houses down from the House of Avalon, and Prime Minister Ethelmona has invited Sovereign Bellona and Queen Clarissant over for the last meal on Saturday, to celebrate and welcome their arrival. Another of her duties is to organize a dinner, to be held at the House of Andromeda, to greet everyone and bid them welcome.
Making sure that the sovereign’s office is as Bellona likes it to be is another of her duties. “Desdemona, have you sorted the archives yet?” Desdemona has been assigned the role of advisor to our sovereign, and though she has intelligence and integrity, Desdemona’s coordination is slightly lacking.
The queen must see that all is well, and that any business to be had, the household will be prepared for it. Therefore, she must be sure that Desdemona has completed her orders as given to her by the sovereign, and that is to make sure that the archives are intact and neatly organized where they belong before Desdemona has any sort of accident.
Once the day’s work is complete, the queen seeks out the sovereign, asking, “Sovereign, are you in the mood for a little walk, just around the neighborhood, to enjoy the daylight that is left?”
“Clarissant, my queen, of course I would be delighted in a little walk with you.” As Bellona stands up from her desk, she stops for a moment “Clarissant, have I been looking in the wrong places to find a companion. To listen to Alarica tell her tale, it seems so easy. We have been here for a full year, and nothing, no one has inspired me to take them in as my consors.” Bellona continues to dress herself with a cloak, and making sure she has her keys. Two guards follow at a discreet distance, not that she feels she needs them, but she would rather be too cautious than not at all.
“I cannot answer your question, my sovereign. I am sorry. I can only say that perhaps you are trying too hard in your search, instead of letting it happen.” Bellona thinks about what her queen has said. She should just let it happen, stop trying. Bellona has come to America with the hope of finding someone, someone to confide in, someone to explore the world with, most of all, someone to chase away the loneliness she has always felt in her heart. Where are you, my consors? Are we not meant to be?
The sovereign and the queen leave the manor for a walk, to enjoy the sunset as much as they can through the smoggy haze. Neither is paying much attention, really, that is, until someone runs into them headlong without stopping to apologize. The last thing that is heard is a string of curses as the interloper runs away. Bellona stops the guards from giving chase, for a reason that only she knows, and has never explained the reason, only saying that sometimes things just happen.
The week progresses what seems rather slowly, especially since the sovereign seems to be brooding over the matter of finding a consors. She constantly asks her queen the same question over and over again, if she should continue looking for her consors here in the United States. Her family fears that the sovereign will lose her heart if she does not find someone soon.
It is time to leave for Avalon’s manor, everyone hoping the dinner with Prime Minister Ethelmona will cheer her spirits.
The House of Avalon is a short distance away, so a walk is decided as their mode of transportation. Once they arrive at the manor, they are shown to the front door, and as it opens, it smells of the spicy, clean scent of Avalon, not the awful polluted air of America, and it makes them miss their homeland that much more. America is not so bad, but it is not home. Nevertheless, the purpose of this trip is to find the sovereign’s consors. Very well, the search shall continue.
Ethelmona introduces herself then leads Sovereign Bellona and Queen Clarissant to the dining table.
“Prime Minister Ethelmona, how long have you been here?” the queen asks.
“I have been here for two years, since Sovereign Cyan Alarica’s sudden return to Avalon. Things have not progressed much since her departure, I am sorry to say.” Ethelmona takes a sip of tea to think her next point. “Let us speak of business another time, how have you been getting along in America? I must say it is a lot to get used to. It helps me to appreciate Avalon that much more. The people here seem so busy, cold, and too cautious, and the air is awful.” Prime Minister Ethelmona and Queen Clarissant carry on with the conversation, while Bellona eats her meal in silence, not saying a word.
She remains lost in her thoughts, even on their way back home.
“Tobie, Tristan, be sure to be ready in five minutes. The bus will be here and you need to be on it.”
“Okay, we will,” Tristan, the older twin, yells out of his bedroom door.
Tristan is outgoing and adventurous, as well as having a knack for getting into trouble. Just as soon as he got out of trouble, he immediately got himself back into it. Finding friends is something he never has trouble with, or his schoolwork, the straight A’s on his report card proving that.
“Cari, will you help me button dith up peath?” Tobie, the youngest of the twins, who is also the more introverted of the two, asks.
Tobias, or Tobie, is the complete opposite of his brother, shying away from people and never speaking to anyone. His lisp might be the influence in that, although it just does not seem to be in his nature to socialize with other kids. His family is all that he needs, is his thought. His grades are average, not horrible just average.
Carissa, or Cari, is in her senior year of high school, and in charge of the house and the boys. A troublemaker, according to her record, the fighting, delinquency, and lack of supervision adding up to create a lost and loveless child. She has mixed feelings about this being her last year of school. Yes, she wants to leave school because she feels it never did anything for her. No, she does not want to leave because school is the only safe haven she has.
Many have asked where the parents are. Why are they not doing anything? The answer to both questions is that Carissa and the boys are a product of society’s ugly side of life, the side that is thought of as ‘that only happens in the movies, not in real life. Who would believe it?’ Little did anyone realize at the time, that Carissa and the boys are just what the sovereign needed.
With only an empty house to get back to, there is no one to answer to. The thief brings in the bottles of wine before abandoning the van. Then a non-emergency phone number is called to anonymously report the abandoned vehicle. With that having been done, relaxation is in order. “I’m gonna fuckin’ drink this rich shit to see if it . . . it . . . it . . . aww, fush it.”
Three bottles later, the thief passed out on their bed, another bottle still in hand.
It is the weekend, which means that Carissa will be busy. Other children will be enjoying their day with their friends. Carissa, however, has a job, a job that always keeps her busy on the weekends, and always makes her rich. But it is also a job that causes her to be disgusted with herself.
Her mother was the one who introduced her into the business so Carissa could be another source of income, as people always told her how precious and adorable her daughter looked. Her mother used that to her advantage, and used her young daughter as another font to bring in money to support her habit of drugs and alcohol. The job would make her rich and expose her to the glamour that most people only dream about. The majority of the money that Carissa made for the services she provided went directly to her mother to pay for her mother’s addiction. But Carissa kept some of the money, to pay for the daily cost of living. Whatever little was left over Carissa would keep, no matter how much her mother demanded.
The people in her neighborhood never knew what was going on, although they suspected it was nothing good. The boys stay at a prearranged location out of the way, out of the element, and out of danger.
“The ass-wipe fuckin’ tried to give me only $100 for tonight’s fuckin’ service. That’s bullshit. That’s total bullshit. For what I do to that cunt-suckin’ asshole, he owes me ten grand, and he fuckin’ knows that. I don’t go through this fuckin’ shit for nothin’.” Carissa leaves the office of the CEO of Neptune Incorporated, which has been on the list of Fortune’s top 500 companies three years in a row. He does not have any intention of marrying anyone, liking the life of loveless relationships, a day in the Bahamas one day, and a day in Crete the next day. Carissa was a part of that life, a life that he liked as long as she was a part of it. He had a certain taste for young girls; the younger they are, the better he liked them.
There are other men that have a similar taste, a taste for the young. What nobody realizes is that there are certain government officials that share this lifestyle, and are willing to look the other way as long as they are rewarded. And rewarded they are, with sex, money, and drugs. If anybody ever finds out about this, well, it would change the confidence people place in their government.
Carissa only just made it on time for school Monday morning, barely taking part in any of the lessons in her classes due to her hung-over state. The teachers did not seem to care, just another kid that has gone the wrong way, a product of parents failing to take responsibility for their own children. The teachers just shrugged their shoulders, letting her get by, just barely. As much as she would have liked to go home and sleep the rest of the day, she does not. When school was let out, she went straight home, the boys needed to be taken care of, as did the house. Maybe at the end of the day she would be able to take care of herself.
“Cari, can I go over to Tom’s house for pizza?” Tristan asks, hoping she will be in a good mood and say yes, although the likelihood of that happening on a Monday is rare.
“No. Now get ready for supper. It’ll be done in fifteen. Now go . . . get . . . ready,” Carissa replies as she gets close to his face, pointing down the hallway.
Tristan had figured his sister would deny him permission, but felt he had to try. “Okay.” He turns around and goes to his room, where he waits until supper is called.
The weeks seem to go by as if through a haze for Carissa, remembering nothing and looking forward to just about nothing. One Friday night she is given the assignment of being an escort for an official, accompanying him to a party that is to be given at an embassy the following evening. She will be paid $15,000 for her services, so even if she does not want to go, the money earned for being an escort is a nice enticement to attend the party, with the so-called after-party celebration to follow. First thing Saturday morning, she is picked up at her house to go shopping for the appropriate dress to be worn that evening.
The limousine arrives right on time to take them to the embassy. Once there, she feels disgusted, with herself, with the guests, it did not matter, really, she only wants to be paid and leave.
A month has passed since the mysterious disappearance of the wine from the party given by thesovereign and her queen at their home, and now, Sovereign Bellona and Queen Clarissant are in attendance at the English embassy at a party. Earlier that evening, as soon as Carissa walked in, she caught Bellona’s eye. Bellona’s gaze constantly followed Carissa and her escort, knowing where they were at all times. Neither the sovereign nor the queen knew Carissa was so young, since the way she was dressed and how her make-up was applied made her appear to be much older. That was the point, though, to appear to be something that is not real. That night Bellona noted that Carissa did not feel comfortable at the party, her actions being of someone playacting the part of an escort. Why though, why would she need to play a part? It is not until much later that all was revealed, and everyone was in shock to learn the truth.
Bellona and Clarissant are getting ready to leave the party, when Carissa’s escort for the night approaches the royal couple, expecting a tête-à-tête. Sovereign Bellona is a woman of very few words, and that is where the queen comes in, relying upon her to carry the conversation. As the escort and Clarissant talk, Carissa intrigues Bellona. The sovereign may not say much, but once you learn how to read her emotions, she is an open book, and that is how the queen knows she is very interested in Carissa and keeps the escort occupied with their talk. Bellona is very interested in Carissa, so much so that she starts a conversation of her own with the young woman, surprising the queen.
“Good evening, I am Bellona. Who would you be?”
“Evening, my name is Carissa. Oh, it looks like we’re going now, see you later, bye.” Carissa puts her coat on immediately and practically runs out the door ahead of her escort.
Later that evening, Carissa strolls down the streets on the way back to her home, stumbling, really, not cognizant of her environment. Bellona is outside the iron gates, just standing there, saying she is taking in the atmosphere, when Carissa stumbles by. Bellona catches Carissa around the waist to help her keep from falling, and causes Carissa to panic. With the screaming and yelling, Bellona has no choice but to let go. There would be another time and another place, no matter how much time it took.
That night, Bellona announces she has found her consors. Now, all that is needed to be done is to convince Carissa she is the one. No one in the manor is sure of that, not even the queen. Of all the choices presented to her, a hooligan, she chose a hooligan, and far be it for anyone to question her judgment.
“Tobie, Tristan, we’re leaving now. We’re not coming back here again. The fuckin’ bitch is dead. I’m not her whore anymore. Fuck this shit, we are going to leave this rats’ nest behind. I’m done doing things for the highest bidder. I’m fuckin’ sick of it. It’s time to go, come on.” Carissa has saved up what money she could to rent a small apartment, and found a job working at the wharf during the midnight shift. She would not be rich with the new job, as not having a diploma narrowed the job opportunities, but it would put food on the table, and a roof over their heads. It would also hopefully provide her with a way to change her life.
At this time she does not realize that sometimes life comes full circle, with the past coming back to haunt a person.
Tobie and Tristan are doing well in their new home, with Tobie often spending time with the neighbor’s children. It is not a lot, but he is socializing, at least. Tristan is reluctant to the change at first, not socializing and his grades falling. As time passes, however, he realizes that this change is for the better. His sister is happy, and he knows what time she will be getting home. This change might work after all.
The sovereign arrives at the wharf and searches for someone to help her find the furniture piece. Seeing someone, a very short man who only comes up to the sovereign’s breast line, with short, pale blonde hair, and wearing a thick padded vest, as, being close to the ocean meant the air would be cool, a long sleeve shirt, denim pants, and those horrid work boots, Bellona calls to him to get his attention. As she did so, she is surprised to see it is not a man, but a woman. The face looks familiar to her, but does not recognize her immediately because the woman is wearing sunglasses, and the hair shorter in length, but still she seems familiar to Bellona.
Bellona realizes she has been recognized when the young woman makes a hasty retreat, but is still in a fog as to why the familiarity. The sovereign is disappointed, not because she cannot locate someone to help her find the furniture piece, but because she was not able to study the person that got away.
Later that day, as Bellona ponders the events at the wharf, her mind pictures the young woman at the wharf, and compares the image to the faces of people she has met since arriving in America. The fog in her mind seems to suddenly lift like a veil as the image finds its match. It is Carissa.
Bellona returns to the wharf day after day trying to find her, searching for her, and not succeeding. One day on the way back to the car, a hoist is lifting a heavy crate that is not stable and starts slipping. Bellona is not paying attention, and as she passes underneath, someone shoots out from nowhere and tackles the sovereign out of the way of the crate, which crashes noisily not too far from them. Bellona gets her wish that day, because there, on top of the sovereign, is the one she has been seeking, looking down with her sky blue eyes. “Carissa, it is you. You must come with me. There is much to discuss.”
“Look, lady, whoever you are, I don’t go with just anyone, so just fuck off, okay. Go back to your own husband and play with him. I’m sure he would appreciate it.”
“Carissa…that is not the language used by a lady, come back with me and there we will talk.”
“Lady, I don’t know who the fuck you are . . .” Carissa is not able to finish her sentence, as a hand is immediately placed on her mouth. Despite her attempts, the hand does not move.
“As I said, Carissa, that is not the language used by a lady.” Bellona has always been a stickler for proper etiquette.
The hand finally lowers and Carissa tries again “And as I said, I don’t know who the fuck you are, but I’ve got work to do, and I can’t get to it with you here doing whatever it is you’re doing.” Carissa walks away, but would not leave well enough alone, adding, “And you’re the fuck welcome!”
Now that Bellona has found Carissa again, it is only a matter of time before she will have Carissa.
Bellona works relentlessly to formulate a plan to lure Carissa back to the manor.
The sovereign does not know that in order for Carissa to have made it this far, Carissa needed to have a strong will, a very strong will. Nevertheless, Bellona believes that she has found her consors, and will do anything to achieve that goal. It is, after all, what she came here for.
Bellona orders a piece of needless furniture with the intention of enticing Carissa, spending a while on the telephone speaking with someone from the wharf. Whatever was said brought her joy, as she left her office with a large smile. The following day finds the sovereign humming and singing, which is strange, because the sovereign does not hum or sing impulsively. There must be a purpose, and that purpose eludes everyone until about midday, when the doorbell rings, announcing someone’s arrival. Low and behold, there stands Carissa, holding a clipboard with documents attached. The queen is amused, and eager, to see the outcome of this day. Would it work or would it not? That is the question.
Carissa stands in the entryway, tapping her foot as she stares at the clipboard, not bothering to look up as someone approaches. Bellona slowly and gently brings the chin up hoping the eyes will follow, which they do. “I knew it was you. I knew it. I don’t know how you fuckin’ got my asshole of a boss to agree to this, but . . .” The rest of the speech is thankfully muffled by the hand of the sovereign.
“Out there you may have jurisdiction, however, in the House of Andromeda, I have jurisdiction. Listen to me as I tell you that a lady must be wary of the words she speaks. Someone is always listening. I will remove my hand only with a promise from you that the vulgarities, which you speak, will be kept silent. All I need is a nod your head if you agree.” Everyone knew she was in trouble due to the tone the sovereign was using. It is the tone that means the listener better be listening, or face the consequences. They stand there for quite a while, silently staring at one another. Carissa finally nods her head and gives Bellona the clipboard for her to sign.
“I will show you where to place it. Follow me, will you?”
Carissa leads a rather large male called Tiny, who carries the piece into the house then back to the laboratory. Bellona stands Carissa aside while she speaks to Tiny, who shortly after exits, leaving Carissa behind. “Hey, look, you rich bitch, I . . .”
“Carissa, you already promised you would not use any more vulgarities in your speech. Would you like me to believe you are a liar?”
“Look, bitch, I really don’t fuckin’ care what you think of me. Not only that, bitch, but you know fuckin’ what?” The last sentence is said silently, but the following is said loud enough for everyone to hear. “My fuckin’ ride left without me, and that asshole of an idiot can’t find his way out of the fuckin’ john! What do you fuckin’ want me to do?” Carissa starts pushing Bellona and is astonished when Bellona does not act or react, she just stands there. “I fuckin’ asked you a question.” With that said, she leaves, with Bellona still standing there.
The captain of the guards is called to see to the matter personally, but Bellona waves off the captain, telling her, her presence is not necessary.
“Clarissant, my queen, may I speak with you a moment?” Bellona calls her queen into the study, who sits down in a chair facing the desk, waiting for her sovereign to say something. Instead, she sits there, just looking at the queen. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, she begins. “Clarissant, I will leave you in charge of the manor until my return. I believe I finally found my consors. The problem is, though, convincing her she is worth more than working at the docks. I will call at night, so if you should be in need of anything of me, let me know then. I will leave tomorrow to find her. Keep in mind, Clarissant, sometimes the best way to convince someone to believe in themselves, is for you to believe in them first.”
The queen wonders why she would need to know this, but refrained from asking.
Bellona first rents an apartment in the same building as Carissa’s, the room reeking of old odors of one type or another. The walls are so thin she will be able to hear the occupants in the next apartment snoring. Rodents, cockroaches, vermin of different species seem to provide the sovereign company. The neighbors are of ill repute, either ladies of the night, or drug dealers. Once the queen has her first glimpse of the apartment, she begs her to come back to the manor, it not being necessary for a sovereign to live in such conditions.
“Clarissant, I would not be able to understand Carissa if I lived in the safety of the manor. I must be here to understand her life, her mind, and maybe if I am lucky, her heart. That is why I am here.”
“But, sire, surely there must be another way. Do you feel all of this is worth it for just one person? Bellona, I beg of you to reconsider the appointment.”
“No, Clarissant, I will not reconsider. My decision is final,” Bellona stated, turning to look out the window.
“She is my sovereign and I must obey, despite my own feelings on the matter,” the queen whispers to no one.
Once the queen arrives back at the manor, she spots her diary laying upon the desk in the study. The queen picks up the scroll and begins to write.
I know of several people on Andromeda that would be very appreciative of the appointment of being her consors. Why did we come here? Why must we be here? Is she in that much need of a consors? If she were to ask me for my assistance in finding someone appropriate as her consors, we would still be in Andromeda, in the public arena, as I announce the perspective appointees. I am her wife! These were my immediate first thoughts as I arrived here in America. Time had passed, and slowly, I began to see my sovereign’s spirits plummet the longer time went by.
Is there something I can do to bring about the Bellona that once was on Andromeda? I do love her, more as a close friend, yes, however, these would be times I would miss the Bellona I knew as a child. Supper had been had at the House of Avalon with Prime Minister Ethelmona, and nothing had changed, absolutely nothing.
Now she chooses to stay in squalor. She says to help her better understand her consors. She is a sovereign whose life must be protected, and that cannot be done under such conditions. Why must she insist? I pray the deity knows the answer, and that the deity protects her.
The queen is sitting underneath a tree in the back lot, speaking to a squirrel, it seems. “I need someone to help me understand why it is our sovereign feels this way. I dare not ask Queen Melisandra, for she is rather short sighted. Desdemona has a world of knowledge, however, only in relation to be able to find the facts in the scrolls. This leaves Sovereign Cyan Alarica to ask why it is. I need help to understand my sovereign. I am her queen, and in order to serve my sovereign, I must know why she is determined to live in squalor. We had a rather heated discussion, the sovereign and I. She is my sovereign, and while I do not love her, as two lovers should, she is still my wife, and I do care for her. I remember that conversation well.”
“Sovereign Bellona, I protest you staying in all that squalor for whom you believe is your consors. I cannot believe that you have gone mad.”
“Queen Clarissant, be careful of the words you speak and to whom you are addressing them to. My decisions are my decisions, therefore my consequences to pay. If you cannot stand by me then feel free to request a separation.”
Though it was tempting, a separation is not something that the queen will do. Not only would she lose Bellona, she would lose the throne of the queen as well. She does not see herself as someone who lives for the throne, but she does feel the role of being queen to be her destiny.
The squirrel leaves, feeling his mission is done. As the squirrel leaves, so did the queen. Later that night, she calls Alarica.
“Sovereign Cyan Alarica, please help me to understand why it is that my sovereign feels it is necessary to stay in a place of squalor to approach who she calls her consors. This consors is nothing but a hooligan.”
“Queen Clarissant, in order to understand the need, you must understand her heart. A consors cannot be chosen by anyone except your sovereign, as the consors will be her heart, her soul. You know as well as I that Bellona is in need of someone to share her heart with. The two of you are close, yes, but not so close as to say that she would not be able to live without you. You know that is so.”
“I know, I just do not understand. Perhaps it is as you say, I must understand her heart. I cannot do that because she does not let me hold her heart. Thank you, Sovereign Cyan Alarica, for speaking with me. You have given me a lot to think about. May the deity protect you.”
It has been a month since they last spoke to one another. Finally, the sovereign calls with news to say that she is bringing Carissa and the boys back to the manor. The queen is to also see that extra bedding is prepared and placed in the main sleeping chamber. No one is informed as to what has happened; only to be sure everything is prepared. The sovereign will deal with the rest.
Bellona carries Carissa, who appears sickly, her skin pale, and bones protruding, into the laboratory. The boys appear healthy, although one of them seems to find comfort by sucking his thumb. The boys are escorted into the bathing chamber, to hopefully get rid of the filth and the odor of which they seem to carry with them. With that done, a platter of food has been ordered for each of them, which they devour very quickly. Were they starving?
“Queen Clarissant, may I speak with you in the bathing chamber for a moment, please?”
“Yes, Sovereign Bellona, I will join you. The boys have been taken care of, and they are now outside playing with a few of the guards.”
“Thank you, my queen. It is good to be home in my manor once again.” Bellona continues to bathe in silence. Even after she finishes, she says nothing.
It is not until she starts dressing that she begins speaking again. “Clarissant, I have found my consors at last. She is in trouble though, as she has become dependant on abusive substances. I have given her a potion to cleanse her body of these substances. I expect her not to awaken for three days. I need for you to attend to the boys. Tobias has a gentle nature about him; therefore, he will not react well to strong positioning. Be sure that everyone is aware of this. In fact, if there is any problem with the boys, I am to be notified at once. Do you hear my words, my queen?”
“Very well, Sovereign Bellona, I hear and obey. I will be happy to carry out your orders, my sovereign.” The queen could only bow fully, with the hopes of swallowing back down the contents of her morning meal as she thought…Please, deity, help me with this.
Just as the sovereign thought, Carissa does not awaken for three days. The boys have not been a problem, though Tobias is always the last one to react to anything, nor does he speak. The queen has wondered if he is capable of speech, but the sovereign assures her that he is, though he is quite shy.
Everyone in the manor knows when Carissa gains her senses about her. “Where the fuck am I? Who is the fuckin’ shithead that kidnapped me? I want a fuckin’ answer now!” she yells as she strolls around the house.
“Carissa, in answer to your questions, you are in the House of Andromeda. You were not kidnapped. I brought you here to cleanse your body of the abusive substances you had consumed. And there is no one in my manor that fits the description you have used,” Bellona replies calmly to Carissa’s outrage.
Carissa glares at Bellona as they stand in the doorway to the study in a standoff. Carissa breaks first, and is about to speak again, when Bellona grabs her arm and turns her away from the study, only to lead Carissa to the bathing chamber. “What is that? Why the fuck did you bring me here? You brought me for a good fuck, didn’t you? Remember, I ain’t cheap, and by looking at all of this shit, I’d say you’re loaded. So I’ll charge you, bitch, to pay up front $5000 and not a fuckin’ penny less.”
“Carissa, this is the bathing chamber. After you finish bathing, ring the bell, and I will return with garments for you. I will let both Tristan and Tobias know that you have awakened. I am sure both will be very pleased to hear the news. Is there anything else?” Bellona makes a mental note of all that Carissa has been saying, feeling that if she replies to the other inquiries as well, it would only add to the anger within Carissa. Space and time is what Carissa needs, and the sovereign is willing to provide both. No matter how much space Carissa needs, or how long it takes, the sovereign is willing to give both. “Very well, I will leave you in peace, and as for privacy, please note that we are a matriarchal society, so modesty is not an issue with us. I will give you privacy, however, to be kind. I do realize that this may not be a concept of which you are accustomed to.” Bellona bows before turning around to leave the room, making sure of keeping her head down. Carissa just stands there, watching Bellona as she leaves the room.
After Carissa finishes her bath, she rings the bell as instructed. Bellona appears with a simple dress, appropriate undergarments, and a pair of boots in her arms. She starts to dress Carissa, as it is the sovereign’s duty to be sure that anyone within their household is appropriately dressed. Carissa has her opinion about that however.
“So, you do want to fuck me. Well, you know my price.” Carissa’s hands start to venture into the nether region of the sovereign, but she is not able to get very far.
“I believe this dress will fit you. The boots, however, I am not so sure. If they do not fit, please let me know, and I will find you another pair of boots. I trust your bath went well?”
“Look, bitch, you either want to fuck me or . . .”
“A lady must always be wary of her surroundings. Proper language must be used at all times whether inside or outside the household. Am I making myself clear?” Bellona always has a calm voice when she replies to Carissa. Might against might, will not always work sometimes. Might is overtaken with tenderness, Bellona reasons.
Carissa makes a strange hand sign, which Bellona believes the American’s call ‘the bird’, as she is saluted. “Yes, sir, aye-aye, sir, anything you say, sir.”
“That goes for hand signs as well. Please sit down while I lace the boots. If the boots are not laced properly, they will not fit properly.” Bellona finishes lacing the boots then stands Carissa in front of the mirror. Now that the filth has been washed off, all that is seen is what a truly beautiful lady Carissa really is. The problem, however, is convincing Carissa that it does not have to be only on the outside, but can be a reflection of what lies inside as well.
“All right, I’ll play this game. I’ll play by your rules, but just remember, I always get what I want in the end.”
“This is not a game, Carissa. This is life, though what you make of it is your choice. By the way, what is it that you want? If you tell me, I will do the best I can to see that it is carried out, within reason, of course. The boys were happy to know that you have awakened. They are anxiously waiting for the last meal to tell you their tales.”
“What do you mean what do I want? What do I want?! I already told you what I want?”
“Is that truly what you want, or is it something that you say to save yourself the heartbreak, the feeling of disgust in the end? Hoping that the other person will be appalled by the idea they would turn away. Which is it, Carissa?” Carissa starts to answer, only to have Bellona put her hand over her mouth again. “No, I do not require an answer. It is something that I feel you should ask yourself, however. The last meal will be served as the sun goes down. Listen for the bell, then walk to the room to the right and find a place to seat yourself. This is an informal occasion, so assigned seats are not necessary. Feel free to wander about if you wish, the boys are outside enjoying the day.” Bellona bows to Carissa then leaves the room, leaving Carissa standing there, speechless. If someone looked close enough, they might have seen tears in Carissa’s eyes.
What?! I am to become the caretaker of children? She brought this hooligan into our manor and expects me to care for the children? They are boys, no less. We shall see how her so-called new consors turns out to be. I am only following her orders because it is my duty, if it were a princess that would be a different matter entirely. I must have patience and understanding, and the realization that these are young boys, not men that believe the only place for a woman is tending to the household. I will be able to mold them into true men who will honor and cherish their wife, a husband that any woman on Andromeda would be proud to marry. We do have a very small population of mixed marriages, and I believe they would be suitable. Please let the deity guide me through this.
“Can I go now? I got shit to do. Oops, sorry, I got things to do.”
Bellona rolls up a scroll, finishing the document for the time being, actions done as a stalling tactic. It is also a silent lesson that means one must mind their manners, and respect should be shown to others. Carissa stands there, tapping her foot with crossed arms, watching the sovereign go about her business. She becomes impatient and turns to leave. “Carissa, I realize you are not aware of our customs, so please remember, if the draperies are closed, it means privacy is to be given. Do not apologize unless the intent is true. You have nowhere to go with nothing to do. You were fired from the job due to multiple absences, as well as being evicted from the apartment.”
“How the fuck did you find out? Mister asshole himself told you this shit, didn’t he? Well, it ain’t true.”
“Did you ever wonder what happened to your previous boss?”
“Why the fuck would I care about that asshole?”
“Then, in answer to your inquiry, your previous boss quit the job. The company needed a new manager to take his place. After reviewing your records, there was no other choice but to let you go.”
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Speak fuckin’ English, this is fuckin’ America.”
“What it means is that after your previous boss quit his position, I was employed in the interim until the company would be able to find a suitable replacement.”
“You bitch! You’re the one that fuckin’ fired me? I have kids I have to fuckin’ take care of! Don’t you have a heart? Man what the fuck am I supposed to do now?”
“Remember, Carissa, a lady needs to be aware of her surroundings, therefore proper language is to be used at all times. In addition, for the time being, the three of you will stay here. There is more than enough room for all of us.”
“I can’t fuckin’. . . oops, sorry again. I can’t believe this. You did this on purpose for the sole reason of having a threesome, didn’t you? I knew it was all too good to be true. Why can’t you just leave me alone?”
“I am not sure about the reference of having a threesome, and I will not leave you alone because as of today, you are now a part of this household.”
“I am not a part of any household other than me, mine, and my own. That’s it, that’s all, nothin’ else.”
“How would you provide shelter for the children? Tobias’ mental state is fragile, therefore he requires . . .”
“You leave them out of this. I don’t even know how you got so close to them. Tobie hates everybody.”
“I understand your anger, Carissa. And it is not hate, it is being wary of strangers, a necessary survival skill. The documents of the Appointment of the Sovereign’s Consors have been completed. All that needs to be done is for you to complete the last page. Then they will be submitted to the council for final approval.”
“What the fuck is a consort, and I won’t sign any document.”
“C-O-N-S-O-R-S not C-O-N-S-O-R-T... And the information is necessary for proper documentation in the archives.”
Carissa turns to leave at this point, but Bellona stops her by placing her hand on Carissa’s shoulder. A scuffle ensues, as Carissa attempts to throw Bellona. Bellona, being the skilled warrior, sees the movement and is able to avoid being thrown.
“It is good to see you have basic defensive skills, though they need improving. Shall we continue?”
They both stand there looking at each other, neither backing away. It is not until Tobie comes to remind the sovereign it is story time before slumbering down for the night. Bellona leaves with Tobie in hand to the sleeping chambers, leaving Carissa standing there, shocked. To look at Carissa standing there shocked in amazement that her brother had asked a stranger for a bedtime story, one would believe she was truly betrayed.
An hour passes, and Carissa is still standing there, too shocked to move. Bellona approaches. “Good, you are still here.” Bellona sits down at her desk and sorts through the scrolls, the documents to be presented to the council versus the scrolls that need to be returned to the archives. She holds the appointment documents up for Carissa to take. “Fill out the last page, if you would, it is basic information and should not take too much time to complete. You may either sit here or in the archives, whichever is more comfortable for you. It will be lights out at ten o’clock. I believe in an early start in the morning.”
Carissa takes the scrolls, but does not move, just stands there just holding them, staring at the sovereign. Bellona waits, watching Carissa. Is this the lesson she taught the queen, to never throw the first punch? “What is it, Carissa? I see you standing there with a puzzled expression.”
Carissa continues to look at Bellona. Bellona rises from behind her desk and closes the draperies. Slowly, Carissa’s confidence leaves her and she stands there, staring down at the floor with slumped shoulders, tears dripping to the floor from her eyes. Bellona does what she feels is the best thing to do. She envelops Carissa with her arms, giving Carissa all the love that she can while whispering words of love, not expecting anything in return.
After her tears have dried and her composure returns, Carissa gives the scrolls back to the sovereign for her to take. “I don’t know what you want, and I’m not doing that or anything else. I hate the clothes, and I’ll take the kids now.”
“I did not expect you to take the position immediately. Please remember, though, you are without a home and without food. The boys must be taken into consideration. The sovereign does the appointment of consors. Since I am the sovereign, I have appointed you in that position. The simplest definition I can give to you about the position would be that you would become my companion, my trusted companion. The consors is the only one that the sovereign confides in, in the matter of the heart and soul. As I train you, and as you study the Scrolls of Protocol, you will learn more about the position. I will give you a day to think about this. I need this completed as soon as possible to assure that the appointment is completed in a timely manner. The council tends to take their time. I will hold the scrolls until then.”
“What if I don’t take it? What then, huh, you gonna tie me to a chair and force me to sign?”
“No, I will not force you to sign. I will instead go back to Andromeda knowing that it is not in my destiny to have a consors. Sometimes, Carissa, even a sovereign’s wishes are not granted.” To return to Andromeda without a consors would shatter her very being, but she would rather leave than force the young woman into something she does not want. She did not come to America with the intention to form an alliance with America, only to find a consors. And to return without that, would not be good.
Carissa exits the office, leaving the sovereign standing with her head hanging. The queen enters the office a short time later with a goblet filled with wine, and finds a gloomy sovereign. She does not know what to do, but knows that something has to be done. Knowing the sovereign does not accept public displays of affection the queen closes the draperies then envelops her sovereign. The sovereign does not respond at all, just stands there. The queen drops her arms, turns, leaves the study, and heads back to the sleeping chamber feeling rejected.
After I let go of Carissa last night, the realization that all my efforts may be in vain hurt me in a way that I have never felt before. I know that if I show her love and care, not only for her but for her boys as well, I know she will agree to be my consors. All I have ever wanted is a friend, someone to share my thoughts, someone to share my feelings with, and most of all, someone to share my heart. I cannot do that as yet, because she is not prepared to carry that burden. Her own heart is black with hatred, her soul torn and shattered. For what reason, I do not know. I only know that I must first mend her heart and soul before I let her heal mine. As I cautiously break away the barrier that encases what she tries so hard to protect, she reacts like an angry cat ready to strike. I take in all that she tells me. After the anger has gone, I cradled her as best I could. Now, I await her answer. I must wait for her to come to her senses. However, it seems she found solace in the consumption of intoxicants. Why does she do this? I do not understand. Are her pains so great that she feels that the consumption of intoxicants is the only release? Maybe the best thing to do would be to wait. To wait for her to realize that the world is not as black as she sees it to be.
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