Carissa spent all day on the floor of the entryway. No one disturbed her, as per the sovereign’s instructions. “If she wishes to be there then leave her there,” Bellona ordered as she looked down at Carissa.
The following day, about midday, Carissa starts to awaken from her intoxication-induced coma, and is only able to stand by leaning against the wall. She appears almost fearful as she looks towards the sitting area.
The sovereign strolls past Carissa on her way to the study, and gives the queen a message to tell the head of security to ignore Carissa and to go about her daily duties. The sovereign is a kind but firm woman, and the staff believes that their sovereign is hoping that Carissa will learn from this experience. One of the staff members heard, while shopping, that someone said something about not helping someone until they reached rock bottom. She might be guessing, but they do not believe the sovereign’s consors has reached rock bottom.
The boys left early in the morning for school, leaving the manor by taking the back entrance. It seems they have seen their sister in such a state prior to this day, but still left by the back entrance. After approximately ten minutes, Carissa emerges from the entryway, and as she rounds the corner, there stands Bellona, waiting for her with a cup in her hand. “Drink this before you do anything else. It will help to clear your head and settle your stomach. As for your eyes, they will have to wait until the intoxicant, which you consumed, has left your system completely. You remember where the bathing room is located? There will be clothing left for you right there. Should you need anything else, let me know. And, Carissa . . . this behavior will not be tolerated in this household. We will discuss that further when you are done.”
Carissa’s reply to all of that was a simple “Fuck you.” She drank the tea and went into the bathing room. It was a good hour, by the clock, before Carissa emerges from the bathing room. She does not intend to confront the sovereign yet, but nevertheless; there is the sovereign, leading Carissa back into the study.
Bellona closes the draperies and stands there. “Carissa, why would you feel it necessary to put yourself in such a state as to render yourself unconscious for a day and a half?” Bellona finally turns around to face Carissa as she continues, “If something is bothering you that much to cause that much pain then release your pain. There is a house full of women for you to speak with. If that does not interest you then I will take you out to the yard for a sparring session with either me or one of the guards. You are now a member of this household, as is both Tobias and Tristan. Tristan was hesitant at first, and still is a little, but he, too, is learning that being a member of a household is a good thing because it brings stability and love. And Tobias, he has bonded with Desdemona. The first person he searches for when he returns from school is Desdemona. His grades have improved because of the time she spends with him. Carissa, while you may believe that the only reason I brought you here . . . all of you here . . . is for my personal gain that is far from the truth. I brought all of you here because as much as I am in need of a consors, you are in need of a household to show you love.” The sovereign, a person of few words, seems as though all she needed was a little inspiration, because this was the longest speech she had ever spoken.
“Look, you mother fuckin’ bitch, no one gave you the right to lecture me. As soon as the boys come back, I’m taking them with me.”
“Carissa, it seems as though we need to work on your language a bit, and where are you going to take them?”
“Why the fuck do you care? You Miss High and Mighty or somethin’? Somebody name you God?”
“I care because you are my consors, as much as you try to deny that fact. In answer to the other questions, I am the sovereign of a forgotten country many miles away. I came here to search for you. You have yet to answer the other question.”
“What other question? You have all the answers. Why do you need me to answer them, your royal highness?” Carissa mock bowed in front of the sovereign.
Is that a smile on the sovereign’s face? Has she gone mad? “You are far more intelligent than what you make yourself out to be, Carissa. You know what question I am asking.”
“No, I don’t fuckin’. . .”
“That is enough of that. Perhaps we will continue this conversation at another time. When you return, I will ask you again to finish the scrolls.”
Carissa is surprised to hear what Bellona has just said, the expression that says how does she know upon her face? The sovereign is an intelligent woman, as well as being able to predict the next move someone might make. Bellona is a student of human behavior, and prides herself for being as accurate as she is. As predicted, Carissa leaves the manor and does not return that evening.
It is not until the following day when Carissa makes an appearance, and upon her arrival, Bellona instantly brings her into the study. “I trust you had a good day yesterday?” After closing the draperies, the sovereign turns right around to look into Carissa’s eyes then drops her head to look at the floor. “You could not resist, could you?” Bellona takes hold of Carissa’s arm and practically drags the resisting teen into the laboratory to have her lie down on the table, securing her onto it so she will not be able to move. It is anyone’s guess what her reaction will be when she wakes up.
“Who the fuckin’ hell tied me to this fuckin’ bed?! I want to know the mother fucker that did this!”
The queen peeks into the room out of curiosity, to see her struggling against the bindings, happy that the young woman does not see her, though she does wonder where the sovereign has gone. Carissa repeats the same questions multiple times for what seems an eternity, and Clarissant is about to research for a way to stuff cotton balls inside her ears and still be able to hear the goings on of the manor when the sovereign, her savior, finally enters the laboratory.
“All right, that is enough of that. I tied you to the table to prevent you from escaping before we are able to finish the business at hand. I need you to be able to think without intoxicants impeding your judgment,” Bellona informs the young woman as she unties her.
“I told you before, I ain’t signing nothin’, now just leave me alone.” Carissa starts to walk away, but finds that she cannot move, since the sovereign has placed a hand on her shoulder.
“The only place you will be going is my study, first, to complete the documents then a grammar lesson. However long that will take is dependent on you.” Bellona pushes Carissa ahead of her to be sure that the teen will not wander off course.
No matter how much Carissa protests, Bellona accomplishes the task of leading Carissa to the study. The first thing the sovereign does is reach for the Appointment scrolls. They need to be completed, and the sovereign is becoming ever more impatient the longer she waits, confiding the previous night in Clarissant about this and that she knew Carissa was stalling, but for what purpose, she did not know. She does not want to push Carissa, but what must be done must be done, and the sooner it is completed, it will be that much sooner everyone will be able to return to Andromeda.
“Why do you keep giving this shit to me? You told me I was already your consort or consors, whatever, so what fuckin’ difference does it make whether or not I fill this shit out?”
“Yes, I have already declared you my consors, but the completion of the Appointment scrolls must be done to be sure that the proper information be properly recorded into the archives. All documents must pass through the council. I always have the final word, however. With the council’s approval, your appointment will not be called into question should something happen.” Bellona’s temper is starting to show at this time, her face turning red and her hands clenching and unclenching at her sides.
“Well, I’m not going to fill it out. You’re just going to have to do without it. I’ll be leaving as soon as the boys get back. Where I take them is my problem.”
“It is not just your problem it is their problem as well, because it has to do with their well being. And you will fill out the documents.” They stand there looking at each other.
Carissa is the first to look away, thinking, as she looked out the window. “You just don’t get it do you, Miss High and Mighty, huh!” She turns to look at Bellona, with tears streaming down her cheek unhindered. “You can’t just order someone to do something they can’t do.”
“What does that mean, Carissa?”
“What does that mean? What does that mean!? I’ll tell you what that fuckin’ means! It fuckin’ means that I can’t read! I can’t write! It also means that I’m only good for one thing. Care to know what that is? I’m only good for a good fuck! That’s what that means!”
“I am sure your mother saw to it that you had a good education. Where was she during all this?”
“My mother, you want to know about my mother?! Let me tell you about my mother. My mother was a whore. There’s not a person in the good ol’ U.S. of A. that she hasn’t had sex with . . . every man, every woman, and most likely every beast in existence . . . pretty nasty, huh? I don’t even know who my father is, or the boys’ father. For all I know, it could very well be the crazies off the streets. The only thing she ever taught me was how to please a man. I never had a birthday, or Christmas, or a fuckin’ Valentine’s Day gift! I’ve had nothing! My mother started to arrange appointments for me ever since I was five years old. She had certain expectations of me, and if I didn’t meet those expectations . . . I’ll let you use your imagination. Most of the money I made went to her drinking or Razer, her dealer. If she wasn’t fucking someone’s brains out then she was drunk, if she wasn’t drunk then she was stoned, if she wasn’t doing any of those things then she was passed out until the next full moon. I guess there is a good side, though, because I don’t have a mother anymore, she’s dead, and it’s good riddance, if you ask me. I left that house to move into the apartment. I wanted a new life for the boys, but I couldn’t. The money is just so easy. You please a man, and you can get anything you want, any amount of money you want so long as you know what you’re doing. The boys know what I do. I always left them at a neighbor’s house with the promise of mum’s the word. So there you have it . . . my life story. Any questions, did I leave anything out?”
“Last year you attended a party with a gentleman. If your mother arranged that then maybe she was not as bad as you would think.” The beginnings of a smile appear and anyone who knows the sovereign knows she is formulating a plan, this question being a part of that plan.
“Figures you would remember that party, and for the record, I got $15,000 to attend that party. Yes, mommy dearest set that up. I wanted to stay home that weekend, but my mommy had other plans. That money went to mother to pay off Razer, she owed him. As for that guy I went to the party with being a gentleman, that is a matter of opinion.”
“How old are you, Carissa? You have to be of legal age to drink as you do. Am I correct?”
“I’m eighteen, and my brother’s are eight.” Both stood there gazing at each other, less confrontational this time, though.
“That means you were seventeen years old when you attended the party last year. I should have realized when I saw you in that dress and the make-up artistry done that night that it was done so you would appear much older than your true age. It is a pity, really, to be so young to have the potential to learn anything and everything, yet all of that was robbed from you.” Bellona looks through the bookcase, searching for something in particular. She pulls out a book and starts to read. “1The family is both the fundamental unit of society as well as the root of culture. It represents a child’s initial source of unconditional love and acceptance, and provides lifelong connectedness with others. The family is the first setting in which socialization takes place and where children learn to live with mutual respect for one another. A family is where a child learns to display affection, control his temper, and pick up his toys. Finally, a family is a perpetual source of encouragement, advocacy, assurance, and emotional refueling that empowers a child to venture with confidence into the greater world and to become all that he can be.”
“And what the fuck is that supposed to mean? What does that have to do with me?”
“That is the best definition of a family unit that I have found. It also means that although the family you started your life with provided nothing that was mentioned, the family you have now will provide you with that source of unconditional love, encouragement, and assurance, I promise. It does not matter the mistakes you make or that you are uneducated, all that matters to me is that you are here . . . safe and well. You are my consors, and not only is it my duty to train you, it is also my privilege to love you and to teach you what you need to know. We will proceed at a pace that is comfortable for you, however slow or long it will take does not matter. Due to the nature of your beginnings, I will file the Appointment scrolls with the council in conjunction with a letter stating that your origins are obscure. If you so choose, however, I will scribe for you what you just told me. The choice is yours.”
The tears return to Carissa’s eyes. Though her voice is shaky, Bellona is able to understand the words. “So what you’re telling me is that you love me? I don’t have to have sex with you? You don’t expect anything of me or nothing? You just want to love me?”
“Let me clarify my point. I expect you to learn history, literature, writing, arithmetic, and the like. I also expect you to stop this nonsense with feeling the need to intoxicate yourself to the point that you do not awaken for a day and a half. I will provide everything for you and your family as long as you meet with the expectations that I have laid out for you to follow. Those are my expectations. Do we understand each other better now?” Bellona brought her hand up to Carissa’s shoulder. What was amazing about the entire discussion was that Carissa accepted it, and for the first time she truly smiles, and what a beautiful smile it is.
“And . . . would you . . . um . . . please . . . write for me . . . I mean . . . oh hell. Write my history for me.”
“Let us start with our first lesson. Repeat after me, would you please . . .”
Reluctantly, she replies, “Would you please . . .”
“Write my history for me.”
“Write my history for me. There I said it, now, would you?”
“Yes, I will. If not myself then my historian will write your history.”
“Your historian; what is a historian and who is it?”
“A historian, put simply, is an individual who writes, gathers, and narrates events of the past. The historian would be the lady sitting on the sofa writing furiously on the scrolls recording these events.”
Carissa looks over towards the sofa mouthing an ‘O’ as she does, looking adorably embarrassed.
“But, do we have to . . . do that now . . . I mean?”
“Yes. We will start with the lessons now. It will take one hour to complete the scrolls, and we will start at that time. In the meanwhile, go to Sergasa and let her know that your defensive skills lessons will start immediately.”
Carissa stands up straight to salute, “Aye, aye, sir, yes, sir, general sir, am I excused, sir?”
If the staff had not been there and seen it with their own eyes no one would not have believed it. Their beloved sovereign is actually laughing. It is not just a polite smile . . . it is a full and hearty, boisterous laugh. She does not do this, at least, not to anyone’s knowledge. Maybe her consors can work miracles. The things, the events that have taken place up to this point are astonishing.
Carissa leaves to find Sergasa, while the sovereign assigns the task of completing the scrolls to the historian, since she has witnessed the events that have unfolded before her. While completing the Appointment scrolls, Bellona completes a scroll of her own.
I finally have my consors. It took much more time than I had expected. I know there is much more anger that lies beneath the surface, but now that she realizes she will not be judged, I hope she will be at ease as she feels the need to release her frustration.
I will need to be patient. It will take time to teach her the academics, etiquette, music, everything. She is young, and though willful, I believe she has the will to learn. It will be that willful pride that will be the key to her success in learning everything that she needs to know.
Tristan is learning to trust. I hope that I have made the right decision at the right time. He is talking to me now, and is a reflection of his sister. With time and patience, he will learn what is to be expected.
Tobias is a timid boy, brought on by his speech and Tristan’s need to protect him. He has a lazy tongue, but with time and patience, I believe he will be as willful as his siblings. He has a good role model in Desdemona. She is his friend and his mentor.
The historian is completing the scrolls for me. She has witnessed the events up to this point. I will need my queen’s assistance in educating my newfound family. With her help, I will have the family I have always wanted.
I can never forgive my mothers for what happened a long time ago. I have learned to live with the emptiness left after the betrayal. I know I, too, will need to learn how to forgive.
2To err is human, to forgive divine. I believe this is an appropriate quote to fit this situation. I also believe that many of us, especially me, have achieved the human part of the quote. As for the divine, well, all of us have something to work towards.
I have to admit I was worried about Carissa. Will she come back? Will she accept the appointment? These and many other questions I ask myself time and again without any answer. I did not know she is so young. Only eighteen years old and she has already experienced a lifetime of pain. I will keep my promise and help her to succeed in life, in health, and in love. If she chooses not to love me, I must accept that. She is young, therefore, the greater likelihood her heart will change. I realize there is a difference between acceptance and the pain it will cause. No one can prepare anyone for that, though. I know that from experience. The next step to take will be to move back to Andromeda. I have achieved my goal and no longer feel the need to stay. In the pure environment that is Andromeda, my new family will grow and flourish, as they should. I will take time to thank the deity properly tonight for the gift that has been given to me. The scrolls have been completed, and I must finish as well, for now.
The Appointment scrolls take much longer than anyone thought, most probably due to the emotional impact of all of the information, the things that she, that Carissa, has gone through.
I am not certain, but I think that Bellona will need my help with this family that she has adopted, and I hope that I am able to serve her well.
Bellona confided in me Carissa’s past. A little girl robbed of her childhood, all for monetary gain to pay for substances of intoxication. I was wrong, I was very wrong. Carissa is a child that needs to be loved, needs to be taught how to accept love. I know in my heart of hearts that my wife will love and tutor Carissa. I . . . well . . . it is a given, I believe, I will be given the responsibility of caring for the boys. I have only one thing left to say. May the teacher teach the student the lessons of life and love, and may the student teach the teacher the same. I believe in doing so will bond the two together as only two lovers can. Though different she and I, Carissa already holds my sovereign’s heart in her hands. May the great deity watch over them and protect them all.
To be continued in part 3
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