Disclaimer See Part 1
The characters in the story are a product of my own imagination and hopefully have no resemblance to any living persons.
Sex: This piece is rated 18 and contains sex. Please, if you are not old enough to read this, move on to something more appropriate.
Acknowledgements: Special thanks to my beta, rleef.
Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated, so feel free to drop me a line or two at email@example.com or chat with me on Facebook.
The roads leading to Kemble were swarming with wagons, horses, and people as everyone made their way with determined purpose to the large castle overlooking the picturesque city of the largest kingdom in the realm. Music and merriment could be heard for miles, welcoming the weary travelers. Three weeks ago ten messengers were sent to each and every corner of the realm to invite every noble to the wedding ceremony of the year. With only two more days to the big day, everyone was rushing towards the city to see for themselves the joining of the future Queen of Karas and the legendary blacksmith.
For the subjects of this great kingdom, having one of their own taken up into the higher echelons of their great land, was more than enough reason to invite themselves to the festivities. But to make the wedding of the year the best there was ever going to be, they worked hard at sweeping the city's streets, cleaning out the Royal stables, and placing flower sellers on every corner of the city to spread the aroma throughout.
At the castle it was even worse. Servant girls and pages were rushing up and down the long gleaming hallways of the Royal castle. Rooms were double-checked, fresh linen was distributed to the 80 guestrooms and piles of wood were carried to the rooms to stock the fireplaces, all in anticipation of the wedding guests. No one dared take a break as there was still so much to be done. As servants and chambermaids entered and exited the rooms, one bedroom in actual fact, a whole wing of the castle was left undisturbed.
Cut off from the world and the wedding feast rush, a soft moan broke the silence followed by a teasing giggle. A warning was issued last night at dinner that the Queen and her mate would be indisposed for the whole of the next day, something to do with them discussing the finer details of the wedding pact. But had one of the maids the courage to peek through the keyhole she would've found the Supreme Royal couple using a more primitive way of communicating.
Naked and laying spread-eagled on the king sized bed cushioned with numerous fur blankets was the regal Queen Mesmeria, her hands caught in slightly greying dark locks of her partner as the latter was hungrily feasting on her musky dewy center. In-between the hungry grunts from her mate, the Queen was lustfully encouraging her dark mate to do some of the most unthinkable deeds to her.
“I want you to … inside ...” She pulled hard on the dark tresses and with a soft moan Cybralle lifted her head from between her mate's legs. Her silver eyes were almost transparent with lust as she looked up into her wife's eyes.
“If you dare to interrupt me again, sweeting, I will make sure that you never forget my reprisal.”
Mesmeria reached down and dipping her fingers between her swollen folds and offered it to her mate. She watched with hungry fascination as the large woman licked her hand clean.
“I want to feel you inside me, my love.”
The silver eyes narrowed. “I am not finished yet. Are you trying to test my patience, dearling?”
With a small pout, she swung her right leg over Cybralle's head and with lightning speed jumped off the bed. Standing on the other side of the bed, she watched with wry amusement as her mate stared at her in mute shock.
Mesmeria's eyes widened as she watched her mate, lift her large frame from the bed, muscles pulling taut, bulging as she stretched out her towering 6ft 3 frame. With a feral look in her eyes she slowly began to stalk her, making the hair in Mesmeria's nape stand up straight. For all her size and strength, Cybralle was unbelievably gentle, maybe too energetic sometimes, but never cruel. She looked around for an escape route, but the only way out was to jump over the bed and run through to their private lounge. But she wasn't the young girl Cybralle used to chase around naked anymore. At forty three summers she was but two summers younger than Cybralle, but the warrior stayed in perfect shape with her daily sword training. She would intercept her before she had even reached the bed. She took a small step back and not able to look into the intense glittering silver eyes anymore, she closed hers and waited for the inevitable.
She jumped when she felt a soft breath on her cheek and opening her eyes she was looking directly into burning silver eyes. Without a word, Cybralle swung her up in powerful arms and walked over to the small bench before the vanity mirror. The dainty little bench creaked under their mutual weight. With painstaking patience, Cybralle took each of her feet and placed them on the vanity chest, her legs spread widely apart so that she could see herself reflected in the large mirror. A soft whimper of anticipation escaped her lips and she jumped slightly when Cybralle blew soft air into her ear.
“Hush, sweeting, you will enjoy this. Trust me.”
She threw her head back until is rested on Cybralle's broad shoulder, her green eyes tightly shut. She was in for a great adventure, because not once had Cybralle promised her a great moment and that she didn't deliver.
The shed was blazingly hot, but even with sweat running down her back, Sterling wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Standing before her in a long apron and with sweat running down her body as she lifted the heavy hammer over and over was the most beautiful woman in the whole kingdom.
At that very moment the dark head lifted and beautiful ice blue eyes met hers. They shared an intimate smile before the sweat slicked dark head lowered. For the past two candle marks she had tried to make out what it was the blacksmith was working on. She had tried to ask, but was given a vague answer followed by a mysterious smile. At the sight of the smile, she was at a loss for words and could only stare at the transformation it brought to the already beautiful face of her wife-to-be. The hammering suddenly stopped and she watched as Orla moved over to a container filled with water. A sharp hissing sound followed and the dark woman turned back to her.
“You should not see this before it is done. Please turn around while I put it away.”
More than happy to soon have all of her betrothed's attention, Sterling quickly turned away. After a few moments had passed, she felt strong arms circling her waist. Turning around she caught Orla's lips in a hungry kiss. She was serious when she promised Orla that she would wait until she was ready to come to their marital bed, but she couldn't hide the desire she felt for her gentle lover. She broke the kiss and started into the blue eyes, unaware of the yearning look in her eyes.
“It will not be too long anymore.”
Confused, she shook her head. “What do you mean?”
A sudden shy look crossed Orla's face and she quickly looked away. Sterling carefully lifted Orla's face again.
“Are you talking about our wedding night, Precious?”
Orla nodded just as her tongue peeked out between her lips, making her look like a very naughty, shy girl.
“I love you, dearling. I love you so much and I desire you just as much, but it does not mean that I cannot wait until you are ready.”
“But as your wife it is within your rights to demand it from me.”
Sterling chuckled softly. “It could be done, but not when you are completely in love with your wife, like I am.” She took the large hand in hers. “Come, it is almost time for the noon meal. I asked the cook to send something down for us.”
“Let me first get rid of the grime, Sterling.”
Sterling watched as Orla walked over to a corner. With her back turned to her, Orla loosened the apron and placed it on a hook and then reached for her short-sleeved shirt. Her throat suddenly dry, Sterling looked around to see if anyone was around. Using only one hand Orla pulled the shirt over her head, treating Sterling to a mouth-watering sight of a smooth, muscled back. Bending over she poured water from a pitcher into a small basin and using her large hands, she scooped up water and after rinsing her face, she rinsed the rest of her upper body. Watching with an unblinking stare, Sterling's body was ablaze with desire. Her hungry gaze travelled down the half-naked frame of her betrothed and she felt the dampness between her legs increase the longer she looked at Orla. She didn't know how and when she had moved, but her hand was on the broad back stroking the taut, smooth skin. There was a slight stiffening of muscles under her hand, but then it was gone.
At the soft sound of her name, she quickly withdrew her hand. She was scaring her. She was moving too fast.
“Forgive me, dearling. It was not my intention to scare you.” She said through a very dry throat as she watched Orla shrug into her shirt. She had her eyes averted and only looked up again when Orla turned around.
“You did not scare me. It was … it was just very nice … I mean … the feel of your hand on my naked skin. It was very pleasant.” Orla was blushing furiously and her eyes were dark as they flitted between Sterling's face and the floor.
Sterling just shook her head at the delightful woman and took her head. “It was very nice for me too. Now come and let's eat before I have to be back at the training field.”
They ate lunch in companionable silence. Sterling was seated in Orla's lap; a habit she knew would be difficult to break one day, if she had to, that is. She loved the easy intimacy. She just loved being around this woman. She loved her clean, earthy scent and the shy smile that comes over her face when she sneaked quick looks her way. She loved the way she kisses. Now that she knew how nice they were she couldn't imagine her life without any of Orla's kisses. She looked up from her sandwich and felt a deep warm glow start in the pit of her stomach when she found the ice blue eyes already looking at her. She leaned closer and pressed her lips against Orla's. They looked deep into each other's eyes and shared an intimate smile.
They returned their attention to their lunch. After their meal, one of the grooms came over to collect the basket and return it to the kitchen. Orla gave her lingering kiss before she pushed her out of the shed and in the direction of the training field. Still a little shaky after the kiss, she made sure to stay more on the side lines. With her brain still reeling from the kiss, she was in great danger of literally losing her head if she partook in the sparing exercises. She called her generals to her and after a brief meeting. She returned to the castle and made straight for her wing which housed her parents' suite of rooms.
She knocked softly on the door. No answer. The second time around she knocked harder and was relieved when she heard a soft noise on the other side of the room. The door was opened by Cybralle, still dressed in her chamber robe. They looked at each other with identical raised eyebrows.
“Your mother and I thought that the only time for us to be able to spend time together was before the wedding. Does that answer your question as to why I am still dressed in my chamber robe?”
Sterling shrugged. “May I enter or it is a bad time?”
Cybralle took a quick step back and Sterling pushed passed her. She came up short at the sight of her mother lying sprawled out on the bed, fast asleep.
“Is she not feeling well, Umah?”
Cybralle shrugged, but avoided eye contact. “She is just resting.”
“But it is …”
“For heaven's sake, Sterling, why all the questions?” Cybralle growled softly.
Sterling looked at her mother and then back to Cybralle before a slow smile lit up her features. The smile broadened when she saw a faint dusting of pink run up her mother's face. She turned away and walked through to her parents' private lounge. She calmly took a seat and waited for her mother to fold her tall frame into a chair.
“I am in need of your advice, Umah.”
A dark eyebrow lifted. “What can I do for you?”
Sterling inhaled deeply.
“Orla is inexperienced and I fear that my passion for her might … might scare her.” Cybralle nodded encouragingly. “I promised that I would not pressure her into yielding to me on our wedding night. I am scared of having her in my arms and breaking my promise.”
“You are aware of the difference between love and lust, daughter. I know you love her very much and that alone will be reason enough for you to wait for her to come to you freely.”
Sterling smiled tenderly. “I will wait for her, Umah, even if it means that I have to take ice water baths for as long as it takes.”
Cybralle chuckled softly at that. “Just pray she gets around to it before winter commences. You could freeze off vital parts.”
Sterling grinned faintly.
“I hope so too.” She rubbed her eyes and exhaled noisily. “I crave her, Umah. I crave her like I do air. She is so big, but she has this gentleness about her that robs me of my breath. I am so scared of leaving her when I have to return to the Wastelands in a few weeks.”
“I will just be for a short while, Sterling. Maybe even just a few weeks.”
Sterling shuddered at that and Cybralle chuckled.
“One night away from her could be the death of me, I swear.”
Cybralle lifted her head and looked towards the bed. Mesmeria was still very much asleep.
“It was the same with your mother. I found it very difficult to leave your mother behind when I had to leave for the battleground. Many great and loyal men never made it back from the Wastelands and I knew every time I left her arms that it could have been the last time. It became worse when she was expecting you. She would cry a lot and I feared for her sanity, I had to withdraw from the frontline. I was the best decision I ever made and the best gift I could have ever given her.”
Sterling cleared her throat softly.
“What are you saying, Umah?”
Cybralle's silver eyes were intense as she looked at her daughter. “Always put her above everything else, daughter. They are worth it. For a warrior, your horse and men will only fill a small portion of what you need. Your woman fills the rest. They will always fill that position and you have to get used to it otherwise you will go mad.”
Sterling nodded slowly.
“She takes up all my thoughts already, Umah. I am scared that once I have had her body, I will not be able to be away from her ever again.”
“I have been there and believe me I have been dodging my fair share of arrows and fireballs, while my head and heart was in bed with your mother hundreds of miles away from the battleground. I have scars to show for my lack of concentration.” The handsome face pulled into a frown. “I was seriously injured once and was very close to death. That was when I realized that I had to find a way to stay alive and still keep my wife happy. I exchanged positions with General Hilmor and took over the running of the training ground.”
Soft footsteps made them both look up to find Mesmeria walking over toward them. They both quickly come to their feet.
“What serious business would the two of you have to discuss it in the Royal Chamber?” Mesmeria placed a soft kiss on the daughter's blond head before she walked over to where to her wife sat. Sterling watched in mild fascination as her parents shared a tender look before Cybralle pulled Mesmeria onto her lap.
“Our daughter is worried about her wedding night.”
“Umah! Sweet heavens!”
“What? It is the truth, is it not?”
Sterling came to her feet and looked down at her parents. “I am expected at the tailor for my fitting. Just to avoid any misunderstandings, I am not scared or worried about my wedding night.”
Pushing her shoulder back, she calmly strode out of her mothers' chambers and straight to the training ground. But on her way there, she altered her path slightly so that it took her passed the blacksmith's shed. She carefully peered into the dark, heated interior and smiled when she noted the hulking form of her fiancée. The dark head lifted and ice blue eyes clashed with hers. They regarded each other quietly before sharing a soft smile. Happy that her heart's desire has been appeased she turned away and made for the training ground. As she walked away she prayed furiously that the current peace enjoyed at the Wastelands kept as long as it could for she would surely die if she was to leave and not see Orla for a long time.
Orla grinned as she worked on her wedding gift for her fiancée. Looking at the breastplate, she stroked its rapidly cooling surface. A travelling salesman had sold her a large sack filled with clumps of blemished silver in exchange for making him a sword of silver. She turned to pick up the clamp holding the beautiful heart shaped piece she'd been working on earlier and looked at it with the critical eye of an originator, but more so with the critical eye of a lover. Only the best would suffice when it came to her soon-to-be spouse.
She pushed the clamp into the ever-blazing fire pit and waited patiently until the piece smoldered a deep, dark red. Retrieving the clamp, she pressed the heart shaped piece of iron on the gleaming, smooth surface of the breastplate…right over the place where Sterling's heart would be. She kept the pressure light, not wanting it to weaken the area and inadvertently create a fragility which could cost her lover dearly in a battle. Standing back, she studied her handwork and smiled. A small heart shape was burnt into the gleaming surface of the silver breastplate. With a satisfied smile, she walked over to the cooling rack and stored the heavy armor piece. She quickly cleaned up her working area and closed her shed for the day. She was getting married in two days and she still had to sit for a final fitting of her wedding outfit.
With slow, sure steps she made her way to the castle entrance and was surprised when the guards stepped back quickly, their eyes lowered as a token of respect. With a soft greeting to the men she knew since childhood, she entered the opulent interior of the castle and was quickly joined by a servant girl.
“If you would follow me, please.”
Feeling ill at ease in the luxurious setting as she was escorted down a long hallway, her eyes scanned over the walls. They were adorned with paintings of previous monarchs of Karas. She swallowed when she saw the painting of Sterling. Next to it was a blank canvas. She came to an abrupt stop as she looked at the significance of the blank canvas. Soon her painting will fill that empty space. It was strange how her life has changed. From a dirt poor stable groom, she had worked hard and followed in the footstep of her great-grandfather to become the most sought after blacksmith in the kingdom. A position she was very comfortable with. But life had one more twist for her. She was to become a Royal in two days and consort to the future Queen of Karas. She looked down at her hands and grimaced. They were the hands of a very simple woman. All at once her insecurities reared. What was she doing here? Why was she here? How was she going to fit in with all this opulence?
Overwhelmed by her thoughts, she quickly turned on her heel and stormed down the hallway.
The authority in the voice brought her to an abrupt stop and she quickly turned around. Standing there, with her hands behind her back, was the Queen herself. Orla quickly fell to her knee, following the example of the servant girl.
“Please get up, Orla, and follow me.” The Queen said softly and even before Orla was back on her feet, the monarch had turned and stepped into a chamber.
Orla entered the room and noted that a number of women were buried in sewing garments in various states of completion. She turned her eyes to the Queen who beckoned her over.
“Aneen,” she addressed an older woman, “how far are you with the bridal costume?”
“After this fitting, we will have it ready by the end of the evening, Your Majesty.”
Mesmeria reached out a hand and warily Orla looked at the soft-looking, white hand of her beloved's mother. Swallowing again, she reached out and felt the smaller hand wrap itself over her larger fingers.
“Here she is. Do the fitting. I will wait just here.”
The old seamstress quickly walked over to where they stood and taking her hand, she led her into an adjourning room. She was quickly divested of her clothes and within a few moments a group of women were fluttering around her. She was stripped until she was only clad in a white loincloth and a white band protecting her breasts. A soft, black leather pants and a short black tunic were thrown over her half-naked body.
Once she was fully dressed, she was escorted back to where the Queen patiently waited on her. The Queen once again held out her hand and this time, Orla reached out and took it. A soft smile formed on the Queen's beautiful face. Orla allowed herself to be lead out of the room. They walked down the hallway in silence and entered a large room.
Orla's eyes widened as she looked at the large throne. As far as she knew only nobles and the senate members were allowed here. She quickly turned to the Queen and found her already looking at her.
“I brought you here so you could see what you will inherit one day.” She walked over to the throne. “Very soon, my daughter and your soon-to-be-wife will ascend this throne. You, Orla, will be sitting next to her.” The Queen's green eyes flashed as she looked at her and Orla inhaled deeply. “Up until the day she met you, Sterling was extremely reluctant to take up her responsibility, but you made her want to embrace her birthright.” The Queen walked over to come to stand before her. “I know you are overwhelmed by all that is expected of you, but I do not want you to lose focus of what your most important duty will be.”
Orla's eyes softened. “Sterling?”
Mesmeria smiled tenderly.
“Yes. She loves you and it is obvious that you love her too. As Queen, Sterling will have a lot of responsibilities and as Commander of the Army her responsibility will place her in much danger. But she will have you to come back to. You will be her beacon in the dark. The rock she will hide behind and … even underneath … when the pressures of life become too much for her. Your love will serve as an impenetrable armor against all her fears and all her enemies. Orla Peron, I want grandchildren and you will make that possible for me and for that I will forever be indebted to you.” She gently cupped Orla's cheek. “You are making my daughter so happy; please do not take that away from her because you doubt yourself. I beg you, do not hurt her.”
Orla saw smoldering silver eyes flash before her and she shook her head. She was taken back to earlier in the day when Sterling had sat on her lap, quietly eating her lunch. She remembered how wonderful she had smelled. Her heart swelled with each and every memory that rushed through her. No matter what, she knew deep down inside that her life would never be the same without Sterling. She doubted if she would survive a day without looking upon her beautiful face, seeing those intense silver eyes, and tasting her lips.
She reached for the Queen's hand and brought it to her lips. Her eyes were clear as they stared at Sterling's mother and for the first time since meeting Sterling, she was totally convinced that she was on the right path. She sensed her destiny and it rested with Sterling.
“You need not worry about me hurting her, milady. I promise you that I will never hurt her and that I will love her forever.”
“That is very long time, Orla,” Mesmeria said with a soft chuckle. “But that will suffice.”
Orla blushed and averted her eyes.
“I am afraid it might not be long enough.”
Mesmeria's eyes twinkled as they studied her.
“My daughter has chosen well.”
Sterling lifted her hands, holding them up palms down. They were shaking and with a deep sigh, she quickly hid them behind her back.
“It happens to the best of us, my child.”
Sterling swung around to find Cybralle leaning calmly against the door jam. She quickly turned away and rubbed her hands against the ivory one piece she wore. She very rarely wore dresses, but for her wedding day there was no other way. Her wife-to-be had made it very clear that she was not going to wear a dress. The Queen on the other hand was adamant that she would not attend a wedding where both brides wore britches to the church. She had opted for the dress as a token of love for her very relieved bride.
“I thought you would be with Orla?”
Cybralle stepped forward and placing her hands on her daughter's hips and pulled her close to her. She placed a gentle kiss on her temple and stood back to look down into her daughter's eyes.
“You look exquisite. Just as beautiful as your mother on our wedding day.” She gently cupped the beautiful face. “Orla is a very lucky woman to have found a mate such as you.”
Sterling shook her head and smiled. “I consider myself to be the lucky one, Umah. She is everything I want and I love her so much.”
“Then this is a match made in heaven, daughter. I wish you both all the happiness and love your mother and I have been blessed with.” The silver eyes darkened slightly. “As your parents, we were worried that you were ready to settle for the life of a warrior. That was the life I have lived before I met your mother.” Cybralle walked over to the small table under the large window and poured them both a glass of wine from the decanter. “It was different to what I have now, but I have to admit that all I did back then was to exist. Your mother gave me back my life.”
Orla took the offered goblet from her mother's hand and nodded her thanks. She emptied it with one gulp and blushed at the mother's raised eyebrow look.
“I am nervous.”
“And so you should be, my love. You are embarking on the most fulfilling adventure of your life.” She emptied her goblet and placed it on the table. “It is time for us to leave. Orla and your mother are already waiting for us at the church.”
Taking one last look at herself in the full-length mirror, Sterling turned to her mother. Cybralle nodded.
“You look beautiful.”
Taking her mother's hand, she followed her out the door, down the long hallway and out to the coach awaiting them. Once she was seated inside, her mother lounging opposite from her, she carefully studied her mother under lowered eyelashes. Cybralle was a warrior through and through. It was evident in her sharp, steady gaze although her serene and almost lazy body language contradicted and hid the very skillful warrior concealed behind the layers of rich silk and gold jewelry. Her parents were happily married. As a child she quickly learnt not to surprise them lest she be the one embarrassed. After 25 years of marriage they were still passionately in love and couldn't keep their hands off each other. Now that she had found her cause for living, she could easily identify with what her parents were experiencing.
The dark head lifted and sharp silver eyes focused on her.
“Yes, my child. What is it you want?”
“You and mother … you have been together for so long and yet … yet you still act like newlyweds. I want that too. How can I keep my wife happy for an eternity?”
The silver eyes softened as they studied her. “Love her above all else. Be honest with her all the time, even if you fear the truth might hurt her. Surrender to her, Sterling. She needs to know that you belong to her, heart, mind, body, and soul. Your mother and I … we love each other like that.” Cybralle reached out and took her daughter's hand. “But you already possess the most important ingredient for a happy marriage. You love each other. It will be so much easier to succeed.”
Orla nervously tugged at the tight cuff of her wedding tunic as she walked over and threw herself into a large chair taking up the center of the room. She'd been waiting in here for over an hour now and still there was no sign of Sterling. The door opened slowly and she didn't even lift her head to see who the newcomer was. The priest had been in and out a few times over the past hour to look in on her and she was tired of looking into his rheumy eyes and pinched face.
“You are well on your way of fulfilling your destiny?” The deep voice made her snap her head up and she frowned at the strange man standing a few feet inside the door. He looked a little familiar, but she knew for a fact that she had never met him before. He was dressed richly and his fingers were adorned with large golden rings. She slowly came to her feet and found herself towering over the man. He was not short by any means, but she was taller. As she studied him she saw something akin to pride lightening his dark blue eyes.
“Who … who are you?”
The man bowed low, making her take a step backward.
“Your humble servant, at your service, milady.”
Orla cast a quick look at the door and back at the man whose dark head was still bent low.
“I do not understand.”
The man came upright and looked at her intently. “You will, very soon.” With another bow he walked over to the door and left. Thoroughly confused, Orla sunk into the chair, but before she could delve into the puzzling event of the past few minutes, the door opened again. This time it was her mother.
“We are about to commence with the service, my child.” She walked closer when she saw the pallor of Orla's face. “What is wrong, child?”
“I … I will tell you later,” she came to her feet. “Let me first get married to the most beautiful woman in the world and then we can talk.”
Lima smiled widely. “Yes, let's do that first.” She took her daughter in her arms and held her tightly against her bosom. “I am so proud of you, Orla. Deep down I have always known that you were destined for something bigger and better. Your pureness of heart has set you apart from many – a leader in your own right.”
Orla tenderly kissed her mother's cheek. “I am just a simple blacksmith, mother. If I am pure of heart, then it is you who made me so. Besides that, there's nothing special about me.”
Orla laughed. “The princess believes otherwise, my child, and I know she will make you realize your true potential and help you attain your destiny.”
The deep, throbbing sound of the organ sounded and Orla took her mother's hand. “I will tell her what you said.” The pale blue eyes were bright. “It is time.”
A tall, dark shadow stepped out of the shadows of the big overgrown tree. Sharp, steely eyes zeroed in the tower of the majestic cathedral rising out of the picturesque setting that was Kemble. A slow smile curved around his lips and with one last look at the city, he turned away and was swallowed by the dark forest.
Orla felt her heart contract at the sight of her bride dancing sensually to the slow, haunting melody of the flute. Her hair was loose and bouncing gently as her tall, slender body floated with the rhythm of the accompanying clapping of the guests. Their eyes met and Orla swallowed at the look of hunger in the quicksilver eyes.
Earlier when she'd waited at the altar for her bride to join her, she had once more been attacked by a bout of insecurity. Was she ready … no, would she be able to adapt to her new lifestyle, her new status? Was she truly a good enough candidate to take over one day from Cybralle? What will happen to her mother now? Would her new family expect her mother to wait on her? Could she accept that if that would be the case? But then the organ had started playing and turning to the entrance of the cathedral her eyes fell on the most beautiful vision. The bright light from outside had cast her face in darkness, but from where Orla stood she was mesmerized by the small beams of sunlight dancing in her golden hair. There was a movement behind her and that was when she saw the familiar shape of her mother entering behind her.
When Cybralle had placed her daughter's hand in hers, Sterling had stepped closer, her eyes filled with loved. For a moment they stood there looking at each other as the guests held their breath.
“I chose your mother as our Guide. It is my tribute to her for having brought you into this world and granting me such happiness.”
That was when all her insecurities disappeared. As Guide to the Second Royal Couple, Lima was elevated to status of semi-royalty. She would now reside in the Palace and they would see each other every day. A smile worked its way through from her heart onto her face.
Sterling had thought about everything. Looking at her dancing suggestively, her eyes locked with hers, Orla knew that she was going to be very happy being joined to this woman. She had already proven herself time and time again in her eyes. She didn't doubt Sterling's love and now she would never doubt herself again either. With Sterling by her side she will never fail.
“It is almost time for the two of you to retreat to your chamber, my child,” Lima whispered in her ear and Orla blushed lightly at the teasing tone of her mother. “No need for you to be nervous, Orla. Just follow your instincts. Your body will tell you what you would find pleasurable. Then do that to your bride.”
Orla threw a quick glance in her mother's direction and saw the big grin on Lima's face. She sighed deeply and came to her feet. Almost immediately the music and all eyes were on her. She sought out Sterling's eyes and found her looking back at her with an enigmatic smile on her face.
“Go get your bride,” Lima whispered softly.
Her eyes quickly scanned all the faces in the Great Hall and what she saw on the faces made her blush even deeper. They knew, she thought. They all knew what would transpire in the bridal chamber tonight. Sweet Angels, what did she get herself into? Her eyes moved to where Sterling stood and she felt herself relax at the soft, loving look she saw in the silver eyes. Keeping her bride's gaze captive, she moved around the table and made directly for her woman.
“I was wondering if you were going to come and get me, my love,” Sterling whispered softly. “Not many have shown your nerve to stand up in a hall filled with 600 guests and claim that they were eager to bed their brides.” Orla felt her face heating up further and Sterling laughed softly. “I feel honored and loved, my heart. Now you need to finish what you have started. Everyone is waiting to see what your next move will be.”
Looking into twinkling silver eyes, Orla felt the rest of the Great Hall disappear, swallowed up by two quicksilver pools. She placed her hands on Sterling's hips and gently pulled her closer.
“I have missed you yesterday and it almost drove me insane. Heaven knows how I will survive more than a day without seeing you.” Sterling's voice was filled with so much emotion as she looked into her eyes and Orla smiled down into her eyes.
“Let us not think about that now.” Orla bowed her head and placed a chaste kiss on Sterling's lips. She reached for Sterling's hand. “Lead the way, milady. All these eyes on me are making me nervous.”
Sterling gave her a warm smile and squeezed her hand. “You are doing very well, my love. Come, let us leave them to their feasting.”
Together they left the hall amidst applause and ribald jests.
A cheery fire was burning in the fireplace and the rest of the room was alight with strategically placed candles. Sterling waited with bated breath as she watched Orla taking in the room. Her eyes travelled over her wife's tall frame and she knew that lying in that big four poster next to this intoxicating woman and keeping her hands to herself, was going to be one of the hardest things she'd ever endeavor to do. The dark head turned and she was caught in Orla's pale blue gaze.
“Would you like a glass of wine?”
Sterling blinked. It wasn't what she'd expected to come from Orla, but at least her bride wasn't spooked by the overly romantic setting. She nodded and quickly walked over to where a craft of wine, cheese, and fruits were set up. Although she was the next in line for the thrown and as Commander of the Army, the most powerful woman in the kingdom, tonight she was but a bride, trying to win the favor of her spouse. She poured them each a glass of sweet wine and took it over to where Orla stood, her large body dwarfing the room.
“There is some cake too. Would you …”
“Yes,” Orla said quickly.
Sterling grinned at her bride's excitement and made another trip to the table to retrieve a sugar-dusted piece of cake. As she made her way over to Orla again, she was pleased to see that Orla's eyes were following her. Another good sign, she thought happily. Maybe tonight was not going to be so difficult to survive. She lifted her hand and held the treat to Orla's lips. After a slight hesitation the pale eyes closed and Orla opened her mouth. Smiling tenderly, Sterling was once again humbled by the complete trust the woman had in her. She inhaled sharply when Orla's tongue lapped at her finger, cleaning the sweet dust from her fingertips. The pale eyes shot open and looked at her curiously and she smiled to reassure her skittish spouse.
“You want another piece?”
Orla shook her head and Sterling's eyebrows shot up. Orla never said no to cake. She'd seen her once devouring seven pieces of cake, she had bake for Sterling and even after that she still wanted more. She cocked her head as she looked at her beautiful bride.
“There is more than enough, beloved.”
“Only if you will have some too.”
Sterling's heart melt at hearing that. In the short six weeks that she knew Orla, not a day went by that she fell more and more in love with this wonderful selfless woman. She swallowed past the knot in her throat and nodded.
“Yes, I would like to share a piece with you,” she said and quickly looked away when she felt tears pooling in her eyes. “I would like to share everything with you.”
She felt Orla's hand on her cheek and looked back at her to find the blue eyes looking at her with deep emotion.
“Everything … forever.” The dark head lowered and Sterling sighed at the first touch of Orla's lips on her. A lone tear trickled down her cheek and she stood with her eyes closed as Orla gently wiped it from her face. “Tonight is not made for tears, beloved.”
Sterling nodded and gave Orla a watery smile. “You are right. Tonight is made for love and the promise of an eternity we shall spend together.”
Their lips met again and this time when they broke away, they both gasped for breath. They shared a long intimate look before they moved in for another kiss. Sterling's hands moved up Orla's leather encased chest and rested over her heart. She moaned in protest when Orla slowly stepped out of the embrace, breaking the kiss. She slowly opened her eyes, afraid for what she would see. She relaxed immediately when saw a reflection of her own hunger in Orla's eyes. Remembering that her spouse was an innocent she cradled Orla's face in her hands.
“We do not have to do anything tonight. Sleeping in your arms will be more than enough for me.”
Orla shook her head slowly and Sterling's heart skipped a beat as she stared into Orla's face. The dark head lowered and Sterling accepted the soft kiss.
“Show me, Sterling. I want to experience the love that Gerald the Troubadour sings about.” The ice blue eyes were smoldering as they looked at her.
“Are you sure, my love?” Sterling asked gently, her hands shaking as they reached for Orla's.
Orla took a deep breath and reached for Sterling's hair, loosening the band of flowers braided into the blond tresses. She smiled when the heavy mass fell into her hands and she tenderly pressed her fingertips against Sterling's scalp. As deep throaty moan escaped her bride's lips and Orla felt a fluttering sensation in her belly. Since meeting Sterling, her body has not been her own. The body she'd thought she knew so well for the past nineteen years had taken on a will of its own, betraying common sense. She looked down into Sterling's captivating silver eyes.
“Do you want me to stop?”
The silver eyes narrowed to slits. “No. I like it when you touch me.”
Orla closed her eyes when she felt Sterling's nimble fingers fumbling at the fastenings of her leather overcoat. She stood still as Sterling pushed the leather coat off her shoulders. Next was the long sleeved black tunic. She felt Sterling's hands slip under the linen shirt and caress her lower back. Orla watched in rapt fascination as her spouse divested them both of their clothing. She can't remember ever getting out of her clothes this fast. Sterling's touch left a burning trail where they touched her and she sucked in her breath when her spouse's hand brushed over her taut stomach.
“I … I want to touch you.”
Sterling moaned. “Do whatever you feel you want to do to me.”
Sterling sighed when her lips was taken in a blatantly lustful kiss. She felt her mouth filled with Orla's tongue as it rummaged in her mouth, stroking her teeth, and tracing the outline of her own tongue. Sweet heavens, she thought, if Orla made love the way she kissed, she was sure that she was going to embarrass herself.
Through the haze of pleasure brought on by Orla's kiss, Sterling felt a soft touch moving further down and she moaned when she felt the gentle probing between her legs. Shaking, she reached for the hand and pressed it tighter against her aching mound, all the while telling herself not to let her aggression scare Orla. But it didn't. The dark head turned slightly and she was caught in an intense look.
"You like it?"
Not sure if she'd be able to form words at that stage, she just nodded and pressed herself into the tentative touch of her lover. Orla smiled and pressed her lips against hers, stealing her breath just like she'd done with her heart. Nimble fingers tenderly opened her and delved inside. Gasping at the pleasure, she lifted her hips slightly, urging her lover to continue her exploration.
And she did.
Orla maintained eye contact as her fingers gently began to stroke the hardened nub, pressing down on it and then gently tucking on it. Sterling closed her eyes, knowing that she wasn't going to last long. She had many women ... more than she cared to remember. Many beautiful, nameless faces she'd taken to her bed and callously kicked out the next morning. Many, innocents, she'd wanted and whom she trained with impatience to bring her pleasure. But still, none of them was what she'd truly wanted. But lying here now, in the arms of the most innocent woman she'd ever known, she couldn't believe the pleasure those nimble fingers brought her. Nor the love she feels for her. She closed her eyes and her heart skipped a beat when the dark head lowered and pressed an open-mouthed kiss on her neck. A soft, warm tongue tasted the skin there, licking it, while tender fingers moved downwards.
She cried out when a finger slipped inside, brushing against her tender tissue, hesitantly probing deeper. And deeper still, until it touched her heart. She opened wild, blazing eyes, searching for her wife's, only to find loving ice blue eyes so close to her face, staring down into hers.
"Beautiful ... your eyes are so beautiful ..." she gasped as she savored the movement of Orla's finger inside of her. "Never stop looking at me like that."
She gasped when Orla pressed added another finger, the blue eyes darkening. "I will look at you like this forever."
And then she embarrassed herself.
She came in a cacophony of screams, tears, and clawing as she looked into the now hungry gaze of her wife. Her body was shaking so hard, Orla pressed herself down onto her, cradling her in her strong arms. But still she was shaking.
Orla was scared as she laid there on the trembling body of her new wife. She thought she'd understood her mother well when she told her to bring pleasure to her bride, the same way she did to herself. But now it seems she might've hurt Sterling, because her wife hasn't stopped crying yet. And she was still shaking.
"Sterling," she asked gently, unable to keep the panic out of her voice.
Teary silver eyes opened and held hers. All she could do was just to stare back as those silver orbs pierced her. After a few moments, she looked away as she slowly tried to move away from the unreadable gaze.
"No ... no ... darling ..." she heard Sterling's breathy voice and turned to look at her. The silver eyes where luminous. "Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being here with me at this very moment." The silver eyes shot full of tears again. "Thank you for being mine and for owning my heart."
Orla inhaled deeply at hearing those powerful words. She felt herself relax, the tension seeping away as she lowered herself into her wife's arms again. It seems she got it right. Sterling was happy.
"I love you too."
The silver eyes darkened. "Now it is your turn."
Orla was trembling. This was unbelievable. Her eyes were fixed on the soft red hair tickling her stomach. She shuddered at the feel of the smooth tongue inside of her. So this was what she'd been missing all along. A soft moan escaped her lips when she felt Sterling's teeth scrape over her clit. Her hand moved down and came to rest on the back of Sterling's head. She tensed when she felt Sterling going even deeper, this time using her lips to suck on her at the same time. She carefully applied pressure, not sure if that's what should be done. Nor did she want to hurt Sterling.
She almost shot of the bed when a slender finger joined the fray. She moaned out loud as it entered her, stretching unused muscles. When Sterling lifted her head to study her with glowing silver orbs, she swallowed hard. The silver orbs were infused with so much heat, that she felt it burning into hers.
"I want to make you mine, my love."
Licking suddenly dry lips, Orla gasped. "I am yours already."
A tender smiled played on Sterling's lips as she placed a possessive kiss on her belly button. "Yes, you are. But after tonight you will be mine in all sense of the word." The silver eyes darkened slightly. "It will hurt a little, but not too much."
Orla smiled down at her wife. If it would take her losing a finger to completely belong to this woman, then she would do it in a heartbeat. It was however, very warming to see that Sterling was bothered by the idea of causing her pain. Using her immense power, she gently pulled Sterling up her long body until they were eye to eye. They shared a deep, silent look before she caught Sterling's lips in a tender kiss. When they pulled apart a few moments later, Orla couldn't help but feel pride at having put that dazed look in her wife's eyes.
"Make me yours."
Sterling nodded and took her lips in a deep, hungry kiss just as her nimble finger plunged deep. The pain was sharp and fleeting, but when Orla opened her eyes to look at Sterling, she found the silver eyes swimming in tears.
"Thank you, my love. Thank you for waiting for me."
Before she could respond to it, the finger inside began to move and then all thoughts flew from her mind.
Cybralle inhaled the scent of her wife as they stood, arm and arm, on the balcony of their bedchamber. Even from where they stood they could hear the sounds of feasting going on all through the village. As per Royal decree the three days after a royal joining were work-free holidays for everyone and feasting would continue until the hour stuck struck midnight on the third day.
Sighing with content, Cybralle pulled her wife closer to her. "What is keeping your mind so busy, beloved?"
Mesmeria laughed softly as she turned in her wife's arms. "I wonder if we cheated ourselves out of more happiness by only having one child."
Cybralle shook her head quickly. After being present at the birthing of Sterling, she'd vowed never to put her through something like that again. For months afterwards the screams of agony and the images of blood drenched bed sheets haunted her nights. They had their little angelic daughter to show for all the pain, but she made Mesmeria promise never to put her in a position where she felt so helpless again. Her part was easy and enjoyable compared to what her petite wife had to endure.
"No, my angel. You have done your part and we have raised a wonderful daughter. Now comes another wonderful part on our life. Grandchildren." Cybralle watched as Mesmeria's green eyes widened with wonder and she laughed softly. "Our new daughter in law is a very virile woman, my dear, and if the way Sterling's looking at her is any indication, I believe we will have quite a number of little ones to keep us busy in our old age."
Mesmeria pressed her face into the broad chest of her wife and sighed. "Grandchildren. Oh my, I cannot wait to hold them in my arms." She lifted her head and Cybralle lowered hers so their lips could meet. "I am so happy, my love. So very happy."
Cybralle's eyes suddenly took on a predatory gleam and she wasn't surprised when her need was reflected in the bright green eyes looking into hers.
"Should we not be celebrating with the rest of the Kingdom?"
Mesmeria held out her hand and Cybralle took it eagerly.
Sterling slowly flitted to wakefulness and was almost immediately assaulted by the heady scent of sex. Her eyes snapped open and she gasped when she looked straight into shimmering pale blue orbs.
"Orla," she murmured softly and her eyes shot full of tears as she reached out and pulled the larger body over hers. She felt the tears running down her cheeks as strong arms gently lifted her and held her tight. This was the first time in her adult life that she ever woke up with such a feeling of intense happiness. And it had all to do with the dark woman cradling her so tenderly against her wide chest.
She wasn't surprised to feel wetness seeping into her neck, knowing that Orla too was overwhelmed by the moment. They laid like that holding each other as silent tears coursed down their cheeks. It was a long while later that Sterling pushed out of Orla's embrace and looked up into her eyes again.
"I cannot believe that we are finally together, that you are mine."
Orla gently brushed the tears from her cheeks and placed a soft kiss on each of her cheeks. "It will take us a while to get used to it, but we have an eternity together to wake up in each other's arms. I love you."
Sterling pulled the dark head down and caught her wife's lips in an intense kiss. "Please show me again."
The sun was hanging high in the sky when they woke for the second time that day. This time Sterling was the first to wake and she laid there looking at her sleeping mate. Her wife. A broad smile split her face and with and impish smile she pushed her hand under the covers and pinched herself. She grinned when she felt the pinch. Her eyes grew wide when she encountered pale blue eyes and then she melted.
"Did I wake you?" she cooed and not waiting for an answer she threw herself at Orla. A deep purr escaped her lips as she felt Orla's large hand gently stroking her back.
"What do you want to do today?"
Sterling snuggled deeper into Orla's arms. "I want to stay like this." She lifted her head to see Orla's reaction and smiled when a calloused hand gently brushed red locks out of her face. "What do you want to do?"
Orla smiled. "I want to be wherever you are and that means staying in bed with you for the whole day."
Sterling sighed and places a small kiss on Orla's lips. "Then it means I have to feed you first." She slowly got out of bed and walked over to the table bearing the drinks and food. She selected a few cakes, cold meat cuts, fresh figs and a carafe of wine and placed them all on a serving platter. Turning to the bed, she almost dropped her bounty. Orla was standing next to the bed stretching her large body as she tried to work out all the kinks. Swallowing a few times, she cleared her throat softly as she walked over to her wife on shaky legs. The dark head turned and looked at her, sky blue eyes carefully studying her.
"Will it be fine with you if we sat by the fire for a while?"
Sterling nodded, not trusting her voice at the moment. Orla smiled and walked over to the fireplace where she began to stoke the fire, giving Sterling a wonderful view of her toned buttocks. Looking at the anatomy in question, Sterling felt her body begin to smolder as heated flashes of the previous night and this morning poured into her mind. She was trembling slightly as she placed the tray on the table and began to stalk her unsuspecting wife. She was just about to reach out and touch Orla's shoulder when a knock sounded. She closed her eyes briefly, cursing whoever was at the door for spoiling this moment for her.
"Yes," she snapped, not even trying to keep the displeasure out of her voice.
Sterling groaned when she heard her mother's voice carry through the thick door. She saw Orla shoot to her feet, her eyes wide as she looked at the door and then back at her.
"No need to panic, my love. We are married after all. Maybe we should just put on some clothes for my mother's sake." She stood on tip toes to give Orla a quick kiss before she walked over to the bed to retrieve her rumpled dressing robes. "Just a moment, mother," she called out as she shrugged into it. She waited until Orla were decent before walking over to the door to let her mother in. She stiffened at the sight of panic on her mother's face. "Umah?"
Mesmeria shook her head. "She is fine." She slowly stepped into the room and looked around until she found Orla who was standing nervously next to the bed. "Greetings, daughter."
Orla visibly relaxed. "Greetings, Your Majesty."
Both Sterling and her mother frowned at Orla's formality, but they both seem to shrug it off quickly. "We were just about to have lunch. Do you care to join us?" Sterling watched as her mother pondered the invitation, her eyes on Orla. "You can talk to me while we dine."
"Fine, but I have to warn you that you might not like what I have to tell you, my child."
A cold chill ran down Sterling's spine, but she gently escorted her mother to the small dining table before the fireplace. Once her mother was seated, she turned to Orla and found her wife, standing next to a chair waiting for her to be seated. She smiled at her and gently brushed her back before taking the chair held out for her.
"What do you need to discuss with me, mother?" she asked as she reached for a fig.
"Commander Farah has been killed in an attack two weeks ago. The messenger arrived a few minutes ago with the news."
Sterling had expected anything ... anything but this. The fig dropped out of nerveless fingers as she turned to look at her mother. Mesmeria's face held an intense look of regret as she looked at her. This was not what she'd wanted. Not now. Not when she'd finally meet her mate and was planning on appointing a successor. She turned to look at Orla and found pale blue eyes looking at her with raw fear and pain.
"I am sorry for bringing such news, but I thought you needed to know."
Sterling closed her eyes and felt her heart breaking in the silence which now enfolded the room. If Farah was killed two weeks ago, it meant that Hurians were crossing over their border as they speak. She slowly came to her feet. She needed to heed to call of duty. She knew what was expected of her when she was growing up and she knew what would be expected of her when she was appointed Commander of the Royal Army. But her heart was bleeding, filling her chest cavity with thick streams of pain and regret. She was nowhere close to leaving Orla. She would never be ready to leave her wife behind. She schooled her face into an expressionless mask when she looked at her mother.
"I will be ready to leave in the morning. Could you please inform my men?"
Mesmeria nodded as she came to her feet, her shoulders drooping as she walked to the door. With one final look at them, she slipped out quietly. As soon as the door closed behind her, both Sterling and Orla rushed towards each other.
For once Orla wasn't scared that her immense strength might hurt Sterling as she cradled her wife to her chest. Her arms tightened even further as she thought of the possibility that she might never see Sterling again after today. She swung Sterling in her arms and carried her to their bed. Gently depositing her wife on the soft bed, she found Sterling looking at her with eyes drenched in tears and Orla knew at that moment that no words would be able to soften the impact of the blow they'd just be dealt. She tried to come upright after having placed Sterling on the bed, but two strong arms pulled her closer.
"Please do not leave me here alone," came the teary request and Orla nodded as she wrenched her dressing robe off her body.
"I will never leave you. Never."
Their lovemaking was wild and uninhibited as they made each other scream in ecstasy over and over again. It was dark outside when Orla rolled off Sterling, her body trembling with exhaustion. Sterling snuggled into her arms and momentarily fell into a deep sleep. But even as exhausted as she was, Orla knew that it would be a while before she could follow Sterling into a deep sleep. There was soft knock on the door and looking down into Sterling's face to make sure she was fast asleep before she carefully got out of bed and put on her dressing robes. She stumbled slightly when she tried to take the first step and held onto the bedpost, flexing her thigh muscles until she felt assured that she won't crash to the floor. She made her way over the door and pulling it open, she wasn't really surprised to find Cybralle standing there.
"Is she sleeping already?" Cybralle asked after a curt greeting.
Cybralle sighed. "It is Cybralle to you, daughter."
Orla blushed. "I will not forget."
"Good." Cybralle's eye travelled down Orla's body, making the younger woman want to squirm under the close scrutiny. "I'm sorry I interrupted your sleep, but how is she?"
Orla stepped aside. "You can see for yourself."
Cybralle's eyes lit up at the prospect of seeing her daughter and she eager took the invitation. She gave Orla a look of gratitude as she stepped into the room, her eyes immediately seeking out the form of her daughter. She threw a quick glance over her shoulder at Orla.
"Please go ahead," Orla urged gently. "She only just fell asleep."
Orla watched as Cybralle walked over to the bed and knelt next to it. With infinite tenderness, Cybralle brushed over Sterling hair, tucking an errand strand behind her ear. The scene was so intimate that Orla felt as if she was invading their privacy. She reached for a cloak on the nearby coat hanger and quietly made her way out of the room. Walking briskly through the hallways, she found herself before her workshop. Pushing the door open, she sighed at the familiar smell of stale wood smoke and burnished iron. Shrugging out of her cloak, she reached for her apron and fastened it around her neck and waist. She then made her way over to the locked cabinet and reaching under an overhanging piece of chain, she retrieved the key to unlock the cabinet. Reaching inside she retrieved the breastplate she'd been working on. She gently caressed her fingers over the shiny surface and finally over the heart-shaped emblem, she'd painstakingly designed to serve as reinforcement over her beloved's heart. But looking at it now, she suddenly doubted the durability of the breastplate. Maybe there was more she could do to reinforce it. But then she ran the risk of making it too heavy for Sterling thus hampering her mobility. That could be more dangerous in the end and could cost Sterling ... NO! She wasn't going to think about that. She placed the piece of armor on her worktable and with practiced ease began to light her oven. There must be something she could do to make sure that Sterling came back to her.
It was many candle marks later when she dunked her latest creation in the water barrel. She waited patiently for the hissing to cease and took it out. She inspected it critically before reaching for the piece of cloth in the front pocket of her apron. She tenderly wiped it off and taking it over to the work table and began the slow, tedious process of engraving. She wasn't really educated, having learned only the basics from her mother. The rest came from her work. Not many would realize how much writing a blacksmith was expected to do at times. Many people, especially the nobles, loved to have engravings done on their metal pieces. She carefully formed the words. She sat back after a long while and smiled as she read the words. Revendi at Me. She sat reading the words over and over, before she got to her feet. She still had so much more to do before joining Sterling in bed again.
Sterling stirred and her eyes fluttered open. She quickly sat up when she stared straight into her mother silver eyes.
“Umah? What happened?”
“Nothing, daughter. I just wanted to be close to you tonight.”
Sterling turned her head and looked at bed next to her. “Orla?”
“She let me in and then she left. She is probably working in her shed.”
Sterling lowered her head. “I am scared of leaving her, Umah. I am scared that I might not come back this time.”
Cybralle reached out for her and Sterling allowed her mother to wrap her in her strong arms.
“That will not happen, my love. You will come back and the two of you will have lots of babies, making your mother and me very happy.”
Sterling snorted softly. “Lots of babies? How do you know that?”
Sterling felt Cybralle's massive chest shook as she chuckled. “Orla looks like she could help you conceive a small army.” Cybralle pulled back and angled her head so that she could look into Sterling's eyes. “Or are looks deceiving?”
Sterling blushed and quickly averted her eyes. Her mother was right. Orla would indeed help her conceive strong, healthy babies.
“I think you are right.”
“Good. Now stop fretting. Get dressed and go look for your wife. You have to spend as much time together as you can.”
Sterling waited until her mother was out of the bedchamber before she got dressed and left the sleeping chamber. The arrival of the messenger had caused quite a stir it seemed because the castle was teeming with activity. Loads of foodstuff had to be prepared and wagons packed for the departure of the army and the servants were rushing to get it all done.
The stables were even more hectic, but Sterling ignored the activities as she made her way towards the blacksmith's shed. It was unusually quiet inside as she ducked into the heated interior of her wife's domain. As soon as her eyes got used to the subdued lighting, they searched for her wife. When she couldn't see her immediately, she considered checking the stables. Just as she was about to turn and leave, she saw a faint movement in the darkest corner of the shed.
“My love …?” Sterling stepped closer and sighed softly at what she saw. Orla sat, with her head bowed, on the floor, cradling a sword in her arms. “Beloved, I need to be close to you.”
A tear-streaked face lifted to meet her eyes and a sob escaped Sterling's lips. Her own pain and fear was reflected in the blue eyes. Orla quickly put the sword aside and held out her arms. Stumbling forward, Sterling fell on her knees next to Orla, her eyes riveted on her wife's face.
“I know it is selfish of me to ask, but please be strong for me … for the both of us. I cannot do this unless I know you have faith for both of us.”
Setting the sword aside, Orla reached out and effortlessly hoisted her unto her lap. Sterling's heart ached when Orla pressed her wet face into her neck and began to sob softly. There were no words to comfort her wife and thus she just held on tightly. They sat like that for a long while, before Orla lifted her head and searched Sterling's eyes.
“I promise to be strong for the both of us, if you promise to be careful on the battlefield. There is a reason why we had to meet and fall in love.”
Sterling gently combed her fingers through Orla's sweaty dark locks. “I believe that too, my love.”
“Good.” The blue eyes blazed with determination. “Then we both need to have faith.”
Sterling nodded. “I promise to try my utmost best to return to you.” She leaned forward and captured Orla's lips in a searing kiss. When she pulled away, she found Orla's blue eyes, shining an eerie white. But then it was gone and she wondered if she's imagined it.
“Let us return to our chamber. We still have a few hours together.”
Orla felt different. Strange.
Something had happened in the shed, but she didn't know what. Holding Sterling's hand as they walked slowly down the hallway to her room, she could feel her body heating up from the inside, scorching her insides. It was as if an army of fire ants were feeding on her intestines. She must've made a sound, because Sterling quickly looked up at her.
“What is the matter, Orla?”
Seeing the confusion and concern on her wife's face, she looked away. “I … I am scared.”
Sterling pushed into her body. “We promised to have faith. No need for you to be scared. Be strong for me.”
Orla nodded. Faith. I need to have faith. Nothing was going to happen unless they have faith. She embraced Sterling fiercely. “Let us go finish our wedding night.”
Sterling smiled up at her, the silver eyes warm with love. “That is a splendid idea.”
An urgency to have this woman again, overtook her and Orla swung Sterling into her arms and made for their bedchamber.
To be continued...
Return to the Academy