Chapter 28: Kysael- The New Queen
July, 1103 A.D.
I felt groggy. As if I had been asleep for a long time, and I was just now waking up. I also felt heavy.
I felt as if I had been trampled by elephants, and I could hardly breathe. My body ached, and I groaned.
The last thing I remembered was decapitating Kellerok and taking a moment to think about everything that I had been through lately, reliving the battle, before I fainted. Everything had been nothing but dreams since then.
Dreams of Manwen, telling me that I needed to get to Celestial Peak, right away. That I would meet someone there, that my destiny was not complete. He continued reaching out to me, urgently pushing me to heal and awaken, and to rush off into the wilderness, to his homeland...
I opened my eyes, taking in my surroundings. I was in bed. I took stock of my body, and I couldn't feel anything there. Was I simply numb…? Or was my child…I shuddered at the thought, and groaned again in pain.
I heard a door click, and then a gasp. "Kysael?" I heard Dragon's voice. "Are...are you awake?"
I slowly blinked my eyes, blinking away the groggy blurred vision. He finally came into focus. "Dragon?"
He hugged me. "Kysael, thank heavens you're alright!"
"How long have I been asleep...?"
"You have been asleep for a few weeks."
"Weeks?!" I nearly shouted.
He shrugged. "You did go through quite a trauma, Kysael. I suppose it's only natural. You have been only gradually awakening every so often to feed."
Kelose rushed into the room. "Kysael!" I was surprised to see him here, but as Moserre came in behind him, I realized that not only was he ignoring Kelose being on his land... but he had actually given Kelose permission to be here, in his own home.
He was allowing me to see Kelose in the comfort of my own bed, without turning him in to the proper authorities.
Kirinae followed my father in. "Mother!" I was shocked by her appearance. She had grown even more, and was the full size and development of an adult now. Her hair was short on the sides, cut to her head, and on the top her hair was long, falling in braids in the back.... but much longer than last I'd seen it.
"Kirinae, Kelose...." I was overwhelmed.
"Oh, Kysael!" I heard his smooth voice say. "You are finally awake, I see! We were beginning to grow concerned, daughter," my father laughed.
"I... I'm fine, I'm just...a bit groggy."
He squeezed me tight enough to be painful, but I said nothing about it. "I am so, so very proud of you!"
"And you should be groggy, Kysael. You slept for weeks," Kelose said.
I smiled. "I'm sorry to have kept you all waiting."
"They weren't the only ones waiting, Kysael," a new voice spoke.
I looked to see who it was, and everyone stepped aside to allow Mafrien to come to my side.
Coal, in his humanoid form, stepped into the room behind him, watching our interaction. I turned my attention back to Mafrien. His eyes were soft, the look on his face reserved and shy, almost.
"Mafrien," I said softly. He was beautiful. His black hair was shiny, a bit longer than his white hair had been. His eyes were the color of a setting sun, and his skin was a deep, dark tan with an olive undertone. His wings were thick, black as the night, the feathers smooth and soft.
He took my hand, and kneeled beside the bed. "You have freed me," he spoke, his voice thick with emotion. "I have been under bondage to my father for centuries. You have set me free from his cruel wrath. I can never repay you."
I smiled through my tears. "That means a lot to me."
"Coal has been quite worried, as well."
I looked at Coal, who's eyes quickly skittered away from me. "I was simply worried about your well-being," he grumbled, shrugging it off.
I laughed. "I love you to pieces," I smiled. I sighed, and looked around at these faces.
I glanced at Dragon, and I noted that he was having a difficult time looking me in the eyes. "Dragon…?" I asked, and my hand went to my belly.
He looked up at me, and his face took on a pained expression. "I'm…I'm sorry," he said. "It is gone."
Part of me wanted to take another few weeks, alone, to mourn this loss.
However, I felt like something was calling me, I felt led to go somewhere...somewhere that I had dreamed about during my weeks asleep, something that I felt that I had to do.
I also knew, that I had to do it soon. "I think that I am ready to go on my next adventure," I said softly. Tears ran down my face.
"What?!" My father cried.
I smiled. "I have somewhere that I have to go."
"And where exactly do you have to go?" Dragon asked, confused.
"Manwen came to me in a vision while I was asleep. He told me that once I'd had enough rest, I needed to go into the Celestial Peak mountains, and locate the remainder of his people there. He told me that the reason would reveal itself upon my arrival."
They all glanced around at each other, not responding at first.
"Kysael, that is insane," Mafrien said. "There shouldn't be anyone in those mountains. My people have searched there."
"I know what I saw in the visions," I said, standing my ground. "I have to go there."
"But mother, we just got you back!" My daughter cried. "I don't want for you to leave again!"
"I don't feel like I have a choice, Kirinae. It's a journey that I need to take."
"I will pack my things to go with you," Dragon said.
I shook my head stiffly. "No. I have to go alone."
"What? But Kysael, I am-"
"I know, Dragon. But Manwen said that I need to go alone."
"But...but we've missed so much time together," Kirinae pouted sadly. "I wanted to tell you all about what's been going on and catch up on things with you."
I held out my arms to her and she hugged me. "I am sorry. But this is a necessary thing."
"What about me? I could go with you, to protect you. Just to the mountains, not to see the Skyelves," Kelose said.
"That is sweet of you to offer," I said softly before glancing at Dragon. "But that would be unfair and inappropriate. After everything that has happened and with where things stand...I don't feel like that's a good idea."
He nodded before he looked away. "I just wanted to put the thought out there." He sighed. "You really intend to go?"
"I will set out in the morning," I said firmly.
The next morning came soon enough, and my family and friends stood outside of the city entrance of Lykra with me.
A strange sight greeted me as I saw my husband standing next to my daughter, who was wrapped up in my father's arms, and it was something that made me want to choke with happiness. I had a family. A real family.
They all gave me hugs, wishing me well on my journey.
"Are you sure that you have to go alone?" Dragon asked.
I nodded. "Manwen told me that my first journey there would have to be made alone.... whatever that means."
He smiled. "He is so cryptic."
I laughed. "Indeed." I tightened my bag over my shoulder. "I'll be back when I can be," I said softly. "Besides…I need time to grieve," I said, locking eyes with him. He gave me a sad nod, looking away from me. And with final waves and goodbyes, I set out.
As I walked through the forest, I remembered all that I had been through in the past several years.
I could honestly say that I was genuinely proud of myself.
Having trained so hard to fight, getting through the loss of Kelose, becoming a recognized huntress for Havengrove, becoming important to the king, marrying Dragon....the war, my abduction, everything that Mafrien had put me through.
Then the pregnancy, the birth, Kirinae murdering Zakarin, the trial, the banishment, all that had taken place since my arrival at Lykra.
Getting run through by a wild boar, dying, reuniting with Kelose, mating with Dragon, Mafrien's transformation, my transformation, my battle with Kellerok...Losing my newest child…
So much had happened in so little time. I couldn't believe it myself, almost. It was overwhelming, and I was ready for something good to happen for a change.
Within a few days, I was in Irasil's mountain range, continuing on northward, making my way to the ancient and most sacred of places in the elven culture.
I was shocked at how much less I was affected by temperatures now, since my transformation.
It was absolutely freezing the more I traveled north, and yet I was hardly bothered.
After taking a break and camping in a cave for a night, I set out at first light the next morning to continue on.
The closer I got to the top of the mountains, the harder the snow came down.
It was a wonder to me how Manwen had been so pale, considering how cold and snowy it was up here.
I supposed that also meant that they got more sunlight, seeing how there were no trees.
I finally reached the borders, albeit I wasn't sure how I was aware that it was the borders. There was no sign to direct me, but somehow.... I felt as if I were already home...
Perhaps it was because it had been Manwen, the ruler of these lands, who had pushed me into the transformation, giving his own life to do so. Perhaps that is why I felt so at home, why I knew that I was at the borders. Perhaps that is why I had visions of him giving me instructions in my dreams.
"Halt!" A voice shouted above the strong winds of the blizzard. "State your purpose here!"
I turned, and approached the voice. I couldn't really see very well. I had never been in such a snow storm before, my eyes were not used to it.
"Show me who is asking!" I shouted my curt reply.
In an instant, I was overwhelmed by a warmness around me as a shield of energy surrounded us, and I could see the snow beating into it, literally shielding us from the blizzard despite still being in the blizzard.
Someone who seemed so familiar to me stepped out of the side of my vision. He had long, long platinum hair that was pulled back, falling down his shoulders. He had thick eyebrows, and large wings.
His eyes were the same platinum golden color as his hair. He had dark, richly tan skin. "Now, answer my question."
I unfurled my wings after taking my bag off of my shoulders. He startled.
"You're a Skyelf...?" He asked, surprised.
I met his eyes, and his face was shocked. He looked as if he had seen a ghost.
I narrowed my eyes in confusion. "What are you staring at me like that for...?"
"What are you?" He asked.
"I was half Wraith, half Woodelf....until a very good friend turned my Woodelf self into a Skyelf half."
His eyes got wide. "Who sent you?"
"King Manwen sent me after I defeated Kellerok."
He immediately kneeled before me. "So, it is you, then."
Surprised, I asked, "What do you mean?"
"King Manwen visited me in a vision a few weeks ago, telling me that the girl he had predicted himself sending centuries ago had just defeated the Darkelf king and would be coming once she was ready. And now, you are here."
".... I see," I said softly. "Wait....the girl that he had predicted himself sending...? I don't understand."
"Before Kellerok won the war and King Manwen gave himself over to Kellerok, Manwen told me that he'd had a vision of a great warrior woman facing off against Kellerok, and then sending her here. I'd nearly forgotten about it, it was so many years ago, when I had a vision a few weeks ago, him coming to me and telling me that you would be coming soon."
"Wow...." I smiled. "But....why are you bowing to me?"
He laughed. "He didn't even tell you why he sent you here, did he?" He laughed heartily. "That's my old friend for you. King Manwen has sent you here to be coronated and become the new Skyelf Queen."
What he said didn't register to me. I just stood there, staring at him in dumb shock.
"Whaaaaaaat?!" I finally shouted unintentionally.
He frowned. "Are....are you displeased...?"
I finally looked at him. "Displeased...? No....I am simply...overwhelmed. I... I didn't think that I would be sent here to become a ruler," I laughed nervously. "I don't even know anything about the Skyelves!"
"Well, my lady...um...."
"Oh, where are my manners? My name is Kysael."
He smiled. "I am Castiel."
I startled. "Manwen told me about you when we were imprisoned together in Barrenwilds!" I said, smiling. "You were his most trusted advisor, his war general, and his best friend."
He nodded. "Yes, I was. My lady Kysael, I would be teaching you everything that you need to know for the duration of your stay here, before you are officially coronated. I would become your advisor, and then I would teach your chosen advisor how to be the Queen's advisor."
"My chosen advisor...?"
He shook his head. "Come with me. We have much to discuss, and I cannot keep up this barrier forever." He led me further up the mountain, and when we finally reached its peak, I stood there, mouth agape at what I saw.
On the very top of the mountain, there was a magnificent and marvelous palace built into the very peak of the mountain. Its halls led far into the mountain, and there were even depths that reached into the base of the mountain, or so Castiel told me.
As we made our way through the courtyard of icy stone, I could see Skyelves everywhere, staring at me with wide eyes from behind statues and columns.
They must not have visitors very often, I mused.
We finally got inside, and he led me through the throne room-which I didn't look at yet, I wanted that to be the last thing that I saw here-to go into the War Council room.
He pulled out a chair for me, and tucked it under my rear as I sat down, treating me like a lady.
"Now, then. Yes, to pick up where we left off, your chosen advisor. I will advise you for as long as I can, but I am thousands of years old. I would like to retire soon. You will be allowed to choose one person, male or female, to be your advisor. He or she will help you to govern the nation, advising you on wise courses of action, or trying to help you whenever you need it, or just there for you to talk to."
"I already have one of those."
He looked at me, surprised. "Do you?"
"He is my husband and Blood Bonded servant."
He sputtered, but composed himself. "I see. Well, then, I would simply need to teach him how to advise you in ways of ruling our country, and all you would have to do is let him advise you, and then make your decisions based on your own feelings and his advice for you."
"I see. And what of my Soul Bonded mate? He is a Rogue elf, on the run with a bounty on his head from the other Elven nations. But because of our Soul Bond, I have to periodically see him. Would he be allowed here? Where would he fit into all of this?"
He was startled again. "If you continue to shock me with such delicately personal information, I may just have a heart attack," he joked softly. "Joking aside, you certainly.... aren't what I was expecting....no disrespect intended, of course...." He rushed to apologize for his rudeness.
I waved it off. "I know the elven code, of course. Perhaps it is just because I am....half of the Dark Realm..."
He smiled. "You know.... when you say it that way, it truly is a fact to me that you are, truly, the perfect choice to be the new Queen. You are half of the Light Realm, and half of the Dark Realm. You understand both sides, and only you will be capable of bringing the world into a balanced society." He smiled before he continued.
"Back to your question....If you wish, you may bring him here and have him integrated into our race, as well as your advisor, and you can see your Soul Bonded mate as soon as you choose. It is up to you. And your husband can become your King, or the Soul Bonded mate can become your king, or you can remain the top of command if you choose. You will be the Queen. King Manwen has made it very clear that he chose you. Whatever you decide, that is what will be done. And frankly, if you were able to defeat Kellerok, then not many here would be able to stop you."
I smiled at him. "Thank you. I foresee us becoming just as great of friends as you were with Manwen, possibly because he is the one who turned my elven self into a Skyelf."
His eyes brimmed with tears. "It brings great joy to my heart to know that, somewhere inside of you, beats the heart of my former best friend. You remind me of him, in a way. You have silver wings, and silver in your hair, and you even have his eyes."
"Are silver wings uncommon...?"
"Only the purest of the Skyelves get them. And I do not mean pure as in blood lineage, as with the Wraith people, but I mean pure as in spirit. You know who the truly peaceful and greatest of the Skyelves are by their wing color. Most have white or brown or, very few have golden or black, and it is extremely rare to find someone with silver wings. Silver in the Wraith culture is a sign of lineage purity, though I am surprised that you have silver in your eyes, if you are only half Wraith. Who is your Wraith parent?"
His eyebrows shot up. "That is a surprise, then. Moserre is not strictly pure blood line," he said softly. "You are a mystery that has yet to be solved, Kysael."
"So....when will I be coronated...? I am ready to go ahead and begin moving my things here if I am to be living here from now on, and I need to let my friends and family know.... they are welcome, aren't they?"
"Oh, of course, my lady! Any guest of yours will be most welcome here."
I smiled. "I am so.... thankful that you aren't disgusted with me."
He looked confused. "Why would I be disgusted with you?"
"Ever since it was discovered that I was half Wraith, my life in Havengrove got unbearably hard. I was mistreated, beaten, had things thrown at me, taunted, I was exiled to live on the very edge of the cty with no friends and no family. I only had one person. And....and was eventually banished under different circumstances. Even in Lykra, King Ekabat and several of the others mistreated me, because I wasn't full blooded. But I am thankful that my lineage doesn't make a difference to you."
"My lady," he said, his voice thick with emotion. "You carry King Manwen's spirit inside of you. No matter what race you are, he hand-picked you to carry on his spirit and become the new Queen. He didn't care about your lineage, and neither will we, I assure you."
I smiled. "Thank you, Castiel."
"You may begin moving your things here anytime that you wish."
"Then I will be going and letting everyone know. Thank you again, and I will return as soon as I can."
"You're what?!" They chorused. Dragon looked shocked and conflicted, and Kelose looked happily surprised.
He could come and live in Celestial Peak without fear of being turned over to the other elven nations, despite the price on his head, because I would be the queen and I would be in charge.
That meant that he and I could see one another whenever we needed to. That meant that he didn't need to be on the run anymore.
Of course, he was happy.
"Yes, I am to be coronated as the new Queen of Celestial Peak," I laughed. "I had the same reaction, believe me. But Lord Castiel assures me that it is true, and that I need to begin moving to Celestial Peak at once."
"I am disappointed," my father said softly. "I was just starting to get closer to you, and now you are leaving," he said.
I smiled. "I am sorry, Moserre. I didn't intend for this to happen.... but I can't refuse. Manwen specifically turned my elven self into a Skyelf to allow me to defeat Kellerok and then to take my place as Celestial Peak's new Queen."
Dragon sighed. "And I was just getting settled into the newly expanded clinic..." He sighed. "I suppose we will simply have to move everything up there," he said, his tone dejected. He stood and swiftly left the room.
My heart ripped in two.
I knew that asking this of him was unfair, but I needed him. I needed him to be my advisor, because he was forever bonded to me through our Blood Bond.
On top of which, he was also my husband.
He wouldn't be able to stay here. The separation would drive him mad, and he would be forced to come and find me.
He would simply have to accept this and move on. But it was extremely unfair to him, I knew.
He had been getting settled here, and now for me to tell him that he was once again going to have to uproot his entire life and move with me again?
I had to find a way to repay him for everything. I had to find a way to repay him for both of the most precious gifts he had given me, gifts that I had been unable to deliver back to him. I couldn't do anything right for him, and he deserved so much better.
Then, I remembered something that Castiel had told me. He had said that I could have them integrated with the Skyelf society. So that meant that I could have them transformed into Skyelves the same way that Manwen had done to me, right?
I thought that would be a perfect gift to my sweet husband.
Kelose seemed to be excited. "I've always wanted to see Celestial Peak," he said. "It's pretty much the only place that I haven't been to," he laughed.
We all ignored the elephant in the room. We all ignored the fact that Kelose, my Soul Bonded mate, and Dragon, my blood bonded husband...were both going to be living with me in Celestial Peak.
Moserre had several Wraiths pack all of our things, leaving me to say goodbye to all those whom I needed to say goodbye to.
Mafrien smiled when I met him outside. "Congratulations, my lady Skyelf Queen," he laughed. "I am fixing to return to Barrenwilds, to begin changes there and begin my rule as the new king of that region. Together, I am sure that we can change the world."
I hugged him. "Thank you."
"I will see you at the coronation ceremony to update you on my progress and to see you become the Queen that you deserve to be after everything that you have went through and conquered."
Then, he lifted himself into the air on his wings the color of the night sky, flying back to Barrenwilds.
Dragon came to me, then.
I took a deep breath. "Dragon, I am sor-"
"Please just don't, Kysael." His eyes were tired. "I... have put so much work into this clinic, into its expansion.... into my new partnership," he admitted softly, and my heart felt as if it were cracking. He shook his head. "I've learned so much, have spent so much time on research, and trying to get things settled and set up. I just started a new business. And now, I am going to have to pack all of that up and leave, again, and start fresh, again, somewhere else, all while I grieve. I took chances with you, and through no fault of your own, both of us have been shattered and left to be ravaged and picked apart by our grief."
Tears ran down my face, and he sighed, wiping his thumbs under my eyes.
"Don't cry, Kysael...." He mumbled softly.
"I have....no right....to ask you to come with me. But I....I can't live without you near me. The thought of it...." I started gagging at the thought of him not being there, around me regularly, and he began healing my temples. "I can't even think of it! Not after everything…" I cried.
He sighed. "It is the Blood Bond," he said softly.
I met his gaze evenly. "It is also...because I love you," I whispered.
He hugged me. "I know."
"She can come," I told him, and I felt him jump a little in surprise. "You can make a clinic in Irasil, I'm sure, and you can just move the clinic up there," I told him as cheerfully and happily sounding as I could manage. "I know that you somewhat feel things for her, too. I sense it, feel it in your mind. She can move up there. We can all be happy! Everything will be alright, you'll see."
He nodded. "I know. It's just.... I was getting settled here. I don't like moving around. I like being settled, having a routine."
I bit my lip. "I'm sorry...you must hate me. You hate me, right? You must hate me for what I've put you through. You should hate me for being such a failure. I can't even procreate for you! I'm worthless! I bet you hate-"
He slapped me before he covered his mouth with his hands, his eyes wide, tears running down his face as if he hadn't been able to control his actions and now, he was facing the horror of it.
"Kysael!" His voice cracked. "I... I am so sorry, I....I-I couldn't stop myself! I didn't mean to," he stuttered brokenly, his eyes imploring me to forgive him.
I held my burning cheek, unsure if I wanted to scream at him or kiss him. Instead, I kept my voice dull, even. "No....I deserved that. I should not have assumed that you hate me just because I have continuously torn down everything that you have worked for," I said sarcastically.
"I am sorry, Kysael. But...I could never hate you. Be very angry at you, frustrated, irritated, yes. But I couldn't ever hate you. Not ever." He sighed. "Can you forgive me?"
"I already forgave you."
"You know that I would never intentionally hit you on purpose...that was an accident, a reflex before I could stop it....and I....I am so sorry."
I wordlessly returned to my chambers, and he didn't follow me. He just slid to sit on the floor, sitting there mourning over what he'd done. I knew that he was a nobleman, and a gentleman.
He had never hit a woman before.
He had never struck me, especially. He had never even come close.
I knew that he didn't mean it. But it didn't change the fact that I'd made him angry and upset enough to do so in reflex before he could even stop himself.
It took several more hours before all of our things were packed and loaded into the wagon pulled by four horses.
I gave Moserre a hug. "I will miss you, and I fully expect you to come and visit."
"I was about to say the same thing," he told me.
"Een wiln sen yoh ahgayne." I whispered.
Then we were on our way, Kelose, Dragon, Kirinae and I.
Upon our arrival, drums and trumpets sounded and Castiel met us in the courtyard, a huge smile on his face.
He came up to us quickly, pulling me into a brief hug before holding out his hand to Kelose, and then to Dragon, and Kirinae.
"Welcome, my friends, to the city of Celestial Peak!" He said with a smile, and many Skyelves cheered. It was a complete surprise to me, since they had barely shown themselves during my first visit.
"I will show you all to your chambers," Castiel said. As we walked, he looked at me. "Now, my lady, who is everyone?"
"Oh, right, I'm sorry! I've been a warrior for so long that I am going to have to brush up on my manners, I do believe. This is my Soul Bonded mate, Kelose," I pointed to him first. They exchanged a brief introduction and hello before I moved on. I pointed to Kirinae, then. "This is my daughter, Kirinae, the future Queen of Barrenwilds." Though he startled, he didn't falter and gave her a warm hello. And then lastly, I motioned to Dragon. "And this....is my husband, Blood Bound servant, and chosen advisor, Dragon."
Dragon looked surprised. "Chosen advisor?" He asked, stunned.
I knew that he'd been on the War Council in Havengrove for many years, and he obviously knew what that meant, I figured, when he gave me a tearful, meaningful look of happy, stunned awe. "Me? You...you would bestow that type of honor upon me?"
I smiled. "You have been my protector since you delivered me out of my mother's womb. You are also my husband. You are the most plausible choice to be my chosen advisor for my rule over this nation."
"I....I don't know what to say," he said softly.
I leaned toward him, using a tone that made my next sentence an order that he must obey. I made it into a direct order. "Then just give me the response that you usually give when I ask you a request."
He looked at me meaningfully, and I felt Kelose tense beside of me.
Despite not really having a claim over me, Kelose was hurt by my relationship to Dragon. Even though neither of us really wanted to be with one another, he still felt things for me and I felt things for him.
Our Soul Bond caused him to hold deep attachment to me, and he was deeply saddened by my marriage and Blood Bond to Dragon.
Castiel seemed to catch onto some of the meaning behind it as well, because he stirred restlessly.
Dragon tried to hesitate, but because it had silently been an order, his body and mouth reacted against his wishes.
Dragon bowed slightly at the waist. "If that is what you wish, mistress," he told me in a deep tone of voice that held much pent-up emotion.
Kelose tensed further, his body shaking ever so subtly, but he said nothing of it.
He had no right to, and he knew it.
Kirinae's cheeks flushed.
My cheeks heated as well. The tension in the room was thick enough that someone could be able to cut it. I had never been so bold in my speech, but I felt truly at ease to be myself here, and it made a difference.
Castiel cleared his throat. "Continuing on," he said, trying to cut out the awkwardness. "All of your chambers are down the Royal Hall," he said, leading us through the palace. He took us up a long stair way, and down a corridor and down another hall to our right, the north wing of the palace. He showed us the entire hall that held doors that led to bedrooms. "You may choose which rooms you like," he said.
Kelose chose the last door on the right, while Kirinae chose the room directly across the hall from him.
Dragon hesitantly chose the first room on the left of the hall, as far from Kelose's chambers as possible. I didn't have to ask why. Kelose noticed, also, because he watched Dragon glance at him before making his decision.
I sighed softly, and Castiel patted my back. "It's a lot to take in, isn't it?"
I nodded. I turned back to Castiel. "Where do we bathe?" I asked.
He smiled. "Each room has a bath, here."
I was pleasantly surprised. "That is nice," I said.
"It is much more convenient that way," he smiled. "Meal times are at six in the morning, tea time is at ten, dinner is at noon, afternoon sweets are at two in the afternoon, and then supper is at five."
He gave me a piece of paper with the scheduled eating times listed, so that I wouldn't have to remember it all, and I thought of how thoughtful that was of him. I noted Dragon watching him, too, observing this advisor's behavior.
Always the quick study, I mused silently to myself.
Castiel bowed to me. "Well, my lady, we will begin unloading your things for all of you, and will deliver your things to you so that you may get settled in. I will.... give you all some time to.... adjust," he said with a grin, and he made his way back down the hall and out of our sight.
I sighed, and met Kelose's eyes before I looked to my husband.
The tension in the hall was thick.
"Give me a moment," I told Dragon. He nodded at me, before he went into our chambers. Kirinae went into her own, and Kelose and I were left alone in the hall. We met in the middle.
"Are you sure that you want for me to be here, Kysael? It puts your husband in great distress."
I nodded. "I know. But our Soul Bond requires us to see one another, and considering how hard it was for me to find my way here, even as a stronger creature than you, I can't imagine asking you to come and find your way here as often as you would be required to. And you don't have to be on the run here. You are free to live in peace. But the only place currently available is in this palace, and unfortunately that means that you are under the same roof as we are."
He nodded. "When can I expect to see you?"
I sighed. "Whenever we cannot refuse the call anymore and not a moment sooner."
He smiled sadly before he nodded. "Alright then." And then he went to go down the hall, and back to his chambers.
I sighed, and went back into my own chambers to see Dragon standing there, facing away from me, his body tense.
"Husband," I said softly.
He turned to face me slowly.
Dragon gave me a long, unreadable expression, his eyes burning through me. "I've never heard you speak so boldly in public before. That was... refreshing, to see you so comfortable."
My eyes left his first, taking in the sight of the room that we were in.
There was a lovely, large bed against the wall with rich, dark green bedding, a small end table on both sides.
Across from the bed was a wardrobe. Next to the wardrobe was a door that led into the room with the bath and privy, I imagined.
I sighed, and threw myself onto my bed. "I am going to get some rest," I told Dragon. "I am still recovering from heavy wounds, after all."
"Of course. I am going to go and find Castiel, and discuss some of my duties with him." And then he was quickly out of the room, and I fell into a much-needed slumber after the long day that I'd had.
A knock sounded on the door a while later, and I got up and opened it to welcome in Skyelves who smiled warmly at me and brought my things into the room, and once they were finished, they informed me that it was only a few minutes until supper time, so that I could get dressed and ready for supper.
I got dressed in a nice, blue evening gown that I found in my trunk of gowns.
It had been so long since I had bought the new ones that I'd nearly forgotten what I'd gotten.
After the fires that Mafrien had set in Havengrove had destroyed most of the forest and a lot of my own personal belongings in what was left of my tree hut, Dragon and his family had gotten together and scrounged up as much money as they could to help me buy new clothes and other things that I needed.
Dragon had even taken me shopping, and he'd even had a gown made for me for our marriage. It was typical, in Woodelf culture, for a man to present his chosen lady with a gown upon engagement.
However, we hadn't done that at the time, when we had gotten betrothed or married...
Now, he had.
I looked at that gown fondly.
It was a rich, deep purple with lavender vines and leaves embroidered into the material, and it reached the floor to trail out behind when one wore it. It had a heart shaped neckline that fell in the middle of the chest, not sitting too low on the bust line to be a bit more modest, as Dragon was a more modest man.
Around the neckline were golden crowns embroidered into the material, and a golden and green sash was tied around the gown with purple crowns embroidered into it.
Dragon had truly taken me into account when he'd ordered the gown, that much was certain, and it was a fond memory that I held close to my heart.
This would most certainly not be an appropriate gown to wear to dinner at this moment in time.
When I was ready, I opened my door to find Castiel waiting there, kneeling at the door.
He stood, and I noticed Dragon at his side. "Supper is ready, my lady," he told me.
I smiled. "Thank you. I was just on my way to come join everyone."
"Much like a butler would, Dragon will be escorting you to dinner and telling you things that you will need to look over and attend to, things that he has handled for you, and to generally handle all of the everyday things around the city."
"I thought that...that was my job," I said softly.
He laughed. "No, my lady. It is the Queen's job to be pampered and obeyed, and to have everyone else do her work for her. It is the Queen's duty to pass laws, punishments, and important decisions whereas the city is concerned. But as far as managing the city and the way it operates, that is up to your advisor and your guards. When laws need to be passed or prisoners judged, or other important things decided upon, a meeting will take place in the great hall and you will make those decisions."
"I see," I said. I was somewhat relieved. I'd had no idea what I was going to do if I'd have to run an entire city and see to it that everything was in order.
I was thankful that Dragon didn't have to do it alone, either.
The guards would enforce the laws and rules and regulations, and he would simply be sure that everything was in order around the city and palace.
"Dragon is going to begin shadowing me, learning all that I can teach him. And of course, as I told you during your first visit here, I will be your advisor for as long as you wish, but I am getting older. I will teach him all that I know, and all of his responsibilities, and then you can make your choice on whether you wish to have both of us as your advisors, or simply let him take over for me."
I smiled. "I understand."
"Now, it is time for me to return to the dining hall. I will see you there shortly."
Dragon held out his arm for me, and Castiel winked at me before nodding in his direction, and I looked at him.
He was certainly handsome, and had somehow chosen the same color that I was wearing, only he wore a tight tunic and gray pants with black leather boots.
He looked as if he had freshly shaped up his thin facial hair, just a thin goatee on his chin, and his hair was not down as it normally was, but pulled back into a loose, messy bun on the back of his head, his hair seeming even closer to black since you couldn't see the chocolate streaks or the few red hairs here and there to it with it pulled back like that.
He smiled as we looped our arms together, and he led me to supper.
The dining hall was grand and large, and all of the city was there in honor of our arrival.
A feast awaited us, and though I normally didn't eat normal food, I did indulge myself and eat this wonderfully cooked meal of roasted chicken, steamed vegetables, stewed potatoes and a side slice of delicious looking and smelling apple pie. There was a glass of blood in place of wine on the table for me, and no one said not a word about it. I was surprised that they had thought of me to that extent.
This was almost like a paradise to me.
No one was glaring at me, no one was whispering vicious things about me. I smiled. I felt so at peace.
That night, after we had all retired to bed, I took a long hot bath before I stepped out in billowing steam into the bedroom, and found Dragon waiting for me.
I met his eyes.
He didn't say anything as he wordlessly stepped forward to meet me in the middle of the room.
He waited for me to say something, do something.
However...I didn't know what to say.
My intentions when I had stepped out of the bath, coming into the room, had been so clear when I'd first finished my bath, but now that I was standing in his presence, looking at our bed, thinking about what I was going to do...I couldn't think.
"What is it?" He asked softly at my silence and my more than likely perturbed expression.
I shook my head. "Maybe I shouldn't have thought that this would be so easy. Maybe…maybe I shouldn't have thought that I could even be allowed to have this…"
He was in front of me in an instant.
His eyes, a melting deep purple pool of feelings, met mine in a heated stare.
"Tell me what you are wanting, Kysael."
"I....I am...." I sighed. I wasn't good with words. "I want to be with you." I imagined that my entire face was red. I was half Skyelf, now. I hadn't imagined that something that I had done so many times before my transformation would make me feel so much more sensitive now.
"What, then," he began, running his lips across my ear. "What do you want for me to do...?"
I shivered; my eye lids drooping shut. "I want for you to use my body however it would please you," I said softly. "I want for you to make me cry out for you as a wife cries for her husband, I want to writhe under your body, I-"
I couldn't even finish before I was on our bed, his body covering my own.
"You realize that with Kelose living just down the hall, this could get very awkward and uncomfortable, don't you? You realize that if you should decide that you can't take the pull of the Soul Bond anymore, and you decide to be his, we will divorce and you two will marry, and we would still be tied to each other also, right? You understand that eventually, this will end and you shall wed him because the proximity and your Soul Bond to him will forbid you from staying away from him?"
I shivered, eyes meeting his. "Yes." Tears ran down my face. "Yes, I understand."
He nodded, standing me on my feet beside of our bed again. "You understand that I am still grieving, and that I am not in the mood for this…that I have a hard time even thinking of you in such a way right now? Not because of any fault of yours, but because I feel as if we are cursed."
I met his gaze, his eyes swirling a more sinister shade of lavender, closer to a rich purple than I was used to seeing. It made my body quiver, and it almost gave me an uneasy feeling.
I wasn't used to seeing Dragon's darkness. I gave a small nod, and he sighed.
He had rarely ever allowed me to see it in his eyes, but I knew that it was certainly there.
He just kept it well hidden beneath his kindness, his unfaltering compassion and generosity, his love.
"Then give me the order, because I am going to need the extra motivation with how I am feeling right now. Order me, Kysael."
"Be one with me, Dragon," I ordered softly.
He kneeled in front of me. "Yes, my lady."
We did things that night that we'd never done before I'd been transformed.
That night, I cried his name into his mouth as quietly as I could manage as he brought me to a height of pleasure that had never been possible before my transformation.
When it came to the end, he tried to pull himself out of me. I could see him fighting with himself.
"Kysael…I can't," he sobbed. "Not again."
"Please," I cried. "I saved the world. The worst has passed!"
"No, Kysael. Please, do not make me do this. Not tonight, at least. Give me more time. If you love me, you will not make me do this tonight."
Tears ran down my face, and as I could feel him swell up, I pulled away and rolled over so that my belly pressed into the bed, and I gripped the pillows and sobbed brokenly into them, mourning what I had lost and what I had almost made Dragon give me yet again.
After a few gasping breaths, I could feel him wipe himself off and then he crawled over to me wrapping me in his arms. I turned into his body, and cried brokenly into his chest as he stroked my hair, shushing me and pressing kisses onto the top of my head.