October 23 - Everyone ready for the Friday Highlight? It's ready for you here.

A Heart Full of Stars {A Medieval Story} Chapter 50 out now! 10/18/20

Comments

  • HaflingerHaflinger Posts: 573 Member
    Irishsong wrote: »
    VanPelt81 wrote: »
    Love how Sir Rhayde of the Knights Templar is annoying his travel companions. Also, was that witch trying to give her a hickey?

    What makes you think she's a witch?

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    Sorry, couldn't resist. Just started reading and I got to that comment and well .. o:)
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,507 Member
    edited September 2019
    Oh my gosh, There are so many great things in the new pack! I love it way more than Island living!
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,777 Member
    Irishsong wrote: »
    Oh my gosh, There are so many great things in the new pack! I love it way more than Island living!

    Yeah, I think it's great too. :) Lots of things to do
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,777 Member
    Is this still ongoing? It's been a month :0
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,507 Member
    So sorry. Yes, I haven't shelved this, I got caught up in a separate save file I started after Rsalm of Magic came out, and Minecraft sucks up more if my time than I'd like. And who knew dating would take so much time?

    I'll work on this in the near future. I'm sorry about the wait 😄
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  • citysimmercitysimmer Posts: 5,950 Member
    Take all the time you need :)
    Proud black simmer 🖤
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  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,507 Member
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    Chapter 9

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    The girl was far from what Galant went for, normally. She wasn’t… unique. Besides the obvious scar on her face, she was typical. Pretty, sure, but not remarkable. The king used to be pickier with his dalliances, not chasing whatever walked past him.

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    “Yes, I suppose she would do. Pretty enough to bear an attractive child, smart enough to keep her mouth shut.” Malene commented. They were in the king’s bedroom.

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    The king sat back in his chair, slightly amused. “You know, while the idea of a new wife tickles me, why aren’t you considering yourself for the position? You’ve never been one to turn down powerful positions before.”

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    Malene picked her words carefully. “Being a mother has changed me. While I do love every drip of luxury I can, and your palace is impressive, I’ll be there soon enough. See, my son has become my world-” she smiled to herself, “- and I want what’s best for him. Which is why if I were to become queen, he would have no title. He would never rule the kingdom.”

    “That’s easy enough to solve. I could simply adopt him and call him my own.” the king said.

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    “Please, my son is 2 years old and I haven’t been secret about it. And you and the queen, as separate as you have been lately, are obviously not divorced. You’ve been public enough. The plan would completely backfire and my son would be called a 🎃🎃🎃🎃 son. I won’t have it, he deserves better.” Malene turned back to the girl standing infront of her. “Which is where this maid comes in. With any luck, you'll bear a daughter together, and she will be crown princess. She will get married to my darling boy, and because she is a woman, and the Church says it must be so, she will have to listen to obey her husband. If all else fails, she will have to share the throne with my son. And then he will be the most powerful man in the whole world.”

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    “It’s not a bad plan.” exhaled the king, surveying Miss Cupshire. “But my wife still lives. How should we deal with her? The Church, though I can sway one or two members, I cannot sway the whole institution. Though I could just have her killed, I suppose.”

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    “I have another sister who is a priestess with the Church, she has the ear of the High Priest. He is the one in charge of interpreting the laws of the Church, let her take care of it. In the meantime, this girl and the queen should be under constant supervision. If she either of them breathe a word of this to anyone, the person told should be imprisoned and the person who told should be locked up as well. I’m sure that the front lines are always wanting new hands to join the fight, we can send the people who know to join the battle” smiled Malene.

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    The girl’s eyes opened wide and Malene laughed. “Did you really think that we would let you go and tell everyone what you heard? That would be treason, my dear. Think of this a safety precaution against you harming yourself. But first, Galant,” she turned continued to look at the girl. “I don’t see why you shouldn’t try to start your lineage before you are married. The legal proceedings shouldn’t take too long, and it can take a while to get a pregnancy right.”

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    “With pleasure, Malene. I’ll see you tomorrow. Have a good evening.” he stood from his chair and showed her out of the room, leaving him alone with Anwyn.

    ~*~

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    “I still need help in the kitchen. While you all play at your schemes, I need assistance.” Mrs. Frogwater scolded. “The girl who I requested hasn’t been showing up for work as much as I would like, and that’s just not good enough. If you want good food, I need more help. Send her once more, and make sure she comes this time!”

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    “I’ll see what I can do.” grumbled the page. He trudged up the stairs, looking around for the girl. There were even more women here than normal, and still she asked for just that one? What did the other women do all day? Did the queen need two women to help her dress everyday? How complicated could that be?

    “Miss Cupshire, you’ve been summoned. Miss Cupshire,” he said half heartedly.

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    Quietly he saw the door to the king’s room open, and the girl came out of it, looking shaken. “Miss Cupshire, you’ve been summoned. The cook wishes to see you.”

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    The girl looked at him with wide eyes. “Yes, I suppose I would be. I just have to change, I’ll be down as soon as I am able.”

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    The page looked at her with suspicion and a it of concern. “Are you alright, Miss? You seem out of sorts.”

    “I’m… I’m not at my best today. I should be ready in just a few minutes.”

    “Very well. I will let the cook know.”

    He watched as the girl went up the stairs, nearly tripping once. He faintly heard her open the door to the maids’ quarters, and while he knew that he wouldn’t be able to hear her walking around, he still waited for the sound. There was something not quite right, but he couldn’t lay a finger on it. She was normally busy, moving from one thing to another like a bird flitting from one branch to the next. And she was coming from the king’s chambers, perhaps she was his new mistress? It doesn’t concern me anyway, there is no reason for me to be concerned. Besides, her father probably deserves this. Always riling up trouble… And with that he went off to find something to occupy his time.

    ~*~

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    Anwyn sat down on her bed and felt like she should never get up again. There was no happiness in her anymore. She was being assaulted, now being forced to become queen. She would never be able to get away, this would be her life forever. There was no one she could tell, otherwise she would be imprisoned, and the person who knew would face almost certain death. The front lines to the North were a wild place, news from the front was never good. More people dying, more people killing, more people having their lives turned upside down…

    Mrs. Frogwater would want to see her shortly, she had no time to ponder. As Anwyn stood from her bed, she felt like her joints didn’t want to move. Everything in her body said to stay were she was, don’t move, stay still. She felt hollow.

    She removed the robe and put on her normal clothes, wearing a normal dress. It felt so familiar she felt like she could cry, like she could hear her mother in the next room telling her to clean the dishes and help with dinner. That she was so close, if she turned her head she could see her walk around the corner. She now felt like she would probably never see her again, and that made her feel terrible.

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    I have to move on from this, I need to move. I need to feel useful…

    Anwyn tied back her hair, smoothed her skirt, and walked down the stairs to the kitchen.

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    Mrs frogwater was there, stirring something on the stove. “It’s about time! I need you to hand me-” she looked up at Anwyn.”My girl, what’s wrong with you? You look like you’ve seen a ghost, and that’s my job!”

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    A tiny smile appeared on Anwyn’s face. “You see ghosts?”

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    “That isn’t relevant to your condition. Why are you so pale? What has happened? I don’t see you for two days and you come to me looking like death.”

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    “I- I can’t talk about it. Under orders from the king.” Anwyn managed to say.

    “From the king? Well, I know what he likes to do for fun.” the cook pondered for a minute. “I’ll put a brew in his food this evening. It should stop you from becoming pregnant.”

    Anwyn’s eyes lit up at that. Of course it wasn’t what she had been hoping for, maybe if he died or choked on his food, that would be different, but at least she wouldn’t have to carry his child.

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    The cook turned back to her work. “Then again, it only lasts a year, or so I’ve been told. You should be fine for that length of time though. Alright, stop standing around and give me a hand! Dinner is supposed to be in two hours and this roast isn’t going to make itself!”
    At that moment Sir Rhayde entered the room, standing in the corner.

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    “What do you think you’re doing here? I don’t want anyone that I didn’t invite in the kitchen. Get out.” the cook chastised, but Sir Rhayde just looked annoyed.

    “I wish I could, but I’ve been given a new assignment, to look after Miss Cupshire and make sure she doesn't spill some sort of secret. So get used to it, I’m here.”

    “Then you can cut the vegetables.” he didn’t move, instead he just stood there and looked at his nails. The cook looked up from the stove and at the knight. “What are you waiting for?”

    ~*~

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    {Whoops, wrong dress! I changed the dress, and I had her sit again, but I didn't take the picture? I have no idea how that happend)

    Anwyn was told to wait in the massage room while the nobles ate dinner, but she couldn’t sit in the stale-aired room. It felt like a prison. Every wall in the manor felt like a prison, and she needed to get out.

    She stood up and walked to the front door. The grounds were walled in as well, but the sky had no limit. She went looking for a cozy place to lay down and look at the sky, hoping the weather held. She had changed her gown to something a bit lighter as the night was a warm one.

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    The sky was peaceful. The birds were quiet, sleeping in their nests. Could she hide out here for a few minutes? A few hours? Surely they would search the grounds and as soon as they saw she was missing, and she would be questioned thoroughly. If only her guard was Sir Reed, he seemed to be the kindest of the group.

    She heard steps on the gravel behind her, and she resigned herself to having to be escorted back to the manor, but then a figure laid down beside her at a comfortable distance. “I forget how pretty the stars are out here, where there aren’t lights blocking the light out. The fairy lights are a bit strong, but not that bad.” Sir Reed claimed.

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    Anwyn smiled. He had come when she thought about him, as if summoned. “I forget they exist as well. I become complacent, and I forget they light up the sky most nights. They are beautiful…”

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    They laid that way for a moment, then Sir Reed broke the silence. “I’m so sorry.”

    “You’ve done me no wrong,” stated Anwyn definitively, knowing what he was talking about.

    “I should help you, I know I should, every fiber of my being says that I should help you, but if I were to help you, the punishment is too severe. I would smuggle you out, get you as far away from here as I could possibly get you, but I fear it wouldn’t be good enough. The king is unrelenting, and he would find it to be entertaining to hunt us both down.”

    “And you can’t save my whole family, there are too many. No, this is my burden to bear, and I will shoulder it.” she paused. “I wish I could speak about it, but I would put us both in danger. The king has ordered me to never speak of it.”

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    She stood up quickly, remembering something. “You can’t be out here after dark! We need to get you inside!”

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    “I think I can defend myself, she’s an old woman. And Sir Rhayde is lamenting the loss of your sister and drinking his woes, so going in there is probably not a good idea… you look like your sister.”

    Anwyn thought for a moment. “Mrs. Frogwater is not someone you want to underestimate. And the longer I’m out here the more suspicious I will be to the king, so it’s in our best interest to return.”

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    “Very well, I will escort you.” Sir Reed offered.

    “And I you.” the pair walked towards the manor once more, wishing for good luck.

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    They opened the door and peeked their heads in, listening for people. Anwyn figured she would go up to her room and sleep and not be disturbed by the king tonight. If she could make it that far before she encountered him…

    “And I miss that woman! The waist on her, I could have wrapped both of my hands around it and nearly had my fingers meet!” Sir Rhayde could be heard in the dining hall, but the sound of chairs being pushed in could also be heard, and that meant that they would be coming out soon. If she were going to be undetected, she would have to move quickly. The stairs were too open, you could see people going up and down them-

    “Quick, in here!” Sir Reed pushed her into a curtained alcove, and then stood casually against the wall.

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    “Oi!” Sit Rhayed addressed “HAve you seen the girl? I’m supposed to watch her, and she isn’t where I left her!” he was entirely too loud.

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    “Yeah, I think I saw her outside by the fountain earlier.” Sir Reed said simply.

    “Oh, thank you! I’m going to go and get her, maybe her sister is out there too!” and he barged through the door and out into the night. With any luck, Mrs. Frogwater would find him before he gave up looking for Anwyn.

    Sir Reed looked around again, and slid into the alcove unnoticed. “That was a bit closer than I would have liked. I think that we should be ok, though I don’t know what route the king has in mind.” he whispered. “The curtain to the steam room isn’t as sheer as it appears, and I think that you should be able to sneak up the stairs. I’ll distract them if he comes around.”

    He went to walk out the archway, but Anwyn caught his arm. “I- I want you to know that of everyone here I find you the kindest.”

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    He smiled. “I try my best to stay human.” and then he was gone.
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,777 Member
    If I were Anwyn I would've just killed myself, but knowing the King, that would mean he'd just go after her sister next. So yeah :\
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,507 Member
    icmnfrsh wrote: »
    If I were Anwyn I would've just killed myself, but knowing the King, that would mean he'd just go after her sister next. So yeah :\
    Anwyn's a fighter with a strong will, and I don't think suicide has crossed her mind. But I'll keep your thoughts in mind maybe for other characters' reactions.
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,777 Member
    Irishsong wrote: »
    icmnfrsh wrote: »
    If I were Anwyn I would've just killed myself, but knowing the King, that would mean he'd just go after her sister next. So yeah :\
    Anwyn's a fighter with a strong will, and I don't think suicide has crossed her mind. But I'll keep your thoughts in mind maybe for other characters' reactions.
    IDK, I don't think I can bear the thought of being forced to carry someone's child and being forced to be their spouse.

    What's even worse is that the child, if a girl, will be groomed to be subservient to some stranger's son, so the kid is already doomed to a bleak future

    If Anwyn bears a boy, it would even be worse. They'd either just kill the child until she bears a girl, or use him for some other purpose.
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,507 Member
    I found an excellent lot for the next big set, I just have to decorate it. Most of the work is done by the builder, I just have to personalize it, change the lamps to candles, that sort of thing. I'm having quite a bit if fun.
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  • VanPelt81VanPelt81 Posts: 2,623 Member
    I wonder what will happen if Anwyn murders the King in his sleep?
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,507 Member
    I haven't thought too much about the king's demise. What do you guys think would be fitting?
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,777 Member
    Irishsong wrote: »
    I haven't thought too much about the king's demise. What do you guys think would be fitting?

    Mrs. Frogwater brews a potion that makes a woman poisonous to have carnal relations with for 24 hours :joy:
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,507 Member
    edited November 2019
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    Chapter 10
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    “I have matters that I am being called back to the palace for, we must return home. I thank you for your hospitality.” the King said with a faint grimace to Lord Ludovico.

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    “I see, my king. May I help you with it in any way? Added escort perhaps?” he offered.

    “Unless you have a brigade you’ve been hiding under the rug, I doubt your page would be able to add any aid to my journey home.”

    “I could rally men from the village, they could protect their sovereign!” he said.

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    “Men who have undoubtedly heard that I have taken one of their young women to be my mistress and thus would wish to over power me and my guards on our journey. Do you think at all, Ludovico?” the king berated.

    “I apologize, sire. Please forgive me.”

    “The act my party leaving this place will be penance enough. Please have your cook prepare us food for the journey.”

    ~*~

    The journey was oddly uneventful. The king made no advancements on while on the road, probably because there wasn’t much privacy between mere pieces of fabric and the night air. They didn’t stop in many villages on their way to the palace, and the queen and Anwyn’s guards didn’t leave their sides for a moment. The queen was being ‘protected’ by Sir Romeo, while Sir Rhayde was constantly vigilant of Anwyn. The first few nights he had to be stopped from entering Anwyn’s tent to ‘make sure she wasn't out of his sight’. Sir Romeo insisted that she would be fine if he watched outside of her tent, and Romeo kept an eye on Rhayde to make sure he kept to his righteous ways.

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    The two weeks were soon over and the whole party was tired and dirty from their journey. Anwyn missed having a friendly face, and even Sir Reed seemed to have turned from her for some reason. He would only meet her gaze, then look away.

    They left Sir Rhayde on the mainland as his part of assignment was done and he had to report to the Templar, but after a short boat ride to a secluded island, they were finally at the palace. It gleamed white against the sky and it seemed to shine. The manor they had come from pales in comparison to this beautiful building. It was true, the king did live in a palace.

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    “Ah, I’m very happy that you invited me to stay, Galant. For some reason I always found this to be a second home for me.” The Duchess oozed as she walked towards the front door before the king had led them, but he didn’t seem to mind. The queen eyed her with shock as if she had just disgraced her family line. How dare she walk before the king and queen into their home in which the Duchess didn’t live?

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    “I’ve had a suite set aside for you, and your son has also been brought here so that you wouldn’t miss him. I want you to be comfortable and happy here, after all. Anything for a guest such as yourself.” he smiled. Anwyn wasn’t sure she had ever seen the king smile before.

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    The king started walking down the walk and the rest of the party followed along. The entrance hall of the manor was furnished with expensive furniture and the walls gleamed with copper leafing. Doors branched in every direction, and the king dropped his bag at his feet, and walked over to Lady Malice. “Shall we see your suite? I’m sure your son will be happy to see his mother as well.”

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    “Of course.” purred the Duchess as the pair and her advisor exited through a door to the left.

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    “Ladies, let us return to our chambers. I cannot stand this dirt on me for one more second.” The queen addressed her ladies. She was followed by her two “Yes ma’am”-ing women and Sir Romeo. He was assigned to her to keep her ‘safe’.

    That left just Sir Reed and Anwyn standing in the foyer. Sir Reed was either so tired that he couldn’t think of anything to say, or he had nothing to say. Either way, Anwyn didn’t know where to go or what to do.

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    “Is there a way I can be helpful, perhaps?” she asked, breaking the fallen silence.

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    “Doubtful.” Sir Reed answered, not at all surprised by her speaking. He must have expected her to speak. Anwyn looked at him, waiting for him to look at her or explain further. He exhaled and went on. “The chef is extremely particular about his kitchen, and you’re no longer a simple maid. You’re the mistress of the king. That’s a position of luxury.”

    “I don’t want a position of luxury, I want to be useful!” Anwyn urged. “Please, I need something to do.”

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    “May I recommend taking up painting?” he suggested dryly. “Let me show you to your room, miss.”

    Anwyn was starting to get a shaking feeling in her chest. It was a mixture of anger and worry. Why didn’t Sir Reed look at her anymore? She had touched his arm, it was such a small thing, why had it affected him so much? Had she done something else to bother him? He knew that he was the only one who she could tolerate here, why was he shutting her out? It would be hard for that to be the case for long, surely, since he was the replacement for Sir Rhayde as her guard.

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    They turned to the right and went up a flight of stairs. Thankfully the palace was only two stories tall so she wouldn’t have to walk up three flights of stairs every night.

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    They took a sharp right again and Sir Reed opened the door. Inside was nearly unimaginable. The furniture was forged out of gold, the walls had gold foiling, even the floor had gold inlaid into it in intricate designs. It was the king’s personal sitting room. A large, bright yellow curtain adorned a large portion of one of the walls, but otherwise the room was arranged fit for an emperor.

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    Sir reed walked through the room as if it were any other hall of the house, and stood outside the door at the far end. “This is your room. It has been arrange by a skilled stylist based on what the king thought you may like.” he said robotically. Had he said it before?

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    He opened the door and guided Anwyn in. The room was simple compared to the room they had just come from, but even based on the manor’s standards the room was of fine quality. There was no dirt to be seen, no cobwebs, and the fireplace was clean.

    “Your private bathroom is just beyond that door. When you wish to bathe, a servant will come and help you with the water. Now then, I will be seated outside your door.”

    He said it so matter-of- factly that Anwyn had nothing to say. “Oh, and you’ll probably want to change your clothes. You’re on the court now, you’ll want to dress like it. The king has assigned you special clothes.”

    Of course he has, thought Anwyn.

    ~*~

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    It wasn’t her fault. He shouldn’t be acting this way towards her, and yet he couldn’t think of a different way to distance himself. How many times had the room at the end of the sitting room changed since he had arrived here at the palace? He tried to keep track…

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    The girl with the red hair, the girl with red skin, the girl with gold hair, the girl who walked around without clothes, the girl who… there were becoming too many to count. But Miss Cupshire was different. The king was different, and she wasn’t as unique as the rest had been. Something was off, but Liam was going to try and not mess this one up too badly. The last girl, the girl with sun-kissed skin and chestnut hair. She was a fighter, and they caught her anyway. Liam didn’t want to remember the feeling of betrayal she must have felt towards him when they were stopped before they had finished their escape. That wouldn’t happen this time. He wouldn’t get involved, he would protect, but he couldn’t save her. No one could.

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    “Hey man, is the new girl in there? Can I see?” a familiar voice piped up from behind the bookcase. Sir Wilson went on, “What is it this time? Blue hair? Four eyes?”

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    “I’m not sure.” Liam answered honestly. “She doesn't seem too different from the other women he’s brought back with him, She seems ordinary in every way I can think of. She talks too much, has curly hair, a simple family life, no fortune…”

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    “She must be a palate cleanser then. Something to make the king feel like he’s extravagant and better than the peasants. She sounds like a simple wench to me. I bet she hasn’t bathed in a year.” giggled Sir Wilson.

    Liam bristled. “Doesn't seem like you have either after you eat garlic for every meal. She works hard at home, though I’m sure that she’s found time to bathe twice since the last time you did.”

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    “Ooo, Sir Reed has a crush on the girl.” Sir Wilson teased. “Just don’t let it happen that you try sneaking her off the island again. You know how that turned out last time.”

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    “You don’t need to remind me.” Sir Reed turned coldy towards his fellow guard. “Have you seen the front lines? The freezing winter storms, the snow turned red from people bleeding out and dying? Burning villages on both sides with poor families who have no other place to go but to wander the country side hoping not to starve before they find food to give to their freezing children? I don’t wish to return to that place for as long as I live, so you can stop saying I have crush on the girl in that room. I wouldn’t fall for a girl here unless you told me I’d be dead tomorrow.”

    “Whoa, dude, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say that many words before. But I totally get it. Hey, if you want to go and take a bath and a nap, I’ll sit outside her door while you’re gone. Montoya says we should let you and Romeo relax for the rest of today so that you’re better rested for tomorrow.”

    Did he hear a word I said? wondered Liam. “Yeah… sure. I’ll do that. But don’t let yourself into her room, or I’ll be flying you from the flagpole.”

    “Yes, sir!” he said agreed, watching Liam go down the secret entrance and to the guards quarters below.

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  • DamaroDamaro Posts: 387 Member
    Malene sure feels at home at her new palace. XD
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,507 Member
    Damaro wrote: »
    Malene sure feels at home at her new palace. XD

    In the coming chapters, we're going to see just how comfortable she gets. I'm pretty happy with how I decorated her suite, though in all honesty if was mostly the lot that came decorated. I just replaced things and swapped out things. I'm so happy I found the lot, I was looking for a good Palace and I'm a terrible builder. Good decorator, bad builder.
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,777 Member
    That palace is gorgeous. Both the exterior shot and the interior designs. The place really is fit for a king (and a certain conniving duchess, it seems)
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,507 Member
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    Chapter 11

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    Malene looked at her rich bedroom. It was more than she had hoped for in the palace. Her suite took up nearly a fourth of the palace, which looked bigger than it actually was. There hadn’t been a place available to Remon, her personal attendant, so he currently slept on an ottoman at the end of her bed. He didn’t snore louder than the noise of the fire, so it didn’t bother her so much. It wasn't like he hadn’t seen her undressed before, he was her attendant. The queen had two ladies in waiting, she had a male attendant. It wasn’t weird.

    The new mistress and future queen were what bothered her. She hardly seemed suited for the role of public monarch. She seemed to be the type who would be shy in a crowd, but raise hell in the home, quite the opposite of what a good queen should be. She needed to be trained in how to be a lady, how to speak, how to act. But she needed Galant’s input on the matter first.

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    “First I need the queen to be gone, first and foremost.”

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    “What’s that, my lady?” asked a groggy Remon from the foot of her bed.

    “I need to send a letter. The queen needs to be taken care of.” Malene scemed.

    ~*~

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    “Miss Cupshire, The queen requests you in her quarters. May I escort you to see her?” one of the new guards of the palace knocked on her cracked open door. She had been trying to learn to paint, like Sir Reed had suggested, but it wasn’t turning out. All the fine paintings she had ever seen had small brush strokes, nearly invisible to the eye, but her strokes were large and ungraceful.

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    “Yes, I’ll come along in just a moment.” she tidied up her work area and dusted herself off. She exited the door and walked through the king’s sitting room. The novelty of it had worn off, but she seemed to spot a new detail every time she entered the room. Like today, she noticed that there was a bookshelf set into the wall. She must have noticed it before, but now she knew she had some books to read.

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    It was a short walk across to the other side of the palace. Just the other side of a hall, really. It was surprising how close everyone was in this place.

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    “You may enter, I’ll be standing outside this door.” the new guard said. He wore gold plate armor, and for a moment she hoped that Sir Reed didn’t have to wear the same. She liked his ruggedness.

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    He opened the door and ushered her inside. While Anwyn had thought that the queen’s colors were reds, the place was adorned in turquoises and blues with tribal pieces decorating the walls. Was the queen from the south? Anwyn wasn’t sure exactly where she was from.

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    Anwyn let out a small sigh of relief when she saw that it was Sir Romeo guarding a door. “Miss Cupshire. The queen is expecting you, please enter.” he opened the door for her and she entered the queen’s private bedroom. It was even more exotic than the sitting room had been. The walls were paneled, the floor was intricately tiled. The bed had accents of gold, clearly the queen and king had similar interests, wealth being one of them.

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    But the queen wasn’t visible. Anwyn didn’t want to snoop around, but she also didn’t want to be in the den of the queen. Anwyn felt that the queen was like a venomous spider who had it’s poison removed, but it’s bites could still hurt if not maim.

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    Anwyn heard water sloshing around behind a corner and took a peak. At that moment, the queen came out of her bathroom without a scrap of clothing on, and Anwyn blushed and turned away. She had not meant to see that today.

    “Child, relax. We are all women here, there is nothing on my body that you do not already possess.” She said in a humored tone, her accent ever present. “Give me but two moments and I will be with you.”

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    Anwyn stood with her back to the doorway of the dressing room, stiff as a board. The queen touched her on the shoulder and Anwyn nearly jumped out of her skin. Thankfully the queen had put on a robe made of expensive silk.

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    “Now, there are a few things we should discuss,” she began, the humor draining out of her face. Anwyn tried to look her in the eye, but she was having a hard time. “I know that my time here is nearly done and that I will be disposed of like all of his other mistresses, though I do not believe that I will survive as they did. The king will most likely have me killed, though I believe it will be quick. He isn’t one for long punishments, and if it is a private affair he will want it to be over quickly so that he may continue his war mongering. Are you listening to me, child?”

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    “Yes, ma’am!” Anwyn stammered.

    “You need to listen to all of this. I have been with the king for ten years, and in that time I have become very good at being queen. The first thing you need to know is that he spends most of his time in his office reading reports from the different fronts. He will be stressed if things are going badly, he will be elated if things are going well. On both of these occasions, he will want you to share his bed. On days where little happens, it is unlikely that he will bother you, but that will not be true if the lull lasts long. He will grow bored and seek your affection.

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    “The second thing is that you need to develop friends. Allies. Otherwise you will feel like you are here all on your own and in a den of thieves. From all the staff I have seen, only the king is out for blood, though I am not sure how the new Duchess will behave. As the king’s mistress people will not take you seriously. Find someone who will.”

    Anwyn looked at her hands in her lap, feeling like she was hearing a dying woman’s last wishes.

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    “Child, I am not jealous of you. The others, yes. Many of his prior mistresses wanted his attention, but I have seen that you do not. You have been afflicted with this, and soon I fear you will also bear the title of queen. Be brave, and don’t let people walk over you.”

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    “Child, look at me.” she said softly. Anwyn looked up at her with shaking knees. “You must survive, and you must enjoy the life you have to live. Find something to focus on and be happy about.”

    ~*~

    The next day, the king requested Anwyn in yet another sitting room in the palace, this one adjoined the dining hall. He had some important matters he needed her to understand.

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    “Anwyn, my girl, please sit down.”

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    Anwyn looked between the king and the duchess. She seemed to be always in his presence now, murmuring in his ear about, influencing his choices.

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    “Miss Cupshire, you are going to be the next queen. With the title comes quite a few responsibilities, so we want to make sure that you understand exactly what is expected of you.” the king explained.

    We. She had said ‘we want’, not the king wants, but also what the duchess wanted. Why didn’t this woman just take the throne for herself?

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    “The first rule is that you are to bear the king an heir.” the king spoke. “My royal line is to remain in power, and you are to bear a daughter for the son of the duchess to marry. Bear me a son and you will have no son, understand?”

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    “Yes. I understand.” Anwyn said, trying not to be afraid. What was it about these royals that scared her so much? Why was she afraid of them all the time?

    “In public, you will be the perfect vision of motherhood and grace. You will not speak, instead you will treat your silence as a sign of your humility. I will answer any question asked of you, and you. Will. Smile. You will obey or there will be consequences.”

    “I understand.”

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    “Good.” the king smiled and stood up, caressing Anwyn’s cheek as he made his way out the door. “Because I wouldn’t mind a reason to punish you again, darling. Come see me tonight to work on our family.”

    A shudder ran down Anwyn’s spine.

    ~*~

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    “I need to do something. I can’t let him hurt her. She needs protection. I have to find a way to get her out-” Liam vented to Sir Romeo.

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    “Man, if you do that, you’re going to be sent to the northern front and you will die. You will die a cold and painful death and even if you don’t you will not be the same. The last time you came back you were a different person. You didn’t talk, you didn’t hear, you were a shell. It took a very long time for you to be a person again. She doesn’t need you to protect her, she needs you to be a friend. She is a strong person, but she will be stronger if she knows she can lean on you.”

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    Liam sat down on the bench defeated. “I can’t get that close. If she starts to think that I’m there to help her, she’ll- I can’t. It’s too hard to watch and do nothing.”

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    “You already are that close, and you aren’t helping yourself. I know I told you not to get involved, but she seems to be staying here longer than we originally thought. I don’t want to like here either, but- she’s pretty likeable. Be her friend, we can all be her friends. Well, maybe not Montoya, he’s too serious to get along with a queen casually.”

    Liam let out a choked laugh. “Be her friend."
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,777 Member
    Ooh, that was fast :0
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,777 Member
    “Child, relax. We are all women here, there is nothing on my body that you do not already possess.”
    :joy:

    The queen is surprisingly friendly...and lucid. I guess she grew tired of being the queen and knew her time was up.
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,507 Member
    icmnfrsh wrote: »
    Ooh, that was fast :0

    I've already written and shot the next chapter too, that'll be out later tonight hopefully. Finally peeling myself away from minecraft.

    That, and the next chapter was easy to write. I actually had a general idea of how it was going to go, played first, wrote after, which I almost never do in story based stories. So it wrote itself, practically. :)
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,777 Member
    Yay!!
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,507 Member
    2m69vuV.png

    Chapter 12

    Romeo looked around and strained his ears and smiled, letting out a relieved breath. The king had retired to his room, saying he was especially tired today for some reason, the duchess had similarly taken to her chamber, and her assistant had a case of regurgitation. The queen knew what they were doing and approved, so she sat quietly in her room with a new book.

    Romeo stood from his stool and knocked on the girl’s door. He had been put in charge of guarding her this evening, but they were about to do much more.

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    A voice from beyond the door invited him inside. She was reading a book, looking quite comfortable on the plush couch. He walked over to the couch and sat down next to her, speaking quietly incase the walls weren’t as solid as they looked. “There’s a get together with the staff in the guards’ wing. We’d like you to come. Liam- Sir Reed- could really use you to come. That, and the alcohol is free and the darts sharp. We have a dart board, we’re not throwing darts at each other.” he laughed a bit at the idea.

    The girl didn’t seem like she was going to talk. Romeo gently took her hand and took her out of the room and pulled open the bookcase. The girl looked alarmed, but she went with him.

    The guards’ wing was the least polished of the whole palace with plain wood paneling and old wood flooring worn smooth by boots, not sanding. Romeo paused in a room and quickly removed his armor, changing into more comfortable clothes. It was a relaxed get together, no one was going to wear a set of armor.

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    When they opened the door at the end of the hall, the queen’s ladies and the guards were standing around talking to each other. “I would beat you so hard at a game of Don’t Wake the Llama, you’ll be scratching your head for a week.” Amelia told Montoya, wearing his dress overcoat. Romeo guessed he didn’t get many chances to wear it, so he chose to wear it now. Still, it was rather warm outside, didn’t he have a better outfit to wear?

    “That may be, but I promised Alice and Bernard that I would challenge them first. We’ll have to find out later.” he said 🎃🎃🎃🎃.

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    The girl walked over to the bench where Liam was sitting. A smile appeared on her face, and he turned his head in her direction, almost smiling himself. They deserved to have companionship in each other. Just so long as they stayed friends…

    “Fine, Romeo, Liam, Anwyn, let’s see who will win at darts. On your feet, this is your honor we’re talking about!” she was pretty excited for someone who didn’t win very often.

    “Have you played darts before?” Romeo asked the girl.

    “No, I haven’t,” she admitted.

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    “It’s pretty easy. You aim at the middle of the board, and the closer you get they better points you get. So, like this…-” he threw a dart at the board and hit it squarely in the middle of the board. Amelia squealed and jumped. Unlike Amelia, Romeo won at darts all the time.

    “Ok, now it’s your turn. Step up to the line.” Romeo instructed. The girl tried to copy what he had done, the stance he had taken, but she was doing it wrong. Too bad for her, it was easy points for him and Amelia if she did it wrong.

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    “No, Anwyn, turn your hips, and your shoulders are facing the wall, have them gave me. Almost like you’re firing an arrow from a bow, but not quite. Be straight.” Liam spoke up, sculpting her. She corrected her stance, then went to throw the dart, but it had slipped out of her hand and stabbed the floor behind her.

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    “Good thing I missed my dress, Otherwise I’d have to try and fix it!” she blushed, and Romeo could almost see her let her walls down a bit. Slowly, she was coming out of her shell. And so was Liam.

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    Liam took her place and expertly took up his darts. If there was one person who could compete with Romeo in darts, it was Liam. He was calm, sure of his abilities, and focused. It made him a worthy opponent.

    “Just make sure you have a good grip on your dart, the floor won’t like being so mishandled.” Anwyn joked.

    At that moment the Llama tower fell over and Liam jumped, making his dart go off target and hitting a bit too far to the left. Romeo went over and gave Montoya a hug. “Eh, you may have own me the game! Thanks man.”

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    “You owe me, I lost.” he said gruffly but with a smile.

    Amelia tried to hit the target, but she ended up hitting the wall next to it. After a few rounds of this, Romeo and Ameila ended up winning, but the girl and Liam didn’t seem too upset that they had lost.

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    “Hey, guys, no hard feelings, right? Let me poor you guys a drink.” Romeo offered, but they didn’t act like they heard. The girl had pulled Liam into a firm hug, and he wrapped his arms around her. But they didn’t let go of each other for nearly six seconds, and that looked like more than a friendship hug.

    They sat down on one of the benches, shoulders touching even though there was plenty of space on the bench for them to both sit comfortably without doing so.

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    Liam pulled Anwyn close to him on the bench, and whispered in her ear. “Hey, would you like to see something amazing? We can be there before dawn, but we have to leave soon.”

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    “How can we even be here? Won’t the royals disapprove of all this? We could get in serious trouble…” Anwyn wondered.

    “The cook can be bribe to treat the king’s food with a sleeping herb, and since the duchess is here, she gets the same treatment. The queen doesn’t care and apparently rather likes her alone time.” Liam explained. “The duchess's assistant got food poisoning. Three people being overly tired starts to draw too much attention, so we found another way to make him blind to our activities.”

    “I see. And in the morning…”

    “In the morning they sleep in, wondering how they could have slept away half the day.” Liam stated matter -of-factly.

    “I see. In that case, It’s a beautiful night, plenty of moon to see by, let’s go.” she agreed.

    ~*~

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    The stars had started to fade on the eastern horizon by the time they arrived at the destination. The ruins of the ancient castle lay quiet, and the sound of the wind in the grasses made it feel like the stones were speaking to them, welcoming them to their villa.

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    Liam looked at Anwyn in the moonlight. Earlier that day he had heard that she was going to be queen, but that didn’t diminish how he felt for her, it just made him feel it more.

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    “This is a beautiful place. Too bad I’m not prepared to go swimming, but now I know where to go. How did you find this place? It’s… quiet. Peaceful. Like you. I can see-” Anwyn started chattering away again, but Liam interrupted her by taking her hands in his.

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    “Anwyn, I need to talk now.” Her face became one of wondering and asking but still good humored. “I know that you are going to be queen, and I see what the king is doing to you. I hear it when I have to stand guard, feel it travel in the walls when I’m in my quarters at night, and I- I can’t let you go on not knowing how I feel. We haven’t known each other very long, but I want to protect you. I want you to be safe, to feel safe. I want to be by your side until I die, and If my ghost can comeback and comfort you, I will fight my way back to you. I will always return to you.”

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    Anwyn looked away from him, blushing, with a shy smile on her face. Without warning, she leaned in and kissed Liam, startling him at her forwardness.

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    “I feel the same way, Liam. I feel it too.” she said simply, not spilling into speech this time.

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    As the moon set and the sun rose, Anwyn and Liam enjoyed each other’s company, sharing in each other’s strength.

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    ~*~

    Author’s notes: Anwyn and Liam didn’t need much of a push into this, and Anwyn even rolled a whim to marry Liam after they because boyfriend/girlfriend. You’ll just have to keep reading along to see if they ever get that far, won’t you?
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,777 Member
    They really went at it all night long, didn't they? But won't they risk having the king wake up to see that Anwyn had left?
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
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