Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Wicked Wednesday: Daughter of the Stone King (Pt 1): Prinzessin

"Waken, dearest schwester."

Fygen snapped to attention as one of her brothers flicked her ear. She hissed at him, and there was a slight creak as his wine turned to ice in his goblet. Heinrich laughed at her and touched the rim of his cup to turn the ice back to wine with a tongue of flame. Fygen slouched in her chair, fighting not to cross her arms. The evening was progressing rather slowly, made even more agonizing that she was couched between two of her hulking elder brothers at the head table while their father mingled with the lords of the prominent houses. Their women sat meekly to one side of the room chattering to each other, wrapped in wolf pelts and wearing rich gowns of dyed elk hide. Their long hair was bound up intricate braids, wound around each other like works of art.

They had gone to great lengths for this evening in the king's hall, for tonight they were human, and humans had such lovely ways of styling themselves. Fygen felt rather plain, comparatively. Her gown was simple, the soft blue of the sky at midday, trimmed in black rabbit fur. An ornate iron girdle cinched her waist. A large stone of white quartz, polished smooth, was set in the disc in the middle of the girdle. She hadn't the patience to sit for all of the braiding, so her hair was simply contained in a long net, lined with more polished quartz, attached to an iron circlet similarly bejeweled.



Heinrich tapped her on the shoulder. "You should take the women to the balconies."

Fygen looked out at the hall as a bevy of slaves slipped into the room with fresh carafes of wine. Many of the men smiled as they approached, holding out their goblets. She delicately turned and eased herself off the bench, extricating herself from between Heinrich and Ulrich. She stepped down from the dais and headed toward the group of women, brushing lightly against her father's slave, Alaric, as she passed. He turned, startled, and gave a swift bow, his auburn falling over his shoulder in a thick braid. She gave him a shallow nod, as if the contact had been an accident. As she resumed her path, out of the corner of her eye, she watched the slave whisper to her father. The king looked at the groom, and then in her direction before indicating that Alaric should follow.

He fell into step behind her, following at a respectful distance as she came up to the women.

"Shall we adjourn to the balconies while the men bluster among themselves?" she said, sweeping a hand in the direction of the doors. There was a ripple of giggling before they stood and followed her out of the hall.

The balconies that encircled the palace were common features in the aerial mountain cities of the stone dragons. Expansive halls with wide arches that stood open against the sky. The mountain air made the balconies rather brisk, but they had little problem with heat in their dragon forms, and fur was rather popular when encased in human flesh. Tonight they played human for convenience. That, and the slaves, who were mostly all human or part human, were easier to enjoy in compatible bodies. In anticipation with this, the adjoining balcony had been furnished with couches furs and fire pits. Slaves stood around the room, holding carafes and platters of sweet meats and cheeses. Musicians sat along the wall. A harpist and a couple of men with staghorn flutes played softly, but joyfully into the night.



Fygen took a seat alone upon a small couch. She felt her rather large shadow take his place behind her. The women swept in and took their seats, holding out their cups to the waiting slaves.

"Prinzessin?"

Fygen looked to a golden-haired female wrapped in white wolf pelts. Her amber eyes glowed in the firelight, their vertical pupils almost slits as she faced Fygen through the flames of the elevated marble fire pit. She was lovely, narrow-faced and pale. She was a bit thin for a dragon woman, taken to the slenderness of the mountain ranges to the east. Her mate had stolen her from her homeland and brought her here to be Claimed. Her name was Sunneva, sun-gift.

Fygen could hear the name singing through her head at a moderate volume, as she could all of them.  Fygen released a deep breath, trying to quiet the chorus of their names knocking at her skull. She must remember to use their chosen names, not their birth gifts. She felt Alaric's hand brush the stones of her hair netting. It calmed her, allowing her to quiet the din.

"Ja, Sunna?"

Sunna giggled and took a sip of wine. "Are you always followed about by your father's slave? Your Highness is seldom to be found without such a shade. Although, I find I much prefer the image of the princes wandering these halls."

Fygen held up her cup and Alaric filled it with a carafe taken from the serving slaves. "I have not been permitted to roam unattended since I reached the age of Claiming. I must be attended by one of my brothers or by Alaric. My brothers have little patience for minding the nest, so I am often left with the slave. I find I much prefer his company to theirs. He does not find his guardianship so onerous a duty."

"Do you not find it tedious? To be followed about by a human like a hatchling with a wetnurse?"

Fygen looked at the female slowly, lifting her chin ever so slightly. Her gaze was frosty. "The men in the hall do not find their slaves so tedious, now do they?"

The hum of conversation around the room fell into a dead silence. Fygen could feel each of them bristling at the idea of their men with the human slaves in the hall. They were well-conditioned to find the thought of lying with a human disgusting, let alone a human slave. Fygen was not sure how such had been accomplished since the men of their people derived great pleasure from female body slaves, enough so that the higher ranking slaves in her father's palace were all mixed breeds. Alaric's blood was thick with that of House Garnet, as was obvious by the dark auburn hair pulled into a tight braid that fell down his back. Yet, the women still found a human male to be as appealing as the eunuchs that often served in their private quarters.

Although, these women had lived more violent lives than she, lacking the power or presence to combat the will or the claws of their men. It was a wonder that Fygen had not been beaten more as a child, or now for that matter. Some small part of her believed, or wanted to believe, that her father might fear her just a little, and had spared her because of this. Or perhaps he feared what she was and what her brother was not.



She handed off the goblet to Alaric, who in turn delivered to a waiting slave. "I find I feel fatigued after tonight's festivities. Forgive me if I choose to take my leave of you now. Enjoy the music and the sweet meats. I shall even send the fool to amuse you, but I will take myself to my chambers now."

Fygen stood, smoothing her skirts as she did so and walked away from the silent group of women, Alaric falling into step dutifully behind her.

As the sounds of the hall and music of the slaves faded behind them, Alaric stepped closer to her, hazarding a hand lightly upon her waste. "You make no friends when you eschew diplomacy."

Fygen felt herself lean into him. "Females have no power. I must seek my allies elsewhere. Beaten dogs do not bite. A flash of fang would serve me better."

Alaric scraped a fang across her neck, making her shiver.

"If you wish to keep your head, it would be advisable to contain yourself...slave."

His eyes flashed, but he removed himself to a respectful distance.

She had little doubt she would see the sharp end of that remark, and the thought send a thrill running down her spine.


Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

2 comments:

  1. I love that this is only part 1 and look forward to part 2. Like the mystery and the darkness in it, as well as the 'old time' setting :)

    Rebel xox

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    1. I had actually started writing this for the "considering" prompt a while back, but I couldn't get it finished in time. lol

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