VIOLENT/NON-CONSENSUAL SEX WARNING/DISCLAIMER: It is a story portraying a Conqueror/slave relationship, so it would appear non-consensual at first. As for sexual violence, there are scenes (In parts 3 and 4) which are detailed and graphic, and may not suite some readers.
Other Disclaimers: See Part 1
SPECIAL THANKS : My humble most ardent gratitude to the excellent, most brilliant Beta readers nancyjean and alexandriaruth , whom I can't thank enough.
Comments & Feedback : MOST WELCOMED – The more you write me, the quicker I post.
The next morning, after the Conqueror had left for a morning ride, Lady Satrina entered the Royal couple's chambers to assist the Queen with her morning preparations.
As always, the Queen turned her back after putting her dress over her head. But Satrina's quick and observant eye managed to see the welt marks that discolored the Queen's back and she winced just as the Queen turned back to face her again.
“You needn't be concerned for me, dear Satrina. I needed and wanted it, too,” the Queen simply stated what she knew in her heart was true. She half expected to see a disgusted or appalled expression on Lady Satrina's face, and when it failed to appear she simply thought it was Lady Satrina's demonstration of dignity and respect for her.
“I understand, Majesty,” Satrina responded.
The Queen assumed that Satrina meant she understood that her Mistress made excuses or offered unconvincing reasoning for her Lord's savagery, as she had seen many women with abusive husbands do.
“No you don't understand," the Queen insisted almost angrily. She resented what she perceived as her friend's uncalled for and unnecessary pity.
“Pardon, your Majesty, but I do. I've been the Lord Conqueror's…” Lady Satrina began to explain.
“I needn't be reminded of it.” The Queen was angry and it surprised her.
Anger was a foreign emotion to her. She hadn't been angry when she had been sold by her father into slavery and ripped from her family and childhood, she hadn't been angry with the county healer when he had tried to have his way with her, nor the British Captain for that matter. She hadn't been angry even with Nobleman Paterikis, for she understood his foolish and reckless acts towards her had been born out of feelings of being robbed of his wife and province by the Conqueror.
And she had never been angry with her Lord.
Her heart was ever forgiving and she could witness and yet excuse people's weaknesses and offences no matter how petty or selfish they were, especially ones that were directed at her. What she couldn't pardon, what she resented was pity. She never desired pity. Not when she had been a slave and most certainly not now that she was Queen. Not from strangers and certainly not from friends. Not when there was a reason and certainly when there was none.
"Please don't be angry with me, Majesty. With all due respect, it is not what your Majesty thinks."
"How do you mean?"
“I understand because… that is the reason I have spurned Captain Cornelius' advances."
The Queen raised an inquisitive eyebrow, still not understanding what her lady in waiting and friend was trying to tell her.
"The Lord Conqueror has spoiled me for other suitors."
At that moment it became clear to the Queen. Lady Satrina had kept her head down when Lady Octavia had talked about how women lusted after her Lord, not out of embarrassment for the babbling lady but out of guilt, for she was one of those women whom Lady Octavia had said envied her for securing the Conqueror for herself in marriage.
It was as if some light flickered somewhere in her mind and other things began to make sense to her. She recalled the conversation they had shared when she feared that she might lose her life during childbirth when her Lord had been in Cyra. The Queen realized now that she must have subconsciously known all along that Lady Satrina bore strong feelings towards her Lord. Moreover, the Queen understood Lady Satrina's rejection of the Conqueror's generous offer to appoint her governor to Philippi . The lady had declined the respected position plainly because she wished to remain at court in Corinth close to the object of her love, the Lord Conqueror.
And it also explained why Lady Satrina had never attempted to converse with her about her service to the Conqueror back when the Queen had been her body slave.
"I don't wish to hear anymore," the Queen said almost emotionless.
"You don't understand, Majesty… ever since I've been your friend, and then lady in waiting, I have grown to know you, and your pure and perfect heart, and your gentleness…"
"Please, I urge you not to say anything else…" the Queen became further agitated and raised both palms in the air wordlessly signaling Lady Satrina to stop.
But there was no muzzle to Lady Satrina's mouth. "It is not just the Lord Conqueror I love…" she kept on vomiting the words she had kept inside her for far too long.
"You must be quiet now." The Queen was flustered, for she foresaw where this was headi ng . "It is dangerous talk, can't you see? I will not keep secrets from my Lord." The Queen anxiously rose to her feet and tried to put as much distance between herself and the Lady Satrina and her unstoppable confessions. "I would be forced to tell my Lord…"
"I'm in love with you, as well." Lady Satrina simply needed to say it.
"STOP SPEAKING!" the Queen shouted but it was too late already.
"I will die a peaceful death if I could spend but one night in bed between the Conqueror and your Majesty."
And there it was, all out in the open.
Both Queen and devoted, love-stricken servant cried silent tears.
"I can never love you back, do you understand me?" the Queen said, sure in her words like she had never been sure of anything else.
"I know, your Majesty," answered Lady Satrina. Her shoulders were now quivering with her sobs. "You love the Lord Conqueror beyond measure, and are absolutely blind to anyone else besides her."
"Is it obvious?" the Queen asked.
"To me it is, Majesty, but the Lord Conqueror would never know lest you tell her, and you never will," Lady Satrina said with remarkable honesty and astuteness. She didn't convey her impressions for the purpose of causing the Queen pain, but rather as a statement of fact.
A few long moments passed each lady was deep in her own thoughts. Both recognized the gravity of the situation, both knew it was far from a benign matter.
It was Lady Satrina who finally broke the silence.
"What will happen to me now, your Majesty?" she asked defeated and not without a touch of concern.
"My Lord wishes to take me away somewhere. Our destination has not yet been revealed to me, but I think my Lord intends for us to be alone, therefore you'll return to Corinth . I will speak with my Lord regarding this matter when the time is right and I will plea on your behalf.” The Queen saw no other venue.
Lady Satrina nodded her head in resignation.
When all was prepared, the Conqueror and the Queen boarded a smaller ship that could have been sailed by no more than ten pair of hands. The Conqueror ordered the rest of her fleet back to Corinth . Lady Satrina was sent back to Corinth as well.
A few candle-marks later, they reached an enchanting small island.
“Welcome to Thira , my Lady,” the Conqueror said as their ship anchored at the small bay.
Twilight descended and tranquility enveloped the old bay. The island whispered citrus groves and towering palms. White windmills were being propelled by a lazy wind and colorful fishing boats dazzled the eye. A w arm breeze wafted along the Aegean shores. There were lush rolling hills, olive groves and vineyards mixed among hidden waterfalls.
“My Lord…” the Queen exclaimed with excitement, “this is what the Elysian Fields must look like.”
The Conqueror was very pleased at her wife's much desired response, yet a thought crossed her mind that in all likelihood, with all the blood on her hands, she would never know what the Elysian Fields look like.
“I suspected you might like it,” the Conqueror smiled.
A soldier approached them, leading two horses behind him.
“Your Majesties,” he greeted them and tipped his head.
“Herromus, is it not?” asked the Conqueror.
“Indeed, your Majesty,” he replied.
“And how is you wife and your daughter?”
“Very well, your Majesty.”
“She ought to be ten summers old, now, correct?”
“Your Majesty has excellent memory,” he answered and handed over the reins to the Conqueror.
“Is my villa prepared?”
“It is, Majesty,” he nodded his in the affirmative.
“Very good. Her Majesty and I don't wish to be disturbed. Fresh provisions are to be delivered daily just before dawn and be left in the pantry outside at the rear entrance.”
“Understood, your Majesty. Enjoy your stay in Thira , Majesties!”
“Thank you, Herromus,” the Queen smiled.
The Conqueror helped the Queen to climb the animal, and then she mounted the other horse. They began their ascension towards the Conqueror's villa at the highest point of the Isle of Thira.
“I haven't been here since before we were married,” the Conqueror pointed out as they rode the horses, passing by the vineyards.
The higher they climbed the fewer houses the Queen saw, till there were none anymore.
“I can see that there are very few who reside here,” she said to the Conqueror.
“There are very few families who dwell here. There are a few fishermen, some farmers who work the land, and a small battalion which guards this piece of treasure, ” the Conqueror said.
“And who governs this little island?” the Queen was curious to know.
“I do . There is not much to govern here. The isle's inhabitants are scarce. They do not pay taxes to the Realm. Their sole duty is to maintain the Island and my villa. That is all.”
After a few moments of silence between them, the Conqueror added, almost in envy, "They lead simple lives here."
When the Royal couple reached the villa, they dismounted their horses. The Queen surveyed the relatively modest yet charming structure, while the Conqueror stabled the animals. It was made of stone and was painted white like most structures she had seen on the way, with arched windows shielded by wooden shudders painted blue, and two chimneys at the top, one for the kitchen and one for the common chamber, she surmised. But it was the scenery that engrossed her attention the most.
She felt her Lord's strong arms engulfing her slight form from behind and her Lord's body heat protecting her like a force field.
"There aren't better sunsets than Thira 's sunsets," the Conqueror whispered in her ear, as if not to intrude on her Queen's experience.
"What is the islet up ahead?" the Queen referred to the islet where the sun was about to dive behind.
"It is a volcano, called Strongyli," the Conqueror explained as she fixated her gaze on its zenith, checking to see if there was any smoke coming out of it. "I shall take you there by boat tomorrow, if you like…"
"I would be delighted, my Lord . "
"There's hot springs at the feet of it. You will enjoy it."
The Queen rested her hands over the forearms that embraced her and watched the last of the sun's rays paint the sky and the darkening blue waters of the pastoral Aegean Sea , with countless shades of crimson and orange, like many embers in various stages of simmer. A few seagulls, the light breeze upon the water and the Royal couple's breathing were the only sounds that tainted the silence.
When it became dark and the night kingdom began its shift, spreading bright twinkling stars around a full silvery moon, the Conqueror release her hold around her Queen.
"Let's go inside, Gabrielle," she spoke softly.
And they walked into the villa hand in hand. Inside, there was a warm and welcoming common area with a hearth, a simple wooden table, some rugs and furs on the wooden floorboards and a couple of armchairs. On the right there was a well-equipped rustic kitchen and upstairs was a convivial bedchamber with a terrace, which overlooked the volcano at sea and a Roman style heated bath.
In the bedchamber, the Queen opened the clothes cupboard. Inside, she discovered an array of simple dresses her size and a few plain garments her Lord's size.
"We are alone here. There are no servants to wait on us here." The Conqueror then halted her speech and contemplated her next words, "I wish we weren't Conqueror and Queen here."
Gabrielle understood. "It will be just us here, my Lord," she whispered and began to undress in order to slip into one of the cotton nightgowns. She noticed her Lord's gaze moving over her back and shoulders.
"It's been a while since last I've used…" she began to say.
"Not since before we were wed, my Lord," the Queen recalled, when she felt warm fingertips trailing over her back and shoulders.
"I wasn't too…?"
"No, my Lord. You haven't been too rough. These will fade away completely no later than tomorrow." The Queen turned to face her Lord, and threw her arms to rest loosely around her Lord's neck.
The Conqueror held her wife's waist. "You did receive pleasure from it, did you not?"
Gabrielle pressed her body against her Lord's and whispered, "Like my Lord cannot imagine."
The Conqueror leaned down, one arm wrapped around Gabrielle's waist, while her other hand gently caressed Gabrielle's cheek. "I have never brought anyone else here before."
"I am honored that my Lord chose me to share this private paradise with," Gabrielle whispered back, rose to stand on her toes and placed a kiss over her Lord's hard collarbone.
"I used to come here often when…" the Conqueror started to say but all of a sudden stopped herself.
Gabrielle expected her to continue. Inwardly, she couldn't shake the nagging feeling that what her Lord was about to divulge was of great significance."We've had a long day today, Gabrielle. Let us go to bed."
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