Disclaimers: There is sex between women in this one. Also, there is one scene with BDSM overtones.
Returning to Emma
The Judicious Lord mustered her last ounce of energy as she trudged into Lady Emma's bedchamber for a conjugal visit. A fire crackled in a remote hearth on the far end of the room. The utter enervation she felt was like nothing she ever experienced before; It wasn't the pain that ravaged her muscles, bones and tendons, but an inner fatigue that a person of a hundred years might feel. Her slouched exhausted body toppled onto the side of the bed, which Emma had kept vacant in all likelihood for her. At the feel of the bed being occupied, two lethargic eyelids fluttered open, sloughing the cobwebs away.
It didn't take long for the beauty clad in a jaunty nightgown to become wakeful, "Disappearing for three days with not so much as a proper farewell, is that your perverted idea of a relationship?" She launched her protest, pulled her torso up and rested her weight against her elbow, reclining casually .
"You are making too much noise, Emma." The Justice hooded her eyes with her hand.
"And those better not be your dirty boots I see tracking mud all over my clean and outrageously expensive sheets" like the petulant Lady that she was, Emma coincidentally rebuked and impatiently tried to pull the satin linens from beneath the Justice's legs.
"Darling, I need to die for a few moments, if you please," the Justice said, wasting her dwindled strength to curb her cumulative exasperation .
"Not before you tell me where you've been, you obtuse Ogre. My private chamber is not some kind of hotel you can just drop by whenever you feel like it. What happened to you? You look awful. If you were a house you'd be condemned."
Sensing she could take no more, the Justice turned, raised her upper body as well, propped herself up against the pillows and faced Emma, "I am not yours to henpeck, so stop behaving as though you were my wife and give us some peace and quiet."
"Your wife ?!" Emma burst into scornful chortle, "Not even in your wildest psychotic episodes."
The Justice fought against visibly scowling. All their years hadn't made her any less susceptible to Emma's spurns or any more immune to the irresistible urge to reciprocate. "Do notice how of all the jewels I've given you I have refrained from presenting you with a ring. That was not an oversight on my part, dear termagant. I just never wanted to give you the wrong 'till death do us part' idea"
Ignoring the Judge's last remark entirely as if it failed to even lightly brush against her, Emma kept at it "So where were you?"
The Judge weariness compelled her to lie on her back again, "I have something to give you," she said in an attempt to steer Emma away from her fixation of her recent whereabouts.
"I'm sure you do, but as it so happens, I'm presently not in the mood," but then Emma saw solemnity about the Judge's countenance, and was forced to ask the foregone question. "What's so special about today?"
"If it's all the same to you, I'll choose to knowingly deceive myself into thinking that you're just tantalizing me and that you haven't actually forgotten." While subtly admonishing the woman lounging next to her, the Judge retrieved an item carefully swaddled in a patch of wispy cloth, and unceremoniously handed it to Emma.
As Emma reached for the bundle, she heard the Judge say: "Exactly one year ago today, April the thirtieth, you and I joined our destinies and became…." Almost unsure, being no wiser than she had been these past three sleepless days when she had first began her ontological quest, she paused. "Happy anniversary, Emma."
The faint flash of surprise on the Lady's stunning features confirmed the Judge's suspicion that the special event had somehow managed to miraculously slip Emma's mind entirely.
At first, the Lady thought she might be too embarrassed by her blunder of not being entirely on top of things that she would have no characteristic repartee to offer as a reply. Be that as it may, what eventually ended up coming out of her mouth wasn't what she had originally planned to say.
"They say the first year is always the hardest."
The Judge scoured Emma's delicate of aspect but couldn't decipher it. She was sure, however, that given the fact that Emma had no propensity towards giving explanations or displaying regret, these sentiments weren't what spawned her latest remark.
"Well, one can only hope," the words rolled like heavy stones out of the Justice's mouth.
Lady Emma unfolded the gossamer and revealed a gilt dagger, her dagger.
Two Days Earlier
In all her years the Judge has never shed the blood of anyone but of those whom she thought rightfully deserved it, and that was a far cry from annihilating people for monetary gain. She didn't trouble herself with Emma's motivations or the specifics of who ordered the assassination and why. They were of no consequence. There was no point in sending Emma to the gallows, since she's no longer practicing - what purpose would it serve? -- But the Judge knew she was rationalizing to fit her own selfish wants - keeping the Lady free and with her.
The Justice thought she'd be remiss if aside from a cogent argument, she didn't present irrefutable, exculpatory physical evidence to espouse it and exonerate Lady Emma. She couldn't risk bribing the renowned forensic specialist to give perjured testimony in court or to falsify a report.
Clad in a vestment made of a fabric that didn't shed fibers, the Judge garnered her smooth hair that narrowly reached her shoulders into a bulky sheaf that covered her nape to prevent leaving any vestigial remnant behind. She smeared a black greasy camouflaging ointment over her face and other exposed areas on her body to avoid easy detection. Last she put leather gloves over her hands. Under the screen of darkness, the Judge unscrewed the grid covering the opening of the tunnel leading to the air duct above the evidence room. Surreptitiously, she foraged the tunnel and infiltrated the evidence room. She found the dagger, pilfered it, reeled it in a gauzy piece of cloth, and exited the room the way she had entered.
She then took the dagger to Karpa, her longtime purveyor . Even though she had failed to meet upon the scheduled time, he greeted his Lord and best customer with his usual adulation. As she handed him the dagger, she asked him to have a replica made out of solid gold. He began forging one as she instructed him, using old gold and stones cut the same way as the ones that overlaid the original dagger.
As he tended to the furnace and the forging of the blade, she busied herself with reading the affidavit she had received from the prosecution in discovery. She knew that Lester Dumas would unknowingly play the part of the scapegoat. In him, conveniently enough, she recognized the same weakness she had.
When the duplicate was ready, she paid Karpa a handsome gratuity for both his services and his silence.
She glanced askance at him, and he rushed to put her mind at ease. "I understand y ou have to protect you and yours, my Lord. You needn't tie this loose end. This dies with me, not only for reasons such as loyalty and repeat business, but sheer dread."
The following night she returned back to the evidence room and placed the solid gold duplicate, in the real dagger's stead.
End of Part 6
Return to the Academy