|Taming the Tiger
Author: Morna PM
Ganondorf Dragmire has been taken as a prisoner of war by the Queen Zelda. Uncertain of what to do with her captive, they strike a bargain that leads to unexpected and surprising results. AU Zelda. GanondorfxZeldaRated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Ganondorf & Zelda - Chapters: 11 - Words: 84,241 - Reviews: 108 - Favs: 76 - Follows: 66 - Updated: 09-14-12 - Published: 05-11-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5963526
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Taming the Tiger
This is an extremely AU ZxG one-shot. It has no particular place in the timeline. Here is a brief background of what has been going on Ganondorf and his army have been defeated along the Zora River by Queen Zelda and her leading general Link. Ganondorf is currently being paraded through the streets of Hyrule Castle Town as a prisoner of war.
Ganondorf recalled a distant memory of his teenage years as he was led through the streets of Hyrule Castle Town in chains.
He loped through the thick jungle of the oasis, a spear gripped in his hands and a dagger at his hip. His eyes scanned the vegetation around him, searching for signs of movement. There were none. He continued on his way, stepping over a fallen log and onto the carpet of rotting leaves on the other side. In a moment of uncharacteristic of self indulgence he allowed himself to be caught up in the rough beauty of his surroundings. The leaves and vines glowed hard and bright like jade and emerald under the harsh Gerudo sun. Flowers both lovely and poisonous bloomed from bushes and shrubs, glistening with drops from the last rain fall. All around him there was life. No. He corrected himself. All around there was death disguised as life. For all that this place appeared tranquil and inviting with the cool water and shade it offered, it was the desert's most deceptive trap. This is where she harbored all her most vicious and cunning creatures. It was tempting to give into the sound of trickling water and thick, balmy air but passing stupid as well.
He pulled himself out of his stupor and tightened his grip on the spear. He was here to prove himself a worthy king to his people not get caught up in a daydream. He took a step forward and stopped when he heard something rustle to his left. Slowly he turned his head as his heart hammered in his chest. He squinted his eyes to make out the shape crouched in the dappled light of the forest. The blood in his veins turned to ice. Muscles rippled under a coat of orange fur striped black and a pair of cold, amber eyes studied him from the shadows cast by ferns carpeting the ground.
He swallowed and willed himself to stay put. The moment he ran the tiger would spring from its place of hiding and pursue him. A heart beat passed and then he breathed. The predator remained as still as a dark, quiet pool. He knew he should look away. To meet the beast's gaze directly was to challenge it. He found he could not. There was something sacred and almost divine in the moment. It was a fragile second between life and death.
It studied him for a moment before standing up from its crouch. His heart seized in his chest, certain that it was about to spring. The animal's gaze lingered on him for an instant before it turned and stalked off into the foliage. He had been spared for no visible reason. The jungle had let him live another day. He continued with his hunt.
When he returned to the fortress he told the tale of the tiger to the warriors and they laughed. From then on they mockingly addressed him as the Prince of Tigers. The nickname stuck.
Petals rained down on his head from high windows and balconies as the Hylian women celebrated the homecoming of their husbands and sons. He could hear them singing compliments and praises in their high and grating voices. His eyes narrowed as he watched gold dangle from their small wrists and rubies shine at the hollows of their throats. These were riches that he thought should have belonged to the people of his tribe. After all, was the skin of the Gerudo not hammered from gold by Din herself and was their hair not spun from rubies and flames like his myths told him? Who were these Hylians to keep it to themselves? Who were they to harbor such wealth?
He hunched his shoulders and marched on as he had been taught to do all his life. This was another trial to endure and pass. The chains at his wrists jangled as a horse rammed into his side. He stumbled, righted himself, and glared at the Hylian Knight who was only a few inches above him even mounted. The man cursed at him and flicked his reins to continue prancing onward through the broad avenues. This one event set the tone for the rest of the short journey to Hyrule Castle. Ganondorf was jostled, pushed, and shoved as he was marched and paraded through the city that he had once sought to conquer.
He was seething by the time they reached the main gates of the castle. His fingers itched to draw on the magic that was no longer available to him. The last battle had stripped him of the power that he once wielded with such fury. He thought of attacking them physically. He could probably break through the guard of the knights surrounding him and make a decent run for it even chained; but not even a man of his build would be able to break through the small army that would hunt him once he was on the loose. He set aside his anger for the time, walking with heavy steps to the huge doors of Hyrule Castle.
Servants pulled the enormous set of doors open wide to admit the homecoming of the Hylian army and its prized captive. The arches of the vaulted ceiling yawned over his head as he entered, and he thought he felt eyes peering down on him, burning into his back and between his shoulder blades.
The foot soldiers and lower knights remained outside the doors, leaving only Ganondorf, his guard, and the ranking officers of the army to enter. Zelda was seated in her throne at the far end of the hall. She was both beautiful and terrible. The Queen of Hyrule hung like a star in the sky between her dais of white marble and the effigies of the three goddesses swirling above her head. She was almost ethereal.
The knights shuffled nervously amongst themselves in her presence before picking a handful of unfortunate men to escort Ganondorf down the hall to her. The procession was a slow and noisy affair as the knights' armor clanked with the effort of trying to maintain a tight perimeter around him while they attempted to simultaneously lead him to their queen. They stopped three quarters of the way down the hall and all fell to one knee in unison. He remained standing in the center of them. He could see their scowls from out of the corner of his eye. An armored arm was snaking towards his knees when she spoke.
"Bring him closer," she commanded
The knights lifted their heads as one and stared at her in surprise. "But Your Majesty," one with a mustache said.
"Bring him closer," she repeated.
The six knights surrounding him exchanged hesitant glances but did as Zelda bid. When they stopped again he was still well out of arm's reach of her but he could make out her features better. He had never seen the Hylian monarch up close, only at a distance from across a great hall or more recently a battlefield.
They silently assessed each other for a moment, weighing and measuring the strengths and weaknesses of the other. He could not tell what she thought of him behind her carefully guarded expression, but he found her surprising. Oh yes, she was beautiful like he'd always heard, there was no doubt of that. Still, she was not like how he had pictured her. He had imagined some delicate girl made of lace and glass, beautiful but insubstantial and fleeting. He had expected her to be more of a figure head who left the running of her kingdom to her council than a true ruler. It seemed the Hylians were full of surprises including their queen.
The quiet battle ended when her lips twisted into a wry smile. Her hair fell in a golden curtain over her shoulders as she tilted her head to the side in thought. "So this is him?" she said. "This is Ganondorf Dragmire, known by some as Mandrag Ganon, and the Scourge of Hyrule."
"What were you expecting, Milady?" he asked. He heard the creak of armor as the guards at his sides stirred in agitation. He would have to be careful or they might end him here.
She arched an eyebrow at the question. "More than what I see before me," she replied coolly.
"I was once more than what I am now. You sought to that," he spat back.
The knights rose to their feet.
Queen Zelda raised her hand and stood. Slowly, she walked off of the dais, mindful of the skirts that rustled at her ankles. The hall was shrouded in silence except for the swish of silk as she walked towards him. Her heels clicked on the marble floor. She was taller than he'd thought. Her shoulders were set and her eyes vaguely amused.
She stopped when she stood almost nose to nose with him. He could have reached out to caress her cheek or break her neck. In a moment, he could have had the most powerful woman in the world in his grasp and Hyrule at his mercy. Something in her gaze stopped him.
"You speak boldly," she said as she inclined her head to look him in the eyes.
"The same could be said for you, Zelda," he stated, his voice rolling through the room.
Her face pinched at his words. She took a step back, and he oddly felt the distance between them like he had not expected to.
Her hands smoothed the white fabric of her dress. "You will address me as Your Majesty. We are hardly on a first name basis, Lord Ganondorf."
He could feel a storm brewing around him. It set his nerves on fire. He had let his tongue run away with him again.
"Take him to the dungeon. Have armed guards placed around him. Go now." She spun on her heel and returned to her throne, her posture stiff and regal. She had returned to her distant star. She was the immaculate goddess once more.
Ganondorf awoke to the sound of a tray being slid through the small slit in the door. His nose wrinkled in disgust at the slop. He grabbed the rind of bread off of it and kicked the rest of it into a corner with his heel as he had done for the past two weeks.
His day passed uneventfully while he listened to the guards gossip and mutter to each other as they changed shifts. He thought and schemed. He could come up with nothing and as had become habit for him lately, he went to sleep hungry and tired.
Torchlight pried his reluctant eyelids apart as the door to his cell opened. He squinted in the flood of light, raising a hand to his brow to shade his eyes. He made out a silhouette. The queen had arrived.
She took a step into the small room, leaving her guards at the door. Her hands were folded as she looked up to survey the ceiling. She turned to the corner where his pile of rotting food sat.
"Not to your taste?" She came closer to him, gesturing for him to stand.
He got to his feet if only to loom over her, trying to use his height to intimidate her. "I do not eat pig slop."
"Would you prefer chicken feed? Or perhaps some oats?" She motioned carelessly to the empty pan.
"I would prefer something fit for someone of my station."
She grinned at him wickedly. "So you mean for a disgraced monarch who is currently held captive? I believe it is."
"Were our positions reversed, Queen Zelda, I can assure you I would show you much more courtesy."
"They are not so that is only a theory, and I do not deal with theories, Lord Ganondorf. I deal with reality. I suggest you start doing the same."
She turned to walk out and with her perhaps his one chance to free himself of this hell hole. He lunged at her exposed back. She made no noise as one arm came across her shoulders and his free hand to her delicate throat. The guards swarmed into the tiny room. He scrambled further back, not quite against the wall.
"Stay back or I'll break her pretty little neck like a doll's."
The guards hesitated for a moment.
"And then what?" Zelda replied drolly. "You'll kill your only tool for bargaining and be slain on the spot. Really, I'd heard you were more intelligent than that."
He gnashed his teeth together in frustration. This queen, this woman was maddening if only because she was right.
"Either way," he said, his breath hot against her ear as he craned his head down towards her, "you will be dead, and I will have killed Hyrule's greatest treasure."
She laughed. "Am I really worth so much to you? I think you overestimate my value. You would risk your very life for more comfortable quarters and better food?"
"I would trade my life for my dignity any day," he growled. "The same cannot be said for you."
He could feel something give in her while he pressed her flush against his body. He had hit a nerve. It seemed she had a prickly streak of pride. He could use that against her.
"It is said," he continued, "you can tell the true measure of a monarch by how their prisoners are treated. Fair and just or cruel and petty. The choice is yours, Highness."
She cleared her throat. "Fine. I can respect a man of ambition and . . . dignity. Let me go, and you'll have your room and food."
"You have my word," she stated reluctantly.
"I need something more solid than your word."
"You have it on my father's blood which is stained on your hands. You have on it on my crown. Satisfied?"
"It will do," he purred into her ear. He shoved her forward roughly.
She stumbled but righted herself by placing a gloved hand on the wall. The knights rushed forward. With a hand, she halted them. "I gave him my word, and a Hylian never goes back on her word, unlike some people I could name. Besides, he may yet prove useful."
"But Your Majesty," one of the fools started.
"Show him to his new rooms and give him a meal befitting a man of his tastes," she snapped before stepping out of the doorway.
This time was different though, this time she was by herself and out of her usual royal gown. The small crown and starched silk and linen dress were gone. In their place were a much simpler circlet and a dress of blue wool. She almost looked approachable, and for a moment, he imagined her out wandering around the marketplace.
She took a seat on the couch across from him without asking. Without words, he offered her a cup of wine.
She accepted and held it underneath her nose for a moment.
"Afraid I poisoned it?" He asked chuckling.
"Yes," she answered frankly.
"And where would I get it?"
"You Gerudo are crafty. I'm sure you have your ways." She drank deeply of the goblet in what he took to be a show of bravery. She drained it; then slammed the chalice down on the table.
He raised an eyebrow at her display and sipped his slowly. They considered each other for a moment like fighters sizing up their opponent before a battle. He dropped his eyes first. She reclined against the couch triumphantly, throwing her arms over the back.
She was toying with him. A girl a decade or more younger was besting him in a game of wits and intimidation. He had stood down warriors and monsters and her damn army but not her. Fine then, he could play her games. He would unhorse her.
"Tell me of the boy," he said casually.
"The one who defeated me. The one who led your armies and carries the Triforce of Courage. Tell me about him."
Her face went blank for a moment, calculating. "Why do you want to know?"
"Because I just do," he said innocently.
"I don't believe you. There's got to be some kind of motive behind it."
He smiled. "There isn't."
She narrowed her eyes, then put one leg over the other, clasping her hands around her knee. "He's my general. He fought my war for me, but it was with my strategies. He's a brilliant leader. People respect him, follow him naturally. He's also very good at spur of the moment military tactics. Those are his gifts. Anything else you would like to know? His weaknesses, his downfalls?"
Ganondorf shook his head in amusement. "No, that will do."
"Good," she said but her tone didn't reflect it. She seemed unsure at the moment, no doubt wondering what plot it was he was cooking up.
"You're very brave," he said conversationally. "I could easily kill you right now without your guards to protect you."
"And you would be very stupid to do so," she replied without faltering, her features cold and fixed. "Besides Ganondorf, you assume that it is not within my power to kill you without the means of a hangman's noose. After all, out of the two of us, it is you who lost your piece of the Triforce."
He spread his hands helplessly in a show of surrender and physical strength. All of the magic in the world wouldn't help her if he choked the life from her first. Oddly, even though the opportunity was present, it was not tempting. He should want to hurt this woman any way possible. He should welcome death after his defeat and ultimate disgrace as his people had taught him. He didn't. He wanted to live. It was what he did best.
"So why keep me alive then?"
She eyed his hands, violet eyes roving over the calluses and old scars that showed white against his dark skin. "I meant what I said in the dungeon. I do respect men of ambition and dignity, even if I am more certain of your ambition than your dignity. You are simply worth more to me alive than dead as both a political bargaining tool and a source of information."
"Am I really considering that I am your father's murderer?"
She smiled ruefully at his question. "Yes, there is that. I suppose a thank you is in order."
His mind and face went simultaneously blank at her statement. He cleared his throat and schooled his features carefully before continuing with the conversation. "I don't believe I understand."
She laughed, high and bright and cruel. It hung in the air for a moment like a bell before its echo faded. "Really, if you know anything about my father and mine's relationship it shouldn't come as a surprise. He'd suffered through three still births, all boys, before me. Then I'm born, the first child with his despised second wife, and I'm perfectly healthy. He gets my mother with child twice more, both of which result in miscarriages. He made no attempt to hide the fact that he wished he had a son from anyone, myself included. He blamed the deaths of what would have been my brother and sister on me, saying I was a witch because my mother was half Sheikah. He had no intention of making me his heir. Rumor has it he planned on naming a third cousin as his heir, but then his sudden death left no other option but me. So in a way, you're responsible for putting me on the throne. Ironic, isn't it?"
He silently soaked up the information, storing it away for a later time. He could see no prospective use for the knowledge currently, but one never knew. He had always known that the structure of Hylian society greatly differed from his own, and it was often murmured over tankards and behind hands that the King and Princess's relationship was less than ideal. Still, he had never imagined this level of discord amongst the two. He had certainly not expected her to benefit and even rejoice at her father's death. He saw a piece of himself reflected then in the dark mirrors of her eyes. She was not some soft hearted maiden. She was as hard and beautiful as diamond.
He nodded in agreement with her statement. Yes, many things in his life could be described as ironic. "So you did not grieve for him?"
She inclined her head towards him, leaning forward on her elbows. "He was no more a father to me than he was a husband to my mother."
He was growing irritable over his inability to act. He should have had at least some kind of rudimentary plan by now, but his mind was blank and empty of ideas. He paced restlessly when he was not sitting to eat or asleep. The dense, stone walls were starting to agitate him. His entire life had been either outside in the wide range of the desert, the airy Gerudo fortress, or makeshift tents when his sisters took him on raids. He was not accustomed to living in such a confined space for weeks on end. His room had one high, narrow window through which sunlight and a faint breeze entered, and only one door that was barred and locked from the outside. He found himself wishing that she would stop by to mock him if only to break the monotony of it.
As more time passed, he could feel a pressure building within the entire castle. Everyone seemed on edge and nervous. The castle buzzed like a hive full of frustrated bees. One didn't have to be particularly bright to link the tense atmosphere and Zelda's recent absence. So it was with mingled feelings of eager curiosity and dread that he accompanied a small retinue of guards to her solar.
When they reached the door one stupidly brave knight knocked loudly. Ganondorf could hear a fluttering of papers and the scraping of a chair before Zelda's curt reply came.
"Send him in. Him alone."
They paused a moment but as always obeyed her wishes. The blindfold around his eyes fell away, but the shackles remained as they him shoved into her rooms.
White sunlight washed in through the open glass doors in front of him. He squinted against the brightness of it. Through the arch of stone he could see a balcony and the bright green fronds of exotic potted plants. The sky was a hard blue canopy, and he relished the site more than he thought he ever would. Zelda was reclining on a white leather chaise with a thick wad of parchment in the flood of sunbeams. The light bleached her dress of any color. Her hair flared gold, and her eyes became hooded dark purple shadows as she cast them downward to look over the cramped handwriting in front of her. He stood where he was out of uncertainty of what to do and the unwanted desire to stare at her. He had seen beautiful women before and bedded quite a few of them, but she was something different. It was the least of her gifts. She would have been remarkable without it, but somehow beauty became her.
Finally, she looked up from her papers and gave him a stern glance. "Sit," she commanded, returning her eyes to her documents.
"Really, Princess Zelda, I would think you would have no shortage of royal hounds at your command. Why do you feel compelled to treat me as one?" he sneered, the moment of wonder broken.
She muttered and shuffled her papers around before finding a scroll and unrolling it on the table in front of her.
A detailed map of Hyrule's western border stretched out before his eyes. He frowned as he noticed the little x's on numerous Gerudo villages, various passes through the mountains, and hidden bridges that crossed the Zora.
"I have some very important business to discuss with you. It does pertain directly to you. So please, if you would, have a seat."
His chains rattled as he shuffled over to the settee on the other side of the table opposite the queen. "Alright then, if it's so important then let's get on with it. After all, I have a very busy schedule ahead of me, being a prisoner and all."
"The council and I have been wondering what to do with you. I can't keep you as a political prisoner forever. At least, not in your current quarters. They wouldn't allow that. It is time for you to prove your usefulness. As you can see, this is a map of the border shared by Hyrule and the Gerudo Desert. Despite, having defeated your army there are still skirmishes and raids ongoing. I believe someone among your people is trying to make a second stand with the scattered remains of your military."
She looked up at him expectantly.
Her expression grew chilly. "And, I need your advice as to what known hideouts they would be at. How big do you think the army is? What would their strategies be?"
He shrugged and rested against the back of the couch, letting his hands dangle between his knees carelessly. "I haven't been there for weeks, possibly months. Who am I to know the comings and goings of this new army?" He spread his hands helplessly.
"Don't play me false, Dragmire. You know damn well where they would go and what they would do. You probably also know who this is. Now I'm allowing you the choice of giving me this information freely. Do not make me regret it."
He made sure to keep his face still as her words flowed around him. He knew exactly what places they were retreating to and what tactics they were using, and he had a fairly certain idea of who was behind it.
"No," he answered simply.
Her lip twitched and her fingers curled as if she might strike him. Instead, she leaned back and lifted her chin. "You do realize that now you are no longer king even to them. I've read enough about your people to know that power is something not given over willingly. A new leader has stepped forward, and they follow her now. Even if I were to release you into their care they would treat you as an outcast, a defeated, humiliated prince. "
"Am I anymore than that here?" he responded.
"No, but at least here your safety is insured. You would be lucky to escape with your life among the Gerudo for the disgrace you brought upon them."
He fought to keep his expression placid. Her words cut deeply because they were true. The Gerudo were many things but forgiving was not one of them. His pride and greed had driven them to a great defeat. They would never forget that or allow him to.
"Some things are worth the risk."
She let out a heavy breath through her nose. "You know you're not saving them. If you give me the necessary information I can make this quick and merciful. I can find this new leader and end it before this gets out of hand. Do you think your people can survive another war like the last? Because I certainly don't."
"I think the more important question to you is can your rein withstand one."
"So it is, but I think you will agree that another war is not what either one of us wants."
He shook his head. "No, it is not, but I will not speak against my people."
She narrowed her eyes at him. "A surprising streak of nobility for someone like you, a man who modeled himself as the Dark Lord, the King of Thieves. Remind me why is it again that I choose to allow your head to remain attached to your neck?" Her tone was vicious, sly and sharp as a blade.
He made no reply as she stood and began to pace. She cradled her chin in her hand as she stalked the marble floor of her solar. Her eyebrows were knit together in fury as she cut glances at him out of the corner of her eye. "Do you understand that the reason why I let you live is for information? That is how I was able to convince my council to spare you from the executioner's axe. Do you know they wanted me to mount your head on a spike on the castle walls and send your body back in pieces to your sisters?"
He thought on her words. They did not surprise him. He had imagined that her advisors would have told her to be rid of him as soon as possible. They were probably pressuring her to come to some kind of resolution; preferably, one that ended with him dead. Despite that though, he knew that there had to be something else troubling her. Zelda was a confident woman, but she was not stupid. She would have guessed that he would not talk. No, there was something else at work here. Another obstacle was causing the normally implacable Queen of Hyrule to lose her composure.
"That's not why you're angry," he said diplomatically, his chains jingling as he stirred slightly.
"What?" She whirled on him, her expression livid. He could see the power from her piece of the Triforce shining through her eyes. His own absence of power ached within him. He could feel the void where it had been not so long ago. He wondered for a moment if he could steal hers and transfer it to himself. He still had some of his own given magic left. It might just be enough . . .
Then she turned away from him and the thought was gone. Her shoulders were hunched, and she held her chin in her hand in deep thought. No, despite her vulnerability and temptation, for some reason he could not bring himself to attempt something like that. It seemed wrong somehow. He supposed for the same reason that he could not bring himself to go through with his threats. It reminded him of the way his people would never kill one of the rare desert dragons that roamed their home. It was dangerous and they envied its power, but they would never harm it. Something like that should never be lost.
"That's not the real reason why you're so angry. There is another reason. This problem has been present for quite sometime. You knew how this would play out."
She let his words weigh like stones in the air, and he knew he had found his mark.
"And what if there is?" she said defeatedly, returning to her seat opposite him. "Nothing can be done for it." She pressed her longer fingers to her right temple.
"Perhaps I may be of help in other ways," he offered. It was a long shot, but if it kept him from death for a little longer he would seize it. Besides, if he could gain her trust and some information it might just be enough to form some kind of coherent plan.
"Really now? Since when did the defeated advise the victorious? That seems a bit contradictory."
He suppressed a growl and a bitter retort. He leaned forward with his elbows on his knees as far as his chains would allow. He trapped her eyes with his. "You may have defeated me on the battlefield, Majesty, but I am still your elder. I have ruled longer than you, and I've picked up a few tricks along the way. You want information. I can give it to you, just not the kind you originally expected."
Her hand dropped away. He could tell that she was considering it. He knew a little about the Triforce of Wisdom and knew that its bearer was naturally curious and thirsty for knowledge. He waited for her decision.
"How do I know that you won't use this against me at a later time?"
"If you have no intention of setting me free then I don't see as how I could. I'm a foreign, disgraced king. I see no one besides you."
Her jaw tightened before she nodded. "Alright then. I have been offered a proposal for marriage from the King of Holodrum." She stopped and eased out a breath.
He frowned and folded his hands together. "And?" he prompted.
"And I do not wish to marry him."
"Then tell him no," he replied simply.
She let out an exhausted laugh. "It is not that easy. The council is pressuring me into it. They think I am not fit to be a ruler, and Hyrule is so weak right now. I do not know if we can afford to make an enemy of any country."
"I take it that the King of Holodrum does not take rejection well?"
She let out a gust of air and laughed. "That's an understatement. He's known for his moods and his paranoia. The man had an entire family slaughtered because he suspected one of them of treason."
The furrow between the Gerudo's eyes deepened. "I can see why this would trouble you so much. He does not sound like suitable material for marriage."
"Yes," she answered softly before turning her attention to the green view of her windows.
He leaned back against the sofa and thought. One by one he ticked off the possibilities in his mind, each one with a grimmer outcome than the next. "There are three choices, only two of which I think you would seriously consider. The first one is to marry him."
She scowled at him.
"That's what I thought," he said smoothly. "The first alternative choice is to be honest about it and tell him, which could lead to a war that may or may not be winnable. The second is to make a game of it."
Queen Zelda snorted through her nose at his statement. "And what kind of game would you suggest? Maybe I should play him for the fate of my kingdom over a game of chess or hide and go seek."
The disgraced king shook his head and held out a hand in entreaty. "Hear me out before you dismiss my ideas. I grew up in a society of women. I saw the way the courting game was played. You are a woman of great power--and might I add great beauty--you have the opportunity to gain the upper hand here."
The incredulous expression on her face slowly faded to one of thoughtfulness. She seemed to have completely ignored the compliment he'd hidden between the words. It irked him mildly though he couldn't quite say why.
"Go on," she almost whispered as if afraid someone might over hear them.
He cleared his throat. "Make him believe that you are genuinely interested in his proposition. Allow him to feel like he has an honest chance. Allow yourself to charm him and be charmed in return. It will keep him at bay for a little while at least."
"In other words, lead him on," she replied bluntly.
He sighed and nodded his head. "For lack of better terms, yes. It is your best option, and the only one truly available with your current resources."
She paused again, her blond eyebrows knitting together. Then slowly her face smoothed out into its normal serenity. She was once again unflappable and immovable. "You really think this would work? You think he would be stupid enough to honestly think I would have any real interest in him?"
Ganondorf gave a sad smile of secret knowledge that all men shared. "It is not what he thinks that matters, it is what he wants. If he wants you for his wife then he will not see through your ruse."
She stood and turned her back to him. She clasped her gloved hands behind her back and let the light flood around her form. It cut sharp beams across her crown and shoulders and darkened her hair to the color of rich honey. She seemed to move and waver in the falling light of the sun. He thought that she seemed to dissolve into it at the seams of herself.
"How would I go about this? You must understand Lord Ganondorf that my education encompassed many areas but left little time for me to engage in flirtatious exchanges. I'm not learned in the ways of a coquette."
"Then I shall teach you," he said with a smirk on his face.
There you have the first piece of Ganondorf and Zelda goop that I've published in a while. This will be a short fanfic with another part hopefully coming in about a week. Please leave a review to let me know what you thought. I am pleased with the results but then again I'm biased.