Hello, my lovely readers! Here's a new one for you, but first, please take a moment to read the fine print. ;)
Many of you will remember one of my Age of Edward 2017 contest entries, Dominion. This is the expansion, but it is a stand-alone story. You will not need to have read Dominion to understand what is going on. This one will also be told strictly in BPOV. I have some EPOV outtakes planned, but as of now, I don't have any written. Those will likely post either as a separate story or as new chapters of the one shot.
The first handful of chapters will cover some of the events in the original contest entry. Some of the finer details have been changed to fit the expansion, but the bulk of these chapters will follow the original timeline. But, as I said, reading the original OS is not necessary ... unless you want to know what is going on in Edward's head in these early moments between them.
The prologue—and eventually the epilogue—will be written in third person, past tense, but the chapters will be in first person, present. This was intentional. The chapters will also get longer as we go along. And a shout out to 2caughtup for inspiring the prologue. ;)
This is technically a period piece, but it will NOT be historically accurate in the TRUEST sense. It is set in a fictional place, in an unspecified period of time, so I take any and all creative license with the details. While it may be an AU setting, if we can all agree that it is set in medieval times, we can all enjoy it. Please don't send me references to correct any perceived inaccuracies. What you can expect is some romance, some heavy drama/light angst, and a leather-clad, sword-wielding Edward. *sigh* If you have any concerns, please PM me.
It is more than half written, but I couldn't wait to post! I plan to post weekly on Tuesdays.
Whew ... I think I covered it all. I hope you enjoy it, and I would love to hear your thoughts in a review!
Thanks go out to Fyrebyrd, 2brown-eyes, Gabby1017, and Ceceprincess1217 for prereading - because we all know how much I need the feedback ;) - and to Sunflowerfran for editing. Any mistakes are my own.
Disclaimer: SM owns Twilight. No copyright infringement intended.
Dominion of My Heart
The Kingdom of Adwen was a fortunate one. Its verdant lands were rich and fertile, and its ports were thriving and brought them abundant riches. Their king ruled with a fair hand with his loving queen beside him. Their young union, arranged between King Charles' late father and the Kingdom of Moira, had already produced two daughters. There was much hope the expected third child would be a son, guaranteeing continued prosperity.
The screams echoed off the stone walls of the corridor as one of the queen's handmaidens rushed from the room. She carried yet another bundle of blood-soaked linens in her arms. The looks she received from the men stationed along the hall as sentries were ones of shock and fear. They had witnessed woman after woman carrying the same load, and they wondered how the queen had any more blood in her veins.
They were also fearful of their king's reaction. They all knew King Charles was anxiously waiting for word of the arrival of a son. After two daughters, no one wished to know how the king would react to the birth of another. The worried faces of the handmaidens as they fled down the hall, though, made them fear the news they might have to deliver would be grave.
Inside her chambers, the queen continued to wail and moan, all while tears streamed down her face. They were not at all the normal sounds of a laboring woman. Her sounds were constant and seemed to come from the depths of her soul. Everyone knew all was not well.
"Your Majesty, you must calm yourself." The midwife wiped a cool, wet cloth across the warm forehead of Queen Renee. "The babe may choose to stay in your belly, for all the noise you are making is surely enough to make him hide." She tried to smile down at the woman lying abed as she fought to bring her child into the world. For all the pomp and circumstance that usually accompanied the queen, on this day, she was like any other woman bringing forth a child— exposed and vulnerable.
Renee shook her head furiously. "You must ... please make sure my children know I—"
"Hush now. Do not speak as though you are leaving us, My Queen. All will be well. You will see." Her hand brushed the tears from the queen's cheeks. "You will bring a new life into the world, a prince who will one day rule this land. 'Tis hard work for any woman, but doubly so for you, Your Majesty." The midwife firmly believed her words as she said them, but as she gazed down at the woman struggling to survive the ordeal, she saw the pallor of her skin and the dimming light in her eyes, and she wondered for a moment if she should.
"Lady Elizabeth." The midwife's soft voice carried over the whimpers now coming from the queen. "Can you please ready the bundle at the bottom of my basket?"
Lady Elizabeth's eyes grew wide. "Are you sure?"
"I will only use it if necessary, but I want to be ready if it is needed."
Lady Elizabeth nodded and stepped back, turning toward the bundle containing a blade capable of removing the infant prince from his mother's belly if she was not strong enough to survive the birth.
Not an hour passed before the child was nearly delivered from his mother, stuck between this world and the safety of his mother's womb when the queen began to plead with the midwife.
"Please, you must. Promise me my children will be cared for." Queen Renee used all her strength, and her weak grasp held tight to the midwife's apron as she pled for reassurances.
"Of course, Your Majesty. Your child ... your son ... all of your children will be cared for."
The midwife would quickly regret making that promise. For as soon as she received it, the fight seemed to leave the queen's body, and she closed her eyes for the final time.
The women in the room all rallied around their beloved queen, trying to rouse her, to encourage her to push her child from her body, but it was to no avail. The midwife had to unwrap the bundle hidden under a nearby blanket and do the unthinkable.
The child emerged from its mother, mottled pink and red and a strange shade of blue. The urgency of the situation caused them all to gather around the new life, one hanging precariously in the balance. When the less than gentle massaging to the newborn's chest brought forth a quiet whimper before it let loose of a weak cry, they collectively heaved a sigh of relief.
But then they were faced with a dreadful task.
"Someone must inform the king." The midwife's whispered words hung in the air, heavy, weighted with far-reaching implications, for she knew her inability to safely deliver Queen Renee of her child meant her own life was likely a forfeit.
"I will send for a messenger." Lady Elizabeth stepped forth and got a closer look at the child. "What shall I tell him?"
The midwife looked over at the queen, naked and laid bare in more ways than one. The gruesome scene was one she hadn't witnessed in many years, but in the case of the queen and her child, it had been necessary in order to save at least one of their lives. She turned her attention to Lady Elizabeth and gave her the message that would be delivered to the king.
The merriment that took place in the great hall was akin to a banquet. When word spread that Queen Renee was to deliver the third child of the king, surely a son this time, the impromptu celebration began. Mead was poured and food was served to the small group gathered there, all to keep the king occupied as he waited for word of his wife and child, surrounded by his close advisors.
Lady Elizabeth approached the great hall, and the sounds of merriment and revelry grew louder as she neared. And as the sounds grew louder, so did grow the knot in her belly. She knew the news she had to deliver would not be taken well.
When she stepped closer to the room, she caught the eye of one of the guards stationed at the doorway. "I require the audience of the King's messenger."
"Of course, My Lady." He left his post and hurried to find the man who would deliver the news to the king.
Lady Elizabeth did her best to still her trembling, resisting the urge to wring her hands in consternation. When the herald stepped into her line of vision, she steeled herself to deliver the message.
The sounds of the harp and flutes abruptly stopped, and all attention turned to the man standing in the archway. Unable to look at the king, his eyes were focused on a tapestry hanging on the far side of the wall.
"What news do you bring? Has my queen finally given me a son?" Charles was wide-eyed, and his excitement was palpable to all in the room.
For his part, the herald stood straight, head held high, and tried to deliver the news without showing his own emotion, for he, himself, was a husband and father. The mere thought of losing his own wife and child was nearly too much to bear, so he could only imagine the pain his king was about to endure. He swallowed past the lump in his throat and gathered his courage before he spoke.
"Your Majesty, the birth of another princess has blessed the House of Swan and the Kingdom of Adwen."
The king's shoulders fell, his hopes for a son, an heir, once more put on hold. "And is she well?" he managed to ask over the murmurings of those gathered with him.
The herald hesitated. "All is well with the child."
"And what of the queen?" A moment of anxiety twisted in his gut at the look on the herald's face, and his even tone belied the ripple of fear passing through him.
The herald's sorrowful eyes finally met the king's. "Her Majesty, Queen Renee, is no longer of this world."
King Charles looked down at the squirming infant who was swaddled in soft linens and sleeping in a cradle near the fire. She was small, much smaller than her sisters had been. Charles could scarcely believe Renee had difficulty bringing her into the world.
He felt numb, disbelief that his love was gone, and he was now left with this small, weak wisp of a child in her stead. He was faced with a life without the woman he loved at his side, and he now had three daughters to bring up without their mother. It was a heavy burden to bear.
The girl child began to whimper and cry, an almost squawking sound, and a young maiden, who up until that moment had been sitting quietly in the corner, stood and approached the king. "Shall I call for a wet nurse, Your Majesty?"
He merely nodded, and she went to the door to pass along the request.
"Has the queen's ... body"—he choked on the word—"been prepared?"
"Yes, Your Majesty."
He kept his gaze fixed on the now screaming infant in the cradle as he issued his demand. "You will take me to her."
"And the child, Your Majesty? What is she to be called?"
King Charles thought back to the private talks he'd had with his wife. Times when they had discussed names of the children Reneé was yet to bear. So focused on having a son, he'd relinquished the choice of a daughter's name to his wife. Remembering the one she spoke of so fondly, it was easy to answer the girl.
"She is to be named Isabella. Isabella Reneé."
Charles peered down at the lifeless form of his wife. He knew it was only her physical body laid before him, her soul since departed for the afterlife, but he could not stop himself from reaching out to touch her.
"I am so sorry, my love." His whispered words were broken as they passed his lips. He hoped they would reach her, wherever her soul now resided. Her body, still and cold, was merely the vessel that carried her life force, and he knew, in that one touch, she was truly gone. Sobs wracked his body, and he could not contain his tears. Pain and anguish, the likes of which he had never known, ripped through him, and a wave of misguided anger for those responsible burned white-hot inside of him.
With a final, gentle kiss to her lips, he said his goodbye, private and away from prying eyes, before turning and storming from the room. His intent was to make someone pay for what had happened.
The king ignored the pleas of the midwife as she was sentenced to death; her only crime, doing what she could to save a mother and her child. A spectacle was made of her, paraded through town as she was led to the gallows. His people watched as the king found retribution for the loss of his beloved, and it would not soon be forgotten.
Nearly a generation passed, and Adwen paid dearly for their King's anguish. His bitter, cold heart was evident in the way he dealt with not only his people but his daughters as well. His refusal to remarry gave the people little in the way of reassurances, and rumors of someone usurping him from the throne ran rampant. Talk of such things was quickly snuffed out, those guilty hung for treason, but the lack of confidence only worsened.
The people suffered.
The kingdom of Adwen, nestled in a valley between lush, rolling hills, and at the edge of the sea, was now ripe for the picking, and it was viewed by the surrounding kingdoms as a prize. From as far away as Renée's homeland of Moria across the sea, to the kingdoms of Galon to the north and Rhema to the south, news of Adwen's hardships were known.
It was only a matter of time before Adwen would either fall, or find salvation from its own self-destruction.
A/N: So, what do you think? Let me know in a review.
And here is something new for me ... fic recs! I've noticed in older fics, writers would spread the word about wherever great story they were reading at the time, and I wanted to kick off my newest fic with the same. I'll try to rec two a week ... a WIP and a completed story.
First up ... a WIP. Written by a wonderful gal who I'm thankful to have as a prereader and lucky enough to call a friend... In My Brother's Shadow by 2brown-eyes.
Summary: As a child, Bella always felt second best when in it came to her twin brother, Emmett. Now years later, an accident has brought her back to Forks. Will she be thrust back into her brother's shadow? Or will she be finally be seen as something other than Emmett's sister.
I love this independent Bella, and Edward is proving himself to be more than he first appeared to be. Give this one a look if you aren't already reading it.
And a completed classic I'm currently reading ... Sideline Collision by Nolebucgrl.
Summary: A cocky QB runs into a snarky band geek. What happens when they collide on and off the field?
How I managed to have not read this one before, I will never know. Cockyback and Reed Girl are quickly becoming two of my favorite characters. I FLOVE this one!
Don't forget to leave me some love! See ya next week!
Lots of love