Title: Wedding Night
Characters: Tuia/Hittite Prince
Summary: A fanfiction of the book "The Talisman of Set" by Sara Hylton. Tuia never got hold of the talisman, and she's now married off to the hittite prince.
A/N: I wanted this to be a multi-chapter story, but I've gotten so busy that I decided to make this into a oneshot. It is a fan fiction inspired by the book The Talisman of Set by Sara Hylton. I was unhappy about the tragic end of the life of the character Princess Tuia that I decided to create a more optimistic one.
In this story, Tuia never got hold of the Talisman. All the egyptian characters belong to Sara Hylton.
Thanks to Chie Shinohara, creator of the Red River manga series, for information about the Hittite empire.
Disclaimer: All egyptian characters belong to S. Hylton.
Tuia parted the curtains and stared out of the tall window into the cold darkness. Her slender, childlike form shuddered as a cool gust of wind entered the room. How dark and forbidding Hattusa seemed at sundown. It was so different from the warm, romantic nights she had loved in Thebes, her home.
'And I will spend the rest of my life in this hateful place!' She thought in dismay. Tears formed in her slanted green eyes, and she brushed them away impatiently.
Everything was strange in this Hittite empire: the food, the buildings, the rituals, and most especially the people. They spoke a strange tongue and looked different. While her skin was golden and her hair black, most of the citizens here had fair skin and brown hair.
They had a most unusual way of doing things. Even in celebrating weddings, they were far from the Egyptian custom.
"What would I expect from the Hittites, a barbaric and backward people?" she said under her breath.
She was uprooted from everything that was dear and familiar to her and brought here to this foreign land to wilt and die. If not for familiar faces at the wedding, like those of Asnefer, Ptahotep, and Ipey, she would have gone mad completely.
She remembered the words of Ptahotep, priest of Amon and her loving childhood friend, right before her wedding ceremony.
"I know this is the hardest thing you had ever faced in your life, Princess, even harder than losing your beloved father. But death is not the answer. Your father and the gods will not receive you kindly should you dare to fight what fate has given you."
"I don't care anymore!" she had cried angrily. "Nobody cares for me. It is better that I die and face the consequences than live an empty life without the man I love!"
Ptahotep seemed to recoil from her words. "But the Pharaoh is already married to your sister, Asnefer."
She shook her head. "A foolish decision, one that he will regret forever. But now that he has left me alone, I resolve to end things my way."
Ptahotep held her hand. "Please, Princess. If you kill yourself now, wouldn't that be a coward's way out? You would lose in your struggle against your grandmother. That is not what Tuia, the strong and relentless young woman that I know and love, would do."
She turned to him, her green eyes sad. "I don't care anymore, Ptahotep. I'm tired of fighting. It's all useless."
"Do not lose to the Queen dowager. Prove to her that her plan of making you suffer will fail."
Ptahotep's words were like a tiny fire that was suddenly ignited in her cold heart.
"You are right, as always, Ptahotep. If she saw my despair now, how my grandmother would gloat. I must show her a happy and bold face so that she will doubt her decision to marry me off to a foreign Prince so far away from home."
Ptahotep smiled. He kissed her forehead affectionately and whispered, "I had a vision last night. It said that the future will be bright and rewarding for you. You are young and resilient. Do not worry, Princess. May the gods be with you."
"A happy future in this palace? In the arms of a man I barely know? Ptahotep must be mistaken," she said aloud as she turned to the large, luxurious bed at the center of the Prince's chamber. She sat down at the edge gingerly, not willing to lie down on the bed of a complete stranger. She crossed her arms on her chest angrily at the thought of him.
"Prince Hakan is unbearable." She huffed.
She replayed in her mind the exchange that took place earlier at the wedding banquet.
She and her subjects were sitting on brightly decorated throw pillows scattered on the patterned marble floor, as they were the guests of honor. A makeshift stage was situated before them, where dancers and musicians entertained them. The Hittite King, Tabarna Arnuwandas, his first concubine, and his sons and daughters were seated at the long table at the opposite side of the stage.
"Princess! You have certainly caught the eye of the Prince. And what a fine, handsome husband you have there, no?" Ipey's voice crackled in a malicious laugh.
"Be quiet Ipey! I did not ask for your opinion." She glared at her old nursemaid. Curiously, she stole a glance at the Prince who was seated at the Tabarna's right side. Indeed, he was looking at her intently, and she recognized a flash of desire in his eyes. His well-formed mouth was curved into an arrogant grin. She shuddered involuntarily and looked away. "Why, that lecherous man!" she said under her breath. She disliked him immediately. "I won't allow him to touch me! I've already offered myself to the Pharaoh once, and it is to him alone I shall surrender myself."
"But Prince Hakan is already your husband! It is your obligation to bear him sons." Ipey wagged an old crooked finger at her.
"I don't love him. I don't intend to make his conquest of me easy."
"If only you had allowed old Ipey to get that powerful talisman, you wouldn't have had to go through all this," Ipey told her sadly.
"Enough Ipey! I prefer to get what I want, but not even Set or any other god could help me now."
Prince Hakan rose to his feet, majestic in his colorful robes and jewels. "I request my wife to be seated at my side," he said, indicating the empty seat to his right.
Tuia bristled at his conceited stare, as if he were undressing her in his mind. "No thank you, your highness. I'm much more comfortable here." She gave him a sweet smile, but the rebelliousness in her eyes was unmistakable.
A muscle twitched in Hakan's cheek, but he managed to speak in a calm voice. "The place of a good wife is beside her husband," his deep voice warned ominously.
"You would have me by your side for the rest of our lives, my lord. Can't you bear to be apart from me even for just one night?" she retorted.
Everyone was silent. The Hittites were shocked at their new Princess's open display of defiance, and the few Egyptians who were present were mute with consternation.
The Prince slowly walked down the steps of the dais where the royal table was set. He approached her with firm, steady steps, and as he neared her she unconsciously clutched the pillow she was sitting on at the floor.
He stood before her, leashed fury evident in his dark eyes and tensed muscles. She stood up shakily, her head only reaching his shoulders. He was a tall man, well over six feet, and looked so menacing that she started to doubt the wisdom of her words.
"Do you plan to fight me at every turn, Princess? Because I assure you that I will not hesitate to fight back," he said for her ears only.
At his words, the fear that was slowly creeping up her spine disappeared. She tilted her chin proudly and replied. "I can see that you are enjoying this arrangement. But I am not. I promise you that I will make it equally hard for you and my grandmother to bend me to your will."
"Go to our room. If you disobey me, I will lift you, kicking and screaming, and carry you there," he threatened. To the crowd, he declared, "The Princess is tired from her long journey and from the day's festivities. She wishes to retire to our room."
As she said goodnight to her family, friends, and the royal Hittite family, she gave him a dark look. 'Your troubles are only beginning, my lord,' she promised.
Now, in his room, her fear had suddenly returned. She knew nothing about Hakan. Was he merciless and cruel? Would he punish her for her disobedience?
Hours passed, and he still had not yet retired to their chamber. Her resolve to refrain from sleeping in his bed was slowly collapsing. The bed looked so soft and inviting, and she was dead tired. She was told that there was no other room she could sleep in since all of them were occupied by the guests who had attended their wedding.
Making up her mind, she changed into her sleeping gown with Ipey's assistance. She climbed onto the enormous bed and almost immediately went to sleep.
She was awakened by a soft, tingling caress on her bare arm. Soft kisses feathered on her face, neck, and shoulder. She was suddenly enveloped in cold air as the bedcovers were pulled back, and her clothes were being leisurely removed.
"Stop!" she cried, fully awake now. She clutched her gown to her chest and moved away from a lazily smiling and stark naked Hakan. "What are you doing?"
"Removing your clothes. That would make it easier to do what I had in mind."
"Don't touch me!" she screamed, slapping the hand that pulled at the hem of her gauzy, white dress.
"I admit that I am amused by this bickering, Tuia. But I am rapidly growing bored and irritated by it. Now, if you'll just lie still and perform your wifely duties…"
"No!" she screamed, fighting him off as he lay on top of her. She fought for several minutes, clawing and biting him as his hands and lips roamed her body. Finally, frustrated at her futile actions, she gave up, tears forming in her eyes.
The Prince sensed this and stopped. He gazed at her, lightly wiping the tears off her eyes. His were so full of guilt and concern that she was compelled to look away.
"Am I that horrible to behold?" he asked softly.
Startled at his gentleness, she looked back at him, and felt a blush forming across her face.
This was the first time she had ever looked upon him at such a close range. His long blond hair was ruffled in their struggle, and it fell in appealing waves across his forehead. His brows, thick and dark blond, topped beautiful, long-lashed brown eyes speckled with gold. His nose was tall and long, his cheekbones prominent, and his lips were red, the lower fuller than the upper, so that he looked like he was pouting most of the time. A few days' growth of stubble along his jaw and his tanned skin somewhat hardened his soft, classical, almost womanly features.
He was very tall and lean, but the muscles on his arms and torso were well-defined. His broad shoulders and chest suggested immense power. Her gaze followed his muscled stomach, tapered hips, strong thighs and legs, and the startling proof of his arousal.
He was beautiful, in a strange way, so different from the attractiveness she had appreciated in the Pharaoh.
Fighting this man would be difficult, she realized, as her body instantly reacted to him.
"Please," she pleaded. "You must understand. I can't readily give myself to you. I love another man."
He looked at her silently, his emotions masked.
"It will not be enjoyable for me if you do not cooperate, so I cannot do anything about it." He shrugged, putting on a robe and tossing her another. "But I am your husband. I have given your country ten cartloads of gold as a gift for your hand. I must have something in return."
She looked away, clutching her robe tighter to her small frame.
He seemed to come to a decision. "I promise not to force you, until my father demands an heir from me. And I will give you anything you ask, except for divorce."
She watched him warily. "What do you want in exchange?"
He sighed. "My people need to believe that my marriage is an ideal one, especially since I will be their king someday. I want you to pretend to love me. And of course, they should not know that we failed to consummate our marriage tonight."
"So, you're afraid your people would think you a coward?" she asked acidly.
"I do not want them to worry about whether our union will produce future leaders or not. Also, if they think that I may have problems in subduing my wife, they would not think me fitting as their ruler." His lips were stretched in an ironic smile. "So, will you accept my terms, or do you prefer to see the more disagreeable side of my nature?"
Tuia shook her head. "Whether I agree or not does not matter. I am only your wife. My life is at your mercy." She gave him a hard glower. "I accept."
"Good." He smiled. "You will find that I can be a very generous man, Tuia." He walked to the door. "I bid you goodnight."
"Where are you going?" she called out, suddenly regretting her words. She sounded needy, and the last thing she wanted to do was to make him think that she cared about his actions.
His smirk confirmed her worry. "Missing me already, my love? I'm going to find other amusements, since you so blatantly denied me tonight."
Left alone in the darkness, the Princess wept.