DISCLAIMER: This story is not written in my usual style. Rating is for nongraphic homosexuality. Oneshot.
The horsehair bristles on the ivory plaited brush still felt like a lie, even after five years. I stroked it absently, lost in thought. Living in lamplight no longer fazed me; neither did the grotesque disfigurements of the goblin people, but there was still something off in my life. I could feel it, the rift which I'd have to cross before my final adjustment, but I could not label it. From the moment I greeted the dawn to the moment I finally closed my eyes, I could feel slight discord. My husband said it was normal, he read me the accounts of King's Wives who'd taken even longer to settle in and accept their position. His explanation jarred me slightly. I loved the kingdom, in my own way.
Marak never knew that I was almost relieved when I was taken, that he had saved me from a dreaded arranged marriage. At first I had fought like a wildcat against the capture and being forced into another marriage, this time cross species, but my husband showed himself to be tender and accepting of my reticence. After the shock of my capture and the ceremony wore off, I allowed my inherit curiosity to take over. I met his subjects with all the energy that I could muster, and focused on knowing them individually. If I had been honest with Marak, he could have written me into his chronicles as the quickest adjusting King's Wife of all times. The charmed snake on my arm said it frequently, and he'd spent quality time guarding each of us.
"Good morning," Marak took the brush from me and began running it through my hair. Jet black and beautiful normally, it was a tangled mess in the mornings. I winced as he caught a particularly stubborn snarl. "Have you any plans for the day?"
"I was thinking that I would visit the lake valley, the wax lilies are in bloom." I took interest in the kingdom, I loved its energy, but some days I desired solitude. Marak said my cyclical withdrawals were lunar, that I was instinctively forlorn when the full moon flooded the forest overhead with its lights and shadows. Perhaps the goblin King and his scholars believed such nonsense, but I wanted a time to embrace my loneliness. A time when I could reflect, even meditate, and try to solve the mystery of my disquiet.
"An excellent idea," he said. Marak always congratulated me when I woke up eager with plans. Although today my wistful staring into space could hardly be counted as eager. "There are a new bunch of pages graduating today, and I will be cloistered away writing assignments. Perhaps Kytali could join you?"
"I hardly think that a guard is necessary. Who down in the kingdom would hurt me?" I touched the golden snake on my arm as a reminder.
"Nonetheless, she'll be losing her position to a new member of the guard. I was hoping that she could accompany you until I can find her a suitable replacement duty."
"She?" Fighting women in the king's guard were rare.
"Yes," he said. "Kytali recently was on an extended traverse around the elf King's forest. She was looking for any expansion activity. I believe that she was deployed right before we captured you and she only returned yesterday.
I was uncomfortable with the idea, although I couldn't explain why. Sighing, I took my husband's hands from my hair to stop him from brushing it. The gentle tugging was causing me to relax too much apparently. There was no reason that a goblin guard couldn't follow me, they were professional all. If I didn't address this Kytali, she would not interrupt my day. "Very well."
Kytali was waiting outside the chamber door when I left for the lake valley. She was silent, black clad, the very nearly the essence of the guard. I made my own way, and she followed like a shadow. Eventually though, she stepped in front of me and led the way. The direction was different than the normal route I travelled, and I nearly complained. Instead, agreeing to the adventure, I accepted that she would choose my day's destination. After walking what felt like forever through murky sunlit grasses, she stopped at a small spring. Water gurgled up from the ground in a constant flow, trickled down a small cairn of rocks, and congregated into a small pool.
"I thought that you might think better in a place that reminds you of your world." I was awed by her boldness, not many goblins would presume to think for their King's Wife. She then settled to the ground a short distance away, for all intensive purposes ignoring me.
Distraction took over me as I tried to focus; it was in the form of Kytali. In an attempt at alleviation, I drew water from the ground and formed it into a globe. I manipulated it into coils, twists, geometric patterns. At one point I caused it to grow like a tree, then flow like a comet's tail, then freeze. My magical strength was elemental, but even with this resource at my disposal, I was still bored. I snuck a glance at my guard, she was still steadfast in her watch. Narrowing my eyes, I tried a new tactic. I sent the water through pores in the soil until there was a small aquifer under her feet. I called upon that, creating a vine that grew for her, rising up to her seated eye level. There it flowered.
I had only hoped to gain her attention, but I never expected her reaction. She turned to me and smiled, I was entranced. A blush spread across my cheeks as I noticed how her green eyes sparkled. They were slit like a cat's, fierce and defiant, but in that moment they were wide open. Those eyes stood out against her silver coat, short fur that covered her from the tip of her pointed ears to the very end of her tail. Her feet and hands were white as the snow that the kingdom would never receive. Her tail twitched in response to my appraisal, and I turned away.
"You don't need to stop." Kytali said. "I've never been looked at that way before."
Naturally, with her permission I was too shy to look back. I was embarrassed to have been seen staring, and I focused intently on the spring. Too lost, I never heard her approach, yet it was her hands that turned my face away from the water. Bluish patterns shifted over her as the sun moved through the sky. I followed them across her body. Her mouth was humanoid, but with elongated teeth. Her form in general was perfect, how could I ever have thought that goblins were disfigured. Their strength was their beauty. Elvish beauty is delicate and weak, but in Kytali was raw willpower. It dripped from every whisker. She leaned close to me and looked down into my black eyes. Petite she was, but I was an elf woman, by definition I was small.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"There are many kinds of magic," was her reply. I was certainly spellbound as she kissed me. I could feel her soft lips press mine, and then slowly I could feel her rough tongue touch the very corner of my mouth. It was like sandpaper and I started to laugh. In that moment, with a feline goblin woman, I was the happiest I had ever been. My world finally made sense, in a way that it never had before. Then she pulled away.
Kytali's face was marred with horror when she realized what we'd done. She had kissed the goblin King's Wife, essentially she'd betrayed her people. I pulled her back towards me in hopes of another kiss, my heart race increasing as the distance between us decreased. I was nervous that she'd changed her mind, came to her senses or some such nonsense. I knew that it was a snap decision, but that I'd fallen in love with her as quickly as I had fallen in love with her people. Passion was never something I lacked. Sharp pain I felt after I tasted silvered blood. Her fangs had scraped my lips causing me to bleed slightly. The snake whirred into action and bit her, paralyzing Kytali. I may have screamed.
The next I knew, we were in the throne room awaiting the King's judgment. Actions against the King's Wife were unforgiveable. I didn't know how Marak would react when he discovered I'd instigated the entire event. I placed my hand on Kytali's head. "Give her the antidote." I said.
The King was conferring with the golden serpent. If it was betraying me, I personally would read every book in the library to disable it permanently. He waved his hands, dismissing all the goblins from the room. With a glare from the hulking monarch, even the chief advisor fled leaving all his papers behind. "The charm reports that you kissed that woman?" He stared at me in disbelief- I had never kissed him.
"Yes. And I love her." I said defiantly.
"You can know nothing of love," he said. "Liss, you've been nothing but frigid since arriving."
"I may have been unaffectionate towards you, but I gained the respect of your people by learning about their culture. If I can love the goblin people, why can't I love a goblin woman?"
"If you can love a goblin woman, why can't you love a goblin man? The King who represents all that is goblin asks why you can't love him."
"I just can't."
"Well then we've a conundrum. You are the King's Wife and responsible for producing an heir. To accomplish this, you would have to love me."
"I have an idea." After whispering to him, he touched Kytali's head and revived her. The three of us departed to the royal chambers.
Kytali stared at the dish in front of her. Marak had agree to leave the room, but the white fluid inside occasionally flashed every color of the rainbow, representing all that was goblin in his place. "Liss," she asked gently, "are you ready?" I nodded, and the liquid rose from the dish. It swirled slightly and shifted as it floated towards me.