A/N: Okay, everybody this is an IMPORTANT author's note! I have two ideas I'm not sure if I should do so I'd like for your reviews to help me make a decision.
Should I allow Maya to somehow return to our (and her) world – followed by Marak of course so he'll figure out the truth? This will end with those two visiting our world at least sometimes.
Should I put these in chronological order once I'm finished and upload them? And if yes, how far should I take this story before I do so. Twenty chapters? More? Less?
Thanks for you time. NOW you can read the next chapter.
Looking worriedly at his wife Marak felt concern swell up in him at the sight of the fatigued look in her eyes and the dark circles under them. By now it looked like they had been painted on. She had been with him for almost three weeks now and though she slept a lot (she far preferred sleeping troubled than being awake with him in his underground kingdom) she got very little rest. Her sleep was haunted by nightmares and even when he scared these away, her sleep was restless at the best and she rarely looked more rested after a night of sleep than before.
He did what he could to help her. He scared her nightmares away, tried to exhaust her through the day and let her cry herself to sleep, trying to console her at night. But he knew that the only thing that would truly make her feel better was time and there was nothing more he could do than he already was besides waiting.
Which was far from his favourite way of passing time.
To say Marak was rich would be an understatement.
To say Marak was very rich would be an understatement.
To say that Marak was filthy rich would be an understatement.
No, Marak was so filthy, ridiculous, offensive rich that it was almost surreal. He was rich the way the old Emperors of China used to be rich with ceilings of gold and hundredths of palaces. Of course she had known from almost the beginning that Marak could be considered very wealthy, king and all.
But it was first when he first brought her to the royal treasury that she realized exactly what her husband meant, when he told her he would and could give her almost anything she asked for – except for her freedom.
Looking at the treasures before her she was stunned. This wasn't a little chamber filled with coins and the like. This was gold and silver, jewellery and precious stones, statues made of gold and the like and all other kind of riches she could imagine outstretched before her as long as her eyes could see. It reminded her of that movie she saw. Treasure Planet. It was ridiculous. There was no other word for it.
Looking at this ludicrous amount of riches she couldn't help but wonder how many kr., Euros, dollars or pounds this treasure would be equal to. Billions.
It was then she truly realized she had married a king. A king, who was so absurdly rich that it was clear that he could give her almost anything she wanted. If she wanted to she could actually pull a Scrooge McDuck and bath in it.
But all the money in the world couldn't buy back her freedom, the one thing she truly yearned for.
Seeing a young guard – not on duty – who had fallen asleep outside, not noticing when the sun rose, she discovered that sunburn for a human and for a goblin meant two very different things.
For a human it meant red and irritating skin, which hurt slightly when you touched it, and later would start peeling off. It was ugly and extremely annoying, but hardly something you could die of.
For goblins it was vastly different. Watching mutely as Marak healed the young goblin – Tefu, she later learned his name was – she couldn't help but feel sorry for him, goblin or not. His skin was far redder than anything she had ever seen on humans – even the time her father fell asleep in the sun without sunscreen. It was already peeling of in huge pieces and to her shock it wasn't jut the first layer as it was with humans. Layer after layer was being pilled of the poor goblin, until his skin was raw and red as his entire skin was one big, only half healed wound. He looked far more as if he had been burned severely than just being outside for a little while. It had only lasted a couple of minutes or so after the sun had arose, before the pain had woken him up and after that he could only have been outside for a little over ten minutes, before finding shelter and later being picked up by some guards.
The white in his – unusually human – eyes had turned red and little drops of blood were trickling down his cheeks. He was clearly in pain, though his composure impressed Mai. If it had been her, who looked or felt like that, she would have had a hard time not passing out.
She almost felt pain just looking at him and – to the surprise of not only the guard, but also Marak and the guard's two best friends, who was both present – she helped him as best as she could holding ice against his burning hot skin. Being busy with the guard Marak still sent her a little appreciating smile, happy she no longer seemed to hate goblins. Now it was just him she loathed.
Three weeks later Tefu still bragged that the Kings Wife herself had helped him. Like so many other of the guards he did his very best to bring her back a flower of some sort.
Lying in Maraks embrace, looking at his sleeping face, she couldn't help but think that nine years back, almost to the date, she would never had thought it would ever be feasible for her to love the monster, who had abducted her and forced her into marriage.
But yet, she thought, snuggling closer. I do.
The last Goblin King's Wife had been vastly different than her. Intelligent and kind, she was far more proper than Mai. Most probably because of their different upbringing. The last King's Wife would never have dreamed of pulling on a pair of pants or ever showing her legs in public. She wasn't by any means a prude, but had been brought up by a noble family with high expectations for her.
Before she had been abducted by Marak's father she had been engaged to a young man, who as handsome as he was, also was conceited, arrogant and full of himself. It was not a marriage she had looked forward to, but within her culture the choice wasn't hers. True, she could technically break the engagement of, but that would also mean she would be disinherited by her parents, looked down upon by her siblings and she could easily end up having to spread her legs for a decent meal. It would be difficult to say the least to find a decent job, when looked down upon by her entire society.
Not that her fiancé was that bad. He never hit her or anything. He just was incapable of talking about anything but himself and his many achievements.
When she was abducted by Marak's father she hated him at first, before she slowly came to realize that not only was he a far better husband than her fiancé would ever have been, but she was also far more free in her captivity among the goblins than she had been up in her old society with the many expectations she as a noble woman was forced to meet. Here her prison just had a physical shape rather than a symbolic.
Her story was one of Maya's favourites as it showed Marak's mother's life with the goblins had been better than her life among the humans. She wished she had had a change to meet her before she had passed away.
"Do you think your mother would have liked me?" she asked Marak one day.
"Liked you? She would have been terrified of you! With all the swearing and stubbornness, not to mention your fashion style," he teased her. "But yes, she would have gotten past that and she would have loved you as her daughter-in-law and done everything she could to make you happy down here. Just as I am."
She chose to ignore the last comment.
She knew many humans would consider them incompatible. And she supposed it what true that when she was light, he was dark. She looked innocent, and he frightening. She was distant, a dreamer, an artist. He lived in the moment, was a realist and – technically – a politician.
But after all, she thought. They do say opposites attracts.
As he led her from the chamber, where the queen usually spent her first night, to the royal chambers, he wondered what she thought.
She walked silently a couple of meters behind him, hugging herself as if she was cold. She hadn't once looked at him, staring down at the floor as if she was refusing to see any kind of horror he lay before her. As if he wished to frighten her. But then again maybe it wasn't that bad a thing. They were still deep underground, and this part of his kingdom wasn't exactly the most beautiful. Here was nothing but empty stonewalls and cold stone floors. It must have looked like a hall to a prison cell. He wondered if perhaps he should defy tradition and try to make this place less frightening for the future King's Wives.
Looking at her frozen face he tried to imagine how she must feel. Frightened of course. Horrified by the monster before her. Terrified. Sad. Depressed. Miserable. He probably should say something, but no words came to mind. What could he possible say to her? What could possible help her in her terror? And even if he did found something she most likely wouldn't believe him. She would think he was tormenting her.
He sighed softly, missing the startled look she sent him, before she quickly looked down again. He reminded himself that it was always hardest in the beginning, but if he could just find something to say? This wasn't like him. He never fumbled with words or felt nervous about something he wished to say. Then again, he had never married an unwillingly woman either. Or girl. He glanced curiously at her. How old was she? Sixteen? So very young to go through what she must think of as a living hell.
He sighed again and decided whatever he was to say it couldn't possible make the situation any worse.
"I know you must be frightened, but I promise you not to hurt you."
"You're my wife. I will do whatever I can to make your happy."
She didn't even look like she had heard him.
"This is your new home and my goblins are your subjects. They will do whatever you tell them, except, of course, to let you out."
She shivered slightly at the word 'home', but didn't otherwise seem to hear him.
He sighed again, having already guessed that she wouldn't believe him.
And the only thing that would change that was time.
Time and proof.
She didn't look up. She never looked up any longer at the mention of her name. After all he was the only one, who ever called her that. The few other goblins she had met all called her the King's Wife. A name that words alone couldn't describe how much she hated.
They had only been married a little over a week and she had taken a liking to ignoring him whenever possible. She hadn't left her rooms since the first time he brought her here. She knew she should be looking for a way out, but she also knew he was watching her. No, she had decided. It would be better to wait. Just long enough so he would relax a little. Then she would escape.
Or at least attempt to.
No! She reminded herself. Don't think like that. Like you will never get out. If you think like that you'll break.
So she waited. She waited in her luxurious rooms, never seeing the luxury surrounding her, as she impatiently waited for him to leave her alone so she could find a way out of this hell. She waited, surrounded by gold and precious gems she never noticed, while effectively ignoring her ugly husband.
Husband. The word gave her the creeps. He wasn't her husband, no matter what he said. He was a monster. A psychopath. If she had been religious she would have said he was the devil himself.
So she ignored him, when he softly called her name. She ignored him, when she heard his velvet voice promising her that he would never hurt her. And she ignored his many attempts to reach to her, trying to find something, anything, which would drag her out of her depression.
Because if she didn't ignore him, she would yell and scream and fight and she could only guess what horror he would make her go through, if she made him mad.
So she pretended she didn't hear his many attempts to make her leave her self-made prison.
She pretended she didn't hear his many little stories. Stories about anything and nothing there might help her relax, if only a little.
She pretended she didn't hear his soft breathing at night, when she attempted to fall asleep, trying to silently cry herself to sleep.
And she pretended she didn't hear his soothing words of comfort, when he despise her efforts still woke up and patiently waited until she had no more tears left in her and exhaustion demanded for her to rest.
Fourteen months after her wedding she had gotten used to the goblins special looks. Actually she hardly noticed them any more. But as she one day walked past a ten feet tall, blue man with a long black braid she still found herself stare at him, every thought in her focusing on one single word.
"You do know, you do not have to cook, do you not?" Marak asked her teasingly one day as he found her in the kitchen.
She gave him the usual blank stare. She might have started to come out of their bedroom and actually do something, but she was far from happy at the sight of him.
"Yes," she said shortly.
"Then why are you, little one?"
Little one. If only he would stop calling her that. "Because I like to. Now, would you leave me alone? I'm busy."
"Busy?" Marak raised an eyebrow. "With what exactly."
"I'm meting," she said shortly, pouring flour into a giant bowl before her.
"And that is so awfully hard that you can not talk to me as well?"
He merely smiled. He knew she was lying of course. But he decided not to tell her. It probably wouldn't help if he accused her of lying, no matter how true it might be. "Can I taste it when you are done?"
"What?" She looked at him startled.
"Can I taste it? I am your husband after all."
She furrowed her brows, not seeing how he could possible think that was an argument. "And a pretty lousy one of that," she murmured annoyed, finding the sugar.
He just smiled, relishing in the fact that she had – for the first time ever – agreed that she was his wife. With a sarcastic remark, admitted, but it surely was a step in the right direction.
"But I want to taste it," he smiled, going after her, once again ignoring her obvious signs that she wanted him to leave her alone.
"Forget it! There's no way in he…" suddenly she halted. Hesitating she gave him a cautious glance. "You really want to taste?"
"Yes, of course," he smiled. "You are my wife."
"What if you won't like it?"
"I will still enjoy the fact that I was permitted to eat it."
"Really? So you'll really eat it? Even if… even if I may not be so good? You'll still eat it?"
"Sure," he shrugged. "I can not promise I will enjoy it, but of course I wish to taste your food."
"Okay?" he repeated, slowly. Of all the answers he had expected this was not one of them. He had expected swearing, refusals and maybe even a curse or two. He had not expected agreement.
"Okay," she repeated. "If you'll just leave me alone!"
Relaxing now that he understood her answer he – for once – willingly left, leaving her alone. Or as alone as you could be in a grand kitchen filled with goblins, who had all listened intently at the discussion between her and her 'husband dear'.
With a little smile she turned back to her cake once again, wondering exactly how awful she could make it taste.
After all, she thought grimly. Goblins never break their promises.
A/N: That was it for now. Love it? Hate it? Wish to flush it down the toilet? Burn it? Salute it? Review it and let me know ;)