Karla let out a long sigh as she read over many of the letters sent to her from the different province Queens. She was bored out of her mind, but the work needed to be done. Using craft to put away the papers, she stood up and winced, grabbing her desk for support as the pain went away. She counted her breaths slowly, trying not to focus on the pain and when she finally was sure that she could handle it, she straighten more.
Her ice-blue eyes looking toward the door and right at her Master of the Guard, surprised to see him standing there. She had been too distracted by the pain to notice his presence. If Lucivar were there he would surely disapprove of that and he would make sure to remind her to always be aware of her surroundings. Seeing a glazed look come over the man's eyes, she opted to give him a fake normal smile to calm him, only it seem as if she was baring her white teeth at him.
"Kiss, kiss. How long were you standing there?" She asked him, trying to act normal. He did not need to know that she was passing through one of her worst days. Most of the males in her court, especially him, would take that chance to fuss over her. Something she did not like at all and if KaeAskavi found out he would surely go tell his sire. Kaelas would surely go tell one of the boyos and then she would be in trouble.
He studied her for a couple of moments more, before he let out an exasperated sigh. "Not long enough. I should have been gentler with you during the morning exercises, my Lady." His words made her want to groan, but that was not proper adult behavior.
It was strange how her life had change since the rebellions that happen through out the realm, especially in Glacia. Even more so after the power storm that released Witch; sacrificing herself and her jewels to save the realms from going into a war that would have annihilated every living thing. From those different events she had lost and sacrificed many things, but from all of that bad a whole lot of good came out of it.
Jaenelle was back with them, happier and healthier. She once again had control over all of Glacia and was almost finish with healing the damage done by her uncle. She was alive and even thought she wouldn't be like she used to be before; she had survived the witchblood poison. She could walk, even if she needed a cane to actually walk and to always be training to keep her legs strong. All of that was great, but not as wonderful as adopting and raising a child. That helped her forget more and more of how she missed Morton.
Della was the reason she was always willing to get better. Of course, raising Della was nowhere as easy as she thought it would be. The girl had proven to be quite smart, too smart perhaps. Her court members, specifically her Master of the Guard, had made her conscience of Della picking up bad habits. She did not need to know who exactly they were referring to as the responsible person teaching Della such bad habits.
No more could she be crude, sassy or cursing unless the child was out of earshot. She also needed to reign in her temper more, since she needed to set a good example toward dealing with people you did not like at all. Oh, how she hated that.
Deciding on just rolling her eyes, she did just that and cross her arms together. "Please, stop with this stu-" The man raised one of his eyebrows back at her, a silent reminder that the girl was close. She shut her mouth and just glared at him. Before calling in her cane to go around the desk.
She cursed softly under her breath as she made her way toward the door, letting him know how annoyed she was with him. The stubborn, stupid male just smile at her and move aside to let her pass through. Oh, how she fantasize about hitting him with the cane so many times in that moment. Raising her head high, she continued on not stopping to wait for him.
"Where are you going, my Lady?" He asked her with too much curiosity.
"I am going out. I need fresh air." She said between gritted teeth.
"Perfect. Let me get your coat." The Prince politely replied and that annoyed her even more.
"I don't need a coat…" She tried to sound mean, but that didn't do anything at all to the man, who just kept smiling at her like he had no care in the world.
"Fine." She surrender, at least he would give her some privacy outside, but still would be close by. She missed the days when no one wanted to pass time with her. Sadly, that changed when the males of her court began to notice her softer side.
"Excellent, my Lady." She watched silently as he called in her gray coat and helped her into it. She let him put some heat spells on it and mentally sighed, being grateful for those spells and the warmth. His smile grew wider when he noticed her content expression, which made her roll her eyes at him again.
Continuing on down the hallway and toward the front door, she caught a glimpse of her reflection. She had never been a vain woman, but seeing herself reflected on different glass surfaces, reminded her of how old she looked. She was on her late twenties, a prime and very healthy female, but with no companion to share her bed with.
During late and colder nights, she wondered what it would feel like to snuggle with someone who she trusted and loved. Some one to talk about her days, about Della, about her worries and fears. Some one to also be physically connected with aside from being emotionally connected. She craved all of that so much, but she could never have it.
She was a territory Queen. She was one of the darkest jewel witches in all of the realms. She was also a Black Widow and a Healer. With only those credentials most of the lovers who wanted to be with her, only wanted something from her and that something was not love. An even if they weren't looking for anything from her, they only would take a look at her legs or face and shiver in disgust. Just like she did, although she tried to keep that disgust a secret. Everything had a price. She had paid that price and would have done it all over again if she had to.
She reached the front door and smiled at her butler as he open the door for her. The man, fair hair like her but with brown eyes that crinkle in the corner, bid her a nice walk as she went down the small steps of her private house. Seeing KaeAskavi playing hide and seek with Della made her smile.
She was happy. She always told herself, that she did not need a lover when she had Della to love and trust as her own. That love would surely do.
"The Queen has accepted your apprenticeship at court for a full year contract, Lady Anastasia. I do hope you settle in quite nicely." The steward of the court said politely, trying to make conversation to avoid the silence that was beginning to settle between them.
Anastasia of House Verruil, wore the Sapphire as Offering, but with no caste to call her own she did not have that many options toward serving in any Queen's court. Since the rebellions two years ago things had change. Those who had survived the witchstorm and the rebellions in Glacia, were still trying to reconstruct the territory along with Karla, their Queen.
After Karla's poisoning all of the Queens inside the territory asked for references and usually chose the aristo ladies with caste and lighter jewels to serve in their courts. Having a caste, meant that the lady came with references from her training with others, which helped make the decision easier. As for lighter jewels, it also meant that the Queen or any of her males could have a chance of destroying the lady if the need arose to protect or defend themselves from a vicious attack. No one wanted to experience what the territory Queen did.
Such decisions had affected many like her and even if her family was of great standing in the territory. Sadly, that wasn't considered enough reference. So, she decided to prepare herself for all the rejection letters that were going to arrive, which did not take that long.
All the different Queens who rule in Glacia, whether they ruled a province or a small village, had sent their regards and their apologies for not accepting her as their lady in waiting, which was fine but it still hurt to feel rejected. She had been very disappointed, because even she had a small glimmer of hope of being accepted somewhere.
Then when she had counted all of the letters and noticed that only one was missing. That one was truly going to leave her heart broken. As the days passed, her father tried to calm her nerves, but nothing worked. Two weeks had gone by, when the letter finally arrived with a court courier. She had wanted the young warlord to leave her be, since she did not wanted him to see her crying hysterically, but when the boyo would not budge, she decided to finally be over with the waiting. She opened the letter in that moment and stared.
Her loud scream brought her father out of his study with a knife and when he got tackle by a happy witch, he wondered what exactly had happen. Then he read the letter and he joined her in tackling the court courier with hugs, leaving the poor warlord very confused. That was just three days ago and now, she found herself inside the territory court's estate in Sira. Walking the very same halls that Karla, the triple gifted caste Gray jewel Queen, did.
She was awe to the point it was hard to even speak. Remembering her manners, she gulped and smiled. "I'm sorry; still in a bit of shock, Prince. I truly never thought to actually be here. To be serving this Queen." She said, making the steward chuckle.
"I know that feeling quite well. Wait until you meet the Queen and get the sharp side of her tongue, then you won't feel that awe." The steward watched the puzzle look of the witch and could not help, but feel sorry for her. She reminded him of his youngest daughter, a soft and sweet-hearted female. Oh, he hoped his Queen was gentle with this one, the thought of seeing the witch cry at being lash with Karla's words making him feel protective of her. Maybe he could help her to understand his Queen better. To win her over and not make an enemy of her, like the other ladies had done.
Turning the corner, Anastasia finally found herself in the Queen's private wing. The Queen's room was at the end of the hallway; the room closest to the Queen's belonged to Della and KaeAskavi. She knew of Della, the Queen's adopted daughter, but she had never heard of someone named KaeAskavi.
Not daring to ask the steward about who exactly was KaeAskavi, since she did not wanted to give him the idea that she was completely inexperienced at this, she stood quietly and waited for him to finish explaining to her to whom the other rooms belonged to.
She noticed then that the other closest room to the Queen's was hers. Oh, she couldn't wait to tell her father about this. Opening the door and looking around, she studied her room. The four-poster bed with the satin sapphire sheets looked inviting and soft. There was a big closet and a big bathroom as well, the furniture was exquisite just like the bed. Letting out a happy sigh, she continued on toward the glass doors that led to the small terrace that overlooked Sira. Everything was magical and beautiful.
"I'm going to leave you to settle in, Lady Anastasia. You won't take up your duties, until next week when the Queen arrives to court. That would be enough time to get acquainted with the town as well as with the servants and the other court members." The steward informed her from outside her room and she turned to curtsy for him, flashing him a dazzling smile that made his old heart melt.
"Thank you, Prince." She said, before the steward excused himself and left. Turning to look back at the view, watching as snowflakes fell, she gave many thanks to the Darkness for such an opportunity.
The Steward opened his office door and look at two of the males who served in Karla's First Circle. "Princes." He addressed both of the men by their caste, before closing the door and going toward his desk.
"Did Hagen choose wisely?" One of them asked him. They were worried, just like he had been before meeting the witch. He took care of the contracts and of the official business of the court, but how surprised he had been when the Master of the Guard had come into the room and asked him to take a look over the letter the witch had sent.
Prince Hagen had been with Karla for many years, just like they had been and Morton had trusted him enough with his Queen's protection, which spoke volumes of what type of man Prince Hagen was. He had also personally seen how the Warlord Prince treated Della and that made the Steward even more proud of serving next to a man like the Master of the Guard.
So, when the Prince asked him to look over that letter he did not think twice about it. After hearing about the debt he owed the witch's Father for saving his life during the first attack driven by their Queen's bastard uncle. He decided to agree on accepting the girl into the Queen's court, but he reminded Hagen that all depended on Karla in the end, whether she stayed or not.
He had not expected to like the shy witch so much. How wrong he had been on thinking that. She was different from all the other aristo ladies that had passed through the court. This one was true to her self and she was sweet; hopefully some of the character traits that Karla picked up when they both got to meet. Upon finally sitting down on his chair, he looked at the men who stared back at him.
"Yes. I approve of his decision. Hopefully the Queen does as well." Both of the men relaxed. They were father and son, both sharing their fair hair and fair skin. Of course, the younger Warlord Prince had gray eyes while his father's were blue. Unlike him, who was black of hair and green eyes with fair skin, a tell tale sign from one of his old ancestors who might have been of a dual bloodline. All three of them were tall, experience warriors who rose to the killing edge too easily at the thought of their Queen being exposed to any sort of threat. The fact that this lady was approved made them and the other males more at ease.
"What is she like?" The older Warlord Prince asked and he couldn't help but chuckled.
"She is twenty-three years; very sweet and shy. Awe by the simplest of things inside this court. She wants to give off this impression of knowing what she is doing." The older Warlord Prince raised and eyebrow at him in curiosity, while the younger one just stared at him.
"She knows what a proper Lady in waiting is supposed to do, but she does not asked the questions that she wants to." He explained.
"What do you mean?" The older Warlord Prince asked him.
"Well, she did not ask who exactly KaeAskavi is." He informed them, which got him a loud laugh from the old Warlord Prince and a chuckle from the younger one.
"Oh, Darkness. I give her one week with Karla, before she leaves." The old Warlord Prince said, taking out ten gold marks and placing them on his desk. The son took out ten more and placed them on top of the other ones, shaking his head.
"No, Father. I think that is too long. I say four days before she leaves." The young Warlord Prince said.
The steward calling in his wallet took out ten gold marks and placed them upon the other ones. "I am game, but I say she will stay the whole year." He countered.
The witch was a lovely rose, but he knew that behind that beautiful, soft and shy nature had to be thorns. Hopefully, thorns sharp enough to defend herself against their Queen.
Hello Fellow Readers!
Thank you for reading and I hope you liked it! :D
Please review, I would love to know what you think of it!