Become a Fan
By Matthew S Ulmen
Saturday, July 13, 2002
(another I may try to flesh out sometime)
The duke had long wondered how the poor folk lived. He in his keep overlooking their village. They depended on him to keep law and order. To keep them warm in winter, yet if you picked a one of them and asked him their name he couln't tell you.
It wasn't even that his Realm was that big. In fact with recent wars, mergers and politics, truth be told all he had was what was within the keep. He was on the borders of several alliances. They didnt bother with him because he was a small person and of no consequence.
It was then he decided to go out amoung his people. He spoke to the guard, asking his loyal captain of the guard to act as though he were a friend. Since he stayed alone in his tower not even the old would recognize him now, he merely needed a change of garment.
So it was the he walked out into the night with his captain of the guard to the local pub and listened to the ramblings of his people.
"Why dosen't Sir George do something?! The alliance is at us on all fronts. Surely he could ask the queen for help."
Another voice chimed. "Aye and If he were to Marry the queen, You'd see some backpeddlin then."
So this is what people thought of him. Sir george, once a member of the Queens elite guard. Who after the war was given a choice of Marriage or a kingdom. In his foolishness he chose the latter. He thought as Duke with his heroic record any dutchess would want him. But the Keep he was given was old and most of the Dutchesses were pledged.
The Queen for her part still visited on occasion. She still cared for him and was lovely as ever. She was getting old though, at 35 she would have few child bearing years left, and he at 40 could hardly be called young.
"Care for a drink Sire?"
George looked over at a maiden who looked as the queen did the last he saw her. She was the latest barkeep. From what little he heard the last one left with the queen, that's when most of his subjects left.
George nodded as the cup filled with mead. It wasn't overall bad. House mead lacked some of the pleasures of wine, but still he was here to learn.
"What is your name lass?"
Pretty name he thought. He looked at her. The queen, who if he recalled correctly was named Maria, had a accent almost like hers. If he knew she didn't have a twin he would swear this girl to be it.
So it was that the two talked and flirted well into the night amoungst the commoners of George's keep.
When it came time for the pub to close the young barkeep asked him if he had a room. He hadn't thought how to play that.
"Not for tonight no I've just arrived."
"Well I wouldn't mind the company if you don't mind the noise from the inn next door."
George chuckled and agreed. While he couldn't get a room this late he knew people would be making noise well into the night. Usually someone from the pub would get a room and over the course of the night buy mead and food and slowly transferr it to the inn. Then when the pub closed they just moved the party.
George bid fairewell to his captian whispering to him a assurence that he would be safe and made his way up the stairs.
Jaquline's room was rather small. Apart from a chest of drawers and a bed there wans't much else, nor room for it. She sat on the bed and undressed as he looked for someplace to sleep.
"Would you not sleep with me tonight Sire?"
George blushed a bit. Since leaving Maria he hadn't had love of any form. Not that both men and women came after him, he wans't interested.
"Still harboring a old flme are we?"
Goerge looked at her. She had undressed and was under the covers now. Her body was shaped like Maria's and even her smile...
He undressed and crawled in bed after deciding it was rude to refuse hospitality. Jaquline leaned over and kissed him goodnight.
The next morning when she woke up and was dressing George woke up. On her left shoulder was a rose.
"It is you."
She stopped and faced him. "Yes. I couldn't be without you long. I had a person in the village sending me reports of how you were doing, and every year I got more worried. Did you think locking yourself up in a tower is what I wanted you to do? I wanted you to defend this place."
George looked down. "How long have you been here?"
Maria smiled. "Since the "Queen" left last. Jaquline and I have been switching every other year since she arrived. I was hoping you would come out of your shell soon."
"So now what? I can't marry you. The alliance would never allow it."
Maria threw her shirt at him, and would've thrown something harder if she could've. "To hell with them. I've loved you for years now. Why can't we Marry?"
"It would have to be secret."
Maria smiled. "Secret to them, my kingdom knows wehere I am."
With that they got married. The keep was alive again with merchants and fanfare. Later on the Alliance backed off. It could be because of the new attitude of the Duke and the Queens new support, though they never found out they were married, or that the pub keep was their Queen.
Want to review or comment on this
Click here to login!
Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!