It is the first day of the week long celebrations that mark the King's victory and the end of the war. Leovaldo meets his pre-arranged betrothal the evening before their wedding...
The young couple shut the door behind them.
The small room's windows were sealed with thick curtains worth more than a poor man's skin, harboring the suite from the symptom of visible breath often induced by the solstice night. Lining the bare stone walls were mirrors and candles of countless variations but equal in their aesthetic contribution. The single piece of furniture that occupied the heart of the chamber belied its purpose: a plush mattress of deep red, appearing as untouched as the virgin it was intended for.
"Tomorrow you are a husband."
"And you my wife."
They stood aside one another but faced the bed, offering their quaint words without the contact of eye or touch. The woman spoke in a humbled voice.
"You are unsettled. Do I... not meet your expectations? Is there naught to be done to please you, lord?"
Their feet held sway over their gazes.
"It is not you." He paused to turn is face to her cheek. "It is our lack of will in the matter. Does it not also bother you that our fates are to be bound by only the will of elders who have no doubt long forgotten the taste of passion? Of the freedom of possibility of youth?"
She was slow to respond, appearing hesitant to speak out against her superiors, but doing so with a slow tone, articulate and reserved.
"Yes. It strikes at me deep. But our coercion of union was never intended for heart. Everything has its price, including our blood. Our countries are to be bound as we, and I dare not be so selfish as to deny such a peace." The male's flurry of emotion softened at her response until she turned her growing expression to his. "The ceremony has yet to come. We may be tools by sunrise but our will is our own under the stars; can love not be a learned thing?"
He opened his mouth to speak, but she grasped his face in her manicured hands and pushed herself into him, denying room for objection. He soon found the woman's force to be great enough that she was physically pushing him backwards. His legs hit solid and the young male toppled backwards onto the comfortable cushioning, the young woman relentlessly on top of him.
He was torn between objection and submission. She seemed to sense his tension, and in one graceful motion the woman sat up to straddle his waist, femininely arching her back in display. While she brought one hand up to release the elegant hair bound atop her head, she hid the other hand behind her and unlaced her garment to effortlessly dispose of it, undermining the manual labor of the countless nobodies that went into its construction.
The dancing candlelight did little to hinder her beauty. She smiled, and in her smile she held sway. Submission proved victorious and the man's hands explored her appetizing flesh.
She returned her tongue to him, and where her hands once grasped his face, he felt the soft brush of her free mane.
The events that followed took place in a mere heartbeat, assuming the heart is of a relaxed individual, and not within the bodies of two half naked youths lying atop one another.
At the silken comfort of her hair on his face the man briefly opened his eyes to look upon the beauty who so passionately yearned for him. His gaze fell into her own; her eyes were widely open among her kisses, burning into him with a fierce passion different from that associated with sex.
In the same moment, he also noticed the shimmer of light just above her brow. His gaze followed its source in investigation while their lips remained sealed in one another's.
She held a stiletto hairpiece with a sharp and incoming edge. His hand instinctively flew to grasp at her wrist as the woman stabbed at the man beneath her. Her eyes continued to burn with an orphaned fury while his opened wider in concert with his fear, surprise, and confusion. She pulled her tongue out of his mouth only to spit violent rage at him with a voice that belied her true feelings.
"Die, lecherous scum! Let me take from your parents what they from mine!"
The man had no rebuttal in his awe, so the young couple struggled. She used both hands in an attempt to force the blade closer to her target, while the male's free hand flailed about, pushing at her face, grasping at her neck, then continuing to flail outside of his vision for anything his fingers could contact.
Her unexplained rage and malice were only heightened as the knife inched its way towards his face. The man's fingertips brushed something cold and metal. A candlestick. The flurry of his movement knocked the holder to the ground, out of his reach, but his fingers connected with something less cold and less metal. It took but a moment for him to wrap his fingers around the still burning candle, and in the next moment he smashed it into the side of her face.
She recoiled and screamed a wicked scream as the knife fell out of her possession and away from his face. He took the opportunity to toss her cringing body off of him and to the floor. He flew to the door. She was a banshee in her anguish, clutching at the side of her face with blood and wax.
It did not take long for anguish to return to rage.
The man ran down the connecting but empty hallways searching for the guards that were nowhere to be found or the servants that were already summoned. Behind him was his exposed and bloodied betrothal whom was armed with a knife and a grudge without visible reason.
His evening was, for better or worse, not over.