A couple take an eventful trip to a waterfall and college.
Willows provided shady spots, while poplars flanked the road like sentries. At the end of the path lay the High Lord's manor.
Its rooms too numerous to count, it rose from the flat land like a white vision, five stories of timber and brick. Inside, halls opened into libraries and parlors, ballrooms and formal dining rooms, conservatories and stillrooms. Its attics were warrens of treasures, each with its own caretaker. It was the third floor though that held the High Lord's true treasures, and was guarded as fiercely as the kingdom as a whole.
The third floor contained the High Lord's harem.
At the moment, the harem housed only a handful of women, less than a dozen. The oldest were more mentors to the younger women than companions of the High Lord, being older than him and past childbearing age. In truth, the High Lord considered them aunts and respected them as such, deferring to their judgment in matters of the harem. Cyrenia and Kallisana ruled the others in his stead, enforcing what rules he did have and providing advice when necessary.
The remaining three ranged in age from twenty seven to thirty five, and had all been in the High Lord's harem for at least four years. During that time, none had conceived a child, and as the years passed all grew fearful that they would end up as Cyrenia and Kallisana had. It was a comfortable life, but none would deny that they wanted a more substantial existence.
On this morning, Helenia arose before the others, stretching her pale arms over her head. Her pale red hair tangled around her lithe body, and glowed against the pale blue sheets. Her lashes fluttered open over eyes that matched the sheets, and she purred low in her throat. The High Lord had graced her bed last night, and as always had left her satisfied. Her muscles ached pleasantly, and she smiled to herself.
Across the hall, Analyndia whimpered in her sleep and rolled over on her stomach. Her short gold hair blended with her gold skin, glowing against the jet black sheets. Her boyish figure sprawled across the bed, twisting a few times before settling into sleep again.
Tansazia groaned even as she opened her eyes, the green iris identical in color to the grass that rippled over the land. Honey colored curls swirled over her rose tinged shoulders, flirting with the pale pink nipples that stood erect in the cool air. Pulling the rose colored sheets tighter around her slight figure, she grumbled into the pillow, determined to sleep for just a while longer.
When the high pitched scream rang through the halls, she only groaned again and pulled the pillow over her head.
Cyrenia rolled from her bed, nipping a robe from the foot of her bed. There was no reason for such a racket at so early an hour. If the High Lord heard of it, or Bewethria forbid, heard it, there would be the Ancients to pay. Outside her door, she saw Kallisana hurrying towards her, and together they made their way to the large room that served as the harem's parlor.
The screams continued, joined by fits of cursing that caused Cyrenia to raise her eyebrows in mild surprise. She hadn't heard such vulgarities in more years than she could remember, nor had she heard the language they where being screamed in. Whoever was making such noise was from one of the Explorer stations, so called because when the Earth had self destructed some two hundred years before, the handful of survivors had scattered across the galaxy, setting up stations in the hopes of finding another stable planet. In the last two hundred years, the inhabitants of such stations had dwindled to a few handfuls.
The army must have brought her back when they returned two days ago. What possible reason could they have for bringing her here? As the screams continued and rose in volume, Cyrenia wrinkled her brow. And why hasn't Ikthyer come to see what the noise is?
As they entered the room already flooded with early morning sunlight, both women froze and gaped. Whatever they had been expecting, it wasn't what they were faced with.
She was short, as all of the re