Gulda frantically pawed at her face trying to get the mess of yellow tangles out of her vision. In this state she could barely make out the sight of the Queen pulling her by her arm.
She only just managed to hook a finger under the mess of hair and pull it from her eyes in time to look directly into Queen Tulie's ashen eyes as she pushed Gulda back against a tree's trunk, hard.
"Ouch!" she squeaked as the other woman's hands ran frantically over her arms and torso, squeezing roughly.
"Are you hurt?" Tulie asked, continuing to check Gulda over for injuries.
"No" she answered simply.
Tulie's hands lifted to cup Gulda's cheeks. Gulda stared back at Tulie's round face, her round eyes, round nose and those soft round lips that she hadn't seen since the most recent time she'd kissed them and was turned away. The mere memory made Gulda's tired shoulders slump in shame.
"Why did you rescue me... ?" she asked softly, dropping her eyes from her Queen's face, deeming herself unworthy of gazing upon it. "Why you personally?"
Tulie's fingers, still hot from the excitement of battle, swept underneath Gulda's chin and lifted her head. The Queen stared directly into her, hesitation twisting in her brow.
"So I could claim my prize of war in person?" she answered, jaw clenched in confidence. Even though her face quickly stained red.
"Pardon?" Gulda parted her lips to speak and just as she did they were caught by Tulie's. The Queen's tender kiss caressed Gulda's lips and her strong arms wrapped around Gulda's entire torso, arms and all, as possessively as one would clutch their coinpurse in the presence of thieves.
The kiss was gentle, but desperate, and Gulda stood there as a helpless victim of it. Her immobilized arms pinned to her side as her fingers twitched and her muffled voice squeaked.
When the kiss was broken, Tulie immediately looked to her side, intense eyes scanning the forests. Dewy lips releasing a heavy pant. Gulda stood there motionless, feeling all the places on and around her mouth where Tulie had been. The scent of her still clinging to the air around Gulda's face.
"You told me you didn't want me." She spoke once she finally mustered up the strength to.
Tulie's eyes flashed back to Gulda, and the girl had to stiffen herself quickly so her knees wouldn't buckle. Then the Queen's expression softened and she brushed a couple fingers over Gulda's cheek.
"Of course I did, Gulda," she breathed out. "I wanted to hold you and keep you forever. But I was a married woman who loved her husband too. Maybe not in the same way, but too much to betray him."
Tulie reached down and grasped both of Gulda's hands and Gulda smiled in a brief moment of admiration of the callouses the girl's hands had developed.
"You're my truest friend, Gulda." Tulie whispered only inches from her face. " ... I want to keep you forever."
Gulda shuddered as she still struggled to meet Tulie's eyes. She let time freeze for a moment as she released a slow, unsteady breath. Finally, she spoke.
.... There is more of this story ...