Or how men got what they wanted, once upon a time. (Very PC - NOT!!!)
"In days of old when Knights were bold, and journeyed from their castle, trusty men were left behind, knights needed not the hassle. They helped themselves to pig and peach, and drink from the kings own chalice. Ah, it was a stirring sight, these gypsies in the palace."
- Jimmy Buffet
The noise in the great hall had gone quiet. All was still to her ear. The ones left behind had finally debauched themselves to a stupor. Just as well she thought. Morning is nigh and there's much work to be done. With that she arose from her bed and began to dress for her day.
When she was done dressing, she went out into the corridor and roused the other women of the palace.
"C'mon you layabouts" She commanded, "There's work to had!"
Hearing no sounds, she drew back the tapestry to one of the cells, to her horror the bed was not slept in. Checking the rest she found them in similar states.
So my maids are no longer maidens eh, she thought.
She turned to go to the great hall but was pulled up short by one of the minders. He was a tall scruffy sort, unshaved and and unwashed. His eyes were blood shot and sunk deep into his head. He was generally a disreputable looking fellow.
"we missed you, m'lady."
"Fie", she replied, " You're all for the debauch and for draining your mead. I'll have none of that"
"is that so, well your scullery maids seemed to have much of it", he replied moving closer to her.
"aye, and there'll be hell to pay for it", she stepped back slightly.
"why so", His eyes bored in on her.
"Sir, you impose upon me" She whispered
He managed to block her exit from the corridor, and with the court gone, she was dependent upon this man's honor, such as it was, for her protection.
She folded her arms across her body in defiance of him. Only thing this did was to uplift her ample bosom, presenting more cleavage to his lascivious eye.
"M'lady should not tease me with her charms so...", he mockingly ventured
"Sir, you should take care with whom you jest."
"I am quite serious", he replied, trapping her in in a dark corner.
She could smell his breath, last night's meal, mead and God knows what else. His skin was dark and oily, a fetid aroma surrounded him. His eyes, God his eyes just bored into hers.
Seeking, but not finding a hint of acceptance. This one would not be swayed, he thought. His hand ventured to cup her left bosom.
He was rewarded with a slap to his left side. And no caress here. His ear rang, his skin stung.
"You'll not do that again", he whispered.
"Sir, you'll not touch me like that", she replied.
He pressed her closer, "I'll do as I please"
He kissed her hard on the mouth, pressing close to her. She was revolted by it all, the place the situation but most of all by him. He was a vile man. Squirming to escape him, he held her tight against the corner.
She struggled for long moments, until a sound distracted him, and she escaped his grasp. But not before her sleeve was torn, leaving him with not more than a scrap of fabric.
She fled to her chamber, closed and bolted the door. Only then did she allow herself to think and breathe normally.
What was the king thinking, leaving these dishonorable men to guard his domain, whilst he went off to fight battle. They take his kingdom and drag it down low.
Looking in the glass she saw herself for a moment afraid. She buried it, and then looked at herself again. Finding her clothing torn, her removed her dress and replaced it with another, taking care to remember to repair the first one later.
Looking again in the mirror, she felt better and proceeded to go about her business. The business of the king's household. After a while she knew she had to go out in to the castle. She was made of stern stuff, and she had to get on with her tasks. She went to the door and unbolted it.
The corridor was empty, but she could hear the rest of the castle beginning to rouse. She would be safe from that retched man. At least for today.
She found comfort in the the daily routine. As mistress of the castle, she had much responsibility, but very little real authority. She made sure meals were prepared, rooms and halls were kept clean, She worked with various merchants in the city surrounding the castle buying food, cloth and other vital items, in the kings name, for use in the castle. She was efficient, thrifty but a bit bookish.
The king felt, for a commoner, she was very intelligent. Although never admitting it, prized her above all of his advisors, because she said what she believed, not what she thought he wanted to hear. And as a man, he found her to be attractive. When she came into the hall on festive days, he watched her, her gait, the way her bosom stood out proudly, the sway of her hips. He often thought of how she might make a good mistress some day. But then he would dismiss that thought with a smile. She was far to good at what she did for him, and he was a practical man.
This morning she had the breakfast to supervise, the maids to discipline and there she paused. Thinking... No I'll let them think they've pulled one over on me. When the king returns I will ask his leave to decide what to do.
She paused briefly and peered through the archway into the great hall. As the daylight had improved, she could see several forms on the floor, tables and chairs. The sounds of heavy sleep resounded off the stone walls and ceiling. She smiled for a moment, realizing that they would wake later, the worse for last night.
She began to move on when she noticed a cup on one of the tables. A golden colored chalice with precious stove inlaid around the surface.
The king's cup.
She paled. Who would be drinking from the king's cup? He will be furious. If he ever finds out. Quietly with some haste she crossed the hall to retrieve the chalice and put it away for safekeeping. She carefully picked it up, noting it still half full of some noxious potion. She poured it into another cup on the table and prepared to beat a hasty retreat. She turned to find the minder from earlier in her path.
"so you've decided to join us in the hall." he remarked casually as if nothing had passed between them today.
'nay sir, I merely come to retrieve King's property"
"king's property? Oh my cup."
"Your cup? I think not sir. King's cup, for use by the King only" she replied
All the while she was edging around him, trying to get to the archway of the hall.
"Milady, while the King is gone, am I not king in his place?"
"nay sir, merely minders of the castle." She replied, with some sarcasm.
His body stiffened at the remark. He moved to block her path. His eyes locking on hers.
"You malign me, milady".
In a loud voice she said, "I must be about my business, as the castle needs to be tended to."
He closed with her, his hand clasping her buttock through her clothing. Up close he was unwashed and vile. His breath fetid and warm.
"So be it then," he he whispered. Then in a similar loud voice, "I and my men require our morning meal, see to it."
With that her swatted her backside to send her on her way.
She yelped and was gone into the corridor. he watched her depart, marveling at the sway of her hips, her skirts swishing across stone floor. The image of her uplifted bosom still in his mind. He wondered if she was as haughty and reserved in the bedchamber. And her eyes, oh yes her eyes, how they flashed when he challenged her. The green fire in her her eyes was something to behold. He felt that she would be a wild creature, when released in the bedchamber. Passionate and untamed.
He felt sure that the king would have partaken of her, being a lusty fighting king. And yet he wondered about that. Perhaps he judged the king wrongly. As all men are in battle and camp, they may be different in home and hearth. Be as it may, the king will return soon and he and his men would be paid and send on their way. But he wished to partake of her charms before then...
She scurried into the corridor, her backside stinging from his hand, and her left buttock sore from his firm grip. She was outraged by this fellow, and the liberties he was taking. She felt nothing could be done to control him until the king returned. All she could do was to continue to stand firm and resist him as best she could.
If he would only bathe once in a while he would be at least palatable. We are not country folk here, we allow for baths once a week, as in all civilized areas of the land.
It was his eyes that held her. So blue and clear, penetrating to her soul. She felt as if when his gaze settled upon her, she was completely revealed before him. It made her very uncomfortable. But also, in a way, she was - she banished the thought from her mind. Vile, she thought. Positively vile man.
She managed to avoid him for the remainder of the day, by staying in the kitchen and bowels of the castle she knew so intimately. The meals were prepared throughout the day, the minders were fed and kept out of mischief, at least for a time. near the end of the day she felt she could make her way to the kings chambers and replace his cup. Saving herself and the head minder much trouble from the king upon his return.
She always for the king's chambers to be a noble place, so much like him. Filled with his things, clothing and trappings of royalty. His outer chamber was adorned with paintings of his ancestors and many objects of art. But what she envied most was his books. He had a wall that just had books from floor to ceiling. Leather-bound, parchment filled books. She yearned to learn their secrets, what tale they might hold. She knew that looking at them would get her nothing for they were written in another tongue. And she had not the knowledge.
She passed by the books, and opened the kings cabinet, with a key she kept on a chain around her neck. She replaced the cup in his cabinet and closed the door.
Turning to leave, she found him there.
"Have you no honor sir? This is the Kings chamber, you are no permitted in this chamber. I know this to be true for I heard it from his own mouth"
"Tis true milady, I am not allowed here...", he replied, "but you vex me so"
"I do? How so?"
His gaze softened, and then his eyes met hers "As a woman can vex any man", he whispered.
She felt as if unclothed before him. And yet unashamed. She blushed down to the top of her bodice. (truth be known she may have blushed to her toes... )
"Pray sir, you are too familiar with me." she replied softly.
"Am I then? You are The King's house servant, nothing more. I am The King's appointed regent, until his return. Yet you look upon me as some usurper, unworthy of your notice or regard."
"Then play the part! You and your rabble simply consume the Kings food, mead. and then chase every maiden the castle"
"Not every maiden...", he replied.
"Until this morning" She retorted.
"Aye that... In the darkness, I did not see that t'was you, had I known, I'd have let thee pass, for you are no serving wench."
He put all of his charm mixed with remorse into his reply. He felt genuinely bad about his actions. She could feel that in his words, but she was unsure of how to respond to him.
"I cannot accept you apology, as there is a matter of torn clothing, of which a swatch is missing."
"You mean this?", and with a flourish he produced a small piece of fabric from his cloak.
"Yes that it tis."
She smiled at him for the first time. And in a way she began to see him a bit differently. An unwashed brute, none the less, but perhaps a rough diamond. If he'd only bathe. Perhaps there was a... NO. him as his ilk were brutes and nothing more.
"May I have it, sir?"
He stepped toward her, and she withdrew slightly.
"How may I return it to you if you withdraw?"
"How may I know to trust you?" she answered.
"My word, I shall not lay a hand on you this night".
"Accepted", and with that she retrieved her fabric and motioned for his departure from the kings chambers.
He bent slightly and departed. After he left she felt a release of tension. But in a way that was odd. It was not fear as much as something else. While they had talked she had felt her body become aroused. Her breasts became sensitive to the fabric of her bodice. And between her legs was a warmth she had not known. It had past now. But it was not unpleasant while it had lasted. He paused for a moment on the darkened hallway. Pondering his dilemma. she was the king's own maid servant. Keeper of his castle. Yet he desired her more each passing day. He wanted not just to have her but to win her heart. Yet at every turn it seems as if he did the wrong thing. She vexed him. Pure and simple. And he desired her.
Presently the door to the Kings chambers opened. Staying in the shadows, he watched her go by, her skirts swaying gently on her hips. Her breast had to be firm yet soft, he wondered would her bum also have such soft firmness. He pondered this as he began to follow her to the great hall...
The end of the day in the castle had arrived. All the meals had been served. The servants had begun to retire. The watch on the castle walls had been set. And in the Great Hall the minders began the nightly game of tickle and slap to find out which scullery maid would be debauched by which minder this evening.
However the tall scruffy fellow was missing this evening.
He had retired to the wash room. To take advantage of the time and the place. The time - late in the day, and no one was around. The place - where the bathing tubs were. He had reached a point where he could not weather his own stench. He could not recall his last act of bathing. He concluded that it was time to renew his acquaintance with soap and hot water.
The bathing room was deep inside of the castle, near where the fires were lit every morning. This allowed for the heat from the castle fires to be used to heat water. The water was used for cooking and cleaning purposes.
In the process of removing his clothing, a patchwork of nicks, scars and old healed wounds was revealed to dimly lit room. It was apparent that he had led violent life. And yet within him also was a strength and a force of will that could not be denied. As he stretched and reached towards the ceiling, The muscles in his body rippled with controlled menace.
He padded over to one of the large bathing tubs and set it facing away from a corner in the room. Grasping one of the pots of heated water, he emptied it into the tub, he refilled it and placed back on the heated stones. After repeating this process with several of the pots, the tub was filled. This accomplished, he eased his body into the hot water. A groan escaped him as the heat of the water began it's work on the injuries that never quite healed.
He washed his body thoroughly, taking care to massage old sores and remove the grime that had built up. Being fairly pleased with the results, he exited the tub. He collected his clothing and repeated the cleaning process on them.
When he was satisfied he rinse them in a clean pot of water and placed them on warm stones to dry. He then dumped out the dirty water from his bathing tub and refilled it with hot water from the pots. He then immersed himself in the tub and settled in for a long soak. he found the act of bathing to be a bothersome task, but he relished this part, as he felt renewed and refreshed when it was done.
He lay back and closed his eyes. The heat and steam rising from the water made his face sweaty and pink.
All the time he was going through this process, he was observed. This was her place, at this time of the day, she retired here to allow the simple pleasure of bathing to wash her cares of the day away. The King had permitted her, as her position was high, to use this every day if she so chose. And up until now she had.
She had disrobed in her chambers, and had come down to the wash room wearing only a wool shift. She had a drying cloth and her scented candles. At first she had flushed with anger, that even now, at this late hour, she had this vile man to deal with. She had decided that she would wait for him to leave. It had been a very difficult day. First there was the incident in the corridor, and the other transgressions.
But the evening had brought some unexpected news. A messenger had arrived. With dark news. The King had been wounded in the field. And while it was said he would recover, she knew any wounds could be fatal if not tended to properly. So she feared for his well being.
As the minder went about his ablutions, she stole a glance at him. The scars and marks on his body at revolted and intrigued her. It appeared to be a web of scars and lines across his back. She had not seen a body like his before. His back remained to her as he continued to disrobe. She turned away in modesty, embarrassed by he naked backside. But her curiosity got the better of her.
As he stretched to the ceiling she marveled at the strength his body expressed. She blushed in the darkness. Shame on you she thought.
What he turned to get the wash tub, she turned her head again in modesty, but again her curiosity made her peek at him.
When she did, she gasped.
She had seen young boys bathing in the castle and even some of the young men. But she had not seen anything like him before. He shocked her yet again. He was a man among men. She knew about relations between men and women, the basics what was involved.
Seeing him made her tremble. And she knew it would only get bigger when aroused.
She watched him bathe and wash his clothing in mute fascination. she also became aware of a warmth between her thighs. It was the same feeling she had earlier. But this time it was stronger and more insistent. She felt a dampness, and realized - with some self loathing - that she desired him. At least her body did. She reached beneath her shift and found herself damp and moist in her most secret place.
And if felt different to her. Soft and swollen. She had found pleasure before in this manner, but was always ashamed of herself after.
A splash of water brought her attention back to what he was doing. Was he done she wondered...
Damn him she thought. Is he going to camp out all night?
She watched him for a while clenching and unclenching her teeth. Oh he vexes me she thought.
"Is m'lady going to lurk in the shadows all night?"
She flushed crimson at this. He knew! Oh the horror. Oh the shame!
"oh m'lord, I beg your pardon." she replied from the shadows, shame in her voice. "Did you think I was unaware of your presence?"
"yes" she whispered.