“Good morning, sweet wife.”
Lucian. My husband. His hair as dark as ever and his smile brighter than the sun. He looked at me with those golden eyes filled with love.
“Where have you been. I have been waiting for you.”
“I am always with, wherever you are.” He smiled caressing my cheek with the back of his hand.
I leaned into him wrapping my arms around his waist but I grasped thin air. He was gone, just like that.
“Lucian?” I called carefully, fear creeping into my chest.
“Lucian where are you? Lucian? Lucian?!”
“Don’t you understand? Lucian is dead. He is dead!”
I shot my eyes open. Pierre was towering over me, gazing down at me with annoyance.
“Lu...cian..” I tried to sit up but my body refused.
Pierre lay his hand on my shoulder and pushed me down gently.
“Don’t exhaust yourself, let me take care of you now.” He said nicely but that nice smile of
his was disturbing.
He turned to the maids. “What are you waiting for? Bring the best food you can.” He ordered, “and bring her some new clothes.”
I wanted to laugh. Was he now playing the caring husband? Really? I forced myself up from the bed which made me almost fall but Pierre grabbed my arms to steady me.
Disgusted I pushed him away. “Don’t touch me!”
For some reason, he found that amusing. “You really are impossible. I am so going to enjoy the day you beg for my attention.” He smirked.
And I am so going to enjoy the day Lucian tears you into pieces. But I didn’t say that out loud as I didn’t have the energy to fight. The little strength I had left I needed to use to get out of this room and far away from his disturbing presence as possible.
My legs wobbled as I stood up from the bed but I forced myself to walk. I took small steps but Pierre placed himself in front of me.
“You want to go the hard way I see.”
Some maids came in with food and began to set the table,
“Take the food back. I think the princess here needs to do some more work to deserve some food. Take her back to the kitchen!” He ordered.
I didn’t protest. I would rather work than stay with him.
The maids helped me to the kitchen as I could barely walk steadily but as soon as we reached they gave me a slight push and I lost my balance and fell to the ground. Laughing the left me laying there. I was used to this by now. The maids always came up with ways to torture me.
“My Lady!” I heard Ylva gasp. She hurried to help me up but I pushed her away.
“Don’t! I don’t need your help. I can stand up on my own.”
Ylva looked at me confused and she seemed a little hurt, but it was for the best. If the other maids noticed that Lydia and Ylva were close to me they would make life difficult for them as well.
I forced myself up and looked Ylva in the eyes. “I can take care of myself from now on. Don’t ever help me.”
Her expression changed from confusion to worry, but she just nodded and left.
“Here!” Someone said from behind me. Turning around I found the head-maid Edith. She handed me a glass of water and a bowl of rice. “Eat then you can start with the dishes.” She said then left.
I had a hard time understanding Edith. Sometimes she was nice to me and sometimes not. She would protect me from the other maids yet she would give me loads of work. Really, she was confusing.
The rest of the week I spent working to survive. Luckily I was getting more used to it now and it wasn’t as difficult as before, yet it wasn’t an easy job. It really made me understand the maids' anger toward me. Most of the time people like me didn’t even treat the maids like humans, with feelings. No wonder they hated me so much.
Pierre only made things worse. Sometimes he would visit the servants quarters to see if the hard work had changed my mind and I was ready to fall into his arms, but he would always leave disappointed. Afterwards, he would make me suffer for rejecting him, like sending me to the stall to clean up horseshit or to cut the grass under the hot sun for a whole day or even worse make me wash his mistresses feet.
“Aren’t you Prince Lucian’s wife?” One of his mistresses asked while I cleaned her feet. I nodded.
“He was one exquisite man. Shame he died.”
If she only knew. I would make sure he paid her a visit once he was back.
“How was he in bed?” Her question made me stop in my tracks. I was not used to speaking about intimate things.
“Oh, come on. Don’t be shy. We are very open here.” Another one of his mistresses spoke. “So tell us. Did he give you multiple orgasms? Is he the passionate type or the erotic and sensual type?”
“I bet he is all and more.” Another one spoke and then they continued speaking about him. My mind drifted away, to the memories of him, his beautiful face, his loving eyes, his gentle smile, his calming voice, and his soothing touch. A painful longing crept into me and fear. Fear that he would never come back, that I would never see him again or never hold him.
No Hazel, he is coming back. Just endure a little longer and everything will be fine, I encouraged myself.
I was never the type who liked violence but the only thing that kept me going was the thought of Lucian coming back and ripping his brothers head off, after torturing him of course.
“I hear the crown prince wants you as his mistress but you are refusing. Is it more fun to wash his mistresses feet?” She looked at me with genuine curiosity.
I could understand her. Many women fought for that position and here I was refusing, but she couldn’t understand me. I wasn’t all those women. I was Hazel, Lucian’s wife.
“I must tell you how stupid you are. Men use women, they use us for our bodies and you, my dear need to be smart. Use them back, for their power, for their money.”
“I am not interested in money or power.” I said.
“I can see that. I wonder what kind of man your husband was that you are so loyal to him?”
Why was she so interested in me?
“Magdela, you are giving her too much attention.” Even the other mistresses noticed.
“Leave now!” She told them, raising her voice.
Suddenly there was tension in the air and the other mistresses glared at Magdela with distaste while leaving the room. I guessed Magdela was the favorite mistress since the other ones left without protesting.
“So why are you not sad?” She asked when all of them left. “Or at least angry since your husband died?”
“I just think of something that makes me happy and I focus on it.”
“And what is that?”
I lift my gaze and looked into her eyes. “I think of when my husband comes back and creates hell on earth for all those who wronged me and him.”
It became dead silent for a while then suddenly a guard informed Pierres presence and shortly after he entered.
Magdela pulled her legs away and stood up quickly. “Your highness.” She curtsied with a smile.
“You may leave.” He told her as he fixed his gaze on me.
Magdela curtsied one more time and left the room. I didn’t need to see her face to know that she was disappointed. The guards closed the door behind her and I was left alone with Pierre. Lord, how I hated this man. If he was here to convince me to give up again then he would be disappointed again and I feared what kind of punishment he had in store if I denied him this time.
“So...how is it going? You know...with washing other people’s feet.” He asked with a shrug.
“It is going very well. I am actually good at it.”
Don’t anger him more Hazel, I told myself but I couldn’t stop myself. Just thinking of him made me sick and angry.
He crossed the distance between us then grabbed my jaw harshly. “I thought I would go easy on you but you know what?” He asked bringing his face close to mine. “You are so stubborn so I changed my mind.Guards!”
Oh god! What was he going to do to me?
The door opened and two guards entered. Pierre let go of my jaw and turned to the guards. “Take her to the dungeon!”
The dungeon! What?!
“Once you change your mind feel free to tell the guards until then enjoy sleeping with rats.”