Becoming the General's Wife

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6. Decapitate

The General’s kiss was well... the general’s kiss. Unpredictable and rough. He bit her lip a bit and he smiled at her afterwards. It was a distracting move and Denise was having a hard time trying to fathom the reason behind it. There had to be some motive. Right? She was led back to her room for a dress change, something a little more grand than her wedding dress. This, she had some say in.

While the maids got her ready one of them came forward with something interesting.

“My lady, one of the guards found this at the accident.”

The maid handed her a blue jeweled locket and the back was engraved with the Hildebrand emblem. It was obviously Colette’s.

“Thank you”

Her show of gratitude stilled the room. The maids were stunned, they had stopped moving. A quick clear of a throat brought the work back in motion.

Was it something she did?

She asked the maids to leave her alone for a while to ‘calm her nerves’. They left quietly. Orders were orders.

She ran to the dresser and picked up the box. The key wasn’t an actual key. It was the locket. It was a product that hadn’t hit the market. Denise had scouted the inventor and made a deal with him. A secret box with an even secret key. She had played many times with his inventions, he had a knack for making magical puzzle boxes that offered entertainment and a challenge. Apparently the duke had given his beloved daughter one of their prototypes.

Denise fiddled with the locket. The key could be anything from the locket itself to the chain...She paused. She took the two ends of the chain and put them close to the other. They snapped together. A magnet. She folded the chain again and it meshed together.

She laughed. This truly was his making.

She slid the ‘key’ inside and it opened. Inside were letters.

Denise picked up the first one and she...well...she had reason to believe that she was going to die tonight.

The room was packed with strangers from the ceremony. Nobles from the General’s fief. They all introduced themselves to her, while offering congratulations. Most of them were lies but could she be mad at any of them?

They were doing their job as much as she was doing her job. The General arrived much later, his men in tow. He walked up to her and took her hand.

“Wife”

He knew. The General knew what was going on. It would explain everything. Why he had his personal guard at the scene, why the place was heavily guarded and why he was going to stick to her like glue. She was going to die tonight.

“My lord”

“Let us dance”

He led her to the floor and she was sweating out of every crevice her body could produce sweat from. The man knew. Why was Colette such an idiot? Why hadn’t she see this coming? Of all the things possible in this world, Colette had a lover and they were supposed to run away tonight.

She was screaming in her head as she thought of this. How could she be so stupid? She was just like her father, except he paraded his concubines for the joy of high society. Call him the Casanova of the pig sty.

“You seem tense, wife”

“I am simply surprised that you asked me to dance, my lord”

“How can a husband choose not to indulge his entertaining wife?”

Denise wanted to throw up. Again, she had limited choices in ensuring the safety of her life.

“But then again, I can’t wait for tonight, wife”

Oh crap. He even knew the timing of the self sabotage elopement with another man. Her head, she could see it rolling now. The General would not allow her to live if she were to stain his reputation. Not that it was good to begin with, but a whole scandal that questioned his ability to keep a wife?

Her head would be in his war room before supper tomorrow.

“My lord, I wish to speak with you...”

The music stopped before she could confess her lies. Maybe it was a good thing. Maybe it wasn’t. But he smiled at her and walked to a group of gentlemen.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Denise wanted to run. Who the bloody hell was the lover?

A man stood in front of her as she left the dance floor.

“My lady” he bowed and then he looked at her squarely in the face.

Was he the lover?

Who was he anyway?

Why was he talking to her as if he knew her?

“Lord Gallagher offers his congratulations. He wishes you farewell”

The man left as quickly as he spoke. Soon enough, the wives of the noble men were around her, offering their support should she need it. They wanted to hold a tea party in the near future. Something to bring the noble wives together.

“It has been a while since the Viler house had a Duchess.” one of the women said.

Duchess?

Oh right, she had forgotten about that. People rarely referred to the General by his other title, the Duke of the Northern Gates. It would make him seem human. He wasn’t human. He was a snake. She married a snake. She was a snake bride.

Soon enough, the celebration came to a close and she was led up the stairs to a different room. Inside was the General, his shirt was open revealing a body sculpted for the gods. But was she alright? No. She was not. Even his murderous handsomeness could not contain her frustration at her situation. Her head was going to pop off.

Everything was falling apart. Today was the highlight of the tumbling tower, her tumbling tower. She stared at the General and she had had enough. She was tired of running around, trying not to die by his hand and finding out that Colette had a lover? It stressed her considerably. She was tired of trying not to die. It was all his fault.

“Lady Viler?”

The General was calling her forward to ‘perform’ her duties.

No.

She was tired. He was going to kill her.

With the last remaining ounce of courage she had left, she left the room and fled to her room. If tomorrow begins with her decapitation, let it be so, but she was done.

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