A Tale of Crowns and Stars

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Wheat & Air

The arrival of Cyra’s mother and father later that day was absolutely anti-climactic. The trumpeters hardly announced the couple at the doors, and no one realized they had entered until Bilka paraded down the hallways, revealing herself with her usual air of regality and loud tones.

“Take me to my daughter, please,” Cyra could hear from her perch at her desk, and without hesitation, she made her way to the chamber door, throwing it open to see her mother striding down the hallway.

“Mother!” Attempting to remain composed but excited nonetheless, Cyra rushed to embrace Bilka.

“Ah, you made it here safely, and you look like you’ve been out in the sun!” Bilka patted at Cyra’s skirts, admiring the red damask and white silk. “I haven’t seen this one before… Did Halewijn purchase a new dress for you?”

“I bought this one in the city square.” Cyra turned around, letting her mother inspect the back of the frock before turning around again. “Where’s my father?”

“He’s downstairs striking up a discourse with Alorha, as usual. He might tell a well-meant, but poorly executed joke at some point, so I’m leaving him to his own devices.” Bilka looked over Cyra’s shoulder, then back at her with a question in her eyes. “Where’s Halewijn? I thought you two would be inseparable by now.”

“He’s with Eres at the moment,” Cyra caught herself before she looked down in sorrow, remembering that she had to pretend the conversation between the three of them never happened. “I’m sure when he hears about your arrival, he’ll join us.”

“Eres and Idria are already here?” Cyra nodded, remembering that their communication had been tampered with. “Interesting. Well, in the meantime, we can catch up. How have you been since we last saw each other?” Considering the fact that she had almost died, Halewijn had nearly murdered an innocent man, and Omar planned for her to bathe in the sacrifice of the white ox, Cyra hesitated before answering.

“Things have been going fine; how have you two been?”

“Your father, of course, was worried sick about the trip down here. We hadn’t heard from Eres or Idria, so we waited for a few days to travel.”

“They came a few days ago; there must have been a mix-up in communication,” Cyra explained as she opened her chamber door, letting her mother go past her before closing it behind her.

“Possibly.” Her mother turned about the semi-elaborate room, looking at the furnishings with interest. “I hadn’t expected you to be staying in such a plain room. I mean, as Omar’s future daughter in law, I expected him to put you in a nicer room.”

“It fits for the time being,” Cyra noted, looking over at the window and observing Armantha stroll about the garden, but when her mother spotted her, she inhaled sharply, clicking her teeth against her tongue.

“Who invited that bitch to the wedding?”

“When you invited the Northern King and Queen, they sent her ahead of them as their ambassador,” Cyra whispered. “But mother, she’s—”

“Leon and Hannah would never—”

“Mother, she’s not guilty like we assumed she was. She’s actually on our side. Armantha came to the High Court because she wanted to bring down Omar, just like we do.” Cyra offered, placing her hands out to stop her mother’s onslaught of four words.

“And you believe this story she told you?” Her mother spat, still scowling at Armantha from the window.

“I would like to, yes.”

“Does Halewijn trust her?” Bilka asked, turning away from the window and looking into Cyra’s eyes.

“I would like to think so,” Cyra weaved her fingers together, praying that her mother would see the sincerity behind her actions. “But Halewijn trusts me. And my word is enough for him.”

“You better be right,” her mother grumbled. “Because everyone’s life is at stake. And if anyone dies, it’ll be her head that rolls first.”

“And so I told him about the wheat problem…”

Halewijn and Ekbert wandered into the dining hall, speaking about some feud between farmers. Eres, Idria, Armantha, Omar, Cyra, and Bilka sat patiently, waiting for them to finish their conversation before addressing them further.

“Welcome, your Highnesses,” Omar began, smiling at the men with a toothy grin. “I trust your trip was without incident?”

“Without incident and excitement,” Ekbert mumbled, avoiding making eye contact with Omar as he sat beside his wife. “I do think there should be some type of roadside entertainment for those who have to travel such a long way.”

“Roadside entertainment?” Omar mused, looking at the eastern king with a raised brow. “I’m pleased that your trip was without trouble, but if it’s entertainment you want, I’m sure a thief or two can be hired to keep you entertained.” Cyra’s hands stilled over her plate of food, and Halewijn also stopped eating, looking over at his father with a blank stare. Ekbert waited a moment before bursting into a hearty laugh, holding his stomach as he chortled. Eres and Idria glanced between themselves before focusing on their food again, choosing to mind their own business for the moment.

“Your humor has not budged an inch, Omar!” Cyra, Halewijn, and Armantha found no humor in the statement as they looked at each other in confusion. “I hope Leon comes soon; the two of you are riots.” Ekbert wiped tears from his eyes as he sighed, moving to break a piece of bread in half.

The room’s tension was slightly eased by Ekbert’s continued assumption that Omar was making jokes, but all Cyra could feel was a sense of dread filling her stomach. The lack of space in her belly made her abandon her food for a second time; the lunch items offending her senses. She sat through more chatter, letting the others around her convince Omar that they enjoyed the lunch-time conversation with him. But a sharp pang hit Cyra in her belly, and as she clutched at her stomach, Halewijn looked over at her, concerned.

“I don’t feel well,” Cyra whispered into his ear. Thankfully, Armantha had already struck up a conversation with Omar, distracting him from the unease at the other side of the table. Still, Bilka caught the exchange and said nothing out loud, instead choosing to question with her eyes. Cyra’s hand went to her stomach again, and she made a face before turning back to Halewijn, who had nearly cleared his own plate.

“I’ll take you upstairs,” Halewijn replied, placing a hand on her shoulder. “I’m afraid Cyra and I will take our leave; she is not well.”

“Your fiancé has been unwell a lot lately,” Omar noted, pointing his fork at her. “You might want to send her to the doctor. We wouldn’t want her to be severely sick or possibly with child… and not know it.” Armantha’s empty spoon fell from her hand and onto the floor at the mention of a child, and the ominous tone Omar took made Halewijn stand a little taller as he rose from his chair.

“Thank you for your concern, your Majesty. I am appreciative of the care and kindness you have extended to my fiancee and I.” Halewijn pulled Cyra’s chair out, and she stood behind him as he pushed in the seat. “Thank you all for being here, as well. It means so much to both of us that you’re present for our nuptials, and we hope to see you this evening.”

The bedroom seemed calmer to Cyra when she opened the door. While silently thanking Usasis for some relief, she stripped down to her undergarments, putting on a fresh nightgown that gave her some breathing room.

“Are you alright?” Halewijn wondered, sitting next to her on the bed carefully. “I can’t help but wonder if you might be really sick.” Or pregnant. Those two words went unspoken between them, but Cyra shook her head.

“I’m fine, Hal. Really, I am. It might be that being here … with him… makes me feel unwell.” Halewijn tilted his head to the side, humming softly.

“You know, this will be our home soon.” The realization that this stay would be permanent should Halewijn succeed shocked Cyra a little. “I plan to make renovations, but as soon as I can, I will make sure you feel safe. Whatever you need from me, I’m willing to do it. I just want you to feel at home here with me.”

“I do feel safe with you,” Cyra whispered, leaning on him, and Halewijn tenderly wrapped his arms around her, placing a kiss on the crown of her head. “But right now, I’m always anticipating the next move, the next moment… and it makes me anxious.”

“Haven’t I told you that I’ll handle it?” He murmured, and Cyra could feel him looking down at her. “My father is my business. I won’t have you dealing with him in any manner.” Halewijn whispered sharply, rubbing her arms in gentle strokes. The motion soothed her nerves a little, but it didn’t ease the wounded feeling in her chest.

“I know. And I thank you for protecting me.”

“I do it because I love you.” He brought his lips down to her shoulder, where he pressed a tender kiss. “And when I have you by my side, I feel much stronger.” This time, he pressed a kiss to Cyra’s lips, holding her close. “I need you.”

“I know.” A chill ran down her spine as he brought his lips to her neck, whispering his next words against the vein there.

“Let me stay with you tonight.” Without words, Cyra obliged, pressing against him to fight off the feeling of dread that still haunted her mind. Their lips met in a passionate and arduous kiss again, seeking a release that only lovers could provide. Cyra knotted her fingers in his short hair as she straddled him, wrapping her legs around his lower torso and shifting her pelvis forward. The rustling fabric sounds accompanied the staccato sound of their kisses in the dark, creating a private symphony of foreplay.

But the sounds were the last thing on her mind as they undressed - she stripping out of the nightgown she had put on moments before, and he undoing the sash and intricately designed tunic beneath it. Hal left his pants on, perhaps for propriety’s sake, as well as his shoes. But this also didn’t matter. Cyra could only feel his hands caressing her bare shoulders, holding her lower back as he leaned onto the bed with her on top while his mouth trailed kisses down her clavicle and to her chest.

One of the hands-on Cyra’s back went to her right breast, rolling her nipple between his gentle thumb and forefinger. Without warning, he gave it a quick tug, and the soft gasp that the motion elicited didn’t go unnoticed by Hal. He took note of it by pausing, his warm breath arousing the nipple on her left breast.

“You like that…” Halewijn murmured, his golden eyes meeting hers as she looked down at him. She couldn’t speak as his lips slowly spread into a smile while his nose nuzzled the breast he held captive. “Should I explore this sensation further?” He inquired, and Cyra opened her mouth to reply, but again - no words would fall from her lips. So she nodded instead, knowing he would stop if she did nothing at all.

Halewijn slowly - and deliberately - brought his other hand to her left breast, repeating the other side’s motion. When he tugged at her nipple, she felt something pull within her belly, and she finally choked out,


Halewijn did it again on her right breast, then her left, watching her face for any sign of pain or disinterest.


The High Prince’s brows lifted, but he did not protest as he tweaked her nipples at the same time. Cyra groaned from the sharp feeling, her hands finding an anchor in Hal’s chest as she closed her eyes. Instead of repeating the motion, Halewijn placed her right breast in his mouth, choosing to caress her nipples with his tongue. The differing sensations drove Cyra mad, and she couldn’t help but allow guttural sounds to float out of her mouth. Some part of her knew that someone would hear this cacophony of noise, but the other part of her didn’t care. All that concerned her was how much pleasure she could derive from this moment as Halewijn catered to her basest needs.

“Oh, gods. Please fuck me, Halewijn,” Cyra gasped, pushing her underwear down her hips and onto the floor below. The request was met with a quick discard of shoes and pants before Halewijn moved Cyra onto her back. Without words, he pushed her legs back, holding them to steady himself as he entered her. But before she felt Hal’s girth inside of her, she felt his fingertips on her clit, massaging it with purpose.

“How bad do you want me?” Cyra inhaled sharply, looking up at Halewijn in shock. He had never addressed her like this before… this almost commander-like personality felt foreign to her. But when she looked into his eyes, she saw the hunger, the need, and the lust dancing around their honey-colored depths. Halewijn wanted her to address him as he was: not an equal, but a High Prince; an object of desire to all who encountered him.

“Please…” Cyra whisper-begged, hearing the desperation in her own voice. “I want you inside of me so badly.” The words seemed to work for the High Prince, who smoothly pushed inside of her, bottoming out with one full stroke. Cyra’s thighs quivered, and Halewijn grunted, exhaling deeply as he adjusted to the tightness. He brought a hand up her shaking thigh, then cupping her bottom as his hand traveled down.

“I will never deny you my body, my mind, or my soul,” He whispered, leaning down to brush his lips against hers. “I am entirely yours, now and forever.”

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