Legacy Inherited

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Kim 2

Light fabric glided against her skin as she shifted. Silky, it caressed her skin like an indulgent lover, soft, sensual. She luxuriated in the feel, stretching like a pampered cat to embrace the delightful coolness.

The instant she came to, she knew she wasn’t in her own bed. The sheets she slept in were too silky, in comparison to the common cotton ones she used. The weight of her trusty old quilt was absent, instead only the light sheet covered her. It took her a confused instant to recall her time in the desert and she sat up.

She was on a four poster bed, curtained with diaphanous silks in white and lace curtains. The light silken curtains blew in the wind whilst the inner lace ones let in a refreshing breeze. Beyond them were two open French doors one on each of the two outer walls.

The room was spacious, aside from the bed, it held a hardwood vanity, a small reading table piled with a few books at the corner formed by the two French doors with a red divan besides it. A plush carpet deep red with cream-gold accents covered the floor. It was a beautiful room with white gold crown molding; a huge fireplace mantled with gold veined white marble against a red patterned white wallpaper. Rich, tasteful, well-appointed it screamed money, old money.

There were three doors in the room, an exit to what had to be the rest of the house on one wall. Double closet doors stood besides the exit and another, showing a glimpse of a luxurious bathroom on the last wall. Slipping out of the bed she realized she was not in her clothes, she had been stripped to her underwear.

Kim hated knowing that someone had been around her while she was unconscious. Let alone touched her when she was helpless. Normally the slightest movement about her was enough to wake her. Which meant she must have been suffering from more than exhaustion from her time in the desert.

As grateful as she was for her rescue, which had undoubtedly saved her life, she resented her rescuer’s liberties with her body. Yes, she knew it was unreasonable, but in her culture a woman’s body was venerable and should not be subject to casual touching.

She had a penchant for ultra sexy lingerie and though modern society was littered with photos of women in little else she was at heart a traditional woman. The last thing she wanted was for anyone to see her in it, even her friends.

Opening the closet doors she found a couple of kaftans hanging there. Her clothes were nowhere to be found. Even her backpack was missing. Whoever her hosts were they had taken all her things and left her at the mercy of their hospitality.

With no other choice she went into the bathroom. Like the bedroom it was luxuriously appointed, a sunken bathing pond took up most of it, the low marble shelf ringing it held all manner of oils and gels in ornate crystal bottles.

Kim’s heart lifted as she took in the fine stone tub. In varying shades of rose the stone appeared as if it were coloured ice. Clear it nonetheless hid what was behind it, appearing to be deeper than common sense would conclude. While it looked smooth a simple touch confirmed that it had enough grit to it to not be slippery when wet.

A smile bloomed on her face at that. The one place she indulged herself was in her bath. This was her idea of heaven. Turning to the bath products she went about unstopping and taking a whiff of them putting aside what she liked.

The pond’s defining rim had three depressible round stones set on it, right on what had to be the head. Pressing the one to her right had steaming water coming out of the under rim which meant one of the others was for cold water.

When she pressed the same stone again the water flow stopped. The left one resulted in cold water coming out and when she pressed the middle one a stone at the precise center of the pond disappeared and the little water she had put in drained out.

Plugging the drain she filled the tub halfway through, knowing that if she allowed herself to luxuriate she would be there for longer than she had time. She needed to figure out what was happening, and get back home as soon as possible.

The water stung her blistered skin, but ultimately felt divine on her tired muscles. Resting her head she allowed herself to relax. To let the moments thread themselves into minutes, as she drifted in a sublime haze, aware that time was trickling away from her but reluctant to acknowledge it.

The kaftan fit her as if it had been made for her, molding her in a loose airy fit. She had chosen a simple white one amongst the shades of pink, which she would never consider wearing. Unfortunately, the white turned out just as bad, making her seem an innocent starry eyed girl.

She had been told plenty of times that was the first impression she gave. Unwilling to project such an image, she had taken to wearing a lot of black, mainly leather. It lined her wardrobe, having the dual purpose of being comfortable and giving her the edge she sorely needed, an element of danger.

Looking at herself in the full length mirror that graced the inside of one of the closet door, she wished for her clothes back. She needed to project an intimidating persona, as it was, any self respecting person would laugh at any strength she showed, and call her cute for her trouble.

Leaving her waist length curls unbound, she left the room to find a demure maid waiting just outside her door. She stood straight, without leaning against the wall, her hands clasped before her as if to remove them from any awkwardness. Her serene face showed a willingness to wait as long as would be necessary, but broke into a pleased smile when she saw Kim.

As if recalling herself she bobbed into a curtsey. “Compliments of the Grand Vizier my lady, he wishes to speak to you. I’m to lead you to him.”

Kim was taken aback by the reddish tone of her skin, Native Americans had a red tone to their skin colour, but it never amounted to anything like this. The closest she could come to in comparison was a deep red mahogany amour she had come across, and not even that.

Remembering her manners, she smiled at the girl as if her colouring was something Kim was used to seeing, as if she hadn’t seen the decidedly elfin ears clearly visible under the tight bun. “Thank you, I hope you haven’t been waiting long.”

The maid’s smile widened, “Not at all, my Lady.” she bobbed once again.

Kim nodded. “Please, lead the way.”

She looked like she was going to curtsey again, but decided against it and turned to lead into the house. Kim’s room had indeed been at the end of it.

A house that turned out to be palatial. The maid, whose name was Akira, took her down endless, wide spaced hallways, up countless stairways, until they reached a set of heavy ornately carved doors.

Stone faced guards stood at attention, one to each side of the door. Like those that held center stage at Buckingham Palace, they stood as if they were living statuary, perfectly matched in height and built. Their eyes assessed her with cold indifference, measuring her.

“His highness wishes to speak with the lady.” Akira addressed them with confident ease. To which the guard to the right took hold of the bar gracing the right door, and swept it open.

Kim had no idea what she had been expecting, but a private study was not it. It was the domain of an important man, a Prince from what Akira had said, one who knew the value of books and order.

Everything had its place, iron-bound books, leather-bound, scrolls, and an assortment of fascinating objects lined the myriad of shelves. Tables held stage at precise angles for easy movement, with one larger one gracing the center. A book or two rested neatly on some of the tables, but most were bare and polished to a shine.

Kim’s gaze swept the large room, taking note of the four guards on the balcony that swept into the study without bridging. Dismissing them for the moment, her eyes landed on the man behind an ornate ashen desk and stiffened.

Her pack sat on the desk before him, some of her things scattered about. In his hand he held her phone, three screens tethered to its slim surface. Like a man who had all the time in the world, he shifted his head to look at her.

Calm, ancient eyes met hers. Purple in colour, there was a metallic sheen to them, but that wasn’t what gave her pause. Power radiated from them, like nothing she had ever seen. It was painful to look upon for long, but Kim held them without flinching.

Knowing that whoever spoke first would be showing their submission to the other, Kim stood straight backed, with a small smile on her face. No one would mistake the smile for amusement, as her eyes held a glint of anger at the violation of her privacy. Maybe she was being insane, they had after all just saved her life, but she wanted to tear into this emotionless man for his invasion.

“Who are you, and why do you have Kim’s phone?” Ana’s voice broke the tense silence.

Kim’s head snapped back to the screens, somehow she had failed to see that her friends Ana and Rose were displayed on two of the them, with the third showing CTD. Jaiya was in danger, but safe enough to send the SMS.

“Ana, Rose, are you guys ok?” she asked as she came closer to the screens.

“Yes.” they replied in unison. “And you?” Rose continued.

She waved the question away, impatient. “What the heck is going on?”

There was an edge of hysteria to the small laugh that escaped Rose. She moved her phone so that the screen showed a blonde girl with glowing skin, literally glowing. “Lady Gwen,” she stated by way of introduction. “She did some double, double toil and trouble and here we are, on another world.”

Kim’s heart thudded as if to burst out of her. Her face remained calm and for once she was glad for her pale colouring.“Why?” she asked.

“Because we, apparently, have elemental magic.” Rose replied with heavy sarcasm.

Her heart beat a fandango in her chest, running a mile against her need to remain calm. “Jaiya was right.” she stated in a daze, unable to help herself.

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