2 years later
My eyes opened to the rays of the morning sun, however, it was the man sleeping beside me which had me smiling with contentment. Bancroft looked so peaceful as he slept, his arm around my waist, keeping me in place.
I watched my husband for a while, my hands itching to push the lock of hair away from his forehead, but I knew if I did that he would wake up, and after last night, he needed as much rest as he could get. But watching him while he slept brought me peace like no other, which was why I was content to lie here for as long as I could.
“I can feel your eyes on me.” I bit my lip to suppress a giggle when I heard him talking.
“Oh really? How do they feel?” I asked. There was no point in telling him to go back to sleep now.
“Exactly as they should…like they belong to me and should only be on me.” He opened his eyes and smiled. Seeing those beautiful green eyes made me fall in love with him all over again.
“What will happen if they dare to stray from their path?” I asked, teasing him.
Bancroft pulled me closer, nuzzling my neck, causing heat to pool in my nether regions. He kissed my neck eliciting soft moans from me as he made me remember just how much he loved me.
“Then I will just have to remind them that they belong to me and do not have the right to look at another man,” he stated, crawling on top of me as he continued to kiss and suck my neck.
“I only have eyes for you, Bancroft, you know that. I have no desire to look at another man.” I told him, as he took a hold of my wrists and placed them over my head.
“Your words please me greatly, beautiful rose of mine.” I gasped when he pushed his thick length inside me, causing me to arch my back as he filled me, pushing me to climb new heights of pleasure which only he could give me.
He moved in and out of me at a steady pace; every thrust taking me up and up until I reached the top. I was pushed over the edge when Bancroft bit my neck, causing me to spiral down the tunnel of bliss, making me cry out his name in ecstasy.
“Yes, my love, come for me. Let me feel your pleasure,” he said before I felt him shudder and spill inside of me. I dug my nails in the palm of my hands as I came down to the real world, slowly, feeling satisfied.
Bancroft stayed on top of me as we breathed heavily, too lost in the feel of each other’s body to say anything. I wished everyday was like this, but knowing Bancroft I knew he would give me much more than this, he always did.
“I love you so much. Do you know that?” He said, kissing my cheek.
I smiled, basking in the warmth of his love. “I love you more.”
He chuckled while shaking his head. “Impossible.”
The knock on the door had us both going alert. “Who could it be so early in the morning?” I asked.
“My Lord, it is I, Ethel. Princess Lizette is awake and is demanding your time and attention,” my friend replied from outside the door.
My heart fluttered knowing my daughter was outside. “Come in,” I said before Bancroft could. Lizette must be hungry; it was time for her to feed.
The door opened just as I pulled the blanket over my body to cover my naked self and smiled when I saw my daughter in Ethel’s arms. Since the day Lizette was born a year ago, Ethel had taken it upon herself to take care of her when Bancroft and I were too busy with matters of the Kingdom, which was fine by me since I did not trust anyone other than my dearest friend to take care of my child when I was unable to.
“Here you go, princess, your mother is right here.” I took Lizette from Ethel and gave her a smile. Her green eyes, so much like her father’s, made me feel as if I was the most powerful woman in the world.
“When did she wake up?” Bancroft asked, kissing Lizette’s cheek, his eyes softening as he gazed at our daughter with so much love and pride that it hurt my heart. I would never forget the day when Lizette came into this world and blessed our lives with her presence.
“Just a little while ago. I brought her here as soon as I could,” Ethel answered just as Lizette latched on to my breast and began feeding. I held my daughter close to me, while Bancroft wrapped his arm around my shoulders and pulled me close. He smiled down at our daughter who was busy feeding.
“What do you have planned for today?” I asked Ethel, ignoring Bancroft as he twirled a lock of my hair around his finger.
“You should be the one to worry about that, Hildred. There are people who are coming soon to discuss matters of the Kingdom. As for me, I will be spending time with my princess, because nothing is more important to me than her. So I already know what I am going to do, you have to worry about your agenda,” she replied, her eyes on my daughter. I wondered if Ethel did anything else besides taking care of Lizette, but I knew she didn’t; which made me wonder if I should look for a decent husband for her.
“What is it that needs to be discussed?” I asked Bancroft.
“I think we should host another ball, and everyone in the Kingdom shall be invited. So I had some people come over to see what to do about it,” he said.
“A ball for the entire Kingdom? Like the one we hosted after the crowning ceremony?” The ball was the grandest that I had ever seen. And I was in awe of Bancroft’s power and wealth when the entire Kingdom was present and dancing in merriment.
“Yes, exactly like that. I think it is best if we host a grand ball every three months. I believe people will like that,” he responded.
“So you are going to talk to the people who will be organizing everything?” enquired.
“Yes. You do not have to accompany me if you do not wish to,” he stated.
“Alright. Then I think it will be best if I spend some time with Lizette and Ethel.” I told him, pulling my daughter closer to me.
“Of course. I agree it would be best for you to relax and spend time with our daughter, I am sure she misses her mother.” Bancroft kissed my temple before grabbing his robe and putting it on.
“You are going already?” Was it not a little early for him to be meeting with such people?
“They are already here, Hildred. They are waiting for him,” Ethel said, biting her lip. Was it just me or was Ethel in a hurry to see Bancroft go. Did she want to talk to me about something?
I watched as my husband exited our bed chambers so he could go and take a bath, leaving me with Ethel and Lizette. As soon as he was gone, I turned my attention to my friend.
“Alright, what is it? What do you want to tell me?” I asked her. Lizette finished feeding and begun playing with my necklace. The necklace was given to me by Bancroft on my birthday and I hadn’t taken it off since then. He made me promise never to remove it and I couldn’t help but stay true to my words.
“Do you know anything about the men who will be helping Lord Bancroft organize this ball?” She asked, sitting down on the bed.
I frowned, wondering why she wanted to know. “Why are you asking?”
Ethel blushed as she looked away, which kind of gave me a hint about what she wanted to talk to me about. Did she like a man? If she did, then I would make sure she married him.
“Well, I hope you do not get angry with me about this but there is a man…” she trailed off, but I was more than happy to pick up the trail of words for her.
“A man which you happen to like?” I asked.
“Well...I…I am not sure of my feelings for him, yet…but I would like to speak to him and get to know him. However, I am not certain whether he would fancy me or not,” she mumbled.
“Why would he not fancy you? You are beautiful and an intelligent woman.” Ethel had no reason to be insecure.
“What would he think of me when he finds out that I have been a common whore in Quopia? He would think of me as a disgraceful woman,” she argued.
I pursed my lips as I thought about what she said. I could understand her worries because if it weren’t for Bancroft and his mother prophesizing about me, I would’ve been enduring the same thing. Life of a common whore was a difficult one indeed.
“But you cannot be sure. You have to talk to him; jumping to conclusions is not going to help.” I told her.
“I know, but I am afraid, Hildred. This man is handsome and people respect him; I’m sure he would want a respectable woman,” she muttered, still not looking at me.
“You are just as respectable as any other woman; I forbid you to think in such a manner,” I admonished.
“Just because you are the Queen of Sodora does not mean that you can give me orders. When Lord Bancroft is not here, you must treat me like your friend,” she complained, causing me to laugh out loud.
“I am ordering you because you must trust fate to give you what you want, and you must not think so low about yourself. I am sure that man will see how beautiful you are and shall not care about your past. You did not choose to be a common whore, you were forced into it,” I stated, smiling at my daughter every now and then. How could she be so content in my arms? I expected her to be demanding like her father.
“Not everybody is as fortunate as you, Hildred,” she countered.
“If you think I did not suffer, then you should seriously reconsider our relationship.” I sighed. “Look, I am not saying it will be easy or you won’t have any serious problems. All I am saying is, if you like this man, then you should talk to him.”
“What if he thinks I’m too forward? What if he expects me to be shy? You know what, forget I mentioned this man to you. It will never work. He will never want me. I should just accept the fact that no man would truly love me. I am only there for his pleasure and nothing else,” she said, pain and bitterness lacing her words.
It was then that I realized just how blessed I had been to be loved by a King. It was something a woman of my position could never expect and yet, fate had surprised me and given me a wonderful life with a man who loved me and a daughter who completed my world. If Bancroft hadn’t taken me away, I would still be suffering at the hands of every man who showed his face in the harem.
“Tell me the name of the man, I will speak to him. I will tell Bancroft to invite him to the ball and you can dance with him,” I suggested.
“I will show you where he is. But I don’t know if he will want to dance with me,” she said.
“Who will not dance with you?” My eyes widened when I saw Bancroft walking over to us. When did he come back? And how much had he heard? Ethel blushed a deeper shade of red and pretended to stare at the floor.
“You heard that?” I asked as he sat down beside me, planting a kiss on my forehead.
“Yes, I did.” Bancroft looked at Ethel. “If you think he will not dance with you, then you must think again. Tell me his name and I will see to it that he dances with you all night long.”
“No, my Lord. It will be utterly humiliating if this happens. You must not do this, and I do not know what his name is but I do know his face,” she replied, wringing her hands together.
“Tell me what he looks like ad in the upcoming ball you will be dancing with him. That is a promise,” he stated.
“You don’t have to do this if she does not want you to,” I whispered to my husband who smiled.
“She is just afraid of his reaction, but I will make sure he accepts her; even if it means putting a sword to his neck and making him promise to love her forever,” he whispered as he caressed Lizette’s cheek with the back of his hand causing her to smile and move over to him; she truly was her father’s princess.
“That is a little extreme, don’t you think?” I argued.
“I promised to keep you happy forever, my beautiful nymph, and I intend to stay true to my words. I know that it will make you happy when you will see your friend smiling and happy. And she has been with us for two years, I think it is time that she found someone who will love and cherish her as much as I love you,” he said, giving my hand a soft squeeze.
“Thank you,” I said. I didn’t think I would ever get used to his love for me but did I even want to? Every day was a beautiful surprise and I wanted to experience it forever.
“No need to mention it, my Queen,” Bancroft replied with a smile.
No matter what happened in the past, it was all over now. Bancroft and I were together now and we would have a beautiful future with more than one child, but Bancroft did not need to know about our second child which was in my womb as of yet. His birthday was in two weeks and I would tell him them then. He had made my wishes come true and now…
It was my turn to do the same.
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