- Jun 23, 2004
The First Morning of a New Life
The sun was blinding Evhana when she woke up. She had turned in her sleep, and was looking straight into Nienna’s long hair. It had been a long time since she had a whole night’s sleep, and the faint snooze from her elder revealed she was still deep in hers. Evhana lay still, watching her queen, studying her every curve. She was furious. Another one that had tried to lie, tried to hide things from her. The memories of her father’s neglect resurfaced. How he always had shunned speaking to her, how hard he had worked to keep her oblivious towards any event that transpired in the realm, the Chasm, at court. But it never worked.
She always found out their secrets, one way or another. This one needed a more direct confrontation. When would they ever learn? How could she teach them? She ran her gaze down her body, imagining her pinned down and defenceless. Sneaking up from behind, taking complete power over her life. Then she would end it, slowly and painfully. She didn’t want to wreck her pretty features, not scar her soft skin. She would tighten her windpipe with ropes, and then, maybe, slowly enter a blade into her abdomen, puncturing her organs one by one. Maybe she would try her new technique, and, pushing her strangled throat back, and open her jugular, watching as the blood painted her body and clothes in the same colour as her hair. There was only one problem. She didn’t want to. Her eye twitched.
Evhana started to crawl out of bed, taking great care not to wake the lady sleeping by her side. As she rose, she spent minutes just observing her. The smell of morning, smell of perfume, the smell of the opened cider bottles in the nearby suite. Her senses awoke as her mind darkened. The dagger still rested on the bed stand, ever since she had left it there earlier last evening.
“She’s not careful enough.” She thought to herself. “Telling the whole court of my sister’s demise. Takes a complete stranger with her alone. Ready to leave that same stranger in her own chambers without supervision, readily trusting her not to poison everything she owns? Where’s her wits? How can she be so carefree? Is it actually that safe here?” Evhana frowned. “She needs my help.” She took the dagger and left the room, and walked back to her own.
She studied the chambers she had been provided. It was more luxurious than any bedroom you could possibly find in Lúrien. The stone walls were clad with drapery and curtains, soft linens and glistening silk. Plush cushions upon the sofas and chairs, coupled with tabletops and wardrobes in dark mahogany tree. From here, she would rule the Chasm for many years, sneaking orders and draft up direction to her contacts back home. In this room, she was alone, and it was the worst thing she knew of. When she was alone, there was no facade to keep up. No acting to be had and she were left with being her own dour self.
She wrinkled her brow and unbuttoned her collar. The soft bed had done wonders to her stale shoulders after the long and bloody carriage ride. The mercenaries were disbanded, and undoubtedly on their way home. The sight of the dead officers, their opened chests and emptied bowels hanging from their horses had sent them in flight. With wolves, ents, dragons and vampires running amok, the event would without a doubt drown in the stir of tall tales and rumours popping up in Agorath like weed. She didn’t really care either way. She lay upon the bed, determined to make sense of the situation she was currently entangled in.
“I’m the last Mindrilla.” Evhana spoke to herself, in her quiet monotone voice. “The Dark is encroaching, and unity is gone.” She laid her hands on her stomach, closing her eyes, trying to manifest her thoughts before her. “There are no leaders left. No one to rely on.” She played out the events of the evening before her eyes, remembering the serious study of the throne room, of Nienna’s room, and of Nienna’s person. Her green eyes, gentle and full. She wanted to imagine plucking them out of their sockets, but couldn’t bare herself to think that way.
“What’s wrong with me?” She stared angrily at the ceiling, its curly ornate wooden carvings made hints of flowers and lush green foliage. It was pretty. Not even that could distract her thoughts from the young queen. Evhana breathed slowly and deep, reminding herself of the other girl’s raising chest. It wasn’t many hours ago she had wanted it to stop moving forever, but now, the thought of its gentle motions were giving her peace. An abrupt peace, but it was something. She moved her finger across her belly, imagining it belonging to someone else. “Ah...”
She let go of her dagger, pulling the other hand across her own waist. She could see her approaching her, smiling, pulling her in. Evhana imagined herself being embraced, locked down and caressed, like the captain had done in the woods. But he was evil, a brute. He hadn’t cared for her, and she hadn’t cared for him. Now she imagined something special. “Hold me...” Almost as if it was real, she could see her flowing red hair enclosing, taking her in her arms. She imagined herself being pulled down. Instead of the greasy, dirty, and smelly tongue of the Nord, she felt Nienna softly moving her sweet, clean and fragrant mouth all the way from her shoulder.
Evhana leaned her head back, surrendering, and with a soft manoeuvre, laid her hand upon her throat keeping her in place. Willingly, Evhana laid her life at the mercy of someone else. The soft kisses would move up, working towards her chin. “Hah...” She let out a contenting humming, urging her fantasy on. She moved the finger she had estranged closer to her breast, and scented the queen’s breath upon her face. She imagined their lips finally meeting, the older girl’s tongue pressing into her own mouth, and her meeting it. Tasting her. She pulled her hand further south, feeling the warmth between her legs. The searing pulse of the other girl was real, and she imagined it rising, beating, just for her. She bit at her lip.
“Touch me...” She moaned with delight, feeling her whole body tingle. “Take...” Then she stopped.
Evhana shot up from her trance and sat upon her bed, panting. She looked around, terrified. Her eye twitched again, and she forced another surge of sinister thoughts throughout her brain.
“She’s a liar.” She needed to die. “She wants to keep me like a gullible fool.” But she didn’t want her to. She pounded the back of her hand against her forehead. It was getting weird, all of it. “Maybe... I don’t have to? Not this time?” She looked down on the dagger, caught in the fabric of her nightgown, flushing in embarrassment as she realised she was feeling moist. The morning sun was rising further upon the sky, and she was about to spend the whole day by herself. She couldn’t bear the thought.
“I can do whatever I want.” She crossed her arms and threw an evil gaze upon the vase on the other side of the room. Soon it would be breakfast, and she could pretend to be someone else again. She exhaled in relief, wondering how to clean up her act from yesterday. It had all gone as planned. She was close to the influence in Galadriel, she was safe from council and the lords, she had extracted her new liege’s secret that she had worked so hard to keep, and more importantly, she didn’t have to sleep alone. But a cruel realisation was coming over her. Her confrontation, her act, had it been too much? Had she ruined her chance to get some peace during the nights?
“She must let me in again. I must sleep in there, next to her.” Her body shook in terror, fury boiling inside. As every night had been a torment to her for years, last night’s respite had been a luxury she hadn’t foreseen. She had become spoiled. And all these new feelings, for a girl, were confusing. She gritted her teeth. “She needs my help, I’m sure of it.” For the first time in her life, Evhana felt guilty. Guilty for wanting to replace her sister in the queen’s heart. She knew how to seduce men, she knew even at her age. But now, she wanted to be the one seduced. Submitting herself, to her. That joyous, beautiful thing at the other side of the hallway. Taken care of, and stroked.
Evhana groaned and fell back upon the pillows. “Her enemies are my enemies.” Evhana narrowed her eyes. “Her enemies will die.” She needed to kill. Someone, or something, had to be extinguished. But it would have to wait. She lent the vase another, venomous look. “She’s innocent, and as vulnerable as my people. I need to protect her, like I need to protect them.” Her empathy grew only for those distant, for the many, and for the weak. It was the lords that needed to be controlled, needed to be blamed, that needed to bleed. She had no feelings for them, but it didn’t make it less true. She returned to her selfish tirade. “I can’t sleep alone. I’ll go knock again tonight. I hope she let me in.” Her eyes were sad. “I don’t want to sleep alone anymore.”
Evhana changed into her court attire, and spruced up her make-up in front of the mirror. She brushed the white hair with care, pulling the strings in order, laden her lashes with black to make her blue eyes look even larger. She studied herself in the mirror, at her thin, gentle figure. She would look like a threat to no one. Every inch of femininity was emphasized to make her body a weapon of deception. She lowered her eyes and looked upon the visible pulse emerging on her throat. A sign that she was living, a symbol of her heartbeat. Her life would belong to her queen, and the thought gave her rest. She slowly pulled her mouth into her warmest smile.
Was it honest? Of course not, but it had to do. She felt as most comfortable when she was pretending to be someone else. She left her room with that disguise, walked down the empty hallway, and knocked on Nienna’s door, the same way she hoped to do tonight. Maybe following her to breakfast would make her forget her awkward behaviour the day before. Today she would pull on a different act, a more subtle one. Not political for once, but personal. And one day, hopefully sooner than later, her wish would come true. That someone else would have the whole power over her life, and feel safe doing so.