Amy C at Romance Book Wyrm and Dottie atTink's Place have come up with the idea for a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate - you publish your Fiction Flash on Friday - 350 words, give or take.
I tried to post these on LiveJournal, but that particular site exhausted my patience - it seems they have always some problems and demands. Here I am back again after a very short fling.
The prompt for this week:
The weather was fine although a bit cold - perfect for a training session. Mara has been airborne for some hours, circling the castle on her dragon and trying new maneuvres when a pair of lovers, standing on the other side of the lake, caught her attention. She saw them perfectly well despite the distance - the air was clear and the sun was shining - and she couldn't believe her own eyes. They were kissing and laughing and whispering and kissing some more. Anger shot through her like a lightining, her dragon floating aimlessly now, the reins almost forgotten.
So that what it was really about. Her husband and her cousin - disappearing mysteriously at roughly the same time, constantly looking for excuses when they were asked to attend a simple meeting or a meal, following each other with hungry eyes whenever they thought nobody was paying attention. Tears of shame stung in her eyes but she sweeped them instantly. She was the Queen, she had to act not to fall into pieces. Act before it was too late.
Mara returned to the castle and took care of her dragon, givning it a slow, well-deserved scrubbing bath. Dragons, unlike horses or dogs, tollerated only the touch of one person, their rightful owner. They were highly faithful pets and dangerous weapons. Mara had never appreciated it so much as today. Her beast was gorgeous, white and gold with blue markings, emanating strength and confidence. When she stroked its head it closed big, amber eyes and made low, rumbling sounds. Purring. It made her feel loved, safe and strong. It was better than thousands of words. Mara went to her rooms definitely more composed, changed into a hunting outfit, ate a simple meal and signalled for a messenger. A slender boy entered her room and bowed. She didn't even bother to look at him.
"Please find His Highness my consort and tell him I want a word in my private chamber. If he hasn't returned yet leave a message with his valet or a bodyguard but make sure he will get it as soon as possible. It's urgent."
The messenger bowed again and left.
She didn't have to wait long. In fact she was surprised how quickly he come to her room, dressed in a simple shirt, a leather vest and breeches, with half-long silver hair damp from washing, gorgeous as ever. His sapphire eyes, big and moist, were so beautiful and innocent. So deceitful. She sighed softly.
"Mara? You wanted to see me..."
She couldn't stop drowning in his eyes even after a year of marriage. It was so humiliating. It hurt. Finally she managed to ask:
His surprise was too perfect to be genuine.
"How long what, my lady wife?"
"How long have you been cheating on me with that strumpet?"
He blinked several times, his rosy lips slack, revealing white even teeth. He was such a good actor. If she hadn't seen him kissing her cousin with her own eyes she would have believed any cock-and-bull story he might invent. She'd always trusted him. She wanted to. She was so blind. Fortunately he had a good sense to keep mum now. Mara clenched her fists, feeling the nails breaking the skin of her palms. Pain helped her to focus.
"Answer me you cowardly mongrel!!How LONG?!?!" she yelled.
He straightened his back a bit.
"Since the very beginning. You know the best that our marriage was a matter of conveniece, not feelings. I've fallen in love with Sheen since I arrived to this castle and saw her in your retinue. I am sorry. I couldn't help it. I hope you comprehend"
His voice was low and matter-of-factly calm which only made her more furious. He soiled their sacred vows, broke her heart, endangered the kingdom and he was just sorry. He knew Mara well enough to get the meaning of her silence - she watched him getting paler and paler, the stunning blue eyes even more visible in his paper-white face. When she spoke she couldn't recognize her own voice - it had the tones of a dragon roar.
"I should flay you and execute for high treason but I don't want a scandal - I am the Queen and I feel responsible for the whole kingdom. Let's solve the matter in private. If you really love her, take her and run, as fast as you can, because in one hour I will be hunting and if I catch you, any of you, I will kill. A nice little dragon accident. Don't count on my mercy. However, if you manage to escape...I might let you live. For the time being."
A little mean smile curved her lips. Her husband swallowed hard and went out, breaking into a nervous trot even before he reached the treshhold of her chamber.
"Coward", she hissed after him.