Bridge Between the Heart

Disclaimer: I own all of these, so no stealing please. Rabid plot bunnies will capture you to feed their broods if you do.

Chapter 3

" Andra," Terrin was trying to comfort Andra, who had burst into tears as soon as she had made her way back into their chambers. " It isn't so bad!"
Andra whirled on Terrin, she hands in fists as she tried to pull her dress off, feeling dirty and disgusting in it. " Not so bad? Terrin, do you realize that I pledged myself to his bed, just so I could go and see my family? I do not want him, Terrin! He may invade my body, but I tell you this now, I do not want him!"
It was the first time that he had seen her cry, and he knew not what to do. The only elf maidens he had seen cry were little girls, and they had often stubbed a toe or fallen out of climbing a tree. He did not know how to deal with drying women, much less a human one, no matter how much he loved her.
" Andra, I do not care if you want him or not! I want you, and I always will, regardless of who touches you!" His words were urgent, but not shouted like hers were. " Andra, love, he is the King. Nobody says no to him and nobody says anything against him. I would not want you any less if you were to go to his bed, in fact, I think I should want you more, because the King is not fickle in his tastes. He takes only the most beautiful for his own, and shares them with no other."
" Then does that mean that the entire month that I am with him, I shall not be allowed to see you?" Andra was starting to get herself more under control, and she was thinking again. Always a good sign.
Terrin sighed heavily, nodding his head, his black hair sliding over his shoulders, but still contained by the thin silver band that went around his head. " Aye, it does, but I will be all the more happier to see you again. Do not worry, you shall be taken care of as if you were a rare jewel, everything will be at your command."
Andra shook her head. She did not care if she were made Queen by his side, she did not want to go to him. For a moment, she thought that she would take her leave to her family and return and not go to the King, but then she was reminded that it would not work. If she tried to avoid him, no doubt he would force her into his bed with compulsions and mage lashing, glamour and other fairy magic.
" What if I become pregnant with his child?" Andra asked, turning to him, her face white as death. " You know as well as I do that if a woman is made by child by a man, it does not matter if she is the wife of someone else, they become the wife of the man that is the father of their child."
Terrin's face went as white as hers, thought it did not take much effort to make it so, he was so pale naturally. " Andra, in all the years that you have been with me, never have you born me a child." His voice was calm and steady despite his face and body language. " I doubt that there will be a problem."
" Perhaps the problem is not me then, with the child bearing, perhaps it is you who cannot sire a child!" Andra snapped, angry and frustrated.
She clapped her hands to her mouth, horrified at what she had just said to him. She ran to him, grasping his shoulders with her hands, looking up at him desperately. " Terrin, no, I did not mean it." Her voice was low and she was shaking. " I just can't understand why it is that you are just standing by while I am being taken away from you."
Terrin looked at her. " You are leaving me for a month to see your family. What will another month be to me, myself who is elven and a month is but a blink of an eye to me?" Andra's mouth trembled at the hard tone of his voice as he threw her words back at her.
She let go of his arms and backed away from him, feeling very much the silly mortal that she had when she first had seen the elves and bargained with them. It was not much different, either. She had torn her dress to the waist and her chest lay exposed to the world, just as her body had been bare when the elves cast away her clothes to make sure that they would want her. She stiffened her shoulders and back and glared into his haughty glass green eyes.
" If you would excuse me, my lord, I have to go and pack. I leave for the King's quarters tomorrow." She said coldly, and didn't even wait for him to dismiss her, just turned and walked into her room.

* * *

Andra knew that once she was in the King's quarters, she would not be leaving for a while. She packed all her dresses, all her shoes and shifts and skirts and shirts and pants and jewelry. She made sure that she left nothing of hers in the room that she shared with Terrin, not wanting to remind him of her at all while she was gone. But she could not take away the memories that he would no doubt be trying to shove away.
" I never meant for this to happen." She murmured to herself as she sent a servant over to the King so that he would know that she was ready to be moved into his apartments. " I never meant to turn harlot, I never meant to hurt to Terrin, and I never wanted to see my family this bad."
" What's this talk about you turning a harlot?" Asked a fresh voice behind her, and Andra turned around to see one of her best friends, Aliyah.

Aliyah was the wife of one of the personal guards of the Kings, and Andra knew that she would be seeing much of her, because Aliyah was the healer for the castle, the Kings own personal one. No doubt her services would be employed to Andra during her stays as well.
" You've shared my bed plenty of times, as well as Terrin's and Yolanda's and Yvette's, not to mention all our husbands." Aliyah was in the circle of elves that had decided that to bind their bodies to just one person was wrong, and so shared themselves and their spouses alike. Terrin was not one of those that thought that, but because he loved Andra, he let her have her fun when she would.
Andra smiled, but it quickly faded. " I have to share a bed with the King now." She said, her voice fading with each word. " For a month."
Aliyah's eyes narrowed, her eyes as black as the tourmaline jewels that she wore around her neck. " I had heard a rumor that that was true, but I had to find out for myself."
" Oh, please don't hate me, not you too!" Andra cried, holding her hands out to her friend and lover.
" I don't hate you, my dear!" Aliyah said, grabbing Andra into a hug that made her eyes water in hope that she still had some people that cared for her. " I just, I wanted to warn you. The King is a bit exotic in his tastes when it comes to bedding. More than once I had have to patch up a girl that he had gotten finished with, and more often than not there have been two that I've had to tend to. He is not a fickle man, but quite set in his ways, and I think that nothing you do can stop that."
" But I've been with two people before, you and Gregors." Andra said, a lost look on her face. " It can't be that hard."
" Yes, but you know both myself and my husband, and you love us both. It is very unlikely that Valyn will let either of us in his bed, just to comfort you." Aliyah hugged her small friend harder. " You will not know any of the girls that he may bring to bed with him, and I doubt you will like them."
Andra drew away from Aliyah, her eyes wide and bright with newfound fear. " That is his name then, Valyn?"
Aliyah nodded. " You will have to address him as 'my lord'. I am allowed to call him by his name because I was his nursemaid when he was little, I changed his nappies and I bathed him and raised him because his mother could not. He is, in all aspects but blood, my son." She squeezed Andra's hand, comfortingly. " I am sorry that he is such a beast, but I promise you, in time, you will come to see the Valyn that I saw grow up, and not the King."
Andra nodded. " Meanwhile, I am sent to take you to him, to his personal quarters. It is getting late, and I do hope that he has finished with his harem girls before you arrive."
" I am not the only one that is going to be in his bed tonight?" Andra said, shaking her head.
By now, she had lost all respect for him as a person, but his title still held her in fear of him, and she would bow to him and comply with all that she had, but still...
" All right, then, my dear friend." Andra picked up the skirts of her new dress, a velvet thing made out of a verdant green fabric, softer than anything she had yet. " Show me the way to the lions den."
Aliyah smiled and took her friends hand in her own, and giggled. " And let us hope that the lion does not devour you."