Story Wednesday…


… and Blog Birthday! Yes, one year ago I started blogging – I wanted to start October 1, but ended up opening the account two days in advance. Which means I’m going to celebrate with a 3-days-long story that I will post here, because, hey, I’m still here, I’m still blogging, daily, so thank you to all of you.

I’ve met lots of great people in the blogosphere, and I’m not really checking the stats that much anymore. I still have something to say, and I’m still blogging… in English. September 30 will also be the day I close my Italian blog. I’ve been neglecting it, my friends (who don’t speak English and BEGGED me to write in Italian) are neglecting it, so I’m closing it. I don’t have anything to say on that blog anyway. But you English speakers stick with me, you’ve witnessed my growth and will be able to follow me in my “new” course of writer of historical fiction (with the fantasy on the side, probably self-published, but as Dean Wesley Smith says, balance between trad-pub and self/e-pub is the best way of living your writing life).

Hop off to Serial Central to read the next installment of Jessamine, then come back here to meet another Amazon… just because it had the right length. The next story I’ll put on Serial Central won’t have the Amazons in it. 😉 This is actually a prequel to Water, where Doreen’s youngest daughter is one of the protagonists. But this happens years before her birth, so it can be read independently.

Doreen

by Barbara G.Tarn

“Here are the slaves for the initiation,” the servant announced, introducing ten young men at the presence of the Queen of the Amazons. Most had been raised at the palace, but a couple were Uncatchables, just captured and bought for the pleasure of the queen.

Cynthia had been queen for many years. She wasn’t young anymore, but still had tick black hair and a pleasant body. She reviewed the slaves and was captured by the sky-blue eyes of a young man who had hidden in the slaves house for way too long.

“How old are you, Azzurro?” she asked him.

“Twenty-two,” he admitted. He wasn’t really beautiful, which was probably why he hadn’t been brought to the queen before, but had those blue sapphires in his eye sockets…

Queen Cynthia dismissed the other nine and guided the chosen one towards a pile of cushions and pillows. She smiled reassuringly at him, but he averted his eyes.

“Are you afraid?” she asked, softened by his shyness.

“No,” he answered. “But to be honest, I’d have preferred to stay in oblivion and choose my own a partner, if any.”

She studied him in silence, surprised by his words.

“I appreciate your honesty,” she said eventually. “But if you behave, I can make a prince out of you.”

“I’m trying to appreciate your offer, my lady, but it’s not easy,” he said. “I’m your slave, and I don’t think my opinion counts anyway. I’ll keep it for myself from now on.”

“Great,” she said, glad he didn’t point out she could have been his mother. She was the Queen of the Amazons after all, and her pride was already wounded by his rejection. Had she been younger and rasher, she’d probably have punished him for his words. But now she only wanted to lose herself in those cerulean eyes. “Come here.”

He obeyed with an air of resignation.

***

It’s been a year since I was chosen, Azzurro thought, curling up on one side of the bed. The queen seemed to appreciate him a lot, she visited him almost every day, but he wasn’t satisfied. Maybe he was ungrateful, he knew he couldn’t aspire to anything better, there was no higher position for a man than being the Queen’s Favorite, but he wasn’t happy. I so much wanted a younger lover…

He imagined her one more time in the first light of dawn, like he had done so often for months, or even years. His ideal woman didn’t have a specific face yet, nor particular physical characteristics, except she was young, beautiful and sweet.

Servants woke him up as soon as the sun left the line of the horizon. Azzurro got out of bed with a sigh, let them wash him, perfume him and dress him for the celebration that would officially establish his status of Queen’s Favorite – something he could have enjoyed more if he had been able to choose. Maybe the queen’s daughter, Ashlee, would have been a better choice, for her age, if not for her appearance.

Dressed in white, his black curls neatly combed and his face clean shaven, he was led to the ceremony room. Cynthia had seen him smile very sparsely during the past year, and that day wasn’t different. The night was similar to many others, except their relationship was now official and couldn’t be broken, as it had been blessed by the Goddess.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, a little irritated by his obvious melancholy.

“Nothing,” he said, serious. “I was thinking that I’m a prisoner, a luxury slave, but still a recluse. I was thinking I’d like to fly away.”

“You want to leave me?” she frowned.

“I’m your slave.”

“You’re my Favorite now.”

“Does this give me freedom? Why talk about it, my queen, we have opposite views on this topic and none of us will give up his or her opinion.”

“I wish I could see you smile from time to time,” she said, frustrated. “I seem to be doing whatever I can to make you happy.”

“Of course you do, it’s my fault, I can’t appreciate it.”

He smiled at her and kissed her, and for that day peace was made.

***

For two more years they kept on the relationship, with Cynthia trying to break Azzurro’s defenses, but he didn’t allow her to seduce him.

One night during an official ceremony, Azzurro eyed a lovely brunette, very elegant and sort of overwhelmed by the palace’s wealth. Dazzled, he went to talk to her with the assurance of the host.

“My name is Doreen,” she said staring at him with curiosity. “I was anxious to meet you, Azzurro, I heard so much about you… I couldn’t come earlier to the palace, but I’m pleased to meet you now.”

“The honor is mine, my lady,” he smiled. “Am I like you expected me to be?”

“Not really,” she giggled. “I had heard your greatest beauty was your eyes, but wasn’t told you have two sapphires on your face.”

He felt happy for the compliment for the first time in his life. They spent the night talking of minutiae, but she never mentioned her mother’s name, or where she lived. She new Princess Ashlee personally, because they were about the same age, but that was it. Until he asked her.

“What do you care of where I live?” she blushed.

“I want to see you again,” he said, serious. “I have two days a week off duty and I’d love to visit you.”

Her smile faded too and she lowered her eyes.

“This won’t be possible,” she whispered.

“Why?” he asked, consternated.

“Because I shall enter the Temple soon,” she said, a little embarrassed. “I’m nineteen and never had a baby. I shall enter the Goddess service as soon as I turn twenty.”

“When? I could visit you before you leave! Who is your mother? I know I’m only a man, albeit the Queen’s Favorite, but I sure hope you won’t be so cruel to tell me you don’t want to see me ever again.”

“I should,” she whispered, her eyes low.

“Don’t,” he purred. “Tell me where I can find you.”

She did, and ran away, overwhelmed by confusion. He followed her with his eyes, a dreamy smile on his face.

Cynthia hugged him from behind and brought him back to reality. But he couldn’t forget, and that night he imagined Doreen in his arms instead of Cynthia, giving the Queen what she had been waiting for all those years.

“I waited for so long,” Cynthia sighed with happiness, caressing him. “What changed, Azzurro?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “I feel different.”

He didn’t say a word about the young Aristocrat who would soon become a Priestess – he knew how jealous Cynthia could be. He closed his eyes, dreaming of his ideal woman who finally had a face, a smile, a voice, a body…

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4 Comments

  1. Happy Birthday to your blog! 🙂

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  2. Happy blogoversary, Barb! You’ve been truly prolific with your blog writing…well done!

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    • And I intend to keep going! 😀 To another writing year… or two… or ten! 😀
      Happy writing!

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