The chaos erupting throughout the main tower distracted any attention from the path General Fendor picked through the palace to his own private quarters near the barracks. His knowledge of passageways and trap doors aided their flight and defended the Princess’s modesty.
His quarters were plain, the rooms cold, both were silent. Should the Princess be discovered half naked and alone with the General it would result in his instant execution, so swiftness was required. Alleia stood trembling, clutching her ruined dress to her body, attempting to conceal some of her nakedness. Once or twice, the elder man allowed his gaze to linger upon her slender figure longer than she felt comfortable with and she dug herself deeper into the borrowed jacket.
General Fendor tugged a heavy trunk out from under his bed and invited Alleia to choose from the garments neatly folded and stored therein.
“These belonged to your wife?” She asked, watching him nervously as the General approached a dresser and poured two generous drinks from a dusty decanter.
“What happened to her?” Alleia took the glass from him.
“She died, your highness, by her own hand.” He replied, sipping the liquor.
The Princess lowered her head, uncomfortable with the bluntness of his answer, finally selecting a pair of soft doeskin slacks with shirt and tunic. General Fendor turned away to allow her privacy to get dressed, though it appeared a redundant action, he had already seen her body in a most intimate of actions…
“What were you doing with Kane? Apart from the obvious… ” The General asked over his shoulder.
“Kane? Is that his name?”
“Kane… I don’t know…” There was a smile in her voice “I was watching him fight and… I can’t remember… There was blood on my dress, his blood I think. His hands were so rough, my dress was ruined…”
“Did he attack you?” Fendor had to be sure.
“No!” Her answer was definite. “I wanted it, my husband, my Lord, he can’t, erm…” She cleared her throat. “He is unable to perform.” Alleia pulled on the tunic and sipped her drink. “Not that I would want him too… but I wanted Kane…”
“How do I look?”
Fendor turned and smiled sadly. “Most elegant your Highness.”
“What will happen to Kane?”
“Nothing, not unless he’s caught returning to his barracks late, but such a minor insubordination is dealt with with cleaning duties.”
She nodded. “I expect I should return to my husband and the party and explain my absence somehow…”
“Allow me to escort you your highness.” General Fendor offered the Princess his arm, Alleia smiled and took his arm…
Anne Harrison 07.02.17