Reader warning: Contains smut, read at your own risk
A Time of Sadness
The news comes early, a loud knocking at their door which James answers followed by his mother’s cries and the woman flinging her arms around his neck to sob wildly. “They won’t let me see him! I want to see him, James…”
“I know mother, I know but until we know if it is a cough or the sickness you must not.” He tries to console as she sobs into his chest “Father is strong, this will not kill him.” She pulls away some and sniffles.
“You’re right.” She attempts to straighten herself “You’re right, he’ll be fine. He’s always fine.” James smiles sleepily at his mother “You must be ready to make the announcement though, to prepare the people for what could come.”
“I understand mother, I’ll-”
“You must wear the blue coat with matching vest, too.” James gives her a patient smile.
“Mother I know how to dress myself, I’m sure that-”
“No you will wear what I tell you to wear, understand James? You may be married but that does not make me any less in your life.”
“Yes, mother I understand. I will wear the blue coat and vest.”
“Where is that wife of yours?”
“She’s in bed, I told her I’d deal with-”
“In bed! How can she be in bed at a time like this! Wake her up, how dare she disrespect her new family like this.” James groans and opens the bed room door quietly, the room is warm and dark, perfect for crawling back into bed and sleeping.
“Lexy, darling?” the covers shift and she groans “You must wake, terrible news has come.” Slowly she slides from the bed and pulls on her honey colored robe, she carefully totters into the well lit front room, squinting against the light. “Lexy, father has taken ill, possibly with the sickness.”
“Oh” Her voice is soft and sleepy “I’m sorry to hear that.”
“You don’t sound sorry.” Liliana snaps, Alexandria looks at her, confused. “What did you do to my husband you little wretch?”
“What? I didn’t do anything.” She defends looking confused and upset. “How can you say I did anything to him when he spent so much time a few days ago with people from the regions taken over by sickness?” Liliana narrows her eyes, James pulls Alexandria close.
“Mother, you are tired and worried, Lexy had nothing to do with father’s illness.” Mother looks at son, feeling betrayed by his words.
“I see.” She turns “I will retire till noon, at that time you and your wife are to make a statement with me to the people.”
“We’ll be there mother.” James agrees and Liliana leaves. “I’m sorry about there, Lexy. I don’t know what’s gotten into her.”
“She’s just tired and worried. After some rest she will regain her senses” Alexandria yawns and pulls away “Come back to bed James. The sun has yet to rise and we should get more sleep.” He nods and follows her back to their bed, both crawling under the covers and returning to a light sleep that promises to be broken when the sun is just starting to rise.
Ella wakes them just as the sun is starting to peek into their windows, she helps Alexandria get dressed before the two of them leave the room so James can get dressed in the clothing his mother has picked out for him, they have a small pleasant breakfast in their chambers before sitting by the fire to read, write, and enjoy the silence of each others company before Liliana comes for them and they go to the throne room, packed with many people ready to hear what the royals are going to speak about. James clears his throat and steps forward, the crowd is deathly silent “First is was the southern merchants, then the towns people up the banks of the Red River and beyond. We thought we could ignore it while it was out of our home, we thought it was just go away but now we have spent hundreds in doctors, healers, nurses, and holy men to help those of us that need it. We do not know what causes the sickness, only that it starts with a dry cough. For now most of us are safe, for now most of us are still able to bury our dead, but for those in the south that are sick, help is coming, for those who cannot bury their dead burn them on holy ground as did in days of old.” James takes a deep breath and looks out on the crowd.
“But all of that is not why I called you out here, two days ago my father met with many people affected by the sickness, as of this morning the king has a dry cough and has been separated from the rest of the family so that if he is sick my mother, my wife, and I will be safe. Please pray for his recovery.” an unsure murmur rises from the crowd “Rest assured, my friends, that my father will make a recovery and continue to rule as he always has.”
“My son is correct,” Liliana cuts in “James the second will rise and be healthy but he needs rest. He named my son king regent for the time being, he will handle everything for his father, now please excuse us, we are all very tired.” Liliana turns and walks away but James and Alexandria do not follow, she stops to glare at them but the couple ignors her.
“My mother is very tired, while she tending to father Alexandria will be stepping into her place, please be patient if you need to contact the queen as it will take time for Alexandria to adjust to what I’m asking of her.” Liliana pouts out of sight for a moment before a vindictive idea crosses her mind, she pulls aside a maid and whispers in her ear before sending her away with instructions not to reveal it is the queen who spoke against Alexandria. James and Alexandria walk to Liliana and they walk up to the room James the Second is secluded in, they can hear his coughing through the door, when they knock a doctor steps out and shuts the door behind him.
“It is the sickness,” He speaks gravely “There is nothing to be done for it but hope and pray the gods are merciful.”
“It… It can’t be.” Liliana leans against the wall, her world spinning “No, you lie.”
“Mother, he has no reason to lie about the sickness.” James reaches for her but she bats his hand away.
“This is one of his jokes, isn’t it? He’s just pretending to scare me…” She goes to the door and begins pounding on it “James? I know you can hear me! Come out, this isn’t funny.”
“Madam, this is no joke. The king is very sick.” Liliana whips around, a wild look in her eyes.
“No! He’s fine!” She screams, “He’s fine! He’s always fine! Stop you’re lying!”
“Mother,” James tries again, Alexandria watches in silence, shocked by what she is seeing “Mother, please calm down. Mother!” Liliana pulls away from him and dashes down the hall carrying on about her husband and her unhelpful son, James sighs and shakes his head. “Is my father dying?”
“Yes, Your Grace.” The doctor averts his gaze, allowing the prince a moment to processes what he has said.
“I see…” James takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly “Inform me of any changes, do not let my mother into see him.”
“As you wish, Your Grace.” The doctor bows and steps back into the room, shutting the door firmly, James stands there staring at the door.
“James,” Alexandria places her hand on his arm, he turns to her “He’ll be alright.” She pulls him to her level, holding him close while his arms wrap tightly around her waist pulling her flush against him and holding her tightly. She pulls away slowly, he places a soft kiss on her neck before straightening and smiling down at her.
“Mother will be very unhappy with what I’ve done.”
“It is for her protection.” Alexandria soothes with a sweet smile. “She’ll understand eventually even if she doesn’t right now.”
“I hope you’re right,” He gives her a quick kiss “I have to go now, I directed everything to your study, just get through what you can, please love?”
“I’ll do my best, James.” They part ways and Alexandria makes her way to her study, upon entering she feels a panic rush over her at the state of everything; letters piled high on her desk threatening to scatter onto the floor while yet more pleas for help rest on her bench and book shelves. Taking a deep breath she sets about separating out the letters, black boarder letters going in one pile while ones with no reply needed go into another; with that done she sits down and begins reading and replying to the black boarder letters, offering condolences for people she has never met in the name of the king and king regent, it takes her hours to wade through them and by the end of it her hand aches along with her head. Sealing the envelopes and sending them off she is done just in time for James to barge into her study and send the messenger away.
“Father… He’s…” She goes to him without hesitation pulling him to her and holding him tightly.
“I’m so sorry James, so sorry.” She whispers rubbing his back while he holds her close and cries quietly “He is in a better place, no more suffering no more pain. He is free.” James sniffles and pulls away, glancing at her desk covered in black boarder letters.
“All of these?”
“I replied to all of them, so many southern officials have fallen to the sickness, some people can’t bury bodies… James something needs to be done about this and soon.” James sighs and looks out the window. “James?”
“I’m sorry love, I just… I can’t do this right now.” She nods and pulls him close, softly kissing him before stepping away.
“I’m sorry James, I really am. Is there anything I can do to help you?” He reaches for her and pulls her to him kissing her passionately, she breaks the kiss, but he goes to her neck, nipping and sucking intent on leaving a mark. “J-James?” She clings to him and moans, he backs her up to the desk and scatters the letters to the floor before sitting her on top of it.
“I need to feel something,” He whispers, voice thick with sadness and pain “Please, Lexy… Please” She blushes and squirms as his hands push her skirt up revealing her pale legs “Let me pleasure you, my love” She gasps loudly as his fingers ghost over her pearl, rubbing it softly before dipping into her core, stroking her walls while sliding in and out “Will you let me?” She nods and he smiles against her neck “Thank you.” He pulls his fingers out and sucks them clean, her face turns bright red as she watches him clean his fingers before kneeling down, his large hands hold her legs wide for him, she whimpers and closes her eyes as though that will keep him from seeing her. He leans forward and nuzzles her soft pearl making her jump and gasp.
“W-what are you doing James?” She whispers as her legs tremble, she takes a deep breath and looks down at him, face bright red. He looks up at her pleading with her silently, tears caught on his lashes.
“Please, please… I need this, Lexy.” His voice is broken, she whimpers and closes her eyes trying to hide from his gaze.
“I-I… ok.” Her back arches as he pulls her pearl into his mouth, sucking gently while drawing small circles around it with his tongue. Her legs begin to tremble the more he pleasures her, she whimpers and moan, fingers running through his hair and pulling him closer. “I-It… Oh gods James…” her pleas end with a whimper and he pulls away, loving looking up at her red face. He kisses her inner thigh, slowly returning to her throbbing core, when he finally reaches her dripping core he wastes no time, he pushes his tongue into her while one hand goes to her throbbing pearl, rubbing it softly making her whole body shake. “James! Oh gods James!” She whines, the spring within her tightening more and more as his tongue slides in and out of her and his talented fingers circle her sensitive pearl, her vision goes white and she screams out in pleasure, her joy rushing through her. James keeps thrusting his tongue feeling her pulse and writhe before going limp and falling back against the desk, legs splayed wide.
He pulls away and stands up, unfastening his belt, rubbing his tip against her sensitive pearl making her eyes snap open and a whine leave her lips. “May I?” James asks leaning down to press soft kisses to her neck, Alexandria blushes a deep red and nods “I love you.”
“I love you too.” She manages to whisper, he smiles and captures her lips in a desperate kiss as he pushed into her dripping core to the hilt, he waits a beat before pulling almost all the way out and snapping his hips forward, filling her and causing her back arch and mouth drop in a soundless moan. He repeats the action and gets the same result, but the pace is not enough to satisfy either of them, he pulls her legs to his shoulders, bending her in half, and begins to piston in and out of her making moan and gasp while his quick breaths come as grunts and moans driving her mad knowing she is the one reducing him to this state. James can feel his climax building and slows his pace, drawing a high pitched whine from his wife, he nuzzles the red mark on her neck.
“Not yet,” He whispers “Want to make this last little longer…” She nods and pulls him into a deep, slow kiss, his tongue exploring her mouth before teasing her into tentatively exploring his mouth, he moans and rubs her tongue with his, causing her to gasp into the kiss. They part and she keeps him close, kissing his jaw softly while his pace picks up again, thrusts becoming erratic and harder. “S-So close… Lexy”
“J-James” She blushes a deep crimson “Oh god” He moans and pushes in one final time, spilling his seed deep within her with a loud groan. She pants softly, but James is not done with his beautiful wife, still buried deep within her core James reaches down and begins rubbing her hypersensitive pearl making her back arch he watches her body spasm as she tries to control it, clinging to him as he tightens her spring.
“Look at you,” She closes her eyes “You’re perfect, I wish I could keep you like this forever.”
“D-Don’t say such things w-while you’re… you’re-” Her back arches and her walls begin their rhythmic clenching once again as her eyes flutters shut. He slowly pulls out of her making her whimper, he kisses her softly before pulling her upright and tugging her to the bathing chamber attached to their rooms, a warm bath awaits them, he helps her undress before stripping and stepping into the tub and leaning back against the cool metal walls with her pressed against his chest. They sigh happily and settle against each other, eyes drifting shut before slowly opening against, James runs his hands idly up and down her exposed arms while they soak in the warm water. “I love you, Lexy. More then anything.” She smiles but says nothing.
The silence is pleasant, the water warm and the two bodies slowly become relaxed and pliant. James tilts his head back and closes his eyes, Alexandria settles against his chest and hums softly, the sweet tune echoing in the stone chamber pleasantly, the gentle and relaxing atmosphere is not to last however. There is a commotion outside, then the outer door opens, startling the couple before the bathing chamber door flies open and Liliana walks in fuming. “So this is where you were? Tending to your little whore and not your mother.”
“Mother please.” James sighs “I am too tired for this.”
“Too tired? Too tired to grieve with your mother? Too tired to make a formal announcement about the king’s death? You weren’t to tired to bed your wife.” Liliana glares at Alexandria, the small woman attempts to cover herself with her hands. “You are a horrible distraction.”
“That is enough mother!” James bellows, startling both women “You will not treat Alexandria like that! If you cannot respect her then leave this Keep, she is my wife and you will treat her with the same respect Nana treated you with.” James stands and steps out of the tub “Furthermore you are no longer allowed to enter theses chambers without being called upon. You will not degrade my wife in this building least of all in these rooms. Now get out.” Liliana gapes at her son as he points to the door.
“How dare you!” She stomps her foot and glares “I’m your mother!”
“I am your king!” James shouts back.
“No you aren’t.” She narrows her eyes “Not yet.”
“OUT!” Liliana stalks out of the room and the chambers, slamming every door behind her, James sighs and turns to Alexandria “I’m sorry love, we were having such a nice evening.”
“Its ok, James.” She stands up and blushes, hurrying to pull on her honey colored robe. Before she can pull it on James wraps his arms around her.
“Don’t cover up, love.” He whispers into her ear making her shiver “You needn’t be shy around me.”
“I know, but-” He kisses her neck.
“No buts,” He carefully peels the garment off, dropping it onto the floor before pulling her across the entrance way and into their bed room, gently pushing her back onto the bed and quickly joining her. They share another kiss before James pulls the blankets up over them and pulls his loving wife close before sleep washes over the couple wrapped in each others arms.
The sun rises and the royals sleep, James is awakened late in the morning by his man-servant and a message from a friend, James takes the letter and reads it before crumpling it and tossing it in the fire. “Silence this rumor, now.” The man nods and exits the room, Alexandria moans softly and turns over, looking up at her love with sleep filled eyes.
“What is it James?” He leans down and kisses her softly.
“Rumors and slander, nothing you’ll need to worry about.” She nods and closes her eyes with a soft sigh.
“Is it time to make the announcement?” She mumbles.
“Yeah, let me call Ella for you.” Alexandria yawns and sits up groaning softly her muscles protesting the movements greatly.
“If keep up what we’ve been doing I’ll end up with child.” She mumbles, as though that will deter him from pleasuring her.
“I know, but the sooner the better. I want a large family.” Alexandria smiles and stands up, Ella enters and gasps.
“Y-Your Grace!” Alexandria’s eyebrow came together in confusion “Your neck!” Her face turns bright red and her hand comes up covering the mark. “You cannot be seen with that.”
“Is there way to cover it?” Alexandria asks, Ella frowns for a moment before going over to the jewelry box, after some rummaging she pulls out a bedazzled choker, big enough to hide almost all of the mark. “But will it match the black dress?”
“It will Your Grace.” Alexandria nods and goes behind the screen, Ella joins her shortly while James excuses himself to the bathing chambers. “How did you get it?”
“Excuse me?” Alexandria gasps as the dress is cinched closed.
“The mark, Your Grace.” Ella presses, fastening the top golden button before pulling Alexandria’s seemingly endless dark hair up to fasten the choker.
“What my husband and I do in out chambers is none of your business.” Alexandria glares at her maid as the woman helps her get dressed.
“Forgive me Your Grace.” Ella takes a step back and begins to comb out her princess’s unruly hair before parting it and attempting to make it look decent, braiding it and pulling it back out of her face. “There, you look lovely.”
“You’re paid to tell me that, but thank you.” Ella pulls Alexandria close.
“How is it?”
“How is what?” Alexandria gives her maid an odd look.
“How is the marital relations?” The princess blushes and giggles with her maid.
“Fantastic, though I do wonder where he learned from…” Alexandria frowns but shakes her head. “I’m sure is completely loyal to me now that we are wed.”
“Of course he is, I’ve heard he rushes to these rooms as soon as he can, for you.” Both women smile “He really does love you.”
“I know, and I love him.” Alexandria sighs and walks to her vanity, sitting on the plush bench with a soft sigh “If he keeps up with what he’s doing I’ll be exhausted and pregnant.”
“I see,” Ella steps to her and kneels, helping the princess pull on her delicate, beaded shoes “I’m sure he’d love children, Your Grace.”
“Oh I know he would, but I can’t keep up with the nearly nightly romps. He’s so vigorous and perverse.” Alexandria blushes and Ella looks up.
“Perverse? He’s a deviant?”
“No, no, nothing like that. He’s just… He like making me talk while he’s in me and last night he tasted me.” Ella’s eyebrows come together in confusion.
“What do you mean, tasted?”
“He knelt before me and tasted me.” Ella’s face turns bright red
“O-Oh!” She giggles nervously “D-did it feel good?”
“Good?” Alexandria thinks for a moment “It felt better then good, it was earth shattering.” The two giggle again before Alexandria stands up and brushes off imaginary dust. “Alright, enough of this. Let us go to the throne room, James has a few announcements to make.”
“Yes Your Grace.” The two walk out of the chambers and through the palace, Alexandria ignores the whispers and stares though deep down she wonders what the cause is and for a moment thinks about the mark but bringing her hand up only let her feel that it is completely covered by the choker.
She shrugs it off and steps onto the platform, standing behind the throne; the room is packed with people though she seems to go unnoticed, the room grows deathly quite when Liliana enters followed by James moments later. “Forgive my lateness, and forgive the abruptness of this announcement. I have much to cover so any questions will have to wait till after I finished speaking, you can submit them in written format to the my man-servant at the front of the throne room and I will personally reply to all of them.” Some mumbling rises up from the crowd but James presses on “Last night my father, out great king, passed on to the next life. He leaves behind a grieving wife, my wife, and I as well as many of you. He will be laid to rest in three days time, but I am choosing to resurrect a forgotten tradition. I have read the pleas, I have heard the cries, we are out of consecrated land and I have no power to order more. As of this day the dead will be burned till the sickness has passed. This includes my father.”
“What?” Liliana looks at her son as though he has suddenly grown a second head “We are not barbarians! We must bury the dead!”
“Mother, now is not the time of arguing the sickness is spreading and we must combat what comes when death looms large. Burn the dead and bury the ashes in sacred lands I am not asking for anything more. For three days we will mourn, the castle is to be draped in black and purple but after such time we will face what looms over head. That is all, now please, quietly and respectfully leave us to mourn in our own ways.” The crowd begins to shuffle out but one man fights against the tide of people.
“Your Grace! Your Grace, please!” He shouts, James looks out into the crowd and spots him, the man is thin and pale, looking exhausted and sweating profusely.
“Please give all questions to the servants at the front.” He shouts to the man.
“I bring ill news! Barbarians from beyond have taken the forest! They move for the valley!” He screams as James turns away, the prince turns back and points to the man.
“Bring him here, I wish to speak with him.” Guards rush to the man and pull him to the king against the force of people leaving as requested. “What did you say?”
“Barbarians, to the west… Came from beyond the mountains, took the forest.” The man huffs “Have started to take the valley.”
“Have they killed anyone?” James presses the man shakes his head.
“No, not yet.”
“Have they damaged property?” Again the man shakes his head. “Well what have they done?”
“Pushed us from our lands.”
“No sir. We fled willingly before death could befall us.” James rolls his eyes.
“So you fled from a people that might not be there?”
“They are there, your grace. I promise you that and they are expanding.” James sighs and nods.
“Alright, after my father is in his urn, I will go out and speak with these people.”
“Thank you, your grace. Long live the king.” James turns away and walks out of the throne room, leaning against the stone wall when he is out of sight letting out a loud sigh.
“What is my son? Can’t be king.” James glares at his mother.
“I am king.”
“Not till I;m dead.” James straightens up and looks at her, disgust marring his handsome features.
“Don’t tempt me mother. I can make things look like an accident.” He pushes passed her and walks to the king’s study, slamming and locking the door behind him.
“Mother Liliana,” Liliana turns to Alexandria “Why do you push him the way you do?”
“You make my son weak.” She snaps, Alexandria does not react to her hurtful words “He will die because of you.”
“Only if you kill him.” Alexandria walks away, Ella following close while Liliana huffs and attempts to come up with something to shout back at her daughter-in-law.