His highness, King Edward, (or Teddy, as I used to call him).
Teddy was most certainly destined to be a good and fair ruler, had he not met an early demise at the hands of a group of protesters.
A man of great and kind character crowned at the age of twenty-two. A fair, just, and good man for all that I was aware. He was forty-eight when we first met. I had many assumptions about him already given his aristocratic background. However I was soon to learn a lesson sharply about the nature of making assumptions on a person’s character.
I had been invited to escort Lord Parial on his latest trip to the Palace. His highness was keen for his contacts and friends to give to his latest mission, an orphanage that cared for children of many ages. Lord Parial had assisted in formulating my opinion on the King, having told me many sordid stories of the inner workings of the royal family, so I was poised with wit and guile, seated upon the tip of tongue. Ready in response to this so-called King’s folly. However, when we met I was shocked to find a very down to earth man, draped in finery’s but a keen and quizzical mind no less.
He struck up a conversation upon seeing me. Not once did he speak of his status nor wealth. But instead he was keen to ask of me, my own thoughts upon the state of affairs that our homelands lay in. He listened closely and intently to all I had to say, and thanked me for my honesty. I must admit to being quite struck by his humility, ( a rarity within the blue-bloods).
A week to the day of our first meeting, i received an invitation to meet for tea at the palace. I am sure you can imagine my reaction to such an unusual invite, and I did indeed laugh to myself lightly at the preposterous nature of a scarlet woman being invited by the King for tea and conversation. I was nonetheless intrigued as to what and why my presence was requested. I made the effort to find one of my more “demure” dresses, and made my way by carriage that had been sent to collect me. Once I arrived I was met by serving folk who showed me through a labyrinth of rooms and doors until I finally arrived to a beautiful room adorned with bookcases, gold framed paintings and the largest mirrors I had seen.. There was a small table prepared ready with a darling lace tablecloth. The King was standing, gazing out of one of the wall sized windows into the gardens below. His hands clasped behind his back, his back straight. “Your highness” I greeted him with respect and dropped into a curtsy. He turned to look at me and smiled warmly. “I am so pleased you could make time in your day for me.” What on earth was going on? Why on earth would a man of his stature give even the slightest concern of a lady such as myself. “I thank you your highness, it is my honour.”
He kindly beckoned to the chairs and I seated myself comfortably with his assistance, before sitting down himself.
A serving girl appeared with a silver tray, upon it a steaming hot tea-pot, milk, honey and tea cups with matching saucers. She placed the tray upon the table and bobbed a curtsy before leaving as silently as she had arrived. The king smiled at me and began to pour tea into the two cups, offering me some sweet golden, liquid honey; which I gratefully accepted.
“You, are an immensely interesting lady Madame.” (I had to raise an eyebrow in response). “I am?” The King smiles at me. “Yes, you very much are…”, “You are very different to all of us. Aren’t you?”
By this stage I was wary as to where this conversation was taking us.It was then that our conversation took an unexpected turn. The King then spoke to me of his understanding of magics and monsters. He explained how his belief and experience had started when he was a young boy. He was the only child born to live of his parents, but he was left for much of his childhood with nanny’s and servants. When he was five years old, he witnessed a shadow in his room which used to move of its own accord. When he was ten, he saw something that looked like a man devour two of the young hounds, kept for hunting, and that he would take the image to his grave with him.
The discussion we had was quite extraordinary, yet I strangely felt grateful for his honesty.
Our tea meetings developed over the years, Teddy would ask questions and I would answer them. Our friendship grew and would take another turn altogether.
“Take me, please.” – His face was so earnest and filled with longing as he looked at me, clasping my shoulders tightly. My eyes narrowed as I replied to him. “Take you where?”. Teddy looked inexplicably frustrated as he let go of me. He grasped his head in his right hand smoothing back his hair and sighed. “To where you travel at night.” I must admit, I was taken aback by his suggestion. We had developed a great friendship over the years and I had shared many a story with him, to fuel his lust for knowledge. “I..” I found myself faltering for the first time in many years. “Please.., I need to see this.”
I moved away from him, pensively in thought. Finally, after a long pause I answered him. “Very well.” His face lit up and a huge relief came over him. “Thank you, thank you so much…”. “But!”” I replied, “There are rules you must follow, for if you do not I cannot protect you. Do you understand?”. He nodded, and with that I told him I would be in touch soon, and took my leave.
Two nights passed out last meeting, I sent for Teddy to meet me at the edge of the woods that lined the boundary of our township. He was to meet me at midnight, appropriately attired as a simple towns folk, and he was not to take a carriage to meet me. True to his word, he arrived on a steed a few minutes to midnight. He looked a lot younger than normal, and exuded an excitable air as he dismounted the horse. “Madame!” he smiled broadly taking my hand to place a kiss upon it. I diplomatically removed my hand and steeled his eye as I spoke to him. “You must do EXACTLY as I tell you.” “You must not reveal yourself on any count, and if you stray I will not follow you to save you, do you understand Teddy?” “Absolutely.” He nodded zealously. I nodded at him “Then we begin, no sound must you make.”
And we wandered into the woodlands, under the dark velvet skies, which were prickled with stars and a bright shining moon upon us.
We crept stealthily through the undergrowth until I recognised the clearing I had planned to take him to. “You must hide here..” I gestured to a small hut built of twigs and branches that sat a mere few metres from the clearing itself. Teddy nodded in agreement and climbed into it, positioning himself in a way that would give him the best view, whilst being camouflaged. “You may regret this.” I said to him before moving away, without even thinking to glance back at him, as I disappeared into the night.
I removed the velvet robe that covered my fancy lacy dress as soon as I had left Teddy’s sight. I shut my eyes and listened to the tree’s in the wind, drew in a huge breath of the night air and lifted my arms to the skies. Now I felt calm. I was in the one place that I knew inside and out. My own soul mate.
I opened my mouth and screamed as loudly as I could and smiled as I flipped my tongue over my teeth and lips, tasting in anticipation, what was to be my kill.
I know not how long I took, but returned with my chosen victim to my clearing. A rather delicious young man, drunk upon absinthe who stumbled clumsily in his delirium, whilst leaning upon me. The man whose name I had gathered was Christophe, turned me to face him and pulled me towards him for a kiss. I could smell the absinthe upon his hot breath as he leaned into me, but I could easily ignore this. I had work to do here, work I enjoyed.
I pressed my lips to his with fervour, allowing my tongue to gently flick and tease the inside of his mouth and lips. He responded by roughly pulling me closer to him, his hands moving all over my body, heavy handedly. I moved my lips down his neck, having to control myself as I grazed my teeth over his jugular. I ripped open what was left of his messily buttoned shirt, kissing him as I dropped to my knee’s, his hand pressing down on the back of my neck.
How simplistic men are I thought to myself as I unbuttoned his trousers, I could hear him grunting to himself with a smug grin painted on his face, that I did not need to see, to know it existed. As I finally pulled them down, he lost his footing and fell backwards sharply, hitting his back on some rough stones below. He shouted out a few curses before laying back in his stupor, expectant of my favours. He made a rather pathetic attempt at trying to remove my garments, so I removed them myself apart from the lacy stockings that sat high upon my thighs. I settled myself on my hands and knees as he kicked of leg of the bundled trousers around his ankle and grabbed at himself in preparation. Inwardly I rolled my eyes at his blunt and ugly gesture. Outwardly though I played the game.
I crawled on my hands and knee’s across him and sat upon him, denying him entry to me. He fumbled around disorientated, trying to grab at my breasts. Irritated by now I clutched his wrists and guided him to them, while I sat there and looked upon him. His heart was pumping fast, and I could see the blood rushing through his veins. He was nearly ready for me.
I traced my nails down his chest and felt him twitch in excitement beneath me. I smiled to myself and lowered my head back down to his neck, my dark hair falling in front of my face, and falling across his as traced my tongue behind his ear, and then following his veins downwards, downwards, downwards. Until I arrived at my chosen destination. He was eager now, and it certainly showed. But I had other plans. I traced my lips around him so closely but far enough away not to touch, until my lips grazed against his inner thigh. I could feel his heat, and smell his blood. It was then that I took him.
I lowered my teeth deep into his flesh, and he cried out in pain and began to thrash around, his hand fastened on the back of my neck, trying desperately to remove me. But I was the snake who was stuck fast. I dove my teeth in deeper and deeper until those deep red fountains surfaced and filled my mouth. I could feel it slide down my throat, over my tongue, as I sucked deeply, rhythmically in time with his faltering heart beat, until the last beat.
Only then did I stop. I remained there, naked aside from my stockings, covered in dirt and moss, sitting upon my knee’s astride my kill. And I felt wonderful. I smoothed the blood that hung upon my chin, down across my breasts, my head thrown back in call to the moons song, and I stayed there listening.
I am not sure how long I was there, before I remembered Teddy, hiding away. My moment of glory then disappeared into the night air, and I began to collect my clothing once more, included the flask of water I kept to clean myself. “You may come out now.” I ordered Teddy without looking up once as I took the money pouch from the dead corpse below my feet.
I heard the crackling of twigs underfoot and turned to see Teddy.
I am not sure what I expected of him after being exposed to my world so candidly. His face was white and drained, but his eyes sparkled uncannily.
“You are mesmeric Madame.”
This was certainly not what I had expected from him, I thought to myself. “You are so alive, for someone so…..dead.” I caught myself smiling at him. “So you watched it all?”. “Yes! yes I did. It was quite magnificent!” I dropped his eyes as I replaced my shoes. “You must never tell a single soul, as long as you may live.” I countered to his hypnotic excitement. “I know,” He replied solemnly. “You have my word, upon my life.” I nodded respectively, before walking us back to where his steed was tied. And we parted ways.
We would resume our meetings over tea for many years after, up until Teddy’s unfortunate death. We shared a moment that night between us, that no other would ever claim. Where two worlds united in a brief moment, and a silent respect and understanding grew from it. When Teddy died, a small part of me felt that it went with him to his grave. He had asked only once, for me to give him my gift. And I refused him. I needed him to understand that if I did that, I would lose the gift that he gave to me. A small slice of humanity.