Her Majesty exposition

717 Words3 Pages
The blade only misses my throat by an inch. A gust of air summons goosebumps and stings my skin. An immediate reminder of what I have just escaped. A presence had appeared at my back. Hearty chicken and potato scents linger in the air, the whimsical evening meal was only served minutes ago. I fall from my seat, taking a place setting down with me, and hitting the rug covered stone floor with absolutely none of the grace of royalty. Around me the room comes to life. Chairs squeal and fabric swishes. Guests are coming to my aid. Cool air tickles the hairs on my skin, contouring my tensed muscles. I can’t move. The effects of the adrenaline are still in in play. Gasps drag in and out of me. My chest pounds and the force of my heart rattles through me. My attacker is a fit man. Beefy muscle gleaming from his efforts. His sweat and stench dripping and wafting over me. His chest and sleeves bare the mark of our kingdom, but he has made his allegiance painfully clear. Before I can back farther away from my attacker, before the assassin completes another swing, before my king comes to my aide, a bang rattles through the hall. Three soldiers slam through the tall red wood doors, running and jumping at me. At the enemy. I can see the whites of his eyes. The assassin's manic gaze. Are wide with fear? Or concentration? Or resignation. It happens in a moment. His sword arm thrusts at the ceiling, a salute, and he cries, “We men will rise! Down with the monarchy!” Then he looks at me, a fierce determination flowing from him. It’s in his posture, his words, and his voice. We both know he’s finished. In a moment of disillusionment I give him my sympathy. To have been so close, impossibly close, and face failure. He just watches me. Does he expect...

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... isn't enough to keep repulsion from rising in me. There are ways to make yourself understood, without words. But in this, he might as well be illiterate. He does not have my consent. I turn to him. Being discrete.
“Get off of me.” I murmur. I would never make a scene in front of guests, but I refuse to let him take advantage of the situation.
He blows out a muffled laugh and grips my shoulder. We both rise to our feet. Under the eyes of our guests, the King Richard pulls me into a hug. Patronizingly petting my hair. Cooing in pseudo-affection.
So, it’s dinner and a show. What a treat.
His voice rumbles through him, solemnly addressing those still at the table before taking my hand and leading us to our chambers. When we’re far enough down the hall he puts some distance between us. My hand falls to my side and, as always, as I must, I follow him. Without resistance.
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