The Crown

A tall figure lurked in the hallway leading from the kitchen, listening intently. He was very adept at lurking, almost second nature. He casually twisted a white gold band on his right hand, gently caressing the heart-shaped emerald between his fingers. Malachi was certain Lord Cedric’s visions were leading up to something big, the event he had been waiting for, planning for, and today would be the day it happened.  Harvest Fest, where the peasants presented offerings to the god Haden.

Fitting, he licked his lips as he watched the queen’s little serving wench from the shadows. What a perfect offering.

He waited as the queen and her entourage left the courtyard and followed Sarah as she headed for the queen’s room. But as she passed the library, he stalked up behind her, “Now, he didn’t seem interested in you,” he hissed, playing with his ring as he spoke.

His voice rang in her head like truth. She hesitated.

“What a lovely gift he picked,” the Enchanter continued, twisting her thoughts. “Is that for you?” Not waiting for an answer, “Of course not, it is for her. You are nothing to him.”

Sarah turned to face her tormentor, her face flushed, but as her eyes met his, the sharp retort got caught in her throat.  All she could do was nod.

“Ah yes, that’s right,” Malachi said, and grabbed her by the arm.

Sarah let out a whimper.

He opened his grasp slightly, sliding his hand along her arm, and lifted her hand to his plump lips for a kiss. “Mm, better,” he rolled his tongue on her palm then stroked her check with his other hand and ran it down along her neck and shoulder, “let me see the crown.”

She obeyed, mesmerized by the will of the Enchanter. Even though he released her as he surveyed the queen’s Harvest Fest offering, Sarah did not move.

Malachi turned the braided crown over in his hands. Yes, perfect, there were plenty of crevices for him to place the powder.  He smiled at his bounty.

Malachi casually glanced around the room, handed the crown back to Sarah, and leaned in to whisper at her ear, “Take this to my room, I’ll be along presently.”  

Sarah blushed as the Enchanter’s hand brushed across he breast as she moved past him, but did as she was told. After a few moments he followed, leaving only enough time that his spell had not worn off. When he arrived at his room Sarah was standing just outside the door.

He groaned, I should have told her to take it into my room, stupid peasants.

He snatched the crown from her hands and stomped inside leaving Sarah stunned in the hall. Fortunately for her, Malachi had lost his appetite and when he returned, he instructed her to take the crown to the queen’s room and forget she had ever seen him.

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