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Dealing with Lance

Before she realized it, the ride home was over, and it was time to find her husband. Walking into the side entrance of the castle, her search ended rather quickly because Lance was waiting for her. They both dismissed their personal hand maids, and he followed Luna into the hallway to her left. She had been thinking about what the look on the king’s face was going to look like as she rode from Jasmine’s place, but nothing compared to actually seeing his expression as she said, “Jasmine believes that you are the one who didn’t want the baby, and that I didn’t support your decision to give her to my best friend”.

As the words registered in his mind, Lance was disgusted by her lie, and he smacked her cheek. He couldn’t ever imagine she’d stoop so low as to lay the situation at his feet like that, and he told her, “Let me explain something to you, Missy fucking queen, I’ve had about all your shit I’m going to take. The next time you see your friend, you’ll tell her the truth. No arguments about it. You may be the boss when we sit in those thrones, but when we’re not, I am the mothafucking boss. Meaning, tell her the truth or suffer the consequences. This is still my horse and pony, and I will be damned if you think anything else. I’ve spent the last seven years listening to you and your ideas, but I’m not seeing anything being done about the most recent attempt to assassinate the both of us. So, from now on, I will be the one giving orders, and you will sit in your throne and just be pretty”.

The problem Lance had was, his wife was emotionally scarred, and she’d been studying martial arts from childhood. When he finished, Luna performed a foot sweep on him that caused him to land on his backside. She leaned in close to Lance’s face, and said, “Never forget who I am, and what I can do. Never get it twisted in your head exactly who is the boss around here, on and off the thrones. Don’t ever hit me like that again because the next time, I will turn your throat into a chew toy for Olyvya. I’ll tell Jasmine no such thing, and if you do. Let’s just say you heard about my wolf’s snack? She’ll have more than that if my best friend gets wind of the truth. If you had only supported my decision, you wouldn’t be in this particular conundrum.

“I’ve got half a mind to tear you a new asshole for hitting me just now. Instead, I will take great pleasure in knowing that you cannot ever tell Jasmine the truth. Oh, and by the way, she does think of you exactly what’s going through your head right now. That you are a heartless piece of work, and nothing good should ever come to you. You are in a situation where you have no idea what I’m doing, who I’m doing it with. The damnedest thing in all of that is, even if you apologize for the rest of your life, you could still be facing the dissolution of your marriage.

She was tired and still needed to bathe. The fact that she didn’t share sleeping quarters with Lance was a genuine blessing for him because if she had to breathe the same air he did while she slept, he would not wake without some fresh new bruises. Neither of them had ever abused the other, and it devastated her that he’d struck her face. The hitting was going to stop. She would see to that because that man would not continue on in that way. She couldn’t very well murder her husband, but she had no issues with filing for divorce. She had been thinking about at least separating for a while, though she could not understand how their marriage was bad enough to force one of them to leave. But if Lance put his hands on her out of anger for the second time, she would toss him out on his ear. She had moved to the vastness of the east wing of the castle, retrieved her sleeping attire, and was on her way to the washroom. Her face still felt the sting of Lance’s slap, the back of her hand caressed the sore place on her left cheek, the reality of why she was rubbing her face sank in, and she cried.

Stepping inside the large marble laden bathing coup, there were servants who each removed a piece of clothing, and the queen was quickly undressed. She moved to the bathing area, but did not feel like talking so she said to the staff members that were nearby, “Please, if you’re going to stay in here with me, don’t any of you try striking up a conversation with me for a while. Later, if I feel like engaging in small talk, I’ll speak first. I’d actually prefer it if none of you talk at all. I just want things to be quiet”.

Two of her hand maids helped the queen into the bathing bin, and a third gently pulled the pins from her hair, letting her royal blue hair cascade into the water. One of the two who helped Luna into the bin had filled the vase kept on the corner of the tub, and was slowly pouring its contents over her body.

She allowed her maids to wash her body and hair, but she still preferred everyone to remain quiet. After the way things transpired between herself and Lance, she didn’t feel up to trying to hold a conversation. He’d broken her heart more than once in the past couple of days, and Luna needed to reevaluate their marriage. She knew there would be some distrust towards him, but she had to determine whether he should leave.

Then, she said, “Moriarty, tell Lance that we need to talk, and I want to see him in my chambers now. Nulandia, help me get out of here, and get dressed”. Her manservant left the bathing room, and went to find the king. Nulandia helped her out of the bin, and into her gown. As she dressed, she spoke with her servant, “As soon as we’re in my quarters, I need you to make sure my strongest foot soldiers are outside the door. If I choose to make him leave, I want to be sure it’s done immediately. I’ve got no idea if he’s going to go on another tirade or if he will be sensible and leave without creating a scene.

“I do not like the way things have been going since the baby was born, and I need to know that I will be safe. I know. I can handle anything that comes my way, but if his fate is left up to me, I’ll be going to prison because I won’t stop until he’s dead.

“I don’t trust myself right now, and I think it would be the best idea for someone else to deal with him. That is, if things get ugly between us. My safe word is changing for this meeting, if anyone hears me say, ‘Squirrel’, that will be me letting you know that I need my men to come remove him from my chambers”. Walking to her sitting room, she explained how she was going to make another attempt to get Lance on her side, “You know, Nula, if we were at war, I would need him to be on my side of the fence. With the way things have been going, we’d be screwed because the enemy would see us feuding and could use it against us”.

“I know, your majesty. Maybe this will blow over like a tree in a storm. You two have to learn how to get along. Even during times of war. No, most especially when we’re at war. Just know that if you need me after he gets here, I’ll be right outside the door with Vlad and Mortimer. If you say ‘squirrel’, we’ll break it down if necessary”.

Luna had no doubts about that. There were no questions about her loyalty, and the queen wondered what it would take to get the king back in her corner. She had never seen or heard about any other power couple having issues with their significant other destroying the moral fiber of their union. She noticed that the door was open, and upon peering inside, Lance was already inside and going through her private journal.

When she saw what he was doing, Luna struggled with the idea of going in and mutilating him, but Mortimer said, “Learn to choose your battles. This is not something to rip his head off over. Make a note to watch him closer, but don’t hurt him. I promise, treacherous behavior can be forgiven”. His words strengthened her resolve, and she stepped inside the room, and shut the door.

Luna wanted nothing more than to rip his head off and place it on a pike for everyone to see that she was not to be messed with. Instead, she acted like her husband wasn’t going through her private stuff, and she calmly said, “Hello, dear king. I’m thrilled you could join me. Would you like anything to drink? We’re going to be here for a while, and we’re bound to get hungry or need a drink”.

Lance shook his head and said, “You were right, you know. I was only protesting your decision about the baby because I didn’t want our people looking at me in a bad light. Can we please make up, and put it behind us? I cannot live this way, and I’m sure you are willing to let it go”.

Taken aback by his willingness to make up, Luna said, “I wish you could have been strong enough to let our people think what they wanted to about that entire situation. Most of them were at our ceremony, they knew about the promise we made, and not one of them would have ever been anything except supportive. I don’t want to fight like that ever again. You are my husband. I’d kill for you. I’d lie for you. I would die for you. Can you tell me that you would do the same things for me? Can I trust our marriage well enough that I wouldn’t have to worry about you giving the enemy our battle plans”. Luna wanted to cry. She had not been expecting that from her husband, and his words landed on her heart in just the right place where they needed to.

Surprised by her reaction to his proposal, Lance allowed tears to flow down his cheeks, and kissed her mouth hard. Luna was shocked by the sudden change of plans with him, but she fell into his arms. Her husband had put his head back on his shoulders. They had a lot of making up to do, but she needed to know what he was doing when he had her journal. She wasn’t going to ask him about it, and risk him lying about it, but her eyes would be on him until such a time as she felt it was nothing to worry about.

“While I know we’ve got to catch up with a ton of stuff, there are far more important issues at hand. Let’s put our primal instincts on the flame at the back of the stove, and deal with those first. We have an entire lifetime to get urges out, but we only have two hundred and fifty years to get this ruler of the planet thing done the right way.

We do not need our people thinking or knowing that there’s a cinch in our armor.

Now, one more thing from you and I will let everyone go to bed early tonight”.

“What is it, this request of yours”, Lance asked his bride.

“I’m asking for an apology for your behavior about the baby, and I want it done in front of everyone here at the citadel. We get them to have faith in their queen and king, and the rumors of our marriage falling apart may never leave the ground”, Luna told him.

Without hesitation, Lance said, “Lance was not in the mood for a quarrel with her, and did not say anything about it. He stood up to cross the room, gently took Luna by the hand and said, “My darling, loving, beautiful wife, you may not realize this, but you are my world. I’ve wronged you in a way words cannot describe, and I’ll be lucky if you don’t change your mind about me and throw my sorry ass out on my head.

If you will grant me the opportunity, I will pay a debt to you for the rest of my life. I will, without second thought, apologize in the morning in front of whomever you wish. And, please, don’t worry about Jasmine, the truth shall never spill from my lips. I’m a low down, dirty, rotten wolf mutt who deserves nothing more than for you to rid your life of me. Yet, you stand by me no matter how I behave. That’s commendable, and I love that about you. That, and about a zillion other traits I could only dream of obtaining”.

“The reason I’m even allowing this meeting is because we are married, but if you were anyone else, I’d kick your sorry ass to Aztiri and back. However, if you should ever take a stand against me again, I will do just that. I am capable of forgiving you because I am the queen, and I know that a divorced queen will eventually fall. So, knowing the kind of elf I am, and the way my parents raised their children, I knew that there was nothing else I could do”, Luna explained to him. She loved him in spite of his shortcomings, and there was nothing she wouldn’t do for him.

When Lance did not respond, Luna said, “Look, I’m tired. I’m sure you are too. I’ll see you in the morning with a smile on your face, and a kiss on my cheek. Good night”. As much as she loved him, his finest hour of apologizing had just begun, and she was going to make him grovel until the trust in him came back to her. She walked with him to the door, and when he tried to kiss her she avoided it. He didn’t say anything, but stepped into the corridor.

Luna’s curiosity had been nagging at her the entire time she talked to Lance, and she had to prevent herself from confronting him a few times. She went to her vanity, opened the drawer where Lance put her journal, and could not tell which page he’d been looking at when she saw him with the book. She sat down on the edge of her bed, and the glow from her lantern revealed the page she was looking at had something on it. She looked at other pages to see if any of them had it on them, as well, or if that was the only page with that particular mark.

After examining several other pages carefully, Luna deduced that there was only one page containing that kind of blemish, which told her that he’d only read one by the time she interrupted him. When she read the page with the indicator on it, she realized that Lance hadn’t seen anything that would cause more issues between them.

The fact that he had not read anything that would create more problems between himself and the queen, did not mean Luna trusted anything he said. She didn’t have to wonder, anymore, if Lance had fallen out of love with her. What mattered at that point was how she felt about everything that occurred over the past couple of days. Two things she knew for certain were that the king had behaved in a manner similar to the way a traitor would, and that he had her journal in his hand right before she entered her quarters. Those two things were enough to change the entire dynamic of their marriage, and she knew that she’d never look at him in the same way again. She could not live with him after everything that had happened, she would ask him to leave as soon as she could gather the nerve. Dealing with Lance wasn’t always the easiest thing to do, but she knew things could not continue in the way they had been. Before she made that next life altering decision, she would consult Nulandia so that the maid knew what was going on.

When she read the page with the indicator on it, she realized that Lance hadn’t seen anything that would cause more issues between them, but the fact that he had been looking at her journal caused the queen to build emotional walls around her heart so that he could never gain access like he had in the past. The more she thought about what happened over the last two days, the more she wanted to feed Lance to her wolf, and the thought was beginning to scare her because in her mind, she had played out the scenario of getting away with murdering her husband, never being convicted, and she liked the idea too much. She’d never thought about causing Lance that kind of harm before the last couple of days had transpired, but that was all she could think about during that forty-eight hour period.

She grew tired and closed the cover of her journal, thought about what it would be like if she was to file for divorce, and entertained herself with those thoughts until she drifted off to sleep. That night, she was incapable of getting a restful sleep because her dreams were filled with uncertainty about the future, and the queen tossed and turned all night long.

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