Chapter 1-1

Chapter 1-1

A Chapter by Shep

Chapter 1-1

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Desmand had lost count how many bruises he had on his body coming here or out in the army and ribs that were still trying to heal and the ones that were newly broken. By the guards in the cell before coming here, plus the black sickness that has started to run through our camp, as a punishment of not arriving faster according to Morgan and a heavy hand of evil vile of some of his henchmen that that stole from us. Thinking we didn’t earn our rights to ride in the army. In the way it was true there were many of us that wanted nothing more than to go home back to our family’s bad get as far away as possible.

However, Desmand and his father were the only ones left had been most of Desmand life since childbirth. His father promised his mother that he would protect him from his legacy until it was time for the world to know what he was capable of. Desmand father promised not knowing what that importance was as she faded away into a ball of white light watching settle on their son and bathe him in this gold white light the light he has seen many times when laying on the hands of prophecy to someone in need. She was among the 15 Oracles at the time. She did the same to be for mixing her spirit with the stars as one twinkled a little more brightly just for them until this very day.

Desmand Father never remarried trusting anyone with their secret, and Desmand seemed fined that as they lived in two men bachelor cottage rising sheep and building woodworking until Morgan and Hess stepped into their lives, He cursed everyone with Black death that would kill everything as a warning if they held back in regards back handing over 80% of all food and supplies ( Food, clothing, gold, silver, trinkets,) Most of all those that can handle a blade having his Henchmen choose them out personally going house to house, and those that hid them the parent killed on sight and take all the children that can walk.

He did not care if the young ones could not keep up with the army. In fact, he enjoyed their pain pushing even harder telling their henchman that if these mongrels don’t make it to camp by the time the rest of the army does they don’t eat do not sleep move on to the next place on the map. No, Morgan and Hess did not care about if they lived or died, all he cared about was their devotion to them, wanting everyone to suffer dead or live in their glory to him, and he believed there was no cure. The books are so old so deep in the catacombs that had shown neither human nor wizard has ever touched them. They so deep you could feel the darkness that tasted so intoxicating as they savored the tastes of the pages one by one finds the spell learning thing that should never be taught.

Hess grew weaker as they studied they both knew the time was coming to and in end. The entire book stated a new transformation is possible. But requires a coven of wizards from the same sect. Both Morgan and Hess knew handful at best that might do it. The question is could they trust them to do it; which they very much doubt. So there was plan 2, a more risky plan Hess well allow them to capture him with the entire army, which could work to their advantage his army could break him out and free him he could take one of their bodies and escape the Cross Bone Gate Prison before anyone knows it with a new body.

Then they can gather new troops and begin searching for those 5 keys of destiny and the objects that are hiding since we will need the items and the 5 keys Plus White Solon who will take when the time comes and train him to be the Dark Prince. Kill boy of Dark Prince. There was no cure once Morgan and Hess tracked down and killed all the healers… making sure nobody could use that kind of power ever again as well as many other key wizards as well as Oracles.

He and Morgan did everything in their power to make sure that they would rule for time and all eternity. They followed the timeline and killed all those that might cause a problem, as they searched for the 5 Keys of Destiny and the items they needed to open them. Nothing but ghosts and story-tales around a campfire or told at bedtime about kings and queens of old that held the magic that could restore and build the very planets themselves and as the very creation of people to live on them. Not even the modern witches or wizards believed in such things. Stating those kind things had been lost throughout time and should be left alone and buried

Yet if one is to guess…It is said it starts with the White Solon and the Dark Prince, however, the clues are in the stars known as Morning Twilight. The map itself has been lost as Morgan and Hess have been searching all the catacombs for clues. Now Hess is trapped and leaving Morgan with several problems. ( 1) Find the map of 5 lost keys and the items that hide them) (2) Find a way to free his master (3) Find the White Solon and kill him or turn him into the Dark Prince. Or do nothing. “Yea right that was never going to happen: Not with Morgan loose And Hess locked deep inside here so deep there is no chance of him ever seeing daylight.

Desmand kept moving down the line until he was prodded very sternly into the fourth corner; his father taking one and two females, and Desmand taking the last. Desmand didn’t know the two girls, as he blushed the moment his eyes noticed them and hurried looked away which was easy enough as the shower turned very hot causing Desmand to jump out by surprise. His taskmaster growled and tsked slapped the stick rather too hard against very sore thigh then apologized said. “Broken?” As his taskmaster pointed to where the rib might be broken and seeing the large bruise. Desmand looked down seeing a female white cougar with patches of blue and green and hazels eyes blush a little as she touched him with her softened paw, then used her tail to adjust the temperature.

She said with a soft purr. “They call me Sars I will be your manservant until your judgment as well as your recorded keeper. I assumed that males like you bathe with your females all the time in domiciliary more like cages for animals. As well as procreate?”

Desmand father chuckled.” Sars sometimes we bathe together, but only if we are married to the female we have chosen to be with. Desmand my son here was in the process of choosing when Hess and Morgan passed through our town forcing us to serve in his army.” Sars nodded and making notes and asked the two females the same question. Stating that both were single now because Morgan killed both their husband for saying no, and hung them as the tree burned with the other men and wives and children for their parents refusing to go. They joined so others would not half to go saving their family so they can leave to find shelter in the mountains among the villagers where Morgan will never find them and be able to hide underground like our ancestors have for generations

Desmand nodded and got back into the shower, which was perfect. Sars moved up between the four of them and down using her paws and her tail as she bathed them letting her tail healed them and her paws heal them each time she touched. And when she touched the four of them it felt like she cuddled them all into her arms like a baby as healed them all and cleaned them until they gleaned inside and out.

She quickly dried them off and placed a warm robe made of white soft fabric that had large snowflakes and two red roses on the back and in the front that matched hers that stated we were her responsibility. It felt so nice yet surprising to see Desmand's face in the mirror after Sars shaved him and combed and cut his hair using pictures he used to look like before the war. He and his father had forgotten what each of them looked like.

Desmand had reddish brown hair and bright blue eyes with a stern but soft jaw and narrow nose; however, they were skin and bones like sticks because of the lack of food the Morgan and Hess were giving them. His father was nearly bald with weevil in his hair. Now the weevil was gone but his hair was thin and in short supply. Balder and more toothless like his son Desmand because of the Black Death Morgan and Hess cursed them with. It was nothing anyone could do at the moment however their very lives are held in stasis never too age while in prison here. Sars promised that everything will be fine, in fact, better than fine for those that have earned it.

The moment Desmand sat down, his father took a seat next too him wearing the same robe as his son and the two woman. Sars took her seat next too Desmand. Others started to come out into the dining room from 6 different directions. Desmand and his father, as well as the first arrivals, notice that the first five hundred had already had lessened quite a- bit from 500 to 250. Sars Cringed whispered over to another manservant and he whispered to another and so on. Coming back with a shake of the head as we watched everyone taking seats in new colorful robes matching their menservants.

The main dining room was big with a large dome to fit more than 2000 or more, which made our 250 seem like an ant portion to the size required to fill it. However, it was very well decorated with white marble stone and several gems and white diamond chandlers to brighten up the place. With so many gone then expected of the 1500 of Morgan and Hess troops.

Everything was prepared in King-like fashion including our chairs of fine red and gold chairs to sit on with our table draped over with powdery white tablecloths spun silver and gold silverware and glass goblets and decorated cantors of wine, Red and White plus large barrels with corks of liquors of beers, or Hard Whisky and Rum centuries old and only the best. The table laden with foods; meat of every type as well as common and hard to get as well as their dipping sauces and soups; freshly baked bread from sweet and sour just like mum used to make. Cakes, pies and sweet buns filled with everything you can imagine filled the tables.

To us, it was a feast, compared to what they have been eating over the last few months or even years in Morgan’s army. Plus it felt so good to be so clean again and in clean clothing that actually fit them and smelled so nice. Just for mere second or two, they wondered if this was the wrong prison altogether, but it didn’t take to long to notice that big brutes were sitting altogether with even bigger manservant's. All of them wearing black robes with very larger baseball bats to get them to settle down made everyone remember where they were.

The manservant’s stepped back on each side of us hearing a bell out of nowhere. Sars roes telling them to rise in respect as they did what they were told until it got further down the line the worst it got as menservants had to smack a few grabby hands to wait to growl harshly that said they weren’t going to enjoy their punishment. Which said they weren’t used too going without like some of them near the front until it reached all the way to the brutes seeing their table raise out of the way leaving them with chairs to sit on them but have “chosen” to sit quietly on their knees head bowed. Seeing the long strains of bloody meat as the meat lays on their lap and their hands held behind their back.

They all knew what they were waiting for; they were waiting for thier host and any special guests that wish to join them, before or during thier last judgment. Those that visit or dare to come… making sure they are severely punished fairly. In front of the main seating area was a large platform with 8 large chairs just like those in the main courtroom. The table was draped with a white tablecloth and golden stripe runner down the middle. Dressed with a large 15 cascade candlelit 1 big one and 7 candles falling towards the opposite end like their tables it was filled with food and wines, beers of their favorite type.

Desmand feared if this might be the only time they would feed them before they slept like the dead for the last time seeing all that food as if was for kings feast the likes he and his father has never seen. Already there was more than 250 missing out of 1500 that was to arrive today, and it seems the hurrying about has seemed to have stopped altogether.

It wasn’t long before they heard talking as a manservant opened a door from the far left of the dining hall as right before they were boxed in with elegant red and black drapery, seeing the chandeliers turn off in blink of an eye and the dining room shift upwards watching the drapery disappear and bountiful windows and glass snapping into place without sound. The room itself was now big enough to fit 275 guests comfortably including bandstand in the corner that wasn’t there but now is as the music began to play and the door opened. Even the little beasties had been cleaned up, and their hand left tide binds their back stood high with an uncomfortable smile on their faces. Everyone smiled as the host and their guests arrived through the main door, watching two main doors open by two manservant

Desmand and his father quickly noticed that Frog and the Dark Fairy had changed their clothes as they smiled brightly to each of their bothers thanking them for their fine gifts that they received. The Frog received a brand new waistcoat made of a large white seal. Seeing the bone tusk shaped into a hat, placed around the rim, tipped with silver and gold with strange symbols with golden red-fish which are very rare and very hard to catch

Their sister wearing a soft coat of tiger fur with matching boots mittens, as well a hat to keep her nice and warm; she even got a necklace stringed with the teeth of her enemy glazed in gold with their names in graved once they have been killed by her hands once they have been judged fairly of course and put in the ring of battle, Of which the menservants have gossiped about. Every one committed on their new feasting clothes and couldn’t wait for the gala tonight after once everyone has been sorted. Desmand and his father didn’t look forward to being sorted, and they guessed nobody here did as they watch the main guest come through the door.

There were 8 all together four Judges that would judge us tonight for the very last time. Four happened to be four members of the Council of Light. The very same members out of 12 who judge them unfairly, but felt they should have cooling off period first and were denied; leaving it to council here to Judge since they are the ones that can, and do it fairly, for some reason that didn’t make any of them feel any better knowing that. Sars whispered that it will be fine and smiled somehow that seemed to help.

Desmand heard the words from one of the ladies. “So which ones do you plan to begin with if I may ask? Or should we take bets? And have a little fun Cousin’s. It’s been so long since we had so many guests to play with…. now that most of the sorting has been done.” Sheila said with the golden hair wearing a red and gold dress and white lace around necklace blue eyes to match her sister on the side of her Lady Gwin; Lady of all lakes and springs and rivers of living water.

The Frog said. “Yes, it has been, and I agree, but how to choose the game for our merriment.”

King Salsern said The King of Sea of living water chuckling. “If we menfolk leave it to Ladies to pick the game or the merriment we will be here a week.

“And what’s wrong with that father?” Sheila pouts with two lips puckered and eyebrow drawn down and folding her arms over her breast. “We are partially immortal or close to it, so what we spend a little time having a little fun with these mongrels that Morgan and Hess has left us with to handle.”

Cougar and the bear huddle in the corner with King Salsern, the Frog and other Councilors of light known as Derrick who had just joined the council two century’s ago, and starting out of a member of Death and who watches over the worlds in motion including this one. While the ladies meet in the opposite corner telling us we can sit down and start eating because this could take awhile they wanted to make sure we got a good meal before we moved on to the judgment phase.

Thank the Oracles we are all ravines that we could barely hold a fork or a spoon without shoveling it in by the handfuls. The beast boys did just that and nobody tried to stop them as they did like pigs eating from a trough and pouring wine and beer or both down their mouths. It was repulsive as many of us ate using a napkin and being careful not to spill anything onto our nice robes or on plates, while they waited for their doom, and their game.

Desmand looked up as a manservant placed a card around his neck then moved on down the row with a different number and colored block then Desmands father. Once the cards wherein placed four of the tables in the middle were moved back as four Jailer boxes were raised up from the floor. And four silver like mirrors and a seat that sat above each jailer box and placed with writing desk. There was a long line of scoreboards on the side of a large main large table with each of our 250 or so numbers on it. No names just numbers the names would come later once the person entered the jailer box.

Each of our menservants asked if we got enough to eat as we nodded and said thank you, and went on down the row getting less thank yous and more growls hearing words like. “How could you treat us like common peasants when Morgan and Hess, gave us far more than this, where is our king's ransom, where are our jewels that we were promised when this war was over. All we have seen is a very small sample of what none of us can’t touch including our magic that we have worked centuries too gain.” They were so angered by it as we few stepped way for a safe distance as they taunted us to join them or called weak and acted like small children not fit to live. Our menservants held them back from us, as everything was cleared up and taken away except for our chairs. We sat fifty feet across from them as their manservant’s lined the sides to make sure that they could keep things under control.

Once everyone had taken their seats The Frog stood up where they built up a large pulpit; said. “The game is called four blind mice you are the mice that will each be placed in on of these four cases to win your freedom or what your punishment maybe, giving you a chance to lessen your punishment.

“Each person with a tagged number will be called and not in the order or the color of robe or the name of their tag. A number on the tag will be placed on the board in a slot on these boards of chance where you will be asked questions by all of us you see up here. As you know you can not lie, inside the courtroom. However, we are allowing you to lie here .but pre-warned.

“If you answered the question and it was a lie but got more then half of us to believe that’s they doubt it was a lie. Your manservant will pull up that portion of your life to prove to wither it’s a lie or truth. Each lie told is worth 100 points of your score, but we 8 will debate if the lie was necessary.

“You keep the 100 points you will be issued a green card; which you could use to save you from losing 100 points and can be used to upgrade your status here. If answer a true question and you and can defend it you will receive 250 points. You will be asked 100 questions which will random and selected from your life story. It is you that fills in the blanks.

“Then once all our questions have been answered and we are not satisfied where to house you. We will put you on standby on the new board…. Since none of us have played this game in a very long time. And we have already sorted out the rest of you, leaving you to our final judgments and the hardest.

“Congratulations on making it this far, for those that are left we will have a grand special dinner out in our courtyard outside and dance for those that would like to mingle and ask questions in regards to the rest of your stay here. Unfortunate for those that have lost today and during our little game, there will be plenty of chores for you to do and I am sure your taskmaster will be more than glad to make sure you do them right before they put you to bed tonight. As we have said sleep here can last a century or two, depending on your punishment you have earned not only today but for your other crimes as well. However, if you wish to spend some of those green cards that would be a good time to do it or wait for the next game where you can fight in the ring. Ask your manservant regarding the details are and the training. So let games begin.”

The very moment The Frog said let the games begin the gems started to glow and they could fill movement as they looked up seeing that they were the ones moving into a three rows Desmand was now seated by one of the girls he showered with his father was on the below him next to the other female he was she was trying to comfort her telling her everything was going to be all right. Desmand was shy around girls more so this one more so since they bathed together. Desmand looks down the rows noticing very few had the same problem and many were at the hand holding and kissing stage, and have excepted there old life is gone forever. Desmand knew it, his father knew it was, but Desmand could accept the fact no matter what’s in front of him.

Sars made her way towards him noticing that he wasn’t engaging or accepting the fact she had worked hard to find a good mate for Desmand and his father to help with the loneliness and the loss he will feel while being here at the Cross Bone Gate Prison. Given them hope that when the time comes they will have a family and the means to take care of them and their slate has been wiped clean. Yet something bothered her…. 10 of the people she was now assigned to her… their records should never been sent here they should have given the greatest awards ever achieved. Yet when she found out and sent them to Court Justus they told her that it will all work out in the wash and trust their judgment.

In either case, it was her job too see to it find a good match for all her charges in spite Desmands stubbornness about and around females. She made her way towards them, not letting the gem light or content movement bother her. She couldn’t understand why they keep changing the game design, but there’s the rub when comes to the High Council and their games. Sars had some games of her own since nobody is willing to listen, she will play and win tonight big time with 10 prize pupils.

Sars moved her tail over in-between Desmand the female with long golden hair, not the rats nest it was when she came in and dirt and bruise as well as missing teeth that made her look like an old hag. Plus the starved look they all had. They were able to remove the sickness Morgan gave them since never effects the dead only the living. She had bright green eyes and soft cheeks and short angular nose bring in her eyes and thin lips to one of those perfect smiles. She perfect little hands with long fingers that more stick-like from a lack of food. Sars took her tail tried lifting Desmand hand over to Sara’s hand at first it worked then it jerked back and he apologized for it. Sars was about too whispered in Sara’s ear then smiled when she re-grabbed his hand said. “Apology not accepted not when a girl like me is scared to death in regards in what’s about to take place, in fact, I tempted to sit in your lap so hold me in your arms as I cry on your shoulders. But we only just met,” She took his hand and squeezed it.

Desmand father turned around said.” Son if I was you, that’s an offer I would never turn down. Desmand blushed thinking about it. Then opened his arms as a jester, Sara looked around as thing were about to take place as the first four numbers were being called and then leaped into his seat and held tight to as Desmand wrapped his arms around her and let her cry in fear if she needs to. Sars was happy she purred in her seat stated everything was working according to her plans as she planed taking note of the questions that were being asked. Marking 100 and starting overseeing how many the same are and rarely asked.

The game moved quickly as guest the bad boys were many, but some of them surprised there were about 25 left as they had won this level of they would compete again tomorrow they had won several green cards as they were choosing a leader among them and their honor guard just like they had in Morgan’s army. We're not saying that’s a good plan unless having good plan to use it. Some of them had a plan like to free soldiers and people from getting caught in their clutches, by building a hidden railway sending messages and food supplies to keep our loved ones alive.

There were 150 left as the loud trumpet called the end of the day meaning it was time to stop working and prepare for afternoon chores for those that have been judged. Just like the ladies said they didn’t care how long it took to play the game, they intend to enjoy themselves. Sars quickly gathered the 10 of them as they followed him out the door and down the stairs as they ran into several of his pal’s one of them said. “I still count 10 that mean’s you haven’t lost single pre- judgment Sars.

“Is it because you found a way to cheat the system or have you bribed the High Council? Doesn’t matter really, when their judge on the last day of the games when their whole is seen before all off instead of a small portion to test the answer given; like they say it all comes out in the wash. We will collect our debts and twice more and feed upon your souls as well as these you have been carefully protecting, including the one that holding something so valuable that could change the very universe.”

Sars smiled stood up strong, “I am prepared to double that or triple that bet if you like or if any here can afford it. As you may know or not know I have won three gold chest of 300 million during the first round and another 6 million during the second round, not including the 2 million you guys owe me for both today’s’ rounds. Now if you would excuse me I have duties to attend too before the nightly festivities.” Sars curtseyed like grand lady swiping her letting her thin lacy veil draped over her face. Desmand had to admit it was a little bit unnerving seeing cats talk and frogs let’s face it the entire animal kingdom talking and working as humans do. Yet after entire day down here, it was starting to be part of the norm.

It seemed twice the walk as they went down two sets of staircases and several hallways that led to more hallways. Then to a brown door that had Two Snowflakes and Two Roses on them. Sars opened the door using a small wand tell us this will be our home for now on according to our file even when Judgment is over. The only difference is the jobs we will doing. However, all the money known as Green cards she collects goes to them every time when she gets part of the cut.

For instance, during the bath, she healed them completely from the sickness, missing teeth, including baldness which they will notice in a few days as well as regaining their health. That she will train them to fight, and hand to hand combat, then swords and magic. She will make sure each person she is in charge of can fight by any means necessary. Each green chip they earn will help build the group up, not just themselves. Until they can be released, with their loved ones, this time fighting for the right side knowing who they are and what will be needed when the time comes.

Everyone signed the contract pointing that it was a fair contract to give are manservant a portion of our winnings and she bowed to them as she told us to line up to each of our cell's. Desmand choked when quickly noticed that his father cell was crossed from him and notice there was one king-size bed with several heart shape pillows and wedding dress and black suit in the bedroom window through the window Sars took notice and tsked added not telling his father it will be changed.

His father nodded as Sars made it up front said. “I want all of you dressed and ready to be married in 3 hours allowing you to look over your little cottages which can be redesign to your liking, I want you both showered together to save time and for the future experience if not I can live with that. And eat a meal together and change into your wedding clothes. If not I will assume you are married and spoken your own vows. I have worked hard finding a mate for each of you.

“Comparing both your dislikes and things you love and like to do, as well many personality traits. The rest is a leap of faith by an Oracle that was here for a time. And went into hiding, and I am the only one that knows where. You are my sacred 10; you are the chosen I have picked out of ten thousand to represent me. You are the ones everyone has discarded and refused to give a fair trial. Well, now they will have no choice as my 10 beautiful prizes shine above the rest. I will give you the means to be great as you help me to bring others to the cause and bring back into the light which has fallen into the Darkness far too long.” With that she turns towards the cell turns around to say” 3 hours” then close the door and locks it.

Desmand was not all that shocked; well a little more stunned then shocked as Sara and look at each the moment the cell door closed locking each other in. Sara simply shut the inside door and shut the curtains while turning on the lights. It was much better then it was it made more of cottage then cell for them. However, the walls needed a splash paint the floor needed a rug or something better than sandstone. There were no pictures on the wall to make it like a home. Yet there was plenty of swaths and of colors and patterns and books on a small two table that titled to one side barely enough room for anything to set a dish on. There was a couch and small chair to sit on with more patches and spring spiting out of. The curtains themselves were rags.

The kitchen had seen better days needed paint to need a nail or two need lots of love according to Sara. In fact, the whole place needed lots of love. At least the pantry was full and the fridge worked. The bathroom was big enough for two people but need some love didn’t have anything looking like a shower curtain. The bedroom wasn’t much better other then it had a nice bed and seeing our wedding clothes laid out before them and several pairs of shoes and pants shirts and work clothes for him and the same for Sara.

Somehow there was this strange wooden cup object neither of us recognized setting on strange box light with wires going into the wall there was paper with a number on it that matched the cell block and the last number was Scars. And work crew. Rang like a tiny bell Desmand picked up the strange thing and he shrugged his shoulders at Sara. The voice he knew was his father. His father said. “Son, are you there?”

Desmand answered. “Yes, where else would I be I am locked in same as you I imagine in some dump resembling cottage with broken down furniture no paint on the walls.”

His Dad chuckled. “Son, you are right where you’re supposed to be, starting with nothing. You, Sara, will be fine; I just called to see how you’re doing and what to warn you about the plumbing. But seems you two have it all under control, but Sars is right I would wait on the hot water because it becomes ice cold real quick. I let Sara go first and you go second. Heat water on the stove for supper she feels you are a gentleman and a good man to have around the use.  Remember to use what I have taught you and you will be just fine.”

His father hung up the speaking devices and smiled a Sara said. “Sars why don’t take a nice shower my father tells me that hot water is in short supply. Its one of those things I am going have too earn for us and our family apparently number one on my to-do list.”

She leans in and kissed him on the cheek, and gathers some clean towels and undress, then stops and says to her self “This is so stupid we both bathed together and we are going sleep in that bed tonight.” She turns around and finds him boiling water and starting prepare fry chicken in iron skillet and seasoning chopped vegetables there was soft click as some men came in bringing some supplies he had asked for and lots of wood telling him they will have shop up in running by tomorrow two more guys brought in kitchen table four chairs that had seen better days needing a lot of love but at least they were sturdy, the couch was there but chair was gone.

He signed over 300 chips to Sars stating to give anything Carla wants in reason to make this a respectable home for them.

Sars shook on the deal said. “Tell you what if you win tonight like I think you and Sara will. I have a better cottage then this. That I know you will like, since you will be judged. You will be free to walk the halls and the grounds as you wish. You can live among our elite with better jobs and better housing and far better accommodation. Tonight you will be one of my Bell of the ball. I will have the dressmaker waiting the second you are married. Now then you and I have lots to do until then.”

Sara was in tears as she came into the kitchen Desmand tried pretended not to see her, but how could he. She was a very beautiful woman. The moment she was close by she wrapped her arms around him kissed him on the cheek and asked him why is he so good to her when they barely just met?

He didn’t dare twist in her arms as much as wanted too kiss her bountiful lips and look into those green eyes that held him prisoner wanting to just drift in time. It took everything he had inside of him to resist as he steadies his mind and his hands preparing dinner for both them. He answered her question just as sweetly but little harder then he wanted. “Because like my father he did anything in his power to make my mother happy, he taught me to do likewise when my time has come, as it seems it has come, now go on my little dove go get yourself cleaned up.”

He hated it when she let go, but he just wasn’t ready to become man and wife this was no way he had no intended bring his wife home; With no job, no proper house; Most of all in prison for the rest of their lives and to raise their children here. She called to him to join him instead he bathed himself using washtub filled with water he heated from the stove and quickly dressed in a fresh undergarment.

Sara walked in seeing him and the wash tub and giggled as he put on a robe which insisted to help put it on, but she allowed him to be shy but soon or later he was going to be hers no two ways about it. Desmand had fixed a wonderful meal on a far better table and using those extra pillows from the bed to sit on and apologized that was the best he could do at the moment. Sara stated it was far better than sitting on the floor with no rug. Having told her that she has a small expense count to fix up their new cottage after the last game of judgment in the courtroom, and any green chips we earn as a family we can use as things for the house our put into savings for something special.

The dressmaker came right when they had finished their first meal together, Desmand wandered how his Da was doing, but then again he had years of knowledge that Desmand didn’t have in regards to do during a marriage. His father said when the time comes he will know. Yet so far he still had no idea what is to come other than kissing a girl hugging girls and dating. Going beyond that was a mystery. Right now there was nothing to do except clean up the dishes and change into his wedding clothes. So Desmand snack down the hall and changed made sure he combed his hair and smelled good before going out into the dining room as the work crew picked up all of Desmand supplies and moved them to his brand new cottage.

His father came in dressed and ready to go while dressmaker was with his new soon to be bride named Brenda she had long dark brown hair and hazel eyes and hard cheek. Her mouth was thin with a chin made hard and strong, she was very pretty and very young compared to his father. Already his father hair started to grow back and no longer had the strains of wispy hair was present. His father asked regarding the deals he made with Sars. His father said.” You did all that for a wife to be?”

Desmand nodded. “I did exactly what you taught me to do see to my wife first then my family second then myself. We needed a better house for my wife and my family to live in. I need hot water and better plumbing; I need tools and parts and wood, paint and supplies and shop to do it in. All things to make a better house I can build my self. Sars said for 1 more win tonight he move me and my new bide to brand new cottage among the elite where I and my wife can work buy things for selves and our children. I have set up a small savings account in her name she can use to buy things for the house, like paint, rugs, curtains pillows blankets and things I can’t make. Da if I am to be in prison here I will make the best of it and served my time.”

His father smiled and said. “I see you taken my words to heart, perhaps I will see after tonight if Sars keeps her agreements, and so far she has” as he rubs his thin hair

Sars overheard Desmand father question regarding agreements and made his way towards them until she was right next to my father said. “Agreements I make are guaranteed in writing and when I say it will be done it shall be done or my word is worth nothing. Your son has offered a good portion of his good fortune this day; he did not spend it on himself he spent wisely more wisely than anyone here including yourself. And because so I am awarding him by offering something that I seldom do which is cottage worth his current status, even thou he has yet to be judge, the record will show that he did it out of love to his new wife and family only thinking of them and not of himself, which will raise status when the game is in play.

“Let this be a reminder to all my charges think not of yourselves but of each other where you will win the greatest gifts. That’s what I challenge you.” Sars walked back down the aisle then turned you have 30 min to be dressed and ready to go. Then one hour to change into dining clothes. With a short break before the ball, there will be rack sent to collect your clothes to have ready so you won’t need to rush back and forth here. For those that wish to participate in the games please write down your name and hand it to me. It will give me some insight into your fighting skills.”

He left everyone’s door open as she closed the main cell door locked. I wasn’t sure if it was for our protection or theirs. In any case, it didn’t matter as it was the man job to load the dresses and the right shoes on the racks long before they could load theirs on a much smaller rack as they carried large makeup cases telling us they need everything as we just nodded. Sars came back with three underlings as they took the carts after covering them in a plastic bubble of air promising the ladies nothing will happen to their bountiful gowns. We marched in couples with arms locked down the aisle as the music played and white and red roses scattered in bouquets we soon enter the large chapel room with a large skylight and more gems then a person can count. In the center of the ceiling, there were two large chandlers filled with diamonds, filling chapel with a glorious light.

There were several padded benches on several sides filled manservant’s and their charges. Noticing there was barely enough to fill those rows counting at least 75. All of the judge’s council seated in kingly pad theirs in front above us. Now they were all wearing ceremonials robes of the same color all wearing white with a bursting golden star and gold rod staff at their side wearing a white bishop hat. On our side of the benches, we were numbered the least not more than 45 to the group. The rests were menservants and those that want to watch the proceedings.

The doors closed as the music stopped The Cougar and the Bear, as well as Fairy, came down to the front where a table was dressed in white. Holding large goblet and to pitches of wine and loaf of bread. Desmand had chosen the rings they would wear more like paid tooth and nail for the brightest and gems that matched her eyes and the carvings Desmand wanted of little tiny angels circling around the diamonds, the green gems embedded along wings and their eyes. This may not be heaven but this was the best Desmand could do. All the rings were on that table but Desmand paid to go up first. So they could leave, and spend some time together in the dressing room. He had paid extra for that privilege giving Sars an extra smile hand back the green chips telling him it was on the house and extra surprise when they arrived back their cottage tonight.

Sars noted again in Desmand file that little extra detail he asked for his wife, and waited to see if others would seek him out. And sad to say only not surprising Desmand father was among them including extras when choosing a ring. However he did ask about getting some type of cottage as his son, Sars gave him a price unlike his son he hesitated then added stating “I am old man a lot older than my new wife, it would unfair to her if we have child and not be there not raise them when we settle our debts with you here. If you can make younger by the time my family and leave here I’ll pay you anything you want; because it’s a second chance.”

Sars looked him in the eye and said. “No I can’t give you that reward for it is a reward you must earn, it not, one you can buy not can anyone sells to you. You will not age while you are here. If you want something more then that you must earn that. However, I can’t promise you the cottage like your sons for he did it out of love for his wife and family. You, sir, are asking it because he did so not because it wasn’t but could have been out of love. You, sir, will have to pay the full price which 3000 green chips no more no less. You have one week to earn them or the offer is null and void. Sign here.”

Desmand father cursed as he signed. He only had 2000. He didn’t like borrowing money from his son. In fact, he never did….. If he needed it he would be built furniture and sold it; or would fight in the town in the ring making nice sum for the winter, giving him enough money if they had a poor hunting season. Now like his son he too was starting over and he didn’t like it. But Brenda was a great distraction as she took his hand asking him what he was thinking about. He said. “How to get his hands on 5000 green chips. Or enough to buy a nice cottage like my sons… where we don’t have to look at the bars. Where we can have a nice little garden or two. A place too raises children. Enough money where you can do anything you want too until our time is up and we go free and into the daylight once more with everything we have earned down here. That’s what I am thinking about.”

Brenda laughed as she nestled with his chin. “So you plan to spoil me are without asking me, not that wouldn’t mind, but at what price my soon to be husband. We have no children as of yet. We have no jobs as of yet. It is just the two of us and will be just the two of us for a very long time. Don’t you think we have enough to do fixing up the place we have now, but I agree I hate the bars and I feel that would be best that you be close to your son.

“I have 7000 green chips if pull ours together as we would as a family unit. We can have that nice cottage you want. I will speak to Sars about it during dinner now be a good husband and marry me and make me a modest woman. You can plead dear for water heater so we will never have cold showers again.” She purred in his arms as they waited their turn noticing that Desmand was the first one that was being called. His Dad agreed to give Sara away Sara was her bride’s maid.

The music played as Sara made way down the aisle as children placed roses pedals at her feet every one had tears in their eyes as they dabbed them with the tissues or cotton veils. Little white fairies that Desmand had paid extra for surrounded her and lifted her long train veil as if she was floating on air another added cost. Desmand wanted her wedding day to be special in spite of where they are. Even in a hellish prison, there could be a piece of heaven. There were tears in her eyes as she turned and looked at him as his father took his place next to Desmand and his bride to be standing next to Sars.

The wedding was simple as the Bear gave the wedding vow with the words. The Cougar handed the Bear the golden chalice as they both drank from the same cup and broke and ate from the same bread. Then having the Fairy hand the Bear the ring box and opening. Sara was stunned the moment she saw her wedding ring as her eyes cried as Desmand slid it on her finger and she likewise her ring to him was not as glorious as hers but he loved it all the same. She tried to apologized he said. “For what makes me the happiest man alive. No apology needed.” They both cringed when they each cut their hand and placed their hands together hearing the lasts words

“My the words spoken here protect you as you honor each other as you stand here and live truly in the convent of the light. You may kiss the bride.”They kissed and left the chapel with Sars as he led them to their private changing room with one guard posted telling him if he leaves his post until they are ready he will not be happy. They saluted and opened the door. Sars said. “I hope everything is to your liking. I have prepared a nice wedding cake and some Champagne I will call for you once your father is about to be wed so you may participate.” Sars closed the door and locked it.

Desmand was about to knock on the door when Sara called him back, asking him to help her off with her veil and buttons. He swallowed hard a couple of times before deciding to realize there was a changing curtain sighing with some relief, so he did what she had asked putting them on the couch as he sat down and slipped off his shoes and socks and started to unbutton his vest coat and bow tie. Setting everything back on the rack he turned hearing cork being uncorked and Champagne being poured; finding Sara down to her bare feet and underwear handing him a glass and some cake...

He blushed as she tsked as she said let him, “dear husband, while you drink up since we only have a few minutes to enjoy ourselves before we are needed again. No need to be shy we are long past that I think. Plus the fact we are both married.” She lifted up the glass making him dunking and holding the plate in one hand as she undid his shirt buttons.  He spit up the Champagne when she tried to go further. As he slipped by her into the changing screen as she gave a heavy sigh.

He hands her his pants and the shirt as he put on the dancing trousers and came out, as she smiled seeing him at least seeing his bare chest. And the muscle lines that said he was a once powerful man of war machine licking her lips; her war machine for now and always. She didn’t bother with the screen. Her days were done hiding behind the shower curtain from her husband was over.

He has proven that he loves her enough to provide for her and their family, he was just a timid and a little shy. Fine she can live with that fact considering his age and she's not that far apart then hers, however, she has been married once but her husband had been killed in the war, leaving her with nothing, not even children or enough money to see her through. She was about to pull him back into the shower into grips when there was knock on her door as she whispered. “Damn,” find out that she had about 15 minutes to get into her evening gown and so she and her husband can walk down his father and her sister down the aisle as they promised. Man, she wanted so bad to sick her teeth into her man. If this was hell it, this was defiantly it. Yet she had to admit this was not exactly like it said on the catalog for those that obeyed the rules so far it had its own quality as long as you are willing to pay for it...

Like her and her sisters growing up with 9 boys and War Hero like their father one of the four kings that ruled Glendale they learned how to use a weapon and had to hand combat. In fact it wasn’t all that odd that their brothers and they would fight in the ring as Father and Mother would place bets to the other kingdoms over dinner mostly with the boys until the boys state her bothers state on agreed prince a private bet that they choose either their two sisters to fight or both with as many men they wanted say 10 to make it interesting, having them ask if they were insane seeing how beautiful they were, hiding well trained muscles as they danced half drank as part of their disguise and part of their charm one they had the best they would bring the best to them and their parents they would smile as they bring it up so casually as simple conversation getting drunk enough to accept it with greater small fortune as two chests of gems or gold and silver; A war chest worthy to see a kingdom through a hard winter.

The problem with this method of betting for survival was it brought enemies to your doors like Morgan and Hess with large enough armies and evil wizards to wipe you out. Because of that their father died their brothers had gone into hiding all they knew they were the only ones left alive and their Kingdom lay in runes where there once lived a hearty people lay nothing but broken stone and ghosts in all of the kingdoms. Where once flowed gold and silver and hard to find ores and metals, from the mountains. And the springing and rivers flowing with living water now run dry with sand and old battle scars. And now Hess is too believed to be gone or at least in prison here where nobody can touch him.

© 2019 Shep

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Added on February 6, 2019
Last Updated on October 19, 2019



Santaquin, UT

Updated January 17, 2020 In short I am a Male 52 years of age and Permanently Disabled due to a car accident and suffer from seizures and Sever PTSD. So I have a lot of time on my hands. One of .. more..

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