As elusive as his stone soul, I could not fathom his need of me. With his regal bearing, and chiseled features that caused other women to swoon, his choice of betrothed was fodder for rumor and speculation among the court. I was not considered any great beauty. My skills in kitchen arts and healing gift seemingly my only attributes, since my dowry was meager at best.
His coterie tried to dissuade his decision, conspiring to sway him with clandestine trysts with more willing and attractive prospects. He shunned their attempts, claiming his allegiance to me and our matrimonial contract.
I knew no better offer was forthcoming, my pool of potential suitors was shallow. Gentry and titled, my offspring heirs to his land and name, I would not decline his proposal. In time, I hoped passion would blossom between us.
No matter how handsome or gallant, my love did not fly toward him, hollow and cold as he was. He was not unkind, there was simply no affection. I was his wife in name only. If not for our wedding night sheets display, we would not be married in the eyes of God either.
One winter gloaming, frigid as my marriage bed, I could not sleep. Gathering my ermine robe around my shoulders I roamed the manor halls hoping to find some spirit to save me from my misery.
An amber glow emanating from the library drew me forward. Listening from the arched entryway, I heard muffled groans. Thinking I had found my spirits, I stepped into the room only to discover where my husband’s real desires rested.
It took a moment for them to notice me standing at the head of their bearskin rug, then struggle to cover their nakedness. Light from the banked fire lit my face, making my smile more sinister than I intended.
A master and his squire are intrinsically close, but this would be scandalous. I would take my own lover unchallenged by the morrow.