Crystal Throne

                                                                                 By Bert McKenzie 

                                                                                  Copyright 2010

 

Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance to any real
person alive or dead is coincidental and unintentional.

CHAPTER V

     "They took him away!  How could you just let them take him away?"
Ellenia was in tears.

     "And what did you expect us to do?  Start a fight right here in the
palace and risk his getting hurt?"

     "But what of Robin?  How can we help him?" she asked desperately.

     "I don't know," Thomas replied.  "But we have till tomorrow to think
of something."

     "My lord," it was the captain of the guards.  "I think I may have an
idea."

          * * *

     The dungeon of the blue tower was definitely not what Robin expected.
The entire room was draped in silks and satins; a richly woven carpet
covered the floor, yards of azure material hung from the ceiling and hid
the walls of the room, turning it into a giant tent.  In the center of the
floor was a large pile of cushions and pillows beside a low table.
Everything seemed designed for comfort, except for the golden chain that
held Robin prisoner.  His guards had brought him directly to this room,
fastened his wrists and ankles together to limit his mobility, and then
attached a golden collar around his neck.  A chain hanging from the collar
band attached to a large metal ring protruding through the wall coverings.

     A cool breeze caught Robin's attention.  Looking up he saw the
curtaining material billow, and a young boy entered.  He was dressed, or
rather undressed, the same as Robin, wearing only a golden collar band
around his throat.  He carried a large tray covered with slices of fruits
and melons.  The boy placed the tray on the table and smiled up at Robin.
"Refresh yourself," he offered, and then turned to leave.  Robin sat on the
cushions and took a piece of fruit.  He was extremely hungry.

          * * *

     Getting into trouble was usually not that difficult.  Rood normally
had to try especially hard to keep out of such predicaments.  But today,
try as he might, no one seemed to get angry.  It was as if the influx of
all the strangers to the palace in anticipation of tomorrow's council
meeting had somehow made everyone more tolerant.

     Finally, after much persistence, Rood managed to insult an officer of
the blue guard.  He made several objectionable comments about the guard's
parents, and then proceeded to question the guard's own choice of sexual
partners.  When he finally began describing in detail of which animals the
guard was particularly fond, the brawl broke out.

     In no time at all, they were hauled before a tribunal of palace
guards.  When the blue guard explained what had happened, Rood began
shouting 'pet names' that he called the man's love objects.  That was
enough to win swift judgement from the tribunal.  No one in attendance was
more shocked than the blue guard himself when Rood was remanded to his
custody with the sentence to spend an allotted time in the dungeon of the
blue tower.  Realizing the better part of valor, Rood quickly silenced
himself and became as docile as possible, all to no avail.  He soon found
himself in a damp stone cell beneath the tower.

     Getting his fellow inmates to talk to him was no difficult task.
Conversation was about the only thing that would help to pass the time.
"You really said Grandell coupled with carrion buzzards?" a wide-eyed young
lad asked.

     "Look where your mouth got you," an older man in questionable health
added.  "You could have been outside and at least have seen the coronation.
Now you shall rot here like us."

     "Maybe not," Rood said optimistically.  "My friend got out pretty
quickly, and so shall I."

     "What friend?" the older man asked.

     "Tall and thin, one of the high born but with eyes the color of the
forest.  He was brought in earlier today.  He is not here now, so he must
have been released."

     "No one is ever released," the older man snapped.

     The younger man seemed puzzled.  "No one was brought in today except
you.  It has only been us for the past week."

     Rood was confused.  "But I saw them take him, myself."

     "Probably dead," the old man offered and then collapsed in a fit of
coughing.

     "What offense committed he?" the younger man asked.

     "Melusine caught him with his girlfriend in the king's chambers," Rood
replied.  "She said it was treason."

     "If Melusine caught him, you may as well forget him," the old man
said.

     "Why?" Rood asked.

     "Was he pleasing to look at?" the boy asked.

     "Not as handsome as me," Rood boasted.  He was proud of his well
muscled body and yellow blond hair.  Although facially not as attractive as
many of the high born, he would rival any human movie star in looks, and
his lopsided grin, which he usually used when he had some mischief in mind,
definitely added to his character.

     "Melusine takes the pretty ones to her chambers," the boy answered.
"She uses them, and sucks the life from them like a spider on a fly.  When
she has had her pleasure, she has them killed."

     "How know you this?" Rood questioned.

     "I was a servant in her quarters," the boy answered.  "She grew
displeased with me and here am I."

     Rood jerked hard against the shackles, testing the metal.  The chains
held firmly.  He had obtained the information he needed, and now he needed
to be able to use it.  But first he had to get out of the dungeon.  "How
often come the guards here?" he asked.

     "If we get food tonight they will come at sunset," the older man told
him.

          * * *

     Robin was sitting on the cushions, trying to think of a plan when he
heard a heavy footstep.  Melusine pushed aside a billowing curtain and
entered.  She had changed from the heavy robe she wore earlier into a
clinging, transparent gown.  The material hugged her breasts and hips,
accentuating the roundness of her form, the front opening down to her
navel.  The parts of her body that were covered with the material were not
hidden by the transparency of the fabric.

     Robin stood and stepped back as she slowly walked toward him.  She
dropped down onto the cushions and stretched out comfortably.  "Your body
warmth is still here," she purred as she rubbed herself against the pillows
where he had been sitting.  She rolled onto her back and ran her hands over
her breasts.  "Do you not find me more beautiful than that thin woman you
were with?" she asked.

     Her movements reminded him of a forest cat in heat.  It made Robin
extremely uncomfortable, filling him with loathing.  He said nothing.

     Melusine reached over and picked up a slice of apple.  She took a bite
and then held the remainder out to him.  "Here, take some nourishment," she
said.  He shook his head.  She carefully placed the half eaten piece back
on the tray and began to loosen her gown.  She slipped it off her shoulders
and pulled it down over her legs.  Leaning back on the pillows, she spread
her thighs and licked her lips.

     Robin knew inside that he should at least be interested.  No female
had ever offered herself to him before.  But something was wrong.  He felt
no desire or interest, only revulsion at her obscene behavior.  He took a
step back.

     Her passion quickly changed directions.  No longer seductive, Melusine
reached out and grabbed the chain attached to the collar, giving it a sharp
tug.  Caught off guard, Robin fell to his knees beside her.  "What is the
matter with you, young one?" she hissed in his face.  "I want you in me and
I shall have you."  She stood before him, his face on a level with her
crotch.  Grabbing his head in her hands she crushed him to her body burying
his face in her pubic hair.  Robin found it difficult to breathe.

     "Lady."  Releasing him Melusine turned.  The young servant boy was
standing timidly in the background.

     "I am not to be interrupted," the woman screamed at him.

     The boy flinched as if physically attacked.  "Your brother commands,
lady," he whimpered.

     Melusine turned back to Robin.  "I will be back for you, my stallion.
You had better be ready for pleasure, if you want your girlfriend to live."
She grabbed her gown and left the room.  Robin collapsed on the pillows,
tears welling in his eyes.  He had never been so frightened in his life.

     He jumped at a soft hand on his shoulder.  It was the servant.
"Couple with her," the boy advised.  "It will make you feel good, and she
will be nice to you for a time."

          * * *

     The guard entered with a bowl of something almost edible.  He started
toward the three men chained to the west wall.  The one in the center was a
newcomer, just brought in this morning.  From the look of things he
appeared to be dead already.  Setting down the bowl the guard reached out
to feel the man's heartbeat in his neck.  It felt strong, but he still
seemed unresponsive.  The guard lifted the limp head.  Suddenly the eyes
made contact with his.  An electrical spark seemed to jump between the two
men.  The guard felt a strange wrenching motion in his gut, as if his body
were being twisted inside out.  Pulling back, he gasped.  It was like
looking into a mirror.  The body chained to the wall was his.  He turned
and bolted for the door.

     The jailor was standing in the hall, waiting for the guard to return
from feeding the prisoners.  Suddenly, the new prisoner came running out of
the cell.  With lightning reflexes, the old jailor swung his staff and
flattened the fugitive.  He dragged him back into the cell to find the
guard in chains.  He quickly released the guard and locked the unconscious
prisoner back in his place.  Together they left the dungeon.

     The young prisoner marveled at the unconscious body chained next to
him while the older man laughed softly.  "The old changeling switch," the
man said to his young companion.  "It lasts not long but it surely is
effective.  Not many can work the old magic like that."

          * * *

     Darkness was falling over the palace and with it came a changing of
the guard shifts.  This unexpected event helped Rood penetrate further into
the tower.  If he walked with a purpose others assumed he knew where he was
going.  So while he actually wandered aimlessly, often retracing his steps,
he was never questioned or challenged.  He finally spotted a naked young
man wearing a gold collar.  This was the description the young prisoner had
given him of Melusine's servants.  Rather than leaving it to chance that
the servant would eventually lead him to his goal, he stopped the boy.

     "I am ordered to check on the lady Melusine's newest 'guest,'" he
explained in his most authoritative manner.  Expecting a discussion of who
gave such orders or why, Rood was surprised when the young man meekly
turned and led him directly to the woman's chambers.

     Robin had waited through the afternoon with growing desperation.  He
knew any moment that the monstrous woman would return.  He tried to imagine
what he could do.  Finally formulating a plan to strangle her with his neck
chain, he began to grow calm.  Yet he still jumped as someone entered the
room.  Looking up, in the dim light he could make out a guard in a blue
tunic.

     The guard quickly surveyed the room, then came to kneel beside where
Robin sat.  "My lord, I am here to help you," he said quickly.  Robin
watched him warily.  "When will the woman return?"

     "I know not.  Soon," Robin answered.

     "Are you familiar with changeling magic?" the man asked.

     "No," Robin replied.

     They both heard steps in the outer corridor.  "No time to explain," he
said.  "Look into my eyes."

     Robin looked, and as he did, he felt a strange pulling sensation.  He
suddenly realized that he was looking at a mirror image of himself.
"Quickly," his double said, grabbing the chain.  "Hold this around my
throat and call for help."

     As Robin grasped the chain, holding it around his double's neck, he
realized he was wearing a blue tunic.  Only a moment ago he had been naked.

     "What is going on here?" Melusine asked as she entered the room.  It
was all too obvious.  Her captive had somehow managed to switch places with
a guard, but in an apparent escape attempt the guard had caught him with
the chain, and was now strangling him.  "Release him," she commanded, and
the guard let go of his hold.  Her prisoner, gasping for air, slowly rose
to his feet.

     "You stupid fool.  How did you let this happen?" Melusine snapped as
she produced a key from a fold in her gown and proceeded to unfasten the
guard.  "So chains won't hold you, my precious," she said, eyeing her naked
captive.  "No matter.  You," she said turning to the guard.  "Stay outside
and see that we are not disturbed."  The man quickly left the room.  "Now
come to me, my buck," she said leaning back on the cushions.  For the first
time she saw a lopsided smile creep across her prisoner's face.  He stood
over her, hands on his hips, pelvis thrust forward, and his manhood rising
in anticipation.

          * * *

     Robin traced his way back out of the structure, without incident.
Once outside it was a simple matter to find the white tower.  He asked the
first guard he came to how he could find Thomas.  The man did not wish to
help but eventually sent a message inside.  A small group of armed men
showed up and led him off through a side entrance.  Realizing too late,
Robin found himself in the tower dungeon.  He tried to explain, argue and
fight, but the guards ignored his protestations and overpowered him.  They
shoved him into a cell, locked the door and left.  Once again he was a
prisoner, but this time by his own men.

          * * *

     "No word yet from Rood?" Thomas asked Melcot, the temporary captain of
the guard.

     "No, lord," came the reply.  Thomas and Ellenia had spent a long night
in fearful anticipation.  The plan seemed too tenuous.  Their man said he
could get into the blue tower, find out where they had taken the young king
and return.  But he did not say how long it would take.  The council was
scheduled to meet in less than an hour.  "My lord, we have heard nothing
from the blue tower all night."

     "Except for that one spy," added another of the men.

     "What spy?"  Thomas was suddenly alert despite his fatigue.

     "Just a guard," the captain replied.  "He had some crazy story about
how he had escaped and demanded to see you.  We have seen this one before
and know him to be of questionable character."

     "Where is he now?" Thomas asked.

     "In the dungeon, but . . ."

     "Come on," Thomas said grabbing Ellenia's hand and dashing off down
the stairs.

          * * *

     Robin catalogued his complaints.  He was tired and hungry and
uncomfortably cold.  The changeling effect had worn off some time during
the night.  He now sat on a stone bench in a damp and drafty cell, naked
once again.  His one comfort was imagining the look on Melusine's face when
the man she was with changed back and she realized she was the one who had
set her own prisoner free.

     "Robin, are you alright?" a familiar voice called.  Through the bars
on the door he could see Thomas looking in.  "Quick, open this door.
Ellenia, go bring suitable attire for council."  The door was swiftly
unlocked and Thomas escorted him back to the captain's rooms.

     A short time later, Thomas was lashing the back of the golden mail
jerkin together.  Robin was dressed in sandals and a white, knee-length
tunic with the over doublet of gold chain mail and a floor length golden
robe to finish off the effect.  Ellenia smiled up at him as she place a
golden circlet on his brow.  "Now you truly look like a king," she said,
kissing him gently on the cheek.

     "There is no time to waste," Thomas barked, rushing them out the door.
"By now the council will be in session.  We must hurry."

     Just as they turned the corridor heading toward the council chambers,
Melusine rounded a corner coming from an intersecting hall.  Ellenia let
out a small cry of alarm and drew back.  Robin drew the short sword from
the scabbard that now hung at his side.  "Would you do me such a
disservice, my lord, now that I have freed you?" the woman asked, smiling a
crooked grin at him.

     "Do not hinder us," Thomas warned.

     "Hinder you?" Melusine's eyes widened in mock surprise.  "Why, I fight
at your side."

     As they watched, the woman's body seemed to waver as though seen
through the heat of a summer day.  Where she had stood, now was a tall man
dressed as a palace guard.

     "Rood," Thomas exclaimed in delight.

     "By now the entire western kingdom has heard of my deception.  I
suggest we make haste," the captain of the guard urged.  The group set out
again for the council chambers.

 

 

 

 

 

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