©2011 By Nishi Serrano
PART 4 Maira Annwyn
The Princess Maira led William to her fortress hidden amongst tall pines at the heart of the island. William felt the length and breadth of the isle rather deceptive, as they walked quite far to arrive at her abode. It wasn’t a tall fortress, nor as expansive as a castle. But once inside, the fireplace crackled brightly, and the décor was plush. Richly colored fabrics hung from windows and ceiling, and couches stacked with pillows waited to be reclined upon. The table was set with golden wares, William’s eyes ignited.
“You must be parched,” Maira smiled. “I shall fix you some tea. There is a pot of roast near the fire.”
William took a bowl from the table and hungrily dished up the tasty smelling grub. He returned to the table in a state of bliss at the wonder of his fate. “Obliged your Highness, this roast is most delicious. But, where are your servants?”
“Oh, I’ve no need of them. They tend to be bothersome, and never do as told. I don’t mind fending for myself. Besides, the boredom of someone constantly pandering after me—besides a husband mind you—would be tedious.” Maira poured him tea and sat opposite.
“May I be so bold as to inquire… why are you hidden away on this island, instead of at Court?” William asked with the most innocent face he could muster.
“Well, it’s a long story Sir Knight. The short of it is I rebelled. And one does not rebel against the King and Queen. Not to worry though, my kingdom is far, and they care none I’ve fled.”
William huffed, “Surely it is not right for you to live here alone! You are far too brave and lovely to not have comfort on bitter nights. Aren’t you frightened? Tell me, how do you supply yourself?”
Maira laughed. “Your concern is touching. I’m a modern woman dear Knight, and fear not the darkness nor storms. I’ve learned to control any tomfoolery from nearing my isle. And my considerable fortune supplies me just fine.” With a dainty hand she tipped her cup against rosy lips.
This lady was the most perplexing creature, William mused. Her fortune must be considerable, indeed. A forlorn princess could easily be swayed, and it wouldn’t take him long to find the treasure. “If you would give me the chance fair princess, I would like to stay awhile. I’m sure the company will alter your ideas of solitude. For you are clearly divine, and deserve to be seen at Court.” William reached to place a hand over her resting one, turning puppy dog eyes compassionately to her liquid amber ones. She batted her lashes, and grinned shyly.
“On one condition, Sir Knight,” she gravely remarked.
“Anything, your wish is my command,” William bowed his head.
“You must promise to never—never—eat or even think of touching one of my apples, on or off the trees.”
Maira stared hard at his face for any deception as he replied, “An easy task. I promise beautiful princess, to now and always stay clear of your fruit.” The isolation must have touched her head. Apples he could handle, but her other yields were fair pickings!
“Good, I’ll hold you to the promise, and in return I will shower you with youth and wealth eternal, for as long as you comply.” Her gaze was suddenly as a snake’s, tempting him of pleasures to come. William pulled his hand back. He was hoping for a challenge, but clearly this fair maid had it in mind to bed him from the very start. No matter, all the quicker to reveal the cache and dispose of her. Oh, he would surely enjoy taking his time carving the prize, bit by bit.
The day passed gaily, and by night’s arrival William had gained Maira’s full trust. Earlier in the day he retrieved his horse and possessions, and now reposed in his personal chamber, listening to frogs and night birds lull him to sleep. Surprisingly, Maira coyly bid him good dreaming without so much as a peck on the cheek. When he slept, he dreamt of only her—wrapped in red and surrounded by sharp pointy things. It was a pleasant dream.
Sunlight woke the handsome prince, for that is exactly what he would be once he obtained Maira’s assets. He busied himself with freshening up, and noticed something odd. There was no mirror in his room. In fact, he hadn’t seen a single mirror in the entire fortress during his tour. ‘Hmm … she must be more daftly insecure than I guessed,’ He muttered to himself. The thought quickly left him as he exited the bedchamber and smelled fresh biscuits and eggs wafting from the kitchen, and always the enticing smell of apples underneath.
Maira was as golden as a honey bee flitting around making breakfast. All bashful smiles and good mornings, she insisted they have the morning’s meal outside. Crisp beams of heat filtered spotlights through the boughs, greeting them with a perfect morning. William fancied himself almost content. A strange feeling for him, he hastily shook it off. During their meal, a large bird arrived. It soared and screeched amongst the trees to land on a perch near Maira.
“William, I’d like you to meet my companion Augden. He is a very special bird,” she said, smoothing its giant feathers.
The bird closely resembled a hawk, but this was clearly the largest and most menacing hawk in existence. “Hello Augden,” William said uneasily. It continued glaring at him. He decided right then he hated the bird.
“Oh, don’t let him ruffle your feathers William. He’s harmless, keeps the vermin from messing with my orchard.” Maira cooed and rubbed behind the bird’s head. Augden chirped once and turned its head up at William, eyeing him sideways down its curved beak.
Snobby little pecker! Maira would be short one companion soon. “Fair Lady,” William began.
“Please, enough with the chivalry if you don’t mind. Simply call me by my name,” she interrupted.
Right then, he’d get down to it. “Maira, shall we walk a bit. I could do with a morning constitution.” Walk they did, eventually hand-in-hand. William’s arms circled the princess’ waist, and kissed the serum of her mouth. The two found themselves to bed. Between the sheets and William’s limbs, Maira promptly alleged her devotion. By far, she was the best lover he’d ever seduced.
The days became a blur to William in Maira’s wild passion. The damnable bird eluded every attempt of death as William searched the island for her riches, and at the end of each day he retired empty handed, exhausted, and secretly enraged to her all consuming lusts. After what seemed an eternity of frustration towards not finding the treasure, William’s last resort was to ask Maira’s hand in marriage. She gleefully accepted. William was grim. Proceedings were certainly not going as planned.
Read part five here:
Read part five here: