The Mighty Castle
By Taylor Hudson
Fiction – Romance
“Oh hello Joan.” Melissa said as she came out of her front door. Her friend’s sudden appearance was a pleasant surprise. “What have you got there?” Melissa asked.
“It’s my new bike!” Said Joan.” Do you want to have a quick go?”
“Why not?” Replied Melissa. “I’ve got just enough time to go around the block.”
Melissa was a stunningly pretty woman in her early thirties. She had shoulder length brown hair which attractively curved around her face.
Her bodice was full and her curves to die for.She slipped into the saddle with ease. It was as if it was made for her lithe, fit body.Down the hill she went.
Her shapely legs peddled away. As she approached the corner in the road she gave the brakes a little pull. There was a sharp snapping noise!
The brake cable had broken! She looked down in horror. The ground was flying past at a frightening speed. Next all she knew was that she was flying through the air. She had gone over the edge of the bridge. She was falling and falling.
“Lady Melissa! Are you all right?” Came a worried shout from higher up. Melissa crawled out of the bush which had broken her fall. A woman in strange clothes was struggling down the bank.
“My lady. You must not ride off like that. The men will be cross.”
Melissa was too stunned to say anything. The younger woman, who seemed to know her, caught her arm and tugged her up the bank.But where were they? It seemed as if they were in a forest clearing cut into two by a muddy track.
A group of riders were waiting for them. They all seemed to be wearing medieval fancy dress. She was forced up and on to a saddle. It was so old fashioned.
“Tie her hands. Lady Barbara. She will not escape me a second time.” Said a gruff, authoritative male voice. Lady Barbara lent over and did as she was told.
“What!” gasped Melissa? “Where am I? Who are you?” She demanded.
“Now listen.” Said Lady Barbara. “Just in case the fall has addled your wits. You are Lady Melissa. Your husband, or rather ex husband was declared a rebel by the king. He was killed in yesterday’s battle.
“The king ordered us to take you to your new husband. His majesty has given your hand to our liege lord. Guillaume de Sade. Lord Sade is the new castellan of Arundel Castle as the earl who had it before is away so we have it now.”
She said this last bit with a hint of pride in her voice.
“Look you can see the castle on the hill. Your new home.” She added.
Melissa thought it pointless to say anything. She assumed she must be an extra on a film set.
The horses were soon clanking over the castle drawbridge. She was untied. She rubbed her wrists as she was led into the castle’s great hall.
A huge fire blazed in the hearth. There were tables groaning with food. Men and women feasting and making merry.
They all wore medieval costume. She invited a few glances as she was taken up a flight of steps into a smaller dining room. Guards stood at the doorway.
A swarthy looking man sat at the head of the table.
“Sit.” He gestured towards a place.
Opposite her was a girl aged about eleven. She returned Melissa’s smile with a look of undisguised hatred.
“Why is this rebel and traitor allowed to sit at our table, father?” She shouted.“Have her taken to the dungeons to be whipped.”
Melissa assumed this must be some mother hate thing.The man lent forward, and spoke tenderly to the girl.
“She is to be my bride. She comes with the ‘de Montbray’ lands. She is to be your new stepmother. She will be in charge of you. So curb your tongue.”
“I hate her.” The girl shouted back.
Melissa sank gratefully into the offered seat. She plucked attentively at the food dish placed before her. The wine in the old tin goblet was surprisingly good.
She had loved the time travel films of her youth being a particular fan of Dr Who. The bad knock on the head made things swim in and out of focus.
She guessed if she played dumb she would wake up safely at home.
“My head hurts from the fall my er, Lord.” She stammered. She was freaked that she was speaking a mixture of French and singsong English.
“Lady Barbara tells me you tried to run away from your duties.” Replied the man.“The rebels were defeated and have been hunted down. Severed heads now adorn the bridges between here and London.”
Melissa gasped. He continued;
“I’m sorry if you were fond of some of them, but you must win new friends here. The King has ordered it.
“Father,” screamed the girl, “This traitor is married to you yet she mourns those who would have killed you. Let me watch you beat her.”
“Rowena! I’ve told you. Lady Melissa is your new mother. Don’t speak to her like that.” Her father scolded.
“She will go over the battlements like the last one. Or drown in the castle moat like the one before.” The child screamed in reply.
“You little witch!” Exclaimed Melissa. She felt a sudden chill descend across the table.
“You called my daughter what?” Hissed Lord Slade.
“Well, it was a turn of phrase.” Hesitated Melissa. “I um….er,”.
“You must have heard of the new Cannon Law which makes it your duty to your stepdaughter to teach her the ways of God. If she slips into practicing witchcraft because you failed to correct her then it is you who will be ducked. My wife number four ended in the moat. Wife five went the same way and you are number six.” He explained.
“Well, don’t we have to go up the aisle and sign some bits of paper? I mean I do get the opportunity of saying, ‘I do, or rather I don’t.” Melissa enquired.
She was relying on spending a few days still as a vestal virgin while the wedding was arranged.
Besides as soon as she went to sleep she would wake up back home. Perhaps with a damp sheet drawn up between her legs?
After all his Lordship was only a little older than herself and remarkably good looking with a swarthy, earthy look and bulging muscles.
Not an ounce of fat anywhere. There was nothing wrong with her imagination if she could dream him up.
“Hang the traitor! She defies the King!” Another scream from Rowena.
“And if you insult your stepmother you will be punished for it.” Snapped Lord Sade. Turning to Melissa he continued;
“Lady Barbara tells me you ran and hit your head. You seem bemused so I will explain. The King has sent us his Royal Writ.”
He picked up an old style bit of parchment and waived it at her.
“The King has pronounced us married man and wife. The white wedding for the shy virgin bride is for the first time around. Subsequent times we just go up the stairs and get on with it. So when you tried to run off you were already my wife, and deserting before consummating. I am duty bound to chastise you.
“So I suggest you go upstairs with your retinue and prepare yourself for our long night together of pleasure and pain. My pleasure and your pain.” He said this with such a charming smile that Melissa didn’t know whether he was serious or joking.
“Lady Barbara take your new mistress and Rowena to the north tower chamber that’s been specially prepared. Prepare her for my enjoyment and I will be along. And discipline that girl!”
“Not the whip! Not the whip!” Wailed a tearful Rowena.
“Don’t be silly!” Melissa reproached her, but with her voice softening she added “We don’t beat little girls, even very naughty ones.”
“Oh yes we do!” Said Lady Barbara. But seeing a fresh flood of tears welling in the girl’s eyes, she relented;“OK no whipping tonight. At least not for you.” She said staring towards Melissa.
With that she grabbed the startled girl by the hand and linking arms with the even more startled Melissa, flung themselves towards the passage at the far side of the hall which led to the North Tower.
Melissa was a little breathless from the climb up one hundred and eighty steps of the spiral staircase.
She had gathered from Lady Barbara that lifts hadn’t yet been invented nor did the castle benefit from central heating. However in the landing outside of her room a huge fire blazed with two girls tending to a cooper urn of steaming water.
“Bring it.” Ordered Lady Barbara. “The new mistress needs bathing before she receives the Master. The two girls sniggered. Melissa thought she heard a touch of irony in Lady Barbara’s voice.
Melissa’s head was swimming. She had been to a modelling agency last week who had hinted at a new film looking for actresses to do full nude romantic scenes.
They hadn’t said anything about historical scenes in castles..but then did that really matter?
She must have fallen asleep when the film company came to collect her. Perhaps someone had put something in her drink, she had gone groggy and only come back to life in the riding scene. Maybe she fell off the horse? That would explain it!
She would be cross with the agency for not saying it was some sort of hard core porn film. She doesn’t do spanking scenes. Well, she hadn’t up to now anyway. She certainly wasn’t doing anything with a child watching.
The alternative scenario that she had time travelled was in the world of dreams. Wild erotic dreams…….
The tale of Melissa’s adventures continues in the full length book now out. If your wish to order your copy please leave your details in the comments box below.
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