As she was thrown to the bed the half naked blond woman giggled. She lay now, next to a pale brunette stripped completely of her silky robes, looking satisfied.
The blonde inquired, “Sire? Might I ask a question?”
Then the prince jumped onto his bed to join both of the women. He replied, “you’ve already asked a question. Two in fact. Do you mean to ask another?”
“I beg your pardon, Sire.”
“Oh no, please,” the prince grinned, “you are more than welcome to ask as many questions as you are willing.”
The woman glimmered with a full smile again, “Are we more or less fun than the courtesans?”
“Indeed my dear, certainly more fun.”
“And,” asked the brunette piping in, and rolling on top of the prince as she did, “are we more beautiful than the courtesans?”
“By far and away… more delightful and charming than any courtesan… who has made her way to my chamber,” and the prince and both women chuckled at his answer.
Suddenly the double doors gilt with gold opened, and entering the prince’s bed chamber was a herald. He was about to announce the prince’s next guest, but the prince interrupted.
“Not now, herald! Can not ye see that I’m… entertaining guests?”
“I think you meant ravaging, Sire,” the blonde corrected, and once again the trio chortled at their pathetic witticisms.
“Indeed, you may be right,” said the prince, and then he spoke to the herald again, “so whomever hath come to see me can go away or wait!”
At this the girls laughed again, but when they saw and heard the prince’s guest, they held their tongue, and became immediately modest, and hurried to cover themselves. It was the king.
“Ah, Mithras! I’m glad to see that you are already awake and attending to state affairs,” lied the king, knowing full well there were a pair of concubines hiding under his son’s bed sheets. He crossed the marble floor and went straight to the wide open window. The skies were clear, and provided an excellent view of the Ehna’ Rial, which were as usual, calm.
Mithras cleared his throat, and said sounding surprised to see the man, “Father! How wonderful to see you this morning.”
The king grimaced when he faced his son. “Leave us,” he finally said after several moments. Without another word, the two women leapt from Mithras’ bed without redressing, bare bottoms flashing, and dashed out of the room with the herald close behind. Guards quickly closed the doors, and father and son were alone.
“Uh, yes… Father, I was conducting some business last night, and unfortunately it carried over to today…”
“To be clear, I have no interest in what you were doing this morning, last night, or any morning or night future or prior, do you understand?”
“Yes father,” said Mithras rising, donning his robe. He bowed his head in respect.
Prince Mithras was better sculpted than his father could have hoped to be, and a over head taller. His lush hair fell into perfect curls, and his brown eyes were noble, yet he dared not make eye contact as his father had come to scold him.
“What I do care about is this dynasty; that it may continue for thousands of years without breaking. So conduct your business, when or whatever, so long as it does not interfere with mine. Have my words penetrated that thick skull of yours?”
“They resonate, father.”
The king expected his son to reply far more insolently, so when he didn’t he quickly smirked at his son, for he knew the boy was paying attention.
“Good,” the king continued, “Lady Aya of Nundir and her mother are due to arrive within hours. I expect I need not tell you to make upon them an impassioned impression that reflects on you and I positively?”
Believing their conversation over, the king passed to the door, when Mithras called, “Though I must inquire as to why? father. Why go out of our way to please Nundir? Please Lord Myron? Why do we still need his support? Surely Tandar will fall within months, as will all resistance after a decade. At least, ‘tis what the ministers claim.”
“Would you care to find out by not taking this meeting seriously?”
Mithras sighed, “No father.”
“Good. And I expect you to be dressed for such occasion.”
The doors opened, and King Cyrus left as suddenly as he arrived, leaving the prince alone to his thoughts.
Mithras gathered himself and took to the window forlorn, and viewed the capital like his father did. White clay structures with rose roofs rose up the hill, escalating in excellence the nearer they were to the palace, and overlooked the sea. So azure when it bled into the sky. Or the sky into the sea; Mithras could never be sure.
And on the horizon, he made out a ship of a southern make, and its green banner barely catching a breeze. Lady Aya, thought Mithras. He wondered if, or rather hoped she would be worthy to be his bride; elegant and fit enough to bear handsome sons. T’was his father’s intention.
Minutes later, Mithras readied his clothes on his own, as was his custom, and he left his chamber, prepared to mingle with other nobles later that evening.