Chapter 39Mature

Maven looked out her crystal window, watching the sun set over the sea. They were running out of time. Maven could feel panic beginning to settle in. She sat still though, allowing her servants to clean her feet and finish the gown she was to wear to speak with Jareed. Maven extended her arm, and the servants began to put on her jewelry. Maven looked over at the maiden that was putting on the final dragonstones. Maven couldn't help but smile at it, after all, it was stunning. It was a long, black lace dress embroidered with dragonstones. Lastly, she looked at her head piece; an obsidian crown with a large dragonstone in the middle. 

"Your grace, the dress is ready for you." A servant said. 

"Thank you darling. The dress looks stunning." Maven replied, standing and then approaching it. 

The servants surrounded her like a flock of hens. First they unlaced her plain white gown and then put on her corset, then the black satin gown went on over her head, and lastly the main gown was put on her and laced. 

"You look stunning, your grace." A servant said, smiling at Maven.

"Thank you, I am rather fond of this dress." Maven replied. 

Maven stood, placing the crown on her head, and then left her chambers.

*****

Tywin waited at the foot of the grand staircase for Maven. The Keep was still bustling with servants finishing putting up paintings and statues, and others were decorating the Keep for the new year. When Tywin looked back up, he noticed that Maven was on the verge of running. 

"Tywin, we're running out of time, we must go now!" Maven said, pulling at his coat.

Tywin followed her, studying her movements. Clearly she was distressed. Everyone in the Keep stopped what they were doing, and all eyes were on them as they stormed out of the Keep. 

"Back to work!" A foreman shouted.

They both looked over at the setting sun, which was now hidden behind the Keep. Time was dwindling away. Even though the Keep wasn't that far away from the Tower of Esses, Tywin knew that anything was possible. 

"Your grace! Please spare us." A man shouted. 

Maven and Tywin looked around. A crowd of peasants were beginning to enclose their only way to the tower. "Please, we need through. We're on royal business." 

"Royal business? Ha! What are you going to do? Have more of us put to the axe?" He asked. 

"What are you saying? Jareed was the only one that we are punishing." Maven replied.

"What about the twenty women that were pulled from their homes and executed on the basis of being a 'threat to the Queen and her people?'" The man said, now pulling at her dress.

"I never sent any orders of execution, and I would never send twenty orders at once." Maven replied, then looking at Tywin nervously. 

"My wife died because of you! How am I to explain this to my children that their 'loving' Queen has executed their mother?" The man said, his voice starting to raise. 

By this point, more people were beginning to surround Maven and Tywin. They were all shouting at her about how she executed their wives and mothers. As Maven listened to them, trying to keep everything as peaceful as possible, Maven figured out who was causing such calamity. 

"My loving people, I have listened to you dearly. I have come to realize that what you believe is to be me sending orders of executions, is actually the Captain of the Guard! At this moment, he and his men are plotting on executing Jareed without my approval. He shall pay justly. Reparations shall be paid to those that have been harmed due to this. Again, I am terribly sorry for the atrocities that he and his men have committed." Maven shouted.

The people looked around at one another, then back to Maven. For a moment everything was silent, then they all knelt before her and then moved out of her way. "As long as the Captain pays."

*****

Captain Edwards sharpened his sword, laughing while doing so. "That dumb bitch won't even realize that he's dead until she calls for him on the new year." 

One of the guards looked at him, "And what if she already knows?" 

Edwards looked at the guard that asked the question and laughed at him. "We arrest her on the charges that she was conspiring with Jareed to overthrow the Captain of the Guard and murder his liege." 

"The people won't believe it, they'll find her innocent." Another guard replied. 

"Will they? Her claim to the throne is weakening. With the rebellion practically at her heel, her people will soon stop supporting her. Then of course we have Vandresa, claiming to be the true Queen, these people will be torn." Edwards replied, feeling his sword. 

Edwards stood up and saluted his men. "Lys, I want you to follow me and guard the door. For the rest of you, next time I see you, I will be the defender of the realm." 

*****

Maven and Tywin stood before the Tower of Esses. The sun was almost gone, the sky was now turning a pale blue color, in other areas, it was a darker blue. 

"I'll go in first, nothing can happen to you Maven. Me, well I'm not royalty. I'm your guard and this is my duty." Tywin said, kissing Maven on the cheek. 

Maven smiled at Tywin. "We will be fine. I just need to figure out who Jareed was working for. My word overrules the Captains." 

Maven and Tywin walked into the tower. The guards that were inside drew their weapons. "Your grace, for the time being this building is off limits. You must leave."

"I am the Queen, I will go where I please. Now stand aside or face the punishment that awaits." Maven said, glaring at the men.

The guards stood where they were, and became slightly more aggressive. "Listen, on the order of the Captain, you are not welcome here. Please leave. If we must ask again we will take swift action and arrest both of you."

Tywin laughed at the guard. "On what charges?"

"The charges of overthrowing the Captain of the Guard and interfering with the business of the Captain." The guard said, then laughing at the Queen.

Maven became tense. "Then so be it. You wish to arrest me? Then do it. The people will rise up against you."

Tywin looked over at Maven. "What are you doing Maven." 

"Come with us your majesty." The guard said, yanking on her. 

"I will come willingly. You needn't tug on me." Maven said, she then looked at Tywin. "Tywin, this farce will be over soon. Rally the guards within the Keep and tell Raeyna, and if you must," Maven paused, "contact Evanora."

"Silence!" The guard shouted at her. 

Once the guard got Maven inside, he threw her against the wall. "Stay there bitch." 

Maven looked around the tower. She couldn't remember the last time she actually went to the tower. She just sat against the wall silently. The silence almost scared her, the only thing she could actually here was water dripping from the stones. 

"You'll never guess who I caught!" The guard shouted. 

Maven listened in on the conversation. 

"Really? You got the Queen?" Another guard asked in shocked. 

*****

Jareed looked directly at Edwards. "And what is it you want of me?" 

Edwards sighed, "You pain me Jareed. I've asked you the same question five times. Give me the damn answers! NOW!" 

Jareed laughed at Edwards. "You are truly a fool Edwards. Kill me or let me live, she'll get her revenge." 

Edwards gave Jareed a strange look. "Who is going to get their revenge?"

"Why, don't you know. She's here now. She isn't happy either. I do believe your family might be in danger." Jareed said, laughing again. 

"Who are you talking about?" Edwards asked, his tone starting to rise.

Jareed said no more and laughed. Each laugh grew louder and a bit more strange. Finally, Jareed stopped laughing and his eyes turned a dark red. "Your poor family. Tomorrow will be an awful day for you. Release me now." 

Edwards slapped Jareed. "Never. I came here to execute you, and I won't leave until th-" Edwards stopped when he heard a loud crashing noise above him. "What was that?" 

"Her brother." Jareed replied.

The End

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