“Do not wait for a coronation; the greatest emperors crown themselves.” ― Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

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Alexandra Drăgana

Scene 15

The band played a rousing beat as the nubile belly dancer made old men forget their age and young girls dream of adoration. Shouts of approval to swinging hips, laughter and the cacophony of spectacle resounded through the forest. Celebration masked the sound of footsteps and padded paws moving along a hidden path that circled the parade field in a time-honored duty of service more than 800 years old.

A man adorned in the finery of wealth, the stature of high rank, and the cold stare of a killer moved along the grassy path within the woodline, his two-year-old wolf at his side. They paused. The young wolf stared ahead and whined a warning. Marius knew with every royal family from the ancient Wolf Clan awaiting the ascendancy of Lady Drăgana at the pavilion, only he and his men could stop their enemies from executing a final victory. An assassination of several of the family leaders would only repeat the history of violence and retribution.

“Steady Rolf, steady.” Marius placed a calming hand on the raised hackles of his lupine companion. The music and festivity continued unabated and unaware of the hatred that shaped their lives for more centuries than humans can conceive much less remember. The golden glow of the beast’s eyes pierced the forest and focused on the scent of a stranger in the wood. The hunt began in earnest. The desire for blood drove hunter and animal to innate fury.

* * *

Dari placed her hand on the back of her Duchess below the shoulder blades in a show of support as close friends often do. The tense muscles belied Alexandra’s stoic pose.

“Don’t worry My lady,” Dari said with reassuring tones as her hand sent warm sensations to Alexandra’s awareness. “You’ll see the faces of love in your subjects and you’ll know that everything you say and do will be for them.”

“I do hope so, Dari.” Alexandra turned to her handmaid and felt the strength of her words and saw the confidence in her narrowed ice blue eyes. “I have always been a performer to crowds, an object of their entertainment. I don’t really know how to be their leader.”

“When you walked down the walkway on your way to the fighting cage, did you not hold your head high and show your confidence? Did you not show you were unafraid in front of your opponent? Dari asked, knowing well the answer.

Visions of bloody faces raced across Alexandra’s mind coupled with those rare times she stole a wicked pleasure from her opponent. She faltered at the thought of her terrible need. She felt her iron core crack at the acknowledgment of her secret desire for the Viscount. How would she, so accustomed to the eroticism of pain, find a way to show such a man, she could love him?

Again, the calming touch of her dear friend who fulfilled her subservient role in such a way as to capture the heart of her master lay a soothing hand on Alexandra’s waist and drew near in a whisper.

“A leader need not prattle on to her subjects about business rules and the fine art of maneuver. No, My Lady, they need to see your confidence in yourself and your trust in them. Show them your strength, show them you are unafraid of your hellbound duty. Ask for their commitment to the greater good of the Wallachian people. Give them not words, but good deeds that prove you love them. They will love you in return and their lives will be like pure spring water in your hands and dry mouth.”

Alexandra held Dari in a tight, long-held embrace, feeling her warmth and breath mingled with her own. “I love you, Dari. Only Master Cho encouraged me in the way you do. I promise to make you proud.”

“Make them proud,” Dari whispered against the soft red glow of Alexandra’s ear and pointed the way up the steps to the pavilion.

* * *

The music stopped. The noise from the crowd died down in anticipation. After a long pause, trumpets blared and the drums beat a new rhythm. A long procession of people, men, and women, dressed in exquisite traditional clothing of the Dacian warrior clan filed down the rear walkway to the steps. There seemed a mix of dignified gray hair and defiant silky black braids and beards marching up the steps and disappearing like an army of ants on the top of the pavilion. Alexandra’s heart thumped in her chest as she took note of the curved ceremonial swords at the men’s side.

The band moved down to join the military guard around the pavilion. A Bishop of the Orthodox Patriarchate dressed in his cream-colored robe with golden ornate trim, and tall stylized crown moved slowly up the steps. His thick grey beard presented an elegant and ancient ghost to Alexandra and she shuddered, pushing away intrusive thoughts. When the priest stood beside a massive wooden chair with two wolves facing carved into the back. Dari nodded to Alexandra.

“The Viscount will call your name and then you will go to the side of the Bishop. They will speak English to you and then repeat in our language to the subjects and guests.”

Alexandra turned and faced up the ancient stairway. She steeled herself to calm her nerves and her confidence came as if beckoned. Like words are unspoken yet ringing in the subconscious, a final litany came to Alexandra as she looked skyward to a pair of circling ravens against the veil of white clouds in front of a cobalt sky.

“Questions are the torment of my enemies, their swords, their assaults on my womb. I prepare my answer to you more than the starlings that blacken the autumn sky, each a memory of my enemies’ dagger to my dignity and my people’s heart. My mind tortures me with mysteries of my past far beyond my life. Today I return to the present no longer a stranger to myself or my people. Fate is inexorable. I am inexorable.”

A wolf howled an alert to his companions in the wood. There was a collective shudder felt in the throngs of people and down Alexandra’s neck.

Go To Scene 16

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57 thoughts on “The Agony of Ecstasy-Scene 15

  1. I dig when there’s a little side story going on like with Marius and the wolf. And that’s a fantastic pic at the top of the post! ❤ You’ve done a great job leading up to the ceremony here, and now you got me all anxious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, perfect! Thank you so much Lauren. I was just mulling over if the side story with Marius and Rolf was more distraction than story. Marius and Rolf will play key roles later. I like Rolf. He is a lot like I was as a youngster, except I didn’t get to chew on very many bad guys. I was forced to use a cap pistol as was customary in my pre-soy boy era where boys pursued toilet humor in all aspects of life and girls thought we were yucky and immature. Those were the good ole days. It’s a heck of a party going on and it ain’t over until the vivacious curvy lady sings.

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      1. Nah, I think it creates more suspense than any kind of distraction.

        Rolf is great and I look forward to seeing him more in the story. And…I still pursue toilet humor! At IHOP yesterday the kid in the booth next to ours ripped a good one, so good that his father said, “Um, are you okay? Maybe we should head home now.” And I about lost it. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks my friend, that is good to know. There is a fine line between leading a reader through the scene and bogging him or her down with excessive description. I do wander back and forth but always try to hit that balance point. Much appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Scene 16 is coming up but I have a NSFW post about some of my fetishes next. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have anything to do with the plethora of Real like sex dolls for sale from California or Japan. I don’t need Akira using those razor sharp talons on me so I stay respectful. I have heard you can teach them to giggle when you spank them. That might be fun. 🧛‍♂️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you like Marius, Kymber. He is a very important person to Cezar and Alexandra, but Alexandra has no clue of that at the moment. She will later as Marius makes himself known to her. I’ll get that next scene out for you soon. I promise. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

        1. 😁🧛‍♂️🧛‍♀️ I always honor special character requests. Let me know if you see certain qualities in Marius that should be evident. I know you can see things in infinite detail. Your sim story is so real, I’d swear you were writing it as it unfolds in real life.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you so much for your compliment. It means so much to me. As for your Marius, I can see your eye for detail as well. I find him absolutely fascinating. Your writing is truly superb. 🙂 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I am intrigued by Marius. You have managed to introduce him to the story in a very captivating way. Tension is building and I cannot wait to see what happens next.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi K. Thank you! Ah, you noticed Marius. We will see much more of Marius. He seems to enjoy his work and is a dedicated employee. Well paid too it seems. And, he has a young wolf as a companion in his work.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “A man adorned in the finery of wealth, the stature of high rank, and the cold stare of a killer moved along the grassy path within the woodline…” Man, you wax so patiently and eloquently about your characters you bring me right into the scene…and, like the pro you are, you take the time to build the scene before you let the reader know what’s going on…your intro: ..”old men forget their age and young girls dream of adoration.” I can see those hips swinging and I relate to the emotions of those old men so deeply I’m sitting right there drooling at the parade of swinging hips enticing the younger men to get funky after the show is over. I’ve had my day, but the show goes on…as it must. Great writing Hype! I’ll try to steal some of your style as I continue! Alexandra even gets turned on “looking at the curve of their swords…” Man, the imagery is making me pulsate! This story has it all, Hype! Keep it comin’!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Bro! I absolutely can’t sleep until my readers drop by and tell me what they think works or doesn’t work. Our shared investment in storytelling has definitely elevated our game. I hope in the future to obtain a level of existence like Sha’Tara. Not only does she write flawlessly, but her mind operates with a connectivity that Frank Herbert and Dan Simmons could only imagine in their epics. We are taping into a greater consciousness and though our stories cover different sectors of the same octosphere, we are merging our thoughts and approaches to a more perfect execution. You do get Alexandra’s life on a deep level. She is tainted it seems, but no one has yet seen what the one who dances with knives can do when those she loves are threatened. To steal a quote from our friend Dracul Van Helsing, “Release the Kraken.” I too have outlived my useful service life. I am an ancient text of secrets that no one wants to know. A book yearns to be read, to feel the range of emotions coursing through the heart of its reader. In the reader’s hands a book lives the grandest life and on the shelf, the book lives in the memories of those glorious moments while ever desiring just one more time. We’ll have our one more time. These stories we write, these futures and pasts we describe are not done yet. There are hungry minds yet left to feed. Thank you for your unflagging support. You are a true friend of high caliber.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes when I have read something so enchanting and intriguing I am without words to do the writing justice. This is one if those times. This is as fine as as any fantastical and sensual drama I’ve read, romantic, erotic, adventurous, surreal and ever so subtly erotic. Everything a reader could want. Very fine work Dan. Hats off dear friend!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Rene! I was transported in this episode, it’s like living it. Though the internal dialog and vision of the story in my mind is far richer than I can describe, it has a hold on me as the writer, like a spell not of my own doing. I know that feeling you describe, your writing has the same effect. I often feel foolish even trying to decribe the things I see and feel in the reading of great literature. I consider it a blessing that I can find and connect in a way that takes my thoughts and breath away. Reading is my addiction, like my morning coffee. I’ll not be quitting anytime soon. Maybe someday I can convince you to write a poem for Alexandra and she’ll read it here with the Dragons.

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      1. Your writing comes from such a deep place, entwined with your life experiences, it’s remarkable and says so much about your love of expressing that through your brilliant imagination. To do justice to these majestic figures through poetry would be far reaching but I will keep
        That in my thoughts, perhaps surprise you.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I would cherish your participation, Rene. In your own time at your own pleasure, it would be an honor to feature your poetry and tie your poem to the story by writing a scene dedicated to your vision. Your Celtic roots played a huge role in the earliest parts of Baltic history where this story takes place. We’re talking pre-Roman history and before Latin was the language of the Greeks when Celtic tribes covered most of Europe. The story will touch on that time as Cezar and Alexandra recount their past lives. Then on into the distant future. But, all that said, please feel no pressure to do anything. Your reading and enjoyment is reward enough. 😌

          Liked by 1 person

            1. The honor is all mine, Rene. I just have a great vibe about it. I feel your poetry would greatly enhance the story by adding another dimension to it. You will help readers connect to Cezar and Alexandra through the conduit of your poetry as only poetry can.

              Liked by 1 person

                1. You will find the right words, you always do. When it comes to you, you will know it. If I can help in any way, please let me know. And no schedules or deadlines, no worries. In your own time and place, the muses, daughters of Mnemosyne, sister to Hyperion, will give you the visions and the poem will be yours.

                  Liked by 1 person

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