Chapter 6: Misunderstanding...
Skye could barely keep a straight face. She wanted to laugh at Peggy’s barb, but knew it would only make the matter worse. Felicia was taken aback a moment by Peggy’s comment.
As shock and anger surged in her, Skye’s voice made the red color taking over her vision retreat; “That is Enough out of you two! Finish up and leave me before I have ye both tossed into the loch to cool off!”
Knowing her lady was serious, Peggy apologized. Skye wasn’t actually mad, but needed to set an example to the wench. Peggy could see the mirth in Skye’s eyes before turning to Felicia. She motioned to the basin that sat in the doorway to the courtyard, but didn’t speak. Peggy knew her lady really did just want some peace. She decided they should leave through the servant’s gate located in the courtyard, behind the shade tree.
A few minutes after they left, Skye burst out laughing while saying; “Ye slay me Peg! Her face! Ha ha ha ha! ‘Yer Nips!’ Ha ha ha ha!”
After calming herself down and sitting a few moments more, Skye decided she might as well get out. She dried her hair and body, then stretched her arms above her head as she exited her closet. She always had Peggy set her clothes out on her bed. She yawned as she stretched, feeling nice and relaxed from her bath. Arms still above her head; Skye immediately turned to her left , towards her bed as she came into her bedroom.
Looking down at the chemise and the pale blue dress on her bed, she smiled as she lowered her arms. This was one of the few dresses she had that wasn’t a shade of green, that she liked. It was soft, but warm. As she leaned forward slightly to touch the dress, something moved in her peripheral vision. She looked up to see Tidas: staring at her, in all her naked glory.
Skye froze while thinking, ‘What the Hell was he doing in here?’
The look on his face mirrored her own shocked expression. Feeling a sudden urge to scream, Skye took in a deep breath. Her hands moving to cover her privy areas. A single note left her lips before he was across the bed.
Tidas pinned her against himself with his right arm and hand, while holding his left over her mouth. Panic rose within Skye as she looked into Tidas’ face with wide eyes. Facial features held shock, but his piercing green eyes held molten heat. His breathing was erratic, and she felt his body heat against her skin, through his clothes. His heart pounded in his chest as hard as her own.
Tidas didn’t know what he was doing. All he had wanted was to escort Skye to break their fast! Why did he have to enter the room when no one had replied to his call? He knew why he had stayed. Hearing his fiancée laughing hysterically about ‘nips’ had piqued his interest.
Skye used to be up at the crack of dawn when they were children, no matter how late she stayed up. Tidas assumed she’d still be in the habit, that she’d be sitting at her vanity brushing her hair, or something along those lines. ‘Not naked! Why naked, of all things?!’
The smell of flowers and citrus mixed with Skye’s natural scent was like slamming a dram of strong ale. Tidas refused to look down past her face, but that didn’t help much. Her soft, smooth skin under his palm was like putting a sandwich into a starving man’s hand, and telling him not to eat. But the fear in her eyes killed his building lust instantly.
Skye stared back at Tidas with such a fearful look that it caused a tinge in his heart. It was the one emotion he never wanted her to feel towards of him. So many people already did, but that didn’t bother him. Skye, on the other hand; a dagger would’ve been less painful.
Very slowly: Tidas leaned to his left, into Skye’s hair and whispered, “I’m not going to harm you Skye. I could never do that.. But I also don’t want every guard in this castle to show up and run me through. So, if you can promise me you won’t scream, I’ll release you. How does that sound to you, sweetheart?”
Skye was feeling dizzy. Tidas gripped her around her waist, his hand on her bare skin. He pressed her lower body against his sturdy one so she wouldn’t run. Only his clothes separated their bodies. His smell overwhelmed her senses, and she found it hard to focus on what he was saying. She showed fear, but not because of his actions. It was due to how he made her feel. Shock and fear of him being there lasted only seconds. How Skye’s body had reacted to Tidas’ presence; that was the source of fear he saw in her now.
“Skye...” Tidas whispered low in her ear, causing her to suck in a quick breath, and her body to warm.
Tidas removed his right hand from her mouth, and moved it to the side of Skye’s face. He cupped it gently, moving his face to look her in the eyes as he did so. They stared at each other for a few moments before Tidas broke their embrace. He sighed as he lightly brushed a loose curl away from her forehead. Then while slowly lowering his left arm, he turned his face up towards the ceiling. If she screamed, he would deal with the consequences.
Skye had mixed feelings of Tidas’ sudden change. Her mind was happy he’d let her go, but the rest of her body was not. She felt warm all over, and her skin was hot where his left hand had been holding her. Her cheek felt cold without him. The room was chilled, and Skye could’ve sworn she saw steam rising from her skin.
‘What the bloody hell is he doin’ to me?! Is this what it’s like to be wanton?!’ the thought sprang to her.
Tidas was going to be her husband tomorrow night. Was she actually ok with it? The thought of Jacob’s touches had repulsed her. The idea had literally kept her up at night with worry the past year. But the thought of Tidas’ hands on her body made goosebumps sprout all over her. ‘Why did he stop? Why is he looking at the ceiling?’ Suddenly, it dawned on her: she was still very naked.
Moving to Tidas’ right side, Skye snatched up her chemise and ran for her closet. Almost slamming the door behind her in her panic. She immediately put her head into her hands as she crouched down. While screaming in her mind, she took three deep breaths to calm herself.
“What the Hell! Bloody hell! Naked... I was, and he.. He saw..” Skye switched back to her inner monologue as she screamed again in her mind.
The door to the courtyard was across the room, to her left. She considered escaping her embarrassment by running away, but dismissed the idea as soon as she had it. What was she to do? Run out in her chemise? The fact that she was still naked, crouched over on her floor made her smile out of frustration. For the whole situation was truly funny; if it had only Not happened to her.
After another few moments of inner panic, Skye took a deep breath again. She stood up, exhaled the breath, and put her chemise on. Realizing she had forgotten everything else, she cautiously opened the door leading to her room. Poking her head out, she looked around the room, but Tidas was no longer there.
The moment Skye had slammed her door, Tidas had exited the room. He now stood leaning against the wall in the hallway with his hands, head drooped in exasperation. The scene had only actually lasted about three minutes. But to Tidas, it had felt like hours. He could still smell her; feel her body’s warmth on his hand. His breathing was still heavy and irregular as the situation played over and over in his head.
“What hellish punishment was that?! Naked..! Had to be Naked...” Tidas’ thoughts trailed back into his head as he slowed his breathing to calm himself.
“Oh, Laddie....” Tidas felt as though his soul would leave his body as Peggy continued in a dark voice; “Yer punishment has not even begun yet....”
A cold sweat broke out on Tidas’ forehead. As he slowly turned his head to see the old woman’s face, he could feel his guts twisting. Peggy stared daggers at the prince, with her hands at her hips, balled up into fists. Her outfit and hair were slightly disheveled. Only adding to her austerity. 𝗶𝙣𝗻𝚛eα𝑑. 𝒸𝗼𝑚
A particular fear took hold of him. The kind that he was certain animals felt when corned by death. And this old woman, not even past five feet tall with shoes on, was death incarnate.
‘The bloody hell can a tiny old women be so terrifying?!’ Tidas thought as he audibly swallowed.
Peggy was more amused and curious than actually angry. But she wasn’t about to let the idiot Prince before her know that. Seeing his reaction to her, Peggy decided to toy with the young man a wee bit. He needed to learn a lesson from this little accident.
Skye was about to be his wife, after all. He had to understand boundaries if they were to be happy. Knowing the prince to be a good man, Peggy felt no need to rush to her bairn’s side to check her. By his look and rambles, she deduced what had happened.
When one of the other servants had stopped her and told her that Prince Tidas was looking for Skye, the possibility had popped into her head. It was the reason for her messy appearance. She had rushed back; despite wanting to give her lady a wee bit of time and peace. But it seemed she was too late.
Peggy found it difficult to keep her face stern while imagining Skye’s reaction. The man before her suddenly turned into the boy she once knew. He sputtered and fumbled his words in his haste to explain himself. Tidas told her the whole story; even the ‘nips’ comment that had caused his curiosity in the first place.
Right then, Peggy knew that she was partially responsible for the accident. If she hadn’t been bickering with the milk cow, the prince would not have been curious and stayed. She probably would’ve still been in the room even. Or at the least, seen him in the hall, had she left her regular way.
Her gate easing a bit; Peggy replied, “Calm down, Lad. I know ye to be a decent and true man. I know ye would never do anythin’ to hurt our fair Skye on purpose.”
“Thank you, Peg,” Tidas replied as he felt his nerves calming.
“But...” Tidas’ stomach dropped out as Peggy finished, “I did say from root to roots, even if it ’twas an accident..”
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