Into the Goodnight Ch. 02

Big Tits

Dear Readers,

For those of you who didn’t notice, this is the second chapter of this series, so you will more than likely want to read the other chapter first, which is under the Scifi-Fantasy category.

Thanks for all the comments and votes of the last chapter. I appreciate all the feedback, so please keep it coming.

Thanks to Already Taken for her excellent editing skills. She’s a busy woman and I so appreciate how much time she’s devoted to my little story. Thanks!

Enjoy,

Titania

******

“Always think of what is useful and not what is beautiful. Beauty will come of its own accord.”

-Nikolai Gogol

Aurelia awoke before the day was truly lit. Her eyes cracked open to witness a gray pallor, which was far removed from the golden dawn she awoke to at her palace. She quickly remembered all that had transpired over the past few days, with the previous night’s events the most brightly burning of those memories. She had allowed a peasant to claim the virginity of the most beautiful woman in the world, perversely binding her to him in a way their marriage had not.

She was quiet some moments as she muddled through the various responses to that fact, becoming more and more aware of his body pressed intimately against hers. Coming to no particular conclusion, other than acknowledging the fact that the whole situation, no matter how delightful it had been, made her uncomfortable. And in deciding so, she no longer appreciated his body draped over hers.

Lifting his arm from around her torso where it had effectively imprisoned her, Aurelia sat up, her bare back to him. She reached down to the floor for her robe. She could feel his eyes on her, and turned to regard him. She intended to convey some sort of superiority to him with her cool expression, but the sight that greeted her set her heart to thrum madly, ruining her haughtiness.

Maks was leaning back on an elbow, his jaw darkened by black stubble, his hair disheveled. Alarmed by the shock of attraction that shot through her, Aurelia stood and paced away from the bed, the robe billowing down into place around her. She attempted to remain stoic and quell her response to his mysterious allure. The best option for ignoring him was to busy herself dressing and tending to her hair, so she slipped behind the curtain and changed from her robe into more decent attire.

“Good morning,” Maks spoke, his voice still touched with sleep, when she finally emerged from behind the drape.

The sound was like rough flint sparking in her belly. Aurelia cleared her throat in response before answering. “Morning.” She sat down at the table and began brushing out her long hair. That seemed the extent of her focus, and so with a sigh, Maks stood up from bed. She concentrated intensely on keeping her eyes from watching him, but she was so entirely tempted by his nudity to steal one glance.

Maks smiled cheekily when he saw her look his way before he stepped into his pants. Aurelia blushed furiously as her eyes darted back to her lap. But then she realized he was laughing at her, and she looked back up, scowling slightly in displeasure. Finished dressing, Maks stood in the kitchen space, tearing off hunks of the leftover bread and popping it into his mouth.

“Now that I am back home, I must return to my former living.”

“Former living? You do not play your instrument to earn your wage?”

Maks shook his head. “It was only borrowed for a short time so that I could travel and earn a little as I went. But now that I am back, I must return it and resume my work building the wall. And while it was enough to live on for myself, it shan’t be enough for the two of us, at least if we ever want more than struggling day to day. Which means you will have to earn a wage as well.”

“Earn a wage?” she repeated flabbergasted. “And just how do you suggest I do that? I am not a peasant meant for menial work. I have no trade to exchange for money.”

“Need you remind me?” he replied drily. “I am well aware of your…lack of skills. But as it so happens, I have a plan. I spoke with a man yestereve when I was in the market who agreed to sell me a spinning wheel and a sack of fresh wool. You’ll spin yarn.”

Aurelia stood staring at him with mouth agape. Her husband was daft. “Why would you take on a wife, a princess at that, if you are incapable of earning a wage that can support you?” Her angry question was an accusation.

“Would you believe me if I said I had little choice in the matter? That your father threatened me?”

She harrumphed. “You don’t seem the sort of man, peasant or not, to be easily threatened.”

An eyebrow twitched up before he seemed to shrug, as if it to say she was right, but no need in arguing over it. “Well, every man needs a wife.” His dark eyes were staring into hers. “Even if he can’t afford her.”

Her thumping heart made it momentarily hard to breathe. She thought to let the subject drop until something he said caught her attention. She narrowed her xslot gaze at him and crossed her arms. “We are so poor then?” He nodded. “That I must work to add income.” Again he nodded in confirmation. “Then how came you to afford this spinning wheel and wool?”

“Your dowry.”

“My dowry?” she said surprised. She hadn’t yet thought of that, and for a brief moment hope sparkled anew. “But surely there would be money left over from it, would there not?” And then a sinking sensation in her stomach. “Or was there so little?”

“It has been enough to buy you purchase into this new life.” His eyes slowly raked down her form. “But, had I known how much trouble you would be, with no skills to compensate for it, I should have demanded more. Seems to me the king would have been happy to pay any sum to be rid of you.”

Aurelia stood stunned by his words, the shame in the summation was a blow she had not anticipated and was left with no counter for it.

Maks seemed to realize the effect his words had on her, but the slight tip of his head seemed to indicate he had planned it that way. “You may be beautiful, but in this new life, such a trait is worthless to you. If you do not wish to remain of so little value, I suggest you put forth effort to gain something that is of worth.” He paused for her to mull over his words before stating he was leaving to retrieve the wheel and wool and would return shortly.

Aurelia did not recover from his words so quickly, and she was still sitting in one of the rickety chairs by the time he returned. He was wheeling the contraption with a duffle sack filled near to bursting with wool slung over a shoulder. She watched silently as he sat it in the middle of their one room home. Sounds of life were beginning to trickle in from the streets outside, and when the spinning wheel was set up, Maks regarded her once more. She was a mix of dejection and anger and had nothing to say to him. He seemed like-wise with nothing to say, and so with only a nod of his head to her, he took his long-necked instrument and left for what she assumed to be the day.

Big fat tears welled in her eyes as she looked at the hateful cold wooden monster. Her dowry was only enough to buy a spinning wheel! A used one at that. Her father valued her so little? And now she was to toil for a life with this device? She stood and marched angrily around it. But how? She knew nothing of such things. Was she expected to learn it on her own?

Suddenly, Aurelia felt cramped by the miserable and dingy surroundings. She went first to one set of shutters and then the other, flinging them open vehemently.

“Oh, protect we goers!” an old woman exclaimed, jumping away from the window. Her warted, fat hand was at her drooping breast. She wore a dingy blue head scarf, and her features were large and sagging, a nose round like a potato sitting ugly in the middle. “Oh, forgive me dear,” she cooed when she saw Aurelia. “You frightened me, though, badly. But I thought I heard a woman’s voice over here, and thought I’d introduce myself. I’m Hilma, and I live but two doors down.”

She waddled back nearer to Aurelia at the window, smiling so widely two wrinkles formed at each corner of her mouth and her heavy-lidded eyes nearly shut. She reached out one of her plump hands for Aurelia who lifted an eyebrow in return. “And what be your name?” the old woman asked, still peering up sweetly at the princess.

For a moment she was uncertain how to respond, whether or not to command the ugly old woman to depart and leave her alone or…something else. “I…my name is Aurelia,” she finally answered, but didn’t take the hand offered.

“Well, my dear, it is a pleasure to meet you,” she said walking on. At first Aurelia believed that was it, that she was leaving, but then she realized the woman was stopping at the door expecting to be let in. With a sigh she walked over and opened it, the frame immediately filled with the short lady.

“Oh, well, you have been busy, haven’t you? So nice and clean in here, I dare say, though my eyes aren’t what they used to be. Can’t see hardly a’tall now,” she said as if admitting a secret. “So nice to have such a young couple living here, taking care of the place. And where are you from dear? Lived here in the capital all your life?”

“I should say not,” Aurelia answered with a touch of disdain in her voice.

“No?”

“No. I am from Orfeo. My father married me off the day before last.”

“Oh? Newly married, how nice for you,” she stated sentimentally and completely oblivious to the contempt in Aurelia’s voice.

For Aurelia, the discussion was accomplishing nothing except to irritate her, and so she thought best to be rid of the intruder. “Yes, well, thank you for st—”

“Oh, what a lovely spinning wheel!” the old crone exclaimed breathlessly. She stepped over to the darkly stained wheel and studied it, touching and stroking it. “So fine,” she cooed in praise.

Aurelia paused in evicting the interloper, giving the woman xslot Giriş her curious attention. “You…know about spinning yarn?”

“Know about it? My dear girl, all we women spun our own yarn when I was young, you didn’t buy it to make your clothing like you do today.”

“I see,” Aurelia spoke slowly, a plan forming quickly. “Well, this was a gift…from my husband. A wedding gift,” she said, attempting to put a little excitement into her voice.

“Very nice, dear.”

“Yes, well, he spent the last of his money to buy wool for me to turn into yarn, but alas, I never had the opportunity to learn to spin. And now he is gone all day, doing whatever it is he does,” she added in mutter. “And I’m so very worried about disappointing him, not only that’ll be a waste of our money if I can’t use this thing, but that his gift went idle. I don’t suppose—if you have the time, that is—that you could teach me how?”

“Why, I guess I could, my dear. I’ve nothing else to do this morning,” she replied as if she were beginning to see what an excellent idea that would be. “Well, first thing you’ll need to do, is move this thing. To the window, perhaps, by the bed.”

At the mention of the bed where she allowed Maks to take her virginity just the night before, Aurelia blushed profusely. But as her eyes dashed to the old woman, she realized Hilma didn’t seem to notice the state of the disheveled bed. Together, the two women moved the cumbersome thing across the little room so the person spinning faced partially out the window and back across the room. As Hilma studied the contraption, getting all the pieces set just so, Aurelia quickly made up the bed, and almost screeched when she saw the damp cloth that Maks had used to clean them up the night before lying on the floor. She snatched the stained piece of cloth up before the old crone saw it, and stuffed it under the mattress until she could wash it.

Aurelia was not in the least bit interested in learning a peasant’s trade, but feigned attention as the old woman began naming and describing all the various parts, demonstrating how to set them up and begin. She then sat down on the little stool that came with it and, grabbing a handful of light gray wool from the bag, demonstrated how to begin feeding it through to wrap onto the bobbin.

“Now, I’ll tell you my secret, my dear. Most like to pull from the end of the roving. However, I found the strongest yarn is made if you pull from the middle of the roving,” she explained gleefully, picking out strands from the middle of the lengthy swath of densely-packed wool fibers. She began threading them through as her two feet peddled the treadles below.

“See how easy it is, my dear? Nothing to it, and if you lightly hold it, keep just the right amount of tension on it, your yarn will be the best. The strongest.”

“Mm, yes, I see,” Aurelia answered. The woman carried on another minute or two, before suggesting Aurelia give it a try. The younger woman attempted to stutter out an excuse, but the old tutor would have none of it, going on about how easy it was. Before she knew it, Aurelia was seated on the stool. The fat, warted hands of the old crone took Aurelia’s and guided them how to hold and turn and thread. She constantly gave encouragement, but Aurelia was in no mood to do such a silly, degrading chore and maneuvered it so a wad of fibers jammed up the bobbin.

“Oh, look! I knew this would happen. I have nothing but dumb little fingers,” Aurelia exclaimed in mock-consternation.

“Oh, nothing to it, dear. Here, let me see if I can unstick it.” The two women trade places, and quickly the hands that were as old and ugly as sin had deftly worked the jammed thread free. She plucked wayward fibers out, smoothing the roving before beginning again. When it was evident the wheel was working properly, the old woman once again attempted to hand it over to Aurelia. But the princes was much too determined not to work, and was able to ask for further demonstration. Once the woman began again, Aurelia then quickly changed the topic, asking the woman how she learned, what she did with the yarn, how much the wool cost back then, anything to keep the old woman from getting up and handing the duty back over to Aurelia.

When the old crone seemed at last thoroughly distracted without thought of ever turning the task over, Aurelia relaxed somewhat. Eventually, Aurelia’s stomach growled and as she chewed on a piece of bread, Hilma asked if her husband was able to provide a good living for them.

“Obviously not if I need to spin yard to sell at the market,” she muttered a little too honestly with a mouth full of the staling bread.

“Yes, times can be tough for a young couple just starting out. Or for those near their own ending with no means to make any wage,” Hilma admitted.

Aurelia finally noticed that the woman had looked her way as she ate more than once. She wondered if Hilma were of poor means herself. At first, Aurelia thought nothing more than that, xslot Güncel Giriş but as the old woman continued to glance her way, Aurelia found it more and more difficult to swallow the bread. At last she popped up from the seat she had been lounging in.

“I have to go fetch water for cleaning,” she announced. “Here,” she said casually, setting the last few bites of the loaf on the window sill next to Hilma before she left. She grabbed her bucket and was out the door before the old woman said anything. It was such a nuisance to live near such needy people who couldn’t even feed themselves she groused on her way to the well.

Aurelia took her time walking to the well and drawing up the water, no eagerness to rush back to her small, poor home. When she did arrive, however, she was quite impressed with the amount of work the old crone had done. She also noticed that the bread was gone and the woman was smiling even more cheerfully than before.

Though it was another few hours before the woman was finished with the sack of wool, and countless skeins spun from it, Aurelia was relieved to have the chore over with. If her husband brought yet another bag of wool, she would just have to find some means of luring the old woman back to do the work for her. Perhaps she’d even give her a coin so she could feed herself before she came so as not to bother Aurelia with the reminder of her poverty. She smirked satisfied that even in the great King Goodnight’s kingdom there were those who still went without. Great prosperity, indeed. As the woman was thanked and ushered to the door, Aurelia gave her one of the skeins of wool in hopes it would entice the woman back.

“Though beauty gives you a weird sense of entitlement, it’s rather frightening and threatening to have others ascribe such importance to something you know you’re just renting for a while.”

-Candice Bergen

A shadow had settled over their alley-way by the time Maks returned home. Aurelia was sitting by the window gazing out at the pitiful view. She allowed herself a little triumphant smirk when visible surprise passed over his features. Had he intended her to fail? she wondered annoyed.

His surprise didn’t last long, as most of his moments of hesitation didn’t. He set down what he had carried in, and she could see that he had brought more food home, no doubt with the expectation that she would prepare it. Silently, he moved to the fireplace and began building a fire, the acrid smell of sulfur quickly filling the air before wafting out the open windows. When the fire crackled with the popping wood, he finally stood and addressed her.

“I see you’ve been successful.”

She looked down at the sack now full of the skeins. She looked back up at him and gave a little shrug of a shoulder, a corner of her perfect mouth flicking up in a self-pleased smile.

“And here I’ve been thinking this whole time you were without any skills. How fortunate I chose the one task that you are able to do,” he commented. “Have you been spinning wool all your life? Or only recently?” He was staring at her now, the mock-surprise gone from his countenance.

She attempted to return the glare with an equal amount of dull expectation. But the bravado couldn’t last, and eventually she blinked and looked away. She smiled peevishly as she turned back to him. “Yes, alright you’ve caught me. I’ve never spun yarn before and as has been your mean habit, when you expected that I should do so without explanation I was stuck. Thankfully, there was a peasant who came by. She offered to instruct me,” she said, blinking and looking away, not realizing what a terrible liar she was.

“Instruct you? So you learned and were able to finish off the entire sack? You must be a fast study.”

She sighed. “Fine, I was able to convince her to do all of it for me. I did try, but it only balled up and plugged up the wheel. Trust me, it was much better that she did it,” she defended as if it were the most reasonable answer.

“So you had someone else do all the work for you? And what did you do with your free time?”

She opened her mouth but was stalled for an answer. “Well, I fetched water. Rinsed some things out.”

“And tell me, did you even attempt to learn? Did you try and make yourself useful at least a little?” he asked, his obvious contempt for her growing.

“Of course I tried. I did. But I messed up, and she was so good at it, I thought I might as well allow her to do it. After all, do you care that it was done well or that I did it?”

“I care that you be something more than useless. More than a vain preening bird. That you be a productive person in society. What need of you is there if you contribute nothing? Everyone must add to the worth of the society around them.”

Aurelia bristled. “I will not apologize for firstly not having had any experience spinning yarn. It is not the craft of a princess. Did you truly think I should be able to figure out that complicated thing alone? Or did you expect me to fail?” She glowered a moment, her point made. “And I will not be ashamed of allowing someone else more capable of doing the odious work for me. And besides, I gave her purpose by providing work for her. I did the good deed,” she argued. “The matter is done and I regret nothing.”

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