Songbird (Short Story. Romance)

Hello, lovely people! This is a little different to what I’ve written recently and a little dabble in to fantasy romance. This was one of the stories I wrote to apply for my MA and I had so much fun writing it! I feel that Lilith and the King’s story isn’t over just yet (it’s been nagging at me since I finished it!) and thinking about adapting it in to a longer story, using this one as a template or base of sorts. Let me know what you think and hope you enjoy! 🙂 

All my love, 

Violet xx

SONGBIRD

“Excuse me, my Lady? The King requests your presence at once.”

I looked up from my book startled. What did His Grace want with me? The servant man smiled politely as he helped me up from my seat.

“If you’d just like to follow me, please.” He smiled and began to make his way out of the courtyard. I glanced over to Sabine, a flame haired lady-in-waiting who had become a trusted friend since my arrival. She squeezed my hand with an encouraging smile.

“You’ll be fine, Lilith.” She kissed both of my cheeks, “I know His Grace has a fondness for you…”

“Sabine –“, I began, but Sabine held up her hand.

“Darling, I’ve seen the way he looks at you,” she continued, “Go. Everything will be alright.”

Sabine had been insistent of this since I sang for His Grace and the court the night after my arrival at court. I had been summoned to court after His Grace heard a story from one of his guard of a coastal girl singing on the beaches for the passers by. Singing had always been my love, my escape from my poisonous world.

Mother’s vicious words thrown my way, be it in rage or sadism disguised with a smile, had made me feel like I were nothing. No great beauty, no great talent, just a woman escaping her own hell fire. To sing the fables of the Gods was not only my love, but my lifeline. It was the one place where I could truly be myself without fear or judgement.

I quickly curtsied to Sabine before I followed the servant out of the courtyard and in the palace. My chiffon, white robes flowed seamlessly as I followed his swift step through the intricately decorated corridors of gold and paintings depicting ancient battles.

I became lost in the whirlwind of my thoughts. My heart quickened against my bosom, a dark panic bubbling in the pit of my stomach. Had I said something to upset him? Life at court was something new to me…had I broke a rule or custom?

His Grace was a good man, charming and charismatic, yet still had the stern confidence expected of any King. He was swarthy and powerfully built, revered as one of the finest soldiers during his military career before ascending to the throne.

The men worshipped him. The women adored him. He was to me, indeed a very handsome man with his strong features and trimmed beard framing his angular jaw. He had kind eyes that made me flutter inside whenever he spoke to me in passing or found me reading in the gardens. I was puzzled at first by his constant questions. Was I happy at court? Were the ladies treating me well? If there was anything wrong, he would see to it personally…

Someone taking such care for me and my feelings was alien to me. Yet as time went on, I found a comfort in his questions, a safety in our small talks in the gardens. I could smile, yet I was a shy girl. I kept my gaze low and courteous around him. I admit I harboured a fondness for him, but kept these feelings to myself. He was a King, I was a commoner girl.

“My Lady?”

I jolted from my thoughts to see the servant man staring at me quizzically. We had arrived outside a pair of gargantuan doors in a rich, polished oak.

“My Lady, are you ready to enter?”

Nervously, I stroked a hand through my dark locks cascading down my shoulders, fingering through the fresh curls Sabine had seen to that morning.
“Yes.” I whispered. He acknowledged my answer with a courteous nod and rasped his fist on the door in two gentle knocks.

“Come in!”

The familiar, booming call of the King stood the hairs of my skin on end. The cacophony of nerves slithered sickeningly in my belly as I felt my breath shallow. Opening the door, the servant man gestured for me to enter. Resigning myself to whatever fate lay before me I slowly walked in to the King’s private study. There he stood over by the balcony, overlooking his beautiful country like a God over its creation.

“Your Grace,” the servant announced, “Lady Lilith for you, Sir.”

“Thank you.” The King replied, not turning around. The door closed behind me, leaving me and the King alone together. He turned around, greeting me with a warm smile. Feeling heat flush in my cheeks, my gaze dropped to the floor and I lowered myself in a curtsey.

“Your Grace,” I addressed him, “You asked to see me, Sir?”

“Yes I did.” He replied, before his voice softened, “You may look at me, my Lady. I am not to be feared.”

I did so, seeing a pair of blue eyes staring back at me.

“Hello.” He chuckled. I couldn’t help myself. A giggle left my lips with a small smile.

“Hello.”

“Come…” he said, holding out a hand, “Let’s speak outside.”

Slowly, I slid my hand in to his much larger one. The skin was soft yet rough; hands that knew experience, had worked hard, yet held mine so delicately, as if I may break at the slightest touch. He led me out on to the cream stone balcony where stood the most beautiful sight I had ever seen.

The sun shone brightly with no a cloud in its powder blue sky. From here, we could see all the vividly coloured houses below to the yellow bricked villas afar. Children laughed and played on the cobbled streets below. Myriads of flowers stood gloriously in bloom and the land green and lush, from the gardens of families to the plentiful vineyards in the distance. It was truly a sight to behold and in that moment, I silently thanked the Gods for such beauty.

“It’s beautiful, is it not?” The King asked. The sun shone beautifully against the grey flecks in his cropped, onyx hair.

“It is, Sir.” I replied. His Grace turned to face me, resting a hand against the balcony’s stone rail.

“My Lady…” he faltered, as if trying to find the right words, “I wished to speak with you about something…something that is of great importance.”

A stone of dread dropped in my belly. I met his gaze.

“Have I displeased you in some way, Sir?” I asked. The King’s brow furrowed at my panic stricken face and he shook his head.

“What? No!” He stepped towards me, placing his hands reassuringly atop of my shoulders. “My Lady, that’s just it. You couldn’t displease me if you tried.”

The feel of his fingers burned through the thin chiffon of my robes, making a wonderful shiver run down my spine.

”There is something I must confess to you…” he began, eyes to the floor, “Since that night at the banquet…when you sang…I have since grown an affection towards you that I cannot shake.”

I could not believe the words uttering from his mouth. A ruler, so proud and confident, showing such vulnerability in a man I had never seen, confessing his affections for me, a mere common girl from the coasts? I stood rooted the ground beneath me, my breath lodged in my throat as I stared up at him open mouthed and wide eyed.

“I’ve wanted to see that you were comfortable and enjoying life here,” he continued, “Unless you wanted to return home –“

“No!”

I don’t know what surprised me more, my outburst or the fierceness in my usually mouse-like voice. I found myself stiff as a board, my heart hammering in my chest. I couldn’t go back. Not to that dingy house with its grey walls. Not to live in the shadow of my venomous mother to destroy my new found faith in life, with the beaches being my only sanctuary…away from the man who gave that faith, who for the first time in my life made me feel safe. A life without that was no life at all.

“I –“, I stuttered, “I – I can’t go back, Sir.”

“Why ever not, my Lady?” The King’s blue eyes searched mine, “What is wrong?”

In that moment, I felt my heart skip a frightened beat. My words lodged in my mouth, unable to escape to lay on his ears as his words laid on mine. I turned to the view, clutching on the stone balcony as if my life depended on it, steeling a breath after breath to quell the fright tingling through every fibre of my being. It was time.

”My Lady?” He asked again, his deep voice heavy with concern. He tilted up my chin to him. When he saw my face, the tears had begun to fall down my cheeks.

“I feel the same, Sir…”

My words were met the King’s stunned silence. He stared dumbfounded, using his thumb to softly brush the tears from my cheeks.

“My little songbird…” he whispered, before his lips gently met mine.

END.

*

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Violet Grey

Copyright, 2018 – Life of Violet

All Rights Reserved.

*Picture – Pinterest/Once Upon A Time

2 thoughts on “Songbird (Short Story. Romance)

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