Wedding Night Fright

An excerpt from Yari's life on Piraeus, post-Skath invasion. Yari Sawyer becomes Mrs Titos Baltus to Dr Baltus, loyalist elite.

Wedding Night Fright
Summary: An excerpt from Yari's life on Piraeus, post-Skath invasion. Yari Sawyer becomes Mrs Titos Baltus to Dr Baltus, loyalist elite.
Date: 09/16/2017
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"I know this isn't what you'd planned for yourself," whispers the husky croon of minty freshness and vintage aftershave in her ear. A few fingers caress through her hair, tuck it back over that ear while he moves around to murmur in the other.

"I can see the resentment in your eyes." A thumb wipes over her cheek, under one such eye, and sweeps away a frozen tear. "It's all right. I know in time, you'll see this union will mean a better life. Better for you…" His lips graze over her brow, then his face moves around with the rest of him, behind.

"Better for your kin…" he pauses, fingers mid-tug at the laces between her shoulder blades. "Gram, anyway. My apologies. It's most unfortunate about your grandfather, but rules /are/ rules, my sweet. One must not mismanage their resources, in times like these."

The tugging resumes gently, and she can hear the slippery whistle of lacing through the metal grommets until the whole string plops soundlessly on the floor. She draws the first full, deep breath, since before her retainers stuffed her into the ornate monstrosity this morning.

Yari stares with dead eyes at the fragment of self gazing back from the hand mirror laid on the vanity table. One hazel eye bears witness to the glassy transformation, the freezing of soul as one satin strap slips off her shoulder. Then the other. Then a hair pin is drawn free of its silken prison and a messy swoop of curl curtains the tear-stained looking glass.

Verbena. One of the first scented soaps 'gram' taught her to make.

Yari nods stiffly. Dumbly. Like a trussed-up doll, only less trussed, now that Dr Baltus - Titos, as he requested she call him tonight - has folded the next to last of garments over the top of a beautiful dressing screen. Less than a week a go, she was curled inside a nest of hand-quilted blankets listening to the nightly prayers of her grandmother. And now? Both arms curl inward to shield her chilled breast from the exposure and she wonders if those shiny sheets hold any warmth to them whatsoever. Or if ever they could.

"I knew there was somethin' special 'bout you, first time I laid eyes on you." A warm - no - scaldng hand on her left shoulder blade gently nudges her forward toward the bed. Her kingdom awaits. "Not like those other girls, tittering away in the waiting room…"

She hears the rustling of cloth and jostling of buckles. Not hers. One knee, skinny and scuffed, creeps up and onto the edge of the mattress, where she hesitates, listening.

"Looked like you'd just as soon claw my eyes out, when I asked if you were getting enough to eat. Like one o'them kitty cats you liked to play with so much on your family's farm…" The heavy flop of trousers hits the floor, kicks off of one foot, then the other.

She shivers, closes her eyes, and inches the rest of the way onto her plush throne of the night. Her fingers thread through the shaggy fur draped there and she considers rolling herself up tight into a chaste, little cocoon. It's just maybe three or four good hops to the window, there. Then one giant leap to freedom.

"You fancy you'll try to claw them out tonight?" Suddenly, Titos is there - his face is there, one muscular finger crooked under her chin to avert her stare from blanket to his admittedly not-so-bad face. There was a term for it - ruggedly handsome? No, not quite that. But something, she's sure of it. Self-assured. Capable. Powerful.


Yari shakes her head as dumbly as she'd nodded.

"Good. That's my girl," Titos whispers, planting another kiss, this time dangerously close to her mouth's corner. "No…" he corrects himself, rearing his face back to survey his nuptial prize with more scrutiny. He's slipped into a robe, she notices. It isn't fair. In retaliation, her left hand draws up that corner of blanket to shield herself from his snuck preview.

"…Woman." It's a term Yari isn't so flattered to hear. Nothing good had come of womanhood for her, thus far. Except maybe the pastries after tonight's supper. Those had been atrociously, frakking delightful.

"You're my woman," He leans back in and plants one hand on either side of her hips, looming over.


"I am," Yari hears herself say, voice mustering less conviction than her forced stare into his steely blues manages to do.


And then the chandelier over the canopy comes into view. Rather than peel the blanket from her nervous clutch, he's simply moved them both as one, into the center of the bed and eases himself alongside. Yari looks the other way, wishing he'd just get it over with and leave her alone. Like the horses in the stocks.


He does. He does leave her alone. "Yes, you are." His weight creaks off the bed and soft-footedly pats across the floor to pour a couple glasses of wine. "So why rush it?"

Yari shivers, watching him drink one…then the other.

None for her.

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