08 - Chapter 8 - Terms of His Honor
Webmistress's Drawing of a Sculpture.  Artist Unknown.
          Hall of Seasons  


Terms Of His Honor 




Chapter  8  -  Part 6 




  A maid led them to a small chamber on the floor beneath the family quarters. Isolde dismissed Josce at the door, telling him she was truly tired and wished to rest. Her conscience bothered her about the dishonesty, and the injured pride she saw on his face.

She crushed it firmly. She wanted some time alone, time to consider how she could have been so wrong about Albion's feelings for her. She knew they had never spoken of anything openly, but surely a man did not look at every maid with the smoldering passion she saw in his eyes every time their gazes met.

And that was nothing compared to the flames that ignited when their lips found each other. The passion between them was real, she knew it. Her heart cried out for him, while her head spun trying to decide what she should do about her feelings.

A soft knock jarred her out of her thoughts. The door opened before she could answer it, and the maid entered again followed by the beautiful princess Albion had escorted from the hall.

Isolde gave the woman a short neck bow. She knew she should show more respect, for there was a jeweled circlet on the woman's golden hair and the richness of her clothing indicated great wealth.

The woman smiled and folded her hands in front of her velvet skirt. "Forgive my intrusion, Lady Isolde. His Majesty asked my assistance in finding you the proper wardrobe. I thought we should meet."

"As you say, my lady. But though you seem to know my name you are still a stranger."

The woman's expression did not change. "Forgive me, my lady. I am Sophia of Howicce, but you may call me simply Sophia as I hope we will become friends.

"You have good color," Sophia continued when Isolde said nothing. "And your hair would be lovely if it were dressed a bit differently. I think we shall find something new for you at the drapers tomorrow. It will be far more simple to go to them,a s we have an escort provided by His Majesty."

"As you wish, Sophia."

Sophia stared intently at Isolde for a stretch of time measured in heartbeats. "My dear, I realize you are frightened and confused. No doubt the court will seem much changed to you. You will become accustomed to it in time."

Isolde's tongue found courage before her mind found sense. "Are you and Albion planning to marry?"

If anything, Sophia's smile softened with a pity that Isolde loathed. "So you have fallen for him too? It's impossible not to love him, isn't it." She nodded, and the scant candlelight winked off the jewels in the crown she wore. "Albion and I have been betrothed for some time. Our wedding is but a couple of weeks away.

"You should consider yourself fortunate. Sir Josce is a gentle and considerate man. You could have far worse a fate than marriage to a husband who will care for you all his days."

Isolde managed to say something that resembled meek agreement. Inwardly she seethed. Albion had known all along he was not free, yet he toyed with her and expected her to know the rules of a game she had never played.

Well, she vowed when at last she was alone again, she knew them now. And never, never would he take her in so easily again!



~ Previous ~                                        ~ Next ~     

~ Story Index ~

  Sunday Chats, Filks, The Carthmoor Clarion, The Mearan Sunday Herald,  Essays on the Deryni Stories of the XI Kingdoms Deryni Archives - The Zine, Deryni Links Administravia, Author's Biographies, Author Index, Character Index, Story by Era Index, Codex Index, Site Policies  

Hall of Seasons