Okay, so I know I said that I wasn’t going to post anymore until I found out about publishing and whatnot, but from everything I can find it doesn’t matter if I post it here, if you find something different please let me know!
I’m sorry to say I only have the one chapter for y’all today. I’ve been a bit stuck…. So let me know what you think about it! And if you missed the first 14 chapters go here and you can follow the links back to the chapters you may have missed…
We walked down the seemingly never ending hallway, down the stairs, and into the dining hall. It had long wooden tables that were full of people. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. Especially after they all stood when I walked in and bowed low, some of them bowing all the way to the ground. I motioned for them to rise, I’d never get used to that, and followed Kilava to a table set slightly above the rest, on the opposite side of the room. So I had to walk past everyone…I was grateful for the little panther in my arms, she seemed to radiate peace and comfort. As we reached the other end of the room I noticed that while everyone had food, it seemed that no one had eaten anything.
“Have they been waiting on me?” I whispered to Kilava
He nodded, “Yes, they always wait on the Queen to eat, it’s customary.” He whispered back
I didn’t know what to think about that, I hated that these people had to wait on me to eat; I made a note to always try and be earlier in the future. As we reached the table Kilava pulled out the tallest, most ordinate chair for me. It sat right in the middle of the long row of chairs, he sat down on my right side, and since no one was in the chair to my left NoriePan jumped over there. I hadn’t even realized I’d named her, in fact, I didn’t think I did. I looked over, and realized she had somehow managed to tell me her name. She blinked at me slow and lazy like, before turning to face the crowd in front of us.
I shook my head softly and turned to Kilava, I didn’t know what to do now…but everyone seemed to be waiting on me to do something.
“Pick up something, and eat it, then everyone can eat.” He whispered to me
I looked at the food in front of me, and picked up the first thing I recognized, a grape, and quickly put it into my mouth. And everyone began to eat and talk amongst themselves. I heaved a sigh of relief and began to chew my grape. It was the sweetest, juiciest grape I had ever eaten. I picked up a strawberry, it was huge the size of a golf ball at least, and took a bite. The flavors exploded in my mouth, I had never tasted anything so flavorful, so juicy.
I looked over at NoriePan; she seemed to be patiently waiting for me to feed her. Glancing around at the food around me I chose what looked like a steak and cut it up into tiny pieces, I placed it on the plate in front of her. I hoped no one would take offense to a panther eating at the table, but as I glanced around no one seemed to object. And she daintily took one piece at a time from the plate and eat it, until her little tummy was bulging with the food. Then she curled up, laid her tail over her nose, and fell asleep purring hard and loud.
Slowly people started to finish eating; they would stand up, bow, and exit the room. Until it was just the 3 of us left, Kilava, NoriePan and I. I ate quietly, and slowly, just enjoying the different flavors of food. Some of the foods I knew and some of them were entirely new to me. Kilava seemed intent on his food as well, so I didn’t disturb him. I had a million questions running through my head, but they could wait.
Once he finished eating and the servers had cleared away the last of the plates, NoriePan had crawled into my lap to continue her nap. I opened my mouth to ask him one of a million questions, when I noticed he was staring at me. I closed my mouth and looked down at Norie, I couldn’t help but blush. I wasn’t used to being stared at, not the way he did it, he seemed to be looking into my soul.
“What was it you wanted to ask me?”
“Can’t you read my mind?” I replied
“Yes, I could, but you asked me to try and not. So I have been working on only reading what I need to, to keep you safe.” He replied softly
“Thank you, really, I appreciate it. It’s just unnerving to know someone can read your thoughts…”
“So, what did you want to ask?”
“Um, gosh, where do I start? Are there only male servants? What’s with the ‘companion’ animal thing? Are the servants well paid? Well taken care of? How do things work around here? And can I get a map to this place? Because I just know I’m gonna get lost on the way to my own bathroom.”
He laughed at me and shook his head “Since we are a matriarchal society most of your servants are male, the servants are well paid, and well taken care of. That is something you will learn in your classes, and yes I suppose I could get you a map. Although you’ll rarely ever be alone…” he trailed off and paused for a minute “As for the companion animal. Every faire has the ability to be chosen by a companion, but it doesn’t happen for everyone. But it does happen for every Queen, it’s not always a cat, it can be any animal, and on rare occasions it can be more than one animal. You’ll develop an emotion and mental bond with your companion, and it’s different for each person. Have you ‘heard’ her?” he asked me like it was the most normal question in the world.
“Well, I don’t know if I’ve ‘heard’ her per say, but I do know her name, and I think she told me…”
“What’s her name? I’ll have a collar made up for her to wear.”
“Her name is NoriePan” when I said her name her little eyes opened and she looked me in the eyes, I swore I heard her say ‘Hello’. I jumped
“Well, yes, some can hear their animals…its polite to talk back you know….”
“Um, Hello NoriePan…” I tried to sound as uncrazy as I possibly could, talking to an animal.
“You aren’t crazy, and I’m a panther not an animal.” I heard as clear as I heard Kilava beside me.
I looked over at him, “Can you understand her?” I asked
“Only if I listen to her from your mind…she isn’t talking to me, she’s talking to you.”
“How, um, How old are you NoriePan?”
“I’m not very old, but we don’t keep up with time like that…I want to meet Kilava.” She said
“Ok, Um. Kilava, this is NoriePan, NoriePan this is Kilava. Kilava is our warrior, our protector. And my first friend in this new life of mine.”
Kilava gave a little bow “It’s very nice to meet your NoriePan.”
Norie hopped up from my lap and onto the table where the stopped in front of Kilava, she stared at him, much like he stared at me, it was like she was looking into the depths of his soul. She tilted her head to one side and twitched her little ears. Then she sneezed in his face and walked back to me. He laughed and smiled while I apologized and scolded.
“Well, are you ready to start our day? It’s going to be a long one.” He asked after he was done laughing.
“I suppose so.” I stood up and was pleasantly surprised to find no wrinkles in my dress, it still looked perfect. I held open my arms and Norie jumped right up. I laced my arm through Kilava’s and followed him outside the dining hall, to begin my first day of my new life.