© Copyright 2012 - Jo - Used by permission
Storycodes: FF/f; M/f; hist; majick; spell; gold; encase; statue; display; oral; sex; rom; cons; X
"Cousin? Will you be breaking fast with the family this morning?"
Lilliana scowled at the other, piqued by the disrespect. She was Princess Lilliana and the other merely the daughter of a duke. But she forced a small smile and replied as she had every morning this past, long month.
"No, thank you. Just some fruit and fresh water on the terrace, please."
The other made a small bow and left.
It wasn't fair she thought for the hundredth time. Her father dead, murdered by her brother. She and her sister sent to live with relations. She to the north, her sister south. There would be no collusion between them.
But it wasn't her father's murder that upset her so, it was that she no longer lived at court, that she was no longer a star - nay, the star, the center of the constellation that was the court of the king. She was the golden daughter, the baby, and her father denied her nothing.
Lilliana sat before the mirror brushing her long, blonde hair. It hung in ringlets well past her shoulders. She turned her head this way and that, admiring her face, looking for any flaw. She found none. She had a prominent nose as was common in her family and a strong chin, but she had full, almost pouty lips and large almond-shaped eyes. Each feature on its own would have been distracting, but on balance they gave her an exquisite, unique beauty. Her skin was neither fair nor dark. She took sun on the terrace mornings. Her uncle, the duke, had built a privacy fence for her so that none could see her nakedness. He found the practice distasteful, but she was his sister's daughter and she might, one day, sit on the throne. And so he humored her.
There was a soft knock, the door opened and her cousin, Jane, carried a tray out onto the terrace. She spoke not a word, but simply completed her task and left the room. Lilliana slipped out of her dressing gown, stepped outside. She took a pear from the tray and lay down on the small mattress, soaking in the morning's soft, golden rays.
"I shall kill her!" Jane hissed as she strode down the hall. "She may be a princess, but I am the daughter of the duke and this is MY home, and yet I must serve her - in my own rooms! We have servants, but father wants me to ingratiate myself to her. I should like to ingratiate her into .... "
Into what she didn't know, but it would be something awful.
At mid-day Lilliana made her appearance, as was her habit. She was dressed in a simple white dress and strict gold bodice. It had the effect of elevating her breasts obscenely. The upshot of which was not lost on the gathering of young men who had increased in numbers in the past weeks. They were there, supposedly, for training, to learn the ways of the sword and the fist, but these were gentlemen who had others to fight their battles. The reason for their visit was of a more basic, even base, nature.
Jane, who had no sisters, had friends over for a visit each day. They sat in a circle in the shade. Jane at the center of course, for she was not only the hostess, but she was a beauty in her own right. Her hair was black, thick and lush, her features more modest, pert, doll-like. Her skin almost white. Her bodice every bit as tight as her cousin's. Her display every bit as distracting for the men. Well, almost.
When Lilliana made her entrance there was a palpable pause. Heads would not turn, but the recognition was there. Swords would clash, but perhaps a bit too loudly. Blows would land a bit too soundly. She "ignored" them as they ignored her.
She sat with the other women, but not quite. She was a golden princess among pigs. She knew it - they knew it. She sat close enough to engage in conversation, but a bit off to one side.
Jane made note of these conversations, especially when they concerned Anne, because they would likely concern Anne's brother, Robert. She had given herself to Robert, in a way so complete that it brought a rush of warmth - tinged with shame. The things she had done!
And now, if she was reading this correctly, his attention had turned to her cousin. Call it intuition. She never saw them together, and he came to her often, and his ardor was as intense, as genuine as ever. But there was Anne and her cousin with their heads together.
The end came quickly, in a blinding flash of recognition. Robert came to her, kissed her, and there was a taste, a taste she recognized from the times he had kissed her after caressing her most intimately with his mouth. The taste that clung to his moustache, his beard. The taste of her tender juices. But he had not caressed her such.
It had been a special night. Her birthday. The hall was full to overflowing, so when she'd noted her cousin's absence she thought little of it. Lilliana had made her entrance, dressed as was her wont, in a shiny, golden gown. It was more modest than her day dress, but just barely. The display adequate given the close proximity of so many male eyes. She was there one moment, and then she was gone.
And, speaking of men, where was Robert? She had noted his absence also, but was besieged by well-wishers who moved as she did, pushing others out of the way, like a human tide. It was easy to lose oneself. And, besides, the nature of their relationship, the depth of their wantonness, made them overcompensate on the side of discretion. So it was not unusual for Robert to be someplace else. He would come to her later. And he had.
And now he had the scent, the taste of another on his lips. And not just on his lips she found as she caressed him in a way that usually thrilled them both, but now only sickened her. She brought him to hardness then turned over to present her backside, avoiding his face, willing him to finish quickly and leave. He did.
The next day while the women gossiped and the men "trained" Jane took a horse and rode deep into the woods. She passed the spot, their spot. In the past he and some of the men would hunt and he would become separated from them and ...
But today she rode on until she came to the hovel. The woman's name was Ruth. A Jew and a witch. Jane had visited her often, availing herself of the woman's potions, potions brewed to enhance her beauty. For, if anything, she was every bit as vain as her cousin.
"And you want me to kill them?"
"Yes! I mean, no. Not him."
Jane sighed. "No."
"Well, what is it you want?"
"I want him back."
The old woman clucked a sad chuckle.
"And I want my cousin removed. Not gone someplace else because Robert would only follow her. I know it! And not killed, but ... unavailable to him."
It was a bit more than a month later. Almost two, actually. There had been no repeats of the birthday episode, but Jane was convinced things hadn't changed. They say to catch a thief you send a thief and she and Robert had stolen their moments and now Jane saw all the signs.
It had been a hard month. Ruth had demanded gold - much gold. And the gold had to be ground to a powder. The miller was sworn to secrecy, the special metal parts made, and the sacks of gold were ground down to a fine, yellow dust.
And then ... nothing. Not for a week, not two.
And then, on a crisp, fall morning, a donkey-drawn cart pulled up to the gate.
"M'Lady? A woman wishes to speak to you. She says her name is Ruth."
Jane and the women gathered around the cart. Ruth sold them potions and lotions, a talisman or two. Jane pulled the woman aside.
"That is she, in the white dress."
The old woman only nodded. She smiled, a small, knowing smile. For she knew things. She knew, for instance, that Robert and Lilliana planned to elope - and elope this very night. Robert's family had worked their way into the royal court and the new king's brief reign was about to end. And Lilliana would take her brother's place on the throne. Ruth knew this, which is why she made her visit this day.
She gestured with her cane. "Please see that my donkey is tended to and fetch someone to bring this chest to the girl's room."
She stepped over to the girl and whispered. The girl's eyes widened. She nodded.
In the room the old woman said, "I have heard rumors. Rumors of your brother being displaced. And you, young Lilliana, ascending the throne."
Jane was shocked - and delighted. Would this mean her cousin would finally be out of her hair?
"You have made a strong alliance, but in addition to armed strength, you'll need gold."
She opened the lid to the small chest.
"This amount, while modest, will change your life forever."
Now Jane was totally confused. Was Ruth actually helping her cousin? And what of Robert?
The woman whispered something, something soft and rhythmic. Lilliana's eyes glazed over.
"Remove your gown. Help her, Dear."
Jane stepped over to her cousin and undid her bodice, pulled it off. She unlaced the back of the gown and let it fall to the floor.
"And the slippers."
Lilliana stood, naked, a dreamy look in her eyes. Her breasts, firm, their pink nipples pointed skyward. Her waist impossibly thin. Her hips full and inviting. Ruth fetched a bit of gold dust and blew it into the girl's face.
"You are the golden girl."
She took handsfull of gold dust and blew clouds of gold over the girl's body.
"Dear, use the brush on her hair."
Jane dipped the brush into the chest and worked it through her cousin's hair.
The two women worked, young and old, until Lilliana was coated in a thick layer of gold. They were meticulous, working the dust into every crack and crevice. The girl simply stood, eyes blank, staring at nothing. But soon they, too, were gold covered, sightless.
The old woman produced a spray bottled and sprayed the girl. The dust dampened then congealed. More gold dust. More spray. After several minutes, Lilliana was covered in a solid layer of gold, a shiny golden skin that glistened in the sunlight.
Jane wiped a hair from her face.
"Is she ..."
"She is neither here nor there. She lives, but she does not. The spell I cast will last fifty years. The gold will fall away to reveal the golden girl has become the crone. The gold cannot be removed without removing her skin. And I have placed a spell on her lover. Something to protect him. As long as he lives, she lives. Perhaps in fifty years they may rekindle their love. Come now. Her lover is near."
"Unless there is another. And I would not be surprised."
It was a year later when the summons came. Jane and her father went to court. Lilliana's sister, Angelina, sat on the throne. Robert, her consort, sat beside her. Robert had approached her, but Jane had decided to be done with him. And so, in his now obvious, fickle way, he had approached the sister.
In an alcove, just to the side of the throne was a statue. The statue of a girl, a naked girl, a golden girl. Permanently, exquisitely beautiful in her soft, golden skin. A true gilded lily for all to see.
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