:D I'm a brat... I did some reading and editing on the way to picking something to share from "Out of the Night: Book One" of my Vala's Story serial... yes, it's with a BR and I'm still pondering new cover art. I also got writing a little in the WIP I'm going to finish, I hope, during Camp Nano next month... (and a tease of the first line from that WIP... And now I will tell you the story of how I came to have two homes: "a home with her" and "a home with him." )
But I think I may share at least one more scene on WIPWednesday before moving on to "Gates of the Garden: Book Two." This is from Vala's first formal meal after The Queen collars her.
Vala held Greta's hand as they moved behind Iona's chair.
Greta whispered, "You've had the chance to see one of our Lords in submissive pose?"
"Yeah," Vala replied and sank to her knees beside Greta. Carefully looking around, she spotted Simon's dark brown dress shoes moving close to her.
"I would like a taste of each thing you made," The Queen ordered. After a few moments of spoons sounding against dishes, Simon's shoes moved away again. "Fix your plates."
Patience. I'll be fed. This is more of the ceremony that pleases The Queen so. Vala snuck a glance in Greta's direction; her sister slave patted her elbow before going back into sub pose.
"Now present your sub or subs with their bowl," The Queen announced.
"Let me help with your hair," Greta murmured before pulling Vala's hair into a twist and clipping it onto the back of her head. Continuing in whisper, "Normally, our Lady would have clipped our hair up before leaving her room."
"Thanks," Vala murmured. She licked her lips when Iona placed a bowl of beef stew on the floor in front of her.
"Be a good girl," Iona cooed.
The Queen called out, "Fourth class slaves remember that you are to eat without using your hands. Eat quickly, lest you be thought ungrateful."
Vala blinked her eyes and a single tear dropped into her soup. How different this is from this morning! She carefully ate her food. No need to get emotional. Sighing, she enjoyed Iona's momentary touch on the back of her neck as she chewed a carrot chunk. Just be pleasing. I've seen Tommy and Simon--my Lords, I should think now--do it in hundreds of small ways. When she had eaten most of the meat and vegetables she lapped up the broth as quietly as possible.
Startling Vala, reminding her that people were eating at the table above her, Simon asked, "So we'll be getting back onto some sort of schedule starting tomorrow, my Queen?"
"Mostly," The Queen replied shortly; after a moment, probably after swallowing, he continued, "Except for Prisca, Kaya, Adan, and Ailin, who I will need for Vala's lessons, everyone else is released to his or her normal activities."
"Oh, that's wonderful, my Queen," Iona said, clapping her hands. "I just bought a new set of candles last time Greta and I went shopping."
Raanan chuckled. "What color are they?"
"Twelve pillar candles, building in color from white to black."
"Going to introduce Vala to candle wax?" Mandisa asked.
"Around her lessons, if The Queen allows for the time," Iona replied.
"I do hope to give you time with her since Pride changed things today," The Queen said. "Vala is being such a good girl. If you are done eating, you may kneel up."
Sparing another glance at Greta, who was still bent over her bowl, Vala rose up onto her shin. Um, at my ears, Viviana suggested. Folding her fingers against the back of her collar, she let her gaze flit across the chairs, the room.
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