Once upon a time in the Kingdom of Lima, there lived a beautiful and wise queen named Ruth and her slothful husband, Eli.
Ruth had just ascended the throne at the age of sixteen when war had been declared upon her small realm by the neighboring kingdom of Carmel. Lima was in dire peril-or so it had appeared. The truth was that Queen Shelby of Carmel had seen Ruth’s ascension to power as a prime opportunity to pawn her derelict son off on the new monarch of Lima.
Using forbidden magic, the Queen of Carmel wove an illusion making it seem like her knights were about to invade Queen Ruth’s territory. The terms of withdrawal for Ruth were to marry the Prince of Carmel. Since her army was quite pitiful, Ruth felt she had no other choice than agree.
She had been queen for roughly three months when she reluctantly married Eli Puckerman. To say that it was a marriage in name only and that the Queen didn’t love her spouse was an understatement. He had been a means to an end and no more. He may have been handsome, but Eli was as worthless as Lima’s king as he had been as a Prince of Carmel. He did not care about the well-being of his adopted people. All he cared for was sneaking into the village to conduct affairs with the beautiful maidens of Lima.
Ruth, of course, didn’t care about Eli’s dalliances. Two years later and she still regretted her decision to marry the oaf. Unable to love him, their marriage bed had been left cold since the day of their wedding.
Unfortunately, this state of affairs left the sovereignty without an heir. The Queen wanted to have a child very much, but was determined not to call Eli into her bed chamber until the inevitable could no longer be avoided. Her position dictated that she wouldn’t be able to refuse her husband’s drunken overtures forever. For the sake of her kingdom, she would produce a successor to the throne. She only wished that it didn’t have to be with Eli.
And so, while her husband went out to cavort with his mistresses, Ruth would glance out of her bedroom window and pray to whatever powerful being that might be listening for help.
And someone was. The Fairy Sue had been listening. Always out for her own gain, and seeing the potential for mischief and mayhem, Sue began to plot devious ways to meddle in the Queen’s life. The childless state of the royal couple and their lack of a love life gave her the perfect bait to dangle before the queen. After putting her pawn in place, the fairy placed a spell on Ruth making her incapable of resisting her new gardener’s charms.
Hidden from sight, Fairy Sue watched as Ruth strolled around her garden, enjoying the sight and scents of her beloved roses until the handsome young man attending to her favorite apple tree captured her eye. His mop of jet black hair shone in the sun, and his muscles rippled as he reached for a piece of fruit.
Intrigued, Ruth approached him as the woodsy scent of Sue’s magic wafted through the air.
“Hello,” she said shyly, startling the young man.
The gardener wobbled on the ladder he stood on for moment before he steadied himself. After pausing for a moment, he looked down at the beautiful queen. It didn’t occur to him to do more than acknowledge the greeting and go back to work when Fairy Sue’s potent magic swirled around him. Breathing it in, his eyes met the queen’s, causing his heart to beat rapidly. Enchanted, the gardener was unable to tear his gaze away from Ruth.
“I haven’t seen you around here before.” She said, as the fairy’s magic drew her closer to the young man.
“I just started my apprenticeship this week underneath my father’s tutorship, Your Majesty.”
“Please, call me Ruth,” she requested, a pink blush filling her delicate cheeks.
“And I’m Carl.” he replied, climbing down the ladder and extending a hand.
With a delighted Fairy Sue spying on them, their hands touched for the first time. Magic encompassed them. Unknowing and unable to resist the spell, the two teenagers, holding hands, disappeared into the castle, leaving the mischievous fairy to gloat over how wonderfully everything she had planned had come to pass.
Pleased with how things were proceeding, Sue decided to visit the philandering King Eli and his newest mistress, a young shepherdess with a voice like an angel. Once she was finished with cursing that riff raff as the consequence of his nefarious actions, she would be off to fulfill a promise she’d made to a kind inventor and his wife. Her best friend since childhood, Elizabeth Hummel, was barren and Sue had offered to do a fertility spell on her. If Elizabeth and her husband Burt conceived a little one thanks to her intervention, then Sue would become the baby’s godmother.
Distracted by her successes so far and eager to give her friend what she desperately wished for, Sue finished the curse on Eli quickly and without a thought to the chain of events she had just put into motion.
Or perhaps the chaos she was about to create was part of the plan all along…