Zip. Swipe. Emory of Harding slathered a generous amount of orange marmalade onto his slice of fresh, doughy bread. Just looking at it made Ama's mouth water. "Go ahead and eat, Ama," Emory ordered her casually, brandishing his knife towards his mother in explanation. She was gazing at Ama rather sharply, and she shrunk under the queen mother's glare. "No reason to wait." That flicker of anger, like a deep, innate fire.
Stay calm, act normal, pretend like you'd do ANYTHING to fulfill his desires..
Ama then nodded, and, forcing a smile, reached for her own slice of bread and jar of marmalade. Her hand settled on the lid for wild gooseberry, and she almost hesitated. Do I dare be different from the king? She frowned and clenched it, unscrewing the lid and lathering it on her own bread. She took a deep, satisfying bite from it. Crunch.
"My dear, eat more like a woman," Emory jested, but the true anger and meaning behind his words did not fly by Ama. She knew exactly what he wanted. Silence.. and perfection. She hated both those things, but even more so her own willingness to submit to the image. She remembered, though, the endless praise Emory received and the boundless power he held. A great smallness washed over Ama, and she swallowed the soggy thick lump of bread in her mouth, as it sunk all the way down to the thick weight already settled in her chest and stomach.
If only Sorrow were here. She could ward off Emory so he could never bother anybody again. Before she knew it, breakfast was over, and on she was to whatever Emory had planned for them. She ran a hand over her dress, playing with the frilling, focusing intently on that. A loop here.. "Come, my queen," came the voice she had so been dreading, and she rose to grab his arm cautiously, perfunctorily.
And so she followed him. Well, at least they would be out in the gardens today. She would get to see the sun, its beautiful glow, and all the roses that weren't red. She liked red roses though. They reminded her of home. Her eyes widened, heart pounded as Emory led them to a shrouded off alcove hidden from the rest of the castle and its inhabitants. She swallowed as a sort of nausea rushed over her. Her limbs felt weak and awfully sensitive to touch, shaky.
She shut her eyes for the briefest moment. If she tried hard enough, she could pretend this was a nightmare she had the ability to end and wake up from. A crushing sensation as Emory knitted her fingers with his own. A moment later and he smashed his face forward, a slamming impact and sliminess as he pressed his wet mouth onto hers. She shivered slightly and shut her eyes closed, dreaming, dreaming, dreaming...
He tugged her neckline down and shoved his hand inside, and she tried not to grimace. Tried not to move, scream, cry in fright. She wanted out. Out, out, out. He tugged her forward and began to move up, down, and groaned along as if to some freakish song. She shut her eyes again and held on so as not to fall down. After all but hiking her skirts up into her pantline, he brought them down to a bench, panting. Ama sat still, trying not to betray anything at all. Still, still, still.
And then he turned to her, his expression an almost pleasant smile. He rose his hand and it was back in her hair, still in possession of his grasp. Ama tried to appear indifferent, even.. satisfied. Everything natural inside of her was screaming not to smile, after everything that he'd done and what she knew he would continue to do. But the look in his eyes all but demanded one.
So with wavering lips, Ama brought her mouth into a saccharine grin, to which Emory beamed in return. Before she could even think, he had come forward again and kissed her roughly. "Oh, Ama," he cooed, his voice as soothing as honey. Ama smiled bitterly, forcing herself not to display any resentment, rage, humiliation. How dare he be happy. Her fists clenched behind her back and she gave him that fawning, dopey expression he so seemed to adore. He smiled again and reached for her hand, looking straight into her eyes.
"You taste even sweeter than jam."
And with that being said, he stood up, and held out his hand for her to take. She grasped onto it, avoiding his gaze, looking straight at the bird fluttering carelessly by. The pair strode back on over to the castle, and as Ama caught sight of his triumphant grin and bobbing black curls, a single thought emerged in her mind, over and over again.
He shan't be smiling when he's dead.