I don’t know why I keep getting surprised by her, it’s been less than 24 hours since she came to Rale and she is already breaking the rule of the royal palace.
I feel Elena tense and her eyes follow mine to Salem. Salem’s maid Paula stares at her blankly then at her arm holding me. Salem salutes, she salutes and turns back to ordering for food like she did not just see me with another woman.
“Your highness, who are those guards? I have never seen them before. They make quite the handsome pair.” Elena grins as she tries to ease some of the tension off my shoulders. I tell myself to remain calm and not create a scene.
I watch Salem take a spoon of the soup and close her eyes in pleasure, Paula gives her a thumbs up after tasting the meal too. They completely ignore my presence which bothers me a lot more than i would like.
I walk towards them with Elena in hand, I know this is a bad idea but I want to see how she reacts. I sit beside them pulling down Elena with me. I hear Paula growl and see Salem put a hand on her legs, she relaxes and glares at me. I have never been glared at by anyone who isn’t a royal, I am more amused by this than annoyed.
“This is quite the surprise, I thought you two will be preoccupied with the activities of the palace but here you are, out in public, on uniform in the Pallaire, a place where no respectable soldier should be.” I pour myself a cup of wine and sip.
“Well, your royal highness; you lead and we follow. This is divine!!!” Salem says as she takes more from her plate and orders for more dishes, she eats like a man and drinks like one too.
Paula snickers and picks up a piece of chicken with her hand, she bites into it while glaring at me again.
“This puts the fine meal at the palace to shame. Your highness, Didn’t you just get married? Is it fair to leave your newly Wedded wife so soon for her?” Paula says while staring directly into my eyes as if challenging me to say otherwise. I am impressed by her boldness although I have no understanding where it comes from, does she think I have no power to hurt her.
“I am sure she is grown enough to take care of herself in a completely strange land,shut up and focus on the food. It is a disrespect to talk in the presence of such perfection. Can I have a word with the chef, this is the best meal i have eaten all my life.” Salem says while filling her mouth with more of the food. How hungry must they be to completely finish a set that even my men would have swallowing at a sitting.
Salem stares at me then at Elena. “Introduce your friend here to us, she is quite the beauty.”
“I am Elena, you don’t have to mind me,I’m just a subject. The cook is my sworn brother, he is quite skilled, I am happy you are enjoying your meal, he would be ecstatic to see that someone enjoys his meal, most people usually find it too spicy.” She giggles and looks at me.
Salem smiles wryly “I see why now, you are beautiful, fair, long luscious hair, and an innocence that’s enticing. My curiosity is satisfied, please tell your brother that he is an amazing cook and I enjoyed every bite. I have a feeling that I’d be visiting here more often just for the food.”
“Common, Just the food, the girls here are amazing, just not by looks only but you know…” Elena winks at Salem, Paula frowns deeply.
“Really? They are very bendy and such graceful dancers. It’s a shame I can’t stay and enjoy more.” Salem takes her hand in hers, Elena blushes.
“Next time you are here, ask for me. I will show you every good thing that Pallaire has to offer and even grant you escorts that can show you around Rale. I know you two are strangers, it must be hard coming and settling into a new place.” She calls the servants and whispers something to them. They come back with two packages and drop at the table.
” These are snacks and Rale’s specialty, made by my brother, they are dried and you can enjoy them at any time. The girls will enjoy your company, look at them staring at you two.”
Salem, Paula and Elena burst out laughing, it feels like I’ve entered another universe, this wasn’t at all how I thought this would turn out.
“Now, I definitely have to come back again; Thank you for your generosity, it is the the warmest I’ve received in a long time.” Salem and Paula stand, they bow to me and pick up the packages and leave the Pallaire.
I stand and bid Elena goodbye while Victor who has been watching from afar joins me as we follow them.
“That went better than expected, she looks like a grown child with those lips and that giggle, I’m jealous she can laugh so unrestrained. I get it, if I were a man, I’d be into her too.”
Paula rolls her eyes “Were you not jealous at all? She’s nice and all but she’s sleeping with your husband.”
“Yes, I’m jealous but I also killed my husband’s brother, I have no expectations from him, at least now I can forget about having a romantic relationship with him and settle for a cordial one, an alliance maybe. He is not in love with Elena, I don’t think he even knows the meaning of that word.” I say as I throw a knife behind me and Paula draws her sword.