The wind whistled through the trees, toying with their leaves with the same mischief that it toyed with the long curls of his hair. Arlen irritably pushed the unruly tresses from his eyes, and tried his best to mask his face with intimidation. He realized it was all for naught. The woman certainly didn’t take him seriously, not now that his hair had been so terribly mussed and his clothing tossed and pulled by the wind.
“Do you dare laugh at me?” He asked, drawing as much starch to his voice as he could, just like he had done the other times. If the woman had only his voice to contend with-the deep baritone sound that could easily be likened to thunder when he was angry-she might have trembled beneath his steely gaze. But as it was, Seauthatch Arlen Leuville had a face and hair that contradicted his tone-his true demeanor he could easily mask.
It was his appearance that had often got him in more trouble than anything. Even with his height, standing just a few clicks above six feet, and muscles ripped and lean with hard sinews and strength, Arlen had but the face of a child-a babe really.
He blessed God that now, closing in upon his thirtieth winter, his jaw line had taken hold of its hard, square form, even his nose, that had been thankfully-though painfully broken-was now just slightly off set, garnering him a more dangerous appeal.
Well, at least he had thought it so up until the moment this woman had called its crook and slant handsomely endearing.
There was nothing to be done for his pale blue-green eyes lined with the fullest of long, dark lashes, nor the natural blush to his cheeks, nor the blasted golden curls that crowned his head and danced about his shoulders. Ridiculously shiny is what they were, and shamefully bouncy.
Arlen looked like a girl…a girl with a beard and a bitter demeanor for being so…pretty. Had his older and younger brother’s not been cut down in their prime, none of his looks would have mattered, but he was the last in the line to be king, and though he rued having to leave his priestly garbs behind, he would do so, because he had not choice.
He had long since accepted that he was a man cursed; cursed to hardly be taken seriously because of his looks. Cursed to rather pray and seek peaceful reconciliations rather than war.
It was partly his own fault, not that he had any say in being the only of his father’s son’s who looked just like his mother. He had no care for blood, and had likely made more enemies during his short stint as a man Knighted, than he had during his long time as a man of faith.
The truth was, he often gave his opponents a good “what for” beating them in submission but never having the heart to kill them. So he foolishly left them alive and sometimes prayed for them as they lay bleeding, teaching them about the gift of forgiveness and the dangers in grudges.
As it stood, he was certain there were at least a small army full of bested opponents, waiting to seek their revenge. Thinking about it, he ran his large hand over his thick neck, and choked down a dry knot.
If things didn’t change, if he didn’t change, Seauthatch Arlen Leuville, the second son, once sworn a priest but now called to be king, would be a dead man.
He cleared his throat and put his mind back upon being fierce, “Lady, do not tempt me with your silence,” He growled, gripping her upper arm. “Do you not understand that you are now my prisoner?!”
Her light brown eyes lit up, not with fear, but a bizarre amount of delight, swirling into a color akin to molten chocolate. She touched his chest clad with leather and chain mail, rubbing her long ivory fingers upward until locking them within the links of the chain mail.
Arlen’s cheeks burned red which only made the woman press herself further into his grasp. “Oh, sir knight, is that what this is, a spiriting away?” Her voice was breathy.
This was definitely not apart of the plan. He was definitely cursed.
She freed one of her hands and slid it around Arlen’s solid waist and thrust her body closer to his. “Is this what love feels like? The truest of love at first sight, for that is what I felt the moment you entered my garden? Oh, sir knight,” She pressed her cheek against his chest and toyed with a lock of his hair, just like the wind had. “Tis so charming!” She exclaimed.
Arlen grimaced. So. Stinking. Charming! He was supposed to be fearsome not charming! It did not benefit at all that he had no understanding of the language of women. They were constantly mistaking his intentions. Although he figured he would need to eventually get a wife to be queen, and he did like the ladies, but he was way out of touch with those things having been groomed for the priesthood of Spirit Hill…he shook his head, he would cross the lady-wife- bridge when he got to it, and he had no intention of getting to it today!
“A beautiful angel,” The woman continued, “Rescuing his maiden from the grasp of the old evil baron who seeks her hand. I am besotted, sir.” Her eyes fluttered closed and her pink lips were wetted and puckered.
Dear Lord! Arlen was beginning to panic. He palmed her face with a gloved hand and as swiftly as he could spun out of her grasp. He was no good at this; the small army of enemies, an equally growing number of maidens who where supposed to be his captives for ransom but were now pining for his stupid, pretty face, and-He looked around the woman and sure enough he had won another enemy-another angry Baron out to spill his blood.
Stomping his foot Arlen ran towards his destrier and lept upon its back without a hitch. The maiden, her guards, and an angry Baron chasing behind.
This was not going to be a good day.
THE END…FOR NOW
So, yet again a free flow write that has transformed into a piece from a story that I have recently thought up. Title? “So Stinking Charming.” As always, I begin writing without an destination in mind. I just start plucking away and wait to see what happens. “So Stinking Charming” is intended to be a Fantasy and Romantic Comedy-A tongue and cheek expression of the world of Kings and Knights; second sons and damsels in distress. This case, Arlen/Seauthatch (So-Thatch) may actually be that damsel himself until he meets the right lady to help him get on his feet. I hope you enjoyed this peek into his world.