The noise in the Great Hall at Aberthy Castle suggested a celebration of sorts was underway. In a way it was. The two young princes, Owen and Eustace were in attendance at the dinner and despite the fierce glares they received from their mother, they were providing much merriment with their rendition of a mock sword fight.
At eight, Owen had the dark hair and blue eyes of his mother. He was a tall child like his father and bore the seriousness of his role as the future king as he had been trained. His brother Eustace, younger by less than two years was similarly dark in colouring but without the weight of two kingdoms on his shoulders he was mischievous and loud.
Freya was pregnant again and the growing swell of her belly filled Ewen with much happiness. There had been two miscarriages after Eustace's birth and the midwife had thought Freya would not carry another child. Ewen didn't mind at all. Both of his sons births had been very anxiety inducing and he had struggled to maintain his royal role as required by protocol. He had been able to make love to Freya unashamedly without the worry of her conceiving.
Her latest pregnancy had been a surprise to him but he knew that Freya still wanted a daughter of her own so he had smiled and celebrated with her and the kingdom while keeping his concerns hidden.
As they gave the final toast before leaving the Great Hall as had been the tradition for all these years, Ewen turned to look at his wife.
Her beauty took his breath away as much as it had the first day he had seen her on the road leading up to the main gate. He smiled at her as they left the Great Hall together, moving toward his private chambers. Their sons the concern of their nannies.
As they entered his private room and the usual staff left them, Ewen drew Freya close to him. He kissed her gently and thought of all the possibilities that the evening held.
Although their marriage had been an arranged one and Freya had been born in a world where women were pawns, Ewen marvelled at how she had made that world her own. In public he was the King and she his traditional queen, but in the privacy of their own world, away from the dictates of royal life, Ewen knew who ruled his world.
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The daughter of a powerful King, Freya was promised to Ewen the Cold. The union was meant to cement an alliance between the two most powerful men in the land. A pawn in a world of violence and lust, Freya is meant to be a dutiful and obedient wife...