The Empress' Pride

“Where were you last night?” His eyes fell upon me coldly, nostrils flared. The women who stood slightly behind slipped grins, bearing teeth.

Silence on my part, my own eyes grasping nothing but his. He was without restriction.

“Your hair is a mess, your hands blistered and dirtied. What example could you possibly pose for the general public? How could you be this shameless!” He was unrelenting, as was I.

Shameless, thought I. Of all things to be accused of, to hear those words from him of all people.

“Answer me!” He was prepared. Prepared to throw me away.

“My lord, if shameless is a mother who buries her own child as no one else would, then I am a shameless mother first, a shameless wife second, and a shameless ruler last. My child’s face you have never seen, his hands you have never held, his heartbeat you have never felt, down to his last breath, you have not heard.”

His lips moved, forming words only I could see, words meant for the only one who could move this mountainous man. Then it fell.

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