Aelfwine had a plan...
The ceremony, according to Anglish custom, was held in the morning, just as the sun broke the horizon. Ælfwine did his best to ignore the sick feeling in his stomach. He reminded himself that he was doing what was best for Lady Mildþryð as well as himself. No woman could remain ruling lady for long without being overwhelmed by the position and disaster happening.
Most of the ceremony passed in a blur, but came into focus during the exchange of vows. He was able to swear without reservation that he would cherish, honor, and protect her. In his own mind, he added a vow to respect her. Ancestors knew she had earned the respect of any man, and did he not owe her at least that much for giving liege oath with intent to subvert it?
Then it was her turn. The moment turned crystalline and relief and shame both surged through him as she vowed to cherish, honor and… care for? What?
The priest continued the ceremony as if nothing untoward had happened. Ælfwine responded as one of the ancient automata, body following the priests instructions while his mind rang with shock and horror.
Then the ceremony was over, and the priest and witnesses filed out, leaving he and Lady Mildþryð alone for their first time as a married couple.
He waited until they were alone, then quickly stepped away, putting space between them. “You changed your marriage vows, my lady.”
“I told Father Wistgan we would use an old Anglish alternative. Though I had hoped it would not be necessary.”
He kept himself turned away while he battled with rage and despair.
After a long moment she spoke again. “Do you have aught else to say sirrah or shall we join the feast?” Ice dripped from her words.
Never since he left the nursery had any woman spoken to him so. But he throttled his anger. A step at a time he approached her. She tensed and he knew—as if he could hear her very thoughts—that she was afraid. That she recognized his anger and knew she could not stand against him.
He could take her, might—might--be able to take control of the castle with his men, overwhelm her loyal retainers. Have what should have been his by right, as her husband and lord of these lands.
But if he did, he would no longer have his honor.
He fell, gracelessly, to his knees. “Lady, you have trapped me fairly. You knew how I sought to pervert my vow and now I have no escape. I am your man, heart and mind and blade.”
He swallowed. “What do you wish of me?”
She sighed, and he could hear the relief in it. “Let us go to the feast, my lord. Then we will retire for a time and discuss your service.”
“As you wish, my lady.”
Supper had been… difficult. Anglish customs were, as he had noted a dozen times since arriving here, different. He had to trust Lady Mildþryð and Wigmar when they told him that the servants and men-at-arms were being respectful of his position, in the Anglish way. Then he needed to sit on his own arms men when they took offense on his behalf.
It was a relief when the last course had been served and he was able to stand and offer Lady Mildþryð his arm.
Of course, the relief faded almost immediately as he recalled what was to come.
When they reached her rooms, Mildþryð hesitated. She had clearly been right about the need to stay alert and constantly remind her new husband that she was in charge. But she had shown him the whip hand strongly today. Perhaps it was time for some reward.
She pushed the door open and stepped through. He closed the door behind him and, though he hesitated, knelt before her without needing her to say anything. To her surprise, there was something very appealing about the strong warrior kneeling at her feet. But she pushed that thought aside. It was indeed time to reward her reluctant lord.
“I believe, Lord Ælfwine, that we may postpone our conversation. We have, after all, other responsibilities to fulfill.” He looked up at her, stoic as usual but she thought she saw a trace of confusion around his eyes. “Come.” She led him into her bedroom.
“Strip, Lord Ælfwine,” she told him.
His stoicism cracked finally, surprise and a hint of heat peaking out. He was out of his clothes in moments and reached for her.
She shook her head. So… perhaps a small reminder was needed. “Lay on the bed, hands behind your head.”
“My lady, do you, ah...”
“I know exactly what I am doing, sirrah. My mother was a proper Dragma warrior maid. She had little patience for Anglish silliness, never mind Nornish. She made sure I would know exactly what to expect on my wedding night.”
He swallowed and laid down.
She began removing her dress. Taking to do so slowly, teasing him hints of flesh and gradual reveals. By the time she was fully naked his shaft was standing up from his body, pointing to the ceiling.
She came to the bed and straddled him, trapping his cock so the length of it pressed against her mound.
She ground herself against his length, and he broke off with a gasp. The press of him against her folds was good, but when she reached down and parted her folds so her nub ground directly against him it was better. She played with her nippled, tweaking and pulling, adding the slightest hint of pain to the pleasure building within her.