The Wolf and The Pirate Duchess of Adraelith and @Fiddler It can be assumed that a woman, especially one of high breeding, is always in search of a husband. It can also be assumed that she will nod her head and say yes to anything that a suitor asks of her. This was how the Queen of Novaire ruled her own life and she expected the same of her daughter. What the Queen did not realize is that her whole line was wiped out of existence while her husband’s line was full and thriving. Three heirs, a woman being the oldest and two men, but if all three were to be married by the time they were twenty-five and produce one child each year until they were no longer able to then between the siblings there would be thirty more heirs. Of course, we are assuming that all the children survive and the woman does not die in childbirth. But, alas, we are not speaking of the current Queen but of the future Queen. She was old in the eyes of a man for most women were married before they were even women. It was not an uncommon practice of this time and in this realm but for Orella she did not see the point. Princess Orella had been long engaged before her parents had even thought of her. There was a neighboring country, one that had a king and queen, and this king and queen needed someone to marry their son. So Orella’s parents promised their first female child to the other king and queen. Unfortunately, the young man grew up to be horrid and cruel. More cruel than Orella’s own father who loved his daughter dearly. But what did any of this matter? The marriage had been set in stone for so long that it couldn’t be undone. Why would they want it undone anyway? Orella would be queen of two countries, not just one. She would be powerful and more powerful than most women of her time. She would not just stand at the side of the future king well it was more like he’d stand behind her. Orella had grown to accept this marriage but not everything can be accepted so easily. “Why, he is horrid. That is why! I saw him in bed with another woman and you expect him to run this country? Your kingdom? Your legacy?” Orella was furious, if you could not tell. The guards could tell as they shifted uncomfortably at the edges of the throne room. A lady was not supposed to show her temper so they were surprised at their own princess showing hers. “Orella, please, listen-” “No, Your Highness, please, listen to me for once. I will not marry Elric and I expect him to be removed from court immediately. If he wishes to bed that whore then perhaps he should just marry her. It’s not as if his brain could handle ruling two countries anyway.” “You will hold your tongue!” The queen stood from her throne, marching over to her daughter. Their resemblance on the outside was uncanny but that was where everything stopped. Orella was dominant in everything she did while her mother was submissive in everything she did. “Your father and I did not call you here for a fight, we would like to introduce you to someone. With the recent assassination attempts on your life as well as your father’s, well we have decided to put you into hiding. This man-” “Mother! I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself! I am a princess! I will be a queen! I do not need some scoundrel taking care of me. Where are you sending me? With Uncle Luke back to his summer home in Adraelith? Perhaps he’ll be able to keep his hands off of me unlike all those young girls he so enjoys at the brothels. Or perhaps you’re sending me with...Oh, I know! Cousin Casper! He’s been looking for a wife, perhaps I’ll marry him. A doctor is a noble profession after all.” Under her breath, Orella laughed, “If only his patients lived.” She folded her arms across her chest, her head held high as always. Her brown eyes shifted between her father and mother trying to decide what they did to deserve a daughter like her. Orella arched an eyebrow as her father stood, motioning the guards to open the door. Weakly, her father said, “His name is Captain Quick Jon.” Her mouth hung ajar as the name flashed through her mind. She had heard it in passing, in conversation, in every moment of her life she knew it had been uttered at least once. He was infamous. He was a wanted man. Why? Why would her parents trust him? Out of everyone in the world? Why him?