Photo credit: Rebecca Siegel
Naturally, Parata wanted Iano. Half the noblewomen at court drooled over the foreign diplomat, and several noblemen too. True, Iano’s policies were controversial—insulting to the taen, even—but after watching Iano dance, Parata was willing to overlook politics.
When Iano propositioned her, Parata was thrilled. And perplexed. She was low-ranked, and not considered prettiest. Perhaps her pale hair and thick accent intrigued him.
He suggested sneaking into the taenar’s chambers, grinning, as though nobody played “ravish the royal” here.
She wrapped the taenar’s scarf around her head. He pulled her toward the balcony.
She protested. “Someone will see!”
“The risk of being caught is exciting, no?”
Then she understood. He thought her stupid. That her homeland was too rustic for court intrigue. She giggled, following him out.
Someone would be hiding outside, told they’d witness the taenar’s infidelity. The taen himself, perhaps.
Parata allowed herself another passionate embrace before “accidentally” dropping the scarf. She spoke loudly. “Iano, you animal! Quick, let’s finish before the taenar returns!”
She grabbed his sleeve as he left, feigning confusion at his faded ardor.
Tomorrow, he’d be expelled. Or worse. Well, they’d send another diplomat. Perhaps this one really would find her accent alluring.
Word count: 200. Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to Al Forbes for hosting, and for providing the original photo prompt, below.
For new readers: The title “taen” was used in Pyann and later in Medowin for a ruler approximately equivalent to a king, who could be male or female. The taenar is the taen’s spouse.
By the way, the photo I’m using above is the “Juliet” balcony in the “rediscovered” “real” home of Juliet — yes, from Romeo and Juliet — in Verona, Italy. Yeah. Right. It’s a great attraction to bring in the tourists, at least! And I can vouch that the rest of Verona is absolutely lovely.
Extra points to anyone who noticed the Shakespeare reference in my story before I just pointed it out. 🙂
Photo © Al Forbes