Movie: The Devil Wears Prada

Title: Closer

Author: The Raven

Pairing: Miranda/Andy

Summary: Uber - The Queen's lady-in-waiting turns out to be more than she appears to be.

Rating: R

Spoilers: No.


Disclaimer: They are not mine, I'm just rubbing them together to see what happens. The story however, is mine... Well now, seeing as how this is Uber, well the characters are mine, even if the premise is not. All mine, mine mine mine! (mostly anyway)

Notes: Yes, you read it right. Uber. No, not Alt., Uber. I have no idea why, except as I sat here thinking, I thought: Oh I know, this will be perfect... And then came up with some wild idea for a story. Then of course, I blamed Cheyne, and hoped that you, my long suffering and patient fans, would get it. (as you normally do) So, here we go! (Oh, and thanks the LJ readers who helped to inspire me to keep writing, you rock!)

Part I

"This will not do. Fetch me another."

Everyone in the room flinched inwardly when the Queen spoke the hard words. It was going to be a long day. Servants and serving girls, guards and chamber maids scurried out of the room as quickly as possible to find other things to do. Within reason of course. They all needed to be at the beck and call of their Queen, after all.

In the blink of an eye, only the Queens two personal servants remained. One senior, one junior, both long suffering.


The imperious question sent the more senior of the two young women hurrying to try to conjure up what the Queen was demanding. Surely someone in the realm would have the needed things. Surely. It was a rather large realm after all.

After a handful of moments passed, the Queen looked at the remaining servant, and raised an eyebrow.

"What are you still doing here?"

She asked in a dangerous tone of voice, which sent shivers up the spine of the young woman who was somehow, foolishly, still in the Queen's presence.

Searching her mind, the young woman looked at the Queen surreptitiously, knowing she only had a few seconds before she would have to reply. The Queen was beautiful, powerful, enigmatic. Her whole personal was saturated with opulence and decadence. But, the young woman could also see the fiercely intelligent person behind it. It was no accident of birth or marriage, that had the Queen in the position she was in. She was a self made woman.

"Majesty. I am trying to learn."

The young woman finally replied, hoping that the Queen would not see her words as insanity or impertinence. They were the truth, though she doubted she would ever tell the Queen just what exactly she was trying to learn. That would remain a secret, most likely...

- - - -


The Queen pondered this information. What was this servant--this lowly girl creature, trying to learn in her presence? Absurd. Yet, somehow intriguing. Of all the things she could have said, the girl had said the one thing that actually made the Queen pause and consider.

"Speak, girl. What are you trying to learn?"

The Queen finally asked, for the first time looking fully at her servant. Of course she was aware of the young woman's name, and other pertinent details about her. It would not do to allow anyone close to her that she did not have knowledge of, after all. For as many admirers as she had, she had an equal number of enemies.

The girl had dark hair and even darker eyes, a svelte figure, and on her countenance there was a glimmer of intelligence and passion that a less practised eye would not have been able to see. Curious.


The Queen said when the girl hesitated to answer her, no doubt considering her answer very carefully. But the Queen waited for no one, she wanted an answer immediately.

"It is hard to explain, Your Majesty."

The girl finally said, casting her dark eyes downwards.

Considering the answer, the Queen finally relented and decided that the girl could stay, there was just something much more than ordinary about her, and right now, the Queen was in a benevolent mood. Tomorrow? An hour from now? Who knew...

- - - -

Seeing the Queen dismiss her, but acquiesce to her presence, the other woman retreated to tidy up and organise the clothes that had been thrown asunder in the room when the Queen had been raging a few minutes earlier. Might as well keep busy, who knew how long the tranquil moments would last.

From the corner of her eye, she kept an eye on the regal woman as she moved to the window and looked out, seeming lost in thought. The younger woman wanted desperately to know what was going on in the Queen's head. There was a drive and a curiosity that would not leave her alone. She had come to be employed by the royal household by accident, but now, she was completely enraptured in understanding this woman who controlled so much, but who seemed so alone at the same time.

Long minutes passed before the Queen turned from the window and glanced at her, her eyes unreadable as usual. There was a slight softness in her face though, which gave the younger woman some hope. Maybe this would work after all.

"Please fetch some mulled wine. Make sure it is hot."

The Queen ordered as she walked towards her writing desk and sat down with a flourish and without further comment.

Rushing out, the younger woman curtsied to the turned back and quickly made her way to the kitchens to fulfil the Queen's request. The Queen did not like her mulled wine to be cold, so she dearly hoped that whoever was on staff in the kitchen at this hour was cooperative.

- - - -


The Queen hid her smile at how her lady-in-waiting started at hearing her name. No doubt the girl assumed that the Queen did not even know it, let alone how to say it. Privately amused, she watched the younger woman come closer.

"Yes, my Queen?"

"Come closer."

The Queen instructed, curious beyond measure about this young woman. Several days had passed since they had last spoken, beyond her giving the girl instructions. Somehow though, the Queen found herself easily tolerating the now familiar presence. She also wondered what the young woman was attempting to learn.

It certainly was not diplomacy. The Queen did not practise diplomacy. Manipulation, sure, but not diplomacy. Regency? It was a puzzle, and the Queen wanted to find the solution. She also wanted to know this intriguing person a little better. It was clear this was no mere commoner. That was also very interesting. Was she a spy?

"What are you trying to learn?"

The Queen finally asked, when the other woman was so close that they were practically breathing the same air and she could see the darker pupils of her eyes. The scent of clean laundry, clean sweat, and warm skin tickled her nose. It was not unpleasant, for some reason, which the Queen found shocking. Usually she could not stand being so close to anyone.

- - - -

Adalina stood watching the cool blue eyes of the Queen. Somewhat over the shock of hearing her name spoken by those coveted lips, she tried to think of a way to answer the question that she had been asked. Perhaps with the truth?

But how could she tell this woman the truth?

When she had first started working for her, or rather, for her household, Adalina had found it unbearable. The woman was impossible to be around for any length of time, and it was no surprise that many wanted her dead, or at least humiliated in some way.

Time had passed though, and as her fine manners, education and ability to think for herself had set her apart from the many drones that worked to upkeep the whole royal establishment, she had moved up in the ranks. Eventually she had found herself working directly for the Queen. Granted, as the lowest ranking of many who worked directly for the Queen.

Still, as more time had passed, she had become intrigued by the woman in question. Her passion and drive, and the unguarded moments she had been privy to had whetted her appetite to know more. Whereas opportunities had knocked, better salaries had called, the fact remained, that she would wait on the Queen for as long as the woman would have her.

Adalina was not sure of it, as she had never felt it before, but she thought with great certainty, that she was in fact, in love with the Queen. The revelation of many months before had kept her awake for several nights in a row. Precious sleep had been lost as she pondered her quandary. In the end, she had simply accepted her lot sand her fate.

Now however, the Queen was compelling her to speak, and Adalina knew that the Queen would eventually simply order her to speak. Perhaps the truth now, in this soft moment, was best. The Queen would no doubt banish her from the whole household, probably the region if not the province, maybe even the whole Realm, but maybe it was for the best.

Her secret was just that big now, and every moment spent in the company of the Queen just amplified her feelings.

Yes, the truth was the best option...

- - - -

When Adalina looked at her, the Queen had a sudden revelation.

Could it be?

She had not survived this long by not being able to read people, and now it seemed that the younger woman had dropped her carefully constructed guard and the Queen could clearly see it in her face.

"I am trying to learn to undo my love for you, my Queen. But I cannot, I am afraid."

The Queen was stunned by the words, it was not what she had been expecting, not by a very large stretch of the imagination.

Silence followed Adalina's remark as the Queen pondered what to do next. She did not doubt the sincerity of the girl's feelings, and she was also thrilled by them. How novel, and unique, to have something so pure and unsullied by ulterior motives directed at her.

Did she feel anything for the girl?

Searching inwardly, she felt like she did, in fact, have something. Coming to a decision she rose, pulling at her garments and corsets and feeling her impatience rise in her body.

"Help me get these damn clothes off."

She commanded as Adalina stood in frozen silence in front of her. The younger woman sprung into action, quickly helping her and soon she was standing in her undergarments, uncaring about anything at this point. They were the only people on this floor of the Chateau anyway.

Moving to her closets, she threw them open and riffled through the back of one. Finding what she wanted she quickly closed them and proceeded to pull on a pair of leggings and a fencers shirt, followed by thigh high boots and a warm cloak. Already she felt at peace with the situation at hand.

"Put this on."

She said, handing the girl another cloak and then opening the large bay windows to her private apartments.


The Queen hoped that the girl would obey without question, right now was not the time to delay and ask questions. She desperately wanted to have some space to think and this place was not one of those places where thoughts flowed. Not this time anyway.

Thankfully, the girl followed and soon they were easing down the latticework that led to her balcony. The grounds and the Chateau were designed to keep people out, not imprison them, so this was an easy route that she had enhanced over the years. Thankfully Adalina seemed to be nimble and strong, no doubt she would prefer britches and vest, over her only somewhat practical maid's uniform.

Leading the younger woman to the stables, the Queen bade the young woman to wait as she moved into them, her goal within reach now. Her body thrummed with a thrill as she moved past horses and tack and stopped by a stall, smiling the first genuine smile she had smiled in a week as she examined the equine occupant.

- - - -

As she waited, Adalina could not imagine what was going to happen next. It was an autumn evening, the beautiful colours of the trees and the crisp air were a delight to the senses, that was a certainty. But what were they doing here?

The sound of clashing hoof beats caused her to turn and as she did, she saw a sight that she would never forget. The Queen was astride a rather magnificent black horse, in fact, she was riding bareback, to be more precise.

Adalina felt her breath catch in her throat at the sight of the woman she loved, in control of such power. Frozen in the spot where she stood, she gaped when the Queen reached down and offered her a hand.

"Trust me."

She said, and at that, Adalina allowed herself to be pulled onto the horse, her weight settling in front of the Queen as she eased the animal away from the stables, her hands sure as the horse moved. It was electric, her legs touching the flanks of the animal and the Queen's hot warmth along the length of her back

Her senses were overloaded as the Queen eased the animal away from the stables and across the yard and when they reached the gates, Adalina was glad to have the hood of the cloak she wore up when they came upon the guards. Not that she was ashamed to be with the Queen, but certainly, she did not need any extra attention right now...

Moments later, the Queen eased an arm around her and urged the horse into a loping gallop. Adalina felt like she would fall off without warming, only her desperate hands in the mane of the horse and the Queens arm around her seemed to be holding her in place.

"Move with the horse, hold on with your legs, and trust me."

The Queen whispered in her ear, causing Adalina to shiver deliciously. To think, only barely an hour ago, she had thought that she knew the Queen as well as any person might, better, due to her love of the Queen.

How little she knew.

It was exhilarating, fascinating, fantastic. It was also very arousing, to be on this horse, with the Queen. She also wondered where they were going and what was going to happen when they got there...

- - - -

The Queen urged her horse to go a little faster, mindful of the inexperienced cargo that it carried, but wanting and needing to feel the exhilaration and freedom of the experience. She was confident that she would not unseat Adalina, that was all that really mattered.

How had this happened? How long had this been going on?

The girl had come to her household and like everyone who did anything for her, the Queen knew of her, her name, and where she was from and what she was in relation to herself. It would never do to let ones guard down, even around a seeming insignificant maid.

Adalina had stood out from the rest, in that she was not plain, and she was obviously educated, not just an illiterate proletariat who had come to try her fortunes closer to the city, close to the Queen. But has she really noticed the girl before all of this begun?

Shifting her weight, the Queen guided the horse through the woods, having passed the outlying fields that made up her personal lands. Of course, despite her best measures, there was a chance that these woods could contain brigands, or poachers, but she was not concerned. They were her woods, and she doubted anyone knew them better than she did.

Also, except for the breeding of the horse she rode, dressed like this, she looked like a rogue herself... This was her freedom, and she would not give it up because there was a chance of some sort of encounter with an undesirable.

Feeling the young woman in her arms shiver slightly, she wrapped her own cloak around her a little and glanced around to check where they were. They were close, soon they would have peace and privacy and as much safety as they could expect, to have a proper conversation.

Summoned by her thoughts, she recognised the clearing ahead and brought the horse to stop, easily sliding off of its broad back before helping Adalina off the animal. Turning to the animal, she made sure it was comfortable and then allowed it to graze freely. It was her own horse, versus one belonging to her stable, a horse she had reared herself. It only allowed her to ride it, unless she accompanied another rider, and it would not stray far. In effect, it was her pet...

With a final fond pat, she turned to Adalina, looking at eyes shadowed in thee merging moonlight. The girl had thrown back her hood and was looking around in wonder at the place that she had been brought to.

This could become very interesting indeed.

- - - -

It was beautiful, Adalina decided as she glanced around the clearing that they had come to a stop in. There were no other words for it. Coupled with the image of the silver haired Queen standing in the dappled moonlight, it was almost more than Adalina could take.

Why had the Queen brought here?


Again, came that softly spoken word from the woman in question.

Following gladly, Adalina tried not to stumble in the dim light as the Queen led the way to the edge of the clearing, to what Adalina now recognised as being a series of logs arranged in a manner as to indicate seating. It would certainly be better than sitting on the dew covered grass that was slowly soaking through her terribly unsuitable shoes.

As they sat, Adalina watched, enraptured, a the Queen deftly dug around the back of one of the logs and pulled out some wood and in short order, had a merry little fire burning in a obviously well used hearth.

"Don't look so surprised, Adalina. I may be a Queen, but I am certainly not an incompetent."

The quietly spoken words seemed to startle Adalina from her stunned reverie.

"Of course, my Queen."

She said, her voice feeling scratchy after an hour of disuse and the ride in the cool evening...

"When we are here, you may call me Mirjana."

Shocked a little, Adalina smiled and nodded.

"As you wish, Mirjana."

The Queen, or rather, Mirjana, seemed pleased with her pronunciation and as Adalina watched, the other woman turned her attentions back to the fire, seeming to stare into it as if it held the answers to all of life's questions.

"How can it be that you love me?"

Mirjana asked after a long pause.

The question sounded so intimate, so personal. Yet Adalina had begun this foray, so she would go the distance, even if it meant her own personal, financial, and emotional ruin.

"I did not mean to. It just became that way. There is something about you that is compelling, and it has nothing to do with your power, prestige, wealth. Your nature is the key to those things, they are not key to your nature."

Adalina paused when she felt eyes on her, and looked up into the face of the Queen, feeling a flutter deep inside her body as eyes made dark blue by the night seemed to look through her as if she was made of fine crystal.

"Go on." Mirjana urged when Adalina would have become lost in her own thoughts and might have forgotten that she was supposed to be talking.

"I came to be here by accident. I did not mean to work for you, or your household. I had simply lost my way, and this just happened."

"However, very soon, leaving would have been unthinkable. You are the reason. For a long time, I was unable to understand it, and when I did, I wanted to make it stop, but by then it was too late. So, here I am."

Adalina stopped speaking, trying to read Mirjana's face, which seemed to be a study of emotion and thought. Adalina knew she would never tire of simply looking at the Queen, let alone loving her. But this situation was not only about Adalina. There was Mirjana to consider, after all.

Not even realising that she was holding her breath, Adalina waited for Mirjana to react, hoping against hope, that what the other woman said would not foretell the doom of Adalina's heart...

- - - -

Mirjana believed her. In that instant, she knew the girl, the young woman, was being sincere and honest. There was no malice, no ulterior motive, no ill-begotten intent in her words, or her actions. How utterly unique. It has been a lifetime since Mirjana had last experienced anything like it.

Now what?

She was Queen and Regent of a realm that was by far one of the largest and most powerful on the continent. She had enemies more than she cared to count, even though she tried to make herself aware of all of them. Her whole life was spent immersed in plans and plots. People despised her, loved her. They revered her, yet were revolted by her.

The dichotomy of it was sometimes more than she could take.

So she came here, or to another of her secluded safe havens, with only her horse at her side. But now she had Adalina. A woman who was at once plain, but also quite beautiful, with her. Why had she deviated so strongly and allowed someone, a virtual unknown into this part of herself?

The answer was right there in front of her, of course. Mirjana was compelled by the possibility of something so untainted and pure as the love that she was being offered. She knew that if she allowed it, she could easily return it. Wether it would be as pure or as untainted, she could not be sure, but it would be real, and it would be as honest as she could make it.

If she allowed it...

Making a decision, Mirjana pulled the saddlebags that she had draped over her shoulder under her cloak for the ride out here. There was wine, cheese, bread and fruit in them. It would not do for her to be a poor hostess, after all. A Queen she may be, but she was not so out of touch with humanity as to not know how to play the part, when needed, or when wanted.

Adalina seemed to have relaxed a little, which pleased her. The other woman had been very tense, probably expecting Mirjana to announce her eminent execution, or something akin to it, at the revelation that Adalina had made.

Nonsense, of course, but the girl had no way of knowing this. Part of the secret to ruling, was to instil so much fear, that one only rarely had to inflict any sort of punishment that was of mortal consequence. Adalina would not know this of course; she was pure and unsullied by life's little and not so little accidents, after all.

- - - -

Adalina watched as Mirjana laid out refreshments near the fire. It was almost surreal to see such an intimate thing. Adalina would treasure this time she was spending with the Queen, even if nothing came of it. She had no expectations, just the un-jaded hope of love to guide her.

"Eat, Adalina. We will talk more later."

Mirjana's voice was soft, and for a while the two of them sat in a companionable silence and ate their brief repast while watching the flames of their small fire. Adalina could not remember a time in her life where she had felt more at peace, yet somehow all tense and nervous at the same time.

When the crumbs and dregs of their meal had been disposed of sometime after they finished, Mirjana turned to her fully, her eyes now shaded by the dimness of the night and the flickering shadows cast by the fire.

"I can't offer you anything concrete, Adalina. I am the Queen, my duties, responsibilities, my life, is what it is. I love it. I live for it. It is me."

Adalina nodded at the words, patiently waiting for the Queen to continue. Hoping against hope, that there was going to be an addendum to the statement. After a pause, Mirjana spoke again, her voice lower still. Shivers travelled up Adalina's spine. Shivers that had nothing to do with the chill of the night.

"My feelings towards you are not neutral, Adalina. You do know, however, that discretion will be needed, and we will need to see how things go. You may end up hating me in the end. I am not going to change, but for the possibility of this, I can bend."

Adalina blinked at the statement. She was shocked. Mirjana had just said that they would try. That this feeling she had, was not one sided, or unwelcome. It was an outcome a thousand times better than she had expected.

Before she knew what she was doing, Adalina was on her feet and moving towards Mirjana, her hands taking Mirjana's in her own and her smile threatening to break her face in two.

"That is more than I expected, more than I hoped for, Mirjana. It is plenty."

With the heartfelt words, Adalina leaned down and brushed her lips against the smooth cheek of the Queen. The thrill of the contact travelling down her body and shaking her to the core.

A small gasp, almost lost in the sounds of the night and of the fire, did not go unnoticed however. Adalina was pleased beyond measure that Mirjana was not immune to the intensity of the moment.

With that, she laughed at the night, throwing her hood back and looking at the stars, before pulling Mirjana to her feet and boldly embracing her in the firelight. Hesitant arms encircled her and after a pause, they embraced her back. For an uncounted while, they stood together at the threshold of a new life.

Tomorrow would come and bring what it may, but right now, this moment was all that mattered...

Part II

When morning came, Mirjana had a few moments of peace to herself before the daily hustle and bustle of the day began. Rising from her bed, she walked to the window that she and Adalina had climbed out of, and then back into, the night before.

Had it all really happened? Was it a dream?

The cloak that was still hastily tossed across the back of a chair in the room, was a testament to the fact that it was indeed real, that it had happened. Mirjana's own clothes had gone into her closet as soon as she had taken them off. It would not do for just any servant to see them, even though it was somewhat of an open secret that the Queen occasionally went out at night.

But Adalina's cloak, or the spare one she had used, was still out. Mirjana picked it up and brought it to her nose, inhaling the subtle scent of night, wool, and Adalina that it possessed. The perfume caused something to stir inside of her as she watched the dew burn off outside as the sun rose into the sky.

Walking to her closet, Mirjana carefully sequestered the garment into it, and performed her morning ablutions quietly, her thoughts focused inwards as the first of her maids appeared.

It was time for her to be Queen. Adalina and the promise that she held, would have to wait. However, as she sat, only somewhat patiently, as her coiffure was arranged, Mirjana found her thoughts once again returning to the previous evening. It had been a delight, and she craved it again. It made her feel very impatient to think that she would have to wait maybe days to experience it again.

Perhaps she could manoeuvre things in such a manner, as to arrange a meeting between her and Adalina sooner, rather than later.


- - - -

Adalina watched as the Queen, as Mirjana, held court. Countless dignitaries, nobles, merchants, knights, and vassals of all sorts, sought her attention to solve their problems, to seek her council, or to otherwise engage her.

Mirjana handled them all with her imperious flair. There was no question as to who was the Queen, and who was not. Servants, accountants, bodyguards and attendants, milled about, ready to do her bidding, see to her needs, and if need be, save her life, should someone threaten it.

The one thing that the Queen did not have, were advisors. Mirjana was known, was notorious for making her own decisions, and consequences be damned. There were consequences, of course. The Queen excelled at dealing with those as well. In many ways she was indispensable, she was invaluable. The whole realm prospered due to her reign, and so did neighbouring lands as well.

It all came at a price though. The Queen had more enemies than friends, and she was hellishly busy. Adalina loved watching her. She was not required in court today, but had managed to get herself into the space.

She loved Mirjana. Loved watching her. Adalina was grateful that most of the tasks that were required of her did not involve much thought, as that left her free to watch the Queen. Unobtrusively, of course.

As if sensing her gaze, Mirjana looked up from her position and for a brief moment, her eyes fell on Adalina. Adalina could feel the touch of the Queen's eyes like it was a physical thing. It only lasted a heartbeat, but it made her warm, no hot, all over.

She fervently hoped that there would be some time for them to talk soon. She was desperate to continue the conversation that they had begun the night before. Adalina was desperate to feel Mirjana, to hold her, and..if fate was kind, perhaps even kiss her.

Turning back to her duties, she focused on what she would be doing with the rest of the day and hoped that the Queen would summon her later, to do something, anything. Mirjana did not, after all, owe anyone any explanations as to why she did the things she did. So, if a summon came, at least Adalina would not be needing to explain anything to anyone, should it be considered somehow irregular that the Queen summon her.

With a contented sigh, Adalina glanced back towards the Queen once more...

- - - -

Afternoon brought Mirjana some blessed relief. She had called an end to her public audiences, food had been served, and now she had some time alone until she had to meet with some of her ministers for afternoon tea to discuss some pertinent plans for the realm. The would of course, offer suggestions, and as she was a good Queen, she would listen.

In the end however, she doubted they had much to offer by way of help. They were however, necessary, in order to quell rebellion. People needed to feel like they were in control of their own lives, at least to a certain extent, even if they were not.

Mirjana focused her thoughts inwardly. She really did need to attend to her own life a little, not just to the life of her realm. With a glance around her private office, she walked to the door and opened it.

"Get me my lady-in-waiting."

The secretary who had been sitting in the outer office nodded briefly and rose to do her bidding. Satisfied, Mirjana closed the door and crossed to her desk once more, sitting down and moving aside parchments and books with an air of disinterest. She only wanted to see Adalina. Right away.

A brief knock and the door opened. Adalina entered and curtsied before the door closed behind her. Somehow, Mirjana was very relieved to see her and she felt a certain tension leave her body. How curious that it has been there in the first place.

"Lock the door, Adalina."

Mirjana instructed after allowing her eyes to rest on the other woman for a few brief moments. She did not want anyone to be able to just walk in on them, not right now anyway. This was personal. For a little while, she did not want to be a Queen and her subject, she wanted to be a woman, with her possible lover.

Adalina walked towards her after locking the door and when she stopped at Mirjana's huge desk, the Queen nodded for her to sit down. Adalina did so with little flair, but then again, the girl possessed little flair. Some would possibly have to be somehow infused into her, should things progress to a point where Adalina might be seen out with Mirjana, but for now, Adalina was more than adequate.

"So, now what?"

Mirjana asked softly, rising from her chair to move around her desk to be closer to Adalina. Her royal vestments had been removed, as she was not going to be seeing any outside subjects for the rest of the day. For now, she wore a more subdued version of her regal wardrobe and no crown or sceptre of any sort.

It would have seemed silly to talk with Adalina wearing anything like what she had been wearing in court today...

- - - -

Adalina pondered the question that Mirjana had posed to her. She had a few ideas of course, and in a burst of confidence, decided to put one into use.

Rising from her seat, she took a step towards the unmoving Mirjana, trying her best to interpret the other woman's unreadable body language, and succeeding, just a little. The Queen was curious, but not hostile, and she was in a good mood.

Perhaps she had timed this well, as unintentional as the timing had been.

Stepping well into the personal space of Mirjana, to where their bodies were flush, but not touching, though only a thin parchment could have passed between them, Adalina lifted one of her hands and gently caressed Mirjana's face.

There was a slightly startled gasp from Mirjana and her eyelids fluttered briefly. Adalina had not seen the Queen's eyes so closely before. They were so blue. Going further with her impulse, Adalina leaned forward and brushed her lips against the Queens, being careful to keep her touch very light. She wanted to make sure this was not something that Mirjana found unwelcome.

Without warning, Adalina felt arms wrap around her and Mirjana pulling her firmly so that their bodies were now melded together. The sensation, even through heavy fabric and corset, was like fire. Adalina did not have long to think about it though, as in the next moment, Mirjana was kissing her in earnest.

The kiss travelled through her body like flame, licking through her veins and her soul, igniting her passion. Uncaring now of propriety, Adalina in turn wrapped her arms around Mirjana and felt her mouth open to the kiss. It was shockingly intimate, and oh so very good. The taste, the touch, the tenderness. The ravenous hunger of it. It left her gasping. When she felt Mirjana moan, then heard it, Adalina was sure she would pass out from what she was feeling.

Startled by the overwhelming sensation of the long coveted mouth fastened to hers, Adalina could only hold on and kiss the other woman back. It went on for long minutes and when they finally parted, Mirjana's eyes were dark, like a midnight sky's rich, deep blue. Her normally porcelain skin was flushed with colour, and her chest, incased as it was in corset and bodice, heaved.

Adalina felt intoxicated...

- - - -

When they finally pulled apart from the kiss that they had shared, Mirjana could feel her pulse racing. Her body was on fire.

How on earth was she supposed to attend a meeting after this?

All she wanted to do was take Adalina back to her rooms, or better yet, back to her clearing (this time with a blanket or two) and kiss her some more. Kiss her, no. Not just kiss her. Have her. Touch her.

Looking into the dark eyes of the other woman, Mirjana could see that the desire was mutual. A thrill ran down Mirjana's spine when Adalina leaned into her once more, her soft mouth running along the edge of her jawbone. The sensation of those soft lips as they travelled down her neck was overwhelming.

Mirjana felt her self control slipping from her iron grasp. Was she ready for this? Her mind gibbered at her in utter futility, as Mirjana held Adalina's head at her neck, battling with her desire to allow her to move further down, and with the knowledge that this was neither the time or the place for this.

The slide of a hot tongue on her collarbone was almost her undoing, but in just minutes she had to fix her makeup, somehow make herself presentable and go meet several people. Pulling gently on hair as rich and dark as coffee, Mirjana brought Adalina's eyes up to meet her own.

The younger woman's unmasked desire causing her to have a fleeting thought of postponing her meeting and damn the consequences... A knock on her door, however, put an end to that line of thought as they both worked to restore composure and etiquette.


Adalina finally asked, after she had helped Mirjana ensure that not a hair was out of place, an exercise that had tested the self restraint of both of them.

Startled by her boldness, Mirjana almost answered, now. However, they would do this right, or not at all.


Mirjana finally said as she rose to leave the room, her hand brushing Adalina's to seal the promise.

When she opened the door, she was immediately swarmed by people seeking her attention and soon the task at hand had her complete attention. However, her mind was ultimately preoccupied with Adalina, and just exactly when, soon, would be...

- - - -

The rest of the day went quickly for Adalina, her tasks as the Queens maid-in-waiting were many. Also, unofficially she did a lot more for the Queen that her duties required. Motivated by emotion, versus prestige, profit, or personal gain, she knew now that Mirjana noticed what she did, and appreciated it.

However, even in her many busy moments, she felt completely distracted by the kiss that she and Mirjana had shared. The kiss, and the aftermath. And the promise of soon. Adalina literally could not wait. She doubted that if she had time alone with Mirjana, that she would be able to keep her hands off the other woman.

As she stood in the Queen's chambers, Adalina could not help looking at the vast expanse that was Mirjana's bed. She felt her whole body blush at the prospect of what could happen in that bed.

Would it happen here? The first time?

Adalina shook herself out of her reverie and opened the windows wide to let the evening breeze into the room. The action immediately brought back the previous evening, when she had ridden with the Queen through the night. Arousal flared in her body at the memory.

Adalina leaned against the windowsill and breathed in the cool air in a vain attempt to calm herself down. Perhaps she should leave before she lost control. It was not an option however, as she was sure that Mirjana not only expected her to be here, but wanted her to be here, when she arrived.

The desire had been clear as day in those crystalline blue eyes. Mirjana wanted her, just as surely as Adalina wanted Mirjana. This was beyond her wildest imaginings. It was like a dream had come to life. Adalina could hardly believe it...

As if summoned by her thoughts, Adalina heard the door open behind her and turned slowly to look at Mirjana enter the room. The effect was immediate. Adalina felt the touch of the other woman's eyes, like a caress. She felt undressed. Naked, exposed, powerful. Wanted.

The door closed behind Mirjana and she turned to lock it carefully before stepping into the room and moving slowly to within touching distance of Adalina.

Was this, soon? Adalina somehow dared to hope that it was...

- - - -

The day had been long and torturous for Mirjana. Her thoughts had been scattered, her corset suffocating. She had wanted to simply somehow close the palace doors and tell everyone to leave even before midday. Of course, it was within her proviso to do this, should she so desire. However, it would simply mean that she would need to catch up another day.

Not a desirable option...

Now, however, she was standing before Adalina. Thoughts of her long day vanished from her mind as she watched the other woman. It was patently obvious that Adalina was feeling the effects of their mutual attraction just as strongly as Mirjana did. A thrill moved through Mirjana's body as she realised the implications of that knowledge.

Right now however, she had to get out of her corset, and her heavy clothes. Despite her intense desire to do everything, to do anything, with Adalina, her body felt almost unwell in its confines.

"Help me get undressed."

Mirjana finally said, turning around so that Adalina could access the ties and buttons on the back of her dress. Mirjana was hyper aware of the younger woman standing behind her. The heat of her body, the touch of her breath on the bare skin of her shoulders. It was all a delicious distraction.

Then, Adalina's hands started to work on the tiny buttons and intricate ribbons that held her body prisoner. Mirjana closed her eyes to better focus on the sensation. It was somehow so new, to have someone she desired doing this simple act for her. Mirjana was so absorbed in her thoughts and the nearness of Adalina, that she startled when Adalina moved to remove the bodice of the dress.

Hands seemed to caress her, sliding along the smooth velvet of the garment. It was tantalising to have them so close to her breasts, but then they were gone as Adalina set the bodice aside and pulled down the first layer of the dress, exposing the corset Mirjana wore.

Mirjana felt Adalina lean closer to work on the knots of her corset. The sensation was enough for Mirjana to feel her stomach drop out. It was taking huge willpower for her to simply stand and allow Adalina to continue uninterrupted. Absently, Mirjana began to work on the buttons that held the rest of her dress on, loosening the narrow waist of the garment before simply waiting for Adalina to finish with the corset.

When a strand of Adalina's hair fell forward and brushed along her shoulder, Mirjana could not contain her gasp. Desire flared in her as she fought to retain control of herself, if only for a few more minutes.

- - - -

Adalina froze when she heard Mirjana gasp. The sound cut into her like a knife might. Arousal seethed within her as she worked the last of the ties that held Mirjana's corset together wish shaking fingers.

When the smooth expanse of Mirjana's back was exposed, Adalina felt her self control start to slip from her fingers. She had seen this sight before, of course, but never like this. Never in this way. Unable to control her hands, which seemed to have suddenly developed a mind of their own, Adalina ran her hands across Mirjana's back in a pretence of helping her remove the restrictive undergarment.

The Queen's skin was smooth, flawless, porcelain. Despite the long day that Mirjana had experienced, her skin was also dry and clean smelling. It made Adalina's mouth water.

Her touch elicited a shiver from Mirjana. Emboldened, Adalina leaned forward and kissed Mirjana where her shoulder blades met. Now beyond even pretending to have any control of herself.

As soon as her mouth touched that flawless skin, Adalina knew that one touch, one kiss, would never be enough. Once she had sipped from this cup, no other would ever quench her thirst. This she knew with finality. Of this she was certain...

Before she realised what was happening, Mirjana turned to face her and seized Adalina's head with strong hands and brought their mouths together for a furious, desperate kiss. The corset fell forgotten to the side as Adalina moved her hands along the bare expanse of the Queen's body, her whole focus on the fantastic sensations that were running riot in her body.

"You are wearing too much."

Mirjana said in a low, dangerous sounding voice when they finally parted for air. Realising that like Mirjana, she was panting, Adalina could only nod her head in agreement and quickly started to work on her own clothes which were thankfully much more simple that the Queen's.

As she worked, hands joined hers and Adalina looked up directly into Mirjana's eyes. Blue flame seemed to leap out at her. It was searing. It was also distracting, and when Mirjana leaned forward to kiss Adalina's collarbone, Adalina was sure she was going to faint from sensation. Those hot, wet lips on her skin was almost more than she could take. Yet it would never be enough.

Clothing forgotten, Adalina pulled Mirjana's head up and kissed her, focusing her desire, her passion, her want, into the kiss. Mirjana moaned into her mouth and Adalina heard the rip of fabric as the Queen became impatient with waiting and then suddenly, they were both naked in the lengthening shadows of the evening.

- - - -

By now, Mirjana was beside herself with desire. With want. At this point, it was not a matter of simply wanting to touch Adalina. It felt like she would die if she did not touch the other woman. She felt possessed...

All hesitation gone now, she took Adalina's hand and pulled her gently towards her bed, turning to face her when they finally arrived. Adalina's chest was heaving slightly and her dark eyes were now almost black with desire. It was intoxicating to look at, and Mirjana felt her body reacting in ways she could never have anticipated.

Adalina stopped Mirjana's mental machinations by stepping forward and gently pushing Mirjana, causing Mirjana to fall backwards on the bed and a moment later, as she pulled herself up onto the soft covers, she felt Adalina crawl up to straddle her body. In the dimness of the room, Adalina's body was shadowed, like a secret that Mirjana could not wait to find, to explore.

Pulling the other woman down, Mirjana shivered as their bodies came into contact with each other for the first time. The sensation was too much, it would never be enough. Mirjana pulled Adalina's face up to kiss her, their mouths clashing together in an almost violent fashion. Tongues, teeth, tastes, touch. It was all too much and Mirjana could feel herself lose control, her legs opening up so that Adalina could fit her slender hips between them.

The intimacy of it was too much and Mirjana could feel a tear escape from the corner of her eye as she felt Adalina surge against her. By now, her lover (and Adalina was her lover now) was sliding her body down Mirjana's, a hot, wet mouth leaving a trail of liquid fire. Mirjana could only react as she was reduced to her primitive self, her id roaring as it broke free of the carefully constructed cage that Mirjana had been keeping it in for most of her life.

When Adalina's mouth wrapped itself around Mirjana's nipple, the Queen lost the ability to think altogether, her hands grabbing, pushing, insisting, guiding. Adalina did not disappoint and a moment later, Mirjana felt fingers slide down her body and a heartbeat later, she was caressed, then filled, as Adalina moved up to kiss her. The dual sensation of fingers and tongue moving in tandem was Mirjana's final undoing. Without hesitation she opened her legs wider and wrapped one of them around Adalina, arching, aching, anticipating.

By now, Adalina was moaning and gasping into the kiss they were sharing, obviously as overcome by the situation, her wantonness driving Mirjana even further, and in a few more moments, Mirjana felt pleasure invade her body as her blood boiled and roiled in her veins.

The pleasure was unbearable, it was exquisite. Mirjana no longer knew where she ended and Adalina began. As they lay together, joined, inseparable, gasping in the aftermath of the moment, Mirjana opened her eyes and looked at Adalina.

It was a madness, this passion that possessed her. But if this was insanity, then Mirjana thought she would gladly go insane. There could be no price put on perfection, and as shudders and shivers of pleasure and aftermath moved both of their bodies, Mirjana decided that she had found perfection.

However, the night had only just begun, and Mirjana easily moved out from under Adalina, easing the distracted, panting woman onto her back. Mirjana felt desire flare in her body as she looked at the languid, sensual body before her. Adalina's eyes shone with a dark fire and it was obvious that her lover was very wound up with unspent passion. With a slight growl, Mirjana moved forward and captured Adalina's mouth with her own once more.


- - - -

Whatever she may have expected, whatever her daydreams and fantasies had been, they paled in comparison to reality. Was this actually real? Adalina could not believe it was happening, could not believe what had just happened. The telltale slickness that covered her hands, the taste of Mirjana's mouth on her tongue, the sweat on her body, all of these things indicated that what was happening was really happening. Still, Adalina could not believe it.

Feeling herself upended and being rolled onto her back, Adalina looked up into the eyes of her lover, the intensity in them stealing her breath. Mirjana looked wild, untamed; hungry. Adalina had little time to ponder this before Mirjana was kissing her with a passion and intent that would have made Adalina swoon, had she been standing. She was not standing however, she was lying in a soft feather bed, with hands kneading her body, caressing her breasts, and a mouth making love to her mouth in a way that made her forget her name.

Without shame or hesitation, Adalina opened her legs and sought to pull Mirjana closer to her, wanting to remove all possible space between them.

"I want..."

Adalina gasped, her mouth unable to form words as Mirjana's mouth travelled down her neck to the point where her collarbones met as their bodies undulated together.

"What do you want?"

Mirjana asked in a low voice as her hands roamed Adalina's body with intent. Adalina knew that Mirjana expected an answer, demanded one. The heat of the blue flame in her gaze seared the younger woman to her core.

"I want you."

Adalina was finally able to gasp as one of Mirjana's hands travelled down between their bodies, sliding between Adalina's legs to the focal point of her need, of her desire.

The words made Mirjana be still for a long moment, before she leaned down and kissed Adalina with intent before she quickly slid down Adalina's body, using her own to caress and enflame as she went. It was too much...

Adalina's thoughts were clouded with desire and her limbs were heavy so she did not immediately register what Mirjana was up to. However, when she felt Mirjana move her hand away and replace it with her mouth, Adalina's sanity fled. Sitting up in the bed, she arched into Mirjana, gasping, keening, unbelieving at the sensations that flared and flamed through her body.

"Oh my God."

Adalina whispered in supplication as pleasure unfurled in her veins. All she could do was feel, desire, be, as Mirjana drove her onwards. Adalina was sure she would die of pleasure as Mirjana moved her mouth and tongue in that most intimate of places. It was fantastic.

Unable to do anything except be swept away in the sensation, the pinnacle of her pleasure overtook her by surprise. Adalina heard loud moaning, and belatedly realises that it was her own voice as she became a creature of pure and unadulterated pleasure under Mirjana's mouth and touch.

Finally, Adalina was still, only her gasping and the sensation of Mirjana's head resting on her belly filled her mind and senses. Nothing could have prepared her for this. Nothing. Pulling on Mirjana, Adalina finally wrapped her arms around the other woman, wanting nothing more than to hold her, at least for a few moments. The damp sweat on her skin, the musky scent of desire, the overwhelming feeling of rightness, were all that she would ever need to survive, to live, from now on.

"I love you."

Adalina whispered into the perfect shell of Mirjana's ear.

The words made Mirjana tense, before she relaxed once more and seemed to hold Adalina tighter.

"I believe you."

Mirjana finally whispered as she pulled blankets around them and eased herself into a comfortable position next to Adalina.

It was not the answer that Adalina had been hoping for, but it was more than she had ever thought she would get, so it would be enough for now. Later, they could discuss it more, tomorrow maybe. Who knew. Right now sweet lassitude was overtaking Adalina's limbs and it seemed that Mirjana was happy to have Adalina share her bed for the night.

With that thought, Adalina pulled Mirjana a little closer to herself and allowed sleep to overtake her. Tomorrow could wait. Right now, she wanted to gather her wits and her strength as she was certain that tonight was not over with quite yet, sleep would only be an intermission...

With a happy sigh, Adalina fell asleep.

- - - -

Wakefulness came slowly to Mirjana. It was quite dark and she could hear the trees outside her open window. She really should get up and close it in case is rained or something. However, a delicious, lethargic feeling was weighing down her limbs and she was so comfortable and so warm, that she simply did not want to move.

As her mind cleared of its sleep induced fog, she realised that she was not, in fact, alone in her bed. A naked body occupied the space next to hers. In a flash, Miranda remembered the events of just a few hours before and just who was in bed with her. A wicked smile crossed her face before she rolled over to look at Adalina, who was sound asleep and oblivious to her scrutiny.

She was beautiful. Perhaps Mirjana found her to be especially beautiful because she was so authentic. There was no pretence or games, when it came to Adalina. What you saw was what you got, and Mirjana found that she enjoyed what she got. Though her body purred with arousal and in sexual aftermath, Mirjana realised that it all went deeper than mere physical sensation and compatibility.

Despite her best intentions, and her better wisdom, Mirjana was sure that she was in love with the younger woman. It was a curious position to be in. One that she was not sure she had ever anticipated herself being in, to be honest. Her whole life was consumed by duty and obligation. She spent her days maintaining, building and expanding her power and influence. And for what?

She had more money than she would ever be able to spend, and more power than she knew what to do with...

With a sigh, Mirjana laid her hand on Adalina's side, idly caressing it as her thoughts tumbled through her mind. Now what? She was not going to conduct some sort of clandestine relationship with one of her servants for the sake of some sort of misguided propriety. Mirjana considered herself to be an advanced person, and had long ago enacted laws that permitted this sort of relationship. There was no question that if she so desired, she could be public about Adalina.

The issue was not that Adalina was a woman, rather it was that she was unsure of exactly what Adalina was to her. Also, lying her in the dead of night, Mirjana knew that she was worried about how Adalina would handle life as her lover, her consort. It stood to reason that the younger woman would be subject to intrigue, problems and unpleasantness, simply because of Mirjana.

"What are you thinking about?"

A soft voice, made husky by sleep broke into her thoughts, startling her slightly. Adalina had woke up, no doubt from Mirjana's touch.

Leaning over to pull Adalina closer, Mirjana closed her eyes in contentment as her lover snuggled up beside her. A thrill ran up her spine at the intimate contact, but Mirjana was determined to answer the question that Adalina had posed to her.


- - - -

Adalina could feel the tension in Mirjana as she lay entangled in her arms. The other woman hid it well, obviously. A whole lifetime of hiding her real feelings and holding dominion over so many, ensured that she was a master of self control. However, naked and entwined in the arms of another, that sort of thing was hard to hide.

Adalina resolved that she would wait patiently for Mirjana to answer, even if it meant waiting all night.

"I want you in my life. Not as my secret, but as my pride and joy."

Adalina held her breath as Mirjana started to speak, her heart soaring at the words.

"However, it won't be easy. People will hate you for being what they consider common. They will hate you because of me. Everyone would want to be us."

Adalina sensed that there was more and she carefully tightened her hold on her lover, knowing that she was willing to face anything, so long as she could do it with Mirjana.

"Firstly. I release you from my employ as a servant. I will make sure you are otherwise employed or help you find the work you want to do. I know you are a pride filled woman, Adalina. You must have your own money. But effective now, you are no longer my servant, nor do you answer to anyone in this place except perhaps me, sometimes."

Shocked at how much thought Mirjana seemed to have put into this, Adalina could only nod, her mouth seeking to kiss the soft skin beneath her lips as Mirjana adjusted her hold on Adalina.

"For now, however, in order for you to be accepted more quickly, it would be wise to allow me to use my means to ensure your wardrobe, accommodations, and accessories."

Adalina opened her mouth to protest, but was silenced by a soft finger on her lips.

"If you like, you can pay me back, but surely I am allowed to give you things. That is what people do for those they love."

Adalina blinked and felt her heart stop.

"You love me?"

She finally whispered.

"Yes. I love you."

Mirjana said quietly, her voice betraying more emotion that Adalina had ever heard before.

Without a thought Adalina sat up and moved to kiss Mirjana, uncaring of anything else. Not clothes, not possible problems, not tomorrow. When Mirjana moved to sit up, Adalina held her down, opening her mouth and expressing all that she was into the kiss.

The effect was as if she had poured oil onto a fire. Mirjana surged beneath her, fighting to free her trapped arms, making a desperate sound in her throat that broke the final chains that held Adalina in check.

Something savage and primitive was released in Adalina as she finally released Mirjana, moving to straddle her lover, to kiss her neck, closing her teeth on a perfect shoulder when Mirjana arched into her, gasping.

Not pausing in her ministrations, Adalina moved down Mirjana's body, kissing, licking, touching as she went. Passion so powerful surged inside of her that she felt as if she could barely breathe. Any delay now would surely kill her.

She had to have Mirjana now!

As her belly slid past Mirjana's lower body, Adalina felt wetness soak her thigh as it moved between her lover's legs. the sensation of Mirjana's arousal drove her past all possible sanity as sweat erupted on her skin and her mind seemed to catch fire.

Without hesitation or pause, Adalina moved her mouth down and a moment later she was in heaven. Taste, sensation, softness, wetness, coating her mouth, her tongue, her hands. It was glorious, and when Mirjana surged beneath her, Adalina slid a finger, then a second one into her lover.

Thighs closed around her head and Mirjana cried out, a desperate sound that drove Adalina. She had to hear Mirjana's passion. She had to. When hands pulled on her hair, the pain was pleasure; Adalina knew that Mirjana was losing control.

Moments later, the beautiful body undulating beneath her stilled for a heartbeat, then Adalina heard the cry she had been seeking as Mirjana keened her pleasure into the night, fingers digging into Adalina's shoulders as her passions overcame her.

Tears escaped Adalina's eyes as she rode the waves of Mirjana's pleasure out. She knew in that instant, that she would never be able to live without this. That was an absolute certainty.

- - - -

Mirjana felt as if she had been turned inside out. Until this moment, she knew she had never experienced true pleasure before. Overwhelmed she could only lie still and gasp, her fingers idly stoking through Adalina's sweat dampened hair as she did. Eventually she managed to gather her senses and pulled on Adalina, wanting to feel the weight of her lover on her. Wanting to kiss the lips and the mouth that had just given her such exquisite pleasure.

Looking into Adalina's eyes, Mirjana could see that the other woman was far gone into the realms of overwhelming desire. But there was also love. It was clear that Adalina loved her. It was wonderful. Unbelievable.

Pulling Adalina down, Mirjana kissed her with all that she was, tasting herself, tasting Adalina, and tasting desire as she did. Adalina melted into her, moaning and whimpering in a way that made Mirjana forget her name. Lifting a thigh, Mirjana pressed into the wet heat that was between Adalina's thighs. The action caused Adalina to arch back as she tore her mouth from Mirjana's.

The sight of her lover writhing above her as she was engulfed in mindless passion was agonisingly erotic and Mirjana could feel her body surge in response, her own arousal quickly reaching a pinnacle once again. Moving her hands to cup Adalina's breasts, Mirjana tensed the muscles in her thigh as Adalina slid herself along it, moaning with abandon now, oblivious to all except for her pleasure.

Mirjana's hands were interrupted from their perusal of the very responsive breasts that graced Adalina's chest, when the other woman pulled one free and slid it down her body and into her body in one smooth movement. The action caught Mirjana off guard and for a moment she was unable to respond she was so overwhelmed.

Her momentary paralysis was interrupted when Adalina leaned her body down to kiss Mirjana, freeing access and allowing Mirjana to move her hand. As they kissed, Adalina's body moved and in moments, minutes, lifetimes, she was clinging to Mirjana and crying out her pleasure directly into Mirjana's ear.

The unbearably erotic nature of the moment was too much for Mirjana and she felt her body respond in kind as it rode alone with Adalina's pleasure. Stunned at the intensity of her reaction to Adalina's pleasure, Mirjana could only hold on and experience the moment.

The perfect moment...

Collapsing on top of her, Adalina gasped for breath and seemed to become a boneless mass that Mirjana was only too happy to hold. This was love. She almost felt like laughing, it was so very good.


Adalina said after an indeterminate amount of time.


Mirjana asked, confused at the apparent non sequitur.

"You can buy me whatever, do whatever is needed. Anything."

Mirjana felt a lightness enter her chest at the words.

"I love you. I want to be with you. I do not care what it takes, or how hard it will be."

Adalina said after a time, before rolling off Mirjana and cuddling up to her side once more.

"I love you as well."

Mirjana said quietly as she held Adalina, realising that she had yet to close the windows in her room.

Deciding she did not care if a storm came, she carefully arranged the covers around the two of them and felt sleep once more tug at her body as a sense of peace she could not remember having before descended upon her.

Suddenly, she could not wait for morning. The start of a new life, with Adalina...

The End

The Raven

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