by Vennie Kocsis
The view from the second floor of the palace is clear, void of fog or dust. King David lounges on His fur covered, ornate chair, gazing through the stucco columns of His balcony. She is bathing again, the marble tub filled with milk. She is naked, voluptuous and unaware of the eyes that could be watching her. He will have her. After all, He IS the King. He has decided to wait no longer.
Many an evening He has spent observing her. One day there would be a word for this behavior. Stalker. Yet, it is a time of dust and candles, rulers, slaves, bathing beauties and Kings who do not accept no as an answer.
The King smiles to Himself. He has sent her husband, Uriah, one of His soldiers, off to war, with secret orders to His private lieutenant that Uriah must surely die in battle. Soon, word arrives that the deed is finished.
David sends for the milk bathed beauty. Up close she is more breathtaking than He has obsessed over from afar.
He has a room prepared especially for her. Roses line the bed, tucked into wooden vases, filling the room with a subtle, sweet scent. Soft fur blankets and pillows adorn the bed.
She pauses in the doorway, her head bent down in reverence as she curtsies slowly. He takes her in with his eyes, stirred by the simple, flowing gown covering her dark skin.
“Come, dear one. Lift your head.” He directs her toward him.
Her dark hair is braided down her back; three plaits to signify her royal status. Gold bands wrap around the bottom of each braid. Her lips are full. Her face is bare and beautiful. She has an air of humble confidence as she glides towards Him, kneeling at His feet.
He lifts her chin.
“Look to me. I must tell you something that will break your soft soul in half. Then I will heal you.”
Her eyes fill with tears. She knows what the King is about to tell her.
“He is gone.” She whispers. “My love. My Uriah. The swords have taken him.”
Tears stream down her cheeks, and unexpectedly her chest explodes as she finds herself sobbing into the King’s lap.
“There, now, My dear.” He soothes, gliding His fingers over her skin.
“So soft.” He thinks. He is filled with the urge to bed her.
He will. After caring for her as she grieves the loss of her husband, grateful to the King for His loving care, He takes her into His arms. She complies, wishing simply to be held, to remember the touch of the one man she would truly ever love. Uriah.
The King smiles each time she sighs into His chest after their coupling. In times when one can command a murder to have the woman He wishes, it is good to be the King.
When the Master first sees her, she is dancing beneath a tree. Enraptured, He holds His hand up, a signal for His twelve bodyguards to cease speaking or walking.
The group of men stand still as they watch Him. Their Master walks closer to the dancing woman.
She is a glowing movement of magical beauty. Her hair is flying in strands of long black curls. Occasionally she throws her head back, laughing and letting out the most beautiful warble, as if a bird is whistling music inside of her head.
“She is free.” He thinks.
A crowd has gathered, watching her. They are yelling at her.
One man picks up a small stone, hurling it toward her, but he misses.
She continues dancing, completely oblivious of the swiftly turning crowd, which is forming a semi-circle around her.
She grabs the hem of her skirt, holding it up as her long legs brush the sand elegantly. The Master holds back an urge to laugh in delight. Her hips sway. She is bare stomached, with a soft cloth covering her breasts, her shoulders curved and flawless. Love shoots from His stomach like never before.
His attention turns to the crowd. He beckons His bodyguards to follow as they walk over. She has stopped dancing, now aware of her impending doom, fear settling into her deep, brown eyes. She huddles behind the tree.
The Master brushes His lips with His left fingers as He passes her.
“Shhhh.” He orders, and their eyes lock for seconds, sealing a bond that will never be shattered.
The Master stands before the crowd, His teelve burly men flanking Him. The crowd falls silent.
“You.” He points to the largest man with the heaviest rock, beckoning him to come forward. The man laughs, dropping his rock and walking over. He is confident that he will take this would be Commander down with one blow.
“Why do you hate this woman?” The Master inquires, His voice welcoming and warm.
“She is a harlot.” The man growls angrily. “Look at her. She shows her body. She dances alone. She has no respect for herself.”
The Master contemplates for a moment, silently, as the man shifts uncomfortably in his dirty sandals.
“May I wager a deal?” The Master asks. “If I prevail, you command the crowd to leave.”
Confident that he will win, the man heartily agrees.
The Master leans down and picks up a small piece of branch. He says nothing ad he writes in the sand.
“You have been bedding your brother’s wife for many moon cycles now. If you do not leave this woman alone, my men and I will follow you into town and tell your whole family.”
As the Master gives the man time to read, He watches his face change to shock. How could this Master know such a thing?
Silence continues until the man looks up at the Master, who then uses his foot to wipe the words from the sand.
Without hesitation, the man orders the crowd to leave, leading them away from the woman who had been dancing beneath the tree.
She rushes toward the Master, falling to her knees, kissing His feet. She lifts her face, her eyes endless pools of tearful emotion as she whispers.
“Thank you. Oh, thank you.”
The Master reaches down and takes her hand to help her stand. He pulls her close and whispers into her ear.
“But will you serve Me?”
Her body falls slack against Him. He smells of desert dust and days of traveling with no baths. She will wash each inch of His skin tenderly, down to his calloused feet and gnarled toenails.
“Yes.” She breathes. “I will serve you, my Lord.”
She will serve Him until His last days. He will reward her with camels and baby goats, fresh wheat and apricots. She will weep at His feet when His own people murder Him, hiding their children as not to have His heirs slaughtered as well.
Her name is Mary. She is a Sacred Whore. Her Master loves her, and even in His absence, her heart will belong to Him until her last breath.