“My Lord! I have something of importance to discuss with you”, Empress Indira said almost breathlessly, as she more or less flew into her husband’s rooms.
The emperor who was ready to explode at the reports his closest chiefs were relating to him, calmed considerably at his lovely queen’s voice.
The chiefs who had been fidgeting before, gave a collective but discreet sigh of relief.
For one, the tense secret meeting was becoming almost unbearable. The emperor was upset — and rightly so. The news wasn’t good news. And they sure weren’t happy about the news, not to mention having the unenviable job of relating it to his Highness. The queen bursting in, was life saving indeed — even if that was out of character.
For two, no matter what the naysayers had to say, Queen Indira was the best thing to happen to the Emperor — and the empire — as far as they were concerned.
She had a positive influence on the empire and a pleasant effect on the Emperor. Of course the naysayers wouldn’t like her. They had little excuse to overthrow the man. She had done a lot to endear the people to their king.
“You may be excused”, the emperor said to his chiefs, with a slight trace of amusement at his queen’s unusual entrance.
He can imagine how their daughter will be like — when his queen will allow him to be that close to her for a daughter to be born — fierce and unpredictable, among other things.
He should be concerned because his Indira was usually calm and hardly ruffled. That she bursted into his rooms — of all places — gave him secret delight. That she almost shouted was quite interesting indeed. That she came to him with her concerns, made him feel capable and strong. After all she had been a queen managing her own kingdom before he married her.
The chiefs bowed slightly to him, and gave his queen a respectful bow on their way out, which she returned with an equally respectful nod.
He looked at her closely. She was unveiled! Her hair was mostly covered, but she always covered her face anytime she was in public. Interesting.
Not that he blamed her. Some of the men in the kingdom had been openly gawking at her, when she arrived as his new queen few moons back. When he had asked why she began veiling herself, she had told him she didn’t like how some of the men looked at her. Well, he didn’t either, but he would never have veiled her. He would have found a way, to handle the situation. She insisted she wanted to veil herself and he respected her wish.
She was wearing a lovely green dress, white linen veil trimmed with golden thread and yellow stones.
And he liked green.
“Have a sit, my Sweet. While you tell me who dared to trouble my queen”, he said as he guided her to a white and gold couch that could easily sit four people.
She smiled. He had always had a way of making her smile or laugh. As he sat at the other end of the couch in his white and gold apparel, he looked very angelic, which further relaxed her as she told him about her estranged cousin’s trouble.
“Please my Lord. Help me find him and extend a hand of friendship to him”, she concluded.
“There’s more, isn’t there?”
She was a bit surprised at his intuition.
“Well yes, it’s a suggestion and a favour I want to ask of you”
“Could you please have him wed your sister? I know it might be too much of me to ask. And I don’t want it to seem like I’m taking your generosity for granted, my lord. But my brother needs someone to care and look out for. A good reason to settle and make good use of his talents. He a very good man, a seasoned warrior, loyal, well educated, honest and honourable. You remind me of him, because you two have so much in common. I can vouch for him. He will treat your sister well. Not just because of who she is, but because he has the qualities of a great husband. Your sister will grow and blossom with his care. Your sister needs someone who is gentle, loving and strong. Someone strong enough to protect her, and what is hers, but will not bully her, or abuse the privileges. That someone — if I may be so bold, your Highness — is my brother.”
As she concluded she held her breathe praying he would agree.
She had come to love her sister-in-law as if she were one of her own sisters. She was gentle, humble, bubbly and delicate. She couldn’t bear for her to be passed as a gift to one of the generals for meritorious service, when in actual fact most of them were too interested in the throne.
Her gentle sister-in-law will be devastated should she be married to someone whose only interest was her brother’s throne.
It was indeed urgent to divert his Highness to a more suitable person, who wasn’t covetous — before it was too late.
Her brother-cousin and sister-in-law will make a great pair. Yahweh, please please let my husband agree to this match. The vultures are circling, Father. Especially that aunt of his with her horrid scheming. She wants her son, LORD — her son! To succeed the throne! She’s planning for her son to marry the princess. Hmmph. I wouldn’t be doing this if her son wasn’t cruel and as over ambitious as his mother. Please God help!
“Fine. Consider it done.”
Indira sucked in her breathe in shock.
What!! Just like that?!
Thank you Yahweh! Thank You!
“My Lord? Thank you, thank you! I am most grateful.”
She goshed as she grabbed his hand with both of hers, in gratitude.
“There’s something I will like you to do for me, my queen”
“What, my Lord?”
He held her eyes with his, as he kissed her hand.
“Please from now on, call me by my name, Indira”.