She was certain the wizardess could help. The fact that Harmonia Brist had identified the problem of the worn shoes gave her cause to hope. How wonderful it would be if she could become as joyful and content with her husband as she had been with her father and her sisters.
Princess Attentia put on her prettiest dress and sat down at her dressing table to style her hair. As she did so she thought about the wizardess. How beautiful she was! And oh, how Princess Attentia admired her. She wished that she were more like her.
Just then her husband's head popped out from under the blankets. "What are you doing up so early?" he asked. "I want everything to be perfect for the wizardess when she gets here," she told him. "And you, too, should get up and make yourself ready."
"Isn't it a bit early?" he asked her sleepily.
"I don't know when she will arrive, but I'm sure she'll come here first since we are the closest to the castle. "With one last adjustment to her hair she approached the bed and sat close to where her husband lay. "I do so want her to like us."
"How could she not?" he asked, reaching out to grab hold of her and draw her closer to him.
She smiled but pulled herself gently out of his grasp before he could rumple her dress. "I just want to be sure," she replied.
He looked at her speculatively for a moment. "You seemed genuinely moved by her theories last night," he remarked. "Are you unhappy, Attentia?"
"Of course not," she replied automatically. She looked at her husband and was instantly charmed by his appearance. His face had a childlike quality while it was still flushed from sleep that clashed delightfully with the masculine stubble on his chin. His gentle gaze and husky morning voice captivated her. She loved him so much. Shouldn't that make everything right? It seemed that it did not. She knew that he loved her, too, and that he wanted to please her. And yet there were times
The door chimed just then, causing the princess to jump. "I knew it!" she exclaimed, running from the room.
Harmonia breezed in, looking exuberant and self-assured. She wore lovely bright colors that complemented her golden hair streaked with gray. She had a young, watchful expression, as her eyes took in everything around her. She carried with her a doctor's bag of sorts, quite large and stuffed to overflowing. PrincessAttentia wondered what was inside.
Princess Attentia apologized profusely for not having any refreshments prepared as she led the wizardess into their kitchen and immediately set about the task of making coffee.
"I have breakfasted already," the wizardess told her, sitting down at the kitchen table. "What I would really like is for you to sit here next to me."
The princess dropped what she was doing and sat down immediately. Harmonia smiled at the girl's eagerness to please. "Where is your husband?"
"Oh, he will be down in a moment. He didn't expect you so early." There was silence a moment as the women looked at each other.
"Are you going to give us some kind of test?" the princess asked nervously.
"No, not really," replied the wizardess. "Usually I can identify the difficulty by observing symptoms in people. Sometimes I have to ask questions. But once I know where the problem lies I can often produce the appropriate remedy."
"So you're like a doctor."
"A bit," agreed the wizardess. "Except that instead of medicine I use a lot of intuition and a little magic."
"I hope that doesn't mean there's any chance of me being turned into a frog," said the prince from the doorway, looking perfectly turned out as he joined them.
Princess Attentia laughed cheerfully as she looked her husband over with appreciation. He gave her a wink. The wizardess was charmed by the pair. But where was the problem? Was the princess simply unknowledgeable in matters of sharing pleasure with her husband? Or was there something else? She watched them carefully.
"You both seem very much in love," she observed. "Oh, we are," the princess insisted earnestly. Indeed it is so, thought the wizardess.
"And you no doubt find each other very attractive," she continued.
"Oh, immensely so," said the princess.
"Perhaps too much so," agreed the prince.
The wizardess stared at the prince for a moment. "Well!" she exclaimed at last with a look of satisfaction. "I have something here that will be of great benefit to you both." She set her overstuffed bag on the table and began to shuffle through it determinedly.
"Have you detected our problem so quickly?" asked the princess.
"Oh,it is not so much of a problem at all," the wizardess assured her.
"You will by no means have difficulty in overcoming it. Ah. Here it is." And she pulled from her bag a most extraordinary leather contraption.
"What is that?" asked the princess.
"It looks like some kind of a surely it couldn't be " The prince stumbled over his words in stunned mortification."A chastity belt?"
"It is worn like a chastity belt," admitted the wizardess. "But it does not serve the same purpose. This belt is charmed, as you will soon find out.The inscription on the leather will tell you all you need to know. "The wizardess set the belt on the table and stood up. "Wear it whenever your husband is nearby Princess Attentia, and all will be well. It is lightweight and as soft as skin, so it shouldn't trouble you overmuch."
"I don't know " said the princess doubtfully. She looked at her husband, who was still staring at the device in horror.
"The king has decreed that my instructions are to be followed to the letter," Harmonia reminded them.
"Well I suppose it couldn't hurt to try it," consented the princess. Her husband remained speechless. "I must go now," said the wizardess. "I have the rest of your sisters to visit. Goodbye."
As the princess escorted the wizardess out, the prince picked up the mysterious belt from the table. It was indeed as soft as skin. He examined it closely.
"How does it work?" asked Princess Attentia, rushing back into the kitchen after having led the wizardess out as quickly as she could manage without being rude.
The prince squinted as he examined the inscription. "It says,"There is no key. The belt will open of its own accord at the opportune time.'" He looked up at his wife. "What do you suppose that means?"
"I don't know."
"Well, put it on and let us see," he suggested. For the moment at least, his sense of curiosity was piqued.
Princess Attentia tentatively accepted the belt from him. It was lightweight and soft, just as Harmonia had promised. She took the belt upstairs into their bedroom, with her husband following close behind her. She went into her dressing room while the prince waited for her on their bed.
The leather contraption fit just like any ordinary chastity belt, with surprisingly soft yet sturdy straps that wrapped around her waist and thighs to hold it in place. Between her legs there was a delicate, yet sturdy barrier that fit perfectly over her opening; so perfectly, in fact, that she could still perform all bodily functions without its getting in the way.The feeling of the supple leather straps wrapped around her thighs and waist gave her a little thrill. She lowered her skirts and went to her waiting prince.
"Well?" he asked expectantly. She blushed." Let me see," he insisted impatiently.
Princess Attentia raised her skirts.Another tingle shot through her as she bared herself for her husband.
The prince stared at his wife, naked except for the chastity belt from her waist down. Her little triangle of curls was the first thing he noticed. She was quite bare to his view except for the dainty straps that held the contraption in place around her waist and upper thighs. Upon closer inspection, which he immediately set to by kneeling before her, the prince noticed the little barrier that closed her off from him.
"The question is how we get it to open," he murmured.
"What?" she gasped, becoming excited to have him examining her so closely.
"The inscription said it would 'open of its own accord at the opportune time,'" he reminded her. "I'm just wondering when the 'opportune time' is."
"I don't know," she admitted truthfully, although she was beginning to wonder. Could this be the answer to the many nights of unfulfilled passion, where she was always so close but never able to find her release before it was all over? Perhaps there was something to there being an "opportune time."The princess was eager to find out. "Shall we test it to see?" she asked.
"I imagine we will think of nothing else until we do," he agreed, and with his usual enthusiasm the prince hastily removed his clothes. Then he removed Princess Attentia's dress. But as he stared at the leather straps that bound her and kept him out, he abruptly came to a halt.
Normally this would have been the 'opportune time' for the prince, but the chastity belt was still closed up tight.
The prince led his wife to their bed. She lay down on her back nervously, not sure what was expected of her. He stared at her for several him, wearing nothing but the chastity belt. This simple pause for contemplation was exquisite for the princess. To be looked at, studied and wondered over, like an intricate machine that had to be figured out, was in itself quite gratifying.
The prince approached his wife tentatively, trying to think of what she liked but realizing suddenly that he really didn't know. He decided it was high time he found out. He lay on his side next to her, leaning checked himself, using self-control to hold back the urges that threatened to overwhelm him. He knew that he would need to concentrate on the task at hand in order to maintain that control. He would take his time, moving slowly and carefully, so as not to miss the secrets that his wife had so far kept hidden from him.
He leaned over her and brushed his lips very lightly over hers, teasing her with the hint of a kiss and then moving away to do the same along her cheeks, forehead and shoulders. She delighted in the feel of his warm breath on her skin as she waited and anticipated his next move.
While his lips covered her with feathery kisses from the shoulders the shoulders down in the same teasing manner. He circled his fingers nimbly over her skin, not grasping or rubbing, but merely hinting at touches to come. As he traced over her form, he took the opportunity to admire the curves and bends in her flesh, and the silky feel of her skin. Each time his lips came back to brush over hers, he noted her increased breathing and little gasping noises, and from these little signs he measured her readiness for more. He had decided that each and every advance from him should be craved before it was received. As his hands circled lower and lower, lightly flicking over every part words that she was longing for a more lingering touch.
Once he was absolutely certain that the princess was truly longing to be kissed, the prince took her lips thoroughly in a deep, penetrating assault with his mouth and tongue. He realized now what the chastity belt was all about, and he guessed that it would not open quickly or easily. But he did not mind this in the least.
The prince continued to kiss his wife passionately until she clung to him, trembling. He broke the kiss then and whispered huskily, "Now we will find out what you like. Will you tell me or will I have to try everything and see what works?"
She was speechless.
Excerpted from The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Nancy Madore Copyright © 2007 by Nancy Madore. Excerpted by permission.
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