Behold the Beauty
by Megan Hussey
In the mystical land of Ravenshead, a prince and a healer are drawn together by a passion stronger than fate. The gorgeous, rebellious Prince Beau loves strong-willed healer Agnatha, and with the help of an all-powerful godling, the two may find the happiness each deserves.
Release Date: June 5, 2014
Genre: Fantasy - Short
Beausoleil had his fill of simpering maidens vying to become his bride. In the eyes of his female admirers, the maidens of a Utopian land where his family ruled supreme, his masculine beauty shone as radiantly as the sun above him.
They sometimes spoke in admiration—or in outright envy—about his hair, which was the hue of pure gold and fell in luxurious waves down his smoothly planed back.
“I swear, the lasses are either begging for a signed codpiece or demanding to know the herbal recipe of my shampoo,” he scoffed.
And they giggled among themselves, and sometimes wrote achingly bad poetry about his skin with its hint of bronze that covered a tall, muscular frame.
His eyes sometimes widened in apparent irritation or outright fear as he heard their blunt, loudly spoken observations. But all they noticed was the fact that those eyes shone “like emeralds” from a sculpted face. They drooled (and in some bizarre instances swooned) as they regarded a mouth, full and sensual, and they openly basked in the warmth of his disposition, which generally was as sunny as his moniker. Generally.
“I’ll have no more of this! I declare all the panting and drooling stops now!” Beausoleil, or Prince Beau as the citizens of Ravenshead called him, issued this declaration in his father’s great hall—a massive room with a towering ceiling, an intricately carved fireplace lined with fine silver pottery and wooden tables filled with guests.
These elite villagers were titled lords and ladies who gathered this day for a feast hosted by King Benjamin, Beausoleil’s father. Benjamin was known as the man who ruled Ravenshead, a small, elite nation on the border of other lands ruled by gentry representatives of various nations. Titled folk who yearned for larger lands, luxury and, in many cases, uninterrupted debauchery. Indeed, while they praised Benjamin’s leadership skills, Beau was truly known as the man who served prime ale at his monthly feasts.
Yet, as guests were presented with bountiful tankards, as well as plates stocked with beef, pork, cheese and fruit, Beau was presented with heaping helpings of eligible females—all vying for a seat beside him at the head table. “This is insane,” he told his smirking father, a blond, broad-shouldered man who himself cut a striking figure. “I want simply to enjoy a good meal and the wit-filled tales of our storyteller, not to be ogled and pawed like a side of raw venison.”
But it was too late. He saw the whites of their eyes and their under-shifts as they flipped their colorful skirts to gift him with a subtle ‘flash’. “Aye, but I am blessed,” thought Beau, rolling his eyes heavenward.
His gaze then shifted to a long, lavishly designed tapestry that adorned the far end of the hall. A work of sheer teal velvet, handcrafted by a castle weaver, the tapestry depicted a forest scene in all its earthly glory. Tall, noble trees stood beside bountiful bushes. Both boasted leaves of dew-glistened emerald and provided a mystical setting for a lone fallow deer with a rich chestnut coat.
Beau felt a strange affinity for the regal stag—one who he perceived not only prized his freedom, but yearned for a greater measure of it—along with some treasured privacy.
Mumbling his uneasy apologies, Beau rose from the table and walked abruptly from the hall. He knew he probably appeared a bit desperate, sprinting across the castle courtyard and into his father’s stables, but frankly, he was beyond caring about the opinions of his father’s elite, debauched friends.
Xavier, his prized ebony stallion, pawed restlessly as Beau saddled and bridled him. “Aye, lad, I know,” Beau whispered in a soothing tone. “We shall leave here. We shall take a ride through the forest, forget the lot of them and leave them behind.”
With this, he mounted the regal horse in one swift motion. The two of them escaped into the dark of night.