Shortly after their marriage the Prince had moved the old pot-bellied stove from the home she had left to the palace. She used to sit by that stove, tending it and keeping it clean, while she boiled the water for washing her sisters’ clothes, and cooked for them, and kept the house warm. Sometimes she’d crouched behind it, small as a mouse, to avoid their blows and their insults.
Now she ate food made and brought by others, from golden platters, and drank wine of liquid gold from goblets carved from giant rubies. She slept in silken sheets on a bed of softest down. She’d complained once, as a joke, that she thought she’d felt a pea under her mattress.
But no-one had laughed. Instead there had been a great fuss, with even the Prince seeming worried, and that night she found they’d replaced the bed with one that was even softer. She never complained again.
She lay on her back, thighs parted, beside her Prince. She’d become used to the Prince’s enthusiasm for her, and his desire to have his cock in her as often, and for as long, as possible. She knew he would stir and reach over for her soon. She loved his love for her.
She slipped out of his bed, as she sometimes did, and tiptoed down to the kitchen. She cast off her satin and mink gown, and stood naked for a few minutes, letting the cold and the grime in the air sink into her skin. Then she put on her old dress, all tatters and rips, in which she’d taken so many blows and shed so many tears.
She heard the Prince, upstairs. He had woken, no doubt erect, and found her not beside him. She heard her wardrobe door open and close as he selected something from it, and then she heard his steps, coming down the stairs.
When he found her, in that kitchen, beside its shelf of cookbooks and, strangely, books about the things a man and a woman might do together, he would be roaring, and the riding crop he’d taken from her wardrobe would be twitching in his hand, as though it was hungry for her flesh. She would be rolled in the ash, and welted until she cried, and later she would open her legs, gazing up at him, and cry for his mercy and relief. Then she would be fucked over and over again on that filthy floor, until at last they were sated.
He would call maids to come bathe their mistress, and rub strange Arabian ointments on her new wounds. How the girls would chatter, and wonder that their princess took thrashings that were never visited upon them. She would never explain, though they would sometimes see her smile.
She heard him call her name loudly from just outside the door. She bent over then, touching her toes, so that she offered and he could take, without pausing, everything he most wanted in the world.