Copyright: This story is copyrighted to the author Ó 1999 by T.Novan. Do not use any part of this story without my written permission. I may be contacted at TNOVAN@aol.com
Sex: This story contains scenes of two women making love. <smile> If this offends you, please dont read my story. There are plenty of other wonderful stories out there.
Violence: There are scene of violence in this piece. If that offends please move on.
Comments: As always welcomed at TNOVAN@aol.com
The Claiming of Ford
Ford looked in the mirror. She was not pleased with what she saw. Something about her uniform was bothering her but she couldnt put her finger on it. She tugged at the sleeves, trying to convince herself that was where the problem was.
Marra pulled the long dark cloak from the closet, moving in behind Ford, she draped it over her shoulders. The red lining served to make the tall, powerful woman look only more powerful and bigger than life.
"Thats what you needed." Marra said softly, moving around her spouse to brush and straighten the uniform as needed. "You look magnificent."
"I feel ridiculous. This whole thing is a charade and we all know it."
"Ford, like it or not, you are a war hero in the eyes of your people." She smoothed the cloak a little more. "Trella is going to want to take advantage of that."
"Someone always does." The tall woman mumbled, shifting her sword and gun rig just a bit, so it would lay a little lower on her hips.
Marra stopped in front of her wife and placed her hands on either side of her face, pulling her head down so their eyes met. "You worry too much. Everything is going to be fine."
"I hope so. I dont have any desire to play these silly little political games with Trella or the council."
"Well, I guess youll know soon enough wont you?"
Ford glanced at her timepiece. "Soon enough." She mumbled, nodding her agreement.
Once again, the tall woman felt her attention being pulled back to the small blonde, this time for a kiss. She wrapped her arms around Marra and delved deeply into it. It was the ringing of the com signal that finally separated them.
"Ford here." She answered, her eyes never leaving her spouse, her thumb tracing lightly over the lips before her.
"Lord Kurrathian," Sarron Richards voice was calm and cool. "Chancellor Trella has sent an armed escort to take us the rest of the way in. She also requests a vid link to you."
"Open link." Ford sighed, stepping back from Marra and turning to the vid panel.
Marra stayed near Ford, waiting to be sent off. To her great surprise Ford pulled her close as the screen came to life.
"Ford. Welcome home." The woman offered with a smile and a nod.
"Thank you Trella. Its good to be here."
"This must be Marra?"
Ford smiled, standing up very straight. "It is. Chancellor Trella, may I introduce the First Wife of the Second House, Lady Marra."
"Lady Marra," Trella nodded lowering her eyes respectfully for a moment. "It is indeed a pleasure to meet the woman who Ford finally accepts as First Wife of her fine house. I know you must be very special."
"Thank you Chancellor. I am honored to meet you. Hopefully, we will meet in person very soon."
"Surely you will be coming with Ford when you dock later today?"
Ford cocked her head a bit. "I thought you wanted a private meeting Trella."
"Its nothing your First Wife cant be privy too. Unless of course you dont trust her."
"Of course I trust her." Ford growled. "I trust her with my very life and for good reason too."
"Yes. I read the report you sent back regarding the incident and the captured ship. Well done."
"It was most definitely a team effort. My troops performed well in securing the ship."
"Like there was ever any doubt in my mind as I read the report. You are the best Ford and you know it. Even if you wont admit it."
"My troops "
"Your troops, are what they are, because of your rigorous training standards. And because you only accept the best."
Ford nodded, closing out yet another conversation. "Marra and I will come to the palace as soon as we dock."
"I look forward to it Ford. Until then, safe journey."
Ford rolled her eyes a bit, closing out the vid link. "Shes such a politician."
"Yes she is, isnt she?" Marra nodded, understanding for the first time why Ford wouldnt want to marry this woman. "She has a true understanding of how to speak out of both sides of her mouth." She clutched Fords arm. "Do be careful with her. I get a bad feeling."
Ford laughed hard and loud, kissing Marras forehead. "You dont even have to be Capris chosen to know that. Now you need to go change if you want to go with me. Something long and flowing and very formal."
"Care to help me look?"
"It would be my pleasure."
When the door of the ship opened, Marra certainly wasnt expecting the crowd of people that where there. Ford held her hand lightly in her own, glancing over, lifting a brow. "Are you okay?"
"Fine." Marra nodded.
"As ready as I can be."
Ford smiled, remembering this same reaction from Marra when they went out to dinner for the first time. This crowed was a whole different type. These were Fords people, here to welcome home the hero.
The moment they stepped outside the ship, the crowd roared with applause and whistles. Soldiers came to sharp attention, citizens bowed and remained so until Ford and Marra made their way past. At the end of the runway Ford stopped a few paces away from an older man in long, ornate robes. He bowed, remaining bent at the waist until Ford spoke.
"Allston, please. Weve known each other far too long for such formalities."
The man graced them with an endearing smile as he straightened. "Lord Kurrathian, it is good to have you home." His eyes shifted to Marra. "And this lovely woman is?"
"The First Wife of the Second House, Lady Marra."
Allston, nodded, lowering his eyes reverently. "Lady Marra. It is indeed a pleasure."
Marra nodded with a smile. In this situation where she wasnt sure what to say, she somehow figured silence and a smile were best.
"Marra, Allston is my advisor. He handles diplomatic matters here at home for me while I am away. He holds my seat on the council when I can not. Hes been a trusted advisor in my family for a very long time. He served my grandmother and my father when they held the title of High Lord of the Second House."
"It is a pleasure to meet you Allston. I look forward to getting to know you better."
"And I you, Lady Marra." The advisor turned to Ford. "Lord Kurrathian, Chancellor Trella awaits your arrival at the palace. We should go."
"Of course." She tightened her grip on Marras hand, leaning over to her wife. "Nothing like being in demand." She chuckled.
"Depends on whos demanding what darling." Marra grinned up at her spouse as they followed Allston to the small transport that would take them from the station to the palace on the surface.
"This is very true." Ford sighed, flipping back one side of the cloak, holding it back to keep it out of her way.
"Show off." Marra smirked.
The transport landed with a soft thud. Marra looked to Ford with a grin. Ford smile back. "Its on the ground, with dirt beneath it rather than metal. When we get out of here, take a deep breath. Youll be amazed at the difference in the air too."
The doors opened. Allston disembarked first, followed by Ford who turned and offered her hand to Marra to help her out of the craft. Marras first reaction was to shield her eyes from the bright natural light. She was caught so off guard by it, Ford had to actually steady her.
"Are you all right darling?"
"Its very bright. It hurts my eyes." She whispered, not wanting to sound as if she were complaining.
Ford turned to the older man. "Allston please see to it that Lady Marra is fitted with a pair of darkened buffers for her eyes."
"Of course Lord Kurrathian. I have a pair here she may borrow for the time being." He retrieved the buffers from a pocket in his robes. He smiled a bit, handing them to Ford. "Old eyes dont do well in the light some days either."
Ford placed the buffer over Marras eyes. "Better?"
"Much. Thank you. Im sorry."
"Dont be love. There will be lots of adjustments to be made while were here. Dont be surprised by anything that you will need. The light is brighter, the air," Ford drew a deep breath. "Is so much fresher, your lungs may actually hurt a bit because youre not breathing anything that has been refreshed or recycled."
Marra nodded. "All right. We should get inside. Im sure the Chancellor is waiting for you."
"Yes, Im sure she is, but she is the one asking for my help so let her wait. I want to show you something."
Ford looped Marras arm through her own. She turned to Allston. "Tell Trella that she may either join us in the garden or she can wait a half hour for me."
"As you wish Lord Kurrathian."
The advisor left to do as commanded. Ford began walking to the side of the palace, down a wide path that was trimmed in plant life and flowers, the likes of which Marra had never seen. She stalled a bit when a group of flowers caught her eye.
"Ford, what are these?"
"I think those are pansies."
"Theyre very pretty."
"Yes they are and apparently tasty too. Phoenix devours them every time we find them on a planet." She chuckled, tugging on Marras hand. "You havent seen anything yet. Come on."
They walked slowly down the path, with Marra pausing every so often to look at another plant that caught her eye. She had enjoyed the gardens aboard the battle cruiser, but they were nothing compared to these. She also took the time to take several deep breaths. Ford was right the air was much crisper, cleaner and cooler than she was accustomed to. Her lungs didnt hurt, but she was feeling a bit light headed.
They rounded the corner into the formal garden. Marra stopped suddenly as she looked it over, pulling Ford to a halt unexpectedly. She smiled when she turned to find Marra lowering her buffers to have a better look.
"For the love of Capri Ford! Its beautiful."
"And so grand. Ive never seen anything so wonderful in my life. Look at the trees, how big they are, so tall and thick and so many kinds." She dropped Fords hand, replaced the buffers over her eyes and moved on her own into the garden. Ford remained at the top of the steps and just watched as her spouse took great delight in exploring the formal garden.
Ford crossed her arms over her chest, waiting for Marra, just watching the young woman and enjoying the sight of her. She couldnt wait to get back to their own home. The gardens there werent as large, but they were impressive and there was this little spot that Ford wanted to show her wife privately. It had been a long time since she had made love outside and she was certainly looking forward to it. Her thoughts, which were turning quite lurid at the moment, were unceremoniously interrupted by the arrival of Trella.
"Ford!" She rushed forward, grasping the tall woman in a warm hug. "It is so good to see you again."
Ford gave a small growl, trying not to be annoyed by the attention she was receiving from the Chancellor. She pulled away, holding the woman at arms length. "Trella, thank you. Its good to be home and its good to feel the ground under my feet once again."
"Oh Im sure of it." Trella moved past Ford to look into the garden. "Is that Marra?"
"I did some checking on her."
"You did? Why?"
"Well, I mean you demand citizenship for her, marry her and make her First Wife of your house in just a few weeks. Its very odd."
"Im very odd."
"Ford you are many things. Odd has never been one of them."
"My relationship with my wife is none of your business."
"Oh but it is. Ford, Marra isnt exactly what she appears to be."
"She was presented to you as a slave correct?"
"Yes. She has lived her life as a slave."
"Are you sure? Are you absolutely sure?"
Ford drew a deep breath, holding it and her anger she stepped forward. "What are you trying to say Trella?"
"Marras real name is Leandra. She was kidnapped from Lord Hadrains house almost four years ago." As Ford swung around to look at her spouse, Trella continued, "You have unknowingly married the eldest daughter of a Lord of a rival house Ford. You have married the enemy."
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