"Shall we celebrate our wedding night...in style?”
Duloc was somewhat different in style to Arandell, but Elsa had to admit that there was still an elegant charm about the place. The castle was huge, much larger than she had been expecting, and painted white, like marble, practically glowing like snow on a mountain in the sunlight. Elsa sucked in her breath as the carriage swept through the streets, which were packed with people, all standing behind velvet ropes being manned by guards in armour, calling out and cheering.
“What are they doing?” she asked.
Farquaad smiled. “Waiting to see me, and my new bride. It gets a bit tedious sometimes, but don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.”
Elsa giggled and leaned out of the carriage window. The people looked rather friendly and judging from their reactions, they clearly thought a lot of Farquaad as a ruler. Glancing at him from under her eyelashes, she noted that he was watching her the entire time, and it made her blush. What it was about him that she found so attractive, she still had yet to discover, but there was something about him that she liked, something that she trusted, and that was why she had married him.
She still couldn’t get over it. She was a married woman now, something that she had thought would never happen after everyone had discovered her secret. But now here she was, Princess of Duloc, right at the beginning of a new life again. She had written to both Fiona and Rosetta, but only Rosetta, of course, had been able to attend the wedding, and only very briefly since Queen Clarion kept her very busy at her new job. But she had offered her congratulations and caught Elsa’s boquet of wildflowers, indicating that Sled might very well pop the question to her one day soon.
Her wedding dress had been lovely, white and pale blue, her favourite colours, like snow and ice, and everyone, even her new husband had said that she looked beautiful. Of course, now she was back in one of her plainer dresses and cloak, for travelling, but she still had that angelical Just-Married look about her.
The carriage eventually pulled up inside the castle walls and the footman leapt down to open the door. Farquaad indicated that Elsa should precede him and she smiled before taking the footman’s hand and accepting his offer of help with a small “Thank you,” before stepping down outside the front doors and turning to take her first proper glimpse of the courtyard.
It stretched ahead of her for miles and she could imagine it would look extremely beautiful in winter. A soft summer breeze ruffled her cloak and she smiled as Farquaad stepped out beside her and straightened his jerkin.
“Have my wife’s luggage taken to our rooms,” he said to the nearest servant and then as he led the way into the castle, he addressed Elsa with “So, what do you think of Duloc? I know it’s probably nothing like what you’re used to in Arandell but-”
“No, I think it’s lovely,” Elsa interrupted, politely.
Farquaad smiled sideways at her. “Good.”
Elsa followed him along the stony corridor and as they rounded a corner a large man wearing what looked to be an executioner’s mask over his face walked up to them.
“Beggin’ your pardon, my Lord,” he said in a heavy accent, “but the official papers you were waitin’ for have just arrived.”
He held out some rolled up scrolls.
“Ah, yes, I knew this was coming,” Farquaad sighed, taking them from him and unrolling one. Her turned to Elsa, with what looked like an apologetic expression on his face. “I’m sorry but this is going to take a while. Perhaps you’d like a tour of the castle in my absence?”
To be perfectly honest, Elsa would have preferred him to give her the tour, but since that wasn’t an option, she nodded, politely. “I would like that, yes.”
Farquaad snapped his fingers to a passing maid. “Colette, be a dear and show my wife around the castle, will you? Thank you.”
The woman Colette had a stern face and a stiff movement and Elsa felt a little afraid of her. Nevertheless she proved to be very efficient as a tourguide and Elsa made a mental map in her head of all the rooms so that she would remember what was where. It felt like a test and she didn’t want to wander into the wrong room by accident, even though she was sure it wouldn’t be frowned upon now that this was to be her new home.
“And this,” Colette finished in her foreign accent, “is Lord Farquaad’s room, which will also be your room from now on. Of course, as a servant I am not permitted to enter unless given permission, but you can go in and take a look around.”
“Right, well, if you don’t need me anymore, I shall get back to my laundry,” Collette added, turning to leave.
“Thank you,” Elsa said, making the woman stop in her tracks. “For showing me around.”
Colette turned and blinked at her in surprise, then smiled. “You know something, your Highness, I like you. I think we are going to get along very well.”
Then, she turned and walked down the corridor.
Elsa turned in surprise to see a young man with red hair carrying a large plant in a pot making his way up the corridor behind her. He smiled, politely at her.
“Wow, what?” Elsa asked.
“Wow, you really must have magic or something in your soul,” the man replied, nodding towards Colette’s retreating back. “People usually have to work for ages to get Colette’s approval.” He held out a hand, balancing the pot on his knees to do so. “Alfredo Linguini, general run-arounder and mess-cleaner, but people just call me Linguini.”
“Hi,” Elsa smiled, politely. “Do you need help with that?”
“No, thank you, your Highness, I’ve got it,” Linguini replied, smiling politely as he made his way past her.
Elsa smiled to herself. It looked like she already had the approval of the servants, which must count for a lot in a place like this. Tentatively she pushed open the door, although why she was so hesitant about it, she had no idea.
The room was nice, in fact more than nice, it was very spacious and lavishly decorated with tapestries and paintings, and she bit back a gasp of delight seeing that it even had its own cocktail bar. The large double bed, which her eyes landed upon last, was covered with a large fur coverlet in black and white stripes and several silk pillows and cushions. It did look rather inviting and as she pulled off her glove to stroke the feel of the coverlet beneath her fingers, she suddenly remembered that this would not be her room alone. She would be sharing it. With her husband.
And that meant...
Elsa swallowed hard and as she took a step backwards, she accidently knocked something behind her. The noise startled her and she accidently shot a stream of ice across the room. Thankfully, all it hit was the opposite wall and landed on the floor in a broken icicle, but even so, it had scared her enough to accidently lash out like that. Calming herself, Elsa pulled her glove back on and turned to see what she had knocked.
It was a large mirror, standing on what looked like an artist’s easel. She breathed out a sigh of relief that she hadn’t broken it and turned back towards the doors, realising she had left them standing open. No one was in sight, but the thought that someone could have been watching her worried her. She quickly crossed the room and shut the doors, before leaning nervously against them. She would be sharing a bed with her husband, Farquaad. Tonight.
The thought of it scared her, and not because she was worried that she would be hopeless at it. It was the thought of being stripped bare of everything, which included her gloves, and what if she panicked and hurt him with her powers?
The thought was terrifying.
She paced the room, relentlessly, wondering how to get past this. Whichever way she looked at it, however, it seemed hopeless. Eventually, resigned to the fact that she was just going to have to wait and see how it all panned out, she left the room and went for a walk through the castle by herself, the familiar sights of paintings and statues lining the corridor walls calming her somewhat. Eventually her feet took her back to the corridor where she had left her husband and she followed the red carpet at her feet along until she came to the double doors that led to the courtroom.
Before she could even knock, one of the doors opened by itself and Farquaad came out, in mid-conversation with another servant.
“Tell him that is my final word on the subject,” he finished, holding out a scroll which the servant took with a nod and made his leave. Farquaad turned to Elsa with a smile. “Ah, darling,” he said, brightly, the term of affection tripping off her tongue so easily and causing her to blush again, “I am truly sorry about that, but I’m afraid it couldn’t wait any longer, official business, you know, but now I am all yours.”
That, Elsa didn’t admit, was what was worrying her. Still, she smiled and when he suggested a walk in the castle grounds, she accepted, happily. The walk took her mind off the coming wedding night for a few hours. When it started to get dark, however, worry filled her again. Still, she walked with him to their bed chamber, diligently. Farquaad, however, noticed her apparent discomfort.
“Is everything alright, Elsa,” he asked in a tone verging on gentleness, even concern. “You look a little...nervous.”
Elsa sighed and sank down onto the bed. “I’m sorry, Farquaad. I don’t mean to be. It’s just that, well...you know about my powers, don’t you?”
“Oh.” Farquaad realised what she meant. “You’re worried you might not be able to control them around me?”
“If I take my gloves off, yes,” Elsa replied. “I mean...I should leave them on, but then...”
She trailed off and looked down at her lap. Then, to her surprise, Farquaad went up to her and began to pull her gloves off himself. She gave a small gasp and looked up at him. “Farquaad, what are you doing?”
“Elsa, your magic is only dangerous when you lose control of it, am I correct?”
“And you lose control of it when you’re scared, yes?”
“But you have got no reason to be scared now,” Farquaad replied, softly. “None whatsoever.”
Elsa looked at him, for now she was sitting down, they were almost at eye level with one another, at their wedding, she had had to stoop down a little to kiss him, and suddenly all her fears melted away. She realised that he was holding both her hands in his and she wasn’t hurting him. Slowly, she managed a smile. “Thank you,” she whispered.
Farquaad nodded and before he could say anything else, Elsa leaned forwards and kissed him, just a gentle, timid kiss of gratitude. He offered her a winning smile. “Well, now that’s settled, shall we celebrate our wedding night...in style?”
Elsa laughed. “Yes, I think we should. Husband.”
Elsa’s wedding Dress: link