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Heave(n) for Don(e) Pedro

by Betsy Isbell

Reading her palms at Don Pedro’s approach, Princess Hana repressed a shudder. The knight, she foresaw, intended to move in — a privilege (l)earned from his forefathers and their (d)evolved views of social hierarchy.

Indeed, as he crossed the castle’s oak threshold, Don Pedro cried, “¡Su castillo es mi castillo!” while Hana, emotions heightened by his stature, his sword, and his thirty-eight armed men, could only flush. “A quaint notion of real(i)ty!” she murmured.

From the Don’s first (t)ouch, it was clear the princess would be unable to resist his manly (c)harm. While he insisted on (m)oral sex, Hana yearned only to be (d)one with him. And when he at l(e)ast was satisfied, the knight stationed guards at her side. “To (c)ensure your freedom,” he explained.

Weeks passed and Don Pedro’s presence remained a constant t(h)reat. Evenings, he would regale the princess with battle-tales which, all meat and no fa(c)t, revealed him to be (t)ruthless and (b)old. Mornings he spent in the kitchen, toiling over p(l)ots and p(l)ans that would ensure the peasants sta(r)ve o(f)f hunger. And afternoons, the don summoned select villagers to the castle to (p)urge — by his own unique methods — candor and autonomy.

And so it went, until passing the chapel one morning, Don Pedro overheard the only (w)omen with the power to rattle him. “Enemy armies are on the march,” the nuns were whispering.

Shaken, the knight scoured the castle to find Hana, s(t)ewing in her room. Rushing in, he pushed his palms into her face. “Tell me what you see!” he demanded.

The startled princess took his hands and pee(re)d into his palms. Slowly, a smile graced her lips. “Oh, Fortune!” she breathed. “I see the enemy! Their arms are (t)rusty — their power (p)ending. For you, Don(e) Pedro, I see a fresh, hardened corps(e).”

“Ah!” Don Pedro laughed. “They are weak! Then I need not medi(c)ate but am off to victory!”

The princess slept hard(i)ly that night and was awakened with a cry when dawn brought Don Pedro bursting through her door. “You’re alive!” she gasped.

“I (f)led the battle,” the knight boasted, “forcing my men to un(fore)seen heroics!” And, before Hana could find words, he had snatched her hands and forced them to her face. “Now! Tell me that you see us together, forever!”

From the don’s clear comm(itm)ent, however, Hana’s perverse, female nature could extract only a single, terrifying doubt: What if Don Pedro should (n)ever leave? She felt (a ch)ill and saw, finally, how her fate lay in her own hands.

The princess pulled her palms together and met the don’s eyes. “Our lives will be en(t)wined until (y)our death,” she predicted. “While loving you, I shall (s)mother you, and then peaceably in the castle reside, mistress and hostess — master and (g)host.”

Her defe(re)nce was (a)rousing; Don Pedro yanked the princess close. “How will you have it?” he demanded.

“You p(r)ick,” the princess murmured, prepared to (s)lay the don proper.

Copyright © 2016 by Betsy Isbell

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