The Mistress of Galfion – Part 1I stared in shock as the new lord of Galfion sat down in the lord’s chair in the great hall. That there would be this outcome to the civil war was not something I had considered. “My name is Adrian, by command of our Lady Thea, I am now Count and Lord of Galfion. The former lord has been named traitor and deposed. Stripped of all titles, rank and possessions for taking up arms against the crown. Jorge of Galfion is believed dead in the fighting before the walls of Byzantos though his body was never found. I am sorry my lady, I have no reason to believe you share your husband’s traitorous inclinations, so it must be a shock.”A shock certainly but not of itself unwelcome. I had been married to Jorge for reasons of politics, it kept all the lands in the family, we had been cousins you see. My main feeling for my husband had been indifference. Jorge whilst not actually unpleasant to me, was not the kind of person anyone particularly warmed to. Fifteen years older and a rather cold, puritanical man who had been very much a crony of our local priest, he was not that likeable.“What is to happen to us?”“You are madam?”“Lady Viola, mother of Lady Melissa, Jorge’s wife.”“Then I am afraid that you are in a rather awkward position being related to a traitor. Still I do not think our Lady Thea would want you unduly punished for Galfion’s crimes. You may stay here whilst you make arrangements to go elsewhere.”That was more generous than strictly necessary, we had lost everything with the fall of Jorge. In other cases, the womenfolk could return to their families provided they were not implicated in the treason. The problem we had, was that our family was the same as his. Or to out it another way we were roundly stuffed.At least tonight I had somewhere to put my head and I went to my room to seek advice from my nanny, Gytha. It was always Gytha I turned to for motherly advice rather than my birth mother who was always a most distant figure who I only just knew. Gytha was my real mother, she was the one who raised me, cleaned my hurts when I was being unladylike, drying my tears when upset. Pouring her love into me as if I was of her own flesh.“Gytha what are we going to do?”“Well for myself I having been making friends with one of the new lords sergeants so I will be fine but it is you my sweet that I am worried about. Would you be willing to do something similar?”“What do you mean?”“Well apart from trying to charm the sergeant for my own sake I was trying to find out information for your benefit. Our new lord and master is single and is noted for not being much of a lady’s man, in fact the opposite. Apparently, he is the younger son of a major lord who was notably loyal to the Empress. Put in command of his father’s guard ,sent to aid the crown. Then this Adrian, fought with distinction, so got rewarded with a traitor’s lands. By all accounts he is a very brave man.”Brave he might be but that was less relevant that what other qualities did he have. Brave was good but was he kind, considerate, able or quick to learn? Mind you he was at least to some extent considerate I was not trudging away from the gate. At least not yet.“More important what kind of man is he off the battlefield.”“Quite shy and diffident. A resolute commander in battle but quite affable off it. Well liked by his men if my sergeant friends is to be believed.”“Well he didn’t hoof us out on our ear and his men are being well behaved. What do you propose I do then?”“Go to his room tonight and offer him a deal that is both political and personally attractive. With your assistance the transition is going to be a lot easier. You know this place and its business better than anyone and you are pretty young thing. If he takes you on then it is to his advantage.”Melissa thought about it and could see how it could be very much to his advantage if he was clever enough to see it. Hers as well for that matter. Certainly, Lord Adrian did not go out of his way to sleight them. That evening at dinner Melissa was seated at his right hand and her mother at his left. It might have been just politeness but at least it was not a deliberate insult.That he was intelligent became apparent as he was quite subtly interrogating her about the estates and other business activities that were now his. That was good because he was thinking along similar lines to her. Gentleman he was, though that did not stop him taking surreptitious glances down her front. Melissa had deliberately worn her lowest cut gown to give him the opportunity to do so.In her turn Melissa was studying him. Tall, the appearance of being fit and strong without excessive muscles. That he had been a leader of heavy cavalry she could well believe. Softly spoken and asked polite but inciteful questions. The impression he gave was positive so Melissa decided to follow through with Gytha’s plan.When all settled down for the night Melissa put on soft slippers and padded along to the master suite. As it happened, she preferred her c***dhood bedroom and slept there when her husband did not want her presence in his bed.As she approached, she noticed that there was no guard on his door but that did not mean that he was not prepared for someone unhappy about the change in regime at Galfion. Demonstrably not being a threat, was highly advisable so she actually knocked on the door.“Who is there?” asked a voice that sounded suspicious but not nervous.“Melissa, my Lord Adrian, I have a proposal to our mutual advantage. May I come in?”Having received düzce escort his assent, she went in and found lamps were lit in between her and the bed. Lord Adrian was thus is shadow. As she approached closer, she saw that he was most definitely cautious having both a short sword and a crossbow. The crossbow was not quite pointing at her but could be in moments. Fortunately, Melissa in the summer heat was wearing just a thin nightdress that concealed neither any weapons or her charms.“Well unless you have a weapon concealed somewhere very inventive you are not here to kill me which is a pleasant situation. I really prefer not to kill women if I can avoid it. Now what do you have in mind that is to our mutual advantage. Sorry I forget my manners would you care to sit down.”===Since the room had only a single bench to sit on that is what I dd. Adrian was polite enough offering me a drink of fruit juice that was welcome as my mouth was dry from nerves. Adrian perched on the bed where he could see me with the crossbow and sword out of reach though not the dagger in his belt I noted. Since my intention was seduction my night gown was somewhat revealing which was frankly not difficult with the heat of summer in this part of the empire most were except in the most staid households, even my ex husband hadn’t been that bad. It was very sheer linen which was cool but also revealing.Even in the dim light I could see that Adrian was looking at my body with what I hoped was appreciation. Certainly, he had been taking reasonably subtle glances during the meal but I had still seen them. I was confident that he desired me.Why should he not? I was not the exceptional stunning beauty that our empress was but I was still blessed with a nice body. Above average height, skin the colour of honey, long lustrous hair. Neither too thin or fat with a bosom worth the name if not very large. All in all, I was pleased with what nature had provided me and consciously took care of it. I took exercise in the form of riding and walking briskly whenever opportunity presented itself.I tried to move so that one of the lamps was between where I was sitting and Adrian so he got a good view. Well now that I was being obvious, he was not bothering with discretion and looking openly. I decided not to bother with subtlety.“I am in a very insecure position so I am going to have to use my greatest asset, my body. I would prefer that it was you as apart from the obvious advantages you have treated us with more consideration than many men would have done in a similar situation.”“My mother was a lady who went to considerable trouble to ensure that her sons knew that wives are not just extensions of their husbands, they have opinions of their own and can think for themselves. As I have grown up, I discovered the truth of this in that we mostly let our womenfolk run not just our households but often our business enterprises. None knowing Mama, could doubt the capability women can display.”So far so good he appreciated female ability which is more than my departed husband did whilst making use of those abilities.“I gather from that you are offering me your body?”“Yes.”“The problem is I doubt I would be of much use to you in that respect.”“You prefer men?”“No, I like women exclusively, the difficulty is this.”With which he held up his rather limp dick. Not totally limp but by no means sufficiently erect to do anything useful in the baby making department. What was wrong I was fairly sure that he was aroused. After all he admitted he liked women and now he was not taking his eyes off me. I decided to try an experiment and removed my night gown and stood up naked. The moon had risen in the meantime and I stood framed against the window.“You are certainly lovely, but he is not going to behave.”The ‘he’ in question was a little more erect but not enough. This was frustrating for both of us but I could not afford to give up and I was liking Adrian more and more. Alone with him the way he was talking was about my needs not his. I moved over towards him in what I hope was a seductive fashion.“Oh, do you know why? Do you find sex of interest in the slightest?”“Most certainly but as you can see, I am not of much use to you. That is a pity because I wasn’t just being polite when I said you are lovely.”“Does anyone know.”“A physician in the capital but he could not do anything except try some herbals which did not do a lot that was of assistance. They tasted horrible, that was about all.”I was furiously thinking my original plan was stymied but this didn’t alter the fact that we could modify it. I wanted to stay mistress of Galfion and if Adrian was willing to let me, I would keep his secret and help him conceal it. There were other things that we could do.“Well if it’s a secret then I am not going to blab. I came here to offer you an alliance to our mutual interest and that still stands. I can be of value to you even if I don’t share your bed and possible even more if I do for that would allow you to deny any rumours if they arose.”“You would do that for me who surely you consider an enemy?”“Not really an enemy after all I understand the politics my idiot husband lost. For what you have done so far nothing, I could only hold against you what you might do in the future. To do that would be silly. Apart from anything else, I do not want to be thrown out with nowhere to go and if that means aiding you then that would not be a problem. If I am honest, I suspect it could be quite escort düzce pleasant.”“How much of running the estate did you do?”“Not that much I ran the household but mother who is a very capable manager did most of the business side of things. What is more if that is what you need, I can almost certainly persuade her to continue. My late husband whilst not hated was not loved either. If we can still have a noble’s life of comfort, we are quite willing to earn it. I must admit that I am disappointed a bit as I was quite hoping you might be a good lover.”“As you realise now that is doubtful. I have never really had a woman because I didn’t want anyone to know how pathetic I am.”“No your not pathetic, you do realise there are things that men and women can do that are quite pleasant without the man being inside the woman. For the woman at least they can be very pleasant indeed and I suspect for the man as well.”“Are you offering to show me then?”I just smiled and approached him, I did not have to feign lust. As a result, I did stay the night with him and we had a very nice time when I showed him where to touch to excite me. The funny thing was that he actually got excited doing all those lovely things to me. The pleasure was not at all one side as he played with my nipples and my love button. Our kissing was most passionate and it was quite late when we fell asleep in each other’s arms.My original plan had to been to leave his room early but even though both of us were awake early neither of us wanted me to leave. Instead after some cuddles I had a go at sucking the offending member again it only reacted a little bit. None the less we both enjoyed me trying.Part of the problem was that whilst all this makes me sound as great a courtesan as our empress, in reality I am not. I had come to my marriage bed a virgin, my husband had not been that much interested in me which was why we had not had c***dren. If I had any idea what to do it was from Gytha who had been quite a bad girl when younger and thought I would benefit from instruction based on her experiences.Lack of experience or not, the pair of us enjoyed ourselves. Adrian clearly liked sucking on my titties and as for me it sent shivers of pleasure down my spine. The result was that my departure was far to late for discretion and I was seen. Not least by my mother maid who was as loyal to her as Gytha was to me.===“You are a wanton hussy. Totally lacking in honour of morality.”Melissa normally deferred to her mother, but this morning she was tired and fractious. Not least because in part her efforts were for her mother’s benefit, as a result she was less respectful than normal. “Mother dearest, thanks to me you still have a home and the comforts I know you take great pleasure in. Adrian has agreed that you can continue to have the same privileges you had when running my dear husbands’ enterprises, it you do the same for him.”“At least I did not seduce a man to have them.”“No, I did it for you. Who do you think suggested using your undoubted skills to Adrian? I am sorry to inform you that your reputation whilst well deserved did not extend all the way to Byzantos itself.”“Well.” Lady Viola flounced off in a huff made all the worse by the fact that she knew that Melissa was right and that it had been her sacrifice that had saved the day. Viola definitely considered it a sacrifice as she didn’t not enjoy the attentions of men in the slightest and had always endured them as a necessary evil. Viola was far more comfortable in the company of women though it had never occurred to her to try having a sexual relationship with one.Adrian had considered Melissa’s ideas about letting her run the house and her mother the estates and businesses and found that they not only appealed but were a relief. The reality was that since he was a very competent tactician and officer, he would probably have worked it out fairly quickly transferring his skills to peace and commerce. Adrian could have done it, but didn’t want to, the idea secretly scared him and had done so since he had been awarded the estate following that final battle that head ended the siege by the reactionary forces who hated a despised woman being on the throne.In reality it had not been that much of a battle the besieging force were finding the walls too strong, the lack of food and supplies alarming and desertion a dire problem. Then the final straw was a co-ordinated descent of several armies sent to break the siege. The result had been a massacre, as the ordinary soldiers did not want to fight and broke without resistance leaving their leaders to a last ditch stand which when the defenders including civilians emerged from the city, turned into a massacre.For his part in all this, Adrian had been appointed commander of a regiment of heavy cavalry. With order to disrupt the enemy leaders direction of the battle he had led a charge that had rather spectacularly been aimed at the rebel command tents. All of this was in sight of the city walls where the defenders generals were overseeing the defence. Adrian had the fortune to administer the coup de grace right in front of the watching defenders including the Prince Consort. After the event, rewards were flowing as generously as the copious amounts of wine consumed. The city was celebrating that the siege had been broken before it had become dire for the defenders. Little damage had been done inside the walls though outside was a wasteland. None the less there was considerable düzce escort bayan relief and a wish to reward the rescuers.Of all those who had come to their aid, the high commanders were known and easy to reward. The ordinary men of the relief force got their thanks as well in the form of wine and very willing women. The entire city had become very liberal before and during the siege those who were of puritanical inclinations had got out and many after the defeat stayed as far away as possible. What was really required though was a symbol of the relief force and to very publicly thank that symbol. A dashing and handsome young cavalry commander who had rode at full gallop at the enemy commanders, really did fit the bill. What Adrian had considered his duty, which of course was what it was still became the symbol of defeat of the enemy. Adrian was treated with great honour all the more so for his demeanour politely declining all the women of both high and low estate who were throwing themselves at him. This and the quite genuine denials that he had done anything special.The icing on the cake was the public decoration of Adrian at the head of his men by the Empress Thea herself who had kissed him on both cheeks drawn back, looked at him with mischief sparkling in her green eyes had then kissed hm full on the mouth. When you empress kisses in public you cannot draw back so Adrian just enjoyed being kissed by the empress who had been the cities greatest courtesan before ascending the throne. Both of them had enjoyed themselves totally ignoring that this was a very public snog. Snog it was, not some demure little kiss on the lips.The more concrete reward was the reward of the estates of one of the most senior of the rebels estates the County of Galfion. Not just the physical property but all of it, land, wealth and business complete with staff. However, this was Byzantos, women might be possessions elsewhere but no Byzantos, particularly under its feisty Empress who was a force for change in so many ways, very much including the freedom of its women folk.Adrian had to be showed where it was on a map. Galfion was a long way to the north of the capital and somewhat to the west. Up in the hills that would soon become mountains. It was lush country and wealthy for all its remoteness. The lower slopes had rich farmlands, the grass covered hillsides were home to sheep in their thousands. After enjoying the pleasures of the capital for some weeks, Adrian set off for his new lands accompanied by those of his men who saw opportunity in attaching themselves to this rising star of the empire. Not just men but also a few woman who had formed an attachment to the soldiers in the weeks following the battle. On the morning of the departure Adrian had to extract some of his escort from the brothel that they had made their headquarters. One of the younger and prettier of the whores tried to dissuade him. It worked for a short while as Adrian wished to conceal his disability and in any case fondling her lush tit was quite a pleasant pass time and they were in no huge hurry.They travelled north for some time and at last arrived at his new domain. Adrian warned his men to be ready for trouble without being overtly armed. Mail was worn under surcoats but swords were sheaved. Crossbow were loaded but stored not openly carried. In the even there was no trouble, for news of the defeat of the rebels had proceeded them.Despite the prevailing attitude, here however Adrian seemed to have somehow inherited the women as well though very much on their terms. Viola once she had got over her daughter’s wanton behaviour threw herself into running the various enterprises that operated out of Galfion. Such as the production of linen cloth from flax up to weaving and dying and the finished cloth. Also form the hills came fine wool for rugs and winter cloaks. Even the transport was under their control. On the southern edge of the estate was a river that was navigable by barges if you were heading down stream. The barges could never return as the current was too fierce but not problem they were designed to be deconstructed in the plains and the finished planks were sold at a profit. Even then the crews did not return without profit. They returned on carts laden with goods from the city. Goods, carts and horses were again sold for more than they cost up the rural lands around Galfion. The whole enterprise from start to finish made money and it was Viola who organised it. What is more whilst Adrian showed a keen interest in it all and made some useful comments he did not interfere. One of those comments though was that some of the finished linen be taken further on to his family home where it sold for even more of a premium than in Byzantos. Viola found that like her daughter she liked Adrian, much to her surprise. The reality was he was far nicer and a lot brighter than her former son in law.As for Adrian and Melissa, whilst there was still frustration on both their parts about his inability to get it up, she was both sympathetic and inventive about what else they could do. That they shared a bed was now something that was permanent and an open secret. The old priest far too sympathetic to the rebels, had retired to a monastery and his replacement was an easy going young man who whilst he clearly knew about the relationship, studious ignored the situation.None the less Melissa was determined that she was going to leave no stone unturned to solve her lover’s problems. Lover he now most certainly wanted for she had fallen head over heels with this shy but supremely competent man who also cared. For that she could only think of one person who could help. Melissa petitioned the Empress Thea for an audience and one scorching morning a messenger came that the audience had been granted.