Baron Sucat Briefadel left the hall to the care of Jyll.
"Get this room ready for my wedding, my sweet," he said. "I will return shortly with the priest and the Margrave and such witnesses as are needed." He kissed Jyll gently.
"You continue with your affections and loyalty to me and you will get everything you deserve."
"I remain your faithful and ardent subject."
The Baron went to the church to prepare the priest for a difficult bride. Once he had the priest convinced to proceed with the ceremony in the church's best interest, he felt his biggest hurdle was over come.
He found the Margrave in the guest hall with one of the Baron's serving wenches. The Margrave was amusing himself in the girl's ample bosom.
"Ah, my future father-in-law," said the Baron. "You have found the lovely Maria. I can tell you find her charms as alluring as I did."
"My explorations of this wench and several others I have noticed is as of yet incomplete," said the Margrave. "I hope I am not being disturbed in my quest for no good reason."
"The marriage of your beautiful daughter and my self will begin in two bells. You should gather those of your party you wish to witness the great event."
"You are certainly eager. Quite wise of you to progress with haste."
"After the nuptials have been performed and the marriage consummated, of course, we will be holding the trial of my dastardly cousin. Once that matter has been settled, we will celebrate our mutually beneficial agreement."
"I am looking forward to all of your planned festivities," said the Margrave. He went back to fondling Maria's breasts which he had never let go of while talking to the Baron.
The Baron's final visit before heading back to his hall was paid to his cousin, Hyd, who was spending an uncomfortable time in the Baron's cellars. The Baron dismissed the guards while he interviewed his cousin, the last Count Stahl.
"My cousin," said Sucat, "How do you fair?" Sucat looked through the small window in the cellar door. He could see his cousin sitting on the floor with his wrists and ankles chained together making it impossible for Hyd to stand or even to sit up straight.
Hyd looked up when he heard his cousin's voice, straining his neck to appear more comfortable.
"All is well by me," he said. "How are your plans progressing?"
"I would say I am doing rather well in this game we play." The Baron opened the cellar door and stepped into the room and stood over his cousin, forcing him to really stretch to look up.
"Yes, you do seem to have the upper hand at the moment."
"I believe I have won this time, Hyd. I can see no escape for you this time." The Baron chuckled and kicked at a mouse that got too near his boot.
"I will be married to the Margrave's daughter within the hour and so I will be higher in status than you, as it should always have been. Then, once I have bedded the wench and proven she was no virgin in my bed, I will convene your trial for kidnap and rape and have you hung, thus inheriting your lands and more importantly your fortune."
"I know not of the girl's virginal condition, but she will say I did not kidnap her or molest her."
"If she were in any condition to testify, it may be possible she would say those things. But as her husband, I will let everyone know that she is in no condition to speak before the court, which I assure you she will not be when I am done. She is quite willful and needs a lesson in a woman's proper behavior." The Baron paced around the cellar room, circling his cousin.
"I will tell everyone that she said you did kidnap her and that you did assault her."
"To what purpose?" said Hyd. "I did not even know the girl"
"Why out of your insane jealousy towards me."
"No one believes I am jealous of you. More like the other way round."
"They will believe whatever I tell them," said the Baron. He continued walking around Hyd, kicking straw at him occasionally.
Hyd did not bother trying to look after Sucat.
"I suppose you are the judge in this case."
"Naturally, as we are on my holdings."
"Your verdict will not stand."
"I have a witness to the assault."
"Jyll saw you attack her future mistress."
"Your whore will be witness against me," said Hyd. "I see you have truly taken great care in this plot to rid yourself of me and take my wealth."
"I do believe I have won," said the Baron as he walked from the room and closed the door.
He called the guards back to insure his prisoner's safe holding.
When he went back into the hall, he found the tables arranged and laden with bowls of fruit. Fresh herbs and flowers were thrown into the rushes on the floor, their fragrances rising to the Baron's nose as he walked to the wash room. There he found Jyll, naked in a tub full of hot water, one leg draped becomingly over the edge. The Baron removed his clothing and joined her in the tub. Despite his agitation that all go well and his need to burn some of that energy off in the usual way, Sucat was very gentle in his love making with Jyll. He whispered kind and romantic words to her, telling her she would soon have a Margrave's daughter at her beck and call. He needed to do all in his power to keep Jyll happy and content for a little wile longer.
Once he had his cousin's property, he could get back to his preferred behavior. He had used so much self control where Jyll was concerned, but that would soon be over. He had been cultivating her adoration for several years and soon his patience would pay off. Once his plan was complete, he could show this haughty bitch what his affections really entailed.
He was getting overly excited just thinking about it. He took several deep breaths and slowed down so as not to frighten her at the critical time.
When they were done having sex, Jyll washed the Baron, rinsed him with lavender water, combed out his hair and helped him dress in his court clothing. She did all of this naked, using the only goods she had to keep him attracted. He left the wash room, walking with a happy, assured gait.
Jyll took he time finishing her own grooming. She sat naked before the fire, leisurely combing out her long, curly hair, brushing the tips against her lips and dreaming of what it would be like to have a Margrave's daughter to torment. Sucat had a special dress made for Jyll for this occasion. Jyll had never had a dress she had not made herself. This was the beginning of being treated like the Lady she should have been. As the daughter of the Grand Duke, she should have been held in higher esteem than the Baron and the Margrave. She cursed the fates that had given her a low born mother. With her looks, Jyll could have been a queen if it weren't for her mother. Jyll finished dressing. Things would be different from now on, now that Sucat and her had completed his plan to the Baron's delight and satisfaction. She went out into the great hall to supervise the servants who all knew where Jyll's place was in the Baron's affections.
The Margrave Uradel was already seated at the head table as the guest of honor. His entourage was also seated and they all had drink in their cups. The priest had also arrived and was standing off to the side, not wishing to be connected with the ribald jokes and heavy drinking that the Margrave participated in. The few of the Baron's closest associates and advisers were also in attendance. They were not drinking yet. They knew the Baron wanted them sober until all was settled. Their celebrations would be held much later.
At the sound of a shield being struck by a sword, the assembled party rose from their seats and all faced the stairs leading from the upper floors. The Baron was escorting his bride down the steps. The priest came forward as did the Margrave. Two of the Baron's advisers came forward as witnesses. The Baron leaned into Ranee and whispered something into her ear. She nodded her head, nearly falling over in the effort. Her father laughed and the Baron held her tighter.
The priest began the reading of the ceremony. When he asked his questions, the Baron spoke loudly and clearly in response but no one but the the immediately nearby could hear Ranee's answers. Jyll knew that the Baron had planned on drugging Ranee to make sure she cooperated during the marriage ceremony and he must have done so as her head would lean to the side and she would slump against the Baron until he pushed her back upright.
When the priest announced them officially married, the Margrave clapped his new son-in-law on the shoulder and went for his drinking cup.
"May your marriage be fruitful to us all," he said. He drained his cup in one gulp and called for more. He never even glanced at his daughter.
The priest left as fast as he could once his duty was done. He never looked at the bride either.
Sucat signalled to Jyll, who came over to the newly wed couple. Sucat and Jyll helped Ranee upstairs. With Jyll standing in the room watching, Sucat undressed his new wife, placed her on his bed and climbed on top of her. When she cried out in protest and pain, he covered her mouth with his hand. When she struggled to be free of him, Jyll helped to hold her down.
Ranee kicked and attempted to scream even though she knew no one would come to her aid. She was able to get one of her hands free and she scratched Sucat across the cheek. Jyll grabbed her hands and held them down while Sucat finally penetrated Ranee's maiden head. Once done, Sucat ordered Ranee off of the bed. She huddled in a corner near the fireplace while Jyll stripped the bloodied sheets and tossed them in the fire. Jyll covered the bed with unstained sheets. Jyll tossed Ranee a shift to cover herself. Then Jyll and Sucat had sex in the bed leaving fresh, unbloodied signs of sex on the sheets. Then Jyll left to call the witnesses to the room.
When they came to inspect the signs of the consummation, the Baron sat in his chair with Ranee sitting quietly on his lap. When he poked his dagger in her back, she dutifully smiled for their guests. Once everyone was satisfied with their look at the sheets and outraged at the lack of blood and Hyd's role in the matter, and complimenting on the Baron's forbearance in taking damaged goods, everyone left for the hall again.
"Go to bed, wife," said Sucat. "Your role this day is complete."
Back in the hall and seated at the head of his table, Baron Sucat gave the signal to have his cousin and prisoner brought before him for trial. Jyll gave witness that she saw Hyd attacking Ranee in the bleach house. Sucat asked the assembled guests if any of them had seen blood on the bed's sheets and of course no one had. Sucat asked his father-in-law if he thought his daughter would disobey him by running away. The Margrave could conceive of no such thing. The prisoner was given no opportunity to speak.
"As much as it pains me to do this, I fear I have no choice," said the Baron. "For your abduction of an innocent maid and because you raped her and deprived me of my pure bride, I sentence you, Hyd, Count Stahl, to death by hanging. Your sentence to be carried out this very evening."