Stories by Alexandra Spears
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By : Alexandra Spears

Chapter One

He often watched young Princess Zelda from afar. He could never get enough of looking at her, of admiring her long golden hair, her deep blue eyes, the blue so deep they almost looked violet. People often commented that the nineteen-year-old princess was the most beautiful young woman in all of Hyrule, and he believed it.

People also said that Zelda’s daughter, one-year-old Princess Tatiana, would very likely be as beautiful as her mother, and while he agreed with that, it made him jealous. He was jealous because she would not have that child if she hadn’t married some kid her age named Link. Even the mention of the Hero of Time’s name was enough to make his eyes grow cold and mean and make him quiver with rage and jealousy.

What did she ever see in that kid anyway? he wondered to himself as he lay in his bed one night, staring at all the portraits of her that he’d managed to acquire. He must have had at least a dozen pictures of Princess Zelda on his bedroom walls. A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth as he wondered what her reaction would be if she knew what kind of reaction he got just from looking at her pictures.

Well, just recently opportunity had knocked and soon he’d be answering, he reflected as his hand slid beneath his blanket....

A sleepy Link’s hand slid beneath the blankets and Zelda gave a quiet moan as she felt her husband’s arm around her. “Time to get up, my princess,” Link whispered in her ear from behind her.

“You’re not ordering me up, are you?” Zelda murmured, a smile in her voice. Link knew that she was teasing.

As if on cue, the sound of a baby calling “Mama! Dada!” came from the adjoining nursery. Little Tatiana was awake and letting her parents know it.

“I’ll take care of her...I’ll let you sleep a few more minutes,” Link told Zelda as he sat up, yawned, stretched, and ran his fingers through his unruly blond bangs.

“Thanks, sweetheart. I’m just a little tired,” said Zelda gratefully as she watched Link put on a robe.

“I wonder why?” Link teased, his blue eyes twinkling merrily. “Come to think of it, we were up kind of late last night....”

Zelda’s cheeks turned the lightest shade of pink, and Link chuckled at that as he bent over to kiss her. “You’re pretty with pink cheeks, my love.”


“I’m coming, Tatiana,” Link called. “Well, I have another princess to cater to....”

Zelda smiled and closed her eyes. “I’ll be up in a few minutes. A new person has joined my father’s army and I have to meet him.”

“Oh, yeah, that’s right,” said Link as he headed for the nursery.

In the nursery, Princess Tatiana was sitting up in her crib. She looked up as her father entered the room. “Dada,” said the child, who was dressed in pink sleepers.

“How’s Daddy’s little girl?” Link asked as he lifted his daughter from the crib. “Let’s get you dressed up today, so everyone will know what a pretty little girl you are.”

Tatiana was a beautiful child. She had her mother’s golden hair and her father’s bright blue eyes. She was the apple of her grandfather’s eye and she had a way of charming people, especially her father. She was dearly loved by the Sages, who were her godparents.

Zelda came in while Link was giving their child a bath a few minutes later. “Mama!” said Tatiana, throwing out her hands and splashing her father in the process.

“Good thing I haven’t bathed and dressed yet!” Link remarked as he wiped the water from his eyes. “You little rascal!”

Tatiana and her mother both laughed, and Link just grinned and gently pinched the baby’s cheek.

Later that morning, Zelda’s father King Harkinian sat on his ornately decorated throne, which had a deep red plush cushion. It was trimmed in gold and the back of it extended about six feet above his head, and engraved in this part of the throne’s back was the symbol of the Triforce--the crest of the Kingdom of Hyrule.

King Harkinian was a slightly portly man in his mid-forties. His light brown hair and beard already had gray shot through, probably from the pressures of ruling a kingdom, in addition to the death of his wife when Zelda was a little girl and the civil war that had raged just before Zelda was born. He’d begun to relax, though, since Hyrule was now peaceful and prosperous, thanks to Link and Zelda. As a reward he’d allowed the marriage between Link and Zelda, since Link was a hero and Zelda loved him dearly; Harkinian wanted his daughter to be happy. Link was like a son to him.

Standing to his right were Zelda, Link, and Tatiana, with Zelda standing closest to the throne. Link stood to her right, holding her hand, and in front of them, holding her mother’s hand, was Tatiana.

Link was wearing his usual green tunic and cap, along with white leggings and undershirt. Zelda was looking lovely in her short-sleeved, pink-and purple dress and long pearly-white gloves, which came up to her elbows. Embroidered on her long, straight skirt was the crest of the Kingdom of Hyrule, the same crest that was on Link’s Hylian shield. Zelda’s gold tiara encircled her blonde head, with the tiara’s round red jewel positioned on her forehead. They even looked like the perfect couple, the hero and his princess.

Little Tatiana was dressed in a bright blue dress that went down to her knees. A blue ribbon sat in the top of her golden hair, and white socks and dress shoes were on her little feet. She leaned up against her mother and put her thumb in her mouth.

A young page boy came into the throne room. “Your Majesty, the new member of your army, Tenthius, is here,” he said.

“Show him in, Arden,” Harkinian commanded.

“Yes, Sire,” the boy said, bowing just before he left to fetch the man.

“Well, my daughter, this soldier seems especially eager to see you,” said Harkinian. His smile faded slightly, as if he found this strange. “I heard he said that he wanted to see what a vision of beauty he had volunteered to protect...something along those lines.”

Link raised a blond eyebrow. Then he shrugged. “Well, Zelda does have the beauty of a goddess, Sire,” he said, looking at Zelda and smiling.

“Why, thank you, Link,” Zelda said, quickly leaning over and giving him a kiss on his cheek. The look in her eyes said that she would thank him properly later, when they were alone, and that she was sorry that they were not alone right at that moment.

A moment later, the page came back in, accompanied by a man holding his helmet under his arm. “Your Royal Highnesses, this is Tenthius,” said the page.

“Good day, Your Majesty, Your Highnesses,” said Tenthius, fixing his gaze on Princess Zelda. He wasn’t a bad-looking man. He had jet-black hair and green eyes, and he was of a rather muscular build.

“His Majesty, King Harkinian, and the Princess Zelda, her husband Link, and their daughter, the Princess Tatiana,” the page said by way of introduction.

“Thank you for volunteering to serve your country and your king,” smiled Harkinian.

“I would like to thank you, Majesty, for giving me the opportunity,” said Tenthius. Going over to Zelda, he knelt and kissed her gloved hand. “Your Highness,” Tenthius murmured, sounding as if he were trying to keep the passion out of his voice. No one thought much of it, because some were actually awed to be in Zelda’s presence; she and her father were well-loved in Hyrule.

“So, Tenthius, what is your position here?” asked Zelda.

“I will be guarding the courtyard during the nighttime hours, Princess,” Tenthius replied as he stood up. “Right beneath your bedroom window.”

Zelda nodded. “My husband is an excellent protector, though you can never be too safe,” she said.

“You’ll be in good hands,” Tenthius promised. “If I may be excused, I must go home to sleep, so that I may be well-rested for tonight.”

“Of course. Dismissed,” said Harkinian.

Tenthius bowed and left the throne room.

He had done it. He had secured a position within the very castle itself. It was fate that had brought him here, and fate that had given him a position at night. It was as if the goddesses were telling him that yes, he and Zelda belonged together, and that his chance was finally here.

He was there a little early and, wearing his armor, he meandered through the corridors of Hyrule Castle. Earlier that day he’d been given a tour of the castle and if someone questioned him, wondered what he was doing wandering around, he could always tell them that he wanted to be sure that he knew the layout.

Voices were coming from the den. Cautiously peering inside, he saw Princess Zelda and her husband sitting in front of the fire together, playing with their baby girl. Occasionally Link and Zelda would lean towards each other and kiss, laughing when their daughter demanded attention; Tatiana clearly loved being the center of attention.

Well, he wanted to be the center of Zelda’s attention. He clenched his fists as he watched the little scene.

Before Link, Zelda, or even their daughter could see him, he went back in the direction he came from and wandered around, lost in a fantasy. In his fantasy, he was married to Zelda and they had a son. In the Hylian monarchy, the throne went to the firstborn son, and if there were no sons, the firstborn daughter. He and Zelda would have a son, he was thinking, and he would have the throne, and he would order Link and the little girl sent away. He and Zelda would have lots of little boys, so there would be virtually no way a child of Link’s would take the throne, or any of her descendants. Zelda would be happy that he’d rescued her from one such as Link, he decided. She would be so grateful that she wouldn’t mind sending Link and Tatiana away.

Soon he would execute his plan and Zelda would be his. He did not feel it necessary to dispose of Link, but he knew that he would if he had to.

“Soon, my princess,” he whispered. “Soon we will be together. I will be your consort when you become Queen.”

He knew that he needed to be extremely careful not to get too eager. He could not draw suspicion to himself. This had to be done very carefully, because punishment for what he had in mind would be swift and severe. His fellow soldiers and guards were very loyal to the Royal Family.

Over the course of the next few weeks he became familiar with the layout of the castle grounds. He studied everyone’s routine carefully and came to know where the guards were posted. He’d found a few blind spots and slowly his plan was coming together.

He also knew that Zelda sometimes went out into the courtyard very early in the morning, before the Cuccos crowed and the sun came up. As she herself had explained it, she liked the stillness of the predawn. Once in a while Link joined her, but he was someone who liked to sleep in as long as possible before he could start his day.

Now all he had to do was wait...wait until Zelda came out, alone. He’d prepared a special chemical, and he had a cloth soaked in it, ready and waiting in a leather pouch. This morning he would make her his, make her realize her true destiny. The Princess of Destiny, that’s what she was called once in a while by some. He gave a low chuckle as he thought about that.

He stood in a corner, blending into the shadows, and waited patiently for a long time. He would have to go home at dawn, which was at six o’clock, because that was when his watch ended. To carry out his plan Zelda could be out by no later than four in the morning. He needed the two hours.

It was nearly four when he saw the princess emerging, alone. She had on an indigo-colored robe and her long hair spilled over her shoulders. Matching slippers were on her feet. He felt a stirring in his loins, tried to ignore it as he silently opened the pouch and took out the chemical-soaked cloth.

Zelda’s back was to him. Ever so quietly, he crept up behind her, the cloth draped over his right hand.

Zelda did not even have a chance to respond or defend herself. She managed only a muffled gasp as he clapped the cloth over her nose and mouth. The chemical did its work and the young woman fell to the ground, unconscious.

Now he had two hours to carry her to his house and come back. He’d practiced his little run several times this past week. He should be able to get past his fellow guards with her.

He lifted her into his arms and carried her away.

Link groaned when he heard the Cuccos crowing. At the same time his daughter was calling for him.

“Zelda...would you get Tatiana, please?” he asked, reaching for her--and feeling nothing.

Link sat up. “Zelda?” Maybe she was in their bathroom. For all he knew she could be pregnant again and experiencing that morning sickness. But when he looked over at the bathroom door, he found it standing open, meaning it was unoccupied. She couldn’t be in the nursery, otherwise Tatiana wouldn’t be calling.

Now fully awake, Link got up out of bed and quickly looked around. He knew that Zelda oftentimes went outside before dawn, but she was usually back in bed when it was time to get up.

“Dada!” Tatiana’s voice was insistent.

“Coming, sweetie,” Link called as he pulled a little at his nightshirt; the thing sometimes got twisted around on his body somehow.

Link went into the nursery and bathed and dressed his daughter. He was getting worried. Just where was Zelda, anyway? The feeling of uneasiness would not leave him. Without even realizing it, he was starting to panic a little; his breathing became a little heavier and his heart was starting to race.

He sat Tatiana down on the bed he shared with Zelda and quickly showered and dressed. When he came back into the bedroom Zelda was still not there; there was only Tatiana sitting on the bed.

“I’ve got to find your mother,” Link told his daughter as he lifted her into his arms. “I’m really worried. I just hope it turns out she went into the library to read or something.”

Tatiana, being only a baby, seemed oblivious to her father’s plight as he carried her downstairs. Link searched the library, still no Zelda. None of the guards had seen her either.

It was as if she’d vanished into thin air.

Chapter Two

Zelda was slowly waking up. She was lying on a bed somewhere, and she had nothing on.

For a split second, she thought that she and Link had had one of their more intense interludes, but a headache and a feeling of nausea quashed that thought in a hurry. Besides, her wrists, which were over her head, were tied together, as were her ankles.

She opened her eyes. It was dark and gloomy in here, and once her eyes adjusted to the light, or lack thereof, she saw that she was in some kind of two-room shack. Her wrists were tied to the bedpost on the head of the bed, her ankles tied to a post at the foot. She occupied only half the bed. Looking over she saw that she was alone.

Memories came rushing back. She’d been out in the courtyard, and someone had slapped something over her face. She’d been forced to breathe in some strong-smelling chemical and after that everything had gone black.

“Link...,” she cried out, her voice weak. She looked around for any signs of life. All she saw were boarded-up windows, a worn-out table, and a couple of rickety old chairs. What shocked her the most was all the portraits of her adorning the walls.

The nausea was intensifying. Zelda swallowed hard, telling herself that she would not throw up. She tried taking deep breaths. She knew that she wasn’t pregnant; she realized that this had to be the after-effects of that chemical, probably an effect of it wearing off.

The door opened. Zelda saw who it was and sighed in relief. “Please--help me!” Zelda begged.

“I already did help you. I helped you get away from that Link.”

“I want everyone in this kingdom searching for my daughter,” King Harkinian commanded from his throne.

“Yes, Sire,” said the captain of the royal guard. He bowed and left the throne room.

Harkinian looked over to his right, where his son-in-law was standing. Link was trying to look brave, but one look in the young man’s eyes would tell anyone that Link was worried sick over the disappearance of his wife.

“Link, we have search parties organizing,” Harkinian assured Link.

“Tatiana’s been asking for her mother all morning. She acts like she knows something’s wrong,” Link said dully. He stood facing his father-in-law and held out his hands. “I don’t get it, Sire. Zelda’s not the type to just wander off. We haven’t fought or anything...I mean, we have our disagreements but we’re able to resolve them...but I can’t think of any reason why she would disappear like that!”

“The castle grounds are reasonably well-guarded,” said Harkinian, as he stroked his beard. “There have been no reports of any strangers trying to get into the castle. No one’s seen anything unusual. No one’s even seen Zelda leave.”

Pressing the heels of his hands to his forehead, Link grabbed at his long bangs and gritted his teeth, shaking his head. “I don’t get it! This is so maddening!” he cried. Tears came to his eyes. “Where is my wife?”

Harkinian stood up and went over to Link. He placed a fatherly hand on the young man’s shoulder. “I am upset too, Link. But we need to try to remain calm so we can think.”

Link’s hands fell to his sides and he took deep breaths. “I just feel like I failed her somehow,” he admitted, his voice cracking, tears streaming down his cheeks.

“How did you fail her? All we know is that she most likely went outside into the courtyard, like she likes to do. And we’re not even sure that that’s where she went,” Harkinian said. “No one heard a scream or anything. Zelda had no reason to believe that she was in danger so long as there were guards around.”

Link blinked. “What if it was one of the guards?”

“Link, you don’t really think that any of the guards had anything to do with this--do you?”

“I can’t think of any other explanation,” said Link.

“I can’t think of any reason why one of the guards would want to hurt my daughter,” protested Harkinian. He sighed. “But we should question them closely, starting with the ones who were on duty between the time Zelda was last seen, and the time you woke up and found her missing.”

“You were the one who brought me here?” Zelda asked unbelievingly. “We trusted you with our safety!”

Tenthius chuckled softly and placed a hand over her navel. Zelda squirmed, trying to keep his hand from places it didn’t belong. “You’re safe here, Zelda. Away from that Link.”

Zelda started gagging. There was no way she could keep herself from vomiting now.

Tenthius swiftly cut the rope tying her bound wrists to the bedpost and placed a small bucket next to the bed. Zelda managed to position herself so she would vomit into the bucket.

“Poor thing. It’s that chemical wearing off,” said Tenthius, sounding sympathetic.

“Untie me,” said Zelda as she sat up straight, trying to conceal her naked body.

“You must be joking,” he chuckled.

“What did you do to me?” Zelda demanded, dreading the answer she might receive. She wouldn’t know what she’d do if he’d violated her.

“Nothing...just undressed you. I haven’t done anything else--yet. I wanted you to be awake first so you’d enjoy it.”

“I’ll never enjoy it with you!” Zelda fired back.

“You poor thing. Link’s influence,” said Tenthius. “I don’t want to have to force you into it, but you leave me no choice.” Going over to a corner of the shack, he took up a whip that was leaning there. “I thought I might have to teach you a it’s time for you to learn.”

Zelda screamed as pain lashed across her bare legs.

“I’ll let you think about that for a while,” said Tenthius.

Zelda was crying as he shoved her back onto the bed and tied her bound wrists to the bedpost. “Why are you doing this?” she sobbed.

“Why? Because I love you, Zelda. See the pictures I have of you, my lovely princess? I adore you and I want you with me.”

“But I’m married to Link. I love Link,” Zelda protested.

“Don’t make me teach you another lesson, Zelda,” Tenthius warned. “You only think you love Link. I am a much better man for you, Princess.”

“You’re not even half the man Link is!”

Tenthius bent over and slapped Zelda across the face. “I want to hear no insults from you. It’s not ladylike.” He stood up straight. “I’m going to go buy some food at the market. I’ll be back.”

Zelda watched him go, the tears flowing freely along her cheekbones, spilling into her ears and hair.

How long had she been here? If Tenthius was going to the market it must be daytime. Link must be so worried--

Link! He must be frantic, Zelda thought.

She closed her eyes. She and Link had a very special bond, one that enabled him to speak with her telepathically. They’d always had it; Rauru had said that it was because they were destined to be together. That was why they shared a lot of the same dreams.

Zelda concentrated, felt around with her mind, found her husband’s mind. She was right--he was worried sick about her. She managed to break through the curtain of anxiety and reach him.

Link paced the corridors of Hyrule Castle, holding a crying Tatiana in his arms. Tatiana had been crying for her mother and poor Link was at a loss. How did you explain to a one-year-old baby that her mother had disappeared without a trace? Not that the news would have calmed her down any more....

Link was trying to calm himself down and at the same time get Tatiana to go to sleep. The baby was whimpering now, her fist in her mouth, tears spilling from her big blue eyes, her head resting on his shoulder. Link stroked his daughter’s hair gently, trying to comfort her.

Finally Tatiana’s cries quieted and Link headed back to the nursery with her. He carefully laid her down in her crib and covered her with her blanket, tucking a rag doll in with her.

What if this child was all he had left of Zelda?

Link shook his head to rid himself of that negative thought. He could somehow sense that Zelda was alive. He could sense her but only she could initiate telepathic communications, and even then with intense concentration. When they were sleeping it was a different story altogether; for some reason they shared dreams quite a bit.

Link...Link, can you hear me?

Link gasped and stood straight up. “Zelda?” he whispered, careful not to wake the baby. He went over to the rocking chair and sat down, closing his eyes.

Oh, Link, thank goodness I’m able to reach you, Zelda’s voice sounded in his mind. I was kidnapped. It was Tenthius!

Where are you now? asked Link, sending his thoughts over an unknown distance.

I don’t know. It seems to be a two-room house or shack. The windows are boarded up, and this man has pictures of me all over his bedroom walls! Link, please try to find me! This man is insane--he’s obsessed with me! I’ll try to find out just where I am.

Link opened his eyes. Tenthius! He had to tell King Harkinian!

It all made sense now...Tenthius very eager to meet Zelda...Tenthius having said something about Zelda’s beauty...the pieces were falling into place.

It would have been relatively easy for Tenthius to sneak Zelda out of the castle. He would have known who would be where and when.

Link jumped up and rushed out of the room. He ran all the way to Harkinian’s throne room, eliciting shocked and surprised looks from the people he passed on the way there.

Long minutes passed, then hours. Zelda’s eyes flew open as Tenthius entered, carrying some packages.

“It’s my bedtime, Zelda, and now I get to sleep with you,” he smiled. “Doesn’t that sound nice?”

“No,” snapped Zelda.

“You don’t learn, do you, my love? Just for that I’m not going to give you anything to eat until you cooperate.”

“I’d rather die than give you any satisfaction,” Zelda snarled.

“It may come to that, but I really don’t want it to,” sighed Tenthius as he put his packages away.

Zelda thought about telling him that Link knew of his treachery, but changed her mind. Link would have the element of surprise on his side. Tenthius would be going to the castle for his watch tonight.

“Aren’t you afraid that my father may suspect you? You were supposed to be guarding me,” Zelda said, changing the subject.

“He can suspect all he wants, because I am not going back,” he replied. “I got what I wanted and I see no need to go back there. No one knows where I am.”

“Where are we?”

“My place.” He smiled as he lay down next to her, fully clothed. “Deep in Gerudo Valley, where no one will ever find us.” He put his arm around her waist and buried his face in her hair. Zelda wanted to pull away but couldn’t.

“Maybe tomorrow you’ll be more cooperative. I need to start sleeping at night again,” Tenthius muttered.

Zelda saw that he was asleep. Closing her eyes, she reached out to Link again to tell him that she was in Gerudo Valley. That at least would narrow the search.

“You say Tenthius has Zelda?” Harkinian asked as soon as Link had quickly--and breathlessly--told him about Zelda contacting him. He scowled and nodded. “It all makes sense now....”

“What do we do now, Sire?” Link asked.

“Well, since we don’t know where he lives, we’ll wait until he reports for his watch tonight. Then we will take him and make him tell us where he’s keeping Zelda,” Harkinian replied. “In the meantime, I’ll spread word--quietly--that people need to watch for Tenthius.”

“Sire, we know for certain that Tenthius does not live in Hyrule Castle Town,” said a man standing by--an advisor by the name of Corin. “His name does not appear in the town’s census count, at least, not in a recent one. Since he hadn’t told us where he lives, I took it upon myself to see if I could find his name in our latest census report.”

“He could be in an abandoned house,” said Link. “Let’s search there first, in the town. Zelda said she thought it could be a two-room shack or house, windows boarded up,” he added, repeating that bit of information.

“Most likely so no passer-by will see her,” Harkinian mused. “Yes. Search any houses with that description. If anyone sees Tenthius, bring him here--he will be under arrest for kidnapping the Princess--and for treason.” His expression turned dark. “I want him dead or alive. Most of all I want my daughter back, safe with her family. Also search Kakariko Village. Question anyone and everyone.”

Link sighed in frustration hours later as he wandered through Kakariko Village. He was just starting down the steps leading to Hyrule Field when he encountered Malon, a girl whose father, Talon, owned Lon Lon Ranch. Malon was a good friend of Link’s and of Zelda’s. “Link--hi! Where’s Zelda?” asked Malon as she gave her friend a quick hug.

“I wish I knew,” Link sighed. “Zelda was kidnapped last night or early this morning and we’re looking for her.”

The red-haired girl’s jaw dropped. “How did that happen?”

“A traitorous guard,” Link replied. “His name is Tenthius.” He then went on to describe the man. “Malon, you and your father have a lot of customers--if you can get word out--”

“I’m just headed back to the ranch now,” Malon replied. “Yes, I’ll tell all I see. Is Tatiana all right?”

“Yeah...crying for her mother, though,” said Link, folding his arms over his chest and looking down.

“Lots of times babies can sense when something’s not quite right,” said Malon. She laid a sisterly hand on Link’s shoulder. “I’ll be on the lookout in case I see him, and I’ll be sure to send word to the castle if Dad, Ingo, or I do.”

“Thanks, Malon, I really appreciate that,” said Link sincerely. Suddenly, he seemed to hear something.

“Link?” Malon asked, seeing that he seemed to be staring at nothing in particular.

“Shh,” said Link. “Zelda...I hear Zelda!”

Malon knew about Link and Zelda’s bond. Not very many people did.

“Gerudo Valley!” exclaimed Link. “Zelda’s somewhere in Gerudo Valley! Malon--I’ll take you to Hyrule Castle on Epona. The guards will let you in, because they know who you are. Tell any guard you see that Zelda is somewhere in Gerudo Valley. As soon as I drop you off I’m headed over there. The Gerudos will let me in because I’m a friend of Nabooru’s.” He said all this rapid-fire. “Let’s go!”

Link and Malon both jumped onto Epona, Malon sitting behind Link. She held on to her friend tightly as Epona carried them to the drawbridge at her fastest speed. At the drawbridge Link stopped Epona just long enough for Malon to jump off and race across the drawbridge; then he slapped Epona’s flank several times so she would once again run at full speed.

Epona, carrying Link, sped westward, fairly flying past the north wall of Lon Lon Ranch. Link hunched forward. “Come on, Epona, faster!” he urged. “Zelda needs me!”

Malon almost tripped as she ran across the drawbridge and into Hyrule Castle Town. Once she was across the bridge, she saw a guard. “Link got a message from Zelda--she’s somewhere in Gerudo Valley!” Malon exclaimed, panting.

“Gerudo Valley!” exclaimed the guard. “I must get word to King Harkinian right away!”

“I hope they’ll both be all right,” Malon whispered. She’d heard stories about the Gerudo thieves--but then again, hadn’t Link said that he was friends with Nabooru, their leader and the Sage of Spirit?

Malon decided to help by telling the guards at the castle and spread word more quickly. It was all she could do for her friends right now.

Zelda lay there quietly, hardly daring to even breathe. Next to her, Tenthius was waking up, and she squirmed when she felt his hand on her.

“Ready to cooperate?” he asked, propping himself up on his elbows.

“I really need to take a bath and wash my hair,” Zelda told him, trying to buy some time. “I need to be clean.”

“Well why didn’t you say so?” Tenthius asked, springing up out of the bed. He got a wooden tub from out of the corner.

Zelda watched as he went back and forth from the bedroom into his main room and back, bringing buckets of hot water and filling the tub.

“Would you please untie me?” asked Zelda.

“Don’t you want me to wash you?” asked Tenthius.

Zelda almost gagged at that. “I really prefer to do it myself.”

“I bet you let Link do it.”

Zelda looked at him. “As a matter of fact, I do. Because he’s my husband,” she replied. She was tempted to add what else he did, but decided that she’d gone far enough with this information.

Tenthius’ features grew dark, very dark, and his eyes became small, catlike. With an animalistic growl he yanked at her hair and slapped her face several times, causing her nose to bleed.

Using a knife he had, he cut her wrists and ankles from the bedposts and swiftly lifted her up into his arms. He dropped her into the wooden tub, causing water to splash everywhere.

Zelda screamed. “This water is hot!” she protested.

“Of course it is,” Tenthius growled, grabbing a scrub brush and scrubbing her back hard, causing her to cry out in pain. “Have to get that Link off you somehow, don’t I? Have to purify you....”

Zelda had no choice but to submit to Tenthius’ rough ministrations. He did nothing to violate her, but still she did not like what he was doing. She closed her eyes and tried to ignore the pain he was causing her with the scrub brush’s bristles. She couldn’t do anything because her wrists and ankles were still tied.

Finally he was through and the water had cooled down some. Zelda’s body was clean but she still felt dirty, even though he hadn’t really done anything to her--yet.

Tenthius lifted her up out of the tub and laid her down on the bed. He bent over her and she quickly reared back and kicked him viciously in the jaw. “Untie me now!” she demanded. She was tired of this--tired of wondering when or if he’d really try something with her. Her nerves were giving out and as a result she was responding with aggression. At least Link had a better chance of finding her than before.

“You little bitch!” Tenthius hissed as he roughly pushed Zelda to the floor. He bent over her and his hands closed around her neck.

Zelda tried to scream but her air was cut off. Her body was still stinging from the hot water and that awful scrub brush. Her wrists and ankles were bound, but still she would not give up.

She only gave up when heavy black curtains seemed to fall before her eyes.

Chapter Three

Note to Incognito: I like the name Tatiana. It’s a Russian name which means, I believe, “fairy princess.” Also it was the name of one of the Grand Duchess Anastasia’s older sisters. And I have a bit of Russian in me myself. :)

Epona charged into Gerudo Valley, carrying Link. Once she came to the rope-and-plank bridge, however, she took it a bit slowly.

“Now what brings you here?” snapped a Gerudo woman with strawberry-blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail high atop her head. She wore a skimpy aqua-colored bustier and matching pantaloons, as well as shoes that curled up at the toe. She was standing guard at the entrance to Gerudo’s Fortress.

“I am Link, a friend of Nabooru’s,” he replied. “I have reason to believe that my wife, Princess Zelda, was taken here, abducted by one of our former guards. His name is Tenthius.” He then went on to describe the man.

The Gerudo woman, whose name was Lyrana, looked pensive. “You know what, there is an old house north of our fortress. And I have seen this rather handsome black-haired man going back and forth...we let him through because he doesn’t bother to visit our fortress. And early this morning he had this big bag of something he was lugging with him.”

“So you have seen him? You remember him?” asked Link excitedly, ready to slap Epona’s flank and go charging there. His eyes were wide.

“Of course I do. I tried to flirt with him and he acted disinterested,” Lyrana said, studying her long nails. “So you think he may have Zelda, huh? If that’s the case I gather he’s in pretty deep trouble.”

“That’s putting it mildly,” said Link. “Lyrana, thank you so much for your help. Hopefully I’ll find Zelda safe.”

“He seems kinda weird,” Lyrana added. “He has to be--he managed to resist my advances!” She chuckled. “Well, Link, go find your wife. Too bad you’re not single....”

“Thank you again,” called Link as he made for the north side of Gerudo’s Fortress.

As he rode off, he felt his anger growing. Had Tenthius really put Zelda into a bag and hauled her here like that? Angry tears were burning in his blue eyes. “Faster, Epona!” he called.

He could not wait to get his hands on that traitor and do some damage to him. He wondered if Zelda was hurt--or worse.

“Your Majesty! Your Majesty!”

King Harkinian, who had been sitting on his throne, his chin propped up on his fist, worried out of his mind over his daughter, quickly straightened up on his throne, his eyes wide with interest. “What is it?” he asked.

“Miss Malon, from Lon Lon Ranch...she brings news! Link has established contact--telepathic contact--with the Princess, and she is in Gerudo Valley! Link has headed there already.”

“Then send in some of our soldiers,” said Harkinian. “In case Link needs our help--and to apprehend this scoundrel. If you can, apprehend this traitor. He must be punished.”

“Yes, Your Majesty.” The messenger bowed and left the throne room.

“Please let my daughter be all right,” King Harkinian whispered. She was the only child he had, and he loved her dearly. That was why he’d let Link marry her--Link loved her more than life itself and Harkinian knew that Link would take good care of her.

Harkinian could imagine what was going through Link’s head right now. Link would let no one and nothing get in the way of him helping Zelda. He hoped that Zelda was all right and that she hadn’t been hurt.

Tenthius let Zelda’s body flop back onto the floor. She had just passed out. He placed a hand on her bare chest, felt her heart beating. She was only unconscious...good. He didn’t want to kill her--he still wanted to get her to cooperate. He took his knife and cut her wrists and ankles free--maybe once she saw how nice to her he was being...and besides, it would be hard to make love to her with her tied up like that.

He lifted her into his arms and dropped her back onto the bed. He sighed as he gazed at her body. Such a perfect body--one wouldn’t even guess that she’d ever had a child.

That thought made him narrow his eyes. Forget her husband and daughter. He wanted her to have his children. He wouldn’t force it on her, though--at least not at this point. But he wouldn’t hesitate to if it came to that. He would make her his one way or another. He’d much prefer her cooperation, though.

He would sit there and wait until she regained consciousness. Then he’d try to convince her that she belonged to him--and then he’d take her.

Finally, a couple of hours later, Zelda’s deep blue eyes fluttered open. “Link...?” she mumbled. “Link?”

“Why are you calling for him, my dear?” asked Tenthius. “It should be my name on those sweet lips of yours--not his!”

Zelda sat up, crossed her arms over her chest, concealing her breasts from his view. He was standing there, just staring at her body, and she did not like it one bit. “Please let me go,” she said. She was still dazed and she knew it would probably be useless to try to run--not to mention she was naked.

Tenthius sat down on the edge of the bed and took her hand. Zelda jerked her hand away. “Don’t touch me!” she snapped.

He sighed. “You know, you’ll only make this harder on yourself, Zelda.”

“That’s ‘Your Highness’ to you....”

Tenthius chuckled. “Don’t get uppity with me, Zelda.”

Suddenly Zelda didn’t care if she was naked. If she was in Gerudo Valley, the women there could help her. She was regaining her strength and she had an idea.

She lay back on the bed, and Tenthius smiled. “That’s it, Zelda, just relax,” he told her as he bent over her.

Before he could react, Zelda drew back her small fist and smashed him as hard as she possibly could in his jaw. Then she reared back and kicked him full-force in the stomach with both her feet. He doubled over in pain, and Zelda took this opportunity to roll off his bed and run into the other room.

Quickly Zelda lifted the two-by-four that held the door closed and pushed the door open. She squinted, trying to adjust her eyes to the late-afternoon sunshine. Glancing behind her, she could see that Tenthius was starting to stagger after her, despite the pain she’d let him feel.

The sand was still hot and it just about burned her feet. Zelda tried frantically to outrun him, but then she wound up stepping into a hole and twisting her left ankle. She screamed as she fell to the ground, into the hot sand.

Zelda lay on her side and watched helplessly as Tenthius came towards her, an evil, cruel smile on his face. He was holding his hands out, and his fingers were curled, his thumbs rigid. “You shouldn’t have done that, Zelda,” he said, his voice low and menacing. “You know you’ll have to pay for doing that.”

Zelda screamed as loud as she could as he grabbed a handful of her long golden hair. “LIIINNNNKKK!!!”

Link was making his way northward, past the Gerudo fortress, when he thought he heard the sound of horses behind him. He stopped Epona and looked back--there were half a dozen of the King’s men. Apparently Malon had gotten word to the King.

“We’re here to help you, Link,” said one of the men.

“Lyrana, who was standing guard, told me that the place was north of the fortress,” Link said. “I want to hurry up and find this place. I want to bring Zelda home safe.”

“Of course,” said another of the men.

“Let’s go, Epona!” said Link.

Epona sped northward with her rider, the soldiers following on horseback. Suddenly Link heard a scream--he heard it mentally as well. His wife was in trouble! “Hurry!” he called. “This way!”

Link rode towards the sound and was greeted with a sight he never wanted to experience again.

Zelda was lying on the ground, and Tenthius was beating her. Link, still riding Epona, drew out his fairy bow and let fly with an arrow, shooting Tenthius in the lower leg.

Tenthius screamed in pain, jerked the arrow out of his leg. He turned to Link. “You,” he said in a low growl. He tossed the arrow aside.

Link stopped Epona and dismounted. He withdrew his sword. “Just what in Hyrule did you think you were doing to my wife?” he demanded.

“She was meant to be mine,” Tenthius told him.

Link shook his head and advanced towards him. “I don’t think so. You got a position in the castle just so you could kidnap her, didn’t you?”

“She needs to realize that we belong together,” said Tenthius. “At least with me she would have a son.”

“It doesn’t matter if all our children were girls, I would love her and our daughters just as much. You have a problem,” said Link, stepping closer to him. He turned and looked over his shoulder, where the six men were waiting. “Take care of this scum. I want to take care of Zelda.”

Tenthius was about to withdraw his sword and attack Link, but the sight of six men with bows made him change his mind. Two of the men jumped down and grabbed him.

“Take him back to Hyrule Castle,” said Link as he knelt down next to Zelda in the sand.

“Of course,” said one of the men. “Come along, you.”

The two men tied Tenthius’ hands and feet together. Once they had him on a horse with one of the men, the King’s men headed back out of the desert.

“Oh, Link, I’m so glad you found me,” Zelda wept.

“Zelda, what happened to you?” Link asked, noticing her bloody nose, her blackened left eye, the cuts and scrapes on her body, her swollen ankle. “Did he--?”

“No...but I have no doubt he would have tried it,” Zelda whimpered.

“My precious, precious Zelda,” Link murmured as he cradled her in his arms and hugged her. “I’m so glad we found you, darling. Let’s get you back to the castle and get you fixed up.”

Link took off his tunic, leaving just his undershirt and leggings on, and slipped the tunic over Zelda’s head. “I’m sure you’d be a bit more comfortable,” he told her as he helped her to her feet, having her put weight only on her good foot.

He helped her onto Epona and got on behind her, holding her around her waist. “You’re going to be fine, darling,” he assured her as Epona carried them out of the desert.

Back at Hyrule Castle, Link had Zelda in their room, lying down on their bed. Zelda looked up at her husband as he carefully bandaged her ankle and tended to her wounds. She noticed the tears in his eyes. “Link?”

“I wanted to kill him so badly,” said Link. “When I saw him hurting you....But I wanted to see him get his punishment.” He put a nightgown on her and helped her into bed. “Would you like to see your father now?”

Zelda nodded.

Link turned and went to the door. His hand on the knob, he turned and looked back at his beloved wife. “Zelda...I feel I let you down...and I’m sorry,” he said.

“ wasn’t your fault,” Zelda told him. “I love you.”

“I love you too, Zellie,” he said, smiling at her, using the nickname he’d come up with. “I’ll go get your father.”

Zelda lay back in the four-postered bed she shared with Link and closed her eyes. No doubt Impa was caring for Tatiana at that point.

Soon the door opened, and King Harkinian entered, Link in tow. “ daughter!” Harkinian exclaimed as he went over and hugged her.

“Daddy...I was so scared...,” Zelda wept. “He wanted me for himself. I’m just glad Link got there when he did....”

“Well, Tenthius is going to be punished,” Harkinian told her. “He’ll be imprisoned for the rest of his life.”

Link kicked off his boots and sat down on the bed next to Zelda, who laid her head on his lap and wrapped her arms around his waist. “From now on,” Harkinian continued, “we’re going to check our recruits thoroughly, so this doesn’t happen again.”

There was a knock at the door. “Come in,” Link called.

Impa, a Sheikah woman who was Sage of Shadow, came in, holding little Tatiana in her arms. “Here’s a baby who really wants to see her mother,” smiled Impa as she carried the child over to the bed.

“Mama!” Tatiana cried as she threw herself into her parents’ arms.


It was torture for Tenthius, being locked in Hyrule Castle--Zelda’s home--and not being able to see Zelda.

One morning, a few months later, it was announced that Zelda was pregnant with her and Link’s second child. Tenthius could not stand this. He could not bear knowing that Zelda was going to have another child by Link.

Tenthius’ anger and frustration and madness continued to gnaw at him, and when Zelda gave birth to a little boy, Prince Caleb, soon after Tatiana’s second birthday, it was the final straw for him.

One morning, days after Caleb’s birth, Tenthius was found dead in his cell, having managed to hang himself with his own clothes.