With the warning in the mind of Jessica and Tucker the pair entered Royal City and the sight that greeted them made them stand back in awe for a few moments. They could see a busy city ahead of them but it was drenched with banners as far as the eye could see. There were stores ahead of them but that sold items from all corners of the world. Armoured guards patrolled the streets at all times and every structure was made out of stone rather than wood. There were statues littered from place to place which depicted past kings and heroic knights from folk tales.
Jessica in particular was in amazement as she had always wanted to visit Royal City. She had heard merchants tell her how there was no other city like it in the world and from what she could see they weren't lying. Many of the buildings towered above her and she felt that even if she were at her full size she would still feel small. A huge smile appeared on her face as she felt very happy.
Suddenly she felt a sharp pain from her shin. It caught her by surprise and she gave a small sound of discomfort before looking down. There she saw a young boy standing right next to her and she watched as she kicked her leg. This caused her more pain and she wouldn't be lying if she said that she was a little annoyed. Rather than getting angry she squatted down which caught the boy off guard. He seemed to be a little afraid right now as the extremely tall woman focused on her.
"Why are you kicking me?" asked Jessica with some expectation in her voice. She hid her annoyance and she tried to show that she wasn't angry.
"I-I'm sorry," stuttered the boy. "I thought that you were on stilts." It was not uncommon in Royal City for entertainers to walk around on stilts. There were numerous entertainers scattered around the city who perform small acts for whatever change the viewer had. Some went from minor acts of musical talent up to acts that could completely blow a person's mind away. He had truly thought that she was on stilts not just because she was so tall but also because her dress prevented him from seeing her legs and feet.
"No I'm not on stilts. I'm just a very tall lady who doesn't really like being kicked. Even if I were on stilts it still isn't very nice to kick them. If I had been I could have fallen and seriously hurt myself. You wouldn't want that now would you?"
"N-No." This was all he could muster. He was afraid that he would get a clip around the ear for his actions.
"Good, now run along and I hope that you've learned your lesson."
The boy didn't hesitate in running away as Jessica stood back up to her full height. Tucker had just watched and remained silent throughout the entire ordeal. He wasn't too surprised that Jessica hadn't shouted at the boy or hurt him. He looked up to his extremely tall partner who could still feel a small amount of discomfort in her shin.
"Well that was interesting," said Tucker. "I guess there can be a downside to having long legs." He made this sound like a joke although he knew that Jessica's body was proportionate.
"Well there's a downside to everything." She was just playing along with the joke and she found her hand take a hold of his. It was still much smaller than her own but she would think it were abnormal if it were the same size.
"I'm somewhat surprised that you didn't clip that kid in the ear roll. I would have done that if I were you."
"He didn't mean any real harm and hopefully he would have learned a lesson from that. Besides going around hitting people isn't really a nice thing to do."
"Well whatever makes you happy." He paused for a moment as he suddenly realised something. "Wait this is the second time that some kid thought you were on stilts." It had happened relatively close to the start of their quest that now seemed to be a lifetime ago. So much had happened to them since then that it almost seemed that their lives had not truly begun until they started the quest.
"I guess it's just one of the downsides of being a tall girl." She did smile a little as she spoke. "But it also means that I can give you bigger cuddles."
"Maybe when we check into an inn." He also smiled and he didn't really want her to cuddle him like that in public. A little to preserve his manlihood but also so that they didn't attract any unwanted attention.
"Of course, let's just make sure that they have high ceilings. I'm getting a little sick of bumping my head every time I stand up straight."
The couple began to walk down the street where they saw many people walking passed. They even saw some stores that sold goods from the continent of Entios which lay to the east of Angleland. There were cultures on that continent that seemed very alien to those of Angleland. There were even rumours of a society there that sometime delved into cannibalism but many thought that it was just a rumour. There was even rumours of an entire city made of diamonds which to them was as common as dirt. Some explorers had even travelled to Entios to try and find this city, few had returned but none had conclusive proof whether it existed or not.
There were also street performers as well and one particular man was on stilts. He was juggling a little for people watching and right now he felt that he was the tallest person there. That was until Jessica stopped by him for a moment and he had to look slightly up to her. There was a small amount of intimidation and for the moment he stopped juggling. Rather than speaking to him Jessica just smiled at him and put a few coins in his cup by his stilt feet before walking away. He stared at her as she walked and being a professional stilt walker himself he could see how her legs moved in her dress. Instantly he could see that she wasn't wearing stilts and this is what shocked him the most.
Eventually the pair came up to an inn which had relatively low prices. They had enough money to spend a few nights there and get some nice warm meals. The bedroom was even better for Jessica since the ceiling was just high enough for her to stand up straight. The only downside was that the doors were particularly small. Tucker was able to get through without ducking just by a couple of inches. Jessica had no chance for this and had to bend down quite a lot to get through the door.
Almost as soon as they were in the room Tucker took off his armour since he didn't feel that he needed it at this moment in time. He was surprised when Jessica asked him to stand on the bed. Not thinking much of it though he did as he was asked and the next thing he knew her lips came into contact with his but this time that they at eye level and she didn't need to pick him up. Her long arms wrapped around him and he could still feel the warmth and safety that he would feel when in Jessica's arms. They had only just gone from being best friends to becoming lovers and although their love for each other was unquestionable they still wanted to take their relationship at a steady pace.
Again there was only one bed but this wasn't much of a problem as Jessica would wrap her arms around Tucker at night and sleep with him as she would cuddle him like a teddy bear. Even when she slept she would be careful not to use too much strength to cause him too much discomfort. She only really wished that she could have his entire body right by her skin but she knew what would happen if she took off her dress. It was just thing that she would have to keep as a dreaming of. She hoped that one day she be able to have bare body to body contact with Tucker without fear of crushing him.
For the next few days things seemed to be going well for Tucker and Jessica. Not only did they enjoy the time they spent together as a couple but also seeing the sights and sounds of Royal City. Jessica really wanted to go to the palace so that she could see the King and Queen of Angleland but understandably commoners were not allowed to go into the palace and meet the royal family. She just hoped that they would make some kind of public address soon so that she could see them. One thing that she didn't have to worry about was seeing them through a crowd.
One thing that Tucker did take his time doing was exploring some of the iron works that took place in the city. As a fully qualified Blacksmith himself Tucker was allowed to go into the works and witness what was taking place. From time to time he would even help out with a couple of swords and shields while Jessica was out looking around the town. He was given a few gold coins for his work and some of the blacksmiths even gave him a few times how to make the metal stronger. They didn't reveal all of their secrets to him and he didn't really think that he would need these tips since he planned to live the rest of his life in luxury from the riches of Three Man's Treasure. But it would still be a nice little something to fall back on and he could even tell his father and brothers.
The word about an eight foot woman in the city had reached many ears and since Jessica stuck out she was a very easy person to spot. People would walk passed and marvel about just how tall she was. Many of the men felt like children compared to her but she didn't really like being in the limelight. At least these people weren't being hateful towards her like those in her hometown of Morgan. These people were merely just curious about her and in a way she couldn't really blame them.
One particular night when Tucker and Jessica were having some food in an inn a particular gentleman challenged Jessica to a drinking contest. He was a big man himself who had never lost a drinking contest but he was always out to look for the next challenge. Bets had been put on the contest not just between the contestants but many of the people watching on as well. Many believed that the man would win and yet some went with Jessica due to her sheer size alone.
The contest lasted longer than anyone expected as each contestant drank a pint of ale one after the other. Tucker was worried that Jessica was going to make herself sick but he was surprised to see that she was handling her ale very well. It did help that she could drink an entire pint in only two or three gulps and that her hand was almost as big as the pin itself. There was a lot of cheering as each opponent drank their pint. For a while they seemed to be neck and neck but there was one thing that Tucker noticed. The man was beginning to get slower and slower with each pint he drank while Jessica didn't seem to change at all. It almost seemed like to her she was just drinking water. He knew that by now any man would be feeling the effects of the alcohol but Jessica still remained perfectly composed although she did admit that she needed to pee.
It was not too long after this before Jessica's opponent took one last gulp of the ale before falling off of his chair as he was so drunk there was no possibility of him getting up to his feet unaided. There was a huge cheer from the crowd as Jessica's hand was raised in victory. The pair had just earned themselves some much needed money but the first thing that Jessica did after her victory was to get up and go to the restroom so that she could relieve herself before she could ruin her dress.
One thing that Tucker and Jessica didn't realise that a raven had been sent from Logan to almost every major town and city in Angleland. One such raven even found its way to Royal City with very important information. Whether it was good or bad for the pair was yet to be seen but one thing was for sure was that immediate action would be taken.
After Jessica had finished relieving herself she went to Tucker who was collecting the winnings from the man. He was still lying on the ground but his friends were there to make him pay up. When Jessica approached it was not her height that caught their attention but the fact that she was walking perfectly normal. Many would have believed that after consuming that much alcohol that she would have felt some effect. Even Tucker was surprised and it was just one other reason to be amazed by his lover.
After the contest Jessica and Tucker sat on a table together and he noticed that Jessica was breathing a little heavier than normal. This did cause some concern for Tucker but he thought that it was just the alcohol finally catching up to her.
"Hey Jessica are you alright?" asked Tucker with some concern in his voice although he was pretty sure that she was alright.
"Yeah I'm fine," replied Jessica. "I just think that the ale inside me isn't really sitting very well." She continued to breathe deeply for a few moments and it was a way for her to try and not vomit.
"I can imagine, I've never seen someone drink that much ale and still be able to walk and talk in full sentences."
"Well you know me Tucker I'm a special case. Guess another advantage of being freakishly tall is that I can hold my ale a lot better than most men." There was one thing that she wanted to say to Tucker but she didn't really know how to say it. Since they had left Morgan Jessica noticed that her minimum height had increased a little. She had grown a full inch since leaving but since she was so tall to begin with Tucker had hardly noticed. It did bring Jessica a sense of dread as she feared that she wouldn't stop growing. She had already grown practically a full foot after receiving her dress and the thought that she was still growing haunted her. She did take some comfort in the knowledge that since she was eighteen that she didn't have much growth left in her but she did fear that she was a special case. She didn't want to tell Tucker so that she didn't worry him and just tried to put on a happy face. "But there is still only one man in this inn who makes me feel like a real woman." These words were spoken softly and it made Tucker's heart skip a beat. "Why don't we go back into our room and spend some quality time together?"
Tucker almost choked on the ale that he had just drunk and he could see the smile on Jessica's face. He knew that she was being serious but he wondered just exactly she was thinking about doing. Most men would think that she was going for sex but she had already stated that they weren't going to have sex until they were married and Jessica was the type of woman to stick by that promise. The fact that he had almost choked on his ale did make Jessica giggle a little. If she wanted to she could easily lift him up and carry him back up to the room but she didn't want to make him less manly in front of all these people. She would have liked for him to carry her but she was simply too big.
It was not until they returned to the room before Jessica lifted up Tucker and gave him a big kiss. At least now she didn't have to worry about anyone else looking on but as she kissed him she accidentally grew an extra few inches. Normally it would not be that much of a problem but the ceiling was just above her and she struck it with a loud thud. The sudden impact took her by surprise and she accidentally let go of Tucker causing him to fall to the ground. He was able to land on his feet but he just saw Jessica squat down and rub her head. He was also surprised to see a few tears rolling down Jessica's face. It wasn't the first time that she had bumped her head against the ceiling but it had been the first time that he had seen her cry about it.
"What's wrong Jessica?" asked Tucker. He gently grabbed one of her hands and began to rub it to show that he was there for her. He watched as the extremely tall woman sat down on the nearby bed and she still cried.
"No Tucker I'm not alright," replied Jessica who used her free hand to wipe away some of the tears from her eyes.
"Did you hurt yourself?" He wanted to comfort her as much as he could since he didn't like to see her upset.
"No I didn't." She continued to wipe away the tears from her eyes. She saw as Tucker sat down on the bed right next to her.
"So what's wrong?" He didn't want to be so blunt but if there was something seriously wrong with her he wanted to know so that he could help her in any way that he could. Her problems were his problems.
"It's nothing really." She sniffed for a moment before continuing on. "It's just that hitting the ceiling just reminded me of something I can never be."
"And what's that?"
"Normal, everyday I see people going about doing normal things while I'm just this tower of a woman who can't even take my dress off or else I'll become a monster in the eyes of everyone. Do you know how many times I've dreamed about being normal? Being able to do things like normal people like walking through doors without ducking or sleeping in a bed where my feet don't poke out the other end. I want to be able to wear more than one dress and not have people staring at me wherever I go."
"You are normal Jessica." These were the only words he could think of for the moment and he saw her look at him with an angry expression. There were still tears rolling down her face but they were now tears of anger.
"How am I normal? How many other women in Angleland are as tall as me? How many don't have to fear crushing everyone that they love?" Her voice was filled with anger but they weren't really aimed at Tucker but more for herself. She just felt him onto both of her hands and he was trying to show that he was there for her. He could see that she was at a low point and all he wanted to do was make her feel better.
"I admit that you're unique in that case but that doesn't mean that you're not normal. Besides remember what would have happened if you weren't the way you were, you would have died as an infant and we wouldn't have been able to spend the time that we have together. You've helped me in more ways than I could possibly count and on more than one occasion you've had an excuse to be a monster like everyone claims that you are but you refused. That shows something that not many people have, it makes you the bright light in a dark night. It makes you the woman that I love." Before he could say another word he felt Jessica's long arms wrap around him and she brought him right into her chest. Her strength was beyond his and he could only allow this to happen. He didn't mind too much though as his face was squarely in Jessica's breasts but he could still feel droplets of warm water on his head. These were Jessica's tears but if he could see her face he would see that she had a smile on her face.
"Thank you Tucker." She kept a hold of him as if he was the most precious thing she had and in a way he was. Right now no other person was as important to her as her knight in shining armour. "You don't know how much that means to me. Just promise me one thing Tucker."
"What's that?" He struggled to talk but he was able to just about get the words out despite the fact that his head was still in her breasts.
"Don't ever change. Everything about you right now is perfect and I wouldn't change you for anything in the world."
"What?" She couldn't really hear what he was saying as he still get enough time to breathe at all.
"I need air!" He was beginning to gasp for air even more. This was when Jessica finally realised that her partner couldn't breathe. Quickly she let go of him and she could see that his face had been turning blue. Instantly she put on an apologetic expression as she became concerned that she had hurt him.
"I'm so sorry Tucker." Tears were still rolling down her face but now they were tears of worry. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine." The colour of his face was returning to normal as he was getting the oxygen back into his body. "If I could take on magical suits of armour and a growing evil copy of you I think a hug from my future wife isn't going to kill me."
Jessica wanted to be sad but she couldn't help but smile. Tucker's comment just made her feel better in a way that only he could achieve. She knew that she was with a special person to make her feel like this.
The night went swimmingly for the pair as they slept together in the usual position of Jessica's arms wrapped around Tucker. He didn't mind being in her arms and it did give her some comfort having him so close to her. He didn't know that she smiled every time that he slept in her arms.
By morning Jessica and Tucker left the inn so that they could explore Royal City even more. They were planning on where to go next, there were some religious temples that they would have liked to visit. There were numerous gods that were prayed to and almost all of them had a temple dedicated them. There was even a small shrine to various demi-gods such as Gwen although those shrines were nothing more than stone slabs attached to walls. Nothing like the temples that belonged to the full gods.
Unfortunately as soon as they walked out of the door of the inn they were confronted by nine heavily armoured knights. Each of their armour was a dark grey colour and they wore red cloaks which bore the royal symbol which was a crown surrounded by towering oak trees. They were armed with the finest weapons in Angleland and the largest of the knights had a sword that was almost as long as a normal man. Instantly Jessica and Tucker stopped dead in their tracks.
Almost immediately the knights began to encircle the pair in an attempt to block off their escape routes. They all knew what they were up against and although some of them were a little nervous they all kept their composure. They were here under the direct order of the king and they had faced many threats and they felt that this one wasn't going to be much of a difference.
"What is the meaning of this?" asked Jessica as she looked around at the guards. She was nervous herself and she thought that they might have been in trouble. She feared that these men might have been sent by Lord Nostory who was still bitter with what happened when the pair were in July.
"Miss Jessica Snape," replied the Knight who was standing right in front of pair. His brothers in arms stood around them and he felt safe. "By command of his grace King Percy, Third of his Name I Sir Daniel Redgrave here by place you under arrest for the murder of Reginald Trounce. You are to come with us for immediate questioning and if you do not have a representative one will be appointed for you."
"Wait I haven't murdered anyone." There was some panic in her voice as it fully dawned on her that these knights were there to arrest her. "I don't even know anyone named Reginald, you've got the wrong person."
"Regardless whether you're innocent or guilty doesn't matter to us. We are simply here to take you in and nothing more."
"She's not going anywhere," replied Tucker with some anger in his voice. He quickly drew out Juggernaut which caused the knights to all draw their weapons out. It seemed that there was going to be a stand-off. "If you want to take her away you're going to have to go through me."
There was a lot of tension in the air as there seemed to be the coming of a battle at any moment. The tension could be cut with a knife but rather than going in for the attack Tucker felt Jessica gently pull him back and she looked down at him for a few moments. There was some sorrow in her face as she knew what she had to do.
"No Tucker this isn't the way," said Jessica before turning to look at Sir Daniel who still had his sword drawn. "I assure you that I'm innocent of the crimes you've accused me of but I will come with you peacefully. If I need to do that to prove my innocence then so be it." She held her fists out and with a quick nod from Sir Daniel one of the other knights placed iron cuffs on Jessica's wrists. Tucker wanted to fight off the knights to defend his future wife but she had already spoken and he respected her wishes. She did turn her head towards him one more time before being led off. "Do everything you can to prove my innocence but whatever you do don't do anything that could get us in even more trouble."
"I will do everything I can," replied Tucker as he felt like the knights were taking away something of great value to him. In a way they were. "I promise you that. I won't rest until you're free."
Jessica was not allowed to say another word before the knights began to push her away. It would take all of their might to move her but thankfully they didn't have to as she was willing to go with them wherever they led her. She knew that she could easily free herself and escape along with Tucker but she knew that it would only lead to more trouble. She and Tucker would have a bounty on their heads so large that they dare not go to a populated area. There was even a chance that these bounty hunters might even get the slip on her and be able to kill her before she could grow. She knew that the only way that she could get out of this was to comply with the authorities and for Tucker to find evidence that would prove her innocence.