Warrior’s Bride (PT 2)

Chapter Two

“Is this your princess?” His question was asked softly, the women nodding as one, an almost humorous light coming to his eyes as he grabbed the kneeling woman by the arm and hoisted her none-too-gently to her feet.  The others cried out, some screaming softly in shock, all looking terrified as he pulled a knife from a scabbard holding it to her throat, her eyes closing as she remained still, her whole body frozen in fear.  “Now I ask you again… And if I do not get the right answer I will slit her throat and then work my way through you all… Is this woman your princess?”, his hand moving closer to her skin.

Carefully he watched the women react.  One stiffened as other hands grasped her, holding her back, a smile rising to his lips as he released the woman in his hold.  Moving forward he grabbed the other pulling her against himself, holding the knife to her throat instead.  Instantly the maidens and the woman passing herself off as Tialla fell to their knees, begging for her release, Cadell once more sheathing the knife as he held the true princess firmly in his hold.

Looking at his men he indicated that they remove the rest.  “Keep them under guard at all times.”  The women quickly rounded up and pushed from the throne room as Tialla stood motionless.  Once alone he released her and grasped the head dress pulling it free from her.

She was stunning, Cadell feeling the way his body stirred with desire, a smile on his lips.  Her eyes held his, those aqua eyes – a colour he had never before seen – full of hatred and anger.  “On your knees before your Master, Tialla of Leando”, he spoke softly, the anger in her expressive eyes blazing even brighter.

Tialla stood even taller, her body proudly stiff as she bit out haughtily, “Never.  I will never kneel before a monster like you.”  She expected his anger, but was surprised as he chuckled softly, dropping onto her throne, his eyes lazily trailing over her.

“Now that is the kind of attitude I would expect from a ruler”, his eyes laughing at her.  “Next time you try and pass one of your maidens off as yourself, ensure that she has the right arrogance.”

She glared down at the man before her, every fibre in her being wanting to pull him from her throne, knowing only too well that she would never be able to move him.  “You attacked my province with no warning or reason Cadell of Karok, explain yourself… What do you plan on doing to my people?”

His look became harder, one eyebrow raised in surprise at her defiance.  “You should be more concerned with yourself Tialla”, his drawl soft and almost bored, his eyes fixed on her.

“I care little for myself Cadell, only for my people.  So I ask again what are your plans?  We are not without friends and they will not take well to your unprovoked attack.”

His lips curled into an arrogant smile.  “I think not.  If there is one thing I have learnt, it is that when you fall, you fall alone, and while I have you, your people will do as I tell them.”  Rising, his eyes slid down her once more.  “I am sure that I can find some position for you to fulfil in my household… Or bed”, his look openly admiring her as she gasped, shock filling her features, Cadell enjoying her discomfort.  Turning, he made to lift the jug of water which had been delivered earlier, taken unaware at the speed in which she moved, grabbing one of the many knives he wore, holding the weapon before her as he flipped back round to face her.

“Drop it.”  His tone demanded her instant obedience, Tialla shaking her head determinedly, anger crossing the darkest eyes she had ever seen in a man.  “Do not anger me Tialla”, his voice bit out as she glared back at him.

“I will not allow you to hurt my people”, her voice determined as she sprang forward, the knife in her hand pushed towards him, Cadell realising her intent as he moved quickly, his hand grabbing hers, halting her hand his large one wrapped painfully around her wrist before flipping her around and hauling her hard against himself, his arms wrapped around her waist and chest, her bottom against his groin.  He quickly plucked the knife from her fingers, returning it to the scabbard it came from holding her firmly as she struggled to release herself.  “Put me down… How dare you touch me!”, she cried in outrage as her feet kicked out at his shin, he not making a sound as she squealed, the hard boot painful against her foot.

Finally she stilled, her chest rising and falling as she fought for breath, her body limp in his hold, his voice flint-hard.  “Do not EVER do that again.  Your life is no longer your own.  It is mine.  Understand that.  And if you decide to ever pull a stunt like that again it will be your people who will pay the price.  I will kill one hundred of them while you watch… Do you understand?”

With a defeated groan she nodded, helplessness filling her.  “Let me go”, this time her voice softer as he continued to hold her tight to him.  She felt as his head dropped to her throat, his nose sliding down the long milky delicate column, Tialla struggling to free herself once more as his hands held her firmly, his breath fanning the hairs in her ear as she shivered, his tone sensual.

“Oh yes.  I definitely think your place will be in my bed.  You have fire… I like that.”

Her eyes closed as a shudder moved through her body, her distaste for the man so obvious.  “You will find me unresponsive Cadell”, surprised to once more hear his amused chuckle.

“Somehow I do not think a woman like you could ever be unresponsive Tialla.”

{Next installment 11th November}


Warrior’s Bride (Pt 1)

Chapter One

Cadell of Karok sat back on the throne, a small smile playing on his lips.  The battle had been fast and decisive, the defending forces swept back with very little effort.  Leando was now his, a gleam of triumph in his dark eyes.  Scanning the throne room he admired the beauty of it.  While a warrior, he was still able to appreciate the space.  The sumptuous cloth on the windows and draped around the finely carved throne was certainly testament to the provinces renowned reputation for artistry.  His eyes continued to the floor, checking that the changes he ordered had been made, smiling seeing everything in order.

With his finger running around his mouth he held back the smile.  Perhaps they would have been better spending more time on building up their defences than honing their artistic talents.  His men had received a pitiful show of resistance, his warriors sweeping their way to the palace with ease.  With a small sigh he admitted that this reduced the number of casualties, his men now encamped around the palace itself, the people huddled in fear within their homes.

Thoughtfully he considered his next move.  These people were not warriors, and in truth had it not been for Leando’s strategic position he would have little interest in either it or its ruler, but unfortunately for Leando, the small province was perfectly positioned for his arch enemy.  He could not risk Garel taking the small province and using it against him.  No, Leando was a victim of geography and he required to bring it in line fast.

The sound of the huge ornate door being opened pulled his thoughts back to the present, his eyes moving to follow the small procession marching quickly towards him.  He remained where he was, his body relaxed seemingly at ease while his look followed the procession.

In the middle of the four warriors, a small woman moved quickly and silently towards the other side of the room, her head held high, her figure hidden by the long cloak she wore, a hood pulled over her head.  As the group reached the plinth the four men halted stepping together before punching their chests and inclining their heads in respectful salute to the man now seated so calmly on the large throne.

With a small nod he stood, the woman staring at the man before her.  She had heard rumours of Cadell of Karok, but never expected to meet with the man himself, certainly not to find herself a prisoner of his.  Lifting her head she tried not to allow him to see the way her whole body shook with fear, her look taking in the man nicknamed Cadell the Cunning.

He was tall, broad-shouldered with muscular arms, the leather tunic he wore skin tight, showing his long back and slim waist, the breeches also those of a warrior, weapons draped around him.  Swallowing nervously she willed herself still, feeling intimidated by the man.  Cadell of Karok was no figurehead leader, he was a warrior and a good one she could tell by the respect given to him by his men.  Slowly he moved, the men stepping back as he finally stopped before her.  His hands flipped the hood of the cape back to reveal the woman beneath.

“So… You are Tialla of Leando”, his voice strong, deep and authorative.

The woman kept her eyes fixed on the floor as she nodded softly, her voice quivering slightly, “Yes”, every nerve taut as he moved around her silently, taking in the ruler of his latest conquest, his expression thoughtful.

“Remove the cloak.”  With fingers which shook she complied, the garment swishing to the floor.  Cadell admired her figure.  Dressed in a silken robe which covered her voluptuous figure, she looked every bit the ruler of the small but important province.  “Now… On your knees for your new ruler, Tialla of Leando.”

Flicking a look up at him, she nervously she could not hold his gaze, she dropping silently to the ground, her eyes fixed on the floor, aware as he stood before her, his boots filling her vision.  Staring down at the woman on her knees, Cadell scowled.  She was beautiful that was true, and according to his sources she was considered a great treasure, but he was uneasy.  “Was she with her ladies when you found her?”, his question was directed to his guards.

The leader of the men stepped forward,  “Yes sir.  We have them under guard before we allow them to their families.”

Cadell nodded softly.  “Bring them to me… All of them.”  The men as one silently turned, instantly moving to fill his command.

The woman at his feet gasped, her head rising to finally look at him, fear within her eyes, “No.  You have me – leave them be.”

He knelt, grasping her chin in his large hand a dark look on his face, her breath stalled in her throat at the intensity of his words.  “Do not ever command me again woman or you will know how we tame women in Karok.”  She whimpered softly, her eyes again falling from his, the small flicker of fight fleeing from her as she shook, he standing once more over her, before returning to again sit on the throne.

Silently he waited, the woman remaining prone on the floor before him.  Neither made a sound, as she trembled allowing herself to steal looks at him.  He was one of the most handsome men she had ever seen, not only good-looking but possessing the air of a man who demanded attention and respect.  He seemed lost in thought, ignoring her, his eyes focussed expectantly on the door, the woman becoming aware that his seemingly relaxed stance hid the way his body seemed to be coiled ready for fight.

As the door once more opened, the same men entered flanking the group of ten women, all wearing the simple white robes of handmaids, their heads covered with gossamer.  He watched as they saw the woman on her knees, their bodies stiffening seeing their princess in such a position.  His men grouped the women together as Cadell again moved forward stopping close to the prone woman.

{next installment 28th October}