Warrior’s Bride (Pt 25)

Chapter Twenty Five

The week flew by. As a young girl, Tialla never understood the tradition of Tol Dor. It seemed a tortuous start to any relationship, the couple having to fight to survive. She could only see troubles with such a trial, most likely ending with one of them trying to kill the other as they attempted to survive.
However, now she got it, now she understood. This was their time. This was the only chance they would have to really get to know each other without any of the pressures of leadership. Here and now it was just Tialla and Cadell, and they worked together to ensure that the week was one filled with laughter, talking and love. She knew him now better than she had ever known another person, and she had kept nothing from him, sharing her whole life. He was to be her husband, her partner and her love. For the first time in her life, Tialla knew that she had found the person who would stand by her and support her as she would him, to the death if necessary.
As the two woke on the last morning of their week-long trial, she looked up at him, a sadness in her eyes, her hands gently tracing the strong curve of his jaw, her voice whimsical. “Do you think if we kept really quiet they might not find us, that maybe they would just find somebody else to rule?”
His laugh skittered over her, his eyes glowing as he leant in to kiss her. “I’m game if you are. I cannot think of anything else in the world that I would want more than to be right here with you.”
She huffed out a sad sigh, her arms draping around his neck. “It has been so nice. Like a dream”, her eyes trailing to the side where fruit-filled a wooden bowl he had carved for her sat, fish ready for their breakfast waiting to be cooked hanging in a corner. He was an excellent hunter and fisher, and they were definitely not struggling for food or other comforts, she having even made a few pieces of rudimentary furniture with his help. No, life with Cadell was only enhanced.
“You know, there was one new custom I was thinking might be nice.”
Her curious look flipped back to him hearing his words. “Oh? And what would that be?”
Grinning, his mouth trailed down her cheek, once more the familiar sizzles of want bursting deep in her belly. “Well. Perhaps each year, the king and queen should take a week to honour Tol Dor, show their commitment to each other and their kingdom by taking part in the tradition.”
She chuckled, “Can we do that?”, his head nodding against her, a wickedly sexy drawl sending all new tremors through her.
“Hey, I just started a new one where people get sweets on the announcement of matrimony in the palace. They accepted that, so no reason why not. It’s good to be the king”, she unable to stop the happy laughter as she clung to him, that laughter turning to soft moans as he kissed down her. It was not so bad to be the queen either sometimes.
Two hours later, both were finally up and dressed, their breakfast nothing but a fond memory as she exhaled a long sigh. Looking around what had been their first bedroom together, she began to pack up their belongings. By that night they would be back in the palace, their accommodation more luxurious, the responsibility of leadership once more placed heavily on her shoulders, back to the same routine she had led her entire life.
Looking over at Cadell, her heart soared. No – it would never be the same and she would never have to bear the weight of leadership alone again. She had him now. He was her partner in everything.
Cadell watched Tialla. She looked a little sad to be leaving, as indeed did he. This week had been perfection, the time tying the two closer than even he could have imagined. He loved her, adored her, would die for her, he knowing this with certainty. Moving over, he wrapped his arms around her waist, his head resting on her shoulder, a deep sigh leaving him. “Is it wrong of me to hate to have to share you?”
She melted into him, her head turning to nuzzle her cheek with his. “It must be quite freeing to be like normal people”, his head nodding softly against hers as he kissing her cheek reverently.
“OK. I will meet Zandria at the meeting spot. I’ll bring him back with me so he can help carry some of this stuff you seem hell-bent on keeping.” His eyes were full of humour as they took in all of the little animals he had carved for her over the week, she insisting on keeping them because they meant something. Woman’s talk for ‘everything you do is special to me’ he assumed, he deep down really touched.
Turning in his arms hers wound around his neck. “Miss me.”
His lips quirked as he kissed her before pulling back slightly. “Every single moment”, he dropping another on her nose as with a rueful grimace he stepped back. “If I don’t go now, then Zandria will be the one looking for us, and I should tell you that man is a hell of a tracker!”
Giggling, her head nodded, her eyes sparkling. “OK. I will prepare one last meal for us. Seems the least we can do for Zandria – poor man has no idea how much stuff he is carrying!”
Chuckling, he nodded before picking up his sword and bow, winking at her as her eyes widened with surprise seeing the array of weaponry. “I like to be ready my love. Can never tell what might be waiting for you in a jungle.”
Nodding, her mouth curved into a smile. “Just don’t forget what is waiting for you in this cave”, her brows wriggling with innuendo.

next installment {12th October}

Warrior’s Bride (Pt 24)

Chapter twenty-four

For a few seconds there was silence as Tialla digested the story, her head shaking softly in shock. She felt pity for the young boy who had watched his family die so needlessly and pride for the man he had become. Where many might have given up, he had risen above and determined to free his country. His fingers entwining through hers brought her head snapping round, she seeing wariness in his eyes, his tone cautious. “So, do you still think that you are making such a good marriage now princess? Not exactly the noble lineage you likely expected to marry.”
Cupping his hand with her other, her eyes blasted respect as she smiled, “I have known many princes and leaders, their positions not earnt but inherited. Most were spoilt brats, only interested in their own welfare and comfort.” Her voice softened. “But you – you have been to the gates of hell and rather than lie down and die you fought your way back, fought because you wanted to free your own people from a tyrant. How many lives have you saved already Cadell? Garell is a monster. He would have brought darkness and death to all whose paths crossed his. But you have given hope to them. You are a shining ray in their desolate lives. In my province, no man or woman is held back from achieving their potential. Those who possess that special ability for leadership or greatness have every opportunity to succeed, not because they are born into it, but because they deserve it.” Her eyes shone with pride. “And you Cadell, are the noblest man I have ever met. I am humbled by you.”
Cadell swallowed. He could see the sincerity shining from her, that last protective layer around his heart shattering. He loved this woman, and he would lay down his life for her. Reaching over, his hands cupped her cheeks as he took her mouth, his kiss hungry and demanding. With a sigh, her lips flowered open for him, her body falling willingly against his.
Shifting, he lay them both down on the fur, his lips now kissing along her cheeks as he whispered soft words of love to her, her eyes fluttering shut as she murmured ones back. He took his time to undress her, his eyes feasting on every luscious curve, his tongue licking the raised peak of her nipples and dipped valley of her belly and hips. She was the most perfect woman he ever knew. Turning her, his mouth worshiped her back and sides, his tongue teasing the dip of her spine as she shuddered, her fingers gripping the fur. He could smell her arousal, that tangy aroma that was all her, that scent which filled his nose and his soul. He would never need another – she was his, and he hers.
Her sighs turned to wanting pants, soft pleading words escaping her lips as he tore at his breeches, needing to be part of her, to be deep inside her, to be joined in the most primitive of ways with the woman he loved. Guiding himself to the heat of her body, he thrust up, his arms wrapping around her belly, dragging her bottom harder against himself. As his fingers teased her nipples, his hips drove into her time and again, she matching him with each and every one.
He could feel the need for release rising within him, his teeth gritting as he fought to control it, to feel her beating around him. When her head turned their lips met in an incendiary kiss, her lips trembling against his as she erupted, he greedily swallowing even her cry of orgasm, wanting everything from her. He could feel the fluttering of her body against him, the way her fingers frantically gripped his arm, her body growing rigid, the need in him no longer able to be held back, his own orgasm shooting from him. Now it was her turn to swallow his cry, their kiss desperate, yet bonding. He felt one with her, their bodies jerking as the aftereffects of their shared experience shuddered through them both.
Finally, his lips fell from hers as he burrowed his head into her long hair, his nose inhaling her. This felt good – right. A peace settled over him, one that he had never before known. Somehow he had found his home in this woman, his lips curving into a happy smile.
As she stirred, he let her roll onto her back, he rising to stare down at her, his head resting on the palm of his hand, a content smile on his lips, pride filling him seeing the glow in her. Her hand rose to stroke his cheek, an impish smile on her lips as her head cocked playfully to the side. “First, wow that was amazing.” His chuckle made her smile widen as she continued “Second, how come I’m completely naked and a bug feast, while you are still dressed?”
His appreciative laugh brought one to her mouth too as he nodded. “That my love is because I only had time to undress one of us, and you look way better naked than I, and secondly I’m not a fool and had no desire to be a ‘bug feast’.”
Now her laugh turned to a spluttered indignant one as he lifted her into his arms, standing as he strode back towards the cave. “OK, OK, I also know the value of looking after my future wife. Let me wash off any of those bugs.”
As understanding came on her, she started to struggle, though she was laughing so hard her movements were ineffectual, he chuckling as he walked fully dressed right under the shower she had used earlier, the two of them soaked in an instant.
Her arms flew around his neck as she gasped at the sudden cold, her head finding shelter in the crook of his neck, she giggling helplessly before finally looking back at him, her eyes flashing with fun. “Seems now you have to undress”, her fingers sliding down his chest. “Let me help you with that.”
Grinning, his head nodded. “Now that is an offer I am never going to turn down.”

next installment {29th September}