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Savage: A Rough Romance by Sara Fields – Sample

Chapter One


I never set out to be queen.

I was happy on the battlefield. I’d earned my favor there. I was strong and fierce enough that people trembled in fear when they heard my name.

I was about to earn a whole lot more than just the glory that came with conquest though.

I was about to take the throne for myself.

All around me, my comrades raised their mugs into the air as they waited for the king to speak. I stared up at him, looking forward to the celebrations that came with a triumph of this magnitude.

I should have run while I had the chance.

“On this great day, we celebrate this incredible victory and I must thank one of our greatest warriors, Freya the Unstoppable. It was through her ingenuity that we defeated the people of Kaldar, who have long been the stewards of the Port of Skali, but no longer. Now we reign in their stead and they will speak of your honor and glory on the battlefield for years to come,” the king exclaimed with an unmistakable sense of pride.

It had been my idea to feign a retreat, only to attack from our riverboats with a volley of fire arrows in the dead of night. Our enemy had been busy celebrating their own false victory when we had attacked again and taken the entire town. And now, we were celebrating safely back within our own city walls with the spoils of war that we had taken for ourselves.

“Hear! Hear!” the crowd roared. Men and women alike slammed their pewter mugs, splashing the wooden tables with copious amounts of ale and wine. The scent of alcohol permeated across the massive room and it only fueled the fires of celebration even more fervently than ever.

I still had blood on my gray leather tunic. I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to be able to get it out. I honestly didn’t know if I even wanted to. I took pride in it.

The crowd started to chant my name and I looked out across the room. I’d fought side by side with all of them since I was old enough to carry a sword and shield. Many of them still had the war paint from battle smudged on their faces. Much of their combat armor was flecked with blood and streaks of mud, remnants from a long and hard-fought war that finally appeared to have come to a close. Our city, the people of Valgertha, had achieved victory together and now we controlled a very important and centralized trading port that would provide food, drink, and whatever other supplies we could ever need from the rest of the world. We’d earned this celebration. Together.

I took a rather large swig from my own mug of mead and slammed it back down on the table too before the cacophony of cheers, battle cries, and applause drowned out the king’s words. Once it settled down to a dull roar, he began to speak again.

“Many of you have expected me to choose a wife and I have put that decision aside for many years in favor of conquest and war, but now that we have achieved this critical victory, I feel as though it is long overdue that I claim a woman to stand by my side,” King Vageir continued, and gooseflesh popped all over my arms. I turned toward the king and he set his dark brown eyes on me. He said nothing, but his gaze said everything. I swallowed heavily, nervously awaiting what would come next.

He wouldn’t dare, would he?

The longer he stared at me, the more I came to the realization that he would because it was his nature. It was his instinct to claim a woman, even if it meant he had to just take her.

He was an alpha, a behavioral instinct that had been written long ago deep into the fabric of our DNA, a series of mutations that twisted and intercalated into the very foundations of our genetic makeup. His kind was made to subdue an omega, a woman who was instinctually fated to react to his powerful dominance and spread her legs with the need to breed. I’d heard rumors of cities far away that sought to subdue our feral instincts with medications and suppressants, but it wasn’t like that here. We let nature take its course. In Valgertha, an alpha could claim an omega, and no one would ever interfere. It was a sacred part of our lives.

We embraced it all, just like we craved battle and the spoils of conquest, and the mud of the battlefield.

A very long time ago, the entirety of our planet was caught up in the Great War. Nation fought against nation in an effort to control trade routes, money, and power. Many cities had been wrought with devastation and completely ruined. Several had been left to rot and had long ago been overtaken by nature. Hundreds of thousands of people had fought and died in that war, until it all finally came to an end with the use of weapons that swept through the planet like a black cloak of death. It wasn’t until much later that the aftereffects of those weapons began to present themselves on those who had managed to survive.

Humans were the most sensitive. A small number of men become stronger and more assertive in taking their mates. Some rare women succumbed to their rule and gave themselves over to be bred, but as more time passed these instincts grew to become stronger. Now our people were powerless against those mating urges. There was no fighting them once they took hold.

I stared at King Vageir. He gazed back at me, possessive and expectant. A sickening feeling billowed up from the very pit of my soul.

“I have chosen the woman that will stand by my side,” the king continued. I squeezed my eyes shut for a moment before opening them once more.

I wanted this to be a dream.

I didn’t want him to continue because I knew what he was going to say before he even said it. I prayed for him to keep silent, even though I knew he wouldn’t. There was one major problem with what he was about to tell our people. That wasn’t a part of me because I wasn’t made that way. I wouldn’t bow to him and just let him use me. It wasn’t in my nature. I was different than anyone else.

I was an alpha, a female one, and the only one known to exist among our people.

I was merciless on the battlefield, a natural born leader, but a rare variant, nonetheless. I wasn’t an omega. I wasn’t fated to spread my legs and bow to an alpha. There wasn’t an ounce of omega instinct within me. There were no powerful urges that would awaken in the presence of an alpha, even one as powerful as King Vageir. I wouldn’t go into heat. I would never beg to take an alpha’s knot or his cock or even to be bred, because it simply wasn’t a part of me. I wasn’t a beta either. I didn’t showcase the typical body type of one and sometimes, there was the occasional beta that would bow to me. It was a skill I’d learned to hone when I led my squadron onto the battlefield. It had granted us much success many times over.

The crowd all around me chanted in excitement, waiting to hear the king’s words, but an overwhelming sense of dismay built up inside me. By announcing his choice publicly, it would mean that I wouldn’t be able to refuse.

It should be an honor to be chosen by the king, but I could only dread what was going to come of it.

I went against the norm. I was an oddity and I bowed to no one. I wouldn’t be forced to spread my legs to anyone.

Even the king.

“I’ve made my choice,” the king said. Time seemed to slow as cheers rang out. People screamed my name and others cried out his.

Zymos, give me strength for what the fates have in store for me.

I didn’t say a word. It wasn’t my place. He was king and I was not.

“I claim Freya the Unstoppable as mine. There isn’t another woman that deserves the honor of being my queen. She’s proven herself worthy of leading you all on the battlefield and now she’s going to prove herself worthy of ruling all of Valgertha by my side,” he continued.

I licked my lips. I tried to keep my expression calm and I did everything in my power to quell the fury rampaging within me. I took a deep breath and stared at the king. He knew I wasn’t an omega. He knew that I would never kneel to an alpha and if he had it in his mind to try to conquer me, he should think again.

I kneeled to no one. Not on the battlefield and certainly not off of it. I had no plans on changing that either just because he decided to take me as his wife, as his queen.

The crowd roared with their approval, effectively making my decision for me. I looked across their faces, all of them cheering for me. For all my life, I had struggled to prove myself under the stigma of being the only known female alpha in existence. I’d earned everything I had ever acquired, from the land that I lived on to my place on the battlefield leading my very own group of warriors.

My heart beat heavy in my chest. It felt like a drum, pounding over and over, forcing the blood to rush through my veins and echo loudly in my skull.

King Vageir stared at me, a satisfied smirk edging at the corner of his lips. I returned his gaze, refusing to back down.

He had dark war paint that dragged down to his chin and continued out to the sides of his shaved head in a thick, blood-red line. His familiar hard brown eyes appraised mine, completely unforgiving and far too alpha for my liking right now. His long brown hair was gathered at the back of his head, braided into a long rope along with pieces of frayed red fabric. He wore his own battle armor, which was muddy, covered in blood, and well-worn from use. Our people fought together in battle, no matter if they were a king or a commoner, man or woman. He was no different. We’d fought together as equals, but now he wanted a whole lot more than I was willing to give.

My own alpha simmered inside me, awakened at the challenge of another of my own kind.

“Do you accept, Freya?” he asked, his voice carrying throughout the room.

Our people waited in silence. I could almost cut the tension and anticipation with a knife. They were waiting for me.

I closed my eyes and prayed to the gods. Zymos, the god of war. Edia, the goddess of tranquility. Oslin, the god of the fates. I prayed to all of them except for one, Cerena, goddess of fertility. Right now, I didn’t want her blessing. Right now, she could just fuck right off.

The crowd was deadly quiet. They wanted an answer, so I gave my people and my king the one they wanted.

I felt myself die a little inside as I opened my lips and said the words that I really didn’t want to say.

“I accept your offer, King Vageir,” I said forcefully, keeping as much strength in my voice as I could possibly manage. I said it because I knew I no longer had a choice.

The entire Great Hall erupted into screams of excitement. The king outstretched his hand and I forced one foot in front of another until I reached the table at the front of the room. I stepped up onto the raised platform and moved across it to take his offered fingers, before he took my hand and raised our arms up in the air as one. He was making us appear as a united front.

“To the people of Valgertha, may we continue conquering the wilds together. Freya and I will lead you to a great many victories together. The gods will smile down upon our union, blessing us with glory and victory for many years to come,” Vageir shouted.

I couldn’t hear anything except the deafening cheers of the crowd. They cried out for us, for honor, and the glory that could only be found through victory on the battlefield.

They wanted this and I knew that I would be powerless to stop it now.

I could do this. I could be queen.

I just had to quell the alpha that was screaming inside me. I had to stop her from getting out.

The celebrations devolved over the hours that followed. I did my best to enjoy the festivities, and for a while, I was successful. The room reverberated with the sounds of music and laughter as everyone danced and drank to their hearts’ content. Just outside the Great Hall, there were arrow-shooting competitions. I watched as a rather drunk warrior missed the target and I laughed even harder when they were made to chug another mug of ale. When the man ultimately missed the target by a long shot a short while later, a raucous uproar echoed loudly all around the large crowd. He drank enough that I watched him fall asleep standing up and I shook my head, moving on to take part in the other activities of the night. There was an axe-throwing competition taking place nearby too where I overheard that the winner was promised a very eventful night in one of the local brothels as a reward, which made for some loud and fierce rivalries after that. Other groups were playing cards and making bets against each other. Surprisingly, only a few of them ended in bloodshed, but the boisterous bouts of laughter following each one were comforting to me just like they always were.

My fellow warriors goaded me into a duel because I was particularly good at axe throwing and always swept the competition, but my companions continued to challenge me anyway for the recognition that beating me would bring them. I was unbeaten though. I had a perfect record and it remained that way that night. Finally, I returned to the king’s table and took a seat, enjoying the sight of the wild raucous celebrations of my people.

A servant girl brought me a tankard of honey mead. I took a long draw of it before I passed it back. She handed me another and I sat back with a sigh. I looked over toward the king, knowing how this night was likely to end. Anxiety still simmered in my belly at the thought, refusing to quell no matter what I did to try to quiet it.

The mating between a king and queen was always to be public, as it was for any alpha and omega in our great city. Every omega went through a period of estrous, a time where her body demanded an alpha’s seed and wouldn’t abate without it. An alpha would take her and fuck her through her heat. It had been like that for centuries and I knew that I would not be the one to change that. Before the night was over, Vageir would toss me onto the table and force his knot into me, claiming me as his once and for all.

I shuddered at the thought. I didn’t want that. I didn’t even know if I was capable of going into heat and I sincerely didn’t want to find out.

I grabbed a piece of bread and smeared it with butter. I took a large bite, but the freshly baked bun tasted like ash in my mouth. I washed it down with more mead and the king looked at me out of the corner of his eye, a strange look of victory on his face. He was rather proud of himself and that made me feel nauseous.

“I’ve wanted you for a long time, Freya. As your king, you will bow to me. You will give yourself to me tonight at my word,” he threatened.

My alpha growled silently inside me. My fury smoldered and I did everything in my power to quiet that anger. I didn’t like the challenge in his eyes. My alpha balked at it.

“I am an alpha, my king. I am not made to bend to your will like an omega,” I scowled.

“You will,” he answered.

“You seem awfully sure of that,” I replied heatedly.

“You will give yourself to me if you know what’s good for you,” he responded.

I knew what he was doing.

He was trying to make himself more powerful. Through conquering the one woman who refused to be tamed, he would make himself seem even stronger to our clan and to the rest of the world. He wanted to become a legend amongst our people, and he was going to try to use me to do it. My upper lip rolled in defiance. I didn’t even care if he saw it or not anymore.

If he thought he could master me solely with his cock, he was sorely mistaken. He may be my king, but he would never be my alpha.

He slammed back his ale and started to drum his mug on the table. The rest of the Great Hall followed suit, and that’s when the shameful calls for my very public fucking began. Some called for the king to tear my clothes off. Others wanted him to rip my tunic open so they could see my breasts. Still, more called for the baring of my pussy and there were quite a few that demanded the reddening of my backside over the king’s knee as a rightful reminder of my place before him.

Tradition demanded these things. I fucking hated it all right then.

I didn’t want any of it. I wasn’t going into heat. I wasn’t wet with omega slick. My body wasn’t calling for the satisfaction that only an alpha cock could provide. My alpha wasn’t responding to his in the slightest, which meant that everything that was going to follow would be especially painful. An omega’s heat prepared her to take something as enormous as an alpha’s cock inside her. I wouldn’t have that advantage.

I swallowed heavily. His cock would be very large, and I was a virgin. It was going to hurt and that wasn’t all of it. Once he was ready, he’d push all the way inside me and his knot would inflate, hooking behind my pelvic bone and ensuring that every drop of his seed was contained inside my body.

I had no doubts that my lack of estrous would ensure that it would be agony.

“Stand up, Freya,” the king said softly.

I pressed my palms down on the table, chewing the inside of my cheek as I stood up. The scraping of my chair against the stone behind me sounded ridiculously loud, only overtaken by the constant hammering of my heart. I heard the king’s own seat next as he stood beside me. I was tall for a female, but he was still taller than me. His body mass was a bit smaller than the typical alpha but still much larger than my own.

I knew he was strong. I’d seen him fight in battle, just like he’d seen me fight at his side.

I could do this. It was just another battle I had to fight. I could take the pain. I’d been wounded in raids before and had my flesh flayed open on the edge of a knife a great many times. After all of that, how bad could it be to take a cock?

He touched me. I pulled in a shaky breath.

I felt his fingers grasp the back of my tunic. Slowly, he untied the leather laces, pulling them out one by one and prolonging my torment. My tunic loosened and when he had fully removed the laces, he held my top in place, almost as a reminder that he could do whatever he wished with me, just because he had claimed me as his.

I seethed in silence.

The crowd had gone silent. They were looking forward to seeing every last moment. The establishment of a pair bond was a rare and highly anticipated event, especially when it was between a king and his chosen queen.

This one would be especially memorable for them all because everyone watching knew that I was no omega. They knew this would be an even more rare spectacle than any other mating that had ever been seen before.

We were both alphas.

This was something that was going to be talked about for ages. They would sing songs about the fierce shield maiden who was taken by her king after a great victory.

I shuddered. My fury roiled inside me and I tried to push it away, but it flared forth once he let go of the tunic and it toppled to the floor. I lifted my chin, feeling a flush come over my cheeks as my breasts were bared for the first time. My nipples hardened and I quietly swallowed my shame and rage. I wasn’t reacting to the king. It was the cold air that caressed my breasts, but the crowd roared with approval all the same. They thought I was turned on.

I wasn’t.

They wanted to hear me scream my pleasure as I came all over the king’s cock.

Vageir reached around and lightly pinched my right nipple between his fingers. The only thing it did was to fuel even more fiery anger within me, and I was having trouble containing myself as more time went on. I felt like a volcano, ready to explode at a moment’s notice.

Next, he released my hardened nipple and reached down to untie my pants. I stood stock still, not wanting to fight him but also not wanting to give in. He slowly slid my combat leathers down my hips, revealing the thin cotton leggings I was wearing underneath. He gathered my leathers at my ankles, binding me with fabric as he pulled one boot and then the other from my feet. Before he took off my leather pants, he ripped my leggings down in one quick motion, revealing my nakedness to him and everyone else.

I tried to control my breathing. I tried to curtail my fury, but I could feel myself spiraling out of control. The dominant alpha in me snarled in anger at being stripped and put on display like this for my people.

I was naked. In front of every warrior in our clan, people I considered my equals. In front of those I’d fought and killed with side by side on the battlefield. In front of the servants.

I was shaking. Everyone probably thought it was from desire for the king to have his way with me. Only I knew that it was from rage and not arousal.

The king wound a strong hand around my shoulder and suddenly pushed down hard, forcing my upper body against the table. I snarled, this time out loud and the king growled in return. His growl didn’t cow me in the slightest though, as it did with most omegas.

Instead, I only became even more furious than before.

His fingers slid in between my thighs, brushing against the folds of my pussy. I shuddered hard, snarling low like a feral cat. He continued exploring me, ignoring my open signs of defiance. I was able to stay motionless as he did this, but he gripped my bottom cheeks and spread me open, revealing the very shameful place that no one had ever seen before. He wasn’t going to get away with this. My shame compounded with my anger and I burst upward, unable to contain myself any longer. My instincts to fight were too strong and I no longer resisted them. Instead, I embraced them.

I wouldn’t be forced to take his cock. I was going to fight back.

“Settle down, Freya. Prepare yourself for your first taste of alpha cock,” the king demanded. He grabbed my shoulder and tried to push me down again, but I couldn’t be contained anymore. It was far too late for that.

My hand groped for something on the table at the same time that the king grabbed the back of my neck. I heard him rustling around with his belt and I felt the very hard, velvety shaft of his dick press up between my bottom cheeks. There was no doubt in my mind that he was quite massive and as a virgin, it was incredibly daunting.

He growled again and my alpha refused to bow. She wanted to fight. She wanted to taste the blood of vengeance.

My hand closed tight around an object on the table, and I looked down to see a thick knife meant to saw through a big slab of meat. He moved to try to situate his cock at the entrance to my pussy and my alpha roared with her fury at his blatant audacity.

I wasn’t going to give him what he wanted to take. My alpha refused to be subdued by him. She demanded retribution. The king had taken me and rendered me into nothing but a naked female on display for her people. I was going to take my power back.

With a vicious snarl, I whirled around and was deeply satisfied with the look of surprise on the king’s face. He saw my arm swing up and froze, unsure of what to do. It was much too late for him once he saw the glint of the knife in my fingers.

The crowd hadn’t missed my actions, however. They roared with excitement at the sudden turn of events. This was going to be a far more entertaining night than any of them had anticipated.

The king was a warrior himself. He was fierce in combat, but he hadn’t had to prove himself time and time again like I had. I hadn’t had anything handed to me ever in my life. I’d had to work for every last morsel of food that grazed my table. Vageir had been born to the royal family and no one had ever had the balls to challenge him.

Until me.

He tried to block my blow with his forearm, but I was faster and far more determined to save myself from his nefarious intentions for my body.

The crowd watching had gone wild. It had been a long time since someone had challenged the king. More important though, a woman had never been the one to do it.

I was one of a kind.

The knife glanced off the side of his arm, slashing deep enough so that the warm spray of his blood splashed against my naked body. It was decadently satisfying, but I didn’t allow myself to be distracted even for a second. He tried to grasp at my legs in order to topple me on my back on the table, but my thighs were slick with his own blood. I kicked him hard in the stomach with the flat of my heel, forcing him back several steps. His answering growl was ruthlessly feral, and I returned the sound with just as much aggressiveness. His eyes narrowed in my direction. He was seething with his own fury now and I grinned, looking forward to what was ultimately going to follow.

“You don’t want to challenge me, Freya,” he said with a snarl.

“I really think I do,” I answered.

“You can’t win,” he scoffed.

“Are you backing down from a challenge, my king?” I asked, making sure that my voice was loud and clear enough for the entire crowd to hear.

We were a warrior tribe. When one person confronted another with a fight, it was dishonorable to back down. It was seen as a form of retreat. For a king to back down from a challenge was an especially polarizing choice, because it would make him appear weak and unfit to rule.

He stared at me, his rage even more clear now. This wouldn’t be a fight that ended with one or the other calling for mercy. This would be a fight to the death. I was sure of it.

Behind me, someone shoved the wooden table out of the way for us. The Great Hall went quiet. Every single pair of eyes was trained on the two of us.

Me, completely naked.

Him with his dick barely contained in his loosely buttoned pants.

It would be a showdown that would be talked about for ages and I had no desire to lose to him. I wasn’t going to die today nor was I going to be forced to take his cock.

We circled each other in the newly cleared space. I clutched at the knife in my hand and he reached for one that had fallen to the floor near him. When he stood back up, he sneered at me, his own fury just as strong as mine.

“You should have just chosen an omega,” I said with a scowl.

“I will have you, Freya. Before the night is through, I’ll be fucking that defiant alpha pussy until it’s flowing with slick and full of my seed,” he retorted.

I snarled with my fury and rushed toward him. I swung my fist around, my knuckles just glancing off his cheek, and quickly pivoted to thrust my knife at his throat. He spun just out of my reach and I hurtled forward, pinning him against the wall behind him. He twisted hard, grabbing at my arm and throwing me against the wall too. I screamed as a flash of pain raced down my spine, but I was used to the ache of battle. I shook it off as I rolled into a feint in one direction while quickly transferring my weight from one foot to the other to come at him when he least expected it.

I didn’t stop pushing him, again and again until the two of us were flushed with adrenaline. I could feel the sweat dripping down my spine, and I used the back of my hand to swipe a few droplets from my eyes, but I didn’t slow down or back down, not even for a second.

Vageir took a step back, trying to analyze my movements and fighting style, but I didn’t give him the time. Instead, I threw myself toward him, moving as swiftly as I could. I dipped low and burst up toward him, catching him off guard by my recklessly wild approach.

I slammed my shoulder into him and threw him to the side, making him lose balance and stumble to the ground. With a vicious snarl, I threw myself on top of him and slashed at him with the knife, catching his arm again as he moved to block me. I felt more of his blood paint my skin and I shrieked at my success.

Quickly though, I tossed the knife to my other hand. I moved so fast that he couldn’t keep up, and I caught him off guard when I brought my elbow down hard enough on his arm that I heard it crack. He growled through his pain, but I didn’t care.

My alpha wasn’t going to back down. My alpha was ready for a fight to the death.

Using my other hand, I twirled the knife in my palm and brought it down hard. I blocked his defensive maneuver with my other arm and attacked with everything I had. When the knife slid into the side of his skull, he stared at me with a blank surprise.

I used enough force that the blade sank all the way in till the hilt. At once, Vageir’s eyes glazed over and the king who once reigned over the kingdom of Valgertha was no more.

For several seconds, I just stared at those dead eyes. No longer were they full of rage at being denied what he wanted. Now there was nothing. I had won.

I wasn’t going to be forced to take anything tonight.

When I was ready, I stood up and gazed out at the crowd. I could feel the king’s blood drying on my naked form, stark against the paleness of my skin. I took a deep breath and peered out at the people I’d fought with all my life. I’d taken down their king. By rights, I was now their queen.

I met Bjorn’s eyes, the one man who had trained me to fight this way, a man who had been by my side ever since I’d first picked up a sword and shield. Bjorn was like a brother to me. He was a strong fighter. Although he was a beta, he had the build of an alpha and he fought like one. Many of the men and women looked up to him and when he rose to his feet and raised his tankard in a show of respect, the rest followed.

“Long live Queen Freya!” he shouted.

The rest of the crowd followed suit until the entire hall echoed with their howls of animalistic excitement of this unexpected turn of events.

This morning they had fought side by side with their king.

Tomorrow, they’d be fighting with me, not as another warrior, but as their queen.

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