She sat in front of me, head bowed, long blonde hair with soft hints of red draped over her shoulder. The white satin collar around her neck was delicate, a reflection of the girl herself, and she toyed with the small oval pendant resting against her throat. She knew not why her caregiver had given her the jewelry, but I did.
She was meant to be ours.
Even if I was furious with her, she was so beautiful. So soft. I ached to touch, kiss, and caress her smooth skin as much as I longed to pin her down and pump hard between her thighs. Have Blaise hold her wrists while Indre held her legs open for me. Teach her a lesson about what happened when she disobeyed.
The horse rocked us side to side as it took us down the long road that led to the city. Talia was shaking, but it wasn’t from cold. She was frightened.
I sighed. That naivety the three of us found so intriguing could prove troublesome if it kept her from submitting to our desires tonight. She might hide herself, or whimper in shame as we spread her open. Neither action would be permitted, and any shame she had would swiftly be driven out of her pretty head. She was gorgeous. Perfect. And I would not have her thinking otherwise or hiding that glorious body from us.
I pulled her close, tucking her hips against mine, my cock stiffening at the feel of her ass rubbing against it. There were leaves in her hair and grass on her ceremonial gown, and I started brushing the debris away, stopping when she peered over her shoulder. Tears trickled down her flushed cheeks, and she sniffed once, wiping the wetness away with her slender fingertips.
“I’m sorry,” Talia whispered, her voice so soft it almost got lost in the wind.
I narrowed my eyes and pulled her close, wrapping a possessive arm around her waist as I urged the horse into a canter. “There was no reason for you to run. You belong to us now. The sooner you accept that fate, the better and more pleasurable your life will be.”
She let out another shaky sigh, her hips rocking against mine as the horse moved, which didn’t help the fantasies racing through my head. I’d rather have her bouncing on me, and Blaise would insist she ride him tonight. He saw no point in going easy on her, and I agreed. The sooner she acclimated to our expectations, the better.
And with the way she moved against me now, hips bouncing and rocking as the horse cantered forward, I knew she’d learn quickly. It was that, or her cute little ass would be sore for weeks until she did.
The horse slowed when we were close to the gates, and I felt Talia shiver again. A lustful growl rumbled in my throat, and I reached forward to take her jaw and turn her face to mine, trying not to get distracted by her eyes. They were so lovely. Blue as the morning sky, a soft complement to her fawn complexion and the blondish-red strands of hair surrounding her face. Indre’s hair was darker. Deep red like the setting sun where Talia’s was the color of it rising. To see them side by side would be a sight.
I silently prayed that at least one child Talia would bear for us would inherit a darker version of her hair color. To have a son who bore a tiny resemblance to her would ease the ache in Indre’s heart for being unable to carry one of her own. Kavari women, few as they were, had trouble conceiving throughout our history, but after the cataclysm and its aftermath that nearly destroyed our tribe, Indre was one of three left. And none of them had been able to bear a child.
Talia would ease that ache for her. She would ease a lot of aches for all of us. And we would cherish her for it.
But first she needed to learn submission. What we would expect of her, and how she should regard the three of us as her masters.
So I didn’t let the longing in my heart or the sweet thoughts in my head show on my face. I kept my gaze stern, watching Talia’s lip tremble as she tried to avert her eyes. We could show her no mercy tonight. She’d disobeyed. Foolishly ran when all we wanted to do was protect her. Our arrangements with the matron who watched her aside, the moment the three of us laid eyes on Talia, we knew she needed our protection. She’d been timid, and seemed frail, but it wasn’t until during and then after her exam that we learned how badly that elder and his horrid wife had treated her. The Kavari procurer told me how Talia had essentially been a captive. She could only see a few select people, and despite being the daughter of another elder and his wife—both slain by the Skepna—no one had bothered to teach her to read or write.
Someday, I would tell her that her caregiver had probably saved her life by arranging her dedication, upholding a vow her family had made ages ago to dedicate any Hatairai girl with the colors of the sun in her hair to the warrior tribe with sunlight in their blood.
But not tonight, not when there was so much else on her mind, and talking about the origins of her village and the tribes she descended from would only confuse her. The maiden selected by Edvall’s house openly admitted she knew nothing about what was about to happen to them. The matrons had been instructed to keep the unmarried women in the southern village completely vestal. They’d taught them nothing of reproduction, let alone the pleasure that could come from sex.
Those women would receive quite the education tonight.
“I know you are frightened, girl, but you needn’t be,” I murmured against Talia’s ear when we finally caught up to the caravan, which had reached the gates of Magilin, where a crowd was cheering our arrival. “Obey your new masters, submit yourself to us, and you will have everything you could ever need. I promise you that.”
Talia let out a quiet breath, turning to look at me again. “You won’t hurt me?”
I smiled, licking my lips before indulging myself with a quick kiss to her nose. Warmth unfurled in my chest when she twitched it at me, and Talia leaned in when I lingered, her shaky breath fanning my face. She sought more. More touching. More kisses.
More she would get once I had her in bed.
“I cannot promise you freedom from pain, girl,” I said, brushing my lips against hers. “But you will learn to like it. You will learn to crave it. Along with the pleasure that will follow.”