“Be warned, Princess, don’t dare to even think you can retrace my steps through the tunnel. That area is dangerous, partly destroyed when your father attacked us. It’s off limits to you, do you understand?” He didn’t wait for acknowledgment of her understanding, since when he wanted her to understand something, it equated to the consequence if she didn’t—a spanking.
“This is Emerline,” he continued, gesturing toward a young lady of her own age, whom Saraska had not seen waiting in the shadows. She bowed three times to Saraska. “She’ll do whatever you ask of her. She’ll also bring you whatever you desire while I’m away.” He turned and headed toward the door.
“I desire to go home,” she said, her voice breaking. She hated that she became weak again at the thought of possible death. The roundabout of emotions from fear to braveness was enough to kill her anyway.
Perhaps Emerline was there to grant her last wishes before her death—she had read about the practice. But Saraska was too young for all of this, surely. And who could be regarded as her biggest adversary—Roark or her father? She would choose Roark time and again—he had an undoubtable power over not only her mind but her body, and when both parts of her were involved, it seemed her heart would be making the choice. She would choose him, but logic told her she’d be better off even with her father.
He whirled around and stalked toward her. From his thick, long, and as dark as night lashes, to the fascinating and equally fierce sword-shaped scar running down the right side of his face, his unusual green eyes—like raw emeralds—pinned her down. The powerful force of his body alone could make any Actual man, woman, or child quake in their shoes. Why did she have to take a step back whenever he rushed at her like the wild beast he was?
He lifted her chin, forcing her gaze on him. His mouth lowered toward hers and her glance struck against the patch of swollen redness on his bottom lip from where she had bitten him the night before.
“Has anyone said anything to you that you now desire to leave? Were you harmed or threatened in any way?”
“You are home, Princess. As long as I am alive this is your home. You are still as safe here as the time I declared you under my protection. Naught has changed with that regard. But if you prefer I take you back to Gertrude’s, just say so. But know if you decide to stay here with me,” his voice dropped to a whisper, “when I return I will touch you, kiss you, everywhere. If you do not wish that, talk now. Would you have me return you to the farm, Saraska?”
That was the last thing she wanted. She had longed for him the length of the sun and her body ached to be in his arms, to feel his strength and heat and protection.
“No, King Roark, I wish to stay here where you will touch me again. I wish to stay with you,” she murmured softly.
He brushed his thumb against her cheek and lip. Then as her heart hammered wildly at his touch, the door slammed shut, leaving her alone with a stranger as he left. Saraska swallowed and sighed. What was she supposed to do now?
“Princess, my name is Emerline. And I’m a very good helper, I promise. I brought you some pretty hair clips and my favorite brush and the Roark asked me to bring you sweets from his kitchen, but if you don’t like it, I can get you something else. Anything you desire, the Roark said.”
Saraska stared at her pink-cheeked companion. Her rosy red lips knew nothing but a smile it seemed and her eyes sparkled nonstop.
“Oh, please, may I brush your hair? When the Roark came into the kitchen—and he never does, mind you, he looked like a giant in Smiley Charlie’s toy shop—asking who would like to come and keep company with the princess, I was the first one there after I got over my nerve and stopped myself from peeing in my undies. Well, it was only cook and I on duty but cook was still stunned by the Roark’s appearance and I thought what luck even if my heart was beating in my head, I tell. But I have never seen anything lovelier than you, Princess, and I had to come. Is your hair gold?”
Saraska smiled. “No, it’s not gold.”
“Please, please, please, can I touch it?” Emerline’s eyes still gleamed with excitement.
Saraska sat down on a soft fabric-covered chair and presented her head of hair to Emerline, who did not stop talking, asking question after question while she brushed Saraska’s tresses then proceeded to braid them and adorn them with something she called flowers but looked nothing like the flowers on Kilkian. They smelled nice, though.
“Do you know where the king is right now, Emerline?”
“Oh, yes, he is having a council meeting with Ethan and Sebastian and the speechmaker, Cedrick—they are discussing what is to happen on Sentara now. Lots of things are happening on Sentara at the moment. After your father destroyed—” She stopped mid-braid and her already pink cheeks darkened even more. “I mean, I didn’t mean it that way—”
“I’m sorry for what my father has done to everyone here on Sentara. If I had one wish it would be to undo it entirely.” It was a shame she would have to endure lifelong, a disease, but that was her burden to carry and no one else’s. “Please carry on. What is happening on Sentara right now?”
“Well, after your father destroyed Sentara, the Roark was left with a mere peep of his council, only Ethan and Sebastian as his warlords. There are familial elections going on, over which bloodline members of the family will take the place of those deceased. It’s how things are done here. We lost great warlords who stood by the Roark but now there is a not so good warlord who wants to overthrow the Roark and take his reign and become the King Warlord. And his name is Byront. Byront will be the new warlord to replace his cousin Giliad, who died during the Kilkian attack. Byront wants the Sentara crown. He believes it is owed to him. But don’t worry, Princess, with Ethan and Sebastian on the Roark’s side, nothing will become of him.
“And there’s also the Roark’s uncle, the great Durant. He was traveling when the Kilkian attack happened, but he is on his way back to Sentara. No one messes with the great Durant and he would lay down his life for the Roark. He is on the council as an advisor.”
Saraska ingested the many details of Emerline’s crucial information delivered without a breath or a pause. Her thoughts gnawed at her. Her father’s unprovoked ruination of Sentara reached beyond far and wide and had put their king at risk of losing his throne. He had promised his citizens vengeance but that pledge had collapsed hopelessly when taking her failed to have the desired outcome. Did his subjects know of his miscarried mission? Emerline didn’t allude to anything of the sort, nor did Gertrude or Jacob; instead Emerline mentioned the return of a rival of Roark’s.
Not only did her father win the battle of taking the Sentara king’s whole winter supply of firestones, but her father had now won the war since Roark had no other means of retaliation. Would that be enough to render him an unworthy king? She swallowed in complete desolation. How could Roark not hate her unequivocally? Why did he still insist on protecting her?
“You are the luckiest girl in Sentara, Princess.” Emerline had not stopped talking. “Every girl dreams to marry the Roark. He is so handsome and strong. Well, all the girls say he is the handsomest man ever in Sentara, in the cosmos even but if only he weren’t so scary and smiled more. You are the first girl ever to come to his private room, well, not as a servant, I mean. You are very brave, Princess. I shiver when he even just looks at me and I drop things and I stammer and I get so forgetful.”
Saraska barely had time to contemplate Emerline’s new divulgences when the door yanked open and the Sentara king’s imposing presence filled the chamber. Both she and Emerline immediately rose, both equally trembling inside, though for different reasons, at the sight of his gaze on them.
“Leave.” He issued the command, and Emerline actually ran to the door. But Saraska raised her chin.
“I demand you tell me exactly what is going to happen to me,” she said. He neared her, his jaw locked, his eyes dark. She forced herself to stand her ground this time and that seemed to soften his features.
“You want to know what is going to happen to you? I will tell. I plan to strip off your clothes, and suck your sweet pussy until you come in my mouth.” The dark overtones of his voice seared her, together with the inkling of a grin on his face, and instantly her thoughts went spiraling. Gooseflesh rose on her skin and her nipples hardened. Why, oh, why?
“No.” She shook her head as if to clear it of his spell. “What’s going to happen to my life, Roark? I want to know.”
“Your life and wellness is now my concern; that is all you need to know. We have had this conversation already. I will take care of you, Princess, under any circumstance. No more shall be said about it.”
She stamped her feet, frustration bubbling inside her. “I refuse to be one of those females who is terrified of you and then does your bidding because of it. I am still an Actual born princess—”
“You are not terrified of me?” he asked, picking her up and tossing her onto his bed. Argh, she wished he would stop doing that to her. She immediately got onto her knees and tried to scramble away from him. But he caught her around her waist and delivered a sound slap to her bottom before he turned her around and pinned her to the bed. Already her hardened nipples started to ache and that sleek wetness between her thighs started to dampen her underwear. How did he do that to her whenever he spanked her or touched her, or kissed her?
“No, I am not terrified of you at all. You throw your size around and your ferocious demeanor and you think I will cower and obey, well—”
His mouth crashed down on hers and in that moment, she knew he had found her weakness. When he touched her that way, her mind splintered apart and she lost herself inside him and that’s where he terrified her the most, there where he left her without any resource to resist him, to overthrow him. What kind of weapon did she need to fight him when he warred with her this way?
His fingers worked at her hair, undoing Emerline’s pretty, painstakingly made braids without any clue how to untie them. They seemed to annoy him and his frustration at not being able to loosen her tresses evoked a deep, dissatisfied growl, which he emptied into her mouth as he continued to kiss her.
Saraska helped him, afraid he would destroy the lovely flower grips from her head and take her hair out with them. When he buried his hands in her liberated mane, she couldn’t mistake his groan as a sound of satisfaction now. His kiss sucked her up as if he were thirsty and she his drink. Then his lips pressed into the side of her throat before his teeth grazed her and his tongue lashed at her.
He cupped her breast through the nightdress she wore and rolled his palm over her tight peak straining the fabric. His hand slid down her body and raised the material over her thighs.
“Fuck,” he roared when his fingers met her underwear. She couldn’t understand him at all. He was angry with her when she didn’t wear underwear and he was angry with her when she did. What did he want from her?
He lowered himself down her body then ripped the fabric apart as if it were nothing and wedged himself between her thighs. He nuzzled the inside of her thigh, the rough growth of his facial hair igniting their own tirade of sensation.
“I have done nothing but think of you like this all day.” He ran his fingers down her wetness. “Touch yourself,” he ordered. She jerked away when his breath feathered her. Heat flooded her cheeks. She desperately tried to close her legs.
“Touch yourself, I said. I want to see you make yourself come for me.”
She shook her head. He didn’t know what he was asking of her.
“No, please, I cannot.” She tried to move away from him. “It’s forbidden.”
“Touch yourself,” he repeated huskily.
She couldn’t bring herself to do as he instructed. Not this. She couldn’t undo what the priestesses made her believe. Never touch herself there.
“Last time, Princess. Touch yourself.”
“I cannot… I’ll—” she begged, raising her hips for him, wanting him to touch her. “But you, please, you can touch me, I beg you touch me.”
“Your body is made for pleasure, as is any other female’s. You are the only one who can touch yourself without permission. I have to earn that permission. It is your right to be able to pleasure yourself. Nothing bad will happen. Trust me on this, Princess.”
He rose away from her then divested her of the nightdress. Her skin flushed a warm pink as his gaze took in her nakedness. He then picked her up and carried her to the only other long seat in his chamber. He sat down and arranged her just the way he wanted her. She now sat astride one of his legs, raised on her knees, her center just a little away from touching his thigh. She used the headrest behind his head to place her hands and balanced herself.
He took her nipple, which was almost placed perfectly for his mouth. He licked her, wetting her and making her nipple pebble even harder.
“Touch your pussy, Princess,” he said gruffly before engulfing her nipple.
“Roark,” she moaned, her body joyously heating up at his touch.
“No?” he said, moving his head back to appraise her.
He gave her scant moments to answer before his hand spread over her behind in an outrageous slap. The suddenness caused her knees to quake and she involuntarily lowered herself onto this thigh. He spanked her again, harder so that her whole body shook from the impact.
“Back up onto your knees. Back straight.”
She obeyed him immediately. But the untouched openness between her legs, the searing burn on her behind, and the wetness still on her nipple from his mouth wrecked her. He licked then sucked her nipple again, drawing it out between his teeth then letting go. She quavered and cried and sighed when he sucked her gently again.
He smacked her backside once more and she shuddered against him but remembered not to fold her legs and rest against his thigh when all she wanted was to rub her clit against his muscle. He turned his attention to her other breast and he did the same, spanking her all the while. Only this time, his hand lingered on her hot bottom. He massaged her, kneading in the heat he created. She just grew wetter and more restless. She fisted her hands against the headrest. His spanking had soon passed the stage of pain and seemed to open another facet in her.
“Please, you touch me,” she begged.
In answer he slapped her again, but this time his fingers slipped against her wet core and she groaned and pressed down on him. For her disobedience, he smacked her center and she shuddered.
“Please,” she whimpered.
“Touch yourself, Princess.”
He massaged her globes, not stopping the sweet mindless torture on her breasts. Her nipples were so painfully extended now and drenched from his touch. She needed that release he showed her that her body could do. And he wouldn’t be giving it to her himself like he always did.
Her female flesh quivered with need. The repeated blinding whoosh of his hand on her bottom removed everything from her mind. Leaving her with only a hand or go mad otherwise. She couldn’t stop herself. With her gaze fixed on him, her fingers rushed between her thighs. Roark’s roar of approval encouraged her. A flood of sensation met her fingertips. She was wet and smooth and hot and needed to find release. She had no idea she would feel so sleek, so pretty. This is what he felt when he touched her.
“Ah.” He looked down at her hand between her thighs. “Touch your clit, sweetheart. Like the way I do.”
“Roark,” she moaned, her free hand curling around his neck as she rubbed her middle finger against her clit. He spanked her again as he incited her with his words to slip her finger inside, to make herself come for him. She wet the fabric covering his thigh as she stroked her flesh and dripped her hunger onto him. Finally, she was able to bring herself at least half of the joy of what he could give her.
“You’re beautiful, sweetheart,” Roark said, gathering her in his arms as she juddered from her release. “But I must have you in my mouth this instant.” He then picked her up and carried her to the bed where he laid her down and lowered himself between her thighs.
He licked at her flesh lightly and she squirmed. Then he licked her again, deeper this time, parting her with his fingers while opening his mouth on her drenched flesh fully. A resounding thunderbolt of energy surged and caught fire throughout her body. She clutched frantically at him.
She was so scared she would embarrass herself in his mouth, afraid the sensations would ruin her and he would think lesser of her. It seemed just too personal with his mouth on her.
But he didn’t care and neither did his mouth. He swallowed her up, his tongue rough and fast against her clit before he used his fingers to part what feebly guarded her center and licked her.
Her back arched. He used the opportunity to slide his hands under her backside, squeezing as he imbibed on her. Her body undulated. Perspiration glowed from her skin as he engulfed that sensitive spot of hers then sucked until she lost her mind and she cried, begging him to stop. This kind of pleasure had to be sinful, surely.
“What are you doing to me? You cannot put your mouth there… it’s not…” she gasped, chaos reigning in every part of her body. She didn’t know what to do with her hands any longer. Whether to push him away or pull him closer. Instead she clutched the covers on his bed with a death grip.
He ceased at once and rose up and over her body.
“Kiss me,” he said, his voice a low rough tone, his gaze imprisoning her.
“I don’t know how—” Her heaving breaths robbed her of composure.
He caressed her lower lip with his thumb. “Part your lips and slip your tongue into my mouth. Now.”
She hesitated but he squeezed her thigh and she complied. She did as he instructed and tentatively separated her lips over his. Her hands curled over his wide massive shoulders. Encouraged by his groan as her tongue coasted into his mouth, she pushed in a little deeper. His heat saturated her. She had but a brief moment where she owned the kiss, where he allowed her to explore him, to stroke him tentatively but driven solely by fascination. Her fingers brushed over the shortness of his hair at his sides—the soft bristles tickled her skin. She loved touching him. To feel the many textures of him. Soft, hard, callused, smooth, rough.
But then he took over, and deepened the kiss to new depths, his tongue marking her completely and utterly. He released her lips and instantly she felt them swell. He stared into her eyes.
“That taste you took from my mouth and into yours? That’s your taste.” His finger dipped into her and her back curved again. “From here,” he said. “And it’s the sweetest pussy I’ve ever tasted. Will you deny your king his repast?” He drove his finger deeper and deeper until he could rub his palm against her swollen button.
He was eating from her? Why did the thought that he desired to eat from her melt every nerve and cell in her body, making it a want she couldn’t resist for herself?
She shook her head in answer.
“No, I cannot deny you, King Roark. I do not wish to do so.”
“Then this time you’ll come in my mouth, Princess, when I say so.”
He assailed her with the most torturous of pleasure, unrelenting in his demands. He ate from her like he were starved for days. When he declared his tongue had lapped up all her wetness, he used his fingers to go deeper inside her and mined her essence there. He’d then lick the digits of his hand but nothing seemed to appease his appetite. And when she came as he commanded, he rewarded her by slapping her flesh until her whole body quivered, until she couldn’t even stop the spasms in her thighs and her mind from blocking out all except him. Then he’d start all over again. Even though she had taken herself to that place of bliss, when Roark did so, it was incomparable.
She was a soaking wet mess. Her body was covered in a gleaming sheen and the liquid from the core of her body dripping from between her thighs saturated his bed. But never had she felt this alive than here with him. The sensations he aroused in her could only be called something deeper than sheer pleasure, it was sublime—a word she had understood but now experienced with him and his hands and fingers and mouth and tongue and teeth too.
When he decided she had had enough, he towered over her. His lips brushed hers almost as a thank you for his sustenance and she sighed into his mouth.
“Why?” she asked.
“Why what?” He absently stroked her cheek.
“Why would you protect me when I could ruin your kingdom?”
He paused. “Because you haunt my thoughts like no other, every single moment, you do not leave me in peace. I cannot even sleep without having you in my arms now. And your stubbornness and your strength remind me of someone I once… lost.”
“Another woman?” Jealousy rose within her and marred her voice.
“No,” he smiled. “My sister. No more talk. You need to rest.”
He gathered her in his arms and held her until she drifted to sleep.
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