Vaaden warriors 1 rheul, p.3
Vaaden Warriors 1: Rheul, page 3
Stepping away from the bed, she pulled her tunic over her head and dropped it on the floor, standing before me in all her naked glory. If I weren't hurting so much, I would have been able to appreciate the view so much more. She straddled my body and instantly I responded to her, proving my theory that I'd been unable to perform because of her.
With a groan, I realized that she was what I'd needed all along. Lira hadn't been able to do her job because my body had wanted Darcy. This wasn't good.
Her hands shook as she placed them on my chest, and I felt her pussy rub against my cock. She wasn't wet enough, and I knew she would hurt herself. "Darcy, you can't do this."
"Yes, I can."
"You aren't ready." I felt the hesitation in her.
"Then tell me what to do," she said softly.
"Reach... between your... legs and... pleasure yourself," I gasped in pain.
Her face burned bright red in a blush, but she did as I instructed. I felt her fingers as she brushed them against her clit. She rocked her hips, her pussy gliding along my cock. I felt her grow wet, and I wanted desperately to be inside of her. With her head thrown back, she gasped and cried out as she came moments later.
My cock throbbed against her, begging for entry. She positioned me against her pussy and slowly sank down, taking me into her. I watched her face and knew it was a combination of pleasure and pain for her, and I wished there was something I could do to change that. She lifted up and slowly sank down again.
Rocking her hips back and forth, she eventually found her rhythm. I was helpless to do anything but lie there. And as far gone as I was, it wasn't long before I came deep inside of her. She started to rise, but I wrapped an arm around her waist, holding her to me. "Not yet," I whispered.
I still ached, but most of the pain had abated.
She rocked her hips against me and I felt my cock stir, hardening almost immediately. Releasing her, I let her 30
continue her rhythm, her body taking me in over and over, growing wetter and wetter. I reached up and tweaked her nipples, drawing a gasp from her. As she ground her hips against me, I gripped her hips and bucked against her, plunging into her.
"Yes, just like that, sweetheart."
She threw her head back as I thrust into her repeatedly, pushing her over the edge. As her body spasmed around me, I sank into her one last time, coming deep inside her again. I hated that both times had ended so quickly, but my body wasn't up for anything prolonged.
Rolling her underneath me, I kept my cock buried inside of her. I brushed her hair away from her face and kissed her gently. "Thank you," I murmured against her lips. "I know how much that cost you."
"I couldn't let you die."
My hand trailed down her throat to her breast. I caressed her nipple, making it peak. Her eyes widened, but she held still. I palmed her breast and kissed her again, trailing kisses across her jaw, behind her ear.
"Let me make love to you," I whispered in her ear.
"I... I'm sore."
I slid from her body and lifted myself from her. "Then let's get you in the shower and see what we can do about that." I kissed her cheek. "I would carry you, but I don't think I'm strong enough yet."
She wiggled underneath me, making me grow hard again.
"I'm sorry, Rheul. I want to make you well again."
"I already feel better. I'll be okay until tonight."
She nodded and watched as I got out of bed. I held out my hand to her, and she placed her hand in mine, trusting me.
Helping her to her feet, I tugged her toward the bathroom, hoping the hot water of the shower would ease her aches and pains.
Whether I liked it or not, I had no choice but to admit that there was something about Darcy that had ensnared me. I cared what happened to her, and it scared me to death. It seemed that, like my brother, I'd allowed a slave to get closer to me than I should have. Not that I'd had much of a choice. I might have opened the door, but I hadn't planned on Darcy coming in and making herself at home in both the apartment and in my heart. Whether I wanted to admit it or not, I was falling for her.
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I washed Darcy's hair, massaging her scalp, easing the tension from her body. Lathering her skin, I kneaded the knots in her shoulders and back, letting my hands trail down to her hips. She stiffened and I kissed her neck.
"Easy, I'm just washing you."
"You have the right to do whatever you wish."
"Darcy, I'm not going to take you against your will. I'm not an animal."
She flinched and turned to face me. "I didn't mean..."
I caressed her cheek. "It's okay. I know you haven't done this before, but I promise you don't have to be afraid of me."
"I'm not afraid of you," she responded softly, her eyes full of trust. "I just... this is all so new to me. I guess I don't know what to expect. I only know what I heard in the holding cells."
I turned her to face me and cupped her cheek with my hand. Backing her against the wall, I leaned down and kissed her. I knew we couldn't do anything else, but I wanted to taste her. She was every bit as sweet as she looked. At first, she froze, but as my tongue stroked hers, she tentatively kissed me back. I didn't understand how something as simple as a kiss could make me want her so much, but it did. If I had been stronger, I would have taken her against the wall. I felt like I would never get enough of Darcy.
Breaking the kiss, I looked into her eyes and noticed that she looked surprised. I hoped it was a good thing. If I was 33
going to do something as stupid as care for my slave, I could only hope that she would learn to care for me as well.
Otherwise, I was only looking to have my heart broken.
She placed shaking hands against my chest, and I wondered if she was shaking from fear or desire. I wanted her to trust me, but I wasn't sure how to gain her trust. What did I have to do to make her see that I wouldn't hurt her, that I wouldn't force myself on her? What would it take for her to realize that I wasn't like the men she'd heard about while she'd waited for someone to claim her?
Taking a step back, I slicked my hair back from my face.
The best thing to do would be to put some space between us.
At least for the moment.
"I'll let you finish your shower," I told her as I backed out.
Grabbing a towel, I dried off and stepped out of the bathroom. I felt her gaze on me the whole way, but she never said a word. It made me wonder what she was thinking or feeling. With a groan, I realized that I had it bad.
Jerking on my pants, I sat on the bed and tunneled my hands through my hair. I needed to go home and get some perspective. Maybe that would help. If nothing else, it would give Darcy some time alone, give her time to think and relax without me around. It was obvious that I put her on edge still.
I pulled on my boots and a clean shirt. Just as I was standing, Darcy came out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel.
"Are you leaving?" she asked.
I couldn't read any emotion in her eyes so I didn't know if she wanted me to go or not, or if she simply didn't care either way.
"I thought I'd go home for a little while. I need to check on a few things, but I'll return later tonight. It will give you some time to rest and relax."
She nodded and turned away from me, opening the closet to pull out a clean tunic. My jaw clenched at the obvious dismissal, but I let it go. Part of me wanted to call her on it, but she'd just saved my life. Deciding to let it go, I walked out of the bedroom and left. I was going to pick my battles, and this one just wasn't worth it.
As I walked back to my house, I wondered what I was going to do with her. She'd gotten under my skin in such a small amount of time. What would it be like months from now? Or years? I had a feeling I'd be just as whipped as Bastian, and that thought left a sour feeling in my stomach.
She seemed sweet and had definitely had a rough life, but there was something under the surface, something I hadn't seen yet. True, she'd kept me alive, but I had no doubt that she'd done it more for herself than for me. Without me, she'd go back to the cell, waiting for someone else to claim her, or be sent to the harems. And I had no doubt that she knew that.
She had been brave to do what she did, I didn't want to take that away from her, but her motives weren't exactly altruistic. Darcy was a survivor. It made me admire her, but it also meant that she didn't need me. She needed a protector, 35
but it didn't necessarily have to be me. It could be anyone who would treat her well and put a roof over her head and food on her table.
So what was I going to do?
I thought back to what Enid had said. Romance her. I still didn't have any idea what she'd meant by that. I had no clue how to romance a woman. Vaaden marriages were more like contracts, and warriors did not romance their slaves. Or their wives. Although it appeared that perhaps Bastian had done precisely that with Enid. Maybe I should have paid more attention to my brother over the years instead of mocking his kindness to women.
As I entered my home, I wondered how I was going to win Darcy's affection. And more to the point, why did I want to?
What was so special about her? Sure, she was beautiful, but so were countless other women. Take Lira, for example. So what was it about Darcy that made me act like a fool?
Whatever it was, maybe if I could figure it out, it would help me win her. In the meantime, I would bring her little trinkets here and there and try to endear myself to her. If there was one thing I'd learned from watching Enid and Bastian, and from the brief time I'd taken care of Enid myself, it was that women liked gifts, no matter how small they might be.
It was nearly bedtime when I returned to the slave quarters. I'd spent most of the day wondering what I should do about Darcy, and I had yet to come up with a solution. I did, however, have a small present for her. It wasn't much, but I hoped she would like it.
When I entered the apartment, I didn't see her at first. I found her in a chair across the room, curled up asleep. I approached quietly and hunkered down in front of her. With a frown, I realized she'd been crying, and I dried the tears on her cheeks. Her eyes fluttered open and she stared at me a moment.
"You're back," she said softly. "I didn't think you were returning tonight."
"I told you I was."
"It got so late..."
I cocked my head to the side and looked at her, trying to figure her out. "Were you crying because you thought I wasn't coming?"
She flushed and looked away. I was pleased that she'd missed me and smiled. It seemed that we were on the right track at least. She might have seemed indifferent when I'd left earlier, but maybe it had been a facade. Maybe she really had cared what happened to me when I'd nearly died in the morning. Perhaps she was looking for more than just a protector after all.
I gently cupped her cheek and made her look at me. "I told you I would return."
"I thought you might have changed your mind."
I shook my head. "No, I stopped to get you something."
Her eyes brightened. "A present?"
"Yes, a present. Would you like to see?"
She sat up, nodding.
I walked back to the door and picked up the forgotten gift.
Carrying it over to her, I placed a large pot in her lap.
"It's called a Yentar Rose. It only blooms at night, but it blooms all year long. You only have to water it twice a week."
She touched it reverently, her fingers caressing the soft lavender blossoms. "It's beautiful. No one's ever given me a plant before."
"Why don't you put it in the kitchen, and we'll go to bed?"
She tensed a moment, but nodded. I realized that even though she'd given herself to me freely earlier in the day, she still wasn't ready to be with me. It was going to cause a huge problem. I wasn't able to give her the time she needed to adjust, not like I had originally planned. I knew she was probably still sore, but there wasn't much I could do to control the needs of my body. It wasn't like it was just the need for pleasure. My body refused to cooperate with anyone but her, and without her, I would die. My attempt to see Lira had proven that. Then again, maybe if I had gone to see her sooner things might have been different. I could try to go to the harems, but I would prefer to be with Darcy.
A moment later, she rejoined me in the living room and we retired to the bedroom for the evening. I could feel the tension rolling off her in waves, and it made me uneasy. I had told her that I would never force her, and I meant it, but something would have to give. I might be able to make it until morning, but it would be pushing it.
I undressed and slid under the covers. But Darcy stood beside the bed, fidgeting with the edge of her tunic, looking everywhere except at me.
"Darcy, I won't bite."
She blushed, and her eyes finally met mine. "I don't know what you expect of me. I mean, you said you'd be okay... are you just wanting to sleep?"
"Right now I expect you take off that tunic and get in the bed."
Her face turned even redder, but she nodded and removed the tunic before climbing into bed. She lay on her back, stiff as a board, as far away from me as possible. With a sigh, I reached over and wrapped an arm around her waist. She squeaked as I pulled her over until her back was flush against my chest.
"Would you relax? You'd think you were going to the executioner," I growled.
She flinched. "I'm sorry."
This wasn't going the way I'd planned. It was obvious that she was still uncertain and a little scared, and yet she'd cried when I hadn't returned earlier and had taken care of me when I was near death's door. She was a conundrum. How could I make her feel at ease? I wouldn't hurt her for anything; surely she knew that by now. She seemed so skittish around me. Was it something more than fear?
Perhaps she wasn't afraid. Maybe she just didn't know how to act around me. She had, after all, been a virgin. I didn't have skill with inexperienced women, but somehow I had to make her at ease.
"I'm not going to hurt you, Darcy."
"I know," she whispered.
"It's not that easy."
My hand massaged her hip, and I felt her tense even more. I felt like growling in frustration, but I refrained—
barely. I let my fingers trail up her hip to her stomach, and I pulled her back tight against me. I needed her, but I wanted her to be ready for me. I wanted her to enjoy it as much as I would. I knew if I could just get her to relax that I could make it pleasurable for her.
She was still tense, and I ground my teeth together. This wasn't going to work. One way or another, I'd have to manage at the harems. It was obvious that she wasn't ready for me, and I needed her tonight. She might have taken care of me this morning, but that had been a life or death situation, something that was going to benefit both of us. This was, apparently, different.
I let her go and shoved the covers aside. I wanted to give her time, to take things slow with her, but now wasn't the right moment. I wasn't able to control myself at the moment and if I stayed, I was afraid I'd end up hurting her.
She jumped and looked over at me. "You're leaving?"
"This isn't going to work. You're still too skittish, and I'm not going to force you."
She bit her lip. "You're going to the harems?"
I nodded. "It's that or... I'm still not at full strength, Darcy.
By morning, I'll be sick again. By tomorrow night, I could be dead."
She paled at my words, and I was sorry if I scared her, but what I'd said was the truth. She needed to hear it, needed to understand that I wasn't being cruel. I was just doing what I had to in order to survive.
"I don't want you to go," she said softly.
"I think it's
"Please, Rheul. Please don't leave me."
"Darcy, you aren't ready."
She sat up, letting the sheet fall to her waist. I sucked in a breath, mesmerized by the sight of her. She was playing with fire at the moment and she didn't even realize it.
"I know why you claimed me as your slave. I'm not here to be a decoration. If you need me, then stay. Don't go to the harems."
I paused. Why was she doing this? It was obvious that she was reluctant to be with me. I was giving her an out, a reprieve, so why wasn't she taking it?
"Are you sure?"
She swallowed hard. "I'm sure."
Slowly, I reached out and pulled the sheet away from her body, completely exposing her. I climbed onto the bed, leaning over her until she lay beneath me. Her heart was beating so hard I could see it pounding inside her chest. I didn't want to scare her and hoped I could ease her fears.
I leaned down and kissed her, gently capturing her mouth with mine, stroking her petal-soft lips with my tongue. I pressed myself closer to her until we were lying hip to hip, and at first she stiffened, but gradually she began to relax.
When her mouth opened under mine, I knew I'd won my first battle. But getting her to kiss me was a small thing. Still, I would take any victory I could manage at this point.
Darcy lifted her hands and hesitantly settled them on my shoulders. Just that small touch, that small amount of trust, 41
humbled me. I softened toward her even more. Rolling onto my side, I gathered her close, wrapping my arms around her.
Our first two times together had been hasty, a mere necessity instead of pleasure because of my precarious situation, but this time would be different. I wanted it to be special for her.
Her first time had been less than ideal, and I wanted to make it up to her.
by Jessica Coulter Smith / Romance / Young Adult / Science Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes