Portal Ch. 03bytenicka©
I plucked at the floor-length lace gown I wore, grateful that I had been able to get the nerve to go through the wedding ceremony to Prince Anithis. Within moments I would be Princess Anithis Kendall, co-ruler of Mera Lethas. Already the instruments were playing in the main antechamber where we'd be wed. My stomach was a bundle of nerves, butterflies having a field day within me. I couldn't believe I was getting married to an elf-man in a strange world, and actually felt comfortable doing so. I knew it was a desperate measure – a way to keep myself involved in this land so that I did not feel the tug to return home to Boston. No, it'd not be something I'd actively pursue any longer. Going home was not an option for me.
I turned from the mirror to face the main door of my chamber. Any second, a servant would be retrieving me for the ceremony. I took in a deep breath, nervous anticipation filling me to my core. I was ready. Wasn't I? Yeah, I had come to realize I still had a thing for black-skinned Vytex, but he was not my future. Prince Anithis was.
But before I could watch the door open, I felt a hand clamp over my mouth and I sighed underneath it. How many more times would I have to suffer men putting their hands on me uninvited? I brought the heel of my slipper down on my would-be kidnapper, hearing a groan of pain, and spun around to confront him face to face.
It was Vytex!
"Vytex?" I questioned in disbelief, eyes wide in surprise at his presence. He wore a black tunic, silver chainmail glittering over the top and he looked as I remembered him, incredibly handsome; stunningly so.
"My lady Kendall looks ravishing in her wedding dress." His words were full of pain and I could not help but wonder why. "I am here to take you from this place. You cannot go through with the ceremony." I took offense at his insistence to keep me from Anithis. The petty jealousy they had against each other tore me apart on the inside.
"No!" I pushed at his chest, touching the metal links and making them jingle as I did. "I don't want to go." I knew I sounded like a petulant child, but why should I go with him? They'd just try to steal me back again. I was tired of the idea of playing ping-pong against each side. I had to put my foot down and choose. And so I was going to marry Anithis.
"You do not understand, Lady!" Vytex must have seen the determination in my eye as his voice took on a pleading tone. "Anithis will kill you." I began to glower at him at his words. He would stoop so low as to tell me such a lie just to stop me from marrying so he could have his way? And what way would that be? The man could have made love to me that night, but he chose to just tuck me in – like a child!
"You are a Princess, yes, but you are also a Druid Priestess. A Druidic prophecy said a Princess who was also a Druid would fall from the sky bringing prosperity on whomever married her, pure of body. And if they sacrificed her at the light of the full moon on their wedding night, the one who offered her to the Moon Goddess would inherit her powers. Anithis plans on marrying you and then he plans on sacrificing you after the ceremony. It is for your life I take you now. I want you to live, Lady Kendall." His black eyes smoldered, locked on mine and I knew it was not some strange story he had made up. Anithis truly intended on killing me for some stupid ceremonial sacrifice!
"I'm scared." My voice was soft, so soft I was not certain he heard me. But he must have as he gathered me to his chest and held me tightly there, bringing me comfort in an attempt to ease my fear.
"I will not let them do this to you." Vytex released me, much to my extreme disappointment, and pulled me to the back of my room, out of the open door, onto the small courtyard outside. The monstrous winged lizard was happily munching on the roses there and I nearly yelled at the thing for it. Vytex pushed me onto the saddle, but an arrow pierced his shoulder before he could climb aboard behind me.
"Vytex!" I cried out, watching in horror as his face contorted in pain. His hand had grasped at the arrow shaft, the vicious pointed head sticking out, bloody and deadly, making me feel agony in sympathy for him.
"Go on, my sacrifice will be worth it to save you!" He gasped, swatting the lizard on its side. "Vaaaa vaaaa vaaaa!" He cried at the thing, which must have been like clicking a tongue at a horse as it began to flutter its wings, lifting me upward. I thought I had lost Vytex, but the lizard made a sweep back, grasping the Drow within his enormous claws and lifting his master along with us, flying up and away swiftly into the horizon.
I tried to lean over to see if I could get a glimpse of Vytex, but when I did I became disoriented and dizzy, so held onto the saddle's pommel as tightly as I could, scrunching up my eyes so I didn't throw up all over the great beast's back. It was a nerve-wracking journey as I constantly worried about Anithis' men following us. I didn't have the guts to open my eyes and look behind us, for fear of seeing their white flying horses on our tail. Literally.
When we arrived at the Drow palace, it became alive with servants and guards helping ease Vytex from the beast's claws and put him in a sling to carry him to his chamber. There were human and Drow there to fuss over him, doctors I presumed, so I waited in the outer chamber, wringing my hands with worry. They refused to let me see him and he was out of his mind with pain, so I waited anxiously for any word at all.
When it seemed as if I had been in the outer chamber for hours, I finally was called in to see the dark-skinned man. Once more Vytex's beauty struck me as I sat on the edge of his bed, staring down at his purple-black but pale face. He looked as if he was suffering and I sighed in worry for him. When he felt my light touch on his face, his eyes fluttered open and he smiled weakly up at me.
"Thank you." I told him, realizing the cost he had paid to get me freed and keep me alive. The corners of his eyes wrinkled and the edge of his lips rose slightly. "I'm sorry you were hurt." I knew he saw the sincerity in my face, heard it in my voice. I was sorry.
I really liked Vytex.
"You are worth it, my lady." His words came out in a rush and he rested from the pain it had cost him to speak. I saw that he wanted to say more but I put my finger on his lips to stop him. He had suffered enough for me.
"I'll come back when you are feeling better." I leaned down and put a kiss on his forehead, hoping he would take the gesture as a 'get well soon' kiss. His lips twitched again and I smiled back and made my exit, taking up a position on one of the couches in the outer chamber. I parked my legs under my body and waited. I knew it'd be a dangerous time as Anithis would want me back. But I felt as if I were safe, surrounded by his men. We were well protected deep in the bowels of his fortress.
I must have dozed off when I felt a hand on my shoulder, waking me fully. It was hours later and it had to be night by that point. I glanced up to see one of the male servants staring down at me with a mixture of curiosity and mistrust in his eyes.
"My lady? Prince Vytex would see you now." I nodded and followed him back into the chamber, surprised to see the dark Drow sitting up, his bandages making him look worse than his injury apparently was.
"Ahh, Lady Kendall." Vytex reached out a hand and I took it, letting him guide me onto the bed's edge. He wrapped his good arm around me, making me lean against his uninjured shoulder. "Thank you for staying so near. I am heartened to know you care." I twisted around so that I could stare at him.
"Of course I care! You saved me." I replied, smiling to soften the words. "You saved me twice now, if I'm not mistaken since Anithis must have wanted me only to sacrifice me." The Drow prince nodded solemnly and I wondered where we would go from that point. Would he have to keep me under lock and key every second of the day, for my protection of course?
"I felt so helpless when they took you from me. I was quite angry at first, but then I realized how much I cared for you." He winced as he spoke too animatedly, pulling at his injured shoulder. He removed himself from me and pushed me down onto the bed, stroking my hair as he did. I lie atop his bed, head resting on his pillow, staring up at him with a smile, hoping to taste his lips. But instead of the softness of his kiss, I felt a twinge of cold metal upon my left breast, over my heart. I lifted my head slightly to stare down and see an ornately decorated dagger resting there, poised to strike.
My eyes grew wide in wonder and at that moment I knew I had been tricked. He had not saved me to prevent me from dying to Anithis' sacrifice. No, he was going to sacrifice me instead so HE could have the power. If the story was true, of course. If it was not, I was dead meat no matter what.
"Please no." I whispered, begging him with my eyes as I did. Surely he had some speck of humanity within his cold chest? I had no way to defend myself. I was trapped and I could not save myself this time. I closed my eyes and knew that even if I somehow could remember the words to make that swirly portal, it still wouldn't help me get out from under him. My mind thought rapidly of anything that could help me, but I came up blank. Nothing could save me now. I was going to die.
When the sting of pain failed to happened, I opened my eyes and stared up at Vytex's dark face, relieved he had stayed my execution for a moment longer. Was he going to gloat first? Of how he tricked Anithis and myself? I felt the absence of his blade and heard the tale-tell 'clank' of metal upon the stone floor as his dagger dropped there, freeing me of the danger. For the moment. Instead of metal now, I tasted his lips on mine. He pressed hard as if making me pay for not granting him the power he obviously had wanted, but the kiss softened finally and he broke it, staring down at me for a long time before speaking.
"I... I could not harm you, Lady Kendall." Vytex frowned and looked as if he were going to be sick. "I could never harm you." Overcome with emotion for the man hovering over me, his shaking good arm holding his entire body up, I pushed him gently over onto his back and straddled him as best as I could around the long gown I still wore. I kissed him with all that I had within me, which was quite fierce. He moaned from the enjoyment and I ran my hands up and down his bare chest, sliding them down to touch his outer thighs. I was surprised they had stripped him completely, and as I did, I felt his manhood begin to rise underneath me.
I had my wedding dress off faster than I had ever undressed in my life and just in my thin slip, I climbed back on his body and kissed him again. I slid my mouth down his neck, swirling my tongue over each black nipple on his chest as I made my way downward.
I had never touched a man like I was touching Vytex. I had never taken a man's sexual organ into my mouth like I was doing at that point. I sucked and pulled, enjoying the feeling of his hardening as I did and sliding it down my throat as it grew to an enormous length.
Vytex's moans were loud and I feared his attendants would come and investigate, but they let us be. I could tell he was getting close to release, but he stopped me with his good hand. I worried about his shoulder then. Was I causing him more pain than pleasure? It was not my goal, if so.
"Come to me, lovely Kendall." He watched as I made my way up, kissing and sucking his body as I did until my mouth landed on his again and we exchanged kisses for a time. I felt his good hand roaming, exploring me, and rubbing between my legs where the ocean had erupted from my arousal of just being with him like that.
"I would have you now, Lady." He was asking permission and I nodded, gasping when he guided me onto his thick, black shaft. I stared into his dark pools for eyes as he let me impale myself on him. Up and down I pushed myself, my moans growing in loudness as the intensity grew within me until I was screaming from the pleasure of it, his swollen rod filling me to capacity. My buttocks slapped hard on his groin over and over as we fucked, no, made love as I had always dreamed it to be like.
Finally I felt a pulsing within me and he came with a cry and a soft sigh. As I felt him explode inside of me, I began to mindlessly chant words, not having any clue what I was saying, only knowing that I wanted him healed so that we could make love again. I clapped my hand over my mouth when I realized I was doing the same thing that had opened the swirly portal. I looked around us, but saw no swirls; who knew what I had just done? I gently collapsed on his good side, wrapping my arm around his waist as I slid off of him, wanting to enjoy the afterglow of our lovemaking. But we gathered no rest, for two Drow guards burst into the room, spears at the ready.
"My Lord, we are being invaded. The Old Ones have come." I did not need to look at Vytex's face to know he was staring at me - it was for me they had attacked.
"Tell them they are too late. Gather the forces at the main chamber and prepare for battle." Vytex ordered with a commanding voice, waiting until the guards had left us before attempting to extricate himself from my arms and prepare for the fight.
"What are you doing?" I pushed him down by his good side and glared at him. "You are in no condition to fight! You have to rest, Vytex." I knew he was only trying to be a good leader, but he was injured! And he had expended any energy he had left making love to me. But once more he rose and gently pushed me onto the bed this time. He began to unwrap his shoulder, carefully at first, then gaining momentum after until he pulled the bloody bandages completely off. He touched his shoulder with an amazed expression on his face. I gasped as well when I realized there was no trace of the wound. It was healed completely!
"Thank you for healing me, my Lady." His coal eyes locked on mine for a few moments. He thought I had done that? I shook my head, but then realized with no wound, he had no reason not to fight.
"Don't go, Vytex." I held onto his arm with both of my hands to stay his dressing. "Please? I don't want to lose you." He stopped movement and stared sadly into my eyes as he did.
"I have no choice. I will fight to keep you safe." The Drow pushed his hand against the back of my head, forcing my face to his where he pressed a fierce kiss upon my lips.
"I will return and we will warm my bed once again." It was a wonderful promise, but one I did not think he would be able to keep. Not if he were dead.
'Don't go." I pleaded one last time, but he shook his head sadly, walking out once fully armored in his chainmail. How could the mail withstand their swords? How could his own sword penetrate their tough armor? I dressed quickly in my slip, but eyed the wedding gown with disdain. How could I help by wearing such a big and bulky thing? I wondered if I would find a dress in his chest of drawers but I did not, only a few clean tunics and pairs of deerskin pants. I put a set of them on quickly, ignoring the fact that I looked like a boy and after stepping into some of his boots that were quite a size larger than my normal footwear, I realized I could not go on. I sighed as I began to rip the wedding gown. It was a pretty dress after all, and I hated to ruin it, but I needed to stuff the boots so that I could walk without falling on my face.
Once I was finished I began to walk down the halls, doing my best to avoid being detected by any of the many guards and servants running around in preparation of the attack. I had one goal in my mind – find Anithis. If he knew I was no longer a virgin, he would have to stop the attack. If he only wanted me to sacrifice for the power, he was not going to get that power now. And if I beat Vytex to the Old One's side, perhaps he'd take his ball and go home before Vytex could be injured or worse, killed.
But I was too late; Anithis and Vytex were squaring off, facing each other in combat just outside in the largest courtyard of the fortress. Shadows flickered as the torches lit the grounds, weaving funny patterns on the walls around us. The clang of the fighter's swords rang throughout the area and I boggled at the strength it must have taken to fight with so much effort. I knew Vytex was at a disadvantage, being just freshly healed and worn from our lovemaking. I couldn't bear to watch. I covered my eyes, but only for a moment. I had to look up when I heard my dark lover cry out in pain. He was on his knees, his hands pressed against his side and I knew he had lost. It would be mere moments before Anithis took his life and that I could not let happen.
"Stop!" I cried out, running as fast as I could. I ignored the glares from Anithis' troops as they parted to let me through. I pushed myself in front of Vytex, holding out my arms protectively as I did.
"Don't hurt him anymore." I growled at the Old One standing before me. "There's no reason to fight. I'm not 'pure' any longer. Your ploy to sacrifice me this night is a failed cause, Anithis."
"I know he has taken what was to be mine." I saw the anger and hurt flash on Anithis' face, but he covered it by grimacing as if he were contemplating striking me down with his upraised sword. "You must know one thing, Lady Kendall." He stared down at the freshly wounded Drow. "He lied to you about the sacrifice. I wanted you as my wife and nothing more. I wanted you to bear me many sons. It would have united many people." I tried to gauge the truth behind his words, but could not see it. Why would he want half-blood sons? How often had he spoken to me and I felt the insincerity in it? So much so that now, I could not determine whether he was lying or not.
"Come, Lady, be my wife. I still want you, sullied and all." Anithis held out a hand, lowering the sword slightly. "Despite knowing you have been used by this monster, I will gladly be your devoted husband and father to your children. I will make your dreams come true." In theory, it sounded good. Vytex had never made any mention of any sort of commitment to me. In fact, he had put a dagger on my heart, intent on taking my life despite pretending to be so nice and loving to me. Both men had done enough to me that I should have denied both, but instead of running. I shook my head.
"I'm staying with Vytex." I hoped I wasn't making a mistake by saying the words, but I had no choice – it was what I wanted.
"Then so be it. Your fates shall be intertwined." As Anithis raised his sword to strike me, I began to chant. It was almost as if I had been taken over by some force that knew what to say as immediately, the swirly portal opened. I was not sure what to do about Vytex as I knew I had seconds, but the choice was taken from me as I felt a shove come from behind me, pushing me through.
"Vyyyyteeeexxxxx!" I heard myself scream as I faded into the portal, away from the man at that instant I realized I loved.
And now, I would be worlds apart from him, his fate undetermined.
I would be alone again, in my own world...
To be continued...
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