Possess Me Ch. 06bytitania123©
Thank you for all your wonderful comments! Your interaction with my story has truly kept me energized through the entire process. I know many of you have begun to feel frustrated with your numerous, insightful questions, and it has been a gratifying process for me to see you pick up on the threads I am trying to weave. However, I can assure you, that in this and the chapter to come, all your questions (hopefully) will be answered. So, please bear with me as I attempt to satisfy your minds! As always, feedback is appreciated. Also, apologies for any typos. I was only able to read through it twice, so I may have missed some things, and for that I am sorry.
I cribbed a line from Ellie Goulding. A prize (i.e. a digital wink) goes out to the reader who can guess which line it is.
Rain tattered on the innumerable window panes of the glass wall. The early afternoon light was diminished until nothing but dark, blue-gray filtered in. Candles illuminated the stone walls, the light radiating out in spheres of warm gold. A lantern sat on the work bench next to several planters. The sharp 'click, click' of sheers struck out, the only disturbance to the otherwise placid room.
Brynna clipped sprouting branches from the herbs, setting them aside so that she could dry them later. Her fingers adeptly found the perfect joints in the little stems to trim from so that new growth would be encouraged. She shaped the fragrant greeneries, lulling contentedly in the diffusing scents.
As she had agreed to serve as cook while Bea recovered, she had little time to herself. But here, in this hour, she afforded herself the luxury of being the only human alive, distant from all others in ease and self-sufficient serenity.
Her existence was so closely woven into the atmosphere that she felt the perturbation of his approach, needing no sound or sight to confirm his arrival.
The intensity he brought with him crackled through her once peaceful surroundings like the distant lightning outside. Her hands stilled at their work for only a second. She focused on the delicate movements, willing her hands to relax from the tremor she felt threatening her. She continued with her work, ignoring his unbidden presence.
The rain, the clipping, the rain, his breathing, the rain, the clipping, her breath. She stilled when she knew she couldn't continue feigning ignorance of the newcomer. She straightened from her work and placed the sheers down. Seemingly absorbed in her own movements, she slowly raked the spilled dirt into a pile. She felt the tugging grain of the rough wood beneath the edge of her hand, the coarse soil gently excoriating her skin.
She stood waiting, but he said nothing. Did he wait for her? "You need something, my lord?" she asked, breaking first. She felt him move from the threshold, stalking unhurriedly closer.
"I merely wished to appraise the success of your efforts. These herbs look very healthy. What of your vegetables?"
She moved stiffly between him and the table to cross to another that held several differently sized pots filled with dark soil. "These began sprouting while you were away, but they will not be able to produce for some months still. I'm afraid I began too late to harvest this winter." Her voice sounded dejected as she stood biting her bottom lip, waiting for his comments. He passed a finger over several stems and vibrant green leaves.
"Cabbage? And root parsley?" She smiled, impressed at his knowledge of the plants in their tender stage. "And these?"
"This one should be leek, and here we have some carrots and celery. There is also wild garlic, though I am not certain I want it to stay inside..." her voice trailed in thought.
"Yes, I imagine the smell would become much to work near daily."
"And this is rapunzel, though I have never grown it, and am anxious to see how it fares."
"I see you have a gooseberry bush."
"Yes, they are one of my favorites."
"I do not care for desserts."
She frowned at that and turned a disgruntled face to him. "You are not the only one that eats here, my lord."
He raised an eye brow. "But I am the only one you should be concerned with." She could not contain the exasperated expression his comment drew.
She pursed her lips together, rejecting his premise. His face grew in threat. "Or do I need to remind you of your position to me?"
She took a step back, preparing distance for her next statement. "Quite often, you mistakenly believe you need to remind me of my position, when in fact, you have yet to convince me of it." She quirked her eyebrow up at him in challenge and then quickly darted to the other side of the work bench when he took a menacing step forward.
Malik's eyes, though slanted in threat, glittered with a predatory hunger that sent thrilling waves through her stomach. She smiled lightly, suddenly enjoying the dare she threw his way.
Seeing her intent, Malik smiled darkly. "Come here," his deep voice commanded.
Heat filled her. "No," she refused, her lips parting slightly as her breathing increased.
His face grew more serious, causing a small wave of fear to ripple through her, blending into those of her heightened desire. "You could come here," she suggested. "Though I know not what I would receive if I obeyed, I do have quite a good idea what I would willingly give you if you complied." The brazen words left her lips without much thought, and she regretted them almost immediately. But when she saw his eyes darken and the hungry gleam return, she knew they'd had the intended effect.
"And what would that be?"
She bit her lip, skidding further down a dangerous hill. "The reward comes with the act, my lord," she husked, hoping to tempt him to at least grab her angrily if not passionately. "You wouldn't really be deserving of it if you only complied after you knew what you would receive." She knew she was taunting the dragon, and sought to ameliorate her inciting tease with honest need. She looked into his eyes, her desire open for him to see. You only have to take it, she silently told him.
"If I come to you, I will take what I want, regardless if you are willing to give it," he warned. The dangerous promise made her stomach flip, and she chewed her lip in contemplation.
"And what would you take?" she breathed.
He drew up a challenging eyebrow and smiled cruelly, but said nothing. Suddenly, she was not certain she wanted to play this game anymore. She swallowed as she slowly stepped around the table, walking just out of reach. She looked at the buttons of his jerkin, refusing to meet his eyes. He took a step closer, but she held her ground.
He tilted her chin up, and her eyes shut automatically. Brynna drew in a breath when his lips softly grazed her own. Her mouth opened immediately for his kiss, but was quickly abandoned. Her eyes fluttered open, as she felt as though she was falling forward.
His dark blue eyes peered triumphantly down into hers, the cruel smile marring his lips. "My lord?" she asked uncertainly.
His lips drew closer as he held her gaze. They whispered over her yearning flesh. "Perhaps next time, you will obey me immediately," and then he withdrew completely, taking the power of his contact with him.
She stood bereft as he turned and left. She felt the stab of each passing second for the rest of her once peaceful hour. Over and over, she felt the dizzying pull he always created. Her desire that had been so quickly born had been left unfulfilled, and she felt physical frustration at the still churning need.
After tying and hanging up the cut herbs, Brynna returned to the kitchens to begin the preparations for the evening's meals. She worked silently with Beth as she sifted through her many thoughts on the afternoon's interaction.
The night before, she had become all-powerful, reducing him to his consuming need, but now, after much reflection, she began to feel uncomfortable with her actions. She promised herself to him, unconditionally, to gain something. She now saw it as irrelevant that the promise had helped a friend. Her actions had essentially made her a prostitute, whoring herself out for favors.
When she viewed the situation in that light, Brynna's stomach tightened with unease. Did it matter that she enjoyed it? That she wanted it, wanted him, and still did?
She waited for the answer until she knew that, no, it didn't matter. With the growing revelation, her mood darkened and became distracted, causing her to spill the sauce she whisked on the stove. It burned her skin, and as she rubbed the reddened spot, pitiful tears welled in her eyes. She sniffled, wishing it was all different.
Brynna accepted the truth that she desired Malik, her owner and master, and was not disturbed by it. It only shames me that it was for a boon, and not simply because I wanted it. Understanding that mollified her enough to allow her mind to move forward. Perhaps, then, I can continue, as long as it is because I want it, not in exchange for something, she thought. Possibly, she mulled, but remained uncertain.
At the servants' meal, Brynna noticed Saul had returned. He was the master's messenger and was young and gregarious. He laughed easily at the end of the table with Brom, making wild gestures as he told a story. Ann seemed happily taken with him, as she smiled shyly at his tales.
As Brynna plated the food for the master's supper, Beth reported that Bea was feeling better and would be well enough after one more day's rest. "Bea was worried we wouldn't be able to do it, miss. But she said Eleanor said the master said everything was acceptable. I must tell you, miss, I was quite worried we would be strung up by our toes," she said with a nervous laugh trickling out.
Brynna smiled at her well-earned fear. "Yes, well, thankfully, no major disasters have occurred, so we should be in the clear."
"Oh, don't say that, miss!" Beth reprimanded worried. "As soon as you say that, we'll be cursed!"
"Cursed, indeed. Beth, please do not tell me you are so superstitious."
"It is true, miss."
"No it is not. Our futures are of our own making, not because of curses and mystical interferences."
"What of you, then? Are you here because of your own making?" Beth asked, somewhat petulantly, but quickly regretted the words, her eyes wide and then remorseful.
Brynna acknowledge to herself that her life was not as she had designed, before she responded to the contrary. "You may not know this, but I had a choice, and accepting this position was what I chose. However, though it is not what I would wish for, I have been able to claw for some bit of happiness, knowing that what I do creates the life I am capable of having, even here." Her reply was given softly, as if in thought, carrying depth that reminded them both of the nature of her existence.
"I am sorry, miss. I shouldn't have said that."
"No, perhaps not. But you are forgiven, all the same." She smiled gently at Beth before setting the last of the items on the serving tray.
After the evening's chores, Brynna slowly walked up the stairs towards his chamber. Her nerves were beginning to vibrate. She felt as though she was willingly walking into a trap; would he ask of her what she wanted to give, but only as payment? Would she be able to deny him in light of her growing desperation for him? Could she simply give in to her desires and allow the rest to fall away? She reminded herself of the evidence he desired with equal passion. Perhaps...
The bath was trickling to a stop as she emptied the last of the large kettle of boiled water into his mammoth tub. She heard his chamber door groan, heard his body move, saw his shadow on the door before he entered.
"Good evening, my lord," she said silkily. Would he deny her pleasure tonight as he had done that afternoon?
His eyes held her questioning form. Her bottom lip was between her teeth again, her tongue tracing over it in nervous anticipation. He undressed, his gaze never leaving her. Brynna stood, her deep breathing pulling fast in and out. She approached when he stepped into the water, its vapors steaming away from the dark surface.
As she lathered him, though his eyes were closed, she felt the tension of the empty silence. "Your dinner was satisfactory, my lord?"
"Yes, satisfactory," he murmured under the sensation of her hands.
She waited for an elaboration, but received none. "I am glad to hear of it." She thought for a moment, searching for something further to say. "And you are please with the progress of the plants, my lord?"
"Yes, though as you said, many have been planted too late to produce any harvest for this winter. But, in the future years, should yield well enough."
Brynna began thinking at his words, 'future years.' What would the future years bring? It seemed almost strange that she should be here in a year's time, in five or twenty. She continued musing to herself until his body was clean and relaxed under her caring hands. Their movements followed the same as every night, and when he was dressed, Brynna only knew to leave. Her wanton behavior in the afternoon had gained her nothing but frustrating rejection, and she was not eager to have her lust swell if nothing would be done to appease it. But as she reached for the door, his voice stopped her, exciting her hope.
"Brynna, have you forgotten your debt?" but his words crushed her momentary relief.
Want conflicted with pride, and so she had to know. "My lord," she began before she turned from the exit. "this...payment you have come to expect, what of it when Bea is well?" She turned to judge his expression, and was disappointed, though not surprised, when his cool demeanor revealed nothing. Perhaps it did not need explanation. Perhaps, she hoped, it would become irrelevant.
That hope dispelled her reservations, and the suddenly free places her fears had occupied left behind space for her desire to grow. She took slow, measured steps to where he sat on the chaise, suddenly ravenous in ways only the touch of his body could satiate. She stood before him, the glow of the hearty fire casting her shadow over him. Brynna stared down into his darkened face, knowing that, despite her own visage being hidden in shadow, he could see her longing.
Following only her need, Brynna moved forward in assured movements, placing her hands on his shoulders as she settled on his lap, her legs steadying her on either side of his hard thighs. She kneeled above him, looking down into his eyes. She allowed her own to wander over his features, taking in the beauty and masculinity that made her warm at the mere sight.
She wanted him to beg.
That realization made her smile wickedly, the power she knew she possessed over him spurring her on in confident advancement. Brynna lowered her mouth over his, allowing their breaths to become one as she lingered a hair's breadth away from his. She allowed her lips to whisper over his slowly.
"My lord," she exhaled. She felt his hands on her thighs tighten and dig in almost painfully, pulling her tighter into him. But she could only smile against him and let her tongue trace the contours of his lips gratefully. When he opened his mouth to pull her in, she pulled back. "Tsk, tsk. My lord is too eager," she rebuked playfully. She heard his growl and only smiled further. "If you do not feel as though you are in an agreeable mood, I can always return at some later time, my lord," she offered, trying to feign ignorance of his want.
When his grip tightened even further, her face sobered. She studied his intense, hungry eyes for what felt like eons. Stars were born and died in the expanse of time she fell into him. "Tell me," she breathed, needing to hear it. "Tell me what you want from me, my lord." She brushed her lips over his, waiting for his capitulation, for the words she knew would dissolve her will into his until they moved with one unbroken purpose.
When no words came, she pulled back so she could peer into his face. "Nothing? You want nothing of me?" Though she knew she only teased, under her playful act was a niggling fear of her inadequacy to incite his lust. "Very well, my lord, I shall leave if you have no further want of me." She made to move but was fiercely pulled back to straddle his lap.
His breath was growing harsher with each passing moment and it pushed her hair enticingly about her neck. "Kiss me," he growled. "Kiss me and tell me you are mine," he finished, and reached for her mouth.
Brynna could barely maintain her own relief-filled breath. She wanted to give him what he sought, but she wasn't finished making him ache as he had made her. "Belong to you? Why do I belong to you? Because my father was a fool?" When his brow grew in the biting anger she knew well, she continued on. "Should I not belong to you only because I wish to? Is that not more, my lord? That I give myself to you?"
Brynna's inquiring eyes held his gaze, waiting for his answer. But when his face only grew harder, her stomach began clenching. "You belong to me, whether or not you choose so."
However, that was not how Brynna recalled it, thinking back to the night he entered her cottage and demanded she commit herself to him. "Then why do you want to hear me say it?" Before he could argue further, she dipped her head, running her lips over his again. "Admit it, it is so much nicer when I choose; is it not?"
Brynna's hands ran from the edge of his shoulders to his neck, playing happily with the caged energy beneath her fingers. The height she had over him caused her to angle her face down to his, which added to her feeling of authority over his powerful form.
Again, as he tried to kiss her she pulled back. His fingertips were now very painful, and she knew he was struggling to relinquish even this little amount of control. She decided to reward him for his submission. She allowed her lips to open promisingly and stroked her tongue firmly against his. Brynna shivered from containing her passion so she could kiss him leisurely, dragging out the mounting pleasure.
But Malik was not interested in such restraint. His aggression intensified, and he began pushing dizzying eroticism into her. His fingers, clamped in the flesh of her hips, began dragging her down, almost as if he were pulling her under the swamping waves of desire.
Equally hungry for his body to press against her, Brynna allowed him to maneuver her onto his lap, positioning the aching juncture of her thighs around the bulge straining out against his pants. Spread as she was, his hardening erection pressed delightfully against her sensitive nub. She jerked at the contact, but quickly settled against him. Within moments, her hips were mindlessly rolling against him, sending wave after wave of electricity through her body.
When she felt the moan build deep in her throat and heard it escape into his mouth, she pulled back, breathing frantically for air. Control, control. Keep the control she chanted, refocusing her mind and body.
Looking at him, she wanted to pool and become the waters that enveloped him. She gave him her lips again, stoking the fire in his eyes. She kept the kiss gentle, building his ardor, before pulling away to kiss the side of his mouth, his jaw, his throat. Brynna ran her tongue up the cords of his neck and breathed in his ear, sounding her desire without words. As her nails clawed down his chest, she took his earlobe between her teeth and flicked her tongue over it before drawing it into her mouth and sucking. She smiled against his ear when she felt the shiver run through him.
Brynna pulled back to look into his eyes and could not stop her own shiver as she saw the barely contained feral hunger. Had he been any species other than man, she would have thought he meant to consume her, bone and all. Could she master this beast?