The Warrior's Heart Ch. 03byLucyKing101©
Matilda sat with her knees drawn up to her chest, she was hiding. He had asked her to marry him. She would have said yes, despite her fear of losing him, but he did not love her. He had only asked because she had been a virgin and he thought that principle demanded it of him. She frowned, he hadn't even asked though, just announced it. It was like she didn't have a say in the matter. It would be awful to be tied to a man loving him so desperately, knowing he was only bound to her due to his sense of honour. He would grow to resent her. He would never respect her. He would always order her about. Never treat her as an equal. It would kill her she thought. So why did she feel like she had just lost something wonderful.
He found her a few hours later, squatting down in front of her, his hands gentle. "Come back with me Mattie, I won't force you to do anything you don't want, but we should talk about this sometime, maybe not now, but... soon." He said.
She came with him silently; he held her hand guiding her through the silent camp. They fell into bed, not talking but they found themselves holding onto each other. Neither let go.
Leo felt a desperate need for her. As she fell into exhausted sleep, he held her to him and covered the top of her head in silent kisses. He loved her. Dear gods he loved her. He realized with wonder that he had been in love with her from the start. From the moment he'd seen her. He'd felt rage at the men that had hurt her. A fierce protectiveness had overcome him which had only grown stronger with each passing minute. She was everything he thought he had lost. Everything he never had. She was beautiful and kind and gentle. She made him laugh. He loved that surprising ferocity when there was something she cared about. He loved how brave she was. He loved her goodness, her purity despite everything that had happened to her. He just loved her.
He thought of the war. This awful war which had destroyed so much. Destroyed everything Matilda had ever known. He had to stop it. There was only one way, but he would likely die in the attempt. He had thought it a small price to pay. He looked at her, his eyes softening. She would be alone again. He realized with a jolt that he would do anything for her. Even if she did not love him. Betray everything he had ever believed in, if it would keep her safe. He kissed her gently and lay savouring the feel of her in his arms.
The next day, Leo regarded his old friend and second in command -Jacobs. They sat in the command tent.
Jacobs leant down and signed the document. To show that it had been witnessed. "Are you sure about this Leo?" Jacobs asked.
Leo looked down at his last will and testament that he had changed to make sure that Matilda would be provided for. "Never surer." he grinned, and then he looked seriously at his trusted friend "Promise me Jacobs, if something does happen to me, make sure she is safe."
His long-time friend regarded him for a long moment "Aye." he said "If you are stupid enough to get yourself killed, I give you my word, I'll make sure she's alright."
Leo flashed another grin, he felt bleak though as he remembered her words --I am not yours Leo. She felt like his though, felt like his to love and protect. Ah well, he could think of that later, back to business now.
He walked with Jacobs to the prisoner's camp. They had done this every day for two weeks. He hated it. Yet this prisoner knew where the Stone of Vrai was. The stone that could end this war once and for all he thought. "Right then." he said "Lets get this over with old friend."
They walked into the dark room. It smelt of sick and blood. Dear god he thought regarding the prisoner on the floor, he's got to break soon, please god let him break soon. He suppressed the grimace and watched the man seemingly dispassionately. Without the armour, the prisoner didn't look at all human. His skin grey, his features large and grotesque, his teeth sharp.
"Tell me crusher. Tell me what I need to know." He said in a cold voice.
The prisoner blinked up at him with his one remaining eye "Go to hell." he muttered.
"We can do this forever; I won't let you die till I know. Where is the stone?"
The prisoner looked up at him balefully and tried to rise "When I am free, I will eat your heart, but not before I will find all those you love and tear their - "
"Enough!" Jacobs kicked the man in the gut.
Leo smiled grimly "We've seen your propensity for cannibalism you piece of filth and we're not interested in your vitriol. What we want to know is where the stone is. Listen to me now, the next thing we're removing is going to be your dick, and then you can watch as we feed it to the dogs."
The prisoner paled but gritted his teeth.
"So be it." Leo turned to leave.
Finally the prisoner broke and told them.
That night Leo watched Matilda practice; she was clumsy today, distracted and preoccupied. He swooped in on her, easily removing the wooden stick.
"How do you expect to defend yourself if you can't even keep hold of your weapon?" He asked.
She was silent, staring at him. "Well?" he asked.
"I shall use my hands, my feet, and my teeth." she was glaring at him, angry for the rebuke.
He laughed "I never knew you were such a bloodthirsty little thing." He paused watching her "I'm serious Mattie; you need to remember that you are only a novice, a crusher would kill you in two seconds flat. You need to promise me not to do anything stupid. No heroics. If I'm not here to protect you, you go to Jacobs."
She looked at him sharply, her face full of concern "Why wouldn't you be here?"
"I'm leaving tomorrow."
She felt her heart drop into her stomach. "Leo..."
"I have to." He went to her then and pulled her in his arms "Mattie, there's so much I have to tell you. I don't want you never to know."
"You're scaring me Leo."
"I know, I'm sorry. Let's go back, there's much we need to talk about." He said.
They walked silently to the tent, both pensive and anxious.
When they entered the tent, Matilda turned to him "Tell me Leo, please just tell me."
His gut tightened at the sound of the quiet pain in her voice.
He sat on the bed and she joined him. "This war has been going on for three years Matilda. Tell me, had you ever heard of the crushers before then?"
She shook her head. "No, it was like they came from nowhere, I remember when the attacks started, it was so frightening."
He nodded. "The king has sent scouts out everywhere to find out more about them, where they came from, what they wanted. Many never came back. Slowly though we came to realise the truth. The crushers are not really human Mattie, they're demons. A portal was opened, by a foolish man. A man wishing for power. That portal was like a gateway, it allowed thousands upon thousands of demons to enter this world. It's still open to this day. We can't defeat them without closing the portal, their numbers will be endless. All they want is destruction and death. There will never be an end until that portal is closed."
Matilda stared at him wide eyed "That's what you're going to do isn't it, try to close the portal."
He nodded "There's a stone with the power to close it, the Stone of Vrai, we've had a prisoner, we've been questioning him, he finally told us today where to find the stone. The stone was formed when the portal opened; it's the only way to close it."
"Why does it have to be you? Surely they need you!" she asked desperately.
"Mattie, the King needed someone he could trust, they'll likely only be one chance, it's the most important thing."
Tears were streaming down her face "You don't think you're coming back do you?"
He gave a half helpless shrug "I may not Mattie, you need to be prepared for that." He paused and then carried on, for the first time his façade of calm breaking "Mattie I need you to know, Jacobs knows to take care of you, you can trust him, and if something does happen you must, I have provided for you in my will, there is land and money..."
She was shaking her head desperately "No Leo! You mustn't say that, please, please don't go..."
"Mattie, I must go, I will try and come back to you love. I know you don't feel the same way, but it doesn't matter, I love you, I will always love you." The words were out before he could stop them.
Matilda stared at him; her eyes seemed so unbelievably large. He froze not knowing what to say.
"You...you love me? Leo, I love you, I love you so much, I've been so frightened, but I can't help it, I love you."
They stared into each other's eyes. "Oh god Leo." She whispered, as their lips met in a sweet feather light kiss. Then their kisses deepened becoming more desperate. Their tongues caressed, sending a shock of sensation through her.
Their hands moved on each other, stroking and pulling each other closer. She twisted, frustrated at all their clothes.
She pulled back from him and stood, and quickly shuffled out of her breeches, and slowly began to remove her blouse as he watched. Her body was slim but curved, her skin a golden glow in the candle light.
"Oh gods." he groaned, staring at her.
She beamed, her green eyes dancing, feeling suddenly very brave, she put her hands on his chest and gave him a gentle push onto his back on the bed. He laughed softly, falling back, not resisting.
He lay back and Matilda climbed up on top of him, with shaky hands she started to remove his shirt. He lay still, letting her take charge, she lightly kissed his lips and then kissed the scar on his face, trailing kisses lightly down it, kissing down his body, finding every scar and mark and kissing it tenderly, tracing her hands down his body. He groaned and his whole body seemed to tense. She suddenly realised her power over him and kissed him gently.
This big strong hard man who loved her. Who would do anything for her she realised. Who even in leaving her was trying to protect her. She loved him so much, she felt it like a physical pain, like her heart was breaking.
"I love you Leo." she whispered "Whatever happens, come back to me, please come back to me."
She kissed down his body, feeling the hardness of him, and impatiently pulled at his trousers. Then his member was free, she took him into her mouth. He gasped, his body straining up. His hands tightened around the sheets on the bed. She swirled her tongue around him experimentally. He groaned, as her tongue flickered over the head of his penis. She began to suckle him, listening to his responses as she went up and down. When he began to beg her, she had mercy on him.
She rose above him and he helped guide himself into her.
He tried to touch her, but she shook her head and pushed his hands back to the mattress. She shifted experimentally and made a small mewling sound as she felt a jolt of pleasure.
"Mattie!" he said desperately.
She began to rock back and forwards instinctively, her hands tracing down his chest, to come up and run through his hair. She cupped his face and leant forward to lovingly kiss him.
With that he groaned and lost control. His hands came up to clutch at her, pressing her into him, and he rolled so that she was suddenly beneath him.
They both moaned, as holding her close, he thrust into her hard, kissing down her neck.
He felt her breasts with his hands, feeling the hard peaked nipples, rubbing at them and circling them, making her gasp.
She felt so full as he continued to push into her, rubbing against her clit.
With each slow steady thrust, she felt the heat in her rise, it rushed through her body, as she felt her body tremble, she peaked.
As they came together, she collapsed on top of him. She felt him tenderly stroking her hair. They made love many more times throughout the night, until they both fell into an exhausted sleep.
Matilda awoke in the morning to find the sun streaming in, Leo was gone.