tagSci-Fi & FantasyCold, Demonic Eyes Ch. 01

Cold, Demonic Eyes Ch. 01


Frozen to the core, Soraya watched some pebbles she had just kicked loose falling down the chasm. The deafening storm whipped her wet, black hair into her face and her clothes were soaked.

This was it... the end of the line. No place left to run.

From the beginning, Soraya had hated everything about this journey. The princess had always know, that she had to marry someday to forge an alliance with another kingdom, since their laws forbade her to become queen. The legal code did not explain why, just stated that while the crown had to be passed down by bloodline, no female could claim the throne. Her future husband however wasn't of her choice. He was neither ugly nor old, but she somehow didn't trust him.

By her own choice, Soraya wouldn't have travelled on her birthday but he insisted. The weather was just the final stroke to complete the disaster.

Straightening her shoulders, panting, Soraya turned around slowly to face her destiny. The demon was in no hurry. She was trapped, cornered by his brilliant trap. His face looked like that of an angel with wet, blond hair clinging to his shoulders and no doubt onto his back. His black robe, fastened by a broad leather belt, looked as heavy as hers, but it didn't slow his purposeful stride. Down his forehead, black marks had been tattooed, with the ink also covering his neck. Like every other higher demon, he was hardly distinguishable from men.

The princess, struggling for balance as the wind ripped at her clothes, wasn't fooled by his handsome looks or lean body with broad shoulders. After seeing him fight, slaughtering her men without uttering a word, there was no mistaking what he was. With a flick of his wrist, his swords had cut limbs and pierced hearts. Nobody seemed to be able to put up much of a fight. As he was approaching, he sheathed the twin sabers at his belt. Obviously she wasn't enough of a threat, just as the last of her men were not, so he left the cutting down of those foolish enough to try and fight back to the lesser demons accompanying him... The princess herself he could simply push down in the chasm. Lips pressed together, her shaking fingers fumbled for the little dagger in her belt. Not without a fight, she promised herself. A wailing cry stopped her dead when she was about to make her desperate attack. Was that her nurse, pleading for mercy? Tears stung in Soraya's eyes.

"Please put that away, princess. I don't want you to be harmed..." The demon spoke with a deep, melodic voice that vibrated through her body. His icy, blue eyes were set on her. They were cold, as if there was no soul in him. An unpleasant shiver ran down her spine. Facing him fully now, she asked:

"Why did you kill my men?"

Suddenly, the dead eyes where filled with deadly anger. He didn't reply, but turned his head with the burning eyes towards his men. "Who of them was careless enough to hurt you...?" he asked, the voice filled with steel. Again, Soraya shivered, but not out of fear.

"Hurt...?" she whispered and looked down on herself.

There was gash in her robe at her left shoulder, the rims stained red with blood. Slowly, she could see the stain growing and yet there was no pain. The young woman swayed in the wind at the sight of the blood but caught herself.

His men hesitated in their approach, when his head snapped around to her.

"Which one...?" he hissed, eyes glowing in the dark.

Her heart racing in her throat, the young princess looked around, until she saw a vaguely familiar face. Shaking, she extended a hand, pointing to a man with a bloody short sword in his hand. The demon leaped so fast, she could hardly see him moving. The blade was in his hand before his feet touched the ground again. His blade was a flash amidst the raging storm. The man froze and when the demon turned around to walk back to her, the man's head rolled onto the ground, just a heartbeat before his body fell. The same moment, the fire of rage vanished from his eyes again, leaving them just as dead as before.

A short whistle sounded and a horse neighed. "If you please, Princess..." he said whilst extending a hand that was as pale as hers. Soraya didn't have the courage to fling herself over the chasm, to her own death. Biting her lip, she threw herself at him with her dagger. She needn't have bothered. Her opponent caught her hand and wrested the small weapon from her numb fingers without hesitation, even catching her as she stumbled over the long hem of her dress. Defeated, the young woman let her head sink to his chest. She didn't want to look when he killed her but was surprised when he instead places his black cloak around her shoulders.

A moment later, she was lifted on her feet, seated on a huge black stallion's back. The demon mounted behind her, pulling her into his arms. His touch felt impersonal, as if she was leaning against a statue and yet the princess almost forgot how to breathe as she shivered in his arms, craving the slight bit of warmth radiating from his body. The smells of wet leather, fire and intense cinnamon smell rose to her nose.

The demon kicked his horse into a gallop. Despite the danger in riding at this speed in such weather, the stallion sped over the land with no difficulty. They sat in silence, for the young woman was in shock after witnessing her men being killed. Time passed and as night fell, they rode over a bridge and through an iron gate.

Soraya didn't have the opportunity to take in all of the huge, dark structure in. Even if he still didn't seem in hurry, the demon lost no time before sliding down the horse, handing the reins over to the stable boys. As if she weighed nothing at all, he picked her up from the horse and let her slide into his arms, but didn't put her back on her feet. With the same purposeful, long strides he carried her into the stone building, through a hall and up several stairs. His destination was a well-lit room in an upper story. A merry fire burned in the fireplace which was surrounded by servants hurrying around, but there was no other source of lighting. Several sconces held unlit candles.

"The bath is almost ready, Lord." informed one of them, a young woman apparently in her mid-twenties, with a merry, freckled face. As all the servants, she wore a short robe and trousers in dull colors.

"Get the midwife..." he replied, shortly.

"Yes, Lord..." she answered and hurried out of the room.

Just then, the demon put her back on her feet, holding her gently by the shoulders. By now, the black cloak he had given her was soaked as her dress. He pulled the black garment from her body, placing it in the arms of another servant. Soraya flinched when he drew a dagger from his belt, closing her eyes. But... no pain followed. She only heard silk rip, as he cut through the belt holding the robes that made up her dress. Layer upon layer of wet silk he pulled off her, easily pushing away her hands. When she stood there in her under robe of white, now transparent silk, she instead tried to cover her breasts, holding the robe there. For a moment there was a glimmer of slight annoyance in his eyes, but seconds later, the princess wasn't sure if she had ever seen it.

"Wet clothes will make you ill..." he said quietly as he pushed her arms apart.

"What do you care?!" the girl shouted, making the remaining servants flinch.

His fingers were still warm against her skin, sliding under her collar and continuing to undress her despite refraining from answering. Slowly, the demon peeled off the damp cloth from her cold skin, ignoring her as she tried to cover herself. No matter how gently he worked around the wound or how many goosebumps his touches produced, there was still no expression his eyes. Soraya's breath fastened slightly as he stroked over her shoulders, his eyes locked on her body. Finally, the robe fell. A final tug on the loincloth and she stood before him, again trying to cover her nakedness with her arms. Her wet hair, that usually covered her down to her hips, wasn't of much help now. Slowly, he turned around, taking a towel from one of the nearby servants and wrapped it around her, leaving the shoulder - and the still slightly bleeding wound - free.

"My Lord..." the freckled servant girl announced, when a woman with graying hair entered the room "the midwife..."

Besides the color of her hair, it was hard to guess the entering woman's age. She strode over to them and the demon stood aside. She as well forced the struggling princess to display her body, so she could examine the wound. After a long look and some probing touches to the skin next to the cut, she faced the demon.

"It will hurt, but it will heal. If you please could change into something dry, you will need to hold her down."

The demon nodded and turned around to leave the room.

"The master will be very displeased indeed..." the woman muttered grimly, looking at the wound again. "Let's hope this leaves no scar. For all our sakes."

Soraya just looked at her.

"Then send me home. My father has the best doctors at his disposal... and he will pay any ransom that is asked of him!"

"Bah..." the woman laughed. "Neither will that happen nor is their skill greater than mine, damn those charlatans. Just see. It doesn't hurt yet, does it?"

Soraya shook her head, sprinkling water in all directions. Impatient, the midwife waved a hand in the direction of the servants. One hurried closer to dry the princess's long, wet hair with a towel.

"Why does the demon even care?" The black-haired girl wanted to know, then pressed her lips together in a frown.

"Oh, I'm just the midwife. I'm not company to his master's secrets..." was the dry reply. "And... he doesn't care. He can't."

A puzzled look betrayed the prisoner's confusion but the demon's return stopped her from asking. His long, blond hair was still damp, but he now wore a dry, belted black robe, not unlike the wet one, but lighter.

"My Lord..." the healer said. "I need you to hold her still. Best on the bed."

Without a response, he strode over to her and picked her up again. "I can walk on my own!" she protested. It was the midwife who answered.

"Well, he obviously doesn't care sweetheart."

The demon settled on the huge four-poster bed, positioned her with her back to his chest, holding her. Again, his warmth engulfed her and aided in easing the shivering a little more than the crackling fire.

"Relax... don't make it worse than what's necessary..." the midwife advised. With a pounding heart and the demons warm breath caressing her cheek, Soraya settled back. Immediately, two servants came to hold her legs.

Another carried a hot bowl to the bed, where the midwife started to cleanse the wound with some herbal brew. It had been numb, but as soon as the hot infusion touched it, it started to burn like hell.

Sucking in her breath, Soraya's fingers fisted the day cover of the bed.

"Oh dear... You're as white as a sheet. Don't you dare faint..." The midwife insisted. A weak laugh escaped Soraya, "Sadist..." she mumbled dryly and was rewarded with a broad grin, which made the healer's dimples show. Her green eyes, full of fear, instead just watched the midwife pulling out a pencil shaped crystal out of her robe.

"This will be the most painful thing you feel until childbirth. After that, pain won't scare you again" she promised, climbing onto the side of the bed. In the demons direction, she added: "Now hold her still..."

The demons arms around her tightened as the midwife stretched out her free hand to press the wound edges together. A new wave of anguish raced through Soraya's shoulder. However this was nothing in comparison to the pain she felt when the midwife held the crystal to her wound. White-hot agony seared through her flesh, and the princess heard herself scream as her body twisted, only held in place by the demon and the servants. After what felt like an eternity of torture, it was finally over.

Her eyes gleaming feverishly as she hung in the demons grasp. He brushed wet strands of hair out of her face and waited, unmoving, until her dizziness faded and she managed again to pull herself up.

Blinking, she looked down on her shoulder. Only a faint red line remained.

"Lucky it was a clean cut; it sealed easily. Don't strain the scar for a few days or it might split back open. I do have to say that I'm impressed; His men always faint," the midwife chuckled and nodded in the demons direction, when the demon let go of her and stood back up.

"A meal, a bath and some sleep..." the midwife instructed the surrounding servants, and Soraya watched as the demon nodded his silent agreement and left the room.

Soraya's belly full after some hot soup, a servant girl led her into the adjourning room. On the floor, there was a big tub, filled with steaming hot water. After removing her towel, the woman helped her into the warmth. Moaning in relief, Soraya relaxed and closed her eyes as the liquid washed over her aching body. The maid meanwhile started to wash her hair and sponge her back.

"You are very beautiful..." this particular servant seemed to be in an oddly good mood and more talkative than anyone else. Surprised, the princess opened her eyes.

"Oh?" she replied, her voice full of doubt.

The servant looked down kindly at the princess.

"You have sparkling eyes, a light frame and skin like porcelain... what's not beautiful about you?"

It took Soraya a moment to realise the woman was expecting an answer, and hesitated before speaking.

"Well, for one, I'm not as well-rounded as some of the court ladies. They say that my face is too mawkish, lacking the haughty beauty so well regarded at court. Furthermore, I have scars..." The princess pointed to the place where her right eyebrow was split and also to the two round impressions in her cheek near her right ear.

"But you do have that adorable birthmark underneath the scar... Just a little, dark spot..." a gentle finger caressed Soraya's temple, where the spot was. "So, whoever says you lack in beauty, lacks in taste, if you ask me." The princess gave he a small, warm smile as if she appreciated the compliment, however it was clear she did not believe in the words coming from the servant's mouth.

"I'm jealous, you know..." the chattering maid told her to reinforce her earlier words, while she dried the princess's body down. Puzzled, the prisoner turned her head.

"Jealous, why?"

A mischievous smile appeared in the corners of the brunette girl's mouth. "Because... he gets to touch you..." With her words, she stretched out her hand, slightly trailing her fingers over Soraya's smooth stomach whilst the princess gasped.

"What... are you doing?"

"He will get to caress you..." The fingers wandered higher, cupping one of her round breasts, leaning down. "And... to kiss you..." Gentle lips touched the creamy white skin of Soraya's unhurt shoulder, whilst she only stared at the servant, swallowing hard. After the hot bath, her skin was sensitive and the touches produced a tingling sensation in her belly. Nervously, she wetted her lips with her tongue. "I'm not allowed, really..." whispered the maid against her shoulder. After another kiss, she straightened up again, half a head taller than the tiny, naked princess. Soraya didn't get the chance to reply, as there was a sudden knocking on the door. Quickly, the servant helped Soraya into undergarments and a robe and then hurried to get the door.

"My lord..." The servant curtsied in front of the demon, letting him in. "I'll leave you for the night, milady... Call, if you need anything..." Closing the door behind her, but not without throwing the prisoner a sheepish glance, she left the room, leaving the young woman with the demon.

"I hope you find your accommodations satisfactory..." He said. Now, after the servant's words, Soraya was enormously nervous. Blushing, she averted her gaze. "Yes, thank you..." She forced her voice to remain steady. Three long steps and he had closed the distance between them. Lifting her chin so she would be forced to see him, he took her face in both hands. With his blank gaze, he caught her eyes, his thumbs caressing her rosy cheeks.

"My master wishes you healthy, relaxed and well rested..." he informed her, searching her face with cold eyes.

"Who is your master...?" Soraya whispered hoarsely.

No answer.

"My father will pay any ransom!" Soraya insisted, repeating the offer she had already made to the midwife.

And yet there was still no answer.

She considered fighting him, but his emotionless stare had her fixed to the spot. The young woman held her breath as she noticed time slowing, her eyes locked on his lips as he bowed his head. They finally met hers after what felt like an eternity and he kissed her lightly, gently, stealing her breath.

When he broke the kiss, she was panting, a ghostly touch remaining.

"Please... Don't do this. I am engaged." She managed to utter after a moment and tried to push his hands away. As she did, she tried to hide any emotion in her face, with... little success.

"This engagement is of no consequence to the master's plan..."

Despite his voice being as melodic as before, his words were flat, baring no emotion.

"Then what is his plan?" she pleaded. "Will... will he not be furious, when he discovers your presence here?"

Was that a smile? It was gone before Soraya could be sure. His fingers touched her hair, slightly, pulling it to one side, then he bowed down again, for she was much smaller and started to trail kisses over her bare neck. Kisses, that left a burning phantom trace on her skin. Somehow, she managed to raise her hands, tried to push against his chest, but she ended up clutching the front of the robe as her knees started to weaken. Her resistance was a mere token, for she didn't really want him to stop. He had caught her eye from the moment he appeared on that muddy road in the woods, but modesty demanded her to keep her distance.

His hands trailed down her back, then moved to rest on her waist. With the same ease as before, he picked her up, carrying her over to the large bed. It wasn't the cold that made the young woman shiver, when he gently lowered her to the sheets. How could his eyes be so empty, when his actions spoke an entirely different language? The young woman bit her lip, swallowing hard. She felt her heart racing in her throat, as his hands traced her body back upwards, almost accidentally grazing her left breast, again taking her face between them.

In that very moment, she couldn't hide the yearning in her eyes. When he lowered himself down to her, she longed for a kiss, even a wispy one like before. Slowly, he closed the distance, until she could taste his sweet breath. Like rose petals, her lips opened slightly, welcoming him. But the demon only let his warm breath brush over her jaw. His hands then slid under the collar, as he did earlier that evening. Soraya closed her eyes as he exposed the shoulder and started to explore the red line with long, slender fingers, examining it. All she could do was to concentrate on breathing. Her hands felt for his, closing around his wrists. Again, she could feel his warm breath close to her ear.

"Sleep now..." he whispered, before covering her with the blankets. As if nothing had happened, he turned and left.

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