Innocent Pawn Ch. 10bywishfulthinking©
Black spots danced over her vision as she gazed at her father in horror. His fingers gripped her cheeks painfully as his large frame pinned her against the cold stone wall. Something sharp pressed against her throat.
"You tried to kill me." A chilling smile curled Alain d'Alsace's thin lips. Bella's legs almost gave way beneath her. Her lips parted to call to Leonn, but no sound came.
His head dipped, his breath warm on her face as his lips pressed against hers. She tried to turn her head, a small moan escaping her, but punishing fingers held her still. She squeezed her eyes shut as his mouth moved warmly over hers, nibbling and teasing, his tongue seeking entry. Her hands pushed at his chest as his fingers pinched her nostrils close, and her lips finally parted as she sought to draw air into her burning lungs. She felt bile rise.
His tongue plunged into her mouth. She couldn't breath, couldn't think. Dizziness washed over her as he explored her mouth greedily, his firm lips moving forcefully over hers, his breathing heavy as his solid frame pressed against her softness.
Bella shuddered when she felt the sharp point at her neck drawn down over her chest, over the uneven rise and fall of her breasts barely constrained by the thin silk chemise. A gasp was smothered by his mouth as the dagger sliced through the strap of her chemise. She felt the material slip down over the crest of her breast.
Her fingers clenched around his wrist as she felt the sharp tip press against her taut nipple. A tear slid down her cheek as the stinging sensation grew worse, a mere promise of what was to come. Her teeth clenched and she tasted blood. Her father jerked back angrily, his hand going to his mouth.
"You bit me!" he bit out angrily as his fist connected with her temple, sending everything black.
Leonn stirred, drawn from the edges of sleep by the creak of the chamber door. He wondered who dared enter his chamber at this early hour. It was of little concern if a servant accidentally happened upon him naked in his own chamber. His own manservant was long used to laying out his clothes and arranging hot water for his baths. But it was Bella who had changed the routine of his household. In the week his servants had come to know her, they had begun to dote on her, basking in her sweetness and gentleness. Now it seemed there was a silent agreement among his servants that none would breach the privacy of his inner sanctum for fear of causing his shy Bella embarrassment.
Leonn's hand slid over the rumpled bed linen, seeking to draw Bella into his arms and cover her sweet curves from view. He frowned when his fingers discovered only cool emptiness, then his lips curled in amusement. His little coward had fled back to her own chamber rather than face his tender punishment for what she had done.
He hardened instantly at the memory of her sliding down upon his length, of her nails digging in to his chest. The exquisite frustration of being bound to the bed as she rode him, of being forced to watch the exquisiteness of her taking him inside of her. Of her soft moans as she bucked upon him, her taut little nipples pressing against the silky chemise, begging to be suckled.
Leonn groaned into his pillow. She had bewitched him from the start with those innocent eyes and delightful curves, yet he hadn't allowed those feelings to veer him from his course of revenge. He had stolen her virginity and forced her to accede to his every desire as he held her captive. All for the sole misfortune on Bella's part for being the daughter of the man that had killed Leonn's father.
Even now Leonn could not completely regret his actions, only the circumstances. Her innocent sensuality had taken his breath away as he sought to enslave her with the bonds of lust. To make her crave the feel of him pressing between her thighs. Only to find himself enslaved...
Out of the corner of his eye a shadow stirred, and the breath stilled in his chest. His narrowed gaze flew to where his sword rested but two arm lengths away on a brocade chair. The muscles in his arms tensed just as a familiar voice reached him.
He turned his head swiftly, and noted with interest how the sliver of early light gleamed on the menacing blade gripped tightly in her hand. Leonn forced his body to relax.
"Marie," he acknowledged coolly, fighting back the hatred that burned through him as he finally came face to face with Bella's tormentor. He had no intention of obeying her command. He sat up, swinging his long over the side of the bed with a lion's grace, unconcerned by his nakedness.
Marie's arm stiffened, the sword raising up between them even as her eyes lowered to the masculinity nestled between his golden thighs. "Pleasant dreams?" She murmured, moistening her lips.
"To what do I owe this honour?" he queried dryly, not bothering to draw a sheet over his lap as his erection subsided.
"I heard you were looking for me," Marie said, an eyebrow raised as she moved closer to the bed. "So here I am."
"How convenient," he replied calmly, noting the tight black leather breeches and tunic that clung to her long thighs and waist and molded the full swells of her breasts dispassionately. "You saved me the trouble of paying the ten thousand gold pieces I promised for your capture."
Marie smiled coldly as her gaze flickered over him. "You will find that I can be very convenient."
Something swirled low in his stomach as he gazed intently upon Marie's face. "You are - were my father's wife," Leonn bit out. He struggled to keep his anger under tight control. "There could never have been anything convenient between us, Marie. That you took a belt to Bella's back when she was at her most vulnerable..."
Marie's eyes narrowed dangerously. "You are very protective of a woman who does not want you. Yet you continue to amuse yourself with her, despite knowing she would gladly give you over in order to return to the convent after what you have done to her. Only we all know that the convent would never take her back when the evidence of your sins is clear for all to see. You wonder why she refuses to marry you, yet the answer is clear. Bella simply bides her time until she rids herself of your bastard."
"Leave now, Marie, and you do so with your life," he promised her coldly, his glittering amber eyes locked with her dark ones. He stood up, towering over her, his hatred for her clearly visible. He ignored the weapon raised between them.
Her fingers tightened their grip on the handle. "I won't be leaving until I get what I want."
"And what is it that you want, Marie?" he asked with deadly softness.
Marie's eyes flashed, before her lips curled cruelly. "To make you suffer."
"How? By denying me the delights of your well ridden body?" Leonn asked idly. As fury sparked in those eyes his hand shot out, gripping her wrist and twisting sharply. She cried out as the sword clattered to the stone floor, and again as he forced her up against him as he twisted her arm awkwardly behind her.
His fingers stroked the side of her neck as his warm breathe stirred the stray brown curls at her temple.
"I want to hurt you, Marie," he murmured against her ear as his fingers trailed down to hook over the leather tunic where it dipped between her breasts. "I fantasise about my guards holding you down as I take my whip to your back as you did to Bella. Of watching them mount you, forcing their pricks into you eager pussy over and over."
"Leonn," she moaned.
"We both know that you would be hot for them, don't we, Marie?" he murmured as his hand slid down beneath her tunic, finding a hard nipple. "That you would spread your legs eagerly, welcoming the humiliation as you begged to be fucked roughly."
"No..." she muttered.
"No?" Leonn queried, as his finger lazily circled her nipple. She arched against him, pressing her breast into his palm.
"I hate you," she moaned.
"Do you really?" he mused as he toyed carelessly with her nipple, watching her eyes darken with desire. "Then perhaps you will be pleased to know that it is Bella, and not I, that will decide your fate."
Marie stiffened, then laughed softly. "I don't think Bella will be deciding anything in the near future. Not if her father has anything to do with it."
Leonn froze. "Pray, Marie, that it is indeed Bella who decides your fate," he said softly. "Where is she?"
Marie gasped as he wrenched her arm higher behind her back, bringing tears to her eyes. "The church," she muttered, and he thrust her from him as he strode from the chamber.
As he called for his guard, he knew that this time he would ensure that Bella's father could no longer harm her. In the meantime, Marie could enjoy the comforts of his dungeon.
Bella moaned softly, her hand flying to her throbbing head, only to flinch back as lightening agony shot through her skull. Sweat beaded on her forehead as she lay there, waiting for the pain and dizziness to subside.
She remembered. Leonn asleep. Slipping from his warm bed before the servants awoke. Her father. The dagger. She sat up jerkily, squeezing her eyes shut momentarily against the pain, before slowly opening them again. She must warn Leonn.
Her fingers clutched at her chest, and she gazed down, startled. She wore a gown of blue chiffon, so deep it almost seemed like violet. Long sleeves swirled from her elbows, and a deep bodice clung to the tiny swell of her breasts. Trembling fingers reached up, discovering the crowning garland pinned over her loose, flowing hair. Bella swallowed hard as realisation slowly dawned. He couldn't...
A noise startled her, and her head turned, the sudden movement causing the world to spin before righting itself. Her heart began to thud as she gazed upon the large solid man leaning against the doorway to the sparse chamber, his arms crossed lazily over his chest.
Bella took a deep shuddery breath. "There is not a priest in this land that would condone a father marrying his daughter."
His lips twitched, yet the humour never reached the cold brown eyes moving intently over her. "No?" He strode toward her, and she scrambled back until she felt the cold stone wall against her back.
"No," she whispered. Bella knew this to be the priest's antechamber leading off from the main chamber of the church that was housed in the grounds of Chayboneau. Knowing that Leonn could not be far away gave her some comfort as she returned her father's gaze. Her mind raced as she tried to think of some way to escape, to get to Leonn.
"Then it seems it is fortunate that I am not the intended groom."
It was a moment before comprehension dawned. Oh god, she thought. He would force her to wed a stranger, binding her to a man she did not love. A man who would not protect her from her father's wicked desires. She swallowed hard as he squatted before her.
"Had you done your duty, all this would be unnecessary," he said, catching a silky red strand between his fingers. "Yet your stubbornness has left me with no choice."
Her wide green eyes locked with his. She barely winced as he tugged on the fine strands. "I hate you."
"You are no longer the meek, obedient girl I sent to the convent," he told her, his eyes narrowing. "De Angel has made a woman of you, Isabella. Something for which you will both pay."
Her skin felt clammy where his fingers cupped her breast through the fine material of her bodice.
"Had you been a dutiful daughter, you would have married de Angel when he asked. Now I am forced to see the deed done myself before I finally dispose of him."
"W-what?" she gasped, stiffening as his fingers found her nipple. Her hands clenched as he pinched and rolled the offended bud. "Why?"
"This way I get what I want, legally. In the event of de Angel's untimely demise, you, as his wife and mother of his heir, have full control of his estates until your child reaches the age of majority."
Her lips parted as she realised her father's intent. With Leonn dead, her father planned to use her unborn child to control the de Angel estates.
"What if our child is a girl?" Bella barely registered the feel of his fingers stroking her nipple into a taut peak as she forced herself to breathe, to stay calm.
"The sex is irrelevant. De Angel's great-grandfather changed the entailment so that either sex could inherit. Theirs' was not a fertile family, and his great-grandfather foresaw the need to prevent the de Angel estates reverting to the King. Fortunately for us."
"There is no 'us'. I will have nothing to do with this. I would rather die than help you steal Leonn's heritage!"
"Then the babe dies with you," her father said agreeably as he smoothed her bodice and rose to tower over her.
Her face paled. "No..." she breathed. "You cannot!"
"No?" he enquired. She didn't struggle as his fingers gripped her by her upper arms and dragged her to her feet. "I didn't think so, somehow."
His head dipped as he inhaled her scent deeply. She shuddered as she felt his lips brush against the side of her neck.
"When de Angel is dead and I have legal control of his estates, I will teach you to love the feel of my cock pounding your tight pussy and ass," he promised her.
She stiffened in his arms. A large hand slid down over her waist to grip her bottom, drawing her abruptly up against him. She pushed against his chest, only to be released as a loud commotion came from the main chamber. She pushed past her father and stumbled into the main chamber. Leonn stood at the entrance to the church, his face an intimidating mask. Dangerous amber eyes scanned the surrounds until they alighted on a dishevelled Bella. And narrowed.
Bella heard her father shout something from behind her, and she cried out "No!" as she ran down the aisle toward Leonn, her eyes only for him as she sought to warn him. She was unprepared for the arms that caught her from behind. She struggled, and felt herself almost hefted off the ground as her captor fought to subdue her.
"Go back," she cried. She kicked her attacker, her legs tangling in the flowing layers of her skirts. She stilled as she felt the cold press of steel at her throat. Her gaze met Leonn's fearfully. Silent fury emanated from him as her father's men blocked his way with swords.
"Let her go. It's me that you want." Leonn stepped further into the church, allowing the doors to swing close behind him. The move separated him for the dozens of armed guards at his back. Everything in her screamed 'no'.
"Ah, how touching. You make me begin to think you might care for her." Alain smiled, crossing his arms over his chest where he stood in the doorway to the antechamber.
"Let her go," Leonn repeated, never taking his eyes from Bella. "The church is surrounded by my men. They have orders to let you pass through the gates of Chauboneau unmolested so long as Isabella is released unharmed."
"Leonn don't!" she cried. She had to make him understand, to go back. If he married her as her father planned, Leonn was effectively signing his death warrant. "You must-"
"Be a good girl, Isabella, and be quiet," her father said casually as he strode toward her. "I have no intention of harming Isabella or the babe. Unless you force me to do so," her father informed Leonn.
She looked up at her father with burning hatred as he came to stand beside her. She flinched as he lifted a hand and gently smoothed back a silky strand from her flushed face. "Or you, de Angel, for that matter, so long as you accede to my wishes. Once my business here is concluded, my men and I will shortly be on our way."
"What is it you want, d'Alsace?" LEonn paid no heed to the dozen or so men with drawn swords as he walked toward Bella. At a signal from her father, the guards shuffled uneasily around Leonn as he approached them, allowing Leonn to pass through their ranks. Leonn didn't acknowledge their presence by so much as a flicker of an eyelid as he gazed intently at her. Alain held his hand up as Leonn came within 5 yards of them. Leonn obeyed, but he visibly disliked doing so.
"Apparently the same thing as you," Alain murmured, gazing down at Isabella's sweet face as his fingers stroked the side of her neck.
Bella whimpered as the band of muscles across Leonn's shoulders and back tensed beneath the fine linen shirt.
"She's a pretty little thing. And passionate. She fairly spits when I touch her," her father murmured as his fingers traced her jaw.
"Don't. Touch. Her," Leonn commanded softy.
She felt the sting of the dagger at her throat as Leonn took a menacing step closer.
Alain laughed again, not in the least intimidated. "She is mine to do with as I please," he said, motioning to someone over Bella's shoulder. "And I choose to give her to you. For now."
Leonn's eyes narrowed, then shifted to something over Bella's shoulder. Bella felt dread well inside of her, as she knew what was to come. She watch the frown cross Leonn face as Father de Ambiage was brought forward by one of the guards.
"In marriage, of course."
"Why?" Leonn demanded incredulously, thrown off guard.
"Would you believe, it wouldn't do for my grandchild to be labelled a bastard?"
Alain smiled. "I didn't think so. Shall we begin?"
The next few minutes seemed like a lifetime to Bella. She was forced to her knees before the priest, the guard's dagger pressed keenly against her neck throughout the short ceremony. On her other side kneeled Leonn, and tears welled in her eyes as his fingers laced through hers, squeezing reassuringly when it was time for her to say her vows.
When the scrolls were signed, and handed to her father, she barely caught her breath when her father's fist lashed out, catching Leonn on the temple. Leonn slumped to the side, and she tried to catch him, his weight bearing her to the ground beneath him, his head cradled in her arms.
"Oh, god, Leonn, please, please wake up."
"It would take much more than that to hurt him permanently, Bella," her father muttered as she was dragged screaming to her feet by several guards. "Stop your whining, girl. The marriage must be seen to be consummated by the King, despite you already being pregnant with his bastard. So he lives for now."
When she didn't stop struggling, trying desperately to tear herself free and run to Leonn, her father lashed out, his fist connecting with the side of her face as he sought to subdue her.
Bella moaned, slowly coming around. The galloping horse beneath her only added to her confusion and dizziness.
"You're awake. I was afraid I had caused you serious harm." Strong arms held her against him. It was pointless struggling. Should she fall, she could hurt the babe.
"Where are we? What have you done to Leonn?"
"Leonn is alive. I'm sure he would be touched by your concern, despite your refusals to marry him."
At some silent signal her father and his men halted in a small clearing. A man helped lift her down and guided her to a tree. Her father sat on his horse and watched as her wrists were bound, and then her feet.
"Why are you doing this?" she cried. She realized he must have used her as a hostage to gain safe passage, yet was it now his intention to rape her here, before all his men?
How far were they from Chauboneau and Leonn? The image of him slumped lifeless in her arms brought a rush of tears to her eyes. She did not resist as the guard checked her restraints.
She then watched with stunned disbelief as he climbed back on his horse. With a salute, her father and his men disappeared in a cloud of dust.
He father was not going to hurt her or the babe? She could have wept with relief her joy was so great. Only now she had to wait and pray her husband found her.
Husband. That one world held such a wealth of meaning. She still couldn't quite believe it.