tagSci-Fi & FantasyThe Sleeping Princess Ch. 06

The Sleeping Princess Ch. 06

byLaSalia©

Jamie watched his wife as her tears finally began to ebb. The shaking didn't cease, however, even as she rose to sit, her fists gripping the quilt as though she would rend it in half. It was almost amusing to watch such a tiny woman in such a violent fury, but Jamie simply couldn't bring himself to feel any mirth. When her fingers finally relaxed and her palms slid to cover her womb protectively Jamie knew he had a long road ahead of him. It would be near impossible to convince her that giving up the baby was the right thing to do, but it had to be done.

Jamie found himself in a precarious position. The witch had threatened him with the curse of madness first, but more so, she'd promised that all of his progeny would be cursed as well. He didn't know if Rosella, too, would be afflicted, but he just couldn't take the chance. A protective streak he had never known before began to assert itself. There could be more babies. There was only one Jamie and Rosella.

All his life, Jamie had wanted power. He had felt helpless as a child, and even more so as an adult in service to his father and brothers. Becoming king had seemed to be the ultimate fulfillment of his dream. He had power over a whole kingdom, dozens of lords and ladies and hundreds of serfs and peasants. And yet, he still wasn't the master of his own destiny. The sorceress had taken that from him. She was forcing him to choose between the family he so desired and his own sanity. He hated to give her that kind of control over him. He just couldn't see the alternative.

As he watched Rosella, her green eyes hardening with resolve, he felt guilt begin to creep in. It would be the culmination of all her fears, that he was so very callous of her feelings that he would rob her of her own choice. This would need to be done with a delicate hand. He was glad he had 9 months to convince her. If he failed to sway her... well, breaking her heart was a better alternative to loosing her as well as his own mind.

Jamie sat down on the bed, taking his wife's hand in his. He wasn't sure how to begin, but she beat him to it.

"We can't fight her, can we?"

Jamie shook his head sadly. Even with an army of wizards, there was little chance they could prevail. Her own parents had found that out first hand.

"We have to give her an apprentice, we have to fulfill my parents' bargain."

Jamie's sense of hope, that she knew the futility of defying the sorceress, was short lived.

"I'll go instead, once the baby is born. I'll be her apprentice."

She squeezed his hand tightly, staring out the small tower window at a clear blue sky that hadn't been entirely cloudless for decades. They had felt such elation when the curse was lifted. Now it was all for naught. The alternative was even worse. Jamie almost wished they could go back to the way things were, but he knew it wasn't possible.

He wanted to argue with her. He wanted to, but there was a small part of him that said 'let it be.' He would have his heir, he would have his kingdom, and everything he'd ever wanted. He just wouldn't have his Ella. That bothered him more than he thought it would.

"We won't give up just yet, Ella. We have nine months to come up with a plan. I don't want to lose you or the baby. You're mine, and I intend to fight for you."

It wasn't a declaration of love, but Rosella held it close to her heart anyhow. He was willing to fight for her and their child. She had to admit, it was more than she'd expected. It would have to be enough, for now.

Nine months later...

Jamie had visited dozens of wizards, witches, fairies and any other magical creature he could find. They'd all said the same thing: Lady Severna was too powerful. In all honesty, they didn't think he could have even broken her first curse without her help. The only real solution anyone had offered was from the dwarves in the nearby mountains. Their suggestion: kill the bitch. Unfortunately, not a one had a suggestion as to how that could be done.

An assault on her mountain fortress was a suicide mission. The few hundred men Jamie would be able to rally would face sorcery, not another army, and even with enchanted weapons and armor, there was little chance that they would even be able to get inside and confront the sorceress directly. The only hope Jamie had was that she would come out to fight herself. He knew she was prideful and overconfident, traits in himself that he easily recognized. Any attack would hinge on playing up to her ego and catching her off guard.

It would have to work. Jamie just couldn't see the alternative. He'd spent the last nine months watching as a strange calm settled over his wife. Rosella had come to terms with the fact that she would sacrifice herself for her child and Jamie. As she lost her fears, Jamie's had grown.

She spent nearly all her time with him, contributing to the ruling of the kingdom, coordinating meals that she knew he loved, and spending any moment they could steal making passionate love, even as her expanding belly made it more and more challenging. Jamie had confirmed what he'd suspected that night months ago when the curse was broken: that Rosella was smart and strong and everything he could ever want in a wife. She was quite simply irreplaceable.

Although he'd tried a few times to bring up her decision to sacrifice herself instead of their child, he'd had no success. Rosella was convinced that it was only right for her take responsibility for her parent's mistakes. As Lady Severna said, she was brought into this world through the sorceress's magic, it was only right she should be the one to suffer.

After five months of hearing the same argument, and having nothing better to suggest, Jamie had begun to make his own plans.

His first thought was to just end the pregnancy. However, he knew that the witch would merely take the next child, and he wasn't prepared to go forever without an heir. It would buy him time, but time for what?

Briefly he considered trying to trick Severna, and give her someone else's child. He rather doubted she, with her strong magic, wouldn't sense the difference immediately. Her wrath at being deceived would surely be worse than what they were contending with now.

However, Rosella wasn't magical. Jamie's growing respect for his wife was only outmatched by his growing possessiveness. He knew that if he took the child himself, while Rosella was recovering from labor, she would never forgive him, and might even try to mount a rescue. Then he would lose them both. If she never knew he took the child, though, then perhaps they could live their lives without any more curses hanging over their heads.

Finding a peasant woman in the kingdom who was willing to give up her child, even if it was to be raised as the crown prince, without alerting anyone to the trickery, however, was becoming a challenge. He'd had Stephen track down all of the women in the kingdom and surrounding kingdoms whose pregnancy was as advanced as Rosella's. Getting the two to be born on the same day would require a little help, and he'd enlisted a willing midwife who knew a potion to bring on labor.

As it stood, Stephen had found two women who fit their needs, but he wasn't sure if they'd agree. He'd been feeling them out, subtly, and both were so excited to be mothers, one with her first pregnancy and the second with six girls, and she was certain it was a boy this time. Convincing either woman to give it up would be a challenge. Stephen wanted to recruit the second woman. If it were another girl, she would probably not argue too much. But if it were a boy... Jamie thought the first woman would be a better bet. She was young and healthy, and could have more children, regardless of gender.

It was settled, and Stephen began the onerous task of wooing the young woman and her husband to their side. They were quite reluctant at first, but the promise of gold, land, and a place at the Ilstorian court eventually won them over. Knowing that their child would be raised as royalty helped as well. Jamie slept peacefully for the first time in months the day that they pledged their silence, and their first born, to their king.

Now it was simply a matter of waiting for Rosella to go into labor. The peasant woman was just a little behind the queen in the advancement of the pregnancy. It was a perfect fit since Jamie wasn't sure if he could trick Rosella into drinking the bitter brew that would bring on the birth. However, the other child didn't seem to care that he was supposed to be the one to arrive last. The pregnancies were in the beginning of their last months, but still too early. Then the other woman began to feel a stabbing pain in her back, and the midwife confirmed his fears: the other woman would deliver first.

Jamie paced outside the door to the tower room he and the queen still shared. In his hands he held the vial of noxious liquid. He went over his practiced speech in his mind. He planned to tell Rosella that the midwife was concerned for the child's health and this potion would help. Rosella had refused all other potions from the woman, however, so he knew he had to be his most persuasive. Trouble was, he was so nervous. He had no idea if his ploy would even work. He had to admit, he even feared that Lady Severna herself would someday come back to expose his betrayal. In the last few weeks he had begun to doubt himself, doubt that he was doing the right thing for himself, his family, and his kingdom. He'd come too far, however, to give up now.

Just as he put his hand on the door to begin his climb up the steps, the midwife appeared from the shadows, her dull gray robes blending into the stone. The woman seemed more like a witch than a midwife. She was old, like a crone, with long, stringy gray hair and a thick bulbous nose. Her hazel colored eyes, nearly swallowed in swaths of sagging, wrinkled flesh, were the only thing that belayed her age, as they were sharp as knives. She gave a short curtsy, hardly low enough to honor her king, but Jamie was too anxious to correct her.

"What is it? Is the other child born already?"

The woman nodded solemnly.

"It is a boy, my lord. Strong and healthy."

Jamie knew this news should have elated him. He had a son and heir in that child. He felt nothing, though, merely more anxiety. Both he and Rosella were certain that the child she carried was a girl. It made sense, as the sorceress would want another female to tutor. If Jamie presented his wife with a boy it gave even more credence to the lie he would tell her later; that he and his army had convinced Lady Severna to leave them alone. That everything else was occurring exactly as planned didn't faze him. He felt his stomach knot even tighter instead.

"Is that all, crone?"

Jamie knew he shouldn't be so rude to the woman. She was doing him a great service. However, his mood was too turbulent for much else. The midwife didn't acknowledge his uncouth response. Instead, she stepped forward and took his wrist, her bony fingers surprisingly tight, digging into his flesh. He pulled away but she pulled him closer, her eyes boring into his.

"The potion is not the only way to bring on her labor."

It wasn't what he'd expected. Her solemn expression had him quaking that dire warnings and strange visions were upon the old woman. He stared at her dumbly until she repeated herself.

"The potion is not the only way to bring on her labor. You can bring on her labor through intercourse."

The woman placed a second, and smaller, vial, in his hands. Jamie's heart seemed to skip a beat. He stared at the small vial as the woman released him.

"Put this potion onto your cock before you enter her. Stimulation of her nipples will also help, as well as bringing her to satisfaction."

King Jamie fought a blush that was trying to creep up his neck and into his cheeks as the crone gave him advice on how to please his wife. He wasn't sure if he could answer her, so he simply nodded. The old woman turned and walked away, leaving him staring at the two vials. Clutching them both tightly, he opened the door and climbed the stairway.

When he opened the door to the chamber Jamie caught his breath. Rosella was standing in the bathing tub, her body glistening and wet, her hands moving sensually across the bare skin of her enlarged breasts and belly as she washed. He hadn't expected to find her so attractive once her stomach began to expand. Seeing her so full of his child, however, she was even more beautiful than the first time he'd seen her, sleeping peacefully in the bed. She turned, staring at him from beneath long lashes, a tiny, sensual smile on her rosy lips.

Quickly Jamie pocketed the two vials and approached his queen, stripping his clothes hastily and tossing them onto the bed. She stepped from the tub to meet him, her large, round belly pressing against him as he embraced her tightly, kissing her lips with all the ardor and repressed frustration that had been building in him as the births approached.

He didn't release her lips as he lifted her into his arms and carried her to the bed, laying her gently on the quilt. He let his hands roam across her silken skin, gently pinching her nipples until she was gasping into his kisses. When she began to moan, he trailed his lips down her neck, and then collar bone, swirling his tongue until it flicked one hard, puffy nipple. Rosella arched into his mouth and he eagerly closed his lips around the peak, sucking the perfectly pink bud into his mouth. One hand settled on her down covered nether lips, slipping a finger inside her moist heat, stroking her slowly while he continued his assault on her nipple.

"Jamie... Jamie... Oh yes! Yes, more!"

Rosella's eyes closed and her fingers slid into her husband's thick raven hair. Now that she was properly distracted, Jamie reached out to his discarded doublet and pulled out the smaller of the two vials. He popped open the flask and dribbled some of the potion directly onto his cock. Once his staff was slick with the gooey liquid he placed it against her molten pussy, rubbing the length against her sensitive flesh, arching himself carefully so that he wouldn't put pressure on her swollen belly. She began to squirm, trying to angle her hips against him so that his cock would slip inside, but kept himself from entering her right away, holding her hips firmly so that she couldn't squirm.

Finally Rosella's body began to tremble, her breath coming in short gasps, her pussy aching to be filled.

"Please, my king! Please! Take me now, take me now! I need you... Oooooh!"

Jamie didn't waste another moment, thrusting his cock deeply inside of her, the potion easing his entry so that he slid all the way inside on the first thrust. Rosella cried out as her body shuddered with pleasure, gripping his cock tightly as the waves of her first orgasm began to flutter. Jamie switched nipples, the fingers of one hand tweaking the moistened bud while his tongue swirled against the other.

The queen came hard, her fingers digging into Jamie's shoulder. She lifted her legs to take him in deeper, and Jamie felt as though her body were trying to suck him inside her very core. He grit his teeth, not ready to release his seed just yet, and slowed his thrusts. He continued to burry himself as deeply as possible, however.

Jamie released her nipple and knelt between her legs, lifting her ankles so that her thighs lay against his furry, scarred chest, and her feet curled behind his neck. His hands returned to her breasts, tweaking and pulling gently on her nipples as his cock moved in a slow, controlled rhythm. Her eyes fluttered open, staring into his with such love and adoration Jamie began to feel a lump form in his throat. He tried to clear it, but instead, a low growl slipped from between his lips and his control dissolved.

Rosella watched the strange expressions on her husband's face. At first he was in total control of himself, as he always was. Then something changed. His whole face tightened, raven brows furrowing to match his widows peak, making him appear even more stern than usual. His jaw tightened into a grimace that almost seemed painful. Then he totally lost control. His eyes looked like a storm cloud about to burst with lighting and his lips curled around his grimace in a fierce smile. He looked as though his whole body was about to burst as he pumped in and out of her body with determined passion.

Rosella had often wondered if her husband was becoming less attracted to her as her body grew heavy with child. She rubbed lotions on herself to keep from getting unattractive marks as her body stretched, but there was little she could do about the swelling of her legs and face, as she grew larger. His attentions to her had become so gentle and controlled, she wondered if it was merely to relieve his needs, if his passion for her had cooled entirely.

Now, as he gazed down into her eyes, seeming to pour his entire being into her body, she had no doubts whatsoever about her husband's desires. He was more passionate than she had ever seen him, and she was glad. She knew that the baby would come any time now, and this could very well be the very last time they made love before she went to serve the sorceress.

Rosella felt herself begin to reach her peak a second time. She tried hard not to break his gaze but as her body tightened she couldn't stop herself. She threw her head back, a loud scream of pleasure ripping from her throat as her pussy convulsed around the cock of the man she loved with all her heart.

When Jamie felt her sweet sheath grip him he knew he couldn't hold himself back any longer. His roar of satisfaction as he filled her, holding her hips tightly against his as she milked him of every drop of his seed, rang in chorus with hers.

When he finally began to calm, he noted that his body was trembling. The tightness in his throat remained and he could almost feel the corner of his eyes burning. Peeking through heavy lids he saw his gorgeous queen panting from the exertion, still impaled on his softening cock. She wore a smile of pure contentment. He couldn't help it as his own lips curled into a matching grin.

The grin faded, however, as Rosella gasped, gripping the quilt as her face contorted in pain. Her body bore down so tightly that his cock was forced out and he felt a strong gush of liquid suddenly pour from her opening. Jamie's heart began to race as he realized it was finally time.

"Midwife! The child comes!"

Jamie struggled to pull on his trousers, throwing a coverlet over his queen just before a crowd of servants, followed by the old crone, swarmed into the room. He was practically pushed out of the room as sheets were changed, towels were laid out, and clucking women began uttering words of encouragement to his bewildered wife.

"It's not time yet, is it? I though I had more time!"

Jamie swallowed his guilt as he watched the crone try to sooth Rosella's panic. She was right, of course. It was early. They should have been waiting another week or two before she delivered. Jamie tried to console himself by repeating to himself that it was the only way.

When several of the women tried to gently shoo him out, making inane comments about the birthing room being no place for a man, Jamie glowered and dragged a chair to an out of the way corner. When he planted himself firmly in the seat the women knew he would not be moved. He tried to ignore the giggles and whispers about the loving and devoted king. Jamie didn't know why he felt the urge to stay, but he knew he couldn't leave.

The birth seemed to be progressing far more rapidly than he'd expected. The peasant woman had begun her labor at dawn. It took him several hours to work up the courage to slip his wife the potion. The tolling of the church bell told him it was now nigh vespers. Yet women were already holding Rosella's legs against her stomach to help her bear down. He began to wonder if the potion the old woman gave him was more than simple herbs. When he caught her gaze, she nodded solemnly. He couldn't be certain, but he hoped it was affirmation that this was expected.

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