Claiming an Ally Ch. 06bytitania123©
Again, thank you so much for all your comments. They truly keep me going. I know I said this would most likely be the last chapter, but I found I couldn't wrap it up without making it too long. Hopefully, the next chapter will resolve all, leaving us happy and hopeful. Enjoy!
He was blazing, his skin a stage for the black flames to dance upon. The weight of unlit time crushed him, shrouding him in its darkness. His body contended with its clutching fingers. He fought to stay upright, to keep his head level so his thoughts wouldn't drag him down. But the swirling sensation flowing through his mind would not leave. He slung his body violently, trying with all his might to hold onto his being. But he felt the gold ripped from his chest. He watched the radiant heart stretch from his soul and suddenly snap out of his body into the darkness. He felt his life's energy rush out with it, releasing his being into the void. "Emera!" he cried in unnerving desperation. He reached for the golden light, but it slowly faded away, out into the pitch, illuminating nothing despite is glow.
Emera paced in front of the doors to Edrich's room. She stopped occasionally to stare in fear at them. His groans and eventually shouts had grown over the past few hours. After he collapsed in the great hall, he was taken to the best guest suite and the royal healer was called. His men were given accommodations, but they took turns keeping guard, one inside to watch the healer, and two outside to control access to his room.
In his newly appointed chambers, he was stripped of his clothes and the old healer applied a compress of some sort meant to remove the infection over his wound. But it was too late to save his mind from the delirium of the fever. It took him from reality and deposited him in some torturous hell. At first, his shouts were just yells, noises of pain. But before long he began calling out her name, screaming for her in demented agony. At last, his call was too painful for her to ignore.
Emera threw open the doors and almost ran to his side. He was writhing afflicted on the bed, little of his clothing remained. "Emera," his shaky voice called in moaning anguish. His eyes were shut as his head shook back and forth. She reached out and stroked his brow.
"Shh," she whispered soothingly. "Edrich, do not fret so."
"Emera," he called as if he recognized a voice in the distance.
"I am here, Edrich."
"Princess, you should not be in here. This is not the place for you," the old croon Belinda reprimanded.
"As the princess, I decide what place is for me. Now, tell me, what can I do to ease his suffering?"
Reluctantly the woman commented, "His fever is too high. He must cool down."
Emera immediately took a rag from the basin full of water. She began to wash away the sweat. She then realized he was soaked as were the sheets underneath him. "I will make him a broth with the petroselinium. At this point, I'm afraid it is all we can do, my lady. You must make him eat it. Is it fitting for me to leave you to tend to him alone?" she asked, hinting at impropriety.
Considering all that had transpired between Edrich and herself, she bit her tongue and said nothing of the needlessness of the concern. With as much conviction for her words as she could muster, she said in air of authority, "I think it shows great resolve for the alliance that a member of this household would tend to the visiting king."
The lady studied the young girl for a moment, aware that, while the princess gave a reasonable answer, the political cause seemed to cover a deeper feeling.
"Plus, I doubt he would take advantage of me in the state he is in," she added dryly.
The woman had begun to turn to leave, but stopped. "Oh, no my lady, uncontrollable amorous feelings can accompany such a high fever with the delirium he has. Do not assume you are safe."
Emera contorted her brows in disbelief. "Well, there is a guard standing near, should he be needed." The answer seemed to placate the woman so she left as planned.
Emera relaxed a little when the woman left. Her mind eased into the soothing motion of her hand. She felt calmed, just being able to touch him, though her mind had yet to realize that fact. She did notice, however, that Edrich seemed to ease his tormented movements, and his calls for her were less agonized scream and more breathless longing. Occasionally, Emera would touch his skin with her own, feeling for the fever flowing through him.
His slickened skin was almost scorching. Though his agonized movements had lessened at her comforting touch, she knew he was nowhere near better. And if his fever was any indication, it would last awhile, the worst yet to come.
The night had slipped down across the sky, removing the day like a cleaned slate. The chamber maid had entered before dusk to build a fire and light a few candles as the princess directed. It was then she remembered the guard standing silently in the corner, standing guard over his liege.
"You and your men have had no food. Please, go to the kitchens and you will be served."
His unaffected resolve to stay near his lord needed no words to communicate. "I understand your reserve. However, I promise to guard him with my life. You know I am as capable as any," she said, eyeing him with her own resolve. At last, the man nodded.
"One man will remain outside the doors...should you need anything," he added. She nodded her thanks, and he left. The sound of boot steps carried them away.
In the quiet of the room and the warm, glowing light, Emera was overtaken by the strain of the day. She resisted closing her leaden eyelids, not wanting to sleep and leave him.
While he seemed to lie in peace, Emera seized the opportunity and called for a bath. Though there were questioning looks from the maid and young boy that carried the water, Emera ignored them as she directed the two to set the bath up in front of the fire. They enclosed the area with a screen and then bowed to depart.
After days of heavy burden, Emera sank into the hot depths of the water, holding and then releasing. The suds lifted away the grime and smell and with them, part of the dismal weight. Closing her eyes, she breathed in the material of the glowing room, soaking in his presence.
At some point, the young maiden brought Emera a clean nightgown, robe and slippers. Emera continued to ignore the questioning look full of meaning, appearing, instead as if her attendance to the king was the standard practice for an ill, visiting royal.
Dressed, with her long hair falling down her back in dampened clumps, Emera emerged from behind the screen and made her way to Edrich's side. He had begun to grow restless again, kicking the last of his sheets away. She worked at soothing him, but he was grabbing at her, pulling her from the chair next to his bed. Eventually, she succeeded in easing his distress by sitting next to him, her body lying over his torso, her fingers running along his face and into his hair. Her name was still low on his lips, but the ache in him seemed to relent in her arms.
Much to her relief, the door opened and the old lady returned. Belinda pushed a cart with the soup and various dinner items on it. "Here is the broth, my lady. I also took the liberty of bringing you food since you ate no dinner when the king took ill. And it is now quite late."
"Yes, it is. Thank you. I should feed the king first, since I have my strength."
"Very good, your Majesty. Then, as he is in capable hands, I will depart for the night. I will see him in the morning. Besides that broth, the best thing for him now is rest." The lady curtsied and left.
Emera took the lid off the large pot and dished out the broth into a bowl. It was a greenie-yellow and smelled medicinal. Emera scrunched her face, the smell bringing back, not only unpleasant memories of being sick as a child, but the vomit-inducing flavor that hung in the back of the throat after swallowing it. She was thankful to not be sick, though, I wish he weren't sick either.
Her mind began wheeling, trying to unravel the meaning of that thought, which lead to the analysis of her entire concern with his current state. There was unease and apprehension, but buried beneath that was fear and pain. If he dies I...She caught the thought and waited for the completion. If he dies, shouldn't I rejoice? My evil tormentor is dead? That should be a good thing, right? The world rid of just another villain.She waited for the feeling to accompany that thought. But no feeling of the sort came, only the quiet, lingering pain. She watched his face as the thoughts drifted in and out.
Why would I be hurt?
Because I want him. Because I like him.
But he hurt me!She raged.
Yes, he did. But that doesn't change how I feel about him.
It should,she harrumphed. Emera felt angry by the undeniable, unbreakable pull the brute had on her. She did not react, did not think or feel as she believed she should.
So you care for him. Is that wrong? Is he evil? Maybe he made an evil choice,but he is remorseful. You saw the guilt and the mental anguish in his eyes. And now, look, he is even willing to accept any punishment you decree, any verdict you render. He subjects himself happily to any treatment to purge your anger with him. He cares, too!
With sorrow-filled eyes, tormented by her own internal war, she watched Edrich, wishing she felt nothing for him while simultaneously wishing he would comfort her. "Edrich," she called, trying to rouse him. "Edrich, take this broth, it will heal you." He stirred at her voice, but did not open his eyes. She touched his face, his cheek, his lips. "Edrich, awaken," she pleaded softly. He wrestled against his slumber more, but remained secluded in his sleep.
Thinking she may not be able to rouse him awake, she took a spoonful of the broth and brought it his lips. They were parted enough that the liquid slipped from the silver to run into his mouth. He coughed slightly, but began making eating motions with his mouth. Encouraged, Emera tried again. This time he swallowed as he should and spit none out nor coughed on it. He took half the bowl before he seemed disinterested. Proud of what was accomplished, Emera let him rest.
She turned her attention to the food meant for her, but had no stomach for it. She yawned and stretched her back. She wondered if he should have an attendant through the night, and if so, would it be improper if she were the one to stay? Desirous to be near him, and in defiance of her earlier argument with herself, she extinguished the few candles about the room, slipped from her robe and lied in the bed. As large as it was, the distance from edge to edge was enough to sleep four grown men. And yet, despite the freedom of space, Emera scooted until she almost touched him.
On her side so she faced him, an arm curled under her head, she reached out to delicately trace the profile she had unwittingly fallen in love with. What's not to love? He's too incredibly handsome for even a blind girl to not find him attractive.Emera closed her eyes and gave into the calling sleep, praying one last time to awake in the morning with no feelings for him, while at the same time content in being near him so peacefully.
In the deep of the night, Emera was overcome by the slowly building, delicious ache spreading through her body. Her body began to move sensuously against the erotic heat at her back and delightful pleasure in her breasts. It was the electrifying shock through her core that caused her to stumble out of sleep and fall into the dark night. It took her a moment to orient herself.
His breath at her neck drew her mind instantly into reality and she realized she was once again in the arms of her captor, being tormented by her traitorous body. He was pressed against her back, grinding his crotch against her buttocks as his hand wrapped around her massaging her breasts. Her heart was drumming out as the last of sleep slipped from her mind. "Edrich?" she said, her voice quivering in fear. He only moaned softly in her hair.
She quickly came to reason he was too sick to know what he was doing; his mind was suppressed by the fever and his body was left alone to respond to its natural desires. She felt his body, in searing heat, rub erotically against hers. She needed to extract herself from his hold. She turned over, his hands gliding possessively over her as she did. In the dim light, Emera could just make out the beautiful features of his face. His eyes were closed, and his breath rushed out from his slightly parted lips. He was asleep.
She began to ease away from him, stretching out his arms as they clung to her. When she was at the end of his reach, she almost sighed in relief, but Emera felt his fingers close tightly over the flesh of her arm and buttock. His long, inescapable arms pulled her back into his embrace.
"Edrich, Edrich, you know not what you do. Edrich, let me go," she whispered afraid another would hear her in the mammoth castle, afraid to let her voice slip into the dark. But the only one that heard was the delirious Edrich as his lips grazed down into her hair, seeking out the silky skin of her neck.
"Emera," he moaned. His blistering fever warmed her thoroughly, drugging her into giving up her resistance momentarily. "Emera," he breathed into her, his lips connecting in beautiful agony with her skin. His mouth hotly devoured the sensitive flesh, causing her to shake with growing need.
Make him stop this. This cannot be happening. He doesn't know what he is doing. Don't give in, don't stay. You won't survive."Edrich," she pleaded once more. "Edrich, let me go." She began more fervently wrestling out of his grip, but found that only incensed his fight. He quickly rolled on her, forcing her to her back, pinning her with his glorious weight. She made to call out to him more loudly, but found her breath stopped by his mouth.
Emera was immediately caught up in the overpowering sensation of his tongue and lips and breath. A most intimate and delightful feeling she had been too long without; she had no desire to resist him. Her heart was fluttering in her chest, painfully and pleasurably. She grabbed his tongue and suckled, luxuriating in its velvety texture.
Edrich growled, pushing his taut body into her even more. His pelvis dug into her thigh, and her body mindlessly adjusted so she cradled him into her yearning tenderness. Edrich's roving hands ran down her body forcefully, digging in erotically.
She dragged in a breath to strengthen her resolve. Alright, this has gone on far enough. Make him stop. You cannot allow this to continue. After all, you are no longer a prisoner locked away in his tower. You are home and free. Free to control your life. Free to choose.
Free to choose..., the thought rolled languidly through her mind.
Then I choose thisshe decided with a sigh as she felt his hand edge her gown up her thigh. She suddenly was overcome by the desire to feel her skin set alight by his. She wiggled purposefully, allowing him to hitch the material even higher, reveling in the ever-increasing touch of his body. Soon, it was around her waist. She helped him by reaching down and then tugging up, and then flung it off the side of the bed.
His skin, inflamed by his fever, seared her breasts as he crushed himself against her. His mouth left hers and was devouring her neck. His hands were fanning her growing flame as he grabbed and squeezed her breasts. He plucked the nipples, pulling until she felt the electric cord burning into her core.
His body slid down hers as his mouth devoured everything in its path. At last he latched onto a nipple and was suckling it lovingly. His hand continued its attention, effectively stacking up the aching need within Emera. Her muscles clenched in reaction. She suddenly was painfully aware how empty she felt without him.
She called to him through his fogged mind, like an erotic nymph beckoning him from beyond this world. He looked up, his eyes open, though Emera knew he didn't see her, didn't truly know. His eyes were heavy with his fever-driven lunacy. But behind the delirium, she saw his ever-present longing for her. Will he ever lose that hunger for me?the thought came quickly. She shook herself mentally, and reached for him, dragging him forcefully to her.
She placed a hand on his jaw and his shoulder, clinging and guiding. She captured his lips with abandon, knowing this to be the moment to give herself unrestrained to him. He would have no knowledge of it to use against her. There would be no shame because there would be no consciousness to remember. She could have him and give to him completely, only the quiet dark holding the memory.
She absorbed his life while he in turn ravaged her lips. His body was undulating against hers, driving his hardening shaft against her slit that was flooded with her heady cream. She could feel him spreading her slick essence, coating him thoroughly. To relieve the sweet torture, she had begun grinding against him. His breathing was harsh and when he hit that sensitive bud, she gasped vocally.
"Em," he sighed against her mouth. She opened her eyes and pulled away to look at him. His eyes were open too as he tried to make for her mouth, to reconnect to the source of such pleasure. She saw it in him, and wanted to be entirely consumed by him. As he had no thoughtful drive, only reacting in their sensuality, she knew she would have to be the controlling force, and it thrilled her, to know that their combined pleasure was within her power.
Her roaming hands trailed down between their gyrating bodies and wrapped her fingers, not quite touching, around the thick girth. He was slick with her need and she couldn't resist squeezing him up his shaft, and then down, milking out his own pre-cum. His hips were thrusting into her hand as his face fell into the crook of her shoulder. "Em," he continued to chant in desperate yearning.
"I'm here Edrich," she whispered in reply, guiding the heavy knob into her swollen folds. His pounding against her made her delicate work difficult. But when he was in deep enough, stretching her in aching ecstasy, he caught into the rhythm, surging fully in. She cried out in pleasure and let her head fall against his. Her entire being clenched in the excruciating bliss thrust upon her. She wrapped her legs tightly around him, squeezing him to her. She felt his right hand trail down her body and grabbed her thigh firmly, pulling her into him even more securely. His left arm was wrapped up and around her head, pulling her down into him with each thrust.
There was none of the artistry he had shown before, none of the finesse in his drives into her. He thrust brutally, in long, complete strokes. His hand guided her hip to pull away and arch back to him, working in concert with his own movements. She wrapped her arms around him, holding on to be carried along the rushing river. She clawed his back as she felt the divine build up.
She was so aroused, his thrusting made quick work of her. She could contain none of her moans or cries. "Edrich." His name spilled through her lips in broken pleasure. His assault became more urgent and less rhythmed. She knew he was nearing the end and she reached for his mouth, wanting to cry into him as he poured into her.
He was grunting against her and then he growled her name into her mouth as she felt his hot seed erupt into her, filling her. His spasming body dragged chaotically against her, sending her into her own throes. Her legs tightened as she was overcome by her orgasm. The sensation of the overwhelming intimacy of looking him in the eyes as she did so flamed her cheeks. She felt freed in him by her lack of shame, her ability to share with him the intense, privately personal response her body had to his. Though she knew he wasn't fully aware, she thought at least it was a start.