The Spoils of War Ch. 02byTheBigBadRobob©
Annabell was rather rudely dragged to the west wing of her castle. The halls were all dead, just another sign of how alone her family really was. She felt the familiar pinch behind her eyes and fought hard not to let it get the best of her. She could not show weakness in front of these men, especially not Kaiden.
Her first impression of him was not a good one. Yes, he was handsome, dangerously so, but he was arrogant. Anna did not like that about him. She was arrogant herself, but it was more of a pride thing rather than an ego trip. One could imagine how big the ego needed to be to go along with such a giant man. He had to be at least six foot four. He towered over her five foot five. And his body, oh how it made her swoon. If he was anyone but the man taking over her kingdom, her life, she would be very interested in him.
He had broad shoulders that ran into hulking arms along with his forearms. She could only think of how defined and chiseled his chest and stomach would be. And that sandy blonde hair... she wanted to run her fingers through it while he was ki- ; she shook those thoughts right out of her head. Since when had an attractive man made her so-delirious?
She must have been walking slower than the guards liking because he gripped her arm so tight, she was sure to have a bruise later, and jerked her forward. "Keep up, girl." The guard was practically growling at her. She made a face of disgust, but he couldn't see it. Anna closed her eyes and willed herself to hold her temper. She was not any sort of challenge for him physically, but she could throw some good punches with her mouth if need be. She took after her father that way. He was always giving his straight opinion, no matter what was going on or who he was talking too.
Her father. Kaiden had said he had unfinished business with the man, but what did he really mean? Just the mental image of her father sitting in one of the dingy dark cells had her blood boiling even more. She prayed they would arrive at Kaiden's chambers soon or she would surely go mad. She had all this pent up anger she needed to release on an object with no feeling. Like a pillow or a small stool.
"Stay in here. No funny business or I will use force. King Kaiden will be in here shortly."
His deep growling voice snapped Annabell out of her thoughts. With a quick look around, she had deduced that she was indeed in the west wing of the castle. Also, that they were at the top of the tower that had a single room held there. It was a guest room only used for the most important visitors that came. Of course he chose this room. The guard shoved her in, not so gently, and slammed the door closed.
She sighed and straightened her clothing and hair. When she was done, she took a look at the room. Anna had never seen it before and was rather impressed with it. Despite not having guests in a while, the bed was neatly made with no signs of dust or dirt. It was the same with everything else in the room. Clean and tidy. There was even a small fire going.
She did a small lap around her prison and sighed. Anna was a free spirit. To trap her in a place like this would lead to insanity, but it would take a while. Being the eldest child she had to come up with her own things to do most of the time. People were always gushing about how pretty Trish was. They used to do the same for her, but when Trish was born, Anna was forgotten. She gladly faded into the background. It simply meant she could do whatever she pleased, and nobody was there to correct her for it. So being trapped in this tower would not be so horrible, as long as she could find something to do.
As she was thinking this, she sauntered over to the large window at the opposite end of the room. Her instincts told her to look outside and see what had become of her kingdom. Her heart told her no. Anna followed her instincts, they had always been good to her, and when she reached the window, she gasped.
The kingdom was coated in the blackness of the night, except for the numerous houses and other building that had been set on fire. She closed her eyes to fight the tears back, but they would not listen this time. She kept them closed, but that didn't stop her mind from painting a picture in her head.
There were people running around, screaming. Others were huddled in alleys with their families while the warriors rode through town, herding people. She could hear the hooves of the horses on the cobblestone. She couldn't imagine how angry her people were with her father and the rest of her family. They had every right to be. Her father had doomed them all, but how?
She opened her eyes and almost screamed at what she saw. There was everything she had thought, but in one of the alleys closer to the castle, there was a man with a sword. She knew him. He was the blacksmith of the kingdom. The best for many a mile. There was a warrior on his feet, stalking the blacksmith; he had his sword drawn, ready to attack. The warrior's weapon was much larger and stronger.
Those blue eyes were wide with horror at the scene. She turned just as the blacksmith charged and the warrior raised his sword. She knew what happened. Watching it would be useless. She cried with no worry that anyone would hear her. Anna's stomach turned and flipped. Her father's betrayal made her sick. She ran into the bathroom and emptied her stomach in the chamber pot. Her body felt heavy and sticky. She lay there for a few minutes, collecting herself.
She rinsed her mouth out with the small basin of water in the room. That taste was just horrible. Then she rinsed her face off and took in a shaky breath. If she wasn't tired before, she was exhausted now. Anna stumbled to the doorway and leaned against it. She was almost to the couch.
Anna walked out and sat on the small leather love seat in the corner. There was whole small sitting area there complete with a coffee table. It was also near the fire, which was nice considering it was a cold night.
The room was boring, with no pop of color or anything interesting in it. The colors were all neutral, including the few tapestries that hung in various places. With the quiet and darkness of the night, Anna found herself dozing off. She laid down on the tiny couch. It was so small she was forced to bend her knees just to fit. The last thing she saw before she fell asleep was the crackling fire dancing in the hearth.
Kaiden was now sitting in his new chair, behind his new desk, in his new study. It was an older, more rustic looking room; there was a fireplace on the far wall with the Greene family seal hanging over it. Dark woods and burgundy fabrics decorated the room. The only spots of color were from the various maps hung around the room and the few books on some of the shelves. Aside from its looks, the study was on the second floor of the castle, right beside the library which was so tall it took up two floors of space. Kaiden was especially pleased with the small surprise he found in the room. There was a small opening in the shared wall of the study and library, which allowed you to look down into the adjacent room.
He knew exactly what he would use that for. He smiled at the thought of Annabel, sitting in a chair by the fire, reading some book. He would of course be spying on her either through the hole in the wall, or the shadows of the library. He would sneak up behind her, then when the moment was right, would grab her shoulders. He pictured that she would jump and get angry at him, glaring daggers with her captivating eyes. Kaiden would enjoy watching her squirm in her uncomfortable position. And he was betting she would snap at him, just like in the throne room. Oh he hoped she would. At least he had something to look forward to, because he certainly did not want to meet with the girl's father.
Speaking of the former king, Andrew was on his way here now. Kaiden could hear the footsteps coming down the hall. He stood up just as the door was opening. He wore his smug "I'm a winner" face. Andrew looked around the room, noticing the few changes that had been made. Such as the maps Kaiden hung. He had waited for Andrew long enough.
"I trust that your stay in the dungeons has been well."
That only earned Kaiden a glare. He chuckled. Andrew was lead to a chair in front of the desk by Damien. He was Kaiden's most trusted knight and friend. Kaiden sat down and so followed Andrew. Damien walked to the door and stood there, keeping his gaze on Andrew.
Kaiden pointedly looked Andrew up and down. "It seems that you have seen better days."
He was referring to Andrew's horrible appearance. He was wearing a white tunic and tan breeches, much like Kaiden's. He suspected that it was under his armor. The difference was that Kaiden's clothing looked new, while Andrew's was torn and dirty. He wore no shoes or socks. His face was sunken from lack of sleep and probably worry, which made him look older than he really was. Andrew's long hair was not tied back as normal. It was tangled and greasy. And to top it all off, his beard was a mess and in need of a trim.
Andrew gave Kaiden a very serious look. "I know you have not dragged me up here to insult me. You have an agenda."
Kaiden nodded. "You know why I came to this place. It is your fault Andrew. You know what I want, and I want it now." He gave a slight nod to Damien, who went into one of the tables, producing a document rolled and tied with ribbon. It was placed on Kaiden's desk.
"This is the marriage contract. Sign it."
Andrew undid the ribbon and rolled the paper out. Andrew's jaw clenched as he looked it over. Kaiden simply placed his hands in his lap and waited.
"I will not sign this."
Kaiden was surprised by this, but masked it with a cold stare. "I have signed it; my kingdom's seer has signed it, as has yours. The only thing holding me back is you. My humble suggestion to you would be sign it. I am merely doing this for formality, but other actions can and will be taken." His voice was calm to start, then became hostile towards the end.
"No. You have taken my kingdom, my title, my dignity. But you certainly will not have my little Annabel." Andrew's voice stayed calm, hoping to persuade Kaiden.
Kaiden stood and began to pace. "You will sign this. Right now."
Andrew shook his head and tossed the contract on the desk.
"You could have any woman you wish, why my Annabel?" But his question was ignored.
"I came here, conquered your kingdom, and stripped you of all you know. Yet, you still defy me. Does your daughter know that you doomed your kingdom because of her? That I have done all this for her?" It was a rhetorical question. "My guess is that she has no idea, and will not be happy to hear that her idol has let his ego get the best of him. You have brought this upon yourself."
Kaiden continued to pace. "It was you who broke the betrothal, not me. That is why I am here. But you knew that." Kaiden stopped pacing and stood next to Andrew, looking down on him. "You have two choices; sign the contact and give me Annabel, or I will force Trish to marry me, and make Anna my mistress."
Andrew's face went red and his fists clenched. Then he stood up, pointing his finger in Kaiden's face. Kaiden did not flinch. "You cannot do that! It is unheard of!" Damien chose to step in then. He restrained Andrew and Kaiden sat back down, wearing a big smile on his face.
Andrew decided to settle down and gave Kaiden the coldest stare he could muster. The two just looked at each other for long moments. Challenging each other silently. When Kaiden chuckled, Andrew jerked away from Damien's hold and grabbed the quill set out in front of him. He signed the marriage in his curvy lettering.
Kaiden smiled, "I knew you would see things my way."
Andrew was taken into Damien's hold once more and escorted out. He stopped halfway and looked back at Kaiden. "You hurt her and I will find a way to kill you."
With that, he was gone. Being taken back to his dark cell.
Alright guys! I hope this one was longer and pleased more of you. This chapter was five pages in word document. I'm not sure how much that will be on Literotica. I know things aren't getting 'sexy' yet. Sorry about that. I'm just getting into the groove of writing and setting up these characters so you have a better idea of what they do and why. So I am stuck on how to end the story. I have a plan mapped out but there is no ending yet. So give me your input and let me know what you want to see happen and I will try to work it in. Hope you enjoyed!