Shortcut to Paradise...

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Chapter 17

Waking up he expected to see the ceiling of some dirty dungeon, the feather mattress and the cotton curtains were a welcome surprise. Luca’s entire body felt sore, he drew back the curtains and sees a large airy room. Walking to the lavatory Luca looks into the mirror, looking back is a hideous creature. Both of his eyes are black, his nose is crooked.

Touching his face causes him agony, Luca put shirt on and training pants. He walks over to the door and turns the knob. Before him are stairs, taking them down he comes to a common room, sitting at a table eating are his two companions.

“Look Collie, the idiot is finally awake.” Luca hobbled over to his friends, sinking into a seat he picks up a roll.

“Where are we?” Ezra buttered a slice of toast, the smell of the melting butter makes Luca’s mouth water, it felt like it had been days since he had eaten. Ezra bit into the toast, Collie answered.

“In the castle, you had us worried, we thought you were dead. After your attack the guards marshaled us to these apartments.” After Ezra washed down the toast he added.

“You were limp as a rag, bloodied and you had shit yourself.” Luca felt embarrassed.

“I am sorry, when Mel told me about her treatment at the hands of Stan I couldn’t control myself. So is he going to execute me?” Ezra shook his head.

“No, he sent his doctor in here to look after you, also he would have left you in a dungeon if you were going to get any further treatment. You were out for over a week, that punch of his nearly killed you.” Luca looked down, his anger builds inside of him. Picking up his butter knife he drives it into the wooden table.

“Damnit!” The butter knife sinks deep enough into the wooden table top that it stands unassisted. “After all this time, training and fighting. I didn’t even get a single swipe not even a cut.” Luca pounds his fist into the table repeatedly.

“Having a fit won’t fix your weakness.” Remarks Ezra, continuing he offers some advice. “You need to train harder, you always learn half assed moves and form, it allows you to survive but little more. You are more of a handicap than an asset in battle.” Collie elbowed Ezra.

“Hey that’s enough.” Luca shook his head.

“No... Collie I want to hear what he needs to say, go ahead Ezra finish.” Ezra stood up and got in Luca’s face.

“We are here to rescue your sister, the first chance you get, you attack... you should’ve waited until we had a chance to form a plan. You never think, now we might never get the chance to make a move.” The door to the common room opened. Three men with swords stepped into the room. “My name is Captain Moran, you three will come with me.” Luca and his friends followed.

Outside their apartments are a larger set of stairs, as they descended the staircase, Luca looked at the lush oil paintings on the walls. They walked down seven flights of stair, by his guess their apartments were in a tower, once on the main level they walk to the other side of the castle. Servants rush by them in clusters.

Everything was being polished, from the chandeliers to the clocks and bannisters, every surface seemed to show Luca his hideous reflection. “Moran, what is going on are you expecting someone.” Moran and his guards stayed silent as they near a large door twice as tall as a man. Two of the rear guards move forward, each guard grips the wooden push bars, on the oak doors.

As the heavy doors open, a breeze greets them as they walk into the room. Sitting in a high back chair, Luca’s brother in law overlooks the room. In front of him is a glossy wooden desk, dozens of papers & maps cover the surface. At the center of the room there is a lone wooden post with a large bronze ring, hanging down are a short pair of fetters.

Luca and his friends stand in a row, Collie on his right and Ezra on his left. Stan doesn’t look up from the desk, he only looks up at his ink bottle as he dips his quill. Luca clears his throat, Stan looks up angrily and continues what he is doing. After ten more minutes he sets his quill down and looks up. Heavy bags have formed under his eyes, Luca assumed it was from lack of sleep.

Stan leaned back in his seat. “Prince Lucas you seem to have recovered.” Stan stood up and walked down the steps leading to his desk. “The only reason I didn’t have you whipped is because your sister begged for you to be spared.”

Luca feels movement next to him, Collie is grabbed by two of Stan’s guards. “Now I spared you, but I made no such promise towards your men.” Collie is brought to a wooden post at the center of the room, he is chained to the post, a man cuts his shirt from his back, Stan walks to the wooden post and grabs a rod, attached to it are nine strings, at the ends are metal tipped leather straps. The weapon is called cat-o-nine-tails. Stan grips the whip Luca is forced to look on, Captain Moran moves Luca’s head to watch.

Just as Stan brings the whip down he stops. “Humm this doesn’t seem right... Men release this man.” Luca is confused, Stan walks over to Luca. “Prince you have an issue, for some reason I don’t feel right punishing your man, but maybe there is another way... you may offer to take his place.”

“I will do it...” Stan smiles at him

“That’s a good man, you heard him boys.” Luca took one and only one lash, the lash cut him deep, blood dripped from Luca’s new injury. Luca looked over at his friends. Collie sank to his knees, while Ezra is held down on the ground by guards.

“Pull him to his feet.” Luca is dragged before his brother in law. “That is only a taste, the next time you step out of line it will be your sister that I whip in your place, I’ll have her stripped naked and whipped for the entire castle to witness. Take his companions to the Dojo, set them up with Grisha, Luca and I need to chat in private.” Ezra and Collie are forced from the room by guards. After they left the room Stan walks over to Luca.

“Sorry about that I had to set an example. I meant what I said, she will be the one punished instead so think long before you attempt escape. Here drink this.” Luca grabbed the glass of water from Stan’s hand.

“Prince Lucas tomorrow a delegation for the imperialists will arrive, one of the members of this delegation will be your uncle. No one, other than the people of this castle know who you are, most importantly. Many still think you are on the mainland. I will pretend that we are no different from the rest of the nation. I intend to have no knowledge of you this visit. Luca you will neither be seen nor heard. Have no doubt that your uncle will try and kill you, after you they are also after my son. I promised your sister last time I left I would find you. I kept this promise not because I care for her, but because keeping you alive, raises the odd for my son. I will join the side that guarantees his safety, meaning I have no hesitation when it comes to killing you to achieve this. That said I don’t like the idea of you being defenseless. After that pitiful attempt to defend you sisters honor you need serious training, you will begin training under one of my men. That is all.”

Luca is speechless as he is led away from the room.

Mel Pov:

Dressing in a powder blue dress, her shoulders are bare as her figure slides into the garment. “Wow princess you really bounced back, I didn’t think you would fit into the dress.”

“Thawnks.” Says Mel in a muffled voice. In her mouth is her third jelly donut. Mel was told that she needed to fill up before the dinner to avoid offending the other guests with her eating habits. Mel had her dirty blond hair curled into French braid. Once her jewelry is in place Mel walks through the castle to the reception room.

Inside Mel sees the polished wooden table with ten place settings. “Princess Meliss wife of Lord Stanley” Announces the steward. Mel walks about the room, holding a goblet of water, iced down it quenches her thirst, the cotton mouth she assumed was due to her high intensity workout.

“Mel” Turning around she comes face to face with her uncle. Her Uncle looked very much the part, of a traditional Japanese man. “My gosh womanhood does agree with you, you are stunning.” Mel bowed out of respect to her Uncle.

“I heard that you had a child.” Mel nodded her head.

“I did, he is just over two months old.” Her uncle is about to say more when her husbands arrival is announced. Mel is seated next to him at the center of the table, her uncle sits across. Mel is the only woman at the table. After her husband opened the meal with a few words the food is brought out.

Mel’s mouth watered at the sight and smell of her favorite food, the main course. The staff made excellent shepherd’s pie, as the footman brings the severing plate, he places a cake knife on the pie, he is set to give Mel a small piece. “More.” Whispers Mel so only Stan and the footman hear. He gives her a large piece of shepherd’s pie.

“Control yourself.” Mutters Stan in her ear. Mel doesn’t listen she happily tastes bite after bite, enjoying every course. Her eyes are large as diamonds as the cake is brought forth. As the meal is concluding Stan whispers in her ear. “Say your goodbyes and head to my chambers.”

“Uncle it has been wonderful to see you, I wish you good fortune in the years to come, please excuse my leave I am awfully tired.”

Stan POV:

The room had cleared, and only Stan and his wife’s uncle remain.

“Lord Stanley, I spoke with the shogunate...” Stan cuts the man off.

“Simon don’t jerk me around. You and I both know that the shogun stands a real chance of losing this war. The revolutionaries have footholds in the cities of Edo and Kyoto, many of the samurai are changing loyalties, as long as they have the crown on their side they will paint you as the villain.” Simon lifts a pastry and eats it in a single bite.

“You must understand as long as my nephew remains at large, the country will be at odds. It was my brothers wish for Lucas to rule, but both sides are against his rule. The shogun has been the leading authority for nearly three hundred years, without the shogun Japan is defenseless, open season to foreigners...” Stan scowled at Simon.

“Don’t preach to me about the structure of this government, don’t forget I was part of the shoguns forces, I killed the emperor’s champion, but it was the shoguns inability to connect with the people on the mainland that led us to our current state of affairs.” Simon pulled a small sealed note from his robe pocket.

“This is a note the shogun wrote himself.” Stan looked it over.

“It offers quarter to my son & wife but no mention of my brother in law?” Simon shifted his sitting position, he squares his shoulders and shrugs.

“She will most likely be spared but yes... My nephew will have to be killed, but your heir will live, we need you and your forces if we are too be successful, if we lose than the old system will be broken, foreigners will dilute our way of life eventually samurai will disappear with them the lords. Are you prepared to give up your lands?” Stan laughs in his face.

“My ancestors were lords long before we were part of Japan, we will remain lords of this rock until the island sinks into the ocean.” Simon looked angry, getting insulted is not something he is used too.

“Tread carefully, we are not your enemy yet... You would be wise to accept those terms, his Lord will be attacking at Osaka we will look for you on the battlefield, say in five months.” Stan stood up.

“I have no reason to believe the shogun will keep his word. I demand a hostage of his, a son he will be treated gently.” Simon stood up.

“Of course, I would expect nothing less until the negotiations are settled, Tokugawa Keiki has three sons, one is eight years old I believe he would suffice?” Stan stood up and nodded his head. He walked over to an end table and took a sharp instrument, piercing his finger he places a bloody fingerprint under the Shoguns mark.

“Here, when the boy is in my custody I will send forth my men, I will send one of my men with you to make sure he is not handing over some peasant.” Simon on his way out turned to Stan.

“Lord Stanley it will not be long before the boy shows up at your castle. Your men will need to leave at once, makes sure they are ready to leave at a moments notice.

Mel POV:

Mel lays on her husband’s bed, in a wicker crib next to the bed she peacefully watches her sleeping son. Peeling her eyes away she refocuses her attention to the hardcover book on her chest she only had a few pages left. Mel picked it up and quickly lost attention of the world around her. The fireplace had died down by the time her eyes blurred, and she flipped the last page. Her husband’s room always became chilly at night.

Standing up she makes her way over to the fire, picking up several logs, dropping them in place, Mel picks up the poker. The bottom under the logs glows and soon catches the new wood. Walking away from the fireplace Mel stops at the sitting area, she picks up a blanket and heads back to the bed, as Mel is halfway to the bed the door opens.

Warning Sex Scene:

Her Lord husband glides into the room, his black hair freely flows at his shoulders, instead of is usual neat bun. Mel sits down on the bed as he unlaces his boots. Wearing only trunks Mel watches him move about the room. Stan’s body is heavily layered with muscle. His abdomen is rigid, her face feels flush as she stares, watching his stomach contract, she follows the lines of his abs ending at his broad shoulders. Mel is caught off guard as she makes eye contact with him.

Quickly looking away Mel focuses on her baby, silent as death Stan crosses the room. With his rough fingers he grabs her chin, the touch makes her flinch. “See something you like.” Mel didn’t get to answer as he kissed her on the lips and rolled on top of her. Stan keeps his hands on her hips as he lays on her right in the center of the bed.

Tossing his trunks on the other side of the room Mel blushes, she had slept in the same bed as him many times. Only twice had he actually slept with her. Stan lifts her hand and places it on his lad.

Mel never realized how massive it was, she always laid there and waited for it to be over. “What are you doing?” But he didn’t answer he just pulled Mel’s cotton pullover over her head.

He watched, taking her in, Mel looked down, her tiny pink nipples stuck out like they could cut glass. Mel felt the warmth of the fire filling the room at last, Mel sat on her legs as he cradled her, Mel felt a slight dampness on her heels. “What happened to your oath not to touch me?”

Pulling her on top of him Mel straddled him, her pelvis rested on his belly button, she could feel the contours of his abs on the back of her legs, her hands propped up on his hard chest. Mel just about melted as he pulled her close, her breasts touched his chest, it felt warm. She smelled the liqueur on his breath, the heat from his words in her ears caused several reactions. First all the hairs on her body stood up, the second she had a full body shutter, lastly a warmth that spread from the shoulders down to her lower back.

“I guess I am a hypocrite...” Mel’s breath is taken away as he impales her, usually he held her in place until he was finished this time it was Mel who was on top. It was weird to her she didn’t know why she stayed on, Stan’s hands felt every inch of her, continuing to spread that warmth throughout her body. Then it dawned on her the faster she rode him the faster this was over, there is one issue with that logic, the harder and faster she rides the more pleasure Mel pulls for the experience. It was a half hour before Stan erupted into her loins, rolling off she rested her head on his chest as he caught his breath.

“You could have given a brothel worker a run for their money.” Mel felt disgusted being compared to a prostitute.

Rolling her eyes Mel replies. “You are such an asshole.” She pushes off Stan, who holds her in place. He starts nuzzling her neck as she squirms, eventually pulling away from his soft kisses. “Stop it haven’t you gotten what you want yet?” says Mel annoyed.

“I would think after I have negotiated a pardon for our child you might have a little affection for me.” Mel looked at him with a blank expression.

“Why do you think your uncle came here, allegedly the shogun and the imperialists need my forces. If you and our son abdicate your claims to the throne, then he will be spared, in fact the exact words were. The son of Lord Stan and Princess Meliss will be given a state of exile to never step foot on mainland under the threat of death, unless summoned to court by the emperor.”

Looking down at her little boy, Mel leans off the side of the bed and rubs his face. “How do you know that he won’t betray you?” Stan’s rough hands stroke her lower back, she feels his presence behind her.

“I don’t but you have seen what I do to people who cross me, I would pull the walls hell down to protect my sons future.” Mel didn’t know why but she rolled over, pushing her knees apart, she wraps her arms around his neck. “So what? You don’t hate me anymore.” Asked stan with a snug smile. Mel shook her head no.

“I will always hate you, you have humiliated, tortured and used me. I could never and will never love you. But I need you to keep him safe, so for that you can have me.” Stan smiled ear to ear as he pulls her close, pushing himself inside her, Mel feels his cold seed pushed in further as she whimpers silently.

“Guess that’s the closest I will have get to a yes.”

End of Sex Scene and chapter:

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