5. A Kings Conflicted Heart
When I showed her around the palace, I saw how her eyes glimmer in excitement. There was an innocent feeling in her. But, on the other hand, she looked naïve and possibly stupid.
But she was mine and my queen. She needed to learn about her role, but I knew I couldn’t push her.
Her body still needed to recover, and for me to get her pregnant, I would need to feed her more. She was so thin I could count every bone in her body. So the mage had told me before giving him so much time as he investigated her. I was curious about her, who she was, where she was born, and her family.
Deciding that I had shown her the basics of the palace, I made her go back to the chamber and rest. She didn’t say she was tired, but I could see it on her face. She would frown occasionally and look at her thigh. It looked like she was in pain. Grabbing her in bridal style, I see her struggling. She looked cute. Her curly red hair is a mess around her body and mine.
Damian told me that everyone was curious to meet her. Mainly because of her unique eyes. It intrigued me when I looked at her. Especially that hazel eye with golden swirls. If my mind wasn’t wrong, I had seen these eyes before. Somewhere.
Once I leave her on the bed, I head back to meet Damian.
“How did it go?” I asked as I walked into the throne room. My brother Damian and my best friend sat opposites.
“As expected, they were pissed—especially grandfather. The old dragon didn’t like that we left a survivor,” Damian explained.
“I’m curious where she is?” my best friend Leo asked.
“You shall meet her tomorrow. I’m planning to show her the training ground,” I explained.
“Hmm, interesting choice, brother,” Damian said with a smirk.
“Now, have we heard anything from the south?” I asked Leo.
“King Dimitri, the south is still the same. The dragons that we sent have been monitoring the group of merchants. So far, there hasn’t been an attack of a trade. But, although the town has normally been bustling,” Leo explained with a sigh, “I have a feeling that they may attack from another place.”
“Have at least three of your best men scout the area on the east and north. I don’t need those bastards trying to attack us by surprise. I have someone to protect now,” I said, earning some chuckles. “What’s so funny?” I asked, irritated.
“It’s that… you look different,” Damian said smiling, “my brother finally found his mate, and somehow you’re more possessive, calmer.”
Raising my eyebrow, I stare at him. Was I acting differently?
“Damian is right,” Leo said, clearing his throat, “you look different. The anger in you has been subsiding, even though this is her second day.”
“Isn’t this what we dragons need a mate for? Someone who will quench that bloodthirst?” I said, annoyed.
“If you say so,” Damian said as he stood up. “I need to head up to the training ground. I have recruited in training. I will see you all later.”
Looking at Damian’s leave, I turn my gaze to Leo. Leo was pondering on something. That tapping of his foot meant he had something of importance on his mind.
“Speak, Leo,” I ordered.
He was stopping the tap on his foot. Leo turns and keeps his eyes leveled with me.
“Dimitri, that woman, is she your mate?” Leo asked carefully.
Raising my eyebrow, I throw him a glare.
“What do you mean?” I asked with a growl.
“Don’t get mad and listen. Have you noticed something particular about Valkyrie?” Leo asked, making me intrigued.
“Something on her?” I asked as I thought about what was strange.
We knew she had powers. But, from where do they come? It was still unknown to us. She had her eyes, which made me curious. My mind jumbles as I keep thinking about that Hazel eye.
“No,” I mumble as I lift my eyes and look at Leo, “do you have something on mind?”
“Well, actually, it was when I saw her from afar,” Leo explained as he lowered his eyes, and the tapping started once again.
“Could you go to the point!” I hissed with anger—my patience on its limit.
“The queen resembles your late mother,” Leo said, making me frown immediately.
Now that I think about it. Valkyrie resembled my late mother.
My mother was half sorcerers, half tamer. My father, the king, met her in a battle. She was a tamer, but the moment they both met, they felt the attraction, and the mating mark appeared. Yesterday I tried kissing her wrist and seeing if the mating mark appeared, but nothing happened.
“You see? She has red hair like your mother and two different eyes. Your mother had them. Even her face has a small resemblance.” Leo said with eagerness, “Don’t you think she might be from your mother’s family?”
“Impossible,” I whispered.
Standing up, I let Leo know I had to ask her something. Leo bowed and watched me leave.
Now I was way too curious to know about her. I couldn’t wait. Deciding what will be the next step, I barge into the chambers, but Valkyrie is asleep. Quietly, I observe her from afar. My hands twitch. Her back was towards me, so slowly, I crawled up until my body was hovering over hers. Her chest rises and falls. Her red hair spread all over the off-white silk sheets.
She looked beautiful. Leaning, I move my hand and caress her face. Michael had healed almost all her scars, except the ones on her hands.
The anger I saw in her when Michael asked about those wounds had me thinking she was hiding something. Was it fear? She was the person who flinched with anything scary, and it was understandable. After all, she was a slave and, by the looks, a slave since some time ago.
Continuing my pace, I lower my hand towards her neck, her arm and stop once I reach her hands. Gulping, I hold her left hand and bring it over to my lips.
“Dimitri?” Valkyrie said as she opened her eyes and made me stop. Squeezing her hand, I smile at her.
“Sorry, did I wake you up?” I asked, faking innocence.
“No, don’t worry,” Valkyrie said as she rubbed her eyes and sat up. “Do you need anything?” Valkyrie asked as she looked at me.
Her gaze studied me while my eyes were still on her hand. Several deep scars ran up and around her hand and palm.
“Would you mind telling me more about your power?” I mumble.
Valkyrie was quiet. Her silence made me look up. She had a frown; she was staring at our hands.
“Why?” Valkyrie asked after a few minutes of silence.
“Because I want to know more about you,” I whispered.
Lifting her eyebrows, she stares at me. There it was again, the same pull and tug on the chest and the fluttering sensation on the stomach. The more we stare at each other, the stronger it gets.
“My powers…” Valkyrie repeated, “I got them when I was twelve. I hurt the first person when I was fourteen. After that, I would get punished and locked away for months.”
“Months?” I asked, “How Old Are You?”
Valkyrie smiled and turned her hand.
“I’m twenty-one,” Valkyrie said with a smile, “and my power is healing and burning.”
“Healing?” I asked, frowning. She didn’t mention before she could heal.
“Y-Yes, I can heal, but just deep wounds, and it doesn’t work on me,” Valkyrie explained, “strange, right? So I’m a healer, but I can’t heal my pain.”
Her voice sounded sad. I’ve been noticing that Valkyrie would look sad or distracted by her thoughts.
“From whom did you get those powers?” I asked, trying to sound discrete.
“That, I don’t know,” Valkyrie said, pouting, “I’ve always been alone… always.”
“What? And your mother?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” Valkyrie said, looking at me, “I never met her.”
“You never met her?” I was confused, “So, how did you grow up? Who took care of you?”
Letting go, she looks away. Her face was with anger.
“Please don’t ask,” Valkyrie said through gritted teeth.
“Tell me!” I ordered as I grabbed her from the arm, “I need to know.”
“I told you I don’t know!” Valkyrie yells, “I grew up with two other girls. They took care of me. All I know is that they found me.”
Her eyes were brimming with tears. I watched her; I could feel she was hiding something.
“Lies,” I said, “you won’t dare lie to me.”
“Lie? I am telling the truth!” Valkyrie said as she stood up and walked over to the balcony, “I don’t need to lie. I need not explain myself to you!”
Growling, I stand up and grab her arm, pulling her.
“Don’t test my patience!” I growled.
Valkyrie looked at me with anger. Grabbing my hand, she grips it firmly. Frowning, I look at her. She was strong. Her hold made me look at her confused. How was she getting her strength?
“Let go, Dimitri!” Valkyrie whispered. “I won’t tolerate you either, just because you’re a king. I won’t bow to you.”
Scoffing, I let her march out of the chambers. Then, growling loud, I head out and take a night flight.
How dare she speak to me like that? Furiously, I fly north, anger seeping through my skin.
Arriving back the following day, I land on the cave’s entrance. I spent the entire night flying over our territory. My anger subsided as the morning sun rose from the east.
“Finally back,” Damian said as he leaned against the wall.
Eyeing him, I growl and turn, waving my tail to his side. Damian started chuckling.
“Ok,” Damian said, raising his hand.
Transforming back into my human form, I grab grey trousers and put them on.
“Did anything happen?” I asked as I put my pants on.
“Well… the only good thing is your mate,” Damian said with a smirk.
“What do you mean?” I asked, frowning.
“I think it would be best if you see it,” Damian said, turning around and walking away.
Following Damian, I see him taking me towards the training ground. Why did he bring me here?
As I walked towards one of the fighting platforms, I noticed dragons cheering and yelling in excitement. Frowning, I try to look over the horde of dragons standing in a circle.
Feeling a nudge on my side, I see Damian pointing towards the front. Following his finger, I move to the side and, mouth wide, staring at the woman on the platform. Valkyrie was fighting one of the new warriors. The agility and her defense stance were leaving me in complete and utter awe. Her hair was tied in a high ponytail, and she was wearing some shorts and a black shirt. Sweat dripped from her forehead as she smiled and punched the boy in his gut.
“You should see her; she’s good at fighting,” Damian said, almost yelling, “She’s been fighting over an hour, and she has won two out of three fights.”
“What?” I said, shocked, “She can’t be fighting that long! Her wound will open!”
“What wound?” Damian asked, confused.
Growling, I walk over to the platform and get on. Everyone noticed me and started hushing—cheers seizing. Valkyrie saw me approaching them angrily. Her eyes were wide.
“I think I told you to rest!” I said, growling. Everyone stayed quiet and waited for what would happen next.
“And I’m feeling better!” Valkyrie barks back.
Grabbing her, I throw her up again like a bag over my shoulder. Valkyrie struggled and started yelling.
“Call Michael, NOW!” I order. Damian looked at Valkyrie in my arms and smiled devilishly.
Heading back to my chambers, I grip my hand tighter on her waist.
“Put me down!” Valkyrie yelled.
Smacking her ass, I hear her yelp.
“Shut up, or I will spank you,” I said with a smirk, “You are not obeying. I see you are defying me.”
“I… I just,” Valkyrie stuttered, but I hush her once again. Throwing the doors open, I walk over and throw Valkyrie over the canopy bed.
“Next time you disobey me, I won’t have mercy for you, and I will show you what it means to defy me,” I warned her.
Valkyrie flinches and backs away.
“Scared now?” I scoffed and stood up. “Who allowed you to train with the others?” I asked as I grabbed some wine.
“No… No one. I went there and practiced for myself,” Valkyrie mumbled as she played with her hands.
“You did it?” I said, scoffing, “Never heard of a slave who knew fighting.”
Valkyrie snaps her head up. Then, gripping her hands firmly, she frowns.
“General Leo thought me a while ago,” Valkyrie said, making me cough my wine back out.
“What?” I asked, “What did you say?”
“I-I said that I should just learn those fighting skills,” Valkyrie mumbled.
I was about to ask her; the mage opened the door and stood in place when he saw both of us. The air was tense.
“Sorry, did I interrupt?” Michael asked as he looked at Valkyrie.
“No,” I said, frowning, “Come in and check her wound.”
Michael tended to Valkyrie’s wound. He stayed quiet all the time; he cleaned it.
“She’s not resting, right?” Michael asked as he glared at Valkyrie.
Her face turned white as snow.
“No, she’s disobeying orders,” I said with a glare, “Might need to tie her up.”
Michael raised his eyebrow and looked at me. Then, turning back to Valkyrie’s wound, he checks on her other scars.
“It seems it will heal, but you need rest. A small scar might be visible, but I will try to remove it. Can’t promise, but I will try,” Michael said as he finished tying the bandage on her thigh, “Now there’s something I wished to ask, of course, if the king allows it.”
Michael turned and looked at me, waiting for my answer patiently. Then, giving him a firm nod, I wait for his question.
“May I see your power?” Michael asked.
“My powers? But why?” Valkyrie asked.
“Just do as he requested, and don’t ask more,” I said, hissing.
I wasn’t happy with her; she had disobeyed my orders, and apart from Leo and Damian, it must have motivated her to do training. Of course, I already had on mind doing so, but I wanted to ask her, not some other male, once she healed.
Valkyrie looked at her right hand. Lifting it, she showed it to Michael. I waited for something to happen, and just as I finished my thought, a red hue that looked like fire swayed on her hand.
“Do you have control of it?” Michael asked as his eyes looked at it with wonder.
“Yes, I learned,” Valkyrie said, “and my healing one.”
“Healing?” Michael spat.
“Yes, she has healing powers,” I said. Michael furrows his brows and stands up suddenly.
“Fire and healing?” Michael repeated in a trance.
What was he thinking?
“Thank you! And excuse me,” Michael said, leaving the chambers. I stood thinking about what had just happened.
“Will he be ok?” Valkyrie asked as she stared at the doors.
Raising my eyebrow, I shrug and drink my goblet of wine.
“Hopefully, he will,” I mumble.