Mine by Royal Decree

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Women had told me before that I was as addictive as a fine wine.

I wanted to hear something like that from her.

She swallowed and lowered her eyes. “Might I have a moment in my chambers to change into my sleeping garments?”

I eyed her a moment, not wanting to allow her out of my sight. But I assumed that any woman would be uncomfortable in this situation.

I’ll give her a minute.

“Yes. Take your moment and come back to me.” I caught her hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze.

She looked nervously over her shoulder. Her silvery green eyes seeming huge as she gave a slow nod.

She fingered the ruby cross as she walked from the room.

I watched her go. Appreciating the sweet sway of her hips beneath the shimmering leaf gown.

She’s mine now. I was nearly awestruck to think of it.

I wanted her. Had yearned for in the days since I’d had her last. Craving her like some heady addiction. I wondered if she had longed for me in the same way.

Were we mates? I doubted the possibility but couldn’t deny I’d never been so possessive of a woman in my life.

I want no other man to look at her.

But she’d barely said anything to me yet.

I need to make her comfortable enough to speak to me. To help her relax. I decided after the bedding ceremony I’d do just that.

The Wedding party filed into my chamber, and I allowed my manservant to take off my green embroidered overcoat and take off my boots, but I insisted on waiting for my bride before I went any further.

Not particularly wanting to be lying naked awaiting her before the entire party.

I paced the chamber. Telling myself to be patient and give her time but when the time was drawing closed on an hour, I caught my manservant’s arm and asked him to find out from her lady’s maid how much longer she intended to be.

I was quickly losing my tenuous patience. I wanted to bed her and then have her to myself. Perhaps wrap my arm about her and talk with her.

Then I would have all night to touch her, caress her, find out what it was that set her body on fire. I intended to take my time after the initial consummation.

I’ll learn her body. I would unlock the secrets of her flesh until she writhed with pleasure, offering her hips to me in desperate need. Only then would I enter her. Filling her with my hard staff. And letting her grow accustomed to it.

We have a lifetime now to enjoy each other.

My manservant returned, looking petrified.

What’s wrong?

He leaned up to whisper in my ear. “She’s gone?”

“What?” My head snapped to him. “Where?”

The manservant lifted his hands in a helpless gesture. Giving me a look that told me he had no idea. He nodded toward the doorway.

I announced that I needed to excuse myself momentarily and would soon be back. I pushed through the crowd and saw my father leaned against the wall, inspecting his fingernails in the hall.

“Lost her already, have we?”

“That is what they tell me.” I drawled.

“Best get her back and get it consummated.” Father said before turning and strolling down the hall, as if this is what he’d expected the whole time.

As if that weren’t already what I intended. My hands worked in white-knuckled fists. Her maid rushed into the hall looking distraught.

“She’s gone. She went out the window.” The maid was breathless with worry. Her hands fluttering about her face.

Of course, she did. I immediately saw in my mind’s eye, her climbing down the side of her two-story house to try and escape my guards.

I should’ve expected this. My teeth were gritted, and I was aggravated beyond what I ever had.

Wait until I get my hands on her again…

“Show me.”

The maid scrambled toward the lady’s chambers.

I was on her heels. Pushing the door open and peering behind it. Checking under the bed as I drew near the window where the sheet had been tied to one of the posts of the bed and strung out the window. I leaned over and peered out. Stunned to see that the rope only went to a lower parapet before dropping onto a long walk which would lead to one of the towers.

Surely, she wouldn’t have been able to walk right past the guards?

My mouth tightened and I turned on the maid. “What was she wearing.”

The maid lowered her head sheepishly. “I can look through her clothes and see what is missing.”

“You’re buying time.” My jaw ticked. “What is it you think she was in.”

The maid winced as if I’d struck her.

Probably the harshness of my tone.

“She said she could mend my dress if I left it with her…” She bit her lip to stem any further explanations.

“She’s in maid’s clothes?” My voice rose.

My new princess had just escaped me in the clothing of a peasant.

Still…Her remarkable beauty would’ve been hard to miss.

“I think she might be. I can’t find my dress.” The maid said hesitantly.

I growled in my throat. Making her cringe away.

Like the demure fey girl she is.

Afraid of my aggression.

She had nothing to fear. I was already intent on expelling this aggression on the body of my lovely little wife…

Wherever she was.

“Search the room I ordered the maid and manservant. Tell me immediately if you find her, no matter what she says.”

She’d tell them not to tell me. I knew that.

They nodded and began searching the room from top to bottom. Peering under the bed and in the armoire and moving to the next spot.

They’ll locate her if she’s here.

I hoped they’d find her, but I was very certain they wouldn’t.

She’s long gone.

Or so she thinks…

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