Chapter Two Twilight
Chapter Two: Twilight
Ryanon stared at the castle with a frown. There was just something completely off in the air surrounding it, but she couldn’t quiet put a finger on it. It was almost like there was a sickness about it, like it was literally dying. She shifted her weight around. Whatever it was, it was threatening to drown her.
“Hurry up, Dak,” she muttered to herself.
A few nobles brushed by her, but didn’t give her a second glance. They probably just thought she was someone’s fun for the night. It made her sick to think that was what people thought of her. It did, at least, give her the prefect disguise for entering and leaving the castle at will. If only she could kill all the pigs, then there would be nothing to worry about.
“It’s about time,” she said as the gates opened and Dak slipped out.
He looked over with a smirk. “Well, don’t you just look charming.”
She brushed past him. “Don’t make me kill you.”
He shook his head. “Now, is that really the right way to treat a paying customer?”
“I’ll give you a paying customer.”
He bowed as she walked through the gate, which he shut behind them with the tug of a wheel. Her eyes shifted around as the cameras trained on them. There seemed to be more and more cameras these days. It was as if the king was getting more and more paranoid.
Dak came up behind her, putting his arm around her waist, leaning into her. “It’s not safe, yet.” His hot breath sent tickles down the back of her neck.
She nodded as she leaned further into him. “Anything else?”
“Not now,” he hissed.
“Whatever you say.”
They stalked through the grounds. A few people still lingered about, but none of them gave them a second look. Maybe they were growing used to seeing their captain with women. She still ducked her head-not simply because she was playing the role of a whore, but because she had a feeling that not everyone bought the whole Craskbrand killed Lord Lowis Goldspire. After all, they had been given a description of the killer and Craskbrand sure did not fit that role.
Dak pulled her closer. “He’s had all the halls spiked, so don’t speak of anything until we get to my chambers.”
“And you sure there’s nothing in there?” Ryanon asked.
“I haven’t seen anything yet.”
“But could there be?” she pressed.
Dak just shrugged. “I’ve looked pretty close and there’s nothing there.”
Ryanon felt her lips grow thin. She knew how Dak looked, but, still, she knew he wouldn’t mess with something like this.
He grabbed onto her as a group of men walked toward them. “Just go with it.”
Ryanon frowned. “Go with what?”
He gave her a desperate look. “You know what I mean.”
She didn’t even have time to press the matter before he latched onto her. Right away, her body started to react to his touch. The termers raced through her, making her arch her spine with just the slightest movements. She felt a moan forming in her mouth and it took everything she had to keep it back.
Dak leaned into her, his breath hot against her skin. She could feel his body reacting like her own was. It was like their bodies wanted them to become one, wanted them to enjoy the pleasures that each other had to offer.
“You’re mine,” he breathed. Ryanon couldn’t tell if this was part of the act or not.
His lips broke the kiss for a brief time before finding hers again.
It was gentle, almost soft. It was the kind of kiss that she had read about, but never thought she would get to experience herself. She slid her arms around his shoulders, drawing him even closer. She found herself opening her mouth, inviting his tongue in. He slide in, brushing it up against her own.
This was how it was supposed to be...This was what love was supposed to feel like. They weren’t in the hall, they were alone.
Or so it seemed.
He deepened the kiss as she wrapped her legs around his waist, drawing him even closer. She could feel his body react even more to her. He actually wanted her, wanted her right here in plain sight. He tore his lips away from her mouth to her neck.
The men walked past them without really saying anything. Though, Ryanon could have sworn she heard one of them tell them to get a room and that the captain was so lucky.
Dak broke away from her. “They’re gone.” He looked calm and collected like nothing had just happened.
Ryanon looked down the hall. “Good.” She found herself struggling to get air. Maybe he felt the same way, but was just better at putting up a front.
Dak led Ryanon to his chambers. It looked just the same as it had before, but the air felt different. Death’s aura wasn’t as noticeable here as it had been in the hall, but it was still there. The king’s poison seemed to be in all areas of Eacken.
“We can talk,” Dak said once he had closed the door.
“Has anyone said anything about Rawlin?” Ryanon asked.
Dak shook his head. “There was a funeral, but that was it. They all think he died a hero’s death. We’ve been feeding the story that he gave his life in order to save some men from Nightstone.”
Ryanon lowered herself down on Dak’s messy bed. “Did he really want the king to live or was there something in it for him?”
Dak just shrugged. “I can see Vicar offering him lands in Trelia, but Rawlin was Trelain or, at least, descended from the Trelians. It really is possible that he did just want to save the king’s life.”
Ryanon sighed. “Why does it seem like everything is getting more and more complicated?”
“It’s going to get worse,” Dak answered as he pinched his temples.
“What do you mean?” Ryanon snapped, her voice coming out harder than she meant.
“My mother wants my father taken care of. She wants the war to start.”
Ryanon rolled her eyes. “Great, this just keeps getting better and better.” She looked at Dak. “How? Why? I mean, I know how, but why now? Why not wait until things settle down a bit?”
Dak just shrugged. “Well, she has already given us an extension as it is. I think we should just be lucky that she even waited this long.”
Ryanon ran her hands through her hair. “I just don’t see how we can pull this off now. Once your father is gone, what do we do about Vicar? How do even go about raising an army? He’s bound to come after us. I’m pretty sure Amberfall doesn’t have the number of legions we would need, even if we do have magic and gunpowder. Xandria truly does have the best army around. When was the last time Amberfall’s troops would have even seen combat?”
Dak just looked at her. “You’re rambling.”
“I know, but still! How in the world can we pull this off? We just can’t, not yet anyway.”
Dak just gave her a small smile. “I know it’s a lot to take on, but we will figure it out.”
“What if we don’t?”
“We wouldn’t be around to see what happens anyway. We’ll be dead,” Dak pointed out.
“True, but what if we are? What if we still happen to be around by that time?” Ryanon went on. “I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a country ruled by Vicar.”
“We could always just leave the country if that does happen.”
“And go where? From what I’ve heard and read, the rest of the world isn’t all that great.”
“Maybe we can find a new land and start our own country. It’s been done before.”
Ryanon gave him a small smile. “Maybe.”
“I’m surprised you haven’t asked me about Irondrifter.”
“I was actually waiting on you to bring it up.”
“He’s not happy,” Dak said slowly. “My father claims that he sent payment and Irondrifter said that they never received it. His men are up in arms. I think they will march on us if they got the chance. The king isn’t doing anything to solve the problem. He’s pretty much calling the general a liar.”
“Not a wise move,” Ryanon muttered.
Dak shook his head. “There’s more. Duke Wymond Cragshield was found dead in an alley. It appears that he died from alcohol poisoning.”
“Well, that’s such a shame. There was no trace of the poison, then?”
Dak shook his head. “You and Masse did pretty good.”
“What about the lord?”
Dak just shrugged. “I’ve not heard a lot about it. They seem to believe that Craskbrand could have gotten in and out of the room without anyone noticing.”
“Then, that takes care of that problem,” Ryanon said.
“Yeah, one of our many problems that can actually be erased.”
“Do you think the sword will be enough? Are you even able to get close enough to do?” Ryanon wasn’t actually sure if Dak could run his own father through with a weapon. Sure, their relationship was complicated, but they were still father and son. Was that a bond that could even be broken? How far was Dak willing to go?
Dak sat down next to her on the bed. “We’re just going to have to go through it all and think about what we are going to do. We have to do it; there’s no doubt about it. We just have to be smart about it.”
Ryanon folded her hands in her lap, twisting them around. “Where do we even start?”
“See, that’s the thing. I really have no clue as to where to even begin. There’s just so much.” He bent over, burying his hands in his face for a brief moment before raising it. “We have to get a starting place.”
Ryanon sighed. “What needs done first?”
“Amberfall wants Jessimond away from Vicar as quickly as possible.”
“And I have a feeling that she can be a very scary person.”
“So, do we make Amberfall happy first then?” Ryanon asked with a raised eyebrow.
Dak just sighed deeply. “I think that would be the best place to start, but it’s going to be very messy.”
“How do we go about stopping a royal wedding?”
“We just have to find Vicar a better offer. The sad thing is that I don’t think there’s going to be a better offer or any other offer for that matter.”
Ryanon just sighed. “Which really doesn’t open anything up for us.”
“No, it doesn’t.”
“What about Alse?” Ryanon asked, remembering that there was third child for the first time.
“What about her?” Dak asked.
“What do we do about her?”
“Don’t worry about my sister.”
Ryanon looked out the window as at the twilight. It looked like a watercolour, so beautiful and so wonderful that it didn’t look like it belonged in this world. She wanted to go out and ride off into it, away from all of this.
“We can’t stop a royal wedding without drawing attention to ourselves and we can’t outright kill the king either,” Dak went on.
“So, that leaves us right back to where we started.”
Dak’s eyes flickered over to hers. “I guess it does.” He laced his fingers through hers. “That doesn’t mean that we can’t have a little fun ourselves.”
“What do you mean?”
He moved closer to her. “I would like to finish what we started out there in the hall. It will be so much better now that we don’t have an audience.”
Ryanon didn’t protest as Dak lowered her down onto the bed. It was strange that just a mere few months ago they had been at each other’s throats, but now she was letting him do things to her that she really hadn’t let anyone before. She had been with men, but none of them were like Dak.
He spread his fingers over her stomach, letting them rest there without moving for several seconds. She reached up for them, trying to him to move them, to soothe the tingles that were racing through her body.
“You really are impatient,” Dak whispered, his lips hovering just centimetres from her body. “That will get you killed one of these days.”
Ryanon raised her head to meet his lips. “But right now, it will get me all kinds of rewards.”
Dak smirked. “What makes you think that?”
“I know you.”
His fingers started to travel her body, touching her in places that made her just melt on the bed. The tingles felt so right as he stroked her body; he certainly wasn’t new to how to make a female feel good. She could feel the ache, the longing for him as he kept touching her. His lips worked similar magic on hers.
He broke the kiss. “Tell me what you want, Ryanon.”
She cried out a bit as he felt his hand slid beneath her dress, touching her in the sweet spot. She was so close to him that it made it impossible to tell where one body began and the other one ended. She smiled. She knew what he wanted, so could feel it, but that just wasn’t how she worked. She wanted to have fun while she could.
“I want you to make me forget,” she said, breathlessly.
She felt his body tense. “You really are a tease, aren’t you?” he whispered.
She just smiled. “And what are you doing to do about it?”
He leaned back down close to her. “I’m going to give you what you want. Forget about everything.” His breath felt warm against her skin.
His hand reentered beneath the top of her dress, pulling it down to her waist. She didn’t bother to cover herself as he stared at her. He reached up and pulled off his own tunic. Skin to skin, he bent down over top of her, his hands roaming over her body.
Ryanon groaned as he kept touching her, going as far as to bow into his touch. She ground against him.
“Now, now, now, you let me be in charge for once,” he whispered.
She smiled as she began twisting and reaching for him. She needed him now; she needed him to help her forget what she was going through, what they were going through. He shook his head as he pressed harder against her. There was no gap between them now.
“Let me do this for you,” Dak whispered. “Let me show you the pleasures’ the world has to offer.”
His hands and lips kept roaming her body, sending a fire to her core. She didn’t know how much longer she could control herself, how much more of this she could take.
“Please,” Ryanon begged.
Dak gave her another smile as he finished taking off her dress. His eyes raked over her exposed body.
“Now, your turn,” she whispered as she pulled down his trousers and underclothes.
He just smiled as he pressed against her. “Now what?”
“Let’s forget about the world,” Ryanon said.
He leaned down over her, baring his entire weight on her. He wasn’t as heavy as she thought he would have been. His hot breath seemed to warm her cold body, bringing life back into her dying soul. She had never thought a man could make her feel this way.
Maybe this was what love was supposed to be. It was supposed to bring you up instead of down. Opening your heart up to someone was actually a good thing.