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Chapter Four

My fascination with physical predilections grew stronger each day. I had phases of this before—times when Reigniel was on a similar journey—but it never seemed this disruptive.

I laid restless in my bed, parts of me aching with a longing I could not quell.

Reigniel was sleeping quite soundly, and in his relaxed state, I connected with him easily. His aura collected to a solid form beside me. Wake up.

His eyes opened with a flutter and looked over to me. He sat up with surprise and reached for me. “Love,” he said. “What is the matter?”

“What am I feeling?” I asked him, inviting him in. “Why does it hurt?”

He began to laugh. “You,” he answered with a smile, “are horny.”

There were so many matters that required my attention—complexities of diplomacy and warfare I had not yet begun to understand—yet all of it paled in comparison to the frustration of my desires. It made me feel feeble, simple. But that changed.

“In which book will I learn of the intricacies of pleasurable physical contact?” I asked my tutor.

His eyes widened when he turned to me. “Physical—erm—I’m not . . . I’m not sure to what you are referring, Princess.”

“Sex. Intercourse specifically,” I answered.

His cheeks changed to the color of the blood hidden beneath it. “I’m not—I don’t think—I can’t . . . I must go,” he stammered and left the room. Seeing him flustered brought me joy, but also heightened my curiosity.

That which was so easily understood and discussed always seemed to bore me. Topics hidden or censored from the texts were always the most intriguing and rewarding. I peered through the window at the falling snow and smiled at the thoughts passing through my mind.

I left my studies behind and ran through the halls toward the central castle. Once in the rotunda, I looked around the collections of people in an attempt to find a single occupant.

I found him there, too far to reach but not too far to exchange silent instruction. I simple nod of my head called him to me.

Retreating to an unoccupied hall, I waited. When he found me, I quickly pulled him by the collar into my kiss.

“Come to my chambers tonight,” I whispered to him.

He pulled away and turned to look at me. “Anything her majesty desires.”

I waited for him in my chambers. My instructions were clear, but there was a chance he would be found out trying to approach. Reigniel was having his own fun, waves of warmth and desire flooding through me on occasion.

The light rapping on my window gained my attention. I pushed open the light and he climbed inside. My relief was shrouded in a mix of nervousness and the distant flood of pleasure from beyond the door.

Friedrich removed his coat and shook the snow from it. “I nearly fell on my way here,” he told me. “A pheasant or some sort flew out and—” He stopped short when I opened my robes and pushed them to the ground.

My nudity gave him pause. The fixation of his eyes led me to believe what I had to offer him was of impress rather than disappointment. I stepped forward and took his face between my hands. While kissing his lips, his unusual hesitation gave me confidence.

“Take off your clothes,” I commanded him and returned to my bed.

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

He stripped off his breastplate and hung it beside the chair. After a few more moments of fiddling around, his boots and chausses were removed, leaving him in the thin linen shirt and leather pants.

“You still have far too much on,” I told him in a teasing manner.

“We’re alone, right?”

“As much as we can be.”

“What does that mean?”

I sat up and smiled. “He feels everything. If it isn’t painful, he can ignore it for the most part. But he is always here with me.”

He looked hesitant. “Can you ask him to close the door tighter?”

“He cannot see you or feel . . . that part of you. When we close the door, he can only feel hints of my emotions. Something like intuition,” I attempted to explain something I had never experienced. “There is no reason to be shy.”

“You swear it?”


With that, he removed the rest of his clothing. His body was a graceful, muscular frame. The hair traced down his chest, abdomen, and shrouding his manhood—a surprisingly dreadful thing that moved about under my gaze. No wonder the hoards of nude paintings throughout the collection featured women’s bodies instead of men’s. He was, nevertheless, a work of art in his own way. I longed to explore more of him.

In a slow and timid manner, he joined me in the bed. My eyes still affixed to his nether region, he placed my hand against it. I refrained from gasping with surprise when it twitched against my palm. It was a scientific masterpiece.

He lifted my chin, moving my gaze back to his. He pressed a soft kiss to my lips and lowered me back onto the bed.

Physical intimacy was an odd thing; reticent yet consuming, passive yet overwhelming. With every gentle caress, my heartbeat quickened with anticipation. But when the moment happened, my trepidation faded to a breathless calm.

As the pain subsided, my body molded into something I had never been before. My legs spread, my sex accepted his presence and his rhythm. As if I had done this one million times, this odd dance became natural and familiar. Instinctual. I guided him into a pace that felt more comfortable.

The pleasure hit me and my head tossed back with a sound I’ve only made once before.

It called me back to times I stirred in my sleep. When a sudden feeling so strong flowed from Reigniel through me, making me tremble and groan as if I were in pain—but it was the opposite. It felt as if every pain I ever had in my life was being healed in a single rush.

That same rush, the flood of pleasure, hit me so intensely I could not help but cry out.

That was what physical connection was. That is why people spent so much time seeking it out.

That . . . was amazing.

I laid with him for a moment afterward. He was tired from his hard work, but beneath his lackadaisical grin, I found a hint of fear. He looked to me for affirmation and I gave it to him in the shape of a smile. “Thank you,” I said to him.

“Of course.”

“You should get back now. Before someone finds you misplaced.”

“Yes, I should.” He started to stand but I stopped him with a hand. I pulled him close to me and kissed his lips once more.

The moment he left, I laid back onto my covers with a laugh. I opened the door to Reign and the fuzzy feeling I had from before became tinged with happiness and humor. He knew what happened. Of course he did. He was happy for me.

His aura appeared in Friedrich’s wake, and after a moment, manifested into flesh. I looked over and laughed with him. “It’s about time,” he said.

“For what?”

“You to become a woman.” He laughed more and I felt my cheeks warm. “How will your mother feel if the heir is the son of a stableboy?”

The laughter overtook us both.

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