Rules of the Realm
“Where am I? What has become of me now?”
Azlyn slowly opened her eyes and realized that she was face-down on a cold marble floor. She looked to her left and saw a beautiful, soft-looking, rug sprawled out on the ground next to her.
“Typical. Of course, they would put me on the hard floor instead of the rug.” Azlyn thought as she rolled her eyes.
Azlyn could feel that her hands were tightly bound behind her back. She knew from many past experiences that her best bet was to try and sit up, then take in her surroundings. This was certainly not the first time that she had been through this ordeal and she doubted that it would be the last.
Azlyn wriggled and struggled to force herself off of the floor without touching any of the furniture around her. She knew the rules all too well and she was not about to start breaking them. Not before she had even had a chance to make a first impression on whomever her new master may be.
Azlyn finally managed to force herself up onto her knees. However, after all that movement and use of muscles, she realized how badly her body ached. Her head was throbbing, most likely from when she had been knocked unconscious.
“I wonder if I could count how many times that I have been bound and knocked unconscious.”
Azlyn began to look around and take in the details of the room. She came to the realization that she was in the nicest room that she had seen in her whole life. The entire place was covered in expensive paintings and silks. The rug that she sat next to was probably worth more than the cost of her food for several years. The bed behind her was made up of ornately carved wood and looked to be so fluffy that she imagined it must be like laying on a cloud. There were three book shelves around the room all decorated with various collections; one appeared to be lined in a rather magnificent book collection, while the second seemed to contain an assortment of antique weapons, and the third appeared to be housing for various trophies, medals, and awards. Overstuffed arm chairs sat in one corner, framing a large, stone fireplace. Whoever this room belonged to certainly had impressive taste.
As Azlyn sat there, on the cold floor, for what felt like hours. She wondered how long she would be left waiting there before being introduced to her new duties. Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the sound of footsteps approaching. She hoped that whomever it was that walked this direction was headed to this room. She could not stand waiting to learn what horrors awaited her in her new life. She began to hear the sound of muffled voices and she tried her best to listen in on the conversation.
“Before we go inside. I just wanted to say that I hope that you’ve enjoyed yourself today.”
Azlyn could hear a male speaking just on the other side of the door. She watched as the door knob, slowly, began to turn.
“Happy birthday, son!”
The door swung open and Azlyn’s eyes fell upon a being so astonishing that she found she could not look away. He had sharp, rugged features and his eyes were as dark as the ocean in the dead of night. His jet-black hair contrasted beautifully against his light, olive skin. The small black horns atop his head blended into his short-cropped hair, almost seeming to disappear. Azlyn guessed that he chose not to wear his horns at full size, so that they were not intimidating unless he needed them to be. He was impeccably dressed, revealing that he came from very wealthy means. There was something familiar and comforting about him.
Azlyn quickly realized that she had been staring. She knew that this was against the rules and swiftly adjusted her position to a more appropriate one, by dropping her gaze down to the floor. She chastised herself for making such a grave mistake, she knew better than to look a demon in the eye, especially one of such obviously noble means.
“I know that she could never take the place of Teanna. However, I am told that she is very well-trained and submissive. She should make an excellent new personal slave for you.” The older demon explained.
The two demons entered the room and examined Azlyn further.
“Slave stand.” The older demon commanded.
Azlyn struggled at first, but she did as she was told and rose to her feet. Upon standing she began to feel light-headed, most likely due to a concussion, and she began to waiver. Panic coursed through her as she stumbled forward, unable to steady herself with her arms bound behind her back.
The older demon stepped out of the way, offering Azlyn no assistance in her plight. This was not uncharacteristic for a demon and she had expected just as much. She attempted to steel herself as she knew the inevitable was to come; she would smash her face into one of the many lovely items of furniture directly ahead of her. If she was lucky, nothing would be broken, and she would, possibly, avoid punishment.
Azlyn braced for the impact when she, suddenly, felt a pair of strong arms around her. For a moment, she felt safe and content. It was though the worries had melted away and she was just left with the security of being held tight by these mysterious arms. It took her a minute to register what was actually happening. The arms carefully lifted her backwards and placed her standing her upright.
“Woah! Careful there! Are you alright?” A melodious voice rang out with concern.
Azlyn’s mind was abuzz. What had just happened there? Why had she not fallen? She should be on the floor right now. Who had saved her? Why had they saved her? In her confusion, she was not thinking straight. She answered…
“Yes, I am fine. Thank you.”
Azlyn was quickly brought back to harsh reality by the sting of a hand against her face.
“How dare you answer so casually!” The older demon leered down at her.
“I am s-so sorry, m-master! I a-apologize! I s-swear it will n-never happen a-again, master!” Azlyn quickly stammered.
“I am King Chesed. You may address me as Your Highness or by any other title befitting my rank.” The older demon said, gesturing to himself. “He is your new master.” The older demon gestured to the younger demon who accompanied him.
“Yes, your highness.” Azlyn answered with a slight bow.
Azlyn could scarcely believe what she had heard. Was she really working in the palace now?! As the personal slave to one of the princes, no less?! Could this really be happening? Why did it have to be her?!
Normally, it would seem like it was good news for a slave to be assigned to the palace. However, in the Realm of Demons, it was exactly the opposite of that. One of the worst places for a slave to work was within the castle. There were more slave deaths out of the palace than any other estate throughout the entire realm.
“What is your name, slave?” King Chesed asked.
“My name is Azlyn, sire.”
“Ah, Azlyn. Well, this is my son, Prince Reve. He is your master now. You do whatever he asks of you.” King Chesed instructed.
“Of course, sire. Thank you, your majesty.” Azlyn answered with a slight bow.
“I will leave you two to get better acquainted. Show her to her quarters whenever you are done with her. You may want to get your clothes cleaned as well; her filth has touched them.” Chesed sneered. “Good night, son. Happy birthday.” With that King Chesed exited the room and disappeared into the castle.
Prince Reve stood there staring at Azlyn for a moment. Azlyn began to feel uneasy, she felt his eyes boring into her, but she did not want to look up to see the expression on his face. She knew that he was probably disappointed with her. He was likely expecting something better for his birthday. She wished that she could just disappear.
After what seemed like an eternity, Prince Reve turned and closed the door to his room. He stepped forward and reached out for Azlyn’s head; he had noticed that she was bleeding and wanted to check the wound. However, he quickly retracted his touch when he saw Azlyn clearly flinching as his hand had reached out for her.
“I am not going to hit you.” Reve assured her.
“It is not my place to question your actions, master. You are welcome to do as you please.” Azlyn responded, quietly.
“Well, I am not going to hit you. I just wanted to check that wound on your head. It looks like you may be bleeding.” Reve informed Azlyn as he reached for her again.
“I will be fine, sire. It is nothing that you should concern yourself with. Unless you are worried that I will bleed on something of yours. If that is the case then I will attempt to find something to cover it with, so that you will not have to worry any longer, your highness.” Azlyn reassured him.
“I am not worried about anything like that. I just wanted to make sure that you are alright.”
Reve walked over to his nightstand and grabbed a small knife. Azlyn’s eyes widened with fear as he began to walk back over towards her. She held her breath, wondering whether or not he meant to use the knife to do her harm. But instead he walked behind her and cut her arms free from the rope that bound them behind her back. Then he returned the knife to its place next to the bed. Azlyn took advantage of the freedom and rolled her shoulders before rubbing her chafed wrists.
“Can I ask you a question, Azlyn?” Reve inquired.
“Of course, master. You may ask me anything that you wish.” Azlyn responded, quickly.
“Do you not have more appropriate clothing to wear?” Reve asked with a smirk as he eyed her up and down.
Azlyn quickly became aware of how she had been dressed. It had never occurred to her that it may be inappropriate before as she rarely ever went out in public. She had been wearing the same clothes for several months now. Her former master had been down on his luck and could not afford to keep her properly clothed; not that he would have spent money on her had he been able to afford it.
Azlyn’s cheeks burned as she turned a bright red, scanning the scant clothing that covered her. Her clothes were so old and overused that over time they had been torn and tattered down to essentially nothing more than a strip of cloth that covered her breasts and loose underwear.
“I apologize if my appearance has offended you, your highness. This is the only clothing that I own.”
“I am not offended. Just surprised. Did your former master not provide you with clothing?” Reve inquired.
“This is the clothing provided to me by my former master, majesty.” Azlyn explained.
“Well, your master must have been a real piece of work. It is not much, is it?” Reve commented.
Azlyn chose not to respond to this question. She knew better than to bad mouth a former master of hers. She had no way of knowing if they were friendly with each other and even if they were not, she would likely be punished for speaking ill of another demon. She would not be led into traps, she would avoid punishment as much as possible.
Prince Reve had noticed her silence. He was all too aware of how slaves were treated throughout the realm and even within his own home. He was appalled at the disregard that many demons had for the livelihood of their slaves. Humans may be an inferior species, but it did not mean that they had no right to, at least, very basic dignities; a thought not commonly shared throughout the realm.
“You don’t speak much do you?” Reve joked, breaking the silence.
“I am sorry, my lord. I have always been under the impression that a good slave should be seen and not heard.” Azlyn apologized.
Prince Reve rolled his eyes. He knew that this was common amongst demons and slaves. However, he had never been this way with his personal slave and he did not plan to start now.
“Well, we will need to find you something more to wear. For the time being, this will have to do. Follow me and I will show you to your quarters.” Reve directed.
Reve opened the door to his bedroom and exited. Azlyn followed him, careful not to place a foot onto the rug in the center of the room. When she got into the hall, she saw Reve standing in front of a small door directly across from his room.
Prince Reve opened the door and exposed a small, sparsely furnished room. There was a tiny bed in one corner of the room, a small wooden dresser and a ragged, wooden chair in another. The mattress on the bed appeared to be very worn and so thin that there was little chance it offered much in the way of comfort. There was no pillow and only an old, shredded blanket for bedding.
“Sorry, there isn’t any bedding. I had it buried with Teanna as she had hand-sewn most of it. We’ll try and find something better when we get a chance.” Reve assured her.
“Interesting that he would bother to bury his slave at all.” Azlyn thought to herself.
Azlyn entered the room and even though there was not much to it. She was grateful for what she had, it was more than she could ever remember having before. Honestly, she could hardly believe that this whole room was just for her.
“The bathroom is just down the hall. The slaves use the large, communal bathroom.” Reve explained.
“Thank you, master.” Azlyn answered.
“You will start your work first thing in the morning. Our coordinator should wake you bright and early to get you started with your new schedule. Have a good rest of your night.”
With that, Reve exited the doorway and returned to his room.
Azlyn stood in the center of her room for a minute, taking it all in. She had never had her own room before or a real bed. She had always had to share with other slaves or, in some cases, her master and oftentimes she had slept on a floor. On the other hand, she had never been the personal slave to a prince before either. She lay down on her bed and fell asleep with the excitement of finally having something to call her own.
The very next morning, Azlyn was suddenly awoken by the sound of the hands clapping in front of her face.
“Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!” The voice that belonged to the clapping hands commanded.
Azlyn rubbed her eyes and slowly sat up to face whoever was commanding her so early in the morning. She was exhausted by yesterday’s events and her head still ached from being knocked unconscious.
“Come on! I expect you to move faster than that! That mattress cannot be that comfortable its essentially just a thin layer of straw inside a bag! This is the castle of the Demon King Chesed and you will be expected to move quickly, if you want to survive here!” The little demon commanded.
Azlyn remembered this demon from the day before. His name was Cuinn and he was the slave coordinator here at the castle. He had been the only being that she had met before waking up in the room of Prince Reve.
Cuinn had looked her up and down several times. He had then asked her about her age and how much weight she could carry. Azlyn answered that she was twenty-two years old and informed him that she could carry, roughly, forty pounds without struggle. Cuinn snorted and commented that “younger would be better” before nodding his head to someone standing behind her. Suddenly, Azlyn had felt a sharp pain in the back of her head. The next thing she knew she was waking up on the floor of the prince’s bedroom.
“Girl, do not make me regret choosing you for this prestigious position! We paid your former master a lot of money for you, now you better prove that you are worth every penny!! Get out of that bed and get moving!!!!” Cuinn demanded again.
Azlyn, quickly, jumped out of the bed and rushed to his side. Standing as straight as possible, then looking him in the face, for a moment, before immediately dropping her eyes to the ground.
This was how the demons liked their slaves, Azlyn had learned that at a very young age. Stand at attention and make it appear as though you are looking them in the face without actually risking making eye contact with them. Eye contact would always end in a slap or worse. Even though Cuinn was just a servant, he was still a demon and this meant he was elevated above every human in the realm.
Demons considered humans to be a lesser species, not worthy of basic rights and protections. Therefore, they captured them from the human realm and brought them to the demon realm to work as their slaves. Azlyn, however, was not captured and forced into a new, terrifying realm as many like her had been. Azlyn was a second-generation slave, so this life was all that she had ever known.
“Prince Reve will be waking soon. You will be expected to be in his room with his breakfast when he wakes. If I ever hear that you were not in his room waiting for him to wake, then there will be terrible consequences. Understood?” Cuinn instructed.
“Yes, sir. Of course.” Azlyn agreed.
“Good. Now follow me.” Cuinn continued.
Azlyn did as she was told to do and followed Cuinn down the massive and elaborately decorated hallways that led to the kitchen. She focused closely on where they turned and which direction that they went; looking for landmarks along the way. She knew that she would be expected to make this walk on her own very soon and tardiness due to loss of bearings was not acceptable.
As Cuinn and Azlyn approached the massive double doors that led into the kitchen, she marveled at their size. They looked as though they weighed a ton and she became unsure of whether or not she would be able to open them without struggle. However, her fears were quickly quieted when the doors swung open automatically.
“Wow!” Azlyn gasped as she watched the doors move.
“Yes. Not every family affords such niceties for their servants and slaves. However, the royal family had these doors installed for our convenience. It was a benefit to them as well, of course, slaves can no longer blame spilt food on the heavy doors.” Cuinn explained.
As they entered the kitchen, Azlyn was struck by another wondrous sight. This kitchen was unlike anything that she had ever before seen. It was absolutely immaculate and completely covered in copper. There were people running in every direction, as they hustled between the several stoves, sets of cabinets, counters, and multiple sinks.
There was a large, copper island in the center of the kitchen. Upon which sat six large and ornate serving trays; three in gold on the left and three in silver on the right. Each tray had a matching serving cover on top, concealing their meals, accompanied by a matching goblet.
“This is the only area of the kitchen that you need to concern yourself with.” Cuinn said as he gestured towards the island.
Cuinn walked over to the island and placed his hand upon it, directly between the gold and silver trays. Azlyn followed him and stood at attention before the island, however, instead of focusing her eyes on the floor, this time she focused on the trays before her.
“The gold tray which is furthest from us is for his royal majesty King Chesed. The gold tray sitting in the center is for her royal majesty Queen Mara. Finally, the gold tray which is closest to me is for his royal highness, the heir apparent, Prince Gedeon. Unless instructed otherwise, never touch one of these gold trays!” Cuinn commanded.
Azlyn resisted the urge to roll her eyes.
“Why even bother explaining those trays then.” Azlyn wondered.
“The closest silver tray to me is for his royal highness Prince Hadeon. The silver tray that sits furthest from me is for meant for his royal highness Prince Kane. Neither of these trays is for you, so do not touch these. The only tray that you should concern yourself with is the silver tray here, in the middle of the others. This tray is for Prince Reve.” Cuinn explained.
Cuinn gestured for Azlyn to step closer to the tray, so she did.
“You will come to the kitchen first thing every morning and you will gather this tray. This tray should always be ready by the time that you arrive. If it is not, then you are instructed to inform me immediately so that those responsible can be properly punished. The tray should always contain a goblet of juice, a plate of food, a bowl of porridge, and silverware. Then you will take it to Prince Reve and serve him in his bedroom. Once he has finished with his breakfast you will return the tray to the kitchen and place it in this exact spot. Is this understood?” Cuinn instructed.
“Yes, sir.” Azlyn responded.
“Excellent. You will be expected to perform the same duties at dinner except that you will be taking the tray to the prince in the dining room rather than his bedroom. Still keeping up with me?” Cuinn explained.
“Yes, sir.” Azlyn answered.
Azlyn was beginning to grow annoyed with the way the Cuinn constantly stopped to ask her if she was understanding his instruction. These tasks were not hard to accomplish, and she did not appreciate that he was treating her like she was some kind of halfwit. However, Azlyn knew that this was typical of demonkind and tried not to let it bother her too much.
“Well, let’s get on with it then, shall we?” Cuinn asked, sarcastically, as he gestured towards the tray.
Azlyn picked up the tray and found that it was slightly heavier than she had expected. Though being that it was made entirely of real silver, she did not know why she was surprised. She carefully turned around and began following Cuinn out of the kitchen.
Azlyn slowly navigated the halls behind Cuinn. Careful to keep her eyes just high enough so that she would notice if anyone was coming down the hall towards her. She did not want to risk dropping this tray and, especially, not on a demon. Not only was this royal food, she could not even begin to fathom how much the serving tray and the matching dishware could possibly be worth.
When they arrived outside of Prince Reve’s door, Cuinn stopped. He gestured to the small, rectangular table sitting next to the door.
“Place the tray here.” Cuinn instructed.
Azlyn did as she was told and set the tray, carefully, on top of the table.
“Now, every time that you bring a meal or another heavy item to the prince’s room, place it here on this table before opening the door. It is customary to give three slow knocks on the door before opening it to announce your arrival, even if the prince is asleep or absent from the room, this is just common courtesy. Once you open the door, you enter the room, and set the tray on the small matching table on the other side of this door. Then you will close the door.” Cuinn explained in excruciating detail.
Azlyn nodded her head in understanding.
“After this you are expected to pick up the tray and stand next to the prince’s bed until he wakes and notices you. After he wakes, wait for him to wave you over. Once he does, carefully place the tray next to him on the bed. Then return to the table where you set the tray. The prince’s daily schedule will be sitting there. You will be expected to look over the prince’s schedule and pick out the most appropriate outfit for his day’s events.” Cuinn informed her.
Azlyn was surprised by this. She had never worked for royalty before; how was she to know which outfit was appropriate for the different events that the prince may be involved in on any given day. She was not even aware of exactly what the prince’s role was here within the royal household. She knew that he was third in line for the throne, but what exactly that meant, she had no way of knowing.
“Prince Reve has been informed that you are unaware of proper customs, so he will be helping you learn to gather the proper attire for the first few days. However, after this training period, you will be expected to have the prince’s wardrobe memorized and be completely able to pick out the prince’s outfits without any assistance. Prince Reve is a busy demon with a large responsibility on his shoulders and he should not have to be bothered with miniscule things, such as having to decide on his outfits.” Cuinn stated.
“Of course, sir.” Azlyn began. “May I ask a question, sir?”
“Yes. But make it quick. Prince Reve needs his breakfast and I have more important things to do than standing around and chatting with you all day.” Cuinn responded, impatiently.
“What exactly is Prince Reve’s responsibility within the court?” Azlyn asked, hoping not to sound like she was questioning the burden that Prince Reve was said to carry.
“Prince Reve is currently the Field Marshall for the entire demon Army. However, when his brother, Prince Gedeon, takes the throne then Prince Reve will become the Minister for Defense over-seeing all military matters within the entire Demon Realm and, thus, making him the top military advisor to the king.” Cuinn clarified.
“Thank you, sir.” Azlyn was grateful that he had answered her question instead of simply dismissing her.
“Oh, and I almost forgot, when handling the prince’s clothes be sure to use the provided gloves, hanging just inside the door of his closet. The prince’s clothes are made of only the finest materials and we cannot have filthy human oils contaminating and ruining the expensive fibers.” Cuinn reminded her.
“Of course, sir. I would not dream of it.” Azlyn reassured him.
“Excellent. I trust I will not hear any complaints about you.”
With that, Cuinn turned and walked away. Leaving Azlyn to remember his instructions the best that she could.
Azlyn gathered her nerves and gave her three slow knocks at the door. She took in a deep breath and slowly turned the door knob, pushing the door open as she did so. She picked up the tray and walked into the bedroom, carefully placing the tray on the matching table within the room. She quietly closed the door; she did not want to prematurely wake Prince Reve. Then she proceeded to pick up the breakfast tray and turned around to stand before the prince, ready to present his meal when he awoke.
Little did Azlyn know, but Prince Reve had been awake since before she entered the room. He had been aware of her movements and had watched as she vigilantly skirted around the carpet, careful to keep her feet from touching a single fiber. As soon as she had come to a stop before his bed, he watched her balance awkwardly in the small space of floor that sat between the carpet and his furniture.
“You know, I do not care if you step on the carpet.” Prince Reve informed her.
Azlyn jumped a bit, startled that Prince Reve was speaking. She did not know that he was awake and now she felt foolish. Was she late with his breakfast on her very first morning? Or even worse, what if she had woken him?!
“I apologize, your highness. Did I disturb you?” Azlyn asked, barely above a whisper.
“No need for apologies. I was awake before you got here.” Prince Reve explained.
“Oh no! I was late with your breakfast! I am so sorry, your majesty! Would you like me to fetch the whip?” Azlyn asked in a panic.
“Of course not!” Prince Reve responded with disgust. “I do not whip my slaves over something so trivial. It is also your first day, I do not expect you to be perfect right away.”
Prince Reve smiled over at Azlyn. He wanted her to know that he was not as bad as some of the other demons were with their slaves. He actually had quite a bit of respect for slaves, he knew that the work they did was not easy. He had also been given the privilege of working with slave solider units during wartime. He was aware that these people were brave and fiercely loyal to those who would treat them with even the smallest shred of dignity. As a matter of fact, his former personal slave Teanna had been more of a mother to him than his own mother had ever been.
Reve looked at Azlyn to gauge her reaction to the kindness that he was trying to express. However, something else caught his eye. Last night, he had barely looked at her as he was still grieving the loss of Teanna and was not sure that he wanted a new slave to take her place yet. But this morning, as Prince Reve looked over Azlyn, he felt something that he had never felt before.
Azlyn was the most beautiful creature that Reve had ever seen. He was immediately captivated by her. Her hair was so light that it was almost white, he could not recall if he had seen this color before. Her blue eyes sparkled even though they were filled with years of pain. Her skin was naturally-tanned, as if lightly kissed by the sun, and despite years of hard labor, as well as, the scars left by punishment, it appeared to be soft and smooth. Everything about her was in direct contrast with his own; where Reve was dark in color, Azlyn was light in color and vice versa. He caught himself staring longingly at her lips, wondering how they would feel against his own.
“Would you like your breakfast, master?” Azlyn interrupted.
“What?” Prince Reve asked, suddenly pulled from his thoughts.
“Breakfast, sire?” Azlyn asked again, lifting the tray slightly.
“Yes, of course.” Prince Reve answered.
Reve sat up in his bed a bit and motioned for Azlyn to bring the tray over to him. He watched in awe and she gracefully placed one foot in front of the other, keeping along her tiny path to avoid the carpet. He was captivated by the way she moved. However, he could not understand why she was still refusing to step on the carpet.
Azlyn placed the tray directly over Prince Reve. She was careful not to allow any part of herself to touch the prince’s bedding. It would be such a disgrace if she touched his bed, the sheets would, most likely, need to be burned and that would, certainly, deserve a whipping. She felt her heart beat wildly in her chest at the realization that he was laying shirtless before her, his well-toned chest inches from her own. Her cheeks burned red and she prayed that he could not notice her reaction.
After Azlyn successfully set down the tray, she carefully stepped back and began to skirt around the carpet towards the door. She knew that the information for her next task lay on the table where she had set the tray.
“Azlyn, what are you doing?” Prince Reve inquired.
Azlyn stopped dead in her tracks. Was she doing something wrong? She thought that her next task would be to pick out the prince’s clothing.
“I am making my way towards your daily schedule, your majesty. Is there something else that you wish me to do instead?”
“I wish for you to step on the carpet.” Reve answered.
Azlyn was not sure what to do. She eyed the carpet carefully. She knew that it was far too expensive for her to be placing her filthy human feet on. She knew very well that she was not supposed to touch such things with her bare flesh. However, Prince Reve seemed insistent that she do so. She wondered if maybe this was trap. If she did not step on the carpet then he could punish her for disobeying an order, minimum of five lashes. If she did step on the carpet then he could punish her for defiling his property, minimum of ten to fifteen lashes, depending on whether he had it cleaned or burned. That was, of course, if he stuck to the minimums, he could always give her more lashes if he thought it appropriate.
After weighing the options, Azlyn decided that her best bet was to ignore Prince Reve’s command. He would likely only give her the five lashes and that was the less severe punishment of the two. So, Azlyn stood there, teetering uncomfortably on her small strip of floor. She hoped this would make it clear to the prince that she would not be so easily tricked into beatings. Of course, she knew this was risky, but it was a risk that she had to take.
Prince Reve chuckled to himself for a moment as he watched Azlyn. He wondered what could possibly be going on inside that head of hers to make her question such a small request so heavily. He slowly moved his breakfast to the other side of his bed, so that he would not knock it over. Then in one swift motion he was out of bed and across the floor to where Azlyn was standing. He leaned in and placed his mouth close to her ear.
“I do not know why you are being so stubborn about this.” Prince Reve spoke just barely above a whisper.
Before Azlyn could respond, Prince Reve scooped her into his arms and lifted her up. He walked her to the center of the carpet and then set her down.
Azlyn stood there for a moment, completely stunned. She was certain that was going to harm her in some way when he had rushed out of the bed towards her. She had chosen not to run as she did not want to make things worse for herself. However, what happened had completely turned her world upside down. He had touched her with his bare flesh and he did not seem bothered by it, this was highly irregular. Now he stood in the center of the carpet with her, still entwined in his arms.
This was not a rough and violent embrace as it had always been with the demons before, this almost seemed gentle and caring. Azlyn would never have believed it in a million years and she knew deep inside that it was likely wishful thinking, but Prince Reve almost seemed hesitant to let her go.
“See, there is nothing wrong with touching the carpet.” Reve finally spoke after a moment of intense silence. “I expect you to walk across the carpet, freely, when it is just the two of us in here.”
“Master are you sure that is…” Azlyn began.
“That is an order, Azlyn.” Prince Reve interrupted.
“Yes, sire. Whatever you command.” Azlyn agreed.
Prince Reve held Azlyn for another moment, before finally letting her go. He took in a deep breath to compose himself; though, it did not help as he was now covered in her scent. Everywhere that their bare flesh had touched felt like it was buzzing with electricity. It was unlike anything that he had ever experienced before. For a moment, he had wanted to kiss her so badly, but he did not want her to misconstrue his intentions. He knew that many demons forced themselves on slaves and he did not want her thinking that he was one of them.
Azlyn was very confused by what had just transpired. Prince Reve’s touch felt like electricity running throughout her body. She had loved every moment of it which was very unusual for her. Typically, having a demon touch her bare flesh made her feel sick. But with Prince Reve, she had found herself overcome with the urge to kiss him while he had been holding her, but she held back knowing that this would have been completely unacceptable. She knew that she needed to get such feelings out of her mind before they ended in a broken neck.
The tension in the air had become so thick you could have cut it with a knife. Azlyn stood there, awkwardly, staring at the carpet beneath her feet. Prince Reve cleared his throat several times and ran his hands through his hair, careful to avoid his horns.
“We should probably start working towards picking out my daily outfits.” Prince Reve suggested, trying to ease the situation.
“Yes, let’s. I shall fetch your daily schedule and my gloves right away, your highness.” Azlyn responded, glad to have a change of subject.
“There is no need to wear the gloves, Azlyn. I don’t care about such ridiculous formalities. My old personal slave never wore the gloves and nothing bad ever happened to my clothes. As long as it is just the two of us, there is no need for the gloves.” Prince Reve informed her.
“But, master, my filth…”
“I don’t believe in those myths, Azlyn.”