Each night it's the same thing. Somehow the King finds a way for me to be in his chamber when he ravishes these women. Each night is a different experience. Some nights he only has one, and other nights he has three. He does all kinds of unspeakable things to their bodies, things I never even knew was possible. And each night he forces me to stand in the corner with a different form of refreshment.
I jump from the scream of the woman. She is on top of the King, but her body is facing upwards, her legs sprawled as another woman licks between her legs while the King holds her arms back, vigorously thrusting in and out of her. He pushes her hair aside, and begins sucking on her throat. It shocks me. Then, his eyes meet mine and a mischievous grin appears on his lips. He thrusts even harder causing the woman to groan.
She tosses her head back, her cries growing silent as her body convulses. Something that I've noticed means the night is ending. I immediately drop my eyes, staring at the ground. I can still hear kissing and moaning as he moves on to the next woman.
It's another hour before he finally dismisses the women. I hear him getting up from the bed as well, making his way to the door. He mumbles something to the guards on the other side before closing it, once again leaving me alone with him.
"Come here, Anna." I tense when he uses the nickname my family uses. The same name Dimitri calls me out of affection. But I force my feet to move nonetheless. I go to my usual spot next to his bed holding the tray of food for him.
He reaches past me, grabbing my face. His dark eyes study me intensely.
"Did you enjoy the show?" He asks. I slowly shake my head causing him to laugh.
"You stand here each night with such a look of horror on your face Anna. It may look vulgar, but it is quite pleasurable." He says. I try and move my face out of his hand but he only grips me harder.
"You've never even touched yourself, have you?" He asks. I don't have to answer because he knows. He's toying with me the way he always does.
"Or another man, for that matter..." His voice takes on a sultry tone as he speaks and I immediately take note that he's still completely naked.
"How long were you planning to marry that human?" He asks. I hate it when he brings up Dimitri. He asks personal questions and only makes me more distraught over his situation.
"He was asking my father for my hand, the day you arrived in my village." I whisper. This causes his smile to widen. I don't like the way he looks at me. Like he wants to ravish me as well. All I can do is count on his words when I first arrived. He would never touch me. Not to sully his reputation.
His hand drifts from my face to my throat.
"I imagine he has it much better than you and the slaves that live in this palace. Why do you seem so distraught whenever he is mentioned? Did I not tell you to forget about him?" He asks. I slowly nod my head, looking away in fear.
"I'm sorry, your majesty..." I trail off when his hand drifts even lower to the small opening of the robe. His hand presses against my collar bone, his eyes taking on a deranged shade as he stares. So I keep talking, hoping to distract him.
"It's hard to forget someone you love... you care about their well-being and health even after they're gone from your immediate life." I whisper. He chuckles softly, his eyes finally pulling away from my chest.
"Love. Is that what you think you felt for him?" His gaze is like a black pit that swallows me whole.
"You've barely scratched the surface of your short life. You have no idea what love is, slave." He growls. He keeps my gaze and I can feel my fear climbing higher and higher as he doesn't move. But he finally blinks, and his whole terrifying demeanor melts away as he looks over my face.
"What did you get into today? You are filthy." He asks. I hate how much he toys with me.
"I had to help clean up the bodies..." I whisper. He laughs softly. I immediately brace myself for a slew of insults I know is coming. He hates the way I smell, the way I dress, and the fact that I am human. A lowly, dirty, human.
The amount of death and torture I see each day has brought me closer and closer to believing it. We are useless. This war seems all but pointless.
"And how does it make you feel? Seeing the bodies of those so much like you, yet somehow you evade death daily?" He asks.
"I feel..." I trail off as tears assault my vision. And he likes that. He smiles turning away from me. And when he comes back he's holding the robe he always forces me to wear around him.
I immediately begin to change, trying my best to do it before he turns around and sees me naked. It's a small victory for me, though I know it means nothing to him.
"You have yet to answer my question, Anna." He growls. I drop my eyes, quickly wrapping the robe around my naked skin.
"I hate it, your majesty. I wish I could die along with them." I murmur. I hear his footsteps coming towards me, tensing when I feel his hand under my chin.
"You wish you could die alongside a group of slaves you've never even met?" He asks. I slowly nod my head.
"The way we are treated is inhumane." I say. He studies my face before laughing and stepping away.
"You are very amusing, Anna. Why do you think humans deserve better than the treatment they already have?" He asks. He takes a seat on his bed, crossing his arms as he looks at me.
"Because... everyone deserves a right to li-"
"The strong deserve to live. The weak deserve whatever happens to them. And when the weak isn't happy with the lives they've been allowed by the strong, they must accept their fate, or perish." He says. I drop my gaze.
"Yes, your majesty." I say. He's silent before standing.
"Eat and take the tray back to the Kitchens. I have no more use for you tonight."
I don't eat. I never do. It's another small victory I gain. A defiance of the King on my end. So I quickly make my way through the halls and into the Kitchen to put the uneaten food away, even though my stomach is pinched wit unbearable hunger.
I grunt from all the effort it takes to toss the dead body on the pile. The body of a woman I was laying next to only hours before.
I wipe the light sheen of sweat from my brow as I stand up straight looking at all of the dead bodies. There's more than usual. I don't know what got into the King after I was dismissed from his chambers, but he took it out on these poor souls. I shudder at the looks of horror still etched into their features.
"The Overseer has arrived!" All of us tense as the announcement comes over the field. We all line up, bowing our heads as the man that owns each of us begins walking among us. Inspecting our condition. He's a cruel Beast. I've seen him on several occasions take and kill one of us just for whimpering. He says our actions reflect his work, and if we are out of line he will make us pay.
I can hear him walking, inspecting everyone until his footsteps pause in front of me. I close my eyes saying a silent prayer. I don't know what I did to incur any kind of torture, or death, but around here it could be any cause.
He roughly grabs hold of my cheeks, lifting my face to meet his. I have to hold in the whimper threatening to escape me as I stare into his eyes. His gaze roams over my face and he wrinkles his face in disgust.
"Bring this one. The rest of you, back to work."
I cry out in fear as a guard grabs me around my arms, and roughly drags me away.
I'm taken to a small room, where the guards roughly push me against the wall. I cry out when they use a hooked spear to rip my clothes from my skin leaving me naked and shivering. I can't help my sniveling question.
"What's happening?" I ask shakily.
"Wipe your eyes, slave. Today is your lucky day." I look up as the overseer comes in with a narrowed gaze. There are female servants behind him with buckets and scrubbers. He nods to a guard and suddenly, a splash of cold water hits me. I cry out as my muscles tense and my skin stings from the frigid shock. The water also has soap in it and rough hands grab me and begin to scrub my skin. I'm sure the rough bristles are tearing away the dirt as well as the top layer of skin.
"I don't know how you did it, but the King has seen something in you. The King has placed you at his personal disposal."
I grit my teeth in pain as the bristles dig into my flesh without mercy and more cold water is thrown on me. I fall to my knees, coughing and spitting up water, my fingers digging into the tile.
The Overseer stands in front of me.
"Make no mistake, you are a slave. Nothing more. Do not anger the King in any way, or I will personally see to your death and torture. Your actions reflect on me. And I will not let a degenerate human ruin my reputation. Understood?"
"Yes, sir..." I manage to chatter out.
"Good. Get her dressed and sent to the King for approval."
The Guard's escort me silently to the King's study. The doors are giant and solid gold again as they push them open to reveal the surrounding upper balcony.