The King

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Chapter 20

The ball has arrived. The palace is alive and bustling with slaves and servants alike, all trying to get the palace ready for the King's Ball. A celebration of the win of such a momentous battle, a giant discovery, and a turning point to put an end to this war.

"Take this straight to the King, do you hear me?" The cook glares at me with the same set of eyes all Beasts have as he shoves the tray of food into my hands. I quickly not my head, reassuring him I will get the job done.

The servants have come to acknowledge that the King tolerates me more than others as of late, and send me with anything that needs to be done for the King. But I know today will be a busy day for him. According to the gossip around the palace, this is the first ball in five years. The last one was held in honor of the King's coronation.

The King's balls were the place to be. And only the most elite of the Beast society were invited to attend. I hear the servants gossiping about how much of an honor it is to even be considered to serve at such an event. I also know that slaves aren't allowed within the area unless it's for "entertainment" purposes. I shudder to think what the King has planned to entertain the brutes of his society. Especially on this night of celebration.

The guards standing outside the King's golden doors push the doors open upon my approach. I step into the King's chambers, fighting the chill that threatens to consume me. I hate this room. I hate that bed. I hate each corner and flat surface. Every inch of it is a reminder of the things he's done to me. I push the door closed, looking around the room for the King.

I find him sitting near the window. The shutters are open, and there's a bone chilling wind sweeping into the room, but he doesn't seem to notice it or care. He isn't wearing a shirt, and his hair isn't pulled away from his face. It flows freely, billowing in the wind. The longer I stare, the more I realize he's holding the necklace my father gave to me. He's holding it up and glaring at it with an intense expression.

I place the tray on the desk in his room, stepping back.

"Good Morning, your Majesty. Breakfast is ready for you," I say. I begin to set up the spread, trying my best to ignore the sound of his footsteps as he comes near me.

"The cook sends his regards, he hopes you appreciate the special breakfast he created in honor of the ball and your victory," I say reciting what the cook told me.

Cyrus chuckles behind me, looking at the spread on the table. He gestures to it taking a seat across from where he usually sits.

"Are you hungry?" he asks. I blink in confusion. I don't know what game he's playing at, but I don't like it. His smile widens.

"You didn't leave my chambers until the crack of dawn. I know you didn't eat anything yet, Anna," he gestures to the food, "Eat."

I bow my head.

"I don't dare to sit at your table and eat your food, your Majest-" I gasp when he's in front of me, his dark blue depths boring into my soul. He has a strange expression on his face as he takes me in, lifting his hand to lightly caress my cheek.

"Sit. Eat."

I immediately obey the command, fear controlling my will. I reach for the toast, bringing it to my lips. I begin to nibble on it and when Cyrus is satisfied with my obedience, he turns his back on me.

"Five years. Five years since I held a ball in honor of something," he holds up the necklace looking at it. He lets out a bitter chuckle.

"Five years since...," he trails off, turning to look at me.

"Have your people ever told you the story of the King before me?" I stop my nibbling, looking up at Cyrus. I slowly shake my head.

"My Father wanted nothing to do with the war... or the Beasts. All he ever told me was that the war was a waste of time," I say. Cyrus chuckles softly.

"It sounds like the man that raised you was a wise man. Even if he was foolish enough to try and challenge me," he says carelessly. His words catch my attention and I'm asking before I can think of the consequences.

"Did he suffer...?" I ask. Cyrus looks at me, his eyes softening before he quickly covers it up. He looks back to the necklace. Malice drips off of him as he speaks.

"Not nearly as much as mine," he says. He places the necklace on the table between us, standing to move across the room before I can even respond.

He keeps his back to me as he reaches for something.

"Strip." His voice comes out cold and my eyes widen. I immediately drop to the floor on my knees, bowing before him.

"Please your majesty, I didn't mean to offend," I say. My voice is shaky. I can't imagine him taking me right now with so many servants and slaves roaming the castle halls. I also can't imagine the torture that awaits me should anyone find out about my nights with the King.

I hear him moving towards me until he is standing directly over me.

"Anna. Strip."

I slowly rise on my knees, my trembling fingers reaching for the strings holding my dress to my body.

"Look at me," he murmurs. I obey his command, my eyes meeting his. He's also holding expensive fabric in his hands, his eyes twinkling in amusement as he takes in my fear.

Once I'm naked, he drops the fabric in front of me.

"Change."

I reach for the fabric, shock consuming me when I realize what it is. It's a dress. A beautiful gown. One that a noble would wear. I look at the King in confusion but he doesn't seem to have any hidden agenda as he stares at me.

I quickly move to put the dress on. I can't stop myself from taking in the fabric. It's so soft and smooth against my skin. Unlike anything I've ever worn in my life. I tense when I hear Cyrus behind me. He begins working on the intricate strings of the dress, pulling it tight so that it hugs my frame flatteringly.

Once he finishes he steps back from me, his eyes roaming over me in appreciation. I don't understand his sudden mood.

"This dress was the most sought after by the nobles to wear to tonight's ball."

Cyrus steps away from me, leading me to the large mirror hanging on the wall. I stand in front of it, complete shock consuming me. The dress is beautiful. It's blood red with gold trim. The front of the dress dips leaving little room for the imagination. The sleeves on the dress are embroidered in gold as well, the small puff of the sleeve giving it a full look. It hugs my frame perfectly. I've never worn something so elegant before.

Cyrus comes behind me in the mirror reaching for my hair. He pulls the pin holding it in a high bun, letting it fall to my upper back in wild waves. He places his hands over my arms, the heat of his body pouring over me.

"I knew you'd be stunning," he purrs. I know he hears my heartbeat speeding up because he smiles. I muster up all the courage I can, forcing myself to speak.

"I don't understand... why are you doing this?" I ask. He looks at me in the mirror, his smile widening. It makes me uncomfortable.

"Do I need a reason to gift the woman that has kept me satisfied for the past few nights?" he asks. I drop my gaze, my cheeks burning in embarrassment. I'm a glorified whore, nothing more.

I slowly step away from him.

"Your Majesty, I must be getting back to work. There is a lot to do with the ball-"

"Do you forget your first priority, Anna? Serving me. The ball can wait." I immediately bow my head, not wanting to anger him further.

"My apologies your-"

I'm cut off as his lips come crashing to mine. His hands are roaming over my body with familiarity, caressing the spots he knows draws out my moans.

He pushes me against the wall, pinning me there with the weight of his body. I can feel his erection straining against his pants, his hands already at the hem of the dress as he hoists it up above my waist. His hands wrap underneath my thighs spreading me for him as he anchors me against the wall, quickly sheathing himself inside of me. I cry out from the sudden intrusion, the pain already ebbing as he finds his pleasure. I can feel the dull ache rising as he stretches me to fit him, each stroke taking me higher.

Cyrus's hands grip my thighs tighter as he uses his strength to pull me in closer to his body, his strokes reaching impossibly deep. I can no longer contain my cries and he knows it. His thrusts turn violent. He begins fucking me roughly against the wall of his chamber not giving me time to recover or breathe.

My inner walls begin contracting, squeezing him tight. My hands fly to his back as I toss my head back letting my cries fill the room. I can't stop myself as my hips involuntarily grind against him, drawing out my climax.

My orgasm finally fades, and I slump against Cyrus, my head laying against his shoulder. He chuckles softly and carries me towards the bed, his cock still resting inside of me.

"Anna, look at me," he murmurs. I look at him, and the fear I've always felt comes bubbling back to the surface.

"Your Father may have wanted to keep you from this war, but you have just become a very important part of it."

He slowly pulls out of me before pushing back in, deliberately drawing out pleasure from me. He pushes my hair away from my shoulder, placing a kiss on my exposed collar bone.

"The dress, the food, my bed, it can all be yours. Your days as a slave can end. But you must first do something for me. Your King."

My body grows cold as Cyrus speaks over me. His eyes grow cold.

"I want you... to infiltrate the Hunters camp," he pushes the stray hair out of my face, "And I want you to tell me where they are keeping my Father hidden."

My eyes widen and I shake my head.

"N-no... I can't- I could never- I won't betray my people," I say with tears in my eyes. Tears that Cyrus enjoys. His amusement drops drastically, and his eyes visibly darken.

"No?" he chuckles, his hand snaking around my throat.

"What makes you think you have a choice in the matter, slave?"

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