E M M E L I N E ' S P. O. V
7 years later
"Yes, fuck, oh god, don't stop. Don't stop." My nails claw into his sweaty back as continues to pound into me.
I can feel an orgasm on the brink of rupture, as he holds my legs higher on his shoulders, bending them in a way limbs shouldn't be bent.
But it lets him slip inside of me deeper, touch me deeper.
My mind splinters, as his thumb brushes over my clit in a rubbing motion. I cum with a strangled moan, his hand suffocating my cries of pleasure.
At least one of us is being responsible in this moment. I can barely remember to breathe.
His thrusts become quicker, sloppier as he reaches his own edge, and with a guttural moan, he pulls out of me and cums all over my stomach. My pussy clenches at the emptiness I now feel, and the sight of him stroking his cock.
Meeting my gaze, he laughs, slicking back his longish hair, before slumping down next to me.
"Wow." I murmur, grabbing the towel he passes me to clean myself.
"I told you I could make you come four times in twenty minutes." I slug his shoulder.
"Whatever, like you didn't practically pass out from that blowjob I gave you." He licks my cheek in realisation. "Ew, you fucker!"
"My, my, what foul language for a princess."
"I'm not a princess right now, I'm simply a horny woman." My finger trails up his chest, as I swing a leg around to straddle him.
I take in his boyish grin, the way his muscles flex as his arms fold beneath his head.
It's true my sex drive is insatiable at the minute. Thankfully, I have a fuck buddy who can keep up with me. Barely.
"Em," But a moan cuts him off, as I rub his cock into erection again. "Em," He yanks my hand away from his cock.
I pout. "Don't give me that look. I'm already late for duty."
"You do know I'm your boss, right?" I tilt my head to the side, biting my lip as I attempt to grab his cock again.
"Emmy, I can't." I sigh, giving in and climb off him. My nightgown is in a puddle on the floor from when he ripped it off me this morning.
I watch him dress, ignoring the way every flex of his muscles turns me on. "I can feel you staring." I throw a pillow at his head. He dodges, annoyingly, and shrugs on a shirt whilst I wrap myself in the dirty sheets. I'll take a shower when he leaves.
"Can you tell Mal to give me ten minutes?" Mal is my personal maid, who assists me with virtually everything, but showering, I think I can handle on my own.
"Yeah sure." Fuck. Here comes the awkward part.
Because he isn't just a guy, I can call upon whenever I want a quick fuck. He isn't just a guy I'll never see again after today. In fact, he's the complete opposite because he's my personal guard and my best friend.
"I'll see you later Ajax."
He winks, grabbing his jacket. "Always." We hesitate on kissing before we say goodbye... and he heads straight to the door. My heart deflates, but I force myself to remember what this is.
What it can only ever be.
Ajax freezes as he reaches the door. He turns. "Happy birthday, Em." Then, I watch him leave.
I let the warm water wash out all the shampoo as I think about us.
Ajax is my best friend. Nothing will ever jeopardise that, we swore to each other. The whole thing started drunkenly one night. It was just us in my room, Damien was working, and I was lonely.
My boyfriend had just dumped me, the same jackass I let take my virginity. What a fucking mistake that was.
Ajax was kind, but he always knew how to please me, how to touch me in ways that caused my boy to scream. My ex never saw my pleasure as something to achieve, only his own.
We only started fucking a few months ago, but we've never put a limit on it. Normally, it was whenever I called him, when I felt lonely, or empty, or horny. He came. No questions asked and it was only physical.
Yet now I wonder when the line blurred. When it became this big secret, we're harbouring from our families, from the third in our trio. Damien.
I try to avoid hanging out altogether. Seeing Ajax intensifies the guilt I feel, but no-one can know.
Because I'm supposed to be the 25-year-old virgin Princess to the kingdom, but instead I'm fucking my best friend almost every night.
"Emmeline, I have your outfit laid out on the bed." I finish rinsing the soap off my body, and walk into my bedroom. Mal is unfazed by my nudity now, barely batting an eyelash at my perked up nipples from the cold prickly air.
"Blue, again?" I hold out my arms for her to drape it over my head. Blue is fast becoming one of my least favourite colours now.
"The fashion coordinator planned it all out, apparently your dress for tonight complements the blue you're wearing now."
"I hardly think the people care what I wear before my birthday party." I turn so she can zip it up.
"You'd be surprised how much the people are concerned with anything you do." I could sneeze and people would predict I'm dying of a terrible disease.
"I have the tonic for you." She hands me the small vial with the brown liquid. I down it, trying not to gag like last time. I hate the stuff but it helps prevent any unwanted pregnancies, meaning I can have blissful carefree sex as much as I want.
"Thanks Mal." I don't take it likely that she knows my secret. I reward her well for guarding it, even from my parents which can be considered treason.
Another knock on my door sounds. Mal opens it and my parents rush in with arms open and a present in hand. "My baby is 25." My mom coles, smothering my face in a million kisses.
"Mom please," My dad joins her and they don't stop until I burst out laughing. "Okay, okay, thank you."
"You want this means, Hardin?"
"We're getting old." I snort, because my mom looks almost as young as me, and apart from a few greys, my dad is still as fit as ever.
My dad gently strokes her cheek, leaning in to kiss the pout off her lips. "Never." I watch them, hoping I'll find that one day, but knowing it's unlikely.
Even though their marriage was...semi-arranged, they still fell in love before they were married which is more than I can hope to get.
"Here Emmeline, open your present." My mom hands me the eloquently wrapped gift. I slowly unwrap the paper, knowing it'll test my dad's patience.
"Emmeline hurry up!" He groans, agitated. I grin, mission accomplished. Pissing off my dad just gets funnier with each birthday that passes.
I gasp as the bright dazzling jewel stares up at me. "It was your grandmother's." My mom clasps the emerald green bracelet to my wrist. I struggle to hold back tears, knowing my namesake wore it too.
Lalita. My paternal grandmother, whose reign as Queen was too short lived.
We don't mention my other grandmother, who tried to murder both my parents because of some false prophecy. I'm not superstitious for that exact reasoning, even though my parents are both weirdly obsessed with stars.
"It's perfect mom, dad." I hug them both, but they don't reciprocate the way they usually do. I pull back. "What's wrong?"
My dad sighs, glancing at my mom and then back at me. "Sweetheart, it's the council. They're pushing both of us to..."
"To arrange a marriage for you with another kingdom. They say you're old enough now, that it's time but we won't do anything until you feel ready for it."
Am I ready to be married yet? Hell no.
But I know how pushy the council can be, I know the stress they're forcing on my parents even though they are the rightful rulers to the kingdom.
"I don't think I'm ready yet to be married for at least three years, but if you want...you can start looking for potential prospects."
My mom's eyes light up. She knows marrying will secure my position as heir, it also protects me from every leach trying to steal my crown. "We can look through them together and..."
"No, I don't want any part in that. I trust you to make the right choice." My mom knows me best, and looking for a future husband just freaks me out too much to even consider.
Another knock beats on my door.
This time I perk up, knowing who resides on the other end. "I'll see you guys later," I escort my parents to the door, yanking it open at the same time.
Dark curled hair that's long on the top and short on the sides, blue eyes - the kind of blue I don't despise- and his skin is light brown with a golden hue that never leaves him.
He's gorgeous, completely totally swoon worthy and my best friend.
Unlucky for me, because that means I have to look at his perfect face everyday and pretend to not stare at his lips, remembering how good they felt against mine, 7 years ago today.
"Happy birthday Emmy," He leans cooly, against the door, and bows for my parents as professional as ever.
My mom gives him a pointed look. "I saw you in diapers, Damien. I literally wiped your ass, you don't have to bow for us."
"Of course, Aunt Arabella, Uncle Hardin." He's not even embarrassed, the bastard. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen him remotely uncomfortable, he just exudes confidence I wish I could steal at times.
We watch my parents leave and then he slips inside my room, shutting the door behind him. "I have your present."
"Oh really," He winks at me. I feel my pussy clench. Fuck, I'm in trouble.
"I actually do, it's just slow arriving. Had it shipped from Kalmia."
"You don't have to get me anything, just promise not to leave my side tonight." I hate diplomatic balls that I'm forced to throw for my birthday. I hardly ever get to spend time with my actual friends and family.
"I won't leave you, I promise but I'm still getting you a present." His eyes drift past me. "Is that Ajax's?" Shit.
Damien leaves me alone in my horror to pick up Ajax's sunglasses. The same sunglasses I wore whilst giving him a strip tease and threw to the floor.
"Oh yeah, he came over last night." Damien's eyebrows rise, like he's about to interrogate me. "We were discussing security details for the party. I wanted to invite some dancers in, but Ajax is worried about having to vet them all and not enough time...anyway to cut a long story short, I'm not having dancers."
"So you had to undress for this discussion?"
I choke on my own saliva. "What?"
"Well Ajax took his sunglasses off," He knows.
He fucking knows and he wants me to admit it. But I can't, not only because I promised Ajax, but because I'm scared. Of losing Damien's friendship, of losing what I have with Ajax. Of what we all share.
"It was just a pair of sunglasses, Dames."
"And just a conversation."
"Right." An awkward silence befalls us. Well, awkward on my part at least. "So, have you heard Dante was invited to my birthday ball?" He gives me that look I know all too well, the I'm your advisor I know fucking everything about your life. He probably has the seating arrangements memorised too.
"I made sure he was moved to the farthest point of the room, and Ajax and I came up with a secret signal in case he tries to approach you."
"Ooo, what is it?"
He stares straight through me. "It's a secret, Emmy." I kind of like when they discuss me, but I hate that'll never be completely in the light of everything they know, because it's literally their job to keep shit from me.
"Fine, I concede." He smiles, drifting closer towards and gently cradles my wrist. I can't help but notice how smooth his hands are compared to Ajax's that are covered with scars, rough and calloused from all his training.
"Your grandmother's bracelet." As an advisor, Damien has to know everything there is to know about my family's history, even the deep seated ugly truths.
"My parents gave it to me today. I guess 25 is supposed to be a big one."
"I wouldn't know." We share a knowing smile.
Damien hates his birthday. It's a fact. There's no cake, or balloons, or fancy party, but instead the three of us have our own tradition we started at 14 years old, of sneaking out into the meadows to watch the fireflies emerge from hibernation. It's the most beautiful place in Dahlia - at least, I think- and not to mention private. Forbidden from the rest of the world.
"How do you feel about Dante being there?" My ex, also the son of a lord. His family is high established at court. My best friends warned me not to date him, not just because it would inevitably end with my arranged marriage to another kingdom, but because he is a renowned ass.
"I'm fine with it. I'm over him, really. Yeah he cheated on me, but I'm more pissed I lost my virginity to him. That is something I definitely can't get back."
"It'll be okay, and we won't let him talk to you. I promise." Damien's promises are always cemented in pure gold.
There's never been one he's not followed through on. It's one of the reasons, I feel so comfortable around him.
I notice his hand still resting on my wrist, thumb gently massaging the exact place that Ajax held whilst fucking me from behind. I snatch it back. "I asked my mom to help look for candidates for marriage."
Damien straightens up. If he was affected by my abruptness, he doesn't show it. "I didn't even know you were ready for marriage yet."
"I'm not, but my parents can still look and I know the council is pressuring them to push me." Bar from Damien and his father, Elliot, of course. They will forever be team Emmeline.
"You don't have to do anything you don't want to. They're not the future leaders of this kingdom, you are, you don't need a king to be ready for the throne."
"I can't do it alone."
Wearing the crown, sitting in solitude on a gold throne, without the support of a partner terrifies me. I'm not strong enough to lead alone, even the kingdom recognises that, and a royal wedding would be enough celebration to last through to my coronation. Hence, less rebellion and less opposition.
Damien sees my desperation, he can see my fear, so he backs away. Knowing. "I'll pull up some viable candidates, help your mom."
"Thank you." But none of this feels good. It never will.
He flashes me that same smile he uses for business. "I'll see you tonight Emmy."