I couldn’t accept it. Even though I was just a common whore and had no right to defy a King, I just couldn’t accept what Lord Bancroft said to me. How could I belong to him when he didn’t even know me? I belonged to Lord Aboloft because I was born and grew up in his Kingdom. No man could come and claim me as his without the permission from Lord Aboloft himself.
“Hildred? What are you thinking about?” Ethel asked, sitting down beside me.
I shook my head to rid my mind of Lord Bancroft’s thoughts. “Nothing. Just useless things,” I lied with a smile.
“Aren’t you thinking about Lord Bancroft?” My friend enquired, a frown creasing her forehead.
“Why would I think about him?” I looked at her for an answer.
“Hildred. He claimed you as his. How can you not think about him? If I were you, that’s all I’ll be thinking about.” Her eyes were wide, as if she couldn’t believe that I was not thinking about the man who terrified me.
“Ethel, I am going to tell you something which you can’t tell anyone. Do you promise?” I said.
She nodded. “Of course, Hildred. You know whatever you tell me stays in my heart. I will never break your trust.”
“I know, that is why I’m telling you.” I took a deep breath. “I know Lord Bancroft claimed me for himself, but I do not accept it.”
Ethel gasped, her hand flying to cover her mouth. “Hildred, no! Y—You belong to him; he said so himself. You know we do not have the right to defy a King!”
“Ethel, keep your voice down!” I hissed, before sighing deeply. “I know all this. But I do not care. Lord Bancroft terrifies me, Ethel, and I refuse to live in fear.”
“But fear is a part of our lives. As a common whore, we can only live in fear because those men treat us worse than animals,” she argued and I hated to accept the fact that she was right.
“But this is Lord Bancroft; he is different. He won’t just come and torture me, he is talking about keeping me and taking me from here, from what I understood. And I refuse to live with him. Whatever happens, I will not let Lord Bancroft take me from Quopia. This Kingdom is my home,” I countered.
“You don’t have a choice, Hildred. If a man wants us, we give ourselves to him. We do not disobey. Why are you forgetting yourself? You know how we are; why are you thinking like this?” She asked, her words coated with worry and frustration.
“Because I know how dangerous Lord Bancroft is. I can’t live in a place where I know he can hurt me whenever he wants. I will die before I let that man take me!” I said with conviction. I knew I had no right, but I would fight.
“He is not a man; he is a King! Do not disrespect him!” Ethel chided. “How will living with Lord Bancroft be any different than how you are living now?”
I sighed internally, frustrated over the fact that I couldn’t tell my friend the difference. “You don’t understand; it is extremely different.” I knew that once Lord Bancroft had me he would do whatever he wanted to me, regardless of how I felt. Over here, I could at least get a few hours of reprieve when the men were not interested in me. But in Sodora, I would constantly be at the mercy of Lord Bancroft.
Ethel shook her head. “Don’t do this, Hildred. What you are thinking about doing is not wise. And if Lord Bancroft finds out—“ I cut her off.
“He will never find out because no one will tell him.” I glared at her, willing her to keep my secret.
“Calm yourself, I will not break your trust. But what will you do? Lord Bancroft will be here for the next few days if not weeks,” she asked.
My eyes widened. He would be here for the next few days? Why? And how come I didn’t know about this?
“How do you know?” I eyed her with suspicion.
“I overheard the guards talking. King Bancroft will be staying in his wing. Rumor has it that Lord Aboloft has invited two other friends of his as well,” Ethel answered.
This was not good. I was planning to hide in my secret place until Lord Bancroft left. But if he was staying then I couldn’t do that. And he could come here whenever he so pleased and do whatever he desired.
“Ethel, you have to help me. Is there any way to hide from Lord Bancroft?” I queried, looking around the harem, hoping to spot something I didn’t know existed which could help me escape.
Ethel looked at me if she were about to tell me something bad. “Forgive me, Hildred, for I cannot help you hide. Lord Bancroft has claimed you for himself; if he comes here and finds you gone, you know he will punish each and every one of us until we tell him where you are hiding. By hiding from him, you will be putting every woman present in this chamber in danger.”
I sighed, knowing she was right. A strange mixture of helplessness and determination begun bubbling inside me, forcing me to think of something to escape the ruthless King. Whatever I had to do, I had to do it by myself. Ethel was right, the King would torture every woman here if he found me gone, and I couldn’t let that happen. These women had already been through so much, I couldn’t add to their misery.
However, my escape from the brutal King was a must. For nine years, Lord Bancroft made me feel like a helpless prey. Every time those green eyes landed on me, I felt trapped, as if there was no escape for me while he was alive. And now, that he’d claimed me, I knew that I couldn’t run from him. But I had to. For my survival and my sanity, I had to hide from Lord Bancroft.
You are on your own. You cannot tell anyone that you plan to run away.
My inner voice was right. I had to do this on my own. The survival of every woman present in this chamber depended on it. However, I couldn’t escape right now. I would do it when King Bancroft would try to take me away. I prayed to God that Lord Aboloft wouldn’t give him permission to take me, but I still had to plan my escape.
“You’re right, I cannot ask anyone for help. I will do this on my own.” I told Ethel who was eyeing me with terror in her eyes.
“Hildred, why do you want to run away. Lord Bancroft is a good King, there is no need to run. I know he will protect anyone who belongs to him. You don’t have to fear him,” she argued.
It was sad how my friend couldn’t see the danger that lurked in those green eyes. Lord Bancroft did not look at anyone else the way he looked at me. Those eyes followed me everywhere for the past nine years, every time he came to visit. And I did not want to be under the constant scrutiny of darkness and danger that surrounded him.
“I cannot explain, but I will get out of here. I will not let Lord Bancroft take me from Quopia,” I stated, a plan already forming in my mind.
“When will you do it?” Ethel questioned.
“When he will try to take me away from here,” I answered.
Ethel sighed. “Thank God. Which means we still have time. I do not want to lose you so soon.”
I smiled at my dear friend. “Don’t worry, for I will never leave you. Even if I go into hiding; I will try my best to write you a letter.”
“Is that a promise?” She smiled in return.
I nodded. “You know it is.”
“Good, because if you break it then I will never forgive you.” We both laughed and I felt lighter than I had in the past few hours. It had only been a few hours since Lord Bancroft left the harem, but he’d changed my life. I’d never thought a King would claim me, but he had. And now I was planning to escape him.
I just hoped I succeeded.
He came for me at night, while I was lost in the dream world. At first I couldn’t tell if it was reality or a part of my dream, when I felt a hand caressing my breasts. I moaned as pleasure lit my mind, forcing me out of my slumber.
When fingers touched my sex, that’s when my eyes flew open and I realized that it was no dream. King Bancroft laid on my bed beside me, his fingers moving in and out of me, causing me unbearable pleasure.
“S—Stop,” I hissed, trying to wriggle away from him, but his fingers inside me prevented me from going anywhere.
“Why would I stop?” He moved closer to me until his hard chest was touching my side. “You belong to me, or have you forgotten that already?” He asked, kissing my lips, making me forget that he was evil.
“No.” I shook my head. “I don’t.” He was a King, I shouldn’t be rejecting his claims, but I couldn’t help myself. Everybody was sleeping, and he wouldn’t hurt anyone.
King Bancroft curled his fingers inside me, causing me to moan and my back to arch off the bed. “Being defiant, are we? You want me to punish you?”
I shook my head, fighting the pleasure that was threatening to take over my entire being. If that’s how Lord Bancroft expected to control me, then I had a bigger problem on my hands than I realized.
“Le—Leave me al—alone.” I wanted to slap myself for ordering a King; no doubt he would punish me for this.
“I think you’ve forgotten your place, my dear. I am the King, and you are still but a common whore. You are my woman, which means my desires are your top priority. You cannot and will not disobey me nor refuse to fulfill my needs,” he stated, his voice soft, his lips brushing my ear.
I turned and glared at him. “I may be a common whore but I am a human. A King like you might not agree with this, but that doesn’t mean I will allow you to take me from here. I will fight you with everything I have, and once I’m done, I will run. There is no way I will be your woman.”
King Bancroft’s eyes narrowed causing terror to sink its toxic claws in my mind. I knew I’d made a mistake, but I couldn’t keep my feelings hidden. I wasn’t like the other common whores who just accepted a man’s command without any fight.
I frowned when he chuckled, the sound like hot syrup sliding over my soul. “I guess I was wrong about you; which is a first since I’m never wrong.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked, trying to fight through the onslaught of pleasure that he was inflicting upon me.
“I am talking about taming you, my wild cat.” He pulled his fingers out of me and I almost growled from the sudden loss of pleasure. “It seems I will have to clip some wings. After all, I can’t have you escaping now, can I?”
“W—What will you do?” I asked, not liking the sound of this. I shouldn’t have told him my plans. I should’ve kept my mouth shut and acted like a docile whore that every man expected me to be.
Lord Bancroft smiled before running his finger through my hair. “I will do a lot of things, my dear, and every single one of them will ensure your captivity. That’s a promise. And, you must know, my wild cat, that I always keep my promises.”
“You will not succeed.” I really need to get control of my words and emotions because revealing them would not help me in the least.
King Bancroft laughed before slipping a hand under my dress and cupping my breast. “You are saying these words to a King, my dear; do you know how much power a King has?”
His words fueled my ire. “What do you want from me? You didn’t say a word to me in nine years and now you claim me as yours.”
He smiled before leaning and kissing me deeply. If I were a woman of status, I would’ve slapped him for taking such liberties with my body. “I can claim you whenever I want and wherever I want. You do not have the right to question me.”
“I have every right, since I refuse to become yours,” I spat at him. It was a miracle he hadn’t killed me by now.
Lord Bancroft narrowed his eyes and I knew he was furious. “Saying this is not going to change the inevitable. You are mine, and by refusing to accept this reality, you will only be making your life difficult because I will punish you in the worst of ways.”
I should’ve apologized for my behavior. I should’ve kept my mouth shut and accepted whatever he was telling me, but I didn’t know why I couldn’t do it. Why couldn’t I keep my thoughts and words in check around him.
“What will you do? Just because you are the King doesn’t mean you can do everything. You may own my body but you will never own my heart.” I told him.
“Since I already own this body, I think it’s time I showed you that I own everything else as well.” I screamed when he bent down and clamped his teeth on my neck. Pain exploded inside me as Lord Bancroft bit me so hard, I was sure he’d broken the skin. I tried to push him away from me, but he wrapped his arms around me, locking me in his embrace.
“S—Stop!” I cried, but he didn’t relent. Agony pierced my skin as I felt liquid sliding down my neck. Was that blood? Did he make me bleed? “Please stop!” I begged.
After a few more minutes of brutal pain, King Bancroft finally released my neck and pulled me closer to him. I didn’t realize I was crying until I felt his thumb on my face, wiping my tears.
“There, there. No need to cry. This is just the beginning of all the things I plan to do to you, which are going to be much worse,” he said, his voice soft as if speaking to a babe.
I shook my head. If he planned to inflict the worse kind of pain on me then I couldn’t handle it. “N—No.”
“Yes, my wild cat. You need to be tamed…
“And I will not stop until I break your fiery spirit.”