A week passed with an agonizing pace. My wounds refused to heal and every movement felt like a chore. King Bancroft refused to let me leave his chambers and every night he did things to me which made me curse my body for betraying my heart and mind.
It was clear what he was attempting to achieve by turning my body against me. However, he was fueling my hatred in that process as well. Every touch had my body weeping for him, but also stoked the embers of my dislike towards his power and status. He believed he could own me, and he was proving it to me every day that I had to stay with him in his chambers and that there was no escape for me.
“Good morning, my fiery nymph,” King Bancroft greeted, pulling me in for a deep kiss. Fighting against him had proven to be nothing but useless and painful. Lord Bancroft was quick to discipline me when I was in his bed, which was one of the reasons why I yearned for freedom like one thirsted for water while walking in a desert.
He released me after I nearly lost consciousness due to the lack of air, and proceeded to run his hands all over my bare body. He’d removed my clothes after nearly killing me; I’d woken up naked in his bed, and since then he hadn’t bothered to give me clothes, he only kept my body covered with the silk sheets on his bed.
“Did you sleep well?” He asked, slipping two fingers inside me. He kept on touching me until I reached my climax, only then he would do anything else.
“No.” I bit out the word, not wasting my time and energy in falsehood. Lord Bancroft had to understand that I would never be at peace as long as I was with him. Perhaps he would set me free once he realized that one couldn’t force a person to be happy with them, even if you were a King.
“Why don’t I believe you?” He rotated his fingers inside me, causing me to release a sharp moan. Why did he humiliate me like this? I already knew how powerful he was.
“Because it’s not the answer you wish to hear, m—my Lord.” I was getting breathless as the pleasure mounted. This was the kind of power Lord Bancroft relished in.
“Yes, I am your Lord. And I don’t believe you because your statement contradicts your actions. You slept fairly peacefully in my arms last night, just like every other night which you have been spending with me,” he responded, curving his fingers inside me, forcing me to ride the waves of pleasure as they washed over me.
“Do not believe what you see; especially when I’m not cognizant of my actions,” I argued, once I had my breathing under control after riding the storm of pleasure which he forced upon me.
“We see what we wish to believe, so do not preach such lies, my fiery nymph. Now let me take a look at your injuries.” He removed the sheet covering my body and ran his gaze over me. I knew he was looking at my wounds, to see how much they’ve healed, but the heat blazing in those green eyes was strong enough to burn my skin. “Do you know why your injuries are not healing like they are supposed to?”
His question left me puzzled. What in the world was he talking about? “No, my Lord. Please enlighten me.”
He chuckled before brushing a hand over my breast, his touch whispering over my nipple. “The reason your body is not healing itself is because I’m not allowing it to.”
I frowned. “How do you mean, my Lord?” What was he doing to prevent my body from healing?
“I am not allowing your body the rest it needs in order to heal. The sexual pleasure you are receiving at my touch results in your body exerting itself when it should be resting,” he explained.
“W—Why are you doing this, my Lord?” His confession—I was not sure if it was a confession—made me furious. Was he human? I didn’t think so, because if he were then he wouldn’t be tormenting me like this.
“My little nymph, do not pretend that you are unaware. I am doing this because I want to keep you here for as long as I possibly can.” His words were meant to anger me, but they terrified me. The darkness surrounding Lord Bancroft was finally seeping in my blood, reaching my heart and surrounding it with oblivion so absolute that escape seemed like a fruitless endeavor.
“W—Why?” I couldn’t utter another word as hopelessness and helplessness started to close in around me, choking me with its toxic claws. No, I couldn’t succumb to fear and helplessness. I had to get out of here. Lord Bancroft would not show me mercy if I obeyed him; I thought it would work but I was wrong. I had to find another way to escape him.
He cupped the side of my face before pressing a heated kiss to my lips. “Because I need to make you understand that you belong to me. And the only way I can accomplish this is by making you a prisoner in my bed.”
“Y—You don’t have to do this, my Lord. I do obey you. I have been obeying you these past few days. Oh, pray, have mercy!” I pleaded for the one thing Lord Bancroft refused to give me.
He kissed my forehead. “Of course I do. By the time your body is strong enough to leave my chambers, I want you to know in your heart and mind that you belong to me and are here to serve me only.”
Tears pricked my eyes as I thought of an escape. “Please, my Lord. I already know that I belong to you. Do not do this!”
“But, my fiery nymph, I must. In order to make you the way I desire, I must do this.” He kissed my forehead again.
Was arguing with him useful? I didn’t believe so. All I could do now was wait for my body to heal so I could escape this castle as soon as possible. I knew Ethel would help me. She might be against the idea of me trying to run away but she would help me. She was the closest friend I had, and my only one, she had to help me escape.
How are you going to escape with so many guards watching your every move?
I knew that escape would be an extremely difficult task, but my life was at stake. I had to protect myself because King Bancroft was going to kill me. When he was angry, there was no controlling his actions; he could kill. Which was why I had to make my escape.
Ethel had to help me. But how would she do that? I did not have complete knowledge over this castle. I was not enlightened to the hundreds of passageways and hidden alcoves. Did someone in this castle knew how to get in an out without being seen?
I had grown up in the midst of these four walls. I was hardly ever allowed to go and visit the outside world. I’d only gone out five times, and even then I barely got to experience what it was like to live in the outside world. Those four walls of the harem were my home, but they were also my prison.
“Your distraction displeases me immensely, and makes me want to punish you in the worst of ways. When I am with you, all you should be thinking about is me.” I swallowed hard before daring to look at the furious King. How much more was he going to punish me before he’d kill me? Because I couldn’t accept his rule over me, I just couldn’t.
“Forgive me, my Lord. I will not make this mistake again,” I apologized.
He took a deep breath before stroking my hair. “I cannot wait to take you to Sodora. I will give you a new life; a life where you only belong to me. I can do whatsoever I desire. You will be so happy. Anything you desire will be given to you.”
I just want freedom. I want a life of my own. You cannot give me that!
I wanted to shout at him, to tell him that I did not wish for silk and jewels. Why couldn’t he just give me the freedom to make my own choices and live my life the way I desired? All I wished for was to go outside and see the world. But King Bancroft was going to take me from one prison and throw me in another.
“C—Can you tell me about your K—Kingdom? If my request is not displeasing to you?” I queried, wanting to know the beauty I had yet to witness.
King Bancroft smiled and I nearly wept for the injustice in this world. Why were monsters so beautiful? Why couldn’t angels be Kings and rule the world?
“Sodora is beautiful. It will take us five days to arrive there. Do you know that Sodora is rich with Sapphires? And there are a lot of birds which are always chirping. People like to see birds there. Little girls often sing songs while playing with the animals.” He told me.
“What else is there? How is it different from Quopia?” I asked.
“Well, Sodora sees a lot of sunshine. And a special flower blooms there; it doesn’t grow anywhere else. So, plenty of people come to Sodora to see that flower and take some seeds in order to grow the plant there.” I had a strong desire to see that flower. “I will take you to see that flower myself. And if you like it, then I will have a garden full of those flowers.”
“Lord Aboloft has a garden of bluebells. It is a beautiful flower,” I said, already thinking about Sodora and the special flower. How many wonders was this world hiding? Would I be able to witness them all before I left this world?
“There is a reason why he has that garden. My reason for a garden full of flowers will be you, my fiery nymph,” he stated, giving me a tender smile.
Don’t believe him. He is not kind.
“What else can you tell me about Sodora?” I said. I did not want to talk about anything else. I just wanted to live in a fantasy for a little while. Soon, this would end and my life would go being to the hell I always burnt in. But I would get my heaven. I would not rest until I was safe in my little cottage sewing dresses for women all over the Kingdom.
“The rest you will know when you’ll see it. Now it’s time I took what belongs to me,” Lord Bancroft announced before running his fingers over my chest, eliciting unwanted shivers. If I could get away with killing someone, it would be Lord Bancroft. I wanted to make him pay for every single injury he gifted me with. The need for vengeance wasn’t as strong as the need to be happy and free from this world. Were there common whores in the outside world? If so, then how did they live and where?
“Please, my Lord. I beg you to spare me for today, for I am in pain and have been since the past few days, as you are well aware,” I said, hoping he would go and do something else and leave me alone for some time. His absence gave me peace like no other. And the maids who were kind enough to bring me food and water were a blessing.
King Bancroft was silent for a few minutes. Perhaps he was thinking whether or not to bless me with peace rather than shower me with pain. If he chose to oblige my request, then I would send a thousand prayers his way.
“Alright, I suppose I can show this beautiful body some mercy. I do wish to see you healthy again. Even though these injuries signify my mark on your body, I do not wish to see you in pain.” He kissed my lips softly. “Rest, my fiery nymph. Today you will have no disturbance. Stay in bed while I go and discuss some things with King Aboloft. I will return in a few hours to see how you are doing.” He picked up a tumbler of juice and handed it to me. “Drink this; it will give you strength.”
“Thank you, my Lord, but I cannot drink this. I am not privileged enough to drink this,” I muttered, eyeing the tumbler of juice and forcing my mouth not to water at the sight.
“It is an order from your King; you must drink this. I will not tolerate disobedience,” he stated.
I considered disobeying him, but the tumbler of juice beckoned me. And so with a short nod, I drank the juice as fast as I could. The juice tasted delicious and I wished for more, but I knew that even this tumbler full was a blessing I doubt I would ever get again.
Once I finished drinking the juice, Lord Bancroft took the empty tumbler from me and placed it back on the table. He then made me lay back down before covering my naked body with the sheet.
“Anything you will like to say to me before I leave?” King Bancroft asked, stroking the side of my face.
I opened my mouth to ask him when he’d be back when my vision started to get hazy. I couldn’t see him properly like I could a few seconds ago. What was happening to me? Was I going blind all of a sudden?
“Wh—What’s happening?” My tongue started to feel heavy along with the rest of my body. Why couldn’t I move? What was going on?
“You are going to sleep now, until I get back. I gave you something that will ensure you have a deep, peaceful sleep,” he answered while stroking my hair.
“W—Why di—did y—you do th—this?” I couldn’t speak anymore, my tongue refused to work.
His reply made me want to run away. I wanted to strike him after hearing what he said. But unfortunately, those words were the last I heard before darkness stole me away just like he was planning to steal me away from the life I actually wanted…
“I did this so you can’t escape while I’m gone.”