CHAPTER 6 - TORMENT
Her hair is a force to be reckoned with.
Snow’s rebellious curls lay loose against her bare shoulders as Brida gave up. She sat the brush down the dresser and shook her head in defeat. The two spent hours setting the voluminous strands in a bun but to no avail.
Snow looked down at her pale hands as it rested against the airy lace. Her dress almost hid the necessary. It hung from her shoulders exposing her clavicles where a furrow buried against her pale skin. Her dress was cut in a way that it revealed the sides of her torso where a side curve from her breasts peaked through. There was a silk belt cutting her waist thin letting the loose fabric snug to her hips. From her waist down, several layers of blushing cream fabric landed where her sandals touched the floor.
Despite the multitudes of layers of fabric, the garment remained light and flowy.
“It’s time, Milday.” One of the handmaids came running towards the room as Brida hooked gemmed chains on Snow’s ears. It framed her tinted lips, blushing cheeks and lacquered lashes.
She stood almost forgetting Torryn’s present left inside her. The spheres sent her knees weak as she propped her arm against the table before her. Her insides burnt.
She started to walk towards the main halls when she felt something between her legs ooze. She cleared her throat and felt the spheres torment her again. Her breath quickened as she emerged against a long-curved staircase. It led to the main hallways where all the voices, chatter and clacking of the plates were.
A cold drop of sweat trailed against her forehead as she steadied her body. Before she descended the steps she felt firm warm fingers touch her arm. She peaked from her shoulder and saw Torryn.
The dark gray coat embroidered in silver settled on his shoulders making them look broader, fuller and his features sharper. He saw his hair was cut clean leaving no stray strands hanging loose on his neck where they used to be. The sides of his head now shaved and clean. It suited him. His jaw was in full view casting shadows against his neck making him look sharper.
Snow blushed, her heart racing as every muscle in her body grew restless. Her fingers played on the fabric where her palms were. But before she could wreck her dress, Torryn took the twitching hand and cupped it between his. He drew it closer to his lips and to it exhaled a warm breathe.
He hooked Snow’s hand on his arm as he led her down the stairs.
Snow took one step down and felt the spheres inside her turn. Her legs grew weak as she suppressed a moan gaping from her lips. Her hand gripped against Torryn’s arm as she balanced herself down the steps. There it was again. She held on to him. His arm felt rock solid against her fingers.
With every step she took, she could sense the metal spheres rock her insides. The sensation was subtle, unpredictable almost aching. The effect on her was unbearable.
“Ah,” her eyes squinted as she bit a corner of her lip. She couldn’t suppress her building need. From her periphery she could see the pride in Torryn’s face as he glanced towards her every now and then teasing.
She did not dare look his way.
He watched Snow reach for the chalice placed before them.
In the main dining hall, the two were seated, Torryn at the far end of the long wooden table and Snow to his right. Ester, as the house elder was seated to Torryn’s left. She began to lead them in a short ceremony before the meal.
Torryn didn’t like these kinds of ceremonies. He glanced a displeased look at his grandmother who demanded they go forth with the house tradition.
As every soul in the room watched, Torryn felt his neck stiffen as he eased it with the palm of his hand. He should have gotten used to this by now. Still, it made him uneasy. He mastered the art of hiding it, though.
He saw the girl rise up to her seat just to reach the cup. Her arms were long but the chalice was well situated at the center of the table too far from her grasp. He watched her fumble her way to it. He leaned his temple on his index finger with his hand propped to the table. Surveying the girl, he watched her bite her lip as she sat down and stood back up again.
The side of Torryn’s lip raised a smirk.
Although he loved watching her struggle, he knew what the metal spheres were doing to her. His fingers grazed his lips as he reached out for the cup and slid it closer to her. She sighed as the cup rested between her fingers.
Beginning the ceremony, Torryn held the flask of wine on his hand and poured the dark red liquor into Snow’s chalice. He purposely let his fingers brush hers. The simple act sent coursing electricity through him. It’s been a while since he retreated to his chambers for her. He didn’t want to disturb her sleep. All those nights, he lay there needing her wanting to dig his every being into her.
Tonight, she’ll ache with the same tormenting need. And he’ll just sit and wait until she asks for it.
The ceremony began as Snow took the first drink. As planned, she handed the cup to him. Torryn smirked as he filled the cup half full again. He nudged the cup towards her as her eyes grew big. She coughed and Torryn could see the effect the metal spheres had within her.
Snow placed the cup to her lips and drank it empty her green eyes still fixed on him. His hand caught the fabric on Snow’s knee. His hands impressively pulled the garment up as the warmth of his fingers touched the smooth skin. He caressed it up her thighs.
Torryn clenched his teeth as warmth spread through his chest. He always liked an obedient woman. His dominance flowed like swooping energy through his body. And as he watched her cheeks stain red, he licked his lips suppressing the pulsating need to taste every bit of her.
“Is it good?” his lips twitched as he spoke. His fingers slowly dug to her skin.
Without hesitation she leaned towards him, Torryn could smell the alcohol from her lips, “The wine back home tastes better.”
All heat left his chest as he burst in suppressed laughter, “Well that’s good to know.”
He looked at her as she sat back in silence as if nothing happened. He took a sip from her cup and welcomed the burning liquid down his throat. It was strong and indeed pungent.
He was certain tonight would be a pain in the head, with all the formalities and the demand for socializing. But with Snow beside him, he didn’t mind.
He filled the cup again and nudged it towards her.
She had nothing for dinner but a slice of bread and cheese. There was also wine - a lot of wine thanks to Torryn who kept her cup full. She was told that it was unmannered to reject it for it was her new mate’s offering to her.
With temples spinning and cheeks burning, she sat in one of the groups of women where Torryn left her. Her back previously a sharp arch was now less tense as it curved down her hips. She adjusted her shoulders as they dropped.
The alcohol surprisingly did her good. For now at least, as she began to relax amidst a crowd of people she barely knew.
Leaving Snow to be devoured by every guest in sight, Torryn sat himself with the pack leaders in one corner of the hall. She could barely see him as the men settled at the opposite corner from where she was.
On her own, she met the Cornans who were known to be good hunters and trackers. The pack where bronze skinned which showed how they spent their days under the sun.
Snow met Ylver Cornan, the youngest among her four brothers. The she wolf was as also in her 18th wolf year. The young wolf went asking how Snow did in her selection. She just shook her head a thin smile emerging from her lips.
Snow suppressed a laugh making her belly tremble. Without warning, her abdomen tensed, her eyes shut, lips almost half open in a breath to steady herself. She kept forgetting about the metal spheres. Again and again, the aching pleasure between her legs reminded her.
“You have to tell me what happened,” Ylver grabbed Snow’s arm.
“I will soon.” She affirmed and forced a stern face, “If I remember.”
The crowd of ladies exchanged smiles as they heard Snow speak for the first time throughout the conversation.
“Is it true that you and your sisters have abilities?” Primrose Cornan, Ylver’s mother asked.
“Yes, we do.” Snow’s reply didn’t take long as the curious women before her bowed their head in astonishment.
“Mother, please? Enough with the rumors. We’re here to welcome her not to interrogate her.” Ylver now embarrassed gave her mother a soft tap.
“Sweetheart, we just want to get to know the girl.” Her mother answered, “What are those abilities, honey?”
“We.. uh,” her expressions as firm as the alcohol would allow them, “My sister Clara can make the juiciest spit roast.”
The shoulders of the women bobbed up and down as their chuckles and giggles filled the humid air.
Some eyes caught notice of the laughing women which drew more ears towards Snow’s small group of interrogators.
“How about you? What is your ability, Milady?” One new spectator with a bright orange flower on her head asked.
Snow hesitated before she spoke. Instead she just held her lips. She swallowed a lump in her throat as she felt it scorching dry. She just shook her head leaving the crowd disappointed.
“Perhaps, it is taming big bad wolves?” The crowd grew silent waiting for Snow’s reply. The remark was obviously directed to Torryn.
“Well... just one big bad wolf.” Snow’s words surprised her.
The crowd cracked in laughter. Snow touched her neck feeling trickles of sweat trail down her red burning skin. She managed a gulp as the women exchanged curious looks.
Indeed, she was drunk and was speaking in drunk.
From a good distance, Snow caught Torryn’s gaze. His expression was emotionless but sensed the hunger in them.
From where she sat, Snow could see him bring a glass of wine to his mouth.
But before he took a sip, he took notice of her staring. He raised the half full glass in one graceful move not even disturbing the dark liquid.
He was inviting her for another drink. She just rolled her eyes and shook her head.
He clenched the glass in his fingers as his body grew tense.
The woman rolled her eyes at me.
“You seem distracted.” Theodor Everett’s voice suddenly pulled Torryn from his thoughts.
Theodor was right, he was.
“Of course, he’s distracted. He should be in bed with his woman.” Kaius Sato’s voice rang in Torryn’s ear. The man was fond of shouting. He does such things without noticing it. Torryn didn’t like it, more so when he mentioned Snow.
He wanted Snow close. If not for his fellow alphas with him, he’d drag her right at his side.
These group of men wanted to be separated from the rest. Their energies broiling an aura everyone in the room can feel. It’s like a sense of heaviness on the chest. It made it a tad difficult to breathe. It showed authority.
The alphas encompass all, overthrow all.
Torryn grew tired of it. Being the youngest in the group he just sat with his legs crossed to his opposite knee sinking his back into the leather chair. His hands busy swirling the wine in his glass.
His body stiffened as Magnus Wolfram, the strongest among them, finally sat with the group of men. The alpha bobbed his head not bothering with introductions. The man turned towards Torryn giving him a small nod.
“You’re mate?” Wolfram’s voice made a low pitch rumble against his chest. He didn’t wait for an answer when he ordered Torryn to fetch her.
Torryn walked towards the group of giggling girls where a flushed Snow sat at the middle. She stood as he approached her.
“I regret to steal her for a moment, ladies.” His eyes were dead but he managed to smirk as he spoke. Snow felt him growing stiff as she obediently followed him through the crowd.
Torryn allowed Snow to sit across him where Magnus waited for her. His finger pulled against his collar as Torryn swallowed hard.
Magnus Wolfram was a man with few words. His built was massive and his face painted grim devoid of all emotion. The strongest alpha eased his expression towards the girl. His palms that shed blood on hundreds of rogue wolves rubbed together. Torryn felt Wolfram’s energy die down as he began to greet Snow.
“A Grimlake she wolf,” Magnus spoke, “what an honor.”
Snow gingerly shook his outstretched hand feeling the callus on his palms.
“It’s my honor as well to meet you, Sir.” The man was pleased with her answer.
Torryn’s eyes locked on the head alpha’s grip where it held Snow. The tension on Torryn eyes eased as Magnus freed her hand letting it land on her lap.
“How is your father?” the men exchange looks as Magnus’ voice took a jolly tone.
Torryn glanced at Snow who was smiling back at the old man. It puzzled him how the girl took no notice of the building energy Magnus was radiating. The men could only cower before him.
But, here she was giggling to a side comment Magnus made about her father and his temper. Torryn intently watched the men before him, all eyes were on Snow. Torryn’s chest swelled pride as he silently watched her. Her confidence bloomed letting her words flow from her mouth like butter.
But, Torryn spoke too soon.
“After the Verband village incident, I lost word of you. Tell me, are your abilities still of use?”
Snow stiffened as Magnus spoke, her expressions blank and hollow.
Magnus, Torryn recalled, was referring to an incident several years back when a rogue wolf village was destroyed out of the blue. After the great war between nations of rogue and pledged wolves* no attack was mounted as both nations resorted to live in peace separately.
It was only years back when a rogue camp grew close to the woody hills across Verband when it was wiped out leaving its inhabitants lifeless. Magnus deeply delighted by the news. He searched for the wolf responsible. Nobody knew who it was. But it seemed that Magnus already did.
Was it Snow? Torryn shook his head at the thought. Impossible. She’d be too young, barely just a cub.
“Abilities such as washing the dishes and fixing supper?” Kaius took advantage of Snow’s silence and sneaked a snag remark.
“Warm the matrimonial bed?” the men’s laughter made Torryn’s ears ring. His fist was clenched. One more word and he’ll lose it.
“This girl can barely lift her shoulders,” Snow continued to stiffen. The men’s laughter contrasted Magnus Wolfram’s smirk. He simply shook his head.
He knew something they didn’t, Torryn thought.
“These rumors are out of proportion, I could say so myself.”
“Exactly, how do these people expect us to believe that a young girl single handedly took down a rogue camp with her bare hands?”
The men nodded at each other, snags of laughter escaping their lips. Torryn had to do something. He could sense Snow was so close to unfolding her energy. One wrong move and she’ll break out in wolf form. He wanted to reached for her across him, to rest his palm on her hand. But he just froze.
“One hand,” the brittle words slipped from her pale lips. The men now shut silent to her stern voice.
Could she be serious? Torryn scrunched his forehead.
“I took down the village with just one hand.” Her eyes were darted to the floor as she brushed a strand of curls from her face and tucked it one ear.
Torryn felt her. Her energy pulsating from her body. It grew with every word she spoke.
“Tell us, Milady,” Kaius’ head leaned one side subtly mocking the girl, “how did such small unscathed hand take down that camp?”
It was like seeing her for the first time, Torryn thought. Snow’s chin raised to meet Kaius her movements timid but graceful and composed. She leaned her shoulders forward as her hand raised towards him letting her palm face the skeptical man. Then a smile painted her lips.
“Let me show you, Sire.” Her voice calm and modulated.
Torryn leaned back to his chair, with one leg crossed to his knee. He sipped wine from his glass with his eyes still on her. A memory of the selection came across his mind as he let his lips indulge a grin.
Let him have it, little bird.
>>Terms of the day<<
Rogue Wolf: wolves the refuse to belong in packs, instead gather in small groups, camps or villages living like nomads without a structured form of leadership and governance.
Pledged Wolves: wolves that belong to packs and are under the governance of the council of alphas.