Beneath the Crown

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Chapter 42

Ash

Laying here, in his arms, my head buzzing from the wine, and my body begging me to just sit up and make love to him all night.

But in my mind, I knew I shouldn’t. Not because he didn’t want to, he did, it was clear as day, but because I wanted our first time to be magical. Not some drunken late-night shag.

I closed my eyes and let myself get lost in the smell of him, the calm steady beating of his heart, and his deep, even breaths. His hand stroked my back gently and within moments I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

Dave’s fist coming towards my face.

My finger getting bent all the way back because I messed a few drops of his coffee on the carpet.

“You stupid, worthless bitch. What good are you to anyone? You can’t even hold a cup properly”

My arm broken, again.

Blood dripping from my nose.

Falling down the stairs.

My stomach hurting as I cried out.

I shot up in bed with a scream. My heart pounding and my body covered in sweat.

“Ash?” Zasrus asked, and for a second, I thought it was Dave. I jerked away at his touch before I realized where I was.

“I’m sorry,” I said out of breath and ran my fingers through my hair.

“Dim lights,” he said and a soft glow turned on from under the bed. When I saw his face, his hair a bit of a mess and the worried look in his eyes, I began to calm.

“It’s alright, I’m here,” he said and moved to sit in front of me.

I met his eyes and as my heart finally calmed, I gave him a weak smile.

“Nightmare?” He asked.

“Yeah. It’s normal for me, especially after stuff like what happened earlier happens. I’m fine.”

“Would you like to talk about it?”

I shook my head, “No.”

“Ash,” he said and took my hand, “Where was he hurting you?”

I swallowed, “Everywhere. My arm,” I said and paused when he pulled my arm to his lips. He ran gentle kisses over my skin from my wrist all the way up to my shoulder.

I smiled, “My fingers.”

He moved to my hand and did the same with every finger.

He looked up at me from my hand, “What else?”

“Um,” I said finding it hard to focus on anything but his soft lips on my skin, “My nose,” I said and he grinned.

He let go of my hand and as his eyes stared into mine, he slowly inched closer to me. I readied myself for a steaming hot kiss that would lead in only one direction, but instead, he placed a soft peck on the tip of my nose and moved back.

I laughed at him and shook my head.

“Anywhere else?” He asked in a low voice.

I stared at him, laying on his side, on my bed like a half-naked Greek God.

I bit my lip, Ah fuck it. This is magical enough!

“My neck,” I said and he smiled in a way that had me trying to catch my breath.

This is it. It’s going to happen, I thought nervously to myself as he moved to get on all fours. He crawled up the bed above me and I lay back down again and watched him move over me. He took his time, placing feather-soft kisses on top of my shirt all along my stomach. I put my hands on his sides and felt his muscles move under his skin as he moved to stand above me on his hands and knees. His hair fell around his face and the soft yellow lights from under the bed gave his eyes a more intense glow. I let out a nervous breath as I stared back at his eyes, my body crying for him, but my mind still worried this may be too fast.

He stopped, not touching me at all, and stared into my eyes.

“Ash,” He said after a moment, “We should wait.”

“Wait for what?”

“Until you are sure.”

“I am sure,” I said but I heard in my own voice the small tone of fear.

What if this is all he wants from me? Just a fun one night?

I was going to explode soon if he didn’t either stop, or start.

Would one night be so bad? One incredible night?

“No you’re not, and that’s ok,” He whispered into my ear, “I am more than happy to just kiss you here,” he said placing his lips to my neck again. I felt my skin tighten as the goosebumps moved all over my body.

He smiled, “And here,” he said and moved to my throat. I swallowed as he ran his lips up my throat and placed another kiss on my chin, “And here.”

He shifted lower and the tickling of his hair over my neck made more goosebumps spring out. “And here,” he said and placed another one on my collarbone.

“ I am . . . so. . . so very sure.”

I heard him chuckle and when his face came up to mine, his smile fell as he looked into my eyes. I could see he was trying to read my face, my mind if he could, to make sure I was telling him the truth.

I bit my lip and nodded to him with a smile, “I’m sure,” I said and this time, my voice held the conviction I wanted in it, “I don’t want to wait, not anymore.”

He bent down and placed his lips to mine, and as I kissed him back, his body lowered on top of me. It fit so perfectly, it felt so right, that one would have thought we had been together for years.

*****

I don’t know what time my nightmare woke me up. I know it was dark, and I know that we hadn’t been asleep for long. I knew this because we spent the remaining hours of the darkness making incredible love to each other. He was patient, taking his time with every step, as though my body were a gourmet dessert and he wanted to savor every bite.

I lay on my back, my eyes closed and a wide smile on my face. Zasrus had gone to the kitchen to get us a drink, and even though we’d been together over and over, I felt excited for him to return.

I never knew sex could be this amazing. This. . . Magical.

I have never felt the way he made me feel, so many times.

Where is he getting all this energy from?

I’m exhausted!

I closed my eyes for a moment, thinking about how beautiful he made me feel, how loved I felt in his arms, and how this could be my life from now on.

“Have I worn you out?” his voice broke my dreaming and I opened them to see him standing by the door, no shirt, the same black baggy pants he had on earlier hanging on his hips, and a bottle in his hands.

I smiled, “Yes you have. But in the best way ever.”

He chuckled and came to the bed. He twisted the lid off the bottle and handed it to me. I took long, gulping swallows of the cold water, and when I paused to take a breath, I saw him watching me with a small smile on his face.

“What?” I asked as I handed him the bottle back.

He sat down on the bed, taking a sip before he turned to me, “It’s nothing.”

“Tell me, please?”

He placed the bottle down on the floor next to the bed and lay down at the foot of the bed. He placed his hand on my foot and stroked it gently, “I was trying to think of an excuse not to return to the palace. To stay here with you.”

“You can’t. You have too much important stuff to do. And besides, as much as I love being in this bed with you, I don’t think I will get to see much of Parna from this window.”

He chuckled, “No, you would not. And I do have a lot of work ahead of me with this annoying and outdated charter. I am to sign it in a week, and none of the other houses have agreed to anything yet. I fear that once I return, it will be meetings to discuss the charter that will take up most of my time.”

“Will I still get to spend time with you?”

“Yes. I will make sure I make time to spend with you every day. And,” he said and moved up the bed to me again, “I would also like it if you were next to me in bed at night.”

“I think that can be arranged,” I said with a smile and rolled on top of him.

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