Keel’s eyes went wide at Violet’s words and he shot his gaze up to meet the King’s bright green eyes.
Lord Bor had a wide, approving smile on his face. Even though Violet had whispered the words, all the Torians would have heard her without issue.
Bor gave him a small nod, and Keel moved his gaze to Lady Lilly’s. She was holding the king’s side, one hand resting on his chest. She too had a wide smile on her face. In fact, everyone in the room was smiling and nodding their approval of this revelation.
Finally, he glanced over at Oris. Raising one brow, Keel asked the silent question he hoped the medical examiner would understand. Oris chuckled and gave him a knowing nod.
Without a word, Keel swept Violet into his arms and turned to leave as everyone cheered and whistled their departure.
Violet laughed, her arms wrapping around his neck as he carried her out of the medical suite and towards the stairs. They were in the West wing of the Keep, and his apartment was all the way in the North wing, but it didn’t matter.
After what happened to her, after being forced to watch her be hurt the way he did, Keel wasn’t sure he would ever be ready to let her go again.
“Is he dead?” Violet asked in a soft voice.
He knew exactly who she spoke of.
“Did you kill him?”
She was quiet for a moment, then said. “Thank you.”
He nodded, turning the corner and moving carefully but swiftly down the stairs.
“What about the bitch doctor?”
Keel tensed, his barely extinguished rage flaring to life once more.
“She vanished in the tunnels. Lorzarian searched for her, but the tunnels came out in the city. She got out before we could find her.”
Violet’s slight frame began to tremble in his arms, making him pause his descent.
She looked up and his heart tore to see the fear in her unusual gaze.
“She scared me, Keel. I know I shouldn’t be afraid, a good warrior does not fear its opponent, but-”
“Not true,” He interrupted her as he moved down the stairs again, “In fact, I know that is not what Commander Korom teaches the trainees.”
She sighed, “No, it’s not. Fearing your opponent is natural. But fear can be overcome with understanding why it is they fight. And once you understand your enemy’s reasons, you will know how best to defeat them, eliminating the need for fear.”
“Yes. You fear her because you do not know why she did what she did to you. I doubt it will make much sense to us when we do learn her reasons, but it will make you fear her less.”
“Yeah.” She breathed, burying her face in Keel’s neck.
The rest of the walk to his bedroom was done in silence. Holding Violet in his arms, feeling her slight weight, her warm body pressed to his, and her soft, even breathing did a lot to calm his mind.
He’d feared the worst when he saw her getting beaten. His whole life crumpled to the floor at the thought of never seeing her again. At not being able to spend hours talking with her. To not hear her laugh, or the way she lit up a room when she came in.
Moving to his bedroom, Keel sat down on his bed, still holding Violet on his lap. He wasn’t ready to let go just yet.
“Hey, hot stuff,” She mumbled, shifting in his arms.
“You stink.” She mumbled, causing an unexpected laugh to burst from Keel.
She sat up, smiling at him. “So do I. We need to clean up.”
He nodded. “Yes. Would you like to use the bathroom first?”
She stared at him for a long moment, then said. “No.”
He frowned at her, but let her go when she moved to get off his lap. Once she was on her feet, she reached out and took his hand, pulling him off the bed.
Keel followed her without a word as she led them to the adjoining bathroom.
“Violet, are you sure you want to do this?”
She turned to him, “More sure than I have been of anything else in my life. Run the bath water, I’ll be back in a minute.”He watched her walk out, his heart thumping in his chest. He’d dreamed of the moment he got to see Violet naked, but now that it was about to happen, he found that he was nervous.
Turning to the large bath pool, he activated the water and watched as it began to fill the tub.
A moment later, Violet returned with her arms full of short, round white candles. She placed them all around the room, then pulled out a lighter from her pocket.
Once all the candles were lit, she flicked off the lights, plunging them both into a soft, golden glow.
Turning to face him, Keel frowned when he saw how nervous she was.
He went to her, gently pulling her into his arms.
“We don’t have to do anything but bathe, Violet. I would never push you to do something you are not ready for.”
“I know. And I am ready, I just… I don’t want you to be disappointed.”
Bending, he placed a long, soft kiss to the top of her head. “We will take one moment at a time. When the time comes for us to join, I give you my word, you will be nothing short of perfect.”
“But I’ve never done this before. I have no idea what to do.”
He lifted her chin to meet her gaze. “First, you could never disappoint me, Violet. I know that you are still pure, and I love you all the same. I would love you no matter how you came to me. Secondly, if you will allow me, I would be more than happy to teach you. We can spend hours learning about what we both enjoy.”
She chuckled. “Hours, huh? You think you, uh… Up for that?”
His desire flashed through his body, his shaft already stiff and begging to be set free of the tight confines of the animal skin pants.
He stepped back, making a point to glance down at the growing bulge in his middle, then raised a brow at Violet.
She followed his gaze, a deep blush burning her cheeks, before she met his eyes and nodded. “Right.”
He went to her, gently turning her so her back was to him. He brushed her hair to one side, and bent to place a light kiss to her neck.
“Are you sure you want to be my mate, Violet? To spend the rest of your life with me? Be sure, little fighter, because if you say yes, then know that I will never let you go. I will fight for you until the day I die. My heart and my soul will be yours.”
She let out a ragged breath, then looked up at him over her shoulder.
“Yes, Keel. A million times, yes.”
He smiled wide, his throat closing with emotion. He spun her around, pulling her into his arms, and placed a long, heated kiss to her lips.
Violet’s arms wrapped around his neck, pulling him even closer as their tongues danced together.
Keel finally broke the kiss, reaching over to the controls for the water and turning it off. He cupped Violet’s cheek and said, “As your mate, allow me to care for you. It is one of the most cherished tasks of a male with his mate.”
She nodded, “How do you want to do that?”
“First,” He reached for the hem of her shirt and slowly pulled it up over her body, “I want to undress you.”
She moaned, raising her arms above her head so he could pull her shirt off. Tossing it to the side, Keel took a moment to admire Violet. The bruise on her side was faded to a faint greenish color.
Not wanting to make her feel uncomfortable, he stepped around her and ran his hands down her arms.
“May I take this off?” He asked, gently pulling at the thick strap around her back.
She nodded, “Yes.”
Smiling to himself, he fumbled with the strap for a moment, then simply tore it open.
Violet laughed, “It opened in the front. You owe me a new bra.”
He groaned his approval. “If it were up to me, you wouldn’t wear such garments at all.”
She turned her head and raised a brow to him. “So you would rather all the males I train with every day see the girls just jiggling all over the place?”
How could he be so torn by one statement? The idea of her delicate, gorgeous breasts bouncing as she rode on top of him had his shaft aching to be inside her.
But on the other hand, the thought of any other male looking at her beasts had him snarling at the idea.
“That’s what I thought,” She sassed, turning to face him.
Keel sucked in a breath at the sight of her. She was absolutely stunning in his eyes. Her skin was smooth, and pale. Her slim body showed the outline of muscle from all her hard work, and her small, perfect breasts made his mouth water.
Fighting to stay in control, Keel tore his eyes away from her chest, and met her gaze. She had a shy, nervous look on her face.
Reaching out, he gently took her hands into his.
“Do you want me to stop?”
She shook her head. “No. But I…”
“I want to undress you as well.”
He smiled, releasing her hands and holding his arms out at his side. “I am yours, Violet… Do with me as you please.”
She blushed again, biting her lower lip, but nodded and reached for the ties holding his shirt closed.
He held still, loving the feel of her soft fingers on his body. Every time they brushed his skin, his shaft jerked, demanding more.
She finally got his shirt untied, and slipped it off his shoulders. Her warm, small hands ran over his heated skin, starting at his shoulders, moving down his chest until they stopped at his waist.
She glanced up, a questioning look in her eyes.
He nodded, knowing what she wanted.
Violet pulled on the cord holding his pants up and they both watched as the thick animal skin fabric slipped off his legs to pool around his ankles.
There was no hiding his arousal from her. His shaft was rock hard, straining at the fabric of his undershorts.
“Oh, wow,” Violet breathed, her eyes going wide.
“What is it?”
“I, uh… I didn’t realize how, um… How big you are.” She bit her lip again, raising worried eyes to him.
“Do you… not like it?”
“No,” She rushed to answer, “It’s not that. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, it’s just… I’m not sure if it will… well, fit.”
He chuckled, “When the time comes, we will go slowly. For now, do not think about it. We are going to take a bath together, that is all.”
A look of disappointment crossed her face before she lowered her eyes away from him. He bit back his smile. He wanted to mate with her just as much as she did, but he had duties to see to first. His mate needed care before his own needs were met.
Lowering to his knees, Keel looked up at Violet when she gasped in surprise.
“May I?” he asked, raising one brow. His hands hovered above the fastenings to her pants.
She licked her lips, her eyes wide and her breathing growing faster.
“Yes,” She breathed.
Keel smiled as he focused on the fastenings of Violet’s pants. He knew the material well, as she was still in her warriors uniform, yet somehow undressing the female he cherished out of a uniform he’d practically lived in for half his life felt more erotic. He never would have imagined that removing warrior uniform pants off another person would be something that would get him so maddeningly aroused.
With shaking hands, Keel slowly peeled the thick material down her long, shapely legs. Her skin was so pale, so smooth and delicate looking. She seemed so fragile by just looking at her, yet keel knew the strength her small body held inside.
When he reached her feet, Keel gently lifted one food, making Violet gasp and grip his shoulder.
He looked up, worried that he may be frightening her. He would never want to push her into something she wasn’t truly ready for.
He’d resigned himself to waiting years for her to be ready. He’d waited for two years, he could wait a little longer.
But the heat and desire he saw in her dark red eyes made his breath catch in his chest.
There wasn’t a hint of fear on her beautiful face. All he saw was the same need that burned inside him.
Removing her pants fully, Keel tossed them to the side and stood.
Violet stood in only the tiny black panties she’d had on in the jungle, her small, delicate body on almost full display for him.
She lifted her chin, meeting his eyes. He loved how brave his little mate was. How she never let anything scare her away from what she wanted.
He’d seen it so often with her. From arguing her request to join the warrior training program with the king. To facing any challenge Commander Korom threw at her.
The only time he’d seen true fear in her eyes, was when he’d been stung by the Black Web Vine. When she thought she might lose him.
Pushing all thoughts of the Deadly Dense out of his mind, Keel took her hand and gently led her to the large stone bath.
Steam rose from the still water, filling the space with a soft, warm mist.
He released her hand and turned to face her. Without a word, he stripped off the last of his clothing and stood before her, naked and waiting.
Violet’s eyes ran over him slowly, her eyes lingering on his rock hard shaft for a few long, torturous seconds. As though it knew she was watching, his length jerked with excitement, giving her a little wave.
She smiled, biting her lower lip, before she met his eyes again.
Great God of Creation, she was incredible.
He waited and watched with his breath held in his chest as violet kept her eyes locked with his, while her hands slipped into the thin fabric at her slim hips, and she slowly began to slide the last tiny piece of clothing off her body.
She let it fall to the ground and stepped out of it, right into his waiting arms.
Without a word, she rose up on her toes, and placed a long, deep kiss to his lips.
Keel’s shaft throbbed, begging to go to the only place it needed to be.
But Keel had to go slow. His mate needed to be cared for, to be eased into mating.
From what Oris told them of the human females, they were surprisingly similar to Torian females. Which meant that her first time would hurt if he wasn’t careful.
Without breaking the kiss, Keel lifted Violet into his arms, groaning through the kiss when her hot core brushed over the tip of his shaft.
He wouldn’t last long like this. He needed to get her into the water so he wouldn’t embarrass himself.
Turning with her in his arms, Keel carefully climbed into the pool of water and sank them both down to their shoulders.
Violet broke the kiss, a soft hiss escaping her lips.
“Did I hurt you?” He asked, worried he’d done something wrong.
She smiled, “No. The water’s pretty hot. I just need a second to get used to it.”
“I can make it cooler if you like?”
She shook her head, shifting on his lap to get comfortable and making them both moan.
“Sorry,” she breathed, her thighs tightening around his waist, pulling her even closer to him in the slick water.
“Violet,” He groaned, unable to stop the reaction that was about to happen if she kept rubbing herself on him like that, “Perhaps… We, uh… Let me wash you. I think we both need a wash.”
Violet giggled, drawing back enough to meet his eyes. One brow rose as she studied him for a moment.
“Wash, huh? Is that what the kids are calling it these days?”
Unable to hide his scorching desire, Keel pressed his hips up, sliding his achingly hard length between her slick, hot folds.
Violet gasped, her eyes wide, but she pressed closer to him, meeting his thrusts.
“I have a limit, little fighter, and you are getting dangerously close to it. I can’t hold onto my control for much longer if you keep doing that.”
Violet bit her lip again, a small grin playing at the corner of her lips.
“You mean… This?” she asked as she worked her hips against him once more.
Keel closed his eyes, a loud groan escaping him as the pleasure burst inside him with white hot light.
“Violet… I don’t… I don’t want to hurt you. Please… Please slow down.”
“I don’t want to slow down,” She said in his ear as she moved faster, rubbing herself over his shaft, “I’m so tired of waiting. I want you to lose control. I want all of you, Keel. I want it raw, and passionate, and real. Do this with me, handsome. You’re the only one I ever want to be with.”
Keel sobered, his heart swelling to hear her say those words. He’d dreamt of finding a mate that would want him the way he was. One that understood him, his ways, his beliefs and one that would want him exactly the way he was.
Unlike Tark, who enjoyed leather and bondage, Keel was a more reserved lover. He wanted to take his time, to worship the female he was mated to.
Making a decision to not let the greatest gift the Great God could have ever given him to slip through his fingers, Keel pulled Violet down for a heated, deep kiss.
Their tongues danced, their breaths mixing as he devoured her mouth, loving how she gave back just as eagerly.
With one hand on her back, and the other holding her left thigh, Keel shifted in the water until Violet sat on the small step he’d used to climb into the bath.
With her legs still wrapped around his middle, Keel slid one hand up her body, gently cupping the small, round globe of her breast.
Violet broke the kiss, her back arching as her hips jerked against him.
“Easy,” He cooed, stepping gingerly out from between her legs.
Violet was about to protest, but Keel smiled, then lifted her out of the water completely and sat her down on the edge of the wall surrounding the bath.
He sucked in a breath when he saw her spread out for him, open and ready for him.
With one hand, Keel gently pressed her back until Violet was laying against the wall, her eyes closed and her lips parted.
Leaning his body over her, he began placing soft, light kisses to her neck. Her skin was hot against his lips, the water making her glow with a soft reddish pink shade.
“Keel?” Violet breathed, her small body beginning to tremble in his hands.
“Hmm?” Keel asked, his focus entirely fixed on the soft curve of her breasts.
“What, um… What are you going to do?”
He paused, lips hovering just above her left breast, as his hand found a spot on her thigh.
He looked up, meeting her innocent, slightly afraid eyes. He hated to see his fierce warrior mate looking so unsure.
He gave her a small, reassuring smile, before he shifted back up her body and covered her exposed breasts with his chest. He loved the way her warm skin felt against his own. She was soft, and smooth, and so delicate.
He met her eyes, gently brushing a strand of wet hair off her cheek.
“I want to taste you. Will you let me?”
Violet’s eyes went wide, her breaths catching for a moment.
“You do? But… Why?”
He grinned, unable to stop the love that swelled in his heart for her. He never wanted to stop it. He wanted to be consumed by it entirely… He already was.
“May I speak with raw logic to you?”
She nodded, her hands sliding over his wet skin to curl around his neck.
“Human females are much like Torians. A pure female has a barrier inside her that will be broken during mating. It will hurt, little fighter. Not a lot, but enough that I want to make it as quick and unnoticeable for you as I can. As you saw, I am not a small male. I won’t hurt you like that, Violet. If I use my fingers-”
“Ok! I get it,” She blushed a deep, dark red and couldn’t meet his eyes, “I don’t think you need to explain it to me any more. Just, um… go slow, okay?”
He bent and placed a soft, loving kiss to her lips. When he pulled back, he met her eyes and nodded.
“If there is one thing that you can forever be sure of, Violet, it is that I will never hurt you, not in any way.”
She nodded again, her lips parted as she watched him move down her body again.