Wherever it was, it was a smallish Lordship. She never had any siblings, as her mother died when shewas very young, and her father loved her mother so much, he never could find it in himself to marry again.
Her father was a handsome man, he should have married again, but her mother was a rare beauty, soft and fragile. People said she inherited her mother’s looks; but certainly not her gentle nature, as from very young, she would prefer wearing pants to skirts. She was shooting her bow, throwing knives and playing by the ocean not far from their castle.
She absolutely hated the things they wanted her to do, knitting, embroidery and sewing. It was absolutely dull, she liked weaving sometimes, but most of the time, she just started at it slowly moving her hand while dreaming herself away.
When she managed to hide off to shoot her bow, she was always satisfied to note she was an excellent shooter. Better than her older cousins even.
Her uncle, his wife and their three sons lived in the castle. Her aunt was the sweetest thing, always rosy-cheeked, a plump exterior and wide, large brown eyes. Having no daughters of her own, she easily adopted her young niece and took a mother role of sorts.
The problem was, she was not a strict woman and she; well, she was a wild child. She would do her thing, few stopped her, her father was always distant, never really there. He never became the same, they said, after her mother died. Her aunt let her do as she pleased, told her that she was different from the other ladies; she had more spirit. It was unusual though, not many ladies would have let her grow that way. Maybe she just didn’t bother.
Her name was Athenais, but they called her Athea. Athea was a willful, stubborn and reckless child, who did whatever came to mind really. She would frequently sneak out, to roam the local hills and forests. She knew them better than any, better maybe than the woodsmen, or the hunter and his son. Her lands were wide; her forests huge, you could ride for over a day and never leave her father’s land. There were quite a few people in the realm and a lot of farming going on. There was also a mine in the mountains.
The castle was big, roomed many people, outside were other houses, rooming the many servants and troops it took to run the estate.
Beyond the walls were the castle’s farms, and beyond that again, seven different villages with farms of their own on her father’s land. In one of these villages were filled with fishers, and had a harbor, where men of different character would come and go, leaving behind or bringing goods.
She liked the smell of tar and salt; she was not supposed to go there. In time, her father found that letting her roam the forest and mountain closest to home was the safest thing for her to do. Therefore, he let her go; not that she had not before, but now she had his permission.
When she was eleven summers old, she convinced him not to send a searching party for her if she did not come home one or two nights. He got used to it and returned to his distant self. Meanwhile she roamed the forest and enjoyed every minute of it.
She really loved that forest. It was a beautiful place. It was warm where she lived, the winters were mild, the summers warm, the summer-nights delightful, and there were fireflies. Her appearance, however, was light: she was very fair. It had to do with her mother, who was blonde-haired person and pale as those from the fat north. She had brown hair so light, it shone a golden red.
She had a curvy figure; her breasts were large, and she hated putting the tight garments over them. She would wear her dresses, or in some cases a sort of shirt, very loose, and she refused to use the snug undergarments that would hold her curves in place, and her nipples always showed when she wore the shirt.
She was used to having the forests to herself, she would hear people working wood sometimes, or hunting, or just traveling through, but for the most part, the forest was huge and empty.
She meet him by the lake the first time when she where not very old yet, thirteen, maybe. He was fishing of all things. Her father had his own hunter, he would arrange hunts for guests, or for her father the rare occasion he cared to. He had a son, a little older then her, but not by much.
She watched him for a while, quietly, before he asked if she was ever coming out. She was startled he knew she was there, so she stepped out from surprise more than anything. Usually people could not tell where she was.
“I know the forest better then you,” he said. “I was born out here.”
His statement irritated her.
“No reason to get upset, this is all I have ever known and no one sheltered me inside walls.”
He turned to look at her.
“Calm down princess, I’m just speaking the truth.”
“I’m not a princess,” she felt herself reply with a short, irritated voice.
“Ah well,” he said, “you are so far above me you might as well be one.”
“Are you lost?” he said, with a teasing voice. “Or are you just going to stand there and stare at me?”
She stormed off, avoiding him in the forest, in the future. In town at times, and the village, especially the dances, he would be there and she could feel him stare. She ignored him.
The next summer, her father died.
She became a lady, the Lady of the land.
Everyone’s attitude to her changed. Her cousins started pushing and fighting for a chance at her regency. The only one she really trusted was her chambermaid, Isabou.
Feasts took place for days, when she took over. She was given drinks and food and more drinks; she felt her world spin. Ruling land turned to be more difficult than she thought, but she wanted to do it herself.
She started feeling a longing for simpler days, when she could drift freely through the forest. One day, she stood and watched out the window, looking at the hunter’s son preparing to take some visitors off for a hunt. She remembered the first time she had seen that. The second time she truly met the hunter’s son.
When he came, eyes filled with grief, to tell her father that bandits had killed his father. He was never quite the same again; his eyes grew dark. He seemed lonely, like her.
One day, she had enough of all the ruling and fuss. She started packing some stuff, found her pants and her shirts and put them on, along with her cloak. She was done for a bit, she wanted to feel free and careless again. Therefore, she wandered back into the forest for the first time in a while and she felt wonderful.
First the forest felt tight to her again, like she was being watched, but she shook the feeling off and went about her business.
At the end of the day, she was so wet, her clothes would cling to her body, but he had refused to go home when the rain started. As she walked home, she could not help but feel, again, that eyes were on her; but she kept walking, clinging to her show-sword a little harder.
The next day, when she came out to her audience room, she was tired and quite worn out by people’s petty issues. She was known to be fair already, kind, but also very tempered if someone bore ill will.
At first she was locked in her own mind and didn’t notice, but his voice quickly brought him to her attention with a startle.
He smiled a knowing smile at her, as if he knew how fast he made her heart beat.
“My lady,” he said, “should I gather some men and take care of some of the wolves closing up to the villages? People are starting to feel frightened.”
She looked at him.
“Have they harmed anyone or any cattle?”
“No,” he replied.
“Then leave them alone, try to chase them back in the forest; tell the farmers I will compensate any lost livestock. If we hunt them for anything, it will be for their fur, not for their presence.”
He smiled again, and she could tell his eyes were fixated on her breasts.”
“I could kiss you,” he said, fixing his eyes to hers.
“If you tried kissing me, I would run away,” she said.
“If you run, I’ll catch you,” was the only reply she got.
Not knowing quite what to say, she rushed past him, hoping he would not notice her red burning cheeks and her short breath.
Her heart was racing.
“I could have you thrown in the pit for that,” she said, referring to a creepy, deep cave used as a dungeon under the castle.”
She hurried away.
Days later, she decided to go out again. She was warned against it, because storms were coming. She didn’t care, she needed out. Besides, the storms had never hurt her before.
She went out, with little concern, and the sun seemed to want to stay.
Yet, the old farmers had a knack for knowing what weather would come, and she soon found herself trapped in violent winds and rain. She was fast soaked and then, as she was crossing a meadow, her cloak blew away in the increased wind.
Usual, it got colder, the fog got tighter and she started getting insecure about where she was headed, the darkness setting in did not help. The rain was whipping hard, and she could barely keep her eyes open through it… fighting forward, she started feeling weaker, and worried.
Had she overestimated herself gravely?
She found some shelter under a natural rock formation, and started considering what to do. Losing her cape was not a smart move, and the air was cold. She didn’t see many options other than wait behind the rocks and hope the weather turned.
The clothes were clinging to her body in a way she could nearly find pleasing, were she not shivering so badly.
She curled up and stated nodding off after a while, there was not much she could do, wandering around just made her tired and might bring her further away.
She must have fallen asleep for a second, because she suddenly got yanked out of her sleep by a hand grabbing her face and lifting it.
“Are you alive, my lady?” she heard as she started coming to.
A chill of wind over her wet clothes and skin suddenly stirred her completely awake, and she looked back at the voice.
It was him: his hat covering his head, his sneaky smile and teasing eyes, though she thought she could see something in them, worry, maybe.
She felt a bit warm at the thought.
The feeling of him holding her face was nearly too much, the feelings he created, overwhelming.
“I’m fine,” she said, trying to be proud, though failing at it, just as a tree fell down behind her.
Screaming, she tossed herself forward and hid in his arms. He tensed up, though he did not reject her. His breath got faster and his hands held her tighter, it nearly hurt.
She squeezed herself close to him, her breasts and nipples rubbing against him in a sensitive way. She pulled back a little and apologized, blushing badly, hoping he had not felt them against him, wondering what he thought of her.
She reminded herself for a moment, that she was a lady, and he was a hunter, and lifted her head slightly. He laughed at the performance.
“Don’t pull that with me right now, my lady.”
He grabbed her arm, hard, and pulled her back in. His other arm slipped easily behind her back, as she tried to pull free. She had no hope of twisting out without a fight, and froze a bit from fright.
It was not only fright though.
It was a different kind of fright.
She had feared other things in her life, but whatever she feared here, she wanted it as much as it frightened her. The way his skin felt, she wanted to feel more of it.
Again, she reminded herself, she was a lady, and this could not be. As he went to kiss her, she moved to free herself from his grip; the move was simple enough, if done fast enough, but it was as if he anticipated her.
He held tighter, his one hand sliding into her golden hair, his other hand tightening around her wrist.
“I said; don’t play that way with me right now, my lady.”
She looked up into his eyes. They were dark, strained, as if he was fighting something else other than her. He leaned in, his eyes fixed, and his lips caught hers.
All fight went out of her for a moment, as it felt like every part of her started to tingle, her stomach started to tickle, in ways she did not know possible.
She went warm, oh so warm, she could no longer feel the cold of the rain and wind hitting her… she could not move, for a second she tried, but she was stuck in his iron grip.
He was a tall man, she was not short herself, but he still stood more than a head taller than her. His kiss was soft, yet determined and firm; he found her lips, and parted them with ease. She started shaking wildly, not from cold, but from a mix of sensations stirring a panic within her. The worst was the utter loss of control she felt, not just because he held her, but because something inside her wanted that kiss to last forever, so badly.
She could not help her lips form answering his, in what seemed a delicate play.
His will, his desire and his body froze her. She was not sure if she could not free herself, or didn’t want to. For a few long moments, she felt herself surrender, but a sensation of panic slowly started building.
This was unheard of, this was…
She was not sure what it was, but she knew it was a break of rules. She gathered herself and wrung herself free from him, sure surprise on his side.
She took a step back and said with the most lady-like voice she could summon:
“Stop that right now, hunter! I am your Lady, not your wife, and soon they will start looking for me.”
He looked at her for a moment, before he started laughing.
“First off, my lady, you got them used to your comings and goings. Second off, who do you think they would send out?”
Slowly, the obvious dawned on her, if anyone was to be sent looking for her, it would be him. She started getting frightened again, shivering from the cold. She was not sure, if she was mostly scared because of what he was up to, or because she wanted it.
“You’re cold,” he said, touching her again, lifting her head with his fingers under her cheek. She nodded, shivering.
He leaned in and took another kiss. She was too cold and confused to protest anymore. Then he whistled and somewhere from the darkness, his horse stepped out.
The horse had a bag hanging by the side. From it, he took a blanket, thick and warm, and wrapped her in it. He got up on his horse and lifted her after, sitting her in front of him, arms on each side of her.
She was cold, tired and his chest was warm, so she could not help leaning in sleepily.
She must have drifted away, because she came to lying on a bed, her clothes had been removed and she was covered in a blanket and furs. He was sitting a little off in the distance, her clothes nowhere to be seen.
“Where are we?” she asked.
He looked at her, eyes burning. They seemed to have some internal struggle going on. “We are in one of my hunting cabins,” he said, looking around. “They’re small, but they serve their purpose.”
“This was the closest place to go, you needed to get warm.”
She could not help but pick up a certain affection in his voice.
“Did you undress me,” she said, trying to put on a voice of confidence and an air of authority. She felt it fail though; she really did not feel in charge right now.
“Yes,” he said, “you were wet and unconscious, could not let you remain in the wet garments.”
Blushing, she wondered if he had seen.
He brought her some broth from the pot he had hanging over the fire. The cabin was nice and warm, and not near as dirty as she would have feared, in fact the furs and skins smelled nice.
It also smelled like wild lavender, which hung all around the room, and rosemary.
She looked at him while she was sipping.
“When will my clothes be dry, we need to get going, I need to get back…”
A loud thunder slammed just as the words were spoken and he smiled.
“We are not going anywhere anytime soon my lady; you might as well get some sleep.”
She was reluctant, but it was also hard to stay awake, she had no idea what hour it was, besides the sound of wind and rain.
“I am sure we can make it back,” she looked at him decisively. “I need to get back.”
“No,” his voice left no room for argument, and everything felt a little surrealistic to her.
He was supposed to do what she said, not protest!
She resigned to his opinion, usually she would have argued, but she was so sleepy. She caught herself staring at him as she was falling asleep, watching his movement, noticing his quick glances at her.
She felt warm and tingling, and butterflies swarmed her stomach in a strange way, making it tingle between her legs. She did not know what to make of it really, the emotions were overwhelming and she was quite frightened.
It made her think of the things she would hear the servant girls giggle about behind closed doors, thinking no one heard them.
It had always made her curious.
When she woke back up, he was standing near the bed, staring at her. She felt a thousand tingles around her body.
She felt a chill and noticed he had uncovered her body completely. The robe-like clothing she was wearing was open and the covers pulled away. She blushed, realizing he had been looking at her, and wondered, for how long? She quickly got to her feet and gathered the robes around her, moving towards the door. He simply put out an arm and whispered, “No “, he left nothing more to his statement, but “no”
She pushed to move again and he snickered, in a low voice. “You are not going anywhere,” he said.
Her heart started racing faster, she felt dizzy, and fearful of what was to come. She had heard of men forcing themselves on women, but that rarely happened to a woman of her rank. She shifted, trying to get past him again, but this time he locked one of her arms behind her, holding her sideways, facing him. He spread the robes apart, locking her eyes to his. He let his hands slowly caress her shoulders before he started kissing her.
His lips moved to her neck, while his hand slowly moved to her breasts. She didn’t know if she should breathe or faint, she tried getting loose again, but he was a very strong man.
His hand, surprisingly gentle at first, slid down along the side of her breast, before he laid his hand on it, grasping. She noticed he let out a strained breath when he did, thousands of tingles starting around her body, making the blood flow to her brain so fast she felt like fainting again, the intensity of her rather unwilling emotions tumbling around inside her. Her whole life, she had been in charge, told people what to do and where to go; her whole life she had been in control, now even of the life of others, and certainly of her own.
Moreover, there he was, stripping away that control, motion by motion; taking charge of her; in a way that made her desperately want it.
His hands got greedier, hungrier in a way. She could feel them touch every part of her bare skin; he was quiet, but his breathing was different, faster, and he kept making a growling sound that sent shivers down her spine and seemed to settle somehow at the bottom. Her hands where still trapped behind her back, keeping her in a strange grip. She had no idea what to feel, or think, even less what to say or do. Waves of panic were replaced by waves of delight and tingling spreading around her body, changing each wave. Everything he did at this point made her want to run away screaming and, at the same time, embrace him harder.
She was sure she would have fainted if not for his strong grip. The world was spinning around her, and it was very hard to focus on anything but the sensation his hands and lips left behind. She kept forgetting to breathe, especially when his hand found her chin and his lips, her own, again. She was trapped in the emotions and sensations he created. He had some strange power over her, making her idle to her mind’s demands to free herself, to regain control and be the lady she was. She found the voice fading as she became more and more aware of what he was doing and where his hands were moving.
Is this love? She wondered, thinking of endless poems and stories she had read. She didn’t think so; it did not make her want to recite poems, and though it made her warm in the chest, the tingles were hardly focused around her heart. Rather, they seemed to sink towards the forbidden.
This was what she had read other poems and stories about, stories of old gods and heroes from faraway lands. This is what the servant girls were giggling about behind closed doors. This was why women lose their power to men.
Her mind was howling to get that power back, but her body was compliant, passive, frozen in these delightful and frightening feelings.
She had no idea how long they were standing like that, how long his hands had been caressing her breasts and surrounding skin, while his lips bit her neck everywhere between gentle and painful.
She was also becoming aware of something else that quickly brought her face to a blush. She was breathing heavy and fast, her chest rising and sinking at a rapid paste, her nipples where so hard it nearly hurt, like when wet clothes clung to her body. Goosebumps followed his hand across her naked body. Worst of it yet, was that every time his hands got a little rough, or his teeth sank into her skin, she let out a nearly whimpering moan.
This snapped her out of everything for a moment, and she stirred, pulling out her self-control from very, very deep as she went to release herself from his grip. His reaction did not let itself wait, his voice low, growling yet clear. “No”, again, only no, but his eyes said a million words more as they meet hers. They were dulled with desire; there were no other way to explain it. They were determined. They had a hunger in them, the deep-set one, and she was his meal.
His obvious hunger for her made her lightheaded, and had a different effect than she expected. It sent a lightning bolt through her, much worse than before, it shocked her out of breath as several short waves of tingles made her feel like she was pulsing with the dull flames from the fire. Then the tingles sank down, gathered in her belly like butterflies, before sinking down and settling between her legs, leaving a deep throbbing need that consumed every fiber of her body. Trying hard to control her fluttering heart from racing and rein in her feelings to come to her senses, she realized she felt a mixture of excited and ashamed.
She wanted this, every part of her did, her body, her heart, even most of her mind. With every little movement, he was taking her choice away, making his will hers. His eyes left her nothing, no doubt, no insecurity, he knew what he wanted and he was going to have it. Right now, he watched only to see if he would have to fight her for it, that was all. He had no regrets, nor was he second-guessing himself. He was just waiting to see how it was going to finish.
She was trying to make herself fight, her mind pushing her body to respond, she tried to say something but her mouth just opened without a sound, so she closed it again. It took a lot of her to try to attempt to free her hands, maybe taking him by surprise; maybe he would loosen his grip and let her go. She was trying to figure out what he was waiting for, locking his eyes to hers that way. It was as if his dark hazel eyes themselves were pinning her to the ground.
She also noticed, standing so close, noticed for the first time, that his eyes had a tint of red to them.
Focusing everything she had, she twisted to free her hand and topple him over, but all that met her was he, tightening his grip as he gave out a wicked laugh. He leaned in ever so slightly, putting his lips to her ears and whispered, his voice dark and thick, “I don’t mind if you fight a little. In fact, I like it.”
His hands started running down her body again and she shivered… he looked back at her, piercing her eyes deep. “This never happened to you, did it… you have never been with a man!” If it was surprise, excitement, or a mix of both in his voice, she didn’t know. “Well,” he played with one of her locks, before grabbing a handful of her hair. “I’m going to have you. You can fight me, or you can behave. It will only change how it feels for you. I can make it painful… or I can be gentle.”
His voice softened a little. He smiled.
“It will be a lot easier for you, if you don’t fight me. Besides, I know you want me, little Athea, your body betrays you.”
His hand now slid slowly down, he somehow used one foot to separate her legs slightly, causing her to be completely off balance, depending on his arm holding hers behind her back not to fall. He put his hand between her legs, smiling, as if what he found there confirmed what he had said.
Now she was blushing, embarrassed, excited, filled with cravings and a desperate need to run consumed her. Her whole life she had depended on control, and now it had been stripped away, bit by bit, until she had none left. She felt the fight leave her body as his smile turned into a little laugh at the sight of her expressions. He grabbed her face and gave her a deep kiss before lifting her up and more or less tossing her back on the bed.
While she lay there, rather baffled, he started removing his own garments. HIs chest was covered with a light blanket of hairs that grew thinner going down his stomach, as he removed his pants she was left with a sight she had heard lowered voices talk about. She had also seen them on horses, though it looked far from what she was expecting. She shivered at the sight, realizing that it made her tingle down below her belly.
She started backing up on the bed, as he stood there, naked. Her heart was racing so fast, she was surprised it had not come out of her chest yet. Noticing she was backing up on the bed, he sent her a dark look, like a warning. So she stopped, his words repeating themselves in her mind. I can make this painful, or I can be gentle…. fighting to control her breath she watched him grip himself, the sight nearly made her faint yet again. It made her tingle more and made her warmer between her legs.
He leaned over a little, grabbed her feet and dragged her back down laying on the bed… crawling up from her feet, he separated her legs and let his fingers run slowly on the inside of her thigh, separating her legs more. He was keeping his promise, he was being gentle, but his slow movements made her feel dizzy, she did not know what to anticipate, what to expect, wherever this was going, she had never been before, while he, had clearly been there. He surprised her as he was kissing the inside of her thighs, she expected him to continue up her stomach, towards her breasts or something. She remembered vaguely stories going about that way. However, he didn’t, he stopped, spread her legs wide, and kept kissing upwards between her legs.
Soon his kisses made it somewhere she had never expected someone to use their tongue. At this point, her body took completely over, as the sensations he was creating made her moan loudly and push her back up in an arch. He snickered, low, while he kept kissing up her belly, before his face was even with hers, him nestled between her legs.
He kissed her, leaving a strange taste on her lips, before he started kissing and biting her neck and breasts again. Now the result was loud whimpers from her, while her breathing got heavier and heavier. She gave up trying to define the many feelings shooting through her body. Instead, they took over, leaving her halfway in a trance, having absolutely no idea what to do or say. The way he moved, her body responded, naturally, she did not even have to make it, as if whatever was happening was somehow part of whom she was.
Oh yes, he was gentle as he promised; but there was still a sharp sting of pain when he pushed inside her. Baffled, and not quite sure what was happening she let out a whimpering moan of pain. He stopped moving, making a low shushing sound in her ear before he started again, slowly, moving very carefully. As the pain faded, her whimpers turned to moans.
Her vanishing pain caused him to move faster, thrusting harder. Again she could feel her body answer his movements naturally, hearing her own voice make increasingly louder moaning sounds. Somewhere in her mind, she was trying to tell herself she supposedly did not want this, but it was not working very well as her body ignored her.
Feeling overwhelmed, she felt a little angry at being taken this way. If this was unconscious or instinct she didn’t know, but she buried her nails in his back for a variation of reasons, partly hoping the pain would make him stop for a moment, It had the absolutely opposite effect, as he laughed at her. His movements now got much harder, while he held her face, keeping her eyes on his.
Now the tingling was getting out of hand, waves and waves of it, stronger and stronger, till another wave started, this was something she had not heard of before, as it took her breath away she let out a very loud moan as her whole body arched backwards as much as she had room for under him. She could not tell if he let out a laugh or a growl, apparently pleased with his result and her reaction.
As she was still shivering and shaking from after waves, his eyes first grew sharper as he thrust hard within her and stayed there, then his eyes went dull and he made a low growling like sound. His hand found its way to a handful of her hair, while the other was grabbing the furs beside her… his whole body was shaking now, his eyes filled with something wild that made strange feelings inside her. He collapsed over her, taking several moments to catch himself his weight pushing her down. Then he rolled over, keeping his skin touching hers, his hand ran over her breast and belly before he covered her up. A loud thunder nearby made it clear that they were still not going anywhere. He put his hand on her chin, his thumb on her lips, smiling at her.
“How sweet you are,” he said, as he lay down beside her. “Sleep, more time will pass before we are going anywhere.”
The next morning she woke up with the smell of a fresh fire, standing by it like nothing had happened, he handed her some cheese and fruits. “Eat, you need some energy before we go,” he smiled.
She was rather baffled by his behavior; he acted as if he had done nothing. Then, suddenly, he walked over, leaned in and gave her a deep kiss. She ate silently and when climbed on behind him, on his horse.
“Hold on,” he said as she lays her arms around his waist. He handed her his cloak, so she would not be cold, leaving him in a thin shirt. After a bit, she became aware of her nipples and breasts rubbing against his back. Gasping quietly, she pulled back, trying to create some room between his back and her breasts.
She hoped he did not notice her sudden, odd movement, but he let out a laugh, and made the horse ride faster so she would be forced to cling on to him again to hold on and stay on the horse.
“Get out of my head,” she said. Letting out another heartfelt laugh, his response was not expected, “no, I like it in there.”
After a while, the castle became visible on the horizon, and she said, with a low voice, “I could have you thrown in the dungeon for this.”
“Yes, yes you could,” he said, “but you won’t, because then they will kill me, and you won’t let that happen.”
They did not share words more for that day. At home, he was celebrated as a hero, while Isabou hurried her off, whispering between them.