Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A More Intimate War (Part 2): Enthralled

Sundar watched her eat with no small degree of fascination, which perplexed him. She wasn't a particularly handsome woman. Her face was a bit plain, with a strong jaw. Her nose bent slightly, and he wondered if the flaw shared the same cause as his own, although he imagined such a thing better suited the face of a man. A warrior.

But then, she was also a warrior, was she not? He remembered a woman, years ago, sitting tall upon a blue roan, her hair, the color of burnished gold pulled back from her face into a tight knot. He remembered her leather armor worked into the pattern of the leaves of the trees native to the border regions and shaded with their color, better for hiding in the forests. Her gray eyes, cold and ruthless as she ordered him tossed in that hole to die.

He'd thought her beautiful then, resplendent in her cruelty. A worthy shield maiden.

She inspired less awe now, thin and bruised, a look of pure exhaustion in her eyes that rivaled the battle-weary elders of his people. The ones who had lost hope of falling in glorious combat.

And yet, there was something about her that still held him in thrall.

He held out a bit of cheesecloth filled with pieces of rabbit meat from his dinner toward her. Tentatively, she took it, tensing up as he moved to sit next to her. He let his fingers brush over her shoulders and down her back. She kept looking back at him nervously, but she said nothing as hunger clearly won out over discomfort. He swept her hair over her shoulder to examine the whip scars decorating her shoulders. He pressed his hand flat against her skin to feel the raised flesh against his palms.

She straightened and looked back at him, her face a mask of indifference. "Do those appeal to you?"

He smirked. "I like a rough wooing, but scars are for enemies, not unarmed women."

She snorted. An indelicate sound, but he supposed there was little that was delicate about her. He'd heard legends of the battle that rendered her lame. It was said that the warlord Hyrdric himself had taken her down. And had kept her, apparently. A sad fate indeed.

"Did you not say we were at war?" she said around a mouthful of rabbit. "Am I not an enemy then?"

He rolled atop her and dragged her hips forward, pulling her flat against the furs. Forcing a knee between hers, he threw her legs wide around him and knelt between her thighs.

"A different sort of enemy. A different sort of a war."

She glared and kicked at his chest with her good leg. Sundar caught her ankle in his large hand, holding it still. He pressed a soft kiss to the sole of her foot, drawing his short fingernails lightly over her calf and down her inner thigh. Ulrika shivered involuntarily, her glare intensifying.

She stuffed another bit of meat in her mouth, and settled back, crossing her arms under her breasts as she looked up at the ceiling of the tent.

"Well? Commence with your 'rough wooing' then."

He chuckled and pulled her hips forward again until her arse rested in his lap. Gently, he pried her arms open and pushed them to rest on the ground. She still refused to look at him, but she left her arms at her sides. He wrapped his hands around her rib cage, his thumbs resting beneath the swell of her breasts. Slowly, languorously, he moved down her sides, caressing her belly with his thumbs until he stopped in the place where hip met thigh.

"You haven't earned rough yet."

No, rough attentions would not serve his purpose. Not yet. She was used to roughness, resigned to it. He could see it in her annoyance. He admired that though. Her unyielding nature. She readily surrendered her body, but her spirit was still the same warrior of old. A shield of disinterest in the face of what might otherwise be horror. Sundar didn't want horror. Nor did he want disinterest. He wanted her surrender, all of herself. To enthrall her in the same way she had enthralled him.

He caressed those soft places to either side of the golden hair that dusted her mound, grinning as he wrought a shuddering breath from her. She bit her lip, concentrating hard on the cross beam of the tent. He lifted her crippled leg to drape it over his shoulder and planted a kiss on the inside of the mangled knee. Her eyes slid back to him, curiosity swimming in those stormy depths.

He smiled again more softly, letting his hand drift down that pale thigh, lower and lower, seeking his prize.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked


  1. You know exactly how to build the story to a point where I just want to read on and on! Looking forward to the next part.

    Rebel xox

  2. This is great, because it strikes that difficult balance between not glossing over her disability but not making it what defines her, either. Fab story!

    1. This was originally a concept for a novel I had. At one point I was considering buying a cane so I could figure out the movement of a person with a bad leg.

      And thank you!