For the most part Malich isn’t impressed by the selection he has to choose from. That is, until Princess Grayson decides to join the party. Immediately he’s drawn to her. Her skin is tan, her hair falls to the middle of her back in loose waves, she has full lips, and she’s more beautiful than he expected. She has gray dough eyes and she’s thin, probably too thin for his liking, but it works for her. She’s young too…probably no more than eighteen cycles in appearance, but she seems wise, which ages her a bit.
He watches her from afar, careful not to drift too close to the ladies his brothers chose for him. The other Princesses are spoiled, but not her. They’re confident and Princess Grayson appears to be less sure of herself, as if she’s new to her own skin. It reminds him of Arya. She’s always been a great assassin but the far simpler things, like embracing her own beauty was a foreign concept to her.
“Find anyone who tickles your fancy?” His brother Rhesus asks with a smirk.
“Not you too,” Malich sighs.
“No brother, I’m not a part of this circus. If I were, I wouldn’t have rounded up all of the Princesses we’ve all slept with, save Princess Grayson.”
Now Kahlem’s suggestion makes more sense. He offered Princess Grayson initially but Malich thought it was another of his schemes. “Tell me about her.”
“Mother died giving birth to her and father contracted consumption. She’s well educated but she’s a mousy thing. She has two aunts who have their hooks in her. She always has her head in a book. She’s been in charge of her kingdom since her father fell ill and it thrives even better than our own.”
“Has she been broken in?”
“As far as I know she has not. Her virtue is still in tact.”
Smiling, Malich nods. He continues to watch the Princess. She intrigues him. As the night wears down, he finally crosses the room to approach her. She shifts and smiles nervously as she watches him approach, her eyes on the floor.
“Your highness,” he extends a hand to her. Princess Grayson offers him her hand and he gently kisses the back of it. Judging from the way her breath catches in her throat, he’s sure she’s never been even remotely close to a man.
The Princess looks around the room as if the attention somehow bothers her. She barely pulls her eyes from the floor. “Care to dance?” Malich asks.
Eyes still on the floor, she nods. He guides her onto the dance floor and they began to sway to the music. “You seem younger than I was told,” she tells him.
“The years have been hard and the wisdom plenty, but as you know we age with grace here.”
“You’re the youngest of your siblings are you not?” Malich nods. “Have you ever…you know…”
“Are you offering?” He undresses her with his eyes.
Princess Grayson blushes, but she doesn’t deny it or shy away. Malich’s surprised when her eyes rake over the length of him as if she‘s imagining what being with him would be like. After contemplating for several moments, he decides there’s no need for subtleties. If his being direct makes her run for the hills then so be it. He didn’t want to be here anyway.
“I’ll send for you in a few hours, but let me be clear, I do not intend to talk. If you’re interested, leave the innocence at home. If you’re not ready to cross the line we will undoubtedly cross once you accept this invitation to share my bed, don’t come,” Malich whispers into her ear. She clasps a hand to her chest, her breathing ragged, and her eyes full of lust. He inclines his head to her and heads for the door.
“Whoa, brother, where do you think you’re going?” Kahlem asks, stepping into his path.
“I like to sample the goods before I make a purchase.”
“Well that can be arranged,” he smirks.
“No need, it’s already done.”
Dax, Lumi and Rayu fall in line behind Malich as he exits the room and leaves the palace. He gives Dax orders to send someone to retrieve Princess Grayson and heads home.
“A word, your highness?” Lumi asks.
“If this is in regards to a particular assassin, I’d like to point out that she made her choice,” Malich sighs.
“You know as well as I do its more complicated than that. Arya is in love with you whether she knows it or not. If you do this, it will break her.”
“Do what? Take another female to bed? Wed a Princess?”
“All of it. I know she puts up a brave face, and for the most part she isbrave, but when it comes to you, her feelings are a bit more complicated.”
“What would you have me do then? Wait for her? I tried that before and she left me, again.”
“Some truths are hard to swallow. Give her time to swallow her truth.”
Malich scoffs. “Thanks for the council Lumi, but I’m done waiting for Arya to choose one side of the fence or the other.”
Lumi drops the subject, but he can tell she doesn’t approve of his decision. Still, he can’t wait for Arya forever. She’s stubborn and there’s no telling when she’ll come to her senses.
The ride back to his palace is both silent and uneventful. He half expects his brothers to attack him on his way back to his home. Whatever they have planned must be bigger than a simple attack and he isn’t foolish enough to think marrying him off has nothing to do with it, but he’s powerless to stop it. Kahlem is interim King and his word is law. If he goes against his own King it’ll only make taking the kingdom from his brother harder. The people won’t trust or respect him.
While he waits for Princess Grayson to show up his thoughts drift to the assassin whose stolen his heart, and his conversation with Lumi. Even if Arya didcome to her senses, he wasn’t sure if he could trust her not to change it again.
Princess Grayson shows up right on time and she’s escorted to his bedroom. She looks over at his bed and begins to tremble as he closes and locks the door behind them. She stands with her back to him, nervous.
Malich removes her overcoat revealing her stark naked body underneath and he huffs a laugh at her boldness. Yet another thing she has in common with she whom he’s desperately trying not to think about. The Princess whirls around to face him. “Is something wrong?” She asks, suddenly self-conscious.
“Not at all,” he takes in the sight of her.
Malich closes the space between them and crushes his mouth to hers. She sweeps her tongue through his mouth wildly, revealing her inexperience.
He smoothes his hands over the slope of her breasts and clenches one hand around her neck, forcing her head back. He presses kisses into the nape of her neck, smoothing the pad of his thumb over her lips and she surprises him by biting his thumb. She wants it just as much as he does.
For the princess, Malich’s sure it has more to do with the many cycles of stifled sexual frustration. She uses her body weight to pull him on top of her as she sinks back onto his bed. He curls his tongue around her nipples and she stifles a moan, biting down on her lip. She parts her legs without hesitation, allowing him access to her core and he obliges. Slowly he eases the length of him inside her until she hisses. She presses her hand into his chest asking him to stop. He works her core until she loosens up and then eases more of himself inside until she engulfs his full length.
True to her word, she’s indeed a virgin and she bleeds, as Arya did. She made so much noise that he had to cover her mouth with his hand. At least there’s one difference between the two girls…the one in his bed and the one in his heart. Arya is more subdued with her passion. She wouldn’t want to give him the satisfaction of letting him know how much he pleased her. It’s part of what made him fall in love with her. She made sure she gave only what she wanted and that everything was always on her terms. She isn’t like the girls that allow him to use them one moment and then discard them the next. She holds him accountable for being an arsehole.
Even now, while he’s stealing the virtue of Princess Grayson, Arya is all he can think about. Every thrust of his hips and every kiss from his lips are for her. If he closes his eyes hard enough, he can even picture her beneath him, writhing her hips as he pummels her depth.
Malich is so deep in thought he didn’t noticed Princess Grayson gritting her teeth in pain beneath him, not that he cared. He hastened his thrusts, imagining Arya in various states of undress until Princess Grayson’s groans of pain turn into moans of pleasure. She stiffens beneath him, her muscles constricting and eyes rolling into the back of her head until she slackens beneath him. He isn’t ready to let go just yet. The longer he continues to pummel her, the longer he can hold onto the memory of Arya.
Eventually the firm grip of his new conquest gets the better of him and he seeks release. Once the sensation passes, he climbs off of her, unable to face what he’s done. She’s yet another conquest to be forgotten, and easy…tooeasy.
A knock at the door gives him the excuse he needs to get as far away from the Princess as he can. He pulls on his pants, opens the door and his heart slams into his chest. Arya shoves past him ranting about him denying her request for audience and stops when she sees the princess in his bed.
For the longest time Arya stands there staring at Princess Grayson, naked, in his bed. Fearful of what she might do, he quickly places himself between them. He isn’t sure what she will do or if she will allow herself to have a reaction at all, until she does.
Slowly her eyes slide to his. What stares back at him is nothing but pure, lethal rage.
Before he can stop her she disappears. He knows exactly where she’s going, and watches as she reappears beside a frightened Princess Grayson wielding her sword, forcing Malich to hit her with a bolt of lightening. She falters, allowing princess Grayson to roll off the bed on the opposite side, but Arya is quick and she takes a good chunk of the Princess’ hair narrowly missing her throat.
That bolt alone would’ve put any man on the floor, and should have done the same to her, but Arya recovered quickly, shrugging it off as if it was nothing. He calls for Dax who’s already hears the commotion and comes running. Mekhi also hears the commotion and appears beside Dax, watching as Malich attempts to ward off Arya’s blows to protect the Princess from her wrath. They quickly join the fight, but the three of them are still no match for Arya and the strength of her new power.
She dodges Malich’s bolts of lighting with ease, parries Mekhi’s strikes and reappears in front of Dax long enough to deck him in the face before vanishing again to go after Princess Grayson.
“The words I told you socomes to mind,” Mekhi pins Malich with a glare.
“Not now brother, we need to put her down before she does something she can’t take back.”
“Then you’re going to have to hit her harder with your lightening.”
Arya reappears in front of princess Grayson and flings a stiletto in her direction. Malich knocks the stiletto off course with a bolt of lightening, while Princess tries desperately to escape with her life, but Arya has already disappeared again before anyone can strike.
Malich backs the Princess up against a wall and places himself in front of her. Arya appears before him content with driving her sword through the both of them as long as the Princess went down with him. He strikes her with a medium dose of lightening and it knocks her back, but she still won’t go down.
She shakes off the blow and quickly closes the distance between them. Malich kicks it up a notch. This time when he hits her she stops moving. “Get the Princess out of here,” he commands.
The Princess runs towards Dax who quickly rushes her from the room. Mekhi closes and locks the door, readying himself to help Malich take Arya down if he needs to.
Malich has never seen her this determined to kill someone. He can feel her fighting his hold on her. If he hits her with his full power he’ll kill her, but he can’t just let her walk away. She’ll just find the princess again and kill her. His only recourse is to reason with her and hope she listens.
“Arya please,” Malich begs, “Don’t make me kill you.”
She responds with more rage, more pushing against his power and he doesn’t know how much longer he can hold her like this. “For the love of Anan, stop this! I don’t want to hurt you!”
As he peers into her eyes he realizes he isn’t going to get through to her. Arya’s rage has taken over, leaving her inconsolable…unreachable. Her pupils form into liquid pools of fire.
Malich feels the heat rising before he sees it, but before he can counter she sends a wave of fire blasting through the room. They blow apart and he goes through the wall behind him, landing in the adjoining room. Arya blows through a wall on the opposite side of his bedchamber. His bedchamber is entirely engulfed in red flames.
It takes Malich several moments to catch his breath and gather the strength to climb to his feet. He crosses through the burning room into the room on the other side and Arya lies on the floor of his bathroom unconscious.
While Mekhi and several servants attempt to put out the fire, he scoops the beautiful assassin up in his arms and carries her to safety.ns126.96.36.199da2