Authors: Delilah Fawkes
Tags: #adult erotica
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Bound by the Viking, Part 3: Consumed
By Delilah Fawkes
Fear twisted in Aislin’s stomach at the look in the woman’s eyes. So far she’d heard their whispers and taken Bersa’s sharp rebukes over her clumsiness, but one woman’s eyes held something in them that chilled her more than the ice crystals clinging to her hair. There was a knowledge in them, a deep, terrible knowledge that cut through to the bone whenever Aislin met her gaze.
The woman was thinner than the others, her hair darker, and for the first time, Aislin wondered if she was like her. If she’d been ripped from her home many years ago, just as she and her sister had been, her family slain. Perhaps she was noble, her soft hands turned rough with the work of a thrall, her youthful face made hard with suffering, her eyes sharpened and aged by the things she’d seen. The things she’d been made to endure.
There was knowledge in that gaze, certainly, and behind it all, a glimmer of pity floating in a black pool of certainty. She was resigned, her eyes begged Aislin to follow her to that firmer place. The place where hope died and a hardening began. She understood then, that for this woman, there was peace in despair. When you gave up searching for a way out, the numbness came after. And from there, one could continue to live.
Day by day, she could live.
At least there was that.
, Aislin thought.
Curse your eyes, and damn your pity!
There was no peace for her in that, no rest to be had by giving herself over to her situation, her life as a captive, as a slave. As a whore.
There would only be peace when she was free again, and freedom came at the end of a blade, not at the edge of that black pool filling that poor woman’s eyes. Filling her heart and dulling it until its beats were hollow and grey, as lifeless as a rock hitting a bucket, not the pumping, pulsing beat of someone truly alive, free and full of heat and color and rage…
The heart of an O’Byrne.
She turned her gaze away, her jaw set and her temper flaring. She filled the bucket with water from the barrel and hurried back to the cook fires where Bersa waited, her mind reeling and her palms itching.
In just two short days it would be what the chief called Freya’s Day, and on that day, he’d threatened to wed and bed her, binding her to him in these cold lands
as his bride. She had but two days to find a way out of this cursed village, but with the snow blinding her as she stumbled toward the light of her master’s hall, and the black waves lapping at the ships dragged onto the icy shore, she knew she would perish if she did not think things through.
She’d heard men talking behind the stables as she gathered wood for the fire, men with swords on their hips and steel in their eyes. One of the words they used stopped her mid-motion—
—a word she remembere
from her time bound in the ship that carried her here, and another,
. The man who uttered the second held a piece of silver in his hand and showed it to the other, a grin spreading over his face beneath his unkempt beard.
Aislin’s hands tightened on the branches she held until her knuckles whitened. The glinting green gem on the silver gave away what it was he held. A brooch, made of four knots twisted together, the stone nestled between them. The workmanship was simple, but the design intricate, the skill familiar as well as the symbol.
That design was worn by the Cavanaghs, a family that dwealt on her father’s land. The last time she’d seen a brooch like that, it held the shawl of the old woman who’d made the poultice that cured her sister’s fever. The last time she’d seen the Cavanagh’s grouping of shacks, they were wreathed in flame, lighting up the night, bodies strewn face-down in the trampled mud by the gate.
She choked down the cry welling up within her.
, or something close to it,
They mean to sail again. They must. Their greed can’t be sated with just one raid on my homelands… Not with treasures like that for the taking.
She smoothed her skirts and hurried away, her chest heaving with each breath, passion stoked inside of her like stirred embers burning to life again.
And treasures like me displayed each night for the men to see…
The memory of the men’s eyes on her body as Alrik, the chief, spread her legs wide that first night, how they jeered and laughed, how they touched themselves without shame as they gazed upon her most intimate place.
How their cheeks reddened with lust as she cried out, her master’s touch overwhelming her, even then, even despite the hatred burning in her heart. The shame covering her like grime.
Yes, they’d go back to her isle for more, she was sure of it. They’d go back, and when they made ready and darkness fell, she would be on that ship. She would make her escape, and then she’d pay them back for what they’d done.
She’d pay them all back, tenfold.
She owed her family that much at least.
Every night she kept an eye on the hall’s crowd of men and serving women for a glimpse of her sister, Brenna, and that night was no exception. Aislin’s last memory of her was her pale face contorted in a scream, her body thrown over the back of one of the barbarian’s horses, her wrists bound behind her as they stole her away.
Did she travel to these lands, tied up in the bowels of a different ship? Was she here, even now, faceless among the thralls that served in different halls, with the freemen instead of the chief’s warriors? Did she cry in the night, mourning for her sister, or was she silent, vowing her revenge?
Or worse… did she live at all, or was she with the spirits now in the underworld, her light snuffed out like the rest of her loved ones? All dead now, all turned to ash, burned away by the fires of conquest…
She set her water pail down, a chill creeping up her spine, deeper than the cold that surrounded her, and pushed open the door to the hall.
The fires blazed, the heat on her face making her blink back tears, the roar from the men who tore her life apart, filling her ears like black magic.
Bersa’s rough hand grabbed the pail away from her, the glowering woman yelling back at the girls who turned the spits. She pushed past Aislin and lumbered away, but not before barking over her shoulder.
“Don’t stand there with your mouth open, catching flies! Go to your master, lazy, useless little
She swore under her breath as she made her way back to her post, hips swaying as she carried the water bucket as if it were light as a feather.
Aislin ran a hand over her forehead and sighed. No matter what she did each day, she couldn’t escape this moment. The moment when her master called her forward to serve him. The moment when the hard labor stopped and the humiliation began.
The moment when she began to lose herself… no matter what she did to stop it.
She felt his eyes on her all the way from the front of the hall. His gaze had weight, like he was touching her, laying claim to her, even from a distance. She sucked in a breath, trying to calm her racing heart, and made herself go to him, one foot at a time, not sure if she was dragging herself to her duty, or if his presence pulled her, drew her, unwilling, but unable to fight against his desire.
Her eyes flicked upward as she reached the dais, and she froze, pinned where she stood by his cool, blue stare. His hands were tented beneath his jaw, a cruel smirk playing across his face as he assessed her.
Tonight, he was flanked by Lord Denholm again, but this time, the handsome Englishman dawdled a serving girl on his knee. Her braids dangled over her breasts, exposed, her tunic down around her waist, her rosy nipples peaked like spring buds. Denholm’s hand was buried beneath her skirt, his other hand stroking her throat.
Aislin shivered, remembering his touch the night before… his mouth on her… and the way his skin tasted. The way her cheeks burned with shame as he spent himself onto her belly, even while her body was alight with need…
For the span of a heartbeat, the urge to turn and run almost overwhelmed her, the urge to flee before these men could use her, before her master could humiliate her again in front of hall. Before he could drive her mad with his touch again, playing her body like a harp until every part of her rang out in song.
Before she begged him to do just that, to take her to that dark, wicked place where she forgot everything else but the feel of his body on hers.
Before he broke her.
The moment passed, and she made her way toward Alrik. She stopped at his feet and bowed her head, waiting for his command.
“You look frightened, little girl,” he said. “Aren’t you happy to see your master?”
Aislin lifted her eyes and bit her tongue, willing away the black words that sprung to mind. The tears that she longed to shed, but instead trapped deep inside. The men were already in their cups, and the chief’s eyes shone with an eerie light. There was hunger there, yes, she was certain, but something marred it. Something she’d never seen before.
“I am happy, Master,” she said.
He stroked his chin, watching her carefully. The girl on Denholm’s lap squealed as he kissed her neck, his hand working between her legs. The sight of them made Aislin’s sex throb uncomfortably, a heat growing inside of her, despite her discomfort watching the two so close. So unashamed.
, it’s not just the Vikings who are the barbarians. All these men are, these Lords and Chiefs, who scourge our lands.
She noticed the twist of Alrik’s lips as he looked at his companion, then back to her. She bit her lip, and his eyes traveled to her pink mouth, darkening as he watched her. He licked his lips.
“Does it bother you, thrall? Seeing the man you pleased so well last night, toying with another?”
“N-no, my Master. Whatever his wish is…”
Alrik moved faster than a viper, his arms darting out, pulling her onto his lap violently, spreading her legs over his lap until she straddled him, her face so close to his, they shared breath.
wish is, little girl.”
He bit her lip, and she let out a breathy moan, fear and arousal battling within her. His teeth dug in, marking her, but before she could cry out, he pulled back, gripping her chin in his powerful hand.
. And if it pleases me to give you to another, then that is
pleasure you seek, when you obey my will.”
She felt his cock beneath her, already hard as stone and pressing upward, seeking her heat.
The last word was a whisper, his eyes locked on hers, daring her to do anything other than submit to him--to give herself over completely to his will… To tell him that she sought anything else but his pleasure. Always his pleasure…
His hips ground upward, sending a ripple through her--a thrill straight to her core.
“Yes,” she breathed. “
“Good girl,” he said.
He grabbed her backside, slapping her flesh, pulling her closer, then turned to Denholm.
“Are you enjoying yourself, my friend?”
“With these beauties, I want for nothing,” the lord growled, and buried his face between the girl’s breasts.
She squealed when his mouth attached onto one peak, and he drew on her greedily.
“The lord likes you,” Alrik said in her ear. “But he understands that your maidenhead is mine, and mine alone.”
His words sent a shiver down Aislin’s spine, his breath on her neck warm and sensual, his rough hands kneading her cheeks, his stiffness rubbing between her lower lips in a way her body couldn’t ignore. That her mind couldn’t withstand.
An unwanted thought wound through her head.
Would it be so bad, giving her maidenhead to this man? Her dark master?
His hand clapped down on her bottom hard, and she moaned, the sharp sting mingling with the feel of his member rubbing between her legs.
For a moment, she let herself imagine it. Alrik looming atop her, his muscular chest held over hers on rock-hard arms, his long, blonde hair tickling her naked breasts, his hips spreading her thighs wide…
What would it be like when he entered her? She’d heard from the women in her clan, that sometimes a maiden bled, but sometimes she didn’t, and pain turned to something altogether sweeter. What would it be like with him? Would he be rough? Or would he tease her to the brink before burying himself inside of her and claiming her as his own?