His hands ran up her slender legs, moving the thick material of her skirt up as he went. She had already loosened her dress in the back, and it hung low below her breast. He leaned forward and captured one of her nipples with his mouth, swirling his tongue around it as she moaned. The sounds she made were a little too loud and exaggerated, but he blocked them out as much as he could.
Though she was pretty with her dark brown hair and fair skin, Caerwyn barely even registered her face. As his hands worked towards her center and his kisses went lower down her body, he was thinking of someone with auburn hair and the brightest green eyes he had ever seen. As the woman in his arms arched up at his touch, Caerwyn almost whispered a name aloud. He kept it low in his throat not letting it escape, but as his desire grew he thought only of her.
He could wait no longer. He leaned up and undid his pants, letting himself fall free. The woman in front of him cocked an eyebrow and gave a small laugh. “You are more than I thought you might be, my lord.”
Caerwyn leaned forward and kissed the woman to silence. He was not a lord, but he would not tell her that. He didn’t want her to utter another word. It almost took him out of his mood to hear her speak. Her voice was too loud and harsh to be anything like the one he was longing to hear. “Don’t speak,” he growled as he pulled back from her. He was paying her enough to do as he bid.
Without another word, he pulled her skirt up and buried himself deep within her. She made the first sound he thought might have been real as she let go of a surprised gasp. He moved in and out of her roughly, knowing he was probably causing her some pain. He found he didn’t care much. All he knew was his need that he had left for too long. A growl escaped his throat, and something within him spoke to him, telling him this wasn’t enough. She wasn’t what would truly sate his need.
She would have to be enough. It would have to do because he could not have who the voice inside of him spoke of. He thought of the last time he saw her, her auburn hair hanging all around her and her lips swollen with his kisses. Just thinking of her, brought him to the edge. He closed his eyes and imagined her long thin fingers working their way down his chest. He imagined her head thrown back, and her ivory throat on display, ready for him to bite down to truly make her his.
He was so lost in his thoughts that he almost leaned forward and nipped at the woman‘s throat in front of him. He opened his eyes and shook his head. Before he could fully release into her, he pulled out and spilled his seed on her leg, letting out a small groan. Once he was finished he turned away from the woman and pulled his pants up.
“As much as you paid, you could stay for a bit,” said the woman from where she was. “You might want more soon.”
Caerwyn shook his head. “No. I have done what I wish.”
“Are you sure, my lord? I do not mind waiting around. I have made more off of you than I usually do off three men in one night. I feel as though I owe you more than just a quick tumble with no real ending.” She reached over and picked up a rag to wipe away some of his leavings off her leg before pulling her skirt down. “I wouldn’t mind you finishing inside me the next time. I have ways of preventing things if that is what you are worried about.”
Caerwyn turned and looked at her. “I am satisfied with what has transpired. Keep what I have given you, and take the rest of the night off if you wish.” He adjusted his shirt and ran a hand through his black hair before picking up his dark cloak and slipping it on. He gave her one more nod before opening the door and stepping out into the hall. He was not satisfied, but he was better off than he had been. He could at least travel on. As he made his way down the hall to the large wooden door at the end, he could hear women’s moans and men’s grunts. He closed his eyes as his mind again went to bright green eyes he was trying to forget.
“Yes, we must have her,” said a voice in his head. “Now.”
He huffed, trying to ignore his inner wolf. He could not have her, no matter how much he might want to give in to his primal urges and go claim her. He was not who she needed, and she would be nothing but a distraction for him. He opened the large wooden door and stepped out into a crowded room. Every table was full. Men and women laughed as someone played a fiddle somewhere in the room. Large fires were burning in at least two fireplaces as Caerwyn made his way to the long wooden bar that stood close to the door.
He found an empty space at the end away from others and called for a glass of mead. It came, and he took a long drink from the mug, watching the door. As though he had willed it, it opened and a small man wearing a dingy brown cloak walked in. He spotted Caerwyn and walked towards him as Caerwyn turned back to the bar to order another mug of mead.
“Right on time,” said Caerwyn as he handed the small man the drink.
“I always am. Though this time it was more of a challenge than usual,” said the man before taking a drink.
“The young prince has been hidden away almost since he was born. Do you think they let just anyone know where he is?”
“But you are not just anyone, my friend,” said Caerwyn quietly.
“I am not, but it is only a select few who are trusted with so precious of a secret. If Lord Fellen or any of his court knew the information I hold, it would all be over.”
“Let me have it, Selven,” said Caerwyn as he held out his hand.
“You have what we agreed on?”
“You know I do. Have I ever cheated you before?” asked Caerwyn.
“No, and the great gods know you have plenty of it,” said Selven as he pulled out a tied scroll from some pocket in his cloak. “I know I don’t have to tell you to be extremely careful with this.”
“No, but you will anyway. Don’t you think I am the one person who wishes to see the prince safe? My bond with him is not one I could betray even if I wanted to.”
“True,” said Selven as he handed Caerwyn the envelope. “I am surprised they didn’t tell your uncle and father where the boy was.”
“They told my uncle, but my father did not wish to know. He didn’t want to take any chances with the boy’s life. My uncle took the secret to the grave. My father trusted when the time was right, I would find out what we needed to know.”
Selven nodded. He took a drink and smiled a little at Caerwyn. “You could have just asked Lord Cadwin or even Eleri. She could have taken you there herself.”
Caerwyn closed his eyes for a moment and felt himself react to the name. The voice inside his head growled, and a feeling of longing struck him so hard, his knees felt shaky. “No. I cannot ask Eleri for anything. I cannot see her or her father.”
“If you go to see the prince, chances are you will see her as well. She has a part in all of this you know.”
He nodded. “I will see her as I must, but I cannot go to her and ask anything of her.”
“I feel like there is a story I would like very much to hear.”
“Perhaps so, but I do not have the time.” Caerwyn pulled out a bag of coins from his pocket, putting the scroll there in its place. “Here is more than you were promised. I trust it will be a good consolation for you missing my story.”
Selven weighed the bag in his hand. “I think it will do nicely. I might stay a night here and clean myself up. Perhaps see to some female companionship. You should join me.”
“No. I must move on. There is no time to waste in seeing to the prince.” Caerwyn downed his drink. “Keep watch over yourself, Selven. I am sure I will need your services again soon.”
“You know how to find me, great Bright One. You know I live to serve the true ruler.”
Caerwyn gave a short laugh. “You do for the right price anyway.” He patted Selven on the shoulder. “May the great gods shine bright on your path.”
“Follow the brightest star yourself,” said Selven as Caerwyn moved past him towards the door.
As he exited the warm room and into the cold, clear night, Caerwyn wrapped his thick cloak around him. He moved towards the stables, ignoring the laughing, drunk men who stood close to the windows of the inn. Finding a stable boy, he asked for his horse and waited until the boy brought out his dark stallion. Caerwyn threw the boy a couple of coins before hoisting himself up on the massive horse’s back.
He looked up at the bright moon that hung over him, he knew he didn’t really need a horse. He could have let his wolf have his way, and shifted into the great white beast. He might even make better time, but he could not chance what his instincts would do in his wolf form. He had had to keep his head. He had to avoid any distractions.
He pulled the scroll from his pocket and looked at it under the light of some lanterns that hung outside of the stable. Reading over the words and looking at the map, Caerwyn sighed. He should have known how close the location would be to the Red Forest. He put away his scroll and picked up the reins to his horse. He had made the right choice to ride. The closer he got to the forest, the more his instincts would take over.
The sights and smells would awake his inner wolf all the more, and the draw to go to her would be overwhelming. Moving his horse forward, he tried to stiffen his resolve. He would not be controlled by some silly instinct and idea of love. He would do what he was born and trained to do. He would see to the prosperity of the kingdom and complete his role in it. One woman could not be his downfall, he would not let it be so.
He gave his horse his head, moving out on to the dark road. Using his excellent night vision, he moved swiftly towards his duty, trying to ignore the ache inside of him that continued to grow.
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