Erna was lying spread out on her bed with a blanket thrown over her legs. She had her thumbnail clamped between her front teeth and was restlessly chewing on it. She had lost track of time after Vanessa had visited her that morning. Her mind had been so preoccupied by a single thought: ‘Marquis Canavan is coming.”
How could she have forgotten that name?
Erna knew his name well. He was one of the main powers in the land of Haband. She often saw him moving around in the palace from afar. She watched as he went to greet the first or third queens’ children. He never came to her.
Erna had only seen him up-close for the first time when she had left Haband.
He’d spoken politely enough to her, and his eyes had been warm and kind, but anyone watching could see by his actions that this was all an act. He treated Erna like a burden he simply couldn’t get rid of. Like baggage he’d tried many times to dump, but just couldn’t shake.
During her trip to Hessenguard, Erna had made a few small requests, none of which had been granted. One had been for a piece of fruit when she’d been starving after throwing up her food because of the motion sickness she’d experienced after riding in the carriage for the first time. Marquis Canavan had just scoffed at her and said, “I don’t think it will kill you to lose some weight on the journey. I’m sure you’ll be just fine, princess.” Erna had to survive on nothing more than the water the maids brought her. Not even they seemed to care about her health.
She could still remember the sound of the knights and maids laughing at what he’d said. Powerless to do anything else, she had lowered her head and returned the carriage. Later, when all of Haband’s delegation had eaten their meal, she’d sat quietly in the carriage with her head buried in a cushion.
She’d had to keep her mouth shut the entire journey to Hessenguard. She hadn’t dared ask anyone for anything, no matter how desperately she may have wanted or needed it.
Erna covered her mouth and gagged at the memory.
It had been 10 years ago. But no matter how hard she tried to remind herself that it was in the past, that it was gone and done, that she had lived through it, it always brought on such a visceral reaction. It was like a scar, engraved right into the very core of her being.
She curled up, almost hugging herself for comfort. She kept her breathing quiet and measured to stay calm.
Suddenly, someone knocked on the door.
The sound pulled her out the vivid memory and back to reality. She raised her head and listened as the sound faded to silence. The knock had come from the master bedroom. She turned her head to glance at the clock. It was 10:01 p.m. Erna clenched her fists before she shot to her feet and marched over to the door.
She flung it open and shouted at Kalion, “I’m allowed to be late as well, you know! You don’t have to come up here and knock so obnoxiously!” She shoved past him and went to sit on the bed in the master bedroom. “I’m going to tell you right now that I can’t do it. I just can’t! Everything hurts… My bottom…” she trailed off, feeling embarrassed about what she was going to say. She quickly changed her thought path. “I’m hurting all over! I just can’t!”
Kalion didn’t seem bothered by her shouting. In fact, he turned from the door and walked slowly over to the bed.
She quickly fought down the urge to shout something along the lines of “You beast!” at him, and chose to just lay down on the bed instead.
Erna felt the mattress dip down beside her as Kalion sat down. The feeling of him so close and the feel of the bed moving was enough to bring back the sensations and memories of the previous night.
‘It doesn’t look like he cares about my situation much,’ Erna thought to herself.
While she was in pain, she didn’t feel like she was going to die. Last night, Kalion had seemed satisfied. She was sure he wouldn’t keep doing it if he wasn’t.
Erna squeezed her eyes closed when she felt Kalion grab her arm.
Today has already been a bad day because of Marquis Canavan. What did it matter if the end of the day was a mess? What did it matter if she slept with Kalion? Yesterday had been pleasurable. She remembered the feeling of their bodies twined together, writhing in ecstasy. Erna didn’t think it was a bad thing that she wanted to lose herself in those feelings again. It would be nice to just forget about everything for a little while.
She felt Kalion slid his hand under her waist and hips and turned her over. Erna allowed her body to be flipped over so she was lying face-down in the pillows. Really? This position? she thought, and was about to twist around, but Kalion gripped her by the back of her neck and held her down.
“Hey!” Erna shouted, “I don’t mind if we do this again, but not in this position…”
The rest of whatever she was going to say was cut off when Kalion’s hands pressed down hard below her neck. The pain was so intense that she fell limply against the bed. She felt Kalion’s wild hands moving over her body. Pressing down on all the parts of her that hurt the most; neck, shoulders back…
Erna tried her best to get out of his grip, but he was holding her securely down by her waist.
Is this what a tearing muscle feels like? Erna thought. For the moment, she forgot about Marquis Canavan and Kalion. The only thing she could do was scream in pain. Then, as everything got too much, she started to cry. “Stop! Stop it, you asshole!”
Erna tried to fight against him, punching at him with blows that held no power. Finally, Kalion let go of her. She was so furious that she aimed a solid punch at him. How dare he do what he’d done without any warning! But just as she was about to connect with his face, Kalion spoke.
“You should feel better now.”
“Feel better? What are you talking about?” Erna stared at him with her eyebrows furrowed, but then finally understood when she saw Kalion massaging his own neck. “It… Hurts less.”
“You seemed sore when I touched you. I had a feeling you’d be stiff since you spend most of your time lying down and don’t exercise much.”
Erna ignored the fact that he was talking down to her like she was simple. She reached up and carefully touched the parts he’d been massaging a moment ago. While the stiffness and ache hadn’t disappeared completely, it felt much better.
As she kept pressing on her previously aching muscles, Kalion laid her down on the bed again. “I heard a delegation is coming from Haband.”
Erna bit her lips and sighed. For just a moment, she’d forgotten about that.
“It sounds like it’s quite a grand procession. They sent a request to the Knight Order for more guards.”
Erna sighed and pushed Kalion’s hands off her. “I know, Vanessa told me already. She told me it was about 30 people altogether. As far as I know, they’re coming here for scouting purposes. I’ll let you know if something happens, alright?” Judging by her tone and attitude, she didn’t want to talk about this anymore.
Kalion didn’t push her either. He just nodded and said, “Alright then, just lie down for me.”
“What? Why? Hey! What are you grabbing at, you crazy bastard!” Erna said as Kalion cupped her breasts.
They were still sensitive from their last encounter and ached in a way that was pleasurable. Erna’s screams of ecstasy didn’t stop until later that night, and when dawn finally came, she passed out without a second thought about Marquis Canavan.