/ Language: English / Genre:home_sex

Golden Erotic Tales Volume one

M. Thomas


M. A. Thomas

Golden Erotic Tales Volume one

GOLDEN WHISPERS, a short retelling of the Frog Prince, Episode one of the Golden Erotic Tales Series

At twenty years old, Lela couldn’t resist falling back on childish antics. After all, she was the King’s only child and oh how he doted on her. She could go anywhere in the castle and its grounds, exploring whatever got her attention. She was boundless, often traversing the forest alone going far beyond the safety of the castle.

Yes, Lela’s father did not saddle her with rules. Even so, there was one rule he insisted she obey without fail: never stay outside the castle after dark. This rule Lela did not mind. She was completely afraid of the dark. When she was ten years old her mother vanished one night after dinner when she decided to go for a walk. Lela didn’t know the details of her mother’s disappearance or why she had ventured out after sunset, something no one, not even her father or his men ever did.

She found solace in the forest where she felt she could dance and sing and clear her mind of any thought that reminded her of her mother. She could pretend her heart had healed and that she no longer carried the weight of loss and grief.

Today, a golden ball shining among a pile of leaves had summoned her and she had gleefully ran to it as if the very sun would cease to exist if she did not answer the ball’s call. But when she came to the ball, it began to roll away from her.

She followed it, taking light steps so as not to disturb the strange event she was witnessing. It kept going until it came to a well some thirty feet from her. She looked over her shoulder to see if anyone else was around. She didn’t want to share this experience with anyone, let alone her father’s men who would sometimes spy on her under pretense that they were hunting or scouting the land for bandits.

Holding her breath, she approached the ball. She tried to pick it up, but it was too heavy. The ball was made of gold! Lela had never seen anything like it in all the Kingdom of Barmoth. Gold had not existed in Barmoth for thousands of years. She had only read about it in books. And even she did not know the reason for its extinction.

“Bloody hell,” she whispered. “Gold.” Yes, she was convinced the ball was made of gold.

Weighing her options, she paced back and forth. She could blanket the ball with leaves and sticks and then go back to the castle to formulize a plan. No, she couldn’t risk someone else finding it.

Inhaling a long breath, she tried once again to pick it up. This time, she succeeded. But before she had a moment to enjoy her victory, the ball pulled her forward and into the well.

Lela screamed as she fell, her thoughts on what would greet her at the bottom. Death was certain. The old wells of the forest were deep and no one had ever survived a fall. The people who had inhabited the forest hundreds of years ago left behind wells which now only served as death traps for animals and careless wanderers.

Images of her mother invaded her mind and she screamed louder. If she was going to die, let it happen fast. She closed her eyes and begged the Gods to take her before she reached the bottom. Down, down she fell, the ball still in her hands.

In the next moment, she did not feel herself falling anymore. Perhaps the Gods had taken her. She opened her eyes. It was not possible! She had fallen down a well and yet here she was, unscarred at its very bottom.

She quickly looked around her. The bones of her unlucky predecessors greeted her and she resisted the urge to hurl. She looked up at the well’s opening. Although light was still shining, she knew the sun was only hours from setting.

She had never in her life been outside the castle after sunset. Leaning against a wall, she dropped to the ground. The ball, a few feet in front of her, rolled toward her.

“It’s your fault! Get away from me,” Lela said. “Help me! Please someone help me!” she yelled.

The hours passed. Lela craved her father’s comforting arms.

Suppressing tears, she raised her eyes to the well’s opening and yelled, “Help me! Is someone out there? I fell in the well!”

She sat still and listened, desperately hoping for a sign that someone had heard her plea. Dirt fell into the well. Someone was out there. Yes, someone must have heard her. Bless the Gods.

“Who’s there,” she asked, standing. “Make yourself known, I demand it.” More dirt fell. Whoever was out there was certainly enjoying throwing soil at her. “I know someone’s there!”

“And what will you give me if I help you?” a man asked.

“Let me see you. I demand it,” she said.

“You demand it? How comical that someone stuck at the bottom of a well declares a position to command anything from anyone,” the man said, laughing.

“You dare mock a princess?” Lela asked. She would have this imbecile of a man punished for his treachery.

“You’re not my princess,” he said. “I don’t owe you allegiance. Now then, let’s return to my question. What will you give me if I help you?”

Lela chewed her lip, an attempt to keep from cursing the man. Despite her fury, she was a princess and would therefore behave as one. Instead, she silently cursed herself for allowing herself to be in such a dilemma.

The sun set and darkness overtook the well. Lela was sure she would never see her father again.

“Help me, I beg you. I’ll give you whatever you want,” Lela said, crying.

“It must be very dark down there. It is up here and I have a torch. Are you scared?” the man asked.

She was more than scared. She couldn’t see anything. Something came to her mind that sent sharp pain up and down her body. Why had her father’s men not found her yet? Her father must have sent his men to look for her when she didn’t appear at the dinner table. She never missed a meal with her father.

Ever since her mother had vanished she and her father ate every meal together. Her mother had enjoyed their meals together, just the three of them laughing, joking and telling each other stories of all the adventures they would someday have as a family. Her mother was the happiest when they were together because she knew that no matter what happened in their lives, even if their entire Kingdom was suddenly swept into the sea, they loved each other deeply and their moments together would live forever. Oh how Lela missed her.

“You still there?” the man asked.

“I’m here,” Lela said, wiping her tears.

“Move to a wall. I’m throwing down a rope. Tie it around yourself and holler when you’re ready for me to pull you up.”

“Bless you,” she said.

“Save your blessings. I haven’t gotten you out yet.”

She did as the man said. In the next moment, the end of a rope hit the ground.

Wasting no time, she took steps away from the wall and felt for the rope. In shadows, she tied the rope around her waist.

“Are you ready?” the man asked.

She had a choice. Remain in the well in the company of the dead or take a chance with a stranger. She scooped down and searched for the ball. Once she had it in her arms, she exhaled and said, “I’m ready.”

The man started pulling her up. She prayed her father’s men would find her soon.

“You’re a heavy girl,” the man said. “Not surprising. You’re a princess accustomed to eating whatever you want whenever you want.”

“Pull harder,” Lela said, ignoring his comment. Her feet were only inches off the ground.

“Are you holding something? I’m sure your father will replace whatever it is you feel you can’t leave behind.” Slowly, the man pulled her higher above the ground. “Remember your words. You’ll give me whatever I want.”

“And what is it that you desire?” she asked, her stomach twisting.

“Ah…you shall know what I covet when I have succeeded in rescuing you.”

Higher she rose until she reached the well’s opening. There she was hanging in the air, feeling completely stupid. Her savior could decide to let go of her at any moment and what then? She’d fall to the ground yet again, except maybe this time she’d not survive.

“Grab hold of the well’s wall and pull yourself out,” he said.

“I can’t.”

“Come now. Are you really so spoiled?”

“I’m carrying a ball,” she said, instantly feeling ridiculous for the words she had just uttered.

“Oh, my, the princess cannot bear to leave her toy behind. Toss it! I’m afraid I won’t be able to hold you up much longer.”

“Promise you won’t take it from me.”

“Toss it now or fall back into the well.”

“First promise you won’t take it.”

Grumbling, the man said, “Stop being childish. I promise I won’t take your toy.”

Lela raised her arms and threw the ball. Thump, thump on the ground it went. She then reached for the well’s wall and dragged herself out. Once she was standing on firm ground again, she untied the rope from around her waist.

A torch sunken into the ground near the well shone light on her. Blinking rapidly, she tried to clear her vision so she could identify the man who had just rescued her. She saw no one. Coward. At least he left her his torch. She took it out of the earth and looked for the golden ball. Against a tree it rested as if it had been there all along. She paced toward it.

“I think I deserve gratitude.”

Lela turned around ready to shout at the man for hiding from her. But again, she saw no one. “Stop playing games,” she said. “Make yourself known or be on your way.”

“I’m down here,” the man said.

“Where?”

“Look down,” he said.

Lela lowered her stare. Gasping, she stepped back. Was she really seeing what she was seeing? Yes, down on the ground staring at her was…a frog.

“You assumed me to be a man,” the frog said, hopping to her.

“Get away from me!” Lela could not decide what she was more afraid of, the dark or a talking frog!

“Oh come now, I saved you. Where is your gratitude?”

“You’re a…frog.”

“And you’re a…princess. Now that we have established our existence, let’s get on with what I desire.”

Her heart was beating faster than it had when she was falling down the well. “How were you able to pull me out? How can you speak?” she asked, breathing heavily.

“No time to answer your questions. We need to find shelter. Quickly, follow me,” he said, jumping away from her.

She held back laughter. The very idea that this talking frog wanted her to follow him was absolutely, without reserve, completely laughable. Even so, she was alone in the dark in the forest far from the castle. Such a predicament convinced her to follow him.

“Don’t forget your golden ball,” he said, chuckling.

Ah…yes, the reason why all of this was now happening to her could not be left behind. Scooping it up, she said, “Where did you get this torch?”

“Magic, dear princess. The same way I was able to pull you out,” he said. “Are you scared?”

“I’m hoping this is a dream.”

“You should be scared,” he said. “If we don’t reach shelter soon, they will come after us.”

“Who will?” she asked, walking behind him, her head spinning.

“Don’t pretend not to know. They have roamed the forest since the beginning of time.”

Swallowing saliva, she said, “I’ve never been outside the castle after sunset.”

“Clearly your father has protected you from the truth. Why do you think people no longer call the forest their home?”

“If you mean to frighten me even more than I am, congratulations, you have succeeded.”

“Move faster. Up head is an abandoned house. We can spend the night there.”

When they reached the stone and decrepit house, the frog entered without hesitation. “Hurry,” he said. “I can sense them. If you linger outside for even a second more, they will find you. I won’t be able to stop them from taking you.”

She darted into the house and situated the ball on the cracked floor. Then she said, “Start speaking.”

“First, blow out the torch. Now!” he said.

“We’ll be left in complete darkness,” she said. Curse you, darkness, curse you.

“They’re near. Blow it out.”

She exhaled into the flame.

“Don’t move,” he whispered.

She thought her knees would give out. When she left the castle just hours earlier for one of her many travels through the forest, she never imagined she’d now be standing in an old dwelling with a talking frog and a golden ball hiding from someone or something that definitely did not want to befriend her.

The minutes passed and she remained still.

“They’ve moved on. We should be safe for the night,” the frog said.

“Who were they?” she asked, sweat coming down her face.

The frog jumped to her and settled at her feet. “They enjoy roaming the forest at night hoping they come across a poor lost person on whom they can feast. Their appetites are insatiable.”

“You tell lies,” she said.

“I may only be a frog, but I’m not a liar.”

“Tell me who they are.”

“You’ve read about them in storybooks.”

“I’ve read about a lot of creatures, make-believe creatures meant to scare children into obeying their parents.”

“Ah, yes, but these roaming night creatures are not make believe,” he said, launching himself onto the ball.

“Say what you mean, stupid frog.”

“Calling me stupid when I have saved your life twice is offensive, princess.”

“That I’m still standing here talking to you disappoints me. I’ll take my chances in the forest. Get off my ball,” she said, waving her hand in front of him.

“Very well, courageous princess, be on your way then.”

Holding the ball, she started to walk away, mumbling curses.

“Oh and princess, if you encounter a vampire, please don’t try to run.”

She stopped.

“Go on,” he said. “What are you waiting for?”

Turning, she asked, “Did you say vampires?”

“Indeed. Still feeling brave?”

She felt her lungs fall to her ankles. Storybook vampires were vicious, bloodthirsty creatures cursed to live soulless for all eternity. They weren’t real just like talking frogs weren’t…blessed Gods, vampires! Impossible.

Dropping the ball, she inhaled a long breath and tried to remain calm. If it wasn’t for the very real truth that she now found herself engaged in a conversation with a talking frog, she’d have dismissed his claim that vampires existed. A part of her wanted to run and not stop until she reached the castle but her instincts told her to remain with the frog. Whether or not vampires were real almost didn’t matter. She had never been outside after dark. Ever. Her only knowledge of the night was through her bedroom window in front of which she often stood staring at nothingness, wondering what matter of creatures scurried about cloaked in shadows. Even if she left, she would most likely not find her way home. And what’s more, she could not lie to herself. The blunt truth was that she was afraid and would not dare venture out.

“I don’t have a choice but to stay in this dreadful place with you, tonight. Come first light, I shall be on my way home vampires or no vampires.” She would not display weakness in front of this frog, though if she were staring in a mirror, she’d have no recourse but to confess that her vulnerability was already known to him.

“Not without first giving me what I desire,” he said.

“Ah…yes, I admit to secretly hoping that you had forgotten.” Ludicrous that she thought that for even a second. This was one determined talking frog. He had actually pulled her up from a well. How was that possible? Oh, yes, magic. She’d have to question him further…never mind, right now, she was faced with learning what it was that he so desired from her.

“I can’t blame you. You’ve had quite a night and we’re still many hours from daylight. No telling what else awaits you,” he said.

Yawning, she said, “Do tell me what it is you want before sleep overtakes me.” She was not tired at all but hoped that her fake need for slumber would cause him to put off his declaration until morning when she could leave and never have to see him again.

“It’s simple. I desire you,” he said, smirking.

She let out a laugh. Indeed, the night had more strange events to unveil. “I see. What exactly does that mean?” Honestly, she wanted to walk right over to a wall and beat her head against it. Better still, she wanted to pick up the frog and fling him against it.

“A witch cursed me. Turned me from a man to a frog. All because I would not lie with her. Despicable witch.”

“Are you serious?” She laughed again, this time louder. “A witch cursed you because you would not lie with her? Oh my, you must be…hmm, quite a man that you were so wanted.”

“Don’t mock me, spoiled princess. I have saved you twice this night.”

“Yes, yes, you have already reminded me of such. Why would a witch want to lie with you?”

Witches unlike vampires were without doubt real creatures who lived high in the mountains of Barmoth. Secretive and territorial, they kept to themselves, never bothering anyone unless they felt threatened or…ah yes, they fancied something from someone. In both cases, a person was doomed. Going against a witch was never, ever a good idea. A curse was sure to fall upon anyone who threatened a witch or refused to surrender whatever a witch wanted.

“I suppose she found me enchanting and yes, perhaps unbelievably handsome.”

“If you keep talking my stomach will burst from laughter.”

“I have the ability to enchant. Do not be so quick to dismiss me.”

“All right, dear enchanting frog, do you mean for me to lie with you?” Feeling one of her head pains coming, she massaged her forehead and sighed.

“Kiss me first and yes, then, lie with me,” he said as if the words that had just left his mouth were as natural as inviting her for a stroll in a garden.

Knowing she was going to spend the night in the middle of the forest with a talking frog enticed her sense of humor. She decided to play along with him. “You’re a frog. How do you suppose we’re to lie together?”

“Kiss me and you will see me changed. The witch’s curse will be broken once I lie with a princess.”

It was all too much for Lela. Yet, a part of her was intrigued. She could not deny her curiosity. “Fine little frog. I shall kiss you, but I will not lie with you.”

“Very well,” he said. “A kiss then?”

She held out her hands. He hopped into them. Bringing him to her lips, she kissed him on the top of his head.

Seconds later, he transformed into a man right in front of her. A dizzy spell overtook her and she stumbled.

“I was not lying, princess,” he said, catching her before she landed on the floor.

She wished she were home sipping her evening tea.

“Don’t be afraid of me,” he said, helping her to her feet.

“This isn’t happening,” she said, once she had regained her balance.

“You believe in witches, do you not?”

She opened her mouth to speak but held back her words.

“Well, what is your answer?” he asked.

“Of course I believe in them,” she said, staring at him. “I’ll admit that you’re…well, okay, somewhat handsome but enchanting…so much so that a witch placed a cursed on you for not lying with her?” She wasn’t about to let him know that he was undeniably the most good looking man she had ever seen. Tall, dark hair, dark eyes and pale skin…indeed he was striking.

“Will you lie with me?” he asked, softly.

She was still a virgin despite the many advances from her father’s men.

“Why should I? My kiss broke the spell.” Her head hurt.

“It won’t last. Come morning I shall become a frog again unless you lie with me.”

“You expect me to believe you? I shall fall down laughing.”

He took her hand in his. “I beg you.”

His touch sent heat through her. Brushing his hand aside, she said, “How old are you?”

“Twenty-two,” he said, reaching for her hand again.

For an unexplainable reason she did not refuse his touch. The warmth she was feeling settled between her legs and she thought she would faint. What was happening to her? She could not explain her feelings.

“I will be gentle,” he said, kissing her hand. “I promise.”

“I have never…”

“I won’t hurt you. Will you lie with me?” He brought his hand to her face and caressed her cheek.

Blessed Gods, she wanted him. She moved his hand down to her stomach.

“I must know your answer,” he whispered into her ear, lowering his hand between her inner thighs.

Lela knew she would regret this…yes, nothing good would come from what she was about to do. But right at that moment, she didn’t care. Containing her sanity, she answered, “Yes.”

She pressed her back against a wall.

“Have you changed your mind?” he asked.

She answered him by removing her cloak and then shedding her dress.

“Sweet princess,” he said, approaching her.

“May I know your name?” she asked.

He kissed her breasts.

“Eldrich,” he said, raising his lips to her mouth.

“You have enchanted me,” she said, whimpering.

Pulling his lips away, he said, “And you me.”

“Remove your trousers,” she said.

“Do you want me inside of you?” he asked, obeying her command.

What she was feeling was pure desire, nothing more nothing less. Quivering, she said, “I beg you.”

“And if I refuse?” he asked.

He was a cruel creature. “I will fall dead.”

He lifted her arms above her head and pushed his body against her.

“I beg you,” she said again.

“Not yet,” he whispered.

“You’re unkind.”

“Sweet princess,” he said as they both slid to the floor.

He placed her on her back.

“Who are you that I so want you?” she asked.

“Your prince, now and forever,” he said, his weight on her.

“Oh yes, my prince, I’m yours, right now, I’m yours.”

He entered her slowly. “Am I hurting you?”

“I feel nothing but pleasure. If only this could last all night.”

“Is that what you desire?”

“It is.”

She screamed, moaned and screamed again as he thrust into her over and over again, bringing her to climax. She could not fully understand what was happening to her or rather what she was allowing him to do to her. But she did not care. She had lived within the castle’s walls for too long. And right at this moment, the only thing she cared about was this strange man to whom she had unabashedly surrendered herself.

Yes, morning would come and she’d compel herself to grasp reality. But the light was hours away. For that, she was thankful. Oh, yes, she was thankful.

“I do not wish to sleep tonight,” she said.

“And you shall not,” he said, taking her once more.

Sunlight shone through the house’s windows, encouraging Lela to open her eyes. She stretched her arms and stood. The night’s events came to her mind and she looked around. Eldrich was gone. Quickly, she put on her dress and cloak and exited.

“Eldrich!” she yelled.

He couldn’t have abandoned her. She had let desire and fear fog her mind. She had let a stranger seduce her. “Eldrich!” she yelled again.

Remembering the ball, she hurried back to the house. The ball was gone. He had stolen it.

“Lela!” someone yelled.

She ran outside where one of her father’s men on horseback greeted her.

“She’s here, my king!”

Seconds later, her father and more men appeared.

Her father dismounted from his horse. “I was so worried,” he said, embracing her.

“I’m sorry,” she answered, her thoughts on Eldrich and the golden ball.

“What happened? Why did you not return to the castle?” He looked her up and down.

“I got lost…wandered too far and couldn’t find my way back.” This was the first time she had lied to her father.

“Thank the Gods you’re safe. Come, you must be starving. You’ll ride with me.”

“Father,” she said as he helped her onto his horse. “Did you send men to look for me last night?”

He climbed on the horse. “Ride, men!” he said.

“Father, why won’t you answer me?”

“I was worried sick. I thought I was never going to see you again,” he said.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“You’re safe and that’s all that matters.”

They rode in silence. Lela understood that her life was never going to be the same again. In one night, her heart was broken twice, once by a stranger and once by her own father. Oh, how she missed her mother. If only she were alive and could offer her soothing words.

Sitting at her tea table in her bedroom, Lela inhaled the bread and fruit her handmaiden had brought her. She then took fast sips of her tea.

“Slow your pace, Princess,” Lady Rema said to her.

Lela set the tea cup on the table and stood. “How many hours until sunset? Has to be no more than three or four, do you agree?” She walked to her window.

“You’re safe.”

“Am I?”

“Of course you’re. What makes you think you’re not?”

“You have been with me since birth, Lady Rema, have you not?”

“I have,” she said, looking at her feet.

“Are you loyal to me?”

“Of course.”

“Are you an honest woman?”

“Of course.”

“Then tell me the truth. Did my father send men to look for me last night?”

Lady Rema returned her gaze to Lela. “He wanted to. Blessed Gods, he wanted to. But he couldn’t.”

“Why?”

“He was afraid,” she said, wringing her hands.

“Of what?” Lela asked.

“Why are you asking me these questions? I should go. I’m not feeling well,” she said, rubbing her forehead.

“Answer me.”

“Our duty is to protect you.” She looked away for a moment.

“Yet, no one came to my rescue last night,” Lela said, raising her voice.

“We could not.”

“Speak the truth or I will have you imprisoned!”

“Oh, Princess, I beg you,” she said, tears trickling down her cheeks.

“Speak!”

“When darkness falls…”

“Continue,” Lela said.

“That’s when they come out.”

“Who?”

“I can’t say the word. I just can’t,” Lady Rema said, now sobbing.

“Gather yourself and say it. Shall I call the guards?”

Taking in heavy breaths, Lady Rema said, “Vampires.”

“So, it’s true. They do exist,” Lela said, putting her hand to her mouth.

“They have roamed the forest for thousands of years, killing humans and animals alike.”

“For their blood?” Lela asked, despite already knowing the answer.

“Yes.”

“You must be completely forthcoming with me. What happened to my mother?”

“She was taken.”

“By vampires?”

“Yes.”

“How?”

“She sacrificed herself to…”

“Finish.”

“To save you.”

“I don’t understand your words. Speak clearly,” Lela said.

“The vampires…when they learned of your birth, they threatened the King and Queen. They wanted you…they thought your blood could lift their curse.”

“Curse?”

“They believe your blood can make them human again.”

“Why do they believe such a thing? Absurd!”

“Because of the golden ball.”

“You know about it?” Lela asked.

“It has followed you since you were born.”

“I have no memories of it.”

“It’s never made itself known to you. It followed you from a distant, hiding from you. The golden ball belongs to the vampires. They worship it. It’s their God. It is written in their sacred book that the ball would someday choose a human to follow. That human is you. It chose you.”

“Chose me for what?” Lela asked, her throat threatening to close.

“Clear your mind and grasp what I’m telling you. It chose you to save them…to make them human again. Vampires despise what they are. They want to walk in the sun again. They hate immortality…they consider it torture…cursed to live in darkness forever.”

Lela sat on the edge of her bed and put her face in her hands. “I believe your words. Bloody hell, I do believe you.”

“Your mother offered herself to them. Since you were born of her womb, her blood was also sacred to them. They craved to drink from the woman who had given birth to their savior. In exchange for her blood, they agreed to leave you alone for ten years. Her blood saved you…kept them away from you.

“The ball made itself known to me yesterday,” Lela said.

Lady Rema wheezed. “Oh no,” she said. “That means…”

“This is not the time to hold your tongue.”

“They are coming for you. The pact is over. And nothing will stop them.”

“Leave my room,” Lela whispered.

“Princess, please, the King must not know I told you.”

“I need you to leave my room.” She had to be alone with her thoughts…her fear…her desire to perish right then and there.

“Yes, I’m sorry, please forgive me,” Lady Rema said and left.

Lela dashed to her window and said, “Eldrich, you bastard!”

Then she threw herself on her bed.

Lela did not know how long she had been asleep when in semi darkness she opened her eyes to find a figure standing at her bedside. Groggily, she whispered, “Eldrich.”

“I didn’t want to leave you,” he said.

“But you did,” she said, standing.

He caressed her face. “Now that I’ve returned to my true form, I can’t be in the light.”

Lela glanced at the lit candles on her walls.

“Only the sun can hurt me,” he said.

“Then may the sun rise now,” she said.

“I’m sorry I left you,” he murmured.

“Are you a vampire?” she asked.

He kissed her forehead. “Yes.”

“Your kind killed my mother,” she said. A part of her wanted to take hold of a sword and sink it into his chest.

“Now they want you,” he said.

“Are you here to take me to them?” She did not understand why she wasn’t afraid of him. By all reason she should scream and run away from him. But she found herself paralyzed.

“I’m here to protect you from them.”

“Why?” In spite of what she had just learned, she trusted him.

Although she would deny it to her death, his presence warmed her and she wanted nothing more but to take him into her bed.

“You helped me. And now I will help you,” he said.

“Is that the only reason?” She closed her eyes and thought of the night before. His body against hers…his lips on her mouth…his everything. Ashamed by what she was feeling, she opened her eyes. His kind killed your mother!

“Do you want me to leave?” he asked, his eyes on her as if he meant to swallow her.

“Yes.” She lied.

“I’m yours,” he said, coming closer to her.

“Leave,” she said, biting down hard on her lip. She could not resist her desire. Yes, she wanted him.

He moved in and kissed her. His energy ran through her, nearly knocking her to the floor. She pushed him onto the bed.

“I hate you,” she said.

“I love you,” he said.

“You cannot love someone you don’t know,” she said.

“Are you mine?” he asked.

She brought her body on top of his and ran her fingers down his chest.

“Are you mine?” he asked again.

“I belong to no one.”

“Sweet princess,” he said, flipping her on her back. “There are so many things I want to do to you. Will you let me?”

“Yes,” she said, shaking.

He glided his hand under her dress and up her inner thighs.

The pleasure she was feeling was almost too much for her to take; any second she thought she would fall into unconsciousness.

“Do you want me to caress you?” he asked.

“With your mouth,” she said. Her bluntness baffled her.

He spread her legs. Disappearing underneath her dress, he brought her to near tears.

“Shall I stop, sweet princess?”

Squirming from side to side, she said, “I need you.” And she did. At this moment, she needed all of him. She needed him to kiss her…touch her…tell her he would do anything for her.

“Not yet,” he said, turning her on her stomach.

“I cannot take anymore. I demand it.”

He brought the palm of his hand to her bare buttocks.

“Sweet prince,” she said, ignoring the pain and wishing for more.

He brought his hand down again. And then again. The moisture between her legs increasing with each blow. Sweet prince.

Swinging his arm around her stomach, he lifted her.

“If I’m yours, you’ll do as I say,” she said, now on her knees.

“What do you want?” he asked, pressing himself against her buttocks.

“You know what I want,” she said. I shall die if you do not enter me.

“Not yet, sweet princess.”

“Bite me, then,” she said. “Drink from me.”

“Are you sure?” he asked.

“Do it.”

He put his mouth on her neck.

“Command me,” he whispered.

“I shall have you imprisoned if you do not drink from me.”

In the next moment, he sank his teeth into her and drew her blood.

“I want all of you,” she said.

And he obeyed. He plunged into her.

She then turned around, forcing him to stop.

“Beg me,” she said, pushing him down on his back.

“I beg you,” he said, her blood on his lips.

She climbed on top of him and placed her hand on his cock.

“I beg you,” he said again.

She then took it in her mouth, his moaning encouraging her to draw it in deeper and deeper, causing her to climax.

“Are you mine?” he asked.

“Yes, oh, yes,” she said.

He raised his hands to her breasts and stroked her nipples.

“I will protect you,” he said.

“I’m in love with you,” she said.

“As am I with you,” he said, tears forming in his eyes.

“I brought you your morning tea and some bread,” Lady Rema said, placing a tray on a table.

Standing at her window, Lela ignored her. She had no desire for tea or bread. Her thoughts were on Eldrich. He consumed every part of her. She wondered where he was.

“The King has asked for you,” Lady Rema said.

Lela turned to face her. “Tell him I’m ill,” she said.

“Should I send for the doctor?”

Lela gathered her long hair and then let it fall on her shoulders. “Yesterday you told me you were loyal to me.”

Lady Rema nodded.

“I need your help,” Lela said, approaching her.

“How may I serve you?” Lady Rema said, wringing her hands as she often did when she was nervous.

“First, you may stop fidgeting.”

“Apologies, Princess.”

“You must tell no one, not even the King.”

“Princess?”

“May I count on you?”

“Always.”

“Tell my father I’m ill. Tell him I’m experiencing lady troubles. And that I need to sleep.”

Lady Rema giggled.

“Come now, don’t be childish. Now go, do as I say.”

Lela knew that her father would stay far away from her until he was sure she was feeling better. Ah, for all their bravery men stayed away from a woman during her lady trouble time. Yes, we can be dreadfully evil during that time. Lela giggled.

She got dressed. Lady Rema had been gone for what seemed like a long time. Pacing the room, Lela formed her plan. She’d sneak out of the castle and return to the abandoned house in the forest. She was convinced she’d find Eldrich there. She should have figured it out sooner. It wasn’t just that he had known exactly where he was going the night he saved her, it was his determination. As if he had been there a thousand times before. Yes, how did she not see it? It was his home!

Flustered and out of breath, Lady Rema came into the room.

“What happened?” Lela asked her.

“I told the King…don’t worry…he said to come see him when you’re better.”

“My goodness, compose yourself, why are you so winded?”

“When I was making my way back to you, one of the guard’s dogs,” she took in a breath, “he chased me down the hall. The guard couldn’t get him to stop chasing me.”

“Oh for goodness sake, gather yourself. Has my father ordered his guards to watch me and keep me from leaving the castle?”

“They are not under such orders. You’re free to go as you want. I never told him you saw the ball.”

“Very good,” Lela grabbed her cloak.

“What about me?” Lady Rema asked.

“Yes, yes. You’ll need to stay here. Get under the covers and pretend you’re me, in case my father sends someone to check on me.”

“Oh no, I can’t.”

“I’ll return soon,” Lela said.

Once outside the castle, Lela made for the forest at quick pace. She had to see him and not only because every part of her body longed for him. She needed answers. Why did he take the golden ball? What did he do with it? How old was he really? Vampires were immortal. He had to be more than twenty-two-years-old. She needed to know how to protect herself from the vampires who meant to harm her. Drain her!

Flying through the forest, nearly tripping on fallen branches or sticks, she ignored her sanity. Yes, in order to have unequivocally fallen for a vampire, she had to be insane. No other way to explain it.

There, up ahead, was the house… his house. It was still daylight which meant if he was in there he was asleep somewhere hidden from the sun’s rays.

According to storybooks disturbing a sleeping vampire was suicidal. Since they were the most vulnerable when sleeping, their instinct was to kill anyone who woke them. Lela ignored this knowledge and yelled, “Eldrich! Where are you?”

She stomped through the crumbling house as if she were a warrior about to besiege a fortress. Going through halls and rooms, she yelled, “I know you’re here!”

To no avail, her screams did not provoke him. Giving in, she slumped to the floor and waited for the sun to go down. I implore you, Dear Sun, take your leave early today.

The sun set slowly as if it had heard her plea and chose to instead torture her. Once it disappeared and the moon took its place, Lela’s heart began to beat so fast she could not breathe and thought for sure she was dying. Her lungs refused to produce air. Standing, she frantically tried to calm herself. But she could not. A faint spell came over her. Get yourself together! This is what you wanted.

“Why have you come to my home?” a voice asked.

Yes, it was him. Eldrich, dear Eldrich.

“I needed to see you. I have so many questions,” she said.

He was now in front of her looking down at her. And he did not appear to be happy to see her.

“I could have killed you. Do you understand? If you had found my resting place, I would not have been able to stop myself from taking your life.”

Indeed, he was angry.

“I will not apologize,” she said.

“I do not require an apology,” he looked away for a moment, “I’m in love with you. Even in sleep, I think about you.”

“Where is the golden ball?” she had to ask now before she gave into his touches again. As it was, his very presence was bringing her to orgasm. She was not embarrassed to acknowledge it.

“I’ve hidden it,” he said, removing her cloak.

“Where?” Heat penetrated her soul.

Her eyes locked with his.

He kissed her nose, lightly. “In the sea. My kind can’t hurt you. Without the ball, they do not have a claim on your blood.”

“The ball has always followed me. It will find its way to me, again.”

“You’re safe. I swear to you.”

She flung her arms around him and rested her head on his chest.

“How old are you?” she asked, softly.

“I became a vampire when I was twenty-two. In human years, I’m seven- hundred-years-old.”

She raised her head off his chest. “Kiss me,” she said.

And he did. But his touch did not stop there. He undressed her and widened her legs. He then slipped one of his fingers inside her.

“Yes, my love, blessed Gods, yes,” she whimpered.

She spread her legs wider for him.

He sank his teeth into her breasts and drank from her all the while pleasuring her with his fingers.

“I shall fall,” she said, feeling lightheaded.

Placing his arm around her back, he gently brought her to the floor. Then he moved her onto her stomach. She would do anything he asked of her. She had surrendered herself to his every wanting.

He licked the back of her neck and then slid his tongue down her back.

“I need you,” she said. Her begging him was now their little game.

“Not yet,” he said, slapping her buttocks. “I’m still hungry,” he said.”

“I need you, now.”

“Let me feed from you,” he said.

Arching her back, she said, “I’m yours.”

He sank his fangs into the back of her neck.

“Enter me. I want you inside of me while you drink.”

He thrust into her. His stiff cock so swollen each time he penetrated her she felt slight pain. Delicious, intoxicating pain.

“You’re so sweet,” he said. “My God, you’re so sweet.”

“What else will you do to me?” she asked.

He flipped her on her back and then fondled her bloody breasts.

Then he put his cock between them and she brought her mouth to it. Sweet Gods. She took it all in. Yes, she loved this creature. She would have let him devour her had he asked.

“I want more of you,” he said, his cock still in her mouth.

He withdrew from her and took her in his arms. In the next instant, they were on the roof of his house.

“Eldrich,” she said, sitting on top of him.

“Silence,” he said, cradling her.

He picked up a thin stick that must have fallen from one of the tree branches which hung above his roof.

“Devour me,” she said.

“Do you love me?” he asked.

“Forever,” she said.

“Do you trust me?” he asked.

“Yes.”

Putting her on her back, he moved her legs apart.

Ah yes, our little game once more.

He slithered the stick gently up her inner thighs, teasing her, threatening to push it inside of her. She squealed.

“Say it,” he said.

“I need you.”

“I won’t make you beg this time,” he said.

“Eldrich!” she screamed.

“Do you need me?” he asked.

“Enter me. I shall die if you don’t,” she said.

“You will not,” he said, going into her. “I’m here. Feel me inside of you.”

“Oh, Eldrich, take all of me. I can’t exist without you.”

“Nor can I,” he said, penetrating her deeply.

“I feel pain,” she said.

“Do you want me to stop?” he asked, pulling out of her.

“You’re teasing me. I hate you.”

“Shall I resume what I was doing, then?” he asked with a smirk.

“Yes, oh, yes. Do it, now!”

Turn around and press yourself against me.

“Anything you desire.” She did as he asked.

“Bend forward and lift your buttocks.”

“Yes, my prince.”

Ah, his sweetness was once again inside of her.

“Is daylight almost upon us?” she asked.

“It’s many hours away.”

“Thank you, Gods, thank you.”

He went deeper inside of her, taking her very soul and she knew she was his forever. And he was hers.

GOLDEN SHADOWS, a short mash-up retelling of the Frog Prince and Rapunzel Episode two of the Golden Erotic Tales Series

The sun was only minutes from rising. Lying on her back in the forest, Lela took in a slow breath and locked hands with Eldrich who was resting next to her.

Since meeting Eldrich three weeks ago when he rescued her from a well and she helped transform him from a frog to a human… vampire again, she and him had embarked on a deliciously intoxicating adventure during which she had questioned her sanity more than once. Here she was living with a vampire in the middle of the forest away from the protection of her father, the King of Barmoth.

Oh, what her father must have thought when he realized she had left the castle and wasn’t coming back. She couldn’t help but think that maybe just maybe a part of him was relieved he was no longer burdened with caring for her. Bloody hell, not once had any of her father’s men come looking for her at Eldrich’s house, the first place she would have thought they’d have searched since that is where they found her the day after the golden ball pulled her into the well. Never mind. She belonged to Eldrich and him to her. That’s all that mattered.

“Will you stay with me?” he asked, his gaze on her.

“You need to sleep,” she said, kissing his forehead, then his nose and then his lips. “The sun will be up soon.”

He caressed her cheek. “Answer me.”

“I have answered you every day. Why do you continue to ask?” she said, her body tingling from his touch.

He slid his hand under her dress. “I need to hear you say it.”

“Yes, my sweet prince, I will stay with you,” she murmured.

“Forever?” he asked, swirling his fingers inside of her.

“Forever,” she whispered, circling her hips. If only the sun would never rise again.

Nipping her neck, he asked, “Do you want all of me inside of you?”

“The sun is beginning to rise.”

“Let it rise,” he said, unbuttoning his trousers.

“You’re so impatient,” she said.

Here was a seven-hundred-year-old vampire willing to let the sun burn him for her. He was hers. And she was more than in love with him. She was addicted to every part of him.

“Quickly, my love,” she said. “We only have a minute or two.”

“Sweet princess, you’re so delicious,” he said, tenderly entering her.

She moved her hands between her legs and touched herself, his cock brushing her fingers each time he powered into her.

“I need to drink from you. I can’t stand it,” he said, his fangs on her neck.

“Do not,” she said, hoping he would ignore her command. How she enjoyed making him suffer.

“You’re mine and I will take all of you,” he said, thrusting into her faster and deeper.

Feeling slight pain, she said, “Take all of me.”

And he did. Blessed Gods, her body ached for more. He was in her…drinking from her and yet, she wanted more…she needed more.

But she’d have to wait, curse the sun for keeping her apart from him, her compulsion, her everything and he was everything to her.

“Wait for me in the house, tonight,” he whispered into her ear.

Before she could answer, he disappeared.

Be safe, my love. Think of me in your sleep.

Enjoying the sun’s morning rays and feeling slightly woozy, Lela sauntered through the forest on her way to a place where berries were abundant and a river flowed with such speed she wondered if the sun had once threatened to deplete it and only leave behind dead fish and a scarred, dried floor.

Pressing her hand into her stomach, she tried to ignore hunger pangs. She had lost a fair amount of weight. A diet of berries and water was simply not enough nourishment; she needed milk, meat and bread. And Eldrich drinking from her every time they had sex, which was multiple times each night, left her buzzed, disoriented, and famished. But she couldn’t ask him to stop. Not being able to drink from her when he was having his way with her drove him absolutely mad, something that scared her and also thrilled her.

The few times he had not been able to take in her blood because she had not had enough to eat, he had confessed to wanting to hunt down another human, a woman right then and there, and bleed her right in front of Lela. In storybooks vampires were depicted as forceful and cruel beings. Blood and sex were intertwined and a vampire’s brutality came forth without remorse when it was denied either one.

But Eldrich wasn’t the only one who suffered when he couldn’t feed from her. Her orgasms were less intense. When she was with him, she became part of him and she needed to feel her very life leaving her body and into his in order to fully experience sexual ecstasy. And what’s more, he’d rush into her fiercely, causing her pain, real pain. Although she secretly admitted to liking it; she understood she was in danger. He was a strong and determined vampire who could easily lose his judgment during sex and yes, accidentally kill her.

She needed his sanity, tonight. It was her twenty-first birthday and he had promised to obey her every sexual wish. And what she wanted was for him to take her far into the forest away from the Kingdom of Barmoth where her father did not rule. She wanted Eldrich to devour her in a place unknown to her where she could forget everything…her childhood, the golden ball, the death of her mother, she wanted it all gone. She needed to escape. And in order to do so, she’d need to eat; she had no intention of prohibiting Eldrich from doing whatever he wanted to her. Her plan was to keep him inside of her all night. Blessed Gods, just thinking about him made her body vibrate. Smiling, she let the feeling run through her.

Yes, she’d gorge on fruit and prepare herself for him. Since he was an old vampire, he could go days without his fill of blood. And now that he was drinking from her, he needed even less blood.

Since they had been together, he had only hunted once. He had not shared the details of his hunt with her. Nor had she asked. Vampires only drank from humans. And when they drank for nourishment, they completely emptied their victims. The hair on her arms froze.

She pushed that knowledge to the darkest and most hidden space of her mind. She’d only focus on happiness and goodness and sexual diversions. Because if she were truthful, although she did love Eldrich, she also understood that her time with him was a distraction from her life. She was a princess, the only child of the King of Barmoth. And the time would come when she’d have to wear the crown and lead her people. She could never completely turn her back on the people of Barmoth.

As she carried on through the trees, she examined her surroundings, looking over her shoulder often and listening for any sounds. Ever since she had let a stupid golden ball cause her to fall into a well, she was more careful with her steps. But had it not been for the ball, she’d have never met Eldrich. She couldn’t help but laugh a little. He was a frog when he pulled her from the well after she agreed to give him whatever he desired! And what he had desired was her, a simple kiss that returned him to his true form. But that had not been enough for him; he had begged…demanded that she lie with him. And she had given herself to him that night and every night since. Yes, she admitted to the desperation and moment of weakness.

Completely giddy, she reached a mass of vines filled with round and plump berries. Lela grabbed a handful and swallowed them. She continued eating until her stomach did not pang anymore. Then she went down to the river and splashed water on her face. She planned on gorging on fruit and bathing in the river all day.

She undressed and sank into the river, letting the cold water refresh and cleanse her skin. She’d have to stay in the shallow end; the current was strong and she didn’t want to risk being swept away by it.

The golden ball came to her mind. Despite Eldrich’s assurance that she was safe and that his kind no longer had a claim on her blood now that he had hidden the ball in the sea, she could not deny her lingering fear. Lady Rema, her handmaiden, had told her the truth. And the truth was that the ball, which vampires considered their god, had followed her since birth never making itself known to her until that day…the day it called her in the forest.

Going underwater for a moment, she tried to shake off her fear. To no avail. Lady Rema had also told her that since the ball chose to present itself to her, vampires would come for her and drain her, believing that her blood could save them, make them human again. It was written in their sacred book that the ball would someday choose a human to follow and that that human’s blood would make them mortal again. Her poor mother had offered herself to them ten years earlier and in exchange they agreed to leave Lela alone. They had murdered her mother! And yet here she was in love with a vampire. Oh, mother, please forgive me. Eldrich is not like the rest of his kind. He truly loves me.

She tried to quiet her mind and only think of Eldrich and their love for each other. Eldrich come to me, stay inside of me, drink from me, take my soul, I’m yours, now and forever.

Touching her nipples with one hand and putting her other hand down below, she imagined Eldrich thrusting into her.

She murmured, “Sweet prince, sleep and dream of me.”

The sun’s rays on her face, her thoughts on Eldrich’s throbbing cock; she wished it was stroking her entire body. The sun came down harshly on her; sweat trickled down to her neck. Gasping and moaning, she continued masturbating; she felt she’d stop breathing if Eldrich spent one more second outside of her body. Chewing her lip, her insides burning she exploded.

“Eldrich, yes, Eldrich, yes, my prince!” she screamed.

Despite being a virgin when she met Eldrich, she was not naive and had discovered how to release her ever-increasing sexual tension some years earlier. She had even stumbled upon servants in the kitchen or in the halls and she was not ashamed to admit that she had not looked away, but rather watched with jealous curiosity. For goodness sake, she had even seen vegetables inserted into a woman’s…

She staggered onto the river’s bank and then collapsed. Shivering, she quickly dressed and then threw on her cloak. She’d rest for a little while and aim to catch up on her sleep since night time was no longer for sleeping, a thought that made her blush. Closing her eyes, she drifted into slumber. At this moment, she and Eldrich were one.

Ruffling leaves startled her. Opening her eyes, she jumped to her feet, ready to yell for help.

“Who’s there,” she asked.

“No one you know,” a man said, coming from behind a tree.

“I’ll scream,” she said, scanning the bank for a stick, a rock, anything with which she could defend herself.

“Have I threatened you?” he asked, advancing to her.

“You’re not wearing any clothes,” she said, bending down to pick up a stick.

Grinning he said, “I’m not going to hurt you. My goodness why would I want to do such a thing? Besides even if I did, I’m afraid that scrawny stick wouldn’t be much of a protector. I’m sorry if I’m too blunt.”

She glanced at the stick and was instantly embarrassed. And not just because of its size but because it reminded her of the night Eldrich had teased her with a stick, threatening to push it into her while on the roof of his house.

“You’re not correct about my attire,” he looked down at himself, “I’m sure I’m wearing trousers. Do you not see them?” he asked, with a wicked laugh.

Lela gave his trousers a glance, noticing the thickness between his legs. Flushing, she cleared her throat and centered her eyes on his bare chest. He had a cross necklace around his neck. Crosses were not permitted in the Kingdom of Barmoth. Her father despised the God of the Cross. The night her mother vanished, he had prayed to the God of the Cross and begged him for her safe return. His prayer went unanswered and days later he put forth a law prohibiting crosses. A death sentence awaited anyone caught with one. And here was this man displaying a cross without regard.

“Who are you?” she asked, her stare on the cross.

“Does this offend you?” he asked, pointing to his necklace.

Swallowing, she said, “Crosses are forbidden.”

Taking it off, he asked, “By whom?”

“You can’t be serious,” she said with a slight chuckle.

Letting it dangle from his hand he said, “I’m entirely serious. Now tell me, why do you believe them to be forbidden?”

She seemed destined to continue meeting strange men in the forest.

“Quit your ignorance. Why are you stalking me?”

“My, you’re a vain woman.”

“Then why are you out here?” she asked, frowning.

“Forgive me, I didn’t know the forest belonged to you,” he said with a smirk. Picking up a stone and tossing it into the river, he then said, “I’ve learned two things today. One, crosses are forbidden and two, you’re the owner of the forest.”

Blushing she said, “I should be on my way.” This strange man was not from Barmoth. But why was he here? Lela knew of other kingdoms but they were far, far away. And besides, no one dared enter Barmoth without first sending a letter requesting permission. And she could not imagine her father granting this man consent to come into Barmoth.

“I’m sorry I frightened you,” he said.

“No need to apologize,” she said.

“You’re not afraid, then?”

“I’m not.” She was lying.

“I’m glad. Very well, until we meet again,” he said and started to walk away.

“And why should we meet again?” she asked.

He did not answer.

“Wait,” she said. “Who are you?”

Stopping, he turned to face her and said, “I’m one of the fallen, and your laws do not apply to me.” Then two sprawling, white wings appeared on his back and he took flight.

“For goodness sake!” Lela exhaled.

In all her years of roaming the forest, she had never witnessed a single extraordinary event and in the last few weeks she had encountered a golden ball, a frog who then became a vampire, and now she had just seen a man calling himself one of the fallen, whatever bloody hell that meant, spread wings and fly, yes, fly away right in front of her. Oh, and let’s not forget that the golden ball had chosen her to be the savior of all vampires and that had it not been for Eldrich, she’d most likely be dead. Just another day in the forest! Perhaps she should return to the castle and lock herself in the servants’ quarters for all eternity. Her curiosity for what else she had yet to experience prevented her from doing so. That and that it was her birthday and she’d not let a stupid flying, fallen person ruin her day.

She decided to keep this particular incident from Eldrich. She had no idea how he would react. Better to keep it a secret. Oh and to the forest, please refrain from sending anymore odd and ridiculous things my way. She bowed and then took a peek at the sun. She must have slept all day! It was already low in the sky. She darted to the fruit vines. If she was going to indulge in sickenly passionate sex with Eldrich, she needed more nourishment. She gulped down fistfuls of berries and then raced home.

Eldrich had asked her to wait for him in the house. If the sun set before she got home, her birthday night would be off to a horrible start. As much as she adored the sun, it seemed lately they were in constant friction with each other. Let me get home before you set, you chubby monster.

There, just a hundred feet from her was Eldrich’s house. Focusing on it, she increased her pace, a little part of her found this race with the sun electrifying. Reaching the steps, she took a second to glance at her nemesis. Ha! I won.

She flung the doors open and made for the house’s main living area. Standing in front of the fireplace, she inhaled and exhaled, pushing up her bosom, tightening her stomach muscles and straightening her back.

Darkness arrived. She hadn’t had enough time to light the sconces. She couldn’t see anything. In the next moment, someone grabbed her arm, spun her around and pressed her to a wall.

The candles on the chandelier, which hung from the ceiling, suddenly shone golden shadows into the room. Ah, yes, lit by magic.

“Straddle the wall,” Eldrich said.

Her birthday night was about to begin. In shadows, she did as he said.

“Now undress for me and then spread your legs.”

And she did.

He got down on his knees and placed his head under her…sweet Gods, he slid his tongue into her and moved it in ways that made her cry out his name. “Eldrich, oh, Eldrich, I thought about you all day,” she said, gasping for air.

Licking and sucking her, he moved her legs wider apart and then bit into her inner things.

She held onto the wall for all her life.

When he’d had his way, he stood and said, “Turn around and look at me.”

He was standing in front of her, holding his enlarged cock.

She breathed in and rubbed her face, her heart pounding.

“Tell me what you want me to do,” he said, masturbating himself.

“What do you want to do to me?” she asked.

“No!” he said.

“Have I offended you?” she asked, placing her hand on his chest.

He tilted his head to one side. “Love of mine, you will never offend me. I want to please you in every way, especially today. Did you think I forgot about your birthday? Ask anything of me,” he said, kissing her.

Oh, how she loved this creature. This beautiful creature with whom she wanted to stay until she took her last breath.

She shifted down on him and moved his hands. Then she captured him in her mouth, sucking and taking him in deeply.

“Princess, love,” Eldrich said. “I want to enter you.”

She stood and straddled the wall again, raising her buttocks to him.

“Let me enter you,” he said.

“Drink first,” she said, moving her hair to one side.

“I’ll go mad if you refuse me much longer.”

“It’s my birthday and you will do as I say,” she said, taking his hand and putting it between her inner thighs.

He inserted his fingers into her.

“Drink, my love,” she said, whimpering and swiveling her hips as he swirled his fingers inside of her.

“Let me enter you. Do you understand what I’m capable of if you make me suffer too long?” He nipped her neck and pressed his cock on her.

She was certainly testing their boundaries. And she didn’t care. She wanted more of him…she wanted all of him.

“Beg me,” she said.

“I beg you…dear sweetness of mine, I beg you. What do you desire?”

“Take me deep into the forest. That is what I want.”

He lifted her in his arms and in the next moment, he was transporting her through the woods, moving quickly, his speed amazing her. She felt as if they were flying.

“Go far, my love. And when you have left the Kingdom of Barmoth, set me down and have your way with me.”

They came to a stop and he put her down.

“Prince of mine.” She lied on the ground, fondled her breasts, pinching her nipples and whispering his name. She then flipped on her stomach, elevated her lower half, holding herself up with her elbows she broadened her legs for him.

“Bloody hell,” he said, pressing his stiffness against her.

“Oh Eldrich, you’re not…”

“Yes, let me.”

“I wasn’t going to stop you,” she said, her head down.

“Ask me for it,” he said, slapping her.

“You’re cruel,” she said.

“Tell me you want it,” he said, hitting her again.

The slight pain she was feeling from his striking her on her buttocks warmed her entire body. She’d never allow him to take it too far, that much she knew about herself. But she also knew that right at this moment, she desired more. And she had no intention of stopping him from entering her from…bloody hell.

“Oh yes, I want it,” she whispered.

“Louder.”

“I want it!” she yelled.

He dipped his fangs into her neck and then he started going into her, unhurried and oh so carefully. What she was feeling was absolutely without a doubt maddening bliss. She had once seen one of the male servants do this to a woman while another man did the same to him, all three of them grunting and crying out with delight. She’d gone to bed that night aroused and ready to explode. And now here she was and it was more intense than she imagined.

“Do you want me to stop?” he asked, gently thrusting into her. “Am I hurting you?”

“Keep going,” she said, clasping down on her lower lip.

“Even in my sleep, I dream of you, your lips, your breasts, your skin, your touch…it makes me go crazy,” he said.

“I want more of you,” she said.

“And you will have all that you want,” he said.

“Oh, Eldrich, I can’t stand it.”

“Are you enjoying what I’m doing to you? I don’t want to hurt you.”

She licked and chewed her lips and arched her back and erupted.

He then liberated himself on the small of her back.

“You killed me,” she whispered, turning on her back.

He fell next to her and pulled her to his chest. Tenderly stroking her nipples, he asked, “What else will you have me do to you?”

“Cradle me,” she said. “I want to rest in your arms.”

“Is that all you want?”

“For now, only for now,” she said.

Lela and Eldrich held each other in silence. The stillness of the dark forest comforted her. She wondered where they were, to what kingdom had they crossed? Her teachers had taught her about the different known kingdoms of the world. Some scholars believed that there were undiscovered kingdoms, hidden and too far for any human to reach. They claimed that the witches of Barmoth knew where they were and that they traveled there often in search of new ingredients for their potions and spells.

Lela wondered if the witch who had cursed Eldrich, turning him into a frog because he would not lie with her, had gone to another kingdom to learn how to cast a spell on a vampire. Everything she had read in books about vampires stated that they were near-immune to a witch’s spell.

Lela didn’t know whether or not undiscovered kingdoms existed. Her teachers taught her that there were only thirty kingdoms. She had memorized each one.

A screeching sound interrupted her thoughts.

“Keep quiet,” Eldrich said, coming to his feet.

“What do you think made that sound?” she whispered, ignoring him.

“Don’t move,” he said, sniffing the air.

She had never seen him do that.

“Let’s go,” she said.

“It’s too late. Whoever is out there knows we’re here.”

“Is it another vampire?”

“I’d already know it.”

“What then?”

“I’m not picking up its scent. Stay behind me.”

“I’m scared,” she said.

“I won’t let anyone harm you.”

She buried her face in his back.

“Make yourself known!” he said.

A man and a woman holding torches walked toward them.

“Apologies,” the woman said. “I tend to get carried away when…” She giggled.

She had long golden hair that came down to her ankles.

“Yes, please accept our apologies,” the man said, extending a hand to Eldrich.

It was the flying man. Feeling instant heat on her cheeks, Lela lowered her stare.

Eldrich said, “We didn’t know anyone else was around here. It is we who should apologize to you.” Then he placed his hand in Lela’s and said, “We should go.”

“Oh, no, please stay,” the woman said. “We never have visitors and well, as much as we do entertain ourselves,” she winked at the flying man, “we’d love it if you joined us for dinner. I have a stew cooking.”

Lela was tempted to shout a fast, yes, we’d love to! She couldn’t decline a stew, for goodness sake. Her mouth salivated.

Eldrich sensed her eagerness and answered, “We kindly accept.”

“Hooray!” the woman yelled. “Come, follow us.”

She removed her cloak and offered it to Lela.

Blessed Gods, she had forgotten she was naked and so was Eldrich and what’s more they hadn’t brought any clothes with them. My goodness, she felt utterly foolish.

“Thank you,” Lela said, wrapping the cloak around her body. “I’m quite humiliated.”

“Don’t be, you’re pretty. Now, if you were an ugly distorted hag, well, by all means you’d be right to be embarrassed,” the woman said.

The man unbuttoned his long cape, leaving him wearing nothing but the same trousers he had on when he intruded on Lela earlier in the day. He then handed the cape to Eldrich.

“Many thanks,” Eldrich said.

“Well, let’s be on our way,” the woman said and began walking ahead of Lela and Eldrich.

The man stayed at Lela’s side. Lela hoped he wouldn’t mention their earlier meeting.

“I’m Lela and this is Eldrich,” she said.

Eldrich gave the man a nod.

“My name is Xavier,” the man said.

The woman turned her head and said, “I’m called Zel. And what Xavier didn’t mention because he’s being shy is that he’s the prince of our kingdom.”

“Forgive our intrusion into your kingdom,” Lela said, her cheeks flushed.

“May we know your kingdom’s name?” Eldrich asked, squeezing Lela’s hand, a sign she took to mean he didn’t entirely trust these strangers.

Zel came to a stop and turned to face them. “Why this is the Kingdom of the Lost,” she bowed, “welcome, we’re thrilled you’re here.”

Lela quickly ran the names of all the kingdoms through her mind and no, she had never heard of the Kingdom of the Lost.

“Stop being dramatic,” Xavier said, blowing her a kiss. “She tends to get carried away, sometimes.”

“A trait you adore,” she said, winking.

He took her hand and resumed walking.

Lela and Eldrich let them walk ahead a few steps before pacing forward.

Eldrich leaned into Lela’s ear, “I don’t trust them. Something is off about them. Once you’ve eaten, we’ll take our leave.”

“We can go, now,” she whispered.

“No, love, you need to eat and besides we have already accepted their invitation.”

“Once you get to know us, you’ll like us,” Zel said.

“Don’t worry, she can’t hear your whispers or read your thoughts,” Xavier said. “Aside from being dramatic, she’s also a bit insecure and can’t stand anyone not liking her.” He kissed Zel on her forehead and said, “Right, my love?”

Giggling, she shoved him. Puckering her lips, she said, “Kiss me.”

And he did.

“They’re distracted,” Lela said. “With your speed-”

“Hush… she may not be able to hear us but something tells me he can,” Eldrich said in a whisper.

Just then, Xavier stopped kissing Zel and winked at Eldrich and Lela.

“Come, up head is our home,” Xavier said, pointing to a tall, circular structure which resembled the prison towers of Barmoth.

Their home was a prison tower!

Lela bit off a nail and then another.

Reaching the tower, Eldrich said, “If we may ask, is it custom for a prince to live in a tower in your kingdom?”

Xavier laughed. “Of course not. I don’t reside here all the time. This is actually Zel’s home, but since I’m here often I guess I think of it as mine as well.”

“Is she your prisoner?” Lela asked, instantly regretting her question.

Zel burst into laughter. “Why yes, of course. He’s the prince of the Lost and I’m his eternal prisoner.” She licked his bare chest and bit down on the cross hanging from the chain around his neck.

“Later, love, later,” Xavier said. Then he opened the door to the tower. “The stew smells delicious. I’m starving.”

Zel followed him inside and waved Eldrich and Lela over. “Hurry up,” she said.

Once they were all inside, she shut the door and said, “It’s a long way up.”

Eldrich gave Lela a nudge forward to the spiral staircase. Upon placing her hand on the rail, she realized the staircase was made of golden hair.

Xavier started climbing; Zel followed and then Lela.

“I won’t let anything happen to you,” Eldrich hushed into Lela’s ear.

Up the golden staircase they went. Eldrich could have been at the top in a second and Xavier, well, she knew he could fly. Yet, neither one of them was willing to expose their skills.

As Lela continued to ascend, she recognized that her life was about to change again. And she was terrified.

Breathless and feeling pain on each side of her stomach, Lela finally made it to the top of the staircase. She was the only one out of breath and in pain.

“Come sit down before you faint,” Zel said, taking her hand and leading her to a chair.

Lela was sure she was going to vomit.

“Breathe,” Eldrich said, his hand on her shoulder.

Xavier disappeared into another room and three seconds later reappeared holding a cup. He brought it to her lips and said, “Sip slowly.”

She couldn’t resist swallowing the cup’s contents all at once which caused her to cough and gag.

“You disobeyed,” Zel said. “Does she always do things as she wants and not as she’s told?” she asked Eldrich.

“She’s not a child,” Eldrich said.

He was not amused and Lela worried he would lose his judgment and attack Zel and Xavier. Without knowing where they really were or what these two creatures were capable of, Xavier could fly and she guessed he was also strong and Zel, well the long haul up the stairs didn’t affect her in the least bit, there was a possibility that Zel and Xavier could overtake and really harm Eldrich.

“I feel better. My, the stew smells wonderful,” Lela said, trying to lighten the situation.

“Oh, yes, the stew,” Zel said, dashing off.

Xavier pulled up a chair next to Lela. “Where are the two of you from?”

“Barmoth,” Lela said.

“That’s a ways from here. A long way, indeed. How did you get here?” Xavier asked.

“We’ve been traveling for days,” Eldrich said.

“Yet, you have nothing with you, and you were naked when we found you.”

“That’s because we left our things in the camp we set up not too far from where you found us,” Lela said.

Xavier put his hands on the back of his neck and reclined in his chair. “I don’t believe a word you’re saying. But, your business is your own. I won’t press any further.”

“We’re grateful,” Eldrich said.

“Let’s move to the table,” Xavier said, standing and dragging the chair to a round table.

Lela scanned the room. The walls and floor were painted red. The whole room was red, including the drapes on the single window and all the furniture.

“Is Zel really your prisoner?” Lela asked Xavier. She absolutely had to know.

“Love, our host has asked us to take a seat at his meal table. Let’s not pester him with questions.”

“It’s all right. I’m not offended.” Xavier put his elbows on the table and rubbed his chin.

Lela and Eldrich joined him at the table.

“I apologize for my persistent curiosity,” Lela said.

“Although she enjoys pretending she is, Zel is not my prisoner,” he lowered his head, “but, she is a prisoner. I hope to someday free her.”

“What do you mean?” Lela asked.

He raised his stare. “A few short months ago, I came across this tower. I’m the prince of this land, yet I had never in all my travels seen this tower. One morning I quite literally bumped into it, almost lost consciousness. It appeared out of nowhere. Just when I had regained myself, golden hair dropped to the ground in front of me. I looked up to discover that the hair was coming from a window at the very top of the tower.”

“Time to eat!” Zel said, striding into the room carrying a large, red pot.

She put the pot in the center of the table and then said to Xavier, “Will you help me with the bowls and spoons?”

“Please excuse us,” Xavier said and followed Zel out of the room.

Now alone, Eldrich leaned into Lela. “Everything about this place is odd. Have you noticed that everything is red?”

“How could I not? And whose prisoner is she? And that story he’s telling.”

“I went too far. I shouldn’t have gone so far from Barmoth,” Eldrich said, sighing.

“It’s not your fault,” Lela said.

“I suspect they want something from us. And the way he looks at you as if he’s familiar with you.”

She implored her face not to give anything away to Eldrich. She should have told him about her encounter with Xavier. Her confessing now would only anger him. And what’s more, he would probably think she kept it from him because she had indulged with Xavier. She was doomed.

Xavier and Zel returned carrying bowls and spoons which not surprisingly were also red.

After filling each bowl with some of the stew, Zel said, “I hope everyone likes it.”

Eldrich brought a spoonful to his lips. “Please forgive me,” he said, putting the spoon down. “I’m not very hungry.”

Lela’s heart sank. “I told you not to eat all of that bread,” she said, chuckling. “He stuffed himself with bread not even two hours ago,” she said to Zel.

“What about you, Lela?” Xavier asked. “Did you also eat too much bread?” he asked, grinning.

She swallowed down two spoonfuls and then said, “I’m starving.” She was not lying. Although the stew was not the least bit tasty, she was glad to be eating something other than fruit.

Lifting her bowl, Zel said, “Well, here’s to more stew for the rest of us!”

Xavier stared at Eldrich who was fidgeting in his seat. Human food, particularly aromatic cooked food, disgusted vampires and Lela was sure Eldrich was doing all he could not to vomit.

“We need your help,” Xavier said.

Lela swallowed a last spoonful and wiped her mouth, her eyes on both Xavier and Eldrich.

“We desperately need your help,” Zel said.

“In what way?” Eldrich asked.

Xavier glanced at Lela. “Meeting you on the river bank was not an accident,” he said to her. “I sought you out.”

Lela coughed. She did not dare look at Eldrich. She could feel his eyes on her.

“You know him?” Eldrich asked.

She nodded.

“Look at me,” he said.

Coughing and silently pleading with the Gods to take her, she timidly moved her stare to him.

His eyes near-bleeding, he asked, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“Did you lie with him?” he asked, tears coming down his face.

He was breaking her heart.

“No, I would never…” she tried to take his hand but he brushed it away.

“You kept it from me. What am I supposed to think?”

“She did not lie with me,” Xavier said. “I swear it.”

Eldrich exposed his fangs. Zel screamed. Xavier stood, spreading his wings. Yes, Lela had been right. Her life was about to change again.

“You’re a vampire,” Xavier said.

“And you’re an angel, which explains why I couldn’t detect your scent. Despite your shameful past, your creator still protects you from us.”

“I’m not to blame for what my ancestors did,” Xavier said.

“Yet, you’re cast out from the Heavens, nonetheless,” Eldrich said. “I should drain you right here and now.” He took a step forward.

Xavier didn’t budge. “And you think I will let you kill me? Try and we shall see who wins.”

Eldrich laughed. “Ah yes, I had forgotten how vain and overly confident fallen angels are. It’s been two hundred years since I’ve come across one. And how appropriate that you preside over a place named the Kingdom of the Lost. Is this where all fallen angels sought refuge after the war with my kind?”

Lela didn’t know what to do. She had never heard of angels, fallen or otherwise. They weren’t even mentioned in storybooks. Not only did they exist but they had been in a war with vampires. Her head was spinning and her stomach ached. At this moment, she was sure she was the dumbest girl in all the kingdoms. Truly, what was she doing? She was a princess for blessed Gods’ sake and instead of helping her father take care of the people of Barmoth, she had run away to live with a vampire and was now in a tower in a land unknown to her and what’s more, an angel was asking her for help. Just another day in the forest!

“Please, hear us out,” Zel said, moving between Xavier and Eldrich.

Eldrich retracted his fangs. “Speak,” he said.

“I’m imprisoned in this tower for all eternity, only able to leave it at night. And even then, I’m not allowed to venture too far. A witch took me from my parents when I was born and has kept me prisoner my entire life.” She sighed.

“You poor thing,” Lela said. Oh the pain Zel’s parents must have felt when their infant daughter was ripped from them and Zel…Lela couldn’t imagine a worse life.

“She caught my father stealing spices from her garden. My mother craved spices when I was in her belly and the witch’s garden had an abundance of unique spices. When the witch caught my father stealing, she cursed him and told him he would have to give up his unborn child or refuse and watch both my mother and me die.” She wrapped her arms around Xavier’s waist. “I have lived in this once roaming, invisible tower all my life. I thought I would remain alone forever until,” she looked up at Xavier, “he found the tower. For an unexplained reason, the tower stopped moving and became visible that day. I believe in my heart that my parents somehow found a way to help me…to make the tower appear and stop wandering aimlessly. When I sensed someone outside that day, I let down my hair. I had to know who it was that had found the tower.” She gathered her hair and then let it go. It fell past her ankles, carpeting the length of the room.

Lela held her hand to her mouth. Eldrich did not move or say a word.

Xavier kissed the top of Zel’s head and said, “Tell them the rest.”

“Xavier used my hair to climb to my window.”

“Why didn’t you fly?” Lela asked.

“The hair was so beautiful and golden. I was drawn to it, captivated.”

“When the witch found Xavier with me, she pushed him out of the window, thinking that he would fall to his death. And when he didn’t fall and instead flew, she tried to cast a spell which would make the castle invisible again. No spell she cast worked. Xavier confronted the witch and knowing she was somewhat defeated and now in the Kingdom of the Lost where her spells were not as powerful she consented to letting me out at night. However, if I wander too far, her spell brings me back. Despicable, evil hag won’t let me go.” Zela covered her face with her hands and sobbed.

“What does your predicament have to do with us?” Eldrich asked, harshly.

“The same witch who cursed you, cursed Zel,” Xavier said.

“You know about me?” Eldrich said, exposing his fangs again.

“Settle yourself,” Xavier said. “I only know because the witch told me. She’s a wretched soul. She will let Zel go only if,” he looked at Lela, “if she lies with me.”

“No!” Eldrich said.

“You can’t be serious,” Lela said, nearly bursting into laughter.

“We’re not lying to you. We need your help,” Zel said, sniffling.

“The witch wants to hurt you,” Xavier said to Eldrich. “I’m sorry we’re asking this of you. I love Zel with every part of me. And I cannot save her alone. Please help us.”

Lela approached Eldrich. “Let’s go right now.”

Tears in his eyes, Eldrich said, “I love you.”

“Do you believe me?” Lela needed to know that Eldrich trusted her and that he did not believe she had lied with Xavier.

“You have chosen him. I can see it in your eyes. How long have you loved him? You tricked me into bringing you here. He is the reason you asked me to take you deep into the forest away from Barmoth.”

She moved in closer to him. “I love you. Your distrust is making my heart ache,” Lela said.

“You have broken mine,” he said, his brow wrinkled.

“Please believe me. I knew nothing of Xavier before today. I’m in love with you and only you.”

Eldrich looked at Xavier. “If you hurt her, I will kill you.” Then he dashed to the window and jumped from it.

Lela ran to the window and screamed, “Eldrich!”

He was gone.

“Will you help us?” Zel asked.

Lela turned and pounced over to Zel, ready to strangle her.

“This is all so ridiculous. You can’t honestly expect me to do what you’re asking of me. The man I love just abandoned me,” she said, glaring at Zel.

Then she walked to the staircase and grasped the handrail. She’d not stay in this place for one more second even if it meant she’d wander the forest alone forever.

“If you don’t lie with me tonight, Zel will die,” Xavier said.

Lela let go of the handrail.

“It’s true,” Zel said. “The witch has given us until tonight. That is why Xavier sought you out earlier today. He has been watching you for days.”

“So you were stalking me,” Lela said, still standing near the staircase.

“Yes, I’m sorry. Today on the bank, I was going to tell you the truth and ask for your help, but I couldn’t do it. You seemed so happy and carefree.”

“We couldn’t burden you with our concerns,” Zel said.

“Oh, right, sure I understand,” Lela said, laughing. “But now you have no problem burdening me. And what’s more, why is everything bloody red in this place?”

“Red is the witch’s favorite color,” Zel said. “She insists that everything be red.”

“Of course, why didn’t I think of that? Ah yes, the witch…the evil hag who would like to see me and Eldrich broken apart forever. I shall have to meet this witch one day so I can hit her right in her disgusting face,” Lela said, sighing and falling into a chair.

“Careful with your words. She’s never very far,” Zel said.

“Zel and I decided to spend one last night together…to let whatever was going to happen, happen. We resigned ourselves. And then, there you were standing in front of me. I thought it had to be fate. Perhaps my creator had sent you to us,” Xavier said.

“So you invited me over for stew, how gracious and wonderful of you,” Lela said.

“Look, I don’t blame you for not wanting to help us. But we need to know your answer,” Zel said.

“Will you lie with me tonight?” Xavier asked Lela.

For goodness sake, a few weeks ago a frog had asked her the same question. She was beginning to think she was going to spend the rest of her life lying with strange men to help break some witch’s curse.

She stared at them; they looked so lost and sad and pathetic, holding hands, tears in their eyes, she couldn’t say no. She believed they were telling her the truth. Forgive me, Eldrich.

“Come morning, you will take me home to Eldrich,” she said to Xavier. “And you and Zel will never cross paths with us again.”

“Understood,” Xavier said.

“Thank you!” Zel said, darting to the staircase. “I’ll sleep outside tonight.” She disappeared down the steps.

“We have a room with a bed. Or if you’d rather we stay here,” Xavier said, his voice shaking.

“I’d rather we not do this at all but since I agreed, I prefer a bed,” she said, her thoughts on Eldrich. Sharp pain went through her heart and she wondered if he would ever forgive her.

Xavier led her through a narrow hall and into a small room lit with candles. In the center of the room was a round bed.

“I won’t do anything you don’t want me to,” Xavier said, unbuttoning his trousers.

“You’re going directly to it,” she said.

He blushed. “I’m sorry, I admit to being nervous.”

“Let’s get it over with,” Lela said, removing the cloak Zel had given her.

She was now completely naked. He took off his trousers; she looked away.

“May I kiss you?” he asked.

“Yes,” she whispered.

His lips touched hers. They were warm and soft, unlike Eldrich’s lips which were firm and rather cold.

Xavier kissed her as if she were a dying flower which he was tenderly trying to bring back to life. Continuing to kiss her, he placed his hand between her legs and began to caress her; slowly he moved his fingers inside of her. He then took her hand and placed it on his cock. She grasped it and moved her hand up and down on it, slow at first and then faster.

He pulled his lips away.

She thought her knees were going to give out.

He shifted lower on her body and began to blow air between her inner thighs, nipping and tugging at her.

She ran her fingers through his silky hair. Forgive me, Eldrich.

Turning her so that her buttocks were in his face, he ran his fingers up and down her… and then stretched her legs. May I rot in the darkest place of all the Kingdoms for allowing myself to feel pleasure with this man. May I rot for wanting him inside of me.

“Don’t feel guilty,” he said.

Could he read her thoughts? Not possible, but then she hadn’t even known angels existed until today and therefore had no idea what skills they possessed.

In the next second, he picked her up and carried her to the bed. Then he placed her on her side and pressed his cock against her. Eldrich’s cock, she confessed, was not the size of Xavier’s.

“May I enter you,” Xavier asked.

Sweet Gods! She wanted his huge, firm cock in every way.

His wings expanded.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered. “When I’m aroused, I can’t hold back my wings.”

Closing her eyes, she said, “Enter me.”

He slid his cock in and she swore she felt it in her throat. She couldn’t resist making loud sounds. Noises she had never made with Eldrich.

Before she could hold her tongue, she said, “Don’t ever leave my body.”

He answered by driving deeper into her.

“What else do you desire from me?” he asked. “I will do anything you want.”

“I want you to do what you will. Surprise me, scare me…”

He jumped off the bed.

“No, please come back,” she cried. “I want you… need you inside of me.”

Smiling at her, he said, “I won’t be long.”

Lying on her back, she touched her every part. She felt she was drowning and she didn’t care. She could not explain her feelings, her desire for this stranger, this angel with whom she only had one night. A single night of exhilarating enjoyment before she would have to come to her senses and face Eldrich, the man to whom she had given her heart, the man she loved.

Xavier returned holding a squash! Lela had seen servants entertain themselves with oh so many different things including vegetables. Lela couldn’t help chuckling. Yes, she’d play along.

“I want you up against me,” he said.

She lifted her buttocks, holding herself up with her elbows. He came behind her and began teasing her with the squash, rubbing it between her legs. This was madness!

Then he pushed in the squash just a little and she screamed.

“Am I hurting you?” he asked.

“No,” she managed to say.

He moved the tip of the squash into her and she had the most intense orgasm she had ever had. Bloody hell, she was having sex with a vegetable!

He set the squash on the bed.

Collapsing on the bed, she said, “I’m humiliated.”

“You have nothing to be ashamed of. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I was afraid you wouldn’t.”

The sight of his sprawling wings aroused her even more.

He plunged into her and she wrapped her legs high around his back.

“Call out my name,” he whispered.

“I can’t,” she said.

“We have only this night,” he said, his cock rocking her.

She was ashamed for liking what he was doing to her. She more than liked it. She wanted more.

“Xavier,” she said.

“Again,” he said, escalating his movements.

“Oh Xavier, I’ve never felt such intense pleasure.” He was ripping into her, causing her to have multiple orgasms.

He finally pulled out of her and released his fluid on her stomach. She took in a long breath.

“If you want, I can sleep in another room,” he said, retracting his wings.

“Please stay with me. I don’t want to be alone,” she said, feeling the oncoming of tears. She didn’t think she could ever face Eldrich again.

Xavier lied next to her and wrapped his arm around her shoulder.

“I’ll stay with you all night.”

She closed her eyes and let sleep take her.

Morning came and Lela sat at the table, sipping broth. Zel and Xavier stood on the other side of the table staring at her.

“You can have more,” Zel said with a smile.

“Yes, yes, we have plenty,” Xavier said.

For goodness sake, the situation couldn’t have been more uncomfortable. No matter, Zel was alive and free to live her life with Xavier outside of this dreadful tower.

“We’re eternally grateful. If you ever need anything from us, we’ll be there,” Zel said.

What Lela needed was to go home to Eldrich.

“I wish you nothing but joy,” Lela said. And she meant it.

Zel kissed Xavier on the cheek, her eyes sparkling.

“Are you ready to go?” Xavier asked Lela.

“No, but I will go just the same.”

“You will have the day to gather your thoughts,” Zel said. “And when the sun goes down, you and Eldrich will be together and all will be well, I’m sure of it.”

“I hope so.” Lela knew that all would not be well between her and Eldrich and that she had probably lost him forever.

Zel went to the window and flung open the shutters. “Oh, it’s a glorious day. The air smells wonderful!”

“May I pick you up?” Xavier asked.

“Go ahead,” Lela said, standing.

He scooped her up and walked to the window.

“I shall return to you soon,” he said to Zel.

Zel clapped and grinned as if she was a little girl having just been given a doll.

Lela was jealous of Xavier and Zel. They were in love and free.

In the next second, Xavier went out the window with her in his arms. Down they fell.

“We’ll die,” she yelled.

“Hold on tight,” he said.

Down, down they continued to fall.

And just when she thought they would surely hit the ground, he spread his wings and flew high into the air.

“Did you mean to scare me?” she asked.

“Maybe a little,” he said.

“You’re a funny, funny man.”

“I may never see you again. I wanted to give you one more thrill.” He winked.

She flushed and said nothing more.

Moments later, they were back in Barmoth. She looked down at the familiar forest and could see the riverbank on which she had first met Xavier.

“Leave me in the place we met,” she said.

He nodded and descended.

Once they were standing on the ground, he took her hand and placed it on the cross on his chest.

“I’m not ashamed of it,” he said.

“What will you and Zel do now?” she asked.

“I’m going to marry her. She will become the princess of the Kingdom of the Lost. And I will love her for all eternity.”

His words crushed her. Not because she wished he meant them for her but because her thoughts were on Eldrich.

“He will forgive you,” he said, kissing her hand.

Tears streamed down her face. “I don’t think he will.”

“Have faith in your love.”

“Thank you for bringing me home.”

“Thank you for saving her…for helping me,” he said.

“Goodbye,” she said.

“Until we meet again,” he said and took flight.

Lela closed the door behind her and slid to the floor. She wanted to find Eldrich’s resting place and wake him even if it meant risking her life. She wanted to hug him, kiss him, and tell him she loved him and that she needed his forgiveness.

If he refused her, she’d go back to her father with a shattered heart. There were so many things she didn’t know about the world and despite what she had learned in the past few weeks, she felt like an infant learning how to walk. No matter, she knew she loved Eldrich with all her soul. And she couldn’t stand the thought of him rejecting her.

She lit a few sconces around the house and then sat down on the steps. The sun set and she remained on the steps, her throat threatening to close, sweat trickling down her upper back.

“What are you doing here?” Eldrich asked.

Lela looked at him and started immediately crying. “Forgive me.”

“You shouldn’t have come here,” he said, his eyes cold and empty.

“Do you still love me?” she asked.

He turned her from her.

“If you tell me you no longer love me, I will leave and never bother you again.”

The seconds passed. Please tell me you love me. Hate me for what I did. But tell me you love me.

“Do you know how painful it was to know you were with him…letting him touch you, kiss you, my heart is broken.”

“Zel was going to die if I didn’t lie with him,” Lela said, putting her hand on his back. “Imagine how you’d feel if I died.”

He stepped forward. “You should have let her die!”

“You can’t mean that.”

“Did you enjoy it?”

“Eldrich, please, I love you.”

“Answer me. You owe me the truth.”

“I thought of you.”

“I hunted last night,” he said, facing her. “I killed last night.”

“I don’t want to hear this.”

“And do you think I care what you want? I no longer care about you.”

“I’ll leave,” she said, making for the door.

He grabbed her hand and brought her close to him. “I still love you. Damn my soul, I love you.”

“Forgive me,” she said, throwing her arms around him.

“I can’t be without you,” he said, kissing her.

She kissed him back, forcefully.

“Don’t ever leave me again,” she said.

“I didn’t leave you.”

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“Do you really think I would ever abandon you? I waited outside until the sun began to rise. I had to make sure you were all right.”

A thought came to Lela’s mind. He must have run into Zel. No, no, they couldn’t have!

“I talked to Zel,” he said.

She was going to most definitely faint.

“She told me everything.”

“Did you-”

“Of course not. I’m yours, and only yours.”

Blood returned to her brain.

“If you had…I’d have no right to confront you about it.”

“But I didn’t. I hate that you spent the night away from me with another man. I hate it…but I know why you did it.”

“Let’s never speak of it,” she said.

“Will you stay with me?” he asked.

“Forever,” she said. She didn’t know if they would ever truly get past this but she prayed they would.

He picked her up and carried her up the stairs. “I shall erase all memory of him.”

“Yes, my love, I beg you.”

He threw her on the bed and took off his clothes.

She removed the cloak Zel had let her have.

He came down on her and wasted no time thrusting into her.

“To whom do you belong?” he asked.

“Only to you,” she said.

As he plunged harder into her, all thoughts of her night with Xavier drifted to the back of her mind. Yes, she had enjoyed her time with him but she did not love him. The man she loved was inside of her and oh, how she had missed him. Sweet prince of mine, my love, my everything, take all of me.

Eldrich brought his fangs to her neck and she cried out, “Drink from me, do it.”

In ecstasy, one thought from the night before broke through to the forefront of her mind. She was embarrassed but could not deny that yes, it was on her mind. The squash.

“I know about it,” he whispered into her ear.

She had actually said the word out loud! Sweet Gods.

“I’m sorry.”

He laughed. “We can try other vegetables if you want, just not squash,” he said.

She laughed. “Oh Eldrich, I adore you.”

She knew all was well and they were in love and free. And there were many other vegetables with which they could play.

GOLDEN SECRETS, a short tale Episode three of the Golden Erotic Tales Series

It was early morning. The night’s storm had brought down trees and overflowed the river, leaving behind disturbed habitats and an eerie stillness in the air. Lela trudged through the forest on her way to the castle. It had been two months since she had seen her father.

She had thought about him every day and panged to see him, throw her arms around him and yes, ask him why he hadn’t sent any of his men to look for her after she ran away to live with Eldrich. Although she was the one who left and chose not to come back, she couldn’t help feeling like an abandoned child. No matter, she pressed on and prayed the storm had passed over the castle without incident.

Oh how she missed the energy of the castle, the servants gossiping and laughing, the aroma coming from the kitchen, dogs barking, and her talks with Lady Rema, her handmaiden, the comings and goings of visitors from other kingdoms…she missed it all.

Before Eldrich had disappeared into his sleeping hiding place for the day, she had told him she was going to go back to the castle to see her father and make sure no harm had come to him or anyone else.

The storm had ripped off part of the roof from Eldrich’s house and knocked down several trees, one of which scarcely missed hitting the house. She and Eldrich had spent the night pretending not to be worried, playing cards, telling jokes and talking about their lives together and how happy they were to have found each other. He had asked her more than once yet again if she would stay with him forever. His constant need for reassurance was instilling doubt in her. She was completely in love with him and she was sure he was with her but him asking her the same question made her think he was really afraid she would leave him. She made a mental note to ask him to stop or at the very least limit his questioning to only once per week, a thought that made her chuckle. For goodness sake, here she was in love with a clingy vampire.

Last night was the first time they had gone without indulging in each other. They had never gone a single night without having sex, not even when she was bleeding. It was during her bleeding time that Eldrich indulged even more, going down on her, licking her and drinking from her as if he meant to walk into the sun at first light and cease to exist. Even now, thinking about his tongue and lips inside of her, nipping, sucking, teasing her sent a sensation through her which made her want to stop in her tracks right then and there and give herself pleasure.

Yes, it had only been one night but bloody hell, she admitted to missing his warmth, the way he spoke to her during sex, commanding her to do what he wanted, pushing the limits of their desires, but also responding to her wants, her wishes.

For the moment, just the moment, she evicted him out of her mind and concentrated on her mission.

It would take her one hour to reach the castle and that’s if she didn’t pause for food and also maintained a brisk pace. Before leaving Eldrich’s house, she had eaten her fill of fruit and bread. Ever since the night she had spent with Xavier fresh bread awaited her every morning in Eldrich’s kitchen. Although she had told Xavier and his golden-haired lover, Zel, never to cross paths with her or Eldrich again, she suspected it was one of them bringing her breakfast each morning. And she was grateful; she’d started to gain back some of the weight she had initially lost when she first came to live with Eldrich and had to rely on berries from the forest.

When Eldrich saw how much weight she was losing, he started sneaking into villages late at night to steal pieces of meat for her. She was a princess relying on a vampire and an angel to bring her food. For goodness sake, she had fallen far from the King’s crown.

Thinking of her night with Xavier made her body tingle just a little bit, maybe more than a little bit, if she were to be truly honest. She had had sex with a fallen angel, never mind that she hadn’t even known angels existed before she met Xavier. And what’s more, had she refused to have sex with him, his poor imprisoned and cursed lover would have died. Oh, yes, Lela had considered giving herself the title of Witch’s Curse Breaker.

Never mind her outlandish, yet tasty time with Xavier she centered instead on reaching the castle, a task which was beginning to become quite arduous. With so many trees down, she had to either climb over them or find another way around them.

As she climbed down from the other side of a tree, she noticed something shining through a pile of leaves. Bending, she moved the leaves aside and upon taking a closer look at the shiny material, she gasped. It couldn’t be! She was staring at gold. She stood so abruptly she fell backwards and into the fallen tree from which she had just climbed down. Pointy branches dug into her back. Using her arms to push off the tree, she yelled, “Bloody hell!”

When she was once again standing, she quickly scanned the area. Please don’t be here, please, leave me alone. She didn’t see the golden ball which gave her some comfort. Taking in a deep breath, she sped through the forest, jumping over branches and puddles and more than once nearly colliding with a fallen tree.

Ahead, the castle came into view. From what she could see so far, nothing looked out of place. She flew toward it. As she got closer, her stomach began to ache and she considered turning and running back to Eldrich’s house. No, she was not a coward. And besides, despite her apprehension, her most important concern was to know her father was safe.

Clearing her throat and swallowing, she reached the castle’s grounds. Everything appeared as she had left it. It was as if the storm had intentionally bypassed the castle. Relieved, she exhaled a deep breath and massaged her brow. Then it hit her. How did she not notice it sooner? The silence, the absence of people, the castle was deserted.

Her heart in her knees, Lela ran through the castle’s halls yelling, “Father! Father! Where are you?”

She stopped and listened. She heard nothing. Not possible. Flinging the doors open to her father’s bedroom, she yelled again, “Father! It’s Lela!”

He was not in his room. Sinking into a chair, she pleaded with her mind to bring her answers. Something awful must have happened to cause her father and the rest of the people to leave. No wonder her father hadn’t come looking for her. Whatever transpired must have occurred soon after she left, as soon as that same night. Vampires!

Blood rushed to her brain; if she had not been sitting, she would have fainted. Sitting still for a moment, she let the dizzy spell pass. Then she dashed into the hall on her way to the castle’s kitchen. She’d gather as much food as she could carry, hustle back to the house, formulize a plan and wait for Eldrich to rise from his sleep.

Scanning the kitchen, she held her nose. The smell of rotting food so strong, she nearly hurled. Flies flew about as if humans had gone extinct and it was now their time to rule the land. Barrels of rotting vegetables and fruit sat on the floor and on tables.

Quickly, she searched for any food that was still edible. Ah, yes, the cooks always kept dried salted meat and jars of preserved fruit in the pantry. She spilled a bag of grain and then used the bag to collect as much meat and preserved fruit as she could carry. Throwing the bag over her shoulder, she made for the kitchen’s exit door and then walked through the short hall which led to the animals’ pens.

But when she was outside she didn’t hear any sounds coming from the enclosures. The animals were gone, too. Madness!

If the people of the castle were in immediate danger, her father would not have ordered they also take the animals. But then she had been gone for two months and couldn’t be sure when it was that her father and the rest of the people left the castle. Nothing made sense. How was it possible that everyone, including the animals, had simply vanished?

Trying to understand what could have happened, Lela thought of the gold she had seen in the forest. Perhaps the golden ball had made it out of the sea and was now searching for her. But, if the ball was once again following her, why hadn’t the vampires come for her? Why would they have attacked her father instead? Maybe vampires had nothing to do with this. But who else could have gone after her father? Questions, nothing but questions and no bloody answers!

“Lela!” a woman screamed.

Lela turned in the direction of the voice. Coming out of the woods was a familiar face.

“Lady Rema, oh my beloved Lady Rema!” Lela yelled, setting the bag of food down and running to meet her.

Crying and disheveled, Lady Rema embraced her.

“I can’t believe it’s you,” Lady Rema said, looking her up and down.

“What happened here?” Lela asked.

“You’re so skinny,” Lady Rema said, hugging her again. “Oh Princess, I thought you were dead.”

“Focus, dear Lady Rema. Tell me what happened. Where is my father?”

Lady Rema started to cry again. “They disappeared.”

“How?” Lela asked, putting her hands on Lady Rema’s shoulders and lightly shaking her. She wouldn’t hesitate to slap her.

“The day you left…when the hours passed and you still hadn’t returned, I went looking for you. I was afraid the King would find out.”

“You went into the forest, alone?”

Lady Rema had never left the castle’s grounds. Not that Lela was aware of anyway.

“I had to bring you back. You told me the golden ball had made itself known to you. That meant vampires would be coming after you,” she said, wringing her hands.

As much as she loved Lady Rema her reason for going into the forest gave Lela doubt. She was the only one who hadn’t vanished. Why? There was something Lady Rema wasn’t telling her.

“I once asked you if you were an honest woman,” Lela said.

Nodding, Lady Rema said, “I am.”

“Then tell me the truth.”

“I couldn’t find you. I didn’t know where to look. I got lost,” she said, inhaling and exhaling. “When I found my way back to the castle everyone was gone. I swear. They were all gone.”

“You’re not telling me everything. A few weeks ago, I was a silly, naive girl. I’m no longer that same ridiculously sheltered, stupid girl who chased after a golden ball.” Lela took Lady Rema’s hand. “I will only ask you one more time. If you do not answer me with the truth, I’ll know it and you will be out of my life forever.”

Lady Rema gazed at the ground and then back at Lela. “I’ve taken care of you from the moment you were born. I swore to your mother the night she walked into the forest and gave herself to the vampires, wretched, despicable beings, that I would protect you,” she paused for a moment, “when you didn’t come back, I knew your father and everyone else here would suffer a painful death because of your decision to live with a vampire. At first, I tried to wave the thought away. You couldn’t possibly have fallen in love with one of them, not after what happened to your mother.”

“How cruel of you to say something like that to me,” Lela said, tears beginning to form.

“It’s not my intention to be cruel.”

“How did you know about Eldrich?”

“I knew something happened to you the night you spent in the forest. You came back different. Your focus on when the sun would set gave me pause. Your questions about vampires…”

“Finish your words,” Lela said, massaging her forehead.

“I did go after you. I was not lying about that. I knew exactly where he lived, the vampire with whom you had fallen in love. But I never made it to his house. Halfway there, I decided to visit my sisters instead. I flew high into the mountains, seeking their help.”

Lela tried to maintain her composure. Every part of her wanted to strangle Lady Rema.

“Are you seriously kidding me? What do you mean you flew? You’ve gone mad.”

Lady Rema cleared her throat and sighed. “You asked for the truth. Here it is. I’m a witch.”

Lela snickered and put her hands on her knees. “Oh, right, sure, of course you’re a witch. Why wouldn’t you be? After all, I’m a princess in love with a vampire. Oh, and by the way, angels exist and did you know that there was a war hundreds of years ago between vampires and angels? What else? Oh, yeah, I’m pretty sure the angels lost and now they all live in the Kingdom of the Lost and oh my, unknown Kingdoms, yeah, they also exist but then since you’re a witch you probably already know that. And lastly, please tell me you don’t actually fly on a broom? I shall fall dead.”

“This is no time for mockery and humor. I’m a witch. Of course I use a broom to fly. How else would I have reached the mountains so quickly?” Lady Rema said, blushing.

“I do apologize,” Lela said. “How very rude of me to poke fun at your revelation and your broom.” Hysterically laughing, she held her stomach. She considered picking up the bag of food and heading back to Eldrich’s house.

“Lela! Compose yourself. I have more to tell you.”

“Oh yes, by all means, please go on.”

“My plan the day you left was to bring you back, even if I had to cast a spell on you. I was afraid that once vampires learned the golden ball was hidden and that you had left the castle to go live with one of them, they’d come after your father and everyone else in the castle. Vampires are vicious, but they do respect rules. And without the golden ball, they cannot harm you nor can they attack your loved ones provided you remain in the same household. Do you understand what I’m saying?” She gritted her teeth. “You left the castle, leaving the door open for an attack. They would have killed your father and anyone else who dared cross their path. I would not have been able to stop them. They would have tortured your father, drained him slowly and then cast him into the sea where he would have endured further agony. They are despicable, soulless creatures who care nothing for humans or any other beings.”

“If what you’re saying is true, why didn’t you come after me?”

“Because of him,” she said.

“Eldrich?”

“He’s not what you think he is. I was afraid.”

“Don’t hold your tongue, now, old lady!”

“I was afraid he would rip me apart if I tried to take you. Most of our spells don’t work on vampires and the few that do require special ingredients and a wise hand. I have neither. I’ve never traveled outside of Barmoth. I’m a pathetic witch.”

“Eldrich is not like that. He would have never harmed you.”

“I know you love him, but he’s hiding something from you.”

“Enough! I want to know where my father is. I swear I’ll strangle you right here and now if you don’t tell me.”

“My sisters cast a spell on the castle, making it invisible and impenetrable. They helped me protect the people I love. But another witch, a powerful and old one, cast a different spell. She sent everyone to one of the unknown kingdoms. She hates you and Eldrich. She wants nothing more but to see you both suffer. I tried to bring them back. My sisters and I tried, but we could not break her curse.”

The same witch who turned Eldrich into a frog for not lying with her; the same witch who cast a spell on Zel sentencing her to death unless Lela lied with her lover, Xavier; the same witch who was now bent on forever hurting her and Eldrich. Curse you, witch! Curse you!

“What must I do to get them all back?” Lela asked.

“You’ll need to travel to her. She demands that you and Eldrich come to her and beg her for forgiveness.”

“Forgiveness?” Lela bit her upper lip.

“For the hurt you and Eldrich have caused her. Eldrich for not lying with her, and you for breaking the curse, and worst of all because Eldrich fell in love with you. For all of that, she demands you ask her for forgiveness.”

“And if I do that, will she return my father…everyone to the castle?”

“She has given me and my sisters her word.”

If Lela was to beg anything from anyone she needed to know that person’s name. “What’s her name?”

Lady Rema shuffled her feet. “She goes by the name of Stiltz.”

“I know that name,” Lela said. She’d heard her mother and father whisper it when they thought she wasn’t around and whenever she asked them about it, they’d shoo her away and tell her to go play and never speak of it.

“She’ll try and trick you.”

“Did my parents know her?” Lela asked, frowning.

Lady Rema covered her face with her hands. “The day after you were born she came before your mother and father to claim you. Stiltz had helped your poor mother after her father told a terrible lie to the King. He told your father that his daughter, your mother, could spin straw into gold and when your father found out that she couldn’t, he sentenced her to death. Bless your father, he is kind but he’s no one’s fool. He’ll not tolerate disrespect or treachery. Ah, but the wretched witch, Stiltz, helped your mother and in return for her help your mother offered her, her firstborn. You.”

“I have absolutely had it. How many more secrets are you keeping? And spinning straw into gold? Absurd, ludicrous! Gold has not existed in Barmoth for an eternity,” Lela said.

“When Stiltz came for you, your father and mother tried to dissuade her, offering her treasures and a noble position in the castle. She finally consented to one thing. If they could guess her name in three day’s time, she’d pardon your mother. Witches are secretive. We do not disclose much about ourselves and certainly not our real names. But Stiltz was careless. She thought she had won and so on the third night she walked through a remote village yelling her name. A villager, I’m convinced it was a fallen angel who was passing through Barmoth, traveled to the castle and told your mother and father. Stiltz swore she’d hurt you someday. She stormed out of the castle swearing she’d find a way to hurt you.”

Lela could not absorb the information she had just heard. It was all too much. She’d think about it later.

“If you have any other secrets, hold them. Tell me how to get to the witch.”

“She lives in the highest point of the tallest mountain.”

“Even with Eldrich’s speed and strength it will take us days, maybe even weeks to reach it. I’m not a climber. It’s impossible!”

“I will give you my broom. It can carry you both. Go to Eldrich and be back here at sundown.”

Lela wrapped her arms around Lady Rema. “All is not well between you and me. We will someday sit down and finish this conversation. But I know you did what you did because you wanted to protect me and my father.”

“Come back at sundown,” Lady Rema said.

“Wait for me here,” Lela said.

“Go.”

Lela made it back to the house in less than an hour. She raced up the stairs and into her room. Exhausted, her stomach full from dried, salted meat, she fell into her bed. She needed to sleep, if only for a few hours. Drifting into slumber, she prayed to the Gods to give her courage.

A whisper awakened her.

“Sweet Princess, I missed you,” Eldrich said into her ear.

Still groggy, she said, “I have so much to tell you.”

Kissing her neck, he swept his hand down her arm. “Tell me afterwards.”

His heat was driving her crazy and she felt guilty for wanting him inside of her.

His lips touched hers. She opened her mouth to him, her hand sliding down to his hard cock. She gripped its head and moved her hand up and down on it. He continued kissing her sending shivers down to her toes.

Moving her hand away from his stiffness, he said, “I have a surprise for you.”

“What is it?” she asked, moaning and squirming.

“Will you do as I say?” he asked.

She’d do anything he asked. “Command me.”

“Sweet delicious, Princess, I missed being inside of you, thrusting into you.”

“Then do it, my love. Plunge into me, hurt me.”

“Not yet. First I want to show you my surprise. I think you’ll be pleased.”

“Tell me what to do. I’m yours.”

He sat up in the bed and leaned against the headboard. “I want you to play with yourself. I want to watch you touch yourself.”

He had never asked that of her. It struck her that she had never thought about putting on that kind of display for him. She suddenly felt prudish.

The sconces on the walls shimmered light into the room. She got up and glided to the end of the bed.

Grinning, he winked at her.

“Undress for me,” he said.

She let the top of her dress fall to her waist.

“Touch your breasts.”

Slowly, she fondled her breasts.

“Yes, slowly, that’s it,” he said. “Now squeeze your nipples.”

For goodness sake, what was wrong with her? She was behaving as if this was the first time she and Eldrich had had sex. As if she had never used her own hands to arouse herself. Ah, the difference was that she had yet to put on a show for Eldrich and she was suddenly terrified. What if he didn’t like what he saw?

Breathing in, she pinched her nipples.

“Are you enjoying what you’re seeing?” she asked. I’ll die if he says no.

“Love of mine, I want you to give yourself pleasure as if I weren’t here. I want to see what you do when I’m not with you.”

Ah, yes, that she could do.

“Then don’t give me anymore commands.”

He nodded.

Stepping out of her dress, she widened her legs. She then stroked her belly button and lowered her hand to her vagina. Using two fingers, she spread her vagina’s lips.

“Sweet, delicious Princess,” he said, moving his hand to his swollen cock.

“No, you’re not allowed to play, yet,” she said, winking.

“You’re mean,” he said, smirking.

“And you’re not supposed to be here, remember? I’m to do what I do when you’re not with me.”

He blew her a kiss. “Apologies.”

She slid a finger inside and threw her head back as she swirled her hips in delight.

He got up from the bed and came toward her. He was holding something in his hand.

“Are you ready for your surprise?” he asked, revealing what was in his hand.

“Oh, you’re naughty. Where did you get it?”

“From a village not too far from here.”

“What are you going to do with it?” she asked, biting her lip.

“Ah, so you’re ready?”

“Oh yes, oh yes.”

He dragged a chair to her and said, “Lean over it and open your legs as wide as you can.”

And she did.

He slapped her hard on her buttocks.

She winced.

“Do you want me to hit you again?” he asked.

“Yes, hurt me until I gush,” she said.

Smacking her again, he said, “You’ll drive me mad, I’m convinced of it.”

He then got down on his knees and bloody hell, began to swirl the cucumber around the tip of her vagina.

She screamed and then screamed louder as he inserted one end of the cucumber into her. Sweet Gods!

“Do you like what I’m doing to you?” he asked.

She liked it so much it embarrassed her. It also reminded her of her night with Xavier and the squash!

“Yes, oh yes,” she said.

He stood, spread her buttocks, and began to rub his cock on her. “Sweet Princess, you make me crazy.”

She flinched with anticipation.

“ Let me do what I want to you,” he said.

“Yes, my prince, do as you please. Have your way with me.”

“Do you like the way my cock feels against you?” he asked.

“I love it, oh, I love it.”

He reinserted the tip of the cucumber into her vagina and then he oh so gently started entering her from behind.

When she thought she would faint from the extreme pleasure she was feeling, he sank his fangs into the back of her neck sending potent shrills up and down her body. Blessed Gods! He was having his every way with her…drinking from her, using a hellish vegetable on her, and sweet Gods pleasuring her from…

“I want you to climax first,” he said to her.

“I have multiple times already.”

He pulled her hair back gently. “Are you happy? Do you want me to do anything else to you?”

Oh, he was her prince…her beautiful, forceful, yet selfless lover.

“I’m happy,” she whispered, climaxing again.

He pulled out of her and ejected his semen on her lower back. “Forgive me, love.”

“Don’t apologize. I’m yours and you’re mine.”

As Lela’s drunken, fogged mind began to clear, the reality of what she had learned earlier in the day presented itself front and center.

“Eldrich!” she said.

He was sitting on the edge of the bed putting on his trousers. “What’s wrong? Did I hurt you?”

“We need to go right now. Get up, hurry,” she said, grabbing his arm and bringing him to his feet.

Quickly, he pulled up his pants. “Where are we going?”

“A witch…the same witch who cursed you has vanished my father and everyone from the castle to an unknown kingdom. We need to meet my handmaiden, Lady Rema, at the castle. She’s a witch and she’s going to let us use her broom to fly-”

“Slow down. I don’t understand anything you’re saying,” he interrupted.

She took hold of his hand and said, “I’ll explain on the way.”

With speed, she led him out of the room and down the stairs.

“You’re not faster than me, love. I’ll carry you,” he said, lifting her into his arms. Then he took a lamp from one of the foyer’s walls, turned it on and handed it to her. “Hold it tight.”

“Fly!” she said.

Off they went. Even in near-darkness, Eldrich danced around branches and fallen trees with ease and in a few minutes, they were standing on the castle’s grounds.

“Lady Rema! Come into view,” Lela said. “I promise he won’t hurt you!” Then she whispered to Eldrich, “Please be sweet to her.”

“I’m not fond of witches but I promise I won’t hurt her,” he whispered back.

“Lady Rema, I promise I won’t drain you!” he screamed.

“Eldrich, for bloody hell’s sake, I said be sweet.”

“Oh, okay,” he grumbled. “I’m sorry. That was rude of me!” he yelled.

Lady Rema appeared holding a torch in one hand, a broom in the other.

“Come closer,” Lela said.

Lady Rema eyed Eldrich.

Lela poked him on the side of his stomach with her knuckles.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” he said to Lady Rema. “I’m making a rule not to hurt you. As a witch, you should know vampires respect rules.”

She took a step forward and then another until she was standing two feet from them. “Did she tell you everything?” Lady Rema asked Eldrich.

He nodded.

“Then you understand your role? You’re to plead…beg Stiltz to bring back the King and the rest of the people she sent away.”

“I will get down on my knees and weep if I have to,” he said.

“Take it,” Lady Rema said, handing Lela the broom. “It will fly you to the highest point of the highest mountain in Barmoth. It will bring you back. It will not dissuade from its mission, I promise you.”

“Thank you,” Lela said.

“Princess, remember what I said to you earlier,” Lady Rema said, giving Eldrich a brief glance.

He’s not what you think he is. Yes, Lela remembered.

“Wish us luck,” Lela said to her.

“Be on your way, child, and may the Gods be with you.”

Lela put the broom between her thighs.

“Get behind me,” Lela said to Eldrich.

He joined her and in the next moment, the broom began to ascend. Lela closed her eyes and held on tight.

“Don’t be afraid,” Eldrich said. “I’m with you.”

She opened her eyes and looked down. She couldn’t see Lady Rema. All she saw was darkness. The broom rose higher and a thought came to Lela’s mind. One she wished had stayed hidden. Xavier. She remembered feeling safe with him when he was holding her in his arms as he glided through the air when he brought her back to Barmoth from the Kingdom of the Lost. A part of her wished he was holding her, now.

Higher they rose and she thought they were going to collide with the full moon. She stared at it. So majestic and powerful, she wondered how many secrets it was keeping for people.

“We’re almost to the mountains,” Eldrich said.

“Are you scared?” she asked.

“Of a witch? No, of course not.”

He was lying. Stiltz was the witch who cursed him, turned him into a frog!

“She won’t put a spell on you, again. I’m sure of it. That would be too easy. Her intent is to cause us both pain,” Lela said.

“I never told you how many years I spent as a frog. I lived as a slimy, insect-eating close-to-the-ground frog for ten years.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. In that time, I learned a lot about the forest, humans, and I also got to feel the sun’s rays on my skin without feeling pain.”

“Do you miss the sun?” Lela asked.

“When I was a young vampire, yes, I missed it.”

“And now?”

“Now I’m with you and you’re all that matters to me.”

Ahead, Lela could see the tallest mountain. The broom ascended higher.

For an unknown reason, Lela started laughing as the broom approached the peak of the mountain.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

“This is all so utterly ridiculous. If I don’t laugh, I’ll start crying and fall down into the trees.”

“How do you think I feel? Vampires despise witches. And yet, I find myself flying on a witch’s broom on my way to see another witch.”

She laughed, harder. “We’re quite the couple.”

“At least we’re not boring,” he said.

“Mind if after we get through this, we settle in for a bit of boringness?” she asked.

“Even when having sex?”

“Of course not!”

“You had me worried,” he said.

“Ah, don’t worry, my love. I have a few things planned for us,” she said.

“Do tell. More vegetables?” He laughed.

“Is that all you think I like?” she asked, snorting.

“I’m intrigued,” he said.

“You’ll have to wait and see.”

They reached the top of the mountain and the broom began to descend.

“How will we know where the witch lives?” she asked.

“Something tells me she’ll come to us,” he said.

Down through the tallest trees Lela had ever seen, the broom fell.

She looked below and saw a pack of wolves, tearing a dead animal’s flesh.

“Eldrich,” she said.

“Don’t worry,” he said, jumping off the broom.

They were at least thirty feet from the ground. I’m in love with a mad vampire!

The broom halted, hovering in the air above Eldrich and the wolves.

The alpha male wolf leaped onto Eldrich. Eldrich pushed him off with his arm; the wolf landed some twenty feet away. The other wolves growled.

“Who’s next?” Eldrich asked, crossing his arms.

The alpha male regained his stance and came at Eldrich again. This time, Eldrich grabbed and twisted his neck. Upon seeing their now dead leader the other wolves retreated and disappeared into the woods.

The broom started falling again. Lela’s feet touched the earth. She sprinted into Eldrich’s arms.

Before she could contain herself, she unbuttoned his trousers, pushed down his pants and took his cock in her mouth.

Moaning, he said, “Sweetness of mine. Yes, take it in deeper. That’s it, good, very good.”

She wanted all of him in her mouth and she drew him in deeper and deeper, sucking and licking him. His fighting the wolves had aroused her beyond her control. She felt like an animal and she didn’t care. Standing, she lifted her dress and leaned against a tree.

“Come to me,” she said.

He wasted no time. “I want to devour you,” he said, sliding his fingers into her.

“No,” she whispered, moving his hand aside.

“What do you want me to do?” he asked.

“I want your cock inside of me. I want you to push into me as if today is your last day.”

He raised her arms above her head and entered her.

“Harder,” she said.

He obeyed.

She was absolutely intoxicated.

“Turn me around,” she said.

He obeyed. Powering into her again, he put his arm across her upper back and pressed her body against the tree.

“Tonight is your last night, love,” she said.

He pulled out of her and ripped her dress off. Then he grabbed her and threw her to the ground.

“My turn,” he said.

“Anything you want,” she said.

“Crawl away from me.”

The heat she was feeling was killing her. She almost felt nonhuman as if the mountain was turning her into a ravenous animal.

Crawling, she said, “Don’t hurt me.” Yes, oh, yes, hurt me.

“Smother your body with dirt,” he said.

She obeyed. Oh, yes, she did. She spread dirt on her face, her breasts and her stomach.

“Down below, too,” he said.

Gently, she smeared dirt between her thighs.

“You’re so dirty,” he said. “My sweet dirty, Princess. Now get up and run from me. Run as fast as you can.”

Blessed Gods, what has gotten into us? Whatever it is, I want more. I want him to chase me and knock me down and plunge into me…

She came to her feet and soared through the trees as if the God of Death had called her to him. The moon’s glow guided her.

Suddenly, she was no longer running. She was on her back on the ground and Eldrich, oh, sweet Gods, was plunging into her with all his strength. Wrapping her legs high around his back, she gushed and then immediately had a second orgasm followed by bloody hell, a third!

Sinking his fangs into her plump breasts, he drew her blood as if he meant to drain her.

“Love, you’re taking too much. You need to stop.”

He thrust into her one last time and then pulled his fangs from her breasts. “I’m sorry if I scared you.”

Lying on her back, staring at the moon, Lela smiled. He had stopped when she asked him. He had not taken anything too far. She loved him even more because she knew he would never, ever hurt her. She wanted to push the boundaries of their sexual escapades even more.

“You got a little overly excited. As did I. That was intense,” she said, breathing heavily.

“Maybe it’s the mountain air,” he said.

“Or the full moon,” she said.

“Whatever it was, let’s do it again,” he said, standing and offering his hand to her.

“Now?” She could hardly breathe.

“I need to regain my strength,” he said with a grin.

“You’re not the only one,” she said, taking a hold of his hand.

He pulled her up. “I’ll return in a few seconds.”

“Where are you going?”

“To get our clothes and the broom,” he said and disappeared.

Seconds later, he was back.

“Your dress is slightly ripped, forgive me,” he said, handing it to her.

“Ah, yes, I bet you’re very sorry you tore my dress,” she said with a chuckle.

Smiling, he put on his trousers and shirt.

She threw on her dress and tugged at the torn collar. “Barely noticeable.”

“It’s noticeable to me,” he said.

“Quit it. You’re not helping.”

He leaned in and gave her a kiss on the nose. “I adore you. Ripped clothes and all.”

“I’m a princess, you know,” she said. “Accustomed to only the finest of things.”

He tilted his head and then leaned in for another kiss. This time his mouth met hers.

“What a lovely couple,” a voice said.

Three men and a woman encircled them.

Eldrich got in front of Lela and extended his arms. “Why are you here, Zaul?”

The man whom Eldrich had called Zaul moved in closer. Taller than Eldrich, he had long, flowing hair which fell past his waist. His face was scarred and he wore a patch on one eye. Lela had a suspicion that the newcomers were vampires.

“So lovely, indeed,” he said, his gaze on Lela.

“Without the golden ball, you have no claim on her,” Eldrich said.

Zaul sighed and then sighed again. “Yes, yes, we know.”

“But yet, we still find ourselves wanting her. Look at her, she’s delicious,” the woman vampire said, locking hands with Zaul.

“You’re rather selfish, Eldrich,” Zaul said. “But then, you’ve always been selfish. Does she know who you really are?”

“Be on your way!” Eldrich said.

Lela bent down to pick up the broom. She considered getting on it and demanding it take her away, but she couldn’t leave Eldrich and what’s more, she wasn’t sure if the broom would obey her since they hadn’t completed their mission.

“You have a witch’s broom? Fascinating. What are you two up to?” Zaul asked.

“We ask the same of you. Why are you here?” Eldrich asked.

“Sweetheart, have you seen gold in the forest lately?” Zaul asked, staring at Lela.

Lela came from behind Eldrich. She’d not let this vampire humiliate her.

“A dusting of gold among leaves does not constitute a golden ball,” she said.

“My, my, she’s brave. Very nice,” Zaul said.

“Unless you see a golden ball here, get on your way,” Lela said and swallowed. Keep still knees, keep still.

“We may not be able to claim you yet, but don’t think the golden ball isn’t coming for you. The dusting you saw is its way of letting you know it’s finding its way back,” Zaul said.

All of the vampires then rose into the air, hovering over Lela and Eldrich.

“By the look on your face, you had no idea some vampires can fly,” Zaul said to Lela. “Oh, Eldrich, you disappoint. Have you told her nothing about our kind?”

“Let us be,” Eldrich said.

“Ah, yes, for now, only for now,” Zaul said.

“Can you fly?” Lela asked Eldrich after Zaul and the other vampires flew off.

“No,” he said, taking her hand.

“Are you keeping anything from me?” she asked.

“Yes.”

She let go of his hand and locked eyes with him. “Tell me.”

“I love you. I would give my life for you.”

“And I would do the same for you. But if we’re to live together, I must know what secret you’re keeping from me.”

“I don’t want to lose you. I can’t lose you.” He got on his knees.

Lela was tempted to tell him that whatever he was hiding from her wouldn’t make a difference. That she would stay with him no matter what he told her. But she couldn’t bring herself to say those words.

His eyes welling up, he said, “I’m the Prince of the Barmoth vampires.”

Stepping back, she said, “What? What does that mean?”

Bloody hell!

He put his face in his hands and stood. “I wanted to tell you.”

“Why didn’t you? For bloody hell, blessed Gods’ sake, you’re a prince, a real prince.” She picked up a stick and threw it against a tree.

“I was going to tell you the night I came to your room. But I just couldn’t do it. I was falling in love with you. I was afraid if I told you who I was…”

“That I would throw you out, spit in your face. Is that what you thought?”

“I needed to protect you,” he said.

Lela walked up to him and slapped him. “You disgust me.”

“I’m so sorry,” he said.

“Did you have anything to do with my mother’s disappearance? Oh, Gods, did you drink from her?” She burst into tears. Please tell me you didn’t!

“I…was the one who made the pact with your mother. She came to me and begged me to let you live. My kind wanted to kill you from the moment they discovered that the golden ball was following you.”

Coughing and gagging, Lela tried to keep from fainting. He had broken her very soul.

“You evil, despicable creature! Get away from me!

“Let me finish my words, please, Lela, you have to let me tell you everything.”

“If I had a stake, I’d pierce your heart.”

“I tried to keep my kind from trying to hurt you. I swear it. They wouldn’t listen to me.”

“You’re their bloody prince!” She gagged again.

“And the golden ball is our God. How could I ask them to ignore our God? Vampires despise who they are. We want to be human again. To fall in love. Have children. Walk in the sun. And die from old age. The golden ball chose you.”

“Oh, Gods, I can’t hear this.”

“Your mother visited me and asked me for my help. I knew that if she offered herself to my kind, they would leave you alone for a while. Her blood saved you.”

“I hate you.”

“It was either her or you. Do you understand what I’m saying? There was nothing I could do.”

“My poor mother.”

“She saved you,” he said.

“Did you drink from her?” she asked, sobbing.

“No. I swear it. I swear it on the love I have for you. I swear it on my life. May the sun come up now and strike me down. I swear I did not drink from your mother. The night she gave herself to us, I renounced my crown. I walked away from my kind. I was ashamed.”

“I can’t be with you.”

“I turned from my kind. What they did was wrong. I wish I could have prevented it,” he said.

“But you didn’t. You let it happen and then because you were ashamed, you walked away from it all. Do you think that makes you a hero?”

“My deed did not go unpunished. The same night I abandoned my kind, a witch cursed me…turned me into a frog.”

“And stupidly, I helped you break the curse and then I actually fell in love with you. Oh, hell, did you know who I was when you found me in the well?”

He raised his eyes to the moon.

“You did, didn’t you?”

“I lived in the forest, the same forest which you visited often. How could I not know who you were? Bloody hell, Lela, I was guilt-ridden. There were so many times I thought about coming up to you and telling you everything. I was a frog! What was I supposed to do? Hop over to you and start talking to you? You would have run away screaming.”

“So you waited until I fell in the well. How very sweet of you.”

“No! The golden ball decided to make itself known to you that day. I knew that vampires were going to come after you. They would not have hesitated to drain you. The ball led you to the well. It wanted you to fall in.”

“Hold your tongue!”

“Listen to me. The ball wanted to keep you trapped until sundown. It was holding you captive for vampires.”

“Luckily, you were there to help get me out,” she said.

“I don’t expect you to believe me. But I’m telling you the truth. I couldn’t let what happened to your mother happen to you,” he said.

“What about the witch’s curse?”

“It sounds absurd but it’s the truth. In order to break her curse I had to lie with a princess. I knew you would agree to anything I asked for. You were at the bottom of a well. I had to try.”

“You’re disgusting.”

I wanted to protect you. How could I defend you as a frog? I needed to redeem myself.”

“You and I are no more,” she said, hoping the earth would open below her and swallow her.

“I can’t breathe without you,” he said.

“Then you will die,” she said.

“Enough!” a woman’s voice said.

“You’re here to ask my forgiveness. I will not stand here for a second more listening to a spoiled princess and a pathetic, guilty vampire arguing about things I care not about. Now, both of you kneel in front of me.”

“Are you Stiltz,” Lela asked.

“If you say my name again, you’ll never see your father again!”

The witch was not at all how Lela imagined her. She was beautiful with long black hair, soft facial features and a curvy body.

“Forgive us, “Eldrich said, kneeling.

“Seeing you like this makes me wonder why I ever wanted to lie with you. A vampire kneeling in front of a witch. Sad, so very sad. Yet here you’re,” the witch said to Eldrich.

“Forgive us, please forgive us for hurting you,” Lela said.

“Do you have a problem following orders? You’re not a princess here. The mountains belong to witches.”

“I’m sorry, it won’t happen again,” Lela said, getting on her knees.

“That’s better. Now then, let’s get started,” she said.

“You’re here to beg me to return your father and the rest of your people. It’s all rather easy. I despise you both. I used to think I hated Eldrich more for rejecting me. But then, I decided that indeed, I hate you both equally. You see, although witches are secretive creatures we cannot stand rejection. It drives us mad. And when we don’t get what we want, well, someone has to suffer for it.”

“Tell us what you want from us,” Lela said, interlocking her fingers.

“Grovel. Plead with me,” she said.

“Will you then return my people?” Lela asked.

“Your people? Of whom do you speak?” she asked.

“My people…the people from the castle,” Lela said.

“And also-”

“Quiet!” She interrupted Eldrich. “You have my word,” she said to Lela.

“I beg you. Please forgive me for hurting you. You’re a merciful and beautiful witch who deserves to be treated with respect. You deserve love. Eldrich and I deserve nothing. We were wrong to have fallen in love,” Lela said.

“It was wrong of me to reject you,” Eldrich said. “Someone as beautiful as you should never have to know rejection. I beg you. Forgive me. Forgive us.”

The witch twirled around and began to dance. “Your words have made me happy. When I’m happy I dance.”

“Seeing you happy is all that matters to us,” Eldrich said.

“Dance, oh, beautiful witch,” Lela said.

The witch twirled and twirled and then bowed.

Lela and Eldrich clapped.

“Bravo,” Lela said.

“Well done,” Eldrich said.

“You may both stand,” she said.

“Are we forgiven?” Lela asked.

The witch put Lela’s hand in Eldrich’s. “I forgive you. The spell is lifted.”

“Thank you,” Lela said, kissing the witch’s hand.

“When you return to the castle, you will find your people there. I promise you,” she said.

“With the greatest respect,” Eldrich said, “may I ask you one question?”

“Yes, of course, Prince of the Barmoth Vampires. Ask me anything and I will answer with the truth.”

“Will Lela also find her father at the castle?” Eldrich asked.

The witch started to laugh. “Of course not!”

“But you said we were forgiven. You gave me your word!” Lela said.

“You’re a stupid princess. Has Eldrich taught you nothing about how things work? You wanted your people returned to the castle. Your father is the King. If you wanted the King of Barmoth returned, you should have said so.”

“You ugly, wretched witch. You tricked me.”

“I’m a witch. Did you expect anything less from a witch?”

“Give me back my father! Return the King of Barmoth, I beg you,” Lela said.

“Begging won’t work. It’s too late,” the witch said.

“Is there anything you can tell us that will help us bring back the King?” Eldrich asked.

“Oh, why yes. I can tell you where he is. I sent him to the Kingdom of the Dead. I love that kingdom. It’s one of my favorite kingdoms. It’s so dreadful and dark and full of madness.”

“What do we need to do?” Lela asked.

“You’ll need to go there and convince Godfather Death to free the King of Barmoth. It’s now out of my hands. Godfather Death is such a grumpy creature. He hates to be bothered.”

“Tell me how to get there,” Lela said.

“You ask too much of me.”

“Vanish me there, please,” Lela said.

“I’m tired. Be on your way,” the witch said. “It was fun playing with you both. But I have other pressing matters.”

Eldrich leaned in and kissed the witch on the cheek. “I was a fool to reject you.”

The witch smiled and kissed him on the mouth. She then said, “I’ll get her halfway there but the rest of the journey is hers and hers alone. She’ll have to find the Kingdom of the Dead without you,” she said to Eldrich.

He nodded.

Lela started shaking. This wasn’t happening. Eldrich had broken her heart, torn it into a million pieces and now…now he was going to lie with the witch.

“Are you ready?” the witch asked Lela.

Eldrich walked to Lela. “You’re in my heart, always and forever. I love you,” he whispered.

Tears rolling down her face, Lela said, “I will never forgive you. I’m no longer yours.”

“Come now,” the witch said, “are you ready?”

“I am,” Lela said.

“Great and powerful ancestors of mine. Hear my plea. Take this woman and deliver her halfway to the Kingdom of the Dead. This, I ask of you now,” the witch said.

In a whirlwind, Lela spun in the air, her eyes closed she prayed she’d land without injury. Her heart ached for Eldrich. And she wondered if she could ever stop loving him. Despite what she had learned about him, she still loved him. But she knew she could never forgive him for not telling her the truth. A terrible, torturous thing to still love someone you also hate.

When she opened her eyes, she was once again on the ground. Thank you, thank you, Gods, for keeping me safe. Dusting herself off, she inspected the area around her. The trees were short and thin and had no leaves. The full moon held a prominent position here for which she was glad because its brightness illuminated the entire forest.

Realizing she had no food or water, she decided to start her journey at sunrise instead of pressing ahead now. She was also exhausted and needed to find a place to sleep.

Lightheaded, she staggered through the trees. She’d have to find a place soon; her body seemed intent on shutting down.

She was alone in a strange environment but she’d not let her fear overwhelm her. If she was to succeed in saving her father, she required a strong and purposeful mind.

Stumbling, she came upon a lake. The moon shone on the water and she blinked rapidly. There, standing in front of her, was…no, she was hallucinating. Rubbing her eyes, she exhaled. He was still there.

“Is it really you?” she asked.

He came to her and hugged her tight. “It’s me.”

His warmth ran through her, comforting her. “Xavier.”

“Why are you here?” she asked him.

“I knew you were in trouble,” he said, kissing the top of her head. “I won’t leave you.”

“Where is Zel?”

“She’s home. She knows I’m here. She insisted I come,” he said.

She let her grief flow. Crying on his chest, she said, “I’m broken. He broke my soul.”

“Do you still love him?” he asked.

“I hate him…”

“This will pass, I promise,” he said.

“Oh, Xavier, I’m so glad you’re here.”

“I will take this journey with you, if you let me,” he said.

She lifted her head and met his eyes. “The night we spent together still haunts me. No matter how hard I try, you’re constantly on my mind.”

“You’re in my every thought,” he said.

“What about Zel?”

“She has my heart. When angels give their heart to someone, it’s forever. But, I can’t deny what I feel for you. I desire you. I think about you, the way you smell, your body, I dream of being inside of you again. When I’m with Zel, I think of you.”

“I love Eldrich,” she said, turning from him.

He came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her. “I won’t pressure you,” he whispered into her ear.

“Stay with me,” she said. “Take this journey with me. I need you.”

She didn’t know what was ahead of her. She didn’t know if she would succeed in saving her father. She didn’t know if she would ever stop loving Eldrich. But she knew she wanted Xavier with her.

She took his hand and together they walked on their way to the Kingdom of the Dead; on their way to an adventure from which she knew she would not return the same.

GOLDEN DESIRES, a short tale Episode four of the Golden Erotic Tales Series

Sitting on the grass on the edge of a lake, Lela stared at the sky. She had never seen a red sky but then up until two and a half months ago she had lived a sheltered life.

It had been two weeks since Lela had last seen Eldrich, since he had crushed her heart. She missed him with all her soul and during her weakest moments, she had cried out his name in her sleep. Curse her heart for still loving him.

It was over between them. She’d never forgive him for not telling her the truth. If he was in front of her now she’d curse him, spit in his face, and hit him.

Yet, she couldn’t get him out of her mind. He had awakened her desires, instilling in her an insatiable sexual appetite which grew more intense with each day that passed. She knew that in many ways she was still that silly and naive girl who had chased after a golden ball and fallen into a well. She understood that her sexual escapades with Eldrich, and her one night with Xavier, were probably tame compared to what other girls her age had experienced-done and had done to them. But then, she had had sex with a vampire and an angel. Lela suspected not many women could claim that.

Even so, if she were having tea with village girls her age she’d not hold her words for a second. Sitting up straight with pen and paper, she’d ask them a thousand questions about sex. At twenty-one, she was eager to learn. Oh, she wanted to try everything, to fall into sexual bliss without reservation.

Although she still loved Eldrich, her body craved sexual freedom. And what’s more, he had betrayed her trust. He was the prince of the Barmoth vampires and had done nothing to prevent vampires from draining her mother! No, Lela would not remain loyal to him.

Sighing, she turned her eyes to Xavier who was swimming. As he came up for air, he ran his fingers through his hair and shook his head.

“You coming in?” he asked Lela.

She had considered joining him but knew she shouldn’t. They had been together for two weeks searching for the Kingdom of the Dead, the place where the witch, Stiltz, had sent her father. Each day they had walked as far as they could looking for a sign that would tell them they were getting closer and each night they had slept in the forest.

Not once had Xavier made a single sexual advance on her, not a subtle touch…not a look, nothing. She was carrying a broken heart and the longer she was with him the more she needed him to help her heal.

She wasn’t ashamed to admit she wanted him to approach her, brush his hand against her skin, lean in and try to kiss her…

As it was, just looking at his strong chest and potent facial features made her want to take her clothes off, jump into the water, and give herself to him. Yes, Eldrich still lived in her soul, but she’d not refuse Xavier. She’d not spend her life drowning in sorrow because of Eldrich.

“I’m enjoying watching you,” she said with a wink.

Grinning, he said, “Stop being such a prude and come join me.”

She stood. “We’ve been traveling for days with no sign we’re getting closer to the Kingdom of the Dead.”

He went underwater and then came back up. “It’s an unknown kingdom for a reason.”

“What are you saying? That I don’t have a chance of saving my father? That we’re going around in circles?”

“Settle down. What’s gotten into you? You’re acting as if I provoked you somehow. When we’re close, we’ll know it, trust me.”

She plopped down on the grass and crossed her legs. The sight of him had roused her. “I’m frustrated. What if we’re too late? What if my father is dead?” she asked, wiping away tears.

“Do you know how absolutely beautiful you look right now?” he asked, stepping out of the water.

Covering her eyes with her hand, she said, “For goodness sake, you’re not wearing any clothes!”

“I went for a swim. Why would I be wearing clothes?”

“You could have kept on your undergarment,” she said, feeling heat on her face, her hand still over her eyes.

“All right, don’t die. I’ll go and put on my clothes.”

“Good, yes, please do that and next time…”

“Yes, yes,” he said. “You’re such a prude.”

She put her hand down and bloody hell, he was standing in front of her completely naked, his cock in her face.

“Xavier!” she said. She couldn’t take her eyes off his cock. She remembered him having a large one but hell, now that it was in her face swollen and standing at attention, her memory had not been fair to it.

He cupped it and began moving his hand up and down. She knew she should look away. But before she could suppress her desire for him, she set her hand on top of his. Bloody hell, she was helping him masturbate.

“Oh, yes,” he said. “That feels good, hellish good.”

He removed his hand and let her continue the task.

Licking his cock’s head, she rubbed his balls. She took her time, savoring the taste of his enlarged cock, kissing it, and circling her tongue around it. So absolutely delicious, she wanted to please Xavier in every way.

“Put all of it in your mouth,” he said.

“You might choke me,” she said with a light chuckle.

“I won’t let you die with my cock in your mouth,” he said.

“You’re devilish,” she said.

She was enjoying this way too much and she knew that when it was over guilt would come for her with a vengeance. But right now, she was going to go all the way with Xavier. It was too late to stop. And she didn’t want to stop.

Inhaling his gorgeous and thick stiffness, she lowered her hand between her thighs and stroked her vagina, slowly at first and then faster and faster.

“Take it in deeper. Suck it harder,” he said.

She put her all into it, sucking it as if she meant to swallow it whole. He tasted amazing.

“You’re so good. I want to let go in your mouth,” he said.

She drew him in deeper and he emptied into her mouth. Swallowing all of his essence, she climaxed.

“I want my cock inside of you,” he said, lying down on his back next to her.

“You released in my mouth,” she said. “It was definitely inside of me,” she said, grinning.

“Look at it,” he said, pointing to his cock.

“Bloody hell, Xavier.”

His cock was even stiffer, its head thick and firm. It looked like it was going to explode.

“It needs relief,” he said. “Will you give it what it wants?”

“Are all angels like you? Insatiable?”

“We’re sexual creatures, yes. Will you give it what it wants?”

“And what does it want?” Lela asked, ready to pounce on his cock and ride it with fury.

He winked in the direction of her vagina.

Standing, she shed her clothing.

“You’re amazing,” he said. “Sweet Gods, look at you. Your breasts. I could bury myself in them and live there forever.”

Widening her legs just a little bit, she placed her hand between her thighs.

“Is this what your cock wants?” she asked.

“I want to hear you say the word,” he said. “Let go of all your inhibitions.”

She had never felt so free.

“Pussy,” she whispered.

“Ah yes, your delicious pussy. Yes, that’s what it wants.”

“I’m not sure it deserves my lovely pussy,” she said.

“It will die without it,” he said.

“Beg me,” she said.

“I beg you. Come over here. Climb on me,” he said.

Slowly, she straddled him.

“Xavier,’ she whispered.

“Yes,” he said.

“Fuck me,” she said.

He flipped her on her belly, then lifted her with his arm and brought her buttocks close to him. He then inserted the tip of his cock’s head into her.

“I want it all,” she said.

“Say it,” he said. “If you don’t say what I want to hear, I shall make you suffer.”

“Fuck me!” she screamed.

He powered into her.

Sweet Gods, he’s delicious. I shall go mad with him inside of me.

“I don’t ever want to stop fucking you. I want to fuck you for all eternity,” he said, pulling her hair and thrusting into her deeper and with more force.

“Oh, darling angel of mine…”

“Are you mine?” he asked, pulling her hair even harder.

“Right at this moment, I belong to you.”

He turned her around and sat her on top him, his wings fully extended. Ah, yes, when he’s aroused, his wings expand! He’s so beautiful.

Slowly, he moved her up and down on his sweet, huge cock. She surrendered to him, letting his rhythm carry her into ecstasy.

Lying on her back, Lela inhaled, coughed and opened her eyes. Trying to clear her vision she blinked rapidly. Her vision cleared and the red sky came into view. Dazed, she sat up and then stood. Her mouth dry, she swallowed several times.

“Lela,” Xavier whispered.

He was naked and lying on his stomach. Goodness, had they really…done, well, sweet Gods, she wasn’t dreaming. They had unequivocally had sex and then fallen into a profound sleep. She was now suffering drunken afterglow.

She sat next to him and put her hand on his shoulder.

“Did it really happen?” she asked.

“It was nice, wasn’t it?” he asked, turning on his back.

She looked away for a moment. Blushing, she said, “I’m embarrassed.”

Reaching for her hand, he said, “You never have to feel ashamed with me.”

She nestled her head on his chest.

“I feel guilty,” she whispered.

“It will pass, I promise. You’re with me, now.”

“What about Zel?”

“I told you. She has my heart and always will. But you have something else,” he said, kissing the top of her head.

“Please don’t say I have your co-”

“You have my soul. It’s yours.”

She sighed. “I’m not in love with you.”

“I know,” he said, swaying his hand back and forth on her chest.

His touch sent lightening through her.

“Close your eyes,” he said.

She did.

In the next moment, they were in the air. “I can show you all the kingdoms of the world,” he said. “With me, you will never be alone or bound to the ground.”

Her arms wrapped around his neck, she took in everything below them. The magnificent canopy, the rivers and lakes and animals…it was all breathtaking.

“I feel safe with you,” she said.

He flew higher into the sky. “I wish I had your heart,” he said.

Despite how she was feeling right now, her heart belonged to another. But for now, just now, her body belonged to Xavier.

“I can only offer you my body,” she said.

“Does it belong to me? I want to possess you.”

“For now, yes, it’s yours.”

Descending, he said, “I need to be inside of you. I need to have you right now.”

“We can’t spend all day fucking,” she said. “We need to find the Kingdom of the Dead.”

She was shocked at how easily she now said the word. Fucking. It rolled off her tongue as if she were simply inviting Xavier over for dinner. Her newfound sexual confidence exhilarated her.

“When we come upon a sign, we’ll know it. Until then…,” Xavier said.

When they were standing on the ground again, he pulled her arms behind her back and breathed into her ear. “If your body belongs to me, you’ll obey me.”

She nodded.

He grasped her buttocks and slammed his cock against them.

Wincing, she moaned and tried to turn around but he held her in her place.

“I didn’t say you could turn around,” he said.

“I’m sorry,” she said, ready to burst with anticipation. She wanted him. He was beautiful and powerful and she needed him inside of her.

“Don’t ever apologize,” he said. “Ever.”

“What are you going to do to me?” she asked.

“I want to do everything to you. I want to hurt you, fuck you from the ass until you pass out. I want you to hit me, and curse me.”

Sweet Gods, he is exactly what I need.

He was bringing out her intense sexual desires. Her rage, her broken heart, her sadness, she’d drown it all in Xavier.

“May I turn around?” she asked, ready to wrap her legs around him and consume him.

“You may,” he said.

When she was facing him, she slapped him. “Curse you for making me feel the way I do! For wanting you! For needing you!” She slapped him again.

Grabbing her arms, he pushed her to the ground. “Lie on your stomach,” he said.

Straddling her, he spread her buttocks, teasing her with his cock’s firm and throbbing head.

He then spread her legs. She lifted her head and glanced back at him. The wetness between her legs was driving her mad and she wanted to touch herself.

He spit into his hand. “I want you to be soft for me,” he said, rubbing his saliva in the space between each buttock cheek.

She squealed and squirmed.

And then he started sliding in his cock. “Yes, hellish sweet. Your ass is so sweet,” he said, gently pushing into her.

Slowly, he rode her, moaning and groaning loudly. “You feel so good.”

Heat rushed up and down her body. “Xavier!” she screamed.

“Do you belong to me?” he asked, fucking her harder.

“Yes, I’m yours. Blessed Gods, your cock is going to kill me. I feel it in my throat.”

He slammed into her again and again. “To whom does your ass and pussy belong?”

“Darling angel of mine. My everything is yours.” Everything except her heart.

“I want us to release together.”

“Oh, yes, yes,” she said.

He ejected on her back. And she exploded.

“No more for today,” she said, panting.

“You didn’t like it?” he asked.

“My, you are insatiable. Of course I liked it. I loved it. But, I need to rest, darling sex- crazed angel of mine.”

“Let’s take a dip in the lake,” he said. “I promise not to try anything,” he said with a smirk.

“If you do, I’ll hit you.”

“Promise,” he said, winking.

“You’re a bad angel.”

“Only for you,” he said, standing and offering her his hand.

“After our swim, I’d like to continue our search,” she said.

He looked at the sky. “The sun is only two hours away from setting. Perhaps, we should resume our search in the morning.”

“We’ll go for a swim and then-”

“Yes, yes, we’ll resume our search,” he said.

She raced to the water.

“If I catch you, you’re mine,” he said.

“You said you wouldn’t try anything,” she said, jumping into the water.

“I lied,” he said, diving in after her.

She splashed water in his face. “You’re a horrid angel.”

“Am I?” he asked.

“Kiss me,” she said.

He put his mouth on hers. She cupped his cock and slid it into her pussy.

Moaning and groaning, he rocked his hips, thrusting into her.

“Xavier,” she whispered. “Oh, darling angel…”

“I won’t share you with anyone,” he said.

“Possess me,” she said, burying her mouth in his neck. Gently she kissed him as he went further into her.

She wanted him to stay inside of her forever. He felt so good, so intensely good. The thought of him not rocking her with his marvelous, enormous cock, made her want to weep, yes weep!

“Angel of mine,” she whispered, her arms around his neck.

“Does it gratify you?” he asked.

“Oh, yes, I love it. I need you. I want you. Stay with me.”

“I’ll fuck you until you’re raw,” he said.

“Promise me,” she said, unashamed.

Holding hands, Lela and Xavier came upon a vast dead clearing. Dried, crusted earth was all that was beneath them. Ahead, they could see animal skeletons. The air was pungent and thick.

“What is this place?” Lela asked.

Squeezing her hand, he said, “It’s a sign. We’re near the Kingdom of the Dead.”

She gasped. “Let’s keep going.”

“The sun will set in less than an hour. We should find shelter and come back at first light.”

“No! We’re here now,” she said.

“We have no idea what is out there. We have no light with us. You’re not being rational.”

“You don’t have to come with me. But, I’m going. I can’t turn back. What if when we return in the morning, it’s gone? What then?”

Xavier lowered his head and exhaled a long sigh. “You win. Let’s go.”

They resumed walking. Lela was completely afraid but she’d not let her fear break her down. As they walked, the calm air turned to wind, picking up dust and hurling it at Lela and Xavier.

Shutting her eyes, she brought her hand to her mouth. The wind became stronger, nearly knocking her down.

“We must be very close!” Xavier yelled. “Keep your balance and don’t speak.”

Onward they went, pushing through the cloud of dust, the wind getting stronger and stronger.

Lela could not sense Xavier. She felt as if she was walking alone through a tunnel.

“Xavier!” she yelled. “Where are you?”

“My, my,” someone said.

“Xavier?”

“Your angel is no longer here,” the person said.

“Who are you?” she asked, feeling the air with her hands.

“While you were frolicking, your father, oh your poor father was pleading for you…begging me not to hurt you.”

“Are you Godfather Death?” she asked, unable to open her eyes because of the wind and dust.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Princess of the Kingdom of Barmoth. Stiltz told me you’d be coming to visit me. She’s such a wretched witch, isn’t she?”

“Please let my father go!” she yelled.

“You’re such an interesting girl. I have to admit I’m quite taken, quite, indeed.”

“I’ll do anything. Please…I’m begging.”

“Unlike Xavier, I have no desire to possess you,” he said, laughing.

“What then?” she asked. “What do you want?”

“What makes you think I want something? I didn’t ask for any of this. You may thank Stiltz for your predicament. She sent your people and your father here. She’s quite the thorn…always vanishing people.”

“Will you set my father free?”

“Of course not! He’s mine.”

“Let me see you,” Lela said.

“You’re in my kingdom. Make no demands of me!”

“I meant no disrespect,” Lela said.

“You’re never going to see your father again.”

“No! Please tell me what you want. Take me instead.”

“That’s not how it works, dear princess. I decide when to take someone’s life. And I don’t want yours. You’re only just beginning your life. I want to see what you do with it. Go back to Barmoth and lead your people. They need you. Your father is old and ill. His time as king has passed. I’m keeping him as an act of mercy and well, because I’m also curious about you. I want to see what you become. Will you take your place as queen or will you hide in the shadows of the Barmoth forest with a vampire?”

Lela started weeping. She wanted to pull out all of her hair. She wanted the wind to pick her up, carry her high into the air and then let her go. She wanted to die. Let the Kingdom of the Dead take her, too.

“Will you not change your mind?” she asked.

“You shouldn’t have come here. This place is not for you. When I’m ready to take you, you’ll know it.”

“What do I do now?” she asked, crying.

“What you do with your life is your decision.”

“How do I get home?” Xavier, oh angel, where are you?

“I shall return you to the place your heart is craving.”

“I want to go home,” Lela pleaded.

“Open your eyes,” he said.

“I can’t. The wind…the dust.”

“Open them! I’m losing patience.”

When Lela opened her eyes, she was standing in the foyer of Eldrich’s house. Grasping the door handle, she unlocked the front door. She’d not stay in his house.

“Don’t go.”

“I didn’t come here by my own will,” she whispered.

“Your hair is completely red. What happened?” he asked.

She glanced down at a strand. Her hair now resembled the red sky of the place she and Xavier had traveled through.

“I’m not the same person,” she said.

“Is your father safe?” Eldrich asked.

Sighing, Lela lowered her head. “I failed him.”

“I’m sorry,” he said.

“I need to go back to the castle. It’s where I belong,” she said, stepping outside onto the porch.

He joined her.

She couldn’t bring herself to turn around. She didn’t want to see him.

“Will you ever forgive me?” he asked.

“You broke my heart.”

“Not telling you the truth was wrong. But please, you have to know I didn’t want any part of what my kind did to your mother. I abandoned my kind after that night. I abandoned my place as prince. I regret it all. I regret not telling you.”

Tears in her eyes, she turned to face him.

“I want to hurt you,” she said.

“I don’t deserve anything less,” he said.

“I wasn’t faithful to you,” she said, swallowing.

He looked at the moon and then back at her.

“I enjoyed it,” she said, tears streaming down her face.

He rubbed his brow.

“Say something!”

“Have you stopped loving me?” he asked.

“I enjoyed it all so much. Do you hear what I’m saying to you? I fucked someone else!”

“You wanted to hurt me. Well, you’ve done it.” He entered the house.

She went after him. “Is that all you’re going to say?” she asked, standing directly in front of him.

“I love you more than anything in this entire wretched world. I would do anything for you. Anything. I can’t breathe without you. I can’t sleep. I can’t think. I’m hopeless without you. My heart…my soul…my everything belongs to you,” he said.

She slapped him. “I just told you I slept with another man and that I enjoyed it and this is your response? I hate you!”

He tried to hug her but she stepped away.

“I’m lost. My father is gone. Everything I knew is a lie. What am I to do now?”

“You’re strong. You’re brave. You will lead your people and take your place as Queen of Barmoth.”

“I can’t. I just can’t!”

“You don’t have a choice.”

“Did you sleep with the witch?” She wanted to faint. Her entire body hurt. Imagining Eldrich with someone else made her want to vomit. Yet, she had no right to feel the way she did. Curse my soul!

“Yes.”

“She got what she always wanted from you.” The witch who cursed Eldrich, turning him into a frog for not lying with her had won after all.

“She doesn’t matter,” he said.

“How do we fix this?” She loved him. And she was not ready to give him up. In her soul, she knew he was kind and that he loved her.

“Can you forgive me?” he asked.

“I don’t know.”

Forgive him for not telling her he was the prince of the Barmoth vampires. Forgive him for not telling her he had arranged for her mother to offer herself to his kind in return for Lela’s safety. Forgive him for not telling her he knew who she was the day he pulled her out of the well. No, she did not know whether or not she could forgive him.

But, there was one thing she knew without a single doubt. She loved him. Yet, she did not regret her sexual encounters with Xavier. Just two and a half months ago she was a princess living in a castle with nothing more to do but wander the forest aimlessly as if she were seeking something more, something adventurous, as if she were seeking love, yes love. And here she was, completely in love with a vampire. And here she was, a woman having had sexual experiences, having suffered loss, having suffered betrayal. She was alive, and free, and ready to take on whatever lie ahead for her. She’d hold her head up high and walk with no regrets.

If Eldrich truly loved her, he’d have to accept her as she was, a woman whose blindfolds had been removed, a woman who longer suppressed her desires, a woman who had made mistakes and would make many more. In return, she would accept him, despite his past, despite the secrets he kept from her, despite everything, she would love him, truly love him.

“Do you still love me?” he asked, his eyes bloodshot.

“With all my heart,” she said.

“I will never keep anything from you again,” he said, taking her hand.

She embraced him. “I love you, I can’t deny it.”

“Lela,” he whispered. “I’m yours, only yours.”

“And I’m yours,” she said. “What now? Where do we go from here?”

“Wherever you want, I’ll follow you to the end of all the kingdoms.”

He kissed her. Oh how she had missed his touch. Her very soul cried out with happiness. Godfather Death had returned her to the place her heart craved.

“Will you follow me upstairs?” she asked, leading him to the staircase.

“Only if that is what you desire.”

“I missed you. I tried to replace you.”

“Did you succeed?” he asked, once they were standing at the top of the stairs.

“I made myself believe I had.”

“And now?” he asked.

She pushed the door open to her bedroom. “I can never replace you.” She sat on the edge of the bed.

“I have to tell you something,” he said.

“Can it wait?” she asked. She wanted to fall asleep in his arms.

“Your mother’s spirit visited me last night. She had a message for me…for us.”

Lela inhaled and then released a long breath. “What did she say?”

“The God of the Sea has returned the golden ball to land.”

Blood rushed from Lela’s heart. Holding her chest, she said, “How long do I have before it finds me, before vampires come for me?”

“Not long.”

Pacing the room, she said, “Where should I go? Blessed Gods, I need to formulize a plan.”

Wicked golden ball was intent on finding her. And once it found her, vampires would come for her…drain her, believing that her blood could make them human again. Sweet Gods, she was in trouble!

“You need to get some rest,” Eldrich said.

“What? How can I rest?” Oh, but she was exhausted.

“If we’re to fight my kind, you’re going to need your strength. Do as I say and get some sleep. I will wake you in two hours.”

“I’m scared,” she said.

“As am I.”

“Are we together?” she asked.

“Forever,” he said.

“Two hours of sleep and then what?” she asked.

“Then we’ll walk together. We’ll fight together.”

She nodded. “I love you.”

“And I love you. Now sleep,” he said, shutting the door behind him.

She was the queen of Barmoth now and he was the prince of the Barmoth vampires. Their lives together would not be easy. The path ahead would present many obstacles, ones that would prove difficult to overcome. But she would listen to her heart, now more than ever. And her heart wanted Eldrich.

Sleep and then the battle begins.