by J. A. Buxton
Chapters 31 thru 35
Devon had no idea that Valen still wanted Gallia, even after all these months. He had invited his brother to his newborn son’s consecration ceremony. Because religious customs considered her unclean so soon after giving birth, Origga sat by herself in their small kitchen nursing the boy. Meanwhile, Devon was in their living area proudly passing out the crystal goblets of red wine to his male friends. If his child had been a daughter, he would have chosen the cheaper white wine.
Once all the men had stood while holding their filled goblets, Devon gave the standard blessing. “Blessed be the Goddess Minua, and may she watch over her new subject all his life.” Then Devon raised his glass while his friends did the same. “Please welcome my son and heir, Semyon.”
That was the first of many toasts that afternoon. Just after sunset, when the rest of the men had left for their homes, Valen stayed behind to share the evening meal with his brother. After preparing the food for the two men, Origga had disappeared into the cold bedroom at the back of the small house. She knew even her brother-on-law was forbidden to see her, but had left the sleeping baby in a basket by the warm stove.
Once the men finished eating, Devon leaned back in his chair, a picture of total contentment. “Did I tell you what I heard last night at the gambling hall?” Even with a new child at home, Devon enjoyed his occasional night out playing cards with Jorel. “Radorn was there bragging about how his new wife drains him dry every night.” Devon missed the flash of anger on Valen’s face that quickly disappeared. “He said he makes her scream in delight even when he rides her a second and third time.”
Devon took a long drink of wine before he went on. “If he takes Gallia that often, she must be pregnant by now. I’m glad I stopped you that night on the mountain. This way, her husband will be the father of her child and not you.”
“Damn it,” muttered Radorn, yanking back on the reins to halt the horse. “I don’t believe that bitch. Forgetting those papers, it’s her fault for making me so upset I left without them.” He angrily turned his horse back toward the city. “I’ve wasted all this time because Gallia wouldn’t stop crying. So I hit her a couple times. It wasn’t as if it was the first time, and she deserved it.” By now, he had worked himself into furious frenzy and was pushing his horse to race as fast as it could.
Earlier, he had confronted Gallia in their bedroom. “I went to the local shrine of the Goddess Minua today. Her prophet said I’ve remained impotent since you came to me after already lying with another man. He told me only you could cure me of this curse.”
When Gallia opened her mouth to try and explain about the night on Valen’s mountain, Radorn leaned down and slapped her face. Not satisfied, he hit her again. “You are unworthy to be my wife! I knew your father lied to me. Who was the man?” Radorn hit Gallia for a third time, ignoring the red marks his hand left on her pale skin.
“If it’s the only way to get my manhood back, I will kill you or the man who stole your virginity away from me.” Since Gallia was crying from the pain he was causing her, Radorn looked at her in disgust. “I’m leaving soon for three days on a business trip. You have that long to decide who dies, you or your lover. It doesn’t really matter to me which one of you it will be.” With that warning, Radorn stormed out of the bedroom. Over his shoulder, he yelled, “If it’s you I have to kill, I’ll make sure my next wife is a virgin before I waste my time marrying her.”
Now, only a short distance from the city, he had realized important papers he would need to complete his business were still at home in his study. Riding back, he continued fuming about the injustices in his life. “I used to be quite the stud in my younger days.” Only the horse underneath Radorn heard his sullen comment. “It’s not fair I no longer can find some relief when one of my maids takes me into her mouth.”
He kicked the horse to go faster as he thought about what happened once he left his wife. “I couldn’t get it up tonight, even with both of them taking turns. Gallia’s blasted curse is spreading.”
* * *
After leaving his wife, Radorn angrily made his way to the housemaids’ bedroom. He spotted the nude bodies of the two women entwined together when he looked inside through the open door. Astonished at the unexpected sight in front of him, he watched the women caressing each other.
When the younger of the two looked over her partner’s shoulder, she spotted their employer. Knowing why he was there, she immediately moved out of the other maid’s embrace. “Sir, I thought you’d already left.” She got off the bed and quickly knelt on the floor in the middle of the room.
Radorn smiled at Deidre’s obedient behavior to his unspoken command. “No, I wanted you and Elsa to service me before my long trip.” He swaggered across the room to stand in front of the kneeling woman. After he opened the flap on his trousers, he moved close enough for Deidre’s hands to wrap around his limp penis.
Radorn’s smile disappeared when the young maid’s massaging failed to accomplish anything. He yanked Deidre’s head closer and forced her mouth open, while yelling, “You need to try harder.” Even when Elsa joined them and took over from the other woman, Radorn’s penis remained soft. After 15 minutes of trying to achieve an arousal, he realized nothing was going to happen that night. Radorn pushed the frightened women away and rearranged his clothes.
Only after he left the small bedroom and was on his way out of the city did he remember the important papers he would need. On his return trip, with the distant city lights coming closer and closer, Radorn began thinking of ways to punish his wife and her lover. His plan of revenge also extended to the two maids since they no longer were of use to him.
After leaving his brother’s home, Valen tried unsuccessfully to get the image of Gallia’s husband making love to her out of his mind. As he headed out of the city toward his mountain, common sense told Valen to forget Gallia since she no longer was free. The brutal warrior in Valen soon won out, though, and he swung his horse back to the city. He was determined to take Gallia back with him to his home or die trying.
Having learned from Devon where Gallia lived, Valen quickly made his way through the deserted streets to the wealthier section of the city. Now he sat astride his black stallion in the darkness next to Radorn’s stables. Before he could dismount, he noticed someone leaving the back of the mansion. He could hear the sound the door made slamming shut, followed by loud, angry cursing. From his hiding place, Valen saw an older man disappear into the stables. A few minutes later, the man rode out and headed off into the night.
Leaving his horse in one of the stable’s empty stalls, Valen carefully made his way to the mansion’s rear entrance. After trying the door and finding it unlocked, he cautiously entered and softly closed the door behind him. When he saw the narrow stairway leading up to the second floor, he smiled. This is going to be easier than I thought. With her husband away, hopefully gambling until dawn as he usually does, I’ve got plenty of time.
Because he didn’t know how many servants lived in the mansion, Valen kept one hand near the scabbard containing his sharp dagger. He tried to push back the jealous pang he felt every time he remembered what Devon had told him that afternoon. As he climbed the stairs to the second floor, Valen tried to console himself by thinking, If her husband has already filled Gallia’s belly with his heir, I don’t have to worry about getting her pregnant. For some reason, this didn’t make him feel better.
At the top of the stairs, he looked down the dark hallway and could see a dim light coming from one of the rooms. Not wanting to wake up any servant on this floor, Valen leaned down and removed his dusty boots. In his bare feet, he padded all the way down the corridor toward the light. When he came to the open door, he looked inside and saw the room was totally dark except for where a lamp on a small table cast its light on the bed.
“Gallia,” whispered Valen, too low for the woman across the room to hear. Silent as a ghost, he stepped into the room and let his gaze wander over Gallia’s body. She was lying on her stomach with her face hidden in a satin bed pillow. He could hear her muffled sobs as he crossed the room to stand silently next to the bed.
Through her long, ivory-colored nightgown, Valen could easily see the outline of her body. The silk material clung enticingly to her round buttocks. He watched it tighten even more when she slowly moved onto her side facing away from him. Valen clenched his fists to keep from pushing up her nightgown and taking her from behind as he had once before. No, not yet, he frantically thought, fighting for control as he felt himself already growing hard. I want to watch her face when I enter her and see the passion for me there.
Long seconds went by before Valen realized Gallia was too upset to know she no longer was alone. Wanting to get her attention, he undid his belt and let it and the attached dagger fall to the floor. The sound they made thumping onto the wood floor caused Gallia to roll over and sit up facing him.
When Valen saw she had stopped crying, he hurried to remove his shirt. This left him wearing only his black trousers that were becoming increasingly tight at his crotch. Kneeling on the bed beside her, he gently pushed Gallia back until she was lying down on the large bed’s fur coverlet.
By the time he reached the city and his home, Radorn was ready to murder his faithless wife, whether or not she gave him the name of the man who stole her virginity from him. When he rode into the stable behind his mansion, seeing a strange horse in one of the stalls made him even more furious. “I don’t believe it. I’m only gone less than an hour, and already she betraying me with her lover.”
Wanting to catch her in the act, Radorn silently climbed the back stairway and made his way to his bedroom. The door was wide open, and he carefully looked inside the room. He remained out in the dark hallway where Valen had stood only minutes earlier.
* * *
Too surprised at seeing the man who had haunted her dreams for months, Gallia didn’t react when he placed his hand on her leg just below the long nightgown’s hem. When his hand slipped underneath the material, she felt the sudden coolness on her skin as he pushed the gown further up her leg. “You shouldn’t be here, Valen. My husband…” That was all she managed to get out. Valen had leaned over her and captured her mouth with his.
Even as Valen was forcing his tongue between her lips, she could feel his hand sliding relentlessly up the full length of her leg. His fingers stopped when he reached the softness of her thigh. Gallia waited for him to say something when he raised his head to stare into her eyes, a strange look on his face. She had no way of knowing he was thinking of the other two men who already had been with her.
She saw him shake his head, as if in pain, even as he removed his hand from her thigh. By now, she couldn’t help noticing the bulge in his trouser between his long legs. Gallia gasped when he undid his trousers and slowly pushed the well-worn cloth down off his hips and onto the floor by his bare feet. What she saw rising out of the patch of dark- blonde hair below his flat stomach caused her to whisper, “Valen, we can’t do this. I’m a married woman now.” Even as she protested, Gallia couldn’t stop staring nervously at his fully aroused penis.
“Shh! It’s going to be all right.” These were the first words she heard Valen say since he entered her bedroom, and she knew she didn’t want him to stop. Because Radorn never cared how rough he was when he tried to unsuccessfully enter her, Gallia waited for Valen to treat her in the same painful manner.
Instead, she heard his deep voice whisper, “I know both Emonan and your husband have enjoyed your body, but no man can want you as much as I do.” Before she could correct him about the other men, Valen had moved to kneel between her outstretched legs. I’ll tell him later he was wrong, went through her mind. She lost her train of thought when Valen shifted his body and slowly eased inside her.
Radorn suddenly gasped in shock. It wasn’t from the sight in front of him or the sound coming from the two people on his bed. His surprise came from the unexpected movement of his penis, something that hadn’t happened like this for years. All his anger at his wife drained from him, and he slid one hand down inside his trousers to make sure what he felt there was real.
So this is what the prophet meant. By inviting your lover into my bed, Gallia, you have broken the curse. Radorn kept his hand wrapped around his growing arousal, all the while hiding in the shadows of the hallway. His excitement grew when he watched his wife’s lover forcing himself into her body.
* * *
When he first entered her, Valen tried to go slowly in order to give Gallia the full benefit of his sexual expertise. I have to prove I’m better than Emonan or her husband. Even as he thought this, he knew it was foolish to compare himself with her other men. Once he became an adult, his only experience with women, other than his timid wife, was with the camp whores. Then he remembered Devon’s comment earlier that had caused him such unfamiliar jealousy. If she screams in delight for Radorn, I want to hear her scream for me.
While thinking this, how tight Gallia still was after all this time surprised and pleased him. He shifted his body again and used his powerful hips to force his penis in another inch or so before pulling partway out. He took his time and moved slowly to allow Gallia’s vagina to stretch around him. In this way, Valen managed to slide more of his thick penis inside her.
Valen suddenly remembered something Jorel had told him. He stared down at the woman moving restlessly under him. In a low, menacing voice, he asked, “How many men saw you naked when you came out of Emonan’s tent? Jorel noticed at least a dozen nearby watching you. When you disappeared out of sight behind the tent, did you wait for them to join you?”
Struggling against the fury rising in him, he knew he was right when he saw the fright on Gallia’s face. “How long did you lie in the dirt, smiling as each one took turns inside you?” He dug his fingers into her hips to hold her still when she began to struggle desperately to get away. “No you don’t! It’s my turn now.”
“What the…?” he yelled in shock when his next thrust stopped at a thin barrier of flesh. He pushed forward again, this time harder, but pulled back when he heard Gallia cry out in pain.