The Kingdom of Omtra was infiltrated, and Princess Maharasma was on the run to find General Gul for help. But her savior was none other than a barbarian, Captain Ares, a prince of the Kingdom of Kir. The Omtrans traded with the Kirians, but their way of life was very different. While Omtrans lived freely and treasure arts and music, the Kirians had slaves and lived in a cold, barren land, thus they were like barbarians to the Omtrans.
Princess Maharasma had to hide her identity, as she had become an unwilling slave. Will she be able to escape to reach her army and save her kingdom or will Ares keep the treasure he has found, for he has never seen a woman’s eyes sparkle like the moon.
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Prince Ares was deep in thought when he heard his head servant Bolga shout. He looked up from his horse and saw the girl running out of the yurt and Bolga looking at him. Annoyed, he beckoned Ayoma, his horse, to chase the girl. She was more troubled to him than he thought.
The soldiers standing around the camp looked on and laughed, as Arasa ran as fast as her legs could take her. She did not understand why they were laughing, until she heard hooves behind her and before she could turn to see the rider, a strong hand grabbed her scarf. Frightened, she tried to pull away from the rider and reluctantly gave up her scarf so she could escape. She had to find a place to hide, she thought, but fear gripped her heart as all she saw in front of her was grassland. She knew she would not be able to outrun the horse rider.
Ares swore under his breath as he pushed Ayoma to follow her through the tall grassland. Where was this girl running to? Just as he reined his horse in front of her, she turned and ran another way. Angry that she was wasting his time, he got off his horse and ran after her. It did not take him long before he grabbed her from behind and they fell onto the ground.
She turned around to push him off her as fear gripped her heart. He was too intimate with her and she could feel his body. It was an insult for an Omtra princess to touch a barbarian! Her hands came out to fend him away, as she struggled to be free of his body enclosure. She did not know that her stance was only annoying him more, and he angrily grabbed her wrist and placed them to the side of her head.
“Stop it, girl before I–!”
His words stopped midway, as he came eye to eye with her. Bolga had cleaned her face and there was no scarf to hide it. Now, he could see her creamy pearl skin; lush, pink lips and moonlight eyes. She was the most stunning woman he laid eyes on. He was in awe. Her eyes enchanted him, and he could not take his eyes off her. It roamed down to find her lips, full and taunting him to kiss it. As if knowing what he was thinking, she cried, “Get off me, you barbarian! How dare you touch me?!”
He looked at her in surprise… surprised that she knew the Kir language, and surprised at her haughtiness.
“The next time you run, I am putting chains on those feet of yours!” Ares finally spoke, his eyes glanced back to her lips, still awed by her moonlight eyes.
“I am not a slave! Get off me!”
Her body was soft underneath him and he suddenly wanted to know more. Her hair was black, full and wavy, and he long to caress them. She was wearing a plain cotton dress and pants, and he could feel her whole body beneath him through his armor.
“You are in Kir, my lady, not Omtra. You either have family here, are married, or are a slave. Which one are you?”
She looked at him in shock. She had refused the invitation to the Princes of Kir because of their acceptance of slaves. Omtra had nothing like that, and she, Princess of Omtra, was not going to be a slave here.
She didn’t finish her line, before Ares remarked with a grinned, “You are not from Kir, so you don’t have family here. You are not married, because there is no marriage bracelet on you. So you are left with being a slave here.”
Her mouth opened wide in shock.
“Get off me this instance, Barbarian!”
He smiled, almost enjoying her struggle beneath him. His eyes found her lips again, and he had the urge to touch them with his. But before he could decide, a group of Kir soldiers came upon them with their horses.
“Captain Ares, is everything all right?”
Ares looked up from his enjoyment and slowly took his time to get off Arasa. His hand held onto her arm as he pulled her up and looked at his men surrounding them with horses. She tried to pull her away, but he gripped her close to him.
“Everything is good. Just giving this slave girl a lesson in running away.”
The men laugh and turned and rode back to camp. Arasa gave Ares a death look, and he grinned at her.
“What is your name, girl?”
She tried to pull her arms away once more, but this time Ares flung her to look at him and shook her in place.
“Listen, you cannot go back there! Do you know how many men we killed to rescue you?”
“Let me go!” Arasa cried, “I did not ask for your help! I am neither your property nor your responsibility!”
His eyes narrowed.
“No, but I found you first, therefore I have a claim to you.”
Her eyes opened wide in disbelief.
“How can you claim a life that is not yours to claim? Does Omtrans claim Kirian lives if we stumble upon one of your own in our land?”
“Omtrans would kill a Kirian. I am taking you as a slave… which is better?”
Anger seethed in her heart.
“How can you say such a thing! Omtrans are not murderers! Our soldiers are decent and honorable. We’ve been a stable kingdom for a long time—” Arasa stopped, as she thought of her situation. Now Omtra was in ruined. Her kingdom had been infiltrated and her father was in trouble. Did the Kirians know this?
She looked to his face to see if there was any sarcasm or mockery. But he only looked at her curiously, as if he wanted to know what she was hiding. She quickly tried to step away, conscious of his stare. It made her uncomfortable and naked.
“I am not a slave!” she retorted once more.
“Fine,” he remarked, beckoning her to get on his horse. “If you don’t call your maids and servants slave, then you can see yourself as my servant then.”
Arasa pushed away from the horse to try to reason with him.
“Please let me go back to Omtra. I—I have—family that is waiting for me!”
He beckoned her back to the horse.
“Let them come and find you then…if you are highly missed, we can always reach a deal with an Omtran,” he mocked. She glared at him, not understanding his sarcastic tone of voice. “Will you get on the horse or do you want me to help you?”
His eyes lowered to her heaving chest, and she glared at him icily, challenging him to look further.
“There are many ways to make a servant obey,” he remarked, moving close to her, his hand reached out to grab her waist. A huge grin showed on his face, as she fidgeted. “The nights are getting colder…and I may need a bed partner…”
She pulled away in disgust, only to have him grab her back and run his hand along her side, shocking her further. His breath was on her cheek as she turned her face away in disgust. Her heart raced in fear. Being princess of Omtra, she did not have to worry about being close to a man. It was chivalry for men to not touch a woman who was not their spouse. But here, this barbaric man was touching her in the most intimate ways.
“Defy me further, and you will be warming my bed…”
She swallowed. Her heart continued racing. The only self-defense she knew was with a bow and arrow. Darien did not teach her sword fighting, because she felt that sword was too intimate in killing. Now she regretted her decision as she eyed the sword behind his back.
His lips intentionally touched her cheek, and she jumped.
“Will you get on the horse?” he whispered.
She turned to look at him. His eyes clearly showed lust that made her heart race in fear. Without further arguing, she turned and got onto the horse. He followed her up onto the horse and held her waist tightly as she protested. She felt too much of his body and it was scaring her. How can she, the princess of Omtra, be this close to a barbarian? Her face turned red from the humiliation, but he did not see it. He slowly walked the horse back to camp.
“Tell me your name?”
“Where are you from, Arasa?”
Arasa shifted in her seat, uncomfortable with the questions.
“I—I am from Dalaria, city of the North.”
“I’ve been to Dalaria before,” Ares slowly remarked, shocking Arasa. “Tell me, what part of Dalaria are you from?”
“The—the north…” Arasa stumbled.
“Omtrans are immensely proud of their music and arts, I hear. Can you dance?”
“Of course, I can, I’m—” Arasa stopped midway, “Everyone is taught to dance at a young age in Omtra. Everyone is free to express themselves through dancing. We don’t take slaves or dress in war suits like Kir.”
Ares chuckled sarcastically.
“Well, now that you are my slave, you can dance for me every night.”
Shock, Arasa turned to look at him in disbelief.
“I will not honor you such a thing!”
Instead of being angry, Ares looked at her angry lips. He yearned to kiss them, and she was tempting him to react with her haughtiness. Bolga came in time as he was thinking about it.
“Captain Ares, I apologize…she—she took me by surprise.”
Ares’s eyes never left her, before he remarked, “She will be a handful, Bolga, so I suggest you bring the rope and tie her before you do anything with her.”
Arasa’s mouth opened in shock, as Ares got off his horse and motion for her to get off. He offered to help her, but she refused and got of the horse herself. Before she could protest, Ares pulled her hands together and bind them with a rope.
“Stop this madness! I am not a slave!”
Ares smiled and passed her bonded hands to Bolga.
“Finish washing her up and dress her. Then send her to my yurt.”
Bolga pulled her, but could not move her, as she struggled.
“I will not go! I am an Omtra citizen, not a slave!”
Ares jerked her bonded hands to him and replied, “You are in Kir land now, Arasa. Look around you!”
Arasa nervously looked to where all the yurts were and saw many Kir soldiers walking around and working.
“You either stay in my Yurt or another?” Ares remarked, “I’m sure there are plenty of soldiers here that misses their wives and wouldn’t mind you in their bed!”
Arasa looked in desperation, “Please…return me to Omtra…and I’ll reward you greatly…”
Ares laugh. She did not know that he was a prince of Kir. He had riches. What more did he want? But a treasure like her would be hard to find. He moved up to her, his eyes could not leave her lush lips. “If you don’t leave with Bolga, I’ll take you myself, Arasa, but you will not like my method of bathing you.”
His words came out soft and husky, and she almost felt him touch her lips. Feeling tingling and uncomfortable, she quickly jerked away towards Bolga. Without another word, and scared of her feelings, she reluctantly went with Bolga. She had to find a way to escape, she thought, and looked at her bonded hands. She would ask the kind Bolga to untie her and then escape. Satisfied, Arasa allowed Bolga to lead her back to the Yurt.
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