Of Ash & Blood

A Journey Begins

Amabels P.O.V

I stared into the mirror, studying myself as my nursemaid, Mary, gently brushed my hair back. I stared looked into my large blue eyes, down to my scrawny neck and overly protruding collar bones. I looked away, asking Mary to braid the two front pieces of my hair back so it would not fall into my face. I could not avoid this day, I suppose. I fiddled with my hands, staring at just how boney they had become. I was never a hearty woman, by any means, but since Lord Silas agreed to take my hand, I haven been able to sleep or eat. Mary tsked at the dark circles under my eyes, muttering to herself that it couldn be helped.

We chose a high necked dress, to help hide the bruises that had since darkened on my face and neck. I shivered, remembering the fit my father had once he learned I was refusing meals, grabbing me by my neck while trying to force feed me.

Soon, I suppose, I wouldn have to deal with him anymore. I was trading one evil for another. I could only hope that my future husband would be indifferent, I had heard from other noblewomen that he was usually not home during the cool months of the year, taking the time the monsters were in hiding to raid their areas for stolen goods or treasure they typically horded, as well as bringing back their heads to sell at market places. I shuddered, remembering those heads he had thrown in front of me I truly hope that would be the case, at least to give myself time to settle into my new home before being forced to continue my martial duties.

I stood up once Mary was done poking and prodding me, she finished the braids and carefully put emerald pins in my hair that had once belonged to my mother.

”Every girl deserves a piece of their mother on their wedding day, ” Mary had beamed.

I studied my dress, made of silk and lace falling past my ankles and left a small trail behind as I walked. The long sleeves that cascaded down hid my hands as they fell to my sides. I reached up and touched my hair, wrapping a small coil around my finger as I studied it. Mary clicked her tongue and promptly put it back in place, reminding me she had spent time to perfectly pin my hair in place and reminded me that someone with as unruly hair as mine should know to leave it be once it is done. I nodded absentmindedly at her ramblings.

Soon enough, it was time to head down to the great hall where the ceremony would be held. I walked behind Mary and the other maidservants as they lead me to the great doors. I felt something hard in my throat, and tried to swallow as hard as I could. I had already spent time hiding away from Silas, avoiding his cold eyes as we sat across from eachother during meals that my father refused to let me eat in my bedchamber. Silas, thankfully, did not attempt to speak to me at all while he was here. He left shortly after agreeing to take my hand and had returned just last night for the ceremony.

Mary turned to me and fixed my dress, smoothing it out around me as it was almost time to go inside. ”Now, you must remember, my Lady, you must consummate the marriage tonight or it will be null, all this for nothing! ”

Gwen, another maidservant, nodded her head in agreeance, ”Yes, my Lady! you must lie still and it will be over before you know it, like a bee sting. ”

Both maidservants nodded to eachother and turned back to me. I held my hand faintly on my stomach and tried to settle the bile that was threatening to come up just thinking about it. I knew what they were meaning, my mother had told me about it before.

”It is time, my Lady! ” Mary was practically jumping for joy at the sight of the colors in the sky outside the window, indicating it was almost mid-evening and we were to head in now.

Male servants walked past and pried the large doors open in front of me, I quickly straightened myself out and held my head low, avoiding the gaze of my future husband as he stood by the priest and my father. I finally got to the end of the aisle and stood to Silas side as the priest cleared his throat.

”Men and women of Aelis, under the great rule of King Connards, please join as we hand this woman, Amabel Ashdown, to her betrothed, Silas Moraeu, a joining in which I believe the Fae are smiling on… ” As Father Pritchards speech continued, my ears deafened. The neck of my dress slowly began to feel like a noose, tightening its grip around my neck. I cleared my throat as quietly as I could, trying my best to restrain myself from fiddling with the neckline, wishing to pull it down from my throat and take a gasp I so needed.

I did not dare look up at Silas, but I felt his eyes pressing into me, as if he was taunting me, daring me to look up at him. I clasp my hands together as Father Pritchards began the prayers.

I blacked out most of the ceremony, only waiting for it to end, but also half wishing it never would. I finally saw a firm hand enter my eyesight and blinked up to Silas, who had his arm out stretched, waiting for me. I gently placed my hand on his as he took the first step away from the priest and lead me down, taking our first steps as man and wife.

We were then sat in the banquet hall for a feast that would honor this night, this night that I so dreaded. I sat down at the table which was filled with roasted mallard, pheasant, breads, all sorts of sweet treats and cheeses. Normally, I would of loved to fill my plate and have some wine. However, with the lesser appetite Ive had lately, I merely picked at the food on my plate, taking sips of the wine that was next to me. I only dare glance up at Silas a few times. My stomach would drop each time as I realized he was looking at me. I shuddered under the gaze and would quickly look back down, scared of what he was expecting later tonight.

To take my time, I would cut a small piece of meat one at a time and slowly bringing it to my lips, taking my time to carefully chew and swallow each bite. However, time still passed as I carefully took sips of my wine as my nursemaid made her way to me and let me know now was the time to head to the chambers to get ready.

I slowly followed up the stairs, counting each step as I took it, carefully watching my feet place one in front of the other as my head felt so light, that I might faint. Mary shook her head and opened the door to the bedchamber, ushering me inside.

”Have you had too much wine, my Lady? ”

I simply rolled my eyes as she went to the wardrobe and pulled out undergarments. I carefully watched as she laid them down, I looked over to her with a curious look.

”My Lady, don you want to look your best? These are the finest! I assure you once he sees you- ”

”I do not care to put that on, Mary. What I have on now will do just fine, ”

Marys face went red and simply shook her head as she continued to lay out the undergarments onto the bed.

”It was your fathers insistence that you wear these, my Lady. Please do not force me to tell him you did not cooperate…. ”

I felt hairs on the back of my neck stand up. My father requested I wear this? I studied the thin fabric as Mary lowered it down, hardly covering my calves, only reaching down below the knee. I pulled it down as far as it would go. The long sleeves flowed down, with lace all around my chest and up my shoulders along the neckline.

Mary took the braids out of my hair and gently brushed a few pieces down before taking one more look at her work and gave me a reassuring hand on my arm before taking her leave from the room. I was grateful she had the thought to light the fire, as without, Im sure I would freeze. I walked over to the window to ensure it was shut when I heard the door across the room quietly open and shut. I said a silent prayer in my mind and slowly turned around to see Silas, standing still by the door with his eyes burning into me.

”I-I hope everything was to your liking tonight, Lord S- ”

”Are we not about to be husband and wife? Forget the titles, it is simply Silas, ” He waived a hand as if to dismiss me. He took a step forward and lifted his head. It was as though I was meeting an entirely new person for the first time as his face came into the light. He stood tall, I was sure he had to be at least five inches over six feet. His broad shoulders were tense, I wouldn even be able to wrap my arms around them if I wanted to. I lifted my gaze up to finally meet his, searching for any emotion. Same as always, he seemed to have none. He ran a hand through his dark hair, as if to smooth it down.

”If you do not wish to do this, I will leave, but know then this marriage would be null. You know they will check, ” He said, walking over to the bed. I felt my breath hitch in me, I took a small step over to the bed and reached out as if to touch him, but changed my mind and brought my hand back.

”My father would be in a rage if I did not. I-I must admit, I do not know how… ” I trailed off, looking to the bed, unsure how to finish my thoughts. I took a deep breath, trying to settle my stomach which was in knots. What would he expect me to do?

Silas sat down on the bed, pulling his tunic off over his head. He motioned for me to come sit next to him. I did as told, and fiddled with my hands in my lap, scared to look at his naked chest. He placed a finger under my chin, slowly bringing me to face him. I watched as his eyes flitted around my face, I looked down at his naked chest, studying the thick muscles that were sculpted across as if he was designed by some great artist.

Silas reached around my head slowly, cupping my nape and bringing me in. Unsure of what to do, I slowly parted my lips as they met his. I allowed him to slip his tongue in, slowly quickening the pace of our kiss as he pushed me down onto the bed and crawled ontop of me.

I felt as though my lungs were going to burst as he lifted my chemise up. I instinctively went to pull it back down, but his hands did not budge as they continued to pull it up and over my head, only breaking the kiss for a moment to do so. He pulled away as if to inspect his new belonging, and in a way, he was. I now belong to him, whether or not I wanted to.

Silas bent down and slowly peppered my skin with kisses, from my lips, to my chin and down to the nip of my breast. I felt my breath hitch as I got used to the new sensation. I felt his hand snake around my back, lifting me up and into him more. I pushed his head back just as he took his other hand and slid it between my legs, cupping my most sensitive area and slid a finger inside. I jolted at the sudden feeling, trying to sit up.

”Relax, Im simply making it easier… ” He breathed into me as he quickened the pace of his hand and trapped me into another suffocating kiss.

”Wh-What are you doing? ” I asked against his lips. I felt a slow burn begin in my stomach, starting to grow and trickle through me. I was unsure how to react, unable to control myself as I writhed underneath him. Silas finally pulled his hand away and pulled at his trousers, tossing them to the side of the bed once they were off. He repositioned himself back between my legs. I felt my face redden as I caught sight of his member, embarrassed to have looked.

Silas pulled my hips up to meet his and slowly began to place himself at my opening. I felt myself tense up as he began to enter me. I bit my lip at the sharp pain that shot through me. ”I don think I can, ” I shook my head. Silas bent down and continued to push himself inside, ”Just relax….yes, like that, just relax.. ” He breathed, I did my best to relax myself as he entered. Once inside, he began to move his hips slowly. ”It won hurt soon, I promise… ” He said gently, bringing me back into a kiss.

How could someone so beast like, be this gentle?

Silas began to quicken his pace, pulling his arms around me as if to hold me down into place as he continued. I bit down into his shoulder to keep myself quiet, doing my best to stay still for him, but I couldn help myself from moving beneath him.

Finally, I felt him release inside me. The warm liquid trickled as he pulled out of me, he laid like that for a moment, not looking at me before getting up. He walked over to the desk and grabbed a cloth, dipping it in water as he sat next to me in bed. I pulled at the blankets to cover myself as he sat, but he reached a hand out and stopped me before I could.

”Let me clean you first, ” He said. I looked at him confused, and jumped slightly as he brought the cold cloth between my legs to wipe up, I laid frozen. Silas got up and walked over, setting it down back to the desk and pulled his trousers back on. He walked over quietly and brought the blanket up over me before laying down. I rolled over, to face the wall, almost ashamed of the actions that just took place. While I knew what would happen, I never expected it to be like that…

I felt Silas lay next to me, bringing the blanket up over him. He reached over and blew the lamp that sat next to the bed before rolling to the opposite side with a sigh.

”And now, officially, you are mine, ” was all he said before I drifted off into sleep.

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