Read Merlin’s Song Online

Authors: Samantha Winston

Merlin’s Song (7 page)

BOOK: Merlin’s Song
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“Lady Kyla, it is time.” Lord Fontaine clapped his hands and
four servants came in. They were brawny men.

Kyla was wearing a diaphanous dressing gown and nothing
else. “Oh, but I’m not dressed. Call my maids, would you?”

The men advanced on her, and before she realized what was
happening, they tore her robe off and tied her hands behind her back. Another
man put a gag in her mouth. She struggled, and had the satisfaction of
connecting a few good kicks before they dragged her from the room and tied her
to a palanquin. Lord Fontaine grinned at her before he pulled the curtains shut
and said, “I like a woman with a little fight in her. I look forward to beating
it out of you.”

Kyla gasped. The threat didn’t excite her at all, it chilled
her blood. How could she have loved it when Merlin spanked her and feel so ill
at the thought of Lord Fontaine hitting her? She struggled but to no avail. The
ropes were too tight.

Then the palanquin was lifted and carried outside. She could
feel the air grow cooler. It must be night now. When the curtains were parted
again she came out fighting, but again, the men were just too strong.

They had to drag her kicking and fighting from the
palanquin. She managed to get in a few good kicks, but they overcame her in the
end and hauled her to a stone table. She barely had time to register that there
were hundreds of people in the garden before a creepy man in dark red robes
approached her. Some party!

Then Lord Fontaine rang a bell and announced, “Behold our
eminent doctor, Sir Giles. He will tell us if the concubine is fit to bear my
children.”

Kyla struggled some more but she was held tightly by ropes
digging into her wrists and ankles. The doctor stroked and kneaded her breasts,
pinched her nipples and then prodded her stomach.

Kyla wished she were loose. She’d knock him over. Then he
slid his finger into her vagina and prodded some more. In front of everyone! It
was like one of those nightmares you have, the ones where you’re naked in front
of strangers. Only this was real. She was mortified.

The doctor straightened and announced solemnly, “She is
already pregnant!”

A murmur swept over the crowd. Lord Fontaine turned purple. “Already?
But I haven’t slept with the wench! I don’t want to rear some other man’s
child!”

His wife whirled upon him and cried, “What? You expect me to
rear another woman’s child but you don’t want to rear one that’s not yours?”

“No, I don’t,” he snarled.

“That’s not fair!” Lady Fontaine stomped her foot.

“It has nothing to do with fair!” Lord Fontaine trumpeted
back. His voice rose. “It has to do with pride.”

“Pride?” His wife’s voice rose even higher. “What about
repopulating our dismal island? What about having a family?” She burst into
tears and stormed away. But halfway to the manor she turned around and shouted,
“As soon as the queen lets offlanders onto the island, I’m taking a lover and I’m
going to adopt all the children orphaned by that horrible Mouse King. It’s not
your money, it’s mine!” Her chin lifted high, she swept into the house. If Kyla
could have, she would have applauded.

* * * * *

Merlin had just started toward the stables when a huge
fanfare of trumpets sounded. He clapped his hands over his ears. What was it
with the Southern Isles and loud noise? They seemed to revel in revelry—and the
more earsplitting, the better.

Then Lord Fontaine arrived, dressed in a foppish coat of
scarlet and pink trimmed with pearls and diamonds. He rang a silver bell and
everyone turned to him in hushed expectation.

“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming tonight to the Presentation
Fête. The glorious Kyla, my new concubine, will be introduced to all of you.”
With a flourish, Lord Fontaine rang his bell again and servants arrived,
carrying a palanquin. The palanquin was curtained. As the crowd held its
breath, Lord Fontaine pulled the curtain aside. And there was Kyla. She was
stark naked, bound with silken ropes, and looked absolutely furious.

Merlin missed his footing and nearly fell. Only grabbing on to
a portly guest saved him. He must be drunker than he thought. He was having
hallucinations of Kyla bound and gagged. He peered closer. No, it was real. She
was being led out of the palanquin now by four servants, and she wasn’t making
things easy for anyone. Even tied hand and foot she managed to kick one servant
in the balls and another got a knee in the chin and fell over backward. By
Mistral, she was a dirty fighter! How could he have ever thought her a soft,
spoiled fairy brat? He grinned as she clamped both of her legs around the
palanquin’s frame and refused to let go. Now there was a spirited lass!

But what did they want with her? He frowned as they muscled
her onto a large table set up in the middle of the garden and tied her down. An
elderly man walked over.

“Behold our eminent doctor, Sir Giles.” Lord Fontaine
ignored Kyla’s furious struggles and bowed to the old man. “He will tell us if
the concubine is fit to bear my children.”

Standing next to Lord Fontaine was a tall, thin woman
wearing a strained expression and sumptuous robes. Merlin guessed it was Lady
Fontaine. She had a bandage on her head, he could see it even though she’d
tried to hide it with a silk scarf and a diadem.

Merlin tried to get through the crowd, but everyone was
pressing in, forming an impenetrable hedge. “Let me through,” he said, shoving
guests aside, careless now of manners. He was an elf, by Mistral!

There seemed to be some sort of altercation going on. A
woman screaming. Lord Fontaine yelling. And the murmur of voices in the crowd
finally getting through to his brain.

“She’s pregnant! The new concubine is pregnant!”

Merlin froze. Kyla was pregnant already? May curses fall for
a thousand years on Lord Fontaine! He felt as if he’d just been stabbed through
the heart. He staggered, held up by the crowd, and the crowd was still
commenting.

“Lord Fontaine is furious!” said one person.

“Yes, but would you want to rear another man’s child?”
replied another.

“Another man’s child? Whose?” Merlin grabbed the guest
around the neck and shook him.

The man grimaced. “I believe you’ve had too much wine, sir.
How would I know who the wench slept with before?”

“Who she…” Merlin let go of him and turned to stare at Kyla.
“She slept with me,” he said, and dashed toward her. Comprehension was slowly
pushing its way into his brain, slowed no doubt by too much wine. And what was
Lord Fontaine doing? He raised a whip and brought it down upon Kyla’s body.

That did it. Merlin erupted out of the crowd like a tornado,
seized the lord by his collar and tossed him into the nearest fishpond. Then he
tore Kyla’s bonds off and held her tightly. “Kyla,” he said.

She pushed him away. “Let go of me, you drunken oaf!”

“It’s elf,” he said, trying to gather his thoughts. “Why are
you so angry? I just saved you.”

“I wanted to knock that bastard into the fishpond myself!”
She struggled again but he held her tight.

“Too late. I already did,” he said distractedly. He drew his
sword and waved it at the guards, who stepped back prudently. “Stay away,” said
Merlin. “She’s mine.”

Kyla’s expression softened and she kissed him. “Thank you
for rescuing me. Can we go home now?”

“Here, take this.” He took his cloak off and gave it to her.
She wrapped it around her shoulders. The guards didn’t bother them after Lady
Fontaine came back and told Kyla she was free. She also gave her a decent robe
to wear for the ride home. Kyla put it on then slumped against Merlin, her face
pale with fatigue.

Merlin carried her on his lap all the way back to the
castle. It made it damned hard to ride, but he didn’t try anything. He did have
to tell Kyla about the queen though. It was the hardest thing he’d ever said,
but he wanted to keep nothing from her.

She craned her neck and looked at him.

“Did you make love to her?”

“Well, not with my cock, but I touched her. I think Sebring
would have liked it if I’d made love to her but to tell you the truth, I didn’t
want to. All I could think of was you.”

Her cheeks grew pink, and she asked, “Do you always share
with your brother?”

“I used to,” he said.

“Why didn’t you share me?” She sounded curious.

“I don’t know, but whenever I thought about it, I wanted to
punch him in the nose. I still do. I think I’m the jealous type,” he admitted.
He jingled his horse’s reins.

“How can you still be jealous? You drank the antidote.”

“Maybe it didn’t work. When I found out you were missing all
I could think of was getting you back. I guess we’ll have to ask your cook for
the real antidote.”

“I guess.” She sounded sad though.

“What is it?” he asked.

“I feel sick.”

“Do you want me to stop the horse?”

“Yes.” She got down and was copiously sick behind a bush. He
had a flask of water and gave it to her and she drank it, grimacing.

“Is it because you’re pregnant?” He tried not to sound too
anxious, but he felt anxious.

“No, it’s because I ate too much rich food. After months of
plain fare it was too much. That will teach me to be a pig.”

He laughed, but talking about her pregnancy had made up his
mind. He got down on his knees and took her hand. “You know, we don’t have to
ask for the antidote. I want to marry you, after this war is over, and if I’m
still alive. And don’t worry. If you want we can live in the city. I know how
important parties and such are for you,” he said, looking at her carefully. A rosy
flush spread across her cheeks and her eyes suddenly glittered with tears. He
felt a stab of disquiet. “What’s the matter? Is my proposition so awful?”

She shook her head, making her tears fly like diamonds. “No,
that’s not it at all. I was dreaming you’d say that. Dreaming you’d ask me to
marry you. I love you, and I don’t want to take any antidote, ever.” She flung
herself into his arms. “I’m so glad I’m having your child.”

He kissed her hair. She smelled like jasmine and roses and
she felt like heaven. His arms tightened around her. “Let’s go back to the
castle. In another minute, I’m going to tear out of my pants.

She reached down and touched his hard-on. “Oh, I see!” She
giggled.

The feel of her cool, slim fingers made chills run up his
spine, but he managed to lift her on his horse and mount, then pull her back
onto his lap. “Behave,” he said to her sternly. “Otherwise I shall fall off
this horse, and I don’t want anything happening to you.”

“I’m not made of glass,” she said, but she looked pleased
and settled against him, giving a deep sigh. A few minutes later he looked down
and saw she’d fallen fast asleep. He was left alone with a raging hard-on, and
a huge bubble of happiness that threatened to make his chest explode.

Merlin’s happiness lasted until he reached the castle and
the reality of his situation sank in. He was with the woman he loved, but their
lives depended on the queen’s ability to get pregnant. And until then, Hivernia
was still at war, his friends were still fighting and dying, and he was stuck
on the island.

* * * * *

A week went by. Merlin and Kyla were happy in their bubble. Sebring
stayed with the queen, and he seemed happy as well. He asked Merlin and Kyla to
join them in the bathhouse and they made love as a foursome, but Kyla and
Merlin only wanted to make love to each other and not share.

“I don’t want to hurt your feelings,” said Kyla to the
queen, “but I only want my husband to make love to me.”

“Your fiancé, you mean,” she said. Kyla had discovered the
queen was something of a stickler for exactness.

“I appreciate your offer to let us have our wedding here,
but I want to wait until the war in Hivernia is over,” Kyla told her.

“I know. I wish I would hurry up and get pregnant so that
the army can go to help your country.”

“It’s not for lack of trying,” said Sebring. He had just
finished making love to the queen and his face was flushed. They were all
rather flushed, actually. The air in the royal chamber was musky with the scent
of two very aroused women and two horny men. The sight of Sebring and Willow
had excited Kyla, and she’d eagerly submitted to Merlin’s agile ministrations.
While Sebring had gently stroked Willow, Merlin had thrust into Kyla and
brought her to a peak of ecstasy.

Afterward they talked for a bit, curled up together in the
silken sheets. There was a plate of fruit on the bed and Merlin was teasing
Kyla with a slice of melon, placing it on her lips and then pulling it away
when she went to bite it.

The sun set, and Merlin took Kyla back to their room, where
she dressed for dinner. Life in the palace was very relaxing, but it was also
boring, and Kyla was aching to know what was happening in Hivernia.

At the table that night, Queen Willow gathered her ministers
together, stood, and said in a solemn voice, “I have an announcement to make
that will bring great joy to the Southern Isles. I am expecting an heir to the
throne. The army will leave for Hivernia tomorrow at dawn.”

Kyla half rose in her chair, and Merlin’s shocked gasp was
drowned out by the wild applause of the ministers. They all got up to
congratulate the queen. Sebring, looking a little ashen, stood by her side.
Kyla looked at Merlin, but he looked as confused as she felt. Hadn’t the queen
said just that afternoon that she wished she’d get pregnant? Had she been to
see a doctor since then? That must be the reason.

Kyla suddenly felt giddy with relief. She was going back to
Hivernia the next morning! The same thought must have struck Merlin at the
exact moment, because he threw his arms around her and hugged her tightly.

“Home,” he said, his voice rough. “We’re going home!”

The next day the Southern Isle troops, led by Merlin and Sebring,
left for Hivernia. Kyla went with Merlin. He would be dropping her off at her
aunt’s castle.

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