Something good was about to happen. I could feel it in the wind. As per usual, I had played a few games of chess with Darken after dinner; however, I was incredibly surprised when this routine was disturbed by Cara. After the third game (he had beaten me yet again, best two out of three), there was a knock at the study door. Cara entered, and claimed she had to speak with me on a very urgent matter. Ergo, Darken told me that he was going to bed and that I could find him there when Cara and I were finished talking. With that, he left. After several minutes of idle conversation, Cara informed me that he had requested for her to come to the study at that time and preoccupy me for roughly twenty minutes; he didn't say why. She then told me that she had noticed that he wasn't quite himself around me; she said, "The Darken Rahl all of D'Hara knows would have had his way with you within your first few days here with absolutely no thought whatsoever. But for him to have waited this long…coming to the verge of killing Mistress Denna and Triana for what they did to you…all the tender signs of affection he shows for you…all the time he spends with you…Ember, he genuinely loves you. Most people would never dream him capable of the love he shows for you…I guess most people are wrong, especially considering that scene in the rose garden today," she finished with a smirk. After the passage of the rest of the twenty minutes, we bade goodnight to each other and left the study. Feeling increasingly nervous with each step, I headed for Darken Rahl's bedchamber.
Upon reaching his bedchamber, I leaned against the door and inhaled deeply. There had been a brief thunderstorm while we were playing chess, and the entire palace smelled of a summer rainfall. I closed my eyes and exhaled slowly.
Relax, Ember; with any luck, this will be the best night of your life.
Shaking my head in an attempt to clear my mind, I pushed the door open and walked in.
I saw no sign of Darken at first, save a fire burning in the fireplace and his unmade bed. The former filled the room with the scent of smoking wood, mingling with the aroma of rain to create a dream-like atmosphere. I strode over to the small table that my chest rested atop. Lifting its lid carefully, I removed my armband, gloves, necklace, and headdress, shrunk them down, and set them inside. After closing the lid, I glanced down at the surface of the table. Lying in front of my box was a single, beautiful, blood-red rose.
I gave out a barely audible gasp and smiled to myself. Gingerly, I picked up the rose and lifted it to my nose. I closed my eyes as I took in the soothing fragrance, then set the rose back down gently.
"Okay, Darken," I tried not to giggle, "I give up. Where are you?"
"Right here, Ember."
I pivoted in the direction of his voice. He was standing against the wall, a mischievous smirk on his face. He wore his usual sleeveless top, slit completely down the center; the firelight gave a seductive lustre to his bare arms, face, neck, and partially exposed chest. He also wore a pair of deep crimson pants…leather pants. Naturally, my stare locked on the pants.
Damn…he can really carry those off well.
"Close your eyes," he said, possibly noticing that I had recently become transfixed on his crotch.
Screw that…good Creator, he's packed! *mental slap*
Chuckling, he motioned up toward his face. "My eyes are up here. Now, close your eyes."
Not quite getting the point, I did as he asked. I heard him walk over to me, and unwrap something that was in paper.
"Open your mouth," he requested. Upon seeing me arch my eyebrow suspiciously, he coaxed; "Just do it, trust me."
I did so, and he placed a tiny square upon my tongue. I closed my mouth, and the familiar flavor engulfed my tastebuds.
Dark chocolate. Rich, decadent, sinful dark chocolate.
I smiled and opened my eyes. Darken was back by the wall, his back to me, messing with something on a nearby table. When he turned to face me once more, he held two goblets of red wine.
He has really outdone himself, I must say. I suppose telling him my weaknesses was actually a damn good move.
Approaching me, he handed me one of the goblets of garnet-colored liquid. A somewhat devious shimmer in his eyes, he toasted, "To you, my dear."
Resisting the urge to blush, I raised my glass and said, "And to you as well, darling."
With a delicate clink, we made our toast and sipped the wine. It was the perfect balance of dry and sweet…something I had never thought possible for anyone to achieve in a wine. At least, no one in this millennium. I felt a little warmer, a little more carefree, with every sip; and honestly, it couldn't have felt more right. As I drank the rest of the wine in my goblet, a small drop escaped the corner of my mouth. Darken watched intently as it trickled down my cheek and chin, stopping partway down my neck. He stared at it hungrily.
His gaze met mine, pale sapphires mingling with emeralds-in-the-rough. He reached out and tucked a long strand of hair behind my ear, moving his hand to the back of my neck after he did so. He leaned toward me, and his lips closed in on the ruby droplet on my neck. My pulse increased, and he stood upright once more, scrutinizing my reaction.
Smiling deviously, I took a step closer to him. I wasn't afraid…not anymore. Reaching up, I ran a hand through his long dark hair; it felt so soft and thick as it passed through my fingers. He snaked an arm around me, resting his hand on the small of my back. His other hand moved up my neck to caress the side of my face. Wrapping both my arms around his neck, we began to kiss. Shortly, I felt him deepen the kiss, his toxic tongue gliding across mine continuously. Without realizing I was doing it at first, I nibbled playfully on his bottom lip…I could tell he enjoyed it.
Momentarily tearing his mouth from mine, he inquired, "Feeling frisky, Ember?"
I chuckled, sliding my hands to his collarbone as we resumed kissing. I tucked them between his top and his skin, gradually moving the fabric to the sides and back, and up over his shoulders. Finally, his shirt made its way down his arms and to the floor; I traced my fingertips down his bare chest slowly.
Darken moved his hands to the top of my bodice. Cautiously, he began to untie its strings. My heart started to pound as he unlaced it, his fingers nimbly traveling downward at an increasing pace. As it fell to the floor, his lips left mine and made their way down my neck and to my chest. He slid his hands to my waist and, with minor difficulty, managed to take off both my skirt and half-slip at the same time. His mouth reaching mine once more, he pulled me closer to him.
Stepping out of my crumpled skirt, I pressed my body anxiously against his. Clumsily, I fought to undo his pants. After succeeding in doing so, I proceeded to finish taking them off. I kissed him tenderly on my way down, stopping at his waistline and working my way back up.
We were both tired of screwing around; he pushed me down unto the bed, and I pulled him down on top of me. He kissed me passionately, deeper and more animalistically than before. I ran my hands up his toned arms and clutched at his hair once more. Traveling down my neck, chest, stomach, and thighs, his lips claimed my entire body with ravenous embrace after ravenous embrace. On his way back up, he gently bit at the skin on my neck, causing my breath to hitch sharply.
"Oh, Darken," I whispered as he let his face hover over mine.
I looked longingly into his oceanic eyes. Not breaking eye contact with me, he ran a hand up the inside of my thigh. Obediently, my legs parted, allowing him the access he needed. He made the connection, and pain surged throughout me.
"Darken!" I moaned, my back arching, my breathing heavy.
"Ember," he moaned in return, beginning to devour my neck once more.
He continued to thrust himself into me, both of us finding it harder and harder to restrain our moans of ecstasy. I scratched at the smooth skin on his back, causing his back to arch and for him to get faster. After a while, I could feel myself beginning to climax.
With one final cry of each other's name, we were both overcome by a powerful orgasm. Once the sensation subsided, we crashed tiredly into each other's arms, our sweat slowly dampening the sheets.
Sighing, I nestled my head on his chest and wrapped an arm around his waist. His arms encircled me lovingly, and I closed my eyes.
"I love you," Darken whispered, kissing my forehead.
Kissing his collarbone, I answered, "I love you, too."
For a brief instant, I felt a wave of regret crash over me. Everything about this relationship was wrong, when it got right down to it; I was supposed to be spying on Darken Rahl, not fucking him. And yet, it all seemed so…right. His touch, his voice, his scent, his smile, his breathtaking eyes…the hell with what's right and wrong. I belonged wherever he was; my heart was wherever he was. Sighing, I gradually drifted off to sleep in his embrace.