Her mind filled with second thoughts. As soon as she defeated one, another would jump out to worry her. Do I really want to involve Helga? It would be foolish, and dangerous, to escape alone. She glanced at the table still holding the bread and cheese from her midday meal. Will there be enough to eat? I'll take this bread and cheese and steal more from the kitchen as we leave. She stamped her foot, impatient with herself. I can’t stay here! There are no second thoughts. I have to make good my escape.
She went to the bed and reached beneath it again to bring out a second small leather bag to fill with food. As she stood, her bedroom door swung open long enough to reveal Helga silently motioning to her. One last look around and Alvilda left the room, locking the door behind her.
“Prince Alf has arrived. He wanted to slay the snakes and lizards immediately, but your father persuaded him the hour was too late. He agreed to stay the night and make his attempt at the prize in the morning.” Helga whispered this information as the two of them slipped down the circular stairs and into the corridor leading to the kitchen.
“I want to see him! I want to see if he is the way I remember him from childhood. He was so handsome then, I think I fell in love with him at first sight. His parents brought him for a visit. I believed we were to be betrothed, but father would hear nothing of the sort.”
“You risk too much if you attempt to see him, Princess. What if we are caught?” Helga spoke in hushed tones. “The others are waiting down by the postern gate. Milady, we must leave immediately.”
Alvilda ignored Helga and walked quickly toward the great hall. She simply had to see the Prince. “Just one glimpse, Helga, and I can go.”
Silently she moved down the hall, the shadows obscuring her presence to all save Helga. Standing on tip-toe she peeked through the narrow window and sighed at the sight of Prince Alf. His magnificent body stood outlined by the flickering glow of the fireplace. He had his back to her and she was able to admire the muscles outlined by his tight fitting britches. His hair fell from his shoulders in a brilliant blonde wavy sheen. Her heart pounded when he swung his head to gaze in her direction. Had he seen her? She held her breath, half-fearing discovery and half-excited by the prospect, until he shrugged and went back to staring at the fire.
“Milady, that was too close! He felt you watching him. Please, we need to make haste! The more time we have before the king discovers your escape, the better our chances to be away and not get caught. Do you want to be dragged back here to marry the prince?”
Alvilda’s eyes narrowed and her brow wrinkled. “You know I don’t want to marry anyone. I only wanted to see him. He’s beautiful, isn’t he?” She didn’t wait for Helga’s answer already moving swiftly down the corridor to the kitchen. She paused long enough to fill her leather bag with apples, bread, cheese and a full wine skin.
Making her way down the moonlit path to the postern gate, Alvilda chanced a glance up to the castle towering behind her in the night gloom. She spied her mother watching from her lighted bedroom window. She couldn’t see her mother’s tears so much as feel them deep in the core of her being. The princess touched her heart with her right hand and made to grasp it and throw it to her mother, a sign that her heart would always be with her. Her mother did the same.
Turning back toward the gate, Alvilda faced over a dozen women with their eyes on her, silently waiting for orders.
“Quickly now, no time to dawdle. Our new life begins very soon. I’m taking one of father’s ships, and the faster we move the sooner we can be at sea. If time is on my side, it will be late tomorrow morning before he discovers me gone.”
The women made their way down the cliff side path to the cove holding her father’s two ships. They boarded the smaller of the two because it was closest to the open sea. Besides, with a crew of inexperienced women as sailors, the smaller ship was the wiser choice. When all the women were aboard, Alvilda manned the rudder while the others, including Helga, took up the oars and headed out to sea.
The princess glanced over her shoulder again and imagined her mother still watching from her window. Once more she touched her heart, grasped it and threw it in the direction of the castle. She’d made good her escape. She would be her own woman. She would answer to no one, but she would certainly miss her mother.
Will Alf be angry when he finds me gone? No matter, I’m sure he will quickly get over the loss of me.
“We are well on our way, so keep watch and wake me only if there is no other choice.” Alvilda slipped below decks and found her father’s cabin. Shutting the door, she collapsed on the berth. Before long the heat of the enclosed space had her taking everything she wore off. Confident they would not be followed for some time, Alvilda smiled as she lay on the bed and stretched her naked body over the roughhewn wool cover upon the bed. He certainly was a handsome man, far more handsome than I remember. “Just stop it, he isn’t meant for you, no one is,” she said as she turned over onto her stomach and fell asleep.
His hands caressed her skin, lightly skimming over her back and across her buttocks then down the backs of her legs. Alvilda arched her back; when she did her legs slightly spread open, giving him easier access to the treasure covered in golden curls. One hand slid between her legs and delved into the curls finding her most private parts, the hard little nub hidden from the world. Stroking that tiny button elicited a small moan in the back of her throat. Encouraged, he rubbed harder and Alvilda drew her legs up, bringing herself onto her knees.
Ravenwood: Night's Salvation
The above review was done from the first version, the print version of the book. I will post any other reviews as I get them.
"How long have you been watching me?" he slyly asked her, wondering absently if she might be a pretty shade of pink in her embarrassment. After all, she had been caught in his chamber looking at him, and he had on not one stitch of clothing.
Satine looked away, but could not seem to control her own movements and turned to look at him again, her boldness reaching new heights. "Only a moment or two. Your mother sent me to wake you. Dinner will be served in a quarter hour."
She started to leave; she would have to pass him to get to the closed door. He was still looking at her and was still naked, and now a smile spread slowly across his face. Making a move toward the door, she stopped when he stood up.
His lust for her was visible, yet he did not frighten her as he thought he might. He wasn't ashamed of his nakedness in front of her. Satine's eyes were inexplicably drawn downward, where they rested on his swollen manhood.
There was a hint of her incredible eyes widening as she saw the evidence of his wanting her, but nothing close to the fear he was truly expecting. Surprised yet again, Night smiled, for she had unknowingly pleased him. He knew he was being a rogue, but he just couldn't help himself.
"Do you like what you have seen?" he asked her, smiling as she reached for the robe on the end of the bed. She tried to hand it to him without looking him in the eye.
When he didn't take the robe from her, Satine took a few tentative steps toward him. Once again she reached the robe out to him; her relief evident when he reached up to take it from her.
She squeaked in shock as he took hold of her arm instead of the robe. Pulling her close to him, she gazed into his eyes.
"I asked you a question. I expect an answer," Night said. Her face was close to his.
"Wh-what was the question, sir?" Satine stammered, obviously nervous, though her eyes never left his.
Lowering his head, he kissed her lightly, longing to taste her perfect lips. Longing to possess her in any way he could. His lips touched hers softly at the start, his tongue silently telling her to part her lips. He almost expired on the spot when her lips parted for him innocently, deepening the kiss, mating his tongue with hers in a dance far more intoxicating than even he had expected. He forgot to be gentle with her; his only thought, to possess her.
She responded to his kiss without reserve, winding her arms around his neck as she dropped his robe and arched into his body.
It numbed his mind to find that she fit him perfectly, as if she had been made just for him and no one else. They were both dazed and panting when he finally broke the kiss.
Breathless, he turned her to the door. "You should go now, before I do things I can not yet do. I will be down to dinner shortly," he told her. He opened the door and gently pushed her into the hall. Closing the door softly, he leaned against it to catch his breath. She never answered my question. He dressed, absently wondering what his wedding night would be like.