"Jessa?" Cycina whispered, shakily from the doorway.
Jessa lifted her head from her pillow.
"I can't sleep; I had a bad dream." Cycina whimpered, clutching her sack-made cat.
Jessa propped herself up on an elbow.
"What was it about?" She asked while Cycina slowly walked towards her bed
"I was in a room." The young girl answered "A-and everyone was gone. I-I couldn't see no one. But I heard screaming. I tried to f-find everyone...but everywhere I turned...there....there was-"
"Shh...it's alright, Cina." Jessa hushed the crying girl. "Do you want to sleep here with me tonight?"
Cycina nodded and crawled in besides Jessa; her small body immediately warming the space.
"Do you ever have bad dreams, Jessy?" Cycina asked sleepily
Jessa wrapped an arm around her. "Yes; sometimes."
"What're they about"?
Jessa shrugged. "Monsters." She waited for Cycina's breathing to become slow and even before she blew out the candle.
"I'll never let the monsters hurt you, Cina." She breathed.
Jessa awoke to the sounds of screams.
Her initial thoughts were that of a dream. I need to wake up.
She rolled over and grasped empty bedsheets.
"Cina?" She mumbled. She still felt only space.
Jessa sat up. "Cycina? Cycina, where are you?" she began to walk out of her room.
A hand suddenly clamped down on her shoulder. She yelped before another hand smothered her mouth.
"Shush!" Mathias hissed. "You'll give us away!"
Jessa pulled his hand away. "What?"
"They're here! The soldiers!" Her eyes widened. "
"Here?" Mathias nodded.
"Yes, now quick; come into my room!"
Jessa had only once been inside her brother's room; when he was sick as a child. It hadn't changed a whole lot since then, with the additions of a couple of books and the swords hanging form his wall.
Gina, Cycina and Iarris sat atop Mathias's bed.
"She was with Mother and Father." Mathias replied.
"Well...where are they now?"
Mathias shrugged. "I told them to flee the house; I'd take care of you all here."
"Well I hope they're alright!"
"Jessy, what's going on? Mathias won't tell us nothing." Cycina whimpered.
"I don't know, sweetie."
"Are the monsters coming?" She cried.
"I hope not." Jessa turned towards Mathias. "What should we do?" she asked.
"I don't know...sit in here and wait it out? We can only assume the came for Uncle Caius."
"What!? But Mathias; we can't let him get killed!"
"He'll be fine. He's got his own guards and-"
"What're you guys whisperin' about over there!?" Gina interrupted.
"It's none of your business, Ginevra. Just keep quiet." Gina scowled, but remained silent.
"Now; hopefully they're only targeting the main royal family, not the extend. But I wouldn't underestimate the Romyrians; they're smart people. They've probably have us all down by name."
"I know. But what if they do--"
Jessa's sentence was cut off by the sound of the front door breaking down.
"They're here!" Gina shrieked. "The soldiers!"
Cycina began to cry and Iarris's face turned white. Jessa felt her blood run cold.
"Alright. Gina, you take Cycina and Iarris and get out of here! We'll meet over by the creek." Mathias ordered. Gina nodded and scooped Cycina up in her arms. She clasped Iarris's hand in her own.
"Where should we go? Out the window?"
"No you idiot. Out the back door. Jessa, you stay with me."
"Why me? I-I can't fight!" she stuttered.
"Yes you can...ok you can't, but I just need someone by my side. You know, in case I die."
"Mathias! Don't speak like that! Can we just--"
The door to Mathias's room was kicked down.
Gina screamed and quickly slipped past the three young soldiers. Iarris swiftly followed after.
One of the soldiers--a blonde one--scowled. "Damn. Three got out. Lieutenant, go after the girl. Don't let her get away."
"What should I do once I get her?" The Lieutenant asked.
"Kill her. I don't want anyone left."
"No! Don't kill her!" Jessa screamed.
"Shut up, Girl!" The blonde soldier snapped. "Lieutenant; go!" he ordered, obviously being the leader.
"Right." The Lieutenant quickly walked off.
The blonde soldier turned his attention back to Jessa and Mathias.
"You two; come with me."
"Why should we?" Mathias said suddenly, taking on a defiant tone.
"Since when do soldiers take direct order form the Prince?" Mathias continued to question.
The soldier sighed. "Look; Prince Hastings ordered us to raid this city. Is it true that the king resides near by?"
Mathias ignored to question. "Is the Prince here with you?"
"Yes. He's heading over to the castle." The soldier answered.
"Good to know," Mathias leaned in next to Jessa. "Okay, here's our plan. See those swords on my wall?" Jessa nodded, "When I say 'go', I'm going to grab them and throw one to you. Then we'll kill these bastards."
"B-but..." she stuttered.
"Just do it."
"Hey! What're you scum whisperin' about over there?" The third, slightly overweight soldier complained.
"Don't bother, Rogan. They'll be dead soon anyway.
Mathias looked at Jessa and nodded.
"Go!" he shouted. In a flash, he leaped across the room and grabbed the two broadswords.
He unsheathed one and tossed the other to Jessa, who clumsily caught it.
The soldiers reacted quickly; drawing their own deadly weapons.
"Don't think you're any match for us, boy." the blonde sneered. "We've been trained since childhood; we're masters in this, you stupid boy."
"I happen to be the nephew to King Caius!" Mathias objected. "I've been trained along with the soldiers."
"Well, well." The soldier chuckled. "Then this shall be an interesting fight. What about the girl?" He nodded towards Jessa. "Don't tell me the girl can fight." Jessa tried to hide her shaking legs beneath her nightdress.
"She's one of our best." Mathias lied.
"I ain't fightin' no girl!" Rogan protested.
"If she's as as good as the boy claims, then you shouldn't have a problem; she'll kick your ass in a second."
"An' if she's not?"
The blonde soldier growled. "Kill her."
Mathias scowled. "No one's dying but you."
"Is that so? Then why're you just standing there trembling instead of attacking me when you had the chance?"
"You dirty, rotten bastard!" He roared, charging towards him. The soldier easily held him off.
"I suppose you aren't as great as you claim to be." he chuckled.
"Is that all you can say?" The soldier snapped. "I happen to have a name, you know."
"Well what is it?" Mathias asked.
"Yossan Carew. General of the King's Royal Army. And...the one by whom you were slain." In one quick movement, Yossan slashed his blade across Mathias's chest, creating a devastating wound; his blood spilled out onto the floor.
Mathias simply stood there for a moment, gaping, before he fell forewords. His breaths becoming gurgles.
"Mathias!" Jessa screamed, dropping to her knees beside him. "Mathias! Please speak to me! Please be alright! Please!"
"Stupid children. Rogan, take the girl. Let us bring her to the master and see what he wants us to do."
Rogan nodded and grabbed a sack from his belt. He walked over to where Jessa was crouched. Before she could react, he brought the bag around Jessa's head, forcing her world into darkness.
A pair of burly arms picked her up and threw her over a shoulder as if she were a sack of flour.
"Onward, Rogan. Leave the boy's body behind."
"Right. Do ye think Jarsson caught the little brats?"
"Most likely. However, it's a wonder it took him all so long." Yossan snorted.
Jessa began to scream, pounding her fists against Rogan's enormous back.
"Yossan, she's fightin'. What should I do?"
"Just leave it. She's no match." Jessa felt Rogan shrug beneath her.
"Suddenly the air ran cold around Jessa. She knew she was being taken outside.
"Yo Jarsson!" Rogan bellowed. "You catch up to the runaways?"
"Yeah." Jarsson yelled back. "I cut off the oldest's head and de-bowled the boy. The little girl got scared and ran off. She fell off into the river."
Rogan roared with laughter. "Always a good man, Jarsson!"
Jessa felt her blood chill at the news. Gina, Cycina, Iarris. They're dead? The didn't get away...She screamed into Rogan's shoulder.
"Argh! Yossan! She's fuckin' screaming."
"Drop it, Rogan. We've got to get to Prince Hastings."
"Humph. But it's still annoying. Can't we drug 'er or somethin'?" Rogan muttered.
"With what? We have nothing to use."
"Whatever. Eh, Your Highness! We gotta present for ye!" The Prince was obviously in sight; becoming more apparent as her captivator picked up speed.
"What is it this time, Rogan?" A smooth voice spoke. "It better not be another dead body; you know I don't appreciate those." Jessa knew the voice had to belong to the Prince.
"Nah, this is a live one. Tell us what ye think." Jessa was was quickly dropped from Rogan's shoulders and onto the ground; the impact knocking the wind from her.
As Jessa struggled to catch her breath, Yossan ripped the bag from around her head.
"Hmm..." The Prince grabbed Jessa's jaw and forced her head upwards. Her eyes were immediately met by a pair of grey ones; fear began filling her. So this was the elusive Prince Hastings.
"Why are her eyes red? Has she been crying?" The Prince questioned. "Probably." Yossan answered. "We killed her comrades, or family or whomever."
"Good work. What's your name, girl?" The Prince demanded.
Jessa remained silent.
"I said 'What's your name, girl?' Answer me." He hissed.
"J-Jessa, Your Highness. J-Jessa Sainte-d'Aignaux."
"Well, Jessa Sainte-d'Aignaux, what is your relation to the King?" The Prince asked, gripping her jaw tighter.
"H-he's my uncle." She choked. "W-what do you want with him?"
"It's strictly business, Miss Sainte-d'Aignaux. You needn't worry." Prince Hastings's voice was so calm and soothing, Jessa found it hard to believe he could hurt anyone.
"Yossan, Jarsson, Rogan; You sure the rest are dead?"
"Yes sir. We got the adults and child on our way in." Yossan answered.
Mother, Father, Aelina. They're dead too.
"What about the palace guards?"
"Yer cousins took care of 'em." Rogan replied.
"And the King?"
"Not sure yet. Should we wait here for your cousins, or head back to the Palace?" Jarsson asked.
"Let's leave; my cousins will catch up."
"What about the girl? Won't she make a lot of noise?"
The Prince pondered this for a moment. "I'll sling her across my horse...hand me that rock over there, Rogan." He added.
Rogan tossed a decent sized boulder at him.
"Sorry I have to do this." Prince Hastings said before he gnashed the rock against the side of her head.
The girl's body immediately fell over.
"Did ya kill her, sir?" Rogan asked.
"No. She's simply unconscious. She will awaken soon." Nathanael stared in curiosity at the girl in front of him. What had she said her name was? Jenna? Janna? Jessa?
Why do you do this, Icarus? You know it's wrong?
Nathanael ground his teeth together. He hated hearing her voice.
The Prince picked up the girl up and slung her across his lap on the horse.
"Let's go." He ordered.
When Jessa finally came to, her initial thought was pain. Everything in her body ached from her arms to her legs, and she was lying on the floor, bruised and bleeding.
Jessa sneezed and blood spattered out; reaching her hand up to her nose, she wiped the red liquid away.
Sitting up, she began to take in her surroundings. The first thing she noticed was the ragged dress that had been carelessly thrown on her; the hem of it barley reaching her knees and the neckline plunged farther than she would've liked.
The room was she was in was rather large and had the feel of an old dungeon; stone floors and walls with chains that held broken arms.
She rubbed her shoulders and tried to get up, but she couldn't support her own weight; Jessa's knees buckled and she fell back to the ground, helpless. That's when she noticed the shackles that bound her wrist and ankle to the wall. Pulling on the three-foot chains was no use; they weren't budging anytime soon.
She struggled against them still, the chains rattled in the empty chamber.
"Ahh. Jessa, I see you've finally awoken." A voice came from the corner of the room.
"Who's there?" she whispered. The voice walked out of the shadows, revealing a lean framed man, just beyond his teens. His grey eyes shone in the darkness.
"You-you're--" she stuttered, trying to place him. Where do I know him from?
"My, my, Jessa. We must've hit you too hard back in Linham. For you can't remember who I am." He leaned in close to her; his breath warm on her face. Jessa flinched away from him.
"Well I'll give you a hint...think royalty."
Jessa thought for a moment; confused by his statement. Then her eyes widened as she remembered where she knew him from. The memories of the past night flooded in.
He was the crowned prince of Romerya; Nathanael Hastings.
"See? Now you remember." Nathanael patted her cheek and straightened up.
"Now, I suppose you're wondering what you're doing here." she nodded slowly. "Well," he continued, still walking foreword; observing Jessa. "That's a rather...long story. I don't believe I need to go over the whole 'invasion of your village and murder of your family', now do we? Either way, you'll remember in due time." The Prince chuckled. "So then, I brought you here."
"What did you do with my family?" Jessa hissed. "Why am I alive? Why am I here?-"
"Now, now. One question at a time. Anyway, I brought you here because it would be such a shame to see you killed along with the rest of your people. Here, your beautiful flesh can be put to good use.
"You see, I have been doing such an outstanding job lately that my father decided to deliver you to me; as my own personal... slave, if you will."
Jessa felt the color drain from her face. What kind of slave could he mean? Is it possible he only wants me as a servant?
He tugged on the thin hem of her dress and smiled, lecherously.
"And I expect you to deliver yourself to me without so much as a protest. Or severe consequences will be in order."
Prince Hastings began to remove his armor and royal blue robes. Jessa pressed her back harder into the wall, horrified by whatever he had in mind.
When he was down to his braise, he moved over to her, determination shone in his eyes.
"Now Jessa, you will do my biding." Prince Hastings grabbed the front of her dress and ripped it down the middle, exposing her loins and chest bindings. He grinned.
Jessa slid out from beneath him; crawling as far as the three-foot long chain would allow. Once she reached it's limit, she continued to struggle against it; chafing her wrist raw in the process.
"Silly girl." The Prince chuckled, easily grabbing her by the hair and throwing her onto the ground. Jessa howled, clutching her head and laying on the floor in a helpless heap. Prince Hastings walked a slow, triumphent walk towards her.
"There's no escaping, Jessa. I will have my way with you." Jessa silently glared at him, not willing herself to speak. The Prince rolled the girl over and set himself on top of her; straddling her small hips with his knees.
"Are you ready for me to make you a woman?" he murmured sadistically, running the back of his hand down her face.
"Not on your life, you bastard!" Jessa spat.
Prince Hastings growled. "I suggest you cooperate now, Jessa, or I will not hesitate to chain both of your wrists and take you by force."
Despite his threat, she continued to squirm beneath him. As he attempted to rip her bearings down over her hips without the least bit of grace, Jessa dug her fingernails into the side of his neck, drawing blood.
Prince Hastings's eyes flashed with anger and he ground his teeth together. Drawing his hand back, he smacked Jessa across the face. Her cheek stung and hot tears welled in her eyes.
"Well, seeing as you won't cooperate as I said, I guess I have no choice." he roughly grabbed Jessa's arm and yanked it above her head, securing the cold metal cuff around her wrist. Doing the same with her other hand, he had rendered her completely helpless in a limp, crucified position.
"Now then, shall we continue?" The Prince began to unwrap her chest bindings, and there was nothing she could do to stop him. The removal of each wrap exposed more and more of her breasts to him. Once he had removed them all, he gagged her using the same wraps he had just taken off.
Prince Hastings licked his lips at the sight of Jessa--exposed and helpless. Like a wounded prey in the presence of a predator. It was almost as if her vulnerability alone made his skin crawl with arousal.
"You are so beautiful, Jessa." He murmured, running his cold hands down the side of her body; his eyes lustful as they ran over her breasts. She trembled; terrified by what was to come.
Her whimpers were muffled, but they seemed to echo on forever. She struggled against the chains as he slid her loins down, revealing the entrance to her womanhood.
Prince Hastings exhaled in delight, running his index finger along the inside of her.
Her hips buckled at the simple movement, she suppressed a gasp of pleasure.
"You liked that, didn't you?" The Prince smirked lecherously. "Well there's much more where that came from." He took her breasts in his hands and squeezed them with an unnecessary force. Jessa whimpered.
"It appears that you've been well fed, Jessa." Prince Hastings observed, running his thumbs over the girls hardening nipples. She shivered.
When the Prince let go of her, Jessa tried to cross her legs and attempt to salvage her virginity.
But Prince Hastings simply forced her into an odd sort of lying position and started to ravish her upper body; his lips and tongue felt like white-hot needles on her skin.
Tears dribbled down her cheeks as she realized the horrible realism of the situation.
"Please, stop!" she tried to plead; her words coming out only as mumbles.
While she sobbed, the Prince began to harshly pry her legs apart.
Jessa shook her head back head forth, as if this basic movement alone to stop him. Behind her gag, she was screaming and crying, hopelessly wishing he'd loose interest. Jessa felt like she had been resorted back to a child; throwing tantrums to get what she wanted. How she yearned for it to be that simple. She only was crying because she couldn't get that dress. Not being raped by an enemy.
"You know, Jessa, you could just lay back and enjoy this. Most people would, in fact, they do it all the time. And besides," Prince Hastings leaned in closer and lowered his voice to barley whisper. "it's not considered rape if you like it." Then, out of nowhere, the Prince unlocked her wrists, allowing her to move again.
"And I wouldn't move if I were you. Or you're going to regret the moment you tried to flee; the moment you were even brought into this god-forsaken world."
Prince Hastings stood up, and for a moment, she believed he was finished; he wasn't going to penetrate her. But he just removed his last layer, exposing himself completely.
Her eyes widened; she'd never seen a man unclothed before. She was surprised by how large it was; and was it supposed to stand on end like that?
Prince Hastings grinned mockingly. "What's the matter? Never seen one of these before? Don't worry, it doesn't bite. Go ahead; why don't you touch it?" he jeered.
Jessa looked up and quickly backed away from him. He was going to do it. He was really going to do it. She shook her head vigorously, silently begging for mercy. But he just grabbed her wrist, tugging her back.
Jessa tried to pull away, out of his iron grip. Hot tears leaked from her eyes once more.
The Prince backed away a bit and began to open her legs. She pleaded "No," over and over again, even though she couldn't be heard.
He simply ignored her. Looking Jessa straight in the eyes, he penetrated her.
Jessa screamed in an agony that felt worse than ever; something inside her had been torn, and she felt it with every move he made.
Prince Hastings' hands were tight on her hips, holding her body steadily in place.
Another smothered shriek escaped her lips when he thrust himself deeper yet into her.
He continued the motion--and thrust after thrust Jessa felt her body betray her, revealing the pleasure as she slowly climbed to the top.
But she couldn't ignore how he made her feel. And she defiantly didn't want Prince Hastings to know her body enjoyed what her mind didn't--Although she was sure he already did.
Jessa continued to stifled her gasps and moans, but she knew he wasn't going to give up until he got what he wanted.
"I'll make you scream for me whether you like it or not." Prince Hastings hissed. And she knew he had every intention of making that happen.
The Prince dug his nails into the soft flesh of her thigh; blood beginning to pool around his fingers.
Jessa writhed and began drawing in even sharper breaths from the intensified pain.
"Scream for me if you want the pain to stop, Jessa!" he laughed. "Scream for me, bitch!"
Prince Hastings brought his hand to her mouth and removed the wraps, she gulped in huge amounts of fresh air, taking advantage of her freed lips. Then he leaned in close to her ear, his lips barley brushing the skin.
"Scream for me." his voice was scarcely audible.
"Nathanael! Stop, please just stop!!!" Jessa sobbed, hot, salty tears racing down her cheeks. Stinging as they ran over open scrapes and bruises. This was relentless, he was relentless. Please make it stop, please.
"There's a good girl. Give into me and I won't hurt you anymore than necessary." he purred in victory.
His grip on her slacked a bit, but was still enough to hold her in place.
After what seemed like an eternity, the Prince finally released his sticky essence into her. He rested there for a moment, riding out the last of his climax before finally leaving her body. He stood up and began getting dressed.
Silently, Prince Hastings tossed Jessa her trashed dress and then dug around in his pocket.
When he pulled his hand out, it held a small, pointed dagger.
She flinched away from it, fearing what he would do.
Would he shove it into me? She wondered.
Prince Hastings wrenched her legs apart again and lade the blade against her flesh. In a few swift movements he created four shallow gashed on the insides of her thighs, ignoring her sharp cries of pain.
"You're mine now." the Prince growled before re-sheathing the dagger.
Rolling over into a small ball, fresh blood from inside her and the gashes flowed freely and mixed with his sticky seed that dribbled down her legs.
She began to sob uncontrollably; harder than she ever had in her life, hating the man who invaded her body and forced his rigid flesh inside of her.
Many hours later the heavy iron door opened again. Jessa prayed to whomever was listening that he hadn't come back for more. She curled into an even tighter ball, hoping she could try with what was left of her strength to fight him off.
Light flooded the dark chamber and she lifted my head slightly; just to see who it was.
But it wasn't his silhouette that she saw--it was two female figures. Two young maids silently walked in.
Jessa tried to speak to them but her throat was too raw; her voice was blown out. They quietly hushed her and gently lifted her off of the stone floor and into the metal basin that served as a wash-bin. Sitting her in the warm water, the two maids helped Jessa try and wipe his essence from her. But Jessa knew that no matter how hard she scrubbed; how hard she tried to forget, the things she felt and saw would forever be burned into her memory.
She remembered the feel of his fingers inside her; his disgusting, dirty fingers, twisting and controlling her like a marionette.
She remembered the sound of his voice. The voice that filled her with a cold, slimy feeling. It was hash and merciless; just like him.
When she closed her eyes, Jessa immediately saw the look in his eyes; that pure sadism and evil that he possessed. She saw the blood that ran between her legs and the gashes that marked her as his own.
But most of all, Jessa remembered how he had made her feel; that ache in her core that only he seemed to satisfy, no matter how hard she tried to reject it, that pleasure was ever present.
"Jessa?" Cycina whispered, shakily from the doorway.