I urged the Fire Horse to go faster, racing across the open fields around the manor. The beast was sweating and foaming but I was enjoying myself too much to allow him a break now. I was stressed. The war raged on and Dimitri and I took turns reaping the souls. It didn't effect Dimitri like it did me, but he didn't see the mortals the same way I did, he didn't love them. Chenoa jumped at every shadow that moved wrong and despite my many attempts to reassure her that nothing in this world would hurt her, she was still skittish. She clung to me, not out of love, but fear and I hated it. I wanted her to be comfortable, I wanted this to be her home, I wanted her to be at ease with me.

The horse panted heavily and I pulled it back, letting it trot. Mama seemed to stare off into space more. I knew she was lonely and wanted to be with Daddy. I wanted her to be with Daddy. They fit together, they always had.

I returned home and dismounted, turning to tend the horse and wipe the sweat from his back. As I did, I heard a terrified scream behind me and whirled around to see Chenoa standing on the porch, her hand covering her mouth and her eyes wide in horror.

"Chenoa?" I asked. "What's wrong?" She lifted a shaking hand and pointed her finger at the horse.

"Wh-what is that?" she asked.

"A fire horse," I told her. "They're harmless. They just look scary." She was pale and looked as if she would faint. I motioned for a servant to tend the beast and walked over to her, removing my riding jacket so I was only wearing my tank top and breeches. I reached out and touched her shoulder, causing her to turn her head sharply in my direction.

"They're harmless," I told her. "I promise."

"I hate this world," she said suddenly. "Everything frightens me." She spun away from me and ran into the house. I stood there, stunned, my arm still extended. My chest constricted painfully.

I knew she was uncomfortable, but she [i]hated[/i] it here? I blinked back the tears that misted over my eyes. I didn't want to lose my bride. I liked Chenoa. She was sweet and kind. My hand dropped to my side as I continued to stare after her. There had to be something I could do to soothe her troubled mind. As selfish as it was, I didn't want to release her from our deal.

I walked inside, looking to see if she had lingered in one of the main rooms. She hadn't. I climbed the stairs, entering our room hesitantly. She was sitting on the bed staring out at the gardens.

"Chenoa?" I asked. She tilted her head in acknowledgment but didn't look at me.

"I don't want you to hate it here," I told her, surprised by how sad my voice was. She must have heard it too, because she turned to look at me curiously.

"Illirra?" my birth name on her lips was a sweet sound. I wanted to grab her and kiss her, ease both our hearts and minds with physical contact, but I held myself back.

"Is there anything I can do to help?" I questioned, moving close enough to touch her.

"No," she sighed. "I guess I'll get used to it. I'm sorry."

"You can change the house," I suggested. "My grandmother decorated it and Mama never really sought to change much, but if it's too dark, you can change it. Just tell the servants what you want. I want you to be happy here."

She gave a ghost of a smile and nodded. I noticed how lovely she looked. She had filled out in the months she had been here, leaving behind the starved woman I had found on the street. Her bones no longer showed through her skin and there was a roundness to her shoulders and hips that hadn't been there.

I dropped to my knee's before her, taking her hands in mine. She regarded me with a mild curiosity.

"I want you to be happy," I told her. "I will do anything you want." She smiled at me sweetly and caressed my cheek. I kissed her hands tenderly, then reached up and kissed her mouth. She paused, then returned my kiss, her full lips pressing perfectly to mine. I sighed against her mouth, licking at her lips. Her own tongue came out and brushed mine, sending heat to pool in my gut. I rose up and pressed her back into the bed, never releasing her mouth. She wound her arms around my neck, weaving her fingers into my hair. I almost tore her gown off, cupping her breast in my hands. She gasped and clawed at my back. I pulled away from her lips, panting.

"Tell me to stop," I ordered, feeling any sense of control I had fading quickly. Chenoa had been in my home almost eight months and we had done little more than kiss.

"What?" she asked, seeking my mouth again.

"Tell me to stop or I won't be able to," I said. She froze, releasing her grip on me.

"Stop," she said. I groaned and jerked away from her, leaning on the back of my couch and panting. My body tingled and I almost turned back to her.

"What if I didn't want you to stop?" she asked. Fire raced through my veins at her comment and I gripped the back of the couch hard enough to break it off.

"Don't say such things," I hissed through gritted teeth. "You have no idea the effect they have on me." She was quiet for a long moment, then said in a soft voice;

"Maybe I want it."


"Don't you?"

"Of course, but…"

"Then maybe I don't want you to stop."

Those words broke the last of my resolve and I spun around, grabbing her roughly and pulling her to me to devour her mouth. She gasped and moaned, tangling her fingers in the long black sheet of my hair. I tore her dress off, not caring if I made it irreparable. She whimpered at my harshness and I slowed the kiss, trying to be more careful. I sat on the bed, pulling her into my lap and kissed her full breast. I sucked one nipple into my mouth, flicking it with my tongue while I rolled the other between my fingers. She cried out, arching her back in pleasure. I sucked at the other breast, moving my hand between her legs to feel how wet she was. She cried out, pushing back against my hand. I chuckled, watching her thrust her hips to get more. She glared when she heard me and leaned forward, taking my own breast in her mouth, sucking at my nipple like a starving child. I gasped and glared at her smug smiled. I twisted my head, making her cry out and go cross-eyed. She pulled my hand away and pushed me back onto the bed.

I leaned up on my elbows, curious as to what she would do. She parted my legs and rested her head on my thigh, licking a line along the lips of my sex. I groaned, reaching down to stop her, but she swatted my hand away. Her fingers parted my lips and she lapped at my swollen clit. I collapsed back on the bed, putting an arm over my eyes. Her delicate fingers breeched my hole, curving up to massage the spot inside me while her tongue played with my pleasure point outside. I gasped and jerked, trying to stifle the sounds I was making.

Her tongue writhed against my clit, saliva dripping down to lubricate her fingers as the thrust into me. I felt my peek approaching and pulled away from her. She sat up, looking at me curiously. I smiled and pushed her back onto the bed, climbing on top of her. I tangled my legs around hers so that our sexes were pressed together perfectly. I moved my hips against her, trusting harshly and making her mewl in pleasure. I bent down and kissed her, rubbing her nipples with my thumbs. She trashed under me, arching and squirming. She was wet and slick against me, deliciously so, and I let go of her breast to grip her hips.

She arched her back harshly, a low cry in her throat that gained volume. I felt her muscles spasm against me and gripped her tighter as my own orgasm washed through me.

I panted, resting my forehead on her shoulder. I felt her hand smooth over my back and push my sweaty hair back from my face. I kissed her neck and pulled away from her, rolling to the side. I looked over at Chenoa to see her eyes were closed.

"Are you okay?" I asked.

"Yes," she murmured sleepily. I smiled and curled around her.

I pulled Chenoa through the halls of the Fae palace, hoping a day of court in the gardens would help her to see that life in the Other World wasn't so bad. The gardens were filled with the entire court, lounging around, eating and drinking. Emvorele and Athidon were curled together on a cushion, sharing a glass of wine and a plate of sugar fruits. Quynn sat under a tree, reading a book of poetry with Rose who was braiding his long hair. I motioned for Chenoa to take one of the cushions near Emvorele while I searched for wine.

"Ahh, Lady Death graces us with her presence," Aesar declared, sweeping a gallant bow and kissing my hand.

"Lord Fae," I replied, arching an eyebrow. He straightened and held a hand over his heart.

"You wound me, my Lady," he proclaimed. "Surely you can address me with more familiarity than that!" I grinned.

"Forgive me, dearest Aesar," I said. "How shall I ever make it up to you." He thought for a moment.

"Perhaps, you would do me the honor of attending my next ball," he requested.

"You know I hate those," I said. I very rarely went to the balls the Fae or Vampyre hosted. It was always awkward to have suitors coming up to me, asking for my time.

"But you're married now," Aesar insisted. "It's different."

"Very well," I relented.

"Splendid!" Aesar said. "Now, tell me of your blushing bride." Chenoa was sitting on the cushions, listening to Dimitri read Dante.

"What would you like to know?" I asked.

"How is she in bed?" Aesar asked flippantly. I glared at the Fae King.

"Aesar…" I warned.

"It was a joke, love," he assured me. "But seriously, how are things? How is she taking to life here?"

"She's frightened," I admitted. "She saw the Fire Horses yesterday and screamed."

"Is that the only thing?" he asked. I sighed a shook my head.

"The servants, the dark manor, the Vampyre, hell even the Fae sometimes scare her!"

"The Fae?" he asked.

"She heard the stories from the human world where they seduce mortals and drain their life-force," I explained. Aesar rolled his eyes.

"Is that thing still going around?" he asked, exasperated. "Where do they get these things?"

"I'm sure it was your fault," I teased.

"Oh, yes," he said. "I just love going around, sucking the souls from babies. Wait, isn't that your job?"

"Oh, Ha Ha! You're just a riot," I quipped. "Now, my wife?"

"Alas, I can offer not help," he said. "Your mother didn't seem to have this kind of problem. She hates how the servants look and, well, not many like the Fire Horses, but she never was so fearful."

"What about Daddy's mother?" I asked.

"She was a Vampyre," he explained. "But she had issues of her own, I heard. Father said she had never been right in the head. The only thing I can think to tell you is to be patient and show her that nothing here will hurt her. She'll come around."

"I'll try," I said, turning to watch her. She smiled at something Emvorele said and took a sip from the wine glass in her hand.

"It might not be as hard as you think," Aesar said softly, his eyes following mine.

DHMB: Yeah, I'm a bad author. Very bad. *hangs head in shame* I haven't updated in a very long time. I was moving and dealing with all that comes with that, so I haven't gotten to. I'm sorry. T.T I didn't abandon this story. I promise. Here's you're update and you will have another soon.