"Please…" my cries for help pierced the night. "Please, let me go…"
Tears ran down my features as the cold brisk air made it painful to breathe. What was once a freeing night, turned into an utter nightmare. This wasn't how it was supposed to happen. I felt blood trickling down the nape of my neck, where he had sunk his teeth and smeared across my bare breasts.
The pain of his teeth in my flesh made it almost unbearable, but his tender embrace and soft kisses on the wound made the pain subside slightly.
His words were echoing in my ear, words that still made no sense. Yet, he keeps repeating them.
What did those words mean?
Surely, he wasn't insinuating that I was his mate? I couldn't be his mate. I didn't have a wolf. Most would develop their wolves at the young age of 14, but I was 21 and I had never developed my wolf. It wasn't possible for me to have a mate.
A shadow fell upon this man's face, so I couldn't tell who my attacker was. But his voice was low, seductive, and familiar.
My bare body trembled under his touch; I didn't want this. I didn't want to be touched by this man. I wanted to be set free. All I ever wanted was to be free. It's been 5 years since I became a slave for the Golden Palace, working under House Arnold.
I could hear the music and the chattering of the ceremony going on within the palace walls. They were celebrating the joining of Royal House Arnold and Warrior Reilly Pack, as Martin Arnold and Lady Grace Reilly married.
Anybody who was anybody was inside enjoying the ceremony, except for this man.
Whoever he was.
"My mate…" the man said again as he trailed his kisses down my bareback. His fingers traced my breasts tenderly and pulled me closer to his body.
"I'm not…" I cried out to him. "I'm not anyone's mate."
His warm breath left my skin coated in goosebumps as his lips made their way across the back of my neck and towards my cheek. His other hand forced my head slightly towards him. I still couldn't see him clearly for the shadow was cast over his features.
However, I could smell the alcohol clear on his breath. I nearly gagged at the scent.
Whoever he was, he was drunk.
"I'm not your mate…" I whispered, trying to get through to him.
His lips closed around mine, I could taste the bitter taste of the wine lingering on his lips. I didn't pull away; my body wasn't allowing me to pull away. I didn't want this, and yet my body wasn't listening to my mind. I stayed still; I closed my eyes and allowed him to deepen the kiss.
I thought back to a few moments ago before I stumbled outside. Beth, another slave, and my best friend had told me that it was dangerous for me to go outside.
"Doris…" she said to me before I reached the back door. "You shouldn't." She kept her voice in a harsh whisper to not alert the others.
I knew she was right. We weren't allowed to be outside without permission and it felt as if I haven't been outside in so long. I just needed that small taste of freedom; I wanted to feel the cold autumn air on my skin and embellish the night with my presence.
If I were to be found out, I would be punished.
I wasn't planning on being gone long and most servants and everyone else was busy with the ceremony. I didn't think I would be found out so soon.
His low growls invaded my ear; I could smell the musk of his wolf. His claws were sharpening as his wolf form was breaking through his person. He wasn't in control of this attack. His wolf was. He was hungry for me, and I could feel it.
The softness of his fur tickled my back and his hold on me only tightened. I wasn't a match for a full wolf when I couldn't transform myself. I was powerless against him, but I didn't get the sense that he wanted to hurt me; he was in lust.
The sharpness of his claws dug between my breasts, breaking apart my skin and leaving a scratch down my torso. I screamed out in agony as I watched the blood soak into the soil of the garden.
"Please… Stop!!" I screamed out.
I no longer cared if anyone could hear me. I just wanted the pain to go away; I wanted him to let me go.
I stared down at my maid's uniform that still sat by my feet; he had torn it off me with little to no effort. It wasn't even a question in his mind; he came out here knowing exactly what he wanted, and I happened to be in his path. I shouldn't have strayed from the path I was on to come to the gardens. I just wanted to smell the blooming roses and soak under the moon for a little while.
I made a silent promise to the moon gods that if they got me out of this alive, I would never be disobedient again.
His claws turned back into hands, and I could feel his erection pressing into me, begging for entrance.
I cried out again for him to stop; my mouth was telling him to stop, but my body was firmly pressed against his and unmoving. My body stayed obedient to him and when he touched me my back would arch, and my breathing would grow heavy. When he kissed me, I would feel a soft moan from the back of my throat.
He sensed that burning pleasure and fed into it; despite my words and pleas for help, my body wanted it.
The gardens began to brighten a bit when the storm clouds moved away from the moon; between the foggy vision of my misty eyes, I was able to look at my attacker.
I stared up at him, astonished at who I was seeing. Too stunned to speak.
Before I could say anything, I heard a voice coming from the end of the garden. I heard footsteps and knew it must have been some of the other servants. There was no way anyone else would have left the ceremony; they must have been looking for him.
"Prince William!" A servant said as they spotted him.
He realized that they were heading in our direction and released me instantly. I fell to the ground, scrambling around to collect my uniform. I covered my body, my fingers shaky and tears still falling from my eyes.
Prince William stumbled backward confused, looking around at the mess around us. His eyes finally fell on me, and his face turned expressionless. He turned to the servants that were rushing towards him.
They haven't spotted me yet; the shadows have returned, and I was hidden within.
"We've been looking all over for you!" One of the servants said, breathlessly and panic riddling her tone. "You are needed at the ceremony. Mr. Carson is losing his mind."
Mr. Carson was the head servant; if Prince William was late for this ceremony, it would be his head on the line. Everyone knew this, especially Prince William. The problem was, he didn't care. He didn't care about much of anything.
I felt disgusting as I thought about the prince touching me.
I managed to cover myself enough to be able to return to the palace. I couldn't allow the other servants to see me though, so I hid within the rose bushes. The thorns of the roses dug into my back, and I winced as the pain shot through my body; I felt blood trickling down my spine and soaking into the soil by my feet.
Prince William still seemed confused, but he didn't argue with them. He let them guide him out of the gardens and back towards the palace. Leaving me alone at last.
As their footsteps grew quieter, I was able to pull myself out of the rose bushes.
I stared off in the direction they walked.
I couldn't believe it.
Prince William was my attacker.