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Taken by the Dark Elf King : Chapter 13

Arkain

IN THE FOUR CENTURIES I have been alive, I have never attended a dinner this unbearably awkward.

We sit in my private dining quarters. A table meant to seat twenty and we are the only ones occupying it at opposite ends. From where I sit I can see her picking absently at her second course.

After an afternoon of training with some of the new recruits, I am ravenous for each course. Devouring heaping plate after plate of stewed and grilled meats. With Elvie being so small in size, I suspect that these massive helpings are too much for her thus why she picks absently at her plate.

We’ve been sitting in silence since she first walked in here. With a stilted greeting we were immediately seated and the first course was served. That was almost an hour ago and with each ticking second I feel as if someone is placing two hands around my skull and squeezing it. Awkwardness has become our third guest at this dinner.

Is this how we are to spend eternity together? In uncomfortable silence?

I regard her now, staring down at her plate. Her long silver hair is down, a full piece pulled back from her face, showing the graceful slope of her neck. The gown she has on is hideous. The Myrkorvin black leaches the color from her face and makes her look sickly.

“That dress looks hideous,” I say and then quickly shut my mouth. What the fuck is wrong with me? Why would I say that? Elvie’s head snaps up and her mouth falls open.

“An hour of silence and that is the thought you deemed important enough to break it with?” She scoffs. I try to form the words to take it back but she waves her fork at me. “The wardrobe here is bereft of any color besides black. Take it up with the royal dressmakers.”

I nod and turn back to my bowl of stew, devouring one of the soft pieces of beef. The spices are strong, just the way I prefer. It is a hearty meal. Honestly, if Elvie is going to withstand the Myrkorvin winter she’ll need to get used to eating this type of food. Even if I’m forced to feed her myself.

The thought of that makes my cock harden painfully in my trousers. Her pink lips open while I stick my… I cough and clear my head. Those thoughts have no business here.

“Since your version of making conversation is to tell me how hideous you find me,” she starts.

“I didn’t say you were hideous,” I cut in, but she rolls her eyes at me.

“Perhaps we will move to a more neutral conversation. I met someone today.” That piques my interest. My guards told me she spent the afternoon in the laboratory so I can only assume it was Kaethe. Unless it was one of the younger alchemists.

Aren’t they all men? My spoon creaks in my hand as I feel the metal bending. The beast inside me is snapping its jaws, foaming at the mouth, and demanding we claim her so no other males will get close to her. She is ours.

“Who?” I bite out.

“Kaethe. I helped her regrow some of her herbs.”

“Just Kaethe?” I say, my temper beginning to cool.

“Yes, she is lovely,” Elvie says, twirling her fork. “And a painter named Breena.” My beast calms at this and curls back up in my chest. No longer demanding blood from the males who get too close to her.

“How come there are humans in Myrkorvin?”

“Why wouldn’t there be?” I ask.

“Because it is dangerous here for them.”

“Is that what they teach you in Lysan? That we dark elves drink the blood of humans for sport?” She doesn’t get the chance to answer before the servants arrive to deliver the next course. A roasted bird with a side of potatoes mashed with milk and butter. My mouth waters and Elvie covers her hand with a groan.

“Is something wrong? Does our Myrkorvin food not pass your standards?” That angers me. She is a light elf after all. Even for all her beauty she is still as stuck-up as the rest of her kind. She has to be.

“It’s not that. I don’t eat meat.”

“What?” I’m shocked by this. “Is that why you’re so small?”

“No.” She laughs and it is the most wonderful sound. “Most light elves don’t since they can turn into various animals. We prefer a diet of fruits and vegetables, it’s in our nature to want to preserve life in all of its forms.”

“Can you change into an animal?” I ask, genuinely curious, but she shakes her head.

“I got close once when I was younger. Tried to turn into one of our royal seagulls. It took three of our skilled court magicians to change me back. I was coughing up feathers for a week.” I nod at this and turn back to my plate. Perhaps I should call in the staff and ask them to prepare something else for her.

“Speaking of transforming, is Ari the only other form you use or are there others?”

That draws me up short.

“I can use other forms.” She waits for me to elaborate but I do not and she huffs in her chair.

“I still don’t understand. Why create a completely false person? You are a king, I am a princess. You could’ve simply spoken to me and secured this alliance. There was no need to go to all of this trouble.”

“Ari is closer to the real me than you may think,” I say before I can take it back. trying to divert her away from this new line of questioning.

“How can that be?” she asks, but I ignore her. Talking to females has never been my strong suit.

Talking of any kind really.

“Besides, I could not have simply just ‘talked to you’ as you so eloquently put it. Our kingdoms have been apart for centuries. Your father, despite what he has said this morning, would not have let me within a hundred feet of you. Let alone hear me if I proposed marriage.”

“You don’t know that.”

“Oh but I do. King Orvian would rather have his kingdom burned than sign over his precious daughter to a monster king. And I needed this alliance,” I say.

“Why? You’re still not telling me why.”

“Why does it matter?” I shout and she cringes and I regret it instantly. Of course she is confused, but I cannot tell her. Not yet. Maybe not ever. “You were chosen during the Night of a Hundred Faces. Your father could have demanded you stay at home in Lysan but he knew that it would be an insult. I knew he would have to bring you and I did what I had to do to make sure you were chosen. Call it deceit, a cruel trick or whatever the fuck you want. But know I would do it again. To keep my kingdom safe, I would do it a hundred times.”

“And I am forced to pay this price because I was kind to someone? Because I thought I had found a friend? Who is Ari to you? Who is he?” she asks.

“You’re not ready to hear that,” I say.

“Stop fucking saying that,” she yells. “I am so sick and tired of everyone treating me like a child. You picked me to be your wife. I am stuck here forever. I am trying to understand you and why you did it. To make sense of this path I’ve found myself on.”

“A beast does not need a motive to act monstrous.”

“Oh gods,” she exclaims. “Not this again. The most monstrous thing about you is how you’re behaving right now.”

“You don’t know anything about me or what I am truly like.”

“Then help me understand. Tell me why you orchestrated this whole thing just to keep me here.” Her silver eyes implore me but my face remains serious.

“No,” I say.

“No?”

“You don’t need to know why I do the things that I do.”

She rises from her chair so fast it clatters to the floor behind her. Placing two palms on either side of the bowl she bares her blunt fangs at me. Her silver eyes are like cold steel as they glare at me.

“If this is how every conversation with you is going to go then we might as well keep away from each other. If you are going to be this obstinate to every attempt I make at trying to form some sort of peace between us, then you can fuck off for all I care.”

“No one speaks to me like that,” I say. Her disrespect should make me angry with her but I find I am even more curious. I am almost double her size yet there is no fear in her eyes. She challenges me in a way no one has dared to do in almost four hundred years.

“Yeah well if you hadn’t noticed, not everyone gets tricked into marriage by an entitled asshole either.” Her smile is all teeth. The doors open and the servants come in with another meal. She studies them closely.

“The king will be having the remainder of his dinner alone. Please bring me something that’s never had a heartbeat to the queen’s rooms. Until the king learns how to have productive dinner conversations, I will be dining alone.”

She is a surprise. The light elves I have come into contact with before her were pompous asses, so far up their own with their snobbery it’s a wonder they can breathe.

Elvie is nothing like that. She is fierce, my little elf.

I feel something I haven’t in a long time. Shame. She is trying to know me and I am shutting her down. Fear is ruling me and that is something I cannot allow. I start to tell her to stay, but she has already moved to the threshold of the door.

Elvie glances over her shoulder and smirks at me. Before I can ask what she is doing, I hear the ripping of fabric and watch in shock as her black gown slides down her slight frame and pools at her feet. She is dressed in nothing more than a white shift, the curves of her ass visible beneath the sheer fabric.

It is through centuries of battle training that I do not come from that sight alone.

My claws embed themselves into the wooden table and I hear the cracking of the wood as it splinters. With a soft laugh she turns and calls back to me.

“Send for my clothes that are back in Lysan. I refuse to look horrendous in Myrkorvin black any longer.”

I rub a clawed hand down my face as she walks away, her ass tempting me with each swaying step. She has to know what she is doing to me. I let out a roar in my chest and send my dinner plate across the room, shattering against the door.

Princess Elveena may just be the death of me. Or worse. The one thing that will make the beast inside of me come out to play.

If that happens, I do not think I’ll have the strength to force him back into his cage.


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