Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. It belongs to Stephenie Meyer.

Hey everyone. I started this in January for a fandom charity but I never finished it because I was so miserable at the end of my pregnancy. I promised it to you all so of course I am going to honor that. :)

This is part one and I hope to have part two done soon.

Thank you to Melanie (Edward's Eternal), who is up for Best Beta in the Sunflower Awards. Voting is still open *Hint hint*. She always does a great job and I couldn't ask for a better sidekick. :)



I slung the coneys I had killed over my shoulder along with my bow and headed in the direction of my village once more, wishing that I might be able to spend the night in the dense woods rather than returning so soon. But I knew that it was unwise to leave my home unprotected for too long and my mother expected me back at nightfall. I enjoyed the solitude and quiet I found on my small hunting trips and they were more for my peace of mind than what little meat I returned with since the farms and the sea provided most of the food we needed.

I reached the edge of the settlement and immediately noticed an increased flutter of activity and happy faces everywhere which could only mean one thing. My lips curved up in a smile.

Emundi has returned.

It was always difficult to determine how long a sea voyage would last and I was glad that my younger brother had returned speedily from his trip to the English shores since it would make Ro-se happy and I would not have to watch her worry every day when he did not come home. It was something of a wonder to behold how she longed for her husband for she certainly had not always cared so deeply for him as she did now. Truthfully, I would have wagered much gold that she would never form an attachment to my brother judging from their first encounter as master and bed thrall.

I had come upon Ro-se when raiding a village many days north of here and I knew that she was for Emundi when I first saw her for she was everything which my brother preferred in his women; tall, golden-haired and with blue eyes. It was fortunate that our personal tastes differed so and not once had we coveted the same woman. And I had been married to Inga at the time so I never considered Ro-se for myself even though she was very beautiful to look upon. There were quite a few men on the trip who wanted her as well, but being chief meant that I chose first and everyone accepted that readily enough and selected other women to bring home with them. I had a strict rule that it was not allowed for my men to lie with any of the captured thralls before we returned home as it had led to quarrels and trouble in the past.

Just like me, some of the others were bringing home women for relatives and it made sense to keep the women untouched until they reached their new masters. I knew from her manner of dress and hairstyle that Ro-se was from a wealthy family and also unwed, which meant that she was a maiden. Had I allowed my men to copulate freely on the journey back I would most likely have brought my brother a spoiled gift. Everyone would get their pick once we arrived on our own shores and braced themselves with patience for the time being. We were indeed successful on our journey and I looked forward to presenting my brother with the girl who would warm his bed until he took himself a wife and perhaps even hereafter.

I had our mother prepare her and put her in his bed chamber. My brother was very happy to hear that I had brought him a gift and ate only a quick supper before retiring to his room to enjoy his new thrall. I was spending the evening feasting with some of my men when I suddenly heard a yell followed by a woman's scream and the noises had nothing to do with pleasure which worried me. Without hesitating I left the table and barged into Emundi's bed chamber to investigate further. My eyes widened at the sight that met me: He was kneeling on the bed, naked as the day he came into this world holding his nose which was bleeding profusely. In the corner was the girl, partly undressed with clenched fists and a fierce scowl on her face. Emundi turned his head and looked at me.

"She struck me, brother!" he exclaimed, although I had come to the same conclusion without his explanation.

I took a step towards her and she responded immediately by crouching defensively and hissing at me. I gaped at the tiny woman and found myself admiring her courage despite the fact that she had hurt my brother. I was a large man by any measure but Emundi was practically a giant next to her and yet I saw no fear in her eyes.

"What caused this?" I asked curiously and looked to my brother once more.

"I…I attempted to give her pleasure," he said and carefully let go of his nose to see if the bleeding had stopped. "Perhaps I was too eager."

I nodded pensively. Emundi was always a bit overzealous when it came to women, lacking the patience to take things slowly which was important with an untouched girl to make it enjoyable for her. I watched as he slowly got off the bed and approached her.

"Do not be frightened," he cooed in a gentle voice I did not recall having heard him use prior to this. "I will not harm you, Ro-se."

She hissed at him and brought her fists up, preparing to strike him again, but suddenly whimpered and cradled her hand protectively against her chest.

"You are hurt!" Emundi exclaimed and was in front of her immediately, carefully examining her small hand with his. "Edvard, ask Mother to make something for the pain."

The girl looked up at him with a guarded expression but did not attempt to pull away from him as he led her to the edge of the bed to sit down.

"I shall take care of you, my little Ro-se," I heard him say as I left the bed chamber. "No harm will come to you."

I told my mother what had happened and as expected she rushed to prepare the tea and a basin with water and cloth to clean up my brother. I could not contain my curiosity and followed her to his bed chamber once it was ready. They were still perched on the bed but both were now dressed and Emundi was speaking softly to her. He handed her the pain remedy, looking concerned and yet oddly joyful at the same time. My mother went to wash Emundi's face but Ro-se grasped the cloth carefully with her unharmed hand and with showing only slight hesitation began to wash away the blood. My brother stared at the girl as though he had never seen anything so wondrous and my mother took that as our dismissal and ushered me out, leaving the couple alone once more.

"Your wife waits for you," she reminded me and motioned to my own bed chamber.

I nodded and walked towards it knowing that I ought to spend some time with her after my long journey, but also filled with the absolute certainty that I had never once gazed upon Inga in the manner that I had just witnessed Emundi do with his new bed thrall.

Now it was spring again and much had changed in the past year. Ro-se was my brother's cherished wife and mine had left this world for the next. As I approached my house I was greeted by many but did not stop to converse since I was impatient to see if perhaps Emundi had remembered his promise to me of finding a woman who would suit me. I had attempted in vain not to think of it too much while he had been away lest I should be disappointed upon his return. After all, he had gone to the English shores where we mostly raided their strange places of worship and beautiful women were few and far between in my experience.

If he had not found someone for me I would look myself when I went on my next journey at the end of summer and until then I could always take one of my thralls when I was in need of a woman. Since the demise of my wife I had mostly taken Jutta to my bed and while she was always eager to please me and easy to please in return I felt no excitement at the prospect of lying with her. She was pretty enough to entice my flesh but not once had I considered making her my bed thrall, thus elevating her status greatly. There was no genuine passion between us and certainly no deep affection.

And I knew of these things for I witnessed them every day when I observed my brother and his Ro-se. He seemed to live completely for her and she returned his feelings perfectly. Some nights I would see how they gazed lovingly upon each other before retiring to their bed chamber and I would feel a pang of longing in my chest. They would often walk through the village holding hands and talking, having only eyes for each other and I found myself wanting the same thing with a woman of my own. My brother had never been happier since he married his bed-thrall and this was saying a great deal since his disposition had always been cheerful.

I entered my house and handed the coneys over to my mother before asking of Emundi's whereabouts. She laughed lightly and nodded her head in the direction of his and Rose's bed chamber.


My brother would have longed for his wife as much as she had pined for him and their reunion was bound to be a happy one which needed to be celebrated in private.

"Was his journey a successful one?" I asked my mother.

I was of course asking about the treasures he would have brought with him if that were the case, but mostly if perhaps he had found me a woman. I hoped I would not be disappointed. My mother nodded.

"She is in your bed chamber," she said, knowing what my enquiry truly concerned. "I have prepared her for you."

A thrill of excitement sparked unexpectedly in my chest.

"How do you find her?" I asked curiously, for my mother's opinion was of great value and importance to me.

She ran the house and the thralls though all of it belonged to me, and I knew that I could not manage without her aid and support. If the one my brother had brought with him was to become my woman it was vital my mother approved of her.

"She is very beautiful and I am certain that you will find her to your liking," she said and looked up at me. "Be kind to her, my son."

I drew my brows together in slight confusion as my mother turned and began plating supper for me. I prided myself on always treating my women with kindness and there was no need for my mother's plea. I did not speculate further because my brother and Ro-se appeared at that moment to take their evening meal as well. I greeted both of them and smiled when I saw how they could not stop touching for even a moment. This was what I wanted. My thralls had always served me willingly in my bed chamber but I had never truly felt a bond as strong as the one my brother and his wife shared. We sat down to eat along with my mother and I was eager to hear of Emundi's journey but also impatient to hear about the woman who was at this very moment waiting for me in my chamber. Thankfully, his voyage had been prosperous and it calmed me greatly to know that we now had plenty of means to trade with before winter and that food would not be scarce this year. Having quickly concluded the practical matters I was finally able to ask about his gift for me. I attempted not to seem too eager but feared that I was not entirely successful in my effort.

"Have you not seen her yet?" Emundi asked with a grin.

I shook my head. I was famished from having spent the entire day in the woods and also needed to clean myself before satisfying other appetites.

"You will like her," he stated confidently. "She is willful, though."

My interest was piqued.

"Willful?" I queried.

"And strong," he added with a nod before taking a drink.

I smiled. I liked strong women. I did not want a small and frail girl in my arms but a woman with curves who I could enjoy without the constant worry that I might be hurting her with my thrusts or my weight. "Not a child," I had warned Emundi before he left. I had already had a very young bride and while I knew that girls were considered ready for marriage once they experienced their first monthly bleed it was not something I agreed with. To me, a woman was not a woman until she looked the part. Most girls who shed their first blood looked more like children and I did not find them appealing. I wanted someone who would be able to not only give me everything I desired in bed but also someone mature enough to carry babies.

"She is strong, you say?" I asked, hoping that my brother would elaborate while I quickly ate.

"Very," he laughed. "You remember well how their women swoon when they see us?"

I nodded and grinned a little. Viking women did not swoon and we all found it highly amusing to witness how most of the foreign females dropped to the ground at the very sight of us rather than attempting to run away.

"Well, this one did not swoon," he said and laughed again. "She fought like a wild animal when we seized her outside the abbey."
"Truly?" I asked with yet another grin. "Wait, the abbey? She is not a nun, is she?"
I was not opposed to taking a nun to bed but she would most likely be more difficult to seduce, and I preferred women with long hair and knew that nuns cut theirs off for some strange reason.

"I think not," my brother said pensively. "She was not wearing their strange garments and she has all of her hair. It is very long and pretty."

I smiled once more at this piece of information and grew more eager still to see this woman with my own two eyes.

"It was fortunate that we left the abbey when we did for she was running away when I saw her. A few moments later and I might not have noticed her," he continued. "Then you would be sleeping alone tonight, brother."

Both he and Ro-se laughed. I did not see how my sleeping with empty arms was a joking matter but I also knew how happy they were to be together once more and that it made them oblivious to the woes of others. Only my brother would dare speak to me like this and had it been anyone else I would have reprimanded them.

I could wait no longer and while I knew that my men would soon be here to celebrate I did not wish to spend the evening in their company. I went to the bathhouse where I bathed quickly and dressed in fresh clothes before combing my hair and cleaning my teeth. Standing outside the door to my bed chamber I felt a jolt of excitement run through me for the first time in a long while and with a quick prayer to Freja I entered, eager to see the woman from the foreign shores.

The sound of her scream pierced the room as she jumped from the bed and stared at me with wide eyes.

Merciful and most generous gods! Thank you for blessing me and bringing her here.

I needed to look more closely at her to make certain that my eyes were not deceiving me. Surely no woman could be this beautiful? It was as though my every want and desire had been shaped into the creature across the room from me.

"My new serf," I said in her native tongue.

My beauty!

"Come here, woman," I ordered and beckoned her to come closer.

Let me look upon you.

Rather than obeying she backed away from me, her posture turning defensive. This would not do at all. I would need to calm her before claiming her and ordered her to fetch me a drink. She hurried out of my chamber and while she was away I removed my tunic and shoes figuring that she might as well become accustomed to my state of undress immediately. She returned with mead and I suspected that my mother knew that the drink was for the woman and not me since she had chosen the strong sweet beverage over ale which was what I usually drank unless there was a feast.

When I took hold of her wrist and pulled her closer she attempted to escape and I found myself agreeing with my brother.

She is strong.

"Calm yourself, serf. I want to look upon you," I told her and stood up.

Strong, yet slight of build.

The top of her head did not reach my shoulder when we both stood but this was something I rather enjoyed. Her hair was everything I had hoped it to be; long, dark and wavy. I could already envision what it would be like to grasp it when I took her from behind and my desire stirred. I resisted the urge to bury my face in it to inhale its fragrance and simply touched her silky locks before tilting her head to get a better appraisal of her face which had been partially hidden in the shadows until now.

I was stunned by the depth of her dark eyes and the contrast between them and her pale flawless skin. Her mouth held the unspoken promise of thousands of sweet kisses and I had to hold myself back from claiming her lips at once.

"My brother was right to choose you for me. You are a rare dark beauty. And yet your skin is the color of fresh milk. Tell me, are you ill?"

She looked affronted but shook her head. I was relieved. I would not risk forming an attachment to a frail woman who would perish once the cold season came upon us. And in truth her pallor did not look sickly for I noticed a slight pink tint to her cheeks and surmised that her snow-white skin must be her natural coloring.

I realized that she had not spoken a word yet or moved her mouth at all. I ordered her to smile for me and when she would not I repeated the order, silently challenging her to defy me. I would get this woman to speak to me even if I had to agitate her in order to hear her voice. When she finally did part her lips it looked more like a hostile grimace than a smile and while it amused me to see her mouth fall open in shock when I made a comment on her still having all of her teeth, I was also getting impatient. I wanted this woman urgently and needed to make haste in order to answer the demand in my body to claim her as my own.

"I wish to see the rest of you. Remove your dress," I told her.

Would her body be as beautiful as her face?

She did not react as I had hoped. Rather than obeying, she attempted to move away from me. Anger mixed with my desire to control her, possess her, make her mine. She would not deny me!

"Do not run from me, woman," I warned in a severe voice, as I held her in place and worked to suppress the urge to simply rip the dress off her and take her without preparation.

She must have sensed my mood for she started trembling from fear and it helped to calm me. I did not want her to feel fright when she was in my presence and if I ended up harming her during our first encounter I knew that I would never win her affection.

She is most likely still a maiden. Take her slowly this first time and then you may unleash your desires fully afterwards.

I knew that she would experience some pain when I first claimed her body and it made sense for her to fear what we were about to do. I needed to make certain before we proceeded.

"My brother informs me that they found you at the abbey. Are you untouched?" I asked her.

Nothing. She said nothing. I would not stand for this behavior any longer. She was mine to do with as I pleased and she openly defied me.

"Are you mute or simply feeble, serf?" I queried angrily. "You will answer my question. NOW!"

"It is none of your concern," she hissed, and tried to escape my hold on her. "Unhand me, you filthy heathen!"

She finally speaks! And you were right again, brother. She is willful.

Her beautiful eyes came alive with anger and it made me laugh when she accused me of being unwashed when in truth I found that her people were the unclean ones most of the time. We always bathed our thralls when they first came here and usually burned their clothing because they were so tainted.

"You are my property and therefore anything regarding you concerns me. I will find out so you may as well be truthful. Have you been bedded?" I asked.

"Yes," she nodded.

I was instantly relieved and smiled. She was no maiden and I would not need to be so careful with her. She had coupled before, most likely with her husband, and she would know how to please me.

Unlike most men I did not prefer untouched women above all others for the simple reason that I found it impossible to bed one without causing her pain in the process. Tears and whimpers did not entice me, nor did a frightened and passive woman underneath me. My wife had been a maiden on our wedding night and even though I had done my utmost to be gentle with her she had still wept during our coupling.

She was too young to be bedded.

A pang of regret struck me when I remembered my unsuccessful marriage and my child-like bride. Never again would I have such a wedding night. When I next married I wanted a sensuous and eager woman in my arms and the only sounds heard would be ones of pleasure and joy.

Much like tonight.

My excitement to lie with the beautiful woman in front of me doubled many times over at the news that she was not untouched. Now we could simply enjoy one another without worry or pain. I smiled at her to show her my approval.

"Good. Then you have known the pleasures of lying with a man. Remove your dress and I will take you," I said.

"No!" she gasped, as though I had told her something truly horrendous.

She says no? She refuses me?

Never before had a woman denied me and certainly never one who was brought here for the specific purpose of pleasuring me. I was her master and it was time she realized that my word was law! How dared she say no to me when I commanded something of her? Did she not understand her good fortune of having been given to me rather than another of my countrymen, who would not concern himself with her pleasure and who would simply take her without preparation?

In my anger I made an idle yet highly effective threat to have my men hold her while I undressed her. In truth, I did not think I would have gone to such extremes both because I knew it would petrify her and also because I did not need to take such drastic measures. She was small, I was large and if it was my intent, I could easily force myself upon her. Not that I ever would. If I found that I could truly not instill any desire in her I would dismiss her and perhaps give her to another.

The attitude of not wanting to take an unwilling woman was not common among my countrymen and I could not govern how they treated their thralls in the privacy of their own homes, but I knew that my mother would never forgive me if I bedded a woman who did not want to be claimed. I remembered well how she had told both Emundi and myself of her experience when she was a young girl and raiders came to her village. We had only just reached our manhood when she sat us down and made us promise to always make certain that our women gave consent. When she revealed the pain she had endured it made me sick to my stomach and I knew that I would never do what was done to her.

My mother was very pleased with our vows and soon thereafter she sent a young and pretty thrall to my bed chamber who taught me the wondrous secrets of a woman's body. It had been an awakening of my desires I would never forget. The following morning I discovered that our mother had done the same for my brother and we spent the rest of the day hunting in the nearby woods, though we returned empty-handed having talked the entire time of our nightly experiences.

As a result of our mother's actions neither of us had ever had an unwilling partner and because we loved her dearly, neither of us ever would. And we had hardly been deprived of female company who were most eager to please us. Now it simply came natural to us only to bed women who desired us. Neither of us truly understood our countrymen when they forced women to lie with them. Pleasure was a gift from the gods and should not be squandered in such a way. Where was the enjoyment if the woman did not participate? Why would they forego the sounds of pleasure, the feel of slender female legs wrapped around their waists, eager lips and hands caressing their bodies? No, I truly did not understand how a frightened weeping woman could be enticing but I knew that there were some men who preferred it, even ones under my command.

I realized the error of having uttered my harsh words when I noticed how the woman in front of me trembled in fear as she removed her dress and clutched it to her chest.

See how she shivers with fright! Curse my temper!

I felt my eyes widening when I noticed the scars which marred her otherwise flawless body. Now I knew why she was fearful of me and my mother's plea to treat this woman with kindness made sense. She without a doubt had been beaten and more than once.

"Who did this to you?" I asked softly and ran my finger over one of the marks on her back.

"My husband," she whispered.

She is married then. No matter, she will still be mine.

I wondered why he would do something so cruel even if he had been fond of the drink as she disclosed when I asked for his reasons for harming her. I knew that every marriage was unique and some husbands were sterner than others, but if a man treated his spouse badly she always had the option to leave. It was a source of humiliation to the man who could not keep his wife and therefore most refrained from violence. This level of punishment seemed excessive no matter how badly the wife may have behaved and I could not imagine the small trembling woman to have done anything which warranted such ill treatment.

"Where is he now?" I asked of her husband.

"In hell, I hope," she answered immediately and it made me smile behind her back that she did not harbor any lingering feelings of affection for him which would prevent her from giving herself to me.

My eyes wandered over her body which was firm and supple, though she was slightly thinner than what I normally preferred. But I knew that my mother's good cooking would soon make her softer and rounder to both touch and look upon, and the swell of her rounded hips clearly showed how well she would birth children. I also saw no signs to indicate that she had been with child before and this was another blessing to me. It was my experience that women who left behind children when they were captured never truly accepted this place as their home. This woman's husband was dead and she was not yet a mother. She had nothing which would prevent her from seeing my village as the place where she belonged. I was indeed pleased and would enjoy claiming her as my own, but first I needed to calm her and make her less frightened of me. I grabbed the nearest piece of fur and draped it over her small shaking form before sitting her down by the fire where I handed her the mead, hoping that it would help her feel less anxious.

"Thank you," she whispered. "Tak."

I see that my mother has already begun to teach her our language. She must approve of Emundi's choice.

"Good!" I said, and sat down as well. "We will have you speaking my language in no time."

"Am I to remain here then?" she asked.

"Yes. You are my new bed thrall and will remain so for as long as I see fit. You should consider yourself fortunate," I told her, since this was the absolute truth.

"How so?"

This was quite a novel experience for me since I had never had a bed thrall who was so unfamiliar with our way of life. Most of my previous women had either been born into thralldom or were from other Viking settlements. This woman did not know what her new position entailed and I needed to be patient with her.

"You will help with the chores just as the rest of the serfs and free women in this house, but I am certain it will not be anything that you are not used to from home. My mother will not tire you out with work as your main function is to warm my bed and keep me happy at night. You will eat well and no one will lay a hand on you. Except me, of course."

And I shall bring you much pleasure, beautiful one.

She looked up at me with wide eyes for a moment and I could not help but grin at the thought of all the things I wanted to do to her. She seemed so innocent and unsure of how she should act around me as though she was not used to being in the company of men and I found her shyness most alluring. Knowing that I would be able to take her without having to restrain myself combined with her maiden-like behavior was an enticing combination I had never come across before.

"You are quite young," I observed.

"I am eighteen summers," she replied quietly, still looking down.

I smiled unbeknownst to her again for I found that she was of the perfect age. She could certainly bear and birth my children and yet the sweetness of youth still graced her lovely features. Any man would be most fortunate to have her in his bed and I found myself wondering if perhaps she was already with child. What an appalling thought! It was certainly plausible since she had been wed, though I sincerely hoped this was not the case. I would not be able to enjoy her for very long and I did not relish the thought of watching her belly swell with a child which I had not fathered.

"Tell me," I asked. "When did your husband go to the netherworld?"

"The netherworld?" she asked carefully. "I do not understand."

"Your hell," I said, wanting an answer immediately.

"Half a year ago. We were not married long before he was killed in a fight."

This was indeed good tidings and I was now even more eager to claim her and hopefully then the gods would bless her womb.

"Good. Then you are not with his child and I will welcome any children that you will birth," I told her sincerely.

This caught her attention and she finally lifted her head to look at me.

"Children?" she all but whispered.

I smiled at her, wanting her to know how much her becoming big with my child would please me.

"Naturally. You are a strong, healthy young woman and I am certain what you will bear many fine sons and daughters."

She looked pensive for a moment and then her eyes widened in fright.

"But what will happen to them?" she asked me. "Will they be taken from me? Will they be mine?"

I wanted to put her mind at ease at once. I was not so cruel that I would remove a small child from his or her mother, let alone one who was fathered by me.

"They will be ours and they will be free because that is my will. Do not worry. Any children that may come from our union will be well looked after and they will live here under my roof."

"Will I ever be free?" she asked so quietly that I had to strain to make out her words.

That was my sincere wish but I could not yet tell her if I was going to free her. It all depended on whether or not we formed an attachment, or rather if she formed an attachment to me. If I freed her, it was stated by law that she was allowed to leave me. And if she did not truly want to be with me nor cared for me I had no doubt that she would do exactly that and she would even take any children we may have had with her. I would be powerless to stop her from entering another man's household and I could not risk losing yet another son as I had when I gave Arndis to Beni. I needed an heir and until I felt convinced that my new thrall was loyal and felt genuine affection towards me I could not free her.

"If we were to form an attachment I would free you and make you my wife," I told her. "It is not unheard of. Ro-se was my brother's bed thrall and did not remain so for long before they were married."

"They have a great deal of affection for one another," I added, hoping that she might hear my sincere unspoken wish to experience the same with her.

"Why are you not married?" she asked.

It was a fair question and I knew that a man my age and of my status should already have a wife and at least one or two little ones. Sadly, this was not the case but perhaps the beautiful creature next to me could remedy that? She would certainly become my bed thrall to begin with for I would not have her sleep with the other serfs. She would be mine alone to enjoy.

"I was. But she is not in this world anymore," I answered.

"Did she…displease you?" she whispered, looking fearful once more.

Odin's raven! What sort of monster does she think me to be ?

"Woman, I did not murder my wife," I said, shaking my head. "She was of a weak disposition, fell ill and perished. Had I been displeased I would have simply sent her back to her father's house and she would have been free to marry another if she so wished."

"Truly?" she asked, as though this was unexpected to hear.

"Yes, and if she had been displeased with me she could have left just as easily," I elaborated while wondering why she seemed so puzzled by this.

Not all marriages were successful and some couples were better off not being together. They could find happiness elsewhere. It had always been so.

"And will you take another wife?" she asked.

At first she will not speak at all and now her queries are endless. Does she think that I will not take her if the hour grows late?

Frustration as well as lust welled up in me as I looked at her sitting beside me, naked save for the fur which barely covered her. I was not accustomed to holding back my desire, having only bedded my thralls for a good while and they did not require much seduction. Yet they did not hold my interest. Now I was focused solely on this dark beauty and once more I found myself fighting the desire to take her immediately. Here I had the fairest woman I had ever laid eyes upon and I barely touched her yet! My hands longed to feel her pale smooth skin, my lips ached to claim hers and my manhood throbbed with need to plunge into her moist heat until my lust was sated.

"You have many questions. Do not think they will distract me. I will claim you before the night is over. That is why you are here," I reminded her though I should not have felt the need to.

She was mine to bed and I would have her. Very soon.

How should I take her? There are so many ways. Perhaps she is knowledgeable after having been wed already and has a preference? I wonder, how will she taste? What sounds of pleasure does she make? Will she cry out or moan when I claim her sweet kutan?

There were a myriad of things to discover and it had been a long while since I had bedded a woman I was not familiar with. A first time. It had not happened since my wedding night and that had not been a pleasant experience.

But with this dark beauty it will be most pleasant, I wager. Her maidenhood is gone and her body is ripe for my taking.

I noticed suddenly that the woman in question had averted her eyes and a look of sadness had come upon her face. I reminded myself that she was not to be a simple serf who I would use for a single night of pleasure. She was to be my woman and for her to form an attachment to me I needed to make her feel cherished not only for her beauty. I knew that this was important to females and that Emundi often sought Ro-se's company for more than merely enjoying her body.

"But I do enjoy speaking with you," I said gently and covered her small hand in an affectionate manner. "It is not often that I have the opportunity to speak English for longer periods of time."

"Where did you learn?" she queried and drew a deep breath.

"My father. He thought it wise that a few among us could speak the language since we have been coming to your shores for many years."

"To plunder and pillage," she said in a voice which sounded much harsher than before, almost as though she was scolding a child.

I found it both amusing and slightly vexing that she did not approve of our ways. She had no power and yet she dared challenge me.

"You are brave, woman," I praised her. "It is the way that it has been for as long as anyone can remember. As is the capture of thralls such as yourself. I feel no remorse."

Truly, I did not. She was mine now and I alone controlled her fate. I would be good and kind to her but she was my property and it was better if she simply accepted that at once.

"But you took me from my home!" she suddenly cried. "I will never see my family again!"

"The place of a grown woman is with her husband, not her father," I reminded her. "You will find a new home here with me."

"But you are not my husband!" she yelled angrily and rose to her feet.

In her agitation she must have forgotten that she was nude and my eyes caressed her womanly shape as the fur slipped from her body.

No more talking for now. I must have her!

I swept her up in my arms easily and swiftly moved us both to the bed. She made a feeble attempt to remove me from her but I would have none of her rejection. She would obey me and I felt confident that I could seduce her if I braced myself with a little patience and attended to her body before sating my own desires.

"I will be your husband in every practical sense of the word," I told her. "I will feed you, clothe you and bed you as I see fit. You are my woman now and as long as you please me I will not need to take a wife. And you will please me."

I could not resist the urge to show her just how desirable she was to me and made certain that she felt how I had swelled just for her.

"Can you not see that you please me already, beauty?"

She did not react as I had hoped. Rather than becoming desirous she closed her eyes and trembled with fear. I frowned and knew that I could not take her when she was still so frightened. I did not understand, though. I was not about to claim her maidenhood. She was a woman, through and through. Her husband may not have been very skilled in the art of pleasing her but there was no reason for her to act as though I was about to murder her.

"Look at me," I commanded gently.

She finally obeyed. I searched her eyes carefully but regretfully I saw only fear in them. She did not desire me. I would have to remedy that at once.

"What is your name?" I asked, remembering that I did not know.

"B-Bella," she answered, still staring at me with wide eyes.


It was not a Viking name but because I could easily pronounce it and I liked the sound of it, I decided that I would allow her to keep it.

My Bella. Do not fear me, my Bella.

"I will not harm you, Bella. I gain no pleasure from witnessing your tears. Why are you so afraid? You are not a maiden," I said and brushed moisture away from her cheeks. "This will not hurt you."

"You will not take the strap to me then?" she whispered and lifted her dark eyes to mine.

I did not know the word she had just uttered. Perhaps it was the name she used for manhood? In that case I would assuredly take the 'strap' to her many times. But why would she look so frightened then?

"The strap?" I asked to make certain. "I am not familiar with that word."

"You will not strike me?" she asked cautiously.

"Strike you? Thor's hammer, woman! Why would I strike you?" I demanded.

There was absolutely no reason for me to punish her and why would I ever do that when she was warm, naked and beautiful underneath me? Striking her was the farthest thing from my mind. This was a time for pleasure. What was she thinking?

"There did not seem to be a reason," she said and averted her eyes.

I was confounded. I talked of bedding her and she had immediately turned fearful. Had someone harmed her rather than pleasured her? I remembered the scars on her back and the manner in which my touching them gently had caused her to shiver in fright.

"Your husband," I said, thinking out loud. "He struck you when you were lying together?"

She nodded affirmatively and shut her sad, yet pretty eyes.

Son of a Roman whore! Raven starver!

"Each time?" I asked, holding back the curses I wanted to spew as not to frighten her further.


"So you have not enjoyed it," I concluded.

"The enjoyment belongs to the man," she answered plainly.

I could hear the sincerity in her sweet voice and knew that she believed this to be true. It was a sadness, indeed.

Though now I may be the one to first give her pleasure. The only. She will cry out for me alone once I have taught her what her body can do. I will erase the memory of pain from her flesh and she will beg for my touch one day, I swear it.

"You are mistaken, my beauty," I told her. "There is much joy for you to be had. Tonight I will show you."

Yeah, kind of a crappy place to stop, I know. It was either this or right before he entered the bed chamber.

Did you like being in Edvard's head? Any surprises along the way? By the way, 'raven starver' is an old norse curse which basically means coward.

I hope to finish the rest of this by the end of the week but with a baby there are no guarantees.

Take care until next time. :)