Making an entrance
The boy led her through the room filled with more men than women. It was loud and raucous, plenty of them already drunk. She wondered immediately if she had made a mistake coming here, but then she spotted Bronn across the room, and her resolve returned.
The gown the woman had given her was so thin and daring that Rowena felt she might as well be naked. The only thing holding it together at the sides were four small gold buttons. The first button was just in line with her breasts, the next one below that near the bottom of her ribs. There were two more, close together at her hip, leaving an opening and skin exposed between each button. The rest was open to the floor, leaving a long slit on either side so that her entire leg might be seen as she walked, with the fabric swirling around her. There was a deep plunge in the front and back, exposing more skin, and the fabric was gathered at the shoulders, leaving her arms bare.
As they reached the table where he sat, she finally had a moment to glance around and take in some of what was going on around her. There were women scattered about, in various states of undress, some entwined with drunken soldiers, others wandering thru the room with jugs of wine or just looking for interested men, who were never far away. Bronn was at a table of men which seemed to be the loudest and rowdiest group in the room.
She knew he would've seen her as soon as she came into the room. But he didn't speak or make any move to greet her.
When he finally did acknowledge her, he set his cup of wine down on the table, and leaned back to regard her with narrowed eyes. For a moment she couldn't read his face at all, and wondered if he might still be angry with her.
"Well this is a lovely sight," he said, cocking his head to the side as he tried to read her face. She knew she could not hide her trepidation. If she had learned anything about this man, it was that she could hide very little from him.
"To what do we owe the honor?"
"I wanted to see you before…." She trailed off, as just those few words were difficult to manage.
"Send me off with a kiss?" He asked mockingly.
"Yes." she managed to reply with more confidence than she felt.
"We're all in need of a kiss for luck, love!" She heard a nearby voice chime in. "What's so special about him?" The other men laughed and began grumbling in agreement."
One of the men reached a dirty hand out towards her leg but it was kicked away by a boot, accompanied by a warning growl. "Touch her and you'll lose a hand, friend." Bronn gave the man an annoyed look, but his voice was more serious. The offender got up and wandered away on wobbly drunken legs, muttering to himself.
She swallowed and tried to look poised, but he knew very well she was terrified. She wondered if he could actually see her trembling. It felt as if her entire being was shaking, inside and out. She realized she was holding her breath, and exhaled in relief when he leaned forward and placed his hands lightly on her hips, drawing her closer.
"So you've come to see me off, eh?" She could see the curiosity in his eyes. "And?"
"And to ask you to please return safely….to me." She was almost afraid to look at him, still not sure how he was going to respond. She had no experience with this, and he knew he had the upper hand.
He looked almost surprised and considered her intently for a moment.
"Well then, you'll have to sit down so we can have a chat about that," he said, smiling wickedly now.
Rowena moved to turn sideways so she could sit on his lap. As she'd looked around, the only place she'd seen any woman who was sitting, was on a man's lap. But he held her in place in front of him and shook his head. He slipped his hand beneath her dress, sliding it down her leg to the back of her knee. When he pulled her leg forward, she realized his intention. Their eyes were locked on each other, and she knew he was testing her. A feeling of panic rose in her, and she thought she should object. But she was here, dressed the part, and she didn't want to do anything to draw attention to herself. She may as well be as brazen as any other woman here. No one would know the difference except the man in front of her, she thought. So she shifted her weight to the other foot and put her hands on his shoulders to support herself.. He kept his eyes on hers, as he pulled her right leg up and over his left thigh. Then he moved to her left leg, sliding his hand behind her knee again, lifting her left leg over his right thigh. Then his hands were on her waist, easing her down onto his lap.
She was straddling him face-to-face, her heart racing and her face flushed. The sudden closeness, and the amount of physical contact as their bodies pressed together, and the very very thin fabric of her dress, made an incredibly potent combination. The sensations flooding her mind and body threatened to overwhelm her. She could not keep herself from shaking, or breathing too fast, and felt sure he could see that too.
"A kiss for luck then?" he said quietly, but he could not completely hide his amusement at her discomfort.
He wrapped one hand more tightly around her waist, and slid the other hand slowly up her back to her neck, grabbing a handful of her hair and pulling her towards him. It was a deep and passionate kiss and she felt even more lightheaded as his tongue invaded her mouth, and then he let his lips linger over hers, and she felt his breath on her face. She had never been in such close intimate contact with any man, and she inhaled the scent of him,. It had become both familiar and comforting to her, but now, mixed with the smell of leather and wine, it was absolutely intoxicating.
He sat back, observing her for a moment. She watched as he touched her bare shoulder, running his hand down her arm slowly, letting his thumb just barely graze the side of her breast. He seemed completely lost in what he was doing for a moment, as if she was someone he'd never seen before.
"So you want to be mine?" he said casually, and looked up at her. Once again she felt that dreamlike state, and was unable to speak. He raised an eyebrow at her, along with the impatient look she'd become used to.
"Yes." Her reply came out as barely more than a whisper.
He moved his hands back to rest on her hips, and she had to grasp at the cloth on his shoulders to keep from falling backwards. He smiled, leaning back a bit more, and shifted his hips forward on the bench. Rowena adjusted to his movement effortlessly, without thinking, as naturally as if she were sitting a horse. She shifted her pelvis back and then forwards, finding her seat, and found that she could balance herself quite comfortably now.
For a moment she felt in control, and ever so slightly more confident. She straightened her back and shoulders, and fixed her gaze directly at him. Her legs hung relaxed on either side of his, with her toes dangling in the air above the floor. Her hands rested on his belly, just above the laces of his trousers. He gave her a look of approval, and she could not suppress a shy smile, which only made him laugh out loud, but it was lighthearted and genuine.
"I have always admired how gracefully you can sit astride a horse when you ride," he mused, with a crooked smile.
He was looking her over, his fingers playing with her hair, the fabric of her dress. How different she must look to him, she thought, here in this place, dressed as she was. He looked at her with his wicked smile when he noticed the openings in the side of her gown.
"I quite like this dress," he said. "I would have you dressed like this all the time."
"Wouldn't do for the stables, I'm afraid," she laughed nervously.
He glanced at her but didn't respond. His hands were trailing down her sides, letting just his thumb glide over the bare skin above the first button, then along the bare skin below it, across the second button. When he came to the opening above the third and fourth buttons, he slid his hands inside her dress, causing her to gasp at his touch, as he rested his hands on the soft flesh around her hip bones.
His hands were rough against her bare skin, but his touch sent waves of excitement thru her and she could feel her heart pounding again. She was trembling inside, and an ever increasing warmth was spreading through her body. She was sure he could feel it, especially where she was pressed against his lap. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and exhaled slowly, struggling to maintain any amount of composure.
When he spoke again, his voice was low and omious. "If you belong to me…I will have you. Anytime. Anywhere. And any way that I choose."
She knew he was testing her, but despite her fear, his words had her shivering in anticipation, and tingling from her breasts to the warmth between her legs. His hands moved up to her ribcage, his fingers digging gently into her flesh along the way.
"You must think very hard about this." he said, looking directly into her eyes. He ran his thumbs back and forth along the very bottom curve of her breasts, making it very difficult for her to think about anything.
"I've made promises, to you, to your guardians. And I've kept my word. But if you choose to come to me willingly, I'm free of those promises." His tone was serious, and his eyes sparkled with increasing desire. "There is no turning back once you agree. I won't let you change your mind, and I won't let you go."
He watched and waited for her reaction.
She swallowed hard, but kept her eyes locked on his. She knew he was testing her limits.
"Do you belong to me?" He asked calmly, after a brief pause that seemed like an eternity to Rowena.
"Yes." She whispered with only a momentary hesitation.
"Say it." He growled menacingly, his eyes hard and fierce now, sensing how close he was to winning this conquest.
"I belong to you."
And as soon as the words left her mouth, his thumbs brushed lightly across her nipples, and she gasped at the sensation. She leaned forward and he brought his lips to hers in a hungry kiss, while his hands kneaded and teased her breasts with very adept fingers.
To Be Continued...as "Ser Bronn and Rowena"