The Savage King(9)

By: Michelle M. Pillow

* * * *

"What a nightmare," Ulyssa grumbled, stretching her arms over her head. Satin sheets

cocooned her body, gliding over her naked flesh in a tickling caress. For a moment, she

smiled and arched her back at the feel of luxurious comfort. An unfamiliar wave of

contentment washed over her.

Suddenly, she froze in mid-stretch. The relaxation in her body was replaced by a slow

building of stress in her limbs. Her eyes popped open and moved around in her head. She

was naked, in a strange bed, in a strange stone room. This wasn't good sign.

Ulyssa shot up, sitting on the bed. The large bedroom had a smooth stone floor with

woven rugs. She could tell that, like everything else in the Var palace, great attention had

been paid to the detail of their making. Staying true to style, the large marble fireplace was

carved to perfection and sported a comfortable fire. The bed, covered in dark blue satin

sheets and a matching blue and silver coverlet, dominated the floor. Seeing the two arched

doorways leading from the room, one with a door and one without, she frowned.

"Where the hell am I?"

Ulyssa threw the covers from her body and edged to the side of the bed. Her bare feet

dropped down on the floor. Walking to the entrance without a door, she peeked in. It was

a long closet, filled with nothing but clothes cut to fit a man. A flash of a sinfully dark gaze

came to her. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

"Think, Ulyssa, reason it out."


The name was an echo in her head. She shivered, recalling a deep, rich, Var accented

voice. She knew it wasn't Attor. Had she slept with the bearer of that voice? Surely if she

had, she would have done so with a plan of escape. She could remember no plan, but she

could recall every detail of a firm body next to hers in the hallway, grinding and pressing

her into the wall. Hell, she'd been ready to screw his brains out right there. Why hadn't

she? It wasn't like she was shy.

Ulyssa frowned, wrinkling her brow in deep thought. The night unfolded slowly in her

mind, foggy yet real. She'd escaped the harem. A man found her. She'd come on to him

with no thought of escape.

Ulyssa grimaced, but was not embarrassed by her actions. She'd wanted him and had gone

for him, no big deal. Then, he'd rejected her. She scowled, stuck on the memory. He'd

rejected her? Now, how was that possible? That never happened.

"Nothing happened," she whispered, not sure if she felt relief or irritation. Her pride stung

at the memory, but she tried her best to ignore it. Lightly, she scratched her naked

backside as she went in to explore his enormous closet. It was bigger than her entire

quarters at the Agency. Rubbing the back of her neck, she continued to frown. "He

brought me back here. I took off my own clothes and made a pass at him. He then left me

here--alone, unfulfilled. Huh. What the hell is that all about?"

A long, rectangular window commanded the far wall of the closet, letting in the soft light

from outside. She could see a balcony beyond the window with stone and iron railings

along the edge. The dusky green-blue sky spread out before her and she realized the

bedroom was high off the ground. A majestic display of forest and mountains stretched

before her. She could even see a clear lake tapering off into the distance. Its glassy surface

reflected the three suns.

Ulyssa was stunned into momentary silence at the awe-inspiring sight. There was

something quite magical about the Var palace, something that stirred a suppressed part of

her being. She thought it best not to explore that part of her soul. Some things were better

left hidden.

A quick scan of the rooms proved he'd taken her clothes with him when he left. She

searched the closet for something decent to wear and found a cross-laced shirt, like the

one the man had worn the night before. The shirt was too big for her smaller frame, but

she didn't care.

Not caring that she was stealing, Ulyssa slipped the garment over her head and adjusted it

to fit her smaller size, pulling the laces tight. She did the same with a pair of pants, lacing

them up along her thighs. Using the extra length of cross-laces, she made a makeshift belt

around her waist. Then, finding a floor length jacket with long sleeves, she pulled it on.

There was no way she'd get into his boots so she didn't even try, opting to remain barefoot

for the moment.

"Not bad," she murmured, admiring herself in a mirror as she unbound her hair only to pull

it back again. She found it easier to work if it was out of her way.

Walking through the bedroom, she slowly opened the second door and peeked out. The

light was dim after the brightness of the bedroom fireplace. Slowly, she closed the door

and edged forward. From what she could tell, it looked like a living room, complete with a

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