This adult fairy tale has all the classics – a curse, a beast, and a beautiful woman destined to save him . . . or does it?
Cursed with insatiable lust and slowly transforming into a beast, the master of the castle sends his gamekeeper out to the nearby villages to choose girls to satisfy him. When the gamekeeper chooses her sister, Serena offers herself instead and is swept away to the castle, sure she will be driven mad by the Beast’s demands.
Except his demands are not so unwelcome, and Serena finds herself wanting to please him, confusing the Beast, and then terrifying him. If he gives her his heart, he will only lose it when he finally transforms and she abandons him. Why bring on more pain? She is there to be used, nothing more. But Serena refuses to be just an object for sexual satisfaction.
She wants to be everything to the Beast. She wants him to love her.
The gate banged behind her. Serena jumped and lost her hold on the rider. Swiftly he reached back and steadied her seat. “Come now, lass. I’ve never delivered a maiden upright and conscious before. You’ve done well so far. It’ll go easier on you if you keep yourself together.”
“I don’t know how,” Serena muttered.
“You’re a smart girl. I have faith in you.” He slid out of the saddle.
Serena opened her eyes. The bailey walls were heaped with trash and old straw. An annoyed boy shuffled out of the stables to take the horse. The rider scowled at him. He reached up for her. Serena forced her fingers to release their hold on the saddle. Pleas for mercy welled up in her throat, but she doubted they would have any effect. She put her hands on his shoulders and allowed herself to be taken off the horse. Her knees buckled, but the rider kept her upright. She stiffened her knees and took a step back. “Take me to him.”
“That’s a girl.” He bowed, gesturing toward the wide granite stairs leading to the great doors.
Serena walked up the stairs with her head high and her back stiff. She couldn’t do anything about the looseness of her thighs. The long ride left them aching and weak. The doors were taller than three men and they had once been gilded and carved, but time and lack of care had dulled them. They opened as she approached.
Two bored men in threadbare uniforms stood more or less at attention inside. Just a few feet further along the cavernous hall that could have fit her entire village, three maids gossiped. Serena heard the ring of hooves on the marble floor. It took her a moment to locate the source of the sound.
He strode down the hall. His long dark hair trailed behind him like a pennant. His shoulders, under the robe, were broad and strong. Any woman would want to hang from those shoulders while making love. He wore a long burgundy satin robe trimmed in black fur, open to expose his broad chest and a mat of thick russet hair. Serena felt herself warmed with unaccustomed desire as she followed the trail of hair down the clean lines of his abdomen. Then her stomach clenched. His robe flapped loose around his thick thighs exposing his large erect penis. The rider had warned her that the lord would want her immediately, but to have it displayed made the waves of heat she had begun to feel founder under chill shivers. He was too big. He would never fit. He would tear her apart. She backed up a step and reached back for the doors, but they had been closed already. Biting her lips to keep from screaming, her gaze took in the reason for his hurried walk. His legs were covered with russet curly hair and shaped like a goat’s ending in hooves that kept him unbalanced as he moved.
“Malcolm,” the lord snarled. “Is this the best you could do? She isn’t very pretty.”
“She has other qualities,” the rider said. He stood beside Serena in a wide stance with his hands behind his back.
“For your sake I hope so.” The lord continued walking until he had backed Serena against the closed door. He breathed though his nose. His face hovered inches above hers. He might have been handsome once, with bold charming features and expressive dark eyes, but cruelty stamped his features and a lack of care in his own appearance left him with three day’s stubble. She could feel his penis nudging against her skirt, but she refused to close her eyes or look away.
“My lord,” Malcolm cautioned.
He growled and grabbed Serena’s hand, dragging her toward a door built to match the wainscoting. He pulled her inside and closed the door, pressing her against the wall so quickly that she had no chance to see anything else in the room.
He pressed his lips to hers in a bruising, endless kiss. He pulled her lower lip between his, suckling it. Serena ached with the pulse of his mouth on her. She tilted her head back to welcome him. His tongue invaded her mouth. Her head swam with the force of his assault even after he pulled back leaving one huge hand to stroke her cheek. His blunt fingers caressed her cheekbone while his thumb pressed her chin up so he could stare into her eyes. The room was too dark to see his expression, but she could feel the heat of his large body building. His hands seemed tender on her cheek despite the rough kiss he’d given her. She hoped he would be kind, gentle. Something other than the beast he appeared to be from the waist down.
“You are here to serve me,” he told her, pulling her skirt up and crushing her hopes. “You will be available to me when ever I want you.” He reached between her legs to pull away her panties. “You won’t be needing anything like this again. You’ll have gowns and jewels and whatever else you desire as long as you last. But you belong to me.”
He lifted her, spreading her legs. Serena scrabbled for a purchase on the wall but there was no handhold so she grabbed his shoulders, clutching him. He thrust inside her. Serena gasped. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to close her legs, but they only tightened around his waist. He groaned and thrust again. His hot breath bathed her neck. Her hands slid across his shoulders. Waves of heat throbbed through her. He thrust again harder and harder. She rode his motion letting it stoke the heat building in her. Her breath came in strained pants that she heard echoed in him. She locked her ankles against the small of his back wanting him tighter against her and deeper inside her.
A wave crashed over her, drenching her in pleasure. He moaned, shuddering.
For a long moment, he just leaned against her, pressing her into the wall as he gasped for breath. She allowed her head to loll forward, smelling the heavy scent of musk on him and tasting the sweat on his skin, sweet and clean. Her legs, still linked behind him, brushed against the soft fur on his hips and buttocks. His hands slid around her waist, cradling her for a moment.
Then he pushed away from the wall. Serena caught herself before she fell on the floor. She felt naked without him crushed against her. She looked up at him, afraid again.
“Other qualities,” he remarked. He straightened and opened the door.
“Wait.” She reached for him, but when he turned back she froze. “What – what should I call you?”
“Does it matter?”
“It does to me.”
“Well, it doesn’t to me.” He yanked open the door and walked out.
Malcolm walked in when the sound of his hooves had receded down the hall. He nodded when he saw her standing against the wall. “Good. You’re still conscious. The maids will wash and dress you. Good luck.”
“You’re not leaving, are you?” Serena grabbed his arm. Her legs failed her and she floundered to her knees. “Please don’t leave me.”
“My job here is done.” Malcolm lifted her back to her feet. “If you need me you have only to ask. The gamekeeper’s job isn’t quite as busy when one’s lord is turning into game.”