The Dragon Chief Ch. 07

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Willa waited patiently for Barr to leave them before speaking. Now that Barr was gone and they were left in silence, Willa thought it time to tell him of her other vision.

“Before you say anything… I saw more than what I told you about before.” As she spoke, Jorvun’s face darkened with dread. “I saw you and Drue.”

His expression softened and he said nothing so she continued.

“I saw the way she treated you and I don’t think all this,” Willa gestured at him, “is you. In the vision, she was making you beat a woman for no reason. You were so young and I could tell you didn’t want to. But Drue was there to crush your spirit. You did it like she had made you do it a thousand times before.”

Jorvun’s jaw was tight and his eyes were closed as she spoke. Willa wanted to embrace him, but reminded herself what she felt that first time in the bar. The thought of him ripping her apart made Willa waver in her sympathy and continue.

“You don’t want to treat me like you did. So why do you do it?” Willa felt frustration building and her cheeks flushed.

“She…” Jorvun started.

“No… it doesn’t matter. You treated me like trash.” Her voice was rising and her anger was starting to flow out of her like magma from the earth. Willa jammed a finger into his chest and he staggered back – not from the force of her jab but the force of her rage. “She didn’t rape me in front of your friends.”

Jorvun looked devastated and dropped his eyes to the wood floor. He had no defense. He knew he was despicable. “No, she didn’t.”

Willa’s golden eyes seemed to glow with her anger. Jorvun hoped her fire would swallow him alive.

“Jaya was a warrior and she fought at Brandt’s side. Do you think she would have tolerated the way you’ve treated me? Would Brandt? If you hadn’t let that… that…” Willa was fuming now, practically shouting into his face. “that… SNAKE into your mind… I could’ve…”

Willa’s anger wavered when she realized what she was about to say.

“I could’ve fought at your side, too.” She finished in a whisper. Her rage had been doused by hurt and Willa’s gut told her she could not give up on him. Her brain screamed at her to take the opportunity and escape. Had this been why Jaya came to her? It was as if the ritual had opened her heart to the part she shared with Laya. Willa could’ve sworn she felt the warrior inside her, fueling her rage and sorrow for Jorvun. As he stood there, looking broken, Willa realized she’d become invested in this man. This man, who’d taken everything from her and now had nothing to give. Except freedom.

Now, as she stood between her new and old life, Willa swayed. Could she even go back to her old life? She could feel Jaya’s presence inside her. If she chose to stay, could she live free with him? Or would the pressure exerted by Drue for centuries before Jorvun’s birth mean Willa could never be free at his side. Maybe the sorceress had already succeeded in her ancient plan. Jorvun met her eyes.

“I’m sorry. You’re right.”

“Damn fucking right.” Willa huffed. “And now you want to toss me out like trash, huh?”

She crossed her arms and waited patiently for Jorvun’s confused expression to pass into shock.

“Are you… saying you want to stay?” Willa looked around the room nervously.

“I… don’t know.” She could swear she saw the gears grinding and smoking in his head as he tried to process what she said. Her voice dropped so low that Jorvun could barely hear her. “I just don’t want to be a slave.”

He rocked on his feet and stared at her in disbelief. Why wasn’t she pulling at the reigns to leave after he’d enacted Drue’s will upon her body? Jorvun scowled, frustrated. He stepped toward her, backing her against the doorway to the bedroom. He pinned his arms on either side of her head and stood tall. She narrowed her eyes up at him.

“What’s wrong with you? Do I need to remind you what I did?” Jorvun’s voice was shaking. Willa was about to furiously push him away for trying to scare her when she met his eyes, which were full of moisture just like they had been in Willa’s vision of him with Drue. When he did not receive the frightened reaction he’d expected, he continued, gripping her jaw and forcing her gaze to stay locked on his. He tried to ignore the tear threatening to fall from the corner of his eye and looked down on her angrily.

“I stripped you. I humiliated you. I raped you.” Willa flinched at his words but did not pull away from his grasp. Instead she stared him down stubbornly. “I hurt you and manipulated you. When you were in that horrible little room, injured and scared, I came and fucked with your mind. I violated your body.”

Tears were actively flowing over his tanned cheeks now, wetting his beard. Willa felt tears coming also, but not because she was scared. Not anymore. She felt sorrow. She wanted to wipe away his tears and embrace him. But she also wanted to slap sense into him. He was a big, stupid jerk as far as she was concerned. But for some fucked up reason, they canlı bahis were connected.

“Let go of me, Jorvun.” The sound of his name on her lips focused his mind and he released her face. “I know what you did. And I won’t forget it. Ever.”

Jorvun looked at her with a sort of numb satisfaction as he stepped back.

“But I don’t think I can leave you.” Willa finished. Jorvun groaned.

“Are you mad? You can’t stay here. You’re only safe here if you’re mine. There are men and women in that bar who wouldn’t hesitate to sell you off to the highest bidder if they sensed any weakness in me.” Jorvun started pacing in front of her like an anxious, caged lion. “A piece of ass like yours could make a man rich.”

Willa seethed. “Excuse me?”

Jorvun stopped pacing and looked up, shrugging apologetically. “I’m sorry, pet. It’s true.”

“I’m not your pet.” Willa’s tone was cold and sharp. Jorvun raised his brows at her. The instincts instilled in him by Drue told him to throw her over the edge of the couch and belt her until she repented for her insolence. But now he realized that the idea made him queasy. As she stared him down, Jorvun could swear that he felt the heat of her frustration. She pinched her nose. “Make me a drink.”

Willa’s request was more of a command that Jorvun mindlessly followed, retrieving the decanter from the coffee table where he and Barr had been speaking. Willa watched his hands as he poured, considering their next step. She accepted the full glass from him and sat on the leather couch, where he joined her.

Jorvun was silent, apparently deep in thought. Willa sipped from her drink, patiently waiting for Jorvun to process the situation. The sound of his voice startled Willa from her own thoughts.

“We… could leave together.” Willa’s gaze shot up and she looked at him from across the sofa.

“Aren’t you Chief? I thought you wanted power.” Willa frowned into her lap. “Isn’t that why I was brought here?”

“Yes.” Jorvun took a massive swig, his heavy rings clinking against the glass. “But now all I want is to wring that witch’s neck. And you. I think I need you.”

“Why would you try to get rid of me, then?” Willa asked quietly. She was looking at the golden alcohol in her lap.

“I…” Jorvun hesitated before tossing back another swig. “Because I don’t deserve you.”

Willa shook her head. “No. You don’t.”

She mimicked Jorvun and tossed back a huge swig, wincing as it scorched her throat. She was beginning to feel fuzzy and the room was less and less steady. “When do we leave?”

When Willa looked at him again, he wasn’t sure what to say. Jorvun could barely believe what he was about to do. He was ready to give up everything for this woman. His Adhvhar. Every part of him was drawn to her. And now it was like he could feel every stinging nerve in her compact body. He knew the ritual would change things but he could not have guessed they would change like this. His world was falling beneath his feet.

“Tonight. In a few hours. We’ll leave before dawn.” He stood. “I need to start getting things ready. You should sleep if you can. Sorry you already got dressed.”

Willa glanced down at her clothed body and shrugged. “I’ll just sleep in this shirt. Shouldn’t you sleep too?”

Jorvun looked down at her oddly. He was not accustomed to others inquiring about his well being. “I’ll be fine.”

She padded back into his bedroom, apparently content with his answer.

He needed to find Barr before he did anything else. This new development changed everything. Barr had been his closest friend since childhood and he knew the man would do anything he asked. That was why he went to him initially, knowing he would aid him in smuggling Willa out of the clan’s compound.

Jorvun left the side building, exiting into the dimly lit alley between his place and the bar. He was pleasantly surprised to find Barr chain-smoking just outside his door, leaning against the worn brick in a slouch. The barbarian-sized man had washed away his paint and donned a pair of ripped jeans and a faded t-shirt.

“Plans changed.” Jorvun stated simply. Barr glanced at him and nodded, standing up off the wall. He followed Jorvun back into the apartment.

“Well? What happened?” Barr demanded as soon as the door shut. He fished another cigarette from his back pocket and settled it between his lips.

“She… said she wouldn’t leave.” The cigarette Barr was trying to light fell out of his mouth.

“What?”

“So we’re both leaving.”

Barr snorted a laugh of disbelief at his friend’s words.

“You’ve gotta be fuckin’ joking.”

“We both know she won’t be safe here.” Jorvun asserted. “Not if any of them think I’m going soft.”

Barr huffed. “I’ll get Oro too. He can get the horses ready.”

Jorvun shot his friend a bewildered look. “I’m not asking you to leave with us.”

“I’m here because I’m loyal to the Dragon, not those assholes inside. So are Oro and Hertha.” Barr crouched and swept his dropped cigarette bahis siteleri up off the ground, lighting it between his lips with a rusty, brass Zippo. “We go where you go.”

Jorvun considered his friend’s words and nodded. Barr continued. “Besides, maybe it’s time for a new start. With people we can trust.”

“Very well. Do what you must. I trust your instincts.” Jorvun clapped a hand on Barr’s shoulder. “I need to gather some things. We’ll leave just before dawn.”

Barr nodded and left for the larger building. Jorvun began gathering essentials. He already had a pack put together for traveling the dust lands but this outing would probably last a lot longer than a week. He packed up a few bottles of liquor and all the cartons of cigarettes he had left. Things like that were hard to find and expensive.

He also took a crossbow off his wall so they could hunt. Jorvun was unsure of the skills that Willa possessed but he knew she was capable as a traveler since she was a trader. He also figured she knew how to forage, since she was apparently renowned in the world of spices and herbs. He included twine, knives, wax, and jars along with other basic survival items. He also strapped a hand axe to her pack. The only clothing he had to offer her was Drue’s, so he just packed another pair of jeans for her. Although his shirts were baggy on her, they did not make his face hot and his stomach boil when he saw them like Drue’s did. Willa would wear his clothes.

Once everything was packed, Jorvun had nothing left but to wait. He dug out one of his last cigars, packing the rest with the cigarettes. As he pulled on it, he paced and plotted the demise of the sorceress.

After what felt like an eternity of forming and discarding strategies, Jorvun’s pacing was interrupted by a bed-tossed Willa, whose gaze connected with his on one of his pivots. She was standing, arms crossed, in the bedroom doorway. The only covering she had was his long t-shirt which fell to her fingertips, barely hiding the down between her legs.

“Can’t sleep?” Jorvun tore his eyes away from her thick, curving thighs to meet her gaze again.

“No.” She looked him up and down, her eyes lingering on the thick, naturally-formed muscles in his arms. “I want you to promise me something.”

Jorvun quirked his brow but waited patiently for her to finish.

“I don’t know if I can even trust you to keep it, but if you do…” her hard stare softened. “I don’t know. Maybe I could start trying to trust you.”

Jorvun looked at her blankly. Why would she offer him a chance, no matter how small, at redemption? It didn’t matter. Jorvun wanted to do whatever she asked of him if it meant she might stand at his side someday. He nodded at the woman.

“Promise you won’t touch me unless I ask you.”

Willa watched his expression closely as she spoke. Her next move depended entirely on his reaction. At first he just kept staring dumbly at her. As he registered what she said, he frowned for a moment before nodding slowly.

“I will try, my Adhvhar.” He looked thoughtful for a moment, one of his ringed hands moving up to comb through his beard. “Does that mean you might ask me to touch you?”

Willa flushed. “Maybe.”

She was slightly surprised at how easily he made his vow. She wasn’t completely satisfied with ‘I will try,’ but it was a start. She padded up to him, and Willa thought she heard him hold his breath as she approached. Without speaking, she brushed her fingers over his chest, feeling the muscles underneath flutter at her touch. He started to lift a hand and Willa pulled away. Jorvun seemed to get the hint and dropped his hand to his side. She reached out to him again, quietly feeling along the planes of his chest and stomach. This time Jorvun stood still, watching her face as she explored him.

She moved on from his chest and lifted one of his arms, glancing up at him nervously. Willa was reassured by the cool expression on his face and she traced the veins from his wrist to the inside of his elbow with the tips of her fingers. She felt him shudder at her touch. Her fingers softly explored his rough hands, tracing over every scar and line in his palm. Willa repeated her exploration on his other arm.

Her timid touch moved up to his shoulders and she startled slightly when he turned around, baring his back to her. Willa’s eyes wandered his form. He rolled his broad shoulders beneath his thin t-shirt and she hesitated before she spoke, but managed to whisper a command.

“Take off the shirt.”

Jorvun did as she asked, tossing it aside carelessly. She sucked in a sharp breath. His back was striped with white scars. Willa grazed her fingertips over the uneven surface of one of the largest scars.

“What happened?” Willa’s voice was quiet as she continued perusing the scars and natural curves of his back. Jorvun did not respond for a long moment.

“Conditioning,” he finally offered. She grimaced at the implication of what he’d said.

“She beat you,” Willa stated. Jorvun snorted bahis şirketleri a laugh and shook his head.

“As if she’d lift a finger to do that herself. No. A few whippings are part of this life. I just happened to be a shitty teenager.” Jorvun did not turn around as he spoke. “She only laid her hands on me when it mattered.”

Willa wanted to tell him that his scars were not normal. But she couldn’t find the words. What part of his life was in line with her normal? Her hands drifted down to trace circles into his lower back as she admired his firm ass. She moved back up to his shoulders, smoothing her hands over his sinewy muscles. Willa felt his shoulders slowly slump as he relaxed into her touch.

Willa was perfectly aware that her soft exploration of his body had left Jorvun aroused but she also felt compelled to touch him. It slightly relieved the constant fear that seemed to have coiled in her stomach since she’d been captured. She was also toying with him intentionally, playing with his fire to see if he would burn her. So far, he was passing her test. Emboldened by his passiveness, she took it a step further.

“Get on your knees.” This command made him hesitate. He started to look back at her so she repeated herself, this time more encouraging.

“Please kneel, Jorvun.” He swayed a bit but finally did as she asked. Jorvun was taken off-guard when instead of an assault from behind, he felt soft fingers drive through his wild hair. Jorvun closed his eyes and leaned into her touch subconsciously. Her gentle fingers played with his hair and massaged his scalp, drifting downward slowly. Willa dragged a finger over the curves of his neck and traced up the thick veins on either side of his throat. She felt his breath hitch slightly when her fingertips felt along the edge of his collar bone.

Willa withdrew her touch and settled in front of him. When she looked upon his face, warmth pooled in her lower belly. His hardness was insistent against his jeans and his cheeks were slightly flushed but he looked up at her with patience in his eyes. She could see the need in his gaze.

“Did-” Willa had to pause and gather her courage. “Did you like it? When you fucked me that first time over the table?”

She smirked at the shock that flashed over his expression, followed closely by scorching shame.

“I…” Jorvun seemed to choke on his words for a second before he cast his gaze down to the floor. “Yes.”

“Why?” Willa kept pushing, enjoying the power she was wielding over his shame. She wanted to dig into his brain, hoping that seeing into the cogs of his mind might dispel some of the inky blackness holding onto her heart. Jorvun seemed to struggle with her simple question for a long time before he could offer her an answer.

“Your body was so warm. And tight. And… mine.” He swallowed hard. “But I hated the way you cried. And the blood. I tried to ignore it because I thought it was just the way it had to be. I guess I… I don’t know.”

Willa nodded slowly. Her brows were furrowed as she watched the expressions fly over his face. She’d never simultaneously resented and cared so much about something or someone in her life. Certainly it wasn’t the eternal bond that Jaya and Brandt had, but it was a start. To her slight dismay, Willa felt no lack of sexual attraction to him. Thinking about his gentle touch when she’d been feverish from the salve made Willa want to settle her fingers between her legs to satisfy her ache.

When Jorvun looked back up at her, she snapped back to attention. Willa struggled to find the courage to make her next move. It was even more difficult with his pained, aroused eyes searching her own.

“Close your eyes.” Willa managed to mutter. When his eyes fell closed, she took a deep breath and reevaluated her plan. If he did not respond the way she wanted him to, Willa could end up getting herself in yet another troubling situation. Perhaps it was the fire-spirit in her soul or the alcohol making her reckless, but she needed to know.

Willa settled a hand on his shoulder to balance herself as she hooked her leg over his other shoulder so that she could feel the heat of his breath against her damp core. He started to reach up to her, his hands ready to pull her against his mouth, and Willa swatted him away.

“Mind your promise, Dragon.” He hesitated a moment but dropped his hands. Jorvun inhaled deeply, breathing in her scent since he couldn’t touch her. When Willa pulled him closer so his lips grazed her flesh and his beard tickled her thighs, she shivered against him. He groaned quietly.

“Use your mouth on me.” Her command was a whisper and it was all he needed. He dug his nails into his knees to keep from touching her and dove his tongue into her folds, lapping her juices up. She made a low whining sound when he sucked roughly on her sensitive bud.

When Willa started to roll her hips against his face, Jorvun struggled to keep his hands on his lap. He wanted to dig his nails into her perfect ass and press his tongue as deep into her as he could get. Instead he eagerly worked her with his mouth. She came against him, hands tangled in his hair. Willa’s legs trembled as she untangled herself from him and flashed a dazed grin.

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