The Conqueror's Royal Slave

The Conqueror's Royal Slave

By:  Lady Jas  Completed
Language: English
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When the kingdom of Ormond is invaded, eighteen year old Princess Eithne is enslaved by the cynical conqueror, Xander of Frankia. Her innocent eyes are opened to a world of untold cruelty and depravity at the heart of which is her estranged mother, Clara Sylvain Lovell. Mourning the death of her beloved father, King Stephen, Eithne is worried about her older brother, Ephron, who has not been heard from for a while. Xander claims acquaintance with the disgraced royal heir and says he is currently in jail overseas. He swears he will try and secure his release in return for her favours. But is he to be trusted? Eithne sees another side of her sometimes brutal master when they learn that young girls are going missing all over the realm. Does this resonate with him on a far more personal level than he is letting on? And is Xander really the blackguard he seems, or will love tame the tamer?

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85 Chapters
Chapter One - Invaded
Eithne could no longer stand by and watch the children starve when there was plenty of stew in the pot. It was tempting to pick up the ladle and serve them herself but she wasn’t that stupid. Instead she made her way across to the helmeted guard and knelt at his feet. “Yes?” he rasped. “Out with it and make it quick.” “Surely my brother doesn’t want this?” She gestured behind her at the two seven year old twins, Morgan and Maisie. The latter was pale and fading fast while the boy’s eyes were dull and lacking in hope. “Your point, my lady?” The new deference surprised her and perhaps explained her unbound hands and feet. Then she became aware that someone was standing behind her and it wasn’t Ephron. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw a tall, cloaked figure and smelled blood. It was in the newcomer’s hair and beard and still dripping from his sword. “Clean it.” Eithne remained on her knees, unaware the command was directed at her. “Are you deaf, woman?” She eyed the pail in th
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Chapter Two - Mercy
Maisie began to moan, an unearthly sound which filled the small hut and made Eithne’s heart heavy. She was certain Xander would have no sympathy for her plight unless she offered up an incentive. He was busy devouring the rabbit stew with a bent spoon, one arm clamped firmly around her waist.“Please,” she begged. “Let me go to her. I think she’s dying.”There was a clatter as he dropped the spoon on the table. “No tricks,” he warned, releasing her.Cuddling the child, she could not help but notice the drool on Morgan’s face. His eyes were closed and she fancied she could sense his pain.A shadow fell across her. Eithne raised tear-filled eyes to his. “I fear I was too late,” she said.“You give up far too easily, girl,” Xander said. “Am I right in thinking there’s a well outside? Some water may revive them. For sure it will ease their passing, should it come to that. Solid food was never going to work.” He put his hands on his hips. “What are you waiting for?”She found a dipper amon
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Chapter Three - Reflection
Watching him do an about-face and stride rapidly back towards the ramshackle dwelling, Eithne was really tempted to let him do it. Her instinct for self-preservation warred with her integrity. She couldn’t just run away from this – from him. Where would she go and, for that matter, how far would she get?Knowing she would not be able to live with herself, that she would be no better than Clara, Eithne raised the hem of her gown once more. This time, her pace was slow and measured rather than rapid and directionless.“I knew you’d come to your senses,” Xander said, as he set to work with a spade.She watched him for a time, wondering why he hadn’t delegated the task to his subordinate. His arms were well-muscled and more than equal to the task. It occurred to her he had probably dug graves before. For fallen comrades, maybe, not little ones.Yet, as she stood there, judging him without mercy, Eithne reminded herself she knew nothing about this Frankish invader other than that he wanted
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Chapter Four - Clara
Eithne’s head was spinning as she allowed her captor – nay, her new master – to lead her away from the site of the tragedy. She wasn’t sure what to believe or not believe other than that Xander was a blackguard and certainly not to be trusted. As to the part her mother and brother had played in her father’s downfall, not to mention her own, she could only speculate.She could believe such a thing of Clara but not Ephron, mean though he had sometimes been towards her.The day was melding into dusk, but Eithne kept her head down and refused to look at the devastation all around. In her opinion the halter around her neck was unnecessary, but she supposed Xander was making a point. Whether she’d earned such punishment was a matter of opinion – and disagreement – between them.All she’d said was he was an opportunist and a liar. Had she really disrespected him? Someone with his dubious moral code should have taken it as a compliment.Xander picked up the pace seemingly at random, but it wa
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Chapter Five - Bathing
Xander came into the room a short time later, looking refreshed and impossibly handsome. She felt like a traitor even thinking like that. He was clean-shaven and she could not help noticing the sharp jawline and mobile mouth below a hawk nose fit for a nobleman. His green eyes were alert, despite his casual demeanour; she judged him anything but relaxed. Presumably the beard and unkempt appearance had been a result of weeks on the road. How active he had been in the assault on the kingdom was anybody’s guess and yet, hadn’t she cleaned the blood off his blade only yesterday? “Sleep well?” he asked, with studied nonchalance. “My daughter is sulking. See if you can bring her round, Xander. I am going for a nap.” He pulled up a stool and perched his large frame upon it with no sign of being hunched. This was a man comfortable in his own skin. “So, you’re refusing to speak, eh? I can assure you that won’t last long. When I’m done with you, Princess, you will be begging me for more.” “
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Chapter Six - Embarrassed
Somewhat naively, Eithne had assumed intimacy only took place at night. Although she had once come across two of the servants lying together in the meadow when she was searching for a suitable spot to sit and read her book. “Are you going to watch me, my lord?” she asked, hoping the answer would be in the negative. “I think I’ve earned the right, don’t you?” he replied, leaning back against the wall as if he had no intention of leaving. “How?” she demanded, arms akimbo. “By treating you gently thus far,” he answered. Those ominous words made her quiver. She could not deny the thought of immersing herself in hot water was tempting but no male had seen her naked since she reached puberty. In fact, she had been given to understand that sometimes husbands on their wedding night saw less of their bride than she was about to reveal to this stranger. At least there wasn’t much to remove. She stepped out of her shoes first, placing them neatly side by side and out of the way before turn
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Chapter Seven - Taunted
There must have been at least twenty Frankish men waiting in two parallel lines. Eithne bowed her head, unwilling to make eye contact with any of them. Gradually the last vestiges of conversation died away, including the conclusion of what she knew to have been a bawdy joke.Schooling her features to ignorance, she willed herself not to redden if insults of any kind came her way.Xander sauntered along the line, his hand gripping her upper arm.“I asked you to assemble here, men, because I wanted to express my thanks for all your endeavours in what has seemed an interminable campaign. Yes, Beauregard?”“It has been a pleasure, Sire.”Sire?“No need to stand on ceremony. Xander will do. Many a campaign we’ve spent wrapped in our cloaks. Which reminds me.” He glanced at her. “I need to acquire a new one.”“Permission to speak, Xander?”“Go ahead, Drago.”“Will we be staying on here for a while?”“Missing your family? I sympathise, even though I don’t know what that’s like.”There were g
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Chapter Eight - Punishment
The man presumably named for his home province was of medium height but he had cruel eyes.Eithne folded her arms across her chest and waited.“Are the rotas arranged, Simpkin?”She blinked. That sounded like a local name. Was this man a traitor?“Checked and double checked, Commander.”“And no-one’s giving the mercenaries any lip?”“Nothing they can’t handle. I’m keeping a watching brief myself.” The newcomer passed a hand across his brow. “It was thirsty work in that smithy,” he said.“I can imagine. Take a break, my captain. You’ve earned it.”As the man from Ormond turned to leave, she had to say something. Because she recognised him now as one of her father’s most trusted bodyguards. His treachery she took personally.“Judas!” she spat.Simpkin paid her no more attention than if she were a gnat buzzing beside his ear, though he made the same warding off gesture with a hand which was missing a couple of fingers.Alone with the conqueror once more, she became aware that her heart h
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Chapter Nine - Servitude
That evening, having eaten very little else herself, Eithne was instructed by her master to serve ale in the Hall. He had hinted at such a thing though she hadn’t believed he was serious. All this after washing several floors until her fingers were raw and numb, her back ached and her knees were sore.Did she believe Xander that he’d purchased the cloak on a whim? There was no telling with him when he was serious and when he wasn’t. Except she did not doubt that he would indeed test her innocence or otherwise that very night.The men were noisy, boisterous and well on their way to becoming drunk. It heartened her to see Beauregard for some reason she could not quite explain. Though she hadn’t particularly looked at most of the others, except for Drago and Guisset, she could tell the mercenaries by their leather jerkins and short cloaks. It was a kind of uniform which set them apart and she was heartened to see them dispersed throughout the long room. In case of trouble?Surely not bec
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Chapter Ten - Humiliated
So much for Xander not being all he seemed. His action was certainly giving the lie to that. Eithne assumed the situation would only become worse when they reached what was now his bedchamber.As he hauled her up the stairs, she became aware she was still carrying the flagon of ale. Maybe she could drink herself into a stupor, and maybe not.“Haven’t I been through enough?” she cried, unable to stay silent any longer.“You have no idea, do you, Princess? Paupers can’t be choosers.”Was that a hint as to his real origins? Eithne wasn’t about to ask him at that point.“You’re hurting me,” she complained.It was true; her scalp felt like it was on fire. Her mind led her to wonder if his head wound had healed. Then she chastised herself for neglecting her own needs. She had angered him without thought and now was about to suffer the consequences.“Get used to it.”His voice was low and tight, his fury about to be unleashed.Eithne wasn’t too proud to beg if it meant avoiding a brutal rape
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