Read Gladiator Online

Authors: Kate Lynd

Tags: #Post Apocalyptic Erotic Romance

Gladiator (7 page)

The wind died entirely. Not a leaf stirred. She and Tristan held their breath. She trembled, her blood raced, and her vision blurred. She continued to pray. In the still, silent air, the captain’s voice carried. “I don’t understand it. I could have sworn these tracks would have led us straight to them. I guess it’s a day’s ride back to camp. Come on.”

The royal elite veered away and rode off at high speed. Alex began to convulse. The zephyr returned and the mirage lifted.

Tristan moved off her. She knew his heart was pounding fit to burst, and when he slid his leg between hers and cradled her face in his hand, he gazed down at her and proclaimed fiercely, “You will not die. I refuse to let you go. As long as there is breath in my body anyone who comes to harm you will meet the same fate as your mother.”

She began to move with his body as the convulsions began to ebb. The fervid hunger of desire flared between them. He grasped her legs and eased her up to press his thigh to her clit. She so wanted to believe in him. To believe he could stop the wheels of destiny.

“Someone will see us.” She gasped as she arched back and he trailed his mouth down over her chin and down her throat and neck.

He came back up, sliding his hand up her shirt and caressing her swollen breasts with his fingertips, circling her nipples with the lightest of touches. He gazed down at her and whispered, “That’s the exciting part.”

She let out a long, low moan as she writhed shamelessly against him. She slid her tongue into his mouth. As they kissed she reveled in his taste. When their lips parted she spoke huskily, “Take your clothes off, now.”

He continued to work her breasts and work her into a tangled skein of sexual need. He smiled at her mischievously as he said, “I want your pussy drenched for me.”

She moaned again, this time louder.

“That’s right angel, moan for me to be inside of you.”

He took a breast into his mouth as he worked her ass, his cock so hard against her stomach it almost hurt her. He sucked at the other breast, just as hard, just as demandingly, until she could stand it no more. She reached down and eased his engorged cock down.

She wrapped her hand around it and began to stroke him steadily with the other. He let go of her breast and groaned directly into her ear and captured her lobe with his teeth. She gasped and said, “Fuck me from behind. Make me come. Make me say your name until I can’t say anything else.”

They kicked off their shoes. He settled between her legs and rubbed her clit with his shaft for what seemed like a torturous stretch of time. Then, without warning, he flipped her and brought her up on all fours and pushed inside her drenched tight pussy which clung to his hard cock.

She gasped and said hoarsely, “Pinch my breasts and rock me into rapture.”

He reached under her and squeezed her breasts hard as he fucked her with long, hard, fast, punishing strokes. The mixture of pleasure and pain made her quiver and shake uncontrollably. She moved in time with him and with each burying to his hilt she saw deeper into his aura. In her rapturous state, she saw that his children were still alive. Abigail was in a labor camp. Kevin was in a Gladiator arena like his father.

Alex threw her head back and whipped her hair wildly for him. She had an orgasm which crashed into her so hard she howled unrestrainedly. And just when she thought she could handle no more she was rocked again and everything went white, as Tristan thrust hard into her and bit down on her shoulder, causing her to bleed.

He came inside her and she could feel his cock pulse and at it’s hardest as he kept her full until he no longer could. He slid out of her and they rolled to the ground. They lay in silence, breathing hard, and listening to one another’s heartbeat.

“They are alive aren’t they?”

His words were more full of hope than they had been before. “Yes.”

“Then we have to find them.”

“We have to get to Abigail first. She’s in more danger than her brother.”

He said nothing. Abigail was nineteen. Soon she would either be sent to a Gladiator arena, or sold to the highest bidder. She knew he couldn’t have that.

“And Kevin?”

“It’s seems he is favored by the wife of his owner. A local rock star…like his dad.”

“That is no life.”

“We will find them. I promise.”

He gazed down at her and touched her stomach and it lit up stunningly. “They’re moving again.”

“Of course they are. We gave them a good shake.”

He kissed her tenderly. “I’m going to give you forever. I don’t care what the fucking Prophecy says.”

She would say nothing for now and indulge in the fantasy. She had never been loved or in love like this before and it gave her a strength she didn’t know she possessed.

“Believe in me Alexandra, and I will always believe in you.”

“Kiss me Tristan. I want you inside me again. I want to remember this forever.”

He covered her mouth with his and she let herself be swept away from everything weighing down on her shoulders as she allowed the world to fall away.

 

Chapter Seven

 

Her pregnancy under pre-war conditions would have been high-risk at best. But being out in the elements walking, foraging for food and water every day, Tristan was finding it increasingly difficult to provide not just for her, but the group as well. Living a nomad’s life could have been done if it was just the two of them, or even if it were just him and the other men. But with the rift growing between Lucilla and Damien every day, and Lucilla leaning on Alexandra’s shoulders, he feared she might unintentionally bring harm to her. They needed to find a place where they could make a home and live, not simply exist. He didn’t care what Alex thought. He might let her help him find his children, but they were not going to go back to D.C. or anywhere near the capital of the Seymour Empire. Even if they had to live in the woods in adobe huts he would make it work. The gods be damned, he refused to even entertain the thought that Alexandra had to be sacrificed in order for the world to live.

He glanced up at Alexandra. For someone who’d been treated like a red-headed stepchild for most of her life, she carried herself regally. Her back was straight, her hair long and thick. It had been braided back by Lucilla. Even though she was seven months pregnant, at the moment she appeared not to be suffering, but glowing. She caught him looking up at her as he led their horse toward the woods and made a face. “What are you looking at?”

“Just you.”

She laughed. “You need to find me a place to stay the next few weeks so I can birth these bowling balls in my womb.”

He reached up and touched her belly and the babies kicked. “Seems they’re as ready to come out as you are for them to be born.”

“I doubt it. I think they’d stay in here forever if they could.”

“Now I doubt that. But I know I would,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows.

“Shut up, you’re embarrassing me.”

He laughed a deep and rich laugh. He was well, and he was happy. And he was intent on staying that way. “Hmmm,” he said, kissing her hand. “As much as God has punished me, He has blessed me.”

“Ah you’re making us puke back here. Get a room!” Damien shouted.

“Hey,” Tristan barked, “you have a wife, too. Treat her like one for a change.”

Damien leapt off his steed and attacked Tristan, causing him to yank down on Alex’s hand. She grabbed hold of the mane of the horse and held on as Tristan jumped off. A battle ensued between the men as they struggled for dominance, until finally Tristan had Damien pinned to the ground. He was on the verge of killing him with his bare hands; he was furious, because Alexandra was to be protected and Damien’s misdirected rage could have caused her to fall to the ground, and possibly miscarry. “Do you have any idea what you could have done? Do you?”

“Not all of us are so lucky to be favored by both of the Seymour sisters.”

He’d had it up to here with Damien. His attitude had been bad for the group morale as of late. Many nights, before Alex could come to him, she would spend hours counseling and listening to a grief-stricken Lucilla, who was bearing the brunt of Damien’s cruelty. Damien was a malignant tumor that could spread if he didn’t eliminate him right now.

He heard a soft footfall, and felt a familiar hand on his shoulder. “Don’t do it, Tristan. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. This life has demented him. Imagine that your wife had lived, and then you were forcibly separated? How would you have fared?”

“If we let him live it will be the death of us all.”

“No it won’t. He still has the power to change the course of his destiny if he so chooses. His judgment is clouded now.”

Damien spit in Tristan’s face. “That’s what I think of your lover’s talk of destiny.”

Alexandra pushed Tristan out of the way. She wanted to change Damien’s fate in her own way. Her face was full of intensity, her hand burning a bright red.

Damien tried to sit up, but it seemed she had the strength and power of ten men as she held her palms upward, fingers splayed. He felt a deep burning in his chest. Alexandra started to chant, and the wind stirred around them and echoed her. He arched his back and screamed in pain. “I refuse you! I refuse this! A fiend of the devil! You are of the devil! You are a curse! May you feel the pain I have felt, triple-fold back!”

Lucilla shouted, “Damien no!” She lunged forward and pushed Alexandra out of the way of her husband’s deadly curse on her.

The wind died abruptly and Alex crumpled, unconscious, to the ground. Damien, laughing, scrambled up to his feet. Tristan looked at Alexandra who was as white as a sheet. He punched Damien, knocking him down again.

He unsheathed his sword, grabbed it by the hilt, and made to run Damien through with it. Lucilla felt for Alex’s pulse, and she screamed, “Please Tristan, don’t! She’s breathing! She’s alive.”

He breathed hard and sheathed his sword, and then spit in Damien’s face. “You have a choice, Lucilla. Stay with the group or leave with a man who would kill someone trying to make him a better man.”

“Will I be protected?” Lucilla asked.

“You will be afforded the same protection that you have shown my wife.”

“Your wife,” Damien mocked. “Just because you fuck her like an animal, that doesn’t make her your wife.”

Tristan’s hand went to his sword again. Lucilla said, “I’ll stay. And if you don’t hit him for that, I certainly will myself.”

Tristan lost it. He broke Damien’s nose and split his lips, thrashing him soundly and leaving him unconscious. “I will protect you. As will these men. But if the moment comes where it is you or Alexandra, you will be on your own. Can you live with that?”

“You and she have been nothing but kind to me. I know her father to be a sick and twisted old man, hungry for women and power. I may have been favored but it was not an honor I wanted.”

Tristan had originally wanted to stop in the woods and make camp. Now, with Damien’s defection, it would prove more difficult to do that. He would know where they were, and perhaps lead the queen’s army to them. They would have to keep moving. It was getting dark, and Alexandra needed him. He couldn’t put her on the horse again; he would have to carry her. He prayed the spiritual wound Damien had tried to inflict upon her had not affected her. But she was tired; he had to re-invigorate her but he had to wait until they found a stopping place for the night.Tristan knelt down at Alex’s side and touched her swollen belly. The babies were moving. When he lifted her up, she groaned.

“It’s okay. You have nothing to fear. No one will ever dare do this to you ever again.” She groaned again. “Take the horse, Lucilla and stay close to Isaiah. You got that, kiddo?”

“Yes, sir.”

As they started moving again Isaiah asked, “Why do you think Damien acted that way?”

“I don’t know. I don’t care. And if he ever thinks of trying to do it again I’ll finish it.”

Isaiah fell silent and they started to move again. He had survived the loss of one wife. He refused to survive the loss of another one.

* * * *

Were those signs of civilization ahead? It looked like a city skyline. They had been walking for hours. They were tired, covered in sweat and dirt and mud. Tristan had forced them all to march through the woods, stopping only for a brief rest and a drink from the stream. He had no idea where they were. His sense of direction had been ruined after years of being incarcerated in the Gladiators’ prison. The queen liked to call it her bedchamber. He liked to call it hell.

He’d been following road signs, and if the sign was true, they were crossing from Indiana into Louisville, Kentucky.

The memory of his final moments there came rushing back unexpectedly. He felt as if someone had kicked him in the stomach. As his grief became too much to bear, he felt Alexandra’s hand on his heart. Her hand glowed brilliant blue light, and soon her entire body was illuminated. She started to convulse and he had to stop as they were crossing the bridge.

“No, no, it’s okay. You need me Alex, let me help you.” He took her hand and pressed it to his lips and kissed it.

“You need me…” she murmured. “I have to protect you…the world needs you…”

“No, the world needs you. I need you. And I’m trying to get you help now. Hang in there.”

“I have to face Veronica. She has to die. We both have to die.” She started to weep.

The convulsions had stopped, yet she still glowed a brilliant blue. He lifted her up and they started across the bridge.

“Tristan is it true, what she is saying? Do we need to go back?” Isaiah asked.

“If Veronica wants her she’s going to have go through me. And if you aren’t prepared to die for her, if needs must, then you need to leave the group, and I’ll be happy to give you the send-off that I gave Damien. Am I understood?” When no one dissented, he turned around to face the skyline and said, “Good. Let’s go find our shelter for the night. And maybe something to eat. If I recall correctly, this state has really good grub.”

“Eating requires money.”

“All it takes is a little creativity…”

Alexandra cried out and crossed her arms over her stomach. His heart stopped. What had Damien done to her?

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