Editor’s Note: This is the fourth chapter of The Lost Prentice, an online serial novel exclusively on the Baltimore Post-Examiner. If you missed the previous chapters, please read them before starting this latest installment. Every week we will be posting a new chapter.
Miles laid in his bed in satisfied shame. He had definitely crossed a line. Gwen was special yet he treated her like a typical booty call. It wasn’t exactly like she pushed him away or asked him to stop. Not that her reaction was the problem or the one at fault. He just couldn’t stop himself…
He pulled the sheets higher up their body, trying to hide her exposed breasts. It was distracting. Just the sight of her had his stomach tightening with desire. He wanted desperately to have her again.
Gwen sighed, curled into him. Then to his surprise, she began kissing his neck with an open mouth and began possessively stroking his body. She was sending fresh signals of arousal all throughout him.
Miles combed his fingers through her tangled hair. “I thought you had fallen asleep.”
Gwen’s lips moved along his jaw. “It’s going to take more than that to tire me out Miles Hunter.”
“Ah. A challenge.” He rolled her onto her back, kissed her smile, and decided to give her a run for her money.
Another couple of hours later, they rested on their sides. Both were glowing and were content with the silence. Miles was tracing patterns along the side of her waist, hips and thighs.
“Is it supposed to feel like that?” asked Miles. He didn’t care if he sounded corny or sappy. Somehow with Gwen, it didn’t matter. As if he could tell her his deepest darkest secret, and she would never judge him. “Is it supposed to be that…intimate?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Are we crazy?”
“I think it’s safe to deduce that I am.”
“You’re not crazy.”
“You’re also biased. You adore me,” Gwen said thoughtfully. Miles understood it to be one of her insightful moments and just smiled. “You’ve only known me for five days now but you adore me. I like that.”
“I’m glad that you do.” Miles leaned in and kissed her tenderly. But now it was his turn to say something random. “Meet my parents.”
He could feel her jerk of surprise. “Excuse me?!” Gwen propped herself up on her elbow, looking horrified.
Miles sat up on the bed, his legs crossed. “We’ll give it a week. But I want you to meet my parents. I need you to.”
“Being intimate is one thing. But don’t you think it’s way too early?”
“You’re different.” He kissed her again on her frowning mouth. Addicted to her taste, he kissed her once more. Than twice. “Relax Ms. Keridwen. All I want to do is show you off. You want to take a shower?”
Gwen grinned. “You read my mind.”
The two of them threw themselves off the bed and then chased each other into the shower, tickling and giggling all the way.
Gwen shimmied up back into her dress, showered and smelling like his soap. He was still naked, with only a towel wrapped around his middle. He was too distracted to pull up his own jeans. When she caught him staring at her, she laughed. “Is there something I can help you with?”
“I have a couple of ideas but you already showered.”
Her smile was quick and impish.
“I was actually wondering if you would spend the night.”
“Why would I do that?” she asked halfway into her dress, having difficulty pulling the tight dress over her body.
“Gwen, it’s three in the morning. I’ll take you back home as early as seven if you want. But I would really enjoy waking up next to you.”
Gwen suddenly stopped pulling and just stared at him. “This is moving very fast. Sex, plans to meet your parents, spending the night,” she said quietly.
Miles felt his stomach lurch. Had he taken a giant leap in their relationship? He was only moving with the pace he thought they were moving at. But she was right. They had only known each other for a little less than a week. “Too fast?”
“No,” she said, still holding her dress at her waist. “I just need to know one thing.”
“I need to know what I am to you. I need to know what you expect from me.”
“You’re my girlfriend,” Miles said easily. “I expect a commitment from you. And if you can’t live with that, then I’ll take whatever scraps of your life you’ll toss my way.”
A small smile had spread across her face. Then very slowly, she began to peel the dress off of her once more. Standing now directly between his legs, Gwen bent down to kiss him once on the mouth. “I’m sure I could handle being your girlfriend.”
Miles grabbed her by her waist and then threw her around onto the bed where he kissed her as passionately as he could. When he pulled back, Gwen was still grinning. And although Miles would have liked nothing more than to ravish her dozens of more times, he pulled up the blankets and held her tightly. She sighed with contentment as she rested her head on his shoulder, and wrapped her own arms around him.
“I liked the dress,” Miles said, peering down at the lacy white fabric on his floor. “Even though it seemed a little vulgar for your typical taste.”
Gwen snorted. “Did you think so? See, I was under the impression it was rather subtle.” She laughed at her own internal joke and then brushed a kiss against his lips. “Goodnight Miles.”
“Goodnight Gwen. Sweet dreams.”
It was only minutes before he was thrust into a dream. The man he knew as Ivor shouted in frustration and threw a snifter of whiskey across the room. The gold alcohol splattered on the black furniture and dripped down the wall. Like the rest of the manor, the study had a gothic victorian feel to it. A black couch, glittered with silver buttons and sat against the wall. Two black armchairs stood before a quiet fire. The antique red carpets kept Ivor’s constant pacing silent. On every other wall, there was a bookcase filled with leather bound books and Ivor was suddenly thankful he had missed them.
The crash of shattering glass left the room quiet, except for the crackling of the fire. Then loudly from down the hall was a scream of agony. An evil grin of satisfaction flashed on his face.
“Subtles aren’t so tough without their amulet,” Ivor said, strolling across the dark lit room. He placed a hand on the back of one of the armchairs. “You sure you know nothing about Rosalba and Gavin?”
There was a loud sigh and a figure stood from the chair. It was a woman who could only be described as statuesque. Her fiery red hair was pinned up in a french twist, glittering with studded pins. She was in a elegant black laced gown which trailed along the floor.
“Just because I’m a Enchantress, doesn’t mean I know where Rosalba and Gavin are. You mistake them for some sort of royalty or leader or something like that. They’re just like everybody else,” Cordelia said turning her back to him. She was biting her bottom lip, her feline green eyes deep in calculation.
“But they are the most powerful.”
“True.” Cordelia turned around and walked towards Ivor till she was standing toe to toe with him. Rubbing her hands against the lapels of his jacket, she tossed him a humorous look. “Are you worried about some silly self righteous Sorcerer dear husband?”
Ivor smiled and possessively grabbed her around her neck. “You should be worried too Cordi. I’m sure the thought of a Enchantress running away with the most powerful of Wizards infuriates them.”
“I’m not worried about it. Just because Gavin is the Commander’s favorite pet doesn’t mean you should worry. Orpheus thinks he is stronger than he is. His domain is Wisdom. Nothing to be worried about.”
“My darling, an idiot with an ounce of authority should be feared more than a genius with authority.”
“You’re just wasting your time Ivor,” Cordelia said, pulling away from him. “I’m still unsure as to why you’re so focused on eliminating every Subtle in the first place.” She walked over to the corner of the room where a gray cradle stood. She pulled out an infant with deep red hair, and held him against her chest. The child’s legs stretched and then fell limp as he returned to sleep.
“For our child,” Ivor said. He stood in front of the fireplace which made it impossible to focus on any details of his person. Only his intimidating silhouette with the edges glowing gold could be seen. “For all like him.”
Cordelia kept her back facing him so he couldn’t see her brow twitch. “He’s half Subtle Ivor. He could chose to become one of them.”
“You’re only half which makes him a quarter Subtle. The majority of him is Vulgar. If all the Subtles are eliminated, he’ll only have one choice to choose from. Which is the superior choice anyway. Well of course you agree. You’ve come to me recognizing power. Come to me being attracted to it.”
She rolled her eyes but then quickly masked her face into a devious one before she spun around. She flashed him a dazzling smile and tossed him a flirtatious glance. “I don’t have any idea what you speak about Husband.”
“Of course not. I must be thinking about the other love of my life,” he said, playing along. “Put Prentice down darling.”
“But I just picked him up.”
“You shall hold him later. Let one of the Sprites handle him. I suddenly feel the need to interrogate a hostage. Please darling? For me?”
Cordelia sighed. “Fine. But only a few minutes. I mean it this time.” She placed the infant back in his cradle and then allowed Ivor to lead her out of the study and into the hall. A woman with copper plated hands and mosquito wings sprouting out of her back walked into study and lifted the child from the cradle.
The couple had been gone for only a handful of minutes when the screams of agony and pain vibrated the walls. The prisoner begged for life and mercy, but the couple cackled loudly until it was drowned out with the screams once more.
Miles woke up from the dream, a sob in his throat and his skin chilled with sweat. He quickly pulled himself from under the sheets and tossed his legs over the bed. He tried to take in deep breaths to ease his heart rate but it was moving too quickly. The dream was still flicking before his eyes. He could still hear the prisoner being tortured as if he was physically in the study. It shook him to his core, terrified him beyond all reason.
This dream was different from the other he was used to. He had never seen the couple outside the dining room. The woman was definitely playing the very clueless man. And although he hadn’t seen it, Miles was positive that the two of them were torturing some poor fellow till death all because he wouldn’t tell them where this Rosalba and Gavin were.
Ivor and Cordelia. Gavin and Rosalba. Orpheus. Who were those people?
A set of fingers brushed against his bare back. He flinched and then remembered Gwen was in the bed with him.
“Are you all right? Did you want to tell me about your nightmare? Would that make you feel better?” asked Gwen.
“Just you being here makes me feel better,” Miles said, turning around.
Gwen looked entirely too worried which irritated him a bit. He was so transparent to her that Miles wasn’t sure he would be able to keep anything from her.
Not that I want to, he decided. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It was just a really terrible dream. This married couple was torturing this person, while their baby slept in the next room,” Miles said, getting back underneath the covers. He was still very cold and he needed the warmth of the blanket and Gwen.
“What triggered that?” asked Gwen surprised.
“Must have been something we said. Don’t worry about it. I’m fine.”
“If you say so,” she muttered. Gwen watched him attempt to ease back into sleep without any success. His eyes were closed but his brows were furrowed and there was a small frown on his face. He was still thinking about the nightmare. And his skin was still too cold.
Gwen hated seeing him unhappy and decided to fully accept her role as a girlfriend. She lifted herself from his side and instead, laid on top of his body. She brought her lips to his and kissed them till his were warm on hers. Then she kept teasing them till Miles finally started moving with her, and started kissing her back.
She felt his body relax and warm up against hers. Her hands rubbed against every inch of his surface till she could feel his body tense up with need for her.
“I’ll make the sad go away,” Gwen vowed, against his lips.
And she kept true to her promise. As tenderly as she could.
to be continued…