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Chapter 9: Cocoa

Dominus hated the fact that the rest of the queen’s caravan found them soon afterward. He creased his nose to convey his dismay even as he looked at the queen who had just finished her dinner.

It was decided that they should wait until morning but the queen insisted that they move soon, her rationale being it is safer to use the darkness of the night to conceal them from their enemies.

Dominus sighs in defeat as he looked ahead at the carriage where the queen is, it’s not the royal carriage any longer as the same had been crushed into pieces when it fell off the cliff.

It was a modest carriage with a bigger window, which is something he is quite thankful for, that he can see her even from a distance during this gruesome travel.

He glanced again at the window and frowned when he noticed that she was shivering, he ordered the carriage to halt which woke the queen.

“Oh, are we there yet?” the queen glanced around excitedly, frowning slightly upon seeing a rather unremarkable part of a lush forest.

“Enemies?” she asked, worried. Dominus wanted to pull her close to him seeing her so bothered over the idea of having to deal with another assassination attempt.


“No to both questions, my queen,” he cleared his throat, trying to come up with words that will make her rest a bit, just enough to warm her up.

“I’m sorry to wake you up like this but the men have been shivering. I think they need to rest by the fire for a little bit,” knowing the queen, she wouldn’t stop the caravan even if she is about to turn ice-cold cold, but she will if it’s her men who are suffering.

“Oh yes, then we should rest for a bit,” the queen nodded and pulled her robes tighter into herself. She smiled a bit at him before she boarded out of her carriage as the men gathered firewood and made camp for the rest of the night.

Dominus sat beside her, their arms touching as they sat together in the dark. He was aware of her need for warmth with every tug she made on her robe.

“My queen, if it’s not something that you will despise, I can lend you my coat,” he volunteered as he removed his coat from himself.

“But then, you will be exposed to the cold,” she hesitated, her icy cold skin craving the warmth of his body that may have been left in that coat but so was her concern for him that prevents her from taking his offer.

“I have a lot of body heat, I’m built for the outdoors if you haven’t noticed,” he assured her, his face filled with worry that the queen might get sick from her exposure to the cold as she tried to refuse him.

She smiled and accepted, “Then, only for a bit. You should tell me when you start to feel cold. You have to promise,” she conceded like a child which made him laugh.

The deep chuckle from his throat made the queen feel warm all over, his usual scowling face was now for a few seconds filled with joy.

The queen smiled at the sight. She does prefer this moment to that when he is being strict for no reason.

At this distance, she is made aware of how beautiful his blonde hair is, almost like it was spun from gold itself as the light coming from the fire emphasized his feature that contrasted with the darkness around them.

Dominus draped his cloak around the queen, her body warming up instantaneously. His scent lingered in his cloak, that masculine scent of cedarwood and spice.

It made her feel lightheaded. Thankful that he excused himself to go somewhere, she sighed a relief as she continued to heat up.

The queen felt blush form across her cheeks just from smelling his scent and having a bit of his body heat through his cloak transferred to her.

Dominus returned and observed that she stopped shivering from the night air. He sat beside her, he made sure to stay close so she won’t feel cold again.

“Oh, you came back,” she acknowledged, her voice quivering a bit, conscious of how close he sat beside her. His strong thighs were pressing close against hers and their bodies were almost touching.

“Yes, my queen. I got you this,” Dominus handed the queen a mug of hot cocoa, he smiled as her small fingers reached for it, brushing softly against his hand.

He wondered how it will feel to have her hands clasped with his. He shook his head when he realized where his thoughts automatically run to just by staying in her presence.

“Thank you,” the queen blushed more as she received the mug. She wondered if he noticed how awkward she felt staying so close to him, and how much his presence started to affect her.

“Don’t thank me for small things like this my queen. I already told you, it is my duty to care for you,” he reminded her.

He couldn’t take his eyes away from her even if he tried. He was simply quite taken by her beauty.

His eyes traveled down her small lips as she drank the hot cocoa from her mug. He envied the cocoa and laughed at his own silly thoughts.

He is behaving like a teenage boy in heat instead of the seasoned warrior that he is. It is not even like he had some shortage of women to bed.

He had bedded more women than he can count, that is why he believed himself immune to the sudden rush of irrational desires that keeps a man out of breath.

She glanced at him as he laughed, the deep baritone voice of her knight made her lips tremble. She felt her heart pound just from hearing it.

She wondered how he can affect her so, his presence is fast becoming too difficult to bear. She wondered what he will think of her if he ever got a clue.

“Sorry, my queen. I wasn’t laughing at you, but at myself. I just thought of something,” he stopped and cleared his throat.

“No, it is fine. A good laugh is better than your recent mood which consists of scowling and being serious all the time,” she smiled, her eyes twinkling as she teases him.

“Is that so? It is only because you have been placing yourself into a lot of trouble, little queen,” he whispered. This time, he felt his voice become an octave lower.

Damn the heavens, all he can think of at that instant is how it would feel for her lips to touch his.

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