Devoured Innocence by Michelle Marquis by Michelle Marquis - Read Online



Gypsy Theron is a marked woman living on the edge. Her father, famed General Gavin Theron, is teetering near death. Her mother, Doctor Harlan Theron, has gone missing. And her sister, Missy, is totally vulnerable. Now both Gypsy and her brother, Desmond, are wanted too, because they are Gavin's most dangerous children. But that's not the worst of it, because Gypsy—and what's left of her family—are on the run from the Emperor Megolyth, and he is hell bent on executing them all. How could things get any worse? On AEssyria, there is always a way.
Published: Torrid Books on
ISBN: 9781633558038
List price: $3.99
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Devoured Innocence - Michelle Marquis

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Chapter 1

The echo of Caraculla’s spurs jingled off the sandstone walls as he entered the great hall of Leviathan’s castle. He was flanked by two servants dressed in off-white suits and trembling with eagerness to please. They followed him on white padded shoes in virtual silence. Both knelt before him as he eased into a purple wingchair by the cold, empty fireplace. He stared into the black ash while delicious images of spanking Harlan’s pale, plump ass raced through his head. His dick immediately stiffened at the divine memory.

He should have driven his throbbing cock into her little pink pussy. But instead he showed her mercy and that sickened him. Caraculla couldn’t decide if the mercy was born of fear or friendship. Light the fire.

The servant on the left rose quickly and rushed over to put fresh logs on the grate. Once he’d stacked the wood he scooped a pile of shavings from the bin and poured them out, spreading them beneath. Satisfied with the arrangement he struck a long match he’d removed from a box on the mantle. With a fearful hesitation he lit the kindling. First, tiny sparks then smoke. At last a modest blaze started.

The other servant rose. With a tremored voice he said, Would you like a drink, my lord?

Yes, Caraculla grunted.

The servant brought him his customary Sapphire Vodka. They both asked if he was comfortable and he told them to go. Then he was alone.

Caraculla removed a slim cigar from a box on the table in between the two chairs. He clipped the end and lit it taking a few generous puffs. He blew smoke toward the fireplace. It comingled with the smoke of the blaze. The smell of tobacco reminded him of his onetime friend General Gavin Theron. What times they’d had together, what debauchery. They were legendary at the brothels for the number of women they could fuck in a night. Once, before Gavin married that self-righteous, virtuous bitch Harlan, they’d even had a fuck-off. The madam at Valdia’s charged them a flat fee which entitled them to have one woman, finish, come down and have as many others as they could get it up for. Caraculla had only won because Gavin was so drunk he went out in the alley to throw up and ended up passing out instead. He missed those times. And he missed Gavin.

Helga’s scent preceded her presence. Tonight she smelled of a floral skin cream and honeyed shampoo. Under all that was another scent, something more inviting and primal, like rose petals and freshly dug earth. That fucking royal bitch was ovulating.

Ah, there you are, she said sweeping into the room. She was the image of elegance—tall, slim, large breasted, with an air of cool boredom. I was wondering when you were going to drag your stoned carcass home. Where were you?

A wave of black rage caused him to tense. Thick muscles bunched in his shoulders. I was out fucking women who excite me. Helga sashayed up to the fireplace and leaned against the mantel. She wore a long, sheer light pink dress accentuated by silver embroidery around the plunging neckline and cuffs. She still dresses like a child. Her dark hair was braided into an up do that flattered her elegant neck. There was no doubting she was a stunning woman. Too bad Caraculla loathed her so deeply.

She cocked one hip out and folded her arms across her amble bosom, ignoring his caustic response. Don’t tell me, let me guess. You were secretly meeting with Gypsy so you could beg her to take your whiney, pathetic ass back? Her lips dipped into a sarcastic frown. But she said no, so you dragged your sorry ass back here to sulk. She followed with a mocking, childlike pout.

He pierced her with a nasty glare. You must be exhausted from fucking the military personnel all day. Why don’t you go to bed?

Better to fuck a common soldier than a hopeless pussy-boy faux general who can’t even run his own army.

Caraculla downed his drink and rose from his chair. Is that so? What army are you referring to exactly? That band of drunken, miscreants your father mustered together and threw a bunch of uniforms on? Is that the army you’re talking about? They can barely wield their weapons.

Helga unfolded her arms and took a few aggressive steps forward. Well if you don’t like it, do something about it; you’re the goddam general! Her gaze swept over him and she lifted her lip in a sneer. Gods, how could my father have been so wrong about you? Where is this celebrated military man I’ve been hearing about for years? I’ll tell you where he’s not! He’s not in this damned kingdom, that’s for sure. All I’ve seen you do since you got here is get high, fuck the maids, and cry like a little girl over your lost lover, Gavin!

You forgot the part where I fuck you too. That particular insult doesn’t work anymore. Keep pissing me off and I’ll fuck your younger sister instead! Maybe she’ll be more malleable. Caraculla’s eyes narrowed in malevolence as he grabbed one of her hands. She was too quick for him to grab both.

Helga moved closer and slapped him across the face. You will not touch her, pig. Just get out of here and do your fucking job!

The slap didn’t hurt Caraculla but it set his blood on fire. Her aggression coupled with the scent of her arousal was twisting his mind into a tight knot. His cock, already erect when he got here, had become agony in his pants. It throbbed and pulsed, polluting his mind with vicious fantasies of savage, violent sex. Helga jerked her hand free to strike him again but he recaptured her wrist, bending it backwards.

Like a raptor restrained, a half-hiss, half-scream emerged from her throat. She brought her knee up to drive into his balls but only struck his codpiece. The attempt enraged him even more. Caraculla threw her across the room and she landed hard, hitting the carpet with a loud thump. She was up again a moment later, coming at him with her nails.

Caraculla unsheathed his sword and tossed it into a corner. He didn’t want to be tempted to hack her to pieces. Then Helga was launching at him like a mental patient, clawing, screeching and biting. They went to the floor and she was punching him with more strength than he thought her capable. After several chaotic minutes of being assaulted Caraculla finally had enough. She was dragging all kinds of homicidal thoughts out of him and he needed to stop her before he lost control and killed her. So Caraculla did the only thing he hadn’t tried yet; he punched her in the face. He only hit her once, but that was all it took.

Helga whimpered and covered her nose and mouth with her hands. Blood ran from her face as her long, mournful wail filled the room. Caraculla wanted to stop there but something had snapped inside him. Like a spectator, he watched himself snatch a handful of her hair tight, grope under her dress, and tear her panties off.

Who am I now? What am I becoming? Have I always been like this?

Helga struggled, but he knew it was all for show. If she was serious, she was capable of quite a battle. Caraculla already knew that from experience. He slid his fingers into the slick, soft flesh of her pussy and they came away coated in her sweetness. He licked her essence from his fingers. Bliss coated his tongue and blanked his mind to any thoughts other than the desire to mate. Caraculla hiked up her dress and used his thighs to open her wide.

He leaned down to kiss her but she turned her face away. Her blood smeared onto his cheek. I hate you more than I’ve ever hated anyone in my life, she said. Her words were slightly distorted by her swelling lip.

Darling, the feeling is mutual. But we need each other and you know it. He grabbed her jaw and forced her to look at him. Kiss me or I’ll break every bone in your face.

Instead she spat on him.

Caraculla stabbed his cock into her drenched channel. He slid in easily and pushed himself all the way home with no resistance. For a second, he paused, consumed by her liquid heat but then she wriggled beneath him and he had to move. Her tight muscles gripped his cock with every pounding thrust. She wrapped her legs around him and grabbed his buttocks with both hands; kneading, massaging, pushing. The position allowed him to penetrate her even deeper. His first climax was a tidal wave of pleasure that began in his balls, ran down the shaft, and exploded inside her. She cried out and ran her fingernails down his back, bucking up to meet him, desperate for her own release.

And that was when Caraculla pulled out.

Helga gasped from the shock and loss. She clawed his arm trying to stop him from getting up but it only made him laugh. He wrapped his hand around the thick shaft and glared down at her. A desperate agony built in his cock and demanded release. Caraculla stroked his rod harder and faster reveling in the hatred reflected in Helga’s eyes. Her loathing was an aphrodisiac; a witch’s brew that made him both love and hate her in equal measure. What sickness was this that they engaged in? And by the Gods, why did it turn him on so much? Release came in a frantic rush as he ejaculated lust all over Helga’s quivering belly.

Thanks for the ride, cunt, he said, shaking off his spent cock and stuffing it back into his pants. He stalked toward the door.

Helga collected herself like a building storm. Her movements were quick, angry, and efficient. She sat up, threw the hem of her dress over her exposed legs and screamed, You’re a hideous malformed freak and I hate you!

Caraculla chuckled darkly. Yeah, I get that.

Chapter 2

Desmond had offered to take the first watch but he looked exhausted, and Gypsy still needed a little more alone time, so she demanded it. She knew he was too weary to argue. It would be the first time he’d slept since before Scarlet’s surgery and more than anyone else, he desperately needed it.

What a relief it was that Scarlet was so much better. Gypsy was really afraid they would be planting her corpse by now. The thought of Scarlet’s loss was very sad but not as devastating as the knowledge that her brother, damaged as he was, might not survive the loss. She really didn’t know what he would do if Scarlet died but it still scared her, especially after her own ordeal with Kharon and his contracting Serillian Fever.

Desmond had lived a solitary life until he met Scarlet. I don’t know if you’d consider the company of prostitutes solitary, but there was sure as hell nothing meaningful in those relationships. When Gypsy first met him, her brother was adamant that he had no bastards and wasn’t suited for lasting relationships. There was no denying he had a good heart though. He had even rescued her best friend Angel from an abusive marriage and didn’t even know her at the time. Angel was a clever, sweet woman who was deeply indebted to her brother, Desmond, and was willing to do anything for him. But it wasn’t meant to be. She was still of noble blood, even if leaving her first marriage caused a fall from grace with her family. Even Gypsy knew Angel was far too high maintenance for Desmond’s taste. Lucky for him he had managed to play matchmaker and set Angel up with Gypsy’s academy friend and nobleman, Makkai. Once Desmond was rid of Angel, he swore his only meaningful relationship from then on would occur in the hours after he had paid the madam for them.

It almost made her laugh out loud when she remembered how all that changed when he met the new doctor her mother had hired. Scarlet was brazen, willful and a complete pain in the ass. But she was also compassionate, smart, funny, and didn’t take any shit from anyone, which was why Gypsy guessed her brother was so attracted to her. Well, it probably didn’t hurt that she was incredibly beautiful with large breasts, milky skin and long, flame-red hair.

The worry of Desmond taking his own life or disappearing all together filled her with such anguish she questioned her own emotional soundness. Keeping those dark thoughts from her mind was the only thing keeping the tears at bay. All that mattered right now was that Scarlet was doing well, thanks to Dragon’s previously hidden talents.

It was time to think about other things. Like the omnipresent feelings that are telling me I am close to being assaulted by this damn Primal Fever. Why now? I don’t think it could’ve picked a worse time. Maybe with Kharon nearby it’ll give me a few days to adjust before I’m panting after him to mate.

Watching the moons, Gypsy guessed it was close to midnight. Bethara’s probably giving my uncle Dragon his shot right about now. Lucky her. The unfortunate young woman had a lot more strength and tenacity than Gypsy had first given her credit. She was such a stunning beauty that her well-spoken intelligence had shocked Gypsy the first time they met. Not only had the poor thing been a captive in Megolyth’s harem for two years, but when she was finally free, she had no means of supporting herself. Since Megolyth had been less than happy about giving her up, no male would touch her for fear of arousing the emperor’s wrath. Cowards. After finally landing the receptionist job at her mom’s medical clinic, the young woman was suddenly charged with caring for Gavin’s lunatic brother, Dragon Theron. Bethara had endurance; there was no denying it. Maybe Gypsy’s mother had given her the task because she had seen something in the woman most had missed. Krull hired Bethara because she was a convenient way to keep Harlan, heavily pregnant at the time with Missy, from working herself to death. But Gypsy knew Harlan would have never entrusted Dragon’s care to just anyone.

As a child, her mother had told her how Dragon was one of her greatest sorrows. The cure for his madness was attainable, but the price was too high. At the time, Harlan had been forced to make a choice between Dragon’s health and her then lover, Gavin. Harlan had chosen Gavin. Now everything seemed to have come full circle and Dragon was back, much to her father’s displeasure. At least her mother was not caring for him directly. Gavin was tolerant of her mother’s willfulness, but that would have been too much. Harlan had been smart in passing off the burden of caring for Dragon to Bethara, even if it was out of necessity.

Gypsy sat on a fallen tree near the hyperia stalls listening for any unwanted visitors. Even though they had crossed the border, bounty hunters, predators and robbers rarely cared where they ambushed their victims.

Hearing heavy footsteps, she started to stand until she saw Kharon emerge from the doorway. Gypsy smiled and sat back down when she saw he had Missy by the hand. They came down the path and he paused by where she was sitting. Tucked in her sister’s tunic was her stuffed dragon toy. She hadn’t realized her brother had even found it.

She refuses to sleep until I show her the monster is gone, he said.

Monster is right. I can’t think of a better way to describe Titan.

Watching her husband lead the little girl on a quick inspection of the perimeter filled her with an undercurrent of sadness. Although she had pushed it into the far recesses of her mind, Krull had told her there was a real possibility she might never have children. Hybrid genetics were a roll of the dice. At this point in her life and career it wasn’t an issue. But the longer she stayed with Kharon the more she thought about their future. Kharon was a warm, loving husband and had many adult children, but what if he was set on having children with her? What would happen if centuries passed and she wouldn’t or couldn’t give him any? Oh he’d said he didn’t care, but would he really mean it or would he just hold out hope that she’d change her mind? And what about her? Often enough she’d spouted that she didn’t want any babies, but was she even being true to herself?

Despite diligent efforts to the contrary, her emotions became a jumbled mess in her head. Suddenly she was overcome with the urge to cry. It was true. She had never told anyone, but she did want children with Kharon someday. Every time they made love, her body craved a fulfillment for which her mind wasn’t ready. Even if it only lasted a few hours afterward, she hated that empty feeling. It was a leftover sense that things were unfinished between them. It was a pain that had no injury to justify its ache. Often, after the Fever had peaked and was fading, she felt lost for days. Avoiding her husband for those few days after would become her primary mission. She was never sure if he noticed but then again he wouldn’t bring it up even if he did. It was the hormones. It had to be, but then again…

Despite having come so far and accomplished so much, sometimes her memories returned to the rape. Although she was emotionally past the trauma, there was another element she had never told anyone about. The rape happened after her father and Caraculla concocted a plan to end her career by getting her pregnant. It was her father Gavin, with all of his meddling treachery that convinced her lover Caranculla to help him under the guise of saving her from herself. While in her mother’s clinic for an appointment, Gavin had managed to steal a potent ovulation drug that almost guaranteed she’d get pregnant by Caraculla. Caraculla had followed through on injecting her but never completed the act. Instead he confessed. Furious, Gypsy had stormed out of their home and gone to see her mother. Harlan assured her all would be fine. She re-administered the five year contraceptive injection to Gypsy but warned her not to have sex for at least forty-eight hours to allow the drug to take effect.

Gypsy was still enraged and didn’t want to return home so she made a fateful decision to go to the arena and train. That was when her nemesis, a senior class warrior named Drake Trolis invited her to spar with him. Her cheeks and scalp burned with the horrific memory. I was so stupid then. I’m not so sure I am that much smarter now. And so, for reasons she still didn’t understand, she agreed. It was a predicable disaster. That night at the deserted training arena the spar ended with Drake viciously beating and raping her. To this day she was still amazed he hadn’t killed her. It was that assault that ended up extinguishing his life less than a year later. The only thing Gypsy cared about at the time was that she hadn’t gotten pregnant.