✧A cunning and ruthless victor✧
A melody of nature resonated through the air as the trees rustled and swayed to the rhythm of the wind.
Odette’s eyes fluttered up and her chest jumped up and down quickly as she emerged from the depths of her dreadful nightmares. She wasn’t aware of her surroundings or where she was till the sleepiness subsided for a short while.
Her lips parted with a gentle exhale, a quiet admission of her unintended slumber. She shifted her gaze towards the bed on the opposite end of the darkened room. She found Bastian lying, still and serene, in the same supine posture as before.
Odette released the tension that had held her captive, rising from her chair with a hushed step. With a soft touch, she drew the curtains closed, cutting off the intrusive moonlight. She swiveled on her heel, her eyes drawn to the clock that loomed on the wall opposite. The hands seemed to have crawled across the face of time at a glacial pace, and despite the seemingly endless wait, it was still the dead of night. A few more moments of patience were required before the world awoke from its slumber.
Odette’s eyes remained fixated on the deserted expanse of the left side of the bed, her heart thrumming with unease. Though it had been allotted to her by Bastian, the thought of invading his space was daunting, leaving it a hollow shell of what it could be.
Bastian’s composure remained unchanged as he finished his nightly routine, slipping into bed without sparing even a single glance in her direction. She felt like a prisoner, trapped and isolated within the confines of their shared space. As though he had erased her very existence, leaving behind only a ghostly apparition of a fake so called wife.
Bastian, unpredictably, refused to acknowledge it as a trouble.
Determined to banish her doubts, Odette steeled herself and approached the bed. The dawn was luxuriously chilly, even amidst the sweltering heat of summer in the mountainous region.
She chided herself for lingering in fear, especially when she had the luxury of a safe haven to rest in. It was pointless to fret and stew over the mistake that had already been made. Perhaps she should take a page out of Bastian’s book and be bold in her actions.
Odette worked up the confidence to sit on the side of the bed, determined to forget everything at this moment. Thankfully, Bastian did not awaken.
Even while sleeping, he was charming.
His forehead was covered in golden thread-like hair, and his eyelashes were long and straight. He had an old scar below his collarbone.
Her scrutinizing gaze locked onto his hand, lingering on the glittering platinum ring that rested upon his chest. It was the emblem of their fraudulent marriage, a stark reminder of the deceit that they had woven.
Overwhelmed with a sudden wave of shame, Odette recoiled and fled from the bed as if running from a nightmare. Her hands, adorned with the same ring as Bastian’s, felt foreign and heavy as she buried them behind her back.
It was akin to the feeling she had experienced years ago, on a bright spring day when she had first set out to peddle her wares of delicate lace. The memories flooded back with unwelcome clarity, threatening to swallow her whole.
Bastian stirred just as the first rays of dawn crept over the horizon, heralding the start of a new day.
Regardless of when he had turned in for the night, he awoke with the same unwavering consistency each morning. It was a routine that had been honed and refined over the years.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Bastian rose from his slumber as the grogginess dissipated, his eyes scanning the empty expanse of the bed beside him.
The realization struck him like a bolt of lightning:
Odette was not there.
Bastian delicately shut his eyes and then swiftly opened them, hastily rising from the bed. The seat where Odette had perched just the night before remained unoccupied. The seething fury that had previously consumed him at the mere notion of the woman who had fled from this very room dissipated into nothingness.
As he made his way towards the wardrobe to change, he discovered his wife reclined on a lengthy sofa, her face directed towards the fireplace. Odette lay there, enveloped in unfamiliar furniture covers, slumbering in a tightly coiled position.
Bastian gazed upon the pathetic sight, feeling a sense of confusion wash over him. Against the coldness of the room, he realized that she had not sought comfort beside the man she held in contempt.
The sheer audacity of her pride evoked a laughter from him.
A name that Bastian had known all too well for far too long. He swallowed the bitter taste of it on the tip of his tongue, approaching her reclined figure on the sofa with cautious steps. He knew it was best to rouse her and send her off to bed, but he couldn’t help but doubt whether Odette would comply without resistance.
With a heavy heart, Bastian let out a low sigh and gradually leaned in closer to his slumbering wife. Just as he began to lift the covers off of her, Odette’s eyes flickered open, startling him from his thoughts.
“Stay put, don’t move,” Bastian spoke in a composed tone as he lifted her frigid form.
For a moment, Odette gazed at Bastian with hazy eyes before launching into an intense struggle. Though she refrained from screaming, she pushed and writhed with all her might, as if Bastian had committed an unspeakable offense against her. Fortunately, she didn’t lack the sense to raise a ruckus.
“Calm down.” Bastian spoke in a stern tone, but his wife paid no heed.
Growing increasingly irritated by her stubbornness and unyielding nature, Bastian clambered over the body of the woman he had just released. With a steely resolve, he grasped her arms and forcefully pinned them down onto the sofa, finally bringing an end to her senseless resistance.
Despite trembling with fear, Odette’s frigid stare never wavered as she locked eyes with him.
“I don’t want you here! Get off!” she gasped, struggling for breath and issuing a scathing command.
Bastian gradually lowered his head, meeting the unwavering gaze of the formidable woman beneath him. It was a sight to behold as her cheeks burned crimson, her hair tousled and her bosom heaving with ragged breaths.
“What’s so amusing?” Bastian chuckled as he restrained Odette, who was writhing with all her might.
Overwhelmed by the sheer might and his power, Odette was struck silent, her lips pursed tightly shut. As his body pressed against hers, it sent shivers down her spine, and his piercing gaze made her feel utterly exposed, as though she were standing naked before him.
“Enlighten me. What was it that I intended to do?”
Bastian inquired. Despite attempting to lift her legs in lieu of her bound arms, Odette was swiftly overpowered by him. As she wriggled beneath him, she was taken aback by the unfamiliar sensations coursing through her tightly pressed lower body, causing her to shake her head frantically in denial.
“I won’t do anything, anything that isn’t agreed to in the contract!” Odette exclaimed vehemently.
“You’re mistaken, Odette. Despite your reluctance, I am your husband, and that is the essence of our contract,”
“It was you who presented the contract on the premise that our marriage was nothing more than a sham!” Odette’s voice rose in pitch with each passing word. Despite the hushed silence that pervaded the entire third floor, it was only a matter of time before the guests would awaken.
Bastian placed one hand on the sofa’s armrests and gently squeezed Odette’s hands together. As he gripped her chin with his other hand, a loud moan escaped her mouth.
“Please keep your word.”
With an expression that betrayed her desperation, Odette pleaded with Bastian to honor his commitment. But Bastian’s features remained stern and his lips formed a cruel smile. The marriage had to proceed as agreed, that much was clear to him. He had no intention of deviating from their contract. Once his dealings with the emperor were concluded, he would discard her like a used tissue and move on to bigger and better things.
Bastian let out a deep, intense breath as he gripped Odette’s chin firmly.
Since the day they met, he knew that she was meant to be his, despite the reasons that led to their marriage. Therefore, until the end of their agreement, he had every right to claim what was rightfully his.
In his eyes, she was nothing more than a tool, a pawn in his grand scheme. He had given her everything she had, and she owed him everything. If he decided to be cruel and show her no mercy, he had every right to do so. He knew that the concept of favor was fickle and superficial, and he had no intention of being swayed by it.
“If you don’t move straight away, I’ll scream.”
As the sound of footsteps echoed in the hallway, Odette felt a wave of panic wash over her. Desperate for a way out, she resorted to making empty threats, hoping to intimidate Bastian into moving. However, little did she know that Bastian was one step ahead of her, fully aware of her intentions.
“Give it a try.”
Bastian responded to Odette’s challenge with an arrogant laugh, completely unfazed.
As she glared at him with contempt, their distance dwindled to nothing. Before she could even react, she felt his hot breath on her lips and his tongue pushing into her mouth, overwhelming her with a sudden, unexpected desire.
Odette fought valiantly, having lost even the little bits of dignity she had been barely preserving.
Damn the deal, she thought to herself.
She might have screamed for assistance. Whatever she desired. She ought to have. But Odette couldn’t even breathe properly, let alone scream.
Bastian sucked Odette’s lips and twisted his tongue as though trying to take everything away while enclosing her beneath his big, muscular body.
The kiss was just like a predator stalking its prey. Intense and passionate.
Despite being in a state of distress, Odette summoned all her strength and twisted her body as Bastian was momentarily distracted.
With her hands finally freed from bondage, she fiercely pushed him away, landing punches and scratching him. However, even after the fierce confrontation, Bastian remained unmoved.
Just as Odette was on the verge of despair and feeling helpless, Bastian’s lips suddenly parted from hers. Seizing the moment, she let out a cry of indignation and injustice before delivering a swift slap across his face,
The resounding sound echoing through the room.
Odette glared up at him with fury, her hands trembling from the adrenaline. Against the stinging sensation on her lips, she refused to back down.
Bastian couldn’t help but feel foolish for underestimating her. He leaned back, running his fingers through his hair as he contemplated his mistake. It was clear that he had underestimated the strength and tenacity of his so-called “wife.”
Bastian chuckled, finding the defeated yet determined look on Odette’s face amusing. It was refreshing to see her finally embracing the art of strategy, like a true Klauswitz.
Despite the unsuccessful attempt to strike him again, Bastian found her tenacity intriguing. It certainly made his job more captivating.
Catching the wrist he had grasped at once, Bastian devoured Odette’s lips again with even more fury. Much resistance followed, but Bastian eventually lost patience with it.
Bastian grabbed hold of Odette’s breasts without hesitation, shoving his hand inside her pyjamas, which had already rolled up to her waist. His tongue crushed and absorbed Odette’s screams and moans.
Odette’s body trembled as she tried to suppress her cries. Everything was a blur, and she couldn’t comprehend what was happening. But amidst the confusion, one thing was crystal clear – Bastian’s desire for her. It radiated off him like a palpable force, overpowering and all-consuming.
Bastian’s hand suddenly crept inside her underpants just as it got too painful to bear. She wasn’t aware of what was happening until he began lewdly stroking her inner thighs.
Odette was caught off guard, unsure of what to do next, and closed her eyes in shock. She reprimanded herself, trying not to cry, and begged for divine guidance, pleading for clarity of thought. However, the sound of Bastian’s lecherous actions continued to increase in volume, making it almost impossible for her to concentrate.
As Bastian’s lips met hers once more, Odette summoned her courage and dared to open her eyes. She was met with the cool, collected gaze of Bastian’s piercing blue eyes.
As the commotion outside the room grew louder, Odette clung onto Bastian’s face, tears streaming down her cheeks as she whispered his name. Their gaze locked onto each other, but the noise from the corridor continued to seep into the room, threatening to disrupt their moment.
“Help me out.”
Odette’s voice shook with desperation as she spoke. Despite the fact that he was the one causing her distress, he was still the only one she could turn to for help.
“Bastian, please… help me.”
She squeezed her eyes shut, struggling to keep her composure amidst the chaos that surrounded them.
The noise from outside the door threatened to overwhelm her, but she clung to the hope that Bastian would hear her plea and come to her aid.
A boisterous, hearty laugh pierced through the tense silence, sending shivers down her spine. The sound of heavy footsteps followed, indicating the arrival of a large and powerful man.
Bastian’s response was a mirthful chuckle laced with profanity as he rose to his feet. The room was suddenly illuminated by a stream of sunlight, casting an unflattering light on Odette’s disheveled and quivering form.
Bastian carelessly threw the furniture covers onto the ground beside Odette, who was still shaking from the recent encounter. He could still smell her arousal on his fingers as he wiped his moist lips, feeling a mixture of satisfaction and disgust.
He pulled down Odette’s gown, which had been pushed up to her waist, and rose from the couch, not bothering to glance at her. As he left, he couldn’t help but think about his wife, who had proven to be a cunning and ruthless victor.