I knew before I opened the file that arrived from Axa Lee that I would love whatever she’d written. She’s written stories for two of my previous collections: Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors and Conquests. Enjoy this snippet from her story in Rogues, “Opals”. ~ DD
The queen of whores dares the king of thieves to make an impossible climb to win a treasure of opals…
The palace guards slumped at their posts, asleep to a man in the darkness. The watch fires blazed away, unmonitored. The western wall was the highest and darkest of the various points of entry into the castle. Exactly why he had chosen it—as it was not only generally regarded as impossible to climb, but, as a result, the least guarded. After all, who wasted manpower on an impossible wall?
The City Above sat on a plateau, with the backside of the palace wall rising straight up from the sheer sides of the rock. The princess’s tower, the second tallest tower, lay just beyond, an impossible span between the top of the wall and the wall of the tower for anyone who wasn’t the king of thieves. He let himself relax into the climb, his soft-soled shoes pliable from years of use, his fingers nimble, finding cracks in the rock that no average man could have found let alone grip. But grip he did, spidering up the wall with a thief’s grace. Most thieves would have utilized the dark of the moon, but even she had seen the folly in this. Too much darkness might hide one from the guards, but it would also hide hand and footholds from a thief. No—a partial moon, a waning moon with its paler light, provided sufficient moonlight, making him less apt to misjudge and fall to his death, and taking advantage of the laxness of lazy guards, too resigned in their position to expect a thief daring enough to attempt the climb.
He liked being where he was least expected.
After more than a little effort, he reached the window he sought and hauled himself bodily into the princess’s rooms.
She was waiting there, staring into the fireplace, her mouth forming a soft ‘O’ of surprise. Then she smiled.
That cocksure grin that went straight to his groin. The same way it had ever since he’d first seen her as a woman when they were kids and not just another one of his mates running barefoot from the guards through the streets of the City Below.
“You came,” she said, then cocked her head to the side with a roguish smile. “I was beginning to think it was too much of a challenge.”
He threw down his fingerless gloves on the table like a challenge, and began stripping himself from the layers of clothing, meant to fold over themselves easily, so as to match the surroundings in any situation, tossing them all aside without a glance. “Woman, I just climbed thousands of feet up an impossible rock face, past guards armed to the teeth and ready to shove a sword through my gullet. I scaled the castle walls and into the top of the tallest bloody tower in the City Above.” He spread his arms wide. “A little appreciation?”
“Second highest,” she corrected. “And honestly? I think kingship’s made you a little soft.”
“Soft?” He crossed the space between them in three quick strides, one hand seizing her around the waist, the other slipping down the neckline of her gown. Then he pinched the nipple he found there, making her gasp and press herself against him. He nuzzled the soft flesh at the side of her neck. “I’m not the one with expensive soaps and the best perfumes.” He kissed her throat, and she shivered under his mouth.
“Your king is asleep?” he asked.
She exhaled a breathy moan but managed a nod. Her eyelids fluttered. Her cheeks turned a high pink, the color she turned when he roused her the most. Her hair brushed her neck in little ringlets it must have taken her maid hours to create. Her lips were quickly bitten to a rush of pink color, and he longed to feel those lips wrapped around his cock.
“And the princess is away,” she said.
For it was not the princess, but the monarch’s mistress he held in his arms.
He groaned again, his hands moving roughly to her ribcage to squeeze and haul her against him, biting her earlobe as he did so. As she began to gasp, he loosened his hold and pulled back. She was the same striking beauty she’d always been with the same mischievous gleam in her eye, the same mouth any man who saw her pictured bobbing on his cock.
Come quickly, the note said, written in the cipher they’d used as children, when they called themselves the king of thieves and the queen of whores, still ignorant of what their futures held.
He set her back a bit with a groan, guiding her by her upper arms. “I’ll need your money, luv, and that necklace.” He tweaked the shining bauble at her throat. “This is my work on a night such as this.”
She made to jerk away from him. His grip tightened. Her breathing quickened.
“You think me a common strup, content to service a man in a piss-stinking alley?”
“No, my lady,” he said, dragging his lips along the column of her throat, making her shiver. “But at heart, I am a thief. Though not one who has ever left a woman unsatisfied once she’s given up her blunt.”
And with that he swept her from her feet and tumbled her onto the bed. She let out a girlish shriek entirely unbecoming a king’s mistress, but one that completely suited the girl he remembered, the tangle-haired street urchin who swam in the city harbor, dodged the city guard, raced through the streets barefoot, and sunbathed on rooftops. Then came a low-throated, sultry chuckle that left nothing of the girl and spoke of everything she had learned since.
Lying back, propped up on her elbows, she gazed up at him, eyes hooded, mouth smiling, looking happier than he’d ever seen her. He took his time, kissing his way up her long bare legs, making her shiver as his mouth approached her wet, swollen cunt at a glacial pace.
She sighed as he approached her inner thighs, shivering with expectation. She grabbed his hair, attempting to draw him into her more quickly.
Instead he bypassed her sweet spot and moved to look eye-to-eye. He stroked back her hair, searching in her face for… what? What did he expect to find there? What he did find was a soft green-eyed gaze looking back, all playfulness gone, leaving only a genuine tenderness.
“I missed you,” she whispered.
He tried to convince himself he imagined the tenderness as she sat up, tracing her tongue around his ear, before biting lightly on the lobe to draw him down. She took his face between her hands, drawing him farther down to be lost amidst a voluminous gown and sumptuous bedclothes, as though drowning in cotton and silk, that sultry chuckle all around him.
And that easily the tone of their lovemaking changed from violent, almost desperate, to something slower, sultrier, almost tender…