Ensnared by Passion

The party set out for the region of Luab, where their allies awaited relief. This place was the pentacle of a violent war that erupted between supernatural and immortal beings. The battle raged on for months. Faulty intel led Vadiim and his soldiers to believe that most of the enemies fled, and only a few insurgents remained. It could not be any further from the truth. The following days brought on a chain of events that would change the course of everyone’s existence.
At first sight upon arrival, the coast appeared to be clear. Vadiim dismounted his horse and had several soldiers scan the area, looking for any survivors of the attack. They heard a cry not far away, in what was an old fort. As they reached the entrance, the enemies ambushed them with a full-on assault. The goblins were armed with weapons that had shards of the same stone as the crystallization sword embedded inside. There were fighters on both sides who were injured, dead, or turned to stone. Through the melee, Vadiim searched for Keinah. 
She entered the fortress nearly unscathed and released the hostages, which were a band of golden honey badgers standing at the height of an average human. As they emerged to join the fight, Keinah could see that Vadiim was in an intense sword duel with at least five opponents. She quickly picked up a cross-bow and nine arrows off the ground. Her clothes were torn from crawling under barbed wire. She tied a piece of her ripped skirt to a few arrows, lit them in a fire pit, and struck three of the enemies down. Vadiim was briefly startled at the sight of his wife having the fortitude to handle a weapon with such mastery before he reentered in his match with the remaining two adversaries.
In no time after he defeated his foes, he led the surviving allies across a long bridge. He viciously fought off any opponent to clear the way. Keinah and a few legionnaires pulled up at the rear. The bridge was made of a thick rope with wooden slabs as the walkway. A wounded goblin cut the rope with a machete. Since Keinah was in the rear near the edge of a cliff, she held on to one side of the line, and a soldier held on to the other. The lingering soldiers pulled them back with all their might. They kept the bridge from collapsing.
Suddenly, treacherous rainstorm wailed against them. The soldier holding the other end helped Keinah to tie the ropes to a tree stump, and then they made their way across the bridge. A bolt of lightning struck the stump, severing the rope once more. Vadiim rushed back across the bridge to collect Keinah, but they all fell as the bridge was destroyed. Vadiim morphed into a cloud to cover Keinah as they plummeted several thousand feet. The troupe crashed hard and descended into a pitch-black cave. Vadiim called out to Keinah and all his soldiers to see if they were alright.
Suddenly a dazzling light appeared, as Keinah stood boldly before them. She had removed the bangles on her wrist to shine a light in the darkness. She led the way for the surviving allies, as Vadiim ordered his soldiers to shift into their protective emerald shields to cover them. He had a recurrence of the chilling moments as he helplessly guided Keinah across the brimstone pathway in Sheol.
After what seemed like several hours, the entourage escaped the cave and found a safe sight to bed down for the night. Vadiim took some soldiers to set up a secure border and surveillance of the surrounding area to ensure that they would not come under attack soon. Many within the group needed rest and medical attention after such a confrontation.
A junior ranking soldier made haste to report the whereabouts of Keinah. “General; the Princess took leave to bathe over by a waterfall next to the camp.”
 Vadiim left his soldiers in charge of security and headed towards a great waterfall. There he could see Keinah bathing in a carefree manner. He dashed behind her and drove her inside a cave that was hidden behind the waterfall. She stood before him, completely naked in shock.
“Vadiim, what in the devil has gotten into you?” She asked in astonishment.
Vadiim tried to conceal his wrath but could not hold his tongue. “Tell me, Keinah, what in the devil has gotten into you? Aside from the point that you disobeyed my orders to return to the castle, you deliberately put yourself in harm’s way by stealing away into the depths of a hazardous zone. Not to mention holding a military-style weapon that you could have easily hurt yourself with. To make matters worse, you unleashed your light in a dark cave, which could have caused calamity on all of us, given the gravity of the situation!”
Keinah was struck to her core at his cutting words. “I was… I was only trying to help.” She said in a somber tone.
“You are a Princess of the Emerald kingdom! You should not even be here! From now on, refrain from any other precipitous behavior, and know your place,” he barked, as she winced.
Keinah turned away from him, but he could see the flash of pain in her eyes caused by his scorn. He exited the cave, only to stand beneath the waterfall and contemplate his actions. “Why do I do this? Why have I dealt with her harshly by treating her as if she is one of my common foot soldiers instead of my wife?” He thought to himself.
After a few minutes, he reentered the cave and slowly went over to Keinah to console her from behind. She flinched at his touch, so he kept his arms by his side. In a gentler voice, he said, “You showed an expert amount of skill and discipline with the cross-bow. Where did you learn?”
Keinah inhaled and exhaled a deep breath before she revealed, “Edytheos taught me. I forced him into it, even though we knew no one would approve.”
“But why?” he asked in confusion.
Tearfully, she confessed, “When I was assailed by the robbers in the alley that night, it cost me my life. I never want to be that pathetic and helpless again. I trained hard every day while you were gone. It made me feel strong and gave me peace enough to sleep at night.”
She looked up at him and said, “Your weapons are not the only behind the bedpost.”
Vadiim was overwhelmed at her profound admission and silently rested his forehead against hers. He cautiously cuffed her face with his hands and attempted to kiss her. She resisted, but he would not turn her loose. Again, he moved in for a kiss, only to be met in surprise as she countered by slapping his face as hard as she could. When he let go, she backed herself against the cave wall in fright. Vadiim paused in shock for a moment, then remorsefully bowed on one knee in front of her. His advancements did not cease as he maneuvered himself close enough to kiss her left knee gently. Leisurely, his lips grazed the inside of her thigh. Eventually, he rested his mouth between her legs. Keinah was paralyzed in pleasure and did not resist.

The Far Side of Hereafter, Ch. 16

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