Zoya & Matvei

Chapter One

Matvei watched as Zoya walked through the castle, helping the maids dust and sweep. She was always helping where she was not needed, hoping to lighten the load of any other servant in the castle. He felt jealous when she would smile at another human, but never at him. He had been as kind as he knew how, never hit her or yelled at her, but she never smiled at him. In fact she always seemed nervous in his presence or guarded as if she was waiting for him to do something. He turned away, knowing his father wanted to see him and if he was late he would be punished.

Zoya looked up once Matvei’s back was turned. She had felt his eyes on her, his burning yellow gaze that constantly studied her. She wished she could really talk to him, but was afraid of what he would do or worse what his father Malachi would do. He was not a nice man, the evidence clear in the scars that covered her love’s skin. She hated she had to keep how she truly felt hidden away, but tried to tell herself just being in his company at night was good enough. Even if they never talked, never said goodnight. He had protected her from the other male demons who looked at her with nothing but perverse lust. Knowing she was a virgin only seemed to entice them more and she did whatever she could to avoid them. She had not even thanked Matvei for that and regretted it every day.

Matvei knocked on his father’s study door and pushed it open when he heard Malachi tell him to enter. “You called for me sir?”

“Yes, sit down.” He sat in one of the chairs across from his father and kept his eyes off of the older man’s face. He was taught to never make eye contact or it would be seen as a challenge so he focused on the wall just above his father’s head. “There is something important I must talk to you about. It is about time that you chose a bride and married. I have found the perfect candidates, young, beautiful, submissive. I want you to choose one of them by the end of next week.”

He wanted to protest. He didn’t want a submissive demon bride, he wanted Zoya. “Yes sir.” Came out instead and he was immediately dismissed. He had to find a way around this, to have Zoya and only Zoya, even if it meant fleeing this place. He knew if he did Malachi would find him and bring him back and probably give Zoya to the males who wanted her so much. It was frustrating not knowing how to stand up to the man who had beat and tortured him until he learned his place.] Zoya felt Matveis eyes on her again. She thought sadly to herself about how mean it was of her to not atleast say thank you. All these nights he could have raped her, could have beaten her for any reason but he didn’t. All he ever did was protect and watch her. She decided that she woudl spend the rest fo the day working up the courage to atleast tell him thank you tonight. He deserved atleast those two words for not hurting her and for keeping her safe from the other males who would. She tried to work on he rbravery by looking over at him but she couldn’t manage it. Her heart just ended up thundering in her chest.

Matvei stayed close, watching over as she finished helping a maid change out the flowers in the castle. She told the woman goodnight then followed him obediently to his room. Just as they were almost to his room a male demon named Allu stopped him. “I hear you are to pick a wife soon. Does that mean you won’t need this one anymore?” Allu reached for her and Matvei grabbed his wrist.

“You will not touch my property without permission. Do I make myself clear?” Matvei said cooly, his eyes flat and his face expressionless.

“Yes your highness.” Allu replied sarcastically as he jerked his hand away. He winked at Zoya as he walked away, as if promising he would have her soon.

“Come Zoya.” She followed him down the hall and into his room where he promptly locked the door like he did every night. She quickly grabbed a night gown and went into his bathroom, stripping out of her clothes and taking a quick shower. She got out and dried just as fast then pulled her gown on and went back into the room, her arms crossed over her chest. She hated how sheer the gowns were the servant girls were given, it was embarrassing. She glanced at Matvei, but his eyes were elsewhere, seemingly not noticing.

She took a deep breath and crossed over to him. “Excuse me, sir.” Matvei blinked in confusion as if he wasn’t sure if she had actually spoken to him.

“Yes, Zoya.”

“I just wanted to say thank you for letting me stay in here and for never hurting me.” When he didn’t say anything she turned to go to her bed and he grabbed her arm. She grew nervous, hoping she wasn’t about to be harmed.

“I never want to see harm come to you Zoya, never. Please stay safe, stay close to me. I’m not ordering, I’m pleading.”

“Yes sir.”

“Please call me by my name when we are alone.”

“Yes si…Matvei.” He released her and she hurried over to her bed, climbing in bed and turning her back to the demon prince. She pulled the covers up to her chin and waited patiently for him to get in bed and fall asleep. Tonight she wanted to see the stars.

Matvei could tell she was waiting for him to rest so she could go out. He wanted to let her know he knew and that he followed her to hear that amazing voice and get a chance to look at her beauty longer but he laid down anyway. He worried she may quit doing it if he told her and she only just started speaking to him. Matvei didn’t want to do anything that might make her clam up on him again. He laid down happily. Zoya finally speaking to him meant more than she could ever know. It only made his fathers announcement earlier hurt more though. She was finally talking and he knew once his father forced him to pick a bride he might try to rip Zoya from him. His heart beat out a fearful rhythm at the thought. If his father tried he would need to stand up to him. There wasn’t any way he could allow the other demons to have her. They would rape and torture her without pause, just passing her between them.

They were thoughts he had to push out. He made a resolve to not let his father take her. He had to think of somthing to do so that he could only be with her forever. There was no guarantee she could love him back but she was speaking to him and that was a start. Matvei knew he ran the risk of her running away from him if he escaped with her but he would rather have her happy with her family than tortured in this castle. Matvei just didn’t know how he was going to do this. He only had until the end of next week to save his love.

Zoya got slowly out of bed when she was sure Matvei was asleep. She wrapped a blanket around her and moved silently to the door, turning the lock and pulling the door open. She stuck her head out and made sure there was no one in the hall before slipping out and closing the door behind her. She walked quickly down the hall, staying alert the whole time. When she made it to the courtyard she sat under her favorite cherry blossom tree, enjoying the sweet scent the petals released and watching the bright stars twinkling above her. She wondered if her sister was seeing the same stars as she started to sing one of the lullabies Henrietta taught her.

Matvei climbed slowly up the tree she sat under and found a spot on one of the branches. He leaned against the trunk of the tree and allowed himself to get lost in her mesmerizing voice. He had never heard a sound like it before, not even his own mother had sang to him. She was his father’s idea of a perfect mate, submissive, only producing a child because his father required one, not caring if Malachi cheated on her with other women. It was all so pathetic and sickening. The sound of approaching voices caught his attention and Zoya immediately stopped singing.

She panicked, not thinking anyone would still be up. She had known her luck would run out some time and she had no way to escape without being seen. She heard the faintest noise of someone behind her and was suddenly pulled back against someone. A hand went over her mouth and whoever had her jumped up into the tree. The voice got louder and she froze, not daring to fight for fear of being hurt. The two demons came into view, but she was to scared to hear what they were talking about. When they passed she still did not relax. The hand dropped from her mouth and she swallowed nervously.

“Please don’t hurt me, I’ll go back to my room.” She whispered.

“You should be more aware of your surroundings Zoya.” Her heart skipped a beat at the familiar voice.

“I’m sorry I disobeyed you. Please forgive me.”

He grabbed her chin and made her look at him. “Never beg me for anything, you are not a dog. Next time you decided to do this, tell me and I will sit with you. If the other males find you alone they will rape you and make your first time as painful as possible. I don’t want that for you.”

“You won’t make me stop coming out here?”

“No, this seems to be the only time you are at peace and I really enjoy your singing. I just want you safe.”

Zoya looked up at him in shock. He obviously knew she had been coming out here and had been coming too but he never said anything, punished her or made any attempts to stop her. He was pretending to sleep so she could do somthing that made her happy. Matevi jumped out of the tree still holding her then carried Zoya back to his room. He set Zoya on her feet then she spoke nervously “How long have you known I’ve been doing that?”

“since you started. I’m a demon Zoya, I can tell if you’re sleeping or not. You just act so frightened of me I didn’t think you’d want me to come too so I let you think you were going alone.”

“You can really follow me that silently?”

“Yes, I can be soundless and evade human senses” Zoya swalowed “With your father how he is I’ve been afraid if I quit being silent you’d hurt me”

“I’d never hurt you Zoya. I want you safe and happy. I..well..I’ve grown very attached to you over the years. I love your singing, your smile. I wish you’d ever smile at me…. that’s not an order but I want you to be comfortable with me. I want to be your friend Zoya” Zoya felt foolish for making assumptions like that about him when he hadn’t laid a menacing hand on her in three years. “so we’ll start going out at night together?”

“Yes, as many nights as you want, just let me know and we can sit together.” A brief smile crossed her face, but it was enough to make his heart race. He wanted to kiss her, feel her soft lips and warm skin pressed against him. He tenderly some of her hair behind her ear and allowed his fingers to trace her jawline before dropping his hand. “You should get some rest Zoya, tomorrow I want you buy my side when I have to meet those women.

“You don’t sound happy about having to see them.”

“I’m not happy, I don’t want any of them. I have no need for them.”

“Everyone needs someone.”

“If I marry then my father may take you from me. I won’t allow that Zoya, I won’t allow you to become a victim.”

“Do you really care about me that much?”

“Yes, far to much to let men like Allu touch you.” He hugged her to him, happy when she responded with one of her own. “I’ll never let them have you, never. I will not marry, even if my father tortures me.”

She felt tears prick her eyes and pushed her face into his shirt so he would not see. She didn’t want him to be hurt over her, but his words touched her heart and made her want to profess her love for him. “Thank you for caring so much.”

“I can do nothing else.” He pulled back and she smiled up at him, wanting to give him the one thing he had wanted most. “There we go, you have such a beautiful smile. Now I see why the other servants love you so much. You look so kind and approachable, while I look monsterous and frightening.”

“That’s not true, you have a very handsome face and your eyes are always warm unless you are dealing with other demons.”

He chuckled. “So you like my face, scars and all?”

“Of course I do.”

“You are a true treasure and I am lucky to have been given the oppurtunity to know you.” He hugged her one more time. “Alright, now get some rest.”

“Oh, I almost forgot Kristof sent a letter saying he would be here tomorrow, perhaps he can join us to see the women. He can watch over me while you are distracted.”

Matvei was gladhe had a friend like Kristof who actually agreed with him that women and humans shouldn’t be treated as toys. Kristof was the only other demon Matevi knew that shared this opinion with him “yes he can. I’m glad he’ll be here so none of the males try anything while I’m having to be with whatever revolting women my dad is sending”

“How do you know they are revolting?’

“They will be submissive dogs. That’s not my kind of woman. Please rest now. I’m sure I will be summoned early to be in their company” Zoya gave him another smile that melted Matvei all over again. He would give anything for a kiss goodnight and for her to come with him to bed but he decided just to be happy with the progress they made this evening. Zoya slept hard, finally feeling safe in her prison. She knew without a doubt now that Matevi wouldn’t hurt or rape her and that she could speak to him without getting punished for opening her mouth.

It had almost brought her to tears again when she laid down thinking about him preferring to be tortured than to marry and lose her. She hadn’t noticed atall that he cared about her that much. It was scary living among demons, especially as fierce as the ones that filled this castle so she spent her time too afraid to notice how gentle Matevi was.

The next morning they were both roused by banging on Matvei’s door. Zoya quickly got up and pulled the door open. “Yes?” She asked.

“The master says Matvei needs to get out of bed. The women are waiting in the courtyard and also young Kristof is waiting downstairs.”

“I’ll wake him right away.” She closed the door and leaned against it for a moment.

“I could have answered the door.” Matvei said as he got out of bed.

“It looks better if I do it. I’m supposed to be your loyal servant. Go and shower while I make the beds.”

“Can I have a hug first? I won’t be able to hug you in front of every one, so please may I have one?”

Her heart fluttered in her chest and she crossed over to him, wrapping her arms around his neck and holding him close. He buried his nose in her hair, drawing on her warmth and kindness to calm him. “You need to get ready for the day before your father comes for you himself.” He let her go and grabbed some clothes before going into the bathroom. Zoya made quick work of the beds then hurriedly dressed, getting her shoes on just as Matvei stepped out of the bathroom.

“How do I look?” He asked.

“Handsome as ever. Just keep calm, I’ll be close by with Kristof if you need anything.”

“Thank you Zoya, I mean it.” They left his room and hurried downstairs where they were immediately greeted by a smiling Kristof.

“Matvei, good to see you and Zoya, gorgeous as always. It feels like it’s been ages.”

“Almost two years actually.” Matvei replied.

“Sorry, I know I should visit more. So what are you two off to.”

“Father has me meeting some suitors. He wishes me to marry. They are waiting for me outside. Zoya is accompanying me so I don’t lose my temper over such a disgusting display.”

“Would you mind keeping me company while he talks to our guests?” Zoya asked.

Kristof frowned, not liking the idea of Matvei marrying some mindless, submissive creature. “I would love to spend time with you Zoya.” Kristof knew what it really meant to keep Zoya company. If she was left in the castle without protection she would be attacked.

The three walked together to the courtyard and the scent of the women his father brought filled Matevis nostrils. He quickly toned down his sense of smell. He dislike their scents and didn’t want theirs to replace what was left of Zoyas in his nose. They were all scantily dressed while one was only wearing a thong. Zoya blushed and cast her vision downward so she wouldn’t have to view their nearly naked bodies. Kristof was embarrassed for these women and wished more demon females had any self respect.

Malachi was waiting, oggling the beautius he brought for his son. He planned to save some of the ones his son didn’t choose as concubines to enjoy for himself. Matevis mother stood by her mates side. Her face dull as always. She was barely better dressed than these women that were being presented to him. “why did you bring your toy son?” Malachai asked. “wont she still be my play thing when I take a bride? I want my potential mates to go ahead and see who they will be sharing me with.”

Chapter Two

This seemed to please Malachi who believed his son was finally learning. Matvei didn’t want to touch them, but knew for show he must at least examine them. He was glad Zoya wasn’t looking, but instead seemed to focus on her shoes. He looked the women over, seemingly looking at every detail of their bodies. Outwardly they were all flawless beauties, but inside they were soulless and willing to do whatever they were told without question. “What do you think son?” Malachi asked.

“You said I have till the end of next week so I will take my time in deciding. I must know that these women are indeed my perfect match and they must of course be compatible with my sweet little pet.”

“Very well, they will be staying here until the end of next week then. Use them as you wish to make sure they are to your taste.”

Zoya didn’t like being talked about like she was a piece of meat, but she kept reminding herself that Matvei had to be like this in front of Malachi. If his father knew he was sweet and kind hearted, he may add to the scars already marring Matvei’s body. “Yes sir.” Matvei replied and the women were escorted inside. Malachi took his wife away, feeling aroused after seeing so many naked women. Matvei took a deep, calming breath and turned back to Zoya and Kristof.

“You okay?” Kristof asked.

“No, I’m furious. Can we just walk somewhere. How about the woods, do you two feel up to a hike?” He replied quietly.

“Sure, but you know what the males will say. Matvei and Kristof are taking Zoya out in the woods alone? That must mean they’re sharing her.”

“Shit, the rumors are already bad enough. Zoya, will it bother you to go on a hike with us?”

“No, the rumors don’t bother me. Lets go, please. I haven’t been outside the castle since I was taken. I miss the woods, I used to hike all the time with Henrietta.”

“Who is Henrietta?” Kristof asked as they made their way to the front gate.

“She’s my sister, she raised me after our parents died. So she was kind of like a second mom. I dream of seeing her again someday.”

“I’ll do my best to make sure you see her again” Matvei said when he was sure they were far enough away.She smiled at him, knowing he meant those words. Kristof felt bad for Zoya and Matevi. He wished there was anywhere they could run and do as they wished. A place where Matvei wouldn’t be Zoyas master and she could see him as a lover. Kristof knew Matveis feelings for Zoya and knew they could never be realized as long as Zoya saw Matvei as her owner. This simple walk was amazing to Zoya. She loved finally being out in the woods again like she had been able to do all the time three years ago.

It made her sad all at the same time though. Her love for the woods is what got her surrounded and captured by demons. It’s what landed her as a slave. She reminded herself as always that atleast her owner was nice and never harmed her. She knew if she had been given to anybody else she woudl have been living a much more miserable life than she was now.

Matvei enjoyed the look of happiness on Zoya’s face. He wanted her to be free, even if it meant him staying behind. “Zoya, may I hold your hand?” He asked nervously.

“Sure.” She laced her fingers through his and he brushed his thumb lovingly over the back of her hand. She blushed, but didn’t pull away. She actually enjoyed the skin to skin contact she got with him. “How long are you staying Kristof?” She asked.

“I haven’t decided, probably for a few days, especially since Matvei will be busy trying to avoid those women. I have to be here to watch your back in the event that he can’t.”

She laughed, the sound melodious. “You are like the brother I never had.”

“I have to be, especially around here.” They hiked around until Zoya was exhausted then headed back to the castle. He let go of Zoya’s hand when they got closer, making her feel sad. To Matvei’s dismay many of the male demons gave them looks that said they knew what was really going on in the woods. Allu looked especially jealous and wondered why Kristof got to share Zoya while he wasn’t even allowed to touch her.

“Perhaps we should go play cards in my room.” Matvei said. “Since they already assume the worst we might as well pretend and get away from them.”

“Would you like me to get something for us to eat?” Zoya asked softly.

“No, please just stay with me.” He waved down one of the maids. “Have food and juice brought to my room for all three of us.”

“Yes sir.” The maid said and hurried off. They went up to his room and Matvei shut and locked the door. He then found his cards and they all sat down on the floor, deciding on a game of Go Fish. There was a knock on the bedroom door and both Matvei and Kristof could tell by the scent that it wasn’t a maid even though the person outside had their food.

“Shit, it’s Allu. He thinks we’re in here having sex or something.” Matvei said angrily.

“What if he looks in here and sees the cards, he’ll tell your father.” Zoya said worriedly.

“Clean up the cards and get undressed.” Kristof ordered and they both gave him a confused look. “Just do it and get in bed and mess up Zoya’s hair. We’re about to fool that moron.” He smiled and winked as he pulled off his own clothes, making Zoya duck her head in embarrasment.

Matvei felt bad since he knew this would make Zoya uncomfortable but they had to. Matvei took his clothes off quickly then he put his hands in Zoyas hair. He kept moving his hands until it looked as if they had been really rough and pumping her non stop. “I’m sorry, do you want to take off your clothes or do you want me too?” he whispered gently “i can’t so you do it” Her voice portraying how scared and nervous she was. He took them off fast. he knew slow would do nothing to help and they couldn’t keep Allu waiting too long. “get her in bed” Kristof whispered. Matvei picked Zoya up and got in bed with her. He pulled her close then Kristof opened the door.

“we’re busy” Kristof growled. Allu pushed himself in “I’m bringing the food you asked for. He licked the corner of his lips when he saw Zoya “Why does Kristof get to share while I can’t even touch her!”

“Kristof has been my friend since childhood. He can partake of my wife if he feels like it when I marry. I don’t like you so my toy and any other woman I deem mine you can’t touch” Matvei snarled. He didn’t even like Allu looking at Zoya. It terrfied her and he could feel it. Allu slammed the food down and stormed out. He was hard from seeing Zoya and needed to find a maid. Kristof shut the door and Zoya wrapped her arms over her chest. Matvei let her go then went for her clothes. he brought them back quickly “I’m so sorry Zoya. Here, take your clothes”

Zoyas arm trembled as she reached out to take them. “I wont look until your dressed.” He said sadly and closed his eyes. Kristof followed suit and shut his eyes. “I’m dressed” Zoya said when she was covered again. Matvei and Kristof put on their clothes while Zoya went for her hair brush. She didn’t seem ok and it broke Matveis heart.

“That was certainly close, sorry about that Zoya, I doubt we’ll ever have to do that again. Are you mad?” Kristof said, his head tilted to the side.

“Not at you guys, just at Allu. He stalks me around the castle sometimes and I hate it.” Matvei pulled her against him and rubbed her back.

“I’m going to get you out of here and get you home. Kristof, maybe you could take her. I could just tell everyone I got tired of her.”

“I’m not leaving without you.” Zoya chimed in.

“Zoya…”

“No, I refuse. Please don’t make me go, I’ll do anything if you just let me stay.”

He sighed and Kristof gave him his most sympathetic look. “Alright, we’ll go together or not at all. You can stay, free of charge.” She clung tightly to his shirt, afraid if she let go for even a minute he would tell Kristof to haul her away.

“So what now?” Kristof asked. “The only way for us all to leave is if we make a break for it at night which means as soon as Malachi figures out you’re gone he’ll send some of the males to bring you back. He’ll either kill Zoya or give her to Allu and I know for a fact he’ll kill me. ANother option is you challenge your father for your freedom, of course if you lose he’ll probably execute you and me and then either give Zoya or to Allu or keep her for himself.”

“I’m not strong enough to defeat my father. He has had centuries to hone his skills while I have only had one.” He replied, feeling ashamed for his weakness.

“There is a third option, but it requires me leaving which might look strange so I’ll have to sneak out at night.”

“What is it?” Zoya asked.

“I go and get a demon even stronger than Malachi, someone he would not dare fight, but it may take me a couple of days since he lives in another world.”

“Shit.” Matvei rubbed his neck. “Okay, slip out of night and be careful. I still have to deal with the women my father had delivered here. Zoya can stay here in my room and I’ll tell everyone she is with you, that you are not to be disturbed. I’ll bring you food, I promise.”

“Okay.” Zoya was terrified of Malachi and Allu finding out they were lying, but she was even more terrified of living the rest of her life in the castle where she could be raped or killed at any given moment.

“I’m going to go down and get us some food now since that piece of shit Allu threw ours on the ground. You two just relax. If that dick gives me any lip I’ll give him a nosebleed that won’t stop until I want it to.”

Kristof walked out angrily. “you truly care fo rme that much you don’t want kristof to just save you?” Zoya blushed. “Yes, I’ve wanted to talk to you long before now. I was just being silly and afraid.”

“There’s nothing silly about being afraid here Zoya. You were taken by your family and given to a demon.” Zoya wonderd if she should tell him how she felt incase anything went wrong. She would hate herself as she faded away if she died and Matvei didn’t know how she felt. Matevi could see Zoya was having conflicting deep thoughts but he chalked it up to nervousness over them getting caught. He hoped whoever this demon was, was truly as great as Kristof says. Matvei gave Zoya another hug to hopefully relax her. She hugged back tightly then whispered ‘you’re more important to me than you realize Matvei…way more than you realize.” was all she wanted to say for now. She thought it might be best if she had this conversation after Kristof was gone.

“you mean more to me than you know Zoya” Matvei said in a chuffed voice. Kristof heard Allu talking angrily witha ¬†few of the other demon men as he passed. Kristof didn’t stop or acknowledge them for a moment because he knew he would end up in a fight. Kristoff quickly made sandwhiches and poured juices for all three of them then walked back to Matveis room. Zoya and Matvei were still hugging but let go of eachother to eat their food.

Chapter Three

Zoya deaded the falling of the sun and willed it to stay up. She wished she had the power to control time, but the only gift she had to her name was her voice and it wasn’t powerful enough to control the rising and setting of the sun. The minute they were sure everyone was asleep in the castle Kristof told them godbye and promised to return as fast as he could. He jumped from their bedroom window, sprouting bat like wings and soaring through the air.

“We should get some rest.” Matvei said softly.

“Can I sleep with you tonight? I don’t think I’ll be able to fall asleep in my own bed.”

“Sure, do want to change or would be more comfortable in what you are wearing? I know the nightgowns you wear bother you.”

She shrugged. “You’ve already seen me naked so it really doesn’t matter now.”

He frowned. “I’m serious, if you don’t want to wear it then don’t. I want you to feel comfortable.”

“I’ll be fine, I promise.” He wasn’t so sure, but he didn’t protest. He simply closed his eyes and waited patiently for her to change. “Okay, I’m done.” He slowly opened his eyes and did his best to keep them on her face. Seeing her beautiful nude form had taken his breath away and he had enjoyed being skin to skin with her even though he knew he shouldn’t have. “You can get undressed too, I’ll close my eyes.”

“Okay.” His voice was a hoarse whisper of desire and he felt a little ashamed. She closed her eyes and he changed into his night pants then gave her the okay to open them. He cleared his throat and climbed into bed and held the covers up for her. She crossed nervously to him and got in next to him. “If at anytime you feel scared, tell me and I’ll move over to your bed.”

“alright, um…Matvei.”

“Yes Zoya?”

“I just thought you should know that..that I love you. I’ve loved you a long time. I’ve been so afraid to say anything but just incase one of us dies i wanted you to know how I felt..” Her voice growing smaller as she talked. At the end she pulled the covers into her face as she awaited the embarrassment of him not feeling the same. Matvei could barely believe his ears. His heart was soaring and he pulled the covers out of her face ‘don’t hide, please don’t hide. I love you too. So much Zoya. You are why I don’t wish to marry.I want you as my mate and nobody else. Let me kiss you Zoya, please.”

She looked up at him with a deep red face. His face was beaming with happiness and his eyes burned with love. “Just kiss me?” Zoya asked “a kiss is all i want. It’ll be a sweet kiss so you can feel how much I love you too.”

“ok” Matvei grabbed her face gently in his hands then brought their lips together. He had to keep this a soft, short kiss after seeing her naked before. The last thing he wanted was to ruin this moment by getting excited. When Matvei forced himself to pull back they were both red. “I love you” Matvei said again softly. “I love you too. Will you hold me Matvei?”

“You’d make me feel like the luckiest man in the universe if you’d let me hold you tonight” Zoya positioned herself so her head rested on his chest and he wrapped his arms securely around her small, supple body. He gave a contented sigh that made Zoya smile “I was worried you didn’t feel the same. Another way i was foolish huh?”

“you are never foolish or silly. Stop saying such things please. You are sweet and intelligent.”

“I’m so glad I found the courage to tell you”

“me too”

He brushed a light kiss onto her shoulder then rested his forehead against her shoulder. She smiled, allowing herself to completely relax in the safety of his arms and fall asleep. Matvei waited until her breathing softened and her heart moved into a steady rhythm before he allowed himself to sleep. His arm tightened around her as he was unwilling even in his subconcious to let her be torn from his arms. The next morning he woke as the sun pushed over the horizon. He propped his head up, looking down at the beautiful face of his one and only love. He would do anything to keep her safe. He had to get up and continue the ruse until Kristof returned with help. He kissed her cheek and slid out of bed, quickly showering and dressing.

“I love you.” He whispered and kissed Zoya’s cheek one more time before leaving the room. He made sure the door was locked before closing it. At least the lock would give her a few minutes to hide.

“Matvei, I hope you are heading over to spend time with your potential wives.” Malachi said as he caught him walking down the hall.

“Of course father. I told you I would have one picked out by the deadline.”

“Where is your little pet?”

“With Kristof, I ordered her to see to his needs.”

Malachi’s eyes showed approval and he patted his son on his back for the first time in his life. Allu peeked out of his room as Matvei and Malachi passed, a sadistic grin crossing his face. He believed this was his chance to get at Zoya. He wasn’t afraid of little, weak Kristof.

When Matvei and Malachai were out of sight he slinked down the hall. His imagination was whirling with all the things he wanted to do to Zoya. his shaft grew throbbing hard before he even reached the door he had been waiting for this day so long. In three years Matvei hadn’t let his guard down enough for him to get at Zoya but finally, the time had come. His opportunity to have the most beautiful slave this castle owned. He approached the door and tried to mvoe the handle but it was locked. Allu put my force behind his turn and it woke Zoya. She looked around franticly for Matvei but he was already gone.

Zoya had to think fast. If she remained in the room he would be able to smell her. Matveis room was on the second floor of the castle but that wasn’t too bad of a drop. She was in her nightgown that showed off her body and didn’t want the other males to see but it was better to try and escape rather than let Allu get her alone in a bedroom. Allu backed up from the door then slammed into it to break it down. Zoya had just dropped down out the window when Allu came in so he didn’t see her. he looked around, growing angry when she was nowhere to be seen in the bedroom.

Zoya ran, screaming Matvei’s name as she rushed for the woods. She couldn’t let him catch her, couldn’t let him rape and beat or kill her. Allu caught a glimpse of motion as he passed the window. His rage boiled over and he jumped out of the window and gave chase. She had only made it worse on herself by running. She glanced behind her and nearly started crying when she saw Allu chasing her. She ran into the woods, pushing through the underbrush and weaving between the trees in hopes of slowing him. She went deeper and deeper, looking behind her and seeing he was still in pursuit.

Matvei looked away from the women who had been talking his ear off, swearing he heard someone scream his name. His heart slammed against his chest and he came to his feet. “Zoya.” He whispered. “I have to go, Zoya is in danger.”

“The slave? So what, she is nothing.” Malachi replied.

“She is everything.” He took off running to his room, his heart nearly leaping into his throat when he saw his door ajar. Allu’s scent filled his nose and he felt a rage boiling in him that he had never felt before. The window was open, letting him know that they had both gone out it. He growled and launched himself out the window. His nails lengthened into sharp talons and his canines became sharp points as his eyes turned completely black. He was going to tear Allu’s heart out.

Zoya cried when Allu finally gained on her. She screamed as he reached for her and grabbed her hair, pulling her backwards and throwing her down. He punched her in the side of her head and she went limp. “Now you’re all mine Zoya, I’ve wanted you for so long.” He licked the side of her face and she whimpered. He ripped her night gown off and got over her. His nose suddenly started bleeding then he coughed, spitting blood onto the ground. He gripped his nose as the flow got stronger, panic evident in his eyes.

“You touched the wrong woman asshole.” Kristof said as he tortured Allu. Zoya jumped up and ran into his arms, crying harder than she ever had in her life.

“I thought you had a couple of days.” She said between sobs.

“Me too, but our friend here believes in speed.” Allu collapsed to the ground, unconcious. Zoya looked over Kristof’s shoulder, a shiver running up her spine when she saw the stranger standing there, his eyes full of menace.

Chthon took off his shirt “cover yourself with this” he said in a growl though he hadn’t intended to. “th thank you” Chthon walked forward without another word and that same menacing look. “Lets follow, don’t be afraid. He’s just angry and doesn’t take the enslavement and abuse of others lightly. He’s going to save you and Matvei” Zoya pulled the shirt she was offered on then followed with Kristof. They hadn’t gotten far when they saw Matvei running. Kristof quickly yelled to Chthon “that’s Matvei! Don’t hurt him!”

“where’s your father?” Chthon asked. “He’s inside with the women he wants me to marry.” Chthon nodded then kept walking towords the castle. Matvei lifted Zoya into a hug “did he hurt you?”

“No, Kristof saved me.”

“Thank you for that and for bringing help. You’re really friends with Chthon?”

“Yes, we’ll discuss that another time though. Chthon is leaving us” They had to take off in a run to catch up to the furious demon. Chthon found Malachai quickly and the demons eyes showed the subtlest hint of fear that Matvei had never witnessed before. Chthons tone was an animalistic growl “what did i tell you about human slaves you bastard!”

“Chthon, what brought you here” Malachai was trying to not show his intimidation but it was shining anyway. “what do you think you pathetic, vile demon! How dare you after I let you live take on more human slaves! Abuse your damn son! I let you go because you swore’

‘bu bu but Chthon I” Chthon shifted into full demon form with his anger and punched malachai. The girls all huddled together in fear as Chthon beat Malachai. He beat Malachai until he was mere inches from death. At this point the female demons had all fled. “this is the last time you live. i don’t like to kill, especially not in front of women. Don’t you dare defy me again you treacherous snake.” Zoya had her face burried in Matveis chest. Chthon returned to his normal self and said “it’s ok Zoya. I’m done. You and Matvei are coming home with me. You may live in my castle for the rest of your days if you wish it. Ready to get far away from this horrible place?” She removed her face and Chthon smiled. “yes i am, thank you”

‘gather your things you two.” Matvei carried Zoya to his room with Chthon and Kristof close behind. They prepared bags then all took off to Chthons castle. Zoya hoped deeply this wasn’t all a dream, that she wouldn’t wake up and still never have spoken to Matvei. This all seemed too good to be reality. When they arrived at Chthons castle Ruth was the first to greet them. “is she okay?” Ruth asked her husband “As far as I can tell yes but have the servants prepare a meal so that they may eat. I’ll show them to rooms they may have.” Ruth ran off and they went in and upstairs. Chthon guided them down hallways until he stopped and opened a door “this is for you Kristof while you stay”

“Thank you” Chthon nodded then looked at Matvei who even still had Zoya in his arms “you two are mates correct?’

“Yeah” Zoya answered and Matveis heart flipped.”ok, just checking to see if i needed to find one or two more rooms. This way please” It wasn’t much further until he opened another door “Is this alright?’

“It’s wonderful, thank you” Zoya answered again then got out of Matveis arms to hug Chthon. “You’re welcome. Nobody can hurt you here. This is my home and demons are rarely fool enough to act up in it” Zoya began to cry with relief and Matvei took her again. Chthon frowned and decided to leave them alone. Matvei set their bags down then sat on the bed with Zoya ‘shhh, why are you crying”

“I’ve bene a prisoner for three years and I’m finally, truly free” Matvei held her close ‘always and forever my love. I think we should stay permanently in this castle so that I know you’re safe.”

“I think so too. I’m so grateful Kristof has a friend like him”

“Me too, oh me too baby” Zoya needed love and comfort so kissed Matvei. it surprised him but it was the best surprise he could receive. He kissed back comfortingly, hoping she knew no more harm could befall her. Matvei was never going to let anyone talk down to her again or even look at her with lustful eyes. She was his mate and he would die protecting her if that’s what it took to make sure she never lived as an item again.

~ The End ~

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