The Beast's Bride
- 45.7K words
18 year old Leila has had a difficult life. Having lost her parents at the young age of 10, she has had to battle to survive, weaving her way through predators, rapists and murderers along the way. However, nothing could have possibly prepared her for the beast of a man whom she was suddenly bound to as wife... 31 year old Voloukh, leader of men torn from their homes at a young age to act as slave warriors for the Kingdom of Ultar, has been brutally carved to be a killing machine. His features are enough to bestow fear upon the hearts of anyone who dare to gaze upon him. The Beast of the Woods, as he is referred to is hence, shocked when a girl with the most beautiful violet eyes he has ever seen, which however, gaze upon him with trepidation and horror, is given to him to wed...
Leila woke up as the sunlight seeped into her room through her windows. She stood up from the piece of clothing which she used as her bed and stretched.
Before she could get up to begin preparing, it suddenly dawned on her.
No work today.
Her bright blue eyes shone as she joyfully grinned and lay back down.
Today was a special day, not for her, of course, as she was an outsider in the town.
It was the Day of Betrothal.
Should be called Day of Marriage, she mused, After all, the betrothed couples get married almost immediately.
The Day of Betrothal was the day hundreds of men and women, women aged 18 to 21 and men aged 22 to 25, would visit the local temple to find out who Deros, their god of love, had chosen to be their significant others. Their names would be taken down by the temple attendants and the priest would call out those who were meant to be together according to what the god whispered to him.
A barbaric custom in its entirety. Anyone in their right minds should have realized that it was actually the local priest, Eris, who made that decision, using that day to exert the power he had over the little town to his satisfaction.
That was why she had convinced Gideon, the only friend she had made in the town, to slowly make friends with the priest, bribe him even, so that he would let Gideon and his secret girlfriend for about two years, Iliana, to be wed and stay together forever.
Gideon had resisted at first, stating vehemently that the decision was made by the gods and not any mortal man, but as his passion and love for Iliana grew, so did his fear that she would be wed to another and he gave in and began to vehemently seek the approval of Eris.
Leila frowned. His efforts had better not be fruitless. He had worked too hard at pretending to like that despicable old man.
The flute players began playing the same tune that they always played on the special ceremony, or at least, that they had been playing since she moved into the town five years ago. She began to hum the tune softly.
If she were accepted as a member of the community, she would have been part of the happy yet terrified women washing their hair and faces, painting their lips, perfuming their bodies, and putting on their ceremonial white gowns.
She had turned 18 two weeks ago, after all.
But for once, she was happy that she wasn’t accepted as a member of the community, for she could not imagine herself getting married to any of the men in the town, all of whom both despised and lusted after her because her unusual features.
She was a slim woman, a bit too slim. But unlike any of the brown or black haired women in the town, she had blood red hair paired with a pair of unusually bright violet eyes.
When she had first stepped foot into the community, a scared 13 year old, having gone through horrors no one her age should experience, desperately seeking protection, they had almost shunned her away, believing that she was a witch or sorceress. She literally had to perform slave labour, still did in a way as she was paid way too little for the amount of work she performed on the town farm, for the townspeople to grudgingly accept her on the condition that she didn’t cause any trouble, which translated to, as she could tell from the fierce possessiveness and jealousy of the town women, that she was not allowed to even attempt to come close to and seduce any of the town men.
No need to worry about that. You can have your predatory men all to yourselves.
A knock on her door forced her up in fear. Surely, it couldn’t possibly be her employer, surely, he didn’t expect her to work today.
She opened the door cautiously and gasped as she came face to face with her intruders.
William and his gang of ne’er do wells, the only men in the community who had come dangerously close to raping her. Her tormenters.
A smirk was etched on his face as he menacingly approached her.
“Ready to get married today, sugar?”
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