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The next time Prillani slipped in to see Bronherrn, he sensed a change in her. She became less argumentative, much more agreeable. It was not until she pressed her body to his that he was sure something was amiss. “I am no fool.” He regretted his harsh words as she pulled her soft skin away.
“Prillani, I’m well aware of the lengths your father will go to get what he wants, even prostituting his own daughter for his purposes.”
“You misread me.” She hugged the folds of her dress. “My father has advised me to do what I can to get you to reveal your secrets, but you must admit it is not a bad deal. I please you, you please me. We both have something to gain.”
The thought tempted Bronherrn. The idea led him to move his gaze over her body. He fixated on the curve of her hips as she neared him once more and held her torch near his face. He squinted in the light, and met her eyes with confidence. He may have been mangled, but he was still a warrior, one who had withstood her father’s torture.
The soft brush of her lips on his was too brief. His chains clinked against the stone floor as he grabbed her back in a tight grip.
He had been without human contact for so long that Prillani’s sweet taste pushed all other thoughts from his mind. She sank into him and he reached for the torch. Loosening her grip, he let it drop, extinguishing at their feet.
When she pulled back, he longed for more, but let her catch her breath.
“What is your mother’s name?” she whispered just inches from his face.
“Mara,” he answered before he could think. A rise of anger mounted when he realized what he had said. “Satisfied?”
She stumbled out of his reach. Her silence only added to his rage.
“Not the romantic interlude you had planned?” he asked.
“No, it is that…” her voice shook and she backed away. “I have to go.”
“Of course you do.” He spoke to the empty space as the door shut behind her.
Bronherrn did not have much to say when Prillani returned some days later carrying a well laid tray of meat, cheese, and bread. She also had a jug of wine brought in. He could smell the reviving drink from the opposite end of the room, but his hunger had waned. His will to continue this arrangement had ceased.
“I brought you a meal,” Prillani said.
He tried not to glance her way as she moved forward, but when she set the food next to him, she sat close enough to touch. He shrugged at the gesture and tore into the food. He drank violently, and shoved morsels into his mouth by the handfuls. He hoped the spectacle would disgust her and drive her away, but when he stopped to look up, she offered a friendly smile.
He let out a rumbling belch. “And now are you going to offer me your body if I hand over my people?”
A strong force of her jab knocked him back. “You would still be losing pieces of flesh if I had not have agreed to use my ways on you.”
He shook his head and rubbed his eye where her fist had connected. “Fair enough. But why the feast?”
“You dumb oaf. I am not a monster.”
“Maybe not, but you wish to hear something, something I will tell.”
She lowered her eyes.
“More tales of my people?” he asked.
Scooting closer to him, she leaned in. “It is less than my father wants, but I wish for nothing more.”
Bronherrn took the opportunity to pull her face to him and press his lips to hers. When she began to lighten her caresses, he released her and chuckled. “I have received my payment. Let us begin.”
“Cease your arrogance. I am here for my own interests.”
He smirked and went on to tell her of his father’s first battle.