Enchanted is a collection of 3 fairytale novellas: Bear
Skin by Janine Ashbless, my own story, The Three
Riddles, and The People in the Garden by Leonie
About the novella, The Three Riddles
The elves, they say, know the secrets of events - but
the queen has no time for superstitions. Ignoring the warnings,
she deserts her childhood love, Sir Thomas, for a darkly charismatic
foreign duke. As her kingdom crumbles, she longs for her lost
love, but can she risk her country on a whim?
Now read the beginning...
Everyone wanted to explain the love between Pearl and Thomas.
Some said the elves had sprinkled love-dust on them. Others
said – the king’s brilliant daughter and the Champion
of Minotha, where’s the magic in that? Still others
said they slotted together so well that they must have known
each other since the sun and moon first fell in love. It’s
usual that a young couple thinks no-one’s ever loved
like them – it’s rare that the rest of the world
Their intimacy irked people. The other knights told Thomas
he was wrapped around the princess’s little finger.
The king’s counsellors argued that the knight had too
much sway with the princess. Everyone watched the mercurial
princess with her steady knight and shook their heads –
she’d lead him a dance then break his heart, they told
each other. In truth, everyone who saw them together pined
for their own true love – some still had the person
but not the love, some the love and not the person, but Pearl
and Thomas had both.
They lay together on her bed in the small hours, the heavy
curtains drawn around them, staring up at the patterned canopy
and playing with each other’s fingers. On the ledge
behind them, a tallow candle hissed, dying, and the shadows
of their hands jumped on the far curtain.
‘When did you first know you loved me?’ he asked.
‘When you first rode through the gatehouse.’
He turned on his side, his sinewy thigh resting on her softer
leg. ‘Then you just loved me for my looks.’
She giggled. ‘Not at all – you were covered in
armour. No – I think maybe when I saw you practising
– or that dinner – or maybe on the wall-walk,
when you pointed out which direction your home was…
I don’t know. Maybe when you took over my sword training.’
‘Did you already love me when I kissed you?’
‘Could you taste love on my lips?’
His hand swam down her bare skin. ‘I think so. Sweet
‘What about you?’ She turned to face him, his
burly body making her feel as small as a wren. ‘When
did you first know you loved me?’
He touched her breast, her chin, her lips. His eyes, rich
brown and deep as wells, drank her up. ‘When I was born.’
She laughed again. ‘But I wasn’t born yet!’
‘I still knew.’ He smiled the way she loved most
– assured and knowing, as if he understood the world’s
secrets and was amused by them. ‘And then when I was
ten years old, a page in my uncle’s manor, I suddenly
stood stock-still and thought – today, my true love
came into the world. And my uncle hit me on the head for not
pouring his wine.’
‘Heart’s truth.’ He kissed her slowly. Their
bodies had moved together, lithe and lively, while the candle
had burnt down, but already she melted again to his kiss.
Between them, his shaft wavered and extended.
‘They gossip about us in the court, you know,’
He grimaced. ‘What do they say?’
‘That I’m too flighty and you’re too phlegmatic,
that we’ll never last.’
‘They’re just jealous, then.’ He rolled
onto his back and she snuggled over him, resting on one elbow,
tracing his features.
‘And that I boss you around.’
His face softened. ‘I’d do anything for you.’
‘But I don’t boss you.’
‘No… You know what I think? Lie next to me, look
up.’ The bed’s wooden roof was lined with quilt,
embroidered with the royal insignia of Kwestriminotha. Hundreds
of years ago, Kwestria’s symbol had been a gold circle
with a silver centre and Minotha’s a blue circle with
a green centre. Since the union, they had come together as
two curving teardrops forming a new circle. ‘That’s
what we’re like,’ he said, mimicking the shape
in the air. ‘In a way, we’re identical. And we
fit together perfectly.’
He knew her mouth was twitching naughtily before he saw it.
He pinned her to the bed, hefty and powerful above her. His
eyes intensified; the candle flared, sputtered, and died.
In the dark he said, ‘I love you,’ and his shaft
nudged between her thighs. Her hands ran up the swell of his
biceps, down the sides of his broad back, and grasped his
hips as she opened to him. He slid easily back inside her,
back where he belonged, and drove in and out, unhurriedly,
until her whimpers like birdsong mixed with true birdsong
and pale light shone between the drapes. Then, knowing he
must leave her bed soon, he thrust faster so that she screamed
his name and babbled with love. He held back while she arched,
convulsed, and gripped, then he pulled out at the last moment
as bliss ripped the cream from his cock, spattering her belly.
Breathless and captivated, half-smiling, they gazed at each
other in the gloom and her fingers drew mandalas on her stomach
with his juice.
more about Enchanted on Lust Bites