Authors: Sophie Starr,Tara Brown
An Adult Fairy Tale Vol 1
A Novel by
The Naughty Side of Tara Brown
Copyright 2014 Tara Brown
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. No alteration of content is permitted. This book is a work of fiction; any similarities are coincidental. All characters in this fictional story are b
ased entirely on the crazed mind of the author and are not based on any human. Any similarities are by chance and not intentional.
This book is dedicated to my lovers of the darker stuff. Hope this fits the bill.
Cover Art by Mae I Design Covers
Edited by Andrea Burns
As always, thank you to my readers and friends. Thank you to my street
you are the best bunch of girls!
To the ladies at Triple M, I love you! To Totallybooked, you are the best!! I did include a magical virgin just for you.
Other Books by Tara Brown writing as
TL Brown, AE Watson, Erin Leigh, and Sophie Starr
The Devil’s Roses
The Born Trilogy
Born to Fight
The Light Series
The Light of the World
The Four Horsemen
The Blood Trail Chronicles
The Single Lady Spy Series
The End of Me
The End of Games
The Long Way Home
In The Fading Light
For Love or Money
Blood and Bone
The End of You
The Seventh Day
This book is an adult fantasy novel, an erotic novel. It is not meant for anyone under the age of 18 or those who are sensitive to erotic novels.
Please find other books of mine that have a lesser rating if you are in those two categories.
I would also warn that slut shamers and haters of multiple partners, backdoor action, naughty and forbidden fantasies and virgins should probably seek another novel. We know of many sexually charged novels that do not include those things. If you need help finding one, we at Tara Brown would be happy to recommend books to you!
If you are a little saucy and you like your erotica a bit dark, we hope you enjoy!
Once there was a man. He was strong and brave, and he made me feel completely safe and loved. He fought for his people and believed in the old ways of honor and respect. He was a man who was cherished by all who met him, a friend to king and peasant alike.
My last glimpse of him consisted of a far off light, floating away from the shore. At first he had been a man with twinkly eyes, roaring with laughter. Then he had been a sickly man, lying on a bed, reading me stories. And finally, he had been a dark barge—
a mound of logs and dry
tinder upon a raft. But the moment the archer’s arrow was lit, everything about the floating raft changed. The darkness was gone and he became a beacon of light in the night, like he had once been in my life.
The fire lit up the dark waters, burning until there was nothing left and his ash had escaped with the breeze. He continued to sail away from me, leaving me without a light to see in the darkness that would shroud itself around me.
They say that a flower cannot bloom in the dark. I was proof of that. A decade of darkness, fear, and pain stopped me from blooming.
Her name was Drusilla.
I imagined it meant hateful or evil in a foreign tongue. I imagined a lot of things. I imagined
the sting of her whip against my back or the bony part of the back of her hand as it connected to my cheekbone. A decade of imaginations made for a quiet girl with a hard heart and a soft mind.
Drusilla was the darkness that overtook my life, stamping out every scrap of light my father and mother had worked to put in my soul. She was my stepmother, the woman my father had trusted with his most precious possession—me. But she never saw me the way he had. Her mind was blocked by the two children she already had. All she saw was another mouth to feed when the lord of her manor died.
Even then, a decade later, there was shrillness to her voice when she screamed at me. “You will work faster or I will see that the stableman tans your back like you were one of his hands.”
I didn't even wince at the threat, not anymore. There was nothing left of me that she could break. I lifted the cumbersome sack of flour higher on my shoulder and struggled up the backstairs. I hated going for flour, even if it meant leaving the castle and being free for half a day. The miller had been eyeing me up as I waited, as he always did. He made my stomach ache and twinge whenever he looked upon me. But this time his face was smug and smirking like he knew something I did not.
I dropped the heavy sack to the floorboards of the kitchen and collapsed on top of it.
Drusilla shouted at me, “Cinder Ella, get the gowns laid out for the dance tonight.”
I looked to the stairs where Drusilla’s sharp voice echoed, and sighed. “She means to break my back today.”
Abbi, the cook, gave me a soft look. “I have some supper for you when you’re done that. I’ll tell her you’ve gone to pick veggies for me. You can sup out of doors and enjoy a little rest before we tackle the evening chores.” She had always been there. She was a member of the family, but that was before when I had been as well. Now we both hid in the shadows and tried to work hard enough that Drusilla might leave us to the kitchens—leave us to the peace we remembered once having.
I dusted the flour off of me and hurried up the stairs to freshen their gowns. We had washed and ironed them already, but they needed a light bit of airing out for the dance.
I loved when they went off to dances or balls or dinners away; it meant we could hurry through our chores and then relax. The house would be silent and we might enjoy an evening with the servants from the farm.
In my eldest stepsister Angelique’s room, I pulled out her crimson dress and beat and brushed it. I licked my hands and ran them down the fabric, pulling any lint showing against the deep color of the gown. I spritzed it with rosewater and ran a cloth over her buckles on her shoes. I hurried into Bethany’s room—the stepsister who was the same age as I was. She was the kindest of the three of them. Always smiling and kind, so long as her mother wasn't there.
Bethany’s gown was more simple but still beautiful. I didn't lick my fingers to take the lint off her gown. I used the rosewater and even took extra care to remove the stray threads. Her shoes glistened when I left for Drusilla’s room.
I finished and hurried downstairs. I grabbed my plate of hot food and ran for the side of the house where no one would find me. I leaned against the brick wall and sat on the stump.
The plate smelled heavenly.
Stewed chicken with dumplings and carrots.
I picked out a piece of dumpling and held it out on my finger. A fat mouse, one I called Gus, looked both ways before scrambling up the stump and taking the dumpling from my fingertip.
“All right, Gus?”
He squeaked and I broke off another piece. His little brown cheeks swelled as he ate it. I was certain I looked the same. I spooned the hot food into my mouth, ignoring the shrill calls and complaints from the windows above me.
I leaned into the bricks more, relaxing and sighed, closing my eyes for just a second. My feet tingled from the blood flowing back into them. They ached from the hard day’s work.
Gus crawled up my leg and onto my arm. I sat there in my mind’s quiet until the woodchucks came. They hopped along my legs. I was stuffed from the mouthfuls I had shoveled in, so the rest was theirs. They knew it too. They pecked at the food.
From a distance I must have looked like a scarecrow no one was scared of.
I relaxed, humming softly into the breeze, wondering if my father was there in the air around me, if his ash had ever made its way home. He had been granted the burial the royals received for being such a dear friend to the king.
I opened my eyes to see the sun fading into the hills across the farmland. A sound startled me but only for a moment. The noise of the carriage wheels was music to my ears as they ground along the dusty road to our house. A soft smile crept along my lips when I heard it stop and the driver’s feet crunch across the driveway to the front door.
When the front door slammed a second time, I picked up my plate. My bird friends had left me. I placed Gus at the base of the stump and walked into the house to enjoy the evening.
The orange color of the setting sun shining in the window made the bone china I dusted have a slight pink hue. It was quiet in the house and I relished in the freedom to do my work as I felt.
No one yelling at me or demanding more than I could give.
Abbi walked into the washroom and leaned against the frame of the door. “The cider is ready and the Middletons have arrived for tea. Come, we can finish this in the morning before they wake. Lord knows they’ll sleep away half the day.”
I finished wiping the floors and left the rag there. Outside I found the Middletons and Abbi and her son Gregor sitting around the fire. Mrs. Middleton gave me a long stare before speaking. “Good evening, Ella.”
I smiled, feeling as if I were under some sort of scrutiny. I took the mug of cider from Abbi and nodded. “Good evening.”
Mrs. Middleton lasted about seven seconds before she burst into tears, dropping her mug and spilling the cider on the wood shavings from the log splitting for the fire. Mr. Middleton shook his head. “Tis so unfair, Ella. A girl so fair and fine to be married to such a swine of a lord.”
I cocked an eyebrow, “What’s happened? Has someone been promised, one of your daughters?”
“No, my dear. It is you we speak of.” Abbi swallowed hard. “Drusilla has sold you into marriage, to a terrible old man.”
I too nearly dropped my cider but I gripped the mug. “What?” My throat was thick and my mouth dry. My heart raced. It couldn't be true.
Abbi looked down, her face joining the others in the solemnity and sadness.
“Wh-who?” I asked.
Mr. Middleton gave me the same look again. “The Duke of Gray Manor, Hedrick Grey.”
I gasped. The elderly, disgusting, filthy, isolated Duke of Grey Manor. The man who was rumored to have made a wife of his sister for the last forty years? I had heard talk in the markets of the strange goings on up there—the servants who had left from the oddities they’d been exposed to.
I knew Drusilla hated me, for no reason other than my own existence, but I never realized it was as bad as that. I placed the mug on the ground, trying desperately not to pass out. “When?”
“The day after tomorrow he arrives and the wedding
set for the weekend after.”
I nodded. What was there to do? Where would I go if not into a marriage? No one would take me on. I had no one to recommend me to a new position. I would be destitute. What was worse than a young woman who was alone in the world? I knew what happened to other orphans like me.
I sighed. “He has to be sixty years old.”
Gregor grimaced, “Fifty-nine. Drusilla thinks it’s hilarious you will be his wife. We think she made him pay handsomely for your hand.”
The sting of hot tears burned my eyes, “My virtue, you mean?”
We sat at the fire, no one speaking or drinking. It was not an awkward silence but one filled with horror and imaginations.