Authors: EMMA PAUL
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Bdsm, #Historical, #Romantic Erotica
PRISONER OF DARKHAVEN
All rights reserved
Copyright 2012 Emma Paul
This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission.
A Renaissance E Books publication
Castle Darkhaven stood out against the darkening mid-evening sky.
Its highest steeple pointed defiantly towards heaven, as if daring God
to send his angels and tear it down. Franz Müller spent half his day
climbing the treacherous path up Mount Damon to the dark castle.
The cliff narrowed the higher he climbed towards the legendary
home of the dark Lord Damien Dontaleone.
They say he is a demon.
Franz pushed the disturbing thought aside.
Stones tumbled down the face of the mountain as his fingers
clumsily searched for crevices and grooves in an effort to find better
support. Taking a shaky breath, he pressed his back firmly against the
rocky surface and continued inching his way up the path.
Icy wind whipped through his hair. Thunder boomed and
lightening streaked across the sky, as he got closer to the castle. Night
approached fast. His chest tightened with anxiety and his heart
Franz lifted a trembling hand to his eyes, wiped the sweat from his
brow, and smoothed his hair away from his face, to get a better look at
the black stone structure looming high above him. He was so close.
Castle Darkhaven could be described as black as night, unlike any
he had ever seen and hopefully would never see again.
This is my
. His precious Elise waited for news of his meeting with
Lord Dontaleone and he wouldn't let her down.
Franz closed his eyes saying a prayer before he made his way down
the stone postern leading to the main entrance. Night had finally
descended and the full moon shone brightly against the black starless
Peculiar shadows danced in the glow of moonlight. They twisted
into odd shapes, intertwining into each other.
Franz walked cautiously to the gate.
Swallowing nervously, he slowly averted his eyes from the eerie
shadows and forced his trembling legs to keep moving forward
towards the castle's main entrance.
A tiny dark blur darted past him. He stopped, clutched his cloak
tighter around himself, and turned sharply to his left with eyes wide,
limbs shaking. Tension in his gut knotted painfully.
"Who g-goes there?"
He could have sworn he heard something. Pulling his hood away
from his ear, Franz strained to listen. Eerie silence surrounded him.
Gathering what was left of his courage, he continued down the dirt
pathway and up the enormous stone steps leading to the front door.
A sudden shiver raced down his spine, feeling like the cold breath
of someone or something trickling down his back. He whirled around
to see who might be standing behind him, trying to focus into the
pitch darkness, but saw no one.
Taking another deep breath, he grabbed the gargoyle shaped iron
doorknocker and banged it three times against the wooden panel. A
cold wind blew over him, but the icy temperature had nothing to do
with his chattering teeth.
The doors creaked open.
Peering in, Franz stepped inside, adjusting his eyes to the sudden
Several torches lined down the entire length of wall.
His heart thumped. A long foyer led to what he assumed must be
the main dining hall.
The wall reflected shadows that seemed to move with him.
Something watched him.
Up ahead he saw the arched entrance leading into the dining hall.
A fireplace warmed chilled skin. His long cloak suddenly became
much too heavy. He loosened the top allowing it to part open in front.
Eyes darting left to right and fear tightening in his chest, he
hesitantly stepped into the hall.
Someone stood with their back to him, facing the fireplace.
The man stood at least a foot and a half taller than him. His broad
shoulders stiffened and his head turned slightly towards Franz.
"What do you want Miller?”
He sighed deeply and turned around. Dark unemotional eyes
pierced like daggers. .
Franz stammered, feeling the unwavering cold stare from Lord
Dontaleone. The man's expression turned to disgust as he regarded
him. Suddenly feeling pathetic and small, Franz lowered his head to
stare at his booted feet.
"My lord? I..."
Lord Dontaleone stepped a bit closer. "You want to beg me to save
your daughter. And what will you give me in return, hm?"
Franz snapped his head up and blanched. It wasn't his intention to
meet Lord Damien Dontaleone this quickly. He tilted his head back
to see the face of the man before him. The Dark Lord stood tall and
confident. His frame towered over Franz. Unholy power poured from
him, causing Franz to cower back.
His face was well-formed, perfect strait nose, dark penetrating eyes
with high cheekbones. Firm lips were drawn into a tight line hinting
he was well beyond irritated by this little intrusion. Lord
Dontaleone’s mere presence gave validity to countless tales that he
was a creature capable of immeasurable cruelty.
Franz shrank back further from the dark lord, "I've little to offer,
my Lord, but I will gladly give it all if you help my precious Elise".
He sneered at Franz, "You have nothing I want."
The old Miller whimpered and took a few more steps back. "My
lord I beg you ... p-please ... I..."
Something ran past Franz, brushing his leg. He shrieked and
stepped awkwardly out of the way.
A tiny gray gargoyle, with red, yellow rimmed eyes and horns
curled upwards from its temples, scampered across the stone floor
straight to Lord Dontaleone and climbed up his back.
Its hideous little face twisted into an evil smile, revealing large
fangs. It perched on the Lord's shoulder.
The creature licked its lips, eyeing the plump, stout Franz, with
dubious intent. It wrung its skinny long hands together.
Perturbed by the small beast, The Lord grabbed it by its neck,
bringing it eye level, which made the tiny thing cringe with fear from
its master's condemning glare. He tossed it to the floor.
It was a single word, but the meaning was clear and lethal. Both
men watched it scurry off into the shadows. The Dark Lord then
turned sharply, facing the Miller.
"You beg me! Fool! What makes you think I would help a pathetic
excuse for a man like you, hmm? Be gone! Go back to your hovel,
you have made your bed and sealed your daughter's fate! Out of my
The Miller's hands trembled as he pulled his cloak tighter around
himself. He cowered away from Lord Dontaleone. Fire seemed to
erupt around the Dark Lord. His voice echoed demonically and the
room seemed to get colder, darker despite the brilliant glow from the
open fireplace. Defeated, the Miller turned quickly and hurried to the
* * * *
heard the front door open. Her father entered, a look of despair
marring his kind face.
Their last hope had been Lord Dontaleone. If that wasn't bad
enough, she was to report in three days' time to the Grand Duke's
castle in order to begin the task. Two days had already passed. She
sensed by her father’s demeanor that things did not go so well.
However, she still held onto a tiny sliver of hope that the Lord of
Darkhaven, would take pity on her.
She took her father's cloak and hung it up on a hook near the door.
"Papa? Did you speak with Lord Dontaleone?"
He turned to face her. His eyes glistened with his unshed tears.
He swallowed slowly before sitting down in his wooden chair in front
of the hearth. Elise brought him the woolen blanket; her mother had
knitted the last year of her life. She draped it over his legs, and knelt
He paused and took another deep breath. "I did speak with him."
Franz avoided eye contact with Elise, "Lord Dontaleone has rejected
our plea. He will not help us." He bowed his head and released his
hopelessness in a torrent of silent sobs.
Elise froze when she realized the implication of her father's
statement. If Lord Dontaleone would not help her then she was
doomed. After tomorrow, she needed to begin her impossible task of
spinning straw into gold, just to prove her worth as the King's chosen
bride. How she wished her father had never presented her to the King
in the first place.
However, he insisted she could win over the King's fancy from all
the other maidens in the Kingdom. Their lives of poverty would
finally be over.
At least to her father's way of thinking.
Although he meant well, Elise truly had no desire to wed the king.
She was content in her small cottage, helping her father run the mill.
Unfortunately, her father was right, she did win the King's favor,
but with a price. Since she was a peasant's daughter, the King's
advisor Grand Duke DeMumart felt she needed to prove her
worthiness. When he then asked, what her special talents were, her
father began to list all her skills from writing poetry to cooking the
best-stuffed goose in the kingdom.
None of which impressed the King or the Duke. Out of
desperation, he implied that she had a secret talent. When prodded by
the King he told them that she was so proficient at the spinning wheel,
she could spin straw into gold.
She wasn't sure whether her father had intended for the King and
Duke to take the boast literally, but that is exactly what happened.
Ever since that day, they pleaded with all the magical creatures of the
kingdom for help.
However, none had the magic powerful enough to conjure up a
spell that would give her the ability to spin straw into gold. Well, so
Lord Dontaleone was their only hope and although he had the
power, he refused to use it. She turned her attention once more to her
father who still wept uncontrollably by the fire. Her heart sank with
bitter helplessness. She laid her head on his lap.
"Don't worry father. All will be well."
Stroking her head, he sighed, "How Daughter? If you do not
complete the task the King will kill us for hearsay and misleading
him." He shook his head, "It is hopeless. After tomorrow the Duke's
men will come for you and ... and..." placing his hands over his face
the old Miller cried.
Elise wanted desperately to console her father. She would figure a
way out of this. There had to be a way, but what? A sudden gust of
wind blew in forcing the window's shutters wide open slamming them
against the wall. Elise quickly got up and closed them. Another gust,
much more subtle, breezed over her.
Darkhaven, go to him.
The whisper traveled in the wind. Surely, she must be imagining
things. The wind didn't talk. Scolding herself for her own
foolishness, Elise closed the shutters and started to walk back towards
the hearth. Another strong blast of wind shot through the window
again, this time the whisper seemed louder.
Darkhaven ... go ... tonight...
That time she was sure she heard it, but what did it mean. Go to
Darkhaven. Why? The Dark Lord had already rejected her father's