The King's Select by Sullivan ClarkeSex, spankings and medieval intrigue make this three novel set in one complete book, an erotic fantasy romp you won't soon forget.
When Lillith Satterfield finds herself arrested, the young widow tearfully insists on an explanation from Lord Roderick, who comes to retrieve her from the darkened cell. A virtuous woman, Lillith is shocked to learn that her only "crime" was catching the eye of the King as he rode through her village.
King Argus is virtuous by reputation alone, but in reality he is a lascivious and lustful man who pretends loyalty to his wife the queen while keeping a secret stable of specially trained lovers known as "The King's Select". When Roderick informs Lillith that she is to be the newest member of the king's harem, she resists, but he is unrelenting. What's more, she learns that it will be handsome Roderick himself will prepare her for the bed of the king, who has a fondness for spanking and other sexual humiliations.
But neither Lillith nor Roderick can foresee the bond that will form between them as she responds to his touch and his discipline - nor the risk that their bond will entail. As the secrets of just what it means to be a member the King's Select unfold, the couple is forced to flee. But will their sanctuary be another trap filled with equally lessons for all involved - lessons of passion and pain?
Sex, spankings and medieval intrigue make this lengthy book a fantasy romp you won't soon forget.
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The King's Select (Sample Chapter)
He trained her for the King's bed, then he couldn't let her go.
© Sullivan Clarke and Blushing Publications, 2013
Lilith Satterfield paced back and forth in the cell, trying stop the shaking of her fingers as she feverishly working the string of rosary beads. She'd only seen the jailer once since she'd arrived when he'd come to give her some watery soup and stale bread. He'd ignored her when she'd plead for him to tell her why she'd been taken from her home in the middle of the night and incarcerated. She'd broken down in tears and pushed the food away, too heartsick to eat.
She heard footsteps. They were getting closer. Lilith turned and faced the door, her hands still clutching her rosary. She could hear the jailer fumbling with his keys before placing one in the lock. The heavy door swung open and a man walked in.
He was tall and handsome. His thick black hair just touched the collar of his expensive coat. He said nothing as he approached, but locked his gray eyes onto hers. Lilith studied his face, trying to determine whether she recognized him. His jaw was strong, his nose slightly hooked. There was the hint of a beard. His lips were full and sensuous. She was ashamed to have noted that and dropped her eyes.
But he continued to study Lilith. She could feel his eyes on her as he walked around her, appraising her from every angle.
"I am surprised," he finally said, stopping to tip her chin up with his forefinger until she was forced to look him in the face again. "Usually he exaggerates his claims. So often I've heard, 'Get her for me. She's lovely,' only to realize that wine altered his perceptions of the chosen lass. But in your case…."
Lilith found her voice. "Who are you?" she asked. "Pray sir, can you tell me for what crime I've been brought here?"
"You're here for the crime of being beautiful enough to catch the king's eye when he journeyed through your village. He desired you instantly, and what the king wants, the king gets…" He paused. "I am Lord Roderick, His Majesty's most faithful and trusted servant. It is my responsibility to handle the king's….procurements."
Lilith took a step back and shook her head in disbelief. "You are surely mistaken," she said quietly. "King Argus is a good and pious man. It is known that he is faithful to Queen Eleanor. "
Lord Roderick smirked. "What the subjects see is what the king wants them to see, my dear. King Argus has not slid between the sheets of his marital bed in more than a year, and when he does again it will be only to sire another son from the queen, one that might actually live past its first birthday this time. He is far from faithful, but he is discreet and will not have mistresses squabbling and sullying his court. Instead he chooses to keep a small group of beauties at his disposal. They are the King's Select, and you are now among them."
"No." Her tone was adamant.
Lord Roderick shrugged dismissively. "The choice is not yours, fair Lilith, unless you want your father's lands confiscated. You are a good girl. I have checked into your family. Your father loves you very much and since the tragic death of your young husband he is all the family you have left. Do you really want him to replace you in this cell, to die a penniless and broken man with a legacy of disgrace?"
Lilith felt her eyes fill with tears. "You would do that to him?"
"Not me," he said, putting up his hands. "But His Majesty most certainly would. As I said, what His Majesty wants, His Majesty gets. Submit to the king's will and your father will be looked after. Defy the king and see him destroyed."
Lilith moved to the small chair by the tiny cell window and sat down, for her legs were too shaky to bear her. She was silent for a moment, taking in all that had been said to her. She wiped the tears away from her cheeks, sniffed and looked up at Roderick.
"After Edward died, I asked my father to allow me to enter the convent," she said. "He gave me his consent. I was going to go. He was going to let me go. It pleased him…"
"And he is still pleased. He thinks that is where you are, sequestered now in a secret order. It has been seen to, my dear."
"You did this before you even know I could concede?" she asked.
"No one defies the king," Lord Roderick reminded her. "Especially not decent women whose fathers are threatened. I felt confident that you would obey."
"I am not a virgin," she said.
"The king does not want a virgin," he replied.
"But I an not a wanton, either," she said. "Please, sir, let me go, for I knew my husband carnally but for a short time before he died. My lack of knowledge will disappoint the king."
Lord Roderick smiled. "I think not, for when you finally go to the king's bed, you will be impeccably schooled in the sensual arts. You will know how to please a man in every possible way, and every orifice will be primed and ready to receive him."
Lilith blanched and put a hand to her chest, aghast. "How can you say such things?"
He walked over to her and took his chin in his hand. Lord Roderick's face was serious as he looked down at her. "Because, my dear," he replied. "I will be the one doing the training."
She stood and pushed him away, shaking her head. "No," she said. "This cannot be happening. It cannot be."
"But indeed it is," he said. "And now you have a choice to make. Shall I go fetch your father armed with a royal proclamation for his arrest and the seizure of his lands? Or will you submit willingly to the king's will?"
"Please!" she cried, holding her hands out in supplication. "Please, sir! Spare me this fate. I can never be the woman you want me to be. I will disappoint the king…"
"I cannot spare you, and trust me. You will not disappoint the king. I intend to see to it. I ask you again, will you do your duty? Your next words determine the fate of your father. Choose them wisely. Will you or will you not submit to the king's will?"
Lilith knew she had no choice. Her shoulders heaved with sobs as she nodded and tearfully answered. "I will," she said. "Under duress."
"Good lass," he said. "You will be taken from the cell, but first I would assure myself that you completely understand that as soon as we walk through that door, that until the king claims you for his pleasure, you are mine body and soul."
He walked over to the window and picked up the chair Lilith had only recently vacated. Placing it in the middle of the floor, he sat down.
"Come here, Lilith Satterfield."
Lilith wanted to stand her ground, but in truth she was afraid of Lord Roderick. She'd never been in the presence of a man who exuded such an air of dominance. Swallowing her fear, she approached him.
"Sir?" she inquired when she was directly in front of him.
He grabbed her and she cried out, taken completely by surprise. A second later she was over his knee. She felt Lord Roderick pulling roughly at the hem of her skirt, exposing a bottom clad only in thin pantalets. He undid the ties deftly and pushed the undergarment down. Her bottom was bare and as much as Lilith wanted to submit she could not. Not since Edward had anyone seen her so intimately. She tried to push herself off of Roderick's lap, but her efforts were futile. When he began to spank her with hard, painful blows she could only weep and beg for mercy.
But Roderick was not moved. He spanked relentlessly, his large hand assaulting her reddening bottom until her sobs and pleadings dissolved into a pitiful, infantile wail. Lilith went limp over the strong thighs, her strength and resolve to fight him completely exhausted.
Lord Roderick dropped his hand to her tortured bum and rubbed. When she flinched and wriggled, he chided her to hold still and she did, her body shaking from pain. Lilith lay still as her captor pulled her pantalets back into place, lowered her skirts and stood her back up to face him.
"Even with your face covered with tears you are still beautiful," he said.
She sought to calm her breathing, which was still coming in gasps. When she was finally able to form words, she spoke only one.
"Why?" she asked.
"Why did I spank you?" he replied. "For no reason save that I wanted to." He stood, pulling her close to him. "Did it hurt?"
She nodded, fresh tears rolling down her face.
"Then keep this in mind," he said. "That was for nothing. Just imagine what it will be like should you ever defy me."
She shuddered at the statement and Lord Roderick smiled at this evidence of her fear of him. This was what he wanted in a woman he was to train - softness and respect for his authority. He did not tell her that he'd enjoyed the spanking as much as she'd hated it. He did not tell her that he would spank her again, if not for discipline than for his own pleasure. This newest acquisition needed to get used to having her pretty bottom reddened, for this was not just a pleasure exclusive to him but a taste also shred by His Majesty the King as well.
He looked down at Lilith. She was so innocent for a woman who'd been married. She had the air of a virgin, but without the need to be broken in. She also seemed incredibly sweet and humble and unlikely to become haughty over her induction into the King's Select. So many of the women did, and Lord Roderick did not approve. Lilith was different than the rest of them, who had all needed little to no convincing to adapt to their new life. She was the first who would have walked away from the honor that was being offered to her.
"It's time to go," he said. He walked over the door, rapped twice and then spoke to the jailer, who left and returned with the cloak and the little bag of belongings Lilith had been allowed to take when she'd been escorted from her home. Her father had been away on business involving the management of his meager holdings and she had pleaded with the soldiers to let her leave him a note. But they had not. Now she knew why. An explanation had already been given; no doubt the king she thought she knew had some corrupt Bishop in his pocket who would easily convince him Phillip Satterfield that his daughter had joined the order under some urgent call from God. Lilith's father was a deeply religious man; it was better this way, she told herself. If he knew where she really was he would never forgive her for sacrificing herself for him, not like this.
Lord Roderick put the cloak around her shoulders. Lilith felt him lift her long dark blonde tresses up over the neck of the garment. It was a surprisingly tender gesture coming from the man who had just spanked her for no reason.
"Come along," he said. She followed him, coloring deeply when she passed the guard who smiled knowingly at her. He'd heard her cries, heard the sounds of the spanking. This knowledge only added to her humiliation.
The morning sun was bright. If she were home she would be at her sewing or delegating responsibilities to the few servants they had left. Lord Roderick had indicated that her cooperation would put her father in the king's favor. She hoped so. Her father had worked hard, but the last few years had been hard. He'd lost his wife, the son-in-law who had been helping to manage his estate and a lack of rain had led to the poor crop he'd hoped would fill both his store house and purse. Would he connect being the recipient of the king's bounty with his daughter's departure? Lilith comforted herself with the belief that Philip Satterfield would not. As she lay under the king, her unwitting father would give God all the credit for his good financial fortune.
Lord Roderick had a fine carriage. Under any other circumstances, to ride in such a grand coach pulled by such well-bred horses would have seemed like a marvelous adventure for Lilith, whose family kept reliable but modest transportation. She winced as she sat down and hoped that Lord Roderick did not notice, but by his expression, she knew he did. She felt herself blush again and avoided his gaze.
"May I ask where we are going?" she asked.
"To one of the king's houses in Westmore. It's very quiet, very secluded. He set it up for the Select three years ago."
"How many women are there?" she asked.
Lord Roderick gave her a stern look. "You ask too many questions," he said. "You may ask questions that I will choose not to answer. Suffice it to say that the king keeps as many women as he desires to satisfy his diversity of needs. He is a man of substantial appetite. But you, my dear, I believe will be his new favorite dish."
She reddened at this remark and he laughed.
"Charming," he said, patting the seat beside him. "Come, sit by me."
She did not want to. Lord Roderick scared her to death. But she did not want to risk defying him. Her bottom was still sore. She stood and moved to the other side of the coach. The seat was roomy and she sat as far from him as possible.
"Not over there," he said. "Sit by me." He pulled her to him, his long arm around her waist. Lilith looked down at the seat, afraid to raise her eyes to him. When he demanded she do so, he captured first her gaze and then her mouth. His kiss was insistent. She initially tried to resist but when she did he slid a hand underneath her and brutally squeezed her bottom. She cried out against his mouth and felt him chuckle into hers. His hand was snaking up her skirt now, sliding up and up and up her thigh underneath her pantalets.
"Don't!" She tried to stop the forward trajectory of his hand, but he ignored her as his mouth moved to her throat. His breath was hot on her neck as his fingers found their mark. She felt his fingers slide through the slickened folds of her pussy and then deep inside of her to work back and forth.
She tried not to squirm, not to move but to her horror found her hips thrusting to meet his fingers when his thumb began to press her clit with maddening pressure.
"Please, sir!" She sobbed her humiliation, but he shushed her.
"Don't be ashamed," he said. "You are as the king wants you. He said he could tell by the sway of your hips as you walked through the marketplace that you were a passionate woman. And by God he was right…"
He withdrew his finger. "Oh, the things I will teach you, Lilith," he said. "The hardest part will be turning you over to His Majesty. But until that time, you will be the most enjoyable of tasks."
"I am not a task," she said, angry. "I am a person."
Lord Roderick smiled. "If we were not on the way to Westmore I would punish you for your tone. But I'll not have you greet your sisters with tears streaming down your face." He pulled her close again. "Tonight you will get a harsh lesson in what happens to females in my charge who dare to address me with anything short of a proper tone."
Her heart was thudding in her chest. Would he really spank her again so soon? She blinked back fresh tears, afraid of crying when he told her he did not want her to greet the others in distress. Lilith fell silent for the rest of the journey and was relieved when Roderick finally ceased and left her alone. Eventually they arrived at Westmore house, and she could see the grand manor now at the end of a long drive surrounded by acres of manicured lawns. Swans floated on a lake rimmed with willow trees, their images mirrored flawlessly in the water. The horses picked up their pace as the carriage moved between two lines of huge trees before going halfway round a circular drive and pulling up in front of the manor house.
Lilith had never seen such a fine place. It was huge and she found herself again wishing the circumstances that brought here were anything but what they were. Lord Roderick exited the coach and then held his hand to her. She took it and carefully stepped from the coach. The house looked even bigger from the ground.
A servant answered the door. Lord Roderick nodded curtly to the man and ordered him to escort Lilith to the study. The servant looked her up and down, a flicker of appreciation in his eyes.
"Would you like something to drink while you wait, miss?" he asked after directing her to the room.
"No, thank you," Lilith said.
"I will fetch you when he has the others assembled." The man bowed low and then left the room. Lilith waited, her heart racing. She was scared of meeting the other women, although she didn't know why. She should, she thought, be happy to meet them. It would give her some sense of shared sacrifice and make her feel less alone.
"Lilith?" Lord Roderick was at the door, summoning her. She walked out, her heart pounding, and followed him into the main hall where a line of six women stood staring in her direction. They were all beautiful, and arrayed in lovely gowns of different colors.
Lord Roderick led her down the line, introducing them one by one as he went. Faith, Lydia, Mary, Jane, Katherine, Celeste.
All the girls smiled except for Jane, who was the prettiest of the six.
"This is Lilith," Lord Roderick said. "She is the newest member of the King's Select. You will all make her feel at home, or you will answer to the tawse. Is that clear?"
The women all nodded.
Lord Roderick studied the women one by one for a moment.
"Jane," he finally said. "You will show Lilith to her room."
"Why me?" she asked. Lilith was surprised at the tone of her voice. Lord Roderick walked over to her.
"Do you want a spanking?" he asked her.
"No, my lord," Jane replied, dropping her gaze.
He sneered. "I think you do, which is why I will not give you one. In fact, another punishment is in order. You will be sent to bed alone tonight, without supper. And you will not entertain the king on Wednesday…"
"My lord, no..please!" Jane's expression was nothing short of stricken.
"Would you rather be banished?" Lord Roderick asked. Jane began to cry and shook her head. "I thought not. Now go."
She fled with a sob. The other women watched her go but said nothing.
"Faith, you will take her place in the king's bed," Lord Roderick said.
"Yes my lord," Faith said with a curtsy and a nod of her auburn head.
"You will also show Lilith to her room since Jane passed the opportunity."
"Yes, my lord." Faith walked over and took Lilith's hand. As soon as they were out of the room, she turned to Lilith.
"Forgive Jane," she said. "It is always difficult for the newest select to welcome a newcomer. The newest are the king's favorite, like a new toy. And Jane has allowed herself to fall in love with His Majesty. She's merely jealous, but I was the same way when she came…"
"Why did she cry?" Lilith asked. "I would think she would be pleased to have escaped a spanking."
Faith shot her a knowing smile. "You are new and innocent," she said. "In time, you will find that there are worse things than being spanked by Roderick. For some, it is worse to be denied a spanking. Come now…."
She turned, and Lilith followed her up the stairs, wondering at her words. Her bottom still was tender under her gown, and she did not understand how anyone would welcome the pain of punishment. She realized that Faith was right. She was indeed innocent. But that innocence, she knew, would soon be lost. Was she ready? Lilith wasn't so sure she was.