"Then take me."

Hiro's breathing stopped, or so he thought. "What?" he carefully asked.

"It is inevitable now that the King may do whatever he pleases to me. So I beg you, take me. Make my first a happy one to remember. Please Hiro."

Hiro looked at his beautiful Denaire. He knew it wasn't yet the right time. He knew it wasn't. But the idea of her under the King makes him want to murder the King even more.

"Denaire, you could always back out. I'll kill him for you."

"Hiro," Denaire clutched Hiro's robe. "You know I don't want you to get killed."

"And you'd rather he'd kill you? Is that what you want?"

"No. He wouldn't kill me. The main reason he wanted to marry me is to spite you."

"What?" Hiro asked in surprise.

"The King told me how you always turned down his invites in his parties with his concubines. And that makes him mad. All the other generals have accompanied him in those occasions except you. That's why he thought that if I would be his, you would finally agree."

"What a twisted logic." Hiro commented.

"I know. So I know I won't be killed. The worst he'd ever do to me is taking away my virginity since he knew I was then. Imagine his fury on our wedding night." Denaire laughed half-heartedly.

"How could you laugh away this matter? And why would he be mad?"

"Because you will take it instead of him. I am willing to do it with you Hiro, rather than him."

Hiro looked away. "Am I just a choice for you then?"

"No. You are the only one. I want it to be with you." And Denaire took the initiative; she kissed Hiro on the lips.

She was rather shy at first because she didn't know if this was what Hiro wanted. But when Hiro held her face and deepened the kiss, Denaire let lose all her anxiety and fear. She responded to Hiro's kisses and gestures.

They both found themselves on the bed a moment later, still kissing, and encased in passion.

Hiro broke the kiss and once again looked into depths of Denaire's now golden eyes. "Denaire, my love, are you sure about this? Are you sure? You can back out now."

Denaire smiled lovingly at the man on top of her, the man he fell in love with in her moments alone in this foreign kingdom. "Yes Hiro, I love you."

Tears ran down Hiro's cheeks. "I have waited for so long for you to say those words to me."

He kissed Denaire's forehead, her brows, her eyes, and then the tip of her nose, her cheeks, and then her jaw.

"I promise I'll take you out of that hell as soon as possible. I promise I'll always be here for you. Do not be afraid, for I will surely come for you at the end of it all."

He claimed her lips once more and kissed her more passionate now as to let her feel how happy he is now that she confessed her love to him.


Morning came, and Hiro was nowhere to be found. Denaire sat up groggily and noticed her surroundings. She was still in Hiro's room.

She noticed the bed – clumped sheets, wet stains and a blood stain, probably coming from her. She was always worried that the first time would hurt, but Hiro was gentle with her.

Her face felt hot just from remembering what occurred to them last night. "Oh I can't stop thinking about it!" she said loudly.

"But where is Hiro?" she said while slowly standing up. She ignored the aches she was feeling all over her body, most especially between her legs. She picked up a robe from the floor to wear and went down slowly.

She reached the bottom of the stairs when she felt something fragrant.

"Hmmm, food," she exclaimed dreamily.

She ran towards the source just by trusting her nose and there she saw Hiro scooping something from a pan.

She admired Hiro for a bit before speaking, "I didn't know you could cook."

Hiro turned around and smiled at the girl in front of him. "I always liked to learn new things, and this is what interested me before. But I'm not an expert, so you have to make do."

Denaire approached him and said softly, "I am quite sure that whatever you cook is very delicious."

Hiro chuckled and then ordered me, "Now you have woken so early you are obliged then to eat here with me. I planned to have a breakfast in bed with you but –" He ended with a sigh.

It was Denaire's turn to chuckle. "Oh, I'm sorry I thwarted your plans, O Great General."

Hiro lightly pushed her back to let her sit on the chair, which she laughingly did. "Okay, sire. I'll wait for your magnificent cooking to be finished."

Hiro laughed and rolled his eyes at Denaire.

Denaire watched Hiro cook and how she felt so at peace, so happy. She wished that moment would last forever. But fate had other plans, for in a couple of hours, King Andrew shall fetch her and commence their wedding ceremony.