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*This chapter may contain sexual content.*


"You'll be needing this." Said Cal as he placed a saddle into Ariella's arms.

Ariella huffed, staring at him in disbelief. "Why have you brought me to the stables at this hour? I thought we were to, you know, enjoy our wedding night?"

Cal smirked, as he led two horses from their pens and began to saddle them.

"Callan." Ariella scolded, the saddle weighing her body down. She still wore her wedding gown, the corset making it hard for her to breathe.

He took the saddle from her arms and placed it onto her horse, attaching it securely on it's muscular back.

"I believe the stable master could've mustered this preparation." She said, sighing. She wondered what his intentions were and why he was so focused on not consummating their marriage. He had been leading them around the Palais for hours after their wedding portrait had been sketched, casually as ever.

"Do not fret, mon amour, it is not a hassle." He chuckled, placing a kiss on her cheek as he lifted her up to her horse.

She forced a smile, expecting a complete tour of the forests surrounding the Palais, as he had basically just finished touring her around the royal chambers in the Palais.

Cal lifted himself up to his horse and nodded to Ariella as he set the horse into a fast trot out into the darkness of the night. Ariella sighed, following his actions rather unenthusiastically.

After a silent ride through the forests of the Royal estate, a soft light appeared through a clearing in the trees ahead of them. Cal led them towards it, and as he did, a glorious building began to slowly appear before them.

"A hunting lodge," Cal murmured as they approached it, "Built at my father's request several years ago. It was a sanctuary for me as a young boy, a place where I went to escape the confinements at court."

Ariella smiled softly, slowing her horse down to a stop as they appeared before the little light yellow lodge. It was adorned with statues portraying different aspects of agriculture along the trim of the roof, beautiful women holding grain and vegetables, wheat and vines of grapes.

"Do you like it?" Callan asked, stepping down from his horse.

"Very much," she said softly, returning her gaze to him walking over to her.

He lifted her off of the horse and placed her on the ground before him. He leaned in so that his body was against hers, "Good, because it now belongs to you."

She smiled sheepishly, "You're hysterical. I have need for nothing, you've already given me all my heart desires."

"Why should I not embellish my wife with frivolous things when I have the means to do so?" He laughed, swinging her off of the ground to cradle her within his arms, "Besides, I've had it converted into a lovely studio for your art. I knew you'd have no interest in a hunting lodge, no matter how much you may be skilled in the sport."

She giggled, hugging onto him tightly as he led them into the lodge. She glanced around as they entered, silver vines and details twisting up from the mirrored walls up to the ceiling, where they met with an elaborate crystal chandelier.

"Callan-" she started, taken aback by the exquisite architecture.

He silenced her with a kiss, "You're my Queen now, and you deserve all that this world has to offer you."

Ariella took a deep breath, coming to terms that she'd have to start merely accepting his gifts, for he'd never stop giving them. She smiled, wondering how she was given the opportunity to not only marry the man she loved most in the world, but to also be able to call the country she most adored her own.

"How will I ever get used to this?" She muttered, her voice muffled against his chest as he continued to walk through the long hall.

He rubbed her back soothingly, willing her to open her eyes and look around. And as she did so, she was met with a beautiful studio containing two easels for painting, oil canvases, paints, chalks, and the portfolio that she had gifted Cal, sitting on a drawing desk in the center of the room.

"I requested that the walls be left blank so you could paint them yourself."

She looked to him, meeting his eyes with genuine content, "This is the most lovely thing anyone has ever done for me, I thank you."

"And I thank you." He whispered, moving on to open the door on the opposite side of the hallway.

She looked away from him, embarrassed, "We've been over this, you have nothing to thank me for."

"Oh, ma chère, I believe I do," he murmured, softly resting her down onto a bed in the middle of the room.

She cuffed the pale blue blankets in her hands beside her, "And what is that?" She asked shyly, warmth running through her veins as he held himself above her.

"For letting me do this."

She let out the air from within her lungs as he threw himself against her, kissing her neck eagerly as he reached beneath her to unlace her gown.

"Lord, where has this side of you been hiding?" She breathed, letting the dress fall to the floor.

He laughed as he turned her onto her stomach so he could unlace her corset easier, "I swore to myself that I wouldn't have you till we married."

"And what about our mishap at the Du Bois residence?" She giggled, throwing the unlaced corset across the room.

He reached up her chemise, running his hands about her bare skin, "I lost control, for I hadn't seen you in months."

"I'm here now." She said mischievously, shivering beneath his touch.

"You are indeed, and I would rip this chemise off of you, but I'd assume it's rather expensive," he smirked, leaning down to kiss her shoulder.

"I thought you had the means to buy me anything my heart desires? And what if what I desire is a new chemise?"

He chuckled darkly, "You'll be the death of me, I swear."

She yelped as he tore the thin fabric from her back, revealing her bare skin. He slid his hands from her hips up to her shoulders, which he used to flip her back over to face him. He ripped the remaining fabric off of her to leave nothing between his eyes and her body.

His eyes seemed to ravage her, so much so that he could barely stop himself from leaning down to cup her into his arms. She wrapped her legs around his torso, willing him to come closer.

"Take your clothes off, My King," she whispered, her warm breath making his skin tingle.

He lifted his arms out from beneath her to undress himself, unbuttoning his ceremonial uniform which he still wore and dropping it onto the floor with a clink of his honorary military metals.

"Not that part." She muttered, sitting up. She eyed him seductively as she untucked his chemise from his pantaloons and slid them down to his ankles, "I want you, now."

He smirked, placing his hands on her shoulders, "Lay down."

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