(WP) The Worst Villain and The Fiery Heir

(WP) The Worst Villain and The Fiery Heir

At last, it was happening, finally, he thought to himself, flushed with his victory. He’d done it.

He stared down at the sedate princess that lay down on the bed inside of his tiny cottage. He may have been the villain of this land, but he knew how to stay under the radar. It would not do to make any missteps, not now, when he’d finally captured a princess. It had taken weeks of planning, but at last, he had a pawn to use, something to hold over the kingdom’s head until they gave in to his demands.

He hadn’t become the best villain around just to be ignored. Not anymore.

The princess was deep in slumber, even several hours after she’d been kidnapped. She was a lovely specimen, with golden brown skin,  tattoos of red, gold, and orange looping up and down her arms in a language he hadn’t seen before, long, dark lashes, and a full, plush mouth that was parted slightly, as if waiting for a kiss. Her gown had gotten ripped in transport, even though he’d told the blithering idiots who served him to be especially careful with her.
But he simply couldn’t have done it himself, without any muscle. He may have been a magic worker, but he’d had things to do here in the cottage, so he’d sent them instead. He was itching to wake the princess, but he didn’t dare; better that she wake up on her own.

Then he’d break the news that she was his prisoner, at least until he’d gotten his way.

Lost in his own thoughts, he turned away, wanting to prepare a simple meal for his captive when she woke. He knew how to entertain, even if it had been years since he’d even attempted to do so. People who lived around here tended avoid him, partially due to the fact that he had been such an awful villain until now.

He found himself grinning; that would all change now. The kingdom would not allow their precious only heir to waste away here; she was his golden ticket to ruling over all.

**
When she awoke, the room swam; why wasn’t she in her suite in the palace? This place was small, dark, and smelled of game and smoke. She sat up, so quickly that the unfamiliar room spun around her.

“Where am I?” She asked, and her voice came out muffled, as if from underwater. “This isn’t the palace. I demand answers!”

She could feel the flames inside of her flaring in her blood, readying her for a fight. She wasn’t some fragile, delicate flower that needed saving. Quite the opposite, actually. But the universe had endowed her with the ability to hide her true nature inside of her skin, and she was thankful for it. It was much better to hide in plain sight; as a result, no one but her family knew what she really was.

She was ready for a fight; she would burn this pile of sticks to the ground if it meant getting free, and the creature inside her strained against her hold on it; it longed to spread its wings, to rip and tear and rend, to feel the air on her skin.
But first, she had to figure out just who, or what, had spirited her away from the palace.

She got out of bed, ignoring the way her limbs were heavy, fighting her as if sleep still had a firm grip on her body.
Just as she did, she heard the creak of a wooden door opening on rusty hinges, and her head swiveled in the direction of the sound. And then a merry, deep baritone, singing a jaunty tune. It made her sleepy, all over again, and she shook her head, trying to clear it.

She had to keep her wits about her.

**
When he entered the room, he saw that his ward (the word prisoner was so unpleasant, and he didn’t want them starting off on the wrong foot), awake, bright golden eyes blinking in the dim light.

“You’re awake! I brought you some food. Simple fare, less than what you’re used to, no doubt, but it will do, I suppose.”
Before he could so much as take another step, the girl growled, a deep, guttural sound low in her throat, and if he wasn’t mistaken, smoke curled out of her nostrils.

“Who are you? Where am I, and what do you want with me?” She snarled, teeth bared at him, but he just smiled; he was certain that lack of rest was making him hallucinate. There was no way that smoke was coming out of her nose. That was impossible.

“Oh, just someone who wants to use your position to gain control of your kingdom, Highness.” He said blithely; he saw no point in lying. “Now, you’d best eat, because at dawn, I must send word to your parents that you are in my possession. I’m sure they’re worried.” He set the tray of food in front of her, waving a hand so that she sat against her will.

She’d heard of this magic worker; he may have played at being a villain, but until now, he’d never been successful at anything remotely evil. She sniffed at the food in front of her: a glass of milk, a savory stew swimming with chunks of meat and a bounty of vegetables, and freshly baked bread, studded with fruit and nuts. It all smelled delicious, and the monster inside her growled, desperate for nourishment.

She didn’t smell any poison in the food, and besides, she needed strength if she was to fight back.
Keeping one eye on her captor, she quickly ate the food, barely tasting it. Thankfully, the low light hid the glowing tattoos that adorned her arms and shoulders.

She just had to bide her time, even if she was ready to scream her impatience. All of her animal instincts were firing up, and as a result, it was close to impossible to sit still.

**

She’d eaten the food, with little hesitation, even as he saw the questions that blazed in her eyes. He stood up to take the tray to the kitchen, and he turned around, walking to the door. But he never made it, because when he spun around, there was a gigantic scarlet dragon standing behind him, with razor-sharp fangs and bright golden eyes.

The princess’s eyes.

And that was the last thing he saw before his blood splattered the cottage walls.