Her Devil's Backbone
I just wanna break you down so badly
But in the worst way
Astoria released a breath as she waited behind the curtains. A silver sword gleamed in her hand under the moon's gentle light. Today would be the day she kills Prince Draco.
The servants told her that he decided to bathe alone this evening. Any minute now, he could walk into his room, clean from his bath, until he'll be drenched in his own blood at her hands. Her fingers tapped the hilt of her sword in anticipation, but also in nervousness.
She has spent months planning this destruction to what it was now. By Merlin, she will not fail tonight.
She nearly jumped out of her wits when she heard the sound of the door open. Her green eyes flickered towards the small light that bled through the room from the hallway. A figure emerged and entered the room before the door shut with a soft thud.
Prince Draco's lean figure entered more into the space. The light of the room caught every inch of his imposing build, from his taut shoulders, to his well-muscled chest, and—Merlin's soggy balls, was that?
Astoria felt heat rise to her cheeks as the moon cast its light on the prince's impressive manhood. The hair on her skin rose at the sight as she pressed her legs together. No, she could not be attracted to him. It's not like it was her first time seeing a man's length and yet…
Focus, she mentally reprimanded herself. He would not be as impressive when he's dead.
When she saw him turn away, his taut ass to her, she pushed the curtain aside. As she stalked towards him with feather light footsteps, she did her best to keep the silver of sword away from what little light the moon provided in the room.
A little further, she thought, as she's now inches from his back. She did not have time to react, or even drive the sword into him, when she felt his strong hands grab her.
It was dark as she struggled in his hold. After the scuffle of her attempt to free herself, the prince finally had a vice-like grip on her body. They had moved towards the moon's light in their altercation.
She felt his strong body pressed tightly against her back. He trapped her against him, one arm encasing both her arms to her sides. But perhaps what made her heart race further was that Draco now had the blade of her sword against her throat, the cold of the silver sending shivers down her spine.
"And here I thought you came to seduce me," His hot breath fanned against her ear.
Her skin dimpled with fear as she stared at the window, daring not to turn her head to look at him.
"What gave you the impression that I would ever do such a thing?" She asked haughtily. A groan escaped her lips at their contact. He was hard against her, his length pressed between her cheeks.
"Many, Astoria," The way her name rolled off his tongue so languidly made her feel conflicted in all sorts of ways. The unexpected desire between her legs made her want to just tell Draco to kill her with her sword. "Though mostly because of how you've dressed tonight."
A wild blush bloomed on her cheeks. Her vanilla dressing gown was forsakenly too thin for her liking. Beforehand, she had chosen it merely because it was the easiest to discard after she kills the prince. She didn't expect the situation she was in to happen, nor did she expect to catch Draco in the bleeding nude and pressed up against her.
She gritted her teeth, trying to focus. "Go ahead. Kill me."
"So soon?" Draco's cruel chuckle echoed the room. She could feel his lips against her ear. "Tell me. How long have you been meaning to assassinate me?"
"Months ago," Astoria spat bravely. "I had to gain your trust first."
"And you did, among other things," He replied playfully. Her body betrayed her at his words, remembering heated moments of the desperate kisses they've shared not too long ago out of their drunken state. "I suspected from the moment you came into my castle that you were sent to kill me."
Astoria snorted, the spell of her memory relinquished. "Then why didn't you kill me then?"
"I wanted to see how far you'll go." Draco drawled out the words lazily, as though they were having a normal conversation in the drawing room.
"How far I'll go? You keep a bloody dagger under your pillow because you're so anxious not to trust anybody." She hissed at him as she tried her hand at moving, only for Draco's grip to tighten around her. The sword against her throat seemed more menacing than ever. "You have an uncharacteristic way of playing games, your highness."
"Only games with you, Astoria." His voice was husky now as he drew the sword inches away from her. "How about we play one tonight?"
"You're mad." Astoria wanted to sound firm, but found that her voice choked when she felt his hips push at her back suggestively. He was stiffer—and tempting—than ever. "What do you propose we play instead of you choosing the logic of just killing me right here and now?"
She felt his chest rumble behind her as he laughed lowly. Her breath hitched when his teeth bit into her earlobe. The heat between her legs was demanding now.
Traitor, she growled internally. Astoria would not deny that she had an attraction for the prince. A physical one, that is. Their manipulative power play against each other throughout her stay in court had been a part of the destruction she's planned. But she didn't plan for her to feel almost attached to the sudden desires, the sudden sexual tension she had of him in the past months.
"Could you not think of one we'd both enjoy?" He asked lowly, his lips travelling from her ear down to the length of her neck. She suppressed a moan as he bit the skin of her neck before placing hot, desirable kisses against her skin. A whimper escaped her at the contact, betraying every instinct of her taking his seduction as an advantage to escape.
Her body sagged considerably as she watched him throw the sword out of her reach. She did not even bother to remember where it fell. She was too busy panicking over how every inch of her body was aflame now as Draco's free hand roamed her chest.
"You destroyed my village. Your men killed my family." Astoria gasped aloud as he took her breast in his hand, reminding herself why she needed to escape his grasp. "I have nothing left."
"That." Draco murmured as he circled her breast teasingly. His hand then slipped underneath her dressing gown, letting his fingers brush her nipple delicately. She held back a moan. "Was. Not. Me."
"Liar." She replied weakly as her body leaned against his, fitting the space perfectly. His fingers were tantalizing as they moved south down to her abdomen. "Those men—"
"Those men were ordered by my father long before his untimely death." His lips kissed her shoulder, shoving the vanilla fabric out of the way with his mouth. "By the time I found out he had sent those men, it was too late."
Astoria didn't know if he was telling the truth. The only reason the prince seemed so anxious, so paranoid, even, of his surroundings, was because he had many enemies that wanted his throne. But maybe it wasn't his fault. Maybe he was prejudiced by people who thought his reign would be just the same as his father's was.
But she snapped out of that reverie when Draco's long fingers brushed her folds.
"Don't—" Astoria exclaimed in surprise, but her body responded differently, feeling the pleasure build up within her.
"Don't what?" Draco asked huskily.
A whimper escaped her, and all instinct betrayed what her body couldn't deny as she begged, "Don't stop."
Astoria yelped when Draco suddenly released her and turned her towards him. His strong arm pressed her body against his. Her bright green eyes searched his cold, grey ones. The light of the moon illuminated his hard features.
"I thought you meant to kill me?" He asked, a pompous smirk gracing his lips. "Or has my skillful hands changed your mind?"
She would have done anything to wipe that smirk off his face. Astoria remained passive. "Maybe tomorrow."
Draco released a laugh before his arms lifted her from the ground. Astoria's legs instinctively wrapped themselves around his waist, her arms flailing to hold onto him. They were so close… their lips barely out of reach…
"This means nothing to me." Astoria hissed at him as Draco moved them towards his bed. "Nothing. After this, you'll be dead."
"Keep telling yourself that." Draco said in amusement before he dropped her onto his sheets. Astoria watched him tower over her on the bed, trapping her with no way out. He leaned down to press hot kisses against her collarbone; her weak spot. "Anything else to declare?"
"Damn you," Astoria groaned weakly, every nerve of her body aflame as his hands wandered south, causing her body to arch into his touch. She's dismissed every rule to abide by now. "Damn you to hell, Draco."
She felt him smirk against her skin before he moved up to capture her lips against his.
Her resolve shattered.
Astoria was exhausted when she woke up. Her eyes fluttered open to reveal the room she was in. The place was illuminated with the sun's rays bleeding through the windows. It only took her a moment before she bolted up from where she laid.
Her body screamed in protest at the sudden jolt. She looked down to find herself completely naked. With wide eyes, she covered herself up with the duvet. Her gaze drifted around the familiar room before she stomached her guilt.
"Damn it," Astoria cursed at herself, running a frustrated hand through her brunette locks when she saw her thin dressing gown lying in a pile near the windows. Memories of what happened last night flooded her mind, pooling heat between her legs.
Before she could even make a move to escape the room, the door flew open. Standing there was Draco, bare-chested and in his trousers. He basked with mirth and mockery when their eyes locked. Astoria held the duvet closer to her as the prince shut the door behind him.
"We didn't…" Astoria trailed off, even though she knew they did.
"Oh, we did. Quite loudly, I might add." Draco chuckled, a rattling sound along with it. Astoria now saw that he was carrying a silver tray full of food in his hands. As he approached her, he went on, "Slept well, have you?"
"Where's my sword?" She asked briskly, eyes surveying the area to look for its familiar glint. "That was my father's—"
"I had it sent to your room." The prince said, placing the tray on the side table next to the bed. Her eyes drifted towards the tray. It was laden with toast, golden syrup and fruits.
Astoria looked up to glare at him. Her body, still sore from the events of last night, screamed in anguish when she tried to swiftly take the fork on the tray. Before she could bury the tines on the prince's neck, he managed to catch her wrist in his hand. The fork fell and clattered onto the marble floor.
Draco's lips curled in amusement. "You waste no time, Astoria."
"I did tell you you'd be dead after last night, your highness." Astoria growled despite the cold her chest felt. The duvet she held earlier had fallen off in her attempt to make a move on the prince. She shoved everything that happened last night in the back of her mind. For today, she would not make the same mistake.
"At least give me a chance to explain." Draco tried to reason with her.
Astoria recoiled from his touch as she shoved the duvet back up against her chest. "Explain? You had plenty of chances to explain in the months we've known each other about the attack on my village. What makes today any different?"
She decided to give him the benefit of the doubt despite her urgent need to get the nearest sharpest object and kill him with it. The prince sat at the edge of the bed, looking pensive. There was a moment's breath before he finally spoke.
"My father sent those men to your village a month before he took ill." Draco began as he stared at the marble floors. "I was handling most of the delegations at that time as prince regent, I admit. But I didn't hear of it until those men came back with the traitors my father planned to execute from the village. By the time they got here, he was already dead."
"And the traitors? Did you kill them like your father wanted?" Astoria asked haughtily.
The prince shook his head. "I reasoned with my mother, the queen. With the king dead, I saw no reason to kill the people my father had a score with. I spared their lives and gave them jobs in the castle instead. Most of them work in the kitchens."
"It mattered little that you gave them jobs when they have no family to feed because your father's men killed them." She spoke aggressively this time. "Money can't pay the price of a person's loss."
"No, I imagine it can't." Draco nodded solemnly. "But I did what I could out of short notice."
"Even if you knew those traitors could come for you in the dead of night?" Astoria asked incredulously. "Is that why a keep a dagger under your pillow?"
"Yes, among other things. Like a pretty village girl of status coming here to work as one of my advisers, when really, she's been planning to assassinate me from the start." The prince chuckled darkly.
Her cheeks became the color of tomatoes. "Why didn't you tell me this in the first place?"
"Like I said, I wanted to see how far you'll go." This time, Draco turned to meet her gaze; a glint of humor in his grey eyes. "Clearly, quite far."
Astoria hugged the duvet closer to her chest.
"So you're telling me you're not like your father?" She asked sarcastically, barely believing the words herself.
"Greed runs in the family. That much I can admit. But it's not to say I'm not trying to be a better… well, not a better person, but rather, a better ruler than my father was." Draco looked determined as he spoke. "Change is so difficult to show when the whole bloody country thinks you're a murderer like your father. Tell me, in the months you've been my adviser, have you ever seen me plan an attack on a group of people without sound reason?"
Astoria opened her mouth to say an immediate yes, but decided against it when she realized there was no proof of her assent. "You could have done it behind my back. You could have spoken to the other advisers. The people, and myself, wouldn't know the difference."
"Except I rarely run plans through them now, do I?" He asked with a quirk of a brow. "I always run things by you. You know me more than I know the back of my hand. I suppose that's why you almost got me last night."
A pregnant silence suffused the room.
"I've lost everything," She avoided his gaze this time. Her eyes moved towards the window where she managed a generous view of the gardens. "My village… my family… All I have is my father's sword, and my people's vengeance."
"I can never replace what my father took from you." Draco started. "But you can help me try to be better than him."
Perhaps he could be different. A better change for the country than King Lucius ever was.
Astoria lifted her head to meet his gaze. "Well, you weren't much of a heartless man in the months I knew you."
The prince released a relieved laugh. "That's comforting to hear."
"But you've got plenty to go." Astoria interrupted firmly. "Starting by letting the people know that you will be a just and noble man once you become king."
Draco opened his mouth to speak, but she raised a hand at him.
"I'm not saying they're going to love you immediately." She shook her head. "But that doesn't mean you're completely irredeemable. If what you say is true, you could be a better king than your father, or any of the Malfoys of past."
He smiled at her. "That's music to my ears. Is this a truce, then?"
Astoria lifted a brow at him before her lips then melted into a knowing smirk. "I don't know. Are you just going to sit there and bear your soul out? Or are you going to come here and continue what we started?"
Draco looked surprise, but quickly recovered with a smirk of his own as he turned to crawl up to her.
Once he's reached her, she took his face in her hands. "If I find out you're messing with me, I swear I won't hesitate to kill you."
"Oh, Astoria," Draco drawled her name out languidly before he took her lips in his. They both expelled a satisfied moan, hands reaching out desperately for each other's touch. When he pulled away, Astoria was breathing hard, eyes filled with desire equal to the one Draco possessed. He smirked at her then. "I don't expect anything less."