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Russel rode ahead of his brother. Even though he had described the image he had seen, a dwarven village with a Princess trapped in death-sleep, Marcus had no drive to find her. If Russel didn't lead him right to the prize, his brother would never claim it. It hadn't helped that he needed to scour the dwarf lands to find the Princess.
That brought up another concern. He would have to make sure his brother took the Princess before she fought or fled, as Pandora had. Perhaps this hadn't been the best idea . Well, she would be released at some point anyway. Whether she ran then or now made little difference.
Seeing the girl lying out like a corpse caused a reaction in Russel he hadn't expected. He remembered, in vivid detail, Pandora lying in her bed with her golden hair sprayed across her pillow. He remembered kissing her and giving the breath that woke her. But most distracting, he remembered her small moans, the way her chest rose and fell, the blush that crept down her cheeks and across her chest. He had never been with the same woman twice, never recalled one over another. Now, he could think of nothing but Pandora.
“Oh, yeah. This one first.” Russel gave him the bean, but Marcus hadn't gone more than a few steps before dwarves surrounded them, dark and shrunken.
“What are you doing?” a female asked.
“I'm here to wake her,” Marcus answered boldly. More boldly than Russel would have expected. Perhaps their father was making headway turning Marcus into a leader.
The dwarves opened a path and Marcus looked down on the Princess, really seeing her for the first time.
She didn't seem remarkable to Russel. Obviously raised indoors, her pale skin was a sharp contrast with the dwarves, but she was only slightly fairer tha Marcus. Her glossy black hair shone in the sun, but no more lustrous than other ladies, not as brilliant as Pandora's. Despite being less than impressive to Russel, she obviously won Marcus' admiration, moving him to kiss her.
Russel grabbed his elbow before he did, pinching the arm holding the bean.
Marcus gave a small shake and lifted his fist to his mouth.