The following is an experiment. It was posted here the same day that it was written, with no beta readers to proof it. I provide this freebie read mainly because I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t sell this story. It involves non-con, you see. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s rape. Nera does not in any way, shape or form consent to what’s happening to her.
This loosely goes with a series of images that I started a few years ago and have lately been playing with again. They can be seen here.
Fair warning I have no end in mind for this. Really. I’m just kind of writing. There’s no special climax I’m working for nor a set goal I’ve got for “ending” the story. This is just kind of going along. I don’t really know how far I’m going to take this. It could go far or it could stop after a few installments. Might depend on if people like it or not *g*
I hope you like.
WARNING: non-consensual sex in future chapters. Stop now if that squicks you.
Nera stumbled forward and fell to her knees on the smooth, hard tiles of the bathing chamber floor. Frightened, she scrambled to the side, anxious to avoid the man behind her.
He stood just inside the doorway, the thick rough blue silk of his robe settling about his tall frame. He pointed to the sunken bath. “Wash yourself.”
She stared at him, eyes wide. “Please, tell me what…”
He raised a hand, back of the palm to her, poised to deal another blow.
She cringed back against the bench carved into the wall.
“Do not question. Obey and you will be treated well. Disobey and you will not. Do you understand?”
She swallowed over a choking sob and nodded.
“Good. Now, strip out of those filthy rags and bathe.”
She used the bench to push herself to her feet. She walked to the edge of the pool and put her hands to the lacing of her dirty green robe. When she didn’t hear the door close, she glanced over her shoulder.
He still stood there. He grimaced. “Disrobe, woman.”
“Your modesty has no place here. You have been captured. You are chattel. You will do as you’re told.”
Fat tears fell from her eyes as she put her back to him. Never before had she been naked before a man. Rarely had she been naked in the presence of other women. With shaking hands, she untied the lacing at her throat and pulled open the neckline her calf-long tunic. She let the filthy, ripped garment slip off her shoulders and fall in a heap at her feet. What once had been comfortable, clean vestments was now just dirty laundry. Trying to ignore the man behind her, she unhooked the wrap around her large breasts and unwrapped the band from her torso. That, too, she let fall. Last, she unbuttoned the light, cotton bloomers from her waist and let them slide down her legs.
“Leave them there.” She flinched at hearing his harsh words, freezing when she began to kneel to pick up her garments. “Step into the tub and wash yourself.”
Fighting sobs, she stepped down the first step, her feet secure on the slightly textured surface of the blue and white tiles. The water was warm, far more so than the tiny baths back at the temple. In truth, the entire room was a luxury she had never dreamed of. This bathing chamber was every bit as large as the main hall where she and her fellow priestesses had taken meals every night. The sunken pool itself was approximately the size of her cell, with two submerged benches every bit as big as her cot. On the other end of the room from the bath was a large vanity table with a padded stone bench before it. Scenes of aquatic life were cunningly depicted in mosaic throughout the entire room. Light streamed through a sunlight above as well as large windows and a door that opened onto a covered balcony. At least a dozen gilded candelabra were set at various points along the tiled walls, currently unlit but no doubt the source of light when the sun was absent.
She heard footsteps behind her and hurried down the four steps to the bottom of the pool, turning with her arms before her breasts. She knew it was useless to cover herself but habits could not be instantly broken.
The man in the robe snatched up her garments, holding them carefully away from the embroidered silk of his skirt. He nodded his head toward a line of bottles and jars seated along the wall and one side of the pool. “Avail yourself of any oil or unguent that suits your fancy.” He frowned at her. “Wash thoroughly and wash well. If you need to use the privy, it is there.”
She glanced toward a folded screen in the darker corner of the room.
He turned toward an opposite corner and tossed her garments into the flames that burned behind a gold screen in a fireplace.
He turned at the sound. “You won’t be needing those.” He pointed at the bottles and jars. “Don’t make me tell you to wash again.”
She turned and crossed the pool. Her left cheek already throbbed from a backhand he’d given her when they’d first dragged her out of the prisoner’s wagon. She had no idea why this man had singled her out, snatching her arm to take her away from the procession of prisoners and leading her down an elegant hallway, away from the others. She had protested, terrified to be separated from her sister priestesses, but his slap had effectively silenced her cries.
The tiered shelf holding the oils and unguents stood before a polished mirror. She started at the clear view of herself. The best the temple had possessed were polished copper plates. This, she could see, was a true mirror made of glass. She raised a filthy-nailed hand to her bruised cheek, tried not to focus on her large, brown eyes as they threatened to spill more tears. What was to become of her?
Unable to do anything but guess, she started to open the bottles, one by one. Jasmine, sandalwood, lavender, honeysuckle. These were the scents she recognized. There were many she couldn’t begin to identify. It seemed that the darker, more masculine scents were in the darker bottles while the lighter floral scents were in the lighter. She picked a soothing lavender bar of clean soap—real soap, not lye soap—as well as one of the wash cloths neatly folded beside the shelf and began to wash.
“Don’t neglect your hair,” he warned.
A glance in the mirror showed his back to her as he sat on the bench before the vanity, attending to himself by the looks of it. As she washed, she contemplated him. He was quite beautiful for a man. Slim and fit. Almost feminine save for the obvious musculature on the arms bared by the robe and the neat mustache and goatee framing sensual lips. She’d never before encountered a man who wore makeup, nor whose hair was so elegantly and intricately braided about his head. It was quite obviously long, but its sable length was twisted and braided into what was almost a headdress, so that the silky tail fell only a quarter of the way down his back.
He caught her watching him in the mirror and scowled.
She hastily leaned into the gentle gout of water pouring into the pool from the gaping mouth of a huge stone fish. She used the separate liquid for her hair, curious despite herself at the sandy texture and the smell of salt beneath the overwhelming lavender, but she didn’t dare ask. When she had rinsed, she remained by the spitting fish, not sure what to do.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him twist on his seat. “Are you finished?”
He stood. “Dump the rag beside where you found it and come here.”
Her heart raced. Until now, he’d treated her with nothing but disdain. Now his tone held the faintest tinge of warmth. She’d heard its like before. It was the tone men got into their voices when they tried to convince the vestal virgins to come talk to them. It was the tone they used when they thought a girl was pretty. It was a tone the temple had sheltered her from.
She had no shelter now.
However, she did not wish to be beaten either. Hesitantly, keeping her eyes averted and her hands hiding her breasts as best she could, she mounted the steps to once again stand by the side of the pool. Water caressed her bare skin as it oozed down to puddle at her feet.
A thick, blue cloth appeared in her downcast vision. She chanced a glance up to see him standing before her. Sunlight twinkled in a row of gold hoops that ringed his left ear. “Here. Use this to dry yourself.”
She took the cloth and dried her skin. She raised it hesitantly to her head and, when he didn’t stop her, ran the soft cloth over her hair to wring out most of the moisture. When she was done, he held out his hand and she put the cloth in it.
He pointed at the bench before the vanity. “Sit.”
She did, watching as he took the cloth and dumped it in a basket in the corner beside a closed door.
He strode toward her and she flinched, but he took little notice. He grabbed a comb from the vanity and stood behind her, taking it upon himself to comb her hair out. She bit her lip over his rough handling and tried not to notice how he watched her in the mirror. She consciously kept her hands clutching the edge of the bench beneath her rather than over her breasts. This seemed to please him.
She wondered if he were her new master. If he was going to do to her that thing that the elder priestesses warned the younger against. Nera knew the basics. Knew that a man had something between his legs that would get hard and he would wish to shove it between her legs. She’d seen goats mate and had been told it was something like that. She had a hard time picturing it.
But he didn’t seem interested in anything other than combing her hair. In fact, she noted that he tried not to touch her skin at all. When he did, it was brisk and disinterested. Although Nera did not want to be molested, she was thoroughly confused and frightened to ask what was to become of her.
He finally had her wet hair combed out and he quickly braided it. Without so much at glancing at her in the mirror, he turned and went to open a chest not far from the vanity. From this, he lifted a few things that puzzled Nera at first.
“Stand up,” he said as he came back.
He held out the first item. “Put this on.”
She took what looked like three little flaps of leather but puzzled over it.
Sighing, he pointed. “That goes around your waist. The loose end of that then comes up between your legs and hooks on the front.”
She blinked, shocked.
“Put it on.”
Afraid of his stern tone, she did as he told her. The little thing could hardly be called a garment and did very little to hide her buttocks. The strap that came between her legs barely contained her mound.
He held out the next garment. This one proved to be more leather straps and he had to help her adjust them so they could eventually contain—barely—her breasts. The final pieces were quite obvious and she stood, trembling as he snapped gold encrusted shackles about her ankles, wrists and neck.
Once done, he draped a floor-length gold cloak about her shoulders, snapped a golden chain to the collar and yanked it. “Follow me.”
She did so, clutching the cloak closed before her. He led her out the door and down a short hallway to a wide staircase. At the bottom of the staircase, they finally encountered other people. She kept her eyes averted, recognizing the expensive fabrics and jewels that adorned these people and assuming that it made them some sort of nobility. She knew that a few paused to look at her, but the man leading her must have been a deterrent to their asking any questions.
They finally came to an open archway draped with layers upon layers of gauzy curtains in deep, rich jewel tones. He led her through these and into a dark, spicy scented room. A tug on her leash stopped her at the edge of a pillowed platform. She stared at the intricate embroidery, aware of others seated around the room.
“This is she, my lords.”
Soft talking ceased. She heard a strange hissing noise followed by a brief, profound silence.
“Well done, Marken,” proclaimed a deep, masculine voice.
The man beside her bowed low from the waist. “Thank you, my lord.”
“Girl. Raise your chin so we can see you.”
She hesitated, but saw the man beside her tense. Rather than receive another cuff, she raised her face.
Four men lounged among pillows toward the center of the huge platform. The center of the area was clear of pillows and sunken. In a place of honor was a huge, bulbous contraption the likes of which she had never seen before. It was gilded in places, smoky glass in others. Some of the glass looked to be housing dark liquid. Each of the men had a tube with a small nozzle within his hand or within easy reach. One of them was sucking at his nozzle as she looked up. He took the nozzle from his lips and smiled at her, exhaling smoke as he did so.
Two of the men wore silk robes, each open to expose bare chests. These men were older, fatter and more rotund than the other two.
The other two terrified her.
One wore comfortable black cotton trousers tucked into slouching black boots. He wore a vest of black encrusted with gold embroidery over a broad chest with chiseled muscles underneath a mat of wiry black hair. His head was shaven and an eyepatch covered his left eye. The right was as glittering black as his clothing.
The other wore dark green trousers, brown, soft boots and nothing else. His torso was equally muscled as the other but more lean and certainly less hairy. His silky black hair hung straight to his shoulders, one side tucked back to display a thick row of golden hoops marching up the entire length of his ear. His eyes were a startling blue, a color very much out of place in the dark olive complexion of his face.
All four men smiled at her. Nera’s heart thumped in terror.
The one in green rolled to his knees, startling her. Unconsciously, she shrank next to the robed man beside her.
The one in green grinned. “You haven’t touched her, have you Marken?”
The man beside her sniffed. “Hardly, my lord.”
She shrank back from him because of his tone.
The man in green rose to his feet, soft boots crushing pillows as he crossed toward them.
“Where do you think you’re going, Ryun?” asked the bald man.
“I’m going to take her.”
“What if I want her?”
“You got the last one.” He stopped one pace before her, proving his height to top hers by a full head. The man was massive.
“Now Scarn, he’s right. You did get the last one,” one of the portly men chuckled. “But what if I might want her, Ryun?”
The blue-eyed man gaped. He swung around to face the man still seated. “Father! Gods damn it, old man! You’ve been after me to start my harem for two years now.”
Blue eyes turned back around and snatched her leash from Marken. She tried to shrink back as he consumed her with those light colored eyes, but he wound the gold chain tightly about his hand and yanked her close. She stumbled up against him, hands splayed in instinct. She gasped when her palms touched hot, silken flesh stretched taut over steely muscle.
He grinned at her surprise. “I’ll start with this one.”
The man behind him laughed. “Very well. I take it you’re leaving us, then?”
“I am.” He stepped off the platform, forcing her to stumble back a step. Only his firm grip on the chain attached to her collar kept her balance. “Marken, tell Aiden to attend my rooms.”
“I will, my lord.”
Blue Eyes nodded, never taking his eyes off her. He herded her back toward the door.
She cried out, tripping.
His grin hitched up a notch. Before she knew what he was about, he bent and flung her easily over his shoulder.