I led Marnessa inside the empty, silent house, lighting lamps and candles as I went. I didn't quite trust her, as her reaction to the rescue had been peculiar. Normally a freed slave would be jubilant and grateful, but she was only withdrawn. I discarded the gag and the rest of her bonds, then led her to my bedchamber where we might take some refreshment. I sat Marnessa down on the bed and poured both her and myself a glass of white wine. She stared at her glass as if had grown fangs and would bite her.
"You're free now, " I explained. "You're safe in this house, and we won't allow anyone to take you back." Then, because she seemed so vacuous, "Do you understand?"
She looked slightly puzzled. "But Mistress, I am a slave. Slaves cannot be free."
"Nevertheless you are," I said crisply. "And I am not your Mistress. There's no need to call me that."
I sighed in frustration, then snapped off her brass collar and threw it on the floor. "There. Does that convince you?"
She felt her neck with delicate pampered hands. A normal girl would have given her throat a quick touch, nothing more. But her fingers lingered on her skin as if she enjoyed the feel of her body, or felt compelled to show others that she did. "Do you...do you want me to serve you, Mistress?"
"You are free!" I shouted. "You no longer have to serve anyone!"
Tears appeared in her eyes. "But...Mistress, please, I *have* to serve!"
The way she spoke it betrayed a deep compulsion. Here she was, free as I was, yet she thought she was still a slave! "Don't you know realize you're free, Marnessa?"
"My name is not Marnessa," she stammered, her eyes glistening. "My name is Wild Nipples. I beg you, Mistress, please, let Wild Nipples serve you now."
"Your name is Marnessa," I commanded. "Repeat it. 'My name is Marnessa.' "
"My name is Marnessa," she repeated dully.
Was it possible Shezrine had warped her so much she no longer remembered her past life? "How far back do you remember, Marnessa? Do remember your life as a child? A teenager? Do you remember feasting in the palace or going horseback riding, or perhaps wandering through markets, buying a bangle that caught your eye?"
Her eyes went distant. "I...I don't remember, Mistress. Once I served Queen Shezrine, that I know. She made me what I am. But I displeased her, and she sent me away."
"You remember nothing before that?"
I wracked my mind, wondering what I should do.
"You serve me now," I said firmly. There was no other way to get around her mindset. "I'm your new owner, and you will obey my orders."
"Yes, Mistress," Marnessa said eagerly.
"First of all, you will not leave this house without my permission. And you will not try to escape. I have my knife and sword, and I assure you I am very vigilant. Not only that, but Temple warriors roam the outside walls, preventing any from leaving or entering without the rebels' permission."
"Yes Mistress. I will not leave, Mistress."
"Outside of that, you are free to roam this house. Eat, if you feel hungry; bathe if you wish. You may speak freely to me about your other wants. If any of the rebels should ask you questions, as we will later, you will answer to the best of your abilities, giving a full and detailed reply. You will not hold any information back, and you will not lie. Do you understand?"
"Oh, yes Mistress. Slaves cannot lie!"
I smiled to myself. That would certainly make things convenient. Unlike the freemen who had been enslaved, Shezrine's slaves had no loyalty. They would gladly serve whomever claimed them, spilling their previous owner's secrets in the process. That could prove very useful. "Good. I'm glad we understand each other. Now I want you to drink your wine and get some sleep on the cot I've prepared for you. Tomorrow we will see about turning you back into a normal human being."
Obediently, she finished her wine in one draft, then slid off the bed. She knelt before me on the floor, back bowed, head down, the top of her curly head touching the toes of my boots. Then she rose and glided unobtrusively but gracefully to the corner of the room, where she lay upon the cot and was still.
I poured myself a second glass of wine and stripped off what remained of my clothing. It looked like she wasn't going to be a problem. I was glad, for I was sorely troubled by how to handle her. I had staunchly refused to own slaves even before I had come to Obn Dhregni; I had never wanted total power of life and death over another human being. Total power always becomes into total cruelty. Yet, I could see that I had to take some authority with her, as she was incapable of directing herself.
Naked, I went to the bath where I rinsed off the last of the face-paint and gave myself a cool shower with water from the roof cistern. I used some of the oils to scent myself, then toweled myself dry. I felt clean and composed for sleep by then so I returned to the bedroom. The lamps had gone low so I extinguished most of them save for one I kept by the bed. Marnessa was sleeping on her side, the luscious twin moons of her buttocks facing toward me. She had not availed herself of a blanket. I peeled back the thin sheets of the bed and settled myself inside, then opened one of books Lassimla had left for me to read. It was a history of the city and told me more about those puzzling beasts of stone.
A rustle came from the corner. "Mistress, are you yet awake?"
"Yes," I said automatically. "I am reading, though."
She didn't get the hint. "You said I could speak freely, Mistress."
"That I did." I sighed and laid the book aside.
Marnessa rose from her cot and stepped lightly across the floor to my bed, facing me across the lower railings. Her firm breasts pressed against the bars, nipples peeking through. The expression on her face was guileless as a daisy. "May I serve you now, Mistress?" she asked, with the ingenuous way of a child who has a new idea and thinks it the most original in the world. Her eyes traveled over my body. The thin covers had done little to conceal it, showing the outline of my breasts, the parted vee of my legs. When she came to my face she submissively cast her eyes down, not meeting my own. "This slave so wishes to please you, Mistress."
I knew what she meant. And I would not accept it, for it would mean walking in the path of Shezrine and all the other cruel sybarites of this city. "No," I said firmly. "Go back to your cot."
"But Mistress..." her lower lip trembled, destroying the perfect pout that Shezrine had sculpted on her face. "I want to please you. I *need* to. I...cannot sleep, unless I satisfy you completely."
"I am already satisfied." But my body betrayed that I was not. The sexual nature of the dance and concupiscerium, then the excitement of the kidnapping, had affected me. Two subtle peaks had risen from beneath the thin white sheet, a reflection of my secret thoughts.
"I beg you, Mistress!" Marnessa cried. "My body...wants to please you. I cannot control it." She suddenly climbed onto the bed and knelt beside me, begging. "Let me pleasure you, and I will find relief!"
I should have known. Shezrine's slaves were not only conditioned mentally, but physically as well; to ensure they would not tire of the sex act their drives had been increased to near intolerable levels. I was later to find out exactly how intolerable, and the many humiliating acts a slave would commit to slake them. But even so, I would not follow in Shezrine's footsteps.
I had a solution, though. "I order you to pleasure yourself, Marnessa," I commanded. "Pleasure your body as you would pleasure a lover."
She looked slightly puzzled at the order but obeyed me unquestioningly, beginning with circular strokes of her soft, manicured fingertips. It looked innocuous enough, but to me it was clear she was becoming aroused by it. She lingered particularly on her breasts.
"That's it, Marnessa. Play with your nipples, make them hard. Now take your breasts in your hands and squeeze them softly."
She did so, cupping them in her palms. Though abnormally large her breasts were lush and well balanced, a median between soft and hard; whatever filled them, though, was definitely not normal tissue. Her nipples, too, had an obvious artificiality about them, for I had never seen nipples so engorged except on nursing mothers. They were a darker shade than the rest of her flesh and were missing the little bumps and puckers of normal organs; instead they were as smooth as polished sculptures, sitting on the proud peaks of her breasts as if unrelated to the flesh below. I had the eerie feeling I could pry them off somehow and put them in my pocket. Yet the falseness of them made them even more alluring.
She twirled her stiff nipples between her thumbs and forefingers, moaning softly. Her eyes closed and her mouth stretched in a dreamy smile, as if her mind had ceased to exist. There was a showy, practiced element in all this, as if she might have been specially tutored in it to give onlookers their full money's worth; I was insulted at its crassness, yet found myself growing aroused. My hand moved towards my own nipples. Her performance was affecting me as strongly as my dreams of the Queen had, though the attraction was of a different timbre. I wanted to taste her, control her, feel her squirm beneath me and on top of me. Dominate her.
She started to undulate, her pelvis rising and falling against her legs. Her thighs were spread wide so I saw right between them, all the way up to her depilitated sex with its discrete pink folds. One hand went to stroke her clit, the other fondled her breast. Her head was thrown back, her curly black hair tumbling over her shoulders. Her eyes were shut and her mouth opened in a ring of pure passion, letting loose with her cries...a slave to her own sexual heat, so needy and helpless I couldn't decide if I should protect her or ravish her.
Against my better judgment, I chose to ravish her.
She made only a slight noise of protest as I drew her down, rolling on top of her. "Keep still," I hissed. "Your Mistress commands it!"
"Oh...." she moaned as I attacked her oversized nipples.
"You wanted this, slave girl." I drew the erect knob between my teeth, sucking hard, stabbing it with my tongue. The other I twisted between my knuckles.
"Oh, Mistress..." Her head flew helplessly back and forth under the barrage.
Yes, slave girl, I thought. Squirm for me, show me how much of a slave you are. Her breasts were so large, so smooth! It was impossible for either my mouth or my fingers to claim all of them, yet I tried, the soft tissue pressing into my face and chin. Though I did not consider myself a *rezaba,* a woman-lover, I had on a few occasions partaken of that fruit; it had always been between trusted friends, an outgrowth of the friendship rather than the reason for it. Always, it been limited to a single encounter. But with Marnessa, that fruit had been crushed, and I devoured that sweet, fresh pulp like one starving.
My new slave whimpered like a whore, flinging her wrists over her head as if begging to be chained. Her mouth went slack.
Tiring of her breasts--marvelous though they were--I formed my fingers into an arrow of flesh to penetrate her completely. The pink folds of her sex parted eagerly to admit me. Her stiff clit nudged my palm, and I obliged it with a rapid flicking from my thumb.
She cried out in a throaty vibrato. She drew her knees up, completely helpless under my hands...helpless, and perfect.
A sense of imminent mastery filled me, though in truth the word was inadequate to convey the mixture of excitement, control, and skill that I felt. Did every man and woman in the city feel this, I wondered, when they chose their victims in the concupiscerium halls?
"Oh Mistress, oh...oh...ooohhhhhh..." Marnessa shook prettily, arching her back, her neck arching gracefully too. Her nipples vibrated rapidly as the tissue beneath them quaked in orgasm.
I withdrew my hand. I had not climaxed, but seeing her come had almost been climax enough. She began to deflate, her eyes still closed, mouth emitting soft sighs of breath...just as alluring in rest as she was while writhing and helpless. I now knew why slave girls were so desirable. They were victims of themselves, and victims of their owners, who could be either savage or merciful, as they desired.
I sat back on my heels, ashamed that I had taken advantage of her this way. Yet she had wanted it so much!
She opened her eyes and looked up at me. There was no resentment there, only supplication. *Have I pleased you enough?* she seemed to be saying. Her flesh had been satisfied, so I should have sent her back to the cot. But I did not.
"I am not finished with you yet, slave girl," I said sternly. "I order you to pleasure *me* now, and be quick about it."
"Yes Mistress," she said obediently, then squawked as I smacked her hard on her unbranded buttock. Like her breasts, whatever filled it was obviously artificial, for no flesh could feel that firm and resilient.
"I said be quick about it!"
"Yes Mistress," Marnessa said, awkwardly maneuvering herself to her knees. "Forgive me, Mistress, for my sloth and inattention." The slap had excited her and her eyes were bright. "Do you wish to punish this lowly pleasure slave?" She looked like she was looking forward to it!
"I just may, if you continue to dawdle," I said, warming to the idea. After all, she had suggested it.
"Then I will make haste, Mistress," Marnessa said breathlessly, and lowered her pretty head to my crotch.
I had little to do then but surrender myself. She worked as if her own pleasure did not matter, unlike normal lovemaking where mutual release is the goal. Her only job now was to please me, and for that she was naught but a well-crafted machine. Other lovers I've had were more skillful with their touch, more practiced in their technique, but for sheer desperate intensity you couldn't beat an Obn Dhregni pleasure slave. Visually too she was a delight, with her beautifully blank face and long thick lashes, her tangles of hair, her nodding breasts. I saw now why she had gotten the name Wild Nipples, for they were so engorged and excited they seemed to point in two different directions.
She then went to suck my own nipples, her mouth warm and fevered. She moved from one the other, building up to such a climax of pleasure I wanted to scream...the perfect bedroom tool indeed, instantly responsive to whatever command or gesture I made.
I motioned her head lower. She slowly sucked the hard smooth muscles of my belly, her curly hair tickling my skin. I guided her still lower, so she could apply her mouth to my clit.
She showed no hesitation. Her rhythm did not falter; it was totally different from receiving a man's oral pleasure. Her tongue was smaller, more skilled, more dainty. And then there was the undeniably alluring picture she made, crouched between my legs so her head was low, looking up every once in while with her wild green eyes like an obedient pet to see the nod or gesture that told her to go on.
I was truly in heaven, but I did not want to come too soon. I wanted to enjoy this. My own hands manipulated my nipples, which were fair well as stiff as hers, but I soon forgot to do anything at all as my breath became short and my heartrate rose. I was going to come, served by the very embodiment of slavehood I had come to destroy.
A movement at the window caught my eye. Someone was watching us!
I should have stopped the act and grabbed the sword I always kept near the bed. But I was too caught up in the pleasure that claimed me. Before I could think of anything else the orgasm came, tearing up from the center of my body, and I shook and cried out, my legs twitching.
Covered with sweat, the delicious aftershocks a memory, I opened my eyes. Shadow stood by the bed in his traveling clothes, his own sword and pack resting on the floor. His expression was one of surprise, outrage, and an almost painful arousal.
Marnessa still crouched between my thighs, cleaning up the juices of my climax with her tongue. Shadow flicked his gaze to her rear, her right cheek clearly bearing the brand-sigil of the Queen. With a calm sarcasm, he said, "Sorry for the intrusion, but what is going on here?"
"I can explain..." I said weakly.
"Do," he said curtly, pulling off the fingerless leather gloves he wore.
I lifted Marnessa's head from her work. "Go stand in the hall outside the door. We have private matters to discuss."
"Yes Mistress," Marnessa said, and did as she was told.
Shadow watched her go. The bulge in his pants told me he was still very aroused, and his anger told me he didn't want to be. "I thought you considered slavery abhorrent," he said in a voice heavy with reproach. "Yet you seem to have lost no time in buying your own private playmate."
"She is not my slave," I said.
"You could have fooled me! I suppose she was born looking that way, with that brand on her arse? I know what that means."
"Will you listen to me!" I said hotly. "Marnessa--for that is her name--was a rebel captured by the Queen. She turned her into one of her pleasure slaves as punishment, then sold her to a concupiscerium as a whore. I rescued her, and this was her way of showing gratitude."
Shadow seemed not to have heard anything beyond *Marnessa.* "Lady Marnessa rezbet Amicon?" he asked quietly.
"The one. Did you know her?"
"Yes," Shadow said, swallowing. "I visited her family when I was in the city last year. She was just a girl." He glanced toward the door. "She looked nothing like that."
"The Queen knows spells to transform the flesh, to make her slaves over into her ideals, and with the physical transformation comes a transformation of the mind. I rescued her from The Star, but she still believes she is a slave, even though I've told her repeatedly she is free. I had to let her have her way tonight to prevent her from becoming completely unmanageable."
"I see," he said. He still looked a little shaken. "All pleasure slaves are treated thus?"
"Just Shezrine's. But there are a lot of them, as she runs through them like candy. And she is just as capable of transforming any man, by the way." He looked even more uncomfortable. "Lassimla--the High Priestess of Tontaxir--thinks there might be a way to undo the spell. It's worth a try. I was going to look into it tomorrow."
"So you've met the mysterious priestess," he said.
"Yes. I've met J'Wabra too, and the Duke of Ushroez," I said. "So my time in the city has not been idle." I glanced back at the crotch of his pants, and a small grin crept on to my face. Though I'd no lack of the sexual adventures in the city, I was very happy to see him again. "Why don't you...join me, and we can talk." I lifted a corner of the sheets.
As I hoped he decided to forgive me. "You read my mind, Lady Amazon." He stripped and slipped in beside me, the lamplight playing over his taut, muscular body. It made me realize how much I had missed him, only though we'd been acquainted a mere three days. "Who were those black-garbed vigilantes surrounding your house?"
"Templewards," I said, returning his kiss. Our legs tangled under the blankets, and I rubbed against the hairy pelt I remembered. "Tontaxir's spies and assassins. Lassimla lent them to me. I'm surprised you got past them."
"They were good," he said, bringing up his arms to enfold me. "Very good. But I am better." His cock poked along my thigh, stiff as a writing stylus, and I grabbed it to guide him inside me.
I heard the door creak. Marnessa stood looking down on us with wide innocent eyes. "I heard you moan, Mistress...is there anything I can do to please you and your partner?"
"I don't want an audience," Shadow hissed. His cock slipped out of my hand, softening, as he tried to sit up. "Get rid of her!"
I hooked my legs around his hips to keep him on top of me. "I can't. She won't leave us alone until she feels she's serviced us somehow. In fact," I added, "you'd do her a kindness if you let her participate!"
"Are you serious?" he said in an indignant whisper.
"Her libido is so high, it's actually painful for her *not* to have sex," I said, snaking my tongue back into his mouth for a passionate kiss. Wicked possibilities exploded before me. "You would not be hurting or exploiting her, as she offers her services of her own volition. Don't you, Marnessa?"
"Oh yes, Mistress!" Marnessa said, and began to masturbate again in that showy way of hers.
Shadow turned his head away, continuing to soften. "No. I can't. Shezrine made her that way..."
I didn't blame him for his guilt, knowing what he did of the Queen. But I also knew we were all free and willing individuals in this house, even if Marnessa was suffering from an unnatural compulsion. "This is Obn Dhregni, love," I said, kissing him again. "Why not enjoy it, just for one night?"
"She may be angry at us after she recovers her wits."
"She may also be angry at us for not providing her relief," I said logically.
"I could never be angry at you, Master," Marnessa purred, both hands plucking her nipples. He had the typical man's reaction, even if his mind was occupied with the moral implications of it. Marnessa studied his rising erection as if it was a precious jewel.
"Relax. It won't kill you," I whispered, encircling his cock with my hand. I felt him shiver, a mixture of excitement and revulsion. "I think you will wind up enjoying it more than you think." I cupped his balls, letting them fall through my fingers, one, then the other, to show Marnessa that they, and him, belonged to me as much as she did. "Take him in your mouth, Marnessa. Suckle him until he comes."
"Yes Mistress." Shadow leaned back on his elbows like a virgin on the altar as she knelt gracefully between his legs. He still looked dubious about this, but she took him in her mouth without batting an eyelid.
I couldn't help grinning as the expression on Shadow's face slowly changed. So agonized, yet so delighted! It was so interesting I wished I had a light-box as the magicians of Turufanx did, to capture it and preserve it for eternity. Marnessa too, was a sight, her nude body wriggling as she sucked, her wide eyes glued on his face, though his eyes were closed by now, his lips parted like a cherub's. Ordinarily I would never have stood by while another fellated any man I had claimed; yet the fact she was under my control erased any feelings of jealousy on my part. His pleasure, and her subserviently giving him that pleasure, made it remote as a bawdy-house fresco. I was as aroused as if I did the act myself. Even more so, as I could truly study his face, the tremors of his body, without distraction. I could even give her directions.
"Slowly," I ordered. "Don't make him come too soon. Slide your tongue up and down his shaft, curl it around. That's it." Shadow started to tense, breathing quickly, yet deeply. I could see his orgasm building, and felt an even greater sense of mastery at how well I had orchestrated the event!
She took him deep when I told her, her head bobbing rapidly. His hands wound in her curly black hair. I was too electrified to move a muscle, not even to stimulate myself.
He came with a cry, shooting his seed into her mouth. She continued to take him even through the spasms, steadying him. I felt as thrilled as if I had come myself. She withdrew after cleaning him thoroughly. Shadow looked at me sidelong, as if embarrassed, but flashed me a cocky grin.
"Have I pleased you master?" Marnessa asked once the last of the sperm had been swallowed.
"You've pleased me," Shadow echoed, satisfied in spite of himself. He was still slightly hard, and I knew it wouldn't be long before he would need to spill himself again. His expression grew sly. "Now please your Mistress."
I would rather have spiked myself on his cock, which had been tempting me for a while now; but he had other plans. The watched now would become the watcher, and I couldn't exactly say I wasn't looking forward to it. So again Marnessa crouched between my legs to suckle and slurp, and the pleasure was made even more intense by the thought of how thoroughly she'd just serviced Shadow. She might have taken on a whole room of rebels, if we let her. Not that we really would have, of course...
Shadow watched us in silence. Like most men he was content to be a voyeur, and also like most men, he clearly enjoyed the sight of two women making love, which was probably why he had suggested it. I've never understood that particular attraction. Did the softness and delicacy draw them, or was it the temptation to join in?
My head was lolling by then, and my eyes closed. I felt his hands touch my breasts, straying over my skin. The touch bespoke fascination, restraint; he meant to assist, not intrude, on the act. Like Marnessa I had become the prey of two loving captors. But unlike Marnessa, my new Master and Mistress were far more powerful. One was Lust, I realized, and the other Love.
I came then, my whole body stiff save for the cataracts of passion at my loins. Shadow wiped my forehead when was done as if I had suffered some sickness. Had I truly fallen in love with this cursed, fascinating wanderer? Was it possible?
He was still hard and I knew what I wanted then was that cock, that hard and elegant organ that stood at attention just for me. I straddled him before he could protest, facing the foot of the bed so Marnessa could join in. Love. Lust. The two were one. My thighs plunged up and down as I sheathed and unsheathed him, our organs sticky with our fluids. Marnessa crouched below our junction, her mouth and tongue striving to keep my pace with my clit. When she could not, Shadow received its benefits.
The pleasure only grew as my breasts jiggled up and down, nipples swaying. I cupped them in my hands, offering them, and Marnessa instinctively knew what to do...she sucked the nipples as I held them, using her teeth to get the proper combination of piquancy and sweetness. I gasped in ecstasy, but kept my rhythm strong. I threw my head back for a visit by heaven yet again. That was what the elders in Moambe called an orgasm, by the way. A visit by heaven. And there was no more perfect road than this.
Yes, I thought as the first spasms shook me, a slave girl was definitely a handy tool to keep around the house...
On to Chapter 16
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