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Beat the Devil

bysr71plt©

The Dorfbewohner—the merchants, servants, sluggards, and patrons alike—of the ancient and wealthy mountain village of Uberusel in the Swabian Alps tripped oohing and ahhing and twittering out into the village square next to the city fountain overseen by the benign stone-cold figure of Prince Gerhard of the Swabian Hollenusterans. The snow on the cobblestones of the town gossip center that divided the patrician old upper town from the plebian lower town was melting, and the temperature had risen some twenty degrees in no longer than it took them to hear the clatter of horses' hooves at the gate of the lower village, where the road from the capital at Augsburg ended at the walled edge of the new town—deemed "new" because it was less than three hundred years old.

Summer had come early and swiftly to the village, it seemed, even if only a temporary anomaly, having brushed spring aside in its rush to flood the village with smiles and laughter and coquettish looks between old and young villagers alike.

Such was the frivolity of the freakish change in the weather in the highest village of Swabia, set just below the rim of the bowl holding the gigantic shimmering Lake Nufenen, that they barely noticed the glossy black-painted carriage drawn by four massive black stallions that had drawn up beside the fountain. The ominously arresting steeds were clopping their hooves impatiently on the cobblestones and turning malevolent red-eyed glances to all sides, daring the cavorting Dorfbewohner to come near, and ready to fly off again up the steep and narrow passage to the gate of the count's castle, the Schloss perched oppressively near the highest ridge, hovering at a distance in much more than space above its heavily taxed citizenry, and then, seemingly on up into the heavens.

The horses calmed and turned to stony salute, as if on command, as the carriage door opened, and out stepped a large-framed but goodly proportioned man elegantly dressed in black silk that shimmered in the suddenly hot sunlight and stretched to the limit over bulging muscles. His billowy cape swept almost down to the tops of his gleaming black leather boots. His countenance, albeit handsome in a rugged way, was also a disturbing combination of danger and connivance. His goatee was pointed, as were his ears, and when he opened his mouth to smile—or, rather, to grimace—his teeth gave the impression of a gnashing carnivore. He wore a black beaver-skin top hat planted firmly on his head.

The horses quivered in unison and lowered their heads and looked away from the carriage as the heavy boots of the man hit the cobblestones with such force that the nearby villagers declared in years following that the earth shook—that they lost their mirth at the unexpected warm of the sun momentarily when struck with the sensation that an earthquake was beginning to build under their feet.

"I knew instantly that he was trouble," Dieter, the village barber, said to his customers in irritating repetition many season hence. "He had that look of an Aargauen about him. I told the sheriff as much at the time. But count's man that he was, the sheriff did nothing for us below the Schloss walls."

If Dieter had hinted as much either than or in the ensuing days—most certainly to the count's sheriff—none would have paid him heed, as Dieter was regarded then as now as more the village idiot than its barber. But if anyone reliable had made the suggestion then, what came about later might have been prevented. No, less than "might have," alas, as, truth be told, there was no one below the count's walls who could have stood in the path of what Damien Handlanger wanted to do.

The charge of being an Aargauen, however, would have at least placed many in the village, who later learned to regret those short number of days, in awareness of possible danger.

The Swabians of Germany and the Swiss canton of Aargau had been in a stalemate war for nearly a century over the waters of Lake Nufenen, which occupied a basin plateau high in the alps on the German-Swiss border and fed mighty rivers running both south into Switzerland and north into the rich agricultural basin of the German princedoms.

Many had been the schemes of both sides to master the waters of the lake and to deny them to their neighbor. And Uberusel—under the tutelage of one of the most reclusive and reputedly cruel counts of all princedom—was the Swabian bastion protecting the headwaters of the great river running down into Germany from the lake.

Having gained the ground, and while silent, grotesquely formed coachmen lowered two large trunks from atop the carriage down to the stones of the village center court, the black-clothed man turned and gave a languidly sweeping gaze around the Dorfbewohner who had poured out into the square to revel in the appearance of a summer sun in the last week of what had been an especially miserable winter. Those of the villagers who felt the power and piercing presence of his stare instinctively shrank from this obviously wealthy and powerful stranger and gave him a broad circle of space. Even the ground snow retreated from him, and the cobblestones hissed from the heat.

He turned and raised his hand to the open carriage door, and an angel appeared at the top step and stood there, smiling with apparent delight at the dancing and prancing of the invigorated villagers around the central fountain. He was a vision of beauty, dressed all in white vestments studded with transparent gemstones that sparkled in reflected light from the sun. Blond curls encircled his perfectly figured head like a halo, and he glowed in the morning sunlight. Although a young man, he had all of the innocent beauty of a boy. His body was perfectly formed, but willowy and small of stature.

And his smile lit up the square in heady competition with the unexpected summer sun in winter.

Now the villagers turned to him and danced and pranced around the carriage in preference to the fountain. All eyes were on him and they pressed closer, into the circle of steaming cobblestones, eyes only for him, no longer captured by the feeling of malevolence radiating from his older companion in black.

The young man turned his eyes from those he had captured just by being there, as he stood at the top of the carriage steps, and toward his traveling companion who was holding his hand up to the youth. The youth took the hand and descended the carriage steps. A sigh rolled through the convivial crowd in the square as his delicate, white-booted feet kissed the ground.

His eyes still riveted to the young man, a brave man separated from the encircling Dorfbewohner and stepped forward.

"Welcome to Uberusel, gracious travelers," he murmured, eyes only for the young man. "How may we be of service to you?"

"Who has the most presentable house in the village?" the black-suited man asked. His voice was unexpected. Yes, it had the air about it of "this is a command," but it was a rich, velvety baritone that was not only highly pleasant and soothing but also was arousing in ways men will know but not speak of and can hardly begin to define until it is too late for them to regain what they have lost.

The voice was of such authority that the villager turned to look directly into the eyes of the black-suited man, lost now in his authority and power and never to deny him again.

"I must not prevaricate," the man said. "It is not a matter of vanity or pride that I say it, but the finest house here is mine. I am the Burgermeister—the mayor—of Uberusel. It is my house that is the most presentable."

"Then call your men to carry the trunks, and I and Camael will be your guests. My name is Damien Handlanger."

There was no discussion or negotiation of the matter. The Burgermeister accepted the self-proclaimed invitation without question and, calling forth a quartet of burly men from the swirl of the cavorting crowd by name, bid them to lift the trunks and carry them before the guests to the formidable timber and stuccoed mansion at the corner of the square and the main street leading up toward the count's Schloss.

"Hold a minute," Handlanger muttered, as the four men lifted the trunks with a huff and a groan and began to stagger through the crowd to the edge of the square. "Those four men. What would be their occupations?"

"Hans is a stonemason, and Gunther works with the dike system up at the lake, ensuring the proper flow of our river. The other two are just heavy lifters, construction workers, although Josef, the larger of the two, is gifted at engineering problems."

"Good," the man in black answered. "Have them come up to our rooms after dinner. And they are to bring wine."

"But these are not the men to be socializing with in this village," the Burgermeister answered in somewhat of a wounded huff. "They have never even been in my house. We are a wealthy town. There are many prominent families here. And some of them have lovely daughters." The last sentence was said in sotto voce, and the Burgermeister was flashing a lascivious wink at his newfound guest. "And several among those are very accommodating," the Burgermeister whispered.

"All in good time," Handlanger snapped, which brought the Burgermeister up short. The tone of his guest's voice sent shivers down his spine. Handlanger's voice modulated into silkiness once more. "Lest you misunderstand, I am an architect. These are strong-looking men, and you describe skills I may have need of. That is what I wish to see them about."

Chastened, the Burgermeister turned toward his home in embarrassment and began leading the two guests toward his front step, standing on which could be seen his buxom wife, the downstairs maid who brazenly held her position on the stoop because of her position in the Burgermeister's bed, and a teeming gaggle of gawking and bumptious children.

Once the three were beyond the steaming circle of stones, a whip was cracked, horses neighed and pawed the ground with the clang of metal on stone, and the massive black carriage was thundering off and had disappeared from view almost before it had reached the enfolding arms of a narrow passageway headed into the upper village.

As the Burgermeister and his awesome guests processed, a lane opened for them, less because of the authority of the Burgermeister as for the shudder-inducing passage of the man in the black suit. They would have averted their eyes from him anyway, but the presence of the beautiful angel in white gave them something tangible to fawn upon as he passed and to dream about and, woman and man alike, to speculate about and to entertain arousing sensations over.

Not all in the square were so wide-ranging in the senses—enticing, arousing, amused, and fearsome all at once—at the duo the black carriage had brought to the town square. Standing in the shadows, in the small copse of trees sheltering the city fountain, stood the count's sheriff, Maxmilian. Not a native of the village, but a former soldier from the north of Germany, Maxmilian was more worldly than any of these country bumpkins. He had been in the world, had seen both good and evil. And lately, in service to and in the bed of the count, he had learned much of domination and cruelty.

Sometimes Maxmilian himself had been good and sometimes he had been evil, and he was a keen judge of humankind. He watched the arrival of Damien Handlanger and his young protégé, Camael, with eyes that were open and calculating. And he knew that his work, as the count's sheriff, and as a protector of Swabia was being cut large for him. He wondered what reward was in store for him in the Schloss for a discerning report on the events in the village square that morning.

* * * *

Bringing order to the house of the Burgermeister should be his first priority, Damien thought, as he looked with disgust at the boisterous brats surrounding the Burgermeister's buxom and pinched-nosed wife as they approached Handlanger's new, if temporary, home. The wife first, certainly. No fool she, and a schemer and gossip to boot. The slut of a housemaid was less of a problem. She had the slouch of a dullard about her. The brats must be dispensed with immediately; Damien could do nothing useful with them swarming through the structure.

He was, however, presented with other avenues for starting. It had been a boon to have identified helpers so soon. First them and then the symbols of authority, perhaps.

As luck would have it, though, the village priest was the first. Not long after Damien and Camael had been shown to a commodious apartment of three rooms, on the first level above the street, with a chamber for each of them separated by a common room—where Damien planned to do common things after his dinner—the church bell started to ring and the Burgermeister attended them and said a required mass was soon to begin.

Damien was disgusted and his stomach churned at the mere thought of a mass, but he was early to the village and to his plan. This was the most delicate phase of the plan, its initiation, so there was nothing to be done but for him to signal to Camael and to follow the Burgermeister and his disruptive brood across the square to the main village church.

Priester Anasvindo was at the altar already, preparing the elements, as his premier congregants entered and took their place in the front pews. His eyes went immediately to the blond angel. He'd seen the arrival. He'd been drawn to the square along with the others because of the unannounced harbinger sun of summer and had stood at the edge of the teeming throng to watch the descent from the carriage of the curious, repelling, compelling strangers.

The malevolent force in black had made him tremble and lift his cross involuntarily to shake uncontrollably between him and the apparition. And then the angel had appeared at the door to the carriage, and Priester Anasvindo had been transported into his other world. The effect of this perfect young man was such on him that the priest had withdrawn from the edge of the crowd, a clawed hand pressed firmly into the yielding shoulder of the chorister who had been practicing in the church before they all felt the call of the sunshine, and he took the village youth into the sacristy and fucked all of the urges out of himself that the appearance of the white angel had aroused.

And now he, the compelling angel, was here, in his church sanctuary, sitting in the first of the pews, and, as the ritual began was singing in a clear, pure soprano that floated out above all of the rest. The chorister who had felt Priester Anasvindo's rod was missing, snuffling and sniffing in the bell tower, but the young stranger's voice was even more beautiful than his.

Priester Anasvindo turned, not really knowing why he was doing so, and beckoned to the young singer of beauty, inviting him to take the place of the missing chorister in the pews behind the altar.

And to his surprise, after looking to the man in black for guidance, the white angel had glided up into the choir pew and lifted his voice once more over all of the rest in an Ava Maria.

Priester Ansavindo turned the ritual over to two monks assisting him and moved back to his throne chair next to the choir pews and closed his eyes and smiled and let the angelic music wash over him.

Damien Handlanger knew the instant when the setting had changed inside the church. Damien saw all; indeed, Damien planned and maneuvered most of what would happen in the village of Uberusel over the coming days.

He gave the natural unveiling of his greater scheme time enough to become established and then he rose from his pew and slipped out at the side and crept through the door into the sacristy. His timing had been perfect, as he knew it would be. He had timed it all from the moment he looked up beyond the altar and saw the priest's throne empty and the new chorister's position vacant.

Camael, naked and marble skinned, was laying on his back on the table where the elements were prepared. His legs were spread wide, his toes daintily pointed, a beatific smile on his face. And the old Priester Ansavindo, his Cossack drawn up around his waist, was bent over Camael's perfectly formed lithe torso, moving his pelvis between those daintily drawn-out legs, and babbling in Latin over his good fortune of dipping his surprisingly hard stick in the young angel's sweet honeypot. Camael was not resisting in any way; indeed, he was moving his hips in rhythm with the priest's, digging his finely manicured fingers into the old man's shoulders, and urging him on with talk of what a melting man he was—how much Camael melted at having him moving inside him.

Without a sound, Damien untied his cod piece and let the flap fall and his monstrous tool flop out. Three shakes and he was prepared for anointing. He slipped in behind the priest, grabbed the old bugger with a tight grip of both hands at his neck, reared back his hips and spiked the priest's asshole in one long tearing plunge that lifted the old man off Camael.

The two older men reeled around the room in a macabre dance, the priest totally unable to shake off his assaulter and invader, as Damien's superhuman cock had the priest fully and deeply skewered. Priester Ansavindo gurgled in choking tones, the fingers on his neck sizzling with branding heat, and danced, feet off the ground, as the taller, stronger man forced his cock up into the priest's intestines and began filling him with possessing venom until the priest felt it burble in the back of his throat. Finished, Damien pushed the old man off his cock in a gesture of disgust, and the priest fell in a moaning heap at his feet.

As this transpired, Camael sat up on the edge of the table and smiled his beatific smile down on the priest with an attitude that said all was right with the world.

After he'd taken his hands away from the priest's neck and let his body sink to the floor, Damien towered over his prey. He saw with satisfaction the branding marks of his fingers on the priest's neck and knew that the priest was his now. To prove it, with Priester Ansavindo now clutching at his boots, Damien gave him a cruel kick and turned to Camael and said, "Dress. We depart now."

"No," the priest moaned. "No. Do not leave me. I must have your cock again."

Damien obliged him, just to be sure. Control of the priest was important. As the priest moaned in combined fear and wanting, Camael jumped down of the table and started clothing himself. Damien lifted the priest from the floor and forced him belly down on the table top and, his four heavy-hanging balls quickly rejuvenating, entered him once more, strongly and deeply. He pumped the priest at greater length now, giving him two gasping ejaculations before Damien filled him once again with the venom that would make him forget all but what Damien wanted him to remember—that whatever Damien wanted, the priest wanted for him as well.

"Perhaps it was good to start there," Damien said to Camael as they prepared to return to the church service in what seemed to be an eternity of life-changing fucking for the now-branded priest but was bare moments for those taking mass out in the sanctuary. "These villagers are such a tediously gullible lot. The church is a major institution here. For my plan to succeed, I must not only neutralize but also master the church here."

Back in the Burgermeister's house, dinner completed, and the four burly workman summoned to Damien's rooms and half insensitive with liquor, Damien gave each, in turn, a few never-to-be-forgotten blissful moments dipping in Camael's sweet honeypot in the young angel's chamber, and an eternity of total, splitting, stomach-reaching possession by Damien's manhood as they choked on Damien's neck branding and were enlisted into eternity by the calming venom of his deeply planted seed. By the end of the evening, Handlanger had enlisted the four mainstays of his plans for the people of Swabia.

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