Beauty & The Bar Maidbytis_mina©
Amara sighed as she hauled the bar tray to her shoulder and lowered the bodice of her gown. She frowned at her reflection in the servant's hall mirror. It was not the soft blue hue of her dress that displeased her, nor the black corset that pushed her ample bosom to the top of said gown. In the weeks since she had been sold to the tavern she had accustomed herself to the humiliation of being uncovered, it was the fact that tonight she had been instructed to "entertain" a certain guest. She tried not to sniffle as she pulled her wealth of black hair over her pale shoulders in and attempt to make her gown more decent, the smell of Ale overwhelmed her but she was determined not to cry. Her father had sold her to the tavern keeper only a month ago and since then the tavern keeper had slowly been preparing her for this night. "Tavern my aching arse," she thought darkly pasting on smile and pushing trough the tattered curtain into the main serving hall, "more like brothel."
The old man would have taken her himself had he not been saving her for this guest. He was of the warrior class and called Lord Barak, his name and his deeds often sent children scurrying in fear. It was whispered that he dabbled in the black arts and drank the blood of his lovers. So far he had chosen to stay at the tavern only to drink Ale, but the Innkeeper had other ideas. The other girls tittered and whispered, flashing her cheeky smiles, but she ignored them. Lord Barak had yet to arrive and until he did, Amara would serve beer and nothing else.
"What's a matter luv, impatient are we?"
The voice of Molly, one of the more favored ladies of the evening, called out through the crowd. Molly had made it her personal quest to make Amara's life miserable since her arrival. She was a buxom red head with more bosom then brain. She had a brash sort of nature that was only rivaled by her crudeness. She had no problem with her way of life, telling Amara again and again that a rough sort of life suited a rough sort girl. Tonight she sat with her skirt hiked in a young man's lap drinking ale and making jokes at the other girls expense. Amara decided to ignore her as she leaned over a table to gather an empty takard.
"Oooh, the duchess doesn't wanna speak to us commoners, but she'll be common enough before the end of the night!" The brawd laughter washed over as Molly's jeer hit home. She felt color stole up her cheeks and tears well to her eyes. Without comment she made a dash to the back door before the tears could fall. The sounds of laughter faded as the doors closed behind her and the arms of darkness seemed to comfort her in her humiliation. If she were not such a coward, she berated herself, she would run from this place and never look back. She tilted her face up to the bright full moon and sighed, the world was an unforgiving place. Even if she managed to escape, the woods were thick with thieves and unsavory persons and beyond that, a household would not accept a servant without proper referrals. She was damned by her class and situation to spread her legs to make her living or else find someone else who would buy her servitude. She blinked as the thought seemed to echo through her brain like the answer to a prayer. Better a whore to one than a whore to many. If she could convince one of the passing Lords to purchase her she could perhaps, after he finished with her, work her way into a serving position in his household. For that matter she could try and see if they would forgo the ‘finishing' with her and allow her just to serve. She dashed her tears back and turned to re-enter the tavern with her tray of drinks when a voice behind her stopped her.
"If you are looking to serve a drink girl, you can start here."
The voice was masculine and pitched like dark rich velvet. Amara turned around startled, sloshing the drinks with her action.
"Don't waste it girl, good Ale is hard to find in these area's, and so is fresh clothes for that matter."
She squinted into the darkness but could not make out a shape. "Who's there?"
"Not the monster under your bed," the man said stepping into the moonlight, "but close enough."
He was wore the dress of nobility, of that Amara was certain; his breeches were dark and close fit. His tunic was so finely woven that it seemed to float around him. He wore a dark hooded cape that was kept close by a wolf pendant whose eyes glowed with ruby fire, a fire that was matched by his own direct gaze. Amara's breath caught as she noted his finely chiseled features and his long gold hair, he couldn't be Barak. The local nobility were known for their dark coloring, but the fact was Amara had never seen a noble before so she wasn't quite sure. She realized belatedly that he had been witness to her fit of tears and perhaps was trying to distract her from them.
"You don't look like a monster to me," she smiled bringing the tray to him with out hesitancy.
He lifted one of the tankards giving her a little toast before downing its entire contents. "You must not have a wide association with them then."
She laughed, the sound seemed to startle them both for they took a moment to study each other.
"You are a little finely bred for a barmaid girl, and a little too well spoken. Who are you?"
"Amara, Lord, and I suppose the manners come with time. I'm new."
He grunted taking another tankard from her tray, "So you are." He removed a couple of coins from his waist coat but Amara held up her hand shaking her head.
"I can't take money from monsters Lord," she smiled, "Especially ones who give good compliments."
He arched a brow, "What will you tell your Master?"
Amara shrugged, "I'll tell him he drank them," she chuckled turning toward the door.
"Yes my Lord?"
"I have a private room in this tavern and I enjoy my privacy, "he tossed the coins to her anyway, "See that you don't recall seeing me and I will return the favor."
Amara bowed her head, "As you wish it Lord, so shall it be." She could not help but feel a momentary sense of disappointment. She couldn't quite name what she was disappointed about but for some reason she didn't want to part company with him.
She had no sooner come through the door when the Inn Keeper grabbed her up by a handful of dark hair, "Who told you that you could have a break!"
"N-no one Sir rah," Amara stammered arching her back to ease the pulling on her hair.
"You are the most worthless slut I've ever had the displeasure of owning,"
He tossed Amara toward the floor causing her to drop the tankards. She scrambled to pick them up but she was not quick enough, with a back hand that busted her lip he knocked her down again. Rage surged through her as she watched him come toward her for a third time and she stood, her fists knotted, ready to defend herself.
"I'll break your scrawny neck girl!" He drew back his fist and sent it flying toward her. Amara ducked squeezing her eyes closed to prepare for the blow, but it never came. She opened her eyes to see the stranger from outside holding the Innkeeper up by his throat, a low deadly growl issuing from his throat. Amara rose quickly coming to stand close to the golden stranger. She had no doubt he meant to kill her assailant and she could not ask him to take such a stain upon his soul for her account.
"Please Master," she whispered softly reaching a tentative hand to touch his arm, "He is not worth your time. I am not hurt."
"I smell your blood girl," His voice was throaty and Amara felt real fear for the Innkeeper as the strangers grip tightend.
"You are better then him Master," she said coaxingly, "Do not avenge my blood with his. He hasn't enough in his whole body to satisfy the debt."
With a low clicking growl he threw the Innkeeper to the floor.
"Forgive me Lord Barak," the Innkeeper gasped taking in a lungful of precious air, "I did not realize that she was with you."
Barak attempted to calm his seething anger, repressing the darkness inside of him with all his might. He could not ever remember a time when he had felt so angry. He had come through the back doors in an attempt to coax the sweet young maid into bringing some more ale to his room and perhaps speak with her a little more when he'd seen the Innkeeper knock her across the room. All he remembered after that was rage. It was not until he felt her hand touch his arm he even realized that he was holding the disgusting man. He had known the Innkeeper knocked his girls around, but the girls were rough creatures who gave as good as they got, and he never had been witness to it. This girl was of a different ilk. He'd felt such a strong need to protect her that it had blocked out all other thoughts. He was the enforcer of the Kings law, the one called in when one of his kind had gone rogue and abused his power. He protected them all, and until this moment had never understood how one of his kind could loose control, but in that moment he had almost lost it.
The soft voice of the girl worked like a soothing balm, he felt his muscles relax and she gently tugged him toward the stairs.
"Come," she said leading him toward his room, "All will be well."
"Hey!" the Innkeeper yelled his confidence returning as the distance between him and Barak increased, "It'll be extra for her."
Barak growled, his golden eyes swinging toward the Innkeeper with deadly intent. "You would do well to remember your place peasant. The only reason your putrid heart still beats is because she asked for it." He jerked his chin toward Amara and she groaned. The Innkeeper was not a forgiving man and he would make sure that she would pay harshly for this night. Her main concern though was to get Master Barak away from trouble, all else she would deal with tomorrow.
She knew a moment of keen embarrassment when they arrived at his door. Having never much contact with men in general, much less one of noble class, she didn't really know what to do.
"If the accommodations are not to you liking Master, please say and I will see what I can do." Without meeting his gaze she turned back toward the tavern. She was calling herself ten times a coward when his voice stopped her.
"If you have no other pressing duties, then stay and we will attempt to entertain each other."
Amara turned back to him amused, he sounded almost as nervous as she did, "Entertain?"
He laughed, "With our clothes on I assure you. It would do me a great honor if you will keep me company over dinner."
Amara dropped a quick courtesy, going down stairs to fetch his dinner. She had set it aside for him earlier in the evening, hoping that, with his travels, he would be more interested in a good meal than a good bedding. Heat stole up her cheeks as she thought that she might not mind the "finishing" as much as she first thought.
She arranged the trencher and the small loaf of bread on the tray trying to make it look pleasing but all she accomplished was making it a lot cooler then it had started out. She filled two tankards with ale placing them gingerly beside the meager meal and swung the tray up on her shoulder.
Amara turned to see Molly standing in the opposite doorway; she noticed that for once the ever present mocking look wasn't on her face.
"If you want, ‘ol Molly will take the tray up for ya. Ain't no need in us both being soiled."
Amara was suprised, from the beginning she had gotten nothing but jeers from this woman who was now offering to take her place.
"Why would you do that?"
Molly shrugged coming into the kitchen, "You got it in you to be a real lady duchess, and ‘ol Molly don't want to be left behind when you're well-to-do. Besides he looks like a good ride and I ain't had a good ride in a long time"
Amara laughed, "Thank you, but I believe that I can handle him"
"Sure you can luv," Molly winked reaching down into the Innkeepers cupboard and producing a small baked pie. She placed it onto the tray and gave Amara a little slap on the rump. "You make sure that one wants more than his dinner, and then you make sure he don't get it. That's the way to a man's heart."
Amara was still pondering those words as she knocked on Lord Barak's door. How did one go about making another want them? She'd seen Molly and the other girls fawn and rub up against men, but she couldn't imagine trying something like that.
Amara came in quickly, again almost sloshing the ale that she carried. She took a second to shut the door but then thought better of it. How well did she really know this man who was supposed to be a creature from nightmares? Instead, she settled for leaving it open just a crack. She turned around rather pleased with her decision when she noticed the almost hurt look on his face. She blinked and it was gone leading her to believe that she had imagined it.
"I suppose it is wise for one such as you to take precautions." He nodded irritably toward the door, "but I had hoped after my display of protection toward you downstairs that I might have gained a small amount of your trust." He pondered his own statement a moment before gesturing for Amara to put the tray down on a nearby table, "Perhaps it is because of such a display that you are not comfortable."
Amara's chin went up a notch, "As you say Master, my dealings with the world do not lend me to easily put faith in another, and you yourself said you were a monster."
Barak laughed in genuine amusement, "An excellent point girl." He looked at the meal she had brought with a frown. "You are not staying to dine?"
"If you wish me to, I would gladly sit in your company."
"Where is your food girl?" His question was soft as though he already knew the answer.
"It is not customary or seemly for servants to eat with their betters."
"And?" Barak asked taking a seat close to the fireplace, his gaze penetrating her mask of nonchalance.
"And due to my reluctance to become intimate with the clientele I've been forbidden to eat until such time as I've learned a proper lesson."
Barak's demeanor turned cold with rage, "For how long have you been without?"
Amara gave him a sly smile, "Not for as long as the Innkeeper believes I have." She nodded toward the tray, "You will observe that your stew lacks some of the larger potatoes. Thus is the case of all trays that I have served the last couple of days."
"You are a wonder." Barak said truly meaning it.
"No," she corrected bringing the bowl of stew and the spoon to him, "I am a thief, but let us not quibble of moot points."
She sat down at his feet, listening to him tell tales of his travels and receiving from his hands spoonfuls of soup and large chunks of bread. She regaled him with her own tales of trails of tavern life, like the fact that she never failed to poor ale on her shoes when she served, so much so that she had been serving bare foot this last week in an effort not to ruin them. She told him of the time that Molly had slugged the Innkeeper with a tankard for saying that her corset was getting snug.
Barak was amazed that, unlie most, she tried hard only to relay the happy events of her existence. He wondered why she did not mention her sale or her life previous to the Inn but did not want to ruin her good humor by asking. It was well past time when he should have been in bed when he saw Amara yawn.
"Perhaps we should call in a night girl. You have done more than your share of keeping company tonight."
Panic raced through Amara's veins. She wanted more than anything to beg this man to purchase her servitude, more then that she did not want to be sent away, she realized with shock, not now or ever.
"If you please Master, allow me to stay but a while longer."
He leaned forward capturing her chin, tilting her eyes up to meet his. She swam in their dark blue depths, entranced by his gentleness and something else she could not put her finger on.
"I want you Amara." He said bluntly,"I want to press my body against yours and drug you with kisses until you have no other thoughts, but I will not take advantage of you."
Amara opened her mouth to protest but he cut her off.
"When I go tomorrow I will take the Innkeeper with me and set him before my King to receive punishment for the hardships he has dealt you and your people. I will also make sure that those under his care are provided with references to obtain honest work in another house. I have been coming here often of late to try and catch him in an act such as the one he treated you to tonight."
Tears of wonder and gratitude shown in her eyes and without thought she turned her face in a soft nuzzling fashion to place a kiss in his palm. He released a harsh breath as though her lips had burned him.
"Go girl." His voice was thick with want and for a moment Amara had every intention of obeying him. He watched with tormented eyes as her hands touched the door; what right did monsters have to love? But instead of fleeing as she should, Amara pressed the door closed with and audible click and dropped the latch across it.
Her heart pounded so that she didn't hear him get up or come to stand behind her. His hands came to her shoulders as he brought her body back against him His breath was hot against the back of her throat as he pleaded, "Be sure this is what you want girl. This night will bind us together in ways you may not comprehend. I will not say that it is not what I want of you." His mouth wondered the expanse of her neck, from the bottom of her ear to her shoulder, alternating soft sensual laps of his tongue with small suckling bites that made Amarra moan in pleasure.
Her answer was to turn in his embrace, bringing her small trembling hand up to the clip that held her dark hair in place, and releasing it. She stood for a moment looking up at him her eyes requesting, in the oldest way, his approval. He gave it to her without hesitation pressing her up against the door frame in a punishing kiss. He pushed her skirts up over her hips and wrapped her legs around him, using his weight to hold her up. His hands sought the top of her corset and pushed it down freeing her barely contained breasts.. He gave up the taste of her lips only to capture her left nipple.
Amara's world spun in brutish pleasure. She buried her hands in his golden hair pressing him close and urging him to suck her hardening nipples. She moaned as his teeth scraped over the sensitive bud wrapping her legs more tightly around him. When he bent his head to take the other breast she arched her back to offer it to him.
Barak had planned to be easy with her but her uninhibited responses were over riding his good judgment. He cupped her buttocks with one hand and stepped back only far enough to free himself from the confines of his breeches. She moaned in contest to their lost connection but that moan turned into a gasp of heat as she felt his organ move her panties to the side the rub against her moist opening. She pulled the neckline of his tunic ripping the fabric in her want to get closer to him. Her mouth mimicked the moves he had used with her reveling in the sounds of need he made. Only when she felt the head of him push slightly into her did she sink her teeth into his flesh to taste him.
Slowly, Barak told himself as he noted her tightness, but she would have none of that. She enfolded him in her arms and sunk her teeth into his shoulder. His ecstasy was such that for a moment he dropped his head back to enjoy. Whether she realized it or not she was marking him hers, drawing the skin between her teeth in a bruising action. It was the claiming that was his undoing. He pushed the rest of the way inside her, not stopping until he could go no further. She whimpered in pain and attempted to push him away but it was already done. Her tight hot body wrapped around his with maddening intensity. He pulled out only to plunge into her again and again, each thrust pressing her against the unyielding door. She had no choice but to take all of him.