Castle Keep Ch. 07byAsylumSeeker©
Chapter 07: Final Preparations
A guard escorted Danielle to Mary's chamber for cleansing. Lord Chadwick decided he wanted to enjoy her body again on this evening. Whenever she left his chambers a guard was always present, leaving her to wonder if this would remain to be the case after their wedding the following month. He had made the decision to marry her and only waited for word to reach his brothers, whom he wanted to be present for the grand celebration. He did not ask for her hand but rather told Danielle of her fate, as if she wished for nothing else.
When she asked if her family could be invited as well, he remained uncertain. It might be her last, best chance for seeing them and she yearned for their presence. Danielle held out hope that he would decide in her favor, although suspected his final decision would hinge on the outcome of an additional demand that would be placed on her at a later time. She had learned much about the man she was forced to serve, and kindness was not a trait that he possessed. Any consideration he might show always had a high price attached.
Danielle tentatively knocked and the chamber door immediately opened. Mary invited her in as the guard took up a position outside, but not before his eyes feasted on the beautiful woman who lived inside. Mary knew he was looking as did all the men when they were in her presence, but she ignored the stare, even teasing him a bit by lingering in the open doorway longer than necessary and flashing him a warm and gracious smile before withdrawing.
Once away from the watchful eyes of the guard the women excitedly hugged.
"Oh, Danielle, I was so worried about you," Mary expressed her deep concern. "I listened to all of the whispers in hopes of learning of your fate. When I heard none I feared for the worst. And then just yesterday the guards spoke of a wedding and mentioned your name. Imagine my amazement! Congratulations!"
Danielle's face displayed sorrow. "It is not the happy event it should be. I almost wish I was not spared. What life will I have with a loveless man that only wants me for my body? His heart is cold and his mind calculating."
Mary wiped away a tear that trickled down Danielle's beautiful but distraught face. "Do not speak this way. His decision has spared you a fate much, much worse. Be thankful you will remain alive and be cared for, so many other women before you desperately clung to the belief that such would be their fate. Be grateful, for you still have hope. It is my future that I now worry for."
"No, nothing will change," Danielle assured her unlikely friend. "You have a use, and you serve him well by doing what you do for him."
"Of course you are right," Mary played along as Danielle refused to face the truth. "I am sure we will both be fine. Let us get you out of those clothes."
"And you, yours," Danielle announced. "I have greatly missed your gentle touch and fully intend to enjoy it once more. I have made sure that we have plenty of time for pleasure, as well."
Mary's soft eyes and lips smiled warmly. "I would like this too. I have not been with anyone since, and have been so lonely."
The women shed their clothing to reveal themselves to each other. Their eyes drank in the naked beauty of the other in the flickering light of the torches. Danielle's eyes were drawn to the wondrous breasts and nipples which were in the midst of growing erect. She anxiously licked her lips as her gaze lowered and admired the rise of flesh just above Mary's pink folds, fringed with golden curls that matched her long, flowing hair. When Danielle reached out Mary grasped her soft hand. They walked to the tub of hot water where each stepped inside and sank down.
"I will gladly serve you," Mary said, realizing that as Lord Chadwick's wife Danielle would be her master as well.
"You will be no slave to me," Danielle reassured her. "Do nothing that is compelled only by my reluctant position as his betrothed. Do only what is driven by your love for me."
The women leaned forward, gazing deeply into one another's eyes as their noses touched. They professed love for one another in soft whispers that their ears alone could hear, for these were evil times and the castle had many spies. But not even the thick, dank walls could keep their relationship secret from an evil beast.
Their parted lips pressed tightly together. Both moaned in relief, having desired this for every waking moment since their parting. Warm tongues slowly entered wet mouths, the muscles eagerly entwining, passionately rubbing together. The air around them sparked with excitement as tongues licked harder and faster before fully thrusting inside. Their breathing and pulse rates quickened as their arousal rapidly intensified.
The surface of the wonderfully warm water rippled as Danielle moved her legs around Mary's slender waist. Her hands lifted and cupped Mary's firm swells, fingers lovingly squeezing and caressing the soft mounds, their tips swelling in size. Danielle's thumbs teased the throbbing peaks of stiffened flesh.
Tears formed beneath Mary's closed eyelids and spilled down both cheeks. Her heart ached as she suspected her days were numbered, but she was determined to enjoy their time together, fearing it could be their last embrace.
Danielle's mouth shifted away from Mary's luscious lips to slowly kiss a path toward Mary's right ear. The servant turned her head and offered herself up to Danielle's loving attention. Soft groans of pleasure sounded as warm lips and the flicking tip of a tongue eagerly teased the smooth ridges of flesh that bordered the canal. Mary's body tensed and powerfully shuddered as tingling heat rippled through her flesh.
"I have missed you so much," Mary confessed in a broken whisper. "My nights since have been spent longing for your touch once more. I am so grateful for this chance."
Her fingers pinched and twisted on the hardened nipples. Mary gasped in surprise, twitching as a sharp sting jolted her body. The delightful tingling sensations that engulfed her loins intensified in the wake of the pain. Danielle smiled as she sensed the change in Mary's pleasure. Her lips roughly devoured the ear as her fingers intermittently twisted on the aching nipples, slowly working Mary into a feverish condition.
"Oh, Danielle, you are driving me wild!" Mary declared in a desperate, broken voice. "You are so... different this time."
"I despise the man but he has taught me many new things," she revealed. "Useful things."
Danielle moved her right hand into the water between Mary's quivering thighs. The fingers gently rubbed on the outer folds of flesh before sinking into the hot valley nestled within. Mary moaned and stiffened in delight as the fingers probed her slit, loins filling with tingling warmth as the desire she longed for intensified.
"Oh, I have missed the pleasure of your touch," Mary admitted as her body shuddered to the very core.
Tingling heat erupted in her loins as one finger pushed into the narrow opening and another rubbed on the enlarged nub. Mary's hands grabbed the tub's edge for support as her body weakened with desire. Hushed moans echoed off the walls as Danielle loved her dear friend as best she could.
Mary felt Danielle's hands guiding her up. Rising from the water, sitting on the edge with her thighs shamelessly parted, a mouth quickly joined the fingers. Hot, wet lips and a tongue anxiously kissed and licked on the sensitized flesh. A second finger pressed at the opening and stretched the tight portal as it thrust inside. Oozing juice quickly coated the plunging digits.
Soft moans sounded as Danielle showed Mary the love she felt. Her mouth teased the enlarged clit as her fingers thrust inside the slick love canal. Mary's legs quivered as her body tensed, joyous peals of delight embracing her beautiful nude form. Her breathing quickened and grew labored as the pleasure multiplied. Leaking essence smeared on Danielle's face as she excitedly feasted on her forbidden partner.
Orgasm arrived quickly. After several months of sexual dormancy, ignored by Lord Chadwick and cast aside, her excitement intensified. Her fingers clutched the back of Danielle's head as she frantically pressed her center against the wondrous mouth. Back arching, she looked up at the ceiling and softly cried out in joy. Mary's entire form went rigid before erupting in uncontrollable spasms of sheer ecstasy. The release that had eluded her for so long was now at hand.
Danielle feasted on the rush of juice that otherwise would have dripped into the bath, eagerly lapping at the wetness as its tangy flavor filled her mouth. Her fingers kept pumping into Mary's opening and the woman continued moaning in wondrous delight. Finally Mary slid off the tub's edge and reentered the water, and as she did Danielle pulled away.
"That was most appreciated," Mary said in a thankful voice before kissing Danielle's glistening lips. Their wet tongues provocatively entwined in a heated embrace, sharing the womanly taste. "Allow me to return the favor."
The two female lovers, believing their secret could be kept, indulged in the forbidden pleasure they both so anxiously sought.
In Rome, Brother Wallace pleaded his case in front of the Church Grand Council in his bid to obtain weapons with which to slay the half-beasts. He was met with considerable skepticism.
"Your interpretations of the prophecy are not widely accepted," the Grand Council Leader stated. He himself was one of Brother Wallace's most obstinate critics, and was angered by the interruption of normal daily business. "I believe we have shown a great deal of patience in this matter. Unless anyone else has anything to add, I suggest we move to chambers for a vote."
Spying the council's indignation, Brother Wallace's heart sank like a rock to the bottom of a cold, dark sea. Faced with failure he offered a final plea. "Please, I beg of you, I know the danger humanity faces, and inaction will usher in an evil the likes of which no man could ever imagine!"
"Except for you, apparently," the Grand Council Leader replied. His comment was met with raucous laughter by several of his robe-clad colleagues. "We will discuss and vote on this matter. A messenger will inform you of our decision."
"Which rock did he crawl out from under?" one councilman humorously remarked to another, his comment overheard ny all.
"Please, all I ask for is holy weapons," he reminded the members of the council as they arose and walked single file toward a heavy oak door. "Give us a fighting chance to stop this evil plan. You must see that I am righteous!"
The last Grand Council member in line stopped and looked back, his lips forming a small, supportive smile. His right hand opened and a small piece of crumpled parchment dropped to the floor at his feet before rolling under one of the chairs.
Brother Wallace glanced around the now-vacant room. Two guards stood upright at the public doorway, and two others at the chamber door through which the council members left. He quickly drafted a plan to retrieve what he believed was a note left by a convinced cleric that was clearly in the minority.
"Oh! Oh my!" Brother Wallace suddenly spoke aloud, as if realizing something was amiss. "My papers! My papers! They've taken my papers!"
He was an intimidating figure as he rushed to the closed chamber door. The unmoving guards responded quickly, blocking the portal with their muscled, colorfully dressed bodies and long spears.
"No! My papers!"
He anticipated they would knock him back, and when one guard did precisely that he fell at an angle that placed him beside the dropped note. As he arose he surreptitiously grasped the crumpled parchment and slipped it into a pocket.
"What am I to do?" he asked the silent and unresponsive guards.
He stood a safe distance away, rubbing his scalp as if overwhelmed with concern. After several moments he said aloud to nobody, "The messenger will bring them. Yes, of course, the messenger."
Brother Wallace collected his belongings and left the chamber with a glimmer of hope lingering on the horizon. Once outside and well away from the prying eyes of the church, he reached into his pocket and smoothed out the parchment, which read, "Keep the faith. Not all is as it seems. More I cannot say." He tore the parchment into pieces too tiny to reconstruct and ate them.
He waited for an answer in his boarding room, knowing better than to expect anything besides a resounding "no". But the mysterious note gave him cause to wonder. "Keep the faith. Not all is as it seems. More I cannot say." The note was vague enough to protect the author should it have been discovered by the wrong people, yet its vagueness also proved confusing for its intended recipient. Brother Wallace was unsure precisely what it meant.
Several prayer-filled hours elapsed when finally a tapping on the door interrupted his latest petitions to a greater power for assistance. He nervously arose to answer. A man passed him a note before quickly disappearing.
The note read, "The Church Grand Council denies your request." Tears of frustration filled his eyes. He angrily crumpled the message and threw it at the wall with all of his strength. The wadded parchment bounced and landed at his feet. This was when he observed a message on the back. "Some believe. Church armory, when the owl sings. Godspeed."
Brother Wallace continued his prayers well into the night as he sought strength and guidance for the obstacles that lay ahead. He knew that attempting to reach the armory was no small feat and carried with it great risk. Given the Grand Council decision, any attempt to reenter the church compound under the cover of darkness could be construed as an attempted theft, and his life would be quickly ended. But he was a man of faith, and placed his life in the hands of his greater power for the good of humanity.
"Evil must be vanquished!" he exclaimed in an attempt to still his trembling hands. "Please, give me the strength. I am the last and only hope. Do not guide me to the revelation and deny me the power to stop this."
Later that evening, in the dark of night, Brother Wallace dressed in dark clothing for his holy mission. Keeping to the shadows as best he could, timing his movements with those of the guards, he made a slow but steady advance. Noises sounded that distracted their watchful eyes, but Brother Wallace could not account for the sources. He could only assume that his greater power was with him, an ally, in this final battle against evil.
With his heart pounding, Brother Wallace breathed a sigh of relief as he hesitated in the shadow of a wall across from what he believed was the armory door. The bright moon illuminated the cobblestone walkway between, making the approach risky.
The heavy oak door had a barred window, which slid open. Despite his fear Brother Wallace quickly charged forward, closing the distance. He was breathless with fear.
"Who approaches?" a hushed voice challenged his identity.
He silently prayed that this was not a trap and quietly replied, "It is I, Brother Wallace."
"You must leave the city immediately after. Do you agree?" the faceless man questioned.
"Yes, yes, absolutely!" he eagerly concurred.
A bolt slid back and the door opened. He was handed a dark blanket inside of which were wrapped weapons of evil destruction. Leather straps were tied around the bundle, securing it. His eyes were drawn to the bulky package, not to the man that handed them to him.
"Bless you! Bless you!" Brother Wallace profusely thanked the stranger.
The door was closed and locked, but the barred window remained open.
"I have done you no favor, brother. Forgive me." The window quietly slid shut.
The sight was overwhelming as he momentarily stopped his horse and glanced behind him at the sight of Italy laid out at his feet. He had been climbing the trail for quite some time, and at the top was rewarded with a breathtaking view. At the same moment he cautiously glanced down at the meandering trail he had already traveled. Brother Wallace could not shake the feeling that he was being followed, but by whom?
He checked the bundled weapons that rested on the animal's back behind him. Reassured that they remained secure, he kicked his feet and got his tired horse moving again.
"You cannot possibly understand the importance of your participation in this event," he said to his mount. "We share this burden and responsibility together."
After traversing the mountain peak, he descended into a narrow valley. A stream trickled through it. Brother Wallace guided his horse to the edge of the crystalline water and dismounted, kneeling at the stream's edge and gratefully drinking beside his horse. He looked up at the descending sun and decided this was an ideal location to make camp for the night.
"You are ready for a rest too, I am sure," he announced as he lovingly patted the neck of his animal.
After pulling the cargo from the horse's back he retrieved a thick blanket. Even in the summer the mountain air would get cold. Brother Wallace looked at the bundled weapons, sorely tempted to give them a closer inspection to see what it was that he was carrying. As he reached for the package an unexpected noise sounded behind him, causing him to turn and look.
"The church requests the return of its property," a strange man announced. Although dressed in humble clothing, the man was muscular and armed with a dagger.
Brother Wallace knew better than to disavow knowledge of his holy cargo. "Yes, of course, take what you want and be off. Do not allow the evil threat to humanity curtail your mission!"
"You stand alone in your conviction," the assassin stated. "Take it with you to your grave."
As the man stepped forward, he raised his right arm in a motion to bury the dagger into Brother Wallace's chest. Brother Wallace closed his eyes and mumbled a quick prayer in anticipation of a brief but painful ending. When a soft thump and heavy gasp captured his interest, his eyes opened. The sight he saw was nothing short of miraculous.
The sharp tip of an arrow was visibly poking through the front of the assassin's chest, having had passed into his back and through the center of his heart. The man looked confused in the final moments of life before collapsing to the ground in a heap.
Brother Wallace sank to his knees and administered last rites. When he heard the sound of approaching footsteps he looked up.
Although they'd never met, he recognized the half-beasts as they had their mother's eyes. "Drake! Frederick!"
"We sensed your peril and have been watching over you as best we can," Drake spoke. "And I see we were not wrong. It has been our intention to remain unseen, but circumstances required our involvement."
"Yes, yes," Brother Wallace emphatically agreed. He appeared shaken after the near-fatal incident. "In what I believed were my final moments of life all I could think about was my failure. Now I see that a power greater than us is at work on our behalf."
They acknowledged their agreement with a nod of their heads.
"Leave when you are rested, we will continue to trail you from a distance. Pray that he is the only one they sent," Drake spoke.
Frederick picked up the bloody corpse and flipped the dead weight over a shoulder, after which the two brothers disappeared into the thick woods.
Left alone, Brother Wallace finally gave in to the shuddering fear he felt. Wringing his visibly trembling hands, he knelt on the rocky ground and prayed as never before.
The guard retrieved Danielle from Mary's quarters and escorted her to the public chamber where Lord Chadwick was seated and attending to daily business. His eyes lit up when he saw her beautiful figure approaching.