Possess Me Ch. 02bytitania123©
Here is my second installment. I went ahead and put it under the non-con section, b/c I'm not quite certain where else to place it. Please give me feedback for alternative placement and let me know what worked and didn't work, as always.
Thank you so much!
Brynna awoke to the changing rhythms and turns of the carriage. In her waking, she made the mistake of adjusting her position and sat fully on her bottom. Her eyes shot open at the pain that had settled deep in her skin. She grimaced in reaction and gave a quiet whimper. Shifting to find relief, Brynna was careful to not disturb the sleeping figure across from her.
Gray filled the once dark coach, and in the morning hue, Brynna studied the man before her. When he had barged into her cottage the night before, his black presence filled the room almost preternaturally. But now, in the cold light of dawn, he was a lifeless statue. He sat tall with his head back against the top of the seat cushion. His hands were composed, lightly clasped on his lap. His hair, which had appeared black in the night, now looked dark brown. The thick locks at the crown were maybe two inches long, and swept charismatically this way and that, before tapering to short sideburns and a closely cut nape.
His eyebrows were thick, but not overgrown. They lined his heavy brow above his deep set eyes. His nose was long, but not pointed, a perfectly round end cliffing above a finely cut mouth with full lips. His face was on the thin side, but his jaw was hewn as though he were made of stone. Her eyes swept over his broad shoulders and large thighs. She remembered their iron feel and shuddered at the immeasurable strength contained in his form.
"It seems we have arrived," he spoke as though uninterested, his eyes remaining closed. She straightened in alarm, embarrassed to have inspected him so openly. She was tempted to crowd herself into her corner, but resisted as she watched him stir to life. He directed his gaze out the window, causing her to follow suit.
The woods had faded away to reveal a large open area. She could clearly see they were approaching the foothill of a mountain, though the entire range was out of her view. Nestled behind a great aging stone wall stood a mammoth castle of the same rock, the likes of which Brynna had never seen. Even from their still far distance, Brynna could count four windows stacked upon each other in one tall turret. Smoke gently lifted and billowed from the several tall chimneys that speckled the roofline.
As the carriage approached the portcullis, it slowly drew open. Even shut inside the box, Brynna could hear the loud groans of the pulleys and chains as they turned to hoist up the iron grid. The horses carried them through the gray-stoned wall and into the bailey. Despite the dropping temperature of the approaching colder season, the grass was still green over the small flat land. Few trees dotted it, and no life was to be seen from their current position. The coach followed the graveled drive that turned into stone once inside the courtyard, which was surrounded by the castle itself.
When the carriage stopped, a man came to open the door. Malik stepped out and then offered his hand to the quiet girl that stared stunned at their surroundings. Brynna reached for his hand, and then paused, remembering what that hand had so recently done to her. She glanced up at his face and caught the expression that instructed her to not behave in an oppositional manner. Her initial response had been a simple reaction to the pain and unwanted pleasure the hand had brought, but at his hardening challenge to conform to him, she felt the rebellious fire smolder brighter. She lightly took it, despite such feelings, wishing for firmer ground to take a stance on, figuratively and literally.
The moment she touched down, he was dragging her along until her feet carried her forward on their own. Releasing her, he began giving instructions to a man Brynna had failed to notice. He spoke of letters to write, accounts to figure, and names she had never before heard. Dumbly, she followed while trying to take in the ominous splendor greeting her so early in the morning.
Antiquity clung to the tall stone walls in the form of tapestries, shields, and a myriad of weapons proclaiming histories of war and valor and strength. Malik walked down a wide hallway, before turning again to the right and one last time to the left into another tall room. Clearly his private study, a large desk sat cornered in front of the only large window in the room. The warm wood was finely carved and tapered into clawed feet at the floor. It was nearly as large as her bed at home, and appeared sturdier, too.
He stood at his desk, leafing through papers. Still rapt in awe, Brynna slowly turned in the room, taking in the high shelves filled with books and small stone statues. A large fireplace sat in the far wall. Its firebox stood as high as her head and was at least two meters deep. The smooth and unornamented stone of the mantel ran strong and constant to the high ceiling. A few leather chairs and a chaise with a fur strewn neatly on it completed the sitting space, almost invitingly. She noted that a fire had already been stoked to life, and wondered if it always remained so, or if the servants knew he would arrive back that morning.
The stone floor was covered in intricately woven rugs. Aside from the sitting space and his personal desk, another long table with several chairs round it sat in the middle of the room, waiting for large-purposed use.
After her twirled inspection, she stood still, facing him again. She realized he had been observing her for some time. She shifted her gaze uneasily, waiting for instruction, but none came. After a moment of his dissecting stare, he spoke. "Ah, there you are, Eleanor," though his eyes never left Brynna.
"Your breakfast, my lord." She sat a large tray on his desk with several covered dishes. The lady turned to inspect the new arrival. No humor touched her worn face, no approval or thought of civility was extended. With her hands clasped gravely before her, as if she were about to commence a great lecture, she walked past Brynna towards the door. "Follow me," she commanded without a glance back.
Brynna, uncertain if she heard the woman correctly, shot a questioning look at Malik who gave her no encouragement, either way. After raising her eyebrows and looking away in aggravated disappointment, she managed to turn back and give a sassy, if not heartfelt, smile and curtsy, before running after the lady. It was a mistake to have waited so long, for she instantly lost the woman in the unfamiliar maze of corridors. She turned both ways, and decided to try the direction she had come from. Finding the hall, Brynna saw the short lady in black at the far end. She ran to catch up and collided with a bundle of carpet when she rounded the corner.
"Oh, please forgive me," a girlish voice piped out from behind the bundle. A sweet face drenched in fear with light brown hair peeked around the load and wide eyes gaped at Brynna. "Oh, it's you, miss. Please, forgive me. I wasn't able to see you," she said in a worried rush.
"There is nothing to forgive; it was as much my fault as yours, if not more so. I was running after a lady, you see, and nearly lost her," Brynna explained. Before she could introduce herself, she felt another approach behind her.
"There you are. Keep up; I do not have all morning to leisurely wait while you make a nuisance of yourself. Ann, get back to work, or I shall inform the master."
The girl shrank and bowed her head, "Yes, ma'am." Brynna watched in pity as the small girl rushed off down the hall. She turned to look at the woman who was momentarily scrutinizing her again, eyes slanted. Brynna fought the urge to tell her she wasn't very nice, but, considering who the master of the keep was, she imagined no one would be kind.
As they ascended the stairs in great speed, the stringent woman began her litany of information. "My name is Eleanor. I am the housekeeper and Ann, the maid you just met, reports to me. You will do so as well from now on. The master keeps a small staff; therefore, we stay very busy. The servants' quarters are beyond that corridor there, and up the stairs," she said as she paused in a large hall, "but these are your rooms." She opened the door which rumbled on its great hinges. "Though they are not the finest in the keep, they are quite nice, especially for a ..." here she did not finished, but allowed her voice to die away. She led Brynna into a large bed chamber.
Sweeping her eyes over it, she saw a protruding fireplace with a hood in the joint of two walls. It stood out from the corner, and intruded merrily into the space, giving warmth that cold morning. To the left of it was the outer wall that encased three narrow windows higher than her head. The bed was abutted against the next wall, with a chest at the foot. And the wall of the door she entered held only a tall, wide wardrobe.
After the quick scan, her eyes fell to the majestic bed. A four-post monstrosity, Brynna was impressed it fit into the room at all. The posts were so wonderfully carved, the illusion that the donor trees must have grown in the tight spiral pattern was successfully cast. The headboard ran all the way up with the head posts, and, along with the foot posts, supported the wooden paneled celure. The impressive standing bed was completed by a rich red fabric that hung on iron rods attached to the wooden celure on the sides and at the foot. Matching linens and coverlets called to Brynna, reminding her of her poor night's sleep.
"In here you will find the bathing room."
"Bathing room? All the way up here? How is water to be carried here?" she said, sighing a little to herself. Because of her ease to the well at her home, Brynna was used to bathing regularly and did not believe a beautiful sleeping room compensated for the loss.
Walking to the opposite wall where a giant metal tub stood, Eleanor reached for a handle that protruded out from the wall. She pushed it down with some great effort, and produced a deep rumbling, as though the walls were filled with moaning ghosts. After a brief chorus, water spurted out and then began to pour vigorously. The thundering echoed through the stone room, drawing a happy gasp from Brynna.
"How? How is this possible?"
"It is a pump. The motion draws the water up from a natural spring. Over a hundred years ago, the master's family put in a system of pipes that feed off it. All the water is then flushed through another series of pipes that take it away to the river that you can see from the old battlements."
To Brynna, the information was astounding and brilliant, but the tone with which Eleanor gave it, suggested it was no more special than supper being served a little late. Brynna walked to the edge and watched the water fill it.
"There is also a latrine here for your own use." Eleanor had walked to the window on the far side of the tub. She pointed to a stone bench built into the wall under the window. A board, hinged at the back to the stone seat, lay shut on top. Brynna then noticed in the corner of the outer wall and wall shared by her bed chamber, was a fireplace mirroring the one in the first room. She realized the two must be connected through the wall.
"Your water is drawn. Soaps and washing cloths are there," she pointed to the edge of the basin where a small stool stood. "Your robe hangs there, and when you are ready, you may come out, and I will help you dress." She gave a quick nod and left the room.
Still amazed at the revelation that all this was now for her use, Brynna sat on the edge of the tub, but was quickly reminded of her host and his hand. Wincing, she stood up and walked to the wall that had a small dressing table, bench and large mirror leaning against it. Brynna disrobed and stood nude in the warmed room, her hands sliding over her body, around her hips, and over her bottom. The quick sting was gone, but as she turned so her backside faced the glassed mirror, faint whispers of pink in thin lines scattered over her tender flesh. A few places were darker, with a deep purple blushing through. Her fingers delicately traced over the patterns. One print was more noticeable, and she laced her own hand over it. The pull of the memory of the pain, and subsequent pleasure, weighed heavy on her mind. She was biting and licking her lip, thinking of her new master and all the mysterious plans he had for her.
Shaking off her moment of reverie, Brynna walked to the tub and stepped in. To her pleasured surprise, the water was quite warm and licked her skin as she slid shoulder deep. Knowing she had spent quite amount of time studying his handiwork, she scrubbed quickly. Nevertheless, it remained one of the best baths she could remember. The keystone was not the phenomenal running water that only her eyes could have convinced her existed, nor the surprising fact that it was heated. It was the soap. The buttery smooth texture foamed and gave off the most exquisite, unique aroma she had ever smelled. Somehow, though she knew not what fragrant it was, she knew it was expressly for her.
Stepping out onto the fur, she wrapped herself in the robe, which was made of such a luxurious fabric she could only guess was silk, and wrapped herself tightly. She approached the door to leave and then thought of Eleanor's words; she would help her dress. She'll see the marks, she feared.
Brynna stepped out of the room in time to see Eleanor pull a bright, cobalt blue chemise from the large wardrobe. She then returned to pull a black apron-like overdress out. "You have two uniforms to wear. They are identical. It is customary to rotate them. You also have two evening dresses that are to be worn only when you are directed." She pointed to the large chest, indicating their stored location.
Brynna knelt next to it and opened it. She could see several voluminous pieces of material of black, silver, white, and red. She was rather stunned. "These...are new?"
"Yes," though the look Eleanor gave her made her feel as though it should have been expected.
"I have never had clothing made for me," she whispered, still stroking the material lovingly. When she realized the grave woman still studied her, she smiled sheepishly at her. "My mother, of course made my dresses when I was young, but she passed away many years ago," she added. A thought occurred to her as the many moments of the past few hours of her life filtered through her mind. "Were these clothes made for me, or were they in stock?"
"They were made for you," Eleanor answered evenly.
Brynna stood and walked to the side of the bed. She ran her fingers over the brilliant blue, picking it up. The material was fine and soft, but surprisingly sturdy. Quickly, with her back to the wall and away from the gaze of the watching eyes, Brynna slipped out of her robe and pulled the chemise over her head. Straightening the fabric, she continued. "So, you were expecting me?" She chanced a glance up, watching the lady's reaction. She was not sorry she did when she saw surprise flicker across her feathures.
She appeared as though she was avoiding giving an answer. After Brynna donned the black overdress, Eleanor took out a happy blue ribbon and began wrapping it around Brynna's waist. Once dressed, Eleanor pulled stockings and a pair of shoes from the enormous wardrobe. Again, Brynna recognized the clothing as being new and was unsettled at a growing, niggling thought. The night before, she had been led to believe his acceptance of her in lieu of her father's payment had been made on the spot. In fact, he had said as much. However, she now saw the time and effort required for her placement in his home and knew he must have anticipated her arrival for some time.
Eleanor ushered her into the bathing room again to sit her at a small table. She began brushing out her hair and continued instructing her on her place at the castle. Eleanor told of the early hour they rose and that she was required to go to the kitchens and help the cook. She would have time to straighten the master's bed once he left, before returning to the kitchens. She would clean the four bedchambers on her floor. At precisely four she was to serve his tea and then eat her supper. After serving him his own, she would help him in the bath.
"His bath?" Brynna said choked.
"Yes," her stern voice came. "If you have objections, I suggest you keep them to yourself. The master will not abide disobedience or difficulty." Eleanor finished pinning Brynna's hair before she continued. "I will give you one word of advice while you are here. If you desire to be happy, do not attempt to contend with the master's wishes; doing so will only cause you pain." She let Brynna stand and inspected the finished results. "Now, follow me and I will show you the castle and its staff."
Brynna stood to follow her, and paused at the mirror. At home, they had a reflecting metal that hung over the fireplace. Her face was always distorted in color and shape. But now, she saw herself clearly and wondered at her changed appearance. The blue set off the warm rose of her skin, and her hair, parted in the middle and pulled half back, was quite becoming to her face. She was anxious about the future of the poor creature staring back at her. But the melancholic expression didn't last long as she inhaled and forced a modest smile. Her future was entirely in her hands. No, she couldn't choose so many things now as she could previously, but her responses were her own, and she would do what it took to be content, if not outright happy in her new situation.
She quickly caught up to Eleanor who was walking towards the servants' quarters. The tour was fast and perfunctory, leaving little out but lingering nowhere that was not directly related to one of her several duties. There were a few more elaborated explanations that dealt with novelties unique to castle life, things, such as the plumbing, that Brynna had never before encountered or heard of.
In the kitchens, she was introduced to Beatrix, the head cook. Brynna was impressed by the lack of mirth she found in the warm rooms. The plump, older lady looked as though she should roll out laughs and cheer, but yet she stood in front of a cutting board, vegetable in one hand, butcher's knife in the other and no smile to be found anywhere.
She was then introduced to the scullion, Beth who had apparently been dipped in the same vat of souring milk as the cook, for she stood wilted and quiet. Her large, peering eyes bore no welcome or joy, only unasked questions. Brynna did her best to smile gaily, enticing a happy response, but only received quick nods for her efforts.
"I am told you have some experience baking," Beatrix asked.
"Yes. In my village, I helped the baker and his wife ever since I was young," she said, fondly recalling the happy memories.
"You will assist me here, every morning. No doubt, your skill is limited, but I have been commanded to make what use of you I can." Brynna was a little dejected at such a negative appraisal of her skills, but nodded.
From there, she was shown how to arrange the serving tray. Eleanor showed her once and then left her for five minutes to copy the demonstration. The precision of the arrangements was overwhelming, and Brynna was beginning to feel frustrated at her trite options. She stared down at the half filled tea tray. Does it really matter which spoon goes where?
She was huffing a loose strand from her face, waving a small spoon in her hand contemplating its proper place when an idea struck. She quickly glanced up and was able to catch Beth's eye and mouthed "help me." But Brynna saw the fear raise her brow and cause her eyes to dart to the large entrance Eleanor would soon walk in. She looked quickly back at Brynna and shook her head before turning to her previous task.