Possess Me Ch. 03bytitania123©
First off, thank you everyone for commenting and voting. I appreciate both and hope you continue to leave your thoughts and suggestions for me. Secondly, I've gotten enough response that I think I'll leave this story in the non-con section, at least up until a certain point, at which time I will inform you of the new posting section. Thirdly, as of right now, I have the first four chapters written and am now starting the fifth chapter. It is my hope to post at least within every two weeks, however, I do NOT like forcing the story just to meet a deadline, so I will try to keep a posting schedule up to date on my author's page to help you know when I'll be submitting. Fourthly, there isn't yet any real sexual contact in this chapter; that doesn't come until the next one, but even then, it will be a gradual buildup. As one reader commented, it will be a 'slow burn.'
So with all that said, I hope you enjoy this chapter of competing wills!
Though a roof lay over her head, the rain managed to sneak in, pelting her occasionally as though the wind spit contemptuously through the windows. Her dampened skin accentuated the chill of the black room, causing Brynna to produce a most tiring shiver through her body. Exhausted, she lay on her side, knowing hope slept on the horizon, waiting to move with the morning sun.
It was during the ten minutes sleep had overtaken her that the hinges rumbled again, waking her to the new day. She sat quickly, hoping to shield her lowly form from his eyes. But it was Eleanor that walked in, not the dreaded master of the castle. Brynna's blue and black outfit hung in her arms. "Dress and come down stairs to the kitchens." She held out her clothes and offered no more words of comfort. Quickly, the shivering girl took them and dressed, happy to gain some protection from the ice cold air.
On the trek down, she stopped to relieve herself as her bladder was near bursting. Once in the kitchens, she found Bea and Beth were gathered to begin preparing food for the day. As she entered, heads lifted, but eyes quickly darted away, almost as if they were afraid of looking at her. Their behavior was even worse than the day before, which she didn't think was possible. She knew the shame of her subjugation floated over her head like a black cloud. She felt embarrassed by their knowledge, but then quickly reprimanded herself as she had done nothing to be ashamed of. After all, it was the tyrant who put her in the tower; she had done nothing wrong.
Bea spoke from the bowl of eggs she stood over. "We need eight loaves of bread today. Please make them."
Feeling somewhat unwelcome by her distant tone, Brynna could only nod sadly. "Yes, ma'am." She was quickly pointed in the direction of the ingredients and set about making eight simple loaves. She was just about to begin kneading the dough when Eleanor came in.
"The master has left his bed chambers. You may go to make the bed." Though she knew he would no longer be there, her stomach began to boil at the thought of having to enter his rooms. After washing her hands, she quickly slid upstairs, ever watchful to stay clear of his path.
His room was far grander than hers. The bed only a little bigger was definitely more luxurious. The size of the bed required her to climb into it to reach its middle. The deep mattress and coverlets still held his warmth as she spread her hands over the sheets, smoothing the wrinkles free. As she stood over her finished work, her fingers slowly strummed a pillow. She wondered about her new master, and if he slept alone. She rolled her eyes again. She was torn between wanting to ignore him and wanting to know more about him.
Well, he acted beastly so, I don't think I care to know a jot about him at the present, she lied to herself and tried to push him from her mind. Extricating herself from his private rooms was a good place to begin.
When Brynna reentered the kitchens, she saw Beth and Ann were sitting on stools near a counter, yesterday's bread in their hands. Her stomach growled at the sight. She was tempted to ask when she could break her fast, but decided against it since no one seemed welcoming. She returned to find her dough quite large. She beat it for some time, working the chew deep into its grain. When Bea indicated the ovens were ready, she slid them in. Bea then instructed her to tend the fires to keep the oven's temperature even. Brynna had nearly frozen during the night and was now grateful to be so near a source of warmth.
But tending the fires became more than warm, and she began to perspire. The heavenly aroma also became something slightly torturous as it wafted from the hot, brick cave. When she at last pulled the loaves out, Bea inspected them. "These are quite tasty," the older woman said, surprise evident in her voice. "I'm through with you this morning. Eleanor says you are to attend to the chamber floor now. She also said, today, you must clean everything regardless of how it appears," she said in meaningful tones, though Brynna was baffled at just what their meaning was.
Perhaps food later, she internally sighed. Back up the stairs to begin her day of cleaning. Why did Eleanor command I clean everything? Had she not said I need only clean when it is actually dirty? Regardless of her confusion, or the amount of work ahead, she plunged ahead, happy for something to do.
Near time for their midday meal, she was just finishing scrubbing the fourth and last chamber floor when she heard footsteps in the hall. It was Ann passing by. "Hello," Brynna cheerfully called from as she stepped from the room, eager to talk with someone with since she had spent the majority of her morning and all yesterday eve in solitude.
The girl stopped and turned, her eyes back to their wide, worried expression. "Hello," Ann said tentatively.
Brynna had never seen such timid behavior before. She wouldn't have thought so much of it if it was only one person, but the whole lot of the castle seemed afraid of talking to her. Ann turned and quickly walked on, down the stairs, through the great hall, the two winding halls and through the kitchen, all the while Brynna followed, mulling over her detached and unfriendly behavior.
As she stepped down into their dining hall, Eleanor's voice pulled her from her thoughts. She looked up to see the woman rise from her seat and approach her. "Brynna, have you finished cleaning the chambers yet?"
Brynna couldn't help but notice she came to stand directly in front of her, blocking her entrance into the room. "Almost. I still must polish the furniture in the last room."
"Very good. Please go back and finish. By the time you have, Brom will be through with his meal and able to take you to the stables."
"Stables?" she asked perplexed.
"Yes, you are to spend your afternoon mucking the stalls."
Brynna could only stand mouth agape. "I'm not certain I understand," she said, voicing her confusion. Why had her assigned tasks changed? When was she to eat?
"It is your punishment. You are to work, non-stop today with no food."
Brynna immediately stiffened, her mortification screaming across her cheeks in red. Her eyes quickly darted around the room, watching the apparent shunning from the others that sat in awkward silence. The tension swelled up, pushing her from the room. With her head bowed respectfully, she backed out and breathed, in the only voice she could find in that moment, "Very well."
She turned, the itchy flames jumping up her face. Of all the embarrassing, shameful..., but she couldn't quite finish her thoughts, her humiliation taking over and shutting down her brain. She barely managed to make it to the chamber before the hot tears flowed. How was she to live there? How was she to go on when he made her such a spectacle of shame and ridicule, cutting her off from any friends?
She flung herself onto the bed and wept. When the fog of sorrow began to lift, in its place had settled her renewed dislike of the man set on ruining her life. Her seldom tested obstinance began to swim and surface. Only days ago she had lived in peace with those around her, rarely facing a conflict of wills. Suddenly, she found herself clawing to survive, not for the basic things of life, but for the avenue of her soul, her free soul. If the will of her own mind was something she truly valued, how could she so easily lie down in the face of oppression?
She stood and angrily wiped the tears from her cheeks and eyes. While she worked, her rebellious mind began laying walls of stone around her resolve. She would not be so easily overtaken by a monster. She would not stop seeking what made her happy. He will not control me, she promised, bracing up her mind against his domination.
When at last she was finished, she stood in front of a mirror. She did what little she could to make her face appear fresh and happy. Her eyes were no longer red, and her complexion was bright. Her hair had not been attended to since the morning before. She ran her fingers through it and repinned the fallen strands. Smoothing the fabric, she breezed from the chamber and floated down the stairs to meet Brom. Though she might be drowning inside, she vowed that no one else would know.
She heard raised voices coming from the room past the kitchen. "It is not for you to decide, just do as you are told," she heard Eleanor say. She stepped through the threshold just in time to watch an agitated Brom rake his fingers through his hair. They both turned at her arrival. The scowl on his face made her suddenly apprehensive about spending the afternoon under his watch. Eleanor seemed flustered or angry; Brynna couldn't quite tell which.
Brom left out the back door without a word or glance in her direction. She quickly followed. The lingering scent of meat and bread hanging in the air caused her stomach to rumble once more as she passed the now empty table. She was happy to see the gray clouds had lifted, and in their place a bright, if not warm, blue sky shone.
Brom's long legs took him quickly around the keep and to the stables. Brynna had to trot to keep up, occasionally slipping in the mud that lay hidden under the verdure. Attached to the outer wall near the front portcullis stood a large stone building. On the side she approached, she could see doors of the stalls. As she came around to the front, she saw it resembled the courtyard of the castle, as stalls lined the outer borders, creating a horse shoe shape. The thatch roof overhead shaded the inner part from the noonday sun.
When she arrived, he had a pitchfork in hand. He was staring at the ground when he spoke. "Do you know how to clean stables?"
She shook her head. "No, I've never been near horses." He took a seemingly angry breath in and then exhaled, his face a scowl. Over-washing embarrassment invaded her mind. A once possible friend, he was now taxed with dealing with a tiring novice. Her own demoralized state quickly sharpened to angry frustration. "I'm sorry. I will do the best I can. Give me the pitchfork and point me where I need to go, and I'll be quick about it," she snapped. When he turned to look at her, almost in bewilderment, her tone softened and turned apologetic. "I'm sorry. I am sorry that you are punished by being burdened by me. I'll work fast, and be out of your way." She reached for it, but her hand remained empty.
Brynna looked up to see a softened, almost smiling face. "Miss, I'm not mad at you, and you are not a burden." She didn't know quite what think. "I'm only angry that...well, about the way he is treating you. It's not right, though it isn't my place to say. Here," he said, reaching into a pocket. He pulled out something wrapped in a greasy bit of cloth. "It's not much, but it'll help." It fell open to reveal a piece of bread and a hunk of meat.
At first, Brynna was too stunned to make a reply, but stood staring at the courageous gift. Yes, courageous, as he was flouting the master's explicit command that she was to eat nothing. She smiled, looking up into his face, quite certain he enjoyed defying their master almost as much as she did. She felt relieved to find she had an ally after all. "Thank you, Brom. But, I am not so weak as to be done in by a day's forfeit of food. I can survive anything he decrees. Just you watch; it'll only make him angry when I do," she smiled impishly at him.
He smiled in return, though his face appeared puzzled again. "Well, if you insist," and then put the whole thing in his mouth, his cheeks puffing out at the large wad.
"Now, show me what to do." Chewing like a boy, he led her inside to the last stall on the right. She saw a dappled gray inside chomping hay. She was overcome by the warm, pungent aroma of the stable yard. It was a heady mixture of rain, hay, oats, and horse. It was unique and lovely; it felt like a happy place. She turned to study the layout, noting the four stalls lining the right and five on the left. On her right, all four were occupied by a few gray and bay colored horses. On the left however, the largest stall in the far corner contained a black beast. His eyes were bright glassy orbs peering out from his black corner, attentive to every move she made.
"The two grays are for the carriage," he informed her. She could see why in their heavily muscled, stout frame. "And this bay beauty is for Saul, his lordship's messenger. That," he said looking warily over to the black monster on the opposite side, "is Aeris, the master's. He's very special, I'll give him that. The master brought him back from one of his travels when he was just a colt, about four years ago. He was hell to break in. Though, I wasn't the one with the honor. The master took on the job, strangely enough. He received a few bruises, but his will won out in the end. Now it's the finest horse around, perhaps the whole kingdom," he said, a thoughtful tone in his words.
He walked over to the wired creature, causing him to perk his ears forward, side step energetically and snort contentious air. Brom chuckled, "But the master likes a lot of spirit. This horse performs magnificently under him. You've never seen such a horseman. I'd wager he's able to break any wild thing in."
He turned back to her. "You are to clean all of them, I'm afraid. Luckily, there are only five horses, so that means only five stalls with hay. The rest just need sweeping out." He handed her a pair of large leather gloves. "For your hands. They won't last without protection. Now, let me show you the best way." He opened the gate and entered, catching the horse inside and putting a rope round its head and muzzle. He led it out and tied it off on a post near the entrance, while she quickly scrambled out of his way.
He took the pitchfork and began spearing large hunks of hay and tossing them out the stall door. "When you've cleared the stall, load the wheelbasket there with fresh hay from that large back store room. Thom and I will load all the old into the wagon and take it up to the hogs and fowl later. There's the broom for sweeping. Any questions?" The work seemed simple enough. She shook her head and took the pitchfork.
Though she was young and fit, her body soon fatigued at the work. She was sweating and panting for breath when she swept the last of the dust from the first stall. It took four heavy loads of the straw to fill the one stable. She stood and stretched her aching back. One down, four to go, she sighed. As she left the stall, Brom led the gray that he had been grooming back in. That rhythm continued through the next three horses; he would pull them out and groom them while she raked the stalls and laid new hay.
It came about that when she had finished laying the last of the hay in the fourth stall, a voice stopped her heart before it sent it thudding rapidly through her chest. "Brom, prepare my horse to ride."
"Yes, sir." Brom replied. Taking the lead of the bay he had been grooming, he led it back to the newly cleaned stall Brynna stood at the entrance of. At his voice, her head had slowly turned to watch him stand at the large opening. Though rebellious fire had previously burned through her, she stood frozen in his ice stare. It wasn't until Brom approached with the mare that her attention dislodged from his captivating eyes. She quickly darted out of the way, eager to stay clear of the large animal. Malik silently watched her skittish response to the horse.
She secured herself far away from the stallion, waiting for Brom to collect it from the secluded stall. Once he led it away, she busied herself with heavy work to push disturbing thoughts from her mind. He's watching me. Why is he always watching me? Why do his eyes make my stomach swirl? She asked many questions, but received no answers. She did not look away from the clearing hay until she heard thunderous hooves fade away. She stood erect, looking to see his horse fly violently down the path to the main gate. Her breathing was rapid, sweat running down her brow. With him gone, her mind eased manageably, though she was still no closer to understanding the man or his effect on her.
When at last she finished cleaning all the stalls, she sat on the bench at the entrance, the cool air running through, bathing her in relief. "Finished, then?" Brom asked, smiling as he approached.
She nodded and stood, suddenly sad. Reluctant to leave the one friendly person of her new home, she slowly slid off the gloves, her hands damp and wrinkled from hours of trapped sweat and heat. The breeze felt cool on them, suddenly sparking the desire to bathe. She handed him the gloves. "Thank you for the use of them. I am certain you were right. My hands would not have lasted." She breathed a sigh and gave her farewell. As she made her way to the cold keep, he called to her.
"See you at supper, then!" She smiled, knowing he would enjoy any mischief she caused. Entering the door into the soap room, she was greeted by heavenly aroma of some fatty meat sizzling away in the oven. She saw the others averted their eyes, busying themselves with their tasks. She was suddenly at a loss as to how to occupy her own time, until Eleanor entered the kitchens.
"There you are. Finished in the stables?"
"Very well, go and bathe. You have half an hour's time to clean yourself before the master returns for his tea." Eleanor's eyes roamed down her body to the hem of her dirtied skirt. "You will put on the other dress. That one needs cleaning."
Brynna nodded her acquiescence and left for the safety of her room. No one will judge me there, she consoled herself. She quickly disrobed, noting the still faint marks across the swells of her bottom. She immersed herself in the warm water and scrubbed purposefully. As she was drying off, a pain shot from her stomach up her throat and was followed by an intense growl.
Punishment, indeed. Well, let's just see who has the final say, she thought gleefully to herself. She wouldn't be controlled so easily. She returned to the kitchens to find Beth dicing potatoes. "Hello," Brynna said, as she laid the serving tray on the counter next to Beth.
The timid blonde looked up, her light blue eyes shimmering in surprise. "Hello, miss."
"The rain has cleared, did you know that?"
"Oh, yes, miss."
"Though the ground is still muddy. I nearly slipped walking out to the stables," Brynna said happily as she set the kettle on the fire.
"As did I, miss, fetching the eggs this morning." The girl's face seemed to soften, to lose the tense edge that kept her features on alert.
Brynna smiled warmly in response. "And how many chickens have we?"
"Oh, we've nearly twenty, miss. A few of them are right special; they lay blue eggs."
"Blue, instead of brown? That is special. Tell me, where did they come from that they lay blue eggs?"