The Long Road to Ruin Ch. 03byLady_Blackhawk©
Disclaimer: This fanfic is based off the Neverwinter Nights community module by the name of "A Dance with Rogues" created by Valine. I fell in love with this story and felt compelled to write something that compliments it. This story is rated Mature (NC-17) for explicit content and graphic violence. All characters except Shiloh, Bastian, Rhys, Nicca, Essex, and Narev are property of Valine.
Please vote and leave feedback!
Shiloh bounded down the stairs with Caron's name on her lips. She came to the crate filled corridor and found he was nowhere in sight. She sighed dejectedly. She had so much to tell him and he wasn't there. She guessed he'd been sent out on an errand or something.
With her hopes deflated, she entered the kitchen and made her way over to Chella. It delighted her that she wouldn't have to scrub pots today. She would begin to work on lesson one. Disguising. She had to talk to Chella about this one.
Shiloh plastered a bright smile on her face and approached the older woman. Chella smiled at her, "Well? How did your talk with Master Nathan go?"
Shiloh quipped impudently, "Quite well and unlike Vico, he didn't even spank me!"
"Shiloh!" Chella scowled disapprovingly at her. "You should really watch your language! You are not a harbor wench, young lady!"
"No, I guess I'm a kitchen girl now."
"And a really lazy one at that. You have wasted half the morning. Now tell me, what did he say?"
"He said that he'd like me to work for him. And that I should talk to you about a lesson."
Chella nodded at her approvingly. "So he thinks you are ready to venture out into the city again. Please, oh please, my little Shiloh, be very careful, will you?" She hugged her tightly.
"You know me, Chella. I'll do my best."
"Good. Now for the lesson...Well, what I want to teach you, other than how to survive in a kitchen with two lazy cooks in it...," she threw a supposedly mean glance in the direction of the cook pots, "...is how to change your appearance in such a way that your own mother wouldn't recognize you should she be standing right before you."
"I am fairly sure she wouldn't know me as dirty as I am!"
Chella laughed and muddled Shiloh's hair. "The main thing you want to achieve with your disguise is to make people see somebody else when they look at you. That can be arranged with expensive make-up and pearls just as well as ash on your cheeks and dirty broken fingernails. It all depends on the role you want to play.
"The beauty shop in town is where you can get your hair and make-up done, along with a manicure, pedicure, and perfume, things like that. If you want to be a princess, that's the place to go. You'll also need the corresponding clothes, of course. I have a dress that will fit you. It's in my room. Feel free to borrow it any time you want, but please don't lose it. It belonged to my daughter."
"I will take good care of the dress in case I ever need to borrow it, I promise."
"I know you will, my little Shiloh. Now, back to the lesson. The downside to being a princess is that everybody will be looking at you and we certainly don't want that for now, do we?"
"Well, no, I guess not, but I like when people look at me."
Chella frowned at her, shaking her finger. "We can't have that, though. So if you don't want people to pay attention to you, it's a good idea to pretend to be poor."
"There's no pretending to that, Chella. I am poor now. I went from living in a castle and having everything at my bloody fingertips to scrubbing pots in a kitchen. I went from being a ROYAL PRINCESS to being a servant. Have you any idea how humiliating this is? How humbling?" Shiloh balked, her temper exploding.
"There, there, child, calm down. Yes, it has been a very big adjustment for you, but you have weathered the change well. And I'd even go as far to say that you are a better person for it. Now, as I was saying, most people won't even look at you if you are dressed in rags, as if poverty were some illness they could catch."
Shiloh lowered her eyes and fought back the tears that burned in her eyes.
"For some, there is also the possibility of pretending to be the other sex. Though, that will not work in your case," she grinned and pointed at Shiloh's ample breasts.
"They're not that big..." Shiloh protested.
"Child, you wouldn't even fool a blind man, trust me." A soft laugh escaped Chella's lips.
Shiloh blushed bright red, crossing her arms over her chest in attempt to hide them.
"Sorry," she flashed a placating smile. "As a test, and in order to practice, I want you to disguise yourself as a street beggar girl. You should not have any difficulties finding the right 'make-up.' As for clothes, you may be able to get some from a beggar in the streets, though there are few of them left with the Dhorn making their poor lives miserable. Perhaps you can find one at the harbor. But do stay away from the sailors if you go there. I really mean it. They can be dangerous."
Shiloh scoffed, "Certainly no sailor can possibly be any worse than Vico." She gingerly rubbed her bottom and winced.
The older woman frowned upon her. "They are not nice people, young lady. If one takes a fancy to you, he won't ask, if you understand what I mean."
"Yes, I do, just like Vico."
Chella's frown increased. "You need to let go of this unhealthy preoccupation with Vico, girl. He's not nice, either. Steer clear of him."
Shiloh nodded in acquiescence. She really never wanted to see Vico again.
"Or you could ask a tailor to make the required clothes for you. Master Gaston runs a decent tailor shop to the north of here. I suppose you could tell him you want it for a costume ball. That may be costly, though. But I warn you, whatever you do, NEVER EVER tell people who you are. They'd sell you to the Dhorn for the prospect of a few coins."
"I won't, Chella. I'm not that stupid."
She smiled and nodded her head. "Come back here to me when you are ready to test your beggar girl outfit. We'll go upstairs and see if we can fool Master Nathan's bodyguards. If you succeed, you have learned and have passed my lesson. Oh, and one more thing....," Chella grabbed hold of Shiloh's hand and softly pressed a few coins into it. "This is for your work here, child. But don't spend it all at once."
Shiloh's jaw dropped open as she stared at the four gold pieces in her hands. "Thank you, Chella."
A fond smile graced Chella's face as she turned back to the loaves of bread that sat rising on her worktable.
"Chella, is there anything you need me to do before I start my lessons?" Shiloh softly asked, shaking in anticipation.
"Not that I can think of, child. You run along!"
"Well, okay, but when will you be sending lunch up to Master Nathan?"
"Not for another hour or so. Why do you ask, child?" Chella cocked an eyebrow.
"Well, since it looks like I'm not going to be working in the kitchen anymore, I thought I'd do something as a final last thing that I never did before." Shiloh smiled, looking for a reason to go back upstairs again.
"That is not necessary, little Shiloh. Run along. You have lessons to complete. You mustn't keep Master Nathan waiting."
"Alright!" Shiloh pouted and headed for her room. She quickly changed out of her kitchen girl clothes and into a dress she'd sewn herself for a special occasion. It was a light blue to match her eyes with a plunging neckline and a skirt that barely reached her thighs. She pulled on a pair of matching stockings and slipped on the dyed blue shoes she had on the night Vico brought her from the castle. She ran into Chella's room and twirled before a mirror. The dress was pretty and fit her well. All those nights of lost sleep had really paid off.
Next she grabbed up her brush, smoothing out the tangles from her long silky hair and with a deep breath, she faced the concept of going out into the city. Shiloh exited her room and walked through the kitchen to the hallway. She smiled at Nelina and headed down the stairs to the door that lead to the tavern floor. She opened the door and walked down the last remaining few stairs. She looked around curiously.
So this is the Bear Pit, the tavern I've heard both day and night for the last several months. It is snug and tidy, a place where merchants and yes, perhaps nobles would go for a nice meal. At least I haven't been scrubbing pots for drunken sailors, she thought to herself.
Shiloh crossed the tavern floor to the door and opened it, stepping outside into the rain.
"Betancuria," she whispered aloud. She'd spent all of her life here, or rather, in the castle above the city. Her father hadn't wanted her to spend much time with the citizens. Too dangerous, everybody had told her. Especially with citizens like Vico.
She shivered. She had often been afraid of the city when she was younger. It seemed so...chaotic. So many people walking around aimlessly.
She sucked in a deep breath. It felt so good to be outside for a change, despite the fact that it was raining. She had never liked being confined to a single place for long. Now she just had to decide where in the city to go now that she had gained precious freedom.
She thought about Chella's lesson and decided to head over into South Betancuria. She had only ever been there twice in her life, visiting some noble who lived on the Isle of Men whom her father had hoped would marry her.
Looking around, she noticed the Isle of Men in the distance, the large noble houses now bearing the Dhorn standard. She scoffed and said a silent prayer to all those poor souls who had lost their lives when the Dhorn invaded. She walked up to a ferryman, knowing he could take her across the river.
"Ho, lovely girl. Have you need to cross the river? My cost is one gold piece." The ferryman hailed her.
Shiloh handed him one of the gold pieces Chella had given her. "Yes, thank you," she nodded and took the hand he extended to her. He helped her climb into the small boat and soon he was rowing away, his bulging arm muscles contracting with each stroke of the oars. She watched him intently. She couldn't help but stare, for she hadn't had a whole lot of contact with men.
A bright blush crossed her cheeks as she noticed that he knew she was staring. Shiloh mumbled an apology and gazed down into the dark blue murky depths of the river. Before she knew it, they were docking on the opposite side to the river. The ferryman helped her out and set her upon the dock.
She smiled and looked around, noticing the numerous sailors milling around, working. She also took note of the ominous presence of the Dhorn Patrol. Shiloh turned back to the ferryman. "Good sir, a question for you?"
"Hm?" He replied.
"Are there any...beggars nearby?" A bright blush reddened Shiloh's cheeks considerably.
The ferryman raised an eyebrow at her. "I believe there may be one up near The Wildcat? Why? Why would a young girl like you be concerned with a beggar?"
"Well..." Shiloh stammered, "To help said beggar?"
The ferryman eyed her suspiciously then nodded his head.
"What's the Wildcat?" She asked.
"The Wildcat is a bordello that the Dhorn closed down. You know what a bordello is?"
"A bordello?" Shiloh repeated, thinking quickly. "Of course I do."
Then she huffed away, heading in the direction the ferryman had pointed her in, passing the Swordfish, the two dockhouses, and The Wildcat. She stopped to read the notice posted on the door from the Dhorn Governor.
Looking around, she saw a shabbily dressed man reeking of a foul odor and covered in lice standing near a barrel. She approached him cautiously, her nose wrinkling at his putrid stench.
"Spare a coin, girl?" The beggar held out his hand to her.
Shiloh perused him thoroughly, looking him up and down and wandering how well his clothes would fit her. "I would like to buy your clothes."
"Ha-ha, you must be joking!"
"I am not joking! I want to buy your clothes!"
"Why do you want mine? Yours are so much better."
"I can give you gold for them. I am very serious. I must have them."
"How much gold are we talking?"
"I can give you one gold piece. That's much more than they are worth!"
The beggar gave her a nasty look. "I'll let you have them for 50 gold and a set of sturdy clothes from Gaston's."
"50 gold?!?! You must be joking!"
"That is my price!"
She gave him a furious look. "Where will I ever get 50 gold?!?!"
"The docks are that way, sweet thing. Be nice to the sailors and you'll earn my 50 gold in no time at all."
"Well, I never!!!" Shiloh blushed red and flounced away. Be nice to the sailors! She headed back towards the ferryman. Perhaps she could convince Gaston to make her a beggar's outfit.
A blond haired giant of a sailor grasped her arm and hauled her back towards him. Shiloh let out a yelp of surprise. "Unhand me, ruffian!" She squeaked out.
"It's not safe for pretty little things like you to be wandering the docks alone," he leered at her as he looked her up and down. His eyes seem to linger upon her ample breasts. "One might think you were looking for a date."
"A date?" She repeated, wandering what he was getting at.
"Yes, sweet thing, and I'd pay nicely...." His hand skimmed over one of her breasts.
"Hey!" She pushed his hand away.
"Pay? For what?" She eyed him warily.
"For you." He skimmed his other hand over her hips. "So?"
"How much would you pay me?" Shiloh asked, thinking about what the beggar had said.
"Let us discuss that in a more private place," the blond giant put his arm around her shoulders and led her to a nearby dockhouse. Once they reached a spot inside that couldn't be seen from the door, he pushed her to the floor in front of him. "Okay, sweetie, I know I haven't seen you on the docks before. Which means you must be new to the trade, so I'll give you something easy to do. Suck my dick with that pretty mouth of yours."
The sailor leered at her lewdly as he unlaced his pants and pulled forth his swollen member. It looked big enough to be a snake. Shiloh gulped and eyed it hesitantly. She wasn't sure what he wanted her to do.
"Take it in your mouth, girl, and suck. That's what I want. That's what I'll pay you for," he growled out as he gripped her chin and pulled her lips open. He pushed his girth inside and let out a moan, feeling the heat of her mouth. The head of his cock and first two inches filled her mouth, stretching her lips out nicely. He rocked his hips, thrusting into her oral cavity. Shiloh gagged and tried to pull back, but he placed his hands on her head and held her firmly in place. "Suck it, stupid girl."
He pumped a few more times, feeling her throat constrict. Tears welled in Shiloh's eyes. She tried to pull away once more, but he gripped her hair. He thrust harder, trying to force his way down her throat. Shiloh gagged, feeling her stomach roll. She pummeled his thighs with her small fists and tried to bite him in an attempt to dislodge his cock from her mouth.
A groan escaped his lips as her sharp teeth grazed his sensitive head. He bucked his hips, sliding his length in as far as he could. A howl escaped his hips as he spilled his load in her mouth. Shiloh jerked free from him and retched violently, spilling the contents of her stomach on the floor.
"So you are new to the trade, huh?" He raised an eyebrow as he tucked his cock back into his pants. "Not so bad for a first timer, I suppose, but a word to the wise, sweet thing. If you want to make any money down here, you need to practice. Hell, you should be paying me!"
Shiloh caught her breath and looked up at him with her pleading tear filled blue eyes. She pulled out her remaining three gold coins and held it out to him. Her voice came out raspy. "I...am...sorry."
"Awww...honey, honey. Put that away. So tell me, what is a sweet pretty little thing like you doing down here at the docks? It is more than obvious you do not belong here."
"I had to do something. I need 50 gold desperately and the person who wants the gold said I could make the money easily if I was nice to the sailors, but I've never done this before." Tears welled as embarrassment colored her cheeks.
The blond nodded his head. "You should practice."
"Would you teach me?" Shiloh asked, trembling before him. "Please."
"What's your name, honey?"
"Shiloh," she replied as she brushed away her tears and got to her feet. "And yours?"
"I'm Rhys. So let me get this straight. You want me to teach you how to fuck so you can earn money? What's in it for me?"
"Use of my.... body..." She replied. "Please, Rhys. I need that money."
He eyed her thoughtfully. "Must be pretty desperate to be down here on the docks. Have you ever fucked before?"
A bright red flush covered her cheeks. "No, not willingly. I was...was....," she stammered.
"Raped?" he guessed.
"Uh-huh. It was my first time," Shiloh told him as she blushed again and mentally scolded herself for putting herself in this situation. She should have just gone to Gaston. She had heard a few noble ladies in the castle speak of him. Perhaps she could use her noble background to appeal to him in order to create the desired outfit for her.
"Look, honey, I'll be your teacher, but I'm not going to pay you...ever." Rhys gave her a cold look and walked away. "Meet me here after dark."
Shiloh nodded at him.
"Oh, and try to stay away from the others until you've learned something, I wouldn't want to see your pretty flesh all bruised. I won't fuck damaged goods."
Shiloh watched him leave the dockhouse. She straightened her hair and wiped the tears from her face. She intended to leave the dockhouse with what little dignity she had left. As she left, she walked away from the docks, passed The Wildcat and the beggar who had made such an outrageous demand of her.
Feeling the need for a bath, she headed to one of the bridges that connected two sides of South Betancuria and crossed it quickly. She skirted by the Isle of Men and took note of the One Thousand Steps Inn to her right. That was one of the places Master Nathan had told her to visit for a lesson. She had to see Innkeeper Kelten for lesson number seven. She knew she wasn't ready for that one yet, so she passed it by and headed up to River Road.
Hm, River Road. She pulled out her notepad and checked through her notes. For lesson four, she needed to meet a woman named Joanna who lived at 17 River Road, Second floor. Shiloh smiled. She would try that one while she was working Chella's lesson. She headed up the street and noticed a crowd of people grouped around a few Dhorn soldiers.
"What's going on?" Shiloh asked a young blonde woman dressed in a pretty purple dress.
"A passerby found a Dhorn floating down the river," she replied, her face pale.
"Oh," Shiloh said as she watched the Dhorn soldiers. The one they pulled from the river had skin the color of fish belly white and half his hair was missing. A bright red blotch covered his throat. It looked as if his throat had been slashed wide open. Her gut rolled one more time, threatening to empty what little remained.
"There is going to be trouble from this. You had best get out of here quick. That's what I'm about to do," another passerby spoke up, looking straight at Shiloh. Then he quickly turned and darted away.
Shiloh watched the Dhorn soldiers lift their fallen comrade from the ground and carry him away. Then she, too, continued on her way. She noted that her destination was close-by and walked over to the building at 17 River Road. She opened the door and stepped inside, happy to be out of the rain. She was chilled to the bone and knew she would have to procure a cloak in order to keep dry and warm.
Climbing the three flights of stairs, she reached the Second floor and began to knock on each of the three doors. After two angry shouts of 'Go away!' she tried the third and remaining door. It opened easily and she poked her head inside. She noted a nice cozy apartment on the other side. Stepping inside, she began to look around. Then she noticed a woman nearby. She looked quite elegant in her long red gown. Shiloh estimated her to be of her mother's age. She had a gentle face and soft wrinkles around her eyes that seemed to come from laughing often, and heartily.