The Priestess Ch. 02bypoison_alice©
The slow pace that his priestess was setting was driving Elias crazy. He knew she was in pain, and it frustrated him no end that she hadn't asked for his help. From what he knew of her religion, the healers were able to heal physical wounds as well as spiritual, but were unable to heal their own injuries. If he had been the one hurt, providing that Sophia's healing skills were genuine, he would have been whole again by now.
He had been confused and disappointed by Sophia's lack of interest in clothes. He had hoped to please her with his gift. Instead, his showing off had accomplished nothing. He hoped that his new plan would bring her more pleasure.
The shop was not one that he would normally have bothered with. His inability to read had never bothered him, yet he knew that people who were able generally took great pride in their ability. Looking at the wonder on his priestess' face, he knew he had made the right choice. He could see the eagerness in her eyes, the barely contained excitement in her stance, and could feel the tight grip of her hand in his.
"You can choose any book you want, Sophia." He was surprised by her reaction. She threw her arms around him, kissing him roughly on his lips. Looking down into her eyes, he saw a tenderness he had not expected. For a moment, he dared to hope that what she felt for him stretched beyond a strange mixture of fear, gratitude and dependency, but then he pushed the thought away. He could not afford to get lost in fantasy.
As he sat and watched his priestess, Elias thought about where they were going. He wondered how Sophia would react when she discovered he was stealing items of power, items intended to allow the General to take over not only her country, but any other he desired. He knew that the sword had been the first of many items that would together make the man invincible. Although many items stemmed from other religions, he thought that Sophia would be horrified by his actions.
Watching her bend and stretch soon distracted Elias. He could feel himself hardening in his trousers, and tried to focus on something other than her shapely arse. He would love to sink himself into that forbidden hole, and considered plying her with so much wine that she would bend over and present herself willingly to him. He knew that as he pressed into it, she would whimper and struggle in pain. He would have to hold her down, force himself in, and come to the sound of her sobs. The thoughts excited him immensely, and only the sight of Sophia's innocent smile cooled his lusts.
When she approached it was wearily, as if she had seen something of his thoughts on his face. She held her book out to him.
"This is the one you want?" He saw the hesitation on her face before she nodded. The lie was so obvious that he couldn't imagine his priestess ever successfully deceiving anyone.
"Yes, please." Elias sighed at the lie. He needed to find a way to make the girl less nervous around him.
"Which book do you want, Sophia?" At the use of her name, she flinched. Shit. His tone had been harsher than he intended. Grabbing her wrist and dragging her to him, he planted a quick kiss on her lips. "Tell me," he all but growled.
"It's too expensive," she blurted out. Damn her. She had no concept of money, not really, and certainly had no idea how much money he had.
"Go and get it. I can afford a book."
When Sophia brought the book she wanted to him, he nearly choked. It was three times as expensive as anything else in the shop. Still, he could afford it and if it made her happy then it would be worth it. He needed her to trust him. Happiness, he decided a long time ago, was the key to trust.
"What's it about?" He watched in fascination as a blush crept up Sophia's cheeks. It was sweet and endearing.
"Healing," she muttered. "It was written by the healer who raised me." Elias watched as emotions chased themselves across Sophia's face: pride, sadness, grief, the flicker of a smile at a happy memory, and finally the expectation of a refusal.
If the woman who raised her had lived in the temple, she was surely dead.
"What's the other book about?"
"It's a story." Sophia's expression remained schooled, but she was clutching both books to her chest.
"Here's the money," Elias said as he handed her his coin purse. "Can you work out percentages?" Sophia nodded. "If you can get 10% off the combined price, you can have them both." The shock on Sophia's face was worth every penny.
After leaving the shop, Elias took Sophia to buy some new shoes. He was alarmed at the state the sandals had left her feet in, and determined that he would have to talk to her about her lack of communication.
Watching his old friend's face, Elias knew she was jealous as Sophia told Vita about all of her gifts. He could also see the suspicion that he was up to something. Once Sophia had left to put her books in her room, Vita rounded on him.
"What the fuck are you playing at, you little piece of shit." He had expected worse. "She's so innocent," Vita continued, saying innocent like a curse. "What you did to Lisa was awful, but at least she had some experience of the world. This is a whole new low."
"It's different." He knew it was a weak response, but his gut was twisting with guilt. His fists balled as he thought about Lisa's last moments, and the terror that had been in her eyes.
"Yes, it is. This time you know exactly what you're doing you manipulative bastard. She'll fall in love with you, just like Lisa did."
"She already knows, Vita." He didn't wait to hear Vita's response.