Bloodsong Ch. 03byAschermer©
Hey again, loyal readers! (What? You slogged through a fuckton of sexless pages and are still reading even though you probably know that there are a few more to come. That counts as loyalty in my book.) Thank you for all your feedback and support, and for being so patient with the aforementioned shortage of ya-know-what. Hopefully, that will be taken care of soon.
This was originally meant to be one very long chapter, but somehow it turned into two reasonably long chapters. Because I'm long winded and can't pace myself to save my life. I've submitted both at the same time, but if the next one hasn't appeared yet by the time this one is posted, you can probably find it on my blog. Some parts of it are also a bit graphic, in the sense that they include mutilation (don't worry, it grows back) and bloodletting. If that's not your cup of tea, you'll probably want to skip anything written between (*)'s and let your mind fill in the blanks however it wants. That said, please enjoy.
~ Mira ~
CHAPTER III -- THE MAYFLY
In which Valerie plots an escape, Jack is MIA and Nicolai gets abused a lot.
Valerie woke up, slowly took in the fact that she wasn't dead, and felt oddly disappointed.
There was a room, and she was inside it. Small. Badly lit. Almost more like a closet than a room, really. Door with no visible lock or handle. Windows, none. Walls -- she bumped the back of her head against the one behind her -- thick, unyielding, most likely reinforced with steel, painted in a washed-out shade of yellow. Concrete floor, no furniture beyond the mattress she lay on. Chains -- because of course there would be chains -- that came out of the floor and walls and connected to the manacles on her wrists and feet. The dampener, still on, glowing dully under the dimmed ceiling lights. Any wound or burn the explosion would have inflicted on her, already healed. She had been there for some time.
Her first thought after analyzing her surroundings was 'Good, I'm alone.' Her second thought was 'I need to find a way to get out of here before I stop being alone.' Her third thought came after the belated realization of what she happened to be wearing, and was, quite simply, 'What?!'
Reluctantly, she reopened her eyes and scrutinized her attire. A typical slave outfit, the white chemise hadn't been sewn with its wearer's modesty in mind. It barely reached her thighs, and even though it concealed a passable amount of cleavage, the only thing covering her back and belly was a crisscrossing mass of white straps. Her underwear and boots were also gone. She froze for a few instants, mortified at the thought of someone undressing her while she lay unconscious. The possibility -- no, scratch that, the certainty - of who that someone had been made her feel even more nauseated.
However, that meant that nothing had been done to her beyond the stripping and, presumably, bathing -- her hair and skin smelled like something fruity instead of their usual perfume of rough soap, and the only uncleanness she felt was on the inside. She trusted that Jack wouldn't do anything overly perverse until she came to, not because of any imaginary morals he might have, but because the opposite just wouldn't be as fun. Unless he had done something, and was planning to use it to fuck with her mind or manipulate her into feeling tainted or helpless or...
Valerie shook her head. Focus. Apparently she was being kept, or had been brought through a place where slaves were prepared. The Mayfly was therefore the most likely option, and presumably there were cameras inside the room, meaning that it wouldn't take long for whoever was in charge of watching her movements to report her awakening. They had left her no means of freeing herself, or anything that could be used as a weapon.
The manacles were, and she almost gagged on the -- most likely intentional -- irony, comfy. They had a little slack, though not nearly enough to allow her to slip her hands out. Her thumbs kept getting in the way, and although she pulled and pulled, there was no way of wriggling the rings over them. Eventually, her hands turned blue and purple and her wrists began to chafe. She shook her head, not exactly happy but not upset. It had been worth a try. It wasn't as if she'd actually believed it would be that easy, and there was another thing about the chains and manacles that had caught her attention. Time for plan B, then. (*)
Running it over in her mind made her wince inwardly, but if there was one thing she knew to be consistent about every single person she had ever been, it was her bloody mindedness. Emphasis on the bloody. Hurting herself a little in order to stand a chance of stopping others from hurting her -- or better yet, hurting them instead -- was an acceptable bargain as far as she was concerned.
Nevertheless, her hands still shook nervously when she brought them together -- the chains allowed her that much movement, at least. She clutched the thumb of her right hand between the thumb and index finger of her left, and wrenched it down. The noise it produced was like that of a twig cracking. The noise she made was a tiny, strangled hiss of pain, but there was some victory in the mix. Houdini had nothing on her, she thought, her head dizzy with the twin emotions of agony and triumph.
Still, Valerie kept pulling. Kept pulling until the blood was running down her arm, soaking the straps under her armpit and continuing down her side to pool on the floor, and her thumb was a limp red thing, connected to her body by nothing but a thin layer of flesh and skin. She ripped it off, and it fell in the puddle at her side. Freeing her hand after that was easy. Repeating the process with the other hand, not so much. She had to hold the thumb down with her remaining fingers and stop her brain from processing twice as much pain. Her right hand still throbbed, and touching the exposed flesh made it flare up as if it were being burned.
It was fine, though. Once the dampener was off and her healing factor restored, reattaching everything would be child's play. It would be surprising to most people how simple it was to escape inescapable restraints, provided you didn't mind cutting some things off and breaking others. It helped that she viewed her body as a puzzle -- total sum of independent pieces -- instead of a single whole. Take one part away, put it back later, no harm done. It hurt and it was ugly and it was messy, but so was everything else about life.
The chains fell back against the wall. That was one thing out of the way. Her feet were next, and they would be trickier. It wasn't enough to get rid of one toe; she'd have to bend her foot in a certain way, break her heel bone so that it could be pushed forward, and bite off a good chunk of it. When that was done and she was completely freed, she allowed her head to fall back against the wall and rest for a few seconds before moving on. Stopping the blood flow -- she needed to stop the blood flow before starting on the dampener. Getting out of the chains had been her priority, but now that she had, she needed to see to it that the light-headedness she felt didn't mutate into oblivion. The sheet covering the mattress provided her with tissue to bind around her maimed hands -- ripping it from her clothing was out of question, as she already had little to cover herself with as it was -- and her feet could, she thought, hold on for a little longer. Time to get on with...(*)
Steps. Valerie froze, feeling every bit like a child caught with her hand in a candy jar. Hurried steps, so whoever was coming was either anxious to see her or aware of something not being right. It wasn't Jack, however -- she wasn't sure what being able to recognize the sound of his steps said about her, but it was turning out useful. Nicolai was her next big bet, and sure enough, his oily, all too familiar voice resonated through the hallway a few seconds later.
"She's doing what now?" Great. Just great. She'd never manage to rip her arm off in the time she had -- ten seconds or so, judging by how close he had sounded -- and even if she did, fighting him after having lost that much blood could only end with her passed out on the floor. Another plan was needed, and quickly. She could already hear the bolts twisting and turning inside the door. One second more and he'd be inside, and see, and then everything would have been for nothing. Think, think, think. What did she have? "Right, don't worry. I'll make sure it's settled."
The door opened and light -- bright, too bright, painful to look at -- hit her eyes like knives. Scumbag was holding a flashlight bigger than her head, and pointing it straight at her face. She covered it and staggered backwards -- instinct was a hard thing to fight -- only to trip on the mattress and fall back on it. Nicolai chuckled and closed the door behind him. She could barely make out his shape, since looking was still difficult, but it seemed to her he was holding something besides the flashlight. And then he was on top of her, and ascertaining what it was became less urgent than throwing him off.
"Alright crazycakes, let's calm the fuck down!" He slapped her, and when that didn't stop her from struggling, took the flashlight and hit her with it before pinning her down and encircling her arms and legs with his tentacles. Once he had her adequately restrained, he positioned the flashlight at his side, dropped the tray in his other hand and took a deep breath. "Astara above, what the hell is wrong with you? Who the fuck gets the idea to...oh gods, that's just gross!" He was holding up a dripping thing that on closer inspection, was recognizable as being one of her thumbs. Nicolai gave it a queasy look and waved it in front of her nose. "kay. On which hand does this one go?"
Valerie glared mutinously and shrugged. He sighed.
"Guess it doesn't make much of a difference, really. Hold still." She did. She had just recognized one of the containers on the tray, and reasoned that if he was planning to do what she thought, then she could suffer to obey for a few minutes. "That's it. Now, I need one of your arms. Don't try anything."
"Yes, yes, whatever." Shaking his head, he lifted the lid of the container, dipped a finger in the white balm and spread a generous amount over the base of the detached thumb, before doing the same with her left hand and pressing the two together. She watched him work with detachment, wincing only once or twice when his rough fingers touched a particularly sensitive area. When he was done with that hand, he bound it again and moved on to the other. Valerie twitched but didn't try to fight. That could be left for later, after she was mostly healed. A plan was already starting to take form in her mind.
But first...assembling intel.
"Outch," she said, in the most bored tone she could manage. Instead of getting off her and scooting towards her feet, he bent her leg and brought it towards him, twisting her like a pretzel. "Seriously, if you people want me patched up, perhaps you could have brought someone who knows how..."
"Hey, Redmont?" he snapped. "I'm not stupid. Every time you open that goddamn mouth of yours, what comes out is either a trick or the foundation of one, so put a sock in it. Bitch." He dropped her right foot and started on the left, scowling all the while. That was it for her acquiring information mission, she supposed. "You don't even know how lucky you are that Jack is too messed up to come down here himself. Then you'd have every reason to whine."
"Aw. Did the big bad explosion hurt the poor baby?" Knowing that he had been badly injured came as a surprise. If she was healed, he ought to be too, especially considering she'd been right beside the counter when it flared up and he a few paces away.
Having Nicolai angrily punch her in the face was also mildly unexpected.
"Yeah," he growled, leaning over until their faces were inches apart. She raised and eyebrow. "The reason being, he had to cover your sorry ass when you blew up that kitchen. Fuckin' suicidal nutjob."
"If that's the case, I'll be sure to send him a card as soon as I'm out." Valerie kept her eyes locked with his, dreading what she would have to do. Well, not exactly dreading. It wouldn't be as bad as everything she had done to herself so far. Feeling a bit nauseated was more like it.
She studied the face above her with a frown. Nicolai wasn't the ugliest man she had encountered, even if there was something about him that made her picture a sharp-dressed weasel. He had dark, curly hair, green eyes, and cheekbones you could cut cheese with, to say nothing of his equally impressive physique. Yes, not-ugly was a bit of an understatement. If she could just focus on his face instead of how despicable he was in every other way, she'd be fine. Or, on second thought...
There had to be cameras, as she had suspected - Nicolai had hardly seemed surprised to find her mutilated and unchained, and wouldn't have thought to bring healing balm otherwise. Perhaps they could be put to use.
"Question," she said. "Am I right to assume Jack's watching all this from the comfort of his bed?"
"Probably." Good enough. "Wait, what the fuck are you...mmmfff!"
Nicolai's lips tasted like licorice and coffee and warm things, two of which she liked, one of which she loathed. As kisses went, that one was neither unpleasant or pleasant, but a sensation hanging in the limbo between both. Which wasn't altogether surprising, to be honest. Kissing had done something for her on one occasion only, and even then, she'd done her best to scrap the memory from her mind after the fact.
Nicolai seemed to be enjoying himself, though. When the initial wave of confusion and muffled sounds passed, his hand traveled to the nape of her neck and pushed her head forward, crushing her mouth against his until it became hard to breathe. His tongue probed her lips, trying to get access, and she swallowed an outraged squeal before she could stop herself. That was new, that wasn't acceptable, and that would have to end right about now. But those were feelings, and feelings were hardly rational things, and acting squeamish when she'd already gone so far would lose her what little she had gained. So she obliged, parting her lips and allowing him to plunder her mouth at will. Thinking about how Jack would react if he was watching -- and if he wasn't, he certainly would later -- almost made the whole experience enjoyable.
As if reading her thoughts, Nicolai retreated and laid his head next to hers.
"I know why you're doing this," he panted. " 'ts not about me. You just want to piss him off."
"Does the reason," she whispered huskily, hooking her fingers in his hair and bringing his mouth close again, "why I'm doing it matter? It's mutually beneficial. And if I'm truly never getting away from him, then I'd like to have had a real man at least once in my life...because gods know he doesn't fit the bill." The last bit had been entirely ad-libbed but also nothing short of perfect, she decided as he lowered his head again, seemingly satisfied with her response. It was the single most insulting thing she could say or do short of flipping off the camera, and that would be inconvenient, seeing as she didn't know where it was positioned and required her free hand for something else.
"Ah...mmm..." He moaned as her hand traveled lower and sneaked inside the waistband of his pants. Valerie did her best to not roll her eyes, and chanted to herself that what she was about to do could in no way be as disgusting as crawling miles and miles through a sewer, eating rats raw, or alcohol-free beer. It was just flesh against more flesh, her hand cupping his balls and kneading them softly, and because it was barely disguised manipulation, it hardly mattered at all. "Just...hnngg...don't you start your thinking that I'mma gonna let you...oh fuck!" She smirked slyly. If his grasp of the English language was as good as gone, then his brain should also be turning to mush soon. Still, she had to stifle another startled noise when his mouth crashed down on hers, seeking, devouring. His enthusiasm would be a lot more flattering had she not known that a broomstick with breasts glued on would draw about the same response from him. "Oh, fuck, you fucking slut, I want...need to..."
"Thank you," she replied, very politely. Her other hand was now also free, but since she was running it up and down his shaft, he didn't protest the fact. "I myself just want your jacket. Take it off."
"Mmnh?" To her surprise and unabashed amusement, he actually moved his fingers to his collar and started unbuttoning it. Knowing how his mind worked, the poor cretin was probably convinced that she intended to take things to the next level. Valerie allowed him to finish -- no need to try to extract by force what patience would yield her willingly and with no fuss -- and leaned back to allow him to settle on top of her, both her hands still gripping his genitals firmly. "Done. Your turn."
"Nicolai," she breathed, in her best seductive tone. It wouldn't fool a moderately bright five-year old, but luckily, he was too far gone to care about her lack of conviction. For someone who had claimed to be smart enough to recognize the wisdom of shutting her up, he was falling for -- virtually diving into - this trick with disturbing ease. It being completely new probably helped. Valerie had never found herself in a situation so hopeless that resorting to it had been necessary, and him thinking she was insane was also bound to help matters. Still..."Are you familiar with the term 'too dumb to live'?"
"Hm?" Something flickered in the depths of his lust-filled eyes. A dawning understanding. She gave it no time to settle and turn into action. With a grin that nearly split her face in two, she squeezed.
Nicolai howled and tried to get off her, but she dug her nails in the sensitive flesh, allowing him no choice but staying put or have his balls ripped out. Her previous ministrations had put him so on the edge that even that little gesture prompted an agonizing scream that came close to unhinging his jaw. But not close enough, so she applied even more force. (*)
He threw his head back, his whole face twisting, and opened his mouth impossibly wide. She knew what he intended a split second before he did it, so there was no way for him to notice her triumph and change his course in time. Nicolai's lip curled back, exposing sharp teeth, and went for her face. Valerie lifted one of her arms -- the one with the dampener - to protect it, making sure her elbow was jutting out towards his, and smashed it into his mouth. He bit down, and it was her turn to yell. Teeth in flesh and blood pouring out and bones broken, the connection between elbow and forearm reduced to some strings of corded muscle and soft tissue, and he wasn't letting go of it.
Which was more or less what she had been hoping for.
With a mighty pull, her arm -- or part of it -- came loose. He realized what had just happened about one second before she turned her head and bit him back. Spitting and spluttering, he renewed his attempts to get away, but she was having none of it. (*)
"Stay, idiot," she snarled. Her arm throbbed, but with the amount of adrenaline coursing through her veins, she barely felt it. In truth, she didn't even feel light-headed. With her forearm laying three feet away from her and the dampener once again reduced to a harmless circlet, her healing factor was making up for the lost time and kicking in hard. "Unless you want me to pull off your dick and make you swallow it."
That got his attention more than the fact she had slackened her grip -- there was no sense in trying to talk with him while his brain was occupied with processing pain, after all. He looked down at her, enraged, and immediately started spewing saliva and abuse. Valerie waited until he was done calling her every foul name known to man before snapping him back to reality with a light but menacing yank.