tagSci-Fi & FantasyDaemon & Sunny

Daemon & Sunny


{Author’s Note: This is a part of a larger story, which may one day be published. All rights reserved, yadda yadda… Enjoy! ~Lotm}


The Astorran guards that escorted her to her next destination stayed in the outer chamber, remaining with her. They didn’t bother her, didn’t stop her from wandering around, examining the silk-and-gold bower she had been brought to, though they did keep a careful eye on her when she strolled over to the broad, balcony-like window, the floor in front of it free in a curve of gloss-polished wood that invaded a short distance into the cream-colored carpet covering the rest of the floor.

The view was incredible. It overlooked a private garden; she could tell because the other three walls of the vast enclosure were blank; no windows, no gates, no doors on the three walls that she could see. They enclosed a waterfall, pool, stream…paths winding among flowers and trees and a curve of grass that looked perfect for a picnic. And beyond the wall was no sign of the sprawling city near the palace, which was apparently located on another side of the palace, because there were mountains in the distance, jagged, high, and snow-crusted, cool-looking in the warm afternoon breeze.

The window was open. Sunny discreetly shifted her hand to lean on the sill so she could look out; there would be a door into this garden somewhere, probably below this suite, and she needed to find it. Only her hand encountered resistance. A force screen—craker! Probably keyed only certain personnel’s codes, which I don’t have. She looked for the control panel as subtly as she could, moving just her eyes. A long sensor strip lay along the right edge of the window frame…and at the shallow angle she was viewing it at, Sunny could just make out thumbprints. Hmm…it’s opened frequently.

She took another look around the bedroom of the suite. It looked ready to be lived in. By someone who could afford to surround themselves with jeweled statues, costly wall hangings, and the finest furnishings. Carved wood everywhere, a plush carpet underfoot…and a silk-covered, broad bed laden with pillows below a high headboard bearing the crest of Astorrra, an eye in the middle of a many-pointed star.

Did they bring me straight to the king’s quarters? She chewed on her bottom lip in worry. Is he that much in a hurry to have me? But no one seemed in a hurry, for the sun set somewhere behind the palace while she waited.

Someone bustled in, spoke briefly with the guards, and ushered a cluster of servants in. The man directed a smallish, round table set up with a meal for one, attended to by a trio of his followers, then waived another after him. His slightly plump features smiled kindly at Sunny, and he spoke in accented Imperium.

“I’m Armon. You must be hungry. It was a long ceremony.”

Startled by the courtesy in the man’s tone, Sunny replied. “Yes…it was.”

She’d spent most of her time seated on an uncomfortable, carved chest, while more and more wealth had been piled around her, then had been led away like one more chest of luxuries herself, though at least she had been allowed to walk. The man smiled at her. “Well, you can eat in just a moment. Doctor Westredd, here, must first give you a scan, and a contraceptive shot. Concubines aren’t allowed to get pregnant, you know!”

She didn’t know that. The Ruyikans hadn’t bothered filling her in on that fact of Astorran life. She stood patiently while the doctor scanned her with his largish, hand-held bioscanner, then gladly tipped her head to the side so he could give her the sprayshot that would keep her from getting pregnant.

The contraceptive hit her system after she had sat down and started tasting the exotic local food, just a few moments after everyone but the guards had left. A wave of dizziness was followed by a wave of nausea, forcing her to grip the edge of the table. It took her a little while, of shallow, careful breaths while her heart pounded in her veins, before her blood and stomach settled down. Always aware of her body, as any Craidan was, when everything had settled Sunny knew she was incapable of getting pregnant.

Well, that’s one worry taken care of. And it also restored her appetite, or at least settled her nerves enough that she could eat through the residual nausea from her altered hormones. The hot dishes were cooling, the cold dishes were warming, but everything was still good. There was even one spice, with an unusual flavor, that seemed to be a part of just about everything; paired with the main dishes, with salty, peppery foods, it was good. Paired with the pastries, with sugar and honey, it was even better. Still a little wary of her stomach, she ate slowly to kill time and fill her stomach as much as possible, in case it was be a while to her next meal. Somehow, she would have to overpower the king when he came for her, as soon as they were alone. Then she’d have to tear up the sheets and make a rope, and get the window open, get down into the garden, and find the door out. Not much hope for escape…but if she didn’t try, she wouldn’t ever get free. At least her dignified stance would make her all-or-nothing attempt to escape a shock to the relaxed guards expecting compliance.

She polished off the plates, even licked her fingers, finding the spice so tasty, it was almost addictive. But still, nothing happened. No one came. Well, a new pair of guards came and relieved the other pair after another hour. By that time, Sunny was pacing, growing agitated, unnerved—waiting for something to happen, a chance for her to escape to appear. Another hour passed. Her skin tingled. Her breath was short. The silk of her clothes seemed coarser, warmer. Resisting the urge to pull her clothes off and walk around more comfortably, nakedly—she wasn’t going to give the guards a free look, who as non-Craidans wouldn’t understand that baring skin in view of others was something sacred, not prurient or sexual—Sunny perched on the edge of the chair she had sat in for her meal. She stood up and paced. She sat down and fidgeted. Frowned at the amused look being exchanged between the guards, and retreated to the large bathroom attached to the bedroom.

Here, at least, she could shut the door. There was a window in here, too, but it was solidly screened, not partially to let in the breeze as the one out in the bedroom was. The air was a little more stifling. Unbuttoning the front of her gown, she parted its covering, fitted front panels and let her flushed body breathe. She was about to take off the waist-high, opaque golden hose when she heard voices out in the bedroom. Since her guards hadn’t said anything other than when the servants had come in with her food, and when the shift had changed, she quickly rebuttoned her dress from hip to shoulder, smoothed it into place, and opened the door.

The new king of Astorra was being helped out of his formal clothes by a manservant. She slipped out of the bathroom, and noticed the guards were still in the room. Are they going to stay in here while he…? Natura! That’s going too far!

The valet stripped him naked. Sunny stared at his backside as he cooperated, stepping out of the trousers, unbuttoning his cuffs while the valet folded the jacket and pants over his arm. He handed over his shirt, his underwear, and shrugged into the navy silk robe handed over to him. While King Daemon was still sliding his hair out from under the collar of his robe, the valet came around him and over to Sunny. He held out his hand. Waiting for her to take off her gown and hand it to him.

Dismayed, Sunny backed up. If she gave away her only piece of clothing, she would have a hard time replacing it with torn lengths of sheet and making her escape unnoticed—she’d stand out like a reptilian Takkit would on Craida!

Daemon turned around, tucking the control box into the robe’s pocket to put it somewhere for the moment. His hands slowed as he saw his valet take a step forward, hand out, and the Ruyikan concubine back up another step. Ruyikans, while they had a concubine system, were a little overly reserved about some things, he recalled. “Draggan.” The valet faced him at the sound of his name. “Leave us.”

The valet bowed and left. Past the guards. Daemon had forgotten they were still there. He caught their eye.

“Leave us.”

They bowed, and left.

Sunny would have sighed in relief…if she’d been able to catch her breath. Her lungs didn’t seem to want to work normally. She edged sideways, putting one of the carved posts of the bed at her back, unable to find her dignified reserve from earlier.

To Daemon, she looked unnaturally flushed. He guessed Armon, the chief eunuch of the saeda, had added t’likker spice to her last meal. Given how many dishes were on the table, she must have eaten everything and gotten a heavy dose.

Now Sunny was sweating, on top of her nerves and urgent need to escape. It was a good excuse. Blotting her forehead with her hand, she licked her lips and spoke. “I’m…hot… Can you open…the window? Please? All the way…”

He studied her a moment more, then strode over to the side of the large window and thumbed it open. Sunny trailed after him, definitely feeling flush. Hoping she wasn’t coming down with either the Astorran or the Ruyikan version of the flu, she swung by the table and swiped the half-full, silver wine carafe that had been left among the other dishes. Tucking it behind her back quickly, she strolled towards him, careful to keep her eyes on the garden, and the strengthened, cool breeze.

Daemon wanted her to feel more comfortable with him; even accounting for the stimulation of the t’likker spice, she seemed nervous. So he let her approach without saying or doing anything, and even glanced out the window at the garden, one hand resting on the sill, inviting her to look at the stars outside.

Her moment had come. As fast as she could, to make up for the strength she didn’t have, Sunny whipped the sterling silver carafe out from behind her back, over her head, and down against his. It struck with a bong from the wine carafe and a gasp from him. He collapsed, wine splattering down over his body. For a moment, Sunny simply stood there in shock. She’d done it. She’d knocked out the king—there was probably even some blood among the wine dripping through his hair. Boy, is he going to be soddering mad!

She raced to the bed and yanked off the bedding, tugging out the top sheet. It didn’t rip in her bare hands. Dragging it back to the table, she found the knife that had been among the silverware and quickly started tearing strips. A hurried, agitated glance showed her ‘owner’ still unconscious as she tore several strips from the sheet, then knotted them together. Stepping around him, she knotted the sheet to the leg of the heavy wardrobe near the window, then threw the knotted strips out the window. Swinging her leg over the edge, she grabbed the makeshift rope and started lowering herself, arms trembling in her agitation and her effort.

Daemon had a vicious headache. He didn’t know how long he’d been out, but the smell of wine reeking around him made for enough of a stimulant to bring him back to full consciousness quickly. He heard soft, feminine, grunted breaths, and pushed up to his knees. A dented wine carafe lay next to him, along with a puddle of wine that had soaked most of him. A strip of white satin that matched suspiciously well to the sheets on the monarchial bed twisted and rubbed nearby. Attached to the wardrobe, and angled tautly out the window.

She’s escaping! Angry, bemused, in pain, Daemon shoved to his feet and grabbed the torn length of sheet, leaning partway out the window. Sure enough, the auburn-haired Deena was working her way down the sheet. Apparently unaware that the only entrance other than the forcefield lift from this window was secured by a holographic forcefield that she wouldn’t be able to find quickly, and wouldn’t be able to unlock.

Using his greater muscles, Daemon grabbed the makeshift rope and hauled her up, hand over hand. She stilled as her means of escaped bounced and lifted her, looked up at him with jewel-bright, wide eyes, and tried to lower herself more quickly. Her hands slipped, skipping a beat in Daemon’s heart no doubt as much as it must have in hers, and then caught on the next knot down, stopping her with a muffled squeak, the only sound of fear she made for the three-story drop. Hauling on the fabric as quickly as he dared, he grabbed one of her wrists as she struggled to hold on.

Something sparked. It shot a jolt of energy up his arm that made his fingers tighten around her wrist, even as her own lost their grip. But she didn’t fall. Darkness spilled out from her, reached for him, covered him in the depths of the night.

For one moment, Daemon Astorre looked into the heart of dark Eternity. An instant, that was all, but it was an eternal instant. And a fierce triumph, a sense of impending completion, surged through him

When the darkness faded from his eyes, he was standing with Deena’s shoulders in his hands, the window a foot away from his elbow. With no memory of how either of them had got there, and his mind dazed. He watched her own confusion blink away. The intense pain of her knee slamming into his groin banished his odd fog rather efficiently. It wasn’t the hardest blow he’d ever taken, thankfully, since it had been hastily and incompletely aimed. She whirled and grabbed for the satin rope again. Daemon, bent over slightly as he grimaced, grabbed her by her intricately bound hair. She yelped in pain and stumbled back. He straightened in time to pin her back against his chest. Wrapping his arms around her as she struggled, he held her forcefully still, hushing her little whimpering moans.

Caught, Sunny panted, stilling as those large, wine-soaked, satin-sleeved arms held her own firmly at her sides. Her escape attempt foiled, she felt frantic to get free. Even her clothing restricted her body unbearably—the now rough-feeling material of her silk bra was scraping against her nipples, the hose on her legs was too tight. Her heart pounded, her skin felt sensitive and hot, and the scent of man and wine was making her dizzy; everything was making her ache. Her natural sensitivity to her body’s cycles and rhythms aggravated each sensation. Whimpering again, she closed her eyes and struggled, needing to be free of everything. Needing something she didn’t know to replace all of the constrictions and stimulations, something to soothe the itch crawling its way through her nerves from the inside out and back again.

He’d seen enough of the effects of t’likker spice to know she was succumbing more strongly than most women should as she writhed and whimpered. Daemon knew Armon wouldn’t have overdosed the woman in his arms, even if she had eaten all of the food brought. As his groin ceased throbbing, reassuring him that the pain was only temporary, transitory, she squirmed again. Growing as wild in his arms as if she’d been given a double dose. Cautiously, in case she ripped free and tried to crawl out the window again, he freed the arm gripping her around her waist and slid his hand up her silk-clad curves. She gasped and arched her back, pressing her breasts into his palm. Even through the double-thickness of the brocaded silk panels covering her breasts, he could feel how taut her nipple was. It pebbled even harder. A slight circular caress of his hand made her moan, her head tipping back against his wine-damp shoulder.

That was what she needed. Sunny was too dizzy now to know clearly what she was doing, lucid only enough to know that she needed more of that caress. Needed it against her bare skin. The tingling fire was throbbing through her body now, making it twist and rub back against the larger body behind her.

It hurt, to be aroused by the wriggle of her body against his just yet. Daemon needed a distraction. Ducking his head down to her ear, seven inches below his own, he tasted the curves of it with his tongue. She gasped and jerked in his arms. Catching her earlobe in his lips, he sucked gently on it, and switched hands. Ambidextrous enough for the task, he used his left hand to unbutton her Astorran-style gown from the hip up, then switched arms again, holding her hips still this time instead of her chest, to keep her from rousing him too quickly for what she had abused only a short while before. Unfastening the two buttons at breast and waist that held the inner panel in place, he parted the folded fabric.

A long mmmm sighed out of her throat as the cool night air hit her skin. She arched into the breeze wafting in from the window, away from him. He used the opportunity to peel her gown off of her arms. And stilled, seeing the line of freckles splitting its way up her spine and wrapping around her arms. Freed from his embrace, she bent over and peeled off hose, undergarments, and slippers in virtually one impatient move, standing back up and stretching again. Proving that there were two more inch-wide stripes of freckles flowing down the outside of her hips, wrapping her thighs in an open spiral that matched the one on her biceps, and striped down to the outside of her ankles. It was exotic…and erotic…and ruined by the slave collar still choking her throat.

Reaching into his robe pocket, Daemon fished out the control box that had been given to him, intending to use it to unlock her collar. Astorran concubines were paid concubines, not slaves. She moved before he could do it however, crossing back to the window and shifting to lift her leg over the windowsill. She’s still trying to escape, and she’s naked!

He had to stop her.

Sunny needed to escape. She clung to that thought, to the vague memory through the haze of feverish need plaguing her body, and to the memory of the torn-sheet rope still hanging out the window. She reached it, and lifted her knee. Pain seared out from her throat, making her scream and drop away from the window, back onto the bedroom floor, hands going to her throat as her over-sensitized body spasmed.

Daemon didn’t like doing it, and lifted his thumb quickly when he realized the t’likker spice in her system had sensitized it to the pain stimulation of the collar as well as to her pleasure centers. She lay on her back, trembling, staring blankly up at the ceiling as the aftereffect of the pain collar’s stimulation receded. He used that time, quickly reeling in her rope and sealing the window with a hard press of his thumb to the sensor strip. Unknotting one of the lengths of satin, he turned to roll her onto her belly…and stared at her freckle-spiraled breasts. It took willpower to resist tracing the path of those light brown flecks. He rolled her over onto her stomach, then belatedly realized she was now soaked in the spilled wine.

Only fair, given she soaked me, he thought, tying her hands behind her back. She squirmed, realizing what he was doing, and he reached for another length of sheet. She had rolled onto her back, skin glistening from nipples to knees with wine as she arched up off of her arms, panting, eyes closed. Those pale, freckle-limned legs twitched when he caught them, her knees parting and closing on a moan, giving him a heated view of her matching auburn curls. As soon as she was secure, he lifted her in his arms and carried her to his bed, stepping around the blankets sprawled on the floor from her hasty stripping of them.

The t’likker in her system would last for several hours more. Daemon had had a long day already, but he had to bed her, to be able to free her. Leaving her for a few moments on the bed, he crossed into the bathroom. His belongings had been moved in during the coronation ceremony, and he found what he needed in one of the cabinets. Stripping off his soaked robe, he left it behind, touched the back of his head where she’d struck him to make sure his scalp wasn’t bleeding at the moment, and uncorked the vial of thick, violet liquid. It was a combination of the reddish dust of t’likker and the bluish juice of neensomm, a male restorative; in this case, it would be enough to keep him going easily until dawn without falling asleep in the middle of his unwilling concubine’s spiced need. He didn’t use it often, but sometimes a concubine was given t’likker to increase her capacities, and thus sometimes a man, even an Astorran, had to take something, too. Smothering a yawn, he replaced the remainder of the mixture back into the cabinet.

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