Ogres and Ogresses Ch. 24bystubborn_dreamer©
Chapter 24: Loyalty
"So...I suppose you spat in this?"
Zyra glared at Medean across from the tiny wooden table in her room. On it he had just laid out her breakfast. It consisted of a different strange fruit this time. It bore a startling resemblance to a watermelon, but it came in clusters and was about the size of grapes. She watched as he set down a flask of water, carefully placing the pitcher down beside it.
She rolled her eyes. Always polite, always cordial, always with that fake smile on his face.
"Whatever, I wouldn't be able to tell. Most of this stuff tastes like spit anyway."
To her surprise, Medean laughed.
A tiny smile found its way onto her face before she realized what she was doing. She quickly frowned, unhappy that his eyes had no doubt caught her slip.
Over the few days she had come to associate with Medean she had learned two things about him. Firstly, Medean had an annoyingly high level of patience. Despite her best attempts to get under his skin, he remained unfazed. Her worst insults and her most scathing remarks bounced off of his impenetrable veneer. At first it was the perfect way to blow off steam. He didn't fight back so she won every time.
Eventually she had come to realize that she was being irrational. Medean was a witch so he could not be trusted, but that did not mean she had to abuse him. Now, all of her jabs came from the precedent she had set. To be honest, she was getting tired of it all.
"Have I forgotten anything Miss?"
Zyra looked up. He was looming.
"No. You're dismissed."
"Forgive my forwardness," he said politely, "But I would like to ensure you enjoy your meal. Would it be a great inconvenience to allow me to stay until you have finished?"
Zyra snarled. She had found that some of her less human noises frightened the lesser witches. Too much time with animals and ill-tempered huntresses gave her a wide range of animals to choose from. Once again, Medean didn't react.
"Forgive me Miss. Was that a no?"
She sighed. "Do whatever you want."
Scooping up the tiny watermelons she popped them in her mouth. Crunchy, sweet, tastes nothing like a watermelon. She could add yet another odd, magical fruit corrupting her body. Once she began eating, Medean backed off.
Oh, that reminded her, Medean's second and most irritating fault was his attentiveness. Medean saw everything. He noticed everything. He paid attention to detail. Since taking care of Zyra was his only job, all of that obsessive behavior was trained upon her.
One time, one time she didn't feel like eating, so she dumped her food out of the window. When he came to collect the plate, she said she ate. Since then, he didn't leave the room until she began eating. Perhaps he was afraid she would start starving herself in some kind of sick self-mutilating protest. For someone so submissive, he certainly knew how to get his way.
"Do you have the necessary equipment for today's lesson with Etaceh?"
"Would you like me to check?"
"Very well Miss. I shall bring an extra set of equipment should you find your own lacking in any manner."
"Maker's mercy! Don't you ever stop?"
"Stop what Miss?"
Zyra let out a tortured groan and gripped her hair. From the corner of her eye she swore she saw Medean smile. In response, she upturned the table. By now Medean had replaced her glass dinnerware with a wooden set.
Zyra stomped out of the room, Medean behind her already picking up her mess with his magic.
To be honest Zyra had nothing against him, but she wasn't sure what to do with him. She couldn't confide in him. He had no power, no backbone, and no will. He was merely an extension of Etaceh and Caligula. Since day one that had made it apparent that they were trying to break her, each in different ways.
Caligula was hoping to do so with brute force. Etaceh...
Zyra grunted when Etaceh wrapped her bony arms around her and squeezed. She coughed from the strength of the woman's grip.
Etaceh used love.
Zyra pried her arms off and stood back angrily. How was it possible that those skinny twigs could inflict so much pain?
"I asked you to stop calling me that."
"Oh but you have to have a nickname." Etaceh folded her arms in thought. "What about Ra ra? Or Z? Or Yra?"
"Zyra is fine."
"Not even Zeedee?"
"Especially not Zeedee."
Etaceh shrugged with a theatrical sigh. "Oh poo. Never say I didn't try darling.
Zyra rolled her shoulders. "Wouldn't dream of it. Now, what horrors have you cooked up today?"
Etaceh grinned. "Well let's see. You've finally gotten used to channeling your magic into a straight current and you can make a full garden of flowers in 10 seconds. Now that you can channel into a still object..." Etaceh took a seed from her pocket and blew on it.
Zyra watched as it grew tiny wings and began to buzz around in the air.
"Let's try a moving object."
"You couldn't have put it on the ground?"
"Who knows, if we're lucky you might learn how to fly while we're at it."
Zyra had no words. Today was going to be horrible.
"Are you ready darling?"
Zyra took a deep breath. Well, at least that wouldn't be anything unusual.
Today, today would be the day Vine infiltrated the Marble Tree. He had scouted out the terrain for three days, hoping that the human, his Gharla would be visible. It appeared however that the witches were keeping a tight rein on her. That was the only additional thing he had learned, the human was female.
Nymare had been taunting and hostile at best when he tried to go back for details. Since Talia's rescue no other nymph had been apprehended by Dull Eyes. They were constantly on edge, jumping into a tree if a rabbit so much as passed by. Vine was not their leader, they had no leader, but he knew something had to be done. Deciding that night would be too dangerous and morning too reckless, he chose to make his attempt in the afternoon.
When the sun began to descend and a golden glare hit the land he would use his translucent nature to his benefit. Vine waited patiently in the shade of a tree until he saw the sun dip half-way into the horizon. Then, Vine ran, out into the open land, out into the sight of any witch that might pass by. His heart raced as the tree grew nearer. He came closer and closer to it with each moment. Almost...there, he was at the tree.
His hand touched the cool white marble and he tried to think of what to do next. Was it foolish to enter? Or more foolish to wait outside? Before he could make his decision he felt a hand on his back.
"Well...I didn't expect my lovers to come visit me...how nice."
Whipping around he saw a witch. Her red fingernails were filed into sharp talon like points. She was a short Asian beauty with slick black hair and an attractive smile, but her eyes were dead. They looked vacant, soulless, dull.
Clearly, this was the one the other called, Dull Eyes.
Vine stumbled as he backed away.
The brown robed witch chuckled and flexed her cruel hands.
"Come now. I know you want it. You all do. Your bodies were made for this. Just look at yourself."
"And I suppose you and your kind got upset with me for playing rough? You hid from me when I wanted a lover. I haven't touched a cute blue body in days. What do you have to say for yourself?"
"Please Mistress. Don't—"
Vine let out a loud cry when Dull Eye wrapped a hand around his limp member and squeezed. He dropped to his knees, stars dancing in his eyes. Nymphs were so sensitive, too sensitive, that's why they fought with vines. Direct contact, direct altercation could do more than wound, it could kill. She looked at his leaf shirt and rolled her eyes.
"Modesty? In a nymph. What a rare catch you are. I want to hear you say other words to me...nice words," she cooed.
Tears welled in his eyes as she stroked his wounded penis with her thin dangerous nails. "Or would you like me to punish you?"
"Please don't hurt me," Vine panted. "You mustn't be so rough. I'll give you the pleasure you ask, but you can't..."
"I can do anything I please!" Another squeeze made the edges of his vision black. While he was disoriented, Dull Eyes shoved him to the ground. He could feel her binding him with her magic. He closed his eyes, seeking to escape her. A harsh slap jarred his senses.
"Don't you look away from me!" she screamed. "You should be grateful you get to partake of such delights!"
He could feel a wetness on his cheek. He was bleeding, her talons had cut him. Vine was numb as she tried in vain to make his flaccid penis hard. When she found she could not, she grew furious and dug her fingers roughly into his hair. Dull Eyes gave him a bruising kiss, ignoring the pain she was causing him. It became clear to him why she was so feared. Dull Eyes wasn't just a rough lover, she was trying to hurt him. She was a sadist, and none of the nymphs could ever appreciate that.
"Damn you!" she shouted. She slapped his member down. He looked up at her through teary eyes as her dull gaze scratched over him. Her smile suddenly widened.
"Oh well," she sighed. "If I can't have my fun with you this way..."
To his horror, she turned him over onto his stomach and spread his legs apart.
"There's always this way."
Vine turned his injured face back to see her pulling a double-sided phallus from her brown robes. The phallus meant for her was of a proportionate size, the phallus meant for him was too long, too thick and too wide to belong to anything short of a horse.
"No..." he whimpered, struggling under the magic.
"You'll rip me apart. Please!"
Vine clawed the grass as she rubbed the end against his dry anus. She poked at it, and then began to push forward.
Vine screamed as pain wracked him, his vision darkening as his body refused to remain conscious to his defilement.
"Gharla!" he screamed.
Suddenly the pain stopped. He heard a large bang. As his mind slipped away he vaguely felt someone turn him over. A hand touched his face.
"Gharla..." he breathed. The gentle hand lifted his head, and he allowed the darkness to claim him.
"Honestly Zyra, how many more of your flowers do I have to kill for you to learn a decent square shield?"
Zyra picked her sore body off of the ground and dusted herself off.
"Well, considering that I just learned a basic shield three days ago, I'd say that I'll have to kill at least three more days worth."
"Are you being snide Zyra?"
"Wouldn't dream of it Caligula."
Caligula chuckled, his dark eyes giving her a look that she would have considered to be lustful it wasn't so filled with amusement.
"One day you'll thank me Zyra. When you're at the bottom of the ocean with nothing but this square force field keeping the air in your lungs, you'll think of me, and you'll thank me."
"And I'll be at the bottom of the ocean...why?"
"Come now Zyra, you know more than I do that life isn't always what you expect."
Zyra set up for another oncoming blast. As Caligula stood there silently she began to become more and more annoyed at his hesitation. What was he waiting for?
"Are you ready?"
"Are you sure?"
"Just do it!"
Caligula smiled. "I do believe you're ready. As ready as you can be I suppose, considering today's training with Etaceh. I think we're done for today." He placed his hands behind his back. "Go freshen up. Meet Etaceh and I in the dining hall in twenty minutes. You're dismissed."
Zyra frowned and began walking back to the Marble Tree.
"Oh, and Zyra?"
She turned just in time to see a wave of purple magic heading for her face. With wide eyes she deflected it out of instinct with a wall. It bounced back at Caligula who absorbed it with a chuckle.
"Just making sure all our lessons stick."
She didn't reply, turning on her heel and stomping away. Zyra wondered how Kyzu was doing. She better not be grieving. Zyra didn't grieve much. The only good thing about the witches' training was that it exhausted her enough that she fell soundly asleep. Still, there were times when she'd feel lonely before that. She had not forgotten the pain she felt the night of Caligula's first lesson, or the vow she made that they would not make her cry. Somehow, some way she would find a way back to her...
Someone had called out to Gharla. Her sisters were here? Finding reserves of energy, she sprinted towards the sound. She arrived to find a small witch with her robes hiked up, and a male nymph whimpering beneath her. Normally Zyra would have disregarded such vulgarities, but she could see that the nymph was in pain. She was pushing something in him, and he was bleeding from long cruel scratches. When the creature let out a broken cry Zyra reacted.
Grabbing the witch by her shoulders she pulled her from him and shoved her into the side of the Marble Tree.
The witch turned to her, her eerie pupiless eyes staring at Zyra with rage.
"How dare you..."
"I am the keromedio of this valley. Back off. He is under my protection."
"I don't care who you are!"
The witch directed a torrent of lightning towards her and Zyra made her shield. To her surprise not only did it hold, but it deflected the magic and sent the tiny witch flying. Not willing to take a chance, Zyra ran after her. Grabbing her by the collar with her left hand, she pulled her head up to meet her descending right fist. The witch's head snapped back, and she fell to the ground unconscious. Zyra smirked.
"Nothing like the old ways."
A low moan brought her out of her small triumph.
Running to the injured nymph she flipped him over and put a hand on his cheek.
"Was it you? Did you call?"
The nymph passed out. So it wasn't her imagination. Zyra put an arm around his waist and slowly but surely hoisted him onto her back. As quickly as she could, she pulled him into the Marble Tree. She ran into her doorless room that now had a tarp flap courtesy of Medean. Placing the bleeding nymph on her bed, she began to tear her room apart looking for something to help him.
Where were the herbs? The ointments, bandages, salts? What kind of room was this? How could anyone survive without basic toiletries? She needed wine and all she had was a towel and an assortment of rainbow colored soaps. What the hell could she use?
Her eyes drifted to the flask of water that Medean left that morning. Running over, she hoped that her stupidity hadn't left it empty, or at least Medean's will to serve had refilled it. Looking inside of it she found the later had prevailed. It was filled to the brim. She took a quick sip and then took the towel and the flask. Gently she began to clean the nymph's wounds. It wouldn't be enough though. She still needed bandages and ointments to stave off infection. She looked up at the canopy that Etaceh so adored. Then she looked at the sword that had done nothing but lie in her room since the beginning. With a smile, she unwrapped it and pulled together one side of the canopy.
A spiteful sense of joy filled her as she cut it down and began to slice it into strips. It wasn't a thick material, but it would have to do. She wrapped the pieces around his face wound, then the ones on his chest, and lastly the ones on his waist, from where the witch dug her nails while trying to enter him. She wasn't going to examine his bottom. She was relatively sure she stopped the witch before she raped him.
Hot anger filled her just thinking about it.
Witches thought they owned the world, that they were accountable to no one. It made her so mad she could spit.
Remembering that Caligula expected her, she tossed her sheets over the nymph and arranged the pillows over his head to hide him. It was a poor job but it was the best she could do. She washed her hands using the remaining water and dashed some on her face. Then she ran to the dining hall. Etaceh and Caligula were already there waiting for her. Medean was placing food on the table.
"Ah, Zyra darling. We were beginning to worry."
Zyra sat in her chair, trying to appear as normal as possible. Medean was already giving her that subtle look that indicated he was checking the appearance of her fingers, looking to see if her boots were unlaced, or if her face showed any signs of stress.
"Are you alright Miss?"
"Forgive my tardiness," Zyra said sarcastically.
"Not having a door slows down my routine."
"But you don't look refreshed at all," Etaceh heralded.
"I was only allotted 20 minutes," she said. "And that was before I left the training ground."
Etaceh turned to Caligula with an over abundance of chagrin. "Why Caligula, how could you expect a young woman to be both prompt and pretty with only twenty minutes? No wonder the dear looks distressed."
Dammit. Why was her face so easy to read? Zyra should have practiced less hunting and more useful, practical things.
"I'm in distress because I'm exhausted." An honest and unexpected yawn found its way out of Zyra's throat before she could contain it. It was so big it made her eyes shut. When she opened them, she saw Caligula and Etaceh exchanging a look.
"Today's lesson was...rather advanced," Caligula admitted. "In addition to Etaceh's lesson, mine may have been too drastic." He looked at Etaceh who nodded to a silent question. "You may retire if you need. Medean?"
Medean nodded from his standing position beside Zyra. "Yes sir?"
"Please take Zyra's dinner to her room."
"Of course sir," Medean began to quickly and carefully compose a platter with a portion of everything.
Zyra tried to keep the panic off of her face as she stood up from the table. "Take your time. I'm going to bathe first. Goodnight."
She nodded to Etaceh and Caligula who were both surprised by her greeting, and stormed out.
Caligula frowned. "Follow her."
"That was my intention, sir," Medean said with a bow. Then, he walked off.
Zyra ran into her room and pulled up the covers. She cursed when she saw that the flimsy canopy bandages hadn't stopped the bleeding. They needed to be changed. She began to worry that the nymph was losing too much blood. What would happen if that crazy witch woman came back? What would happen if he was given back to her? What if Medean—
Zyra threw the sheets over the nymphs and sat on her bed, seconds before Medean froze at her doorway. He stood behind the tarp, his hands carrying her tray.
"I've come to deliver your food, Miss."
"I'm not hungry."
"But Miss, you must eat."
"Then leave it there."
Medean was silent for another moment and she began to feel that he might disobey her for the first time.
"Don't come in."
Medean waited another moment, and then stepped inside. Zyra sat on the bed, trying to look more outraged than nervous.
"I gave you an order Medean," she said. "How dare you disobey it?"
Medean didn't answer, simply placed her tray on her table. He looked at the empty jug, picked it up, and then proceeded to leave.
"Forgive me Miss. I simply cannot allow you to go without nourishment. It is my job to take care of you."
"Fine, whatever. I could have been naked just
now, you heathen."
Medean's eyes cut to the bed. She knew he could see the person inside it now, but he didn't say anything.
"Well, I am very glad you were not, though I am sure that it would not have garnished any shame on your part Miss."
The nymph stirred behind her, but Medean pretended nothing was there.
"I will return with a flask of water," he said evenly. He touched the tarp on his way out, but paused. "And, is there anything else you might require?"