Sacrifice Ch. 06


It was suddenly very important to her to get out of as soon as possible and change back into her tunic.

Without another moment's hesitation, she stood and quickly abandoned the floor, her eyes scanning for the nearest doorway and intentionally ignoring all else. As soon as she was through the door she veered into a nearby hall. For some reason she found she was breathing hard and her hands had begun to shake slightly. No doubt some strange after effect of her nerves just now catching up with her.

Once she'd settled and felt certain she'd not been followed or found out, she made her way back to the statue where her tunic was hidden. She replaced it with the veil and instrument for Penelope to collect later, and was in the middle of refastening her tunic when a throat cleared behind her, making her jump and causing the pin of her broach to stab the meat of her thumb as she slid it into place.

Subsequently her cry of surprise came out more like one of pain. She turned to see who had startled her and found herself staring open mouthed at Demitri who was looking questioningly back at her.

"You!" She explained, still near speechless.

"Me." He replied dryly, then handed her a kerchief which she looked dumbly at, not sure what it signified. Had he seen her? Recognized her? Followed her? Did that mean others recognized her as well?

He shook the cloth at her and nodded to her hand. She looked down and realized it was bleeding, and that a rivulet of blood had already run down over the pad of her hand and across her wrist. She blushed at her silliness and took the cloth with a grateful nod, attempting to pull herself together.

"You startled me."

"I noticed."

"I was adjusting my tunic..." she explained, and reached up with her uninjured hand to touch the offending object.

"You're the girl with the veil then?" beating around the bush for this one, she thought morosely. But then that was one of the many things she liked about him...if she were to be honest with herself. In a way it was almost a relief that she'd been caught...the sneaking about hadn't been sitting well with her to begin with.

"Was it obvious?" She asked, deciding to be as straightforward as he.

"Not really...but it was a rather eccentric performance...which caught the attention of a few people. Including myself, obviously, so I followed you. I assume you didn't want to be identified, so you'll be happy to know no one else did."

"Are you sure? I didn't see you at all."

"What can I say? You're not terribly good at intrigue."

She smirked and let out a humorless chuckle. "You're absolutely right. I was just thinking that I'm actually glad you caught me. I don't like the idea of sneaking around."

"It doesn't suit you."

"No, not at all." She agreed.

"Then what are up to exactly? What was all that about? And why don't you ever play for us?"

She laughed, a little more earnestly. Mostly because the most accusatory and emphatic question had been the last. "I hadn't thought you'd want me to...and I don't remember ever seeing any musical instruments around to play as it was. I suppose if it were a particular skill of mine I might have made more of a point of it, but as it is..." she shrugged. He gave her an odd look she had trouble reading...but 'skeptical' might have been a word she'd attribute to it. "As for why I was bothering to do this in the first place...well," she sighed, "it's not that interesting a story. The woman, the dancer, was in need of accompaniment as the other dancers somehow made that impossible for her. I happened upon her while she was quite upset over the matter. I felt sorry for her and was compelled to help, and, well, one thing led to another, and hear I am."

"Alright...but why the veil?"

"The Master didn't want me competing with the other slaves, and probably embarrassing him, so I thought it safest to go hidden so no one would know. I'm going to tell him after...better to ask forgiveness and all that." He gave her that look again, and she decided to interpret it as censure of some kind. "I know, I shouldn't have done it at all...but I promised without thinking...and I didn't know what to do after that."

He just looked at her another moment. "And the other news?"

She blushed, knowing immediately what news he spoke of. "Actually I was thinking of telling him tonight as well. He seems to be in an unusually good mood, so I thought that might soften it."

"What does that matter? Soften what exactly? It is his, isn't it?"

He leaned in as he spoke and took her arm, guiding her back toward the hall with him. She accepted his arm, noticing the firm muscle beneath her hand. It was a subtle reminder of what he used to do for a living before he came to work for Thelios. It wasn't something she thought about often, but looking at him now it came back to her. There was so little she knew about his history, and he was never forthcoming on his own. She would have to ask one of these days for a few war stories.

She met his eye and smiled sadly, answering his question finally. "Of course. is. Obviously." She shook her head. "I don't know, I worry he'll be upset by the news. That he won't want the child."

"That's foolishness." he muttered gruffly. "Why wouldn't he? A man likes to pass his blood on. It's the way of things."

"Well, that may be so with legitimate children...but most owners don't like their slaves pregnant and will usually take measures to prevent it. At least in my experience. No one wants the cost of raising the child when it's cheaper to buy a new slave."

He shrugged casually. "Well if that's the case he has no one to blame but himself. He was giving a damn good impression of trying to get you with child otherwise. Had me fooled at least."

She let out a very unladylike like snigger at that. It caught the attention of a nearby flock of women and men lingering at the doorway. She covered her mouth and glared at Demitri who only smirked back, completely unapologetic.

"So, where have you been anyway? I've seen so little of you these last few days." She asked, changing the topic to a less sensitive one as they entered the crowded hall.


She rolled her eyes. "Very helpful. Do you and the Master conspire to make me insane with your ambiguity...or is that just happy chance on your part?"

He laughed at that. "Oh, conspiracy, to be sure. We were so bored before you came along, now we spend every waking moment devising ways to make you miserable."

"I thought as much." She noticed Thelios had spotted them, and she smiled in his direction. "Really though, where have you been?"

"I doubt you'd want the details. I've been taking a moment to enjoy myself a little...when I'm not keeping an eye out for interesting developments. You'd be surprised what you might overhear in these halls. Speaking of which," He nodded at Thelios, who they were headed toward, "you might want to tell him your piece early in the evening if you get the chance. I may have overheard something earlier this evening, not a moment before you put on that little performance in fact, from some of our host's men which might dampen his mood."

She frowned. "Phineas?" She asked tentatively, remembering the anxious conversation she herself had overheard.

He frowned back and stopped them, making her stumble slightly. He looked suddenly very stern, and she watched him warily. "What is it?"

"How do you know that name?" He asked, his expression darkening and his voice hushed.

"I...ah, overheard people talking as the hall not a moment ago. They sounded very upset about someone named Phineas escaping that the one? The one who is causing all the problems?"

He let out a breath, relaxing slightly, but not completely. "What else did you hear?"

"Oh no you don't! Answer my question first."

She was hoping that would crack him a little, but he didn't come any where near smiling. "Yes, he's apparently the trouble maker."


His brow furrowed deeply. "That's what they're saying...and if it's true, it's going to have what's his name riled up something fierce. They were friends of a least as much as any of these people are."

"Wait, he's one of them? One of their own is threatening them?"

"Sort of...he ain't quite one of them. A nephew, actually. He don't look it, but he's got the blood in his veins.

She tried to lighten her tone as it was unnerving to see him looking so upset. Grumpy and sardonic she was used to, but this was something completely different.

"Well, I did overhear the master mentioned...but the context was unclear. They said this Phineas fellow was spotted near Priene and there was some concern about why he was so far north...oh! And they were worried he was going to get to, ah...someone they called a stubborn bastard...or was it pig-headed...I can't remember. But there were three speaking, that I know of, and two were in agreement that the said 'bastard' was going to be a problem." She smiled mildly. "But that's as much as I recall off the top of my head. I didn't stick around to get caught listening in...and it was a good thing too, as one of them came around the corner a moment later. And she is certainly not one I'd fancy crossing."

They had begun walking again while she spoke and she tipped her head in the direction of the red haired sister. "The daughter of Hecate." She murmured to clarify her meaning. When she turned to gauge his reaction, he was staring strangely at her.

"I take back what I said about you not being very good at this sort of thing."

She chuckled at that. "Don't. You're right...I just stumbled onto the information."

"But how did you know who her mother is?"

"Kara told me."

"Ah. Kara knows more than she should then."

"Oh, very likely."

"I'll have to have a little chat with her and see what else the little minx knows."

A moment later they'd joined the group. "Look who I found." She announced happily. Thelios who had no doubt been watching their progress from across the room, raised a questioning brow.

"I noticed. Everything fine?"

She nodded and slipped around his couch, kneeling on a large pillow next to it and used the couch seat as a prop for her arm.

He glanced out at the dance floor then back down at her. "You were gone quite a while."

"I apologize. I was distracted."

"No need. Anything interesting I should know about?"

She opened her mouth to respond, then thought better of it. A number of servants were milling about nearby so she decided to leave it for the time being. "I did overhear some interesting conversation....but it can wait." She smiled lightly, but cast her eyes at the one of the ever present slaves lingering near Lady Nagi as a hint.

He arched a brow but left it alone, returning his eyes to the floor. She did as well, and her own brow arched slightly as well at the sight of several dancers undulating suggestively against one another not five steps away. Well, suggestive was the polite euphemism for it at least, explicit might have been more accurate. Of course she used the word dancer in a loose sense as well, much as she might use the word clothing to describe what most of them were wearing.

She sighed.

"I can't imagine what the point of that is." She mused out loud. Thelios chuckled behind her.

"Can you not?"

She smiled at his tone, still eying the group critically. "Don't misunderstand me, my lord. I know very well why they're attempting that poor imitation of a sex act..." she tilted her head sceptically as one of the male dancers began crawling, crab-like, between the legs of two others, one of whom was behind bent backward at the waist. It had a rather unsettling effect of making them appear as some sort of three headed monstrosity. "If that's what it's supposed to be...'s the purpose of the clothes which eludes me. If what little there is must be so perfectly transparent, why even bother at all?"

"One might say the same thing about the dancing."

She laughed out loud at that, covering her mouth when she noticed several heads turn in her direction.

"I meant literally transparent."

"Likewise." He murmured.

She rolled her eyes and turned to make a comment of her own about it not being literal at all, but he was already focused somewhere else. She saw the appreciative heat in his eye and followed the line of his gaze back to one of the dancers.

Her oiled skin was dark and gleamed in the bright lights of the hall. Not as dark as Lady Nagi, more the color of a roasted Sardinian nut, and just as gleaming and smooth. At the moment she was on her knees and had bent backward toward them until the fullness of her lips and the rise of her naked breasts came into view. She arched her back, displaying their dark tips and perfect roundness most admirably.

Calliope sighed again and slouched slightly into the pillows and back against the couch. She felt an urge to dislike the girl...but suppressed it easily enough. It wasn't her fault she was beautiful.

It was just... that she'd seen Thelios looking at her with...that look he gets. But there was nothing that could be done about that. She'd merely have to swallow her jealously and make her peace with it. Still, she couldn't help but wonder if he would look at her like that if she danced for him.

Her lips twisted into a humorless smile. It was most doubtful...she'd never danced like that in her life, and she probably couldn't if she tried. And if she did, he'd probably think it a great joke and tease her mercilessly for it. To this day she couldn't wear that one gold dress without him getting that glint of wicked humor in his eye followed by him asking what she'd 'done wrong this time.'

She was startled out of her thoughts by a large, heavy hand coming down to grip her shoulder. "Come, we're leaving."

"Leaving?" She twisted to look up at him as he rose from his seat.


And that was apparently that.

He did offer her a hand, which she took as she too rose to her feet.

A glance in Demitri's direction told her he wasn't planning on going anywhere. He was still sitting with Kara and the two of them seemed to have started a running commentary on the dancers they were watching. Based on their expressions she imagined it was a mixture of scathing and appropriately lewd observations.

He spared her a glance and a nod as they turned to leave. Lady Nagi, made a halfhearted gesture at asking them to stay. She didn't press the issue, and thanked her master for 'deigning to join them.' She gave Calliope a little smirk and a mouthed 'thank you' once Thelios had turned his back. For some reason that embarrassed her, but she simply bowed with as much good grace as she could manage.

Thelios was silent as they left, and she followed just as silently behind him. She felt eyes on them as they left...many in fact, but it was significantly easier to ignore now. She was almost used to it, and it had simply become more background noise, much like the beauty and brilliance of the palace and its inhabitants.

Besides, they were staring as much or more at him, as they were her. They were both displaced here: her by her prim, citizen-class modesty and he with his simple workers garb and obvious, blanket contempt for their excesses. She smiled lightly at his back. At least she was in good company.

As they neared the rooms she took a deep breath and composed herself. Demitri said she shouldn't delay too long in telling him her news...and now seemed as good a time as any. He left her a moment, ordering her to wait, and went looking for a servant. So she was obliged to wait until he returned and they were in the enclosed sitting room outside of the private chambers.

She looked nervously up at the solid wall of muscle that was his back and cleared her throat. "My lord, I have something I wanted to tal-a-ah!" She stumbled as he turned rapidly on her, grabbing her by the waist and hauling her up against him.

She made another smothered sound of surprise against his mouth and clung to his shoulders as she felt herself hefted up into the air until her legs dangled uselessly beneath her. His hands practically encased her middle and held her close enough that the tops of her thighs brushed against what felt to be the incontrovertible evidence of his arousal.

He broke the kiss just long enough for her to gasp for air but didn't spare her long enough for anything more than that.

There was very little tenderness in the kiss. It was all heat and teeth and tongue, and she had to fight to keep up with him, just to breathe. She was flushed and panting by the time he pulled his mouth from hers, lingering just long enough to pull at her lower lip with his teeth.

The sensation sent an especially fierce shard of heat directly from her swollen mouth down through her belly and straight between her legs. Legs, she realized, which had wrapped themselves around his waist and were now squeezing him like grapes through a wine-press.

He squeezed back. Somehow her tunic had made it's way to the floor and his rough hands had made their way under her thin dress and were gripping her hips and ass tightly, pulling her hard against him. She could feel the length of him as he ground against her. Even through his wrap she could feel his incredible, searing heat.

She grasped the back of his neck as roughly as he was grasping at her, and pulled him back into the kiss, this time ensuring it was her tongue leading the charge.

She'd made only minor headway in the war when he regained the upper hand by pressing her a little too hard against the nearest wall. It knocked the air from her, forcing her to gasp, and allowing him to reclaim his lost territory. Plus some.

Calliope dug her heels into his lower back in retaliation, but faltered all the more as his fingers casually brushed the soft folds of her sex from behind as his large hands cupped her bottom and kneaded it mercilessly.

Desperate, she went directly to the heart of the matter.

He groaned against her throat as her hand squeezed the thick shaft through the wrap. She thought for a minute she might have him, but it soon enough it became clear that it had only spurred him on. His groan became a growl and he hefted her higher in his arms so that his mouth might go lower, obliging her to release the pulsing heat of his cock and wrap her arms about his neck instead..

She let out her own throaty sound as she felt his fangs graze her shoulder and neck, and a shudder as his fingers continues to tease at the cleft of her ass and lower to the sensitive flesh of her sex and thighs.

"I really hope this isn't because of the dancer." She whispered brokenly. He pulled away, frowning at her.


Calliope looked down at him from her new height and smoothed her fingers down the back of his skull. She smirked, satisfied with his response.

"Good enough."

He didn't try to stop her from leaning in and playing her lips across his, but he was still frowning when she pulled away.

He cocked a quizzical brow. "I'm not following. Enlighten me."

"Doesn't matter. I shouldn't have interrupted." He chuckled as she used her hold on the back of his head to pull him back to her throat. He obliged her. She purred happily as his downward momentum continued and toyed suggestively with one of his short horns to show her appreciation.

He turned from the wall, still carrying her, his mouth never entirely leaving her as it moved down her body, his teeth nipping at her breasts through the thin fabric of her dress. To her surprise, he deposited her roughly on the nearest couch.

His hands pressed her back and completed the work of pushing her skirts up over her hips. He took a brief moment to take in the view then gripped and lifted her hips up towards him until only her upper back and shoulders were still resting on the bench. She couldn't be certain, but his dark laugh sounded unnervingly triumphant.

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bypandarus© 120 comments/ 139038 views/ 253 favorites

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