Sarlene's Touch Ch. 04byFuinimel©
Soft soled leather boots made little sound as the dark cloaked figure strode along the back street. The houses nearby were large, some of the more opulent ones in Haredil, many of them lit by lantern light from within at this time of night. Even were it not for the darkness outside, little would have been visible of the figure's features, shrouded beneath the long, hooded cloak. The figure glanced about, to make sure that no one was watching, but the street was otherwise deserted. It stepped up to the back door of one of the homes, and knocked softly.
After a long pause, the door opened slightly, and a human face peered out. Apparently satisfying himself as to the identity of the visitor, the man opened the door further, and the figure disappeared within.
The room within was gloomy, lit only by the candelabrum that the manservant held. Zarenis pulled back the hood on her cloak, revealing a pretty, yet serious face with pale skin and shoulder-length brown hair. However, her heritage was immediately apparent, as was, perhaps, her reason for concealment. Just peeking up from beneath her hair were the tips of two tiny, black horns, and her eyes glittered in the candlelight like two dark garnets, the reddish tinge decidedly unnatural.
"I will inform her ladyship of your presence," said the man, not reacting at all to her appearance, "please wait here." With that, he was gone, taking the candle with him, and plunging the room into near-total darkness.
That mattered little to Zarenis, although she had no idea whether the man had realised that or not. She was a tiefling, her blood tainted with the darkness of Hell itself. Most of her ancestors had been human, of course, but one of her great-great grandmothers had pledged herself to a night of wanton debauchery with a devil, leaving her great-grandfather as the result. She neither knew nor cared about the precise details, or much about how her Hell-touched line had propagated itself down the generations since, but the infernal taint in her blood gave her some advantages over more mundane humans. One of which was the ability to see in darkness that would have challenged even a cat.
This was, she concluded, a waiting room for visitors that the owner of the house did not want others to see arriving. Tradesmen for the most part, perhaps, but also those such as herself. The room had little in the way of decoration, and just a single window, which was firmly shuttered. There were a couple of chairs here, both functional but not expensive enough to truly befit the house. The only touch of personality was out in the hallway beyond, standing on a small pedestal. It was a figurine, cast of bronze, showing a satyr with an implausibly large penis busily fucking a nymph doggy-style. The nymph's mouth was open, screaming, but the statuette was too ambiguous to tell whether the sculptor had intended it to be in pleasure or pain. Which was, she suspected, quite deliberate. Either way, it seemed an odd thing to have in one's hallway.
The man returned, after a wait surely intended to put her in her place, yet not quite long enough to be truly inconvenient. "Her ladyship will see you now," he said, and beckoned for her to follow. He led the way through a hallway that, aside from the pedestal and its figurine, looked much the same as that of any other expensive household. She wondered if the bronze had put there for her benefit, and, if so, what the message was supposed to have been. Perhaps it was just intended to put her ill at ease but, if so, it had failed; it would take more than that to shock a tiefling.
At last they came to a double door of wood carved in an abstract bas-relief, which the man opened to indicate a more brightly lit room beyond. He motioned for her to enter, then, once she had done so, silently bowed to the room's occupant before backing out and closing the door.
Her ladyship was clearly a pervert.
Tapestries hung from three of the walls, concealing any other doors or windows there might have been. The only bare wall was the one holding the door she had just come through, which held bright lanterns in sconces shedding light onto the room. In addition, there were two chairs and a small table, holding what appeared to be a bottle of wine and a glass. If she sat down in the empty chair, the table would be out of reach, but, more importantly, only the three walls with tapestries would be in view.
And if the figurine in the hallway had been intended to make her feel uncomfortable, then the tapestries surely were. Each showed a night-time garden, filled with cavorting naked bodies engaged in graphic sexual acts. They ranged from the passionate to the bizarre and even brutal. In addition to humans and elves, beast-men and fey seemed to feature prominently, and many of the couples were same-sex. None of this had anything to do with why she had been invited here, and her mind began to formulate escape tactics, just as a precaution.
Lady Amloth sat in the larger of the two chairs, which was throne-like and quilted with red fabric. "Good evening," she said, her voice silky smooth, "have a seat."
Zarenis had already done her homework on the woman before her. Lady Jhaeluit Amloth was rarely seen in the social circles of the local nobility, and with good reason; she was a drow. She had, so far as Zarenis could determine, been outcast from her own society for some reason, and had settled here, building up her fortune with mercantile and magical work. The title of 'lady' was a mere affectation, some remnant of her supercilious drow upbringing.
She sat down in the empty chair, facing the drow woman. Over her ladyship's left shoulder was a depiction of an elven woman choking on a minotaur's stiff cock, and over the other, a picture of a human man, shackled to a tree while a male drow sodomised him. Judging from the human's own condition, this was apparently something he greatly enjoyed, shackles notwithstanding. Zarenis ignored both images, keeping her eyes firmly on the woman in front of her.
"I hear you are good," said her ladyship. The tiefling said nothing; under the circumstances, the question was rather ambiguous. "At obtaining things without their owner's knowledge," added the drow after a short silence, "at entering premises where others would prefer you were not. Is this true?"
"Yes," replied Zarenis, a simple statement of fact. Amloth knew this already, or she would not be here.
The drow nodded, her expression haughty. Her dress, if it could be called that, was made of a dark purple material, but Zarenis suspected that its maker could not have been charging by the square inch. The upper part consisted of two pieces of material stretched tight over Amloth's breasts, held together by a golden clasp with a single ruby lying in her ample cleavage, and black strips of cloth around her back and over her shoulders. She also wore a cloak of a thin black silky material, forming a choker around her neck, but she had it pushed back, to best display the skimpy cut of the rest of her clothing. Silver bangles decorated her bare upper arms, while pieces of black padding covered her lower arms, shaped like armour, but clearly decorative rather than practical.
Her skin was jet black, smooth, and flawless. Her midriff was bare, slim and curvaceous, decorated only by a golden filigree chain just below her navel, holding a small, pendant gem. Below that came the second part of her dress, two wide strips of the dark purple material draped between her legs, reaching to midway down her calves. They were held together by two more black strips, one stretching high over her bare hips, and the other lower down at the top of her thighs. It looked almost like a shirt, yet still left her legs all but bare.
"I have a task that requires someone of your particular talents," said Lady Amloth, "needless to say, your discretion is absolutely essential."
"You'll know that silence comes as guaranteed," the tiefling replied. Amloth would already have checked that out, too. It was to be expected in this business.
"Good," the drow replied, a slight smile on her jet lips. Her hair was pure white, like snow, gathered up into a long pony-tail, with loose fringes framing her face. Her eyes were brilliant amber in colour, yet somehow as cold as ice. She would not be a woman to cross, but Zarenis had dealt with many such during her life, and there were few people that could intimidate her now.
Amloth languidly crossed her legs, showing off the smooth black expanse of a bare thigh, and – probably quite intentionally – a flash of her dark purple panties. Her whole approach, Zarenis had to admit, was a new one. Normally if somebody wanted to impress upon her how powerful and scary they were, they would use the implied threat of violence. This was the first time somebody had attempted to unnerve her through sexuality. But she was determined it would work no better than any other approach.
And it was not merely through the use of the décor and revealing clothes that Amloth was attempting to make her uncomfortable. Even in the short time she had been in the room, the drow's eyes had already lingered over her body. Zarenis was wearing leathers, covering every inch of her skin save for her head, but there was no doubt she was being mentally undressed. As a tiefling, that was an unusual experience, and it did not seem that Amloth was faking her desire. But then, if the tapestries were any guide, her tastes ran to the unusual, although, unfortunately for the drow, Zarenis had no intention of ever making it with another woman.
"There are some individuals that recently returned to this city," said Lady Amloth, "the sort of people who tend to delve in subterranean ruins in search of gold; I am sure you know the type. They are skilled and experienced, as anyone who survives such a career for long will be. And they have acquired something, something that I would like you to obtain for me..."