Secrets of the Tea Room Ch. 06byRedneck Woman56©
They were lead through the gleaming marble halls, past guards, servants, columns veneered with lapis lazuli, bubbling fountains and rare exotic birds on ivory perches. Eventually they stopped before two massive doors guarded by fierce looking men with scimitars.
One of the Favorites nodded her head and each of the guards took hold of an enormous bronze ring and pulled the doors open. There they were welcomed into the women's quarters ... the harem.
The sights they had seen during their brief sojourn through the palace were repeated here. Two sides of the women's quarters were open to catch the cool evening breezes. Balconies were luxuriously appointed with divans and silk pillows to lounge on. In the center was a large pool wherein floated lotus blossoms and several naked women bathed as they giggled and talked.
The Favorites now turned to face the Hopefuls. "As you can see, we are happy here with our lives in service to the Sultan. You now represent the fairest of the flowers in our Province. Of the twenty before me now, only four will join us here in the women's quarters. The remaining sixteen will be offered various positions in other harems, perhaps marriage to a minor noble or pasha, or they can choose to return to their families with no dishonor.
Our Sultan is generous and kind. You will not be beaten or raped. You will enter his service of your own free will. At any time during your training, any of you are free to go ... in fact, we are all free to go", she gestured around the room with her right hand, "we are not slaves here, but family. Your training will range from the basic to the unorthodox. The four will be chosen on the basis of virtue, intellect, congeniality, and learning capacity.
You will be instructed in the finer points of erotic arts, history, math, science and music. When you have reached the completion of your training, each of the four will be a suitable companion for our Sultan.
Now, unless you have any questions, one of the Favorites will show two of you to private rooms."
The Favorites led each pair of the Hopefuls to private rooms where they would retire for the night and begin their training on the morrow. Each of their rooms were appointed with intricate murals on the walls, some depicting legends, others were of gardens or some were of scenic vistas. There were beds on either side of the room with a hammered brass tray on a tripod in the middle of the room. There sat fruit and wine. Another table against the far wall accommodated a pitcher of water, a bowl, linen clothes, and a mirror.
Unknown to the Hopefuls, their evaluations had already begun, because they were watched from that moment on throughout their training. Every time they were in their rooms, a Favorite sat behind the wall and observed their manner, their dispositions and eavesdropped on their conversations. Thusly, in a very short time, five of the Hopefuls were released from training.
Now there were fifteen left. The lessons were presented in the women's quarters by the astrologer and the physician. Special teachers were brought in to teach music and dance. And soon, the fifteen Hopefuls were reduced to ten.
During these days, the Sultan never came to the women's quarters, but received daily reports on the progress of each Hopeful.
The second week began with the Favorites calling the Hopefuls together. "Your lessons in music, science, and all the other disciplines will con tinue, but now we enter the phase where you will be taught the graces of erotic pleasures. Again we offer, should any of you not care to continue, please feel free to leave us with no dishonor." Needless to say, none of the Hopefuls were going to give up when the prize was nearly at hand.
They looked around at each other knowing full well that six of them would no longer be in the midst of the women's quarters by the time the training was completed. Some smiled at each other, some were sober, and all fretted about their future. Would they be sensual and smart enough? Would the be beautiful and graceful enough? What else would be expected of them?
They didn't have long to wait. The next morning one Favorite chose one Hopeful as their private charge. The Favorite would now become mentor, teacher and guide for her Hopefuls through the rest of the training.
As they walked hand in hand down a long corridor, each pair turned into an adjacent doorway taking them to their next class room.
Each of the Hopefuls went through the same lessons, although in different order, so that each could be judged on individual merit. In one room, the Hopeful was ordered to disrobe. Having only the Favorite in the room with her, very few hesitated. The Favorite would then examine the Hopeful. Was she smooth and unmarred? Turned first this way and then that, were her legs long and graceful ... was her muscle tone appropriate?
The Favorite sat on a stool and ordered the Hopeful to sit on the floor in front of her cross legged. Some did hesitate at this knowing full well that sitting so would fully expose them. But, they did do so. The Favorite then spoke, "It is not whether you are full bosomed, or slightly built. It matters not whether your waist is small, your mound is full and your hips plentiful, or your lips there", she pointed between the Hopeful's legs, "as red as a pomegranate. It does matter that you learn your body, the things that please your body, and the pleasures your body can give.
It is the confidence of that ability which makes you desirable to men. The confidence lays about you as a musk and a man can smell it and it excites him. Your enthusiasm will shine in your eyes and men will mirror this vivacity. So your first lesson is to learn about your body."
"Your hair," the Favorite continued, "is already shiny and luxurious. We will teach you the potions to mix to insure it stays as shiny as moonbeams and dark when other women your age begin to see silver sneaking in. Your eyes are the mirror to your soul. A man can look in your eyes and read love, anger, passion, and apathy. No matter how skilled you become at the erotic arts, if a man sees apathy in your eyes, you will no longer interest him. That, perhaps, is why men so rarely fall in love with courtesans ... they apathetically travel from one man to another.
Your lips should be scrupulously cared for. They are the center of your face. They smile, they kiss, and they can impart a pleasure you will learn about in a later lesson.
Your breasts now are firm as melons. Should you give the Sultan, or any man, a child, your breasts will bear witness to the gift. Your breasts will continue to give you pleasure and be the pleasure of your lover as long as you live.
Your mound now too, is full and your furry flower offers itself to be plucked. That gift can only be given once. Should you remain here, it will be a gift to our Sultan ... and only to him. Should you take any other lover, your time with us will be ended.
Your legs and feet must also be cared for. It is the strength and suppleness of your legs which will offer pleasing hours of variety to you and your lover.
And so it is. Thus endeth today's lesson."
The Hopeful was instructed to eat and then wait for a servant ordered for her.
She ate of grapes, figs, and goat's cheese. The bread filled her to satisfaction and the sweet wine filled her with a glowing.
Presently the servant entered and informed the Hopeful that she was there to give a massage and to loosen her sore muscles after so many hours of dance classes. The servant helped her disrobe and asked that she lie face down on her bed.
The melody the musicians playing on the balcony of the women's quarters drifted in and helped to relax the Hopeful. She had never before been given a massage and she really wasn't quite sure what to expect.
The servant uncapped a bottle of scented oil and began at the Hopeful's head, kneading her neck and around her shoulder blades. The servant slowly worked down her back and began to massage her bottom with strong, deep strokes. The Hopeful lay with her head on her crossed arms. The servant watched and glanced at the mural where she knew the Favorite was observing, then nodded. She slowly worked her way down first one leg then the other.
The servant then asked the Hopeful to turn over. The Hopeful lay on her bed with legs outstretched and both arms relaxed at her sides. Once again the servant began with her neck, then her temples, caressed slowly past the ears and gently massaged the throat. The Hopeful lay with her eyes closed, but the slightest curve at the corners of her mouth was evident. The servant applied more scented oil generously to her hands and began to massage the Hopeful's breast, both at the same time.
The servant was experienced with massage and gentled rubbed in a circular motion, ever decreasing until the Hopeful's nipples were hard and erect. The servant wasted no time in venturing down the belly and then slide her hand between the Hopeful's legs. As the servant curved a finger to insert into the Hopeful's now wet center, the Hopeful startled ... she pushed the hand of the servant away and sprang from her bed ordering the servant out immediately! How dare a servant take such liberties with one promised to the Sultan!
The servant bowed many, many times as she backed out of the room, only to be met at the door by the Favorite. "Very well done, my child. You have passed yet another test. It was evident you enjoyed the touching, but when you sensed the line was crossed, you reacted as any one of us in the women's quarters would have done. Not all of your class passed this test as well, and your numbers have now been reduced to eight. "Sleep child. After your nap, we will continue with the lessons." The Favorite then left the Hopeful, closing the door behind her.
The Favorite came once again for the Hopeful after the evening meal. She had with her two armed guards. Upon observing the confusion on the Hopeful's face, the Favorite explained, "Your next lesson will take you out of the palace. Both you and I are far too valuable to be put at any risk; therefore, whenever any of us ventures out of the palace, we make sure we are properly escorted."
The Hopeful followed the Favorite and the two guards to a draped carriage pulled by two black stallions. When they were comfortable in their seats, the carriage pulled out of the palace and began its excursion through the winding streets of the city, finally coming to a halt behind a large residence.
The Favorite knocked on the gate and was met by a servant who simply nodded at her. Lights from torches lit the courtyard and it seemed hundreds of oil lamps lit the interior. The servant didn't speak but bowed slowly and motioned that they should follow him. The servant led the way up a steep stairway and stooped to enter a small door. Inside there was a space perhaps four feet wide, four feet deep, furnished only with two padded stools close to an ornately carved screen. The servant bowed, backed out, and shut the door.
The Hopeful started to ask a question, but the Favorite put a finger to her lips and nodded toward the screen. Just then a woman entered the room carrying an oil lamp followed by a husky man. His manner of dress suggested he was a wealthy merchant or business man of some sort.
The woman put the lamp on a table beside the bed and turned, "Malik, it is so good to have you back with us again." As Malik slid his arms around her waist he said, "The brothels in Acre and Constantinople have nothing to offer as sweet as you, my pet." His face bent down to hers and he began to kiss her lips and neck. He lifted her up and as he did so, she locked both legs around his waist and her arms around his neck letting the flimsy material of her skirt fall away.
He ran his hands up the outside of her thighs, then pivoted to lay her on the bed. She smiled as she looked up at him and her hand wandered down her belly to rub slowly. It was only then that the Hopeful realized this woman had no pubic hair, but was as slick as an adolescent.
Turning to the Favorite, she raised an eyebrow, and the Favorite once again put her finger to her lips. The Hopeful nodded and turned back to watch the scene in front of her. Malik grinned through his bushy beard and began to peel off his tunic. His biceps were knots of muscles which could not have been acquired through bartering in the market place.
The night was warm, not fully into summer yet, and a gentle breeze blew in from the desert. The woman feigned shock at the sight and size of his manhood, saying "Malik! I had forgotten! No wonder my other visitors seem like mere boys after entertaining you!" Malik laughed and bent over to peel the halter top from the woman. She lay on the bed now completely naked staring up at him. She had two fingers pinching her right breast, and her left hand had resumed its frolic below her waist. She giggled and sat up, taking his strong rump in her hands and slowly pulling him to her mouth. Malik's head fell back and a moan escaped from his mouth. He captured her head and urged her to move faster. She smiled as her eyes rose to witness and celebrate the power she exerted over him.
As she pulled back, her hand rose to his chest and playfully pinched his nipples. With a laugh, he pushed her further back on the bed and draped over the top of her. Her knees bent and she presented herself to him fully. Although apparent that she, too, enjoyed this pulsating melding of their flesh, she once again pushed him off and used her hands to guide him to his back. She sat on top of him sinking on to him exquisitely slowly and fondled her breasts while he watched.
As his lids began to lower she leaned forward to kiss him while her bottom raised in a fluid motion to release him once again. Sweat glistened on Malik and the woman and made their skin appear to be oiled.
Impatience began to show in his eyes and she knew he could not delay much longer. She rolled off him and positioned herself on her hands and knees. She threw back her head with a laugh and looked over her shoulder at her lover. Malik at once understood and his eyes sparkled as he joined her ... his stallion to her mare.
He held her tightly at the waist and solidly culminated his physical activity with a shudder, then threw his head back and groaned loudly. Upon hearing his release, she smiled knowing he would not find such pleasure again until his next visit with her.
The Favorite and Hopeful sat quietly watching as she and Malik untangled themselves and entwined in an embrace. He kissed the top of her head then slapped her rump, "As always, my pet, an adventure." He rose, poured water out of a pitcher, he picked up one of the linen cloths at the side of the bowl and dipped it in the cool water. He turned to her as she lifted her hips and he gently stroked her, cleaning his deposits. After rinsing out the cloth he administered to himself and slowly dressed.
She made no effort to cover her nakedness because she wanted the sight of her branded in his memory. He put one knee on the bed, kissed her and walked out the door promising to visit her again the minute he returned to the city.
When the door closed, she slowly left the bed, squatted, reached two fingers inside her and drew out a sponge. Standing she turned to the bowl, washed it out and set it aside. From a box on the table she took out another sponge and a small bottle containing a sweet smelling liquid. She soaked the sponge, once again squatted and inserted the new sponge. She dressed, dabbed on a bit more perfume, picked up the oil lamp and started to exit the room. Just as she got to the door, she turned toward the screen. Her face lit with a radiant smile and she made a sweeping bow.
The Hopeful was surprised and looked toward the Favorite. Offering no explanation the Favorite rose and began the descent toward the carriage. Once they were on their way again, the Favorite asked, "What did you see tonight?" The Hopeful thought for a moment and said "A whore with her patron."
The Favorite tisk-tisked the girl, "You are blind. You witnessed tonight one of the most famous courtesans in the city. In fact, she had her training with us. After her initial encounter with the Sultan, she discovered she had an unlimited yearning for men. Not wishing to offend the Sultan, she asked to leave the women's quarters. With his help she established the thriving business you visited tonight.
Not only does she enjoy her men, she also skillfully instructs them more in ways to please her more. Her men of course, are oblivious to these manipulations, thinking them only an adventure. Over the course of several visits she will instill in them the passion for the journey rather than the desire for the destination."
The Hopeful then understood and now appreciated the meaning of the lesson, but she asked, "The sponge?"
"Oh that," the Favorite said, "the potion she used on the sponge is known to midwives and women not wishing children. The potion discourages the man's seed and protects the woman's belly until she wishes to conceive. This allows her the freedom to plan her future and choose her own destiny. If you so wish it, the same potion will be offered to you should you be one of the chosen."
"Yes," the Hopeful thought then said out loud, "Yes. I do not wish to forfeit my youth too soon. I would hope for a time of pleasure and carefree joy before devoting my life to a child."
The Favorite nodded and once again said, "Here endeth the lesson" as she turned and slightly parted the curtains to watch the stars twinkle and the moon dance over the onion shaped turrets of the city.
As the training process continued, the Hopefuls were reduced to the final four. They were assembled after the mid-day meal at the behest of the Favorites.
"You have now completed all your training. Although you have received no practical experience with erotic pleasures, your instruction has shown you the many ways a man and woman can please each other. As you promised, your first encounter will be with the Sultan. At his convenience you will be summoned to him and he will decide if you are to become a member of the harem. He may choose all of you or none of you. Those not chosen will be offered further training in the running of an estate, midwifery and the healing arts, as well as others which will assure a prosperous and pleasant future.
However, there is one last lesson to be shared. After your introduction to the Sultan, whether or not you become part of his harem or seek another path, a woman need not wait for a man for pleasure. There are alternatives which include the pleasuring of one's self, pleasure which can be derived from another woman or devices can serve you well. After your audience with the Sultan, each of you will be further educated in these methods. Now, the last task before you is a stretching ceremony here in the women's quarters. While not initially pleasant, it will allow you to enjoy yourself and the Sultan more without this encumbrance.
If you are ready and willing, please follow us." The Favorites crossed the room unlocking a door which guarded a room none of the Hopefuls had ever been in. The four Hopefuls followed behind the Favorites without hesitation but with a little trepidation at the aspect of the ceremony.
The room was without windows, dark and cool. The Favorites lit oil lamp after oil lamp until the room was illuminated with dancing shadows thrown on the wall. Along one wall stood an ornate table which held a golden pitcher and four golden goblets adorned with precious stones. One of the Favorites poured each of the goblets half full of spiced wine.
The Hopefuls were instructed to drink as it symbolized the sharing of their lives. After they drank they were gently turned by the shoulders. In front of them stood four raised beds covered with scarlet silk. They then were instructed to shed their clothing and take their place on each of the beds. Four Favorites stood at the corners of each bed. As the Hopefuls lay down, velvet ropes attached to the corners of the bed were simply looped around corresponding wrists and ankles.