Sufferance Ch. 12byEtaski©
Author's Notes: This story is erotic fantasy written by Etaski. I reserve the right to be listed as the author of this story, wherever it is posted. If found posted anywhere except Literotica.com with this note attached, this story is posted without my permission. © Etaski 2013
This chapter is sort of an interlude (a very long one). We're back to a little more sex with purpose in this, and everything is building on what came before.
I tried not to think about the fact that I hadn't truly lain down in reverie since the fourth or fifth or sixth time I'd fucked Kerse. It seemed a much longer time ago than it was.
Meanwhile inside the cloister, Jael wouldn't have received much rest either—if any. I expected to find her in a certain condition—that is, unclothed and well used, maybe injured depending on how much she'd been "raging," as D'Shea had put it— and I was not wrong, although she had also been bathed very recently and was very clean; her hair was still damp.
She was curled on a bare spot on Rausery's floor; she still looked confused and as though she was biding her time, her eyes shifting here and there and around. One could think she was slow for not having gotten the point of her treatment by now, but I could grant her this: I didn't clearly remember my fifth cycle here, or at least what had been going on when it passed. Our race's various time measuring devices weren't nearby, I'd already spent several cycles in a magical lust-heat that came and went, with rest and food at extremely erratic intervals.
As I understood it, the break with one's previous life had to be complete: strip her down to her bare essentials, and rebuild her as a Red Sister. The bestial look in Jael's copper eyes was a good thing as far as her Elder was concerned, and watched her so amusedly as I bowed and checked in that one might think she was enjoying the antics of a particularly cherished household pet.
"Glad to see you made it back in one piece, Sirana," Rausery said, casually fixing her eyes on me. "Anything interesting to tell me?"
I smiled. "The Sanctuary is drafty despite all the tapestries and Noble Houses use too many candles."
The tactical Elder snorted and stood up from her desk to walk around and stand in front of me. Her blood red eyes—lacking the shots of yellow of Shyntre's but no less vibrant—stared slightly down at me and she leaned to inhale near my ear and my hair.
"Not up in braids?" she asked, reaching to caress one of the free flowing locks.
It would have taken too much time before leaving, and D'Shea had been stripping Gaelan at a faster rate than I'd been dressing. Truthfully I hadn't wanted to stay, and D'Shea wouldn't take her eyes off me until I'd left, despite her excitement in fondling my roommate.
"Might prove an inconvenience. Jael will use any hold she can get."
I was still looking into the Elder's eyes. "Forgive me ignorance, Elder, this is my first time on the other side. What will I be expected to do?"
"Whatever you want. Whatever you think she needs to handle in order to earn your acceptance, barring maiming and death. Those two aren't for you to decide, although feel free to report serious transgressions on her part."
It would take serious maiming or death by Jael's hand to force that; what Red Sister would admit if she lost control of a new recruit? And if that was all, after all I'd seen, then she already had earned my acceptance.
"Have all Sisters had her?"
"Not yet. Some are still out on missions. But of those now in the cloister, only you haven't, so it's your turn."
Should be fun.
"Even D'Shea?" I asked, and Rausery smirked.
"Yes. Never was sure why she took her sweet time with you."
I tilted my head at the too-light tone. Yes, I was pretty sure Elder Rausery did have a guess, but she wasn't offering it to me now.
"May I take her to my quarters?" I asked.
"Of course. Surely you remember being hauled around the cloister last year?"
I nodded. "Yes, but not dragged directly from my Elder's room."
Rausery grinned wider. "One thing I like about you. You're so polite in your tacti obedience. Most of the time. I'll save my score for the times you haven't been for another time."
Oh yes...she was referring to the snippy tone I'd taken while trying to convince her of the impossibility of Jael's given test in the wilderness. I could expect either a caning, a mounting, or long service with my mouth for that one. Maybe a combination.
"I look forward to feeling again the skill of your firm hand, Elder," I replied with a bow, and Rausery laughed aloud, waving her hand generally toward the naked Drow on the floor.
"Take her. You'll give me your thoughts later as well."
The young recruit scowled at me as I came closer and she fisted her hand, ready to strike out. I leaned down as if to take her wrists, waiting for that first attack, and shifted to let her hit air before darting back in to grip her upper arms and yank her up at least to a sitting position. Only a hoarse growl of frustration came out as she remained in my grasp and I knelt on one knee so we were at eye level with each other.
"Get to your feet and come with me, 'Thietti," I said.
She blinked those fierce eyes at me hearing the short-name. Some of the fog withdrew from her eyes and only then did I think she recognized me. I supposed she had never seen me with my hair down, even disregarding the lack of adequate sleep I saw in her face.
We were two of a kind, then.
"Need I repeat myself?" I asked.
Jael shook her head once and when I released her, she got carefully to her feet. As she uncurled herself, I noticed that she didn't have any white fur on her mound. Interesting. I was also aware of Rausery's gaze on my back even as I dared not take my eyes from Jael; the Elder was watching every muscle twitch we made from her desk, in spite of her casual gesture for me to take the new meat away.
"Keep her for the rest of the cycle, Sirana, though if another Sister finds or comes for her, it'll be up to you to hold on to her unless you're ready to give her up."
I glanced back at Rausery and narrowed my eyes. "I don't recall that, Elder..."
"Oh, it was going on. Trust me. Why do you think some came back for seconds?" Rausery gave me her huntress's smile. "Jaunda was best able to hold you and that helped Gaelan, make no mistake. I think that three-cycle gangbang with one of my teams was while Jaunda was gone. They came to get you soon as she returned, though."
"So... you knew about that, too."
Rausery chuckled. "Of course. You're burning your time, Sirana. Go on."
Jael allowed herself to be led but I could feel the tension coursing through her. I pondered Rausery's odd little purge of information while keeping an eye on the hallways and on Jael.
Why mention that to me now? Trying to tell me how it worked, of course, straight out—the way D'Shea never did. But she'd mentioned Jaunda as though I might want to consider doing the same thing...coming to get her. But I couldn't do that, could I? Jael wasn't D'Shea's. We were on opposite teams, although still Sisters.
Jaunda, my protector, had said she had been the one to watch me before at Court, like I had been the one watching Jael in the field and at her House before her recruitment. My Lead had never had seemed to act like I had anything to prove to her—she only wanted to enjoy my charms, her way. It was one reason I'd "chosen" her to help me.
I had already decided Jael didn't need to prove anything to me. I'd already seen her potential or I wouldn't have saved her. But I didn't have Jaunda's position, nor her skill. Yet. The best I might do for Jael—if Rausery was indeed hinting for me to be somehow different to her from the others, to set myself apart in Jael's view—would be to...well, be myself.
I knew what I wanted to do with her.
Jael shivered a bit and I saw tiny bumps spreading across her skin; I glanced at her dark purple nipples, enjoying the turgid, tight form. She glanced at me, her gaze burning with what seemed accusation, but she said nothing. She looked forward again with her mouth tightly closed and went where I led her.
We stopped by one of the store rooms so I could grab some food to take with me before entering D'Shea's area of the barracks. Gaelan would be with our Elder for this eve; Jael and I would have the small room to ourselves. When we arrived there, I made sure to lock the door behind us, even knowing it would not prevent all Sisters from entering if they wanted. At least it would give me some warning.
Jael looked around the sparse room and I recognized the expression; she was considering possible weapons. It was a good thing all mine were back in D'Shea's quarters and Gaelan's own chest was still magically sealed to where even I couldn't open it, much less a stranger to the room. The wash basin and pitcher could be used for blunt force attacks, but there was precious little else.
I pushed my hand on Jael's bare back to guide her toward Gaelan's bed, and she went, although reluctance still radiated in each barefooted step. She kneeled to crawl onto the low, basic mattress—again a stark contrast to those beds I'd been around during my last assignment—and rolled to sit on her backside with her knees drawn up. She looked up at me as I began to undress, a tightening of her mouth her only show of dismay.
I wasn't even sure I was up for anything rough; I was tired and hungry, and it wouldn't be a challenge or a game or a high. The tender new Red Sister in front of me behaved much more like a wounded animal than healthy prey. It wasn't really to my taste, forcing a weakened and vulnerable target that I hadn't already taken the time to wear down myself. It was kind of like scavenging, at least in my opinion.
I still knew what I'd seen before in Jael as well, and I doubted my Sisters had broken that in five cycles, despite some of those with a lack of any grace.
I waited until I was nude before picking up one of the small bags of rations and sitting on the edge of the bed. I ate first, dipping into the mixture of energy-rich pods, seeds, dried meats, and toasted pastes. Chewing methodically and swallowing, I offered some to Jael from the same bag.
She didn't take long to accept; she had been watching my hands, which I'd kept in full view the entire time. The risk in eating it was as low as she could expect. We finished that bag and again she watched me open and sample the second before accepting more. She was as hungry as I was.
When we had finished the two bags—and I'd kept back a third for later—I gestured with a twirl of my finger. "Roll over, Jael. On your side, facing the wall."
That would put her back to me. The muscles in her arms flexed and she stared at me, glanced around the room again looking for something to use against me, then back. I watched her without moving. Once given long enough to consider alternatives, Jael did the smart thing and obeyed.
I lay down and moved up close to her, cradling her back and buttocks with my body, very similar to how I'd slept with Kerse that last time. With one arm folded beneath my head, my free hand drifted over soft skin and the occasional bruise, over her flank and hips and right buttock. She flinched when I caressed her ass; still sore, no doubt. No surprise. I'd been constantly raw except for two times a Sister had given a healing draught—but that was just so she could make me sore again.
I kept my hand away from her orifices since it was not my intent anyway. She was toned and strong, and her scent was one I enjoyed up close; fragrant and earthy without being tart, neither too musky nor flowery.
I stroked her arm up and down and then reached beneath it to cup one pert breast, first rubbing my thumb back and forth over her nipple, then in slow circles. She drew in breath and tensed as I nuzzled through her hair and nibbled on the back of her neck. My nibbles became a lazy suck, and the slow circles around her nipple became even slower.
"What are you doing?" she asked through clenched teeth.
"Whatever I want," I responded, my breath hot in her hair.
"So... do it already."
"I am. And be quiet. I'm very tired right now."
She huffed a laugh tinged with bitterness. "Tired? Oh, poor Sister! So sorry to have burdened you so with my waiting cunt!" she sneered, and I couldn't help but chuckle against her shoulder. "What's so funny? You're supposed to fuck me with your magic prick, aren't you? To take your turn? That's what Elder Rausery said, plain as candlelight."
I gave her nipple a little squeeze and a twist; I was just playing with it but she tensed and squeaked. "That's not what I heard."
She growled, "Then you must be deaf."
In that short exchange, I was also more than mildly aroused. The wounded animal mindset seemed to be passing, just as I thought it might. It was a pity...my libido was now warring directly with the dire need to rest. I removed my hand from her breast and spread it flat over her abdomen, hoping that might help. I breathed in deeply, then back out, slowly, enjoying her scent and managing to relax more.
The silence stretched as I closed my eyes and listened to her breathing—faster than mine—and felt her charged energy as we were pressed skin-to-skin.
She was waiting for something to happen.
Nothing would. Just as Rausery had instructed, I had decided what she needed to endure in order to earn my acceptance: Nothing. I already knew it would be a good test for her.
I accepted the risk of drifting into reverie, resting while I had the opportunity.
In my dreams, that dark silhouette was stroking my belly tenderly. The skin of my abdomen was exposed to sunlight, highlighting a little more grey tone to it than I'd ever realized was there. My stomach still was mostly flat but the feminine hand fancied that she could detect the new bulge just beginning to distend.
The birthing time was more than a year away, if I survived that long. Because of my station, the choices—all of them—would be hard ones. All except for the initial choice to take seed in my cunt in the first place.
It wasn't my fault.... I didn't have the choice this time.
How could I have known?
The dark silhouette spoke this time. She didn't have her dagger. She said it was useless.
*How ironic. The growing one, protected in your womb...was the only one who could have protected you from me...*
Jael jerked when I did, startled by the sudden movement as I was jarred awake. I was still holding her against me, and by the scent and the warmth surrounding us, neither of us had moved for quite a while. Had she slipped into reverie as well? If she had, she'd passed my test.
The dream itself faded from my mind's eye slowly. If not for the reoccurring shape and the sunlight, I might have discarded it already as just one of my anxieties expressing itself after the terrible tension of dealing with Wilsirathon's impregnation obsessions and Kerse's damnably high volume of semen when he climaxed. Now the unknown Surface and the pregnancy worry were mixing. Lovely.
I really hadn't liked that dream. I didn't want to be pregnant. I wished I could have become a Red Sister without my fertility being restored... Of course, I hadn't ever been pregnant so I didn't have absolute proof that it had been restored, but I could easily believe so. Not only from what Lelinahdara and the Red Sisters had told me, but from how it had felt after that ritual: that insane need to couple, and the fact that it had been best eased when semen had been present. The longest reprieve from that heat that I'd been given had been right after Kain had come inside me.
I heard Jael lick her lips and swallow as she came fully awake. She shifted her head slightly, trying to look around her. I wondered if she was confused where she even was. It was possible.
"Rest well?" I asked, and she tensed against me but didn't pull away or try to turn around. I was sure now that she had indeed rested; the comparative tension that returned was a stark contrast. Good girl.
I smiled even though she couldn't see it. "You know my name?"
"I heard Qivni say it...in the field, when they caught me."
"Impressive. Panagan was really driving into you by that time. Surprised you were aware of anything beyond her grunting and the plowing you were getting."
She growled softly but didn't take the bait. Another mark in her favor. "They've also mentioned you since then."
"Oh? What do they say?"
"Mostly Panagan and Moria crowing about beating you in the Hunt for me. I think they mention it too often for it to be quite as they say."
That pleased me very much to hear; Jael was not too gullible. However... "Maybe Panagan did beat me. Rausery's unit claimed you, after all."
She made a scoffing noise. "I saw you fighting the Duergar. Panagan just stayed back shooting."
"She's a very good shot. It was the most effective way for us to fight."
Jael paused as if she was confused why I was defending my rival. Mostly it was that Panagan in truth was a good archer, she was a Sister, and I no longer had anything to prove to her. I didn't care what she was saying, and there would be no benefit to Jael underestimating any Sister just to feed my ego—not while she was at the bottom of all of them.
Jael decided to drop it.
"Why am I alive?" she asked instead. "I was dying out there in the wilderness, I knew it...after the fight I knew I couldn't survive my wounds. I closed my eyes. Next thing I knew...I was awake and I was well. Full of energy. And you two were standing there looking at me."
"Didn't they tell you?"
She was still tense and hadn't yet looked my way; my breasts were warm pressed to her back. "I want to hear it from you."
I considered. So what had they told her? Rausery said Jael had been having a harder time because not all Sisters were convinced she should have lived...
Maybe I should just be truthful here.
"I gave you my life-saving healing potion. Each Sister out on a mission has one, but only one."
Jael didn't reply at first and I waited, content to lie comfortably, relaxed for the first time in weeks, truthfully.
"So...it was true. You didn't let me die. Why?"
Simply, I had wanted her. For several reasons. "Are you disappointed? Do you wish it otherwise?"
"...no. But...several others wish it were so."
"But not the ones who count."
"The Prime, and the Elders. And me. I made the decision."
"And you were the youngest, before they grabbed me."
Now I paused. "That wasn't why I healed you."
"No? You didn't want a new cunt to take your place?" She clearly didn't believe that, and she wasn't entirely wrong.
"Not just any new cunt. I've watched you, Jael. Other places aside from the last Illithid battle. You are right for us, and you did make it back to the City from the wilderness. Being the youngest is a necessary test. Each Sister who gains her leathers has gone through it."
Again she paused. "So you watched me...you are the reason they came for me?"
"No. *You* are the reason they came they came for you. My assignment was just to observe."
"Which you didn't do when I finally fell in battle."
"Well, by then I was given leave to act on your behalf."
"So, what...you strictly follow rules? Or only when it's convenient?"
Her tone of voice implied she had a fairly accurate guess about that. I chuckled.
"I work within the rules to make them work for me. You could do with a little less flat-out rebellion against your Sisters, Jael. It only attracts more force being used. Your trials should have told you that."
She was dead silent for a long while. "Still watching, then?"
"When possible. I know you don't like Draegloth. What was it like being surrounded by them at the Sanctuary?"