The Long Road to Ruin Ch. 45byLady_Blackhawk©
Disclaimer: This fanfic is based off the Neverwinter Nights community module by the name of "A Dance with Rogues" created by Valine. I fell in love with this story and felt compelled to write something that compliments it. This story contains explicit content and graphic violence. All characters except Shiloh, Bastian, Rhys, Nicca, Ni'as, Narev and Essex are property of Valine.
"But my dreams/They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be
I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance/That's never free"
~ "Behind Blue Eyes"
An Icy Predicament
Shiloh rubbed her eyes, blinking the blurry vision away. She glanced over at the space in the bed bedside her, surprised to see a sleeping Pia. Curiosity niggled at her, urging her to wake Pia. Shiloh needed to know what had happened between Pia and Lucius.
With a light touch to Pia's shoulder, Shiloh leaned over, brushing a soft kiss across the bard's cheek. Pia's eyes fluttered opened as a light blush caressed her skin. "Shiloh," she smiled.
"Good morning, my sweet." Shiloh smiled in return. "I missed you last night."
"You were sleeping as peacefully as an angel when I came in. I didn't want to wake you," Pia replied, snuggling close to Shiloh.
"I wish you had awakened me. Did Lucius fuck you?" Shiloh asked bluntly. She had to know whether he had taken Pia to bed or not after she had barged in on them. Shiloh had to know what had occurred after Lucius had dismissed her.
A scarlet blush caressed Pia's cheeks then she looked away. Her thoughts drifted to the events of the night before when Lucius had taken her to his bedroom alone without Shiloh.
Pia remembered how the door to his bedchamber seemed to loom before them as Lucius led her to it. She noticed the hungry look dancing in his eyes. He led her through the open portal, closing it behind them. No sooner had the door closed, he began to fondle her. His hands were somewhat rough as they pawed her skin; groping at her clothing, clumsily pulling the pieces away before discarding them to the floor as he pressed her to the bed, parting her legs. She shifted uncomfortably, her teeth clenching involuntarily. The heat of his body sank into her legs as he positioned himself between them; his face hovering over her nether area. The swipe of his tongue parting her lips sent unwelcome shivers racing through her. She bit her lip, closed her eyes, wanting this to be over soon. His mouth and tongue danced over her flesh, tasting her, moistening her for something more.
Lucius pulled back, licking his lips. He gently grasped her hand in his, caressing it while pulling it across her body. He stopped, nestling her hand between her legs, watching as her fingertips grazed the wetness. His hand retreated. Their eyes met. 'I want to see you touch yourself. I want to watch as pleasure takes you. I want to see your juices dripping from you. Mostly, I want to watch you as you cum,' he murmured as he withdrew from the bed.
Color darkened Pia's cheeks as a tiny twinge of hurt flashed through Pia's blue eyes. "He didn't fuck me, Shiloh. I'm not sure why you're being so possessive about this. It's not like he means anything to me. I just wish this was all over and we were back in Betancuria."
Shiloh gazed deeply into Pia's eyes, her expression softening, "I'm sorry I was so harsh. I just hate the fact you had to be alone with him."
"Being with Lucius didn't mean anything to me. If it weren't for the fact that I faked it, I'd probably still be there," Pia confessed as she thought back to the previous nights events.
Her fingers caressed her nether lips, rubbing what little wetness remained on her slit. She sank her fingers into her channel. She moaned, hoping it sounded genuine. Her thumb circled her clit, moving in time with her fingers. She made breathing grow heavier, mimicking the sounds Lucius made.
Pia gave Shiloh a quick kiss on the cheek, smiling, "Let's get dressed then get something to eat. Seeing you in all your glory has worked up an appetite, my sweet." After Shiloh agreed, they headed down to the main hall for a bite to eat. Breakfast was a simple fare of cheese, bread, porridge and light wheat ale. They chatted quietly amongst themselves; of home and jobs they'd pulled since they'd seen each other. Shiloh regaled Pia with tales of her grand adventure in the Summer Islands, though she was smart enough to leave out the orgies with the sailors. She skirted the subject of Vico, of their tumultuous relationship. Pia blushed slightly, her face coloring when she came forward with her confession of her own relationship with the family's dark knight. That revelation stunned Shiloh; never would she have thought Pia interested in someone like Vico. He was so not Pia's type. When Pia mentioned she'd heard of Shiloh's much public fight with Vico that took place in the hideout and surrounding sewer tunnels, Shiloh blanched. Her victory over the blackguard had been a real achievement, a sign of her independence from him, but to have Pia speak of it as commonplace made it feel diminished somehow. Shiloh had fought hard to defeat him.
Shiloh quickly changed the subject, winking impishly at a young guard who seemed to be staring at her intently. She blew him a kiss before pulling her top down to quickly flash her pink nipples. Pia giggled at her antics, playfully chastising her boldness, "You are a naughty girl."
"What can I say? I do my best," Shiloh chuckled. "Poor fellow was staring a hole through me. So I gave him something to look at."
"Is it difficult to be so beautiful?" Pia asked as she reached out to touch Shiloh's hand.
Shiloh pondered her question, "No, I am what I am. I've never thought of my beauty as a curse. I've always used it to get what I want. I usually get what I want, but that's not to say that I've never been turned down. There have been a few rejections lately, but that had more to do with the fact that those two men were already spoken for."
Pia cocked her head, flashing a pondering look, "Who?"
Shiloh shook her head, "It's almost too embarrassing to admit, but the major one was Mando. I had no idea about him and Jacia. She just doesn't fit the bill of what you'd think he'd be interested in. Of course, many would say that about me and Vico. Or you and Vico come to think of it."
"I was drawn to his dark nature, as I suspect you were. Maybe that's the draw for Mando when it comes to Jacia. I wasn't aware of their relationship. I guess they're keeping it quiet." Pia surmised. "I normally know what's going on at the hideout. Master Nathan gave me an apartment, but my work keeps me occupied so I just end up sleeping at the hideout. I think it's been months since I actually slept in my home."
Shiloh nodded, "I was so happy to get my own apartment. I've never had something of my own like that. Truth be told, I was happy to get out of the kitchen." A fond smile crossed her lips. "I do miss Chella, though."
"I only hope we find a way to return home and soon. If Alfons sent you after me, once he realizes you are missing as well, it's only a matter of time before Nathan sends out the big guns." Pia wryly remarked, "I can't say I'd look forward to being rescued by Vico."
Shiloh shook her head, "He won't send Vico. He knows better. Nathan warned both me and that asshole to stay away from each other. He's tired of our constant fighting. If he had to send Vico, he'd also have to send someone else to make sure we didn't kill each other. Rhys is the only person who'd have a snowballs chance in the hells to accomplish that, but unfortunately Rhys is in Ilieriena. Also I think Vico is on a job that involved the Sargovian smugglers who stole one hundred-thousand gold pieces from Tony and Nathan."
"How do you know about that? Alfons made brief mention of it to me, but wouldn't give me any details on who was involved."
Shiloh smirked, "I know because of Tony. He took an interest in me, but when I didn't return the interest, he decided he would force the issue."
"I heard he'd been killed during that whole disaster, but no one would say who did it. I assumed it was the Sargovians."
"No, it wasn't the smugglers. It was me. Nathan wasn't happy. He must think I'm dead set on killing my way through the family. Tony would make the third family member who fell to my blade. Vico would have been the fourth, but despite what he's done to me, it's more of a punishment to let him live than it would be to kill him."
Pia shook her head, "I don't like having to fight or kill. It's just not me."
A chuckle passed Shiloh's lips, "So you're saying that you're a lover not a fighter." She winked playfully. "It would be so much simpler if I could be that way too, but I guess I have a much more volatile personality than you. Many of the traumatic events in my life have shaped me into what I am, and that's hard to change."
"If you ever need to talk to anyone, you know I'm here for you," Pia fondly smiled. "I'll always be here for you."
"Hearing you say that means the world to me," Shiloh nodded, "So shall we? Is there anything else we can do before Baron Octopus Arms decides to call for us?"
"The only places he has allowed me access are my room, the great hall and the baths. I don't know about you, but I could use a bath. The thought of having to perform for him makes me feel dirty," Pia whispered, leaning close enough so only Shiloh could hear.
"That sounds good."
The baths were warm and steamy compared to the draftiness of the rest of the castle. Pia and Shiloh took advantage of them while they were unoccupied, luxuriating in the heavenly feel of the water and the fragrant soaps provided by one of Lucius's personal maids. After the bath, Pia accompanied Shiloh back to her room, taking the time to move her few belongings to Shiloh's room. They spent the afternoon devising a plan to return to Betancuria. They knew travelling on foot was out of the question. They had no idea how far north of Betancuria Ravenstower was or where it was located in regards to Dhorn, Sargoza or Min-Toras. Shiloh knew it couldn't be anywhere near Illeria due to the cold climate. Illeria was warm, almost tropical.
"We got here through a portal, right? Terek was a teacher at the Academy. Now he may not be willing to go against Lucius unless it benefits him. So perhaps I can strike a deal with him using some of the Betancurian wealth I stole from the castle vaults. We just can't tell him who I am. I'm not sure he can be trusted with that kind of information. It would be too easy for him to turn me over to the Dhorn. They are still after me. I can't tell you what Commander Benthur would do to me if he caught me again. If he didn't outright kill me, he'd make me wish he had killed me before he finished with his torture. I've been in his clutches too frequently. It's not a place I want to be again."
"I can't say that I blame you. I heard some of what happened from Alfons. I guess Nathan really tore into Mando over the job he gave you. I heard Nathan was mad at you as well for a few other things, but setting you up to meet a Dhorn officer despite the fact that the family had a special interest in him was paramount to suicide."
"If I hadn't did what I did, Vico and I wouldn't have the problems we have. We were happy because no one knew of our relationship. No one was interfering then I had to cheat on him. He hasn't forgiven me since." Shiloh lowered her eyes regretfully. "I loved him. Sometimes deep down I think I still do."
"He's an ass like that. He expects you to be faithful, but yet he can have his girlies on the side. That's how it was when I was with him. When I made a big scene about it, he just stopped coming around."
Shiloh laughed, "Sounds like him." She shook her head, "Do you think Terek could be tempted or swayed by the promise of gold?"
"Perhaps, though who's to say he won't take the gold and then rat us out to the Baron," Pia replied.
"Not if we have him open a portal right then and there. Something about his mannerisms tells me that he isn't pleased that we are here, which means he may have a plot in place for whatever it is that he wants. So if we're out of the picture then whatever he has going can come to fruition. I don't like it, but right now, it's all I got. There's no way I'd barter my body. He reminds me too much of Commander Benthur. That's not a road I wish to travel any time soon."
"So if he comes to escort us to the Baron, we talk to him about our proposition."
Shiloh removed the black square of cloth from her bodice and opened it completely, spreading it over the bed. She hopped down inside the portable hole, digging out pieces of Betancurian wealth that she'd be willing to barter with. A few gold statues joined a pile of gemstones. "What do you think?" Shiloh asked, pondering her selections. She threw the unknown rod on the pile.
"That's a nice rod you have there," Pia quipped, waggling her eyebrows.
"Since when did you ever like rods," Shiloh guffawed. "I didn't think they were your thing."
"They're not, but I know you do." Pia's grin was infectious. "Maybe you'll have to show me what about them you like so much."
"I may have to sometime. Sounds like a challenge to me and heaven knows I love a good challenge," Shiloh chuckled. "I think it's the power I crave, the smooth silkiness wrapped around pure steel and the immense high it takes me to."
"You are one naughty girl, Shiloh, but I like that," Pia leaned in, planting a soft kiss upon Shiloh's cheek. "I do think you should keep that rod. If you don't know what it does, it could be something bad and Terek could use it against us."
"That is very true. What a smart girl you are. I like smart girls," Shiloh giggled as she winked at Pia. She replaced the rod with a fancy looking silver crown with fluorspar gems.
A knock sounded on the door. Shiloh hastily closed the portable hole, folding it into its small square before hiding it in her bodice. "Come in," she called, watching as Terek walked in.
"Baron Ravenstower asked that I bring his pets to his room for some... playtime," he sneered as he looked them both over.
Shiloh arched an eyebrow at him before turning to Pia. She flashed the bard a questioning look. When Pia nodded, Shiloh turned her full attention back to the wizard. "I have a proposal for you, my good man."
"And what would the likes of you two sluts have that I'd be interested in?"
"Take that back," Pia hissed.
He scoffed, discarding her tone, "Or what?"
Shiloh grinned at him, pulling his attention back to her, "How about enough money that you wouldn't have to remain in the Baron's employ? You create a portal that will get us home and I bestow upon you some things I stole from King Aurelius's vaults after the castle was sacked by the Dhorn Empire."
"What sort of things, wench?" His eyes danced with greed.
"Solid gold statues as well as gems and jewels," she replied as she gestured to the pieces upon the bed. "I give you these now and once we've successfully returned to Betancuria, I'll give you a sum of gold which we can negotiate for. You won't find a better deal anywhere else. All you have to do is tell the Baron we escaped. He'll most likely have his surrounding lands searched for us. You'll have the gold and we'll also be out of your hair. I know you find our presence an annoyance. What do you say?"
He pursed his lips, considering her offer carefully. "And what's to stop me from taking what you've offered and not living up to my end of the deal?"
"Did I mention we'd be gone from here? No longer a burden for you to look after and no longer in the way of any plans you may have," Shiloh stated. "I know you don't like it that we're here. I can tell by the tone of your voice, by your mannerisms. Plus with what I'm offering you, you'd be a wealthy man. How about I sweeten the deal? In addition to the gold statues, rare gems, and gold coins, how about I throw in seven nice sized diamonds? You'll not get a sweeter deal anywhere else. Just let us go."
He looked her up and down intently before moving his gaze to the treasure pile she had on the bed. His gaze zoomed in on the three statues, one depicting a rearing dragon, the second of a voluptuous nude woman and the third depicting a roaring lion. Each stood a foot tall. He noticed the dragon even had ruby eyes. Moving closer to the bed, he picked up the gems and crown, examining them. A greedy look crossed his face. He cleared his throat, composing himself. "I'm no gemsmith, but these look very rare. No wonder they were being kept in a castle's vault. Greedy old King Aurelius probably would've bathed in them otherwise."
Next he lifted the statues, perusing them keenly. Each proved to be heavy enough that they had to be held with both hands. "I'd say we have a deal. I can only create a portal to appear in places I'm familiar with, which amounts to the Academy and a few now defunct brothels. Considering this, where would you like to reappear?"
"The Academy is fine. I mean, the only brothel I'm familiar with was The Wildcat," Shiloh replied, noticing his expression. "Don't look at me like that! I never worked there. The only time I was ever in it was after the Dhorn invasion. I found a secret passage leading to it. I hid there from some Dhorn who were chasing me. I... pick-pocketed the wrong person and nearly got caught for it. Can I help if I'm a thief?"
"I know you never worked there. The Wildcat was my favorite brothel to visit. I'd have remembered an uncommon beauty like you." Terek shook his head before he waved his staff, casting the spell which would create the desired portal. It took a few minutes to fully materialize. "Show me the diamonds. I have to see if they're sufficient enough to be used as spell components, if need be."
"Turn around and no peeking either. I have them hidden and you don't need to know from where they came." Shiloh retorted. "Pia, keep an eye on him."
The bard nodded at her as Terek turned his back. Shiloh swiftly opened the portable hole, grabbing out the velvet pouch she kept the diamonds in as well as another cloth pouch which held several hundred silver pieces. She handed the money to Pia before she closed the portable hole, hiding it back in her bodice. "You can turn around now."
She opened the pouch before him, dropping the faceted five carat princess cut stones into her palm. "A jeweler in Betancuria assured me these stones were of the finest quality, all immaculately colorless and flawless to boot. You won't find any other diamonds which are of such excellent clarity."
He rubbed his chin before bestowing upon her a thin smile. "I see you weren't lying; surprising that you'd be willing to trade something so extravagant for your freedom. Surely living under the Baron's roof isn't all that bad."
"You obviously wouldn't understand, but there are people, our families, who are no doubt missing us back home. I doubt Baron Ravenstower would like it if my protector showed up here. He's not someone to be trifled with and if he knew that the Baron had bedded me... well, let's just say the hells hath no fury like the blackguard scorned. He'd beat me and once he was done with me, he'd string the Baron up by his intestines. Not a pleasant sight for anyone," Shiloh ad-libbed, hoping to further convince Terek. "You can save our dear Baron this indignity. Just let us go. You have sufficient payment. He will never need to know that you helped us escape."
He sighed, gesturing at the flickering portal, "It's waiting for you. I'll simply tell Baron Ravenstower you were not in your room when I went to retrieve you. He'll wonder why it's taken this amount of time anyway. Good luck, ladies."
Shiloh took the pouch of coins from Pia's hands, "Go on, Pia. I'm right behind you." She watched Pia step in then disappear before she tossed the pouch at Terek and disappeared as well.