The Rebellious Slave Ch. 09byHisPet21©
Author's Note: Thanks, as always, for the ratings and comments. Please let me know what you think of this chapter! I apologize for the long wait, but I hope you enjoy!
Kara lay her tired body, still wet from a recent bath, on the bed of down and snuggled underneath its covers. Nuzzling her head against the welcoming pillows, she imagined being on a warm cloud, sunlight pouring over her skin and a swift, but gentle breeze combing through her brown locks. She was high above the world, floating in solitude, unconcerned with the problems of the people below and their various plights. There was just Kara and the clouds, unbound and careless. Closing her eyes, Kara kept the image focused before her mind, to ensure that any dreams she had would be good ones. Her mother had taught her the trick years ago, and she'd used it often during the war. Now, she prayed it would ward off the darkness of the coffin and the horrible creatures she'd imagined while panicked, replacing any nightmares with images of soft clouds and blue skies. She needed a deep, unrelenting sleep to calm her, until the strangeness she felt wore off. She needed to fall away into pleasant dreams, until she felt less like Arlington's slave and more like herself again.
When Kara awoke, it was reluctantly. She would sleep away forever if she could. But the room she was in seemed strange, and she wasn't sure why she was there. It was a bedroom, entirely windowless, with a large downy bed in blue coverings, an empty bookshelf, and a barren desk. Trying to remember how she had gotten into the room, Kara thought back to the previous night, to a time after Lord Arlington had finished with his sick lesson. Although her memories were faint, Kara recalled having a bath overseen by Lord Arlington. And then, after the bath, she remembered being carried by Lord Arlington into the sitting room with the television, then down the hallway opposite to that of the "torture room," a hallway she'd had yet to explore. And yes, Kara remembered now. This was where she had been left, shivering on the bed.
The room was much nicer than the cell of darkness Kara had become accustomed to, even if it was a bit chilly. Would Kara be allowed to stay here? Would she get to sleep in the fluffy, warm bed again? Was this a permanent arrangement, or a temporary one? It would be futile for Kara to get her hopes up and, recognizing this, she eyed some clothes laid out for her on the desk, which sat beside a brush and some jewelry. Although still tired and sore, Kara decided to dress herself. It was cold outside the covers and, furthermore, Kara despised being naked in front of her captor. If nothing else, the process of getting ready would distract her from the terrible memories of last night, which threatened to creep into her mind and ensnare her in their depressing grasp. Kara wasn't ready to think through her ordeal, not yet.
She was relieved to find that she had undergarments today, perhaps a show of pity from Lord Arlington. Quickly, she slipped on the white lace panties and bra, then turned to the dress she had been gifted. It was a short sleeved piece, with a puffy skirt that barely went past her thighs. The colors were red and gold, as they had been in the auction hall, and she put on matching gold hoop earrings and a golden necklace with an amber pendant. Without a mirror, Kara couldn't be sure she was doing a good job of brushing her hair, but began at the task anyway. She must have spent an hour running the brush through her brown mane, just so that she wouldn't have to face herself and the horrors she had endured at Lord Arlington's hands. But as reluctant as Kara was to face her reality, eventually the brush stilled and Kara made herself crawl back onto the bed, to think through the ordeal.
Curling herself up within the covers, Kara forced herself to recall Arlington's coffin, and independent of her will, tears started to creep from the corners of her eyes and down her cheeks. She couldn't believe what had happened. It was if her memories belonged to a stranger, for they certainly seemed foreign to her. Even if Kara knew that it was her who had endured Arlington's cruelty, the Kara in the coffin and the Kara now sitting in bed were entirely different entities. It made Kara immensely uncomfortable to know that, under the right conditions, her entire persona could change. While under Arlington's grasp, she'd been completely helpless. She had only cared about keeping that evil son-of-a-bitch happy, so that he would leave her alone. She'd barely even minded being face fucked...god, how crude a term. Face-fucked.
But Kara soon realized that she couldn't afford the luxury of self-pity. This moment couldn't be about "finding herself" or "reconciling with fate." This moment, and all those that came after, had to be about survival. Survival, and nothing else, had to be Kara's focus.
Cringing at her own stupidity, Kara realized how embarrassingly reckless she had been. Hadn't she had a plan of attack? A method for resisting Arlington and earning his trust? She was supposed to have been respectful, submissive, and obedient in order to lure Arlington into letting his guard down. But alas, in order to satisfy her own prideful nature and her need for defiance, Kara had deviated from the plan and it had cost her dearly. Arlington was a trained interrogator, an extremely powerful military official, and Kara ought to have known what he was capable of and what he would do when she stepped out of line. But no more. Kara made up her mind, right then and there, to relent to him. If she submitted of her own free will, then Lord Arlington would not force submission upon her. It wasn't an appealing option, but it was the best one Kara had. If Arlington subjected her to that coffin again or to something similar, Kara wasn't sure she would emerge the same person she was now. Furthermore, by submitting, perhaps she could eventually get Arlington to loosen his grip. He had to fuck up sometime, and if Kara faked subservience, it would be easier to take advantage of any mistakes Arlington made.
As much as she hated to admit it, escape had to leave Kara's mind, at least for now. Kara had pushed Arlington too far, forcing him to take her more seriously than she would have liked. Any escape attempt she orchestrated, at least at this point in time, would surely fail. Rather than outright pursuing escape, Kara would have to wait for an opportunity to come to her. When it did, she would surely jump at the chance, but she had to wait it out. It was as simple as that.
No more tears, Kara thought. And she wiped them away from her face.
The waiting has hard. Kara knew that Arlington would visit her eventually, in order to assess the impact of his twisted little training session. And when he came, Kara knew that she would have to play the role of the submissive slave. Worst of all, she knew in her heart that it wouldn't be entirely an act. She was terrified of Arlington now, perhaps not enough to lose herself to him, but enough to relent to his demands. Sure, it was a conscious decision on Kara's part to obey, for the sake of her own sanity. But once Arlington returned, Kara didn't doubt that her motivation for that obedience would be two fold. Kara would submit because it was part of "the plan," but also so that Arlington would stop hurting her.
When the door to her room finally opened, Kara panicked, unsure of what to do with herself. Whenever Arlington had visited her in the past, Kara had been bound. She hadn't needed to guess at where he would want her. But now, she was unbound, and surely Arlington would want her waiting for him, perhaps somewhere specific. Where should she go? What should she do? Would Arlington want her kneeling on the floor? Would he want her lying on the bed? Would he want her standing in the classic slave position, legs spread and arms behind her head? And if he found her placement unsatisfactory, would he take her back to that awful torture room? Confused and utterly terrified, Kara found that none of her contemplations mattered. Even if she had known where to move and what position to assume, she found herself rooted to the bed, hardly able to breath normally.
But Arlington didn't seem to care where Kara sat, much to her relief. Ignoring his girl entirely, Lord Arlington walked towards the wooden desk, pulled a wooden chair away from it, and situated it opposite the bed. He sat down and, his face unreadable, looked at Kara. There was an awkward silence, and Kara wondered if Lord Arlington could hear her heartbeat throbbing beneath the skin of her chest. It seemed conspicuously loud to her, and she hoped he wouldn't notice.
"You're up earlier than I thought," Lord Arlington told her simply.
Was there pity in his eyes? No, it must be an illusion, Kara thought. No one could be as cruel as Arlington was, as sadistic as he could be, and still have the capacity to pity his victims.
"Did you sleep well?" he asked.
And Kara, horrified by the complete lack of sneer in her voice, replied: "Yes, my lord." It was obvious now, to both Arlington and Kara, that the man had managed to successfully break through some of his slave's defenses. Kara wasn't down for the count yet, not by a long shot. She had not lost herself to Arlington, at least not completely. Still, she was definitely less sure of herself than she had been the previous day, before her ordeal in the coffin and the face fucking she'd been forced to endure.
"Good," Arlington told her, no malice in his voice. Perhaps he intended to contrast his cruel self with this kinder self, in order to reinforce Kara's more submissive behaviors. Kara, disgusted with herself, hoped that was the case. She couldn't take any more of his violence. "Come to me," Arlington told her, gesturing toward a spot to the left of his chair.
Kara slid from the bed, telling herself silently that she was obeying for her own sake. She told herself that she was obeying because it was part of "the plan" and that the rapid pitter-patter of her heartbeat had nothing to do with it. Quietly, she walked to where Arlington had gestured and sat down on the carpet, staring into its depths. The carpet was tan, and Kara looked deep into it's curling fibers, wondering what would become of her. Although she hated to admit it, Kara now feared Arlington's wrath more than she feared her submission. Devastated, Kara wondered what that might entail.
"Thoughts?" Arlington asked, running his fingers through Kara's hair, and her neck stiffened at the touch. "You can speak freely. I'll put a temporary pause on those restrictions I spoke of earlier."
Not thinking, Kara let her thoughts fall freely from her lips and a little voice in the back of Kara's mind reprimanded her for speaking without a filter. Surely, if she spoke so openly, Kara would only reveal further weaknesses to Lord Arlington. But Kara, still unglued from her ordeal in the coffin, didn't care. She needed someone to listen to her fears and forebodings, for they relentlessly built up inside of her, threatening to destroy her. And at this moment, she needed someone to listen, it didn't matter who. Anyone would do.
Even Lord Arlington.
"What's going to happen to me?" she asked Arlington, sincerely. "What do you plan on doing with me?"
"I bought you to be a trophy slave," Arlington told her simply, wrapping her hair more tightly around his fist. "I intend to tear down your defenses until I possess you, just as I tore down Gardok's defenses in order to possess it. You represent my personal conquest over Calihistra, a compliment to the actual conquest Isleydor accomplished. That's the purpose of a trophy slave. You'll go where I go, as an example to my enemies, a demonstration of what happens to those who oppose me. You'll be a combination pet, fuck toy, and a living warning to my enemies. That's what I intend, in a nutshell."
Kara paused for a moment, afraid to continue, before remembering that Arlington's speech restrictions were temporarily suspended. And for the first time since Lord Arlington had entered the room, Kara looked up at him. "I don't understand," she said, her eyes pleading and confused. "How can you do this to another human being? Have you any sense of decency, any at all? For the love of god, I have a family back in Calihistra. How can you do this? It doesn't make any sense."
"It isn't fair," Arlington agreed. "But it isn't supposed to be fair. This is what war looks like, unfortunately for you."
"But, I'm an accomplished medic," Kara began, growing more bold. "I've faithfully held a ten year apprenticeship. I've worked in both private practice and in the military. I'm a professional, with goals. How could you reduce me, after all that, to mere pet lying luxuriously by your fire place? You don't see anything wrong with that? Don't you see anything wrong with turning me, an individual, into an object?"
"No, I don't," Lord Arlington replied. "That being said, you misunderstand me. I chose to buy you, at least in part, because of your intelligence and your many accomplishments. I don't want a mindless doormat; that isn't any fun. And it's not very impressive, either, to own and possess a mindless doll. I want a pet, a slave who is entertaining and interesting, even if her primary purpose in life is to serve me. Further, I'm not an idiot. To keep you from shattering, I'll make sure I reward as well as punish. Life doesn't need to be over for you. Adhere to my rules, and I'll fill your bookshelves. I may let you continue your education. You'll find me exceptionally cruel when insubordinate, but I am not unreasonable when properly pleased."
Kara didn't believe him, and she had good reason not to do so. She had learned from experience that he was evil incarnate. Regardless of what he said, Kara knew that Lord Arlington was incapable of being reasonable, pleased or not. But he was also selfish, and Kara didn't doubt that he would be a more gentle, understanding master if it served him well. Kara would simply have to make kindness, or at least its imitation, the most appealing option for Lord Arlington. She had to obey, even if it hurt her to do so. Even if she had to leave her pride at the door, and go on without it. Alone.
"Enough questions," Lord Arlington told Kara, snapping her out of her reverie with his impatience. "As of now, I am reinstating the speech restrictions from earlier. Now, come kneel in front on me. I want you facing me."
Kara did as she was told, and knelt in front of Lord Arlington. Gently, he tipped her head upward with a single finger, then pulled her brown hair up and away from her shoulders, exposing her neck. He took what appeared to be a sturdy, black leather collar from a satchel at his side and Kara cringed as the cold material was wrapped tightly around her neck and locked in place. It had a silver loop at the front, where Arlington attached one end of a short leash. And with that, Kara could feel her body ripple with repulsion, but knew better than to resist. This was it. She had to learn to endure these kinds of humiliations, as she may be faced with them for a long, long time. Better to resign herself to the situation now, than allow her rebellious side to rekindle and destroy her.
"Now, hands out front," Arlington demanded, and Kara relented, allowing Arlington to wrap each delicate wrist in red leather cuffs, which he then bound together. His skin was unrealistically smooth, like a baby's skin. And with a tug of the leash, Arlington stood and pulled Kara to her feet. "Look at me, girl," he demanded, when she was upright. "Whenever I walk with you, you'll stay behind me a few paces, on my left side, as is the convention. Understand?"
"Yes," Kara sighed. "Yes, my lord. I understand."
Even though Kara was blindfolded---Arlington still didn't want her to learn the layout of his manor---it was surprisingly easy to follow the man down the hall. He kept a tight grip on the leash in his hands and used gentle, but deliberate guiding motions to direct her. Eventually, Kara's blindfold was removed and she found herself in what appeared to be an office. It was a rather small room, but along three of its sides Kara could see wall length windows, which gave the room a grand appearance. It was dark outside, the stars barely visible amidst the light pollution of a city, and Kara realized she had slept clean through the day. With a gentle tug, Arlington led Kara to a sitting pillow at the left of a large, ornate desk and instructed her to kneel. When she did so, Arlington unhooked the leash from Kara's collar and sat down at the desk.
It was surprisingly pleasant to sit on the floor, drifting in and out of daydreams, while Arlington tapped away at his computer. Kara knew it was wrong to enjoy the peace and quiet of the room and the open spaces lent by the windows, but she simply couldn't help it. She needed to appreciate some comforts in order to stay sane and, for once, it was nice to know that she was in Arlington's good graces and wouldn't feel his wrath. Kara felt guilty for that last thought, but refused to linger on it. Survival would entail sacrifices. That was just the way it was.
An hour later, Lord Arlington's butler arrived with a dinner cart and left it by the desk, silently slipping away so as not to disturb his master. When Arlington finally did look up from his work to begin at dinner, he started the meal by cutting away a piece of roast lamb. Sticking his fork in it, he brought the meat down to Kara's lips and gratefully, she held out her hands to take the fork from him, excited to be having a solid meal for once, as opposed to the unsatisfying nutrient shots she'd become accustomed to.
"Oh, no," Lord Arlington reprimanded her, pulling the fork away. "Open."
Kara stared at the man, confused, before she realized he intended to hand feed her, like a dog. It was too much, and Kara seriously considered abandoning her plan of subservience a second time. But she had to be strong if she wanted to get through this. So reluctantly, Kara opened her mouth, biting down when the warm food touched her tongue. It was objectively delicious, Kara couldn't deny that. Any food from Lord Arlington's table would be better than the food she'd been eating during the war, when even bread came in rations. But in spite of this, the lamb was utterly tasteless from Kara's unique perspective. Though she appreciated having food she could actually chew, her previous excitement was overshadowed by the degrading nature in which Lord Arlington fed her.
The rest of the meal went much the same way. Even when Kara drank, Arlington insisted on holding the glass to her lips, forcing her to take dainty sips so as to avoid being spilled upon. There were green beans and Arlington gave Kara a little wine, but even that didn't brighten her spirits.
It was late when the butler knocked tentatively at the door, and Arlington called out, "Come in." The butler did so, and in followed another man, whom Kara recognized from the auction hall. Yes, it was the man with grey hair and eyes, the man who had purchased Alyssa and who was also called "Greenwood." He wore a long, green trench coat, which was soaked through with water, and gratefully handed it over to the butler, along with his hat. His hair was wet, and he bowed humbly before Lord Arlington.
"I apologize for my lateness," he said seriously. "It's raining outside and you know how the traffic gets in the city, my lord. It's amazing how readily people will panic over nothing." Carrying Greenwood's cloak and hat for safe keeping, the butler departed and Greenwood sat in an upholstered chair by Lord Arlington's desk, carefully brushing it off with a handkerchief before sitting down.
"Don't worry about it, Greenwood," Lord Arlington replied, gesturing dismissively and turning toward his guest. "I'm running late on my end anyway. I hope you won't mind sticking around a little late while I finish up the Draft of Surrender? We should still be able to make it to the board meeting around eight, I think."