tagSci-Fi & FantasyThe Reluctant Sacrifice

The Reluctant Sacrifice

byc_kitten©

Sorry about the mix-up before. I hope you like the story.

*

All the men in the village met in the elder's house. He was an older man, his hair graying at the temples. He walked with a cane and was partially blind. He was not a bad man, but he had a iron will and would follow the traditions of the village at any cost. This evening, the cost could very well be the life of a village maiden. The men were arguing fiercely, none wanting to volunteer their daughters for the role of village sacrifice. The elder cleared his throat and waited for the room to quiet.

"It is no easy thing I ask of you, I know," he said. "There are warlords moving in on the valley and they will certainly head straight to the village. There is no doubt they will take our food and raze the village to the ground. We are simple farmers, none here with a sword to make a stand. A sacrifice must be made to garner the protection of the gods..."

Dawn had not yet broken over the valley when I was awoken by my mother. She was hurrying around the room that I shared with my sisters, throwing my clothes into a satchel. I started to ask what was happening when she shushed me. She stilled, listening intently for any sounds of stirring in the house. Satisfied no one had been woken, she motioned for me to follow. I pulled my boots on and rushed after her. Outside, she hugged me close and told me to run.

"I hate to see you go, but if you stay here... Please. Go quickly," she whispered. She kissed my forehead and was leading me around to the stable when my fathers turned around the corner. He took one look at me, my mother, and the satchel before his face darkened. He grabbed us roughly and shoved us back into the house.

"What do you think you are doing," he yelled. I cowered behind my mother. I winced as he continued ranting. "This would have disgraced the village and our family. I do not even know what to say to you, wife. You know how important this is. You think you could have just sent her away and everything would have been fine?"

My mother's eyes hardened. She straightened to her full height and glared at my father. "As though the gods care about this village. It would have been for nothing and our daughter would have been dead. You would so easily throw away your own daughter's life for honor? The village is foolish. Warlords are coming so we should sacrifice a maiden to the god of war for his protection? The god of war is more likely to cater to the whims of those that their every action is in the name of war than for honest people that work the earth! Melite is only twenty years old and you want to throw her life away?" My mother was cut short ad my father slapped her. She stumbled and braced against the wall. She looked dazed and I fought to not cry out. If my sister were still sleeping, I would not want the to see this.

"Dishonorable woman," my father spat as he struck her again. I tried to stifle my cries, but his eyes turned to me. "Melite, go back to your room. Respectable women will be coming to take you to the hot spring to bath. If you do anything to dishonor this family or the village, I will cut your tongue out. Do you understand?" I nodded and scrambled backwards to the room. My sisters were huddled together on one bed humming to each other, rocking back and forth together. It was the only thing we could do to drown out the sounds whenever our father had decided to beat our mother.

I curled up with them, trying to breathe past the fear creeping in my throat. I did not understand what was going on. Why did mother want me to leave like a thief sneaking away? What had father said about warlords? Or was it mother that had spoken of warlords? I could not remember. I heard mother cry out as father beat her. I closed my eyes, rested my head on the shoulder of one of my sisters and hummed with them, desperate to drown out the sounds.

We had fallen asleep at some point. Light was streaming in and we woke slowing, confused as to why we hadn't been woken earlier. There were chores that we needed to attend to. My sisters were pulling on their boots as I walked out to get something that we could eat for breakfast. My father sat at the table, glowering. His eyes cut through me and he stood, menacingly.

"Where do you think you are going? Back into your room or I will tie you in there," he growled. I stepped back sputtering about chores. I watched his fists carefully, desperate to stay out of his reach. He cut me off and told me I would not be doing chores today. "Just stay in the room until someone comes to get you." I stood numbly as my sisters scurried past me. I forced myself back into the room and sat on my bed, staring blankly at the wall.

It was sometime before noon when the elder's wife came in and ushered me to the hot spring. She bathed me and combed my hair. She dressed me in a pure white garment and led me to the village center. I froze in my tracks at the sacrificial altar erected there. My eyes darted around, praying to spot a lamb or something that would be sacrificed.

My mind raced. Apollonios had just begun talking of marriage, of asking my father for my hand. He was a fine man with a gentle spirit. I knew he would never raise a hand against me. My eyes sought him out and found him steadfastly not meeting my gaze. I felt my heart breaking, that I was about to die and he would not even look at me, not even offer an glimpse of sympathy. I felt my eyes sting and refused to cry over him.

My mind raced to the gods. I did not even believe they existed. In all the years we had been sacrificing lambs, cows, grain and everything else to the assorted gods, there had never been any sign that they had answered. As far as my eyes saw, it was our own hard work that brought a plentiful season. The gods were no more real than dreams. I dug my heel into the earth. I was to die for something I did not believe? No, my mind raged. Even if they were real, mother was right. The god of war was more likely to favor warlords that fought for glory in his name than simple farmers that favored Demeter asking to be spared war by someone they hardly payed attention to.

My mind raced to my family. I did not see mother or my sisters, but father stood. He glared at me, daring me to be defiant. He did not care whether I lived or died. He had only tolerated my sisters and I, at best. He wanted a son, and I was sure that was the only thing that saved mother from being beaten completely to death.

I felt arms pulling me towards the altar. Villagers thanked me for my gift to them. I choked on anger and fear. My gift to them? If not for father, I would be racing away from this doomed land. I was going to die at the hands of those I had loved as neighbors in a useless attempt to avoid a blood bath when the warlords came rushing into the valley and over the village. These fools should be packing whatever they could carry and flee.

I began to struggle, but too late I realized they tied me down onto the altar. The village elder came forward, the sacrificial dagger in hand. In all my years, the thing had never looked so wicked. The sun glinted off the metal. I closed my eyes and turned my face to the sun as the elder called to Ares, god of war.

"Please," I whispered. "I do not want to die." I tried to breathe past the fear. I opened my eyes and looked up as the elder raised the dagger. I blinked and the dagger was gone. I frowned as the village gasped. A cloaked figure stepped into the village center, twirling the dagger in his hands. He held it lightly in one hand and sent it flying at me. I stifled a scream as I felt the dagger hit into the altar. I felt the binds on my hands loosen and glanced to see the dagger had sliced through, grazing my skin. I felt terribly light headed, fighting not to faint.

"I will take my sacrifice," the cloaked figure said as he stepped up to the altar and easily picked me up. I looked into the hood of the cloak and saw nothing. Then everything went black.

I woke groggily on a hard stone bench. I sat up and stretched, trying to loosen up my muscles. As I wiped the sleep from my eyes, everything came back in a flash. Jumping to my feet, I saw I was in some sort of hall. There were only two ways to go. One way led outside, light was shining and I could hear birds calling. I stepped towards it and breathed deeply of the fresh air. Glancing over my shoulder, the other way seemed ominous and quite forbidding. It seemed to go on until it was swallowed in black shadows. I longed to race out into the light, but the idea that Ares would be angry at what could easily be interpreted as an escape attempt sent chills through me. I turned back to the bench and curled up on it. I couldn't go on into that blackness and I feared what might happen if I went out. I decided to wait.

I drifted in and out of sleep as I waited. My hunger and thirst were growing. Two days passed and I felt like I was going to lose my mind sitting in the hall. I ached all over from sleeping on the hard stone bench. I wanted desperately to talk to someone. To hear anything beyond those damn birds chirping outside would be bliss. I sat up and marched towards the doorway. The outdoors looked so inviting. There were hills and I could see a lovely stream that seemed to beckon me. I leaned forward and put a foot outside. I waited, held my breath as though Ares would appear suddenly to berate me. I inched my foot further outside and breathed deeply.

I could leave. I could run off and look to find a new life. I could run away from this and start new. I glanced over my shoulder and looked at the looming darkness. For reasons I hardly know myself, I stepped back into the hall. I made my way to the looming shadows and made my way in. Soon, it was complete darkness. I stumbled and bumped into things. I cursed beneath my breath and hoped that I did not break anything. I wandered in the darkness until I started to stumble in fatigue. I tried to push myself on, but could not. I leaned back against the cold hard wall and quickly drifted into sleep.

When I awoke, I was in the most comfortable bed I could have imagined. I thought that it must have been like sleeping on a cloud. I rolled over and snuggled into the comfort, blissful happy to remain in the softness. A door opened and reality crashed back into me. I sat up and saw Ares standing beside the bed. I could only look up at him. There was no doubt the man that stood before me was indeed the god of war. He was powerfully built with sharp features and black piercing eyes. He looked extremely displeased and I wondered if I should have run out instead.

"Your village made things difficult," he said. I could only stare up at him. "Those warlords payed me great tribute every week. Now they are turned against each other and some peaceful little village that has barely spared me thought is going on it ways. I stand to lose much on all this."

"If..." I froze as his eyes narrowed. I was about to question a god, more over the god of war. I swallowed past the fear and continued. "If you stand to lose so much, why did you accept the sacrifice? Why did you keep me from being killed?"

Ares looked down at me for a long time, his face expressionless. I was ready to feign passing out when I noticed his lips twitch up slightly. A smile? Did I amuse the god of war? If I amused him rather than angered him, I could happily accept this. He tilted his head to the side and studied me. "No one has ever asked to live with such force behind the request. It peaked my curiosity." I nodded, though I was not really sure what to.

Ares turned and walked away. As he was walking out, he waved a hand and a table laden with food appeared. My mouth watered and I breathed deeply. I jumped out of bed and stumbled. I cursed myself as I recalled how long it had been since I eaten or drank anything. I eased myself to the food and tried to eat slowly, pacing myself as I worked through the dishes. I had never eaten such fine bread, such savory stew, such tender meat, such fresh vegetables. I happily ate everything until I felt like I would burst. I chided myself for such gluttony as I yawned.

I made my way back to the bed and fell asleep. I awoke at the sound of water splashing. I sat up and saw door open, steam drifting out. I eased myself up and wandered to it. I nearly fainted. Ares sat in a pool of water, droplets gleaming off his golden skin. I watched him and was entranced by his magnificence. I could hardly believe that I had gone from disbelieving their very existence to... spying on the god of war bathe... uh... yeah... I started to ease away when his eyes caught mine. I felt like I'd been turned into a statue, my body refusing to move.

"Come here," Ares said. I tried to think any words to explain that I couldn't move when I realized I had already started to walk towards him. I inwardly cursed my own stupidity. I had never felt like such a blundering idiot before. I made my way to the pool of water and shivered under his gaze. His hands waved towards me and my garment slid to the ground. I tried desperately to cover myself as my face burned with embarrassment. "Join me." I shook as I made myself climb into the water. I tried to sink below, but Ares snaked his arm around my waist and tugged me into his lap. I rested there, weightless in the water, completely at a loss of what to do.

He pushed my hair to the side and kissed along my neck. Shivers ran through me body and I shook stiffly. His hands caressed my sides. He moved slowly, rhythmically. I could feel myself slowly relaxing against him. His tongue flicked against my earlobe as his hands moved over my breasts. I leaned my head back and rested it on his shoulder. His fingers toyed with my nipples. I wriggled helpless and felt my rump brush against his hard cock. I stiffened, unsure of what to do. I had never been so intimate with anyone. Under the disapproving eyes of the elder, no girl had even dared to hold a man's hand.

"What is your name," Ares asked. I could not help but bark out a sharp laugh. I started to pull away but he held me tight. "What is your name?"

"Melite," I gasped as he resumed kissing my neck. He purred my name, sending shivers through me. As he continued kissing my neck, his hands traveled over my body. I wriggled as one hand rolled a nipple between his thumb and forefinger and the other hand traveled to my nether regions. I gasped, arching against him, as his fingers slid along my pussy. I struggled helplessly against this new sensations. I cried out as his fingers slid over my clit. He murmured calmly to me, encouraging me to relax. I thought it was insane, telling me to relax while he made my body feel like it was on fire.

Ares turned me on his lap so I was facing him. I drank in the site of him. Tentatively, I leaned forward and kissed his neck. He groaned slightly and leaned his head back, offering his neck to me. I kissed softly and on impulse, grazed my teeth against his skin. He groaned, tangling his hands in my hair and tugging me closer. I gasped as I felt his cock rest against my thigh, the heat of it felt like it was branding me. I cried out as he lifted me and speared me on his cock. I struggled to breathe as I ached. I struggled against him, but Ares held me close. He kissed me and remained still as my body began to accommodate this unknown intrusion. His hands massaged my back as I began to relax, the pain slowly ebbing away. I groaned as I felt his cock twitch inside of me just before he started thrusting into me.

Ares flicked his thumbs across my nipples with each thrust. It felt like lightening was shooting through my body, pushing me higher towards some unknown. I struggled with the sensations as he continued to push me higher. I arched my back, my breasts thrusting forward. I cried out as he took a nipple into his mouth and started flicking his tongue against it. The silky hot sensation was almost unbearable. I could feel something building up inside of me. I struggled with it, desperately trying to manage it when Ares pushed me over the edge and the sensations burst. And still Ares pushed me further. I was coming down from the orgasm just as Ares pushed me towards another.

In the haze of things, we ended out of the pool of water, him standing, supporting my weight as he pinned me against a wall, my legs wrapped around his waist. He pushed me on. I lost track of time, my mind hazed by new sensations overwhelming me. We were in the bed, our wet bodies tangling in the sheets as he drove his cock into my pussy. With one last thrust he sent me over the edge a last time as he came inside me.

He collapsed on the side and smiled to himself. I lay gasping, my body still shivering with sensation, twisting in the sheets moaning as my body continued to twitch in ecstasy. As my body calmed, Ares gave me a light kiss on the shoulder before his simply vanished. I looked around the empty room and curled tightly on my side.

I could not fight the overwhelming sense of loneliness that crashed around me, shattering the high I had been floating in. I tried to fight the single tear that escaped and rolled down my cheek as I drifted off into sleep.

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by PapaPalpatine08/08/17

Good.

You should be careful about switching between third and first person, as that can confuse some readers. But on the whole, a good story.

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