Tora Pt. 04byOld.Lady.Sofia©
It was midmorning. The Tora's Master padded quickly through the maze of alleys of the Yoshiwara to Sayoko's house. His bulk filled the narrow paths and he gasped for breath. One of Sayoko's maids had sent an urgent message begging him to come. He sighed, patting his large cheeks with a cotton handkerchief. He was fond of Sayoko, as much for her wit as for the fact that she filled the coffers of the Tora. Of course, he thought crossly, she partly owns it, so why shouldn't she? He felt a mixture of affection and irritation. How can someone, he thought, be so arrogant and engaging, so self-absorbed and charming, so irrational and brilliant at the same time? But he was not about to question one who was not only an excellent business partner but also a political adviser of the Shogun.
The weather was warming and the cherry blossoms were glorious. The whole of Edo—merchant and farmer, warrior and aristocrat—was sitting beneath the pink and white petals, reciting poetry and singing bawdy songs, eating rice and pickles from lacquered lunch boxes, and, of course, drinking a great deal of saké. Except me, he thought. No. I have to attend to a ranting woman who has kept Da Ka waiting for over an hour! Da Ka, who arrived at the Tora with a gift for her! Probably a kimono worth the rice harvest of a village. Why can't women be more like men?
Sayoko's tiny, young maid was waiting anxiously outside the gate of the modest house. She led the Tora's Master into the sitting room where he plumped down on a cushion. He noted that nothing in Sayoko's house—the scrolls of poetry, the Chinese paintings, the shelves of books—suggested that a woman lived there. For one who loves baubles and clothes so much, he thought, her taste in everything else is strangely masculine. He sipped the green tea the maid placed before him.
Sayoko did not appear. He went out into the hallway, cautiously approached the door of her pillow room, and coughed.
"Go away!" Sayoko screamed.
He slid the door open and peered into the dimness. A teacup smashed against the wall beside his head. Sayoko threw herself face down on the tatami. Her black under-kimono had come undone. Her freshly washed hair was disheveled and she snipped the ends with a pair of tiny scissors.
"I will enter the nunnery! Shave my head! Take leave of the vanity of this world!" she sobbed, then blew her nose.
He knelt by the doorway, glad that her patrons could not see her now. The closest she had come to being a Buddhist nun was to dress up as one for the Abbot, a regular patron of the Tora, whose visits were incognito and whose tastes were exotic.
The Tora's Master laughed too heartily. "What a waste that would be," he chuckled. "Now, get dressed. The general has been waiting for you, and he says he has brought you a gift."
"What would I do with another kimono?" she shouted, pounding the tatami with her small fists. "We are all going to die anyway!" Her body heaved with sobs.
The maid interrupted them, her face pale. "General Da Ka is here," she announced. Sayoko seemed not to hear, but the Tora's Master was dismayed by this major breach of protocol. A patron should not have to fetch a courtesan.
DaKar had found his way thanks to a small army of boisterous children who had brought him to Sayoko's gate and run off after inspecting the black tarns on his light-gray uniform. He was struck by the severity of the sitting room, which opened to an austere rock garden, and wondered if he had come to the home of a scholarly samurai rather than a successful courtesan.
The Tora's Master greeted DaKar and put his forehead tightly to the tatami. "Sayoko was not feeling well earlier, but she will be ready soon," he said.
"Is she is ill?" DaKar asked. "Perhaps I should examine her." Before the Tora's Master could stop him, he was on his feet and in the hallway. He heard Sayoko blowing her nose and slid open the door to her pillow room. He was appalled by the sight of the unkempt courtesan and broken teacup. His physician's eye could tell that nothing serious ailed her, but he was amazed that her histrionics were tolerated by the Tora's Master and wondered if the Shogun put up with them. But then, he thought, she would not dare lose control in front of the Shogun. Well, she must learn that she dare not lose control in front of me.
He slid the door shut behind him. Sayoko stopped crying and sat up, her translucent black under-kimono barely covering her small breasts. The fine silk fell off a smooth shoulder, and the skirt parted, revealing a thigh. Her hair lay in damp strands across her face and shoulders. She stared at him sullenly.
"Greetings, girl," he said pleasantly. She said nothing. Irritation grew behind his placid façade, and his jaw hardened. There is something to be said, he thought, about the certainties of Gor.
Silk was strewn about the dim room. At least here, he thought, there is some evidence of femininity. But when he realized that the rainbow-colored chaos was the aftermath of a tantrum, he sighed, unimpressed by her Edo training, which had obviously concentrated only on her intellect. He gathered sash cords, snapping them taut. He tied them together, forming a long rope and a short one, and then tested their strength. Sayoko winced and began to crawl to the door.
He reached out with a long arm, ran his fingers through her hair, and pulled her head back sharply. She gazed into his hard, amused eyes, and the pain kept her still. He bound her wrists in front of her with the short rope, pulled her roughly to her feet, and threw the rope over a beam. Now she rested on her toes, her arms taut. He ripped the shoulders of her robe and the silk slid down her skin. Her hair swaying against the curve of her back, her straining thighs, her suppressed cries, her face furrowed with pain—all inflamed him, and he controlled a desire to cut her down and take her roughly, swiftly on the floor.
He wound the longer rope around her waist twice, knotted it, and brought it between her thighs. He placed the rope between the inner lips and against her clitoris. The rope was soft, but against her most sensitive skin its touch was rough and unrelenting. Unexpected pleasure streaked through her loins, and her hips pushed uncontrollably. Her throat held her moans. How dare he! she thought furiously.
The rope heightened her skin's softness. He wove three diamonds in a row, from the mound to below the breasts. They were now more exposed than if merely naked, for the rope wound around them, cradling and offering them. He looped the rope around her neck and back to keep the harsh, elegant structure in place.
From his sleeve he took a silver chain with jade insect-like clamps on both ends. She stared up at him, frightened and angry. He gazed at her with a mixture of benevolence and menace and rolled her nipples between fingers and thumb, rubbing the surface, smiling when she closed her eyes and pressed her thighs tightly together. When he attached the clamps to the skin around the pebble-like nipples, he waited for her cry, and it spilled from her throat, filling him with a sharp joy. He pushed his fingers through her hair near her neck and pulled her head back, forced her mouth open, and kissed it long and roughly. Then he stood back, his sex hard.
DaKar courteously informed the Tora's Master that Sayoko's condition would be cured with a few herbs and that she could be treated at home. Relieved and eager to return to his drinking party, the Tora's Master took his leave.
Sayoko's skin was moist and flushed. DaKar circled her and traced her soft mouth with a finger. He cradled the back of her head in a strong hand and forced her mouth open with two fingers, invading it as a man's sex might. The fingers then followed the rope's path to her neck and breasts. "Let me go," she hissed. His fingers reached the rope between her thighs and she shook her head violently. The rope was damp. He tugged it upward and she moaned and bit her lip. The edges of the pain from the clamps blurred, sending a terrible pleasure to her heat.
From his sash he took a small, new riding crop. "This was to have been given to you later, but we can test it now," he said, bringing it smartly against his palm. She flinched. He placed a scarf across her eyes. "No!" she whispered. In the silken darkness, she felt the rough, hard leather, a caress that a flick of a wrist could easily turn into pain. But the expected lashes did not come. Just the braided leather awakening her skin, subduing her as surely as a flogging. A long moan escaped her and a spasm wet the rope between her thighs.
As the crop traveled the arcs of her spine and ass, he surveyed the room and saw what he needed. On top of the black-lacquered chest of drawers was a small carved ivory ball with a hole bored through it. He threaded it with a slim cord and, anticipating her violent protest, held her firmly by the hair as he secured the ball between her lips. He tied the cord around her head. She tried to scream but could only mew.
The crop crept down her inner thighs, between her buttocks, across her tortured breasts. Blind, she could not anticipate the crop's trail; silenced, she could not beg him to stop. He stroked her soles and heard her muffled moans.
The crop landed hard on her ass, but her scream, blocked by the ivory ball, turned back on itself. The crop lashed her again and again, and the unreleased screams sounded like a long moan of pleasure. Her welted body began to move with the crop's strokes, as if absorbing the force and pain and turning them into rapture. Her protests, the twisting, the straining, all were erotic in their futility.
Sayoko floated in clouds of pleasure slashed by lightning bolts of pain. He showed her that he could turn her body against her, that he could ally himself with it to force her to do what her mind rejected, and that he could do it without touching her with his hands.
The wave began to build in her groin, hot and strong. She no longer felt a mixture of pain and pleasure, but rather pain that was pleasure, that forced her hips forward, as if she were meeting a man's thrusts, that wrenched moans from her throat. The wave crushed her. The ivory ball turned her cries inward, and they twisted her body. Her tremors were deep and inexorable.
DaKar cut her down. He ripped off the blindfold and unfastened the ball. He towered over her moist, heaving, gasping body, leisurely stripping off his gray uniform. He knelt and forced her mouth apart with his hardness, holding her head firmly. Her tongue was worshipful and her hips rolled as she moaned around the shaft.
He stroked her thighs with his dagger and cut through the soaked rope. Her lips were dark and slippery, drooping around the tiny, pink mouth. He drew the dagger's dull edge between the lips and across the crushed, swollen clitoris, up and down, slowly. She shook her head, moaning, lifting her body to the cold metal. He unfastened the clamps and waited for her sobs when the blood rushed back into the bruise, and when the cry came, liquid fire streaked through his shaft. Her moans invited violence, and he forced her thighs apart, hooking his arms behind her knees.
He pierced her roughly, groaning as her heat clasped him, as she moaned in his ear. The rope harness lost its shape under his assault. His fierceness flooded her body. He raised himself on his hands, watching her face intently, and she saw his cruel, warm eyes, his powerful shoulders and arms, his groin crushing hers, and the large shaft forcing through her flesh. She trembled and her cries were guttural. The knowledge that she could not stop him, that her body welcomed the violence, sent his desire surging into her. He groaned deeply as her folds gripped and released him over and over. "Master," she whispered. "Master."
Later, he instructed her to wear a riding outfit, for he wished to view the cherry blossoms in tranquility outside Edo. In blue cotton trousers and tunic, her hair tied back tightly, Sayoko looked like a handsome, young squire. Before they set off for the Tora, he tucked the crop he had used on her into her sash and slipped onto her hand a glove of thick leather that reached up to her elbow. He whistled and a falcon flew from the tree in front of her house and alit on her leather-clad arm. Sayoko cried out in delight, and all the way to the Tora admired the bird's deadly yellow eyes and metallic beak. So this, she thought happily, is his gift. How wonderful! How chic!
As they neared the Tora's stables, she feared that they might not be riding horses after all. When a groom led a tarn into the courtyard, Sayoko shrank, ashamed of her fear. The tarn was smaller than DaKar's, and its feathers were a lighter bronze. "A female," DaKar smiled down at Sayoko. "Yours."
Sayoko blanched, but DaKar lifted her onto the beast and mounted it himself, settling comfortably behind her, giving her the reins and guiding her. When the tarn rose into the spring sky the falcon followed, never leaving Sayoko's side. The swift ascent made her stomach turn, but then they soared above the riverbanks where people moved about like dolls, and circled the majestic Castle. Rice fields and farmhouses looked like toys, and the cherry blossoms spread beneath them like pink snow. She nestled against DaKar, enveloped in his warmth, learning to guide the beast, and she laughed with delight.
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