A Harem Fantasy Ch. 10bymadam_noe©
We slept through to the late afternoon as was customary. When I awoke a strange thought caught me; Halfirth, my guide upon arrival, had said I would accompany the queen on trips. I did not relish her company but I wanted to explore beyond the palace walls. I wanted to see the world I was risking all to inherit, I wanted to know if the rumors were true, if civil war and strife ruled the lands with a tighter grip than the queen's.
Beside me Lucius slept, looking somewhat fierce. I studied him, the grim set of his jaw, the bunching of his sleek muscles, and it struck me; he did not bear the tattoos of a priest.
Unsure of what to make of that I went to the bathing portion of my chamber and drew a cool bath. I allowed myself to sink in, spread some of the perfumed soap, and relaxed leaning back against the edge and closing my eyes. I'd cleaned my teeth with a cloth and now chewed the fresh mint left by servants without fail, allowing the rhythm of my jaw to set a tempo for my heart to mimic.
"That looks good."
I opened my eyes to see luscious there, sleepy, somehow more innocent in wakefulness, his long, beautiful hair free and rumpled.
I nodded and he came to the edge, moved me, and slid in behind me, holding me to his magnificent chest. I closed my eyes again and sighed. No matter what else happened, this felt good.
"Why are you not marked as a priest?" I asked before my brain caught up to my mouth.
He kissed my temple and reached for a sponge, wetting it, and running it over my shoulders. "I have seen twenty seven years, thirteen of them in here. The queen did not allow me to be marked...she said that was her job."
There was a hollow, bitter note to his voice that said there was more to his story, and it carried a warning that I should not ask. To distract me, I realized, he brought his rough hand and the soft sponge down below the water, teasing my breasts.
I sighed but pushed it away. "No more this morning. I am replete, and can take no more."
He chuckled but turned the washing to less sensitive areas. "I seek to distract you."
"From what?" I finally turned to face him and had to resist the pull f those deep green eyes.
"From what lies ahead. The queen will try that again, try to tempt you into doing something forbidden. Soon enough she will wise up and realize it is not Marxim who would tempt you so, but your teacher."
I gasped and jerked away, rising from the water to peer down at him. "It was you that day who spied on us!"
His eyes scanned my body with a tinge of lust but he shook his shoulders as if shrugging it off. "I begrudge you no lovers, my sweet, but I would not have you be so careless with your life."
I felt strangely violated. Was I to have no privacy, nothing of myself?
I stepped out and grabbed a soft towel made of fine cotton from the southern lands. Wrapping myself tight I faced the polished mirror and saw a very bedraggled, wet innocent young woman peer back with growing ghosts in her eyes.
Power plays were not me. Pain and pleasure blending were not me. Dear gods, the queen was succeeding. At first I would come to expect the unexpected, close myself off, guard against it. Then I would sample the lighter side of her dark pleasures.
The dizzying realization came with another. Was Antal in her own way preparing me for rule, albeit rule as she saw was fit?
"What is it, Virtal?"
Lucius was behind me, dripping soapy water all over the marble floor. I shrugged him off. "I need to be alone, really alone."
I stepped through to my room and grabbed his trousers, holding them out. With a hooded gaze he took them, slipped them on, and left without a word.
Alone, as it turned out, was a word no one in the harem would ever know.
I found myself back at the pool. There had been lower members of the harem but at my appearance they fled. The reminder of power and status should have offered comfort, instead a stab of loneliness washed over me.
I swam in long laps around the towering columns that supported the ceiling, alone with my thoughts. After an eternity I heard the splash of a diver in the deep end and I brought up short, treading water.
My heart stuttered for if it was Cassipe I would be loved, even if in a strange way, but loved for who I was and not what. The fear that that was what lay between Lucius and I was growing with every moment.
I saw a dark shape swim closer and closer, stalking like some watery beast, and then he popped up, spitting water like a more gentle sea creature.
He grinned at me, his teeth even and white against his dark face and inky hair. "I apologize if I am intruding, I know you might have wanted to be alone with your thoughts. I too, and this is where I come to think."
Of all the men of the top tier I had spent the least amount of time with him. Tonight I would have to take him to bed or go to the next tier down, with men I did not know. Or take another woman to my bed.
Damn the rules, I did not want anyone.
"If I may distract you, how about a race?"
Markal was smiling at me, more usually an expression Uloga wore, but the water seemed to make him playful. Before I could agree he was off. I surged after him but did not catch up. At the shallow end he merely touched the edge and shot off it, pushing with his feet.
I Flipped as I'd been taught and did the same, but he still was several feet in front of me in the deep end, waiting with a smile.
"You're part fish!" I splashed him and he splashed back.
"I grew up in the water as much as on land. I feel at home here, it's the closest I have to home, aside from...the jungle."
Both of our minds flashed to the dark happenings there, and together we shook it off. "How long have you been here?" I asked at last.
"I'm the most recent acquisition, aside from you. I beat you by just two months."
"Will I get used to the games?"
He reached out and cupped my cheek, the most tenderness he'd shown me aside from a refusal to fight me. "By the goddess I hope not."
He kissed me then, a hungry kiss. I responded because what I felt was mutual need. We were two lost souls in a stolen moment, flimsy anchors for one another. All we did was cling to each other and kiss, finding comfort, struggling to stay above the water line.
No hands roamed anywhere, and though arousal began a slow burn we did not press closer.
It was a gift Markal gave me that evening. Innocence, in the only way I could find it in the harem. A childlike race, a relatively chaste kiss. When we broke we looked at each other with sad eyes.
"Soon," was all I could think to say.
He smiled and climbed out, showing a magnificent ass as he went. I knew from his look he thought I'd meant we lay together soon, but I had meant he'd be free.
Soon, I was going to have to kill the queen.
That night we greeted the moons again. I stroked Marxim to hardness and tried to ignore the pleading and ecstatic look in his eyes, and ignore the supplication of Lucius' hands on Antal's body.
I did sneak a glance at him and his eyes were hard. I could almost read his mind, and he was thinking: don't fight me on this. Those had been his last words before the ceremony.
Again Antal tortured Marxim, again the moon crested, and again I was to heal the queen's consort. Lucius adamantly advised we follow the traditional path, through sex raise the magic to heal Marxim, and hope the queen would somehow forget I did not need the sex to do so.
It was worth a shot though I did not think it would work. It was more that I felt distant from Lucius, and the sex act might give the queen dark ideas I did not want to contemplate.
I submitted in the end, and as the top tiers and the queen's stock watched, Lucius stood behind me, using his fingers to stimulate me through my robes. My body responded but the spirit did not move. Something had changed inside me, and more and more I was realizing I had to make my own way.
For the first time in my life I deliberately practiced deception. I allowed Lucius to take my body, but the spirits of the gods did not spark between us. I used my own power to heal Marxim.
When it was over he lay gasping, hope on his face. I held onto that, saw it reflected in the eyes of the few I could call friends, and did my best to avoid the questioning gazes of the queen, my consort, and my teacher.
I chose that night, by the Queen's orders, someone from the tier below. Actually, two someones. I chose the dark priest with the ebony skin and the wild hair, kinked into strings that fascinated me. From the women I chose a knight from my own lands, tall and pale, her hair long and dark like mink.
Power seemed to come naturally; I ordered, they obeyed. I asked for a show, and demanded they tell everyone and anyone who asked that I participated. To keep it from being a lie I kissed them both when we came to my rooms.
She was soft for all her years of training and tasted of cooked plums and precious chocolate. He was rough, but his lips were soft and quite large. I liked kissing him but that was not the point of the evening's exercise.
I sat on the chair for my desk and made them strip one another, slowly. First he pulled her clothes free, and she moved like a trained warrior, with strength and grace. He pulled her tunic up over her head and she shimmied from it like a dancer.
His hands skimmed her lithe curves, so black against her whiteness, it was a living picture. Then he slowly, painstakingly unlaced the strings holding her trousers up. Those he slid off, kneeling down, kissing the center of her chest as he went.
I caught a whiff then, a scent of love between them. I knew somehow they did not mind being watched, they considered it a great honor to perform for the future queen. Still I felt somewhat dirty for watching something so pure, but it did not diminish my need for the charade, or the desire I felt in doing so.
He caressed every inch of bared skin, worshipping her as only a man in love could do; without selfish thought, without necessarily the drive to please her, but only the need to live in the moment and draw from it all he could.
This aroused me greatly and a sharp pang of jealousy hit me. I wanted that, if I admitted it to myself. I was forced to give me body to so many and even my heart was torn between two men; Cassipe the teacher that had held back so much and would never make a good consort, and Lucius who was the perfect scheming consort and gave only what he thought helped him most.
"Now remove his clothes."
She moved with far more sensual passion, her mouth following the hands that skimmed his carved muscles. When she removed his trousers he was erect, huge, pulsing with the weight of his heartbeat. I saw how much he wanted to touch her, but he held back, awaiting my command, clenching his large fists.
"Lick his cock, slowly." My voice was deep husky, and the words coming from them just two weeks earlier would have been foreign and shocking. Now they came naturally, such had been my education in the queen's harem.
She did and again the contrast of their skin struck me, framed so perfectly by the honeyed gold of the walls. She moved her head back and forth slowly, one hand proceeding her mouth, the other cupping his hefty sac.
He could not control his hands and they dug into her glorious dark hair. He was a biddable man, however, and did not try to force her to move faster or take him any deeper. She did increase her speed of her own accord and I waited until he was close before barking out the command that halted them.
I knew by now the arousal process for men and women was vastly different. Women required long, dedicated stimulation, men needed quick fits of it or could stop and start time and again.
With that in mind I ordered him to lay her on the bed on her back, and he knelt on the soft rug, pulling her legs over his shoulders. He was well trained and needed little guidance from me other than "allow her all the peaks she can handle."
I sipped a dark brew and toyed with some jewelry left hanging from the mirror by the desk as I watched. My mood was dark and I felt far aged beyond my years, and very deadly. Before, being a knight was something of status, but I knew from my sparring I was quite deadly. Being a Priestess was symbolic in my home, but here I called the moons, I channeled the Goddess and did what the Queen, the High Priestess herself, could not do.
As he brought his lover to crest after crest of pleasure I mused on these things. It was time to stop acting like the frightened little girl who knew nothing, and start taking the power that was mine by right.
With that settled I mechanically sat back and allowed my arousal to grow. When she was limp and shivering then, and only then, did I command he take her. I wanted to watch so I had him sit on the bed, facing me, and she straddling him, also facing me.
I washed his large black cock sink into her, glistening with wetness, making her mewl with broken pleas. At long last, after long tortures of teasing, I ordered him to rub her and release, and they reached the pinnacle together with a ragged shout that seemed to echo off the walls of the harem, strangely silent around us.
I rang for a servant as they collapsed and the one who came was attentive. I ordered a tray of wine and cheeses to nibble on, a large litter and stout men to carry the lovers back to their rooms, and ordered my consort be brought to me at once, armed with a candle, a standing bowl, and oil.
When all these things arrived in seconds I thought it was good to be almost a queen. When I thought of what I would make Lucius do, I new it would be even better once I was queen.
I could feel the tension in Lucius and was glad for it. I wanted to control him, see how far I could push him. He'd pulled my strings nicely, I wondered if I could do the same. His hands smoothed the warmed oil over my skin and I closed my eyes as he massaged me and part of me warned I would never master this man.
"You did not take them," he finally asked as he finished releasing tension from my back and moved to my legs. He was gloriously naked, framed in torchlight and the glow from the small candle warming the oil in the stand-raised bowl.
I knew he meant the young lovers I'd sent from my room, but I merely murmured as his hands found my feet. I had heard from the other women of the harem that this was a common duty to request from our male counterparts but I had never been massaged. I was discovering I quite liked it, but it did absolutely nothing to quell the arousal sparked earlier.
His hands lingered there drawing moans that I knew sounded like purrs from my throat. At long last he moved up to take a calf and I sighed. "You're very talented at this."
"I'm experienced. This was the service most often requested by the old queen. In my training and preparation for the harem I was instructed fully."
We did not speak again until he was working on my thighs, and his hands drew close to the hottest, wettest part of me. The urge to give in and demand he pleasure me was strong. I had had to concentrate on my breathing meditatively and bite my lip, but I resisted.
I opened my eyes to see a shadow of doubt in his, but he chased it with a smile. I merely turned over on the leather hide put down to protect my bed from the oil. I felt warm and languorous, simply decadent. "Keep going,' I murmured and closed my eyes so I wouldn't have to stare at his muscles flex and bunch as he worked.
Antal pushed her men's limits and displayed her power with pain and mutilation. I would do the same with worship and denial. I had been raised in many ways by Cassipe for this, lessons learned I never fully appreciated. Now I did; he had been teaching me to rule. I needed to know the harem was with me. The queen had no council, no advisors, only the harem and her absolute power. It meant I needed this men and women to support me fully.
I needed to know Lucius was mine, and not a creature purely of his own ambitions. Uloga and Markal I knew were mine to command, the blonde twins would be on my side, and the lower tiers who had all too often sampled Antal's dark tortures.
I needed Lucius and Marxim. I needed to know their loyalty outweighed their fear of Antal, outweighed their desire for personal gain.
There was a part of me screaming at the rest of my mind that I wanted to know if Lucius loved me truly as he professed. I could not say I loved him, not yet, but my pride seemed to hinge on it.
He was so careful to massage my arms, my shoulders, my stomach, my legs. So slow, methodical, avoiding sensitive areas, but all it did was raise my arousal to a new level. Higher and higher into a realm I had never imagined, until finally I caved slightly.
"Massage my breasts."
He made a sound like a half-groan and moved back up. I felt his hard erection press into my arm and it took every ounce of self control I had not to stroke it with a firm grip.
Then I felt his hands on my breasts and the air left my lungs. I saw the goddess when my eyes fluttered closed, a sad expression on her beautiful, infinite face, and then I saw the god, and strangely it was he who wore patient understanding.
I had to hold out. I had to see him cave to passion before I did. If he failed, if he followed orders perfectly then I had to have him know I cared nothing for this beyond mechanical and power reasons.
When he went from massaging to whispered the backs of his fingers rapidly across my aching nipples I almost peaked then and there. I recited every incantation of health a priestess knew and managed to hold off, but when I opened my eyes he was smiling.
Damn it! He was older, he'd been here longer, he knew this was a game!
I was determined now to see him bowed low before me. "Worship my breasts, use your mouth." My voice came out gravelly, but he obeyed quickly.
It was a mistake; his mouth was something beautiful to feel, magical to know. My arousal pushed higher to a point of madness and all I could hear was the blood in my ears pumped away. Without my ordering it a hand of his found its way between my legs and he sank two fingers in, making me bow off the bed.
Another finger took advantage of the slippery wetness of my own juices and the oil and slipped into my nether hole. I cried out again and when he moved his hand in times to the suckling of a nipple I broke and screamed my release.
Before my mind could process he sat on the bed and dragged my legs over his. "Open your eyes, Virtal."
I did, ashamed there were tears there.
Satisfied, he took more warm oil and coated his cock. Watching him stroke himself I was mesmerized, and then he was pushing into that nether hole, still the only men to ever do so.
When he was seated I cried out, still feeling tension, and even he grunted. The message was clear; Lucius was not a man to be controlled.
He began to move and the curious dark pleasure swirled in my mind. He built rapidly and moved a hand down to feather over my nubbin. The crest took me by surprise and I gave another hoarse shout and he grunted in victory, spilling inside of me.
When it was over we fell from each other, panting heaps. A dark corner of my mind enjoyed this, that he would never submit fully, but the part of me that was destined to rule worried. A single ruler had always been the way, there was no room for two.
A consort was not set in stone. I could kill the queen, take her place, and take Marxim as my consort. Given my extremely young age his previous establishment in the position might be advantageous.
I propped myself up on my elbows and look at Lucius, smiling and replete.
Why did the thought of casting him out sadden me so?
"You may sleep in your own rooms tonight," I said, rising to wash.