Sufferance Ch. 10byEtaski©
Author's Notes: This story is erotic fantasy written by Etaski. I reserve the right to be listed as the author of this story, wherever it is posted. If found posted anywhere except Literotica.com with this note attached, this story is posted without my permission. © Etaski 2012
The plot thickens, dear readers, as do the revelations in this long chapter. Thank you for staying with us this long. :)
"Here, Sirana, drink this."
"I have my own, Priestess, you remember. But thank you."
"As you wish, but I wouldn't want you to go through your own stores on my account."
"That's what they're there for, Priestess. I follow my training. That's all."
Wilslira pursed her lips slightly as I tipped the small vial at my lips and drained its contents, then she stared at me a few moments as if she was confused by something I'd done.
"Something wrong, Priestess?"
She shook her head. "No. Very well. Let me finish my preparations and I'll take the mage with me. I may be gone for several marks this time. After Kerse is satisfied, you must promise me you will rest while I'm away, Red Sister. I don't think I've seen you in reverie even once since we left the Sanctuary. I know they may have done some things to... alter you in the Sisterhood, but every sentient being must dream eventually."
I nodded. "Of course, Priestess."
I waited for her to leave me alone with her son for the first time since this began, but I already knew she tended to take a while to get ready.
I hadn't had an easy time of things since that mid-cycle cluster-fuck at House D'Verin. Now we had traveled and stayed over at the first inn and just arrived at House Peniel, the second destination.
I'd both done my normal guard duties and her son several more times, and she was correct, I was exhausted with my normal composure compressed into a stony version of myself. It had been over three cycles since I dreamt and I was running on stimulants from my pouch, and food and water that I collected myself.
This time would be my fifth with Kerse so far, but only the first one with which Wilsira seemed comfortable in leaving to attend her business and not have to watch the Draegloth and I couple. She had allowed me to take my own draughts—it seemed, although Shyntre had helped me switch them back at least once after my having been naked and unable to avoid taking my eyes off my equipment.
The wizard was acting as a second set of eyes for me. He had his reasons and they were entirely self-serving, as they should be or I wouldn't have accepted the help. Wilsira was a lot more crafty and subtle than I'd wanted to believe, given her various performances when I first met her.
I knew Kerse was helping her as well since he didn't sleep, but he was also more than a bit obvious about it—letting us see some of his actions—and he didn't tell her when I would do something to offset the Priestess's advantage; he would pretend he didn't see it.
The wizard had learned not to draw the Draegloth's or Priestess's attention, but instead to give me advice or suggestions and let me be the one to see it through.
Our little traveling group had worked out a bizarre, four-way equilibrium act, trying to find a lasting advantage for our own goals...whatever they happened to be. Looking back, I could see how it had come to be.
Immediately following that first, painful mounting at House D'Verin, I had watched over the Priestess during the family dining, glad I was not required to interact at all. Later I had been steadfast in declining to participate again that eve, though Wilsira had offered. I reminded her of the agreement: upon waking and mid-cycle was all that was required.
I had stayed just outside the door listening until it had gone very, very quiet, and I relaxed only slightly. My body was healed and strong again, the effects of the incense gone, but I hadn't felt much recovered from what the Priestess had done, or perhaps had not done.
I didn't necessarily know how many of my inclinations had been the result of my own ignorance and over-confidence, and how much may have been her. I only knew that now I had to come up with a series of actions that would build some kind of defense against my known weaknesses.
One of the major weaknesses was sleep. It would be a long while yet before the healing draught I'd just taken in the bathing room would allow sleep anyway, and truthfully, I had planned a reverie only once on this trip.
This was actually possible, given the stimulants D'Shea had provided for me, but those could be overridden with enough increased physical and mental stress...
...such as conflicting potions, aerosol drugs or charm spells, and barely-compliant, rigorous sex twice a day with a high risk of becoming pregnant, the resulting consequences of which I was vividly aware.
I had been only a year with the Sisterhood, but now with the potential of facing double that time with the Priesthood.
I did not want that. Denial, outrage, and resistance swept through my every nerve at the thought. It would be like being at the mercy of my blood sister again. I'd gotten over that, but I would not go through it again. I refused.
I still wasn't sure when or how I could rest and not risk losing my most important tools. This had led me to the other major weakness: lack of enough pregnancy prevention potions from a source that I could trust.
I had thought I had agreed to so many couplings because the information gained would be worth it, and because it was better than having to anticipate continuous and escalating attempts to force me to give her what she wanted. That may still hold true, but something had also convinced me—very briefly—that the Priestess would work with me to prevent pregnancy.
I had had no good reason for thinking that, or for accepting it. None. And it wasn't like me anyway—or, it wasn't like the trained Red Sister I was now. It was more like when I had still been a Noble, when I hadn't been concerned about catching a child at all, because I was too scarred on the inside to ever bear children.
Had Wilsirathon done some trick or spell to heighten that previous feeling, that lack of concern for that one part of the agreement? Trust her on it, to take care of it? Pah!
So I had stood outside that door, my mind running in circles as I realized in truth that I did not have enough resources and could not anticipate everything Wilsira might do, particularly if she was using sedatives and spells against me. I'd hated feeling so helpless. I always had.
I was in so much trouble, and I only had two preventative draughts on me. I had begun to consider the consequences of abandoning my assignment altogether....
Shyntre had cracked the door open then but hesitated, as I believe he was startled to see me there. After a moment he quietly let himself out anyway. I didn't smell any sex on him at all, but I poked him regardless.
*You need to bathe,* I had signed, making a "phew" motion in front of my nose.
He had smirked and signed back. *Where I was the whole time, as a matter of fact. I do not care for Draegloth sex.* Oddly, he watched me more thoughtfully and with far less hostility than usual. *Hate being drugged, do you?*
*Depends on the drug.* I smirked and presented the more familiar air of flippancy.
*And the situation,* he replied, not buying my act for one second.
I had shrugged, pulling my cloak forward and hiding my hands farther inside them. I signed deliberately at the level of my abdomen, *Obvious observation, mage. You want to talk, step much closer to me, and keep your hands close to your body like this."
He had weighed the offer for a few moments before looking both ways down the hall and stepping close enough that we could feel the heat of each other's skin. I looked down slightly in meeting his eyes; he was shorter than the Priestess and me.
The both of us had to look straight down to see our gestures and we would miss at lot of facial expressions doing it, but it was the trade for a little privacy out in that hall. It was also a risk; we were briefly trusting the other not to land a dagger in our belly being so close with hands expected to move quickly.
Why I had even given the mage the opportunity was a little hazy at the moment. Perhaps I had just needed some new thoughts, as my mind had been in turmoil all that time with precious few solutions.
*It is you she wants, is it not?* he asked.
*You become slow, wizard.*
He exhaled in irritation. *Oh? Why am I here, then?*
Again I shrugged. *I do not know. Because you were at my trial and I'd know you? Because you were a strong enough temptation to distract me and allow her to spring her trap?*
Yes, I could admit that mistake as well. If I had not attacked Shyntre, then—
He was still for a time, then signed slowly. *She does not know you sought after me in the Tower.*
That was interesting, but...
*Correction: you did not tell her. She may know regardless.*
*Fair enough,* he admitted.
*Assuming not that, however, what else?* I asked.
He hesitated, thinking.
*Tell me why you fear Kerse,* I signed, jumping on the thought. They were connected, I knew that much.
His customary scowl returned for a moment, but it didn't stay long. His mind was too busy distracting itself by working over some plan or offer.
The only thing of which I was sure regarding his place in all this was that he didn't want to be here and wasn't in close confidence with Wilsira about her plans for me. I decided I would hear him out. What had I to lose with him that was worse than the freedom I could lose to the Priestess?
*I will tell you, and give details that will interest you, if you return my pendant,* he replied, putting his hands down, one folded over the other. He waited.
Son of a dwarf.
*Well played,* I answered sardonically. I was tempted to add the name-calling at the end but decided against it. I'd never seen him this willing to share information, and wasn't that what I wanted from taking the stone in the first place? Not quite the information I'd thought I wanted, but...
I could only assume he felt he needed some information from me, too. Or some cooperation. In retrospect, we had needed to learn to talk beyond the biting insult and sarcasm, and we were both finally in a position to be willing to trade.
I'd reached up to remove the three bands in my hair and began loosening the plaited loops of my braids. Shyntre stared at me and his gaze flickered when my fingers finally touched the hard, smooth sapphire. I had to take extra moments to unravel the black thong I'd threaded through the setting from my hair as well. He reached for it and I held it away, slapping his hand.
*Not so obvious,* I jerked the gestures. *Talk first.*
He breathed out in frustration but returned his hands close to his abdomen and started signing.
*I fear Kerse because he tried to kill me once, long ago. I was still a child, but he looked the same. He has ever been neutral toward me because Wilsirathon took an interest in me, well before I was grown and taken to the Tower.*
I looked up from his hands to his face, my brows high on my forehead. His expression was guarded.
I had been right? He was a Sanctuary child?
I signed back, *You grew up on the third floor?*
He had been a little surprised that I'd be so precise, but he nodded. *Correct. I still answer summons, see her when she has need for my skills. I am no stranger to her tastes, but with you was the first time she ever allowed Kerse and me in her presence at the same time. It made no sense at first. I thought she finally meant to test me against him, until I saw how he was looking at you. He wants you more than he wants her, so I was no threat. He did not care that I was there, except when I stood too close to you. You heard him growl that one time.*
I could not think of a reply at first, not until Shyntre reached for the pendant again and I blocked him.
*I have told you why I fear Kerse and who I am, Red Sister,* he signed angrily. *That is what you wanted, admit it.*
*You told me where you grew up,* I signed back. *Wilsira is not your dam, so who is? Where do you come from? What does this stone mean?*
I saw his teeth gleam in the dark hallway as he bared them at me. *None of your twice-damned business! No importance to you! Give me my pendant, or the Priestess will have another helper trying to bind you to her!*
*You are planning to help her anyway!* I accused, hiding how hard that threat had struck home.
His hands flew across his abdomen, and I could hear how much faster his breathing had gotten in his anger. *No, Sister, I am not. The Priestess is making a mistake. A deliberate and *unwilling* pregnancy on a Red Sister? One thing if it is a servant or a commoner, or even a Noble, but she's foolish to try for one of the Sisterhood! I will not be witness again between your two orders. Best chance for both our survival: you must return with no passenger in your belly!*
I stared at him. *Witness 'again'?*
Shyntre looked like he regretted his outburst. He breathed out. *No. That story is not part of our agreement. Do you have prevention potions?*
*If you don't, I will get them for you!* he snapped, actually thumping himself in his own stomach with the force of his gestures.
*I have two,* I answered.
*You need eight. More, if possible.*
*How will you find time to make that many with no materials?*
*I never said I would make them,* he retorted.
*Your trust your source?*
*Why should I?*
*Because you would, too. Think about this House.*
I had only begun to ponder that, but not it seemed obvious. Who possibly had the most sex in the House but needed to control who became pregnant?
*The Consort's bedroom?*
The mage nodded. *Matron D'Verin cannot prevent all clandestine visits from her daughters, you realize. Best chance is she would give him all he needs and he convinces them it is his idea to keep it secret from her. No visible consequences, and they share the Consort.*
I couldn't fight a smile. *Clever Matron.*
Shyntre replied with a look of distaste. *She is not the only one who uses the method.*
*The Consort will tell Wilsira if you go to him.*
*He grew upon the third floor, too, right? They are placed as informants for the Priestesses, aren't they? Didn't she place him here herself just this past worship ball?*
Shyntre paused and it seemed like I'd thrown a metal rod in his wheel spokes with my questions. *I had forgotten. You may have to steal them.*
*I believe your stealth exceeds mine, Red Sister.*
*You can be invisible.*
*But wards are not my specialty. Sisters can bypass wards, I know.*
When I didn't reply, we had both looked up again, and this time we held each other's gaze. I searched his eyes and his face for signs of treachery.
"I will help you," he whispered so low I almost had to read his lips. He held his hand out expectantly. "You need me. Neither of us want to be trapped in this."
After another moment, I had placed the pendant back in his hand. I still didn't know what it meant to him, or what it was used for, but the trouble I was in had overshadowed that comparatively casual knowledge.
He was correct. I didn't *want* his help, but I needed it anyway.
Shyntre had held the sapphire tightly, assuring himself that he had it entirely in his possession and I wasn't about to try to snatch it back, then he looped it over his neck to wear it as a necklace again, tucking it on the inside of his robe.
I watched his every movement, my memory going back to the Duergar battle and Jael, where that gem had been struck by a psionic attack, bruising my chest exactly where it rested now on the wizard. If it was an imbued gem of sorts...I didn't know whether that had altered any feeling about it to the mage.
He had not look concerned, though, refocusing on me and making another gesture indicating he wanted to talk more. I signaled that I was willing, and we got back in close proximity.
*Any possibility you may have caught earlier?* he asked.
I had wanted to laugh; the very memory still made my ass ache. *No.*
Or wrong something.
*Yes,* I lied. *But very soon, it will be right. I would take no chances.*
I also wouldn't take the chance of letting the wizard in on what I knew of Kerse's behavior. Simply telling him that the Draegloth had disobeyed Wilsira and fucked my other hole would tell him a lot, just as it did me. The wizard was aggravatingly intelligent, despite his bitterness.
Later on, using his invisibility spell to his advantage in the kitchen, Shyntre had made sure the Consort received a dose of something with his pre-reverie tea to help him rest more deeply. I had managed both to cross the wards surrounding his room and search around within it without setting off more wards inside.
I did find a healthy stash of preventative draughts—the liquid even smelled the same as what I used—and I filched eight vials of the twenty. With my two, that made ten, and reasonably all I could carry on my person with any subtlety.
Yes, the Consort would notice how many were gone, but we would leave on the morrow and he wouldn't know who to tell in any regard. Not until it was far too late.
I had paused to watch the sleeping beauty before I left. The Consort had looked so perfect, resting in his bed. I indulged in a fantasy of being able to touch him as I liked while he slept, coax him, straddle him...perhaps even imagine Auslan in his place. Not more than a moment did I spend on that, however; I had to get back to my post. My window of opportunity was narrow enough.
It had proved a saving grace that Shyntre had insisted on the theft that very eve as most of the House slept. I had my own, Sisterhood-issued draughts in reserve for when I estimated my receptivity would be at its height—ironically, the day we would be at House Itlaun, just before the end of the journey—because I still trusted my own vials more than the Consort's. I'd swallowed one of my stolen vials a full mark of the candle before Wilsira was to receive her rising call, and made sure Kerse had seen me do it. He did not react.
As I had figured, the Priestess wanted to watch us couple before going to break her fast. She wanted to be sure Kerse was taken care of.
"Rest easy, Sirana, the spell on him from before is still in effect."
I acted about as lethargic as before when she lit the incense, though whatever Shyntre had done ahead of time...I noticed it didn't affect me quite as much. The Priestess's own immunity to it worked against her as, once again, Kerse brought nothing out of the ordinary to her attention. He behaved as dim and eager to rut as expected, and I was willing to straddle him and let the Priestess see quite clearly that her son was seated in the proper hole.
The wizard had stayed well out of Kerse's periphery as I experienced what it was like to have that swollen knot lodged inside my birth canal. It was definitely eye-widening. Kerse took advantage of my distraction and rolled us, putting me on bottom and holding me down as his lips curled back to reveal his teeth and he started spurting inside me.
Wilsira nearly shrieked in her glee, clapping her hands and cooing encouragement at him while I was rigid with tension and glared up at him as he shuddered over me repeatedly.
Well after the Draegloth was finished, not a drop of his semen came out until he was again small enough to pull back out, then it came out in a flood and coated my thighs and stained the blankets. It had been considerably more comfortable than the first time, I could admit, though the pressure was still very intense. At least I had been able to climax as well before the knot had seized and he'd rolled me.