The Last Tritan Ch. 06byWaterBurn©
I awoke to the sound of deep, masculine laughter, and groggily tried to open my eyes. My head was pounding from the mental exercise Sasha had put me through, and my entire body was leaden, as if I'd been running for hours. But I needed an advantage to level the playing field, if I had any hopes of fighting the captain. If physical exhaustion was the price to pay for a mental shield, I wouldn't hesitate to pay it again.
While the notion of being his equal was absurd while chained to his bed, I couldn't help being optimistic. I had a plan, a course of action, and was secure in the knowledge that Asher couldn't truly take away my freedom. He couldn't prevent my scheming, and certainly didn't control my thoughts—I was my own island, as I had been for years.
Sleeping with my wrists restricted by the padded handcuffs had been nearly impossible, and I had tried to twist into a comfortable position during the night. I'd ended up in the fetal position with my arms folded neatly across my throat, and the naked skin of my back pressed firmly against the headboard. One end of a pillow was held hostage between my legs, while my cheek rested on the other, pinched between my elbows. Probably not optimal sleeping conditions, and yet I was more comfortable than I could remember being—I'd spent the last five years living in a tree, after all.
Sleep was slow to leave me, and it took a moment to realize I was staring into Asher's dark eyes, his face inches from my own. I yelped and gave a feeble twitch, which was the only movement I was capable of in my twisted state.
"I've never seen anyone sleep quite like that," he said, eyeing my modest cleavage still concealed by my black dress. I glared at him, too shaken by his proximity to come up with anything witty. Asher rolled over and rose completely nude, strutting toward his ensuite restroom, leaving me to the task of untangling my limbs.
By the time he'd returned, I was sitting upright—though still restrained. I watched him warily as he stretched with the grace of a cat, his sleek muscles moving hypnotically under bronzed skin. My frown deepened, I refused to be distracted by his physical beauty, determined to see nothing but the monster waiting beneath the surface.
"You'd be much prettier if you smiled, Mila."
"I've got nothing to be happy about."
He rolled his eyes, and took a few steps toward me. "Maybe if you weren't so fucking difficult all the time -"
"Don't you have somewhere to be? Like work? Oh that's right..."
Shrugging, he said, "It's OK. Gives me plenty of time to teach my stubborn little slave her place."
"No," I said shifting backward, shaking my head. "I've got to train."
"Oh? And who, might I inquire, told you this?" He asked. I scowled at him, hoping he wouldn't prevent me from visiting Sasha. "We're going to spend the day together pet." I had my answer.
"Fantastic. Would you mind putting your clothes on?" I tugged at my restraints, trying to put more distance between us.
"Am I making you uncomfortable Mila?" He asked, and gripped his thickening manhood, a surge of arousal sweeping through the room. Too late, I remembered to raise my mental shield, but his presence was completely overwhelming and prevented me from attaining a 'neutral state of mind'. He knelt on the bed, moving toward me with a predatory glint in his eyes. The morning was rapidly shaping up to be an exact replica of its predecessor, and I knew if things continued to escalate, I would be completely at his mercy. He moved to touch me, and panic immediately clawed at my heart.
"Get away from me."
"I thought you'd like to use the facilities, pet. But if you'd rather stay chained to the bed all day, I certainly don't mind. My mistake," he added with a slow smile, and turned away.
"Wait, damn you," I said, knowing he'd manipulated me into asking for help, and hating him for it. "Get these handcuffs off me."
He stepped into a pair of slacks he'd found on the floor, buttoning them around his lean hips. "That's not exactly the response I was looking for."
"Would you rather I pee all over your bed?" I asked, knowing my ability to deal with him was seriously compromised this early in the morning.
He smiled, and moved to my side, foregoing the effort to find a shirt. "You're impossible Mila." And before I could react, he pulled my legs out from beneath me, and draped his body along my length, completely overwhelming my senses with his presence. He chuckled when I began to fight him, and I felt his mirth rumble through my chest. "That's it pet. Struggle," he whispered, tangling his fingers in my hair, and I knew he was enjoying tormenting me.
I reacted instinctively, as I had when Carina attacked me the night before. I let my senses flare out around me and got a quick read on the captain. His emotions washed over me, baffling in their complexity, but in the heat of the moment I didn't stop to analyse every aspect of his psyche. I simply magnified all of it.
His pupils dilated rapidly, but I continued to push, satisfied only when I heard his breathing hitch. However, in the next moment the turmoil I'd caused within him reflected back toward me. I felt everything I was forcing on him, as confusion quickly developed into a debilitating uncertainty, fear evolved into blind terror, guilt turned into a crushing sense of remorse. And finally, mild arousal blossomed into full blown lust, and I knew I'd made another, possibly disastrous mistake.
My power had given me unrestricted access to his emotions, with no way to filter anything out. Not an ideal situation, given my attempt to cripple him emotionally. The only way to free myself, was to release him from my power.
His head dipped, coming to rest on my chest as he took a deep, steadying breath. "So this is what Sasha's been teaching you? How to tamper with my emotions?"
If I weren't having such a hard time breathing, the sound of his voice shaking would have made me happy. "Sasha had nothing to do with it," I snapped, trying to force my heart to beat at a normal rate.
"So that was all you, huh?" He asked, wiping sweat from his brow. I smiled, deciding not to answer. "I'll admit it's an interesting little party trick Mila," he drawled, and pressed the burning length of his manhood into my stomach. "But I think it's backfired. Wouldn't you agree?" Rather than answer him, I turned my face away, desperately trying to raise my shield.
He slipped his hand under my lower back and pulled my hips into him, grinding the evidence of his arousal into my thigh. I took a breath and tried with all my strength to buck him off me. He grinned, moving to loosen the ties of my simple dress and exposing my chest to the brisk morning air.
"I'm a soldier, Mila. Fear and confusion are my bread and butter. It's going to take more than that to distract me darling." He kissed my collar bone as his hand slipped under the hemline of my dress, forcibly gripping the soft skin of my bottom. "But I have to say, this sexual tension you've created is an interesting twist. I'm a fan."
"This isn't me-" I gasped as he sucked a nipple into his mouth, biting the sensitive nub gently. "Please don't do this," I said, and tried to calm myself enough to focus on the neutral state within me.
A soft knock at the door distracted me before I could push hard enough, and I heard the soft click of the captain releasing me from my restraints. He rolled off the bed and pulled on a rumpled white shirt—likely the one he'd been wearing the previous evening. I took the opportunity to gather my wits, and covered my exposed chest.
Without checking to see if I was decent, he opened the door. "Beau, come on in."
She carried a tray laden with food, which she deposited on the captain's small desk before giving him a slight curtsy. "Is there anything else I can do for you sir?" I couldn't help but notice the way her eyes remained fixed on the floor, and guessed I was the reason for her modified behavior.
The captain pushed some papers aside, and sat behind his desk. "No, I think that's everything for now." Beau bowed her head, and retreated without so much as a glance in my direction. "Hungry pet?"
I watched him warily, waiting until Beau closed the door before responding, unsure if his question came with strings attached. "I'm always hungry."
"Would you like to join me for breakfast?"
I hesitated. Finding myself in the care of a man who used food as a bargaining chip, had put me in a fairly uncomfortable position. Regardless of my personal feelings toward him, or any wrongs he'd committed against me, my restrictive diet demanded I eat as often as possible. Never one to turn down food, I bit back a rude retort, and walked toward him cautiously.
The platter was littered with beautifully cooked eggs, bacon, sausage, fried mashed potatoes, and fruit and vegetables of every type and color. My stomach rumbled loudly in anticipation, and he laughed around a mouthful of meat.
"Go ahead, Mila. I'm not going to bite," he said, bringing another forkful of food to his mouth. I rolled my eyes—stubbornly determined not to rise to the bait—and sank into the seat across from him.
Excluding my lunch with Sasha the day before, it had been years since I'd had access to anything but the forest's bounty, and I allowed myself a moment to enjoy every delicious mouthful. However, I wasn't interested in prolonging this impromptu sit down with the captain, and ate with reckless abandon, barely taking the time to chew before swallowing.
It wasn't long before my side of the tray was empty, save the rinds and peels of my victims. I hiccupped, unable to remember a time I had been so full, and leaned back in my chair, satisfied for the moment.
"Good lord, that was impressive Mila," the captain said with a chuckle, leaving a rather large portion of his food uneaten.
"I've never seen a woman eat with such," he paused to stroke the day-old stubble on his chin. "Enthusiasm. And you're such a little thing."
I shrugged, clearly missing his point. "I like food."
"Yes, I can see that."
"I don't understand why we're talking about this," I said, rubbing my distended upper belly.
He studied me for a moment, a contemplative look in his eyes. "No, I don't suppose you would," he said. I frowned, and was about to ask what he meant, when he shuddered in disgust and said, "I can smell myself. Come along pet. It's time for a bath."
I glared at him, annoyed by his arrogance for the umpteenth time, and headed toward the restroom. He was kind enough to allow me to relieve myself before herding me out the door.
The captain walked down the street and I following a few steps behind him, as a good slave should. I tried my best to ignore the curious stares of the men and women we passed, but having gone so long without most human contact, their questioning looks made my skin crawl.
I suppose I couldn't blame them. Since my arrival here, I'd gone from 'just another pleasure slave', to 'hidden Priestess of remarkable strength', to 'defective materials', and most recently, 'the reason Captain Rawlings lost his job'. Knowing this didn't stop me from grinding my teeth as their whispers grew in volume. Similarly ignoring the curious stares of his countrymen, the captain was looking a little worse for wear. His clothes were a far cry from his usual crisp attire, and he squinted his bloodshot eyes against the bright morning light.
He opened the door to the bath house, and staggered. His skin took on a pale and waxy appearance, and I guessed the onslaught of hot, humid air was the perfect way to amplify the symptoms of a hangover. I grinned, hoping he would disgrace himself by vomiting on the marble tiles.
Unfortunately, he continued walking, ignoring the nausea I could feel rolling off him. I shrugged, disappointed, and began heading in the direction of the large public bathing pool I'd used every time I'd been forced to come here.
The captain laid a restraining hand on my shoulder. "Where are you going?"
Due to our presence in the bathhouse, I found his question rather dense. "Where do you think?"
"I don't bathe with the slaves, Mila. We're going to the Elite's bathing pool."
"Oh good. So you agree I'm not a slave."
"I'm not in the mood to deal with your attitude right now Mila."
"Then don't force me to bathe with you."
He sighed, rubbing his hand down the length of his face. "You might just be the most obnoxious slave I've ever had the pleasure of training," he said. I spluttered indignantly, dumbfounded by his ego, and opened my mouth to give him a proper tongue lashing. "Shh," he said, and touched my lips.
My jaw snapped shut, and I felt my skin pulse with molten gold. Without saying another word he stooped and set his shoulder against my stomach, his left arm sweeping the backs of my knees as he lifted me off the ground. I squealed, while he headed in the opposite direction with me slung over his shoulders like a sack of grain.
The captain hiked up the stairs, the burden of my weight hardly seeming to phase him, and when he pushed open the door to a large tiled room, steam billowed around his feet. I suppressed the urge to struggle until I was properly orientated—his casual display of strength reminded me how outclassed I was when it came to physical prowess.
The sound of a man laughing made me tense up, and Asher's hand moved to my backside to steady me.
"Still haven't broken your Priestess in, Asher? What's taking so long?" I recognised the power signature of a bound Elite, and his voice for that matter, but had no interest in placing name to face. The captain set me down, none too gently, and stretched.
"The last few days have been especially busy, Colonel Viridian."
"Asher please. I think we can forgo the appropriate designations while bathing. It's hard to be respectful while you sit across from each other in the nude." They both laughed, and the captain put his hand on the ties of my dress.
"Alright then Conrad," he said as I stepped out of his range. He followed my retreat, my noncompliance causing barely more than a pause in their conversation. All it took was a light tug on the string of my dress, and it came loose, leaving me to scramble to keep the material pressed to my breasts. "My little wild cat here is a unique case. And she seems to be resistant to most of the regular methods of slave training."
"I bet I could have her behaving in a week. Let me have a crack at her." My lip curled in disgust, and I turned to glare at him. Sprawled out in the bath was Jealous Man from General Tilcot's disastrous dinner party.
"That won't be necessary, thank you sir," Asher replied.
The colonel moved to make room for us to join him. "Relax son, I've got nothing more than an intellectual interest in your Priestess. I heard she's causing you all kinds of problems. Mine is an offer of assistance, and nothing more."
Asher laughed, and pulled me to his side, stripping my dress away from me with little decorum. "That's a nice way of saying she's a royal pain in my ass. Stay," he barked, and began undressing, while I tried to cover myself.
I was again faced with the fully naked, partially aroused Captain Asher Rawlings, and tried to bolt toward the door. He caught me easily, pressing his naked flesh against mine. I cursed myself for giving him the opportunity. He wrapped his arms around my rib cage and lifted me, walking calmly into the hot water. I concentrated for a moment, imagining my growing hatred of the captain as a bolt of lightening, and tried my best to send him a taste.
"Passion and fury Mila," he whispered against my ear, seemingly not put out by my little show of power. Asher sighed when we sunk into the water together, me restrained between his powerful legs, his thickening member at my back. "Ah, there's nothing better for a hangover than a hot bath."
"I'd have to disagree," the colonel said, with his eyes glued to my naked skin. "It's all I can do to get out of bed when I'm hungover." Asher shrugged, and the colonel sipped at a sweating glass filled with ice. "So General Tilcot actually took you off active duty?"
"He did," Asher confirmed, his arms still wrapped around me, his influence preventing me from uttering the string of curses on the tip of my tongue.
"Might I ask why?"
The captain sighed, brushing my hair over my shoulder, exposing the column of my neck. "Mila here is an untrained Priestess, and I can't use her power without risking her life. Which also means I can't use my own power, now that we are bound."
"A double edged sword, so to speak!"
"In more ways than one. I'm betting I've landed the only Priestess in the world with her particular constitution."
"Yes, I've noticed. Dinner was quite entertaining though, I must admit, I would never tolerate such behaviour from a slave of mine."
The captain shrugged, gently rubbing the tight muscles at the base of my skull. "I prefer a less heavy handed approach. Besides, I find her temper refreshing."
Colonel Viridian laughed, making me jump. "Refreshing? Asher, she's walking all over you!"
The captain shifted behind me, pulling me closer so his now throbbing member nestled against my back. "I've trained my share of slaves, Conrad. I'm not worried," he said. I snorted and rolled my eyes, catching the colonel's attention.
"And what does your slave have to say?" He asked, and I instantly felt Asher release me from the chains. Every little act of defiance against these people counted, so just to be contrary, I didn't respond, merely stared back at the colonel with a blank face.
"Answer him Mila," the captain said with lips pressed against my ear. "Or would you rather I punish you in front of him?" He accented his thinly veiled threat by pressing his throbbing member against my entrance, and it was clear he didn't mean 'punish' in the sense of whips and chains. My blood ignited and a shiver raced through me as he sucked my earlobe into his mouth.
"I'm not his slave."
"Interesting," the colonel said, stretching his arms out and resting on the edges of the pool. "All I see is a girl from a defeated nation, still fighting a war her people lost five years ago."
"As long as one of us is still fighting, we haven't lost."
He laughed, and I felt Asher press his lips to my neck. "Am I to believe you're going to take down the Empire of Caledonia single handedly?"
I trembled, though I prefered to think it was because of anger rather than the delicate kisses and nibbles the captain was pressing to my skin. "I won't stop until every one of you parasitic bastards is dead."
"So what's your plan? You, a girl who owns nothing, and does exactly what she's told."
My jaw dropped open in surprise at his misinformation. "I do exactly as I please sir!"
"So you want to be here with us? You enjoy being naked and vulnerable?" He grinned at me lecherously, obviously eyeing my nudity under the surface of the water. "Perhaps you're hoping your master wants to share?" I bared my teeth in response, shaken by the sudden surge of lust emanating from him. He laughed, clearly not put out by my show of bravado. "I see a willful girl who was purchased at auction for fifty dollars, who wears a collar and fetters, and I see the man who owns her. I see a girl whom the law doesn't care about, whose very life depends solely on the man who bought her. So tell me girl, if you're not a slave, then what are you?"
My lip trembled as his logical assault bombarded me. "I'm Mila."
"My darling girl, if the good captain decided to change your name to Whore, or Slut you'll no longer be Mila, will you?"
"I'll always be me," I said, though to my disgust it sounded frail and weak.
The colonel didn't respond immediately, merely gave me a knowing look, and Asher's strong hand tightened on my shoulder. "You may not be an example of a well trained slave, but slave you are." I shook my head, unable to speak for the knot in my throat. His logic was sound—which didn't mean I agreed with him—but I was finding it difficult to poke holes through his argument. To my horror, my lip trembled, and I could feel the hot burn of tears behind my lashes. Asher's hand ran the length of my spine, and unwelcome as his touch was, I couldn't deny the measure of comfort he offered.