Tora Pt. 02byOld.Lady.Sofia©
Sayoko rose from the silken disorder and slid open the pillow room's paper-and-wood door, which glowed like a lantern. Cloud-like futon lay on the pale tatami in the severe candle-lit elegance. She slid open another door, of milky glass and wood, and disappeared into the steam.
The sound of her hand in the water sent a sharp, almost painful image swiftly through DaKar's mind: a small, pretty slave of his land, who loved the bath as he did, tearing off her collar and throwing it at his feet, sobbing as she fled. He winced and shook the image away.
Sayoko emerged, her hair now coiled on top of her head and held in place with red-lacquered pins. Damp tendrils framed her face and clung to the back of her neck. She led him into the pillow room where she undressed him, pressing her soft body to him, her touch lingering over his strong shoulders, chest, and back. His skin was an odd, pleasing shade not seen among the Dutch. The scent of his face and neck stirred her, and her lips parted but he did not kiss her.
In the bath, the steam curled in the light of many candles. He sat on the long bench outside the large, deep cedar tub, and she poured warm water over him with a bamboo dipper. As the water flowed down his harsh face, an unbidden image startled her: she was bathing with a warrior she loved deeply, but in an unknown, barbarian realm where fur, not silk, warmed the body; he pushed her away roughly and she wept. A dream, she thought, just a dream, shaking her head, and the stab of pain passed.
They were slick with soap. She brought her fingers firmly down his slippery neck and across his broad shoulders, pressed her breasts into his back, and drew her hard, dark nipples languorously across his skin. Her hips undulated sensuously against him.
He molded her body and curled the tuft of hair around a finger. She was surprised but did not resist when he pressed her down on the bench. Her feet were on the floor on either side of the bench, the lips of her heat drooping and open. He pinned her wrists to the bench above her head and soaped between her thighs. He reached for a razor and she stiffened with alarm, then froze, fearing the blade. The metal glinted and glided across the her smooth lips and mound, and cut the first hairs, the sound soft and exciting. She closed her eyes as the cool blade shaved the rest, leaving her completely unadorned.
"This," he said, "is how you will be from now on." He teased her nipples with the dull edge of the razor. He drew a finger between the naked lips and smiled as it emerged warm with her moisture. She swelled from the touch of metal and flesh and she moaned and lifted her hips. He bent over her and she felt his tongue on the hard nub, then between the lips, probing the tiny mouth. Her cry echoed in the steam. He stroked her until she whimpered and then gasped softly. He stopped and gently raised her.
"We have time," he said. She was still trembling on the edge of pleasure when they sank up to their chins in the hot water of the tub. She ran her hands underwater over his sinew and muscle and skin. She straddled his lap, encircled his neck with slender arms, and tried to kiss him. He laughed and kept his mouth out of her reach. He closed his eyes, savoring the smoothness of her palms. He stroked her firmly, slowly, down her back to her ass and thighs, and up to her small breasts. He traced their shape with a finger and pulled the nipples. She strained to press her heat against him, any part of him. He held her hips still and she groaned. He lifted her from his lap and they rose from the water. She dried his skin, her cheek pressed to it, her touch lingering and sensuous.
In the pillow room, a low table was covered with various implements of pleasure and, he noted with satisfaction, pain. He lashed her wrists together behind her with a soft cord. He forced her to kneel and secured the rope that bound her to a hook in the post. Her shoulders were pulled back, offering her breasts. The red pins fell to the tatami and he coiled the black river of her hair around a fist, pulling her head back sharply to part her lips.
He will kiss me now, she thought. But he placed the tip of his hardness against her mouth. Startled, she tried to rise, but the pain shot through her arms. He violated her mouth, guiding her head firmly. Her mind was a jumble of indignation and confusion. While she knew that her duty was to please him as a state guest, she was also used to more deference. If she chose to dismiss the attentions of a patron, no amount of cajoling or cash could change her mind. Patrons ignorant or drunk enough to threaten to tell the Tora's Master suffered the humiliation of her laughter, for she partly owned the Tora and enjoyed this privilege, whoever the patron—merchant or, although unlikely, the Shogun himself. And now, in one evening, she had been ravished, shorn, and tied to a post by one who did not ask her permission. While she pleasured men with her mouth, she had never been unable to protest. One patron who had made the mistake of releasing his passion into her mouth was banned from the Tora forever.
Now she knelt in the candlelight, her hair in disarray in his hands. She felt the ridges along his whole length slide across her lips, and the large velvet cap press her tongue. Her skin warmed and the moisture gathered between her straining thighs. She fought this unwelcome pleasure, pulling at her bonds, thrusting her breasts against his legs. She groaned as her arms stretched and twisted.
He pulled her head back, hard. Then her mouth became soft and caressing, and although she tasted him in her mouth, it was as if the hardness were also cutting through her heat. He became rougher. She could not move. Then she felt the warmth in her mouth, salty and sweet and sharp, and she felt it flow down her throat and heard him groan as his fist tightened around the rope of hair.
He unhooked her wrists from the post, pulled her roughly to unsteady feet, and threw her on the futon on her belly. He twisted her around and, finally, his tongue parted her lips and he kissed her long and violently and sweetly. The kiss possessed her more than the shearing, the binding, or the penetration, for, whether she knew it or not, she had wanted it since she first bowed to him, and it occurred only after he had shown that he could take anything of her at all and make it his.
She fell into a warm darkness, lost and helpless. He pushed back the soft hood of her clitoris and drew his fingers across it, dipping into the hot moisture, stroking her until her hips rose to meet his hand, gathering all the fire of her body until her flesh clasped his fingers and until her sobs filled the golden light of the pillow room. He leaned over her, staring into her languid eyes, half smiling, for he had shown her that he could reduce her to mindless rapture with a mere finger.
Much later, the general awakened in the gray dawn to the sight of the courtesan, smooth-faced and combed, kneeling primly on the tatami. Her black silk under-kimono barely covered her breasts, and the side slits revealed her thighs. On the black-lacquered tray beside her was a teapot glazed with mountain mist. She offered the sleepy DaKar a cup of tea and a peeled tangerine on a tiny, translucent plate. How strong he is, she thought, how large, skilled, and dangerous. And, she reminded herself, irritated yet warmed by recalled pleasure, how utterly arrogant and certain of everything.
As she helped him dress, she examined the white crests scattered over the dark-red silk of his uniform. It was woven and sewn in Edo, but the bird of prey resembled, yet was not, a hawk or a falcon or an eagle. He drew his longsword from the scabbard to inspect it. She studied the steel; it was remarkably similar to the swords of the samurai, with both hard and flexible steel beaten together. She knew it must be virtually unbreakable. The name of the maker was etched in a barbarian script.
"Where," she asked, "was the sword made?"
He was amused by her directness and interest in weaponry, and drew a finger along the blade as she dressed. "Torvaldsland. In Gor," he said. Satisfied, he sheathed the blade and strapped it across his back.
She glided three paces behind him to a courtyard where grooms scurried about. One helped DaKar into his helmet, armored vest, and gloves. As they waited for his mount, she bowed to him and formally expressed her gratitude for his presence at the Tora. When she straightened, she turned pale. He was stroking the bronze feathers of an enormous bird with a large leather riding crop. He leaped upon the glinting beast and issued a sharp command in an unknown tongue. The bird's powerful wings stirred whirlwinds of dust. Sayoko pressed her back to a wall, lifting her wide sleeves to her terrified face. She did not see DaKar smiling down at her before he turned his eyes to the clear, cold sky.
It was early in the afternoon. DaKar strode down the corridors of the Castle, his wide-shouldered scarlet robes flying, his steps setting the "nightingale" floors to singing. The loose floor boards were laid so as to warn the guards that someone was walking about. Young, helmeted samurai let him into the Map Hall.
He bowed low in the doorway. The Shogun silently nodded his acknowledgement, the seven other generals returned his bow, and Sayoko placed her fingertips and forehead on the tatami. She was seated behind the Shogun to his right so she could whisper in his ear. They all sat on dark silk cushions around a large, low, square table. All except Sayoko had a lacquered arm rest.
Large silk screens depicted famous battles. Reverent displays of ancient weapons evoked the bravery of their legendary owners. Scrolls of poems rendered by Edo's best calligraphers extolled the beauty of a life cut short by war. A stark arrangement of wood, stones, and flowers stood in an ancient vase in an alcove.
DaKar did not look directly at Sayoko. He was still surprised but not displeased that the Shogun required her presence at some conferences, especially the most important ones. In his own land, females were generally either shrouded and free or naked and enslaved, and had no role in the business of war except as bounty or hostages.
He hid his amusement. Her stiff, high-necked kimono had white cirrus clouds floating against a dark-gray background, and black, white-streaked rivers wending between them. Her obi was like ink, and held together with black cords. Even if she might wish to spread her thighs, which he required of her when she greeted him, the armor of her robes would keep her in this most formal of positions, betraying no softness, not a single feminine line.
He placed his sword on a frame and took his place on the Shogun's left. He felt her presence like a fire. The meeting began.
Sayoko drew the men's attention to the European-made maps on the table and indicated how and where the barbarians could attack the island country. Besides the external threat, she continued, was the danger of internal subversion, particularly in Nagasaki, with its small but growing Christian community. A thick leather-bound book lay on the table. It was the repository of Christian dogmas, she explained. She pointed to a stack of paper beside it. "My humble translation of parts of The Bible," she said. "Particularly those containing ideas that might threaten the social order, such human equality." The Edo generals stirred, their jaws and eyes suddenly hard; the Shogun remained completely still, watching, his deep eyes and angular face revealing nothing.
"The Shogunate," she said, "is grateful to General Da Ka of Gor for his help in developing the weapons industry. Although his own barbaric land possesses but primitive weaponry, he is learned in the nature of metals, and his skill in using the Dutch guns is impressive. In his own land, he is both a warrior and a physician and, therefore, skilled in matters military and chemical. He has analyzed Chinese gunpowder and determined that it may be manufactured here." She paused and then said, ill-concealing her contempt, "Unlike the effete Chinese mandarins, my lords, we will use it for national defense rather than firecrackers."
All bowed to DaKar. Soon the hall was filled with rising and falling voices as the generals pored over the maps and translation, leaning on their armrests, crossing their legs, sipping tea, and tapping their folded fans on their palms. The Shogun did not even nod. Then he declared the meeting ended and instructed Sayoko to continue discussions with DaKar.
It was nearing sunset when the generals filed out of the hall after the Shogun. DaKar gazed long and freely at Sayoko's proud face, full lips, and bold eyes. Then he felt a surge of violence in his loins, greater than any he had ever felt at the Tora. He sat still, hiding his desire, the better to feel it soar. Yet, he wondered, was it her presence alone that excited him? She was, after all, the same woman he ravished at the Tora, and the beguiling softness she displayed when she laughed and reclined there was absent here.
As the tea warmed his tongue, he realized an important truth. Although the Tora's purpose was to pleasure men, which it did to perfection, it remained the realm of the courtesan—a delightful, fragrant realm to be sure, but a secret, feminine one, where men still required permission to take their pleasure, although this fact was carefully concealed from them.
The paper panels of the sliding doors facing the western garden glowed red and orange. The hall was suffused with gold, and the fires of war blazed on the screens. The general and the courtesan were now in his realm, one devoid of femininity and softness, where even the flowers were austere. In his realm, death was ever present—in the code of honor, the paintings, the scrolls, the poetry. In his realm, his senses were their sharpest, as if the cold, unscented air cleared the mind to prepare it for danger and violence.
Her face was a golden mask, but she felt his fierceness searing her through the stiff silk. She trembled. She was not at the Tora where she was protected as if by a womb. Here, his power was absolute.
For the first time, he thought, we are alone in my realm.
She sensed his strength coil beneath his robe, and her cheeks burned with fear. Almost clinically, he noted that his desire was measured by the fire in his blood and skin, and that if at the Tora the flames were as dazzling as the torches there, here they were fiercer than the infernos depicted on the screens.
Fixing her eyes with his, he forced her delicate shoulders down so hard and swiftly that the tatami shuddered and she gasped. He smiled at her astonishment. Her face was flushed beneath the black cloud of her hair. She twisted beneath his palms and breathed hard. His body was ablaze with his own power and he groaned with pleasure and impatience.
One hand imprisoned her wrists above her head. Another undid her sash, jerking the layered robes aside. He wished to savor her surrender and to impress upon her how useless her armor was against him. The silk that had hidden everything female about her was now in sensual disarray around her shoulders and breasts and her straining, graceful neck. He bared her thighs and drew his hand hard across the firm flesh up to the smooth mound, uncovering the still-closed lips of her heat.
"General!" she whispered furiously, mindful of the guards outside the door. But it was the very nature of the hall—public, open, official—that incited him. And it was here that he wished to take her, without ritual and without permission.
He straddled her and pinned her arms beside her head with his shins. He parted his robes and released the shaft. She shook her head wordlessly. With both hands he held her roughly by the hair. He brushed the cap against her mouth, gently parting the lips, teasing them, watching the softness yield even as he felt her arms resist him. Her torso lifted, indignantly, then voluptuously. Her nipples were as hard as tiny dark stones.
He raped her mouth, holding her head still, breathing hard as her lips slid helplessly across the ridges and veins, as her tongue swirled across the cap. Her eyes were closed and she moaned as he invaded and withdrew. She stifled a moan and silently begged the throbbing between her thighs to stop. The moan escaped, deep and guttural, and the moisture seeped through the swelling petals. Her torso and hips undulated, golden as the sun set. She did not know if she lifted her body in protest or offering; all she knew was that she could not stop.
The warm softness began in her belly and she cursed and fought it. As he became more forceful, she moistened and her thighs strained. He felt a white-hot line of fire forming in his groin, flowing into his veins and along the length of his hardness. Each swirl of the tongue, each pressing of the lips, each grazing by the teeth, all brought the fire closer to the velvet tip, until it spilled out. He groaned and held her head hard, thrusting into her mouth when the spasms began. Then he pulled out, and the cloudy stream flowed onto her lips and jaw. Breathing hard, he spread the seed slowly over her neck and between her breasts, and to her cheek where his hand lingered. His thumb parted her lips and explored her mouth.
She moaned as his seed warmed her skin. She rubbed her cheek sensuously against his palm. He was marking her again, forcing his essence into her skin. She offered her heat. It was slick, swollen, and parted.
He released her arms and cut through her thick sash with a dagger. She was naked, moist, and breathing hard beneath him. He folded her arms above her head so that her palms cupped the opposite elbows. He twisted her waist-long hair into a rope and wove it around her arms. Her scalp stung and she moaned as he showed her how he could subdue her using her own body, which betrayed her with a pleasure as deep as it was forbidden. And he showed her that he needed nothing more than her own hair to restrain her.
She fell into the swoon so familiar to her at the Tora. But here, with him—he still in full regalia and armed, and she completely naked and bound—it was deeper and darker and filled only with his name. She was surprised to hear herself, as if her moans did not come from her own depths, for he had not even touched her heat.
He bent down to her breast and pulled the dark, hard nipple with his teeth, passing his tongue over it, crushing it between his lips, until she arched her back. Her loins shuddered. He caressed the other nipple, forcing a long moan from her. Armor clinked in the hallway; the guards tactfully signaled that they could hear the sounds of the encounter. She desperately tried to suppress her voice. The more she did, the warmer she became, and the more frantic her silent pleas to stop, to touch her, to take her.
He was unconcerned about the young guards. He drew his mouth down to her thighs and forced them apart. In this hall, the dark wet flower was not the center of her pleasure as it was at the Tora. It was spoils, and it was only fitting, he smiled to himself, that he take it in a hall dedicated to war. In this realm of distilled violence, he wished to impress upon her the extent of his privilege, which included indifference to her pleasure.
He grasped her hips and roughly turned her on her stomach. She moaned, waiting to be pierced, lifting her ass to him, showing the wet, pink mouth. He drew his fingers between her thighs, separating the petals. Please, she begged silently, rape me. His fingers drew her moisture to her tight entrance. She had been stroked lightly there by some favored guests at the Tora, and although the caress admittedly intensified her cries of pleasure, the caresses were never allowed to proceed further.