Greetings Spankos and Pervs, I’m back for another edition of WIP It Up Wednesday.
This week, I’m sharing another chapter from the sequel to The Fall of Lady Westwood (formerly titled A Lady and a Maid). The sequel’s working title is Chattel Slave in a Vampire’s Kingdom, but it’s likely to be changed somewhere down the line.
I won’t include much set-up here other than to say that as the story opens, Sophie McClearn, the lost paramour of the hero of The Fall of Lady Westwood, Owen Galt, finds herself newly captured by the hated, and feared nocturne.
Her new circumstances makes her former nightmarish captivity at Westwood Manor under the thumb of Miriam Westwood seem but a pleasant afternoon’s diversion. Sophie is learning that things can always get much, much worse …
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She always awoke to the sound of the lash, the cries of the condemned. The others, like her, who’d been captured, auctioned off, abandoned to a dark, hopeless fate. Sophie had come to dread the mornings, for they were her daily confirmation that she wasn’t merely experiencing a vivid, terrifying nightmare. No, the horror of her new existence was very real indeed.
The heavy leather of the major domo’s lash laid itself like a serpent across Sophie’s bare shoulder. “You have two minutes to present yourself in the display yard, slave.”
Sophie dared a glance up at Taisul, the feared right hand of the slavemaster. His eyes, twin glittering pools of blackest night, gazed down upon her, much as she imagined a cat must look upon a mouse while it slowly tortures its prey.
He never whipped her, but she had no idea why. Others, especially Calla with her alabaster skin and buoyant breasts, he lashed without fail every morning, his feral grin and obvious erection twin testaments to the pleasure he took in his duties.
His hulking form turned away, stalking through the rest of the slave block, rousting the other unfortunate inmates from their fitful slumbers. Sophie shambled out toward the harsh light, following the trembling, nearly naked forms of the other slaves.
She squinted against the sun, the light stabbing into the center of her eyes. They were permitted outside only in the mornings, their captors allowing for the fact that all humans, even the lowliest slaves, required sunlight. Deprived of it, they slowly declined, eventually to become useless to their captors. A debilitated slave was undesirable to the Slavemaster and his employers. There was no sport, no pleasure, and no profit, in a human ground down to nothing.
So their owners provided just enough to keep the captives alive. Many of the unfortunate prisoners were past the point of hoping for rescue; most simply longed for a quick death, when it eventually came.
Death was ever threatening at the manor. It was unpredictable, capricious — a constant companion of every poor soul toiling in the mines, lashed to the plows, or weeping in the boudoir of their Master.
They knew what was expected — parade formation. Display. The wares on view, to be disposed of as the Slavemaster saw fit.
“You there, Calla!” Taisul strode down the line of shivering bodies, stopping in front of the redhead. Sophie felt sorry for her — to be the favorite of a sadist like the major-domo was to be cursed.
He used his whip to raise Calla’s dirt-encrusted chin, not one of the slaves having been bathed in several days. Despite the girl’s filthy condition, Sophie thought Calla to be still beautiful, a certain innocent fragility to her delicate, heavy-breasted frame that she suspected fired the lusts of their cruel captors.
“The Master wants you this morning, slave.” Taisul’s thumb stroked across Calla’s chin, a deceptively gentle gesture in Sophie’s experience.
Calla took up a violent trembling, her voice devolving into incoherent pleadings, weeping. Sophie’s mouth went dry at the prospect of the girl once again being summoned to the Master.
Following the girl’s last foray there, she’d returned the next morning, hardly able to walk, deathly pale, eyes dazed, her buttocks a mass of oozing, purpling weals. Sophie remembered the bright burst of hate as she’d watched Taisul slam shut the steel door of Calla’s cell, seen the pleasure in his cruel face.
“Send her up, Taisul.”
Sophie’s head turned toward the unmistakable baritone of the Slavemaster’s voice.
“You spend too much time on that one,” the Slavemaster said.
Taisul hustled the now sobbing Calla off to face her fate, the cruel man whispering to her as he moved her swiftly up the path toward the huge manor house.
The Slavemaster’s cold eyes met Sophie’s for a moment as he surveyed the huddled mass of female slave flesh arrayed before him in the dusty yard. Where Taisul was large, easily a head taller than even the tallest of the slaves, the Slavemaster was huge. He dwarfed the hated major-domo in more than just physical presence. As he walked slowly up and down the ranks of women, stopping to tweak a nipple, slapping an already under fed belly that hadn’t been sucked in to his specifications, the women watched him with a mixture of terror and fascination. He treated them as little more than tools to be used to perform a task. In this case the running of the manor and its surrounding grounds. But more than that, he was something other than anything they’d experienced since being taken captive.
Sophie felt an unsettling mixture of loathing and awe for him. He held their pathetic lives in his hands, and would be perfectly within his rights to snuff out the life of any one of the unfortunate women. Each woman knew that only her usefulness to him kept her alive, and in relatively good condition.
Sophie sneaked a quick glance at the cloud of dust already leading to the mines. Yes, there were fates truly worse than her own. But there was one thought above all that gnawed at her.
She wondered if he’d survived the attack, if he’d gotten away, was perhaps even now searching for her. She had to find him, but she didn’t even know if he was still alive.
A shadow fell over her and she tensed. “Slave, I’m speaking to you.”
“Sorry, Sir—” She whined as her nipples were clamped between impossibly hard fingers.
“Well, do you have an answer for me? Or shall I see what kind of pain it takes to wring a proper response from you?” His face was close, his prominent canines filling her field of vision. He had attractive, if wild, features, and in different circumstances she’d have found him handsome.
Now, she just wanted to get away from him, as fast as possible.
“I — I don’t know what you asked me. Sir.”
His eyes narrowed. He was so tall, she felt like a child next to his massive frame.
She whimpered, panting at the searing pain in her nipples as he squeezed harder, pulling up on her flesh.
“I asked you what you thought was so interesting at the mines.” He turned slowly, looking toward the road, his head moving as an owl’s might, a smooth swivel of menace. “Perhaps, you’d like to join them, yes?”
“No, please! It was nothing, Sir!” She’d seen the mine crews a few times, and she’d felt nothing but pity for them. A chained train of nearly naked men, their strong, sweating backs crosshatched with inflamed whip marks, shuffling through the dust toward the dark entrance of the mineshaft. She’d thought they resembled lambs to the slaughter as they disappeared one by one into that open maw in the Earth.
“Then pay attention, slave.” He released her nipples, and Sophie let out a sigh. “You have more pressing issues to worry about than the male slaves.”
The Slavemaster returned to the front of the formation. “You girls, there will be a change in the routine today.”
There was the faintest of murmuring. Change was never good in this place.
“We’ll be visited soon by several important persons. It’s not important to you who they are.” He stepped forward, his eyes flashing. “What is important is that you obey, and follow the orders that are given to you. Failure to do so, will result in … grave consequences.”
Sophie shivered. She remembered the last time one of them failed. The terrible screams, the rutting of the male bodies against the woman tied at the cross.
The major-domo, the black leather of his uniform gleaming in the sunlight arrived back from the manor, standing next to the hulking form of the Slavemaster. Sophie wanted to smack that self-satisfied smirk from Taisul’s cruel face.
“Taisul, has a new duty roster for you today.” The Slavemaster raised a hand toward the hated major-domo. Taisul grinned, his smile bright in the morning sun. “Heed it well. We have three days to ready for our visitors.”
The Slavemaster leaned in close to Taisul, the two men conversing in their guttural language. They spoke the common tongue quite well, but reverted back to theirs seemingly at random. Sophie had tried to pick out snippets of speech, but they spoke so quickly that nothing they said seemed to match the few words of their language she’d managed to learn thus far.
Sophie knew ‘geneze’ — kneel.Spreading her legs or widening her stance (she wasn’t sure which one) was usually a barked ‘entinde’! She blushed as she remembered the Slavemaster fondling her breasts on the day of her arrival to this hellish place, ‘aestvel zaniis’ he’d murmured, staring down at them possessively, lust in his eyes.
She and the poor Calla were the newest of the slaves, and most of the other captives seemed too terrified to even attempt to converse with either one of them. Agacia, the tall, dark-eyed beauty next to her was one of the few who’d tried to help. At what Sophie understood must have been great personal risk, Agacia had whispered information to the still dazed Sophie on that first day. Told her what she must do to survive. It was a kindness Sophie would never forget.
Taisul began calling out names. “Marella, to the kitchens with you. Cook has plans for those shifty hands of yours.”
The slight, young woman shuffled away. She was so thin her ribs could easily be seen.
“Gwen, Stables.” He shook his head at her. “No, I don’t care what happened the last time. They need you there today. Go.”
Gwen turned, her lank brown hair swinging in the warm breeze as she reluctantly walked down the hill toward the most dreaded of assignments — stable duty. Sophie didn’t know which was worse: the ignominious fate of the bound, mute women turned into beasts of burden, or the sadistic, lecherous stablehands who tended to them.
“Agacia,” Taisul intoned. Sophie felt the woman tense at her name. Taisul scanned the remaining faces before alighting on the dark beauty. He smiled pure malevolence. “Infirmary.”
Agacia turned her face to Sophie. “Be strong,” she mouthed, flashing a tentative smile, before brushing by, headed toward the Manor and its attached infirmary. Sophie admired the strength of the beautiful woman, knowing that inside she must have been nearly overcome with fear. They were all terrified of the infirmary, knowing what went on there. Knowing that some of their number who’d been sent there, had never come back again.
Taisul continued calling names, some of the women sighing in relief, smiling as their unexpectedly light duties were announced, others crestfallen, quietly weeping as they were informed of their daily sentences.
Sophie looked around her — the yard was empty. Taisul’s eyes scanned the parchment, glancing at the Slavemaster, whose own eyes seemingly hadn’t left Sophie all morning.
“Well, what have we here? Nothing for our new recruit?” Taisul’s gaze alighted on her, and Sophie’s skin crawled. “So, it appears I’ve got you to myself, slave.”
His fingers caressed the leather stretched over his crotch, the swelling there already evident. The Slavemaster’s hand clutched Taisul’s shoulder. “She’s to go with me, Taisul.”
Gone was the cockiness of the hated major-domo. “Sir, I thought we had free reign with them when they aren’t assigned?”
“You do, you do, Taisul.” The Slavemaster looked upon Sophie once more. “But Vinther wants to see her.”
“Calla isn’t enough for the Master then?” Taisul frowned, his jaw clenching.
The Slavemaster flashed him a quelling look. “Watch yourself, major-domo. We all have our orders.”
“Of course, Sir.” Taisul folded the parchment in quick, peevish movements. The Slavemaster watched him sulk away, deprived of his prey.
Sophie wanted to scream at him in exultation. Yes, the Slavemaster scared her, but anything was preferable to being in the clutches of slime like Taisul.
Fingers clutched her chin, digging into her cheeks, and Sophie looked up at the towering form of the Slavemaster. “Don’t think I missed that little rebellion, Sophie. He’s as much your master as I. As any of the men here. You’ll be wise to remember it.”
She nodded her head against the strength of his grip, lowering her eyes. “Such beauty. I fear you’ve bewitched everyone here, slavegirl.” Sophie raised her eyes to him, and the Slavemaster’s expression softened. “Even me.”
His hands took her breasts again, but this time their touch was gentle, caressing the heavy curves. He lifted them up, huddling them together as he pressed kisses to the inner slopes, his stubble rough against her delicate skin. She shuddered at the betrayal of her own body, her nipples hardening under his gaze. He smiled.
“Not the immovable rock I’d thought you after all, I see.” He tweaked a dark nipple, the sensation shooting an unsettling frisson of pleasure to her womb. “Perhaps now I finally see something of what Vinther admires in you.”
She cursed herself for being so weak. Rather than trying to figure out where in the Gods names she was, who held her captive, she was standing there with her nipples erect like some lusty, love-struck teenager.
The Slave Master chuckled, flicking the tips of her hard nipples with his fingers. “Someone doesn’t entirely object to her current predicament.”
But she really didn’t know what her exact predicament was. Sophie had woken up, her wrists and ankles chained to a stone wall, in one of the slave block cells. Her last memory had been pain as her head struck something in the darkness of that wagon. She had no idea how much time had elapsed since then, but the days were still hot, which indicated it was still summer. A few days? A few weeks?
“Come with me, little slave. The Master wants you prepared for him.” The Slave Master’s hand wrapped around the nape of her neck, guiding her up the path toward the looming Manor house. It dwarfed even the castle of Westwood, and she marveled at the wealth it must have taken to construct it.
She hadn’t time to dwell on it long though. The horrors reputedly carried out within those walls concerned her more. Some of the slaves had come back from summons to the Manor — but not all. She knew the Infirmary was either inside or attached to the structure, but like everything else, she knew little of what actually transpired there.
The dirt path meandered up the green grass of the hillside, the house growing larger the closer they drew to it. The sun was high and strong, and Sophie chanced a look up at the Slave Master.
Nocturne were incapable of enduring direct sunlight; exposure to such was reputed to turn them to so much ash. Indeed, even the indirect light of a sunlit room was said to weaken them greatly. But either the stories were myths, or Taisul and the Slave Master, at least, were not nocturne.
Her father had told a young Sophie and her sisters of nocturne that were quicker than the wind, able to scale vertical surfaces like spiders. Warriors with the strength of scores of human soldiers, and ferocity in battle unmatched by man or beast.
She trembled as she walked, remembering the night of her capture. The screams of the dead and dying soldiers as dozens of nocturne attacked Westwood Manor. The silver fire in the eyes of a figure she could see atop the battlements of the castle. Her father’s stories hadn’t prepared her for that. Looking upon those blazing eyes was like a glimpse into the shimmering, flaming depths of Hell itself.
“Come on, girl,” the Slave Master said, pushing her faster, causing Sophie to stumble. “We’ve much to do today.”
The path ended at a wide stone walkway that stretched along the ground floor of the structure. She peered up, the stone walls soaring, the peak of the roof far above. The doorway to the house beckoned, an inky black portal to an unknown fate. She thought she heard moans, then a scream, but she couldn’t tell the direction of the voices. Chills ran through her at the lost sound of them. Pain, terror… hopelessness.
“In you go, Sophie.”
Then she disappeared into the blackness.
Copyright © 2014 Trent Evans
All Rights Reserved
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