Author Archives: Jess Mahler

About Jess Mahler

Kinky, fantasy obsessed writer. Seriously, how are werewolves and collars not perfect together? Writing under a pen name for privacy.

Innocents, Part 1

This short serial takes place about 500 years before the start of Glamourhai.

Falthro examined the kneeling human the guards had brought before him. He detected no sign of the evil lurking in the man’s soul, but evil always conceals itself well. Two of his victims were missing. Two children whose mutilated bodies hadn’t been found and who might still be alive. Their families had petitioned for Falthro’s help. Another fae could have used his glamour to compel truth. Unfortunately, Falthro had…limitations…most fae didn’t. He would need to resort to other methods.

He seized the man’s chin, forcing his head up. The human was passive in his hands, but fire lurked in his eyes.

“Take him into the play room and prepare him for me.” His collared servants grabbed the prisoner and dragged him away. Falthro turned to the guards. “My page will show you to the kitchen. I will get the information you need as quickly as I can.”

“Yes m’lord.”

Falthro entered the glamourhame a few minutes later. The prisoner had been stripped, and hung from the ceiling by his wrists. His legs shackled to the floor, stretching his body painfully. Left there long enough, his own weight would suffocate him, and even a short stint could cripple him. Falthro wasn’t interested in coddling a child killer.

They would start slowly. “Do you know why you are here?”

“No.” Falthro tasted the lie in the curt answer. His whip flashed out, laying a searing line on the man’s face that stopped a half inch from his eye. Falthro smiled as the man jerked in the restraints and bit back a cry.

“That was one lie. For the next lie I will take your eye.” Falthro’s lip curled and he fought down his desire to spill blood. “Four children disappeared from Elm Grove. The guard found two bodies. You are a dead man for what you have done, but your death will be easier if you tell me where the others are.”

The prisoner said nothing, staring through Falthro as he struggled to breath. The lash this time wrapped itself around his neck. His eyes bulged out of his head as Falthro yanked the whip taut, cutting off his airflow. Falthro allowed him to jerk and struggle until his eyes began to glaze, than pulled the whip off of him. The man gasped and choked, tears streaming down his face. Falthro waited until he was quiet. “Where are they?”

The man sagged in the chains, chin dropping to his chest. To Falthro’s surprise he reeked of hopelessness and despair. The strength of the emotions seared Falthro’s glamour so badly that when the human spoke, Falthro couldn’t understand him. The fae lord placed the handle of his whip under the prisoner’s chin and lifted his head. “Repeat yourself.”

The fire in the prisoner’s eyes was gone, his gaze vacant. “You won’t believe me.”

Falthro stared at him. Something in the man’s emotions, his demeanor, made Falthro’s stomach twist. “Tell me. I will know if you speak the truth.”

“I can’t tell you where the kids are. I didn’t take them. Didn’t even know they were missing until the guards dragged me from my home.”

The strength of the man’s belief was a spike hammered into Falthro’s mind. Long experience allowed Falthro to block out the pain, but nothing could help face the horror filling him. He heard only his own silent scream. For the first time since childhood he came near to cursing Dannu. How had She allowed him to trap himself like this?

The man stared at Falthro. “You believe me?” the hope in his voice nearly broke Falthro.

Releasing the winch and lowing the man to the floor took only a moment. Falthro undid the shackles holding the man’s arms and one ankle, leaving the other ankle chained. “I will be back shortly.” Falthro grabbed a small chest with balms and bandages and shoved it at him. “Care for yourself.”

“What–”

“You spoke the truth.” The flavor of it still lingered on Falthro’s tongue, taunting him with his own guilt. “You are innocent. I must deal with another matter, and then I will return.”

Nearly out the door Falthro stopped and turned back. “Do you know anything of what happened to those children?”

“No…”

Falthro nodded and hurried down the hall.

The guards waited in the kitchen. Falthro ignored both the cook and her helper, approaching the guards with an expression schooled to regret. “The prisoner cannot tell us why all the bodies weren’t found together. I will speak with your town council and the presiding judge on this matter. They are to present themselves here as soon as possible.” He had questioned these two earlier—they believed the story they had told him. His answers would be found elsewhere.

He turned to leave and one of the guards said, “M’lord, we have orders to witness the prisoner’s execution.”

Falthro face them, as his expression hardened into a granite mask. “I swore to Dannu I would punish this man for the deaths of those children. You will go and leave the matter in my hands.”

They left.

Falthro allowed himself ten blessed minutes alone. Ten minutes where the emotions and thoughts surrounding him did not burn like fire through his mind, and he could just be. Ten minutes to grieve for the children he had failed. Ten torturous minutes to agonize over what he must now do. “Dannu, show me the way. Will you spare me the burden of more innocent blood? Will you release me of my oath?”

He hands trembled as he raised them to his face. The lack of Dannu’s presence was an empty ache. He gathered himself and left his sanctuary, returning to the glamourhame, and his victim.

When Falthro entered the room the man stood from a crouch. Falthro stopped and searched his memory for the human’s name—Dannel… Dannel’s face gleamed with a thin coating of one of the housekeeper’s creams, something to help the lash heal cleanly. He rattled the remaining ankle shackle, “If you believe I’m innocent, is this necessary?” He tried to sound relaxed, but Falthro tasted both hope and fear.

The fae shook his head, “Perhaps it is not, however I cannot permit you to leave.”

The flavor of fear grew stronger, and Dannel’s hands clenched. Still, the human managed a chuckle. “Well I’m definitely not returning to town any time soon.”

Falthro handed Dannel a loose robe and turned his back while the man shrugged the it on. “I was a fool, and I have done you great wrong. I am unable to make it right, or change what must happen. I can only tell you that I regret it. If it is with in my power both the true guilty party and those who wrongly brought you too this place will be punished.”

Dannel stared at him, wide eyed, “Lord Falthro, I won’t pretend this wasn’t one of the most horrific experiences of my life…expecting to be tortured to death for something I didn’t do…” He stopped, and when he spoke again his voice was a harsh whisper, “I was locked in my own mind, screaming in horror while my body carried me to my doom. You believe me.”

Falthro made himself face the plea in the man’s eye. “I am sorry. When the town first asked for my intervention, I swore to Dannu I would punish you for the deaths of those children. She accepted that oath.”

Life itself seemed to flow out of the young man’s face, a death of the spirit that was far worse than death of the body. “You can’t…you can’t, you know I am innocent. You know!”

“Yes.” Falthro forced himself to show no sign of his own pain as the man’s shock and horror ripped through his mind.

Frozen, Dannel stared about the shelves lining the glamourhame, at the many tools Falthro could use to tear him apart slowly. Killing by inches. “What kind of monster are you…”

“Not quite as much of one as you think.” Falthro allowed himself a small sigh. “I have prayed to Dannu to release me of my pledge, but she does not answer. I do no know why. I do not know why she accepted such an oath. I do have some discretion in how I fulfill it.”

“Discretion? Earlier you offered me an ‘easy death’ if I gave you information. Is that your ‘discretion’!”

Falthro took a deep breath. “Dannel, formerly of Elm Grove, falsely accused and falsely condemned. Your punishment may take three forms, I offer you a choice. You may be given an easy death, to fall asleep and not wake up. No pain, no suffering. If you prefer, I can castrate you, brand you and exile you from these lands. You will live, and you will have your freedom.”

“And the third choice?” The question tried to be a challenge, but the anger and despair behind it were all too clear.

“You may choose to become one of my slaves, bound to obey me by sigil. Once a week you will come to this room, and I will torture you to feed my glamour; no permanent harm will be done to you, but you will suffer greatly. The rest of the week you will have duties throughout my manor. Your needs will be supplied, and you will be able to witness what punishment I can craft for those who falsely accused and condemned you.”

Dannel was silent for a long moment, then asked. “And what is your punishment, Lord Falthro? What of my executioner?”

Falthro’s grim smile showed no hint of pain as the strength and rapid shifts in the human’s emotions made stars explode behind his eyes. “If you become my slave, your presence will be my punishment. If you stay, and only if you stay, you will learn why. Suffice to say I do not speak of anything so ephemeral as guilt or shame.”

Dannel looked skeptical, but allowed the question to drop. Taring at his hands, he asked,“Must I choose now?” ***give some emotional context here***

“No.” Falthro pulled a bell rope. “Rest the night. Sleep, as best you can.”

The door opened and one of Falthro’s servants entered. “My lord?”

“Escort Dannel to one of the guest rooms. Bring him anything he wishes.”

“Yes, lord.”

She bent and undid the shackle then gestured for Dannel to precede her from the room.

“I offer no apologies, for they are meaningless. You may speak with any of my people and explore the manor as you wish.” He summoned his glamour, imposing his will on the other’s mind. “You will not leave this building, nor seek to escape.” Dannel rocked on his heels as the force of the order went home. Falthro turned away. When the door closed, the ripping pain of using his glamour added to the agony of enduring Dannel’s emotions brought him to his knees.

Falthro stayed up through the night, praying. Dannu ignored him, responding to neither his pleas for absolution nor demands for an explanation. Finally, as dawn broke the east, he braced himself for the day to come.

Breakfast was an ordeal, but he was used to choking down food—both physical and spiritual—no matter how much he suffered. He was grimly certain that on this morning, Dannel’s suffering was far worse than his.

Almost as if the thought summoned him, Falthro’s personal servant escorted Dannel into the room. Before either could say anything Falthro asked, “Have you eaten?”

“No, Lord Falthro.” Dannel swallowed, hard.

His servant…was this one Beattie? No, Beattie had been the last one. Regardless, she knew his ways. She set a second plate on the table and filled it. Falthro pointed at it. “Eat. No matter how badly you feel, no matter what you face each day, unless you wish to die, you eat. Food is life, and not eating makes it that much more likely you will die.”

Dannel glared at him, but Falthro didn’t notice. The man’s emotions had lit a fire behind his eyes, a fire only partly eased by his servant’s soothing presence. He chose his people for that quality.

One bite at a time he forced himself to finish his pastry. When the last crumb was gone, he shoved his plate away. Across the table, Dannel half swallowed, half choked on, a mouthful of eggs. After a few more bites he set his fork down and met Falthro’s eyes.

“I can say nothing to sway you? No plea, no argument.”

Falthro looked away. “I cannot break my oath to Dannu. Not will not, cannot.” The last of Dannel’s hope died, but the man only nodded. “They say there is a special black stone fae are helpless against.”

Falthro sat back in his chair. The anger and hate pouring of Dannel told him where this was going. Something other emotion flickered behind them but subtleties were lost on the fae. “Starmetal. I have seen none since we came to this land.If you did manage to find any and use it against me, I would call it be justice.”

Dannel’s eyes widen. “Would you?”

“The crime you were accused of is so very heinous, no lesser punishment will fill the terms of my oath. And yet does that not make my crime against you just as heinous?” Falthro shrugged, “Note I do not say I would stand still while you plunged starmetal into my heart or any such dramatics. Only that if you managed to do so, I would call it justice.” Closing his eyes, Falthro saw the coming horror clearly. Dannel had choosen exile and to seek revenge, no matter what it cost him.

The taste of determination overwhelmed that of hate and anger. Determination and…respect? The slither of cloth broke the silence. He opened his eyes. Dannel knelt before him, hands fisted and face strangely calm.

“Lord Falthro, I doubt I will ever forgive what you do, but you have been honest with me. Of the choices you offer me…I will be your slave.”

Falthro gripped the table with trembling hands and whispered a prayer of thanks. The next several decades would be pain filled, but his hands would not bear more innocent blood. “So be it.”

For the first time in his long life, the fae lord bowed to a human.

Thoughts on: The Dragon

If you are subscribed to this blog by email, please be aware that I have finally gotten my own website set up and http://www.fantasyforthekinky.wordpress.com is now automatically redirecting to www.whipsandfangs.jessmahler.com. For the time being I will continue posting on both sites, you will continue to receive updates by email.

 

The Dragon was inspired by the trials my friend Naga and his wife have gone through since he developed a chronic illness, recently diagnosed as CFS. But in many ways it is also my story.

When my partner and I met, I knew he had some medical problems, but they were minor things. He got migraines, and needed to walk with a cane sometimes because of a bad knee. Sure, the migraines knocked him out for a couple of days, but it was only a once in a while thing, right? The PTSD and depression I didn’t even think about. I’d lived with them so long myself that his suffering from them as well as largely, “Okay, well we both know what to expect.”

We’d been together about a year before he started going down hill, and shortly after our son was born I had to turn down a very good paying job because my partner was so ill he couldn’t take care of the baby while he worked.

In the three years since then we have found one partially effective treatment, a half dozen doctors who can’t make a diagnosis, two doctors who insist my partner is making everything up, two doctors who said he would be dead soon if we didn’t find a treatment but offered no assistance in finding one, one useless disability lawyer, several useless shrinks, and many, many, many people who want my partner to get over himself and just ‘make himself’ function.

The worst was people who thought they knew better because of what they or their relatives went through (“My father made himself breakfast while standing on two crutches, he damn well take his dishes back to the sink!” It’s great that your father was able to work around his disability that way. My partner is not your father, and he is not dealing with the same disability.)

I will be honest. I have thought of leaving, more than once over the years. But for all the pain, for all the struggle, for all the occasional hopelessness, my life is better with him than without him, and I believe our son’s is too.

Recently, the writing-and-book section of Twitter was inundated with the #weneeddiversebooks discussion. It was a discussion I was pleased to see and pleased to take part in. Disability is not usually thought of as part of diversity. Diversity means race or gender or sexual orientation. Sometimes it means religion. But Naga and Jalan and my partner and I have stories to tell also. The many, many people for whom their bodies and minds are just as much a supervillian as any comic book character, and for whome just living normal life and surviving each day is a victory have a place in our fantasy worlds and science fiction space colonies.

I hope you have enjoyed Naga’s and my story. It’s a story that needed to be told.

The Dragon

Nia guides her horse around a twisted track in the mountains. Each step takes her farther from familiar territory and deeper into the lands of the dragons. It is a dangerous journey, but necessary. Coming around another turn, a valley suddenly opens up before her. The valley floor is a canvas of wild flowers, swathes of bright colors that delight the eye. The scent reaches even to the hills that formed the valley’s walls.

But Nia sees none of this. A glint of red in the air blinds her to the beauty spread before her. A dragon dancing through the air at the far end of the valley. The power and beauty bring tears to her eyes, and she releases a breath she hadn’t known she was holding. The last time she saw him, he had been barely able to walk, his scales tinged gray and edging towards black. She had been warned he would never fully recover, had dreaded what she would find. Now…

She allows the tears to spill freely as her horse picks his way down the rocky slope. Without warning, the dance ends. The dragon collapses, plummeting to the ground. A scream fills her throat as she pushes her horse as fast as she dares on the rocky slope.

The falling shape disappears behind a slight fold in the ground, followed immediately by a loud splash. She heaves a great sigh of relief, but doesn’t slow her horse. As she reaches the valley floor, the dragon reappears, climbing up the far side of the valley to a rocky ledge.

 

On a rise at the far end of the valley, Long is pleasantly exhausted. He had pushed himself that morning, flying high and far. The dive into the hidden lake had taken the last of his strength. Pleased with his recovery, he curls up on a ledge to rest. Just as his head touches the ground, he feels the quiver of approaching hoof beats. He stands, torn between hope and annoyance, and turns towards the sound.

Walking down the valley takes longer than flying, but he has already pushed himself too far today. His patience is hard pressed when he sees the figure riding towards him. He resists the urge to run, holding to a steady walk as she urges her horse to a canter.

When Long finally reaches her, he changes form, shrinking down to a human seeming, with coarse red hair and golden eyes. He goes to one knee and grins up at her.

Nia slides off her horse and grabs Long’s hands, pulling him up into an embrace. “Demons, I’ve missed you!”

He returns the hug and allows himself to rest his head on her shoulder. “Same. I’m sorry I wasn’t waiting for you. I must have lost track of time.”

“Not your fault. I’m early.”

They remain holding each other for long minutes. Finally, Nia steps back and looks Long over. His frame is gaunt, like a bear after long hibernation. New lines etch his face, and there is a weariness to him that is not masked by his joy at her arrival. “Let’s gather your things and hit the trail,” she says, hiding her worry, “There’s several hours of daylight yet, and I passed a good camping spot on my way in.”

 

To her surprise, he looks away. “I…I can try, Ma’am. I’m afraid I over did it flying. And—I’m still sleeping large parts of the day.”

Nia is disappointed, but understands. Nia makes a camp at the mouth of the cave where Long had made his temporary home. She hides her displeasure as Long makes no effort to help her, instead lying down and taking a short nap. When the camp is set, she watches him sleep; then decides that since they have time, she’s going to take advantage of it. She pulls out a rope and stake from the tent she decided not to bother pitching. With Long still asleep, she binds his wrists together with the rope and uses the stake to pin his arms to the ground above his head.

Long wakes as she pulls open the laces of his breeches and frees his shaft to reach for the sky. He groans and whimpers as her hands caress him. “Please, Ma’am, let me taste you.” She ignores him, using her hands and mouth to bring him right to the edge.

He quivers beneath her and she grins,”Don’t you dare cum.” Then immediately takes him in her mouth again, swirling her tongue around his head and playing her fingers up his shaft. “Yes, Ma’am” he bites out.

A few moments later she releases him and kneels over his head. He whimpers and strains to keep still, craving her hands on him but wanting desperately to reach up and claim her with his mouth. She reaches down and uses her fingers to pleasure herself, letting him watch and hunger as she teases her clit and thrusts her fingers deep inside herself.

She comes, long and hard, and collapses on top of him. “Do you still want to taste me?” she whispers in his ear..

“Please, Ma’am.” She allows him to suck on her fingers, slick with her juices. When he finishes, she releases his hands and helps him sit up. They make dinner together, then curl up and fall asleep in each others arms. As Nia falls asleep, his shaft pokes at her stomach, and she wishes that she had dared to use him as fully as she would have before his injury.

 

The next day they set out, Long walking while Nia rides. At first he keeps up easily, but overtime his energy sags. By noon he can’t push himself anymore. Nia is annoyed that he didn’t say something sooner, and annoyed with herself for not recognizing his weakness. She insists that they make camp early. Long fights depression, angry with himself for failing in something so basic. He feels even worse the next day when Nia puts him up on the horse.

The following week is a difficult one for both of them. Nia ends up doing most of the work of camp, taking care of Long as well as herself. She is very cautious in the things she asks him to do—asks, not orders, a difference he feels very strongly. Even worse is when he needs to tell her he can’t do something.

He is unaccustomed to riding. In its own way it is as tiring as walking, but when he needs to he can fall asleep in the saddle—and does so more than once.

At the first village they come to, Nia purchases a mule. Unlike Nia’s horse, the new beast isn’t used to the scent of a dragon, and doesn’t take well to Long as a rider. For several days their speed is reduced even further as Long needs to fight the best each morning to mount and gain control. It takes nearly a week to settle the beast down. Long tries not to think about the state of their coin purse. They had little money to begin with, and the mule took almost all of it.

 

A month after leaving the dragon’s valley they have an establish routine. Long wakes early and puts a porridge on the fire for breakfast. After they eat, he rests while Nia packs up the camp, saddles the mounts and gets them ready for the day. They ride out, moving at a slow and easy pace. After traveling half the day, they stop. Long rests again while Nia writes in her journal or carves. If Long is able to, they travel for several more hours after supper, otherwise they make camp and settle in for the night.

 

Nia is constantly watchful. More than once Long has tried to continue and ended up collapsing in the saddle. She hands down strict rules about what he should and shouldn’t do and just how hard he should push himself. Not wanting to push him herself, she hasn’t brought him to her bed since their first night together.

 

Long sleeps fitfully. He knows he is lucky to be alive, lucky that Nia was willing to wait for him,but he feels too strongly all he has lost. He can’t help wondering is Nia would be better off without him. She won’t release him—he knows her better than that. But he sees what his illness costs her.

 

The next day they are passing through a village when a messenger arrives. Bandits raided the next town, and they need help. Nia and Long know they need to respond, but the town is a full day’s ride away.

 

“You–” Nia starts.

“I’l–” Long cuts himself off.

Once they would needed no words. A glance, a nod, and they’d be off. Now there is a moment of silence.

“Follow as you can,” Nia finally says, “I’ll ride ahead and deal with this. With luck I’ll have it wrapped up by the time you arrive.”

“You shouldn’t face them alone.”

“And what good will you do anyone if you fall on your face getting out of the saddle?”

“I–” There is nothing he can say to that. And the truth burns like dragons-bane.

He says nothing as she gathers her things to ride out.

Nia hates leaving him behind. She isn’t fond of the idea of facing the bandits without him at her side, and she hates knowing she hurt him. But it’s the only answer. There is no way he can keep up in human form and…her thoughts skitter to a halt. Outside of battle, he stays in his human form—an old promise, and old rule, from when she first bound him to her. So long ago neither of them even thought of it any more. She had made an exception for while he healed, but the moment she had collected him, he had taken human form and stayed .

They were fools, idiots.

She turns back and pushes her horse into a trot. He is just leading his mule up to the mounting block when she pulls the reins out of his hands. Rebellion flashes in his eyes. She places a hand against his cheek and smiles. “Fly.”

It amuses her, the way his jaw drops. “Ma’am…Nia….”

“Fly ahead. You’ll have time to rest before I arrive.”

Finally he nods. “If that is what you want me to do.”

His odd response disturbs her, but she needs to hurry. “Yes,” she says, and still leading the mule, pushes her horse into a fast trot out of town.

 

Long soars above the forest. Nia is right, even a full day’s ride is only a few hours flight. The flight will wear him out, but with time to rest at the end he will be able to fight. Not like riding the same distance. She is, he assures himself, just being practical. But he is used to being restricted to the smaller form, and it feels like a betrayal, to shed his human skin and take to the skies, tracking Nia from above like choice prey. He is supposed to be hers, to serve her and care for her.

Disgusted with his own melancholy, and sure Nia would have some choice words for him is she could hear his thoughts, he puts his attention on flying, and tries to forget his disquiet.

 

Nia finds Long resting at a bend in the road outside of town. Being able to trade off the horse and mule had allowed her to make better time than she expected. Even knowing what is waiting for them, she is tempted to let him rest longer, but his eyes pop open at her approach, and before she can say anything he leads the mule to a convenient stump to mount.

 

The bandits are easy to find, and as always break quickly when one of the adventurers hunting them turns out to be a red dragon—even a young one. When the battle is over, Long collapses, leaving Nia to clean up on her own. They will get the traditional adventurer’s 10% of the goods the bandits stole, which to her experienced eye looks to be about what they had spent on the mule. So, no great profit, but at least they will get their reserve back.

 

She and Long need to have a long talk. They’d avoided discussing the future, the way his illness was impacting their adventuring. They haven’t talked about the way they are being pulled apart, how uncomfortable they both are with the changes in their lives. She sits down next to him, and builds up the fire. ”I should have done that,” he murmurs.

“Shh.”

“What else is a crippled dragon good for?” he tries to make it a joke, but the hurt and bitterness and self-pity seep through. He shakes himself. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t–”

She kisses him. “You shouldn’t, I shouldn’t. We’ve both been under a strain lately. You’ve been so worried about letting me down…”

“You’ve been terrified of pushing me too hard…”

“I think it’s time we remember a few things. Put your hands behind your head.” She pulls out several sets of thongs and ties his hands together. A few moments later she had his fully bound.

“Um…Nia…?”

“That’s ‘Ma’am’ unless you just want me to gag you…”

He swallows. “Yes Ma’am”

Pleased, she unlaces his pants and rips open his shirt, leaving him fully exposed. Then she pulled a hood over his head before going to prepare a few things.

 

Long squirms against the ties, and shivers as the wind teases his exposed shaft, reminding him that he is in the open where anyone can see…assuming anyone would walk down this rarely-traveled lane that leads only to a bandit’s hideout. He is tired and already hurting from the long day, and the ties cut into muscles that spasm randomly in the chill. He bites back a moan, and tries to listen for the sound of Ma’am’s footsteps.

He smells it first, a sharp astringent smell makes him whimper in the darkness under the hood. He feels her hand, warm and greasy, caress his shaft , and each touch leaves behind a warmth that quickly grows into the burning sensation he both loves and hates. She reaches further between his legs, and he gasps as she smears a great glob of the liniment about his hole. A few moments later something presses against his hole, entering him, filling him and bringing that hot burning sensation inside of him.

He moans and thrashes in his bonds. She just laughs. After that becomes a blur, Pleasure and pain mixed in ways he will never be able to sort out, her own moans and cries filling his ears as she uses him for her own pleasure, her own fulfillment. Then she was cumming, bucking against him, and he screams as she grinds herself against his abused flesh. She bends down over him and bites him hard on the side of his neck, breaking the skin and drawing blood. Marking him once again as her own.

They both sleep that night, better than they have since his injury.

 

Hey folks, due to combination of life and holidays, this months story will be delayed. Barring further acts of Murphy, it’ll be up next Sunday.

In other news, my full-length kinky fantasy romance novel, Glamourhai, is out on Amazon.

When the fae lord, Oeloeff, takes his sister, Mattin seeks out Countess Jahlene n’Erida, a fae noble who is Oeloff’s enemy, and begs her to help free his sister. In return for her help, he offers the only thing he has–himself. Lady Jahlene accepts Mattin’s offer, and he finds himself an initiate of a strange world where pain is pleasure, cruelty is love, and nothing is as it seems.

Mattin hates being a slave, almost as much as he hates and fears the fae. But as he learns more about Jahlene, he finds himself drawn to her, and her sadistic pleasures. As they race to prepare their trap for Oeloff, Mattin fights to reconcile his desires with his fears. Until he makes a mistake that costs him everything…

Glamourhai cover

Thoughts on: Salvage

Salvage

I can be honest here, right?

Writing a trans character terrified me.

I try to be a good ally, but I know that it doesn’t matter how much I educate myself, or how much my trans friends choose to tell me about their experiences. The truth is, I don’t understand.

Just as most men will never understand the daily shit women deal with, just as a white person can never grok the systematic oppression PoC deal with every fucking day, I, as a cis woman, can never understand what life is like for a trans* person.

And that means, sooner or later, I’m going to get something wrong. Sooner or later I’m going to make a mistake, an write something that adds to the problem rather than being part of the solution.

The easy answer, the ‘safe’ answer, would be not to write trans* characters. To write worlds where the binary is not an illusion, but the reality. A world where everyone is either a man, or a woman, and there’s nothing in between.

I would never make a mistake then, never write a trans* character in a way that was damaging or insulting or fed the idiotic stereotypes. But then there would be a bigger problem, a bigger mistake. The mistake of pretending that trans* people don’t exist.

I hope I did a good job writing John. I hope I managed to avoid being offensive or reinforcing stereotypes. But if I didn’t? If I did make those mistakes? I can live with it.

I can live with it a lot easier than I could live with writing trans* out of existence.

e[lust] #52

Secretlysensous Photo courtesy of Secretly Sensuous

Welcome to e[lust] – The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at e[lust]. Want to be included in e[lust] #53? Start with the newly updated rules, come back December 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

~ This Month�s Top Three Posts ~

He came in my shoes
Secret Pleasures and a Lifeline
Vulnerability as courage

~ Featured Post (Molly�s Picks) ~

Golden Showers
If.

~ Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

*You really should consider adding your popular posts here too*

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the �read more�� tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

Erotic Non-Fiction

Adressing my Master T
Afterglow, Wounded
Fantasy is Reality, or is it the other way…
Pig Tails? Really?
The Kilt and a Prom Dress
what i want
Whipped & Fucked
Because When You Look at Me, You See Me.

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

SexyLittleIdeas – My Sex Rules
New Rule
Collar Envy (Warning this post is Mushy)
the flood.
Today I cried
Why I love NRE even when it scares me
Love, or Lack Thereof, for an Abuser
a) monogamy b) polyamory c) neither

Sex News,Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

More Than Just Orgasms
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bed
Sex By Numbers = Bad Sex

Erotic Fiction

Such a Good Girl
Spontaneous Combustion
Seasonal Changes
Wet…bound and gagged
Larry’s Prom Date
Property’s Prospective
Inspiration
SATURDAY NIGHT SPRINKLE [WW W74]
Evie and the Trainspotter
Don’t Miss A Drop
Marked

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

Sub Silent
7(Random)Suggestions for Submissives & Slaves
Communication in D/s Relationships

Writing About Writing

Seven Sex Books I Read, Plus One I Didn’t
Thoughts on: The Blood Mage’s Sacrifice
Desiring Faggotry

Events

EroticonUSA- Penny’s Perspective

Blogging

From Prude to Proud Sex Blogger


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Salvage

Hey, I’m excited to announce that my novel-length webserial Glamourhai starts tomorrow at 6pm ET. Stop by and check it out!

ETA: Trigger warnings for transphobia.

Aidohán, formerly Skerrie, was dragged before the new king. He had failed to overcome the young challenger, and lost his throne. Such was the way of the Skul Skerrie. What happened next was not.

The new king–Aidohán never even learned his name–tore Aidohán’s seal skin from him and slashed it to pieces. Trapping him forever in human form. He had expected the king to turn on him next. Instead, the king turned his back, saying, “Leave him for salvage.”

Aidohán screamed then. Screamed and fought with every ounce of strength left to him. But he was old, and injured. The guards were young and hale.

They brought him out of Skul Skerrie and to the human realm. With strong ropes, they tied him to the piling of a pier. As the tide was going out, they left him there. Unless someone salvaged him, when the tide returned, it would cover his head, and he would drown.

Throughout the long day, the tide slowly receded until his feet hung in the air, then crept back in, covering first his feet, then legs, hips, stomach… He listened in silence to the humans walking the pier above his head. He thought of calling for help, shouting loud enough for the humans to hear, and come find him. But he feared being salvage more than he feared death. Or thought he did.

When the sun set, the waves were rolling across his chest. The courage, or foolhardiness, that held him silent through the day ebbed with the light. A clean death, he could have faced unflinchingly. A sword, a shark, a hunter’s harpoon even. But to drown, slowly suffocated by the sea which was Ruler and Mother of them all…He would have called for help then. Begged, pleaded, screamed. But the pier was silent. The humans gone. And what little pride he had left would not allow him to weep. So he closed his eyes and waited.

John stuck to the shadows. Going out at night was a foolish risk, but he needed to get away for a while. Needed to get somewhere he could just relax, be himself. He loved his family, and they tried, they really did. But they didn’t understand. After two damn years, he shouldn’t still be hearing, “Joan—oh, sorry, John, can you— ”

He crossed his arms across his chest, flattening his thankfully-small breasts. Maybe this time the docs would come through for him and he’d be able to start on T. Ya just gotta keep going, he told himself, never give up, cause when you give up the fuckers win. Which didn’t keep him from needing a break sometimes.

Lost in thought, he didn’t see the figures standing in the warehouse door until it was too late.

“Hey, Joanie, here for the party?”

“Fuck off, Ned.” He started walking faster.

John’s ex-boyfriend and his friends swung in beside him. “Aw, don’t be like that, hon. I’m just trying to be friendly.”

“I said, fuck off.”

Ned grabbed his arm. John tried to pull away but couldn’t.

“Let go.”

“Make me.”

John rolled his eyes, “What are you, five years old?”

“What you running away from?” Ned spat on the ground. “Real man doesn’t run away. Guess you’re not a real man, hey Joanie?”

John took a deep breath and carefully didn’t think about the knife tucked in his boot. He started carrying it with him after a bad incident last month…

A police car turned down the street, and they all froze. It slowed as it passed the small group. Ned cursed and dropped John’s arm.

“See you next time, Joanie,” he called as he and his buddie headed back to the warehouse. John nodded to the officer—no one he recognized—and hurried down the street. It was only two more blocks to the pier.

The sea was calm. If it hadn’t been, the waves would have been rolling over his face long since. Instead, the swells passed just under his jaw—if he lifted his chin as high as he could. When Aidohán heard the first steps on the pier, he thought he was dreaming.

“Ho!” The cry was torn from his lips. An unusually large wave washed over his head. He sputtered and spat sea water, gulping for air. Pride tried to rear up, but was strangled by survival. “Under the pier! Help!”

Only silence answered him. Silence and the sound of footsteps, walking away.

John enjoyed visiting the pier at night. It was peaceful and quiet. He could watch the stars and forget about the shit he dealt with everyday. Just be for a while.

He hadn’t gotten halfway across the pier when he heard a voice. He cursed. There went some time alone. But looking around, he didn’t see anyone. He heard the voice again. This time it sounded like it came from below. From under the pier. Shaking his head, he walked off the pier and went looking for the stairs down to the beach. Some fool kid might have gotten stuck down there when the tide came in.

It was pitch black under the pier, and there was nothing to hear but the waves slowly rolling in. John nearly decided he had been imagining thing. Then he heard a sputtering cough. Cursing, John plunged into the waves. “Where are you?” he called.

After a moment, “Here.”

John hurried towards the voice, first wading, then swimming. “Keep calling!” he yelled, then had to spit out sea water.

“I’ll try.” A pause. “Over here.” A pause. “The waves are too high.”

It was the calmest sea John had seen in months, but by then he was close enough to see what looked like a head, leaning against a piling. As he watched a wave rolled over it. When the wave passed the voice cried again, “Here!”

Now that he had a target, John was able to reach the person before another wave passed. “I’m here. Just grab hold of me. I’ll get you to shore.”

“I can’t. I’m tied.” Up close, John could see the face more clearly. Long brown hair floating in the water to matched the beard on the chin held above the waves. For a moment, John couldn’t understand. Then his eyes widened in horror.

Taking a deep breath, he ducked below the waves, feeling in the dark water for whatever had the stranger trapped. It took only a moment. He was cocooned in rope from nipples to knees. Pulling his knife, John went to work on the first coil. The rope and the water both fought him, but he managed to get half way through by the time he needed to go up for air.

As he gasped for breath, the stranger watched him with despairing eyes. “Not enough time.”

John ignored him and dove again. It took him a moment to find the cut, but he managed to finish sawing through the first loop. It uncoiled and fell away. More rope remained.

Surfacing, he saw the waves were getting larger. As the trough of a wave passed, the man, or at least, he presents as a man, and isn’t that a stupid thought to have at a time like this, gasped for breath. “Go.” he said. “Don’t…” another wave cut him off, but John knew what he would have said. A whisper in the back of his mind agreed—it was foolish to risk his life for a stranger. If he got himself tangled in the rope, or a wave bashed his head into the piling, they’d both die. Even more foolish to risk his life pointlessly, for a stranger he had little hope of saving. He heard the whisper, and ignored it.

Never give up. Another dive.

Two dives later, he had cleared the ropes to the strangers waist. He was tiring, losing focus. So at first he didn’t realize that the waves had completely covered the man’s head. Cursing, nearly weeping from exhaustion, he took a breath and grabbed the strangers chin. Leaning down into the water, he pressed his lips against the stranger’s and opened his mouth. Air passed between them. The breath of life, John’s mind conjured the phrase from somewhere.

He dove again. The rope that fell away this time freed the stranger’s hands. The stranger grabbed him. John cursed and kicked—if the guy didn’t let go they would both drown. A hand grabbed his wrist. Another tried to wrench the knife away from him. Unable to fight any longer, praying the guy knew what he was doing, John let go. As soon as he released the knife, the stranger grabbed it, letting John swim for the surface and fresh air.

A single breath and he dove again. The stranger was bent over in the water. Sawing at the remaining ropes. As John came near, he exhaled, a stream of bubbles tickling John’s nose. Desperate, John grabbed him, pressing lip to lip and giving the maniac air. For a moment, they held each other in a desperate embrace. Then John lunged for the surface. Understanding came. He would breathe for both of them, while the stranger cut the last of the ropes.

A few minutes later, the stranger flailed free. For a moment, he just floated in the water. John grabbed his arm, pulling him to the surface. Clinging to eachother, they swam for shore.

Aidohán lay on the sand, desperately dragging air into his abused lungs. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched his salvager sputter beside him. By mutual agreement, they had staggered out of the shadow of the pier before collapsing. Under the water, Aidohán would have sworn he felt small breasts press against him, but in the moonlight it was a man who knelt on the sand and wrung water from the hem of a brightly colored shirt. In the end, he ignored the confusion. The stranger had salvaged him from the sea. That was all that mattered.

And he was delaying.

He forced himself onto his knees. If anyone had asked him that morning, he would have said that lowering himself to kneel before another would be the hardest thing possible. It was ironic to find how hard it was to RAISE himself to his knees. But he managed it. Managed it and bowed his head to the stranger before him. “Thank you… Master.”

His salvager shook his head, spraying water across the sand. “What did you say?”

“I said, thank you, Master.” Remembering the feeling of breasts, Aidohán asked, “Should I say Mistress?”

“I am not a woman!”

Aidohán heard the sea’s rumble, and held up a placating hand. “Master, then. I meant no offence.”

John blinked. “You…you don’t care?” Then realized how stupid he sounded. The poor guy was nearly dead, and probably shocky. How could he have any clue that John was trans?

The guy chuckled. “In one day, I have lost my throne, been left for salvage, and rescued by a human even as the sea stole my breath. Whether my rescuer is a man or woman is not exactly a concern at the moment, Master.”

For one moment, the idea of someone who just accepted John as he was shut his brain down. Then the rest of the guy’s words registered.

“Hold on a bloody moment. Master? Throne? What are you talking about, anyway?”

The stranger looked up at him. His eyes seemed to shine green in the light of the full moon. “I was king in Skul Skerrie. Early this morning I lost a challenge. The new king ordered me brought here and left as salvage. You pulled me from the waves. By the law of the sea, I am yours now.” The words were full of bitterness, but the man took a deep breath and said, “I mean my thanks truly, Master.”

“Oo-kay. I think we need to get you to a doctor.” Did near-drowning cause hallucinations? John thought he remembered something about divers hallucinating if they stayed down too long.

The man looked down and rubbed at the raw patches the rope had left on his skin. He moved like something was wrong with his side, too. Definitely needed to get this guy to a doctor. “If that is your wish, Master.”

John took a deep breath. “Don’t call me that. I’m glad I was there to help, and I’m gonna stick around and make sure you land on your feet, but I’m no ones ‘Master.’ You’re no ‘salvage,’ or whatever you call it, of mine.”

Aidohán gaped. In all his nightmares, in all his worst fears and imagings, never had he imaged this. He would have begged, but pride closed his throat. Head bowed, he crouched on the sand and waited for the end. It came quickly. With a roar the sea reached out and grabbed its stolen prize. He didn’t bother trying to fight the wave that dragged him from the beach and pulled him to the Deep. He was cast off, not even worth claiming as salvage. At least, it would be quick.

John had no warning. One moment, the stranger was staring at him like John had just stuck a knife in him, the next a monster wave knocked him head over heels. He caught a single glimpse of the stranger, an arm flailing in the waves. Then he was gone.

Without stopping to think, John dove after him. Two steps in it was like the sand disappeared under him, and he struggled through a malestrom of water far to deep to be a few feet from the beach. Blind in the dark water, he flailed desperately. Seeking air, seeking the stranger, seeking something to grab hold of. But there was nothing.

Aidohán floated in the dark of the Deep, feeling the burn of his lungs and waiting for the end. The sea cradled him one last time, and with utter hopelessness came a kind of peace. A few minutes more and it would be over.

Suddenly, someone else was there in the deep with him. Even in human form, he could hear the vibrations of their flailing. See them in the phospherescent outline of the plankton they disturbed.

He recognized the shape. The human who rescued him and cast back to the sea. Bitter grief nearly had him turning his back on his might-have-been master. But there was no point in that now. The human probably didn’t know what he had done.

There should have been no way for the human to enter the Deep, and there was no way out now that he was here. The sea did not easily release what it had claimed.

With powerful strokes, he approached the half-seen shape and grabbed a flailing arm. They were both dead, but they did not need to die alone. The man stilled, and Aidohán pulled him close. The burning in his chest was unbearable. He couldn’t hold his breath any longer. He found the human’s lips, and pressed his against them. As he released his last breath, he felt the man’s lips move.

The feel of bearded lips against his pulled John out of his panic. He didn’t know what had happened. Didn’t really need to. He and the stranger were underwater–again. Even as his lungs screamed, his mind and body reacted. “Salvage, then.” The words bubbled from his lips, lost in the water. He didn’t care, he hooked an arm under the other’s shoulder and started swimming. Didn’t matter where. Didn’t matter that it was hopeless. You never gave up. “Salvage us both, I will.”

Aidohán awoke to the feel of sand under his belly and an arm across his back. Stunned, he sat up slowly and looked around. Next to him, the man who had twice pulled him from the sea coughed weakly.

Not knowing what else to do, Aidohán helped him sit up. The man coughed up a pint of sea water, then looked at him with bleerly eyes.

“The laws of the sea, hey?”

“Yes, Master.” Aidohán shuddered.

“Call me John.” John slowly stood up, and offered Aidohán his hand. “Ah…will that be a problem?” He looked nervously over his shoulder at the now-calm sea.

“Not if it is your wish…John.” Thankfully, the sea stayed quiet.

“Ah…I’m thinking it’s best we stick together for a bit. But there is something you should know.”

John pulled up his shirt, and Aidohán could clearly see that he did, indeed, have breasts. What he couldn’t see was why his salvager thought it mattered. He shrugged. Yes, it was strange for a man to have breasts, but it was no concern of his.

John stared at him a moment then stood and offered him a hand. Aidohán took it, and leveraged himself to his feet. “Let’s get you some clothes, and then I think I should hear about these ‘laws of the sea.’

“Hey, what’s your name?”

John found a tatty pair of sweats someone had tossed in a dumpster. It wasn’t much, but it covered things until they could get Aidohán some actual clothes. They’d need to call the police, but somehow he was pretty sure his ‘salvage’ wasn’t going to turn up on any missing persons list.

Distracted (again) he didn’t realize they were taking the same route home until Ned called out to him from a doorway.

“Hey, Joanie. Where’d you find this weirdo?”

John froze. He couldn’t deal with this right now. He couldn’t…

Aidohán strode forward, still favoring his left side. He grabbed Ned by the front of his shirt and lifted the bigger man into the air. “His name is John.” He waited a moment. Ned kicked and flaied in the air, “Okay, okay, I’m sorry!” Aidohán set Ned back on his feet, gentle as anything, and brushed him off. “I think you have somewhere else to be. Now.”

Ned took off.

John started breathing again. “I can usually handle that myself. And you aren’t in any shape to be picking fights.”

Aidohán ducked his head and chuckled. “You pulled us both from the Deep. I believe you could do anything, if you wished. That doesn’t me you should need to.

“And I fought for my throne for 30 years. If I couldn’t intimidate a fool like that while half-dead, I would have been all dead long ago.”

They walked on in silence. Each, in their own way, thinking that they could get used to the strange twist their lives had taken.

And under the pier, a ripped and tatted seal skin floated on the waves. Lost and waiting to be found.

Thoughts on: Blood Mage’s Sacrifice

It’s called a ‘cultural narrative’–the stories we tell each other about how people are supposed to behave and the way society is supposed to work. Partly thanks to Disney, “Love at first sight, live happily ever after” has become a very strong cultural narrative in America today.

There are cultural narratives for all kinds of things, from having kids, to finding a job, to how crime is dealt with. ‘Alt-‘ culture, in its various forms, is alt- because it rejects one or more of these cultural narratives, and creates its own path. Alternative relationships, alternative sexuality, alternative religions, all reject cultural narratives about [relationships, sexuality, religion]. Which (it’s shocking, I know) I am totally in favour of.

I remember thinking years ago how fucked up the cultural narrative is for abusers. At the time, the only cultural narrative I knew of for abusers was the “abusers are unredeemable monsters who should be cut off from all good and decent people.” Since then I’ve come across another narrative, “The abuser lashes out from old pain and fear, and can be saved and healed with the love of the right women.”

Honestly, I would be hard put to tell which of these narratives is most damaging.

Here’s the thing: we need cultural narratives for redemption. We need the stories of the drunkard who manages to beat the addiction, the murder who repents and turns his life to good, the idiot who unthinkingly hurts people and learns to recognize the harm and tries to start helping people.

Why do we need them? Because cultural narratives are how we learn what we are supposed to act like. And for things like religion and relationship and sexuality, telling society to fuck off, we’re doing are own thing is great.

But think of the person who looks up one day and realizes they are an abuser. There’s not classes in school on what to do when you realize you’ve lost control of your anger and hit someone you love. There’s no classes on what a college jock is supposed to do when they realize they let hormones and peer pressure push them to far and have sex with an unconscious teen. How do they know what to do when they realize what they’ve done?

Cultural narratives.

And right now, the cultural narratives for abusers and rapists encourage them to A) deny they are any such thing, B) just go ahead and kill themselves, because they are now this horrible monster and can never be redeemed, C) turn to the other people in their lives and say “Well if you were good enough you could redeem me, so it’s your fault I do this.”

(Anyone want to take a guess how many people choose option B? Yeah, I’d guess that self-preservation instinct kicks in and option B, the only option that involves taking responsibility for your actions, never even occurs to most people. Because when taking responsibility=I might as well kill myself…THAT DOESN’T WORK!!!!)

Marc isn’t your usual kind of abuser. He isn’t driven by anger, or hormones, or a desire to control and punish. But he doesn’t need to be.

I didn’t start this story intending to create a narrative for abusers. I didn’t start it to shake my finger at the BDSM community and the way it handles abuse. I just had an idea for a character who needed to make a human sacrifice for [reasons] but was actually an ethical guy who wanted to find a way to do it without actually, ya know, killing someone. It was half way through writing it, that I realized the story, and Marc, actually played into my old thoughts about abuse and the need for other cultural narratives of abusers.

Could I have ended it as a Happily For Now? Yeah. But I like this ending better. I hope you do too.

Read The Blood Mage’s Sacrifice

e[lust] #51

potter Photo courtesy of Property of Potter

Welcome to e[lust] – The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at e[lust]. Want to be included in e[lust] #52? Start with the newly updated rules, come back November 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

7 (Random!) Suggestions for Dominant Types!

Pain Positive

i know what you are.

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

Golden Girl

Have You Met Larry

~ Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

*You really should consider adding your popular posts here too*

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

Poetry

Shown
To Punt or Not To Punt, That is the Question

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

SexyLittleIdeas – Why PUA Is Like Feminism
Understanding When His Glass is Full
To Minxy Malone, Thanks For Everything
Biting the Bun
The List (is a waste of time)
Confronting Your Sense of Entitlement
What Do You Prefer: Cut or Uncut?
My Secret Relationship with Max
Quaint Little Categories
Erectile dysfunction isn’t a big deal

Erotic Fiction

Property Procured
The Delight of Leather
Christmas Eve Surprise
Granny’s Door
Lolita Twenty-Thirteen, Part Nine
Jessica
The Edge of the Park
Trust
The Blood Mage’s Sacrifice
The Spanking Paddle-Off
Used, Using, Endless

Erotic Non-Fiction

I Want You To
Love like a lotus
Bend to my will
Spanked
How you helped me to stray
Little Lightening Bolts v. Rayne’s Clit
Master’s Fuck Toy
Conflict
Tease For Two
Memories of Spunk
“It’s total perfection.”
Fucking a Girl with a Double Dildo

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

Insatiable Whore
Thoughts: Submissive Journals
Bondage vs. restraint
Dominant and Submissive “Fix”
Baring It All
Blow Job Submission – A spicy twist
Quickstart Guide
Struggling with sub drop

Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

American Tantra is Full of Shit
Really, Riddick? Really?

Blogging

My nudity

Events

CatalystCon Part 1: Dildos, dildos, dildos


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The Blood Mage’s Sacrifice

Sorry for the long delay, folks. Here you go. This beauty comes with trigger warnings for graphic violence, consent violation and object rape.

Marc stared at the brand on his inner arm. The complex spiral of knotwork and teeth hadn’t been there the day before. He was nearly out of time.

Giving up all his hopes of finding a willing sacrifice, the blood mage reached for his black phone book. He had three days to stop the demon from rising, and he needed a sacrifice now.

So he’d take what was available.

Cat was finishing up dinner when the phone rang. She nearly ignored it in favor of the text book she was studying. Going back for her master’s degree had seemed like a good idea… She had to admit the distraction was welcome.

“Hi, Cat? It’s Marc.”

“Hey Marc, what’s up?” She had fond memories of the play dates they’d shared. Marc was one of the few tops in town who was willing to push her limits, but he seemed to like playing the field. They’d been seeing each other every few months for a year or so. “I wasn’t expecting to hear from you for a few weeks yet.”

“Well, I had an idea for something special. Definitely on the extreme side. If you don’t have anything going on, would you like to come to my place this weekend?”

She closed the text book and glanced at the calendar. “I have a test Monday, but nothing this weekend. Just how extreme did you have in mind?”

“Nothing that would give you an excuse to miss your test, but you’d probably want to wear long sleeves. Basically a bit of role play.”

Cat grimaced, “I am NOT playing doctor with you.”

He laughed, but it was a nervous sound, “How about virgin sacrifice?”

She blinked. “Tell me more.”

The next evening, Cat pulled up in front of Marc’s house. She still wasn’t entirely comfortable with his request for no safeword, but he’d earned enough trust that she was willing to give it a try.

Before she finished unbuckling, Marc was waiting next to the car. She raised an eyebrow at him, and he had the grace to look sheepish. As she climbed out of the car he said, “Any delay and I’m afraid I’ll chicken out. This is… an old dream I’ve never been brave enough to try to make real.”

Well, she could certainly understand that. With a nod, she offered him her arm. He led her, not up the steps to the beautiful Victorian house, but around to the back.

“I probably should have showed you this months ago,” he said, opening the door to the old root cellar, “It’s perfect for a dungeon, if you go for that kind of thing.”

“We do tonight, apparently.” The cellar was cool and dry. Rough cut stone walls and an uneven dirt floor were illuminated by a single flickering oil lamp hanging on one wall. A doorway led deeper underground. She shivered. “For this role play, you’re right. But let’s not make it a regular thing.”

“No.” His voice sharpened. “Not a regular thing.”

The third and last room of the cellar had the floor dug out enough that it was several feet deeper than the others, and required steps. Compared to the rest of the cellar it blazed with four oil lamps. A length of chain and a pair of cuffs hung from the ceiling, and four stakes had been driven into the floor, perfectly spaced for tying someone spread eagle. Otherwise the room was empty.

“Ready?”

Cat licked her lips and nodded.

“Then strip down, and we’ll get started.”

Her clothes came off quickly and easily, but she wasn’t sure what to do with them. “Give them here,” Marc said, “I’ll put them somewhere they will stay clean.” Then he led her under the chains.

She had to stand on tiptoe for him to put the cuffs on. When she relaxed her feet, rather than settling to the floor, her weight landed on her wrists and she hung just above the ground. She scrambled to get her feet under her, and after a moment stood again, holding herself up by her toes.

Marc grabbed her hair and yanked her head back. “You have been captured by a proscribed cult known for practicing human sacrifice. You do not know how long you have been here, but you know the next time they come in, it will be to torture you to death.”

She nodded. “Alright. I hope they don’t leave me waiting too long.”

He just grinned. Then he went around the small room, blowing out the lamps.
“Marc? Hey! Damnit,I need to see!”

The last lamp went out, and a voice that sounded nothing like her friend replied, “The only thing you have to do, is die.”

Marc moved as quickly as he could, Cat’s curses echoing in his ears and he left the cellar and grabbed a large black duffle bag from the shrubbery. He would get one chance, and only one chance, to pull this off. He put on the ritual robes, white to show the blood more clearly. Gathered his implements, the tools of the sadist he played, and the sacred implements of the mage he was. His athame was clean and untouched. He would sanctify it tonight.

The brand on his arm burned. The door would open tonight, if he couldn’t stop it.
He took a precious few minutes to meditate, to clear his head. Then he shouldered his bag, and re-entered the profane sanctuary.

Cat nearly sobbed for real when she saw the warmth of the flickering oil lamp again. She had never been in such utter blackness before. She would have sworn there had been something there, something watching her. Something hungry.

Marc’s appearance was not nearly as reassuring as the lamp he carried. He was dressed in some strange white robes and carried a familiar duffle bag. But it was his face. The way he looked her over like she was nothing but a slab of meat.

It’s a game, she reminded herself. You’re SUPPOSED to be scared.

“Please.” She whimpered. “Please, why are you doing this?”

He didn’t respond. Didn’t seem to hear her.

“If you let me go, I won’t tell anyone, I promise, I–”

Without warning, he backhanded her across the mouth, stunning her. She tasted blood.
Wide eyed, she watched in silence as he laid out the contents of the bag, many of them familiar to her. Somehow, they were much more sinister here and now, then in the well-lit ‘dungeon’ they normally met at.

She flinched when he finally turned his attention to her. “What are you going to do to me?”

A knife she had never seen before appeared in her hands. It sliced across her breasts. She cried out. It was to fast. To sudden.

“Marc, what the hell!”He grabbed her hair and yanked her head back. It unbalanced her, forcing all of her weight onto her wrists.

“If you speak again, I will gag you.”

She whimpered. She hated gags. He knew she hated gags. She was starting to think she had made a mistake agreeing to this. But if she had, it was far to late to back out.He let go of her hair and knelt on the ground. Using the knife, he began drawing in the dirt, sketching some kind of circle all around the small room.

When he was finished he stood and smiled. It made her shudder, that smile.

“Now, we can begin.”

He started with a cane. Warming her up. With the circle scribed to catch the energy of her pain and suffering, he could relax into his role. The slim wood whistled through the air with each swing, landing on her body with a satisfying ‘thwack!’

He took his time. The precision of neat parallel lines marching down her back pleased him. The way she twisted and turned, trying to evade each blow added to the challenge.
It was hard to hold his tongue. Normally he enjoyed speaking to a bottom, using his voice and words to encourage them, elicit new reactions. But Cat knew that about him, so silence was better. More frightening.

He lost track of how long he used the cane, how many blows. Enough that sections of her back and ass were turning a lovely purple. He regretted that he wouldn’t be able to get pictures of these bruises.

With one hand he grabbed her hair to yank her head back again. Then he placed the cane against her throat and pulled, cutting off her air. She went wild thrashing against him, desperately trying to throw him off. To break free.

When her struggles began to weaken he released her. Her body shook with great racking coughs as her lungs grabbed for air. While she was distracted he retrieved a spreader bar from his tools and strapped her feet in. By the time she was aware enough to try to fight him, it was too late.

He took a moment to examine the cut on her chest. It was still bleeding, but not quickly enough to be dangerous. He nodded to himself and let it be, taking up instead a bag of sharp-toothed clips. Her eyes went wide when she saw them, gleaming in the lamp light. But she bit he lip and didn’t say anything.

Good.

He bent slightly and suckled on her nipple. Delicately and gently drawing it to a tight and hard peak. She moaned and shivered under his mouth.

When she was ready he stood up and placed the first clip on the nipple. A thin trickle of blood oozed out from under the gripping teeth.

She jerked and yelled. Then froze, panting, as his mouth reached for the other nipple.
Two lines down her body, the clips went, converging on her mound. She gasped when he knelt down between her legs. He knees tried to squeeze together, but the spreader bar gave him the access he needed. Slipping a finger along her cleft, he gently teased her inner labia, already swollen and wet.

She tried to jerk her body away.

“I suggest you hold very still,” he said, “You do not want me to slip.”

She shivered under his hand. He bit his lip and savored the fear. He waited, eager tension building in his middle as she began to pant, little hiccupy-sounds. He looked up at her and smiled when he saw she was facing forwards with her eyes scrunched closed. He reached behind him and grabbed a special toy. A thin dildo covered with narrow spikes, each 1/4 inch long. Glancing up to be sure she still had her eyes closed, bracing herself for what she thought was coming, he slammed the dildo up into her cunt.

Her eyes popped open and she screamed. She kicked her feet, pulled, writhed… and with every movement caused herself more pain, as the spikes scraped and tore at her insides.

“Marc! What the fuck is wrong with you! Let me down! Let me down now!”

He sighed and stood. He’d hoped she’d last longer. Grabbing her hair he yanked her head back again.

“We had a deal. No safewords.”

He went to his bag, ignoring her curses and demands. He grabbed up two lengths of fabric. Yanking her head back yet again, he stuffed one in her mouth, not being particularly gentle. The other, wrapped around her head, secured the first in place.
“Now be silent.”

She screamed against the gag, but it was muffled and no words escaped. Satisfied, he knelt down again and checked for blood. There was none. Relieved–he didn’t actually want to mutilate her–he set the final clip on her labia, trapping the dildo inside.
After that she did her best to remain still. He felt the tightness of her muscles under his hand as he threaded a string through all the clips. Obviously she was trying to prevent the dildo from moving with in her. But if she thought that would help, she was very wrong. The brand on his arm burned, reminding him that her pain was the only thing that could save them both. Them, and every member of his line.

He tugged and twisted the clips. Forcing her to jump. She growled and (presumably) cursed at him through the gag.

After a time he left the clips alone and took out a flogger. A special toy that ended in hard knotted leather. He used it to make her dance.

She was beautiful. Writhing and pulling. Twisted about in her manacles and throwing her head back and forth. Her own cries created the music that she danced to. The leather cut into her, and blood ran down her body in an intricate tapestry of rivulets. And with his inner eye, he saw the ward, gathering up her pain, finally begin to glow.

Every once in a while the strands of the flogger would tangle in the string threading the clips. Then one of the clips would rip off, and with it a bit of skin and blood, to fly across the room.

He worked his way around her until every inch of her body below her neck was red. Until the muffled screams and curses had turned to whimpers and tears trickled in a steady stream down her cheeks.

Now that she was properly warmed up it was time to get serious.

Cat had never been so terrified in her life. She had hurt worse, on occasion. But this time was different. This time someone she trusted had gone much to far. She wept against the gag and prayed that this really was just a game. That Marc didn’t really intend to kill her.

Finally, finally, he put he whip down. She allowed herself to hope it was over. To hope he was done, and he would let her down and they would both have a laugh about how he had managed to scare her. But he didn’t.

She watched as he attached a chain to the spreader bar at her feet, and then got a step ladder to thread it through the ring her chains hung from.

She screamed as he yanked on the chain, pulling her legs out from under her once again. He kept pulling, lifting her legs in the air until her weight hung from her ankles and wrists equally.

He used a carabiner to latch the chain to another ring, set low on the wall. The room seemed to spin and she swallowed back vomit. Terrified of what was to come.

The dirt floor was soaked with blood when he lowered her to the ground nearly an hour later and tied her spread-eagle to the pegs set around the buried altar. Marc ignored the glowing lines that had slowly grown on the far wall. Ignored the laughing voice and its whispered promises of death and destruction. He still had time. He could still pull this off.

Cat was conscious. Her eyes widened as he knelt next to her, athame held high. He removed the gag. She tried to speak, but only a hoarse choke emerged.

He set the point of the knife against her chest and allowed an ancient chant to fill his mind. The outline on the wall was complete–a door leading into a demon’s personal hell.

Marc closed his eyes and slammed the knife down into Cat’s chest. Piercing her heart, and a good bit else besides.

He didn’t stop. Didn’t dare stop to look, to listen, as she choked and gasped behind him. He pulled out the athame and ritually broke the ward, gathering all its stored power to him.

Then he went to stand before the glowing door. Working quickly, gestures practiced for more than half a lifetime traced power through the air. He poured her pain into the ancient ward. Renewing it, rebuilding it. The door began to open even as he set the final seal.

With an other-worldly scream the door slammed shut. The backlash blasted him across the room and tore the athame from his hands. He scrambled to his feet and saw that he had succeeded. The door was sealed for another generation.

But he wasn’t done.

Grabbing the athame he went back to Cat. She had stopped breathing. Seven minutes, the old health classes said. Seven minutes from loss of breath to brain damage.

He used some of her own blood, plentifully available, to scribe the ancient symbols. Six minutes.

Her pain and his terror powered the spell. Five minutes.

And he watched as her body slowly restored itself. Four minutes.

But only her body, magic couldn’t give life. Marc was praying science could.
Three minutes. EMT certification meant he knew exactly how to use the defibrillator he’d hidden in the next room. He raced through the set up, cutting corners with desperate disregard. Two minutes.

She jumped as he pressed the paddles to her chest, electricity coursing through her. A quick check. No pulse. One minute. He tried again, and nearly cried when he felt the pulse under his fingers, saw her chest rise with breath.

Before she woke up, he cast a final spell. To ease her memory of the night. No demons, no magic, no memories of cuts and floggings that left no scars. After wrestling with himself, he left her the memory of violation. Of boundaries crossed and safety ignored. Taking away the memories wouldn’t take away the trauma. Better for her, far better to remember why she felt traumatized.

He wished, as he picked her up and carried her into the house, that he’d been brave enough to have been honest. That six months ago he might have shown her some taste of his power, so that tonight he could have asked her honestly to help him. Her or any one of the dozen women he had scened with. But he hadn’t. And he was honest enough to know that she was the one who paid the price for his cowardice.

When she woke up, she fled his home, cursing him. He hoped that she would find a friend to confide in, to lean on. He wished there was someway, anyway, he could make it right.

Marc expected the next play party to be a kind of hell. He nearly didn’t go, but knew he would have to face the music sooner or later. So he dressed up in his usual and headed out. He left the bag at home, though. It would be a long time before he was ready to play again. If ever.

He pulled his car into one of the last parking slots, adjusted his jacket, and headed into the low, out of the way building that was the local dungeon.

Just inside the door a group of the local community leaders were waiting for him. He winced, but braced himself to take what was coming.

“Marc, hey,” Dave smiled, “We wanted to catch you before you went in. Cat’s said some pretty nasty things about you the past month. I’m not sure if she’s just out for attention or has some kind of grudge, but we’ve got your back.”

Marc’s jaw dropped. He knew that there were a few assholes who tended to push boundaries, and yeah, he’d heard rumors of accusations against a few people being swept under the rug, but were they really just going to…

“I mean seriously,” Dave continued, with the rest nodding around him like puppets, “Even if the shit she’s spewing is true, she agreed to go into a scene with out safewords, it’s her own stupid fault if she got hurt.”

Marc couldn’t stand to listen any more. He pushed through the small crowd and into the main building. After several minutes searching he found Cat curled up in a corner, obviously being shunned by almost everyone.

He lost it then. All his careful control, built up over decades and honed to a diamond’s point, fled, as his self-hatred finally found another target.

“You stupid idiots!” His voice echoed off the concrete walls, and everyone in the room turned to stare at him. “What is wrong with all of you. I violated her boundaries, ignored her requests to stop, and fucking hurt her, and you have my back! Since when is no safeword an excuse to do shit like that?”

Looking around the room, he mostly saw incomprehension. “Damn it, I came here tonight expecting to get waled on.” A deep breath. “I figured I owed her that at least. To look her in the eye, admit how much of a bastard I was and give her a chance to get her own back. And I thought all of you would be helping her.”

Lights came on in a few eyes. A few. A few people started moving, hesitantly, to stand by Cat.

“I suppose I should be grateful that you’re too stupid to kick me out on my ass, but what happened to consent? What happened to SSC and RACK and all that shit we talk about?”

Finally he saw traces of some actual embarrassment. And he turned to Cat. “I’m sorry. That doesn’t make it right, doesn’t make it better. But I don’t know what else to do.” He ran a hand through his hair. “I won’t be back for a while, if ever. I need time to get my head on straight. And I think maybe I’m not the only one.” He let his eyes pin a few guys rumors circled about, pretty damn sure at the moment they weren’t rumors. And David. David damn sure needed to figure some shit out, if this was the way he thought a ‘leader’ handled stuff like this.

He didn’t waste his time saying anything else. Didn’t actually expect anything he said to make a difference. But just because he’d done the wrong thing before, didn’t mean he couldn’t do the right thing now.

As he was unlocking his car he heard someone calling his name. Cat was running across the parking lot, dragging someone with her. She pulled up, well outside of grabbing distance. “I don’t want to be alone with you, ever again. I’m not sure I want to ever see you again.” Her turn for a deep breath. “But thank you for that. In there. It doesn’t make it better, but it means something.”

He nodded, but couldn’t meet her gaze again. Looking up at the moon he said, “You realize, they’ll probably just blame you for driving me out.”

She nodded. “Yeah. I guess. I think I’m done with this shit scene anyway. There’s got to be a better way to get beat than putting up with them.”

He opened the door of his car and climbed in. “Try rugby? Or I hear lacrosse is pretty brutal.”

She grinned. It was a small thing, but it was something. It faded quickly. “Don’t ever call me again, Marc.”

“I won’t.” He closed the door and drove home.

 

Author’s thoughts on The Blood Mage’s Sacrifice