It is some time before I leave my hidden perch and return to the town below. My mind and soul are a maelstrom of emotions, thoughts, and possibilities.
Part of me screams for vengeance, another part reminds me incessantly of my duty to my mistress, and a part of me also begs for gratification. It takes me several hours, and more than a few pints of ale before I realize that the last part needs to be attended to first before I attempt to make any rational decision.
I call over the tavern master and inquire where I can find myself a concubine-for-hire. He smiles broadly, yellowed and broken teeth flash at me and his chamberpot-smelling breath wafts into my nostrils as he informs me he has a number of girls in the back, and that I can choose any that I like he’ll send them up to my room.
I agree and he calls one of the barmaids over, telling them to watch the common room as he needs to attend to business in the back. I notice her face fall a little as she bows and informs him she’ll do her best to match his standards. He grins at her and swats her backside before ushering me to the backroom.
Inside are a variety of girls, all shapes, sizes, ages, and regionalities laying about on soft cushions. All are elegantly dressed, for women of the merchant class. A pair in the back, a raven haired beauty and a blonde are reading from a small leatherbound text, I assume it’s religious scripture as they pour over it and bow slightly to each other at certain parts. A group in the corner, all seeming to be between their sixteenth and nineteenth years, are crocheting and sewing and speaking in a tongue I don’t recognize. Their alabaster skin seems to glow in the soft lamp light.
Right before me catches and holds my attention. They are the only nude women in the entire room. Each lay amongst the cushions, their faces buried between each other’s legs. They moan and writhe as one pleases the other. Their tongues and fingers are soft, slowly and caringly grazing the skin of the other. Their olive skin shimmered with the thin layer of sweat and oils that coated it. They are so caught up in their mutual bliss that our presence seems to be beyond their notice.
I can feel my leggings tighten, and the muscles in my shoulders begin to tighten. I extend then roll my arms inward, stretching my should muscles and simultaneously popping my shoulders. The sound causes all the women to cease their actions, even the ones in front of me. I look about me and smile. The ones reading, and the girls in front of me return my smile, the sewing circle does not, they blush deeply and hide their faces, slowly resuming their stitching and only giving me the briefest of glances from the corner of their eyes.
“Choose any whom you desire, all are fine girls, well schooled in the art of bringing a man to his fall, and far less expensive than any found anywhere else in the land,” he gloats, smacking his broad belly with a meaty palm.
His words make me shiver, either his words or the foul stench that accompany those words, I’m unsure which.
“My tastes are…particular,” I reply cautiously, “may I be permitted to speak with them in private before making a selection?” I give him my most innocent smile and grip my belt.
He pauses and looks at me, seemingly with disbelief, “they are skilled in the ways of pleasure, not combat, I will not leave a formidable man such as yourself alone with them. They would be as lambs to the slaughter, and I will not allow a wolf like you to be unobserved alone with all of them.”
“Would you have someone watch me while I am with them in my room?”
“No, but there if you were to entertain your bloodlust I would only lose one, at most two girls, an unfortunate, but acceptable loss. To lose my entire gallery, that is something I cannot permit.”
“Are these girls here voluntarily, or are they slaves you have bought?” I inquire.
“Slaves? You seriously believe me a cad, my friend!” he replies with a haughty laugh. “The two women in the back, the ones who actually can read, are professional harlots. The young group sewing are indentured servants, bondswomen, working off their father’s debt. These two lovely lotuses before you, they came to me seeking refuge, I am unsure what from, but I had need for a wider variety of entertainment, and have indulged them. I must make you aware, that if you want them, they only come as a pair, as one will not leave the other under any circumstance.”
“What if I pay more for just one of them?”
“Sorry my friend, but not even then. When I first put them to work I had a patron who asked the same thing, when I attempted to indulge him the two pleaded, then went into a fit that lasted, and got progressively worse till they were reunited. I swear, it was witchcraft, but they have proven a profitable venture, so I no longer separate them.”
“Which will allow for the widest variety?”
“That is up to them, I do not force them, nor do I allow them to be forced to perform any service which they are not comfortable.”
My opinion of this harem-for-rent master was improving quickly, though his appearance was stifling it from increasing quicker than could have been possible. It looks like if I was in the mood for purchasable love, this would likely be the best I could find in the region. Choosing my companions for the night was going to be a tough decision, but ultimately I chose the nude pair before me. They seemed pleased.
“May I speak with you outside before I retire for the evening with my companions?”
He smiled with those gnarly teeth again and gestured me towards the door.
“How much debt does the group in the corner still owe?”
“More than you could afford, my friend. Though I would love to have the debt paid in full sooner rather than later, I am concerned that these ladies will continue to have pay for their father’s mistakes if he doesn’t realize the error of his ways,” there was a strange look in his eyes. Part of me screamed that he was using this situation to turn a profit, shaving a larger than necessary share off than would normally be needed for the care of the girls, but without proof, I couldn’t pursue it, and without willingness to take money from a third party I couldn’t buy their freedom. The thought weighed on my mind as I paid him the agreed sum for the companion of the pair.
I climbed the creaky wooden stairs to my room and settled in. I washed in the basin one of the tavern maids had left in my room for me. It felt good to be clean, and unencumbered by the tools of my trade. I concealed a few of my blades around the bed, just in case my rest, or my activities were interrupted.
After laying in bed, near the roaring fireplace, for a time there was a soft rapping on my door. I spoke for them to enter, my body tensed and my hand was within inches of my hidden blades.
In entered the two ladies I had chosen earlier. They looked ravishing, each was dressed in a translucent dress, with visible undergarments. One wore a light blue, the other was in a deep red, a flower was in each of their hair, I couldn’t tell you the type as I’m no flowergirl, but I do know they were neither carnations nor roses. Their hair was pulled back, and braded into single long strands that ended just above their buttocks.
They closed the door behind themselves and the one in blue bowed and announced her name was Ani, then the other bowed and said her name was Uni. The two were nearly identical, and I was sure that I would have trouble telling them apart once the clothes came off.
I nodded at them and they smiled in return. I was definitely in for a good night.