A dragonfly’s wing
Rolling amongst brittle leaves;
A plaything of the wind,
That uncouth and awkward child.
- The Canticle of Menkeret.
“Menkeret is a kindly god. He is lord of all mysteries, certainly, and the source of all magic, but he is a benevolent deity foremost of all. Invoke him in your hour of need. He is the door of all subtleties and through subtlety we might best understand him. His emanations are manifold, my daughter and his manifestations truly sublime….........”
My father’s words echo faintly in my mind as though he had spoken them deep in the corridors of time. But they were the utterance of this year past, words of but last spring. It was then that I left him and my dear mother to wander the world, trusting in little more than my wits to protect me. Such a thing, no daughter of Mentrassanae had ever dared to do. The risk of incurring the censure of their kin and of their peers had kept them all in check. No so I!
My family did not oppose my leaving. My father spent long days and nights casting arcane runes and performing rites to safeguard me from harm. The nature and purpose of a few of them are known to me but most remain a mystery, so that, at times, I almost feel as though I do not know my own nature.
This land of the Darrakhai surrounds me now. It seeks to stifle, to oppress and to consume me. But it knows not that I am a viper in its breast. I may be deprived of wealth, of dignity, of freedom, I may be enslaved by the machinations of others but of virtue I will never be deprived. I must learn all that this place, this time and these circumstances have to teach me, for through wisdom I gain strength.
I see a smile. It is Ara’s smile. She approaches in her quiet way, wearing loosely a gown cut from the brown homespun that is the mark of the slave. I am immersed in warm water. We are in the bath chamber of the slave quarters of the house of our master Heshuzius. At present, our master seems to be away on business and rumor has it that he will be bringing home with him a number of new slaves. Those of us that he has seem to please him, for the most part and he is a kindly master by Darrakhai standards.
I dip my shoulders under the water. Having filled the bath myself and perfumed it with spices, I take the opportunity to bathe now that the house is quiet; the noontide heat having seen the majority of the occupants retire until late afternoon. The house has been busy today, for, tonight, the Lady Itelyssia; the wife of Heshuzius intends to entertain guests. Ara has informed me of this. She is a trusted slave and follows the rules of the house to the letter. But I often sense a hidden fear in her and a deep seated longing, the nature of which is still obscure to me.
Ara climbs the steps of the dais and hesitantly sheds her robe. A tanned foot tests the water which I have made cool. She smiles again and enters slowly, making few ripples – such is always her way. Her features are fine and her hair is dark, she has the high cheek bones and sharp chin of the women of Zonovon and she is indeed one of their number. Her large eyes are the eyes of modesty, ever downcast, but they are reflective, beautiful black eyes; made even more beautiful by what suffering they have witnessed. Her arms are muscular but supple and two perfect breasts adorn her. Aye, she is beautiful. A stray thought now crosses my mind; I would possess her.
“I saw your embroideries and your weaving in the loom chamber this morning. They are both very fine,” I tell her with a smile.
“Thank you, you are kind. I had a good teacher.”
“Your mother perhaps?”
She hesitates and gives me a sad look for an instant.
“Yes, my mother taught me to embroider but in the skills of the loom, it was the woman who mostly brought me up, my nurse.”
I step closer to her, she does not react. I can feel her emotion but it is mellow and calm.
“Tell me about your mother and your family,” I ask gently.
“There is not a great deal to tell. I was the youngest of eight children; five brothers and two sisters. They were all slaughtered by the Darrakhai.”
“I am aggrieved to hear it.”
“I alone survived by hiding in an olive barrel for two days. I emerged to find our house a smoking, plundered ruin. I saw the broken body of my brother Haruun first...and…and then in every room; the dried blood of my kin and our faithful retainers.”
“I mourn for you.”
“Thank you but you have no need to,” she says coldly.
“Still, it is fitting and does them honour, as you do them honour through remembrance.”
“I remember them aye, as they were when they lived.”
“How were you enslaved?’
“I found some rags that the plunderers had not taken. Dressed in these, I wandered through the city scavenging what I could, like an animal, until I was captured.”
“No member of your family survived?”
She shook her head slowly.
“No, it was three years ago, I was just 16. With each passing day their faces and voices grow fainter in my mind, it is just as well.”
I can sense that this is not true. She smiles again and shrugs her shoulders girlishly indicating that the subject is closed. I feel overwhelming compassion as I stand before her. The cool water is soothing around us as is the silence of the bath house. She looks up at me as I am a good hand’s span taller than her. I feel her hand grasp mine under the water and pull me close. Our lips meet and I feel her lovely soft, smooth skin against my face. After a moment she pulls away and looks up apologetically. But I am a swifter beast than she.
I place my hand upon her shoulder, our eyes lock and I gently draw her in. My kiss exceeds hers in intensity; doubly repaying her gift. I caress her lips lovingly as once I did those of my fisherman. Her breath is like a whisper, her heartbeat a pleasant rhythm in my ears. Now I feel her hand upon my breasts beneath the water, she rubs my nipples and swiftly they respond. I see a hunger in her eyes, a growing need. We kiss again and this time my hands encircle her slim waist, drawing her closer. I stand and feel Ara’s velvet tongue on my nipples; she licks and tickles them each in turn as I caress her and stroke her hair. After I have repaid the courtesy we both laugh, but quietly, lest we attract attention and incur the displeasure of our fellow slaves.
“Today we must assist in the preparations for Lady Itelyssia’s feast,” she whispers.
I nod and instantly reach down; to feel the skin between her thighs. She is surprised but does not resist.
“Let us begin by shaving each other.”
By the look on her face, I see that my suggestion meets Ara’s approval.
By the bath there is a small cabinet that holds the shaving implements and next to it, a low table upon which to sit. I suggest that Ara sits while I shave her. Her legs are slim and shapely, she waits as I sharpen the razor and mix the salve. All the while she looks up at me and smiles; her hips are round and her firm breasts still point up as she lies back on her forearms. I apply salve to her legs, rubbing it into her skin gently; she shuts her eyes, trusting in me to perform the task well. I shave both her legs. Her hair is soft, making it an easy task. Once I have finished I rinse her skin with warm water and turn to her pussy.
Gently I trim her and shape the remaining hair on her mound into a sharply pointed strip, for such is the current fashion amongst the Darrakhai. While I work, I notice her looking down approvingly. Once I have finished, she is swift to reciprocate and soon we sit side by side upon the padded table; our legs spread, our twin pussies refreshed and shaved to perfection. Ara giggles,
“Oh Kayla, it is at times like these I almost forget all the evil that has been.”
“Indeed, one must dwell in the present. It is times like these that I can revel in the beauty of another; one of my chief pleasures. Only I did not expect to meet a woman as beautiful as you here.”
At my compliment she turns and kisses my lips again. I embrace her and soon we quite forget that we are two totally nude women in the middle of a room open to the entire household. But Menkeret is a kindly god and all love is sacred to him. By his good grace, no one disturbs us and I revel in the softness of Ara’s lips and the supple caress of her soft hands upon my skin. She lays back and I kiss her from above for several long moments; our breasts meet; nestling beside each other, and our limbs intertwine.
“Let us escape and hide from prying eyes,” she whispers at last.
We stand quickly and enter the narrow corridor leading away from the slaves’ quarters. Here there is a long room filled with fabric; bales and bolts of it in great profusion. It is the perfect hideaway. We enter and lock the door. Immediately upon doing so, I embrace Ara and kiss her lips. As I am taller than her by a hand span, my arms caress her shoulders and her smooth back; I grasp her buttocks, kneading and spreading them teasingly. She breaks away from me and runs deeper into the room. I follow; admiring her swaying hips and svelte limbs. She turns and smiles teasingly. Communicating only with gestures, we unroll a bolt of cloth and spread it over several bales of wool. It is costly cloth, from the mills of Tavissa. One bolt of it is worth far more than the life of any slave. I expect Ara to hesitate before touching it. Instead, she jumps with glee into its cool smoothness. I join her and before I have properly settled, I feel her hand running up the inside of my thigh,
“Do you doubt your ability with the razor my dear Ara or the keenness of the blade?”
“Nay, I simply doubt my ability to resist your body.”
I laugh and rest my head on the soft, luxurious cloth of Tavissa. I part my legs and run my hands down her back; cool and beautiful as a perfect column of stone. Ara turns to look at me; her look now is one of serious intent. Slowly she opens her mouth and extends her tongue; licking her fingers sensually until they drip and glisten. I shut my eyes as she turns back and soon, I feel her fingers part my lips. My pussy moistens quickly under her touch and I feel her fingers circling my clit and plunging between my folds. After several moments, I arch my back to let her in deeper and ripples of pleasure soon radiate through my body. I gasp and wriggle my spine; feeling the full force of her hand skillfully working my pussy. Ara is clever in her love-craft. I can begin to see why the Lady Itelyssia prizes her so.
I hear a soft shhhhhh as she slides her body down over the precious cloth. I open my eyes to see her looking up at me from between my legs, with her hair covering one eye.
“Recline my fine lady and see what rare skills I, your humble slave, will employ for your pleasure.”
All I can do is laugh at this gentle mockery.
Ara grasps my thighs and spreads them wide. I feel her fingers part my lips and she plunges two of them into my depths. She opens me up and loosens every muscle within me. My body offers not the slightest resistance as ample juice drips out of me onto the fine cloth. Ara’s tongue and lips set about their task with sweet abandon and taste my flesh as though it was the finest of regal fare. I refrain from pushing her face deeper into me as I had often done to my beloved Oltos. No, this would be impolite. But I find it increasingly difficult to reason with myself. My mind swiftly grows numb to all thoughts save the delicious pleasure of Ara’s mouth upon my sensitive flesh. My arms stretch and my back arches, I reach out and grasp handfuls of the Tavissan fabric. Her hands stroke my thighs inside and out as her mouth reaches the summit of its ability to stimulate my pussy. I shudder and gasp; I moan and wriggle my hips. Pleasure washes over me like a sea-wave, again and again.
It subsides at last and I open my eyes to see her grinning face obviously well pleased with her endeavors. She wipes her mouth upon the cloth as though is were the meanest of homespun napkins. We embrace and for a long while, kiss furiously. There is no need for words.
I sit up as Ara settles back upon the rich cloth that is our love seat. I raise one of her lovely legs and slowly run my hands up and down its smoothness.
“Mmmmm, that fells wonderful, don’t stop,” she purrs.
“How old are you?”
“Nineteen, I was born in the month of Haritos, on night of the ninth.”
“I will be twenty years old in twelve days time.”
“Forgive me; I am unfamiliar with your Zonovon calendar.”
“Do not concern yourself my dear Kayla, she laughs, “I have spent three birthdays as a slave and, if the gods will it, I will spend another.”
We are silent for a time as I rub her legs and massage her muscles.
“Have you been with a man?”
“Aye, but where I come from it is unbecoming that a lady should lose her maidenhood before she is betrothed.”
“How different our customs are. I have had many lovers; most of them carefully chosen by my family, one chosen by me. He was my one true love.”
She looks at me intently and with hints of sympathy and sadness but then her mood gradually brightens.
“But no more talk of men now.”
Her hand reaches down. She rubs her mound teasingly and makes herself more comfortable. I slowly release her leg and, with my nose nestled upon its narrow strip of hair, my tongue begins to explore her pussy. I spread her lips and take my time to savour her and taste the wholesomeness of her body; sweet and aromatic as freshly baked bread. Soon her hips swivel and she rubs herself against my lips and tongue. She sighs and moans softly, calling my name and softly repeating the names of her gods. Before long, Ara, lovelier than the dawn light, is lost in ecstasy.
My eyes may be closed but I have second sight. The subtle nuances of sensation and emotion now pulsing through this beautiful woman are as clear to me as the features upon her face. Our proximity makes Ara’s body into a book where I might read her every impulse, her every feeling. She desires pleasure and desires it from me.
Using my talents, I imagine my tongue glowing with energy; it is the essence of my own desire made manifest. I slowly magnify its glow as one would stoke a fire. I stir and fan the flame with my mind, increasing its potency, and direct it into Ara’s body, little by little. Soon she moans and arches her back. Her legs tense and she flings her arms back upon the rich Tavissan cloth. After a moment, I pause and open my eyes only to see that Ara’s are tightly shut. Her mouth is open; she breathes deeply and licks her lips blissfully. I cannot help but smile. No doubt she has never felt anything like this before.
I sink my face gladly back into her pussy; wiggling my tongue and concentrating intensely on one spot then on another. Now, as I spread her slit wide open and continue to ply her with my tongue, my mind’s eye sees her aura; it is a golden spindle of light. As I approach it slowly in my mind, it glows brighter and pulses. I reach out and touch the light that is her very spirit and her body is convulsed with pleasure. Above us I imagine a boundless field of stars; a glorious canopy stretching over our loving place. Ara’s musical moans and sighs are wonderful to hear as her fingers run through my hair like the cool tendrils of the sea breeze at twilight. At last, with waves of the utmost intensity coursing through every fiber of her being, she cries, moans and thrashes her limbs as she comes.
I stop and let this tempest of my own making subside. Long minutes pass as I watch her face contentedly. She sighs and there is music in her voice; notes she can make but not words as yet. She rubs her breasts and face like a baby. Her skin feels cool to my touch and if I allowed her to, she would sleep soundly. But I am mindful of our location and I now pass my hand lightly across her face. Her eyes open instantly as though she has awoken from a vivid dream. She blinks and smiles, then turns sharply to me. There is doubt in her eyes now, even fear.
“You are a witch.”
In order not to frighten her further, I lower my eyes submissively and whisper,
“Aye, you might call me that, but I assure you I am a kindly one.”
She inches away from me but does not go far. In a voice as low as mine she grimly asks,
“What manner of sorcery have you worked upon me?”
“Fear not, I intend you no harm. In my family sorcery is something of a calling. The uses we put it to are many. I used it here merely to enhance your pleasure, my sweet Ara.”
“Yes. Did you not enjoy the sensation?”
I now look her in the eye. The truth is there, plain to see.
“I…I felt as though my whole body was on fire but…but it was a fire like I have never felt before. It…it was euphoric, it was….. wonderful.”
I smile modestly. She speaks now more out of curiosity than out of fear so I choose to leave the subject, thinking it best not to divulge all of my secrets to her. I turn back to the bolt of cloth that had been our love seat. I spend several minutes rolling it back up and moving it into a chest where it might dry. Now I look up. Ara is in tears. She approaches and draws me to her.
“Oh Kayla, forgive me. The years have made me fearful and mistrustful of everyone. You are a friend and an ally. Please forgive me….”
I hug her. We kiss lightly and I run my fingers comfortingly through her fine hair.
“Fear not my friend, all is well and all will be well.”
This I believe, by all the gods of my fathers, but Ara has been three years a slave. Is she to spend her entire life in bondage and servitude? Am I?
I dry her tears and we proceed to restore the room to its original state. Fortunately, it is seldom used but if our presence here were known it would be reported and we would not go unpunished. As we are about to depart, Ara opens a small chest. Within are sumptuous necklaces of polished desert stones – the type worn by slaves serving at a banquet. Ara clips one around her neck. It hangs low between her pert breasts, just leaving her nipples exposed. She insists that I wear one also. I glance at the door then quickly put the necklace on. It is as large and gaudy a confection as hers. She smiles and shakes her head in admiration as she walks up to kiss me again.
“Clad in homespun we are slaves. Nude, we are goddesses.”