As to ‘the Great Council which is at the judging of the dead’:
they are Thoth, Osiris, Anubis, and Isdes.
-Egyptian Book of the Dead
Squeezing the ice-blue gel onto his fingertips, Brian looked into the mirror as he spread the gel between his hands. Running fingers through his blonde streaked russet hair in a rapid, erratic motion, he sculpted the short cropped locks into the slight spike that he normally wore. A smile crossed his lips as he ran his hand under the chromed faucet, the light sensor causing perfectly regulated water to rinse the remnants of the gel from his skin. Straightening, green-grey eyes looked back at him, examining himself. He pulled the custom trimmed, tight leather jacket that hid the holster to his Viper hand pistol on over the royal blue silk button down with a tug and bent to one knee, tucking his jeans in, then finished lacing and tying off one, then the other high Vin-leather boots. He had spent a tiny fortune on the real leather jacket, but he did after all have an image to protect.
Rising again, he pinned the silver and gold jackal head pin to his lapel and left the bathroom, its shining chrome walls and light fixtures growing dim as the computer sensed his exit and doused the lights. To someone from the streets, his apartment was nothing short of a palace, however, to him it was nothing more than a place to hold up before moving onto the next mission. Brian thought about his life, again as he had done a million times before, as he went about making breakfast. This morning was just another start to another day on another job. He could barely remember those twenty years back when he had taken the first job to assassinate the cardinal of the Temple of Zion, some radical splinter cult that had formed because of some ancient movie back in the early 21st century.
He never knew who had hired him, not until he had completed his task and the Consortium; a rich, powerful, and secretive group that ran Ring-World; had put a bounty on his head big enough to make any lowly hunter want him as a prize. Over the years, he had learned to stay ahead of the hunters, ahead of the Consortium and ahead of the game. That’s all it was, at least now, it was just a series of games designed by the powerful to contain the weak willed and apathetic. It was control, plain and simple and those with the most power won. He was going to be one of the ones with power and never again would he take an innocent life.
Laughter escaped his lips as he shook his head. That time seemed so long ago and now he was the best. It wasn’t ego, it was simple truth. The others, those that were better than he, had been killed or captured. It was simply a matter of time before he was next. The Consortium would never stop hunting him; he had thwarted their plans too many times. They had started to hunt a street urchin, a simple boy that was lured to a huge sum of money and so he brought the hunt to their doors at every chance he could. It was just another hand dealt in the game of his jobs. Some would call him a mercenary, others an angel, and still others a murderer. He was none of these, all of these, he was simply Anubis. A street name he had picked up during his numerous exploits, one of numerous ancient Egyptian gods. Anubis was the jackal headed god of the dead, the weigher of good and evil of the soul, and the guide to the underworld. Brian had taken this name as he was those things; he passed judgment, weighed the good against the evil, and dispensed his own justice as to which souls he would guide to the underworld first hand.
He could barely remember how hard he pushed himself to become what he was today. He had excelled - like a superb athlete, Brian spent every waking hour training his body; physically and mentally, everything was honed to do one thing, 'to kill those that had begun a war against him.' And he had amazed those that he had sought out; even the ones that thought he was already dead.
Looking across the kitchen island into the spacious living room, he watched the sun rise over the horizon of some distant mountain and knew that even this materialistic view of his wealth would not last long. Somewhere along the line, he must have made a Faustian pack with some power or another to keep him in relative safety and unknown wealth with the stipulation that it would never last long enough to truly settle down. The Consortium would find him as they always did and he would have to leave it all behind and start anew. Money was never the issue, he could always make more, but he had often longed for that which normal people called home.
“Computer: End Holo-image. Normal view.” Brian said as the walls shifted, ending the image of the rising sun and leaving only the clear glass in its place.
As the image faded, Brian sighed softly. It never failed to amaze him; the simple view of Saturn’s rings about the huge planet in which they orbited reminded him just how insignificant everyone, including himself, really was in the grand scheme of the universe. Moving to the off-set dining room, he ignored the eight chairs and sat on the edge of the table as he looked out into the Saturn sky, wondering what it must look like from the other side. Holding his bowl before him, he swung one leg slowly as he ate; the vast reef tank that separated dining and living room giving off a soft background hum. He finished his “evening breakfast” as the huge metallic ring of his world spun into view, hiding the view of Saturn for several minutes. Rising, he rinsed his bowl, put it in the ultrasonic dishwasher and went to the couch to sit and watch the ringed planet as it came into view again, giving him a few minutes to relax.
Sinking into the couch, Brian began to eat slowly, trying to remember when he had come to Ring-World. It wasn’t exactly a world as it was more a giant series of concentric rings that were built around an artificial black hole set in a containment field that he didn’t even pretend to understand. An invisible shield was said to be generated by the orbital ring and kept the world protected from the vacuum of space and from the deadly rays of the sun during the day. Brian started on a strip of bacon as he thought about how different each level was, how each one could almost be a world unto itself. Sure, all the rings were connected by elevators and hover lifts, save the spinning orbital ring that kept the ‘world’ from slipping into a decaying orbit that plunged Ring-World into the very heart of Saturn itself and kept gravity itself intact, but this was not enough. The rich occupied the outer rings as they were the only ones that could afford the views of Saturn that were almost completely lost by the third ring. By the time one ventured to the twelfth and final ring, known as underworld, they were seeing the most base and grim parts of society, they became part of the dregs of world. All he knew is that he was on the outer ring and was in a constant battle to break those chains.
‘Damn,’ Brian thought as the wall unit came to life and rang out the hour. He came to life, knowing that he was due for his meet shortly. He rinsed his plate and stowed it in the washer before grabbing his duffle of ‘personal gear’ and making his way out into the perpetually starlit streets.
A World of Shadows
"Written laws are like spider's webs; they will catch, it is true,
the weak and poor, but would be torn in pieces by the rich and powerful."
- Anacharsis - 6th Century BC
Brian took the hover lift to the street, moving out into the constant throng of people. The streets buzzed like a living machine, its spires of steel and glass, filled with neon and monolith like TV advertisements probing towards the stars like a claw reaching into the infinite beyond. The streets were hungry and no matter how many credits, how much information, or how much blood it was fed, it cried its need for more. Those that have the credits, the power, or the connection to keep them safe reside here, on the outer ring where it was safe most of the times, it was the darker underbelly, however, that Brian now sought, the shadows beneath the metallic maw of the first ring where he would find his next job, his next payday.
Motorized vehicles, except those few used by Enforcement (the law of Ring-World, rumored to be owned by some megacorp or other), or by the ultra rich, had been outlawed shortly after Ring-World had been opened for colonization. A high speed chase had ended in a van crashing through a home and off the second ring through one of the myriad of openings in the grid. It managed to crash all the way through to the fifth ring before its momentum was halted. Forty dead and over a trillion creds in damage later and private vehicles were outlawed. So, Brian made his way to one of the hover lifts that moved between levels. He found one of the express lift, ones that dropped several levels at once with no stops between. He paid the toll to the guard as he stepped onto the lift. The guards were supposedly set to keep ‘criminal’ elements from escaping to another level. It was also a way of keeping track of movement between the rings, and with the retinal readers, it was just another form of control. He had gotten around the readers though as he had replaced his eyes with cyber enhancements long ago. Every couple of months, he would replace the retinas to make sure the readers would never know it was him. There was a tiny flash as he was scanned by the retinal reader, bringing up his fake identity on the guard panel, and within a minute found himself stepping out onto level nine, hiring a beta bot rickshaw, and making his way towards Rapture’s Place, a seedy little bar known for its privacy over in the Talismans quarter.
He watched the bot, called beta bots because they were the beta test units that came off the line when robots took its first real leap in advancement. Soon, newer and newer models came online and the beta’s became obsolete. They still looked human enough, so were put to work ferrying people around the various parts of the rings. The Committee also had decided that all future robotic constructs would have to be made to look somewhat human so they would make people feel more comfortable around them. Only the lowliest of bots or robots where allowed to look like anything but human. Brian thought a moment as he climbed into the back of the rickshaw, he was fairly sure they had a theta unit online now. He seemed to remember an article on the newsnet that stated that the new units were only distinguishable from living breathing humans up close where the polysynthetic flesh could give them away.
“Rapture’s Place, Talisman District.” Brian instructed the bot, thinking that someday, robots were going to rule the ring.
The bot jogged through the artificial street lighting, as even the open spots in the grids didn’t allow natural light this far down in the rings, carrying Brian along the bustling street past Trillion Manor, a local slave den that specialized in trading flesh for cash. Years ago, the Ring Oversight Committee legalized slavery as a form of punishment for lawbreakers. They said that with all the criminals already incarcerated, it was more humane than death or imprisonment and gave them a chance to prove they could be part of society. What it did, was simply make the black market slave trade a business that thrived far beyond what it was before the law was past. Brian just shook his head as the rickshaw turned down the alley and went on to Rapture’s Place.
As the rickshaw pulled up outside the back alley bar, Brian paid the fare, and told the robot to wait here. He stepped from the rickshaw, and quickly made his way through the smoke that billowed from the street covers and through the door of Rapture’s Place. The inside was a classic dark, brooding bar that was filled with smoke and the scent of alcohol, perfume, and the sweat of the patrons too closely packed into the confined room. People knew him here, or they knew of the famous jackal pin. He had given out more of those pins than he could count and yet still people moved aside when he passed to the bar. Most attributed it to the fact that most didn’t want to take a chance in crossing the one who had spurred so many rumors of death and vengeance. The bar itself was a monstrous thing whose central island went floor to ceiling with the flat, cool, metallic bar wrapping all the way around it.
Rapture, was anything but. He was an old, short, balding, squat man whose nose was slightly crooked from too many bar brawls and had a gut that hung over his belt a little too far. Though his appearance may be common, his brown, almost black eyes told one he was not to be trifled with.
With an almost imperceptible nod, Brian motioned to Rapture. “Seen any unknown faces my friend?”
“Not tonight,” Rapture intoned, “Though it’s still early.” He moved closer, glass in hand and a bottle in the other. “The usual my friend?” A smile curled the edge of his lip and he began to pour without awaiting an answer.
Shrugging, Brian turned his back to the bartender, looking at the various faces that graced the place. “Why not? Though, you should know better than to even ask by now Rapture.”
“I do, I just like to rattle the chain of the great Anubis.” Topping off the glass, Rapture chuckled and walked off down the bar. He called back over his shoulder, “Don’t make a mess in my bar boy.” Then vanished around the corner to help someone else.
Brian sized up the largest potential threats in a glance and reached back to pick up his glass. Rapture was right; there wasn’t anyone that really stood out in this crowd, at least not any new faces that might be troublesome. He glanced at his watch. They were late; the first rule was not to be late. Downing the drink in three gulps, he put it back on the counter, as a young man with spiked pink hair and chain dripping off various parts of his body made his way through the crowd toward the bar.
Sizing up the throwback metal punk type as he approached, Brian tapped his watch, “You’re late.”
A pierced brow raised as the youth looked at his watch. “Only by a minute 30 pal, cool your britches and let’s get to it.” The young man gave him a smug smile as he called to a serving wench and ordered a Rumbler. “You Anubis?” Brown eyes met green for an instant, before the young mans eyes went wide.
‘Punk.’ Brian thought to himself as his Viper was suddenly in his hand, leveled at the man’s crotch. He knew this wasn’t the one he made the deal with, but played it out all the same. “Let’s get one thing straight. I make the rules, you follow them. When I say don’t be late, I mean don’t be late. Rules keep you alive, rules keep our deal in tact, and if you break those rules, you may not be able to have any more fun with your lady friends. Do I make myself perfectly clear?”
“Yes.” The young man’s voice caught in his throat as he felt the gun push harder into his crotch. “Yes, Sir.”
“Good. Now, we can get to business.” And just as fast, the gun vanished into it holster. “Obviously, someone gave you erroneous information about me. I do my job and I do it without reservation. I don’t give answers; I don’t ask questions once the job is taken. The only things I want to know now is when and where to pick up the remainder of my creds and how to get in touch with you when I am finished. I am not your friend, I am not your confidant, and I am not your clergy. I don’t care about the why, the only thing I care about is the mark and if you have enough creds to cover the risk of that mark. I have already done my research and told you how much the advance is.” He turned, facing the bar and motioned for a refill. “You have my money and the information?”
Nodding, the young man fumbled in his fake leather jacket pocket and fished out a crumpled piece of paper. “Here, the man sent it down?”
“The man?” Brian looked at the boy again, confirming that this was indeed not the man he had made the deal with. “I don’t like working through a lackey.” He took the paper, looking at the information listed there and whistled. “This is one hell of a bonus boy, almost double my asking price. I assume, ‘The Man’ gave you something else for me as well with this then?”
Again, the youth nodded, and fumbled in his jacket for several moments and pulled out three small discs. “Here. He said this was enough.” The young man was visibly sweating now. “I… I thought this was a gag, initiation into the Scorpions. I didn’t think I would be here with… with you. I never even met ‘the man’, had thought this was all a gag, that I was being put on…” the young man looked down at the counter as he got a warning glare from Brian.
“You’re rambling, knock it off.” Brian took up the discs and put them into his cred reader. He watched the numbers click by on the digital display and nodded. “Well, it seems this will indeed do it. Tell your employer that I will take the case.”
He barely had time to finish that thought as an explosion set the glasses to clattering like tiny bells in the night. A gasp ran through the crowd with a scream mingled in here and there. It took only seconds to ascertain that the explosion was down the block, but it took even less time for the young man at his side to see his opportunity for escape and vanish into the crowd. Brian let the young man go, he wasn’t worth the effort. Once more, the word youth was the only thing that came to mind. Turning, he picked up his cred reader and made his way to find Rapture. Brian wanted him to keep an eye on the Scorpions and see if he could track down who ‘the man’ was. A few minutes later, he turned and made his way back out into the night.
Once in the street, Brian climbed into the waiting rickshaw, and told the bot to head towards the hover lift to ring one. Moment later, they were weaving through a large crowd that had gathered to watch Enforcement cleaning up the area around Trillion Manor. Leaning up, he asked the bot what was happening. The bot tuned into the Enforcement band to find out that a supposed terrorist group had attacked the manor. The rumors to that point were that this manor was dealing in illegal slave trade. Sighing, Brian informed the bot to continue on and wake him when they arrive. Leaning down in the seat, he closed his eyes and let himself have a tentative rest.
Another Log on the Fire
"Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch'entrate!"
Abandon hope all ye who enter here.
Inscription at the entrance to Hell:
From Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy) "Inferno"
Dante Alighieri 1265 - 1321
People always wanted to see the misery of others; it somehow proved their lives were not as dismal as they could be. This was no exception, the growing crowd made getting to the lift extremely slow and difficult. Brian mostly ignored them, but the noise of the people and Enforcement vehicles made even his cautious rest near impossible. He sighed softly, moving to one side of the rickshaw to watch the flames rising from the Manor. Someone had done quite a thorough job of decimating the building, only a single back corner was still intact, and that was rapidly being consumed by the flames.
The rickshaw jostled slightly as Brian spun, Viper in hand, and leveled it at the figure that now crouched beside him in the small cabin. His voice was low, calculated. “Can I help you?”
The bot stopped in the street, turning to look at Brian. “Is this passenger to be delivered to the same destination as you?”
Not wanting to draw any more attention to him than needed, Brian waved the bot on without looking at him. “Yes, I will pay the fare, go.” Reaching up with his free hand, he drew the curtain around the opening as he didn’t need Enforcement to see him holding a weapon on someone and get the wrong idea. Hell, he didn’t want them getting anywhere near him. “Let me repeat myself once more before I toss you back into the street in a manner that will ensure you won’t get back in.”
Slowly, the head of the person lifted to meet his gaze, the head of a beautiful young female was revealed! Her long brown hair shone in the dim street lights filtering through the curtain and her soft, sensuous lips curved up into a scared, pleading smile and her dark cat-like eyes gave her an exotic appearance. "Don’t make me go back there." she begged in a soft, timid voice. “Please, don’t let them touch me anymore.”
Leaning down with his gun, he pulled back the edge of the tattered trench coat, revealing her skimpy clothing. Her clothing was that of the Manor, a classic red teddy that barely passed the modesty laws set down by the council. Brian didn’t need to ask who ‘them’ were, he already knew. It was rumored that the black market slaver guilds made sure all their female slaves were well versed in the art of pleasing men, unless they were virgins, as virgins brought a much higher price.
“You escaped during the explosions chaos?” Her nod confirmed the question, though he had guessed that already. “And you thought a passing rickshaw was a good idea even though the one inside might turn you in?”
Again she nodded, “I thought it was a better chance than the streets.” Her pleading eyes touched something inside, deep where he knew she was going to be trouble.
‘Damn.’ Brian thought. He knew better, he knew not to get involved and yet something was telling him to take a chance, to trust her. After all, what was one more log on the fire when he was already wanted for so many other things? “Stay down. We will be to the lift soon enough.” He holstered his Viper as he watched her cover her head and duck down again.
The rickshaw arrived at the lift about 15 minutes later. “Pull over here.” Brian told the bot as he helped the woman from the back. “Just follow my lead as this might get a little dicey.” She nodded her understanding as he pulled her into an alley. “This is going to sting, but try to keep your eyes open.” Another nod, as he took out a small container from his jacket and brought the nozzle just before her eye. Using his other hand, Brian held her eye open and gave a quick blast of the spray. “This will fool the retina readers into thinking you are a pleasure bot.” He told her as he repeated the action.
She yelped as each spray hit her eye and then looked at him with a tiny smile as tears rolled down her cheeks. “Thank you.” Her voice was almost a whisper and he had a feeling a few of those tears were joyous and not just because of his spray.
“I don’t like slavers.” Brian said with a grin. “Come on; let’s get moving before that wears off.” He waited for the tears to stop, and then wiped them from her cheeks before leading her back into the street.
Leading her towards the lift, he wrapped his arm about her shoulders, stumbling slightly as he walked beside her, and laughing as if something were extremely funny. The guard smiled as he activated the lift and the pair was scanned, obviously thinking Brian was too drunk to realize he had gotten a pleasure doll instead of the real thing. Paying the toll, Brian blathered on for the minute it took to get to ring one and then lead ‘his play thing’ out into the street as he stumbled along. He continued the act for several minutes, making sure they weren’t being followed and that Enforcement wasn’t bearing down on them.
“See, that wasn’t too tough.” Brian smiled at the lovely creature on his arm. “I am Anubis.” It was safer to give her his street name at the moment. She cold still be a plant after all. “What’s your name?”
“Lydia.” A smile as well as a relieve sigh crossed her lips. “Thank you…” Her eyes went wide and she became very stiff under his arm. “Anubis? Enforcements most wanted?”
He laughed at that. Most wanted indeed. They only wanted him most because the Consortium had probably bribed everyone on the payroll. “Yes, but don’t be afraid. I am not the monster they say. I simply do the job I am hired to do. I never take an innocent life in the process.”
“But you kill innocent people because you are hired to.” She was looking at him like a viper in her bed.
“Calm down or you will get us caught and you will end up back at the manor.” He scolded her and then continued on in a much calmer tone. “I don’t kill the innocent. I do my research well before I accept a job and the ones I get paid for I do because they are wicked men. Otherwise, I don’t kill unless I have to. Now you can stay with me and I can keep you safe or I dump you here and you can take your chance amongst the elite of society.” He tried to hustle her along; she was drawing attention to them. He knew she was going to be trouble, but trouble or not, he understood her fears, hell he was scared of some of the things he had heard about himself. “Make up your mind right now.”
Nodding, Lydia stepped into him, still a bit uncertain. “I want to go with you. You are my only ray of hope in this hell.” She looked at the street below them now, refusing to meet his or anyone else’s gaze. “I’m sorry… I didn’t know.”
“No one does.” He tucked her in under his arm and quickened the pace. “Enforcement has painted me as a monster. What better way to catch a criminal that to make the people want his head? I am not a monster Lydia; I am just a man running from a lifetime of bad decisions.” Not sure why he was telling her all this, Brian fell silent and led the rest of the way to his residence. He had only just met her and yet felt he could tell her anything, as if he had known her his whole life.
They finally reached his residence and he hastened her into the lift and up to his penthouse. “Make yourself at home.” He told her as he reset the security system and hung his jacket up on peg near the door. “Computer: Music, soft, instrumental.” Motioning towards the bedroom, he smiled at Lydia. “There is a sonic shower and a hot steam bath through there. It looks like you got a little singed in the fire. I will make us something to eat in the meantime.”
He watched her awed look as she took in the place. Hearing the word food brought her gaze back to him. Smiling, she nodded and inched towards the bedroom. “Are you sure? I mean, I know steam is expensive and…”
“I’m positive, go enjoy yourself.” Seeing her hesitation, he waved her on. “Don’t worry, I will be here cooking. I’m not going to peak or force myself on you. You’ve had enough of that already.”
Visibly her smile widened and she made a hasty retreat into the bedroom. Within minutes he heard the shower come to life and he made about cooking a light, yet filling meal. Taking out a bottle of wine, he set it to chill while he finished dinner. Soon after, the shower stopped and he heard the door to the steam bath. He smiled to himself as he set the table, lit a myriad of candles, and set the sky walls to show a babbling brook at night, a non-existent moon hanging in the air, and then went to put the food on the table. He called out to Lydia, letting her know it was ready, then turned the lights down and made it a much softer atmosphere.
What a Tangled Web
"For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.
It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul."
- Judy Garland
Brian waited for Lydia to rejoin him after her sauna bath, while moving about the chrome kitchen doing spot cleaning of the pans he had used to make dinner. He had prepared a simple salad with a nice stuffed mushroom appetizer, a filet mignon with baby potatoes and cheese drizzled broccoli for the main course, and light chocolate cheese cake with raspberry topping for dessert. Hearing the bedroom door open, Brian glanced in that direction, blinking and doing a double take as he swore he had seen another celestial body standing in the doorway. The room was dark except for the light streaming out of the bathroom and setting Lydia aglow as she stood there with her damp hair streaming about her shoulder, glistening like a moonbeam. She had on one of his button down shirts, leaving her legs bare and giving her an air of sensuality that immediately started his heart racing.
Swallowing and facing her with a smile, he moved to pull a chair out from the table. “For the lady, we have a lovely meal prepared.” He grinned even more as he bowed slightly; doing his best imitation of butlers he had seen on the old vidnet recordings.
Giggling softly, a bit of color rising in her cheeks, she moved across the room and sat upon the offered chair. “Why thank you kind sir.” She looked up at him with an impish grin, “I hope you don’t mind that I borrowed one of your shirts. My clothes were all grimy from the fire.
“Not at all.” Brian said as he pushed in her chair and moved to take his own. Besides the fact that he thought a woman wearing a man's button down was probably one of the sexiest things on a women, she really didn’t have anything else to wear. “Let us start with the appetizer.”
Finally noticing the spread on the table before her, Lydia stared at him for few moments before finally finding her voice. “This is so… extravagant.” Though the look on her face said she was indeed hungry, he could tell she wasn’t sure what to make of it.
“Nonsense, you are a guest in my home. I wouldn’t be much of a host if I didn’t offer you hospitality now would I?” Brian smiled and doled out the salad and a dish of mushrooms to start. Nodding with his chin to the bowl, he smiled. “Go on. Eat. Please.”
Lydia took only a few moments to think about it and then set about her meal. Even with being hungry, she had perfect manners. She didn’t talk, save to ask for this or that, but Brian didn’t mind, he just enjoyed watching her as he followed her lead in eating. After dinner, Brian began to clean up, stopping her as she started to get up and grab her plate. He told her to take it easy as he would take care of clean up; she had had a rough time of it lately and needed it.
“Why don’t you relax on the couch?” Pulling out Lydia’s chair, Brian gave her a gentle push towards the living room, watching her swaying hips under his shirt.
With a smile, he turned and went about cleaning up the table and the rest of the kitchen while she relaxed and let herself get absorbed in the music. When he finished, he poured more wine for them both. As he moved towards the couch, he smiled, trying to distract himself from the familiar stirring the sent a strange electrical feeling to the base of the spine. His eyes traveled up Lydia’s shapely leg, one whose foot rested on the floor while the other stretched out on the couch itself. Her legs had come almost entirely free of the shirt that now rode high on her thighs and gave him a tantalizing view that he couldn’t help admire.
“More wine?” Moving across the room, Brian held out her glass as he asked the question.
She ignored the question, her eyes coming to meet his. “Anubis?”
“Why does Enforcement want you so badly?” She broke the gaze, taking the glass he offered. “You don’t have to tell me, but I have heard the rumors about the criminal Anubis and you don’t fit any of them.”
Ah, she had finally got to the important questions Brian thought. He mused over this question a few moments and in the end, he let her lead him down the dangerous path once again. “It is a very long story, but years ago, when I was only a boy, the Consortium set me up to do a job. The amount of money they offered me I couldn’t refuse.” He rose, moving to the wall glass and watching the tiny specks that were people below. “I was an urchin, living on the streets with no home, no family, and no cred, no life. I had never heard of that many creds, let alone seen them and all I had to do was take a man’s life. To a street punk, that doesn’t seem all that difficult for that amount of cred.” Lydia watched his back in silence as he thought almost a full minute before continuing. “Do you have any idea what its like to kill a man, to look into his eyes as he watches Death ride in on his pale horse to claim his bounty?” The question was mostly rhetorical. “It’s intoxicating in a way and in that single instant, I scared myself more than I have ever been scared before or since. I took a vow that day and have not broken that vow to this. I would never again take the life of an innocent.” He turned, his own face almost pleading. Somehow, it was suddenly very important that she believe him. “That was over 20 years and I swear to you Lydia, I have not taken another life that wasn’t corrupted already. The Consortium started hunting me shortly after that, pinning the blame on me directly. There was no way to fight them in Council. I was a wanted young man and I fled. I have been fleeing ever since.”
Lydia sat there, staring at him, trying to decide if this was all an elaborate game he was playing. After what seemed like an eternity to Brian, she nodded once and offered him a tiny smile. “It must have been hard making sure which deserved your justice and which didn’t.”
He sighed, not sure if she was judging him as he had done so many before. “No, if there was every any doubt, I didn’t take the job. Only those that are truly corrupt or wicked deserve my judgment.”
“So you are a vigilante then? No wonder Enforcement wants you dead, especially if you crossed the Consortium.” Shaking her head, Lydia looked into Brian’s eyes, something almost sad in her gaze. “Thank you.” She smiled then, leaning back a bit further into the couch and setting her glass on the coffee table. “What’s your real name?”
Brian’s gaze dropped to the deep shadows just under the shirts edge, shadows that hinted of so much more. Hearing her question, he turned and answered before he even thought about it. “Brian Molstein.” He lifted his gaze to meet hers. “What’s your last name?”
“Pavins.” Lydia absently licked her lips, meeting his gaze directly. “I don’t have anything of material value to repay you, but I think I have another way.” And with that, she spread her legs a bit more. Not enough to reveal anything more than a bit more thigh, but enough to get across her meaning. “Lean back and enjoy.”
Languorously, she brought one hand up between her pert breasts to undo the top few buttons and reveal an alluring view of her golden-tanned skin. Trailing her fingers across one quickly hardening nipple hidden behind the silk of the shirt, she stroked slowly down her slim body. Brian watched in hypnotized fascination as he leaned back to enjoy her show as ordered. He sipped his wine as he watched her fingers dip under the hem of the shirt, into those dark shadows, into that place of mystery, and began moving in slow stroking motions.
Slumping down on the couch, Lydia’s hand slipped further into the valley of her legs as her shirt slid up further revealing traces of soft downy pubis hair. Brian could see her fingers, the middle nestled further between the others, yet hidden by them and the shadows of her legs. As her breath began to quicken, her fingers began to play more fiercely, like a master violinist tuning her instrument for play. Her fingers becoming a more fluid motion, her head slumped back against the couch arm as her other hand slipped between the open buttons at her neck.
Brian watched, his excitement growing with each passing moment and he knew now why they said the ladies of the Manor were irresistible. Even though she wasn’t doing anything he hadn’t seen before, there was something about her manner, the look that came and went over her face, the gentle rolling of hips and thighs that gave just the briefest view of her tight rump, the trilling fingers that played over and within her sensitive folds, and every subtle nuance screamed sexuality, lust, and desire. He felt his own fingers stray to the crotch of his jeans as he watched her begin to move even more. Hiking up one leg, he began to fumble between the laces of his boots and the button of his jeans, finally kicking off one boot to start on the other.
Lydia didn’t seem to notice him as he undressed, if she did, she obviously was too engrossed in her own activities to care. Her hips began to rise and fall in time with the finger that caressed inwardly. Her legs began to move in a gentle butterfly pattern as they squeezed her hand and her body began to tremble with more than just lust.
By the time her first tiny orgasm began, Brian had stripped down to his jeans and rose to quickly remedy that as well. His length sprung free of its entrapment as his jeans dropped to the floor and he knelt down on the couch, reaching out and letting his hands caress down her legs to her hand. “Let me help you Lydia.”
Lydia’s eyes fluttered open, head rising as she looked up at him as if suddenly remembering he was there. Her hand lifted over the top of his, holding them with more strength than he thought she would have, but also giving him a perfect view of her cleft. “Brian…” Her voice trailed off as he placed one finger to her lips.
Brian could see a slight panic shining behind her eyes as he tore his gaze from the perfect display before him. Giving her a reassuring smile, he lifted the finger from her lips and let his hand return to her leg. “Shhhh… don’t worry Lydia, I am not here to force you or use you like those other men.”
Her grip relaxed, letting him pull her legs a bit further apart and he levered himself between her knees, kissing the juncture there and following the line of her leg deeper into the sacred valley of desire that was now presented to him like an offering. Her shiver was as much nervous energy as sexual and she forced herself to relax, feeling the gentle kisses, the soft caresses that were so unlike what she was used to.
A deep gasp escaped her lips at the first touch of his tongue against her delicate folds, head once more finding the arm of the couch. Kneeling before her in a silent worship, Brian became aware of the intoxicating aroma and the sweet nectar that coated her nether lips. Lydia began to writhe beneath him, her breath coming raggedly as his tongue opened her up and began to tease her, taste her. He eagerly gorged on the sweet nectar that flowed from her like a ripe fruit. He was almost amazed at how sweet she tasted, even more so than any other woman that he had ever been with and for a brief moment, he suspected he would never want anyone else again.
Moments turned to minutes and Brian worked her into a greater frenzy, trying to please her. A wail suddenly pulled free of her lungs, her fingers twining into his hair and pulling hard, trying to wring every last drop of pleasure out of him.
“Stop… Please stop.” She pulled him from between her legs, gasping as they fell away to the back of the couch. “No more… please.” A deep smile came across her face as she said this, watching him wipe a finger over his lips and lick it clean. “Give me… a minute.”
Panting slightly, Brian sat back on his ankles and watched her with a contented smile. “Only if you let me get my shirt back.” Grinning wickedly, he didn’t really wait for her nod before he was in motion to finish unbuttoning the shirt and pulling it free of her body.
Lydia smiled up at him, sliding from the couch to kneel on the floor. Her hand came up to his chest and pushed him backward. “Let me see if I can return the favor.” She said as he tumbled backward with a laugh.
Pulling his legs out from under him, Lydia absently licked her lips as she looked at the male member standing free of his body. A tiny grin turned the edge of her lips and her head slowly closed the distance, her tongue snaking out to tease the head of his length. Brian shuddered as the teasing tongue made first contact, working slowly from the top of his length to its base. She mingled in tiny nibbles as her hands caressed his inner thighs and worked her way back up to the purple head.
Brian’s finger gripped the back of the couch deeply as her supple lips engulfed the crown of his shaft, tongue teasing the tip as she began to work her way down once more. The fingers of Brian’s other hand began to stroke her hair, using slight pressure to encourage her into taking more of his length. She quickly became more aggressive, working him into the same frenzy he had gotten her to just minutes before. He had had far more expert woman give him pleasure, from women who had more experience; but the almost clumsy, childish enthusiasm with which Lydia pleasured him made them all pale into insignificance. His breath caught and before he could even give her warning, he was giving himself over to a tremendous orgasm.
Leaning back, one slender finger came to her lips in imitation of his early show. A smile crossed Lydia’s lips as she slid back up on the couch opposite him. “I guess that makes us even.”
“Seeking to know is too often learning to doubt.”
- Antoinette Deshoulieres
The strangest of things enter the mind at the oddest of times, Brian thought to himself as he looked over this lovely vixen before him. He found himself wondering why she had perfect tan lines when almost everyone used tanning beds these days. Perhaps that was exactly the reason, it was somehow more exotic, at least to him.
Before either could say a word, they closed the gap between them on the couch, drawing up into each other’s embrace. No sooner had the breech been closed when they found each others mouths pressed wantonly against each other in a lustful kiss, tongues invading, seeking out the secret places that only such a glorious kiss can find, moving hungrily as their hands wander aimlessly over bare flesh; goose-bumps following in the wake. They finally broke this kiss, leaning back with mutual grins, and panting slightly. Brian looked down between them, and his eyes locked on Lydia’s glorious nipples, the crowning glory of her full, pert breasts. They were a rosy shade of pink, slightly darker than expected. The areolas were average, yet perfectly round. In the exact center of each was a small, pointed nipple, that seemed to grow as the cooler air reached them once more.
His hands slid down her body as he tasted one nipple, fingers locking behind her knees, and he slid backwards, drawing her into his lap as he settled his legs under him with her kneeling over his waist. Continuing to suckle her breasts, Brian let his hand wander the perfect globes of her rear, caressing and kneading softly as Lydia closed her eyes and began to settle in against his lips and torturing tongue. Slowly, she settled in against his lap until they were once more kissing again, the wildly abandoned kiss that let them both know the lust they held within.
Reaching down with one hand, the other supporting Lydia’s weight, Brian began to tease her with the head of his shaft, running it between her wet, puffy folds. Rubbing up and down a few times, she squealed as he managed to bump against her clit on each pass. Then, when he had found the exact position and figured she wasn’t expecting it, he slipped a hand under her and pulled her rump towards him while thrusting up at her. The knob slipped her narrow, wet opening, furrowing just inside the tight passage and she cried out and clutched onto his shoulders as if it were completely buried. Her face was now bright scarlet, her eyes watering slightly when it occurred to him that she was much more innocent that he originally had expected. He looked deep into her eyes and when she simply nodded, he knew the truth of it. She was to be the main attraction at the next auction. He smiled, nibbling her neck and earlobe lightly while weighing the various ramifications here. Finally, he came to a decision as she seemed to adjust to the little that was within her.
Might as well get it over with, he thought. Taking a deep breath and pushing her down hard and giving a sharp thrust upward, he did just that. Lydia screamed as her hymen gave way, and then went rigid, eyes in a fixed stare, her breath coming in great pants. Squeezing her tightly to him, Brian could feel every muscle of her heated well adjusting to his size, twitching and contracting around his length as it tried to expel the intruder and it sent a tingle deep into his loins. Very slowly, Brian began to move, easy at first, tiny minute movements. As she began to adjust, he whispers softly in her ear, gentle musing from poets long since dead until he was finally taking her with longer and longer strokes.
Lydia’s head rest on his shoulder, feeling the raw power in this simple act, the act of loosing her virginity. She was slowly swept up in it, feeling it take control of her senses as the pain ebbed away quickly and was replaced by something wonderful. Brian’s hands controlled the movement so far, guiding her hips and using his in counterpoint as he began to grow more and more powerful in his strokes. But now, she was starting to respond, thrusting down at him with each powerful stroke and as lovers became united, the lust rose to a fevered pitch as they pounded at each other with a fierceness of lions. Pistoning into her, Brian withdrew until only the ridge of the bulbous head was holding him within her tight folds, then he slammed into her again until he could barely feel her cervix brushing its tip. Their cries mingled into the night as again and again they drove against each other in a lusty desire of sexual release.
Hips met hips now as Brian plowed into her fertile valley, priming her sweet virgin well until it erupted around his driving length, her juices flowing down his shaft as this only made him drive into her more. Lips met once more as a familiar tingling began to creep along Brian’s spine, a tightening and finally a release from somewhere he didn’t even know existed. Muscles tightened as he slammed himself deep into her core once more, sending several waves of his heavy seed deep into her body. Several minutes passed, one slumping against the other as Brian spasmed deep within her. Finally, he rose and carried her to the bedroom where they continued to explore the extent of what each others lusts could bring.