Avery stalked down the corridor of the palace, her hands clasped behind her perfectly straight back, her shoulders level, her gaze wilting anyone with the misfortune of falling under it.
They all sensed the predatory nature of her sweeping eyes, that she was merely looking for an excuse to single someone out as event as inevitable as an encroaching storm.
“You!” She snapped, an unfortunate servant who hadn’t managed to get out of her way quite fast enough caught her eye and she stepped towards him, tall in her heels she towered over the man, though, perhaps that was simply because of the cowering, fearful stance he’d adopted.
“Y-yes Miss Avery?” He said in a quavering voice, his hands raised placatingly, she could see by his calloused hands he was a labourer of some kind, though of what specific type she couldn’t really care.
You!” She barked again, causing him to wince, “will refer to me by my title, do you understand? I will not have my name falling from your chapped lips, fool.”
“Yes Inquisitor, I’m sorry Inquisitor!” The man babbled. They must have looked quite a sight, him, strong and muscled, tall and broad, bearded with grey beginning to fleck his shaggy hair, being berated and cowering before her, a woman in her middling years, slender, lithe and by no means imposing by account of her height or stature.
Keeping her hands clasped behind her back she let her eyes wander over him, noting the brand on his forearm, her eyes scanning over the number, “Ahh yes, now I remember you, I interviewed you not the morning before last, did I not?”
“Yes Inquisitor!” He said, a pleading note to his tone, hoping for a reprieve.
“And what was the outcome of our little interview? Remind me.”
“You bade me leave and said I harboured no ill will against our Queen!” He said, head bowed.
“Mmm… And does that still hold true? Look at me as you answer me. Let me in.” She commanded.
The man swallowed deeply and began to shake, but, obediently he raised his head and stared into her eyes, all black, no iris, no whites, just black orbs that saw past his face and into his soul where he could feel her prying at his mind and, with great reluctance, he let her in.
“I bare no ill will against our Queen, Inquisitor!!” He said, his voice rattling, almost blubbering, he could feel her, gods, he could feel her rooting around in his thoughts, in his soul, as if his mind was a room she was turning over, baring everything for scrutiny.
She held his gaze for a few long moments then let him go.
In an instant he slumped to the floor, his back to the wall, his head bowed as tears flowed down his cheeks, his breath coming in ragged desperate gasps.
“Very good. As you were.” With that she turned neatly away and continued her walk, leaving the shaken man to be helped to his feet by a couple of wayward servants, content in his loyalty and the maintenance of the Palace's rightful fear of her.
She felt the cool breeze of an open window play across her bald tattooed head as she continued on her way towards Ariela’s chambers, where she had been summoned, glancing over the dark skin of her hands to ensure they were pristine, checking her nails carefully.
Over the last two weeks she had ‘interviewed’ every single worker in the palace, every cook, guard, servant and handmaiden, searching for any that dare betray their Queen.
It was tough, being her. No one ever seemed to realise that. Yes, each person she interviewed was inevitably left in a catatonic state for a short while as they recovered from the shock of having someone in their mind, but Avery had to waste her days in the mind of simple commoners! She didn’t care about their names, families, histories or any of it, yet where was her sympathy? Where was her helping hand? No, all she got was hatred and fear from everyone.
She had been tasked by Ariela to route out her toy, the former Prince Belind’s helpers, as she had been certain that there was someone in the palace, if not helping him directly, then at least ferrying messages for him, but Avery had discovered nothing. She had completed the last of the interviews that very morning and now had the solemn task of reporting to Ariela. She was not looking forward to it.
As she arrived in the Throne Room she cast her dark eyes around, scrutinising the guards and servants there to serve Ariela’s beck and call and all, wisely, averted her gaze, looking down towards their feet. She noted with glee a few drops of sweat and a few shakes of fear. Usually it was only Ariela herself who could command such fear, but it would take more than a couple of weeks to forget just what Avery had put them each through.
She approached the Throne and, uniquely, did not bow or kneel as was customary. It was an acknowledged sign of respect from Ariela that this was not required, though she still had to maintain other formalities.
“My Queen,” Avery said, voice conveying her respect as she stood before her, looking right at the Queen's emerald eyes.
Ariela sat on her Throne proud and strong even as she leaned back lazily, her hand resting on the arm of the Throne, the former Prince Belind sat on a pillow at her feet, wearing degradingly feminine attire, yet seeming content, despite the large audience witnessing his continued humiliation.
“My Inquisitor,” Ariela responded, her tone conveying that she wasn’t using the phrase as a greeting but more of a statement, Avery was her Inquisitor. Her property, “Have you finished delving into the minds of my subjects?”
Avery maintained her stare, but even the Dark Queen Ariela wouldn't look her in the eyes, the soul gaze such an uncomfortable prospect, despite the fact she would have to be willing for it to occur, “I have, my Queen.”
“And?” Ariela leaned forward a little, letting a hand trace down to play idly with a strand of Belind’s hair, treating him like a lap dog.
“All your subjects within the Palace submitted to my practice, my Queen. I found no traitors, no one who is or would be willing to help the Prince.” Avery said, level, though she had to stop herself from swallowing nervously. It should have been good news, the certainty of loyalty in the palace, but when you know there's a leak, you don't want to hear where it isn't coming from.
“I see.” Ariela said, succinctly, “And you’re quite sure you checked the mind of everyone?”
Avery nodded once, “Yes my Queen. The servant masters were very certain and they themselves are loyal. The only one in this Palace you can be uncertain of is that of Belind. Though, he would not submit to my probing, if, perhaps you would let me, I-”
“Two,” Ariela said simply and Avery had to stop herself scowling at the tiny smirk that appeared on Belind's lips, but more pressing was the single twitch around Ariela’s eye.
“I’m sorry my Queen?”
“There are two I can be uncertain of,” Ariela said simply, her tone dry. A few of her guards shuffled back a step and raised their shields ever so slightly as if they knew that tone was often followed by something… Messy.
Avery turned her mind over quickly, trying to think of who she might’ve missed and felt a sudden drop in her stomach, “If you… Doubt my loyalty… My Queen…”
The Queen stared at a point on Avery's forehead sternly for a few long moments and Avery had the odd, backwards sensation as if Ariela was staring into her own mind, though she knew it was just her own paranoia.
“Mm,” There was a pregnant pause in the air, everyone holding a collective breath, “no, no you’ve proven your loyalty to me already. And if you were against me, I’m sure you would've found a scapegoat in your interviews."
The collective relief in the room was palpable, “Then… What is our next step, my Queen?”
She snapped a finger towards a servant who, like a puppet with his strings tensed snapped to attention then bowed deeply.
“You, fetch me General Atrin,” another snap, another bow, “You escort my darling Prince back to his rooms, keep him under guard for now. Inquisitor, come with me, I wish for some privacy.”
Avery nodded her head and watched Belind rise and stretch like one of the many cats that prowled the Palace, though he wouldn't look right at her she could read his expression well enough, one of victory, and she despised him for it.
She followed after Ariela, the Queen’s heels clicking on the cobbled floor of the hall, her long black hair trailing behind along with her darkly regal dress, exuding her power and beauty. Ariela remained quiet for the short walk and Avery saw no cause to break it and strike up a conversation.
As they stalked the halls they passed a cat curled up in a sunbeam and Avery envied its carefree life. No anxiety, no worry, merely one job, keep the Queen’s palace free of vermin and relax.
They arrived in a hall that, until her conquest, had served as the former King’s war room and council, but now served Ariela for whatever purpose she deemed. While a servant saw to bringing the Queen a glass of red wine, which Avery in turn declined, another brought in General Atrin, a former man of the King and now a surprisingly well-trusted servant to Ariela.
Unlike Avery herself, Atrin bowed deep and flawless to Ariela and, to Avery’s surprise, the Queen smiled slightly as he greeted her.
“My Queen, you requested my presence?” He said before rising to stand once again unfolding from his bow, his perfect posture rivalling Avery’s own.
“Ahh Atrin, I did indeed, wine?” Ariela motioned towards a servant and, as Atrin nodded, he moved to serve the General.
Avery looked on curiously, it was not like Ariela to play the gracious host, she wondered just how close Atrin was getting to being the Queens right hand.
“Thank you, my Queen.” Atrin bowed again before collecting his glass.
Ariela motioned to a seat and, obediently, Atrin moved to sit. It was only after a more emphatic wave that Avery moved to sit also, albeit reluctantly.
“So, here we are,” she glanced towards the servant and raised an eyebrow, “What’s your name?”
The servant looked suddenly startled to have been singled out and almost dropped the pitcher of wine he was carrying, “I er, um, Daru, my Queen. Your majesty.”
“Ah good, for a moment I worried everyone save for my Prince had a name beginning with A.” The Queen said wryly and Atrin smirked dutifully.
“Well, forces conspire to free my Prince and, thanks to the hard work of Avery here, we can confidently rule out help from within the Palace… We can be certain now that, despite what we thought, Belind is incapable of sending and receiving messages to this, oh, what were their names Atrin?”
“Skye and Cadance, my Queen,” he replied.
“Yes, Skye and Cadance. Have you had any luck in finding them?” She asked but Atrin shook his head.
“I’m sorry my Queen, both names are not too uncommon in this realm.” He explained before taking a sip of his wine.
Ariela drummed her fingers on the war table and Atrin was reminded of the late King, sat there, drumming his fingers as he observed his own failing campaigns against the invading Queen. Atrin realised then that he had, on instinct, sat in his old familiar chair.
Finally she splayed her fingers, glancing between the black-eyed Inquisitor in her flowing robes her shining armour-clad general, “What next?”
There was a hollow silence as all three contemplated it, but it was Atrin who cleared his throat, drawing the attention of the other two.
“My Queen, if we are certain that this Skye and Cadance cannot communicate with the Prince, then perhaps we present them with a false opportunity to rescue him?”
Ariela nodded slowly then glanced towards Avery, studying her exotic skin, shiny tattooed head and slender figure, figuring that she was likely only perhaps a few years younger than the greying General, “Well Avery, would you say you are absolutely confident that any plan we conjure up will not leave the walls of this Palace?”
Avery glanced between her at Atrin and realised that while she hadn’t said a word, any blame for the failure of such a plan would land squarely on her shoulders.
“Yes, my Queen.”
Ariela clapped her hands together and rose, “Very good, Atrin, draw up an idea and start enacting it. I trust your judgement, you know the mind of these people better than I.”
He nodded and rose, bowing low as she passed, making for the exit, trailed by her servant, though he had left the wine pitcher by Atrin’s half empty glass.
After Ariela had left Atrin let out a sigh and sank back into the familiar comfort of his seat, refilling his glass, “...We’re missing something.”
“I do not understand you, Atrin,” Avery said, without really thinking.
Atrin raised his eyebrow, but remained silent, sipping from his glass once more.
“You were one of the King’s Generals. Now you serve her so loyally? I was certain, as she was, that you were the one assisting Belind. But no, you serve her with loyalty unmatched and she has, I think, taken a shine to you, why is this?”
Atrin rested his chin on his hand, adopting a pose so relaxed it baffled her how he managed it in full plate, “Because, unlike many of her subjects, I do not fear her wrath first.”
“How? If anyone betrays or disappoints her they fear becoming a cloud of pink mist, or worse,” Avery said, sitting prim and proper in her chair, maintaining her posture even as the General relaxed.
“And everyone fears that, the pink mist,” Atrin said.
“Everyone with an ounce of sense, everyone except you, it seems.”
He shrugged, “I fought the King’s war until the final engagement. I saw armies clash, I waded through the gore and the blood and the dying, I witnessed Ariela at her best, or worst, depending on whose side you were on, cleaving with her magic through dozens of men and with the gall to look bored while doing it. I’ve seen too much of death and darkness to fear it, Avery.”
“Then what do you fear?”
“The only thing that’s left, disappointing her. It’s a different thing to her, when someone is doing anything for her, they are doing it out of a fear, albeit a justified one, for their life, but when I do something for her, I do it for her wellbeing. Not for my life.”
She stayed silent for a few moments, looking down at her hands, “...No, I still do not understand. At the end of the day, we are all one misspoken word away from becoming a cloud of pink mist or a smear on the wall. How one cannot fear that is beyond me.”
Atrin looked across the table, he had seen countless horrors, he had fought in the campaign against Ariela on the side of the King, had seen the darkness she had brought, the nightmares she had unleashed, it was hard, after walking with death for so long to fear him as he once had, “...What of you?”
“If you fear that death so much, why don’t you leave? If anyone was capable of just walking away from her service it would be you.” Atrin said.
Avery gave a tight little smile, a few wrinkles appearing around her eyes, “Like every child I’m sure you were told the stories of people like me, Inquisitors, Soul Gazers, Night Walkers. Every man woman and child taught to fear and hate us. Any village I step into would kill me without hesitation. Oddly, I am safest here, where I am at least of some use, feared and hated by all, maybe, but at least living in fear myself only of one person, not the mob”
“I don’t fear you,” Atrin said, running a hand idly over the scar on his strong jaw.
She looked at him with those unreadable black eyes, noting his white-flecked black hair, handsome features and to her shock, the way he freely met her gaze, looking into the black abyss of her orbs without any terror in his expression.
“...So what do you think we're missing?” She asked, suddenly keen to get back on topic.
“Oooh you just keep getting better at this every time, don’t you?” Ariela grinned, sitting in her favourite chair in Belind's rooms, naked save for the Prince wrapped snugly around her cock.
He shot her a little glare looking briefly over the bare tanned curves of the dark queen, impressive in their proportions, but he found it hard to be defiant as, with his cheeks flushed, he rode her cock like the woman she’d taught him to be, bouncing his ass down against her, the clapping noise echoing throughout the room like music to the reclining Ariela.
Resting his small delicate hands on her shoulders he lifted and lowered himself with no small measure of experience, feeling every inch of her huge cock as it sank into the yielding softness of his ass, well trained now in the art of taking her python.
For her part Ariela simply watched, admiring the way his long strawberry blonde hair shifted with each movement of his lithe feminine body, his fair skin flushed with the colour as he took her into his deliciously tight hole, almost keenly.
“You know…” She started, grinning, unable to help herself, as pleasure rolled up and down her spine, “Any hope of your escape is dashed.”
Belind looked up at her, beautiful blue eyes studying her, cautious, curious, “A-ah… Cadance… Skye?”
“Soon,” Ariela said with a subtle certainty, her hands moving to his hips, fingers enjoying the warm softness of his body while making sure he kept moving, pleasuring her throbbing shaft as she revelled in the secure comfort of her victory, “We’re planning a little outing… Your big debut, at least that’s what we’re telling all the people…”
“Mm…” he whimpered softly then gasped, arching his back a little as the sensations her pulsing cock brought him travelled up his spine, “Ah, a trap?”
“Mmmhm…” Ariela gloated, grinning broad, “Guards will line the route, but in one area, quite a poor area, the guards will be light, the area packed and difficult to spot someone. We’re giving your would be rescuers one time and one place. They’ll make the move… They'll have to if they want any chance to rescue you.”
“And… And in the carriage?” He bit his lip, anticipating her response.
“Me. And I won't be pleased to see them.” She said gleefully.
W-why… Why are you telling me this?” He asked, cheeks flushed as he continued to lift and lower himself, dutifully stroking her cock with his tight but bubbly butt.
“Because, my sweet, precious little gem, my Inquisitor has questioned every last person in this Palace. And I know with absolute certainty now that you can’t warn your friends. No, you’ll be forced to sit here, knowing that I'm out there, that when I return it’ll be with this Skye and Cadance on the end of a chain, if I'm feeling especially merciful,” she smirked.
Making him realise the true nature of how royally fucked he was, while royally fucking him was so gratifying, having him pleasure her willingly, even as she dashed any vestigial hopes of rescue was a delight she knew would come infrequently, if ever again.
“No comeback? No defiant response?” She chuckled darkly as she moved her hips slowly, matching his pace and feeling the pleasure surrounding her cock warm her to her soul.
He looked down, avoiding her gaze and she chuckled, living for the defeat of her sweet little lover, “Good boy. Now, make me cum like the slut you are.”
He looked up at her and she found his expression a curious mix of emotions, his lips parted slightly, his eyes half-lidded, unreadable. But she didn’t care what he was thinking or feeling, all that mattered was her pleasure.
Obediently he arched his back slightly and picked up his pace, gasping and panting softly as he bounced on her cock, her balls slapping against his cheeks as her cock, slick with lube and pre, slid easily in and out of his well-fitting hole, his hands moving down slightly to squeeze her full breasts, pressing them tighter to her chest, the softness bulging slightly between his splayed fingers.
She kept her gaze on him as his small frame moved with a more skilled rhythm, he was getting good, she knew, and she couldn’t wait to feel how much better he would be in another week, another month, another year...
She squeezed his hips possessively, he was hers, without help and alone in the world, nothing in his life to comfort him, save for her and her cock.
“God you feel so good you fucking slut, come on, faster,” she urged, arching her back, pressing her heavy breasts up into his hands, “faster!”
Tilting his head back and closing his eyes Belind complied, his whimpering gasps coming out faster and higher pitched as, with the help of her grasping hands he slammed his ass down time and time again onto her cock, feeling the thickness throb and pulse deep within him, stretching his little ring, the shaft hardening to become like steel as her grip tightened.
He recognised in an instant her throaty growl and gasps of pleasure, the cock pulsing deep within him and knowing his part he didn’t slow, continuing his fast-paced session as a suite of familiar sensations flooded him as she began to drain her heavy nuts into the warm welcoming embrace of his ass.
“Fuuuck yess…” she groaned as rope after sticky rope left her cock to find its home deep within the lovely little porcelain doll that was her love toy, her heavy balls pressing up against his cheeks, twitching as the spent their load.
Belind, urged by her gripping hands started to slow, the thrusts coming hard and deep but lasting longer, until, at last, her grip softened and he sat there, panting hard, flat chest rising and falling, cock deflating slowly in his sore cum-filled butt, though the warmth he felt within him, he knew, wasn’t just a result of the fresh deposit she had left, but of his own muted and shamed enjoyment that he still did his best to hide, head bowed.
Laughing a little Ariela reached up and gripped his chin in her fingers, forcing him to meet her gaze again, his tired, hers mocking, “Same time tomorrow?"
He breathed softly remaining silent, but she slid a hand up his chest to grip his chin, forcing him to look at her and he knew what she wanted to hear.
"Of course..." He said softly, voice gentle, "I look forward to it..."
"I know you do, you sweet little thing, and maybe I'll have a couple of your friends over to watch, if they last that long," she grinned, reaching around to tangle her fingers in his hair, pulling him into a deep, forceful kiss, feeling elation in her victory over him, one step away from being absolute.