Priestess – Chapter 3:
Kevan stood easily before the High Priestess. He was tall, well-muscled, his fair hair gleaming like gold in the dim room.
“So Lord Kevan, why did you enter the contest?”
He smiled, “Lady Tiarna, how could I not? How could I stand by and allow any hands but mine to touch my precious Aliera?” His blue eyes glowed with emotion as he spoke of her.
“And what do you think are the duties of a consort?”
He looked suitably thoughtful, “He must provide strength and control for the High Priestess. And of course he has other duties – advisor to the King, mingling with emissaries from afar, the Consort must be able to move in the highest circles with ease.” Kevan smiled, knowing he was the only noble among the finalists, trained from birth to move in those high circles.
Kevan relaxed now, the incense doing its work. He spoke freely, from the heart, “Aliera is so young, in need of guidance and training. She needs a Consort who can help her with the heavy duties of state, the decisions she must make.” He was seeing the future now, his house regaining its status. He would restore the family fortunes, the Consort was one of the most important men in the land and his loving control of Aliera would give him even more power.
Kevan chafed against the restrictions caused by his family’s troubles. Once a mighty house, respected and feared throughout the land, now bankrupt and clinging grimly to the edges of society. Noble blood was important of course, he was still accepted in society, but he was forced to make concessions. No longer the best seats, not the most obsequious attention of merchants, no automatic precedence over lesser, newer houses. He was forced to economize, even to demean himself by finding ways to earn money. Luckily he had a talent that was lucrative, but acceptably noble.
Lord Kevan was recognised as an excellent judge of stock, and a superb trainer. He would buy raw, untrained stock and sell it later when it was well-trained and much more valuable. He wasn’t a merchant of course, it was all done as friendly arrangements between gentlemen. Some even sent their purchases to him for training, or asked him to help them decide what to buy, for a small percentage of the price, all between gentlemen naturally. He attended the auctions regularly, the dealers would allow him to view their stock before the sale and decide which had the best potential. And then he’d spend weeks, even months on the training.
His method was simple and effective. They’d be brought into the yards behind his residence. Some had been bred in captivity, half broken-in already, but many were captured in the northern mountains or on the western plains. They were half-wild, terrified, fighting the restraints. He’d let them struggle, wait until they started to tire, then send in his grooms to bring the first one to the enclosed courtyard behind the house.
The girl would be stripped, laid face-up on a special bench and tied spread-eagled, totally exposed and helpless. He’d watch, sitting in the shade sipping a cooled drink, slaves standing by awaiting his orders. After a few moments he’d stand and walk slowly towards her, she’d watch with terrified eyes. He’d lean down and whisper gently, “I am a fair man, you will not be treated badly here. You will not be abused or hurt undeservedly. If you obey my orders you will be allowed to enjoy pleasure. You will be rewarded for good behaviour, but punished for bad. You are a lovely young woman, but I take no woman against her will, not even a slave. I will not force myself on you, I will only take you if you ask me for that honour.”
He’d watch her stare at him, then begin to relax. He’d wait until the tension left her body, then slowly trail his fingertips up one thigh. She’d gasp and tense up, and then he’d gradually take his fingers higher until they just brushed the tender folds of skin exposed between her open thighs. “I will not take you unless you ask me to.” The girl would be squirming now, sometimes whimpering. Then he would lean lower, lips to her ear and whisper, “Ask.”
Some cried, some begged, some spat defiance. They never asked the first time. Then he’d reach out his hand and the slaves would hurry to bring him his chosen training tool.
A thin strip of tortoise-shell; two fingers wide and as long as a man’s forearm. It looked almost harmless, not the whips or straps they had expected. He’d wave it in the air, “I told you that disobedience will be punished. Once a punishment is announced it will continue until it is finished, you cannot avoid it or cut short the penalty. You will be reddened with this,” he’d wave it again, “if you do not obey me and ask now. Ask!”
Some stayed silent, some spat abuse, some whimpered. They had little fear now, the slat looked so harmless compared to what they expected.
“So be it. You will be reddened for your defiance.”
The tortoise-shell slat was deceptive. It looked so harmless, but it delivered a sting that was fierce. And it left no bruises, it could be used for an hour or more to sting a girl until she was almost mindless, but the next day her skin would be virginal, ready for another treatment.
He would lift it high, she’d follow it with her eyes, then he’d step back, beckon his house slaves forward. “She is not ready for my attentions. Prepare her.”
They’d hurry to obey, all of his slavegirls knew the kiss of the slat. They’d bring scented water, wash the girl clean, brush her with perfumes, wash and comb her hair, then turn their attentions to the bush of hair at her groin. The Master liked his slaves clean. Obedient, well-trained slaves were allowed to shave. Stock being trained was not given this privilege. It usually took an hour to pluck one clean. The grooms would untie her feet and raise her legs, holding them high and wide to allow access to all the areas the master wanted treated; her brush, her pussy lips, the crack between her cheeks. Lord Kevan would sit in the shade, sip his drink, wait until it was done. Usually they squealed, for a while.
When she was prepared he’d step forward, swinging the slat again. The grooms would still be holding her feet high, they’d spread her wide. The skin would be pink now, tender from the plucking.
“Now the reddening. I do not tolerate disobedience.”
The first stroke always took them by surprise, the sting so much greater than they expected. He’d slap down again and again, the tortoise-shell biting the tender pussy-lips and quickly turning them darker pink, almost red already. And so far to go. He’d slap the pussy, the inner thighs, until she was writhing, usually they began to beg before the first fifty. He always enjoyed the first time, finding her limits, testing her resolve. He would continue until he knew she was near the edge, then nod to the grooms. They’d reach down and take hold of her tender pussy lips, pulling them apart to reveal the untouched surfaces inside. Twenty or so would usually be more than enough to set her screaming, the tears would flow free. He’d give the whole area another round of attention, he always gave another fifty or so after she broke so a slave wouldn’t think control of the punishment depended on her. Then the grooms would let her feet go, untie her hands.
They always tried to roll into a ball of pain, and he’d move to the other end of the table. He liked to see their faces for this. The grooms would flip the stock onto her stomach, then tie her arms again. He loved the moment when she felt her ankles being spread and tied, when she knew it wasn’t over. The fear, the horror. They’d often ask then, beg for the chance to pleasure him. He’d smile as he reminded them: a punishment begun was always completed. Then the grooms would spread her cheeks wide and he’d begin on the crease between. Often she’d never felt punishment there before; certainly nothing that inflicted the sting she was feeling now. He’d redden the sides thoroughly, fifty or so strokes to each, then concentrate on her little puckered rosebud. Barely twenty was usually enough, sometimes fifty if she was trying to hold out. They were always screaming long before he stopped.
He’d wait, rest, watch as her sobs calmed. Then approach again, admire the angry red stripe disappearing between her thighs. She’d flinch, sometimes they began to beg or sob as he approached. He’d bend down, whisper softly, “You have been punished for disobedience. You will be brought here tomorrow and I will again command you to ask to be allowed to pleasure me. Disobedience, refusal to ask, will be punished more severely.” He’d stand, start to turn away, she’d go limp with relief, then he’d turn back, “Now you will be punished for your lack of respect. I did not hear you thank me for your correction and training. You will be punished for this rudeness.”
Now he laid it on her full cheeks until they were as red as the stripe between. He liked to watch the girls writhe, hear the desperation in their screams as the fire seared their helpless bottoms. Usually he’d tan new stock for half and hour, often longer if she was particularly entertaining. When he stopped he’d wait, then; “Do I hear you thank me now, or do you require more training today?”
Usually they’d manage to gasp out some response, close enough to be acceptable after a first session. She’d learn, he had time. The stock would be taken to the sheds, locked in her cell until the next session. If he was training several at once, the stock treated later would hear the screams of the first ones, and usually prove more amenable. He’d redden them anyway; they needed to know what they were working to avoid.
First day with new stock was always enjoyable.
The next day, he’d have the stock brought to the table again. He’d examine her closely, there’d be no marks from the previous session. The tortoise-shell slat was wonderful; it could inflict such severe punishment but leave stock unmarked for the morrow, so the session could be repeated as often as needed. Usually on the second day, when he fingered her secret charms and whispered, “Ask,” the slave would beg to be allowed to pleasure him. If she asked with enough sincerity he would give her the honour of being the vessel for his pleasure. If she seemed reluctant, didn’t ask with enough enthusiasm, or refused to ask, he’d repeat the previous session. But he’d double the penalty. Few held out beyond three days. Once a slave lasted for five, but he eventually broke her. He kept her for months, enjoying her submission while he trained her in special arts to give unusual pleasures, then sold her to a Lord who had very sophisticated tastes. His reputation was enhanced in certain circles; he was regularly approached by lords who desired stock trained to give specialized forms of pleasure. He took pride in the effectiveness of his training, stock trained by Lord Kevan was renowned for its obedience and enthusiastic performance of any duty.
After she was broken he would make increasing demands on the slave in her next sessions. Each day she would be brought to him and required to perform a specified duty. She may have to beg to pleasure him, to dance for his amusement, to be used by the grooms while he watched. Refusal, even hesitation, was penalized with a severe reddening. After a few weeks she would be grateful if she was required to carry out more mundane duties around the house instead, and would soon be the perfect house slave; quiet, respectful, eager to carry out any task. His household slaves always behaved impeccably and worked without stinting. Even well-trained senior servants could find themselves on the table if they made the slightest error.
After few months the girl would be ready for sale. Raw, untrained, defiant stock had become a well-behaved, well-trained, valuable slave. Some were sold as house slaves, most had been trained in further techniques to give pleasure to their masters. He’d give the stock one last session on the table before she was sold, to remind her what awaited if her new master had cause for complaint. Few of his stock were returned for more training. It was not a pleasant experience.
Lord Kevan smiled as he viewed the future. Once he was Consort he would no longer need to earn money like a commoner, but he would still train stock now and then. It was a shame to waste a talent like his. Of course, he would also train Aliera, but her training would generally be more subtle. She’d need few sessions on the table, she was already eager to please him, so young and malleable. Easy to train.
The High Priestess listened as the young lord relaxed in the drugged air and sketched his plans for her niece. Outside Aliera waited as her love was tested, praying he pleased Great-Aunt Tiarna. She’d told her how much she loved him, begged for him to be the One. She edged as close as she could, but try as she might she could hear nothing.
Finally he was ushered out and Goran was called. He strode up the stairs, looking grimmer than usual, a soldier to the core. A man with no softness in him. Aliera shuddered as he disappeared into the inner sanctum.