The deep black of night faded into the purple and dark blue of early morning. The chirping of insects gave way to birdsong. The cheerful tweets and whistles floated through the air as Devin stared into the distance. The yellow glow of day was making its first appearance as a thin ribbon on the horizon.
The young Chosen's limbs were filled with brutal ache. His every appendage was locked in brutal predicament bondage. He was on the back patio, his knees digging painfully into the grainy stonework floor. Leather straps ran around his shoulders and chest, leading back to the tight armbinder locking his arms behind him. At the end of the cruel device was a large metal ring. Short lengths of chain ran from the ring to the cuffs on his ankles, immobilizing him.
The thick leather band around his neck acted as a triple wide collar. It was locked tight with a padlock and had a chain leash that led to a post behind him. If he started to doze off, as he had many times, his head would lull forward and the band would tighten around his neck, choking him. The rest of his body was nude; exposed to the elements. It had been a cool night, but the brilliant colors on the horizon foretold that it wouldn't remain that way for long.
Devin heard a door open and shut followed by the slow, deliberate striking of high heeled boots across the terrace. It was Sadie, of course. It had to be. She wouldn't leave him out here past dawn.
The clan matriarch strode before him. Only her outline was visible in the half-dark of nautical dawn. Sadie tapped a folded fan in her free hand as she studied the servant kneeling before her. Devin was a good slave, for the most part, but sometimes he needed to be taught a lesson. This was one of those times.
“Who told you to kidnap the girl?”
“No one, Mistress.”
“Then why did you do it?”
“An opportunity was presented and I took it.”
“An opportunity to what? Confirm their suspicions? Lead hunters directly to my door?”
“I wasn't thinking.”
“That's right, you weren't. Thinking isn't your job. The men of our kind have rarely been good at it. Their lack of foresight nearly saw us wiped from existence several times. That's why things are different now. Leave the thinking to me, Devin, and just do what you're told.”
“Yes, Lady Octavia! I'm sorry.”
She raised the folded fan, tucking it under Devin's chin and lifting his face with it.
“I'm sure you are, but that's not good enough. I think you need a reminder. And what better than a morning on the patio? The weather report says today is going to be a hot one! High UV index. Absolutely gorgeous! A rarity in this place, but well timed with your stupid fuckup.”
“No! Please, Mistress!!!”
The point of Sadie's leather boot leapt forward and blasted Devin's dangling cock and balls. She followed it up with two more kicks to his groin that left his eyes wide and his mouth coughing and drooling.
The haughty woman smoothly tucked her fan away before pulling a ball-gag from the pocket of her dress and bringing it to Devin's open mouth. She pushed the fat rubber ball between his lips and fastened the leather straps around his head with practiced ease.
She gave his short, brown hair a tug, pulling his head up with one hand and grabbing his chin with the other. Sadie stroked his well manicured goatee with her thumb. It was one of his better features. That and his normally unquestioning obedience.
“No more talking, slave. It's time to reflect. Worry not! This is a punishment, not an execution. I'll have you brought inside before noon. You're just going to get a little tan. Enjoy the sunrise!”
Sadie stalked back to the manor without another word. Devin muttered into the gag and wrestled with his leather and metal bonds as he heard her heels clack into the distance.
The clanking of chains and the delicious stretching of leather made Sadie's cock twitch as she reached for the door. Under normal circumstances, this could've been a fun morning for her head of security, but a good Mistress always put discipline before personal pleasure. Besides, there were so many other slaves to fuck.
Devin grunted. He endured his leather-wrapped stress position and slurped on the increasingly phlegmy gag filling his mouth. He was powerless to do anything but watch in horror as the yellow band in the sky expanded and the air steadily grew warmer.
* * * * *
Kayden's eyes opened and he found himself in unfamiliar surroundings. His memory of the wild night with Cassandra flooded back as he lifted his head from the pillow and studied her well furnished bedroom. The walls and ceilings were painted white, yet the room was dark thanks to the heavy shades that blocked each window. Kayden could see edges of bright line around their periphery, but nothing more.
He turned to his left and was presented with the face of a slumbering angel. In addition to her jet black hair and pale skin, there was a new contrast to behold in awe. It seemed impossible that the sleeping beauty at his side was the same woman who'd been so fierce and demanding with him throughout the night.
Kayden had sought a true female dominant, a woman who would put him through his paces, and Cassandra had delivered in spades. The fact that she was hung like a porn star was the icing on the cake, though his ass was still paying the price for that. His well-ravaged hole still ached from the monstrous pounding he'd received.
He studied the mysterious Mistress Cassie as air whistled lightly in and out of her nose. Her chest rose and fell; ample C-cups creating two silky bumps from the below the bedding. It had all happened so fast. In truth, he knew little about the woman he'd just spent the night with.
Kayden hoped to learn more today, but if he was honest, Cassie could keep her secrets forever if she wanted. He was already crazy about her. The young man had never fallen for a woman so completely and so fast. There was just something about her. Her eyes, her scent, her... everything. And that was on top of her sexual proclivities which seemed so perfectly aligned with his own. Kayden felt utterly helpless in her presence and he savored every drop of the sensation.
The short-haired blonde smiled. As happy as he'd be to study her all day, it was almost noon and he was starving. Kayden slipped out of the bed and stood; stretching his limbs and yawning. He reached for the shades and turned the long, thin pole hanging from the top. He meant to open them smoothly, but the device was more sensitive than he expected. The blinds flipped open and sunlight poured into the room. It bathed everything in bright white and yellow.
“AHHHHHHHHHH!!!” Cassandra cried out. She frantically pulled the covers over her head and turned away. “Close it! Close it now!!!”
Kayden looked bewildered. He chuckled and shrugged. “What's the matter? You allergic to sunlight?”
“I'm photosensitive, you jerk! It hurts my eyes! Now CLOSE IT!”
“Oh, shit!” He turned back to the window and fumbled with the rod, turning it until the blinds re-shuttered. The gray half-darkness enveloped the room once again. “Sorry, I didn't know.”
The blanket lowered and an unamused Cassandra reappeared. The naked young man standing at her bedside looked genuinely apologetic. “I suppose I'll forgive you this time, after you pay some penance.”
“Penance?” he asked with a sheepish grin.
Cassandra sat up and leaned back against the headboard. She gestured to her lap. “Stretch out, right here.”
Kayden didn't need to be told twice. He smiled as he slipped back onto the bed. His flaccid cock and balls dragged across the silky smooth duvet as he crawled across the expanse and set his midsection across Cassie's lap gently. His head hung off the bed and his legs spread out behind him as Cassandra began rubbing and circling his bare ass with her right hand.
“Thirty spankings is fair, I think.”
*SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK*
She wasn't gentle and Kayden was quickly reminded of all the impact his ass had suffered the night before. Cassie built upon the marks she'd left already. A lovely redness returned to his round cheeks in little time. Kayden bit his tongue and counted the thirty strokes silently. Her surprisingly strong blows and steel-like palm brought him close to crying out in pain instead of merely grunting.
*SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK*
Once the torrent of spanks ended, she resumed rubbing and groping his tenderized ass. Kayden hissed as her grip delivered a new dose of pain to his throbbing buttocks.
“Did you enjoy that?”
“Yes, Mistress Cassie. Very much!” he answered truthfully, though his voice was anguished.
“Mmmmmm... I'm glad to hear it. I think you have potential, Kayden.”
“Yes, potential to be my live-in submissive” she announced, releasing his ass reluctantly. “If that's what you want.”
Kayden turned on his side and propped his head up on one shoulder. He looked up at the proud Domina, her eyes glimmering in the dark room. Her gaze lingered on him; a lioness studying her prey. Kayden suspected he'd soon be hers, but she hadn't caught him yet.
“I mean, that sounds great, but what about the rest of my life?”
“What about it? Tell me about your life. You used to be a gymnast, right? Why aren't you doing that anymore?”
He shrugged. “I was good, just not good enough for the Olympics. I went as far as I could before calling it quits. The injuries got old, too.”
“And what about the rest of your time in university?”
“I got a General Studies degree while playing sports. Which is why I do landscaping now.”
Cassie laughed. “I see. So what's an average day like for post-college Kayden Forrester?”
“I mow lawns, trim hedges and fight off horny housewives. Sometimes I see a movie or grab beers with my friends to end the day. That's about it.”
“Doesn't sound like there's much keeping you from being my full time bitch boy.”
“I still have bills to pay.”
“Let's see... You have an apartment. A car. Some miscellaneous expenses. That can't be more than a few thousand a month, right?”
“I'll cover it. For as long as you choose to wear my collar.”
Kayden's eyes practically bugged out of his head. “Are you serious?”
“Yeah” she answered nonchalantly and nodded in earnest.
He was dumbfounded. It couldn't be that easy. He looked from side to side, re-examining her luxurious bedroom. Kayden had seen the rest of her condo on the way in last night. He felt almost stupid asking the question. “Are you rich or something?”
“Pretty much” she repeated his own words with a cheeky smile. “So, does this sound like something you'd like to try?”
“Hold on a minute” Kayden said, sitting up and shifting off her body. As enthusiastic as he was to submit to this gorgeous woman, she was moving a bit fast even for him. He crawled back to his side of the bed and stretched out. “Don't I get to ask a few questions?”
Cassie folded her arms below her breasts, tightening the silk nightgown around her mounds. She resisted the urge to be pedantic and point out he'd just asked two in a row. “You may.”
“Tell me. What's an average day like for Cassandra Winters?”
She smirked. “I work. I play. I study things that pique my interest.”
“Can you be a little more specific? Your work, for example?”
“I'm a trader. Stocks and other financial instruments.”
“Like a day trader?”
“No, I'm a value investor. I take the long view. Gambling is for fools.”
“What about your play? Do you mean hobbies, like sports?”
Cassie giggled. “No, silly. I'm talking about what we did last night. I enjoy attending fetish balls and sampling the finest S&M dungeons around the world. Believe it or not, we have an amazing one right here in Tumwater.”
“For real?” he asked in astonishment.
“Yes, but it's an exclusive club that caters to a niche element of the lifestyle.”
“Wait a minute. Are you talking about that Scarlet place?”
“Yes, the Scarlet Sanctum.”
“I saw one of their flyers. Tried to talk my last girlfriend into checking it out. She wasn't enthused.”
“It's a fabulous dungeon. Many of their events are invite only. I'm friends with the owner.”
Kayden nodded. He recalled seeing blood play on her list of kinks. Now it made sense. She was probably into that kind of role play. It tracked with her overall look. She enjoyed the unholy, creature of the night aesthetic. Figures he would fall for a sadistic goth girl.
“I'll admit, I'm intrigued. Last question. What is it you enjoy studying?”
“Aside from handsome men in bondage? Ancient history, pagan culture and the supernatural. That's all I'll say for now. Maybe if you stick around, you'll learn more.”
The birthday-suited blonde grinned. What a fascinating woman had entered his orbit. Or rather, he'd fallen into her orbit. Cassie was the gravity well pulling him in. That much was undeniable. She'd baited the hook and Kayden knew he was going to bite. All that was left were the details.
“Alright. So what, specifically, are you proposing?”
“Total power exchange. You will live here as my willing slave. You will fix and bring my meals, do the housework and run my errands. You will dress how I tell you to. You will obey my every command and submit any time I demand, day or night.”
“Twenty four seven?”
“For how long?”
Cassie shrugged. “Could be a month. Could be a year. Could be the rest of your life or two days. It depends on how much we both like it. What we're getting out of it. You may leave at any time. And if you do, I will continue to fund your expenses for six months while you decide what to do next.”
Kayden blushed. His heart pounded in his chest. His palms grew sweaty and his cock was quickly hardening to attention. To have such a well-heeled woman desire his companionship and submission to the point of making such an incredible offer... It was a huge turn-on all by itself. Imagining how he might spend the next few days, months or years of his life, in bondage and servitude, was more than enough to turn his penis to fleshy steel.
Cassandra noticed his growing boner and laughed. “I hope you weren't planning to bargain. Your body just gave you away.”
“I'm not sure you could make a better offer” he quipped back.
“Oh! Does that mean you agree to my terms? Say yes, Kayden. You obviously want to.”
“I do...” he admitted. “But, I have one stipulation.”
Cassandra's cheerful expression fell away. She didn't like conditions, but she would hear him out. “What is it?”
“Once a week, I want to be free to hang with my friends. Just for a few hours. That's all I need. The rest of the time, I'm all yours.”
She would've let him do it anyway, for however much longer he desired. Cassie knew from experience that wouldn't be long. The deeper she dug her claws in, the less Kayden would want to leave her side. For those who developed a bond with a Chosen, being apart was painful.
“I guess that settles it. Does this start today?”
“It starts right now.”
Kayden lifted his hand to his chest and offered a little bow. “What's the first order of business today, Mistress?”
“Breakfast” she stated flatly.
His stomach winced at the mere mention of food. “Great! I'm starving. What are we having?”
Cassandra pointed to her crotch. A large bump in the silky covers revealed just how large her erection had grown. The huge bulge put Kayden's jutting pecker to shame.
“This is what you're having before you get anything else. You'll be having it every morning from now on.”
Kayden smirked. He should've guessed. “Yes, Mistress” he responded before lifting the covers and disappearing below the thick duvet.
Cassie slid back down into the bed and pulled her nightgown up around her hips. She sighed in contentment as Kayden made his way to her meaty schlong and sucked the tip into his mouth. Her rod was pulsating with heat and musk as he pressed his lips down her fat length and sucked in as much as he could in one go.
The young man took hold of her thighs as he fellated her hefty cock in earnest. He hadn't asked permission to touch her legs, but Cassandra would overlook it for now. Kayden needed so much training and she would happily transform him into the best version of his submissive self.
Besides, she could easily punish him for the indiscretion later when they made their first trip downstairs. In their first night together, they hadn't even visited her own little personal dungeon in the basement. This filthy slut had no idea how much trouble he was in. She would introduce him to some of her favorite toys before picking out his first collar.
Cassie's head pressed back into the pillow, moaning as Kayden's soft tongue and warm, moist cheeks bathed her cock in exquisite, wet tightness. She reached down and took his head in both hands, guiding his mouth down her cock as the eager bitch boy slurped on her obediently. She dug her fingers into his blonde locks, tugging on his head and urging him to take her deeper.
Finally, no more going to the Sanctum every day or driving to Olympia just to get her needs met. She would mold Kayden into a world class cock sucker and butt slut for home use. Thorough and frequent home use. If that's all that came of it, it was worth the effort and expense.
What remained to be seen is if their relationship would blossom into something deeper or remain purely physical. Domination, submission and lust were heavenly. To be an eager sex slave and willing blood bag were the finest possible qualities in a female Chosen's partner. But she wanted more.
Cassandra couldn't know for sure, but this new beginning felt like something special. Only time would tell. For now, at least, lust would be more than enough.
* * * * *
Tristan was watching the big screen thoughtfully as Lady Octavia strode back into their private parlor. The Sanctum had many such rooms, but this one was exclusively for Sadie and her favorite pets. They had access to all the cameras throughout the manor, of which there were many, visible and hidden. Their dual purpose was for security and enjoying a little voyeurism. Sadie and Tristan could witness whatever perversions were occurring throughout the estate while enjoying a rut, a meal, or simply resting in the lap of luxury.
The rubber of Sadie's bright red bodysuit creaked and meshed as she stalked into the cool room. The latex hugged her curves exquisitely, covering her body from her neck to the bottoms of her calves. She was almost as covered in the restrictive cling of rubber as her prize slut. She eyed her glossy black bottom bitch as she crossed to the bar. Tristan was observing one of the dungeon cells on the entertainment center's massive monitor.
He watched a young woman stalk back and forth in her small holding room. Tristan couldn't tell if she was more angry or afraid. The woman looked almost delirious; on the edge of mental breakdown. And yet, there was something stunning about her. Supple, dark skin. Thick, luscious hair. A lovely figure. She was a flower in her youth.
“She's quite pretty. Are you planning to keep her?”
“I haven't decided yet” Sadie answered as she poured herself a drink. The amber tinted spirits flowed from a crystal decanter into the shimmering wine glass. “We'll see how she handles the next couple days.”
Tristan nodded. He thought to ask about the girl's comrade, the other hunter, but held his tongue. He knew his Mistress well. She'd already planned a proper course of action. Bringing it up would only bore her.
“How's Devin doing?”
“He's recovering” she said before taking a long sip of her bubbly. “He can take a few days off and think about what I said.”
“Do you think he'll harbor a grudge?”
“If I detect even a hint of defiance, I'll strap him down and fuck him until the condom breaks. Leave him a mundane mess for his trouble. He can go back to being a pleasure slave.”
“Are you sure he wouldn't enjoy that?”
Sadie chuckled, but ultimately ignored the question. Her gaze fixed on Tristan as he continued to watch the young woman in her cell. The matriarch's expression grew annoyed. “Tristan, I went to all this trouble and you haven't even looked my way.”
The gimp-suited slave snapped out of his musings. He turned to see his gorgeous Goddess downing the last of her wine. Her ample curves were outlined in lustrous, shiny red. Sadie's dark hair was pulled back into an elegant bun behind her head. She wasn't wearing stilettos or heels of any kind. Her matching red rubber boots were flat bottomed. Tristan smiled. He knew exactly what that meant.
“You look amazing, my love. A peerless beauty beyond measure.”
Sadie smiled back and the curve of her lips betrayed romantic sentiment. She was a Domme to the core, but she still loved compliments. Flattery would get you everywhere with her.
She turned, set her glass on the bar and stalked back toward her submissive. She stopped after a few paces and put her hands on her wide hips. “I'm feeling primal today. I want you to resist me. As much as you're able.”
Tristan took a few steps forward, his smile widening into a grin. The thick, black latex stretched around his broad, medium-build frame. His sparkling blue eyes peered through the holes in his bondage hood. He stood at attention, tucking his arms behind his back and clasping his hands together.
Studying the stunning Domina up and down, he noticed her arousal growing quickly. Her nipples were jutting dents in the latex of her costume. She wasn't even close to fully erect, but the bulge at her crotch was clearly visible. Her shaft stretched down into the pocket of her rubber-clad thigh.
“It will be my pleasure, Mistress.”
She stalked forward eagerly and embraced the statuesque gimp. They entered a deep tongue kiss and Sadie assaulted his mouth with diving tongue and nibbling teeth. She groped him all over; caressing his still-strong arms and ample ass. She pressed her rubber breasts and wide hips on him firmly.
Tristan enjoyed the kiss and her aggressive attentions for long moments before giving his Goddess what she wanted. He unclasped his hands, reached forward and shoved her away harshly. Their sudden separation raked her teeth over his tongue and lips, drawing a thin trail of blood. Every time they did this, her reaction was the same. Even though she knew it was coming, she looked shocked, annoyed and at the same time, giddy with lust.
She leapt forward and grabbed his arms with both hands, pressing her lips to his once more. She savored the taste of blood as she dove back into his mouth, holding his arms firmly at his sides. Tristan let her enjoy the sensation for a few moments before summoning all his strength and pushing her away again. The rubber-clad vixen fell back a few steps. Her eyes were locked on his, burning with obsession.
This time she darted forward with incredible speed and took hold of the leather harness around his torso. She heaved him forward, guiding her stumbling bitch boy until she rammed him into one of the chairs at the side of the bar. Sadie increased the pressure, pushing him harder until he was forced, face-first, into the counter. With one arm she turned him over and held him down, locking one of his arms against the surface.
Her free hand flashed out and struck him across the face twice in quick succession. Tristan's latex hood did little to soften the brutal sting. Her blows were followed up by a wet splatter as Sadie spit a wad of phlegm into his eyes and nose.
“Fucking slut! Be a good boy and submit!!!”
Tristan pushed on her midsection with his free hand. He flexed his legs and tried to free himself from between her powerful thighs, but it was useless. Her well sculpted legs were like columns of marble.
As he struggled, Sadie reached down and pressed her index finger into his mouth. She began pumping it in and out of his lips, gliding it over his tongue and enjoying the warm, wet sensation. A devious grin spread across her face as she manhandled him with one arm and finger fucked his mouth with the other.
“Just going to let me finger you like a bitch in heat, hmmm? Are you even trying?”
Once again, Tristan knew what she wanted and happily gave it to her. He bit down viciously on her finger, drawing blood and causing her to rip it from his gritting teeth. She grunted in annoyance, shook her wrist, and looked down at him with renewed passion.
Sadie grabbed his harness a second time, pulled him from the bar and threw him across the room. Tristan stumbled and fell, tumbling to the floor and landing in a heap. By the time he got to his feet, she was already on top of him. Even in the prime of his youth and gifted with the strength of the Chosen, he wouldn't have been able to match her. The fearsome abilities of a Chosen matriarch were too much for any male to contest.
He lifted his arms as if to grapple with her, but he needn't have bothered. With unnatural speed, she slid around his side and took his back. Sadie grabbed his right arm and wrenched it up behind him painfully. Tristan's body screamed in ache and she used her new leverage to shove him in the direction she wanted.
Maintaining a strong grip on his arm, Sadie forced him against a mahogany console table. She kneed him in the groin before reaching down and clearing the surface with a sweep of her arm. The series of metal platters, elegant cutlery and a collection of wine glasses were thrown aside, clattering to the floor in a series of clangs and shatters.
She slammed him down on the surface and reached into a drawer directly below the table. A pair of handcuffs was brought to bear and she snapped the first half around his captive wrist. Tristan pushed back with his other hand and kicked with his feet, but not for long. With one arm secure, Sadie grabbed the other, pulling it behind his back tightly and fastening the other cuff with a series of metallic clinks.
Sadie kicked his legs apart and grabbed the top of his hood roughly. She pulled his head back and bathed in the euphoric glow of absolute control.
“YOU PATHETIC LITTLE SHIT!!! Is that the best you could do?!? I know you're getting old, but come now! That was sad, even for a sissy bitch mundane!”
Tristan's back door zipper was hastily ripped down as Sadie's breathing grew ragged. She panted with need as she guided her own zipper downward, careful not to catch her steel-hard length of jutting cock. It sprang from its rubber prison, pulsing with heat and lust as it tasted cool air.
Sadie brought her glans directly to Tristan's soft, waiting pucker. She took a firm grip of his sides and thrust forward with every bit of force her hips could muster. The gimp slut yelped as she buried her entire length in his well trained ass in one powerful stroke.
Tristan saw stars as his head hung off the end of the table and his arms contested with circular steel behind him. Their aggressive play had gotten him sweaty inside the thick rubber suit. He was used to her strength, size and ferocity, but that never made her entry feel any less rough. The ring of his pucker burned as she sank to the hilt in one smooth motion and brought her heavy scrotum to rest against his.
The Mistress of the manor wasted no time entering a steady fucking rhythm. She dove in and out of his warm, fleshy walls with lustful glee. Her every nerve ending lit up with immaculate pleasure as she began a long, hard anal pounding. The slap of flesh on flesh clapped out as the wood and metal of the table rattled with each thrust. Their latex suits stretched and creaked around their bodies as she fucked him raw. Tristan lay in a daze, helpless as Mistress Sadie took his ass in her absolute favorite way.
It wasn't rape, but it sure felt like it. Somewhere in the back of her mind, Sadie knew that Tristan had enjoyed every minute of this and would like it even more the harder she went. But that awareness was so far away, it might as well have been on another continent. Sadie was deep in the lizard part of her brain. Her only desires were fucking and conquest. In her mind's eye, it was the first time they'd ever met. She'd caught him in an alley, bent him over a garbage can and was viciously spearing his unwilling, virgin man cunt.
Even the taste of blood on her lips and the red nectar dripping from her bitten finger couldn't distract her from the throes of rutting ecstasy. Her heavy balls, churning with viscous batter, slapped into Tristan's smaller, trapped privates as she filled him with thick cock over and over again. Her need for domination reached its peak and she released one hip to lean forward and grab the back of Tristan's neck. She tightened her fingers around the sides of his throat as she fucked him into oblivion.
“Take it you slut!!! TAKE MY COCK YOU CUM DUMP BITCH!!!”
Annoyed at the interruption of her fantasy, Sadie squeezed his neck harder. She flared her nostrils and snarled as she railed his tight, silky hole; determined to stretch it out and make it gape even wider.
“SHUT UP, slave! Or I will gag your fucking mouth!!!”
Grunts and pleasurable moans filled the room, adding to the soundtrack of body slaps and jolting furniture. Tristan's eyelids lulled and his mouth hung open as his prostate was set ablaze and pure pleasure overtook him. With Sadie's considerable stamina, it could be a half hour or more before she flooded his depths with sticky semen and pulled free from his packed ass. Even then, his primal Goddess was rarely satisfied with one climax. He could look forward to cleaning her soiled, sticky schlong on bent knees.
* * * * *
Reynauld leaned against the payphone. He waited impatiently as the ringing continued to drone in his ear. He'd already hung up the receiver once and dialed again. Either his timing was unlucky or Father Enjami was being overly suspicious.
“C'mon Father, pick up.”
The buzzing continued for several more rings until the call was finally answered.
“Hey Father” the hunter spoke in utter exhaustion.
“Reynauld? I'm sorry, I didn't recognize the number.”
“Yeah, I'm at a bar. Didn't want to chance it with my own phone.”
“Have you been drinking? What's going on?” The concern in the old man's voice was evident.
“Oh yeah, I've had a few, but I'm not drunk if that's what you're asking. We have a situation.”
“A situation? There's a nest in Tumwater?”
“A big one by the looks of it. And they got Rosa.”
“They got a beat on us. Grabbed her when we were separated.”
“If you weren't there, how do you know?”
“They slipped a note under my door earlier today. Says if I don't show up tonight, unarmed, we'll never see her again.”
“Show up where? You know where they're holding her?”
“It's called the Scarlet Sanctum. We staked it out the other day.”
“Reynauld, listen to me. I want you to wait until I call in backup. You'll go in together to sweep and clean.”
“Backup? What backup? We both know there's no fucking backup! There aren't enough people to cover the current assignments. Besides, Rosa doesn't have that much time!”
“Whatever they're going to do to her, they've already done. And if the nest is as big as you're saying, you can't go in alone. There's no point! It's too risky.”
“You don't know that and the risk is mine to take. I'm gonna get her back.”
“Reynauld, this is foolish! Do you think that's what your daughter would want? For you to throw your life away?!?”
“Don't do that, Father. Don't talk about the dead in hypotheticals. It's a shitty thing to do.”
Father Enjami let out a heavy sigh. Reynauld listened to the background chatter of bar patrons and televisions as he waited for the priest to accept his decision and grant his blessing. After several long seconds of silence, he was done waiting.
“I couldn't save Ophelia, but I might be able to save Rosa. I'm going in. If you don't hear from me in forty eight hours, you know what to do.”
* * * * *
The candles were lit. The altar was set. All that remained was the offering.
Cassandra sat in the dark before the collection of engraved stones, burning incense, flickering candlelight and a large, empty bowl. It had been months since she last attempted the sacred rite of Blood Communion. It was best not to trouble the ancestors too often. If you did, they might stop answering. Or worse.
Now was the perfect time. Kayden had gone home to pack some things and inform his friends and family of his plans; or at least some version of them. The fact that he would soon be a full time resident was why Cassie now sat, cross legged, in her basement dungeon. She wasn't sure when she'd get another chance to do this. At least not at home. Not until Kayden understood and accepted what she truly was.
Cassandra took deep breaths through her nose, exhaling each slowly through her mouth. She entered a state of meditation, clearing her mind of all distractions. The dark haired beauty reached down with purpose and took up the knife. She raised her left arm and extended it forward, her palm outstretched over the empty bowl.
Her right hand joined it and the knife bit deeply into her flesh. She uttered only a slight pained murmur as the edge flowed through her hand and her crimson fluids began to leak. First a long trickle from the deep wound, pooling in a dark red puddle. After the initial gush, blood continued to dribble down into the bowl, turning slowly to drips as it collected in the bottom. Her heartbeat ticked up as Cassie set down the knife. The essence of life wept from her hand as she closed her eyes and recited the invocation in her mind.
'Honored ancestors of the night. Proud and long lived Chosen! I offer you my very own blood. In return, I ask only that you listen and offer your counsel should you choose.'
As her blood gathered in the offering well, Cassie's eyes remained shut and she waited for the first whispers to arrive. They came quickly, creeping into the recesses of her mind and echoing through the emptiness of her zen state. The light of the candles danced on her placid face as a thousand hungry voices gathered in her mind.
Soon, she would ask the first of her three questions. Never more than three. Everything she'd read about the rite was explicitly clear on that point.
'Ancestors... Has the time come for me to leave Sadie and the Crimson Tide?'
'Not yet, child.'
Consensus. Always a good sign. Cassie waited a spell before posing her second query.
'Ancestors... Can I form a new clan without making Sadie my enemy?'
'Good luck, half blood!'
Unhelpful. She would try asking the question a different way next time. Some of them loved to mock how she wasn't like Sadie. Wasn't pure blood. The Chosen had always been hung up on bloodlines and purity, for obvious reasons. Cassandra waited before asking the final question, but not long. Too much blood loss and she would start to grow faint.
'Ancestors... The young man I've just met, Kayden. Shall I bind him to me and make him one of the Chosen?'
'Hard to say.'
Division. It was sadly common. The ancestors were diverse and often had different views. This wasn't turning out to be one of the more insightful communions, but it was always worth the effort to seek the elders wisdom.
Just as Cassie was about to bring the ceremony to a close, a steely voice pierced the veil of her mind. A deep, vicious, authoritative growl that ripped through the chorus of whispers like a rampaging beast.
'YES!!! BIND HIM. DRINK OF HIM!'
The gruff voice echoed loudly through her mind, silencing all other whispers. It was a very old voice. The voice of a patriarch and leader of their kind from long ago. A voice that would never be challenged.
Cassandra was astonished. In her many uses of the blood rite, she'd never felt such a forceful presence in her mind, nor such an insistent answer. It almost scared her, but she maintained her composure until the echoing of the voice ceased. She breathed deeply and brought the ritual to an end.
'Thank you, honored ancestors! May this offering sate your thirst until next we meet.'
A few dozen whispers lingered in her mind, moaning and sighing as they drank their fill. Before long, they faded into the darkness and Casandra was alone with her thoughts once again. She opened her eyes and reached over to the waiting med kit. She licked her bleeding palm before wrapping it with gauze, a measure that would only be needed for thirty minutes. After that, there would be no wound.
Cassie returned her gaze to the altar. She watched as candlelight flickered across the bowl. Aside from a few dried up splatter marks, the vessel was empty.
* * * * *
“Easy boys! No need to get rough” Reynauld said as he was led into the main hall by two of the Chosen. It wasn't just their strong grips that gave them away. Their slightly pale skin and the faint smell of blood were tell tale signs. Normally they'd mask it with cologne, but they didn't need to here. Their three piece suits and fancy jewelry were another giveaway. Were they all obsessed with fashion?
Reynauld's trench coat had been stripped away and discarded when they searched him before clearing him through security. All that was left were his tall leather boots, black cargo pants and the white, form fitting t-shirt that outlined his muscular frame. He'd thought about going in guns blazing, but he lacked the firepower and the numbers were against him. A frontal assault would have failed.
The footsteps of the three echoed through the cavernous hall as they made their way into a grand foyer of pure opulence. The building was dripping in wealth. Massive mural paintings. Drapes of the finest red velvet. Intricate detail on the woodwork lining the stairs, walls and furnishings.
At the base of the stairs, two more guards were waiting. At the top stood a woman in red latex looking pleased as punch. She held a riding crop in one hand and a two way radio in the other. The haughty hostess chuckled as the trio made their way in. She studied the hunter carefully from afar.
They brought Reynauld to a stop in the middle of the entrance-way; their hands still clinging to his biceps. Sadie began her casual descent down the stairs, her hips strutting as her curves flexed in red rubber. Her eyes remained locked on the interloper.
“Greetings, Mr. Blanchet! Welcome to my home! May I call you Rey?”
“Only my best friends get to call me that.”
“Ah. Well, perhaps we'll be good friends soon.”
“I doubt it.”
“Ironic, isn't it? Legends say we're supposed to ask permission to enter your home! And here you are, begging to be let into mine.”
“I didn't beg and I don't want to be here. Hand over Rosa and we'll go in peace.”
“You'll get to see her soon enough, I promise. But let you go? So you can come back with a larger party? Do you think I'm stupid, hunter?”
“You obviously thought I was stupid, telling me to walk into the spider's lair unarmed.”
“Be that as it may-” Sadie paused mid-sentence. Her nose wrinkled. Her eyes narrowed as she scanned Reynauld up and down. She lifted her crop and pointed down the stairs at him.
“I thought I told you to search him thoroughly.”
The guards at Reynauld's sides looked puzzled. The one on his left spoke.
“We did, Mistress. He has no weapons.”
Sadie scowled. “Idiots! I can smell the silver from here! Search him again, NOW!”
Before the last word passed her lips, Reynauld lifted his arms and shoved the Chosen aside with all his strength. They stumbled and toppled at his sides. As they did, Reynauld crouched down and pressed buttons on the sides of his custom boots. As he rose back to his full height, he drew the concealed silver daggers from their sheathes.
The biter to his left charged immediately and received a slash across the throat for his trouble. The shocked Chosen's eyes went wide as blackish blood poured from his neck. He opened his mouth to scream, but could expel nothing but gurgles. His hands reached up to the gushing wound as he fell to his knees in agony.
Reynauld got a glimpse of the other two guards charging him from the stairs as he whirled to face the man on his right. This one was more cautious, feinting several charges and moving from side to side before inevitably diving in for a grapple. Reynauld skillfully sidestepped him and raked the man's arm and chest with his twin daggers.
The Chosen stopped in its tracks, shocked by the searing pain of silver and the sudden realization of deep wounds that would not heal. His hesitation was all Reynauld needed to finish the job, burying the end of one dagger in his chest and pulling it free with a thick spray of crimson.
Sadie lifted the radio to her lips and calmly pressed the transmission button. “More security to the main hall. Now.”
By the time he turned around, the third man was almost upon him. His fangs were out and his eyes were black with bloodlust. Having seen the first two go down, this one was much more careful. He dodged as Reynauld moved in and whipped his daggers in long arcs. After both blades past him, the biter ducked in, electing to absorb a kick from the hunter in order to get within biting range. What he didn't notice were the hidden blades now protruding from the tip and sides of Reynauld's boots.
The silver boot-blade impaled the charging Chosen in the gut. As he pulled it free, Reynauld used the momentum to deliver two strong counter slashes across his chest and neck. The former man coughed blood and fell forward, his eyes burning with incredulity. As the dying biter slumped forward, Reynauld squared up and prepared to deal with the last of the four.
Now that all his comrades were down, there was no reason to hold back. The final Chosen reached for the gun at his side. Seeing the sidearm and his immediate danger, Reynauld stretched forth and sent one dagger hurtling into the creature's neck. The Chosen had almost gotten the weapon level and cocked when the blade plunged into his larynx and he exhaled a loud, wet cough. The gun rattled in his hands as he tried to complete the task, but it ultimately fell to the ground. It was followed shortly by the hacking, pain-wracked blood sucker, falling on top of his own weapon.
Reynauld's white shirt was now covered in ribbons of dark blood. He pointed his remaining dagger up the stairs, it's tip aimed squarely at the smiling matriarch. She was standing on the platform at the halfway point, staring down at him with no fear. He could hear more guards in the distance, yelling and rushing toward their position. He'd fought well, but the hopelessness of his situation was evident. He had one shot. It was time to take it.
Transferring the remaining dagger to his primary hand, he reached back and let it fly with all his might. The blade sailed up the stairway, directly at the grinning woman in gleaming red. The dagger flew precisely to its target and whistled through the air where the woman's chest previously was. Sadie blinked from existence and reappeared on the other side of the stairs ten feet away.
The blade embedded itself in the top of the stairs harmlessly. Now it was Reynauld's turn to show shock and dismay. His eyes went wide as he righted himself from the throw and his hands lowered to his sides. Sadie looked down at him coyly, one arm below her bust and the other on her chin. She laughed and the echoing cackle flooded the decadent, blood splattered hall.
She didn't look it, but she was old. Maybe ancient. And probably pure blood. Abilities like that were not wielded by common biters. In all his years of investigation, Reynauld had never witnessed anything that extraordinary. He'd only heard of techniques that powerful in books and tales from other hunters. This had been a suicide mission all along. And now there was almost no chance he'd report this new knowledge to the guild.
More Chosen in fancy clothes and a dozen men in black leather bondage gear emerged from the left and right hallways and the entrance behind him. Surrounded, Reynauld raised his hands in the air and let out a deep sigh.
* * * * *
The thick metal door groaned open and Reynauld was shoved inside the dark cell. It closed just as quickly, a loud metallic crash and several loud clanks indicating it was locked securely. The scarred veteran picked himself up off the floor and stood. His now bare feet touched cold, dirty stone. He coughed as he rose, looking around in the dark and trying to get his bearings.
“H-hello?” a familiar voice called.
“Reynauld! Is that you?”
She walked to him, her form barely visible in the darkness.
“I'm so glad” she said, her voice cracking as she embraced him eagerly. Reynauld welcomed her embrace, wrapping one arm around her warmly.
“Not much of a rescue, huh? Sorry I couldn't do better.”
She shook her head against his chest. “It's not your fault. I felt so stupid, getting jumped like that.”
“It's not your fault either.”
They held each other in silence for a few moments before she let him go and took a step back.
“Reynauld, what's going to happen to us?”
“If we're lucky, Father will get some reinforcements together before...”
“Before they do something really ugly with us.”
Even in the dark, Reynauld could see Rosa's eyes welling up with tears. She held back her sobs at first, but soon her fear and anxiety betrayed her. She brought a hand to her mouth, trying to stave off her choked up snivels and sobs.
Reynauld stepped forward and embraced her again. He stroked her hair gently as they stood in the dark. “Hey, it's alright. If they come for us, they're gonna have to kill me first. I'm not gonna let anything happen to you.”
She sobbed and nodded. “Thank you.”
“I didn't want to tell you this before, because... Well, we haven't known each other that long. You remind me of my daughter. That's why I had to come back for you. Even though I was ordered to wait.”
That only brought fresh tears to her eyes. She shook her head against his chest a few more times.
“This is too much. I can't do this...”
“I-I'm sorry, Reynauld. I'm so sorry.”
“There's nothing to be sorry for, Rosa.”
“I'm sorry. It's just that I'm so... thirsty.”
Her fangs sank into Reynauld's neck with crushing animal force. The young woman wrapped her arms and legs around his body with a strength that shouldn't have been possible. She moaned and sucked hungrily as her teeth tapped into his deepest vein and drank hungrily from the red river of life.
Reynauld screamed in the darkness, stumbling helplessly as she held him fast and covetously drained his neck. With her mouth so close to his ear, he bore visceral witness to the depraved symphony of sounds a Chosen makes when feeding. Snarling, slurping, grunting, laughing, screaming. Every possible emotion gushed from the voracious woman as the blood spurted from her prey.
As his life siphoned out of his veins and he grew more weak, Reynauld's struggles ceased. He fell back. Not even hitting the ground caused the young Latina wrapped around his body to cease her greedy gorging. A single thought took up root in Reynauld's mind as the blackness closed in.
- - - - - - - - - -
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