Sarah rested the broad basket against her hip and adjusted her kirtle. The steep climb had caused the loose, flowing garment to twist around at the neck and fall askew.
“I have to rest”, she said faintly to herself and sank down on the hard, grey brittlerock of the mountain side and set the empty basket down beside her.
It was cold up on the steeps, the air too thin to hold any heat. But the sun was warm, a bare six hours from setting. Its golden light streamed back at her from the eastern horizon, warm on her bare arms, neck and face, warming the broken rock shelf on which she sat.
Sarah gazed out over the wide plains of grass and soft sweeping hills that spread out below her. She could see her village over to the right; tiny, far away, at the foot of the mountain and the edge of the plain.
Knowing she still had a long way to go, Sarah sighed and got up. Her mind wandered back to Merith, her sister; the beautiful, fair-haired Merith that was going to be wed to the son of one of the village’s council men. Merith who had been given sixteen dresses to choose between… Envy panged Sarah’s heart.
She struggled on. She tried to be happy for her older sister. Being connected to Lord Pierce would be good for the entire family. Surely being apart of that lineage would be good for Sarah too. Perhaps they would be able to find her a husband after all.
“If only I were beautiful like Merith”, she said to the rocks and the brittle grass. “Then someone would want me, lineage or not.” But she wasn’t beautiful; he skin was pale and held none of the rosy nature that made Merith glow with health and beauty. And her hair… Sarah glared at the black braids that fell down her shoulders. Why black? She asked for what must be the millionth time. Why black when Merith’s hair was like spun gold?
Little scarecrow he mother had called her when she was little, and the name had stuck. And who would marry a scarecrow?
Sarah looked over her shoulder. She couldn’t see the village anymore. The turn she had just taken had led her around the mountain face a few degrees. A shiver of fear ran down her spine. She tried desperately not to think of the stories old Yrsa had told her and her sister when they were still little girls, sharing a bed.
She really didn’t believe in those old cradle tales, or at least that was what she tried to convince herself… There where no fire-breathing wyrms. No vicious ravencats. And no nightfeys.
And yet she couldn’t get the stories the old midwife had spun for her young charges out of her head. Hadn’t Yrsa warned her to keep a wary eye out for nightfeys just before Sarah set out from the village to gather the wedding flowers on the steeps?
She could still see her standing there, withered and crooked. “The wraiths…” Yrsa had whispered toothlessly. “The nightfeys that roam the mountains, snatching bodies, causing landslides. Believe me…” She had wagged one claw-finger at Sarah. “Believe me, girl; I’ve seen them. Don’t you go up too high on those steeps, or you’ll regret it – if you life to regret it…”
It had been easy to ignore Yrsa’s mumblings down in the village, but now? Sarah suppressed a shiver and hurried on. The sun would set in a few hours and she desperately wanted to be back down in the village by then.
The sun warmed her back and every time the path turned around a large rock the shadow felt as refreshing spring-water. When the path grew narrow, the basket slid down from her hip and she let the light weave of karrgrass thud against her leg as she continued to climb.
Sarah let her gaze sweep out over the barren landscape, she listen to the soft chime of the bell-flowers, its silver-grey, brittle branches and thorns clanged like glass in the thin mountain-air. Other than that all was quiet and peaceful. Then her keen eye spotted a flash of gold and deep, dark red, as rich as blood on the grey ground.
She was close to the summit. Sarah had the strange sensation that she wasn’t breathing at all. The sky was darker here, the sun whiter, and the plains that spread out far, far below her shimmered blue, turquoise and green like an ocean. She kneeled by the bush of golden aerlie-flowers. This was the only place it grew, up here, near the summit where the wind never stirred the air.
Every branch of the bush was covered with frail, horn-shaped flowers; its colour pure gold and see-through like glass. Every little trumpet held a drop of dark red juice called Aerlie’s blood. It was sweeter than ginger and richer than rum; Aerlie’s blood was to be drunk only by the bride and groom. The old wives said it made the men hard and the women wanton. It was said that the ruby coloured juice was the virgin-blood of the goddess Aerlie the Spring Maiden, and that it held the promise of summer whit all its ripe berries and fruits.
Sarah gently plucked one of the flowers, careful not to spill any of its precious content. She had brought a leather canteen in which she would pour the juice, but this first flower… She had walked for hours, climbed upwards until her legs ached and her head spun. Surely she had earned at least a taste of Aerlie’s blood? Just a little drop…?
Sarah lifted the delicate flower to her lips and breathed in the hot spicy scent of the dark red pearl of liquid nestled within its petals. Knowing that she would be severely punished if anyone knew she did this, Sarah quickly looked around, making sure she was still alone, that none of the creatures in Yrsa’s stories had creped up on her. Then she closed her eyes and tipped the fragile flower. The dark read drop shivered, then rolled from the golden flower petals to fall like a tiny ruby, only to be caught by Sarah’s waiting tongue.
The drop of Aerlie’s blood burned like a tear… no hotter, hot as melted candle wax… And its fire seemed to spread through her young body. Sarah gasped, her head falling backwards, her long raven-black hair streaming down her back to spread out like a fan on the ground by her feet. She was glad she was on her knees, had she stood up she would have fallen as Aerlie’s blood coursed through her, causing her body to tingle and hum. She became aware of the warmth that spread through her thighs. It was as if her feminine parts were set on fire. The petals that covered her secret pearl of pleasure became wet as her inner flower dripped wanton dew.
She wasn’t even aware of how her hands travelled over her body. Her plain kirtle disappeared as by magic. Sarah lay down on it, using it as a blanket to protect her back from the rough ground. As her hands slid down her body she arched her back in anticipation and accidentally tipped some of the golden flowers over causing them to spill their juice on her breast. It burned deliciously and she cried out, her voice like a silver-flute in the thin air.
Sarah nearly sobbed with lust, she writhed, trembled. Her inexperienced fingers explored the wet folds of the core of her desire. One hand found its way to her firm, rounded breasts and slid over budded nipples, rubbing Aerlie’s blood into the pale skin, heightening each sensation, each touch until it was unbearable.
Sarah yearned for realised, hungered for it. She slid her fingers over that throbbing pearl, her head thrashing, her breath light and gasping.
She never saw the dark shadow that fell over her, never saw the hand that reached out to shake a branch on the aerlie-bush, causing blood-red drops fall over her like a rain.
Eyes of dark blue and night watched the young girl pleasure herself, watched as the dark red droops from the flowers trembled as the girl trembled. Her need growing even more as Aerlie’s blood affected her. It wouldn’t be long now. He smiled.
With a wanton moan Sarah spread her legs, her fingers slipping inside of her, moving, sliding back and forth, in and out. She wanted… she needed… And suddenly it was there. It was as if a warm
hand covered her own; fingers parted her virginal petals. Delicious friction assailed her over-sensiti
ve nerves. Sarah cried out and fancied she could hear a voice whisper back to her.
“Do not fear… I will not pluck your flower… yet.”
But she was enchanted by lust. Her entire body hummed and in her fevered state she didn’t question her sensations; there was nothing outside the maddening desire and the stroking, caressing touch that could bring her to a climax she couldn’t even imagine.
“Please… oh, please…” she begged not even aware that she had spoken out loud. The creature, for he was no man, at least not a human man, smiled again. Sitting between the enraptured woman-child’s parted legs he had a glorious view of that virginal flower; the pink folds of skin were wet and glittered like precious silk, and he longed to taste her. He dipped his head a little, and his hair, the colour of moonshine, shone and sparkled as he moved. He dipped lower and gently breathed out; a hot little wind that caused a cry to spill forth over her parted lips.
He replaced her finger with his own and watched as she started rubbing her hands over her breasts, pinching the tender nipples. Her fingers were coloured red from Aerlie’s blood and glistened with her own juices.
The creature kneeling between her legs sighed as he watched her bring her fingers to her mouth and lick them clean. His black leather pants strained over his manhood. He couldn’t help but to fantasies about what her lips would feel like, encircling him, sucking and licking…
Sarah arched her back as the fire from Aerlie’s blood burned her tongue and lips. Once again her hand travelled low and found the pulsating bud. Her fingers slid over it, touched, caressed.
He slipped his finger inside her, feeling her muscles tighten as he moved, setting a rhythm that made the girl raise her hips.
The moonshine-haired creature leaned forward, pressing a kiss on her trembling thigh. His tongue flickered out and tasted the sweet-salty juices that dripped out of the beautiful girl. He felt as if he was bursting with need, his pants now painfully tight over his fully erect manhood.
As his finger slid in and out of her, he started licking his way over the delicate skin of her inner thigh until he reached that sensitive spot between her two tight openings. He lapped, his tongue creating a maddening pattern, all the time his fingers held that unyielding rhythm. The sensation of her trembling flesh made him groan. He wanted to feel her orgasm against his lips. His eager mouth found the core of her pleasure and began to suck.
Sarah cried out, her fingers catching in the man-creatures silver-white hair. He slipped another finger inside her tight wetness, filling her virginal sex. Another cry rang out in the thin air.
Incoherent words, prayers for mercy mingled with moans and cries of lust as he quickened the pace. The girl’s small hands tugged at his hair as she arched her back and exploded into an orgasm that shook her.
Sarah felt as if the wave of pleasure would never end. Her body trembled and shook. She curled up on the side, riding the wonderful sensation, the fulfilment of the moment.
The man watched her, watched the slender lines of her thighs, the arch of her back, the curve of her breasts. His hand travelled to the front of his pants. He ached for her, this virgin, this woman-child that had stumbled into his realm, whose desire had called to him.
Her smooth, almost cold beauty had come to life as lust had filled her; her pale skin glowed rosy and her raven-black hair was spread around her in a circle of night-sky. He kneeled down for just a second to place one of Aerlie’s flowers in those dark, silken tresses. Then he stepped away and was gone.
A few minutes later, Sarah slowly opened her eyes. Her cheeks burned when she thought of what had happened. Sitting up, she crossed her arms in front of her breasts, looking around shyly. The area was empty. She pulled on her kirtle and looked at all the empty flowers, knowing their juice stained her body.
Feeling embarrassed, shameful even, though not really knowing why, Sarah rose and started brushing dust off her simple dress. It was then she saw them…
Sarah raised her hands and stared unbelievingly at the strands of silver-white hair that clung to her fingers.
Rapture stood in the shadow of a huge boulder, watching the girl quickly gather the Aerlie-blossoms that was left intact on the bush, pouring the dark red juice into her leather-flask.
He had watched her ever since she had left the realm of Man behind and entered the realm of Shea. It had been years since he had seen a human girl, and he found her beautiful and enchanting. To his eyes she seemed as fragile and delicate as the flowers she plucked.
He pressed his body against the cool rock, remembering the sight of her naked body and flushed cheeks; the slender thighs that had parted to reveal a jewel that seemed to enchant him in the same way Aerlie’s blood had enchanted her. Rapture could still taste her. Once again his fingers reached the front of his tight leather pants and stayed there. He rubbed the rigid flesh through the leather. He might have continued and satisfied him-self had not a voice whispered through his mind:
“Yes sir”, he replied quietly.
Did you find the human girl?
“I did, Master. And she is as beautiful as you said she would be.”
Of course. Did you taste her?
Rapture hesitated. “I did, Master. I pleasured her.” There was a tone of confession in his voice. “But I never broke her virginal barrier”, he added quickly.
Good, whispered the Master’s voice in his mind. Did you pleasure yourself?
“No Master”, Rapture answered. “But I yearn to. May I?”
No, his Master said. You may not. But I am pleased with you, Rapture. When you return to the castle I will give you pleasure.
“Thank you, Master.” Raptures pressed his hand a little harder against the front of his pants; it was almost painful, but he didn’t mind, quite the contrary…
And bring the girl.
There was an almost un-notable hesitation before Rapture answered. “Yes sir.”
He watched as the girl picked the last of the flowers. Her basket wasn’t even half-full but the sun was about to set and this high up near the summit the temperature would drop quickly. If caught by the night, the girl could very well freeze to death.
Rapture stepped out from his hiding-place behind the large rock. The girl’s eyes widened and her mouth formed the shape of an O.
“Where did you come from?” she asked, her pale cheeks grew rosy. No doubt she wondered if he had seen her when she caressed herself. Then she noticed the pale shimmer of his hair, the sparkle of his skin, and his ears, daintily pointy.
“You are one of them”, Sarah gasped. “One of the nightfeys! Oh Sirieth, the Heavenborn, save me!” She brought two fingers to her lips and then to her forehead in the ancient symbol for warding of evil spirits.
“Do not be afraid”, the creature said in a lilting accent. “No harm will come to you.” He took a step towards her.
“No! Get back!” Sarah tried to scream. The mountain-air and the fear that constricted her throat made her voice sound thin and weak. The nightfey continued towards her. With a scream of fear, Sarah threw the basket at him and turned to run.
Rapture moved quickly, grabbing at the girl’s long hair that streamed out behind her. She cried out and fell.
Panic surged through Sarah’s body, she kicked and clawed but to no avail, the man was too strong. Tears of fear ran down her cheeks as she felt her hands get tied together.
“Please…” she sobbed. “Please let me go…”
“I can’t do that”, Rapture answered. “Master told me to bring you back to the castle.”
Sarah felt a finer powder blown into her face then the world started to spin. She was diml
y aware of being picked up. Her vision swam; looking up she saw the man’s face softly glowing. His dark-blue eyes seemed to be filled with stars, and the hair… Sarah suddenly
remembered the silver-white strands that had clung to her fingers.
“Don’t be frightened, lirimaer.” The voice was a soft rumble in her ears. “I will watch over you…”
Sarah’s last thought was one of confusion. What had been real and what had been fantasy?
Following the secret paths that led deep into the faery realm, Rapture reached the castle just as the sun sank below the horizon. The last rays set the black stones on fire, making it gleam and shine like glass.
As he reached the wide road that led up to the large wrought-iron gate rose. Rapture stepped inside. With a rattle and a clang the gate was lowered again behind him. The black castle walls loomed over him, embraced him and the petite girl in his arms, making her seem even more delicate.
The large twin doors that lead into the castle itself swung open and a man stepped forth. He was tall, taller than Rapture, and muscular, almost bulky when Rapture was slender with well-define muscles that rippled as he moved. His golden hair fell down to his waist and he greeted Rapture with a smile.
“Master ordered me to take the girl”, he said. “A room has been repaired for her. And you will be rewarded.”
“I know, Ecstasy”, Rapture said. “Perhaps I’ll share my prize with you.” He leaned forward a little as Ecstasy lifted the human girl from his arms. The two men’s lips touched briefly. Ecstasy licked his lips when he pulled back.
“Perhaps I will be apart of your prize.”
An ample-bosomed woman with hair in the hue of the morning sky came up the two men. Her figure was scantly hidden by a little, dark-violet dress that caressed her curves and as she leaned forward a little Rapture could see that she wore nothing underneath. This was Pleasure, his reward.
“Is this the girl Master saw in his crystal?” Pleasure asked, biting her full lower lip as she watched the unconscious girl held securely in Ecstasy’s strong arms. “She is beautiful.”
“Aye…” Rapture breathed remembering the girl naked, back arched and lips parted as desire ruled her.
Noticing the look in his dark eyes, Pleasure sneaked closer, sliding her hand down his chest. “Master told me to come and fetch you”, she whispered, pressing kisses to his throat. “He wants to reward you himself.”
Walking with Pleasure up the wide stairs and through the great hall that lead to Master’s rooms, Rapture felt a shiver of anticipation run through his body to settle in his groin. The castle teemed with activity; servants hurried hither and thither, carrying trays of food and drink and baskets of fruit, arranging flowers, dusting and polishing. The servants where shadow-creatures, they only existed because Master willed them too, but there were real, live creatures as well, walking slowly through the great halls as if they themselves were statues, works of art only to be admired from afar. But the truth was very different. Every one of these beauties had been chosen by the man they called Master; every one of them had been singled out, educated and given new names.
Rapture felt pride at being one of Master’s pets, as he liked to call them.
Soft moans and giggles spilled out into the hall as they passed a half-closed door. Peering in Rapture and Pleasure saw two women, one with hair the colour of rubies and the other the same deep rich tone as melted chocolate, pleasuring each other.
“Lust and Affection has taken quite a shine for each other”, Pleasure said smiling. As they watched, the redhead, Lust captured Affection’s nipple between her full lips, sucking greedily all the wile her fingers played with the other.
Rapture felt himself grow hard at the sight. Pleasure pressed up against him, moaning softly as his hand slipped under her short dress. She was wet and ready for him and he stroked the core of her pleasure in time with Lust’s sucking and nibbling on Affection’s breasts.
Pleasure moaned and gasped his name, rubbing her buttocks against him as he teased her. Rapture had to bite his lip not to give in to the delicious torment, but to be rewarded by Master himself… it was special. The thought of the man that was his Master and all the pleasurable, and sometimes painful lessons he had thought him made Rapture groan with need.
“Come on”, he said, pulling Pleasure away from the show the two beautiful women put on.
As they reached the large double-doors that led into Master’s rooms, Rapture ached and trembled. Pleasure clung to him, as overcome with lust as he was.
The doors swung open and the two stepped in side. As the tall man, standing by the great fireplace turned towards them, they both knelt.
“Rise, Rapture.” The man’s voice was rich and multifaceted, and it felt like a physical touch.
Rapture rose. Beside him Pleasure remained on her knees. “Master Jareth…” He whispered as the figure came closer.
“You have done well, Rapture”, Jareth said, reaching out to caress the young man’s cheek. Rapture’s eyes fluttered close and he leaned into the touch. “And now you will be rewarded”, Master Jareth continued. “I will give you a choice, precious pet. You can either take Pleasure in any way you want until you reach ecstasy once, or you can give yourself to me. Of course you won’t have an orgasm until I give you permission, but I promise I will give you more than one. I will give you as many as you can handle.” He smiled a feline smile.
“Pleasure”, Master Jareth said. “Stimulate Rapture while he’s making his decision. “We don’t want to make it too easy on him, now do we, my pet.”
“No sir”, Pleasure smiled. She turned, still on her knees, until she faced Rapture. Quickly and deftly she released him from the hold of the leather pants and took him in her mouth.
To Be Continued…