The cart lurched and groaned over the dirt path; the oxen pulling it balked and had to be prodded again and again. The town’s people followed it, picking their way through the weeds and potholes. The path was quite overgrown, few people coming this way in the course of their daily living. The only sounds were those of the oxen, the cart and the occasional whispered comments.
The cart shuddered to a halt at the huge stone circle. None knew what the circle had originally been erected for, but all knew what they used it for now. A strong fence had been put around the outside of the circle and in the center of the circle was a large flat stone. It was stained where blood had seeped into the rock before the next rains had come. The whole village could have set up camp inside the circle with room to spare.
The mayor waddled up to the cart and spoke to the men that guarded it, “Right now, get her up on the stone. It’s almost noon and I don’t want to be here then, do you?”
The men shook their head, nervously eyeing the clear sky. The reached into the poorly made cart and pulled a young woman from it. She was bound with heavy iron chains and barely clothed in a thin, torn shift. As they manhandled her over to the flat stone, the mayor gazed at the soft curve of her breasts through one of the rips.
The other villagers herded a few scrawny sheep and a cow into the circle. The mayor walked over the girl now lying on the stone. He pulled her shift open and openly fondled the firm breasts smiling at the girl, “Well now Marged, you should have been nicer to me. I could have kept you rather well.”
She spit at him, aiming well. The spittle dripped off his face. “I would rather be offered up like this than spend one moment more near you, you disgusting pig-whore. I place on you a curse of impotence.” She narrowed her eyes into a semblance of the ‘evil eye’, “And if you touch another girl, my ghost will bring the rot upon your cock.”
He backhanded her, but his eyes were wide with fear, “Enjoy your death, Witch.” He turned and hurried out of the circle with the other townspeople. They locked the gate on the fence and the procession began to make its way to the safety of the hill where they could watch.
Marged blinked away the swirling nausea from the Mayor’s blow. She bet her face would be swollen by the evening. Of course she would be dead by then, so it wouldn’t matter. She did smile at the thought of her “curse.” The mayor was too stupid to know that her words alone would do nothing. He would probably be impotent from the thought of her curse alone.
Despite the sun, the air was cold and the stone colder. It pulled the heat from her body until she lay shivering, unable to free herself. She wondered how long it would hurt before she died.
She saw the townspeople standing on the hill. Bloodthirsty bastards, she thought. She decided that she would give them as little pleasure in her death as possible.
The sun crested in the pale blue sky. There was an eerie hush and then sheep stopped eating and began to bleat in panic, trotting around the large circle. Marged saw its shape against the sunlight. It was beautiful, magnificent and deadly.
The dragon glided in the sky lazily circling lower and lower. Its black scales glittered an iridescent green in the light as it swooped into the circle and landed softly. Marged was too mesmerized to be as scared as she should have been. She had been threatened with the dragon for so long, and here it was. She was breathless with the grace of its movement.
She glanced at the hill and saw most of the villagers had fled. A strangled bleat had her looking back at the dragon. It had one of the sheep clasped in its huge claws. A squeeze and it was dead. It opened its mouth, the sharp teeth gleaming. It ate the sheep, crunching it, bits of blood and bone dripping out.
Marged bit back a scream. She wouldn’t give the Mayor that satisfaction. Her trembling was total fear now, the cold of the morning having gone to the innermost part of her soul. This was the face of death. There was nothing she could do but watch the deadly dance as the dragon leisurely ate each of the sheep and then the cow. She must be the sweet at the end of the meal.
The dragon approached her, blood still dripping from its muzzle. It lowered its head and sniffed her curiously. She felt its warm breath on her skin. She closed her eyes, waiting for the pain from teeth or claws. And she waited. And then waited more.
She opened her eyes and gave the dragon an irritated look. It was just standing there looking at her. She just wanted this to be over.
“Get on with it, already,” she snapped at it, “Lord and Lady, didn’t anyone ever teach you not to play with your food.”
The dragon reached out to her with its front claws. She closed her eyes again. It would done soon, this miserable life over at last. The claws closed around her bound body and lifted her from the stone. The roar the dragon gave shook through her. It leaped from the circle, wings beating hard as it became airborne.
Marged watched in horror as the ground dropped away below them. The village was small below her and then gone. Another roar of the dragon and she fainted.
Cold. Death was so cold. Marged shivered awake, her mind trying to understand why the afterlife looked like a torch-lit cave. The priests had spoken of a golden heaven and a burning hell. Her mother had a pleasant telling of the afterlife for the good. No one had mentioned caves, or cold ones at that.
She struggled to her feet and looked around. Dirt, rock and the long silver chain fastened into the rock. Still dazed, she followed the chain to a collar around her neck. She gave the chain several hard tugs, but it was sunk deep into the rock. She sat back down on the dirt floor. This couldn’t be the afterlife. She was a captive of the dragon or someone. She blinked back tears, refusing to give into hysterics.
“I see you are awake,” a warm, silky voice seemed to caress her body.
Marged looked up to see a tall man dressed all in black watching her with a bemused smile. His long black hair was pulled back into a warrior’s plait. His features were strong and sharp.
“Who are you?” Marged tried to covertly pull the ripped shift closed.
“I am Lord Bran and you are?”
She noticed he had the darkest eyes she had ever seen. They were black, not dark brown, but black like the darkest night. She lifted her head proudly, “I am Lady Marged.”
He smiled, sarcasm lacing his words, “Really? A true Lady? Do pray tell, why would a small village offer up a true-bred lady to the dragon. Surely they had a pot girl or baker’s daughter to fit the bill.”
“I suppose I was more trouble than the pot girl or baker’s daughter,” Marged snapped.
“Ah, I see. Let me guess,” he began to pace, “your beloved mother married the village magistrate due to financial hardships after your father died. Once she had died, you weren’t open to his advances to you?”
“The mayor,” Marged corrected, “And you are what… a valiant knight that came to fight the dragon, but you became fast friends or perhaps lovers?”
Bran smiled at her, coming closer, “You have a sharp tongue, Marged, but a soft body.”
Marged backed up against the wall of the cave, “Don’t touch me!”
Bran kept coming closer, “Or what? You have no weapons, you have no way of escape.” He was close enough that he caught her wrists in one hand and traced the curve of her jaw with his other hand. “Learn quickly, Marged. You are mine. I will do with you as I please.”
He easily tore the shift open, letting the fabric fall to the ground. Marged did not struggle, but stood glaring daggers at him. He loosed her hands and stepped back to admire, “You are one of the best that has been sent in a long time. Not a pockmark on you. How did you avoid the pox?”
“The villagers said I was a witch.” Marged narrowed her eyes at him, “If you are really a Lord, you wouldn’t be looking at me this way. You would be treating me with respect.”
“This is the way you should be treated, Marged. I am your Lord. You belong to me.”
“I believe I was given to the dragon, not to you,” Marged retorted coldly, fighting the urge to cover her body with her hands. Pride kept her from showing him her unease.
An odd smile slid slowly over his face, “What makes you think I am not the dragon?”
Marged’s eyes widened. Her mother had told her how the creatures of the other world could take human form. No. It couldn’t be. She shook her head in denial.
He stepped close to her again, “Oh yes, your mother was right. I find this form much more… useful.”
“How did you know what I was thinking?” she whispered, truly scared now.
“Dragon secret,” he brushed his lips against her ear and nipped it, drawing blood and tasting it, “Besides, Marged, I like to play with my food. And I plan to play with you for a very long time.”
Marged shoved him back as hard as she could, “Get your hands off of me!”
Bran stepped back and gave her a mocking bow, “So be it, Marged.” He spoke an odd harsh word moved his hand in the air, as if stroking her body from a distance. To her horror, the air in front of her seemed to thicken, and she felt his touch against her body. She ran to the end of the chain to escape, but the hand of air, kept caressing her body, teasing her breasts, moving to the secret places. She tried batting it away, but there was nothing there but air.
“Stop it!” she demanded, curling up on the floor, still unable to escape, “Please! I beg of you!”
He moved the hand of air between her leg, adding several more magical flows of air that rolled her onto her back, held down her struggling form, and spread her wide for him. She was beautiful despite her bedraggled condition, Bran thought as he looked at her pale skin, the curve of her hips, the soft golden curls that nestled at the joining of her thighs. Those golden curls matched the hair on her head perfectly. Women did not have hair cut that short, especially ones of noble birth. The villagers must have cut it. It would grow again, and he was eager to see how it would drape over her skin or feel against his body.
“What do you want of me?” she begged. Oh, how nicely she begged.
“Just two things,” he wiggled the single flow of air further between her legs, searching for evidence that they had raped her, too. No, they had left her alone. Too bad, he had been looking forward to punishing the village for a damaged sacrifice.
“What?” her voice trembled.
He pulled the flow out and let it dissipate, but still held her down, “First, your obedience. I can force you to do my will, but I would prefer the obedience to be from yourself. My orders will not always be easy for you, but through obedience, they will be more comfortable than they could be. Can you obey me, Marged?”
“Yes, I can,” Marged agreed. He was right. He was a magical being. How could she stop him from doing these things to her anyway? She had no future outside of her, no one to go to if she could run. Could it be worse than slaving for the Mayor? That would be slaving for a dragon. “Yes, I can, but I won’t. Kill me and be done with it.”
His smile sent chills up and down her naked body, “Your choice, Marged. Now, the second thing I want of you is pleasure. Again, I can force it from you, and perhaps you would like that? Do you long to fight and be forced to surrender? I shall have my pleasure from you even if you do not agree. But, if you give me your pleasure freely, you will be much happier.”
“I will not give you my pleasure. That you will have to take,” Marged challenged him.
“Of course. I shall be happy to fulfill your fantasies of rape then,” he gave another of those chilling smiles.
Marged struggled against the invisible bonds, “I don’t have fantasies of rape and I don’t want you touching me!”
“You must have been a very troublesome child. You have been honest with me, but I will have both obedience and pleasure from you; believe me that. In time, you will give both willingly.”
He could see the bearing of pride in her eyes, even as she lay splayed like a common whore. Either way, he would be having a great deal of sport. The last girl had fought him so nicely until she broke and jumped to her death. Pity, that, she had screamed so nicely for him, too.
“The day grows late,” he nodded and spoke a single word. The chain from her collar to the wall fell to the floor, freeing her. He loosed the bands of air and smiled, “Rise the and kneel before me.”
Distrust and pure hatred showed in her movements as she rose and stood. Let the battle begin, he thought as he walked up to her, touching the swelling on her face tenderly. He whispered a word and drew the swelling out, smoothing the bruise away.
“Any marks on your body will be of my choosing.” She trembled under his touch, looking more like a scared rabbit than a fine lady. “Make no mistake, Merged, I will mark you as mine, but not yet. I will save that sweet pleasure for later. First you will kneel before me.”
She did not move, so he called a touch of his power and used the force of the air to push her to her knees. She looked delightful, kneeling against her will, trembling in suppressed fury. She would be a pleasant distraction as he trained her, and she would fetch a handsome sum from the demon lords.
“You must be cold, Marged. Come, let me show you the rest of your new home,” he held out his hand to her like a gentleman, releasing the air that kept her on her knees.
Marged stood, ignoring his hand. He gave her a polite nod and led her from this part of the cave. Around a short bend, the cave changed dramatically. The walls were covered in fine tapestries, there were luxurious items that would rival that of the king himself, and most importantly, it was warm in these rooms. She noticed also that each room was large enough to accommodate his dragon form.
“So the other room we were in, that is where you entertain guests?” Marged spoke too sweetly.
Bran gave her a sharp look, “It is a wonder they didn’t name you Atgas, for you are far more hateful than you are a pearl.”
Marged just glared at him.
“And here is my favorite room,” he gestured. Draped in black and gold fabrics, the room was dominated by a huge bed. It wasn’t big enough for his dragon form, but it was big enough for several people. Marged noticed there were chains hanging from the carved bedposts.
He watched the emotions play over her face. He couldn’t really read her mind, but why not let her think so. She was exquisitely readable, “Yes, my Pearl, I will be using those on you.”
She turned quickly, the look on her face, proof that he had guessed well what her thoughts were. She took a step away from him. Closer to the bed, he thought, and she didn’t even realize it.
“Now,” he tapped his chin in mock thought, “I require two things of you…. what were they again, my Pearl?”
“I have a name. Use it,” she demanded, standing up to her full height, which wasn’t all that tall.
“I believe I asked you a question,” he let the icy cold of the north wind lace his words and saw her shiver, those blue eyes widening with fear and understanding.
“You wanted obedience and pleasure, neither of which you will be getting from me,” she stated much like a young lady trying to put her governess in place.
He smiled lazily at her, “Very good. I think it is time to teach you at least one of them.”
“You don’t waste any time do you?”
He pointed at her playfully, “If I continue to hear a shrewish tongue from you, my pearl, I will be forced to silence you.” He waited, almost hoping she would say something. When she remained silent her smiled again, “On the bed, on your back. I’ll be traditional for your first time.”
She gave a sharp laugh, “Just like that? You expect me to hop up there like an eager child? You may be strong and you may be powerful, but you are as stupid as a brick.”
He did nothing at first but gave her that smile that somehow angered her to no end. Then he did that thing with his fingers and she felt the air, tighten around her, lifting her and placing her gently on the bed. She would not give in, Marged vowed to herself. When she was free, she would gouge out his eyes.
She lay stiffly on the bed looking up at the rocky ceiling, waiting for the inevitable to happen. And she waited. After an even longer wait, she looked over to him. He was still completely dressed, and watching her. Did he have some sort of problem?
“Please, Sir,” she said with irritation, “Do you plan to stare at me forever or rape me? I would prefer to be done with this chore.”
“Chore?” he laughed deeply and began to slowly unfasten his black velvet coat, “You liken the pleasure I have in store for you to a chore – like feeding the chickens?”
“Chickens, Sir, have far more personality than you have,” she looked at him with challenge in her eyes, “And I doubt that I could ever find pleasure from you.”
“Yes,” he mused out loud to himself, laying the coat over a chair back, “I can see why they put you there and not the baker’s daughter. Probably the first peace they’ve had since you arrived.”
“I will not be maligned this way!” Marged’s eyes blazed with fury now.
“Then I will find some other way to malign you, my Pearl,” He stood there in a white shirt and tight black pants looking sinister.
“Just get on with it.”
He whispered a word and moved his hand. Air thickened and twisted around her wrists and ankles, pulling the wrists together and over her head, while stretching her legs apart. He liked how this position made her chest rise and fall so temptingly.
He sat on the bed, admiring her body. Yes, she was definitely an excellent treat. He could get much for her once she was trained. The demon lord would be most pleased with such a girl. He ran his hand over the swell of her breast, cupping it in his hand. She filled his hand perfectly. He traced the edge of the areole with his fingernail, watching the soft nipple harden against her will. She inhaled sharply at that touch and he smiled pleasantly at her, “Pleasure, my Pearl, is not something to be hurried. It is obvious that all you have seen is lust. I am very patient.”
“Bastard!” Marged hissed as he leaned over and suckled the nipple he had aroused. She squirmed in her magical bonds, uneasy at the sensations that were beginning to course through her body. Heat seemed to pulse from the suckled nipple through her body until she tingled. Surely this was more of his unnatural magick. He moved his mouth from her breast and she almost sobbed in relief, only to moan as he latched onto the other. His hands caressed her body; his warm touch explored each and every inch of her skin. She felt something inside her twisting tighter and tighter until she thought she might explode and then he moved away from her, away from the bed. Marged lay crying and not sure why. Was it relief; or worse, was it despair.
He walked over to a table and poured himself a goblet of red wine. Sipping it, he walked back to her, cool and unruffled, admiring the flush of passion on her body. He could feel the depths of he passion she hid inside her. It called to his dragon nature, making the fire inside him burn hotter than it had ever burned before. He had never felt this with a mortal before. Idly, he stroked the soft golden curls between her thighs, watching her lift that moist valley toward him without conscious thought. Soon he would explore that valley and then most carefully. He would keep her at the edge until she begged him for that which she didn’t even know.
He lifted the goblet and dripped the ruby droplets on her pale flesh, aiming them so they moved to the thatch of curls. He kissed the path they had made, tasting the fruit against her skin, savoring the taste of her flesh on his lips. He followed the trail to the curls and opened the soft lips there, finding the drops lingering on the pearl of pleasure hidden there. He licked the drops of wine from the pearl, feeling her squirm against his tongue. He laughed as she started a trail of cursing that would have shocked any well-bread woman. He licked the moistness there, tasting and savoring her heady flavor. Oh yes, she was filled with fire that could only have come from the world of magick.
He reached under her firm buttocks, cupping them in his hands, squeezing them as he began a more vigorous licking and nipping of her womanhood. He concentrated on the throbbing pearl, the dragon inside him so close to the surface as he nipped it, pulling it with his teeth until she screamed and pleaded for him to stop.
Marged thought she was going to die; wished she would die. Was this some dark magick that would cause her body to explode? She had no idea a woman could feel like this, “Please Stop! Oh Goddess, protect me! Stop!”
He lifted his head, a feral smile on his face, and his eyes glowing with the golden hue she had seen on the dragon. She screamed, struggling, pulling on the invisible bonds. Her whole body throbbed with some horrible desire. She wanted to feel his skin against hers, to feel something more, something that would ease the ache inside of her.
He stood and removed the rest of his clothing. The sight of his body made her breath disappear for a moment. He was like a sculpture of hard muscles; his skin seemed to glow with an odd energy. Her eyes were drawn to the cock that thrust from his body, rigid and strong. There was no possible way that it would fit inside of her.
He approached her, the dragon hunger stronger in him than he had known possible. It was all he could do not to transform and take her with his full passion. She would not survive. He had to have her though. He moved the air to lift her buttocks and he knelt on the bed over her. He had tasted her fear moments ago, now it was flavored with dragon fire. Unable to wait longer, he thrust into her in a strong motion, feeling her body stretch and yield to him. She cried out as her virginity was taken. He rode her, thrusting into the tight tunnel, claiming it for himself. He threw back his head and roared at the intense pleasure of her body. She responded with an awkward thrust of her own, limited by the bonds. He released them and thrust deeper, harder.
Marged had stopped speaking as the level of pleasure was pushed higher and father than before. She loved the feel of his thickness inside of her. She arched her body and suddenly freed from the invisible chains, wrapped her feet around his body, pulling him closer. Reaching forward she raked her fingernails over his skin as he thrust and thrust into her. The pleasure reached a level of pain and then there was only a golden glow of pleasure beyond words.
Bran gave a final thrust deeper than before and felt his body pump into hers. He opened his eyes enough to see that her skin now glowed with a golden-green glow. He realized then, that his previous plans had been changed in that moment of total passion. He would not give her up as he had the others. No, he would keep her for a millennium.
As she lay quivering, semi-conscious, he secured her to the bed with a chain long enough that when she woke, she could get to the garderobe. She was just as likely to throw herself off the edge of the cave, as she was to try to kill him. He threw on a black silk robe and went to the library. How could she as a mortal have the power of natural magick? He pulled down several volumes and began to study them. Several hours he leaned back in the leather chair, his eyes narrow with thought. It could have been possible even if the water dragons weren’t known for taking tribute slaves. If she were part dragon, it would change the whole pattern of her training.
He stopped into the bedroom to check on Marged. She lay sleeping, her naked body splayed on the rumpled sheets, the silver chain curled from collar and pillow to floor like a metal serpent. It was almost enough for him to return and wake her, but he needed to know. Silently, he padded to the rear-most room of the cave complex. He had done nothing to decorate this room. In the middle of the room, a natural spring of water cast dancing reflections on the rest of the room. Stalagmites reached from the floor to stalactites, creating an odd sense of dragon’s teeth. Crystal bits reflected the light from the pool.
He loved this room. It sang to his dragon-self the way that gold sang to dwarf. He removed his robe and standing naked, willed himself into his dragon form. He stretched happily, spreading his wings until they reached either side of the room. Much like a cat, he curled by the edge of the pool so he could stare into its depths. He touched a single claw to the surface and etched an unusual rune and spoke in the dragon tongue, “Arglwydd Bran of the West does summon Arglwydd Neifion son of Morcar.”
There was a long pause before the waters rippled and the face of a blue-green dragon peered at him.
“Bran? Has one of the elders died?” his speech was slow and unhurried.
“No, wise Neifion. I have come to you seeking information.”
Neifion rumbled a low laugh, “You seek information from me? I have nothing to do with your books, Librarian. What information could you seek of me?”
Bran inclined his head in acknowledgment of his title, “I inquire to learn of your last consort.”
Neifion looked surprised, “What earthly importance could there be of my consort?”
“I have my reasons,” Bran studied a claw for flaws and then back to the face of Neifion in the pool, “Was your last consort a mortal?”
Neifion drew back, his expression cold and commanding, “I am Lord Neifion of the Seas, who are you to question my choice of consorts?”
Bran lowered his head in postural deference, “I do not question your choice, Sea Lord. I inquire as I have within my cave a mortal woman who in her passions displays the glow of dragon fire within her.”
Neifion said nothing for some time. Finally, he spoke, “Yes, my last consort was a human woman. She came to me in a shipwreck. I would have kept her for a long time, but she pined for the sun on her face and soil beneath her feet.” His eyes clouded in personal introspection, “She loved me, but her need for the land was greater. She did not tell me…. What did she name her?”
“Pearl. A fitting name,” his eyes narrowed with suspicion, “How did she come to be in your caves and in your bed?”
Bran gave a dragon shrug, “I found her on a stone as part of my tribute.”
Neifion glowed with anger, “And you plan to give her to the demon lords?”
“No,” Bran assured him, “On the contrary, if she proves to be of your line, I would hope in time there could be a match.”
Neifion settled back, “Very well. And you wish to know how to tell if she is of my line?”
Bran nodded, relieved. Neifion was known for his quick temper and long grudges.
“I shall send you a pearl. Have her wear it. If she is of a lesser dragon line, it will turn pink as the coral. If she is of my line, it will turn from pure white, to the gray of the deep. If it turns gray, do not remove it from her, but contact me to arrange a bride price. I would rather have a daughter of mine bonded to you than the other dragons about.”
“I am grateful for you assistance, Neifion.”
The face of Neifion faded in the ripples and the pool calmed again. Bran stood and willed himself back to his human form. He always felt restricted for the first few moments as his mind adjusted to the smaller body. As he finished putting his robe back on, the waters of the pond churned. A water sprite popped its head out and looked about. Sighting Bran, it gave a quick bow and offered an alabaster box.
“My thanks,” Bran took the box and opened it. Nestled in kelp, was a teardrop shaped pearl of pure white on a chain of white gold. The sprite dove and was gone.
With dragon grace he went back to the bedroom. Marged was awake and watched him with an anger he could feel on skin.
“I trust you slept well?” he smiled.
“Touch me again and I will rip your limbs from your body,” she hissed.
He ignored her groundless threat and moved closer, offering the box to her, “I have a gift for you.”
“I don’t want it,” she edged away from him, across the bed.
He sighed, “My patience grows thin, girl. You will take the gift. It is not an option. I will force you if I must, but it grows old. Do you wish me to bind you so you cannot move?” He whispered a barrier of air to keep her from moving further back, “Does that excite you? Do you even now ache to feel me capture you and take you again?”
She said nothing, but glared.
He offered the box again and she took it warily. Curiosity got the best of her and she opened it. She took out the pearl, holding it away from her like it might bite.
“You think a trinket will pay for raping me?”
He smiled, “Considering your passion and desires, I would hardly call it rape. But no, it is a gift from someone else. May I put it on you?”
“No!” Marged started to put it back into the box, when he moved, grabbing her wrist, his own eyes narrowed in a way that had her trembling.
“You will wear it. This is not an option. Put it on, or I will put it on for you.”
“Fine,” Marged opened the clasp and put it around her neck. The chain was long and the pearl nestled between her round, firm breasts. He released her hand and walked over to the table for another goblet of wine. He was eager to know, but he waited.
He could hear the soft jangle of the chain at her collar as she moved. His goblet full, he turned and looked at her. The pearl had changed from pure white to a deep and beautiful gray. He smiled at her in an almost predatory fashion.
Bran took a step closer to her, the wine forgotten. She was of dragon blood. So long he had waited alone, and here she was, waiting for him to tame her.
Marged saw the predator look in his eyes and glanced around for a way to escape. The barrier of air was still behind her. She wasn’t going to let him work his dark magick on her again. He moved his hand and she expected to be forced open for him again, instead the chains fell away from the collar.
“Yes, my pearl, run,” he gestured to the room, “Flee if you will; fly if you can. Deep in your heart you know you want me to give chase, to catch you and to mark you as mine.”
His voice was almost hypnotic and Marged shook her head in denial of his words. She leapt to her feet and bolted off the bed and from the room. Bran gave a roar of challenge and followed. The goblet lay on the floor, the red wine spilled like blood on the smooth stone.
Marged ran for her life. She wasn’t sure where she was or where to go, but she was sure he would not touch her again. From the bedroom, she turned to her left and ran down the curving hall, her footfalls seeming to echo through the whole cavern. The first room seemed to be a room of treasure. Gold spilled out carelessly on the floor from chests and bowls. Statues and art lay scattered about. There was no place to hide here.
She scampered from that room and hurried, panting. The next room was a closet of linens and the one after that appeared to be a guest room. She could hear the rustle of his silken robe back from where she came. She ran blindly now, desperate to find some place to hide so she could double back. She slipped into the room across the hall and froze in place.
The room was filled with horrors. Tables and beams were fastened with heavy manacles. A cage dangled from the ceiling and the walls were lined with tools that she could only imagine what they did.
His hand touched her shoulder and she leapt around with a scream of true terror. She began to back away from him, bumping into a table here and a wooden cross over there.
“Get away from me,” her voice was hoarse with the fear. Marged groped for something and let her fingers wrap around a thick cane. She brandished it against him.
“Odd you should run to this room, Marged, this room of all the rooms. Perhaps your true nature calls for those things you do not know,” he walked closer, unconcerned about the cane in her hand. “The chase can be exhilarating, but you let me catch you too easily. I shall have to try it again somewhere where there is more room. Perhaps I shall take you down to the forest some day and we shall play chase there.”
“Keep back,” she shook the cane at him.
“Do you know what this room is for, my Pearl?”
Marged shook her head and tried to maneuver around the things so she might be able to make a run for the doorway.
“This is where I teach my tribute how to obey. I did promise you a lesson in obedience, so I do not see why we should not use our time here wisely. Put down the cane, Marged.”
“Over my dead body,” she hissed back.
The anger in her eyes aroused his dragon nature and brought out the slow smile that had made some girls in the past cry just to see it, “If that is your wish.” He shrugged in mock resignation and whispered a word.
The air around her seemed to flee and she gasped at nothing. It was as if he had taken all the air away from her. She dropped the cane without thought, grabbing at her throat as if it would somehow give her air. Seconds seemed to slide by her and the room became darker and darker.
Bran watched her carefully, waiting for the exact moment and then let the cool air rush back to her tortured lungs. She fell to her knees, sucking in the air. With her dazed it was easy to lift her to the nearest table and restrain her. Generations of dragon men had caught and tamed their mates. He had caught her, and now, he would start the process of taming her.
As reason came back to her, Marged fought the soft leather that encircled her wrists and ankles. She could hear the dragon-man moving around. She could only imagine what hideous tortures he had planned. She wished he would kill her and be done with it.
She was surprised to see him setting up candles around the room, creating a warm glow. He pulled a tall stool over to the table for him to sit on.
“Comfortable?” he petted her skin, “You are truly a lovely creature, my pearl. You are far too beautiful for this collar, but it is up to you to remove it.”
“And I am supposed to wish it away, I suppose,” Marged said in mock sweetness, her eyes betraying her tone.
“Close to that. When you have truly given yourself to me in mind as well as in body, the collar will be removed.”
“So you are not going to kill me anytime soon?” her voice was almost wistful.
He ran his hand over her body, his eyes half-lidded with desire, “No, my pearl. You are worth far too much to me to kill.”
He lifted a candle and studied the flame, “They say that some dragons have the power of flame within them. Some do. Can you embrace the heat? Is fire the element that rules you?”
Marged kept her eye on the small flame, worried what he would do. He spoke a word and she felt something push between the soft folds of her thighs and push inside of her. She could not help a soft moan at the instant touch of pleasure as the thickened air began to caress and rub at her.
“Yes,” he purred, “embrace the pleasure, feel it inside of you, let it awaken you.”
Marged could not stop the response of her body as she began to lift her hips to get more of his invisible invader. She was so caught up in the pleasure of this torture, that she did not see him tip the candle until the melted wax dripped onto her right breast.
She jerked at the bonds, unable to escape the pleasure, unable to flee the hot pain of the wax on her sensitive skin. It hurt; it was wonderful. With the skill of a master, he painted her body with the wax as his magick teased at her innermost parts until she screamed with orgasm. She begged him to stop, pleaded with him, but he knew that it was not with her heart that she did this. No, taming her, molding her, this would take time. No one would have her but him, and he would have nothing if not all of her.
Marged lay strapped to the table, the splotches of white wax hardened on her breasts and nipples. Bran had given her some water and covered her with a blanket, telling her to rest. He had been gone for at least an hour or more. The whole time she had struggled to free herself of the leather and the magick air that still tormented the cleft between her legs. How long would he leave her like this?
“So what do you think of pleasure?” his fingers caressed her face.
“Goddess!” Marged felt her body quiver at his touch. She had never heard him enter, “Wear a bell or something.”
“You did not answer my question,” there was a note of warning in his tone.
She refused to look at him, “You may force my body to feel the pleasure, but you will not make my mind embrace it.”
“In time,” he promised. “What do you know of your father, my pearl?”
“What?” she was thrown by the abrupt and unexpected change in topic.
“Your father, what do you know of him?” his fingers peeled away the wax and caressed her hard nipples
“I do not remember him, but my mother always spoke kindly of him,” she loved and hated the sensations burning in her body.
“Well, I have spoken with him. No need to know how, but I have. I have paid the bride price for you and now I will give you the rings of our bond.”
“I have no wish to be near you,” Marged glared at him, as she struggled uselessly to free herself, “let alone to marry me!”
“Nevertheless, you know that you have no choice. I am surprised that the mayor did not arrange a marriage for you to be rid of you.”
“I will not wear your ring,” she vowed.
He just smiled and moved a tray near to him. Humming softly, he moved his fingers and the air tormenting her stopped. He took her right breast in his hand and began to tease the nipple until it was rock hard. He took a long needle from the tray and brought it to the hard nipple.
Marged began to scream and struggle with all of her might. A word of the dragon tongue had the air pressing down on her so she could not move at all. To her horror and then pain, he thrust the needle through the nipple. With skill he removed the needle and inserted a gold ring. Ignoring her curses and cries, he deftly pierced the other nipple. With artisan’s skill, he hung a small pearly pendent from each ring and magically sealed the ring.
“Don’t you look lovely!” he exclaimed, “but I need to punish you for your words. He lifted a nearby candle and moved to the soft, moist area between her legs.
Still unable to move, her body throbbing from the pain of the piercing, she begged him not to do this. She wasn’t sure what it was he was planning to do, but whatever it was, she didn’t want it.
His fingers parted the soft folds and carefully, he let the wax drip onto the button of flesh. She screamed and she screamed, as he found place after place for the wax to fall, peeling off the hardened wax and then dripping more. He dripped it onto her, until her body shook in a pain-induced orgasm.
Her body burned. Her nipples throbbed from the piercing and her soft flesh between her legs ached from the hot wax. Fire seemed to envelop her, fill her, feeding from the air he used to control her.
He was gone from the room again, this time leaving her blindfolded. The darkness and the warm air were a small comfort to this world in which she now existed. What were his plans? Was he going to torture her to death? In retrospect, she should have given in to the Mayor and then killed him in his bed.
The soft rustle of cloth and she knew he was back. She felt his hand touch her body and she could not hold back the moan that escaped her. Why did she respond so quickly to his touch? It must be his magick.
“I have one more gift for you, my pearl and then I shall free you for a meal and some rest. Do you realize that we have played the night through? The sun rises soon and I wish to see its rays dance across your bare skin,”
Marged was too spent for a comment. She just hoped that needles and wax were not in his next “gift.”
She felt him move around her and between her legs. Her fear of what he would do made her keen softly. Then, the softest of touches, one so gentle it tickled, yet soothed. She felt his tongue caress the soft button in the her folds, she felt his hands stroke up her thighs and under her buttocks, pulling her closer to his mouth. How agile was his tongue, dancing over the burned and tormented flesh. Her fingers curled tightly as she tried to fight the pleasure he gave her.
In this darkness, there was nothing but his tongue, seeking the wetness, exploring deeper and deeper, only to return to the little button. Marged did not scream or curse, but something inside of her seemed to break and she began to cry silently. It felt too good. So long she had been in pain and fear, and with this simplest of touches, he had erased it all. She gave herself to the sensations, no longer fighting it. Floating, she escaped the pain and the fear and the years of loneliness that she had endured.
So far in the pleasure was she that she did not notice when his tongue moved up her body until he began to lick the burned and pierced nipples. He spent eons at each one, until her body sang with the pleasure. She arched to greet him, as his thick length entered the tight entrance of her womb. Wonderful stroke after wonderful stroke took her higher and higher into the clouds of pleasure. Through the blindfold, she could see a golden glow that must be the color of pure pleasure mixed with the red glow of passion. And she soared.
She woke in the huge bed, silken sheets wrapped around her naked body. Bran lay next to her, sleeping. His long black warrior’s plait had been loosed and his hair spread in beautiful waves across the pillow. She studied him as he slept, admiring his body until she realized what she was doing. She should be finding a way to escape.
Escape did not seem very reasonable. The thick chain was once again attached to her collar and there was no way that she could see to unfasten it. It was not held by any locking mechanism she was aware of.
It took some time for her to realize that she did not hurt. Carefully, she touched the golden rings that pierced each nipple. They should have been tender, still a wound… but they were perfectly healed, as if she had had them for years. He had healed her with his tongue.
She looked at him with wonder and curiosity, watching Bran wake, stretching like a cat. His face wore the same look of self-satisfaction as one.
He reached over and tugged gently on the closest gold ring. Marged gasped, not in pain but at the swift surge of arousal that swept through her body. Angered at her reaction, she slapped his face as hard as she could.
He did not look angry, but sad as he left the bed and the room. She wondered what he was doing. He returned moments later with leather manacles.
“I am in no mood to wrestle with you, my Pearl,” he made the now familiar gesture and the air around her thickened and held her still. Helpless, she could only stand there as he bound her wrists behind her back.
“Now, I think I wish to dress you.” he left her caught in the hold of the air and went to the wardrobe and opened it. From a drawer inside he took a corset that appeared to be made of black dragon scales and in moments had it around her, tight and confining. Her breasts were presented well, the gold rings and small pearls drawing the eye. To the corset he attached strings of pearls that draped from the top center and looped around to the back.
He stepped back to admire her and then nodded to himself. He took from the wardrobe, black stockings that he put on her, attaching them to the corset also. On her feet, he put shoes with high heels that bent her feet into a most delightful pose. Yes, she was lovely– all black and gold and pearls like a rare object. He snapped a lead to the collar around her neck and freed the air holding her. He loved the smoldering fire in her eyes as she glared at him. She held her tongue as he led her to the dining area. She wobbled on the heels but kept up.
He asked her to kneel and upon her refusal, he forced her down with the air. He wanted her so badly even then, but playing with her would wait. He cooked their meal — a plate for her and one for him. “You need only ask, my pearl, and I will give you food.”
He ate, watching her the whole time. He could see the hunger in her eyes. He wanted to feed her, but he would wait until she asked. She would give of herself of her own free will, but he would do what he could to help her to that goal. She needed to yield her anger and pride to him.
He finished and she had not asked. Unable to wait longer, he moved her from the floor to the table, bending her over it, spreading her legs. He smiled. She did not help, but she did not fight him. There was no need to make the air hold her for his pleasure. It was a good first step.
He opened the silken robe and pressed her hard length into her with a hot moan. Her own moan of response was encouraging. That she spread her legs a bit more of her own will was even more so. She may not have done it consciously, but her body ached for more of what she had had the night before.
He took his time, thrusting with long smooth strokes. She was wet at his first thrust and became more aroused with each movement. He played her body like a musician would an instrument, bringing her closer and closer to total pleasure. She came under him again and again.
She had no idea that his idea of torture was to give her pleasure until her mind could think of nothing else. She would spend the day being tortured with orgasm after orgasm. Some dragon-masters would use pain as the initial tool, but he preferred pleasure. It made the torture all the more painful when the pleasure was denied.
By lunchtime, Marged swayed as she knelt by the table. She was tired and so hungry all she wanted to do was to cry. She watched Bran eat, fighting the whole time with her own pride. He was done and rising from the table as she finally managed to overcome her stubbornness.
“Please…” her voice cracked.
He turned and looked expectantly at her in silence.
“Please, may I have some food?” There. She had done it.
He looked at her, barely able to even kneel up, beautiful in the dragon scales and pearls, the exhaustion and desperation shinning in her eyes. She was beautiful beyond words — even more beautiful as she broke her own will, yielding to him. “Of course, my Pearl.”
He got a bowl of the shepherd’s pie he had made and resumed his place at the table. He spooned up a bit and held out the spoon to her. Marged opened her mouth like a baby bird and took the food.
When she was done eating, he gave her drink and the carried her back to the bedroom. She did not resist as he removed the leather cuffs and the ropes of pearls, tucking her into the bed. She was asleep before he had left.
The days took on a pattern. Marged would find herself woken to the pleasure of Bran’s love making. She no longer resisted and often found herself a willing an eager participant. When he was sated, he would dress her in a dragon scale corset and pearls. She would kneel in the kitchen as he cooked. Each meal she would have to ask for food, but it was no longer the battle of wills. The morning was often spent in that room that she now hated and adored. Orgasm after orgasm would rack her body until lunch when the ritual of the meal was repeated. There would be the afternoon nap and then more pleasure forced upon her until dinner. Dinner was followed by “games” usually involving her and more orgasms. She had no idea that pleasure could be had in so many ways. She learned how to suck him and give him pleasure as he teased her body.
Two maybe three weeks after her capture, Bran led her to a different room. It was his library and study.
“My sweet pearl, I will have to go for several days. I am giving you full run of the caves. I promise I will bring you back a treat. You will be fine, I am sure.”
“Yes, Bran.” She smiled sweetly even while her mind planned her escape.
She watched as he changed to his dragon form and left. She waited the span of an hourglass before she leapt into action, searching for a way of escape. The only way out was the cave entrance, and while she could see out of it, it was like there was a solid wall or air. She went from room to room, searching for some way to leave. Any of the natural openings had been sealed with his magick. She spent some time cursing him and finally sat exhausted and defeated on the bed.
The first day was just dull. She had gotten used to his presence. She explored the library, reading several of the books there. She removed the corset and fashioned a dress from a tablecloth. She spent hours in the library trying to find something that would make the wall of air at the mouth of the cave dissipate.
It was the second morning that she noticed it. She woke with an ache deep inside of her. By noon, the ache was a throbbing pain. She tried rubbing that little button of flesh that Bran was so fond of. She found the orgasm she ached for, but it wasn’t enough. As darkness fell that night, she cried herself to sleep, aching for the feeling of Bran inside of her.
The third day was tortured agony as she throbbed and ached to be used by Bran. She gave up playing with herself, as the orgasm never matched what he had given her and only left her aching for more.
The fourth day, she put the corset on, just trying to feel him closer to her. The fifth day had her sitting at the cave’s entrance, not trying to escape buy searching the skies for a glimpse of Bran.
The sixth day alone, she realized that is was not just the physical pleasure she ached for, but for Bran himself. She cried herself to sleep again, wrapped in his silken robe for his comforting scent.
Bran came back with the predawn light. Changing into his human form, he went in search of his Pearl. She lay in the center of their bed, his robe wrapped around her naked form. It gaped and he could see the soft swell of her breasts and the gleam of the golden rings in the candlelight. He sat and watched her until she began to stir.
“Good morning sleepyhead,” he greeted her as she sat up.
She blinked at him several times, as her brain caught up to what she was seeing.
“Bran!” she sprang from the bed and ran to him, throwing her arms around him, “You came back!”
He was surprised at the level of emotion but dealt with it. He hugged her back and then had her kneel between his legs. She looked up at him with pure trust.
“Seems you missed me, my Pearl.”
She blushed softly, “Yes, Bran.”
“Or did you just miss the pleasure I gave you?” his voice was serious.
She thought for a moment, “At first, yes, but then I missed you.” She looked up at him, eyes intent on his, “I realized yesterday that I need you.”
There was a soft click and the silver collar around her neck fell to the floor with a clatter. He smiled at her. Marged looked confused, “You do not want me anymore?”
“No, my Pearl. That is not true. I want you more than ever,” he began to stroke the alluring curve of her breasts.
“Then,” she moaned at the first touch, arching her back to present her breasts to him, “why did you free me?”
He rose, lifting her and carrying her back to the bed, “Free you? Ah, no, my Pearl. I did not free you. You did. You have truly given yourself to me and that freed you. In your submission is true freedom.”
Marged smiled as understanding filled her. She said nothing more, but opened herself willingly to the one she loved.
Bran took her with great passion, knowing there would be plenty of time to show her the delights of her dragon side.