Copyright© 2004 Soronel Haetir
Axecia groaned as she woke and once more became aware of her surroundings,, the nightmare of the last few days swirling in her mind. It had begun with a pre-dawn raid on her quiet little village and had only become worse. Her fair skin still showed bruises from the rough handling of her captors. She began to weep as the plight of her condition set in once more. Looking out of her cage her eyes traveled over the other unfortunate girls that were taken on the raid.
As her eyes fell on one particular girl her thoughts brightened, Id only for a moment 'at least I've been treated better than her.' She harbored no illusion about this however, the cursory inspection made by the foul reeking 'doctor' during the first night had marked her as valuable property. Virgins always brought higher prices, especially pretty ones. Still a month short of her seventeen birthday Axecia shone like a flower growing from the mud around her, somehow untouched by the rustic life she was accustomed to.
She cried some more knowing that even if the wars, in the end, were won by her homeland, it would not effect her. Slaves were never freed, it would take too much work to prove where a particular girl belonged. Her thoughts turned to what her eventual master would be like. There were tales of men of incredible, calculated cruelty and competing stories of such passion it made her blush when she thought of them.
One of the guards came by and pushed a cup of meat stew through the bars. This too was part of her special treatment, she saw how little those not so fortunate were fed. Even though she was hungry all the time, her kind nature wouldn't allow her to see others suffer when she could do something about it and had shared what she was given with the girl in the next cage over. Though neither of them were punished for this, she had been moved to cage separated from the others and given even more food.
Huddling under the much worn and very dirty blanket that was her only covering she ate the stew in determined silence, making it last as long as she could. Facing the direction of their travel she knew they must be getting close to wherever they were going. Travelers had become much more numerous in both directions. Some of the men stopped and looked over the cages, but none had yet come over to examine her. She was thankful for it, having seen how personal some of the examinations could be, but did not know why she was left out.
Drawing more into herself Axecia hardly noticed as the little caravan passed through the arched gate into the main city or the many people bustling around. Hardly anyone paid attention to them either, it was a common enough sight in the city. It wasn't until the carts stopped in a large pavilion, obviously their destination with the many tents already standing, each adorned with the gray and blue emblem of the Slaver's Guild that she began paying attention to the world again.
Her peace was short lived however as one of the men tasked to watch her, as if she were somehow going to escape through the stout iron bars took a black cloth from his pack. "Put your back against the cage," came out almost as a grunt from the foul smelling piggish man.
Knowing it was futile to not do as she was told, she scooted over to where the man stood, and leaned back against the cold bars. Hands came through the bars and tied the cloth over her eyes. She felt a little better for not having been pawed as he had every right to do. Unable to see anything, she waited, listening to the bustle around her. Two voices came to her across the yard, approaching. One voice she recognized as the greasy leader of the slaving raid.
"Over here, Lord. I believe we found one that exactly meets your request." spoke the voice she knew.
"I hope so, I feel I've waited long enough for such a simple thing." The tone was sour but the voice itself was rich bodied and gentle, spoken by one used to an attentive audience.
"Yes, of course, Lord. Please excuse me for not succeeding sooner" said the leader, now right next to the cage. Axecia didn't know his name, or care much for that matter. She could tell though that he was trying to impress whoever was with him.
"I might, once you actually have succeeded. But I still need to inspect your candidate." If anything he was even more sour sounding now. Standing behind her, he ran fingers lightly over her shoulders, Axecia shivered at the gentle touch, wondering how it could go with such a commanding voice. The hand slid down her side, tracing over the almost faded bruises, making a little sound of displeasure at each of them. She gasped in surprise as he pulled the blanket out of her hands after walking around to the other side of the cage. Feeling her face turn pale then red knowing he looking at her. "You've done well, much better than I expected." She heard some coins exchange hands and knew that her time with the slave caravan was over. The bars opened and the same strong hands pulled her from the cage that had been her home for the last several days. Some simple wooden sandals were placed on her feet but she was given nothing else to wear and the blindfold was not removed.
The walk to wherever she was going passed in silence, the strong gentle hands touching her every once in awhile. She heard people walking by, but strangely felt little of the embarrassment of before. And the way the hands touched her brought a little hope 'Maybe I somehow got picked by one of the kind masters that sometimes appear in stories.' She had seen a few other girls sold along the way, and none had been treated with any sort of care.
The voice behind her finally spoke "Stop here", and having no choice, she did as she was told. She found it a little odd, but it was almost as if she /wanted/ to do what the voice told her. She heard a door open and the hands slipped low around her bare stomach, pulling her back against his thick warm chest as he walked her up the low wide steps and through the door. She could tell that they were no inside when she felt the sudden change in light and temperature, the air much cooler inside. The hands on her made her both dread what she knew had to be in her future, but also flutter a little in her stomach, they felt so nice on her skin.
She heard someone else approaching from in front and a soft feminine voice said "Oh Master, she's lovely!" Axecia felt her face flush from the unexpected compliment coming from someone she didn't know and couldn't see.
"Take her upstairs and make sure she is ready. Don't let her take off the blindfold"
"Yes, Master. Oh, does she have a name?"
The question surprised Axecia enough that she took a moment to recover before almost answering, but the voice behind her said "Not yet, Lace" in a tone she wasn't about to test.
"Yes, Master. Now you come with me, here let me take your hand and help you. I know you're just going to love it here. I'm Lace, as Master said, and I'm sure you'll have a name very soon."
Axecia felt her hand being taken in a much smaller softer one than the man's 'Master's' she thought to herself with a little shudder. But Lace's cheery attitude was hard to resist even in her turmoil and confusion. Lace made sure she didn't stub her toes or injure herself on other items in the house as she was led upstairs. She knew they must be in the bathroom when she felt warm tiles under her feet and the air became much moister. She sat on a low stool that Lace brought out, and fidgeted nervously as the other girl 'woman?' (she wasn't sure) examined her bruises.
"Oh dear, these need some time to heal. I'll be right back, don't take that blindfold off or Master will be most cross with both of us."
Lace left the bathroom for a short while and then came back in, relieved to see her charge still sitting on the stool, with the blindfold on. "I just went and told Master about your condition and he agreed that your true submission should wait until tomorrow. You'll be amazed at how wonderful /that/ is."
Summoning up her courage, Axecia asked "Is he always so kind? It almost feels as if I've dropped into one of those tales mother told to make me not so scared of what might happen when I got older."
"Oh yes, you are /very/ lucky. Very lucky indeed. Master has his tastes, and has the means to indulge them. I don't think I've ever seen him truly angry with any girl he chooses. I'm glad for that. I have seen him extremely cross with guests a couple times, Now, let's get you cleaned up and make sure you eat properly."
"Lace, How can you be so cheery all the time, knowing that you are unable to do so many things?"
"You'll find out tomorrow, oh how you'll find out. It makes me wet just to think about the things he'll do to you, and I won't even be there." Lace led Axecia over to the tub and removed the wooden sandals before helping her step in and then sink into it. Lace did not join her, which made Axecia feel much better.
"Wet? Of course I'm wet, I'm in the tub" the question sounded very confused.
"Er. Hot, tingly. Well, I know you've never been with a man, that is one of Master's 'tastes', but haven't you ever felt something there?"
"Oooh. I have, but only a little. It really makes you feel that way, knowing that he is going to do... er... whatever it is that he does." Axecia knew the general idea, having seen animals mating around the village a number of times, but the concept seemed very foreign when she tried to imagine herself like that.
Lace took a soapy brush and began cleaning the young woman's back, careful of the tender bruises, but also knowing the job needed to be done. "You really have no idea, do you?"
"I have some, but they all seem confused or silly" the answer seemed almost lost, without anything to latch onto.
"I can't tell you what's going to happen, I was told not too. But whatever you are thinking, it's going to be MUCH nicer than that. Here, take this and wash your front." Lace pushed a washcloth into Axecia's hands and then went back to scrubbing her back.
"I hope so, all the real sounding stories say it hurts or isn't much fun or both," then wondered to herself 'How did she get me to open up like this? Maybe I just really need a friend, I hope we can get along if we're both going to be living here. She's been here awhile obviously, does that mean she's getting replaced, am I temporary?' These thoughts almost brought her to tears again, but knowing there wasn't anything she could do, and having such an outgoing (friend?) made it easier to accept not having answers to her questions.
"Here, lean back some, time for your hair" Axecia felt her hair being soaked and then washed, the feeling of someone else doing it so odd. She could tell that whatever was being used was very good, all the tangles from the last few days were melting away.
"Is there anyone else here? Like," Axecia paused for a moment and then added "... us? That sounds so... I don't know, but it's weird."
"Not right now, there had been a few weeks ago, but Master found someone absolutely perfect for Kayia."
"You mean... he might just give me away? I know that he can, but that seems cold."
"Oh no, it's not like that at all. She had been here for years, longer than I have in fact. But anyway, no, he just won't just 'give you away', it's something he thinks about with a great deal of consideration. I've seen her a couple times and amazed at how happy she is. You're here now, you won't be going anywhere unless he thinks it's very good for you. That was one of the times I saw Master upset with a guest, the man wanted one of the girls that was obviously unsuited to him."
"Okay, time to rinse off." Lace took one of the girl's hands and helped her stand before dumping several buckets of warm water over her.
Axecia felt the bubbles wash away with wonder. "I've never had such a wonderful bath, really."
Lace began drying her with a large fluffy towel, and loved seeing how much her charge was opening up. "Good. Master always wants things to start off in a pleasant way. But don't get too comfortable just yet, the next thing is fairly... personal."
"What's next?" a little of the trepidation from earlier creeping back into Axecia's voice.
"I have to shave you... down below."
"It embarrasses me too, normally you will do it, but I can't let you take off the blindfold." Lace led her new friend, she just knew they would be, back over to the stool, "Please relax, it will take much longer if you can't keep still."
Axecia sat nervously and stiffened badly as she felt Lace's hands opening her knees. She hardly ever thought of herself in that way, and now she was letting someone... a female someone... shave her? "He wants me to look like a little girl?"
Lace stopped working and looked up for a moment, "I won't be taking all of it. But all this area has to be clear," and traced an oval around Axecia's outer lips. This almost made her lose the seat, being touched this way, and almost forgot who it was.
Thankfully Lace did the job in a rapid professional manner and then wiped away any remaining strands. Lace shocked her again though by running a finger up her slit, and was even more shocked to realize that she was just a bit damp. "Ohh, Master is so going to enjoy you."
Axecia was guided to her feet once more and felt Lace fumbling with some clothing, some sort of short nightshirt it felt like, all she really knew was that it barely covered her rear. 'Probably the whole idea, ' she thought to herself. It also made her tingle some to think that someone might want her so badly. At home she had always been the odd child, born part way between two large groups of children she never really became part of either.
She was led out of the bathroom and taken through several halls, finally sitting again at a table. Lace continued to help, handing her a sandwich and then a cup of bitter tea. "Contraceptive, Master insists," was the explanation for this. Some sweet apple juice followed to wash away the taste.
She knew it was almost time.
Lace had woken her up this morning and helped her eat some fruit and cereal. The blindfold had come loose during the night, but Axecia had the foresight to tie it back on, tempted as she was to look. If anything Lace was even cheerier this morning.
She had been led... here was all she could come up with, having not seen any of the house. She waited with her back to the wall, her wrists bound to a ring above her head. Lace had helped her dress also, and had been allowed to touch the garments. Around her waist was a floor length skirt so light and gauzy she knew it had to be almost transparent. The top was a little more substantial, being a naval length chemise made of luxurious silk, she had never known that clothes by themselves could feel so good. Her nipples were already stiff just from rubbing against the cloth.
She heard the door open then close, all her senses straining, trying to find out who had come in. She knew someone had, she could hear the footsteps as they got closer. They seemed to heavy to be Lace returning. For some reason, she hoped it wasn't.