"Lot 28: a seamstress."
She was the last slave to be auctioned. Being skilled, she was potentially very valuable to the right master, one who was able to exploit her talents to full advantage. If buyers for such were in the crowd, the slavemaster stood to take in three or four times as much as any of the other slaves.
"S'time," the slavehandler grunted, nudging her, albeit gently, almost apologetically, towards the front of the platform. This was uncharacteristic: he had barked to the other slaves, often punctuating his commands with a stroke of the crop on thigh or bottom to hurry them along.
But the seamstress was different. She was older than all the other slavegirls, for one. She was well into middle-age, although she wore it well. Streaks of gray showed in her dark hair, but it was still shiny, hanging straight and fairly long, with a gentle curl framing her face. She was not slender, but she had a pleasant figure. Which was easily seen: she wore only skimpy undergarments. This was more than the other slavegirls had been allowed, however. After all, if a buyer was looking for a bedwarmer, there had been a number of pretty enough teenage girls, and even preteens, sold before her.
But she had not been permitted to retain any hair below her waist, and the undergarments were fairly sheer, so little was concealed. Yet she retained a certain ... something about her. Not dignity exactly, but a gentle, reserved quietness, that had affected even the hardened slavehandler.
She murmured, "Yes, Sir," and stepped to the front of the platform. The slavehandler pushed a display of her work beside her; it was of high quality. The bidding began. Scattered voices rang out, hands were raised; the bidding was not as brisk as it had been for the prettier of the younger girls, but the amounts involved were higher, and they jumped. Soon only four, then three, then two voices were bidding, and the price had reached a level that was at least well into the median for a skilled slave.
There was obvious sadness on her face; not surprising, considering her circumstances. However she seemed at least resigned, calm, not looking wildly about at those bidding for her, as some of the younger girls did, or staring at the platform with tears streaming down her face as some of the others had done.
But those who looked closely could see a tensing around her eyes, each time she heard the voice of one of the bidders...
"500 Imperials, 500 Imperials," the auctioneer called out. "Do I hear 6? 6, anyone? 500 going once..."
A new voice. It almost made her look, but she controlled herself. "It doesn't matter," she told herself. But her heart was beating just a bit faster...
"700," the other bidder replied.
"Nine!" A hint of exasperation in the other; he had been so close. The price was now on the high end, even for an experienced, skilled slavewoman.
"Twelve hundred," the new bidder replied, almost a hint of ... perhaps it was contempt, in his voice. With this jump in the bid he was making it clear: no one else was going to have the seamstress. Give up.
A hush had fallen on the surprised crowd as the drama unfolded. A barely audible snarl was heard.
"T-twelve hundred going once, twelve hundred going twice, sold for twelve hundred!" the auctioneer, nearly as startled as the rest, managed to stammer out.
Tomas looked at his Master. "Fetch her for me, Tomas. And Tomas," he added, as his servant turned back towards him, "I know I don't have to say this, but still: be gentle and considerate, eh?"
"Of course, Master, I understand," he replied. And he did; he had been with his Master for many years, and he had seen what his Master had seen...
At the platform the slaves were being parceled out to their new owners. He showed his master's emblem to the slavehandler and the seamstress was brought forward, still dressed only in her revealing underclothes.
Tomas took his cloak from his shoulders and wrapped it around her. "Would you come with me, please?" he asked, rhetorically. "The Master is waiting for you."
As they walked he spoke quickly, in low tones for her ears only, "Do not be afraid. The Master is a good and kindly man." Her heart, all ready lightened to know that ... That One had not acquired her, blossomed even more into even a bit of hope. Perhaps at least she would not be abused, and would be able to be of some use in her accustomed trade.
He was tall, older, older than she at any rate, though perhaps not by much. Grave, clean-shaven, a hawk nose, bushy eyebrows. Not bad to look at, she thought, then chided herself for even daring to think it. You're a slave, she reminded herself.
"My carriage is not far. We will walk there," he said, and turned down the street. She followed, clutching Tomas' cloak about her. The Master's other two servants fell into step; one was on either side of her, and Tomas took up the rear. She wondered if this was to make sure she didn't try to escape. But somehow it only made her feel ... safe.
The carriage was well made, trimmed with silver; clearly the Master was well-to-do, which she all ready deduced from his willingness to pay an exorbitant price for even a skilled slave, and his clothes, which her seamstress' eye had immediately noted to be simple, but elegant and of high quality.
At the carriage one servant held the door, the others climbed on to the seat atop. Almost automatically, although she had no experience as a slave, she headed for the back step, the accustomed place for a slave to stand and hold on. But the Master forestalled her, and with a motion of his hand ordered her into the carriage. Or perhaps it was more of ... an invitation?
The carriage seats were soft, the ride smooth. She looked at him, at her lap, at him. She opened her mouth..."Later, seamstress, later," he said softly, then he leaned forward and looked into her eyes and said more intently, "But hear me, seamstress: I mean you no harm. You are safe!" then turned to look out the window. She closed her mouth, but continued to alternate looking at her lap, then at him. They rode most of the day, with only enough stops to eat. Tomas brought food and drink from roadhouses along the way. Finally they reached the Master's estate.
The seamstress looked almost in a daze at the house, a mansion really, the groomed grounds, the fields. Tomas escorted her to a room. "This will be yours," he said. "Everything you need should be here. There is a bell; ring it if you are lacking anything. I will call for you in the morning at eight. The Master will have breakfast with you then, and he desires you to wear this..." He went to a closet and opened it. There were many dresses and other clothes in it. He pulled some aside and indicated a gown.
Again her skilled seamstress' eye served her well: the gown was like the Master's clothes, elegant, simple, well-made, beautiful. But there was more. She could tell that it was made for someone of about her size. And the style would particularly compliment someone with her face, her hair. And she could tell that it had been worn before...
As she puzzled at it, Tomas bowed out the door and left her. It was late, the bed was soft, and despite the stress of the day, or perhaps because of it, soon she was asleep.
In the morning she awoke. The necessary was more than adequately appointed. After her ablutions she donned the gown. It fit better than it should have, but not perfectly. "If he wants me to continue to wear this, I'll have to alter it a bit," she thought, "But there's no time now."
There was a tap at the door. "Seamstress, are you awake?" she heard Tomas say.
"Yes, I am," she replied.
"When you are ready, just go down the hallway to the left and you will find the dining hall. The Master will be there in thirty minutes."
"I understand. Thank you ... Sir," she replied. She wasn't sure how to address Tomas.
"You're welcome, seamstress. Have a pleasant breakfast." She could hear a small smile in his voice. Then she heard his steps walking away.
In a few minutes she was ready. She stepped into the hall. Since it was early, she turned right instead of left, to see a bit more of the Master's house. Or at least some of the hall, she thought to herself; she had no intention of going into any rooms she was not ordered, or invited, into; she was a slave, after all.
The walls were richly paneled, with some fine tapestries hanging at intervals. As she admired them, she heard footsteps coming down stairs. Looking down the hall she saw the bottom of a staircase. The steps were fast, light. She recognized them as being that of a younger person. A girl, perhaps thirteen years old, came pelting down the stairs and turned towards her. She stopped short when she saw the seamstress.
She was dressed like the Master: elegant, simple, high quality clothes. But again her keen seamstress' eye served her well; or perhaps it was the mother in her: "She has no mother," she thought to herself. The girl's clothes were just that much askew, her hair just that much out of place.
The seamstress curtsied as the girl approached, and held the curtsy, as a slave should, until addressed, told to rise, or the Master (or the Master's daughter, as she assumed her to be) had passed her by. The girl skidded to a stop in front of her. "Who are you?" she demanded.
"I am your father's new slave, m'Lady," she replied, "A seamstress he bought yesterday. I am at your service."
"You're a – what?! A slave? B-but my father doesn't own any..." She cut herself off and went pelting off down the hall, shouting, "Daddy!!"
The seamstress stood for a moment. He doesn't own slaves, she thought; but he bought me. Why?!
The girl ran to her father's suite. The door was ajar and she pushed inside without knocking. She found her father in front of the big mirror in his dressing room, tying a tie.
"Daddy! Did you buy a—a slave?!" she nearly shouted.
"A little more softly sweetheart, all right?" he tolerantly replied. "Yes, I did buy a slave, but it's not ... exactly how you think. She was in trouble, and ... I have other reasons that I'm not going to discuss with YOU right now, eh? But listen to me, darling girl," and here he turned to face her, putting his hands on her shoulders. "I think she is a very wise person. I think you will like her. A lot. And she will probably be able to tell you and teach you some things you very much will want to know. I know you'll do this without my saying so, but treat her gently, and with respect. All right?" And here he chucked his daughter under the chin and gave her a soulful look.
"All—all right Daddy, I will," she replied. She gave her father a hug and sprinted out the door to grab her own breakfast.
When the seamstress judged that a half hour had passed she turned back down the hall. She found the dining hall. A table was set, a pleasing aroma wafted from a variety of dishes. As she entered, the Master arrived through another door.
She curtsied as he approached. He took her hand and raised her, then led her wordlessly to the table. She stood next to the head chair, as a servant would for her master, but he just shook his head, pulled out the chair next to his for her and motioned her into it.
He spoke only in low murmurs as he indicated the dishes present, forestalling her attempt to serve him, dishing up a sumptuous breakfast for her and then for himself. She tried the food tentatively, then with a delicate gusto nearly devoured it, finding it to be some of the finest she had ever had. Also she was ravenous; in the stress of the day before she had had no appetite, had not eaten anything, even though the slavehandler offered her bread and cheese.
When she had finally cleared her plate she set her utensils down. She looked at him, at the table, back at him. She opened her mouth, saying, "Master, may I..."
He cut her off. "Soon, seamstress, soon I will tell you. But for now, you tell me YOUR story, hm?"
She looked at her lap for a moment, looked at him and said, "Yes, Master," and began:
The Seamstress' Story
I was born in another province, some distance from here, to kindly parents whom I loved dearly. We lived on a farm, and did well enough. My brothers and sisters mostly are scattered about in that same province. I have not heard from them since my mother died. My father passed away when I was still young, and my mother apprenticed me to a seamstress of whom my mother knew, being a distant relative. I was willing; it was an adventure, and a new place to see, new things to do. The seamstress lived in the province next to this one.
She was a wonderful teacher, a kindly woman, and I loved her like my mother. She taught me so much about ... everything, not just sewing and clothes. And she encouraged me to learn, and even to design my own clothes. By the time I was sixteen I was working alongside her almost as a partner. We were doing well.
Then I met a man. He was a bit older, in his twenties. The seamstress knew him, and thought well of him and his family. He had a good farm, and was a hard worker. And he was good and kind and gentle. So I fell in love, and he asked me to marry him, and I said yes.
Oh, and we had such a good life. I lost two children as infants, but we raised three, straight and strong. I still did some sewing, but now mostly for my family, and some friends, and some of the poor in the nearby village.
But when my children were twelve, and fourteen, and sixteen, my husband grew ill. The Healer did what she could, and even sent to the provinces around for help, but ... he died.
I decided that it would be best for my children to sell the farm; it was prosperous, and I had a few offers to choose from. I cast about and found that the town ... the town where you bought me, Master, it needed a seamstress, so I set up shop there.
And I did well, and my children were such a help to me, and we did more than survive. But children grow. And soon my oldest was joining the cavalry. He was ever adventurous, and brave, and a good horseman. He is posted to a far city. I have had letters from him from time to time. He is ... he was a lieutenant, last I heard. That was many months ago. My middle child, my daughter, married a fine young man, and they are in the Capitol City, where he is studying to be a Healer. She learned to sew from me, of course, and she is working and supporting them while he studies ... at least, last I heard; again that was some months ago.
My younger boy followed them just a year ago, hoping to study to be a Healer as well. I think ... I think he was much affected when my husband died, and hopes to defeat what killed his father. He is bright. He was preparing to take the entrance examination when I last heard from him. Perhaps he has all ready started his studies, I don't know.
At first I did well enough after they left. I must admit, it was hard. Hard to do all the work myself, hard to ... make myself do it. I had divided what remained from selling their father's farm amongst them, and they didn't need my support. I held on, hoping, I suppose, to see my grandchildren someday, though I don't know if I ever will, even when they do have children.
Times became a little hard, in the town; the mine that many of the men worked at was flooded. Business dropped off, and I had to scrimp and save some, but I think I would have been able to make it...
But there was a man. He called himself a tailor, but truth to say I think he knew little enough of it. But there are always some who want a man for any job, and must have a 'tailor' instead of a 'seamstress' [Here she smiled a bitter little smile]. After my children left he came courting. He was so sure of himself, so sure that no one could resist him, that it was so obvious that I should become his wife, or maybe more like his servant. He became enraged when I refused him.
He took to spreading lies about me, accused me of shoddy work, of shorting customers on material, of stealing his clients. Well, perhaps he was right about the last: more than one dissatisfied customer of his ended up in my shop to set right what he had mishandled.
Soon I had no money to meet my obligations: taxes, creditors for bolts of cloth, and so forth. My shop was seized. And I was bought by the slavemaster.
"And you know the rest. You were there," she finished, looking up at him, eyes clear, the question still there, but held in abeyance; she was content to wait for him, now. "There is one thing: my adversary was soundly defeated. For he it was whom you outbid, Master," and she smiled a small smile again.
"I thought as much," he replied. "Thank you, seamstress.
"And now," he continued, "I do have a task for you. It is one for which I think you are well-suited. And I think you will find it fulfilling. Follow me."
He led her to the main door. Tomas was waiting outside with the carriage. They drove some distance, to an area that seemed somewhat poorer: small cottages, shacks, hardscrabble farms, a down-at-heels village. They arrived at a building that was at least well-maintained, with some grounds around it that were well-kept, if plain. He led her through some of the buildings; they walked the paths outside them. A few people came and went, some appearing quite poor, some leaving carrying bundles of clothes and food.
"This is my mission," the Master stated. "There are many needy folk nearby. We try to help. Mostly they need ... hope, teaching, encouragement." He showed her around, the food pantry, the clothes closet. "There is no one to manage it. I have had difficulty finding someone suitable: someone skilled, compassionate, yet tough-minded." He turned towards her. "Someone like you, seamstress."
"Master, may I speak?" she asked.
"Seamstress, I hope you know, now, that you need not ask that. Speak whenever you wish, and say whatever you want," he answered with a smile. She smiled a small smile in return.
"Thank you, Master. I am yours, Master; I will do whatever you tell me to do. If you want me to do this, I will strive to do my best to satisfy you," she stated quietly.
"But will you enjoy it, seamstress? Will you teach these young women what they need to know to help their families? Will it satisfy you?" he asked, almost urgently.
She looked down for a moment. Then she looked in his eyes. "Of course it will, Master. It is a wonderful thing that you do. Thank you for it, and for putting me in this place." Her eyes were shining with unshed tears.
"Good, good! That's settled then. Tomorrow we'll return, and you may review operations in detail, and we will see what you will need." He turned back towards the coach, handing her in the door. Tomas shook the reins and they headed back to his estate.
He took his leave of her for a while, again bidding her to go where she would, be at her ease. He would see her for the evening meal.
Again she strolled through the halls, admiring the workmanship and the artwork. In a little while she again heard smaller footsteps pelting around a corner, and the Master's daughter appeared. Again the seamstress curtsied as she approached.
"Oh! It's you! Hello," she said, brightly. "How are you? My name's •••••••••. I'm thirteen. So you're a seamstress? Um..." and here she twirled her hair a bit nervously, then continued, "C—could you come with me? To my room, I mean?"
"Of course, m'Lady," she replied quietly, and followed the girl a step behind her, as a slave would.
But the girl turned back, took the seamstress' arm, and walked beside her. "I—I hope you'll be happy here. Daddy is really nice, and Tomas and the other servants are wonderful," she said.
The seamstress smiled at her. "Thank you, m'Lady, I am all ready very happy to be here. You are very kind." The girl blushed, but appeared content.
Later her father went looking for her. He found them both in his daughter's room. They were sitting on her bed, the seamstress braiding his daughter's hair, teaching her how to do it as she worked. His daughter's clothes looked ... different; he couldn't exactly tell how. He watched them for a while, entranced...
His daughter looked up and saw him. "Daddy!" she chirped and popped up to give him a hug.
The seamstress rose to her feet and curtsied, holding it. He reached out quickly to her hand and raised her. "The seamstress has been braiding my hair, and showing me stuff about clothes, and how to put on make-up, and..."
"That's good," her father said with a smile, forestalling further commentary from his daughter, whose conversational style he knew well. He turned to the seamstress. "Come," he said, "Dine with me." It was not quite a command, perhaps more than a request.
"Of course, Master," she replied, and followed him out of the room.
"See you later!" the girl called out.
"Yes, m'Lady, I look forward to it," the seamstress replied as she left.
At the dining table they were served by Tomas and another servant. Again a most sumptuous meal was prepared, not too rich, but elegant, refined, varied, delicious. The seamstress found herself to be quite hungry again, and was almost able to do justice to the meal. Her plate was nearly clean when she looked up to see the Master looking at her, a small smile on his face.
He said, "Now, seamstress. Now is the time to ask."
She found that she had difficulty speaking. Her eyes teared. Her lips trembled. Her breath came in gasps. Finally she was able to force out, "Why? Why, Master? Why did you buy me? What am I to you? Why didn't you just ... pass me by? What am I here for? Not just to run your mission, surely!"
As she spoke the tears ran down her face. The Master pulled his handkerchief out of his pocket and held it up to her. She took it almost absent-mindedly, dabbed at her face, then looked at it, looked at him, looked at it, then launched herself at him, leaning over the arm of her chair that sat close to his, as he held his arms out for her, enfolding her in a long, comforting embrace as she sobbed, her tears staining his shirt.
"It's all right, seamstress, it's all right, you can cry now, cry it all out. You don't have to hold it in anymore. You are strong, but you can let go now. I know you have hurt so much, I know. I don't know if I can comfort you enough, but I will try, seamstress, I will try," he murmured to her as her shoulders shook.
After a while she quieted, and he began to speak:
The Master's Story
I was married. I'm sure that's no surprise to you; you are wise, and observant. I lost my wife. She died giving birth to ••••••••, our daughter. I grieved, but I had to keep going. I had a daughter, and the estate, and so many people counting on me. Not just the servants here, and the mission: I have many enterprises nearby and farther away that employ many people, and provide opportunity for a great number. These businesses require attention, or they would wither, and people would suffer.
I buried myself in work and in raising our daughter. Time has passed, both quickly and slowly ... but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about, you have felt it yourself.
My servants and I had stopped in the town where you were. I had some small business there, and we were just strolling and taking the measure of the place. I don't buy slaves, ordinarily. When we passed the auction I looked up and saw you.
You are strong, seamstress, and quiet, and self-controlled. No one else could have noticed what I saw. But I saw you when your adversary bid; it was as if you were being struck with a blow each time. I saw the sorrow you hid so well. I saw your strength. And yes, I saw the quality of your work, and knew you to be skilled indeed.
But there is more. I saw you: your face, your hair, your eyes, even your body. You look ... like what I think my wife would have looked like, if she had lived. Oh, not exactly the same, of course. But when I saw you my heart almost stopped. When I saw the straits you were in wild horses couldn't have kept me from buying you.
"So now you know why, seamstress. And I have only one question for you," and here he gently leaned her out so that he could look in her face, as she returned his gaze, tear-stained but now calm, "What do you want to do? I will of course free you, but where will you go?" He smiled thinly. "As I'm sure you can tell, I am not without resources. You will of course write your children immediately, and my couriers will carry the letters, with instructions to facilitate their travel here as soon as is possible."
At this she teared up again, saying, "Oh Master, oh Master I ... I..."
"Hush," he said. He slid their chairs out and drew her to him again, lifting her easily onto his lap. She laid her head on his shoulder and sobbed quietly. After a bit he continued, "But what will you do? If there was someone, perhaps another seamstress you could work with, or a family member you could rely on ... but if there were such a person, you would not have been taken as a slave, so I suspect there is no one. Is there?" At this he leaned her out again to look at her. She just looked back and shook her head. He whispered, "I would gladly buy you a shop and everything you need, a house, clothes, everything."
"I would not accept," she whispered back.
"I know. But I had to say it, anyway," he said. She smiled a small smile. "Then ... will you marry me?"
She wasn't sure if she was going to pass out. The edges of her vision dimmed. It was hard to breathe. "Master, I ... I ... No. No, I will not marry you. But O, Master, I am yours. I am yours willingly for you to ... to take." There. She said it. She would never have dreamed of saying that before a few days ago. Now it seemed the only thing to do.
"But why? Why won't you marry me?" he replied, astounded, though perhaps, being wise himself, he had an inkling of what she would say.
She paused a moment to collect her thoughts. "Master, your daughter is all ready very dear to me, and I'm sure she is the light of your life. I do not want to do anything that would hurt her, or make her think that she is not the most important person to you. I don't want to threaten her inheritance in any way. If I stay your slave, perhaps as your slave concubine [and here she lowered her eyes, but peeped up at him through her lashes], if you so desire it, then there is no threat, no risk to her.
"So take me, Master, if you want to. I am yours. I am yours willingly," she finished, and laid her head back down on his shoulder.
He stroke her hair, laid his lips on her head, held her for a while. "There's just one other thing," he said. "It's ... it's a little embarrassing. It's something that ... I would want to do, something my wife was kind enough to do with me, and she came to enjoy it after a while. I—I think I would very much want to do it with you, and it might be hard for me without it." He waited.
"What is it, Master? Anything you want to do with me, I'm sure I will be more than willing for you to do it," she replied.
"I used to spank her, and whip her," he said, almost whispering. "Not hard, very gentle, barely enough to sting a bit, and make her skin faintly red. It seemed to ... excite her, almost as much as it excited me to do it to her. And I always told her, if it was ever too much, all she had to do was say 'stop' or 'no' or 'don't' or even 'ow'. She never had to say it."
There was silence for a moment. Then the seamstress raised her head from his shoulder, grabbed the back of his head and fastened her lips warmly onto his, opening her mouth, inviting his tongue to invade her, sucking it as he entered her. He groaned and held her tightly, his rod stiffening under her buttocks.
Then she broke off and laid her head back down on his shoulder. "My husband used to spank me, too," she whispered, as the Master gaped. "We could never get enough of it, with three small children around all the time. But we became very good at seizing any opportunity..."
"O my beautiful sweet slavegirl," the Master whispered back. He waited just a bit. "Then tell me, seamstress: have you been ... naughty?"
"O, yes Master, I've been so naughty! O please, Master, do I have to be punished?" she fell effortlessly into character, the years dropping away from her as she did so.
"You know you do, you naughty, beautiful, wonderful slavegirl, and right now!" He stood up with her in his arms, and strode off to his chambers. She nestled into his neck, clinging tightly, her breath short, moisture gathering between her legs.
In his chambers he stood her up before him. He kissed her forehead, her glabella, the tip of her nose, caressing her cheeks, then sweetly on her lips. He stepped back. "Strip. Now," he commanded. He began to pull his belt off his pants...
She slowly, mock-reluctantly complied, unbuttoning her gown and letting it fall off her shoulders, then slipping off her undergarments. She stood naked before him, her breasts heaving, her eyes half-closed. He strode around her, absent-mindedly slapping the strap-end of his belt into his palm. Then: SMACK-SWAK! he whipped her across the back of her thighs with it. "AH! AH!" she cried out, and again and again as he continued to whip her, back of thighs, then the front of her thighs, then across her buttocks as they jiggled and bounced. Faint red marks showed where she had been disciplined.
He paused for a moment as she stood, whimpering. He caressed her, soothing her, kissing her, rubbing away the sting. "Are you all right?" he whispered in her ear.
"Yes, Master," she replied, dreamily, "But O Master, do I have to be punished ... more intimately?"
"Of course you do, you naughty, beautiful, wonderful slavegirl whom I adore, you need to be punished intimately, and pleasured intimately, and loved intimately," he answered. He began to hand-spank her breasts, SMACK-SMACK-SMACK!
She cried out, "OOO! OOO! OOO! Oh, Master, please, my breasts! AAAA!" as they jiggled and reddened under his hand. Once her top was well-disciplined he took her breasts gently in his hands, caressing them, tweaking her nipples, then leaning down to kiss them warmly, sucking and nibbling her nipples as she gasped.
Without preamble he gripped her all-ready-disciplined buttocks in a firm hand, and began raining spank after open-handed spank onto her cleft, still devoid of pubic hair, WAP-WAP-WAP! "AAAA! AAAA! AAAAA! OHMASTERPLEASEI'LLBEGOODI'LLBEGOODI'LLBEGOOD!" she nearly screamed as he disciplined her so sharply, so intensely, so intimately. Her hips were rocking, her cries becoming more impassioned, and soon she was climaxing in his hands as he alternately gripped her cleft, molesting her deeply, then spanking her sharply again, driving her farther and farther into her orgasm.
Finally she subsided, collapsing into his arms as he swept her off her feet, cradling her tenderly, kissing her hair as she sobbed out the last of her climax, hiding her face in his shirt.
After a minute or so he was almost startled to feel her hand reaching down, finding his erect manhood, squeezing and caressing through his pants. He carried her to his bed and lay her gently upon it, then took her face, now so very dear to him, in his hands, looked in her eyes, and asked, "Seamstress, are you sure?"
She nodded but did not speak, her eyes shining.
"Then know this, seamstress: I take you as my wife in all but title. We will raise my daughter together. You will be beside me in everything, and everything I have is yours as well. You remain my slave, but beloved, cherished, free in all but name," he said, and kissed her long but sweet on her tender lips.
He stood and disrobed, then lay next to her. "Now, slave, pleasure me. Pleasure me with your lips, your breasts, your body!" he commanded.
And she did. She trailed her long hair up and down his chest, abdomen, down to his rising manhood. She pressed her body sinuously against him, her hand caressing his throbbing rod. Then she used her breasts to stimulate him, rubbing them against his groin as he groaned.
Finally she took him in her mouth, sucking, bobbing up and down, as he gently but firmly grasped her hair. When he was wet and fully hard he pulled her off him, laid her on her back, and mounted her, thrusting deep, driving for her cervix.
She cried out as she felt herself penetrated so fully for the first time in so many years, "AAAH! OHMASTEROHMASTEROHMASTER!" He thrust vigorously in and out, fast and hard, long and deep, finally spending himself within her with a shout.
Then he collapsed next to her, hugging her, kissing her, laughing with joy as she joined him, both of them deeply content.
"Will you sleep here, with me, seamstress?" he asked.
"Master you know I can't. I don't think your daughter is quite ready to understand ... you and me, not just yet. Do you?" she replied.
"I suppose not," he sighed. "We're going to have to figure something out eventually, though..." They chuckled together, then she kissed him, dressed, and slipped out of the room.
Many days she spent hours at the mission, but over time she assembled a competent staff there, and she mainly taught sewing there just a few days a week, and only spent a few hours more overseeing things. The rest of her time she was with her Master. It was rare for him to travel without her.
She wrote to her children: "My darlings, I don't want you to worry: I had fallen on hard times, but I am all right now. Partly because of circumstances in the province, and partly because of an adversary, I was sold into slavery. But a kind and wonderful man bought me, preventing my enemy from being able to do so. I am safe, and he is very good to me. He told me to write you, and has authorized his messengers to do anything they can to assist you to come visit me at his estate if you possibly can, or carry back a reply if you cannot." His messengers sped on their way, and soon they received word back that her older son, and her daughter, would arrive soon. Her younger son was unable to leave the Academy, being in the middle of exams, but would come as soon as he could.
He often visited with friends, other prominent men who worked with him, trying to help the many needy people in the provinces. She came with him as he visited Lord •••••, who hoped to emulate the Master's mission work in his own province. He met them in the entrance hall. After he had greeted her Master, Lord ••••• turned to her, saying, "Seamstress, so good of you to come! Oh please, no need for that," he hastily said as she deeply curtsied before him. He quickly raised her, clasped her hands in his, and spoke earnestly, "Your Master has told me of your condition, your quality, and your work. You are worthy of honor from me and everyone here. Please, be at ease. For now while I may take your Master from you for a short time, make yourself at home. We will speak more at dinner."
She wandered the halls for a while. Fine art decorated his walls, with statuary at intervals. She followed a savory fragrance, and found herself at the kitchen. As she entered, some of the kitchen staff saw her and curtsied. She quickly said, "Oh, no, you mustn't do that! Perhaps you are servants here, but I am my Master's slave woman, and I should curtsy to you, and beg permission even to be here."
An older woman in a chef's hat bustled up to her. "Now, now, none o' that!" she exclaimed in a thick brogue. She had a brisk, no-nonsense, but jovial manner about her. "We know all about you, y'know, Seamstress! How? Surely you know how servants talk amongst each other. No better way to spread news than through the servants' halls, eh? Your Master is one of the finest men about, and everyone here knows it. There's not a servant here but has had friend or family helped by him, and by our own Master as well. Hearts'o'gold they have, mark my words. And there's no mistakin' what your Master thinks'o'you, and the joy you've brought him, and don't think we don't know it, eh? So just you sit yourself here, ducky, and have a cuppa with ol' Cookie and we'll have a chat." With a shy smile the seamstress allowed herself to be sat down and served.
"Oh, it smells heavenly in here, Cookie! Is that dinner? If it tastes half as good as it smells it will be the best meal I've ever had!" the seamstress said, and Cookie beamed. They talked together, becoming fast friends, as the staff bustled around them, chiming in from time to time in their conversation, all of them having a very pleasant time together.
Her Master encouraged her, and so from time to time the seamstress invited Cookie and various servants from other households to which he had brought her. He even sat them at his table, and was gracious to them, and so the seamstress' circle of friends and influence grew.
Soon her children arrived. She met them at the door of the Master's mansion. "Mother!" her daughter exclaimed as they embraced. "You look ... wonderful! I'm so glad! You're happy ... at last!"
Her son strode up in his cavalry officer's uniform, sword and sidearm at his side. "Mother, you look ... well!" he said, in a surprised tone. "You're all right?"
As they embraced she said, "Yes, son, I'm fine. I'm so glad you're here. Come. Come, both of you. Come meet the Master."
She led them inside. Her daughter bubbled at her side. Her son walked stiffly, obviously suspicious at best.
"Welcome, both of you," the Master greeted them. "I am so pleased you are here. Your mother has spoken so much about you. Please make yourselves at home."
The seamstress' daughter took his hand, looked at his face for a moment. "Thank you," she whispered, "for taking care of my mother."
He clasped her hands in his and said, "You are quite welcome, my dear."
He turned to the seamstress' son who stood stiff, silent. "Lieutenant," the Master greeted him.
"Sir. I ... I thank you for ... I..." he seemed at a loss, frustrated for a moment. Finally almost as if it erupted out of him: "How much?! How much did you pay? How much do you want for her freedom? Double? More? Whatever it is, I'll pay it somehow!"
His mother looked at him with an expression somehow both pleading and amused at the same time. The Master began to speak, perhaps to defend himself, but the seamstress' daughter forestalled him:
"Brother, stop. It is not what you think. Mother was ... in grave jeopardy. He rescued her. Yes, he bought her, but that was the only way to save her. I'm sure he offered to free her; I suspect it was the next day; she would have been too overcome the first. But she would not go, would she?" She turned to the Master, who shook his head with a smile. "She is happy, so happy here. There is only one thing I don't understand, but it doesn't really matter..."