The Prize Ch. 06

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Teel sat up and flinched at the soreness between her legs. Her memory provided a frame by frame play back of what had happened the night before. She scanned the bed with her eyes searching for the culprit of her discomfort. He had reduced her to a sniveling bag of nerves that was ready to say or do anything to get him to stop. And all the good that had done her. He hadn’t stopped short of punishing her to the fullness of his abilities, reducing her to a pulsing mass of pleasure. It had proved to be even more humiliating than him taking her in front of her people. Self respect lost, whether in public or private, was the worst punishment of all.

Dragging herself from the bed, Teel let her anger wash over her. She needed to act quickly and end this before it escalated. She washed quickly and pulled on a clean shift, not bothering to do anything with her hair, other than scrape it off her face with a ribbon. He had stripped her of her self-respect but he had also provided the means for her to carry through her plans. A public apology. She would apologize to him for her defiance in grand style and betray him in the same breath.

Until then she would play the submissive duly chastened fool until his heart was content.

“Rogue,” she called softly, making her way into his private chambers. “Rogue,” she called again when she received no response to her first gentle call.

He appeared suddenly to her left and Teel just managed to stifle the angry tirade on her lips when she caught her first glimpse of him. Instead she put a gentle and somewhat shy smile on her face. “Rogue,” she greeted, dipping her head slightly in his direction.

“Teel,” he returned, his eyes indicating nothing of his mood.

“I’m sorry about yesterday,” she apologized quickly, certain that if she didn’t get the words out right away she would choke on them. “I’m sorry for…” she trailed off letting him decide for himself what she was apologizing for. She quickly dropped her eyes to the floor lest he read anything she didn’t want him to.

His eyes scanned her down turned face in a suspicious manner. “That doesn’t sound like the Teel I know.”

“Perhaps you never knew me,” she bit out. Then, realizing she sounded antagonistic she changed the tone of her words. “And perhaps I never knew you. Perhaps we are just two strangers who need to get to know each other better. I am genuinely sorry I upset you yesterday.”

“Think nothing of it,” he excused her behavior with an outstretched hand, inviting her into his good graces again. Noting a less than spirited Teel entering his arms, Rogue dismissed her reticence in the certainty that her fierce nature would burn to the surface again before the day was out. He decided, almost with a sadistic sort of glee that he would rile her into it himself.

Teel stayed by his side for the better part of the morning working hard not to wince as her muscles protested her slightest motion. Careful to hang on his every word and demure to him regardless of how much he riled her. At times she felt it was deliberate.

On one occasion he dared to suggest he liked her better this way. That she was normally too emotional and that an emotional person was not fit to rule. He went on to expound on how surprised he was that any culture would allow a woman to rule on her own. Teel quickly clasped her hands behind her back before one arced up and hit him in his self serving face as he so rightly deserved.

“It is hardly surprising that you feel that way, seeing as to how your culture is based entirely on male leadership, not shared power as mine is.” But even that non-confrontational remark was misinterpreted and a rousing response thrown back at her.

“This is your culture now. These are your people. This is your home. And I am your master.” His brutal rejection of her culture and individuality reaffirmed anew her determination to offer her people some freedom. To escape from this mentality any sacrifice would be worthwhile.

“Yes, it would seem that you have mastered me,” she agreed, her eyes and head downcast as she continued walking at his side. Her physical distance from him increased a little bit more after this seeming acquiescent statement.

Rogue noticed her displeasure with some wry amusement, and mentally congratulated her self control. She must have learned her lesson better than he had thought because the Teel he knew would have slid a blade to his throat and made him retract his words, rather than agree to being owned.

Teel excused herself shortly after lunch, indicating she needed to spend some time with her mother. Rogue released her without further comment knowing she needed space from him before he made her do something she would regret. He also didn’t press her to fulfill his sexual desires as he did every afternoon, knowing she would be too sore to engage him as he preferred. His throbbing flesh told him what a fool he was to exercise restraint.

As soon as Teel appeared within her Travesti mother’s sight, she was engulfed in a warm embrace. “Everyone knows that he took you from the gardens yesterday,” were the first words from her mouth after she released her daughter. “It is said that he abused you and now there is even more unrest. I have heard whispers of mutiny. We are in a better place to do it now. Staff in the kitchen, servants in his home. It would be a simple matter to slide a blade into his heart.”

Teel gasped in shock, realizing not for the first time how very alike she and her mother were, but still she protested even though she could have wished for nothing more. “It must not be allowed to happen.”

Everything in her shuddered at the very idea of a revolt in Rogue’s homeland. Her people would have every disadvantage and likely die, every last one of them. “I’m fine. All is well,” she rushed to add on, anxious to convey to her mother, and through her, to her people, that she was ok.

“You think to lie to your own mother,” Lanië chided, her hand raising her daughter’s face so that her eyes were on a level with hers.

“No,” Teel immediately denied. She had never lied to her mother. “No, I’m not lying. I speak only the truth.” Teel reluctantly pulled her face away from her mother’s gentle grasp pacing the room in her agitation. “The truth is that our people will live no matter what the cost to myself. This is all that matters to me. I stand before you well. Show me the marks he has left upon me if he has abused me sorely,” Teel challenged, certain there was no such mark save the darkness in her soul. “It is as I say. I am well.”

“Then I won’t press the issue,” Lanië relented, letting Teel stew in her unrest.

“There has been a change of plans,” Teel informed, turning back to her mother with the passion for her people burning in her eyes anew. “You must be ready to leave tomorrow night. Everyone of you who is going. I will finish the solution and we will proceed as planned. Say your goodbyes to Tazian tonight, for tomorrow it ends.”

“As you wish.”

A tear cascaded down Teel’s cheek before being swiftly wiped away. “My wishes have nothing to do with this,” she bit out between her trembling lips before turning on her heel to prepare the rest of the plants. Time was growing short.

The tears Teel held at bay slid quietly down her cheeks as she worked in the garden pulling up the plants she needed in copious amounts. This is the price I pay for love. This is the price I pay for leadership. More tears trembled on her lashes and she angrily wiped her hand across her eyes refusing to let another one fall.

Her spine straightened as a steely resolve replaced the sorrow in her heart. This is the price I willingly pay and would do so again for the end justifies the means. Her chin rose a notch as she retreated to the sanctuary of her mother’s home to prepare the plants.

She slept fitfully in Rogue’s arms. Half hoping he would roll her on her back and claim her so she could have another reason to hate him, half hoping he would so she could know the comfort of his kiss, and half hoping because her body longed for the completion only his could give her. Around dawn her agitated mind could take it no longer and she swept her hand between her legs to satisfy the fire in her blood. As if the smell of her desire was his morning alarm clock, Rogue woke up and secured her hands before administering a gentle loving with his mouth.

It was to Teel’s surprise and chagrin that Rogue walked away from her without taking his pleasure of her. She mentioned it to him over their morning meal and he made his excuses saying he didn’t want to overtax her body while she was still recovering from her ordeal of a few nights ago. She almost loved him in that moment for his tenderness and caring, but she hardened her heart against him using his weakness to her own ends.

“You are so careful of me and I am so undeserving of your many kindnesses.”

Rogue said nothing, only met her eyes with his own to determine the sincerity of her words. The quiet genuineness he read there pleased his heart and he let a small smile play on his lips.

“This is true,” he agreed.

“I have a gift for you,” she said, almost as an afterthought. Her eyes lighting up at the prospect of doing something for him. The chance to give something to him. Teel felt the truth shining through her words and wished with all her heart that she wasn’t going to betray his trust beyond all recognition that very night. “Maybe I can give it to you tonight? It would probably be best if you received it publicly.”

Teel waited with bated breath. This was the gamble. Seeing if he would trust her so soon after her outright defiance of a few days before.

“I’d like that,” he agreed, and knew he had made the right decision when the sun seemed to shine from her smile.

“Great!” she enthused, rising from the table. “Then please excuse me, while I visit Antalya Travesti with my mother for a few extra things I’ll need for tonight.”

It was impossible for him to refuse her simple request. She seemed to be genuinely happy for the first time since arriving and he wasn’t going to spoil that for her.

Teel spent her last few hours with her people. Sharing stories, laughter, and finally, in the last few moments before she had to leave them, tears. One last hug with her mother and she ran from the room unable to bear it as her heart broke.

As Teel dressed that night, her heart was so heavy she didn’t think she would ever be able to smile again. She fixed 3 gold bands around the top of her right arm, enhancing the slave look she thought sardonically appraising herself in the mirror. The tiny gold chain around her waist and sheer midnight blue fabric that just barely covered her reflected her status for all the world to see. Pleasure slave. Well kept pleasure slave.

Teel entered the dining hall exactly fourteen minutes late, enough time for them to have started eating and drinking. All eyes turned to her as she stepped in. Her mother sat at the head table with Tazian and Rogue on her left. The look of sorrow in her eyes told her she liked this no more than Teel. The raised eyebrow she cast in her daughter’s direction encouraged her to do what must be done. Well? it seemed to say.

Sauntering slowly to the table, Teel noted that everyone had already made a start of eating. Good.

Fixing her eyes on Rogue, Teel emptied her mind of all other thoughts lest she collapse right there.

For your people, she reminded herself.

“Rogue,” she called, causing an immediate silence to fall across the hall. “I have fought you every step. You have taken from me that which I refused to give freely.” She saw his brow darken at these last words, but he maintained his silence. “But tonight that changes, and I offer myself freely to you before your people and mine.”

Minstrels struck a cord signaling a change in mood and Teel began to dance.

Her body was poetry in motion. Her movements epitomized devotion, loyalty, promise. She moved closer and closer to the main dais, the light glinting off the gold adorning her body. Rogue couldn’t take his eyes off of her as she swayed and turned and gave of herself so completely.

The music reached a crescendo that had everyone holding their breath fearful the music would end and Teel would stop dancing. If anything though the end was even more rewarding than the dance itself as she lay prostrate before Rogue before slowly raising herself up to her full height before him.

“Now manifest my words and claim my body. I give it to you freely.”

Rogue drank in her majestic beauty and silently admitted he had never wanted her more. He wanted her so much in fact, that he was afraid of hurting her. “Are you sure this is what you want?”

“Have I not said so,” she agreed. “There are no chains on my wrists and no blade at my throat. I come to you of my own free will.” The lie slid easily off her lips and she had to surpress the onslaught of tears that demanded release.

His hot eyes slid over her body devouring everywhere they touched. “I cannot be gentle with you,” he warned.

“Have I asked you to be?”

Teel didn’t need to speak another word after that. Rogue had her on her back and was buried deep inside of her before she had barely drawn her next breath. Her flesh gave a token protest, but her muscles had, for the most part, recovered from her ordeal. A lone tear slid down her cheek as she remembered his many kindnesses in the past two days. It didn’t matter. None of it mattered except the outcome tonight.

Wrapping her legs around his back Teel lifted her hips for his possession, drawing him deeper into the web of her erotic lure. She offered her breasts for his teeth to nip and curled her arm around his neck to keep him close. If her sighs were more plentiful then normal and her moans more joyous, then this went unnoticed in the heat of his possession. They only served their purpose as far as she was concerned, to make a public decleration of commitment.

She felt his hand slide down her body and knew that like a true connoisieur he was reading her body and not listening to the breathless cries falling from her lips. He wasn’t satisfied that her current level of pleasure matched his and he would ensure for himself that it did.

His index finger pressed down hard on her clit and just like that he turned her moist flesh into a drenched paradise.

“Harder,” she insisted, unable to resist the power of his possession.

Closing her eyes, Teel let the pleasure wash over her. This also kept her from having to witness the exact moment when her mother lead Tazian from the room. In truth, it didn’t matter if she saw or not; she knew how the story would end.

Ripples of pleasure ripped through Rogue’s body just seconds Bursa Travesti before they arched through Teel. Her teeth closed lightly on Rogue’s shoulder as the echoes of pleasure in her body transmuted themselves into sound. Her hand gently stroked his hair as they lay recovering half on the table. She knew he would sleep soon and made an effort to ease their bodies to one of the lounge chairs off the main hall.

* * * * *

Rogue was first aware of the soft flesh under his mouth and he pressed gentle kisses into the curve of Teel’s neck as the sun shone through an opening onto his back. It was only when he moved to spread her legs that he realized they weren’t in their bed. He lifted Teel in his arms kissing her all the while as he carried her through to their room, but stopped at once as he moved to pass the dining hall. He released her abruptly as his eyes beheld what his mind couldn’t comprehend.

“What have you done?” he demanded, his hand tangling into the thick black coils of her hair barring her escape. His cold gray eyes reminding her of the first time she had seen them. There was no warmth, laughter, or passion shining in their depths. Only promises of retribution and suffering.

“What I had to,” she answered, her words defiant even though he had control of her. His grip in her hair tightened incrimentally drawing tears from her eyes but she refused to beg for mercy.

“Guards,” his cold voice rent the air and slowly people began to come to as the first sharp sound of the day penetrated their foggy brains. They were slow in responding, but finally two guards appeared before him. “Take her from my presence before I slit her trecherous throat.”

Teel felt a shiver of apprehension as the shoe was on the other foot for the first time. For all his faults, Rogue has never threatened her life. What had she done?

She sat in his room, spine rigid. Having been bathed and perfumed as though it were any other day Teel sat quietly and contemplated her future. Words drifted through the window as the story spread. Only a handful of her people remained. Those, she knew, had stayed behind by choice.

They were busy trying to work out the details. She could have told them for the asking now that it was over. Three ships stolen in the night. Everyone drugged with the same sleep inspiring potion. It had been cooked into the food and poured into the drinks. Her people treated with the antidote before dinner so they could eat and drink as normal. Even the guards on the dock had been given a dose.

More words came through, loud and clear about the foolish man who gave his heart only to be betrayed in the end. Bitter words from Rogue’s father about his lost concubine. Voices escalated as people listed their grievances. Pleasure slaves gone, servants gone, field workers gone, cooks gone. On and on the complaints went until she wished she could cut off her ears.

Just as she thought she would go mad, Teel was summoned to the main hall. She would rather be stoned to death than listen to them harrage Rogue about another thing.

The murmurs of unrest died down as she faced Rogue again for the first time since he had thrown her from his presence that morning.

“Teel,” he greeted, none of his anger coming through in that one word, but she could see it in his eyes. The color of a blade, ready to slice at the slightest hint of resistance. Her head lifted just a fraction higher. He would not see her cower.

“All those assembled here and more besides have lost something because of your charade last night.” She heard it then, the boiling anger in that one word. Charade. She could feel his volatile fury beating at her.

“I am sorry for your loss,” she addressed the crowd at large, “But they have only been here a short time. How did you manage before they came?”

Her question fell into a deafening silence. It wasn’t that they couldn’t get by, it was that they felt cheated and one, more than all the rest, had a right to feel this way.

Rogue spoke as though he hadn’t heard her words. “What shall I do to pacify them? Will you stand in as the sex slave for all those who are missing one?”

“If it pleases you,” she agreed, and she knew he was remembering the time he had asked her if she would share her body with Darsan for his entertainment? His cold eyes hardened further. He was not amused.

“Where have they gone?”

Teel stared blankly back into his eyes and not by even a flicker of an eyelash did she reveal that she knew their location. “I don’t know,” she lied, “And perhaps if I did know, I would never tell you.” She let those defiant words hang in the air as she savored this small victory. “It’s over. You lost.”

Her haughty demeanor and defiant words didn’t further her cause any. They only ensured the deep freeze around Rogue’s heart never thawed.

“Bring me the child.”

Teel’s head turned in time to see the 9 year old daughter of Kasmir being brought forward. “What is your name child?” Rogue enquired with the sort of voice that could freeze water.

“Talia,” the child answered, her clear brown eyes showing no signs of fear. Teel felt her strength and drew on it. She knew whatever would come next she must be strong.

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