“Princess! We have not yet finished your lesson for the day…”
“Oh yes we have!” Exclaimed the bristling redheaded teen as she stormed from the drawing room, tossing aside her notebook and quills. “I’m tired of your pointless, boring drills and mundane history.”
“But your father…” started the woman still seated at the desk in the center of the large room.
“Can lock me in my room forever for all care!” She screamed, interrupting the woman. “It would hardly be any different than having to spend my life in this damn castle!”
Slamming the door to the study, she caught the back of her gown on an ornate gold filigree affixed to the portal and tore the heavy fabric right up the side. She yanked the cloth free and smirked. The dress no doubt cost a fortune, but since it was merely like so much other decoration within the palace, she couldn’t care less. She actually smirked and grinned wickedly at the brazen way her bare petticoat now showed at the split, which went all the way up to her upper thigh. Her dressmaiden, would be sputtering in distress for days if she knew she was cavorting around the castle in such a revealing state… Which was exactly why she was going to ignore the damage.
In her fit of rage, Rinowa gave little thought to where she was headed, and simply ran. She had explored nearly every nook and crevasse of the huge palace at one point or another since she had been old enough to walk. As big as the place was, it still felt like a tiny cage to someone who had never stepped beyond its walls. Still, it was no surprise that she found herself some five minutes later, standing in front of the massive metal doors that led to the basement levels of the palace, and the realm of the Djinn. She had never been down there, of course. No one but her father was permitted to pass through the magical barriers that held the greater demon captive beneath the castle. The Djinn was the source of her father’s power, and the force that held all the lands captive to his will.
“Good morning, Princess,” said the tall, armored guard by the door. The man was an Imperial Knight, a literal defender of the White Tower. On his shoulder was a broken crescent, a mark that indicated he had served in wartime. Unlike so much else, Rinowa knew the man was definitely not just a decoration.
“What is your name, sir?”
The Knight stared down at the girl for a few moments before answering. “Lukosh, m’lady. Knight Lieutenant Stellandar Lukosh. But my friends call me Stu.”
“I’ve not seen you here before… Stu,” she continued. “I know most of the castle guard, by now…”
“I expect you would. I’m new on the rotation. I’m serving light duty until my leg heals fully.” He tapped the side of his left thigh with a gloved hand.
She glanced at the aforementioned body part and half expected to see blood oozing from the heavy chain mail armor he wore. Instead, she found herself drawn to the bulging codpiece at his groin, her mind wandering…
“M’lady? Anything I can help you with?”
She snapped back to reality. “You don’t mind guarding the Djinn?” She asked.
Stu shrugged his shoulders. “Not much to it, actually. The door is mostly for show. The demon is held in submission by magic, or so I’m told.”
“Then why have such a large door at all?”
“I suppose it’s to set people at ease. The powers of sorcerers are rarely seen plainly, and a big door is much more impressive to the common folk.”
Rinowa looked to the huge gates and considered this. “So… the lock is just for show?”
“Well, I’m not sure I would go that far, but it’s just a latch, really. Even as big and daunting as this is,” he said, tapping the smooth, hard surface of the portal, “I doubt it would even slow down the Djinn if it were somehow able to break your father’s will.”
“My father’s will…” she repeated.
“Don’t you learn this stuff in your history classes?” He asked.
At the mention of her tutors, she turned sharply on the man. “My instructors are idiots.” she said with no small amount of venom. “They teach only what my father wants me to know, and NOTHING else.” She spat the words as though they were vile in her mouth.
“Well, I’m sure he has your best interest at heart, m’lady.”
“Then why won’t he let me out of the castle!?”
The guard looked a little embarrassed, as though they were dipping into territory he felt he really shouldn’t be talking about.
“I’m sure I don’t know, miss, but he must have his reasons. That said, I don’t think you’re missing much. It’s a nasty place beyond these walls. Disease, war… there’s certainly no shortage of evil in our world. Don’t get me wrong, there are nice places too, but in here, you’re safe. You have food and a warm bed any time you want, and you don’t have to worry someone will slit your throat for the change in your purse while you’re sleeping.”
“I don’t care,” she replied, brooding. “I still want to see it. I’d risk it all for the freedom to walk a straight mile, or climb to the top of a mountain, or wade a rushing stream!”`
Stu laughed softly. “Sounds like a lot of work to me, but perspective changes things I suppose. This here,” he indicated the whole of the palace, “is considered a pretty sweet assignment by most of the men I know. My Captain felt I earned it,” he tapped the crescent on his shoulder, “and I’m inclined to agree with him. Either way, I’m not about to complain, no offense to m’lady.”
She regarded the man again. His face, or what she could see of it from within his helmet, looked a little older than his voice implied. But his words had the feel of someone who had definitely been around.
“You’re not like most of the palace guards,” she mentioned.
“Nope,” he agreed. “I’m a soldier. It makes a difference.”
She looked back to the door. “So… care to take me on a tour behind the door, Stu?”
He actually laughed. “Sorry, Princess. No one comes out, but no one goes in either. That comes directly from your father.”
“Because of the demon?”
“Because the King says so,” he reiterated while smiling.
“Is the Djinn held by my father’s will, or isn’t he?”
“Sure. But subjugated or no, such things are not for me to decide, m’lady.”
She huffed. “You’re no fun, Stu.”
He just grinned. “You should see me off duty…” he commented with a twinkle in his eye. Then, he pointed to her skirt. “You might want to have your mistress tend to that, Princess. Wouldn’t want someone with less than admirable moral character to see you in such a state. Just wouldn’t be proper.”
She nodded once to the man and turned away, her cheeks blushing. She was sure he had seen the tear in her dress some time ago. As she made her way down the hall toward her quarters, she couldn’t stop herself from considering the guards codpiece once again… And what was behind it. She was also considering other things, like how much she wanted to know what was really beyond that big door, and how furious her father would be with her if she were to find out. That alone made her smile, and by the time she had closed herself in her own room, she had put together a simple plan to do just that.
Rinowa had lived within her pampered home long enough to know that the guards took their jobs very seriously. They were stupid, and single-minded, but loyal to her father. Getting one to leave his post would be impossible under normal circumstances, they were just too stubborn. Her father liked them that way. A stubborn soldier won’t deviate from his given task, even if it means he dies at his post because he wasn’t smart enough to move out of the way of something that could kill him. But Lieutenant Stellandar Lukosh was different. He was the first soldier she had met from outside the castle, and he wasn’t stupid. She knew that he had fought in at least one war, possibly more, and had survived. That takes more than just skill or luck, or even bravery. Being smart would work to her advantage, because it meant that the Lieutenant would be willing to adapt to situations and take actions that were outside his given charge.
That morning, Rinowa made sure to give her tutors nothing to complain about. She was attentive, behaved, and respectful, in as much as they expected her to be. She added just a dash of rebellion lest they suspect she were up to something.
Just after her hour of history, she quietly made her way down to the lower levels and found the sack she had left there earlier. She quickly took out the small bag of soot she had collected from her fireplace, and haphazardly smudged some on her face and clothes. She was tempted to just dump the whole thing over her head, but resisted. She wanted to look like she had been near an attack, not actually caught in a fire.
Next, she ran down the hall to the storage area nearest the portal where the Lieutenant was stationed, and retrieved the second bag from the sack. This one had flint, steel, and a bottle of black powder she had stolen from her chemistry tutor’s office shelf. He had demonstrated how volatile the substance was only a week earlier. She was about to give a little demonstration of her own.
When everything was in place, she found that starting the line of black dust was actually a lot harder than it looked. She grinned with satisfaction when her sparks finally caused the powder to flare and smoke wildly. She watched, mesmerized as the bright flame sped off toward the far side of the storage closet, and then realized that she needed to be outside that same closet before it reached the larger pile of powder. In a panic, she just had time to stand up and spin around before there was a horrendously loud thud, accompanied by a flash of light so bright that even with her back to it, she was stunned and blinded for several seconds. Heat seared across her exposed hands, but not enough to burn her. Coughing through the cloud of smoke, she quickly exited the closet, closing the door behind her, and was just thinking that the explosion was a bit of a let down, when there was a second blast that literally knocked the door she was still holding on to right off its hinges. She and the wooden door were launched back across the hallway.
Moaning, Rinowa collected herself and pushed the broken door off of her. Aside from a sore rump, she appeared to be okay. The door had taken most of the blast, and was charred on the side facing inward. Good thing she hadn’t stayed in the closet after the first explosion.
Remembering her plan, she stood as quickly as she could and jogged in the direction of the basement. Stu was standing just where she expected, but had his sword drawn and looked alarmed.
“Princess!” He exclaimed loudly when he saw her. She coughed a bit and pretended to lean on the wall for support. “Are you hurt?! What’s going on?!” He was at her side at once.
“I’m fine…” “I think we’re under attack… down the hall…”
“I’ll see to your safety, m’lady!”
The last thing she wanted was for the guard to stay with her. “NO! I mean… something exploded back there. I’m okay, really. Go after them!”
“Are you sure?! Are you positive you’re not hurt?”
She waved him off. “Go! I’ll make my way back to my room.”
“Very well, Princess. Go straight there as quickly as you can, and bolt the door, understand?”
She nodded. A second later the man turned and ran down the hallway.
“That was too easy,” she said to herself when he was out of view. Smiling, she turned to the massive doors. The latch looked complicated, but it really wasn’t. Considering what it supposedly held within, and even though the heavy gates must have been unopened for decades, they swung open easily. With a deep breath, Rinowa slipped through with no one the wiser.
The space within was a short hallway before the stairwell leading down. It was here that she was forced to make her first decision. She could be wrong, but she saw no obvious way to open the doors from the inside, which meant that once they were closed, she could very well be trapped. The alternative, of course, was to leave them ajar. She doubted that the Lieutenant would be fooled by her ruse for long, and would no doubt notice them open when he returned to his post. With a slight grimace, she pulled the doors closed. There was a soft click as they locked once again, and she was actually startled to find herself in almost complete darkness.
“Shit…” She whispered in a very unladylike way as she realized how little of her adventure she had really thought through. But there was nothing for it. She might was well try to find a torch. She still had her flint in her pocket. Turning, she stepped sideways until she found the wall, then inched forward toward the stairs. By the time she reached the topmost step, her eyes had started to adjust and she realized that she could see a faint light coming from below. She would still have to be careful, but she could see that there would be more light deeper down.
“Well, here goes…” she said to herself, and cautiously made her way down the steps. It was slow going at first, but with each footfall, the stairwell grew lighter and lighter. It also began to curve around in a slow spiral.
After a minute or so, she came to the source of the light, which was what appeared to be a shimmering pane of yellow glass that filled the stairwell from floor to ceiling. More strange, was the way that it seemed to ripple and pulse, almost as though it were made of liquid.
“How odd,” she said to herself, and before even thinking about it, reached out and touched the surface. It was warm, but not hot, and was fluid in texture, only thick, like honey. She pulled her hand back without trouble, and the surface wobbled back and forth until it settled flat once again. Her hand seemed fine.
Reaching out a second time, she pushed her fingers further into the barrier. This time, there was a soft pop and they came out on the far side, so the whole liquid wall couldn’t be more than a few inches thick. She wiggled her fingers on the far side and then pulled them back again. As before, they came free without trouble.
“Right,” she commented. Go back and make up some story about hiding from attackers, or literally push on and take a chance with the magical wall. She turned briefly to look up the stairs. It would be a waste to go back now..
Rinowa stretched as much of her body through the wall as possible before she took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and pushed her head through. The whole experience was quite unlike anything she had ever felt before, and even though she was fully clothed, there was a shocking tendency for the soft liquid pressure to feel as though it were sliding over her skin bare. But then she was through, and even her clothing was dry. She idly rubbed her belly, as she shook off the slightly odd sensations that lingered, then took a deep breath and nodded to herself.
The far side of the barrier was much like the other, and the stairs continued downward. There was a new light coming up the stairwell however, and she heard what she thought to be running water. Taking a few more steps around the curve of the decent, she saw that the passage opened up as it met the flat of the basement floor. This was it. This was where it was rumored the Djinn was kept, she thought to herself. Her heart beat wildly as she slowly took the last few steps downward and then stopped at the corner. She gasped as she stared around the edge into the large room.
Whatever she expected to find at the bottom, it was nothing like what was actually there. She had envisioned the demon, bound and in chains, dejected and weak. She thought it would be in the shape of a beast with horns, or red skin. Instead, she saw a figure seated in the center of a wondrous garden of water and glowing crystal. He was male, and of muscular build. His black hair was pulled up and held above his head by a tight ring, and his upper torso was unclothed, save for a number of armbands and bracers. His lower torso appeared to be covered by an odd skirt or extra long kilt, for she could not see his feet.
“Do not be frightened child,” it said in a deep but soft voice that so startled her that she jumped and nearly ran back up the stairs. “Please, come out where I may see you better. You have come this far…” There was a gentle mirth in his words, and although Rinowa was more nervous than she had ever been in her life, she wasn’t afraid, and said so.
“I’m not frightened,” she explained as she stepped out and stood in the open. “Just cautious… and curious.”
“Indeed,” replied the demon. “And how interesting. You really do not know fear, do you? How is that possible?”
She took a few steps forward, trying to get a better look at him. “I have lived my whole life within the castle walls, my every need met. What would I fear?”
The creature was silent for a bit, thinking. “Then we share something in common… I too am a prisoner.”
“I’m not some criminal,” answered the Princess, frowning. She still wasn’t close enough to see the man-thing’s face clearly.
“No? You stay in the castle of your own free will?”
She thought about it. “I… I’m not allowed to leave.”
“Then you are a prisoner.” It said simply, and with what she decided was a slight bit of sadness.
“May I really come closer? I wish to see you.”
“Of course!” It replied.
She took another step forward. “You won’t… eat me?”
“Eat you? Child, I’ve not had a single visitor in nearly a dozen years. Why on earth would I eat you? I am relishing every word that you utter!”
Rinowa carefully stepped through the strange garden, stepping over thick roots and small pools of clear water. A soft moss covered most of the spaces between, and the short crystal trees illuminated everything with a cool bluish glow. Finally, when she was about twenty meters from the humanoid, she stopped and realized that she had grossly underestimated the size of the demon. Now that she had a bit more to use as a scale, she could see that he would stand at least eight feet high, possibly more.
“You… you’re really big,” she said a little nervously.
The creature actually put his head back and laughed aloud, his voice echoing to the far corners of the massive room that was his cell. Now that she was closer, she could see some of the details of his face. He was certainly human in appearance, but his ears were gently pointed. His eyes were not like a man’s, but slitted, like that of a cat. They also glowed a soft yellow, with blue reflected from the crystals around him. There were an abundance of piercings through his nose, ears and even his lips, and as he bellowed, she saw that many of his teeth were pointed and sharp.
“As a captive in this castle, I must restrict my size, but out in the open air…” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath through his nose, as though remembering times past. “I could be as big as a mountain, and yet float on a summer’s breeze…”
She moved still closer, admiring the deep bronze color of his skin, and the way his powerful muscles rippled when he moved. Seeing his bare torso also caused a different feeling to stir in her, one that she was entirely unfamiliar with.
“You are a Djinn?”
“And how is it then, that you have come to be here, locked under my father’s castle?”
The demon’s eyes grew briefly wide in surprise, but quickly returned to normal. “You are the Princess, then. Do you not know the story? Do they no longer teach such matters to those of the royal court? Have I been forgotten?”
She shrugged her shoulders. “I know what they say, but a lesson in history does not make a truth.”
He made a brief exaltation of approval and nodded. “You are wise, my dear. History is always changed by those that tell the story.”
“Yes. And unfortunately, I have little choice who I listen to…”
The demon considered this, his nostrils flaring as he slowly took two deep breaths. “Would you like to hear my story then? The tale right from the source?”
“There’s no guarantee that you will be any less biased.” She answered almost at once.
“True,” he conceded. “But I have no reason to lie to you. You are not the prisoner here… you are my honored guest.”
“You… cannot leave? For some reason I just assumed that you stayed because my father commanded it.”
Once again the demon leaned back and bellowed with laughter in a way that caused tingles to travel up and down Rinowa’s spine. “Perhaps the tale then, to give you better understanding. Please, be comfortable, Princess…”
At his words, she heard something just behind her, and turning, her eyes grew wide at the sight of what appeared to be growing right out of the ground. A glowing slab of crystal assembled itself into a throne-like chair, complete with back and armrests, and gilded with complex and beautiful patterns and color such that it caused her breath to catch. Clapping, she grinned with delight at the display.
“Is this magic then?” She asked, reaching out to touch the seat, half expecting it to pop and vanish like a bubble.
“Magic is just a term used to describe something which we do not understand,” replied the Djinn. “To you, it is magic. To me, it is as simple as breathing.”
“Simple or not, it’s beautiful. Thank you.” She collected her skirts around her and then settled into the chair, which was not cold mineral as she expected it to be, but slightly warm to the touch.
“You are… welcome. Shall I begin?”
“Please!” She answered smiling.
The demon took a deep breath, closing his eyes briefly again. Then he nodded and started to speak.
“A long time ago by human years, there existed five main tribes of men, and, as will often be the case among humans, they were at war ceaselessly. No one tribe was greater than the others, and they were all too stubborn and proud to form alliances and bring peace to the world. And so they fought. Endless battles raged for centuries, waxing and waning like the moon, with only brief moments of calm in between. And so it was, until finally, a man was born who had abilities unlike other men. Abilities that allowed him access to a realm that the other tribes had heard of only in legend. It was the realm of the Djinn, my realm.
“We demons rarely interfere in the ways of men, finding them an interesting curiosity, but hardly worthy of our attention. We certainly had no desire to be a part of their games of hate and death. Oh, you had your attractions, to be sure,” he added when he saw the Princess make a quizzical face. “Tempting… delights that called to us as much as any siren’s song. And we sampled those treasures, cautiously and in great moderation… for we had begun to see danger from your world, limitations imposed upon us while we traveled in your realm provided a weakness that the humans could exploit.”
“A weakness?” She asked, curious.
“Indeed. You see, although we are creatures of almost unlimited power, we too are bound by rules of nature and design. We can reshape your mountains by will alone; turn a calm sea into a foaming tempest at the flick of our hand, yet, we can be easily trapped and contained if we are not careful. All our power, no matter how great, can be rendered useless if we find ourselves in a space with but a single exit.”
“Wait…” she asked. “You mean, like a bottle, or a cave…”
“Or a basement.” He finished for her, nodding. “It takes only the slightest stopper or plug, wall or door, to trap us completely.”
“Your father, the great Sorcerer King, discovered this fact, and set his trap. He learned our ways, patiently waiting until one of us was drawn to the bait as a moth to flame…”
“You… You speak of yourself!”
“Indeed. And with his limited understanding of the ‘magic’ of our realm, he was able to bind me here, in this place, trapped like a common beast. Our power naturally permeates into the vessel that hold us, and so, his castle became impossible to conquer. His wounded heal much more quickly within its walls, and his harvests never fail or whither. He uses that advantage against his enemies, but not without price.”
“Price, what price?” She asked, genuinely intrigued.
“Although he has prosperity here, the rest of your world continues to suffer. War ever marches on, and while your father’s own people survive, he cannot expand beyond the range of this stronghold without loosing his advantage. For he knows that if he tries to move me, I will escape.”
Rinowa frowned as she considered the demon’s words. She knew she needed to be careful in how she felt. The Djinn’s story, while sad, would obviously be self-serving.
“And,” she asked tentatively, “can you be… freed?”
The demon tilted his head to the side as he watched her. “I can,” he explained. “The exit need only be opened for me to be able to leave. I can also be carried out in another vessel, but I should tell you, dear, that the hearts of man are open and transparent to us. I know, that no matter how moved you are by my dilemma, or how rebellious you wish to be regarding your father, ultimately you would never willingly choose to free me, for you have grown much too accustomed to your prison.”
“What… what do you mean?” She asked, feeling something unsettling for the first time since entering the basement. It was the tenor of his voice and the way he now watched her, his head slightly bowed like that of a predator.
“We are all prisoners in one way or another, Princess. The only real question is, given the choice, what we would pick as our walls.”
Rinowa heard a new sound coming from all around her. It was a soft hissing, and it instantly made her heart race uncontrollably. Her breathing quickened, and her face drained of color. Rising from her seat, she swallowed as she tried to understand what she was feeling, and as she looked into the eyes of the demon that sat before her, she finally realized… it was fear.
Her eye caught motion on the floor, and looking around her, her mouth fell open. What she thought of as roots of some plant when she had first entered the basement, were obviously nothing of the sort. The thick, dark cords that covered the ground all around her were suddenly moving. They slithered like snakes, winding through the miniature crystal trees and moss with an eerie, almost sinister motion. Something touched her foot and she jumped.
“You said you wouldn’t eat me!” She screamed as she felt a heavy loop of muscle reach around her ankle. She tried to pull away, but the powerful ribbon of flesh seemed affixed to her.
“I agreed to no such thing, but I have no intention of consuming you. You are far too precious for that. You are the daughter of the Sorcerer King, not just an heir to the throne, but a literal offspring by blood. In you, dear, dear child, is the same rare ability as was discovered by your father.”
“Wha… What are you talking about?!” She nearly fell over as her other foot was wound up in a living limb of muscle.
“You still don’t see? Must I make it so plain? You are a sorceress, Rinowa. Like your father, you too have the ability to manipulate the elements of my domain. It was for this reason alone that you were able to pass through the defenses that keep me locked here, that your father put in place to prevent anyone from ever coming here and freeing me, even on accident.”
“The liquid window of yellow glass…” she said to herself, finally understanding. She was brought back to the moment as the grip around her left ankle slid upward along her calf. She couldn’t see the heavy, snake-like tentacle under the fabric of her skirt, but she was very aware of how it moved and shifted around her leg. It was a slow, sensuous motion, almost as though it were teasing her flesh as it climbed her.
“Yes,” replied the demon. “The barrier that traps me here no matter how much power I put against it, you may pass through at will.”
Looking around her, Rinowa saw many more of the thick shoots, all slowly headed in her direction.
“What are you going to do with me?!” She demanded, panic starting to settle in.
“You are still unaware, even after all I have explained… You are so naive, so innocent… so tempting. I am drawn to you, Princess… like a moth to flame.”
Rinowa’s eyes widened at his words. “No…” she whispered, the magnitude of her situation finally becoming clear.
“The divine delights of the feminine form,” he continued as several of the new tentacles reached her, lifting up around her helplessly trapped body. “The joys of carnal pleasure only experienced in the flesh of a young woman at her prime… ready… ripe…”
“NO!!” She screamed and renewed her efforts to break her feet free of the powerful grip that held her immobile. Something touched her from behind, winding around her waist. She looked down and saw the end of one of the slithering limbs resting on her belly, its head like a bulging slug of pure muscle. The underside must have been composed of hundreds, even thousands of smaller wriggling tendrils that she could see extending from the sides, and feel even through the fabric of her dress. The crawling mass caused her to shudder in revulsion, and she batted at it with her hands, trying to shoo it away as it slowly tightened around her. Rinowa actually yelped in terror when yet another tentacle curled around her left arm, conforming itself to her shape and winding up her limb until the head settled into her palm, a multitude of worm-like tendrils literally engulfing her fingers. The underside of the tentacles were dripping with a warm, slime-like ooze that further enhanced the illusion that she had just sunk her hand into a slippery pail of worms.
“YAAAAA!” She cried out, desperate to break away from the alien touch. Distracted, she was caught completely off guard as her other arm was entwined in a similar way and pulled down to her side. “Oh, no, no, no…” She whimpered, now completely trapped. The grip of the tentacles around her legs had extended to above her knees before she felt them begin to lift her. Struggling was pointless, but Rinowa recoiled anyway as she was raised several meters into the air and forward. When she realized she was moving toward the demon, she started to hyperventilate. Closer and closer she came, all the while his eyes watched her every expression, until at last she was less than a meter away. She could literally feel the warmth of the other’s body radiating against her face like the coals of an old fire, and his deep musky scent filled her nostrils. Surprisingly, she did not find the odor offensive, and instead discovered that even through her fear, it stirred something deep within her belly, something that caused her own nostrils to flare and her breath to catch.
“You are indeed a wonder to behold,” he commented, his cat-like eyes traveling down her body. “And you come in such pretty packaging. A lovely present to unwrap…”
Just as she realized what he meant, she felt something at her back. It was the same kind of wriggling pressure that encompassed each of her hands and crawled over her abdomen, but the worm-like tendrils seemed to have a purpose beyond merely disgusting her. When the first button at the top of her dress slipped from its loop, she gasped. A moment later another popped free, then a third.
“You bastard!” She wailed, anger mixing with her fear and revulsion as she understood what he meant to do to her. She flailed against the bonds that held her, screaming and snarling until her strength failed her and she sagged forward, panting and spent. By that time, the tiny slippery fingers had finished their work, including the ties at the base of her back, leaving the dress hanging open behind her from her neck down.
“Nooo,” she moaned, weakly. “Please… I… I’ll let you out. Just let me go and I’ll release you, I swear…”
“How quickly humans lose their greater sense of purpose when confronted by their own mortality. No, my dear. Even if I believed you would keep your promise, you do not yet have the skills needed to remove the barrier created by your father.”
The appendage at her back slipped in under the dress on the left side and was joined by a second limb doing the same on the right. Together they crawled around her bare arms and held her while the original pair of limbs loosened. Finally, the tentacle at her belly slithered up to her collar and gripped the front of her garment so that the other cords of muscle could extract her arms from the sleeves. The net effect was that she was held just as firmly, but the whole of her dress was now free and loose. She started to whimper as it slid downward of its own weight.
Horrified to be seen in just her corset and petticoats, Rinowa blushed deeply and looked away. She could hardly imagine a greater humiliation than being exposed before the demon Djinn. But there was nothing she could do, and so she forced her fear into anger and turned to glare at the beast holding her. Now, however, with the bulk of her dress gone, she had a better view of the lower half of the creature. What she saw confused her at first, and when she finally understood clearly what her brain was reluctant to accept, she let loose a shivering scream of terror. The thick root-like tentacles all converged to form that which she had first taken to be a skirt or kilt, which meant that the snake-like things holding her bound in the air were not some random detached creatures that the Djinn was controlling, they were his limbs. He alone was molesting and stripping her of her clothing!
The absolute unearthliness of his lower half was just too much. Worse, she had just begun to think that the demon’s upper torso was actually appealing in a purely instinctive way, but now, she could not reconcile that with his lower form. Shivering, she continued to beg for her freedom.
“P-please… let me go… I… I don’t want this…”
“The life you knew is over, child,” he explained as more of the tentacles reached for her. One went behind her to the top of her corset, while another slid sensuously over her hip to her lower back and the ties of her petticoats. “You must accept your fate…”
“But WHY?! You don’t have to do this! Let me be, please!” The worm-like fingers made quick work of the bows of her corset, and she felt the ease of breathing return. She sighed with relief as she always did when she was released from the constraining wrap, then remembered that its removal would leave her in just her chemise. Then when her outer petticoat fell away, she squealed and struggled anew. The action only made things worse, however, as it shifted her inner petticoat, which had also been loosened, off her hips. The garment dropped to meet its twin, and with the removal of her corset, left her in only her chemise and pantaloons.
“You lecherous cretin!” She bellowed. “How dare you! Is this all you are, just a perverted, uneducated monster?!”
Suddenly, Rinowa was jerked forward. She closed her eyes tight and braced herself for the worst, but after a moment of silence she opened them again… and immediately wished she hadn’t. Her face was only inches from the Djinn’s, his eyes fixed on hers, which widened in surprise at the other’s beauty and complexity. She took a single deep breath and held it while he spoke.
“I have memorized the face of a thousand mountain ranges, and tasted the waters of every major river in the world. I can sing the songs of the stars in a hundred different languages, and can perform calculations of arithmancy that would take you and every scholar in this world a thousand years to complete… yet you call ME uneducated?!” He laughed aloud, the force of his breath literally blowing back her hair.
“Oh, sheltered child… You know NOTHING. Unlike you, I was not born and raised within the walls of a false utopia, a flat and featureless fantasy that pretends perfection while the rest of the world wallows in needless and endless rage! I have sampled the world before men, when it was still the pristine jewel of limitless beauty. I KNOW what it could be again, if only there were someone willing to put an end to the death and decay instead of hiding like a coward.
“And what does it say to you, that with all the limitless power and knowledge that we Djinn hold, that it is the beauty and grace of the mortal human female that entices and captivates us? That above all things, we long to hear the soft sighs of pleasure and witness the fevered flush of ecstasy at a woman’s peaking moment?”
Rinowa’s heart beat so strong and loud that she was certain the demon could hear it within her chest. His brazen words were shocking, but also wildly stirring in a way that was completely unfamiliar to her. She knew she should be repulsed by the creature and its slippery appendages, but oddly, she wasn’t. What she first took to be disgust, she now knew was something else entirely, something that both frightened and excited her.
“I have spent many of your lifetimes studying this fine art,” he continued. “I have practiced and honed my skills with more women than you could count in a night, learned every technique. I know ways to please a female that no human male has even considered, let alone perfected. I can bring you to heights of pleasure that most women only dream of, and arouse your body in ways that will leave you shaking and utterly spent, yet desperate for more.”
Remembering to breathe, Rinowa swallowed with nervousness. The demon’s glowing eyes were still fixed on hers, and she knew he could see straight into her soul. She looked away.
“Y-your words seek only to seduce me, b-b-but I will not give in to you…”
“No?” He replied, grinning. “Do you really think that you can resist me, child?”
Some part of her anger rekindled itself and she turned back and met the demon’s gaze again.
“I am not some simpleton whore! I am the daughter of the King and a member of the Royal Court! I won’t be swayed by your honeyed words!”
The Djinn regarded her closely, squinting slightly as he peered into her deep green eyes.
“Hmmm… As sheltered as you are, you are indeed unlike other women. You posses a strength beyond yourself… But, you WILL give in to me, Princess,” he pronounced with a harder tone. “Within the hour you will taste your first bliss, for I know that you have not yet been with a man, even though you have taken the ritual of the Maidenhead to ease your wedding night. So pampered are you, that even that sweet pain has been denied you. I AM going to seduce you, and for your arrogance, I will do it slowly, in steps, drawing out your need until you are literally begging me to take you…”
“Never!” She spat in denial.
“You may be a Princess, but I smell your arousal already,” he said, the long extensions of his lower torso shifting her position despite her feeble protest. He effortlessly moved her arms up above her head, stretching her body before him.
He reached out with his left hand and very gently placed his fingers at the top of her chemise. Her breath caught at the more human touch, and a soft warmth spread over her face and neck. His delicately grazing contact dropped down to rest at the gentle slope of her breast. There, it slid to the side, lightly caressing the swell of her chest until it had curled under and was just supporting the fullness of her.
“Ahhh…” She gasped, surprised by the sudden heat that seemed to wash over her torso.
“Such simple contact, and already your body hungers for more,” he said softly, no longer watching her eyes, but rather her lightly covered bosom. “Go ahead and look, Rinowa… See how your nipples deny your own resistance.”
And she did look, and was shocked at how pronounced and visible the tips of her breasts were under the thin cotton of her chemise. Confused and overwhelmed, the girl began to worry. But her distress turned directly to panic when she felt the demon’s other hand alight upon her naked abdomen. It was moving upward almost at once, until she watched it glide right under the garment at her chest. Her vision actually wavered when his warm fingers cupped her right mound bare.
“Ughnn! Oh g-god… mmmm… no…”
The Djinn chuckled. “See. You’re just as human as any other female. Your body knows what it likes. You can’t resist it. It’s going to consume you. Slowly…” He whispered the last, gently lifting her chemise. “And without your consent…” She saw the garment catch briefly at her swollen nipples. “Your own lust will betray you…”
Her chemise slipped up over her breasts, the lacy edge of the fabric causing her to shiver slightly with pleasure as it traveled over her nipples and was collected in the demon’s fingers at the top of her chest.
“No…” she said weakly, looking away again as she panted. She felt faint and dizzy, and yet excited at the same time. She knew that what she was feeling was arousal, but the sensation was so new to her that she had no idea how to react to it, or how to resist its effect on her.
The garment was drawn upward over her head until it met one of the slug-like appendages wrapped around her arms. The thin tendrils took hold of it and continued to slide it up until it was gone from view.
“Does it bother you so much that my eyes feast upon your nakedness?” He asked, lifting and turning her body slightly.
“It… it means nothing,” she lied, still looking away.
The Djinn chuckled. “You are glorious to behold… A true treasure. Your breasts are full and firm, your skin as fair and unblemished as new fallen snow. And even though you have lived a coddled life, you are strong and lean. Your beauty would be wasted on a human lover…”
“I’m NOT your lover!” She proclaimed loudly.
He turned her so that he could once again look in her eyes.
“You have no idea what that means, do you? You have not even yet sampled the joys of your own body… How delightful! I will lead you on an adventure, exploring every inch of your femininity, igniting your passions one by one until you are aflame with pleasure. I will very much enjoy seeing the surprise in your eyes as I reveal your own points of lust to you. You do not yet know how much ecstasy you are capable of… but you will.”
She felt her face flush again at his words.
“Few human females have ever understood their true power,” he explained as he raised his hand and lightly caressed the side of her bare torso. “Every curve of your form, every subtle rise and fall of your flesh,” his fingers traveled smoothly over her breasts and just grazed her nipples, instantly causing her to gasp. “… Every tiny utterance from your lips, has more power than all the magic of the Djinn.” The hand slid down her side to her waist, where it was joined by the other. There, he turned her forward again and she found herself staring into his eyes once more. “For though I can strike down an army of thousands with ease, I am incapable of changing the hearts of men. But you… There is no limit to your influence, for man has no resistance to your charms. It is time…”
“Wha…? Wait! Oh god…”
The demon’s hands slowly moved down to her hips where they played along the top of her pantaloons. At his feathery touch, she felt a fluttering in her belly, and lower. There was an odd warmth deep inside her, and for a moment she thought that perhaps she had wet herself.
The Djinn inhaled, slowly, deeply. “What you feel is your body preparing itself to receive me,” he commented while he continued to play his fingers just under the edge of the last garment covering her. “Already, it knows you have no will to resist. Fight as you might, your flesh desires my touch…”
“No! You lie! I shall never want you!” She exclaimed, struggling feebly to pull away from his tantalizing exploration. And yet, she could not deny that some part of her found the pressure pleasurable… And did want more.
And then he was at the bow, drawing the tie with excruciating slowness, until all at once she felt her pantaloons go loose around her waist.
“No…” she whimpered helplessly as the thin garment finally slipped over the swell of her hips and down her legs, leaving her completely naked before the demon. She closed her eyes in heavy denial of her situation, willing it all to be just a bad dream. But when the Djinn let his fingers ever so lightly brush over the fine hairs of her womanhood, they flew open once again.
“Ahhh!” She gasped, completely stunned by the sensitivity of her own body. She knew that when she washed herself, she would sometimes feel a pleasurable sensation when she touched that part of her body, but this… His fingers had only just grazed over her, not even making contact with her flesh. She gasped again, as he drew his digits back over her a second time. Confused by the complete lack of control of her body, as well as the new sensations, Rinowa swallowed nervously. She could feel the wetness within her begin to drip down the inside of her thighs. She blushed in embarrassment but then realized that there was a similar sensation on her arms. The honey-like slime that covered the underside of the demon’s tentacles appeared to be increasing… and traveling down her arms as ticklish runnels. Confused, she watched as several trails made their way to her shoulders, and headed down her sides, back, and chest. She shivered as one in particular inched around the side of her left breast. But before it could descend further, the Djinn reached up and intercepted it with his fingers. She jumped at his touch, and watched in aroused fascination as he lightly spread it inward over the swell of her bosom. She noticed he was watching her, and so met his gaze just as he moved his slippery coated digits over her nipple.
“Ughn! Ahh!” she cried, sucking in her breath sharply. Then, realizing how easily she was being seduced, she looked away, biting her lip against the pleasure. But it was no good. He lingered at the swollen bud, very gently catching it between his large fingers. She couldn’t help but turn her eyes to her chest again when the creature added increasing pressure to the nub as he rolled it loosely between his thumb and fingers. A sweet, almost unbearably wonderful pain fanned out from her nipple and caused her whole body to jerk in shock. Her voice was literally sucked away as she gasped in surprise and delight. She had no idea that tweaking her nipples so could cause her such pleasure, and stared in stunned awe as the bit of flesh actually swelled further under his touch, literally pulsing with the beat of her pounding heart.
But then, Rinowa found herself rotating as the Djinn turned her body to face the other direction. His fingers never lost contact, his hand reaching around with her so that by the time she had been pivoted to face the way she had come in, his massive arm reached around her body in a loose hug. She quivered in surprise when she felt his warm breath on the back of her neck, his powerful torso at her back.
“Do the natural oils from my limbs excite you, Princess?” He asked as he brought his other arm around her body and then let his hands slip up over her breasts, cupping her while he quietly spread the slippery nectar over her chest.
“It… d-d-disgusts me…” she replied through gritted teeth as she tried to resist the intense sensations of pleasure that threatened to drive her crazy.
He laughed softly as he brought his mouth close to her ear, whispering. “Humans are such lousy liars…”
The Princess was shocked at the amount of thick fluid that flowed down over her body, as well as its effect on her libido. The substance itself warmed her flesh and left a feeling not unlike an embarrassed flush everywhere it touched. On her nipples, it tingled as though it had a life of its own. Even without the demon’s slow massage, it left her breathless and light-headed. With his constantly roaming attentions, she found herself quivering uncontrollably. The slow runnels curved down her belly and back, over her hips, and down over her apex. It gradually eased down her thighs, and finally completed its journey as it met the limbs wrapped around her legs. The Djinn continued to tease her, his hands smoothing over the expanse of her abdomen and her hips. Finally, they slowed as they came together at the slight swell of her Mons. She closed her eyes tight, and fought with all her will to ignore the feathery caresses that slipped down into the twin creases of her upper thighs. To her great relief, he did not reach inward to the petals of her flower as she expected him to. Instead, she found herself turning again, only this time, her body was held close by the demon. She could not help but open her eyes again, but gasped at his face next to hers, his smooth cheek brushing against her own.
“Are you afraid yet, Princess?” He asked, softly, seductively.
“Yes…” She replied in a breathy whisper.
He sighed. “Will you give in to me?” His hands, now at her back, reached into her hair, forcibly tilting her head back, such that she suddenly found herself staring hard into the Djinn’s eyes.
She took several heavy breaths. “N-no…” She answered defiantly.
“So be it.” He said with an air of finality.
Confused, Rinowa felt herself moving backwards until she was a meter or so from the demon. Hearing the slithering sounds of his tentacles moving around her she looked down, just in time to see two thick ropes of flesh reach in over her hips and slip between her thighs. She shrieked and tried to tighten the muscles of her legs in order to keep them from passing through and then winding around her legs at the knees, but the creature’s slick oil made it impossible. And then he was changing her position again.
To her relief, he brought down her arms, which was much more comfortable, though they were quickly pushed behind her back. To her surprise, however, she felt herself being folded, her knees brought up while her body was held firm. When he was done, she could just see his face over her kneecaps. His expression of solemn seriousness never changed, and all at once she felt the tentacles at her knees start to apply pressure outward. Her breath caught when she realized he was parting her thighs.
“NO!” She shrieked. “Stop that! No, no…” She tried desperately to hold her legs closed, but slowly, inescapably, they were gradually pulled open in front of the Djinn, fully exposing her most private flesh. She struggled and twisted in her bonds, but it only tired her further. He lifted her, drawing her forward again at the same time, and Rinowa’s eye’s grew wide. He moved her until her thighs passed to either side of his head, and his face was level with her apex, and only inches away.
No man had ever seen her bare, let alone ogled her flower with such obvious lasciviousness. She panted through gritted teeth as she blushed from her head on down.
“Magnificent,” he commented, staring right into her.
He met her gaze, and squinted, frowning slightly in disapproval. Then, without warning, he inhaled and sent a warm breath of air right between her legs. The girl’s eyes fluttered with uncontrolled delight and her hips and torso shook in stunning arousal until the moment had passed, her mind continuing to spin, dizzy with waves of lust.
His hands reached up and slid along the curves of her rear, causing an almost painful tickle at the top of her buttocks before reaching back over her thighs. He continued to stare up into her eyes as he slowly drew her forward, closer and closer. Rinowa held her breath, her heart pounding wildly. She was almost unaware that she was being laid back slightly into a reclining position. But she knew the moment his first kiss landed at the top of her cleft and just left of center. She cried out and tried to pull away from the fiery spark of pleasure, but he followed her, landing another on the right side, and then another on the inside of her thigh. She felt her face go hot and the wetness within her re-blossom anew.
“Ughnn! Oh! God, p-please…. stop… ughmmm… no… mmmm…” she moaned. With each gentle kiss, her body was drawn further and further from her control. Her hips seemed to have a mind of their own, angling away upon meeting with his lips, but then rolling back, as if daring him for more. On and on he placed his soft lips to her apex until she was literally squirming and groaning. The placement was maddening, and she hated herself for wanting him to strike her center. She felt an intense need to have his lips move to that one place he was obviously avoiding.
“Give yourself to me, Rinowa…” he requested, his warm breath flowing over her and causing her hips to tremble.
“Either way, we both know you are going to let go eventually,” he whispered, placing another kiss at the side of her Mons. “Why not enjoy it instead of making me torment you?”
“Ughmmm! I won’t!… ahhh! Ahhh!”
“Perhaps a more potent taste of what you are up against will change your mind…”
At his words, Rinowa refocused just in time to see him reach up with his hands and gently open her, pulling back her petals and exposing her pink, moist flesh beneath.
“Ahh! Wait!!… UGHNN! UGHNN! AHHHH!”
His mouth moved forward and settled over her, his tongue darting out and flicking right into her tunnel. A pleasure unlike any she had ever experienced lashed out at her, completely taking her breath away. Her body strained to the point of pain against the limbs holding her in place, but she couldn’t pull away from the torturous sensations that were causing a deep building in her middle, almost like her internal organs were coiling up like a living spring.
At last, he drew his eyes up to hers one last time before his attention moved slightly higher as well, the fullness of his hot tongue settling over the button of her clitoris. Instantly, it was as though her whole body had been dipped in liquid ecstasy, and the spring in her middle released its full energy in the form of sexual bliss. Curls and flashes of light appeared in the air in front of her, and time itself seemed to stop as all else, every care or fear or conscious thought was washed right out of her head by the wave of joy.
She remembered crying out, and then thrashing her head back and forth in helpless wonderful agony, but how long she gasped and screamed and twisted in his grip she could not say. When she regained herself, she looked down into her lap, exhausted, with half-lidded eyes and saw the demon watching her, grinning.
“Wh-what did you j-just do to me…? Was it s-some magic spell?” She asked feebly, her body still too weak to do more than hang there.
He chuckled. “Magic? Perhaps magic of a different kind. You are extraordinary at your moments. I forced upon you an orgasm, my dear… One of a great many you shall have before we are through.”
She started to panic. “Many?! Oh god…” If one was enough to leave her spent and dizzy, how would she bear more? “I had no idea I could feel such things…” she added, truthfully.
“Such are the pleasures of a woman,” he replied, his fingers lightly tracing the edges of her flower, causing her to twitch and jump. “And your limits will be tested today, I assure you. Do you now see the situation you are in, Princess? If you will but give in to me, I will make your torment brief…”
There was more of a pause, and the girl considered his words. “No,” she said, finally, her voice filled with fear. “I… I won’t give in to you…”
Again the demon sighed. “You are stubborn, I will grant you that. So be it, I shall reveal another level of your demise. Look and see, child…”
Rinowa did not need to look, but did anyway. From below her, a half dozen long tentacles were slowly crawling around her body. They slithered over her shoulders, around her sides, and over her hips, several completely encircling her torso before settling hungrily over her breasts and belly. In moments, she was nearly covered from her chin to her Mons in slippery wriggling tendrils that she knew wanted nothing more than to arouse her… And they were already doing a very good job.
“You see, I need not use my more human methods to tantalize you, especially when these appendages are so much more suited to the task.” The two flattened tentacles over her breasts massaged and played with her orbs in shocking ways, wrapping around her nipples sucking and pulling on them. They were under her as well, tickling and caressing her back and buttocks. But once again, even through the nearly overwhelming flush of new pleasure, she saw that the demon had chosen not to touch her apex. As before, he was saving that last bit of her for something special. When she saw what it was, she nearly screamed.
“Oh, god…ummm… no… no please! Wait!…”
Rising up between her spread thighs was another tentacle. Like the others, this one was round on top, but mostly flattened on the bottom. Now though, she had a good look at the underside, which was made up entirely of smaller, worm-like tendrils. The great writhing mass was mesmerizing to look at, with the thousands of tiny fingers swirling and rolling in waves and pulses. Her heart thundered in her own ears when she realized that the limb was slowly curling down toward her center, its glistening fingers hungry and ready… for her.
“S-stop, ughn…, stay away… don’t touch me w-with thaAHHHH!”
The tentacle settled over her womanhood, literally conforming to her lap. The slippery tendrils immediately flowed over… and into her. They caressed and teased her most private flesh without mercy or subtlety, and the excruciating pleasure coming from her loins was quickly overwhelming her.
“AHHH! UGHN! UGHN!” She wailed, already finding it nearly impossible to get in a full breath, let alone think clearly. The demon’s tendrils worked her without pause, without slowing. It was like the attention of a hundred of his seductive tongues, all attacking her at once, which was more than enough to quickly work her towards another great release, but there was also something more. When she understood what it was, her heart sank. There would certainly be no resisting for her…
Along with the constant roiling mass, she could tell that the limb was producing much more of the thick, honey-like oil, and that many of the thin tendrils seemed to be actively forcing it right inside her flower. She could feel its heat slowly being driven deeper and deeper within her, filling her, mingling with her own honey. And as intense as it was on her nipples, the strange substance was far more arousing in her core. She watched in stunned euphoria as the whole shape of the limb covering her seemed to undulate. As it did, she felt a quick rush of the liquid penetrate deep within her. Like a living pump, the fingers held her open while the larger body of the appendage continued to force more and more of the nectar to her depths, and with each undulating beat, she was buried further and further under a layer of pure pleasure. The great heat of orgasm coiled and released so quickly in her belly that she barely had time to draw a breath before her head was thrust back in a guttural cry ecstasy, her whole body trembling in uncontrolled delight.
And to her surprise, the euphoria seemed to go on and on only slightly lessening after long waves, the intensity dropping just enough that she was able to reconnect with her body, only to be driven back under the suffocating pleasure soon afterward. Over time, she understood that the demon’s limbs had not stopped stimulating her as he had with his tongue, and continued to work her to the point of ecstasy again and again and again.
To Rinowa, it seemed as though hours passed, even days, though, if that were true, she doubted her body would have survived. She thrashed and trembled and cried out in torturous ecstasy the whole time, never given a single moment of reprieve or rest. So shattered were her conscious thoughts when the Djinn finally stopped, that she wasn’t even aware he had done so for several minutes, and even then, she could do little more than hang there, utterly limp.
“It is folly to try and resist me, Princess,” said his voice in her ear. “I can torment your flesh for weeks without pause if I choose. I have even pleasured women unto the point of death. Eventually, your will shall shatter, but I would much prefer you give yourself to me freely, openly.”
Her breathing was still ragged and drawn, but at least she could focus her eyes on the face of the Djinn next to her. He had lifted her upright and brought her again up close to him.
“Kill m-me and be done…” she said, weakly, her voice a whisper. “I shall n-not give in to you…”
He held out his arms. “You have done admirably; a credit to your tribe, your whole race… There would be no shame. No one could fault you…”
“No…” she repeated. “I w-will resist you, even if it ends me.”
At her words, he was changing her position again, bringing her around so that she faced him, her legs raised. Her eyes widened as she remembered the last time she was brought in front of the demon.
“Perhaps…” he conceded. “But it’s easy to resist something when you have no choice but to resist or die. I have been breaking strong young women like yourself for a hundred centuries. I wonder how well you will do when it is yourself you must resist?”
“What t-trickery do you speak of now?” She asked, tired and still shaking slightly from the oil that dripped slowly from her flower and flowed down her legs.”
The demon said nothing, but brought her closer as he pushed her knees apart again. Her breathing quickened, but she kept her eyes locked on his, refusing to play his games any longer. He released much of his hold on her, until her torso was held by only her knees and hands, which were loosely at her sides, and had she more strength, she would might considered trying to kick him. As it was, she barely had the energy to keep herself upright.
He brought her forward, closer and closer until finally, her chest met his muscular torso, which reclined slightly. She gasped at his warmth as he settled her against him, her arms carried up to rest on his shoulders, her legs sliding around his waist. To her surprise, he released her arms completely, and let her legs sink between a multitude of limbs that converged just at his hips. It felt quite strange, but it was also a very human position, and since she could no longer clearly see his lower half, she found it easy in her mind to imagine him so, a great, beautiful human man, in who’s lap she was now lewdly sitting astraddle.
“You find me appealing…” he said. It was a statement, not a question.
“I find you repulsive,” she answered with a tinge of venom.
He smiled. “You can not lie to me, child. Not this close.”
She looked away. “You are… attractive enough, at least your human parts.”
“Fair enough,” he replied, laughing softly. He noticed her eyes moving back to peek at him. “I have quite thoroughly explored you, Princess… Please, feel free to examine me more intimately. I will not stop you.”
She was startled at his words, both because she didn’t trust him, but also because of his human shape. She had never seen an unclothed man save for paintings, and the Djinn was certainly equal to those mere portraits. He was giving her an opportunity, and she had to admit, she was tempted, if only for the aesthetic.
Slowly, she brought her left hand down to rest on his chest, feeling the heat of his breast and the way his powerful muscles rippled, even when he took a simple, relaxed breath. She let her fingers wander, entranced by the silky feel of his skin and his dark complexion. In comparison, her hand looked white and pale. Her fingers moved lower, over the solid form of his abdomen. She saw that he had a belly button, and smiled briefly. Did he have a mother?
“We are born of the Earth,” he explained as if reading her mind. “It is given to us so that we may fully resemble man, though we can change our form.”
Her other hand came down and joined its partner in exploration, and she noted he also had nipples. She felt his arms, which even when relaxed at his sides radiated the sense that they really could lift mountains. His huge biceps almost seemed to hum or rumble and reminded her of the purr of a large cat she had once seen brought to the castle.
When, by accident, her other hand fell into her lap and brushed his lower abdomen, the Djinn took a sudden deep breath. Her whole body lifted as he filled his lungs, and for a second she felt as though she were riding a massive horse. She glanced back up to the face of the demon and swallowed. He really was beautiful, shockingly so. Even his lightly glowing eyes no longer frightened her. And, coupled with his passive smirk, she started to feel the sirring in her belly again. She actually jumped when his warm hands abruptly settled on her bare hips. He lifted her slightly and then shifted his form below her. She was confused until she looked down and saw that several of the tentacles had moved aside to allow something else to rise up. Though she had never seen one in the flesh, she knew at once that it was his phallus. Her tutors had explained the basics of procreation to her at her Maidenhead ceremony, so she understood that a human male would bring his phallus within her in order to release his seed and begin a pregnancy. But she quickly decided that a normal male phallus simply must be smaller for it to have any chance of fitting within her. It appeared enormous! Suddenly she understood what he intended and her eyes snapped up to his.
“Nooo…” she pleaded, her voice quivering. Even as she spoke the words, another part of her mind was imagining what such a thing would feel like inside her flower. “Y-you can’t!” But the demon was already lowering her. Desperately, she tried to stand upright, but his hands held her hips as though they were trapped in a vice, and her feet were trapped from below. She placed her own hands on his stomach and tried to push, but he was much too strong.
“NO! You have no right!” Desperately, she lifted her fists and pounded them on his chest, an action that seemed to have no effect on the demon at all.
He slowly brought her body back down into his lap until she could just feel the tip of his shaft pressing at her gates, which was still slick with both her own nectar, and his more plentiful oils.
“AHH! S-s-stop!” She hissed, a sudden wash of new pleasure rising up from her pelvis. “If you wish to kill me, do it the other way!”
“Do not worry, Rinowa, as big as I look to you, I have adjusted my size so that you will not be injured or hurt…”
“You can’t put that in me!!”
He grinned. “No, not yet. You have not asked me to.”
“W-what? Why would I do that? AHHH! Ughmmmmmm….” Suddenly, he had shifted her hips, causing the tip to slide along her very slick cleft, pressing her folds open. Then, just as she was catching her breath, he moved her hips back, his shaft moving down her petals the other direction. And so it started. Rinowa leaned on him, stunned by the trap she had been tricked into. Back and forth he moved her, teasing her in the most arousing way possible, and she was helpless to stop it. The slow torture was completely unlike her other experiences because he wasn’t trying to overwhelm her, in fact, whenever she would start to feel the warm coil in her belly, he would back off, letting her rest for a moment. At first, she was glad for the brief reprieves, but as time wore on, she saw that each repetition only left her more and more frustrated.
It was his slow regularity that caused her the greatest worry. He rarely changed the pace of his seduction, forcing her own hips into the rhythm. After a time, she heard him chuckle, and she looked down to see that he was merely holding her up, and that she herself was continuing the motion.
“Nooo,” she moaned, and tried to hold still. But it was too late. The feel of him, partially pressed within her gates was too wonderful, and it only took the slightest tiny motion to convince her to roll her hips forward and continue the erotic torture herself. Gently, quietly, she was slowly being torn apart with lust.
Still, he did not let her pleasure rise to a crescendo. No matter how much she tried to increase the stimulation, he knew when she was close and would pull her away.
“Ughnnn!… S-stop, p-please!” She begged. “I can’t s-s-stand it!” Her body had begun to tremble.
“You need only ask me to enter you, and I shall give you relief, Princess.”
Her hips rolled atop him, and again. “N-no! Ahhh! Never! Ughmmmm…”
He surprised her by lowering her slightly, so that the head of his phallus just pushed within her. Incredible pleasure radiated from her center, but just before she was certain that she would peak, he withdrew. She gasped, and her whole body shook, but she felt her arousal wane. And then, a moment later, he pressed in again, this time allowing her to undulate her hips and draw him just barely further within her. But just as before, when she neared her moment, he pulled out, leaving her a shaking with need.
“P-please…” she whimpered. “Let m-me go…”
“Do you want me to take you?…”
“N-n-no…” came her weak reply.
He slipped her hips down over his head again, this time holding her very still. She could struggle, but it only made her torment worse. There he kept her until her breath had become only sharp little gasps. And just before she would have peaked, he lifted her yet again.
“AHHH! UMMMmmmm… oh g-god… help m-me…”
“Do you want me to take you, Princess?”
She took much longer to answer this time.
He shifted her atop him, repeating the seduction. After half a minute, she was pounding on his chest as she struggled to free her legs, but they were trapped solidly. Finally, as her torso came upright and she thought for certain she would peak, he quickly lifted her and slipped free again.
“UGHNNNN! NOOO! Ahhh!”
“Do you want me to take you, Rinowa?…” asked the demon for the third time.
The girl was trembling, barely able to hold herself up. She turned her head and looked the Djinn in the eyes, begging…
“You must say it, child. Will you give yourself to me freely?”
“… y-yes…” She whispered, desperate.
The demon sighed and briefly closed his eyes before releasing his grip on her waist. Suddenly, Rinowa found herself dropping, her own weight carrying his phallus within her. She gasped and tried to put down her hands, but found that her strength was gone. Her hips were all she could move, as she took up a slow, undulating rhythm that gradually brought him deep within her. The new sensations were incredible, and she laughed aloud at how wonderful it felt to finally have him fully inside her. It took only a few moments before she felt the spring of lust compressing in her belly, and with a final single hard thrust, her world exploded into overwhelming pleasure. At the height of her passion, her body was not her own, her torso locked in tense orgasmic agony, even as her hips continued to roll and shudder atop the demon. Her voice was choked back by her need to draw a mere breath, which were quick and labored. Staring into the eyes of the demon, Rinowa gasped, open mouthed in disbelief, her whole body stunned by the mountainous pleasure until finally she collapsed into unconscious oblivion.
When she awoke, she opened her eyes slowly and with confusion. As if coming out of a deep dream, she tried to focus on her surroundings before even lifting her head. Blinking, the odd dream remained.
“Wha…?” Her voice was weak and a little horse as she slowly brought herself up to one elbow. She was laying in the center of the crystal garden, on a slab of what appeared to be white marble. It was just as it had been before, but when she turned her head, she could see no sign of the Djinn. His massive seat in the center of the bizarre landscape was empty.
Curious, and dubious, she sat up and saw somewhat shocked to find that she was fully dressed, and that no trace of the slippery oils could be found on her hands or face. She briefly smoothed out the fabric as she slid her legs to the edge.
Was it all a dream then?
The tingling in certain places within her body denied this possibility. Had the Djinn dressed her then? There were too many questions that she couldn’t answer, but with the demon gone, now was her chance to escape.
Her body was so weak that she nearly fell over as she stood, but after a few deep breaths, she moved to the stairwell and slowly began her ascent. With each footfall, she fully expected to hear the slithering presence of the Djinn coming after her, but she reached the magical liquid orange barrier unnoticed. She wasn’t’ sure she could pass through the portal at all, but it was as before, and she breathed a sigh of relief. She took the rest of the stairs a bit faster, but had to slow near the top as she found herself in the dark once again. She walked blind with her hands in front of her, half expecting to run into the silky torso of the demon. When instead she found the hard metal door, she remembered to breath again.
“Stu! Stu!” She yelled, beating on the door in the dark. She could only hope that the guard as still stationed outside the portal. She had no idea what day it was, let alone the hour. “Lieutenant! Open the door! It’s me, Princess Rinowa! Please, Stu…”
There was a loud click, and then a somewhat bright light from beyond. “M’lady?” replied the man’s voice tentatively.
Rinowa couldn’t have been happier, and pushed the door open so that she could squeeze through. “Oh, thank you, sir! I was beginning to think I would be trapped in there forever.” The guard pushed the door closed and stared at her in disbelief.
“Princess, we’ve been looking everywhere for you. How in the world did you end up in there?!”
She sighed deeply. “I’ve had a frightful time, do you think we could talk on the way back to my room?”
“Oh, of course, m’lady. Please, I’ll escort you.” He answered, extending his arm. For once, she didn’t mind someone strong to lean on.
“Just after you left me, I… I heard someone in the hall,” she lied. “It was a voice I didn’t recognise, so I hid beyond the door. Unfortunately, once the door was shut, I discovered I was locked in! Oh, Stu,” she whimpered, playing up her fear. “It was pitch dark in there! I had to wait and wait for you to come back and I guess I must have fallen asleep. It was terrifying!”
“There now, Princess,” he said consolingly as he patted her hand. “You’re safe now.”
At her door, he quickly checked her room, spoke briefly to her handmaiden, and was preparing to leave when she stopped him.
“Oh, please don’t go yet,” she entreated. “I… I just don’t feel safe.” This was only a half truth. She was still a bit shaken by her whole ordeal, but the real reason that she wanted the Lieutenant to stick around had nothing to do with safety. If the Djinn’s advances did anything for her, it was to open her eyes to the joys of the opposite sex. Just walking through the halls with the man had caused her to feel a warm flutter in her belly. It was something she was… eager to explore.
“Not to worry. I have to quickly return to my post and have someone else stand guard while I report. Your father, and many others, will be very happy you are safe, Princess. But if it is your wish, I will return as soon as I am relieved. Will that be satisfactory?”
She nodded coyly.
“Good. Now bolt your door and don’t open it for anyone you don’t recognise, understand?”
“Yes. And Lieutenant… Thank you…” She leaned forward and placed a soft if not chaste kiss on his cheek. The man looked surprised, grinned and then was gone.
Dropping with a whoosh to the edge of her bed, Rinowa blew out a long sigh of relief. She had actually gotten away with no one the wiser. She didn’t seem to be hurt in any permanent way, and although she was exhausted and just a bit overstimulated, she actually felt more alive than at any other time in her life.
She called in her handmaiden, removed her dirty clothes, had a quick bath, and had just changed into something fresh and just a little bit more revealing than normal for the Lieutenant, when there was a low rumble. She had her servant tie up her dress, and then dismissed her for the night. The girl hesitated, but curtsied and went her way.
A few minutes later, there was another rumble, and then hurried voices in her hallway. She went to the door and listened carefully. for the next few minutes she heard more rushed footsteps, yelling, and even a scream. She was just starting to panic when there was a loud knock at her door and she jumped.
“M’lady? It’s Liuetenant Stellandar…”
She opened the door at once and let the man in. To her surprise, he immediately turned and re-bolted the heavy portal.
“Stu? What’s wrong? What’s going on?!”
She could tell by his face the moment he met her eyes that it was very serious. “Princess, I’m afraid you were right… The castle is indeed under attack.”
“What…?” she whispered, a knot of apprehension building in her middle. “How is that possible?”
“It would seem that the Djinn has escaped, m’lady. The castle’s defenses are are no more.”
The man took her by the arm and led her over to a couch so they could sit. He held her hand and then looked at her directly. “I was hoping that maybe you could tell me.”
“Me? I don’t know anything about Djinn?!” She certainly wasn’t about to explain how she had managed to get raped unconsciousness by one.
“But you were the last person to open that door. Are you sure one else entered the basement while you were in there?”
“No!… well… I guess I don’t know for certain. I fell asleep against the wall,” she fibbed. “It was very dark. I suppose someone could have come in and walked right past me.”
The guard considered this, frowning. “Well, whatever the case, it’s gone and the other tribes have decided to pay us back for decades of prosperity. Your father has charged me with your safety, m’lady, though I’m not sure anything will protect us here anymore.
Rinowa was lost in her own thoughts. Had she really done something to let out the Djinn? She thought back carefully. Aside from being sexually tormented and raped by the demon, her role was completely passive. It had said itself that she lacked the power needed to break her fathers wards, so how? Then she remembered something he had said…
“…All our power, no matter how great, can be rendered useless if we find ourselves in a space with but a single exit.”… which, she remembered was still blocked by the magical shield when she left. But she recalled something else.
“The exit need only be opened for me to be able to leave. I can also be carried out in another vessel…”
Could she have, even inadvertently? She had no purse on her… her pocket perhaps? And then she knew.
“Stu, this palace is no longer safe, for anyone. We need to leave,” she said, standing.
“M’lady? I mean no disrespect, but are you serious? In all your days, you’ve never set foot outside the castle walls. I don’t think you’re quite ready for what you’ll find out there.”
“None the less, Lieutenant, I plan to be well away from them by nightfall. Either you can follow my father’s last command to you and help me in this endeavour, or you can get out of my way, because I’m leaving.”
He was open mouthed. After a deep breath, he stood and took her in. “Very well. I shall continue my charge with you, Princess. I’ll go to the larder and prepare us for travel. I’m afraid it will have to be on foot since the other tribesmen will be watching for horses. While I’m gone, I suggest you take the time to find something a little less obvious to wear.”
She looked down at herself and realized that he was right. Her dress, while very suitable for a Royal, would stand out like a bright beacon anywhere outside the castle.
“My handmaiden keeps some clothes here that are about my size,” she suggested. “Would that work?”
“Perfect. Get at least two sets if you can, one to wear, and one to carry.” He went to the door. “I’ll be back in ten minutes… possibly five. Don’t open the door for anyone until I arrive, understand?”
She nodded that she did. For the second time in as many hours, Lieutenant Stellander bowed to her and left.
Twenty minutes later, the two of them were slowly making their way toward the lower levels of the castle, carefully avoiding any passageways where they heard the sounds of battle. Twice they had to backtrack and choose another route, but they finally arrived in the servants quarters just across from the kitchen. Stu had wrapped a large cloak around his shoulders to hide his sword and armor, and then packed his helmet into the backpack slung over his right shoulder. Rinowa had a smaller pack, and was dressed in one of her handmaiden’s outfits. She was actually delighted by the open simplicity of the garment, which lacked even a corset. She also approved of the way the Lieutenant had stared at her for several long seconds upon first seeing her in the somewhat brazen outfit.
“There’s a servants entrance to the castle through here,” he said as they moved through the normally busy kitchen. “There’s a good chance they won’t be watching it closely since most of the warriors will be defending the front gate.”
“Wouldn’t it be easier for them to sneak in through the back?” She asked, genuinely curious.
“Not at this point,” he replied a bit sadly. He continued when he saw her confusion. “The attackers aren’t worried about kitchen staff and servants, Princess… The only ones who can give them any trouble now are the guard, and the guard is all at the gate.”
“Oh.” She said, realizing that given the chance, that’s also where her own personal Knight would be. “Sorry, Lieutenant…”
“Don’t fret about it, Princess. I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Hmmm… I think we had better drop the titles once we’re outside. No disrespect intended, Miss, but people are going to be suspicious if I keep addressing you as ‘m’lady’. You’re supposed to be a handmaiden.”
She nodded, thinking.
“Ah, here we are,” he said as they reached the servants entrance. Sliding back the bar, he quietly opened the door an inch or so so that he could peer out. “It looks clear.” He opened the door enough to let them quickly out.
“So, Rinowa, how does it feel to be free of your prison?” He asked with a smile as they started down the empty road away from the castle. At his question, she nearly stumbled as she turned to look at him, and the words of the Djinn came rushing back to her…
“We are all prisoners in one way or another, Princess. The only real question is, given the choice, what we would pick as our walls.”
“I’m going to use a new name,” she answered finally. “Rinowa is too dangerous. From now on, you can call me… Akana.”
“Akana,” he repeated. “That’s pretty. It’s the old tongue, yes?” They crossed the bridge that led into the village around the castle. Nearby, a group of a half dozen soldiers wearing colors belonging to a rival tribe marched toward the front of the great white castle and the main gate. Stu gave them a wide berth.
“Forgive my limited education, Pri… Akana, but I’m not familiar with that word. What does it mean?”
The girl stopped and turned around for one last look at what had been her home… her prison.
“Vessel… It means, vessel.”