Gibraltar, the Iberian Peninsula
A ghastly scream cut the night air followed be a roaring howl as tent after tent was engulfed by flames. In my bed, sat up bolt straight, my hysterical servants rushed about me, I covered my ears against the frenzied neighing of horses and shouting men, their differing, harsh Germanic tongues did more harm than good.
“Quickly! The Moors are here! We’re dead!” a disheveled servant girl swung open heavily curtained entrance, running from the smoke, flames, and chaos. “They’re going to kill us all!”
“My God, Seth.” Pushing the girl to the ground, I leapt to my feet and ran to the door, and peered into the bowels of hell. The encampment was ablaze, swirling funnel clouds of smoke made barren the starry sky, the screams of the wounded mingled with the dying. “Seth!” I screamed running, across the soggy ground until my mud soaked gown bid me to stop. “Seth!!” I turned in place; hell seemed to be closing in around me. I looked in the direction of my tent...what little was left was being swallowed by flames. I fell to my knees, choked by smoke and despair.
Then out of the mayhem came five figures mounted atop creatures more resembling Mares of Diomedes than anything from the natural realm.
“She’s here,” I heard one man shout as the others encircled me. I cowered when the man’s dead body fell before me. An arrow protruded from his neck; his eyes begged me for help. I knew him but what could I do? The other men, all bearing Seth’s badge, fell one after another under a hail of arrows. Their falling bodies slashed my face with mud, shielding me from the faces winced from pain, and their horses threatened to trample me. Seth had sent his men to find me and ultimately he'd sent them to their deaths. I knew them, all of them and their wives and children. Dead, they were all dead. Soon I would join them. Seth, my protector and lover was gone.
A large black man reached down from his horse, and grabbed my gown, bringing me to my feet. I struggled and he yanked a mass of my hair, and pulled me atop his horse like a sack of flour. In a blink of an eye, he covered me with his cloak and rode off. A Moor, I’d been taken by a Moor. Half breed that I was, surely he would rape or kill me—or worse still, sell me into slavery. They despised us half breeds; to them we were collaborators with the pale skinned infidels. And I, a worthless bastard given away as part of her half-sister’s marriage portion, the Métis whore of their most loathed general, would fetch a hefty price.
We galloped through the camp; the sloshing sound of mud gave way to cobblestone. From under my guise I couldn't see however there was no mistaking that sound: we’d penetrated the battlement. The city gate, closed behind us and the horse trotted calmly, too calmly along. The Moor dismounted and pulled me down and, leaving my face covered, he rushed me through what I assumed to be a palace or mosque given the rich herbal scents. Inside a small dimly lit room he uncovered me. His soot hued skin was smooth, and his eyes were intense yet meek. He hastily examined me from head to toe, almost knocking me from my feet in the process. He pushed the matted tangles of hair away from my face. “Wait here,” he said, his English better than mine. “Don’t move.” He the left and closed the door behind him.
The spoils of conquest richly decorated the room. Vibrant silks and tiles of precious stone lined the walls. I slumped in the farther corner and awaited my fate—wishing I were dead.
Ten years earlier
I stood on a platform, looking out into the darkened room; my long wavy hair blanketed my shivering nude body. My slight build and full hips made me a prize—but my exotic complexion made me the figment of desire. My half-sister, Mollena, knew this all to well and she despised me for it. Though her marriage portion decreed I serve her for life, she gave me away to her husbands’ youngest brother, a man I’d never met.
“Turn around slowly,” A feminine voice came from the darkness. I turned, shivering. I heard a male voice whispering to the woman but I couldn't make out his words. They talked amongst themselves. I waited. “What is your name?” she asked.
“How old are you, Amelia?”
“Nineteen.” My knees were weakened from cold. They chatted quietly.
“Are you a virgin?”
“Yes,” I was sure they hadn’t heard my reply, I hadn’t. Again, I waited, unable to see them off in the dark. Then I heard his voice for the first time.
“She’ll do,” I heard him say.
I was sickened.
Later that night, I was taken to a set of finely laid apartments I assumed were kept for this man’s whores—and since I was now a bona fide whore, I was probably in the right place. No doubt my gilded cage was armed by guards. Men of property never traveled alone—someone had to tend the corpses in their wake. Four ladies were sent to wait on me; they washed me from head to toe with rose water, braided my thick hair, and fitted me with a light dressing gown and went to prepare the bed. I sat by the fire trying to come to grips with what was about to happen. Discarded by my father, abandoned by my mother, and given away by my half-sister. I was on my own and I’d have to make the best of it.
My thoughts went back to Mollena’s wedding night. I lay in the bedroom beside hers and I cringed each time the bed crashed into our communal wall. Mollena was my tormentor and most loathed kin, but her blood curdling screams that night touched my heart and I wished to help her. Harold, her new husband, grunted heavily and she cried and sobbed for help. Their bed hammered and banged against the wall, then more grunts and shouting, louder more aggressive! Mollena begged and pleaded for mercy, deliverance, help! I ran and crouched in the farther, darkest corner of my tiny room and covered my ears but there was no escaping their sexual bedlam. Finally there was just the sound of Harold’s mumbles. Had she given up, reassigned herself to her fate? Or had he killed her?
The next morning, as I tended Mollena, I noticed teeth marks littering her upper body; even her perfect alabaster cheeks bore evidence of his savagery. From her weakened, reposed state, she sent the other attendances away, leaving me to repair and sooth the tattered remains of her genitals with eucalyptus sap and duck rendering. She lay disturbingly still, and turned her face to the wall when I went to mend her battered and torn asshole. I can still hear her screams and remember how weeks afterward she made my life a living hell. She hated me for not suffering as she had. Finally, sickened by my presence, she gave me away.
She gave me away. Her own sister. I wasn’t even worth selling. At nineteen years old, with my future ahead of me, I found myself waiting for an unknown man to do with me as he pleased.
The door opened and judging by the way my ladies shrank, the tall square shouldered gentlemen who entered was my new master. I leapt to my feet and bowed.
“Leave.” His voice was so deep I dared not look up. I heard the door close and felt him come towards me, stopping so closely the heat from his night shirt warmed my cheeks. Imposingly, in full possession of himself, he towered over me and took stock of his new bauble. I jumped slightly when he took my shoulders and lifted me to my feet and tilted my chin, forcing my eyes upward. He looked nothing like his dark haired, olive complexioned brother. He was beautiful—fair skinned, honey colored hair, and icy blue eyes—he was solid as a rock; masculine and terribly, terribly frightening. Were it not for the loss of feeling in my legs, I would’ve run for the door and taken my chances of being bludgeoned to death by the guards.
We studied one another for a few minutes, then he asked, “You’re a virgin?”
“Yes.” I nodded, confirming what I'd declared earlier.
His eyes flicked over my face. “Good. Sit.” He gestured to the chairs seated before the fire and walked to a small table set with a pitcher and glasses. “Would you like a glass of wine?”
“No,” My voice thin with nerves. “I don’t like wine this time of year, it’s too bitter.” Like he cared; he was going to get me drunk, fuck me, then kill me!
“This is a late harvest wine—very sweet.” He poured two glasses. “I had it sent from my…” He paused and turned. “Never mind. It’ll ease your nerves.” He returned and handed me a glass.
We sat quietly watching the flames lapping one another and sipping our drinks in dead silence. I finished my drink in three sips and was well on my way to tipsy. He refreshed our glasses. “Thank you,” I said, gesturing to my glass. “I like it, it’s nice.”
He nodded and we lapsed into silence, again, then he spoke. “You know why you’re here?”
I didn’t reply. I wasn’t brave, I was naïve: a sapling absorbing the chance rays of confusion around me, struggling to make sense of my quandary. And this man, for his own amusement, felt inclined to scrutinize me as if I were an alien oddity to be mocked rather than aided. I was an object of curiosity to him as he was to me.
“I’m not always the kindest man; there are times when I’m hardened, but if you serve me properly I will be fair.” He’s eyes met mine. “I will protect you as best I can. You’re not safe, Amelia.”
“I’m no one.”
“No,” He rubbed his forehead, frustrated. “You’re a half landed, female bastard without connection or money. You’re blood is your greatest procession and deadliest curse.”
“My father nor I am ennobled. And like you said, I’m a bastard.”
He laughed. “Being ennobled doesn’t matter when your father has land and capital. The plague saw to that. And yes, you’re a bastard, but you’re a recognized bastard. Believe it or not, your father’s ill treatment probably saved your life.” He went again for the pitcher of wine and this time returned with it. “The government is unstable—times are changing, sides are being chosen, no one is safe especially the landed.” He sucked his teeth. “My brothers will be dead within the year; war with Scotland will take them. Your sister, Mollena, will follow.”
“What about you?” I stretched out my glass and he poured.
“Me? I’m the youngest son. I have no funds beyond what my father bestows and my small estate provides. I have nothing like my brothers. I’m a marksman, Amelia.” His fingers traced the rim of his glass. “I’m going to the Peninsula to fight with Ferdinand.”
“And what will happen to me?” What little ground beneath me crumbled.
He leaned back and took me in. “You’re literate, I suppose. From what I know of your father, I doubt you would have escaped your tutors.” He hadn’t answered my question.
“Yes, I read.” I answer vaguely. I looked at him for the first time, really looked at him. Maybe it was the wine or maybe I was fully reassigned to death, but he wasn’t as intimidating as I’d feared. “Perhaps I can read to you…if you…” I’d gotten above myself.
He flashed a small smile my way and stood. “Not tonight. Tomorrow.” He lifted night shirt over his head and walked to the bed.
My eyes followed him, just making out his muscles moving under his skin. I’d never seen a naked man but his body was a work of art. I couldn’t pull my eyes away.
“Come,” He beckoned.
Quickly I finished my drink and reverently went to him and to ‘it’. There was no way ‘it’ was going to fit, and absolute horror filled me when he raised my gown and touched my bare skin.
“Do you know what’s expected of you, Amelia?”
“Seth, call me Seth. None of that ‘sir’ business. Understood?” His eyes hard on mine.
Naked, I produced a pitiful smile as he held the covers back. I crawled in bed and he and ‘it’ followed. Had I made ‘it’ angry? Why was ‘it’ rigid? I lie flat on my back; Seth lie on his side, leaning over me. His velvety skin rubbed against mine as he told me about his first time. He was as nervous as I when his father had taken him and his brothers to Constantinople before the great fall with the sole purpose of turning them into real men. Though I doubt it was his father’s intent, he’s crass approach to parenting perpetuated his son’s love of exotic women. As an exotic woman, Seth’s tale should have angered me but it didn’t—it was common. He and I were creatures of circumstance; we had our roles to play, and play we must. I felt his hand roaming up my thigh. To my surprise, I didn’t flinch—I sank lower beneath him. “Sir…Seth,” my voice cracked. “What you’re about to do to me, you’ve done with lots of other women?”
“Yes,” He nodded and kissed me tenderly. “I’ll be gentle.” His hand slowly parted my thighs and came to rest on my pussy. He groaned, finding me a little wet under his hand. I gasped when he eased one finger just inside my shallows. “I don’t want you to unwillingly give this to any man—not even me.” He kissed me, moving his finger a little deeper. “This, I am going to hurt. This, I will never hurt.” He kissed my chest, just over my heart. “You have my word.”
Strangely, I believed him. “I will serve you well.”
“We will serve one another.”
His gentle tongue spun limpid thoughts in my head. With his tender patience, it wasn’t difficult to imagine we were newlyweds, on the cusp of making manifest our vows. With my body, I will worship thee. How true those words would become. Seth moved low in the bed, covering my body with profusions of kisses, leaving no part of me discontent. Then, being between my legs, he pulled me towards him until I felt his breath and words on my pussy. “We will serve one another very well.”
And then, in that small ephemeral moment when his lips kissed mine, even the sweet celestial arias ceased and the angels stood still. I took hold of his hair, and he licked and sucked me to the point where my conscious departed my body and warped seamlessly to a parallel universe where the harlots of his pussy eating past met my maenad’s cries of glory hallelujah with a blistering standing ovation!
“Your cum taste so good, Amelia.” Seth’s eyes shone through the firelight, plying my clit with wet slurps. Cumming wasn’t an issue. Indeed, my pussy’s slavery to this man whose tongue held the power to manipulate time and space was henceforth voluntary.
On Zephyrus wings I was transported beyond my body and above the aether—I was there in Mollena’s room on her wedding night. Though I tried, I can’t reconcile our cries. Seth bid me to our bed and swaddled me in blankets of warm fluffy pleasure. The ungovernable fury unleashed on Mollena wasn’t my fate; on the contrary, Seth selflessly worshiped my pussy—my entire body, and my mind. His mouth made love to me; his obedient and dutiful tongue answered my clit’s primal and demanding calls for satisfaction. Again and again, his unabated fervor to taste my cum brought my insatiable urges to heel.
“Oh God!!” I cried, one hand gripped his hair, the other gripped the bed coverings. Ragged breaths claimed me, and tears seeped from my eyes. In that tiny pinhole of a moment, I surrendered myself to him.
Wading in the pool of new found union, Seth wiped all traces of my satisfaction from his face and aligned himself over me. I snaked my arms around his neck and we kissed. Then I felt ‘it’ tapping precariously against my slick narthex; poised and baying for entrance. Seth kissed my nerves away until finally I was obliged to ask for ‘it’. “I’m ready.”
“It’s going to hurt.” Seth said, a drop of sympathy in his tone.
I nodded and felt it push inside of me. My hand flew to my mouth, stifling a yelp as Seth filled my nave—he snatched my virginity from the arcades where she gleefully danced—tied her to the high altar and fucked her to oblivion. The mysterious geography of the female body lost on most men were second nature to Seth.
I buried my face in the nook of his neck; licking and sucking the spot from which his intoxicating masculinity seemed to permeate; eliciting an exuberant rash of nonsense from Seth. No longer riddled by intolerable pain, I kissed my darling virginity and piety a fond farewell and gave myself to him without reserve—only then was I reborn a Henotheist, heaving my desire to be filled and fulfilled to my omniscient deity… “Seth!” I cried, to the heavens; our lives were now entwined, forever altered by virtue of the other’s existence. “Seth!”
“I’m right here,” He replied, his voice betrayed his lust for me. “Am I hurting you?”
I rubbed my clit against his undulating girth and felt him jerk against me. It was then that I realized my own power: he was as much my servant as I was his; the immense amount of gratification derived from pleasing me equaled mine for him. My pussy, which had sheathed him submissively, began to asserting her authority over him and dragged me along for the ride. We panted and called for one another in unison until, with a great cry, Seth flooded my glided apse with warm wave of benevolent devotion.
I lay collecting myself under the weight of my pretend husband: content and horribly sleepy.
For the next week, I awoke to Seth. He stroked my back, and ran his fingers up and down my spine. He traced the contours of my legs, my arms, stroked my hair and kissed my forehead. His body felt so warm against mine, and I realized how comfortable and familiar this had all become. In truth, we rarely left our apartments. We took meals there, played cards, talked, and made love. I was to go with him to the Peninsula and, though I could never hope to be received by Isabella, I would be mingling with the other companions. Thus, I needed instruction on my new role and the inner workings of life on campaign.
Equipped with all the knowledge Seth and my maids could provide, we landed in Castile four months later. I lodged with another army spouse, Tabitha, while our men went off to train. Tabby, as she liked to be called, proved to be my foothold into rank and file hierarchy of my new life. She had a vibrant personality and set about introducing me to everyone of importance. Indeed, when Seth returned months later I was quite the lady of fashion. Campaign season was over and I had my man all to myself. Jon, Tabby’s husband saw that she was keep well out of our way.
And that was the beginning of our life. Seth and Jon quickly distinguished themselves and rose in rank and status. As such, the shoulders Tabby and I rubbed were then amongst the court. The years of lavish entertainment past, and our men indulged us—but it all came to an abrupt end when Tabby died in childbirth. Seth insisted I join him on campaign. So I came and joined the small court of women in camp. To my astonishment, it wasn’t the cesspit of blood and guts I assumed it would be. The other ladies and I formed a tightly knit family where our rank was that of our men. Seth’s rank, by now a decorated and feared general, put me at the top of the heap. We were utterly devoted to one another. Seth and I. Even the nights he can’t return, I feel his presence with me. And in the morning I awake to a messenger carrying a slip of paper with a simple ‘X’ our signal he was alive and thinking of me.
The Moors siege of Gibraltar brought us here. The Spanish and joint armies were determined to retake the city in days—those days turned into months, and then the city’s walls were breached and the Moors who weren’t slaughtered were given safe passage away from the city. But something had gone terribly wrong during their retreat. Our camp was attacked, and here I am: the whore to a notorious general, cold and alone, a Moorish prisoner, my friends and family all dead, and my Seth gone. Now, slumped in my corner, I wait. I wait…for what, I know not.
Shortly before dawn, my chamber door opens and I scramble to my corner as the Moor comes towards me. In his dark hands he unfolds a slip of paper bearing a simple ‘X’.