Authors: Kayleen Knight
She soon found herself alone with the wide array of devices the jailers used to ply compliance when the prostitutes weren't working to ply at men with different, wetter means. Her own silver tongue had convinced the guards to leave them under the auspice that she might find within her prim and feminine nature the courage to be as rough with this crook as she was supposed to be. She had feigned to be a more proper woman than she actually was, and in that pretending she had at last found herself alone with the strange man who had barged into her ceremony to dine at someone's table without permission.
If nothing else, that was the quality which made him unforgettable for someone like Crystal.
The wild man who did things without permission.
‘I fully understand, lady,’ a guard called out from the end of the dungeon, ‘that it is not in your nature to be cruel, so if you must do so in private, we will march to the end of the hall and then beyond. Call for us if you need anything, or if the sight and behavior of someone within these bars offends you!’
I will!’ Crystal called back, never taking her eyes off the rogue who stood in front of her with that same oafish, sheepish expression of bemusement with every sort of cruel and unusual punishment her kingdom supplied him.
He had said nothing to her.
He was waiting for the guards and jailers to pace out of sight.
So you are going to punish me, are you?’ He asked eventually.
‘What are you going to do to me?’
He asked the way a child asked. His voice did not shake with fear. He seemed curious, although his curious had a tinge of boredom to it which always seemed to threaten his inattentions. Crystal had been surrounded her entire life with people who coveted her attentions almost as much as her family coveted her strange and sexual power, so again and again this man played against her expectations. He was so wholly new that she did not always have the wit to follow whatever play he thought he was making behind those beautiful, joyful eyes.
Remembering the strange and ball-less suitor who had polished her the way of a prized statue, the first thing Crystal instructed him to do was accompany her to the wash area so that she might wash him clean of his sins.
That was the pretense, anyway.
The rogue silently applauded the metaphor as they were leaving, and she smiled her secret smile alongside his own but otherwise did not betray her true intentions. He walked with his hands firmly behind his back, slightly behind her own pace, treating her with the same formalities that he was to treat any jailer or guard. They did not raise suspicions in the other inmates, although one of them called out something vulgar about cock sucking.
The rogue only led her when he had to show her to the troughs of water which the jailers kept for washing occasions. Most of the buckets were filthy with the rinsing of dirty, sick, sweaty men, but several were pristine pools of bathwater Crystal supposed the jailers used for their own personal tubs.
‘Shall I show you to the sponges?’ he asked.
Crystal shook her head. She put a single gentle hand on his back, and with the slightest gesture of the softest push she conveyed her intentions to him alone. Then they were both stepping into the trough and removing their clothes. They sat down across from each other, their legs tangled, their ankles caught in each other's feet with a closeness that was all the more intimate for its ties.
As she washed him, she told him a little bit about herself in the story of her eldest sister. This was not a story known to most, and while a part of her only told it to test whether or not the guards and jailers could hear, another part of her was being vulnerable.
I want you to know who you are dealing with,’ she said softly, breathing against him. ‘I am still my family's blood no matter how hard I try not to be. I will always be of my lineage. You should know what that entails.’
I'm sure your sister was a beautiful woman,’ he replied.
Beauty was never her problem,’ Crystal said.
In truth Crystal had never actually met Ruby – not in person, at least. The life of her sister, like so many things, was told to her second hand through the carried words of her maid mothers and more trusted servants. They all loved to speak about the other woman of her lineage who went by the name of yet another gemstone, called thus by a family that wished to covet precious things and then sell their coveting for more money than it was worth – jewelers of a very strange sort of trade.
‘Ruby was popular amongst the staff because she was kind to them,’ Crystal explained. ‘She was the only daughter my mother raised herself. The others were like me, handed off to maids who acted as mothers in stead.’
Ruby had experienced her second puberty when she was just seventeen years of age.
‘That sounds very young,’ the rogue said seriously.
It is,’ Crystal replied. ‘It's very young, even for women as gifted as we are.’
The same ceremony that had greeted Crystal had been arranged for Ruby; such was the formal rite. The first man she had been sold to as a suitor had been a dubious sort of person whose kingdom was built on lies and whose reputation fell to the hands of the kingdom's rebels. Lords were not usually
gentle with crime, since it was criminals who would lead insurrections against them, but this fool had not been personally vetted by her father and revealed a paper tiger dynasty that had fallen faster than a house of cards.
The rebels who took down his kingdom very nearly took Ruby's life when they killed her suitor, and if it had not been for her family's quick thinking Ruby might have died much younger than she did.
It was strange to think that might have been a blessing.
I was four years old at the time,’ Crystal said, cleaning his broad body with delicate slides of her hand, exploring deeper and deeper to enjoy the heat of an arousal that kept her presently focused from the emotional whirlwind thoughts of her sister drew. ‘I did not even know I had an older sister. My mother's daughters are raised individually, apart. I do not know if I have any other siblings now, although I might. There is no way of telling.’
The family sent several emissaries to the distant land where Ruby had been sold with instructions to steal Ruby away. They had known what would become of the woman in the hands of the rebels, since her lineage and her prowess were not well kept secrets. The emissaries, who were actually talented soldiers that often laid raids on unsuspecting foreign territories, were so skilled in their talents that they managed to steal Ruby away from the rebels in such a way that the rebel leader believed one of his lieutenants had actually committed the theft, causing the mutinous group to begin an infighting that eventually led to their dismantling.
It was a political maneuver that was pulled off splendidly, and upon returning home, Ruby showed several strange affinities for the foreign ways of the land where she had lived for the better part of six years. She firstly began to dance with the strangest movements to the oddest sounds of plucked sitar strings. She performed belly dancing and harem dancing, for she had been one wife among many for the king of lies, and had learned to compete with other talented women in winning the man's affections.
Ruby told some of my maids that the king would make them fuck each other in front of him, so that he could choose which one he deemed most talented.’
As Crystal said this, her hand brushed against the hard shaft of the rogue's eagerness.
He smiled his healthy white teeth.
She smiled as well, but in a softer way that suited her wiles.
‘What does your sister have to do with our washing?’ he asked, reaching down into the waters to wrap his hand around hers, and both of their hands touched against his cock.
She squeezed him. She gently traced him. She felt herself leaning towards him.
‘Ruby visited the dungeons every night after she returned,’ Crystal said.
Her older sister had danced for the most heinous offenders available in the cells, teasing them with her body until they gave in and confessed for the simple touch of her hand at the end of the performance. Her breasts were larger than Crystal's, that much the woman had learned from the testimonies of the maids, and it was said that her lips could bring any man to cut his throat in thanks. Ruby's dancing had reportedly solved many crimes that the kingdom lawmen could not, until the woman earned herself such a reputation that when the next ceremony of suitors came around to present themselves and offer the family gifts, eager for a second wedding day when they might take possession of the precious 'ruby', the family refused to send their daughter away.
‘It was the first time in history such a thing happened,’ Crystal explained. ‘To tell the truth, I had wished it would happen to me before I saw you. But I am not as talented as my sister.’
What happened to her?’
Nothing good,’ Crystal admitted.
One of the reasons the family always married off their special daughters to other lands was because it took a lot of military might to keep the peasants at bay when they caught wind of a woman of such lineage. That was a cost of purchase this kingdom did not like to pay for. Ruby had remained in the kingdom for longer than was wise, dancing for the crooks and spreading such erotic rumors about her talents throughout the poor areas of the kingdom that a civil war began to brew for her. It was a truism that men always coveted jewels like Crystal and Ruby, and at that time men had been brought into warring for them.
‘Do you understand what this means?’ Crystal asked her true suitor.
The man shook his head.
So Crystal told him as plainly as she knew how.
The truth of the matter was that women of this lineage were often costlier than their worth, and despite the royal underpinnings of their marriage ceremonies, and the many gifts suitors heaped upon such women, Crystal knew that her family would be just as eager to rid themselves of her as they had been to rid themselves of their other daughters. Ruby had returned home from a dangerous arrangement a dancing woman who could break men of their humility and pride within hours, reducing the dungeon to a veritable religious confession of wide-eyed and drooling devotees who could not wait to leave themselves of words if only to avail themselves of her touch, and even she had eventually amounted to more trouble than she was worth.
‘We are lucky that I have only recently awakened,’ Crystal said. ‘Otherwise you might be dragged into the streets and hung for the simple offense of having me before anyone else.’
She supposed that word of her awakening had not spread as far and wide as it would following the exit of her suitors upon to their kingdoms, when they would talk loudly about how the youngest daughter of the lineage had found her second puberty, and it had been denied them. Wars could be started over less. This was why it was so important for Crystal to be married off to someone with the means and the might to keep these rebellions and protests at bay.
This was the most dangerous time for a woman of Crystal's lineage; when the powers that be and the powers that might be schemed to fight for her, or steal her from her rightful suitor. It was not something her family ever wished to make themselves a part of. Let the horny old dogs fight over their meat. It did not matter to them that the meat was a woman, because a woman, it seemed, was worth less than the meat.
From what I understand,’ Crystal began, ‘Ruby was killed on my fifteenth birthday.’
That was the public story, at least, intended to inflame the prides of the countrymen and ensure that such fervor did not happen again upon Crystal's awakening. Ruby was the woman's older sister, although they had grown up just as separated from each other as Crystal was from her mother and father. Their only bond was blood, but blood was thicker than water, and worth more devotion even for someone lost in an arid desert.
‘Who killed your sister?’ the rogue asked.
She killed herself.’
The truth behind the murder was only a woman who had poisoned herself against the inevitable future of her life. The moment a woman of Crystal's lineage experienced her second puberty she became like the Diana of ancient Troy, imbued with the potential to spurn revolutions and war, and it was all very grand and worthy of fantasies that did not consider the harsher realities of things. Crystal and her ilk were not prized for their strategies or their cleverness, their inventions or their power, but only for an experience of the senses that made them love makers one and only.
It was less that Crystal felt demeaned and more that her life's meaning had already been outlined several days after she was born.
Now, siting in a bath with a stranger whose name she did not even know, Crystal pulled up the sleeve on her right h
and to reveal the strange birthmark there in the shape of a constellation – a sign that a child of her family's lineage might one day bare the awakening that would truly give birth to their the worth that was the right of other, more powerful men to own. She had spent four years as a very young child trying to scrub it off, even though each time she was caught she was strictly reprimanded by her maid mothers and lectured about the importance of her place in the kingdom's success and successors.