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Authors: Anya Howard

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BOOK: Submissive
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Alexandra turned Gillian's face with her long fingers and kissed her. Her hungry lips were tart honey, but Gillian's body responded curiously, and she sucked the tongue that pressed into her mouth. Lara bent and gathered Gillian's breasts and fed on them until both nipples were erect. Gillian's sex swelled again, and reaching with timid hands, she touched the pelted triangle of a slit that pressed into her thigh. She did not care which girl it belonged to, and combed the soft hair and unfolded the drenching-wet nether lips.

Alexandra moaned softly and shuddered. “Come with us,” she whispered.

Each girl took one of Gillian's hands and led her between two of the trees bordering the path. Through the warm shadows they led her, to a clearing nestled deep in the woods.

“The guards have more important things to attend to for a while,” Alexandra remarked and pulled Gillian down to the carpet of grass and forget-me-nots so that they faced one another on their knees. Lara bent over them and tilted Gillian's face upward, covering her mouth with her own, while Alexandra cupped Gillian's breasts and sucked them hungrily.

A hallucination, Gillian told herself. Not that she cared, ripe with desire for these vision-women. She faced Lara and spread the ruby folds of her pussy, delving two fingers in. The girl grinned and, moaning softly, began to ride up and down over her fingers. Alexandra sank to the ground behind Gillian and, parting Gillian's thighs, buried her face in her crotch. Her tongue roved over Gillian's clit so that it swelled and her pussy muscles throbbed. As she worked Gillian into a lathering heat, Gillian licked Lara's wide areolas with her tongue, relishing the honeydew taste as she continued to pump her hungry vagina and tease her clit with encouraging kisses. Lara rode Gillian's fingers methodically, as if every stroke was the last, while Gillian's hips undulated wildly under Alexandra's ministrations. At last, Lara's nether muscles clenched hard and she squealed in orgasm.

Lara pulled herself from Gillian's slick hand and shivered, once, twice. Then seeing Alexandra feeding on her delta, Lara pulled Gillian onto her back over the soft grass. Alexandra smiled to them once and spread Gillian's legs farther apart, devouring her pussy as if it were a long-awaited meal. Lara skipped over behind Alexandra and fell to her knees. Parting the redhead's vertical lips, she began to taste at the flesh within.

Alexandra licked Gillian's sex with lascivious talent, lifting the pounding clit with the tip of her tongue, fucking her anus with her forefinger. Gillian grasped her bouncing breasts as her hips rocked over the ground, licking at her own nipples and moaning with every mounting sensation Alexandra's mouth produced. At last, she climaxed and Alexandra's tongue plunged into her vagina and whipped the orgasm far into her contracting orifice.

Then Gillian heard Alexandra gasp and felt her hands fall away. Sitting up, Gillian watched as the girl's forearms sank to the ground and her hips waved shamelessly under Lara's devouring mouth. Gillian smiled softly and kneeled with her face to Alexandra's. She kissed her deeply, stifling the girl's breathless moans. She clamped Alexandra's breasts and tweaked the be-ringed nipples, teasing them this way and that as her tongue explored the inside of Alexandra's mouth.

At length, she felt Alexandra's spine quake. Gillian sat up on her heels and saw the girl's cheeks tint with crimson.

The next moment she heard a loud rustling of the flora behind Lara. Her eyes lifted and she saw a flash of yellow come through the brambles. It was a woman, with brown hair caught back from her brow by a golden mesh circlet. She held a wooden paddle in her high-raised hand. Before Gillian could speak, the paddle swooped down on Lara's backside. At the strike, Lara shrieked. She spun around and, with a loud sob, crumpled to her knees before the saffron loin skirt hanging between the woman's legs. Alexandra rolled to one side and, seeing the woman, covered her face with her hands. The woman's eyes flashed at Gillian, but only for a second, before grasping Lara by one hand. She yanked Lara to her feet and spanked her with the paddle.

With Lara punished and wailing, the woman next pulled Alexandra up, and wielded the paddle across her buttocks with the same unforgiving fury. When the chastisement was over, both girls were weeping and rubbing their reddened backsides with their palms. A man came up through the brambles then, dressed in a white loose-sleeved shirt tucked into the waistline of his beige pants and leather boots that rose to his knees. In one hand he held a spear. Although he looked fierce as he regarded the chastened girls, he did not lift the weapon.

“How dare you sneak off from your duties,” the woman scolded. Her angry brown eyes moved from Lara and Alexandra and then to Gillian, and back again to the other two girls. “To take advantage of a potential crisis just to evade your household duties! A single chore in two days and you had to find a way out of it!” She caught hold of Alexandra's ear and waved the paddle in front of her eyes.

Gillian glanced nervously at the man, but she could not restrain herself any longer, “Leave her alone!”

The woman's face snapped toward her and the implacable set of her features made Gillian almost feel the threatening paddle weighing over her own backside.

“You must be Gillian, our latest recruit.”

Gillian's inner voice told her to run away through the trees, to hide until she could find the being who had brought her here.

“I…I,” she stuttered, but the denial that came to mind was impossible to utter. “Yes…”

“You shall be silent, young lady, while I address these brazen Disciples.”

Between the woman's uncompromising tone and the man's watchful eyes, Gillian knew flight was futile, probably even unwise.

The woman regarded Alexandra and Lara darkly and made an indignant sound. “So you two enticed her to join your little act of rebellion, knowing full well she has no experience with the rules!”

Alexandra's red-stained face looked horrified. “We meant no wrong to her, Madam! We had no design to bring her trouble, honestly!”

Madam was quiet a moment before answering, “I believe you, Alexandra. But you have given her an improper message upon this, her first day. For that shall the two of you embrace the Rapture Pillars—after I have given you over to some of your roommates that they may ensure you resume your forsaken chores. By whatever motivation they might fancy,” she added.

Lara sighed woefully at this announcement and Madam grabbed her by the arm again and spanked her even harder than the first time. The girl sobbed loudly, hanging her head. Madam said to the man, “Take them back now, Sir Thomas, to resume their duties, and make sure and send for two or three of their roommates.”

The man answered by nodding and, with a forbidding look at the girls, said, “Head to the house!”

Pouting, the girls scurried before the man toward the path where they had met Gillian. Moments later, a loud smack rang through the air, followed by a second, and she could hear their soft whimpers trail up the distance in the direction of the building she had glimpsed before. She watched as Madam smoothed the wide surface of the paddle with her fingertips. Gillian looked at the golden breastplate the other woman wore: a delicately cast, decorative thing, it lent an exotic, almost Egyptian cast to her looks. Pressing her lips to the paddle, the woman tucked it into the waist of her skirt and turned her eyes to Gillian.

“I am Madam,” she said, “keeper and proprietress of this place. By the look in your face, I can tell you believe me quite the monster, Gillian.”

Gillian was uncertain what to make of this woman who had so rudely interrupted the exquisite moments enjoyed with Lara and Alexandra.

“Why did you do that—spank them, that is?” Gillian felt herself blush, and wanting to avoid thinking why it was she did, continued, “Who are you to order about Disciples? That is why we are here, I know—to experience pleasure. I also know that I was not brought here by you, nor did I expect to find myself in some…some rose-tapestried jail!” Gillian bit her bottom lip, angry with herself now for ever agreeing to the offer of that seductive being, or giving in to Nevja in the first place. She inhaled deeply and stood with her feet planted firmly on the ground.

“I vowed to be a Disciple of Pleasure, not a prisoner!”

Madam took a step toward her so that her breath tumbled like perfume over Gillian's collarbone. “You dare question the choices of those girls, or any of our submissives? When you know as well as any of the hypocrisy of your world's inhibitions? There is no shame in choosing submissiveness if it is a practice one is drawn to. To imply such a choice is a weakness is to mouth words that you do not believe.”

Gillian's skin tingled. “And how do you know all this?”

Madam smiled tenderly. “I know, as does he who brought you here. We learned much about you from his in-depth observation, as well as Nevja's reports. For example, that you are a true adventurer, Gillian. More so than you ever knew.

“You were recruited to help us redeem those imprisoned here. Too many humans are just ordinary citizens in their respective societies, with extraordinary capacities for destructive attitudes toward sex. The cowardly abusers, the insecure gender-haters, the self-important chaste, the pampered knaves, they are all here, and here they shall remain to be taught to accept and embrace pleasure, to set aside their respective intolerances and injustices to others.”

The inside of Gillian's head felt raw. Every tangible thing in this place was so much more vivid, defined, real, as if all she had ever set eyes on in the world she had left behind had been nothing more than faded, tattered illustrations. She tried to dismiss it, to think in rational terms.

“If this is so,” she asked, “why am I here?”

Madam looked at her for a long moment. “There are a few things you ought to fear, Gillian—disobedience to me or my guards, primarily. Secondly, however, there are certain creatures that venture here occasionally, the Dhjinn-E'noch, and these you must take care to avoid, as they are beings of obsessive passion, known to abscond with our prisoners and Disciples if their passions are drawn to that certain individual. Of course, our skies are patrolled by our own guardians, so these creatures do not often seize the opportunity to trespass. The third thing you must remember—do not cross the fence. To do so would cast you into uncertain and often fluctuating ethers. These spaces are inhabited by things you do not wish to encounter.”

The ghost of a chill passed over Gillian and she crossed her arms so Madam would not suspect. “And what is this place,” she demanded, “and who was that being—that man, whatever—who brought me here?”

Madam looked at the ground thoughtfully. “We call our land, in your language, Nemi. As you may have noticed, we all speak the same tongue. That is because all here share one speech, the speech of ultimate reality, of which Nemi is an outstation.”

Gillian blinked. She had not noticed a change to her speech or that her thoughts sounded any different to her mind's ear. Her common sense struggled to believe what she was hearing and, more than this, that this lovely landscape was anything more than a dream.

“Ultimate reality?”

“True reality, as opposed to the counterreality that most of mankind perceives. And the one who brought you here is called Xaqriel. He is of the race called the Ur'theriems or, if it is easier for you to understand, beings composed of all elements—earth, water, fire, air, and spirit. Archangels, some of your people call them.”

“I see,” Gillian said and moved the toes of her left foot across the grass as she evaluated this explanation.

As if in confirmation of her unspoken distrust, Madam said gently, “I know, as you wish more than anything to believe, Gillian, that one cannot embrace pleasure by feeling guilt in the act, or by casting judgment on how others find pleasure.”

Gillian shuddered with a terror at once tantalizing and overpowering. Madam was smiling coolly now. She drew the paddle from her sash and raised it in the air, moving to stand behind Gillian.

Gillian turned on her and said with harsh panic, “Put that down!”

Madam seized her arm, and turning Gillian about again suddenly, brought the paddle down across her bare buttocks with a loud smack. Gillian jumped, and yowling, immediately wrenched free of the woman's hold and began to back away into the thickets.

“Stay away!”

“You will make this difficult,” Madam commented patiently. “I can make it more difficult, Gillian! My guards patrol these woods.”

Gillian spun around, looking here and there, stopping suddenly when she spied a man pacing through the branches not more than twenty yards away. She felt Madam's hand on her arm and gasped back the frustrated tears that came to her eyes.

“Now, why don't you stop this display, Gillian, and come home?”

“Home,” Gillian repeated. The echo of the word seemed to resonate through a dark and dreadful cavity she had too long pretended did not exist within her.

Madam's company was its sweet contrast. She slid the paddle back under her sash, laced an arm about Gillian's shoulders, and led Gillian back to the path between the avenues of great oak trees. Gillian brushed back the stinging tears, taking comfort in the warmth of Madam's close flesh. The path closed upon the lawn of a great house that was shaded by more oaks encircling it. The design was a mélange, with tin-shingled gables and verandas on the upper floors and a wide front porch with nine white, graceful columns. On the front door there was a round plate of glass, stained with what appeared to be the image of a lilac blossom. As they ascended the porch steps, Gillian studied the two freestanding pillars flanking this door. About seven feet high each, they had been fashioned each of a single trunk of cedar, carved and polished, so that they looked like two huge spindles.

BOOK: Submissive
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