Derik groaned as he padded down the hall. His back hurt as did his neck. The first part of the morning became a whirlwind of physical conditioning and impromptu lessons about anatomy. Madre knew a stunning amount about the human body, and she was a harsh mistress when it came to his exercises. He couldn't help but wish she had been involved when he had first started as a thief, she would have taught him a lot about moving.
“Just the right balance of keeping you in shape and not too swollen with muscles. In your case, Dora, we don't have to worry about that one, but you work out like the others.”
The giggles that followed brought another hot blush to his cheeks, but he ran and worked with the weights with the others. He almost found it pleasant, losing himself with the others.
Except for the guard. Derik spotted him talking to Madre for a long moment and he wanted to crawl into a dark pit. But, instead of calling for more guards, Madre just dismissed him, gave Derik a brief glance, and then returned to her instructions.
He let out his breath but curiosity and confusion made it impossible to relax. His worry grew more when he saw Nightingale's smirks directed at him. He just passed through the morning classes and fell right into being forced into pleasuring every girl who came to him. Teri sat next to him, riding his face before he could have a breather and talking about how she was going to fuck his ass if he didn't spend the night with Madre.
By the time he headed to Madre's room, he was exhausted. Three in the morning, and he was getting tired. Outside, the summer crickets bitched at each other as a wet, warm rain poured down off the gutters. Behind him, he passed the sleeping harem without even trying to talk to Teri or Sherrel.
At the door, he knocked softly.
“Come in, Dora.”
The name still didn't fit, but he opened the door. Madre sat behind the desk, doing some paperwork. Looking up at him, she gestured for him to enter the room. He did, shutting the door behind him. Without commands, he didn't know what to do, so he looked around. The bed was a mess and the towels were everywhere. Glancing back at her, he noticed Madre continued to work, so he padded over to her bed.
Without asking, he started to make the bed. He didn't know why, but he needed to do something besides stand in the middle of the room.
“Normally, I'd prefer if you just stand there, Dora.”
Derik stood up, holding her blankets.
“I'm sorry, I wasn't—”
“In this case, go ahead.”
He worked in silence, folding the blankets. He barely knew what to do, but his hands guided him as he straightened the bed, then stood up.
Madre looked at him and gestured in front of her desk. “Right there, please.”
Derik obeyed, standing there fretfully.
Madre continued to work in silent for a long moment, then casually asked. “Did Nightingale help you out when I left?”
She didn't look up from her writing.
Derik swallowed before lying. “Yes, she did.”
She wrote for a few seconds. “That's one.”
Sweat formed at his brow. “W-What?”
“You're lying to me, Dora. That's two.”
Her eyes never rose from the papers, her hand never stopped writing with the pen, but somehow the force of her presence beat against him, her eyes invisibly staring at him, piercing his soul as he stood there. Squirming, he looked around.
“The longer you go, the more it will hurt. And that's three.”
Derik let out a soft whimper. Clenching his hands tightly into fists, he looked away before answering. “No.”
Finally, her eyes lifted up from the desk. “No, you won't answer me? Or no, she didn't help?”
He tightened his jaw, remember the threat Nightingale gave him.
Madre sighed. “That's four.”
Derik's eyes snapped toward her in surprise.
Madre just lifted one eyebrow. She spoke in a hard voice, “Not answering me is the same as lying. And we'll make that six.”
Derik forced himself to open his mouth, to crack a whisper. “She didn't help me.”
Madre chuckled dryly. She set down her pen. “That part was obvious, I saw Teri redressing you in the hall. Very sweet, actually, though the blow job was a bit much since you were already late.”
He flushed hotly, but didn't look away.
Madre smiled softly as she stood up. For a moment, she leaned against the desk before stepping away. “Pleasure slaves, unlike the rest of us, don't always have common sense in their heads. Everything they do involves shoving something into one of their holes.”
As she spoke, she came around the desk. He watched her as she came around, inspecting him. She stopped behind him and tugged on his braid. “Where did you get this?”
For a moment, he was confused, then he remembered the blue rope he found the room. “I… I saw it in your room, and it was the right color, Madre, I hope you don't mind. I can take it off.”
She toyed with it for a moment, “No, keep it. It matches your eyes.”
He exhaled with relief.
“Now, as I was saying, your newfound mistress Teri is a pleasure slave. She was born as a consort, raised as one, and has all the common sense of a palace cat.”
Derik turned to her.
Madre smirked then gestured to herself. “Whereas half the harem is like me, a trophy of the baron.”
Madre guided him to the bed and sat him down. She raised one foot and pressed it in the space between his legs before she started to remove her boot. Derik reached out to help as she worked the laces. He saw more scars on her body as her dress parted, revealing a distinct lack of underwear. She was shaved, just like the others, but there were even scars along her inner thighs and over the puffy mound of her sex.
“I was on the wrong side of an attack against the baron. I was the only female in the battle mage squad, and we actually took out about half of his army, but he showed himself to be a brilliant tactician and left most of my squad dead. I got this.” She parted her dress to show the three lines on her side. “Bleeding to death, our leader begged for surrender.”
Derik slid off her boot, and she swapped feet.
He started to work the laces. “What happened, Madre?”
“The baron sent his healers to help his enemy, to heal me, then demanded me as terms of surrender. The general I followed, an ex-lover actually, gave me up, and I found myself the new girl of the enemy's harem.”
Derik tugged at the laces, parting the leather as he worked her foot out. He didn't know what to so, so he spoke demurely. “Must have been hard.”
“I was trapped, helpless. A prisoner for so long.”
The sadness in her voice made Derik look up, unsure of what to say. Madre's eyes were soft, unfocused. After a moment, she cleared her throat and looked down. “The baron won me over, Dora. He fucked me like a slut and treated me like a queen. Unlike the general, I knew that every word out of his mouth was the truth, and he proved it time and time again. After fifteen years of this, I became Madre.”
Unsure what to say, Derik finished pulling off her boot.
She nodded in approval, then stood up. Looking purposefully down at the ties that held her dress, she waited.
Derik got the hint and started to remove her dress, letting his fingers brush against her textured skin as he did.
“Now, you are different, girl. You aren't a pleasure slave like Teri or Nightingale. You aren't a conquest like me and Sherrel.”
Derik froze, “Sherrel?”
Madre explained briefly, “She was a princess, but the baron has a high price for his help. Her father is one of the Shattered Kings.”
The Shattered Kingdoms, the multitude of kingdoms that appeared between Franome and Emberka after the war only a few years back. They were rough and violent, trapped between the two large nations. Derik shivered at the thought and tried to imagine Sherrel as a princess.
“But, that's enough explanations for tonight. I believe you owe me six.”
Fear clutched his heart, but he stood up as she sat down. At a silent look, he stripped down, piling up his new silk clothes at his feet before taking his place over her lap. His heart pounded in his chest as he tried to anticipate the swats.
“Now, remember. It doesn't matter what you do, the punishment will always be worse if you lie to me.”
And with that came her hand, slapping hard against his upturned ass. He let out a loud whimper as the crack echoed in the room left a stinging impact. She drew back and smacked him again, no doubt leaving a red mark against his ass as she spanked him hard.
A third came down on the first cheek, right over the first hand-print. He let out a yelp from the sharp pain blossoming in his ass. His body lurched forward and he ground his cock—hard and dripping—against her thigh even as shame filled him.
Madre didn't give him a chance. She laid a powerful blow against his ass, cracking it loudly against his skin. The pain burst along his skin. It echoed loudly in the room, then redoubled as she smacked him hard again.
He clutched her as his legs shook with the agony. He struggled with the heady mixture of his burning ass and a remarkable pleasure that burned in his loins.
The sixth blow came, smacking hard against his ass and leaving a fiery trail as he let out a scream of pain. It was intense, so intense he almost came on her leg.
When the seventh didn't come, he stood up. Winching from the heat that radiated, he found himself shaking as Madre stood up. She cupped his chin and he was helpless as she drew him to her, pressing his naked body against her own.
She spoke in a whisper he barely could hear. “If you are honest, there is no pain.”
It would have been a matter of just leaning forward to kiss her. A heat rose up as he looked into her eyes, feeling the forceful personality pinning him in place, holding him with her presence. He wanted to kiss her, but he couldn't move.
Madre released him with a soft sigh. “Just stand by my desk.”
Somehow feeling rejected, Derik returned to the desk as Madre opened her door. He saw a brief aura of power surround her and sweat dripping off her body.
The force of her voice trembled the papers of her desk and kicked up tiny whirlwinds of power. It pushed against him as her voice echoed deeply off the walls, rumbling through the harem. He shivered from the power of it, then looked away as Madre returned to her bed.
Moments later, Nightingale came to the door. She spotted Derik first, and he saw anger burning in her eyes. She was naked with a star-burst tattoo around her navel that he barely noticed before. She glared at him as she entered the room, plastering a false smile on her lips as she faced Madre.
Madre seemed angry as she regarded Nightingale. “Did you help Dora when I asked you to?”
Derik stared at Madre with surprised, then fear from the direct question.
Nightingale glanced at him, fear suddenly in her face, then back at Madre. “He didn't need help.”
Chuckling, Madre cocked her head. “Truthful, but not really truthful. Dora was reluctant to give me a clear answer, so I'll ask you. Did you help Dora with the release she needed?”
Nightingale's jaw tightened. “He didn't need it.”
“She didn't need it?”
The girl shook her head.
“So, you decided that she didn't need help with an obvious sexual need, and she didn't need help dressing?”
“Yes, Madre,” came the terse reply.
“Then why did I see Teri redressing him in the hall?”
Nightingale looked surprised, then glanced at Derik.
Derik couldn't match the questioning look and turned away, blushing hotly.
“Plus, I was quite surprised to see Teri giving Dora oral pleasures when I would have expected Dora to be sated by then.”
“I was wrong.”
“And why did it take Dora a half-hour to come out?”
Madre's voice turned icy, “Be very careful how you answer.”
Nightingale's jaw clenched for a moment. “I left him, Madre.”
“You just left her?”
“I… I screamed at him… her, then left.”
Madre gestured to Derik and then to the door. “I got that impression since I heard you from outside. I heard it rather clearly from the other room.”
It was Nightingale's turn to look away.
Madre shook her head. “You know I have supernatural hearing when I want, Gale. You also know I could have heard you screaming at him before you even left the room.”
“It isn't fair,” came the muted response.
“Him!” She pointed a finger angrily at him, “He's a fucking pervert! He's either a murderer, a thief,” Derik's heart jumped at that, “or he's a wolf! And you are just letting him pretend to be one of the girls! Just like he's one of us!”
Madre stood up sharply, her body glowing around the edges. “She is one of us!”
“He's a fucking guy!”
“As long as I say he's… she is one of us, then she's one of us!” came the bellowing response. Madre's hair rose from her head, wafting on the waves of power rising from the battle mage. Madre took a deep breath and some of the redness faded from her face. When she spoke, it was still forcible. “I am Madre. And you better be damn sure when you disobey me on this. Because if you go to the baron with this, then you stand alone, Nightingale. And if you are wrong, this will be the last time you enjoy this harem.”
“He's a fucking guy! The baron doesn't want a damn guy in his harem!”
“Willing to bet your life on it? Are you willing to risk everything on that anger?”
Nightingale's jaw tightened again. She looked angrily at Derik, then to the door. Then, slowly she turned to Madre.
Madre stared at her for a long moment, a battle of wills before she spoke in a hard, commanding voice. “Your choice, Nightingale. Either you obey me, or you go to the baron. Your life, your choice.”
Her hands in fists, Nightingale answered, “You are Madre.”
Madre let out a long shuddering breath. Her body seemed to relax slightly. “And what happens when you disobey Madre?”
Nightingale sullenly looked away. “She punishes you.”
Madre patted her lap.
Nightingale crossed the room as if Derik weren't there, taking a slightly circular path to avoid him. She leaned over and pressed her stomach against Madre's lap, her breasts hanging over the far side. Her legs parted for balance and Derik's cock jumped at the sight of her naked pussy.
Madre ran her hand along the tight buttocks, circling them as she looked down at the submissive woman across lap.
Derik couldn't understand how she could have so much anger toward him and then bend over Madre's lap for punishment without hesitation.
Madre patted Gale on the right cheek. “This is going to hurt.”
Nightingale said nothing as she looked fixedly forward, staring at the wall. Derik's breath caught in his throat as Madre lifted her hand. It came down with a crash, smacking her loudly. Derik flinched at the noise, his own burning cheeks clenching in sympathy.
The hand came down again, cracking loudly. Derik flinched again, but Nightingale just stood there. He could see a bright red hand print on her ass. Madre struck again and he watched the ripple of the impact coursing up her body, but she said nothing. Not even a flinch.
When the fourth blow came down, he had to look away.
“Don't,” came a warning from Madre.
Derik looked back to see his mistress looking at him.
“Don't you dare look away, Dora. Better yet, come around to watch her face.”
Her hand came down again, smacking against the bright red point. Derik flinched, but didn't look away and obeyed the command.
Nightingale's eyes flashed with pain, but another swat came down, then another. They started to rain down, hard and powerful, smacking into her ass until it glowed red.
Derik whimpered, tears forming in his eyes as he watched Nightingale clutching tightly against Madre.
A tear rolled down her cheek, but she kept her jaw clamped shut.
On the next impact, the air moved around him unnaturally. Surprised, he stared at Madre. To his horror, he saw a ripple of energy coursing up Madre's hand as she raised it, surrounding her palm as it impacted against Nightingale's upturned ass.
The impact echoed in the room, the air itself beating against Derik.
Nightingale jerked forward.
Derik shook his head, unable to look away. When he realized she would be punished, he was almost happy, but now, seeing Madre's hand fill with energy and the crack of power as it impacted against the ass left him feeling sick.
Each blow was worse. Nightingale's eyes burned with pain as Madre's hand came down. Each impact blew wind past him as it cracked painfully against her ass. Hot tears poured down his cheeks as he mentally screamed for her to stop. He couldn't count the blows as they came down, one after the other. The magic in the room blew papers from the desk, and beat against his body with every blow. He looked into Madre's face, hoping for mercy, but Madre's eyes held only sadness. This wasn't for anyone's pleasure, not any more.
When he saw blood, he couldn't take any more. Tears soaking his face, he screamed out. “Stop! Please stop!”
Madre's hand froze in place, energy rippling off her fingers as she looked up. She looked surprised as she regarded Derik.
“Please!” he wiped at the tears on his face, “Don't hurt her anymore.”
Nightingale looked up from her lap, tears running down her cheeks. She looked at him with a mixture of utter confusion and resentment.
Madre lowered her hand as the energy faded. “Why? She risked everything. She risked your life by telling that guard.”
Nightingale looked up sharply at Madre, but Madre's eyes were focused on Derik.
“I passed it off as petty jealousy, but you were seconds from being dragged to the dungeon, and you want me to stop?”
She rested her hand on Nightingale's ass, covering up the blood and bruises.
Derik had to think for a moment, looking down at the girl who almost got him arrested. He swallowed hard and let out a shuddering breath. “I… I…”
“Well, spit it out!”
Derik closed his eyes as another tear rolled down his cheek. “Yes, damn it.”
There was a long silence before Madre spoke again. “Why?”
Derik opened his eyes to look at Madre. His throat was dry, and he wanted to throw up. “Look, she's right. I am pathetic. I mean, look at me.” He gestured to himself. “There is no question. She was right. I'm a spineless coward. I'm terrified the guards are going to come; I won't lie about that.”
His words seemed to relax Madre slightly and her finger tapped against Nightingale's bruised skin.
“But, please don't hurt her like this. She got the idea, I don't think she'll do it again.”
Madre raised an eyebrow and looked down.
Nightingale looked away until Madre grabbed her hair and twisted her to look.
“Are you going to do this again?”
Nightingale, forced to stare at Madre, shook her head. “No,” came the broken whisper, “Madre.”
Madre stared at her for a long moment, before giving Derik a hard look. “She has three more. Would you take one of them for her?”
Derik froze, “Um, what?”
“Would you take one of her swats? Would you be willing to take the blows for her?”
His heart slammed against his chest as a cold wind blew past him. He started to tremble, staring at the bloody ass before him.
Nightingale wouldn't look at him, pointedly looking away as he stared at her.
The world spun around him, lurching his stomach to the side as he trembled.
Derik whimpered, his body tensing painfully.
“Two,” came Madre's hard voice.
“Fuck! Yes, I will!”
His voice echoed shrilly against the walls, even as he wanted to crawl under the desk or run away screaming. Hot tears blurred his vision as he fought against his fear.
Her hand came down with a force of a thousand storms, an explosion of wind blowing the papers off the desk and collapsing three shelves. The energy slammed into him as Nightingale finally let out a single shrill scream of pain. It echoed against the walls as she straightened out in agony and her bare feet kicked off the ground.
Madre lifted her hand and Derik saw the energy building, massive and powerful as the air around her palm seemed to twist on itself.
Nightingale's scream had barely died in her throat when it came down. The force of the blow threw Derik off his feet as Nightingale let out another wail of pain which faded with the echoes in the room.
Derik scrambled to his feet to see Madre helping the shaking Nightingale to her feet.
Blood dripped down her buttocks as she glared at Derik.
He shook violently at the thought he was going to experience the same agony himself.
Madre helped her lean over the bed, suddenly compassionate again. “Just let me do this, Gale, just one more thing.”
She sat back down and looked pointedly at Derik.
He almost ran away as his balls tried to crawl up into his body. He took one shaking step forward, then one back. Madre's stare never wavered, and he made his way to her. Slipping next to the bent-over Nightingale. He heard her sniffing as he bent over Madre's lap. His heart crashed against his ribs in hard, brutal beats. He positioned himself over her damp thigh.
Her hand brushed against his back, rubbing against the red mark of his ass from his prior spanking. He parted his legs as his cock pressed against her thigh. He let his hand dangle until she whispered to him.
“Grab my leg, you can't hurt me.”
Madre's hand gently rested against his heated ass. She circled it with her palm. She appeared to hesitate and the anticipation of her blow grew stronger. He adjusted his position again as he cringed with the thought of when she finally struck.
“This is one for Nightingale.”
The tears blurred his vision. It took all of his willpower to make a grunting noise in acknowledgment.
Madre spoke again softly. “Now, she's a pain slut, which means it will probably hurt more than you can imagine.”
“You mean, she was enjoying this?” The revelation somehow made it worse.
On the other side, Nightingale sniffed hard and Madre shook her head.
“No, this was a real punishment. I can't allow you, her, or anyone else threaten my harem.”
The hand rose up from his ass, and he tensed, waiting for the blow.
“And if there is one thing I can't stand, is people who lie to me.”
He didn't know when her hand came down, but his entire world exploded in agony. His spine burned sharply, as if she had shattered it, and his vision turned to stars. He tried to scream, but his throat refused to move as pain seared through his system, burning away his world until he thought he would be blown away with dust. Time compressed down to a single point, a singularity of suffering.
Derik woke up on Madre's bed, face down and sobbing.
Madre stroked his hair. All the hardness had faded from her face. “Hurts, doesn't it?”
Still sobbing, he nodded. His hand bent back to touch his buttocks, hissing at the pain, but thankful that he could still move his legs. He couldn't imagine how Nightingale could take so much without screaming out.
“More than you thought possible?”
He nodded again.
Madre bent over and kissed the back of his shoulder.
Shocked, he stared at her first demonstration of affection.
She whispered in his ear. “There is spanking for pleasure and there is spanking for punishment. Many of my girls are turned on by the mild stuff, just like you,” he let out a whimper as her breath teased his ear, “but there is a very hard line when it isn't to turn you on. Nightingale passed that line when she threatened you. She passed it again when she told the guard instead of talking to me.”
She stroked his cheek.
He turned his head to look at her with bleary eyes.
She had a smile on her lip as she kissed him on the cheek. “Now, go out with the others. I suspect you aren't in the mood for sex, and I'd rather you enjoy it instead of dreading it.”
She helped him up.
He stumbled, clutching to her as he regained his feet.
Nightingale had not moved, still bent over the edge of the bed. He could see her tears soaking the sheets and the blankets. Trickles of blood ran down her thighs and along the furrow between her legs.
Despite the threats and everything, he spoke up, surprised that his voice cracked. “What about her?”
Madre picked up his robe and slipped it over his shoulder. Even the touch of silk against his burning buttocks sent a hiss of pain from his throat. He shuddered at the feeling.
“She's going to spend the night here.”
Surprise and fear bolted through him as he looked at her. “You said—”
Madre held up a hand, “Her punishment is over. That doesn't mean that I can't feel some sympathy for her. Once punished, the topic is dropped. Period.”
Derik thought about it for a moment, and Madre repeated herself.
Then she continued, “Period. You don't mention it to the others, you don't complain about my decision. You can talk about what I did to you, but neither you nor her will ever,” she growled out the word, “have this issue again. Do you understand?”
Nodding frantically, he agreed.
“Now, get some sleep. Nothing that can help that pain except sleep. If the girls try to ride your face, you don't have to unless you want to.”
Dismissed, Derik limped out the door and shut it quietly behind him. The summer rain on the roof mimicked the tears rolling down his cheeks. As he stumbled down the hall, he realized two things:
One, the guilt of stealing the Eye of Hamel had risen to an unbearable point. He had never experienced anything so emotionally painful before. He wanted to burst back into the room to tell her, but his lies wrapped around his throat and choked him into silence.
And two, he really, really wasn't in the mood for Teri to ride his burning ass with a strap-on.