This is Power (v1.2)

Feb 13th, 2015
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  1. Tags: Invading General / Conquered Princess, Dubious consent, fingering, sex
  4. General Degan Addant preferred the nighttime to daytime. The sun set, the dust settled. He could return to the palace and take his heavy armor off.
  6. He was a beast, even though he felt in his bones that he was moving on in his years. It was showing in his dark hair and beard with white flecks starting to make themselves more and more common every time he shaved or had a haircut. He was blessed with height and his years wielding a greatsword and running in armor had made him stronger than most humans dreamed even as he approached middle age. One couldn't become a general without a career lasting over a decade at the very least. He'd spent more than two decades building the perfect life for himself and he regretted very little.
  8. His helmet, the face he wore to work, was always the first to come off. Most of the people in Qasuul only knew the general by his helmet, a dark blue battered by sand and years with nothing to decorate it except for a white bullseye painted over the face to dare his foes to strike him. So far very few had attempted the challenge, and none had been remotely successful. He was a legend in his homeland of Lyrin and abroad.
  10. The Qasuuli saw him as a tyrant. In many ways he was--he had killed the emperor (and ordered the death of his wife and sons for their noncompliance) and had captured or killed nearly all of the military and the police. Their city-state belonged to his queen now, and he was her right hand man. He acted as her proxy in Qasuul and ruled with an iron fist. The people here hated him for all the normal reasons to hate an invading general and wanted him dead, but when they saw him they gave him space. Especially if he was airborne with his mount, spitting lightning from his sword.
  12. Despite the public fear, the occupation of Qasuul was more taxing than actually capturing it had been. There was a cough that moved from the poor of this city to his men, and the resisting citizens who had the guts to attack the soldiers were too numerous to put down at once. Besides, every man killed for fighting back bred two more who wanted revenge. The social upheaval had been welcomed by all kinds of criminals.
  14. Addant now held the ornate palace, set into a cliff face, for himself and many of the high ranking soldiers under him. He had torn down the historical tapestries and left them in the former bedroom of the emperor. Bare walls had been replaced with his own propaganda, pictures of Degan's Queen and symbols of her might. She was nearly five hundred miles away, but he wanted to ensure that her presence was felt by his men and the native Qasuuli maids and waitstaff in the palace.
  16. On the sixtieth night of his occupation, Degan sought his mount Azlarkazan for conversation and company. The Blue Dragon lay like a cat on the marble walkway outside, blocking the only path from the palace carved into the rock wall of the mountain to the city below. This wasn’t his responsibility--there were many other guards farther down the mountain--it was merely an ideal place to lounge and enjoy the royal gardens.
  18. Azlarkazan was old enough, mature enough, and big enough for the humans to treat him like a man grown, but to all other dragons he had yet to claw his way to adulthood. He was the queen’s adoptive brother, Degan’s mount in combat, and an accomplished spellwright besides. For the moment, the dragon was naked of his riding gear the way that his rider had taken off his armor. He was a dusty blue and rough to the touch everywhere as though made of angles.
  20. "Degan," the dragon said with a respectful nod when he saw the man. He spoke in a low whisper, slightly urgent. "Come here, I want to show you something."
  22. The man did so cautiously, until he was standing immediately next to the dragon’s toothy head. "What is it?"
  24. "There's a girl in that fig tree," the dragon indicated the tree by flapping his ear in its direction. "I saw her run out of the Palace, wearing dredge clothes. Chased her up the tree. Thought I'd wait for you to get here before I did anything else."
  26. "You chased her up a tree? What are you, a stray dog?" Degan smiled. He scratched at his jaw and tried to look through the dark to see where the girl was in the tree, but he couldn't pick her silhouette out of the leaves. He trusted that there was someone up there--dragon eyes wouldn’t lie. "You could have grabbed her, Lark."
  28. "I've been scooping up enough maidens," said the dragon, swishing his heavy tail to make weatherbeaten scales scrape on the marble. The tail was fat and heavy with all the water Azlarkazan had been drinking from wells. "This one's for you. I think you'll like her, she's your type."
  30. "My type?" Degan sounded slightly offended.
  32. "Black hair, big green eyes. Like Maradi. Go look at her."
  34. Degan hesitated, bristling at the mention of his former wife. But he was curious and he trusted the dragon's assessment, so he tossed his cape back and strode towards the tree, straining in the dark to see. Azlarkazan followed shortly, grunting while he got to his feet.
  36. The general only noticed the girl when she shifted in the tree, a delicate shade making branches creak. With a hand on his hip he gave an order in his deep, commanding voice: "Climb down."
  38. Her shape moved slightly in consideration while she held her breath in terror, and then she pelted him with a fig. It wasn't ripe and so it bounced off his shoulder. He didn't flinch at the childish defiance, but heard draconic laughter momentarily.
  40. "Climb down or I will force you down," he ordered. This would have been easier with his bow and arrows, but the general was not above being hands-on if defied. A man who wouldn’t enforce his orders was no leader, certainly not a ruler. The gods knew he had put plenty of men and women down before for defying him.
  42. The girl didn’t know this, she had no idea who he was. To her, he looked almost like any other wealthy, middle-aged man from Lyrin--tan with black eyes consumed with logic and business. He was just bigger than most, and wasn't half as terrifying as the laughing dragon. She was pretty sure he was bluffing when he threatened to force her out of the tree, and didn't want to concede.
  44. The next fig she tossed sailed high, over General Addant’s head. Azlarkazan caught it in his mouth and before he could swallow, the general had unclipped his cape, grabbed a low-hanging branch and swung up into the tree. He pulled himself up effortlessly to the girl’s level. She had underestimated his willingness to come and get her. He saw the fear in her eyes when he invaded her personal space between branches and leaves. His rough hand pawed over her small body and eventually grabbed a handful of her tunic at the front of her body. Whites of her eyes glowed in the dark with fear and she issued a whimper, scared of what would come next.
  46. With a rough yank he destabilized her and let her fall. The girl tumbled, whacked a branch in a flurry of limbs, and dropped to the grass below with a yelp like a dog.
  48. He was unsympathetic to her cries and jumped down to follow her. Unlike the girl, he landed on his feet.
  50. "My arm!" She wailed, holding it and sitting up.
  52. The palace light reached her here, and she was as the dragon had described. A mess of black hair with enormous eyes. Beyond that, she was thin but still managed to be bottom-heavy by having wide hips and thick legs but slender arms and torso. Too preoccupied by the staggering pain in her arm caused by the fall, she didn’t pay much attention to the man and his dragon friend.
  54. Again, the general grabbed her by the front of her loose tunic and used it to pull her, this time up to her feet. All Degan heard was more pleading even though everyone knew that was a lost cause after she had thrown the figs. He glanced at the arm she was favoring and was reasonably confident that he understood her injury. He grabbed her upper arm and jammed her dislocated shoulder back in place.
  56. She yelled again, almost screaming. "Ow!"
  58. He considered this an over-reaction. “If one of my soldiers complained that loudly I would take his food away,” Addant complained to his grinning dragon.
  60. “Hey!” the girl started to complain. Maybe she could still talk her way out of this? “Hey, no, listen--”
  62. "Quiet," the dragon told her. He was throwing her a bone before she said anything too stupid or tried to fight again. He shuffled his wings, then spread them to convey a sense of grandiosity. "You are in the presence of General Degan Addant."
  64. The girl turned and looked at the human, now silent and with her mouth hanging open. Most of the populace had yet to see him outside of his blue metal armor and helmet, herself included. The name was a symbol of terror to her, and though she did believe she had seen him around the palace, she hadn’t matched his name to his face.
  66. "Get rid of her, Lark," Addant said. He would leave the manner up to the dragon.
  68. The dragon motioned with his head towards the building, and the girl didn't follow him until Addant shoved her after him and nearly made her topple over. Enormous leather wings flared to shepherd her inside, buffeting her with winds so she would hurry ahead of him.
  70. The general gathered his cloak and sighed. He wanted to purge the native help from the palace, but that would only get them out from under his eyes and he needed them. This girl however, had slipped from under everyone's gaze except for the dragon. That unsettled the man who took pride in his eagle eyes.
  72. Wandering back inside he passed a few of his guards and soldiers and found Lark, human-bodied, outside of the general's bedroom. The dragon looked like he could have been a native Qasuuli, dark-haired with olive skin and light eyes. "I left her in your room."
  74. "Whatever for?" the general sighed. These games never ended.
  76. Lark smiled. "Trust me, okay? Keep her around for a while."
  78. "You must know this--keeping a girl in my bedroom--won't earn me any favors with the populace," he said, knowing as soon as he spoke that no amount of military victories would be enough to let him win an argument with Lark. "It's one thing when you do it, but I need them to look at me differently."
  80. "They already want to hang you." The dragon put his hands on Degan's taller shoulders and looked up at him. "And when you come to me and climb on my back with all your stress weighing you down, it makes me want to hang you too, dear rider. Go to your room and fuck yourself a maid to rid yourself of that stress and lessen some of mine."
  82. He consented, for the sake of his mount, his best enforcer, his best tactician, and his best friend.
  85. His room had originally been a guest room. He might have taken the emperor’s room for himself, but it was bloody and he didn’t want it. He also didn’t mean to give anyone the impression that he intended to replace the emperor himself. There would be no more Qasuuli emperors, not ever.
  87. He locked the door behind him and pocketed the key before he gave the girl any attention. Her wrists and ankles were tied to a wooden chair next to the window seat and she was shaking like a leaf so badly that her teeth were chattering. She was small and breakable with dirty hands and feet and soot on one cheek.
  89. He folded his hands behind his back and stood facing her, feet planted solidly shoulder width apart. “Do you know who I am?” He knew what her answer would be.
  91. Stunned silence from her looking at his face with her mouth agape, lower jaw shaking. Then, “You killed… the… the royal family.”
  93. “I killed The Emperor. The rest were put to death by my order but not by my hand,” he said. His voice was cold. The girl blinked out tears.
  95. “What is your name?” he asked.
  97. She took a long time to respond, trying to come up with something. “Sarai.”
  99. “What is your real name?” he asked, feeling a tingling in the hairs at the back of his neck. Only people with important names needed to conceal them.
  101. “Telsi,” she said in a whisper. The birth name her mother had gifted to her, the one that General Addant had probably heard at least once or twice.
  103. Ah, there. That was what Lark had seen in this girl. The man stepped forward and leaned over her, reached for her face to touch her delicate jaw. She tried her best to turn away in horror from his hand but he caught her and made her look at him forcefully. “You’re the emperor’s bastard girl, aren’t you? We thought you made it into the city already.”
  105. He already knew that she was, no answer was necessary. He saw it now in her nose and eyebrows, traits that she had shared with her late father.
  107. “I’m not going to kill you,” he said, though he made a point of turning to look at where his sword--nearly as tall as the girl’s shoulders--was resting against the wall. “Unless you do not comply. And considering you have already been defiant I warn you that my patience is very thin.”
  109. “I didn’t know who you were,” she pleaded truthfully.
  111. “Where have you been hiding?” he asked, but from her clothes he had a guess. “With the dredges?”
  113. “I’ve been cleaning,” Telsi admitted. “And cooking.”
  115. So, she had been hiding in plain sight. He straightened up with her willingness to answer him. “So you know how to be useful and you know how to be compliant. What do you say I let you up from that chair and we continue our talk more comfortably? Will you behave?”
  117. Her mouth moved like a fish’s mouth, and then she made words come out. “Alright.” If she was going to try to stay alive, she may as well take opportunities to be comfortable. Green eyes kept studying him, and then glancing to where his iconic set of armor was displayed against the wall.
  119. Degan reached for the dagger concealed at his lower back and presented it in front of her eyes for her appraisal. It looked clear, like glass. She made no noise when he moved and cut her ankles and wrists free of the chair, and didn’t even move until he said, “Stand up now, Telsi.”
  121. She wasn’t on her feet for more than a few moments before she sank back down to her knees and her forehead touched the floor in front of him while she fell into a sobbing fit. At first he took this for grovelling, and then came to understand by the sobbing convulsions of her body that it was something else, something closer to exhaustion or a lack of control coming from emotional release. “Thank you,” she managed.
  123. She meant, ‘Thank you for killing them.’
  125. He assumed she was grateful that he had deigned not to kill her, but then he saw a sliver of shiny skin on her lower back where her tunic had been pulled up. It caught his eye. Degan did not ask permission when he reached down and grabbed the hem of the back of her tunic and pulled at it. When it wouldn’t come up more than a few inches, he used the knife still in his hand to slice the back open and ignored her noise of protest.
  127. The girl’s back was riddled with a density of whipping scars that made the general gasp. There were layers on layers of them, he had never seen this kind of scarification even on the most hardened of criminals or the unruliest of slaves. Before he caught himself, his fingers reached for her spine to trail up the flesh of her back to confirm that it was real, not some elaborate ruse. The freshest of the scars were at at least two months old, these were not things that anyone from Lyrin had done.
  129. He ran the pads of his fingers along the criss-cross lines, trying at first to count them before he gave up. There were years and years of miserable punishments layered on.
  131. “What in the world happened to you?” he asked, then crouched before her and lifted her by the shoulders to look at him. His black eyebrows knitted together when he looked at her, and before he realized what had happened, part of him was concerned for her well-being.
  133. “I was the whipping boy,” she told him, desperately trying to hold her torn tunic up so that it would still cover her chest. “For my half-brothers.”
  135. Degan was rather speechless. The concept of a whipping boy was done away with in his homeland--young princes and princesses were punished themselves according to their actions in Lyrin. It would have been considered barbaric to punish one youth for the crimes of another--and this girl had five half-brothers before they had been slain for noncompliance. From the stories Dagan had been told, they had been unruly at best and monstrous at worst, the kind of children to pull wings off of butterflies all day every day well into their teens.
  137. He went from crouching to kneeling, and even then he still towered over her. “Is it known publicly that was your job, Telsi?” He hadn’t heard anyone hint at this practice in the palace or in the public.
  139. She shook her head no. “Just in the palace. The empress made them all keep quiet, she didn’t want anyone to know about it.” Why was she ashamed now? She asked herself. That awful woman was dead. Her awful sons were dead. There would never be another undeserved beating in her life.
  141. This was an opportunity for the general.
  143. He spoke quickly. “I am going to make sure that everyone knows about this. You will comply fully with that and when things settle down in Qasuul I promise that you will be rewarded for your service to Lyrin.”
  145. Telsi wavered and looked at him with wet eyes. “I’m Qasuuli,” she said, uncertain. She hated her father’s family, not her homeland.
  147. “Qasuul is ceasing to be,” Degan told her with a confident smile. “Your father was deep in debt to Queen Lysandra. She’s taking back what he owes her. And if you help her by doing as I say, your life will be comfortable from here out.”
  149. Her frightened silence spoke that she didn’t believe or trust him. But then she started nodding. “Okay. Okay. I’ll do it. So they know what it was like.”
  151. “Good girl,” he said, and patted her on the side of her face with a calloused hand. He stood up and clapped his hands together excitedly. This was too much good news for him to think about Lark’s suggestion that he have sex with the girl.
  153. He left Telsi where she sat in a daze of tears and confusion and went to the door, unlocked it and stepped just outside, leaving the door cracked so he could see Telsi out of the corner of his eye. Azlarkazan was waiting, reading a leatherbound book in his arms. The polymorphed dragon looked to him with a smile. “Isn’t she something? I saw the scars when I treed her, her shirt caught on some branches.”
  155. Degan spread his arms. “Why not just tell me?”
  157. “You like solving puzzles,” Lark said. He shut his book and cast dust into the dim hallway.
  159. “How did you know she was the emperor’s bastard?”
  161. “I’ve been a gecko on the wall of the servant’s quarters on and off,” Lark said. “They’ve been hiding her as one of them. Don’t know what she was doing out tonight though.”
  163. Dagan scowled.
  165. “Go,” the dragon motioned for him to leave and get back to the room. “I’ll get things ready for tomorrow.”
  167. Degan sighed and disappeared back into his room, securing the door again. He didn’t dare let her out to rejoin the maids in case they tried to talk her out of revealing her secret or if they killed her. Qasuuli loyalists had been working very hard to keep their dead emperor and his family on a pedestal, and Degan had the key to tearing that down.
  169. Telsi was standing up now and looking at the general’s armor, facing it with a look of mixed awe and sadness. She stood delicately with all of her weight on one foot while the other waited lazily with only the toes touching the ground. Her arms were pressing her tunic over her breasts while her back was bare to him.
  171. “I’ve had this armor for just over twenty years,” he told her, and cleared his throat to continue speaking. This was the first time he’d found himself smiling all evening. “I’ve had it fixed up and repaired plenty along the way, though. And enchanted.”
  173. “That’s longer than I’ve been alive,” she said to him. Her voice sounded more clear now, and her shoulders felt free of burden for the first time in a very long while--except the right one, which still ached from being dislocated earlier.
  175. “A little less than half my life,” he reported, resting a hand on his chin.
  177. “I didn’t know what you looked like until today,” she said, looking at him sideways. He didn't really look like a killer or a criminal or a tyrant. He just looked like a Lyrin man. “I just knew the armor. I’m sorry I hit you with a fig.”
  179. “You are forgiven, Telsi,” The general said.
  181. He went to the closet and took off his cloak and outerwear, his boots and socks. Normally he preferred to sleep naked, but with Telsi in the room he thought that not the best plan unless he did decide to fuck her like Lark wanted. He stripped down to undergarments instead.
  183. Telsi stared at him most impolitely. No Qasuuli man would have undressed himself to his extent in the presence of a woman he wasn’t married to or that he didn’t own unless he meant for something more to happen. She began to sweat and pushed her hair back. “What are you doing?” she sputtered. Her eyes couldn’t avoid the bulge at the front of his undershorts.
  185. “Getting comfortable in my own quarters,” he said, and rolled his broad shoulders. As an afterthought, “Address me as ‘sir’ or ‘General Addant’, Telsi. I am acting for your new queen.”
  187. “Yes, sir,” she said. The shocked girl was completely unaware of he way she looked, staring.
  189. There was nothing that would have better broadcast that she was a virgin than her wholehearted fascination with his body. General Addant was used to being swooned over in Lyrin where his fame preceded him, but Telsi was the first person to give him this sort of stare in Qasuul. Fishing in his closet again he pulled out a clean tunic.
  191. “Wear this,” he told her, and threw the garment to her where she was still standing by his armor. “You can’t enjoy wearing those dredges’ clothes.”
  193. She pulled his enormous tunic on over her current clothes, then pulled away her torn shirt underneath the tunic and then pulled down her scratchy skirt. His tunic fit her almost like a very baggy dress. The indigo fabric was thin enough that it let her nipples make points at her chest, so she crossed her arms in front of her. It was still better than the filthy clothes before, but there was no happiness in Telsi’s heart.
  195. “Why am I in your room, though?” she asked when Degan moved towards the window seat and set the chair she had been tied in next to it to face the padded seat. She added, “Sir.”
  197. “Because the dragon thought it was a good idea,” he replied. He tossed a pillow and a blanket from his own bed onto the window seat and sat down in the chair next to it with the sigh of a man just starting to feel his age. “Come here.”
  199. With her weight on her toes, she stepped quietly on the marble to the bed he had assembled, then sat down and enveloped herself in the blanket. It smelled like man, she thought. Musky. Not a bad smell. She inhaled it and didn't manage to be as subtle as she wanted to be. “Thanks,” she said. The window seat had more cushion than she’d anticipated, but she couldn't help but think it would be completely impossible to sleep here.
  201. “Telsi,” he said, steepling his thick fingers in thought. “Tell me your story. Tell me about the scars and how your father and his wife are culpable.”
  203. “Uh... well... it's because my mom was a dancer for my dad. He slept with her when he argued with the Empress. My mom was pregnant with me while the Empress was pregnant with her first son, he and I were only born a few days apart actually. He was the older one.” She was no master storytelling, pulling words as they came to her.
  205. Degan stroked his beard and listened for her to continue patiently.
  207. “Dad wanted to seem like a good guy so he kept me and let me come to family things. But the Empress hated me more than anything.” That was probably true of the step-parents of most bastards, even though Telsi was innocent of her father’s wrongdoings.
  209. “She set me up as the whipping boy, it wasn’t dad’s idea. But he never stopped it and he kept having sons with her. He just wanted me to keep smiling in public so people would think he was a good dad.” She lay down and stretched her legs out on the windowseat with her head resting on the pillow just to Degan’s right. “The more I think about it the more I’m glad my brothers are dead. They hated me as much as their mom did.”
  211. “That is a grim childhood,” he said. He wondered if the emperor and empress had ever realized they had been raising the girl to betray them. “What became of your mother?”
  213. “She ran,” Telsi said.
  215. He stroked his beard in contemplation of how to tell the story to the public. What Telsi had said was already almost the perfect tale of propaganda. Almost without thinking he shifted his arm off of the armrest and put his hand on her head.
  217. She rolled away, swatted at him like a cat getting its tummy rubbed while she looked at him with contempt now. The only trace of her fear seemed to be the redness around her eyes from when she had been crying. Degan withdrew his hand. Now she asked him straight, and forgot her manners: “Are you some kind of pervert?”
  219. “You don’t really get to be my age without developing a few perversions,” he told her honestly, though her tone and lack of polite 'sir' started to irk him. “Did the dragon tell you why he brought you to my room?”
  221. She shook her head, again bundling herself tightly in the blankets so almost none of her flesh was visible, only her face. “No. I thought you were going to murder me.”
  223. Degan nodded along. “I have no desire to kill you. You are going to be very useful to Lyrin. If anything I’d rather reward you, as I said I would. Killing is usually better as a last resort.”
  225. She looked at him, hard and scrutinizing. This was the beginning of an ultimatum, she felt it in her bones.
  227. “Azlarkazan--the dragon--is of the opinion that you and I should have sex,” Degan said. He had an amused smile on his lips as if recounting a funny story but not quite to the punchline.
  229. “So he’s the pervert,” she quipped. Shudders were coming back to her.
  231. He laughed heartily. “Mostly. But I’ll tell you this, he’s usually right when he makes suggestions.”
  233. “He’s not this time,” she said, laying down the law.
  235. Degan bristled and something in him snapped. He could be complacent--even charmed--by her avoiding his touch and asking questions to get at his intentions or even his past. But he drew the line when other people tried to tell him what to do, or if they tried to forbid things of him. He had not become a general and amassed the power and respect that he had to allow anyone but his queen to dictate his life.
  237. His demeanor shifted from curiosity to the hardened man who had pulled her out of the tree and dislocated her arm. “Do not push your luck thinking you are in any position to make demands, Telsi,” he scolded. His voice was deeper than before, quieter. He didn’t need to bark to be intimidating.
  239. She quaked.
  241. “If you do as you’re told,” he began. “I can promise you power and wealth. You will never have to work a day in your life, and neither will your children and their children. You will have a big house, and you will be able to marry any handsome man you set your eyes on. If you want to change your mind now and keep your life a secret and cause problems, I will happily put a collar on you like a dog and drag you naked through the streets so people can see the scars anyway.”
  243. This was the tyrant that the Qasuuli feared.
  245. “I’ll do it,” she said, holding up her hands submissively, showing him her palms to ask him to stop. “Just don’t… god don’t hurt me.”
  247. “What will you do?” he asked, standing up from the chair and dragging it away from the windowseat.
  249. “I will… do… I will tell the people about the whippings.”
  251. “And anything else I tell you to say or do tonight or tomorrow,” he said. “Without question. Hopefully the concept of absolute obedience is not a new one to you, I know you are not a soldier but I would hope I could count on you to be an asset.”
  253. Telsi’s misery returned. “So… what are you going to tell me to do?”
  255. He walked back to the windowseat and sat with her. Telsi’s instinct was to run, but she had seen him lock the door so she only flinched a few inches before she controlled herself. She could smell his body now that he was close. He smelled like the blanket.
  257. “I’m going to teach you to obey,” he said, making eye contact to dominate her. “And I’m going to demonstrate to you why you should take my offer of power.”
  259. She felt sick to her stomach, sitting next to the general built of muscles. He grabbed the blanket and pulled it from her in one fluid movement to reveal her sitting cross-legged, his tunic barely covering her crotch. Enormous hands grabbed her upper arms and tugged her to him, into his lap. Telsi was never this close with anyone.
  261. “Don’t forget to breathe,” he instructed, and she tried to take a few shallow breaths.
  263. “Put your hands on my chest,” he instructed, and she placed her shaking hands on his broad pectorals. His skin was warmer than hers, and she could feel his heart beating so much more slowly than her own. The short hairs on his chest were a distraction from his otherwise smooth skin.
  265. “Don’t move them,” he instructed. His voice was cold like her sweaty palms on his body. He slid his left hand up her right thigh, and plunged his right hand under the tunic to probe at her sex.
  267. “Ah!” she gasped, and pulled her hands away from him to reach for his hand, to stop him.
  269. “Hands on me!” he barked into her face. It was startling enough to shock her back into submission and again her hands pressed to his chest. The same tactic was effective on his soldiers. Volume helped ensure control. His index finger brushed at the opening between her labia and Telsi looked ready to scream.
  271. In a more level voice he spoke to her like a teacher to his student. “If you are obedient, you will have this kind of power someday. You could have any man you wanted in your room and do whatever you pleased to him.”
  273. “I don’t want to do that,” she protested, trying to twist her hips away from his fingers, but she only made him dig his nails into her thigh.
  275. “You know, that’s what everyone says when they come from a position without power. I started as a foot soldier when I was about your age. Maybe younger than you. And with every promotion I told myself that I would be modest with the control that I had, and with every promotion I became less fond of holding myself back, more capable of exercising control over my world, and by the time I was a general riding a dragon I knew that there was nothing in the world that felt better than being in control.”
  277. He pushed his middle finger all the way inside of Telsi without giving her a warning. A wet sound like a suppressed sob came from her mouth. She was dry to his touch and difficult to penetrate because of it, but he could fix that.
  279. His speech continued. “I said that with my riches I would buy my family a house. In the end I bought them a castle. Then I built myself a castle even bigger than that one. And I filled it with slaves, Telsi. And every one of them obeys me.”
  281. It was no surprise that an enormous man like Degan Addant would have equally enormous fingers. Even just his middle finger gave her stretching pains. Her body alleviated this as best it could, and with only a few thrusts and forceful re-insertions of his finger he was able to command her to get wet. He watched her cringing face start to relax as her physical discomfort faded.
  283. “You could buy every man, woman, and child who works in this palace,” he suggested to her. While she got wet, he got hard. Maybe it was talking about his extensive influence, maybe it was her. “Everyone who did what the Emperor and Empress wanted and kept it secret that you were being treated so viciously. What would you do if you could do that?”
  285. She didn’t know exactly. The idea had never floated into her mind before, and her imagination distracted her from what he was doing to her body. “I-I would punish them.”
  287. His hand moved faster in her tight little hole, and when he saw her eyes start to drift shut as he overwhelmed her he knew he was getting to her.
  289. “You could punish them,” he said. “You could whip each and every one of them yourself if you felt like it. You could even kill them. And you would get away with it.”
  291. Her hot breaths were falling heavily on his chest. “I just want them to know how it feels.”
  293. “That’s what everyone person who has faced injustice wants,” he said. “Now put your head on my shoulder. Wrap your arms around me.”
  295. There was no hesitation from her now. She got up on her knees, lifting her rear up, and wrapped her arms around his neck. He smiled into her ear. “Now you’re being obedient.”
  297. She didn’t hate his touch. It stopped being uncomfortable for her body and her mind fluttered away to think of the future she had been promised.
  299. “You started with no power,” she breathed in his neck. “How did you get it?”
  301. Degan’s finger made a wet slippery sound when he pulled it out of her and listened to her labored breaths. “I had a very rich wife who bought my love when I was young. I didn’t realize how much she had until she broke my heart and kicked me out of her house.”
  303. He removed Telsi from his lap and stood up from the windowseat. She sat still there, reeling from what had just happened, trying to make sense of it while she watched him go to his own bed and lie down. He finished his thought while he lay on his back. “So I like to think I learned from the best, even if it ended poorly.”
  305. “Did you ever get back at her for breaking your heart?” Telsi asked. What was power if not a means to get even? That was what she wanted. The conversation had been thought-provoking enough that the molestation wasn’t even on the forefront of her mind.
  307. “She knows I’m the highest ranking man in Lyrin and now the highest ranking man in Qasuul,” he said. “That’s enough for me.”
  309. Telsi felt kind of stupid saying it, but she said, “Thank you.”
  311. He chuckled softly. “I don’t think I’ve been thanked by a girl I didn’t make cum before.”
  313. “No, I mean… for the advice I guess.” She felt an emptiness with his fingers gone, her body primed for excitement that had vanished when he’d taken his hands off of her. He’d had to threaten her to give advice but his point had been made.
  315. “Come here, Telsi,” he said warmly, and beckoned with one arm from his bed. “I’ll fuck you properly.”
  317. Was that what she wanted? No. It was what the dragon wanted, and what General Addant wanted. Doing what he wanted though, it would get her what she wanted.
  319. She got to her feet and went to his bed, climbing onto it less gracefully than she might have liked. Her eyes swept him up and down now that he lay horizontally, and she was especially leery of the bulge in his underwear, thinking that if having one of his fingers inside of her had been difficult, this would be nearly impossible.
  321. He sat up like a cobra popping out of a patch of grass and pulled her by her waist so that she had to perch over him with one leg on either side, then settled back against the wall of pillows at the headboard. He asked, “If you could change something about Qasuul, what would it be?”
  323. She didn’t have a good answer. “Less crime?” she suggested, but was distracted, glancing down at where her crotch had come to rest on his erection with only his undergarments to separate them.
  325. Easier said than done, thought Degan. “If you were me you could put criminals to death. Ensure they never commit another crime and that their degeneracy won’t spread to anyone else. My men have cut the Qasuuli underworld in half.”
  327. The possibility was tantalizing. More than any other crime she thought about parents hurting their own children, how she wanted them all to feel punished.
  329. Degan grabbed her torso and rolled them both over so he could be on top of her, and pulled down his underwear. “There will be almost nothing you can’t do.”
  331. Telsi tried to sit up slightly, to steal a look at his erection, but their bodies were tangled and she could only feel his shaft rub against her thigh briefly before the head of his cock brushed at her entrance. With her teeth grit she thought she’d be ready, but wasn’t. When Degan pushed into her and she started to make noise he had the sense to act quickly and slap a hand over her mouth, holding it shut and muffling her pain. His eyes fluttered shut--oh, she was tight. Oh, Azlarkazan had been so completely correct.
  333. “Control yourself,” he ordered her in a hushed tone. It wasn’t enough to make her stop entirely, but her volume dropped. His hand came away a few inches from her mouth. “Focus on controlling your reactions.”
  335. “It hurts though!”
  337. “Does it hurt more than being whipped?” he asked, pausing to breathe before he gently slid out of her and then back in. His heart pounded so hard it was almost audible in the room, and he wanted to get on with his fuck rather than wait passively inside of her.
  339. “No,” she whined. “It’s a different kind of pain.”
  341. “One you can conquer,” he told her. It sounded like a demand. “Do so. It will make you strong.”
  343. He grabbed her jaw and pressed in on her cheeks slightly with his thumb and forefinger to coax her into opening her mouth. Telsi’s lips parted and she was subjected to a bristly kiss, another subtle way to keep her quiet when he started to thrust his hips into her. Degan bit her lip for getting too loud and she quieted back to a low whimper.
  345. “Is it supposed to hurt?” she asked him.
  347. “Just this once,” he panted. “Unless all those whippings have given you a taste for pain.”
  349. Telsi looked at him angrily, insulted by that comment, but it pleased him to see twitches at her lips that made her annoyed smirk open into a series of gasps when he sped up.
  351. He pulled out, rolled her over onto her stomach with no warning, and started over on her, wrapping a thick arm around her chest to pin her back against him while he moved in her. He groped at her breasts through the shirt he’d lent to her, and in this position she gave him an animal groan.
  353. “Does this feel better?” he asked. His beard tickled at her ear. “Getting used to it?”
  355. “Uh-huh,” she breathed. “Better.”
  357. “Good,” he grunted.
  359. Degan had the stamina to last. Against his better judgement he gave her everything he had and made the bed creak more loudly than the girl had been groaning. He held onto her tightly and squeezed her small body. Telsi tried to push back against him when she caught the rhythm--her effort was appreciated but he considered it superfluous. This was not a group effort, this was very little more than him masturbating with her body.
  361. She hid her face in a pillow to stifle her own sounds when she gasped and groaned, especially when she approached an orgasm.
  363. “You’re getting close,” he breathed in her ear and throbbed. “Can you follow one more command for me, Telsi?”
  365. “I’ll try,” she whimpered.
  367. “Orgasm. Now,” he commanded. Her body relaxed for a split second before immediately tensing up again, including constricting his cock. He grinned where she couldn’t see, shut his eyes, filled the dead emperor’s virgin daughter with his seed. That was power.
  369. A gecko on the wall slithered to the ground and left under the door.
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