Chapter Four: My Fate and Other Nightmares
“No, I’m not going to give the bitch the satisfaction. I'm not.”
“For God’s sake, Emma, she’ll probably kill you if you refuse. You won't believe how angry she was last night. Simon has gone to great lengths to calm her down and plead on your behalf for mercy. All you have to do is beg for your life and she’ll let you live.” Chloe knelt beside me as I lay on a pile of soft furs in one of the slave pens. All around me the other girls watched and listened. I lay on my stomach of course because the whip marks were still fresh and painful across my back.
“I notice no one’s calling me Mistress,” I said as I gazed around at the girls. “I guess I’m not First Girl any more?” I tried to smile ruefully, but I no longer had it in me.
“You really need to ask?” said Chloe as she rubbed some ointment into my injuries. “Honestly, Emma, that's the least of your concerns at the moment.”
“Who’s First Girl now?” I asked.
I nodded. Candice wasn’t part of my inner circle, my ‘gang’ so to speak, and so she had no loyalty ties towards me. Cassandra wasn’t likely to make any of my close friends ‘First Girl’. I glanced towards Candice and acknowledged her new status with a nod of my head. “Congratulations, Mistress,” I said. There was no point being bitter towards her. It was what it was.
“Thank you, Emma,” she said from where she sat. Candice was a hard working girl, but I did recall I had put her on latrine duties for a week several years ago after I found her trying to seduce Brinn. I had hit the roof when I discovered Brinn had taken her into his furs. That had been a day or so before Chloe arrived at the estate. A long time ago. I think we had got on okay after I had made my point to Candice. I hoped she didn’t bear any particular grudge. Another First Girl would have dealt with her far more harshly than I did.
“Please treat the girls well, Mistress. There's a lot of responsibility to being First Girl.”
“I will, Emma. For what it's worth, you were good to us in your own way. I wish you well.”
That’s how it was in the slave pens. One day you’re at the top of the pecking order, and every girl calls you Mistress, and then suddenly it’s all gone and you're back to kneeling and calling another girl, 'Mistress'.
I couldn’t remember the last time I had been housed in an actual slave pen. For the last five years I had slept in Brinn’s spacious bedroom with the sun veranda that overlooked the slopes of the Sardar mountains with its breath taking views of the surrounding countryside and a couple of small villages in the valleys below. I would breakfast there in the mornings in the south facing sunshine and feel overjoyed to be alive. The nights I would spend in Brinn’s enormous couch bed, often secured with a single chain, something which wasn’t strictly necessary, but I actually liked it. It felt strange to lie in his bed without say an ankle chain about my left ankle. I felt secure with the chain on my foot, it gave me a sense of security and belonging. Once when Brinn was rather drunk after hosting a party, he neglected to chain me, and after half an hour or so I nuzzled him, kissed and fondled him, and reminded him to chain me. It amused Brinn to do so, knowing I had over the years come to accept so many facets of my slavery, bondage being one of them.
Possibly the last time I had slept in a slave pen was the time I had been owned by Rashid. Life then had been brutal and uncompromising. I had suffered greatly. The pen had been a simple outbuilding that doubled as a stable where Kara and I were secured at night. I sometimes still have nightmares thinking back to it. Before then of course I spent several months in the slave pens of Banu Hashim where I learned many of the skills, including my dance routines.
And now here I was again, housed in a pen with a number of the other girls. On the flip side these pens on Brinn’s estate were quite comfortable. I had seen to certain changes over the years, gradually persuading Brinn to introduce a number of improvements. Gone was the usual dry straw bedding, and in its place thick fur pelts on which a girl might sleep. Five girls were housed in each pen, providing an agreeable compromise between space and companionship. Five was a good number I thought, preventing the girls from simply pairing off in two sets. Girls should be encouraged to bond with as many other slaves as possible. There are all manner of reasons for this, but I won’t bore you with them now.
Each pen had tall mirrors and low tables set against one of the walls, and on the low tables there would be a range of cosmetics and hair brushes and perfumes and so forth. Girls would be encouraged to pamper one another and learn makeup skills together. Each pen also had its own wood stove and during the colder months of the year, each pen would be allotted a daily supply of logs. The girls loved this, being able to keep their own fire going, and often the evenings would be spent lying on the furs together close to the log burners, chatting, playing games together and grooming one another. Each pen had an ample supply of freshwater and a communal bucket of fruit. Believe me, these were high standards compared to some of the communal girl pens found in other estates. And of course it was easy enough for a girl to find even better accommodation for the night if she took the time to seduce a guardsman or warrior on the estate. The men were permitted to have a girl of their choice in their rooms three nights out of every seven. Why three, you might say? Why not seven? Well, a perk of the job is only a perk if you don’t have it all the time. The four days in the week that a man did not have access to a girl meant he was hungrier for one when he could claim her. Simple really. And believe me, there was plenty of competitive activity between the girls to spend the night in the furs with one of the more handsome men.
“I don’t see any value to hanging on to my life without my children, now that Brinn is gone.”
“You can’t think like that, Emma,” said Chloe. “This isn’t the end.”
“It seems to be for me. What do you suggest? I suddenly turn into some high kicking action heroine, rescue my children, break out of here with a sword and run away into the Northern Forests to become a Panther girl? It’s not going to happen.”
“Do you honestly think Marik and Jacinta would want you to die? Think about them. And think about Rachel – you always talk about her like she’s some amazing influence on your life. How she helped you in your first year on Gor. What would she be telling you to do now if she was still here? Would she let you effectively commit suicide?”
“Probably not. She could be very persuasive.” Rachel would probably have known what to do. She always knew what to do. Rachel had been amazing, and now she was living a new life on Earth, happy, at peace. I imagined her now, as I often did, sun bathing on the South Coast of France. I still missed her.
Perhaps I now had the scent of a pariah about me, for the other girls in the pen kept well away from me, fearing perhaps to share my fate. Word had quickly spread across the estate and by now everyone would know that I had confronted Cassandra and been punished for my audacity. Perhaps some of the girls were astonished I was still alive. For a slave to threaten a Free Woman... well, few would live to see the next hour.
The physical pain I felt was nothing compared to the anguish I felt in my head. In a matter of minutes I had lost not only Brinn but also my children. I could not, would not begin a new life without them. But Chloe was having none of it.
“You're going to live, Emma,” she hissed. “I am not going to let you lie down and die like this!”
I had to laugh, despite the searing pain. “What are you going to do, Chloe? Beat me?” I closed my eyes and thought of what might have been. A long life with Brinn, seeing my children grow up to become important men and women on Gor, always protected and shielded from the worst the planet had to throw at them by my love.
There was a clang of metal, the sound of a barred door opening, of hinges squeaking and the grating of the door against the concrete floor. From the heavy tread of feet, I knew men were approaching the pens.
“You owe Rachel a debt, Emma. You've always told me that. Live for her, if nothing else. It's what she would make you do if she was here now.”
“I can't... I'm not Rachel. I just can't. I don't have her resilience to keep going on in the face of everything.”
“Emma.” The voice belonged to Simon, and it came from the other side of the bars. I raised my head just enough to confirm it was him as he stood there, motioning for a pen keeper to unlock our cage door. His eyes regarded my back, bloody and stripped raw no doubt from the lashes. I must have looked weak, dying even, for there was actual fear in his eyes as he slid the bolt back himself once the padlock had been removed.
“Have you come to say goodbye?” I said as I lay there.
He stood silent for a moment, hands grasped in fists as he motioned for Chloe to move away. And then he shook his head and knelt down beside me, placing one hand in a bowl of water, taking a wet rag and touching it gently to my back. I winced but lay there, waiting for what he had to say.
“Have you any idea what the Lady Cassandra could do to you now?” he said as he continued to bathe my injuries.
“Let her kill me. I don't care any more.”
“Kill you? That's the least of your worries. She could keep you alive for a very long time, Emma. Are you so stupid you don't realise that? She doesn't have to kill you. But you'd be pleading for death all day and all night.”
A shiver ran down my spine. Would she actually be capable of torturing me? Truly? Knowing how her brother felt about me?
“I have never seen a woman as angry as Cassandra is right now.” Simon pressed the knuckles of his hand against his forehead and squinted from the stress of the last few hours. “I have... I have moved fucking Heaven and Earth in pleading for you to be spared an unthinkable fate. You have no idea what might have happened to you... So don't talk to me about dying because dying as far as she was concerned was so far away in the future that it didn't even factor in to the conversation.”
Fear was now beginning to grip me as I began to realise just what my fate could be. I had never forgotten that week I had spent in the narrow hole in the slave pens of Banu Hashim, and my recent suspension in the courtyard was an ordeal that would be burned into my brain for the rest of my life too. For Simon was right, death was sometimes the least thing that slaves had to fear.
I looked up at Simon with genuine fear in my face now. “What... what's going to happen to me...” the other girls in the pen knelt silently, their heads down, listening, perhaps scared for me, for we had shared a lot together on this estate. I had been good to them over the years, and I think they appreciated that.
“You...” Simon stood up. I could see he was angry. “What the fuck did you think you were doing, Emma? You're not some stupid girl fresh from being captured on Earth, screaming hysterically each time a man touches her thigh, because she hasn't got the faintest idea what's happening to her now. To speak the way you did to the Lady Cassandra, and in public too! If the Lady didn't have feelings for me... if I wasn't able to swallow my pride and literally beg her on my knees for mercy on your behalf...”
“You... begged for me...?”
“In private, on my fucking knees, saying if she cared for me at all, that she would grant me one boon in her lifetime, and that this would be it, and that I would be forever in her debt for it. I am sworn to her service now, Emma. For you. For your life. So....” he began to pace around the girl pen, looking everywhere but at me, “so, don't even begin to say something to me like you want to die, or you want to give up, or it's all too much, because you do that, and I'll... I'll... I...” In truth Simon didn't know what he might do, for he was Simon, and I think he had always loved me since that day I had undressed him in the submerged Kurii drop ship that lay beneath Lake Siljan. It must have pained him all those years when I lay in Brinn's bed, and Brinn was like an older brother to him, nurturing a new life for Simon on Gor, teaching him the ways of the world and giving him a home, but all the time, owning me and flaunting me. And oh yes, Simon could have asked for me any night he chose, and Brinn would have sent me to Simon's couch, but that wasn't what Simon wanted. He was from Earth after all. He didn't see me that way, or rather he didn't want to see me that way. I was Emma of London, and I was a reminder of his home in a way that a native Gorean girl could never be. And I had been his first, sort of, until we were interrupted.
I saw the way Simon looked at me, and I saw how much he cared for me in his own stupid way, and how the last five years must have felt to see me day in and day out, semi-naked, deeply sexual, and to see other men laugh and grope me at will, knowing he could do the same, but in a truer sense he never could.
Poor Simon. I was his Wonder Woman.
“What is going to happen to me?”
And then Simon told me what I had to do.
I was led into the great stone hall, naked, leashed, and with my hands braceleted behind my back. A dais with a broad couch had been set onto the raised platform previously reserved for the High Feasting Table where Brinn wined and dined his most important guests, and to which I would normally be chained, and seated there now was the Lady Cassandra, beautifully clothed and veiled, with a pair of matching slave girls in attendance, kneeling in modest Tower positions either side of her seat. A number of her household warriors stood in full war regalia behind her, their faces obscured by crested, plumed helmets, their torsos criss crossed with weapon belts, and their hands resting on ceremonial round shields of polished bronze emblazoned with the Lady Cassandra's personal crest. Lining the hall were the men sworn to Brinn's banner, and all of the household slaves, who were kneeling in rows before the men – females on one side, males on the other. There was an air of solemnity to the room, much like a court room in the chambers of justice, where men and women might be tried and sentenced by a city magistrate. But they would be free, and I was but a slave.
I gazed at the rows of slaves as the warrior led me into the hall. I knew them each of course, for every girl and man who wore a collar on this estate knew to kneel before me. Many of the girls cared for me I think, and nearly all of the collared men lusted after me. My pace was stiff and painful, and it was apparent to everyone in the hall how I had suffered, but I was determined to walk well and without weakness. I was Emma of London, First Slave to the mighty Brinn of the Sardar – a warrior's slave-girl, and unknown to most, the woman who had saved Gor.
You would all be slaves of the Kurii now, I thought to myself as I gazed at the men and women in the hall, if it hadn't been for Rachel, Erin and myself. You would all be living in cattle pens on a scorched and tortured world beneath the shadow of the steel ships.
You owe me your lives, and this is how you repay me.
So be it.
I gazed up at the dais and there I saw Simon standing to the left hand side of Cassandra's chair, while to the right was the warrior, Brandon, who had struck me in the feasting hall in full view of my daughter.
The hall was so very silent as I walked forwards and, when I was close to the dais, and I felt a slight movement on the tight leash, I knelt and bowed my head in supplication. I abased myself before the Lady Cassandra.
“The slave begs to speak, Lady,” said the warrior who held my leash. Reaching down, he unclipped it from the ring on my collar and took several steps back across the tiled floor.
“Speak, girl,” said Cassandra as she reclined on the soft couch.
I cleared my throat and spoke the words Simon had told me to say. “The slave-girl Emma begs the mercy of her Mistress. Her actions deserve the strictest penalties. She has no excuses for her words and actions but she begs forgiveness on her knees if the Mistress can find it in her heart to grant it.”
“Remind me, girl, what did you say to me last night?”
“I was wrong, Mistress. Everything I said was...”
“The exact words, Emma. Now.”
I dared not look up as I said softly, “You will not have my children. No one takes my children from me.”
“Yes, I think those were the words. Only they're not your children, are they, Emma? That would imply you as a slave have possession of them, when we all know that slaves have nothing, not even their own names. They are Brinn's children, not yours, and now that Brinn is dead... what should be done with them?”
I swallowed hard and tried not to show any sign of disobedience. “They should pass to your care, Mistress. That is what should happen.”
“Hmm. Simon here has spoken on your behalf. He is a kind man, and he tells me that you were my brother's favoured slave-girl from time to time.”
Favoured slave-girl... from time to time... oh how I wanted to punch that insufferable bitch in the face.
“If Mistress says so,” is how I responded. “I hope I pleased my Master.”
“Simon tells me you were very fond of your Master, as silly little slave-girls often are, and that you were distraught by the news of his murder. He asks me to consider this when I decide what to do with you. To take it into account. It is no excuse of course.” She lifted one hand and touched Simon gently on his arm as she spoke his name. No doubt everyone in the hall now knew that Simon had gone down on one knee and sworn allegiance to Cassandra's banner. He was her man now – an oath man, like the warrior, Brandon, to her right. Swearing an oath on Gor is of course a very serious thing, considering how Goreans feel about honour.
“Emma is at your mercy, Mistress,” I said softly.
“Many women would have you tortured for weeks, maybe months, Emma. A skilled torturer can keep a slave-girl alive for a very long time, you know.”
“Emma begs mercy, Mistress. She does not deserve it, but she begs it.”
The hall remained silent as the Lady Cassandra rose from her couch and stepped forward to stand at the edge of the dais, overlooking her new household. She gazed down at me and clicked her fingers – a signal for me to raise my head and look up. I did so, being careful to ensure my gaze was restricted to below her veiled face.
“I am a merciful woman, Emma, and in view of the appeals made by my good friend, Simon, you will be spared torture and death. This is more than you deserve. Nevertheless, there is no longer any place for you on this estate. I have slaves of my own to add to the household, and so I will sell a number of my brother's girls in the Sardar spring market. You however will be sold immediately. To this end you will be conducted from this hall today, placed in a wagon and driven from this estate never to return. You will be sold for whatever the market rate is for girls like you at present.”
Her meaning was pure and simple. Banished and sold from the estate, there would be no way I would ever see either of my children ever again. I would be carried away to a slave market in the Sardar foothills and from there to who knows where. Simon had told me as much and yet I could not spare myself from crying. Fresh tears rolled down my cheeks, despite my best intentions. My son. My beautiful daughter. I had wanted to be so strong before Cassandra, but she had made me cry. No doubt behind her opaque veils she was smiling at the sight of the tears.
“What do you think I will get for the little slut, Simon?” she asked with a graceful tilt of her head.
Simon coughed to clear his throat. Perhaps my obvious misery was affecting him too. “She is experienced, well trained, considered beautiful by many men...” it was a very carefully worded thing to say, for by implication Simon suggested to Cassandra that my beauty was of no consequence to him. “However, you are selling her out of season. Do you wish to capitalise on her previous ownership? Your brother's name would...”
“No.” Cassandra swept the suggestion aside. “I do not wish it known that this filthy slut shared the couch of my brother. Let her be sold without a pedigree.”
Simon nodded without argument. Obviously my price would be considerably higher if I were being marketed as the choice property of Brinn of the Sardar. And for my part a higher price would probably have brought me a softer slavery – becoming the personal property of a wealthy man who coveted that which once belonged to the hero of the Sardar.
“Then you are probably looking for anything between two to six silver pieces, depending on how she performs on the auction block. The fresh whip marks on her back will count against her of course.”
“The money is of little consequence to me,” said Cassandra. “I just want rid of the slut. Oh, and remind me which girl was her friend here?”
“Emma had many friends, Lady. She was well liked amongst the girls.”
“Her closest friend then.” Cassandra' gaze swept the room, lingering over the kneeling slave-girls.
“That would be the girl, Chloe, Lady Cassandra,” said Simon, pointing her out in the front row.
“Hmm. Then sell her too. Sell them both. They're just common slaves now.”
Two years ago:
It was a warm summer's day as I lay on the grass in front of the house. Brinn lay beside me, kissing and sucking my breasts as his hands slipped between my thighs to bring me to a state of hopeless abandonment as I lay there, squirming and mewling for relief. It amused him to do this at times, arousing me to an intolerable level, and then letting me simmer as we talked. He liked to watch the way my body responded with tiny almost imperceptible signs. By now he knew me very well indeed, and boasted he could read my emotions and feelings with ease.
“Don't move, Emma. You are to remain perfectly still.” He stroked me between my thighs and watched every muscle in my body quiver as I tried not to respond. This was something else he enjoyed, ordering me to motionless just when I was about to begin writhing on the grass to his touch. I bit my lower lip and let out a gasp. He could see how difficult this was for me. “And relax.” And I did, squirming now in frustration, my body clutching itself to him, but he was not going to take me now, he just wanted me aroused.
“It occurred to me last night that you are something of a spoilt slave these days.” He stoked the flat of my stomach as I lay there, purring.
“Why do you say that, Master?”
“Well, your life is quite luxurious as First Girl of this estate, wouldn't you say?”
It was true of course. But it was no secret. “You object, Master? I thought I had the run of the Household slaves? That is what a First Girl does.”
“You do. And no, I do not object.” He smiled. “It's natural enough for the First Girl to better her position at the expense of the other slaves.”
There were times, living on Brinn’s vast estate as the First Girl, that it was easy enough for me to forget I was actually just a slave on Gor. It was fair to say that at times I enjoyed a standard of living that would be the envy of many Free Women in the cities.
I had only to click my fingers and Shannon or Candice would ask me what I wished, and if it was within their power to do so, they would obey. I had near absolute power over 30 girls and close to 50 men – the sort of power that only the richest of Free Women might equal. And yet there were limits. I had to obey every single Free man on this estate, even the lowliest of Tradesmen, and call them Master. Any one of them could whip me for any reason at all, though Brinn might well enquire what the reason was after the event. Even so, Brinn would be unlikely to take my side if a man on his estate chose to discipline me.
“A Free Man is always right, Emma,” was his often repeated mantra. “If a slave is beaten, it is her own fault for not being pleasing enough.”
I had no say in how I dressed of course. I was required to always be beautiful, with professionally applied makeup. And it was always clear to me that the position of First Girl could be taken from me at any time without any explanation. I didn’t truly think it would be, for I was without a doubt Brinn’s favourite, but I wasn’t that confident that I believed a Gorean man might never tire of me. I had no rights, and if one day Brinn no longer lusted after me, some other girl might rise to take my place. A First Girl is and should always be looking over her shoulder for potential rivals.
“You make me sound selfish and contriving, Master. I think I'm fair to the other girls.”
“I agree. I have no complaints, Emma. And in any event, you may do as you wish in such matters so long as discipline is maintained and the chores are done to my satisfaction.”
“Then what are you getting at Master? I'm confused.” This was obviously going to be one of Brinn's meandering conversations where it might take hours to get to the bottom of what was on his mind. Sometimes he could be insufferable in going round in circles before getting to the point. I knew from past experience that I could only let him explain in his own way and at his own pace.
“I fear though that you may become spoilt. You may forget your station in life.”
“I'm a slave, Master. Your slave. I haven't forgotten that.”
“Hmm. I think it might be good for you to be reminded that you are indeed just a slave. No more than that. I wouldn't want you to start thinking of yourself as having the privileges of a Free Woman.”
And what was that supposed to mean? I lifted myself up by one elbow and gazed at Brinn. “I'm not sure I like the way this is going? You're not thinking of making some other girl here, First Girl? It's Candice, isn't it? Has that little slut been...”
“No, you will always be First Girl, Emma, unless you displease me. I am not replacing you with Candice, though the girl is very beautiful.” He must have seen the jealousy in my eyes as he said that, and so he laughed and touched my nose. “Your reaction is adorable.”
“Adorable!” I swiped his hand away.
“You do not think that Candice is beautiful?”
“I think Candice will be peeling fucking suls for the next week in the kitchen at this rate...” I scowled.
“It amuses me how possessive slave-girls can be of their Master.”
“Dream on!” I snorted and turned my head away in annoyance.
“Ah. Then I presume you do not wish to share my couch tonight, Emma? Shall I send for Candice instead and give you the night off?”
“No.” I said it quickly, knowing I could never win on those terms.
“No?” Brinn pretended a state of confusion. “Speak clearly, Emma.”
“I want to share your couch tonight. Do not send for Candice.”
“My jealous, possessive little slave-girl...” Brinn playfully touched my nose again. “Very well. But you'll crawl to the couch on your knees tonight and beg prettily to be allowed on to it.”
I said nothing. I knew I had lost again.
“Emma?” There was a hint of warning in Brinn's voice. I knew that if I pushed him, he would send for Candice, even if it was truly me he wanted tonight.
“I'll crawl to your couch tonight and I'll beg to join you, Master.” I lowered my head knowing I could never win in these contests of will. The rational side of my brain told me that as the mother of Brinn's children my position was secure, but the emotional side was constantly scared that a newer girl like Candice might one day replace me. I softened my voice and began to kiss and lick him in a way that I knew he liked. “Please allow Emma to share your couch tonight.”
“Petty, jealous, possessive, Emma?” Said Brinn with a big grin as he lay back in the grass and sighed contentedly, happy to let me do what I was now doing.
“Yes, petty, jealous, possessive Emma, Master.”
We lay there for a time, Brinn sated from my ministrations, and I smiled softly to myself as I had my head in his lap. I knew he would no longer be thinking of silky little Candice, and once I assigned her to the kitchens for a week, he wouldn't see her either.
A First Girl never takes her position for granted on Gor.
“Perhaps you do need a lesson in humility once in a while, Emma, otherwise you will begin to adopt a manner that is unsuitable for a slave,” said Brinn as he lay there, his fingers stroking my head.
“I see.” We were back to the original topic and I really didn't like the sound of this. “Why don't you just tell me what you have in mind? You obviously have already decided something.”
“I have. You are to spend three days each year doing chores as an ordinary slave-girl might. Consider it a lesson in humility, after which you will of course return to your duties as First Girl. Three days each year during which other girls will assign you work. Miles Androchine suggested it over dinner last week. He has it in mind for his own First Girl, and so we discussed the relative merits of such an exercise. I think it has many desirable features.”
I knew I’d have to tread carefully here. Past experience had shown me that direct confrontation with Brinn was pointless. His stubborn male pride meant that on principle he couldn’t back down from a slave-girl. My only option was to work around his decisions and sort of agree with them in principle, but plant the idea in his head that maybe he meant something slightly different. To be honest I was also getting a little paranoid again, for Brinn’s eye had been roaming these last few days. Only two days ago I had slept in the kitchens on the soft furs close by the coal stoves, as Brinn had taken Shannon into his bed. I hated it when he did that, especially when he picked someone I liked. Once was bad enough, but the night after that he had been in a strange mood and although I had shared his sleep couch, he had got up part way through arousing me. He had paced up and down the room, feeling distracted and restless, despite my best efforts to get him to return to me. Then to my horror, he opened the door and told the guards there to send Chloe to the room. I lay in bed fuming as Chloe was escorted in naked from the pens. Chloe had looked surprised to see me in the bed, and she could tell how pissed off I was as Brinn threw her on to the furs beside me. Obviously we knew what was expected, and the two of us worked together to arouse and stimulate Brinn, taking it in turns to be mounted by him and brought to orgasm. I think I have mentioned before that Gorean men do not have any lesbian fantasies, and unlike the men of Earth, they do not expect a pair of slave-girls to pleasure one another for their benefit. When a Gorean man summons two girls to his couch, it is purely with the intention of having them both for himself.
After the sex, Chloe lay to the right of Brinn while I lay on his left with my arm over his waist. With his eyes closed, Brinn could not see Chloe and myself mouthing silent words towards one another. Chloe was whispering “sorry,” and I gave her a shrug to make it clear I didn’t blame her personally. I tried to get some sleep, still fuming, but was woken up from a very light slumber at maybe three in the morning when I found Chloe pressed on to her belly, with Brinn going at her again. I bit my lower lip and lay there, apparently forgotten as Brinn grunted in pleasure, driving himself deeper and deeper into the helplessly aroused slave girl.
But I didn’t confront Brinn about it. I knew there was no point. Brinn had always made it clear to me that being his favoured slave did not make him monogamous. In fact, he considered the very idea of being monogamous with a slave as practically a sign of weakness on his part, and no amount of talking would convince him otherwise.
When I was abruptly woken up again sometime after four in the morning by Chloe’s soft moaning, only to find Brinn thrusting between her legs again, I began to seriously get concerned. What was I? chopped liver? I tried enticing him, reminding him I was in his bed too, but he brushed my arm away with a terse remark, “be still, Emma. I'm busy.”
I buried my head into a pillow and felt sick in the pit of my stomach. Was Brinn annoyed with me in some way? Was this his way of telling me? Was I supposed to apologise for something I knew nothing about? Or was he perhaps growing bored with me in his bed? I fretted about it the whole of the day until he found me on the lawn, threw me onto my back without warning and began to arouse me just now.
So I knew I was treading on thin ice and dare not anger him. If I did he was likely to prove a point by simply having other girls in his bed for the next few days. And before long everyone on the estate would know I was no longer his first choice for sex. My status and authority, even if not actually revoked, would diminish. Other girls would sense weakness and an opportunity perhaps to make a play for my Master. It would be open season all of a sudden, and I’d be on the defence.
I didn’t relish having chores given to me by the other girls for three days as some sort of humility exercise, but realistically how bad could it be? Did Brinn actually believe the other girls would dare to make my life a misery? Hardly. They’d be terrified of the repercussions once the three days were over. In fact, not one of them would relish being given any sort of temporary authority over me. They’d run a mile. A couple of them would be ordered to supervise me of course, but the truth is it would be for appearances sake only. Each and every girl would bend over backwards to accommodate my every wish during this stupid charade.
Then so be it. Let Brinn think I was spending a few days remembering what it was to be a simple slave again. The reality was I’d only have to tell the girls what chores to assign me, and they’d follow my suggestions to the letter. Perhaps day one they could assign me to pick berries in a basket. Day two could be spent helping prepare meals in the kitchen. That would be simple enough. As for the third day, well, I’d think of something. I smiled to myself. Brinn could be such a fool at times. No, I wouldn’t argue. I’d act the obedient and humble slave girl, and comply with his wishes.
“If you feel it is for the best, Master, of course I agree.”
“You do?” Brinn seemed surprised. He scratched his chin and gazed down at me. “I confess I am surprised, Emma. I expected some debate on the matter.”
“From me?” I gazed up at him softly, and opened the palms of my hands as I spoke – a subtle signal that always softened his approach to me. “I am your Kajira, Master. I live to obey and pleasure you in all things.”
I found Simon in the courtyard later that day where he was supervising the unloading of some medical supplies. He greeted me with a smile and as always I could tell his eyes were drawn to my legs. If there's one thing a slave tunic shows off to great effect, it's a girl’s legs, and mine were exquisite if I say so myself. I pretended not to notice how Simon’s eyes took in my legs, my breasts, my face, then back to my legs again. Like all men his reactions were so obvious, but unlike most men he didn’t want them to be obvious. Poor Simon. He still hadn’t really got over that night on board Golden Klaw when I had taken him by the hand and given him his first taste of a girl. Why didn’t he simply ask Brinn to send me to his rooms one night? I’m sure Brinn would have been okay with that request. Several of the men on the estate had asked for me at various times, though only those who knew Brinn well. It was never quite clear whether my use was acceptable or not, though I recall one man, a blacksmith come metal worker called Tauran who had not bothered asking Brinn for permission. He had just seized me one day after a long shift and had taken me in the gardens in front of a surprised Chloe. I had complied of course and given him considerable pleasure for he was a man and I had to obey men. Brinn didn't know what to say when he heard of the incident. On the one hand he had never said I was off limits, but I suppose he was used to men always asking him first. It was one of the few times I ever noticed a trace of possessive jealousy on his part, and it was fun to see. He asked me all about it, and his mood was different than usual when I made a point of confirming how fulfilling it had been for me. Brinn made a point of using me quite fiercely that night, much to my delight. He made me beg him for an orgasm, and he withheld it for quite some time, knowing by then just how to read the signals given by my body. I am an open book to Brinn and can hide nothing when I am being furred. Away from the sleep couch I am a little more difficult to read of course, but sex has a way of breaking down all my barriers.
Tauran never used me again, and I’ve sometimes wondered whether Brinn had arranged for word to get back to the blacksmith through a roundabout way that he perhaps should not have acted without permission. Or perhaps Tauran had only really wanted to taste me the once, and perhaps only on account of the fact I was First Girl and I belonged to Brinn. Who knows. In any event, four months later he moved to Vonda to open his own business there.
“Emma, I’m sorry about this. Brinn sometimes has these ideas, you understand.” Simon had looked apologetic. He could be so sweet like that at times. Still, I was surprised that he hadn’t worked out that it was hardly going to be a problem for me, being assigned chores for three days as a common slave-girl might. Simon was smart enough. He must know none of the girls would dare to make anything of my three days of service.
“That's okay, Simon.” I skipped up towards him and stood there shifting my weight from one foot to another with my hands clasped behind my back like some precocious schoolgirl. I gazed up at him sweetly and smiled. “Three days doing chores is no great hardship.”
“Okay, well that’s a relief. I was afraid you'd be livid when you got here. Just so long as you know it's not my idea. Brinn was having dinner with Miles...”
“...Androchine, yes, I know. Honestly, it's not a big deal, Simon. I'll end up peeling some suls in the kitchen and do some laundry. It won't kill me.”
“Good. Well, just take your tunic off, Emma, fold it neatly and put it on the table by the side of the yard.”
This didn’t sound normal. “My tunic? I don’t understand?” I fingered the hem of my brief garment. Was Simon planning on sending me to the slave pens naked? That didn’t seem appropriate. None of the other girls worked in the nude.
“Come on, Emma, you know the routine. Girls are always stripped before the ankle chain is fitted.”
Ankle chain? Now I knew something was definitely wrong. “Simon… I’m not sure what is going on… what ankle chain?”
“The one in the girl wagon, of course.” Simon looked at me as if I was stupid. “You’ve been in a girl wagon before, surely? You know the central metal pole that runs between the side benches. An ankle chain is attached to your left ankle and then the other one is secured to...”
“Yes, yes, I know all that, but what’s it got to do with me?” I glanced at the wagon that sat in the courtyard. I hadn't paid it much attention, because there were quite often one or two wagons loitering in the courtyard, but now I noticed it had been tethered as if ready to depart. I had thought maybe it had only recently arrived, and the tharlarion had not yet been removed from the yoke. I suddenly felt a tightness in my chest. If I was going to be chained in the girl wagon that could only mean I was being taken somewhere.
“Emma, you do know you’re being taken to the estate of Miles Androchine, twenty pasangs from here? You do know that?”
“No! No I don’t! What’s happening!” My voice suddenly rose with a shrillness that it didn’t usually have. “Simon, what’s going on?”
“Didn’t Brinn explain? You’re going to spend three days as a common slave, working under the supervision of other girls.”
“Yes, but here on this estate, surely?”
Now Simon laughed. “Of course not, Emma. Come on, we all know that none of the other slaves here could supervise you. They’d be too scared of what you might do to them afterwards. No, Brinn has arranged a swap with Miles’s First Girl. She’s serving three days on this estate under the supervision of your girls, and you’ll do likewise under the supervision of her girls.”
“Oh God, no! No! You don’t understand, Simon – the other girls on that estate don’t know me! You have no idea how they’ll be to me! You can’t do this!” I began to scream and glance in panic around the courtyard. “Please don’t do this! Please|!” I dropped to my knees and put my hands together. “I’ll work hard on whatever chores you want to assign me, but don’t put me in the hands of girls on another estate...”
But of course I was. And for three long days and nights I was reminded what it is to be a common slave-girl again.
And then came the hardest part, because when the Lady Cassandra spared my life and excused me from weeks of torture, it wasn’t simply an act of mercy on her part. It had been left to Simon of course to explain to me what I was required to do if I wished to be spared. Because Cassandra, despite her faults, did love my children, and she dearly wanted them to love her back, and how could that possibly happen if they discovered that their Amita had tortured and put their mother to death? So there was something she needed from me and it would be the price I had to pay, and that price was to cheerfully persuade my children that I was simply going away ‘for a while’ and that they must stay with their loving Amita while I was gone.
Cassandra of course would never tell me to do that, because it would imply I had some power and that I might deny her what she truly wanted, and so it was left to Simon to broker the deal in his own way, based on the vaguest of suggestions on Cassandra's part.
He had let me rage and swear and cry and make all manner of appeals once I had heard what I had to do, and he had waited until my crying had exhausted me. And then he had knelt beside me and took me in his arms and he stroked my hair and he told me, “There is no other way. The Lady will take custody of your children regardless, but this way you will be spared and your children will not have to live with the knowledge of losing their mother as well as their father. I can see no other way, Emma.”
And yes I had cried some more and I begged Simon to perform some miracle, but of course he had done all that he could.
“Your children will be safe. The Lady Cassandra would never dream of harming them. She loves them almost as much as you do. And I will watch over them and… I swear to you Emma, I swear to you on my Home Stone, that I will never let them forget you. Never. I will tell them stories about you, of how you saved Gor, and I will make them proud of you. I will ensure that Marik grows up strong and Jacinta becomes the little Ubara she deserves to be. I swear to you, Emma. I will be the guardian angel to your children, and no one, no one will ever hurt them.”
“I’ll never see them again!” I sobbed.
“They will never forget you. And who knows, one day… one day Marik will be a warrior and he will go looking for you. I am sure of it. He will go looking for his mother.”
“I will be lost somewhere on Gor. He’ll never find me.”
“I can only offer you hope, Emma. Small as it may be. In years to come your children will look for you. I will raise them to do so.”
“Oh God… this is so hard. I don’t think I can do this…”
“Let them think everything is fine. Let them only hurt because you are gone from their lives 'for a while'. Do not give them the pain of knowing that their mother is dead. Let them receive Cassandra’s love in your place, rather than have them grow up filled with hate and despair. Let them know the comforts of childhood. Can you imagine the nightmare of the next few years if they knew you had thrown away your own life and suffered before hand? They would hate Cassandra and then they would have no one to turn to as they grew up.”
“Simon… this will kill me.”
“It will not kill you, Emma, not so long as you cling to the hope that many years from now your children will find you. One day you will be cleaning the rooms of your Master and a tall, proud, strong warrior of the Sardar will stride into that house and with gold or at the point of a sword he will claim you. And you will know him immediately, no matter how old he might be. And he will bring you home.”
I cried for half an hour while Chloe and the other girls watched in silence, hardly daring to look at me.
And then I did what Simon told me to do.
Marik was wailing and clinging to my hands as I tried to explain again. There was a look of anguish in his face as I knelt beside him, wearing a a brown slave tunic that hid the marks on my back from view. Close by stood Jacinta, calmer, with soft blinking eyes that looked at me with a wisdom beyond her five years. And standing to one side was Cassandra, appearing concerned as if this wasn’t all her doing. Simon stood behind her, though I noticed that for once Brandon, Cassandra’a chosen warrior, was nowhere to be seen. Having him in the same room as my daughter, Jacinta, would hardly have been a good idea. I wouldn't put it past Jacinta to order her brother to fetch a sword and kill him on the spot. Two other guards however stood discretely close to the far door. Cassandra, I suspect, didn’t quite trust that I wouldn’t try to kill her with my bare hands if she met me on her own.
“I have to go for a while, my mighty warrior of the Sardar. Now you have to be strong like your papa, and take care of your sister until I return.”
“I don’t want you to go!” He was crying, though Jacinta wasn’t. I could tell she was equally upset, but she refused to shed any tears in front of men who were not her family. If anyone was going to grow up to be a Ubara, it was her.
“I have to, Marik. Now that your papa has died heroically in battle, it is my responsibility to travel to each of the most powerful cities on Gor and bring them news of his passing. That is the custom. Your papa was a great man and loved by all the peoples of Gor, and it’s very important that I deliver the sad news in person. It’s a great privilege for me as your papa’s First Slave. You wouldn’t want the peoples of Gor to forget your papa now, would you?” I brought my son close and held him in my arms.
“No, mama, but I want to go with you…”
“But who would run the estate with your papa gone, if you weren’t here? Your Amita, the Lady Cassandra, can’t do it on her own. She needs the mighty warrior Marik to advise her. And what of your papa’s sworn men? They will look to you now for inspiration. What would your papa say now if he could hear you absconding on your duty as the head of his household? Hmm?”
It was a convincing lie to say to a five year old Gorean boy born into the caste of the scarlet. Already Marik was nodding and swallowing back his pain at the thought of losing me.
“You will come back, mama?”
“Of course I will. Now it may not be for quite some time, because there are so many cities on Gor, but one day… and when I do, I will expect to marvel at how big and strong you’ve become, and I’ll kneel at your feet and glow with pride and…”
“You shouldn’t kneel.” It was Jacinta’s little voice that cut through the room with an authority that was so beyond her years.
“I’m a slave, deliciae,” I said, holding out my left hand to my daughter. My right hand of course was for my son, as was the custom on Gor.
“I don’t want you to kneel, mama,” said Jacinta.
“Jacinta…” Cassandra moved towards my daughter now, her voice all honey and and sunshine. “We all love Emma, but she is a slave-girl, and there are things that can’t be changed…”
“Yes they can,” said Jacinta suddenly. “I free her.” She looked straight at me with an uncompromising expression. “You are free now, mama.”
For a moment there was silence in the room as no one knew quite what to say. And then Cassandra cleared her throat and responded, “Jacinta, my deliciae, it doesn’t quite work like that.”
“Yes it does, Amita. I am Lady Jacinta of the Sardar. I free my mama.” She waved her hand in a very imperious manner that made her look very much like her aunt.
“You can’t do that, Jacinta,” said Cassandra sweetly. “She doesn’t belong to you.”
“Then Marik will do it.” She turned to Marik. “Free mama.”
Marik looked up, as bewildered by all of this as everyone else was. But before he could say anything, Cassandra took Jacinta’s hand and knelt beside her. “We will talk about this later, my deliciae. It has been a long day.”
“My mama is free. I said so!”
“We’ll talk about this later.”
“It’s okay,” I said with a smile on my face that was painful to hold onto. “Jacinta, it's right that I'm a slave - it’s who I am.” I reached out for my daughter again and waited as she came running into my arms. Now she cried. Her composure was gone and she was just a five year old girl suddenly.
“I love you, mama.”
“And I love you more than you will ever, ever know and I will never stop thinking of you.” I hugged them both fiercely to me, even when it hurt my recent injuries. I held on to my children and I gazed up at Simon all the while.
Chloe was already on board the girl wagon with her ankle chains locked around the central bar. She was naked of course, as I soon was when a guardsman instructed me to strip in the courtyard. The brown woollen slave tunic had stuck to the scabs on my back and I could feel one or two of the whip marks bleeding again as I stripped down to nothing. Simon had assured me that I would not scar, but frankly right there and then I no longer cared.
I think the guard’s name was Tomas, though I can’t be sure. I was numb from what had just happened, and I was finding it hard to remember the names of men whom I only ever called ‘Master’ in this house. But Tomas had known me for a year and a half in Brinn's service. He was kind as he told me to present myself for chaining.
“Brinn would not have wanted this,” he said, in a voice that was meant to convey that he didn’t approve of what was happening to me.
“He had five years to put me in some legal will for the good of my children,” I said, for it was true – Brinn was as much to blame in this matter as Cassandra. At any time he could have secured my position in the event of his death by simply calling upon the services of a scribe. But no, he was Brinn of the Sardar and he laughed in the face of death.
The guard didn’t contradict me, for I think he understood that what I said was true.
“Many men here will miss you, Emma.”
I nodded and sat on the flap of the wagon as he secured my ankle chains.
“It will be a sadder place without you.”
I had nothing more to say. I had no rights, so what was the point? The guardsman would obey Lady Cassandra no matter what. He had no loyalty to me. I was a slave-girl.
My ankle chains were secured to the central bar and as soon as I was aboard Chloe took me in her arms and hugged me close. It was a parting mercy of sorts from Cassandra. She would not take quite everything from me. While she couldn’t guarantee that I would have my friend beside me forever, Chloe would at least be with me for a while. I would not be totally alone.
“Chloe will be auctioned with you,” said Simon when we had parted. “I insisted upon it. You will be auctioned together as a single lot. A matching pair of slaves. It is up to you then to ensure that your new Master will not sell one of you without the other.”
“Thank you, Simon.” And then I had hugged him and I had felt his body quiver as he worked hard to control his emotions feeling me so close to him.
And then without any further debate, the wagon rolled away from the estate, taking me and Chloe to the Sardar market where we would be auctioned to new Masters and a new home far from here.