Monday, 6 November 2017

Shadows of Gor - Chapter Five (of Eighteen)

Chapter Five: We are auctioned together on the slave block of the House of Kanaan

The sharp crack of the slaver’s whip against the wooden boards was the signal for Lot 23 – Chloe and myself – to walk on stage and present ourselves to the assembled men and a small handful of women who, it must be said, kept themselves within an informal grouping, preferring not to sit or stand in amongst men who had thoughts of female flesh on their minds. Our potential buyers stood watching from the sawdust covered floor in direct sight of the platform as we stepped out into bright daylight. We were both naked, and our original collars had been removed and replaced with platform collars stating that were currently in the care of the House of Kanaan. A carefully measured extract of Belladonna had been applied with an eyedropper to make our pupils appear bigger just before we were due to be auctioned. We wore full makeup that I had applied to us both, choosing to wave away an auction house slave-girl who had been doing the rounds to tend to girls with little or no makeup skills.

It was a warm day in the Sardar foothills, but it was still a good two or three weeks before the prime slave season, and so the auction was only attended by two dozen or so bidders, some of whom sat in their tiered seats, while others stood close to the stage itself. Chloe and I had rehearsed in the crowded holding pen for a few hours before our sale, and so we deliberately walked on stage together and then peeled off to pirouette into place on either side of the slaver, striking suggestive poses, mimicking one another’s movements but in a mirror image fashion. It was important that we drew attention to the fact that we were a matched set, and that a man should really strive to purchase us both together and keep us that way.

We smiled of course, for we were not girls new to the collar, terrified at the prospect of being sold to an unknown man, trembling with fear. I felt nervous, yes, for it is a worrying thing to be auctioned on a block, not knowing who will buy you, but I had been a slave on Gor long enough now to understand what was happening. Our skin gleamed, for Chloe had rubbed oil onto mine and I had done the same with her. We were beautiful, I think, and we carried ourselves with the self assurance of girls who knew they could give pleasure to a man.

“Lot 23, and as you can see it is a delightfully matched set, consisting of a delicious blonde from the foothills of the Sardar mountains, and a dusky skinned beauty from the Tahari. Imagine the pleasures they could bring together chained to your couch, Masters. Each one striving to be the most pleasing. The blonde comes with our certification that she is a dancer of considerable skill.” As the slaver spoke, I began to move in a sensuous series of steps, gliding about the stage in the exotic dances of the Tahari, my body flowing like water as I spun and danced to a tune only I could imagine in my head. I danced for only a minute or two to prove the point, and when the slaver cracked his whip again, I pirouetted to a perfect stationary point and gazed imploringly at him, my arms outstretched as if my body had somehow betrayed me.

There was Gorean applause – the striking of the left shoulder with the right hand – from some of the men, and I knew I had made a good start already. I heard the word 'slut' from the mouth of a Free Woman however, and I trembled slightly, hoping above hope that it would not be a Free Woman who purchased us out of spite to perhaps thwart men who desired us, and to punish us for our sexuality. Such things happen in market places, for Free Women of means do sometimes buy beautifully sexual slave-girls and then treat them terribly, just because they are desirable to men.

“Imagine her dancing on the tiles before you, as the silken Tahari beauty lies at your feet, kissing and licking and begging for your touch. Let one dance and the other serve! Or enjoy them both together! An unparalleled opportunity to acquire two of the finest girls I have had on my block in many months. Let me assure you that the girls are extremely competitive, and will try and outdo one another in their serves.”

He had his hands now on Chloe’s body and I think he had taken her very much by surprise, as the look of shock on her face seemed genuine enough. The slaver of course knew precisely where to touch a slave-girl, and so the subsequent writhing and whimpering of Chloe was only too real.

While the slaver warmed Chloe's body, I proceeded to move around the stage, presenting myself with subtle eye contact to each of the men in the front row. My gaze was never challenging, but rather pleading and needy, sensual and aroused, offering the promise of what I could be to them if only they might afford my price.

“Buy me, Masters,” I begged, as I dropped to my hands and knees and crawled to the very edge of the stage, where several of the men reached out and touched me. Some of the other men in the back row jostled forward to do the same, while others gazed up with pleasure at the sight of how Chloe was wriggling with burning heat, now she was in the experienced hands of the slaver.   

“Slut!” shouted the veiled Free Woman again, but I tried my best to ignore her. My performance was really designed for the men. 

“Cheap, tawdry slut!” shouted her friend.

“Be quiet,” said one of the men in the tunic of the Builders, as he turned his attention to the Free Women. “You are interrupting the auction and disturbing my assessment of the slaves.”

“Then let me spare you such an assessment, Sir,” said the Free Woman in a haughty voice, “by informing you that the girls are simply cheap paga sluts, and going by the suggested list price for them in the auction catalogue,” she waved a copy of it in her right hand, “they are vastly overpriced.”

“Then simply don't bid on them,” said the builder, as he turned away from the women in irritation.

One of the men was touching me intimately now, assessing my responses to his hands, and like Chloe I found myself helpless with slave heat. I moaned softly and scratched at the wooden boards beneath me with my finger nails, which seemed to please him. I had only recently been freed from the metal belt, and within the holding pen I had been given slave wine to drink for the third time in my life. The slave wine was made from processed sip root that grows in the Barrens and it is more or less guaranteed to prevent conception in a girl indefinitely. Slaves hate to drink it because it is bitter, black and foul tasting. The word 'wine' is something of a misleading description after all. I had gagged the horrible drink down, kneeling, with my hands on my thighs as it had been given to me. The taste had lingered on my tongue for hours afterwards, but at least now I was no longer at risk of becoming pregnant. A releasing agent of course can be administered to a girl by a Master which negates the effect of the slave wine, which is of course what Brinn did six years ago when he wished me to provide him with children.    

It is worth noting that sip root in its raw state, if chewed or sucked, can render a woman unable to conceive for four to six weeks. Free Women may sometimes use sip root themselves if for example, in Free Companionship, they are likely to have sexual intercourse, and for whatever reason they do not wish to run the risk of pregnancy. Goreans live long lives due to the stability serums, and therefore the urgency to procreate is not such a driving force on Gor as it is on the overcrowded and over populated world called Earth.

“Girls such as these will not be cheap, Masters,” said the slaver with a smile as he gazed down at me. “Shall we begin the bidding at two silvers?”

I saw a man dressed in the robes of the Merchants raise his right hand, and so the bidding had begun.


It may seem strange to you that in the six years or so that I had lived on Gor I had only ever been sold once, and that had been when I had been displayed in a sirik chain on a rough blanket in a desert oasis. I had never displayed myself on the wooden platform boards of an auction house. I had no real experience of performing under the whip of an overseer to procure the highest price in an auction. I was experienced, of that I had no doubt, and it would be obvious enough from the way I moved and responded that I was well trained, but nevertheless I was new to the experience of being sold from an auction block. Ironically, Chloe, despite being far less trained than myself, had been auctioned before, and it had been Brinn’s people who had bought her.

We had travelled for five days in the covered girl wagon, with our ankles chained to the central bar. I watched the estate that I had called home for the last five years recede into the distance as I peered through a gap in the canvas. I felt numb, ripped apart as I considered the possibility that I would never see my children again. But Chloe kept me sane – she kept telling me how I had persevered in the past, how I had overcome Seremides and his war band, how I had fought and won against Elizabeth Bentley on top of Skaffel Peak, how I had pursued and destroyed 'Tarn Strike' and how I had sent my best friend, Rachel Evans, home to Earth where she could be free of chains and collars for the rest of her life.

“You have done all that and more Emma. You'll be reunited with Marik and Jacinta. I have faith in you.”

I said nothing, and so Chloe continued to talk to me from time to time, drawing me up from my absolute despair.

“Have you ever considered that you're practically Rachel to me?” said Chloe on the third day. I gazed up, curious, as she said that, because of course I had spoken to her on many occasions about Rachel. “I'm like you were when you found Rachel again in the Tahari and she looked after you, Emma, because she was the one who was strong and experienced. All that time you looked to Rachel for support, and in your mind she was this tower of strength, but I bet she was as scared and numb as you feel now, but for your sake she kept going. Because what would have happened to you if Rachel had just given up? And now you're my Rachel. Because I don't know what to do, Emma. Now I'm scared for the first time since I met you, because I honestly don't know what to do.” Chloe spoke the words quietly as the wagon bumped and rolled along the paved road towards the markets of the Sardar foothills. “One day I'm going to be talking to a young and inexperienced slave-girl who might look up to me, and I'll tell her about the darkest moments in my life and how I got through them because of Emma Anderson, and how she never gave up, even though deep down she wanted to curl into a ball and never wake up again. Everyone has a Rachel at some low point in their lives, Emma. You're mine now. Don't lie down and die, because I'm scared what will happen to me if you do.”

I thought of Rachel, and I remembered the moments of despair for her. I remembered the time on the river boat when she knew she would be branded once we reached the exchange point, and the growing sense of helplessness as that destination grew closer and closer, and she began to realise there was nothing she could do to change Brinn's mind.

I remember how desperately Rachel pleaded with Brinn, begged him, as he took her to the branding tent. Even then at the eleventh hour she hoped and prayed she might be spared. But of course she wasn't. But it didn't break her. She remained Rachel.

Oh God, I love her so much. 

On the fifth day we arrived at the small town of Rittan in the Sardar foothills where we were given into the keeping of the Slaver House of Kanaan. The mountain ranges of the Sardar region are mostly inhospitable – a bleak wilderness in which nothing grows, but further afield, in the region where Brinn kept his estate, still in full view of the black mountain ranges, there are a number of small towns and villages where the grass and vegetation are plentiful again.

The Slaver market of Kanaan had maybe thirty girls, with more arriving every few days, and their set up included a main auction block, raised two feet above the ground, and a secondary block which was only used during the busier Spring sales. I breathed in the clean Sardar air as a slaver made a thorough assessment of my body for his records. I had arrived with papers, and although they did not mention Brinn's name, they did record my length of slavery to date, my personal measurements and physical details and included various certifications as to my skills.

“You trained to dance in the Tahari?” said the slaver as he looked up from the folded sheet of creased rence paper. I could see various authentication stamps from my previous ownership recorded on it.

“Yes, Master. I am a superb dancer.”

“What were you doing in the Tahari? You are obviously not native to the area.”

“I travelled there on business when I was free. A man I trusted sold me into slavery when we arrived.”

The slaver frowned upon hearing that. “He shared your Home Stone?”

“Yes, Master.”

“You were under his protection while you travelled?”

“Yes, Master.” I could tell that the slaver didn't approve of such a betrayal. Goreans can be very strict when it comes to matters of honour. Oh, he didn't care that I was enslaved – he probably felt it was my natural place in the world, but he didn't approve of a man who was supposed to be protecting me doing it. 

He nodded and sniffed. “It is what it is, girl. You are a slave now and you will perform well on the auction block, or you will be whipped in front of the bidders.”

“Yes, Master.”

“We must put on a good show,” Chloe had said as she massaged oil into my skin an hour or so before the auction took place. The oil was a standard trick girls used before walking out onto the block for it gave their skin a warm glow that added to their beauty. Some oils came with tiny specks of glitter that on a sunny day gave a girl the radiance of a Goddess. We worked in a cramped holding cell packed with girls who like us were attending to their appearance for everyone here knew that the quality of their life from here on in depended on who bought us. In theory a rich man would provide a more comfortable slavery, but a rich man would only buy the best looking girls. Everyone here therefore wanted to attract a high price on the block, and this suited the auctioneers very well indeed.

I gazed at the other girls in the holding cell. There were some striking beauties around us. A few of them were clustered around a low table containing brushes, cosmetics and mirrors. I could see that Chloe and I would have to push and shove to gain room for ourselves if we wanted to look our best.

“I’ll do your makeup, Chloe,” I said as I turned round so that Chloe might massage body oil down my back. The sensation of her fingers on my skin was soothing, blissful even, and dare I say it, somewhat erotic. When she was done I of course would apply oil to her skin as well. But when it came to makeup I was the best and so I would do both my own and Chloe’s.

“Make my eyes bigger,” she said.

“Of course. Men will drown in your eyes when I’m through with you,” I said with a smile. “Remember, we have to be sold together, otherwise we’ll never see each other again.” I took her hand and held it tightly. It was true. It was perhaps the most awful thing a slave had to endure – the loss of friendships and relationships when one of them was sold and the other was not. You could know someone for five years and then at the whim of your Master you might never see them again.

I thought back to Kara, my first chain sister, and how I had lost her that day in the Oasis when Brinn, disguised as a Tahari merchant, had bought me but not her. It is perhaps my greatest regret in life that I did not try to persuade him to buy Kara too. I still see her face as she watched me walk away, leaving her to the savage treatment of Rashid. I feel ashamed. It was a moment of weakness. I was so desperate to leave that man’s clutches that I didn’t dare say or do anything that might annoy Brinn and perhaps endanger my own sale.

I’m sorry, Kara, I am so very sorry for thinking only of myself that day.

“Emma, please, look at them. They’re so scared. They’re crying…”

I had been trying not to look at the group of three girls who crouched in a far corner of the cage. To be honest my reaction was the same as the reaction I had on Earth when as a young man I used to pass homeless person after homeless person on the streets of London, sitting dejected looking in doorways, whispering a few words to you as you walked by, begging for some loose change. I always felt guilty, knowing there were too many to help, and fearing that if I helped a few, I would have to do so to those chosen few every time I passed by that way, because after a few days I would have struck up a rapport with them.

I could feel the fear, the terror emanating from those poor girls as they cried and clung to one another for support. They were from Earth, you see, American by the tone of the voices, and had probably been on Gor for maybe one or two days at the most, for they were still dressed in their Earth clothes.

Two of the girls wore skin tight jeans and sweater style tops, though they were bare foot. The third girl wore black leggings and a mini skirt and a longish t-shirt with an asymmetrical hemline that draped over one side of the mini-skirt. She too was barefoot. They spoke English of course, for they didn't know Gorean, and this marked them out as barbarians to the other slaves in the cage. I say other slaves, for obviously the girls were slaves, though I suspected that a) they didn't know that yet, and b) the fact they were still wearing their old clothes meant they may not have been branded yet. But I had no doubt in my mind that papers of enslavement had been drawn up and signed, proclaiming them legitimate captures. And it was obvious to the eye that steel collars belonging to the auction house had been locked around their necks. They would be auctioned tonight as raw barbarian girls, new to the collar, unskilled, untrained, and therefore cheap. They would be sold for coppers rather than silvers.

“Emma, we should do something,” said Chloe again. “We can't just leave them like this. Look at them...”

“We only have an hour, maybe two to prepare for our own sales,” I said, still avoiding eye contact with the American girls out of guilt. One was blonde. The other two, including the girl with the black leggings and the mini-skirt, were brunettes. All three were beautiful of course, for Gorean slavers make their choices on Earth very carefully indeed. “We have to practise a dance routine for when we walk on to the stage – our steps mirroring one another so that the men will want to bid for us as a pair.”     

The crying was working on my nerves. I glanced back at the three girls and saw they were obviously in a state of shock. I nodded and lifted myself up from the straw covered floor to approach them. 

“What are your names?” I asked.

Instantly two of the three girls looked up, shocked to hear their native tongue being spoke.

“English? You speak English! Oh God – thank you! Thank you! You have to help us! Where are we?” The girl who wore the black leggings brushed back her hair and gazed at me as if I was her saviour.    

“You're in a holding pen on the planet Gor. The Sardar foothills are North of here, but that won't mean much to you. I'm Emma, and this is Chloe.” I indicated Chloe as she knelt down beside me, a look of concern on her face as she recognised in the three girls her own experience of waking up on this savage world for the first time. “What's your name?”

“Shelly,” said the girl in the black leggings. “Men broke into my apartment and...”

“I can imagine,” I said. I didn't have time to spend listening to her capture story. “It happens to many girls.”

“You're British?” said Shelly.

“From London.” I nodded. “I've been here for over six years now. Chloe, somewhat less than that.”  

“What is happening to us? Why are we in a cage? Why are you naked?” The three girls of course were the only girls here to be wearing clothing. Perhaps they felt slightly more secure because they were clothed. If so they were soon in for a rude awakening as their clothes were likely to be stripped from them once they were marched onto the auction block.

“I'm a slave-girl,” I said, turning so that they could see the kef brand on my left thigh. I touched the collar on my neck and then pointed to Shelly's collar. “You've been brought to this world to be a slave, too.”

“No! No!” One of the girls wearing jeans and a sweater began screaming hysterically until Chloe reached over and hugged her. Even then the girl began struggling and hyper ventilating until Chloe was able to calm her down. The Gorean slave-girls in the pen scowled and told us to keep the barbarians quiet.    

I saw Shelly shrink away from me to the extent she could in the barred cage, pressing her back against the bars and trembling with fear. She gazed at my collar and then tried frantically to pull her own collar away from her throat. I allowed this to go on for an an ehn or two before I reached over and gently pulled her hands away from the steel.

“You can't remove it,” I said softly. “None of us can.” 

“This is insane! Where are the police?! This isn't legal!” The other girl in the jeans and sweater who had mostly been quiet, in shock, while Chloe and I reassured her companions, now began wailing too. This seemed to be the final straw for some of the Gorean girls in the pen as one of them, a red-headed pleasure slave called Sabina, stormed over to the frightened girl and slapped her hard across the face.

“Be quiet! Be quiet!” She snarled, making the girl cower even more in fear. Sabina had spoken in Gorean of course, but the meaning behind her command was plain enough.

“Leave her alone,” I said, standing up to face the Gorean girl. I too now reverted back to fluid Gorean. “Can't you see she's new to her collar and terrified?”

“So?” sneered Sabina as she placed her hands on her hips and regarded me. “She's a barbarian. A worthless barbarian. Tell her to be quiet or make her be quiet. We all need to prepare for our sales. These whining barbarians are annoying us.” Sabina kicked the girl in the jeans and sweater with her foot.

And then Sabina was suddenly down on the ground, screaming, her hands clutching her face where I had hit her suddenly with the palm of my right hand, nearly breaking her nose. There was blood on her face now, leaking from that cute little nose. A few years ago as I had lain on Brinn's couch I had told him of the cage fight I had lost in the pens of Banu Hashim, early on in my slavery. Brinn had raised me from the couch and over the course of an hour he had shown me how to strike quickly should I ever find myself in such a situation again.

“Anyone else looking to annoy me?” I said to the other girls in the holding pen, as my gaze swept around the preparation area. No one looked keen to step up and take Sabina's place. “Good. Now leave the barbarians alone.”

“Wow Emma, you're bad-ass,” said Chloe as she continued to hold the first of the two girls who wore tight jeans. “Emma Anderson, Fighting Girl of Gor!”

“Well, I don't know about that.” I shook my hand to loosen it up after the punch. “Brinn always told me that slave-girls spend ages building up to a fight and the secret is just to cut through all that and put everything into one solid punch before the girl squaring up to you realises the fight has begun.” I was actually quite pleased with myself. I watched as Sabina crawled away, bawling at the thought of what a bloodied face would do to her potential sale price. Maybe I was bad ass now after all. Rachel would no doubt have approved.    


The bidding had stalled at three silvers and thirty nine coppers which I do not think was a fault with either Chloe or myself, but rather an indication of how prices are out of season. In the weeks running up to the Spring fairs in the Sardar it is possible to obtain some bargains. We had shared a holding pen with some lovely slaves, and I knew that any man who bought them would be getting a girl at a price well below what she might sell for in Ar, or indeed here in a few weeks time.

“Positions!” said the slaver with a crack of his whip. Both Chloe and myself dropped into nadu, one either side of him. My face was flushed from the way I had been touched earlier on, and my nipples were swollen and stiff with arousal.

These days there are men who acquire portfolios of girls as long term investments. They will procure girls that they perceive to have great potential while they are still reasonably inexpensive, and then over the course of a year or two they see the girls develop into extremely valuable assets. This is becoming more and more the case throughout Central Gor where slave-girls are now viewed as a prudent investment that can bring great returns at a later date.

I heard the slaver explain to the men facing the auction block that he was going to put us through various slave paces, and display positions. No doubt in doing so he hoped to push our price up beyond four silvers. Most of the bidding had been between two men and a woman. The men were of the Builders and Merchant castes and the Lady seemed, as far as I could tell, a woman of independent means who was probably looking to build an investment portfolio of girls. She recognised perhaps that at this moment in time both Chloe and I were underpriced. I do not think she had any interest in us outside of purchasing an asset, and I feared what our future might be like if the Lady acquired us. No doubt we would be housed in pens with her other investment girls. It could be an easy slavery, but then again, it could be a miserable one, for she might keep from us the touch of men.

I realised I did not want a life without sex. Sex was important to me. I glanced at Chloe and I could see from her quick expression that she shared my concerns. Free Women often keep their slave-girls chaste and do not permit men to touch them. This has nothing to do with them caring for our well being. They simply do not like to be reminded that men desire us more than they desire the Free Women, and they do not wish us to enjoy the submissive sex that perhaps they secretly fantasise about.

A Free Woman will often beat a slave-girl who moves and responds in a sexual way towards a man. They hate us for it. They despise us. They can be so cruel. And yet, too, they are often curious. In private, away from the attention of others, a Mistress may recline on her soft couch, loosen her opulent gowns and veils and, over a cup or two of ka-la-na wine, question their slave-girl in detail.

“How does it feel to be the slave of a man?” the Mistress might ask, and of course a slave-girl must answer truthfully, but the truth often angers the Mistress, and despite her curiosity she will respond to our observations with a terse retort such as “filthy slut!”

And we will say, “yes, Mistress,” and lower our eyes.

And she will remind us that Free Women are different. Free Women do not have the same desires or needs.

And we will say, “yes, Mistress,” still not meeting the Lady's eyes. And she will perhaps take another sip of the rich, expensive ka-la-na as she lies upon her soft couch, and then after a few more breaths she will say something like, 'what is it like, Emma, to wear a steel collar? A collar you cannot remove?”

And so on.

I moved under the touch of the whip, switching from one position to the next as Chloe moved in a similar fashion to the left of me. The slaver was not yet taking further bids. The bid of three silvers and thirty nine coppers had come from the finely dressed Lady who I believed was keen to invest in reasonably priced slave-girls. Unless either of the other two men chose to increase their bids, we would soon belong to her.

Slave girls fear being owned by a woman. It is in a sense our greatest fear, and one that I shared, as did Chloe.

“See how they move, Masters and gentle Ladies. These are exquisite slaves, highly trained, and extremely responsive. Were they on sale in three weeks time they would be...”

“Three silvers and forty five coppers,” cried out the Builder. His eyes were now upon me as I lay on my back with my knees raised in front of me and, under the caress of the whip, I spread my thighs before him.”

“A wise bid, Master,” said the the slaver with a smile. His foot brushed my body – signal enough for me to roll onto my belly and crawl towards him, reaching out my hands in an imploring gesture. My pupils were still enlarged by the application of the Belladonna, and my eyelids were deeply coloured with kohl. “Look how she crawls to you! This is a slut who begs your chains and...”     

“Three silvers and fifty five coppers,” said the veiled Free Woman in disdain. I felt a chill in my spine as I considered the possibility that she might continue to bid against the Builder. I gazed quickly at the second man – the Merchant - who had been recently in the bidding, and reached to him with an imploring expression, but with a wave of his hand he indicated to the Slaver that he was no longer competing. Instead he began to examine the description of the girl who would be Lot 24.

“A wise bid, Lady,” said the Slaver. It mattered not to him whether we were bought by a man or a woman. All he was interested in was pushing up the price. “Do not be alarmed by their wanton sexuality, Gentle Lady. Beat them regularly with a slave crop and they will be meek and obedient. Perfect body slaves to attend to your baths. But Masters!” He now addressed them men, and the Builder especially. “Are you going to permit such girls as these to slip from your couch? Surely you would go home tonight and regret that you didn't place one more bid....”

“Three silver and sixty five coppers!” said the Builder in frustration. Oh, how I smiled at him and nodded my head. He was quite handsome as it happens. Chloe too was on her knees before him, and with a touch of the whip on her buttocks, she fell onto her forearms with her ass raised. The Slaver smiled, looking straight at the Builder as he casually caressed Chloe's ass cheeks.

It must have fired the Builder's blood, for no sooner had the Lady begun to call out a bid for an extra ten coppers than the builder shouted out, “Four silvers! Four silvers, says Kraton of Teletus. Four silvers!”

“I thank you, Master Kraton. You, it seems, are wiser than all the other men here today. For you recognise the value of these girls. Let me tell you, Sirs, that they are a delight to control with the whip. They respond superbly to the slightest touch.” He tapped me twice, and I moved from one salacious position to the next.

“Five silvers,” said the Free Woman, and there was suddenly silence in the auction area. My heart sank, and I looked imploringly back at the Builder. Please... please...

“Five silvers.” The slaver rubbed his chin in satisfaction. He sensed that such an uplift in the bidding probably wouldn't be surpassed. It was a good price for the time of the year.

“Do you have money to waste?” growled the Builder as he glared at the Free Woman. She stood there on her own, and she seemed oblivious to how annoyed he was.

“My money is my money,” she said, barely looking at Kraton. “If you cannot afford the girls, then maybe you should begin to concern yourself with Lot 24.”

“I want those girls,” growled Kraton.

“Then be prepared to pay more than 5 silvers for them,” said the Lady.

“The bidding is still open,” said the Slaver, but he could tell the price was now out of reach of the builder. He shrugged his shoulders and regarded the man with pity. “Never fear, Master – Lot 24 is a hot little slut from Brundisium. All my girls today are of the highest quality, and very reasonably priced.”

The builder muttered to himself and kicked some stones in irritation. He wanted Chloe and myself, but our price was now beyond his reach. I swallowed hard, knowing we were going to be owned by a woman.

I had never been owned by a woman before. I was suddenly very scared.          

“The last call then, with the bidding at Five silvers. Five silvers going once, going twice... gone!” He cracked his whip on the block, and with a sinking feeling I knew I had been sold.

Backstage in the holding pen, a tag was fixed to my display collar. The same tag was fixed to Chloe's. Chloe was unable to read or write Gorean, but I could.

“We belong now to Lady Marissa,” I said as I read the inked script.

“I'm scared, Emma.”

I nodded. “I am too.”

I think the slaver was pleased with both our performance and our sale price and so we were given some fresh fruit in a bucket that we devoured with our hands while other sold slaves looked on. Some of them too had also been given fresh fruit, but some others had been whipped and lay in the straw crying. Perhaps their sale prices had not been so good. It is worth remarking of course that they would not have been whipped after their sales, for of course they then belonged to someone else. Rather, they would have been whipped during their performance on the stage to encourage them to work harder. A girl is usually held responsible for her sale price, and treated accordingly.

We washed, which is to say we were given a wooden bucket of cold water, a scrubbing brush and a small cake of cheap soap, and we were told to clean ourselves before our Mistress came to collect us. As we washed ourselves, I saw the three American girls kneeling together in a line by the side of a wicker fence. They were crying again, but this time it was because they had been branded.  They were naked now – their clothes having been cut from their bodies while they were being displayed on the auction block – and their hands were braceleted behind their backs so that they could not touch the raw brands. Judging by the different scripts attached to their platform collars, each one had been sold to a different bidder. The next few weeks would be hard for them, especially now that they were entering Gorean slavery alone, without the others to turn to for support.

“There's nothing we can do for them now,” I said as I rubbed the wet soap between my legs. Two  cheap folded slave gowns had been given to us, and they lay on the grass. These were longer garments than either of us were used to; sleeveless garments that nevertheless hung to the ankles. It is common that Free Women do not wish their slaves to display too much flesh. Nevertheless they were slave garments and so there would be no mistaking the lovely curves of our bodies when we pulled them on over our heads.

And then when we were clean, dry and dressed, we knelt on the grass and waited to be called.

The Free Woman arrived shortly before dusk. Again she was alone, though I suppose she felt safe enough in the main streets of Rittan while there were so many people around. A Free Woman is protected by law of course, though once the sun goes down she shares the same risks that a woman on Earth might face if she strayed into a quiet area.

“What were your names?” she asked as she stood before us. The slaver was in the process of removing the platform collars and recording on papers that our sale was complete and that we were now someone else's property. She filled in some details and signed the papers, nodding to the slaver when she had finished.

“I was called Emma, Mistress. And this was Chloe.” We could be given any names now of course. Whichever names our Mistress preferred.

“Then you shall be Emma and Chloe. I am satisfied with those names.”

That surprised me. Usually a Master or Mistress wishes to imprint a new identity on a slave. But not this time it seemed.

“Thank you, Mistress.”

“You, Emma, will be First Girl.” She took a copy of the slave registry papers, folded it and placed it inside a pouch. “We do not have far to go.” There was a satchel like bag that hung from one shoulder, much like a hand bag. From inside it she produced a pair of simple steel collars. The collars were inscribed, presumably with her name, but from where I knelt I couldn't make out the detail of the writing. She handed the collars to the slaver who then ordered us into collaring position. These new collars proclaiming our new ownership were now locked about our necks.

The Lady then instructed the slaver to bind our wrists behind our backs with simple binding fibre. This was done.

“You will not speak while you walk,” said the Lady as she regarded us on our knees. “Neither will you look at men while we pass through the streets. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Mistress,” we both said.

“If I see either of you looking at a man, I will stop you and beat you.” She carried a supple slave crop that hung from the belt about her waist. As we watched, she placed the palm of her right hand upon the handle. “When were you last beaten?” The question was vaguely addressed to both of us, simultaneously.

“Six days ago, Mistress,” I said, lowering my head.

“Not for a couple of years, Mistress,” said Chloe.. “I am unsure of the date.” This was true. I don't think I ever had cause to whip or beat Chloe.    

“And why were you beaten six days ago, Emma?” said my Mistress.

“I was not pleasing, Mistress.” On the scale of things that was an understatement of epic proportions, but unless she then followed up for details, I thought it best not to explain any further.

“I will not tolerate that, Emma.”

“No, Mistress.”

“Kiss the slave crop, Emma.” The Lady Marissa drew the slave crop from its short leather sheath and presented it to my lips. I kissed it as instructed and lowered my eyes. She then presented it to Chloe who did the same as me. “Understand that the next time the whip leaves this sheath it will be because one or both of you are to feel it. Now rise and heel me. I wish to return to the house before sunset.”

And so we followed the Lady Marissa and true to her word the journey was a short one. We heeled her, that is to say we walked slightly behind her and to her left , and as we walked, from time to time without warning she observed us to ensure we were not gazing at men. No doubt many men were gazing at us, but we did not dare risk to see if this was the case. We walked maybe five or six ehn before we came to a building that seemed to contain a number of apartments spread over three storeys. We passed through into a communal hall of sorts and the Lady then led us up a flight of steps to the first floor where she stopped before a thick wooden door.   

“We are here, Emma, Chloe,” said Marissa as she turned to regard us.

I had no idea where 'here' was. It seemed to be some random building on a narrow side street that ran west from the centre of the town. By my reckoning the sun would set in maybe half an hour, by which time I reckoned our Mistress would want to be safely behind her stout door, with all the latches locked in place. But instead of opening the door to what I assumed was her apartment, I saw her knock with her right hand. Chloe and I glanced at each other. Was this not then her home?

The door opened with a creak, for it was old. And then both Chloe and I gazed in disbelief at the sight of the man standing in the doorway.”

“Tal, Lady,” he said, indicating our Mistress, who inclined her head in greeting and proffered her gloved wrist for him to kiss ever so slightly with his lips, being careful not to actually make contact with her skin.

“And greetings, Emma, Chloe,” said Simon as he then turned to regard us with a beaming smile. “I have to say, you both look very pretty wearing my collars...”   

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