Archive | October 3, 2016

In Which Reynard Gets a Bath

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Last posted about a year ago~

Reynard was swaying. He wasn’t sure when it had started, but he realized, as the woman’s — Elle’s — his owner’s hand landed on his shoulder that he had been leaning to one side, muttering.

“When’s the last time you ate?” She sounded angry. Reynard didn’t look up at her; if he had, he was pretty sure he’d have fallen over.

Don’t call her mistress. “I, uh. Sometime before the beatdown, I think. I don’t really remember much of it clearly.”

“Right. So we’ll clean you, and then we’ll feed you, and then we’ll worry about the rest. Can you stand?”

She seemed to ask him that a lot. Reynard considered the question. “Yes?” He levered himself slowly to his feet, surprised to find her arms under his shoulders pulling him up.

And holding him up, and pulling off what remained of his clothes. “Normally,” he offered, before he noticed his words were slurring, “Norm-uh-luh-lee, I’m very ex.. Happy to have a pretty woman taking my clothes off. Norm. Ally.”

“And now?” She slapped his hands away as he tried to help.

“Now, I think you’re taking ad. Taking advan…” He could not come up with a shorter form of the word.

He didn’t need to. She leaned forward and whispered in his ear. “You Belong to me.”

“Ah. Ah, well… yes. You have a very good point.” Reynard swallowed. “Yes, ma’am Elle. You can take ad — take me any way you want to, can’t you?”

“I can,” she agreed. “I don’t have to wait until you’re slurring your words and swaying on your feet, if what I want is you. Interesting, isn’t it?”

“Inter’sing?” That wasn’t the word he’d have normally used. “Terfy’ing?”

She chuckled. He was naked now — when had that happened? And she was moving him, nearly carrying him, towards the tub. “Interesting. I was never all that interested in having Kept, back in school. And I don’t recall you having any, either. But here we are, because you raided the wrong henhouse. Keep your head above water.”

“Keep my…” for a second, Reynard thought she was speaking metaphorically, and then her hands were off of him and he was slipping into the water.

Head above. Head above. He grabbed on to the sides of the tub and forced his shaking arms to hold him there. Head above water. RIght. He could do that.

A moment later, a warm presence slipped in behind him and arms wrapped around his shoulders. “There you go. There. Just relax against me, if you can.”

Reynard was following her order before he realized she was naked. Of course, he thought, it’s a tub. But that was a lot of wet, slick, naked skin — naked Keeper — pressed against him. The Bond liked contact. He remembered that from school. It liked touch. It liked praise. It hated screwing up, running into orders, disappointing your Keeper. He leaned against Elle and let her hold him up.

“I’m Kept,” he muttered groggily. “Shit.”

“Quite astute,” she murmured in his ear. “Stay awake for me, foxboy. Just until we get you clean, at least. Come on.”

The order pricked him into consciousness. “S’hard,” he complained. “There was a lot of, uh…”

“Yes. I think you were staying awake on adrenaline. Now that you’ve decided i’m not going to torture or kill you immediately, you’re crashing. That’s fine.” She lathered a washcloth and ran it over his chest. “Just stay awake long enough to not drown and we’ll be fine. I just want to make sure this is mostly dirt and not blood.”

“Some blood, probably. That big guy was big.” The orders were warring against Reynard’s body’s urges, but he knew about that. He pinched himself surreptitiously on his inner thigh and ran through a few complicated math problems in his head. Her hands were all over him, scrubbing at the dirt covering him, gentle when she found a wound under the filth. He was dirtier than he remembered – and less wounded, too. His memories were fuzzy, but he had clear images of the big guy swinging a broadsword at him.

Reynard was good at ducking – preternaturally good at it, even – but there wasn’t all that much one could do about a big block of muscle and rock swinging a giant blade at you at superman-like speeds. Dodge once of twice, sure, but eventually you were going to get hit. And hit again. And… “Ow.”

her fingers had found bruises he didn’t remember getting. “Oh, hrrm.” She craned her neck over his shoulder to look at his chest. Cleaned of all the dirt, the bruise was clear. “You must have really, really annoyed him.”

Reynard blinked his eyes until they would focus on the bruise. Across his chest, someone had left a mark in the exact shape of a hand.

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In Which Amrit & Mieve have a quiet evening – a continuation, much-belated, of BeeKeeper.

First: A beginning of a story which obnoxiously cuts off just before the description,
Previous: In Which Mieve Explains Some Things.

Fae Apoc, approx. now.

Content Warnings: This setting, although not this ficlet, contains rape, mind control, and dubious consent situations.

This particular story contains kidnapping and slavery, bondage, violence, and will eventually contain Stockholm Syndrome.

Amrit

He kept expecting her to shove the gag back in his mouth. He’d just told her that she couldn’t trust him, that he wouldn’t promise even to not attack her. She knew he would try to escape given the slightest chance.

But she put the pie in the oven and dried the dishes he’d washed, put away her pottery like it wasn’t the end of the world, like she didn’t have someone chained up in her kitchen, and then she’d led him into her living room. (Floor plan — http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/890220.html )

She had those floor bolts everywhere. Not that Amrit was surprised, not if he wasn’t the first person she’d collared. She led him to a nice soft armchair near the wood stove, locked his chain to the floor, and taken the other chair herself.

“No Workings,” she warned him, “or the gag goes back in.” Amrit waved the warning away with a dismissive hand; he got the point already. He’d have to get the gag out when she wasn’t listening.

He worked his mouth while she picked up her knitting — really? She was going to sit by the fire and knit? Could she be any more homey? — feeling around the edges of his lips. He was starting to heal already. The hawthorn had to be working its way out of his system. Once it was mostly gone — once he could cut himself and have the mark vanish in less than twenty minutes — then he could make his escape.

“This a normal evening for you?” He hadn’t meant to say anything at all, but the silence seemed to ask for it.

She looked up at him, her fingers still working on her knitting. “Most nights. Sometimes I read. Sometimes… well, but that’s not going to happen.”

The room was only dimly lit, two flickering gas lamps and the fire casting everything into ruddy shadows, but it seemed as if she might be blushing. Amrit coughed. “Sometimes…?” he prompted.

“Sometimes I have more cooperative Kept.”

“I’m not your Kept.”

She snorted. That hadn’t been been the response he’d been expecting. “I noticed, trust me. Some day, that slave factor is going to find his pants full of annoyed bees.”

“What, you were expecting a Kept?” He tugged at the chain. You didn’t normally have to tie Kept up.

“…Second one was human,” she explained. “Humans require a bit more, ah, patience. Well, than a Kept.” She smiled crookedly at him. “I’d say you require enough patience for any three humans.”

“Hey!” He glared at her. “It’s not like I asked for this. Any of it. And it’s not like you’re being like the height of patience and tolerance here.” She really was being more patient than he’d thought she’d be… but there was no need to say that.

“It’s not as if the slave markets come with provenance and papers on people. Some of them do volunteer, you know.”

“Who the fuck would volunteer for a collar and a leash and…” Amrit twisted his face up – being owned?

“Well, let’s see.” She ticked off on her fingers. “People who don’t know how to survive in the world as it’s ended up. People who want to escape the world they’re in – or the people they’re with, or something like it – enough that they’re willing to give up freedom. People who are just that naturally submissive. The Departed Gods made Keeping for a reason, and it wasn’t to sell people in slave markets, you know.”

Amrit blinked at her. “Thorough.” He sneered. “None of that’s me, though.”

“Been Kept before, have you?” She asked it far too casually.

Amrit tugged on the chain on his leg. It was starting to chafe. “For like a month. Something my Mentor set up after he released me. Tricked me into it and everything. I didn’t know,” he added defensively. “If I’d known it’d just be a month, I might’ve…”

She was raising her eyebrows at him. He could tell that even in the flickering gaslight. “Fuck you, lady,” he muttered.

“Mieve,” she corrected, far too serenely. “My name is Mieve. Fuck you, too.”

She made it sound like a benediction. “Amrit,” he offered, in lieu of an amen. “My name is Amrit.”

Next: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1193315.html

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Lady Taisiya’s 4th Husband, Chapter 8 – a fantasy/romance fdomme story

Chapter 8 in my answer to the “guy has umpteen wives” trope
Find Chapter 1 here
Chapter 2 is here
Chapter 3 is here
Chapter 4 is here
Chapter 5 is here
Chapter 6 is here
Chapter 7 is here.

You’re mine.

Sefton stared at Lady Taisiya for a minute. He wasn’t sure what else to do, or what to say. You don’t belong to your mother anymore. He worked his throat, but nothing came out.

It was — “The romance novels,” he said, sputtered, really. “And the ballads. When he is off, fighting or about to die in war, or when he’s about to be picked up by slavers because he was unwise…”

“There’s more than a little truth in romance novels.” She caught up his chains in her hand and tugged on them, not enough to pull him to her, but enough to make him very aware of those chains. “You’re mine. You came into my house and into my bed — well, you will. In the Old Times, sometimes the junior spouse would take the senior spouse’s family name, as a way of showing that they were part of their family now and had left their parents’ home. We don’t use family names here — not like they did, an integral part of the person. So instead…”

“Feltian.” His voice was dry. He didn’t know how to explain how much it dismayed him; how much he thought it was a bad idea.

“Feltian, husband of Lady Taisiya. It helps the family, too, your mother and your sisters…”

“…what?” He blinked at her. “My sisters?”

“You won’t stay locked in the husbands’ wing forever. I don’t cloister my husbands, not in the old-fashioned style, at least.”

Renaming your husbands was so old-fashioned it was in the history books. Sefton managed not to say it. You’re mine.

“…but sisters often have a proprietary concern over their brothers, and they often forget that it’s not their job anymore.”

Sisters rescuing brothers their mothers had sold into bad marriages. Sisters standing up to abusive wives, or wives who treated their husbands like slaves. Those were staples of the romance novels, too, and the very oldest plays. Sefton ducked his head. “Yes, Taisiya.” There didn’t seem safe to say anything else.

Her lips touching his forehead caught him by surprise. “Sometimes, sisters think that their brother’s wife is giving them too much freedom, too much leeway.” It’s as if she read his mind. “Sometimes, husbands have been taught that they need to be obedient above all else.”

“Jaco seems a good object lesson in what happens when you’re not.”

Oh, shells, had he actually just said that?

…She was laughing.

“Jaco is a good object lesson in the perils of acquiring a husband sight unseen and one who is already in love with someone else, that’s all. He’s not so much disobedient as he is determined to find a way to be a ‘bad husband.’”

“Why?” Sefton couldn’t keep the horror out of his voice. “Shells, Lady, does he know what happens to bad husbands? What happens to the ones nobody wants anymore?”

Something changed in her face. She went serious suddenly, her whole body stilling. What had he — shells, he’d said shells, and then he’d topped it by calling her Lady. Brilliant move, and while he was complaining about Jaco being a bad husband.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he ducked his head down to his hands. “I’m sorry…”

“Feltian, Fell… no.” She grabbed his hands again and squeezed very gently. “Look at me, my husband. Come on, darling.”

Darling? Sefton peeked up at her cautiously.

She pulled his hands into her lap. “Feltian, I promise you, it’s all right. I’m not angry at you, not at all.”

“No? But I said… and you looked so upset.. and…”

“The problem is…” Her voice had gone quiet and still again, “people who tell young boys that they have to be absolutely perfect or their lady wife will leave them sitting in a ditch somewhere, penniless, with no mother to take them back and no sisters willing to acknowledge them. The problem is with women who assume that any problem, anything that leads to someone being a ‘bad husband,’ is entirely the husband’s fault.”

“So you…” Sefton worked around the idea in his head. “You don’t mind, um, Jaco being a bad husband? Or me slipping up and calling you ma’am, or me not liking being called Feltian?”

“Yes and no. If Jaco was actually a bad husband, instead of an angry young man trying to seem more ‘bad’ than he actually was, I would mind. If you continued to argue with me about your name, or if you called me things that weren’t as nice as ‘ma’am,’ I would mind. You’re trying your best to be a good husband the way you were raised, and I can’t fault you for that.”

She released his wrist to tap him lightly on the nose. “The trick, my darling, is going to be in getting you to be what I believe a good husband is, and not what your mother and sisters think it is.”

Sefton wrinkled his nose at the tap. It took him a moment after that to focus on what she was actually saying. “Wait. I mean… please, oh, shells, what… What do you mean? That you think being a good husband is, um, it’s something different than the manuals and the training and the…” His voice was getting louder. He breathed in an out twice, three times, focusing on the feel of it to keep him from doing something unwise. “Onter didn’t warn me about this,” he muttered.

“The problem is, Onter was raised quite similarly to the way I was raised. Which means that he had less difficulty adjusting than the rest of you. And he’s been with me long enough…”

“That he’s loyal to you,” Sefton filled in, “and he thinks your way is normal and reasonable, and everything else is wrong. Not that your way isn’t reasonable!” he tacked it on hurriedly, but she was still smiling. He was pretty sure it was a good sign when she was smiling. “It’s just…”

“Not what you grew up with, probably. So. Feltian. Are you ready to be trained all over again?”

Years of training. Years of learning everything just right, preparing to be the perfect husband to his wife. Had his mother known it was going to be different with Lady Taisiya? Had she cared?

She was waiting for an answer. Sefton turned a nod into a shallow bow. “Yes, Taisiya. Please, train me.”

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Worldbuilding Bingo – ‘Verse in Need of a Name, Card 1

To fill a bingo on card one of my Worldbuilding Bingo Card: Oppression & rebellion, road systems, luxuries, calendar.

In my new world for my YA paro-drama, different characters.

Aemula hated going up into the mountains, especially this time of year. The roads were shit, since they didn’t head anywhere “useful”, just up to the isolated villages and the hillfolk who ran them. The rain made everything even worse, until her vehicle was squooshing through mud and chugging along at a pace slightly slower than her walking speed.

They always sent her up after the last of the Spring celebrations were over, so everyone in the hills felt slighted by the government – again. They sent her up with announcements, rulings, and trinkets, and expected her to come back with glowing reports, convinced citizenry, and quality trade goods.

Aemula hated it, but she went up because nobody else in the Remote Territories office could get anything back at all. At least when she talked to the hillfolk, they sent her back still able to file a report. They’d send up old Teb Ghrory from accounting one year and he’d come back missing a hand and four teeth: hunting accident. Everyone in the tiny village of Lakeview stuck to the same story, and Teb hadn’t been talking at the time, so no punishments had been laid down.

Aemula knew why she came back with all her teeth and both hands. Everyone in the Remote Territories office knew, just like they knew why she was working Remote Territories in the first place.

The country was scattered with these little pockets of rural living, places that the Main Office couldn’t quite force out of their homes and couldn’t quite bring into line with the rest of the nation while they were — like the name said — so remote. The hillfolk weren’t Aemula’s people, but it wasn’t like the fisherfolk were any more friendly to outsiders — or any easier to get to.

She had spent weeks with the mechanics at the Main Office, trying to get them to understand what she needed. They were the best possible mechanics that the country could put out. They were well-trained, brilliant, and very skilled. And over ninety percent of their time was spent dealing with the main roads and the Main Office vehicles that traveled them.

The main roads and the back roads might as well have belonged to two different nations. The main roads were smooth, maintained, and all the latest technology went into keeping them clear and easy to travel. The back roads were gravel and old, old asphalt, pitted and potholed, up-kept only enough that a government vehicle could get through if it absolutely needed to. But it needed bigger tires, suspension of some sort, and a system of gears that most Main Office vehicles just never had a use for. Once she’d explained, one of the mechanics had hugged her. It turned out that they really did enjoy a challenge.

It didn’t mean she hated going into the mountains in the wet of early spring any less, but at least she could get up there in relative comfort and — more importantly, even to Aemula — safety. This vehicle wouldn’t roll, it wouldn’t get stuck in exactly the wrong spot, it would not run out of fuel on the top of a mountain, and it was bulletproof and very nearly flame-proof.

The last two might be the most important. Spring visits to the mountains had more than one reason to be awful, and the roads weren’t even the biggest reason. The lowlands and the central towns were in the middle of Daybreak, their celebration of survival and winter’s-past indulgence.

It would be all over the airwaves, it would be on the bulletins, and it would be in the fireworks set off in the lowland cities. Even up in the lowlands, they wouldn’t be able to avoid it.

And instead of sending her up there with spices and new fabric, salt and fresh fruit and rare imported candies, the Main Office would – like they did every year – send Aemula to the mountain people with trinkets. Cheap recycled-metal statues of the Leader. Storybooks for the children telling them all about the glories of the Testing and the wonders that could be found down in the main cities. Honey-candies that any granny could make, impressed with the Main Office seal, with”clever” saying printed on their waxed paper wrappings.

It was no wonder they tended to send Main office agents back missing limbs, missing teeth, or just missing entirely. It was no wonder they liked to steal the Main Office vehicles and then claim that they’d fallen off a cliff somewhere. There were a lot of cliffs around the highlands, after all, and some of them were unmarked and just off the edge of the road.

Aemula gritted her teeth and maneuvered her vehicle around yet another hole in the road. She was only a half-hour or so from the first town on her circuit, and the sky was clear at the moment. She needed to focus on her presentation. She needed to focus on her bright smile and the sarcastic edge, on her fisher-folk drawl she spent most of the year carefully scrubbing away.

“Hey, all youes,” she murmured. “The Main Office, well, you know how it is. They pass out candy and I get to count heads. So let’s get the candy part done and then I can show you what else I managed to bring in.”

The contraband was illegal, by nature. But there were more than a couple reasons the Remote Territories head honchos kept sending her out here to the hillfolk, and it wasn’t just because she could survive the walk out, if her vehicle vanished.

next card: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1188156.html

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Worldbuilding Bingo~

I’m doing this, from [community profile] allbingo, because of [personal profile] inventrix and [personal profile] clare_dragonfly

The goal is to write one story using a bingo on each card.

I think what I’m going to do is start with the first card with new-world-for-YA-stuff and then as I go, maybe also do stories for other worlds: Expectant Wood, Things Unspoken, Fae Apoc, Reiassan. ”

As always, open to suggestions!

Worldbuilding

Exports Oppression & rebellion Mineral resources Building materials
Sun(s) Road system Safety precautions Nations
Mountains Luxuries Axial tilt Political factions
Arctic circle Calendar Furniture Ranks & titles

Culturebuilding

Art Subcultures Fashion – Home Decor Entertainment
Work and Vacation Currency and Commerce Fashion – Clothes Timekeeping and Punctuality
Education Housing Arrangements City Layout Gender Identity and Roles
Fashion – Body Types Access to Technology Healthcare Daily Worship

Group Dynamics

Group Purpose Leaders Failures Loyalty
Group Cohesiveness Generations Former Members Conflict Resolution Style
Challenges Role Fluidity / Rigidity Sense of Group Identity Rivalries
Acquiring New Members Common Arguments Alliances and Cliques Diversity / Homogeneity

Characterbuilding

Sexuality Honesty / Duplicity Integrity / Hypocrisy Social Role
Work / Career / Vocation Mentors / Inspirational Figures Kinesthetic / Physical Intelligence Hot-Button Topics
Living Arrangements Response to Stress Verbal / Linguistic Intelligence Musical / Rhythmic / Harmonic Intelligence
Influential Past Events Past Traumas Interests Education

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