With the setting sun at her back, Alderose entered the Bowser Woodlands.
Slivers of red-orange bled into darkness, captured and choked by the woodland canopy. Beyond her, Kentworks prepared for slumber, slow and tired while she was hunted. Her boots beat a steady rhythm into the dirt and mingled with the sound of her strained jagged breathing. Terror turned trees into sharp colorless shapes. Blobs and shades of shadow that stretched out to embrace. She swore the roots were moving, that the wind was howling—hungry.
Then she tripped and pitched forward into a bramble bush.
Air escaped her burning lungs as she floundered, reactive and thoughtless. The rough scratchy branches tugged at her hair and clothing as she kicked forward into deeper brush. There, with a scratched cheek to the dirt, she wheezed, trembled, and sputtered.
What… was she doing?
She fisted her hands among the dirt as uninvited memories rose. She saw herself, childish and coy, commanding a basket laden Franklin. During the day, Bowser carried a romantic atmosphere, the perfect backdrop for a perfect scheme. Despite holding his smooth and sweaty hand, she’d felt empowered, emboldened, controlling.
Now she panted in the dark, covered in muck, for the second time in so many days.
She should keep moving but her lungs were tight, her muscles ached, and heeled boots were not made for getaways.
So, the most she could do was stiffen her neck as voices floated her way—
“Are you sure… this is the right thing to do?”
“Do you doubt?”
Two voices, not nearly as breathless as Alderose felt, spoke in tandem. One, distracted and drowsy in a way that reminded Alderose of melting. The other, strong and determined, if a bit cold.
Anna and Gail, stalking her trail.
“I… don’t doubt.” Anna murmured
“But you sound unsure.”
Their conversation, brief and curt, ended after that. Silence settled, interrupted only by the soft crunching of leaves underfoot as they hovered. Alderose held her breath and struggled for absolute quiet, but a portion of her—small and scared—wanted to scream at them to leave her alone.
“She’s descended into madness.” Gail’s tone was a pressing drone, “Would you allow her to suffer that on her own?”
Anna’s answer can slow and hesitant. “But it feels like we’re…”
“Hunting her?” The sound of movement came closer and from her spot Alderose spotted trouser-covered legs. “That’s because we are, Anna. Here, to me.”
There was a low gasped exhale and soon Alderose could see two pairs of booted feet. “Gail… I don’t want… please don’t make me—”
The softer sound of rustled clothing and moving lips replaced the rest of Anna’s words. Her needy desperate moan soon joined the forest ambiance.
“You’re causing trouble, Anna. Is there still a bit in you that hasn’t dripped out between your legs?”
There’s a hiss, pained and excited, “G-gail…”
“Certainty is only meant for the willful. You are full, but it’s not of will.” Gail released a gravel-like rumble, rolling and cruel as Anna gasped sharply, “You need to be handled by someone sure. For them you’ll be obedient. It’s in your nature, remember?”
Rasping breathing was Gail’s immediate answer, but as Alderose tried to awkwardly crawl away on belly and knees, she heard Anna say—
“I… Yes, I remember.”
“And what else did I say, what else do you remember?”
“Th-that Widow Graham is not fit to m-make her own decisions.”
Anna’s voice took on a husky tremble, her words interposed with wet sounding movement.
“She needs our help, your help, Anna.”
“S-she needs my help.”
“Of this I am sure.” Gail said, “And if I am sure that means…”
Anna gasped out, “I will be handled.”
She keened aloud, a surrendering sound, and Alderose quickened her awkward shuffling. It was only at the sound of something clinking and jangling that she paused in her movement, startled. There, beyond the brush, stood an extra pair of booted feet with frilly skirt reflected off something metallic.
Chains. Lord have mercy somehow, they had chains.
“You brought her with you?” The new voice whispered, somewhat peeved and hoarse. She recognized it faintly as another member of the social tea, one of the gossipers that stuck to parlor corners.
“Didn’t want a revert and we need the extra hands,” Gail grunted, “It doesn’t matter. Give her the chains.”
The newcomer growled softly, “You can’t just tell me what to do.”
And yet Alderose still heard the dreadful clang of chains and Anna’s soft responsive grunt.
Gail gave off a sound more inhuman than not. “Don’t act like you aren’t a member of the gentry. My wealth is greater, my value even higher. Do you need another lesson on the importance of propriety?”
The newcomer gave Gail no response, just the unhappy huff of deeper breathing. Feet were moving then, two pairs to her left, and one to her right. By then Alderose had nearly cleared her brush, breath held and silent as she twisted into position. It was a risk to show her tension tight back, but her scrambling was swift once she managed the action. She gathered a hard clump of dirt and packed it tightly with shaking fingers.
Then without looking she flung it over her shoulder.
Anna’s yelp as it struck her was loud, and immediately Gail was barking off a directional order. Without waiting to see what direction they’d take she lunged from her spot and took to the darkness. Back on her feet and away from her hunters, she ran without end toward the path of the Abbey.
The women who dwelled there knew something was odd. They could give her sanctuary away from the tainted. They would listen to her words and heed them wisely, already experienced with their own afflictions. What else was there to do? Where else could she go?
She was not crazy—
Alderose collided hard with a body, the force of which knocked her off her footing. She bounced off the ground for the second time that night, while the person she’d assaulted barked off a harsh curse.
“You should be careful out here in these woods.”
Alderose scrambled backwards, away from the scowling Constable.
Rubbing their chest, the Constable glared at her shape in the darkness. “Widow Graham? Is that you?”
Alderose tried to control her breathing, unsure whether the encounter was a twist of good luck.
“Holy shit, that is you.” The Constable stalked closer with glittering eyes in the fading sunlight. “What are you doing out here? What happened to you?”
Alderose grit her teeth and held her trembling chin high. To be seen this way, drenched in her own fear, stained and muddied… She must have been a fright, more fodder for rumors, but... sense won out over shame and dignity. She needed help. Surely the Constable would not deny her that, even if she thought her a victim of lunacy?
“I-I’m being chased.” She blurted, panicked. “Their chasing me!”
The Constable held out a gloved hand for Alderose to take, but her limbs were immobile—numb, stiff and thumping. If the other hadn’t been there, frustrated but waiting, she might have collapsed on her back and waited to be taken.
The Constable lowered their hand, “Who’s chasing you?”
“M-ms. Vayne, Ms. Waye, and one other I didn’t see.”
“Why?” The Constable grunted.
“They want to take me away, send me to the Physician. But I’m not crazy, I know what I’ve seen.”
While Alderose attempted to control her shaking, the Constable narrowed their gaze in a way far too chilling.
“Is this more nonsense about Franklin?”
Alderose raged, “It wasn’t nonsense then and it isn’t nonsense now! I know what they say at the Abbey, about the beast with fangs and I’ve seen it take him—”
The Constable groaned and flung their arms up in frustration, “Holy hell, not you too, Widow Graham!
I’ve wasted all day in that prayer house for loons and now you’re out here, toying about in the muck? You disappear for a fortnight and claim you’ve seen what? This vampire they keep talking about?” The Constable’s voice was just shy of a yell, saturated in a thickening disgust, “I tell you what, Graham! I’ll take you to the Physician my damn self—”
They reached for Alderose and she threw up an arm, prepared to scramble away from another person.
Until from the shadow something shiny and metal thunked heavily upon the back of the Constable’s skull.
They fell to their knees with a sudden shrill gurgle then pitched bonelessly forward, face first in the dirt. Hovering over them stood a casual Gail, who held tight to the end of a silver-coated pipe. She made a curious sound in the back of her throat, a click that summoned the others from the swaying treeline.
Then, with a gaze bright and wet in the growing moonlight, she smiled, wide and empty, with saliva-slick teeth. “Hey, Rosie.”
* * *
Alderose could barely breath.
Her shoulders ached and her eyes were burning, blurred from a mixture of sweat and angry tears. It impaired her visibility, more so than the now set sun, as feminine shapes swaggered in near perfect rhyme. How they were able to move without issue—with the chain-bound body of the unconscious Constable slung over one of their shoulders—as she floundered and wheezed behind them, was currently beyond her.
It was probably due to the restrictive collar of steam-train steel around her neck. Polished, shiny, and hot from the heat that escaped her body.
She swallowed audibly and felt the metal push against her, a constant reminder of her vulnerability and capture. She wanted to be furious, enraged and fighting but the constant weight of it—coupled with the lassitude of wasted adrenaline—left her exhausted. With each ragged breath and awkward stumble she felt it… rub against her, nudging slightly at the swollen marks left by the nightmare creature. It proved a great distraction, so much so that when she lifted a hand to tug petulantly at the chain-leash that bound her in Gail’s careful possession, she’d forgotten the purpose, the reasoning, for what she’d been doing.
With a soft warm sigh, she let her arm drop.
If they found her ordeal amusing, it hardly mattered. Their dream tainted laughter was the least of her worries.
Not when there was something greater to fear.
Relaxed and near dopey, she existed in silence, missing their transition from woodland blobs to something clearer. She squinted from the burn of sudden illumination as they stepped onto the coal colored dirt of a green-lacking glade. From the thick canopy of hunched and twisted trees swung oil-powered lanterns, washing the space in an unearthly glare. When her brain no longer thought her retinas were cooking, she was able to decipher more than just wriggling shapes. All around her stood tittering women in various stages of undress. They lounged on sturdy tipped over logs or stood, shameless, near the backdrop of trees. It was a painfully familiar vision, an echo of the bedroom parlor, crisp and fully rendered without the fuzz of memory or dream-vision.
It was just enough to shock her from the temptation of waking-slumber.
“Wh-what is this?” She croaked; one voice lost to many.
“Quiet,” Gail replied, with a practiced tug of the chain attached to the collar.
Alderose swallowed again, reflexively, when the heated steel tightened from the action. She shivered as she stumbled, the pull her only warning before they were in motion. For a moment thereafter, she thought of nothing. She was just a flesh vassal bound by unyielding metal that poked and prodded at her agitated markings. It was only when she felt the sturdy press of hands at her back that her mind sluggishly returned to her unsettling surroundings.
She meant to struggle and fight while Anna undressed her, plucking down the row of her blouse’s buttons, but her body was as slow as her stunned mind. By the time she’d thought it wise to stop her undressing, she found herself trapped with arms above her head, bound by a looping chain to a thick protrusion in the tree meant to act as her prison-pole.
She must have flushed a pretty color beneath the sweat-slick copper tones of her skin, for Anna lingered, licking her lips once she’d completed her task. Disgusted, Alderose couldn’t even muster up the courage to spit. Here she sat, back against the tree, uncomfortable, slouched, nude, and exposed with only her thighs left free to close. A delight for the eyes of tainted women.
“Get away from me,” Alderose hissed, though her words were slurred and hardly threatening. Not when she was bound like this.
But it wasn’t her words that shook Anna from her sharp-eyed lust. Beside their painfully intimate space, filled with the heat of labored breathing, Gail stood with the other woman that had ruined her escape with the injured Constable hanging between them. Anna left her at Gail’s restated order without a single backwards glance. Now she sat alone against the tree with the chain of her collar pretty and gleaming between her breasts.
Ignored, it appeared, for now.
Awkwardly, the trio handled the Constable, shifting unconscious weight as they began their curious stripping. Shiny eyed they peeled layer from layer, drawing the attention of some of the other gathered women. Soon, a semi-circle had formed around them, with the Constable’s tree-pole at its center and though Alderose tried not to stare, her attention was just as captured.
As idle conversation lowered and died, she could hear the wheezing rasp of the Constable’s breathing. The jingle of chains was slightly louder, adjusted and shifted along with clothing. The Constable’s hat was discarded, followed by jacket and vest while the trio giggled, somewhat drunkenly. Though they soon grew impatient with their stripping, careful hands now cruel as they tugged and ripped.
Almost absentmindedly, Gail slapped at Anna’s thigh, “Fetch me the Physician. Be quick.”
As Anna rose the third of their party whispered, “What’s this?”
In the lantern light Alderose caught the rise and fall of ochre toned breasts just as the nude form of the Physician broke the circle.
Gail looked delighted, “I hadn’t remembered!”
For Kentworks had long valued only title and power. Value of the middle-class laid in their ability, the importance of body was nothing in comparison. If you weren’t designated as a lord or lady, you were often named Physician or Banker before daughter.
Blank-eyed with a wetness that glistened between her thighs, the Physician now lowered and tilted the Constable’s head from side to side, “Only the Handler would have remembered. Individuality is a privilege only gifted to wealthy.”
The Constable had been little else but a constantly irritated drone.
The Physician too, if a little bit snarky. Though now, as they worked, with little twitches and sighs, Alderose could see that they too were a woman, reminded, awakened, but still utterly controlled.
Why had she never noticed these oddities?
Anna returned and sat, ungracefully before them, a puddle of skirts and dazed mutterings, “The Handler is gone. The Constable is… was the only remaining power.”
Beside her a woman laughed, something haunted and cruel and the others followed. Whatever authority had once crushed the identity of the Kentworks Constable had already lost their hold.
With the mystery solved and the Constable devoid of clothing, the nearly formed crowd wandered back to their conversations. Soon the ambiance of laughter, some empty, some warm, flowed over Alderose’s consciousness, meaningless and somehow… soothing.
She shook her head, heart thudding, disturbed by her own ease and lack of alarm.
Beside her the Constable groaned as the Physician rose from her place beside her. She turned and stood before Gail; statue stiff. “You hit her but she’s not dead.”
Gail nodded looking far too proud, “On the head. Just hard enough to bonk her right out.”
“Release me.” The Physician pressured, uncaring of Gail’s cheeky statement.
Gail tilted her head in catlike fascination, “Very well. You’ve done as asked, dream for Her, Physician.”
The woman in question sucked in a deep breath before she tilted her head back and gave off a low moan. Gail caught her as she teetered, caught between balance and an assaulting ecstasy. She practically melted into that embrace, keening as Gail watched her impassively.
Then those flat empty eyes flicked up to Alderose’s own and her breath caught as her belly fluttered.
What in all hell was going on?
When the Physician stopped quaking and catching her breath she rasped, “Anna… I think she…”
“Called to you? We had a problem.”
The Physician straighten, sluggish and bothered, her gaze still fogged with half-formed questions.
“Anna, take her and rejoin the social.”
There was no hesitation in Anna’s obedience. She took the Physician gently, despite her growing awareness, and lead her away, back into the throng of nudity. Without direct order, her third kidnapper did the same.
Then she was left with only Gail for company.
She turned to her slowly, with a wide smile as she toyed with the edge of her own clothing.
“I hate them, you know, the societal women. How they laugh and enjoy what wasn’t theirs to be given.” Gail sat on her lap, the heat of her center strong enough to be felt despite the clothing barrier between them. “They dream, endlessly, I think. They can’t perceivable it. How we’re all in danger.”
Alderose bit back a yell, “You know—”
“—I know? Of course, I know. She allows me to know it, Her Truths. I also know I can do nothing with them.” Gail twitched ever so slightly, as if restless or distracted, “We are nothing compared to Her. They are nothing but they don’t quite know it. Something bad is happening, and She’s made me crave it.”
Gail whispered softly against the side of her neck, “You’re the only one who seems… to realize it, brave as you are clinging to windowsills.”
“Help me,” Alderose croaked as fear squirmed through her guts. Gail moaned into her ear, low, husky, and helpless.
“I hate them so much, for doing this to me. For keeping me aware while I do this to you. They’re all blind to it, what they’ve done but I can still... think.” She panted slightly, cheeks flushed as her hips began a jerky little rock, using Alderose’s body as nothing more than a lustboard, “My hate, in the end, is nothing Rosie, just a passing thought. I know I only burn for Her. I want to.”
A voice cried out from beyond their space, a call meant to summon Gail. She lifted her head with face void of expression, before she rose from Alderose’s taken lap.
She looked at her briefly, as if she wanted to say something but no more words were exchanged between them.
* * *
The Constable groaned, jerked, and stared at her with unfocused eyes. But despite her moving lips, she was still incapable of actual speech.
With the injured Constable for piss-poor company, Alderose could do little else other than quietly weep. Fear and indecision hammered at her defenses, spinning thoughts inward looking for blame. She blamed Anna and Gail for the nature of her capture, but not anymore than she blamed herself.
Time kept moving and she remained trapped.
While she simmered in stomach wrenching regret, the societal women devolved into careless deviance, laughing and dancing around a freshly lit bonfire. Gail had, by then, encouraged more merriment, nude and glistening among the women’s circle with the perversity of those strange inked markings shimmering on her back. Crates of her logoed wine, once partially hidden, now sat open and freshly emptied. Bottles and glasses had been passed around, playfully shaken before red flushed faces. Now they drunk with greed from their lipstick smudged glasses, driven to kiss and mindlessly touch. Free and debauched in their games of corruption.
But they left her alone with aching shoulders and her naked ass covered partly in dirt. She’d kept her gaze downward, to free herself from distraction—for if she held onto her anger she could focus and grasp the weight of Gail’s earlier words—but someone would sigh, or gasp, and her gaze would jerk upward, drawn beyond her control to the vision of writhing women.
She wasn’t sure how long she sat there, watching rolling hips attached to teased bodies, but when the Constable finally managed to call her name, she was startled enough to disengage her staring.
Rapidly blinking she shook herself, gasping as her thighs involuntarily clenched. She had grown so… hot and wet beyond her immediate knowledge.
She swallowed as much as the collar allowed and tried desperately not to moan at its firm unyielding touch. “Wh-what?”
“Graham,” The Constable called her again, eyes half-lidded and head rolling.
“Yes, I’m here.” She shifted slightly, trying not to draw a great deal of attention. She licked her dry lips, “Constable, are you alright?”
For a moment the Constable was silent, before she wheezed, “Fuck no.”
No more words were forthcoming, so Alderose spoke again, “Are you aware? We’re both…”
In incredible danger.
“My head hurts,” The Constable rolled her neck with a gasp, “D-did you hit me?”
“No, not I.” Alderose muttered as she adjusted her position slightly, trying to relieve the tension along her back, “Listen to me.”
“It hurts,” The Constable muttered, before she blinked rapidly and said, “I’m listening.”
“Do you remember your walk from the Abbey?”
“Yeah… did you hit me?”
“No. Pay attention, you insufferable woman!”
The Constable flinched, “W-woman?”
Alderose froze, a bit uncertain.
“I am the Constable, you shouldn’t… know that.” Now she frowned, her gaze on the rise and fall of her exposed chest. “Am I naked?”
“Yes,” Alderose tried to speak slowly, but she’d never been known as patient or caring. “You are naked, we both are. We’ve been kidnapped—”
The Constable went an ugly shade of green and pale, “The Handler is going to kill me.”
Alderose barked, “I think the Handler is dead!”
The Constable gave her an incredulous look.
“When was the last time you even saw them?” Alderose hissed, “It doesn’t even matter. Look, really look!”
It was only then, with a wince, that the Constable checked their surroundings. She seemed to process the situation, if the flush that rose from her chest to her freckled belly was any indication.
“—Don’t! Don’t you dare fucking call me that!” Alderose snarled with a thunk of her head against the back of her tree.
The Constable ignored her, “What is this? Where are we?”
“A glade in the Bowser Woodland. We were ambushed by Ms. Vayne, Ms. Waye, and one other. Ms. Waye gave you quite a mighty whack. Right to the back of your impetuous head, which has done little to improve my situation.”
The Constable’s only response was to devolve into heavy panicked breathing.
Alderose had to keep her talking, breathing, and thinking. “What is your name?”
“M-my name?” She stuttered. “I don’t… my title is—”
“Forget about the Handler! Forget about Kentworks and these worthless societal women’s traditions and any other thing that’s already been knocked out of your head and tell me your name!”
Maybe it was Alderose own terrified aggression. Maybe it was the heat that pulsed, loud and crying between her legs powering a strange type of dominant madness, but the Constable turned her head back to her and spoke then, without hesitation—
“Cathy. Cathy Rowel.”
“Ms. Rowel, you may call me Graham, or Alderose, but don’t fucking call me Widow anything or Rosie—”
“Alderose?” The Constable whispered, squinting at the lanterns glare, “I’m scared.”
Right. Of course. Fuck.
“You’re the Constable, you can’t possibly be—”
“—nothing ever happens here!” Cathy hissed with widened eyes. Her legs twitched as she pulled them closer. If she’d had the room, she might have twisted herself into a fetal ball. “A tiff here, a small gamblers spat, b-but nothing like this, nothing like this!”
Alderose had to be brave for the both of them, “I’m sure you’ve had training or something—!”
Her words were choked, just a garbled gasped as her belly suddenly clenched. With a harsh breath she pressed her thighs together.
Cathy watched her with slightly parted lips, “A-are you okay?”
Alderose tried to swallow and answer, but all it did was bring her attention to the collar around her neck. She felt restricted, helpless, and captured by her throat, which felt so infinitely sensitive. The metal nudged mercilessly against the marks, which throbbed hotly with every touch. She was just so painfully aware of her body, of how each breath sent her blood rushing through it.
Something was waking her up.
While putting more sensible parts of her to sleep.
Over the pounding rush of her ears and the oil-slick heat that pulsed through her womb she heard Cathy call her name… but her attention was taken, unfocused and slipping, as she watched Gail hastily approach.
Within a trembling hand she set a Waye family wine bottle tilted between them. Under her arm was tucked a stool, which she sat before a chain rattling Cathy.
Gail whimpered out a breathy, “She’s coming.”
Alderose trembled in her bindings.
“You have to be prepared,” Gail mumbled to herself, her face slack with reverence as she bent over. Before Cathy’s twitching legs Gail held onto a metal tool. Long and pointed, like a fountain pen. With it she sketched swiftly into the dirt, but Alderose found the symbols beyond her perception. It didn’t help that she couldn’t focus her attention. When all that pounding heat within only wanted to watch the flex of Gail’s back, and the raised welts that still dwelled there, instead.
She licked her lips and held back a groan.
The other women, once purposeless and merry, soon grew still and oddly docile. Anna broke from the crowd and approached them, listening to Gail as she gave her direction. All too soon, she was kneeling beside them, a willing offering nude and softened.
One woman was named and bid forward, a Sarah. Another was taken, this one called Clare. Alderose hadn’t known many of the societal women, though knew they made up a startling number. There were a dozen or so semi-familiar faces, blurry and shapeless in the lantern’s glare. Alderose once would have tried to name them. Now, she could scarcely think beyond the heartbeat of her rebelling body.
Gail held Cathy’s chin in her merciless grasp and pressed on her jaw with hooked fingers. If Cathy had any objections to her handling, they were ruined when her mouth was forced open. Bodies roamed ever closer, long legs and quaking thighs that hindered her sight until they enveloped the pairing beside her.
She missed the exact moment the wine bottle went missing.
But past the cocoon of slow-shifting flesh came a yelp of discomfort followed by the sound of sputtered choking.
Then Clare was before her, filling her vision, with soft careful hands wound in Alderose’s hair. She paused only briefly, before she yanked sharply, forcing Alderose’s head to tilt backwards, impeded only by the thickness of the collar. Discomfort raked claws of teeth tingling agony down the length of her awkwardly arched back, and despite her intention, she couldn’t help opening mouth as she took a ragged breath.
She jerked and coughed as warm liquid slid down her throat as a random hand cruelly kept her mouth open. She tried her best to end the flow, spitting and jerking despite being held, but the most she accomplished was making a mess, with the liquids sticky warmth spilling across the collar and over her chest. Her gurgling sounds only fueled her humiliation, and laughter rang loud as it screeched between her ears. She was helpless, choking, drowning—
And burning between her legs.
When the women were finished, they let her go, smiling as she spat and coughed what little remained in her mouth and throat. She wheezed with rattling breaths, glad to be able to do anything other than swallow, while her stomach churned from something unwelcome.
A hand gently pressed upon her stomach and Alderose swallowed as she twitched from the touch. As she wheezed and shook it remained in place, calm, steady, and—dare she think it?—soothing. It did nothing, no movement, no stroke, and yet it carried a strange warmth and weight, a heat that slipped from their skin to her own, until it dug and beat at the center of her belly. She groaned aloud as her lids grew heavy, half-open as that heat crawled up to her face. The steady pulse of her sex seemed loud and oppressive, a yell that tugged at what little consciousness remained.
Dizzy and disorientated, she squirmed under that hand, drunk in a way that felt too deep to think past. All that she knew for absolute certain was the thick thud of her heart felt like a pounding behind her clit.
Her legs bonelessly flopped open.
“She’s ready,” a voice called above her, fuzzed and forgettable and thus forgotten.
“Good,” another returned, but this one was different. Deep with a rolling husk and darkly amused.
The bell tower’s song was the perfect backdrop to its arrival.
The vampire was there, at the center of the circle.
Around Alderose the women cooed. Some came up to greet it on hands and knees. Others stood, swaying, as it gave them closed-lipped smiles. But the eyes of it, covered in its glasses, remained forward, intense and heavy upon her person.
“You’ve brought guests to societal tea?”
The women tittered, dazed and fawning.
Its boots made no sound as it stepped forward, and Alderose froze, struck by powerful yearning. She whimpered helplessly, once the vampire was near, and arched her covered neck in mindless offering. The wine’s weight shifted throughout her, softening her yet-conquered body. But her will had already been properly wrangled, held sweetly by the creature’s mere presence. She could practically taste her pulse in the back of her throat, thick and as metal as the collar that bound her. Her body sung with tense promise, knowing the oblivion the creature could offer.
Knowing her place, even though she should fight it.
Then it’s gaze moved elsewhere, away from Alderose proper, and she hissed and panted, released from the spell there. Her mind was just liquid, sloshing around, ready to be spilled as eagerly as the blood in her veins and yet—
“You girl. Come here.”
Anna moaned, pitched forward, and crawled on her belly, only to rise on hands and knees once she was before the vampire. Without much care or interest in its willing offering, the vampire took a seat upon her back. Anna held, stiff and unmoving, breathing heavily but lost in her purpose as an available fleshchair.
Then the vampire snapped, and on her belly, Gail crawled near.
Once she knelt, subservient, between its leather clad legs the creature spoke.
“The Constable was not a man?”
“N-no,” Gail stuttered as sharp nails raked along the skin of her neck. Her face contorted and her eyes rolled back as her mind fractured just a bit from the stroke of the vampire, “D-does this please you?”
“I suppose it does,” the vampire responded, “are we to dally in ritual then?”
Moaning Gail rubbed her cheek against the vampire’s closest thigh. “Yes, oh yes, please Mistress, please—”
“And the Widow?” It purred, “The one you fought so hard to protect?”
Gail paused in her worship, stiff and panting.
So, it filled the silence with sibilant words, “Franklin’s poor betrothed, all alone. He begged, didn’t he? For someone to save his love? Right before he succumbed. And now…”
It paused in speech to toss Alderose a quick coy glance and once their eyes caught, it began again.
Alderose moaned as her heart skipped a beat. Her pussy clenched, so wet and ready, uncaring of the news but... Franklin was gone, Franklin was gone!
She bit her lip to keep in another moan, one that bordered on helpless surrender. Some portion of her being, tainted and wicked, wanted to curl around those words and mindlessly rut upon them. The other portion, quiet, small, and liquid, raged in a puddle that her kill had been stolen—
And that’s all it was to you, wasn’t it Widow? Another body to bed with wealth to be taken?
She rattled the chains and mewled from the privilege. It was talking to her—she… She was talking to her, nails plucking and stroking the hallowed chambers of her mind, spilling memory and secrets and—
You can’t hide from me. Predators are often recognized by other predators.
Something slipped through her—was it eagerness at her own suppression?—and she squirmed from the sharp flush of pleasure she felt at making Her pleased.
Of course, now you’re nothing but bloodmeat, doused in my wine and ready to eat.
“N-noo…” She whispered.
Yessss… her mind screamed.
The vampire looked back to Gail who was wild-eyed and trembling. “He was your greatest friend, was he not?”
Gail moaned in elation and sharp recognition, “Yes, Mistress.”
“But you gave him to me once you wore my pretty marks.”
Gail’s back flesh twitch and her ass rolled forward. If she’d been given the blessing, she would have humped Her polished shoes. “Yes, yes I... did.”
“And now you’ve brought his betrothed, whom he asked you to care for. ‘Protect her from the demons’, I think he’d said.”
Gail didn’t have an answer to that, she only whimpered, one hand cupped around her messy sex.
“But I am not a demon, I am Lordtrix and Mistress.” The vampire leaned closer and breathed words across her neck, fangs glistening and smile playful. “Give her to me, blooddog. You have nothing to fear.”
Gail threw back her head and barked, “Yes, yes! Take her! Mistress! Please, please, please—”
“I accept your gift.”
Gail howled and collapsed on her back, fingers stuffed between her legs as she spasmed in the coal-black dirt.
The vampire ignored her and called for others. “You two, society meat.”
Clare and Sarah stumbled forward, on their knees before they could blink.
“Prepare the Constable while I attend my gift.”