Part 3: Questions
I waited on my stomach, my arms folded and bound into a neat box behind me, my ankles tied to my thighs by wind after wind of rope. Another rope tied my ankles to my wrists, arching my back and holding me in position at the centre of the circular room I lay in.
Lady Amelia had ordered me taken there and left, taking Lydia with her on a silken leash while her servants hastening to comply. They had bathed me and cleansed me before bringing me through the opulent palace that was the noblewoman’s home and tying me. Not one of them had said a word, and after the way one of them looked at me when I dared a question, I didn’t try again.
I couldn’t help looking around at what I could see of the walls of the room. There were things upon it that made the room’s purpose clear. Whips and tawses and crops. Bonds and rings. Carved phalluses and other toys. I was naked and bound in the middle of a noblewoman’s playroom, branded with the mark of a slave, waiting for her to come and do… well, whatever she wanted to me.
I waited. It was impossible to tell how long I waited, except that it felt like forever. Forever, unable to do more than squirm against my bonds. Unable to do more than lie there, looking at everything she might decide to do to me.
When she came in, it was sudden, the sound of a door opening behind me. The sharp pain of something striking down across my feet.
“That is for disobeying me,” Lady Amelia said. “I told you to wait to ask your questions, and you still tried to ask them of my servants. While you wear a slave mark, you will obey.”
“Yes, Lady Amelia.” It wasn’t just the sharp pain of whatever she’d used making me contrite. After so long spent staring at her in her carriage, feeling the roiling power of the mixed magic and desire she’d drawn up through me, I needed her to tell me what was happening.
She moved in front of me, and I gasped. Her blonde hair hung loose, down past her shoulders, and those deep blue eyes regarded me with amusement. She was wearing a simple silken robe that clung to the contours of her body, and that robe hung open, revealing the nudity beneath. The glorious, near perfect nudity, in spite of her age. I could feel desire stirring in me just at the sight of her. She was holding a crop, and I knew that must have been what she hit me with. Right then, memories of her spanking me stirred in me, and I found myself almost ready to beg for it again.
She reached down for me, and I felt the rope joining my hands to my feet fall away. I sighed as some of the pressure eased.
“You probably have a lot of questions, Jana,” she said, brushing my hair away from my face.
“Yes, Lady Amelia.”
She smiled. “Good. So we’re going to play a game. You may ask any question you wish here, in this place. I will answer. I might lie, or I might not tell you everything, but I will answer. However, every question will cost you something.”
“What will it cost me?” I asked.
Lady Amelia pulled me up onto the tips of my knees, my head pressed to the ground. I heard the swish of her crop before I felt the stinging pain across my buttocks. I yelped, but another blow was already falling.
“Ow! Oh! Please.”
Lady Amelia ignored my pleading though, and another ten strokes of the crop rained down on me before she stopped.
“Each question will cost whatever I decide it should, Jana,” she said when she was done. “It might be pain for you, it might be pleasure for me. It might be more stringent bonds, or a cock thrusting into you until you beg to cum. I will decide, not you. All you get to choose is whether you want to ask anything more. Whether you can take more, and whether the answers might be worth it. You can stop at any time, simply by telling me that you have no more questions. But since this is the only chance you will have to ask… you should think carefully about what you want to know.”
There was a part of me that wanted to say that I didn’t want to know anything then. That part of me feared what the price would be for my next question. Any question. But I could feel the other part of me. The one that wanted her to do everything she had just suggested. And I knew what my first question had to be.
“Please, Lady Amelia. What is the Eighth House?”
“Mmm… a question that will take time to answer, so I think we should take our time with the price.”
She moved down in front of me, sitting on the floor, her legs spread as she pushed her robe aside. Lady Amelia balled her left hand in my hair, pulling me to her, her right hand bringing the crop down on me sharply when I hesitated.
“You asked the question, Jana, now pay my price. Please me.”
I tried. Oh, how I tried. I used my tongue on her in the next few minutes in every way I knew. I licked and I sucked, tasting the juices of her as Lady Amelia kept me pressed tight against her. And while I worked on her, she spoke.
“There are not seven Houses of magic. There are eight. We are the eighth.” She paused as I licked around the edge of her. “Lick, you slut.” I kept going, and so did she. “We are not openly recognised by the other Houses, partly because we exist to balance them, partly because we choose our initiates from those who fail the test, and partly because of the way our power works. Oh… yes. Right there…”
Finally, finally, she came above me, pushing me from her sharply, rolling me onto my back. I had barely lain there for a moment when I felt her pleasure. I felt it hitting me, not as pleasure itself, but as the kind of backwash of power I had gotten before, with Tessa. But the power was enough to trigger pleasure in me, leaving me panting.
“Do you have more questions, Jana?” Lady Amelia asked as I fought for breath.
“Do I… do I really have Talent?”
“A predictable question. One that will cost you some more stringent bonds, I think.” She went to the walls, coming back with a series of objects. I couldn’t take my eyes off the metal hook with the bulbous end.
She made me suck it. Made me get it wet with saliva before she moved beside me and parted my buttocks. Even with that, I only knew what she was doing once she started to push it inside me. I moaned, but the pressure of the invasion was relentless.
“Beg if you wish,” Lady Amelia said, “but you asked the question freely. You will take the consequences of that.”
She pushed the hook inside me, inch by inch. It felt too big, too… wrong, and yet she did push it inside me. It was only when she took up a trio of leather thongs that I knew she was not done. The first, she tied in my hair, reaching down to attach it to the hook, and then pulling it taut without warning, so that I cried out at the sensation of the hook moving within me.
“Arch your back. Arch it.”
I did as she commanded, bending my back until it seemed impossible I could bend that far, looking first at the ceiling, then the far wall as I arched. Still, she wasn’t done. I could only lie there and moan as she took the other two thongs and wound them around and around my breasts. Too tight. Tight enough that I could feel my breasts throbbing with it.
Even with that, I could feel the thin thread of power trickling into me.
“Yes, Jana. You have Talent. The same Talent we all have, for taking pleasure and pain, manipulating them, transforming them, using them as power. Allow me to demonstrate.”
She touched my shoulder lightly, and I felt Lady Amelia guide the power flowing into me as expertly as a rider turning a horse, bending it to her will. I felt… knew that the slave mark on my shoulder was fading back into my skin.
Lady Amelia smiled and touched me again. The brand burned as came back onto my skin. Burned enough that I screamed. “Magic. You know that. Ask better questions, Jana.”
“Please, why are you doing this?”
“Clamps for that, I think.” Lady Amelia moved from me for a moment, returning with small metal pincers, stiffened by springs. I barely knew what she intended until she opened one, grabbed my right nipple and let it close over my flesh.
“One reason is to test you,” Lady Amelia said. She took my other nipple between her fingers, rolling it to hardness. “Another is that I like to think that the Eighth House exists as a kind of teacher for the others. A cruel one, sometimes, but a teacher nonetheless. So this is a lesson, Jana.”
The second clamp hurt even more than the first had, and Lady Amelia still had clamps in her hand. She moved lower, and I knew where the next would go.
“Please…” I was crying as I said it.
“But you asked the question.” She closed the next clamp over one of my labia sharply. “And this is a way of telling you the things you need to know that you will not forget. Plus, it helps to remind you of your new status.” The next clamp came quickly, but she waited until my cry of pain had faded before she finished. “There is one more reason. Guess what it is and I might not use the last clamp.”
I tried to think. Tried and failed.
“Because I enjoy it,” Lady Amelia whispered to me, as she closed the last clamp over my clitoris. I bucked in my bonds, but all that did was make it worse. She waited until I lay quivering. “Do you have another question?”
Did I? Could I take any more of this? “Lydia.”
Lady Amelia touched my cheek. “What about her, Jana?”
“You bought her too. Does that mean that you’re claiming her for this ‘Eighth House’ too?”
Lady Amelia went to the wall, selecting a flogger with many strands. She stood over me. “Since you’ve asked a question that isn’t about yourself, I’m going to be kind and remove those clamps quickly. My way, of course. I bought Lydia for the same reasons I had Tessa ensure that she did not pass the trial.” She brought the flogger down in a sharp blow across my breasts. “Because she is a spoiled little rich girl who does not deserve a place in the Houses.” Another blow, and the clamp on my left breast sprang free. It did not improve things. Even after such a short time, it hurt as the blood rushed back in. “Because she and her family need to learn some humility.” That stroke removed the clamp on my right breast. “Because everyone knew that she had been tested for Talent before.” The blow to my crotch was worse than the others put together, and I cried out. “Legs apart, Jana. Apart.”
I forced them apart. Another blow took both of the clamps on my labial lips.
“I needed to show people that the Choosing is not something you can guarantee by throwing money at it. By cheating.” The next blow made me scream again, but didn’t remove the last clip. “I needed to remind those who try next year that anyone could fail. That they are truly taking a risk when they seek power.”
This blow removed the last clip. Lady Amelia knelt by me, her hand moving between my legs. Her fingers circled my clitoris slowly, but even that movement was half pain, half pleasure then.
“You have more questions?” she asked.
“What… what will you do with Lydia?” I asked. I knew she would never ask about me if the positions were reversed, but I had to know.
“You’re going to help me decide that,” Lady Amelia said. “But not just yet.”
Her fingers kept moving. I could feel the pleasure building inside me. Feel it like a pressure building up, making me writhe in my bonds. Making the steel hook move within me. Lady Amelia played my body as surely as another woman might have played a harp or a lute, bringing me to the edge, the very edge, of pleasure.
Where she stopped and stood. I could see her looking down at me as I moaned in frustration.
“Would you like to stop, Jana? All you have to do is say that we are done.”
“H-how… how did Tessa ensure Lydia failed? How did she ensure I failed.”
“Two questions,” Lady Amelia said. “But only one answer, so…”
She knelt astride my head, forcing me to lick her again. She brought the flogger down sharply across my belly, my cunt, my thighs. One blow after another. Not hard, but relentless. I could feel her above me. Feel her pleasure. She pulled away from her own climax as swiftly as she had mine.
“Tessa used a contact poison. All it took was a kiss. For both of you.”
All that, for so simple an answer? Yet I had needed to know. There was one more thing that I needed to know.
“What… what is going to happen to me now?” I asked. “I… I never asked to be a part of this House of yours…”
“No, you didn’t, but you did take the test. If another House had chosen you, then you would have been theirs, for the rest of your life, with no questions or escape. They are as much slaves as… well, as you are now. Just very powerful ones. But I said before that you would get a say in what happens next.”
Slowly, so slowly, Lady Amelia unbound me. She unwound the thongs from around my breasts, making me whimper as the blood returned. She untied the thong from my hair, easing the hook from my body. She untied my legs, smiling as I tried to stretch them. Finally, she released my wrists.
“Kneel,” she commanded, and I knelt, just as she had made me kneel in her coach. I couldn’t help watching her though. Watching as she went to the wall to take one of the carved phalluses there, along with a harness for it. I shook in place as she strapped it onto herself.
“On your hands and knees,” she commanded.
I did it without question. I could have stood. Could have argued. Could have fought. But I did as she commanded instead.
“Lydia is up above, naked and awaiting her fate.” Lady Amelia moved behind me, and I felt the head of her strap on push into me. “There are two possibilities, and I am going to give you a chance to earn the right to decide which one she gets.”
She started to move, oh so slowly.
“My home enjoys many visitors. Men and women looking to… enjoy their stay.”
She stopped me short with a swat across my buttocks. “You’re done with questions. Listen. Yes, I mean a brothel. I mean that if you gave Lydia to it, she would be fucked in every way imaginable. She would be a thing of pleasure, designed to please others. Tied and fucked and beaten.”
She started to move a little faster in me. It was all I could do to keep from moaning.
“If you cum without my permission, you will get no say in what she gets,” Lady Amelia warned me. “Now, that is only one option. The other one… I have a friend who is looking for a slave to help with her household. A woman a little older than me in need of a trained clerk and skilled assistant. Oh, she might try out the slut, but it would hardly be the same, believe me. A quiet life, now that she has had her very public lesson.”
I started to open my mouth to tell Lady Amelia to give Lydia the second choice, but she kept going. Both verbally and more physically, fucking me now. Really fucking me.
“Of course, there is just one other point. You will get whatever she does not.”
I tried to look back at her. Tried to protest, but Lady Amelia grabbed my hair, hammering into me.
“If you are to be one of the Eighth House, then you will need to train in everything we do. Which means that you will spend your time as the slut you appear to be. Or you can choose to walk away. You would still be a slave, you made that choice when you chose to take the trial, but it would not be such an onerous life.”
“Fair?” Lady Amelia demanded, and by now she had a hard rhythm to her strokes as she fucked me. I could feel the length of the toy she’d chosen deep inside me. I could feel the pleasure that she’d forced me to pull back from building again. “You didn’t think this would be easy, did you, Jana? I am in the business of teaching lessons. So what lessons have I been trying to teach you here, in this place? Guess enough of them before you spend and you get to choose. Fail, and I will choose lives as whores for both of you. No Eighth House. Just being fucked.”
I could feel her hands on my hips then as she drove into me. I couldn’t think like this. Couldn’t…
“That there is a price for knowledge!” I gasped out.
“What else?” Lady Amelia didn’t let up her pace.
“That it is worth the price. Oh…”
“If you cum, you lose, pet. Think.”
I thought about the power I could feel building alongside the pleasure. “That… that I’m built for this… for your House’s ways…”
Lady Amelia pulled my hair a little harder. “Keep going.”
What else was there? “That I… That I’m yours to do with as you wish. That I’m worthless.”
Lady Amelia paused a moment, placing a kiss on my shoulder. “Not worthless. You know exactly what you’re worth to me. But yes, you’re mine. More.”
She renewed her fucking with an intensity that had me collapsing to my elbows, unable to hold myself up.
But that was it. I didn’t have more. I couldn’t think of more. I couldn’t think of…
The orgasm burst over me before I could stop it, and Lady Amelia kept fucking me through it. She fucked me while I clawed at the hard floor. While I cried out. While I shuddered my way to a halt. Finally, she pulled out of me. She wrapped her arms around me, pulling me up to my knees while I wept.
I’d failed. I hadn’t been able to win at her game. Lydia and I… no… please no.
“Are you crying because of what is about to happen to you, for your friend, or because you have lost the Eighth House?” she whispered.
“All of them.” It was an effort to get the words out.
“So you would have chosen my House?”
I nodded mutely, and felt Lady Amelia’s lips at my neck.
“In the morning, you will say goodbye to Lydia before she goes to my friend’s home. Then you will begin learning all the skills my playthings need. And progress to your next test. I have a personal suite on the top floor of this mansion. When you can speak to me in it, I will know you are ready for what comes next.”
“I… I don’t understand.”
“And your time for questions is gone, so I could leave you in ignorance, but I won’t. You were always going to cum before you gave me enough answers, Jana. Because that is the last lesson. In the Eighth House, we try to manipulate things, but the truth is what you just felt. Sometimes, we are still powerless. Sometimes, there are no good options. Sometimes, all you can do is yield.”
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story continues in The Eighth House 4: The Mark