Reina sighed heavily as she gazed upon the disaster laying before her on the worktable. It was a catastrophe. A complete and utter botch. As good as her new assistant Idina's intentions were, the girl was useless when it came to translation of old texts. The girl was hardly dumb, but words were not her strong suite. Reina really had to get Telitha back.
It had now been three weeks since she had banished her old assistant, a punishment for having played around with Beleeza behind her back. At the time it had seemed prudent. Necessary, even. But now she wondered exactly who was being punished the most.
She went to the kitchen and made herself some sweet abarran tea, spiced with calming rootdust. Then, she took the steaming little cup and ventured up on the roof, where she sat down to gaze out over the city. It was an unusually calm evening, without any wind to disturb the sand and the dust. Night was slowly falling and the alleyways were lighting up with lanterns and candles, turning them into great glowing veins that sprawled towards the beating heart of the city. The petrified eye that hung in the sky far above Robeka was silent and dark. Sleeping peacefully, for once. Even this arid, hostile place had its moments of beauty.
There, under the waking stars, she sat and pondered. Much had changed lately, and she had not taken the time to truly feel - to really try and understand what was happening inside her. She had always been a bit of a recluse, burying herself in work and duties. Had used it as a shield to keep people at arm's length. But lately she had felt like something had changed. It was more than just Beleeza's Daemonic influence, however. It was the woman herself. If you could call her that. Reina felt emotions stirring inside her that she had never expected. Emotions that really weren't supposed to have a place in a diligent scholar's life, especially towards what most Warlocks would consider a subordinate. Or even a slave. But there the feelings were. A smoldering, aching tangle of emotions that whispered only one name. Had she really been angry at Telitha for breaking the rules, or was it because the girl had intruded upon a deeper bond? After all, Reina had forgiven Beleeza quickly enough. Was it simply jealousy that had stung so deeply? Had the boundaries she had laid down been fair? All this and more she pondered as she drank her tea in solitude while the moons began their dance among the stars. Finally, she whispered the name that her heart called out for.
Only a few moments passed before footsteps could be heard coming up the creaking stairs leading to the roof. A pale phantom appeared in the door, naked as only those completely devoid of shame could be. Beleeza wore her raven-haired human form voluntarily for once. Even she knew that a Daemon on a midnight roof would cause a bit of a stir. For a moment, Reina could only gaze at her bondmate with warmth, drinking in the generous yet elegant curves. Then, she patted the ground next to her and the Daemon came to sit with her without uttering a single word. They sat in silence for a while, simply looking out over the city, before Reina finally spoke.
"I think I'm going to take Telitha back."
"Oh?" There was a genuine mixture of surprise and curiosity in Beleeza's voice. "You have forgiven her, then?"
Reina though about it for a moment. Was there really something to forgive? In the end, Beleeza was a Daemon of the House of Flesh. It was her very nature to act the way she had. And Telitha was only human. Would she herself have been able to resist such temptation if she had been left alone as an apprentice with something like Beleeza? Probably not. Still, it had hurt. It had wounded her.
"I...suppose I have." Reina finally said. "I'm still not happy with what happened behind my back, but... This can't really be treated like a relationship between humans, I suppose." She waited for a quip from Beleeza that never came. The Daemon only sat and listened. Reina wasn't the only one who was changing.
"I guess what I'm trying to say is... It wasn't just that she broke a rule. I think I didn't like the thought of Telitha having had that moment with you because it felt like she intruded on something where she didn't belong." Reina gave Beleeza an unsure glance. If opening your heart to another human was difficult, it was nothing compared to opening it to a Daemon. "It felt like... she was taking something away from me."
"You mean to say I'm a toy that can be taken away then?" Beleeza couldn't keep her silence any more, feigning shock and insult with a dramatic gasp.
"No! I just-"
"I know what you meant, pet," Beleeza said with a teasing smile. " You meant that she wounded your heart more than your sense of professionalism, no?"
"I... Yeah, I suppose so." Reina admitted.
"It did not wound you when I played with Omala?"
"That was different though. I was...with you then. A part of it."
"Mm..." Beleeza purred. "A delicious part. I enjoyed watching the moon ghost play with you too."
Reina jabbed her bondmate in the side, and tried to stifle a blushing smile. "Shush you. I'm serious."
"So tell me then, bondmate. What do you want?"
The Warlock pondered. This wasn't exactly something she had studied as an apprentice. No one schooled you on emotional relationships with your Daemon.
"I guess... I wanted someone from the House of Flesh, so then I can't very well ask you to act against that nature. Nor do I want to."
"I should hope not," Beleeza purred and bit Reina's ear lightly.
"But I... I can't deny that you've become special to me. I want you to be... You. With all that it entails. But the thought of you doing what you do to me with someone else hurts. Even though it shouldn't."
Beleeza sat quiet with a quizzical look on her face. This was a new conversation for her as well.
Reina sighed heavily and continued. "I'm not...ordering you, or even asking you to do anything. I'm just telling you how I feel."
For a while, Beleeza held her silence, her face an impassive mask that may as well have been made of stone. Finally, she spoke. "Very well. Then I will not play with anyone else, if you are not present."
Reina stared in shock at her Daemon. Whatever answer she had expected, it was not that. She fought a lump in her throat as she pulled Beleeza tightly against her. They held each other in silence, both trying to understand exactly what they were feeling. Reina wanted to give words to so many things, but did not know how. She could only hold her Daemon, feeling her warmth and breathing in her scent.
"Does that mean other Daemons too..?" Beleeza finally mumbled, with something that almost approached apprehension in her voice.
Reina let out a relieved laugh. "No, dummy. You can fuck as many Daemons as you want whenever you want."
"Oh thank the depths," Beleeza sighed. "That might have been the end of me."
Reina gently pushed her bondmate to the ground and kissed her deeply. Beaneath the sea of stars they embraced each other, confessing their emotions without any clumsy words.
* * * * *
The next day, Reina was laying out material in her workshop as Beleeza watched from the corner. Telitha was due to arrive at any moment after more than three weeks in exile. Reina really needed the assistant to get back to work as soon as possible, but she couldn't help giving the girl one last little punishment before that.
"You are sure you want to do this?" Beleeza asked.
"Yes," Reina said with an dark smile. "It will be a suitable punishment for playing with fire."
"Very well, pet," the Daemon purred. "Punished she will be. How should I dress then?"
"I trust your creativity, Something that will make her mad with lust."
The Daemon let out a laugh. "You seem to become more and more in tune our House every day, human though you are."
Reina simply pointed her tongue at Beleeza. Half mocking, half inviting. "I blame your influence."
Beeleza stood up and stretched, still in her human frame. But then, with loud cracks and groans, she started changing shape. Her frame grew almost two heads taller than Reina, taking on a dark brown tone of skin, clad in an intricate weave of red tattoos. Her horns sprouted thick and strong, and her black hair grew wild and untamed. She kept herself to two arms, though exactly what one should call the thick thing that grew between her legs was open to interpretation. For a moment, Reina looked at her beastly mate, and considered that perhaps she should simply ask Telitha to come back another day. Just looking at Beleeza's strong body and the thick cock that was waiting to be played with made her heart beat faster.
"I believe that should be a good start," Beleeza purred as she flexed and stretched.
"If it doesn't do the job, then Telitha has certainly learned her lesson," Reina added with a smirk.
Soon enough there was a knock on the door and Reina went to answer it. As expected, it was Telitha, stiff as a statue, with a terribly awkward look on her face. The assistant bowed deeply, clutching her materials close to her chest. Her black hair, usually messy, was now cut neatly at the shoulders and impeccably groomed. Even her wild and defiant eyes were unusually timid.
"Thank you so much for letting me back into your service, Adept," she said humbly, still keeping her head bowed. "I am yours to command."
"It's nice to see you again Telitha," Reina replied gently. She had used to be so into the formality of it all. Now she just stood leaned against the door frame, leisurely in a way that would make any higher Warlock sneer. "Come in and put your books down."
They went inside together, and Reina watched with great amusement as Telitha went stiff at the sight of Beleeza. The Daemon simply waved seductively from her corner, blowing a small kiss to Telitha. The poor girl had no idea what she was walking into.
"So!" Reina began as Telitha put her material down on the prepared worktable. "Let's get the obvious out of the way first. Your little mess-up with Beleeza is forgotten and forgiven. Water under the bridge."
"It will never happen again," the assistant said curtly, eyes locked to the floor. "I am truly sorry for my transgression, M'am."
"I hope so," Reina said with a smile. "You're here to assist my work, not to get busy with my bondmate. I hope I don't have to tell you what the consequences would be if it where to happen again."
"Absolutely. Your word is my law, M'am." Telitha was laying it on thick, but seemed to mean every word.
Beleeza just sat in her corner, admirably silent.
"Good. Now, I have two matters for you: one is the translation of a text. Some work has been put into it, but I think you're better off doing it from the start. The other is a puzzle box that I believe is connected to the text, though its cryptic nature makes it hard to be sure."
Reina took an odd little dodecagon from a shelf and put it down on the table. It was a strange little thing, about as big as a melon, painted in red and black with bronze sigils adorning all twelve sides. She had found it by pure chance in a bazaar. It was impossible to say whether there really was something of value inside, but she recognized the symbols as being derived from an old tradition of cryptology. The kind that wasn't wasted on trivial things. Even if the contents proved to be worthless, the box itself could be sold for a decent sum. If it could be opened.
"Is the cryptology familiar to you?" Reina asked as she handed the dodecagon to Telitha.
"Vaguely," the assistant said as she turned the box in her hands. "I think they are related to constellations, corresponding to lesser Gods. At least, that's what I would guess at a glance."
Reina couldn't help but smile. In less than a minute, Telitha had shed more light upon the matter than Idina had managed to do in a week. She almost felt bad about what was about to happen. Almost.
"Sounds like you have a good place to start then. Put your materials in their place and get get to it, I will continue with my own project in the meanwhile. It trust you haven't forgotten your way around the workshop." There was the slightest hint of mockery in Reina's voice, but if Telitha caught it, she didn't show it.
Telitha simply bowed without a word and set to her work. As her assistant made herself busy, Reina got back to her own projects, pretending to be busy. But her focus remained elsewhere. While she made a show of burying herself in grimoires, she kept watching both Beleeza and Telitha in their opposite corners of the workshop. The Daemon kept glancing in the direction of the assistant, but received no attention in return. Telitha kept her mind on her translation with an admirable discipline. Determined to show that she had learned her lesson.
Reina was almost a little disappointed. She had been hoping for a little more chemistry. Sparks. Defiant lust, barely tied down and controlled. But no. Telitha had completely descended into her own little world. As much as she wanted to see the work completed, Reina found herself wishing the assistant had been just a little less regretful. Soon, she too found herself more and more focused on her work, absorbed by accounts of the Nether rather than thoughts of teasing and play. Even when she left the room to fetch tea or books, it seemed as if Telitha refused to waver. Beleeza's little looks went completely unanswered. And so, the hours of quiet, dutiful work passed. Finally, Reina decided that it was time for drastic measures.
"I believe it is time for food soon," she said, breaking the long silence. "I think I'll go to the bazaar and get some cliffhare for us."
Telitha's focus finally broke as she looked up at Reina. Her eyes darted to and away from the Daemon in a flash.
"You'll be alright here while I'm out?" Reina asked, barely able to hide a smile.
"I-uh, I can go to the bazaar for you," Telitha tried. Her voice betrayed her sudden nervousness.
"Oh no, just keep working," Reina said and gave her assistant a dismissive wave. "I need some fresh air anyway. I won't be very long."
"Are... Are you sure?" Telitha really didn't seem to want to be left alone with Beleeza.
"Absolutely, no need to break your focus." Reina, on the other hand, absolutely wanted the two to be alone now.
"Oh, um... Yes, Adept."
Reina took great pleasure in seeing Telitha so flustered all of a sudden. As she took her sandcloak, she gave Beleeza a subtle little wink, and the Daemon smiled and nodded in understanding. Telitha had no idea what kind of trap she was about to find herself in.
"No messing around now, okay?" Reina said to the two with a dry smile.
As the Mistress of the house went out and shut the door behind her, a tense silence settled in the workshop. One so absolute that you could almost hear the dust settle, had it not been for the thumping of the young assistant's heart. Telitha had no idea what to make of it all. After what had happened, how could Reina just leave the two of them alone? Surely this must be a test of her resolve? That had never been Reina's way of doing things, but what other explanation could there be? She decided that this must be the case and took a deep breath to regain her focus. As long as she kept her mind on the work, things would be fine. As long as she didn't -- without even thinking she glanced over at Beleeza for but a second. But even that was more than enough.
The Daemon sat in the corner, watching her with a satisfied smile and eyes that smoldered with wicked intentions. Not a single word was exchanged, but whole books could have been born from the flash of energy that rippled through the air between them. Telitha forced her eyes downwards and with shaky hands and a throbbing pulse she tried to regain her composure. The translation work had been going so well, but now the scribbles and glyphs were just a jumble of lines, devoid of any meaning. She read and re-read her notes, over and over, anxious to find her way forward again. It wasn't enough to show she could resist temptation -- she had to exceed any and all expectation. She imagined the shock in Reina's eyes upon returning as she handed over the solved cryptogram, used it to fuel her ambition. And it worked. Finally, the scribbled started making sense again, her breath was calming and-
"I kept it, you know..." Beleeza purred from her corner.
Telitha was caught off guard and looked up. The Daemon sat with her legs spread, her large shaft standing almost completely erect. In her hands she held the big obsidian cock that Telitha had shaped on the night of her banishment, gently caressing it with suggestive motions. The young warlock nearly forgot to breathe.
"It has been very good company during dark nights," Beleeza continued, with a sensual lick along the abyssal shaft, her long tongue coiling and writhing around the stone cock. "One wonders what those hands of yours could conjure in less of a rush."
Then, with a deep moan, the Daemon took the beastly thing almost entirely into her mouth, shivering in delight as she showed off. Telitha's heart nearly stopped, and she couldn't help staring at the Daemon's performance, watching like transfixed as Beleeza fucked her own mouth with the toy, her own dark cock throbbing and pulsating in delight. All of a sudden the young assistant realized how soaking wet she was already, how she ached and burned deep inside. Her cheeks burned like unholy fire and a sweet mist was starting to cloud her thoughts. She bit her lip hard until searing pain and the taste of blood brought her back to her senses. She could not - must not falter. She had been weak once, but not again! She would not fail this test, even if it killed her.
"Please," she muttered darkly, her eyes once more locked on the paper before her. "Keep it down. I'm trying to work." There was no reply other than another deep, satisfied moan.
Telitha set her mind to repeating the names of the lesser gods of this land, like a spell to keep the lust and tempting sounds at bay. Orhomal the twice killed. Bugolam the heretic son. The glyphs corresponded. There was an order to things, a hidden hierarchy among forgotten dogmas. Tohrokash born of flame. The divine work of metallurgy and the heresy of bronze. Ylgaleth the-
"Mmmm, I need it inside me again..." the Daemon purred, once more challenging Telitha's focus.
But the warlock refused to waver. She uttered not a word, not a breath in response. Ylgaleth the pale wanderer. Jhoghoton everlaughing. The layers of history and interpretations must be torn away or the meanings would be false. The order of symbols told a story. A modern eye would see a story of triumph and glory. Life conquering death. But an old eye saw another, a story of a dark fate. The whisper of a curse. Old myths, buried among the scorching sands.
"Ahhh, it almost feels bigger than before-" Beleeza gasped with a heat that nearly lit the curtains on fire. This time Telitha wavered. Her eyes betrayed her at just the moment when the Daemon, straddling the big stone toy, let it push deep up inside until it was almost completely gone. Beleeza let out a moan of otherworldly delight, grabbing hold of her hard cock which already glistened with precum. Muscles rippled as she started working her body up and down the black shaft, dripping wet with Daemonic juices.
It took all of Telithas willpower not to give in and shout orders. Something in her desperately wanted to make the Daemon obey, to force Beleeza into submission. But she knew that she couldn't, for a hundred different reasons. Images from her night of banishment surged back, the way Beleeza had fucked herself for the young warlock's amusement, how the Daemon had come all over her own body at Telitha's order. She wanted it all again and so much more. By now she was so wet and delirious that she would have but needed to touch herself to come. But no. No. No. No no no. She grit her teeth and clenched the seat of her chair until cramping pain drowned out the searing heat between her legs. She grabbed the part of her that wanted to abandon it all for just a few moments of being filled to the brim with Beleeza's massive cock, kicked it into the deepest chamber of her soul, and shut the door with all the remaining willpower that she had.