Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Worst Days 3.2

I got distracted by my job, a dog, and a little Watching Him Back spinoff. To read part 3.1 click here, or start from the beginning. Again, thanks to Luz for sending me a copy of this lost tome.
I woke the next morning to hear Mrs. Cupps pounding on my door. "Wake up, Tamlin, honey," she called. "The seamstress will be here in half an hour!"

"Ugh," I moaned to no one. The fancy duds were on their way. I did want breakfast, however, so I levered myself out of bed and trudged downstairs for some eggs and breakfast porridge. I was even sorer today now that the bruises had their chance to settle in, and on one wrist it looked as if someone had bitten me. Maybe someone had, and I had been too high on adrenaline to notice. I hoped I didn't have rabies.

Before I could set a foot in the kitchen Mrs. Cupps hustled me toward the dining room. "I've already set out a breakfast for you, lovie," she announced as she steered me in the right direction. "When you're done, leave your plate and go brush your teeth. You look like a grumpy bear in the mornings, I say!"

I mustered up a bleary smile for her and sat down to eat. My muscles ached everywhere, though some of that pain might have been due to my resumption of exercise after however long I had been in sedative limbo before the auction. Had it really only been two days? I felt as though I were trapped in a time warp: My world was moving at a snail's pace while everyone else sped through life like hounds after a rabbit.

I shoveled my breakfast into my mouth (hand-to-mouth was the only function my brain allowed me to operate at a normal pace) and then dragged myself back upstairs to the bathroom, groaning the whole time. I brushed my teeth and thought about combing my hair, but decided that as long as I washed my face and had pleasant breath that I was doing well.

I missed the skilled hands of the team's trainer with a passion. I generally do not enjoy superfluous human contact, but I would do almost anything for a good massage. The world could crumble around me and I wouldn't notice if I were receiving a massage. I rolled my shoulders and heaved a sigh. I would have to make do with a lot of stretching and the pulsing showerhead, I supposed.

When I walked out of the bathroom there were people in my room. I stopped, feeling vulnerable in my bare-chested, muss-haired state. There was a striking woman dressed in all black flanked by two teenage girls, and I noticed that none of them were grey-haired, and that they were all wearing collars. They were carrying suitcases and bolts of fabric, and their eyes were downcast. My mood turned surly almost immediately. Mrs. Cupps was speaking with a middle-aged man of average height who was wearing an immaculate suit.

"Oh, Tam, dear!" she called when she saw me. "This is Mr. Alfevi. He is the most successful suit designer in all of Nitkistan, possibly the world."

Alfevi chuckled. "Gloria, my dear, you have a flair for the hyperbole."

Mrs. Cupps batted her eyelashes at him. "I tell the truth as I see it, love." She took me by the arm and dragged me to the center of the room. I could see she had made my bed, something that hadn't been done for me since I was five years old. 

Snapping her fingers, Mrs. Cupps gasped, "I do believe I've left the stove on. I'll leave you to your work, dear." She swept out the door, calling, "Be nice, Tam, honey!" over her shoulder. Alfevi looked at me quizzically. I bared my teeth.

The designer snapped his fingers and his women began taking things out of the suitcases, which it seemed, were more toolboxes than anything. I guessed a fancy suit man couldn't be seen dragging around ugly plastic toolboxes. I stood with my arms folded while Alfevi circled me, occasionally murmuring, "Hm," like I was a great puzzle.

"You will certainly be a challenge," he finally said. "How to capture your raw animalistic nature without making you overpowering—that will be my task."

Mumbo jumbo. "Why do you not make for me the same suit that Mr. White is wearing?" I suggested with saccharine sweetness. "We could match. It would be 
socute." I saw the dark-haired woman suppress a smile. My Nitkan wit was emerging.

"Nonsense," Alfevi waved his hand at me. "You're a caged predator, and you must appear as such. I want you to appear leashed, but as though only the powerful Mr. White can keep you as such."

I was incredulous. "You can do that with a suit?"

Alfevi looked affronted. "Of course I can, you idiot. I should not expect a 
foreigner(he said the word like I would say "fucker of pigs") to understand the delicate complexities of fine attire." He held out a hand to one of the girls and she gave him a pencil and a pad of paper. He dashed off a sketch and practically threw it back at the girl. "I want him in the stone palette," he ordered, then left the room.
I stood there for a moment, staring as the women pulled out the objects of their trade. "Well..." I trailed off. The girls giggled to each other.

"We'll need to take your full measurements," the woman said, casting a smoky gaze in my direction. "So we'll need you to strip down to your underwear."

The girls giggled again and I blushed. I wasn't wearing underwear.

"Just a moment," I said quickly, and grabbed a pair from a drawer and hurried into the bathroom. Giggles followed me like bursting bubbles. I was suddenly glad I was the youngest of my siblings, and had no younger sisters with whom to contend.

When I stepped out of the bathroom the woman whistled appreciatively. I fought the urge to blush again by remembering this wasn't the first time I'd had a reaction like that. I had also blushed every single time someone had whistled at me.

"How did you get all those bruises?" queried one of the girls.

"Tana!" hissed the other, smacking the girl in the arm.

"It's okay, I made a man angry," I responded. The girl nodded understandingly.

The woman slunk up to me. "Lift your arms, tiger," she said, holding up a measuring tape. She oozed a primal sensuality that I found disconcerting. Her accent was lilting and tripped over my ears with slippered feet. I lifted my arms and she trailed her fingers over me as she took measurements.

"I heard," she said throatily, "that you whipped Almus Tobergus with a leash."

Considering her tone, the correct response would have been 
Does that excite you, baby? I shrugged instead.

"Ooh, are you serious?" squealed the inquisitive girl. Tana, was it?

"That's how I got all those bruises," I replied lightly. The lady with the sexy voice was taking my inseam, and was doing some unnecessary fondling in the area. 
Cold showers, wrinkly old men I thought. Cold showers, wrinkly old men, rotten eggs.

"Where are you from, tiger?" the woman asked from around my knees.


"No kidding?" Tana said, clapping her hands. "Have you ever been to a space hockey game?"

I couldn't stop a smile from twitching at the corner of my mouth. "One or two," I said.

The other girl spoke up from where she was unrolling fabric bolts. "That is so cool," she sighed. "Master Alfevi took us to see the Grey Terror one time."

"Yeah," Tana nodded. "Riki and I covered our eyes half the time, it was so brutal. Samarra liked it."

"It was exciting," Sexy Voice Samarra purred as she stood up to face me. "Terribly exciting." She was built like an hourglass, and the little corset that was supposed to be restraining her underneath her jacket wasn't working very well.
Cold showers, wrinkly old men, rotten eggs, vomit, I reminded myself. "I am glad you enjoyed it," I responded politely. "It is the national sport of Lomagnia."

"Hey," Tana piped up again. "How's Mr. White?"

"I hear he has a dick bigger than a donkey's," Riki added, and the two girls collapsed into a fit of giggles. I shifted my feet uncomfortably.

"We don't really, er," I stopped as my Nitkan vocabulary deserted me in my embarrassment. I hadn't sized up too many donkey dicks, anyway, so how would I know.

"Girls," Samarra snapped. "Mr. Shay will think you've never been in public before."

"Sorry," Riki apologized quickly. "It's just that no one has ever known Mr. White to keep a companion before. It's very exciting."

"He's something of a celebrity," explained Samarra at my baffled expression. "It's his mystery. He has few friends and no known enemies, no one is sure where his roots lie," she shrugged. "He's an enigma, and meeting him only serves to further mystify."

I had no response to that. Samarra suddenly turned to the two girls. "Riki, Tana, I left the silk in the hovercar. I need one or both of you to go get it."

They scrambled out of the room. "Is the silk so heavy?" I joked.

"No," Samarra said slyly, "but they'll explore a little and give us a chance to talk."

"Talk?" I wasn't sure if that was code for something, or if I had led her to believe that I was a stimulating conversationalist.

Samarra was rummaging through the bolts of fabric. "Talk. You want to get out of here, right?" She had switched to heavily accented Lomagnian.

For a second I was unsure whether I had heard her correctly. "Are you suggesting I make a run for it?" I shook my head. "I don't even know where I am. I need a lot more information on the outside world before I decide to risk my head. I have a wife to live for."

"You're married, huh?" Samarra commented, arching a dark brow at me. "Pity. But no, I am suggesting we, let's say, work together to find a path to freedom."

"It's certainly poetic."

She crossed her arms, and I did my best not to look at the creamy expanse of bosom that spilled over her top. "You're skeptical," she said.

I shrugged. "I've been here less than two days. I haven't even been able to get past that damn wall," I explained. "I got beat up in a park. I have brown hair. There are a few people who actually recognize me. My odds aren't that good."

Samarra held a few swatches of fabric to my face. "We're in the south, maybe an hour from the coast. Alfevi buys from Calterran merchants, who aren't too keen on slavery but like his money," she informed me. "We're seeing them later today. I'm arranging for my escape, and the girls, and I could do the same for you."


  1. Such a tease, so little after so long. And no Fen!!!
    Though, glad to have you back :)

  2. After checking every day for weeks then finally giving up as December hit, I come back here by accident and find you've finally released something, gaw my luck >.< ! This story brings back memories of me reading it the first time round, how delightful!