Monday, September 10, 2018

The Shalafae Archives - Woo Her

My Shalafae stories are dark, twisted, and incestuous. It has always made sense for these characters to be written this way, and they're really the only truly taboo characters I have. While not graphic, this story does touch on the relationship of Ulrin and his daughter; I suggest not reading if that bothers you.

Again, incest ahead.


The hall was blessed silently as he closed the heavy door on her sobs. He trembled slightly with suppressed rage, his hand wrapped tightly around the doorknob, denying the urge to go back inside and beat the young woman. Clenching his jaw, the Sidhehan lord stepped away from the door, shifting through the aether, returning to his room. He feared that if he stayed near her, he would kill her.

"You look stressed, brother mine." He turned slowly, hiding his surprise that Kyra had beaten him to his rooms. She sat primly on the divan he kept just for her, feet flat on the floor, back ramrod straight, her plain white dress illuminating her figure as much as it hid her curves. She stared serenely at her older brother, her hair held back by a simple silver circlet, cascading down her back and to the floor.

Lord Shalafae's voice was a harsh whisper as he approached the blond Sidhehan. "She tasks me, Sister. She pushes me to my limits." He sat stiffly beside her, his eyes roving the room as he allowed his magic to transmute all his furnishings. As Chaos magic warped the objects, Shalafae felt his muscles relaxing, his shoulders untensing.

Kyra gave a soft sound, turning her torso to reach for his neck. Shalafae's eyes closed in bliss as he deft fingers worked beneath his collar, seeking the knots riding his neck. "None of the others stressed you like this."

He relented to her insistent fingers, relaxing further, allowing himself to take several deep breaths. "No, none of them did." He let his thoughts wander, refusing to think about the tortured young woman he'd so recently left. "None of them have fought me like this."

His sister chuckled, her thumbs working along the base of his skull, her breasts brushing his arm. "And you haven't killed her yet." He cringed, his shoulder immediately tensing again, and suddenly threw himself into her lap, burying his face against her thigh. Kyra paused, then ran hands across his hair. "What vexes you, Ulrin?"

Ulrin Shalafae wrapped his arms around her slender calves, keeping his eyes closed, absorbing her fruity scent. His sister had always been his balance, had always been there when he needed her. Kyra's presence was enough to help him try to relax, to gather his thoughts. She remained patient, her delicate fingers tracing his hairline and the curve of his pointed ear. Her aura wrapped around him, comforting without smothering.

Minutes passed, stretching out, and he finally found his words. "Everything about her is vexing. She cries if I beat her, she cries if I leave her alone. She cringes from my anger, and pulls away from my calm. She can't stand my presence, but she becomes depressed when I don't come to her." He gave a shiver, remembering the way her silver eyes glittered as they filled with tears.

"She's so smart, but she's ruled by her emotions. She's strong despite the flaws her mother embedded in her psyche, and yet she won't work past them." He gritted his teeth. "She's not following any of the plans I've made for her. None of her draconic ferocity comes through. She simply lays there and takes all my punishment without breaking."

"And yet she's fading away." Kyra's voice was soft, concerned, understanding. Shalafae rolled onto his back, and she made more room for him on the divan, smiling lovingly at him. He continued to relax, yet his right foot tapped against the left.

"She's so delicate, despite the strength I know is there. I fear that if I push her much further, she will break entirely."

Kyra giggled, her cheeks coloring faintly. "You actually care about her, don't you?"

His jaw tensed at first, but his sister's humor worked its magic on him. Ulrin smiled, reaching for a loose strand of her golden hair. He sniffed at her hair before speaking, letting his mind drift. When his words finally came out, they were a soft whisper. "That's what troubles me the most. I believe I do care for her."

The younger Sidhehan ran her fingers through his hair, her blue eyes darkening as she waited for him to continue. She knew his moods, and knew when it suited him best for her to remain quiet. This was one of those times; her presence was enough for him.

Inhaling his sister's calming scent, he couldn't hide from his thoughts any longer. Kyra had stood by him over the last several millennia as he had tried to make the perfect weapon. Child after child he had created, sculpted, trained, and finally destroyed for being flawed in some way. He continued to try, continued to seek perfection, and continued to be thwarted. Shalafae had come to know when it was time to give up and end the life of his subject.

Except with Morrigana. His latest child was a conundrum to him; nothing about her was like he'd planned. When the others had become like this, he'd torn their soul from him. Yet he couldn't bring himself to destroy her, couldn't even think of those innocent eyes losing their inner light. When she was in pain, he felt it himself. Shalafae could taste her pleasure, even when she lied about it, and there was many a night their hearts beat as one.

"She's different, Kyra. I don't know what to do with her." He remembered the night of her conception, the bright flare of her soul coming to life, and how she refused to let him go as he named her. Morrigana wrapped herself around him, demanding to know his name in return for hers. He'd been surprised, and had opened his soul to her for the merest fraction of a second; she'd laughingly thanked him, and taken her physical form. Every time he thought of killing her, he remembered that unprecedented moment.

"So stop treating her like the others."

He met her blue gaze, momentarily stunned. "What do you mean?"

Kyra smirked, tracing his lower lip with her index finger. "She's different. She won't react like the others because she clearly isn't the others. You need to come up with a new plan for her." Kyra's eyes roved her face, her love sparkling behind them.

"What do you suggest?" He found himself at a point where he would try almost anything.

"Be nice to her. Befriend her. Seduce her. Don't even touch her unless she wants it."

Ulrin absorbed her words, mulling them over, already working out how to implement them. "Let her come to me?" He reached up to stroke his sister's cheek.

Kyra nodded, turning to kiss his fingertips. "Yes. You may not be able to sculpt her, but perhaps she can grow to your specification. Don't force her, but guide her. Treat her as something other than just a tool."

He smiled, running his other hand lovingly through her hair, knowing she was right. Morrigana demanded something different, something better for her education. Pulling his sister down for a kiss, Shalafae found himself wanting to implement his new plan immediately.

***

Morrigana sat stiffly at the table, her hands folded in her lap, her eyes downcast. Her master moved around the table, serving her dinner with his own hands. Every time he moved, her heart leapt to her throat, and the young woman knew he could taste her nervousness. Lord Shalafae always knew what she was feeling, knew how to prey upon it.

He lingered by her side as he set the plate down. She could smell him, the slightly dangerous scent of darkness and pheromones, and her heart rate spiked. The half-dragon could no longer count the weeks since he'd touched her, since he'd last forced her to lay with him. Morrigana had cringed from him at first, fearing that he would pounce on her the moment she let her guard down. But time had passed, and he remained polite, well-mannered, and never once touched her inappropriately.

She'd found it a welcome relief after that, glad that she was no longer forced to attempt to please him.
She focused on her studies, expanding her mind as he expected, debating with Shalafae when the mood took him, learning everything she could. She found herself happier than she'd ever been with her master.

Yet dark curiosity plagued her. Morrigana wanted to know why he was no longer lusting for her, why he no longer had his way with her. She'd been certain he enjoyed her tears and screams, and that if he ever tired of them he would simply dispose of her. Instead, he was teaching her, and was kind to her. He'd even brought her a litter of kittens to choose from.

The young woman's gaze jumped to her master's as she realized he'd been speaking. "I beg your pardon," she said softly, her cheeks flushing with embarrassment.

Shalafae merely smiled, his crimson eyes lit with inner humor. "I asked if dinner was displeasing you, my lady."

She shook her head softly, her hair swaying against her bare shoulders. She felt odd in her new dress, with her hair pulled up into a topknot, but Lord Shalafae had insisted. "Dinner is fine, Master."

"Then what bothers you?" He frowned delicately, lifting a hand to smooth the front of his coat. Her eyes followed the motion of his fingers, the spill of lace from his cuff, and part of her mind wanted to know what that lace would feel like against her bare shoulders.

Swallowing hard, Morrigana turned her eyes to her plate, forcing the words to come out. "I am not bothered, my master."

He lingered at her side, looming over her, and yet his presence didn't overwhelm her. He didn't force himself upon her, but waited patiently. "You're not a very good liar, my lady."

The girl frowned, hands clamping around each other in her lap. "You keep calling me that," she said lowly, feeling tears rise. Her master wasn't forcing himself on her, but his presence this close was beginning to wear at her defenses.

He reached forward, taking her chin in his long fingers. Morrigana shivered as she let him turn her face up to him, her nerves racing at the first contact they'd had in too long. His crimson eyes bored down into hers, revealing nothing, capturing her thoughts. "Are you not a lady? Are you not mine?"

Shalafae's words were a whisper, lacking any hint of mockery, and they burned straight into her heart. She couldn't speak, could only stare as a single tear slipped free, cooling instantly on her cheek. The albino Sidhehan let go of her chin, capturing the tear on his index finger. Morrigana watched in disbelief as he lifted it to his lips, closing his eyes as he tasted her emotions.

"Come with me," he said, reaching for her hands. The hybrid allowed herself to be pulled from the chair, following docilely as he took her to his balcony. The night was warm, redolent with the scent of roses from the gardens below. Morrigana shivered, her skin crawling pleasantly where her master's hand enfolded hers. Their heels clacked on the marble balcony, and a breeze passed by to stir their hair.

Shalafae stopped at the balustrade, keeping her hand, his eyes turning to the star-filled sky above them. "Tonight is to be a special night. Thousands of asteroids are going to throw themselves into the atmosphere, suiciding in a spectacular show. I wanted to share it with you."

"Why?" she asked breathlessly. She took a step closer, her heart racing, her eyes locked on the nearly glowing face of her captor.

He glanced down, his face serious, eyes half-lidded. "Do I really need a reason?" His voice had dropped to a whisper as well. It felt as if the night belonged only to the two of them.

She found herself stepping closer, nearly touching him. "You never do anything without a reason. I've learned that lesson thoroughly."

Shalafae started to reach for her face, then turned with his hand halfway raised. "I thought you would like it."

The first of the asteroids burned across the sky in a steak of blue lights. Morrigana's eyes traced the movement across the heavens until her gaze returned to the milky skin of Lord Shalafae. She moved impulsively, no thoughts in her mind, and pressed her body to his. As his face turned, she laid her mouth against his, kissing him gently, offering herself to him.

He sighed, his breath stirring against her cheek, and he laid his hand to rest on her upper arm. She thrilled at his touch, her skin racing with electric shivers, and she kissed him harder. She opened her lips to him, expecting him to press his advantage, and he took a step back.

"My lady, are you-" Morrigana cut him off by lunging forward, kissing him hard, her tongue darting between his open lips. With a delighted groan, her master wrapped her in his arms and kissed her savagely.

***

Ulrin watched her sleeping in his arms, her face completely at peace as she snored slightly, mouth parted the tiniest amount. Her hair was free of its topknot, pulled loose during their passionate embraces, the tangles splayed out around her silvery skin and across his crimson sheets. She looked good in his bed, and he wanted to see her youthful body there all the time.

He found himself smiling faintly as he traced the line of her jaw, her shoulder moving by instinct to expose her throat to him. He saw the red rings where he had bitten her, when she had so breathlessly begged for him to feed upon her. He even felt the welt where her mouth had met his flesh when he lifted her head to his neck.

So willing, this precious child of his. She only really feared him leaving her. Her heart had been in her first kiss, and he'd seen it in her eyes. This girl was in love with him, and not simply charmed into love like so many of his victims. She genuinely loved him, and she wanted to please him. Her entire soul and body opened to him when she was in his arms, giving herself completely to him.

It was her trust that called to him, almost more than her love. Even pulling his mouth to her neck, begging him to have her, he could feel her trust. There was not a moment of fear in her, no worries that he would kill her. None but his sister had trusted him like that in a long time, longer than he cared to remember.

All that trust was bound in a soul that was more fragile than spider silk. She had a strength buried deep in her; that was clear simply because she hadn't broken entirely. But she was on a path of self-destruction, allowing herself to get weaker and break apart under his tortures. No matter how he abused her, though, she still trusted and loved him.

How could he not respond to that? No matter how jaded the millennia had made him, he found his heart warming to this girl. No matter how he stifled it, he was drawn to her, pulled by that innocence. Holding her sleeping weight in his arms, in his bed, in this sanctum of his, he wanted to protect her. It was a sudden longing in him to keep her from harm, to help her flourish and grow. Ulrin frowned faintly, running his fingers along her mouth, feeling the pulse of her energy follow his touch.

"What is it about you, my daughter, that makes you different from all your failed siblings? Why did none of them do this to me?" His voice was loud in his ears, even though it was merely a whisper, and he watched her intently to see if it woke her. Morrigana moaned in her sleep, turning in his arms, laying her back against him, her legs tangling with his. His heart paused once as he wrapped his arms tighter around her, pulling her close, laying his mouth against her shoulder, taking comfort in keeping her warm.

In his heart, he felt the answer. Yet he could not bring himself to say it, no matter how right it felt to lay with his daughter, to listen to her heartbeat dancing with his, to taste the dried sweat on her soft skin. He would not say it, no matter that his heart whispered happily after ages of loneliness.

He loved her.

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