Story for the Day: The Mark of a Lady

The Mark of a Lady
Ladrei Maccadrin: Guild Lord of Lucentia and right hand of Prince Lamir
                It was dawn in Lucentia, and before the sun gained command over the morning skies, Ladrei had awakened from a short but pleasant sleep. He had passed a most wondrous evening between the welcoming thighs of his former assailant, whose arms and legs now lay draped across his inked and bare form. It had been an object more desired but one he believed he would have little chance of seeing:  a creature of such splendor and significance strewn over him, his most formidable conquest and acquisition in such a pleasing and submissive position. He relished the sport she had given him: she roused excitements he supposed forgotten, for though he had women aplenty in his collection, none of them had ever attempted to kill him, much to his great disappointment. Those of the harem were more for the maintenance of his status than for enjoyment, pleasing Nidello and Arkastino more than himself, but here was a woman willing to accept the deleterious and precarious mission of removing him if only to come within his reach once more. Hers was a life now owned by him, and when looking down at his splendid attainment, he must feel all the glory her soft skin and tender form could provide. He adored his stunning creature, but how much of his adoration he would admit would depend upon her willingness to continue her dangerous pursuits against him.
                There was something of longstanding consequence that required his attention this particular morning, but when he looked down at the woman lying upon him, he felt as though moving would be an indelible offense to commit against her: the curve in the small of her back, the manner in which her slender frame rose and fell with each gentle breath she took, the dark curls tumbling across his chest, and the small smile of unconscious exaltation recommended her brilliancy, and Ladrei was all quiet rapture and gratification to have this creature as his covering. He grazed the spiraled ends of her hair with his fingertips and traced the outline of her delicate features with the back of his hand. Here was a rare bird, he thought to himself, and he had caught her in his nest to keep as an example to his fledglings of how a woman of his choosing should govern herself.    
                Morning soon lighted the room and a sudden knock at the door conveyed that the agreeable deliberation Ladrei was engrossed in over the woman in his bed must now be over. He slipped her arm from around his shoulder and replaced it on the bed as he attempted to leave their temperate nest without stirring her. He had succeeded in the first point but failed in the second: he had been able to stand and dress without her being disturbed, but when a second knock came to remind him that his time was growing short, the sound of the knock was enough to awaken her.  
                Iraiya opened her eyes and saw her master’s standing silhouette outlined by the white rays of morning light. “My Lord?” she said, rising from the bed.
                “Shh, Inpala,” Ladrei whispered smilingly, placing a finger on her lips. “Remain asleep.” 
                She smiled and kissed the finger being held against her mouth.“Must you go?” she pleaded, reaching out to him.
                He took her hand and rubbed his thumb across the back of her fingers. “There is someone I need to see.”
                She felt the warm imprint his touch accorded her and resigned herself to the consolation of resuming their pleasurable activities upon his return. She watched him finish dressing, adorning himself with all the necessary accoutrements of his position, and sat on the corner of the bed while wrapping one of the silken blankets around her.
                Ladrei adjusted his waistcoat, shaped his high-standing hair, and declared himself prepared for his  impending meeting. He turned to his creature to give her one last touch. “If you need something, Arkastino and Nidello will serve you,” he said, molding his hand around her chin.
                She enjoyed the feeling of his being there, and the sensation of his hand holding her head high compelled her to close her eyes. “I shouldn’t ask them to-“ she had begun to say, but found it impossible to say anything further when being force to concentrate on the hand traveling down the front of her neck. It stopped at the curve of her breast, and Iraiya inhaled in anticipation of what her master meant to do.
                He did not press further, however. He removed his hand in time to receive a bated exhalation and increase her eagerness with a slow nictation of partiality. “You tried to kill me, Inpala. You’ve earned my respect and the loyalty of my friends. Ask them, and whatever you want is yours.” He half-smiled and went to take his leave. “I’ll return later in the evening,” he promised, but when he turned to go to the door, she stood from the bed and gave him an insistent look.
                “Please, My Lord,” he said softly, looking down. “Don’t be away long.”
                Ladrei decided to reward her for such civil obedience and suddenly rushed toward her, forcing her backward onto the bed. He grinned down at his keen woman, pinning her beneath him with his knee while hovering over her. “I allowed you to live, inpala,” her purred at her. “Your life belongs to me. I won’t be gone long. All owners must care for their pets.”
                She simpered at him and curled her hair around her fingers.
                Her moved her hands aside and pulled the blanket away from her breast. “I could order Nidello and Arkastino to take care of you in the meantime,” he said, shaping his hand around her delectable attributes, “But I wouldn’t want them touching my inpala.” He hummed at her in approval, watching her pass her tongue over her lower lip. His eyes glowed with decadence, spying his enticing and fervent object. “And such a pretty inpala,” he repeated, drawing her up from the blanket. He nestled her luscious flesh, delighting in the dulcet taste of her breast. He pulled away to observe her budding animation, and once he was assured that she reveled in his aggressive actions, he reached over to the night table and retrieved one of the markers used in the preparation of branding those in his service. He turned her onto her stomach and began drawing the symbol of his guild along the nape of her neck.   “You will warm my bed every evening, you will welcome me when I return from my missions, you will attend me when the prince calls for me.” He finished his illustration and judged that it looked very well on his latest acquirement. He lifted her into the bend of his arm and pressed the bridge of his nose against her cheek. “You will be the lady at my side,” he murmured, “and I will like that very much.”
                Iraiya beamed at him: her eyes sparkled and her heard leapt with elation to consider herself bound to the most influential man in Lucentia. She had only wished to see more of him in hopes of earning his favour over time, but this was a position more than she could have ever conceived. To be deemed the woman of the prince’s right hand was a notion most advantageous, one beyond fathoming but not beyond achievement. She must smile in delectation for being chosen, and she soon became overpowered with sentiment enough to entreat, “Brand me when you return, my lord?”
                Ladrei’s eyes widened in astonishment. “Wouldn’t my lady rather mark her lord?” He turned the marker over to her and bade her to ink the one place at the back of his neck yet untouched. He allowed to her draw what she wished and when she had done, he lay the implement aside and took her into his arms. “Prove yourself to me, Inpala, and I’ll make it permanent,” he said, abrading the back of her neck with his hungry mouth.
                “When you return, I’ll have the poisoned dagger ready, My Lord.”
                “You had better hide well. If I find you before you find me, Inpala, then I will brand you,” he ardently swore.
                They exchanged looks of equal avidness, each enamored with the idea that the other was willing to allow the other’s vices: she being permitted to continue her mission against him and he taking joy in impeding her. The alike struggle for domination of the other would provide endless amusement to each, both of them sagacious and abundant in their own respects.
                Ladrei had no more time to spend with her at present. He must tend to the duties of the day and she must prepare a fitting ambush for him to mark the pleasure of his return. He stood and went once again to the door, and though she followed, she said nothing to hinder his parting. He turned to give her one last glance. “Don’t disappoint me, Inpala,” he demanded, raising his brows. “I expect to be calling a healer in the evening.”
                Iraiya smirked as her lord left their nest. She believe that he must be immune to any poisons she could contrive due to his training and occupation, but she would delight in the endeavor and be ravaged in her failure, which was all her aspiration.