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Entertaining Foreigners

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Work has been absolute hell lately. Between the tighter than tight deadlines and the 60-hour weeks, you’re ready to unplug your brain and never think about coding ever again. Thankfully, your cushy little software engineer job nets you some decent pay, so you’ve booked yourself a little vacation.

It’s a small village with a local winery that you heard about in a handful of articles with titles like, “Most Remote Villages in Eastern Europe” and “Trying to Disappear? Go here!”. The village’s name isn’t one you think you can even pronounce. Whatever. That makes it easier to not tell anyone where you’re going and you don’t.

You’re going to disappear from the world for two weeks and the peaceful contentment of that phrase carries you all the way from the drafty European airport to the cab that’s set to take you to your destination.

Well, it functions like a cab, at least. In reality, it’s a pickup truck with a grizzled man at the helm who takes your lei without question and drives without conversation. That’s all well and good. The silence sets the perfect tone for the long wintery drive.

When you finally arrive at the village, you check your phone. It works. That’s a bit of a surprise, but hey, you’re not complaining. The grizzled driver doesn’t get out of the truck, which is a little odd, but whatever. You haul your luggage out of the truck’s bed yourself.

Before you can ask him where the bed & breakfast is, the truck takes off. Ok. Fine. You’ll figure it out yourself. This isn’t the first time you’ve been to an old-world village and you know you can’t expect commercial service. That’s not what you want anyway. There’s a charm in these places and frankly, curbside attendance would only sully it.

So, you extend the bars on your little suitcase and wheel it down the dirt road to the village proper. The sounds of farm animals and chatter meet your ears. You can smell what you imagine is local cuisine mixed with familiar farm smells of earth and foliage. Yes, this place is going to be perfect.

First thing’s first, you need to find your lodgings so that you can set out and explore.

“Excuse me? Hi. I’m Y/N. Looking for the inn. Can you point me in the right direction?” You ask a small group of village folk. They’re gathered on a porch with various bits of wood carving and needle work in their laps. They look at you like you have three heads. Shit. Do they not have one? That would be most inconvenient.

“Just a place to sleep for about a week or two. I have money. Lei. I’m happy to pay for it handsomely.” You offer.

The villagers exchange a series of looks, but finally, one of them speaks up.

“You’ll be wanting Luiza’s house. She’ll put you up for a bit.” The woman says. She spits out a thick wad of tobacco from her cheek near your shoe. Man, you just can’t get this in the city.

“Excellent. Where can I find her?” You ask. The woman gives you some directions and you nod along. The village doesn’t seem too big, so you should be fine. You thank them for their help and turn to go.

“Oh, and outsider? Best be careful. Some of the locals don’t take kindly to your kind.” The woman says. You nod. That’s not uncommon. Brightly dressed tourists often spell disruption for little villages like this. You promise you’ll be discreet and take off for “Luiza’s house”.

You find the house at the top of a hill deeper into the village. The scarecrows you pass are a little disconcerting, but it’s hard to contain the excitement in your belly. You’ve already scoped out a few places you want to check out. The graveyard looked particularly interesting.

You knock on the door and wait. A few moments later, a woman answers.

“Hi. My name is Y/N. I was told you would offer me a room for a little while. I’m just here to relax. A little vacation. I have plenty of money.” You explain. It’s honestly a little awkward, as you feel you might be intruding, but the woman smiles.

“I see. I am Luiza. Please, come inside.”

Luiza leads you into the charming little house and you try to soak up as much of the imagery as you can. You notice a framed picture of a bird-like woman with large wings and a halo. It’s very reminiscent of other religious artwork in the Greek orthodox category, but you get the sense that this isn’t the “Madonna” of Christianity.

“You have a lovely home.” You say and Luiza smiles again. She leads you up the stairs and makes small talk as you go. Where do you come from? What are you doing here? That sort of thing. You answer patiently and then ask about the picture.

“Ah, Mother Miranda. She protects us.” Luiza says. You make a mental note and wonder if there’s more to the story. All in due time.

“What do I owe you?” You ask as you settle into the room she’s taken you to. You negotiate a fair price and hand over the lei.

“We’ll have supper in a few hours. Please, let me know if there is anything you need.” Luiza says. You thank her and she takes her leave.

Once she’s gone you throw yourself onto the bed and sigh with glee. This place is perfect! It’s so rustic and authentic. You’re dog tired, so you decide to nap, but you can’t wait to let the village spirit you away.

That night, at dinner, you join Luiza at the table. You have no idea what she’s serving you, but it smells good, and you’re starving. You think it a little strange that it’s just her in this big house, but you don’t ask.

Then, a man enters the room. He’s older, probably Luiza’s husband or brother.

“Luiza, I swear if the rains don’t bless us soon we won’t have any offerings for Mother—”

He stops cold when he spots you and shock quickly turns to anger.

“Who are you?” He demands. You offer your name and he looks at Luiza with a mixture of disgust and something else. Fear?

“Luiza, what is the meaning of this?”

She rises and takes him into another room to talk. You eat quietly and hope you haven’t caused some kind of problem. You can always offer more lei.

When they finally return, the man seems uncomfortable, but calmer. He joins you at the table.

“My apologies, Y/N. We don’t get a lot of outsiders here.” He says, helping himself to the large bowl of soup and plate of bread in the center of the table.

“I hope I’m not being a nuisance. I assure you I am here to be respectful of your customs. I’m just here to take in the local scenery and relax.” You explain. The man seems unconvinced and he doesn’t give you his name. Ok.

Luiza does her best to carry on the conversation throughout the meal, but it’s stiff. Something’s changed, but you don’t know what. You ask about the local winery and the air shifts from uncomfortable to downright tense.

“They don’t give tours.” Luiza chokes out.

“Ah, that’s a shame. I’d love to see how the wine is made. Do you have any on hand? I’d be happy to pay for the bottle for a taste.” You say. They don’t. That’s fine. You’ll have a mission tomorrow.

When the strange dinner is over, you thank them both, and ask if there’s a place where you can enjoy a smoke before you sleep. Luiza lets you out onto the porch and silently joins you.

You light up a cigarette, though you know you shouldn’t be smoking. It’s a vacation. Whatever. The nicotine and smooth tobacco hit you in just the right spot and the uneasiness from dinner subsides a little. Perhaps you should be more put out by it, but you’ve learned to take things as they come on adventures like this.

If they ask you to leave, you’ll find somewhere else to stay. Worst case scenario, you go home. You’d prefer not to do that, of course, but shit happens.

Luiza doesn’t say anything for a while. She just stands, looking out into the distance. She seems to be thinking.

“Penny for your thoughts?” You ask. She starts a little. She’s still tense from dinner.

“Cigarette?” You offer. She shakes her head.

“I hope you’ll forgive my husband for his rudeness. We don’t see many travelers here. He’s afraid people will talk.”

“Oh, not at all. I understand. I promise I won’t be any trouble though. I’m just going to go out and explore. Maybe take a few pictures. Read a book under a tree. Drink some wine. Nothing too exciting.” You explain. Luiza nods.

“Yes, well. You must promise me something.”

“Alright.”

“Stay in the central part of the village. Don’t go exploring near the castle or to the outskirts. If you see anything that seems out of place, you come straight back here. Do you understand?” Luiza says. Her voice is grave and fear saturates every syllable. You nod and wonder what on earth could be out there.

“And don’t go out at night. Not even to smoke. Never alone.”

Admittedly, this makes you a little nervous, but you promise, and when your cigarette is spent, you head back inside. Luiza bids you a goodnight and you head up to bed.
As you lie in the sheets, a lot of the excitement you had about the village earlier turns to a nervous dread. Something feels off about this place and though you’d love to ignore it, you consider that it might be better to find somewhere else to relax for the next few weeks.

Whatever. That can be decided in the morning. You drift off to sleep.

You start to stir awake when you hear voices. Shouting. You bolt up and leap out of the bed, landing quietly on the floor. You look around for a weapon or something that might be used as one. You have no idea what to expect, but you suspect it may not be pleasant.

You don’t have time to think about it anymore as the door is thrown open and a few men from the village file in. You’re suddenly glad for several things:
1. You chose to wear shorts and a t-shirt to bed instead of your usual of wearing nothing.
2. You took some judo and akkido classes a few years ago for self defense.
3. You started running a few years ago as well and you’ve got a solid stamina.
4. Your cell phone is in your pocket and it uses a solar charge.

You look at the men and then at the door. You consider the window behind you.

“Hiya, gents.” You say. There’s fear in your voice, but you can probably get past them. You just need an opening. Too bad about your luggage. Good thing you didn’t bring anything important.
You can hear Luiza downstairs wailing.

“You can’t do this! She doesn’t deserve that!”

“Like we have a choice! Word flies in a village like this! All the way up the mountain!” Her husband shouts.

You crack your neck and wait for your moment, but tragically, the men pull out several rifles and point them squarely at you. Looks like your moment won’t come for a while. You put up your hands and stand.

One of the men grabs you and slaps iron cuffs on your wrists. Ok. You’re panicking now. This is some straight up Hostel shit. You kick one of the men in the gut, but another hits your head with the butt of his gun. You’re out like a light.

When you finally come to, you’re in a dungeon cell. You think that through again. A dungeon cell. You are in a dungeon. The stink hits you and you gag. You’re still chained with the iron cuffs and you can’t feel the weight of your cell phone in the pocket of your basketball shorts. Not good.

You look around and strain your eyes to see in the dim light. You desperately try not to panic, but it’s not easy. You are in a dungeon in some remote village of Eastern Europe. You’re probably going to die, but the question is how long it will take.

Will they kill you quickly or let you rot? You just need an opening and then you can make a break for it. It’s your only chance.
Then, you hear a voice. It’s syrupy sweet and mixed with the buzzing of flies.

“Ohhhh. She’s awake.” The voice says. It’s distinctly female, but the buzzing gives you pause. You don’t like bugs.

A few moments later, you see the source of the buzzing. Hundreds of flies moving together in a wave. They enter the cell and swarm around you and you can’t help but scream.
Then, to your absolute shock, the flies materialize in a human shape and a woman stands before you. Your mind struggles to comprehend this, but you don’t have the luxury of time.
The woman leans down and you can see a smear of blood on the lower part of her face. Cannibals? We’ve got Eastern European cannibals? That’s got to be high on the list of worst-case scenarios.
She leans down and inhales your scent.

“Tell me, are you a virgin?” She asks with a little playfulness in her tone. Virgin? Wait a minute. Vampires? That’s a step up from cannibals, to be sure, but you’re still going to be eaten.
You don’t answer, as you’re still trying to process what’s happening in front of you. The woman grins a wide, toothy grin.

“I suppose we’ll find out, won’t we?” She says. She grabs you by the chain that joins your iron cuffs and pulls you into her chest.

“One little taste won’t hurt, will it? Mother won’t notice.” She muses. Then, another voice echoes through the dungeon.

“Daniella! Mother is waiting.” It says. The woman holding you sulks and pushes you back.

“Fine.” She says with a huff. Then, she opens the door to the dungeon and drags you out.

She’s amazingly strong for someone so sleight and you don’t have a chance to get a good look at her while she drags you. You get to a set of stone steps and she hoists you onto her shoulder with ease.
You watch as the dungeon disappears from your sight and is quickly replaced with lavish white walls with gold inlay. Art and beauty greet you everywhere you look. Whoever these people are, they’re aristocrats for sure. Vampires, indeed. That’s definitely bad, right?

Finally, you hit the floor in a gorgeous bedroom. The carpet is much preferred to the cold stone floor you’d experienced a few minutes ago, but the danger of your situation is hitting you in waves. Man, you just wanted to get away and relax.

You look around and see two other women who look very similar to the one who carried you here. They’re dressed in black with veils and red stains on their chins. Maybe they’ve eaten recently and are too full to eat you. Maybe.

Then, you spot another figure sitting with her back to you. She’s dressed in white with a large, huge really, black hat atop her head. She rises and, once again to your surprise, she continues to rise. She’s a tower of a woman. Your mouth falls open and you gasp.

“Well, well, well. So, we finally meet.” The giant woman says. Her voice is rich and deep. If you weren’t entirely certain that you were about to meet your end, you’d openly admit she was the most magnificent woman you’d ever laid eyes on.

“Daniella was going to sample her early.” One of the younger women says. She looks quite pleased with herself for ratting out her sister. You assume they’re sisters from their similar garb, anyway.
“Tattling is unbecoming, Cassandra.” Daniella says. The mother puts up a hand to silence them and turns her attention to you.

“You’ve been asleep for so long that I worried that headwound of yours was serious. I prefer my meals lively.” She says. Something inside of you quivers with something other than fear.
“Welcome to Castle Dimitrescu. We’re so glad you’re here. After all, we do so love to entertain foreigners, don’t we daughters?” The tall woman says. The daughters laugh cruelly.

“Bela, remove our guest’s restraints.” The tall woman orders. You assume she is the mistress of the castle. Lady Dimitrescu.

“Yes, mother.”

The third and final daughter approaches you and unlocks your iron cuffs with a little key. You rub your wrists. Ok. Now, to wait for the right moment to escape. As enchanting as the tall woman is, you have no intentions to be anyone’s meal.

“Now, let’s have a taste.” Lady Dimitrescu says. She leans down and reaches out to grab you, but you’re quick. You leap to your feet and twist out of her grasp. Then you run. You hear her smooth voice as you bust through the door. It’s firm and confident.

“Stop her.”

You race through the hall, running for any door you see. There are many and most of them look exactly the same. Finally, you reach a larger room. This must be a foyer, which means that there must be a door to the outside. You spot large double doors past a strange group of statues without faces and run for them.

The door is locked and has some kind of riddle on it? You don’t have time to read it, so you run to the other side of the room and head up the stairs. This must be the main hall. Upstairs or through the double doors?

You pick the double doors and then you hear the buzzing you’ve been expecting. The buzzing grows louder with every step and mixes with hysterical laughter. You burst through the double doors and find yourself in a dining room. The irony makes you scoff.

Then, you spot a woman dressed as a maid cleaning one of the windows. You race over to her.

“You gotta help me! I—”

She screams like she’s sounding the alarm. Come on!

You go for the door that must lead to the outside, but it’s locked. Of course. The buzzing stops and you see the three sisters close in around you.

“Mother likes it when they fight back.” The one called Bela says.

“And she hates when they cry.” The one called Cassandra says.

“You’re the most fun we’ve had in ages.” The one called Daniella says gleefully.

You’re cornered. There’s nowhere to go. The three sisters grab you and drag you into the main hall once more, where “Mother” is waiting.

“I must say, you’ve got some cheek. I like that.” Lady Dimitrescu purrs. You struggle in the grasp of the sisters.

She leans down from her great height and picks you up by your wrists. You dangle there in front of her and something inside of you quivers again. Lady Dimitrescu brings you closer and inhales deeply.

“Let’s hope you taste half as good as you smell.” She muses. Then, she brings your throat to her lips and bites.

That quivering from earlier is only growing stronger. The bite does hurt for a moment, but not nearly as bad as you think it will. Her fangs must be razor sharp. Suddenly a strange feeling spreads through your body. It’s warm and sweet. A moan slips past your lips.

You can see past her shoulder to the wall, but your vision grows blurry. You suddenly register that her lips are on you. She’s drinking from you. Using you. The warmth grows inside of you and slips down to the crest of your thighs.

She pulls back and you can see a grin plastered clear across her face. Her pupils are blown out with pleasure.

“You’re delicious.” She says softly. Your throat is dry and that feeling of warmth is still pulsing through you. You’ve seen enough vampire movies to know that in some stories, a vampire’s bite has aphrodisiac qualities.

“I want a turn!” Daniella shouts impatiently. Cassandra elbows her.

“No. This one is mine.” Lady Dimitrescu says.

Chapter Text

There are worse ways to die, you think, as Lady Dimitrescu carries you through the castle. You could have choked to death, alone in your apartment. You could have been hit by a bus.

Getting sucked dry by a giant, sexy vampire is not a bad way to go, you think as she carries you through the dining room and then outside into the courtyard.

You consider trying to escape again, but the bite has left you weaker and the warmth it has left behind has not yet subsided. You probably wouldn’t make it very far.

Lady Dimitrescu has to bend down to get through most of the doors, which you find odd. Isn’t this her house? Why hasn’t she had someone come widen the frames? Whatever.

Finally, she lays you out on a huge bed on the second floor of whatever part of the castle you’re in. This must be her room, you conclude. It’s beautiful and so is she. Dying surrounded by beauty won’t be so bad, you consider. You could have died in a hospital, wasting away of cancer. This is actually much preferred.

“Let’s get a look at you.” Lady Dimitrescu says. You look up at her and maybe it’s the aphrodisiac still coursing through your veins, but man. She’s stunning.

She leans down and carefully removes your t-shirt, taking her time in admiring your flesh. She traces the skin between your breasts with her finger and chuckles as you gasp and wiggle at the contact.

“Enjoying my pheromones, little one?” She asks. It’s a condescending, almost mocking tone. She already knows the answer.

She pulls your shorts off and then places your clothes neatly on the bed. Her manner is elegant and methodical. She’s taking her time.

Then she leans in and inhales the scent of your skin. You hear a pleased murmur. Then, she pulls back and removes her gloves.

“Tell me, are you a virgin, little one? You don’t taste like one, but you don’t taste tainted either.” She says. You do your best to raise your head to answer, but it’s a challenge. Your thoughts are muddled and her touch is divine. You feel drugged.

“Perhaps you touch yourself a lot. Do you?” She mused. Embarrassment is far beyond you, so you just nod. She chuckles again.

“Naughty, naughty. I don’t think that’s all though. Now, come on. Where’s all that vitality you had earlier?” She taunts. You loll your head from side to side and struggle to prop yourself up on your elbows.

“Hmm. Might have given you too much. I’ll tuck that away for next time.” She thinks aloud to herself. Next time? Wait a minute. Next time?

“You’re—you’re not going to kill me?” You ask breathlessly. She smiles.

“You, my dear, are a delectable morsel. Killing you would be a waste. No. I’m going to keep you. The only question is how you will be kept and that depends entirely on you. Good little pets do what their Mistress says and get to stay in the house. Bad little pets get punished and left in the cold. So, tell me. Which are you?” She asks. The answer is obvious.

“I’m a good—good pet.” You say. There’s a pressure building in between your legs and you’re amazed you have the energy for it. At your answer, Lady Dimitrescu smiles.

“That’s what I thought.” She says. Then she brings her bare hands to your chest and gently drags them down your body to your thighs. Her hands are large and easily cover the ground. She presses your thighs apart and then, dips one finger into your throbbing cunt.

You moan and it’s a ragged, lustful thing. She pulls the finger back and wipes it on your stomach.

“You are enjoying my pheromones. Goodness.”

You go to press your thighs together to relieve some of the pressure that’s growing wildly out of control. She slaps your thigh.

“Ah, ah. Keep them open.” She orders. You part your legs with great effort. Sweat is beading on your forehead now. You want her to touch you. You need her to touch you, to enter you and fill you up, but she just stares at you. Waiting and daring you to disobey her.

You throw your head back and pant. The ache between your legs is agony and there’s a tingle spreading from your core and up your back. You slam your eyes shut and try to endure it. You’ve never been this turned on in your life, not with any of the women you’ve slept with, not with any of the drugs you’ve done.

She grasps you by the jaw and pulls your head down.

“You must watch or I will stop.” She says. Her voice is even and firm. You imagine this is the voice she uses with the servants when she’s explaining how she wants her china polished. It’s practiced and easy.

You nod and brings her index finger back to the place where you want it so, so badly. She presses just the tip inside and your eyes flutter, but you force them open.

“Good girl. You need to understand that I own you now. I control your pleasure. I control your pain. Everything you have and everything you are is mine now.” She says. You don’t think you can take much more of this. Your stomach is starting to hurt from being clenched. Your body feels like a knot and if she winds you any tighter, you’ll—

She plunges the finger inside and pumps it in and out a few times to test the waters. You take it easily, so she adds another finger. You gasp and your back arches off the bed towards her. She stretches you feeling your limits as she does her work.

“Who do you belong to?” She snaps.
“You!”
“And who owns you?”
“You do!”
“When I tell you to run what will you do?”
“Run!”
“And when I tell you to stop what will you do?”
“Stop!”
“Why?”
“Because you own me!” You scream. She seems satisfied by this and keeps a steady rhythm.

“So tight.” She murmurs to herself. You’re barely conscious though. The feeling of her inside of you is unbelievable. Every thrust is heaven. You’re going to come and you can’t imagine it’s been more than a few minutes.

She pumps and curls her fingers inside of you and you come. You come hard. The sound that rips through your throat would make a well-seasoned slut blush. Lady Dimitrescu tuts.

“Already? We’ll work on your stamina.” She says idly. Then, she flips you over and cups your rear, never taking her fingers out. She handles you with ease.

She plants a slap on one of the cheeks and it stings you back to life a little bit. She slaps again. The pain is bringing you back.

“Yes.” You growl. She slaps your ass again, harder this time, then resumes fucking you. You pull your knees up and lift yourself a little bit. She leans into your back and then reaches around to your neck. Her powerful hand closes around your throat.

This is easily the best fuck you’ve ever had and you’re going for it full force now. You throw your hips back to meet her thrusts and take her fingers like a champ. Your moans are more strangled now, but still filling the room with their sinful sound.

You come again and you can feel the moisture shooting out of you onto the bed. Your breath comes in great heaves, but you’re ready for more. If the lady wants a show, then she’ll get one.

Much to your surprise, however, she releases your throat and withdraws her fingers. You stay in place, swaying slightly, but doing your best. She pushes you into the bed and you fall over limply.

“Not bad for your first time, but you’ll need some training.” She says idly, as if appraising an antique. You pull yourself up to a sitting position and look at her boldly. She continues to appraise you.

“You certainly don’t fuck like a virgin. You’re nice and responsive. I like that. You come so easily though. That’s a pity. We’ll train you up, not to worry. I think you’ll do.” She concludes. You are quite relieved to hear this, though you didn’t realize this was a test. No matter, you seem to have passed.

“Tell me, am I the first woman who has bedded you?” She asks. You shake your head.

“No.”

“Ah, that explains the flavor then. Sapphic. I’d drink from you again, but I have no interest in sending for the doctor and I do think you’re at your limit.”

You’re a little relieved to be finished for the moment. You’re more than exhausted. Keeping yourself upright and awake is a herculean effort, but you do it because she hasn’t announced that she’s finished with you yet. You’re a good pet, right? Yes.

“Th—thank you, Mistress.” You say. Her eyes light up and a smile spreads her mouth wide.

“Good girl.” She says and you really feel she means it this time. You’ve done well.

“I’ll have the servants arrange your room and we’ll get you settled in later. Rest while you can.” She says sweetly. Then, she takes one more approving look at you and leaves the room. You crawl to the pillow nearest to you and pass out.

When you wake up, you realize you’re still naked. Your new reality starts to sink in.

You’re a “pet” in a vampire’s castle. Thoughts buzz in your head. Is this permanent? Are you still going to be killed when she gets bored with you? Should you try and escape? No. You’re certain there are measures in place to stop you, though you can only imagine what they are.

You shiver a little from being exposed and crawl down the bed to your clothes. You put them on and take a deep breath.

Ok. You need to play this cool. All in all, this is not a bad deal. You hated your life. Between the disappointing tinder dates and your lackluster job, life was pretty shit. This is honestly pretty sweet if you can manage to avoid the lady’s wrath.

You imagine she would not be pleasant if she were ever angry. Best to stay on her good side. You wonder what the future will hold for you, but you really don’t know what to expect. You think back to the scene hours earlier.

She was quite deft with her hands and the memory makes you blush. You were really putting it all out there. A part of you feels almost grateful for it. You really let yourself go and she seemed to approve.
Your stomach growls and you hope that dinner is soon. Should you venture out and see what you can find? No. Lady Dimitrescu might see it as an escape attempt and not give you the time to explain.
You lay back on the soft bed and wait.

Thankfully, the door to the room opens a few minutes later. It’s one of the servants, though not the one you saw earlier.

“Lady Dimitrescu requests your presence in the dining room. I will escort you.” She says coldly. You hop off the bed and do a little wave with your hand.

“Lead the way.”

The servant leads you without a word down the stairs and then through the courtyard, and finally into the dining room. The servant bows before Lady Dimitrescu and her daughters, then leaves.
Lady Dimitrescu is already seated at the head of the table. Her daughters are seated to her right. You don’t dare to take a seat, as it will likely be seen as “forgetting yourself” and you’re not taking any chances. You know how these games are played and you intend to win.

“Please, take a seat.” Lady Dimitrescu says after a time. She gestures to the chair to her immediate left and you hurry to take it. You’re just grateful she’s letting you sit at the table at all. This could have gone a very different way.

“Now, I hope you’re hungry.” Lady Dimitrescu says. She snaps her fingers and out come several plates of meats, potatoes, and vegetables. You are, indeed, very hungry. Your mouth waters at the sight of it all. The plates are placed in the center of the table and the serving girl places a little of each onto a plate for you.

She presents it to you and you dig right in. The lady of the house and her daughters have their wine glasses refilled, but do not eat anything. You barely notice.

“Easy, pet. If you eat like a dog, then you’ll be treated like one.” Lady Dimitrescu warns. You slow yourself down and make sure to cut up each bite delicately from then on. You can feel the daughters staring at you until finally one of them, you think it’s Daniella, slams down her wine glass.

“It’s not fair! We finally get a new toy and you steal it for yourself!” She whines. Bela and Cassandra look nervously at their mother.

“There is nothing in this castle that I can steal, my dear Daniella. Everything belongs to me. Now, I understand you are disappointed. How about this? You can play a little game with a few of the serving girls later. How does that sound?” Lady Dimitrescu says. Her tone is light, but you know full well that whatever “game” they’re going to play will not be fun for the serving girls.

Daniella quits her pouting immediately.

“Do you mean it?” She asks. Lady Dimitrescu nods affectionately.

“Yes, but keep it in the cellar. I don’t want a mess in my halls.” Lady Dimitrescu says. Daniella nods excitedly.

“Oh, I promise, Mother.”

“And your sisters shall join you if they wish.” Lady Dimitrescu says. Daniella wants to pout about this, but she decides to take the win. The other daughters thank their mother in unison.

You continue eating and wonder what’s next for you, though you dare not ask. The lady and her daughters slip into another language for a bit, talking amicably amongst themselves. Sure, you wonder what they’re talking about, but again, you dare not ask. You don’t yet know the limits of your position in the house and you don’t want to push it on your first day. Hopefully, there would be time for that later.

Once your plate is clean, you wipe your mouth daintily with the cloth napkin provided.

“Thank you, Mistress.” You say.

Lady Dimitrescu rings a little bell and a servant quickly comes to relieve you of your plate. You wonder how many people are on staff. So far you’ve seen what? Four? A castle this large had to have more, but then again, if the daughters played their games often, then servants might ebb and flow in their numbers.

Suddenly, a sound tears through the silence. You recognize it immediately. It’s your cell phone. The alarm you had set to get up for dinner when you were at Luiza’s was still on. Lady Dimitrescu looks more irritated than alarmed, but she looks around in confusion for the sound. Cassandra and Daniella seem equally confused, but Bela? Bela just looks nauseous.

“What is that infernal racket?” Lady Dimitrescu demands.

“It’s my cell phone.” You say immediately.

“Silence it at once!” She commands. You hold out your hand to the daughters, suspecting that one of them lifted it off of you when you were dropped off. Bela slowly reaches into her dress, pulls it out, and hands it over to you.

You turn off the alarm and place it neatly on the table. You’re just glad it didn’t get lost somewhere.

“Hand it over.” Lady Dimitrescu orders. You do. She stares at the black screen for a few seconds and then at you.

“What is this?”

“It’s a cell phone.” You say.

“And what does it do?”

“Well, it does a lot of things, actually. You can make calls, take pictures, listen to music, read. Um. I think that’s it, really.” You explain. Of course they don’t know what cell phones are. They live out in the middle of nowhere and it’s still 1905 here, you think to yourself.

“Really?” Lady Dimitrescu whispers. She turns the phone over in her hand a few times. Its secrets do not reveal themselves to her.

“Show me.”

You get up and walk to her side, gently taking the phone from her large hand. You unlock it and show her a few photos you snapped of the village when you rode in.

“Impressive, pet. See, daughters? I knew this one was special.” Lady Dimitrescu says with a laugh. You grin. Her praise is actually pretty nice.

“Here. What kind of music do you like? Uh, which composers?” You ask. Lady Dimitrescu thinks for a moment, but Cassandra shouts out.

“Tartini!”

Ah, Baroque. Of course.

You open your Spotify app and ignore the fact that your data bill is going to be astronomical before typing in the name. You tap the first song that comes up and hold it out.
It’s a sorrowful violin piece. The Devil’s Trill, or something like that. You’ve always hated the way Spotify names and organizes classical tracks. It’s never clear whether the name you see is the song or the whole piece. Whatever. The table is all rapt in complete attention. They are clearly delighted with your trick.

“If you have a gramophone, I can make it louder.” You offer.

A servant is summoned and the gramophone is quickly supplied. You place the phone at the base of the large golden horn. The music is amplified and you feel pretty satisfied with yourself.
Lady Dimitrescu regards you with a newfound appreciation. You offer her the phone back.

“You can try to scroll through and play other things. This is the search bar.” You explain. She blinks down at the device and you wonder if she needs reading glasses. She’d look very cute in them, you decide. She places her finger on the screen, but nothing happens. She looks to you for an explanation and you can see a tiny hint of disappointment.

“Oh, you know what? You guys are vampires and the phone might not be able to read your inputs.” You say. Lady Dimitrescu looks at her daughters and they all burst into peals of laughter.
“We’re not vampires, pet.” She says. You think back to the vampire checklist.

Drink blood? Check.
Live in an ancient castle? Check.
Aversion to sunlight? Untested.
Aversion to garlic? Untested.
Reflection in a mirror? Untested.

Ok, so the results of the test are actually pretty mixed, but the castle and the blood-drinking are pretty suspicious. Then again, the daughters can turn into bugs. Is that a vampire thing?

“We are gifted children of Mother Miranda, who bestows her gifts on the worthy.” Lady Dimitrescu explains. You nod slowly. You remember the name. Luiza had mentioned it.

“I see, well. The phone’s screen reacts to bioelectricity, so if your skin doesn’t conduct it, then it won’t read.” You explain. Lady Dimitrescu nods in understanding. The daughters certainly pretend to understand this information.

“No matter. You’ll play whatever we like, won’t you?” Lady Dimitrescu purrs. It’s surprisingly flirtatious where you may have expected imperiousness. You nod.

“Of course, Mistress.”

“Then let us retire to a more comfortable location to enjoy some music.”

As you follow Lady Dimitrescu and her daughters, you check your phone’s battery. It should have a few solid hours left. Good. You make a mental note to leave it on the window sill when you go to bed to ensure it charges in the morning light.

They lead you through main hall and then up the stairs to the second floor. After walking for what feels like forever, you enter a library. There’s a huge skylight above you that shows off the moon quite nicely.

Servants carry in the gramophone and you set up the phone.

“Any requests or shall I play something?” You ask. Lady Dimitrescu nods gently.

“Let’s see what you’ve got, maestro.” She says. You don’t know if she will always be this pleased with you, but damn, you’ve got to soak it up while you can.

You play Bohren & Der Club of Gore’s Sunset Mission album. It’s slow, sorrowful jazz. Ominous and full of dread. It ripples with the sound of longing. You decide that The Mount Fuji Doomjazz corporation might be too modern for them, but you wonder if you’ll get a chance to play it at some point.

Once the music is set up you stand dutifully beside the gramophone while each of the ladies looks on and listens. It hits you how intimate you feel that sharing your musical taste is with someone, anyone. It makes you want to fidget, but you fight the urge, and let it happen.

“Come.” Lady Dimitrescu says gently. She gestures to the space beside her on the floor. You go and sit by her feet.

As the music plays on, you let its familiar tones wash over you. You take a chance and rest your head against the lower part of her calf. God, she is tall.

Much to your surprise, she brings her hand to your head and idly runs her fingers through your hair. The music has you feeling quite vulnerable and something deep inside of you wants to cry. However, you remember what the daughters said, ‘She hates it when they cry’. So, you hold it in.

Even if this is a sweet deal, being a not-vampires pet, it’s still all a lot to take in at once. You try and let the music speak for you and soak up the strange sadness in your soul.

The five of you sit and listen to the entire album silently, though you notice Daniella and Cassandra fidget a few times. They’re quickly chastised by Bela. Lady Dimitrescu says nothing for the entire hour and thirteen minutes, but you do notice a strange expression cross her face a few times.

As the album comes to an end, silence fills the room. You swallow thickly and hope they liked it.

“Well, that was very interesting. Unlike anything I’ve ever heard before, but not unpleasant.” Lady Dimitrescu announces. Did you pass? It’s hard to tell with this one.

“Can we play with the servants now?” Daniella whines. Cassandra looks like she wants to join in on the whining, but their mother nods.

“Go ahead. You can have 1 for each of you, but not my lady’s maid and not the seamstress.”

Daniella and Cassandra buzz off with delight. Bela hangs back, not really wanting to go with them, but Lady Dimitrescu waves her off.

“Go play with your sisters, Bela.” She says airily. Bela obeys.

Then, the two of you sit in silence for a few moments.

“Should I have gone with La Traviata?” You ask gingerly. Lady Dimitrescu chuckles and invites you up onto the huge chaise lounge. You crawl up and sit next to her. She pulls your head into her lap and pets your hair.

This is heaven. You nuzzle into her lap and cuddle in tightly, which she surprisingly allows. Despite being whatever she is, she smells nice.

The two of you sit like this for a long, silent while. Then she finally taps your cheek. It’s shockingly gentle and you smile.

“You have pleased me today.” She says. You smile, because for some reason, no matter how insane this whole situation is, that makes you happy. It feels right and you revel in it.

“Now, don’t think that means you’re free to do as you like.” She says with a mix of seduction and danger. She grips your jaw in her powerful hand.

“You’re still what?”

“Yours, Mistress.”

“Good girl. Now, you’ve earned a treat. Tell me your name.” She says. You realize now that she never asked and likely didn’t care, but you must have truly impressed her.

“Y/N.”

“Well, then, Y/N. Thank you for this interesting evening. Now, leave me and go to my chambers. You remember where they are. My lady’s maid will take you to your bedroom and I’ll see you tomorrow.” She instructs. You nod and wonder what it would be like to kiss her, but decide you’ll have to find out another day.

She sends you off with a little pat on the butt and a wink.

“Oh, and Y/N?”

“Yes, Mistress?” You ask. You’re on a cloud right now, hovering gently on the cusp of a real, full-blown infatuation.

She grins a dark grin and flexes her fingers. Long, menacing claws shoot out of her fingertips and slice through the easiness of the moment. You’re instantly reminded that she is a dangerous unknown who could slice you to pieces if you so much as looked at her wrong.

“Don’t disappoint me.” She warns. You nod silently and practically run from the room.

Chapter Text

The next morning you awaken to the sound of your alarm. You turn over in your new bed and look out the window into the morning light. A thought strikes you.

Why didn’t you bleed to death when the lady of the house bit your neck? In all the excitement and acceptance of your death, you had completely forgotten about it. You put your hand to the spot where she’d sunk her fangs into you. It’s smooth. Weird.

Whatever. You flop onto your back and stretch. You’re in a not-vampire’s castle and you’re some kind of kink slave. Does any of this make sense? No and you don’t care.

Nothing to be done except roll with the punches and play the game Lady Dimitrescu has laid out for you. It’s a dangerous game to be sure, but you’ll play it, and by god, you’re going to do everything in your power to win.

You consider what “winning” will look like and honestly, you’re not sure. For now, winning is survival. So, doing great so far.

The door to your room opens with a whine of the hinges and Lady Dimitrescu ducks her head low to get inside. You sit up at attention and watch her with hawk-like concentration. Well, perhaps you’re more prey than predator, so let’s say you watch her like a scared little mouse.

“Good morning, pet. Did you sleep well? I hope so because you’ve got a busy day ahead of you.” Lady Dimitrescu announces. You nod, but don’t offer comment. You’re a good pet this morning.

“As I mentioned, you’ve got to work on your stamina, so you’ll be working with Cassandra this morning on that. Then, you’ll have breakfast. After that, you’ll spend the afternoon with me in my atelier while I work. You’ll be fed at some point. Then dinner and we’ll see where the evening takes us. Repeat to me your day.” She commands. You nod and obey, reciting the plan for the day with pinpoint accuracy. You’re in fine form this morning.

“Excellent. Now, there are two rules for today. Firstly, you may not speak at all unless I give you express permission. Secondly, you may not allow yourself to reach orgasm, not once, no matter what. Do you understand?”

You nod. Another win for you. She grins.

“Good girl. Now, you can stay in those clothes through the morning and breakfast, as you’ll be put through your paces. No sense in immediately dirtying a new dress. I’ll have you bathed and dressed in fresh things for our lesson this afternoon.”

You nod in such a way as to imply your thanks. She chuckles and leans down to tilt your head up so that she can look deeply into your eyes.

“You’re so confident. I love that. It’s going to make breaking you so much more satisfying.” She purrs. You swallow thickly, but do not comment.

Without another word, she leads you out of your room and through the house to the opera hall. The house is so strange and winding. Perhaps a symptom of being very old. Every time she leans down to walk through a doorway you wonder why she tolerates it.

You wonder if she’s one of those faded aristocrats who have the title, but have lost the fortune that goes with it.

Then again, seeing her bend over several times on the way to the opera hall makes you grateful she hasn’t fixed the doorways.

Finally, you arrive at your destination. The room is large and quite grand. There’s a piano pushed to one of the walls and a stage with a large red curtain. Neat.

Cassandra manifests in the center of the room from a huge swarm of flies. She’s holding a miniature scythe. You wonder if that is important for the morning activities.

“Cassandra, if you would, please give Y/N a strenuous bout. You need to work on your scythe-play and we need to see what she’s capable of. I’ve business to attend to, so keep her busy until breakfast.” Lady Dimitrescu instructs. Cassandra nods.

“Oh, and if she speaks even one word then you have my permission to play with her. No marks otherwise. I mean it.”

Then, with a dark laugh, the lady of the house is gone. You take a deep breath and steel your nerves. You’ve had some self-defense classes and despite that your Mistress says, you do have physical stamina. You were just in a particular predicament. Whatever. You can defend yourself to Lady Dimitrescu later. You need to defend yourself from her daughter now.

“I wonder if screaming counts as a word.” Cassandra says darkly. You do not intend to find out. She lunges for you, but you dodge with surprising speed. She curses you and you smirk, bouncing lightly on the balls of your feet. You dance this dance for a while.

Sweat pools on your back and you find yourself wiping your forehead more often. Cassandra is relentless. She finally backs you into a corner.

“Nowhere to go, little rabbit.” She sneers. You glance around the immediate area. The scythe comes in hot, but you catch it on a book. Then, you scramble for the stage, hoping to find an old sword prop or anything you can use.

Unfortunately, the stage is completely bare and, since its mostly covered with the curtain, it’s also quite dark. Poor choice. You hear the buzzing and you’re pretty sure that’s cheating, but you’re certainly not going to say anything about it.

You grasp around in the darkness and feel a rope. You tug on it and it’s firm. Ok. Up we go. You think back to all those fitness tests in high school and you’re strangely grateful for them. You scurry up the rope. There’s more light up here. Excellent. You climb onto the catwalk and hope that it’s not as rickety as it looks, but you keep the rope securely in your hand, just in case. Cassandra flies up to cut you off.

“Thought you’d get away from me?”

You shrug and leap from the catwalk with the rope in hand, successfully swinging back to safety. It’s hard not to shout in triumph. She’s back on you again anyway. So, you keep running. She swipes you dance away and this continues until you’re heaving and praying for breakfast time to come.

You hear the thunderous steps of your Mistress and break into the biggest smile you’ve ever smiled in your life.

“It’s breakfast time, my girls.” She announces. You leap to her side and safety, panting heavily. Cassandra materializes a few feet away, clearly furious.

“Ah, I see you did well to evade her, pet. Better luck next time, Cassandra.”

Cassandra crossed her arms and huffed.

“It’s not fair, mother. I didn’t get to slice her open even once.” Cassandra whined.

“My sweet daughter, you’ve grown lazy hunting servants, but not all of your prey will be so easy to capture. Tomorrow you’ll spend some time learning from Bela. She takes her studies seriously.”
“Yes, mother.”

“And tell me, did my pet speak?” Lady Dimitrescu asks with a sideways glance to you. Cassandra smirks.

“She did.”

“Oh? What did she say and when?”

You glare at Cassandra. What a sore loser!

“She said—”

“And don’t lie to me, daughter. I absolutely abhor lying.” Lady Dimitrescu warns. Cassandra stops and huffs.

“She didn’t say anything.” She admits.

You beam with success. You are winning big time this morning and you nearly celebrate, but you know better, and frankly, you’re bushed.

“I see. Then let us enjoy a light breakfast.”

You head back to the dining room where Daniella and Bela are already seated. Once again, you wait for permission to sit. It is granted and you take your place at the table. You nearly dance through your breakfast, still remembering to take care to eat delicately.

“The human is in high spirits. Cassandra must have lost.” Daniella sneers. Bela chuckles at this.

“She’s faster than she looks.” Cassandra snaps.

“Now, now. There’ll be no bickering so early in the morning.” Lady Dimitrescu chides them. The daughters grow quiet. The lady of the house rings her little bell and several servants emerge from the kitchen.

Like dinner the night before, your food is put out in several serving dishes, consolidated into one plate, and then served to you. However, this time, there are also plates filled for the daughters. You glance at the servant serving the daughters and see how pale she is, then look at the large serving dish.

Nestled in the center of the dish is wet, red flesh. You spare a thought for the game the daughters played the night before and do your best to focus on your food. Cold as it may be, you’ve got your own problems to deal with and you can just pretend it’s pork.

Lady Dimitrescu watches as you put the pieces together and waits for a reaction. You give her nothing and she sips on her wine. At least, you think it’s wine. It’s in a wine glass. Whatever. You focus on your food and wash it down with water.

After your plates are cleared, Lady Dimitrescu rises. You rise immediately after, as do her daughters.

“Now, pet, come with me. We’ll bathe and dress you for your lesson.” She commands. You follow her quickly, but catch Daniella and Cassandra pulling disgusted faces. They probably don’t know the exact nature of the lesson, but they can guess, and so can you.

Keeping silent and chaste has been easy so far, but the real challenge is about to begin. You steel your nerves. You’re playing to win.

She leads you back to her private chambers, taking her time bending to get through the doorways. She knows you’ve been staring and the thought makes you blush.

“Enjoying the view, little one?” She asks. You don’t answer.

“You know, I almost miss your little replies.” She says airily. You don’t answer.

Finally, you arrive in her bedroom once more. She leans in and places a finger under your shirt. Her claws come out and she slices it open. You swallow thickly as the fabric falls to the ground.

“You’re frightened, aren’t you? I can hear your heartbeat quicken. Though, it might be lust. Who can say?”

She cuts you out of your shorts and discards them, then leads you to her enormous bathtub, and lifts you into it. The water is nice and warm. You’re honestly grateful for the bath. After sweating all morning, you’re honestly surprised she touched you at all.

“Go on, then. Wash.” She orders. You look around for soap and find it. It’s gentle, something floral. You rub yourself down as quickly as you can. It’s kind of odd taking a bath standing up, but the basin is far too deep for you to sit down without drowning.

“Stop. Go slowly. Amuse me, pet.”

Game time. You take a deep breath and lather up an ample start, then bring your hand to your cheek. You leave a trail of suds as you trace a line from your neck to your breast. You take the nipple between your fingers and twist it. You bite your lip.

Lady Dimitrescu walks away, into her bedroom, and brings back a little seat for herself. She sits and takes out a long cigarette holder. She loads it with a practiced hand and lights it.

“Well, go on.”

You do. You take your time to wash your breasts and neck thoroughly, making sure to keep her gaze on you. Then, you stretch your leg high and rest your ankle on the side of the tub as if to say, “I’m flexible, too.”

You luxuriate over your skin, but admittedly, it’s just a show and this sort of thing doesn’t really turn you on. Thank god. It does seem to be working for her though. She shifts and sucks on her cigarette with interest with every little flick of your wrist.

She seems to be amused. Score one more for you. Then again, you can’t think of a sexy way to wash your hair. You stall a bit.

“Out of ideas already? What a pity.” She says in her most belittling tone. You’ve got to take a chance. You look around the room for an idea. You find it in a brush. Now, this idea is dangerous, but you’ve got to keep playing the part. So, you slip the handle into your mouth to show your intent and let it bob in and out gently. Then you dive under the water and let some of it out so you can lean over while you wash your hair.

Then you pull yourself up to your full height, which isn’t much, but you feel pretty tall right now. You slip the handle of the brush into your entrance, turn your back to her and bend over so she can see.
Then you wash your hair and try desperately to ignore the feeling of being filled. She laughs with delight and, much to your dismay, you hear her get up.

You can feel her grasp the brush and tap it gently. You keep your focus trained on your hair. You work the shampoo through your hair roughly and she teases you a little, moving the brush ever so slightly in and out.

Then you feel the brush leave you and you quickly rinse your hair. You pull yourself back to standing. You made it. Boom. Fuck conditioner.

“Still feeling pretty confident, aren’t you? You’ve passed all my little trials thus far.” She says. She leans closer to you and your breath hitches a little bit. Damn, the stunt with the brush has stirred you.

“Shall I reward you?”

You want to nod, but you’re not sure what the right answer is. You freeze. She licks her lips, then opens her mouth, and runs her tongue over your throat. Your resistance is waning, but she pulls back.

“Let’s get you dressed.”

She dresses you in, well a dress. It’s a pretty shade of grey, placing you somewhere between her and her daughters in the palette. Honestly, you don’t care for dresses. You tuck that complaint away for another day.

Much to your surprise, the dress fits. She appraises you once more.

“Pretty.” She concludes.

She then turns on her heel and exits. You follow her to the atelier. There’s a huge portrait of her in this room that takes up most of the wall. It’s stunning. She must have been quite young when it was painted.

“Alright. You remember the rules, don’t you? Silence and chastity for you today. Well, silence at least. Come here.”

You pad over to her obediently and she reaches low beneath your skirt to hitch it up. She runs her finger along your slit and it comes away slick. You’re probably never going to wear underwear again.

“Tsk tsk tsk. Look at you. Personally, I don’t think you’re capable of chastity. Even if you manage to survive the afternoon, you are certainly the most eager pet I’ve ever had. You’ve offered no resistance at all. I bet you’d let me do anything I wanted as long as I promised to put my fingers inside you. Little slut.”

You lick your lips and that quivering from before comes back in full force. Stay strong. Stay strong. Play to win.

“That’s all you want, isn’t it? Well, I’ve got good news.” She says. It’s a threat and you know it. She reaches behind her and undoes the buttons on the back of her dress. You’re honestly pretty impressed how quickly this happens, as there are many buttons, but you don’t have long to ponder this.

The dress drops to the floor and you’re greeted with a sumptuous feast for the eyes. Her underclothes are a pure, stark white with bits of lace on the bra and garters. Oh, the garters. Her curves are decadent and you find yourself biting your lip. Your breath grows a little heavier.

“Remember, not once.” She warns. You nod, but it’s stiff.

Then she walks away and opens a chest nestled between two of the bookcases. You hear the gentle slap of leather and when she turns around, your mouth goes dry.
Ancient as it looks, the strap-on she’s wearing is a powerful sight. You wonder what the shaft is made of and keep your thoughts occupied with your ideas. Perhaps it’s porcelain or some type of glass. It’s an opaque white. Probably glass.

She stalks towards you like a lioness about to devour a gazelle, but you’re not even a gazelle. Just a little rabbit. You frantically try to list all the facts you know about rabbits.

You hear her take a seat in her chair and she pulls you roughly in front of her.

“I know you don’t need a warm-up.”

You can’t think of any facts about rabbits.

“Now, sit.” She orders and you do. The shaft of her cock slides into you without a hint of resistance. You can feel the rough lace of her bra up near your shoulders and you feel tiny, like a doll. You can’t think of any facts at all. Your mind goes blank. Amazingly, the entire thing fits inside of you painlessly as you sit on her lap. She leans into your neck and breathes deeply.

“You’re such a fun little toy and I’ll play with you any way I like. You know why?” She murmurs. She bounces you gently in her lap. You don’t answer, suddenly grateful that you don’t have to speak. You let your mind drift away entirely.

“Because you’re mine.”

She sinks her fangs into your shoulder and drinks, then again into your neck. That warm, fuzzy feeling drifts into your consciousness again, but it’s no less powerful than last time. You’re certain that’s on purpose.

She sucks and sucks, then pulls her head back to let out a moan. You bite your lip to stop yourself from joining her, but a tiny whimper escapes. She notices and begins bouncing you up and down once more. Then she stops.

“Turn around.”

You obey as best as you can, but you’re shaking. Finally, you’re turned to face her. Her chin is covered in your blood and her pupils are wide as saucers. She’s going to devour you whole right then and there and you’re going to let her.

She leans you back and leans down to your breasts. She takes another bite and sucks greedily. Your mouth falls open. You’re not going to last.

“Don’t give up on me now, little one. Here, you may speak.”

Then she thrusts into you at a furious pace.

Your voice feels like a force all its own. It tears through your lungs and into the air in a long, breathy moan.

“Oh, fuck me, Mommy!” You scream. The title almost gives her pause, but she’s certainly pleased. You’re going to come and she’s going to win. Then she gets to punish you and it’s all your fault.
Shockingly, you hold out through the next few minutes of her powerful thrusts. Then, she stops.

“Well done, pet. Now, no more sound. Permission revoked. Get up.”

You climb off of her onto the floor, shaking like a newborn fawn. She claps her hands together, then gets up, and climbs out of the strap-on harness. She plucks the dildo out of it and hands it to you.
“This stays inside. Now sit here while I paint.” She says. You nod and slip the dildo inside yourself. You can handle this. You’re playing to win.

She motions for you to sit on the floor beside the easel, then readies her paints, and dons a large apron. She hums while she paints and you sit buzzing with pleasure on the floor.

Whenever the warmth in your cunt starts to die down, she has you rise. Then she bends you over and fucks you for a few minutes, before stopping and resuming her work.

You have no idea how long this goes on. Days? Months? Years? You lose track of the number of times she brings you to the edge and stops.

Finally, she pulls you to your feet and turns you to the easel. The painting is of a woman with six wings flying high in the sky surrounded by bells and clouds. It’s actually quite good, but your brain can barely form coherent sentences.

“Tell me, what do you think? You may speak.”

“It—It’s pretty.”

“Is that all?”

“Good—good brushwork. Colors.”

Lady Dimitrescu laughs a deep, hearty laugh.

“Oh dear, have I broken you already?” She taunts. You want to come back with something clever, but all you can do is spit out a half-hearted,
“No.”

She brings her hand down to the apex of your thighs once more and tuts as they come away wet.

“Really, I should commend you. You’re relentlessly wanting. A slut among sluts. It’s almost impressive.” She says. Is this praise? You can’t tell. Are you still winning? You don’t know.

“Alright. You’ve done so well for the first lesson that I’m going to reward you.” She says at last. Then she lifts you up with one of her powerful arms and looks you over.

“All your rules are lifted. Now scream for me.”

Your mouth falls open as she fingers you to completion and you scream. You scream as loud as you can. As the crest of your orgasm fade and you start to calm, you feel her kiss the top of your head. It’s nice. Really nice.

She holds you against her and rocks you gently from side to side. You tuck yourself into her bosom and rest the sweetest rest you’ve ever felt. You feel like you could dose off. You feel so wildly safe, which is an insane thought because you know you’re not.

But in that moment, you don’t care if she’s a monster underneath that beautiful exterior. You feel a sense of belonging and of wholeness.

“There we go. Do you feel better?”

You nod against her chest. She looks down at you fondly and though you don’t know it, she’s starting to feel something she hasn’t felt in a long, long time.

“Alright. Let’s get you fed, my little darling.”

She puts you down on the floor and you climb back into your dress. Then, she takes your hand and leads you back to her chambers.

“I’ll have the cook send something up. Something light. Then you can rest.” She explains. You nod and crawl onto the bed to recuperate.

“Do you need anything?”

“Water.” You croak.

“Right. Of course. I forget how much water you little creatures need. I’ll be right back.”

Her pillows are so soft and cozy. You feel blissful and then you wonder. Did you win? You honestly don’t care anymore. If this is loss, then it’s pretty damn good.

Lady Dimitrescu returns with a large glass of cold water and you gulp it down gratefully. She takes the cup back and gently touches your cheek. Your head starts to come back ever so slowly.

“You’re a lovely painter.” You say. You see her smile.

“Many years of practice.” She says gently. Then, she too gets dressed once more.

How strange she is, you think to yourself. One day she’s threatening you and the next she’s coddling you. She’s a whirlwind, to be sure, but you’re on the ride now.

“Tell me something while you’re still half-drunk on sex. Were you disappointed that I kept you as mine instead of my daughters?” She asks suddenly. It’s a strange question, but you don’t even have to think about it.

“Of course not. They couldn’t possibly compare.” You say firmly. She studies you briefly, as though she’s looking for a hint that you’re lying. She won’t find one.

“You’re exquisite.” You announce. She takes a few steps towards you and then leans down into your face. You rise to meet her and she kisses you.

It’s amazingly intimate, even after everything you’ve done together so far. This kiss is different. This kiss is soft. It’s meaningful, even if you’re not sure how. She pulls her lips back and gazes at you. You smile and she smiles a little too.

There’s a knock at the door. The food has arrived.

“I’ll let you eat, then have the servants change out the sheets. You can manage that, can’t you?”

You nod dutifully.

“Good girl.”

Then she leaves you with your thoughts and the soft hum of her lips on yours.

Chapter Text

The days start to add up taking you from two to ten, then twenty. You enter into an easy rhythm within Castle Dimitrescu. Some mornings you train with one of the daughters in sword play and hand to hand combat. Some mornings you sleep in.

You start to learn little bits about the castle as you make it your home. For example, you know now not to go into the cellar because it’s full of mutilated corpses and horrible creatures. You’ve also learned that Daniella, Cassandra, and Bela have absolutely no way of getting into their mother’s chambers due to their extreme sensitivity to the cold and the only entrance being through the courtyard. You’ve used this knowledge to your advantage several times.

Lady Dimitrescu also reveals little bits about herself and her legacy along the way. One of the more poignant things you learn is that many years ago, a man broke into the castle to make an attempt on her life using a special, thoroughly poisoned dagger. This little tid bit explains the extensive combat knowledge she insists on you and her daughters. You know she cares, even if she hides it beneath a careful veneer of hard, imperious behavior.

She learns a few things about you as well like where you grew up and which books you like to read. She learns that you hate dresses and has a few smart-looking outfits made for you. She tells you that you look positively dapper in them and you spend the rest of the day walking on air.

You spend your afternoons learning and meeting her expectations as a pet. She edges you for hours until you learn to hang on for days. The longest you’ve been edged is about 4 days. She was quite pleased with that. So much so, in fact, that she had a beautiful collar made for you. It’s mostly leather with a little cameo of her in profile on the front. It settles onto your neck like it’s meant to be there and maybe it is.

Evenings are passed listening to operas on your phone. You show the Dimitrescu family some more modern music and, unsurprisingly the daughters enjoy the hard-hitting pop of the day. Lady Dimitrescu wrinkles her nose at the noise, but she does fall in love with jazz. Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. She loves Julie London and Etta James. You have a hard time expressing your feelings and you have a feeling Lady Dimitrescu does too, but when you sit together and listen to “A Sunday Kind of Love”? She pulls you closer so subtly that it’s almost imperceptible, but you notice, you always notice.
On the 21st day of your time in the castle, you realize that your vacation from work is over. They’ll be expecting you at the office after the weekend. You actually laugh out loud at the thought of returning. You’d never even consider it, not for a second. You do, however, find one of the castle towers to sit in and give them a call. You let them know you won’t be returning and that you couldn’t care less. When they panic and ask you why, you laugh and tell them you’re in the bell tower of a grand European castle with a beautiful vampire who loves you. You can’t stifle your laughter as you hang up. They probably think you’re crazy and you don’t care.

Wait a minute. Does she love you? The words came to you so easily on the phone with your boss, but does she love you? She certainly enjoys you. You could even say she adores you and you touch the cameo she gave you at your throat to confirm it. But love? You lean over the wall and look down at the rest of the castle.

What is love anyway? You don’t really know. You don’t think you’ve ever truly been in love. Plenty of crushes and infatuations, sure, but love? Real and proper love? You pull out a cigarette and smoke it thoughtfully. She gave you a pretty case with a beautiful row of the things last night and a silver lighter to match. Her incredible attention to detail never ceases to delight you. In all things, she is a feast for the senses.

Your new life is pretty fantastic, all things considered. Sure, the castle is home to atrocities, but you’re surprisingly immune to it. We all have our problems. You’re focused on your own.
“There you are.” Lady Dimitrescu says behind you. You turn and lean back on the wall, cigarette dangling from your lip. You give her the sweetest, warmest smile you can summon up.
“Good morning, my dear.” You say. She raises an eyebrow.

“That’s a bit informal. I do hope you’re not forgetting your place.” She says. It’s playful, but peppered with genuine threat. She glides over you to faster than you expect and plucks the cigarette from your lips.

“Or shall I punish my naughty iepuraș?” She purrs taking a drag on the cigarette. You look up at her with heavily lidded eyes and she takes your jaw into her large hand.

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Filthy little creature that you are.” She says. You grin because it’s true and she affectionately pushes your jaw out of the way.

You can tell she’s in a good mood this morning by the pet name. Between your evasion skills against her daughters and your insatiable sex drive, you’ve certainly lived up to being a little rabbit. Her saying it in her mother tongue is just icing on the cake.

“I can’t deny it, Mistress. Whether you’re causing me pain or pleasure, your attention is all I ever crave.” You say with a dramatic flutter of your eyelids. She might threaten and even punish you for your silver tongue, but you know she finds it amusing.

“Flattery so early? You’d best save your strength. Now, onto your itinerary. No training this morning. You can pass your time up here until breakfast. Then I want you bathed and dressed for this afternoon’s event. We’ll be having a little hunt.” She announces looking very pleased indeed. You raise an eyebrow.

“And what will we be hunting, My Lady?” You ask.

She grins a thoroughly wolfish grin.

“Why, I shall be hunting rabbit.” She says. Her eyes gleam in that predatory way you’ve come to appreciate so very much. Your collar suddenly feels quite tight and you tug on it, but she grabs your hand.
“I know you won’t disappoint.” She says. Then, she hands you back the smoldering remainder of your cigarette and leaves.

The day is shaping up to be one of the more interesting ones. You can feel it and you’re excited. Sure, you’ve spent plenty of time sparring with her daughters, but Lady Dimitrescu herself? This feels like the main event. The game is on and as always, winning is in your sights.

Speaking of which, when you arrive at the breakfast table, Cassandra, Daniella, and Bela are already in attendance. Their mother is late, which is unusual. No matter. You wait patiently to be invited to sit.
The sisters each give you their own version of a disapproving, yet quizzical look. After a few minutes of bearing their gazes in silence, you finally pipe up.

“Something on my face, ladies?”

“Yeah, your stupid face.” Daniella sneers. Cassandra rolls her eyes. Bela, however, keeps her gaze trained on you, unwavering. She is the most like her mother and therefore, the most dangerous.
“That doesn’t even make sense.” Cassandra says. Daniella sticks out her tongue at you.

“Yeah, well, doesn’t matter. It’s still true.” Daniella insists. You sigh and cross your arms.

Lady Dimitrescu’s daughters do not like you. You’re not entirely sure why. It could be that you’ve bested them in combat. It could be the jealousy of their mother’s affections. It could be anything. You’ve never asked and honestly, you’ve got bigger problems. Well, bigger matters to attend to, anyway. Your Mistress is hardly a problem.

“What are your intentions with our mother, human?” Bela asks suddenly. Ah, so that’s it. They’re worried about their mother. That’s actually kind of sweet.

“My intentions, though they may not be pure, are above board, I assure you.” You say. It’s a little cheeky, but you are serious. Bela seems unimpressed.

“I remain unconvinced, little human. Mother is far too good for you and there’s no way she actually cares for you. You’re just a toy and when you’re used up, she’ll toss you out like the trash you are.” Bela says. Her voice is icy cold. Even Cassandra and Daniella give her a look.

Her words sting more than you’re willing to admit. Somewhere, deep inside of you, you’re afraid that Bela is right. Sure, the lady of the house enjoys your company now, but who knows where you’ll be in a month or two? Who knows there you’ll be in a year, if you last that long?

To Lady Dimitrescu, you’re no more than an elaborate puzzle box and when she finds all your solutions, you’ll have nothing left to amuse her with. Right? You don’t know for sure either way, but the comment sours your mood.

“Better to be used up and thrown away than to be ignored.” You growl. The line hits home and you can see Bela’s face contort with rage. Looks like you’re not the only one who has secret insecurities.
“She won’t always be here to protect you.” Bela whispers. You’re deeply pleased that the little witches are restricted to the warmth of the main house.

Then, you all hear the thunderous approach of Lady Dimitrescu and silence your bickering.

“Good morning, my darlings. My call ran a bit long. I did say you could start without me.” She says, taking her place.

She gestures for you to sit and you do, but she can tell that something is off.

“We would never, Mother.” Bela says. She’s still glaring daggers at you, but you’ve shifted your focus to your plate. You know better than to pick a fight with one of the daughters right in front of their mother. It would be suicide.

“You are so kind to me, daughters. Now, tell me. What were you discussing before I arrived that’s got everyone so worked up?” Lady Dimitrescu asks coolly. The temperature in the room seems to drop. You tighten your jaw. What’s the right answer? You run a few scenarios through your mind, but all of them end with your head rolling across the dining room table.

“The human was throwing insults at us!” Cassandra shouts. Lady Dimitrescu snorts and it’s still remarkably ladylike.

“Really? Is that true, pet?”

All eyes turn to you. What is the right answer? If you tell the truth, then you risk a mother’s protective wrath. Even if Bela started it, you don’t feel confident that your side will be equally considered. If you lie, then you’ve told a lie which does creates two problems. First, it shows that you are capable of lying to your Mistress, which she will not like. Second, it breaks one of Lady Dimitrescu’s cardinal rules. She absolutely detests lying. Your heart pounds in your chest. What do you do?

“I am afraid that Bela touched a nerve and I did, indeed, lash out. I am sorry.” You say softly. You can’t risk losing Lady Dimitrescu’s trust in you. You pray her protective instincts spare your head.

“Bela, what did you say to Y/N?” Lady Dimitrescu asks lightly. She is lying in wait, giving everyone a chance to plead their case before her judgment. You are shocked, but so, so grateful. Not out of the woods yet though.

“I merely asked her intentions with you.” Bela says. She’s confident and has evaded her mother’s judgement for years. She certainly won’t lose to a pathetic little human.

“Is that all?” Her mother presses. Bela sniffs before continuing.

“And I reminded her of her place.”

Lady Dimitrescu sighs.

“Bela, do you think me incapable of managing my own affairs?” She asks. Bela’s eyes widen in fear. Game over.

“N—no mother. Of course not.”

“Then why do you see fit to involve yourself?”

“I was only—”

“It seems you must also remember your place, my daughter. You’ll take your breakfast in the cellar today.”

Judgement has been passed and you have been spared. Bela looks like she might cry, but she nods her head, and leaves quickly in a swarm of flies. Cassandra and Daniella keep their mouths shut firmly.
Now, you know that you need to keep your face perfectly still. You know this. You do not want to gloat, but you can’t help it. The tiniest smirk plays at the edge of your lips.

“And you.” Lady Dimitrescu says, turning towards you. The color drains from your face. The guillotine is raised once more. You’re dead.

“What did you say to Bela to upset her so?” She asks. Your mouth is dangerously dry, but you know you have no choice but to tell Your Mistress the truth.

“I told her that it was better to be used up and thrown away than ignored.” You say. Best to use the exact phrasing.

“Do you think so little of me that I would simply discard you? Do you think me so fickle?” Lady Dimitrescu snarls. There’s real anger in her eyes and that can only mean one thing. You’ve hurt her.
You say nothing, as your comment implies that this is exactly what you think and to rescind now would only show insincerity.

“Go to my chambers. You’ll have no breakfast at all. I’ll deal with you later.” She snaps. You get up quickly and rush through the double doors behind you. As soon as you’re outside, you feel hot tears pouring down your face.

You fucked up. You’ve insulted her. It was never your intention, but all things considered, she’s right. She’s shown you nothing but fairness and favor since you’ve arrived. Sure, she’s menacing and sure, she can be very difficult to read, but she hasn’t treated you lightly in the three weeks you’ve been with her.

You put your hand on the collar at your throat and hurry to her chambers to cry a bit more before she comes to find you. And cry you do.

It feels like it’s been ages since you’ve had a good sob. You’ve worked so hard to play along with the lady of the house and all her games. You’ve been on your toes, to be sure, but man. You keep wondering if Lady Dimitrescu is so angry that she’ll be done with you. Even if she won’t kill you and discard your corpse, will you end up a servant or just asked to leave? Even more upsetting than that is the possibility that you will lose the closeness you have gained. You sob and wish you could go back to the morning with its affectionate banter.

“Are you quite finished?”

You snap up from your place, tangled in her sheets, and sniffle. Her eyes look softer than you expected. She approaches and sits on the edge of the bed.

“Listen to me. I know that my manner can be hard and I know that you are often afraid of me. But, allow me to be perfectly clear, as I realize that I may have been obtuse. I know that we play our little games where I treat you like a thing and not a person, but they’re only games. I thought you knew that. You’re unlike any pet I’ve had. Never something so lowly as a toy. You play with me and you do so in a way that none of the others ever could. You rise to meet my challenges, Y/N, and in doing so, you’ve taken root here in my castle.”

You stare at her, at Your Mistress with awe and with every word you can feel your heart threaten to burst. She leans in now, closing the gap between you.

“This is your home now, Y/N. You may have come here as an easy meal, but you’re far from it. You’ve proven that you are exceptional.” She says.

You’re exceptional. You are exceptional. The exception. That’s you. You have been appraised and you have been tagged exceptional. You are seen and in being seen, you see her.

“Now, please don’t fight with Bela and the girls. They’ve never shared their mother with anyone, so do be patient with them. My daughters are my world, and it pains me greatly that you all can’t seem to get along.” She says.

You can’t believe this. She’s do direct and honest. She’s so wise in her response. Where you thought you’d find a beast, you’ve found a woman. Your heart threatens to beat out of your chest.

“Lady Dimi—”

“Please, in private, when we’re not playing one of our games, you may call me Alcina.”

Alcina. The name rolls around in your head like music.

“Alcina.” You whisper. Then you throw yourself into her arms and kiss her with reckless abandon. She brings you in close with her huge, powerful arms and returns the kiss.

It’s so different when you kiss like this. Not a game to be won or a challenge to be bested. It’s deeper than that. It’s loving.

Neither of you are ready to admit that, exactly, but you feel it and that is more than enough for now.

When the kiss subsides, she rises from the bed.

“Now, I’ll have something sent up for you. Cassandra and Daniella are attending to Bela, but I need to speak with her as well. Remember what I’ve said today. I’ll come to collect you for the hunt in a little while. Amuse yourself until then.” She says, adjusting her dress.

“Alcina?”

“Yes, Y/N.”

“I’m sorry that hurt you.” You say and the sincerity in your words rings through your voice. She smiles.

“I know, dragostea mea, and I forgive you.”

Then she leaves. You don’t know what that bit in the middle meant, as she’s never said it before, but you have a feeling it’s a good thing. As you watch the door shut behind her, you realize that this “little vacation” you took was the best thing you’ve ever done.

She sees you and she appreciates you for who you are, a competitive, insatiable, clever little rabbit. You’ve had girlfriends before, but none of them ever saw you like this. None of them ever knew you like Alcina does, not the real you. You’ve always hidden yourself behind sardonic remarks and silly jokes. None of them have ever expected or demanded the best of you, but none of that matters anymore.
“Alcina Dimitrescu.” You whisper. Her name is like a poem and you repeat the full thing over and over again until one of the servants brings you some eggs and toast.

You munch away happily and listen to some tunes, then wash up and dress. You think about what’s to follow. The hunt approaches.

This is a new game and you can’t wait to find out what the rules are. Thankfully, you don’t have to wait long after you’ve finished your breakfast.

You’re summoned to the main hall where Lady Dimitrescu is waiting for you. You’re practically skipping and thoroughly irritating the maid trying to escort you.

When you burst through the doors, you’re met with a wonderful sight. Alcina is dressed in a different costume than her usual milky white dress. She’s wearing an equestrian hunting costume with long black breeches and a red jacket. You realize you’ve never seen her in trousers. She looks positively regal.

“Will I be issued bunny ears, my lady?” You ask impishly as you approach. She chuckles darkly.

“We’ll see how quippy you are when you’re breathless and at my mercy.”

“Oh, I can’t wait.”

“Now, the rules are simple. You run and I pursue. If I catch you, then you lose.” Alcina explained.

“And how do I win?”

“So cheeky. I am getting there. The castle and grounds are all fair game, but you may not go into the cellar. The girls are working down there and we mustn’t disturb them. We will play for 15 minutes and if you can escape me for that long, then you win. A loss will be a punishment and a win will lead to a reward.”

You nod eagerly. Now, you’ve never seen Your Mistress move faster than what can only be described as a saunter, but you know those legs are long, and you expect that she’s a lot faster than she looks.
Now, you’ve got to win this one because the last time you truly lost one of her games you had to spend the next day scrubbing floors. You did not enjoy it, but Lady Dimitrescu reminded you that punishments were not meant to be fun. You almost regret telling her how much you liked her whipping.

“Any questions?”

“What counts as catching me?” You ask.

“Ah, a technical question. You want to win so badly, don’t you? Catching you successfully will require complete restraint.”

You nod. You’re ready. After a few good weeks of daily physical training, you’re feeling pretty damn confident. You practically run circles around her daughters; how much more difficult could their mother be? You intend to find out and your heart is already pounding in your chest.

You and Alcina gaze at each other in sweet, tense anticipation.

She holds out her hand to you. You look at the hand and then up at her eyes again. You bite your lip and take her hand gingerly. Is this part of the game?

She leans down to your wrist and inhales deeply. She grazes against the skin with her sharp teeth.

“Good luck, little rabbit.”

Then she bites down and takes one long, indulgent drink. She throws your hand back to you and you feel the power of her bite start to muddle your thoughts. You look up at her, breathing a bit heavier than you were a moment ago.

Her expression is pure predator and her mouth is pulled back in a horrifying, toothy grin.

“Now, run!” She hisses.

You run. You tear past her and up the stairs, doing your best to keep your thoughts from scattering. She’s stacked the deck, but you’re clever, and there are a few tricks up your sleeve. You head down the hall towards the Atelier and you can already hear her footsteps on the second floor.

You reach the end of the hall and pause to look back. She’s there and you have a sinking sense that she can close the distance quickly. You race to the Atelier and scramble up the steps to the loft. Once she tries to get you up here, you can leap down and run for the elevator. The elevator alone will guy you some time since she’ll be forced to wait for it and then forced to ride it up. This is a good plan.
You wait a few seconds at the top of the stairs to the loft and then the door bursts off of its hinges. She’s kicked it down.

“I didn’t expect you to hide.” She snarls. You watch as she pulls herself through the doorframe and look up at you with an expression that can only be described as a bit mad. You wait for her to start up the stairs, but she’s just watching you. Savoring the moment perhaps? Time is on your side after all.

Then she lunges for the stairs with a speed that makes you squeak you leap from the loft and roll onto the ground, then take off for the elevator. There’s no way it will take 15 minutes for her to reach you up there, but you’re hoping the rooftops offer a bit more ground to work with.

You take the steps two at a time and dash as quick as you can. The elevator isn’t there. You have to call it. That’s not good. Not good at all. You look up the shaft and press the button. You don’t hear her yet.

You see the elevator coming. You hear her heels clicking from the distance. You hit the button repeatedly. This is a bit of a gamble, but it has to work. Every second is another escape route she’s cut off.
It’s nearly here, but her footsteps are closer. Your heart is pounding.

“Come on, come on, come on.”

You see her now, bending down to crouch through the door that leads into the entrance hall.

“I can smell you.” She growls. The elevator arrives and you throw yourself inside, hitting the button to go up. It starts to rise and she’s left watching you with a keen smile.
You catch your breath. That was too close. Once the elevator reaches its destination you know you have a few seconds. Besides, you’ll hear her coming. You stretch your legs and make some distance from the elevator, but keep an eye on it. It will help to know which direction she pursues you to know which way to go next.

Just then, you hear something. It’s loud and getting louder. It sounds like a whoosh, like flapping? You look around for the source of the sound, but check on the elevator periodically.
“Where the fuck is she?” You hiss. Then a shadow casts itself over you. You turn around and fall back. Horror grips your chest like a vice as you take in the sight.

Lady Dimitrescu hovers before you with huge leathery wings and a wicked gleam in her eye. Then she shoots towards you. You run and climb onto the rooftops, which is probably a stupid decision, but you’re not thinking straight.

She catches the bottom of your heel and you trip, but you keep going. You have to keep going. Besides, she’ll have to land to catch you properly as long as you keep ducking and diving.
Your legs carry you quickly up the roof. You slide down and onto the terrace. Though you land with a thud, you’re back up pretty quickly. Where are you? You look into the window closest to you.
The Lady’s chambers. Fuck it. If she’s going to break down a door, then you’re going through a window. You shield your face and jump, crashing through the window into Alcina’s chambers. You can feel blood dripping down your arms, but you don’t care.

Wait. You pull off your shirt as you head down the hall towards the courtyard and soak up as much of the blood as you can. It was lucky that you wore an undershirt today. Then you throw it outside and into the courtyard behind one of the bushes before heading back into her Chambers and sliding under her bathtub. You’re devilishly clever. Let's see if it pays off.

You hear her come through the window and land, then you hear her footsteps follow the path you ran and outside into the courtyard. Oooh, your reward is going to be so sweet.

You crawl out from under the bathtub and head down the hall to the Hall of Ablution. Thankfully, you already know how to drain the blood and open the staircase. It only takes you a few seconds to move the statues. She’ll probably be angry about the blood, but you can make it up to her later.

Now, this staircase leads into the dungeon. Not the dungeon you did time in when you first arrived, either. This is Alcina’s personal dungeon. It hasn’t seen some use in quite a while. Now, you know there’s a weird elevator at the end of the dungeon that will lead you back into the courtyard. She’ll have to go all the way through her chambers to get out. Why didn’t you think of this earlier?

The dungeon is dark and eerily silent, but you jog quietly through across the stones. You get to the gate that splits the place and pull the handle. Then you hear her.

“Little rabbit! That was a clever trick, but I’ve got you now.”

You stare at the gate and will it to go faster. You can hear her approach. Each thunderous step sends a jolt through your bones. The gate opens just enough for you to squeeze through and you go! The fifteen-minute mark can’t be too far away now.

Iron bars suddenly shoot out of the wall in front of you. She emerges from the entranceway in front of you, her claws on full display.

“Nowhere to run!”

You run back from where you came and try to double back, but she’s onto you now. She follows quickly and if you don’t make it to the statue and remove the mask quickly, then she will catch you. You have a hair’s breadth of space to get this right.

You feel her on your heels and she swipes at you with her claws. They catch the very edge of your back and you feel the sting of a very minor slice. You see the statue and you lunge at it with all your strength.

You’ve got it and you pull it from its place. The ground rumbles and takes you up. You did it! You actually fucking did it.

Still holding onto the statue, your world spins. You’ve lost a lot of blood and exerted yourself on top of it. You swoon and fall to the ground, gasping for air.

You have no idea if this is enough to win, but you don’t have anything left if it isn’t. You know what? Whether you win or don’t, you’re pleased with your performance. You put on a damn good show.
You let your eyes close and rest. A few moments later, you hear a slow, powerful clap. Then another. And then a few more in succession.

“Magnificent! You were incredible!”Alcina practically cheers. You give a shaky thumbs up as she approaches you.

“Did I make it?”

“You won about five minutes ago, actually. The trip through the dungeon was inspired.”

You laugh and lean up against the statue. She leans down to wipe some blood from your arm and bring it to her mouth.

“You really are something special.” She says and somehow, you find the energy to kiss her. You throw everything you have into that kiss and she kisses you back just as passionately.

All the tension and excitement of the hunt have stirred you both and the sight of her drinking your blood has renewed your energy. She lifts you from the ground and quickly carries you back into her chambers.

Thankfully, you broke the window in the room without the bed, but you’re sure you’re going to hear about it later. Right now, it doesn’t matter.

She places you on the ground and slams the door to the bedroom shut then grabs you by the collar of your undershirt and throws you against the wall. She flips you over and tears open the undershirt so that she can lick the wound she gave you. It drives you wild.

This isn’t one of your games. This is passionate and intimate in a different way.

“Alcina.” You moan. She turns you back around and pulls down your trousers. Even kneeling, she’s nearly at eye-level.

“Say it again.”

“Alcina. Take me. Please.”

She stretches her long, inhuman tongue down your abdomen and then lower. This is new. She’s never put her mouth on you before. This must be your reward.

She rises and pulls you with her, then places you on her dressing table. You can feel powders and brushes knock around and scatter behind you, but she doesn’t seem to care. She’s only focused on you.
She resumes kneeling and pushes your knees apart forcefully, then lets her long tongue snake its way to the apex of your thighs. She teases you here, flicking your clit and then entering you ever so much. You shudder.

“Taste me. Devour me.” You beg. She smirks and presses her whole tongue inside of you. Her nose rubs against your clit and you think you’re going to come undone quickly again. You try to hold off, but her tongue is pumping in and out of you now, fucking you thoroughly.

A wet, filthy sound fills the room and you sob loudly. It’s too much. You’re full of adrenaline and her pheromones and her mouth, her incredible mouth is so, so good.
You scream and your hips buck against her. She brings an arm up to hold you still. You look down and her eyes have that syrupy, glazed look she gets when she’s feeding on you. You come impossibly hard into her mouth and scream loud enough to shake the windows.

Trembling, you collapse against the mirror behind you and leave a trail of blood on the glass.

You’re exhausted and thoroughly satisfied with the day.

“Are you pleased with your reward, my pet?” She asks gently. You nod.

“Let’s get you cleaned up.”

She bathes you gentle in the tub and tends to your wounds with her strange, regenerative touch. She hums to you while she does it and you soak up the pampering. Her voice is husky and pretty. When you’re clean, she carries you to her bed, and tucks you in. She turns to go, but you whimper and reach out for her.

“Yes, my sweet?”

“Stay.”

She looks at the door and then back at you. Perhaps this is a little too much intimacy.

“Please.”

Silently, she shucks off her boots and slides out of her jacket. It’s methodical, clinical almost. At this point, you’ve noticed that her careful, precise motions are how she expresses her nervousness. She’s just a nervous, lonely woman underneath her persona, but you’ve proven you’ll always meet her where she is, no matter how outrageous.

She strips down to her underwear and then climbs into bed with you. The bed dips from the weight of her presence and you roll into her. That’s just fine. It’s where you want to be anyway.
She strokes your hair and hums to you, then gives you a little kiss on the cheek.

Neither of you say anything and soon you drift off to sleep to dream beautiful dreams.

A few hours later, when you awaken, she’s gone. You see a fresh outfit for you on the edge of the bed and lazily put it on. You stretch. Whew. What a day!

You can’t believe that you won the hunt. What an absolute success. Not to mention earlier, when you had that private conversation? You’re communicating and you’re having a blast together. You're getting to know each other in the most real sense, as your authentic selves. Everything is right with the world.

Once dressed, you set off on your journey to find Your Mistress and then hopefully some food. You wonder if you can show her a new album tonight or if she’ll pick something. Either way, you’re looking forward to it.

As you pass into the main house and listen for voices, you realize the castle is oddly quiet. Perhaps the girls are still down in the cellar, so you turn to go back to the kitchen when you feel a set of eyes on you.

You turn slowly and see a grizzled man in a leather coat. He has a huge metal hammer leaning on the arm of the chair he’s sitting in.

“Well, hey there. You don’t look like a servant.” He says. A man in the castle? This is the first one you’ve seen and what’s with the hammer.

“Who are you?” You ask. Anger is rising in you.

“Too cocky to be one of her servants. I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.” He offers. He has a strange, teasing manner to him. It’s not unlike your own, but you find it more sinister.

“Y/N.” You say.

“Heisenburg. Great. Now, we’re no longer strangers. So, tell me, what are you doing in this castle?”

“Shouldn’t I be asking you that?”

“So, you live here?” He presses. You narrow your eyes at him. He’s slippery and clever. Despite his jovial tone, you sense real malice beneath it. You definitely don’t trust him.

“Can I help you with something?”

“Let’s see. You’re not local, you’re dressed in nice fabrics, you have walk of the castle, and that pretty little cameo on your neck all tell me one thing. Your Alcina’s new pet.” He says.
“Ok. Fine. You’re here unattended, you have what I can only assume is a weapon with you, and you don’t address Lady Dimitrescu by her title. You must be someone important around here.” You say, playing his game.

He nods and chuckles, very amused by this.

“Very good. Very good indeed. I can see why she likes you already, though I’m surprised the old witch can stand anyone talking to her with a clever mouth like that. You must taste divine.” He says. You don’t like this man.

“What do you want?” You snap. Heisenburg smiles, enjoying the rise he gets out of you.

“To see my sister, of course.” He says. Sister? This man is Alcina’s brother? He’s so small. They can’t be blood relations, surely.

“Does she know you’re coming?”

“No, she does not. I love surprising her.” He says with a wink. You get the feeling this surprise will not be received well.

“There you are! I thought you would be resting in my chambers—“Alcina says affectionately, coming into the main hall from the dining room. She pulls you into her chest and leans down to kiss you, but stops cold at the sight of Heisenburg.

“Further confirmation of my theory.” He declares, quite pleased with himself.

“What are you doing here?” Alcina spits. He throws up his hands.

“Now, now, sister dear. I’ve come to bring you an important message from the big lady herself. Oh, sorry, is that offensive?”

“Quickly, boy.” Alcina snarls.

“We’re having a meeting tomorrow. All the lords. You know the place. Bring your little side dish if you’re so inclined.” He says. Then with a sweep of his leathers, he leaves with an impish laugh.
Once he’s gone, Alcina relaxes a little, but only a little. You look up and her, curious, but not interested in prying.

“The girls are in the cellar. Go tell them Heisenburg’s been here and tell them to meet me in the dining room.” Alcina orders. It’s chilly, but you don’t take it to heart.

Who on earth is this guy and who are the lords? You don’t know, but you hope you’ll be able to sit in on the meeting to find out.

Chapter Text

The air in the castle shifts after Heisenburg’s visit. Alcina seems pensive and irritable, but you’re not entirely sure why.

All you learn in the meeting with Alcina and her daughters is that whoever these Lords are, they are powerful. This meeting takes precedence over everything else and tomorrow, Alcina will be leaving for a few hours. Much to your disappointment, Alcina retires to her chambers directly after the house meeting and asks you to leave her be.

You don’t like this feeling, being shut out. Perhaps a part of you had hoped that you were close enough to Your Mistress to be included, but cold reality hits you, and the sanctuary of the castle has been disturbed.

You head up to the rooftops to collect your thoughts. It was foolish of you to think that the outside world would never bother you and your budding romance. You light a cigarette and sulk. Hopefully whatever business these “Lords” have will be brief and you’ll be back to playing games soon.

By the time dinner rolls around, you’re practically frozen from standing outside in the cold for so long. The warmth of the castle is welcome as you descend the elevator and head into the dining room.
Alcina is already seated and, from the looks of it, is well into her bottle of wine. Her daughters are telling her about their studies for the day. You catch a snippet of the details and they sound quite gruesome. Something about hunger. You ignore it and wait to be invited to sit.

Alcina waves you over and you plop into your chair. She looks a little drunk, but when she turns to you, she smiles warmly.

“Y/N, why don’t you tell my daughters what you did today?”

This perks you up immediately and you tell the story of your thrilling hunt. The sisters listen quietly until you get to the part about the window and the misdirection.

“You broke Mother’s window?” Cassandra asks with a gasp. You nod.

“I mean, I had to get away.”

“I suppose I should be cross with you for it, but I’m simply too impressed with your performance.” Alcina says. She’s proud of you and you can tell. The knowledge of her pride fills you with a warmth that makes you feel rather drunk yourself.

When you come to the end of the story, you do a little bow from your chair. Daniella and Cassandra actually clap. Bela seems impressed, but she doesn’t say anything. She still doesn’t like you and she’s not as easily amused as her sisters.

Dinner is served and you have plenty of appetite after your exciting day. Alcina continues to drink and by the end of the meal, she has a very slight slur on the ends of her sentences. You don’t think you’ve ever seen her truly drunk. It almost makes you nervous. What kind of drunk is she?

“Well, it has been a long, exhausting day for all of uss. Come, pet, I’m going to take a bath.” Alcina declares. She rises from the table and you follow her back to her chambers. Her mood shifts from the table to her room. She doesn’t say anything, but you can tell she’s pondering something, mulling it over.

You sit on her bed and wait for further instruction. You want to comfort her, but you’re not sure how. So you watch and you wait.

Alcina is still in her hunting attire from earlier. She must not sweat, but then again, that makes sense given her status as some kind of creature of the night. She unbuttons her shirt and tosses it onto her vanity, then unbuttons her pants and sheds them on the floor.

You realize suddenly that you’ve never actually seen her naked and you’ve never seen her without some kind of hat. You’re cautiously excited about it, but you stay sharp for a chance to soothe her if you can.

She unclasps her bra and her generous breasts bounce forward. She stretches her powerful shoulders and you marvel at the muscles of her back. Unconsciously, you lick your lips and she catches you staring.

“Enjoying the view?” She asks gently.

“Very much, my Lady.”

“Well, keep yourself in check. We must talk.”

You straighten up on the bed.

“Of course, Alcina.” You say cautiously. It’s a question, really. Are we playing a game? You don’t think so and she doesn’t correct you, which means that you’re not.

You almost look away as she unclasps her stockings and garters. You need to keep your head about you. She then slips out of her panties. You can’t help but look.

She’s naked except for her hat and you feel like a lost maiden coming across the statue of Aphrodite. A thicket of coarse hair covers her sex and you wonder if she will ever let you explore it. Alcina Dimitrescu is a continent yet to be fully discovered.

“Come.” She says and she leads you down the hall to the Hall of Ablution. The blood you drained from the basin has already been replenished.

She climbs into the pool and wades out to the edge. You take a seat and wait. She’s still wearing her hat. She doesn’t say anything for a few moments and your nerves get the better of you.
“Is something the matter?” You ask. Alcina sighs.

“I knew when I decided to keep you that I wouldn’t be able to keep you a secret forever. That time has come, I’m afraid.”

You’re a secret? Why? You think back to Heisenburg. Why was he so interested in you? What does he have to gain by knowing you’re Alcina’s pet? Questions swirl through your head, but you quiet them to listen.

“As I’ve told you, my power is a gift from Mother Miranda and that power comes at a cost.” Alcina says softly. She reaches up and removes her hat. You watch with interest and then you see it. A huge, horrible scar splits her hair. She continues.

“Mother Miranda has complete control over this village and over my castle. Her rule is absolute and she requires that her followers undergo—that they undergo a procedure.” She explains. Her voice is sad now. Fear begins to creep up your spine.

“Now that Heisenburg is aware of you, I have no choice but to present you to Mother Miranda. He’ll tell her about you regardless and it will be better for me to do it first.”

Wait a minute. What is this procedure? And wait, Mother Miranda is a person? You’ve always assumed she was just some kind of abstract deity. You’re trying not to let your anxiety get the better of you. It won’t pay to panic, but you’re scared. You have no idea what is going to happen.

“So, you will join me tomorrow at the meeting of the Lords and it is entirely likely that you will be—implanted.” Alcina says. There’s a nervousness to her voice. You get the sense that this “procedure”, whatever it is, is not particularly safe.

“Light me a cigarette, will you?” She asks. You pull your cigarette case out of your pocket and light one, then hurry over to her and offer it. She takes the tiny thing between her fingers and puffs.
You light one for yourself and try to keep calm.

“I appreciate how strong you’re trying to be, but I’ll warn you now, this will not be pleasant.” Alcina whispers. You look at the scar. It’s nasty and soon you’ll have one of your own.

“There is even a chance that you will not survive it.” She says. You can hear how tight her throat is. Is she going to cry? You lean forward and put your hand on her shoulder. It’s meant to be comforting, but you’re shaking.

“And so, though it pains me greatly, it's time for you to leave.”

Now this, you were not expecting.

“I can tell them that Heisenburg spooked you and that you fled in the night. They’ll be suspicious, of course, but Mother Miranda won’t care. She’s singularly focused on her goals. A human’s disappearance will be but a blip on her radar.” Alcina says. She’s choked up and you can tell. You both puff on your cigarettes in silence and watch as the smoke fills the chamber.

Sadness hits you like a gunshot and tears prick your vision before you can stop them. You don’t want to go. You want to stay here. You wish you could turn back time to the morning and its banter or the thrill of the hunt. You long for yesterday.

“But—but I don’t want to leave you.” You say softly. She turns to you and puts a hand on your cheek.

“And I don’t want you to, but I can’t bear the thought of you becoming one of those awful creatures.” She whispers. There are tears in her eyes.

“You’re too special, too dear.” She says, wiping the tears from your cheek.

“But what if I survive it?” You say defiantly. The question has touched her. The fact that you would even consider risking your life to stay moves her heart.

“We’ll spend the night together and then you’ll leave in the morning.” She says finally. You shake your head.

You’ve come this far and confidence returns to your chest. You’ve conquered every challenge this woman, this incredible woman, has thrown at you. It was about time for things to get serious.

“I won’t. There’s nothing for me out there in the world. You have given me the chance to live as I am, with my whole spirit. I died a long time ago, but you have given me life. Let them ‘implant’ me or whatever. I’ll pass this test as I’ve passed all the others.” You practically shout. Yes, you’re afraid, but you speak the truth.

The thought of going back to your stupid little apartment and finding another stupid little job fills you with dread that transforms like a phoenix within you and fills you with courage. You’ll stay here, with her, and take your chance at life.

“I’m afraid you’ve ruined me for the quiet life.” You say with a little smirk. She just looks at you, frankly shocked at your defiance. She brings her fingers up to your cheek and brings you in close to her, studying you.

“You’re a fool.” She whispers. You kiss her and she presses her tongue into your mouth. You press back, shamelessly giving yourself to her as you have done. When the kiss breaks, you’re both smiling. They’re real smiles, filled with warmth and love. Yes, love.

“Yes, but I’m your fool. Besides, who’s going to amuse you if I’m gone? I couldn’t abide the thought of My Mistress being bored.” You say.

“You’re a shameless flirt too.” Alcina says with mock disapproval.

“Ah, but you love it.” You say with a laugh. You realize immediately that you’ve used that word. You chuckle nervously, but she brings you in for another kiss.

“Yes, I do.”

The next morning, you wake with a start before your alarm. The day has come. The meeting awaits. You’re lucky you slept at all.

You dress quickly in your finest attire and polish your boots before pulling them on. You take a deep breath and stretch. You can do this. You must do this. You have no choice but to succeed.

Breakfast proceeds as usual, but there’s an anxiety in the air to be sure. The girls seem a bit put out that you get to go to the meeting and they don’t.

“She’s just a human.” Bela says. She’s the sorest of the bunch. Even Daniella seems to be disappointed.

“I’m sorry, my girls, but your sensitivity to the elements makes your attendance impossible, I’m afraid. Perhaps in the Summer.” Alcina says distractedly. Bela and Cassandra stare daggers at you.

“Besides, these meetings are mostly boring, I assure you. You’ll have more fun here with your studies.” Alcina insists.

You pick at your food, but you’re almost too nervous to eat. Alcina notices and puts her hand on yours. This calms you a little and you manage to choke down your eggs.

After breakfast has concluded, you’re told to wait in the main hall.

“I’ll just be a moment.” Alcina says, then she sweeps off to the upstairs. You take deep breaths and catalogue a list of questions for the journey. You’re not sure how far you’re going, but you hope that Alcina can prep you on the way.

Buzzing stirs you from your thoughts. Cassandra and Daniella materialize before you. Bela isn’t with them.

“It’s going to hurt, you know.” Cassandra says. You shrug.

“We don’t remember our change, but we’re told it was ghastly.” Daniella explains. You sigh.

“Well, thanks for the warning.” You say. You hear more buzzing and Bela appears as well.

“It’s not easy and you’ll probably die.” She says. Her voice is cold and affectionless as usual. She has a strange expression on her face though.

“Well, nothing to be done about it now.” You say. She takes a threatening step towards you.

“You’d best survive it, human. Mother will be devastated if you don’t.” Bela warns you. You give her a little half-smile.

“Aw, you do like me.”

“Not in the least, but I hate to see Mother suffer, and though I cannot begin to understand why, she cares for you.” Bela replies. You drop your teasing and nod seriously.

“I won’t let you down.” You say and you mean it. Bela seems satisfied, so she dissolves into a swarm, and flies off. Daniella bursts into a peal of laughter and follows her. Cassandra hangs back.

“She might not show it, but she will be sad if you die.” Cassandra says. You smile.

“I’ll do my best to live then.”

“But don’t tell her I told you.” Cassandra snaps. She flies off before you can say anything else. You crack your neck and wait for Alcina to return. She doesn’t keep you waiting long.

Lady Dimitrescu descends the main stairs with a coat draped over her arm. She unfolds it and helps you into it. It’s quite fine with gorgeous silver threads and the Dimitrescu crest etched into the breast. You swell with pride.

“Thank you, my Lady.” You beam. She nods and steels her nerves.

“We’d best be off.” She says.

She leads you outside to the stables where two horses are ready and waiting for you. The stable hand holds out the reigns for you to take.

“Do you know how to ride?” Alcina asks as she pulls herself onto the enormous draft horse. It tolerates her generous form surprisingly well. Thankfully, you spent your youth on a farm, so you do actually know how to ride, even if it’s been a while.

Your horse is not quite as large as Alcina’s but it’s still bigger than any horse you’ve been on. You need a stool to mount it, but you manage without too much fuss.

“Wonders never cease.” Alcina says. You wink.

“Disappointed that I’m not riding behind you? Holding you close?”

“Why would I care for you riding behind me, when you’ll be riding me proper later?” Alcina shoots back. You’re grateful for the extra warmth and the levity.

Unfortunately, the journey on horseback doesn’t allow for you to talk much. You’re too busy remembering how to do it anyway. It sure is a lot bouncier than you remember, but you hit your stride by the time you reach the village.

Oh, right. The village. You haven’t seen it in weeks, though you don’t expect it has changed much. Villagers still mull about with their daily chores and tasks. The smell of rich foods and barn animals wafts about. However, upon seeing the Lady Dimitrescu, the streets clear quickly. Some people fall to their knees with bowed heads.

You hear murmurs of ‘Blessings on you’ and ‘All hail Countess Dimitrescu’. Interesting. They’re scared of her. But then again, between her being a frightening creature and all the blood in the castle, you’re not surprised.

“You’re alive!”

You whip around and see Luiza on the ground. She’s dropped her basket of eggs which are now spilled all about the dirt. You stop.

“Luiza!” You exclaim. Should you be angry with her for giving you up? Nah, you’re way over it and honestly grateful in retrospect. Besides, it was her husband that sold you out.

“How dare you speak to my beloved pet, peasant.” Alcina snarls from her place ahead of you. Luiza blanches and falls to her knees.

“I meant no disrespect, Lady Dimitrescu.”

“My Lady, this woman showed me hospitality when I came to your village. I hope that her kindness can pay for her insolence this once.” You say quickly. Luiza looks up at you in shock.

“I suppose, but don’t let it happen again. Now, come, Mother Miranda waits for no one.” Countess Dimitrescu says dismissively. She then spurs on her horse. You wink at Luiza and you follow after your imperious Countess. Beloved pet, huh? Nice.

After a relatively short ride, you end up at a large stone breezeway. You dismount from your horse after Alcina does and then you tie the reigns to one of the iron grates.

“Before we enter, a warning.” Alcina says gently. You take a deep breath. Ok.

“It is best that you do not speak to the Lords unless spoken to and, even then, best to avoid it. You will also likely be shocked by their appearances, particularly that of Moreau. Keep your counsel at all costs.” She says. You nod seriously and adorn your best poker face.

“If Mother Miranda speaks to you, answer truthfully. She can tell when people lie and she is not forgiving in the slightest. To me, you may be a—”

“Beloved pet?” You offer with a smirk. She sighs good-naturedly.

“You may be a worthy investment, but the others will see you as nothing more than meat. Keep that tongue of yours silent and stay cautious.” She warns you. You nod again and press your lips together for effect.

Alcina looks like she wants to kiss you, but thinks better of it, and pats you on the head. Then, she turns to lead you into the underground meeting chamber. You summon every ounce of courage you have inside of you. It’s showtime and your life is on the line, even now.

The stairs to the meeting chamber are steep and very, very old. Alcina barely fits through the stone tunnel. The chamber itself is huge and open at the back to the elements. There is a podium at the far end and several seats scatted around. One of them is particularly large and you know who it must belong to.

Then you spot him. A figure is hunched over and shuffling about near the podium. He is awful to look at. Perhaps this is Moreau. Alcina leads you to the large chair and you stand quietly beside it.

“So, you brought her.” You hear Heisenburg say. You strongly dislike the fact that he seems to sneak up on you. You never notice him before he wants to be noticed.

“Of course. She is ready to be seen by Mother Miranda.” Lady Dimitrescu replies coolly.

“Oh, sure. You’ve brought her because she’s ready and not because you were going to get caught with your hand in the cookie jar.” Heisenburg snarks.

“I do not wish to waste Mother Miranda’s time with vessels that aren’t prepared properly. Unlike some.” Alcina spits back. You watch this exchange with keen attention, so much so that you don’t notice the clatter of wooden feet behind you.

“Boo!” Shrieks a voice behind you. You yelp and jump, turning to face the sound. Your heart stops. What the fuck is that?

“Skittish, aren’t you? Are you Alcina’s new fucktoy?” The creature asks in her horrible, shrill voice. You don’t say anything. You can’t say anything. You’re terrified.

That puppet is fucking talking to you. Your fight or flight response wants to kick in so you can hurl the little beast into the ether, but you remember what you were told, and stay as still as you can.
Ever since you were a kid, you’ve been terrified of dolls. They freak you out and the longer you look at the little puppet, the more you want to bolt from the room.

“Angie loves making new friends.” Another voice says. It’s quieter and in the darkness of the chamber, you almost miss the person speaking. You see her emerge wearing all black from head to toe. The little puppet rushes over to her and hops into her arms.

Alcina glares at them as they pass to their place to the rear of the room.

“So vulgar.” Lady Dimitrescu remarks.

“Oh, please. Grow up, sis. We all know what you do to pretty little maidens behind closed doors.” Heisenburg says with a wry laugh.

“Make them scream! Make them scream!” Angie sings out. You pray silently that this meeting will be over quickly.

The one you think is Moreau shuffles back and forth nervously.

“Don’t be mean to Miss Dimitresk.” He stammers. Alcina nods.

“Nice to know that one of you still minds their manners.” She says. Heisenburg rolls his eyes.

“Fuck off, witch.”

“Say it again, boy!” Alcina snarls. She gets to her feet and Heisenburg does the same. Oh fuck. You get ready, but you have no idea what to get ready for. Are they going to fight?

“Silence!”

A new voice now. This must be Mother Miranda. She’s appeared at the back of the room. When did she get here? All of the Lords bow their heads and you make sure to bow even lower. You see a shadow appear at your feet and when you look up, Mother Miranda is staring down at you through her slotted mask.

“And who do we have here, Alcina?” She asks.

“Mother Miranda, may I present to you Y/N? I believe she may provide an adequate vessel for the Cadou.” Lady Dimitrescu says graciously. You’ve never heard Alcina speak to reverently. Whoever this Mother Miranda character is, she must be pretty important.

“More like an adequate vessel for her glass cock.” Heisenburg mutters quietly, but loud enough for everyone to hear. Alcina bristles, but Miranda puts up a hand.

“Quiet, Karl. Regardless of Alcina’s intentions with this maiden, we are always happy to welcome a new member of our flock.” Miranda says. You practically cower beneath her gaze. Her aura is penetrating to say the least, like she can see into the very depths of your soul.

“Very well. We will have her given our special gift and if she is as worthy as you say, then we will rejoice.” Mother Miranda concludes. She then drifts away to the head of the chamber. You release the breath you’ve been holding and Alcina leans down to pat you gently on the head.

“Good girl.” She says.

“Now, my children, I have a matter of great import to share with you. Tonight, I will be embarking on a special quest to obtain the key to our glorious future. I will be away for a while, but I trust you will keep things in order in my absence.”

She throws a look at Alcina and Heisenburg who both look appropriately cowed. Miranda then doles out the orders.

“Salvatore, I expect you will continue your experiments. Donna, I’d like you to attend to Alcina’s maiden in my place. You are the most knowledgeable about the human body, after all.”

Your stomach drops. Donna is going to do it? Donna means Angie and Angie is upsetting to say the least. You can worry about that later. Oh, and worry you will.

“Alcina, I entrust you with a continuation of your experiments as well. Heisenburg, you will ensure the villagers continue in their worship. I would ask Alcina, as she is more suited to the task, but she will be busy with her maiden’s recovery, if she recovers, that is. We have high hopes.”

Then, with a burst of flapping wings, Mother Miranda is gone. Alcina rises from her seat and puts her hands on her hips.

“All that mouthing off has landed you with babysitting duty, little brother.” She gloats. He flips her off and leaves without another word. Alcina then turns her attention to you.

“Are you alright?” She asks. Your gaze is trained on the puppet. Angie waves at you and you shiver.

“Y/N?”

“Yeah? Yeah. I’m ok.”

You don’t sound ok and you’re eager to be gone from this place.

“I need to speak to Donna about the details of your procedure. Just a moment.” Alcina says. You nod and finally tear your eyes away from the puppet.

Moreau shuffles over to you, looking nervous and feral.

“Good luck.” He offers. Though he smells like rotting fish and looks even worse you offer him a nervous smile.

“Thanks.”

“Nice girl for nice lady.” He says. You assume he’s referring to Alcina. Then he shuffles away and off into the afternoon light.

You wait patiently for Alcina to return and do your best to look anywhere that isn’t in the direction of the puppet. You spot some movement in the rafters, but can’t see anything clearly in the shadows. Whatever. You hope Alcina is ready to go soon.

“I’m going to check on the horses.” You say suddenly. You can’t be here any longer. Alcina looks over to you and nods, then returns to her conversation.

You race up the stairs and into the fresh air. The horses are fine, though you weren’t really worried about them. You’re just keyed up and anxious to return to the castle.

You pull out a cigarette and suck it down quickly. That was stressful.

“So, welcome to the family.” Heisenburg says behind you. You jump.

“Easy there, little maiden. I won’t bite.” He says. You don’t respond and walk over to the horses, cigarette in hand. You quickly finish it and light another one, but Heisenburg isn’t that easy to shake.

“Oh, come on. You’re no fun. It’s so rare to see a fresh face around these parts. You’ll forgive an old man his appetites.” Heisenburg says. It’s a veiled threat and one you do not like. You consider going back down to the chamber, to the safety of Lady Dimitrescu’s presence, but Heisenburg’s blocking the way.

“I wonder what Alcina would do to me if I took one little taste.” He says wolfishly. You turn to him, ready to fight like hell. You’re no pushover and you’ve proven quite difficult to catch on multiple occasions. Let him try. You’ll rip out his throat with your teeth.

Thankfully, you don’t have to. Faster than you can blink, Alcina grabs Heisenburg by his coat and launches him across the stones. He lands laughing wildly.

“Saved by the bat!” He howls.

“Come, let’s go home.” Alcina growls. You nod and quickly get up onto your horse. You both shoot off, back into the village, and are back at the castle in minutes.

You slide down from your horse and hand the reigns over to the stable hand. You consider offering a bit of a joke, but you don’t have one. That meeting was lot.

Alcina lands on the ground and hands her horse over as well.

“That was positively exhausting.” She says with a sigh. You want to nestle into her dress and feel the safety of her embrace, but you know better than to do such a thing in front of the help.

“Indeed, Lady Dimitrescu. Perhaps we can retire to your chambers to recuperate.” You say formally. She looks down at you with a smirk.

“Actually, I had something more stimulating in mind.”

You follow her back into the castle with keen interest. When you enter, the girls are waiting. They ask questions and Alcina answers them patiently. None of them interest you. Then Bela speaks.

“When will she be—when is her procedure?” She asks. You stiffen at the thought. You had almost forgotten about it between the puppet and Heisenburg.

“Lady Beneviento will be coming to the castle on the weekend to perform it. So, we have a few days.” Alcina explains. You expect those few days will be absolute torture. You’ll be marinated in anxiety by the time the woman and her ghastly creature arrive.

“But, for now, leave us. Y/N and I are quite tired and will see you at supper.” Alcina says. The girls flutter off to amuse themselves. Alcina turns to you.

“Tell me, pet, are you up for a little game?”

“Oh, most certainly, my Lady.”

You’re desperate for the distraction and frankly, very tense from the morning. A game is exactly what you need.

“We’ll play in the atelier again.” She declares and you follow after her, slipping into character as you go. You know that as soon as you enter the atelier, nothing else matters. You are a pet, a little doll, Your Mistress’s favorite toy, and nothing more. Not a maiden or a woman on death row. You’re just a clever little slut and you’re more than happy to return to the space.

She shuts the door behind you and locks it. The spell is cast. She rounds on you quickly and pulls you up into her arms.

“How is my sweet little pet, today?” She croons. The voice sends a ripple straight to your core.

“Eager, Mistress.” You say. She rolls her eyes.

“Shameless as always. Well, I think you’ll like what I have in store. Today we’re going to play a new game.” Alcina says. Her tone invites suspicion.

“These last few weeks, you’ve been ordered to contain yourself for days on end, but now, you may come whenever you want. Additionally,”

You knew there was a catch.

“When I say so, you will spread your legs for me. No matter the time or place. Even outside this room. You’ve had such a hard day and I’ve been so demanding of you lately. It’s time you were given a little treat.” Alcina purrs. She pauses for a moment as if to invite feedback. You don’t have any for now. You’re willing to try this new game and if you don’t like it, you can always tap out later. You’ve discussed it.

“Isn’t that rule already in place, My Lady?” You ask with a false tone of innocence. It’s not like you would deny her if she took you suddenly against the castle wall, but her bringing it up like this implies that you can expect it in the coming days.

“So it is. In that case, you’ll have no trouble following it.”

Hmm. You can come whenever you wish and you’re essentially promised to be fucked often. This seems too good to be true, but maybe she just wants to make your last few days on earth truly pleasurable, if they are indeed your last few days on earth. Still, Alcina is never one to give something away so freely in your games without getting something back. It’s the tension she craves, the duel of her will versus your own.

“Now, a gift.” She announces.

“You spoil me, my Lady.”

“I do, but you’ve earned it.”

You definitely do not trust her overly sweet manner. She’s got something up her sleeve. You just can’t think what it is.

She leaves you for a moment to go up to the loft and returns with a familiar looking suitcase.

“My things!” You exclaim.

“I had them hunted down so that I could return them to you. Now, tell me, what is this?” Alcina asks feigning innocence. She holds up a familiar, phallic object.

“That would be my vibrator, Mistress.”

You swallow thickly.

“I see. Another one of your modern devices. Tell me, pet, what does it do?”

“It provides pleasure.”

“Show me.”

She hands you the device and takes a seat in her usual chair. She had to know what this was, though you have no idea how.

“My Mistress is so clever to have discerned the purpose of this.” You say as you undress. Alcina chuckles.

“Oh, pet. I could smell you on it.” She says airly. You turn a light shade of pink.

“So, show me how you used to touch yourself and don’t spare me any details.” She orders. You feel that familiar quiver start up in your core. When you’re fully unclothed you trail the device down your body and place it on your clit.

Thankfully, you put fresh batteries in it before you left for your trip, so it’s got hours of use. You have a feeling you’ll be using them. You turn it on and it buzzes to life.

You rub it against yourself slowly, making a show of it. You know how she likes your performances. Alcina leans down to her right and picks up the riding crop you’ve met a few times. Oh my.

“Does my Lady like what she sees?” You ask taking a nipple into one of your hands. She leans forward and smacks you lightly across the belly.

“Shut up, slut, and ready yourself for me.” She commands. The friction between your legs smooths out as you grow slick. A dull throb begins and you feel your body respond to the vibrations.

She watches you for a few minutes then gets up and circles you.

“I said you could come whenever you wanted. What are you waiting for?” She barks. You rub harder, trying to get yourself there, but it doesn’t seem to be working. As much as you used to love this thing, it lacks the punch you’ve grown used to.

Alcina closes the distance between you and presses up against your back. You can feel her fingers close around your throat. She leans down and her breath tickles your neck.

“What’s wrong, slut? Can’t get off without Mommy’s fingers inside you anymore?” She growls. Your breath comes out ragged.

“Or would you prefer Mommy’s cock? Hmm? Speak up.” She commands. You feel the crop on your rear. It’s sharp, biting.

“H-hand.” You choke out. She leans back and spanks you several times with the crop.

“You know I prefer you to be exact, but I’m feeling generous today.” She says lazily. She snatches the vibrator from you, clicks it off, and tosses it aside for the moment. Then she bends you over and enters you roughly. You can’t contain your moan.

She pounds her fingers into you mercilessly. Your vision goes white. Wet, filthy sounds fill the space. It’s music to your ears and hers. She’s a master musician and you are the instrument. That edge that seems so impossibly far only moments ago is now just within your reach.

“Yes, my little whore, come for me. I want to feel you come all over my hand. Yes, that’s it.”

You feel your orgasm hit like a wave and shake violently. She holds you up with the hand grasping the crop so that you don’t collapse to the floor.

You start to come down from your peak, but she’s not stopping. Her fingers keep a steady rhythm. The pressure builds within you again, but you try and hold it back this time. You’re so sensitive now.

“Don’t fight it. Again.” She demands sweetly. If you had your wits about you, you would realize that the suspicion you felt earlier was coming to fruition. She’s not going to stop anytime soon. You find yourself tensing again for another wave. It comes and she thrusts extra hard as you come for the second time.

She picks you up suddenly and brings you over to her chair. She throws you over the arm like a ragdoll, takes a few swats at you with the crop, then places the tip on your sex.

“Don’t move.” She orders. You sag over the arm of the chair and are grateful for the break as you hear her move away. It doesn’t last. She’s back already. Though you can’t see her, you can feel her enormous presence behind you.

You feel the cold glass of her strap press itself inside of you. You can’t help but yelp. You’re so full. The pounding resumes relentlessly.

You try to pull away instinctively. You can’t take much more of this. It’s too much. You’re too sensitive. Your abs ache and your flesh stings where she’s spanked you.

She grabs your hips roughly and holds you in place, slapping your rear three more times in quick succession.

“What’s wrong, pet? You always beg me to let you come. So, go on. Come for me again!” She snarls. Alcina leans down and grabs you by the neck, bending you towards her. You can barely think thoughts.

One of her hands spanks you again and the other reaches around to your breasts. She twists your nipple painfully and you shout. Both hands are palming your breasts now, kneading them roughly. You’re going to—

“Yes! Oh, I can feel you tightening. Good girl. That’s three.”

You feel tears in your eyes and she finally slows her pace. You twitch and shake, but she doesn’t pull out, not yet. You feel her lean down, her hands still full of your breasts, and she runs her long tongue down your back. You twitch violently.

Then she brings her mouth to your neck and bites. You can feel her hum into your ear as she drinks from you. You somehow feel even fuzzier, even further away. You’re drifting through the stars with nothing but Alcina to keep you tethered to the earth.

She finally pulls out with a wet pop and smacks your ass appreciatively.

“There. I think that’s a fine appetizer. Now onto the main course.” She says wickedly. You have no cheeky reply, just an unfocused whimper.

She leaves you again and you hear a variety of sounds you cannot place. Furniture? The clinking of chains? If you weren’t already sweating, this would be a good time to start.

Finally she pulls you to your feet and turns you around. A table is laid out before you with restraints at each corner and two pillows. She guides you over and lifts you onto it, laying your head on one of the pillows. The other is propped up at the apex of your thighs. She tenderly locks you into the iron cuffs, which you notice are lined with velvet. How thoughtful.

Then she holds the vibrator up and brings it to your overly sensitive bud, nestling it between you and the pillow. You can see her eyes gleam dangerously.

“You’re so pretty like this and you’re all mine.” She purrs. Then she leans over and turns the vibrator on. Your entire body tenses like you’ve been struck by lighting.

“Sing for me while I work.”

You watch as she goes over to her easel and dons her apron. You tremble and shake. She pours herself a glass of wine and sips it. You steel yourself for another wave. Your abs truly ache now and tensing them is agony, but your body betrays you. You cry out.

“Four.” Alcina chirps affectionately.

Tears pour from your eyes and you can’t keep yourself quiet anymore. You moan and babble incoherently, completely out of your mind.

“What was that, dear?”

You scream and the sound is strangled, like a wounded animal.

“Five, then. Wow. You are such a high achiever. Give me a few more.”

There is nothing inside your consciousness. Only the feeling between your legs and the sound of Alcina’s voice. Minutes pass. Maybe hours. You don’t know. Your arms and legs fruitlessly fight against the chains that hold them, but it’s all pure instinct at this point. You are descending deeper and deeper into that hallowed, primal space where nothing hurts and everything is bliss.

“Six.”

Alcina’s voice is like a beautiful bell, ringing in your ears. Part angel. Part devil.

“Seven!”

You’re not sure how she can tell. You can barely tell anymore. Everything feels like one, long orgasm. An infinite space of pleasure.

Then you feel her return to you. Your eyes closed at some point. The vibrations die down and your restraints are removed. You feel her lift you.

“One more. Come on. You can give me one more.” She croons. You open your eyes and take in the sight of her. You grab at her neck, needing to be close. Your lips brush against hers and you feel her fingers slip inside you once more.

She holds you against her, fucking you gently. Your mouth is on hers, but open in a soft “oh”. Yes, she is the master musician and you love being played. You can feel your walls tightening around her fingers.

“That’s it, dragostea mea. Iubita mea. Te iubesc.” She whispers gently against your lips as you reach one final peak.

She removes her fingers gently and pulls you up, close to her chest. It’s so tender and warm, that you feel yourself starting to cry again.

“Shhh, shh. You’re alright. You did so well today.” She assures you. You nuzzle into her chest, holding on for dear life, as she guides you back down from heaven to the world.
Alcina carries you back to her bedroom and places you gently in the bed. She slides in besides you without comment and pulls you against her. Your whole body is still tingling. You feel like you’re floating, but you’re floating down, settling gently.

“I should have gotten you some water before we laid down.” Alcina murmurs. You snort with what little energy you have left. Probably, but you can wait a few minutes.

After a little while, your eyes flutter open and you stretch your sore muscles against Alcina’s large frame. You wiggle your butt into her.

“How are you feeling, my dear?” She asks softly.

“Good. Really good. Bit drained, but good.”

“I thought you might like that game.” She says with a knowing chuckle.

“The quintessential ‘Be careful what you wish for’, my Lady.” You say, turning over to face her. She lets her eyes roam over your still naked form and gives an appreciative hum. Then she leans in and kissed the base of your neck, leaving a train of her lipstick all the way up to your lips. You kiss her back once, twice, then three times.

“Why don’t we head down to dinner? Can you get dressed?” She asks. You sit up and stretch again. She runs her hand along your back as you do.

“I think so. You might have to carry me to dinner though.” You say. It takes quite a bit of effort to get out of the bed and open her closet, but you manage.

“Oh, you poor thing. Fucked within an inch of your life.” She remarks playfully.

“Hey, it’s a lot of work being your plaything.” You call over your shoulder. You remember that your old clothes are back in the Atelier, but honestly, you like these better now. You might keep the t-shirts to sleep in though.

“You should try it sometime, you know?” You say.

“What do you mean?”

“Like, letting me pleasure you.” You say. You’ve never touched her in all your time at the castle. Not once. You wonder if it’s a power thing, where she can’t let you see her disheveled, but you don’t know. You wonder if she’s insecure.

“Are you sure you can handle it, iepuraș?” She calls from the bed. You laugh confidently.

“There is no challenge I cannot face, if it’s for you.”

She doesn’t respond for a moment and you turn, a little worried that she’s taken that the wrong way. She’s smiling though.

“All jests aside, I take more pleasure from unraveling you than my own flesh.” She says and it sounds a little sad. You pull on your shirt and quickly button it.

“You may actually understand soon.”

Chapter Text

The next morning you have a hard time getting out of bed. Sure, you’re a bit sore, but you’re also heavy with worry. You don’t know what exactly the “Cadou” is, but you’re going to soon. You could ask, but you choose not to. You’re not sure you want to know because you’re pretty sure it won’t help quiet your mind.

You turn over in your bed with a huff and stew.

“Good morning, pet.” Alcina says, entering your room. She seems to be in a good mood, but you can’t pull yourself out of your funk. You pull the covers tighter around you and feel the bed sag from her large frame.

“It does you no good to sulk.”

You turn over to look at her, but don’t get up.

“Why does Mother Miranda care whether I’m implanted with this Cadou or not?” You ask. Alcina sighs.

“I’ve told you that everyone who lives in this region owes their allegiance to her. This is simply part of the process.”

“Yes, well, it’s stressing me out.” You snap. Your eyes widen. You can’t believe you snapped at Alcina. You unfurl yourself from the covers and touch her thigh. She places her hand on yours.

“I’m sorry. I’m just nervous.” You say softly. She sighs.

“I know. It’s a frightening thing to face the dangerous unknown.”

“You’ve gone through this. What was it like?” You ask. She looks away from you.

“It’s unpleasant. Painful. But you already know that. What you don’t know is that the Cadou will reach deep into the depths of your soul and drag back whatever it finds.” She explains.

“What did it find in you?” You ask. She keeps her gaze trained on the wall.

“A monster.”

You take her hand.

“’Monster’ is subjective. Drinking blood and having retractable wings doesn’t make you a monster.” You say quietly. She finally looks at you.

“No, but killing innocent people and ruling this village with fear certainly does.” She says evenly. It’s your turn to sigh.

“Well, you might not be up for the Nobel Peace Prize, but I still like you. Monster or not.” You say. She smirks.

“Do you think my prey deserves what it gets?” She asks. It’s a strange question and you sense it comes from the creature within the woman. You feel a tiny chill run down your spine and you feel terribly human. You recover quickly though.

“It’s not my place to judge the actions of others. I’m just a clever little rabbit doing her best to avoid the fox and find the carrot.” You say. She shakes her head and gets up.

“And yet you willingly sleep in the fox’s den.”

“Oh, Alcina, you’re not the fox.”

“Well, I’m certainly not the carrot.” She says with a glint of warning in her voice. You throw back your head and laugh.

“Oh, no. You’re far too… grand for this metaphor. I couldn’t possibly contain you in so rudimentary an image.” You say smoothly. She turns to you and places her hand on your chin.

“You know, even the court jester can be hanged for their insolence.”

“If you want a sample of my gallows humor, you need only ask, my Lady.” You say.

You look directly into her eyes and can’t stop a grin from blossoming on your face. She thinks for a moment, but clearly can’t come up with a good retort. Her eyes narrow at you.

Alcina brings her hand up to your lips and presses her fingers past them and into your mouth. Your expression changes from teasing to teased and she gently pumps them in and out. You press your lips around them and suck.

“Vexing thing.” She hisses, pressing you back into the bed. You can’t say anything, as your mouth is occupied, but you wink. She brings her other hand to your pants and snakes her hand inside them, running them over your entrance, and going no further.

She lazily fucks your mouth with her fingers for a few more seconds, then withdraws all her touch. You whimper.

“There. Now we’re even. Come, it’s time for breakfast.” She says airily. She leaves before you can protest properly. Alcina certainly doesn’t like to lose, even in casual exchanges of wit. You’re not complaining though. She surely won’t make you wait much longer for the rest of your game.

When you arrive at breakfast, Alcina is the only one at the table.

“My daughters will be having their meal in their room today.” She says. She then gestures for you to sit on her lap. You sit.

She moves your hair aside and inhales your scent.

“I usually skip breakfast, but I’m feeling rather peckish this morning. Turn around.”

You turn to face her and she slowly unbuttons your shirt so that she can access your neck. She sinks her fangs into your flesh and drinks you up. You stifle a moan, but she’s running her fingers into your pants again, parting the lips, but denying you the satisfaction you crave.

She takes another pull on your neck and then releases you, gasping. Her pheromones drift through you now, making you even hotter. She slips a finger inside of you and you gasp.

“Ride me.” She purrs. You take it tantalizingly slow, rising up and then pressing back down with a groan.

After a few pumps of your hips she gives you one powerful thrust, surprising you. You yelp.

“Stop.”

You freeze in place. Then, she wipes her mouth with her free hand and leans back.

“You can go sit in your seat.” She says. You hesitate a little, not really wanting the contact to end, but she snaps her fingers, and you reluctantly climb off of her. You feel horribly empty back in your cold, hard seat.

You think back to her rules, or lack there of, for the next few days. Oh, come whenever you want. Sure. You see her game now. If she’s not fucking you half to death, then she’s going to tease you incessantly. And you’re the vexing one!? Frustration sparks inside of you and your clothes feel far too restricting.

“Already so ruffled? It’s only the morning, my pet. We have hours of the day to go.” She says cruelly.

Right and again, you’re the vexing one!? You eat rather quickly and then petulantly push your half-eaten food away.

“Oh? Not hungry?” Alcina asks mockingly. She knows this is torture. You don’t say anything back. You just can’t think of a clever comeback when your cunt is throbbing and growing uncomfortably tight.
She smirks, knowing the damage is done. You can tell it’s going to be a long day.

After breakfast, she invites you to go with her to the seamstress so that she can get a few new dresses commissioned. You don’t actually go anywhere, but she makes a show of having the seamstress see her in the opera hall. Must be a recluse thing, you decide irritably.

The three of you stand on the stage with the curtain drawn back and a huge ten-foot mirror for Alcina to model in. You don’t know when she moved that in here, as it wasn’t there before. There’s also a table with some of the seamstress’s tools and various bolts of fabric laid out.

“I’ll need to go back into storage to see if we have another bolt of this and the dye you asked for, Lady Dimitrescu.” The seamstress says. You’ve seen her a few times around the castle working on the curtains. You know she made your clothes as well. She’s quite talented, actually, and you can see why Alcina treats her slightly better than the other servants.

“No matter. Take your time. Y/N and I will amuse ourselves in your absence.” Alcina says. The seamstress looks at you and then briefly at Alcina. Her eyes widen as she leaves.

“You know, pet, you ate your breakfast so quickly, I was worried you would still be hungry.” Alcina says sweetly. It’s that saccharine sweetness again and it has only spelled trouble for you thus far.

She produces a peach from between her breasts and holds it out to you. You raise an eyebrow at her and press your lips to a thin, irritated line.

“Here, let me take the pit out for you.”

She brings her fingers to the peach and presses into it, ever so slowly. You watch as the juices ooze out of the top and run down the sides. She digs out the pit and discards it on a nearby table. She shakes off some errant droplets of peach juice from her fingers, and then sucks the rest off. She smacks her lips at you.

You can feel your nostrils flare with each breath and find yourself standing stiff as a board. She holds it out to you and you take it as gently as you can. It’s still mostly a snatch.

“Thank you, Mistress.” You grumble.

“Oh no, is someone feeling pent up already? Or did you want to clean off my fingers? I’m sorry, pet.” She says in her sweet little baby voice.

You bite into the peach and chew through it with force.

“Didn’t I fuck you thoroughly yesterday or are you really that needy?” She says. You find your footing through the tension.

“If it’s a crime to find your advances enjoyable then lock me up.” You say as gallantly as you can manage.

Alcina turns on you quickly and grabs you by the arms. She pulls you in front of the mirror roughly and holds your head in its direction, pinning you against her by your chest.

“I’ll restrain you when it pleases me.”

Her grip is like the iron cuffs, certain and unbreakable.

“And I’ll use you when it pleases me.” She growls. You watch as her free hand cups your clothed sex. She practically lifts you up by it.

“I can feel how wet you are through your breeches, slut. Shall I have you right here in front of the mirror? The seamstress will know not to come back when she hears your howling.”

Then she places you back on the ground and pushes you away gently. You stumble and can feel your eye twitch. You pull your cigarette case from your pocket and fumble with the clasp. When you finally manage to get one of the damned things in your mouth, the lighter gives you trouble. You huff in frustration and smooth back your hair.

“Need some help?” Alcina asks sweetly. You glare at her and she lets out a haughty laugh.

“My, my, you’re really suffering aren’t you?” Alcina says, almost dropping the act. Almost. She takes the lighter from your hand and helps you with your cigarette.

“You know, you can always go back to your room and take care of yourself. You have my permission. Or was I correct in my guess that you can’t get yourself off anymore?” Alcina muses. You puff hard on your cigarette.

Alcina saunters over to you, swaying her hips a little extra. She leans down and hooks a finger into the collar of your shirt, pulling you forward. You shoot daggers at her with your eyes and she lets you because she knows she’s got you writhing in the palm of her hand.

“Actually, I think I’d like to take a walk, if I may, my Lady?” You say as casually as you can. It comes out terse and agitated. She lets you go and waves you off.

“Please. At your leisure.” She says. The amusement is clear on her face. Winding you up and twisting you around her finger is truly, her greatest joy.

You flee the Opera Hall as calmly as you can, but as soon as you’re out of sight, you start to jog back to your room. By the time you hit the first floor, you’re running.

You throw open your door and then slam it just as quickly. You realize you should have gone up to the Atelier to get some tools, but you don’t want to run into Alcina again (or anyone else for that matter). Whatever. You’ve done this a thousand times.

You work your hand into your pants and take your clit between your fingers. It’s red hot and slippery to the touch. You rub circles. Yes, sweet circles.

You stop to take your pants off entirely and nearly trip over them as you pull off your boots. You feverishly look around the room for something to help you. A brush! Fine. Perfect. It’ll do.

You grab the brush off of your little vanity and plunge it inside of you, working your clit roughly, not even bothering to move to the bed.

You go at it for a few minutes, but you just can’t feel the pressure rising. You take the brush out and throw it across the room. Frustration courses through you. It’s not the same!

You could probably get yourself there if you weren’t already so wound up, but you are. You have a few options.

Option 1: Suffer in silence and pace around your room until you wear the rug down to threads.
Option 2: Try to get yourself off again and run the risk of ruining your orgasm.
Option 3: Explode into a thousand pieces.
Ok. There’s one more option, but you don’t like it.
Option 4: Admit defeat and go back to Alcina. Beg her to fuck you.

You look at yourself in the mirror. Your face is red.

“Who are you right now? Are you a fucking quitter or are you winner? Are you going to let her beat you like this? Are you going to let her control you?” You hiss.

“Fuck it!”

You pull up your pants back on and leave the room, heading back to the Opera Hall, doing your best speed walk. You hear Daniella’s voice over your shoulder.

“Who were you talking to?”

“No one!” You shout back.

By the time you return to the Opera Hall, the seamstress is finishing up. Alcina is seated on one of her stools.

“Back so soon from your walk?” Alcina says in her insufferable, sing-song. The seamstress looks at you and then back at her, then awkwardly adjusts her glasses.

“As I was saying, your ladyship, I should be able to adjust the pattern and have the new dresses ready in about two weeks. Is that acceptable?” She asks. Alcina keeps her eyes on you.

“Perfectly. Take all the time you need. It’s always worth the wait.”

“Then I’ll be going. Thank you, your ladyship.” The seamstress says quickly. She grabs her tools quickly and darts for the door, eager to escape the weird tension in the room. She does, however, noticeably close the door behind her. You don’t care about that right now.

“How was your walk, my pet?” Alcina asks, turning to her wine and lighting a cigarette. Her manner is infuriatingly casual.

“Unsatisfying.” You say through gritted teeth.

“That’s too bad. You probably should have gone into the gardens rather than back to your room to play with yourself. It would have been a more pleasant walk.” She says. Before you can ask her how she knows, she points at your bare feet.

“You’re not wearing your boots.” She says with a little pout. You take a step towards her.

“You win.”

“What was that, dear?”

“You. Win. I can’t take it anymore.”

Alcina takes another drag on her cigarette and crosses her legs. She’s clearly enjoying this.

“And what is my reward?” She asks. Her reward?

“Uh, the pleasure of knowing you bested me.”

“I need something more substantial than that, pet.”

“What is it that My Mistress wants?”

She sits back and thinks about it for a few agonizing seconds, drawing out your torture as long as she can.

“I need some things moved in from the armory. Too valuable for the servants to handle.” She says finally.

“Done.”

“And I think I’d like another glass of wine.” She says. She drains her cup and holds it out expectantly. You go to the table and fetch the bottle, then carefully refill her glass.

“Anything else, my Lady?” You say. The tension is clear in your voice and your cunt hurts from being wound so tight. You think you’ll go mad.

“Hmmm. I don’t know.” She says, savoring every syllable.

You go to her and drop to your knees. You press your cheek to her leg and look up at her with the biggest, most sorrowful eyes you can summon up.

“Please, Mommy? Will you please put your fingers inside of me and let me fuck myself on them?”

Alcina’s eyes light up and she smiles wide.

“Why, my darling, all you had to do was ask.”

She puts out her cigarette in the little ashtray on the table and discards her wine glass as well. She then beckons you with her long fingers, those perfect, powerful fingers.

You climb into her lap.

“Pants, dear.” She reminds you.

You forgot about that in all the excitement. You get up and practically rip yourself out of them, then return to her lap.

She rests her wrist on her thigh and points two fingers up. You grab onto her neck and slide yourself down onto them. Finally. You’re so full and relief is so close.

“Hop to it.”

You don’t waste any time lifting yourself up and slamming yourself back down on her fingers. You repeat this over and over again and the friction is perfection. You can feel her fingers stretching you and filling you over and over and it’s so good.

She places her thumb on your clit for extra flair and you can feel your eyes roll back. You can feel her fingers twitch inside of you and then spring to life. She wraps one arm around your back and takes one of your nipples into her mouth.

You reach the top of your previously insurmountable mountain and crash back down to earth with a glorious wail.

Your hips buck out the aftershocks. This was a good one.

“Feeling better?” She asks and plants a little peck on your cheek. You pant and do your best to catch your breath.

“Much. Thank you, Mistress.”

You climb off of her fingers and rest in her generous lap.

“You were really quite worked up.” She observes. You laugh.

“Vexed, you could say.”

“Me? Vexing? I can’t believe it.” She remarks with a roll of her eyes.

“Yes, entirely vexing, but also wonderful. Maybe a little evil, but also impossibly good.”

“What can I say? They broke the mold when they made me.”

“Couldn’t have said it better myself.”

After relaxing for a little while in the Opera Hall, you slink off to take a bath. Alcina sends up a light lunch for you and you eat it with glee. You didn’t even have to ask and it’s nice to know she’s thinking of you. It’s the little things.

You swim up to the side of the bath and cross your arms to hang on the side. The anticipation is easier when Alcina is distracting you, but here in the bathtub, the dread of your impending doom returns.
You can practically hear the little clickity-clack of that doll. Her horrible little voice. The image sends a shiver down your spine.

Then you hear something. It actually sounds like that clickity-clack you imagined. No way. She’s not here. You’re just tired. You rest your head on your arms and close your eyes.

“Surprise!”

Your eyes snap open and there she is. Angie is hopping back and forth right there in Lady Dimitrescu’s bathroom. Dancing around and enjoying your misery.

“Miss me?”

You scream at the top of your lungs and scramble to the back of the tub, clutching your bits to cover them. The doll is here and you’re fucking naked! You scream again.

“Alcinaaaaaaaaaa!” You howl, forgetting all about formality and titles.

You hear the thunderous approach of your Mistress and hear the door open with a crack of the doorframe.

“Angie, what have I told you about roaming the castle unattended?” Alcina hisses.

“Sorry, Mommy Dearest. I just couldn’t wait to see our little project.” Angie exclaims. She giggles with an awful, pitchy sound.

“Go back to the Dressing Room and help Donna or so help me, I’ll turn you into kindling.” Alcina shouts. She stamps her foot for effect and you’re pretty sure the floor cracks.

Angie shoots out of the bathroom, giggling all the while.

You’re still clutching your naked bits, completely frozen, and clinging to the far edge of the bathtub for dear life.

“Are you alright, Y/N?”

You slowly detach yourself from the wall of the tub and wade back into the middle.

“Yes, of course. I just really don’t like dolls.” You say sheepishly.

“Well, unfortunately Donna never goes anywhere without that infernal thing. It’s basically an extension of her.” Alcina explains. You shake your head.

“I’ll figure it out, but more importantly, what are they doing here? They’re not due until the day after tomorrow.”

Alcina bites her lip.

“The timeline’s been a bit modified, I’m afraid. Mother Miranda called and informed us that doesn’t want us to wait. I also asked her if I could do it. I brought my daughters into this world, after all, but Mother Miranda insisted. It has to be Donna. Something about her recent breakthrough.” She says gently. You swallow the panic rising in your throat.

“Got it. Ok. I’ll be out soon.”

“Do you want me to wash you or keep you company?” Alcina asks. It’s a tender question, meant to soothe. You reach up and take her hand.

“I think I need a few minutes by myself.” You say. She squeezes your hand and leaves quietly.

You lean back and let yourself float in the warm water. The time has come. Your time has come. This really might be it for you. Your last few hours on this earth.

You let your eyes close. Would that really be so bad? You’ve had a good run, right? Good food. Good sex. A bit of love. That’s more than most people get. Asking for anything else would be greedy, wouldn’t it?

You think back to all the times you wanted to die in your life. The times where you wanted to just let the ground swallow you whole and disappear. Years of it. Years of hiding in plain sight, never feeling wholly yourself. Living in snatches and dreams. Too afraid to really put yourself out there and live.

Your eyes snap open. You gather yourself and stand up in the tub, letting the water, rush down your skin. You have grown into yourself here. You have risen to the challenge of life. When presented with an impossible situation, you pressed forward. You took your knife and fork and feasted on the struggles that would leave most people panicked in the corner. You’re not most people, are you?
You may only be a clever little rabbit, but you are going to see this through to the end with your head held high. If you are going to die, then you’re going to die kicking and screaming. Fighting. And who knows? You might just have the nerve to make it out of this in one piece.

You let out a large half-roar, declaring yourself here and ready. It’s silly, but you don’t care.

“Do you worst.” You snarl.

Then you climb out of the tub and stretch. You glance around for a towel and realize you forgot to grab one from the closet. Damn.

You pad over to the door and peek your head out into the hall, dripping water everywhere. You’ll clean it up. You just need that towel.

You hope Angie isn’t still lurking around and dash for the linen closet.

“Did you need something?” Alcina says from around the corner. You wheel around to look at her with a raised eyebrow, then turn back to the lined cabinet to get your towel. She’s been sitting in the next room this whole time?

“My Lady, are you hovering?” You ask, a little amused, as you wrap yourself up. She huffs. A huff!

“I certainly didn’t want to wait with Donna.” She groans. Well, that would have been the imperious, formal thing to do, which is usually Countess Dimitrescu’s M.O. You pad over to her and plant a kiss on her cheek.

“Worried about me?” You ask. She rolls her eyes.

“Of course, and I was right to be. Look at my floors!” She says. You glance back at the puddles you’ve left behind you and chuckle. You know she cares a lot more than she lets on and that she falls back on decorum when she’s nervous.

You lean in and put your arms around her shoulders as much as you can. You can’t reach all the way around. Her hand comes up to grasp the arm slung across her chest.

“I’m going to be fine. You know I’m no delicate flower.” You say quietly. She brings her gaze to meet yours.

“More like a thorny burr stuck in the collar of my coat.”

“Your fault for sticking your nose in the bush.”

You both laugh and she pulls you in tightly for a moment. The water from your hair drips down onto her dress, but she doesn’t seem to notice.

She pulls your arm up to her lips and kisses it several times, hard, in succession. You think she might bite into it, but she doesn’t. She gently closes her eyes and lingers with your forearm, holding it against her cheek.

“Don’t you dare die.” She says finally.

“As you command, my Lady.”

She finally releases you and you scamper off to get dressed. You work quickly, looking forward to beginning the trial, and ridding yourself of this horrible anticipation. The time has come and you’re as ready as you’re going to be.

Once you’re dressed, Alcina leads you downstairs and then into the main house where Donna Beneviento and Angie are waiting. They chatter to each other quietly as you enter the main hall.

“Finally! I thought you might try to squeeze in one last romp before—”

“Silence, firewood.” Alcina growls.

“Angie, be nice. Alcina’s not in the mood for your teasing.” Donna says softly.

Donna lifts up her veil and you see why she keeps herself covered. The left side of her face is actually quite beautiful, but the right is twisted with a strange growth. She’s still easier to look at than fucking Angie.

“Are you ready?” Donna asks gently. You nod. You have to be.

She leads you through the house to the Dressing Room, which she’s quickly set up as a makeshift operating theatre. There’s a large table in the center of the room with a smaller table to the right with some tools laid out.

“Please, if you would, remove your shirt and lie down on the table. On your stomach, please. We’ll make the incision on the nape of your neck.” Donna says calmly.

You can hear yourself swallow. Your blood thunders in your ears. For all your reassuring words to Alcina, you are absolutely terrified. But you’ve made your choice and you’re going to see it through, so you remove your shirt, climb onto the table, and keep your breath as steady as you can.

“Alcina, you may want to wait out—”

“I’ll stay, thank you.”

“Understood.” Donna says. Then you hear her move some things around behind you. There’s a sound of glass being placed on the table. Whatever it is, it’s heavy.

“I’ll give you a sedative that should help with the pain some.” Donna says. You hear the flicking of a glass syringe.

“Just a moment.” Alcina says. There’s a pause. You feel Alcina’s large, comforting hands on your shoulders. Then, you feel her unclasp the collar she gave you and slide it off.

“I’ll be right here.” She says softly. You can hear the nerves in her voice.

“Alright. Let’s begin.” Donna says.

You feel Donna’s hands on your right arm, then the prick of that large needle. Your consciousness fades into a soft focus. It’s becoming difficult to keep your eyes open. Maybe it’s better that way. You let yourself go, drifting through the ether.

You feel her hands move your hair aside, exposing the back of your neck to the cool air of the room. She feels around your skin and then taps the spot she’s chosen. You feel something touch the spot. A blade. You feel it slide down the back of your neck to the top of your shoulders. It hurts, but you can’t seem to focus on it long enough to be truly bothered.

Then you hear a jar being opened and something wet being lifted out. You hear the writhing of something, like worms almost, but not quite. If you could move, you would squirm, but your body feels like lead.

“Now, just relax.”

You feel something small and grasping on your back, probing, then reaching. There’s more than one. The little tendrils nestle into the long incision in your neck. You feel them pushing inside of you and even with the anesthetic, the pain is immeasurable. You feel the tendrils under your skin, moving up your neck to the base of your skull. Are you screaming? You can’t tell.

“Hold her still.” Donna says. Her voice sounds like it’s underwater. You feel Alcina’s hands restrain you against the table.

The creature inside your neck burrows deeper, fusing with your spine, and forcing its way into your skull. Your vision explodes like fireworks and then everything goes black.

You’re floating now, in an infinite black void. There’s nothing past your eyes, nothing to sense, or process. Only darkness.

“Fuck.” You hear yourself say. The sound of your voice is strange and echoing. You fucking died, didn’t you? Oh well. You did your best. You close your eyes and open them, but it makes no difference.

“I’m sorry, Alcina.”

Then you hear something, no, you feel something. It’s moving. Above you? No. It’s behind you. Whatever it is, it’s fast. Your eyes grasp in the darkness for whatever it is that’s whipping around you, but it’s no use. You can’t see a thing.

You feel hot breath on the back of your neck and try to twist yourself around to see it, but there’s nothing to see in the expanse of nothingness. You hear it though. A ragged, feral sound.
A high-pitched screech fills the air, making your head ring like a bell. You feel the air move around you and the flapping of huge wings directly in front of you.

Then, you see a pair of eyes open in front of you. They glow a yellow-gold and stare directly into you, into the deepest part of you. Something inside of you wants to look away, but you deny it. You stare back, defiant, and proud. You can feel your lips curl in a snarl of your own.

Then the beast swallows you whole.

Darkness again, but now there is sound! So much sound. Your ears are filled to the brim with a cacophony of noise. It’s overwhelming and you cry out, but your voice is unfamiliar to you. A screech pierces the air. Yours?

Your eyes shoot open, but the light burns, and you shut them again, howling in pain. Speaking of which, you are in quite a bit of pain. White-hot, searing agony shoots down your legs in waves. It radiates from your arms and sides. The top of your skull feels as though it will burst.

“Can’t you—to calm her—?”

A voice. You vaguely recognize it. Heart. The words don’t make sense to you though. Just noise. So much noise.

“I’m trying! Can’t you—thrashing?”

Another voice. Unimportant. The pain fills your mind, blocking out your consciousness, then something else rises from within you. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever felt. An emptiness? No. Hunger. Clawing hunger.

You feel your body move on its own and the movement feels foreign. You feel yourself hit the floor and your arms(?) Yes, those must be your arms. Your arms reach and scratch for purchase. Your fingers(?) are so sharp that they carve through the floor like butter.

Though your eyes are closed, the room starts to take shape, with large figures hovering above you. You can hear their breath and the soft swish of their clothes. You can hear their arms moving through the air and visualize it, almost like a movie. They’re shouting.

Then something else comes into view. It’s small and skittering, like a little rat. Your instincts take over and you rush for it, clumsily. You hear the little thing scream as you wrap your powerful jaw around it. You shake it back and forth in your mouth, then spit it out. Nasty. Dead. Rotten.

No, you need something alive. You try opening your eyes again, but the light pierces. You let out another horrible screech and you hear the voices in the room yowl in pain. Hunger. Need.

You crawl across the floor, still blind, but seeing the room in sound. You need to find something to satiate your hunger, to slake your thirst.

You push yourself up onto your feet (?). Then you run. Your legs feel weird, but you’re so fast. You feel the floor beneath you and push off of it with powerful strides.

Buzzing! Buzzing all around you. You hiss and swipe at the buzzing, but you must keep going. Something grabs your arm, but you wrench it free, and shoot off into the castle. Your ears and nose are on fire, sucking in huge waves of information into your consciousness.

Then you smell it. Yes. Yes! There! Where? There! You’ve found it. You’ve found the thing that’s going to fill you up and silence the screaming need inside of you. You race towards it, taking you into the kitchen.

You sniff around wildly and bump into something. You throw it out of the way and hear the window break. A table? Doesn’t matter. Beneath it was your prey and they’re scrambling to get away from you, screaming and sobbing.

You leap onto the woman and open your fang-lined maw. You feel your teeth sink into her neck and then you taste the most indescribable, incredible thing. You hear yourself moan and suck. You must have more. You must have it all.

The thing beneath you squirms and shouts, but it’s no use. You have her in your jaws and you’re going to drink your fill. Finally, after what feels like both an instant and an eternity, you feel your mind start to settle.

You open your eyes and the light hurts much, much less, though your vision is blurry and dim. You can hear voices. Alcina’s voice. Alcina!

“Good lord, girl.” She says. You look up at her straining to see her now that your eyes are so weak. You feel something above your head turn and move in her direction and she comes in clearer.

Cassandra, Daniella, and Bela are behind her mouths agape. Daniella bursts out laughing.

“Did I win?” You ask breathlessly. Then you fall forward and pass out.

When you come to, you’re in your bed. You know this, not because you see it, but because of the smells in the room. Your vision is still dim. As you lift your head you feel air above your head somehow, like there’s something there.

You reach up to touch it and feel a pull on your arm. Even with your weak vision, you can see that your arm is not as it was. Skin hangs off of the outside of your hand and runs up your arm. It’s almost a bluish-white. You throw your hand out and see the skin move with your arm as if attached?

You rip the covers off of your torso to see more and your theory is confirmed. Huge, leathery wings stretch the length of your arms and end at the base of your torso, just above the hips. Your hands, no longer the hands you remember, are slightly longer with articulate fingers that end in sharp talons.

There are two long, jointed bones in the middle and bottom of your new wings that come out of your ribcage. You stretch your new appendage wide and let out a horrible shriek. The sound rattles the windows.

“Darling, you must stop screaming!” Alcina says, entering the room with a sweeping motion. You can see her and not see her in that new, vibrating way. Whatever is above your head twitches in her direction.

You snap your jaw shut and feel your sharp fangs. You must not scream again. You tense your jaw as tightly as you dare.

“There we go. Please, sweetest creature, do not scream.” She says. You nod slowly. You will not scream.

Alcina seems to relax a little. She sits on the bed and sighs, relieved.

“Alright. Do you know where you are?”

You nod.

“Do you know who I am?”

You nod.

You can hear her gasp very gently and then her heart quickens. She places her hand on your covered legs which are still covered by the duvet.

“Y/N, you did it.” She whispers. You feel tears spring to your eyes and drip down.

“I did it? I’m alive!” You whisper back. It’s all starting to sink in. You’re here and you’re alive. Alcina is with you. You survived the trial of the Cadou. However, the question remains, at what cost?

“How do you feel?” Alcina asks. You can tell she wants to reach out and hold you, but she hesitates, perhaps afraid she’ll hurt you. You shrug.

“Fine. Everything’s dark, but I can still see somehow.” You say, still very confused and adjusting to your newly heightened and diminished senses. The world feels entirely new to you.
You think about your weird flappy arms and take a deep, focused breath.

“I want to see myself.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

Alcina rises from the bed and you hear her move across the floor with amazing precision. Every step is so loud, but not in a painful way. It’s crystal clear. It’s like you can see it, feel it. So strange, but not unwelcome. She picks up what you can only assume is a mirror and brings it nearer to the bed.

“Let me help you.” She says and she does.

You notice that you’re still not wearing a shirt, though you don’t know how you would with that leathery skin stretching between your hips and arms. Alcina pulls back the covers and your legs are different too. Larger, more muscular than before. Your pants are in tatters and your feet? Larger, longer, and more articulate. Almost like another pair of hands in how you can move them. They’re also much paler; that same bluish-white. You flex your new feet and see that your toes extend far longer than a human’s. You’re not human anymore though, are you?

“I’m going to ask you again, not to scream.” Alcina says gently. Finally, you ask.

“Why?”

“Your voice has a rather, painful edge, we’ll say, when you scream. It’s quite unpleasant.” Alcina explains.

“Sorry.” You mumble.

“Quite alright. It’s your first day. Now come, see how beautiful you are.”

Alcina helps you out of the bed. Your body is still too new to move normally. You would stumble, tangled up in your new appendages, but Alcina patiently assists you and you move in front of the mirror.
You can’t see yourself too well, as your eyes are still dim.

“The light hurts.” You say. It still stings. Alcina makes sure you can stand on your own, then moves to the wall and shuts off the lights with their ancient switch. The effect is instant. The darkness soothes your eyes and your surroundings actually come into focus.

Your face is relatively unchanged, but your teeth have sharpened into two rows of fangs. Sprouting out of the top of your head are two large, triangular ears. No wonder you can hear so well. You reach up to find your old ears, but your claws scratch your face. You hiss in pain.

“Easy, there. Take it slow.” Alcina says.

Black, viscous blood drips down the side of your head. Your old ears aren’t there anyway. The wound closes up before your eyes. Ok. So there are some pros and cons to your situation. Still. It’s harrowing to see yourself so…different.

You’re actually rather grotesque, aren’t you? Your lip trembles and you sniffle. Alcina picks you up and cradles you in her arms, fairly certain you can handle the contact.

“No, no, my precious girl. Don’t cry.” She croons. You pull your wings around you like a blanket instinctively and hook your fingers together.

“I’m a monster.” You whisper. Alcina shakes her head at you.

“No, Y/N, you’re wonderful. You just need to get to know the new you.” She assures you. She shifts you into one arm and then brings her hand to your ears. She gives them a little stroke and you shiver.
Woah. You press into her hand and she gives your ear an affectionate scratch. You feel your leg kick. Ok. That’s pretty nice.

“Besides, having wings and drinking blood doesn’t make you a monster.” She says with a wink. You smile a little. It’s much harder being on the other end of that line, but what choice do you have? This is your life now.

Then you remember. The woman in the kitchen. You caught her and ate her. Fuck.

“I killed a servant.” You gasp. Alcina sighs.

“Yes, you did. Tore the castle apart on your way too, but it’s no big deal. Such things are to be expected. You’ll get used to the hunger.” Alcina says tenderly. She brings you up to her lips and kisses your forehead softly.

“I’m just so glad you’re alive.” She whispers. There are tears in her eyes. You would reach up to wipe them away, but you’re not used to the talons, so you crane your neck kiss them away. You press your cheek against hers.

The two of you stay like this for a little while, just being together. Soaking in each other’s presence. The trial is over. You survived and you’re together with nothing to threaten that. Sure, you’ve definitely got some things to get used to, but you’ll get used to it.

After a time Alcina kisses your forehead affectionately again.

“I must admit, watching you chew on Angie was rather cute.” She offers. Is that what that horrible taste was? Makes sense.

She puts you down on your shaky legs.

“Donna was furious.” She says. You shrug and turn back to the mirror.

“Well, that’s just too bad.”

You twist and turn at yourself in the mirror, then extend your arms to see the full effect of your wings. You have wings. Like, proper wings. You wonder if you’ll be able to fly. You wiggle the bones that stretch out of your ribcage and then discover that they bend backward. You wiggle them some more and manage to tuck the majority of your new wings into your back. You still have the use of your arms and you feel a small measure of normalcy looking at your silhouette.

Well, except for your new legs, but they offer your form a new curvature that you don’t mind. The muscles are certainly welcome and your ass looks pretty damn muscular.

“You know, I’ve been calling myself a rabbit all this time.” You say flicking your long ears back and forth.

“Rabbit doesn’t quite fit anymore, my dear. More of a bat, I think, and it’s quite fitting.”

You extend your wings once more just to feel it and actually start to smile. You did it. You really fucking did it. The moment really hits you. Your old life is gone and your new one is yours forever now. You sniffle and carefully bring the back of your hand up to wipe your tears.

“I don’t mean to cry so much.” You mumble. Alcina leans down over your shoulder and looks at you through the mirror.

“You’ve been so strong. You cry as much as you like.”

You wheel around to face her and kiss her with everything you have, which is quite a bit more than you started out the day with. She reaches around you and pulls you in even tighter, deepening the kiss. Your tongues dance between your mouths caressing and savoring. When you finally pull away, you gaze into her gorgeous golden eyes.

“I love you.” You say.

“I love you too.” She says right back.

Chapter Text

The first few days after your transformation are the most difficult and the most chaotic. You have to relearn how to walk and though this is the same castle you’ve lived in for nearly a month, everything feels so incredibly new.

Halls you’ve walked a hundred times are now tactile adventures full of vibrant smells and subtle movements. Paintings you’ve gazed at for hours show you new things. You can smell how long ago they were painted, for example, and what types of paint were used.

And the sounds! Oh, the sounds. The world is one enormous symphony to be soaked up. You’ve listened to music on some pretty nice headphones in your life, you were a bit of an audiophile before. Not even the nicest cans have anything on your new ears. Seeing through your ears feels like it will never get old.

Not to mention the fact that you’re still changing, though it’s much slower. Bits of fur start growing in, covering your neck, ears, and calves for starters. It makes your old collar pretty uncomfortable, and you have to stop wearing it.

Alcina has the seamstress make you some special clothes that accommodate your generous wingspan and powerful legs, though you learn to pull your wings in tightly enough to wear human coats. Just in case. You’re both a little sad about the collar, but she insists she doesn’t need it to know you’re hers anymore. It still bothers you. Oh well.

On the second day, you become entirely nocturnal and quickly realize that Lady Dimitrescu and her daughters never actually sleep. They just sort of, settle for a few hours when they get tired. You do notice that they shift their resting times to the day with the intent of seeking out more time with you, even the girls.

Though, to be fair, you’re mostly keeping to yourself. Just for a little while. You feel strangely vulnerable in your new body and don’t say more than a handful of words for a few days. Alcina worries about you and even fusses over you for a bit before you promise her that you just need some time. You need to find your feet so that you can stand beside her once more. You’re not going anywhere, just pulling yourself together.

You spend a few nights alone on the rooftops, gazing longingly at the skyline, and wondering when you’ll be able to touch it. You listen to “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone on a loop well into the morning while snow drifts down. Thankfully, you had one of those tablet pens in your suitcase since your fingers don’t work on the phone anymore seeing as you’re now a vampire…or not-vampire…Whatever.
Honestly, your phone speakers are pure shit. You wonder if you’ll ever be able to treat your ears to a real sound system again. You wonder if you’ll ever venture out beyond the castle and its grounds. You wouldn’t even consider it if Alcina and her daughters were against it, of course, but you wonder, and you dream.

You also long to fly. Your first attempt at flight is absolutely pathetic, but thankfully you’re alone. You jump from the rooftop to the balcony and land flat on your face. Your arms simply aren’t strong enough to carry you yet, but you’ll get there. It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day. It’s a new life for you. All that.

By the end of your first week in your new form, you’re relatively comfortable, and ready to rejoin the castle properly. You’ve taken to sleeping in the rooftops, hanging in the belfry. The irony does not escape you or Alcina, who teases you for it on your way to your evening breakfast.

“You’re really taking this bat role quite seriously, my love.” Alcina says with a little laugh.

“Have you ever known me to do anything half-heartedly?” You ask.

“Before we go into the dining room, I have a gift for you, a prize, really, for your miraculous transformation.” Alcina says warmly. You tuck your wings back a little bashfully.

“You must stop spoiling me like this.”

“Not a chance.”

“At least let me catch up.” You say. She shakes her head and presents you with a little rectangular box. You take it graciously and flip open the lid. A pair of silver, beautifully filigreed spectacles with dark shades rest in a bed of velvet.

“For your precious eyes, my love.”

You let out a loving sigh and put them on. The lights in the hall soften and the strain behind your eyes fades. You don’t begrudge the others for wanting lights on in the castle at night. You’re the only one who can see in the dark like you do, after all. It has been a bit difficult for you though, giving you headaches. No more.

“They’re perfect, my Lady.” You say. Then you stretch up to your full height on the tips of your long toes and though you’re still not nearly as tall as Alcina, she doesn’t have to stoop so low anymore. You kiss.

“Ew, Mother!” Cassandra whines as she passes you to get into the dining room. Daniella makes a gagging sound as she walks by. Bela, however, lingers behind them. She clearly has something to say.

“Mother, may I have a moment with the hu—with Y/N?” She asks coolly. Alcina looks from you to Bela and then back.

“Of course.”

Alcina takes her leave and you’re alone with Bela for the first time in what? Probably forever. You don’t think you’ve ever been alone with her outside of your highly structured combat training sessions. You look at her a little nervously from behind your new shades.

“You wanted to talk to me?” You lead gently. Bela crosses her arms.

“Congratulations.”

“Thank you, Bela.”

“I’m glad you didn’t die or turn into one of those horrible, mindless beasts.”

“That means a lot coming from you.” You say gently and you mean it. Bela sighs.

“Whatever. You’re like a bad vampire caricature.” She snaps before moving towards the dining room doors. She stops though and looks back.

“You do make her so happy. I’ve never seen her like this. You know I saw her singing in the gardens? Mother. Singing. Just don’t fuck this up.” She says finally. You crack a smile.

“I’m eternally devoted to your mother. Possibly literally at this point.” You realize. Bela rolls her eyes at you.

“I’m never calling you ‘Father’.” Then she throws open the doors to the dining room and buzzes off, leaving you howling with laughter. Can you imagine?

You go in and wait to be invited to sit, as you always do, but the invitation doesn’t come. You look up at everyone and everyone is looking back at you, waiting. You sheepishly take your seat and start to really feel like part of the family.

You look around at the women at the table. They are your family now. You start to choke up a little bit, but clear your throat loudly to hide it. Man, when did you get so sentimental? You cough.

“You good?” Daniella asks. You nod.

“Yeah.” You squeak.

Lady Dimitrescu claps her hands.

“Tonight is a special night. It is the night we welcome back our beloved, Y/N, from her journey beyond the darkness to find her power!” Lady Dimitrescu announces. The girls clap and you give a little bow.

“And to celebrate this glorious occasion, we shall be enjoying some of my private stock.”

From the direction of the kitchen, a few servants enter the room with large dishes. They place the dishes on the table, looking a bit pale, but you barely notice. Your senses are filled to the brim with the smell of it all and it smells absolutely divine.

You look at each of the serving dishes with keen interest. The servants bolt from the room as quickly as they dare.

“Tonight we have black pudding, blood sausage, and a slightly modified Czarnina. We also have choice cuts of filet and tenderloin steak for Bela and Cassandra. Daniella, I procured for you some ribs. I know how you like them.” Alcina explains. You know what the “slightly modified” bit means and maybe you would have been bothered by this a few months ago. Right now, you’re practically drooling on the table cloth.

“The blood used in these dishes is, of course, that of the most delicate virginal creature I have ever tasted. The meat is locally sourced from a very strapping farmhand. Now, no celebration is complete without a toast.”

Alcina pours herself a glass of wine and then serves some to you. It’s so personal, so strangely touching to watch her fill your cup. You know how special this is and how she would never do it for just anyone. She fills glasses for her daughters as well, then she stands at her great height. You go to stand as well, but she stops you with a hand.

“Tonight we feast and drink to celebrate our new family, now stronger than ever. Family is the most important thing in this world to me, as you all know, and I could not be happier to welcome Y/N. Y/N came to us as nothing more than a little morsel, but she has grown into a woman that I respect and trust. The iubesc cu toata inima. I love you with all my heart.”

You catch the bit of Romanian and think back to where you’ve heard it before. Cheeky woman. The girls squirm a little at the cloying sweetness of it all, but even they are smiling. Alcina raises her glass high.

“Noroc!” She cheers. You repeat this. Then you all drink. The warmth of the wine is nothing compared to the warmth already inside of you.

“Now, let us—”

“Wait. If I may?” You say gently. Alcina nods and takes her seat. You get up and hold up your glass. You’ve learned how to be a bit more delicate with your claws enough so to hold the stem of the wine glass.

“Wow. I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful welcome. Really. I’m over the moon.” You say with a chuckle. Don’t you dare cry!

“A few weeks ago I decided to book myself a little vacation. I was miserable. At the end of my rope. Ready to throw it all away and hoping that this little trip to a remote Romanian village would remind me that life is worth living. I admit now, that I had no idea what was in store. Being kidnapped by peasants and dragged to a mysterious castle where a magnificent woman and her amazing daughters awaited me. No, I could not have guessed that one.”

Everyone titters at your little joke.

“But I couldn’t be happier that it happened. I cannot wait for the next few weeks, then the months after that, and even the years. I’ve never believed I could ever really be happy or appreciated. I’ve always hidden myself from the world. But you, all of you, have always accepted me as I am, even now in this new life I’ve been given. I’ve never felt insignificant, even when I was only a little rabbit running around underfoot. You’ve shown me that life is, indeed, worth living and you have my eternal thanks.”

You’re doing your best not to cry as you raise your glass as high as you can, but you can see Alcina’s eyes glistening. Cassandra looks a little choked up too. Bela clears her throat. Daniella, however is tapping her fingers eagerly on the table.

“Ok. We get it. You love us. We love you. Great. Let’s eat!” She groans. You laugh and Alcina does too.

“Cheers!” You shout. Everyone drinks.

“And now, let us feast!” Alcina declares.

The table springs to life with everyone helping themselves to the spread. It’s a gorgeous sound, punctuated with the clinking of utensils on plates and laughter. This is your family and you are home.

“I must say, the pudding is particularly good. Definitely detecting some coriander. Saffron. Cardamom.”

“Your tongue is even more talented than before, my dear.” Alcina purrs. Even Bela pulls a face at this one.

“We’re eating.” She mutters. Everyone laughs.

By the end of the feast everyone is talking amicably and comfortably. You don’t want it to ever end, but there are more things to discover. Alcina dismisses the girls and tells you to meet her in the gardens with your phone.

You set off to find them with more than a little spring in your step. You hum “Una Voce Poco Fa” to yourself as you go and feel a kinship with opera heroines and their gumption. Sweet and pliant you may be when it suits you, you do have a way of getting what you want.

The gardens are to the far end of the castle grounds and though you imagine they’re far grander in the spring, you appreciate the carefully carved statues and snow-laden stones. You take out a cigarette from your case and light it. You’ve gotten a lot more dexterous with your new fingers.

You hop onto the edge of one of the fountains and hop from foot to foot. You’ve gotten more dexterous in general. You know you’ve gotten stronger too, naturally, in the last few days since your sad attempt at flight. Your body seems to be picking up muscle easily. It’s a nice side effect of your change.

You let yourself fall onto your hands and do a few pushups. Then, you kick your legs out from behind you and push into a handstand. You let your wings fall open and take a few steps. Better than it was. You consider attempting flight again, but a voice stops you.

“My, my.” Alcina purrs from the garden’s edge. Startled, you fall onto your back with a loud grunt. How did she sneak up on you? You get up and dust yourself off.

“Testing your strength, dear?” She asks. She has a tray in her large, capable grip. There’s an ornate silver object in the center along with a teapot, a few tin boxes of spices, and two little porcelain cups.

You sniff the air and your eyes light up, suddenly ravenous again.

“I’m eager to get up in the air, my Lady.”

“And you will. We’ll have you work with the girls and get you into flying shape in no time.” Alcina promises. She places the tray on the edge of the fountain you were just playing on and takes a seat.

You sit as well and wait. You also get a better look at the large silver urn. It has the Dimitrescu crest emblazoned on the side and has intricate gold details throughout. It’s beautiful.

“When I was a girl, my father used to bring me out to the gardens to help him prepare the samovar. He didn’t like having the servants do everything for him. He said it was the thing that keeps us grounded in ourselves, in our humanity. He was a hard man, always scowling over something or other, but he always looked gentle when he brewed our tea.” Alcina explains.

She lifts the lid and places some of the kindling from the tray into the chimney, then lights the samovar. The wood starts to burn pleasantly and flames poking out of the top toss shadows across Alcina’s face. You catch a glance of what she must have been like when she was human. Softer, you suspect.

“All in all, I know my father favored my brothers for their strength, but he always kept a special place in his heart for me. Even though I was dreadfully weak, sickly. He never let me succumb to my despair.” She says fondly.

You’ve never heard her speak of her family before her current one. Come to think of it, you’ve never really heard her talk about herself at all. She’s always so guarded, but this invitation into her memory is a welcome one.

“It’s hard to imagine you as anything other than formidable.” You offer.

“Ah, but I have not always been this way. Before Mother Miranda cured me with the Cadou, I suffered from a terrible affliction of the blood that left me convalescent. I swore I would never let anything make me feel vulnerable again once I was healed.”

She brings her hand across the burning flames between you and tilts your chin.

“I’m glad I made an exception. Now, I have one more gift to give you today. One that I, myself, have yet to savor, so it shall be a treat for us both.”

She reaches into her cleavage and removes a little snuffbox. She lifts the lid gently and runs the little box under her nose, then offers it to you. You take it gingerly, careful not to spill it, or disturb the contents.

You inhale and the fragrance is delicate and clean. It’s almost floral, but you’re certain, without a doubt, that this is blood fashioned into a powder.

You wait and watch as Alcina pinches some of the spices out of the tin boxes from the tray and drops them into each cup. Then, once the blood in the samovar is boiling properly, she opens the spout, and fills each cup.

Finally, she takes the snuffbox from you and taps a bit of the powder into each teacup. She hands you yours and picks up her own.

“I gave up on finding love a long time ago, truth be told. I didn’t think that anyone would ever impress me again, much less keep up with my foolishness.” She offers.

“I merely rose to the challenge given to me by a veritable goddess. An ingenue is nothing without her maestro.” You offer back.

“Well said, Octavian. Now, drink.”

You chuckle a little at this reference. If you are the Count Octavian from Der Rosenkavalier, then who is she? The aging princess or the young Sophie? You take a sip of the tea she has prepared and know that with her ample character, she generously encompasses both.

The flavor of the blood is reminiscent of the meal, but you can pick out the crisp bite of the powdered blood she added. It’s almost sour, tart, but it compliments your palette perfectly.

“Whose blood did you add to the cup, my love?” You ask, aerating it a bit in your mouth to maximize the flavor.

“Mine.”

You pause. Hers? But…how?

“I had it extracted and preserved before my change. In retrospect, I don’t know why I did it. Narcissism, perhaps.”

This is Alcina’s blood? It’s just like her in so many ways. Precious, complex, with just a little bite.

“Now, come, put something on and dance with me.” Alcina says. You take another sip and roll the warm liquid over your tongue.

“With pleasure.”

You put on your most romantic playlist. Trumpets whine out and Ella Fitzgerald’s voice drifts out from your phone bringing her rendition of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" to drift throughout the air. 

Alcina steps into the dry fountain and leads you by the hand onto the side of it.

You step up onto the side, rising to meet her. You’re nearly at eye-level now. As Louis Armstrong’s voice joins the song, you’re gently swaying together. You can’t get enough of her touch, nor the caress of her breath on your shoulder as she pulls you in close. You love her for all the things she is both frightening and soft.

As the song ends, Etta James starts up with a flare of sassy horns. You part to dance with a little more swagger. You mouth along with the words and you’re delighted when you see her do the same. She really does like the music you play for her.

I don’t want you to be no slave.
I don’t want you to work all day.
But I want you, to be true
And I just want to make love to you!

Doing a proper dance to this song proves difficult with the lack of space on the edge of the fountain, so you hop down, and beckon her closer. She swings her hips as she climbs out of the fountain towards you. The bump of her substantial curves is enough to bring back a familiar feeling to your body. Your core alights.

She stokes the fire with a slow turn around you. She takes your hand and spins you slowly, taking in the sight of you appreciatively. Your ember’s become a blaze, slowly climbing to your usual inferno. Wait a minute.

“Your wiles seem to be defying my, uh, present circumstances.” You offer huskily.

“Oh?”

She runs her fingers down your special tunic top with one hand, undoing the clasp at the base, and then snaking back up to your breast. Her other hand rubs the top of your ear with just enough pressure. Fuck.

“I thought I couldn’t feel this way anymore, my Mistress.” You gasp.

“I never said that, darling. Considering it’s you, I’m not surprised that your appetite for sex hasn’t been stifled. My little whore of Babylon.” She murmurs, pulling your top off.

“You flatter me.” You purr.

“You don’t remember your first hunt, nor your first meal, but I assure you that there are simply more appetizing activities than rutting for the likes of us. Human bodies are made for fornicating, to stimulate their copulation instincts, but us? You and I are made for other…exercises. Our truest instinct is to devour. To slake our thirst.” She says, reaching into your pants at last. She finds the slick wetness you both know is there.

“I’ll settle for this in the meantime, my Lady.” You whisper urgently. She picks you up and brings you to the side of a nearby statue, propping you up with it. She leans in and trails kisses down your neck. She stops and presses you against the statue.

The night lights up behind her and you marvel at the silence of the snowy landscape. It serves as the perfect backdrop for her Venetian figure.

“Now, do me a favor, pet.”

“Anything.”

“You can moan and sob all you like.” She murmurs as she fills you to the knuckle. You can feel your talons dig right through the marble you’re holding onto.

“But?”

“But…”

She pumps in and out of you, bouncing you gently against the statue behind you.

“Don’t fucking scream.”

You would laugh, remembering how dangerous your screams can be, but you’re not able to. Your throat is tight with one of those sobs she mentioned. After a few minutes of her relentless assault, you realize that this is actually quite different than it was before.

As much as it is a series of physical sensations that leave you breathless, it’s also stirring something up from the depths of your being. She grabs your throat and you feel a low growl rumble up from within you.

“That’s it.” She urges. The marble cracks beneath your grip below you.

She fucks you harder and you feel your muscles ripple and go taut. She tightens her grip around your neck. You snarl and the look in her eyes is positively feral. You gnash your teeth at her. Snap your jaw.

“Come on!” She taunts. Her fingers pound into you, dominating you, but you fight it. You strain against her powerful grip. You throw your wings open and flap them powerfully. She slams you even harder against the statue and you feel it crumble behind you.

You fall back onto the ground, but you’re up in an instant, legs extended and ready to run. This time, however, you’re not planning to run away. No, you run towards her and leap.
The impact is heavy, even for her, but she throws you off with the force of a speeding train. The long talons on your toes drag through the flagstones in a long carved line. You bare your teeth and let out a guttural howl.

“Yes!” She cries wildly.

You leap at her again, faster this time, and you knock her onto her back. You’re on top now. You bury your claws into her chest to rip open her dress and the lacy bra beneath. Her nipples grow taut in the chill of the night air. She gasps and you see a rosy color rise in her cheeks. Her hat has fallen from her head, but she doesn’t even notice.

She sits up and you lose your footing, which she takes full advantage of by knocking you back onto the stones. She rises up above you, towering over you. Her aura radiates strength, but it only revs your engine.

You push back and roll back onto your feet, ready to leap again. She’s ready for you and you see her brace her legs for the impact, but you’re not looking to topple her again. You lunge and slash through the rest of her dress. You both watch as the fabric falls to the ground.

Then you race off into the gardens, picking up speed. You’re going to try it. You’re going to do it. It’s time to take wing and fly!

You can hear her close the distance behind you, but you’re actually faster with your digitigrade legs. You hear her pulling in large bursts of air into her huge lungs as she chases after you. You’re forcing her to exert herself, pushing her to places she hasn’t been in years, perhaps even places she’s never been.

You focus all of your might into your legs and coil them down like springs beneath you. Then, just as she touches the back of your hair, you leap. Then, you flap. You flap as hard as you can and you can feel the tendons in your biceps and triceps stretch. You feel the air rush around you as you go higher.

You’re flying! You forget yourself for a moment and let out a triumphant screech.

A low rumble thunders beneath you and you remember what you’re doing. You turn in the air and see her. Alcina is looking up at you, beaming with joy at your achievement. Her hair is wild. Her cheeks are red. Her mouth is open and wanting.

You quickly get a little distance, then turn and drop your wings for a dive. You shoot down, gaining speed, and heading right for her. You crash into her with full force and she pulls you to the ground with her. You roll together, wrestling for power, clashing fiercely.

It’s a vicious bout and you can see that you’re actually starting to wear her down. She finally gets on top of you and straddles you to keep you there. You thrash and hiss, but she’s still stronger than you. Thankfully, you’re far quicker.

She shifts her weight for just a moment to get her bearings and you use the talons on your toes to pull yourself down towards her cunt. It’s still hidden behind a veil of white lace, but you quickly tear it away with your teeth.

You see the muscles of her abdomen clench and you grin. The upper hand is yours. You lean up into the sweet folds of her sex and take your prize.

“Cazzo!” Alcina cries. Ooh, a little Italian. You stretch your long tongue into the sopping wet flesh and swirl it around. You pay special attention to the bud as well, sucking and running your teeth against it.

“Baise moi!” She moans. French now. Very nice.

She sits back nearly crushing your ribcage in the process, but she remembers herself, and gives you enough space to wriggle out from under her. You crouch before her, no longer prey, but a predator all your own.

Her breath comes in ragged pants and her eyes are practically glowing with need. You push her onto her back and spread her legs apart, anticipating the adventure to come. She watches you do it, watches as you wrench the control away from her. You can tell this is unexpected, unprecedented, previously believed impossible. No matter. You thrive on impossible.

You bring your talon to the inside of her thigh and run it down in a long gash that heals as you make it. You bring your mouth to the right of her sex and sink your fangs into the bluish-white flesh. Her thighs threaten to crush you, but you throw your wings up to defend yourself.

There’s nothing really to drink, but it’s not about that right now. It’s about claiming her, marking her. As much as Alcina has made you certain that you are hers, you are now showing her that she is also yours.

Patience is not her strong suit though and she reaches down to grab you by the hair. You move to her slippery wet cunt and feast.

Your tongue charts a course to her orgasm driving her there with every thrust and flick. She moans loudly into the night at a pitch you’ve never heard. Her soprano soars, hitching higher and higher. You can hear snatches of what you know to be her mother tongue spill from her mouth. She’s close.

Her back arches off the ground and then slams back down. You do your best to hold her still to continue and you manage…somewhat. She’s bucking against your mouth and you’re certain that if you were human, your neck would have snapped by now.

She freezes, her eyes wide. Her mouth forms a scream, but nothing comes out but orgasmic silence. You feel her walls clench around your tongue as you massage the spot that brings even titans to their knees, even monsters.

Finally, it is over and Alcina is slain in all her glory. You wipe your mouth and climb up on top of her.

“Hi.” You say. You are so pleased with yourself.

She looks positively spent, but she reaches up and wraps her arms around you.

“You are—I don’t know. I don’t have anything.” She says still panting a little. You are so, so pleased with yourself.

You nuzzle against her chest and rest. You’re pretty tired too. This has been a wonderful night so far and you’ve both learned something very valuable. Creatures such as yourselves can still engage in pleasures of the flesh. Your games can continue, though you suspect they’ll be quite different.

Later, once you’ve both rested, you return to your tea to find it congealed.

“No matter. Let’s get dressed and enjoy some wine.” Alcina says.

Sneaking back into the house would be a hilarious affair, but Alcina charges you with retrieving clothes for both of you. You fly up to her room, delighted that you’re able to manage it, and gather what you need before returning gallantly.

“You forgot the underthings.” Alcina says.

“No. I didn’t.” You throw back with a wink. She rolls her eyes at you.

“I should have known you would be insufferable.”

“Vexing, even.” You offer.

“Always.”

Once dressed, you make your way into the library with a bottle of wine to relax. Alcina settles on the large chaise lounge as she always does and you climb in beside her to lay in her lap. The two of you sit in silence as she pours some wine for herself and sips it.

“So what did you mean when you said that 'I’d understand' and all that. You made me think I’d never come again.”

“Well, to be honest, I’d given up on the idea of letting you…pleasure me. I knew that if I told you the truth, you'd see it as another challenge and I didn’t even want to entertain it.”

“Why?” You ask with furrowed brow.

“Sex is a frantic thing and I knew that if I lost myself in the sensation it would likely result in your untimely demise.” She says a little sad. You suspect there have been casualties.

You sit up and take her hand.

“Yet here I am, all in one piece.”

You kiss her knuckles and bring her palm to your cheek. She runs her thumb across your skin.

“Besides, I wasn’t lying when I said that it’s not really one of our base instincts. I do think you’ve corrupted me.” She says wryly.

You gasp dramatically and throw your hand across your forehead.

“No! It can’t be.”

“Oh, I’m afraid so.”

“Not the impenetrable, unconquerable Countess Dimitrescu!”

“Hush, you knave.”

"Your knave, though, and you are my Queen." You say.

She leans in and gives you a kiss.

"You will see what I mean when you feed on a living creature though, I assure you. Orgasms are but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to pleasure."

You pass the rest of the night together chatting and napping. Alcina is much easier with you now than when you first arrived at the castle. You’re certainly different too. You quietly decide that change is a good thing, but you don’t realize that you may have been naive in this conclusion.

The next night, you are awoken by a tender hand on your face. It’s a little early for you and you can see the dusk has not yet properly settled into the sky.

“Wake up, my darling. We have a meeting.”

Your visit to the stables is quite different this time around. Though you have no trouble showing yourself in front of the stable hand, the horses want nothing to do with you. You decide to meet Alcina at the audience hall. You remember where it is. How could you forget?

She gives you a peck on the cheek and you give her one back, then you race off into the wind. You leap and sure enough, you’re in the sky. You soar higher, watching as the village shrinks away from you. It’s hard not to giggle and take your time, but you don’t want to keep Alcina waiting.

You land at the entrance to the steps that lead down into the audience chamber and see Lady Beneviento making her way towards you. You bow politely.

Angie scampers up behind her, but stops when she sees you, and clutches at her master’s skirts. You grin.

“Why Lady Beneviento, it’s so nice to see you again. I do apologize for my less than civil behavior upon our last meeting. I had not yet adjusted to my new…appetites.”

Donna looks down at Angie from behind her veil and gently pulls her skirt out of the little doll’s hands. You look down at Angie and offer her your clawed hand.

“I owe you an apology as well. Please forgive me for well, handling you roughly.” You say. Angie stares at you unblinkingly, but you’re not scared of dolls anymore. You’re not scared of anything.
“You know what? You’re alright, kid.” Angie says. Though you can’t see it, you suspect Donna is smiling. They descend into the chamber together.

You light a cigarette and wait for Alcina to arrive. You forgot to ask her what the meeting was about, but you’ll soon find out. All in all, you’re a little surprised she invited you, but you take it as a testament to her trust in you. You hear a whistle.

“Well, well, well. Little maiden’s all grown up.”

Heisenburg. You puff on your cigarette.

“Can I help you, Lord Heisenburg?” You ask coolly. He chuckles darkly, slinking from the shadows.

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” He says, pointing at your shades. You scoff.

“They were a gift from Lady Dimitrescu and I only have eyes for her.”

“Oh, I bet you do. You let me know when you get tired of my sister’s frozen cunt. I'll warm you up real nice.”

Fury boils in your belly and your face twists into a sneer.

“Why are you so fucking awful?” You snarl. Heisenburg raises his eyebrows at you.

“You’ve got some nerve, I’ll give you that, but you’re way out of your league. The super-sized bitch won’t always be around to save you.” He says evenly.

Before you can escalate further, Alcina arrives on horseback.

“And thus, the baby bat is saved by the bigger, bitchier bat.” Heisenburg says. Then he descends the stairs. Alcina puts a hand on your shoulder.

“I know you’re more powerful now and I know how he is, but you must not engage him. Heisenburg is dangerous.” She says softly.

“I don’t like the way he talks about you.” You growl. Alcina raises her eyebrow at you.

“Dragons don’t spare a thought for the words and opinions of little men. Nor should you.” Alcina says firmly. She then starts towards the entrance to the stairs.

You shake off your irritation and put out your cigarette before following her into the chamber. Dragon? Wait a minute. You thought she was a bat.

You don't know whether she's being literal or figurative with that one, but you don't have time to ask. The Lords of the Village and Mother Miranda await.

Chapter Text

Alcina leads you into the audience chamber where everyone has gathered, including Mother Miranda herself. You are the last to arrive.

“Alcina! I see that Donna’s work on your maiden was quite successful.” Miranda says. She glides towards you with her particular, peculiar manner and you stop. She approaches you quickly and you feel the metal of her claw-like jewelry on your chin.

“Yes, Mother Miranda. Donna performed her part quite skillfully. I must, however, attest to the strength of character that Y/N has displayed.” Alcina says. She’s practically beaming, showing you off before the other lords.

You’d blush if you weren’t so nervous about being under Miranda’s scrutiny, but you’re feeling pretty darn confident. She has yet to release your chin and you can feel the golden claw start to pierce your skin. You barely notice.

“I see. And tell me, little one, where does your allegiance lie?” Miranda asks dangerously. Three sets of black, feathery wings spread from her back.

Without thinking, you reply, spreading your own wings with a flourish, hoping to delight her.

“With Countess Dimi—”

Miranda flings you back into the wall with an unexpected wave of her hand. You hit the wall hard and feel the stones crack and split from the impact. Your head rings as you fall to the floor, dazed.
Moreau lets out a panicked wail. You hear Alcina’s frantic voice.

“Mother Miranda, please! She is but a novice, newly born. She merely forgot herself for a moment. I —”

“Silence. I am certain she will not forget where her loyalty truly lies again.” Miranda says coldly.

You sit up and push yourself back to your feet, still woozy. Your shoulder is broken from where she struck you and it will take a few minutes to heal. Practically pulverized from just a flick of Miranda’s finger. You slink back to Alcina’s side and keep your head down. Your ears are open and listening though.

You see Heisenburg’s laugh echo around you and can even pick up nervous swallowing from Moreau. Angie and Donna are as still as the dead. Alcina is shaking gently with rage.

Miranda, however, is nearly impossible to see with your ears. Her movements are so subtle and her heart so quiet that she’s nearly invisible to you. It’s oddly unnerving.

“Now, the reason I have brought you here tonight is this.”

You hear four jars come to rest on Miranda’s wooden podium.

“These are the keys to our salvation! Soon we will have a ceremony and my true daughter will be reunited with me at long last. Each of you will take one and keep it safe until the time is right.”

She addresses everyone in the room but you. You have disappointed her. You wonder if you will be punished further or worse, Alcina will be punished for your hubris.

You hear each of the lords move and take one of the flasks, but Alcina’s heavy steps stop at the altar. You look up and tense your muscles, softly coiling into action. Broken shoulder or not, you can’t let Miranda touch her. Metallic fear spreads across your tongue, but feral rage courses through you too.

“Alcina, a moment, please. The rest of you can go.”

You hear Moreau and Heisenburg make a relatively quick escape, though Heisenburg sends one more peal of laughter your way.

Donna and Angie take a little more time to go, almost as if they want to say something on your behalf, but they decide against it, too afraid perhaps. However, as she passes you, you start to feel light. The tension in your mind softens a little and the sight of the room starts to slip from your ears.

Lady Beneviento puts her hand on your good shoulder for a moment, but Mother Miranda clears her throat, and Donna hurries away. For once, Angie has nothing to say.

Whatever fuzziness you’d felt slips away just as quick as it came. Your attention returns to Alcina and to the wrath of Mother Miranda.

“Hear me, girl, and hear me plainly. You may be the Queen of your little domain, but I am God. You owe everything from your life to that of your precious little maiden’s to me, and me alone. Do not test my generosity again.”

“Of course, Mother.”

You hear Alcina pick up the flask from the altar and turn towards you.

“Oh, and little maiden?” Miranda says airily. You drop to your knees instinctively, head bowed low. You feel your bone finish snapping itself back into place.

“Congratulations on your success. Welcome to the family. Now, both of you, get out.”

Alcina wastes no time in making her way to the stairs and you scurry after her. Mother Miranda is far more terrifying than you originally thought. You won’t forget this.

Thankfully, Heisenberg is not waiting for you this time. No one is. Only Alcina’s horse and the chill of the wind.

“I will see you back at the castle.” Alcina says softly. You watch as she mounts her horse and gallops off to the castle. Your heart stops. Have you made her angry?

You take off into the sky, worrying your lip to bleeding with your teeth. How could you have been so foolish? So proud? You should have heeded Alcina’s warning from your first meeting and stayed cautious, but you didn’t. No, you thought that your clever bullshit would win the day like it always does.

You sigh angrily. Then again, if Mother Miranda as good at spotting lies as Alcina mentioned, it wouldn’t have mattered what you said. Your allegiance is with Countess Dimitrescu come hell or high water.
You land near the stables of the castle and listen for Alcina’s approach. You’ll just have to apologize and figure out how to make room in your heart for your loyalty to your new leader.

Alcina’s close. You can hear the hooves of her horse carve out divots in the snow. You see her and she looks furious.

She practically flings herself off of the horse once she’s close enough and pulls you into her arms immediately.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Alcina. I don’t know—”

“It’s alright. It’s alright.” Alcina insists. You grip her fiercely letting yourself finally feel the fear you felt in the chamber.

“I can’t believe I was so stupid to—”

“It’s alright, my love. It’s over now.” Alcina says. You pull yourself back enough to look at her face, searching for signs that she is disappointed in you. You see anger, but you now know it is not directed at you.

“You must be more careful. Mother Miranda is dangerously jealous. She is actually quite god-like in that way.”

“Please don’t be angry with me.” You plead. She shakes her head and pulls you into another strong hug.

“I’m not. I was only frightened, but we’re home now. Why don’t you head up to the house and we can have a late breakfast? I need to put this away for safekeeping.” Alcina says, putting you on the ground, and pulling the flask she’s acquired from the pocket of her coat.

“What is that?” You ask curiously. Alcina shakes her head.

“A child. Well, part of one.”

You give the flask a long look, but decide that its handling is above your pay grade. You then think back to the chamber and to that strange feeling.

“By the way, I felt something strange back in the audience chamber. It was like being dipped into a dream. Very weird. Is that something Mother Miranda can do?”

“That was Donna, actually. Along with her talent for animating her little dolls, she can also create a hallucinogenic effect using her special yellow flowers. Sometimes her control slips when she’s nervous.” Alcina explains.

“Why didn’t she use it on me for the Cadou procedure? Seems like it would have been useful.”

“Well, it can make its victims, shall we say, more responsive and sedation was more important.” Alcina says diplomatically.

You give her a saucy wink.

“Responsive, you say?”

“How your salacious mind works! Now go inside before you freeze.” Alcina says with a wink.

You head back into the castle to warm up.

An ominous feeling slithers through your thoughts. Your encounter with Miranda was not pleasant in the least. Not to mention the moment with Donna’s strange power, though that wasn’t entirely bad. Kind of nice, really. Whatever.

Up to this point, you really hadn’t considered the possibility that the Lords might have powers more fantastic and strange than simple transformations. Then again, how did a creature like Angie work anyway?

You shake your head. As much as you hate to admit it, Heisenburg was right. You have no idea what the other Lords or Miranda are truly capable of. It makes you feel small again, but you flex your clawed hand with determination. Then, your long nails press into your palms as you make a fist, drawing blood.

Surely, you didn’t think that the Cadou would be your final trial? No, you knew that there would be more. Now you see the path ahead. Or at least, you think you do.

Back inside, you hear something that distracts you from your thoughts. Guitars? Drums! Your ears twitch with the familiar sound and you head off in its direction.

You sneak up to the library where the sound must be coming from, careful to keep yourself hidden.

Daniella, Cassandra, and Bela are all huddled around your phone. Ever since you revealed the existence of the magical tablet pen, you know they’ve been itching to explore the little device for themselves.
They’re listening to My Chemical Romance and you cannot stifle the outright guffaw when you realize it. It’s too on the nose, even for you.

All three of them snap around when they hear your laugh and look like they’ve been caught doing something wrong. You reveal yourself fully from the shadows and put up your hands.

“You can play with my phone. I don’t care.”

“These modern sounds are quite…thrilling.” Cassandra says.

“And the boys are so cute.” Daniella adds, holding up the phone to you. They’ve got your Spotify open to the “This is My Chemical Romance” playlist. You nod slowly.

“Millions of emo kids certainly agree with you.” You offer. They don’t know what this means, but you don’t know if you want to explain it, much less teach them to use Google.

“I preferred the other one, the nighttime wish, or something.” Bela says. Nightwish? It’s almost too weird to talk about like, regular rock bands with these strange not-vampire creatures, but you push through the awkwardness and try your best to connect.

“Nightwish.” You say. Bela nods.

You haven’t really done much connecting with the girls, really. After all, you’re not really their parent. You’re not really a friend or a sister either. It’s a weird relationship that you don’t know how to approach or deal with.

Still, you know it’s important to Alcina, so you join them where they’re sitting and do your best to answer their questions. You show them a few of your favorite bands too. The more niche, modern ones that you don’t think Alcina would appreciate. She’s a bit on the traditional side with her music. Even big band and swing were a stretch for her.

“Is this the playlist you made for Mother?” Daniella asks impishly. You raise an eyebrow.

“For my Dearest Love!” Daniella says in a teasing tone. Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” starts to play from the phone.

You redden and clear your throat.

“Yes.”

“You guys are so gross.” Cassandra assures you.

“Why? We’re in love.” You say, a little embarrassed. You kick back and try to relax into the couch.

“Just the thought of you guys like making out and—”

“You don’t have to say it.” You insist.

Being the girlfriend of a mom with kids is weird. You’ll get used to it though, you’re certain. Just have to push through the uncomfortable realizations.

“What’s it like out there, in the world?” Bela asks softly. Cassandra and Bela look up at you with an innocence that almost makes you feel older, wiser.

“Well, um. It’s different, to say the least. Good things and bad. I mean, the food is amazing. Tacos and pastas and hundreds of different kinds of cake. Beautiful, sprawling skylines packed tight with buildings and people and life.”

They settle in to listen a bit more, collecting questions in their minds.

“Museums bursting with art. Nightclubs that thump and hum all around you. Trains that take you all over the place. I don’t know, there’s a bustling, brightness to the world. It’s wonderful sometimes, but it’s also so empty too. Millions of people all around you and yet, you feel isolated. Invisible. Everyone has their own shit going on and no one cares that you just had your heart broken or lost someone important to you. You’re small, tiny really. Just a speck of nothing in a giant clusterfuck.”

Your voice picks up emotion and your body remembers the weight that you carried back then.

“And the noise. All the fucking noise. The constant demand of productivity that saturates every waking moment to the point where you hear it in your head when you’re alone. Don’t do anything you love for free! As if money is the only thing worth straining yourself for. Art? Beauty? Love? It’s all just another way to generate a fucking income. As if those piles of money will keep you warm at night!"

Your eyes are brimming with tears now.

“And all those pretty promises they make on tv are bullshit anyway. You’re just building a wall, bricking yourself into ‘security’ with the knowledge that if you stop for even one moment, the powers that be will swoop in and eat you alive! Everyone you know is fat with bread and circus, but you’re all fucking starving for something real!”

You start to cry in earnest a little, but Bela puts her hand on your knee. You sniffle and wipe your eyes. You have to pull yourself together, but you realize that your encounter with Mother Miranda shook you up more than you thought. She made you feel small again, like you’re nothing, and you hate it.

You hate it because you’ve come so far. You’ve grown so much. How can she take you back to that awful feeling so easily? With just the flick of her finger?

“What’s a taco?” Daniella asks, cutting through the tension at last.

The question snaps you from your spiral and you laugh.

“It’s a magical thing.” You say.

The girls pull you back from the edge of your despair with a litany of questions and genuine, unbridled curiosity.

Yes, there are men in the outside world and yes, they probably would like them. You tell them about concerts and backyard barbecues. About the beach and bonfires.

You’re in the middle of a story about the time in college where you were so drunk that you pissed in a bush, but Alcina clears her throat, and distracts you. You were so wrapped up in telling stories that you didn’t notice her arrival.

You lean back against the couch again and pat your lap. Alcina rolls her eyes at you and sits beside you. She lifts her arm and you tuck into her side.

“You were saying.” She says.

You chuckle nervously and tell the rest of your silly story.

“And then the RA, Resident Assistant, that I had been bribing with test answers, just told me to go home. I was so wasted though, that it took me like an hour to find my room. I walked into like 3 others. Nobody ever bothered to lock their doors. You could just walk into a room and see all kinds of shit. People passed out on the floor or fucking. It was always a lot.”

“That all sounds rather barbaric.” Alcina observes. You shrug.

“You lock a bunch of horny teenagers in a box with no supervision and yeah, freshman dorms are a very messy bacchanal. I didn’t mind it all the time though. Plenty of pretty ladies who just broke up with their boyfriends and need someone to make it all better.”

That last bit you say with a lecherous wink. Alcina shakes her head at you.

“And here I thought you were some kind of noble, Byronic hero with your speech earlier.”

“Hey! I’m plenty noble. I just have a weakness for the fairer sex.”

“An appetite, more like.” Alcina teases.

By this point, Cassandra, Daniella, and Bela are already planning their exit from the room, a little disappointed that storytime is over.

“That judgmental tone is a little hypocritical coming from you. I remember what my first night in the castle was like.” You shoot back with a chuckle.

“Oh? Think of it often, do you?” Alcina purrs.

“Ok! That’s it! I’m going to die.” Daniella cries, jumping to her feet. Cassandra and Bela follow suit, equally squicked. Blood relative or not, no one wants to think of their mother that way. They make for the door. Bela looks back briefly.

“Tell us more stories later.”

“Of course.” You say. Then, they’re gone.

You let out a long sigh and adjust to lay in Alcina’s lap. It’s a little sulky. She brushes your hair out of your face.

“You’re not invisible here, no matter what Miranda thinks or does.” Alcina says steadily. You’ve never heard her say Mother Miranda’s name without the title.

“Certainly not insignificant. Not to me.” Alcina insists. You nuzzle into her thighs.

“I know. That whole thing just, put me in a weird mood.”

You chew on the memory of the morning again. It was violating. With one little flick of her finger, Miranda popped the perfect, safe little bubble you were in. You feel a little exposed now, vulnerable, like all this could be ripped away at any moment. Even the formidable Lady Dimitrescu was treated like nothing more than an insolent child.

“Enough of this gloom. Why don’t we go out for breakfast?” Alcina says. Go out?

The image of pulling into a McDonald’s drive-through comes to mind, but the look in Alcina’s eyes paints a different picture. A bit of delight dances in her iris.

No, this won’t be a casual trip. This is another hunt.

You go to her chambers and dress for the outing, though it’s hard to know what to wear. You suspect you’ll be running. Ripping? Rending? You realize this will be your first live meal and a bit of anticipatory nervousness hits you.

Alcina notices you get quiet and helps you with your tunic in the mirror.

“This is your first real hunt, my love. Are you worried?” She asks. She runs her fingers up your back and up to your ears, fondling them gently.

“A little.”

“Why?”

“I’ve never killed anyone.” You admit.

“But you have.” She reminds you.

You think back to the snatches of memory you have about your change and the servant you drained. Nothing more than glimpses though. This is different. That was almost a crime of passion, but this is pre-meditated.

“What if I can’t do it?”

Alcina looks at you in the mirror. Her gaze is steady and piercing.

“You’ll hear the beating of her heart and the rushing of her blood in the darkness. You’ll smell her sweat, her fear. She may weep and cry out for one of her gods. None of them will come though. You will be her god. Her life will be weighed in your hands.”

Alcina brings her own hands to your throat, pressing you back into her body. You gasp softly.

“And you will take her as it pleases you. You will decide what happens next. Whether you ravish her or rip her apart. Perhaps both. Perhaps neither. You will decide.”

She releases you slowly and you take a deep breath.

“Either way, I’ll be there with you, and if it’s really too soon, then we can come home.”

You look at yourself in the mirror. Not a human shape. Not a human at all. Sharp fangs and long, beastly legs. You stretch out your wings and flex the joints.

“Let’s do this.”

The both of you make your way out of the castle and towards the village. You’re definitely nervous, but you’re also kind of excited. You can’t tell the difference in your flittering nerves. The person and beast clamor for your attention internally, both pleading their cases. But you look up at Alcina and her surety grounds you a little.

“Alright. Most of the peasants will be in bed or getting ready for it. We want to find someone who’s trying their luck with the night.” Alcina explains. You nod.

“Why don’t you fly up and take a look around the village with those powerful ears of yours and find someone for us?”

You nod again and take off into the sky. The night air is sharp in your lungs and the scent of the village fills your nostrils. Animals and spices hanging from porches. The drip of water from a faucet. You hear the people too. Snoring or talking quietly in hushed whispers.

An uneasy fear permeates every scent and rather than evoking empathy in you, it actually piques your interest. Strange. Then you hear them.

Footsteps on the edge of town, hurried and scattered. A quick heartbeat, like a rabbit’s.

You swoop back down and report. Alcina leans down from her monstrous height and kisses you.

“Now, let’s go.”

You lead your Queen to the place where you heard the maiden’s footsteps and listen again. You point and you go. Into the forest among the trees.

A new feeling is rising inside of you, urged by the fear you smell. A strange, wild madness that makes your breath come in heavier. The maiden isn’t far.

Alcina puts out hand to stop you and speaks in soft, but precise voice.

“Sneak ahead and cut her off. Then drive her back to me.” She orders.

Her tone doesn’t make room for your nerves and you obey. You dash through the forest like a ghost, leaping over branches and dancing past the trees. Where has the woman gone? There. She’s there.

You catch the scent of her. Fresh and sweet. You hear the rushing of her blood in her veins. The throbbing of her heart. Your legs move in time with the drum of it. Closer and closer.

You see her and your body fills with want. Need. Hunger.

A snarl slips out past your lips and she stops running. Frantically searching for the source of the sound. Wolves? No. Not wolves.

You feel your legs moving on their own, overtaking her with ease, and then leaping from the brush to stand proudly before her. A low growl rumbles through the air. Your own.

The maiden’s eyes are wide with terror as she takes in the sight of you. She screams and you hear Alcina moving in closer. Cornering your prey.

You take a step towards her. The scent of her terror is in your nose, muddling your thoughts.

The maiden scrambles away from you and runs back towards the hope of safety. She will only find an even bigger threat.

You dig your claws into the earth beneath you and feel every muscle in your body go taut. Your lips curl back in wide, wild grin. You chase.

The maiden’s path is straight, built only from panic. Her boots crush leaves and twigs, creating an overture of her doom. She runs and runs, then finally stops.

Lady Dimitrescu towers over her with her huge frame. Nowhere to run. End of the line.

“Well done, my pet.” She croons to you. Your body twitches, wanting to move, but the Lady hasn’t given you the order.

“Countess Dimistrescu!” The maiden cries. She knows what’s happening. She’s heard the tales.

Alcina leans down and grabs the maiden by the shoulders. She turns her around in her iron grip and holds her out to you.

“Please!” The maiden shrieks. A poor choice of words.

“You heard her.” Alcina says.

You look at her, at the woman you love, and then down to the maiden whose cheeks are stained with tears.

You wonder if this how Eve felt in the garden of Eden when the devil tempted her with forbidden fruit. The thought makes you snort. You’re not Eve, are you? Nor Adam. No. Your legacy is that of Lilith. The cursed woman who invoked the ineffable name of God and carved her own path in blood.

Alcina throws out her arm and her long, razor sharp claws split the air. She open the maiden’s throat and you lose your reason.

You lunge and you’re on her in an instant. You sink your fangs into her supple throat and you drink. You drink deep and warmth fills your mouth. So warm. So good.

The flavor is indescribable and her thrashing only thrills you. You claw at the maiden’s back, ripping her open. Yes! Yes!

Alcina leans down and inhales the scent of her life, then sinks fangs of her own into the other side of the maiden’s neck.

You hear a voice moaning into the maiden’s flesh, sending a hum through the body. You can’t tell if it’s yours or not and you feel Alcina’s hands move from the maiden’s shoulders to yours.

She’s pushing you away! Denying you your feast. You growl and clamp your jaw down harder, but her hands are strong. She sends you flying back, leaving a streak of red in the snow. You hit the ground and your head spins. No!

You throw out your wings and screech. It’s enough to stun her for a moment. You also notice the maiden’s eardrums burst and thick, wet blood drips from her ears.

You rush the pair, biting and snapping, demanding your share. You latch onto that delicious spout of life and suck hard, gulping. Barely stopping to catch a breath. No thoughts, only thirst. 

Alcina lets go and moves away. She does like to watch, doesn’t she?

But you don’t even notice.

You snake your arms around the maiden, enveloping her with your wings. You don’t notice Alcina move behind you slice through your clothes. You barely register her push you to the ground. Nothing exists by the flesh beneath you and its sweet surrender.

Alcina lifts your hips up and spreads your knees. A new desire blossoms within you and that familiar fire burns.

You feel those hands on your rear. A slap. You growl. She plunges her fingers inside you and you feel your jaw go slack. The throat slips from your mouth and you cry out into the night. It is a beastly, guttural sound.

You feel Alcina’s arm reach around from behind you and grab your waist with one hand while she fucks you senseless with the other. Her grip is a vice, closing you in, but you want more.

You strain to pick up your prey once more, but those hands won’t let you! She restrains you with her seemingly limitless power. You kick and slash the air with your claws.

Every pound of her fingers blurs your vision, but your predatory instincts kick in again. You turn on her, flipping around with a speed she can’t match, and going for her chest. You tear at it, ripping through it like paper, but it doesn't slow her down.

She brings you higher and higher, filling you to the knuckle and curling inside of you. Just before you reach the peak, she withdraws, and throws you into the trees.

You’re so quick that you catch yourself with your feet and kick off of the trunk of one of the trees towards her like a bullet. You hit her square in the back and knock her down onto her knees.

Your claws make quick work of her clothes and you plunge your fingers into her cunt. It’s wet. She is wet for you. The realization swirls your thoughts with delight.

You press past her slick folds until you’re up to your elbow in her. You give her a shake and you can feel her walls clench gratefully around you. You haven't taken her from behind before.

You hear her breath come and go in quick bursts and you make sure to flatten all the sharp edges of your arm before continuing. Then you give her one good pound. She gasps. Music.

You carefully position your hips behind your elbow for added power and then you thrust with all your strength. You slap that fantastic ass once and then again, thrilled by how she rises to meet your palm.

You fill her over and over. Your blood thunders behind your eyes. She calls out your name in a voice that is very, very unladylike.

Then you stop and give her ass one more good smack.

“If I have to wait, then so do you.” You whisper in a voice that doesn't sound like your own. 

The look in her eyes when she turns around nearly sends you over the edge right then and there. She grabs you by the hair and forces you against her sex.

“Put that pretty mouth of yours to work, brat!” She hisses.

You lick and suckle, whimpering softly as you look up at her with your wide, wanting eyes. She pants and throws her head back, moaning. You feel as though you're miles away watching this happen from somewhere up above you. 

You watch yourself pull your arm up from under you and slip back inside her. You fill her and lick her until she falls back into the snow, her back arched from ecstasy.

Her cunt clenches so tightly around your arm that you think she actually might break it, but you’ve been working out, and your muscles are more than enough for her now.

Finally, she’s spent and she rests. You’re not done though. The fire between your legs needs putting out.

So, you take her hand and place it on her stomach, fingers up. She holds them still and you climb on top of her, mounting her, and riding her.

It’s rough and quick, but you soon see stars behind your eyes and slump over her chest. She pulls out of you and placed her hand on your back.

The two of you pant together in the night. Thoroughly satiated and exhausted. 

After a few minutes you sit up and survey the carnage, coming back down to reality with a heavy, cold feeling. There’s blood everywhere. Alcina’s clothes and yours in tatters. The tree you used as a springboard has huge gashes in it. And, of course, the maiden. She lays lifeless in the snow.

“I don’t know why I didn’t think to bring a change of clothes. I should have known how this would go.” Alcina says with a little laugh.

You’re looking at the woman in the snow.

“Y/N?”

You don’t answer. You’re looking at the corpse in the snow.

“Are you alright?”

You don’t know. Caught up in the moment, you didn’t really register what you were doing. What it meant. Nothing mattered but slaking your thirst. A chill runs down your spine.

“Darling.” Alcina says gently. You look down at her. Her face is smeared with red and you know yours is as well.

“Alcina. We killed that woman.” You whisper. She reaches up and brings her hand to your cheek.

She doesn’t offer you a rationalization or any pretty words about how the woman is in a better place. She simply gives you the truth.

“We did.” She says simply. It’s a fact.

You have two choices here. You can let that fact tear you apart or you can simply accept it, like all hard truths of life. Nothing to be done about it now and you can’t pretend it won’t happen again. It’s a new world. It’s a new day. It’s a new life. All that. You want to accept it and quickly move on, back to the safety of comfort between you and your new existence. It's not that easy though.

She has you sneak into the village to procure traveling attire, which you find in the form of a forgotten sheet on a clothesline for her and a poncho for you.

You make your way back to the castle and you don’t look back, but you do spend the next few hours processing it all. You silently take a bath together and Alcina takes care of you. She washes you lovingly and then tucks you into her bed.

It’s been a little while since you’ve slept here, actually, but you’re glad to snuggle for the night. As you drift off to sleep, you consider how different things have become since you’ve come to this place. Both the wonderful and the horrifying. Life is complicated, but in the end, you wouldn’t trade it.

 

The next few days see tension growing in the castle. There are fewer and fewer servants in the halls. The village seems to be running dry of fresh meat. Something about them “turning”. You think back to the threat of becoming a beast after the Cadou procedure.

“Why is she doing this!?” Alcina hisses, slamming her fist into the dining room table.

Tensions are running higher as her private reserves of blood grow lower.

“Perhaps we can hunt outside of the village.” You offer. Lady Dimitrescu shakes her head.

“Miranda forbids us to leave this place, but then drains our wellspring, and for what? She has the child and the ceremony approaches! What good does it do to turn her followers into mindless monsters?”

She snarls.

You don’t know the answer to that and you hope that this isn’t a direct result of your insolence from the last meeting. Surely Miranda wouldn’t starve the House of Dimitrescu over something so trivial? Would she? You don’t know, but you don’t like it.

A few more days pass and there are no servants left. The castle falls into an eerie unkempt state. Alcina seethes day in and day out. Though you try to soothe her, it doesn’t work. Besides, your own mind is full of worry and thought.

The two of you fuck carelessly in the halls to pass the time. It’s oddly mechanical. Stress relief, nothing more.

The girls spend more and more time in the cellar conducting their experiments on the servants you have left once they’re drained. When you ask about it, Alcina informs you that the creatures will keep the castle safe in case of emergency.

Your family is growing weaker and you hate it. There must be something you can do, but you just can’t think of anything. Nights go by and you spend half your time brooding and the other up against the wall beneath Alcina’s powerful form. There really isn’t anything else to do and the rising anxiety is stifling.

You also start sleeping inside and many days, Alcina joins you in bed. There are creatures on the rooftops now too and you don’t care for them. When she joins you, it’s just to use her as your personal stress ball, and finally, one night you snap.

“Ok! Enough! What is up with you!?” You snap. Alcina retracts herself from your prone form in the bed and settles back on her side.

“I thought you liked it when I fucked you like this.” She snaps back.

“You’ve barely said more than a handful of words to me in as many days. What is wrong?” You growl.

You are fuse to her powder keg. She is the kindling to your match. In times of promise and plenty, this is a good thing, but on nights like this when the pantry is bare? When tempers are wearing thin?

“What isn’t wrong? The castle is a mess and we’ll be out of our minds with hunger before the year is out if we don’t do something about it.”

“Then let’s do something about it! Why are we just sitting here starving? Because Miranda says so? Fuck Miranda!”

“How dare you! Difficult as she may be, remember from whence you came, whelp.”

“Are you fucking kidding me, right now?” You say, finally getting up. After all this? Defending Miranda? Belittling you?

Hunger claws at both of you, pushing you farther into your rages.

“And don’t you dare take that tone with me! Or do you see me as a wild beast now?” Alcina shouts.

You scoff and gesture to yourself with your giant bat wings.

“Seriously?”

“You changed after we came back from our hunt last week. I know you regret it. I know you regret staying here! With me! I thought you could handle it, that you would accept it. Me! All of me!” Alcina yells.

You feel tears rise to your eyes. Alcina looks away and sniffles. You take a long, deep breath. She's not wrong. Murdering that woman and fucking casually next to her corpse has certainly been on your mind. Still.

“I think we’re all just a little stressed.”

“You don’t deny it, then.” Alcina says evenly. Another long, deep breath. You sit on the bed beside her.

“Don’t do this. Don’t pick a fight with me because you’re stressed about the castle and all the other shit. You know that’s bullshit. You know that I love you and that I’m proud to live here with you. Yes, the hunt was a lot to process, but I am processing it, and it doesn’t change the way I feel about you.” You say as calmly as you can.

Alcina looks over at you, her anger finally softening into the sincerity of her sorrow.

“I just don’t know what we’re going to do.”

“We’ll figure it out.” You sigh.

You don’t know either, but you settle back into bed beside her, and after a while, you fall asleep.

You hear the phone ring in your sleep and you feel Alcina go to get it. She returns and gives you a kiss. In your mostly sleeping form, you barely hear that she’s going to an impromptu meeting of the Lords.

You murmur something that might sound like an “ok” and turn over to escape the light of the day. Too sleepy. Fuck the Lords and fuck Mother Miranda.

Thankfully, she lets you sleep, and soon you’re gone again.

By the time you wake up, it’s evening once more. You stretch and think back to Alcina’s interruption. A meeting of the Lords? Impromptu no less. Hmm.

You hop out of the bed and dress. No matter. You’re certain she’ll tell you what happened at breakfast.

However, no one is there when you get to the dining room. It’s empty. No daughters. No Alcina. Something is wrong.

You bolt from the room, scanning the castle with your ears for signs of life. The bedroom! You race to the room and find your family exiting and locking the door behind them.

“What’s going on?”

“We have a guest.” Alcina says. She seems annoyed.

“It’s a man!” Cassandra says joyously. You nod slowly and catch the familiar scent of blood in the air.

“Ok. Couple of questions. First, why is he here? Second, why are you locking him in that room? Third, why is he bleeding?”

Alcina huffs and leads you all away, answering as she does.

“He broke in after escaping that fool, Heisenburg and his stupid games. We’ve locked him in that room so that he’ll stay put while I secure the castle and then inform Mother Miranda of his arrival. And he’s bleeding because we’ve hung him from the ceiling by his hands.”

Fair enough.

“Who is he?”

“The child’s father. The one in the flask.” Alcina snaps. You can tell that this whole thing has her on edge.

“Can I help?”

“Yes. Go up to the rooftops and make sure everyone is awake.”

Alcina must be referring to the winged creatures that live up there. Horrid things, but they’ll make for decent alarms if things go south.

“Cassandra, go down into the cellar and ready the welcome wagon. Daniella, lock all the doors that match the insignia on this key. Bela, you do the same with this key.”

Alcina hands Daniella and Bella keys. Everyone has their orders and you all go your separate ways. Honestly, things have been so tense around the place that having something to do is almost a relief. That relief is quickly dissolved when you reach the rooftops and see the long-tongued monsters flapping about. That really could have been you. You shudder to think about it.

Whatever. Your business is done. So, you head back down into the castle proper. You’re not sure what to do now exactly. Do you wait for more orders or—

A gunshot shatters your train of thought and you rush in the direction of it. You know it wasn’t Alcina or one of the girls who fired that gun. They don’t use guns.

Your ears lead you through the castle and then you hear the shattering of glass. The window’s been shot open and cruel winter air is flooding the room. You’re close, but not close enough. You strain your ears to hear.

It’s the man…and Bela. She screams in pain as more bullets hit her.

A fury, pure, and laser-focused shoots up from within you. You race to find her. You have to find her.

“Bela!” You roar.

Her cries of pain ring in your ears as you hear the gunfire again and again. No! NO!

You find them and you’re on the man’s back faster than he can register that another threat has come. You tear at his back slamming him into the ground and ripping into him with your claws.

Tears sting your eyes, but you don’t need them anyway. You’ve got him pinned and he’s nothing more than a bloody mess by the time you’re done. Nothing more than a lump of meat.

You listen for Bela. She’s there! She’s alive but badly hurt. You rush over to her and pick her up, cradling her gently.

“It’s ok. It’s ok. Let’s get you warmed up. I’m here. It’s ok.” You whisper. You pick her up and see that some of the many flies that make up her body are petrified from the cold.

You wrap your large, warm wings around her, and take her into the main hall. You rock her gently.

“Alcina! Alcinaaa!” You scream.

Bela’s not moving. Little bits of her chunk and fall off into tiny piles of ash.

Cassandra and Daniella materialize around you. One of them screams, but both of them burst into tears.

“I should’ve—” You sob.

Then you hear Alcina enter the hall. She rushes over to you and you show her Bela in your arms.

“I’m sorry, Alcina. I’m so sorry.” You sob.

Her face is hard and emotionless, but as she reaches out to touch her sweet, wounded daughter, you see her hand shake. Her lip trembles. You cannot imagine her grief.

But!

Bela stirs gently in your arms.

“Why is everyone screaming?” She mutters.

Little by little, the flies regain their color and her body comes back together. As hungry and stressed as you’ve all been lately, the sound of rejoicing is loud and lively.

Even Alcina Dimistrescu, who has never been one for recklessness gives a shout of joy.

You saved Bela and yes, you murdered the fuck out of that man, Ethan Winters.

Human or monster, you are sorely reminded that anyone is capable of anything. All the moralizing you've been doing feels foolish in the wake of Ethan's attack. You’re just glad your family is safe and whole. The rest is just noise.

Chapter Text

The day following Bela’s near-death experience is the most lively the castle has seen in a while. For starters, the scene of her assault needs tending, but you’re pretty handy with a hammer. You go about fixing up the room and covering the window.

Though the servants could do it, you're anxious to put your hands to work. 

Ethan’s body was delivered to Miranda in pieces, but much to your surprise, he was brought back whole a little while later. No one was happy to see him, but unarmed, he is nothing more than a man, if a particularly resilient one.

You lock him in the dungeon without a shred of sympathy. Tragically, he doesn’t taste very good. Alcina said it best. A bit stale.

Either way, he’s meant to stay in the dungeon until the ceremony, away from his wife who Miranda has locked in her personal jail cell. Whatever. Let him howl and cry in the dark. For all this wailing about his daughter, he certainly had no qualms about nearly taking Alcina’s. The thought brings a scowl to your face, even now.

Human or monster. We all have families. We all have things that are important to us. We all have our goals. The only thing that really matters is protecting the ones we love. Fuck the rest. Fuck it all.

And fuck Mother Miranda.

You’re hoping that once the ceremony is complete, she won’t care what you, Lady Dimitrescu, and her daughters do. She’ll have her own daughter to think about.

You finish hammering the final nail in the plank to keep the winter chill out of the room. Alcina’s just come to find you. She hangs to the back of the room.

“All finished?” She asks.

You turn and brandish the hammer, flexing your biceps. Giving her a little pageantry.

“My very own Adonis.” She muses. You smile, dropping the act.

“I love you. All of you. Nothing else matters to me anymore.” You say seriously. Alcina leans down and kisses you softly on the mouth. You rise to meet her lips, putting everything you can into the kiss. You need her to know you mean it. You do mean it.

When she pulls away, you reach up and touch her face on the tips of your long toes.

“Let’s go somewhere when the ceremony is over.”

“Where?” She asks.

“Somewhere warm, for the girls. So they can go outside whenever they want.” You say.

You imagine laying on a tropical beach with Alcina on blanket, with a large umbrella to block out the sun. Cassandra and Daniella are flirting with college boys in the distance. Bela is nervously thinking about joining them. Everyone is safe and warm and happy.

“Miranda won’t let us go so easily, my love.” She says sadly.

You shake your head. You’ll find a way. You have to.

“Come on, where’s that terrifying, indomitable Countess I know so well?” You ask with a little wink.

Alcina doesn’t take the bait to banter with you though. She’s been a little down since the Bela incident. She only sighs in response.

“Alcina.”

“I feel so far away from everything. From you. From my daughters. I feel like the ground is just going to open up and swallow all of you one by one.” She whispers.

You leap up onto a nearby chair and bring your face to hers. You plant kisses on her cheeks.

“We’re all here, my love. We’re not going anywhere.” You insist. She sighs again.

“I hate that I put you in a difficult position with that maiden. I feel like I tarnished you somehow. I don’t know.”

“Hey, hey. Listen to me. I made my decision when I decided to stay here with you and I don’t regret it. What happened with the maiden was inevitable, ok? And I’m over it now.”

“You’re fine with people dying for your own sustenance?” She asks a little incredulous. You shrug.

“To be fair, that was the case before the maiden bit. I just hadn’t seen how the sausage was made per se, or made the sausage myself.”

Alcina sighs again, still beating herself up about it.

“And just because it was your idea, doesn’t mean you’re completely responsible here. I was there, Alcina. I knew we would go home if I said something. I crossed that threshold all on my own.” You insist again.

“And Bela! I can’t believe I almost lost her. If you hadn’t been there…I dare not imagine it.”

It’s your turn to sigh this time and you do, with a little stomp of your foot.

“Alcina Dimitrescu, pull yourself together. You are, without a doubt, an incredible, magnificent, absolute queen of a woman, but you are not the only piece on the board. There are rooks and bishops. Knights. A king.”

“Oh? Fancy yourself royalty now?” She says with the very beginning of a smirk at the corner of her lips.

“Depends who’s moving the pieces. In your hands, I’m nothing more than a pawn.” You say with a smile.

She laughs. It’s good to hear her laugh. It’s been a little while.

“But all jokes aside, you can’t shoulder all of our burdens on your own.”

You skip the chance to make a joke about how large her shoulders are and hope she takes that as sincerity.

She searches your face for something, though you’re not sure what. Finally, she speaks.

“I just want to keep control of everything. It’s hard for me to let go.” Alcina admits.

You lean in and kiss her, then wrap your strong arms around her capable shoulders.

“You don’t have to let go entirely, my darling. Just enough to let me give you a hand.”

You hold each other for a few moments and then she pulls back to kiss you one more time.

“You’re too much.” She says.

“Maybe, but I think you’re big enough to handle it.”

Ok. You couldn’t resist just one joke about how enormous she is. She rolls her eyes, but looks a little more relaxed than when she came in.

“I’ll be in the study when you’re finished. Mother Miranda is going to call.” She says. You nod, trying not to bristle at the name.

The ceremony can’t come soon enough because as soon as it comes, you’ll have your chance to move on with your life. Your life and hers. And the girls. You look at the window you've repaired and dream of somewhere warm, far away from this little village and all its drama. 

As sure as the moon rises each night, the time for the ceremony comes at last. You and Alcina are summoned to the site, but must leave Cassandra, Daniella, and Bela behind. It’s partially to keep an eye on your prisoner, Ethan, and partially, of course, because of their weakness to the cold.

You almost don’t want to leave them with him, but he’s unarmed and hasn’t done much more than weep since his imprisonment. He poses little threat.

No, the real threat is Miranda. Perhaps Heisenburg. You don’t know. You just hope the ceremony goes off without a hitch and that you’re all safe by morning.

The walk to the ceremony site at the top of the hill is a strangely somber one, but you and Alcina keep your hands linked. You exchange little squeezes, letting the other know you’re there.

Alcina stops briefly before you start up the final hill and you look up at her. She reaches into her bosom and removes that snuff box from before, the one containing the last of her powdered blood.

“I wanted to give this to you.” She says. You take it carefully, knowing that this is very important to her.

“Why now?” You ask gently.

“Well, it’s a ceremony, isn’t it? I thought we could add to the festivities.” She says with a little wink.

You reach up to kiss her and she meets your lips. It’s warm and she lingers just a little longer than usual. You part and settle back down onto the ground.

“Careful, Miss Dimitrescu. A girl might get the idea you’re sweet on her.” You say with a wink.

“She’d better.”

You hear Donna and Angie approach from behind you and you turn to give them a wave. They wave back. Donna lifts her veil.

“Pretty moon.” She says, pointing up to the sky. You nod.

“It is quite lovely, but not nearly as lovely as you.” You offer with a smile. Alcina clicks her tongue.

“Tread lightly, Donna. She might seem charming, but she’s more than a handful.” Alcina says. There’s no jealousy, of course. She knows you’re just being nice.

Donna blushes a little.

“Coming from you, that’s quite the statement.” Donna says softly.

“Yeah, ‘cause your hands are so big!” Angie chimes in.

You reach up and squeeze one of those big hands once more. Then you slip the snuffbox with her blood into your pocket. The four of you ascend the final steps.

Mother Miranda and Moreau are already in attendance. Seeing Miranda pulls the levity out of all four of you, even Angie.

“Darling Dimitrescu and her little pet bat! Welcome!” Miranda cries upon seeing you.

Her voice is a little giddy, perhaps a little unhinged.

“Mother Miranda, we’ve brought the flask.” Alcina says formally.

The tension is palpable. Donna swallows thickly from behind her veil. Moreau wrings his hands. Angie’s as still as an ordinary doll would be. Your ears are alert and listening.

Heisenburg is noticeably absent.

“Wonderful! And my precious Donna! Now, as soon as Karl join us, we’ll be ready to—”

You stop listening to her because you hear something else. A rumble. It’s loud. You grip Alcina’s hand and listen harder, trying to make out exactly what it is.

She notices the shift in you, but doesn’t say anything. She’s talking to Miranda, making small talk maybe. You don’t know. The thunder rolls. No. Not thunder. It’s not thunder.

Footsteps. Hundreds of them. The whirring of propellors. Metal plates clashing together. So many. So many of them and they’re coming closer. Then you hear him.

“Ladies and Moreau!” Heisenburg shouts from his place atop one of the four founders statues. You didn’t notice him again. You never notice him until he wants you to.

He hops down and lands with a gentle thud.

“Heisenburg, we’ve been waiting for you.” Miranda says, that strange half-mad timbre in her voice.

You want to run. Something is about to happen.

“Alcina, we—”

“Don’t interrupt.” Heisenburg snaps. You get ready to retort, but you see an iron blade hovering just inches before your eyes. So this is his power. You shut your mouth and swallow slowly.

“What is the meaning of this?” Lady Dimitrescu growls above you.

“You don’t start either or that’s going straight through her eye, bitch.” Heisenburg growls back.

His usual charming bastard routine is gone tonight. Heisenburg is deathly serious and you can feel his murderous intent from here.

You hear the footsteps, no the marching, grow louder still. You need to get out of here, but you’re trapped.

“It’s a fair question though, Karl. What is the meaning of this?” Miranda says dangerously.

“You see, Miranda, your whole schtick about you and your fucking daughter is getting really old. But I know what you’re thinking. What do I care what a man says? What can one man do to a god?” He says, gesturing at Miranda with his great hammer.

The sound is nearly here now and your heart is thumping in time with the marching.

“Enough of this foolishness. Give me the flask and save your pseudo-philosophical bullshit for someone who cares. We can swap ideologies after my ceremony.” Miranda says, tired of the game now.

You’re gripping Alcina’s hand so tightly now that you know your claws are drawing blood.

“You don’t get it, do you? This isn’t your fucking ceremony. This is my rebellion!” He says with a wicked grin.

Then all hell breaks loose.

Metal-clad foot soldiers pour into the ceremony site, snarling and swinging their iron weapons. You narrowly dodge one of the flying ones dropping down on top of you.

There is noise and movement all around you now. You hear Donna scream. You hear Moreau vomit all over himself. You hear Miranda’s voice echo with its unearthly rage.

“You dare defy me!” She howls. The ground rumbles. You dive for Alcina, needing to be with her, needing to know she is safe.

Huge black tendrils split the ground beneath you and you want to fly, but you can’t leave her! You tug on her arm. She sends a row of Heisenburg’s shoulders to their deaths with a long swipe of her claws.

“We need to—”

You’re not able to finish your sentence as another creature dives for you. You give it a powerful kick and knock it down, but it gets right back up. There are so many of them. Too many of them. You need to get the fuck out of here.

“Fly, my love!” She shouts, taking another group of the monsters down.

“Not so fast, you giant blood-sucking fuck!” Heisenburg shouts. You see long metal rods shoot in Alcina’s direction. Some of them hit her, but she takes it in stride.

“I’m not leaving without you!” You shout over the cacophony.

“I’ll be right behind you.” She says, turning to Heisenburg.

You look at her hard and want to argue about it, but there’s no time. The site is being flooded with those horrible half-metal monsters. You’ll be swarmed and you’re not nearly as tough as Alcina is. Not by a long shot. You’re going to have to trust her if you plan on making it out of this alive.

You take off into the sky, flying with everything you have to get higher and higher, away from the fighting. You fly as fast and as far as you can. You need to get back to the castle and get the girls. You have to get out of this place.

You dare not look back. You have to trust that Alcina will keep her word. You want to trust her, but what’s taking her? You know she can fly. She has no reason to stay! What is she waiting—

Your thoughts are interrupted by a pain you have never experienced blossoming in your chest. It’s white-hot and yet, cold too. Everything seems to stop for a moment. What was that?

Your ears sort through all the sounds around you and find a sniper rifle shell hitting the snow in the distance. In all the noise of the scrap metal army, you didn’t notice the sniper setting himself up on the hill. You hear a radio go off in his ear. Is he with Heisenberg?

You’re falling now, losing consciousness. Who is ‘Alpha’? You don’t have time to think it over. The pain in your chest is blinding now and you hit the ground. The last thing you hear is a huge roar.

Darkness again. Are you dead? You’re floating. Fuck. You can’t be dead! No. You have to wake up. You have to get back to her, to the love of your life, to Alcina Dimitrescu.

You feel yourself being picked up. Ok. Not dead.

“She’s from the castle. She’ll know where Ethan is.”

Not dead, but not quite awake either. There’s a hole in your chest, you know. It’s not letting you focus. Where is Alcina? Where is she?

You feel yourself being dropped into the snow. Pain shoots through you.

“Wake up, you fucking freak.”

A male voice. You feel a boot on your leg, kicking you out of your stupor.

“That’s no way to talk to a lady.” You murmur. The boot finds your gut and more pain spreads through your body.

“Where are you keeping Ethan Winters?” The voice asks.

“Fuck you.” You say.

You can’t tell him where Ethan is because he’s in the cellar at the castle and if these people, whoever they are, go to the castle, then they will find Cassandra, Daniella, and Bela.

“Alpha, might be a minute on the castle intel.”

You hear a voice on the other end of the radio. Must be this Alpha character.

“We don’t have time to search every room in that place. Get me some answers.”

You have no idea who these people are, but they’re not like Heisenburg’s soldiers. They’re organized. They were the true threat all along and you never even saw them coming.

“Tell me where he is!” The man shouts.

He kicks you again, hard. Then you think of something.

You take a deep breath and let out the loudest scream you can. It shakes the trees and by the time the sound ends, your throat is raw. You take in your surroundings. The man’s down on the ground. Probably not the sniper as you don’t see a rifle. He is dressed in modern military garb. Who the fuck are these guys?

Doesn’t matter. You struggle to your feet. You need to get out of here and find Alcina. Then you need to get back to the castle and—

“Don’t fucking move.” Another one says. He must have heard the scream, but it looks like he wasn’t in range.

You freeze, which is surprisingly hard to do considering the pain you’re in. Sweat drips from your forehead. You can feel your body starting to repair itself. That’s good. You’re starting to get your bearings. Just a little more time.

“Get on the ground!”

You slowly kneel. The man on the ground starts to stir. Fuck. You’re not sure you can handle both of them.

“I said get on the ground!”

You drop onto your belly and put your winged arms on your head, just to be safe. Think. Think!

The man you stunned is up now. He’s probably permanently at least partially deaf, but he can still hold a gun, and that gun is trained on you.

Then you hear something that makes you grin.

“Game over, fucker.” You say quietly from the ground.

“What did you say?” The man farthest away shouts.

Then his head and torso disappear, leaving only his bottom half standing in the snow. The other man wheels around and fires his weapon.

Alcina lands in her full draconic glory, knocking the rest of the man she’s slaughtered away with a powerful swipe of her claw.

 She roars and the sound of it is so loud, that it drowns out the gunfire. Your ears soak up the incredible voice of the woman you love. She made it!

The man guarding you is nothing to her and she quickly dispatches him, crushing him underfoot. You rush to her…snout? Actually, you’re not sure. There’s a lot going on here.

The head, or what you assume to be the head, seem to be faceless. It’s just a series of lines that pull back into a pinwheel of teeth. Her hide is white, like her usual skin tone, but it’s made of a mesh of scale-like pieces interlocking into an impenetrable armour. Well, not entirely.

You can see large metal spikes poking out of her back. Heisenburg’s doing, no doubt. Crazy bastard.

Still, you can’t help but be in awe of her. She is majestic. An absolute legend made real. 

“Hello, lover.” You say.

The pain’s making you a little dizzy, but with every passing moment, you’re regaining your strength.

The pinwheel of lips and teeth pull back to reveal Alcina’s face and shoulders. They frame her like petals of a flower. Neat trick.

“You should drink.” She says, gesturing to the bodies on the ground.

You nod, eager to be rid of this pain, and pick up one of the lifeless bodies. This isn’t the same as the maiden from before. These men were planning to torture and kill you. Maybe worse. You don’t know.

Either way, after a few good gulps you’re feeling a lot better. You wipe your mouth and feel their vitality flow into you.

“We need to get home. They’re looking for Ethan.”

Alcina wastes no time leaping back into the air. You follow after her and quickly catch up. You settle onto her back.

“Am I too heavy?” You ask. She gives a loud snort as if to say, ‘As if’.

You take a moment to survey the land. It has been ripped apart by the flames of war. Heisenburg’s creatures and Miranda’s thick, black vines. You see helicopters in the distance. What is going on!?

She lands on the roof of the castle and you hop down. Then you watch as her giant form morphs and shrinks until she’s her normal, though still very large, self. The iron spikes in her back are still there. She’s also naked, but now’s not the time.

She turns her back to you and you hesitate for a moment.

“Quickly now!” She snaps.

You rip out the first one and she groans with pain. Two more to go. The next one is easier. The third one, however, seems to be lodged in between her ribs. You hear the bone crack as you pull out the final spike and she nearly yelps. The wounds close immediately.

She then turns and pulls you into a tight embrace.

“You listen to me. Find the girls and figure out a way to—”

Your ears pick up a sound and you have a split second to react, but you do. You push Alcina as hard as you can, using her as a springboard of sorts for yourself. Hoping you both avoid it.

You feel your back hit the shingles of the roof and then an explosion rattles your skull. Was that a fucking grenade? Who is throwing grenades!?

You hear a female voice from around the corner of one of the towers.

“Multiple bioweapons on site. Requesting backup at the castle immediately. Rooftop. Dimitrescu and the screamer. I repeat, backup needed immediately.”

The screamer, huh? Well, it’s not exactly a superhero name, but it’s kind of cool. You make sure to tuck the name away for later. There’s a joke here and you know it, but there’s no time to appreciate your new reputation right now.

“Permission to use target marker?” The woman says.

Adrenaline courses through your veins, heightening your senses. You can hear a voice on the other end. Alpha again.

“Granted. Night Howl has eyes on Ethan.”

You don’t know what ‘target marker’ means, but you definitely don’t like it. Not to mention the fact that if this ‘Night Howl’ has eyes on Ethan, then he must be in the castle. You hear beeping.

“Find the girls!” Alcina bellows.

“I’m not going without you!” You shriek.

“You will do as I say!” Alcina shouts, rushing for the woman with outstretched claws.

You look at Alcina Dimitrescu moving to defend you with tears streaming down your face. You don’t want to lose sight of her again. You don’t know what will happen to her, to you.

You let out the most mournful cry you have inside of you, the sound ringing up from the tips of your clawed toes to the felt of your tall ears. It’s a cross between a furious roar and heart-wrenching screech. You want to fight her, insist, but her daughters need you, and you know it.

Your clawed feet rip holes in the shingles of the roof as you turn and run.

Tears pour from your eyes and you’re grateful that you won’t need them to navigate the castle. You have to find the girls. You have to keep them safe.

As you dive off the roof, you feel white hot heat searing the space behind you, and hear the sounds of splitting timber and stone. Whatever that was, it just blew a hole in the roof.

You dare not look back. You keep your focus on the task at hand and crash through a window on the first floor.

Instantly, you notice the house is dark. No lights. That’s fine for you, ideal even, but you know that Cassandra, Daniella, and Bela can’t see in the dark. You close your eyes and take a deep breath. You need to think. What is the best possible way to get out of this?

Your mind runs scenarios, weighs options and possibilities against the dangers and challenges. Night Howl is an unknown, but probably armed to the teeth. You’ll need to tread very carefully there.

Then you think about Cassandra, Daniella, and Bela. Where would you hide if you were them? The cellar. Where Ethan is. You race to the closest entrance without another thought and fly down the stairs into the wet prison.

Growling and gunfire meet your ears. You’re moving so fast that you’re nearly a blur. You have to get to Ethan. He’s your best chance.

When you finally see him, you also see the flashes of light from Night Howler’s gun as he fires on the final Moroaica, who falls with a wet splash. Has he seen you?

You take the risk and leap up onto the ceiling, latching on with your claws and moving closer. You just need him to turn around and it’s over.

“Night Howl. We’ve lost eyes on the screamer.” Tundra says over the radio.

You freeze in place.

“Dimitrescu has been neutralized. Ready for extraction.”

You almost lose your grip on the ceiling as your world rocks. Time slows to a crawl. She’s? No. No. No. You can’t believe it. You refuse to believe it. Alcina can’t be—

“Ethan we’re getting you out of here.” Night Howl says. You hear the high-pitched sound of a laser against iron.

If she’s gone, then what’s the point? What’s the fucking point? Your jaw clenches so hard you nearly crack your teeth.

These people would take her from you? Take the only person in this god-forsaken world who matters?

You remove Night Howl’s head faster than he can react, slicing clean through his neck. His body sprays your face with blood and you turn your rage towards Ethan.

He’s panting, terrified. Good. You’ll make sure there’s nothing left to regenerate this time.

“Please! I just want my daughter back!” He screams.

Daughter. That word reminds you why you’re here. Alcina’s daughters need you. Alcina…

“Shut up!” You bark. You know where the key to his cell is and you retrieve it quickly. You then unlock the door and open it.

Ethan presses himself up against the stone wall behind him, weeping.

You enter his cell and you want nothing more than to rip him apart slowly. Make it hurt. Make it agony made real from the pain you feel. You corner him against the wall and slam him against the stones by his collar.

You let out the angriest, nastiest snarl you have inside of you. He closes his eyes.

Then you hear that little radio beneath the water.

“Dimitrescu—!"

The sound is cut off with a huge roar and a scream. You turn back to Ethan with a crazed smile.

“Congratulations, Ethan.” You growl.

He looks at you confused and afraid. He probably couldn’t hear the news with his limited, human hearing. No matter.

“You’re going to do me a big favor.” You hiss. 

Your time is still limited. You have no idea what else is coming, but Alcina is alive. You’re certain of that much.

Still, you need to find her daughters and think of a way to transport them. Then you need to find Alcina and get the fuck away from this place. Even if she’s alive now, you don’t know what else is out there. There are too many unknowns.

You drag Ethan through the cellar, calling out for Bela, Cassandra, and Daniella now. You don’t have the luxury of time to invest in stealth anymore.

You hear the buzzing. That sweet, precious buzzing! The girls emerge from their hiding place in varying states of panic. You want to pull them into your wings and never let them go, but you can’t yet.

“What was that sound?”

“Who was that man?”

“Where is Mother!?”

Frantic questions. Voices thick with fear. Your grip on Ethan is more sure than ever.

“She’s out there fighting. I’ll explain everything later. Right now we have to get out of here.” You say quickly.

“How? We can’t leave the castle! It’s too cold—” Cassandra cries.

“What do you need us to do?” Bela interjects. Daniella reaches around Cassandra and pulls her into a hug. Plants a kiss on her head.

“I can carry you out in a box or something. I don’t know. Just find something that can hold all of you. I’ll keep you warm. Don’t worry. I’m going to give those fuckers what they want and then we can all get out of here.”

Bela nods and the girls start to dissolve into flies to look for a vessel.

“I’ll be back as soon as I can. Just wait for me in the main hall and if you hear anything hide!” You shout.

They buzz a little louder and you take that as confirmation. Then you turn to Ethan.

“Let’s go, Papa. You might actually get to see your daughter again.” You say.

Ethan stops fighting you and lets you carry him to the elevator. You toss him in and hit the button.

“Let me make myself crystal clear. One wrong move and you’ll wish you couldn’t fucking regenerate. Do you understand me?” You growl.

He gets up and leans against the wall of the elevator with a strange look on his face. He doesn’t say anything though. Just nods.

As you ride up, you listen for any sign that Alcina is still up there. You sort through the sounds. Gunfire. Shouting. Helicopter. A roar! Yes! A roar!

You get to the rooftop and carry Ethan in the direction of the noise.

The scene is thus. Alcina is on the rooftop, squaring off against the helicopter. The woman, Tundra is still alive, laying down fire of her own, still hiding. The scent of blood is thick in the air. Human and not. Alcina’s wings look half-melted. There’s a huge chunk missing from her back.

You fly like a bat out of hell as high as you can so that everyone can see you. And you hold Ethan Winters out to them with the claws of your feet. You’re up high enough that if you were to drop him, he would not land in one piece.

“Hold your fire! Hostage sighted!”

You hover in the air and shout as loud as you can.

“Let the dragon go and you can have him!”

Radio chatter. Alcina is heaving, clearly tired. She turns to look up at you.

A few seconds pass painfully slowly. Then you see the helicopter pull back.

You fly towards Tundra and throw Ethan into her. Then you race for Alcina.

“Can you fly?” You shout. You get an affirmative roar and hear the flapping of her giant wings.

“Meet me in the forest. You know the place.”

She looks like she wants to argue with you, but she’s just too tired to make any case. She flies off in the direction of the forest and you dive back into the castle.

You find the girls waiting for you in the main hall, gathered around a large jar. When they see you they dissolve quickly into a mass of flies. You rip the lid off the jar and they all get inside. You hold it close to your chest for a moment and take a deep breath. Home stretch.

You’re up and out into the night once more, soaring through the air. Careful to keep your grip on the jar in your toes without cracking it.

You make it to the forest clearing where you killed that maiden and Alcina is waiting for you. She’s still in her dragon form, breathing heavily.

You show her the jar briefly and then tuck it into your wings to keep it warm.

“They’re in here and they’re safe. We need to keep moving.”

Alcina groans at you, but ever determined and unshakable, she turns and the two of you make your way into the forest.

You don’t know where you’re going. Just away. You’ll walk until you pass out if you have to. You’ll carry Alcina if you have to. Fierce determination fills your every step. You’re so close to freedom. You just have to get there.

You walk until you find a road and follow it. Then you walk some more for what feels like hours and finally, Alcina falls. Her huge monstrous body tumbles into the snow with a loud thud. You’re ready to join her, but you can’t. Not yet.

You go to her, careful to keep the jar tucked in your wing.

“You just need something to eat.” You whisper. You do too. You’re past your limit and dizzy with exhaustion.

The dragon’s pinwheel face peels back and you see her. She looks even worse than you imagined. Likely the work of whatever the 'target marker' was for. 

“I love you.” She whispers.

“Stop it.” You whisper back.

“I love you so much.” She insists.

Then you hear a carriage approach. Food! Yes!

You turn your ears to the carriage’s approach and ready yourself to pounce. Even with the jar in your wings. You can take out the driver with just your feet. You wait.

“Woah there!” The driver says. He’s stopped the horses a few paces away and calls out to you.

“I can feel your murderous intent from here! You look like you could use some help!”

Who would help you? Who would possibly—?

“I promise I’m more valuable to you alive than dead!” He adds.

If nothing else, his carriage looks warm and if he doesn’t offer you anything worth having, you can still carve him up.

You approach, calmer, and you get a good look at him. Rolls of fat under a finely made waistcoat. A twinkle in his eye and a smile on his lips.

“That’s much better!” The man says.

You feel positively feral and you’re cold. So cold.

“Now, you must be Y/N.” The man says.

“How do you know my name?” You rasp.

“Why, anyone who is anyone has heard of the likes of you. Lady Dimitrescu’s blushing swain turned ferocious beast. Though I must say, you do look a bit more fearsome than the stories make you out to be.” He says with a little laugh.

“Are you gonna help us or what?”

“Quite right. To business! Time is of the essence.” He says mysteriously. Of course.

“What do you want?” You growl.

“Securing goods is more important to me than anything. Anything, my friend. And your dear, dear Lady Dimitrescu has many a treasure in her castle. However, there is only one that I require. The dagger that was once used in her near assassination.” He explains.

“And what will you give me?”

“Why, for a prize such as that? Anything you want and I assure you, my reach is wide.” He says with raise of his eyebrow.

You don’t have a lot of options here. You don’t trust this strange, fat man, but you won’t make it through the snow on your own.

“Fine.”

“Excellent. Now, where are my manners? You can call me The Duke and I take it the fair Lady Dimitrescu is over there in the snow? I will watch over her until you return. I’ll even hold onto that jar of yours. All part of our first-class customer service.” He says.

You’re loathe to part with either Alcina or her daughters, but you need the help. You walk back over to Alcina and put your hand on her back. She’s breathing, but weak.

“Just hold on, my love. The Duke’s going to help us. I’ll be back.”

You go back to the carriage and The Duke lets you place the jar into the back. It’s nice and warm there.

“Oh, and Y/N?” He calls over his shoulder. You pad over to him.

“Good luck.”

You take a deep breath and check in with yourself. Tired. Very tired. Cold. Some blood would make all the difference right now. And then you remember the snuff box.

You pull the little metal box out of your pocket and grab a pinch of snow to mix with it. You take it into your mouth, the last of Alcina’s human blood, and you savor it as best you can.

It’s enough and you feel your strength returning. You shoot off into the night sky and fly as quickly as your wings will take you.

You know where the dagger is. It’s in the chapel. The Tower of Worship. You’ve been there once before.

As you approach the village, you steel yourself for the danger ahead. There’s no telling what you’ll find.

You see the helicopters and huge, snaking black vines reaching up into the sky. You hear the metal soldiers of Heisenburg’s rebellion. You don’t care about any of that. You have your goal.

You make it to the castle without incident and crash through one of the windows to the tower. The coffin is there and you throw off the lid.

You probably shouldn’t handle it directly. You tear off enough fabric from the corpse's clothes to wrap it with. You have it. You have the dagger. Now you just need to get back to—

Steel rebar pierces your abdomen. Heisenburg. You never notice him until he fucking wants you to.

You turn and look at him. He’s bleeding, limping a little, but that bastard grin is plastered to his face.

“I was hoping I’d find the Dragon Lady hiding in her fucking fortress, but hey, I’ll settle for you.”

Your vision blurs from the pain. It can’t end like this. You dive out the window.

You feel the rebar pulling you back, but you angle yourself properly, and it shoots out your back. Your side is bleeding freely now and you’re falling down.

You clutch the cloth-wrapped dagger to your chest and hit the snow once more. You lose consciousness, though you’re not sure for how long.

When you come to Heisenburg is standing near you. You’re on the road leading up to the castle. You’re so exhausted. You were so close.

You don’t know what The Duke will do if he doesn’t get the dagger. Fuck.

“There’s a joke about roadkill here somewhere, but I’m just too fucking tired to think of it. Oh well.” Heisenburg says. He raises the rebar above you and you shut your eyes, waiting for impact.

You tried.

Then you hear a loud revving of an engine and the impact you’re expecting doesn’t come.

You open your eyes to see a large SUV hit Heisenburg hard in the side, sending him flying into the trees.

The driver-side door opens and Angie pokes her head out with Donna at the wheel.

“Later, ya bitch ass mother fucker!” Angie shouts.

You start to laugh. It’s uncontrollable and soon you’re shaking so hard you think you’re going to throw up. You have no idea why Donna is driving an SUV. You didn’t even know she knew what a car was. You have a lot of questions, but you are bleeding pretty badly and that feels more important.

Donna climbs out of the vehicle and pulls you towards it.

“Fuck Heisenburg and his bullshit. Where are Alcina and the girls?”

You manage to get up and climb into the SUV, dagger in hand.

“Just drive and I’ll explain on the way.”

“There’s a dead guy in the back, if you need a little pick me up.” Angie points out.

You have a snack on the way out of the village. The ride is wild with a lot of sudden turns and bumps. You just hope you make it. You look back a few times to see if Heisenburg is following you, but he isn’t. No one is. You’re just one tiny speck in the midst of a chaotic scene. For once, you’re grateful to be in the background.  

As soon as the road turns smooth, you ask a few questions and learn a few things.

Firstly, Donna has never liked Heisenburg. He’s always treated her like she’s crazy and she isn’t crazy! A little eccentric, perhaps, but not crazy. Secondly, she and Angie have grown quite fond of you, which you find weird, but hey, you’re appreciative. You promise never to chew on Angie again. Thirdly, Donna escaped the battlefield and acquired a vehicle through the means of her special pollen, which makes enough sense, you guess. Finally, you guys need to get moving as soon as possible because those military guys are going to blow the village sky high in the hopes of destroying Miranda.

After a few minutes of furious driving, you see the carriage in the distance and shout for Donna to pull over. The car practically skids to a stop once you're close enough. 

Before you get out of the SUV, you turn to Donna. Her veil is long gone and her hair is a little wild.

“Thanks for the lift and for saving me.”

“You’re welcome. You’re the first person in a long time to speak nicely to me, even briefly. It was nice.”

“And your ass looks good in those pants.” Angie tosses in. Donna shoots Angie a look. 

“I really can’t thank you enough. What will you do now?” You say, placing your hand on the handle of the door.

“Oh, I figured I’d just wait until you did whatever you were going to do and then we’d all drive off.” Donna says a little nervously.

“Fair enough. Just a second then.”

You open the SUV door and climb out into the snow, dagger in hand. The Duke is still sitting in his carriage. He claps his meaty hands together.

“I’m delighted to see you return alive and before you ask, your lovely ladies are all safe and sound in the back. Even the large one. Now, the dagger.”

You hand it over without a word.

“Are you going to ask why I wanted it?”

“I could care less.”

He laughs at this.

“Singularly minded, I see. I admire that. We can discuss business after your triumphant reunion.”

You are indeed ‘singularly minded’. You immediately walk to the back of the carriage and pull open the doors. The sight brings immediate tears to your eyes. Happy ones. They’re all there. Safe and sound.

Alcina is draped with a large cloth to cover her, back in her human-shape. The girls are all wrapped around her. Everyone smiles when they see you.

You leap into the carriage and throw your wings around your family. You kiss her, the love of your life, and hold her daughters tightly.

You did it. You crazy, sonofabitch. You did it.

EPILOGUE

The Duke wasn’t lying when he said that his reach was wide. In exchange for the dagger, he arranges safe passage through Romania all the way to Spain for you, your family, and the Beneviento girls. He also sets you up in what you feel is a mansion, but Alcina decides is only a ‘modest’ villa. Either way, it’s remote and it’s safe.

The years pass. Three of them, to be more precise, and in that time, so many things happen. You find a way to blend in with society when you need to by allowing yourself to be wheeled around in chair with large coat over your wings and big blanket over your legs. You wear a hat to cover your ears. You also do a little freelance coding work to make money. You show everyone the internet. It's a mixed bag, but mostly fun. 

Cassandra, Daniella, and Bela get their first tastes of the wider world. The warm weather of Spain is a perfect home for them. They love the clothes, the excitement, and of course, the men. They take up instruments and you bond with them over music. Soon you’re playing covers of all their favorite songs together. Cassandra’s wicked on the guitar. Bela keeps a steady, deep bassline. Daniella strikes the drums like she was meant to do it. You’re like a goth partridge family. You keep it in the attic though, so as not to bother the rest of the house.

Donna Beneviento and Angie live with you as well. They mostly keep to the enormous basement of the villa, making dolls and generally being weird. You don’t mind them, though. You owe them a lot, after all. You take tea with Donna and Angie most days around midnight and you find she is a surprising font of wisdom.

Recently, you’ve been thinking about marriage. Silly, some might say, but it’s one of those things you’ve always kind of dreamed of. Perhaps you’re more traditional than you think you are. At least in that way.

However, even after all this time, you’re still struggling with the idea of murdering innocent, random people to slake your thirst. You certainly do it, but you feel bad.

You explain this to Donna one night.

“I just. I don’t know. I can’t help feeling like I’m awful for doing it. I don’t mind looking like a monster, but feeling like one is not to my taste.”

Donna sits back and takes a sip of her tea.

“Do you judge Alcina or the girls for taking pleasure in it?” She asks thoughtfully. You shake your head.

“No, not really. I can’t judge other people. It’s not my place.”

“If you don’t have the authority to judge others, then what gives you the right to judge yourself?”

Damn, Donna.

“I don’t know! I mean, killing people is definitely wrong, right? Like, it’s—”

“Do what feels right and let God sort out the rest. If there is a God. Who knows? Don’t let that clever mind of yours torture you so. You feed on human flesh. So do it and don’t waste time feeling bad about it.”

“You are surprisingly wise.”

“My solitude gives me a lot of time to think.” Donna says with a little smile.

“Excuse me? Still here.” Angie groans from the next room. She brings another tray of biscuits over to the little table you’re sharing with Donna. You take one of the biscuits with a smile.

Then, of course, there is the lady of the house. The poised and polished woman you share your life with. The woman you risked everything for. The woman you love. Alcina Dimitrescu.

The past few years have been hard in some ways. You’ve had many nightmares, or daymares rather, about the night of the ceremony. Sometimes you can’t sleep at all and Alcina holds you and sings to you while you cry. Sometimes she cries too.

The past three years have also been amazing with Alcina. You read poetry together and sing for each other casually. Her voice is beautiful. She’s beautiful.

You still have scenes together where you give her your submission and she dominates you thoroughly. It’s a safe place for you and the ease of it is real. You love how safe she makes you feel and she loves the way you trust her.

On some nights, however, you make love. It’s a gentle thing, not necessarily focused on getting off, but on closeness alone. Being inside Alcina is a gift and you always treasure it accordingly.  

You know you never want this to end. So, you craft a clever plan with the girls and you wait for the right moment.

When that perfect night arrives, you find her on the porch, sitting on a large wooden chair that you built for her last summer. Her eyes are peacefully closed and she’s soaking up the moonlight with a scarf wrapped around her hair.

She’s updated her look a little, but only a little by modern standards. The dresses and large hat of her previous life traded for the high-waisted pants and crisp shirts made popular by Hollywood starlets back in the day.

“What are you thinking about?” You ask softly, so as not to startle her. Alcina opens her eyes and smiles lazily at you.

“I thought it would be Bela that found a lover first, but it’s our Daniella. What do you make of her little beau?” She asks. She reaches out her hand to you and you take it. She pulls you into her lap and you rest against the heart you cherish so much.

“He seems fine. A little goofy, but I’m sure he’s nice.”

“You don’t like him?”

“He has questionable taste in movies and…” You trail off.

“And?”

“And I don’t know. I hate the idea of anyone ever treating Daniella like a, like a prize to go after. She may be a little overzealous, but she’s smart and funny. Pretty. I don’t know, Alcina. She’s amazing and I just need to know he’s good enough for her.” You say finally.

You feel Alcina laugh beneath you. She plants a kiss on your head.

“My darling, it seems that you have finally acquainted yourself with what it feels like to be a parent.”

“Is that what this is? It’s dreadful.”

“I’m afraid so. Next we’ll find you reading the newspaper and tutting about the house with a pipe, I expect.” Alcina says.

“Never! Alright, maybe if it’s a cool pipe. Like, a wizard’s pipe.”

“Then we’ll start to expect magic.”

You let out a dramatic sigh and nestle deeper into her neck.

“Have I not pulled enough rabbits out of hats for you?”

She brings her hand up to your back and rubs it affectionately, letting the banter fall away. You slip into a brief, but comfortable silence. Then you perk up and remember why you came out here in the first place.

“Well, it’s not a magic show, but the girls and I do have something to show you.”

“Lead the way.”

You bring Alcina through the house you have made together. There are pieces of both of you in the décor and furniture. Her opulence and your flashiness. Different yet similar. Complementary in many ways. There are polaroids on the wall from various moments thus far. You look foolishly happy in all of them. You both do. 

You arrive in the attic where the girls are setting up their instruments. You guide Alcina to a place to sit and then you make your way to the microphone.

“Alcina Dimitrescu. We’ve been together a while now and I want you to know how much I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you and I recognize that that might be a literal eternity. Now, please allow me to show you my heart.”

You can practically feel the girls rolls their eyes behind you. They count down and then start to play.

Most love songs, you realize, are cheesy. Overly saccharine and precious. Well, at least that’s certainly what you used to think. There’s something about being in love, real love, that makes them all seem sincere.

And singing a lovesong to Alcina is a pretty cheesy idea too, but you mean it. You mean it with everything you are. 

You considered going with At Last or something more to her taste, but you want to reveal yourself one more time, peel back another layer of your shell to her. You've spent so much of your life performing. It's time to just be. 

You throw yourself out into the ether and ask her to catch you one more time. 

 

“And I'd give up forever to touch you

'Cause I know that you feel me somehow

You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be

And I don't wanna go home right now

 

And all I can taste is this moment

And all I can breathe is your life

When sooner or later it's over

I just don't wanna miss you tonight

 

And I don't want the world to see me

'Cause I don't think that they'd understand

When everything's made to be broken

I just want you to know who I am

 

And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming

Or the moment of truth in your lies

When everything feels like the movies

Yeah, you bleed just to know you're alive

 

And I don't want the world to see me

'Cause I don't think that they'd understand

When everything's made to be broken

I just want you to know who I am

 

You sing the song with everything you have. You pour it all out.  Your entire heart. Your voice trembles at times, thick with emotion, but you pull it back. You need her to know. You have to show her.

When the instrumental break comes you move past the microphone towards Alcina. You reach into your pocket and pull out a ringbox, falling to your knee.

She leans down and wipes the tears from your eyes.

“I thought you’d never ask.”

Chapter Text

Hello everyone,

I have a little update for you. I’ve started to adapt this fic into an original novel. For those of you who didn’t want to get off the ride, this is where we’re headed. Along with the adaptation, I’ll be working on continuing the Fanfiction version of the story and writing new stories. Anything that is classified as “Fanfiction”, will be posted on Ao3 a week after I upload it elsewhere. So, whether you subscribe or not, I do hope you’ll continue to enjoy the work I do. The link to my Twitter where you can find other links is below. 

Along with the adaption, I also created a discord server to talk fics and hang out. Fellow writers welcome! I want to talk process. <3

So, yeah. I want to thank all of you who’ve read my story. You’ve given me so much support even just by showing up. Those of you that have left me comments or reached out to me on social, you have my heart.

These have been some times in the world, but you have all reminded me that fandom and community are still a place where you can make a friend and laugh a little along the way. So. Thank you. Truly.

So, subscribe if you want or just come say hi. I'm just happy to be writing again. 

 

Saber Speaks Twitter!

 

I hope to see you around.

Much love. <33333