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1b. Book 1 - Double Double - Part 2: Introductions

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Part 2 – Introductions

Chapter 1
Angel led Gideon away from the others; she had to admit it was taking a lot out of her to keep her hold on his movements. It was easy moving an object, but people were another matter altogether. It took a lot of energy to keep this gorgeous specimen going where she wanted him, especially since he was obviously resisting her control over him. She hoped that she wouldn’t lose her hold on him, though she knew she could handle him if she did and he tried to get away. The thought of what she was going to do with her pet brought a smile to her face.

Gideon was no longer feeling calm. He was being taken somewhere by this raven-haired beauty, [Angel, her name is Angel,] and it wasn’t him who was moving his legs one in front of the other. He felt like a goddam puppet on a string, being manipulated at the will of someone else. He’d never been good at taking orders, so this form of physical control had him seething with anger. Gideon cast a sideways glance at Angel; he didn’t like the smile he saw on her full red lips. He had the distinct feeling that whatever she was thinking involved him.
He suddenly recalled what the Apocalypse Box had told him about this world: danger, pain and pleasure. Gideon eyed Angel suspiciously and wondered which she was. Call him paranoid, but he had the feeling she was all three.
Having arrived at a large, heavy wooden door at the end of a corridor, Gideon took in where the slender young woman had brought him. The passageway was dimly lit, dark shadows hiding most parts. He felt himself come to a stop and he brought his eyes to the door in front of him. It reminded him of something out of an old gothic-horror movie or some dark piece of poetry, [Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came… or in this case a dark door. All I need is a slug-horn,] he thought.
Angel turned to face Gideon "I’m going to let you move on your own. But I warn you, try to run and I will punish you… severely. Do you understand?"
Gideon thought it best to agree. Now wasn’t the time to do anything rash. It was wiser to wait and bide his time. He tried to nod and was pleasantly surprised when his head actually moved of his own volition.
"Good boy," said Angel in a low, husky voice. Gideon had to admit it was one hell of a sexy voice. Hell, she was a very sexy woman. While Angel unlocked the large door, Gideon took the time to take a good look at her. She was about a head shorter than him. Her long raven hair hung halfway down her back. It looked even blacker against the blood-red crop top she was wearing. Her midriff was bare, her skin pale - her waist was narrow and swelled only slightly to her hips. His eyes drifted to her long legs, to which the red suede pants clung like a second skin.
He couldn’t contain a smile of appreciation at her tight, neat buttocks, and he found himself wondering what it would be like to cup them in his hands. Well, he would have considered doing that if he could move anything but his head. Which he found he still couldn’t. [Didn’t she say something about letting me move on my own?]
As if on cue, Angel unlocked and opened the door. Turning to Gideon, she lifted those startling blue eyes and looked at him. Now he could move his limbs again. He was busy trying to figure out how control of his body kept being given and then taken away, when he felt himself being shoved into the room, hard. He landed with an undignified thump on the floor.
The captain turned himself around and glared at the woman who’d pushed him. [How did she get that strong? She shouldn’t have the weight to send me flying like that.]
Angel moved forward to stand in front of him. Gideon was angry… damned angry at the way this slip of a woman was treating him. He leaped to his feet and glared at her. "Just who the hell do you think you are, lady?"
Angel cocked her head to one side and said nothing. Gideon was about to give her a piece of his mind when the door slammed shut, seemingly of its own accord. His head snapped around at the noise it made, then, without warning, he was hit by something solid that sent him tumbling to the ground once again. The something solid he soon discovered was Angel. She had launched herself at him and was now lying full length on top of him.
Gideon was acutely aware that her right hip was pressing into his crotch; she shifted her weight and rubbed, all too obviously, against him. He decided that if he didn’t get her off him now, he wouldn’t be accountable for his actions. As he opened his mouth to protest, Angel’s hand flew up and she hit him solidly across the face. Again, the power of the blow surprised him. She didn’t look heavy enough or strong enough to pack such a punch.
The blow left Gideon’s head ringing and really pissed him off. He raised his arms to push the woman off him, but as he moved, some unseen force drove his arms to the ground above his head, pinning them there. He tried to move them, but nothing happened. [This is getting really old,] he thought.
Angel let out a throaty laugh and Gideon stopped struggling and looked up at her. There was amusement in her eyes when she said, softly, "Oh, I am going to have so much fun with you…" She paused and Gideon watched as her eyes shifted to the name patch on his uniform, "…Gideon."
Her next movement caught Gideon by surprise. Angel moved lightning fast as she lowered her lips to his. It was not a gentle kiss as she forced his lips apart and her tongue entered his mouth. Then Gideon tasted something sweet on her lips; something familiar, but unexpected. His tongue met hers, and she deepened the kiss, her tongue dancing with his. Gideon heard a moan and was appalled to discover it was coming from him, as he felt his body starting to react to the woman lying on top of him. The captain felt betrayed by his own body. He didn’t want this. He didn’t want this woman controlling him. He wanted her off him and out of this damned cell, but his body seemed to have its own agenda.
Angel moved her hips against him again, and then stopped; she’d obviously felt his swelling response. She raised her head from his mouth and her ice-blue eyes transfixed him. "That’s very good, Gideon. For that you get a reward."
The captain wasn’t sure whether this was good news or not; this woman’s ‘rewards’ might be painful. Suddenly, he found he was unable to move again. [Dammit, stop doing that!] He screamed inside his head, unable to make a sound.
The woman kneeled above him, astride his hips, and started to struggle with the zipper on his jacket. He could see her biting her lip as the zipper stuck. Patience obviously was not one of her virtues. She reached behind her and produced a small knife from a hidden pocket in the back of her tunic. Gideon suddenly thought of Dureena and wondered if she and Raven had been captured too. Then the knife approaching his throat attracted his complete attention.
Angel slid the knife inside his jacket and with a few swift cuts, removed it from his body. Having achieved her goal, she put the knife back in its holster [Worth remembering where that was hidden…]. Gideon’s limbs unfroze.
Before she could do anything else, Gideon spoke. "Hey, I liked that jacket. At least I didn’t look like a bellhop." Angel raised her hand to strike him again, but he spoke quickly. "Wait a minute, let’s make this easier. I’d rather have some clothes intact when you’ve finished doing… whatever it is you have planned. Why don’t I just take off the rest if that’s what you want?"
Maybe if he played along with her, he’d get his chance to overpower her later. Maybe.

John seemed to have fallen into an uncomfortable sleep, and Max found he envied the younger man that respite, however fitful. He was trying to study his surroundings in greater detail when he heard the door creaking open. Having loosened his neck muscles, he was able to look in that direction without too much pain.
"It's you," he smirked slightly at the small blue haired girl. The previous time he'd seen her, she’d been in the company of the red-headed woman, her so-called sister, who’d called this one… [What was it? Ilas! That was it.] This blue-haired beauty looked far too one-of-a-kind to have any relations. Despite his predicament, Max had been hoping that she would come back.
There was something about the way she’d looked at him, a mix of curiosity, lust, eagerness, and perhaps loneliness. When he'd seen her before, Ilas had looked like a child on the verge of blossoming womanhood. In the few hours since he'd seen her, she seemed to have matured by several years. Her sapphire blouse was now rounded nicely in the front, accentuating the silvery pattern on the black vest. Max found his body responding involuntarily and he shifted against the hard stone of the floor.
"Of course," Ilas said sweetly, her voice strangely arousing. She seemed to glide closer, her curves moving invitingly.
[Dammit! This is no time for that! She's probably come to gut me!] Max unconsciously licked his lips as she moved closer.
"Were you expecting someone else? One of my sisters, perhaps?" She was now standing over him.
Max couldn't help but notice how tiny her waist was. Or maybe it just seemed tiny when compared to her full breasts. "Well, yeah." He flashed her what he hoped was a calm grin. "I thought that red-head would be coming back for him." He cocked his head towards the still sleeping Matheson. "Seems I was mistaken." He looked up and met her exotic eyes. "For once, I'm glad of it."
Ilas giggled quietly. "You're cute." A pale, delicate looking hand reached out and traced Max's jaw. The unexpected touch sent faint shivers down Max's spine.
"You're not so bad yourself," he replied, trying to keep his cool. Or at least, trying to pretend he wasn't imagining this woman naked, in a thousand impossible positions. Max could feel himself begin to sweat, despite the coolness of the dungeon. Her delicate hands reached out to stroke his hair and he found himself leaning into the touch like an affection-starved kitten.
Fluidly, Ilas sank to the floor and straddled him, her fingers still running through his hair, sending a thousand tingles down his spine. He wished his arms were free, wanting to hold this woman close, feel her soft-looking breasts pressed against him, [Stop that! You have to get out of here! Remember?!] Max chided himself. [I know... but it's been so long...]
Any further thoughts were cut off by the woman’s soft lips pressing against his. It didn't take long for Max to respond. Her mouth was sweet, tasting vaguely of honeysuckle and brown sugar. Max had never thought of plain kissing as an intoxicant before, but the longer their mouths were fused, the drunker Max felt.
Ilas finally broke the kiss, pulling away, leaving Max breathless. "Oh, we're going to have fun." She looked sharply to her right as Matheson let out a low moan. Max glanced over to see the young Asian raising his head painfully. The woman sighed quietly, almost as though disappointed. "I never did like an audience," she muttered.
Pressing her lips gently to Max's ear, Ilas let out a wave of sound that rendered Max unconscious.

Matheson didn't hear what had happened but watched as Max slumped in his chains, which the blue-haired woman quickly released, letting the Xenoarcheologist slide gently to his side as she stood.
The young Lieutenant's eyes were dark and wide as she moved over to him. She glanced around, as though afraid of getting caught. "I really shouldn't," her voice was sweet and childlike.
The woman, [Ilas? Did the other one say her name was Ilas?] gave him a look of undisguised hunger. She reminded Matheson of a child trying to talk herself out of stealing a tasty morsel of food from the table.
"You're not my toy, after all." She crouched before him and leaned close. Matheson could feel her warm breath on his lips. "But Demon does tell us to share..." with that final justification, she pressed her mouth to his in a heated, but all-too-brief kiss. "But I'm going to go play with my toy now."
She stepped back and Matheson could swear she grew. At least her arms seemed to thicken. She winked at him and bent to scoop Max up as though he were a rag doll. Matheson watched in awe as she carried Max off, leaving him wide awake to ponder his rather dubious future.

Luke Raven looked around the room where the red-haired woman, [Lilith] had confined him. It was a small, plush bedroom, but it lacked signs of permanent habitation. Probably a guest room, though from what Matheson had told them about the planet, he couldn't imagine that they had many visitors. [Except us now,] he thought sarcastically, [but what do they want from us?]
He did a quick search of the room to see if there was anything useful to help him get out, but there was nothing except the furniture, lots of cushions, a carpet and a few tapestries adorning the walls. He stared at his reflection in the dresser's mirror and asked, "And what do we do now, Dr. Raven?"
After a few seconds' thinking, Luke turned back around and tested the door, but it was locked firmly. Of course, he’d heard the lock click into place, but he had to try everything. He sighed and stuffed his hands into his pants pockets, head hanging, then froze, his mind racing. He dropped to the ground, looking at the bottom of the door and the crack that gaped between it and the floor.
[Now if she only left the key in the lock, and if it's thin enough to pass under...] His eyes betrayed his excitement when he squatted and peeked through the keyhole. The key seemed to be there, all right. He looked around to find something he could use to push it out.
[No, no, no... wait!] He stepped over to the dresser and picked up the object that had caught his attention. It was an ancient writing device—a pen. A really ancient one, he decided, or at least it was made to look that way. [This must've been one of the first models after they had stopped writing with bird's feathers.]
Luke frowned. [F band emissions, castles and ancient pens? How does that fit? Nothing I've seen here indicates that they are technologically ahead of us. I'd even say they are less advanced than we are. The only exception is the F band emissions and the illusions they create. If their source is technology, that is...]
Having grabbed the pen and a sheet of paper that also lay on the dresser, Raven shook his head and went back to the door. [Concentrate on solving your immediate problem.]
He looked at the pen in his hands and allowed himself a small smile. [The back end should just fit.]
He carefully slid the paper under the door, inserted the pen into the keyhole, felt it touch the key, and pushed gently.

Matheson swore and tore at his manacles in frustration. He still couldn't get through to Gideon or anyone else of their crew. His sweat-covered face betrayed the fatigue he was feeling. Trying over and over to get through that strange block had cost him a lot of energy.
[Is it the redhead blocking me, or do they have technology that can do this?] At that moment he heard the door being opened, and in stepped three Brakiri guards. Two unlocked his manacles from the chains above his head, while the third helped him to his feet.
"Where's my friend?" John asked but didn't get any answer. They refastened his manacles to the chains in the wall behind him then left, leaving the door open and standing at attention in the corridor outside. He was just starting to wonder what they were waiting for when the petite redhead entered, closed the door behind her and leaned against it for a few seconds, regarding him with a hint of a smile on her face.
"What do you want from us?" he asked. The redhead's smile grew as she walked up to him, her hips swaying with every step she took. She stopped barely a step away, and though she was more than a head shorter than him, John had no doubt who was in control.
"You look tired... I felt you try to send all the time. You can stop trying. I won't let you, Sweet-Face." She leaned her head to the side.
Feeling slightly embarrassed, he answered. "My name's not Sweet-Face, it's John Matheson. So, it’s you who's blocking me. But I don't know any telepath who's that strong."
Redhead's fingers covered his lips. "Shhh... now's not the time for questions."
Out of the blue she produced a small, thin dagger and placed it at the side of his throat. Surprise and fear were clearly showing in John's eyes, although he was trying to control his emotions.
"Don't be afraid, Sweet-Face, I won't hurt you." She gave him a lascivious smile and added, "much."
She traced the dagger's tip down his throat, and when it touched the collar of his uniform jacket, she increased the pressure just a little. To Matheson's surprise the sturdy fabric gave way immediately. He didn't dare to breathe as she quickly covered the jacket with dozens of slices from collar to hem, her moves almost impossibly quick. He was even more surprised to find that his skin didn't seem to have suffered one scratch by the sharp blade. His jacket and the shirt he wore below it hung in rags.
John swallowed hard and finally remembered to resume breathing. She again gave him that lascivious smile, a somewhat disconcerting gleam in her eyes. "I told you—nothing to be afraid of." The dagger somehow disappeared and then the redhead lowered her head and started to kiss his chest.
Suddenly, John felt the woman’s arms around his neck, pulling his head down until their lips met in a kiss that was ferocious. He found himself responding immediately, parting his lips and entering her mouth with his tongue. He was painfully aware of her full breasts pressing against his chest and his growing erection, and he desperately wished to have his hands free.
Finally, they had to surface for air. Both were breathing heavily. The woman's arms still lay around John's neck. "Let me go," he gasped between breaths, tearing at the manacles, making the chains jingle.
"I'm afraid I can't do that, not yet, at least," she purred, her index finger tracing his lips. "I have other plans for you now." She pulled his head down with her left hand and caught his lower lip between her teeth, softly tugging at it then releasing it.
John felt seriously groggy. "You… you’re crazy, Red", he whispered, eyes closed.
He felt her rippling laughter more than heard it. "My name's not Red, it's Lilith but you can call me Lily if you want to."
Matheson smiled at her imitation of his earlier tone. "Lily," he repeated, his voice barely audible. Finally, his earlier fatigue proved too much. He nuzzled his face in the curve of her neck as he started to lose consciousness.
"Yes, darling, rest," he heard her murmur, "You'll need your energy later." He barely felt his hands being released and strong arms lifting him before he fell into oblivion.

Lilith walked beside the Brakiri guard carrying Matheson through corridors and upstairs. John was sleeping soundly. She regarded his face, marveling at the innocent look it carried. [He must be very loyal to his friends,] she thought, remembering how stubbornly he’d tried to contact them with his sendings.
When they came to her room, she let the guard carrying him enter first and stood there, thinking for a moment. [Now where?] She looked at her four-poster bed to the left on the opposite wall, sheets, canopy and tulle draperies all in blue. [No, I don't think so.]
She bit her lower lip and looked to the opposite corner, where a circular lounging pit—at least that was what she liked to call it—was sunk into the floor. Four steps led down to its base, which was covered with hides and cushions.
"Put him down there, gently, please. We don't want to wake him." The guard obeyed and carefully laid Matheson down on the furs, letting his head rest on a cushion. "Leave the door open, just a crack," Lily said as he walked out. Her foresight could be erratic, but she had a brief flash of the future which made her smile.
The guard bowed and left, leaving Lily to ponder the amusements of the evening.

Angel’s eyes lit up with excitement. The thought of having Gideon strip in front of her created warmth between her legs and she felt her nipples harden. She lifted herself to her feet in one lithe motion. "Yes, strip. Then go lie on the bed over there. On your back"
Angel watched as the Captain got to his feet, her breath coming in fast pants. She watched with hungry eyes as he crossed his arms in front of him, his hands grasping his red T-shirt and pulling it out of his pants. With one swift motion he pulled it up and over his head. Angel sucked in her breath at the sight of his chest. He wasn’t built big—not like some of the boys she’d played with back in the old days on Earth—but he was lean and muscular.
A light dusting of dark hair covered his pecs, and a narrow line of hair went down his hard, flat stomach, disappearing into his pants. Her eyes centered on that area with hungry anticipation. Gideon hesitated a moment before his hands moved to his buckle, then he slowly undid it. She could see he was deliberately going slowly, giving her a show. He then bent and pulled his boots and socks off.
Angel’s eyes were transfixed as she watched how, slowly, with deliberate movements, Gideon began to push his pants down. Over his narrow hips, down over his thighs… She stared at his long muscular legs—very nice legs—and she followed the pants’ path all the way down to his ankles where they came to a rest with a soft rustle. Gideon stepped out of them and kicked them to one side. The young witch watched and then her eyes slowly returned to where the captain was standing, now only clad in black briefs which did nothing to hide the effect she was having on his body. His stiffening shaft was straining against the fabric and they served only to accentuate his erection.
Angel was staring at him intently now… well, more correctly, at his crotch. Her eyes darkened slightly with hunger and she made a strange little sound. She almost laughed as she realized she had just let out a soft snort of pure lust. It had been so long… She moved forward quickly, looking Gideon in the eye and then down at his briefs.
"Everything," she ordered in a husky voice. She almost collapsed when Gideon removed the briefs and his hardening cock spilled out. He was big. Angel moved forward but stopped herself. No, she wanted him on the bed first, tied down just in case he tried anything while she was enjoying herself. She had the distinct feeling that despite his obvious reaction—she looked again at the impressive erection—he was biding his time, waiting for an opening to escape.
Angel found it difficult to speak. "Now, go and lie on the bed." Gideon turned to follow her eyes then looked back at her. "If you don’t, I will move you myself."
Gideon turned and reached the side of the bed then lay down full length on it. Angel watched him carefully. She was trying to rein herself in; she wanted to savor every moment with him. But she was rapidly losing control. Angel moved in a fluid motion to stand beside him at the head of the bed her eyes roaming over his body slowly, hungrily.

Gideon wished she would stop staring at him that way. It kept raising his pulse a notch higher, sending the blood rushing to his cock. He tried to concentrate on something else but when he turned to look at her, she was holding ropes in her hand. [Where the hell did those come from?]
He watched in stunned amazement as Angel grabbed his left wrist and began tying it to the bedpost. He tried to resist and failed. She had somehow locked him into immobility again. Seething with anger, Gideon was even more surprised when he felt a rope snaking around his right wrist and both ankles. [What the hell?]
Gideon tried to get up, but even though he couldn’t move, the bitch hit him again. "Don’t try to move without my permission."
He couldn’t respond as his head was ringing again. Then he gasped as he felt the ropes tighten, biting into his skin. Gideon felt himself being stretched down the bed and the muscles in his arms, back and legs being strained. Then he felt the ropes tighten one last time and he knew he couldn’t move at all. The bindings cut into him and it was apparent that he was not going anywhere. He also realized that it would be easier on his skin if he didn’t try. He couldn’t help but think that this was what it must have felt like to be stretched on the rack.
Angel took one last look at the ropes, then in one quick movement she sprang cat-like onto the bed, straddling his hips and pushing him down into the mattress.

Reaching her chambers, Ilas set Max on her bed and glanced around. The door was large, made of the native wood. Both sides were roughly finished, and Ilas liked it that way. The wall to the left of the door contained a large four-poster bed. Directly across from the bed was a fireplace that warmed the entire room. The wall opposite the door held a large tapestry.
The hanging was a large picture with a wide border containing many smaller pictures and symbols. Hand-woven by Ilas, the tapestry represented everything she was. Woven in such a way as to never look the same from any two angles, the tapestry always held the same basic images. In the center was a picture of Ilas and her three sisters. Their faces held only kindness - that was the way Ilas had always known them. Angel and Demon often fought, but sisters always do that sort of thing, Lilith had told her.
Ilas' entire life was her sisters. Unlike the other three, she had no recollection prior to forming their family. She also had no memories of exactly why they had been brought together, trained, and then abandoned. The others knew more, but Ilas didn't ask. She was content with her life. It was all she knew and all she needed. Or so she always told herself.
Beyond the bed was a doorway leading into a bathroom, which Ilas walked towards. The tub was a bowl that seemed to have been carved out of the rock itself. Ilas toed a discolored stone and the tub slowly began to fill, light bubbles forming on top of the warm water.
Moving back into her bedroom, she saw Max beginning to stir, though he was still unconscious. Seeing that he was going to be out for a few more minutes, Ilas locked the door and picked up a bowl of ripe fruit from a table in the corner of the room. Carrying the bowl, she walked into the bathroom, glancing at Max just as he rolled onto his back, groaning softly.

Luke could feel the key give way and slowly pushed on. Suddenly it caught somewhere; he felt the urge to swear but suppressed it. [Calm!] He cautioned himself, and wiggled the pen slightly, keeping up a tiny bit of pressure in the hope of freeing the key. Finally, he succeeded, and after a few more seconds his efforts were rewarded with a soft "pling" as the key fell to the floor. Luke listened carefully for sounds indicating that someone had noticed and come to investigate but there was silence. He let out a breath he hadn't even realized he'd held. [Now...]
He lay down flat on his belly and peeked through the crack under the door. Raven smiled as he saw the key resting on the sheet of paper he had slid through. Slowly, carefully, he drew the paper back into the room, bringing the key with it. Once within his reach he grabbed it quickly, then sat up.
He realized he was covered with sweat and wiped his forehead. [And to think that members of the Thieves’ Guild do this for a living.] He smirked at the thought that followed. [Luke Raven, apprentice lock-picker and tunnel-rat; maybe I should ask Dureena where I can enroll when we get out of this!]
He got up and placed the pen and paper back on the dresser: if they caught him and put him back in here, he didn't want them to know just how he’d been able to escape. Then he inserted the key, listened carefully for a few seconds, and when he still couldn't hear anything, turned it. He winced when the lock opened with a loud ‘click,’ and strained his ears. After a silent half minute, he finally took a deep breath and pushed down the handle, opening the door just enough so he could peek through the crack.
Raven couldn't see anyone nearby, so he opened the door a little more and carefully stuck out his head. The short corridor seemed to be empty. He stepped out and shut the door with as little noise as possible. Then he locked it again with the key, so no one walking by would suspect anything was amiss.
[Okay - what to do now?] He looked to his left, to the end of the corridor, and out of the window. He could see another part of the castle, and behind it… His heart ached when he looked at the rolling hills out there. [Is this real, or is it all just an illusion, and this castle is in the midst of a rocky desert?] He sighed and tore his eyes from the landscape, redirecting them to the castle’s interior. [Time to find the others and try to get out of here.]
Careful not to make any noise, Luke walked down the short corridor, staying close to the walls so he could enter one of the other rooms quickly if he heard someone coming. When he came to spiral stairs leading downwards, he listened again, but all was still silent. Slowly, he walked down, step by soundless step, always alert. When he arrived at the floor below, he peeked into the corridor.
This one was longer and wider, high-ceilinged, and had colorful tapestries showing landscapes adorning the walls but it seemed just as deserted. Luke moved onwards into another corridor with more tapestries. When he looked at them, they seemed odd somehow. Casually, he stepped nearer and looked more carefully. What he saw made him stop dead in his tracks. He saw an angel-like being floating on a black background, which wasn't surprising in itself, but the realism of the tapestry was incredible. The light the "angel" was sending seemed brighter than he had thought possible for any thread or fabric to convey, almost like real light.
He turned to look at the tapestry next to it, which showed a very strange being. Its "head" with one eye in its front - or was it a helmet? - reminded him of a cobra's head somehow. The being wore a colorful cape that covered it to the ground so he couldn't see any detail of its body.
The next tapestry seemed to combine two pictures, with the blonde- and black-haired women, seeming asleep or unconscious, being taken away by ‘angels’. He went on, looking at each of the tapestries in turn, amazed by the detail that had been put into the designs as much as by their content.
One showed the four women that held them prisoner floating in a circle of light, with one "angel" at its center as the source of the illumination. There were twelve tapestries, each as amazing and fantastic as the other. The content of the last three seemed more realistic to him than the others: a strange ship leaving the planet, the four sisters lying in tubes in a dark chamber below, then a group of Brakiri around the open tubes and the awakened sisters.
The last picture showed the four women sitting on four throne-like chairs, with uniformed Brakiri guards forming a lane towards the viewer, giving Luke the impression of walking up to them. [What is this? Either someone has a very lively imagination, or...]
Raven shuddered. [In mediaeval times, they used to hang tapestries with scenes from legends and fairytales or from the ruler's life. Is it possible? Can these be scenes from the lives of the four women?]
That brought back the memory of their capture. [I have to find the others!] Reluctantly, he moved onwards, continuing his lonely journey.

Max's eyes blinked open, revealing a rough stone ceiling. He found himself lying on a soft bed. [Bed?! When the hell did I get to a bed?!] The last thing he remembered was being chained to the wall when that woman, Ilas, had come in. After a heady kiss, she'd knocked him out somehow. He didn't have a headache, so he didn't think it was a blow to the head. For a moment, he suspected a drug of some kind, but they always left a bad taste in his mouth. Unless his memory was doing strange things, she'd kissed him on the ear, and that had somehow knocked him out.
Raising his head, he looked around the room. There was a fireplace at the foot of the bed with a roaring fire. The room was something straight out of a mediaeval adventure. His eyes widened when he saw the door. Max stood quickly, then sat down hard on the bed as the room began to spin. Moving more slowly, he rose again and approached the door.
Remembering what he'd seen so far, Max decided he couldn't be too cautious. Reaching out slowly, he carefully laid his hand on the door. It felt like any proper wooden door should. He inched his hand towards the handle, preparing himself for... whatever. His fingers wrapped around the wooden handle and pulled.
Nothing. No alarms. No shock. No give. It was like the handle was bolted into solid stone. Turning, he faced the rest of the room, looking for some other way out. There were no windows he could see. "Aha!" he said aloud, striding towards the tapestry. Before he reached the hanging, however, his eyes flickered to the right, and he decided escape could wait.
From his vantage point, Max could see Ilas, eyes closed, blue hair spread over the stone as she lay in the tub. Her hair was longer than he'd guessed from seeing it pinned up. He could see the upper swell of her breasts above the bubbles, but the rest was hidden from view.
Moving slowly and, he hoped, quietly, Max walked to the edge of the tub, gazing down at the woman's almost unnaturally pale face. "Are you going to stand there all day or come in?" She finally spoke. Her tone was inviting, and her almond shaped eyes still lightly closed.
"How's the water?" Max asked, wondering how he'd gone from manacled to a dungeon wall to being invited to bathe with this ... temptress. Not for the first time, he found himself hoping his captivity lasted for a while at least.
"Hot," she said simply, finally opening her eyes and looking at him. One arm slid upwards and she reached back, raising her breasts out of the water as she plucked a ripe piece of fruit from the bowl. Unfortunately for Max, bubbles concealed her skin from his view. He could only see their round shape amid the bubbles.
"Just the way I like it." Seeing no other way out, Max decided that joining her would be prudent and wise. [And self-serving,] he reminded himself. Quickly he stripped, his courage failing him when he came to his briefs. He felt that somehow by keeping his erection covered, he would hide it from Ilas' view.
Ilas' lavender eyes fluttered to his crotch, a delicate blue eyebrow arching as she noticed the sizable bulge that Max was trying to conceal. Max thought, [oh lord, I think this is going to be quite enjoyable.]
Lowering one foot slowly into the water, Max found a step. A few moments later, he was chest deep in water set at a perfect temperature. The shape of the tub was such that Max could sit comfortably on the warm stone, his legs stretched out under the water. He glanced at Ilas and saw her taking a bite out of a small, juicy, dark red fruit.
Noticing his gaze, Ilas turned to face him, her pink tongue flicking out to lick a drop of juice from her lip. "Hungry?" She asked, swishing closer in the water, extending the fruit towards him.
Max regarded her for a long moment, wondering how much he dared. If he were any judge of women, she wouldn't stop him. Rather than take the fruit as she’d expected, Max wrapped his hand gently around Ilas' wrist, and pulled her hand closer. Looking carefully at her, Max sank his teeth into the tangy fruit, letting the flavor wash over his tongue.
Licking his lips, he saw bright red juice running down Ilas' pale fingers and wrist. She didn't seem to mind his boldness so far, so Max flicked his tongue across her skin, tasting the juice, and an intoxicating spice that could only be her.
"I shouldn't be letting you do that," Ilas pointed out, making no move to pull away. In fact, she seemed to shift even closer, her bare thigh brushing Max's left leg.
"No, I don't suppose you should." Max was still holding her wrist lightly. He took another bite, sending more juices onto her fingers. Her hand trembled slightly as he ran his tongue along the side of her wrist, chasing a small river of redness. "But you could easily stop me," he pointed out, his voice husky with desire.
Max continued to meet her hungry gaze as he took another bite, the tip of her thumb slipping between his lips. He sucked the digit gently for a moment before swallowing his bite. Max had hoped that by concentrating on the fruit and the hand that held it, his own desire would be held in check.
"Yes, I probably could," she replied softly. Forcing his eyes to her hand, he noticed there wasn't enough of the fruit to be worth another bite. With his free hand, he took the red fruit from her and set it on the side of the tub. Tugging her arm closer, Max brought her fingers to his mouth and slowly began to lick the remaining juice from them, sucking the tips.
"I'm really going too far now," he murmured.
"Much too far," she agreed, gasping softly as his tongue found a particularly sensitive spot at the base of her thumb. Ilas began to pull away, smiling at Max as she tugged her hand free. Sliding her hands below the water, Ilas pulled at his briefs, pulling them off and freeing his rigid cock. She then surged forward, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and kissing him passionately. Her legs wrapped around him as he moved forward to meet her, thrusting himself into her as she settled on his lap.
With their bodies fully interlocked, they were still for a moment, holding each other tightly. A moment later, Ilas moaned loudly, and Max could feel her tighten around him as her body convulsed with pleasure. It was too much, and he pushed himself up hard, emptying himself deep inside her. She slumped forward, panting softly against his neck as he held her tight. Wrapping his arms around her, Max leaned back, feeling her soft breasts pressed against him, their bodies still joined.
Finally lifting her head, Ilas kissed him softly, her lips playing with his. Cupping the back of her head, Max deepened the kiss, slipping his tongue between her lips. Again, the feeling of being drunk washed over him before she gently pulled her mouth from his. Giggling softly, she got out of the pool, her back to him. She wrapped the robe around her body before Max could see if all of her hair was blue.
Smiling at him, she walked along the edge of the tub. She stopped beside him, and he watched her step carefully on one of several discolored stones—lighter than the surrounding stone. The tub began to drain quickly, and she dropped a robe beside him. Saying nothing, she sauntered into the bedroom, leaving Max to follow.
"Don't talk much, do you?" he muttered as he pulled himself from the tub, donning the robe. In spite of his words, Max found her near silence appealing. Also, her voice usually had an arousing effect on him, so he was almost glad she wasn't talking at the moment—he was quite aroused enough!
Tying the belt around his waist, Max noticed his skin seemed dryer than it should have been. The robe was of some material he couldn't identify and seemed to pull the moisture away from his skin. [Wonder if I can get her to let me keep it, IPX would love this,] he thought idly, feeling more like his old self. For the first time in a while, he felt guilty about it. "Fuck IPX," he whispered to himself. [Well, something should get fucked, anyway,] he amended, thinking of Ilas.
Ilas was standing before the fire, apparently drying her hair, facing away from him. As Max approached, her hair seemed to shorten. Stopping to watch for a moment, Max tried to dismiss it as a trick of the light. Watching, he saw her hair shrink from a blue mane hanging to her waist, down to a faint blue fuzz surrounding her skull.
Sensing him behind her, Ilas turned, smiling at him. "It's just easier than brushing or drying it when it's long," she explained with a shrug, her hair already beginning to grow again. Max took a step closer, and Ilas' hair grew several more inches. By the time he was standing in front of her, her hair had regained and exceeded its previous length, and hung nearly to her knees.
"What are you?" Max asked the mysterious woman. "Besides my jailer, that is," he added, unable to sound as bitter as he felt he should have.
"For now," she whispered, stepping closer. Her hands rested on his chest, parting his robe slightly. "I'm whatever you want me to be."
"Uh-huh," Max breathed, his arms encircling her waist, and pulling her close. "And what if I asked you to be my savior -- to let me, and the others go?" His lips grazed hers, and her arms moved up around his neck. Even as he asked, he hoped the answer would be 'no.'
"Would you really want me to?" Ilas met his eyes and pressed herself against him, feeling his reawakening shaft. This time Max wasn't going to deny his returning erection and the demands it was placing on his body.
"No," he admitted, capturing her mouth with his in a crushing kiss. Max felt the knot in the belt of his robe loosen and stood back, letting Ilas push the black garment off his shoulders. Reaching for her, he returned the favor, glancing downwards and smirking slightly. "Blue all over, hmm?"
"I like blue," she replied, kissing him again. Max returned the kiss eagerly, stooping slightly and lifting her. Max felt his muscles strain as he discovered Ilas was heavier than her small frame and light weight in the water had led him to believe. Grunting softly, he tossed her onto the bed, enjoying her giggle as she bounced on the soft mattress.

Gideon tried to shift his position, but Angel pushed down on his chest "No!" was all she said. Then she lowered her head, her lips seeking out his throat. Gideon lay dead still as Angel’s soft lips brushed along his throat to his Adam’s apple, then back to the side of his throat. With her head bent low over him like that he could smell a soft earthy fragrance on her hair. It was intoxicating, and he took in a deep breath, trying to remind himself how angry he was and how much he was hating his helplessness.
The breath caught in his throat when he felt Angel sink her teeth into the soft skin of his neck. He bucked upwards and let out a loud yelp. Retaining her position on him, Angel raised her head to look at him. Her eyes were filled with mirth. [She’s taking pleasure in hurting me,] thought Gideon with shock. His anger was reignited within him, and he nursed it, nurturing it, telling himself to be patient. Revenge would be sweet when it finally came.
Angel giggled. "Oh, did Angel hurt the poor Captain?" Her tone was teasing. She giggled again. She lowered her head slightly and whispered. "Angel will kiss it better." Her lips lowered to where she had bitten him, and Gideon gasped as her lips brushed the tender spot. He almost stopped breathing when he felt her tongue flicking lightly over the area, bringing pleasure where there had been pain.
Then she shifted her position and started to kiss her way down his body until she took his right nipple between her teeth. Gideon looked down and saw her eyes rising to meet his and then she bit down roughly, making him gasp in pain.
Gideon strained against his restraints and felt the ropes cutting into him. He stopped pulling when he felt Angel once again gently sucking his nipple, her tongue tracing circles around it. [Damn her!] The feeling of pleasure and pain was causing Gideon’s senses to overload. Moving down his body, Angel’s lips brushed down his flat stomach, slowly making their way to their ultimate destination. Her head lowered, and her tongue flicked out, just on the tip of his penis. He thrust his hips upward, wanting her to take him all the way into her mouth. But at his movement, Angel raised her head away.
She laughed. "Uh Uh Captain…."
Gideon sank back down into the bed, filled with frustration. If he’d been free, he would have thrown her off, ripped off her clothes and taken her hard. He’d never in his life used force against a woman during sex, but this woman might just prove the exception to the rule. If she liked to dish out pain to her partners, then maybe it was time she understood what it felt like to be on the receiving end. If only he were free… But he wasn’t. He was at her mercy, under her complete control. Helpless.
It was a feeling he hated more than any other. Since he’d hung in space alone, watching his ship, the Cerberus destroyed, knowing that he was going to die and that he was helpless to prevent it, Gideon had sworn that he would never allow anyone to make him feel that way again. Yet here he was, tied up, pinned down and at the mercy of a raven-haired bitch who seemed determined to torment him with an intolerable mixture of pleasure and pain. Gideon swore that someday, somehow, he’d make her pay for what she was doing to him.
But then Angel lowered her mouth onto his penis, taking him deep into her mouth. Gideon writhed beneath her. The ropes cut into him again as he moved, but now he barely noticed the pain. His cock felt like it was going to explode.
Suddenly, she was no longer on the bed with him. [Damn, she moves like lightning,] thought Gideon. All his attention was taken away from his own body, when he saw what Angel was doing. She was stripping her clothes off.
Gideon’s eyes were riveted to her as she undid the knot that held the midriff tunic in place and removed it. His eyes focused on her breasts, which were full, round and firm, begging to be touched. Her nipples were hard, their dark pink a startling contrast to the pale skin of her breasts. They swayed gently as she moved to untie the holster that hid the knife she’d used to cut off his jacket. She let it fall to the ground on top of her tunic. She was obviously fully aware of Gideon’s eyes on her, and the hungry look on his face, as she slowly continued to strip.


Chapter 2
When John awoke, he realized that someone was playing music. He opened his eyes and looked up at a high ceiling covered with the most extraordinary plaster reliefs he'd ever seen. Directly above him he could see two mating unicorns in the grass of a meadow. When he let his eyes roam around the room, he saw that there was a herd of unicorns on the meadow, which were grazing, playing and just standing beside each other, enjoying the peace. The animals and plants seemed so realistic that he expected them to move at any moment.
"Do you like it?" John pushed himself up on his elbows, realizing that his uniform jacket and shirt—or what was left of them—were gone and that he was lying between soft furs and cushions in a round [Hollow?] of sorts. [Well considering where I was earlier—and if it wasn't so comfortable—I’d call it a pit.]
In the opposite corner of the room he saw a table and several easy chairs, but no one was sitting in them. The fireplace in the left wall was cold. He turned on his stomach and looked behind him, where the voice had come from. In front of a large window, Lily sat on the broad window seat, gently plucking the strings of what looked like a small harp.
She smiled down at him. "I love unicorns. They’re so beautiful and perfect." She put the harp on the floor and with one fluid movement glided down from the window seat and onto her belly in front of him. Her head rested on her hands, and her emerald-green eyes smiled at him as much as her lips. "Good morning. Or rather, good evening."
Matheson swallowed and asked, "Is it already evening?"
"Well, the sun is going down. I like to watch that from my window." She reached down for his hand and tugged him to his feet; he was surprised to find that her petite figure hid more strength than he'd have given her credit for. Only when he stood at the window beside her did he realize that his uniform pants had been removed and replaced by tight-fitting, dark red pants of a silky material.
But he didn't have time to think about that before she sighed and said, "Isn't this the most beautiful sunset you've ever seen?" Matheson looked out and had to agree that despite having seen many sunsets on many different worlds, it was at least one of the most impressive, if not the most beautiful, he'd seen. The sky seemed to be alive with countless shades of red, orange, yellow and gold.
Lily leaned her cheek and right hand against his chest and reached around his back with her other arm, her hand lightly resting on his left hip. John looked down at the mass of red curls, unsure of what to do, then laid his arm around her shoulder and looked out at the setting sun again. Suddenly she stiffened, then she slipped away from him and stared out the window, a distracted look on her face. Her mouth curved into a smile. "He's coming... he will come here!"
She whirled around and looked at him excitedly. "He will come here!" Before he could ask what or who she was talking about, she said, "You must be hungry. You have to eat!" She dragged him to one of the easy chairs and gestured at the collection of plates laid out on the table. "Take what you like." She seated herself on the chair opposite his and poured red liquid from a decanter into their glasses.
"Fruit juice," she explained as she took a sip from her glass. "It's my favorite." Then she attacked the food, obviously hungry herself. Matheson helped himself to something that looked like curry but tasted sweet instead of spicy. Once he’d gotten a taste, he found that he was very hungry indeed. No wonder - his last meal had been on the Excalibur, and the mental and physical strains of the last few hours had taken a lot of energy.
They ate in silence and cleaned most plates. Finally, he had to give up and leaned back in the soft easy chair. "One bite more and I'll burst." For lack of napkins he licked his fingers clean, suddenly aware of Lily's intense stare. He tried to ignore it, and especially her cleavage that was even more visible now that she leaned forward, and instead moved his gaze around the room, studying its details.
The walls were covered with white plaster, all corners and edges rounded. On the wall between the table and the ‘pit’ was a fireplace. He let his gaze wander further and caught his breath when he saw the giant tapestry hanging directly opposite the door. "That... that’s incredible!" he gasped.
Lily smiled, eyes sparkling. "Thank you! I made it myself!" He looked at her amazed, then back at the tapestry. It hung almost from floor to ceiling, and showed Lily life size, standing in a dark grove. Two giant wolves framed her, one white and one black, yellow eyes glowing. He could just make out three other women in the shadows between the trees.
The broad edges of the tapestry were filled with intricate floral patterns and symbols. Everything looked incredibly lifelike, almost like a photograph. "How did you achieve such a realistic look?" Matheson asked.
"My secret," Lily answered, smiling.
John looked at her, decided she wouldn't tell him more, and looked around the rest of the room. To the left of the tapestry stood a four-poster bed. In the wall behind him, exactly opposite the tapestry, was another wooden door. Suddenly, he was distracted when Lily kneeled before him and rested her forearms on his knees. Her breasts were pressed together by her upper arms, making it even harder for John to ignore them. "So... is your hunger satisfied?" she asked with her purring voice.
John swallowed. "Yes."
Lily smiled, "Good," and leaned forward. "Then I can serve dessert." Her lips gently touched his in the softest of kisses, but it soon turned wilder, their tongues playing with each other. Both were gasping for breath when they finally broke away.
John stood, then lifted her and carried her to the bed. He studied her face reverently, stroking her cheek. "You are incredibly beautiful," he said.
Lily smiled, then moved from the bed to stand in front of him. She reached behind her, and a moment later her belt fell to the ground. She shook her shoulders once, and her dress fell away, revealing all of her to his eyes. He was breathless as his eyes roamed her body, her full breasts, her slim waist, softly rounded hips, the V of curly red hair, firm thighs and perfectly shaped legs. Her bare feet were half hidden under the garment, but he could still see that they had to be tiny.
For a few seconds, she let him marvel at her body then she moved to kiss him again, pressing her naked body against his. John gasped when her hands slid beneath his pants and her nails dug into his buttocks. Suddenly, he grabbed her and lifted her on the bed, making her squeal with surprise and delight. He quickly removed his pants and joined her, moving his hands over her body, finding her most sensitive parts, touching, stroking, caressing until Lily was desperate.
"Please... I want you inside me..." she gasped.
John looked at her, grinned and said, "Your wish is my command," positioning himself between her legs. He entered her slowly, completely, making her gasp, then he lost himself in the pleasure of their love making.

Max was fully recovered from their earlier encounter and eagerly awaiting the next one. [She's going to be the death of me if I keep going like this.] He glanced down at Ilas, meeting her lavender eyes. [But what a way to go.]
Grinning at her sprawled form, Max crouched and climbed onto the bed, moving up her body. He hooked his hand gently under Ilas' left knee, stroking her thigh as he raised her leg, setting her calf to rest on his shoulder. Reaching up for him, she pulled his mouth down to hers for a slow kiss, trapping her leg between them. Glancing at her face, he saw no apparent discomfort. "Mighty limber, aren't we?" he murmured, reaching between her legs, slipping two fingers into her heat.
"You have no idea." She raised her other leg to wrap around Max's waist.
"I'm getting one!" Max whispered against her neck, several images dancing across his mind. Deciding to save them for later, Max moved his hips back slightly, poising himself to enter her. With a quick thrust, he slipped into her, burying himself to the hilt. Max braced himself with his arms on either side of her and moved quickly, feeling her leg pulling him closer and deeper. He drove into her with energy he didn't know he had, pushing her hard against the mattress until he exploded inside her. Resting his head on her shoulder, Max lay recovering for a long moment as Ilas held him gently.
"Where's Matheson?" he asked quietly, his mind beginning to clear. "Still in the cell?"
"Oh, no, I'm sure Lilith has him by now. The others—your friends—are also being taken care of by my sisters. Your Captain is going to have his hands full!"
"If your, uh, sisters are anything like you, I'm sure he does, and then some!" His chest rumbled faintly as he chuckled. Max closed his eyes and felt himself drowse for a while but was quickly awakened by something warm pressed against him. Opening his eyes, he saw Ilas slowly kissing her way down his chest.
"Of course," Max reached for her, flipping her neatly onto her back and rolling to his side to face her. "If they're anything like you, none of the men on this mission will survive the night." He kissed her briefly. "We'll die of exhaustion!" He grinned before starting to make love to her again.

Gideon watched Angel, his eyes taking in her narrow waist. Her skin was pale and flawless except for her right shoulder, where a long scar stretched from just above her armpit to the top of her of her collarbone. Then she began removing her tight red pants, peeling them off down her long, shapely legs. She kicked them away with one bare foot.
Gideon ran his eyes down her naked body and saw a small tattoo. It was an intricate unicorn, small and colorful. [Interesting,] he thought to himself. Then his eyes came to the mound of dark curls, as raven as her hair, and standing out like a beacon against her pale thighs. His cock started to throb in reaction to the sight of her. Desire coursed through him, drowning his pain and anger until only lust remained.
Angel climbed on top of him and lowered herself onto the tip of his erection, so that he was just at the entrance of her wet, warm center. She leaned forward to kiss him gently, but then bit down hard on Gideon’s lip. He screamed in pain and his hips thrust upwards, just as Angel came down, taking him deep inside her. Her hands snaked around the top of his shoulders, taking a firm hold. She pulled back, bracing herself, then began to move slowly at first, then her rocking back and forth increased in tempo.
Gideon’s shoulders and arms strained as her motion pulled at him with every thrust. He was stretched so tightly that every time she moved, the ropes at his wrists and ankles tightened painfully against his skin, rubbing him raw. Angel picked up the pace, riding him harder and harder, her moans of pleasure filling the cell with almost animal sounds. Then she sat straight up, throwing her head back, leaning as far back as she could with her hold on Gideon’s shoulders. Gideon flinched as her nails dug into his back. He could feel his skin breaking, but waves of pleasure rode over the pain.
Her thrusts became wilder, driving down on him hard. Her pace never slowed as she attacked his neck with a series of kisses. Gideon’s hips bucked up again to meet her when she sank her teeth into the flesh above his collarbone. This time he was sure her bite had drawn blood, but he didn’t care. He could feel himself getting closer to climax. He could see that she was close to the final explosion, her thrusts getting harder.
Gideon’s body shuddered as the orgasm hit him and he felt Angel come with him. He lay still, his breathing as ragged as Angel’s who lay on top of him, her hot skin damp against his. Then she moved to lie by his side, her right leg draped across his thighs. The only sound was her labored breathing, which was slowly returning to normal.
Gideon felt sore all over. His muscles had been stretched to their limit while she was fucking him. He was now aware of how much his wrists and ankles hurt. When he looked to see what damage had been done, he could see his skin was raw beneath the ropes, flecked with blood. His blood.
Suddenly, Angel leaped off the bed and turned to stare at the door. Gideon wondered if she’d heard something. He looked at the door, but there was nothing. She then closed her eyes and stretched, like a cat in the sun. Then her arms came down and her eyes opened to fix him with an icy stare. She frowned again, and looked again from him to the door, with a look of distraction on her face. She seemed to have made up her mind about something.
In that low, throaty voice she said, "I’m going to leave you for a while, Captain." Angel moved to where her discarded clothes lay and started to dress. "There’s something I need to do."
Gideon cleared his throat and looked from her to his naked body and to the ropes tying him. "Would you at least release me and allow me to get dressed?"
Angel giggled and moved to kneel beside the bed. Her hand reached up and she traced his lips with her index finger. There was amusement in her voice, but Gideon didn’t think what he’d said was amusing in the least; he was damned uncomfortable. But she obviously did. "Of course not, silly. I prefer you like this. No obstacles when I come back."
[Come back?] Despite his position Gideon hoped that wouldn’t be soon, he didn’t think he could handle another session like the one he’d just endured. Angel leaned forward and kissed his cheek, then stood up. [Dear God, she’s serious, she going to leave me like this!]
Gideon gaped at her retreating back, watching her hips sway seductively. She reached the door and pulled it open, then turned back. "Don’t go anywhere," she said with a tiny laugh, then disappeared, closing the heavy door behind her.
Gideon stared at the closed door. He then looked at himself and the ridiculous situation he was in, "Don’t go anywhere," he said imitating Angel’s voice. "Like that’s an option."
The Captain lay still in the semi-darkness of the cell. He was alone and his body was aching and sore. He wished that someone, [anyone but Angel,] would come, at least to untie him. He also wanted to find out about his crew, where they were, if they were all right. He sighed heavily and realized that he was probably going to be there awhile, and that it was pointless to try to get loose. So, he lay still and did the only thing he could do. He waited.

Luke had gone down another spiral staircase and was now walking along another empty corridor. The castle seemed even more elaborate from the inside than from the outside. Most of it felt unoccupied to him, but it was well maintained. From the windows he had a fantastic view of the surrounding landscape. He couldn't help but stop and look out every third or fourth one he passed. This planet reminded him so much of Earth.
He let out a sigh. [I can understand the pressure the Excalibur's crew is under and especially Gideon,] he thought. Suddenly, he heard laughter from further up the corridor. Glad to be distracted from his brooding, he went in that direction, careful not to make any noise. After a few seconds he heard it again, nearer this time, somewhere to his right.
A picture of the red head popped up in his mind. [Yes, it could be her from the sound of the voice and the way she laughs.]
He came to an intricately carved wooden door that was slightly open, and he could hear the same voice giggle from behind it. Carefully, he peeked inside and saw a bed standing against the opposite wall, cushion and sheets piled at the foot. Just then someone sat up, his naked back to Luke. [Matheson?] he thought in bewilderment.
He saw the young Lieutenant lift the redheaded woman against his chest. She cradled the back of Matheson's head in her right hand and whispered something into his ear, which caused him to laugh. Raven had just decided it would be better to leave when Lily looked straight at him, a lascivious smile on her face.
Luke threw himself back into the corridor and pressed his back against the wall, breathing hard. He could hear soft moans and gasps from inside the room, not helping him regain his composure. He had to summon up all his control to walk away from the door and further down the corridor. After a while he leaned heavily on the next window seat, his hands grabbing the stone edge of the sill.
"You found my second favorite place." Luke spun around and found Lily standing on the other side of the corridor, her naked body barely covered by the blue sheet she had wrapped around herself. It was emphasizing rather than concealing her curves.
Luke swallowed and managed to utter a half-choked, "What?"
Lilith smiled as she slowly came nearer, step by step, like a predator on the prowl, while Luke slid away from her, gripping the edge of the window seat behind him. She continued, "I had a sight that you'd come to me and that you would like what you'd find."
With that she reached him and stretched out a hand to stroke his face. He flinched, feeling trapped by her eyes boring into his, by the scent of her making him dizzy, by her hand on his face, by her body so close to his. He felt defenseless, trapped like a bird in a snake's stare. Some remote part of him realized that he was afraid of her; he'd felt intimidated by this petite redhead with the hypnotic green eyes from the first moment he'd seen her because he'd known from that very moment that he wanted her, and that his body would betray him once she got close enough.
Coherent thought fled him when she ripped open his shirt, sending buttons flying. She grabbed his neck and tugged his head down, meeting his mouth in a violent kiss. At the same time, she pushed him back onto the deep window seat, climbing up after him without ever breaking the kiss.
He had no idea what happened to his clothes but moments later he was moaning and arching his back as Lily straddled him and impaled herself on him. All too soon he felt himself starting to lose control; Lily's hips moved faster, harder, her moans growing louder and more desperate, and then he felt her come violently, her muscles spasming around him, sending him over the edge with a loud cry.
As he lay recovering, a million questions floated through Luke's head, but he felt much too drowsy to concentrate on any of them, and soon he fell asleep.

Lily looked at the two men lying either side of her large bed, both sleeping soundly. After Raven had gone to sleep, she'd called a guard and had him carry the doctor to her room. Then she’d ordered more food, knowing he’d be very hungry when he woke up.
A knock on her door roused her from her musings. A Brakiri entered when she opened it, carrying a large tray filled with food. He cleared the plates she and John had left earlier from the table, then put down the new dishes, as well as a bowl of assorted fruits and another decanter of the fruit juice. He didn't so much as glance at the two humans lying in her bed; the Brakiri did not question their mistresses.
When he’d left, Lily locked the door and looked around her room, wondering what to do until her toys woke up. Nothing that came to her mind appealed to her. [Come on... you need some rest too!] She walked over to her bed and let her dress float to the ground, then stepped up onto the mattress and lightly over Luke's sleeping form. Without waking them, she slipped under the sheet between the two men and was soon sleeping.

Angel walked into her bedroom. She was feeling very satisfied and happy. Her session with Gideon had been wonderful. Angel smiled to herself, she really liked Gideon. She would definitely have more fun with him later. But right now, she was burning with curiosity. Time to see what her sisters were up to.
The young witch walked to the doorway in the wall beside the fireplace. The door opened at a wave from her arm, and she stepped through, entering her workshop. This was a place that was private, where she could come to work on her spells and potions without being disturbed. None of the others had ever been in here. And if they had they would have been surprised and shocked to see that, unlike her living area and bedroom, it was immaculate.
Books were neatly piled on tables, in and on bookshelves and even the ones on the floor were stacked neatly. The shelves that contained all the bottles of ingredients she needed for her spells and potions were well-ordered and labeled. This room also contained a fireplace. It was constantly lit, as the room with its dark heavy walls could get very cold without it. Candles were everywhere -- on tables, on the mantle over the fireplace, and large candelabra stood in each of the four corners.
Angel spoke a word, and the candles came alight, casting a warm glow all over the room. She walked to where a large lectern stood in the center of the room. A shaft of light from a small round window above illuminated a thick, large leather-bound book that lay open there. Angel stood and let her hands run over the open pages.
This was her pride and joy; her Grimoire, the book of spells that she had worked on over the years. Angel smiled softly then walked over to a shelf that contained various objects. She picked up two glass balls that when touched shimmered to life, a myriad of colors playing across their surface. Holding one in either hand, the witch walked over to an armchair in front of the fireplace and sat, curling her legs underneath her.
She placed one of the glass balls on the small round table next to her chair and held up the other, letting the glow from the fire play across it. Then she closed her eyes for a moment, her lips moving silently as she said the words. She let go of the ball. It hovered in midair and started to glow. Then it seemed to expand until it turned into what appeared to be a window. Inside the frame, the image of a room appeared.
Angel opened her eyes. She smiled when she saw Ilas walk over to and stand by the fireplace drying her hair. She sat up slightly when she saw the one called Max walk into the room wearing a black robe. Angel could feel her body responding as she watched their lovemaking. She considered stopping so that she could go satisfy herself again with Gideon, but her eyes were fixed on the view in front of her as she watched Max flip Ilas onto her stomach. Her head tilted to the side as she watched Ilas twist her body into a position that just shouldn’t have been possible. Angel knew what Ilas was capable of doing with that body of hers, but it still amazed her.
She smiled at the concern she heard in Max’s voice when he asked Ilas if she was hurt but quickly sat up in surprise when Ilas’ body froze and her eyes darted around the room.
"Uh-oh," she said, "Rats, caught in the act."
She watched Ilas dragging and pushing Max into her workshop. Angel knew that Ilas didn’t like to be watched, but she’d taken the risk, believing that being so involved with her pet, the blue girl wouldn’t notice the window. But she had.
Angel quickly waved her arm and the window closed, the Ball of Sight returning to its original size. Angel grabbed for it before it fell to the ground. "I’m going to be in trouble," said Angel with amusement. Ilas would be angry with her, but she knew her sister wouldn’t be mad at her for long. Not like Demon…
The young witch screwed up her face at the thought of her older sister. Now, Demon would give her a verbal beating if she ever caught her watching. "Oh, well." Angel put the ball down and picked up the other one. Time to see what Lily was up to. At least Lily wouldn’t mind if she watched.
She got the Ball set up and relaxed back into her chair as she saw Lily in her four-poster bed with the handsome young man. [What was his name again? Oh yes, Matheson.] Angel watched as they made love, feeling the heat rising between her legs as she watched. She thought about going back to Gideon but was caught when her window showed the door to Lily’s room slowly opening. A man Angel hadn’t seen before stood in the doorway watching the couple in bed for a moment, before quickly drawing back into the corridor.
[Lily has quite an audience today.] Angel leaned forward in her chair, watching intently as Lily left her first lover in her bed, wrapped a sheet around herself, and followed the stranger out into the corridor. She muttered a few more words, causing the window to shift, showing a view from outside Lily’s room. Angel’s breath came faster as she watched Lily push the stranger back into a window seat and take him there. She decided the time had come to stop watching and start acting. Time to go back to Gideon.
She was just putting the glass globes away when she heard Demon’s strident voice calling from her living room. "Angel, when will you learn to tidy up after yourself?"
Angel sucked in her breath and then let it out in a long-suffering sigh as she rolled her eyes up to the ceiling. "Nag, nag, nag," she muttered as she unfolded her legs and stood up. She wasn’t really in the mood to deal with her older sister, but Angel left her workshop to go see what Demon wanted.

Ilas panted slightly as she recovered from their lovemaking. Max grinned down at her, his blue eyes opening as he returned from wherever his orgasm had sent him.
She pulled back the covers and they climbed under them, Max pulling her close for a deep kiss. "That was incredible," he told her. "Are you hurt at all?" His hands slid to her hips, feeling carefully for any sign of damage.
"Um-mmm," she shook her head, letting his hands go where they would. "It was fun, actually. I like…" she stopped abruptly, her face freezing. "Go get the robes," she commanded.
Max slipped from the bed and retrieved the robes from the floor. Pulling his around him, he tossed the other to Ilas, who quickly donned it before standing. Glancing once more around the room, she snarled something in a language Max didn't have time to translate. Grabbing his hand, Ilas pulled him over to the tapestry and pulled it aside, revealing a hard stone wall. "Go."
"It's just--"
"GO!" she pushed him towards the wall, and Max felt himself falling through it and landing hard on a stone floor on the other side. A moment later Ilas joined him, lighting a candle that flickered brightly. Max looked up at her, stunned.
Before he could ask what had happened, she spoke again. "She can't see in here," Ilas reached down and pulled Max to his feet. Her face seemed to glow in the candlelight, and she stepped away, lighting more candles.
"Who can't?" Max watched as the room took shape from the darkness. Most of the candles rested in nooks in the wall. There were also mirrors all over, which further brightened the room, making a dozen candles seem like a thousand. In one corner, there was a large bed, which Max was surprised to find curtained.
"My sister, Angel," Ilas' voice had softened, "She likes to watch, sometimes." Pulling back the curtain, she sat on the bed. Max joined her, leaning against the headboard as she continued. "I don't like an audience. No matter how unseen."
"How did you know she was watching?" Max asked, his eyes drifting to some writing on part of the wall the curtains didn’t conceal. Even as he wrapped his arms around Ilas and pulled her close, part of his mind had already begun translating the words; he was powerless to stop it.
"She's my sister. I just knew. I didn't notice it before, so she might have been watching for a while." Ilas saw that Max's eyes were fixed on the wall. "What are you looking at?" She saw the markings. "They've been there since before I got here. I think They left them, but I can't figure out what they say."
"I can," Max said softly, shifting closer and peering past the bed. "Who left them here?" he asked distractedly.
"Them." she said simply. "The ones who brought us together. I don't remember them as well as the others do."
Max heard her, but from a distance. When his mind was translating, everything else took a back seat. He finally read the entire message and the meaning of it stunned him. Turning, he looked at Ilas as memories of a post-graduate dig surfaced. "Ilas, what do you look like?"
"You can see what I look like," she replied, trying to evade the question.
"No, I mean what do you look like really. " He spoke softly, trying not to sound demanding. If he was right... Lord, he hoped he wasn't.
Ilas closed her eyes and didn't move for a long time. Finally, she removed the robe, exposing her body fully to his view. Max reached out to her, but stopped as her skin began to ripple, her body changing. She was still pale, but not nearly so white, and her skin took on a golden sheen. Her body thickened, but her breasts remained full and her waist small. Blue hair darkened and reddened to become a dark lavender, almost purple. The scar on her hip vanished.
When she opened her eyes, Max saw that they had become cat's eyes. The iris was red with a slit of black in the center, surrounded by white. Her face was fuller when she met his eyes. He could see the truth in them and was about to speak when he saw she had one final change. On her right cheek, a nasty looking scar formed, and Max knew it was why she chose to wear a different face from her own.
"My God," he whispered as the pieces fell into place and he realized what she was.
"What is it?" She looked away; afraid her appearance had repulsed him.
"Ilas," he said gently. "How long have you been here?" he reached out and placed a hand gently on her shoulder.
"A few years, why?" she shifted closer, seeking his touch.
"Hmm," Max pulled her close, wrapping his arms around her. "The ones who brought you here, what did they look like?"
"Light," was all the answer she gave.
"Yes, that's what my sisters call them sometimes. How did you read the writing and why did you want to see what I look like? Do you know what I am?" she asked, her voice eager.
"Yes, I do," Max sighed sadly, meeting Ilas' piercing gaze. "There's no easy way to tell you this," he cupped her left cheek. "Your people, your planet - they were mostly destroyed around a thousand years ago. I was there when I was much younger, studying. Few of the buildings survived, and those that did had crumbled over the centuries. Some of the underground caverns were still intact, including many with pictures of the natives and a few artifacts. We didn't know it then, but they'd been destroyed in the last Shadow War."
Ilas curled up against him, listening as he related the pieced-together history from his memories of the dig and what he'd read on the wall. "Your people, by the way, were chameleons. They could change their skin color at will, but this…" he ran a hand over her upper arm, hugging her lightly as he did so. "Is what color they were when they didn't actively change it. From what I can tell, the Vorlons took what survivors of your race they could find—you included, apparently—and saved them; stored them. For what, I don't know. But whatever the reason, they've obviously enhanced your natural abilities. Why they did it, and then left you here with the others, I don't know."
"So, I'm the last of my kind?" she asked quietly.
"Considering that the Vorlons have gone beyond the rim, I'm sorry to say yes, you probably are." He could feel her shoulders tremble as she cried. Max held her long after her tears had subsided. He studiously tried to ignore the fact that she was naked. "I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news."
"No," she stopped him, sitting up and meeting his eyes. "I can't thank you enough. I've always wanted to know what I was, where I came from. I just... a thousand years!" She looked away and reached for her robe, pulling it around her before sitting beside him again. "You never did tell me how you could read that. Do you know the language?"
"Nope. Never saw it before." Max couldn't help but preen. It was so rare that he had a chance to really show off. At least she seemed to appreciate it, rather than take it for granted.
"Then how could you read it?"
"That's my job," he said somewhat smugly, grinning. "I'm a linguist, and a Xenoarcheologist. That's how I came to be on your home world. It's out on the rim, no colonies around it - perfect for an eager young grad student to make his mark. Your people were quite advanced, technically. It was what I found there that helped me land a job at IPX, which has set me up for life. Most of the technology has become obsolete in the last few years, though, what with Vorlons and Minbari tech on the markets."
"Well, I'm glad I could help," her lips curved in a smile and she kissed his cheek


Chapter 3
Gideon lay waiting in the cell. It seemed like hours since Angel had left, but he knew it hadn’t been that long. He ached all over. He’d played some rough games in the past, but this lady took rough to a whole new level. He looked up at the bindings that held his wrists to the headboard and pulled gently against them. It hurt. Gideon’s wrists and ankles had been bruised and rubbed raw. Not surprising in the circumstances.
He wondered how long Angel would leave him like this. He didn’t know whether he longed for or feared her return. On the one hand (Gideon glanced up at one of his bound hands) it had been one hell of a ride. Angel was certainly creative and there was something attractive about letting another person take control. Having to make life or death decisions every day for years had ground Gideon down. Sometimes he wanted someone else to take over. She’d certainly done that!
On the other hand (Gideon looked the other way and grimaced) he’d hated feeling helpless, she’d caused him significant pain and he didn’t know how much more of this he could take. His entire body ached, his muscles and tendons felt stretched and sore, and dammit, he needed to pee.
When the door started to open, Gideon looked down the length of his naked body to see who was entering the room. He still wasn’t sure who he wanted to see there, but he certainly hadn’t expected this.
The woman they’d called Demon stood in the doorway. She walked to the side of the bed and silently looked at the length of him stretched by the bindings at his wrists and ankles. Gideon had never felt so naked in his life as he did under this woman’s scrutiny. She showed not the slightest flicker of interest or concern as her eyes swept up from his feet to his head. The captain felt himself blushing, which was something he didn’t often do.
The blonde woman leaned forward and removed a knife from the sheath tied to her thigh. Then she lifted the dagger towards him, and Gideon flinched, fearing what she planned to do with the blade. For a moment, her face flickered, and then she spoke softly. “I won’t harm you. The knots are too tight for me to untie. I’ll have to cut your bindings.”
Her voice was low and sultry, husky but softly spoken, with a strong English accent. She cut the rope binding his left wrist without saying another word. Then she leaned across him to release his other wrist and as she did so, Gideon became aware of her body. His face was within inches of Demon’s generous breasts; he could hardly help noticing that they were firm and round under the skin-tight leather top she wore. He inhaled her scent, not knowing whether it was a perfume or her natural musk; but whatever it was, she smelled good.
As Gideon brought his arms down from above his head, the muscles in his shoulders and arms screamed in protest. He grunted in pain but kept moving. Demon moved to his ankles and cut the ropes, allowing him to draw his legs up. Again, his muscles sent him a clear message that they were not happy. He tried to sit up on the bed but fell back, unable to control the spasms now searing through his joints.
The blonde spoke again. "Lie still, Captain, I’ll be back in a moment." Then she turned and left the room.
Gideon lay on the bed and wondered again who the hell these women were. They’d captured him and his crew with ease, and he still couldn’t understand how they’d done that. What they wanted was clear. Or at least it was obvious what Angel had wanted. Would this woman want the same? He hoped she would at least give him time to recover. The way he felt at that moment, it would take him a week before he could perform again. He wondered what was happening to his crew. Were they being held and subjected to the same punishment as he? He hoped not. Gideon wished there were some form of covering on the bed; he was very much aware of his nakedness.
The door moved again, and Demon re-entered the room. She carried a glass in one hand and a small cylindrical object in the other. Draped over her right arm was some black material. She helped Gideon to sit upright and put the glass to his mouth. "Drink this, it will help."
Could he trust her? It didn’t really matter. He was as weak as a kitten and when he sat up, he realized just how tall Demon was; in low heels she could look him straight in the eye. And while her body was slim and athletic, the curves were completely female, and muscles rippled beneath the figure-hugging black one-piece suit she wore. Gideon suspected that she massed not much less than he did and could probably give him a tough fight in normal circumstances. At present, she could flatten him with a harsh word.
He drank and held the empty glass out for her to take from him, his hand shaking as he did so. As she took the glass, Demon dropped the black material into his lap, covering him where he felt most exposed. Gideon looked down and saw that she’d brought him a robe. He left it where it lay as he looked back up into her face.
It was a face well worth looking at. High cheekbones showed under a flawless pale skin. Her full lips looked moist, while a long straight nose gave her a regal appearance. Her pale gold hair was tied up loosely and soft curls fell around small, neat ears. But her large eyes were her most noticeable features. Gideon realized that they were the same color as his own: hazel brown and showing the concern that the rest of her face concealed.
Demon turned and walked to the corner of the room, where she put the empty glass on a table. As she walked away Gideon watched her move. The back view was as good as the front. Long legs led up to firm round buttocks. Her full hips swayed as she walked. His eyes traveled up to her slim waist then further up to broad shoulders.
She returned to where he sat on the edge of the bed. "Give me your hand." That soft, sultry voice again.
Gideon didn’t hesitate, just raised his right arm, despite the pain in his shoulders. Although, he suddenly realized, they were no longer quite as painful as they had been. Maybe whatever she’d given him to drink had been helpful after all but he was still as sore as hell and his hand still shook.
The blonde woman grasped his forearm firmly to still the shaking and Gideon could feel the strength in the long, slender fingers. She lifted his wrist and moved her other hand, which held the small cylinder, until it rested just above the bruised and cut area. She started to move the tube in slow circles over his wrist, turning his arm so she could cover all the damaged parts. A low hum came from the cylinder, and as Gideon watched, his bruises faded, the cuts closed up and the shaking stopped. "That’s amazing." He spoke to her for the first time, looking up into Demon’s face to see she was smiling.
"Just a technology that’s apparently a little more advanced than your own." The low voice sounded again. Gideon wanted to ask her a million questions, but for the moment he just watched as she played the cylinder over his other wrist and ankles. The wounds faded and healed, and the pain vanished. He wondered if she could do the same for the tortured muscles in his shoulders, arms and legs which were still painful despite the effects of the drink she’d brought him.
"Try to stand." She put her arm around him and helped lift him. As she did so, the robe started to fall, and Gideon bent to catch it. His naked back and shoulders were exposed, and he heard her intake of breath. She’d seen the scratches and bites Angel had inflicted there.
"Turn around." Well, she was certainly good at giving orders. She’d done little else since entering the room. What the hell, he might as well play along. Gideon turned his back and felt Demon run the small machine over his shoulders and back. The soreness disappeared and he was able to move his shoulders enough to pull on the robe she had given him. He felt better at once but was still unsteady on his feet.
"Can you walk?" The blonde woman sounded concerned and when Gideon looked into her eyes, he saw that he was right. Her face was impassive, but her eyes looked worried. "I can try to carry you if you can’t."
Then she smiled and Gideon couldn’t help himself. "What’s so amusing?" he snapped at her.
"Oh, I just had this image of a 20th century movie in which the hero carries the heroine in his arms up a flight of stairs, while her gown trails behind her. I wondered what we’d look like if we reversed the roles."
Her grin was infectious, and Gideon barked a short laugh. "Let’s not try that one. I’ll do my best." He took a step towards the door and staggered. His hips, legs and back were still sore and difficult to move.
Demon moved towards him and again put her arm around him. "Just for balance," she said, smiling again. Gideon needed her support more than that, but he smiled back and leaned against her as they left the room.
"Where are we going?" He leaned more heavily on her as they walked down the corridor. "I hope it isn’t far."
Demon smiled at him again. "Not far; only to my rooms." Gideon almost groaned aloud. Was she going to try to repeat Angel’s games? If so, she’d probably kill him. She continued, "It’s the one place where Angel won’t come after you, Captain, and I suspect you need some respite after being the subject of her… attentions." She sounded amused, which annoyed him. Didn’t she realize how demanding Angel was? Before he could say anything, she carried on. "I’ve noticed that my baby sister can be a little rough on her pets."
Baby sister? How the hell could these two women be related? Gideon thought back to his session with Angel. He’d certainly had the opportunity to study her in detail. Medium build, slim and strong, raven black hair and piercing blue eyes. But when he looked again at the woman who was by now half-carrying him, he could see the resemblance in the shape of the face and set of the bones. Maybe they were sisters after all. At least it sounded like Demon wanted to protect him from Angel. Gideon’s main concern was whether she had any other agenda.
Having struggled up a couple of flights of stairs, they arrived at a door that the blonde pushed open with her free hand. The room they entered was large and white. The walls, furniture, drapes -- everything was white. Demon led him towards a sofa, but he held back.
"Look, I’m sorry to trouble you, but I really need a bathroom." Gideon straightened up and let go of Demon’s shoulder. He was damned if she was going to carry him in there. She nodded towards a door in the corner of the room and he staggered towards it.
When he emerged a little while later, feeling much more human, Demon was sitting on one of the two deep sofas that faced each other across the center of the room. Between the sofas was a large, low table that was now covered with plates of food. Gideon’s stomach gave a loud and prolonged rumble. He realized that a good part of his weakness was caused by lack of nourishment. He couldn’t remember when he’d last eaten, but it had definitely been before they jumped from hyperspace. Quite a while before.
Demon smiled up at him as he approached. "I can hear that I was right to assume you might be hungry. I don’t know what you eat so I ordered a variety. I hope you can find something acceptable."
Gideon half-collapsed onto the sofa opposite her and studied the food in front of him. There was enough to feed a dozen people. "Well, OK, this is what I’m having, where’s yours?"
She laughed. "Oh, I ate earlier while you were… occupied. This is all yours, Captain." Gideon started on the nearest plate. He hadn’t a clue what it was, but it tasted good and he didn’t have to reach.
"I have about a million questions I’d like to ask." He fitted the words in between bites.
"Ask away. But why don’t you wait until you’ve finished eating? Less chance of choking." Demon smiled again to take the sting from her words and poured Gideon a drink. He lifted the glass and sniffed at the contents.
"Fruit juice, nothing else," Demon explained. She poured herself a drink from the same jug and drank. Gideon followed her example. It tasted both tart and sweet, unfamiliar but thirst-quenching. He emptied the glass, then continued eating.
Demon sat and watched him silently for a moment, then started to speak. "Why don’t I try to anticipate some of your questions? Who are we? Where did we come from? What do we want? How did we capture you? What are our plans for you and your crew? Where is your crew and what has been done to them? Will that do for a start?" Gideon nodded; his mouth too full to reply.
"I’ll start from the end and work back. Captain, I will not tell you everything I know or everything you want to know, but everything I tell you will be the truth. If you can bring yourself to believe that we’ll get along much better."
Gideon nodded again, but before she could start speaking, he swallowed and interrupted. "Just one thing before you start. What’s your name? I heard someone call you ‘Demon’ but that seems unlikely. Did I misunderstand?" He watched her sitting across the table from him; the contrast between her black skin-tight outfit and the white surroundings made her the focal point of the room, which she probably knew. And the pale skin and golden hair both appeared lighter against the dark of her clothes, which was no doubt why she dressed as she did.
"No, you didn’t. Why do you find my name so unlikely?" Demon leaned forward to refill his glass and her own.
Gideon swallowed another mouthful of something then spoke. "Well, in the mythology I’m used to, Angels are light, and Demons are dark. You two don’t seem to fit that mold." He resumed eating and watched Demon carefully. His life and that of his crew might depend on this woman; he didn’t want to piss her off.
"That’s what makes our names so appealing. We like to confuse people. But there’s a good reason for our names. Angel is short for Angelique. Demon is a nickname I picked up at school. Don’t ask me why, as I won’t tell you." There was no smile this time. Gideon decided not to push his luck.
"My crew?"
"They’re safe and secure from any unwanted attentions. After Ilas, Lilith and Angel had chosen their victims, I arranged for the rest to be held securely but comfortably elsewhere in the castle. And don’t ask me where, as that’s a question I won’t answer. Believe me or not as you wish." Demon’s face was impassive. She had the ability to hide her feelings completely behind that blank mask. It made her difficult to read. Only her humor and concern occasionally showed on her face. All other emotions were hidden
"Victims?" Gideon managed to get the single word out around the mouthful of food he was chewing, without spitting anything onto the rug. He swallowed quickly and took another drink, then went back to eating.
"Victims. Pets. Toys. Playthings. Call them what you will. It amounts to the same thing. We’ve not had access to human males since we’ve been here. I don’t think Ilas has ever come across a human male before. They want to play, to experiment." Demon’s face was still impassive giving no clues as to whether she approved of her sisters’ behavior or not. "I don’t interfere unless they get too rough, which Angel has been known to do. Then I intervene to make sure that no one gets hurt… too much. Ilas and Lilith are much gentler with their pets. I can assure you that your Mr. Eilerson, Lt. Matheson, and Dr. Raven are in no danger. They may even be enjoying themselves. I was concerned when I saw Angel pick you out. She doesn’t always know her own strength. It would appear that my concern was justified."
Her voice was hypnotic, with the precisely clipped words of the English accent delivered in that low, husky tone, and Gideon found it hard to doubt what Demon said. But despite her actions to date and her words, he didn’t trust her. Not by a long shot.
Demon spoke again. "And you doubtless wonder what our plans are for you and your crew. That I will answer. We don’t have any. We didn’t expect to be found and we’ll have to decide what to do now that that has happened. When my sisters are less occupied, we’ll decide. The only assurance I can give to you, Captain, is that no lasting harm will be done to your crew. I wish I could say the same for you." She had leaned forward in her seat, and Gideon couldn’t help noticing that the weight of her breasts stretched the fabric of her suit. He lifted his eyes again quickly; he didn’t want her to see the effect her body was having on him.
As Gideon met her eyes, he could see the genuine concern there. "So why am I particularly at risk?"
"As I said, Angel doesn’t always know her own strength or when to call a halt. She could hurt you badly next time, Captain, more than I can mend." Demon rose from her seat and started to pace the room. Gideon carried on eating but followed her with his eyes. The smooth motion of her legs and the sway of her hips were distracting.
In any other circumstances, Gideon might have thought her beautiful but right now he was too tired and too worried about his crew to register anything other than the impact she was having on his body. He felt a movement in his groin, which he couldn’t believe was happening. He couldn’t be responding to her on a sexual level; he was still exhausted from his session with Angel and anyway, she really wasn’t his type. Beautiful and sexy Demon may be, but Gideon had never gone for statuesque blondes. Slender brunettes had always been his preference in the past. But he couldn’t deny that watching Demon move was hardening him fast. He couldn’t risk offending her by letting her see his reaction, so it was fortunate that the robe she’d given him to wear was loose; he leaned forward on the sofa to hide his incipient erection and dropped his eyes to the floor.
Demon’s deep, husky voice continued, "As long as you’re with me here in my rooms, she’ll leave you alone. She might assume that I’m following her example. But if she finds you alone, she’ll finish what she started. Could you handle that right now?"
Gideon shook his head and kept his eyes on the floor. He wished she’d stop talking about what Angel had done to him. He was becoming seriously aroused. He’d lost his appetite completely, but when he looked at the table he was surprised to see that he’d cleared over half of the plates. Had he really eaten that much? No wonder he felt lethargic… all but the one part of him that was very much awake.
"Captain, you look exhausted. Why don’t you get some sleep, and we can resume this conversation in the morning?" Demon gestured towards the window where Gideon could see that night had fallen while they’d talked.
Gideon didn’t want to sleep. He wanted to get out of that room, find his crew and get them out of this place. And maybe on his way out he’d find Angel and… He pushed that thought aside; the last thing he needed was to imagine himself spanking Angel’s naked butt, then…
"That’s a good idea. Where do I sleep? On the couch?" If he could get her to leave him alone in this room, maybe he could make his escape.
"If Angel came in here and found you alone on the sofa, she’d consider you fair game. Of course, if you want to go back to her…" Demon left the sentence unfinished.
Much as he would enjoy turning the tables on Angel, Gideon knew that he couldn’t win a fight with her in his current condition. And he didn’t stand a chance against the tall blonde woman who stood watching him, either. His best option was to wait for an opening. Patience wasn’t his strongest point, but he could practice it if he had to.
Gideon pushed himself to his feet, careful to ensure that the folds of the robe hid his problem, which had not gone away while he’d been thinking. "Not tonight, Josephine. I think I’d better give myself chance to recover a little before I meet that lady again." [And when we do meet up again, she might not enjoy what I have in mind.] Gideon kept his face straight to hide his anger, as he envisaged what revenge he might take for the indignities Angel had visited upon him, but another part of his anatomy was swollen with eagerness to get started on payback.
Demon smiled and tilted her head towards another door. Gideon moved ahead of her into a bedroom; again, all white, but to his great disappointment, this room had no windows. [No easy escape route here then.]
The bed was large and covered with a white quilt. White pillows were piled high at the head. "Make yourself comfortable, Captain. The bathroom is over there if you need it.” Demon nodded towards a door in the corner of the room. “I’ll be back later." She turned and left, closing the door behind her. He heard the click of a lock being turned. Was that to keep him in or to keep Angel out?
Gideon closed his eyes and concentrated. Nothing. Why had Matheson not been able to get through to him? A telepath with his rating should have been able to get some form of warning out. The fact that he’d heard nothing from John worried the hell out of him. But there didn’t seem to be a lot he could do about it at the moment.
"Step into my parlor said the spider to the fly." Gideon spoke aloud. He still didn’t know exactly what Demon wanted from him, but his naturally suspicious nature prevented him from believing she was being altruistic. So, what was her agenda? Hell, he wasn’t going to figure it out tonight; he was going nowhere, and that bed looked very inviting.
Gideon moved quickly into the bathroom, only to find that the door connecting it to the living room was now locked. [I should have known she would have locked it. She’s not stupid.]
Having availed himself of the facilities, Gideon returned to the bedroom, dropped the robe to the floor and climbed into bed. [I’ll just close my eyes for a bit, then when she gets back, I’ll…] Before he could complete the thought, he was asleep.

Demon leaned back against the bedroom door she’d just locked. Her heart was beating at twice its normal rate. If she hadn’t got out of there that instant, she would have flung Gideon on the bed and pounced on him.
She pushed herself upright and walked out of the room, thinking back over the last few hours as she walked. When Demon first saw him in the courtyard she’d been instantly attracted. But so had Angel. Dammit, why did they have the same taste in men?
Demon had vowed long ago that if she and Angel were interested in the same man, she would back off. They’d nearly killed each other over a man once, and both had the scars to show for it. That would never happen again. So, Demon had stood back and let Angel whisk Gideon away, swinging her neat little red-clad butt behind her.
The tall blonde had paced the floor of her room for hours, sensing every gasp of pain and pleasure that had echoed around the castle. And there had been plenty of the latter, mixed with a little of the former. This was what she hated about being an empath; she could never really get away from others. Their feelings intruded constantly. That was why she’d developed the mask of indifference she wore most of the time. She didn’t want others to know just how much she felt. But she knew every feeling experienced by Gideon in that room with Angel. Only her sisters were hidden from Demon. Them, she could rarely sense, although they could feel something of her emotions when she projected them.
To distract herself, Demon had checked that the prisoners were being held securely, but in reasonable comfort, within the castle. She’d made sure they all had food, drink and access to hygiene facilities, then talked to a few of them to see what she could discover about them. The young Lieutenant, [Roberts? Yes, Roberts,] had given her most of the information she needed. He’d told her they were from a ship currently in orbit above the planet called Excalibur and he’d given her the names of everyone they’d captured. That was all he’d been willing to divulge about the group or their mission, but he’d repeatedly assured her that they meant no harm to anyone on the planet. Demon knew that he believed what he’d said but that didn’t make it true. The ship’s captain may have an agenda he hadn’t disclosed to his crew.
The only captive she hadn’t tried to talk to was the small alien woman, Dureena. From what Demon had seen of her in the courtyard, she’d judged the woman far too dangerous to interview. Best for her to be kept in the secure cell where she’d been taken, separate from the rest, being monitored remotely.
Returning to her rooms, Demon had paced some more until she’d sensed Gideon’s pain when Angel had left him. She hadn’t been able to help herself; she’d had to go to him. When she’d walked in the room and seen him stretched out naked before her, she’d nearly passed out. Demon just couldn’t keep her eyes from his body and she’d felt a surge of lust as she took in every detail… the long, lightly muscled legs, with their fine down of hair, the flat belly, and the chest covered with hair that looked so soft… the well-developed arm muscles that stood out where his arms were stretched above his head.
She tried not to let herself remember the rest, but Demon’s memory kept turning back to the line of hair that led down to the much darker curls in Gideon’s groin and… her thoughts moved on abruptly. As soon as she’d released him, she’d flung herself from the room. If she’d stayed longer, she would have broadcast her lust to the entire population of the planet. That was the problem with being both a receiving and sending empath. Unless she controlled herself, everyone would know how she felt.
When Demon had gathered her control, she’d re-entered the room but took a robe for him; she’d known that if she didn’t get him covered up, she would be lost. Her control had held until she’d healed him, taken him to her rooms and fed him.
As they’d talked, she’d leaned forward on the sofa and realized that Gideon was staring at her breasts. He’d moved his eyes away quickly, but Demon had felt the stirrings of lust that had moved him at that moment. Trying to ignore her own and his feelings she’d paced the floor, but it wasn’t enough. She’d rushed him into her bedroom and locked the door behind him but before she’d done so, she’d felt Gideon’s flare of anger. What had caused that? Was it something she’d said or done? Demon didn’t know, but she didn’t trust herself alone with him. She knew she would lose control and start projecting her feelings, which at present consisted of a roiling mass of lust.
Time to burn off some of that excess energy. Time to pick a fight with Angel.

Angel’s rooms were in their usual state. Chaos. The sensation that hit the casual visitor was RED. The color was everywhere. In the drapes, rugs, cushions and clothes strewn carelessly on the furniture. Wherever Angel was, the place looked like a tornado had hit it. Demon had given up worrying about it years ago. If that was the way she liked it, fine. Even so, given that Angel could move objects just by looking at them, Demon could never understand why her sister didn’t pick up the mess in her rooms more often.
For a moment, Demon hated Angel for the pleasure she’d taken from Gideon and the pleasure she’d given in return. She knew that despite the bindings and the pain, Gideon had enjoyed some of his encounter with her sister. Demon had felt his pleasure clearly through the walls between them as well as his anger and pain.
"Angel, when will you learn to tidy up after yourself?" Demon’s voice was no longer low and sultry but strident even to her own ears. Amazing. No one else could wind her up quite as successfully as her younger sister.
Angel slunk into the living room, her movements both graceful and predatory. She never looked quite so cat-like as she did after sex.
"What’s it to you how I keep my rooms?" She snapped straight back at Demon. "If you don’t like it, just leave."
Demon took a deep breath. She should know better than to charge straight in; all that happened was Angel counter attacked. A more subtle approach was needed. But Demon wasn’t feeling subtle.
"I don’t give a flying fuck about the state of your room. I do care when you hurt people." Anyone but her sisters would have been shocked to hear Demon swear. Only with them did she relax her control and her barriers.
"And just who are you protecting from me now, big sister?"
Angel strode forward, her icy blue eyes flashing. "Hands off, Demon, that one’s mine." Her voice was harsh with anger.
"Then you shouldn’t have left him in pain while you came back here to… what exactly have you been doing for the last couple of hours, Angel?"
Angel ignored the bait. "He was enjoying it as much as I was."
Demon lowered her voice a notch. "I know he was, some of it at least, but you hurt him and then you left him, Angel, and he was in pain. I know. I felt it."
Angel calmed as fast as she’d flared. "I didn’t mean to leave him for so long. I got distracted and forgot. I’m sorry, Demon." She was genuinely contrite, and tears appeared in her eyes.
Demon hugged her, then pushed her out to arms’ length. "I know you are, darling, but I worry that you might get over-excited and hurt him again. Can you be sure you won’t?”
Angel bit her lip and frowned. “But I have to tie him down, Demon. You know my power’s unreliable if I get too excited. If he’s not tied down, he might be able to hurt me.”
Demon almost smiled at the indignation in her sister’s voice. “Angel, you can’t always get what you want by using force.” Angel opened her mouth to respond, but Demon waved her into silence, half-surprised when it worked. “Yes, I know you can but perhaps you might consider if you should?”
Angel frowned for a moment, thinking deeply, then looked up at her older sister. “But what if Gideon doesn’t want me? He might not after I hurt him.”
For a moment, Demon felt guilty about what she was about to do. But she had no choice. She needed Gideon, like she’d never needed a man before. Not even…
She spoke softly, “Gideon is very angry at what you did to him. You know I can feel that. Maybe it would be best if you left him alone for a while. Leave him with me. Will you do that? For me?” Demon knew her sister was confused. It was rare that she ever asked Angel for anything. She was usually so self-contained; she never asked anyone for anything. Before she could stop herself, Demon blurted out, “I want Gideon, Angel, I really want him." Her control slipped and she projected her emotion; the raw need she felt for this stranger, for this man she knew so little about but already felt so strongly for.
Angel’s face flickered, but Demon couldn’t read her, so was unaware of what her sister was feeling.
When Angel finally spoke, her tone was light and casual. "Of course, darling, if it means that much to you, take him." Angel turned on her heel and glided out of the room.
Demon was stunned. She couldn’t believe Angel had given in so quickly. Not for the first time, she wished she could read her sister as easily as she read others. But if Angel was prepared to let Gideon go, Demon wasn’t going to hang around until she changed her mind. She left Angel’s rooms at high speed, heading back to her own apartments.
When she arrived, she locked the door behind her, then hid the key. She turned down the lights in the living room as she crossed to the bedroom. Unlocking the door, Demon opened it slowly. The lights in the bedroom were out and she could hear a faint snore coming from the bed. Gideon was sleeping deeply. In the faint wash of light coming through the door she could just see an outline of his shape under the quilt.
[Oh well, maybe he’ll be feeling better in the morning.] Demon returned to the living room and pulled off her boots; the one-piece suit she wore had a single zipper that ran from neck to crotch. Unzipping herself, she peeled the suit off to reveal that she wore nothing underneath. She turned off all but one light in the living room, walked into the bedroom leaving the door ajar, and slid under the quilt next to the sleeping Gideon. She was careful not to touch him, and the bed was big enough for them both to have plenty of space. Demon closed her eyes and willed herself to sleep.

Angel sat staring at the shards of glass and broken perfume bottles lying on the floor at her feet. She took a deep breath, trying to calm the anger she felt towards her sister. [How dare she? The manipulative bitch! Trying to make me feel guilty so she could take Gideon from me. Well, I’ll show her. I saw him first!]
She took another breath, knowing she had to be under control to work on the spell. If she were angry, she might not be concentrating, and that could lead to a mistake. She took a few more deep breaths and then stood, careful not to walk on the glass with her bare feet.
Angel crossed to the wall and opened the doorway to her workshop. She walked to her Grimoire and started to page through it, searching for a love spell that she had created a couple of years ago. One of the local men had approached her, asking her if she would please help him get the female he was in love with to love him again. After a final turn of the page, she found it, and read over it.
She frowned and slammed her fist on the book. "No! This won’t do. Dammit!" Angel slammed the book shut. The spell was to get someone who had loved you once to love you again. Gideon had never been in love with her; hell, they’d just met. [But he wanted me. I know he did. I may not have my sister’s empathic powers, but I can tell that a man who looks at me like that wants to fuck me!]
Angel remembered a time, before the Vorlons had kidnapped her and Demon, when a lot of men had looked at her like that. She’d been able to pick and choose between them. But since they’d been left on this planet, there had been no human men to choose from and the Brakiri hardly appealed, even though they were anatomically compatible. Well, that had all changed now, and she’d made her choice. So, whatever her sister wanted, Angel planned to take Gideon back.
She stood, her hands on her hips, her mind searching. She needed a spell that would make someone fall in love with her and not be interested in any other woman but her. Angel chewed her lip. She didn’t have the skill yet to create something like that without help. She needed a base to work from, a spell that she could tweak and change to what she wanted. Part of this spell would help, but she needed a control spell.
Suddenly her eyes widened, and she slapped her thigh. "That’s it!" Angel said with delight. She turned on her heel and walked briskly out of the workshop.

Gideon awoke with a start. Where the hell was he? He looked toward the doorway where a soft light filtered through, giving just enough illumination to see by. Slowly it came back to him; he was in Demon’s bed, hiding out from Angel, just for a while and until he got his strength back. And the door was open.
He started to move when he became aware of the shape in the bed next to him. He froze. As Gideon’s eyes adjusted, he could see the outline of a woman’s naked back and shoulder. She was lying on her side with her back towards him, the quilt only covering her from the waist down.
Gideon heard the woman sigh and realized that his movement had disturbed her sleep. She rolled onto her back, still asleep, with her right arm coming to rest on the pillow next to him. He took a moment to stare appreciatively at the view; at her flat stomach where it emerged from the bed covers and the shadow made by her navel, up her rib cage to the full rounded breasts that were now completely exposed, further up her long, slender neck to the firm chin and mouth, softened by sleep, the long, straight nose, and high cheekbones, with the deep eye sockets, where her eyelids covered the beautiful hazel eyes he’d seen earlier.
The captain didn’t know what to do. Half of him wanted to leave her bed and seek out his crew. The other half wanted to bury himself completely in the depths of the woman who lay sleeping beside him. His sense of duty prevailed over lust and he started to move away from her, but his movement made her shift again.
Demon’s hips moved provocatively, causing the bedcovers to slide lower still, until the very first curls of pale hair showed above the edge of the covers. Well, at least he now knew that she was a natural blonde.
Gideon knew if he moved again, she would wake and see him leaving. While he was now much improved on the state he’d been in earlier, he still didn’t feel up to a fight with her, although the idea of wrestling her naked to the floor had its appeal. So, if he couldn’t fight her and he couldn’t run from her, there was one option left. Seduce her. Use sex to manipulate her until she gave him what he wanted; freedom for himself and his crew.
The captain wasn’t arrogant about his attractiveness to women, but he knew that some found him appealing. And he couldn’t believe that Demon would have climbed, naked, into bed with him unless she had some sort of interest in him. What the hell, she could only kill him.
He leaned towards her and kissed her wrist where it rested on the pillow, then moved to kiss the hollow of her elbow, then up her arm to her shoulder. He felt her stir as he moved his lips to her neck, to her chin and finally to her mouth. As he dropped his head to kiss her lips, Gideon realized that he was becoming aroused.
Demon’s mouth opened under his. Was she awake yet? Or was this an automatic response? He gently moved his tongue around her lips before probing further. Her tongue met his and flickered briefly against it. He felt her lips move into a smile beneath his.
Gideon pulled his head back a little. "So, you’re awake." He looked straight into those large hazel eyes.
"I am now." She lifted her right hand from the pillow, placed it behind his neck and pulled his head down into a deep and passionate kiss. Gideon relaxed. She didn’t want to fight; she wanted this, too. It was going to be very enjoyable getting this woman to give him what he wanted. Time to have some fun.
He worked his way down Demon’s body with his hands and mouth, kissing and caressing, until her breath started to speed up and her hips writhed. The covers had fallen away entirely. Gideon lifted his head and looked down the length of her body.
"Don’t stop, please." Her deep and sultry voice whispered softly. Gideon didn’t think he could stop even if he’d wanted. And he didn’t want. To stop that is. Everything else he saw, he wanted very much indeed.
Gideon moved his hand between her legs, using his fingers to enter her, playing with her as she became more and more aroused. His own breathing was ragged and his need urgent, but he was determined to make her come before he fucked her. He thrust his fingers further inside her, finding the place he knew would lift her to orgasm, then pressed down hard on her clitoris. Demon cried out her pleasure as she came. Her hips lifted to meet his hand, then she dropped back to the bed and he pressed hard inside her again; she lifted again, and again, moaning each time he found her special place, and as each wave of orgasm hit her.
[What the fuck?] Gideon could feel what she was feeling. Somehow, Demon was projecting her waves of pleasure into him. [How is she doing that?] He barely hung onto his self-control until finally her orgasms slowed. She fell back to the bed panting, her throat and neck flushed, her eyes closed, her mouth open and inviting. Gideon had never been a man to refuse an invitation, so he covered her mouth with his own. As he kissed her deep and long, he pulled his hand away from between Demon’s legs and shifted himself over her.
He now lay between her legs, his cock pressed between them. Still kissing her deeply, he positioned himself carefully then thrust his hips forward, entering her quickly. Demon’s hips lifted under him and he feared he would lose control of himself. Their hips were moving together now, thrusting deeper and longer with every stroke. Demon started to rotate her hips and Gideon didn’t know how much longer he could keep going. He was almost relieved when he felt her back arch beneath him, and her hips surge upwards as she came again, hard. He thrust deep into her one last time and let go.
The waves of pleasure came crashing down on him. Gideon didn’t know whose orgasm he was feeling, hers or his own. He lifted his head back and groaned as he collapsed onto her, completely drained.

Luke realized he had his arm around something - someone. His eyes popped open, and he found himself looking into a by now familiar pair of incredibly green eyes. "Hello, Sad Eyes. Did you have a good rest?" Lily purred.
Luke stared at her for a few seconds, then hastily withdrew his arm and sat up, which revealed another surprise. On the other side of the bed – on the other side of Lily – John Matheson lay, apparently just waking up himself.
When John saw Luke, he seemed surprised, maybe even slightly embarrassed, but then he grinned and said casually, "Hello Doc. When did you get here?"
Luke threw a sideways glance at Lily, who lay on her back now, smiling at him innocently, and said, "I don't know, really. But I suspect Lily does.”
The redhead sat up, threw the sheets back, also baring Luke, and got out on his side. Luke looked at John, not sure if he should be amused or embarrassed.
Matheson shrugged. "We might just as well get used to it I think."
Lily had put her dress back on and said, "Make yourselves at home here. Bathroom's over there, food's over here. And you can find some robes in my wardrobe." She pointed past the bed, to another intricately carved wooden door. Then she went to the table and sat down, picking up a fruit.
John and Luke got up and went to the door she’d indicated, opening it and finding themselves in an elaborate walk-in wardrobe, containing what seemed like hundreds of clothing items. They helped themselves to robes, which hung by the door. Luke then joined Lily at the table, feeling how hungry he was when he saw all the food.
John headed for the bathroom. When he opened the door, he froze and stared for several seconds. "You call this a bathroom? Dear God!"
Lily just giggled, and John moved forward, closing the door behind him. Luke, still feeling a bit awkward, found himself unable to identify any of the dishes, so he picked out something at random. It looked a bit like porridge but tasted spicy.
"Take anything you like," Lily said. "There's more than enough."
Luke looked at her. She took a bite of the peach-like fruit she'd picked up, looking at him in a way that almost made him blush.
"You don't want any of this?" he asked.
She shook her head. "John and I ate earlier."
Luke nodded and concentrated on the food again, avoiding looking at her directly. John rejoined them, sitting down between Lily and Luke. He also picked up a fruit from the bowl, something oval with dark-red skin and white flesh. After a moment, he cleared his throat and said, "Doctor... Luke. I know that this is awkward. I just want you to know that whatever happens here won't leave this room."
Luke looked him in the eye, slightly surprised, seeing his sincerity. He nodded, grateful. "Thank you. I can promise you the same."
John nodded and took another bite of his fruit. They continued eating until Luke was finished when Lily got up and said, "I want to take a bath now." She motioned them enter the bathroom while she detoured to her wardrobe for a robe.
They followed her instructions and John opened the door, looking back at Luke. "Hold your breath, Doc."
Luke stood in the doorway, mouth agape. This was probably the biggest bathroom he'd ever seen in his life, looking like something halfway between a roman bath and a grotto. Two walls and the floor were covered with mosaics of underwater scenes. Beside the entrance door, two organic looking hand basins emerged from the wall. A big mirror reflected the mosaic on the other side, making the room seem still larger. Above it a soft light seemed to come directly from the wall. As in Lily's room, every edge and corner was rounded.
But the most astonishing feature took up the whole right-hand wall: the bathtub. It consisted of one big rock that was formed like a wave, going up the wall and left frozen when it started coming back down. Its coloring reminded Luke of a trip his parents had taken him on when he'd been a kid, to Antelope Canyon in North America on Earth.
There were two hollows dug out of the rock’s thick base, seemingly natural: the one on the right was an irregular oval and the shallower of the two, but still deep enough and long enough to lie in it, the other hollow on the left was round and cut much deeper into the stone forming a deep bathtub, with what seemed to be a bench inserted at half height. Just above the floor of the tub, soft blue-green lights were installed that gave the whole room an underwater feeling.
"Amazing, isn't it?" He heard John say and he could only nod.
Both men jumped when Lily lightly slapped them on their asses as she entered the room. "Don't stand around and stare! I want to have my bath now!" She walked over to the deep tub, throwing the robe she carried on the floor. She quickly touched the top of the tap and hot water began to fill the tub. Then she added a few drops of a sweet, exotic fragrance that soon filled the room. She turned around, studying her two toys, who were still standing there, undecided whether to watch her or look at the elaborate mosaics.
Lily smiled at them, moved quickly to untie their robes, then let her own dress float down and took their hands. She led them to the tub, stepped in herself, and only let go when they followed. She leaned back, closed her eyes, relaxed, concentrated for a moment... and soon the water was full of tiny air bubbles floating to the surface.
Both Luke and John were surprised for a moment. "A whirlpool bath," John exclaimed. "But the surface is absolutely smooth. Where does the air come from?"
Lily opened her eyes and shrugged. "Out of the stone. I don't know how it works it was just made this way." She stood up, the underwater light and the drops running down her body. Again, she concentrated, and a small waterfall poured out of the stone above her head. She laid her head back and reached her arms up, letting the water flow through her hair, which in its wet state now reached mid-thigh. The image was overwhelming to the two men watching her.
Luke looked at John and smiled. “Shall we?” He asked, gesturing to the woman who still stood in front of them, luxuriating in the flow of the hot water.
John grinned back. “It would be rude not to.”

Lily found herself in the two men's arms, their hands and lips exploring her body above and below the water, making her shiver with anticipation. Usually she preferred to be in control, but this had happened so naturally that she didn't see any reason to change things, especially since she was the one benefiting most.
Luke was sucking her breast while John trailed kisses down her neck and back, making her purr. Before she knew quite what was happening Luke entered her, making her gasp. A second later, her eyes went wide when she felt John's staff push at her other opening, and then enter it slowly. She gasped again at the new sensations when he started moving inside her ass, slowly at first to give her time to accommodate him, then faster, harder.
Being taken from front and back made her head spin, and it caused the most extraordinary sensations. Luke's eyes were closed, his face ecstatic; Lily watched him through half-closed lids while she rode him to the rhythm of John's thrusts, enjoying his gasps, his moans, the way he quickly opened his mouth with each thrust. Before long she could feel herself losing control, and she came violently with a loud cry. At the same time Demon's first orgasm ripped through the two men, taking both of them over the edge. She could feel them emptying themselves deep inside her, both shouting her name.
For almost a minute they lay entangled, panting heavily. Finally, Luke managed to utter, "What... was... THAT?"
Lily giggled and lifted her head. "Demon is having fun with your captain. She can feel what others feel, but also sends out what she feels."
Luke stared at her. "You mean, that was her..."
"Orgasm? Yes," Lily finished the sentence for him. Then she shivered. "The water's getting cold.”
She wriggled herself out from between John and Luke, leaving John's head to rest on Luke's chest, then stepped out and got herself a robe. She watched as Luke let his fingers caress John’s black hair before he became aware of what he was doing, and at the same second John looked up. There was an awkward moment when they were looking at each other silently, then they followed Lily's example and left the bath.

Max laughed and held Ilas close as he kissed her slowly. Her mouth tasted different but was still intoxicating. He felt her hands inside his robe and broke the kiss. "Woman, you're going to be the death of me," he exclaimed, nevertheless easing her back and moving over her. Their robes fell away, and they made love slowly, Max insisting that she not change one bit while they did so.
"I made love to an illusion already. I want the real thing this time," he said, tenderly kissing the scar on her cheek. "You're beautiful whatever you look like." She smiled at him, taking him inside her, her legs circling his waist. As responsive as ever, Ilas soon climaxed under Max's slow thrusting. He chuckled against her throat and continued pushing inside her. She came several times as Max's orgasm built, much more slowly than before. When he finally climaxed, it was more powerful than anything he'd ever felt. It also seemed to begin from outside himself.
When he recovered, he heard Ilas chuckling to herself. "What?"
"Demon's having fun," she told him, noticing the weariness that lined his eyes. "But sleep for now. She could be at it for a while," They tossed the robes to the floor and snuggled under the covers. Max lay on his side, Ilas spooned against him. He tried to stay awake, if only to prolong the feel of her body snug against his. The evening had been too much, however, and he was soon asleep.


Chapter 4
Angel walked through the passageway, her destination the Great Library. There she would find the Main Grimoire, the book that contained all the spells and potions that she and her sisters had combined and added to.
The book had contained spells already. They never did discover who had put them there. But that didn’t matter to Angel right now. She’d remembered a spell contained in there, not from one of her sisters, but from Them, the Others, as she and her sisters referred to them. And that spell, a summoning of power and control, combined with her Love Spell, was just what she needed.
Angel leaned all her weight on the heavy doors and pushed them open. The Great Library was one of her favorite places in the Castle. Large stained-glass windows allowed streams of colored light to shine down into the room when it was daylight; high bookshelves lined every wall. To one side, a spiral staircase led up to the second floor, where rows of bookshelves stood around the walls. Large chandeliers hung from a ceiling that was painted with beautiful murals of the planet's landscape.
At any other time, Angel would have taken in the splendor of the room, but right now she didn’t see any of it. Her eyes were fixed firmly on the large book, lying on a table in the center of the room. She walked towards it, her eyes never leaving it for a moment. When she reached the table, she picked it up, straining a little; it was thick and heavy.
The book was bound in a reddish-brown leather. On the cover was an amulet of a snake in a circle eating its own tail, a sword set behind it. Angel stroked the cool unidentified metal the amulet was made from. She held the book close to her, for a moment wondering if she were doing the right thing. Demon would be so angry with her if she found out that it was a spell that had made the captain reject her and want Angel instead. But her darker side won the battle; she wanted Gideon and she was going to get him.
Angel turned, the book firmly in her hands, and walked out of the Library, not bothering to close the doors behind her. As she headed back to her rooms, she kept alert for her sisters. She didn’t want to run into any of them. She didn’t want to have to make up a lie for what she was doing with the book out of the Library. None of them were really allowed to remove it; it was something they had all agreed on. But considering they were all probably busy with their choices of pets, Angel thought it was unlikely that she would run into anyone.
[But better careful than caught,] she thought silently to herself. Only when she finally reached her room, and was inside, did she feel safe. But Angel didn’t stop to breathe a sigh of relief; she had work to do.

Gideon lay on his side with his head propped on his hand, looking down as Demon as she sprawled across the bed. She lay with her eyes closed, completely relaxed and satiated—for the moment.
"Have I grown horns or something?" She smiled and opened her eyes "You’re staring."
"Well, there’s a lot to stare at. The view from where I’m lying is pretty spectacular."
"Thank you, Captain."
"Matthew, Matt, whichever. I think we should be on first name terms by now, don’t you, Demon?" He paused "And I really can’t go on calling you that, it’s just so…” Gideon hesitated, seeking the right word, “inappropriate." He smiled as he looked down at her. "Don’t you have another name I can use?"
She looked at him long and hard before answering "You could use my real first name. It’s Deborah."
"Deborah is nice. I can handle Deborah." He moved his free hand to her flat stomach and ran it up her rib cage, smiling as he cupped her breast. "I can certainly handle Deborah." She laughed and slapped his hand away. "So how did you get from Deborah to Demon?"
"Deborah Montgomery. DE and MON. As I told you earlier, a nickname I picked up at school."
"Deborah." Gideon pronounced each syllable carefully, shutting his eyes. "Debbie, Debs, Debsy?" He tried each variation for sound. He never really knew what happened, but he found himself on his back, shoulders pinned to the mattress with Demon sitting astride his chest. Her eyes were glaring down at him, tinged with green.
"Try any of those and you get bitten. I get to choose where."
He grinned up at her. "Promise?" She reached down and tweaked his nipple. "Ouch, that hurt!"
"What’s my name?" She twisted a bit harder.
"Deborah! OK, it’s Deborah! I surrender!" Gideon was laughing as he brought his hand up to caress her cheek. "Look, go easy on me. I’m fragile, remember?"
Deborah bent forward and kissed him gently on the lips, then slid back and off to the side. She knelt beside him, looking down at where he lay on his back. She reached out her hand to stroke the soft hair on his chest. "I’ve never liked hairy chests. The texture of the hair is usually so rough. But yours isn’t." She carried on stroking, touching the nipple she’d just pinched, then leaned over to kiss it.
Gideon wondered just how many chests she’d tested. He wasn’t sure why, but he didn’t think there had been that many. "So where were you at school?" Anything to distract her from her current objective. He was still sore from his session with Angel the previous afternoon, and while having sex with Deborah had been a lot less strenuous, Gideon still felt weaker than he should. Anyway, this was the perfect opportunity to get some information from her, while she was feeling mellow.
Deborah brought her head up from his chest, giving his nipple one last nip before she sat back on her heels. She lifted her arms above her head, stretching like a cat. The effect this had on her breasts quite took Gideon’s breath away. He was hardly listening when she said, "In England."
That got his attention. "So, you and Angel are natives of Earth?" She nodded. "When did you leave?" He needed to know this NOW. If they had escaped the blockade… he held his breath.
Deborah replied casually. "Oh, a very long time ago. We’ve been here for about five years now."
Gideon breathed again. Then they weren’t infected with the Drakh plague. He went on. "How about the other two? What was it, Ilas and Lilith?" He was pleased he could remember the names. "Never did figure out which one was which."
"Just think of Ilas as Blue and Lilith as Red. That will keep you on the right track, most of the time. Lilith is also a native of Earth. We don’t know about Ilas and neither does she. She was little more than a child when we first came together, and she doesn’t remember much from before she came to us. Of course, she’s grown up since then. I’d hoped you might recognize her species and tell us where her home might be."
Gideon shook his head. "Never seen anything that looked like her before, sorry."
Deborah smiled. "Well, you wouldn’t have. That’s just how she chose to look today. Although that body does seem to be her favorite at the moment, so you may see it again."
"I don’t understand."
"She’s a shape-shifter, Matthew. She can choose any appearance that takes her fancy. Male, female, large, small, fat, thin, human, alien, whatever. As long as it’s roughly humanoid." She lay down beside him and put her head on his shoulder. Gideon could feel the warmth of her breath against his chest. He put his arm around her and held her close to his side. She lifted her leg and hooked it over his, pulling herself even closer until they were completely entwined.
Gideon lifted his hand and stroked her hair, so soft to the touch. He bent his head and kissed her forehead as she looked up at him, hopeful. How could anyone with Deborah’s stature and strength look fragile? He supposed it was her pale coloring and the large dark eyes that were gazing up at him, but he suddenly felt protective of this strange woman. Who was he kidding? It must be the hormones. Testosterone could do that to a man. Gideon reminded himself that he was supposed to be getting information from her, manipulating her into helping him and his crew escape.
He shook his head. "I’ve never come across a shape shifting species. And I’ve traveled more than most." Her face fell. Damn, she was hard to disappoint. Gideon found he wanted desperately to make her smile again. "So how did you all get here?" Deborah was silent for a long time and he wondered whether he’d pushed too hard. But she didn’t pull away from him and as long as she was lying in his arms, he had to press for whatever details he could get. He might not get another opportunity.
"Leave that for another time. It’s too complicated to go into now." Gideon decided that he’d pushed as far as he dared on that one, so he changed the subject.
"You said yesterday, and I quote, ‘I can assure you that your Mr. Eilerson, Lt. Matheson and Dr. Raven are in no danger.’ What did you mean by that? Why did you mention them specifically?" Would she answer this one? He was anxious for news of his crew, particularly Matheson, but tried not to let his anxiety show in his voice. But then, if what he suspected were true, she knew what he was feeling anyway.
"Ilas took a fancy to Mr. Eilerson as soon as she saw him. I think she must be keeping him entertained." She paused for a moment. "Yes, he’s enjoying himself immensely."
Gideon started to laugh. "So Max is hooked up with an alien shape shifter who can take on the form of any species, sex, shape or size? Oh, he’ll be in seventh heaven!" He thought back to the data crystals that Max had accidentally given him. If he enjoyed watching exotic sex, he’d probably enjoy doing it too. Lucky Max!
"And John Matheson?" Damn, he’d let his concern show in his voice.
Deborah moved her hand up his chest and stroked his neck. "Don’t worry, Matthew, he’s perfectly all right. Lilith would never hurt anyone. She just likes a little variety in life; I assume that’s why she took your doctor, too."
Gideon finally realized the implication of what she had said. "The doctor? When did she take the doctor?" He sat up abruptly, pushing Deborah off his chest and turning her on her back. He placed his hands on her shoulders and looked straight down into her eyes. "What about Dureena? And the other crew I left with them?" He was surprised when she didn’t struggle or attempt to throw him off. If she’d tried, she’d probably have succeeded.
"It’s all right, Matthew." Deborah lifted her hand to his face. "They’re quite safe. Don’t worry. No, that’s stupid, of course you’ll worry, but there really is no need. We captured them soon after you’d left with Angel. They’re unharmed. Although disarming Dureena without hurting her was interesting."
Gideon thought, [I bet it was,] and wondered if they’d got all Dureena’s weapons. Damned unlikely. Maybe there was some hope of getting out of this mess after all. Not that his current position was unpleasant, not by a long way. He looked down at the woman who lay beneath him, unmoving, her eyes fixed on his, filled with concern.
Gideon felt a wave of calm wash over him and he gripped her shoulders tighter. "Stop it. Don’t try to change the way I feel. It’s my worry, let me feel it." The sense of calm disappeared immediately, replaced by his own anger, which he quickly suppressed.
"So, you’ve worked out what I am." The mask was back in place. Deborah’s face had become completely unreadable.
"It was hard to miss earlier. When you came, I expect half the planet felt it." Deborah’s face reddened. He’d scored a hit! Gideon hadn’t expected to be able to rattle her. She sat up, throwing him backwards. As he’d suspected, she was still too strong for him to physically restrain. Maybe he needed to wear her down a bit more. The trouble was that it would probably kill him in the process.
Deborah slid to the edge of the bed and sat with her back to him, her hair cascading down her back. Gideon knew he’d hurt her and regretted it. Not just because she might be able to help or hurt him and his crew. He’d spoken without thinking and caused her pain. She hadn’t deserved that. He moved to sit next to her on the edge of the bed, putting his arm around her shoulders and lifting her chin with his hand.
Her hair had fallen either side of her face, so he pushed it back. He was startled and ashamed to see the tears on her cheeks. "I’m sorry; that was stupid." Gideon wiped the tears away with a gentle finger then leaned forward and kissed her softly on the lips. She didn’t resist or respond so he pulled back. "I can’t take back what I said, much as I’d like to, but please believe that I am sorry." And he was sorry. He hadn’t meant to hurt her.
Gideon kissed her again and this time he felt her lips part under his. Well, there was only one thing to do when you’d made a woman cry. Only one way to make it up to her. He moved to kneel between her legs as she sat on the edge of the bed and using all his experience, and everything he’d ever learned about what pleased a woman, he used his mouth and his hands to give her pleasure. Again and again he lifted her to orgasm, until she was screaming.
When she finally stopped coming, Gideon lifted his head from between her legs. Deborah’s eyes were closed and for a moment he wondered whether she’d fainted. Well, that would be a first. Gideon moved his hands to her shoulders and pulled her up off the mattress towards him, where he still kneeled on the floor. She was completely limp, her head hanging back languidly from her neck. He pulled her close against his chest with one arm and pushed his other hand behind her head, lifting it towards him "Deborah? Are you all right? Deborah?"
She lifted her head up and opened her eyes. Her pupils were dilated; her eyes looked completely black. Deborah slowly licked her dry lips, then spoke. "You bastard, they probably felt that from orbit."
Gideon grinned at her and said, “How about we try for the next Solar system next time?”
The next thing he knew he was flat on his back on the floor and Deborah was on top of him. She smiled down at him and said, “You’re going to pay for that!”
Gideon laughed as he lifted his hand to push her hair away from her face. “Promises, promises.”

Lily sat on the floor in front of the fireplace, now filled with burning logs, and motioned for the two men to join her. For a while she just sat there, enjoying being together with them, Luke's head leaning on her shoulder, his arms around her waist, John lying on the floor, his head in her lap, his hands caressing her thighs.
Suddenly, they felt another wave of orgasm pass through them, even more intense than the first one. [Demon certainly is having fun,] Lily thought, stifling a giggle. While she felt the sending, she wasn't much influenced by it, but her two companions didn't have that protection. Lily felt Luke go rigid, his arms around her waist stiffening, while John's back arched, and she could hear him moan.
"How long will this go on for?" John asked when it was over.
Lily smiled. "Well, probably all night... she's very fit you know. I guess it depends on how much stamina your captain has." She could tell John was aroused despite the folds in the robe and thought about the crew they'd imprisoned. They'd probably be jerking off or fucking each other senseless as a result of Demon's sendings. [One big orgy tonight,] she thought with amusement.
Her two men, aroused by the waves of pleasure crashing around the castle, soon started making love to Lily again. She surrendered herself to their caresses and kisses, to the feel of them inside her, filling her as she’d never been filled before, lifting her to new levels of excitement before all three collapsed into exhausted satiation.
Soon they were all soundly asleep, even before the next wave of orgasm pulsed through the castle.

Max felt someone shaking his arm and began to wake. He'd been dreaming of Ilas, her body spread out on satin sheets. He wanted her, urgently, and in an effort to find her, he opened his eyes. Matthew Gideon was looking down at him, amusement sparkling in his hazel eyes.
"Captain!" Max tried to sit up, and moved back quickly, hoping his erection was hidden under the sheets. "How did you get in here? Where's Ilas..." he trailed off as Gideon's mouth curled into a smile, and opened, emitting a familiar giggle. He tried to recover his dignity as the face rippled, shifting to Ilas' usual blue haired appearance.
With a growl, Max reached for her, pulling her onto the bed and pinning her down. "What was that about?" he demanded gruffly, his lips grazing her chin.
Ilas giggled again. "I was practicing, I wanted to see if I got his face right." She arched up against him.
"Fooled me!" he told her, reaching down to push the sheet out of the way.
"Want to see the others?" she asked, gasping as he entered her quickly.
"Not right now," Max ended the conversation with a deep kiss. When they finished, Max rolled onto his back. "So why, dare I ask, are you practicing looking like Gideon?"
"Because Demon doesn't want your ship worrying. I should have done it hours ago, but ..." her eyes drifted over him. "I got distracted." Ilas leaned over and kissed Max briefly before slipping from the bed.
"So where do you plan to call them from?" Max called from the bed, holding the curtain aside and watching Ilas tie the belt of her robe.
"You'll see," she told him coyly. "Now come out and get some food, you're probably starving."
"What about you?" Max stood and stretched, feeling more refreshed than he had in years.
"I ate already." Ilas handed Max his robe. He sat at a little table she'd apparently brought in while he was asleep. Ilas moved behind him, sliding her arms around his shoulders, caressing his chest. "Try one of these," she whispered in his ear, reaching for a small grape-like piece of fruit.
Max opened his mouth, capturing her fingers as she fed him. "Mmm, good." Max swallowed and turned his head to look at her. "Can I have some more?" For a moment, he felt like Oliver Twist, but what Ilas was feeding him was better than gruel.
"Of course, you can--" any further words were cut off by Max turning and grabbing her waist. Ilas didn't protest when he pulled her across his lap, holding her close and devouring her mouth in a passionate kiss. Finally breaking the kiss, Ilas smiled at him and stood. "Eat up Max, we have to go soon."
Ilas moved behind him. "Go where?" When there was no answer, Max turned and saw she’d vanished. Seeing no other choice, Max began to eat, not realizing how hungry he was until he saw that all the food was gone. Sitting back, he patted his stomach and sighed.
"Finished?" came Ilas' voice from behind him. He turned to see her standing at the spot that led back to her chambers. Her hair was pinned up in an intricate pattern that looked to have been grown rather than styled. [Considering her, it might well have been grown,] he thought.
"Welcome back." He stood, reaching for her.
"Get dressed." She handed Max a bundle of clothes. She spoke softly, but with a clear edge of command.
"Yes, ma'am." Max smirked and undid the knot of his robe, letting the black garment fall to the floor. His erection had subsided in her absence but was beginning to return. He made no effort to hide it as he looked at the bundle. It was the clothes he'd been wearing the day before. They smelled clean and seemed almost newer than when he'd last worn them.
Pulling the shirt on, he noticed a hole near the cuff had been mended. [I've been meaning to fix that for months now.] He was straightening the collar of his IPX jacket when Ilas moved close, sliding her hands up his chest and around his neck. She kissed him sweetly, and for one of the few times in his life, Max felt cherished.
Stepping back, she took his hand. "Come on, I have to go call your ship." She led him through the wall, for which Max had to close his eyes.
"Walking through walls is something that should be confined to ghosts and movies!" He exclaimed as they re-entered her room.
Ilas chuckled, then turned serious as she turned to face him. "Max, I'm really sorry about this, but I have to." Before Max could ask what, Ilas spun him around and he felt something cold and metallic clamped to his wrists.
"What the fuck?!" Max was outraged.
"Max, I'm sorry ... My sisters would be mad if they found out I was taking you outside. They'd be livid if I did so without some obvious means of restraint." Ilas stepped closer, leaning against him and whispering in his ear. "I promise, as soon as we're outside, I'll let you go. I know you won't run away. And even if you do, I'll find you."
"All right." Max wasn't entirely pleased with the situation, but he understood her reasoning. "But as soon as we're clear of the castle, these come off," he shook his wrists, noticing the cuffs didn't chafe as much as he expected.
"I promise." Ilas pushed him gently ahead of her, taking the opportunity to pat his butt.
"Hey! No getting fresh with the prisoners!" Max protested, walking forward as her hand came to rest on his back.
"I'll make it up to you," she purred. "Now hush." Ilas opened the door and pushed Max in front of her. She gripped his elbow and led him through several corridors. Crossing the courtyard, Ilas stopped as they approached a guard by the entrance. A few brief words were exchanged, followed by a speedy lowering of the drawbridge. Ilas remained silent as she led Max past the guard, over the bridge, and into some woods that grew nearby.
Several minutes later, she glanced back towards the castle, judging that they were far enough away. She reached behind him and his hands were free. He cupped her face and regarded her for a long moment, not speaking. "Why did you bring me out here again?" he finally asked.
"I told you. Because I have to call your ship, so they don't worry."
Max took his jacket off, finding the day warm. "Why not just use the commlinks?"
Ilas started off at a gentle stroll, and Max followed, grinning when she took his hand. "Because Demon's locked those up, and I don't want to bother her for the key. Since the only other way is the shuttle, and it's my job to make the call, I had to come out here."
"Why bring me? Wouldn't it be better security to leave me back there? I mean, I could run away at any time," he teased, squeezing her hand gently.
"I know you won't," she said simply, looking away at the view spread out below them. They were at the edge of the forest, high on a hill, looking down at a settlement below them. Max didn't remember the area from when he and Matheson had landed earlier. He guessed Ilas was taking the scenic route.

When John awoke, he found it was in the middle of the day and he was alone in bed. Lily was playing her harp. He lifted himself on his elbows and looked across to where he saw Lily and Luke sitting beside each other on the window-seat, talking. Leaving the bed, he started to dress in the clothes that had been left there for him, listening to the conversation.
"So you say the Vorlons just left you here in stasis?" Luke said.
Lily shrugged. "Yes. We don't know why. Maybe they thought we could be of use to them later. And then the Brakiri found us, and we had to take control here."
John stood and put on the shirt, frowning, just as Luke said, "Had to take control?"
Lily shrugged, "Yes. Everything happened as you saw it on the tapestries," then she concentrated on playing her harp again. Luke didn't ask any more questions, so John joined them in the window and listened to the music for a while before his stomach gave a loud rumble.
He quickly apologized, and Lily laughed, lowering her harp to the floor. “You must be hungry again. Not surprising considering all the exercise we’ve been taking.” She gave him a mischievous wink, then rose and led them to the table, which had been replenished with food while they’d slept. They sat down and started eating, while Lily repeated her tale for John, but wouldn't say anything about the time before she had been kidnapped and trained by the Vorlons, first alone, then together with her three "sisters."
She talked fondly of them, describing their peculiarities and telling some stories from the time since they'd awoken from their stasis. She told how, in time, each of the sisters had taken over responsibilities in the village. Because of her empathic ability to tell if people were lying, Demon had become a sort of arbitrator and judge in village disputes. Angel used her knowledge of herbs and spells to act as village healer. Ilas took care of any trouble that arose. She could change into any form and physically subdue anyone who got into fights. She was also a valued member of the villagers’ hunting parties.
Lily taught the Brakiri children reading, writing, arithmetic, music and many other things. She was helped by the Brakiri women, who taught the children about their culture and heritage. Luke and John were intrigued by her story.
"You’re sisters in all but blood," Luke said.
"Yes, although Angel and Demon are blood half-sisters," Lily answered, then suddenly looked distracted. The next moment, she stood, almost overthrowing the table, the plate she'd held falling to the ground. She screamed, her hands covering her ears. "Noooooooo!"
She shrank away when both men stood and reached out for her, holding her left hand up for them to keep them away while she took a few steps towards the wall and looked at the floor, her face horror-stricken. Her lips were moving, but no sound escaped. She kneeled and stretched out her hand, as if touching something that was lying there, then shuddered and covered her face with her hands. Finally, she took a slow deep breath and stood, facing them.
"What’s happened?" John asked, still not daring to reach out for her. Luke stood at his side, his concern clear on his face, but not wanting to push Lily in her present state. She slumped in a chair and massaged her temples. Both men looked at each other, then sat with her.
"Lily... did you see something again?" John asked softly, remembering when they'd stood watching the sunset the day before. Lily looked up, so much pain and fear in her eyes that John thought he could feel it despite her blocking him.
"The future isn't written in stone," she said in a shaky voice. She poured herself some fruit juice and emptied the glass, forestalling further questions. They finished their meal in silence, and Lily retreated to her window seat, playing her harp.
John spoke softly as he told Luke what had happened while he and Lily had been watching the sunset, and about his suspicion that it had had to do with Luke's arrival.
The young telepath looked over at Lily and couldn't help but shiver. She was there physically, but mentally she’d retreated to some faraway place. And the melodies she played were sad, almost as if she were mourning something.
He looked at Luke and his voice almost cracked as he asked, "Do you think someone’s going to die?"
Luke shrugged. "I don't know. But I was told the future isn't written in stone."

The ground began to slope, and Max could see the shuttles in a field. Ilas led him down and into one. "Do you know how to work the controls of one of these?" she asked as she settled into the pilot's chair.
"Barely. I can get one off the ground in a pinch and then I let autopilot take over. This is communications." He pointed to a small circle on the pressure sensitive control panel. "Pretty easy. I know on these shuttles it links right to the ship, so anyone can get in touch with them, no matter how little they know about the shuttle. Gideon has it that way for emergencies. If something happens to the crew, it's easy to get in touch with the ship. He's paranoid."
Max kicked a panel near his seat in the co-pilot's chair. "There's spare parts in here for almost every key system."
"Wonderful, and it makes things much easier for me. Thanks." Ilas began undoing her shirt and vest.
Max raised an eyebrow. "I thought you were going to call the ship?"
"I am, but I can't call them if I'm wearing these, can I?" Ilas tossed her shirt and vest to Max. "Can they see you sitting there?"
"They shouldn't, and I promise to be quiet."
Ilas looked hard at him for a moment, as though wondering how far to trust him. "All right. Do you happen to know the names of anyone on duty?"
"Not offhand, it's usually on their jackets here." Max showed her. "And their rank is here. You'll probably be speaking to an ensign," he told her, and briefly outlined the various badges of rank so she would know exactly whom she was addressing.
"Thank you." Ilas leaned over and kissed Max quickly. A moment later, he watched the top half of Ilas' body ripple. It quickly reformed into Gideon's face and upper body - including the jacket, her breasts vanishing. The sight of Ilas' womanly hips and legs descending from Gideon's upper body was enough to bring a smirk to Max's lips.
Her voice was uncannily accurate as she told the ensign—a dark haired woman by the name of Coombs—that everything was going well, Lieutenant Matheson and Max Eilerson had been recovered, and they would be staying on the planet for a few days in negotiations with the natives. It seemed to be enough for the ensign and Ilas closed the link, sighing and slumping back into the pilot's chair.
There was an uncharacteristic grin on ‘Gideon's’ face as Ilas turned to face Max. "So how did I do?" she asked, still using Gideon's voice.
Max clapped appreciatively. "Bravo!"
She gave a small upper-body bow. "Thank you. And now for the rest of them..."
Gideon quickly became Dr. Luke Raven. "How should I play him?"
"Uh, well, he's a recent addition to the crew. You'll be safe with an all's well here, full report when I get back to the ship."
"All right." Opening the link, she smoothly imitated the doctor, reporting situation good, no help needed. Still in her Doctor image, she turned again to Max.
"Saving the best for last," she winked at him. Max sat stunned as Ilas transformed into him. He noticed that her legs were larger now and wondered if she'd done a full body transformation. Before he had a chance to ask, she opened a channel.
Hearing his own voice, Max found himself struck by the quality of it. He'd heard himself speak, and he'd heard his voice recorded, but until this day, he'd never heard his voice uncorrupted by recording or skull vibrations. He watched her report, impressed with her accurate tones, expressions, and wordings. Finally, she cut the link and turned to him. "Max, why're you looking at me like that?"
"I just never realized how sexy I was." He smirked at her. "They're going to get suspicious, though." Max noticed she hadn't changed back to her 'usual' form.
"Why's that?" Ilas stood. She had indeed transformed fully into Max Eilerson, including his height.
"I'm not as young as you make me look," he replied, looking over her—himself? —slowly. Indeed, her version of him seemed younger, stronger, and larger than he'd felt in years. After a moment, he realized that ever since he'd woken up and found Ilas waiting in the tub, he'd felt younger and stronger. He didn't know if it was her, or something in the air. Remembering the past day, he decided it was her.
"Trust me Max," he heard himself say.
[This is weird!] he thought, knowing it was Ilas speaking.
"I know your body better than you do. Right down to that little birthmark you have right here." Ilas turned sideways and pointed to her butt. She turned to face Max again and he noticed the fatigue lines that were creased around her eyes.
"Ilas? You all right?"
"I'm fine," her voice was deep with tiredness. "It's just ... I didn't realize how draining that would be."
Max frowned. “But you held a different shape for hours without any effort. Why has this been so tiring?”
Ilas returned his smile, running a hand through her hair. "You may have noticed earlier that I didn't change my shape until I needed the next one. Changing forms takes a lot of energy for me but holding a shape doesn't need so much."
Max felt confused and asked her to explain further. "Think of it this way. When you put on clothes, that takes energy, but wearing the clothes, doesn't. That's what it's like for me. That's why I can stay in the same form for weeks at a time - very little energy drain. I'm also not used to changing this much outside of the castle. The Vorlons put a low-level energy field around the place to protect us. The four of us can draw on that while we're in the castle, to augment our natural abilities."
She glanced away, and Max noticed she seemed to be regaining some of her strength. "What can you do to build up your energy? I mean should I get you back to the castle or something?" The thought of fleeing while she was apparently weak didn't occur to him.
"No thanks, I'll be fine." She stood slowly, Max following suit. "Come on, I know where I can get some food, and then I'll change into something more my size," she said, referring to her unusually tall form-of-the-moment. Max took her elbow, gripping it lightly and helping her out of the shuttle. Stepping back inside, he grabbed her shirt and vest and his jacket.
Max noticed that Ilas still had a very sensual walk, even though she appeared to be him from head to toe. [Or do I normally walk like that, and I'm really just the narcissistic bastard everyone thinks I am?]
Winding their way through the woods, Ilas led Max to a large tree that stood in a clearing which was littered with small orange-ish fruit the size and shape of a golf ball. They settled at the base, sitting side by side. Ilas quickly gathered all the fruit within her reach. She looked apologetically at Max before she began eating.
"I'm not a pretty sight when I'm drained like this. I don't eat so much as inhale." As he watched, Ilas consumed no less than two dozen of the small things before finishing. Sitting back, she stretched slightly. "Much better."
He went to reach for her, but she stood before he had a chance. Max watched with no small amount of awe as 'his' form rippled away and solidified into Ilas' shorter, white-faced image. Her smooth chest bulged into full womanly breasts as her legs shortened and softened. Pulling the shirt on, she buttoned the middle few buttons and left the others open. Max grinned at her as she settled beside him again, leaning close and kissing him slowly.
"Welcome back," he teased when she let him up for air.
Ilas chuckled softly and sat back. "Thank you, it's good to be back." Laying on the ground, she rested her head in Max's lap. Max slipped his hand inside her shirt and idly stroked her breasts. They stayed there for quite some time, enjoying the quiet. Finally, Ilas spoke again. "Either Demon's calmed down, or we're far enough away."
"What?" Sighing softly, Ilas sat up, sitting cross-legged and facing Max.
"Part of the reason I brought you out here was because of Demon."
"Demon? One of your sisters?"
"Yeah, she's tall, blonde, and… Well it's easier to show you." Ilas' face melted, reforming into that of her sister, Demon. "She's an empath, projecting and sensing. My sisters and I aren't affected by it much, but when she's emotionally charged, it goes out in waves. I can tell it's happening. Last night I could sense she was having very good sex. Her orgasms were radiating. I brought you out here because, well ..." Ilas looked away, but Max read uncertainty in her vivid lavender eyes.
"I wanted to know that what you were feeling was because of me, not because of what someone else was doing to my sister." Max smiled faintly at her, admiring her for being able to voice her insecurities, rather than bury them as he did.
Leaning forward, he kissed her forehead gently. "Don't worry... Everything I've felt so far has been a result of you, whatever form you happen to be in." Ilas smiled and tilted her head up, meeting Max's lips in a slow kiss. For the rest of the afternoon they talked. Ilas showed him each of her sisters in turn before returning to her normal face. They also made love several times, Ilas contorting her body in ways Max had only imagined before.