Diana let out a pained yelp as she was thrown onto her knees. The men, angry as they were, were brutal and efficient, tying her arms behind her in intertwined sleeves of canvas and leather that left her shoulder blades straining. Her calves were married to her thighs with thick belts, and her ankles were bound with the very chains that held the hounds to their hitching posts, leaving her unable to take any position other than face-down-ass-up. There seemed to be some kind of miscommunication, because somehow when they had dispersed, one of them departing to go fetch the hounds, the two women found themselves alone. There was no current hope of escape, of course, penned in and chained to the ground as they were, but it was the first time in their captivity that the two of them had truly been alone and unwatched, face to face.
“What are you doing here?” Leona asked, dumbfounded. She seemed… actually upset.
Diana wasn’t as surprised by that as she would have been a few days ago. After what had happened upstairs, she heavily suspected now that Leona had in fact purposefully lost their competition, presumably to spare her from the loser’s harsh punishment, so it was of course perplexing to have them both sharing the same terrible fate.
“I pitched a bit of a fit,” Diana muttered. “Bit a few people. Made ‘em angry.”
Leona just continued to look at Diana disbelievingly. The silence stretched on to become quite awkward, and in the end, Diana found herself simple saying, “Shut up.”
Leona hadn’t said anything, but she did take that as her queue to finally do so. “It was harder this time, deciding whether I should let you win,” Leona said.
Diana blinked. That was actually the first time she’d heard aloud that particular admission. “So, you have been throwing the matches,” Diana muttered.
“Well, yes,” Leona admitted. “It’s not like I could just tell you that, though. I thought you’d know. You weren’t so keen to communicate either.”
Diana swiveled around, searching for any eavesdroppers. It wasn’t likely though. There was still quite a ruckus going on from where the Solari warriors were partying.
“I had it so clear in my head the whole time, but,” Leona paused for a moment before continuing again. “Finally seeing you again, I…” Leona cast her head down, her radiant locks draping limply across her cheeks. “I saw what happened when I was too careless about it though,” she continued. Diana looked at her questioningly. She didn’t really understand what was being conveyed. “You know,” Leona muttered. “The thing with, uh, the hand and, err, the arm?” Leona’s face flushed as she sheepishly held up her balled fist. Ah. So she was talking about the utterly brutal fisting that she’d endured to the point of being rendered unconscious that had left her sore and aching for days, and which had eventually planted the seed allowing Tattoo to root his twisted manipulation into her psyche? Diana had thus far been acting in vindication of that horrible night. To see all of her preconceptions crumble so easily, to find, at last, that her all-consuming hatred had alighted in her for no real reason was to large of a blow for her to handle. Diana was reeling, but there were still a few things left unsolved. She went for what she considered to be the least important one.
“Anyway, why weren’t you sure if you should let me win? Do you think I’m a dog fucker?”
Leona turned to her with wild eyes, hastily apologizing as she stumbled over her words. “No, no, not at all, but-“ she trailed off when she saw Diana’s wicked grin. She was just joking. Leona tried to smile, but it was a weak, anemic thing. “I heard you with that first man,” Leona said uncertainly. “Well, I didn’t want you to get pregnant.”
“So, what, you were just going to take on all of those men for the both of us?” Diana asked.
“I knew you wouldn’t give up if I told you to, and I definitely didn’t want you to have to go through whatever it is that’s about to happen,” Leona replied with exasperation.
“What about you?” Diana questioned, putting aside the terrible thought that she had, effectively, volunteered to share her fate.
After a moment’s hesitation, she spoke. “It doesn’t matter,” Leona said. Diana decided to leave it at that.
“And why did you kiss me?” Diana went for the second point on the list.
A pause. “You looked like you were in pain,” Leona said simply. “I was just trying to distract you.”
It was a simple explanation after all. Diana let that one sink in for a moment, blushing despite herself as she remembered the feel of the Solari’s lips. They had done their intended job, she supposed. That was… fine. “Did you really come here to help me?” she asked. “Truly?”
Leona just looked confused, which wasn’t what Diana was expecting at all. “Of course I did,” Leona emphasized. “I already told you that.”
It was Diana’s turn to look surprised, although she had been over and over again by the whole conversation. Leona only sighed and continued, “I guess you didn’t believe me.” She paused. “I… I didn’t know. I was confused. But I know now that I was wrong. I’m going to make it right. We can-”
The clamoring of dogs interrupted their conversation, signaling the beginning of their punishment. A man rounded the corner, fistfuls of chains wrapped around his arms as he led more than half a dozen barking and slobbering hounds into the courtyard. “What were you two chattering about?” he asked as he started to remove the dogs’ leashes. “Guess it don’t matter. These boys won’t make for great conversational partners.”
His job done, he strode away to rejoin his fellows inside, calling over his departing shoulder for them to have fun. Diana found herself face to face with a snarling pack of mutts. They were big dogs, bred for war or for hunting. She wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with their use. They were useful for acting as sentries at night, or for chasing down fleeing enemies, but animal handling had never been part of her or Leona’s duties. Her eyes were drawn to a particularly stout specimen, its rippling muscle and spiked collar signaling it as one of the aforementioned dogs of war. Diana couldn’t help but shudder a bit as it approached her, sniffing her entire length before circling around behind her.
The war hound let out a loud bark that resolved into a howl while its front paws slammed Diana onto her stomach. She found herself pinned to the ground, her rear end hiked up into the air and prime for mating. The large mastiff was surprisingly strong, its muscles rippling along its sizeable forelegs as it pressed its bitch into submission. There was no doubt in Diana’s mind that this beast had to be the Elder’s personal hound… it was obviously the alpha of the group, and it got first dibs on whatever it wanted.
It wasted no time mounting her, grinding its rapidly hardening shaft against the soft flesh of her ass. Diana couldn’t help but whimper as it dug its claws into her upper back. It was trying to get a grip on her shoulders, already pressing the reddened tip of its shaft against her cunt. When it finally had its paws on her shoulders and her eating dirt, it wasted no time slamming into her, eliciting a gasp of pain as it leveraged its newfound grip on her to pound its shaft against her. It growled and bit at her neck, seeking to complete some animalistic ritual of canine mating by confirming her submission in both body and mind.
The way the massive mastiff made love wasn’t gentle—a practically wild beast of such proportion probably wasn’t capable of such a thing—but all that mattered to Diana was successfully weathering the storm of its vicious mating without getting her throat torn out. Within minutes, Diana was yipping in pain, practically barking her vicious displeasure like, to the hound’s ears, a good breeding bitch. The silver lining was that she didn’t have to worry about Leona scrutinizing her howling submission, because from what she could see the Solari woman was already mounted herself. A pointy-eared hunting dog was wildly swinging its hips into her, its forelimbs wrapped around her waist almost like a lover as it leveraged itself higher and higher to press as deeply against her cervix as it could.
Diana shivered and moaned, panting in a barely-restrained panic that Leona herself mirrored as she felt her canine partner’s thick knot ramming up against her abused pussy’s barely moist lips. It was commanding her to let it in, to allow her new owner to tie her up and pump her full of its bitch-fertilizing seed. It howled its dominance, doubtlessly audible for anyone outside the kennel, as it spread the meager resistance of her bare pussy open with its knot. Diana back arched with the new pain of its girth, having only been exposed to such a terrible pressure from the cruelest of toys and devices. It seemed as if its knot had swollen to three times its original size by the time it locked her to her breeding partner, his thrusting even still quickly speeding up.
She felt like her pussy was going to break, and she couldn’t help but let anyone who was within earshot about it, but that didn’t stop the inevitable. The outcome was never in doubt. She felt a pumping and twitching deep inside her as it spurted an absurd volume spunk into her cunt, her pussy walls pre-slickened with its arousal convulsing in time with its twitching shaft in a subconscious effort to wring the cock dry. And that she did, groaning the whole time like a whore as her thighs ground against each other in revulsion. A howl pierced the air, originating from somewhere in the hound’s arched back, its climax hitting hard. Diana looked over at Leona, and quickly turned away when she found her staring back, wide-eyed.
The mastiff kept exploding inside of her, wave after wave of hot cum sending a searing heat through her nerves each time, until it seemed like the jets of reproductive excess were going to swell her stomach. Audibly panting from somewhere behind her left ear, it didn’t withdraw even as the flow of semen weakened to a constant stream of progressively more anemic spurts. It seemed content to leave them tied together, casually leaking as much canine cum as it could down her love-soaked tunnels, its knot packing it all in for maximum breeding efficacy.
From Diana’s position, on her knees with her hands bound behind her back and tied at the groin to a satisfied mastiff, she couldn’t help but get a faceful of one of the other dogs that approached her. She looked up at the canine, just as strong as all the others, and its crotch. Her eyes widened as she saw its thick near-lupine shaft quickly swelling up, getting quite hard if the way it started to throb was any indication. A few musky drops of pre dripping from its shaft, landing on her cheek and lips. The strong smell of its musk as it brought its package ever closer to her face made her turn away. This refusal did nothing to mollify her new suitor, which continued to slowly paint her face with its pre, drop by drop as it paced around her head.
After a few moments of this dance, the hound shifting from side to side as Diana kept trying to turn away, its cock finally pressed against her lips. When Diana spat and growled at the red rocket presented to her, the savage hound lunged at her, aiming for the crook of her neck. Its teeth found the soft flesh there, and the various life-giving veins and arteries that rested underneath, and for a moment Diana was sure that she had made the final mistake of her life at that point – She was going to have her throat torn out by mutts for refusing to suck dog dick in some corner kennel in a grimy underground prison. The alpha male war hound just watched passively, still attached to Diana at the knot and slowly leaking the dregs of its watery load into her thoroughly stuffed womb.
But when Diana screamed, which by pure coincidence overlapped with Leona’s own scream of despair as she was knotted by her own hirsute lover, she was surprised that was able to get the whole vocalization out. It didn’t leak from a punctured and savaged throat. In fact, the hound’s pointed teeth didn’t even pierce her flesh. She felt their wicked sharpness though, and the strength behind its jaw that held her on the brink of mortal injury as if she were being held hostage.
Diana was horrifically stunned. Even if it was some primal mating instinct, the hound seemed to be sending her a very clear message that was similar to what the men down there, little more than beasts themselves, had conveyed with a knife or sword so many times before. She was going to submit. Suck on her new ‘lover’ and let it jettison a load of red-hot boiling spunk down her throat until it was painted white or she would find that very same throat opened and spilling its lifeblood all over the ground.
How many times must they have given a woman to these hounds for them to learn such behaviors?
The tip of its length once again slid across her face until it reached her lips. This time, feeling the sharp points of teeth on her neck, Diana didn’t put up much resistance as it slipped between them, spurting a few good trickles of pre before the beast slammed its shaft down into her throat. The snarls and growls that accompanied each inch of cockmeat asserted its dominance. The only relief from the brutal mouthfucking came from just how much pre-cum it was pumping into her, slickening her mouth and throat just enough to take its length. That, and the absence of claws raking at her back. The perpetrator of that act still stood at her rear, content to let its knot completely shrink before it popped it free.
Diana couldn’t do anything but groan as the hound orally raped her, its sizeable furry balls smacking against her face with each thrust, forcing her to get a large whiff of the feral beast’s musk as it claimed her mouth for its pleasure. She didn’t dare bite. If the large beast didn’t bite back, its owner would surely punish her. She’d learned her lesson in that regard before, and she’d barely escaped losing a few teeth. And so her mind began to wander, retracting inward to avoid any thought of her current roleplay as a feral bitch in heat, but her focus soon dialed back in to reality thanks to the feeling of a large, rapidly inflating part of the dog’s shaft straining to force its way into her mouth. Diana had never particularly paid attention to the anatomy of dogs before, especially what they were equipped with down under, but she’d gotten a very, very thorough crash-course. It wasn’t hard for her to figure out that the growth in question was its knot, and that her second canine lover intended to tie her mouth with it just like the first had done with her pussy.
As Diana debated between helping the beast to get it in to reduce her risk of injury and the terrible consequence of having the sizeable mass in her mouth, the knot itself took away her agency as it forced her jaw open as wide as it could go with surprising strength. She gagged as her lips pressed against the knot while it spread her jaw wider and wider, eliciting a few tears of pain until it finally popped in, at once swelling up even more to make it near-impossible to take out until the rutting beast had totally drained its balls into her.
It was at that moment that the alpha finally slipped its own red rocket free of her pussy, a wet squelching sound springing forth both at the extraction of the blockage and the rush of watery canine semen that poured forth from her snatch. Although Diana’s vision was totally blocked by darkened fur as her face was assaulted, if Leona’s yelps of panic were anything to go by, the large mastiff that had just left her pussy drooling its fertile seed had found another fertile bitch to fuck.
Her current partner snarled and growled more and more, starting to buck into her straining maw with short, hard strokes that pushed its length so deep into her gullet that she swore its pre was pumping straight into her stomach. The presence of its knot and its length in her throat meant that it was almost impossible for her to breath, and while a man’s tool might give her a small window to breathe through with each thrust, swallowing the dog’s cock was like being in a perpetual state of deepthroating. Diana could do little to speed the situation along, the beast’s entire length already buried in her, her hands trapped, and even her head held in place by the weight on top of it.
Thankfully, its thrusts soon became more erratic, its snarling and breathing taking on a new cant with the introduction of soft whining. Its shaft swelled as the hound seemed to have successfully brought itself to climax by practically grinding on the walls of her gullet. The canine gave one last thrust before it howled out in climax, and Diana was thankful that it wasn’t in a position to dig its claws into her skin. That small mercy was soon eclipsed by the rising of its heaving balls, dragging their weight across her face one last time as their contents came flooding out. She had to clear each batch of warm, watery dog semen from her throat with rabid gulps. Diana could practically feel her belly swelling with the copious canine cum as it rocketed down her throat and into her stomach.
Her vision started to blur, the underside of the hound’s body losing focus and becoming riddled with dancing flecks of light as she was deprived of air. If it saw fit to have her gulp down what felt like flagons full of its cum instead of air, that was what it was going to do. The flow that was stymied down to a trickle by the thorough emptying of the beast’s balls did little to alleviate the situation as the knot remained, tying them together and continuing to block her airway. It felt like minutes before the dog’s knot had deflated enough to be yanked out from between her lips with a wet pop, and in that time Diana could do nothing but lay under the weight of the large dog, utterly exhausted.
Starved for oxygen and delirious, she had to content herself with heaving breaths through her nostrils, because the rest of the hound’s length hadn’t followed suit in its retreat. It stood up, sliding half of its length out, ultimately leaving just the head and a bit of the shaft inside of her mouth. Diana only had a few moments to hazily wonder what it was doing before it shivered all over and a bitter tasting liquid was suddenly sprayed in her mouth. She was much too weak to fight back against the invading dick, so she had no other choice but to swallow down all of the foul liquid or drown in it. Soon after the dog pulled the rest of its shaft out, and it quickly became apparent to Diana that the bitter liquid she’d been forced to drink was its urine. It continued to circle her, moving up and down her body to spray that yellow stuff all over her prone form until she was drenched in it. She felt like the heady scent was soaking into her skin to permanently stain it and mark her forever as the property of all the mutts that surrounded her.
She was faintly aware of another dog mounting up behind her as she turned her head tiredly to seek out Leona. The Solari’s forehead was kissing the dirt, the large mastiff that had popped her zoophiliac cherry clawing and biting at the woman even as it swung its hips a mile a minute. Diana wouldn’t have been able to lift a finger to help her even if she’d been of a mind to, finding herself suddenly pressed once more into the dust by another large dog.
The two women were forced to mate, over and over again, with the whole pack of canines, which surprisingly fought very little amongst themselves for a go at their various warm holes. Their watery cum, sacrificing viscosity for sheer volume and force of ejaculation, covered every possible surface. The two childhood friends’ earlier conversation seemed to have been ended for good as they both did their best just to survive the brutal breeding, despite the fact that they physically couldn’t produce a litter for their new masters.
Aside from that fact it was, all in all, not so different from the beginning of the night, when you got right down to it.
Diana found herself once again facing her mirror Aspect over a shared torture device. But this time, in contrast to all others, she almost felt like shivering given the lack of burning rage that usually occupied her heart. She had a terrible feeling that she’d soon be feeling heat of another, more tangible kind, if her appraisal of the device was true. She found herself on her knees and bound by a single shackle to the inside lip of what she was almost certain was a metal brazier. The wrist cuff was a thick iron, bound and pinned in place by a ridiculously short but sturdy chain.
Leona mirrored her position on the other side of the brazier, similarly bound. Each of their shackles had a small keyhole right at the inside of the wrist. The very keys that fit those small holes were different, but they were in fact in that very room. Each woman was holding the other’s key.
“The first to be unlocked is the loser, I’m afraid,” The Elder said. “But you’ll have to ask one another to unlock your cuff.” Each woman did indeed find a small brass key pressed into their other palm. It was a plain and simple thing, with just one tooth, but their bindings weren’t coming off any other way.
“Of course, you want the other to lose,” the Elder said. “Of course. I guarantee you very, very much do not want to be the loser today. But just how much are you willing to spite the other? Every extra second you wait is another moment of pain for the other.” The Elder crouched down beside Diana, his hands on his knees like a curious and excited child. He smiled at her, cocking his head.
“I know you’re quite merciless,” He twittered, bringing up a finger to tickle Diana’s nose. She just wrinkled it in disgust. He turned to look across the brazier at her partner-in-torture.
“And you, dear Leona,” He drawled. “It’s all her-“ he jerked his head at Diana and then continued with the same slow pace, “-fault you’re here anyway. She murdered them all: your superiors, your underlings, your friends, your family. All gone to stardust, thanks to her. How different things could have been, if she’d just accepted her lot, hmm?”
Instead Diana had gone to murder most everyone that Leona had ever looked up to before she left her once best-friend for dead. Every single dead priest and soldier had been a shared acquaintance… that much was very, very, terribly true. Diana had been certain that Leona would seek revenge for the slaughter. Diana herself was wreaking a terrible vengeance partly on behalf of an ancient genocide, but Diana’s massacre had been much, much closer to home… For both of them.
Could the golden-eyed Aspect really forgive her so easily? It boggled the mind.
The Elder suddenly snapped his fingers, causing both of the women to start. For a moment nothing happen, but they soon realized that he hadn’t been trying to draw their attention. Down in the bed of tinder that lay beneath the logs leaning against one another in the brazier, thin wisps of smoke bloom. Right before Diana’s eyes, the white smoke turned to orangish tongues of curling flame, licking at the fuel source that would really put the heat on them. By the time the seasoned, dry wood caught, Diana was shaking. She hated to admit it, but she was afraid. She had always considered burning to death up there with drowning as the most frightening way to die. She’d seen it before: invaders to the Mount smitten by holy fire. It wasn’t a quick death at all, their flesh sizzling, their eyeballs boiling in their sockets. She knew she probably wouldn’t die from burning her hand, but she wasn’t so sure that her body would appreciate the difference. Her tolerance for pain had improved, of course, even since becoming an Aspect, but what would that really mean when every single nerve was screaming? She dreaded to find out.
At first, the heat of the fires was perversely pleasing. Being used constantly as a fucktoy for men to drain their balls into inevitably led to a lot of muscle soreness. The warmth felt much better on her tired hands than the dank air of her cell, that was for certain. She remembered then of how she’d snuck off to one of the natural hot springs that dotted the cliffs with Leona and a few others a couple times before. The heat had felt divine on their tired bodies, a warm bath a supreme luxury usually reserved only for those more prestigious priests who had their own servants to tend to the fires underneath their tub.
The errant memory caused her to look up at Leona. The Solari Aspect had a strange look on her face, her brows knitted as she carefully studied the tongues of flame that continued to rise.
When the snaking fire had finally crawled across the logs and soon began to drift up from the side closest to Diana’s hand, her earlier feelings took a very sharp turn. It was hot, no doubt. Hot as the cruelest days of no cloud cover after a few laps without water to drink. Diana had always burned easily. She hadn’t been born to live on those mountains, so close to the heavens as to feel its radiance toast her skin daily. It was a fact that she had never forgotten. The Elder had apparently never forgotten it, either.
“Finally,” Thumbs said. “A straight up, fair competition. Been thinking a lot about who’ll duck out first.
“You taking bets?” Garlic hummed, crunching down on a fresh clove from where he sat rocking on a stool.
“Sure, I guess,” Thumbs said thoughtfully. “Losers have to go last during this little competition’s ‘reward.’ I’m in on ‘ol silver.
“Silver,” Beard announced.
“Silver as well,” Garlic added.
“Gold,” Tattoo challenged.
The flames were rising, but the part what really began to ache first wasn’t the hand itself. The short bit of leeway in the binding let Diana flex her palm back up and out of the way ever so slightly. She found that the metal of her shackle was the first to really heat up, being licked by the boldest tongues of flame.
“Oho,” Beard said, nudging Tattoo in the ribs. “Got a lot of confidence in your woman, do you?”
“Yeah,” Tattoo chuckled. “I’m am hopelessly in love with her, after all.” He sneered. “And there can’t be any winners or losers if we all bet on the same one.”
The tempo of Diana’s exhalations had really begun to pick up, and she could feel her heartbeat rushing to catch up. Beads of sweat dripped down her forehead, both from the searing pain that had already begun to envelop her hand in anticipation of just how much worse it could get. There was still a lot of fuel in that brazier, and coals burned hotter than wood. The body of the flame still had a ways to rise, and it was already dangerously close to her reddening skin.
Diana took the time to study Leona, seeking any kind of distraction that she could. The Solari appeared to be meditating almost, her hand not even drawn up and away like Diana’s. She felt like her hand really had caught fire, although the flames hadn’t even really touched it. The sheer heat of the brazier, the energy reflecting inwards off of the metal walls and blasted through the top by updrafts was enough to make every nerve in Diana’s hand scream in agony. When her frantic eyes once again sought out Leona, trying to gage whether they’d played enough of the game to satisfy the men, she noticed Leona looking only slightly uncomfortable. It was clear what was happening.
The same flames that tortured Diana enough to make her scream were licking at Leona. The fire wasn’t lain unevenly. Their shackles were in mirrored position. Leona just had some kind of resistance to the flames. The time it took for Leona to marvel at her new abilities only increased the period of time for which Diana was suffering, and she seemed to realize that after more than a few moments. She seemed to suddenly come to her senses, and a yelp of agony escaped her lips as well.
It was a convincing scream, Diana would have said for sure if she’d had the presence of mind to really analyze it, but it didn’t really reach Leona’s eyes. They weren’t straining like Diana’s, poised to burst a blood vessel. Diana herself felt like her very hand might catch on fire, the hungry embers searing away flesh, then nerves, then muscle, then eating away at her bone to finally snake through her marrow and consume her from the inside out again. It was a frightening image. She didn’t have Leona’s ability, and while she might have at first willfully given up to spare Leona the punishment this time, the truth was she was just in too much pain. She prayed that Leona would unlock her quickly, even though the Solari would be able to draw it out as much as she liked with her own resistance. The fire rose enough to actually begin engulfing her hand, clawing out a horrifying howl.
“I g-“ Diana started to scream, but Leona cut her off.
“I give up!” Leona shouted, reaching around the brazier with her non-bound hand to paw at Diana. “Please!”
Diana acted without thinking, the key she was holding darting forth. Mercifully, it sunk into the keyhole in one try, and even without turning Leona’s shackle sprung free. She made a show of falling backwards, grasping at her wrist while rolling around in pain. But in the moment before she had fallen, she had tossed the key she was holding, and it landed with a dull clink right next to Diana. She wasted no time unlocking herself as the men watched Leona, jeering at her writhing form. Diana was baffled, she knew for certain that Leona hadn’t really felt the flames as much as she did, and the woman’s tolerance for pain was no less than her own. She’d been close enough to see that fact.
“A loser!” Tattoo exclaimed.
“And a victor,” Beard said, turning to Diana. “Already unlocked yourself, hmm?”
“Take this one to the forges,” the Elder commanded with a wave of his hand at Leona. “Have one of the others perform the punishment, but choose someone you trust. You all have some work to do here.”
The Elder watched Leona silently as she was dragged away by Thumbs, scratching his chin thoughtfully. To Diana’s immense surprise, he didn’t seem interested in sticking around for either of their “rewards” or punishments. Instead he exited, alone, through a completely different doorway and disappeared down a shadowy hall.
“Fucking hell,” Garlic muttered, finally getting up from where he had been rocking back and forth on his stool. “Don’t know how you guys kept so calm. Saving all of this up was torture. I feel like one of these waifs.”
“Hold up,” Tattoo said, placing his palms on Garlic’s shoulders before he could advance. “I won the bet, you know. I’m first.” Garlic groaned, but seemed content to hold up that particular bargain. He sat back down, and Thumbs reentered the room after handing Leona off to one of the new guards. “Here,” Tattoo said, presenting Diana his mostly flaccid cock. She looked at it with confusion, but took it into her mouth anyway. Usually the prospect of raping her would have them at least little harder and ready to go, but she wasn’t about to argue. In fact, a simple blowjob seemed like an extremely generous “reward,” compared to her usual treatment… Despite the term, they used, the men’s small mercies were usually tinged with their own ironic horrors.
“Good girl,” Tattoo chuckled. “Now drink it all.” Diana was surprised when he seemed to burst in her mouth. He’d never ejaculated so quickly, and in fact he’d barely begun to stiffen at all. She swallowed reflexively, sending his liquids past her esophagus to splash in her stomach. The terrible realization of what was actually occurring when her taste buds caught up with her conditioning as a trained cum swallower had her reeling. She tried to pull back, but Tattoo only grabbed the back of her head to stop her, keeping just the head of his cock in her mouth to let the flow of hot piss stream past her tongue before it vanished down her throat. Even when she opened her mouth to scream, a potential mistake that she aborted at the last second as she imagined the consequences of inhaling urine, he never stopped pissing. All Diana could do was pinch her nose, retching at the horrible taste of his foul liquid as it slalomed down her throat. It seemed like it would never stop, and the man groaned in relief at finally getting to empty his full bladder.
“God, yesss,” he moaned. “I chugged three flagons just before this. Our good master sure is a slave-driver, isn’t he?”
“Just hurry up,” Beard said. “I gotta piss like a horse.”
“Come on, man,” Garlic whined. “I think I went a little too hard on the ale too. I don’t think I can even stand up without wetting myself.” That explained why he’d been rocking back and forth with a strained look on his face for the past few minutes.
That exchange was over by the time Tattoo had finally finished relieving himself inside of Diana’s mouth. She was left gasping and coughing, trying to vomit but unable to. Garlic approached her, his prick already exposed. “Open up, slut,” he said. Diana’s mouth flopped open obediently, her tongue hanging out and still dripping yellowish fluids. “You’re just a latrine today.” His stream began to arc, tracing its way up her chest and chin before finding its target in her mouth. It splashed of course, sending the filthy, reeking liquid all over every surface of the inside of her mouth. She couldn’t take it anymore, gagging and spilling his accumulating fluid all over herself. She turned her face away, his stream splashing against the side of her face and stinging her eyes. The spray even went up her nose, setting those sensitive membranes aflame as well. She felt like he’d pissed inside of her skull with how suffused she was with the putrid scent and taste.
When his trickle finally stopped, he wasn’t at all happy. “What the fuck was that?” he growled, kicking her square in the stomach. She fell over, gasping for breath, and he emptied his last few dribbles over her body. “Can’t even follow simple orders?” Another kick drove the breath she had begun to muster out of her. His foot stomped on her hand, the one that had been broken before and had just barely begun to heal. That finally ripped a scream from her. It only seemed to spur him on as he continued to rain her with blows. “And now you’ve gone and made me get piss on my boots!”
“Lay off it,” Beard said, grabbing him by his shoulders placative. Diana rallied herself, finally coming out from behind the arms that were shielding her head. What she found was not a savior, but just another devil. Both Beard and Thumbs had their pants down, ready to go. “It’s our turn.” They’d stopped the beating not to spare her, but to relieve themselves.
Diana rose unsteadily to her knees, eager to escape another beating. She mentally prepared herself to drink more of their nauseating stuff, brewed straight from the kidneys. She gulped it down, doing her best to catch their crossed streams in her open mouth until she felt like she’d drunk a gallon of the stuff. Her stomach felt paunchy with the heavy weight of four men’s overly full bladders, and she let out a burp that once again brought the disgusting taste rushing over her taste buds. The men only laughed as they watched her sink the ground and sob.
Tattoo walked to one of the hallways and peeked around the doorframe, summoning the two guards that had been standing there. “We’re done here,” he announced, ushering them in. “Take her to her cell.”
“Which cell?” one of them asked.
“Just pick one,” Tattoo said, rolling his shoulders. “Doesn’t matter.”
To Diana’s surprise, the guards returned Leona to the same cell as her after a time. The reason had become very apparent when The Elder had strolled in after them with two metal collars in hand. They were curious things, intricately carved with mechanical moving parts and glowing runes, complete with sets of matching chains. When she took the chance to really look Leona over, what she saw actually frightened her. Her golden locks were singed, burnt away on side with a trail that could be traced all the way to her face. There too the flames seemed to have touched, and it looked as if someone had shoved the woman’s whole head into a furnace. That might have been the truth, from the way she was acting. Leona was little more than a drooling mess, almost comatose between small bouts when she would rally herself and let forth an aching moan. Her skin was marred by the unmistakable marks of brands, the hot-iron rods having marked her with burn scars usually reserved for criminals and slaves. Whatever specific tortures they had inflicted upon her—both burning and branding being the obvious ones—seemed to have finally overcome her resistance to fire for whatever reason.
Diana couldn’t do much more than look on the other woman with open horror as they were both collared and chained by a pulley system of chains to pins in the floor. They’d gone through terrible tortures, that much was true, and Diana had always felt like she’d received some of the most brutal treatment despite winning most of the competitions. But…
But Leona had, for certain, volunteered for this one. And now the strong, imperious, beautiful woman had been reduced to a burned, branded piece of mute meat.
Diana didn’t want to look… she wanted to look literally anywhere else. Instead, she stared. Let this imprint itself deep in her brain. When she looked away, it was only because the men had began repositioning them both… she listened to their instructions with half a mind. The details didn’t really matter… they were going to make them suffer, one way or the other. This new game the men had had in mind was for the women to wear the collars while they were fucked. Although Diana couldn’t see the contraption clearly, it was designed to ratchet, allowing a series of notches to tighten it more and more. Each advancement would allow no retreat.
The loser would be the one that ultimately set their own collar looser than the other’s. That had been the plan, anyway. They’d had to abort that game due to Leona’s unresponsiveness.
The men had left with more than just curses and threats, taking out their fury on Diana’s body before departing. Three of the men had seen fit to run a train on her, but Thumbs seemed content with busting a load inside of Leona’s limp body. The whole time, she never said a word. While they’d stood there, or hung there in Leona’s case, cum dripping down their thighs and still bound by collars to the wall and floor, Diana’s apprehensions truly began to build.
“Leona,” Diana hissed. They were actually alone in their cell, together and unguarded for the first time since they’d been used by the pack of dogs. “Leona!”
The woman only mustered a groan in response. She was burned. Badly. Very, very badly. Diana was filled with the very real fear that she might actually die without seeing a healer… her injuries look… bad. Her flushed and blistered skin, weeping fluid in some spots and scabbing over in others, was bad enough. But it was the woman’s muddled state of mind, slipping more and more towards the comatose as the moments slipped by that truly had Diana worried. There was no adrenaline flowing through the Solari Aspect to keep her animated, and her energy only seemed to dwindle. The last of Diana’s reservations dwindled in turn. “Leona, please listen to me… we have to get out of here…” she said as she crawled forward as far as she could toward the bed of draw in the cell before the chain around her neck grew taut… She had realized upon first being returned to this cell that this was the one she had been waiting to be returned to.
During the the Ra’Horak’s celebratory feast, Heinrik’s death had provided one hell of a distraction. Diana had taken advantage. There hadn’t been much at hand to grab, not a real weapon like she would have liked, but she managed to grab one of the metal prickers that people were using to skewer hunks of meat, a simple iron awl-like instrument about the length of her hand. With no clothing, and her orifices regularily invaded by cocks, she’d been left with only a brazen method. The sharp length of dirty iron had practically vanished as she’d tucked it behind her ear, the thing held in place and covered by the tangled and matted bird’s nest of silver that she had once called her hair. She had been terribly lucky that they’d never chosen the casual cruelty of shearing her, and that they’d rarely let her wash it. It proved to be a clever hiding spot, although her heart had thrummed both during the act and after. That tempo had tripled as The Elder had grabbed her head right after his speech, but serendipity had him grab a fistful of the other side of her head.
She’d hidden the thing immediately when they had returned her to her cell, sticking it beneath the meager pile of straw that they’d allowed her for bedding. The guards that had handled her tonight, unknowing, had placed her back in the very same cell. She reached her foot out, straining her leg muscles and ligaments to their limits as she aimed for the telltale tousled mound where her tool was hidden. Her stomach dropped as she pulled a bit too hard and heard a click emanate from deep within her collar’s inner workings. It tightened, increasing the ever-present feeling of metal on her throat to an uncomfortable one as its diameter reduced every so slightly. She also found that the tightening of her collar had added an inch worth of length to her chain, and with great care she finally managed to seize the length of iron between her toes.
She twisted her thigh and passed the pricker up to her hands. She’d examined the workings of her collar and chain to the best of her ability beforehand. The chain itself passed through a thick metal loop pounded into the wall behind her, keeping her close to it and unable to sit down. From there it trailed down and across the floor, where it was pinned to the ground by a steel nail. Diana decided that that would be her point of attack. The loop on the wall was solid, no doubt built into the room’s very foundations when it had been constructed, but the nail in the floor had been placed haphazardly just for their earlier competition.
There was no chance of her tearing it out by the chain. Even attempting to do so would probably end up ratcheting the sensitive her collar down to lethal levels. Thankfully for her though, she had a tool. The only problem was getting close enough to use it.
“Don’t worry,” she said, as much to herself as to Leona. “We’re going to get out of here.” Leona didn’t respond. If she had been able to, she probably would have protested as Diana pulled against her chain, adding more and more links to it while simultaneously tightening her collar. It was just enough for her to hang over the nail, barely on her knees, and pick at it with her iron awl. Her collar was tight enough to make breathing difficult, but not so tight that it constricted the veins and arteries housed in her neck, thankfully.
She began to pick at the stone surrounding the steel nail. At first, she didn’t seem to be making any progress, but as she chipped at it again and again, pieces of the floor began to crumble away. Each breathe was laborious as she squatted there, practically hanging herself as she tried to destroy the anchoring around the nail. She’d gotten about a fifth of the way, revealing a bare centimeter of metal in a shallow divot of carved stone, when she heard a click at the door. Fast as she could, she tucked her iron pricker in the palm of her hand and turned her wrist backwards to hide it behind her. She stood up straight, hoping that the extra slack at her neck as she hugged the wall wouldn’t be noticed by whoever was entering.
Her heart sank when the Solari Elder’s hateful, smiling face poked in from behind the cracked door, light from hallway providing an ominous back glow. He surveyed them both for a moment before fully stepping into the room, closing the door behind him. Diana prayed that he wouldn’t notice anything amiss in the room, but if any of her captors would, it would be him.
“Excuse me, ladies.” he said smoothly, striding to the center of the room. He looked Diana up and down for a moment before moving to stand in front of Leona. “You don’t look so good, dear Aspect.” Leona didn’t respond, merely jerking her head and loosing another string of drool with a groan as he stuck a hand between her legs and roughly fingered her. “I think you might get your wish,” the Elder said, looking back over his shoulder at Diana. “She might actually die.”
“No!” Diana yelped.
The Elder, on the verge of turning his attention back to Leona, suddenly spun around. “Hmm?” he marveled, cocking his head at Diana. “What’s this? Don’t you want her dead?” He took a step forward. “You hate her, don’t you? For trying to kill you? You can’t possibly have forgiven her.” He continued to approach Diana slowly, like a prowling wolf. He laughed. “You still don’t get it.” He stood before Diana now, staring her straight in the eye. “That that bitch over there,” he said, jerking a thumb over his shoulder. “Is the only thing left standing in my way. I’m the last ruler of Solari. Me!” he pressed that same thumb into his breast. “All of the others, those fucking fools, failed to stop you. But not me. I’m the strongest. The smartest!” He was practically screaming in her face now, flecks of spittle hitting Diana’s cheeks. “I was the one to capture you! I’m going to finish the Lunari once and for all. I don’t give a single shit what you or that other stupid slut found on the summit… you two are the last thing between me and absolute power over Mount Targon! And I’m going to have you fucked to death!”
The Elder’s face was just a bare inch away from Diana’s his gritted teeth hovering just in front of her nose. And that meant that he couldn’t see below him, so focused was he on Diana’s face, and what she held in her hand. This would be the best chance she ever got.
Diana slammed her fist into his fucking chest, but to her horror his reaction were better than the speed of a badly abused slave girl.. He caught her fist at the last second. He looked at her disbelievingly, then down at his chest where the first inch of the iron skewer had dug into his flesh… painfully, but far from lethally. He’d caught her wrist, stopping her from impaling his heart.
“You bitch!” he shouted. His hand went to the belt at his side, drawing an ornate sword. In the same moment his robes began to glow a brilliant orange. Diana immediately tore her wrist away and thrust at him again, but found the tip of her iron tool stopped dead against the thin layer of glowing orange that surrounded The Elder. She barely had time to duck out of the way as his sword lashed at where her neck had been, carving a thin line in the stone behind her. A palm smashed into her solar plexus, driving the wind out of her while the Elder jumped back. He made to retreat.
If he left this room, they were both dead.
It came to Diana then in a silver flash… a mark upon her psyche that had lurked at the back of her mind ever since her summiting of the mount, and that she hadn’t heard from since the massacre at the temple. The brand on her forehead began to glow brightly enough that it lit the room and Diana felt power rush through her almost like a bolt of lightning, suddenly and strong enough that it made her limbs tremble with energy. A deep well of power within her was finally tapped, and a surge of swirling purple chaos manifested itself from her hand. It sprung forth like a whip, then coiled around The Elder’s ankle. With her other hand she swung, and an ivory lash, much like the one she’d summoned earlier after drowning Leona in the basin swept forth from the tip of her weapon. It crackled as it flowed forth, eliciting a hiss from the Elder as it struck him but otherwise fizzled out against his own armor.
And her collar, without her moving, clicked several notches tighter.
“I knew it!” the Elder yelled triumphantly as he straightened up. “I don’t know how, but just by you whores being near one another you’re reigniting each other’s magic! It’s supposed to be mine!” He sliced through the purple tendril holding his leg, but the blade just passed through. Finding himself unable to escape, he advanced, sword raised. “So I had these collars made up just for… you!” He lunged.
Diana threw up her hands, a silver bubble of warding enveloping her body on instinct. Another click from her collar. The Elder brought his sword down, but the blade rebounded with a clang against her silvery shield. Taking the hilt in two hands, he struck again and again, weakening it each time until it finally shattered. Diana was knocked back, sliding down the wall and coming to rest completely defenseless.
The Elder stood over her, his shadow cast across Diana’s entire form. He slowly raised his blade, point down, ready to finish off the Lunari woman, who was still dazed and confused. He couldn’t help but gloat. It was just in his nature. “Goodbye, moon whore” he said, politely, a wicked grin on his face. And the sword fell.
Leona’s eyes opened, the woman abruptly roused from her near-comatose state. Her normally golden eyes glowed brilliantly, enveloped by an empyreal incandescence that Diana had never seen before. “Diana!” she shouted, reaching the end of her much shorter chain as she flung out her hand. Even as Tattoo and Beard burst into the room, drawing their swords and shouting a warning, a beam, much different from those cast by Diana, suddenly sprung from Leona’s outstretched fingertips. It was almost blinding, the first taste of real direct sunlight that Diana had seen in weeks. Though she’d thrown up a hand defensively before her face, brilliant light seeped through the cracks between her fingers as she saw the Elder receive the full brunt of the solar flare.
For a moment Diana was sure that it would turn him to ashes; it seemed impossible that the sheer brilliance of the cosmic ray could fail to do so. The Elder, however, disagreed. Something about his own elemental affinity, perhaps, or his own strength of magic, she didn’t know – either way, he seemed to catch the beam with one hand, a sneer on his face. The errant sunfire, cast and bent around some intangible line, scattered like burning coals as the glowing man flung it away. A few motes spattered onto the hay strewn about, immediately setting it alight. The rest bent around Diana to slam against the walls… and men walking through the door. Brilliant light splashed against Tattoo and Beard as they rushed into the room, and before he’d even had a chance to move the two men found their torso melting, the flesh bubbling away to reveal ivory bone and the dark slate grey of lung tissue. Those very lungs heaved to let forth a strained, bubbling screech as he fell to the ground, writhing in pain. Even the stout wooden door he’d arrived through caught fire, and from the crashes outside the wave of burning sunfire hadn’t stopped there, either.
“You treasonous bitch!” the Elder screamed, suddenly turning away from Diana and slashing at Leona. The Solari Aspect barely had time to dodge as his blade arced towards her neck. By the faintest sliver, she managed to move aside at the last moment. The ornate shortsword rebounded off of the taut chain that fastened to her collar, sending a shower of sparks into the air. A retaliatory kick from Leona sent the Elder stumbling back ever as he followed up with a devastating punch across her face, rocking her backward even as he stumbled…
To the very limit of Diana’s range of movement.
With her chain jerking, and tightening her collar another irreversible notch, the Lunari Aspect grappled him from behind. The tip of her simple pricker was infused with an unearthly glow, a summoning of magic that had cost her yet another notch on her collar, and the utterly mundane tool slammed home into the Elder’s collarbone. It clove through the threads his light-infused robe like butter, sinking into his soft flesh to spear the narrow width of his subclavian artery.
The Elder gave a choking cry of disbelief, grabbing at Diana’s chokehold with one hand and wildly swinging his sword back over his shoulder. The iron spike itself lodged in his artery was the only thing stopping him from immediately bleeding out, and in that time Diana felt the savage sting of his desperate swings. The sword hit her at an awkward angle, not much force behind the blows as he swung it over his shoulder, but it still flensed the flesh of her back. Two, then three wounds opened between her shoulder blades, beginning to bleed immediately. Diana wasn’t sure who was screaming louder, her or the Elder, but when she gave a savage twist of her wrist and drew her weapon from his neck, she proved the victor of that contest.
The Elder immediately went silent as he fell to his knees, freed from Diana’s relaxed grip. He clawed desperately at the wound at his neck, but his rapidly falling blood-pressure that resulted from the crimson spray of his vital fluids leaving him soon made even that task too much. He gave a few small shuffles, inching away from his killer, before collapsing onto the ground. There was no grand speech. No promise of vengeance, no scream of pain, no laugh of incredulous disbelief, and no final words. There was only a dying man, seeming much smaller, then, as his spasming muscles curled his body into a fetal position. He gave a final twitch and went still, collapsed in an ever-widening pool of crimson.
Leona was still, fallen unconscious as she dangled limply from her chain with her knees half-folded. Her arms hung limply, just out of Diana’s reach. They were going to burn to death. Actually, Diana thought she might choke to death first, whether from her collar or from the dark smoke. It shouldn’t matter. Diana had accomplished her mission. She’d killed the last Elder, the last of the order that had destroyed her faith. Her most vicious tormentors lay dead and burned on the ground. It shouldn’t matter that this would be the end… She had always accepted the fact that she might die in her quest for vengeance, but when the moment came for that truth to be realized, she found that she very much wanted to keep on living… and she didn’t want Leona to die with her.
As her collar slowly choked her, and the smoke added to her lightheadedness, she just barely saw it. There was a busted link in Leona’s chain from where The Elder had struck it with his sword. The metal was bent and twisted, barely hanging together.
Still, Leona was much too far away for her to reach, and taking another step forward, tightening her collar again, would undoubtedly kill her. Diana didn’t even think about it… on effortless instinct a silver bolt of moonlight answered her call and sliced clean through the other woman’s ruptured chain. Another click from her color, and Diana’s vision was going black at the edges. Leona collapsed to the ground, and even through the oxygen deprivation, Diana noticed that the Solari’s wounds were already healing. Her fading mind noticed the barest amount of light peeking in through a grate near Leona’s collapsed form… covering her prone body in the faintest light imaginable. Diana herself wasn’t so lucky… but…
Mustering up her greatest display of power thus far, she aimed for that small weakness in the wall. A thwomp of expanding air accompanied the blast of energy, and a person-sized gap was shattered apart in the stone bricks. Another few clicks of her collar… clicks that didn’t matter. She already couldn’t breath. The light of the moon peaked through that hole, but it never touched Diana, couldn’t reach her in the darker corner she was stuck to. She wished she could feel it on her skin, one last time. Diana seized upon the power in the light, willing one more use of power, one final protection for the Solari aspect. Another click as Leona was wrapped up in a bubble of swirling silver-violent energy, a barrier that lifted her softly off the ground. With one last push of the last of her strength, such a tiniest amount of magic that it didn’t even elicit a response from her collar, Leona was sent drifting out into the night through the ragged gap, drifting softly down the mountain, free of gravity’s cruel embrace.
Diana watched her go for along as she could, until she wasn’t sure whether the smoke or the black edges of her sight vision was more responsible for the darkness she saw. The light of the moon was gone now. Every breath was an immense struggle, even as she slipped beneath the haze of choking smoke that filled the room. What breaths she did get were strained and wouldn’t be enough to sustain her. She was going to die here.
If Leona had been there to ask her, Diana would have told her that she didn’t know why she had saved the woman… but she would have been lying. She knew. For all that her thoughts were full of vengeance and spite and anger and loss and betrayal and sorrow, the last month had slowly, methodically stripped away her ability to keep denying the fact that she had only one true friend in the world. One person who really understood her. Now, as her thoughts began to drift as her body slowly gave out, Diana finally admitted to herself that Leona hadn’t betrayed her. They’d just been two silly girls, utterly confused by the immense destinies suddenly thrust upon them. They hadn’t received the same revelations, and they were two different people, and they’d came to two different conclusions… and they’d both been wrong. Like every time before, Diana had been the headstrong one. Leona didn’t deserve to die. Not for seeking her out. Not for trying to rescue her.
Everything was black now. Her life flowing out of her, something like a poetic dream came to her, flowing like the sea. The sea that she’d never once seen. Diana had heard more than once the phrase that when someone was about to die their whole life would flash before their eyes… but as she lay there, her life slowly draining out of her and choking on what few and feeble breaths had been spared her struggle, she found herself seeing just one moment. It was still as a shiny freeze-frame polaroid, but she could almost feel that rare, cool breeze that swayed the wild reeds. The village that they’d “borrowed” their rods from would have said that fishing was something boys did, but so was pledging one’s life to a military order, so neither of them had cared. They watched some unnamed river flow down the foothills of the mountain that night, spilling from somewhere high up near the summit, waiting for the flathead catfish to bite. They didn’t catch a single one, but that was alright. Two small young girls crouched at the riverbank, one’s hair not yet tainted with the silver sheen that had changed everything, the other’s as brilliant and golden as it had ever been. There wasn’t any anger, no thoughts of vengeance, no mission anymore… when Diana thought on her memory now, there was no bitterness, just… warmth as she saw her friend. A night’s sky. Moonbeams reflecting off shimmering water. And that was alright.
Diana felt as if she were drifting away, floating gently through the air. That scene flowed away in the opposite direction from which she felt herself being pulled. It all collapsed to a single point, endeavoring to disappear beyond some infinite horizon. The soft golden red pinprick of Leona’s soft hair was the last thing she saw before it all disappeared in a haze, and Diana sank beneath the heaven, dark pull.
Abruptly Diana took a deep, shuddering breath as she was drawn back from the veil of death, or at least its neighboring area. Disoriented, swirling, lost, she found herself fixed on a single sensation… the soft touch on her lips. She forced her eyes open and Diana found herself sputtering into Leona’s mouth, the woman in the middle of exhaling her life back into the Lunari.
Diana coughted, and Leona drew back sharply, looking down. “Diana,” the redhead gasped, pulling back as the woman in her lap spasmed. She looked down, disbelieving.
Diana herself couldn’t do anything more than lie there, her head on Leona’s lap while tears rained down on her cheeks from above. Leona kept calling her name, but Diana couldn’t muster the energy to answer. Still, just sitting there next to the comforting, warm Solari, who she realized was wrapped in some kind of radiant energy, Diana felt herself slowly healing. The agony that gripped her entire body faded to a dull ache after a while, slowly fading into a pleasant, warm numbness. Although Diana couldn’t even guess how long she had lain there, eventually she was finally able to open her eyes more than a crack, and when she did she found herself staring up at Leona, framed by the glow of the silvery moon. Her face was marred with dirty, with blood, tears, and snot. Her eyes were crimson and wet as fresh tears ran down her cheeks, cleaning up older messes.
She was the most beautiful woman Diana could ever recall seeing.
Gathering all of her strength to rise, Diana hoisted herself to be eye-level with Leona. They spent a moment, staring at each other. Then Diana kissed her. Leona gasped a bit, the inhale coming sharply through her nose, but she didn’t pull away.
“Don’t you dare kiss me without my permission again,” Diana said when she herself finally separated their lips. It was a ridiculous thing to say, but the whole situation was decidedly ridiculous… too insane to be real. It felt like a dream then… being outside of their prison, out in the fresh air of the mountains, but the dull pains slowly receding from her body wouldn’t let her forget that it had been all too real. She unsteadily rose to her feet, using Leona’s shoulder as support to push herself up. Leona sat back on her calves, looking up at Diana. She almost looked like an eager puppy wagging its tail. Diana’s hand went to her torso, and she winced, pushing tenderly at the flesh under her breasts.
“You bitch,” Diana hissed with a small wince. “I think you broke a couple of my ribs.”
“I had to,” Leona explained, stuttering a bit over her words. “Err, chest compressions. You know the technique.”
Diana knew she was falling back on old patterns, old hostility… but she didn’t know what else to say. “So, you saved me,” she said, perhaps a bit more harshly than necessary. Leona only nodded. “How?”
“When I came to, I was floating in the air, in your magic,” Leona said. She seemed unsure of herself. “A voice, my aspect… it told- no, it made me know how to use your magic and twist it into something else.”
“What, did you grow wings and fly me out of there?” Diana asked, incredulous.
“Yes,” Leona stated simply. She looked dead serious. When Diana squinted hard enough, she could just barely see the faintest outline of fluttering wings of energy emerging from somewhere on Leona’s back. Diana realized that Leona was also clad in her armor once more, as if she had summoned it from thin air. They probably could, Diana thought then. The armor and blade that she had thought lost to her… she had found them in the Lunari temple, conveniently before her just after she had found her power at the summit of Mount Targon. With their powers subdued for the most part in the prison, and especially without any solid knowledge of how to use them, that prospect had probably been impossible at the time, but… Diana thought she might be able to feel the armor resting just against her skin, just separated from her by nothing but the barest hint of metaphysical distance.
“So,” Diana began, turning to look at the faint sound of flowing water. She suddenly felt extremely thirsty. That was probably normal for being brought back from the brink of death. She found herself crouched on a riverbank, the unnamed river flowing from somewhere high up near the summit, beyond their vision. “What now?” She could see a glow on the horizon as the Solari temple continued to burn, out of sight.
“I don’t know,” Leona said, the sound of clattering armor signaling that she too had risen to her feet. Diana looked back at her. Leona’s hair was still short where it had been burned, and her face was still marred with scar tissue, but she seemed to have recovered remarkably well. Her eyes were bright and radiant. “I’ll go wherever you go.”
“Disgusting,” Diana said, turning away… but not fast enough to Leona to miss the small smile that danced across her lips. It was the first in a long, long time.
Somewhere far away, the sun was rising over a gentle shore of the sea. Hours later, people would expect the moon would follow in it’s wake, the two always seperate, never meeting. That was the nature of things. They would follow each other forever, over the same earth while giving, freely, their light to the beleaguered world but never be permitted to touch. But someones, once in a great while, something amazing happened… and as the sun rose over Valoran, a dark disk began to grow as it met the moon. The eclipse sailed over the sky all day, sun and moon united as they covered the land in their mingled light, and until the sun went down the eclipse never once ended.