Nights of Silk and Sapphire.

by Amber.

See Part 1 for specific disclaimers.



During the next week, Zafirah and Dae continued their romance at a more sedate pace. The Scion would spend what time she could away from her duties in the seraglio, more often than not in the company of the young blonde. Most nights they would walk together through the city or the palace halls and gardens, smiling and talking, hands clasped and shoulders frequently brushing. The various soldiers and servants about the palace would watch the couple as they strolled past, oblivious to all but the other, and would smile and whisper between themselves how sweet the two seemed together.

Rumors that the Scion had fallen in love with the foreign blonde wasted little time making their way out into the city, and the citizens of El’Kasari began making a point of offering Zafirah small tokens of devotion she might give to Dae whenever she walked among them. Knowing how little experience the dark woman had in affairs of the heart, most agreed their Scion could use all the help she could get in her quest to woo the charming girl. Dae accepted the love-tokens with demure blushes of pleasure, making certain Zafirah’s kindness was rewarded with a lingering kiss every chance she got.

Indeed, the kisses and gentle touches exchanged between the two women grew more frequent as their bond strengthened — more frequent, and less easily held in check. Though Zafirah was no stranger to the hungers of her sexual appetite, Dae found herself at times struggling to suppress urges and desires that surged within her like a rising tide. She would remember Inaya’s words on the subject each night as she lay in bed, her body awash with longing despite her best efforts to appease it: Sexual pleasure is about intimacy and passion. It is a hunger for the body of your lover that grows so great it consumes your every thought. A hunger so powerful it can never be fully satisfied…only calmed for a time. At the time, the explanation had seemed confusing; now, it was all too easily understood. Zafirah’s body seemed like a magnet to her — it drew her to it with its intoxicating curves and an irresistible siren-song of lust. Dae wanted to loose herself in Zafirah…wanted to drown her senses in white-hot ecstasies that promised a union and connection deeper and more terrifying than any she’d ever known. Her need for that consummation of flesh grew stronger with the passing of each day, with every hour spent in Zafirah’s company. And as much as she wanted to be sensible about the whole thing, and take her seduction/courtship one step at a time…Dae knew she didn’t have the willpower to fight restraint for long.

Thoughts of what delights she might share with Zafirah were rushing heedlessly through Dae’s head as she returned to her bedchamber to prepare for another evening with the dark-haired woman. This morning the Scion had asked if she might like to accompany her on a walk through the stables, and Dae, who had always quite liked horses despite never having learned to ride, had accepted the invitation with great enthusiasm. There was at least another hour before Zafirah would come collect her, which Dae planned on using to arrange her hair, clothing and general appearance for her date. Those plans were over-ridden, however, when Dae reached the doorway to her room and heard something far more compelling; a low, extremely erotic-sounding moan originating from further down the corridor.

Dae stopped instantly, ears pricked. A moment later, a second breathless cry came, followed by the words, "Yes! Nek ni! Urgh, yes!"

The young blonde felt the blood rush to her lower regions as those words cleared away any doubts as to what was inspiring the moaning — words she had learned from Johara and Hayam as part of her ‘education’. Dae knew she had no business standing and listening to the continued noises, but her feet refused to obey all orders to carry her into her bedchamber…and indeed, decided to take her further down along the corridor towards the intriguing sounds. Shocked at the behavior of her uncooperative limbs, Dae tried to ignore the moans and whimpers as best she could while struggling to convince her body that its little rebellion was entirely inappropriate.

As she made her way down the corridor, it became apparent that the room from which these sounds were emanating was the one situated at the farthest end of the hallway. That’s Johara and Hayam’s room, Dae’s mind informed her. This changed things a little for the young blonde. Afterall, the two lovers had told her she was welcome to join them at any time, even if only to watch. Dae hesitated, considering. She was going to be spending time with Zafirah later. Did she really want to get herself all worked up by watching Johara and Hayam ravishing one another?

"Ah! Faster, please! Stop teasing me, I beg! Nek ni! Do it!"

Another voice, rich with lust and a seductive northern accent, replied. "Teasing you? I have barely begun to tease you. You will need to improve your begging if you hope to climax anytime soon." A high-pitched squeak followed this statement, quickly making Dae’s mind up for her. Steeling herself with a deep breath, the young blonde stepped into the doorway and cleared her throat meaningfully.

The sight that greeted her was unexpected…and after her last visit to this room, Dae considered herself braced for pretty much anything. But when three pairs of eyes turned towards her, Dae could only stare, mouth agape, the witty and seductive introduction she imagined herself using disappearing in a heartbeat.

Johara was reclining on the bed in the center of the room, only the briefest of undergarments keeping her from being completely naked. The lanky brunette had apparently been occupied watching her lover as she pleasured a third woman — a fellow harem inhabitant Dae didn’t know very well named Suhayla — against the far wall. The scene itself might not have been so shocking to Dae — who, having lived in the harem for so long now, knew well enough that pleasure was shared as easily and as readily between three or more as between two — but for the fact that Suhayla was bound spread-eagled between a set of pillars by lengths of silken cord, her body glistening with sweat, eyes glazed with lust.

It took Dae only a moment to realize that Suhayla’s bondage was quite voluntary; the eager, almost ravenous expression on her face was clear indication she was enjoying every moment of whatever Hayam had been doing to her.

Not expecting to find Johara and Hayam already entertaining a guest, Dae wasn’t sure what she should do next. "I-I’m sorry, I didn’t…know you were…"

But Johara flashed a brilliant, pleased smile immediately and shook her head. "Not at all, little Dae, you know you are welcome here any time." Like a panther, the tall woman rose from the bed and gestured Dae forward. "Please, do not be shy. Enter, and most welcome." Laughing grey eyes glanced towards Hayam and Suhayla. "I am certain our guest will be delighted to entertain your patronage…won’t Suhayla?"

The bound girl fixed hungry eyes on Dae, muscles strained with pleasure. "Oh yes…delighted."

Johara grinned at Dae. "You see? We have been playing with Suhayla for over an hour now. Your interruption is far from unwanted. Please…will you not stay?"

Dae looked from Johara to Hayam, then to Suhayla, plucking at her trousers uncertainly. She hadn’t spoken with Suhayla much during her time here; the girl was polite and quiet, born of the desert tribes and possessing the kind of beautiful, virtuous features one would never suspect could harbor lustful thoughts of any kind. She rarely danced with the other girls, rarely joined in their flirtatious behavior. Dae had wondered for a time if perhaps she simply didn’t enjoy the attentions of other women as her fellow pleasure-servants did…a notion that had been shockingly corrected when Suhayla propositioned her one day with suggestions so explicit in their detail it seemed impossible they could have come from such seemingly innocent lips. Still…looking at her now, naked and bound, Dae acknowledged that the dark-haired desert-girl was ravishingly attractive. She took a cautious, wondering step closer, noticing for the first time that Hayam was wearing some kind of strange undergarment about her waist.

"Wh-what are you…?" She glanced to Johara for explanation. "Why is she tied up?"

Johara stepped behind Dae, smiling. "It is something Suhayla enjoys," she offered simply. "She comes to us several times each moon to be pleasured in such fashion." Gentle hands were laid upon the young blonde’s shoulder, pressing her forward. "Come…it may interest you to see what Hayam is doing. This is yet another method of pleasure we did not show you last time."

Hayam had turned back to her task, and Dae saw now that the northerner’s hips were thrusting in an undulating manner against the bound Suhayla. When Johara guided her closer, she gasped in surprise. A strange shaft protruded from between Hayam’s legs, pressing into Suhayla’s womanhood on each forward thrust. The shaft seemed to be connected to Hayam by means of a leather harness strapped about her slender waist.

"It is a phallus," Johara explained when emerald eyes turned to her in silent question. "They have many forms and designs, and can be crafted from a variety of materials: leather, horn, wood, even stone. There are many different styles for different applications…but in general they are intended to substitute the male member."

Dae stared at the phallus as it disappeared into Suhayla slowly, the shaft gleaming with her arousal as it slid in. The blush which ordinarily would have colored her cheeks was subdued by genuine intrigue at the device. "You mean a woman can make love like a man?" she asked, marveling at the concept.

"Not exactly." Johara smiled, pleased Dae seemed accepting of the display before her. "In my time as a body-slave, before I came to Zafirah, I experienced male lovers on occasion. None of them had quite the same technique as a woman in this style of passion…and certainly none of them possessed the same endurance!"

Suhayla was whimpering now, twisting slightly in her bonds. "Please Hayam! Faster!"

Hayam just grinned and maintained her slow, teasing pace. Dae saw how she was controlling the rhythm of their motions by keeping firm hold on Suhayla’s hips. When the captive girl tried to meet her thrusts, Hayam would pull back slightly, using her grip to steady their connection. Suhayla’s whole body was rigid with need, her breathing shallow and desperate. But her pleas fell on deaf ears, for the northerner seemed to be enjoying her task too much to want to increase the speed of her thrusts anytime soon.

"Doesn’t that hurt?" Dae asked, fascinated by the way the folds of Suhayla’s sex seemed to cling to the phallus as it was withdrawn.

"For a virgin…yes, there is a moment of pain. But it is negligible compared to the pleasure of being filled by a lover so completely."

"Why does she like being tied up?" Dae wondered aloud. Warm hands rested on her shoulders a moment before gliding lower, over her arms and down to her hips, sparking fires all along the way. Johara shifted closer and Dae felt her breath tickle her ear.

"Is it so difficult to understand the appeal?" Johara whispered, feeling Dae tremble as her touches became more intimate and suggestive. "Trust is such an important element of pleasure, little one, for without trust we can never truly be at ease. Suhayla enjoys the restraint because it sharpens her awareness of that trust element. To be naked and exposed…" Her hands shifted around to play along Dae’s taut abdomen. "…helpless, entirely at our mercy…" Long fingers played idly with the young blonde’s navel. "…yet to be comfortable in the knowledge that we will take that sacrifice of all control and reward it only with pleasure." Johara sighed as she felt and heard Dae suck in a quick breath. "Can you not imagine how exciting that might feel if you were to give yourself to Zafirah is such a way? To demonstrate such absolute faith in her…to feed off of her arousal as she looks upon you, bound and helpless before her." Her voice dropped to a seductive purr. "Might that not arouse you, little Dae?"

Dae could only nod slightly, her body brought to life by the sight of Hayam and Suhayla and the voice and touch of Johara.

"Or perhaps," the tall temptress continued, "it would please you more to see the Scion tied to her bed, that magnificent, powerful body eagerly laid bare for whatever tender mercies you could devise?"

That image caused Dae to close her eyes and moan audibly. She offered no resistance as Johara’s touch roamed up her front until those fingers skirted along the edges of her top teasingly. "Yessss."

"Keep your eyes open, child," Johara whispered. "Watch Hayam work. She has been teasing Suhayla a long time now, denying her the pleasure she so craves. With such prolonged torment, her climax will be quite spectacular."

Dae did as bade and opened her eyes, watching the way Suhayla was being taken and imagining how it might feel to be in her place. As it was, Johara’s continued touches were enough to have caused her to soak her undergarments thoroughly, but she felt no shame for her excitement. Indeed, she was eager for more.

"Do you think Zafirah would really…let me tie her up?" she asked breathlessly, feeling Johara toy with the laces of her top.

"I cannot imagine the Scion denying you her body in any way you might take it," came the husky reply. There was a playful pause. "Would it interest you to hear that I have seen Zafirah in such a position before? Have pleasured her when she was bound?"

Dae whimpered. "Really?"

"Indeed. While it is not a style of passion she indulges in often, she is certainly no stranger to ropes and chains." Johara’s voice was like a caress — lingering and sweet. "Oh, how she screamed when we finally allowed her to climax! Such bliss!" A sigh. "And for you, little one…she would offer up her very soul just to see you smile."

Dae stood unmoving, considering the validity of that claim seriously. "I suppose I’d do the same for her, too," she realized aloud.

Johara nodded and planted a light kiss on Dae’s bare shoulder. "Love is a many-splendid thing." With her advantage of height, she was able to see her hands clearly as they played against the silky, bejeweled material of the blonde’s top. She grinned. "Does my touch arouse you?" she teased. "Your nipples shall pierce cloth if they grow any stiffer."

Dae glanced down at her chest, blushing when she saw her nipples straining against her clothing. "Well if you keep this up much longer-"

"It would be my greatest pleasure," Johara finished without hesitation, tugging suggestively at the laces of Dae’s top. "If you would but give permission for me to unlace this humble length of cord that hides your flesh from those who would admire you…"

Dae’s breathing was ragged, but she was still in control of herself. Certainly she was in control enough to know she wanted this to continue. She gave a mental shrug. What the hell. Let’s see where this goes. "Alright then. Slowly."

Johara’s fingers stilled instantly. Her offer had been playful, meant in jest; she hadn’t expected Dae to take her up on it. But neither was she going to miss the opportunity now that it was here. With a gentle motion, she defeated the simple knot that held the cord tied. "I am honored," she whispered softly as she worked the laces out, surprised to find her hands trembling in anticipation. "You may ask me to stop any time you wish."

Dae smiled, feeling very safe and at ease in Johara’s arms. "I trust you."

Johara gazed over Dae’s shoulder as smooth, pale skin was revealed with the parting of cloth. "Were you not saving such intimacies for Zafirah?" she asked, respecting the sanctity of love too much to overstep her bounds…no matter how tempting the prize.

"Some intimacies, yes," Dae corrected easily. "But things like this…" She sighed as Johara’s touch scored close to her sensitive nipple. "Things like this I’m happy to share with you."

"As you wish, little one." Johara kissed then licked along the pillar of Dae’s neck, breathing in the clean scent of lilac from the blonde hair. "Perhaps you might care to assist in Suhayla’s pleasure later? You could wear a phallus without risk to your physical virtue."

Dae shivered at the thought…then again as her top was pulled fully open and her breasts laid bare. "We’ll see," she gasped. "I promised I’d meet Zafirah in the seraglio in an hour."

"Ooh…how wicked of you!" Johara teased playfully. "Seeking a dalliance before your rendezvous with our beloved mistress."

"It’s not like that," Dae protested weakly, pushing herself against Johara’s hands as they caressed the curve of her breasts. "I heard a noise and thought…maybe I could watch…"

"And stir your passion before meeting with the Scion? You play with fire, little one…and I suspect you wish to get burned."

"Mmm…maybe." Dae’s legs almost gave out when Johara’s fingers sought out her aroused nipples and began to twist them gently. Pleasure shot straight to her center and she might have collapsed had the taller woman not moved to brace her up. She felt the length of Johara’s body press against her back, aware of her feminine curves and the contact of her breasts. "This feels niiiiice," she hummed, watching Hayam and Suhayla begin to move to a faster pulse. The bound woman was gazing back at her hungrily, while Hayam glanced back from time to time, smiling at her lover enviously.

"I think your mate is jealous," Dae observed with a cocky grin.

"Perhaps you might be willing to appease her another time."

Hayam threw her lover a quick smirk, then let her gaze linger on Dae’s breasts a long moment before turning back to Suhayla.

"Well I wouldn’t want you to have to fight over me," the young blonde grinned, quite enjoying the knowledge that she inspired such hunger in the others. "It seems only fair to include her."

"My sentiments exactly."

Suhayla’s arms were pulling desperately on the silken rope that held them spread. "Please," she whimpered, tendrils of her dark hair plastered to her face with sweat. "I cannot take much more Hayam! Let me come!"

"Patience, lover," the northerner soothed. "I am in control of your pleasure for now, and will decide when and how you climax." She thrust her hips sharply and suddenly, embedding the phallus fully, then ground against Suhayla firmly. The desert-girl’s head lolled, eyes rolling back in their sockets. Hayam looked over to Dae as she withdrew from her captive, running a finger down Suhayla’s cheek. "Such a deceptively innocent face she has, hmm? Much like you." She glanced at Johara’s hands as they excited the young blonde’s body, sighing. "Always the quiet ones who become demons in the bedroom."

Dae felt Johara’s body shake against her as she chuckled. "What does she mean?"

Johara continued her attentive and experienced ministrations. "Nothing, little one. She refers to the fact that quiet and unassuming girls are often possessed of surprisingly intense, adventurous sexual natures."


"In my own experience, yes…though it is not a perfect truth by any means."

Dae considered this curiously as her senses were inflamed by Johara’s touch. "What about Inaya? She’s fairly quiet."

Johara chuckled again. "Indeed she is, little one." She leaned closer and nibbled very lightly on Dae’s ear before whispering. "But if you wish to learn more of her sexual tastes you will have to ask her directly. Her preferences are not so easily explained."

That statement intrigued Dae enormously, and she would have liked very much to pursue the matter further. However, Johara’s attentions became suddenly more purposeful, effectively distracting her with pleasure. Dae gasped and grabbed at Johara’s hands with her own, amazed by how sensitized her breasts had become and how the pleasure seemed to shoot straight down to her sex. "Gods above!"

"You like?"

"Yes but…How..?"

Johara grinned, pleased but not surprised by how responsive Dae was to her caresses. She could smell the young girl’s arousal in the air as she began to press her own center against Dae’s backside. "Many years of experience, child, along with a willing and enthusiastic soul-mate with whom to practice." She sucked at the hollow of Dae’s neck, careful not to leave a mark. "You do not touch your breasts when you pleasure yourself?"

"I-I do but- GODS!" Dae uttered a shocked squeak of surprise as Johara tugged at her nipples. "They never felt like this before!"

"Perhaps you should spend more time attending to them," Johara suggested silkily. "They seem so delightfully sensitive…"


Dae’s cries were mingling with Suhayla’s in an ecstatic orchestra as both women were pushed closer to climax. Johara ground herself against Dae’s willing body, feeling her own pleasure rise as she watched her mate thrust harder and faster into Suhayla. "Will you come for me, little one?" she purred into the blonde’s ear. "It would excite me greatly to feel you climax against me."

Dae didn’t have breath to respond coherently, but her body had already decided the matter for her. Her sex was pulsing in time with her accelerated heartbeat, yearning for some kind of contact. But when she reached down to satisfy her need, Johara’s stopped her.

"No, Dae."


"You need not touch yourself. Relax. Let me show you…"

Whimpering, desperately wanting direct stimulation, Dae nevertheless allowed Johara to guide her hands back up to her breasts. "I can’t- I mean…I want-"

"Release?" Johara’s long fingers resumed their wonderful attentions. "You shall have it."


"Trust me, little one," Johara chuckled. "Pleasure lives in every part of your body, not just between your legs. Keep those emerald eyes of yours on Suhayla…and feel what I do."

Uncertain, but trusting to Johara’s experience, Dae followed her instructions. She watched with rising excitement as Hayam claimed the bound girl with greater force and fervor, feeling blissful tingles arc between her grateful breasts and her pouting-in-jealous-displeasure sex. As Johara continued her artful ministrations, a familiar pressure began to build low in Dae’s belly…a pressure she had learned could mean only one thing.

Emerald eyes widened in disbelief. Dae’s legs weakened in expectation. "I-I think…"

"I have you, little Dae. Trust me."

Suhayla’s cries were constant now, the hours of patient teasing her body had endured culminating in the dawn of inevitable climax. Dae felt her own sex tense in sympathy, then twitch and spasm. This is impossible!

"I can’t-" she gasped.

But apparently, she could.

Dae screamed as her legs gave way, falling forward a little before Johara caught and steadied her. Waves of pleasure rushed through her in directionless patterns, her climax seeming to originate from every part of her body at once in an overwhelming tide. It was far more intense and shattering than anything she had experienced at her own hands, and Johara expertly kept her senses floating in a haze of swirling ecstasy for long moments. In some distant part of her mind, she heard and saw Suhayla succumb to her own orgasm. When she eventually came back to her senses, Dae was surprised to see the desert-girl still caught in the thrashing grip of ultimate pleasure. She hung limp and unresisting in her bondage, supported by a considerate Hayam who continued to move against her until it became clear that she had lost consciousness.

Without knowing quite how it had happened, Dae found herself on the bed, cradled in Johara’s lap as the tall woman stroked her hair gently and hummed a calming melody. When the final pulses of climax had dissipated, she looked around with a fuzzy expression. "Wh-what happened?"

Johara giggled. "If you have cause to ask, perhaps I need to improve my technique."

Dae blushed and sat up, turning to face Johara. "How did..? I mean, you never even touched me…there…" She glanced down and her blush deepened when she saw the dark patch at the crotch of her trousers where her climax had soaked the sheer silk.

Johara shushed her quietly. "No need to color so, little one. You were beautiful!"

Dae studied the pillows of the bed intently. "I…didn’t know that could happen like that."

The lean brunette smiled. "Experience is the highest form of education…and there is so very much you have yet to learn on these subjects."

Dae chuckled at herself. "And here I thought I was getting pretty good at it."

"No doubt you are, little one." Johara leaned down and placed a soft, chaste kiss on Dae’s cheek, stroking her head fondly. "But there is far more to the world of pleasure than what your own hands can teach."

"So I see." Dae glanced over to where Hayam was wrestling with the knots that held Suhayla tied up; the desert-girl was no help at all, unable to support her own weight due to her state of unconsciousness. "Will she be okay?"

"She will be fine," Johara assured. "It is always this way with her; the intensity of such a climax steals her from us for a time, but she will recover soon enough to find herself tied to our bed, whereupon I shall have opportunity to ravish her while she thanks Hayam properly for giving her release."

Dae giggled and turned away, thinking. When she glanced at Johara again from beneath disheveled blonde locks, her eyes were playful yet shy. "You know…I still have a while before I’m supposed to meet with Zafirah. Would you maybe…like some help?"

Johara grinned, white teeth flashing joyfully. "Assistance is always appreciated." As they made room on the bed for Hayam to lay her precious burden down, she couldn’t help but shake her head a little at Dae’s all-too-eager expression.

Always the quiet ones, indeed.

* * *

Zafirah noticed quickly that Dae was unusually subdued as they walked side by side through the palace hallways, but she politely kept her questions to herself. The way the young girl blushed frequently while stealing secretive glances at her, as well as the subtle scent of arousal that warred with the stronger perfume of jasmine and wild rose, gave the Scion at least a hint as to what was occupying Dae’s thoughts. But as much as she would have liked to pursue the matter, Zafirah resisted. The news she had received from Falak’s scouts less than an hour before made her just want to spend her evening with the lovely blonde quietly.

When they reached the stables, Dae was surprised by the amount of activity going on all around. People — spahi riders, she surmised from their attire — hurried about the compound in orderly chaos while their captains issued orders in loud, serious voices. She glanced curiously at Zafirah, able to meet the dark woman’s sapphire gaze without blushing terribly for the first time that night. "What’s going on?"

Zafirah sighed. "The renegade tribes are on the move," she explained quietly. "They march towards the less-unified tribes of the Scion alliance, no doubt hoping to crush them quickly. We must ride out to face them on the desert sands."

Dae stared at her in shock for a moment, then spun back around the watch the soldiers. "You mean…war?"

"A battle, yes." Zafirah smiled and reached out to clasp Dae’s hand in her own. "Thanks to you, Tahirah, we at least ride with knowledge of our enemies and the power they wield. The information you gave the council about these…Rife-El’s will save many lives."

Dae shivered at the warmth of the Scion’s hand, hoping Zafirah couldn’t read her arousal too easily. Her time with Johara, Hayam and Suhayla had left her in a highly responsive state, and her mind was still filled with images of naked, sweat-slicked flesh and writhing bodies. "I’m glad I could help you," she said softly. "Does…does this mean you’ll be leaving tonight?"

Zafirah shook her head. "No, little one. Tonight and most of tomorrow will be spent organizing the army and preparing supply wagons and a route into the desert. We will leave when the sun begins to cool late tomorrow evening, marching through the night and camping through the day." She smiled and continued walking towards the stables. "I regret I must leave again so soon but…at least we have tonight together."

Dae returned the smile a little uncertainly; she wasn’t sure if she could resist the urge to strip the dark woman bare and demand a thorough ravishing before Zafirah left. Clearing her throat, the young blonde squeezed the larger hand clasped in her own. "You’ll be in danger, won’t you?"

"Some, perhaps…but I am as skilled in the warrior arts as I am in the arts of pleasure." Dark eyebrows waggled playfully, causing Dae’s blush to return. "Will you worry about me while I am gone?"

"Of course I will." Dae forced herself not to think about the possibility of Zafirah getting hurt, not liking the way it made her stomach churn sickeningly. She swallowed hard. "But you’ll be careful for me, I know."

"Have no fears, aziza. I shall return unscathed, and the foolish curs who threaten my people will be sent back to the deep desert, tails between their legs!"

"Good." There was a pause then while they stopped to admire a group of spahi as they ran through a short, impressive series of equine acrobatics, Dae marveling at the sight in awe. When they continued, the young blonde cast her taller companion a shy, wondering look. "Zafirah?"


"When…when you call me aziza like that..?"


"Do you mean it? Is that…what I am to you?"

Zafirah lifted a hand and tenderly reached out to touch Dae’s face. She smiled; a warm, loving smile that caused Dae’s heart to burn. "I never speak words I do not mean, my Tahirah," she said softly. "That one least of all."

"Oh." Dae looked away, fearing she’d turn into a puddle if the dark woman continued looking at her like that. "Have you…ever called anyone else that before?"

"No…only you." Soft lips brushed lightly against the crown of Dae’s head, inspiring a sharp intake of breath. "You are my beloved. And I hope one day, you will consider me yours."

"I do!" Dae said quickly. "I-I definitely do, I just…wasn’t sure…"

"Sshhh, I understand." Zafirah pulled Dae’s shorter body to her, wrapping long arms about the girl’s waist and resting her hands tentatively on her backside. "I do not make such things very clear, do I…seeking pleasure with others so frequently?"

Dae smiled as she breathed in the dark woman’s scent. "Just part of your charm, Zafirah. And I really don’t mind."

"Really?" Zafirah was surprised.

"Of course not. You’ve never forbade me to engage with the other girls in the harem. It’d be hypocritical to ask you to restrain your desires…not to mention cruel, since we don’t actually…you know? Together." A pause. "Yet."

"This is true." Zafirah soaked in the knowledge that Dae was willing to accept her completely, but soon enough a wicked thought occurred. "So…have you?"

"Have I what?"

"Engaged with the other girls?" Dae’s blush answered her question, and Zafirah raised an eyebrow curiously. "I know you spent some time with Johara and Hayam, but..?"

"I haven’t done much," Dae defended modestly. "I want to share most things with you…at least for the first time. But…"

Zafirah grinned and tickled the blonde teasingly, making her giggle. "You must tell me more, my little temptress."

Dae escaped out of reach of the dark woman’s long arms, laughing playfully. "Well…I actually do have a few questions I’d like to ask you..."

"Oh? Then consider my wisdom entirely at your disposal."

Emerald eyes flicked about the stable compound, noting the way several people were watching her and the Scion with amusement and interest. "Later, okay?"

Zafirah shrugged, supposing it was better to continue in private. "As you wish." She held out her hand for Dae to take, and together they continued their tour of the stables.

The evening was a pleasant one, passing quietly and without drama — for which Zafirah in particular was grateful. With the prospect of several days — possibly weeks — spent separated from El’Kasari and the young blonde, the Scion cherished every moment of this time spent in Dae’s gentle company. The coming battle would be an uncertain affair; she had only the cloudiest outline of a plan in mind to defeat Shakir and his renegade army, and the untested element of the foreign weapons added to the danger significantly. Still, Zafirah set thoughts of battle aside for now, content to enjoy the night and bask in Dae’s affection.

It was late by the time they made their way back to Scion’s bedchamber, and Zafirah was flushed with desire at the thought of what questions Dae might ask her…and how she might be able to illustrate her answers. As she walked about the vast room lighting oil-lamps and candles, Dae settled herself gingerly on the bed, hands folded demurely in her lap.

"So…" Zafirah glanced at the young blonde. "Questions?"

"Yes, umm…" Dae shifted, wondering if she had the courage to actually ask what she wanted. Wondering where to start. "Well…before you came to the seraglio tonight, I kinda paid a visit to Johara and Hayam…"

"Indeed." Zafirah settled herself into a seat opposite from Dae, not wanting to tempt herself by sitting on the bed. "Were they..?" She raised an eyebrow meaningfully.

Dae couldn’t stop the blood from rushing to her face…and other, more southerly, places. "They were uh…occupied, yes." She paused. "With someone else."

"I see." Zafirah grinned, liking this tale very much already. "Who?"


"Aaah." The dark woman’s grin grew wider and she nodded, suspecting where this might be headed. "Let me guess — she was, shall we say…restrained?"

Emerald eyes widened. "How did you-"

"Suhayla’s preferences are well known to me, Tahirah. She is, afterall, my pleasure-servant. I would consider myself quite remiss were I ignorant of what pleases her the most."

"Oh. Yeah, I…I guess that makes sense."

"So…you wondered why she was tied up?"

Dae shook her head. "No, Johara explained it to me so I understood." She found it impossible to meet Zafirah’s gaze. "It seemed…interesting."

Zafirah made no comment, but her mind was suddenly filled with images of Dae, naked and bound to her bed, pleading to be ravished at the point of her tongue. Her breathing became a little shallower.

"Anyway," Dae continued, "the thing I was wondering about… Hayam was using this thing on Suhayla…Johara called it a phallus." She glanced up to find slightly wide sapphire eyes watching her. Zafirah nodded to show she understood what Dae was referring to. "Well…it definitely seemed like Suhayla was enjoying it, and I was curious about whether…maybe… you…?" She left the question hanging.

Zafirah was silent a long while, amazed that the girl who once claimed she would never indulge in pleasure with another female was now asking whether she owned a phallus. When she shook away her initial lustful thoughts — which chiefly involved tying Dae up and introducing her to every sexual device in her collection in a very personal way — Zafirah stood up and walked over to the intricately-carved wall cabinet mounted opposite her bed. She opened the double doors and gestured for Dae to come closer. The young blonde did so, studying the contents of the cabinet with interest. Her lips pursed in consideration as she looked from one item to the next, guessing there were at least a hundred individual pieces in the cabinet.

"What are they?" At first she they were weapons of some kind, but that didn’t make much sense.

Zafirah caressed her collection lovingly. "These are devices akin to the phallus you saw Hayam using; devices designed to bring pleasure to the female body."

Dae’s eyes widened in awe as she regarded the cabinet with new respect. "All of them!?"

The Scion smiled. "Yes, all of them."

The blonde took a step closer, intrigued. "There are so many!"

"I have spent many years collecting them," Zafirah explained. "There are pieces here gathered from every corner of the known world…even," she added with a smile, "from your own land."

"MY land? But…people don’t use things like this in…my…" She trailed off as Zafirah nodded firmly. "No-"

"The laws in your land may forbid women from laying with other women, and men from laying with other men…but laws do not change the hearts of people, nor dictate the terms of love." Zafirah plucked an elegantly carved length of ivory from her collection and held it out. Dae saw it was a phallus, artistically carved to depict two women locked in an embrace. "This was made in the eastern land especially for me. The woman who carved it most certainly did not agree with, nor adhere to, the laws that forbade her desires."

Dae was shocked by this revelation, even as a part of her found it strangely comforting. Others in my land feel the same as I do. In some absurd way, that idea made her feel not quite so confused or alone. She turned her attention back to the other sexual devices, trying to deduce how each one worked. Some were obvious, but others… She pointed to a string of what looked like glass beads. "What the heck are those?"

Zafirah chuckled as she set the phallus back in its proper place. "I would be delighted to demonstrate their use, aziza."

Dae blushed, but smiled. "Some other time, perhaps." She gazed at the amazing and varied tools of pleasure, awed by their number and diversity. "You’ve used all of these?"

"I have, at one time or another, tested each of them thoroughly, yes." The dark-haired woman stepped closer to Dae and rested her hands on the girl’s shoulders. "One day, perhaps you will be able to say the same."

The hours — weeks, more likely — of blistering pleasure that statement promised were enough to make Dae dizzy. "That might take a long time," she whispered hoarsely.

"I am a patient teacher."

"Then I could be a willing student." Dae turned about and surprised Zafirah with a searing kiss, standing on tip-toes to allow her tongue leverage to pierce the dark woman’s lips and conquer her mouth. The Scion moaned and gave in happily to the unusually aggressive assault, sucking at Dae’s questing muscle hungrily and wrapping the shorter woman in a tight embrace. When they eventually parted, both women were breathing hard.

Dae clutched at Zafirah greedily. "I wish you didn’t have to leave. You have no idea how much I want to give you a proper goodbye."

Zafirah groaned and bent to suckle at Dae’s neck, her lips unconsciously taking up the exact same position as Johara’s had just hours earlier. She felt her lust redouble at the young girl’s words. "That would be wonderful-"

"Mmm, yessss." Dae pulled back and gazed up at the dark woman with eyes ablaze with wicked passion. "But unfortunately for both of us, there’s something I want even more."


"To give you a proper welcome home when you return."

Zafirah saw in that statement that once again, her lust was going to have to be leashed. "You are evil, my Tahirah," she moaned.

"Perhaps." Dae grinned and deliberately dragged her tongue along the taller woman’s collar-bone, feeling bold after her experiences with Johara, Hayam and Suhayla. "But you have to admit, it makes an excellent incentive. You return to me safe and unharmed, and as a reward…" She paused. "I let you show me how your tongue feels dancing over my most intimate and untouched treasures."

It was almost too much for the poor Scion. Zafirah pulled away from the young girl, knowing if their bodies remained in contact much longer she wouldn’t be able to control herself. Taking several slow, deep breaths in a futile effort to calm her raging libido, Zafirah regarded the blonde hungrily. "With such a promise in mind, Shakir and his dogs shall rue the day they thought to attack my people. But are you certain it is a promise you wish to keep?"

Dae grinned, pleased with herself. "Believe me, I’ll be looking forward to it just as much as you." She shivered in memory. "It seemed so intense and erotic when Johara was feeding on Hayam…you have no idea how often I’ve imagined how it will feel letting you do that to me." She stepped closer. "Or how you might taste when I do it to you…"

"Gods above, girl! Have some compassion!" Zafirah backed up a pace, knowing if Dae touched her that the girl would be experiencing those delights sooner than she thought. "For such delicious reward, I would willingly take on a thousand men single-handed!"

"Really?" Dae’s nose crinkled as a new thought occurred. "Then you won’t mind if I add on an extra little condition, will you?"

Zafirah froze, regretting her words at the wicked gleam in those emerald eyes. "L-like what?"

"While you’re away," Dae smirked, "I want you to abstain from all sexual pleasure."


"You heard me. No seducing the nomads daughters. No ‘inspecting’ the troops." Dae’s voice dropped to a low purr. "When you get back to me Zafirah, I want you so eager for my touch you’ll explode the instant I lay hands upon your flesh."

Zafirah turned away, trembling, her eyes squeezed shut. "You cannot know what you ask of me."

"I do know," Dae said, softly but no less erotically. "I understand how hard it is for you to deny yourself, but you can do it if you only try. When we make love for the first time, I want it to be like it was when you took Nasheta. I want you dripping before I even touch you, delirious with want for me. I want to feel your love and desire in every way you can show it." She paused. "If you do this for me, aziza…I’ll give you a welcome home you won’t soon forget."

Zafirah considered the request seriously. True, it would be difficult to curb her appetites…but not impossible. Afterall, she could vent her passions somewhat on the battlefield, and keep her mind occupied planning and refining her strategy against the renegade Calif. Slowly, a smile spread across her lips, and she turned back to face Dae. "Very well," she agreed quietly. "But I have a condition of my own."

Sensing victory, Dae spread her hands in expectation. "Name it."

"You must adhere to the same rule."

Dae’s smile vanished. "Me? But I don’t-"

"While I am gone, my not-so-innocent little temptress, there will be no nightly forays into the world of self-induced ecstasies for you. As you lay in bed each night, your fingers will remain idle and well-behaved." Zafirah grinned at Dae’s expression. "When I return, I wish for you to hunger for me as greatly as I for you."

Dae’s eyes narrowed in contemplation, then she gave a single firm nod. "I guess that’s fair," she accepted grudgingly. "If you can behave yourself, I’m certain I can as well."

"Excellent." Zafirah clapped her hands. "And now, I fear the hour has grown late for us. There will be many matters requiring my attention tomorrow and I will pay dearly for any lost sleep."

Dae nodded. "I should get some rest too, I suppose." She gave the dark woman a hopeful look. "Will you come visit me before you leave?"

Zafirah nodded. "I promise…though I will not be able to give you as much of my time as I would wish to." Steeling herself, Zafirah held out her arms and pulled the shorter blonde into a hug. "Once my people are safe and the enemy routed, I swear we will have all the time in the world to explore our affections, aziza. And I will show you such pleasure as you cannot imagine." She placed a light kiss on Dae’s hair.

Dae squeezed the Scion hard, trying to memorize her scent and the firm, powerful feel of her body, knowing it would be some time before she got to experience it again. "Just be safe," she demanded in a fierce whisper. "Don’t do something stupid like getting hurt, or you’ll have wasted all this time you’ve spent on my seduction."

Zafirah chuckled as she pulled away. She gazed lovingly at the young blonde. "You have my word, Tahirah. I shall exercise all caution in the battle."


The two parted after several more long, lingering kisses, neither looking forward to their separation, both already anxious to experience the bliss and heat of their reunion.


From atop Simhana’s back, Zafirah looked out over the endless miles of featureless, open dunes that lay in every direction, her sharp sapphire eyes seeing the subtle ridges and valleys that most foreign travelers were blind to. Out here, distances were deceptive; what looked like a single mile often proved to be ten or twenty. Behind her, the Scion heard the quiet sounds of several hundred mounted horses following her lead in a great line. Outriders and Falak’s scouts flanked the army in a swift-running cage of steel, making certain no surprises lurked in the hidden depressions of the dunes. The desert was bright with the light of a three-quarter moon, but there was little to see out here. The horizon stretched on forever, and it was all too easy to imagine that the whole world had been magically emptied of every rock and tree, and now hung barren and empty between the stars. Looking out at the endless expanses of nothing, Zafirah felt an unusual sensation of melancholy steal over her.

She had never felt so alone in all her life.

In the four days and nights since they had left El’Kasari, the army had managed to cover good ground and were now approaching their destination. Falak’s scouts reported that Shakir and his rag-tag accompaniment were closeby, and the spahi were eager for battle. The numbers of the enemy were greater than they had anticipated, but no-one gave the matter much thought. The only thing that concerned them was the apparent low-spirits of their beloved leader. Zafirah’s mood couldn’t help but affect her troops; they adored the dark woman with religious intensity and utter devotion. Seeing her despondence as she rode along at the head of the column sent whispers through the ranks of the horsemen. It was clear to them that Zafirah was suffering the pangs of love-sickness.

Responding to the pleading looks the people were casting her, Falak spurred her horse up to ride alongside the quiet Scion. Zafirah glanced at her sullenly, but remained silent.

"It is a quiet night," the dark-skinned scout observed conversationally. "If we ride till dawn without pause, we may be fortunate enough to meet up with Rehan and the Tek."

Zafirah grunted.

"My people report that Shakir and his army will move through the Ah’raf Pass before the sun rises a day hence. We will have ample time to secure our position before he arrives."

This time the Scion didn’t bother making any noise.

Falak sighed and fought the urge to roll her eyes. "Petulance is an unattractive expression on you, Zafirah," she said at last. "You are behaving like a child deprived of her sweets, and with a battle near at hand no less!"

That got Zafirah’s attention. She stared at her scout in shock. "I am not being petulant!"

"Yes you are."

"Am not!" Zafirah turned away.

Falak grinned. "And now you are sulking."


"Why do you fret so, my friend? Dae will be waiting for you when we return to the city."

"I know." Zafirah hadn’t slept much these last few days, her mind filled with searing imaginings of what awaited her when Shakir was defeated. "I just miss her greatly."

The scout smiled fondly at her friend. "Being in love takes some getting used too, does it not?"

Zafirah nodded. "But my heart would not reject it for anything in the world."

"Perhaps you would benefit from some companionship," Falak suggested. "You have slept alone since we left El’Kasari; I know many are disappointed not to have opportunity to enjoy your talents."

"I cannot, my friend. Dae asked me to abstain from pleasure until such time as she can satisfy my desires personally."

Falak’s jaw dropped in surprise. "And you agreed?!"

The Scion grinned rakishly. "The way she spoke…and the things she promised… Denial was not an option."

The scout shook her head, amazed. "I never thought to see you tamed by such an innocent creature as that girl!" she marveled.

Zafirah laughed, the sound echoing back to those riding behind her and lifting their spirits. "That girl is far less an innocent than she appears, Falak. You guessed correctly when you told me she would learn the ways of pleasure and seduction from the others of my harem." Her chuckles dissolved into a sigh of longing. "Now I have but to wait with great impatience till I can be with her again…and anticipate the intimacies we will share on my return." There was a long pause, before she glanced at her friend with an uncommonly shy expression. "To tell the truth…I am somewhat nervous. Is that not strange? I have pleasured countless numbers of women in my life…but the prospect of bedding this one girl makes my stomach churn and my hands shake."

"It is not so strange," Falak offered kindly. "Love is more than what the body shares, Zafirah. It is of the heart, as well."

Zafirah considered this, then nodded slowly. "I am learning this is true."

"But such thoughts have little place on the battlefield," Falak continued, her tone shifting to something more formal. "You need to focus, my Scion. When Shakir is defeated and the Peace maintained, there will be time to think of love and pleasure. For now, think only of battle and glory!"

Zafirah straightened in the saddle, properly recalled to her duty by Falak’s reminder. She nodded sharply. "You are right, Falak, and I thank you for reminding me of my priorities."

The scout grinned, snapped a quick salute to the dark-haired woman before turning to make her way back to her place in the column of riders. As she left, however, she heard Zafirah’s voice whispering quietly to the night.

"But I still miss her very much."

* * *

Inaya was walking past Dae’s bedchamber on her way to search for food when a hand reached out and suddenly grabbed her arm. She gave a startled squeak as she was pulled into the room, the sound cut off when fingers pressed against her lips. Shrugging off the hand, Inaya spun about and glared at her accoster.

"Dae? What are you-"

"I need a favor," the blonde said in a hushed voice. "A…personal favor."

Seeing the charming blush that spread across the young girl’s face, Inaya’s expression changed from indignant to intrigued in the blink of an eye. "From me?" She smiled broadly.

"I didn’t know who else to ask. It’s…kind of a private thing, you know?"

"Of course." Inaya bowed at the waist. "I understand the value of discretion."

Dae snorted. "Yeah, Zafirah told me how little it took to get you to part with certain explicit details about my more personal habits."

"Little? On the contrary my friend, I assure you I made the Scion work very hard for every scrap of information she gleaned." Inaya winked saucily and clapped her hands. "So…what assistance did you require that inspired you to drag me into your bedroom?"

Dae turned away, unable to look her friend in the eye. "I was…hoping to surprise Zafirah when she returns with something…sexy. Something she’ll appreciate."

"Drape yourself naked upon her bed," Inaya advised without hesitation. "Her appreciation will be readily apparent."

"No, I…I had something else in mind." Dae paused and took a deep breath, willing her face to cool. "I wanted you to help sh-…shave me."

Inaya’s dark eyes narrowed uncertainly. "Pardon me? Shave? But your hair is radiant, little one, why would you-"

"Not my head, I mean my…" Dae gestured vaguely in the direction of her thighs. "You know…like Johara."

Sudden understanding dawned in Inaya’s face and her eyes widened appropriately. "Aaahh…I see." Try not to look too eager, she told herself firmly. "Are you certain? Once done, such grooming must be maintained or it will cause you much discomfit."

"I know but…I’d like to do it. I-if you think Zafirah would be pleased..?"

"Oh little one, I think she would find you delicious no matter what you do. But certainly…this could be fun, if nothing else." Inaya let her eyes roam appreciatively over Dae’s figure. "So what…exactly…were you hoping I could do for you?"

Dae shrugged. "Well…I don’t really uh…know how to go about something like this, you know. And I figured maybe…you…did."

Inaya appeared to consider this. "You wish me to shave you?"

Dae nodded, thoroughly embarrassed but determined to follow through on this. "Yes."

"Hmm. I suppose I could — in the interests of friendship, of course." Inaya gestured Dae towards the bed. "You wait here. I shall need to retrieve some things from my room." As she turned to leave, the dark-haired girl glanced back. "While I am gone, please remove your trousers and underwear." Then she hurried away.

Dae shook her head. "I can’t believe I’m doing this," she muttered as she stood and began unfastening the waistband of her harem-pants.

When Inaya returned she was holding a wide, shallow dish filled with gently-steaming water in both arms and a folded length of blue-dyed cloth in one hand. The instant she saw Dae, bare-bottomed and blushing adorably, she paused to spend a long moment admiring the girl’s more intimate beauties. She whistled. "Very nice, little one," she complemented, setting the bowl on a table and crawling onto the bed beside her friend. "Very nice indeed. Now…" Spreading open the cloth, she revealed an ivory-handled razor, a small glass vial, and a velvet pouch. She picked up the pouch first and sprinkled a fine white powder into the bowl. "This is crushed soap-stone," she explained to the nervously watching blonde. "It is mixed with perfumes and oils to help sooth your skin." Inaya made a slight waving gesture. "If you would spread your legs for me, please…?"

Her face so red it was almost aglow, Dae did as Inaya asked, hesitantly opening her legs a few inches. Clucking under her breath, Inaya reached over and pulled the younger girl’s legs apart brashly. She then dipped her hands into the bowl and rubbed them together. A white, sweet-smelling foam lathered almost immediately.

Looking her friend in the eye, Inaya held up a soapy hand. "Are you ready?"

"I-I guess…"

"Just relax. I will be very gentle."

The next thing Dae knew, her friend was running those long, slippery fingers between her legs, touching places no-one had ever touched before…except herself, of course. She tensed in shock at first, feeling a guilty little thrill of pleasure course through her body as Inaya rubbed her gently and lathered the soap-stone over her soft blonde curls. The fingers withdrew after several rather delightful moments, than Dae heard the sound of steel snapping. Her eyes widened as she watched Inaya stroke the edge of the gleaming razor. "Uh…"

Seeing the trepidation on the young girl’s face Inaya smiled reassuringly. "Do not fear, little one. I have done this many times, on myself and for others, and have never drawn so much as a single drop of blood." She lowered her face closer to the crux of Dae’s thighs and rested her hands gently on her warm skin, thinking as she did so that the girl’s sex looked just as adorably sweet and irresistible as the rest of her body. "Just try to hold still for me and do not tense up."

"Okay." Dae swallowed hard and urged herself to relax. Seeing how intently Inaya was studying the exposed petals of her sex didn’t make it easy, and feeling the cool kiss of sharpened steel against her sensitive skin made it harder still. Against her will, Dae found herself succumbing to the first flushes of arousal. It was impossible not too; after resisting the desire to touch herself for so many days, her body was extremely receptive to the stimulation — however innocent — it was receiving. Closing her eyes, the young blonde concentrated on keeping her breathing deep and even, conscious of the growing tension between her legs and hoping Inaya wouldn’t notice her excitement.

Inaya, of course, was trying very hard to do just that. As she carefully and gently drew the edge of the razor across Dae’s skin, leaving her satin-smooth and glistening, Inaya couldn’t help but gaze adoringly at the rising blush that colored the girl’s labia a delightful shade of coral pink. As she shaved the fine blonde curls from the crown of Dae’s center, she heard a stifled gasp and smiled, letting her fingers tease against the hood of the girl’s clitoris while she pulled the skin taut. Inaya could feel herself getting wet from touching her friend as she had long dreamed of doing, but she kept her focus tuned to the task at hand. "Would you like me to remove it all, or shall I leave a design?" she asked calmly.

"Huh?" Dae’s eyes snapped open and she shook herself free of her guilty delight at this attention. "Oh, um…I-I suppose a design would be good. Like Johara."

"As you wish." Inaya continued about her task, humming quietly as she worked and trying not to enjoy herself too much.

Dae was doing very much the same thing. She’s your friend! She berated herself sternly. Stop getting carried away! Still…the feel of Inaya’s long, delicate fingers brushing against her most intimate flesh, combined with the sensation of the cool against bare skin and the overall eroticism of the situation, resulted in one very stimulated and aroused little blonde. Biting her lower lip and squeezing her eyes shut, Dae tried to think about anything except how nice this was making her feel.

At last, Inaya decided she was finished and, dipping the cloth she’d brought into the water, she began to clean away the remaining lather. After running her fingers over the smooth skin, touching up those few places that had escaped her diligent grooming, she patted Dae’s thigh happily. "It is done."

Dae opened her eyes and looked curiously down at herself. The soft tangle of hairs between her legs had been tamed, and now her sex was completely bare except for a short, elegant arrow that tapered down towards her center. The sight was rather beautiful, she thought, and she reached down to touch herself. "It’s so smooth!" she marveled with a delighted smile.

"And you must keep it that way, or you will soon regret asking me to do this." Inaya picked up the small glass vial that sat beside the pouch of soap-stone and unstoppered it. "Here…this is the oil of the sarangura bush. It will sooth your skin further and slow the growth of your hair." Shooing Dae’s hands away from herself — although she would have liked very much to continue watching — Inaya poured a few drops of the oil onto her friend and began to rub it over the naked skin slowly. She smiled when she saw Dae lie back once more, eyes closed and biting her lower lip. After a while, the dark-haired girl let her ministrations grow more tender and intent. A low, barely audible whimper escaped the blonde, and her eyes darkened. "I can feel you growing wet," she whispered seductively, "even with the oil."

Dae glanced at her and tried to close her legs, but Inaya gently stopped her. "Relax, little one. It is not unusual to become aroused during such grooming. Indeed, your body will likely be extremely responsive and sensitized now that everything is so naked." Her fingers slid with liquid ease over the hood of Dae’s clit, inspiring the young blonde’s thighs to tremble. "You feel so wonderfully smooth…I could touch you like this for hours."

"No." Dae tensed and shook her head. "I can’t."

"Why not? I can see it in your eyes that you want this." Inaya pouted, her fingers aiding in her persuasion. "You need not be shy, my friend. Let me pleasure you-"

"I-I can’t. I’m sorry." Despite her words, Dae did nothing to halt Inaya’s extremely welcome caresses. "I want to but…"

"But what? You are in need, and I am only too willing to satisfy you-"

"I promised Zafirah I wouldn’t."

"Zafirah?" Inaya couldn’t help but chuckle. "The Scion would never wish to deny you of pleasure-"

"No, you don’t understand. We made a deal to abstain." Dae blushed at her admission. "W-we wanted to…when she gets back, I mean-"

"Aah, say no more, little one, I believe I understand. You wish to sweeten the moment of your union by building the anticipation, no?"

"Yeah…something like that."

"Mmm." Inaya didn’t cease her gentle touches as she considered this dilemma. She was determined to pleasure the beautiful little blonde…she just needed the right argument. "Is there no way I could convince you to…shall we say, stray from the path of your arrangement with the Scion?"

Dae was fighting a loosing battle, discovering just how hard it was to say ‘no’ to a fully-wakened lust. "I-I don’t…think so- Oh, yes!"

Inaya grinned. "Nice, hmm?" She stroked firmly against the hardened nub of flesh that still hid behind its protective hood. "You know…when Zafirah sees you like this, I think she will be willing to forgive your lapse in self-control. Indeed, for the chance to lay between your thighs I have little doubt she would forgive you anything!"

"W-we need to stop." Dae was almost panting now, her legs splayed unresistingly to Inaya’s attentions. "We have to- Urgh! Gods, PLEASE!!"

"Please what?" teased Inaya. "Do you mean, please do this?"

Dae’s hips shot forward. "Yes, that!"

"But I thought we were stopping." Long, skilled fingers halted menacingly. "Hmm?"

Dae was dizzy with need and in no condition to fight her friend’s seduction. "No. No stopping, please!"

Inaya accepted her victory gracefully. Her fingers resumed their lazy caresses "As you wish, little one." As she worked, the harem girl shifted to better position herself between her friends legs. "It has been my most ardent desire to pleasure you for a long time now," she admitted quietly. "You will not be disappointed by my efforts."

"Yessss!" Abandoning herself to the inevitable, Dae relaxed and resigned her senses to the pleasure she was receiving from those talented fingers stroking her ever-so-gently. Propping herself up on her elbows, she gazed hungrily at Inaya’s body. When the dark-haired girl leaned closer to her, full lips parted in anticipation, Dae didn’t hesitate to meet her kiss passionately, her tongue demanding and eager as it dueled for space in Inaya’s mouth. There was a different edge to this kiss than the ones she’d shared with Zafirah; it was filled with fire and desire, yes…but there wasn’t the same soul-shattering, toe-curling emotional force that there was when she locked lips with the Scion. Still, Dae moaned when Inaya nibbled aggressively at her slippery muscle, feeling her arousal rise a few notches further.

Dae wasn’t the only one in need of satisfaction however, and Inaya pulled herself closer against the blonde’s body and grabbed for Dae’s hand, guiding it to the beaded sash that circled her slender waist and held her skirt together. "Will you pleasure me, too?" she asked hopefully, never stopping her caresses. "Please…I want to feel you touching me."

Caught in the heat of the moment, Dae didn’t even hesitate. Her fingers clawed at the simple knot in the sash and eventually released it. Inaya’s skirt, which was really little more than a few scraps of silk draped with strings of swaying glass beads, fell away, revealing her gloriously firm body to the young blonde’s appreciative gaze. Emerald eyes devoured the planes of smooth, olive-dark skin, traveling lower quickly, then widening when they noticed something unexpected. "Wh-what’s that?"

"Hmm?" Inaya glanced at Dae and saw what had caught her attention. She smiled and spread her legs to better display her hidden treasures. "You mean this?" With her free hand, she spread herself open and languidly stroked the metal stud that ran through the hood of her clitoris. "It is just more jewelry…like the one in my naval. Do you like it?"

"I-I-I don’t…I mean, how..? D-didn’t it…hurt?" Dae stammered, staring in amazement.

"Of course…a little. But the pleasure was equally intense." Seeing her friend obviously distracted by the intimate jewelry, Inaya slowed her ministrations.

"Why would you want jewelry…there?"

"It heightens the sensitivity of my clitoris and increases my pleasure," Inaya explained matter-of-factly. "My nipples are also pierced, for much the same reason. See?" She casually untied her top and exposed her breasts, showing off the elegant rings that hung from each nipple.

Dae winced, even as a part of her admitted the jewelry was rather beautiful…in a barbaric yet extremely erotic fashion. "It doesn’t hurt when you touch them?"

"On the contrary," Inaya smiled seductively. "The sensation goes directly to my center. Besides, I find that a little pain mixes very nicely with pleasure; it can sharpen the senses…make things so much more exciting." Dark eyes hooded. "I enjoy the darker elements of passion, little one…and you will find my jewelry makes me extremely responsive. I climax very easily…as I would be happy to demonstrate. Please…?" She reached for Dae’s hand and guided it to her glistening sex. "You may touch it."

Curious despite herself, Dae fingered the steel bar gently. The contrast between the hard metal of the stud and the silken, smooth skin surrounding it was interesting, and it wasn’t long before Dae’s touches grew bolder and more confident. When Inaya gasped and uttered a low-pitched cry, the inexperienced blonde stopped and looked up, concerned. "Did I hurt you?"

"No little one. It feels wonderful."

Dae grinned and returned her fingers to their task, sighing when she felt Inaya do the same. Soon, the two were settled into a comfortable position laying side by side on the bed, fingers caressing and breathing growing increasingly more ragged.

Inaya was delighted to find Dae just as vocal now as when she was indulging alone. Many nights, the dark-haired harem girl had lain in her bed listening to the muffled cries of self-induced pleasure coming from Dae’s room, and more often than not the sounds would incite her to touch herself as well. Now, feeling the liquid heat of her beautiful friend against her fingers…breathing in the sweet, musky scent of her arousal while she listened to those little squeaks of pleasure…Inaya was realizing a fantasy that had been swimming about in her head since Dae first arrived in the harem. And she was determined that the young blonde was going to enjoy this moment.

"You feel so good, little one," she whispered softly, knowing how arousing words could be. "So wet…so hot. Will you come for me? I want to feel you climax against my hand."

As intended, the words shot Dae’s lust into overload. The young blonde was having a hard time continuing her task of pleasuring Inaya, the flashes of ecstasy burning away her concentration and urging her focus to the center of her body. Inaya felt Dae’s touch lose its rhythm and immediately redoubled her own efforts.

"Are you close, little one? Come for me."

Dae collapsed onto her back, thighs trembling as she felt the pressure build within her. The whimpers escaping her throat turned to full-fledged, pleading cries as her senses began to take flight. Inaya recognized the signs of impending climax and increased the speed of her attentions, focusing on the now not-so-shy bud of Dae’s clitoris as it peeked out from its secretive hood. Her efforts were rewarded with a sudden increase in liquid flowing from the girl’s sex, and she smiled in satisfaction at the little spasms that rippled against her fingers. Dae’s orgasm was quick, sharp, and intense. And, Inaya added to herself, very loud. She suspected the poor girl would be teased mercilessly by the other pleasure-servants when she next visited the seraglio. Still, watching her friend recover her wits, Inaya felt only pride in her actions. Dae was a beautiful, desirable young woman…and she had a lot of catching up to do when it came to carnal exploits.

When Dae felt her breathing had returned to normal and her senses were grounded once more, she sat up a little and was immediately greeted by the sight of Inaya happily licking her fingers clean of her essence. She blushed. Inaya threw her a rakish grin. "Did you like that?"

Emerald eyes looked away quickly. "It was nice." A pause. "Thank you."

"Not at all, little one. I am always happy to help a friend…especially one who makes such delightful noises at the height of passion!"

Dae’s blush wasn’t getting much opportunity to subside. "I’m not that loud," she protested weakly.

"Then why do your cries still ring in my ears, hmm?" Inaya sucked the last of the clear nectar from her fingers and licked her lips. "You taste as sweet as you look," she declared cheerfully. "Perhaps next time, you would allow me the honor of sampling your flavor directly from the source..?"

"Umm…I-I guess. If you wanted to." Next time? Dae felt her insides stir a little. No wonder Zafirah can’t control her desires. Who could, with gorgeous women like Inaya ready to fulfill your every fantasy? Emerald eyes flicked down over the raven-haired desert goddess before her, growing hooded as energy returned. "In the mean time though, I think I should finish what I was working on when you distracted me."

Inaya’s dark eyes flashed wickedly. "Oh?" She quickly lay back on the bedsheets and spread her legs, brazenly showing off her bejeweled and glistening sex. "Then my body is yours to claim, my friend."

"Hussy," Dae scolded, moving closer with an eager expression on her face. Settling between Inaya’s legs she ran her fingers along the tanned skin towards the gleaming metal bar that pierced the girl’s clitoris. She teased the silken petals of Inaya’s labia for a few minutes before turning her attention to the delicate little stud, her fingers stroking against it cautiously. Inaya’s hips bucked and she cried out breathlessly. "Harder, little one!" she urged.

Dae flicked the metal gently, curious. Inaya growled and began tugging at the rings that pierced her nipples. "Again! Please, keep doing that…Harder!"

The blonde repeated her actions, watching as her friend mauled her own breasts and finding the sight enormously erotic. When she slid two fingers over the sensitive shaft of Inaya’s clit and pinched gently, the dark-haired girl threw her head back and screamed out her climax wildly. Dae continued her ministrations, knowing from her own experiences how nice it felt to hold the moment of release as long as possible. She rubbed her fingers quickly and firmly across the full length of Inaya’s dripping sex, enjoying the tremors she could feel beneath her touch.

When Inaya’s body finally had no more to give and went limp, the young blonde withdrew her hand and, after making sure her friend was still too dazed to be watching her, hesitantly brought her wet fingers to her lips. Dae had tasted herself only once before, her curiosity eventually growing stronger than her uncertainty, and had found the taste actually quite pleasing. Inaya’s flavor was similar to her own, only sharper and not so sweet. She quickly licked herself clean when she saw Inaya begin to stir and sit up.

The dark-haired girl sighed languidly. "Thank you, Dae. That was wonderful!" Inaya’s normally immaculate hair was now looking rather disheveled, but her smile was as radiant as ever. "You have learned the ways of pleasing a woman well."

Dae shrugged modestly. "I’ve had good teachers."

"Mmm." Inaya blew an errant strand of hair from her face and sat up on the bed. "Would you like to practice some more? I would be willing to contribute my body to your further studies."

The blonde giggled and looked away. "Thanks but…I think I’d rather wait for Zafirah to get back." A pause. "Though I appreciate the offer very much."

"As you wish."

"I can’t believe how easily I got carried away," Dae commented shyly. "I just hope Zafirah isn’t upset about it — I mean, I asked her to deny herself while she was away, and then go get naked with you."

Inaya considered this with a smile. "Well…if you feel any guilt over this little escapade, just think how much fun you could have apologizing to Zafirah." She ran a finger lazily along the young blonde’s arm. "Or, if she will not forgive you so easily…how much fun she could have devising a proper punishment for you!"

Dae’s eyes hooded as a few ideas came immediately to mind. "Yeah…I’ve been very, very wicked, haven’t I?"

"Mmhmm." Inaya purred and licked her lips, one hand wandering down to toy idly with her lower jewelry. "Such a naughty girl."

"But I’d be willing to do anything if she’d forgive me…"


"Yeah." Dae smiled a sexy, sensuous smile. "And she’d probably like hearing about what we did, too. I bet she’d find it extremely exciting."

"Then we should make it a tale worth the retelling," Inaya suggested, stroking herself wantonly now.

Hearing her friend-cum-lover starting to breath harsher Dae glanced at the dark-haired girl curiously. Emerald eyes widened when she saw what Inaya was doing. She’s got stamina, I’ll give her that. "What are you doing?"

Inaya flashed a playful, unrepentant grin. "Contributing to your story."

The young blonde felt her desire surge anew. She swallowed hard and shifted on the bed. "Well…I’d hate for Zafirah to get bored when I tell her what we got up to."


"Are you still willing to let me practice my…technique…on you?"

Inaya pulled her hands away from her weeping sex. "Always."

"Excellent." Dae dove right in eagerly…wondering if Zafirah was managing to behave herself any better than she was.


Ah’raf Pass was a well-known landmark to those who sought to cross the Jaharri desert unscathed. In times past, before the Scion Peace, traders avoided the deceptively inviting path that ran between two great stretches of sharp-edged sand-stone escarpment, knowing that bandits favored the many caves and hollows as places from which to launch surprise attacks. In more recent times however, the Pass was as useful and important to foreigners and the desert nomads as the Kah-hari oasis. It offered protected shelter to weary travelers in the numerous wind-carved caves that pock-marked the cliffs, and more importantly, it was a safe passage that was largely shielded from the vicious and unpredictable sand-storms that could rise up without warning on the barren dunes. There was little doubt in Zafirah’s mind that Shakir would use the Pass to reach the tribes beyond.

Which made it the perfect site to prepare and execute an ambush.

Of course there were murmurings of concern from among the Scion’s commanders and advisors. The Ah’raf Pass was highly exposed and devoid of any dips or gullies…hardly ideal terrain in which to hide an army over three-hundred strong. Also, the Pass itself was too narrow for an effective cavalry charge, which would deprive the spahi of their most valuable asset: speed. But Zafirah ignored the whispered remarks, smiling a confident smile as she ordered her troops into their positions. By the time all was in readiness the hour had grown late, and the Scion raised an eyebrow questioningly at her head scout.

Falak consulted with her outriders before reporting to Zafirah. "Shakir and his men are approaching the Pass — they will be here before full dark."

"How many?"

A hesitant pause. "Somewhere between four and five hundred."

Zafirah appeared unconcerned. "Wagons?"



Falak’s face was serious as she studied her leader. "This plan of yours involves much risk, my Scion. From what my people saw Shakir is keeping those armed with these devil-weapons in the center of his line. They ride mehari and will be able to retreat quickly if the trap is sprung too soon."

Zafirah looked off into the distance, her expression masked by her haik. "Or so he thinks," she said softly. "But the young Calif has much to learn of battle. I will ensure he is educated before the night is through." Sapphire eyes pinned the dark scout intently. "Your people know what to do?"

A nod. "They will wait for your signal to attack."

"Excellent. Remember Falak…full quarter and full mercy. We are not here to deprive families of their providers, only to stop Shakir’s crusade and maintain the Peace." With a flick of the reigns, Zafirah urged Simhana up the rocky path that led to the top of the escarpment — a climb that would have been impossible for any other horse but the desert-bred mare. There, she was pleased to find a group of thirty scouts armed with their powerful bows waiting for her. Several barrels were stacked along the edge of the precipice, just as she had ordered. Another thirty scouts were perched atop the cliff-face on the other side of the Pass, similarly supplied. The scouts nodded in greeting to the Scion, then gestured wordlessly to the south-west.

Shielding her eyes from the last rays of the setting sun, Zafirah saw a cloud of dust rising out along the dunes: Shakir’s army. She fingered the hilt of her sword, looking forward to the coming confrontation. After so many days without any kind of sexual release, the Scion was eager to vent some of her energy in the heat of battle. She watched the dust-cloud move closer, then saw distant dark figures emerge from the desert and halt a few miles from the Pass. "The young jackal is cautious," she muttered beneath her haik, smiling without humor. "Bold…but cautious."

Indeed, out on the shifting sands Shakir was studying the looming Pass carefully, sensing something amiss. During the days of travel across the desert, the young Calif had slipped deeper into his madness. He drove his men hard, punishing even the slightest slip in discipline with savage brutality. The zealous fire in his eyes was now burning brighter with the added fuel of insanity, and his troops followed him more out of fear than genuine respect. Now, looking at the Ah’raf Pass, Shakir felt a subtle shifting in the air around him. He knew Zafirah would not wait long to attack him…but surely she was not so foolish as to choose the Pass for a battle! Her spahi would be useless. No…more likely she was waiting for him on the other side, some miles from the cliffs where the open terrain would suit her horsemen better. The Calif grinned, caressing the length of his thunder-bow lovingly. The Scion Whore was in for a rude surprise.

Still, Shakir was no fool. He pointed out two of his mehari riders and gestured towards the Pass. "Go! See that our way is clear!"

The two immediately rose off to scout ahead, returning after several minutes. "The Pass is clear," was their report.

"And the sands beyond?"

A quick nod. "Nothing. Not so much as a single scout or outrider."

Shakir considered this, then nodded the two men back into position, apparently satisfied. "We ride through the night then. If we make good time we will fall upon the Sakaran tribe at dawn. Move forward!"

The procession rolled on, slow but tireless. Shakir led the way, along with a group of maybe a hundred troops mostly mounted on horses and armed with spears and javelins. These riders formed a forward defense for the true core of the army; those armed with the thunder-bows. Behind them came three wagons, each bearing a burden of several barrels filled with the magical powder that fueled the foreign weapons, as well as ammunition, spare weapons, and camping supplies. Bringing up the rear came the reserve troops; men and women recruited from the renegade tribes, most riding mangy camels and armed with dented swords and maybe a few bows. Though not the most experienced fighters, this final group was numerous, and provided useful additional muscle to Shakir’s force. This was the army that rode into the Ah’raf Pass as the sun departed the skies.

Perched atop the cliff, Zafirah gazed down at the line of riders below. The scouts watched her eagerly, arrows nocked, waiting for the signal to attack. As the first of Shakir’s men exited the far end of the pass, a few of the scouts began to shift nervously, uncertain what was going on. Were they just going to let the enemy get away? But Zafirah waited patiently until the forward third of the army below was clear of the cliffs, leaving a long line of men still in the Pass and the rest straggling behind. She trusted her senses until she felt the low, excited bubble burst within her — the one that said the perfect moment had come. Then, tilting her head back, the Scion let loose a shattering, ululating war-cry that echoed down into the canyon, gaining strength as it reverberated through the caves and crevices. The scouts joined in with cries of their own, and most began to fire arrows into the panicked enemy below. Those near the barrels that rested at the far ends of the escarpment however, watched until the Scion waved her hand to them, then they pushed the giant containers over the edge.

Zafirah watched, her eyes exultant, as the barrels hit the ground and shattered, spraying liquid everywhere and soaking the entrance and exit of the Pass. She heard several sudden claps of thunder boom through the canyon and realized the enemy was trying to fight back. She smiled. It was already too late. At her gesture, the scouts lit the tips of special arrows that had been soaked in oil and took aim at the barrels below.


The blazing shafts were loosed. A moment later Zafirah grinned as they ignited the lamp-oil that had filled each barrel, creating two walls of roaring fire below and illuminating the targets in the darkness. Those men who were trying to retreat or push forward milled about, panic rising as they realized they were trapped.

It was a strategy untested in the desert lands, one which Zafirah had learned from ambassadors from the west. It was more commonly used in the defense of castles than open land. She was pleased to see it work so effectively. Now, Shakir’s army was split into thirds, with the most dangerous section — the men armed with the foreign weapons — trapped in the center of the Pass, easy prey for the scouts who rained arrows down upon them. Those who had already made it through the Pass turned about, but couldn’t help their fellows on the other side of the fire. The largest group at the rear milled about uncertainly, seeing no enemy they could fight but watching in horror as their fellows were slaughtered. Many turned to flee, and Zafirah’s orders were that her army would not pursue. Full quarter, full mercy…

…But those in the canyon had brought their own doom with them.

Zafirah’s cold eyes turned to the three wagons, currently abandoned in the center of the Pass while horses and camels reared about in a disorganized panic.

"There," she pointed to the wagons. "Burn them."

Five scouts took up oil-soaked fire-arrows and loosed them without hesitation into the wagons.

Zafirah had been told by Dae that the black-power was highly volatile, but even she was shocked by the explosion that blasted through the canyon. A ball of fire and smoke tore through the Pass like a wall of death, choking the air and causing those perched on the cliffs to fall back in awed fear. Zafirah could only stare at the massive explosion, stunned, hearing the sounds below grow ominously silent as the echo of the blast died away. When the smoke had cleared, Zafirah squinted down.

Nothing moved in the Ah’raf Pass now except the flames.

Zafirah swallowed, her hands trembling a little at the unexpectedly powerful force of the blast. Then she turned to her equally stunned scouts, her eyes calm. "Such is the fate of those who would bring death into our lands." Turning away, she gestured for the others to follow. "Come. This days work is not yet over."

Casting nervous glances at the rising smoke that twisted through the still night air, the scouts followed their Scion back down the path and onto the plains below.

One of the first to make the through the Pass, Shakir now stood staring at the charred remains of his precious army through the wall of flame that had dropped seemingly from the skies above. He heard the cries of his men as they were struck by the lethal shower of arrows, but could only watch, impotent with rage, as those around him tried to rally a defense against an enemy they couldn't see. Shakir’s fist clenched as he felt a blinding, insane rage build within him. Hearing a dull roaring sound behind him, he turned and finally saw the enemy. Hundreds of spahi riders had risen like ghosts from the desert sands, their position masked by the cover of dark. Now they raced toward the burning Pass, their numbers overwhelming. Still, Shakir felt no fear…only the rage. His clasped his thunder-bow tightly and scanned the approaching tide carefully while the men around him wheeled about to face the horde.

He had only one shot…but he planned to make it count. The Scion Whore would pay for this treacherous ambush with her life!

Zafirah was thrilled to see her strategy work so utterly well; the spahi had been lying flat against the ground, looking like nothing more than a patch of rocky terrain in the darkness, but now they rose and sped against the remains of Shakir’s army. Whooping and hollering, the Scion spurred Simhana to a gallop, eager to take her share of the fighting. Her curved scimitar dipped and rose in fluid, unrelenting arcs, each time cutting an enemy down. Her attacks were not lethal, however. She simply disabled her foes, cutting a path through their ranks and screaming out her war-cry as she rode.

Shakir watched his men fall without a flicker of emotion. He had never seen Zafirah before, but when he saw the tall figure — obviously a woman by the curves of her form — mounted on the desert war-horse slashing through his army without effort or concern, he grinned and took aim with his thunder-bow. That figure could only be the mighty Scion, and he waited patiently for the perfect moment to fire. When his quarry paused in the battle briefly, sharp eyes looking all around, Shakir’s finger tightened on the trigger, her body held perfectly in his sights.


A black figure crashed into the Calif just as he fired, the thunder-bow jolted to the side by the impact. Shakir was knocked from his horse, speechless with fury. He gained his feet and looked immediately to the Scion, laughing when he saw his shot had not been thwarted completely; the mounted woman was clutching her shoulder, her sword dropped and forgotten. Shakir drew his own weapon and turned to face the one who had spoiled his shot. The woman — a scout from her attire — glared at him with dull hatred, holding her sword before her with grim purpose.

"You will die, bitch!" he promised softly.

"A long time after you," Bahira replied, exultant in her moment of vengeance. "You slaughtered my friends…my brothers and sisters! For that, your life is forfeit."

Shakir grinned and waved his scimitar. "Then come. Your Whore Scion will follow close behind you into the hereafter!"

With a flash of light and a clash of steel, the two combatants locked blades.

Zafirah was stunned by the roar of thunder and the sudden lancing pain that speared through her chest. She clutched at the injury quickly, blood welling between her fingers as she released her sword and studied the damage. The shot had taken her in the upper chest, a few inches below her right shoulder-blade. The pain was terrible, but Zafirah was no stranger to injury. She ignored the flashing white spots of light behind her eyes and the nausea that tightened in her gut. The wound itself wouldn’t kill her…but she had to stop the flow of blood quickly or she might pass out. If that happened, she would be an easy target for the enemy still fighting desperately against her spahi in a loosing battle. Squeezing Simhana’s flanks, Zafirah ordered the mare to carry her from the fight to safety — she needed to attend to her injury before she bled to death. That thought brought to mind the promise she’d made to Dae…her beloved…that she would return unharmed to her. A painful smile pulled at her lips.

"I hope you will forgive me, my Tahirah. Such promises are not easily kept."

Bahira was a good fighter, but she couldn’t match the zealous, furious strength of the renegade Calif. Shakir was tireless and enraged; he rained blow after blow upon the young scout until her arms ached from the shattering force of his attacks. Stumbling, still determined, Bahira struggled to keep her sword up, unable to find an opening between Shakir’s relentless assault. Her hand and arm were numb, and with one final, smashing strike from the Calif, her sword flew away. Bahira fell to the sand, breathing hard, stormy eyes glaring up at her enemy without fear.

Shakir laughed at her courage and lifted his sword high. "Join your fellows in hell!" he snarled.

Bahira didn’t flinch as she saw the firelight gleam brightly off the edge of the curved steel, determined to meet her fate with head held high. But the final blow never came. Shakir’s smile suddenly turned into an expression of pained surprise. His eyes widened. His mouth dropped in a silent scream. The sword fell from his hand and he clutched at his back frantically for a moment, then pitched headfirst into the sand.

A raven-fletched arrow stuck out of his back, directly over his heart.

Bahira looked about and saw the familiar dark face of Falak grinning at her from nearby. Tension left her body in a sudden wave of relief, and she laughed and waved to her lover. Falak returned the wave. Bahira glanced at Shakir’s body, nudging it with her foot to ensure he was really dead. Then she stood up, collected her sword, and wiped her brow in exaggerated relief. Falak chuckled, then nocked a new arrow and fired into the subdued ranks of the enemy.

The battle didn’t last much longer. When the men of Shakir’s army began to kneel, holding their weapons above their heads in a pose of submission, Falak looked around for Zafirah. She grew worried when she didn’t see any sign of the dark-haired woman, and stepped up onto a boulder to address the enemy, whistling sharply to get their attention.

"Your leader is fallen!" she shouted, her voice carrying through the canyon to those still milling about on the other side, uncertain what was happening. "You are defeated! We do not wish this to be a slaughter…to deprive your families of their loved ones here! Return to your tribes now and we will let you go in peace! But remember the lesson you have learned this night — the Scion Peace will be defended at all costs! Do not come upon us in anger again!"

After a few minutes, the men and women of Shakir’s army began to struggle to their feet and pick themselves up. There were few dead among their number, but many limped or clutched at bleeding arms. They helped one another walk back into the canyon, past the fires which had died away as their fuel was consumed. The charred remains of those who had been trapped in the Pass made a powerful impression, and most resolved never to challenge the might of the Scion ever again.

Within an hour, the broken army was making its way back to the deep desert. Falak figured it would be many years before they had courage enough to begin their raids again. When the last of the enemy had withdrawn from the field, Falak looked about curiously, seeing many others doing the same. Where was Zafirah? A murmuring of concern began among the riders. Falak waved a hand. "Find her!"

It wasn’t long before a cry alerted the chief scout that the Scion had been located. Pushing her way through the spahi who gathered around the rocky base of the cliffs, Falak willed her heart to be steady and refused to think the worst. "Let me through! Where is sh-" Dark eyes widened. "Holy Inshal!"

Zafirah lay in the arms of the spahi who had found her, looking around with a dazed expression. The right side of her upper torso was stained dark with blood. A nasty wound on her forehead bled sluggishly down her face, and her hair was a mess. Still, she managed a pained smile when she saw Falak approaching.

The ebon-skinned scout knelt beside the Scion and shook her head. "Oh Zafirah. What happened?"

Zafirah grimaced and tried to sit up, only to find the task beyond her ability. "I fear I found some ill on the battlefield," she said, grinning and wincing at the same time.

Falak reached out to inspect Zafirah’s wounds, drawing a hiss of pain from her patient despite her gentle touch. The gash on her head seemed fine, but the small hole in the Scion’s chest continued to bleed. Falak pressed the cloth of Zafirah’s haik into the wound. "We must get you back to El’Kasari," she said seriously, glancing back to those gathered behind her. "Go! Make a litter for your Scion. And the rest of you, see to the others who are injured! We must be on the move within the hour." The men hurried off to find spear shafts and cloth to form a litter. The scout stroked Zafirah’s hair soothingly. "You are fortunate the Calif’s aim did not hold true, my friend."

"Shakir?" Zafirah looked around her curiously. "Is he..?"

Falak nodded. "Dead, yes."

"His army?"

"Returning from whence they came. Now we must see to our own injured…but your wounds will require the attention of the healers in the city." Falak touched the torn edges of the gash on Zafirah’s forehead. "This was not done by a blade," she observed.

The Scion scowled. "I fell from Simhana and struck my head on a rock," she admitted. "Is it bad?"

Falak smiled. "It will scar," she reported, sighing in dramatic lamentation. "I fear your beauty is ruined forever. What woman will bed you now that you are so hideously disfigured!?"

Zafirah scowled, but found some measure of relief in the joking, knowing her wounds couldn’t be too bad if Falak was teasing her. "It is more than my appearance that lures so many to my bed," she boasted weakly. "My tongue is still in fine working order!" She waggled the muscle in question at the scout to demonstrate.

Falak laughed. "And let us hope it stays that way, lest your little Dae be deprived of the opportunity to sample its expertise!"

Zafirah would have chuckled but she felt too dizzy and weak. Lying back in the gentle support of the spahi holding her up, she relaxed and tried to keep her eyes open. It was dangerous to fall asleep after a head wound, she knew, and so Zafirah concentrated on watching the activity of those around her. The right side of her body ached and throbbed, and her head felt hot, but she wasn’t in mortal danger yet. The ride back to El’Kasari would not be easy…and neither would facing the ministrations of the healers. Zafirah was fairly sure the small ball of lead that had caused her this pain was still embedded in her flesh; she wasn’t looking forward to having it removed. Sighing, forcing her eyelids to stay open, the dark-haired Scion pushed past thoughts of the unpleasantries ahead of her…and concentrated instead on thoughts of how Dae might be willing to ‘assist’ in her recuperation.


"I want to see her!"

Dae glared at the two guards standing outside Zafirah’s bedchamber, emerald eyes blazing but wet with tears, trying to remove them from her path with the sheer force of her displeasure. The two women exchanged glances, uncertain, but refused to stand aside. "Argh!" Dae lunged between them suddenly , only to be held back by a second set of guards who had escorted her here from the harem. "Let me go! I want to see her!" The young blonde wiggled and squirmed, slapping at the hands that held her firmly. Her struggles diminished as a sob shook her slender frame and she collapsed weakly to the floor.

"What is going on here?" came a new voice. "Guards? Who is-"

Dae glanced up to find a strange woman standing over her; tall, with dark skin and eyes almost as intense as Zafirah’s. She snuffled and sat up a little. "I want to see Zafirah," she repeated.

The woman looked down at her, smiling slightly. "The Scion is resting," she explained gently. "Our healers have removed the missile from her chest but she is still sedated. It will take time for her to recover, and you can do little for her while she sleeps."

"Sh-she’s going to be alright then?"

"Yes, little one. She will be fine once she has had opportunity to heal."

Dae felt a great surge of relief wash through her, releasing the sickening tension that had been her constant companion since word arrived two days ago that Zafirah had been severely wounded in the battle against the renegades. When she heard that the Scion had returned to the palace, Dae had alternately threatened and pleaded with the harem guards until they agreed to escort her to Zafirah’s bedchamber…their compliance stemming mostly from a realization that the girl would make herself sick with worry if her need for reassurance went unanswered. Now, finally, Dae felt the heavy grip that had tightened around her heart ease a little, though her eyes were still shiny with unshed tears. "Thank the Gods!" she breathed fervently.

"Indeed." The dark-skinned woman waved the guards back and offered her hand to the kneeling blonde, helping her up. "The return trek through the desert taxed Zafirah’s strength despite our best efforts to ward off the heat. She is suffering from exposure and blood-loss, but her condition will improve quickly I think."

"C-can I at least see her?" Dae pleaded.

The woman considered gravely. "I suppose there would be no harm in permitting a visit. A brief visit. Come."

Dae practically flew past the guards as they allowed her through to Zafirah’s bedchamber, rushing over to the bed where the Scion lay asleep. The young girl stopped when she saw how pale the dark-haired woman was, and moaned when she caught sight of the neatly-sutured cut on Zafirah’s forehead.

"It is not so bad as it looks," the dark-skinned woman assured her, stepping closer and brushing a strand of hair from Zafirah’s face. "The Scion heals quickly. Given a year, the scars of this battle will be as faded as the memory of the fight itself. Do not look so horrified, little Dae."

The blonde looked up at the strange woman, eyes narrowed. "Y-you know who I am?"

"Of course." The woman smiled charmingly. "I was with Zafirah when she first rescued you from the slavers in the desert…though you were in no condition to remember my face. I am Falak, leader of the Scion’s scouts." She paused, then added, "She and I have been friends for many years."

"Friends?" Dae looked the taller woman up and down shrewdly, wondering if Zafirah had bedded her. Probably. She took in the slender, graceful body and full, sensuous lips with a critical eye. Definitely. Still, Falak possessed a pleasant and friendly demeanor that set Dae quickly at ease, and she found herself a little curious. Dae sidled closer to the ebon-skinned scout. "So…has she ever talked to you about me?"

"She has said enough that her affection and love for you are obvious," Falak replied. "In truth, I recognized the depth of her feelings some time before she did. I believe Zafirah fell in love with you almost from the first moment she laid eyes upon you in the desert."


"It seemed that way to me, yes."

Dae’s nose crinkled in pleasure at this little insight. She turned back to the unconscious woman, her expression soft and loving. "I guess it was a bit like that for me, too," she whispered almost to herself. "She made me feel so many new things when we first met…things I didn’t understand. Didn’t want to understand. But now…" She trailed off. "This isn’t how I imagined welcoming her home."

Falak laughed quietly. "I do not doubt the truth of that, little one…but unfortunately for both of you, Zafirah will need to regain her strength before she is ready to entertain your desire for a proper reunion." The scout shook her head fondly and sighed. "She will not be pleased to hear that her passion for you must continue to be held in check."

Dae blushed at the knowing glint in Falak’s eyes. "Yeah, well…I’m not too thrilled about it myself."

Falak laughed again and patted the young blonde on the shoulder. "Patience has its own rewards, little Dae. Let Zafirah heal well before you start tempting her with carnal delights."

"Mmm." Dae was tired from the lack of sleep wrought by two nights of constant worry, and now that she had seen Zafirah and been reassured she was alive and in no danger of dying, those hours of tension were catching up to her. "When will she wake up?"

"Perhaps by nightfall…though the longer she sleeps the better. She will be weak for a few days to come, however."

"Can I come see her tomorrow?"

"If you like." Falak’s lips pursed seriously. "I have little doubt Zafirah would find solace in your company, but I warn you now to be mindful of her condition. Do not let her seduce you with assurances that she is feeling well, and try not to tease her further. She will be feeling much frustration after so long without pleasure, but will only do herself more harm by spending her energy in bed-sports."

Dae’s face colored further and she suppressed a cheeky grin. She nodded sincerely at the dark scout. "I’ll make sure she behaves herself."

"Be certain you behave yourself as well, child," Falak said sternly. "I can see beyond that virtuous facade of yours. Keep your visits brief and innocent until she has healed and is well."

Dae nodded earnestly. "I’ll be good." Leaning down, she placed a tender kiss on Zafirah’s forehead, careful of the sutured cut. "She’s really not going to like this, is she?"

Falak smiled. "After living so many months in anticipation? No, little one…and I cannot say I blame her." She held out a hand to Dae. "Come. I will see you back to the seraglio. The other pleasure-servants must surely be concerned for their Scion as well."

Dae accepted the hand and let Falak lead her from the chamber, casting a glance back over her shoulder to Zafirah and promising silently that this delay would be as short-lived as she could possibly make it.

As promised, Dae returned to visit the next morning, pleased to find Zafirah awake and already looking much improved. Her naturally olive skin still seemed a bit pale, but her eyes had regained their bright sparkle and she smiled in obvious delight as soon as the young blonde entered her room.

"Ahlan, aziza," she greeted, propping herself up on her elbows. "Have you come to take advantage of me in my weakened condition?"

Dae giggled, further relieved to see the dark woman in good humor. "I’d love to," she teased, "but I don’t think you could handle me right now."

Zafirah raised an eyebrow, wincing slightly at the stiff pain in her shoulder and chest. "A challenge, hmm? Oh, but how this wound debilitates me! I fear I am far too weak to offer much resistance. Indeed…I am quite thoroughly at your mercy, my Tahirah."

"Oh, I’m sure you are." Dae sat gingerly on the edge of the bed, out of Zafirah’s reach. She knew that if the Scion managed to add her hands to the invitation she would never be able to resist…which would doubtless lead to much pleasure for herself and possible death for Zafirah. So she folded her hands primly in her lap and regarded the recovering woman seriously. "But you know we can’t do…any of that stuff yet," she said softly. "I’m sure Falak gave you the same warnings she gave me."

Zafirah scowled. "Falak, bah! She underestimates the recuperative powers of sexual pleasure." Sapphire eyes hooded pleadingly. "Would you not like to make me feel better?"

Dae groaned. "You know I would…but I’m not going to risk your health by exhausting your energy in love-making when you should be resting." She reached out and laid her hand on the dark woman’s shoulder, smiling a little. "Once you’re healed, I promise you can introduce me to every erotic thing you’ve been dreaming of these last few months…but until then, we’re both going to behave ourselves. Understand?"

Zafirah pouted. "Would you not even allow me to touch you a little? I could bring you pleasure without moving much at all."

"Oh? And I can trust you not to get carried away, right?"

"Of course!"

Dae smirked and shook her head. "When we make love, Zafirah, I want you to get carried away. I want us both to get carried away." She sighed at the thwarted expression on the Scion’s face. "Hey…come on. Don’t look like that. It’s a few more days…maybe a week or two at most. Aren’t I worth the wait?" It was a low blow, but Dae needed Zafirah’s compliance.

As expected, the dark woman hung her head and looked properly chastised. "I just want you so much," she whispered fiercely, unable to meet Dae’s eyes.

"I know. But for now…let’s just concentrate on letting your body fix itself up." Sympathetic emerald eyes went to the bandages that wrapped about Zafirah’s upper torso. "Does it hurt much?"

"Some," Zafirah admitted. "Like a dull throbbing. My muscles ache but it hurts to stretch them, and my chest feels rather heavy."

"You were shot, right?"


Dae shuddered. "Then you were very lucky," she said quietly. "A few more inches to the left and…" she trailed off, not wanting to finish that thought. "You promised to return unharmed."

"I did…and I wish with all my heart that I had kept that promise. My heart…and every other part of me also." That comment brought a slight smile to Dae’s face, banishing the tears that Zafirah couldn’t stand to see. "Does this mean I have not earned my reward?"

Dae’s smile became a giggle. She blushed and looked away. "No…but you’ll have to wait for it a little longer now."

"A dire enough punishment as is, I think."

Dae cleared her throat at the heat in the dark woman’s eyes. Gods, she arouses me so easily! How can it be possible to want something this badly? She decided to change the subject, thinking it would be wise not to linger on such topics. "Can I get you anything? Maybe something to drink?"

Zafirah grinned salaciously and licked her lips, unwilling to be detoured. "Something sweet, perhaps?" she purred hopefully.

Dae glared at the dark woman sternly. "Don’t make this harder than it has to be for us."

A long sigh, then the heat reluctantly dissipated. "I apologize. And water would be wonderful, thank you."

Dae poured the dark woman a drink from a nearby urn and handed it to her. "So, aside from you being shot, how did the battle go? Did you win?"

Zafirah took a sip and grinned. "Of course. Your advice on the foreign weapons was extremely valuable to me. I think it will be many years before the renegade tribes find the courage to start their raids again."

"I’m glad." A pause. "Were many other people hurt?"

"Some…but not half so many as might have been had we not known the strengths of our enemy." Zafirah finished off her water and handed the ornate tin cup back to Dae. "And what of you, aziza? How did you pass the time in my absence?"

A heavy blush instantly spread across the young blonde’s face and her eyes studied the emroided silk cushions on the bed avidly. "Um…you know, I-I just…did the normal stuff, I guess. Nothing too exciting. Th-there was a magician who came and visited us. He was…pretty good, I guess."

"I see." Zafirah sat up straighter, intrigued by Dae’s response. "And his tricks were such that they make you blush to remember them, hmm?"

Dae willed herself to calm down. "No."

"Then why do you color so? What happened?"


"You are a terrible liar," Zafirah observed. "Tell me, please. I beg of you."

Dae glanced up, then quickly away. "I…I can’t."

"Why not?" Zafirah’s voice dropped to a sexy rumble. "Is it something so terrible that you cannot give it voice?"

Dae shook her head. "No, it’s just…it’s meant to be a surprise for you, that’s all."

Zafirah’s interest doubled. "For me? Hmm…and why can I not have it now?" The look on Dae’s face answered her question clear enough. "Is it something…sexual?"

A slight nod.

"Will you tell me if I guess?"


"A hint?"

"Uh uh."

Zafirah lay back on her bed and pouted. "You are too cruel to me, Tahirah," she scolded, though her tone was playful. "Now my thoughts shall be plagued with libidinous ponderings for days!"

"Well it serves you right for asking me about it," Dae defended primly. "Now let’s talk about something else."

Dae stayed with the Scion until it became clear Zafirah needed to rest, then she left with a promise to return later that night. Over the next week she continued in this fashion, spending at least a few hours each day with the dark-haired woman as she recovered from her injuries, mostly just talking and helping to ease her boredom, but occasionally indulging in a few kisses and lingering touches. It was obvious Zafirah wasn’t accustomed to inactivity; she chafed against the pain of her wounds, wanting to move about and resume her normal routine as soon as possible. Thankfully, once she’d recovered from her exposure the Scion was able to leave her bed and walk around the palace once more, her arm strapped tightly across her chest to keep it still. Dae often joined her, enjoying the company and learning more about the woman who had claimed her heart.

A week and four days passed before the young blonde began to seriously consider consummating her relationship with Zafirah. She wanted to be certain she wasn’t making light of the dark woman’s condition in order to appease her own desires, but even the most discriminating of her observations couldn’t argue with the fact that Zafirah was making a rapid recovery. The Scion’s right arm was still stiff and only allowed for a limited range of motion, but her strength had returned in full, and she no longer complained of pain when she breathed deeply. And with her return to health, of course, Zafirah’s playful, hopeful seduction resumed. Dark sapphires burned with need every minute she spent in Dae’s company…and the blonde felt her own body grow ever more anxious to sample the ecstasies she had been promised for so long. All her fears were gone now — and when she saw that Zafirah was feeling better, the young girl started planning for what she hoped would be one of the greatest experiences of her life.

It was time for their dreams and desires to be fulfilled.


Her hands were damp with sweat. Butterflies fluttered about chaotically in her stomach. She sucked on her lower lip in a nervous habit as she strode down the palace hallways, flanked on either side by a harem guard, shoulders squared and eyes alight with excitement and daring. The two female guards smiled at each other, neither of them requiring any explanation as to what was motivating the little blonde’s visit to Zafirah’s bedchamber tonight.

Dae stopped at the entrance to the Scion’s bedchamber and waited for the guard to announce her. As soon as she heard Zafirah’s welcome she marched brashly into the room and over to the bed, not even glancing at the dark woman who rose to greet her. Her escort remained outside the doorway.

"Dismiss the guards," she said quietly.

Zafirah swallowed hard, seeing something new in Dae’s body language and hearing hunger in her voice. She waved a hand vaguely to the grinning guards. "Return to your duties," she ordered, eyes fixed hopefully on the short blonde.

As soon as the sound of the guards retreating footsteps had quieted, Dae took a deep breathe and reached for the laces of her top. Her back was turned to Zafirah, but she felt those sapphire eyes burning into her as she quickly stripped off her brief clothing, pleased to find her fingers only trembling slightly. She smiled as her trousers and undergarments hit the cool marble floor, hearing Zafirah’s breathing stop suddenly as her form was revealed. Dae glanced over her shoulder and flashed her admirer a sexy smile.

"Are you feeling strong enough," she asked in a seductive purr, "or should I came back later?"

Zafirah’s jaw worked up and down a few times before she managed to argue her tongue into forming words. "In truth," she stumbled, "I am stricken with a sudden weakness. But I shall endure."

"Excellent." Dae turned around and faced the Scion, feeling a rush of arousal burn through her body as dark sapphires consumed every inch of her naked form. She had expected to feel uneasy at this moment…exposed — but instead there was only a sense of excitement and comfort. She trusted Zafirah completely…and was eager to get this thing underway, despite her inexperience.

Zafirah’s eyes roamed down the girl’s body, pausing at her breasts before continuing on to admire her flat stomach and the flare of her hips. Dae grinned when she heard the dark woman gasp, knowing what had garnered the response and widening her stance slightly to better reveal herself. "You like it?" she asked, running the fingers of her left hand through the neatly trimmed blonde curls and along the smooth flesh of her sex, feeling the wetness already beginning. "I wanted to surprise you with something special…something you’d enjoy."

Zafirah’s heart was beating double-time trying to keep up with the sudden rush of blood that shot straight to her suddenly needful groin, and for a moment she could only stare in mute astonishment at the erotic sight of Dae’s freshly groomed nether regions. This wasn’t something she’d been expecting…but it certainly had a powerful effect. This is it! she thought exultantly. The most beautiful woman in the world is standing naked before me…wanting me to make love to her! "Y-You did this.." her voice cracked and she cleared her throat. "You did this for me?"

"Uh huh." Dae continued stroking herself. "What do you think?"

"I think I should like to appreciate your efforts in as intimate a way as possible."

Dae grinned at that, her eyes dancing. "That’s exactly what I was hoping for."

Zafirah started to recover some of her equilibrium at seeing the playful expression on Dae’s face. "How did..?"

"Inaya helped me the first time." Emerald eyes lowered for a moment sheepishly. "She was uh, eager to make it a…pleasing…experience for me. And I have to confess I didn’t do much to fight her off."

Zafirah’s eyes widened. "She pleasured you?"

Dae nodded. "I’m sorry. I know I agreed to behave myself if you did, but I…I couldn’t help it." She shrugged. "I’ve never had to deal with these sorts of feelings before. I guess I got carried away. But…" Green eyes glanced up shyly through blonde bangs. "I was hoping you might be willing to forgive my lack of self control…if I forgive you for getting yourself injured."

Under the circumstances, Zafirah thought she would have forgiven Dae for bedding her entire harem. And probably half the army, too! She nodded. "You are young. It is understandable that you are eager to explore the wonders of sexual pleasure. And I suppose self-control will come with experience."

"I thought you’d understand." Dae took a few steps towards the dark-haired woman. Her voice dropped to a lower pitch. "And you know…I’m going to try very hard to make up for my little indiscretion."

Zafirah’s nostrils flared as the girl approached, amazed she hadn’t just thrown Dae onto the bed and begun ravishing her by now. But she wanted this to be as wonderful an experience for her aziza as she could make it…which would require patience and reserve. Still, imaginings of what Dae and Inaya might have done to one another skipped through her mind tauntingly, exciting her further. "This…indiscretion..?"

Dae paused, one blonde brow raised curiously. "What about it?"

"I should very much like to hear more of it."

Dae grinned rakishly, not at all surprised by the request. She glanced at her own naked body, then at Zafirah, who still wore a flowing silk chador. "You’re way overdressed," she decided, closing the distance between them further, almost daring the Scion to give in and take her. "If you stand very still and behave yourself while I rectify that situation…I’ll describe exactly what Inaya and I did."

Zafirah straightened herself slightly and closed her eyes, thinking it would be easier to endure being disrobed by the girl if she didn’t have to look at that gloriously unveiled body. Taking that as an invitation to continue, Dae reached out and began unraveling the folds of silk cloth. The young blonde talked as she worked, recalling her experience with Inaya and enjoying the effect it had on her lover-to-be. Undressing Zafirah was something she’d imagined doing countless times in her day-dreams, but the task was far more erotic than even her most lurid and adventurous fantasies had allowed for.

It’s like unwrapping a birthday present, she thought, licking her lips and admiring every newly-revealed section of olive-tanned skin as she peeled off the chador. A tall, amazingly gorgeous birthday present with bright blue eyes and — more cloth fell away, causing Dae’s mouth to go dry as all the moisture in her body was called to a more urgent appointment in the south — Oh my! Very nice, very tasty-looking breasts…who’s going to let me do anything I want with her! Caught up in her licentious musings, Dae forgot where she was in her story and stammered slightly. She shook her head to clear it, then continued.

Zafirah smiled, sensing her partner’s rising desire and enjoying the caress of a light coastal breeze against her bare skin. With her eyes closed, the Scion had no trouble at all conjuring pictures to illustrate the story being told to her. Perhaps in the future, Dae and I might share our pleasure with Inaya…and perhaps many others. Zafirah recalled the look on Dae’s face as she had talked of her experiences with Johara, Hayam and Suhayla. Yes…I think she would find that notion very pleasing. Perhaps the whole harem… Zafirah groaned audibly, a slight tremble running through her at the images that sprang to mind.

When at last Dae had completed her task, she stepped back a few paces to admire Zafirah’s body, tossing aside the length of gilt-edged silk that made up the chador. The Scion’s right arm and shoulder were still wrapped in bandages, but the young blonde wasn’t willing to disturb the still-tender injury any more than she had to. Besides…there was plenty to look at besides that small covered area, and Dae was no longer shy about staring. So much flesh…so much soft muscle! It was difficult to know where to begin.

Sapphire eyes opened and watched the young blonde, waiting for the next move. Dae remained still for long moments and Zafirah didn’t hurry her, content to let the girl enjoy the sight of her body. When Dae eventually finished, she looked at the dark woman shyly. "I’m not really sure how to start."

Zafirah smiled. "How would you like to start?"

Dae gave a half-shrug.

"Well…I would be happy to lead this dance if you so desire. Or…" Zafirah bowed humbly. "perhaps you might be more at ease having me as your most willing and enthusiastic servant, attentive to your every whim…?"

Dae considered those options seriously, grateful to Zafirah for giving her the choice. Of course, both scenarios were quite intriguing…but for their first time together, Dae decided she’d be more comfortable being in control of what happened. She nodded firmly, squared her shoulders, and pointed to the bed. "Lie down on your stomach." A breathe. "Please."

Zafirah smiled, recognizing the same look of suddenly excited control light in Dae’s eyes as she had seen when she’d posed for the girl many weeks ago. She bowed slightly, then did as instructed, settling herself face-down on the silk sheets of her bed, taking just a moment to make certain her stiff arm wouldn’t cause her any pain. She waited, feeling Dae’s eyes exploring her backside and thighs, hearing silence, then the clink of glass from somewhere to her right. A moment later she felt the weight of the girl’s body shift the mattress slightly as Dae joined her on the bed. Something warm and liquid was poured onto her sensitized skin, then small, delicate hands began to roam over her muscles slowly, exploring with only a slight degree of hesitance. Zafirah moaned low and deep, applauding Dae’s idea. When the blonde spoke, her smile was almost audible.

"This is something I learned from the other girls," Dae said quietly. "I think they enjoyed massaging me as much I enjoyed letting them…although" — a soft giggle — "I’m pretty sure they were just trying to get me worked up so I’d let them do other things to me." Soft hands slick with scented oil spread like dragonfly wings over Zafirah’s shoulder-blades, firmly kneading the muscle before journeying lower. "Do you like it?"

"Mmmm." Zafirah’s eyes were closed with pleasure as she hummed contentedly. "Very much."

"Am I doing it right? I’ve never-"

"Perfectly, my Tahirah. I do not think you could touch me in any style other than absolute perfection."

Dae smiled, feeling her confidence grow as she aquainted herself more intimately with Zafirah’s body. "I always got really…wet…when I let the others do this to me," she admitted, knowing how it would inflame the dark-haired Scion.

"And how do you find being the provider of such pleasure? Does it arouse you also?"

"Yes." Dae shifted on the bed, moving closer to Zafirah so she could gain access to every part of her. When her thighs pressed firmly against the dark woman’s warm body, Dae reveled in the skin-on-skin contact, knowing there was plenty more to come. Zafirah’s body was slippery with the oil she was rubbing into it, and Dae set herself to the task of making certain every inch of skin was properly covered. When her hands came to Zafirah’s buttocks, she boldly let the fingers of her right hand press deep between the older woman’s thighs, grinning both at the surprised gasp that escaped the Scion, and at the heat she could feel building there. "As it does you, I see."

Zafirah growled when the fingers were withdrawn.

"Everything about you arouses me, Zafirah," Dae continued. "Your body. Your eyes. The sound of your voice. The way you look at me. And especially the way you kiss me." Her hands were now working on the thick length of muscled upper thigh. "You know what I’d like to do right now?"


Dae grinned, feeling very wicked at the thoughts running through her mind. "I’d like to straddle you and rub myself against your…" She gave Zafirah’s butt a light smack.

Zafirah groaned, feeling the molten river between her legs flow stronger.

"You’d feel so slippery…and hot against me." Dae giggled girlishly. "I’d be so easy to just ride you till I came!"

"By the Gods!" After such an extended period without pleasure, Zafirah’s body was quickly pushed to the edge by Dae’s words. Her breathing was accelerated and every muscle in her body tensed as the pressure built within her. It wouldn’t take much from the young girl to send her soaring.

Dae watched her lover strain, utterly entranced by the way Zafirah’s body was moving. She could feel the tension rising in the flesh beneath her touch, and some instinctive part of her recognized what the harsh edge in Zafirah’s voice portended. "You’re close already, aren’t you?"

Zafirah nodded, concentrating on the hands massaging her.

"You’re not used to going so long without release, right?"

Another nod.

Dae’s hands slowed their explorations as she considered her next course of action carefully. "Could you spread your legs a little for me please?"

Zafirah almost sobbed with relief at the request, complying quickly and without comment. She needed this. Oh, how she needed this! Her body froze completely as she felt Dae slide two oil-slicked fingers between her legs to stroke her sex from behind, then she convulsed as sensation overwhelmed her immediately, the climax so sudden and powerful it tore a cry from her throat. As the fingers continued to gently fondle her spasming sex, Zafirah dimly heard Dae’s voice speaking calmly over the roar of her passion. "This is just to take the edge off. There are so many things I want us to do tonight, but I can see you’re a bit impatient so…" Zafirah didn’t hear anymore, her senses listening only to those wonderful fingers working their magic on her raging core.

When at last the pulses of ecstasy had run their course, Zafirah’s body went limp on the bedsheets. Her heart — which had moments ago seemed about ready to burst — began to adopt a less critical rhythm, and her breathing slowly returned to normal. She felt Dae’s fingers withdraw from her sensitive sex and casually resume their task of massaging her legs. Zafirah hummed happily, enjoying the lingering tingles in her blood, feeling relaxed for the first time in weeks. "Thank you so much, aziza," she said, glancing over her shoulder at the obviously pleased blonde. "My body responds so readily to you…to your touch, your words…I could restrain my need no longer."

Dae’s nose crinkled delightedly. "You’re very welcome." Watching and hearing Zafirah climax had been an incredible and extremely arousing experience…moreso than last time, because now Dae had known she was the one directly responsible for that pleasure. There was a certain sense of pride that came from providing such pleasure. As she finished rubbing oil into the last part of Zafirah’s legs, the urge to return her fingers to that velvet heat grew stronger, and Dae imagined loving the dark woman as she had seen Hayam love Johara, burying her fingers deep within her sex. She drew back a little to give Zafirah room. "Could you turn over now please? I’d like to do your front."

As soon as Zafirah had settled herself again, Dae spent a few minutes just letting her eyes admire the feast of flesh before her, conscious of those startlingly clear sapphire gems watching her closely. Her hands trembled slightly as she poured more oil over the Scion’s body, running a line down the valley of her cleavage, along the taut muscles of her abdomen, and finally down to her already slick mound. Setting aside the small glass vial, Dae leaned forward and claimed Zafirah’s lips. The two dueled softly with their tongues for long minutes, the younger, inexperienced blonde pleased with the control her position afforded her. She boldly nibbled on Zafirah’s lips, then licked along her jawline before suckling at her neck, excited by the clean scent of the woman’s dark hair and the readiness of her body for more pleasure. As she continued laying kisses over Zafirah’s face, occasionally returning to dance with her mouth and tongue, Dae’s hands reached out tentatively and cupped those full breasts. It was amazing, but Dae could almost taste the change in the Scion’s skin. When her fingers sought out the stiff points of Zafirah’s nipples, Dae was rewarded with an enthusiastic, "Yes, Tahirah! Touch me!" She grinned and pulled her mouth away from Zafirah’s neck, wanting to watch what she was doing.

Zafirah’s breasts were smaller than her own — firm yet soft, and infinitely touchable. Dae’s fingers dipped into the river of oil in the dark woman’s cleavage, then began gently covering every inch of skin with the glistening liquid. She took her time, knowing from her experiences with Johara just how wonderful it could feel to have one’s breasts thoroughly attended, and wanting to demonstrate everything she’d learned for Zafirah’s pleasure. "You feel so soft," she said quietly. "Are your breasts very sensitive?"

Zafirah nodded, her jaw clenched tight as Dae lovingly fondled her. "Very."

"I can tell," Dae grinned. "I want to learn everything that pleases you. Everything about your body."

The Scion applauded that idea with a throaty groan.

When she felt satisfied with her manual efforts, Dae let her hands drift lower to the rippling abdomen. She hesitated only a moment to wonder if the oil were safe to consume, before deciding she didn’t really care if it wasn’t and dipped her head down to lavish those glorious breasts with her lips, teeth and tongue.

"Oh Gods! YESSSS!" Zafirah’s hands clutched at the silk sheets desperately. She would have liked to bury her fingers in Dae’s golden hair and guide her movements, but knew it would be better if she just let the girl do as she pleased. Dae needed the safety of control right now…and besides, she didn’t seem to need much guidance. Zafirah could only stare at the ceiling with passion-glazed eyes as the little blonde hungrily ravished her.

Indeed, Dae was enjoying her task very much. The oil tasted slightly bitter, but Zafirah’s flesh was intoxicating. She ran the tip of her tongue in tight circles around the nub of a hard nipple, then tugged it between her teeth, grinning at her lover’s responses. But as much as she would have liked to spend the rest of the night devoting her attention solely to Zafirah’s breasts, Dae’s fingers were itching to do some more exploring further south — exploring which required her eyes to act as overseers. So reluctantly, the young blonde pulled herself away from her banquet so she could guide her touches with more confidence down to toy with the neatly-groomed dark curls that seemed to point her towards the even more intriguing mound of Zafirah’s sex.

Zafirah’s breathing went ragged and her whimperings came to a sudden halt as she realized where her lover’s attention had shifted. Without hesitation she spread her legs, letting emerald eyes roam where they would. Though she’d climaxed just minutes ago, Zafirah was more than ready to soar again, but she waited patiently to see what Dae would do to her.

Dae gazed at the flushed lips of Zafirah’s sex, seeing them glistening more from her previous orgasm than from the scented oil she’d been applying. Her fingers played along the hollow of Zafirah’s thigh, delaying the moment of contact while she sorted through exactly what she intended to do here. I could taste her, she considered, imagining how it might feel to lower her lips and feast on that slick flesh as she had feasted on the dark woman’s breasts. But she was very uncertain of herself in that field yet, conscious of her inexperience now more than ever. I want to taste her…but I don’t really know how. I mean, I’ve seen Johara and Hayam together — and Suhayla — but I still have only a vague idea of what to do. Maybe I should let her show me first before I try that. Dae didn’t let herself dwell too long on the shortcomings of her naïveté; there were many other things she could explore for the time being.

Dae looked back to Zafirah, finding the dark-haired woman watching her intently. She smiled, inching her fingers closer to the heat she could feel radiating from her lover’s center. "I want to go inside you," she said softly. "Would you like that?"

Zafirah nodded quickly. "Please. I need you now!"

Dae smiled, her fingers now lightly stroking Zafirah’s labia, exploring and learning. She watched as the older woman’s eyes squeezed shut and her body tensed eagerly, then very gently sent two fingers in search of deeper heat.

"Oh yes!" Zafirah was hard pressed to keep her body still as she felt Dae enter her, trying to steady her breathing and maintain control. This was more wonderful than any of her fantasies portended…and the best was yet to come!

Dae gazed at her fingers as they sank into Zafirah’s core, amazed at what she was feeling. I’m inside her! The realization of such intimacy was beautifully terrifying, and Dae was surprised to feel tears in her eyes as she pushed deeper into the dark-haired Scion. "I can feel you all around me," she whispered in awe. "I can feel your muscles pulling me into you. You feel sssooo soft…so wet."

"For you," Zafirah gasped, her focus devoted wholly on the sensation of Dae’s fingers within her. "Please…more. I want to feel more of you."

Dae responded by adding a third happy finger to the two already inside the Scion, instinct guiding her now to find a slow rhythm as she thrust in and out of Zafirah. After a moment, she twisted her hand around a little and found she could use her thumb to stimulate her lover’s clitoris as she worked — which discovery prompted some rather vocal praise from the dark-haired Scion.

"Yes Tahirah! Katha ath nan!"

Dae paused, uncertain of the desert words. "What?"

"Keep going! Touch me more, please! Never stop."

Shrugging, Dae resumed. She liked Zafirah’s cries of passion, and was especially pleased when her ministrations earned her an enthusiastic "Nek ne!" from her lover. She was even more gratified when she felt the muscles around her fingers begin to tighten, warning of an impending climax. Dae sped up, watching Zafirah tense and delighting in the sound of her name being cried out as a sudden flood of liquid soaked her hand. The tremors continued to wrack Zafirah’s body for long moments, squeezing Dae’s fingers gently until they eased. The blonde withdrew and moved so she could gather her spent lover in her arms while she recovered — feeling very pleased with herself despite how overwhelming the experience had been.

Zafirah looked up at the grinning blonde who was stroking her hair lovingly, sighing in utter contentment and wriggling so she could press as much of her body against the younger girl as possible. "You are amazing," she whispered.


Zafirah nodded.

"Hmm." Dae bent down and kissed the dark-haired woman softly. "I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. I mean…that’s the first time I ever…"

"I understand."

Dae looked faintly embarrassed. "I know I’m not as…experienced, as the other girls, but-"

"Shh…speak no more of such things. Experience comes with time. Do not be troubled by fears that I find you in any way unsatisfying, my Tahirah. You inflame my passion more than any woman I have ever known…and feeling you touch me even innocently sends shivers straight to my core."

Dae blushed a little in pleasure. "Well…I am a pleasure-servant, afterall."

"Indeed you are." Zafirah grinned. "But now…I wonder how best I might show my gratitude for the joy you have bestowed upon me." She eyed Dae’s naked breasts and licked her lips. "Tell me, aziza…how would you have me pleasure you?"

Dae didn’t have to think for more than a second for the answer to spring to mind; though she had pondered long on the many and varied devices of pleasure she’d seen in the Scion’s collection, there was one thing that had occupied her thoughts more than any other these last few weeks. Laying back on the colorful silken sheets of Zafirah’s bed, she spread her legs and looked directly into the sapphire gaze of her lover, reveling in the chance to act with complete wantonness. "Lick me," she ordered confidently. "I want to feel the acclaimed magic of your tongue."

Zafirah’s eyes darkened to midnight blue as she gazed upon the glistening, naked folds of Dae’s sex, her mouth watering at the thought of tasting her lover’s most intimate flesh. While she wanted to explore Dae’s body slowly and thoroughly, learning every inch of pale skin, she knew there would be time enough for that later. For now, there was only that simple command to obey. "Your wish is my most fervent desire, Tahirah." She moved eagerly to lie between the blonde’s legs, smiling at the obvious anticipation in Dae’s watchful eye. When she licked teasingly at the girl’s upper thigh, Dae giggled. Zafirah took a breathe, the scent of her lover’s arousal only whetting her appetite. "I hope you enjoy this as much as I," she whispered, before dipping her head down and taking her first taste of Dae’s desire.

Dae cried out at that first contact, stunned at the way her body responded. Zafirah’s tongue explored her slowly at first, expertly teasing her passion higher till her senses reeled in a haze of lust. Dae clutched at the Scion’s head, driven by raw need to tangle her fingers in that dark mane and pull her tighter against her desperate center. The sensation defied description! Dae had thought herself no longer a stranger to pleasure, but now realized her experiences were woefully lacking. Nothing her fingers — nor the fingers of those few others who had touched her — had ever done came close to the experience of Zafirah’s tongue! Blistering, burning, shattering sparks of exquisite pleasure pounded through her body, coloring her vision in rainbows and reducing her verbal skills to squeaks and screams of joy and encouragement. She felt her climax building like a roaring inferno in the back of her mind, and fought against it valiantly, wanting this feeling to go on and on.

Zafirah, meanwhile, was doing everything she could to bring her younger lover’s body to the edge, if only so she could do it again and again until Dae either begged her stop or lost consciousness. The taste of Dae’s arousal was intoxicating and sweet, and Zafirah was thrilled by how responsive the girl’s body was to her attentions. She explored every fold and delicious crevice of Dae’s sex, occasionally pausing to suck gently at her clit and savor the honeyed nectar that flowed so abundantly from her core. Zafirah’s tongue roamed everywhere, diligent and merciless in its mission of pleasure.

Dae couldn’t hold out long against her orgasm; she screamed Zafirah’s name as her spirit seemed to burst into a thousand glittering shards that rained down from the heavens. But just as her climax reached its peak and began to subside, Zafirah suddenly clamped down on her swollen clit and sucked forcefully, laving the hard nub of flesh firmly with her tongue. Immediately Dae was overwhelmed by a second stunning wave of ecstasy, unable to find breathe to scream anew. She managed a slight whimper and a gasp, her body weakening even as her more ethereal senses were cresting higher and higher in a seemingly endless spiral. For a moment the whole world seemed to fall away into blackness beneath her, along with her awareness of what she was experiencing, but when she came back to herself her body was already in the grip of a third climax, brought on by Zafirah’s expert ministrations. She writhed weakly under Zafirah’s oral devotions, lightheaded and dizzy as her lungs struggled to find new air. Tangling her fingers in Zafirah’s midnight tresses she managed to drag her lover’s lips from their feast.

"No more," she croaked hoarsely, gasping for breathe. "Please…I can’t take anymore. I need to catch my breath."

Zafirah withdrew, smiling up at her with lips wet with her juices. "As you wish, aziza," she agreed cheerfully. "Though I trust we are far from being finished with this night..?"

Dae nodded, grateful for the reprieve from such astonishingly intense pleasure, even as she wished for it to continue without cessation. "Sure, just…give me a chance to recover."

Zafirah easily slid her uninjured arm around the little blonde and pulled her onto her lap, tangling their legs together and stroking the long golden hair softly. "Was that to your liking?" she inquired playfully.

"Oh yeah." Dae laughed shakily, enjoying the slight friction of the oil covering Zafirah’s skin against her body. "Even though I think you nearly killed me!"

"There is a great deal more that I plan to show you," Zafirah promised. "I wish to hear more of those delightful cries of pleasure you make just before you climax."

Dae blushed and quickly defended, "I’m not that loud."

The Scion chuckled, not bothering to argue. Instead she began running the fingers of her left hand down over Dae’s body, lightly toying with her sensitive breasts and teasing the fires of her passion back to wakefulness.

Dae shivered, content just to lie back and let her lover touch her gently. Zafirah was arousing her, but it wasn’t rushed or hurried now. She sighed, feeling fabulously decadent and not minding one bit. "Zafirah?"


"Can I choose something from the cabinet?"

Zafirah’s hands stilled a moment, the innocently-posed question stirring her lust anew. "Later, perhaps," she suggested. "There is the matter of your virginity yet to be dealt with, and I would not have that honor bestowed upon any but my own fingers."

Dae’s expression turned thoughtful. "Have you ever…?"

"Deflowered a maiden? Yes…though it has been some time."

"Will it hu…hurt much?"

Zafirah heard the slight quaver in her lover’s voice and placed a soothing kiss on Dae’s forehead. "Have no fear, little one," she assured. "I shall be gentle, and any pain you feel will be so overwhelmed by pleasure that your mind will scarcely recognize it."

Dae relaxed a little, feeling an aura of comfort envelope her as she lay in Zafirah’s embrace. "I trust you."

Zafirah was quiet for a minute, just letting her touches roam aimlessly over Dae’s body, feeling quiet awe at the beauty before her. "When you feel ready, I would be more than happy to demonstrate any device in my collection. Or…if you are taken by an adventurous spirit, perhaps you could test something yourself. On me."

Dae grinned wickedly and rolled an emerald eye up to regard her desert lover. "I think I like the sound of that." A second later she squealed as Zafirah lightly pinched her right nipple.

"I thought you might."

Knowing fingers continued to excite and explore, and Dae closed her eyes and gave herself over to sensation. The way Zafirah touched her was incredible. The young blonde felt almost like a goddess, sensing a reverent air to the Scion’s attention, as though she were doing more than simply making love to her…she was worshiping something sacred. It was, she admitted privately, quite flattering to have such a powerful, beautiful woman pay her such attention, and she gave a little moan of encouragement as Zafirah’s touches became more intense and purposeful.

Zafirah held herself in check for as long as she could, but Dae was so responsive to her the need to do more soon grew too powerful. Very gently, she laid the blonde down on the sheets once more, before beginning a slow journey down her body with hands, lips, and tongue. Her long dark hair fanned out to cover the girl’s pale skin, tickling her nerves and raising gooseflesh all along the way. Zafirah smiled when her hand dipped between those silken thighs and Dae spread her legs eagerly, ready for more pleasuring.

This time, the Scion was more patient and gentle. Dae was still very sensitive from her previous ravishing, so Zafirah used only the lightest of caresses, shifting her attention constantly from one point to another, never giving direct stimulation to the throbbing, needful bud of her lover’s clitoris. Her fingers spread the nectar of Dae’s arousal all over her flushed sex, teasing her until at last she begged for firmer contact.

"Please Zafirah, stop teasing me!"

Zafirah just grinned. "Relax, Tahirah. Good things reward those with patience to wait."

Dae growled and bucked her hips fiercely. "Well I’m not really in the mood to be patient right now."

Zafirah chuckled. "Trust me, my aziza. Just relax…let me love you." Dae’s hips thrust forward again, and Zafirah replied with a quick, appeasing lick to the girl’s clit. "If you cannot behave yourself, perhaps I should tie you up, hmm?"

Emerald eyes looked down sharply, filled with lust and prurient hunger. "Ooh, yes! Yes, do it!"

Zafirah smirked and shook her head, surprised by how eager Dae had become to experience such carnal delights. "I meant it as a threat, Tahirah. Perhaps another time. Please…lie still for me."

Dae frowned, disappointed, but lay back. As Zafirah resumed her patient ministrations, the blonde cupped her own breasts and began to play with her nipples, thinking perhaps the extra stimulus might let her reach the edge sooner.

Zafirah knew the best way to take a virgin’s maidenhead without pain was to distract her with pleasure…beguile the senses so all feelings merged into ecstasy. She artfully manipulated Dae’s passion, keeping the blonde’s body poised at the brink of release, but never quite giving her enough to send her flying. She ignored the pleas and threats directed her way from the frustrated girl, but eventually slid two fingers into the tight, untouched heat of her core. Dae was more than ready, she sensed, feeling the muscles clamp down around her immediately. Pushing forward, Zafirah came to the thin barrier of Dae’s maidenhead. She withdrew, massaging the inner walls of her lover’s sex gently; at the same time she finally dipped her head down and began to give gentle, loving attention to the neglected bundle of nerves that throbbed in time with Dae’s rising pulse.

Dae felt it coming and her body tensed in anticipation. She was aware that Zafirah was inside her, touching places she hadn’t dared touch herself, and though she dimly feared the pain she knew was coming, she wanted to feel the dark-haired woman as deep within her as she could possibly get. This climax came on slowly, the first waves crashing upon her with subtle, lingering force, but followed quickly by a more intense, stunning surge of pleasure. Dae screamed out loud as she felt heat suddenly tear inwards between her legs, and was dimly aware that Zafirah had penetrated her completely, forever erasing any trace of her virginity and laying claim to her body in the most deeply intimate way. But the swift stab of pain was only slight, and seemed to push her climax to a higher level. Soon, all she felt were those fingers inside her — stroking her, loving her, keeping her cresting on a wave of ecstasy she prayed would never end.

Zafirah’s fingers curled slightly within the squirming blonde, finding the magical place that would make this orgasm as enjoyable for Dae as possible. She was gentle and persistent, feeling blessed that she was the first to touch Dae so deeply. When at last the tremors began to subside, Zafirah withdrew her fingers from their snug nest, placing a last kiss to Dae’s sex before shifting round so she could hold the little blonde while she recovered.

Dae sighed blissfully as she felt the Scion wrap her up in a calming embrace. There was a slight feeling of dull pain between her legs now that the pleasure had faded, but she smiled anyway with the knowledge that she had passed that final line…and had given herself fully to Zafirah.

"How do you feel?" the Scion asked quietly.

Dae snaked her arms around her lover’s waist and pulled her tight against her. "I feel wwwwonderful."

Zafirah grinned. "Then I am pleased." Long, graceful fingers twisted fondly through Dae’s long hair. "You may be a little sore for a few days to come, but when your body has recovered in full there will be many new pleasures to discover."

"Mmm." Dae felt a slight wave of drowsiness steal over her as she often did after she’d climaxed, but she fought against it, wanting to continue. Looking around Zafirah’s room, her eyes fell on a small, intricate iron statue of two women caught in the throes of passion. Emerald eyes narrowed speculatively. "Zafirah?"

"Yes, aziza?"

She pointed. "Have you ever done that?"

Zafirah glanced where her younger lover indicated, then grinned mischievously. "I have."

"Oh." Silence. Then… "Can we try it now?"

The dark-haired woman chuckled, shaking her head at Dae’s unexpectedly voracious appetite. Still, her body was more than ready for another round, so she shifted on the bed, straddling Dae’s left leg and sliding forward so her center pressed against her lover’s mound. "What an excellent idea."

Dae’s eyes rolled back in their sockets as Zafirah very gently began to move against her, the slippery, silken touch of her sex feeling wonderful. Laying back, she relaxed and let the older woman take the lead, half her mind focused on the sensations between her legs, the other half already planning what they might do next.

She hoped Zafirah wasn’t expecting to get much sleep tonight.


The dawning sun and the rising heat woke Dae late the next morning. Reluctant emerald eyes opened and glared at the windows irritably. Groaning quietly, the blonde stirred and took mental stock of her position. She was lying on Zafirah’s bed, the taller woman’s body spooned against her own, long, tanned arms wrapped possessively about her middle. She could feel warm breathe tickle the back of her neck, and the sensuous sensation of naked skin pressed all along her frame. Dae’s body was a bit stiff and sore from the night’s activities, but she smiled at the scent of sex that clung to the silk sheets, remembering everything they’d done…and everything Zafirah had promised her they would do in the future.

Teeth nipped suddenly at her shoulder, and Dae giggled as her lover squeezed her lightly and stretched. That familiar, deep yet feminine voice whispered in her ear. "It is early yet."

"The sun woke me." Dae wriggled around until she was facing her partner. She gazed adoringly into those clear sapphire eyes, reaching out to touch the older woman’s face. "Good morning."

"A very good morning indeed," Zafirah smiled, "that it finds you naked in my arms."

Dae chuckled, then raised an eyebrow curiously. "Inaya told me you prefer to sleep alone after you’ve finished with your pleasure. Is that true?"

"It is." A pause. "But it seems every rule has exceptions…and I would never send you back to the harem after we make love."

"Mmm." Dae regarded Zafirah seriously. "So…where do we go from here?"

Zafirah shrugged. "Wherever you wish to go, aziza." She gave the young blonde a wary, cautious look. "I love you Dae. Never doubt that. But it is not within me to resist the temptations of the flesh-"

Dae silenced the dark-haired woman with a kiss. "I’m not asking you to give away the harem…or the other girls. I knew all this when I fell in love with you…and before we made love."

Zafirah smiled, relieved at Dae’s understanding. "I would be happy for you to share my quarters," she offered. "In truth, I never thought I would have a consort, but…"

"You want me to move out of the harem?"

"If you like."

Dae considered the offer seriously, looking around the room and trying to envision herself living here. At length, she sighed. "I like it in the seraglio. And you’re there a lot anyway, right? Almost all the time when you’re not busy being Scion. Maybe, for the time being, I could just stay there."

Zafirah’s expression fell slightly. "If that is what you would prefer."

Dae smiled. "Don’t look like that. I’ll spend the nights here with you, afterall. Although I doubt we’ll be doing a lot of sleeping." She reached down and caressed Zafirah’s breasts teasingly. "I just enjoy being around the other girls, that’s all. They’re my friends."

Zafirah’s smile returned at the mention of Dae sleeping here. "I understand. And besides…" she waggled her eyebrows rakishly at the little blonde, "my entire harem would scream for my blood if I deprived them of the opportunity to seduce you!"

Dae laughed…but Zafirah didn’t miss the twinkle in her emerald eyes, and knew it wouldn’t be long before her lover was exploring all the many avenues of pleasure available to her. Thoughts of what skills Dae might learn from her pleasure-servants sent shivers of anticipation running down the Scion’s spine.

"W-would that be okay?" the blonde asked shyly. "If I let them…do things with me?"

"Do you really need to ask?" Zafirah kissed her lover soundly. "I am happy for you to share yourself with others, little one…so long as you tell me all the details afterwards."

"Or better yet, invite you along for the ride, right?"

Zafirah’s eyes burned bright. "Of course."

"Hmm. Maybe we could see if Inaya would like to join us some time," Dae suggested, thinking it would be extremely exciting to watch Zafirah and her friend together…and to join in when she felt like it. Four hands, she thought. Two tongues. And so many fingers..! "Or maybe Johara and Hayam. We could be just like them…sharing our love."

"Indeed." Zafirah felt a little ache of fear clutch at her heart, before she said in a carefully casual tone, "I would be much honored if you would agree to consecrate our love in the eyes of the Goddess."

Dae froze, her mind taking several seconds to process Zafirah’s words…and to realize that she had just been proposed too. "Y-you mean like…a mar- I mean, a joining?"

Shy sapphire eyes looked away. "If you would prefer not to, I understand completely, but…yes, a joining."

Tears welled suddenly in Dae’s eyes. "I’d love that. Very much."

Zafirah’s grin was pure delight and relief. "Really?"

"Of course!" Stunned, beyond excited, Dae felt her love and desire for this woman double. She sat up, pushing Zafirah down and straddling her belly. "Does this mean I’d be your wife?"

"Y-you would be my consort…and wife, I suppose." Zafirah felt her body rousing fully at the sight of Dae atop her. She could feel the heat of the girl’s sex press into her abdomen. "It would mean a ceremony…and an exchange of vows and tokens. We would as one…unified and unbroken."

"I really like the sound of that." Dae rocked her hips, enjoying the firm muscles pressed against her sensitive core. "How about you give me a taste of what I can expect from our wedding night?"

Zafirah didn’t know the word ‘wedding’, but she had no trouble interpreting the heat in Dae’s eyes. "As you wish, my Tahirah," she grinned, reaching up to guide the motion of the blonde’s hips. "As you wish."

* * *

Outside in the palace halls, screams of joy and words of lust and need echoed through the corridors, the marble walls carrying the sound clearly over long distances. Guards and servants alike paused to exchange amused grins, shaking their heads and marveling at the endurance and enthusiasm of the little foreign blonde, before they went about their business with the kind of selective deafness that comes only after years of practice.


Ahlan: Hello.

Aziza: Beloved.

Chador: An article of women’s clothing.

Haik: A desert head-dress, consisting of a length of cloth wrapped about the head and face.

Katha ath nan: Caress my sex.

Nek ni: Fuck me.

Salaam aleikum: A polite greeting of respect.

Seraglio: ‘The forbidden’; the place designated to the harem.

Shamedan: Candelabra.

Souk: Market

Spahi: Desert cavalry troops


So…that’s that. What do we think, hmm? The lesbian harem story — a much-loved classic, or tired cliché? What’s your opinion? Was the story too long? (Be thankful I didn’t include the orgy scene I had planned for the end, which involved the entire harem!) Too short? (Ah well, all things must come to an end, right?) Too explicit? (Come on, I kept it tasteful) Not explicit enough (Okay, I’m a bit shy).

I aim to improve my writing efforts, and the best way to do that is with feedback. If you could send all questions, comments, and suggestions to me at I would be extremely grateful…and remember, you’re helping me to write better, more enjoyable stories, so you benefit as well, okay? J Please be gentle though. Remember, this was just a writing exercise to get the hang of erotic scenes better. Let me know what I’m doing wrong, and what I’m doing right.

Anyway, on with the next story (which will be a sequel to ‘Freedom’s Heart’)


© 2002

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