The third book in the widely acclaimed Maiden Series by Aishing Morgan.
This is fantasy, a genre that has long been developing from the romantic myths and which many readers will instantly recognise. Such tales have always had an underlying erotic power, yet in Maiden this is given full, uninhibited rein.
Described as a filthy Gothic fantasy, Aishling Morgan again demonstrates that erotica can be something better than tab A fits into slot B. Morgan writes the fantastic - but the bulk of erotica is about the fantastic, about sex and lots of it in the strangest and most unexpected situations. Morgan creates a fantasy world of slaves and gladiators and sexual domination. Pure escapism - switch off for a few hours and enjoy your sex tongue in cheek.
Author Notes: The world of Maiden is not ours, neither in terms of physical characteristics nor of culture. Elethrine, her friends and antagonists know nothing of commuting, office politics or supermarkets. Instead they inhabit a world of beautiful girls, stalwart men and strange half-men.
‘He has her now, surely.’
Cianna’s hand tightened on her necklace at the words, her excitement rising steeply. In front of her, one of the two men who had been fighting for some half-an-hour had the other on the ground, pinning him face down. Beyond them, a red haired girl stood on a dais, clutching nervously at her dress.
The man beneath made one last effort to rise, then slumped down, defeated. Cianna clapped as the victor rose, unsteadily, and raised his hands to the crowd. The girl on the dais hung her head, watching from beneath half lowered eyelids as the victor walked towards her. He was massively built, powerful, with a great mane of copper red hair and huge hands. As he approached, the girl braced herself, then kicked out at him, only to have her leg caught one handed. The man pulled, setting her down on her bottom with a thump and drawing laughter from the audience. Catching the girl up from the dais, he slung her across his shoulder, to carry her kicking to where the defeated man lay.
Cianna found herself smiling as the girl was thrown down across the man on the ground and her skirts tossed up to reveal a full white bottom. Putting his hand to his codpiece, the victor pulled it aside, exposing heavy genitals in a nest of coarse red hair. He began to masturbate, tugging at his cock with his eyes fixed on the naked bottom in front of him. After a while he stopped, to reach down and tear the girl’s bodice wide, spilling out heavy pink breasts, which he fondled as he sank to his knees, his cock now erect in his hand. The girl was mounted, from the rear, her bottom humped up over the defeated man’s hip.
The girl began to pant as she was fucked, her buttocks bouncing to the man’s thrusts, her big breasts swinging and slapping beneath her chest. With her eyes glued to the sight, Cianna pressed her skirts to her sex, suddenly uncomfortable, then glanced back to see if her action had been noticed. It had not, the whole audience as rapt as she. There was her mistress, Sulitea, large eyes moist as she twisted a pale curl around a finger. There was the Princess Talithea, struggling to appear poised but with both shock and excitement showing in her face. There was Prince Kavisterion himself, openly pleased. There was the Reeveling Aeisla, taller than any other woman there, making no effort to conceal her delight in the girl’s ravishment. Others stretched away on both sides, people unknown to Cianna.
The man was getting urgent, his face red, his fingers dug deep into the soft flesh of the girl’s hips, his front slamming again and again against the plump meat of her bottom. Her control had gone, squealing and moaning as she was fucked, with her fat breasts in her hands and her bottom pushed high to meet his thrusts. Again Cianna sneaked a hand to her crotch, wondering if she dared rub herself through her skirt, to bring herself to the orgasm she so badly needed. It would have taken moments, and she was going to do it, only for the man to grunt, whip his penis from the girl’s sex and spray sperm across her buttocks and back. Immediately clapping rose on all sides, along with the thumping of tankards on the wooden benching and calls of congratulation.
‘A fine ravishment!’ the Prince declared. ‘Ho, Rath, here’s another five thalar piece for the purse, and Groy, a single. Well fought!’
The victor caught the coin as it was thrown to him, the defeated man pulling himself painfully to his elbow to take his own. The girl had risen, and was straightening her skirts, red faced with embarrassment but smiling, only for the look to turn to annoyance as she discovered that her bodice was ruined, the material torn clean across. The Prince laughed, tossing out another coin.
‘And another for a new dress, Sian, if you’ll leave those fine titties out for now.’
Immediately the girl’s face lit up again. Catching the coin, she curtsied to the Prince, then walked back to the stands, still with her breasts bare.
‘Absolutely barbaric!’ Talithea remarked.
‘Nonsense, she is only a peasant girl,’ the Prince answered. ‘So, what now?’
‘A recitation of the saga of Thane Etharion,’ Talithea said.
‘Excellent!’ he declared. ‘Boy, more mead, and fill my Princess’ goblet, the others also.’
‘I do think she might have put up a little more fight,’ Aeisla remarked. ‘A few feeble kicks hardly make for a spectacle.’
‘Undignified, also,’ Sulitea agreed, ‘even for a peasant. Prince Kavisterion, put Aeisla up on the dais, with a purse of a hundred thalars. See how your men do then!’
‘A fine spectacle, no doubt,’ the Prince answered, ‘yet she is a Reeveling, above such public exposure. Now be quiet, here is the minstrel.’
A lank, fox-faced man with golden red hair cut short had stepped to the dais and was unrolling a scroll of charta. Silence fell on the audience as he cleared his throat, then began to read, a tale of heroics that Cianna had heard many times before. Her attention quickly wandered, across the valley from where a field had been prepared for the festivities, to the dark bulk of Ateron keep on its conical hill, with the houses of the town below and the grey sea beyond.
The keep was larger than any she had seen, a cluster of high towers set behind crenellated walls, all in black stone. No less impressive was the town, with rank upon rank of houses rising up the hillside, many of them larger than the Thane’s hall in her village. Yet both were familiar enough, if grander than she was used to, and it was to the sea that her eyes were drawn, a great sheet of rippling grey, with waves breaking on a distant headland to the east. The lakes of her homeland in central Aegmund were tiny by comparison, and to the north and west it seemed to stretch forever, fading into grey where a bank of heavy clouds marked the horizon.
For a space she watched the waves break, awed by the sheer scale of what she could see. To the north and east she knew there was a long rugged coast and finally a great sheet of ice. East, she could see the Spine Mountains, beyond which she knew was the kingdom of Mund, from which Talithea came. That had always seemed a place of fable and riches, with odd customs and peculiar sensibilities. Yet Talithea, Sulitea and Aeisla also had been further still, beyond the sea that separated Kora from the southern continents, to places stranger yet, a fact which invested all three of them with an air of mystery and glamour.
Turning, she stole a glance at Aeisla, so tall, copper haired, heavy chested, lean, her body sleek yet muscular, listening to the minstrel with a faraway look in her eyes. Beside Aeisla, Sulitea looked small and ordinary, save for the pale blonde hair so typical of the high-born. Yet as a witch it was Sulitea who drew the cautious, respectful looks, a fact which made Cianna swell with pride to be her maid.
The minstrel finished the saga, leading to a fresh round of applause and crashing of tankards on wood. Sulitea reached down, to tousle Cianna’s hair, then moved her legs. Cianna adjusted herself, leaning into Sulitea’s skirts.
‘Is there any gossip?’ Sulitea asked. ‘We hear nothing in Boreal.’
‘Why you insist in living there is beyond me,’ Talithea replied. ‘You could hardly be more remote if you had gone to the edge of the ice cap.’
‘This is simple. In Boreal I have respect, both as a witch and as a High-Demoiselle. Few know of my disgrace, and in any case it carries little sting. Even here in Ateron there are strange glances and whispering; there, none. The people are savage, superstitious also. Look at little Cianna here, who is as faithful as a puppy, and a deal more obedient, for all that she files her fangs and wears a necklace of her ancestor’s teeth.’
Again Sulitea reached down to tousle Cianna’s hair. Cianna looked up with a smile. Talithea shrugged and turned to allow her goblet to be filled with mead before speaking again.
‘There is news of interest, as it is, from Thieron itself. In the autumn my brother came up to hunt. Do you recall the magic powder used in bombards?’
‘Well it seems that the Glass Coast has gained the secret of its making. Long boats seeking to raid up the Rai estuary were met with great iron balls, hurled across the sea. Now nothing will do for Father than we have the secret ourselves.’
‘Yes. Father planned an expedition, wonderfully bold. The men of three long boats came in to a lonely beach at night and overran a small fortress from the landward, taking both powder and bombards. Sadly the effort was wasted.’
‘How so?’ Aeisla asked.
‘We have the powder, but we do not know what it is. Nor did the men in the fort. It seems the secret is known only to a handful.’
‘And none were able to fathom it?’
‘Men! Idiots!’ Sulitea broke in sharply.
‘Not so!’ Talithea replied. ‘It was a brave move, and all they could do. Have more respect for my father, who is still your King, for all you plant yourself in the wilds of Aegmund.’
‘An idiot,’ Sulitea insisted, ‘and do not forget that he is my uncle as well as you father. He is brave yes, but like all men he blusters and shouts, swinging his axe and cursing his enemies, only to fail when anything arises which requires so much as a moment of thought.’
‘And you could do better, I presume?’ Talithea retorted hotly.
‘Certainly,’ Sulitea answered her. ‘It is a simple matter of process. Utharion is going about it quite the wrong way. The men of the Glass Coast have only just gained the secret, and furthermore, they face us across the sea. Naturally they will take every precaution to stop us gaining it in turn. Better to go further afield, where the knowledge is more commonplace and our enmity is of no consequence.’
‘Raid a thousand leagues or more to the south?’ Talithea snapped. ‘Now who is the idiot?’
‘You think like your father,’ Sulitea answered. ‘Violence is not always the answer. What I would do is simply to arrive at some suitable place and find a man with the appropriate knowledge. I would flatter him, praising his skill and valour, bed him perhaps, and in due course ask in an awed little voice how the black powder is made. Eager to boast, he would answer me, and the precious secret would come tumbling out. Simple.’
‘Mere talk,’ Talithea replied, ‘and you are a dishonourable slut besides. Bedding men to gain their secrets! I am ashamed to call you cousin!’
‘It is not mere talk!’ Sulitea snapped. ‘I could do it.’
‘Mere talk,’ Talithea sniffed.
‘I shall do it,’ Sulitea answered, ‘and with ease. Indeed, it will be little more than a pleasure jaunt.’