She didn’t like to feel jealous of someone or something from his past. It was, after all, years before they met, but…
Sometimes, when he spoke of his youth, and his adventures as a young man throughout the Empire, she wished she could have been with him, to have been part of it. It seemed to her that when he reminisced of his past, he went to a place she could not follow, and that filled her with jealousy. She hated not being in the thick of things. She was so afraid of missing something, of not taking part, of being measured against all his experiences, and found wanting.
She was not used to being found wanting.
He found this charming little trait endearing, and, if truth were told, a bit of food for his ego. To have such a wondrous creature as The Girl (as he thought of her sometimes) jealous on his behalf made him preen a little. During certain evenings, when the city air cooled of its torrid swelter, he would scatter cushions on the Persian carpets and drape the silken portieres across the sconces, and they would drink dark, sweet wine, and he would weave his tales of Constantinople.
He told her of his exploits as a guest of the Sultan, and the forbidden delights he experienced with the denizens of the seraglio. One night, lolling on the cushions, draped in silks and velvets, she brazenly asked, “Which was your favourite? What did she look like?” She pouted a little, wanting to know, yet not wanting to know all at the same time.
He smiled. She was as transparent as spring water, as fresh as snow in the hands of a maiden, and he could no more resist baiting her than he could her ample charms. “I do remember one in particular. A lovely young girl named Nakshidil. She was young and beautiful, with a soft, sweet mouth and pale skin. Her eyes were the colour of violets. She was loved by all.”
He stole a sideways glance at The Girl, who was watching him carefully. “Everyone desired her. She was the Sultan’s favourite. One night, the Sultan told Nakshidil she could have the privilege of granting her favours to any of his guests, and she chose me.”
He sipped his wine to hide the mirth in his eyes. Nakshidil was indeed the name of one of the members of the harem; a base, old crone in charge of the younger women. She was fat and toothless, and told bawdy stories that made his younger self blush.
But he knew the idea of a pale beauty pleasuring him was enough to make The Girl’s blood boil, and so he decided to tease her further. He continued innocently, “Yes, Nakshidil was renowned for one thing. It was her specialty, and she was quite skilled.”
She did not ask, but merely nodded. Lounging on his pillows like a Sultan in his own right, he crooked his finger, beckoning her closer. When her nose all but touched his, he whispered, “On the night the Sultan offered her for my pleasure, she bathed me thoroughly, like a babe. And when she had cleaned and dried my skin with soft silks and perfumed oils, she bade me kneel on the cushions, on my hands and knees, and when she placed her soft hands on me, she spread me wide.” He chuckled darkly, a rich, oily sound that made her feel curiously hot. “And then…”
He waited, watching. Her eyes were wide, her lush lips parted.
“And then?” Her voice was less than a whisper. It was merely the aspiration of consonants, puffing across his face. She was almost trembling.
He smiled, a rich, slow, knowing smile. “And then, my girl, Nakshidil pleasured me with her hand, while she licked my hole with her tongue.” His voice was so low and throbbing, She felt it in her core. He purred, “And I shuddered, helpless with pleasure, and my completion was upon me with such power that I thought I would die of ecstasy.”
She was like a statue; she could not quite remember how to breathe. The thought of doing that to a man… but, to make a man like him helpless with pleasure…
He lay back on the cushions, and drank from his goblet, his rich, slow smile making him look curiously younger in the dim light. She watched the candlelight flicker across the sharp planes of his face and imagined how it would look, helpless with pleasure.
He was watching her carefully. In a brighter tone, he asked, “Would you like to know what happened next, my dear?”
She nodded quickly, before her traitorous heart could change its mind and send her screaming from the room. She knew what happened next. She just knew…
“And then, she had me bathe and prepare her.” He gave her a smile Lucifer in hell would be proud of. “I bade Nakshidil rise on her hands and knees, and I pleasured her with my fingers in her cunt, while I ran my tongue around her tiny little hole until she shuddered and screamed with passion.” As if to illustrate, he slowly licked his lips, a lascivious, rapacious gesture.
Like a startled deer, she suddenly leapt to her feet, and she was gone.
Listening to her footsteps as she scampered down the stairs, he sighed, wistful and rather melancholy. He lay back on his cushions and contemplated the ceiling for a moment. He had frightened her away. Ah, well. Thus was the price for lying.
Oh, it wasn’t strictly a lie. The nameless woman who had offered to perform this act upon him had been a beauty and was very experienced, and he had been a willing neophyte, open to almost every opportunity afforded him in the Sultan’s palace. Almost every opportunity.
But when she had pushed the cheeks of his arse apart and he felt her soft breath puff against his puckered hole, his courage had failed him. He had been so shocked by the taboo of it, the sheer, erotic wrongness of it, that he had quickly turned over and asked to engage in a more… conventional coupling. To his eternal regret, she had never extended the offer again. He had left with the impression that he had somehow insulted the handmaiden; that she’d found him unsophisticated, provincial.
With the benefit of hindsight, he realised he should have allowed her to service him thus. The idea of it had not only lost the power to shock him, but he now found it quite compelling. Perhaps it was just as well that he’d frightened The Girl away with the mention of it. What if he’d actually extended the request, and had to face the humiliation of seeing the revulsion in her face as she refused? No. Better to test the waters and find them too tepid, than to have your stones chilled in haste.
He took another sip of wine as he heard the sound on the landing, the quick patter of footsteps. To his surprise, she burst into the room again. She was wild-eyed and winded from her gallop up the stairs. In her hand was a basin filled with steaming water. A clean cloth was draped over her arm.
She crossed the room and knelt beside him, setting the basin on the floor. With her head held high, she said imperiously, “And did this Nakshidil undress you first, as well?”