She, a woman of profound reputation and dark machinations. She of raven hair and porcelain skin. She of sensuous beauty who with the flicker of her eyelashes and the lure of her legs can consume the very will of a meagre man and drive him to madness as his mind fills with lustful desire. For this night though she stares at him from afar, the man in dark leather and a black coat of lined fur. He who lingers only to procure a drink from the barman before disappearing once more. Why does he hide from the eyes of this tavern she asks herself? Ultimately though, it is a fleeting thought. She does not care why for it is the glisten of the coins shining in his hand as he pays for his ale that she wants. And she will have them, by any means necessary.
He steps away from the counter with his drink and climbs the grimy stairs to his private room on the floor above. She follows slowly, confidently from the shadows of her den of dim candlelight, warm pillows and scented oils with a wicked, knowing smile until she comes to his door closed shut. He wants no intrusion and he has made this very clear to the establishment owner with a significant payment of 50 crowns to ensure his is not disturbed as he rests behind lock and key. She knows it is his room because she has been watching him for days now, learning him and she cares little for his privacy. How dare this dark stranger think that her wishes should come second to the whims of anything or anyone else.
The stranger with the pale face, dressed in black garb has spent the last five nights alone in his room without a single bit of company. He is not the bloated city guard she climbed on top of last night for 40 crowns and a silk scarf woven for a noblewoman in Covenraen yet was somehow sold to him by a trader in Daggeron. He is neither one of the young couple celebrating their recent bonding before the altar of Samaia. This seductress will test their resolve the next morning by lying in wait to lay claim to the body of the naive boy lost to love with her experienced and enticing thrall whilst his new bride is away at the marketplace. No, this mysterious man is alone and she will have him as she turns the spare key she ‘acquired’ from the tavern owner some time ago. She will fuck him dry and take him for all he is worth.
The thick wooden door creaks open as she walks deliberately through the door into his room where he sits alone with his ale, his face alight from the glimmer of the candle causing his eyes to shine an odd gleam, as if they were gems pressed into solid shadow. As she saunters over toward his direction, confident of her ample features and sultry charms, she notices that his bed is still perfectly tended and lined with a thin layer of dust as she runs her finger over the sheets. It is clear that no one has used it for days. Her eyes are fixed on him, her lips pursed, she intends to make good use of this all too familiar cradle of lust this very night. The stranger stares back at her, unperturbed by her presence, yet offers no expression for her to read. Odd, every other man that walks into her den is usually rock hard by the time they’ve had but a few seconds to gaze at her though this will not alter her plans.
Without hesitation she climbs slowly onto his lap, intentionally placing her chest close to his face as she does so there can be no doubting her intentions. Leaning into his ear she whispers.
‘I want you stranger.’
A moment passes. He says nothing. She leans in again to the other ear, only closer so he can feel her warm breath on him.
‘I’ve been watching you and I want you inside me – now!’
She removes her thinly veiled garment revealing her breasts entirely and leans back so he can have the ‘pleasure’ of browsing what she is offering to him. Leaning in a third time she places her hand gently upon his cheek and strokes his skin down to the nape of his neck, pretending to stimulate him further but she is actually looking for any pendants or necklaces of worth that she can take from him later after she has bedded him.
‘Well, shall we?’ she asks softly with her eyes peering over toward the bed.
His answer stuns her.
‘What do you mean no?’
‘I am not interested.’
‘Oh, is that it?’ she claims confidently.
She furls her dark hair up with her fingers and twists her legs around so that her backside is pressed firmly into his crotch.
‘So you like men do you? Well, if you want I can tie my hair up and you can put it into my arse. I’ll squeeze it nice and tight for you.’
‘I have no interest in men and I am not interested in you, nor have I given you any reason to believe that I would be.’
Reason? What reason does she need? To her, all men are the same. Willing prey for her to sate her desires ever since she was disavowed from the Maidens of Lucretia, an honourable group of courtesans, for being far too aggressive in her need to fulfil her yearnings. To her they are mere opportunities in the form of flesh so she may have who she wants and take what she wishes.
‘Now leave’ he demands.
She stands up and wraps her arms around her breasts to cover her unexpected sense of shame, a feeling she is not accustomed to in the slightest but she will not relent. With a look of lithe determination, she takes off the remainder of her thin laced clothing in one last attempt to change his mind as it drapes onto the floor to reveal her completely naked body.
Another moment passes in which she continues her sensual flirtation as she slowly turns around to exhibit everything she has to offer. Yet his gaze wanders and he still does not care. The strangers’ eyes are fixed on the floorboards as he takes another sip of his ale.
‘What is wrong with you?’ she exclaims almost frantically.
She cannot fathom why this man, or any other, would ever refuse her the chance to get close.
‘Do you even have anything between your legs anymore?’
‘I asked you to leave, whore. You have nothing that I want. You are nothing to me and I will not ask again.’
Wrath fills her mind as she reaches for a concealed dagger she keeps in her left leather boot. Humiliated by the rejection she plunges the blade into his chest with a furious shriek. She has killed before and will have no remorse about doing it again, after all she can just shag her way out of trouble like she has done so many times in the past.
‘Fucking peasant!’ she says to herself feeling vindicated by her claim on his life as she stares at him motionless in his chair.
She’s not done with him though; she still wants his coins. Reaching into his coat she is shocked when his cold hand suddenly grasps hers. Her wide eyes look down and there is no blood coming from his wound. With his other hand he pulls out the dagger and holds it aside. Within seconds a small haze of black smoke consumes the blade and turns it into ashes leaving only the jewelled hilt remaining as the embers of what was once the sharp steel fall onto the floor. She has heard of the power of shadowmancy before, dark magiks born from an ancient time, but never has she seen it with her own eyes.
He releases his grip on her hand and allows her to go free but not without issuing a warning that will stay with her to her last day.
‘Look upon my eyes and learn them well. If you happen to see them but one more time, they will be the last sight you will ever see in this world.’
She leaves without her clothing or any of the possessions she has claimed over the years and escapes through a concealed back door that leads into the dark alleys sheltered by the cloud coated, dimly lit night sky. For the remainder of her long, lonely years she would never look into the eyes of another man ever again.