The call of challenge echoed through the empty foyer as Magdalena stopped at the foot of the grand staircase. There was no response; the mansion stayed as quiet as the grave. Had she not tracked the sorceress to its front gates, she would have believed it an abandoned estate; and were it not for the dim and ghostly flicker of the candle sconces atop the stairs, she would have believed it uninhabited still.
“Lucita! Show yourself!”
A flicker of wind curled across the upper level, carrying on it a breath of laughter. The flames of the candles shivered in answer, and the hair at the nape of her neck prickled. A leather-gloved hand came to rest upon the red oak banister, and her boot took the first step. Her other hand tightened around the hilt of her blade. She cursed herself for wearing her cloak. It tugged and fluttered weakly as she moved: a whisper of movement that nagged at the edge of her vision. She should have borne the cold without it, discomfort be damned.
The hunter’s steps carried her up the stairs; her brown eyes scanned the barely-lit walls for any hint of life. Once at the top landing, Magdalena paused and glanced to both sides. Equally dark and empty hallways split off left and right, leading deeper into the mansion.
‘Right is right’ was an old hunter’s adage, but witchcraft lay on the sinister path. Left, then. Save that Lucita doubtlessly knew that her hunter would reason thus, so perhaps right after all? The redhead looked down both ways again before nodding her head with silent decision. Left, because it would delight the witch to no end that a servant of righteousness should walk the devil’s path.
The whisper of her name against her ear, spoken by lips unseen, told her she had chosen correctly.
Rows of doors lined the hall, most of them agape and exposing the silent rooms beyond. The huntress paused by each one, cautiously peering within. The rooms themselves were black as night; wavering candles cast dim orange light in pools along the corridor between them. She paused before a door, larger than the rest, that stood firmly closed. Her eyes dropped to the ornate latch handle. Brass — not silver nor iron. Safe for a sorceress’ hands to touch. And why was this one closed?
She lay her fingertips against the metal and pressed it down. With a faint click it disengaged, and the door creaked in faint protest of her intrusion.
The ghost-call slid like cold silk across her nape once more, and huntress caught her breath. A tinkling laughter echoed in the darkness, and in the corner of the room stood a luminescent silver-white figure.
The door swung shut and clapped closed with a sound of thunder; even expecting it, Magdalena flinched. Her hand clenched tight around the hilt of her blade, and her tongue wet her lips.
“Lena, Lena, Lena…” This time the words were spoken with a true voice, and the glow around the apparition faded as it — she — stepped forth. The woman was pale beyond measure, with skin like snow and hair the hue of winter sunshine, tinged with the faintest gold. The dress she wore was barely more than a simple cotton nightshift that hugged her slender form, and it, too, was ivory-white. The witch strode towards her more colorful counterpart, watching her with ice-blue, intelligent eyes. “You’re trembling.”
She was. In her time as a hunter, Magdalena had laid nearly a dozen devotees of the dark arts to rest, by blade, by flame, or by drowning. Her reputation far outstripped the redhead’s young years. It had brought her to England to begin with, when the bishop of Cumbria had made pilgrimage to the Emerald Isle to seek her aid. Lucita Harper, though, was different. Lucita Harper, the White Witch, the Bitch of Bassenthwaite, had made the hunter into prey.
“Still insisting on that silly sword, I see,” the sorceress cooed as she drew within arm’s reach. “How many times must we do this dance before you learn new steps?”
Behind her, along the wall, the dormant candles flickered with the ember of promise before blazing to life. Protective glass shielded nearby tapestries from the flame, and the opulence of the bedroom was at last visible. Red carpet, woven with black diamond pattern, covered the floor; gold-and-brown brocade in elaborate florals papered the walls. The room was dominated by a four post bed above whose headboard a crucifix stood guard; the quilted coverlet was a rich and deep brown, while overhead the canopy was hung with crimson satin edged with black fringe.
It was that crimson curtain of cloth that obeyed the witch’s power, detached itself from the overhead frame, and began to wind down the bedpost like a serpent.
Magdalena lifted her steel against the woman’s advance. “Is that all this is to you: a dance? A night’s scripted and rote entertainment?”
“Entertainment, yes.” Lucita only halted once the tip of the backsword pressed into the cotton between her breasts. Her head tilted to the side, and her long platinum hair spilled down her shoulder. “Rote, never. You are nothing if not exciting, Lena. You are my very favorite whore.”
She sucked in a breath, blush coming to her lightly freckled cheeks. Her grip on the blade shivered. “Don’t say that. I won’t listen.”
The witch’s gaze never wavered, and her confidence was a palpable force. Just over her shoulder, the rustle of satin grew louder as the long bolt of expensive fabric finished its descent down the post and now wound its way to the floor. Out of sight, it crawled towards booted feet.
“Oh, but you will. Lena, Magdalena, holy whore of the church. Nothing if not loyal to your namesake, are you?” The milk-white woman pressed her chest forward against the blade. “How many times have the bishops lain their holy flesh upon your tongue?”
“You are wed to the Devil! Every word you speak is a lie!” The more firmly Lucita pushed against her weapon, the more Lena was forced to withdraw it. She was no unblooded youth, but Lucita was different. Lucita had always been different. “Why do you do this? Why will you not just repent of your sins?”
“Why do I keep torturing you, you mean?” she asked, those primrose lips curving in a faint smile. “Why do I let you find me, time after time? Why do I summon you?”
Lucita’s hand lifted, and warm fingertips curled around the hilt of the blade, and the grasp of the huntress who held it. A breath passed, then another; with gentle pressure, Lucita guided the weapon away. Magdalena gave only token resistance, and the redhead’s brown eyes widened as the canopy cloth curled around her calf. The witch’s smile widened.
“Put it down, muirnīn,” she whispered. “I’ll leave marks enough to convince them you fought.”
Lena shivered. Lucita’s touch sent goosebumps racing up her forearms and weakened her fingers. The blade sagged in her grasp. Memories of the last time she’d hunted the witch sprang to the fore. Only sorcery could explain how Magdalena had lowered her guard that time, and the time before. It was witchcraft, diabolatry, that made her breath suddenly so hard to draw, her pulse quicken, and reddened her cheeks with shame.
Steel clattered to the floor. Long, pale fingers intertwined with the witch-hunter’s own, sliding between them in mirror of the bewitched canopy that now snaked between her thighs, curled over her hip, and encircled her waist. Now that the blade posed no threat, Lucita pressed in close.
“Heo’a, entaho’a, e isei. Hansanoja.”
They were no language Magdalena recognized; no language humans spoke, she was sure. But as Lucita’s pale pink lips whispered arcane words, she recognized the effect. The women’s shadows stretched across the floor, dark against dark in the flickering candle light; each syllable defined and steadied their outlines. The darkness crawled — crawled! on hands and knees — across the carpet, and stretched upright against the wall where Magdalena stood. One of the shadows took her wrist from Lucita’s grasp and held her fast despite the lack of substance. Lena gasped and tried to pull away, only to have the shadow yank her hand back to the wall. The second shadow did the same on her other side, and Lena felt a strange mix of fear and arousal start to build.
“Sssh.” Lucita’s lips brushed her ear. Her fingertips trailed over a warm, freckled cheek and then slid down over the curve of Lena’s throat and along the collar of her simple cotton shirt. “They won’t hurt you.”
Her hand drifted lower. The huntress’s leather bodice protected her stomach, but its form stopped just under her breasts. It pressed them up into easy reach and beautifully framed them. Lucita squeezed; Magdalena sucked in a breath. The witch’s lips traced a feather-light line along the woman’s chin.
“You can tell the bishops I forced you,” she murmured as she plucked at the laces. They came free with ease under her fingers. Once the cord was free, she drew it from the eyelets and dropped it to the floor. The bodice followed, and her hand caressed the now unprotected plane of Magdalena’s stomach, pulling the chemise free of her breeches. Her hand slipped beneath the cotton, and the tip of her tongue painted warm heat on the corner of Lena’s mouth.
Lena’s stomach drew taut; she sucked in a breath between parted lips. Lucita’s skin smelled of faint lavender; her breath tasted like spiced cloves. The redhead pulled at her wrists again; the shadows held her fast. The visceral feeling of helplessness sent a spike of heat through her core, and when Lucita’s mouth claimed a more forceful kiss, all she could do was moan.
The witch pulled back with a tilted, knowing smile, just far enough to search her rival’s dark eyes with her own too-pale blue. Her hand unlaced Lena’s breeches and slipped beneath the softened leather.
“They wo–won’t believe me,” Magdalena managed. “Not that you b-bested me thrice.”
“We’ll have to be convincing, then,” Lucita murmured. Her long fingers delved down past soft curls and met the first hints of slick nectar. Lena writhed in response, arms trapped to either side of her head. The whimper of ‘protest’ sounded suspiciously like arousal, and Lucita pressed tight, body to body. The tips of her fingers splayed over hidden flesh and rubbed over the folds of Lena’s sex. “Shall we tell them I summoned demons to hold you, and then lashed your back to blood?”
Again Lena twisted in the shadows’ grasps. Traitorous shivers raced down her spine and sparked flames of unnatural want. The scarlet canopy silk had continued its slow ascent up her body, winding around her like the serpent of Eden, and its cool caress now encircled her throat.
“No?” Lucita nipped at the hunter’s lower lip. Lena’s sticky-slick honey clung to her nether curls now. Each slow, commanding stroke spread it over Lucita’s finger, and from the woman’s entrance to the buried jewel at the top of her slit. “Perhaps I bound you with bewitched cloth, and watched as the demons made you their whore.”
To either side, the shadows hissed with sibilant laughter. They could; Lena knew they could. Should Lucita command them to — command her to — there would be no way to resist. The image leapt to mind as vivid as life itself: her own naked body sprawled spread-eagle on the bed; a black amorphous figure, vaguely human, deep between pale thighs. She could imagine its chill touch on top of her and the lightness of its not-being. The member it would use to violate her, though, would feel oh so real. Her sex tightened and squeezed… not in fear but in anticipation.
The sorceress chuckled, low and soft. Her fingers toyed through wet, familiar folds, and each time they pressed over Magdalena’s clit the redhead’s body jerked in response. She seized Lena’s lips again as she pushed two fingers deep inside. They sank into hot velvet depths, and both women shared a quiet moan of satisfaction.
The black-fringed cloth made its final loop and tied itself into a living blindfold across brown Irish eyes. Its tail wrapped around her neck like a noose, and with a single word of command from its mistress, it knotted itself there. Blind and collared, Lena struggled to breathe. The cloth lay light against her windpipe, but now robbed of her arms and her sight, the delicate fabric across her throat was impossible to ignore. It made her feel all the more helpless to know she drew breath only by Lucita’s mercy — and it stoked the ember of anticipation for whatever might come next.
“Don’t worry, pretty,” Lucita breathed the words against Lena’s open lips as her fingers began a quick, fevered tempo. “I want you. Did I not, you’d not have lived past the first night we met.”
The memory was dim under the assault of sensation. Magdalena recalled her blade brought to bear, and Lucita’s ghostly face wreathed under the hood of a long blue cloak. There had been no magic, no threat. Just a crooked smile and the memory of pale pink lips and winter sky eyes, which had haunted Lena’s thoughts for months afterwards, and made her seek out any rumor of Cumbria’s White Witch.
Now here she was, Magdalena of Eire, Huntress of the Emerald Isle, famed for the blasphemers who died on her sword…. impaled on the fingers of one of Satan’s brides, for the third time in her life. With all the prayers of the Gospel at her disposal, all she could think of was how wonderfully it ached with Lucita’s fingers pumping deep inside of her, and all she could pray was that after the third time, there would come a fourth.
“Nothing will happen that I don’t will,” the sorceress promised. “Whatever comes to pass, you’ll be in my hands.”
And she believed her. With God as her witness, Lena believed — and at that moment, ‘God’ barely registered. All she could feel were the shadow-steel hands that held her helpless, the woman pressed against her chest, and how sex-sodden fingers dove in and out of her. Her hips bucked and twisted, not to escape the torment but to welcome even more.
Something cool to the touch and feather-light wrapped around one ankle, then another. The same impossibly ethereal touch that held her hands now took hold of her legs. She drew in a sharp breath; it rushed out again in a lascivious moan. The ghostly rattle of hushed laughter met her ears even over the wet sounds of sex, and she felt Lucita’s lips smile against her throat. A kiss of pain followed as the witch nipped against skin. Something pulled — yanked! — at her cotton blouse, and after two such assaults the fabric gave way. A hand gripped her bare breast and squeezed; Lena couldn’t tell whether it was human or demon.
“Please,” she begged, turning her face towards where she thought Lucita to be. A mouth met hers, and Lena arched into the kiss. Were the lips touched with shade, or did her own heat make everything feel cool in comparison? Her clit throbbed and her pussy clenched tight with each thrust between her thighs. She could no longer tell how many hands held her, nor what was skin and what was shadow.
“Do you want this?” Lucita’s voice asked, once the kiss broke.
“Yes! Please! You torture me!”
“Will you be mine?”
“Swear it,” she hissed.
“I swear it!” Magdalena cried, pulling as hard as she could against the demonic restraint. Her muscles drew taut; her hands rose less than a palm’s breadth before she was deliciously pinned once again. “I am yours!”
The fevered thrusting stopped, and now Lucita’s skillful fingers focused on the redhead’s engorged, sensitive clit. The friction and pressure with each circle around the hidden pearl made Lena’s body jerk and quiver in response. Her breath came in rapid pants that flushed her skin with rose-red blush.
“Mine in body and mind and soul–”
“–every moonless night–”
“–to serve me and sate me in every way.”
“Yeeessssss!” The shadows’ grip around her legs tightened as Lena’s cries of agreement reached the fevered pitch of screams. The oath of devotion echoed through the mansion, carried on the strength of her climax. She shuddered and stuttered through the crest, her juices dripping down the inside of her thigh. Lucita crushed their bodies together and muffled her with a fierce kiss that quelled her to a reverberating moan.
Roiling waves of sensation pulsed through her, each peak just lower than the last. Eventually they ebbed away into gentle swells of pleasure, and Lena’s body sagged against the wall. The shadows’ four-point hold on her extremities kept her upright, and Lucita’s serpentine embrace was accompanied with a warm, satisfied murmur.
“That was beautiful, Lena. Exquisite. Thank you for saying yes.”
Lena nodded, still robbed of sight and giddy with contentment. “Temptress,” she accused, without venom or strength.
“Oh, yes. But your temptress. And you, Magdalena, are mine.”
Mine in body and mind and soul….
Lena’s still-pounding heart skipped a beat. Had she signed herself away in trade for fleshly joy?
“Hetam isana atei,” Lucita whispered against her lips.
The shadows to either side whispered in sibilant affirmation, and Lena felt their supernatural strength begin to slide her legs apart. One of Lucita’s hands was curled, she thought, in the waves of rich red hair; the second, she was sure, cupped and massaged her breast, toying with a taut and dusky nipple. It was neither of those that brushed against her still-sopping sex.
“Nothing that isn’t my will.” The sorceress echoed her promise from earlier with a soft kiss to the corner of Lena’s mouth. “They’ve earned their reward… and so have you.”
Something long, cool, and languid trailed from her collarbone to her cheek. The faint, unintelligible gibbering of the shadows pressed in close. When Lucita’s lips pulled away, something else replaced them, and Lena felt an unseen tendril slip inside her mouth. She whimpered and tried to keep breathing as it slid towards the back of her throat. A second appendage eased between the glistening folds of her sex.
“It will only hurt a little bit.”
Oh, how thou art fallen! The Biblical words sprang to Lena’s mind unbidden. A lament for Lucifer, once God’s most loyal servant, tumbled far from Grace. What would they say of the famed hunter, when they learned of her carnal congress with the witch? What would the bishops think, to see her tied, blindfolded, and weak with want?
As the shadows’ members slowly filled her, Magdalena found she didn’t care.
Last, but certainly not least: a very HUGE thank you my Muses, JV and Helen. May I inspire you like you inspire me <3