& beckett
by Van ©2012 
jane & kate





Rupandra knew the change had happened.  She had begun her second cycle, her second life.  She opened her eyes.

At first, her surroundings were a blur.  Slowly... everything came into crystal sharp focus.

Rupandra knew where she was.  She was home, the Outer Lair of the Red Dragon Clan, a honeycomb of chambers, galleries, and tunnels carved into the depths of the Dragon's Claws, a cluster of jagged peaks of a mountain range in Central Asia.  Specifically, she was in one of the chambers of the Creche, the place where "younglings," adolescents in the early phase of their first cycle, received instruction.

Most of the Outer Lair would be considered quite dark by a normal human.  A few chambers were lit by oil lamps, but most by the dim glow of lanterns containing carefully tended colonies of bio-luminescent fungi.  The Incufumarae have keen night vision and don't require a great deal of light.

This instruction chamber, however, was an exception.  Numerous tall, narrow windows were carved into one wall.  Glazed with thick panes of glass, they provided a panoramic view of the Dragon's Tooth, the neighboring peak that was the Lair of the Red Dragon, the abode of the most senior Elder of the Clan.

Indirect light flooded the roughly circular space, glinting off the ruby eyes of the countless decorative dragons carved into the stone window casings, walls, ceiling, and mosaic floor, as well as the wooden furnishings.  Outside observers might think the fanciful reptilian motif was Chinese in style, but they would be mistaken.  The art of the human kingdoms that came together to form modern China were influenced by the Red Dragons, and not the other way around.

Directly in front of the windows and the curved walls to either side was a wide arc of comfortable chairs and couches.  They were upholstered with red fabrics and the wooden elements were carved with more dragons.  They were reserved for observers and teachers.  Next came a wide expanse of red cushions and pillows scattered on the floor.  They were for students.  Finally, in the center of the chamber was "The Dragons' Nest."

The Nest was a machine of bronze, iron, and steel designed to restrain a single captive.  It could take on a variety of configurations.  Levers could be thrown and dials turned, massive gears would grind, lever arms would extend or retract, chains would turn onto drums, pistons would rise and fall, and steam would vent from relief valves carved in the form of (what else?) fanciful dragons—and the device would lock into a new shape.  The Nest could take many, many forms, each of which restrained its hypothetical captive in a different pose.  It is said the first draft of the Kamasutra was based on the instruction manual for the earliest version of the Nest, but that may be apocryphal.

At the moment, the form was "the Pinned Butterfly," and the butterfly in question was Rupandra, herself.  She was spreadeagled on her back, supported by small cushioned pads under her buttocks, the small of her back, and her shoulders.  Her forearms and lower legs were encased in massive cuffs the equivalent of steel casts.  Yet more dragons, this time in bronze and dark iron, crawled over the outsides of cuffs and other elements of the machine.  The interiors of the cuffs were well-padded and closely followed the contours of the anatomy of Rupandra's limbs, making them at once comfortable and totally inescapable.

Arms spread wide and legs splayed, Rupandra was utterly helpless.  She was also naked, but for long, narrow, red silk cloths draped over her loins and breasts.  Her hair had been braided, intertwined with red ribbons, and coiled into a complex bun.  She couldn't see the details of the elaborate coif, of course, but the hair of a female victim of the Nest was always arranged in this manner, to keep it out of the gears—and that's what Rupandra knew herself to be—a victim of the Nest, and she was here to serve an important purpose.

Younglings need to be taught proper table etiquette.  Without guidance, they can drain the life force from any humans on whom they fed.  It was as much a matter of maturity as manners; but the Clan had long recognized the danger posed if soulless corpses were found littering the landscape.  The local human would invariably rise up in arms and track down and destroy "soul-sucking monsters."   It was folly to simply hope that younglings would learn self-control on their own.  The Creche was the answer.  Under the tutelage of selected Elders, younglings learned to dine on their natural prey without doing harm.

Slaves were "recruited" for the purpose.  Male and female, they were restrained on the machine and a class of younglings, also male and female, would learn to sample their auras.  The Nest would be set in one of its countless configurations and the slave would feed the class, each student taking the equivalent of a light snack under the teacher's attentive gaze, one after the other.  Needless to say, this could be quite taxing for the slave, and most served in this capacity for no more than a few months.

Even more taxing was advanced instruction, in which nearly mature younglings were taught to repeatedly take a slave to the edge of release and then keep them there as they fed.  This was usually one-on-one instruction (one-on-one-on-one if you count the slave) and a single session could last for hours.

Some slaves, the lucky few who demonstrated unusual stamina of body and mind, were chosen for the breeding program, and might become the father or mother of a newborn youngling.   Incufumarae were, in fact, of the same biological species as their prey, and the Elders of the Five Clans understood the dangers of inbreeding.  Clans who had clung to the Pureblood philosophy of ancient times had long since declined and gone extinct.

Rupandra surmised her promised punishment—the judgement of the Elders Irena had warned her about—was to serve as a feeding slave for the Creche or as a brood-mother of the Clan, or both.

She heard the tap, tap, tap of heels on the stone floor—and a silk-robed figure sauntered into view.  Rupandra's eyes popped wide and a startled gasp escaped her lips.  The figure was the Red Dragon, herself!

The Red Dragon was ancient, in fact and appearance.  No one knew how many cycles comprised her long life (or lives), no one but the Archive Elders of the Clan.  Her hair was long and silver-white, but for an auburn forelock.  Her features were beautiful—old and beautiful.  It was a beauty unknown among normal humans.  Her skin was wrinkled, but the delicate creases were symmetrical and were anything but flaws.  Her body was athletic and well-toned, her stature straight and radiated strength and health.  She smiled at Rupandra.  Her incredible, golden-amber eyes danced with good humor—and radiated wisdom—and engendered arousing thoughts.

Rupandra lowered her gaze to the pointing toes of the Red Dragon's black leather thigh boots and the train of her red, gauze-thin robes.  "I am yours in all ways, my Mistress," she said.  It was the required formal greeting, and the literal truth.

"Yes you are, youngster," the Red Dragon chuckled.  "Change often comes with confusion, but leaves with added clarity of thought... or so they tell me."

Rupandra couldn't help but smile.  "So I was taught in the Creche, and so I now know to be true.  I was a fool.  I was a great fool."

"Emphasis on 'great,' youngster," the Red Dragon purred.  "You showed extraordinary promise as a student, and the Council agrees that you show extraordinary promise, still."

Rupandra blushed.  She could think of nothing to say in reply.

"That said," the Red Dragon continued, "great folly required equally great punishment.  You shall serve as first meal and advanced training slave for seven classes of younglings."

Rupandra gasped.  Seven classes?  It would take something like the first quarter of her second cycle for seven classes of younglings to complete their training.

The Red Dragon stepped forward and placed her right index finger on Rupandra's navel—causing the spreadeagled captive to shudder in response.  The lightest touch of so senior an Elder was instantly electric.  "It will be a formidable challenge, but just as your instructors shepherded you through your early years, they shall see you through this trial.  I see a wonderful future before you, Rupandra.  Enduring this punishment will purge your reputation and prepare you for further service to the Clan."

"I... I understand, my Mistress," Rupandra gasped.  Pleasure was rippling through her loins, up her spine, and exploding in her brain—but she dare not cum—she dare not cum before the Red Dragon without permission.  The Red Dragon lifted her hand and Rupandra shuddered in relief—and frustration.

"Do you remember your first feeding?" the Red Dragon inquired.

"Yes, Mistress," Rupandra answered.  "The slave was female, a Polynesian, and she was very beautiful... and delicious."

"Was she gagged?"

Rupandra was confused by the question.  Feeding-slaves were never gagged.  "No, Mistress.  She was not gagged."

"And why is that?"

Rupandra swallowed.  "So she could scream.  So the students and instructor could hear her beg for mercy and monitor her distress."

The Red Dragon nodded.  "A new class of younglings—your first class of younglings, Rupandra—will be here in an hour.  Scream well, youngster."

Rupandra watched as the Red Dragon turned in a swirl of red silk and walked away, her heels tapping the floor, as before.

Rupandra sighed and stared out the windows, gazing at the Dragon's Tooth.  Dazzlingly bright sunlight reflected from the snowfields and stoney crags.  The sky was a brilliant, cerulean blue, with delicate tendrils of snow blowing from the summit like a banner of icy ribbons.

This is going to be bad, Rupandra mused, in an erotic, orgasmic, insufferable way.

rizzoli & beckett


'Bye ladies!
Chapter 13
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