OOC. This is set prior to the previous post, after an odd conversation with Amani, asking her about her future, and what she wants from her life. There are hints in the conversation that Amani is not what she seems, and Zahira has lived in her house long enough to know there is odd things about her.

This is the moment she begins to be reeled in.


Zahira went to the linen loft, to reorganise it, calm, impassive as always as she spoke to the other servants. The senior staff watched her a little unfriendly, as she left her mistress’s audience chamber, but said nothing, and she went about her duties without interference.

Once she was alone, she sat down, and as she folded and organised, her face paled and her heart jumped, the shock and fear of the conversation striking home.

Oh my… what is she? Why is she asking these questions?

She knew without a doubt a change was coming. Something in her told her that her mistress had the power to destroy her without a thought, not just in her power over her, but something else.

She has not aged a day in over 10 years they say….

She is only seen at night….

She is much, much older than she looks…

Somewhere, deep in her bones, she felt fear, like she’d become prey for something a lot more dangerous than a man’s lust.

Until then, I want you to think on what it is you most enjoy about this life, and what you most value

Zahira sits down amid the linen, and contemplates the instruction. Something in that statement…

What do I enjoy in this life? Why did I say no to marriage?

Because it is true what you said – what man would respect a wife and accept her as she was?

My work here… My life here….

What do I most value?

Nothing I’d reveal to anyone….

Hopes and dreams?

To… to have both…. To transcend the limitations of a woman’s life? Or a slaves? I can’t say that…..

What do I tell her??

* * * * *

Zahira listened to Majid speak, asking questions about the things she found out. During their conversation, she watched him, noting the way he looked at her. Her behaviour had changed, she felt more aware that of all the men she’d met, she liked him and respected him the most – perhaps because he accepted who she was, and her skills and did not try to fit her into a gender role.

After she walked away, back to her other duties, Majid watched her go, noting the changes in her. He had tried to reassure her, and knew from her questions she had jumped to the conclusion of their Mistress’s nature. His mind floated back to a private conversation…

You like her, I can see that. She’s worth your time.

It depends on her, it would not be appropriate for me to press a suite upon her.

If you do, or if she does, you have my approval.

Thank you ma’am.

Go gently. She’s only ever seen violence.

* * * * *

Weeks pass, and she watches Majid, as he watches her. A subtle change to their mannerisms with each other becomes slowly apparent, as Zahira comes to realise that there is a man who accepts her as she is, and one she likes and respects.

He notices the change, the awareness, the mannerisms, and nods quietly in satisfaction.

Amani, watching the pair, smiles.

In the days after that fateful conversation, Zahira watched as the other staff were moved from her quarters. That she was ill, only the senior staff told the others. She said nothing, knowing the real reason, and sat curled by a window, slowly adjusting to her state.

She looked the same, but she did not feel the same. Majid, or one of the 3 women, remained within sight of her, and she remained in the house, not venturing outside. It gave her a lot of time to think, remembering the things Lady Amani had said, and ponder her own reactions.

On the first day, the reactions she pondered the most was her physical one – the taste of the blood, the sensation as it took over her body, remaking her into them. The… desire… as it welled into her mouth was something she'd not expected, and now she could see and feel the weight of that loyalty Lady Amani had spoken of.

Majid watched her, pleased, as she watched him. Sometimes, while they were alone, he would ask her how she was, and her eyes would say 'I trust you' and talk a little. The skills were less of a shock than her body's reaction to the taste. She had to watch herself to not move too fast, and it made her slightly clumsy sometimes, as she had to right herself or stop something from being knocked off balance. The cut was easier, although she did notice how ingrained the thought pattern was, that this was no longer a threat. She'd have to watch that later – to not heal without thinking before witnesses – a threat to them all. But above all else, she could not stop thinking about her body's reaction to sucking on her mistress's wrist, and the taste of her.

It did not do for a proper girl to be passionate, but now she was finding the world behind closed doors, was very different to the public face. A lot like her.

That night she went back to Amani's rooms, and closed the door behind her, and bowed as normal. Majid sat outside, and she watched him as he watched her, as she went to the door, and disappeared inside. They spoke further, Zahira curled on a cushion close to Amani, listening, asking questions, and then… the bite, the taste, and her drinking her mistress's blood, her body flushing and firing as it went to work on her.

She was trembling after, her eyes dazed, but it slowed faster this time, as the yoke of servitude slipped a little tighter on her. The mask she displayed to the world slipped a little more, as her love for her mistress strengthened, allowing her to show more of the girl under her impassive exterior.

Amani was pleased. Everything she had seen so far was indicative of what she had expected from this one. She would turn out well.



March 2009

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