Chronicles of Raan
Author:Tara Crescent
    Three BDSM Fantasy Novellas


    Chapter 1: The Fork in the Road


    Salif watched the boy play, his hands moving faster and faster on the drums. It was a consummate show of skill, but there was an unearned arrogance to it. “Ah, young pup…” Salif thought, cynically. “Let’s see where you are in five years…” He exchanged a wry look with his friend Ibo D’Souza, who played the guitar in the band. Salif and Ibo were the grizzled veterans of the group. The others were young and innocent and dreamed of success. Salif and Ibo knew better. They loved the music, of course, but they cherished no illusions about the industry. The hours were long, the work was hard and the odds of success were not good.

    The drum solo tapered down, slowed, and now, the rest of the orchestra joined, in a crescendo of sound. Salif’s palms stroked the djembe, his hands moving with the ease born of long hours of practise. His voice rose as he launched into song, filling the room with music. He could see the audience sway in response.

    The sheet of lyrics in front of him lay forgotten. As the music filled him, the words appeared in his head, and Salif sang, gathering in the energy of everyone in the room, shaping it into sound, and releasing it back into the wild as a gift to the universe. He was only a conduit, the melody shuddering through him; his eyes closed, his hands clenched, as his voice rose, higher and higher, the trumpets blaring behind him; the young pup on the drums moving his hands faster, faster, the heads swaying, the feet stomping, the guitars strumming – it all rose to a fever pitch of song. Salif could feel the mad energy dance through his body, his dreadlocks flying everywhere, and he paused to give thanks and praise, as he had been taught, to the glory of it all.

    Magic everywhere.

    And then, it was done. The audience burst into applause. The young pup was saying some smooth words of thanks, and then, they were finished for the evening.

    Most of the girls were clustered around the boy. He was the star of the night; it was his CD release party. But there were girls to spare for Salif if he’d been so inclined, girls who found his greying beard and his dreadlocks attractive, who would boast to their friends about the musician who had bedded them.

    Any other night, Salif would have been tempted. But tonight, the music still echoed in his heart, the ancient magic still flowed through him, and he wanted no part of the shallowness of the women who gathered around him, giggling. He murmured his excuses, left, and a short walk later, was at the door to his shabby motel room.

    Can you tell that you are at a fork in the road of life? When you approach it, do you know?

    The young woman was kneeling just inside the door. She wore the smallest flutters of fabric, a scrap of fabric accentuating her breasts, another covering her pussy, hinting at the pleasures underneath. Her hair was a mass of brown curls, cascading down her shoulders, reaching almost to her waist. Her skin was the perfect smooth shade of walnut; her eyebrows arched; her face, delicate and beautiful.

    The moonlight through the opened doorway shone on her bowed face. Salif closed his eyes in silent despair as he caught a glimpse of her face. The distinctive tattoos on her forehead showed that his deepest fear of so many years had come true.

    She was a pleasure slave of Argentia, and her presence there meant his days of running were numbered.

    “Speak.” His voice was harsh. Already, Salif, the grizzled musician who made his living by playing the djembe for anyone who would hire him was receding. His voice was cold, icy. There was absolute authority in his voice. After many years in exile, a hidden side of him was rising to the fore. The voice in his head was exultant.

    I am Salif Al-Hasn. I am the Mage Prince of Argentia.

    The girl’s voice was soft and musical, as Salif had known it would be. Pleasure slaves were carefully chosen, well trained. This one had the tattoo of the three stars and crescent; a mark awarded to a pleasure slave who had achieved every honour available to one of her class.

    “My lord prince.” She kept her gaze on the floor. Pleasure slaves were not typically permitted to make eye contact with their masters. The training was long and severe. This one would not make such an elementary mistake.

    “I am a gift for my lord prince, and I bear a message from your father, the King. The King commands you to return to Argentia.”

    “The King can go fuck himself,” Salif thought savagely. Salif loathed his father. He’d run away from Argentia when he was twenty-five, and he’d been running for the last fifteen years, seeking refuge in the most unlikely of worlds, surrounding himself with anonymity, hiding in a sea of mundaneness. He moved his hand in a long-forgotten gesture of frustration.

    The whip slashed through the air, lashing the kneeling girl across her breasts. An angry red welt appeared on her skin, marring the perfect beauty of her globes. She didn’t make a sound. Her hands cupped her breasts and held them out to Salif in a silent gesture of offering. Her knees, already spread apart, widened.

    I’d forgotten how very well trained they can be.

    Salif gazed in shock at his hands, astonished at how quickly the magic had responded to his muted command. Magic everywhere.

    You are, after all, the Mage Prince of Argentia. Have you forgotten?

    This voice in his head was another forgotten piece of his past. Slightly mocking, speaking with a feline purr. She was always part of him. Raina.

    Salif shook his head. No. No. They’d found him, but they would need time to make their move. Tomorrow morning, he would run again. Find another world, assume another identity. They would not find him again; Salif would make sure of it.

    His eyes had been unfocused as he made his plans, but now, decision made, he gazed on the girl who knelt just inside the door, her hands still holding her breasts in offering to him.

    “Do you have a name?” His voice was steel. How quickly it all returned, the arrogance, the pride, the belief that he had the absolute right to do whatever struck his fancy to this girl.

    “Leila, my lord prince.”

    I am Salif Al-Hasn. I am the Mage Prince of Argentia. You think to mock me with your gift, Father, but I see what you do. You will not best me again, Father.

    Salif straightened, his decision made. There was now arrogance to the way he carried his head, his gaze was cold. There was ice in his voice as he spoke the next words. “You may try to anticipate my requirements. When you fail, as you undoubtedly will, I will whip you. You may moan. You may not speak, except to thank me.” Salif didn’t bother telling her she needed to obey his commands. She was a pleasure slave. Obeying was what she was trained to do.

    The girl nodded very slightly, and kept her head lowered. She didn’t speak to indicate her understanding of his instructions.

    Well-trained indeed.

    Salif made another slight gesture with his hands. Worlds away from Argentia, and still the magic leapt to do his bidding. Steel cuffs appeared, binding the slave’s arms behind her back. Her breathing had quickened very slightly. Salif noticed her knees had parted even wider. Another gesture; and the slave was naked.

    She was even more beautiful naked. Her skin was smooth, unmarked. Either she’d never been whipped, which was very unlikely. It was more likely that a mage had disguised her scars. Salif surveyed her, impressed. Whoever the mage was, he’d done a good job. No trace of a blemish was visible.

    An extended boot, and the girl bent smoothly from her waist to lick it. Salif swung his belt at her backside, watching with pleasure as a red mark appeared on her skin. He could have used magic, of course, but sometimes, it was satisfying to wield an actual instrument. She marked easily, he realized with pleasure. Excellent.

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