Chapter XXV: Dum Spiro Spero (12/12)Mature

She snapped her fingers and the two guards turned and walked off, leaving the four children standing watching her. 'This room is reserved for only myself, the captain, and any other visitors that may call upon us. Now, it is for your use. The attendants will serve you with any of your needs -,'

'Why can't we stay as we are?' Carmen cut in sharply. 'Why can't we show "the Master" how you've been treating us? Doesn't he know?'

Sapphire said nothing as an attendant knelt down behind her and began kneading a thick cream into her shoulders, making them glitter in the light reflected from the candle sconces. 'Oh,' she said gently, drawing out the noise as she tipped her head back and relaxed, 'he knows. But that is not to say he believes you deserving of it. You know what you must simply do to earn this treatment, don't you?'

'Let me guess, we ally with you,' said Karn'el, sounding stronger as he pulled his arm away from Carmen's shoulders, standing on his own.

'Naturally,' she said softly. Her tone was easy, as if it no longer bothered her personally if they allied anymore, she appeared fed up with her attempts and offered them the chance only out of courtesy. She snapped her fingers twice and the attendant ceased lathering her. She lifted her arms gently from the water, her muscles relaxed as she flexed her fingers and watched the clean, soothing water glisten and drip from her. She gestured to the attendants to move towards the children, towels draped over their arms. Will heard a jangling noise as they moved, and realised that each of the attendant's feet were cuffed together.

They were prisoners, like everybody else. The attendants swarmed around them, murmuring soft directions to them, leading them towards the water. Laguna went first, sensing the fear in the attendants, Sapphire would likely punish them if they did not do as they had been instructed to do. She stripped down to just her vest and underwear, dressing down no further, then eased her way into the water. It was impossible for her to hide her pleasure as she sunk down into the water, her muscles releasing tension so suddenly that she nearly fell in. Karn'el and Will followed next - the attendants looking as if they were about to plead for them to enter the water - so they did, entering a pool together in just their shorts.

Only Carmen remained, and she stood glaring at Sapphire, who had already sunk her head beneath the surface, and now lathered her hair with fragrant soap, returning the gaze idly. It continued for several minutes, no amount of quiet persuasion from the attendants convincing her to bathe, even when Karn'el spoke her name with chastisement a couple of times. Sapphire finished with her hair and dived beneath the water, emerging moments later, suds forming a milky skin around her. She began to rise from the water, the attendants rushed to screen her, but she held out her hand to stop them. She walked towards Carmen with a look of confidence, completely naked, her skin shining with water and oil, her hair dripping, the light catching on each and every curve. Her body reacted to the cold, but she hid it from her face, slipping past Carmen with a noise of amusement, swiping a towel from the arms of a frightened attendant before disappearing down the corridor.

The End

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