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My Name Is Casey
...He tells me that my name is Casey. I don’t know what that means. I have no memory of life before I woke up in that room...
...I can see. I can hear. Even though they think that I’m blind and deaf...unaware of what’s going on around me. I have listened, I have watched...
Listen! There are...sounds...that I can’t identify. Not like the rhythmic beeping noises that comforted me as I...slept. Or the quiet murmurs that lulled me while I waited...I listen carefully, hide those sounds in my mind, to examine later. I’m not certain why that seems so important...
The room was nearly empty. Just a tank, and a small control console. The tank was upright, more of a tube, really. The occupant...a slender woman with long blonde hair...floated in the greenish fluid that filled the tank. Bubbles of air rose through the liquid in a steady stream from the bottom of the tank to gather at the top. It was impossible to tell from simple observation as to whether or not she was alive. The answer to that particular question also depended upon one’s definition of ‘alive’.
Two men, dressed in the colorful silk garments favored by Babylonian scientists, pushed a contraption into the room. It resembled an operating room table. This ‘table’, however, was capable of being adjusted from a horizontal position, to fully vertical. Cables were connected between the control console and the table. Adjustments were made.
An alarm began to sound, and a blue beacon on the top of tank began to flash. Exchanging nervous glances, the two men set about to complete their task. One of the men stood behind the console. His fingers moved over the glass panel imbedded in the surface, touching a symbol here, one there. The other stood beside the tank, watching as it began to move. Slowly the upright tank settled on its side, parallel with the floor.
The man beside the tube manipulated the controls on the side. He watched with rapt attention as the liquid began to empty from the tank, flushed away through a specially prepared pipe, which would filter impurities from the fluid, before being used again. The special properties of the chemical composition within the liquid base made it too precious to simply discard.
Slowly the level dropped...inch by inch. The woman within the tube lay still, her skin pale. There was no movement, nothing to indicate that the process had been successful. For the moment, neither of the scientists seemed concerned at what appeared to be a total lack of life in their subject.
When the fluid had completely drained from the tank, unsteady hands unlocked the latches that held the two pieces of the tube together, and carefully broke the seal. The man lifted the woman, her wet skin and hair leaving patches of dampness on his clothes, and carried her to the table. The two men worked side by side, disconnecting the wires that had been attached to her temples. The slight figure still hadn’t moved at all since emerging. Which now was becoming worrisome.
Vital statistics were checked. Brain function - minimal, as was to be expected after such a procedure. Heart - beating...barely, but beating. Pulse...there was still no pulse...no respiration; nor had there been an attempt to draw in the oxygen now needed...
One of the scientists began to push against the naked chest, the other preparing what appeared to be a breathing apparatus. Before the mask could be placed over the delicate features of the woman’s face, she gave a gasp, and the young woman on the table began to cough. Helped to her side, she disgorged the fluid that had been all that her body had known for nearly two weeks.
A second check of vital statistics. Heartbeat...strong and steady. Pulse...still a bit erratic...there, it was beginning to register as normal. Blood pressure...high at first...then dropping to acceptable levels. Brain function...all within the expected parameters, given the circumstances. Reflexes...yes, those were normal as well. Much better, the two men sighed in unison.
Their Master himself had taken the first steps necessary - that of isolating the cells needed. Had left them in charge of finishing the project he had so painstakingly initiated. For days they had worked, monitoring a dozen different environmental levels. Watching and waiting, making minute adjustments as necessary, hoping each time that they hadn’t damaged the specimen. Their task was one of great importance...and heavy responsibility. If they failed, their lives were forfeit.
Hours had passed...had turned into days...which had turned into one week...then into two weeks... Still the scientists, geneticists in the service of Lord Ba’al, had toiled relentlessly, determined to succeed. They had watched, with growing anticipation. And now, the woman was ready for the final step of the - experiment.
They had been given an impossible project, with what they had feared would be unrealistic requirements. But with the aid of their god, and to their own surprise, they had accomplished exactly what had been demanded of them. Smiles of success were exchanged.
Long blonde hair, still wet from the tank, tangled around the fingers of one of the men as he attempted to attach a new set of wires that would connect her to the console, allowing them to monitor the function of her body, as well as the responses of her brain. He pulled free, then gently tucked the strands of blonde behind her shoulder, as if attempting to comfort the still unconscious figure. His feelings about the woman were inconsequential. In all honesty, he had no feelings about...nor toward...the woman who lay naked on the table. His god had wanted certain procedures performed. They had been. And now...here she was...
It was as if his thoughts had conjured his Master from thin air. He stood still, at attention as it were, beside his companion.
When the System Lord strode into the room, his face lit with a smile to see the woman lying on the table. Again the two men looked at one another, expressions of triumph shining on their faces. Surely they would be rewarded for their work!
"Perfect!"The dual voice echoed with pleasure. Brown eyes twinkled with delight. He stepped closer, ran his fingertips over a now warm cheek, caressed the delicate jaw.
"My Lord, I must remind you that at this moment, she is little more than a shell. There are no memories, no cognitive abilities at all."
"Which is precisely why we’ll use the method that Anubis developed,"was the calm response. "She is exactly as I wanted; no previous life to yearn for, no love for a Tau’ri to come between us. I have made all of the necessary adjustments. When the process is complete, send for me."
"Yes, My Lord."
"Everything is just as I planned. She is mine now, and she will remain mine forever!"
The men smiled happily. Their lives were safe. Their futures bright. No doubt they would be elevated to higher positions, allowing them more freedom to come and go as they pleased, their steps no longer marked by those who watched for disloyalty among those in service to Lord Ba’al.
Soon Lord Ba’al would have his Consort at his side. Once again the blonde beauty would beguile him...and this time, no one would take her from him!
A A A A A A
The leads were adjusted, connected to the memory device that was now attached to her temple, covering the mark that remained from the device that had been connected to her brain during her time in the tube. The new ‘personality’, which had been dictated by Ba’al’s desires - using information gleaned from recordings he had made, would soon be all that filled the now empty mind of the woman.
Images, sounds, voices...all would be pulled from the recordings, and merge in the mind of the woman, creating the memories...the ‘personality’...that Ba’al required. The procedure was based on what Anubis had used to train his Kull warriors. But it had been modified...the results wouldn’t be known until the woman was conscious. Not an ideal situation, the scientists agreed, but one over which they had no control.
The soft whir of the machine as it powered up was the only sound that could be heard, save for the quiet breathing of the room’s occupants. A gasp, a whimper of pain...the woman’s back arched away from the table, her fingers clenched into fists...signs of the physical distress she was experiencing.
"Her breathing has become erratic."
"Administer a small amount of pain killer. Not enough to interfere with the process. But enough to prevent her from suffering cardiac arrest as a result of the procedure."
A nod, and a needle slipped beneath the skin of the woman’s arm. Immediately her fingers relaxed. She gave a soft sigh.
The procedure continued - slowly at first, as the men were reluctant to overwhelm the woman’s mind. If she began fighting the input of information, it could permanently damage her. While her mind was a clean slate...or so they supposed, given the circumstances of her condition - of which they were entirely responsible...they weren’t totally certain that there weren’t residual...genetic...memories. This was, after all, the first time any such attempt had been made. And to make a miscalculation now would more than likely cause a psychotic break in the woman; which would mean her...and ultimately their own...death.
More time passed...one hour became two...two hours became three...three hours turned to four. Still the men chose to err on the side of caution. Better to take several days to finish the work, as to rush to complete the procedure and face unmitigated failure.
Several times during the hours that passed, green eyes had fluttered open, seemed to stare at the wall opposite of the table on which she had been placed...upright now, rather than flat. Leather straps across her forehead, shoulders, hips, and knees prevented her from tumbling forward. Neither man took much note of the ‘reaction’...her eyes had been open when Lord Ba’al had visited earlier, when she had first been ‘awakened’. The thought that she might actually hear what was going on around her, that those ‘memories’ would be available to her, never crossed their minds. As a result, the men spoke freely to one another. It was the first mistake that they made...without a doubt it would be the most disastrous.
A servant brought a tray laden with food for the men. Apparently their Master had no intention of allowing them to leave the room until their job was completed. Even if it took days for them to finish.
A A A A A A
When Ba’al entered the room again, anxious to learn how close to completion his...experiment...now was, he paused at the door. Sniffed carefully. Wild flowers. Spring wild flowers...lilac, jasmine, honeysuckle...and vanilla. A scent he’d come to associate with Hathor. The same sweet scent that had always surrounded Her...the woman he loved, the woman he would have as his Consort. He knew that she somehow had managed to gain access to Hathor’s perfume...but how had it come to be here? He stared at the two scientists, trying to determine if he had been betrayed by those he had trusted with this most important...and secret...project.
"My Lord, we-"
"Where did you find Hathor’s perfume?" Ba’al demanded, his voice a growl rife with anger
The two men exchanged worried glances. "My Lord?"
"Do you not smell it?"
Having been with the woman since she had been removed from the tank, the two had become accustomed to the soft scent that filled the air, not that they’d noticed it then...the chemicals in the ‘amniotic fluid’ had overpowered any other scent that might have been in the room.
"There is nothing of Hathor here, My Lord. Unless this woman was created by Hathor."The look of rage on their Master’s face, the cold, clipped words that bespoke his anger, had both men fearing for their very lives.
The implications were clear. Whatever had created the scent, it had not been Hathor! Ba’al frowned.
"My Lord,"one of the scientists said, glancing at the still unconscious woman, wetting his lips nervously, "It is said that Ra was a master of genetic manipulation. Is it not possible that the Tau’ri, being the progeny of his slaves, might carry those altered genes?"
Ba’al’s frown deepened. He'd heard rumors of course - he’d never given them much credence, as he’d never been able to find proof to back those rumors - that Ra had found a way to make his harem slaves all the more appealing. It was well known that he bred them for their beauty. So, it wasn’t a stretch to believe that the egomaniacal Goa’uld would have manipulated the women genetically to enhance their sweet, feminine scent as well. And, once done, that ‘mutation’ would have been passed on to their daughters, and their granddaughters... No, there had to be more, Ba’al thought. Just making his whores smell nice wouldn’t have been enough to persuade Ra to go to so much trouble...
The compound that Hathor had used rendered men unable to deny her anything she wished. While it seemed to be useless against women, the Goa’uld had perfected her seduction skills, and used the drug...
Nish’ta! Hathor had done nothing more than combine nish’ta with this alluring scent! Ba’al smiled. Of course! Casey was Tau’ri! Her ancestors had been slaves to Ra! More than likely Hathor had created the drug, another rumor Ba’al had heard, but had never paid heed to, Ra had stolen it to use against his enemies; changing DNA to incorporate the drug and that alluring, sweet scent; then bred whores who would render male hosts incapable of fighting against him. No doubt it was used against all male enemies as well, just as Hathor had done. That was surely what had happened! It all made perfect sense to him now! "It has been a very long time since I had thought of Ra, and any possible genetic work he might have done. It was just a bit of trifling with DNA, nothing as grand as what I have accomplished."
The two scientists nodded their acknowledgement, and bowed slightly as well. Groveling before their god was nothing new to them, and was a common tool used by those who served a volatile master, and wished to remain alive.
Ba'al had never considered any experiments Ra might have performed. He had scoured the galaxy to find every bit of text, every report, every experiment ever done by Nirrti, a Goa’uld who had been taken with the idea of the perfect host, and had no compunction about stealing information from other races, nor in performing whatever experiments she deemed necessary to achieve that goal. Ra had simply dabbled in a bit of DNA tampering, but had been stopped by the rebel slaves who had forced him from the First World...whose progeny had ultimately destroyed him. If Ra had done any genetic work, no one would ever know about it now. Nirrti... Ba’al shook his head mentally. That Goa’uld had made the mistake of trying to use her knowledge against Cronus and Yu. Where she had disappeared to was anyone’s guess...if she were still alive. Nirrti’s experiments, (stolen from every lab she had ever used that his Jaffa could locate, scoured for every tiny bit of information, and any remaining equipment,) the achievements and the failures, had seen Ba’al able to accomplish his goal, to savor this very moment of success. That he’d been able to unwittingly ‘copy’ the drug created by Hathor was nothing more than a pleasant ‘side effect’, one that he hadn’t even been aware of...not that he would ever admit that to those who served him. Convinced that his assumptions were absolutely correct, and knowing what he did about nish’ta, there was no need for him to be concerned. The drug had no effect on him, he’d taken care to concoct an antidote to that drug centuries ago. "You have done well. I will check on her later."
Bowing low, shaking with relief that their god was not on the verge of striking them dead, the two scientists bid their Master a good night.
Alone once again, it was almost impossible not to gloat. They had succeeded beyond even their own expectations! They continued with the procedure of carefully implanting 'memories' into the fragile brain of their subject. 'Memories' which contained more information than the Goa’uld intended his Consort to have was a fact that would have unintended...and very serious...consequences. It was the second mistake.
A A A A A A
Three days had passed since the woman had been removed from the tank. All of the information that Ba’al wanted her to have, had been painstakingly implanted.
The next task would be simply helping her learn to do the basics...walk, talk, eat, care for herself. The knowledge was, of course, waiting within her mind. However, she had to learn to use what she knew; to understand how to access and utilize the information that had been transferred into her brain. To do those things, she had to be conscious.
"Now we shall learn if we have indeed succeeded in our endeavor,"the first man said, barely able to contain his excitement. He scurried to the door of the lab. As expected, two Jaffa stood guard. "Tell Lord Ba’al his presence is required. It is time."
The Jaffa nodded brusquely, and hurried away, the clanking of the armor he wore drifting back toward the door of the lab.
The two scientists paced nervously as they waited. It would be, they agreed, much better to wait until they were certain of their success...to present their Master with the ‘finished product’. His orders had been specific, however. He was to be with her during her ‘awakening’.
Ba’al nearly raced into the room, his eyes alight with excitement.
The second scientist carefully removed the memory device. He lowered the table so that once again it was horizontal to the floor. The straps that held the slender body in place were unbuckled and removed. "She is ready to awaken," he said quietly.
"Proceed,"Ba’al replied, his voice nearly breathless in anticipation.
A needle sank into the slender arm of the woman. Seconds ticked by. A soft sigh, and green eyes fluttered open. She looked around, then focused on the men standing beside her.
The men grinned at one another before returning their attention to the young woman.
Surging forward, taking her hand in his, Ba’al smiled down at the young woman. "My Beloved," he said softly.
Green eyes stared for a moment. A slight frown puckered the skin between blonde eyebrows. It was obvious that she was searching her mind...her memory. The corners of her mouth turned up slightly.
Lifting her fingers to his lips, Ba’al smoothed her hair. "You have much to learn, my Beloved, before you are ready to take your place at my side. I promise you, it will not be long now." The Goa’uld turned to the scientists. "Find something for her to wear. I will not have my Consort naked as she takes her first steps."
In a flurry of activity, clothes were requested...arrived...and the young woman dressed. That she was wearing the simple linen shift of a servant was irrelevant at the moment.
With the two scientists assisting her, one on each side, the young woman was assisted in first sitting, and then standing.
Her initial steps were halting, her bare toes curling against the floor. She whimpered slightly, her eyes going immediately to Ba’al; as if she knew that he would understand, would see that she had all that she needed, even if she wasn’t exactly sure herself what that might be.
"Shoes!"the System Lord barked, "That my Beloved’s feet are protected from the cold of the floor."
Again the demand was met as quickly as was possible.
Ba’al watched as she walked the width of the room, and then back; aided by the geneticists who had helped him to achieve this...miracle. I am a god, he thought, for only gods can bring forth life in such a manner!
"There is still work to be done,"one of the scientists said quietly.
Ba’al nodded, his gaze locked with hers. He crossed the room, took both her hands in his, raised them to his lips. "I will return, to check on your progress."
She managed a nod, not understanding that she had the ability to communicate in such a way. The knowledge...the ability, was simply...there.
A A A A A A
Hour by hour she became stronger, her steps more steady, her movements more natural and relaxed. After two days of nearly constant ‘training’, her food was no longer a mash that she could take as a baby took a bottle. Instead, she began to eat her meals with the scientists.
Learning to speak seemed to come easily. The young woman had questions about everything, and each answer only sparked more questions. She was grasping the complex concepts of the world around her...a world that for her, consisted of the room she was in...the room in which she had awakened.
It soon became apparent that the young woman was ready to be taught more than the basics. She was ready to learn to read, to write, to play music...to learn the etiquette of the Goa’uld court. This task was left to the Mistress of Women...she who was in charge of Ba’al’s harem.
For hours each day she was instructed in all manner of subjects. That she was, in essence, being trained as a harem slave was not a fact that anyone around her paid attention to...neither scientist had bothered to consider that the harem mistress would know no other way to train a woman. The oversight would eventually cause not a few problems. It was the third mistake that had been made.
A A A A A A
"No, no, no!"The woman’s voice was harsh, her frown severe. "You must move slowly...sensually."
The woman sighed. "Yes. Sensually. The dance is to arouse him, to make him think of holding you...taking you. Your movements must mimic the act of making love."
"Might be easier to do if I had a clue what ‘making love’ was," the slender blonde retorted.
The dark haired woman studied her pupil for several moments. "I’m certain it would," she said softly. "You may rest now. I will return shortly."
With a sigh of resignation, the slender young blonde pushed her long tresses back with one hand, then dropped onto the closest chair. Watched as her instructor left the room, determination in every step. "Not my fault I don’t know what you’re talking about," she muttered. Barely resisted the urge to stick her tongue out at the now closed door.
A A A A A A
Selmak read the report with growing alarm. "Is our spy certain of this? There is no way he could be mistaken?"
Aldwin shook his head. "There is a description of the room used. The equipment is like that which was reported in Anubis’ possession. He was very...frightened," the assistant Tok’ra added quietly.
"He is safe?"
"For the moment. He managed to secure a position with one of Ba’al’s aids. He’s in less danger now that he’s no longer on the ship."
Selmak nodded. "Tell him to begin extracting himself from the situation as much as possible. We’ll pick him up as soon as he signals."
‘Sel, is that a good idea? If Ba’al’s really capable of this, shouldn’t we keep someone close to him?’
‘Jacob, if Ba’al has the means to complete the process, he’ll guard that secret vehemently. Which means he’ll begin scrutinizing every slave, every servant, every Jaffa, and every scientist on his ship. Master Bra’tac needs to be alerted, so that any Free Jaffa can begin to slip away.’
He didn’t want to hear what he already knew...Ba’al was now every bit as dangerous as Anubis had been. And with this new...ability...his rise among the ranks of the Goa’uld was guaranteed. Any past...indiscretions...would be summarily ignored in an attempt to garner his favor. Even as the Goa’uld who bowed to Ba’al would attempt to steal his secrets.
‘The stakes are too high to waver now, Jacob,’ Selmak said gently. ‘We must be prepared to do whatever we must to stop him.’
‘No matter the cost?’
‘Would the cost be any less if Ba’al is allowed to continue?’
‘No.’ If anything, the cost would be incalculable.
"Send a message to General Hammond,"Selmak said. "He must be made aware of this news."
"This just made going through the Chappa’ai all the more dangerous for the Tau’ri, didn’t it?"Aldwin asked quietly. While the members of the Tok’ra Council often bemoaned the fact that the Tau’ri were ‘upsetting the balance of things’ in their enthusiasm to explore the galaxy...and rid it of Goa’uld, he had personally come to admire the audacity, the bravery, and the tenacity with which the Tau’ri were fighting against their common enemy.
"Yes, it did, my young friend,"Selmak replied. "As much as the Council might disagree, losing the Tau’ri, and their penchant for getting the job done in spite of the odds, could mean more danger for us as well."
A A A A A A
The slender blonde watched carefully. Mimicked every move her teacher made. Couldn’t help but smile when the woman nodded encouragingly. The moves felt strangely familiar...as if she’d seen them somewhere. Memories stirred slightly...
"Stop!"The woman shook her head. "Your body moves, but there is no fire, no passion. Your eyes hold no secrets...make no promises."
"I have no idea what you’re talking about,"the slender blonde sighed.
"I am aware. Rest. I will try once again to find a solution which will remedy this problem."
A A A A A A
Yards of silk lay scattered about the room, every color imaginable. The slender blonde stood still, as instructed, although she wanted to turn to see just what it was the older woman was doing. Two other women moved around her, holding the silk up in one place, tucking it around her in another.
"The gowns are to fit closely, that is Lord Ba’al’s wish,"the older woman insisted.
Heads moved up and down in understanding. The silk was tightened around the slender body; pulled tighter and draped lower over her breasts.
Whoever this Ba’al is, he won’t have to use his imagination, the blonde thought irritably. She might as well be naked for all the silk would hide!
A A A A A A
"Well, well. So Ba’al would see himself as powerful as Anubis,"the woman hissed slightly, reading the dispatch that had just arrived from one of her most trusted spies.
"So it would seem, My Lord,"the First Prime replied.
"Contact Lord Camulus, Lord Olokun, and Lord Bastet. I’m certain they’ll find this information as intriguing as I."
"Yes, My Lord. What of Lord Yu? Should he be notified as well?"
Kali’s dark eyes narrowed slightly. "He did seem most upset with Ba’al for leading the Goa’uld empire to the brink of destruction, didn’t he? Yes, I believe the old fool would be just as interested. His ships will be useful in our battle against Ba’al."
"While having them join us would indeed be advantageous, they will still be his ships," the First Prime pointed out.
"Only until Yu has been destroyed."
The First Prime bowed his head in acknowledgement. Even if Lord Yu was killed, his ships, and his holdings, wouldn’t fall easily into the hands of another Goa’uld. Oshu would see to that. What the Goa’uld System Lords didn’t know, however...particularly she to whom he was enslaved...was not his concern. Nor would he speak of his suspicions, and what little he knew. Let Kali find out for herself, if she were capable. After all, she was a god. Or so she claimed.
A A A A A A
My first conscious thought, the first thought I can recall clearly, was wondering where I was. When I opened my eyes, I had no idea what I was looking at, couldn’t understand what I was seeing.
I do remember the voices...from the time ‘before’. From the time of my ‘awakening’. I can identify the individual sounds I heard, I recognize the words used, although I still don’t comprehend the full meaning of what was said...
The room was comfortable - a large bed piled high with pillows, surrounded by sheer curtains that could enclose it completely, sat against one wall. A cot that had been brought in for the ‘student’ was tucked into a far corner. In front of a window, which had a view of the darkness of space and a section of the ship of which the room was a part, was a round table covered with a satin cloth that draped onto the floor. The table was flanked by two wide, wing-backed chairs, covered in heavy silk damask. All of the colors - in the bedding, the linens, the upholstery, even the tapestry on the wall and the plush rug that covered the metal floor - were in soft shades of ivory and cream. A heavy wooden wardrobe that held a jumble of gowns, as well as those pieces of lingerie that were alluring to men, completed the furnishings. The room had been her entire world for nearly a week.
At the moment, she sat on her cot...alone. She hated being left alone. The silence overwhelmed her. She craved the stimulus of learning...needed the interaction conversation. When she was alone, she could feel ‘them’ watching her. Oh, she was aware that no one was in the room with her. Yet...the feeling of being observed was the strongest when she was alone. On a subconscious level, she was aware that something was...wrong. She struggled with feelings that frightened her. Those feelings of disconcertion grew when she was left to her own devices.
When the door opened, and the woman who had been in charge of her care entered, the smile that covered her face was one of sincere happiness, and not a small amount of relief.
"Good afternoon, Casey,"the woman said, smiling in return. In her late forties, she was an attractive woman with long black hair, and eyes the color of warm amber. Calculating in her desire to remain in the position she had achieved, she was nonetheless charmed by the kindness and honesty that was natural in the slender blonde.
"Good afternoon, Tiria,"Casey responded automatically. Rules regarding her behavior danced in her head. She was never to speak first to anyone who might be near, but she was expected to respond whenever someone spoke to her. How to speak...when to speak...how to sit properly at the table...how to eat - using utensils that seemed so familiar, but so strange at the same time...never question when she was told to do something...always look her best...she rolled her eyes mentally. So many rules! Sometimes she wanted to tell Tiria to take her rules and shove them!
"Today you will be instructed on the ways of pleasing Ba’al when he takes you to his bed."
She knew what a bed was. She’d been sleeping in one. It wasn’t as nice as Tiria’s, but it was a bed. It had been brought into the room for her...the room she’d not left since her arrival. In fact, the room was all she knew, other than the room where she had awakened; the woman was the only person she saw. The two men who had been...with her...from her first cognizant moments until just a few days ago, had left her here, and had disappeared. She had seen Ba’al when she had awakened as well, and several times thereafter...but hadn’t known who he was, not then. She was aware of who he was now! Their Master, Tiria had told her. Ba’al was a System Lord...a great god. They existed at his will, to serve him. Something inside the slender blonde questioned those things...
What she didn’t know, Casey sighed silently, was why Ba’al would take her to his bed...and what just what ‘pleasing him’ would entail.
As she always did, Casey listened carefully. She’d already learned that disobedience, or moving too slowly, would bring slaps of impatience. If she were special to Ba’al, as the men had told her, would he be angry to know that Tiria had hit her? She pushed those thoughts aside, her eyes growing wide as the harem mistress explained the ways of a man and a woman.
"You will observe a coupling,"Tiria said. "It is the quickest way for you to learn."
Following the older woman, Casey stepped for the first time into the main room of the harem. Nearly two dozen women, of varying ages and appearance - blonde, brunette, redheads, tall, short, slender, curvy - all stared at her. A few smiled, others glared...knowing who she was, even if she was totally unaware.
Ba’al himself stood there, smiling at her. "You look beautiful today, Beloved," he said gently.
Casey could feel the heat in her cheeks. She had yet to learn what ‘Beloved’ meant. She bit back a sigh. Sometimes the people around her acted as if she should automatically know...understand...what they meant when they spoke to her. It was as annoying as hell to not have a clue most of the time. Ba’al was still watching her, waiting for her to respond. She lowered her eyes demurely, just as she had been taught. "Thank you, My Lord."
His pulse quickened at the blush that put such an alluring shade of pink on her skin. The way she quickly lowered her gaze, then dared to look up at him again, curiosity alive in her beautiful green eyes, had his body hardening for her. He would, however, listen to the advice of the harem mistress. He would satiate his need for her with one of the other slaves. Casey would watch...and learn. He was well aware of the fact that he’d find physical release, but would feel no relief until he held her, his Consort. Soon, Ba’al told himself. Very soon!
For the next hour, Casey felt as if she’d never stop blushing. What she saw frightened her...intrigued her...aroused her. Why did it feel as if her body was betraying her?
"This is wrong!" Second declared vehemently.
"I agree," First said, nodding slightly.
"There is nothing we can do," Third said gently, grimacing slightly as he watched Casey flinch yet again as Ba’al continued to grind into the slave who lay beneath him.
"He never should have been allowed to proceed this far," Second hissed.
"What he has done, he has done on his own. He has not sought help from those whom we could take to task. There is nothing we can do," First repeated with a sigh.
The three continued to observe. It was all they were allowed to do. Although the beings yearned to protect the slender blonde...
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