He anticipated her arrival like nothing else ever in his life. It seemed he’d been waiting for her forever—at least since he’d been a sentient being. They’d been telling him for at least that long that the right one would be reserved for him, and it seemed they weren’t lying—about this, at least. Everything else was still a big question mark, as far as he was concerned, but at least they seemed to have come through about this. So far. She could be a shrew, he supposed, despite his very careful edicts about how he wanted her to be reared—untamable, a termagant, a harridan.
In which case, all bets were off and he would feel more than justified in taking the current fragile ruling junta—which consisted mostly of the egghead scientists who had created the supermen who now threatened their very existence, of which he was the most overly powerful one—down in a blaze of purifying, edifying, elevating glory that would firmly establish him as the first ruler of all Earth. What was left of it, anyway.
But then, they’d know that. His mind wasn’t quite sure which way it preferred that this situation play out, although his body knew exactly where its vote was going to be cast. Although it seemed that his genitals were going to have their way, finally, after an impossibly long, self-imposed drought.
They had certainly taken their own sweet time about getting her to him, though, but it seemed that the differences in their ages would have explained that. She was barely what was considered legal nowadays. He’d been unwilling even to wait until she’d been fully trained, preferring instead to train her to his own particular—and particularly strict—standards, although he had given them specific guidelines about the basic tenets that he wanted instilled in the woman he would claim as his own.
Tru had never been one to enjoy settling for sloppy seconds, and when he took a man into his elite unit, he’d always taken the time to retrain him personally, weeding out any bad learned or innate habits, which was exactly what he intended to do with her.
Star was no muscle-bound soldier, but he much preferred that she didn’t learn anyone’s ways but his own, even when it came to the most basic of preferences. He’d known her from birth, had been kept apprised of her progress and had seen holograms, as well as the more primitive pictures and videos of her, from birth. He’d watched her grow from an angelic, guileless toddler to a gangly sprite of a little girl, playing the images back in his mind as he hacked his way through endless fields of relentless, putrefied jungle mixed with human remains and marched himself and his men over miles and miles of desert dunes, their massive booted feet crunching over the littered bones of the mummified bodies of those unfortunate inhabitants who found themselves unable to sustain the fight any longer.
His unit was one of the seven created to keep the peace when civilization collapsed and the riots began. He and his men could run faster, punch harder, and go without food and water longer than any ordinary human males. They could hold their breath under water nearly indefinitely and were, on the average, about half again the average size of a human male. Their brains were also just that much larger, and they excelled at both mathematics and science, as well as packing almost seventy five percent more muscle onto their large, athletic frames than Joe Sixpack.
To say nothing of having truly legendary sex drives, as well as the cajones to back them up, in more ways than one.
His prize for the decades of blood and fighting was to be delivered precisely at three that afternoon, and by two forty-five, he had already nearly worn a hole in the carpet in the front hall. He was all for punctuality, but he’d much prefer it this time if the trains had run a little early, for once.
With the inevitable famine and disease that had ravaged the planet in the chaos following the fall of what had been a rare, lengthy period of stability in human history, there was a great need to rebuild and, in rebuilding, the need to repopulate.
The scientists who had created them had, of course, been protected from any harm during the instability and had actually come into power, however uneasily they all wore their crowns, considering that none of them would know a judo chop from a pork chop. They were constantly surrounded by a core of elite security that was—supposedly—even more genetically advanced than he was.
Tru wasn’t at all certain whether he believed that. He was of a mind to think that those soldiers had merely been drugged or were under some form of mind control. The brains behind him and his compatriots—who were now much more like feudal lords, having carved out their own areas of Earth to which they clung jealously and from which they conducted raids on their neighbors in hopes of adding a few more inches or feet to their holding—were old and only human, themselves. After they’d used their superman to attain ultimate power, he couldn’t imagine that they’d had it in them—mentally or physically—to top themselves. Perhaps that was hubris, but then, that was just his opinion.
Tru was of the impression that they had become all too wrapped up in the repopulation project, which involved watching over women who would be sent to men like himself to be bred. Not that he could blame them in the least for preferring to gaze at women like Star rather than at men such as himself, really. He would certainly choose that project over pretty much anything else, too. Dry, boring equations or gorgeous young girl. Not much of a contest there.
Tru had watched her grow out of that preadolescent gawkiness, although she had seemed to have retained a lot of the childlike guile and shyness, which he found particularly intriguing. The older she got, the more he increased his demands to know literally everything about her, even to the extreme. At one point, not long before he made the arrangements—okay, demands—that brought her here to him today, he shot off a holographic request that he be sent all of her clothes, except that which she was actively using and wearing. He’d also asked for and received her used wooden hairbrush and several books she’d read that were worn to a nub.
Unfortunately, though, due to the rather sparse manner in which he’d chosen to have her raised, there weren’t a lot of things to be sent.
Tru had chosen to have her brought up—after her body began to show the signs that it was beginning to mature—in a relatively sterile environment. As a baby and a child, she was showered with affection and was very sensory engaged. She was touched nearly all the time—hugged, patted, her hair was stroked, etcetera—and always in a loving, gentle manner. No hands ever touched her in a punitive fashion. None ever would, but his.
But he also stressed a few character traits that he valued above all else, for her in specific. Modesty was first and foremost amongst them, even from the earliest age, and honesty being second, as he could not and would not tolerate being lied to.
However, as soon as she began to change into a more sexual being, all of the touchy-feely treatment was withdrawn. Her caretakers, who had all been female up until then, were all completely robed eunuchs from then on, to the point where it was impossible for her to discern whether she was being taken care of by a man or a woman. Her every need was seen to, but in a much more sterile manner, which only served to heighten her natural sensuality and made her crave to be touched, although none of them would break her faraway master’s rules for her and do so, knowing they were very likely being watched at any given moment.
Tru’s goal in this was to keep her as pure and innocent as possible for as long as possible. He wanted to keep her from any form of sexual awakening until she was with him.
She was meant for him. She was the one—named for that which burned brightly in the velvet sky, just as she would burn brightly in his arms at night when he saw fit to grant her pleasure and, also, whenever he blessed her with a punishment from his own hand.
Not for her, all of the potions and notions that most men had to require that their women consume to arouse their desires. Star was a natural sensualist. Her birth had been predicted, and she had been saved for him, and him alone.
Lost in thought, he almost jumped when the doorbell finally rang, laughing at himself as he rose to answer it.
* * *
She was here. Finally. In his house. He couldn’t believe it. They had transported her exactly as he had prescribed—paralyzed, which was as they preferred and required, but conscious, which was as he preferred. Straightjacketed, just in case, bound to the andycross, neck and ankle, with multiple straps across her body, even though the paralytic had rendered her completely motionless.
The medics—grinning like hyenas at him the entire time and obviously having no idea just how lucky they were that he was in such a good mood at her arrival that he didn’t break all of their teeth as well as the jaws to which they were attached for those creepy looks—brought her in and removed the IV that had been hydrating as well as immobilizing her. Despite the fact that he had known in what condition she would be arriving, he somehow hadn’t thought about the fact that she might be flat on her back and hadn’t planned for a place to put her, so she ended up on his dining room table.
Tru ushered them out the same way he’d ushered them in, with bare politeness, until one of them turned back and said with a sly wink and a complete lack of self-preservation, “Oh, she’s got a catheter in, too. But I’m sure you and your big brain can deal with that, Mr. TruMan, can’t you?”
Well, one of them made it back with all of his teeth intact, anyway. The Quorum should be happy with that, as far as he was concerned.
Tru stepped back into his house and reset the code on the security fences, not quite sure that the delivery guys had made it through the last of them, but fuck ’em if they hadn’t.
He’d gotten what he wanted, and she was lying on his dining room table right this moment.
Barely able to contain his excitement and entirely unable to contain or restrain the rock-hard erection that was, at this moment, threatening to explode through his zipper, Tru took five seconds and grabbed an IV pole, some chucks, a few wash cloths and some of the flowery, mild soap he’d bought just for her, knowing they would come in handy for dealing with the removal of the catheter.
She was exactly where he’d put her, and he liked that. Perhaps he’d have to get the recipe for whatever it was that the Quorum used, although he generally shied away from drug use of most kinds. Not that he hadn’t indulged as a youth; he had. He just didn’t like his women to do so, which meant that she was unlikely to. He liked their responses to be as natural as possible, but then, this didn’t really have anything to do with her sexual response, did it? It had to do with whether or not she could interfere with what was being done to her, and he had to admit that the idea of being able to hold her completely stock still without so much as one swath of leather or chain on her had distinct appeal.
He’d met her eyes immediately when she’d been disgorged from the van—none too gently, he’d noticed, wincing each time the big wooden cross was bumped against the frame of the small vehicle—and he could see the fear in them, see the damp patches of tears that she’d shed that had found their way into the light blonde hair at her temple.
The first thing he did, prior to comforting her, prior to seeing to that tub that was peeping coyly out from between her legs, was to run a scanner over her that would tell him if she had been touched inappropriately by either of the two men who had transported her. Tru grimaced at the results and executed an about face to deal with them himself before moving any further forward with Star. He didn’t want anything to mar his time with her, and the thought of those two oafs pawing her was more than he could bear.
* * *
Star was beside herself with fear.
This morning had been no different from any other morning. She had been awakened at dawn for her morning bath, which was unpleasant at best, but it kept her clean. Two servants—they weren’t quite her own because they were so much more standoffish than the ones she had had as a little girl, but more belonged to the manor where she lived—applied brushes vigorously all over her body until she was nearly raw from it, but then, they had been doing this to her every morning since she had begun her monthly show, so she had become used to it.
What she hadn’t become used to was the fact that no one here seemed to care about her much in the least. No one hugged her or held her or talked to her beyond the basics—except to instruct her. She dearly missed Lido Julia, who had been with her all of her life until that awful morning when she was eleven-years-old and had awakened to find blood on her sheets, and then it was as if someone had flipped some sort of switch.
Her whole world had changed for the first time in her life, and not for the good, as far as she was concerned. She was terribly lonely, and her body ached all of the time, in ways she had no explanation for. As her breasts grew to what she considered obscene proportions, but she was assured were no more than a bit larger for her small frame, they became atrociously sensitive, so that even just the light robe she was allowed irritated them and made her dusky rose, ever tightened nipples attempt, in vain, to grow just that much further, that much tighter, until they jutted out from the crest of her breasts in a most obscene manner.
Thankfully, her white robe did wonders to hide that particular shame, as well as the way that her bottom had filled out to an almost unnaturally full roundness and the fact that the front of her bottom had somehow acquired hair.
But this morning deviated completely from her usual boring routine. After her morning bath, she hadn’t even been given breakfast, but instead, she had been bent over the precept’s desk and was given a shot of something into her bare buttocks, which was not only painful, but highly embarrassing. She was never nude in front of anyone anymore, as she had been as a happy and carefree child. Even when she was bathed, only the part of her that was being washed was exposed, and if that was in the least private, then it wasn’t really exposed, either. A hand just reached up and washed her under her tunic.
For some reason, as it was mid-week and not time for her weekly vitamin shots, she had supposed that the shot would knock her out, put her to sleep or something, but it didn’t. She remained wide awake for the entire awful experience. What it did was turn her muscles to Jell-O, so that she had no control over her body whatsoever. She found she couldn’t move so much as her pinky finger or her little toe, no matter how hard she tried. She couldn’t scream, either. She couldn’t open her mouth, nor could she summon her voice.
All she could do was watch and listen—and feel—as things happened around and to her.
“Catch her before she falls, you fool!” she heard the precept say to the medic who had injected her.
She felt herself being lifted and brought into a room she’d never seen before. There, she was laid out on a cross of wood that looked like an X, but that also had two horizontal slats, one above her head and one at ankle level. After the medic began an IV on her, during which she felt every poke and probe of the needle, her arms were slipped into a contraption that forced her to hug herself tightly, then she was lashed to the cross, which she found confusing, since she couldn’t have moved if she wanted to. The cross seemed somehow redundant.
But then, no one was asking her. Not that she was in a position to answer even if they had, since a bit gag, large and well padded, was forced into her mouth then tightly strapped around her head.
“If the paralytic should wear off somehow mid-trip, she still won’t be able to move.”
“But it won’t, will it?”
Star could see the medic shaking his head. “It shouldn’t, but it’s hard to tell with someone like her.”
“TruMan was very specific. He agreed that she was to be paralyzed but conscious during transportation.”
A shrug. “We’ll do the best we can.”
The precept wasn’t used to such vague answers. “I suggest you do better than that if you value your life. This isn’t a man to be trifled with. If I were you, I’d hang another bag of the paralytic midway through the trip. If she’s immobile when she gets there, that’s his problem, not ours. We will have done our part.” She moved towards the door, then turned and gave Star another considering look. “And I would warn you that you and your partner should be sure to keep your hands to yourself, this time, of all times.”
The man just chuckled, but Star wanted to scream. She was going to be left to the tender mercies of a man who made a habit of molesting women who couldn’t fight back?
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you when the last thing your feel is his hands wrap around your throat, Embar.” The door closed behind her with a resounding thud, and Star found herself in the unenviable position of being alone with the medic, who came to her head immediately and began to stroke her hair possessively.
“I wonder just who the fuck he thinks he is to deserve you? Why him and not me? Just because he’s a little bigger? Because he’s a little faster, a little stronger and he thinks he can fuck you better than I can?”
Star had rarely been given reason to cry in her life, but this was more than ample cause, and she was ashamed to realize that she couldn’t control her emotions in front of this pig of a man. To her horror, he saw them quickly and merely laughed, but at least he didn’t touch her. Perhaps this other man’s reputation would be enough to protect her.
Hours later, she lay motionless awaiting the strange man’s return, laid out on his table like some obscene feast. Minutes after he’d left her, she heard two loud cries of mortal terror and then nothing. Absolute silence.
Star didn’t know how she knew it, but she knew that the two men who had brought her here were no longer of this world, as sure as she knew that she couldn’t move a muscle to save herself from him, no matter how hard she tried.
And she couldn’t find it in her to mourn them, either, although she knew she was probably going to be damned for it by someone or something. They hadn’t done anything truly horrible to her—they hadn’t raped her or violated her or hurt her physically. But they’d made the trip here very unpleasant in their own way—with roving hands that had stopped, unbelievably, just short of groping her and lewd, hurtful comments about what they would have done to her if she hadn’t been going to this particular man—and she was glad that they weren’t going to have the chance to do any of those things to any other poor, defenseless woman.
If that made her a bad person, then so be it. She could live with that.
Perhaps. Depending on what living here with this behemoth of a man was like, especially considering that his mere reputation had been enough to keep what had been two very low life men in check from afar.
He was back in an abnormally quick amount of time and completely not winded, even though she could hear him running towards the door from quite some distance away.
He was back and looming over her, frightening her with his size and overwhelming maleness long before she would have preferred.
“They will never hurt you again, my Star.” Tru leaned over her, wanting desperately to kiss her but holding himself back from it, ruthlessly allowing himself only to delve one hand into her hair, holding her head gently, letting that yellow corn silk flow through his fingers until he thought he was going to climax right there all over the front of his trousers.
It felt exactly as wonderful as he’d thought it would.
It was then that he remembered that swathes of her hair at the sides of her head were damp, and he realized that she had been crying for some time. “I’m sorry they were able to manhandle you in any way, Star.” Luckily for them, the scan had only revealed that they had gone so far as to touch her mid-thigh and stomach, nothing more intimate than that. If they had done anything worse, then their deaths would not have been as mercifully quick as he had made them.
Tru removed her gag and all of the straps and the jacket that had bound her, talking to her all the while. He wasn’t sure how long it would take for the medicine they had given her to wear off, but he knew that he didn’t want anything near her that reminded her of the time before she came to him. The cross, the straps, her tunic, everything she’d had before him would be removed from her life, and she would start fresh with him as if she was a babe come into the world anew, with only those things he saw fit to give her.
The only thing he left on her was actually in her, and it was the catheter. He set the bag up on the IV stand, which he adjusted quite low, then gathered her, nude, into his arms and settled her in his study as her body came alive very slowly while he spoke to her, her cheek against his chest, his voice rumbling to her more through that than through her ears.
“You were raised for me, and now you are of an age that I can legally claim you for my own. You are mine, and I will never let you go.” Tru gestured with his hand. “I am your Master, and you are my slave. This is my house, and you will keep it for me. You will do exactly as you are told at all times, or you will be subject to my discipline. I will own all of you, inside and out, I will control all of you, inside and out. There is no part of you—mental, physical, emotional or otherwise—that you may hide from me or that is safe from my authority.” He tipped her chin up so that she had no choice but to look him in the eye. “Do you understand me? Blink once for yes, twice for no.”
One slow, yet unmistakably reluctant, blink.