Fandom: Crossover with Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel's Legacy series.
Word Count: 769
Faith has ever been a constant in my life.
From the earliest teachings from the priestesses I can remember, I have placed my self in service to the gods, firstly Naamah, and then being anointed by my Lord Anafiel Delauncey as Kushiel’s Chosen.
But now, there is another Faith I hold close to me.
This outlander, this hunter who has never been beaten, who searches for something I know not – she has my heart, whether she knows it or not. Whether she cares for it or not.
At night, she caresses me tenderly, working her own brand of magic upon my body, placing a kiss upon my back where my marque starts. I feel her warm breath upon my skin, teasing and tantalising me within these silken cords I wear. Unable to move, to react in any other way than that she desires me to.
She is as much a master of kindness, as she is of the darker, more violent arts. Surrender can lie as much as in the small pleasures as it does with the swish of the whip, the sting of the birch-rod. And make no mistake, when the mood took her, Faith was as savage and as unyielding as the strongest of my previous patrons.
Placing myself at her feet, begging her for forgiveness sent the familiar thrill through my body, and once again I heard the sound of great bronze wings beating far away. I hear the sound of the birch-rods sweeping through the air, the crack of them striking my prone body, and feel the crimson burst of pain throughout my body.
I gasp in pleasure.
The lashings continue, each and every blow driving me deeper and deeper into a red haze of pain and pleasure inter-mixed. Breathlessly, I beg her to stop, meaning it and not meaning it at the same time. She understands, and does not cease.
And then I am past that, lost in a fog of feelings, no longer knowing what I am saying. And Faith stops. And I feel her behind me, opening my legs, pulling my now blood-matted hair back with one hand. As the other hand forces itself within my opening, I start to weep at the release. Her rapid fingers move wetly within me, bringing me ever higher to the point of relief.
“Come!” she orders me with a whisper in my ear, her fingers moving harder. And I explode in a long, shuddering climax that leaves me shaking on the bed, covered in my own fluids.
Far away, Kushiel’s stern face relaxes a fraction.
Melisandre truly knew me the first, but Faith saw the extremes of my soul and cared not for my self loathing and regrets of the past. Forcing me to accept the blood-guilt that lay heavy on my soul.
The thetalos had revealed the trail of blood that was behind me as a result of my actions and inactions, and that had horrified me so much that I had fled from my past, and concentrated only on that which was pleasant and enjoyable to gaze upon. Faith forced me, in her single-mindedness and desire, to face myself and become whole again.
For this, I hated her. For this, I loved her.
Lying there, feeling more like my younger self than I had in years, I heard Faith speak, “I will expect nothing less than that from you, Melisandre. If you truly believe me to be part of your redemption, then this will be part of the price you shall pay.”
My eyes flew open, and I regarded two of the most important people in my life before me. Gloriously naked in the firelight, and unashamed, Faith stood before Melisandre Shahrizai, the woman who had once sold me into slavery, and attempted to betray Terre d’Ange to the Skandi.
How? How could I have been so lost in the moment to forget the onlooker?
Melisandre looked at me, and swallowed. For the first time in perhaps years, she was no longer in control, and I could tell this sat ill with her. For better, for worse, we both danced to Faith’s tune now – I, at least, accepted this.
“Last chance for you to back out, Mel,” said Faith calmly. “If necessary, I can and will destroy the contract you signed with me. However, you must choose now.”
Melisandre looked at me once more, at my position, the way I was still incapable of great motion. She gazed at the strong, unafraid figure of Faith, confidence showing in every part of her body.
“I…. I will honour the contract,” she whispered.