A Field of Candles
A candle flickers by the sea;
which glimmers now, moving
like a woman under the ever-watchful eye;
never blinking, sees all and nothing;
Witness to love, hope, despair and grief,
and the brief
but bright flare of the candle’s flame…
A thousand candles, a million
A thousand million flickering,
but when touched by the slightest restless wind
Back to the earth,
Chapter 01 A Question of Choice
“Bring the girl in.” Louis Doukas murmured in his rich, melodious voice, the slight British accent at odds with the decidedly Greek face. The pleasant tone at odds with the hardness of the eyes.
Once known as ‘The Duke’, now simply as Mr. Doukas, he was one of those shadow men, immensely wealthy but intensely private, who exist behind the machinery of civilized society. Occasionally appearing at the social events of the rich, famous and powerful, then disappearing with the ‘who was that?’ question lingering after they are gone, like smoke in the wind.
Olivia Sheffield, tall, dark, sturdy and bulldog-like, led the girl into the darkened space that served today as a studio. Claire Simmons, Doukas’s chief photographer, cast a quick and appraising glance at the girl; young, innocent, vulnerable, virginal; all the things the market, this market, demanded. The girl’s long, brunette hair framed a cute, not pretty, face. Although older, she looked like a teen.
“Good, Miss Sheffield (even after all these years, he still called her that), you may take her and dress
Doukas sipped his vodka, eyelids half-closed, thoughtful and self-contained. Simmons lit a cigarette. So few places today allowed smoking that Simmons appreciated that Doukas not only allowed it, but enjoyed the smell of smoke; even though he did not smoke himself. She glanced again at him, as he sat impassively, his thick, dark, grey-haired head leaning against the dark blue leather sofa.
Sheffield returned alone and stood, waiting. “Bring me the mother,” Doukas murmured, his voice now quiet and oddly soft. He was a man of contradictions. A man not imposing in height, but imposing in presence. Sheffield had witnessed him once slit a man’s throat with a razor and then sit impassively, the body at his feet, bleeding on the expensive carpet. Yet his voice was generally as a gentle as a mother to her babe. Contradictory – including now.
Doukas would do nothing with the girl, even though he could do whatever he wished. He was not interested in her that way. Her mother, that was a different story.
Sheffield led the woman, slim, below average height, thirties, into the space. The woman’s hair was slightly darker than her daughter’s and cut fairly short. She did not look up at her tormentor, keeping her puffy and reddened eyes averted.
Sheffield marvelled again at how her boss found these women…and why? He was a wealthy man, homes around the world, streams of legitimate money from real estate and entertainment and restaurants and pharmaceuticals poured into his numerous bank accounts, and yet he continued with these…other ventures. “My hobby….” He would say, with that smile.
A smile that showed wonderful white, even teeth; a contradiction for a man in his early sixties. Doukas was proud of his teeth and flashed them often, though his smile was generally thin and cold.
Truth be told, he enjoyed controlling people,
especially women, and he had a legion of underlings scurrying about in many cities, watching debt collectors and monitoring credit issues and police warrants. That was how this woman had been discovered and why, when business brought him now from New York to Philadelphia, he had acted on his information, interested that this pretty young woman had a daughter. It all worked so nicely.
Sheffield reached out a meaty right hand and shook the woman. “Do it.” She commanded in a voice that still held more than a hint of Ireland. The woman slowly began unbuttoning and pulling off her clothes. When she was down to her modest white bra and briefs, she paused, and as tears rolled down her face, Sheffield continued the job, efficiently tugging away the final two garments and pulling the woman’s hands behind her back. The woman’s modest breasts sat, perky, the nipples jutting out enticingly. Between the woman’s thighs a thick tangle of dark, brown hair grew wildly, starting below the vulvae and spreading upwards.
The woman was brought to Doukas’s feet and forced to her knees, as he stood and unzipped his pants. She had been prepared, warned would be a more accurate description, of what she had to do to keep her and her daughter safe; safe being a relative term. With an intense show of will power, she controlled her disgust and placed her lovely mouth onto the short, thick cock before her.
Both Simmons and Sheffield had witnessed scenes like this enough times that it wasn’t surprising to them; both knew that a warm mouth would provide quick results, and they were right, as only a few minutes of consistent back and forth stimulation had passed before the boss groaned, his knees buckling slightly, but his grip remaining firm on the dark brunette head, holding it in place.
Doukas then slouched back against the sofa, laughing softly and smiling, as the woman, following her directions, placed his shrinking penis back in its home
and zipped it in.
While the woman had swallowed as quickly as she could, the unpleasant aftertaste lingered, and she remained on her knees, breathing heavily through her nose.
Eyes closed, breathing deeply and slowly, Doukas spoke. “Bring the girl back.”
At twenty-nine, Nicole Martin was the youngest associate at the firm of David van der Strom, Criminal Law, Philadelphia. The combination of top LSAT scores and GPA had brought the young woman to the attention of both state and private firms. Being attractive and aggressive had helped as well.
Martin looked up now as one of the legal assistants brought in some files, laying them on her desk. “Thank you, Dani.” Martin murmured, glancing at the clock.
“No problem, Nick. Hate dumpin’ stuff on you at the end of the day.” Martin smiled her disarming smile back at the staffer, who continued. “Grabbing a drink tonight?”
“Anybody else going?” Martin did not fraternize much with co-workers, but she liked to stay in the loop. ‘Dani’ listed off several names and Martin nodded; she might go out for a bit after all; one of the partners was on the list. It never hurt to schmooze with the right people, and the partner named was one of only two female partners in the firm, so there was that.
“We’re going to The Twisted Tail.”
“Sounds good, thanks Dani. I’ll meet you guys there.”
Sheffield led the girl into the space lit now by two bright lights placed by Simmons. Outside the illuminated space was shadow, with Doukas settled in his element like a watchful predator. A few feet farther to his left, against a wall and now invisible in the dark, the mother, mouth taped and hands locked behind her back, was kneeling and watching her daughter.
The daughter brushed her hair back with a gesture that Doukas found attractive, but he sat in silence as Simmons directed the slender girl, her camera snapping away. The girl lowered her sweats to reveal a round ass visible completely as only a thin cotton strip nestled between her cheeks. When the girl knelt, her anal ring was faintly visible.
When she removed her tiny shirt, her bra was seen to be semi-transparent, allowing her nipples to show through.
“Sit back and spread your legs wide.” Simmons directed, and the girl’s shaved pubic area could be seen through her thin thong. It was clear that she had the same dense ‘foliage’ as her mother, but that Sheffield’s razor had been put to work.
Simmons had the girl play and pose with a rubber banana and then kneel, looking up into the camera with compelling, ‘puppy eyes’. Simmons finished by having the girl remove her thong and bra, taking several pictures of her completely naked.
She then turned to address the darkened couch, “That should do it.” She said quietly; she had probably seventy shots. Enough for both the general websites Doukas used and the private sales.
“Thank you, Ms. Simmons. I’ll await your files.”
In the darkness, the mother struggled. She was having trouble breathing as she sobbed with her mouth gagged and her nose running. Suddenly she felt a hand against her buttocks. Sheffield was behind the woman, and she then slid two fingers into the woman’s vagina from behind. It was an easy task, the woman was very wet. She shuddered now with shame and arousal.
Meaghan Browning increased the speed on the treadmill and focused on her walk, blocking out her thoughts. When she exercised in public like this, she was constantly aware of the bodies around her, all in their tight outfits; who was appraising her? Whose eyes were taking in her slim hips and ass, noting her firm if
modest breasts, with nipples straining against the fabric?
Likely no one was, but Meaghan could not shake the thought, yet she continued to come and do her daily workout. If she couldn’t make it, she truly missed it.
Looking at her timer she noted her workout was almost over, and then she saw two women heading for the locker room and possibly a shower. As if drawn by a force, Meaghan headed that way too. She had chosen a central locker, so that when she undressed she was exposed.
Now naked, she strolled into the common shower and took a spot one showerhead to the right of a middle-aged business woman with sandy grey-brown hair cut short, and with large but firm breasts on a stocky frame; a contrast to her tall, slim build. In a moment, a second woman, early thirties, strikingly black hair, on her head and below, although on the nether regions it had been trimmed to a triangular patch, joined them, and the three women showered in silence.
At an appropriate moment, Meaghan bent over to pick up something, exposing her back side to her neighbor. When she straightened, she glanced quickly at the woman, who seemed to have a small smile on her face. Or was Meaghan imagining that?
Doukas gently stroked the head of the mother, as she now knelt again before him. The daughter was in another room with Sheffield, playing on a computer. The woman had been whipped by Sheffield until she sobbed and begged, which had not taken very long. She was not a strong person.
“So, I have taken care of your debts; you can return home, the roof remains over your house. You will get help for your addiction, do you understand?”
“Yes, yes sir.” The woman spoke quietly, like a child.
“And who do you belong to?”
The woman paused, breathing hard, close to breaking down again. Doukas continued his gentle stroking, as if her were taming the woman. “I, um…what choice do I have?” The woman said, and lay her head sadly upon Doukas’s knee.
It was now his turn to sit quietly for a moment, before replying. “It is not a question of choice. You have had choices. You have made choices. You can make a choice now. The problem for you is, you do not have many choices; that is on you, because of what you have done, your actions. It is your fault, do you understand my reasoning?”
“Yes,” came the response, muffled by her mouth against his leg.
“So…who do you belong to?”
“I…I, um, belong to…you, sir. You.”
“Yes,” Doukas murmured in a voice just a notch above a whisper. “You belong to me. To do with as I wish. And your daughter…?”
The woman gripped his leg, like a child, reluctant to leave, grips their bedpost. “She…she belongs to you too, sir….”
“Yes. Yes she does.” Doukas purred, a smile upon his bronze face. Choice had little to do with anything.
The woman shuddered, hips quivering in one long vibration, and then rested. Meaghan moved her head slightly so she could breathe. In a moment the woman rose, and looked down at the slim form lying on the change room bench. It was a miracle no one had come in while they were doing…their thing. Amazing. The woman bent forward and kissed Meaghan’s mouth, tasting her own juices. She gave one of Meghan’s nipples a final, quick twist and moved to her locker, dressing quickly.
When she turned, Meaghan was sitting on the bench, still naked.
“Ummm…” the woman began.
“Uh, yeah…” Meaghan said.
“So, I’ll see you around?” the woman’s voice rose slightly in enquiry.
“Uh, yeah, I hope so. I’m around here every day, and I know you come now and then. We should definitely, you know….”
“Yeah.” The woman said and turned, making her way out. Meaghan noted the expensive suit the woman wore.
Once the woman had gone, Meaghan dressed quickly, wanting to get home. Three more women had entered to change while she dressed, so their timing had been lucky, although the thought of being ‘caught’ excited Meaghan anyway.
But now, she had business to take care of, and she was sure her business had a happy ending. The woman had had her orgasm, now Meaghan deserved one of her own, and she had lots or erotic fuel for her fire.
The group at The Twisted Tail, nine tonight (because Susan Koning came, Nicole thought) had started to drift off. Only Mel, Dani, Nicole and Susan remained. (Mel is hoping to get lucky, Nicole considered with a smirk. Well, it wouldn’t be with her.) Dani put her cell back in her pocket and announced that she was off to meet friends; Susan put some twenties on the table and said she needed to visit ‘the room’; Nicole followed her, both saying their goodbyes. Mel looked a little lost, as he sat now alone.
Once finished in their respective stalls, Nicole and Susan now both stood at the sinks, Nicole taking the opportunity once again to appraise the other woman. Five-seven, so her own height, attractive, but blonde where Nicole was dark; both wore their hair short and styled. The biggest difference was that Nicole was looking at thirty next, while Susan was regarding forty. Also that Susan was a full partner. Also that she was married.
Susan looked up and caught Nicole watching her, smiling a little at the connection. “What’s your story, Nicole?” she asked, in her Boston accent. She had lived in Philadelphia twenty years, but the accent still lingered.
“What do you mean?” Nicole replied, drying her hands.
Susan just stood and regarded her, a small smile on her face. Nicole handed her some paper towels. Susan used them, and when she looked up again, Nicole impulsively leaned in and kissed her. Not a little peck on the cheek, but full, on the woman’s crimson mouth. Susan did not draw back; she held firm and responded. Nicole looped her arms around the other woman and forced her tongue into her mouth. Susan responded by sucking the tongue and pressing her pelvis against Nicole’s.
Nicole broke away gently and looked into the other’s eyes. “You want to go somewhere?”
Susan looked down quickly, then back. “I…have a husband….” She spoke quietly.
“I know.” Nicole replied. “So what?”
“Is he expecting you home at a certain time?” Nicole continued.
Susan looked down, a small smile again playing on her lips. “Well, no, he’s actually out of town on business.”
Susan looked up and Nicole saw through her into a place she knew well, a place she had often been, starting years ago when she discovered who; what, she was.
It had been her last year of high school. Like many other girls, she had been involved with several boys, but unlike pretty much all her friends, despite some ‘stuff’ had not had real sex. She was a virgin. Being attractive and popular she had had many chances to lose her virginity, but had always turned away. Back then, she had not looked deeply into that mirror; had not labelled herself this or that. She had just gone on.
Week to week, avoiding making any decision.
Then came that day, after school, when her life changed; or she simply came to an understanding. She had stayed late, working on gymnastics with her coach, and had the shower to herself, she thought, as the school seemed quiet and empty. Then Simone had come in; ‘Simone K’ as people simply called her, her last name being one of those eastern European names with too many consonants.
Simone, short at five-two, slim and shy, had been working on badminton, and the two were the last remaining students and were now together in the shower. When Nicole had made eye contact with the girl, something had happened, something had changed within her, or simply emerged to its proper place.
She would remember that moment for years, she was remembering it now. How Simone’s eyes had held some look, some emotion, that was more real than any words. Without considering or planning, Nicole had moved beside the smaller girl, had looked deeply into her eyes, watched as the girl looked down, mumbling, “I think you are so beautiful….”
When Nicole had then lifted Simone’s face, the girl had looked up with a sort of reverence that set off fireworks within Nicole’s body; endorphins, adrenalin. Dopamine; whatever, but something, maybe everything, went coursing through Nicole’s being at that moment. She felt like a giant, like a victorious warrior; like a queen.
She had gently pushed Simone to her knees, directing the girl’s face at her own shaved vagina. “Do you want to kiss me, Simone?” She had asked, without any plan.
Simone had made strange moaning noises, struggling to get words out, her hands stroking and probing her own sex. “Unnnnnhhh….”
“Say it Simone. If you want it, say it. Say you want to serve me. To make me feel good.”
“I…oh, jeez. Ummmmm. Yes. Yes. Yes. I want to kiss
you, so, so fucking much, Pleeeeaaassse.”
And then for the first time in her life, Nicole had felt the wonder of a warm, loving tongue on her vagina. Simone had needed no encouragement; she went about her work with enthusiasm. Nicole thrust her hips and ground Simone’s face into her pelvis with a desire she had not felt until that moment.
Nicole had experienced orgasms by then; she was pretty good at them, actually, masturbating almost every day. In the back of her mind she had been aware, without acknowledging it, that while she fantasized on lots of sexual scenarios with boys, (especially groups of boys, where she was used one after another) that when she needed to reach her peak, it was always with a girl in her mind. And now one was there, between her legs, licking and sucking and serving like a slave.
When Nicole came that day, it was truly mind-blowing. Like a sexual cliché, the moment had gone on and on, rolling, in proverbial waves, until Nicole had literally collapsed onto the slender body of Simone K.
After that encounter, Simone had become her toy; but with only a couple of months left in their high school lives, it had been a brief relationship. But a relationship that set the template for Nicole’s sexual life. She recognized herself without reservation as a dominant lesbian predator. Her sexual fulfillment came through using girls and having them serve her. She was not looking for love; she wanted worship.
Then Nicole left for college, but with two months of Simone’s sexual servitude behind her and the ‘stage’ set. From that point forward Nicole had set out to find and capture young women, and it had been easier than she would have thought, other than the difficulty of fitting her ‘relationships’ into a very busy college program.
Nicole was an outstanding student; she studied relentlessly; ferociously, leaving little time for any fun. But Nicole had made the most of what came her way, and it always began with the look, as she called it. Nicole found that with the right girl, she could literally look into them, see the connection between their desire and her own; a true symbiotic relationship.
Nicole called it Simone’s look, and with a growing arousal she knew she had seen the same look pass, just now, in Susan’s eyes. This woman was available to her, and Nicole would not let this opportunity slip.
“Well, there you go; come with me.” Taking Susan’s hand she led the older woman (and that was really the only negative playing on the edge of her consciousness; Nicole had never been involved with anyone older than herself, apart from one of her professors, and that had been a bit of an experiment.)
Outside, Nicole hailed a cab and soon the two women were seated in the back, heading for her apartment which was downtown and close by. As they sat side by side, Nicole began to slide one hand up Susan’s leg, meeting minimal, token resistance. Nicole felt a sharp stab of arousal when she found the top of Susan’s nylons; the woman was wearing a garter belt!
Sheffield stopped the SUV outside a modest duplex on East Allegheny Ave. She had stopped and picked up a pizza and now the mother and daughter were going to be released, but with conditions. Sheffield handed the woman a burner cell, “Keep this with you for when we need to reach you. We will contact you at least once a week and we will have another photo shoot for your daughter soon. Always answer when we call; that will avoid any, unpleasantness.”
The woman looked at Sheffield with dull eyes and nodded her head. There was no resistance, the deal was sealed. Doukas definitely had plans for these two over the next few months. Sheffield watched them walk to the house, the woman slouching. Oh well, Sheffield thought, that’s life. The woman had made her choices and now the tab needed to be paid.
Sheffield pulled the car back onto the street and headed for the hotel.
Susan clung to Nicole, as if the other would simply absorb her into her being. Nicole gently kissed the side of the woman’s face. They had spent two hours having sex, Nicole even pulling out a strap-on to fuck Susan with, and she was satisfied with how well things had gone. She would have enjoyed having Susan stay, but the woman had a teenage daughter and needed to get home; it was already past eleven. There would be other times.
“God, I wish I didn’t have to leave.” Susan murmured into Nicole’s neck. “I haven’t felt this good since, God….”
Nicole chuckled. “Hey, sweets, you have your…duty. Teenage girls need their mothers. And, we’ll have more chances for fun. We see each other every day, after all.” Nicole spoke softly, seductively, then broke away and held Susan’s hands, looking at her. How far should I push this? She was considering, when Susan spoke.
“So, what happens, um…now? You’ve, uh, obviously been with other woman. This is new to me and, I don’t know, was this….”
“Just one of those ‘hook-ups’ or ‘free fucks’?”
“You know, used to be called one-night-stands.”
“Oh,” Susan laughed softly, “yeah, that’s the idea.”
“Well, I want to be with you again, but you’re the one with something to lose, so….”
Susan smiled. “Yeah, I know. But I also want to be with you again. We will need to be careful, but….”
“But, let’s talk.”
“Let’s talk. Life is full of choices, hey?” Susan smiled. She looked younger when she smiled; she was a handsome woman, so the saying goes.
After Susan had left, Nicole made some tea; she had had enough booze that night. She sat on her couch with a smile on her face. Thinking of the cameras in her bedroom, she knew that Susan didn’t have as many choices as she thought.
She just didn’t know that.
(End of Chapter 01)