Sitting in the damp, darkened room Saran shivered in the light grey shift dress.
Her day had come, and fear was knotted in the pit of her stomach. What if she could not do what was expected of her, what if she was a disappointment to him?
She knew the honour that was being bestowed upon her; if she succeeded, if he enjoyed her, she would become a high priestess to his high priest.
The fear knotted tighter in her stomach and she doubled over retching uncontrollably.
She knew the fate of the others who had gone before her; she sat there because those who had sat here before her, waiting, had failed.
They had not pleased him; were not suitable offerings for their gods, and so, were taken from the altar and brought to the woods. Once they were in the woods, they would find themselves strapped naked to a tree and left to await the coming of the shadow shifters.
Shadow shifters had stalked the lands for many years, and only a suitable pairing of a high priest and priestess could keep them from completely overrunning the towns. The rumours were, that once the shadow shifters found the women or men who had failed to become either, high priest or priestess; they took them away and used them to create more shadow shifters.
Saran shuddered at the image of a shadow shifter using her pure body to create more of its kind; the feel of it pawing at her body until it filled her with its seed caused her to retch again. She did not want that fate; she had not wanted any of this, but she was of the age and unmarried when the call had gone out. Five men and five women had been taken from her town and now she was the last of the women. All the others were gone, taken to the woods to await their fate.
The gathering of so many men and women to this place had come because the last high priest and priestess had died finally. For one hundred and thirty eight years they stood against those who were made of darkness, fighting against them at every turn, and their loss was mourned keenly. Since they died, the shadows had slowly moved in and taken over corners of the towns. The people lived in fear of never finding a matching pair to fight them back, but Saran herself had never dreamed it would be her sitting in this place, awaiting her final ordeal.
The cold seeped into her bones and she jumped at the sound of the metal bolt sliding out of its lock. Two male guards stepped into the room, their faces impassive as she cowered away from them.
“Please… please choose someone else; there must be another girl you can take. I… just want to go home… please.”
Her desperate pleas went unheard as they stepped towards her. Grabbing her by an arm each, they lifted her bodily from the cot she cowered on, before dragging her kicking from the room.
They pulled her down along the stone corridor until they reached a large bolted wooden door; the first man knocked swiftly and the door swung inwards, revealing a large room with a bathing pool sunk into the floor.
A tall, graceful, black-haired woman stepped from the shadowed corner, as Saran turned large frightened eyes to her. In her hand, she held a cup, and with a speed that defied human limitations, she grabbed Saran’s face and forced her to drink the contents back.
Whipping her head, she attempted to fight against the woman’s grip, but she easily held her and Saran had to choose between drowning in this viscous liquid or drinking it. Finally, she swallowed the last drop and the woman abruptly released her.
She could feel it pour down through her body, causing all her muscles to relax and a hazy fog-filled her brain. The guards grip on her arms slackened, as they laid her out on the floor at the black haired woman’s feet, before retreating to the door.
Saran turned her drugged gaze up to the beautiful woman who stood over her, and watched as she beckoned to two other women to approach.
Between them they stripped the dirtied grey shift from her body, before lifting her and carrying her to the pool. Carefully they stepped down into the water, and as it touched Saran’s skin, she felt her worries about the forthcoming test beginning to melt away.
The women stood in the pool up to their waists with Saran stretched out between them; the warm water lapped at her skin and her eyes fluttered. It felt glorious.
The woman who had given her the drink began pouring the water over her hair, before mixing some sweet smelling soaps and massaging it into her scalp.
Her black hair floated in the water around her body; Saran stared in wonder at her ice blue eyes, pale skin and ruby red lips. Never before had she seen a woman so beautiful.
However, it wasn’t long before the feel of hands brushing against her inner thighs and stomach, brought her attention to the other two women who held her floating in the water.
Both wore thin white shifts, which clung to their lithe bodies. The one whose fingers stroked up and down her inner thigh, had hair the colour of gold, silken threads, piled high on her head. Underneath this mass of shining curls, were deep brown eyes, framed by thick black lashes and plump pink lips. The other woman was a little more unusual; her straight violet coloured hair hung below her waist and trailed in the water. She was careful to keep her gaze lowered, but Saran was sure her eyes and cupid bow lips were the same, vibrant colour as her hair.
“You are so different to the others, your skin unmarred by sickness or work. I can feel the purity of you in your skin. As yet untouched by man; it is as though you were born to this purpose.”
The woman who washed her hair, slid her hands down over Saran’s breasts as she spoke, covering them in the sweet-smelling soap, she caressed her skin with gentle hands.
Not a word passed between the three women as they shared the soap, and began to wash every inch of her creamy flesh.
Saran felt a warmth building between her legs, as the golden-haired lady stroked her fingers against her most intimate place, before sliding back down over her thighs once more. She kept this dance up, stroking higher, and further, against her feminine core. Whilst the other two women, slid their hands across her slick skin, massaging her stomach and breasts.
Saran moaned in spite of herself; arching her back as a finger pressed just inside the opening to her core, before slipping away once more. Hands pinched and teased her nipples into hard erect buds, engorged with the flood of feeling, which threatened to overwhelm her confused senses.
She felt the woman’s hands take a firmer grip on her inner thigh, dragging her legs further apart in the water; she slipped her finger back inside Saran’s aching body. Pushing higher up into her; stroking against the walls of her centre. Whilst the other hands still teased and kneaded her sensitive breasts.
Saran trembled with need; moans tumbling from her lips, she longed to be fulfilled. Desperately she began to press her open body down onto the invading finger, but hands held her firmly in place. They denied her the movement she needed to complete this terrible pleasure that was steadily building within her centre.
“She is clean now. We cannot take her too far; we do not want her fate to be that of the others. She is the perfect offering for him.”
The black, haired woman’s voice, cut through Saran’s moans of pleasure, and she whimpered with need, as the hands retreated from her body. Cradling her limp body between them, they carried her from the pool.