Kratia’s happiness evaporated faster than a snowflake on a hot branding iron.
“Nikademos!” she screamed. “How dare you do this to me.”
Nick Damon stared back at her. “What the hell are you talking about?” he asked, reclining on the satin pillows of the bed.
“Her,” Kratia said, pointing to the open door, where two guards held a shapely young blond girl. “Dorna. One of the tramps who hangs out with the troops. She came from this room.”
“She was cleaning the room,” Nick said.
“Sarral hires hags for that.”
Nick Damon smiled charmingly. “Kratia, darling; why all the fuss? She’s nothing to me.”
“She’s something to me,” Kratia replied. “A rival, trying to steal you from me.”
The girl struggled against the strong arms that held her. She looked terrified, not of the huge muscular guards, but of Kratia. She cried out, “Nikademos! You said you loved me!” Her voice held desperation and despair. “You said we were meant to be together!”
“Dorna,” Nick scolded, rising from the bed.
“Shut her up!” hissed Kratia, and one of the guards slammed his fist into the side of the girl’s head. She slumped down, stunned or unconscious.
“Get her out of here, but keep her alive. I’ll deal with her later.”
The guards withdrew. Kratia glared at Nick.
“Why?” she asked. The chill in her voice nearly left a layer of frost throughout the room.
He shrugged and smiled. “She’s just a groupie. Groupies are like candy, or different brands of beer: fun to sample, but nothing to get serious about.”
“Is that how you see me, too? Something fun to sample?” Kratia’s eyes were deep black pools, reflecting flashes of lightning from deep inside her; her brows knit like thunderclouds as the storm built.
“Listen, Kratia. You better learn to share, cause my body’s made for a lot more than one woman. A man has needs; different men have different levels of need. You’re good, but I need more than just one woman to keep me happy.” He smiled, perfectly serious. “You need me; you said so yourself. Learn to share.”
“You’re pig shit, Nick.”
Kratia paused. For several seconds she seemed on the brink of unleashing forces of unparalleled fury. Abruptly the storm faded; a look of hard resolution replaced the angry features on her face. She smiled, her cold predatory smile, and said softly. “I guess I am a bitch sometimes.”
“You really are, Kratia. But some of my best friends are bitches.”
“You are crass, Nick,” Kratia replied, taking off her tight-fitting dress. She peeled it down over her rounded shoulders then walked sensuously towards the bed. “But you make me so hot.”
Nick licked his lips as the silk slid past her breasts. Her nipples were already hard.
“Nick, I want to make up. I’m sorry. I do need you. Now more than ever. And I know that you need me, too. At least a little.”
“Yeah, fighting makes me horny, too.” He started to remove his pants but Kratia pushed his hands away, so that she could undo the fasteners herself. She slid the pants down his legs, caressing his bare skin underneath.
“Oh God, that feels good,” he moaned. He pulled her into the bed. She planted kisses all over his body, let her fingers trail seductively down his bare chest. Lower, lower.
Nick moaned, “Yes, Yes! More!”
Kratia continued teasing until his sexual desire became urgent. Then she backed away and smiled at his frustration.
“Please,” he breathed, his body trembling as his arms reached for her.
“You’re addicted to pleasure,” Kratia said. “Open your mind to me and you can have all you want.” She reached out to caress his hardness, emphasizing her offer. She felt his mind open up; his lust was an overpowering beast that rampaged through his mind, knocking down all defenses. He wanted an orgasm; the special, intensified, explosive orgasm she had been giving him since he arrived. He wanted it so badly he would do anything to have it.
Kratia entered his mind completely. Exploring and memorizing in an instant all that was uniquely Nick Damon. She took control of the pleasure center directly, began the rush of a high that made his previous episodes with cocaine seem shallow. She jacked up the pleasure, and with each incremental increase she lessened his sense of morality, his sense of individuality, and his spirit of independence. She cultivated his addiction to her; or more precisely, to the pleasure only she could bring. He surrendered his soul to her, stirring her own libido.
She rolled him onto his back, straddled him. He move inside her, thrusting, eager for release. Kratia kept him on the edge, desperate, intensifying her pleasure.
She shared his thoughts, sensations. She sent Nick’s mind floating to a dream where one breathed pleasure instead of air. His consciousness dimmed, unable to form cogent thoughts as the insatiable quest for ectasy ran amok in his brain.
Kratia felt him swell inside her, heard him cry out in passion; and then felt his spasms and the sudden, wet warmth. She let herself come with him, shuddering.
He moaned in pleasure, eyes closed, semi-conscious. Kratia rolled off her lover, staring at his naked body with a strange mix of emotion. How could a stupid, selfish bastard have brought her pleasure? But then, he hadn’t. She’d done all the work. He was a tool.
Her feelings returned to familiar paths, summarized by a grim smile as she stared at Nick. You think you just got fucked, but you have no idea how totally fucked you’re about to become. She reached over the bed for her dress and the wands that were attached to it.
In a moment she was clean, fresh, and dry. She giggled, anticipating what she was about to do to the miserable cretin. She leaned over the sleeping man, placing one of her hands upon his head. A quick spell disabled his sense of hearing.
“Rest well, my LOVE, with your mind so very open to me,” she said aloud.
No thunder. It seemed the Crystal didn’t much care right now if she talked while she worked. Working on the edge of danger excited her. “Let’s put a mental barrier here! A false memory there! Add a bit of programmed habits just so!”
Nick groaned as his subconscious began to move through altered pathways.
“Dreams, my pet; only dreams,” she whispered to his mind. “Like the dream I had of you standing beside me. Lords of a united Salmineria!” She ran her sharp fingernails down his back, smiled as the blood welled up thickly. She quickly healed him. She didn’t want to explain scars on the old man.
Kratia giggled as Nick’s hair turned white, and wrinkles appeared on his face. “Oh, I so adore older men!” She thumbed open his left eye, watched the iris and pupil turn opaque white. “Now you see me, now you don’t!”
Kratia laughed aloud, careful to strengthen the newly installed barriers that kept him from realizing he was awake. She laughed till the tears ran down her cheeks and dripped to the satin pillow case. She laughed till the echoes of it came back to her, loud and cruel.