This one is dedicated to British Pixie, who sparked the idea and to Herves Vuin who will also hopefully enjoy my mind's unstoppable musings. I meant for this to be a one shot smut, but it grew into something else. No idea how big it may get, but I'll let it take the reins for now. In brackets, I put the music that guided my hands, while I wrote. A score if your will. Enjoy it if you feel so inclined.
A/N: This is not canon. Rise of the Lycans never happened. Also suggestions re: the summary are most welcome. Also the words in brackets [ ] are the music tracks I listened to while writing if anyone is interested.
Chapter 1: Angel of the Night
[Now or Never]
Another night and the Lycans shifted restlessly in their cages, tussling with each other over food or out of boredom. Never the less, anyone watching would see all of their number periodically pause their activities and cock their ears to the night. They waited. Every night for over ten years now, a voice drifted through the darkness, rising with the moon and drifting down with the evening breezes. None of them knew who possessed this voice. It was dynamic, female, and utterly enchanting. It calmed their spirits as so little could in an endless string of days in unjust bondage.
Aleeria sat along the edge of her window seat high in one of the fortresses towers above her Mistress's rooms. Her Mistress, Sabine, encouraged her to sing to the night telling her how pleasing the sound of her voice was. Sabine's did enjoy the sound of Aleeria's voice, but she also encouraged her knowing how Aleeria's voice calmed the Lycans, keeping them from getting into mischief after dark. Sabine was nearly certain that Aleeria didn't know the effect her songs had on the Lycans. Nor did Aleeria know that the Lycans called her their Angel of the Night as none of them knew her identity and Sabine preferred it that way. The mystery gave Aleeria's voice and influence heightened power and that gave the purpose power. Sabine liked as many tricks up her sleeve as circumstances would allow.
Sabine was fond of Aleeria, who reminded her of her child from her days as a human. Sabine's own daughter died of a fever before she could be turned. It was a relief to Sabine to have someone close by who reminded her so strongly of her daughter, easing that loss as so little could. Sabine was fond enough that she considered turning Aleeria into a vampire herself, but Aleeria's mother had died when Sabine attempted to change her and so she would not try to do so with Aleeria. Some bloodlines were highly resistant to the vampire bite, just as others were to the bite of a Lycans. Aleeria's father, however, died as one of William's wild Lycans, so Sabine was certain Aleeria could survive being turned to a Lycans. Sabine was grateful Aleeria would continue to be close by. As her personal handmaiden, Sabine could give Aleeria privileges normally quite out of reach for a moral woman or a Lycans for that matter. It was almost like having a daughter to fuss over again. In addition to Sabine's fondness for Aleeria as a substitute daughter granting Aleeria immortality had the added benefit of ensuring that Aleeria could continue to soothe the savagery in their Lycans slaves for eternity.
Aleeria enjoyed watching the Lycans during the day, when Sabine and her mate slept and Aleeria had time to herself. Aleeria would draw or sew and watch them for hours, high in a stone tower. Sabine was equally certain that Aleeria did not know that she was watched every day when she watched the Lycans, not only by the guard she knew about at the entrance to the tower and by Sabine herself on occasion, but also by the object of Aleeria's fascination. Sabine had almost lost Aleeria when she was a child to a foolish accident and Sabine would not risk that again. It was only the swift and wholly unexpected action of one of the Lycans that had saved Aleeria from being killed.
Sabine knew Aleeria watched the Lycans who had saved her all those years ago, Sabas. He was loyal enough that Sabine did not interfere or discourage it. Sabine also noted the way Sabas tracked Aleeria when she watched the Lycans from her vantage point in the tower. Sabine assured Aleeria that the Lycans in the yard could not see her, but she also knew this to be untrue. Sabine knew that if Aleeria, who had a strong shy streak, knew she could be seen, she was likely to cease watching and Sabine did not want to put an end to one of the only privileges that Aleeria requested.
Sabine knew her servants worked best with a careful system of rewards and punishments and without both, the system broke down. If slaves received too many punishments and no rewards, they had nothing to work for other than to live and if life was too dismal no one would value it as motivation for long. Viktor might not understand that, but Sabine did and Marcus listened to Sabine. Beyond that, Marcus was more sympathetic to the Lycans's plight than either of the other Vampire Elders. Marcus had just begun his hundred year rule and in Sabine's mind it wasn't a moment too soon. The slaves would have revolted long ago if Aleeria's voice in the night didn't calm them so.
As far as Sabine could tell, Aleeria's voice in the night was the only reason any of them had not to fight or revolt or continue trying to survive. After all, with no women, no comforts and no real respite they had nothing to look forward to from one day to the next except the sound of Aleeria's voice in the night. It was a matter Sabine intended to discuss at length with Marcus, her father-in-law, soon. Many changes needed to be made, but how many occurred would depend largely on how well the Lycans selected for this new experimental privileged class preformed.
With thoughts of reinforcing the system of rewards for the Lycans and the necessity of turning Aleeria into a Lycans soon to preserve her youth and her life in mind, Sabine planned to let Aleeria be a prize for a worthy Lycans. Aleeria would be the first such female, but Sabine was certain that if those Lycans who proved themselves worthy were given additional privileges and a chance to have women and families, they would have more to lose and continue to work harder to please their masters. Besides, children were not only good collateral, but also slowed down anyone considering escape.
Aleeria was old enough now to take a life mate: a few years past twenty. She needed to be changed soon. It was time to see if Aleeria's self-appointed protector would prove himself deserving. Sabine resolved to begin testing him to that end soon, without his knowing of course. Sabas kept a close watch on Aleeria whenever she was in view of the yard, always watching in case she was in danger again. Sabine felt almost moved by it. It did not escape her notice, however, that Aleeria was becoming a lovely young woman and Sabas's interest might be simply an animal one of a male who has not had access to a woman for at least a century now. He was one of the first Lucian turned after all and no Lycans had the privilege of a willing woman, yet. Sabine planned change that among other things. Yes, Sabas could be an excellent test subject for this new class of Lycans in their ranks. If he failed, there was certainly no shortage of other possibilities.
Aleeria's voice carried through the dark, pouring her heart's song into the night, full of longing and love and hope. She sang for someone to ease the aching in her heart, the loneliness. Her voice was powerful and passionate alternating between pure and sweet and low and sultry. Aleeria sang for one who saved her as a child, a Lycans whose, name she never knew, but she watched him toil in the yard every day since her near fatal accident. She burned for him, sometimes she even imagined that he looked up at her while she watched him and smiled at her. It was all in her mind surely, but what did that matter? Those musings were all the romance her world held. Maybe with his Lycans sight he could see her. She hoped that if he could see her, he didn't mind her watching him. She wished into the darkness that he would hear her and that he would know how she longed for him to know her, to be with her. Aleeria knew it was foolish. She didn't know him at all and he might well have forgotten all about her by now. Their encounter was such a brief moment to an immortal. Still, maybe it was enough a gauge of his character that he had saved a human child, a favorite of those who kept him in perpetual bondage, for no self-serving reason at all. Indeed, instead of being rewarded for his efforts, the slave master, Soren, had whipped his skin raw and bloody wrongly assuming that the Lycans had grabbed her for more nefarious purposes.
[The Kiss- Elektra Score]
Aleeria had been held in the steel grip of nearby vampire guards until Sabine came for her and Aleeria had been unable to convince them to stop punishing him until Sabine arrived and Aleeria told her what happened. Sabine, to her credit, believed Aleeria and stepped in, but by then her rescuer was a bloody mess and Aleeria never had a chance to thank him. She started her daily activity of watching the Lycans the next day from a distance deemed safe by Sabine. Aleeria wanted to make sure her rescuer was all right after what was done to him for saving her. She was amazed to see him the next day looking nearly healed. Aleeria was relieved to know he was doing so well, but even after her concerns were pacified she continued to come back day after day to watch him. She couldn't look away. He had saved her life and she would always be grateful for that. She wanted so desperately to thank him.
Beyond that, what she saw happen to him, the assumptions made of him because he was a Lycans and not a vampire, made her feel pity for him. More than anything she wanted to keep him from being treated in such a manner again, but she also knew that was well beyond her power even if she were a vampire and not a mere human servant. It was utterly preposterous, but she wanted to take care of him even knowing that he was infinitely stronger than she was. He was immortal with faster speed and healing and she still wanted to look after him as he had, in a way, looked after her.
Aleeria began to see the Lycans as a whole in a new light. She knew her Mistress did not see them as dumb beasts as Viktor did either and that only made Aleeria more adamant in her own beliefs. Aleeria trusted her Mistress's judgment as she had always observed Sabine to be fair even if she was strict. Aleeria trusted that whatever her Mistress asked her to do was the right thing and her demands on Aleeria were only to protect her. Aleeria also knew she was lucky to have a Mistress she could think of that way.
Most vampires in the castle didn't have human servants for any length of time. Eventually they gave in to the temptation and drained them, casting the remains to the Lycans for dinner. Sabine was very careful to make sure no vampire was alone with Aleeria except those she explicitly trusted just as she made sure that Aleeria was alone, yet protected during her time watching the Lycans from the tower.
After an hour or so of pouring her heartsong out into the night, Aleeria felt herself become sleepy and she sang a soft lullaby, soothing her raw heart before retiring to sleep. As she turned to go back to her room, she whispered into the night, "Sleep well my Lycans." He couldn't hear her of course, but it hardly mattered. She pretended he could and that was enough for her heart.
Deep in the cells of the Lycans, a soft sigh rose up as her voice drifted away. There would be no more fighting for the night. None among them wanted to remember anything else before sleep but the powerful beauty of her voice. Loneliness is acute in a dark hole surrounded by bars instead of comfort.
[Beautiful Disaster- live/Love Actually: Glasglow Love Theme (arr. C. Armstrong)]
Sabas heard the voice as all the others did, though none of them knew to whom the voice belonged. It permeated his very being, easing the pains inflicted by another long day toiling under his vampire masters. His body had been beaten and broken more times than he could count, but those wounds healed well enough. The deeper aches though, that went beyond the flesh, were with him always. But when the Angel of the Night sang, he felt some part of her voice heal the deeper hurts left by over a century of slavery. Sabas leaned back against the cold stone wall and closed his eyes, letting her song take him far away. He dreamed that she sang for him and him alone and that somehow he'd rescue her and together they'd leave this awful place. They'd have a cottage in the woods and it would be always warm there. There would be a soft bed and a blazing fire and good food. He dreamed of sleeping there in the cottage in the woods, lost in her arms, his Angel of the Night.
Sabas pretended that the voice belonged to the girl he rescued all those years ago that he saw watching him and his fellow Lycans in the yard day after day. Sabas wondered what she saw or why she watched. She certainly didn't seem to delight in what she saw with the same sadistic pleasure as the vampires. She smiled a constant sad smile and her hands were always moving so fast, though with what he could never see. She glanced down occasionally to look at their work, but it was almost as if she could barely stand to tear her eyes away. As if her time watching them was too precious to waste. Such an unlikely thought, but it was comforting nonetheless as her presence was often the only highlight of his day as the mysterious voice in the darkness was his only comfort by night.
Sabas still didn't know her name. As a Lycans slave, he had no way to learn such things. He knew only that she was still human as she, unlike the majority of the castle, still aged. She had grown beautiful over the years, though not by vampire standards. She was too short for that and her frame was not lean and willowy. She looked capable, strong, yet feminine and curvy. Her dark hair fell around her shoulders. He still recalled the color of her blue-green eyes so like his own when he saved her. He was surprised she was still alive, knowing the fate of most human slaves. He assumed her beauty must be something the vampires wished to preserve and that one day, she would no longer be watching him because the sun's glow would burn her skin. He feared that day when she became one of his captors. Every day he saw her, bathed in sunlight and watching him was a good day, but how many more such days would there be? He knew that this, unlike a few tons of rock wasn't something he would be able to save her from.
Sabine sent guards to fetch Sabas shortly before dawn. Like all the Lycans who toiled in the yard, he was utterly filthy and desperately in need of a through bath before he was placed in an enclosed space to serve her. Her highly sensitive sense of smell could not abide him as he was. She would have Aleeria clean him up and make his scent tolerable. It would be a good experience for Aleeria as Sabine intended to have her choose her mate soon and it would be good for Aleeria to get some experience handling a male before that happened. Besides, Sabine wanted the two of them to get a chance to interact and let Aleeria determine if she had any interest in Sabas when she wasn't watching him from a distance. Sabine was determined that Aleeria have some choice in her mate and Sabine herself had many years ago.
The next morning, Aleeria woke, and began to make preparations for her Mistress to go to sleep. As she worked, Aleeria thought on her dream from the previous night. She dreamt again of her Lycans who saved her. He had such wondrous eyes. She remembered exactly the way they had held her when he saved her. They'd been so full on concern, so penetrating in their blue gray color that they seemed to see into her very blood and being. Aleeria had thought him quite handsome then. She remembered the way his strong arms had wrapped all the way around her and carried her to safety. Those eyes continued to gaze at her in her dreams and she remembered the way they felt long after the rest of the dreams faded.
Lately, however, their gaze was not so concerned as they were appreciative. As she had grown she saw her rescuer not just as one deserving of her gratitude, but she began to appreciate his form and movements as well. He had become only more attractive to Aleeria as she had become a woman, but as she now appreciated her Lycans with more than her mind and heart. Her body longed for him, his mere appearance causing her hormones to stir and dance under her skin. Her Lycans was a magnificent specimen of male. With so many Lycans in the yard, she had many to compare him to, but none seemed to hold her fascinated gaze as well as he did.
As Aleeria finished turning down the thick quilts of the bed, Sabine entered the room silently as ever. "Aleeria, one of the Lycans will be acting as a new the guard for our quarters. I need you to clean him up. Depending on how filthy he is, you may not have time to watch the Lycans in the yard today, but you will have much time to observe this one up close." Sabine's order flowed over her.
Aleeria rose, bowing. "Whatever you ask of me is my will, Mistress." Aleeria replied obediently, concealing her curiosity and excitement even though Sabine could no doubt hear the pace of Aleeria's hear quicken. She glanced around the room, trying not to seem too eager. Could it be her Lycans? "Where is this Lycans?" She asked.
"He is far too dirty to be allowed near our rooms as he is now," Sabine explained. "They do not bathe them much when they are in service in the yard, so I dare say it's been some time since he's had one. It's also been even longer since he's been around a female, so he is bound in chains in one of the interrogation rooms until you've made him presentable to make sure he doesn't try to take advantage of you. I've given orders for clothes and our house colors to be left in the room once you've finished and you can see that he is dressed appropriately. Come with me, I'll take you there."
Aleeria nodded and followed her Mistress through the halls of the keep wondering which of the Lycans would be the new addition to their house. She was still mortal for now, but her Mistress had been hinting not so subtly of late that she would be turned soon before continuing to serve her. Aleeria wondered if this Lycans would be the one to change her if he pleased the Lady Sabine with his service. Aleeria thoughts wandered back to her Lycans's eyes.
The sound of her Mistress's voice broke through Aleeria's thoughts like lightening. She had been taught early and well, unless you wanted to be a meal, when your master or Mistress spoke it was the only sound you could hear. Sabine was speaking of the Lycans Aleeria would be tending. Aleeria listened closely for some sign that it was indeed her Lycans.
"He's strong and serves well," Sabine explained, "but I would surmise it will take some time to get him clean enough. I know you are unused to being around males, particularly unclothed males, but this will be a good educational experience for you before you take choose your life mate. He is chained quite securely I assure you. I want you to clean him until not a speck of dirt remains anywhere on him. I trust you to be sure this is done to my satisfaction."
"Of course Mistress, it will all be done exactly as you wish." Aleeria assured her softly. She was careful to always keep her tones low and soft so as not to hurt her Mistress's ears. Vampire hearing was so much more sensitive than a human's was.
"Aleeria, while I wish you to become more comfortable around males, be careful not to let this Lycans beguile you. Do not forget you are still mortal and fragile and destined to be a prize for a worthy Lycans. You must preserve yourself to that end. If you do this for me, I will allow you to choose from the Lycans we have deemed worthy." Sabine paused, waiting for her words to sink in.
Aleeria glanced up sharply at her Mistress's face. To be given such a choice as a woman was a boon indeed. "Thank you Mistress. I will do as you ask. I will be worthy of this gift."
Sabine smiled at her and touched her face. "You serve me well Aleeria. Men might not understand what it is to condemn a woman to be a brood mare to someone she has no interest in, but I still remember what my lot would have been as a human. I was fortunate to choose my husband. For your loyalty, I will grant you the same gift." Sabine turned to the door. "Who knows, perhaps this Lycans may even prove himself worthy to be one of your options."
Aleeria followed her in Sabine into the interrogation room through a thick, sturdy wood and iron door Aleria followed her in and saw what she assumed was the Lycans covered head to toe in mud. "Mistress, are they always this dirty up close?" She asked incredulously.
Sabine held back a laugh with great effort. "No, they are not. Lycans, why are you in such a state of filth?"
"Forgive me My Lady; I was thrown into the mud when I got caught too close to a fight amongst two of the other workers." His voice was not rough as Aleeria expected, but low and with a defeated caustic tone that Aleeria found oddly stirring.
"I see. Very well then, Aleeria. You may need a full day to make him sufficiently clean enough to serve, so do not concern yourself with your usually duties until that is taken care of. Lycans, this is Aleeria. She is my personal hand maiden. If harm should come to her for any reason, it will be your life. She will clean you and make you presentable as one of our house guards. You will comply with her in every way. When she is done with you, she will bring you up to our house for inspection. Aleeria, I have left what should be sufficient supplies to clean him here. There is hot water in a tub by the fire and plenty of it and there's a drain in the floor. It generally used to let blood out, but it will serve your purposes." Sabine mentioned this last mainly for the Lycans's benefit, to remind him of his place and the consequences for forgetting.
"Thank you Mistress. I'll be sure to clean him most thoroughly." Aleeria promised once more.
"See that you do." Mistress Sabine left the room, leaving Aleeria alone with Sabas.
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