She looked out the window, she didn't know how long she had been chained here. It had seemed like months, years, since she had first attempted to assassinate HIM, The Demon lord, the Dark one. She rested her head back on the pillow, her days were lonely, her nights nightmare. Every night the same thing, over and over, every night he took her, raped her, made her beg and scream for it too.

The young mage looked at what was once her homeland, now the children fought and killed each other in the streets, chaos and anarchy ruled. She wanted to cry, to scream, but she was left to weak, HE fed off both her life force and her magic. Drained her nearly to death every night. How many she lost count, the servants who came in would not speak to her, would not even LOOK at her.

She longed for someone to talk to, ANYONE to talk to. She was so lonely and afraid. She heard the door open and saw HIM come in, as she had been brutally taught she dropped to her knees and put her head to the floor, "Greetings Master." The words tore at her heart, she was used to being free, she found this pure hell, chained,

He looked down at her, "You may rise Slave girl, help me with my armor." His voice was cold, harsh, but it didn't seem to be directed at her. "Yes Master." She kept her tone even, calm, even as she took a great chance, "Is there something I can help you with?"

He turned and looked at her an eyebrow rising as he left his heavy chest-plate i her hands, "So you have regained your ability to speek to me after two years. I'm impressed."

without thinking the mage bristled. her eyes flashing impotently at him. Her healing magic was the one thing he couldn't drain her off, though he loved to try, and it had helped her survive the first few beatings of her "Training"

The demon-lord only touched his hand to her cheek, "So brave, yet so soft, You wish to help me?"

The mage nods slowly, "Yes, Master."

The demon lord sat down on the bed and forced her to sit in his lap, the mage wanted to scream, she didn't mean for him to rape her again, her body tensed until she heard him chuckle. "Silly Slave girl, I do not plan on taking you til we are finished talking. While I do not need your help, I find your courage in speaking to me an improvement. So talk to me Slave girl."

The Mage looked deep into his eyes, "What do you wish me to talk about Master?"

The Demon-lord smiled, "Tell me about my little Magess. I want to know everything. Especially how it is you have lasted 2 years when most women would break in one."

……………………………………………………………………………………..

The Mage looked out the window and waited for the Demon-Lord to come. he had gone from being her tormentor to her lifeline. In exchange for stories of her life, he told her how her friends were doing, what was going on in court, and sometimes he didn't even rape her, he would just hold her tight through the night.

It gave her a hold on life, she knew it had been two years now since they had started talking, and the talks had become dear to her. So had HE. He was never so gentle with her than when he was listening to her talk about her past lives, the number of times she had incarnated, how she had lived and died. He wanted to know about her mother, her kin, even what little she knew about her father.

She learned things about HIM too, like how he had grown up in a world more cruel than she had EVER dreamed. Friends he had to kill to save them from pain, and how he had learned Life was Pain, and he made it his god, except with her now.

For them, in this room she could not leave, there was no pain. In fact he had started to teach her, in exchange for the talks, and not just how to please him, how to defend herself better, how to use her magic more effectively. She knew that he didn't trust her, but she had come to trust him completely. She knew her world well, if she obeyed, she was treated well, if she disobeyed she would be punished.

And his punishment had taken a strange form, instead of hurting her, he would make her scream in pleasure for twice as long, he would use the whole night to use pleasure to torment her, their conversations would go out the window, and it was pure and raw and passionate. She had small scars on her shoulders and neck from his fang-like teeth, nearly invisible.

She knew that she was loosing her will to fight him, she understood him to well. He wasn't unreasonable, if you could explain something without calling in the "Goodness" or the "Right". She had once explained treating people with courtesy and respect as "Hiding the fact you want to kill them so that when you need to they do not expect it."

The Mage smiled at the memory, it was as if someone had lit a switch for him. He had actually looked like he was happy with that knowledge. She was still trying to figure out how to explain kindness to him. Though he said often that in anyone but her it was an obvious weakness.

The Mage pulled out her hairbrush and started brushing her long hair when she heard the door open and HE stepped inside. "I will KILL them." was all he said as he sat on the bed.

"My Lord?"

"Those STUPID STUPID barbarians to the North, I will kill them, their children, their mates, the parents, I will dig up their ancestor's graves and defile each one of them. I will burn down every village and have their cattle raped!"

The woman trembled at the rage in his voice and dropped gracefully to her knees, her hair pulled to one side, her back exposed to him, showing her complete submission to him in his favorite way.

He watched her, his slave woman, her body poised to take whatever punishment, pain or pleasure, he cared to inflict. He admired her body, her curves. It soothed him, took away his irritation. He made a decision, "Tomorrow you will be chained to my throne, it is time that I had you learn more of the court. Your conversation and actions please me, you will not embarrass me."

"Master?" The Mage's face was a mask of confusion, "But I am the woman who tried to kill you?"

"It matters not, Slave girl. You have learned well these last four years. You know what you are to do, you have shown it now. Tomorrow you will be chained to my throne during the day, and to my bed at night."

She only nodded her acquiescence.

……………………………………………………………………………………..

She knelt at his feet, her neck in a collar attached by a fine steel chain to his throne. Her eyes missed little to nothing, she had been trained these last 10 years to watch those who came into court to signal her lord and master when one was dangerous.

Five years ago he had started training her in such. They had often talked about her observations, and he had learned how to enter her mind at will, to pluck them from her without any but the two of them knowing. he could even make his dry observations in hers, but still they often talked.

The mage watched the harem women, they were the most danger to her master, scheming, manipulative, vain, vapid, arrogant. She never told him how often they would hurt her, throw things at her. She know what he would do. So she suffered silently, never knowing HE knew and respected her enough to stay his hand.

The two of them talked quietly, he listening to her assessments of the courtiers and the courtesans, the ambassadors and the emissaries. He would laugh at some of her assessments, her comparisons of different people to different beasts. Though neither of the pair knew it, to everyone else their love was apparent, it glowed on their face.

There were few now who remembered the assassin who tried to kill him. 10 years made a difference. She was dressed richly, her hair was braided down her back, it fell in a long rope on the floor. She didn't look like the beaten down mage who had tried a desperation strike. She was the richly dressed slave of a powerful Demon-god.

……………………………………………………………………………………..

They looked at her, the Dark-one's magess, his slave girl, and now his bodyguard. Rumors said she had been at his side for over 200 years. Those who knew her well called her "Mercy" her real name forgotten. She was the only one who could move the Dark-Lord to it. Her touch stilled his heart, tamed the fires of fury. Though she knew it not.

The other women in the harem hated her with a passion, she was the one HE would most often take to his bed. she was the one in his deepest conferences. When Emissaries insisted that all women be cleared from the court, she would remain.

It is said in legends she was once chained to his throne, because she was the only person who had ever come close to killing him, though many did not believe that these two could ever have been enemies. Her counsel was his to call upon, as was her body. his hand played with her hair as he listened to the reports of his lieutenants. Her head would rest on his knee as he gave orders to his armies.

There are those who fear what will be if she is ever taken from him. but how could that be. She is always at his side. Always.