Without saying a word, she checks the wards once again. She has to, with HIM out there, ceaselessly harassing at their borders. Diamond doesn't know of it. As far as anyone knows, she is the Queen's personal healer, kept at the palace only at her behest...there for nothing more than her service.

And she is, when truth is borne out, though not as they might think. None know, save herself and the queen...and perhaps the monster out there...that it was she and not Diamond, nor any of the other elders, who held back HIS assault. For now.

Diamond's ward holds even now, but hers placed over it, almost ready to fall...the earth-magic she's woven into her workings the only thing now keeping it up, and even that magic now failing. Other possibilities exist, to provide a kind of strength still, but all of them, paths that lead to darkness. Diamond has drained the land dry of high magic, in his creation of the defenses...she will not do same with the "low", even if it might cost her in the end.

She puts her own personal power in now as well, during the seemingly lengthening days and nights, to strengthen what even earthen and higher together cannot seem to handle. She is exhausted, the monster's pure relentlessness slowly overwhelming her resistence, and she doesn't know how much longer she can last. But she has to try; she has to give her all.

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She knows the instant the wards and shields finally succumb, despite having been asleep in her room. Instinctively grabbing the half-mask of a court "Commoner", she runs towards her highness' room while slipping it over her face.

She sees HIS soldiers in the halls, h ears Diamond scream at her to save Gold...before seeing him go down as well. The mage turns her own leven-bolts at the enemy warriors, but they seem to be immune. With the wards down, though, she has other resources, and calls the lightning to her hand, knowing it will answer, and striking them as powerfully as she can. Clearing the halls is then a simple matter.

Behind her, the other court-mages look on...and in awe. To them, earth-magic is what is used by hedge wizards, and those calling themselves 'witches'. They've never seen an earth-mage at work. One who doesn't coerce, but asks; doesn't steal, but pleads...and has the elements answering her with a fury that not one high-mage can equal. And when she backs her magic with high-magery in turn...she cuts down the enemy as wheat before the scythe.

Without a second thought she sends her lightning into the doors, breaking them down...and comes upon a sight out of nightmare. The Queen, her dear friend Gold, lays broken, battered and bleeding on her own bed, ...with the half-undressed Demon Lord standing over her, one hand on her shirt, the mask over her face knocked askew.

""My LADY!"

She watches helplessly, even as she cries out, as he rips the last bit of clothing off her friend and Queen, the royal mask alone remaining all but untouched...but even it already having begun to be desecrated by his hand. Standing over her, he smiles, savoring his actions all too well. Her own eyes go black, as she draws to herself all the magic she can reach, preparing to strike once again...before he turns to the side, his eyes coming to stare into those of the young-old magess.

And in all her years...two thousand lifetimes...she's never seen anything that's made her blood run colder. Not D'Vari; not all her deaths. Eyes without compassion, without remorse, on the surface...but even deeper still, eyes that put to pause any claim of them being windows to a soul within.

His voice, smooth as the finest silk...sounding more worthy of an angel's lips than his own.

"Impressive, your attempts to deal with those having come to sanity, and service to me, young one...but you're far from the only one with power. Will you attempt, I wonder, to challenge all the fates, through challenge of me?"

Part of her craves to run away, to hide. He is cruelty itself...she can openly feel it. Vicious terror, given flesh. Evil.

Yet the mage holds her ground, throwing a challenge of her own back to him.

"I have the blood of both angels and demons in my veins... I was born to challenge the likes of you!"

His response, that of a smile...something making her feel even colder inside. She layers her shields, interweaving all the different types she's learned in many lifetimes, while watching him. Watching him watch her, with something close to pleasure in his eyes.

"Angels and demons, messengers, monsters. All have felt sorrow from my blade, and themselves tortured by my hand." She can feel his eyes roam up and down her body, as he spoke.

"RUN!" Still beneath him, at his side, her Queen tersely cries it out when looking to her, her old friend and confident...pleading with her.

But the mage can only shake her head. She will not abandon a friend, let alone her sovereign queen, to this...thing. This thing that walked as might a man. "No, m'lady..."

She gathers up her power, even as he begins to remove the queen's mask...beginning to remove it despite Gold's screams and pleading, or perhaps in turn because of them. And, as it slowly comes away, to reveal the heartbreakingly beautiful face of the Queen...the mage lets her power go, right at the creature's face.

He doesn't even try to block it. He lets it come, lets himself be all but hammered backward, away from the royalty he's cornered...and all the while, softly laughing. Laughing in some unholy, sadistic-sounding pleasure...and with his voice sounding bizarrely beautiful to the mage, so very beautiful. He barely manages to avoid reeling back, into the opposite wall, and kneels in turn to one knee on the floor, palms on the ground at his sides. In his eyes, something obscene burns, as his lips come to form a smile full of yet more cruelty.

"Such exquisite talent, indeed..."

She doesn't let it intimidate her, refuses to let it...instead giving a small curtsy, of all things, flowing with the attitude that he displayed so brazenly.

"Thank you. I am her majesty's court mage for a reason."

He slowly rises to his feet once more, in turn, his eyes again visibly roaming over her body, slowly...chillingly.

"And I, Dark Lord, for a reason." He suddenly reaches for the Queen, as she tries in vain to crawl away, and grabs her firmly by the ba ck of the neck, pulling her up, though not fully off her knees...something prompting the mage's eyes to flash, newfound anger giving her added strength.

"...And I've taken down bigger fish than you!" She doesn't mention that she had had help then...her mother, her grandparents...nor how high the cost had been, losing all those who supported her save her mother alone.

The creature...a 'lord over demons', as some had come to call him in hushed whispers...suddenly stopped smiling, and gazed at her, all but appraisingly.

"Have you now?" His eyes glow the sick green again, as his gaze holds to hers. "To those under my rule, woman, I was a god...god of the encroaching dark."

Beneath his grip, it was Queen Gold's voice speaking next, softly.

"...and she...called Goddess Child, here..."

The demon-creature laughs, now toward both of them.

"Then we have before us yet another duel amongst the gods, ble ssed ladies. If fortunate are we, die will millions because of it." His laugh continues, but now focused toward the mage's face.

"Why does every third rate, want-to-be demon overlord have to posture so!" Her tone is defiant, disgusted...but underneath, something else as well, something she knew he could see. Something frightened...and viciously defensive, and craving to merely save herself if she might be able, should such point come.

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He quickly tossed the queen back onto the bed, the movement done with an ease as though the woman weighed nothing, and focused completely on the mage. After so long a time, so very long indeed...here, now, was challenge from another. Perhaps in her defiance, she would be one to tell him who had enhanced the elder mage's power so, to the point that it had forced him to take long weeks to grind his way through it. Her magic itself, much like that of those second shield's.

He studied her more, as she placed some sort of further shield around the room, to hold combat in. Beneath his surface contempt for all challenges dared put against him, he admitted to himself the yet-further impressive displays she gave. Most in the most recent lands had crumbled already, by such time...not since the twin moons of silver and violet had there been such competing power of will...and that in turn, of wholly different manner.

This one......she was as that had been. Like they had been.

"Third rate? Raters-third have long bowed at my feet in worship, woman....or aware were you not?"

His words, now, as she listened, had changed. Becoming...archaic somehow. Sounding less as her language did, and more as...something else entirely. Changes in word order, in fluidity with phrasings that sounded like mazes...all compounding not just the shadow that seemed to all but radiate from him, but his strangeness as well. Most likely in spite of it, she tossed back her hair, in another show of defiance, yet another that he found pleasurable to gaze at.

"Sorry...I've never even heard of you until now, and my grandfather and great-grandfather were Demon Lords. Hell, great-grandfather is a demon-god."

His smile tugged further at his lips, he almost being inspired to lick them. So that was it, the source of her capabilities; a child of light and dark together. Impressive. And rare.

His smile became almost warm.

"Demons of all blends have feared and trembled before me as well, woman...in time begging, pleading, to be unleashed as my 'dogs of war'. From quite...Elsewhere...am I. What you might call a wanderer, if not a...'hitchhiker'...?"

Her courage held, even now...half shouting back, "I don't care where you're from!"

...And within himself, he found desire...lust...for her, rising further in him. Such magnificence...doubtless to be years in the breaking.

He suddenly took hold of the helpless queen and pulled her up again, by the neck, openly exhibiting her to this woman who had risen in challenge...and watched her scream, in turn...helplessness somewhere to be found within her tone. "You are not hurting Gold while I have anything to say about it!"

With cruelty calculated he tossed the mage's royal charge back onto the bed, almost as if to reinforce to that one her inability to do anything against him...and replied to the mage calmly.

"You don't."

"I will! I am the granddaughter of a Chaos demon and a First-Born angel."

Chaos. Among the most powerful of their kind...and First-Born, he had encountered such before. Finding them to be the best of slaves, when broken. So vibrant, this one...so lovely...and such a perfect beast to t ame. Force her into a mistake, and she could already begin such path, toward being claimed, and then ruled, by a hand worthy of it.

"Such coming from one who cares not where her opponent is from? Foolishness, running in your veins as much as your magics."

He watched as she came to stand between he and her queen, even as he spoke. Quite the alpha amongst these felines of sorts, it and seeing submissiveness from other 'pack members', even without realizing it? Ironic, in a way.

"And I..." he continued, enjoying the expression from her, the wariness. "...I an incarnation of that which you have never known. So there..." He admired the fury that seemed to rise in her eyes, the sparkling determination to never yield, even as she trembled from hearing his soft laughter. "...we...are. And as for angels? More than one in ages past, falling beneath my blade."

To his surprise now, though, she actually laughed back.

"Death? I've been killed a...few...times in the past. Not such a big deal. I'll be back in ten to fifteen years, better able to kill you."

Surprise, surprise, he mulled, though with a trace of humor. A woman who feared not death. Something worth testing...along with a few other things.

"Truly? And if I informed that you're not the only being to have died? I can feel your magics being what protects you girl, rather than other inner depths. Without them, you're nothing to me, are you?"

Her chin tilted up to him, and again blazed with fury. "I've fought without them before, creature. You'll find I don't give up easily."

As she spoke he began circling her slowly, as the wolvere from another land likewise did, and had understood him for doing. The hunger, burning within him, for conquest, and to make such permanent. Her body, so very soft, will be worth taking, raping, much as will her queen's. He decided to use it.

"Why would I wish you to give up? All the better women, especially angelic, when they struggle and scream against their coming fate. Or were aware were you also not, that death was not what many of them faced, when 'falling beneath' blade?"

And it was holy magics, now, that were suddenly unleashed against him, ripping into his flesh and drawing his blood. Raising a forearm to block it, he considered her even more. So much variety, such qualities of interest, like wells in other lands made to never run dry...and as desirable to control, like such wells to the tribes that had been around them.

He felt himself forced to take a step back from the sheer force of her attack, and heard her defiance once more reaching his ears, with the words "...damn you...!"

He couldn't help the smile again. For knowing seemingly so little, outwardly, about the ways of such things, quite adept was she...at courting.

"Already, have ages passed since that day, li ttle girl...a reenactment, rather unnecessary." His eyes shimmered the green that sickened her, as he continued smiling. "Now...do it again," he spoke, raising his arm and unclenching his fist, showing her his rapidly healing, flesh...his blood that was smeared over it, softly glowing its pale green light.

His eyes locked and remained with hers, as the latter became as black as his own heart, and the air around them grew heavy, as huge thunderheads suddenly appeared, as if from the air itself...until he was suddenly thrown violently back, all but smashing into the ground. His body in actual pain, his lungs suddenly felt like burning fire, the air in them catching in his throat, as if constricted...and the cause of it, easy enough to see.

Tastefully vicious as tactics, all things considered...trying to rip the very breath from his throat, trying to strangle him in unique fashion, while also making the very ground beneath him come alive, to most likel y seek to drag him under it forever. Qualities that only an earth-mage might display, especially to degrees such as this.

Earth-mages...a breed he had openly seen only rarely...and never, in fact, fought. Both of those that he had once met and interacted with had refused combat with him, claiming him "unright," something that would "soil the soil" that they used when touched. Something that he had taken in turn as a compliment, in several ways.

But such had been over four thousand years ago. Only scantly ten generations past...that which had come before. To say he had come to expect never gazing upon one again was to understate...being near-convinced by the simple passing of the all but uncounted years that they had become extinct.

He began chanting, quietly, even as the constriction continued for further seconds. She had impressed all the more, with her cold-bloodedness, her desire to stop him regardless of cost even to herself...and her uncaring attitude toward that which caused such fear in so many. Were it not for the danger of her attack, he might've actually stopped for some seconds, and imagined further the future wherein she would be writhing beneath him, begging him to use her, rape her, beat her...even kill her, if he so wished.

The chants came out raspingly, in a tongue so ancient he doubted it could be remembered by now, whether by her or any other. His own tongue. He called upon what he remembered, called in the way he remembered it, when beginning to wage true war...

...and felt it leap to his veins, instantly, 'as though it had been but the passing of a moment', to quote from among the poets. The Power that was his...there, as it had been so long ago...callable almost in full, here in this land of magics so very numerous...and yet not among the magics, at all.

The power of That-Which-Was-Not, the Unness that fed all life its seething passions of death and hate, lust and selfishness and cravings without reason and more... Power by which he commanded the weapons she used, the stones and soil itself, to reform into dust. He could feel the mage's own strength come against against him...fiercely, healer and earthen-magess a potent combination indeed. Were he to have cared more than she did if he lived or died, he might've even been worried.

He studied her now, as their powers came to open blows, measure for measure, her will and strength now focused on keeping his other-than-Chaos from permanently harming the actual substance of the world itself. Such skill in holding back chaos alone, she had...and laudible skill, in fighting against that which he could sense she could not discern the nature of. Ever more, she was earning what could be gained solely by earning and no other way, his interest and fascination. Challenges had come to him uncounted, while walking as shadow among the lands, defying and taunting at their leisure...insolong as they remained alive. True challenges, those remaining so for more than mere minutes, were few and far between...far more worth the savoring.

Without warning, he felt snap the lines of the woman's spell, and freedom of action...seizure of the initiative...again returned to him. He launched a punch to her face, slamming her backward... But not as far as the blow might've caused, her shields still mostly in place, and almost amazingly physical just as much as magical. Most mages he'd struggled against were too foolish to consider even as few as two separate lanes of attack, let alone more. Calming himself once more to stone-cold iciness within, he released the rising strength toward the stones and floor both around and under her, to weaken defenses through forcing of use of her power to keep him from destroying the very structuring beneath her feet...and then mingled the act with taunts, to throw her mentally off-balance as well, if possible.

"If such power you hold, little girl, engage me without shields. If such pride burns within, why fight you in more fearful manner?"

She, in turn, dared laugh in reply. "I may have pride, but that doesn't mean I lack intelligence. If I removed my shields, I'd be dead."

In reply, his lets his eyes sparkle once more, with the alien light in his eyes, and with something akin to...approval.

"Dead? Far from it, little magess. Why would I kill one who will be much, much more pleasing as broken...?"

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His words hang there, even as they both draw on still more power...he, on that which made life itself willing to cause harm, even unto itself, and she upon the heavens above, once more...

And in that, her weakness, as he now knows what to expect, regardless of her adding a call to fire now, in the thoughts he could sense. A well-trained foe, but one lacking in basic experience as to what her opponent was...and what had always leaned toward serving him, by nature.

"Serve me, spirits of the frothing, seething flame. Serve me, and be granted the engulfing of more than you have ever imagined, the burning of more than has dared been spoken before among these lands. Serve me....only if you dare."

And upon his speaking it...some among the flames change, here and there, seemingly at war within their own selves. Some burning orange still, and seeking to come down and toward him, but others beginning to burn otherwise. Beginning to burn green. Her eyes flair, in combination between apparent twin natures, that of light and that of dark. His eyes flair, the flames around being made alien green, somehow now reflecting from within them. Within, she struggles to hold fast against his own strength, placing defense after defens e up as she might. Within, he continues to study...while harrassing her defense, the attacks, however slight or strong whenever they come, never pausing long enough to give her a breath, mental or physical.

He notes how rocks and dust that are not aimed directly at her pass through...while anything that might cause her harm, stopped cold. Notes...how proximity to anything, whether dangerous or not, means nothing, unless she is actually in danger.

Slowly, he begins to smile more deeply, and holds back a chuckled laugh.

And is greeted in turn with an angry hiss from deep, in turn, from her throat. "Go...to...Hell!"

He does laugh, then. So very funny again in his mind, that.

"And what would you know of it, little girl? I've already been...and for quite the lengthy stay. If I ever return, I'll take everyone you love with me."

She scowls with what focus she can spare, and sends another bolt at him, tryi ng to find weakness in his own defenses. It strikes, and indeed brings pain through his veins...but now he refuses to stay down, refuses to playfully withdraw...in fact increasing the power he draws from nowhere, or perhaps whatever molten fires might burn far beneath.

She is tiring...and he sees such. Her sweat mixes with her clothes enough to cause them to stick to her skin, and his smile grows the more; his lust, for blood or otherwise, the more.

He desires to see her flinch, to move as she does, so beautifully in his eyes...and aims a vicious kick at her, watching how her shields react, as well as how her body does. He watches her gather up the holy power; though it cannot kill him, it can and does bring hurt. Unceasing, though, he seeks to rattle her confidence; her shields flex, in turn, with her mood and focus.

His eyes don't waver from her, even though the Queen, near forgotten in the struggle, slowly creeps toward the door.

"You know you cannot defeat me, youthful magess. You know this, at heart. Your beloved purifications work solely on those of your world, and on those who are to be purified. Nothing have I to do with either."

He watches her body tremble, watches her hands seem to shake with growing exhaustion, and feels the slight tremor through the smoothed stone beneath, as if it seeks to assist her...and if she is still half the earth-mage she has thus far shown herself to him as, it does. His words flow, once more.

"Long ago, before you were a thought or a memory of the future...there was once a saying, woman. 'No good within him.' And how true, gloriously. You cannot win..."

He ignores the Queen, as she seeks to make it to the door; hunting her at his leisure will be for another time. His focus now, totally on the woman before him. Not since the islands, now, or even perhaps before, has he felt a challenge of such force from another...perhaps even since he created his vanguard, lifetimes ago. Even now, as she trembles with further exhaustion, she fights with intractable determination, almost fury. The light in her eyes, telling as much as any words she might speak.

"I will...defeat you....or die trying..."

Not so much a lie, he decided, as...misinformed. The woman was far too interesting to merely die.

"You believe I'll permit that? Death would annul the point, of breaking you...though, admittedly, even if you pressed the point and succeeded therein, your precious 'highness' would then belong to me."

She charges at him swiftly, trying to throw him off enough, and motions for Gold to escape. The Queen for her part takes her chances and throws open the door, running for her life...careless of thef act that she is nude, and that her friend is fighting for her own...

And exhibits another weakness, to his eyes. The woman's shields permit the Queen to pass through them, without any added action on her either's part. They defend her solely against intended harm. The skill needed for such, interesting to him, in its own right...that any among the would-be 'masters' here would understand how to do such a thing, and that despite her seeming youth, her ability to create them as developed as it is already.

The Queen does escape through the door, and he barely notes of it. He could let her run, to be captured by some other male whose fealty was to him, or eventually hunt on his own. For now the magess held promise of being the far more interesting.

"You'll never win, and you know it more than you dare to admit." He says the words now to her, with a cold ruthlessness, and no laughter or pleasure in his eyes; of that which he has, he keeps it hidden beneath the lack of outer expression...and whether from that or from grinding pain of the struggle alone, despair becomes visible to him, in her eyes. Realization th at her fight is a hopeless one...yet without ceasing.

In her hand appears a bow, with three arrows of yet again 'angelic' power. The first two, stinging with the inner flame that he remembered all too well...hurting 'like Hell'. By the time of the third, though, his flesh has adjusted. The third stings as well, but with less than half the effectiveness of the first two. Her breath, now coming in short gasps, gives away how deeply she's been weakened.

"Do tell, young girl...of what it is like to breathe air as a necessity...?"

His voice, calm and level; his flesh, all but free of any sweat. He wonders briefly what might a fight with her be like if he had had command of her training. For all the power she's shown him, he sees weakness in her use of it; use of too much of it at once. Were she to know how to call the most out of every drop of her strength...there then...a battle, most delicious. Much as he imagines she will soon be.

Secon ds pass without her giving an answer, and he presses on with his words, as he stalks slightly away, seeming to pace just slightly, almost as might a caged animal. "I have rarely needed it, in times recent, Elsewhere, and it can be difficult to remember the nuances of. Please, do tell..." He smiles, as he asks.

She shivers. "It is a pleasurable enough sensation."

His nod comes swiftly, the predatorial light returning to his eyes, along with the equal smile once more.

"Excellent. You'll come to experience such often, then, while panting and whimpering beneath me."

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"No!" Her scream is a cross of desperation, and anger...and a scream which almost blinds her to one of his punches, this one from his right hand, which moves towards her without warning...causing her to instinctually move back, in case he r shields fail to protect.

While doing so, though, she suddenly feels, seemingly even faster out of nowhere, his other hand come forward...and touch her hair; his eyes showing a vein of surprise, or perhaps fascination, as it gets through after having sought to harm her only a mere instant before.

His movements continue, grabbing her arms in both hands, and dragging her towards him, with speed still nearly as lightning...and horrifyingly, stopped by nothing at all, when her shields were still supposed to be holding out...

All such thoughts suddenly cease...near all thought of any kind ceasing...when his pull on her ends with him bringing her lips to his, her body against his, and his grip tightening in turn to near vice, not allowing her to recoil...either in shock, or from a different kind of horror. Even while the forced "tasting" of her just begins, she can feel it begin to happen, even as she tries to struggle away...a thin trickl e of power flowing out from her, and into him. Hearing him give one of the disturbing, unnatural-sounding growls that seemed to almost...echo...somehow from inside him, she feels his hand reach higher up her neck...to grip the back of her hair, pinning her head back, and then to beginning to drink, in nectar-like fashion, the power that she could now in turn only begin to moan over, while giving him...

She doesn't know how many seconds pass before he pulls back to gaze into her eyes again, while running his tongue over his teeth a little. She trembles in a grip vastly stronger than hers, and gazes back, still in mounting horror, as he traps both of her arms behind her back at the wrist with one hand, and then lets the other gently brush down the center of her neck, then further below...all the while watching her moan and squirm, still trying, in fading struggle, to break free. She knows he can hear the soft sounds she makes, of disgust; disgust with him, with what he is, and what he represents.

And with herself, for feeling pleasure as well.

"You have not prayer of defeating me, girl, especially now." His breath is somehow warm against her skin, all up and down her neck, even though his face is several inches away. She tries, in ever-present desperation, to get loose of a grip that seems strong as stone.

"I can't give up, they need me, they depend on me..."

He lets his hand move down her clothing, touching her at given locations. Her stomach, the outside of her thighs...and then the inside; hearing her moan and squirm, so desperate, and so very weak now.

"Perhaps they deserve to be conquered and subjected, woman, if they are so weak to rely on one, for their protection. They have used you, drained you nearly dry...I can feel the pain from it, in you. You push yourself past your limits, don't you? Push yourself past limits and are never thanked for what you do..."

She looks to him quickly, now...her eyes wide with pure terror, her struggles growing even more desperate, if possible, as he pulls her body hard against his, and brings his lips, his teeth, to her neck, to begins kissing and gnawing at the skin.

"You wish it would stop, don't you. The pain, the pressure...the ingratitude. You wish all of it could stop, even if just for moments."

She knows...knows...what he was doing, she knows what this was... Trying to make her confused, like predators do, trying to get her to...

Her body begins saying yes, even as her minds says no...its struggles beginning to slow, while her mind's screams become the shriller, against him...

"I ask not much of you, woman. Merely, in the end, surrender to what you understand is your destiny. I will conquer this land, this world; you understand that deep down, as much as Gold, your former Queen, does. All these lands yo u've lived in will become my property, and serve me. Just as you will."

Before her lips can even begin to voice a scream of no, his lips and teeth come to the skin beneath her ear...exposed to him, with her head and hair still pinned...and begins breathing softly, though hotly, on it.

"You'll just be getting ahead of this game all will play."

She tries to shove herself back away from him, her terror now beyond description. She doesn't even pull away an inch.

"My honor...is all I have left. I will not break my word..."

She feels this man's...this being's...hands slide down her arms...and watches as his eyes meet hers, lock to hers, while glowing their sick green...

And she knows what he thinks, suddenly. Or part of what he thinks. True fire of green color visibly in his eyes, she can feel what she is to him, feel his carnal, horrid lust for her, in his look, in these 'windows'...windows to his thoughts, suddenly, if not any soul. She feels....her beauty, to him, in this her growing helplessness...the desire for her she's caused to rise, the more she's fought...feels...

...Feels her body grow cold and hot within, at the same time, moments before he suddenly kisses her lips, tenderly yet fiercely, green aura radiating from him more steadily, battling with the golden light in her...but now, steadily winning.

And this time there is more power; she feels the realization in him, hears his thoughts of her as something special to hold onto, and something special in general. Pleasure to force power, each in turn...pleasure to force power out of her, and into him, again as if a drink that might be taken from her lips. His kiss deepens, and the 'drinking' grows, in depth...draining her, her reserves.

In her shock...shock both from emotions and rising lack of strength, lack of will to resist...she can only moan in rising, terrible bliss, sh ields finally completely gone, and ever more helpless in his arms. One of his hands moves down to her knee, drawing the leg around his waist as he drinks on...and suddenly, her shock not from physical sense alone, as she feels within herself, with clarity, the thought of how sweet she tastes...

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He drained her near-dry of her innate power, but wanted to know more of it... He bore his fangs, and without warning sunk them into her neck...biting down, but so very carefully, just enough to draw a slight trickleof blood, the barest of tastes...and even that was sweet. Her magics, her healing, so deep and powerful that perhaps not even he could suck it dry. Earth-magic a god might envy...purification, chaos, high, divine, priestly, dark forces, angelic, more. The woman was a cornicopia of power to him to feed off of , almost as would be a battery to a machine.

He could hear the mage-woman moan, her hands still, even now, trying to shove him away somehow, even as he continued tearing her clothes down and off, much as he did before to the other.

Let her moan. Soon enough, it would be for other reasons. He had to...needed to..have her, bring her to her peak to see what this pleasure-power of hers would do when her body was forced into helpless, ultimate bliss for him.

"Yield, Mage. You feel it well enough, how your life can be, should be..."

Without warning he dug his fingers into the flesh of her thighs, hearing a higher-pitched moan, of pain and discomfort.

"Or feel how much pain there might be, if you refuse."

He let her feel it, the stinging hurt, for a few more seconds, before returning again to pleasure...calling on his own power to deaden or heal what he'd done, while caressing the flesh newly exposed by the rippi ng away of her clothes, steadily with the long-remaining half of his own.

"Choose. Now." While requiring the answer...demanding it...he suckles the skin of her neck, here and there, and kisses her lips, still drinking, still draining, like fine wine.

She trembled in his arms, as he forced her to her Queen's bed, ready to ravish her, to make her scream in bliss and agony at the same time.

"To keep my word..." she moaned out, "...or enjoy this unholy bliss. To endure contempt of the court for being low-born, or to be nothing more than your toy!"

He then pulled back, studying her...and hearing the contempt and pain in her voice. Hearing the struggle, struggle he understood all to well...of pain mixed with rage, and hatred of the way things were. Hearing the Dark, that she'd tried to mask, all this time...?

"Choose bliss, woman. It will make your new life in my empire permanently easier."

Seconds passe d as she looked deep into his eyes, her expression seemingly confused, lost. Lost and uncertain.

...Before finally looking away.

"Oh gods...I can't do this, but I want you..."

His response was immediate. "And you will get it...as my slave..."

He entered her then, while smelling her need and desire like fine perfume, forcing himself deep within while listening to her cry out as her body began to be plundered.

"Power and pleasure, Magess. Choose me, and it is what you receive. Be a true friend to your Queen, not just another cold, icy warrior. Serve her...by refusing to cause more pain by defying me."

He ravished her flesh slowly, taking his time in making the woman scream, carnally, in bliss...and shame. He drank the power with savor, feeling it double with her first peak, quadruple with her second, and continually doubling each time pushing her over the edge. Finally, utterly drained and exhausted, she collapsed under him, as limp in resistence as might be a plaything.

------------------------------------------------

He pushed himself up and looked around the room. Their battle left the place torn, the floor in large chunks and the walls burnt and battered.

After dressing in the lower part of his armor, he summoned one the warriors, one of his lieutenants, with a thought.

"Take the magess here and put her in my most comfortable cell. I'll have more sport with her, soon enough. No one but myself is to touch her after she is placed within. Understood?"

The other nodded, bowing low. "Yes, my Lord." The man bundled up the battered and naked woman, carefully, and began to turn toward the door with her before he spoke to him once more.

"Also, bring to me the Queen Gold..." He searched his memory. "You caught her some thirty feet from t he door, did you not?"

"Y...yes, my Lord, we did."

"That...is well."