BREACHSPACE: Fiendish Profiles, “The Price of a Kiss” by E.J. Tett
“She doesn’t look quite… human.”
Kissendra laughed and lay back on the comfortable sofa in the lounge of Matron Heron’s House of Lovers. She looked over at her fellow companion and smiled at the woman’s naivety. “How so?” she asked.
She watched as Heron, standing behind the reception desk, leaned forward a little as she spoke to a potential client. Her friend was slow to respond and she looked over at the woman to see her brow furrowed prettily as she also watched the Matron.
“She has hooves.”
Kissendra laughed again. “And wings,” she added. She grinned wickedly. “You’re observant! Have you seen the horns?”
“Horns,” Kissendra confirmed. “Though she’s had them filed down. Have a look and you might catch a glimpse of them beneath her hair. She’s had a lot of work done, if you look.”
“I’m not… I mean, I’m not about to start staring at the Matron, she’ll get offended!” The woman, girl, Kissendra thought, sat up and folded her arms across her chest.
“She likes it,” Kissendra said. “When people look at her.”
“When people look at her lustfully,” her friend said.
At reception, Matron Heron moved out from behind the desk, her hips swaying seductively. She put a hand on the client’s arm and steered him towards the lounge where the companions waited.
Kissendra arranged herself artfully on the sofa and smiled when Heron brought the man over. His eyes passed over her and then away. She didn’t let it bother her. She turned back to her friend when Heron moved the man on, tempting him instead with an elven woman.
“You’re new,” she said. “Do you know how Heron became Matron?”
Her friend shook her head, pulled her gaze away from Heron and the client and looked at Kissendra. “Tell me.”
“This is Cog Town’s most successful brothel,” Kissendra said. “But only since Heron came and I’ve been here longer. I was here at the beginning and I’ll be here until the end. I’ve worked under two Matrons and a Patriarch. I killed the first Matron.”
Her friend looked at her in surprise and she smiled, pleased at the reaction. “Stabbed the bitch,” she explained. “I didn’t like her, she treated me like a common whore. As did Patriarch Farlan, but he was violent too. He was Heron’s.”
She sat up on the sofa and leaned over to her friend. “Heron has a way with violent old men in particular. She can tame them, turn them into soft, weak things. She has certain… talents.”
“Really?” her friend asked, wrinkling her nose. “I don’t see it.”
“Then you are not as observant as I thought,” Kissendra said dryly, turning as Heron walked past, hooves sinking into the soft carpet.
The Matron took a quill and dipped it into an inkpot on the desk before scratching something into her book. She looked up once, her eyes met Kissendra’s and a small smile touched her lips.
“I would die for her,” Kissendra said. She licked her lips and turned back to her friend. The woman had backed off so she grabbed her arm and pulled her close again. “You would do the same!”
“I – ”
“Farlan beat me,” Kissendra said, loosening her grip. “And raped me. And he would have killed me if I hadn’t have been his favourite. He got his. In the end.”
“One night I ran. I’d had enough. I ran until I fell at the feet of a great she-demon. A woman with horns and cloven hooves and the wings of a bat. I thought she was going to kill me.” Kissendra let her friend go but the woman reached for her hands and gave them a squeeze, looking at her imploringly.
“Tell me what happened.”
“Heron picked me up and brought me back here. She gave me back to Farlan. I hated her then.” Kissendra shook her head, gazed at Heron again. “But she needed an excuse to be here, and I was that excuse. Heron knew what this place was. She knew what it could do for her. And apparently, she and Farlan knew each other.”
“They were lovers?”
“Close,” Kissendra said, smiling. “Enemies. They’d tried to kill each other on more than one occasion.”
“That doesn’t mean they weren’t lovers.”
Kissendra laughed. “No,” she agreed. “It doesn’t. Heron gave me back to Farlan and watched as he punished me. When it was over, she paid for me and took me to a private room.”
“She sounds as bad as him,” her friend whispered, a horrified look on her face.
Kissendra couldn’t help but grin. “Oh she is,” she agreed. “But she’s also much better. We made love for the first time that night. She empowered me. We’re… linked, telepathically.” She tapped the side of her head. “Everything I know, she knows. And we’re both stronger for it.”
She let go of her friend’s hands and leaned back on the sofa. “When Heron left my room, she looked like me. She went straight to Farlan and tricked him into bed. She fucked him until there was nothing left of him but a dried out old husk.” She smirked and looked at her friend. “She did that thing for me.”
“And then she became Matron. She had her wings removed; apparently, they were frightening to some people. Now she has those pretty feathered ones, like an angel. Me, I preferred her old ones.” She shrugged and got to her feet, leaving her friend alone in the lounge and joining Heron in reception.
“My dear, Kiss, you’re telling all my secrets,” Heron purred, hooking an arm around Kissendra’s waist and pulling her close.
Kissendra smiled. “No,” she said. “I’m giving her a warning not to mess with you.”
Heron’s eyes moved past Kissendra, over her shoulder to the girl in the lounge. “You think she is a spy,” she said.
“Hmm.” Heron looked at Kissendra and touched her face softly. Kissendra felt a shiver run through her. “But she is such a sweet girl. You will keep an eye on her for me?”
“For you, Matron, I would do anything.”
BREACHSPACE: Fiendish Profiles, “The Price of a Kiss”, written by E.J. Tett, published by XEI is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.