August 19, 2016 by Lyn
Rix’s Guest Story
(Three Generations after the main Story)
Ignifer originally inspired by this picture
“So, what’s your name?”
Her first thought was that he sounded like a grown up. Not just the sixteen years that she now had and had once thought was as grownup as you could get, but as much as twenty or even a little older than that. His eyes glowed in the dimly lit auditorium as did the marks on his skin she could see at his cuffs and collar. Equally as unusual as those to her were his elbow-length black hair and the sharp nails, talons or claws, on his fingers – she wasn’t sure which was the right word. He was still more normal looking than a lot of the people in the room at this first Saturday night party.
“I’m Caffery,” she replied nervously and extended her hand to shake his.
“Caffery sh’?” He asked that while demonstrating that he’d mastered the art of a pleasant handshake. “I’m Ignifer sh’Jean cy’Drake.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” she apologised, “I’m Caffery sh’Rima.”
“Don’t apologise for things you’re new to,” he said kindly but loud enough for her to hear over the music that had started again, “sh’Rima would make you Mako and Glory’s sister, wouldn’t it?”
“That’s right.” She nodded as she saw the red hair of one of the twins flash through the crowd on the other side of the room.
“Like to dance?” He offered her his hand.
“Yes, please.” She let him lead her onto the dance floor.
He managed to keep her there until the DJ went for a break and then he took her to the bar for a drink. “Something you’ll like,” he said confidently as he handed it to her. She was warm and thirsty from dancing and the long, cool drink slid effortlessly down her throat.
After that things got a bit blurry. He introduced her to his friends, who all seemed interesting, attractive and funny. They all seemed to like her too. They even laughed at her jokes. She danced with a couple of the boys, Ben and Pepin, and after that she had another set with Ignifer.
She had another of the long, cool drinks then got rather giggly in the corner next to Ignifer, thinking that his neat pointed ears, each with their two silver rings in the lobe, were fascinating, particularly the way they sat flat against his head with his hair flowing and flaring around them. She went to the bathroom in a gaggle with the girls in Ignifer’s group: Sulin with the dark, almond shaped eyes that matched her ears and tail; diminutive blonde Mona in her white dress with the cut-outs; and Kara from her PE class who looked like solid slabs of muscle there and so queenly and glamorous tonight.
Then back to the boys and she danced some more with Ignifer. After that a third cold drink-
She woke up on her back in bed with no clothes on. It didn’t feel like her new bed in her new room and there was an arm across her ribcage below her breasts. She felt headachy, she was thirsty, she felt damp between her thighs and she was sore in various places. Something was around her neck. Caffery began to feel guilty, this seemed exactly like something sensible girls were supposed to avoid. The owner of the arm moved, rolled over perhaps, and the arm withdrew along the bottom of her breasts, something that was surprisingly sensitizing and exciting. She waited and there was no further movement from the other side of the bed and no sound except breathing. It was time for her to leave.
She quietly slid out of the bed, careful not to make the covers or mattress move too much. She just had to find her clothes, get her dress on and then she could leave and make her way back to her own room. She could hope it was still night time and no-one would see her so she wouldn’t die of embarrassment.
She’d found her dress near the door and was trying to work out whether it was inside out by feel when a male voice from the bed said firmly, “Stop.” Her muscles froze. “Caffery,” Ignifer spoke again, “what were you doing?”
“Leaving to go back to my own room before you woke up,” she confessed.
“You don’t remember, do you?” He sounded amused. “This is your room now, Caffery. You said you belong to me, so now you live with me. Now come back over here so we can do something about the hangover I’m sure you’ve got.” His words seemed to bypass her brain as she turned to see his eyes glowing in the dark and then walked around the bed to him. “Kneel down, there’s a good girl.” She did so, wordlessly, still holding those of her clothes she’d been able to find. He put a hand either side of her forehead and said, “Jasfe tlacatl Caffery sh’Rima oro’Ignifer,” and kissed her on the forehead. Her headache vanished. “Put your clothes on that chair, go use my bathroom and grab yourself a drink of water, then come back here to bed.”
She obeyed him. Part of her mind wondered that she didn’t even think about it. Looking in the bathroom mirror as she drank her water she saw what was round her neck, a choker of what looked like black-flecked green and orange mottled jade plaques set in gold. It was beautiful and exotic. Now she wore it, it somehow seemed to define her. It made her, always the ordinary one in a family of vibrant redheads, look exotic, although being otherwise naked might have something to do with that. She didn’t know what to think.
She climbed back into the bed and they lay looking at each other for a few moments. He reached out and brushed her hair off her face with his free hand. “It will be alright Caffery, you’re not going to get into trouble for this. If anyone has a problem, they can take it up with me.” He corrected himself, “I will make them take it up with me, not you. Now,” she could see him smile in the glow from his eyes, “We’re going to have sex again, then we’ll shower and I’ll explain a few things to you and give you your orders, then we’ll get your stuff from your old room and bring it back here, and then we’ll go have breakfast.” He moved over her and had her on her back in an instant. His hair hung down around them like a tent and his eyes lit the space with a greenish twilight. “I’ll have to teach you how to fuck and how to make love, too.” He smiled, “The differences are all in the mind set and the applied skill set.” He lowered himself onto her and kissed her. “It can all be enormous fun and enormously satisfying with the right people. It can also,” he was suddenly serious, “be torture with the wrong people, but I don’t intend for us to go there.” He kissed her again.
Later, in the bathroom after they’d finished drying each other off with thick, brown towels and he’d finished running through a list of orders Caffery thought she’d never remember, Ignifer stood behind her and made her look in the full length mirror she’d been studiously ignoring. “And never tell anyone that you’re not pretty or beautiful when they complement you.” He took her breasts in his hands and pulled her back against him. “You have pale olive skin,” he kissed the junction of her neck and shoulder, “brown hair and green eyes with amber flecks. So you may not look like your sisters, but that doesn’t mean you’re not pretty. You’re lovely now and when you Change you’ll be even better.” He paused. “Clothes. We need clothes or nothing’s going to get done this morning.” He let her go. “Go get dressed please. I’ll just be a couple of minutes.”
Later while he watched her pack her things back into her bags he explained Sanctity and thresholds to her. “So, as a Kept you don’t have Sanctity. If we left your things here, anyone could just walk in and help themselves. Most people wouldn’t because that lacks, well, couth but some people might. I don’t see why anyone should have your stuff just because they want it. Sanctity is also why I need you to tell me where you’re planning to go when you go out without me – I can’t go looking for you in other people’s Sanctity. Other people aren’t allowed to hide you from me but there’s taking and there’s hiding and then there’s lying about something even if you didn’t make it happen.”
Caffery looked up from her repacking. “Why would anyone want to hide me from you?” He was leaning against the door frame, hair pulled back in a pony tail and wearing a long sleeved tee shirt and jeans.
“Things can get a little intense on occasion. People get carried away with themselves and their grievances. Challenge and attack each other. Putting someone’s Kept where they can’t get to them is against the Law, but there are people who push as hard as they can.” He came and stood beside her. “I see this is as an exchange. You’re my Kept and I get the benefits of that, including meeting my graduation requirements. In return, meeting my graduation requirements helps you to meet yours and I teach you the skills you need to survive at Addergoole without a Keeper.”
“So, this is a deal where we both get something we need?” Caffery sat back on her heels and looked up at him with interest.
“Keeping and being Kept often isn’t,” Ignifer admitted easily, “But I want it to be that way between us. Badly treated Kept can turn into a Keeper’s worst enemies and I really don’t want you to be my enemy…” His voice trailed off into nothing and he was staring over her shoulder at the floor.
“Ignifer, are you all right?” It worried her that he seemed not present for a moment.
He shook his head. “Sorry. Something distracted me. Happens sometime. Are you almost finished?”
After he’d carried her bags back to his room and pointed out her wardrobe and drawer space as well as the second study desk, they went to breakfast in the Dining Hall. She put her usual muesli and milk on the tray. He added plates of cooked mushrooms and fruit to her tray as well as serving himself. “Get used to it,” he overrode her protest with a grin, “you will be working it off.” While they ate he quietly pointed out student body personalities and groups such as, “The girl with the hair that’s mauve today is Lilana. She’s a cy’Linden in my year, I’d define her as a ‘bad’ succubus. She doesn’t have any Kept this year, yet, but she used to Keep Boyle and Surya. Avoid them if you can, they’ve learnt to behave like her.” Then later, food finished and on his second cup of coffee, he pulled out a notebook and started making a list. He looked up and found her watching him. “Things you need,” he explained. “A combat instructor so you know how to defend yourself next year, and that means we have to go see Luke, Doug and Professor Fridmar to see which of them will take you on. You’ll need training clothes for that. I’d like to make some changes to your wardrobe but there’s not a lot of point until you Change, so we get the sizes right. You need a new dressing gown though and I want you to have a few more night gowns – all your night attire is for somewhere cooler than it ever gets down here. You’ll cook if you wear that stuff.”
That led to a half hour breeze through the Store on the way back to their room during which Caffery became the owner of four near transparent cotton night gowns and a mid-green silk kimono. “I can’t imagine why you don’t wear this colour,” Ignifer had declared when she tried the kimono on over her clothes.
“Because my sisters and mother wear something very like it all the time,” she said, stroking the silk regretfully with one finger. “Perhaps in another colour?”
“But I like you in this one and,” he whispered in her ear, “you’re hardly likely to wear this anywhere near your sisters.”
He left her in their room to unpack again and do her homework if she had time before lunch while he went off to his own combat class and practice. She left their room at the appointed time to meet him in the Dining Hall and, because he wasn’t there when she arrived, she made her selection from the counter and claimed the table they’d used at breakfast. Her sisters found her before Ignifer did.
“So, Fetchling,” said Mako sitting in the seat opposite her, “got yourself Kept, did you?”
Glory put her tray down beside her twin’s. “Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that. We were both Kept last year. My Joel was in his last year, a real honey, but Mako,” she glanced at her twin, “got caught by Russell the Skunk. Stinker by name, stinker by nature.”
Mako looked around casually, then said, “We’re going after him this year, he’s only the year ahead of us. He fights dirty so it might be best if you are being Kept. It’ll give you protection. I saw you hanging out with Mona’s crew last night. Which of them caught you?”
“Ignifer.” Caffery blushed.
“Not bad, Fetchling.” Mona nodded and smiled in approval, showing far too many sharp teeth. “Cute and not unkind, or so I hear.”
Caffery did have a question that her sisters should be able to help with. “What can you tell me about the graduation requirements?” She saw them glance at each other. “Ignifer’s said something about us helping each other with them but he didn’t say what they are.”
“Interesting you asked what ‘can’ we tell you,” replied Glory, pursing her lips. “There are restrictions on what we can say to you. That’s one of them. I think the first month or so of school here is designed to be a series of nasty shocks – they seem to encourage the Change.” She spread her web-linked fingers at her sister. “You have a different father to us so I have no idea what you’re likely to turn out as, Fetchling.”
“Fetchling?” Ignifer sat down beside her and Caffery felt a glow of pleasure. “Why do you call her that?” He directed the question to Glory then turned to Caffery and dropped a kiss on her cheek, “Hallo, love.”
“Our mother’s always called her that,” answered Glory, stabbing at her pasta, “It’s Caffery’s family nickname. She’s awfully good at finding things, it’s a talent.” She paused, fork in mid-air, looking at her younger sister. “May be even a power.”