The Agony of Ecstasy_26

“Your body is the church where Nature asks to be reverenced.”

Marquis de Sade
Image Source: upsocl


Scene 26

The young woman sat motionless on the plank floor in the striated light of the moon cascading through the reed window covers. Her nakedness in this strange place left her afraid and unsure of what to do. Only her training and discipline kept her frozen in the cool blue-gray light striking a pattern on her nervous flesh.

Outside, the clear night beckoned the boreal creatures of darkness to sing, to rise, to hunt, or mate. The buzz of insects and croaking tree-frogs blended with the scream of a Whippoorwill. The woman shuddered.

“Be still,” Commanded a harsh alto voice.

The shivering body became an alabaster statue worthy of Venus or Diana; goddesses left over from the time of Romans in the Carpathians Mountain range.

“Ras, my love, can you do it? Asked Moira.

“Yes, it will take time and a lot of rope to make the body suit,” Ras answered.

“Can she be suspended by the suit too?” Moira continued her query as if the model were real stone without feelings or senses.

“No, the suspension would ruin the suit. It’s better to use the traditional knots on the legs, arms, and body. I can develop a suspension plan that will play well with the suit. The girl will be a work of art,” Ras promised.

“That is precisely what her master wants,” Moira replied. We have to be done in three days when the moon is full. We have a special request from the Castle Rặzvan.”

“What do they want?” Ras furrowed his brow while he studied the girl.

“They have selected a new Wolfmaster, the first in 40 years. We are to test her strength and resolve to care for the Rặzvan wolves,” Moira explained.

“Do you know the protocols? I have only heard of them from the old ones. I’ve never participated in such a test,” Raz said with a tone of irritation.

“The mad witch of Rặzvan taught me everything she knew before she died. She was a Wolfmaster before the knots and loneliness took her mind.” Moira replied, her voice now soft and low as if to give reverence to her memory of the witch she had befriended.

“She was not lonely in your hands, Moira.” Ras snapped.

“She was still mad as a rabid fox, Moira said, her voice returning to harshness. That is why I loved her.”

“So it was, Ras said, his voice now guided to the proper tone with his mistress. Back to the girl. Has she had training with the ropes?”

“Her master tells me you will find her a willing and able student. Take her breath away, but don’t harm her soul,” Moira warned.

Moira watched with deep fascination at the hulk of a man, dressed only in balloon pants and a wide sash to hold them up, move toward their student. His tattooed back rippled in the striped light and dark shadows as the lines cascaded down his back.

Ras bent down and placed his hand on the woman’s lower back and whispered in her ear. She looked up into his face and found pleasure there. Moira could see the young rabbit’s eyes soften in Ras’ presence; he submitted her with only a touch and the look of sternness in his eyes.

Moira felt a twinge of jealousy as Ras lifted the model from the floor with two fingers under her chin. She obeyed with a natural gracefulness. Taking her hand in his, Ras led her away to a back room and closed the thick wooden door.

Moira knew with intimate detail how Ras would own her. His creative use of rope and knot was the perfect balance of pleasure and pain. He knew the very second the mind turned from ecstasy to agony and he was there to release the bonds where the flow of blood could render his subject drunk on the high of oxygen and body chemistry. His subject would be ready for his style of love.

Moira felt her tingling arousal distract her from her work. How she wished it was her in that room with Ras. A smile turned up the corners of Moira’s lips, blackened with lipstick to match her kohl eyeshadow framing dark green eyes. Anticipation was a type of foreplay that could kill a person with erotic distractions; she mused to herself.

She looked down at her inks and natural herbs. A new Wolfmaster called for a special ink that would have the appointee in a proper state of mind for the tests. Moira laughed with a wicked sound in her throat. The mad witch’s daughter would join her and Ras in three days. The once in a lifetime ritual would be her most covetous moment in life. The insane witch returns to me in the form of the daughter. Such a soul possession would make me the queen of darkness and ensure my and Ras’ knotted art survived.

Moira heard the Whippoorwill screech again. Ah, no. It was only the girl.


The Agony of Ecstasy_25

“Sometimes I dance, alone, to music no-one can hear but me. When I dance I feel the beat of the earth’s own heart rise through my feet and legs, through my loins and belly and into my chest,… when I’m dancing, I’m dancing with you.”

Sarah Bower, The Book of Love
Image Source: Pinterest


Scene 25

Cezar Lifted Alexandra’s blanketed body and felt the tremors of her fear set ablaze with desire. He carried her inside to her suite and placed her on the plush cushions of her couch. She watched him, never taking her eyes off of his face. Seated next to her, Cezar took Alexandra in his arms. She nestled against his chest and adjusted the blanket to appear inviting to her Viscount.

Ice cold fingers squeezed Cezars hand. The tremors in Alexandra’s head and hands brought sadness to Cezar, and he held her tighter hoping to give her the warmth she sought in him and to calm the fear and injury that shook her body with a chill he could not fathom.

Dari brought fresh, hot tea on a silver tray. Without speaking, she glanced at Alexandra to judge her mood. Her ice blue eyes never blinked as she set the tray down on the low table and left, closing the door behind her.

Suspended in their private thoughts, they watched the steam dancers lift from the cups. The gray-white columns intertwined, broke away, and melted into a funnel of mist drifting in the currents of their exhalations. Distant memories shared across their mysterious lives played in their mind’s eye.

“Do you remember the dance of the scimitar?” Cezar whispered, not wanting to disturb the quiet that settled on them.

“Of course, I remember. It was my favorite.” Alexandra replied.

The old confidence of the fighter emerged in the Duchess’ voice. She lifted her head from Cezar’s shoulder and sat up. Cezar saw the spark of life push through the glaze in Alexandra’s eyes as arms reached behind his neck, her face moving closer to his. He felt his loins surge and the liquor of desire flood his mind, giving him the feeling of waking from a dream.

They kissed. Cezar tasted the sweetness of honey and tannins from the tea. A touch of lemon and bergamot swept across his tongue as she sought to find the inside of his lips. He inhaled her breath and she his. They tried a more firm purchase with desperate fingers and starving hearts. How long had it been since they found themselves in the bloody path of their history together and in love again?

There was a pause as if by a command from an invisible authority. They sipped from their cups trying to recover a moment of sanity.

“Do you remember dancing for me in the Palace of Ur?” Cezar asked, his eyes searching Alexandra for some hint she remembered their eternal bond.


“Yes, the ancient city before the Sumerians and Assyrians, before the Greeks and Persians too. We lived near the banks of the Euphrates in a palace built by my father’s father.”

“I’ve dreamed of it. I was the king’s concubine, and the queen was not fond of the king’s bastard son or me. It was that dream of dancing with the scimitars that helped me develop my current style of dancing with knives. Are you saying that was you and me, it wasn’t a dream? Alexandra asked.

“It was a memory carried across many more lives than we can count. Do you remember what happened?” Cezar inquired.

“I’ve been haunted by these kinds of dreams most of my life. Master Cho said it was my ancestors speaking to me, but it felt too personal, too terrible to be anything but my own trauma.”

“Master Cho was right. We are our ancestors. Each life we live, we reunite and share our one cause to take back what we lost due to the avarice of others, to take back our love and our lives.” Cezar said.

“I feel it too. The first moment I saw you in Master Cho’s gym, I felt I knew you and ever since you have been in my dreams.” Alexandra looked alert, shaken from her inner thoughts, ruminations of her vulnerability and doubt.

Cezar saw her face alight with the recognition of what her dreams meant and why they occurred. It was the moment he waited for, yearned for in his own thoughts.

“You were so young and beautiful. My heart had no desire but for you. Your movements were the sublime feminine, and I thought you were a gift from Anu, the supreme god. When you gave me a son, I knew my life was forever bound to you.” Cezar paused to sip from his cup.

“I knew you were meant for me too. I practiced each dance until I was exhausted and when the guards took me to you, I danced to show you I was a woman in love and every dance was a love poem from me to you. The others danced because it was their duty. I danced because I loved you. When you finally took me to your bed, I remember how clean you were, how you smelled of the finest oils. You were rough, and I was afraid. I wanted you, and I began to like your fierceness, how you commanded my body and filled me with pleasure I had never known. You were my first and only man. What happened to us?”

Cezar welcomed Alexandra’s return to his arms. The more she remembered, the more she held on. She rested now on his shoulder, her warm breath on his neck sent visions bursting before his eyes like fireworks.

The Viscount held the woman who danced with knives, the one who danced her way into his heart. Her own fierceness was bred into her from eons of violence and love for the martial life. He held on tight as he recounted their experience in the desert lands along the Euphrates River.

Together, they slept under the stars of ancient skies as they traveled across his kingdom to meet his local Chiefs and view his subjects and how they prospered under his benevolent rule. The tent was a black pyramid that blotted out the star shine and hid them in night’s shadow. He felt her warm and soft under him, her enamored moans an erotic song that built the fires of lust into a storm that consumed them under the Milky Way arcing across the night sky and plunging into the mountains as the morning dawned.

“What happened is what always happens. Men came down from the lands across the desert to take what was never theirs to take. We were caught off guard, and the winds of change brought our civilization and our lives to a brutal end. We fought hard and won often, but our enemies are like the changing ocean tides; they retreated and returned ever stronger as we grew ever weaker. I suppose it is our fate, which is the fate of the world and all the empires of history. We are destroyed and come back again, always seeking what was never achieved.”

Cezar paused for the inevitable question he had no answer to. The question never came. Alexandra slept in his arms. Cezar lifted her in his strong arms and carried his Duchess to her bed where he placed her. He covered her in the quilt and kissed her forehead.

“Stay with me,” she pleaded.

Cezar stood over her for what seemed longer than just the moment that passed. He folded his clothes over the chair and slipped under the covers. Alexandra lay across his chest, nesting against him and throwing her leg across his body so he would not slip away unnoticed.

“Tell me again how you loved me under the stars.” Alexandra breathed her yawning request like a child fighting sleep to hear a bedtime story. She settled in his arms and the night stars bloomed in her eyes. Alexandra listened to the grunting camels and smelled the date palms in the cool breeze that flowed across her nakedness. Warm hands and teeth hurt her breast, and she winched with desire. She was reborn again.

Go to Chapter 26

The Agony of Ecstasy-Scene 24

“All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities.”

Frank Herbert, Dune Chronicles
Image Source: Pinterest


Scene 24

“Are you certain Marius? This seems too sinister, more so than any threat we’ve ever faced.” Cezar glared at his coat of arms above the fireplace. The sentinel wolves of Cezar’s heritage emblazoned on the upper right quadrant of the ancient shield glared back at him with ominous accusation. Cezar’s hands clenched in rage as his noble blood struggled to maintain his regal composure.

“It is as true as I can determine, My Lord. The DNA from the sniper led us down this trail as we searched through the chain of events and people connected to the shooter’s support network. We uncovered his command and control cell as the implications grew wider. It wasn’t long after we talked to a few soft targets. They were pleased to share everything they knew for a painless end to the meetings.” Marius replied.

“The World Bank was established for altruistic reasons; to fight poverty, sickness, and to elevate education. They have over 360 member countries. Surely, they are not our enemy,” Cezar said, his throat constricted by the enormity of what Marius told him.

“The perfect cover, My Lord. Who would suspect them? I do not think all member nations seek our ruin. I do think there are a few at the top who would seek to elevate their power at any price. China, India, and Russia are their most thirsty recipients of the bank’s monetary funds. Their people suffer as their armies grow in capability, flush with cash from the bank.

Don’t forget, Korea borrowed billions from the bank and repaid their debt before it was due, Marius continued. No country has ever done that. Now, a Korean is the president of the World Bank. I see a purpose in that move.” Marius paused his explanation of his suspicions to study his Viscount. Cezar’s concern distorted his face as if Marius had thrust a dagger into Cezar’s stomach.

Cezar continued to look at his battle shield, now his armorial bearing from eons ago. “The Americans really run the show. We host them in our lands as allies to keep the Russians honest and to respect our borders.”

“Again, Sir, What better ruse than to appear an ally while plotting your overthrow by coercion or outright attack. We know this tactic, My Lord, it has been the source of many a battle for our freedom.” Marius held the gaze of his Viscount to show his concern.

“What do you suggest we do?” Cezar asked.

“We need allies of our own. Before we can enlist our natural benefactors to stand with us, we must unite our people with the Duchess and let her rally all of Romania in a popular nationalism. In a position of strength and power, we can begin to recruit aid in our goal to remain homogenous. Even our historical enemies, like Hungary and the Turks, could see it beneficial to unite with us in a common front against the democratic socialists that act like drug dealers with their cash. They enslave people with debts sold on the promise of a better life, before using this leverage to bend every country’s will. They speak of global unity and government under socialism and liberal freedoms, yet their true goal is world domination. The Romans have returned, My Lord.”

“I see it clearly now, Cezar said. I must ready Alexandra to be at my side again. This will allow her to cede the title of Duke to me and together we will convince the people to join our campaign and gather our allies as planned.

“Good, Sir. Alexandra is fully awake now. Her bandages are removed and physical therapy will help her regain her strength and agility. Dari reports that Alexandra is smitten with you and she should be ready to reclaim her past with you. She only needs to find her past connection to you.

Agreed. And what of Dari? Has she accepted your terms to be the Wolfmaster?

Dari is more than ready to be the Wolfmaster. She is the spiritual link for us all.” Marius saw the Viscount’s face soften as he thought of Alexandra. marius was sure Cezar loved her yet, he showed so little of his true emotions in front of the Duchess. Ah, but his deep feelings cannot be stifled, Marius mused to himself. Love will conquer them both while Dari and I seize the reigns of revolution for Dacia.

✽ ✽ ✽

Cezar rang the buzzer to Alexandra’s suite and waited. Dari soon opened the door. Cezar saw her eyes sparkle with recognition and a welcoming smile. He found his worries lifted in this bright moment between them.

“Welcome, My Lord. The Duchess is out on the balcony enjoying tea. Can I bring you something to drink?”

“Yes, please, Dari. I’ll take a tea with the Duchess.”

“She is moody, sir. When she heard of your visit, her spirits lifted. Be kind, sir.” Dari’s countenance was docile yet her eyes were a warning to her Viscount.

She protects her Duchess like the wolves she trains, thought Cezar.

Cezar walked to the French door and peered through the glass at the covered legs under a blanket draped over Alexandra’s shoulders and folded across her body as she sat in the wicker chair next to a small table. A mist rose like a twisting ghost of a ballerina from the cup next to her. She stared across the meadow, her eyes fixed in a trance. What visions of us does she see, Cezar wondered?

The click of the handle to the door and the groan of hinges as it opened caused no change in Alexandra’s visage. She was as still and pale as an alabaster statue. Cezar came up to her side and attempted to look out across the castle grounds to see if there was something there that captivated her attention. There was nothing to see except the beauty of the Carpathians. Cezar accepted that was enough to hold one captive in thought.

Fingers slid deftly through Alexandra’s thick hair on the uninjured side and found their way to the back of her head. She turned and looked up into Cezar’s face and smiled with faint recognition. Cezar felt the tremors in her body as he sought to still the palsy by tightening his grip on her. Water formed in the crevice of her eyelids and ran down her cheeks making way for more. The reflection of light in her eyes amplified uncertainty, fear, and a subliminal cry for help. The sight of her, vulnerable and weak, wracked Cezar to an overwhelming passion to comfort her.

He kissed her with soft intent. Alexandra’s hands went to his cheeks and stroked his beard before urging him to stay for more. Their eyes met before closing and Cezar saw a great distance in her eyes. She was kissing a long-dead ghost with the love they shared across many lives and centuries. He fell into the well of times past with her as passion grew and the tempest winds of a life lived in another time and another place howled in his ears.

A Chat with the Wolfmaster

“The wolf said, “You know, my dear, it isn’t safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone.” 

James Finn Garner, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories
Hi Goldilocks! Snow White? Oh, she, ummm, is entertaining the seven dwarves at the moment. Have you seen Red Ridinghood?
I want to have her over for lunch.
Image Source: Pinterest

“Oh Hi Red! Come on in. I’ve been expecting you. I have news I want to share. Have a seat here by the fireplace. Take your shoes off and feel that bear rug with your toes. Makes you want to go out and snuggle a bear doesn’t it? No?”

Can I fix you something to drink after I hang up your red cape? Great, I’ll take that. Ah, you look smashing, Red. You are the personification of the poetry from Holly’s House of Heart. Now, what would you like to drink?

Whoa, you like the good stuff, I see.

 l’Hertier de Jean Fremicourt was Churchill’s favorite brandy as well. You know the old British Bulldog liked to soak in a freestanding cast iron tub while smoking a cigar and partaking of his favorite tipple. I think he lounged in the tub of hot water in case he caught himself on fire with that combustible nature of his. There you go, cheers. Oh yes, I almost forgot, there are fine pastries and confections on the sideboard behind you.

I wanted to tell you, I have made a slight change in the presentation of my current noir Gothic tale about Alexandra and Cezar, the Revenants of old Romania.

In recent days, I’ve discussed with good blogoteer friends, George and Sha’Tara, as well as other dear friends, the benefits of keeping a live document that has the completed chapters of the book, The Agony of Ecstasy. If you would like a bit less distraction while you catch up on the story, or want to reread a part for more understanding of the intricacies so subtly sprinkled in the text, I have provided a link to the document in the menu above.

Just click on the link titled, The Agony of Ecstasy and read what you wish, when you so desire. I do hope it is helpful. And, if you want to savor each scene separately, complete with witty quotes and images, you can start where you like. There is a link at the bottom of each post that takes you to the next scene. Would you like to try it out? Excellent. But first, I have a favor to ask of you, my dear Red Riding Hood.

I need to take a photo to work on developing the cover art for the book. Victoria Ray helped me with the concept. I have this idea about Marius and Dari in one of their moments together who I think will adequately speak to the theme of the book. Of course, I expect the cover will wear out long before the book is read.

Oh, thank you, my dear. If you would please lean across the table here. I’ll take your skirt. There. Okay, I’ve got the camera on timer.”

Image Source: Google images

Hope you enjoyed the chat dear friends. I am away for a couple of weeks and will likely not be able to post another scene until I return. I will try to drop by to read you and enjoy the beautiful writerly things you share. Until then, help your self to the liquor and delectables. Kymber from Boomcha and I like donuts and Oreos, but you may help yourself to whatever you fancy.

The Agony of Ecstasy-Scene 23

“If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Image Source: Pinterest


Scene 23

Water from a retreating tide washed over Alexandra. She could not see nor hear anything but the pounding drums in her skull. She felt everything with acute awareness, and to feel is to live even with the excoriating pain of lost battles and dead lovers.  She struggled to move. The heavy chain mail and wet leather pinned her down under its weight, and only her right side was free. The rest of her body was mired in the sand next to the towering white chalk cliff. The water flowed over her legs and retreated leaving chilled flesh in place of the ache that enfeebled her in the sand.

She struggled, held down by the relentless grasp of the shore. The wash of water moved over her hips, her stomach, and flowed down into the sand warming against her flesh mired in the pungent grave that fought her for possession of her body, not her soul. She felt her soul unconquered as she sank deeper with every wave.

Surrender came to Alexandra like that moment of sleep when all the uncalled thoughts cease, and the darkness is not blasted away with dreams of the incubus who haunts and demands her flesh.

Distant sounds, first like a peal of rolling thunder, and soon scattered marsh sparrows chirped against the background of gentle sea lapping at the shore. Alexandra tilted her head to hear them. Another damp wave registered under her arms, across her breasts in tantalizing sweeps, first warm, and growing to a nip of frost. She detected fingers touching her. They were tender. There were love and devotion in the touch that drifted across her body, not the hungry tearing, twisting, pinching, demanding slaps and hits she was intimately familiar with; the burning pain of others who possessed her. This was different. She relaxed to focus on the hands that soothed her.

“That’s good, My Lady,” Dari cooed as she bathed Alexandra’s body. “You’ll feel much better after a sponge bath. I used some essence of lilac to help relax you.”

Alexandra moved, relented, and gasped as the warm sponge went over her. She heard Dari speak.

“I’m sorry, My Lady. You must endure this insult. Injury affords no dignity. I thought it better I bath you instead of the nurses, who you have yet to meet.”

Presence drifted away. Alexandra lay in the sand content to let her handmaid work to free her from the grasp of her sodden grave. Dari appeared in a strange halo of her vision. Alexandra saw Dari look down into her face and she felt comforted by the love she saw in her handmaid’s eyes.

Alexandra struggled back into her consciousness and considered how this life had afforded her only a deepening pain and anxiety. Even as she fought for physical superiority and a disciplined mind, she had endured the terrible hurt of those lessons she gained in mastering her art at the tutelage of Master Cho, her savior. Only he had never violated her body or trust. Only he remained in her heart as her time carried her downstream to her destiny.

Again, she slipped away under Dari’s hands. Visions of Cezar walking down the shore toward her focused her mind with a stunning grip. His armor seemed ragged, his helmet a testament to the battle they had lost. Alexandra’s heart lifted as he limped toward her and Dari. He lived. That was all that mattered. The three of them were reunited again. They would go on together, lick their wounds, and later hunt down the bastards that invaded their lands. She would lead alongside Cezar as they stormed into the villages of the invaders. She would bring her wolves next time and see how fat they grew on the flesh of her enemies.

Alexandra screamed her oath to Cezar as he stood over her with piteous eyes. I swear by Gebeleizis, the god of battle, I will go to their villages and every woman whose womanhood is bearded and used by the men will be whored to our soldiers, and the hairless virgins will live as slaves until they too are old enough for whoring. We’ll kill every male of our enemy that dreams to defile a woman with his manhood.

“Alexandra, my queen. We must rebuild our army and learn from this day. We must come to know ourselves and our skill in battle better. Our fierce hearts have led us to slaughter. It is not our blood we seek but, theirs.” Cezar’s voice echoed in Alexandra’s ears.

He speaks the truth. My King must give me sons to lead our Army while the King and I seek to subterfuge the oppressor’s secrets.

“My Lord, lift me from this grave so that my handmaid and I can join you,” Alexandra beseeched Cezar through her tears of pain and frustration. She looked up as he stared across the sea. She knew it would be a long journey home with the few of their army that still lived.

In Alexandra’s vision, Cezar stood bloodied yet strong and dignified against the blue-gray sky of a waning sun. I will die before I betray my love with weakness and dispirited thought, she heard her voice ring in her head.

Lost in her drug-induced visions under thick bandages, Alexandra did not see the envy in Dari’s eyes as she looked at her bandaged Duchesses sylph-like body. Nor did Alexandra know of Dari’s new challenge to become the Wolfmaster or her deepening love for Marius. Alexandra knew one thing in the worlds and lives she inhabited; fate is inexorable and her allegiance with Dari held secrets that sealed their future together.

Go To Scene 24