Choose Your Words Carefully

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‘I don’t like the ocean.

When I open my mouth, the words escape me. When I open my mouth, I can’t ever take them back.

I don’t like the ocean, when they escape they remind me of twisted and shattered reflections of the creatures that swim the salty depths. Only I know they don’t swim our seas. They retch and stir and twist among the hellstars in a perverse cosmic blackness that no one was ever meant to witness.

But when I opened my mouth, when they escaped me, when I could no longer take them back, I saw it. And then I saw worse.’

-

I awaken with a horrified gasp. I’m sweating. A lot. I ruined the pillow with my sweat just the same as I’ve ruined many others. Something is different about tonight, though. For the first time in my adult life, I’m not in my tower and I’m not alone in the dark. I’m staring at him, and past his ruggedly handsome face is Sammy... the three of us are cuddling in the middle of a big bed.

I can still feel him inside me. An odd sensation, but I don’t dislike it. Sammy was right. The moment I tasted it I could confirm his semen is filled to the brim with potent magical energy... fascinating.

It’s only now I realize that my body is still shaking from the nightmares. Maybe I should get my own bed. He’s never going to want to sleep next to me when he finds out what I’m like during my worst dream terrors.

Maybe I’m being too negative. This could be my chance at happiness- that’s why I left Imperalis, after all. Sammy’s letter piqued my interest and I was worried about her. I answered the call to action and now I’m sharing a bed with a man who came inside me scant hours ago, wondering how long it will be until he throws me out in disgust.

It’ll be a shame when he does. I really liked having sex with him.

I can’t ever be happy. Not after I opened my mouth all those years ago. But it’s not like I don’t want to be.

I take deep breaths and reduce myself to nothing. From the whiteness of nothing forms a little lavender girl living in her own little world. She would probably make a very powerful mage, but this little girl doesn’t go down that path. She does normal little girl things... like horses. And tea. She’s best friends with a Princess, and there's a weird boy with glasses who hangs around too. Strange. He’s never been here before.

The little girl grows up. She’s normal. She has a happy, normal life doing happy, normal things and she never says the wrong thing. She shuts her mouth. She never lets the words escape their prison.

... And I’m back. I’m no longer shaking. I don’t feel good, but I never do. I can’t stay in this bed, I need to get up, but the absolute blackness of night scares me. It reminds me of the time that the little girl did open her mouth.

I probably should have told him about my fear of the dark before we went to bed, but I didn’t have much choice in the matter. All I remember before sleep is being the most content I’ve ever been, and having been fucked silly.

I wordlessly summon a little glowing orb from the tip of my finger to light my way to the bathroom. It’s a cantrip, and takes no mana, and has no incantation. Perfect for a broken girl like me who can’t even speak properly.

Although I guess I said something out loud a few hours ago. I just remembered.

‘I’m cumming.’

It took twenty seven years of endless suffering to find enough motivation just to try and work past the residual horrors of my childhood and ‘I’m cumming’ ended up being the first words to escape my sealed lips.

Even as I shuffle off scared to the nearby bathroom with my glowing finger lighting the way I can’t help but find the humor in it. After that brief moment passes, though, I’m just as sad as I was before.

If it was so easy to speak all along then why couldn’t I before? Why did I never try?

I shut the door behind me, turn on the arcane lighting of the room and rest my naked body down on the cold lid of the toilet. I’m still trembling. I don’t expect it to stop for a few hours, but at least I don’t have to be in the darkness.

I know why I never tried and I’m terrified of how easy it was for him to inspire me enough to make the effort. I didn’t want to let him down.

I try and hold myself back but I can’t help softly sobbing as soon as realization starts to sink in.

If he asks me to try again, I know I will. 

If it keeps up I’m going to end up trying again... and again... and again. I may have only just met him, but as a mage I’m far from blind to his unnatural magic pull towards the fairer sex. I could resist that much if ‘destiny’ was all he had going for him, but it’s not.

Sir is so much more than a mere magical pussy magnet.

He doesn’t have an aura of unconditional attraction swirling around him, and I certainly made the decision to have sex with him of my own volition. No magical coercion or anything of that ilk. Whatever supernatural charm he may have only amplifies what’s already there... or maybe that’s a bad way to phrase it.

It’s more like it inspires you to take a closer look at something you might normally write off. It makes you want to know him.

There’s also a chance this is all in my head.

Maybe I’m just so lonely and desperate to be loved, or fucked, that my fragile mind is doing mental gymnastics to rationalize sleeping with a man I just met?

Evidence suggests the former, while my crippling self doubt suggests the latter.

If I were someone else... someone less damaged, I could probably fall in love with him. Maybe I will anyway and I’ll ruin him forever.

All I know is I should never have left my tower.

Using another low level cantrip I summon the letter Sam sent me that started it all. It was just in the pocket of my dress the other room over, so it’s no big deal.

Her letter came two days ago and right away I was absorbed by the beautiful dream. Sammy’s optimism was infectious and I dared to hope maybe something would change if I followed her lead. So then I spent the day after getting things in order for my departure, and clearing things with Theo. He was supportive. While I didn’t tell him I was leaving to be with Sammy I’m sure he knows.

Who else but Sammy would send -me- a letter?

Once more, I open the folded parchment and am greeted by Sammy’s terrible penmanship. I want to see if it still makes me feel the same as when I first read it.

‘Dear Zuzu,

Yeah so uh... I left. You probably already know that by now though, right? I didn’t wanna leave without you but it was a very spur of the moment kinda thing. Besides, you know how rough things were getting between Father and I... when it happened I just decided suddenly that it was time. I didn’t think about you, or Mother, or anyone else it’d affect. I couldn’t... So I stole some of father’s armor, a fat sack of gold and a big ass sword before fucking off on my merry way.

I used the gold to bribe the Guild Master of Perlshaw and got my Hero License, just like we always talked about. I’m finally doing it, Zuzu...! I know I don’t know how to fight, but the royal blood runs strong within me and it makes me much stronger than your average man. I’m sure I’ll figure it out the rest of it as I go along, right?

I couldn’t stay in Perlshaw. For one, Father would find me too easily and... the Guild Master there was such a fucking sleezeball you wouldn’t even believe. Sure, I’m definitely wearing slutty armor, but he was trying SO hard to make subtle advances on me that I was sorely tempted to cut his dick off in a fit of rage. I didn’t- promise- but I did kick his nuts in as hard as I could. I don’t regret that decision.

Anyway I hit the road and found myself in Dewhurst. Gods... It’s the shittiest place I’ve ever seen, no joke... but as of a few days ago I decided to live here. I’m kinda fucking the local Guild Master.

I know how this sounds but please, just keep reading.

When I say I’m fucking him I mean like. I’m REALLY fucking him. Remember when I was little and you read me all those stories about Princes and Princesses falling in love at first sight and I thought it was the dumbest shit? Ugh. It’s like... that, but not stupid because it’s happening to me.

Don’t worry, it was the day after I turned 18! Not that it probably would’ve stopped either of us, honestly... there’s just SO much chemistry. He’s not perfect, and I kinda need to whip his ass into shape. His Guild is on the verge of ruin and I’m the only adventurer he’s got. I swear I was gonna write to you anyway but it hit me. Didn’t Father try and get you to do something with your life a couple years back and you got a Hero License?

You should come here and put it to use. Don’t worry, I know you got your issues, but... My new ‘Daddy’ is already putting up with my inexperienced ass so I’m sure he could figure out something for you and your voice thing.

Oh. And in case you’re worried about being a third wheel while I’m fucking this random guy then... please don’t be. I kinda want to share him with you.

You’ll love him, he’s got these weird magic eyes that he was born with and he’s super nice and sexy and... Zuzu... I lied. All those times I walked in on when you were ‘going at it’ I knew what you were doing. I just didn’t wanna make it awkward between us. So yeah, I know you’re repressed as hell.

Come stay with us and maybe we could fix that and be together?

- If anyone asks, my name is Samilda

PS. He doesn’t know so if you get here don’t mention anything about who I am.’

The letter is warm and it makes my heart sing. I like this feeling, even if it’s not real. It’s temporary... fleeting... fake. This kind of warmth is for the people who can feel hope in their hearts and use it to survive another day. People like Sam deserve this warmth.

It’s not meant for wicked, broken little girls who can’t keep their mouth shut.

I’m not done sobbing, apparently, but I try and keep it as silent as I can. I don’t want to wake anyone else. If Sir woke up and saw me like this right after we slept together then he’d think I hated him... or he’d think I’m fake and the girl behind the floating magical text wasn’t as cute as she seemed.

He...

He called me his doll. I like it, it’s a cute idea... But I wish I really was just a doll. Quiet, lifeless, still. Then I wouldn’t be alone crying my eyes out in the bathroom in the middle of the night.

If I could only just-

“Zutiria?” Sir’s low voice whispers from the crack in the bathroom door after knocking lightly several times.

‘Stomach problems. Go back to bed without me, Sir. I’ll be fine. Happens all the time.’ I lie.

The quietness as he reads my text is palpable.

“May I come in?” He’s not backing down. Shit.

‘No. It’s... really bad in here. I would be ashamed if you saw me in such a state so quickly after meeting me. It’s not time for you to see me at my worst.’ This time my words are more vague and strictly speaking none of them are lies.

The door opens and he steps inside. He’s not wearing his glasses, but he did manage to find his boxers again. He also found a trembling girl in his bathroom, covered in sweat and tears. As he looks down at me with those pupil-less eyes of his, I feel like we’re thousands of miles apart.

Can this distance ever be closed? Dolls can’t move unless they’re picked up and played with.

He doesn’t say anything and neither do I.

After who knows how long, he approaches me and sits down on the edge of the bathtub right by my side. Somehow, I manage to feel embarrassed in this situation and I cross my legs and cover up my tiny, inadequate breasts.

“Are you cold?”

I shake my head.

He smiles... he shouldn’t be smiling... why is he smiling?

“I used to have nightmares a lot too, you know.”

No, I don’t know. Why would I? I barely know anything about you. And why are you telling me this now? Stop.

“They were usually about my Grandpa... Actually, if I’m being honest I woke up from one right now.” He laughs in that hollow way people do when they’re afraid of the silence that will come when they finish speaking.

I just stare. No crying, no trembling, no sobbing. I’m a doll.

“I never met my dad, but the old bastard would often say a lot about him. He was some sort of lady’s man and I think Grandpa was really jealous about that. Despite being a lecherous old horn dog, he’d always tell me I should only ever have sex with one girl my whole life. According to him any more pussy than that would rot my brain, or make my dick fall off, or whatever bullshit he could think of in the moment. I... was just dreaming that he saw what I did with you, and he added it to the growing pile of ways he’d be disappointed in how I turned out.”

Dolls... can’t talk. I want to be his doll, I really do... but... I...

‘That’s awful. Was he really like that?’

“He wasn’t so bad, but by the end of his life you could definitely say he was very disappointed in me.” Sir goes cold. Distant. Yet somehow this only makes me feel closer to him. “But hey, it was just a dream.”

‘Just... a dream?’

“Mhmm. It was scary, sure, and it made me feel bad... but just like any other dream- I woke up.” His smile is genuine, and warm, and I can’t look at it. Yet I keep staring, even if it burns me. I’m crying again, and trembling.

He pulls me into a soft, protective embrace and I cling to his strong, muscled back as if my life depended on it.

“How often does this happen?”

‘I don’t want to answer. You’ll hate me.’

“I won’t hate you.”

‘... Almost every night...’

“Was this a bad one?”

‘No. If it was a bad one you would know. Trust me... I... AH!’

His huge hand cups the back of my head and pushes me towards him to nuzzle the warmth of his neck. Sir begins to pet me.

Slowly...

Gently...

Lovingly...

I don’t deserve this, I don’t-

“I already changed your pillow sheets. We can stay here as long as you’d like, Zutiria. I promise I won’t leave your side even even if it takes all night.”

‘R-Really...?’

“Really. I won’t pretend to know what left you this way, but all I can tell you is that you don’t need to hide yourself away.”

Please... someone... help.

Anyone...

Sammy?

Theo?

D... Dad...? Mom?

Big Sis...?

I don’t understand. Somebody please tell me why I keep crying even though his words fill my soul with passionate, loving heat.

Is this normal? Am -I- normal?

‘I wasn’t... hiding here. I’m... afraid of the dark...’

He doesn’t say anything. He’s judging me, because of course he is. What kind of thirty-five year old woma-

“We can leave the bathroom door open a crack from now on. I’m sure Sam won’t mind.”

He’s... not judging me. He’s smiling- he’s always smiling. Am... am I the reason he’s smiling? Sammy’s not here. I can’t think of any other reason he’d be smiling if not for... for me.

“Come back to bed with me.”

My lips open. I can’t do this. But I need to. I press further into his neck and I hover my mouth just outside his ear. My throat stirs. It’s trying so hard that it itches and burns- but it works.

In the dead of night, I whisper into my lover’s ears, “... Yes, Sir...”

Not a word is said when he lifts me up into his arms like I were his bride to be. Ironic, considering what I almost blurted out as my fourth condition hours ago. We leave the bathroom behind us and true to his word, the dim light pours out of the exposed crack of the door.

Sammy is still sound asleep, as expected. The Master of the Guild carefully slips back into bed so as not to disturb her and when he’s safely into position he pats my vacant spot next to him. There’s a fresh blanket covering where my naked flesh soaked the bed sheets.

I can’t feel a single trace from the stains of my terrors as I lay back in my spot. Sammy instinctively cuddles up to him, and much to my surprise, he cuddles exclusively up to myself. I feel so tiny in his arms... small... safe. 

“It’ll be ok.”

He strokes my head again as if I were a little kitten. I wish I knew how to purr for him, but I nod my head instead.

“Everything will be ok.”

Sir continues to whisper comforting statements to me and I feel the darkness of sleep reaching its ghastly hand out to drag me down once more. I don’t want to sleep. I want to lie here, forever.

With him.

I’m so scared, and so confused, and there are so many, many things I don’t know.

I’m glad I left my tower.

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Rise of the Guild Master