“Egan, bring Cara Mason into my chambers,” Darken Rahl commanded one of his big, blond bodyguards as he licked his fingertips and ran his damp fingertips along his blond eyebrows and pale lips. With a fist to his heart and a bow of his head, Egan left his position at the door, and was off to his task. “Ulic,” he said to the other, “bring me the journey book.” Darken went back to studying the placement of the stars and clouds. When Ulic returned, he left the window and moved to check the maps on the desk beside his bed. Taking the book from Ulic’s outstretched hands, he opened it and flipped from the last page to the most recently written page. In it was a new message from Mistress Denna in Tamarang. As he pulled the pen from the spine, a knock sounded on his door. “Come in,” he beckoned.
A woman with long, dirty blonde hair done up in a braid and dressed in a v-neck skin tight, brown leather outfit that covered her from neck to toe and left nothing to the imagination, stepped in as he turned towards the door. She instantly dropped to her knees and placed her forehead on the cool tile floor before chanting, “Master Rahl guide us. Master Rahl teach us. Master Rahl protect us. In your light we thrive. In your mercy we are sheltered. In your wisdom we are humbled. We live only to serve. Our lives are yours.”
After finishing, she rose to her feet with her hands behind her back and eyes cast down. Darken moved his head down then up, scanning her shapely body. She had curves in all the right places and was solid muscle. The yellow crescent and star on her stomach was rippled by abs underneath, and rose and fell with each steady breath. He walked forward then began slowly circling her, one hand stroking along his chin and the other folded across his body. He stopped in front of her after the third time around, and grasped her jaw and lifted her face to his.
“I have heard news,” he began, “from your sister, Mistress Denna. She has captured the Cypher boy and his magic, and will begin breaking him this very night.” His painstakingly sharp blue eyes searched her face for a reaction. The pupils in her own blue green eyes, looking dull in comparison to his, diluted, and the trace of a smile appeared on her mouth. He smirked and dropped his hold on her face. “I have a task for you. I have decided that having the Cypher boy broken may not be enough, and already three quads have failed me in killing the Mother Confessor. I have changed my mind. In the morning you will ride with two quads to close by Tamarang, where the Callisidrin River meets Agaden Reach.
There you shall find the Mother Confessor. I want her broken, my pet. By you.” With those last two words, he took the curved knife from the golden belt cinching his white robes, wet the length of the blade with his tongue, and ran it up the left sleeve of Cara’s leather, from her elbow to her shoulder, applying just enough pressure to slice through the sturdy garment and into her skin to draw a thin line of blood. “You, my pet, I believe are the perfect one for the task, and will be changing to your red leathers. If,” he wiped the blade along her collar bones, “you are successful in your capture, you may take her for your mate until I claim her to produce an heir.”
“As you wish, my Lord. Will we be collaring her with the Rada’Han as well? I heard rumors that this one gets her power back quickly. It would be beneficial to her breaking for her to lose the access to her power, my Lord.” Cara bowed her head in apology for speaking without his permission. Darken nodded, then flourished his hand, producing a seamless, dull silver collar out of the air. He passed his other hand over it, and murmured a few words in High D’haran. The collar changed into a thinner, shinier one with a grandidierite that matched Cara’s eyes set in. He handed it to her, and a smile tugging at the corners of his lips as he watched her absentmindedly rubbed a thumb over the stone, her eyes never leaving his face. “Is there,” she swallowed and shifted her eyes away for a moment, “anything else you wish of me, Master? I have brought my Agiel-”
Darken raised his hand to cut her off. “Not tonight, my pet. Use this time to prepare for your journey. Send word to Demmin Nass to send two quads to me on your way out. I will protect them with a Subtractive web, since I am sure the Old One is with the Mother Confessor. You may take your leave.” He dismissed her with a passive wave, and Cara saluted him with a fist to her heart and bowed her head as Egan did before turning about face and leaving his room. Darken licked the tiny drop of Cara’s blood off the edge of his knife before sliding it back under his belt. “By the Keeper, I will achieve even more than what my father began.”