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A Little Comfort

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“I just seek to be useful.”

“Do you?”

The Bosmer-turned fidgeted, his glowing gaze flickering nervously away. “Um, yes Ma’am,” came the quiet, placating voice. Where most vampires felt…hungry; for power, wealth, knowledge, Ronthil felt distinctly different. He felt needy…and sad. He wore that desperation like ill-fitting armor, looking nervous and uncomfortable. She wasn’t surprised, it marked him as a victim, and in this nest of vipers it was a very dangerous position indeed.

He wanted the attention and protection of someone stronger, but no one in Castle Volkihar would give him the time of day. Base predators with no thought towards anything but their next meal. All too self-involved or too paranoid to tolerate the obvious desperation on the part of the delicate Bosmer male.

Personally, she found that shy gaze aroused something in her. Ever since her defeat of Harkon he had been increasingly nervous, as always ingratiating as well. It tasted good to her, made her mouth wet to hear his supple supplications and quiet submission. She’d been watching him for a while now, as she traded with him and listened to him quietly apologize for his stock’s inadequacies. She knew that he allowed himself to be pressed into sleeping in a small bedroll behind a bookcase, not even allowed to take his rest with his other kin.

Tonight though, she was done letting the anticipation build. She would put him out of his misery, and finally sate her desires.

“Ronthil,” the Dragonborn snapped, voice a little firmer than she’d intended. It made the Bosmer vampire jump, his glowing eyes snapping to her suddenly in alarm, before he visibly forced himself to calm down again.

“Y-yes, my Lady…is something not to your satisfaction?”

“I want to you report to my chambers this evening. You will not feed beforehand. Understood?”

The Bosmer looked shocked, but shortly agreed, his gaze averting quickly from hers in clear submission. Such a sweet creature… she sighed, leaving him to his work while she went to attend to other matters of the castle. Honestly, if Vingalmo and Orthjolf did not stop fighting she was going to feed them both to the hounds.

Midnight found the Dragonborn seated in Harkon’s old study facing the fire with a potion of blood warm in her glass. She’d spruced the place up a bit since she’d risen to power. The torture rack had been removed since it was terribly soiled and unhygienic at the least. She was pragmatic enough to understand the necessity of torture, but it was the epitome of low class to have it done in one’s chambers.

The place was warmer now, and a bit brighter, but she’d kept the cage. It was a nice old thing, and it still had its uses.

A quiet knock sounded on the door, and her attention flickered to it. So Ronthil had arrived.

“Come in.”

There was a pause before he finally pushed open the door. She tried not to smile at the tentative way the Bosmer was walking into her rooms. Ronthil was wringing those fine hands, his anxious gaze tracking around the room, taking in everything with an obvious fear. She bet he saw quite a lot more than most would give him credit for with those lovely uptilted eyes.

The Bosmer vampire probably thought he was in trouble, likely he was not called to her predecessor for much else than chastisement. His eyes seemed to lock on the place the rack used to be, confirming her earlier assumptions. Anyone could see that he was starved for praise, and willing to do almost anything to please. It was that thought which made the Dragonborn shiver just a bit as she looked at him. In a harsh place like Skyrim it was rare to run into someone who was not tempered with its pervasive cold. Ronthil was eager to please without the oily film of self-interest. This pretty thing just wanted to survive, just wanted protection, comfort, he wanted to follow and just be safe.

Perhaps it was her affiliations with the Brotherhood, but life had sharpened her tastes and that nubile offering made her more ravenous than any naked throat.

“You-you requested me?” Ronthil blurted, then seemed to shrink as he realized it called greater attention to him. It appeared the silence was exacerbating his fears.

The sight made her warm to him, that delicate Bosmer that seemed to be trying so hard to make himself smaller where he stood. “Are you happy with your undeath, Ronthil?”

“Why…why yes, Ma’am. I-I would never complain. I only wish to be useful.”

“Really? I dare say if I were treated as you were I would complain quite profusely. Made to sleep apart from the others, last pick of the cattle, and whipping boy for all around you… Yes, I would be very dissatisfied.”

He may not have fed, but that was not the only reason Ronthil was looking pale under her gaze. “With all due respect, I know that I do not have the strength you do, my Lady. I simply wish to have a place, I understand that I must… must earn my keep, I only hope that those above me will deign to see my useful enough to keep around.”

“Yes… you’re not strong, but you are good, capable, obedient. I like that. Do you wish to please me, Ronthil?”

“Of course, my Lady. I live to serve.”

Ah, she loved that. Such a good boy. It was a shame that the others were callously taking advantage of that gentle submission. She’d had a theory for a while now that the rest of the court was abusing his nature. At least Vingalmo was using him sexually, and she knew the Altmer was unkind in his pleasures. In fact when she knew he’d returned from him the Bosmer was often looking more tense and less satisfied than ever.

The fools knew nothing of what to do with a sweet male like this, and had truly left dear Ronthil ripe for her attention. “Do you like me? And remember honesty is always rewarded, but lies will be met with discipline.”

Even the word discipline seemed to make Ronthil more uneasy. “I…I respect you, my Lady. You-you treat me b-better than most.”

Not much, but it was a start. “Do you desire me?”

Now that gave the Bosmer a start. “W-what?” The male sputtered, her glowing eyes suddenly quite firmly averted. “I would never…I would be so disrespectful. I know my place, my Lady…”

“It doesn’t upset me to be desired, Ronthil. And I said I want you to be honest.”

“My Lady, you are very… powerful. Anyone I am sure would─”

“I didn’t ask what ‘anyone’ would want, Ronthil. I asked what you want.”