The Others have their own separate dining area, where they all head off to go eat breakfast, leaving all us slaves to enjoy a little period of peace. After Celeste and I have eaten breakfast, cleared all the plates off the tables and wiped them down, we head off to our next chores. We go upstairs to the elaborate bedrooms.
However, we stop at the top of the stairs and both look at each other with a sudden realisation.
“Ladonna never messed up the rooms, she had no time before she left,” Celeste whispers, the same time I’m about to.
“Let’s get out of here,” I whisper back, as we glance down the wide empty corridor one last time. We turn in sync together and hurry down the stairs.
“Only one more job to do, and we have the rest of the day to do it!” I exclaim as we make our way to the nearest double doors that opened up to the lavish courtyard.
“Let’s just stay in the pool area for the rest of the day, deal?” Celeste asks me, her eyes sparkling with joy. I had heard over breakfast that Traegr hadn’t approached her yet, so she was starting to believe he would just leave her be.
I wasn’t so sure about that.
“Deal,” I reply, our feet burning from the hot sandstone tiles as we cross the courtyard to the indoor pool area.
Despite how exhausted we usually were by the time we got to the pool area to clean, it was our favourite area. The whole building was separate from the Golden Palace, covered in vines with generous shutters that opened up to let in cool air... as well as leaves, dirt and dust; which is what we had to clean out. However, we didn’t have to start anytime soon.
We silently do what we had now engrained into the back of our minds as we walk up the steps and enter the temple-like pool. We start to open all the shutters to let in cool air and as we do so we slowly tread our way along the limestone walls until we intercept and high five as we open the last pair of shutters together.
“What do you think the Others will do all day?” I ask her quietly, as we both stare out into the lush, dense, fairy tale like forest, which was just beyond this indoor pool, “Do you think it’d be easy to escape?”
“Where to, Sapphire?” Celeste asks, looking slightly frustrated by the question.
“We steal the spaceship, obviously, and fly it back to Earth,” I state, shrugging my shoulders when I see her roll her eyes.
“That’s cute that you think we can just up and away in a spaceship we have no idea how to fly,” she turns from me and starts stripping from her slave clothes, before elegantly sliding into the water, completely naked but relaxed as she slips almost silently into the water.
I suspiciously look around the indoor pool area, looking for any sign of the Others. However, it looks like we are utterly alone and will be for awhile. I slip out of my wet short-shorts and top, laying the clothes on the window sill in the sun so they dry as I also jump into the pool.
Celeste and I float on our backs, both staring at the ceiling which depicted the most beautiful group of Others all lounging by the pool. As we both study the picture, it’s not long before we are suddenly on our feet in the pool, pointing at each other.
“You’re in the picture!” we both state in unison, looking up at the ceiling as we both grin and start laughing.
“How did we not notice this before?” I ask, slapping my palm to my forehead.
“I don’t know, probably because we’re always exhausted by the time we have to clean this place! How come you’re near the centre and I’m the slave on my knees at Traegr’s feet?” Celeste pouts and we both study the ceiling a bit longer.
“If I was a princess in a past life, maybe you were just a slave,” I wink at her and she considers it and then actually accepts it as a plausible answer. We continue to stare at the picture and I can’t help but say, “It’s so eerily creepy, isn’t it?” I ask, my mood slowly turning sombre, “Those girls look like us but I have no memory of... all that.”
“I don’t have any memories either,” Celeste puts her hand over her heart and catches my eye, “But I do sometimes... feel weird.”
“Like your heart is emotionally attached to these walls?” I ask, because I had the same feeling sometimes. There was something eerily familiar about these walls, the air, the plants... the Others.
“Exactly,” she slowly comes closer to me, her eyes narrowing as she looks at my eyes intensely, “Stay still,” she whispers, “I thought I saw your eyes change...”
I stare back at her but a chill goes up my spine, the hairs standing on end like we are being watched. I want to look over my shoulder but Celeste grabs my shoulders gently, her eyes widening.
“Don’t move... there!” she whispers, astounded, “Your eyes have changed completely!”
A door slams open and we both spin to face the intruder with a few huge ungraceful splashes. We both submerge at least our chests beneath the water as we both face the interruption.
Except it’s not just one Other that catches us. Celeste and I had separated at the sound of the door slamming open, but now we instinctively shuffle close together again for protection as we silently watch the room fill with more and more Others.
I wanted to swear, I wanted to kick myself for being caught naked in a pool as the whole room continues to flood with more males.
When Traegr eventually comes into the middle of the crowd, Celeste quickly grabs my hand and I squeeze it back to comfort her. I also spot Sabir close by as well as Hraken.
I keep my eyes downcast.
“Well isn’t that a sight to see,” Traegr comments, frozen when he sees us both naked, in the middle of the pool.
“We were cleaning!” I speak up, trying to think of an excuse, any excuse, “The, ah, we were picking up leaves off the bottom of the pool,” I look to Celeste who nods quickly, agreeing with me.
All the Others simply look on with disapproval as they start to undress as Traegr comes to stand at the edge of the pool, looking down on us with a cocked eyebrow and a smile plastered on his lips.
“Do you need to hold hands to do that, girls?” Traegr speaks up, and instantly we let each other’s hands go, pretending we weren’t caught even though we so obviously were.
“Some things haven’t changed,” Sabir comes to stand by Traegr.
“Get them out, we want to swim,” one of the other males speaks up, “They shouldn’t be here anyway, cleaning the pool is always started after we’ve had our morning swim.”
“Morning swim?” I mutter under my breath, trying not to scoff. Celeste stays silent, her terror evident as she can’t take her eyes off Traegr’s glare her way.
“You know exactly where you need to be, you’ve been given the same schedule you used to have,” Sabir squats down at the edge of the pool, hand outstretched towards me. He beckons me forward with a crooked finger, “Come on out, girls.”
Traegr also leans down, but he gets down on his knees, also offering a hand to us.
Seeing them bent, supplicating themselves to us, was a tad odd and very suspicious.
Celeste and I don’t hesitate but we do approach slowly. Ladonna said if we didn’t obey our Master’s instantly, the repercussions usually involved, humiliating, degrading punishments.
She never went into detail.
Celeste and I certainly didn’t want to find out what those were, hence we decide to obey them.
“Good girls,” Traegr mutters under his breath as we get closer and closer, other male Others already jumping into the water, behind us.
Celeste and I make it to the edge, both slowly, reluctantly reaching up our hands. Traegr and Sabir clasp onto our wrists and haul us suddenly out of the water. We both stumble as we try to regain our footing and some personal space, but they hold us unrelentingly close. If we try to pull back, their grip just gets crueler.
Traegr and Sabir share an arrogant smile.
“Our clothes,” Celeste begs, looking at the ground at her feet.
“Can we please –” I add in, hating being naked before both of them.
“No,” Traegr snaps, cutting us off.
“If you are so keen on being in the pool area, you can clean it without your clothes,” Sabir catches the look of betrayal in my eyes, not that I should have trusted them to let us off so easy in the first place.
Celeste and I stay silent.
“What do you say, girls? I don’t want to keep asking for this – it should be engrained in you already,” Traegr growls.
“Yes, master,” Celeste and I both mutter instantly, in complete unison.
“Finally, how long will it take for you two to be good little pets? You can continue what you were doing,” Sabir commands, their hands releasing us. Celeste and I both instantly try to get away from them, seeking some distance – yet suddenly their hands are on us again, holding our arms.
“These human replicas of our women must be stupid,” Traegr growls at Sabir while glaring at both of us, “Continue with what you were doing, get back in the pool, girls, now.”
Celeste and I are turned in unison to face the pool, Sabir and Traegr holding our arms in secure grips as they make us face the water.
“Go on, get in,” Sabir and Traegr growl at us together, pushing us forward so we have to quickly jump into the water together.
As Celeste and I go under and come up for air, we look at each other, trying to speak with our eyes.
We then watch Sabir and Traegr start to undress, about to join us.
“Let’s start,” I rush in a panicked tone to Celeste, who nods and we both disappear under the water – looking for leaves. What we were really doing was trying to get space from our two Masters.
We both knew, through our silent look – that they weren’t done with us yet.
Now we had to pick leaves and dirt out of the pool, swimming between so many huge, terrifying male bodies, toned to perfection – but that just made it more intimidating.
The sooner we finished our chore in the water, we could escape back to the bedrooms.
That’s if Traegr and Sabir didn’t decide to punish us properly.
I was terrified that they hadn’t even already begun.