Princess of the Shadows ➺ [FC Series Bk.2]

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Chapter 12: Degradation, Defamation & Defiance

I was quickly regretting approaching Jessica to tell her I was happy to help with administrative work this morning. Right now, every file I was filtering through was on death row while in my hands. One wrong move and my nails were shredding these files to smithereens. Yet, here I am, because I was an idiot - clearly.

I was sitting in the main reception - it was next to the council room of this Shadow Liar. While I was behind a bench with five other desk workers, I was helping sort through personal files of the thirty people who resided in the Shadow Lair as well as those members who didn’t live here but followed Jessica’s lead. Most of these files were medical. Sickness wasn’t a real issue in Avalon or Atlantis but it seemed deteriorating genes was causing the average life span to be around sixty, rather than ninety - the Old World standard.

While I was sitting behind the desk, I watch as my beasts walk past the dark glass corridor along the tiles, Jessica side by side with Dale.

As they catch my eye while striding along, I blink a few times before I see Ace waving at me and Jose and Serge smirking before they waltz off.

My cheeks go red.

Here I was, dressed in a black skirt and white ridiculous frilly blouse, sorting through papers... after being fucked last night like a literal fuck toy by four beasts who degraded me on purpose so I would naturally respond with sexual aggression in my own way.

I couldn’t feel anymore stupid, however, I wasn’t helping in administrative work to just fit in. It wasn’t just a disguise. I was finding files.

I flick through to the one I had found that was very important to me. A woman simply called Cherry, was a part of Jessica’s team. She was a huge investor into the Shadow Lair and she also happened to purchase ‘2, 3 and 4’ from FC stock holds.

FC stock holds were the slave rigs.

‘2, 3 and 4’ were the original and super degrading names my Brownie Squad girls were first called by our creator; Lumen. I was number 1.

Just thinking of Strawberry, Raven and Blue’s first names makes my skin tingle with irritation. Lumen was an a-grade asshole and evil scientist.

There were plenty of important people we had to find in Avalon and Atlantis before we made any major move to reclaim and return to Frankincense City. Politicians, scientists, Neo Aristocrats, gangs, Misfits of FC - anyone of influence we needed to find before we could make any big moves against the New World Cities.

“I’m going on a lunch break,” I murmur to no one in particular as I push my chair back and stand, flattening out my skirt and adjusting my white blouse. Already, both top and bottom were slit through by my nails with skin showing in almost any place you could imagine.

This was something I was used to.

However, waltzing my way out of the main reception in shredded clothing, doesn’t help the brand new mental issues I had been facing since I woke up alone in Ace’s bed.

I was concerned about how I was perceived. By everyone.

My identity and position were up in the air, at least for the moment.

I had to get my priorities straight. Degradation in the bedroom was fun with my beasts - but outside the bedroom, I wanted to establish a strong and firm position as one of their equals. I wanted to help them, side by side, as Dale’s Ultimate second hand. I wanted to make sure no one else thought of me as their whore. If they called me their whore, I considered it their version of adoration. To anyone else, I might actually be viewed as a whore if they presented me as such. That was never going to happen.

I was unsure of these terms, my future and my beast’s intentions... which were often bad. Hence, I had to find Dale.

Now was the best time since I saw them stride by.

Now that I had information to find my Brownie Squad, I needed my beasts to co-ordinate with me to help me retrieve them. I already had a feeling this woman called Cherry, had helped my girls rather than enslaved them. Which is why they seemed so free and safe back at the Friday Event in the Sector. I could be wrong but the thought comforts me never the less.

I exit the main reception and follow the direction my beasts went. I go with instinct and I head toward the lower level. The fun area Jessica seemed to have set up for relaxing, playing games and drinking.

“Hey,” I hear a voice behind me before I descend the stairs to the bottom level. I turn to see Gabriel, the guard, dressed in a nice white suit with a backpack hanging from her hand, “How are you going, Alyssa? I wanted to say thank you for sticking up for me last night... even when you forced me to strip.”

“Oh...” I murmur, watching a man walk by and listen in with wide eyes, “That’s fine.”

“I’m leaving to Atlantis,” Gabriel explains, “Now, actually. Dale... a-ah, h-he helped organise my transfer to guarding EBME,” Gabriel stutters while speaking of Dale and I don’t blame her.

“Look, I’m sorry for what you saw and I’m really happy you’re co-operating with us. I think you’ll like the museum, it’d be fun to explore, there’s plenty of levels,” as I say this, Gabriel’s eyes widen.

“Have you been there?” she asks.

“Uh, sort of, briefly,” I’m not sure how to answer her, but I don’t want to speak the truth, “Are you happy about the transfer?”

“I’m relieved that it’s a low risk security job,” Gabriel nods, “So, I don’t mind. Um... see you around, I guess,” she smiles timidly and turns, walking away. But not before I stride after her and grab her arm, and she turns to face me, ”Yes?" she’s just a little nervous now that I’ve touched her.

“I promise you,” I whisper, “No matter what happens, you won’t be harmed. You will be safe. I promise.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about... in terms of the bigger picture, which I’m sure there is one, but, as strange as it is, I believe that you’re telling me the truth,” Gabriel smiles and shrugs.

“Good. Good luck,” I pat her on the shoulder and my nail slices open the top of her suit. I quickly hold my hand back and I don’t think she notices.

“Bye,” Gabriel nods and heads off while I turn and almost barrel straight into Casey, who has snuck up behind me.

“Oh, gosh!” I stumble back a step as Casey wiggles his eyebrows down at me while taking up my entire damn vision with his sheer size and height, “W-where’s Viola?”

“Hungry. Like me,” Casey points to his chest, “Your fridge is empty now, Alyssa. I came down to find food and found you... wearing... whatever that is,” Casey seems to disapprove of the shredded material and I roll my eyes.

“I can’t help it,” I reply, “I need to go down these stairs back here, come with me if you want to see Dale.”

“No can do,” Casey answers, “Dale said I can’t interact with him much... can’t give the winning card away, Alyssa... Jeez... I thought you were an Ultimate?”

“Don’t be a smart ass, Casey,” I wave him off, “Go coerce someone into giving you food, but don’t beg like a child... you look like a beast.”

“Ugly, I knew it,” Casey shrugs while I shake my head.

“If women make a move on you... or men... say no,” I hold up my finger, “Don’t play games with them.”

“Oh, sure, no way would I mess around with people,” Casey shakes his head - a terrible liar.

“You’ve already fooled with a few innocent minds, haven’t you?” I ask.

“No idea what you’re talking about, mum,” Casey backs off, holding his hands up in surrender, before giving me a wink, “I’ll see you later.”

As he turns and stalks away wearing blue jeans and a white top, I gulp while looking over his ridiculous size.

While I still thought of him as a kid, he was anything but.

I had a feeling he’d be hard to handle if he ever grew into the natural arrogance Ultimate’s possessed. Hopefully he wouldn’t be too smart for his own good.

While I now worry about Casey, I turn and head down the stairs. As I’m hopping down two at a time, I see my beasts getting served drinks by Jessica.

I almost miss a step, and I quickly regain it... but then I miss the last step in my hasty correction, and I trip. I don’t fall, exactly, but I stumble a few quick steps, head way past my toes, before my side smacks into a pillar of cement. One of my nails pierces the rock and a crack spikes up until it hits the ceiling.

That can’t be good.

Dust floats down to my nose and I sneeze as I stand up right, walking away from the pillar while hoping I was ignored this whole time

When I look up, it’s not just my beast’s gazing at me after clearly watching the whole stumble - but Jessica is watching me too with wide eyes. I think she’s worried about the damage.

“Don’t stop speaking on behalf of me! Keep the conversation rolling,” I call out, forcing on a smile and happy tone.

As my amused beasts stay quiet, I watch them all send me sly looks before spinning on their stools to face Jessica again... who is just as quiet.

Jessica coughs to clear her throat as she slides the first shots to Dale.

“Here you go,” she murmurs.

“Good girl,” Dale approves of her helping while my number one worries quickly resurfaces.

This was a perfect opportunity to address it.

“Don’t worry, Jessica,” I call out, perhaps a bit too forced on the joy in my tone, “It’s not just men who make the orders around here - I’m actually a, um, a decision maker in the group,” I quickly get confused glances from my beasts even as I close the distance and slip an arm around Ace and Serge’s shoulders. Jose is next to Serge and Dale is on the other side of Ace, watching me with narrowed eyes. However, Dale seems curious by raising a slight mocking brow, waiting for me to continue.

“Oh?” Jessica asks, confused by my sudden speech as she pours extra shots, “Do you want some champagne...?”

“No, whiskey, two, four, I mean five shots,” I slam my palm down on the table, taking my arm off Serge’s shoulders after I decide I don’t want him shocking me out of no where for the laughs. While my beast’s go stiff and quiet, I quickly add to Jessica, “Because Dale and I are both Ultimates, we both have the same leadership skills and abilities. I, um -”

“What’s this about, kitten?” Dale interrupts me, casually.

“Kitten?” Jessica whispers under her breath, confused as she looks at me for my reaction.

While in the past I had grown to like ‘kitten’, now, I try to change my expression from normalised to distressed.

“Kitten? I don’t think he said that,” I wave my hand through the air, “He probably said... c-chicken, it’s like a nickname, back from the old days,” I wave my hands around needlessly while Dale snorts into his shot glass but he tries to contain more laughter, “My presence and purpose here right now is to say, hey, how are you?” I nod around, feeling like I’m an intern making a horribly awkward and improvised first speech at work, “I hope the transition of power is going well, and, I’m also here to say - we’re going hunting tonight. For my girls. They’re like -”

“Whores,” Ace mentions, “Trained in the profession.”

“Like you, right?” Jessica asks me, honesty in her eyes even as she asks the question.

"What? No!” I outright deny it and I honestly see Dale start to look irritated, like the rest of my beasts, “We’re all getting off topic, anyway. The point is, I have a location to find my girl friends and I just need willing help and for everyone to stick to my plan. Admin work is fun, by the way... so... let’s talk about hunting FC citizens down later... how has everything been going?”

“Dandy,” Serge growls, sending a scowl my way.

“We helped organise security,” Jose lifts a phone from his pocket and gives me a wink. I can tell what he means. He probably has most control over the security from his phone now.

“Deliveries,” Dale speaks up, “...and the such,” he keeps his response vague, just to piss me off as he meets my gaze with a challenge in his eye.

He is daring me to keep asking questions.

“That’s great,” I nod.

“They told me about you today,” Jessica speaks up, “Alyssa. Government spy... turned whore.”

“No, I’m not - you know, like that,” I shake my head, “I’m like...”

“Born to match us,” Ace murmurs, “Right, doll?”

“You can call me Alyssa,” I whisper back to Ace, patting his shoulder.

“Here’s your shots... chicken,” Jessica tries out the nick name on me while sliding across five, “Can I go on my lunch break, Dale? I’m starving and I haven’t stopped.”

“Go ahead,” Dale nods to Jessica, winking at her, “You know the deal.”

“I sure do,” Jessica winks back, but she looks tired.

Even though she appears exhausted, I don’t like the wink... or how vague everyone is being.

While Jessica leaves, I slip away from my beasts and I turn to see a near by couch.

I walk over to it, sit down and look at my nails.

Each one is pointed and sharp and shiny.

“My claws...” I speak, after I’ve heard Jessica has well and truly disappeared up the stairs and we’re left totally alone, “...they’re not afraid to practice shaving the ball hairs off your ball sacks,” I glance up.

“What’s your point?” Jose asks, drinking my shots and turning to face me, as do the rest of them.

“I’m your lover,” I explain, “All of you rely on me for sexual release and gratification. Only I deliver. I’m asking for something in return. If I don’t get it - I’ll start practicing shaving your balls. You know why? So you all get a little reminder of how dangerous I can be.”

“Baby, baby,” Dale holds up his hand, ”Stop. You’re scaring us.”

Ace and Serge are smirking while Jose is just glaring at me like I’m crazy.

“You can call me Alyssa from now on, in front of others,” I snap, “I want to be seen as an Ultimate should. I want respect. Hear me out before you try to bring me down, Dale. In my fantasies, hell, I’ll go as far to say I love being your freaking sex toy. I love being fucked by all of you. I love it. Love, love, love it. However - life is more than just sex and violence. It’s a lot bigger than four amazing cocks. Lives are at risk. I want to help you in your endeavours. I want to help bring FC inhabitants out of slavery.”

“I’m listening,” Dale growls happily, smirking while resting his chin on his curled hand, “You surprised?”

“I can already see you have an ulterior motive in your purple eyes, Dale,” I wait for his answer while he holds my gaze steadily.

“The truth is we’re war machines, kitten,” Dale explains, “You, all of my men... and your girls. The difference is, me and my men have been trained. You missed out on that. However, that just means we all cover different ground. We all have our purpose. Also, you’re not a megalomaniac like me... you’re more like a princess.”

“Yeah, well said, boss,” Serge raises his glass to this while I hold my tongue. I know Dale isn’t done yet.

“Degradation, you like,” Dale continues, “Don’t deny it. Defamation... you don’t like,” Dale blinks as my eyes widen with his knowledge of my whole thought pattern right now, “So you’re being defiant... uselessly and needlessly, doll. You don’t need to make a scene, we respect you.”

“Do you?” I ask, raising a brow, “It’s just, sometimes... I don’t know. We were in a troubled situation when I returned to the bunker and now a year has passed. What’s changed?”

“Absolutely nothing,” Dale states this firmly, “You still have loyalty to prove and until you do - you’re on a very short leash. However, you can be our equal in other people’s eyes, we don’t care. But, the thing is... sweet pea, listen carefully... to us, you will submit. Right now, we’re at war but we’ve invested into our lifestyle of BDSM. We’re proud of you being our little Submissive. That’s not going to change, kitten. Ever. Now, I’ll tell you the long term deal, you ready?”

“Yes,” I answer, hopeful of the next words that will come out of his mouth.

“We will uphold your reputation - there will be no defamation of your reputation and therefore no defiance from you. We will not and do no disregard that you’re an Ultima. We need you to win this war. Once we have succeeded and you’ve proven loyalty by that stage... hopefully... we will return to Frankincense City. When we’ve achieved peace and control and there is no more fighting... there’s only one place you’re required to be, Alyssa.”

“One place?” I ask, “This is what I’m worried about.”

“Careful, kitten - don’t get all emotional on me now. Let me spell it out plain and simple for you. In Avalon, you’re our equal. In Frankincense City... things will change to how we desire you. You will be nothing but our Submissive. I see that look in your eye... no... Alyssa... that’s not a choice to fret over... it’s simply where your heart belongs,” Dale’s last choice of words shock me enough into silence.

Did Dale just use the word ′heart′ in a sentence?

Specifically my heart?

Plus, he seemed to lay out my secret and deepest darkest desires with pin point accuracy.

Damn.

“A speechless kitten,” Ace murmurs, “Well, that’s a first.”

“Smitten kitten, I’d say,” Jose is smug with his chosen words, while Serge just tilts his head at me while he reads me.

“Cute,” Serge goes with that.

“Since you so undeniably agree with everything I just said...” Dale adds, “What do you require of us to help regain your Brownie Squad? Anything you want, kitten... anything at all.”

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