Natir drew in a breath as he retrieved his hand.
With a simper, Alfred ran his moist fingers over Natir’s lips. “No need to answer that.”
She spun, following him with her eyes as he headed to sit on the bed.
“But how do we make use of that arm?” he said. “I still haven’t figured out that part yet, I’m afraid.”
Diva knelt behind him and massaged his shoulders.
“Come, sit with us. No need to be so nervous, I won’t touch you.” With his eyes still on Natir, he took Diva’s hand and licked the bottom of her palm. “I only take a woman who begs me to. If she doesn’t, then she doesn’t deserve it.”
Diva didn’t waste a moment. She leaned over Alfred from behind, wrapped him with her arms like a dear possession and whispered into his ear.
Her voice was very hushed, but Natir caught a few words as she sat next to them. Diva hadn’t just begged him to take her, the words she purred were something that Natir couldn’t ever hope to repeat without setting her own cheeks on fire.
As if an animal had awakened within her, Diva suddenly guided Alfred down and lay over him, aroused from exhibiting how sexually aggressive she really was.
As Alfred and Diva were deeply into each other, Natir found herself suddenly left out.
From the beginning, she did not dare to compare herself to Diva, and she did interpret Alfred’s last statement as a welcomed lack of interest. Then again, Alfred was the one who brought her here in the first place, and he did make more than a couple sexual advances.
Feeling quite out of place, she sat facing forward, listening to the provocative noises and waiting for an order that wasn’t going to come. When she couldn’t stand it any longer, she spoke up and said, “Sir, I’m really sorry to ask this, but, if what you said is true, then why am I here?”
Alfred sat up straight and leaned towards her.
“All right, here’s the big reason behind dragging you here,” he fiddled with the edge of her skirt, teasing and keeping her waiting before chortling childishly, “I don’t know!”
The face he made sent a laugh escaping through Natir’s nose. She looked away, covering her mouth with her hand.
She nodded with sarcasm. “You enjoy playing games with me?”
“All good boys and girls love to play games.”
“I’m not getting a straight answer from you, am I?”
“Now, why would you want something so boring?”
“But, just, if you didn’t bring me for sex then what am I supposed to—”
“Did I say that?”
Natir froze. She felt so stupid for believing what Alfred told her and realized that she’d made a mistake by hinting at not wanting to share his bed.
Her face fell. “No.”
“Did I say that I did?”
Now she buried her face in her palms, realizing that she had just been played again. “No.”
“And what does that tell you?”
“I don’t know. I’m very confused right now.”
Alfred made her take her hands off her face so that she looked back at him.
“I think you know,” said Alfred.
Natir summoned some courage and let out the only answer she had. “If it’s not ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ then it has nothing to do with it.”
With a funny face, he pointed his forefinger at her that she got it right.
“But then, why else?”
Avoiding her question, Alfred ran his fingers through her hair. “You cut it short?”
Natir restrained another laugh. Had she really been so upstaged by Diva that Alfred hadn’t noticed the change until now?
“But what’s this?” He felt the two long, thin braids she wore on one side.
“I was allowed to keep those.”
“It’s unique. But it does suit you… So, are you?”
“Am I what?”
He cradled her cheek in his palm. “Going to ask to join us?”
His hand felt like rock against her cheek. Natir was surprised by her own reaction, she found herself leaning into his hand, relishing the warm feel of it against her skin.
She answered with a dreamy gaze, “I don’t know. Should I?”
He looked straight into her eyes without saying anything. Out of embarrassment, Natir escaped his look but then snapped out of it, as if slapped by an invisible hand. Natir did not notice when her body relaxed so much that she lost sense of what she was. She hastily corrected her mistake.
“I’m sorry, that’s not what I meant to say. It was a bad joke. Of course I’m asking.”
“Yes, I am. I am and I want it.”
Alfred slowly dropped on his back, hands behind his head, looking disappointed.
She leant toward him, on her elbow, and intoned erotically as she ran her palm over his chest, repeating the same lines she’d purred a thousand times before.
“How can I not wish for it? I’m so honored just to be here with you, to be chosen by you, it’s more than I can dream of. Please, sir, whatever you want me to do, just tell me. Whatever you want—”
Diva watched Natir’s game with a raised brow, trying not to laugh.
“Whatever I want?” asked Alfred.
“Anything and everything. My night is yours.”
Diva put her hand between her mouth and Alfred’s ear and whispered something that made him crack a laugh and brush her off.
Natir was annoyed—it was obvious the joke was about her.
Alfred noticed her reaction. “What?”
“It’s nothing.” Alfred and Diva kept staring at Natir, so she explained, “I was just thinking, maybe if she’s not, if she’s not comfortable… I mean, if she’s not okay with it, then—”
“What? What makes you think that?”
Natir looked away and bit her lip. She regretted falling into the woman’s provocations and wished she could swallow her words back. She had just spoken her mind against someone whom she didn’t even know how much she meant to Alfred and who obviously had the higher ground.
It was too late to back off now. “I don’t think she likes me.”
Diva looked honestly surprised.
Alfred cracked a laugh. “What are you talking about? Didn’t she already say she likes you?”
He groped Natir’s breasts. “When she complimented these!”
It took Natir a moment to figure it out.
“Oh! You mean that was—?” Her face darted to Diva.
“You don’t need to worry yourself about Diva.” Alfred dropped back down. “She knows what she wants, and she’s not shy to go after it.”
Diva narrowed her eyes at Natir, giving her the same predatory gaze from before while slowly tracing Natir’s lower legs with her foot. She then gave a little kick, sending Natir’s legs apart, and tucked her foot in between them.
It frightened Natir. She had interpreted the woman’s intention correctly from the start.
“But what about you?” Alfred resumed. “What about what you want?”
“Uh, um, yes! Me, too.”
“No, that’s not what I’m asking.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m asking: what do you want?”
“I’m a slave.”
“Even slaves want something.” He rose, sitting up, and asked more seriously, “Now—drop the night games. There will be plenty of time for those later. Just tell me: what do you want?”
“All right, let’s not make you go first. Diva,” he turned to Diva, “what do you want?”
As if she were dying to be asked, Diva moved in quickly, causing Alfred to yelp, as she stepped over his lap with her knee to get closer to Natir.
She took Natir’s face between her palms, stared her in the eye, and licked her from her chin to the side of her temple.
Natir was left speechless, unsure how to interpret Diva’s answer. She told herself that Diva was merely playing her role, too. That she was simply that good of an actor, or even really attracted to other women. But in her gut, she knew the look in Diva’s eyes was not of sexual lust or pretending, they were the honest eyes of someone truly desiring another.
“Hey, what about me? I thought you were going this way!” Alfred laughed.
Diva made a girlish shrug as if she were not sure then dropped on him and licked his cheek as well.
“Okay! Okay!” He laughed. “Now it’s your turn, Natir. Tell us, what will make you happy? What do you really, really want?”
Diva clung to his shoulder, joining him in staring at Natir.
“If… if it pleases you, then what I want is… What I want is for my daughter to eat. I want her to be safe. Safe and warm and in my arms. That’s all I wish for.”
“Then you must be the happiest woman alive and I have nothing to offer you.”
She looked at them.
“Well, aren’t you? I mean, your daughter is in your arms. She’s not out in the cold. No one is hurting her. And I’m feeding her. And yet…” He reached his hand out and ran his thumb across her lips. “And yet you don’t seem so happy to me. Now, why is that? Did you lie to me, perhaps?”
“I would never—”
“Or did you just lie to yourself?” he interrupted.
He signaled Diva to hand him a drink. He gave it to Natir.
“It’s okay. Why don’t you have a drink, for now. And while you’re thinking about it, do consider joining us.” He pulled Diva. “Personally,” he said between their kisses, “I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t. Diva sure knows how to make everyone happy.”
Natir sat still, staring blankly at the cup in her hands and the ripples moving over the surface of the wine, thinking of nothing.
Sex noises whispered to her ears as the two of them got into it, making out and stripping each other bare.
Natir snapped back to her senses, berating herself for being so stupid. He had just played her again.
Alfred must have been having the time of his life. He was getting off confusing her like this over and over again. It was all just a game to him. His fetch.
She forced herself to forget everything he had said and focused on dutifully playing her role.
Of course he didn’t care what a slave wanted. Of course she was expected to join them. And if begging for sex was what pleased him, then she was going to whisper her pleas all night long.
She put her cup aside and went down with them.