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The Damascus Road: part six

The Assassins strike

So, I thought, this is how it ends.

And yet the day had begun so promisingly.

With Ayesha, who had been sent to spy on my Sapphic activity by the Imams, compromised into silence by Jess’s forceful introduction to its delights, and Princess Damila satisfied by the Sultan and myself, we had shored up the strategy of supporting the Al-Amadin clan, provided they let the minority Shihab group have some share of power. This provided a way forward now the rebel Amir had met an unfortunate accident whilst hunting. With the Sultan agreeing to forego revenge in favour of a great showcase event at Damascus, we were in sight of the end of our mission.

The Sultan's preferred way would have led to thousands of deaths, the way we were taking had seen precisely two people die, the Amir, and an assassin.

I spoke, as usual, to the Sultan over coffee, and he was in a benign mood - as befitted a man who had spent the night making love to the most beautiful woman in Syria.

I did not want to spoil the mood, but had to tell him about the fact a spy had penetrated the harem. He was, as I had anticipated, shocked.

'The spy must die, and so must the head of guards.'

I let him rant, and when he had finished, explained that it might be better to bank the fact we knew that the head of the guards was not to be trusted. After all, we could now keep an eye on him, and if we got rid of him, the conspirators would simply replace him, and wonder about Ayesha's report and its veracity. He agreed to let it ride.

We set off after lunch.

I travelled by divan, with Jess and the two slave girls gifted to the Padisha by the Princess. The Sultan looked splendid in his armour, every inch the descendant of Othman; he would have done as a model for the ideal warrior, and he knew it.

The Damascus road was dusty and hot. The cavalry kept guard around us, and the troops set a good pace.

Jess, who did not quite share my exclusive devotion to the sisterhood, admired some of the warriors, and speculated on what other equipment they might bring to the battlefield of the couch. The slave girls shared her sense of humour, and before long I was abstracting my mind from talk of male members, to issues of State.

The great ceremony of homage would reinforce Ottoman domination in the region, at least symbolically, while the work I had done with Bashir, the new Governor, and the Princess, would ensure that politically the foundations were in place for a lasting settlement. All very good. But I was worried about the Muslim fanatics.

They had tried to assassinate the Sultan, and they had managed to get a spy into the harem. They were aware of me, and I did not like that fact. I had managed to silence Ayesha, but the fact was that Sapphic activity was regarded as haram, that is forbidden, and my existence, and influence, were becoming a standing affront to the more puritanical Imams. As long as there was no public scandal, I was safe, but not even the Sultan could afford to deny a fatwah. All his servants were expendable - even me.

We settled for the evening at the fortress of Soufar, where we women were housed in the quarters of the Commander's wife; as he did not have one, we had free reign. It was plain that there had been a great deal of hurried work to make them habitable, and one could smell the fresh paint. But it was pleasant enough.

Jess came to me that night, and we were one again.

I kissed her tenderly, apologising for my part in any rift between us. She explained she had been jealous, but that now she had her own woman in Ayesha, that had abated. Burdened by my cares, I was happy to let her take control of me. I seemed to need to surrender control in this way, to become, in effect, the slave of my slave.

To be made to kneel before her open sex and to suck her sweet lips was a delight in any case; to be told to do it, added to the pleasure I took, even as it added to her joy.

Her lips were bigger than mine anyway, and aroused, were thick, almost meaty. I sucked, gently, on each lip, nibbling along the whole length from near her anus to her bud. My tongue dipped in, sliding along her thick wetness, slowly parting her petals, lapping along its length, before using my tongue on her bud.

Her bud was larger than mine, indeed, the largest I had seen, and she loved me sucking on it. Her mind, in its passion, reverted to the conversation she had had earlier with the slaves.

'Suck my cock, you cock-sucking whore.'

How odd we are. The idea of actually sucking a male member horrified me, but her comparing her bud to one, and making me suck it, made me drip. My lips fastened on it, and as I sucked to and fro, it became unhooded, and my tongue feathered it. Jess gasped. My fingers slide down to her anus, which was wet from her sex, and I rubbed my index finger around the rim, before slowly penetrating her anal passage.

By this stage she was gripping my head, forcing my face deep into her wet sex. I lapped furiously, my tongue working over her bud, pushing it, then tugging it.

'You fucking bitch, yes, yes, fuck, yes, oh hell!'

I felt her thighs stiffen as she squirted into my mouth. Her climax seemed to last for minutes rather than moments. Sensing she could do it again, I applied my fingers to her wetness and penetrated her. She clenched them. She seemed to climax again, or maybe it was an aftershock from the main earthquake. Either way, my face remained in her sex for ages; to our mutual delight.

When we played thus, it was our habit to deny me a climax, and that added to my pleasure; as I say, how oddly we are constituted.

We slept the sleep of the just - the just exhausted by sex, that is.

We were up and out of Soufar by just after sun-rise. We should the guides said, reach Damascus, by late afternoon.

There was a narrow defile near Aanjar, which slowed us down. Then it happened.

The Sultan and his guard were at the head of the convoy and passed through without incident. But then there was a rock fall. Suddenly there were shouts from above us, and we were under assault.

Thinking quickly, I told the guard nearest me to take Jess and the slaves quickly over the rock fall, to take only a few trusted men, and not to stop. Jess begged me to go with them, but someone needed to ensure that the imperial chancery was safe, and I was the only one I trusted to do that. One of the guards offered to go with me. Speed was of the essence.

I watched, looking back, as I saw the guards get Jess and company over the rocks; a detachment of archers kept the assailants at bay, and gave them the time and space to escape. That gave me time to get to the chancery.

There was only one thing to be done. I scattered oil in the container and threw in a light; nothing secret would now be read by others. Now to get out. My guard had his sword raised - pointing at me.

'Don't be ridiculous, we need to get out!'

'You are an evil witch, and you will go nowhere. I shall gut you like a fish.'

That did not sound quite the thing, but with the assailants closing on us, despite the best efforts of the loyal guards, it was hard to think.

So, I thought, this is how it ends?

It seemed ridiculous to have come so far, only to fall to an assassin's knife in this ambush.

I had one chance. I threw the oil-soaked torch at the guard, and his garments caught fire instantly. He screamed, trying desperately to put out the flames that were starting to consume him. As he did so, I darted past him.

But I could see that the way ahead was now blocked by a new rock fall. I was too small to surmount it easily, and the attackers were closing in. Striking a second flame, I lit the oil trail, creating a fire which would slow down my pursuers, but which might also consume me.

And there it was - nemesis.

Two warriors sprinted down the slope, headed straight for me. I could probably have outrun them on the flat, but here, my speed was of no use. Then the first one fell, an arrow in his throat. The second one followed, taken by another shot.

A tall figure in black from head to foot emerged from behind the rock, gesturing at me.

'Quick, little Vizier, to me, now, they are closing on you.'

So they were.

But the masked archer fired swiftly, loosing four arrows in in minute. The assailants halted. A hand was put out, I grabbed it.

'We must flee little one.'

And that was what we did.



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