Authors: J.E.,M. Keep
J.E. & M. Keep
This book is intended for sale to Adult Audiences only. It
contains sexually explicit scenes and graphic language. All sexually
active characters in this work are of legal age. Over 35,000 words.
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contains sexual violence, consensual non—consent, and torture.
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Anjasa has been through the worst parts of hell and come back from
it wounded but stronger. A trained assassin and courtesan, she’s
seen the worst in others… and herself.
She doesn’t know what she wants, but she knows the things
she needs. Companionship. Adventure. Fear. She needs to feel alive.
When she meets the human noble, Loren, in the bar, she figured
he’d be good for a night of fun. A place to sleep.
Instead she finds an adventure that she can’t turn away
from, even though her instincts warn her of the terrible things to
Things were simpler when she worked for the Royal Investigators.
The pay was regular, she had backup—usually—and she got
downtime in her homeland every so often. The downside was that she
had to take orders that were often near suicidal and her methods were
criticized by condescending superiors. It was perhaps that last part
that irked her the most.
Besides, as a ‘reformed’ sex slave she never really
did fit in with law enforcement. Her stint with the Investigators had
been brief but had ignited her passion for crime.
So there she was, off in the human city of Normevor, the “jewel”
of the North, they called it. Though it hardly compared to the
eternal beauty of the elven lands she grew up in. However, the humans
did try, and their lands had a sort of gritty appeal. The city of
Normevor was large, a semicircle on the edge of a great lake, edged
with a mighty protective wall outside of which lived many
impoverished peasants. At its heart towered great noble structures of
marble and shimmering glass and stone.
The contrast was jarring to elven sensibilities, but then, she was
often seen as jarring to her people's sensibilities.
Anjasa wasn’t so down on her luck that she had to dwell in
the slums outside the walls, but she was running low on coin. Out, in
fact. She’d spent freely in her time there and lived well. The
tavern she sat in was one of the nicer ones, as far as human taverns
went, and so as she fished into her pocket for coins she realized the
place had tapped her of the last of her money.
The thought reminded her of how reckless she’d gotten to
even be paying for her own drinks, when a bat of her lashes typically
got a line of men willing to pay up for her. Men like the handsome
young noble she found herself seated across from. Though that
particular fellow stared into his drink thoughtfully, his shiny suit
looking fancy and expensive. White, trimmed with black, and
shimmering gold buttons. Human’s had odd styles by Elvish
standards, but he filled it out well.
The only thing about him that looked less than coiffed was his
hair. The golden brown head of hair looking a bit shaggy and
dishevelled, like he’d run his hand through it in frustration a
few times too many.
She’d been too lost in her own concerns, and the idea of
having to strike up conversation wasn’t one she relished. But
then, she was used to doing what needed to be done, all else be
damned, and her ruby lips curved into a smile.
She was a middle aged woman, still in her prime, and her bouncy
black hair framed her face lovingly. The depths of her green eyes
were almost eerie. The tan of her skin made it stick out all the more
as she leaned forward and the tops of her breasts practically spilled
out of her tight, red dress.
“Lookin’ for me in that drink?” she teased, her
eyes holding such mischief.
The young human blinked and looked up, though he didn’t make
it past her breasts. He found himself staring at them a bit blatantly
until he shook off the dumbfounded look on his face and at last met
her gaze. “What?” He had been a million miles away.
Obviously, of course, for how had he not noticed her sooner with
those amber eyes of his?
Her lips quirked but she never moved from her position, her
breasts so exposed, just barely contained by the tight material. “You
seem much too thoughtful to be in this place.”
With another bat of his lashes—and a dip of his eyes to her
generous cleavage—he said. “You wouldn’t normally
catch me in a place like this.” He stated it a bit critically,
but then softened, deflating a little. “Sorry, madam,” he
said in his refined voice, “I’m not terribly good company
right now.” Then he lifted his mug of ale and drank from it,
the look he gave telling her all she needed to know in that he didn’t
drink such peasant brew normally.
She leaned back, her legs crossing seductively, “And where
would I normally catch you, if I want to find you another night?”
The young nobleman’s cheeks reddened—actually
blushed!—and he looked down into his drink to avert his gaze
from her long, shapely legs, and her generous bust. “Ah, w
well, he stammered a bit then swallowed. “Truth be told, madam,
I, well...” he ran his hand over his golden brown hair again,
the thick mess of it looking surprisingly appealing like that. “A
club up the road,” he confessed, and she knew which one he
meant. The swanky nobles club. It cost a small fortune to get in,
however, and someone of the nobility had to speak for you.
It had a reputation for corrupting the young nobles of the city.
“And what happened tonight?” she grinned as she stood
up, walking over to join him. She moved fluidly, the sway of her
generous hips pleasing below the tight nip of her waist. “Did
you get kicked out for being too rowdy?”
The young man shook his head and seemed stubbornly insistent upon
not saying anything further. Then she slipped into the seat beside
him and his inhibitions vanished. “No, nothing like that,”
he said; a bit of embarrassment brought a deeper hue to his cheeks.
“Not tonight anyhow,” he cleared his throat and sat up a
little straighter in his seat. She could read him like a sign printed
in Elvish; his natural inclination to compose himself in front of her
as his interest rose. “Though maybe if I had spent fewer nights
there I’d not be in the predicament I am,” he lamented.
“I know, the ale is horrible,” she teased, drawing her
lower lip into her mouth and biting it seductively as she stared at
him a moment.
She could sense he was more than just sitting stiffly already,
with the way he was staring at her. He struggled to clear his throat
and regain some composure. “I’m sorry,” he said
rather sincerely sounding, “I’m not exactly the
wealthiest noble in town. Not anymore.” Perhaps he’d
thought her a prostitute soliciting him, or else a woman after a
noble entanglement for wealth and prosperity. Regardless, he looked
downright adorable with his apologetic expression.
She grinned and looked around them, her head tilting to the side,
“Honey, if you think I’m a gold digger in a place like
this, I must be a really shitty gold digger.”
He looked around at that, and though the place was an upper scale
tavern for merchants and the other wealthy of the city who weren’t
nobles, her words seemed to sink in. He smiled crookedly, which
looked simply satisfying on his face, and nodded. “Sorry,”
he said again, peering up at her beneath his dishevelled bangs, “I
shouldn’t assume. I... I just didn’t want to waste your
time with false hope.”
Of course, a noble down on his luck was still likely richer than
the vast majority of the city, certainly wealthy enough to pay for
drinks and a good time for her. But the circumstance of relative
prosperity wasn’t something the young man seemed to grasp.
Typical, of course. A noble with a purse full of coins and an opulent
manor could think himself a pauper just because he lost his rights to
“So come on, you’re not even drinkin’ your
sorrows away very fast,” she smiled down at the mug. “And
the ale is weak as water. Why don’t you tell me your troubles
and we’ll order up a proper bottle of something.”
He dipped his head down in a bit of embarrassment again but nodded
to her request all the same, with only a momentary flicker of his
eyes to her breasts. “Okay,” he said lightly. “I
figured I should get used to this peasant rot now,” he said
with some humour, “but I don’t think I can stomach it.”
That was enough to confirm for her that he was not as bad off as
he thought. People truly down on their luck had to scrounge for coin
for the cheapest of ale. He had chosen an actually decent blend,
despite his complaints and melodrama.
The man raised his hand though and got the barmaid’s
attention, ordering a fine bottle of Sylvarin wine from her homeland
as he gave her a pleasant smile.
She smiled and her eyes brightened as her hand went to her hair,
fixing an out of place strand among the large, bouncy waves. “I
guess it’s pretty obvious,” she said, referring to her
With a shrug of his stately shoulders, he said with some amount of
modesty, “It doesn’t take the refinement of a noble to
notice the ethereal beauty of a fair elven maiden.” He managed
to make the words sound like he was reciting a poem, and perhaps he
was. She wasn’t a master of human poetry, after all.
The wine was uncorked and poured up before them both. The
barmaid—though buxom—did not garner any of the entranced
nobles attention, despite her efforts. Anj had a corner on that
market, she could tell.
Yet she appeared calm and confident; she was used to preferential
treatment. Her thumb and finger rubbed down the stem of her glass
wantonly, “So tell me. What is so horrible that you’re
reduced to having to sit with me instead of some empty headed—”
Anjasa stopped herself and grinned. “Some stunning noble
That elicited a laugh from the handsome young man, despite his
attempts to hide it. He licked his lips and tried his best to
straighten his hair, “Ah, first.” He cleared his throat,
“Allow me to introduce myself, madam. I am Sir Loren Faro.”
He cleared his throat yet again, deflating just a bit, “Or at
least, I was to be.”
“Well, it’s a pleasure,” she smiled and dipped
her body down to show off her cleavage once again. “Sir Loren
Faro,” she said with a bit of an exaggeration to her tongue
motions. “I like that. I think that’s what it shall be.
Her banter made him smile just a bit, though she could see the
telltale signs of gloominess trying to fight it. She won out of
course. “That’s a lovely name, Anjasa,” he said
sweetly and raised his glass. “To you then. A beautiful elven
lady with a name as exotic as she looks.” He wasn’t fae
or dainty like many noblemen were. It seemed his current
softspokeness was something brought on by melancholy rather,
evidenced by the increasingly firm tone to his voice.
She brought her glass up and clinked it delicately, “So
what’s happened? What ragamuffin has hurt such a handsome and
charming man as you?”
Tipping back the drink, she made a soft moan of appreciation
before lowering the long stemmed glass back to the table.
Loren shook his head, setting that thick head of golden brown hair
to swaying gently. “No. I’m afraid I just...” he
sighed softly. “I lost my inheritance.” He paused then
added, “In a competition I mean, not like... down a drain.”
“You bet your inheritance?” She whistled lowly as she
looked over his body. “You must be huge,” she paused a
beat, “ly confident.”
That succeeded in bringing another blush to his cheeks, but he
poured her up more of the familiarly expensive wine and shook his
head. “Not... no, not exactly,” he said. “My
father, he ah,” he cleared his throat. “He disapproved of
my habits and set me against a cousin in a competition over who would
retain his inheritance.” He looked down in his drink glumly. “I
went drinking the night before.”
She had to suppress her laughter, and she licked over her lips.
“Well, we all get cock...y from time to time. So who’s
this cousin and how’d he even get chosen for the possibility,
Loren shifted in his seat slightly, and she knew his blood was
rising from the way he looked at her, even amidst his tale. “Like
I said, Father,” he cleared his throat again, “he did not
care for my habits, and uh... the company I kept. He felt it a good
lesson to make me compete for my inheritance, and I thought I had it
in the bag but...” he shook his head glumly. “His name is
Zarach. You’ve probably not heard of him,” he said with
an irritated exhale. “He’s an extended member of the
family, far removed. Family doesn’t even own land. Well,”
he screwed up a corner of his lips, “they don’t until my
father passes... which could be anytime now. Wherein they use that
scrap of paper to humiliate and disenfranchise me.” He brought
his glass of wine back up and sipped sullenly.