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Golden Girl Ch. 02

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Chapter 2: The Feast of the Fall

In the aftermath of a day full of intense sensation, Dorée was exhausted and fell into a light doze. Lying on her bench in the stables, she could hear the faint clink of the crucible that heated gold leaf and the heavy footfalls of the man who applied it, now softened by distance. He had gone away down the rows. The other young men and women who had come to the Chateau with her must be suffering as she had when the hot flakes of gold dropped onto her skin. Or were they? Did any of them feel that queer stimulation at the end, when the pain picked up a pulse that was almost pleasure? Dorée’s mind could not fathom it. Her thoughts wandered around in the twilight of half-sleep, mixing up her earlier meditations on lust and her current thoughts about suffering.

As she dozed, it seemed that the effects of whatever drug had been put in her porridge wore off. Her dizziness subsided, and her strength returned. After a while Dorée felt well enough to rise, lifting herself onto her elbow to look around. Just then, the stablehand passed by and waved her down.

“No no no! Remember what I said: don’t move. Not until you’re summoned.”

Having no better options, Dorée lay back down again. She had been the first one gilded, so probably the last ones to be done were still cooling and recovering. Dorée was, if nothing else, eminently practical and quick to perceive how chores should be carried out. So she waited. After a short time the Footman who had taken all the lamp attendants to the stables came back.

“Get them up, get them up! We need them in their places now. We’re already running late.”

“The last ones might crackle,” the Farrier grumbled.

“Crackling is artistic. Get them going.”

The Farrier snorted again, then waved to the stablehand, yelling, “Well? Get them up!”

The stablehand’s freckled face barely popped around her door frame and he was already gone by the time she heard him calling encouragingly,

“Up, girls, time to go! Up, up! There’s a sweet one!”

“Don’t mollycoddle them. You’re not doing them any favours,” called the Farrier.

“It works with horses.” The stablehand shot back, his voice ringing out from the other end of the stable.

“Only once they’re broken, son. And these ones aren’t broken yet.” The Farrier returned.

“True!” The stablehand agreed cheerfully. There was an echoing smack and a brief shriek from one of the girls as the stablehand yelled “ON YOUR FEET!”

“But don’t ruin my gilding! Bon sang!” The Farrier thundered.

The stablehand simply laughed and thumped the Farrier casually on the arm as he came back down the row. The way the young man shifted from tenderness to cruelty on a whim was almost more frightening than the Farrier’s scowling menace.

Once the stablehand was gone, Dorée moved closer to the edge of her stall and peered out, trying to see what was happening. A line of young men and women stood at the doors to their stalls. Each one was covered in an intricate and original pattern of gilding that highlighted their best features, yet without covering them at all. She had earlier been glad to be spared the pain on her most private parts. But now, seeing the handsome young men with their cocks surrounded in gold yet not touched by it and the buxom girls with their breasts flecked and dashed but not hidden, it seemed more obscene than if they had simply been coated in gold head to toe. There was no armour of metal to shield them; instead, their vulnerability was ornamented and made all the more prominent.

‘I suppose there is no chance of us being given a uniform after this,’ Dorée thought to herself.

“Line up. About face. And, march! Double-time!” The Footman called out.

Dorée was in the stall closest to the door, so of necessity she took the lead again, turning and stepping out briskly. She hoped that the rest followed her, though a few squeals and curses from behind her suggested that not all of them had moved as quickly as she. For a moment, Dorée felt a pang of concern. Why was she leading this group of slaves -for that is what they clearly were- to their humiliation? Shouldn’t she put her foot down and protest before it went any further?

And yet, it was so chilly in the Courtyard now that the sun was dipping below the horizon and the West wind was blowing stronger. The shadowed stone was like ice under her feet. Her whole body wanted nothing more than to be inside the Chateau again. So she stepped even more quickly until she made it back through the main building’s doors, where torches cast a warming glow along the corridors. She moved in far enough that the others could enter behind her, then paused and looked around to find the Footman for direction.

“Very good.” The approaching Footman said, finally giving her a nod of acknowledgment. Despite herself, Dorée felt once again a flush of pride at doing well and being praised for it.

She and the other slaves were lead through the back corridors and up several narrow görükle escort flights of stairs until they came into the Grand Dining Hall. It was indeed a sight of splendor not to be believed. The table was set with silverware for at least a dozen courses. Crystal goblets sparkled amidst the gleam of silver, waiting to receive the night’s wines. Elegant burgundy draperies edged in gold hung around the walls. As Dorée watched, the curtains were drawn by maids in rather revealing dresses who tied back the draperies with thick tasseled silk ropes. Behind the curtains there were no great works of art or marble statues, but only empty alcoves with a kind of rounded wrought-iron hook embedded in the wall well above eye-level. Each hook stuck out horizontally, with its loop parallel to the floor. There were six alcoves on each side of the table and one at the head.

“You,” said the Footman. Dorée turned to him instinctively, but it turned out he was addressing another girl behind her, a gorgeous creature with milky skin and cascading curls the colour of polished chestnut. Gold spirals swirled on her round breasts like Celtic woad. “You’ll be at the head of the table. Step up now, in here.”

“What is all this? I DEMAND that you-” the girl began in a strong, lilting Breton accent.

The Footman stepped forward and seized her by the throat in one lightning-fast motion, as a snake seizes its prey. He pushed her back until she hit her bare heels on the shallow alcove step. She stepped up fast to keep from falling backward. The Footman, still holding her by the throat, pitched his voice to the entire group and commanded,

“Get in. Face the front, legs apart. Don’t move until you’re told to. This is not a request.”

Clearly, this order was meant not just for her, but for all of them. A stir of unrest rippled through the group, especially the men. One strapping lad raised his head, his bright blue eyes flashing angrily. But the Footman simply released the girl’s neck and snapped his fingers in the air. Guards appeared from behind the alcoves, one for every niche. They wore armour and held short spears. The guard behind the fiery Bretonne’s alcove held his spear to her side. The point dimpled her creamy skin.

“If any of you should think of running away, breaking your pose, or -Heaven forbid- disturbing the Feast, you will be run through. The Duc likes to see a little sport at the dinner table, so don’t think he’ll hold the Guards back once our guests arrive. You are here to render a single night of service, for which your family has been well-paid. The Guards will make sure that your service is perfect, despite your filthy, untrained ways. Is that clear?”

Everyone nodded.

“Now, to your stations. You, in here.”

This time he was addressing Dorée. He pointed impatiently to the first alcove on the left side of the table. Dorée stepped up and faced front as commanded. The alcove was so shallow that her buttocks nearly brushed the back wall. At her feet there were worn grooves in the stone where other feet had stood before. In order to match them, Dorée had to spread her legs quite wide -wide enough that a draft of air from behind touched her exposed sex and made her tremble.

Across from her, Dorée could see a young, slender woman with wheat-blonde hair being positioned with her legs apart in her own alcove. Next to her was a young man with a very dark complexion who created a striking contrast with her pallor. Dorée looked to her own right and saw that there was another man who was, if not quite so dark as the one across the hall, then still tanned a deep nut-brown, like a farm-boy who had spent his life out in the sun. She could see now that the hooks in the men’s alcoves were set higher than hers. They were made to alternate low and high, for shorter women and taller men. There was a deliberate contrasting pattern to the slaves’ placement, she realized: fair-haired women were next to dark-haired men, then came a pair of darker women next to two fair-featured men, and so on, with the sole red-head standing at the front. Even their heights were evenly matched so that they stood about the same distance under the hooks. Though their selection had seemed hasty and random, they had been chosen quite purposefully. The staff knew their business. This set-up was no caprice. It was a repeated ritual.

“All ready! Bring the sconces!” The Footman called out.

A moment later, a procession of maids appeared like clockwork bearing the strangest candle-holders Dorée had ever seen. Each holder was made of a large cone of bright-polished silver, all pierced and carved with elaborate curlicues and eccentric nobs running down the sides. Candles protruded from the broad end of the cone, tilted back slightly so that the flames would stand up straight when the holder was placed at an angle into the round wall-hook. The whole ensemble looked rather like a torch made of metal and wax. The still-unlit candles were thick enough to burn all night. A sweet scent of beeswax filled görükle escort bayan the air.

With brisk efficiency, a maid reached her arms around Dorée to set a candle-holder into the hook in her alcove. Dorée could smell the beeswax even more now, and also the tang of the maid’s sweat as she leaned it. She cast a pleading look at the maid, but the pretty young brunette ignored Dorée with steadfast self-discipline. Metal rang on metal as the elaborately carved holder slid into the hook. Still without meeting her eyes, the maid took Dorée’s arms and crossed them at the wrists over her head, just under the iron bar of the wall-hook.

The Footman stepped up again and addressed all the slaves.

“This is the position you are to keep for the rest of the night. You can catch hold of the bar to rest your arms if you absolutely must…but at your peril, lamps. My advice is to move as little as possible. And remember, if you show the least rebellion…” He mimed the stabbing of a spear.

Lamps, he had called them. And so they were.

The maids returned with long tapers to light the lamps. Light and warmth flared to life above Dorée’s head. She could see the dancing flame through the fretwork around the flared rim of the holder. Through the pierced decorations on the side, she could now see that there was a solid core of wax all the way down the centre of the sconce. She had never encountered anything like it.

The Footman watched avidly, enjoying the sight of all the lamps being lit. He didn’t turn away until the very last one, the redhead in the front alcove, was lit. His bright, hungry eyes revealed his impure thoughts and Dorée squirmed again. She froze quickly, realizing that she had brushed the bar above her with the tops of her arms. But it was too late. Turning up her eyes, she saw a drip of milky-clear wax swelling on the rim of the candle. As she watched, it spilled over the edge and ran down the short, thick candlestick. The first drop cooled and hardened before it could fall. But the next drop ran further, tracing the course of the first. The next went further yet. Finally, one fast-coursing drop made it to a cut-out design in the sconce. It hung pendant, then fell.

The drop hit Dorée’s breastbone just at the spot where her throat met the in-curve of her clavicles. She gasped at the blossoming heat and her arms jerked up reflexively, striking the bar above her hard. The candle-stick rattled in its hook and a fresh cascade of wax poured down through the wicked little holes and spouts in the cone to spatter her breast and belly. It was like the gold leaf all over again, except that it ran and flowed and splashed on her in such unpredictable ways, and it did not spare her most tender parts at all. The first drops to hit her unprotected nipples were agony. Dorée wanted to scream. She heard a hiss of indrawn breath from the man beside her. Another woman let out a quick-suppressed whimper. By this time, they all knew enough to hold their tongues.

Just then, a tall, masculine figure in a white-powdered wig and an opulent coat of black damask strode into the room.

“Lit already? Tsk tsk. You know I like to see the first agonizing drops.”

The maid he addressed quailed beside him.

“But then again, if we want lovely crenellations by the time the guests arrive, I suppose they must be lit early.”

He wave an airy hand, dismissing the maid. Then, on second thought, he snapped her back with a word.

“Wait. I want the men erect when the guests arrive. A pastille each should do it for them. As for the women…we’ll let the guests see to them, if any are so inclined.”

“Yes, your Grace.” The maid said with a deep curtsy.

Dorée was distracted by the wax that kept dripping mercilessly onto her bare skin, but she was still aware of the Duc’s presence. He commanded one’s attention as if by natural right and disdained it just as easily as he’d won it. Dorée practically felt his gaze brush past her as he inspected the lamps one more time. Then he departed with a satisfied nod.

A brief eternity later, two of the maids reappeared with a dish of something small and round that Dorée could not quite see without turning her head and shaking the bar. Seen from the corner of her eye, they reminded her sacrilegiously of communion wafers. They were given to the male lamps to eat, along with a sip of water. As if to maintain some ritual balance, the maids also allowed all the female lamps a mouthful of water, though they weren’t given any tablets. Soon enough all the men began to shift uncomfortably as their members swelled before them in compelled arousal. Once horizontal they were clear targets for the wax, and the men grunted in pain as they were spattered by stray burning droplets.

After a time, the wax began to form a cooled crust on the areas where it spattered most often, and Dorée breathed a sigh of relief as the burning heat dwindled to an almost pleasant warmth. She took this opportunity to observe what she could bursa escort of the Hall by carefully moving only her eyes. She found her gaze drawn to the other lamps across from her. Even in suffering, each was unique and beautiful in its own way. The white wax showed bright against the darkest man’s skin, wantonly spattering the elegant pattern of gold-leaf decorating his chest and encircling his proudly upright cock (which Dorée could not help but notice.) The contrast on the nut-brown farmer next to her must be striking as well, though she dared not turn her head to see him fully. The pale blonde woman directly across from Dorée revealed her blushes much more easily than either man: her cheeks flamed red and her skin was pink wherever the wax still burned. She trembled like a lily-of-the-valley in a hot rain, and only brought more pain down upon herself for her delicacy. Dorée wondered what she herself must look like with her legs spread apart, her body covered in drips of wax like theirs, and that broad stripe of gold-leaf leading the eyes down, down from her breasts to her belly to… suddenly, she felt the pulse again, deep inside her. A kind of sweetness wracked her body even as she knew her humiliation most keenly. She wanted to squeeze her legs together, not to hide herself, but to press what was between them and wriggle her thighs against it. Taking a shallow breath, she closed her eyes and tried to allow her spirit to transcend all that was happening to her. She would not look any more at this strange spectacle, she vowed.

Not long after, amused voices began to echo through the halls and the sound of high-heeled shoes rang on the marble. Cracks and claps and other sounds Dorée could not begin to guess the meaning of echoed through the halls. When the sound of those well-bred voices, all talking and laughing gaily, finally reached the Grand Dining Hall, her curiosity again got the better of her. She opened her eyes to the sight of a stunning noblewoman arrayed in a scarlet gown with a fashionable pannier skirt. Her fitted, low-cut bodice was fronted in black velvet and laced in gold silk cord. Her thick, dark hair was unpowdered and arranged in the most extraordinary coiffure of curls and feathers Dorée had ever seen. To her shock, Dorée saw that the Lady was leading a handsome young man on a silver chain, who crawled by her slippered feet like a spaniel. The Lady was openly examining each one of the lamps as she walked along the gallery. When she saw Dorée gazing at her, she gave a small but wicked smile. Turning, she beckoned to another fine Lady in sky-blue silk and a towering white wig who seemed to be her companion. The Lady in Blue came over, and the Scarlet Lady murmured something into her ear that was lost in the swirl of voices and music. They both laughed. Then the two strolled off arm-in-arm at a leisurely pace, the Lady in Scarlet tugging on her spaniel-boy’s chain.

A string quartet struck up in the next room, which Dorée assumed was the ballroom. She took solace in listening for a while, since she so rarely heard any music beyond the simple tunes of country folk. There were loud exclamations of delight every now and then as something that excited the growing crowd took place elsewhere. The Dining Hall was not yet too occupied, but even a half-dozen people felt like quite a lot for Dorée, especially in their coats and gowns and towering hairstyles which made them look so imposing. She was immensely self-conscious of being watched and commented on by such powerful beings while she was naked and tormented for all to see.

Besides her nakedness, her posture was also beginning to cause her discomfort. She had been standing for quite some time without moving and her arms had set to aching. She tried resting them on the top of her head for a while, but even that grew difficult. She was not strong like the hale farmers and doughty milkmaids that surrounded her. Dorée’s stepmother, while harsh-tongued, used her for relatively little labour besides housework. Even the willowy white-haired girl across from her seemed more settled in her posture now that she had a good coat of wax on her skin.

Dorée could tell that something terrible would happen if she grabbed the bar above her head. “At your peril, lamps,” the Footman had said. But the prospect of some future punishment began to pale in comparison the aching in her arms and the tingling in her cold hands. Indeed, she found that she almost craved the sharp, enlivening intensity of her earlier pain again. The thought of it grew in her mind until she could no longer resist it. She braced herself, and as gently as possible she shifted her arms up to grab onto the rod above her. It was surprisingly warm, and for a moment she felt a rush of grateful relief. Then all of a sudden, the rod let down a bit with a mechanical jolt and -oh, Mercy! Liquid heat poured down her flesh not only from the front, but from behind. The small of her back and the sensitive flesh of her buttocks burned so unexpectedly that she yelped and stamped her feet like a horse while still hanging onto the bar, which only increased the flow. So there were spouts for wax behind her, too! No wonder she had felt a draft caressing her in the alcove. There was a raucous laugh as the guests noticed her writhing and called more attention to her.

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