Lady Tara escorted the Imperial Mistress down the spacious ornate hallway at what was an almost unlady like pace. Finally, having had enough of nearly running after her Mistress, Lady Elizabeth reached out and grabbed the Mistress of the Night Clan by the elbow and pulled her into an alcove just before the grand staircase.
Lady Elizabeth spun Tara so that she was pinned against the wall and braced herself with her arms on either side of the taller woman so that their eyes met. Lady Elizabeth noticed that Tara was breathing heavy.
"I might not be as adept as you are at reading emotions, but I don't think I have to be to see that there is something wrong." Buffy spoke slowly her voice low. "What's wrong?"
The Mistress of the Night Clan met Buffy's eyes for a few moments before she dropped her head and let a few locks of blond fall forward obscuring her face.
"I can't tithe with Willow." Tara finally spoke low.
"Why? Why can't you?" Buffy asked her voice lowering to Tara's level.
"Because I heard what she said."
Lady Elizabeth mulled this over in her head for a few moments and then frowned. "Again with the why?"
"It's against tradition. If you are to tithe you do so without the concept of love. That's the way it has always been. I can't tithe with Willow if its true what she said." Tara talked low. "It would be a risk if it was known that she had feelings for me."
"What do you mean?"
Tara sighed. "Drusilla is up to something. I don't know what, but lately she has been subtly challenging my position. After what happened today with Loki - I have a sense that she is going to attempt some sort of maneuver against me."
"There really isn't a way that she could try and usurp you is there?" Lady Elizabeth inquired.
The Mistress of the Night Clan took a deep breath. For the first time that Buffy could remember, the Mistress looked uncertain.
"Yes and no. The Clan is divided. There are the younger Mistresses and Masters that believe that power lies within how many subs you have. The older ones know that it isn't the amount of subs and slaves you have it's the quality. Drusilla and I embody the two trains of thought. If I want to unite the Clan which, Goddess help me I do, than I am going to have to solidify my position with both schools of belief." Tara finished.
"How do you propose to do that?" Buffy asked .
"That's were it gets complicated. A virgin tithe with Willow would ensure my place. But if it was found out that Willow has feelings for me then the tithe would be obsolete, and I would be displaced by Drusilla for having broke the laws of the Clan for tithing. Besides... then there is the matter of my feelings for the redhead..." Tara trailed off.
Buffy nodded knowingly. She knew that it was easy to fall for Willow. She was guilty of it as well but she knew that it wasn't meant to be.
"If you want my opinion, such as it may be, I don't feel that you should look too hard into your feelings for Willow and especially don't allow them to cloud your judgment when it comes being the Mistress of the Night Clan."
"That's easier said than done Lady Elizabeth." Tara replied. Buffy gave Tara a gentle smile.
"If anyone can do it, it's you. Besides, you can't let the Clan fall into Drusilla's hands. She would bring dark days to the Clan. I think you should continue with the tithe with Willow." The Imperial Mistress ran her hand down Tara's arm.
"I believe that you can work all this out for the best. You have Faith and Loki as well as the allegiance of the Assassins Guild because of those two. Perhaps you should use the alliances you have to help you in this matter."
The Mistress of the Night Clan looked in shock at the Imperial Mistress. Tara couldn't believe what Lady Elizabeth was suggesting.
"And as for this conversation, we didn't have it." Buffy locked eyes with Tara. A moment passed before the Imperial Mistress straightened and resumed her demeanor. "Escort me to my carriage?"
Tara returned to her chambers. Faith was waiting on the low couch. She had wrapped her body in a black and red embroidered sarong.
The Mistress smiled gently as she approached her Sub.
"Are you all right, Pet?" Tara asked. Faith sat up and nodded.
"Yes, Mistress. Just a little sore." The assassin responded. She saw a pained expression on Faith's face.
"Did Lady Elizabeth hurt you?" Lady Tara asked concerned by the look on her Sub's face. Faith sighed.
"No, Mistress. I was just thinking about Loki and what happened today."
A knot of guilt formed in Tara's chest. She knew exactly what Faith had meant by her comment. She felt responsible. If the strange, compelling, instant connection she had felt towards Willow occurred, Loki wouldn't have ever been given over to Drusilla's hand.
The Mistress' mind ran through the events of the day. She grimaced as the blood and the beating of her beloved Sub crossed through her thoughts. Tara smiled sadly. She was so proud of her Sub and needed to thank her properly but for the moment she decided to revel in the company of Faith.
"You're worried about Drusilla." Faith spoke bluntly.
"I'm afraid of what might happen if I tithe with Willow." Tara confessed to her sub. Faith sat up and grabbed her Mistress' hand.
"That shouldn't be a worry. There is no way that Loki or I or any of the assassins in the guild would let Drusilla usurp you." Faith leveled her gaze at Tara.
"But that isn't right."
"Pardon my honesty Mistress, but what Drusilla does to her Subs and slaves. The way she practices her servitude to the Goddess isn't right."
Tara shook her head. "No. The only way that this issue can be resolved is if it is done in the proper fashion. If I resorted to such measures, I would be no better than Drusilla. Then what would I represent to the Clan?"
The dark haired assassin opened her mouth to protest but thought better of it when she caught the look in the blue depths of her Mistress' eyes. Tara gave a half smile and caressed her Sub's cheek.
"You're beautiful and amazing Faith." The Mistress leaned down and kissed Faith gently. "Come pet - let's go and tend to Loki."
Tara entered Loki and Faith's chambers.
The short haired assassin was sprawled across dark blue sheeted bed. She was naked, the cuts and welts were close to being healed thanks to the skills of the healers that the Clan kept.
Candles flickered along the high shelf that ran around the perimeter of the room, casting a sensual quality to blue and silver decorated room.
The Mistress of the Night Clan allowed her eyes to travel down the expanse of her Sub's body. As much as the remaining marks on Loki's body reminded her of the cruelty she had experienced under Drusilla's sadistic hands, they also served to arouse her.
The knowledge that Loki had willingly and obediently given herself over and hadn't once cried out or shamed Tara only deepened their bond and the Mistress' desire for her Sub. Loki had embodied and proved yet again the power behind the Sub/ Mistress relationship.
Tara wanted nothing more in that moment than to show her Sub how much she loved her.
The Mistress walked quietly up to the bed, disrobing as she went. By the time she reached the large bed she was fully naked. She watched as her Pet started to stir.
"Faith?" Loki mumbled as her consciousness started to come back to her. Lady Tara turned and looked back to where Faith stood waiting for her command. Smiling Tara beaconed to her other Pet.
The dark haired assassin come up to her. Tara reached out and pulled Faith to her, while working her fingers into the knot that held the sarong fastened at Faith's breasts. The Night Clan Mistress brushed her lips over Faith's ear as she let the sarong drop to the ground.
"Tonight, you don't have to wait for my command. Tonight, do as you wish. With me, with Loki, with yourself. Tonight, I am grateful to you two - my wonderful pets." Lady Tara breathed warmly over Faith's ear. "Do you understand?"
"Yes, Mistress." Faith replied and instantly captured Tara's lips in a fierce kiss.
The Mistress allowed herself to give into her Pet's oral assault. Faith nibbled and sucked Tara's full lips for a few moments until a slight moan from the bed drew their attention.
The Mistress disentangled herself from Faith and climbed onto the bed and hovered over her sub's back. She dipped down and allowed her hard nipples to trace over the remaining welts on Loki's back.
"Wake up, Pet." Lady Tara whispered into Loki's ear before allowing her tongue to run over the stubble on Loki's head. There was another moan from the woman but this one was one of pleasure.
"I wanted to thank you for all that you did for Willow and I today." Tara's breath was getting a little strained because of the arousal that was coursing through her veins at that moment.
As she was allowing her nipples to play across Loki's back by the rocking she was doing above her Sub her clit would occasionally hit the round of her Pet's ass. Sending lightning of desire up her spine. "Roll over."
True to form, Loki did as commanded. As she did, Tara lowered her hips so that the movement would rub her center. Loki looked up at her Mistress and Tara sent back the most smoldering look before running her hand down the length of Loki's torso until her fingers reached her Pet's clit.
"Thank you." Lady Tara breathed as she gently sank two fingers into her Pet's already wet center. She bit her lip back from the groan that threatened to escape. She loved the fact Loki physically responded to her voice. It had been a pleasant discovery that she had stumbled on a few days after Loki and Faith had become her bound subs.
"To show my thanks, do as you wish tonight Loki."
No sooner than the words were out of her mouth, she felt Loki's hand at her center and then inside of her. Tara cried out her pet's name. The Mistress knew that Loki's favorite thing was to be inside of her. It was a rare occasion and treat that Tara would let her Subs take her.
Tara felt Faith climb up behind her and cup her breasts. Her strong hands massaging and playing with the Mistress' full breasts. Pinching and pulling at her already hard nipples. Faith's mouth was at her neck gently licking and sucking her pulse point.
Willingly, Tara turned herself over to her Pets. She felt Loki begin to thrust harder and deeper inside of her.
She only had a moment to realize that her orgasm was building before she felt it explode and cover Loki in wetness. Tara collapsed forward, falling onto Loki's small breasts. "Oh Goddess."
She laid for a moment trying to gather herself as she felt Faith begin to rub her ass. Smiling Tara lifted her head and began to kiss down the short haired assassin's body making sure that she reached her destination before Faith began to do what she always expected from her other Pet.
Tara pushed Loki's legs apart and kissed the apex of her thigh before trailing her tongue up and over her Sub's clit. A sharp inhale signaled to the Mistress that Loki was more than ready for her.
Lady Tara adjusted so that her tongue was playing across Loki's clit. She began to lick and circle the whole length of Loki's pussy. Each pass earned a gentle buck from the Assassin's hips. Before she knew it she felt Faith lifting her Mistress' hips and ass into the air.
True to form she felt Faith enter her without ceremony from behind. The Mistress groaned deliciously, voicing her pleasure into Loki, causing the assassin to buck and writhe. It only took a few moments, before Tara could taste Loki's orgasm before it hit. The taste itself was enough to drive Tara over the edge.
"Tara!!!" Loki screamed before giving into the sheer bliss of oblivion. Tara followed and collapsed onto Loki.
"Thank you Mistress," Loki breathed.
"No, thank you." Tara responded as she looked up into the assassin's eyes. They held their gazes for a moment before they both heard a chuckle and Tara felt Faith's tongue play down the small of her back and towards her tight hole.
Oh Goddess, this is going to be a long night. She thought before she silently said a prayer thankful for the reprieve that the night would bring. Troubles could wait until the dim light of morning.