They dance for hours, until Mercy's feet bleed and her knees quiver. Still, she does not want to stop. Samuel senses her weakness, supporting her weight and drawing her closer to him.
"The night will be over soon," he whispers. Mercy shakes her head in disbelief. They dance alone. She did not notice the other creatures retreating, did not see the moon fading before the coming dawn.
"Will you keep the dress and be my bride?" His lips smile against her ear. "Or will you return the gift to me now?"
Mercy freezes in his arms. "Now?"
"Oh, yes. Something of yours must remain at my hill in exchange for what I sacrificed." He grips her hips tightly. "Let it be you. My mistress under the hill. And ask what you will." Again, that significant glance, into the distance this time. Mercy holds no doubt—he stares directly at her father.
Mercy pulls back, and is a little surprised when Samuel lets her go. SHe hesitates, lifting her fingers to the buttons of the dress but not following through.
"Look at what I did for you," he says. He loosens his own clothes. The marks of teeth purple at his throat. Angry, scabbed scratches mar the sides of his arms, his chest, and his back. The wounds seem to writhe against the canvas of his colorless skin.
"I don't understand."
He steps free of his trousers, his cock a tall, hard cylinder standing out from his body. "Take off the dress."
Mercy shivers and obeys. She peels the sweat-stained dress away from her skin, its expensive scent mingled now with the smell of her own body.
"Look at it," Samuel says.
Mercy glances down, at the wrong side of the fabric. Stains she hadn't noticed bloom across its surface, sticky and fresh. "What did—?"
"Its owner did not give it over easily."
The implications of the rusty color marring the inside of the dress sink in. Mercy screams and thrusts the garment out at arm's length, paying no mind to the chill pre-dawn air playing over her naked body.
Samuel steps closer. She recognizes the smell of his cock. The red of his eyes deepens, mirroring the stains on the dress. "I want to give you what you wish for most of all," he whispers. "Anything you asks. I want to serve you. Please. I need to."
Mercy vibrates with longing. She cannot release her grip on the beautiful dress. Neither can she step back from him.
This week, Nobilis Reed let me know that this story, "The Mistress Under the Hill," is going to be featured in the next episode of Nobilis Erotica. It'll be up tomorrow at noon. Everything Samuel says plays in my head in a certain particular tone. I can't wait to see how the voice talent reads it.
I also recorded a short piece about the inspiration behind the story—and confessed that I was sort of picturing David Bowie when I wrote Samuel.
I hope you'll check it out. Nobilis has done an incredible job every time he's featured a story of mine, and I'm really excited I get to take this trip again. And if you love this, consider supporting the podcast on Patreon. Nobilis is working hard to produce a quality product while paying good rates to writers and voice talents, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.