The grip was painful, and West wasn't sure how long they stood there staring each other down, tuning out the sounds of the Emerald City behind them, but it was a long time. Neither spoke, neither moved; even their breathing was soft, barely causing their chests to rise and fall.
Instinctively she knew that if she didn't do it, her request would be once and forever denied. She knew that with Princess Langwidere there were no second chances.
Finally swallowing her hard-earned pride, she lowered her eyes from the princess's. "As you wish," she said with a bit of sarcasm. "Lady Ev."
Langwidere grinned and released her, patting her cheek and walking away.
West stood in place, watching her walk away. "Um..."
"You know where I live," Langwidere shot back over her shoulder without stopping or turning around. She climbed into her carriage and shut the door. When the driver didn't immediately stir the horses, she barked, "what are you waiting for?"
West's jaw opened slightly and she had to laugh.
But such an open-ended invitation was like a double-edged sword. How was she to know when was a good time to come calling? Did the princess mean now? Or in the middle of the night? Tomorrow? Next week? The possibilities were literally endless. For someone grudgingly wanting to let go of control, the choice was a cruel one indeed. That thought made her laugh harder and she shook her head, starting the long walk to the princess's palace.
She was quite refreshed by the time she got there, but nerves suddenly twisted her stomach when she looked up at the imposing structure and thought about what she was here for. She wasn't scared, obviously, just a tad twitchy.
"Stop trespassing in my gardens and get up here!" came a voice through one of the open upstairs windows.
West choked on a laugh and walked up the steps, pushing open the heavy doors without knocking since she had just been invited in.
"Third room on the right!"
She walked up the interior staircase and counted the doors as she swaggered along the hallway, then stepped into the princess's room - or whatever room the princess was beckoning her to, at any rate.
"Shut the door," Langwidere said with a dismissive wave of her hand, manicured nails cutting the air sharply.
West liked the blood red color and turned to shut the door.
As soon as the door clicked closed, Langwidere sighed. "I'm trying to decide whether to drape you across my knee and spank you like the naughty girl we both know you are or have you serve me my favorite tea."
West just stared at her in shock, not sure what she had expected, but such a forward approach made her a little weak in the knees, and she would deny the blush coloring her cheeks to her dying day. Only the Princess of Ev would say something like that in such a long-suffering way, as if it were perfectly normal conversation between two adults.
"Oh!" Langwidere said, as though she'd forgotten West was in the room. "I don't believe I asked you to speak." She moved to her vanity and adjusted her elegant golden mask in the mirror. "Did I?"
Caught off guard, West stammered for what was probably the first time in her entire life. "N-no..."
"No, you didn't ask me to speak."
"Do try harder not to fail, please. It's disheartening. How have I already told you to address me?"
A sour taste flooded West's mouth and she frowned. "Lady Ev."
"Good, you do remember. I didn't think you were lacking upstairs." She tapped the side of her head as she finally faced West. Her brows furrowed. "Go into the washroom and clear the soot from under your eyes. And scrub your hands vigorously, please. The poppy resin might be charming to those of lower breeding, but I find it vulgar. Get. It. Off." She pointed to her personal washroom, housed within her suite.
West glared daggers at the beastly little girl as she stalked past and started washing her hands, scrubbing soap over her fingertips until the resin was as light as she could get it. She took the paint from beneath her eyes where it had smeared from days and nights of wear, then huffed at herself in the mirror and returned petulantly to the suite. She stopped short when she noted the princess seated on the edge of the ornately decorated bed, one ankle crossed in front of the other, her feet bare and elegant, toenails painted the same blood red as her fingers. She was quite beautiful.
"Come here, let me see," Langwidere said, motioning her over impatiently. When West held out her hands, the princess inspected them and reluctantly approved. "I suppose that's better than they were. Now tell me, how naughty have you been?"
West snorted, a little roar of laughter bubbling up and spilling out of her mouth before she could stop it. "Where do I begin?"
"At the beginning, of course," Langwidere replied.
"Right. We'd be here all week. Month, maybe. There isn't room enough in your head for the amount of naughty I've been, Princesa."
At the princess's sharply raised eyebrow, she coughed and corrected herself. "Lady Ev."
"So. Just to make sure I've gotten this correctly in my spoiled head, you want absolution by way of a miracle because you don't want to confess?"
Something in the way the princess worded it made West give her a genuine, if fleeting, smile. "Something like that."
"Very well. I just wanted to make sure I understood. Take off your dress."
West blinked. "What?"
Langwidere looked around the room, then back to West. "I heard myself clearly. Did you not?"
"My patience is not one of my more generously gifted virtues," Langwidere said, her tone darkening for the first time that night. She didn't feel the need to add that West had approached her; asked her for this.
West unceremoniously stripped off her dress and tossed it to the floor, standing in black lacy underwear and sheer stockings.
"How immodestly barbaric," Langwidere commented on West's lack of a brassiere.
"I run a whorehouse," West reminded her unnecessarily.
"Regardless, you should take better care of yourself," Langwidere scolded, taking hold of one slender wrist and impossibly gently guiding Mistress West across her lap.
West blushed for the second time that night, glad she was face down so the princess couldn't get the satisfaction of seeing. "That's none of your business," she snapped.
"You're overcompensating for your embarrassment by employing anger," Langwidere said matter-of-factly, wrapping one delicate arm around Mistress West's naked waist. She curled her fingers into a chiseled hip bone and squeezed to keep her charge in place as she brought her free hand down with a crisp smack to the seat of those black lace underwear. The sound it made was delightful.
West gave a slight jump, mostly out of surprise, and sulked silently at the comment. And the spanking, of course. Naturally.
As it went on, and the princess landed smack after unrelenting smack, West was no longer sulking. She was squirming like a child and burying her face in the velvet comforter beneath her.
"Hmm," Langwidere said thoughtfully, taking a pause. "Do you still think it's none of my business?"
Of course the witch did not deign to answer.
A renewed barrage of punishing slaps began to fall, and West could almost appreciate the stamina the princess had, except it meant she was going to lose this battle of wills, because the childish punishment was becoming exceptionally painful and very adult at the same time.
She gasped at the realization that the burning, stinging, fiery pain in her ass was making her cunt throb. "Lady Ev," she said shakily.
"Yes, little witch?"
"I made it your business." She hoped that answer would suffice, because her brain was currently doing everything it could to misfire, and a longer, more appropriate explanation would not be forthcoming. If one was required in order to halt the punishment then she would be spanked all night. Spanked very soundly, as it were.
"Correct!" Langwidere said as if West had answered a trivia question and won a prize. "Does your sudden answer mean you wish me to stop spanking you?"
"I see. I shall continue, then, because you are not in charge."
If possible, now she spanked harder.
West cried out and tried to get up, and all activity ceased instantly.
"Oh, did you want to leave?" Langwidere asked, as if she had been so impolite not to ask sooner. "You are welcome to leave any time you like... you are just not welcome to come back unless your exit is at my insistence."
"It fucking hurts!" West hissed, but she stopped struggling and lay still.
"You don't want me to stop because it hurts," Langwidere informed her, and where most people might have been smug, she wasn't. "You want me to stop because you want to be in charge. And because of something else." The last was said in a harsh whisper as her hand connected again.
"You don't know what I'm thinking!" West screamed at her in a fury, pounding her fists into the mattress. "You spoiled fucking--"
"Don't I?" Langwidere interrupted, dipping her fingers between West's legs to find wet heat soaking her underwear. "Now shut your mouth."
The princess removed her fingers and began spanking again in earnest, and soon the traitorous tracks of tears stained the witch's face. "I'm sorry," she cried, guilt and shame sweeping up from the depths of the water her sisters had drowned in.
"Who are you speaking to?" the princess asked, continuing the discipline.
"You," West said contritely.
Damn this girl's sense of insight. "And my sisters," she offered weakly. "My mother."
"I see. You handed them on a silver platter to the Beast Forever?" Langwidere inquired.
"I might as well have," West whispered. "For all the good our magic did against it, I might as well have."
"My mother drowned in the flood as well," the princess confessed emotionlessly, her cool tone a counterpart to the anguish tainting West's confessions. "I blame the wizard, not myself, and so should you."
"The fault for your mother's death does lie with the wizard," West said, swiping angrily at her tears. "My family died because I wasn't strong enough to protect them."
"You hid away while they fought," Langwidere baited her as she slowed down the spanking.
"Are you mad? Of course not! I was out there fighting right with them! I just couldn't save them."
"Well by your standards a person would have to be all-powerful and invincible, and I'm afraid that doesn't exist. Good luck achieving the impossible." She stopped spanking and grinned at the shuddering sigh of relief from her charge.
"When I told Glinda what I've told you, do you know what she said to me?"
"Obviously not, I wasn't there."
West almost laughed through her tears at the princess's literal interpretation of everything. "She said, 'we all make mistakes'."
"And she the biggest mistake of all," Langwidere offered.
West waited for an explanation, but of course there was none. "What do you mean?"
"Even I, a spoiled brat who's had everything handed to me and never had a single friend in my life, can recognize your guilt and shame and seek to assuage it. And I don't love you. A sister should do all of those things."
"Glinda has never been good at love."
"Those who hold themselves so far above the rest of the world are usually not." She slid her hand into West's hair and made a fist, pulling the witch's head up until she rose onto her hands and knees. "Do you feel assuaged?"
"If I say no are you going to beat me some more?"
"Spanking is not beating. And no, I simply need a reference point from which to gauge my next approach."
"I feel a little lighter than I did when I walked in the door," West decided after reflecting on it for a moment.
"But you're still going to go home and bury your hands and your mind in poppies?"
"Is that a problem for you?" West couldn't control the bitterness in her voice.
"I don't think that tone is appropriate with which to address me. In fact, if you do it again I shall be most displeased." One of her fingertips drew lazy circles on West's muscled back in stark contrast to the warning issued forth. "Do you understand?" She placed a gentle kiss on West's closest shoulder - she could be very sweet or very cruel depending on which way the wind blew, or in this case, Mistress West's attitude.
West had not been touched so gently in years, and she exhaled slowly, drinking in the affection like water to a scorched earth. "Yes, Lady Ev," she said quietly, leaning toward the girl until she could rest her forehead on a porcelain shoulder. "I'm sorry." She sucked in a slow, deep breath through her nose and nuzzled into Langwidere's neck. "I'll behave."
"Will you now?" Langwidere asked, her amusement clouded by the intimacy of the moment between them. "Would that be because I've spanked you so well?"
West purred softly. "Yes, Lady Ev, among other things. You've quite earned my respect."
"I should like to hear you tell me how well I've spanked you," Langwidere decided, continuing the soft circles with her fingertip.
"Oh," West exhaled sharply, embarrassment flushing her cheeks once more. She wasn't accustomed to embarrassment and it didn't suit her. She had done things much more debaucherous than this. There was no reason to blush. She kept her lips against the princess's skin as she spoke. "You've spanked me very, very well, Lady Ev," she recited, biting her lower lip. "You've instilled such a pain in my bottom I doubt I'll sit comfortably for awhile. And you've made me drench my panties." The last sentence was uttered almost as a quiet moan. "No one has ever made me feel quite such conflicting sensations before."
"I must confess, you are making me feel some firsts as well," Langwidere confided. "I don't believe I've ever before had such an urge to fuck a woman..."
West groaned and dropped her head down between her shoulders, her dark, messy hair brushing the comforter. "Well I'm yours for the fucking," she said. "You've earned me."
"Oh, but it is not something I am inclined to need to earn, little witch," she hissed into West's ear. "Good night."
West felt the loss of connection like a physical blow and cursed her ego a thousand times as she slid off of the bed and got dressed.