The last thing she remembers is a hot man’s flesh against hers.

In fact, that’s the only thing that she remembers.

In a quest to find out who she truly is she finds herself caught between thieves, murderers, the city guard and twisted cultists serving a dark god. Very quickly she finds herself seduced into the employ of a brothel, only for the web of lies and deceit around her to unravel.

It’ll take more than memories to get through, it’ll take magic and the help of her lost love, stolen from her by a cruel fate.

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Chapter 1

The last thing Alicia remembered was the sight of a man atop her, bare chest glistening with stony muscles in the dim candle light. It was a hazy memory, as if things were blurred. The man, and all details about him but the fact he was deliciously sexy, were lost on her. She struggled to remember more… but all she could come up with was that maybe it was drugs. Yeah, that made sense. She remembered she liked doing drugs. Maybe that was it?

But when she tried to stand up she felt woozy, and had to sit back down. It gave her time to think. To think and realize she couldn’t remember, well… much of anything. Her name came to her, but that was about it at first.

Taking a moment to look around, she saw she was laying in the dirt, a stone wall beside her. No, on either side of her. She was in a town, or city. But what city? She had no idea. None whatsoever.

It took her some time to realize she was all but naked, a few torn and worn old scraps hanging from her voluptuous form that left her looking rather scandalous. And as her eyes came into focus, hearing returned, she saw that at one end of the alleyway was a tavern, with people coming and going at a brisk pace. Not a great predicament to be in so close to so many people.

Searching her body over, she found only a half-empty bottle of… milk? Yeah, milk, and some dried jerky in a pouch. The sum total of her possessions being a torn burlap dress that she was spilling out of, and a half-consumed meal she might’ve snacked on in a drug high.

Looking down the other end of the alleyway she saw a dingy street, with people looking nearly as ragged and destitute as she was looking then. Her moment of decision was broken only by the appearance of a cat. A rather large cat, that looked feral enough to startle her at first. But the black feline hopped down atop a bin next to her and let loose a meow as if it were a simple house cat.

It became quickly apparent that the creature was interested in Alicia’s rather unimpressive meal.

Alicia pushed it towards the cat, her stomach too queasy to even think about touching it. Her ears rang, and even though she covered them, she could still hear that terrible buzzing, punctuated with throbs of her temple.

This was horrible. What the fuck did she do last night to get her in such an awful stage?

She went to stand on trembling legs, her hands trying to keep her tattered clothing in place to varying levels of success. She needed to go somewhere private, but she had no idea where she lived, or who she could call on.

Her mind was an utter blank.

“Great,” she muttered sarcastically, watch the cat lap at the milk. “Just fucking great.”

She looked around, trying to find anything in the alleyway that could give her some clue as to what happened, or who was the only person she could remember.

But all she saw staring back at her was the stark reality of being cold, penniless and nearly-naked in a dreary dirt alleyway. It was sunny, but from the alleyway she couldn’t see the sun itself so wasn’t even able to judge the time of day. Life continued to bustle at both ends of her new narrow world, with the tavern watching people come, and go a little more inebriated. The other side seeing people move quickly through the streets, with a person begging on the side of the road looking almost as desperately destitute as she was.

The cat ate at the dried meat, devoured it and drank its milk before coming up to her. Its sleek furred body rubbing against her bare foot and calf. It looked feral, like a miniature panther more than a house cat, but the way it behaved towards her was definitely more along the lines of the latter.

At least she’d made one friend, it seemed.

She stroked its head, softly and almost absent-mindedly. If she went to the tavern, she’d likely fit in… And with the state she was in, that’s likely where she came from. But at the same time, she knew she’d stand out, and it wouldn’t be a discrete affair.

But then, looking out at the normal looking people in the street, would the tavern really be worse?

She decided it was her best option and, doing her best to hide her curves, and flicking her long, blonde hair over her shoulders, she mustered every bit of confidence she had and marched towards the tavern.

Despite her bravado, her appearance definitely garnered her more than a few looks, and some catcalls not intended for the cat that still followed her. But what else was there to do?

When she pushed into the tavern itself, things immediately got worse as the bartender yelled at her.

“Hey! No animals–” but it was short lived, because his anger at her newfound cat companion was dissolved when the gruff man and his patrons got a look at her. It was no understatement to say she was the new highlight of the very mundane tavern, despite the tattered dress and poor state of appearances.

The place was packed for a late afternoon, and she had the full attention of a few men, drinks in hand. And before she could do anything, at least one free drink of ale awaited her at the bar.

Though the attention wasn’t unwelcome, it was disappointing. Familiarity wasn’t really lacing any of their expressions, and she sighed as she sat upon the stool — after placing a napkin beneath her bottom. Instantly her hands wrapped around the glass of ale.

“Don’t let me stop the party,” she says to the crowd, and to no one in particular, before her eyes land on the bartender. “Do I know you? You seem familiar,” she lied with a flirtatious lilt.

It succeeded in bringing a smile to the broad man’s face as he polished up a mug.

“I’d remember if a babe like you if you’d ever walked into my tavern before,” he said with a toothy grin. “But if you wanna get to know one another, that can be arranged.”

No sooner had the bartender hit upon her, but another man, dressed in a simple black suit slipped up alongside her at the bar.

“You’ve got work to do. Like getting this lady a better drink,” said the stranger, putting a gold coin onto the bar top, far more than the cost of any drink. “Make it a glass of white wine, the good stuff,” he said, and he gave her a charming smile.

The man was tall but not big, slender at the waist and dressed in a black jacket, pants and knee-high boots, with a red paisley vest and ascot. It would be too nice for the bar, except the clothes did look travel worn. What intuition she possessed told her he was likely a man whose work had him traveling but well paid, like a tax collector.

“Well never let it be said that kindness is dead,” she smiles at the man, flashing her white teeth. But unfortunately, she knew he couldn’t have recognized her either, not from the look in his eyes. Which means she was no closer to figuring out what happened the night before.

But then, what was life without a couple fun detours?

“And what’s your name, handsome?”

The bartender put the glass of wine before her with a sour expression on his face, taking the full gold coin without offering to put it back. Her new suitor, however, kept his eyes upon her fully. He was pale, with ivory skin, blonde hair and a neatly trimmed beard. He looked youthful but wise, she had trouble pegging his age but her best estimate was about thirty or so.

“Hans,” he says, tugging a glove off his hand and extending it in offering to her to kiss the back of her hand. He wore many expensive rings, but none upon his wedding finger at least. “Hans von Eichenvald, a pleasure to make your acquaintance, madam,” he said with silky smoothness, his handsome, unlined face hard to read.

She laughs, though not rudely. “Well if that isn’t the fanciest name that’s ever walked into a place like this. You must be a long way from home.”

“Mm, I could wager the same about you,” he remarks, looking her over from head to toe without shame. “You’re far too lovely a lady to be dressed like that. Let me guess,” he muses, his hands soft to the touch as he taps his index finger upon her knuckles. “You were robbed by some miscreants after coming to this town from away, hm?”

“That’s as likely explanation as any,” she giggles, hiding her mouth for a second before taking a sip of her wine. “Regardless, I needed some liquid courage before heading out in public like this.”

The stray cat coiled about her leg protectively it seemed as Hans smiled at her in his disarmingly handsome manner.

“I am newly arrived here myself, madam, ah… what was that name again?” he queries gently, brow arched.

“Alicia,” she says, thankful that she could remember that much. Her last name, well, not so much, but she was certain this guy didn’t care anyways. She took another long sip of wine, finishing half the glass in a sip.

“And what brought you here of all the places in this city?”

His steely eyes trail away for a moment as his smile grows wider and wryer.

“Perhaps it was fate that brought me here for you,” he remarks. “I have been to far finer establishments, and never glimpsed a lady half as lovely as you, my poor, unfortunate Alicia,” he says. “But in truth, newly arrived myself, my manor still ongoing construction, I am looking for company while I stay in the city.”

Hans had a way of holding her gaze, but all the same, she still could feel eyes boring into her. She’d not lost the crowd’s attention. Or at least one member of the crowd. A shadowy, dark man in the shadows of one corner stared at her. Big and ominous, she couldn’t make out much of him, but he sat alone at a table, eying her. Even though she couldn’t see his eyes, she could feel them. It gave her a chill.

She glanced back at Hans.

Company.

She knew that that meant. The idea made a crooked grin come to her mouth. It’d be a chance to get some clothes, a little rest in an actual bed, and probably a good deal of coin. Of course, she’d also get to fuck a near-stranger, and that definitely wasn’t a deal breaker.

The only thing that gave her hesitation was the longer she waited to look into what happened last night, the less likely it’d be that she’d find someone who had the answers she was looking for. So she could run and hide from it, treat it like a fresh start in a stranger’s bed, or find answers.

She was genuinely torn.

“A manor, hm?”

“Indeed,” he said with that easy air of confidence that came from nobles. Whether he was one or not. “It’s a lovely spot, but old. Purchased from some noble family that had reached the end of their good fortune some time ago. I have some people fixing it back up for me before I move in,” he leans in closer. “I’d love to show it to you sometime.”

“Ohh, I have no doubt of that,” she says with a grin, finishing off her wine. “Though I think for a date like that, I’d need to at least find a half decent gown.”

“Too true, my dear,” he said with a grin. “Perhaps I might take you to a tailoring shop nearby. Find you something fitted… to your extraordinary curves. If you might do me a favour in return, I mean.”

Alicia’s new feline friend hissed at the man as it guarded her ankles.

She reached down towards the cat, her cleavage much more pronounced as she did so before she looked right into Hans’ eyes. “And that favour would be?”

The maneuver did the trick, Hans’s eyes were glued to her large, pillowy breasts, and he couldn’t help but wet his lips.

“Perhaps…” he begins, reaching out to lightly stroke his soft fingers along her forearm, “you might accompany me to my hotel room after we get you in a decent dress. And I might strip it back off of you for some fun. How’s that sound, Alicia?”

The cat hisses once more, but more subdued as she pet the creature.

She couldn’t help envisioning the cat hissing at a snake in a suit, and it made her giggle again. She wondered if he was a snake oil salesman, trying to swindle her into spending a night with him with his flirtations and gold.

“That is tempting,” she says with a flash of her green eyes. “But I’m supposed to find someone here.” Who, she didn’t know. But she felt vulnerable in more than one way, and becoming beholden to a man she didn’t know was a risk.

Her refusal seemed to catch him off guard, like he was a man not used to being rejected. But he attempted to rebound.

“No time for a new dress and a bit of fun?” he asks. “Not even if we made it… quick?” he said, his fingers clasping about her forearm, the fire in his eyes something that struck her as familiar. She didn’t remember much, but she remembered the lusts of men.

That made her giggle harder, not cruelly, but just with a pure enjoyment of the moment, and she reached out, touching his bicep. “You are too much, Hans,” she said with a warm smile. Truth be told, her feral cat’s unease with him had put that seed of doubt in her mind, just enough to focus her lusts on her task: finding out who she was and what the fuck happened last night. “But you’re moving in, yes? So there’ll be plenty of time,” she says, drawing out her words, “to enjoy things slowly.”

He stiffened at her response, in more ways than one most likely. He continued to grasp her arm as the cat hissed again, drawing his attention for but half a moment. Then he caught sight of the dark man, no longer in his corner, but closer. A hood up around his head, but he was nearer. Lurking ominously to them both, and giving Alicia another shiver.

That, more than anything else, seemed to be what made Hans release her and step away with a smile.

“Please don’t be a stranger, Alicia. I do so hope we can chat again soon,” he says with a smile, stepping away and back out the door, giving her a glimpse of the now darkening, reddish sky outside.

As soon as he was gone, she felt even more vulnerable. It was unexpected how much she’d craved his company, his attention. And now she had the attention of someone much… spookier. She shifted in her seat, leaning down to pet her new cat once more, just as a distraction for a moment.

In the time it took her to bend down and pet her cat, the hooded stranger was gone as well. And she was back at step one, just her and her pussy.

A commotion outside drew her attention, as well as that of a few other people. Peering out the door or windows, she could see a man being tossed out of a building across the street. Some women, dressed in lovely but exotic and slutty outfits pouring out to stare, looking annoyed at the man as he was hurled into the dirt.

A brothel, it occurred to her, the scene striking her as familiar.

She bit her lower lip, her nose crinkled up. Hans’ proposal had felt very familiar as well.

Way more familiar than the tavern.

Read now with Kindle Unlimited or buy on Amazon.

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