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17 May 2013 @ 06:06 am
FIC: Serin's Secret Garden, Part 1/18  
Author: Osiris Brackhaus
Story Title: Serin’s Secret Garden
Part: 1/18
Rating: PG/NC17
Configuration: m/m, M/m
Characters: Kendrik/Yaden, Kendrik/Luca, Kendrik/Yuri Dracon
Warnings: slavery, prostitution, rape mentioned, violence, sex, sex on stage, various abuse, severe brainwashing, murderous flora, drugs, potentially underage sex.
Word Count: 1.100/50.000
Setting: 'Phoenix Empire' verse, see Phoenix Empire Timeline & Index
Summary: Yaden's husband Kendrik - telepath, empath and soldier - is sent into Serin's most depraved brothel, undercover as a pet and whore, to investigate a dangerous conspiracy…
Feedback: Yes, please! Constructive criticism welcome!





“Now, what do you say, Sir?”

Wordlessly, Kendrik stared at his reflection in the mirror, the nurse and surgeon eagerly waiting for a response next to him all but forgotten.

He had never thought much of his looks. All his life, he had been a soldier - efficient, neat, keeping his upkeep to a bare minimum. The only time he had ever looked into a mirror had been to check if his camouflage paint covered his ears properly.

And now this.

All his life, his hair had never been longer than an inch, buzzed down to his scalp as soon as it grew long enough it could be grabbed.
Now thick red waves cascaded down his shoulders, glistening with golden highlights, curling gently down to his waist to end in playful little upswings.

His skin had always been pale underneath his uniform, and sunburned on his hands and neck.
Now he was evenly tanned, a gentle golden color with a subtle luster that made him think of something between caramel and silk. The unfamiliar color of his skin made his eyes stand out even more, now a forest green rather than the usual greenish gray.

His fingernails were polished, most of his scars were gone, and his teeth were so gleaming white that he would have bet they glowed in the dark.

“Lord Kendrik?” the surgeon asked, his eagerness slowly turning into concern at his patient’s prolonged silence. “Are you alright?”

“I am fine.” Kendrik replied, adding just enough emphasis to make sure the doctor believed him. “Thank you.”

This change was unsettling, to say the least. Slowly, he turned around in front of the floor-length mirror, looking at his body from all sides, trying to get acquainted with the new weight now suddenly attached to his head.

They hadn’t changed his body much, he found. His suddenly flawless complexion made a big difference, naturally, but the proportions were still the same. Wide shoulders and narrow hips, with legs he had always considered too skinny for a man of his size. A ‘dancer’s figure’, his mother had called it, and Kendrik had hated it so much. Proper soldiers weren’t pretty.

Only now, Kendrik became aware of the sexual attraction and mild, somewhat melancholic envy that oozed out of the two medics next to him. Outwardly, they were both perfectly professional, but Kendrik wasn’t one of the Empire’s best empaths for nothing. Apparently, his new looks were perfectly suited for his next mission.

“I think I’d like to dress now.” he stated evenly, smiling at the nurse politely.

Much to Kendrik’s surprise, the woman blushed and nodded, mumbling something hardly intelligible and then rushed out of the room. Blinking, he watched the door she had left through for a moment, trying to cope with what had just happened. Of course, he knew how people reacted when facing someone they found ridiculously attractive, but witnessing a giggling meltdown caused by himself was another matter entirely.

“Lord Kendrik, if I may, we have a request for you to consider,” the surgeon suddenly remarked, waiting for the noble to nod before he continued. “Sir, as you can see, we have only changed very little, and I have to admit, my whole staff uniformly agrees that we have never seen anyone with such a fortunate genetic makeup.”

“Beg your pardon?”

“Honestly, Sir, your skin, your bone structure, your hair especially - you are uniquely beautiful, as close to perfection as we have ever seen on a non-crafted human. We’d like to ask you for permission to use your genetics as templates for other, future work, if you so please.”

Even being an empath, it took Kendrik a few long moments to understand what the man was asking of him.

“You want to copy parts of me for your work?” he asked, incredulously. “But - what you see is your work, your improvements. I’m rather plain, originally. You of all people should know that.”

Silently, the surgeon shook his head, as if wondering how to word his disagreement most politely.

“Sir, with all due respect, we didn’t change anything.” he started explaining as if talking to a small child holding a grenade. “We merely repaired, and accelerated hair growth and skin coloration. This is how you would have looked all your life if you hadn’t, well, if you had not been through such hardship, milord.”

“Hardship?!” Kendrik snapped, his soldier self effortlessly breaking through his carefully maintained veneer of nobility. “What fucking hardship?”

“I... Sir, I apologize for my assumption. That was uncalled for.” the surgeon stammered immediately, his emotions radiating flaring caution and anger at his outbreak of almost honesty. “I am sorry. I just thought - I mean, look. Nobody with hair like yours would buzz it off voluntarily, right?”

Kendrik had never had another haircut than his short buzz since he had been a little boy. What in all the seven hells was leading the surgeon to believe Kendrik hadn't done it voluntarily?

Closing his eyes to concentrate, Kendrik consciously shut off his empathic perceptions. The doctor was merely trying to be polite, and trying to make sense of something he had no clue of. Even though Kendrik felt like breaking the poor man’s nose, he knew the surgeon deserved better.
“Never mind, Doctor, “ he replied instead, surprising himself with the ease the lie went over his lips. “You did a great job, and I will consider your request accordingly.”

The surgeon nodded politely, looking glad that Kendrik didn’t press the matter any further.

But slowly, the words of the doctor sank into Kendrik’s consciousness. This was how he would look naturally, just with a tan and long hair and a life outside the army. Again studying his reflection in the mirror, Kendrik wondered what kind of life it would have been that would have had him look like this. Would he have become a dancer, like his mother had always dreamed? Or something else entirely? A movie star, maybe? Or a matinée idol?

Sure as hell, it wouldn’t have included him becoming a prostitute.

But with life’s perfect sense of irony, this was exactly what he was about to become.

He would go to Serin, and join the whores of the most depraved establishment of the whole damn planet so notorious for its vices. He would become one of the intoxicating flowers that blossomed inside the fabled walls of Serin's Secret Garden.

And much to his own surprise, he found himself smiling fiendishly at his mirror image. And he liked what he saw, very much so.

Maybe, he thought, the most dangerous soldiers were pretty, after all.


 
 
Meridaemeridae on May 17th, 2013 05:44 am (UTC)
Is this before Kendrik meets Yaden? And why does he accept the mission? I would think that becoming a prostitute wouldn't be something a noble would voluntarily do? And what House is he from?

Look, I managed to not ask ALL my questions!

YAY!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 17th, 2013 06:30 am (UTC)
A) No, this is after they are already married.
B) Because he is the only one has a chance to succeed, more on that in the next chapters.
C) You're right, they wouldn't.
D) House Aquila :P

We're telling Kendrik's story a little backwards here, but we need the Secret Garden to get on with the overall story arc. So please bear with us, it gets clearer as we go along.

None the less - why the hell DIDN'T you ask all your questions? You know how much we like those... ^^
Meridaemeridae on May 17th, 2013 06:43 am (UTC)
If I were Colin and Yaden (and Ivan and Myriam and Darren and Siva and Vian) I wouldn't let Kendrik go ANYWHERE NASTY AND HORRID AND ESPECIALLY NOT A BROTHEL! So there! He should ONLY BE FOR COLIN AND YADEN (and who ever else they've married at this point). Hehehe.

Can't Ivan just go and blow the place up?

Where are the furreh babehs????
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 17th, 2013 06:59 am (UTC)
Furry babies are at home on the island, sound and happy.

The rest, I think, should be clear after chapter two, so if on Monday you stil have questions left, hit me again. ^^

And yes, he SHOULD be there for his husbands only. Alas, the Empire called for his help, and he's just such a good guy...
Beryllrynthjan on May 17th, 2013 07:31 am (UTC)
This one is actually set 4 years after "Coming Home" so quite a lot has happened in that time. We're working on filling the gap :D
littlenilittleni on May 17th, 2013 09:15 am (UTC)
So lemme get this straight:

Kendrick is the empath that can sense like a Prime.
Is being sent on a mission by the Emperors request.
Was a soldier before he met Yaden.
Has no children.
Short tempered.
Graceful to the point of professional dancer.


How am I doing so far?

(I think I need to go back and read some stories in order to catch up, some of these names/places are unfamiliar to me.) *shakes fist at self*
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 17th, 2013 09:20 am (UTC)
Yup, flawless. Very good.

Though I wonder what names and places you are talking about... There's not much in older stories that touches this one. Feel free to ask me about the things that seem unexplained, so I can tell you if it's in an older story or just sloppy writing on my part. ^^

Thanks for commenting!
littleni: verbislittleni on May 17th, 2013 09:45 am (UTC)
I refer to other names and places as stated in previous comments.

Flawless? Truly? Thats one for the books. As for sloppy writing, my number one rule as a commentator is:
If I don't write then I don't get to critic.

osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 17th, 2013 10:00 am (UTC)
Ah, okay. Well yes, there have been quite a lot of stories posted to our journals only in the last weeks, as they weren't slave-centric enough for the lists. (Let me know if you want suggestions on which stories you might have overlooked.)

About not critiquing (is that even a word?) when not writing - that's a smart point of view. Though, in this case, I am really happy to get suggestions how to improve the story, and I think everyone taking the time to read my stuff can tell me what they think. (It's still my decision what I take from those suggestions or not. ^^)

Anyway, whether critiquing or not, you are totally welcome here.
littleni: technical difficultieslittleni on May 17th, 2013 03:57 pm (UTC)
*hugs you hard*

Ok I think some suggestions may come in handy, that way I can catch up over the weekend. No sleep for the wicked!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 17th, 2013 07:45 pm (UTC)
For reference, here's the masterlist post: http://rynthjan.livejournal.com/39341.html

Ivan, you can find in 'The Windmines of BoraBora' and almost every other following story with Yaden, ie 'A new Life'.

Myriam joins the frey in 'Firestarter', and they aquire the island in 'Island in the sun'.

'Pebble flies again', 'A bloodied broom' and 'Honeymoon' are cute but do not introduce new characters.

'Coming home' though would be rather important, because it introduces Vian and Siva.

So basically have a look at the masterlist, and everything between 'Windmines' and 'Coming Home' would fill that gap.

Hope that helped.

Edited at 2013-05-17 07:50 pm (UTC)
Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainenmissingkeys on May 17th, 2013 10:16 am (UTC)
Whee! NEW STUFF! This is an awesome introduction, and I can't wait for more. (I also really love how great you guys are in the comments too. I'm learning all the things about your universe. *g*) Kendrik already seems like a character whom I'm going to love. :)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 17th, 2013 10:56 am (UTC)
Hehe. Yep, new stuff, and a big one at that.

Poor Kendrik will have a lot to suffer through in this story, but he'll also learn a lot and come out quite changed.

And hey, the comments are at least half the fun! Also, it really teaches a lot about where we need to explain more in our stories. And, well, in the end we just love talking about this universe, so we jump at every excuse.

This was really more of an appetizer than a proper chapter, all the more I am glad you liked it!
Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainenmissingkeys on May 18th, 2013 04:42 pm (UTC)
Whee! I love your shorter fics, naturally, but your long ones are just fabulous. Yayay for lots and lots of details!

Seriously, one of these days I'm coming out your way and I shall jump at the chance to talk about this universe with both of you. I might even write down questions beforehand. *grin*

Appetiser or chapter, this was delicious. I can't wait for more! ♥
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 18th, 2013 09:14 pm (UTC)
Well, seriously, if you ever come close to Kassel, you are most cordially invited. Even if we (also) do something else than talk about our stories. :)

And more to come, every third day. ^^
Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainenmissingkeys on May 18th, 2013 11:11 pm (UTC)
Aha! I've googled, and there's a train. I could totally do it.

I need to see more of Germany, actually. Especially since everybody keeps telling me that Berlin isn't really Germany. :)

Your schedule is glorious, truly. I really love it. (I also can't wait for the third day, heh.)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 19th, 2013 10:07 am (UTC)
Well, the one about Berlin not being Germany is sure true.

No, seriously, if you want to come by, that'd be absolutely awesome. If you come on a weekend, I can show you around the touristy sites, if that is something for you. ^^

Just PM one of us if you start making serious plans.
idolme922idolme922 on May 17th, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
I love the appetizer! Great start. I won't ask all my questions as I prefer to read and discover as we go along. I adore this character already... that he is discovering how beautiful he is(on the outside; I'm sure he's quite beautiful on the inside or he wouldn't be married to Yaden).

I also love that this is LOONNNNG! More to sink my teeth into!

:D Hugs!! (PS...I love his name!)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 17th, 2013 07:49 pm (UTC)
He's quite pretty on the inside, indeed, but he'll grow even there.

The Secret Garden is where Kendrik changes from pretty cool to damn awesome, and explains why he can hold his own against Yaden / Ivan. (Which we need to understand 'Job Requirements'...)

And it is indeed the longest I have written for the Phoenix Empire so far. (Still working on the last two chapters.) Hope you'll like it!
swirlsofblueswirlsofblue on May 17th, 2013 06:24 pm (UTC)
So Kendrik is before they meet Sam. After marrying Sam are there going to be any more additions?
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 17th, 2013 07:52 pm (UTC)
Yep, the lineup is Yaden/Colin/Jennifer/Teagan/Kendrik/Sam.

After Sam, there will be no more husbands for Yaden, but still enough in terms of pets and husbands' husbands to keep us busy for quite a long while. ^^
Charischarisstoma on May 18th, 2013 03:34 am (UTC)
Okay, have we met Kendrik before?
I think there was a survey of a knight in a brothel awhile back.

I went, I looked at the timeline, and I don't see anything about Kendrik before this on the timeline to date.
Now I hear Sam mentioned who marries Yaden before Kendrik happens into this family.
Alright who has the play book that everybody can ask intelligent questions and I'm mentally floundering around?
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 18th, 2013 06:03 am (UTC)
No, so far, we haven't met Kendrik in person. Until now, the only time he was mentioned was when Sam in the Kebab-Killer found out about Yaden and felt quite inferior compared to his other husbands - especially the beautiful socialite Kendrik.

Yaden marries in the following order: Yaden/Colin/Jennifer/Teagan/Kendrik/Sam

I'm sorry we're telling the story a little backwards here, but we're currently on a long run of stories that we are posting chronologically. So there's at least that. ^^

And yes, there was a survey, and the result was close enough to the chronological order that this is what we are doing right now - Secret Garden allows us to post Job Requirements, which allows us a whole bunch of other stories, including Pleasure Cruise II - what really happened.

No need to feel floundering, this is just a snippet to begin with, and there's going to be quite the bit more of background on Kendrik all throughout this novel. So feel free to ask whenever you feel like I've overlooked some necessary info. You know you are welcome!
Charischarisstoma on May 18th, 2013 04:31 pm (UTC)
Went back and enjoyed the Kebab-Killer. Thank you, I am back up to speed... maybe. *grins*
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 18th, 2013 09:16 pm (UTC)
Well, thanks for enjoying, if that even is a proper sentence...

Just ask if anything remains unclear, and I hope Monday's installment will clear up some questions already.
BerthaBlueberthablue on May 22nd, 2013 04:07 pm (UTC)
Ooh, hello, Kendrik. What pretty everything you have!

A soldier into a whore... I like this setup already! (As usual, I have learned to just go with sudden arrivals of new characters, like if someone hands you a strange combination of foods and says "eat this," and you're like... "yeah, okay, everything else you've put in my mouth has been awesome.")
BerthaBlueberthablue on May 22nd, 2013 04:07 pm (UTC)
Hmm, that wasn't a sexual innuendo in my head...
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 22nd, 2013 06:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, never mind, it's what my wife always tells me, too. And by now, she even trusts me with the really gross stuff, so we're having a lot of fun together.

I am talking about food, just so we're clear here. ^^
BerthaBlueberthablue on May 24th, 2013 11:42 pm (UTC)
Haha, dirty minds think alike!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on May 22nd, 2013 06:18 pm (UTC)
Hehe.

Thanks for the trust, I hope the story will be worth it!