They arrive back at the surface exhausted. Maer collapses into bed. As she lies there, she wonders about her friend and about Lydia and Leona. Do they like having her around? She imagines a world where her friend tells her to go away. That would be terrible. As she drifts off to sleep she decides to ask her friend what she can do to make sure he keeps her... first thing tomorrow...
Early the next morning, Maer finds her friend with his housecarl. At first Maer is hesitant to speak openly in front of Lydia, but in the end - she reasons - Lydia serves her friend, so Maer should try to trust her too. There's no sexual competition between them, so there's no need for Maer to be jealous.
Maer lays out her worries - about not being good enough, about being left behind, about wanting to do what she needs to do to stay with the group. In the back of her mind she kicks herself for pleading too much, for sounding so pathetic and scared; but Lydia and Maer's friend listen attentively as she pours her heart out. When she's done, there's a moment of silence. Lydia is the first to speak: "Maer, you belong to my Thane. As long as you embrace that he will never get rid of you. Isn't that right?"
Maer's friend smiles and nods. "Lydia is right. You have a place with me because you know your role." Maer relaxes a bit as her friend continues. "You're my little slut, right Maer? How many people have you told?"
Maybe 50. Maybe 80. Maer isn't sure. But she's told Calcelmo at least twice, and she's told Lydia and Leona maybe 10 or 20 times each. She almost doesn't think about it anymore. Almost.
"And you like it, right? It makes you feel good?"
Maer hesitates for a split-second before she nods. It does make her feel good, yes. Somehow. She's not sure she likes it, though. It is humiliating. But maybe that's why it makes her feel good. So she nods and says "yes." Maer's friend pats her on the head. Absurdly it reassures her in spite of being such a patronizing gesture.
"That's good my little slut. Now take off your clothes."
"Here? Now? In front of everyone?"
"Yes. You fucked people on the streets of Markath. This, at least is indoors. Or are you developing some reservations now...?"
Well some reservations yes, but Maer overcomes them and strips.
"Good girl," he says. Maer can feel the weight of the stares from the crowd, and the heady mix of humiliation and excitement as her heart pumps faster. Her friend says "I think you should remain like that today when you go sell our haul from the Dwemer ruins. What do you think, Lydia?"
Lydia thinks it is a good idea. As do several guys laughing at the bar. No one asks Maer if she agrees, but she doesn't put her clothes back on.
They'd collected a reasonable amount of loot from the Dwemer ruins, so naked Maer walks around town a fair bit, and there is more than one occasion where she has to start the conversation by stating she's a slut. There's almost no hesitation anymore, and by the end of the morning Maer finds she's stating it clearly and with a smile, rather than reluctantly.
Walking around Markath naked does invite some cat-calling and spanks from random people passing by. It doesn't take too long before Maer enters "the zone". Every time she feels the sting of a hand on her body she gets a little more moist between the legs. There's even once or twice she stumbles into Lydia or her friend (but not Leona) on purpose, to see if they'll smack her.
The money isn't too bad either, but honestly Maer doesn't even register it. She just hands it all over to her friend to manage.
They leave Markath in pursuit of a number of potentially interesting adventures between Markath and Solitude - there are bandits and foresworn to kill, a potential new Sybil for the Temple of Dibella to find, and assorted bric-a-brac to recover for various people. They'll go see what they can get done.
Again, Maer doesn't really worry about the details - she's still on a high from the humiliation of walking through the city naked like that. Once outside the city she puts her back clothes on, but she realizes she misses the stinging feeling on her ass. She turns to her friend and in a small voice asks "master, will you spank me... please?"
Her friend doesn't say anything, but it's not more than a few seconds before she's naked on her hands and knees and getting her ass whupped. It feels good. So good, in fact, that she squirts from excitement.
Lydia laughs - oh no, were they watching? Well of course they were - and says "look how much she loves being spanked." Leona scoffs "she's so eager that one, pathetic." Lydia laughs again "everyone should be free to pursue their own path. We are warriors, you and I. And that one... well... you know what she is... even if she doesn't yet."
Maer doesn't have the focus to reflect on what they said, getting swept along in the sensations her body is feeling. Once the spanking is done, he turns her over and fucks her in the dirt on the road.
Afterwards, she picks herself up and gets dressed, trying to brush the dirt and the twigs our of her hair by hand. Lydia gives her a knowing smirk and Leona looks at her with what is probably most accurately described as disgust.
A bit up the road they come to a Khajit camp. Maer decides to get some training in sneaking - she's been doing some advance scouting so it'd be helpful. The Khajit charges a fair bit of money for it and - to her relief she admits, even if she is a slut - refuses her offer for sexual favours for a discount. So Maer turns to her friend and says "master, may I please have some money to pay the Khajit."
He looks at her, holding her gaze with his eyes. "That's the third time you've called me master."
Maer shakes her head, confused. "What do you mean? I didn't call you... oh... I see...." It feels like she blushing over her whole body. "It's just... I... uh...."
"It's alright. You're ready to be my slave," he tells her. He doesn't ask her. He tells her. Gently he ties her wrists behind her back and pushes her down on her knees. She doesn't resist, she just looks down. "Look at me," he says and she obeys (of course). He shows her a collar, then puts it around her neck, holding her gaze. It feels heavy around her neck and shoulders. Solid iron.
"When I lock this collar you will be my slave. You will do whatever I tell you. Your desires won't matter. I will do whatever I want with you. Do you understand?"
She nods, almost imperceptibly. Thoughts are racing through her head. It's some jumble of "what the fuck is happening" "if I do this he'll never put me aside," I don't think I can turn away," "if I run, maybe I can get away," and "I don't want to run, I want to stay." That and "oh Dibella, I'm so fucking horny right now."
"Speak," he says, "say it." His voice is gentle, his face patient but attentive.
"Yes master," she says. "I am your slave. But please, I know you will..."
"Shhh!" He puts a finger on her lips. "You don't know what I will do. Only that you submit."
"Yes master, she says again. "I am your slave."
"Good," he says.
* click *
The collar is locked.
"You may get off your knees in five minutes, slave." His face is neither patient nor attentive as he turns his back to her.
In the background Lydia laughs. "Pay up Leona, I told you she couldn't wait for it."
"I know," says Leona, "but this quick? I thought she had at least a little bit of... I dunno... pride... anything." She spits on the ground in disgust, as the two turn away. "Fucking pathetic."
Maer contemplates what just happened.
Her friend is her master now. How did Lydia and Leona know it would happen when Maer didn't know herself?
How different will it be, being a slave?