Chavid peered carefully through the cracks in the door. He knew he should go in there and get his man, especially since he was conveniently already chained up. But the scene he was watching had his curiosity afire. It was all he could do to stay silent as he watched what was happening.
It had been a long week chasing the evidence of repeated theft from the horse yards in Wekoli. Most horse thefts are either one or two just once, or a whole lot at once, usually between towns. This one was different. Somehow, one or two horses were being stolen from a variety of corrals night after night. What guards there were (not all horse-owners could afford guards) would never admit to seeing anything and the owners had been trying with mixed success to increase the security of the corrals in the hope of catching the thief, but to no avail. They hadn't even identified a likely culprit. It was at this time the council decided to put a bounty on his head - whoever it was. That's when Chavid got involved.
The first few nights were spent watching. This was a difficult and wearying task as Chavid roamed around the horse yards the entire night, watching how the guards' routines went, which corrals had new locks, taller fences and so on. Both nights more horses were stolen, as expected. Chavid knew that since the thief had not stopped with increased guards, he wouldn't stop when a mere lone bounty hunter was added. It was most of the way through the fourth night that Chavid finally saw what was going on. It wasn't one thief: it was two, a man and a girl.
Chavid didn't waste time wondering how the council had thought it was just one person. At first, he was too busy watching the girl. She was dressed head to toe in what seemed like a skin-tight outfit of some sort. It was a solid black, too, and it reflected nothing. This made it extremely difficult to not only see *where* she was, but to see *what* she was. In fact, in a way, her costume was *too* perfect. The impossibly black surface hugged all her curves in a delightful way: thighs, hips, buttocks, hips, breasts, shoulders and everything in between, but with a maddening lack of detail. There was no hair he could see, either, which was probably the first thing that caught his attention. Very few people were totally bald, and almost none who were were that slim and nubile, either. More, a bald woman was unheard of. She would be considered a freak for being so, no matter the reason. That's when the obvious answer occurred to him: she was hooded. And that was how he realized she was more than just hooded. Even while he was frustrated at the absolute yet unique anonymity this granted her, he was admiring the ingeniousness of it.
Then he noticed *what* she was doing. She was walking slowly and silently down the laneway some thirty feet away, watching her companion looking at the horses in the corral. Chavid practically held his breath as stood frozen in the shadow of the stable he was behind, his head turned a little awkwardly as he watched this mobile piece of emptiness move a few feet behind her chaperon in the starlit night. He was a considerable contrast to her, dressed in dark trousers and light shirt much like any random worker seen on the street. He seemed to move with unnatural grace and quiet - this practically screamed to Chavid that here was the real thief and far more of a threat than the mysteriously attired girl. Chavid was not surprised to see that his thief had not run to fat. The look of his face had clearly put him noticeably older than the girl, but in the starry night long after moon set anything else would be speculation.
Whilst she stood in the middle of the street, her chaperon glided up to one corral to a horse that had caught his eye and nickered in greeting. There were no guards around to see him quietly make friends with him, then silently climbed over the fence and onto his back. The horse he'd chosen was mottled grey, and Chavid could see by his stance that he obviously knew how to ride a horse bare-back. Then he beckoned the girl over. As she easily climbed the six foot fence, her buttocks and thighs could be seen to have the beautiful proportion of a very fit woman. The man guided his new mount with deft skill after the girl as she crossed the corral, but not to the gate - Chavid saw that she was directing him to the door of the stable. It occurred to him suddenly that as far as he was aware, all the horses stolen had come from corrals with stables in them. He wondered if he was about to find out why.
Then he felt the subtle but unmistakable presence of magic. As he'd walked the horse to the doorway, she had traced some glyphs on the ground. At that point, Chavid could see the rest of her figure was probably as stunning as what her legs had suggested. She had no stomach he could discern which was complimented by an apparently highly buxom chest and well-rounded arms. Chavid nearly forgot to watch her casting he was so entranced in watching her moving.
Her magic cast, the doorway shimmered into the half-existence of quite ordinary Door Magic. That brought Chavid back to reality. The guy calmly rode his new acquisition through this magical gateway and out of sight, only to return a few heartbeats later, this time on foot and carrying a small canvas purse. He strode much more purposefully this time. The girl casual cancelled her magic and they then both climbed efficiently back over the fence. Once back outside, and grinning in great satisfaction as he silently pocketed the purse, he leaned in to kiss her briefly on the mouth. She reacted in stifled glee and his left hand slid over her buttock as he made the motion for silence with his right. It had all been a quick, efficient and extremely quiet heist. Chavid was impressed, and no longer surprised so many horses had been stolen.
Taking care not to move too quickly, Chavid tracked the nearly invisible girl and her unremarkable companion through what was left of that night almost all the way out of the horse corrals. It seemed their theft was over for the night, as they showed no more interest in the horses they passed, rather having eyes only for each other. Chavid knew to not let his guard down. He'd seen too many apparently careless marks shift into sudden awareness of his presence. And they were clearly doing their best to be as silent as they could be, too.
It appeared that they had lodging in an inn of some repute that also had external stairs. That was a bit unusual in Chavid's experience - usually all access to an inn's rooms was via the common room. However, it seemed to be an architectural quirk of Wekoli that most inns had a side door or outside staircase for direct access to the rooms. The girl thief he was following seemed to delight in her near invisibility as they made they way up the outside stairs of the inn. Following them into the inn would be too dangerous for now.
It was the next day before Chavid was confident not only in which room they were in, but that he could get into their closet without their knowing. This course of action he decided upon after not seeing them at all during the day. This troubled him somewhat as it meant they either never came out of their inn, or had quite a different appearance during daylight. Chavid was not sure which was worse.
But he got his assurance the next afternoon when he saw the man enter the inn. Chavid had long learned how to identify people by their walk and he knew he had finally found one of his thieves. The man looked to be in his mid-20's and was dressed similarly to the night Chavid had first seen him, He appeared to be quite fit, but with a matureness about the face that put him noticeably older than his companion, His hair was not too dark, not too short and not too long, and as he turned, Chavid saw his face was clean-shaven and utterly forgettable. At this, Chavid was convinced he had found his mark. People with that sort of look usually could not help but augment it - the simplest was grow a moustache, but he had seen a variety of other things, too, such as an earring, or flamboyant hat. That this stranger wanted to stay so unremarkable was a red flag to Chavid's way of thinking. Chavid was as casual as he could be as he followed the man in towards the rooms and then into the door he'd previously guessed as theirs. Now he was sure.
The next night Chavid found them again in the corrals much easier and much earlier in the night as the moon hadn't set yet. Knowing she used Door Magic helped him find her, but he was still cautious in his approach. In particular, he did not use any magic himself. Those so trained are always trained how to feel magic around them. Fellow magic users have a distinct if diffuse presence that can make for an unwanted target. This girl, however, seemed to have a tight, hard magical presence, but she had cast her Door, used it and dispelled it before he could really tell. And her door was highly obvious. He wondered who had trained her in this strange technique. It made her magic skill very much of an unknown.
Chavid had been very carefully making his way towards where he last felt her magic, when he saw something out of the corner of his eye in a side laneway. Moving back quietly to look down the laneway, he saw in the light of the half-moon, about forty feet in there was a guard somehow tied to the outside of the corral fence. The girl in the mysterious black was also outside the corral, standing right in front of him, deliberately commandeering his attention. The poor guard was agog at the vision of weird womanly beauty so close before him. The moonlight seemed to make her curves stand out all the more; Chavid could see her prodigious breasts were very prominent, as obviously could the transfixed guard. His arms were bound behind him through the fence in a way Chavid could not see, but he was otherwise standing on this own feet. He was breathing hoarsely and there was a distinct bulge straining his trousers. Chavid wondered the seams weren't already torn.
Then he heard her speaking. It was very quiet and very low and directed to the hapless victim before her.
"Now promise me you'll tell no-one and maybe I'll come back and play," she said seductively. The guard nodded a little. His mouth was open and Chavid thought he saw a bit of drool. The girl got closer - close enough to touch him. He was trembling at the effort as she she stroked his face gently. Suddenly he shuddered and relaxed. The girl withdrew quickly from him as his eyes gently closed. After a few seconds, she moved to his side. Chavid felt her odd magic again. It was different this time and when it ceased, he saw her hand something small to her partner whom Chavid now saw had been on the other side of the guard the whole time. She had obviously untied the guard, who, now released, slumped to the ground, apparently asleep. She was also carrying whatever it was the guard had been tied up with, but it didn't look like a coil of rope. It looked like it might be a short piece of chain.
The two of them proceeded to steal another three horses that night, two at this corral, where the guard was oblivious and one at another. Chavid noticed with that the second corral as not being guarded at all, instead attempting to rely on better locks and taller fences. Both times, they took the horses through the girl's impromptu Door and returned with only a small purse which Chavid guessed must contain gold or silver.
By this time, he noticed that the girl in the lovely black also seemed to get a little more weary each time. Chavid was not surprised; casting magic takes effort. Most people don't understand it is physical exertion a bit like digging a hole: do it long enough and you will need a rest. This would be why they made their way back to their inn once again, unaware of their tail.
Chavid watched the girl walk in front of his hiding place again. The light in the room was quite a bit better than earlier in the corrals, but it was still fairly dim. He could see now that her skin-tight costume was leather. But it wasn't 'just' leather. It was so tight and so perfectly fitted that it was almost painted on. She turned side-on, pausing for a moment, and her magnificent figure was put on display. The high heeled boots she was wearing made her tilt her hip-bone and it emphasised the generous curve of her buttocks. This in turn highlighted the merely slight curve of her leather-clad belly, then her beautifully proportioned waist and finally her tightly rounded breasts. There was clearly some internal support of some kind, as they were higher on her chest than Chavid thought natural, especially for their noticeably larger than average size. And she was clearly excited, judging by the slight, but apparent profile on their outermost point.
"One more limb and you really are not going anywhere at all, Bratori."
Her voice was one of mischief, and she wagged one finger in mock admonishment in response to the inarticulate sound from the bed. She didn't have the hood on, this time, either, so Chavid could see her face and hair. Unusually, it was not very long, barely reaching her shoulders, and was a very ordinary dark reddish-brown. Chavid judged by her attractive face that she could be little more than 18, so 'girl' was probably right. And the grin on her face was one of pure pleasure. Her companion in crime and the person she was addressing - Bratori - was currently spreadeagled and naked on the double bed filling the room. Chavid could not see it completely as his hiding place was in the corner. The foot of the bed was in front of him but the head was away to his left, just about out of sight.
The girl came back from the far side of the bed carrying a metal shackle and, oddly, a feather. The shackle had a short length of chain on it ending in a little hook, but it was the feather that kept intriguing Chavid. He had already seen this feather and shackle dance twice already. Somehow the feather was used to magically open the cuff as it had no other visible means of opening.
Getting into his hiding place hadn't been hugely difficult. One quirk of this style of inn was that they often had interior passageways, too. Sometimes they had been designed as alternate ways of giving guests access to the rooms when other doors opened to a balcony outside. Other times they were intended as servants' access. That was the case in this inn. Except that it never did attract the kind of clientele requiring servants, so the inside passageways had been converted into closets. And it turned out that getting into the closets from the hidden passageway was pretty simple, as they'd been built with hidden doors.
Chavid was not entirely happy with how long it took him to find the correct closet via these hidden passageways. By the time he got there, the man was already undressed and on the bed, with one ankle chained. The girl in black was just chaining his other ankle up as Chavid found a peephole to look through. All four shackles were the same design, and the girl looped the chain around a bedpost and secure it with the hook. It looked a very practised gesture.
The girl stood a few seconds in an unreadable pose, watching her hapless partner, then said a few quiet words and Chavid felt magic being used. Again, it was comfortable magic, the kind that had been done by its wielder dozens if not hundreds of times before. He was newly aware they had no idea he was here and grateful once again he had taken care to not touch the door he was behind. Carefully observing through his peephole, he saw the girl open the steel shackle in her hands like it was merely thick leather, before moving out of view to his left.
"Now you be careful," she said in a playful voice. "If you struggle too much, I might give up and leave you here. I don't know anyone else who knows that feather spell to open those shackles -- that's right, you'd need a blacksmith to get you out! Ooh, wouldn't that be fun!" There was an odd little sound and Chavid felt the magic cease. "Now what are we going to do next?"
From where he was, Chavid could only just see the girl climb up onto the bed. She did it slowly and languorously. The man on the bed, inescapably shackled to it's heavy frame, clearly knew what she was going to do. Chavid had a good idea, too, as he'd seen when she turned that her tight leather skin was missing the crotch piece, exposing her pubic mound to the open air. He didn't recall seeing that piece missing outside while they were thieving horses.
From the lack of coherent response from her willing victim, Chavid guessed he had been gagged earlier. The sound of excited but laboured breathing grew noticeably in volume as the girl started moving, only to turn into a groan when she suddenly stopped.
"You know the rules, Bratori." she said happily. "There's no use complaining." His breathing was still heavy, but he wasn't struggling like earlier. Chavid heard him rattle his chains a little as the girl climbed off him again.
"You know, maybe I will leave you here," she continued in almost the same voice, but there was a sudden new catch in it. It was impossible to tell if she meant it or not. "Yes. I like that idea. Now don't you go anywhere." And with that, to Chavid's surprise, she opened the outer door and walked out, shutting it behind her.
Chavid looked around his hiding place to see if he might find a better way to see out. He decided to risk a little magic, seeing as all of it so far had been done by the girl. Carefully squatting on the floor of the closest, he traced some runes in the dust of the wooden floor. As he stood up again, the door appeared to fade away and he could see the room much better, but of course, taking advantage of the fact the doorway was occupied, the magic portal was one way and the door stayed solidly visible from the room itself.
Taking care not to lean 'through', as that would cause him to touch the door and cancel the spell, Chavid surveyed the room again. Bratori - if that was his name - was definitely in a predicament. He was definitely naked, with his four limbs spread out fairly tight with those strange steel shackles. If he had to remove them, Chavid doubted he could duplicate the girl's magic. The only clothing he had on, if you could call it that, was a quite unusual type of gag that wrapped over his whole lower face. He wondered if there was an internal bit of some sort as he had found that was necessary in a gag if you wanted them quiet. Silent was harder, and not always possible, but quiet usually was. The gag had a strap across Bratori's nose and cheeks, down his whole jaw and to his neck. In fact, it was as much a collar as a gag. Chavid could see some padding or reinforcing in the collar area and guessed the unfortunate wearer would not be able to tilt or turn his head much as a result. It was also in nearly the same black, featureless leather that she was wearing. And it looked very expensive. (Were they perhaps stealing horses to fund their sex games? And quite where there they selling the horses?)
Bratori also sported a rather impressive erection, though it was subsiding a bit in the absence of his girl's ministrations. Naked, it was obvious he was fairly fit, too, with a hint of sculptured muscle across his chest. He was a man pretty much in his prime. Obviously his chains and collar prevented him looking around the room much, but still he was gently straining to see what he could see. The door the girl had exited was to his left, in the far opposite corner to Chavid. Chavid could see him trying to look toward it.
Bratori was starting to fight his bonds a little. Chavid wouldn't have called it panic, but he was clearly concerned that his girl had left him alone in the room, inescapably chained, diabolically gagged and thoroughly naked. He tried calling out, but the gag made that quite difficult and the result was not much more than a load moan. Certainly not enough to carry past the four walls of his imprisoning room. It was barely loud enough to reach beyond the bed.
He moaned again, with a peculiar double call. Was he trying to call her name? Chavid smiled to himself wryly. He knew how to gag people, but that was over-efficient by comparison. He was getting louder with each call, but still not enough to carry far. Chavid also began wondering where the girl had gone to. He wasn't totally sure, but he didn't think the door she'd gone through went to the public passage. For a start, the room was too small to be much more than a bedroom. And the door was also on the wrong wall, as far as Chavid could tell. So there was probably an ante-room.
Suddenly the door opened again and she stepped through. Chavid did not intend to be using magic when she returned, but as he was about to dispel it, he suddenly realized she could not sense it. The detection of magic must always be taught - it is not an innate skill. Chavid could feel his own magic door in front of him, confined to the doorway in which it stood. And he could also feel the girl across the room, again as a hard, firmly defined magic anomaly. If she could have detected his portal, she should have been a much more diffuse presence. Chavid wondered if her unusual black leather had anything to do with that.
"Did I hear you call?" she said in a supremely playful voice, looking down at Bratori, and bringing Chavid back to the present. "It sounded like... 'Mitya!'... only ... muffled." Oh, she was mischief. He looked back with what must have been a plea in his eyes. He moaned a question.
"Well, what good is a game if the same thing happens every time?" she simpered in response. Bratori had no answering groan for that. But he certainly appreciated the sight of his slickly-clad girl. Mitya - if that was her name - noticed this, too, and her smile grew broader. Then she began to languidly climb onto the bed again, clearly enjoying the frustration she was creating in him. Without a word, she kneeled between his knees. Bratori, of course, could not tilt his head to see her. She started tracing her fingers lightly up first one leg and then the other. He shuddered at her touch, his arousal growing visibly stronger. She stopped suddenly - as expected, he moaned at the denial. Then she began tracing her fingers over his belly. Again, he jumped and shuddered at her touch. Again, she stopped and again he tried to cry out. She was clearly enjoying herself immensely, taking him closer and closer to the edge with each cycle as she moved around his crotch, taking great care to not touch his penis or testicles and uttering not a sound herself. Bratori started dripping.
Chavid found himself having trouble breathing at the intense show before him. It took a lot of his long-learnt self-control to stay as still and as quiet as possible.
"Aren't new games, fun, my love?" she said suddenly. Chavid jumped a little at her voice and Bratori must've too as Mitya began a low little giggle. It had an unpleasant edge to it to Chavid's keen ear.
"I'm sure you enjoy all our games, Bratori, both the sex and the theft," she began rather conversationally. "But it's been getting a little boring. I've been telling you this for weeks, and I'm not seeing anything changing." The edge in her voice was distinct now, and she had climbed off the bed with quite a different motion than before. Mitya had just changed her role. She moved up to the head of the bed where Bratori could see her. And for some reason, she looked hugely pleased with herself.
"I gave you a new game, tonight, Bratori, and I bet you've never enjoyed it as much as just then. But I'm not going to let you finish just yet. In fact, I don't know if I will at all. I haven't decided yet."
Chavid saw from Bratori's eyes that he hadn't seen Mitya do anything like this before. He looked frightened - perhaps the game was really no longer in his control. She had acquired a very imperious stance looking down at him.
"You see, I'm a big girl now. And I think that I can start running things my way. Up until now, all my control was here, in the bedroom." There was a sneer there. "Well, that's just changed. Staying in the bedroom is what I have been trying to run away from." And she strode around the bed to stand at his other side. "Oh, don't misunderstand me - I've learnt a lot from you, not just about taking what shouldn't belong to others, but also about myself." She leaned in to get his attention, the picture of her magnificently enhanced figure warring within Bratori with his fear at what was she planning now. He may never look at women in quite the same way again. "And, you know, I should thank you for making it *so* much fun." Her voice dropped. Bratori shied from her with what little distance his bonds permitted him. Mitya paused a minute, leaning even further over to look at his face. Chavid could not see her face; he wasn't sure he wanted to.
Then she stood up again, and quickly walked around the bed to the door, pausing with her hand on the doorhandle. She looked at Bratori again, this time with a look of disdain.
"I'm leaving, Bratori. I've had enough. Really enough. I know you can't follow me. We could have gone on to greater things. Much greater things." And with the air of finality, she went through the door.
Chavid felt a quite different surge of magic less than a minute later. It had the very familiar feel of the Door magic she had used earlier in the night. So there was little doubt about how she finally left him.
He looked at the now frantic man on the bed, threshing wildly in his inescapable bonds. He undoubtedly had his man and the bounty would be good, but that was only half the story. He now also had an aspiring horse-thief, and a magic user trained unlike anything he knew, to locate. Somehow. At least he had a name, if that was any help.