“My Lord Aloric?”
The man named Aloric glanced up from his desk. “Yes?”
“My Lord, we have the item you purchased.”
Aloric smiled. “Very good. Bring her in.”
Nodding, the man backed from the room, only to return a moment later with another. Between them, they carried a bundle that squirmed and grunted in their grasp. Once inside the door, they set the squirming bundle on the floor.
“On her feet, if you please.”
Shrugging, the two men raised the woman to her feet, then, bowing, backed out of the room. Alone, Aloric gazed at his newest purchase. What he saw pleased him in more ways than one.
Standing before him was a woman of exceptional beauty. Deep blue eyes glared at him from atop high cheekbones. Long waves of raven hair framed her face, cascading down over strong, slender shoulders. Full, firm breasts heaved above a slim waist and flaring hips. Long, toned legs descended from full thighs. This one, he decided, might well indeed be just what he wanted.
Rising, he moved around the bound woman, noting as he did the curve of her full, firm ass. Noting, also, the lash marks on that ass, as well as across her back. More lashes marked the soft skin of her inner thighs. Her wrists and ankles were bound by tight leather thongs, and he could see marks there as well. Frowning, he moved to stand before the woman, a sheet of parchment in his hand.
“According to this,” he said, glancing briefly at the parchment, “your name is Akara, and you were captured several months ago. Since then, you have had three owners. Of those, two are dead, and the third may never sire children again.”
Noticing the brief gleam of satisfaction in the woman’s eyes at those words, Aloric nodded. “Their mistake,” he said. “Just remember, I am not like them. If you attack me, you will lose. At which time, you will be immediately returned to face the sentence you were under when I purchased you.” Aloric shook his head. “I think you know how slow and painful that kind of death would be. It would be in your best interests to avoid that fate, which means not doing anything rash.”
Turning, Aloric placed the parchment on his desk, then faced the bound woman again. “As you can no doubt tell from my speech,” he continued, “I was not born here. I have chosen to live here, however, and, so long as my home is here, I abide by the laws of this kingdom. By those laws, you are now my property, duly purchased. Which means that, within the limits of those laws, I may do with you as I wish”.
“I will release you now. Remember what I have said.” Carefully, Aloric removed the gag from the woman’s mouth, smiling as she worked her jaws once the wad of cloth was pulled from between her lips. Her wrists and ankles had been tightly, cruelly bound, and her own struggles had only pulled them tighter. In the end, it took a knife to remove the leather thongs. Once her bonds were removed, Aloric stepped in front of her.
“Hold out your hands.” He could see the tension in her body as, slowly, she raised her hands in front of her. After a glance at the marks on her wrists, Aloric took up a small bowl from his desk.
“Hold this.” Her eyes widening slightly in surprise at his words, the woman took the bowl in her left hand. Smiling, Aloric lightly took hold of the fingers on her right hand, the fingers of his other hand dipping into the pale ointment that filled the bowl.
“Very good,” he said softly. “You’ve decided you don’t want to die. Now, hold still. This is going to sting, but it will help your skin heal without marks.”
As his fingers rubbed the ointment into her wrist, Aloric heard air hiss from between clenched teeth. The ointment, he knew, did more than just sting. On wounds like hers, it burned. Watching her muscles tense as she fought the urge to yank her hand away, Aloric nodded to himself. Yes, he told himself, this one just might do nicely.
After the wrist was thoroughly coated with ointment, he wrapped it in clean white cloth, repeating the process on her other wrist. Her ankles were soon similarly coated and wrapped.
Throughout this, the woman had made no sound, other than the hissing of air through her teeth. As he rose from wrapping her ankles, he noticed that both of her hands were balled into fists. Smiling, he nodded.
“You could have struck at me,” he said, “while I knelt in front of you. You chose not to. Good. Keep this up, and you may have a chance.”
Aloric then removed the items from his desk, spreading a blanket over the bare surface. At his command, the woman slowly lowered herself onto the desk, laying on her stomach and staring at him over her shoulder. She watched as he moved to a nearby table, returning with a cloth and another bowl, from which steam rose.
“Now this,” he said, “is really going to hurt. But it has to be done.” So saying, he dipped the cloth into the bowl. After wringing out the excess, he lightly rubbed the cloth across the woman’s shoulder blades. Her body jumped, and he quickly placed his other hand on the back of her neck, holding her down as she fought to squirm away.
“Hold still,” he commanded, over her cries. “This has to be done, so you might as well accept it.” Still holding her down, he washed her back thoroughly, along with the rise of her ass, then coated the torn skin with ointment from the first bowl. Finished, he stepped back.
For a long moment, the woman lay on the desk, gasping. Then, slowly, she slid to the floor, turning as she did so. Facing him, she glared.
“You,” she said, in a strong, yet melodious voice, “are a cruel man. I will take great pleasure in killing you.”
Aloric smiled. “I doubt that,” he said. “And, if I were as cruel as you say, I would finish the job myself. Instead, you may.” He gestured toward the marks covering her thighs, then handed her the bowl of ointment. She stared at him before taking the bowl from his hands. Then, with much hissing of air through clenched teeth, she carefully applied the ointment to her thighs.
Once she had returned the nearly empty bowl to the desk, Aloric turned and moved to the door. He spoke quietly, and when he returned to the desk, he was accompanied by a slender young woman, her charms covered, yet subtly enhanced by the soft brown leather shorts and top she wore.
“Aya will take you someplace where you can rest,” he said. “Once you’re healed, we shall to see how useful you can be.”
Alone in the room to which she’d been led, Akara lay curled on the narrow bed. Her whole body awash with pain, she silently cursed the man called Aloric, then slowly drifted off to sleep.
In her dreams, she endured once more her capture. Hands and feet bound, cloth stuffed into her mouth to muffle her cries, she felt herself tossed across the back of a dark horse. Around her, she could hear fighting as the other members of her small outlaw band tried to resist the soldiers who had so suddenly come upon them. Grunting into her gag, she struggled against her bonds, knowing full well her fate should she fail to gain free. For outlawry, slavery was the punishment. As she struggled, the horse’s rider mounted, and she felt herself carried from the scene of battle, the ground rushing past her eyes as she hung over the horse’s back. Nearly sickened by the motion of the horse, she could only ride helplessly. Finally, the horse stopped, and she felt herself pushed from its back, to fall heavily to the ground.
With a cry, Akara thrust herself to her feet. In the grip of her dream, she had rolled from her bed, landing on her back on the floor. The sudden impact against the torn skin had yanked her from her dream. Standing in the center of the dark room, she shivered once.
Akara glanced around herself in surprise. For the past several days, she had remained confined in the small room. She had been well fed, and her chamber pot had been emptied daily. So far, other than Aloric, she had seen only the woman called Aya. Now, her wounds nearly healed, she had been led to this room, where Aloric stood waiting, his body wrapped in a dark robe.
Ignoring him, she glanced around again. She stood in a long, low room, its bare walls unbroken by windows. The wooden floor felt cold beneath her feet. Behind her, a long cabinet stood against the end wall, the only item in the otherwise empty room.
Aloric stepped forward, and she moved aside, watching narrowly as he stepped past her. With a flourish, he opened the cabinet. Akara gasped as she saw what was within.
Swords! Perhaps a dozen, all neatly hanging from the back wall of the cabinet. Still smiling, Aloric withdrew a broadsword, its hilt unadorned, from the cabinet. Stepping back, he gestured.
“Choose,” he said, moving slowly away from the cabinet. For a moment, she simply stared at him, then turned to examine the blades. In the end, she chose one that could be twin to the one he now held. Sword in hand, she turned back to face him.
Aloric nodded. “It would seem,” he said, “that you do know your blades. Now, let’s see how well you can use it.” Shifting his own sword from one hand to the other, he quickly shrugged off his robe. Akara’s eyes widened as he tossed the robe aside, standing naked in front of her.
“I prefer the odds be even,” he said, smiling as her eyes drifted down, only to leap away “Here’s your chance. If you kill me, nobody here will stop you from escaping.” He shrugged. “Who knows, you may even get away completely.”
With a cry of rage, Akara rushed forward, her sword swinging wildly. Aloric easily blocked her swing, as well as the several which followed. Sword held tight in both hands, Akara swung with all her strength, only to see each blow knocked aside.
For several moments, Aloric simply stood in place, easily blocking her every attack. Then he moved forward, his sword swinging towards her, and Akara suddenly found herself focused on defense. Slowly, steadily, Aloric drove her back until she stood pressed against the wall.
Desperately, she drew back for another swing, only to feel her arm pinned to the wall. Aloric pressed against her, his own blade lightly resting across her throat.
“As I told you before,” he said, his voice showing no sign of effort from the brief fight, “if you attack me, you will lose.”
Silently, Akara struggled to push him away. Aloric’s only response was to press more tightly against her. Suddenly, she froze, feeling his manhood nestle between her thighs. Eyes wide, she stared at him, her sword dropping from suddenly nerveless fingers to clatter to the floor. Frowning, Aloric stepped away.
“Pick it up,” he commanded, gesturing toward her fallen sword. Akara bent for the blade, only to leap upright with a startled yelp as the flat of his sword struck her ass. Eyes wide, she turned to face him.
“If you ever,” he said, his voice tight, “treat a blade like that again, I will see to it you don’t sit down for some time. Are we clear?”
Stunned, Akara could only stare. Apparently taking her silence as agreement, he nodded. “Now,” he said, “pick it up and put it away.”
Carefully, eyes never leaving the blade in his hand, Akara squatted, taking up the fallen sword. Then, feeling his eyes on her, she rose and returned the blade to the cabinet. Turning back, she found Aya standing beside her. Silently, Akara allowed herself to be led back to her room.
That night, she dreamed of the first man who had claimed to own her. Once again, she lay naked, wrists and ankles securely bound to the corners of his large bed, a wad of cloth muffling her curses. Helpless, she watched as he removed his clothing, inwardly cringing at the thought of his obese body lying atop her. She felt his fingers fumbling over her breasts, harshly pinching her nipples until she couldn’t hold back the muffled cries of pain. She saw him climb onto the bed, moving over her. She watched him position himself, her own body tense as she awaited that first thrust. She saw him grimace in anticipation as……
Akara stared at the ceiling of her dark room, cursing silently as shivers coursed through her body. Only a dream, she told herself. Slowly, the shivers ceased, and she lay silent in the darkness.
For the next several days, the process was repeated. Each day, she found herself standing naked in that room, facing an equally naked Aloric. Each day, she strove to kill him, only to find herself easily bested. First with the broadsword, then with each of the other blades from the cabinet, she attacked, only to find herself beaten once again. Again and again, she found herself held to the wall, his blade at her throat as his manhood pressed against the juncture of her thighs. Each time, he could have taken her, yet each time, he stepped away. Akara couldn’t understand.
Was it, she asked herself, lying in the darkness of her room, some strange attempt to break her will? Was he, by showing her so many times that she could not hope to best him, hoping the constant defeat would steal the fight from her? Even as the question came to her, she vowed that it would never happen.
One day, watching as Aya set her tray of food on the table beside the bed, it occurred to Akara that she could easily overpower the smaller woman, then escape through the open door. The thought had come to her before, nearly every day, and every day, she had dismissed it. She had no idea where the formidable Aloric was. Probably, she thought, standing outside the door, waiting for her to try. Unwilling to rush blindly into yet another defeat at his hands, she remained seated as Aya turned away.
Watching, she saw Aya move a lever she hadn’t noticed on the door, drawing it open and leaving the room. Akara waited several moments after the door had closed, then rose. Pulling experimentally at the lever, she was surprised to feel the door open freely. She had always assumed the door was locked, but, apparently, she had been wrong. Pulling the door open, she slipped into the hall.
After the past several days, she knew exactly where the room with its cabinet of swords lay. Akara dismissed that thought as soon as it formed. A blade in her hand meant certain defeat. Instead, she moved quietly down the hall in the other direction. Before she’d gone far, she heard voices ahead of her. Unwilling to be seen, she opened the nearest door and slipped through.
“I was wondering when you’d decide to go exploring.” Akara froze. She was, she saw, standing in the same room where she’d first encountered Aloric, who now smiled at her from behind his desk. Without rising, he gestured toward a chair.
“Sit.” When she remained unmoving, his voice took on a harder tone. “Sit!” Slowly, she stepped toward the desk, lowering herself to perch on the edge of the chair, eyes locked on the man seated beyond the desk. For a moment, he simply gazed at her, then he nodded and leaned back.
“In this land,” he said, “you are, by law, a slave.” He shook his head. “Just as, by law, all women in this land are slaves. And, as long as I live here, I must abide by those laws.”
At the slightly disapproving tone of his voice, Akara’s eyes narrowed. What manner of trick was this?
“Also by law,” he went on, “women are allowed only those items needed to perform the function assigned to them. Their bodies are to remain otherwise uncovered, to allow easier access.” At these words, Akara found herself picturing Aya in her brown leather. As if reading her thoughts, Aloric smiled.
“As you’ve noticed,” he said, “Aya is, indeed, clothed. I consider clothing to be required, not for them to perform, but to relieve me of the potential distraction of being surrounded by naked women. And there are other women here,” he continued. “In fact, my whole staff is female. All that’s missing is security. Which is where you come in.”
Akara stared at him, stunned. All those days, all those defeats, had been…….?
“Lessons?” Her eyes wide, Akara continued to stare. “You have been teaching me to fight? But slaves are forbidden to carry weapons.”
“True,” Aloric replied, nodding. “However, as I said, women are required to have those items they need in order to perform their assigned tasks. Were I to assign you to ensure the safety of my home, you would, naturally be required to carry a weapon. Otherwise, how could you hope to carry out your duties?”
Akara shook her head. “They will never allow it,” she said, bringing a grin to Aloric’s face.
“They,” he replied, “will have no choice. I’ve studied the laws very carefully. The better you understand a law, the easier it is to get around it.” He grinned. “So long as you are carrying out your assigned duty of safeguarding my home, the law against weapons cannot apply. Without one, you could not hope to succeed in your duties.” His grin widened, then vanished.
“The only question remaining,” he said, “is, do you want the job?”
“I am a slave,” Akara replied, forcing the hated word from her mouth. “If you command, I have no choice but to obey.”
Aloric shook his head. “Not in this house,” he said. “By law, you are a slave, but, so long as you live in this house, you have a choice.” His gaze lowered, and she could feel his eyes on the juncture between her thighs. “In all things.”
Suddenly, Akara felt a wall against her back. She felt Aloric’s body pressed against hers, his manhood nestled between her thighs. How many times now, she wondered, had he held her like that? How many times could he have taken her with little effort, his blade across her throat halting any resistance? And how many times had he stepped away? Shaking away the memories, she stared at him in silence for a long moment, then made her choice.
Akara closed the door with a tired sigh. Since that momentous day in Aloric’s office, her training had been, if anything, more intense. Sweat soaked the soft brown leather of her top, glued the shorts to her. Tiredly, she moved toward her bed.
Unlike the first room, her new chambers were wide and airy, a soft breeze wafting through the open windows. Not the usual quarters for a slave, she thought. Then again, there was very little about the home of Aloric that qualified as normal.
By now, she had met the rest of the small staff. Woman all, each with her own duties taking care of the house. And each, she had been amazed to learn, paid for her work. Once a month, Aloric took them all into town, allowing them to spend the money they had earned in any way they saw fit. The women, one and all, were delighted with their situation, and determined to remain in Aloric’s service.
By now, Akara had become an accepted part of Aloric’s staff. As expected, the powers that be had howled, but Aloric’s artful interpretation of the law had silenced all argument. Aloric, she decided, removing her sword and hanging it carefully on a hook by her door, was not one to challenge. Swords or otherwise, she thought with a grin.
Tiredly, she removed her sweat dampened clothing, washing herself with water from a bowl beside the bed. Evening meal would soon be ready, she thought, pulling on dry clothing. Another of Aloric’s strange ways was his decision that all in the household, himself included, dine together at one table. Yet another reason the women of his staff had grown so devoted to him. Including herself, Akara thought, smiling wryly at the thought.
As she turned toward the door, her eyes fell on the bed. Again, she felt him pressed against her, his manhood touching her. Shaking her head, she stepped toward the door, only to halt suddenly, as a thought brought a smile to her lips.
Aloric lay quietly in his dark room, covered only by a light sheet. Unsure what had awakened him, he listened to the silence, finally hearing a soft click. He considered grabbing for his sword, reconsidering as he saw a silhouette move in front of the window. Instead, he grasped the top edge of the sheet and drew it back, smiling as he felt soft, warm skin brushing his. Something loomed over his head, then lips touched his lightly, only to draw away.
“You did say,” he heard, “that the choice was mine? In all things?”
“Always,” he replied, feeling gentle fingers wrap around his manhood.
“In that case,” came the soft words, “I choose.” He felt soft skin brush across his body, saw a shape rise to straddle him. Soft fingers held him, and he felt hair tickle the tip of his manhood before a soft warmth enveloped him.
Akara closed her eyes, lowering her hips slowly. No longer pressed against her, his manhood now slipped deep within. As he filled her, she leaned her body forward to lie atop him, her legs doubled beneath her. She began rocking her hips slowly, gasping softly and raising herself slightly as she felt gentle hands caress her breasts.
She had come here as a slave. A pleasure slave, thrice failed. Now, enslaved only by her own heart, she lay atop the only man would could ever claim her, filled by much more than his manhood. This slavery, she thought, even as her hips began to rock more quickly, I can learn to love.
And somewhere, deep in her heart, she smiled.
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