The Thief and The Bounty Hunter

by Lobo De la Sombra

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© Copyright 2015 - Lobo De la Sombra - Used by permission

Storycodes: Solo-F; M+/f; capture; kidnap; bond; rope; transport; revenge; rescue; alien; rubber; cons/reluct; X

(story continues from )

Part 2

"Who am I?"

For most, this would be a simple question, perhaps an exercise in philosophical thinking. For the naked woman now staring at her reflection, it was much more than that. But it hadn't always been so.

Just over two months ago, she had known without question who she was. Back then, she'd been Victoria Swann. Secretly, she had also been the international thief known as the Phantom Fem. Only one person had ever discovered her dual identity, and it was because of him that she now asked herself this question.

It had been Mike Staunton, using alien technology nobody knew he possessed, who had uncovered the true identity of the Phantom Fem. And it had been Mike, using that same technology, who had captured her from her remote Montana ranch.

Since then, she had been a prisoner on his alien ship, riding in orbit around Mars. More than that, she had been a slave in training. At first, she'd done her best to resist, but she'd long since given up on that. Mike, or, more to the point, the alien technology he controlled, was too good at punishing disobedience, and she had very quickly learned the advantages of avoiding any such punishment.

Not that it had hurt, any of it. In fact, all of her punishments had felt good, at first. In fact, some might consider it a dream come true. At first. To be rendered helpless, then to have her helpless body touched, stroked, fondled, most would consider this a reward. Reward became punishment when the touching, stroking and fondling went on and on, driving arousal to and beyond anything she could control. And all the while, wearing a device that, according to Mike, inhibited orgasm. Put simply, it meant that, no matter how horny she became, she couldn't cum.

Over the past two months, there had been more than a few times when it seemed her desperate need would drive her insane. Even now, Victoria couldn't say for sure that it hadn't. To cum, to gain permission to cum, was now the greatest gift, the sweetest reward. Every word she said, everything she did, was with the aim of being rewarded. And, more importantly, to avoid being punished.

Now, staring at her reflection, she realized there was no avoiding the truth. Who was she? She was a slave. More to the point, she was his slave, so well trained that, even without the inhibitor, she could no longer cum without his permission. Her lush, well toned body, now existed only to serve him. Her mind, however, was another matter.

Somehow, even as her body surrendered to its training, parts of her mind remained defiant. Her thoughts, her intelligence, remained her own, at least when her body's programmed needs didn't take control. Sometimes, like now, she couldn't help wonder if Mike knew just how well he'd succeeded. And how badly he'd failed.

The sound of soft chimes interrupted her thoughts. With a soft sigh, Victoria turned away from the mirror.

"Yes, Master?"

Mike's voice filled the room as it emerged from the intercom speakers. "Meet me on the bridge."

"Yes, Master."

Slowly, Victoria began to make her way toward the bridge. She didn't dare disobey him, but that didn't mean she had to hurry to obey, did it? Strolling onto the bridge, she knelt in her customary place by his chair.

"How long have you been with me?"

Victoria didn't even have to think about the answer to that one. "Two months, five days," she replied.

"No more than that? Well, no matter. Do you remember what I said when I first brought you on board?"

Victoria thought back on that day. "You said several things, Master."

"I did, didn't I?" Mike nodded, smiling. "But I was thinking about one thing in particular. If I remember right, I said that, if you served me well, I might release you. Do you remember that?"

Victoria's eyes widened slightly. "I remember, Master."

"Since then, I've been thinking. Your training has turned you into very nearly the perfect slave. Physically, anyway. Your mind still resists, which is good. It means you're still able to think for yourself. And that's a good thing."


"When I took you," Mike said, his voice thoughtful, "I fully intended to turn you into a total slave. But now, after I've watched you, I have to ask myself if that's not wrong. If I keep training you, sooner or later you will be that perfect slave, with no thought or desire other than to serve."

Victoria was puzzled. "But, Master," she said, "isn't that what you want?"

"It was," she heard, "but now, I'm not so sure. I took away your freedom. I took away your ability to disobey. But if I take away your mind, your ability to think for yourself, then it wouldn't be you any more. Oh, you would still serve and obey me, but it wouldn't be you doing it. It would be a mindless slave who just happens to be wearing your body. And I don't think I want that."

"So," Mike said, rising from his chair, "I've decided to give you the choice. You can stay here, or you can go home." Seeing the doubtful look on her face, he smiled. "And no," he told her, "this isn't a test. You won't be punished if you decide to leave."

"I won't?" For a long moment, Victoria looked up at him. "In that case, Master," she finally said, "I want to go home."

Home. Glancing around her, Victoria savored the feel of that one word.

The ranch, she saw, looked much as it had on the day she'd been taken. This, she'd recently learned, was thanks entirely to Mike, who'd seen to its upkeep. All of her furniture, her clothes, even her weapons and the tools of her secret trade, all was exactly as she'd left it. Opening the refrigerator, she checked the expiration dates on several items, not surprised to see that all had been quite recently purchased.

He knew, she thought, closing the refrigerator and wandering into her study. He knew I would want to come home, and he kept everything ready for me.

Glancing back into the kitchen, her eyes were caught by the newspaper on the table. It was the one she'd been reading that morning, the picture of the stolen ruby plainly visible. Seeing this, she couldn't help but wonder if she could return to that way of life.

I was the best, she thought, glancing around the comfortably furnished room, every piece paid for by her skills as a thief. "I was the best," she said, knowing the only person who could hear her wasn't convinced that was true anymore. Shaking her head at the thought, Victoria told herself it was time to get on with her life.

First things first, she told herself. And the first thing, the most important thing, was to re-establish the contacts she'd had. With this in mind, she picked up the phone, dialing a number from memory.

"Robert? Yes, it's me. Yes, I know I've been out of touch. Something came up. Yes, I know they got the ruby back. And yes, I know you'd already paid me for it. I guess I'll just have to steal it again. Robert, do you really think they could stop me? What? I don't think that's a good idea, Robert. I'd really rather..... ok, but I still don't think it's a good idea."

Hanging up the phone, she frowned. Robert, her buyer, had insisted on a meeting. Victoria wasn't sure if she believed his claim that he just wanted to be sure she was still up to the job. Still, it was his money, which meant he called the shots. Shaking her head, she moved to her wardrobe to select an appropriate outfit. After two months of enforced nudity, the clothes felt strange, but she knew she'd get used to the feeling soon enough. Properly dressed, she made her way outside, still telling herself to relax, it was just a meeting.

Just a meeting, my ass. Victoria frowned, her anger at being so completely fooled adding strength to her struggles as she fought the ropes binding her. The "meeting" had been a trap, Robert's way of getting his hands on her. Now, she knew, he meant to extract payment for the money he'd paid her. It would, she knew, be a long, slow, painful extraction, with every penny taken from her own helpless flesh.

Eventually, tiring, she stopped struggling. Robert's men had done too good a job, and there was no way she was getting free. Rope bound her at ankles, knees and wrists, with a final rope bending her into a strict hogtie. A wad of cloth filled her mouth, more cloth holding the gag in place. A simple tie, but effectively done, leaving her no way to get out.

Forcing her body to relax, Victoria glanced around her. Robert, she saw, liked his luxuries even more than she ever had. The room looked like a small study, but the furnishings were opulent enough for a palace. She lay on a thick, pure white carpet, surrounded by ebony, ivory, rare woods, all of which looked hand carved.

He likes the best, she thought, which is why he hired me in the first place. It also, she knew, meant he would have only the best when it came to her punishment for not delivering the ruby to him. This thought was enough to start her struggling again, but she soon fell quiet, defeated once more by the tightness of her bonds.

At least he won't do it here, she told herself. It would ruin the carpet, might even splatter onto the furniture. No, he would take her someplace else to do the job. Which meant that, until they actually came to get her, she would be unharmed.

As she lay awaiting her fate, Victoria listened to the sounds of activity outside the room. Footsteps, voices, the sounds of things being moved. Business as usual, she thought wryly, while she lay naked and helpless. With nothing else to occupy her mind, she found herself comparing her current situation to her last experience at helplessness.

Like Robert, Mike had taken her freedom from her. Like Robert, he had stolen her ability to choose and act for herself. How, she asked herself, is one any different from the other?

To her surprise, an answer flashed into her mind. Robert meant to torture her, to inflict as much pain on her as he could before she died. Mike, for all he had done to her, had never once harmed her physically. He had been strict in his control, demanding obedience, but he had never been cruel. In fact, he had proven himself to be surprisingly gentle.

And then there was the question of sex. Robert, she had no doubt, would take time to enjoy her before the torture started. The look in his eyes as she lay naked and helpless before him, not to mention the way he'd touched her before leaving the room, left no doubt about that. With Mike, there had been sex, but it hadn't happened until after her body had begun to surrender to its training. Her mind might not have wanted it, but her body most definitely did. Regardless of which parts of her did or didn't want it, the sex had proven to be soft, slow, thoroughly satisfying sessions that had left her limp in the aftermath.

Robert intended to take what he wanted from her. Mike had simply made it impossible for her to refuse him. Was one way better than the other? Victoria didn't know, but, at this point, she had no doubt which method she would rather be facing right now.

For all its ornate, luxurious furnishings, one thing in this room Victoria hadn't seen was a clock. With no way to judge the passing of time, she had no idea how long she'd been here. So it came as a bit of a surprise when she realized that the room was quickly getting darker. Sundown, she thought. It's time. Tensing, she began to listen for footsteps approaching.

Soon enough, she heard them. Two, she thought, maybe three, walking along an uncarpeted floor in her direction. Reaching the door, they paused, and she set herself for another useless struggle when they came in to get her. Unable to see the door, she listened for the sound of the latch. Instead, she heard a series of muffled thumps, as if someone were tapping on the walls. Finally, after several seconds of silence, she heard the door open. Twisting within her ropes, she turned her head toward the door, only to freeze.

"Are you ok?" As Victoria stared, eyes wide with shock, Mike dropped to his knees beside her, steel glinting in one hand as he began cutting the ropes holding her. As the final rope fell away, Victoria threw her arms around him, hugging him tightly. It was several moments before she drew back to stare at him.


"After you left," Mike replied, "I started to realize how much I missed you. I couldn't make you come back, but I could make sure you were alright. So I sent a probe to the ranch, but you were already gone. I started a search, and lucked onto the same plane you flew in on your way back from London. I tracked it and saw them bring you here."

"And you came after me? Why?"

Mike smiled. "I'm a bounty hunter, remember? I know all about this guy. Which means I know what he does to people he thinks betrayed him. I couldn't let that happen to you."

Victoria continued to stare. "You couldn't?"

"Let's just say," Mike replied, "that it wasn't an option, and leave it at that. For now, I think it might be a good idea to leave, don't you think?"

Nodding, Victoria allowed Mike to pull her to her feet, following him out of the room. In the hallway beyond, she saw two of Robert's men sprawled on the floor.

"Stunned," Mike said. "They'll wake up in a few hours. They'll have the mother of all headaches, but, other than that, they'll be alright."

At the end of the hallway, they entered a large, airy room. Several more of Robert's men lay sprawled on the floor, along with another figure.

"Is that...?" Slowly, Victoria made her way among the bodies until she stood over the figure that had caught her eye, staring at the glossy black surface that seemed to tremble slightly.

"It is."

Victoria stared down at Robert. "So that's what it looks like from the outside," she said slowly. She had, she vividly remembered, been captured in exactly the same way, encased in a tight, rubbery skin that had reduced her most violent struggles to vague twitches. "What are you going to do with him?"

"I haven't decided yet," Mike replied. "But he did intend to hurt you, so I have to do something. Let me get him loaded up, and we'll get out of here."

"Ready to go home?"

* * *

Victoria gazed slowly around her, taking in the bridge of Mike's ship. Finally, her eyes met his.

"What I did," she said slowly, "the way I lived, might have been wrong. It was definitely not legal. But that doesn't make what you did to me right. What I did, what I was, that was my choice, and you had no right to take that choice away from me."

"You deserved to be punished," Mike replied.

"By the law," Victoria retorted, "not by you. I always knew I could wind up in prison, if not dead." As she spoke, the thought of how close she'd just come to the second possibility made her shudder. "What I never expected was that someone would try what you did. You took my freedom, you took my choice, and you almost took who I am from me."

Turning away, she gazed at the viewscreen. "I was the best," she said softly. "That was all I ever wanted to be. I wanted people to know I was the best." Slowly, she shook her head. "But they didn't, did they? They didn't know it was me. The Phantom Fem was the best. Victoria Swann was just a name nobody had ever heard about."

For a moment, she fell silent. "Why," she finally said, "did you come for me?"

"Because he had you, and I knew..." Seeing Victoria shake her head, Mike fell silent.


"Because," Mike replied slowly, "I couldn't let him hurt you. Because when I saw he had you, I realized how much I love you."

"How much you..." Slowly, Victoria turned to face him. "I will not," she said, "have my ability to choose taken from me again. Whatever I do, it will be my choice, and mine alone. You will not interfere, and you will not try to take that ability from me ever again. Promise me that."

Mike nodded. "I promise. Now, are you ready to go home?"

"Freedom," Victoria whispered, moving toward him. "can mean so much more than just being free. It can also mean knowing that you have the things that matter most to you, even if you never knew how much they do matter. Security, safety, being wanted, needed." Pausing in front of him, she shook her head. "I can't go home."

"Why not?"

Victoria Swann smiled. "Because," she said, wrapping her arms around Mike's waist, "I'm already there."

Feeling Mike's arms close around her, Victoria closed her eyes, sighing softly. Here, she realized, was where she belonged. Here was a man who loved her, a man she now realized she loved in return. Here, she could be the best. And here, someone would know. Best friend, she thought, best woman, best lover, best....

"Now, Master," she said, leaning back and smiling into his eyes, "what are you going to do with Robert? And can your slave help?"

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