Read Bondmaiden Online

Authors: B.A. Bradbury

Tags: #chimera, #erotic, #ebook, #historical, #fiction, #domination, #submission, #damsel in distress, #corporal punishment, #spanking, #BDSM, #S&M, #bondage, #master, #discipline, #Slave, #mistress, #castle. Soldiers, #princess

Bondmaiden (22 page)

‘Nay, captain, you’ll spoil her with soft treatment,’ Tormod protested. ‘You should make her walk and beat her often.’

‘Aye,’ Hadwin chipped in, ‘and make her carry a load, too.’

The man stared at them as though they were halfwits. ‘Mules are for carrying loads,’ he said flatly. ‘Pretty girls are for fucking and for keeping a man warm at night.’

Without a further word the man gruffly spurred his horse and rode away, and Lia’s heart was aching as she watched them go, for somehow she knew she would never see her friend again.

Chapter Twenty-one

If Tilda’s fortunes were improved by the fall of the dice, Lia’s were most definitely worsened, for Hadwin insisted on sharing her with Tormod. So she now had two lashing her on with their knotted ropes once the journey resumed, and two to please during the noon break and again when they camped at night. She missed Tilda dreadfully, for Odetta was new and a little strange, though friendly enough for a foreigner.

That night they took her in turns, then after resting a while they took her together. Not far away Quinn was fucking Odetta, and elsewhere in the camp Attlander women were being subjected to similar treatment. Lia guessed that most of them would be sold when they reached their destination, for surely these soldiers had women waiting at home, and would have little need of a slave. She had mixed feelings about being sold, for though she would certainly be glad to see the back of her persecutors, there was no guarantee her new owner would be any less cruel. If the fates were unkind, he might even be worse!

The future was still foremost in her mind the next day as she trudged along behind the cart. They’d left the forest and were now in open country that reminded her painfully of home, with its gently rolling hills and tilled earth. She was left in peace for much of the morning, for Hadwin and Tormod stayed at the head of the company chatting to Zelig, though the sergeant did return just as they reached the outskirts of a village and gave her a spiteful, and completely unwarranted slap around the head.

‘Stop that!’ someone cried. ‘You there… stop that instantly!’ A short, tubby man wearing a brown priest’s robe came running out of the village chapel, his face furious. He snatched at the pony’s halter and the cart lurched to a halt. ‘How dare you treat this young woman in this fashion, and her one of God’s creatures? How dare you?’

Hadwin’s eyes narrowed dangerously. ‘Best mind you own business, father,’ he said. ‘She’s a slave taken lawfully in raid, and she’s mine to do with as I please.’

Others drew close and there were ominous mutterings. Tormod approached fingering his dagger and Lia held her breath, afraid for the little preacher. But it was soon clear he wasn’t in the least intimidated, for he flew into a violent rage, demanding her release and threatening to excommunicate the lot of them if they didn’t comply instantly.

‘You shall burn!’ he screamed, gesticulating wildly, his face red as a beetroot. ‘You shall roast in Satan’s fires for all eternity! Lord God, I pray thee give these sinners a sign! Show them the torment that awaits them in hell! Show them, Lord!’

All eyes turned heavenward, and though there was no sign that Lia could see, a miracle was achieved nonetheless. To her astonishment the men backed away rapidly, casting anxious looks at one another. Hadwin, no less cowed than the rest, fumbled the key from his pouch and hastily unlocked her chain. The priest stepped forward and seized her wrist, then dragged her back to the chapel at a run. Once inside he slammed the door shut then dragged her on with barely a pause, up the aisle and out through another door at the rear. Not far away was a small thatched hut, to which he took her, shutting the door and barring it. Only then did he release her and sink into a chair, red-faced still and panting.

‘Did I fool them, do you think?’ he asked, once he’d got his breath back.

‘F-fool them, father?’ she said uncertainly.

‘Indeed,’ he said, with a sly gleam in his eye. ‘The threat of hellfire usually does the trick, though not always. Those men aren’t quite the rogues they pretend to be. There’s marauders I’ve met in my time would have cut my throat and laughed as they did it rather than hand over a juicy little strumpet like you.’

She didn’t know what to make of the priest – if indeed he was a priest, which she was starting to doubt. He looked like one, but he certainly didn’t talk like any priest she’d ever met. She glanced around the small room, which was simply furnished with bed, table, stool and the chair the priest was sitting on. The whitewashed walls were unadorned apart from a plain wooden crucifix and a rushlight holder by the door. At the back of the room was a curtained alcove.

‘Are you hungry?’ he asked suddenly, jumping to his feet. ‘I enjoy fighting the good fight, but I’m always ravenous afterwards.’

He drew back the curtain to reveal a small larder from which he fetched out a platter of cold meat, cheese and bread which he set on the table, then returned for a wineskin and two wooden beakers.

‘Sit,’ he said, indicating the stool. ‘Eat. I’m Father Ellard, incidentally. What’s your name?’

Lia told him, and he nodded. They ate in silence. He poured wine for them both, and held up his beaker for a toast.

‘To your freedom, my dear,’ he said cheerfully. ‘What will you do now?’

Lia hadn’t even begun to think on such matters. It would take many days to reach her homeland, and there seemed no way she could return to Attland safely. A young woman alone on the road would be prey to every rogue and ruffian she met, especially a foreigner like herself. She would find herself back in chains before she knew it. ‘I don’t… I…’

Father Ellard smiled sympathetically. ‘Perhaps you’d care to stay here with me for a while, as my housekeeper? I had one before, but she took up with a soldier and went off to war as a camp follower.’

‘Thank you, father,’ Lia said with relief. ‘I’d like that very much.’

‘It’s settled then. The first thing we must do is see to your wounds… no, the
first thing we must do is get you bathed. Follow me.’

He took her around the back of the hut to a lean-to shelter, beneath which was a big tub. Firewood was stacked against the wall, and Father Ellard lit a fire and put on a pot of water to boil. While they were waiting he asked her about her home and family, and she ended up recounting her adventures. As her tale unfolded he tutted and shook his head at the wickedness of men, and when she’d finished he patted her shoulder.

‘You’re a brave and resourceful young lady,’ he said. ‘I’m happy that I was able to be of service to you.’

The pot was boiling now, so he mixed hot water and cold in a bucket, and told Lia to climb into the tub. He found her soap and a washcloth, then poured warm water over her in a steady trickle while she washed herself. She hadn’t realised just how many wheals and cuts and scratches and fading mosquito bites she possessed, until the soap sought them out and she gasped at the stings. Father Ellard washed her back and her hair, then helped her from the tub. He patted her with a square of linen to dry her off, then took her into the hut and told her to lie face down on the bed.

‘Soothing balm,’ he said, producing a small pot of creamy white paste, ‘prepared by an old crone who lives in the forest just a short distance from here. The villagers are forever wanting to burn her as a witch, but I won’t allow it.’

He gently spread balm on her wounds, from her neck all the way down to her ankles, but most especially on her buttocks and in and around her much-abused anus. She sighed contentedly as the aches and pains ebbed slowly away. He turned her over and treated her front in a similar fashion, spending longer, especially on her breasts. Lia said nothing, however, revelling instead in the luxury of freedom from pain. He took longer still on her sex lips, rubbing the balm in thoroughly with his fingertips, treating her labia, then her clitoris. As he soothed that sensitive nub she began to moan, and though she tried her hardest, she was unable to keep her hips still.

‘Does this give you pleasure, my child?’ he murmured.

‘Yes father,’ she whispered guiltily. ‘Is it sinful that it should?’

‘There are some who say it is a sin, but for myself I cannot see it so, for God made us the way we are, able to experience pleasure as well as pain. The sin, it seems to me, is to challenge the wisdom of His creation and deny ourselves that pleasure.’

He said nothing more for a while, and soon Lia felt her climax approaching. She spread her legs, and Father Ellard covered and mounted her, as she suspected he would. Within the folds of his gown he was erect, and he craftily penetrated her, thrusting rapidly, almost desperately, and in a very short time he ejaculated into her. She thought that probably he hadn’t had many women in his life – it was even possible she was the first – so she hugged him affectionately, savouring the gentle human contact. But to her dismay and confusion he tore himself away and rolled onto the floor.

‘Weak,’ he moaned, holding his head in his hands. ‘I am weak! The devil tempts me with soft flesh and I yield.’

‘Father…?’ Lia said anxiously.

‘You must be cleansed,’ he wailed. ‘It is not your fault, child, but you must be cleansed, for the good of your body as well as your soul!’

He hurried to the larder and returned with a stone bottle and a cloth. He poured liquid onto the cloth and swabbed between her legs. A fiery pain engulfed her and she screamed. The acrid smell that filled her nostrils told her it was no more than vinegar, but to abused flesh it burned like acid. She tried to push him away but he was a man possessed with the strength of ten. He shoved the neck of the bottle into her vagina and upended it, and fresh agony swept through her. Finally he desisted and ran out of the hut, wailing that he had to pray for both their souls. Lia remained on the bed, sobbing, her knees drawn up and her hands pressed between her thighs.

Father Ellard didn’t speak of the incident when he returned from the chapel, nor in the days that followed. He was friendly enough, and Lia soon settled into the new routine, cooking his food and cleaning the hut and the chapel, sweeping the floors and scattering fresh straw, and dusting the pulpit and pews. She ventured no further than the well in the square, for the villagers gave her suspicious looks and whispered behind her back – perhaps because she was a foreigner, or possibly it was her clothing. Father Ellard had given her a smock to wear, though she guessed it had once belonged to a child, for it was very snug about her breasts and hips, and reached barely halfway down her thighs.

Still, she was tolerably happy, and certainly most thankful to be out of the soldiers’ clutches. She slept on a pile of straw in the lean-to, and one night, a week or so after her arrival, she heard a noise and turned to see a shadow looming over her.

‘Do not be afraid, my child,’ he murmured as she shrank back in alarm.

Father Ellard joined her under the blanket and was soon running his hands over her, and his lips also. He sucked her nipples, then moved lower to lick her sex, so expertly that she was obliged to revise her opinion on how many women he had lain with. He brought her to a shuddering climax in this way, and when she’d rested she repaid him in kind, sucking his cock slowly, delaying his orgasm for as long as possible. He eventually erupted in her mouth, she kept him there and drank him dry, and wasn’t altogether surprised when he began to berate himself for his weakness.

‘Be still, father,’ she said sadly, rising from the straw mattress. ‘Be still. I’ll fetch the vinegar.’

Chapter Twenty-two

Two days later Father Ellard received word that Bishop Lothar would be passing through the village on his way south. It threw him into a panic for, as he explained to Lia, the bishop, though a most devout man, was something of a tyrant and an absolute stickler for detail. The chapel was cleaned from top to bottom and all the woodwork polished with beeswax and buffed until it shone. Father Ellard’s robe was washed and the frayed edges stitched, and the hut made spic and span, for the bishop would break his journey in the village and would naturally wish to sleep under a roof.

Bishop Lothar arrived the very next day on a two-wheeled cart drawn by a mule. The beast was led by the tallest man Lia had ever set eyes upon, with huge hands and feet and a massive frame. He was a monk by the name of Bruno, and he carried a stout oak staff as tall as himself. They were informed that he was the bishop’s clerk, servant and bodyguard all rolled into one.

‘A man of God, even one of such high renown as myself, has need of a personal guard in these evil times,’ the bishop explained as he stretched his limbs after clambering down from the cart, ‘and who better than a fellow servant of the Lord? The countryside may be full of thieves and cutthroats, but one look at brother Bruno here and that staff of his, and even the fiercest scoundrel will think twice about molesting us.’

He looked down his thin nose at Lia, and Father Ellard hastily explained her presence and the manner of her arrival in the village. Though somewhat severe and proud in his bearing, the bishop certainly seemed a pious man, for after the introductions he went straight to the chapel where he remained on his knees in silent prayer for quite some time. After that he returned to Ellard’s hut and demanded a meal, which Lia duly cooked and served.

‘It is a strange coincidence that your housekeeper is newly arrived from Attland,’ he said as he ate, ‘for I travel to that country even now. Though I cannot disclose the details of my mission, suffice it to say I carry important dispatches from no less a person than Archbishop Agramant.

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