Prisoner of the Island [Celeste's Captivity VI]
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by Terri Pray
Category: Erotica/BDSM Erotica
Description: Fate Passed Her From Master to Master! Two men had, in turn, captured and enslave her, teaching her obedience with pain and humiliation. But one of them did it with contempt and disdain for her; the other because it was the only we he knew to express his love for her. Now the three of them were shipwrecked on and island, and she had been taken captive by its sadistic ruler who planned to break her to his will and slay her two lovers.
eBook Publisher: Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions,
eBookwise Release Date: April 2008
7 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [135 KB]
Reading time: 90-127 min.
Salt water slapped against the side of the ship as it moved through the waves toward the distant island. Her stomach no longer rolled with the constant movement of the vessel, or the smells of the ocean, the ship and the sailors combined. Celeste leaned against the railing, letting her gaze wander over the waves as she listened to the noise of the sailors. They'd even come to accept her presence on the ship, which had eased her passage here, and some of them had approached her about services. A slight smile touched her lips, at least they'd accepted that she would not serve them in bed, but they hadn't been looking for that.
They'd wanted to taste pain. To experience the delights between pain and pleasure. Surrender themselves to her control. Her touch. Her world.
Celeste sighed and closed her eyes. Would the rest of her life be forever ruled by the skills she had learned from two men that most would count as evil? The very thought left her torn. Walking away from their legacy would not be easy and the situation ahead of her demanded that she recall everything she'd experienced under their hands in intimate detail.
At least her time with both Davien and Tearlach had taught her how to dominate others, and the small time with that woman in the party, the night she had escaped Davien, had helped with her education. Shaun had also helped. The Captain had shown himself to be a good man and she'd become used to the easy companionship they had shared.
But neither of them were under any illusions. It wasn't love. Just an easy companionship that worked well for the trip. One she would regret leaving behind, but it wouldn't leave her heartbroken either. Shaun's first love was the sea, his second the ship and his work. He'd made that clear enough to her and she could accept that well enough. She hadn't been looking for anything else but a way out, passage through to the island and away from Tearlach.
Tearlach and Davien. God. What had she done to deserve ever finding herself in the grip of those two men? She hadn't gone out of her way to find men like that, they'd just stumbled into her life. One had stolen her from the safety and innocence of her life in Ireland. The other--had proven legends were never to be trusted. Tearlach. His betrayal of her dreams. She'd never fully recover from that and it would be her own fault. And now she had been forced to flee half way around Europe to an island where she may, or may not, be welcomed depending on how the ruler of the island treated her.
Shaun had taken his time to explain that things were handled in a very strange way there. That the island welcomed dominants and submissives alike, but if she wanted to remain free, and not end up collared to the island as a slave that anyone could use, she would have to be strong and not show any public form of submission. Her time on the ship had earned her enough money that she would enter with some funds, and Shaun had also taught her how to expand her knowledge of herbs so she would be able to use that as a way of earning her keep on the island. But he couldn't tell her if she would be accepted by those who called the island home or not.
She would have a lot of explaining to do on just how she had learned to dominate people if they ever discovered her background. But if she kept quiet. If she didn't speak of her past. Then she would be able to prevent the questions that would otherwise follow her through life.
"You'll be safe enough soon, Celeste. Tearlach won't track you down, not with any ease. By the time I return to England it will be too late for him to do anything about it and he won't be able to cause me problems. He thinks he's a big fish. He's not. Just a blustering fool."
Celeste couldn't help but smile. If nothing else the time away, on the ship, had also given her time to reflect on what had happened between herself and the two men. A Lord and a Highwayman. Right out of a bard's tale. No one would have believed it could happen like this. She just wasn't the sort of woman to normally be caught up in such a series of fantastical events.
"He might find a way to come after me. He doesn't give up easily. Neither of them do. Davien is searching for me even now, I know it in my heart. And I can only hope he doesn't find a way to track me down." Would they walk away from her if they had the chance? No, she didn't believe they would. "Tearlach will be furious I've escaped from him. Perhaps Blue will distract him, but not for long. He'll take my escape as a personal affront to his manhood and that will eat away at him."
"It's a possibility, but I doubt it. Why would they follow you across Europe, Celeste? You're a beautiful woman, but why spend so much time and money to track one woman down? There are others. Women who are on their doorstep. It wouldn't make sense to me."
"Revenge. You're not like them, Shaun. Not when it comes to women at least. You wouldn't keep a woman against her wishes, no matter what the cost to your pride." She murmured, the words caught by the wind, almost tugged from her lips as soon as she had given them life. "They don't like someone walking away from them if they believe that person belongs to them. And I broke free from not one man, but two. They won't like it. It's not in their nature."
Shaun gave her a hard look and then nodded. "You might be right. But they won't be able to trace you through me. I'm not about to betray you, Celeste. They will be offering some large sums of money so I cannot vouch for my crew. One or two of them might be tempted by the reward and not think of the harm it might cause you."
"Even if you told them or another member of your crew did, it wouldn't matter. I'll be on the island. What are they going to do, demand that I'm handed over?" She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. "I can't see that sort of heavy handed tactic going over too well with most people, can you?"
"No, you're more than likely right. But it doesn't mean I have to give someone a hand in finding you, does it?" Shaun flashed an easy grin. "Ah, lass, you'll be fine. Sure the island has a bad reputation, but I'll escort you to the great house there, and put you in front of Jamezen myself. He needs the trade I bring in, so that will help you out, I think. Unless you do something to break the laws of the island, you should be fine. Protected even. Female dominants are rare, so Jamezen would not be willing to see one taken, by force, from his home. Not when he has a taste for submission himself on occasions."
Jamezen. That was an odd name, but she'd heard it mentioned a couple of times. The Lord of the Isle. A man of strange tastes but he at least offered a form of sanctuary to those seeking it, just as long as they played within the rules that he laid down. The stories that Shaun had told her were disturbing in places, but it was still a better option than returning to England where she might end up back in Davien's hands or Tearlach's once again.
"What sort of goods does he need from you?"
"Wine, chocolate, coffee, teas, all sorts of bits and pieces. Leather, lace, velvet, they need a lot of the basics there. Brandy and whiskey are other items I bring in. Some of their goods, the fresh foods that they don't grow or prepare on the island, they trade from France and Spain. But the rest of the trade items come in from people like me."
Celeste nodded, shivering as a fresh spray of water hit the railing and splattered against her face. She was almost sad that the trip would come to an end, but as much as Shaun enjoyed her presence on the ship life at sea was no place for a woman. Or so he had told her. It didn't stop her from wishing things were different though.
"You'll be sad when the trip is over, lass?" Shaun spoke softly and leaned over, touching her hand. "Aye, I can see it in your eyes. You like it out here, on the ocean. It took you a few days to get your sea legs, but now you're thinking what it will be like on the land again. Away from all this. Well, lass. I'll let you in on a little secret. If the ocean has won your heart she'll never give you up. Not entirely. She sinks her hooks in so far and so deep that you can never shake her off. She claims you. In every single way imaginable."
Celeste smiled at the words. It made sense. There was something about the way the ocean called to her. A way she felt relaxed here and at peace. Would that be gone when she returned to the land?
"I never thought that it would feel so welcoming out here."
"It's the lure of a seductive mistress." He stood back up and turned, pressing his back against the railing. "But she will give you time to come to a decision on what you want to do."
Celeste nodded and pushed away from the railing and took a step away from it. The ship moved beneath her feet. This was what she had become used to, the fresh air, the smell of the salt water, the sounds of the wood creaking as the ship cut through the waves.
The island and Jamezen lay ahead of her and just what would happen there, was anyone's guess. * * * *
The ship docked in the early hours of the following morning and by the time Celeste was awake and dressed the majority of the trade goods had been already taken ashore. With her heart alternating between her throat and the pit of her stomach, Celeste met Shaun on the deck and slipped her arm into his, permitting him to escort her ashore. More than a few of the sailors were sorry to see her go and she couldn't help the sadness that grew in the knowledge that she was leaving the ship, never to return.
"Have faith, Celeste." Shaun patted her arm gently. "If I think you will be in any danger then I will not leave you here. You have my word on that."
She didn't doubt that. Shaun was a good man and she knew he'd take her away from the island at the first sign of trouble. But if things turned nasty after he left then where would she be?
No, she didn't need to think like that. It would work out. Davien wasn't here. Tearlach wasn't here. She had nothing to fear. She was safe. They wouldn't be able to find her here.
The warm breeze that caressed the island added to the change in temperature that she would need to get used to. The trees were different here as well, she didn't even recognize most of them. She'd have time to learn though, or so she hoped. Celeste took a deep breath and tried to steady her nerves, but her stomach knotted in an endless cycle of butterflies, snakes and nerves.
God, what was she getting herself into this time?
A long, well-tended path led away from the docks up the steep slope towards a castle like structure. The manor house had more fortifications than she thought possible and still not be an active military base. How many guards where there? She counted more than twenty even as she walked along side of Shaun toward the main gates.
"There's nothing to be afraid of."
"Easy for you to say." She tried to flash a smile instead of the stark fear she knew ate away at the lining of her stomach. "You're not the one hoping they will give you a room and a place to live for a while."
"True enough there, but you're a pretty enough wench and I hear he has a weakness for such."
That didn't exactly thrill Celeste. Men who had a weakness for pretty women often went out of their way to claim them against their wishes, or so she had seen. It wasn't something she wanted to have to deal with. No. This wasn't going to turn out to be the disaster of pain and humiliation that being with either Tearlach or Davien had been.
Davien. Even now she could feel his presence buried deep within her soul. Would she never be free of the man and his perverted version of love? Not unless she found a way to wipe him free of her soul. And she would find a way, eventually, she had to if she wanted to remain sane. He would dig his way under her skin, even with not being there, and she'd pay for it. No. She wasn't about to let that happen. This island, and those here, offered her a chance to escape from the world of Davien and his ilk.
Or at least just from him.
Shaun had warned her what to expect when she entered the castle, or fortress as apparently the owner called it, but that still didn't stop the sights from hitting her hard. As the large double gates were opened to let Shaun and Celeste in, the first thing she saw was a naked slave girl tied to a whipping post in the center of the courtyard. There wasn't a stitch of clothing on the woman, only a heavy iron collar locked about her neck and manacles about her wrists that held her against the wooden pole.
A man, wearing what looked like the uniform of the guards, stood behind her, wielding a single tail whip. The woman screamed, begging for mercy, and he hadn't, as yet, touched her with the whip itself. Had she felt it before so knew what was coming? Or did she hope that, by screaming and pleading, he would change his mind and not beat her?
"Ignore it and walk past. She's a slave being punished." Shaun leaned in to explain things. "If you show pity for her it will only cast your own status into doubt."
Celeste nodded and turned her attention elsewhere. Anywhere but the naked and sobbing woman. Focus. She could and would focus. She had to. This was the only chance she had to find a new life, away from him.
"Ah, Captain. It's good to see you again." A woman's voice broke through Celeste's thoughts as they entered the lead in to the great hall. "And who is this lovely creature you've brought with you?"
Celeste's skin crawled as she turned to look at the woman.
"Celeste is hoping to find a home here, Danielle," Shaun explained, his voice calm.
"I see. Well, she'll make a cute slave, but isn't she a little overdressed?"
"I am no slave, Danielle." Celeste turned the full force of her ice-touched voice on the woman. She arched one delicate eyebrow and fixed her cool gaze on Danielle. "If you think otherwise then I suggest you look again. I am not the sort of woman to bend her knee to you, or anyone else."
"That is in Jamezen's hands, no one else. And you'd look pretty, stripped at my feet. I'm sure that's where you belong." Danielle's hands clenched at her sides. "Shaun, tell this woman to watch her tongue before she finds herself gagged."
"Something wrong, Danielle? Or have you forgotten that I'm not the type of man to give into orders either?" Shaun let out a low growl.
"Oh, you--you beast!" Danielle lifted one hand, ready to strike. "You ill conceived dockland scum!"
"If you're going to hit me, you'd better make sure you do it correctly, my lady." Shaun caught the woman's wrist. "Because I am in no mood to banter with a foul mouthed wench who is busy pouting because Jamezen has a new favorite. Ah, yes, I know about that. Those down at the docks could hardly keep the news to themselves. Danielle. Queen of the Island, overthrown for a red headed Irish lass who is said, even now, to be on her way here? Is that why you take an instant dislike to Celeste here, because of her accent?"
"She's nothing more than a new fancy Jamezen has. He'll tire of her within a few weeks of her arrival and I'll be back in favor."
"Are you so sure, it's said he dallied with the woman during his visits to London. And knew her in Ireland." Shaun smirked as he baited the woman. "Behave, Danielle, or you and I will have words again in a way you will never forget."
Danielle paled and pulled her wrist free of Shaun's grasp. "Don't push me, Captain. You're a guest here, not a citizen. He will not take kindly to how you're treating me."
"And he won't be impressed by you threatening to disrupt his supply of wine, chocolate and other goods. There aren't that many ships willing to approach the island as well you should remember." Shaun laughed and shook his head before he settled Celeste's arm back through his. "Now be on your way, wench, before I teach you a lesson you will never forget."
Danielle stammered, her eyes wide as she backed away from Shaun. Then her pretty lips twisted into a snarl, her eyes flashed with sheer fury and she turned, stalking away from them both.
"Now that is a woman with a temper." Shaun shook his head and continued to lead the way down the lushly decorated wide hall. "She can be dangerous though. So watch your back. She's been known to lay out traps to deal with women she has a problem with. Men she just tries to get into bed and persuade that way. Sometimes it works, on rare occasions it doesn't." Shaun stopped in front of a large, wooden door, bound with black iron.
The hallway had been decorated with expensive carpets, tapestries and rugs. Paintings had been placed on the wall, and lamps flickered along the stone walls. Whoever ran this place, this Jamezen, he didn't believe in skimping on even the decorations. But where did this type of money come from?
Did they sell out the services of the slaves to visitors? That would be one way of making some money for the island and those who lived here. Now she would have to face the man behind all of this, face him and persuade him that she belonged here as a free woman, not as a piece of meat to be handed out as a toy to anyone who would be interested.
She took a deep breath and lifted her chin. Her jaw tightened. She focused, bringing the ice shield down into place. She could do this. She had to.
Shaun pushed the door open. "Trust me lass, it will all be well."
What other choice did she have?
The large room played host to over thirty people. Women dressed in expensive dresses that were a little too revealing for Celeste's comfort. The men weren't much better either. They way they looked at her left her feeling as though her skin was crawling, her body stripped for their pleasure, despite the way she was obviously dressed. Did they think she was another slave for their use?
Well, if they did, they were wrong. She wasn't about to let them get anywhere near her. She wouldn't be a slave again. Not even if her life depended on it.
The man at the head of the room looked sharply at Shaun. He sat on a raised dais that overlooked the room. His washed out grey eyes narrowed as he watched them walk through the room. Jamezen, it had to be. He was dressed far more expensively than anyone else in the room, and the chair he sat on, at the head of the room confirmed his position over those within.
"Captain, it's good to see you again, but who is this darling creature on your arm?" His voice dripped with insincere affection. "A pretty little thing indeed. Have you brought us a new guest, or something more interesting?"
"Celestial Blue is a dear friend of mine, Jamezen. She's in need of a new home and I thought that you might welcome her here." Shaun led her through the crowd to the foot of the dais. "I am hoping you will let her live here, she has skills that will be useful, and she is a dominant."
"Is she now?" Jamezen leaned back in his chair, his gaze snaking over her body. "She looks the part, but is it an act, or something she truly is?"
"She is a dominant as many of the men on my ship found out. She'd make a good addition to the island, Jamezen. She has some skills with herb lore. A skill I know you need here on the island." Shaun nodded a polite greeting to the man on the dais. "And she has funds enough to keep her bills paid until she has managed to set up shop here."
Jamezen didn't say a word for a few minutes as he let his gaze moved over Celeste's body again. Her skin crawled. There was something cold about this man. Something that warned her to stay away. But where else could she go?
"So, Miss Blue, what makes you think that you would find a place here, on my Island?" Jamezen leaned forward. "You look pleasant enough company, but you might not find the ways of our home so welcoming once you see just how we run this place. As you might have witnessed on your way in, we are less than gentle with those who are slaves here."
"Slaves need to be kept under strict discipline, Sir. If they are given any slack they will find a way to cause problems or escape." Celeste met his gaze calmly. If nothing else she knew just how much a slave could get away with if give half a chance to do so.
"I see. So the sight of the slave being whipped?"
"Didn't bother me." She gave a slight shrug. "Why would it?"
"Interesting." He nodded and leaned back in his chair. "Unusual for a woman to not be affected in some way."
"Celeste is an unusual woman, Jamezen. She had some of my men ready to beg her to stay on the ship." Shaun took a step forward, his smile an easy one. "I will be sorry to see her go, but a ship is no place for a woman to call home."
"It can be, depending on the woman. But few have the courage to allow a woman to join them full time." The ruler of the island stood up and walked down the steps of the dais. "Well then, Celestial Blue, are you willing to abide by the laws of the island?"
"That I don't know, as yet."
"I'm not about to agree to abide by laws I haven't, as yet, read."