Captive of Love
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by Wendy Stone
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: The continuing story of the people of Daring Castle. Trace and Ryder, sons of Lord Damien and his Lady Raven, have been kidnapped along with their hunting party. Disappearing without a trace, they are spirited to another planet, this one run completely by women. Ryder has captured the eyes of a princess while Trace is made a gift to her General. Can the two men reconcile the changes in their situations or will they fight being Captives of Love?
eBook Publisher: Phaze, 2008
eBookwise Release Date: December 2008
9 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [276 KB]
Reading time: 177-248 min.
His head rolled against his shoulders, a loud moan coming from his lips as consciousness beckoned him with bright lights and noises whose meaning he didn't want to know. Opening his eyes, Ryder squinted, lifting his head to take his bearings.
His body hurt all over, a fact that he ignored for the moment as he took stock of his situation. And it wasn't good. He was naked. The chilly breeze blowing across his chest and loins discerned that fact quicker than his eyes did. His arms were pulled above his head, held securely so that his body was almost hanging by his wrists. His feet barely touched the ground, leaving him stretched in one long line.
Glancing around through the thick tangled locks of dark hair that fell in his face, he saw the rest of the men from the hunting party he'd headed. They were in similar or worse predicaments. Across from him, his older brother was strung up in the same manner, his chest crisscrossed with wide welts that bespoke of a beating from a belt.
"Trace?" he whispered huskily, his throat raw from thirst and disuse.
There was no movement, but Ryder took comfort in the rise and fall of his brother's chest.
"He's awake," said a decidedly feminine voice.
"Katrina will be pleased. She's been anxious over this one, though I told her his wounds were superficial. She's worried about him recovering from the drug."
Ryder turned, his eyes seeking the owners of the voices. Standing near the door, he found them and stared with shock. Two women, dressed as warriors with chain mail specially fitted to their trim and supple forms, stood staring back at him. Their eyes of gold seemed to almost gleam in the light. Helmets rested upon dark heads and their hands rested upon swords, sheathed for the moment.
"He finds us amazing, sister," one said, doffing her helmet and exposing intricately braided hair that hugged her head.
"As do most men, sister," the other woman answered, laughing and stroking a hand down the fitted mail of her armor.
"Too true. I should let Katrina know her new slave has awakened and is ready to begin his training. She'll wish to be present for the initiation." She started to push from the wall she leaned against when her sister stopped her.
"Katrina plans on doing all this one's training. She's taken a special interest. I think she means to keep him to herself."
Ryder had heard enough. His head hurt and for the life of him, he couldn't think of how they had gotten here. The last thing he remembered was leaving the hall, passing through the massive gates of his father's kingdom with Hunter, his favored hawk, on his arm.
"Release me!" he commanded in his most royal tone. His mother, Raven was a healer of her people, a Chee of the West, and royalty in that aspect. His father was Damien, Lord of Daring Castle and the surrounding areas. He was used to giving orders and being obeyed without question. He would take control now.
"Ah," the woman sat her helm down and strode forward to stand before Ryder, a smile upon her face. "The mighty one speaks."
Ryder became outraged at the laughter in her voice. No one but family was allowed to laugh at a son of the Lord. "Let me loose and you'll see just how mighty I am. Release me now and I might allow you to live when my father takes this place apart stone by stone."
"Your father has no idea where you are or how to find you, Ryder of Daring Castle." The other woman stepped forward, her voice less amused and more formal. "Nor will he know how to find you until Princess Katrina is ready for him to."
"How do you know who I am? Where in the hell am I?" He twisted against the heavy leather thongs that bound his wrists to the post above his head.
"I have known who you were for months, Ryder," another feminine voice said. He turned his head to watch the new woman walk towards him. She was dressed differently than the other two, in a gown of pale gold. Her body was curved and lush with breasts that strained against the fabric holding them bound. Her hair was loose, fiery red with deep highlights that drew his eyes like an insect to flame.
"Who are you?" he asked, more curious than anything else.
"She is your mistress, man," the last word spit as if it were the worst of curses. "Show some respect!"
Ryder jerked against his bindings as a blow slashed across his chest, leaving a bright red welt on his tanned skin. He glared at the woman holding the wide leather belt in her hands, not noting how the woman in the golden gown glared also, reacting as if she felt his pain.
"Hold!" she commanded. "He is mine to punish. You are not to touch him unless I order it so, Dahlia. Is that understood?"
The woman nodded, bowing before her. "Yes, Princess," she said.
"Good. Now release his bonds and take him to my chamber. I wish to get to know this pet of mine a bit better." Her green eyes, large and cat shaped, gazed at him, taking in every bit of his muscled form. From his mussed dark hair, which showed tiny highlights of red as the sun hit it, to the tips of his elegant feet. He was magnificent.
Katrina reached up, tracing a thin white scar that bisected his abdomen. It wasn't an old wound but it had healed nicely, the scar adding a touch of ruggedness to his masculine beauty. His eyes were amazing against his tawny tanned skin, a blue the color of the sea where it meets pale sand. A hint of green turned them turquoise, a color not found amongst her people. They flashed in anger now as she ran her hands across his body with a seeming familiarity he scarcely felt.
"You shall get used to my hands, pet. Before we are through, you shall even come to beg for my touch." She said it with a false bravado that had him narrowing his gaze at her. As if to prove her words, she let her palm lie flat against his hard lower stomach, stroking the line of hair that ran down from his navel to where it widen at his groin, brushing over the soft flesh of his cock.
It stirred against his will, twitching as if coming awake. Ryder jerked, trying to dislodge her hand from his body.
"I am no woman's pet," he hissed. That this woman could make him feel desire while tied naked to a post in the most humiliating of ways added anger and a surge of hatred to his tone.
"You doubt me now, Ryder of Daring Castle. But once you are trained, you shall become Ryder, favored pet of Princess Katrina, a high rank that many men would give one of these for." She reached out and cupped his balls, squeezing gently even as he tried once more to jerk away.
"Never. I will become no woman's slave." Ryder stopped moving as he felt her long, sharp nails against the sensitive skin of his scrotum. Even the threat of those nails couldn't prevent the heated look of disdain that he gave her. All thoughts of her beauty were obliterated by her overbearing and high handed manner.
Katrina laughed, though inside she felt a twinge of worry. He was big, larger than the men of her country. It would take every power and trick she knew to over power the will she saw shining in his eyes. It was that will that had first attracted her to him, watching him in her mother's Mirror of Seeing. He'd been another handsome man amid many handsome men in the courtyard outside the huge castle that was his home. Until she'd looked closer at those beautiful eyes watching him fight one after another of the men. He disarmed them all, until the last remaining opponent. The opponent was the one now tied across from him.
He was bigger, stronger than Ryder. He held his sword with a confidence that had seemed almost cocky. Ryder had smiled, despite the sweat that streaked his face and dripped to sting in his eyes. And fought him, refusing to back down despite his fatigue, until finally his brother's sword had knocked his away and he'd been forced to admit defeat.
He'd intrigued her that day. In the days that followed she watched him with his family, learning more and more. He'd become almost an obsession, albeit a secret one, for her family wouldn't have understood. She slowly released him, staring into his eyes with a small smile on her face.
"We shall see who shall win, Ryder." She turned away, feeling the tingle of his gaze against her back. "Take him carefully, for if he gets away, your men will take his place," she warned the two women, her voice almost purring. "And not in my bed, Dahlia. Your beloved Jarvis will find his way into the games if I find any damage upon his person. I expect him ready when I return."
Katrina turned and strode from the room, knowing that they, too, stared at her with dislike. She had enough of her mother in her to hold her shoulders back and her head proudly, allowing none of the fear and uncertainty she felt to show.
She passed through the wide expanse of hallways, the breezes cool as they rushed through the open windows that surrounded the rooms she walked by. It was growing warmer, but hadn't yet reached the debilitating heat of mid-afternoon. That was the time when all that could took shelter from the heat of the sun, which burnt with devastating effect upon the unwary. She wanted her duties done, her inspection of castle guard over and any lingering meetings finished well before that time. She wanted time with her new pet. Her first pet, and one that had her younger sisters drooling.
Just weeks before, her older sister had ruled the kingdom, leaving Katrina with no more responsibility than to decide upon what she would wear and what distraction would occupy her day. Then Kalina had fallen ill, a strange malady which had come upon her suddenly and with no discernable cure. She'd lain in her bed for days, tossing and turning feverishly while the castle healers had done everything they could.
Her body had withered as she had been unable to eat; her mind had shattered under the heat of the fever that had taken her. Ice and snow had been carted from the nearby mountains to try and cool the raging fire inside of her. Tinctures and potions had been brewed and given, teas and broths fed ruthlessly to the struggling woman. But all had been for naught. Kalina had died and left Katrina in control of a people who believed in power and strength in their women and submissive obedience in their men.
"I hope you're enjoying this," she whispered. "And I hope in whatever hell you've found yourself, Kalina, you're buried to your neck in nectar and have two Rangorian kittens licking at your feet for eternity for leaving me here as Princess."
"Princess Katrina?" A quizzical voice responded to her murmurings.
Katrina glanced down and noted the man who took brave glances at her out of the corner of his eye. He was in the proper position of respect that all men were trained at an early age to take, on his knees, his body curved in a pleasing arch, his face against the floor, hands held straight out in front of him. It was a position men took when confronted by the Princess or by their owner. If confronted by someone who was not either of those, the man was allowed to stay on his feet but must bow his head and never look at the woman directly.
Katrina hated it. She hated having these men throw themselves to the hard floor, hated watching them prostrate themselves at her feet. She sighed. It had been this way from the time of her mother's mother's mother's reign and would be that way after she'd died and left this plane of existence.
"Princess?" the man spoke again. His voice was low and a tremor of fear had entered it. Princess Kalina had been demanding and ruthless, hateful to some of the men, using them for her own perverted pleasures despite their belonging to others. She'd liked the belt, using it to degrade, not to discipline. Katrina hadn't been princess long enough for anyone to know what to expect of her.
"Yes," she said finally, waving a hand for him to rise.
He stood. He was dressed in a plain tunic of gold and silver stripes, devoid of any sign of a brand. It denoted his rank as castle slave and therefore belonging to the Princess. He was taller than she by a good head, his shoulders wide and strong. Dark blonde hair touched the neck of his tunic, hiding the thin leather collar. He kept his dark gold eyes averted, his head bowed. "May I do something for you, Princess?"
"No," Katrina said, distractedly, waving her hand at the man. He turned and was heading down the hallway the way she had come when she suddenly stopped him.
"Wait," she said, her eyes narrowing as he stopped immediately, bowing again.
"What is your name?"
"My name, Princess?" he asked, confusion in the swift glance he sent her way.
"Yes, you have one, do you not?"
"Yes, Princess. It is Lynar."
"Lynar? I've seen you here before, have I not?"
"Yes, Princess, I have served since your mother's reign. She took me herself from my home when I was but a boy." He glanced up at her again, his eyes flitting from her face to the floor.
"Do you like serving in the castle, Lynar?"
"W ... What, Princess?" His voice trembled in fear, for these questions were strange and not what he would expect.
Katrina sighed, hearing his fear and hating it as much as she hated the new role she was expected to play. She reached out, touching Lynar's chest with a gentle hand, trying to reassure him and herself at the same time with simple human contact.
"It is of no matter, Lynar. I expect I already know the answer to the question. Go ahead, be on your way." She dropped her hand as she felt the tiny tremor that shook his sturdy form.
"Thank you, Princess." He bowed his respect of her and turned once more, now hurrying as if expecting her to stop him again and ask more questions that he did not understand.