“As long as there’s a spark of life in me, I will not rest until this race is erased from the face of our galaxy,” April had sworn. But what will happen to this oath if the extraterrestrial invaders are needed as allies against a danger much more horrifying? First, the Lionhearts must put the puzzle pieces together and find out who’s really fighting in this war and what they’re after.
My mission was busted. I could have caused carnage, and perhaps I could have fought my way out, but that way, I’d have ultimately discarded the chance to find out anything here. No, I had no other choice but to give up. So I spread my open hands to the sides and very slowly turned around with an apologetic smile.
Facing me, still on the other side of the kitchen table, I saw a grim looking man in elaborately decorated leather clothes with a sword belt around his hips. Scanty hair and wrinkled face gave witness to his age, but his body was strong and his stance straight. His appearance and voice were confident and used to command. This had to be the Prince.
He insinuated a nod. “And who do I have the honor to meet?”
“Arne. You wanted to talk to me?”
“Later.” On his sign, two armed guards followed through the kitchen door and pushed their way past him, came around the table, and took me in their midst. Without resistance, I let them disarm me.
“Search him,” the Prince ordered.
He remained silent while his men diligently executed their task. Mentally, I prepared myself for what inevitably had to follow. Indeed, soon one of them felt my female shape. “Your Highness—it’s a girl!”
“What?” the addressed called out. “Down with the leather!”
Again I didn’t fight when they relieved me of the robust clothes—doublet, boots and pants—that hid my shape. Without a specific command they also removed the woolen underwear, and I was standing naked among them. All three grinned.
“Lock her up in the stable,” the Prince ordered. “Until tonight she’s yours.”
Ouch. His men’s even wider grin didn’t promise any good. Obviously, he just had given them carte blanche to rape me.
They dragged me—naked as I was—over to the stable and pushed me into an empty horse box, where they threw me down on my back. One held me, the other first tied my hands over my head and then to a column. Then he fetched two more rough ropes and tied one each around my ankles. I wasn’t surprised when he attached both ropes to opposite columns, thus forcing my legs into a wide split.
I don’t need to describe what followed next. At least I was lucky that the Prince wanted to have me for himself in the evening, so both did without hurting me more than necessary. I wasn’t spared from their beating, though.
In between, they left me for a while to fetch something to eat and drink. I didn’t get anything, and when they returned, they tied me face-down over a cross beam to then abuse me from behind.
No, this was not a particularly nice day for me. Nevertheless, I registered the group with Joakim arriving, their horses being brought to the stable, the end of the firefighting, and the people returning to their work. I remained silent to not give my presence away—that would only have caused more of the Prince’s men to seek their pleasure at my cost. This way, my pain was limited to the stamina of the two guards to whom I had been assigned.