Bracelets 4 Foxes

by Van ©2012

Chapter 8

Dramatis Personæ

Our story continues.

Rory sat... and waited... and worried.

Her concern, of course, was about what Fiona was going to do to her when she returned—specifically, what she was going to do to her bare, naked, vulnerable feet.  Helpless in her captor's form-fitting and tightly strapped straitjacket—her butt squirming atop a neatly folded and scratchy wool blanket—her mouth filled and propped open by the "Fat Spider" gag—and the aforementioned bare, naked, and vulnerable feet locked in a set of heavy timber stocks—all Rory could do was wait... and worry.

Finally, after something like five minutes, the door opened and Fiona made her entrance.  A sloshing wooden bucket was in her left hand, a small suitcase in her right, and a towel was draped around her neck.  She walked to Rory, specifically, to the side of the stocks with the wiggling toes and vulnerable feet, and set down the bucket and suitcase.  "First of all," she said, "let's get these tootsies squeaky clean."

"Nrrrf!"  Rory knew her expected role was that of the Brave, Feisty Damsel.  Gagged whining and a piteous, begging pout were completely out of character (and wouldn't do her any good), but she couldn't help it.  "Nrrrf!"

"Courage, Princess," Fiona chuckled, then sat cross-legged, reached into the bucket, and produced a scrub-brush.

Rory stared at the brush in horror.  It was dripping with suds and she knew what was coming!  "Mrpfh!"

Fiona smiled and began scrubbing Rory's left foot.

"Mfff!"  The brush wasn't nearly as stiff or rough as Rory feared it might be—Thank God!—but it tickled!  It tickled a lot!  "Mrrpfh!"

Fiona dunked the brush back in the bucket, then scrubbed Rory's right foot.

"Nrrrrrf!"  Yes, the brush was soft, which was much better that stiff, but the soapy water was cold!  Rory wiggled her toes and fought the straitjacket.  Her heart was pounding and her breath whistling through the hole in the Fat Spider.

"Alright, then," Fiona purred, returned the brush to the bucket, then lifted the towel from her neck and dried Rory's feet.  "Just look at those pretty, pink, wiggling piggies," she giggled.

Rory still couldn't muster the expected Brave Damsel stare.  She knew this was only the beginning.

Fiona opened the suitcase and began rummaging inside.  The stocks were in the way and Rory couldn't see much of what was happening, but then, Fiona lifted a stainless steel something into view and began clamping it to the top of the stocks.  It was some sort of framework, a metal arch with ten tiny eye-bolts evenly spaced along its underside.  It leaned out over the far side of the stocks, above Rory's feet.  "Mrrf."

And now, Fiona was tightening something around Rory's right big toe!  Rory watched her thread the end of a length of cord through one of the framework's eye-bolts—"Mfffh"—pull out the slack, and tie a knot.  It looked like the same kind of cord Fiona had used to bind her thumbs and big toes for the second trial.

Her lips curled in a gloating, highly irritating, sinister smile, Fiona worked her way down Rory's toes.  Soon, ten taut lengths of cord formed a fan, linking Rory's toes to the frame.  Fiona produced a pair of scissors and went down the line, snipping off the free ends of the cords.  "There, " she sighed.  "It's like a pretty little harp."  She focused on Rory's worried face.  "Okay, yesterday you learned about 'strappado'.  Today's vocabulary word is 'bastinado'."  She produced a tapered wooden rod about eighteen inches in length.  "Do you know it?  Bastinado?"

Rory shook her head, all the while staring at the rod.

"Another torture of the Holy Inquisition," Fiona lectured.  "A stick or cudgel—"

"M'mmpfh!"  Fiona had used the blunt tip of the rod to lightly trace the length of Rory's tautly stretched right sole.

"—is used to beat the soles of the victim's feet."  Fiona's smile was absolutely evil.  "That's the simple definition, but in practice, the torturers would start with light taps from something thin."  She flourished the rod.  "Like this.  They'd slooowly increase the tempo and force, switch to a bigger stick, slooowly increase the tempo and force, again, then switch to a bigger stick.  The final result would be a pair of black and blue feet.  The pain is said to be beyond description."

Rory's eyes were wide with horror.

Fiona laughed and let the rod fall from her fingers.  "Oh, c'mon Ginger-Fox.  You know I wouldn't do that to you."  Still smiling, she reached down and this time produced a feather.  "That would be torture."

"Nrrrf!"  Now Rory was staring at the feather.  It was a white quill, probably from the wing of a turkey or goose, about eight inches in length with a tapered tip.

Fiona reached back into the suitcase (Rory assumed) and pulled out a sand-glass.  It was less than an hourglass but more than an egg timer.  Fiona set it on the top timber, next to one end of the "toe-harp" frame, then began spinning the feather between her fingers.  "Okay, Initiate, here's how the rest of your day is going to go."

Rory's blue eyes followed the fluttering shaft with dread.

"I'm going to tickle your tootsies for the duration of the glass," she continued.  "Then, I'll go upstairs, do a few chores, maybe read a chapter of a good book, putter in the garden, whatever.  After a while, I'll come back, turn the glass, and tickle your feet, again.  And that will continue 'til sometime late this afternoon."  She met Rory's staring eyes.  "There's nothing you can do about it, and I won't be letting you off the hook this time.  That's the point of level two, Initiate, to see if you can take being bound and gagged when you really don't want to be bound and gagged.  Yesterday was predicament bondage, and I went easy on you.  Today... not so much."

Rory steeled herself for what she knew was coming.  The prospect of prolonged and repeated tickle-torture was terrifying.  But... how bad can it be?  Rory really wanted to pass her trials and prove she was worthy of joining the club, to earn the Whelan sisters' respect.  How bad can it be?

"Okay, Ginger-Fox."  Fiona lifted the glass, turned it over, and set it back down.  "Here we go."

Rory watched the sand drain from the top chamber into the bottom. "Mrrrf!"  The feather was tracing the length of her right sole!  Bad!  It's gonna be bad!  Now, the feather's tip was fluttering between her pinioned toes.

Rory squirmed and screamed through her gag.  "Nrrrr!"  The repeated, continuous, lambent caress of the feather was sending waves of titillating sensations through the stretched skin of her feet.  Just when Rory thought her poor, suffering toes or the arch of her sole or the smooth, rounded sides of her feet couldn't take any more, Fiona would direct her efforts to a different region, or to the other foot.  And she switched from the blade of the quill to the blunt tip at the other end!  First, she lightly traced Rory's left sole, and then her right.  Rory shuddered in distress and screamed, again.  "M'mpfh!"  The tickle-torture went on and on, and more than half the sand in the glass was still in the upper chamber!

Fiona listened to Rory's gagged, gurgling distress, and continued tickling her feet.  "It's a lot of fun being bad," she muttered under her breath, and shifted her attention from Rory's right foot to her left.

4 Foxes
Chapter 8

Fiona and Rory were back in the sauna.  Half an hour had passed since the conclusion of the last tickle session and it was still an hour before Caitlin should be arriving home from work.  They'd learned their lesson yesterday and were conversing in near whispers.

'Well, you passed trial five, Ginger-Fox," Fiona said.  "One trial to go."

"You're an evil, evil person," Rory huffed.  "You know that, don't you?"

They were sitting on opposite sides of the sauna with their backs against the cedar walls, knees bent, feet flat on their respective benches, with their arms around their legs.  Their naked bodies were flushed and dripping with sweat.

Fiona roused herself and poured a ladle of water on the lava rocks—Hisssss—then sat back down.  "It's an acquired skill," she chuckled.  "Being evil, I mean.  My natural inclination is to be gentle and kind.  It takes time to develop the proper attitude, to mold the playful kitten into a prowling lioness.  Anyway, a torturer's gotta do what a torturer's gotta do."

"Hah!"  Rory straightened her legs, stretched, then reclined on her back, full-length, with her ankles crossed.

"How was it?" Fiona asked.

Rory focused on her smiling cousin, and glared.  "You were there, remember?"

"No," Fiona giggled, "share your feelings, Ginger-Fox."

Rory stared at the cedar-lined ceiling.  "Well, it was... different, that's for sure.  If you'd been doing something really bad to me, like my new word-of-the-day, bastinado, that would have been one thing.  As it was, I sort of drifted, aware of what you were doing and really wanting it to stop... but I was in sub-space... especially after the third session."

Fiona nodded.  "And the waiting periods?"

"Yeah," Rory sighed.  "They were... horrible.  And that jacket.  It was sooo tight.  I've never thought much about straitjackets, but... wow!"

Fiona chuckled.  "Yeah, wow."

Rory glared at her cousin.

"I'm serious," Fiona said.  "Straightjackets are cool."  She stretched, then crossed her legs in a semi-lotus.  "One trial to go, Initiate, but we can't do it tomorrow."

Rory frowned.  "Why not?"

Fiona smiled.  "Caitlin going away next week is an opportunity, and I don't intend to waste it.  We'll wait 'til she leaves on her trip, assuming it isn't called off, then we'll do the final trial."

Rory frowned, again.  "We wait 'til next Tuesday?"

Fiona chuckled.  "Yeah, and meanwhile... you live in terror and suspense."

Rory sighed and shook her head.  "Evil.  You're evil."

4 Foxes
Chapter 8

The weekend was fun.  Saturday, the Whelan sisters took Rory on a road-trip to introduce her to some of the neighboring small towns.  They shopped in craft shops and did a little hiking and birdwatching at a wildlife refuge.  On Sunday they went to brunch, as promised, and Rory agreed that the restaurant chosen was very good, also as promised.

Momma-FoxThat evening, the long-awaited video-link with Momma-Fox happened.  With the eight hour time difference, Rory knew Aunt Megan/Momma-Fox had to have gotten up early to make the call, but despite the hour the Whelan matriarch looked fabulous (in Rory's opinion).  After the welcoming niceties and a little smalltalk, conversation turned to when she'd be returning to Stately Whelan Manor from Jolly Old England.

"I still can't say," Megan sighed.  "The seminar schedule remains in flux.  Academic politics.  I've done some guest lectures, but most of my time is spent in the libraries.  I'm getting a lot of research done, but don't know when I'll start teaching."

Rory smiled.  "I can't wait to see you."

"Same here, Ginger-Fox," Megan chuckled.  "Have my girls been treating you well?"

"Oh, yeah!" Rory nodded.  "I've been helping Fiona in the shop and with the chores.  I'm thinking about looking for a waitressing job."

Megan smiled.  "If you can, please wait 'til I get home.  I have contacts and should be able to help."

Rory nodded, again.  "Okay."

Megan glanced at her wristwatch.  "Well, I'm meeting someone for breakfast, then I have to catch a train.  I have a full day planned in the Bodleian."

Rory frowned.  "The what?"

"The Bodleian Library," Megan clarified.  "Gotta go.  Girls, take good care of Rory."

"Yes, mother," Caitlin and Fiona answered in unison.

"Love you like crazy," Megan said.

"Love you back like crazy," the Whelan sisters answered in unison.  Obviously, it was a family ritual.

"I love you too, Rory," Momma-Fox added.

Rory blushed.  "Love you, Aunt Megan."

Caitlin tapped a key and ended the session.  She smiled at Rory.  "She does, ya know.  Your mom and 'Aunt Megan' were really close when they were kids."

Rory nodded.  "I know."

"So," Fiona said, "who's up for some TV?"

4 Foxes
Chapter 8

Tuesday morning dawned—almost.  The sun was still below the eastern horizon with only a soft glow heralding its arrival.

Caitlin had decided to leave for the capital early so she could check into her hotel well before the scheduled start of the working group's first session.  Caitlin and Rory had also risen early, to see her off.  They were accompanying Caitlin to the garage and Rory was carrying her suitcase.

"Call when you get there," Fiona suggested.

Caitlin opened the trunk of her car and watched Rory place the suitcase within.  "Why?"

"To make sure you aren't killed on the way, of course," Fiona answered.

"Touching," Caitlin grinned.  "Okay, I'll call, if I remember."

Hugging and kissing farewells ensued, then Caitlin climbed behind the wheel, turned the key, and backed from the garage.

Fiona and Rory watched Caitlin's tail lights disappear down the driveway.  The garage door cycled closed behind them.

"So..."  Rory smiled at Fiona (nervously).

"So," Fiona chuckled, then nodded towards the house.  "Inside, Initiate."

"Woe is me," Rory sighed, and started down the garden path to the kitchen door.

Fiona followed close, then led Rory through the kitchen and into the living room.  "Guess what comes next?"

"Breakfast?" Rory suggested.

Fiona smiled and shook her head.

Rory heaved a sigh, kicked off her sneakers, then unbuttoned, unzipped and pulled down her jeans.  She folded the jeans without being told, deposited them atop the sneakers, then removed and folded her t-shirt, panties, and bra and completed the pile.  Finally, she knelt in the center of the room and placed her hands atop her head.

Fiona walked over and picked up Rory's clothing.  "Wait here," she ordered, then headed for the stairs.  "I'll be right back."

"Whatever," Rory muttered under her breath.

Fiona was right back, and she returned without Rory's clothes.  No surprise there.

"Okay," Fiona said, stepping behind Rory.  "On your feet and hands behind your back."

Rory complied and Fiona pulled a length of thin, braided cord from her right hip pocket and began tying Rory's crossed wrists behind her back.  She only made a few turns around and between her young cousin's wrists before cinching it tight and tying the final knots, but the binding was tight and inescapable, further evidence of Fiona's bondage expertise.  She then reached into her left hip pocket and produced a folded cotton bandana.  It was a faded olive color.  Rory looked back over her left shoulder and watched her captor shake out the bandana, fold it point to point, roll it into a long tube, then tie an overhand knot in the center.

"Any famous last words?" Fiona asked.

"Uh... you'll never get away with it?"  Rory forced a nervous smile.  "Whatever 'it' is."

Fiona smiled.  "Open."

Rory sighed and opened her mouth.

Fiona thrust the knot between the Rory's teeth, shifted her hair to the side, cinched the cleave-gag tight, and tied a square knot at the nape of her neck.

"Mffh!" Rory complained.  "Nrrn!"  Fiona had grabbed a handful of her hair. 

"Now that you're naked, tied up, and can't scream for help," Fiona chuckled, "time to drag you down to the dungeon!"


Fiona's grip on Rory's hair was real, and she was using force as she pushed Rory towards the kitchen.  Rory had no choice but to "allow" herself to be led; however, she had to admit it was no-nonsense encouragement rather than actual abuse.

They passed through the kitchen, down the stairs to the basement, and through the secret passage.

4 Foxes
Chapter 8

Like yesterday, the dungeon's outer chamber was in "normal" mode.  The main attractions were all there—bondage chair, bondage table, X-frame, and cage—and nothing new was in evidence.

Fiona closed the door behind them, dragged Rory to the center of the chamber, and forced her to her knees.  It all remained very much a theatrical display of force, of course.  "Stay," she ordered, then strolled to one of the cabinets.

Rory shook her now tousled hair from her gagged face and watched Fiona open the door.  To Rory it was a new cabinet and, therefore, its contents unknown—and with Fiona's back blocking her view, they remained unknown.  Fiona lifted something from a peg—Clink, clink, clink—turned, and Rory's eyes popped wide.

A disturbingly evil smile curling her lips, Fiona returned.  In her left hand was a socket wrench and dangling from her right was the connecting chain of a pair of heavy iron shackles.  She knelt behind Rory and began fitting the hardware around her ankles.

Rory watched over her shoulder as the wide, thick, semi-circular halves of the shackles closed around her ankles and Fiona used the wrench to secure them with heavy bolts.  Crick-crick-crick, crick-crick-crick, crick-crick-crick...  Several trips to the cabinet and a hundred or so turns of the wrench later, Rory was wearing a full set of chains.  Crick-crick-crick, crick-crick-crick, crick-crick-crick...  To elaborate, her ankles were hobbled a foot apart, an iron belt was around her waist, her wrists were manacled a foot apart, a collar was bolted around her throat, and a long chain linked everything together.  Her hands were now in front, but Fiona had used the former wrist cord to bind her elbows behind her back, about a foot apart.  With that arrangement, Rory's arms were pinned at her sides and she couldn't reach up and remove her gag.

Crick-crick-crick, crick-crick-crick, crick-crick-crick...

The final attachment was ten feet of heavy chain, secured with a shackle-bolt to the ring in the front of Rory's collar.  The end of the chain in her right hand and the socket wrench in her hip pocket, Fiona took a step back and gazed (leered) at Rory's pale, naked, chained body, from her pink toes to the top of her tousled head.

Rory sighed through her gag.  The chains were heavy, probably something like twenty pounds of cold steel, if not more.  The cuffs were close-fitting around her wrists and ankles, and the collar wasn't quite as tight.  Thankfully, all the interior edges were smooth and slightly rounded, so nothing was biting her skin.  The metal was dark with a dull finish, somewhat medieval in appearance.

"Okay, your costume is complete," Fiona said, then turned and walked towards one of the Mysterious Doors—not the one with the high-security padlock and not the one that led to the chamber where Rory had endured the fifth trial.

The chain went taut and Rory shuffled in her wake.  Clink, clink, clink...  They crossed the threshold and entered yet another long stone corridor with more timber, iron-banded doors.

Good gravy, Rory thought.  How big is this place?  The corridor took an abrupt turn to the left, then continued, lit only by small, feebly flickering electric candle fixtures set in shallow niches.  There were no more doors in evidence.  Rory was being led (dragged by her chain leash) down a long, narrow, dim and dirty passage.  Clink, clink, clink...  The chains seemed to be getting heavier.  She knew that was all in her mind, of course, but the length of the corridor down which she was being required to lug said chains was not imaginary.

At last (Rory hoped), they came to yet another timber and iron-strapped door.  It was even heavier than the others, and was secured by a big iron latch and an equally big antique padlock.  In another difference, there was a small, covered hatch at eye level.  Rory watched Fiona pull an honest-to-god skeleton key from her pocket and unlock the padlock.  She then opened the latch, followed by the door.  Creaaak.

"Phew," Fiona sighed.  "This thing weighs a ton, literally."  She smiled at Rory.  "Well, a quarter of a ton, maybe.  Lookie here," she said, pointing at a slot-like niche in the doorjamb.  "See the latch in there?"

Rory craned her iron collared neck and peered into the niche.  Inside was an iron peg.

"That's the handle," Fiona explained.  "When the outer door is closed and latched, a bolt slides into the niche and it can't be lifted—"  She nodded over her shoulder towards the space beyond.  "—which secures the inner door."

Rory's eyes adjusted to the near total darkness, and she beheld a gate of thick, heavy iron bars.  Fiona lifted the peg in the outer doorjamb niche, then took a couple of steps forward and opened the gate.  Creaaak.  She reeled in the leash chain, and Rory had no choice but to shuffle forward.

They entered a rather small, square chamber, no more than ten or twelve feet on a side.  It had a high, vaulted ceiling tapering to a foot-wide shaft covered by a grill of iron bars.  It took Rory a while to take all this in, as the only light was the already feeble light from the corridor.  Meanwhile, Fiona was at the far side of the chamber and was doing something with the end of the chain. 

Crick-crick-crick, crick-crick-crick, crick-crick-crick.

"There," said as she returned the socket wrench to her hip pocket.  She took a step to the side and smiled at Rory.  "Why don't you get comfortable?"

Rory could now see that she was tethered by her collar to an iron ring set in the stone wall.  She shuffled forward until she was close to the wall and the chain nearly touched the floor.  And speaking of the floor, "filthy" was an understatement.  She could see stone flags, but there was a generous scattering of dirt, or what might even be compost.  How she was supposed to get "comfortable" wasn't at all clear.

Fiona pointed up at the grill-covered opening overhead.  "Remember the gazing ball in the back garden?" she asked.

Rory blinked in surprise, and nodded.  The ball in question was a garden ornament, a sphere of milky glass resting on a stone pedestal.  It was unusual as such things went (in Rory's limited experience) in that while it might once have been reflective, it was now dull and semi-opaque, with swirls of color marbling its surface.  Rory had assumed it was very old.  It was also unusually big, something like three feet in diameter.

"The shaft is a light tunnel," Fiona explained.  "Once the sun gets a little higher, it's bright enough to read in here."  Her smile turned evil.  "Newspaper headlines, anyway.  It's still pretty dark, and come evening... pitch black."

Rory's heart was hammering.  Chained in a dungeon cell?  She's gonna leave me chained in a dungeon cell?

Fiona pointed to a wooden bucket in the corner.  It had a rope handle and a hinged wooden lid.  "Your toilet."  She pointed in the opposite corner to a gallon-size, terracotta jug with a cup-like lid.  "And, drinking water."  She stepped behind Rory and untied her elbows, then untied and removed her gag.  She then walked towards the open door.

"W-wait!" Rory gasped, working her jaw and licking her lips.  "This is it?"

Fiona stepped through the gate, turned, and pulled the grid of heavy iron bars closed.  Creaaak-clang.  She reached behind her and thumbed the latch in the doorjamb niche.  Click.  She then turned back and smiled at Rory.  "That's it.  Think of yourself as a kidnapped princess, being held prisoner by a treacherous noble.  Your father's knights are scouring the kingdom on a quest to rescue you, but I wouldn't bet on their chances.  Maybe Sir Hunkalot will trip over a clue, but if I were you I'd get comfortable, like I said before."

Rory stared at her gloating cousin.  "Fiona!  This place is filthy!"

Fiona shrugged.  "I'll mention it to the dungeon maid.  She's chained to a wall around here, someplace."  She stepped back across the threshold of the outer door.  "Anyway, the sixth trial is all about time, Initiate.  So..."  She started slowly closing the door,  "See you Thursday afternoon."

"Fi-O-na!"  Rory stumbled forward until stopped by the chain.  She found she couldn't even touch the iron gate.  "Nooo!"

Thunk.  The outer door was closed, and Rory heard a metallic clatter as, she assumed, it was latched and locked.

"Thursday?" Rory whispered.  "I haven't even had breakfast."  She lifted her fettered hands to either side of her mouth and shouted.  "FI-O-NA!  COME BACK!"  She waited... but nothing happened.  She's playing with me, she decided (hoped), like with the strappado.  She won't leave me here for three days.  She'll let me cool my heels a while, then come back.

Rory shuffled back to the far wall—Clink, clink, clink, clink, clink—and peered through the near-darkness to inspect the floor.  There was a soft glow from overhead, but as far as she could see, one place was as dirty and grimy as the next.  She sighed and settled to the ground.  Clink, clink, clink.  The air in the cell was toasty, something like eighty-five to ninety degrees Fahrenheit.  Rory's skin was already beginning to "glow."  I hope this place has ventilation, in addition to central heat.

Rory eased her back against the stone wall.  Her housekeeping evaluation was confirmed.  The entire place was a filthy mess.  The bottoms of her feet were very dirty, as were the parts of her body that had already made contact with the floor—what she could see, anyway.

"Okay, I'm an imprisoned princess," Rory muttered under her breath.  She folded her shackled legs to one side, lifted her manacled wrists to her lap, and arranged the connecting chains as best she could, seeking a comfortable arrangement.  Her efforts were successful, for the moment, but she could tell seeking comfort would be a neverending process.  She was ready for breakfast, but not actually hungry... yet.  "An imprisoned, starving princess," she sighed.

Wow, Rory thought.  A princess in chains in a dungeon.  That is cool.  She was helpless and alone.  A smile curled her lips.  All alone.  Her fingers slid across her labia, and a fluttering thrill shivered through her pussy as she savored the fantasy.  Father's knights will find me... I hope.

4 Foxes
Chapter 8

Hours passed.

Rory considered taking a drink from the jug, but decided to wait.  There was always a chance Fiona intended to leave her in the dungeon for an extended period, but she refused to believe the "See you Thursday afternoon" remark had been anything other than a cruel joke.  Nevertheless, it seemed prudent to conserve the water in the jug.

The air continued to be hot... and humid.  It was nothing near the heat of the sauna, but as she rolled on the floor and changed position, the inevitable sweat accelerated the process of making her chained body as filthy as the dungeon floor.  There was no mirror, of course, but she knew she must look an absolute mess.

The grill-covered shaft in the ceiling was indeed a light well.  The gazing ball far overhead was funneling a few candlepower of blue-white light into the cell.

Eventually, Rory did drag her chains and herself to the jug, carefully filled the cap, and drank about a cup's worth.  The water was clean and cool, and gloriously wet.  She could have easily drunk more, and she longed to pour some water over her head, but instead, she capped the jug and dragged herself back to the center of the wall.  She lay on her side, ignoring the dirt, grime, and the hard, flat stones, closed her eyes, and willed herself to sleep.

Princess Aurora was naked and hanging from chains in a full spread-eagle.  Torches and a brazier of hot coals shed light and an overabundance of heat.  The air in the torture chamber was close and hot.  Aurora's body was filthy and dripping with sweat, her red hair a tousled, damp, dirty mess.

Fiona, the cruel (and quite possibly insane) daughter of the Duchess of Whelan, Aurora's kidnapper, was running her gloved fingers over a collections of whips and floggers arrayed on a crude wooden table.  She was naked to the waist, clad from the waist down in skintight leather pants and knee-boots.  Her red, curly hair was gathered in a single tight braid that trailed down her pale, lightly freckled back.  A sinister smile curled her lips as she examined the instruments of torture.

"Mother said I shouldn't mark your skin too much," Fiona announced.  "She says there's still a chance your father, the King, will pay your ransom.  And she wants you to be worth something if we have to sell you.  They say the Moors treasure pleasure-slaves with white skin and light red hair.  They call them 'peach maidens'."  She selected a multi-tailed flogger, lifted it from the table, and gave it an expert flip.  The long leather tails rattled and swayed.  She turned and smiled at the helpless princess.  "However, she agreed to let me have a little fun."

Aurora lifted her chin and glared at her torturer.  Any Royal Threats she might have wished to share were stifled by the dirty rag stuffed in her mouth and held there by a narrowly folded, dirty cloth bandage.

"After a nice thrashing," Fiona said as she flipped the flogger in her hand and held the blunt end of the tightly braided leather handle before Aurora's pale blue eyes, "I'm going to use this to give you another frigging."  She gave the shaft-like handle a slow lick.  "It's the least I can do for a Royal Guest."

Aurora let her chin drop as Fiona stepped behind her.  She heard another rattle as her torturer prepared to strike, there was a whistling swish, and—

Rory snapped awake.  There was a metallic rattling noise coming from the direction of the dungeon cell door.  She's back!  Fiona's back!

The light from overhead had faded, so when the outer door opened all Rory could see was a silhouette.  The inner gate opened and Rory's rescuer (she hoped) stepped into the cell.

Rory frowned.  For some reason Fiona had changed into a business suit.  Then, her eyes popped wide as the truth dawned.  It wasn't Fiona coming towards her!  It was Caitlin!

The End

4 Foxes
Chapter 8

Chapter 7
Chapter 9