FOXWOOD--Bed & Breakfast

_¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯by Van © 2009

Chapter 1

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This is the second in the series TALES OF THE FOXWOOD B&B


The Kidnapped Princess
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~{ & }~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Princess Alice's gown was much the worse for wear.  The left shoulder seam had parted some time ago, and she was now showing much more of her freckled shoulder and breast than was proper, even in a Court gown of the latest cut, with its "naughty" and flirtatious décolletage.  In addition, the gown's skirt and underlying chemise were now ripped along the right side, exposing her bare, freckled leg to mid-thigh with every fetter-encumbered step.  There was also a great deal of dust and dirt, both on the velvet fabric of the gown and on her shining skin.  Yes, it was outrageous, but Her Royal Highness was actually glowing.  In fact, she was sweating like a peasant bringing in the harvest!  Even worst, her long, copper-red, beautiful curls were in tousled disarray.  Finally, her slippers were not made for travel and were in worse condition than her gown, to the point of being nearly ready to fall off the dainty Royal feet.

A linen rag was stuffed in the Regal mouth and held in place by a tight, narrow cleave-gag of similar cloth.  Her wrists and throat were locked in a pillory-yoke of heavy, thick oak, with her hands about a foot to either side of the Royal visage.  An iron hinge secured one end of the device and a hasp and padlock the other, and centered in between were a pair of iron rings with long, attached chains, in front and in back.  The ends of the chains were clutched in the gloved hands of her captors.  A third chain dangled nearly to the ground and linked to the center of the hobble-chain joining the heavy iron shackles locked around the Royal ankles.  She was being treated like a common criminal on her way to prison!

And who were the captors who were perpetrating this Outrage upon the Royal Personage?  They were Elves, Dark Elves.

The pointy-eared pair had captured Alice in the garden of the Royal Castle, more than a week ago.  How they'd slipped past the Queen's Guard remained a mystery, but they had, and she'd been their helpless prisoner ever since, and was being dragged to a still unknown destination with little food, water, or rest!  The Drow-maiden in the rear was about Alice's height, while the one in front was a few inches taller.  Both were wearing skimpy, rather scandalous costumes that showed a lot of skin, in the shameless manner of their kind, be they Drow, Wood-Elves, or the seldom seen High-Elves.  Their loincloths, bandeaus, leather harnesses, and other accouterments were in shades of gray and brown, and they were armed with bows and long, curved swords.  The taller elf's long, brown hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail, except for a pair of long, thin braids that framed her beautiful, high-cheeked face.  Her shorter and equally beautiful companion's slightly darker hair was cropped boyishly short.

Court "wisdom" held that all Drow had very dark complexions, even darker than the Savages beyond the Great Desert, but her captors' skins were normal—normal like the skin of humans not blessed with lovely red hair and pretty freckles like Princess Alice, that is.  However, rival opinion held that Drow skin was pale to the point of being colorless, and they burst into flame if they ventured into direct sunlight.  Obviously, there was a lot of inaccurate "knowledge" circulating about the Darkling race.  However, her captors did possess the one Drow feature about which all sources agreed: their eyes were a striking shade of violet.

Also, the Princess could vouch for their propensity for cruelty, another agreed upon Drowish attribute.  Her captors were setting a brutal pace, allowing few rest periods and never totally freeing Alice from her bonds.  And they didn't just ignore her whimpering, gagged efforts to communicate and beg for rest and release, they were obviously enjoying her suffering, gazing upon her helpless, disheveled condition with evil, gloating smiles.  During the day, they only removed her gag to force gulps of water and a few paltry bites of near-tasteless trail bread past her lips, and when they finally decided to stop for the night, well after dark, they camped without fire.  And during the night, rather than allow her uninterrupted sleep, the little Drow, the one with short hair, would run her pale little hands over Alice's body, grope her breasts under her ripped gown, and do things to her.  Okay, it felt good, but Alice was tired, and scared, and she needed her beauty rest... badly!

Alice was exhausted, dirty—no filthy—hungry, thirsty, and when she wasn't terrified, angry.  What had her Mother, the Queen, done to offend the Drow?  Okay, their mortal enemies, the Wood-Elves, were welcome at Court (after a fashion), but she would have welcomed a Drow ambassador as well (after a fashion), if one had ever approached the throne.  Why were the Drow making war on Mummsie?

More likely, it wasn't war, and this pair of violet-eyed, pointy-eared kidnappers were mercenaries.  But the underlying question remained—who was paying them to take such an awful risk?  Didn't they realize that half the Queen's Guard and every gamekeeper and woodsman in the Kingdom were hot on their heels at this very moment?

They rounded a turn and Alice blinked in surprise.  The trail ahead continued across a clearing to a large building nestled into the side of the hill they'd been climbing half the morning.  The Foxwood Keep!  She recognized its towers, windmill spire, and mill house from a drawing in the margin of a map she'd found in the Royal Archives.  It was the domain of her once removed cousin, Lady Jillian!  Alice knew her mother and Jillian had had a serious falling out of some sort, years earlier, and The Lady Foxwood wasn't welcome at court.  As far as Alice knew, the feeling was mutual, but Jillian was her cousin!

Are they going to stop at the Keep? Alice wondered.  Surely Lady Jillian will recognize me... and I'll be rescued!  Her kidnappers were making a serious mistake.

As they approached the building, three figures emerged from a side entrance.

The first could only be Lady Jillian, herself.  It had been many years since Alice had seen her cousin, but the resemblance to her mother, the Queen, was unmistakable.  Jillian was beautiful, like all members of the Royal lineage (especially Alice, of course).  Her Ladyship was dressed in a bottle-green gown with embroidered trim in deep umber.  It had long, drooping sleeves, a narrow bodice, and a plunging, square-cut décolletage—a style not seen in court for many seasons—but adequate—and she was beautiful.

To her left was a female knight—no, retainer—no...  Alice wasn't sure who she was, but she was somehow... familiar  Her costume was plain, martial, and rather masculine—thigh-length riding boots, hose, jerkin, and gauntlet-like gloves, all in shades of brown or rust.  A sword belt with a sheathed longsword rode her left hip.  Her head was bare, with her long, copper-red hair trailing down her back in a loose braid.  She had high-cheeked, even, freckled features, and was beautiful (in the Royal manner), but as they approached, Alice could see that her blue-green eyes were cold, and an evil smile curled her coral lips.

I know who she is! Alice realized.  She must be Sydney, Jillian's younger sister!  They'd never met, but Sydney had a sinister reputation.

To Lady Jillian's right was a female warrior with blond braids, and she was unmistakably a Foxwood retainer.  Her costume was similar to Sydney's, but instead of a sword, a battle-ax was tucked in her belt.  By her tan features and blue eyes Alice marked her as a Saxon, or maybe a Dane. 
The Orange Foxwood BannerThe Foxwood banner fluttered from the boar spear in her right hand, and a patch with an embroidered fox was stitched to the front of her jerkin.

"Ah, the Princess has arrived," Lady Jillian purred.

Alice's eyes popped wide as she was dragged forward and forced to her knees.  Lady Jillian was not surprised by her appearance!

Jillian lifted Alice's chin and smiled.  "Such a pretty little thing.  She reminds me of her mother, when we were both young."

Alice forced a questioning whine past her gag, but was ignored.

Lady Jillian's gaze shifted to the long-haired elf.  "Any trouble?" she inquired.

"None," the Drow answered.  "The charm your witch gave me worked perfectly.  The glamour has probably begun to fade by this time.  I imagine the Queen's court is in quite a stir, everyone milling about and asking each other where Princes Alice has gone, and wondering why, exactly, no one can remember seeing her for the past several days."

Alice mewled through her gag, again, her wide-eyed gaze darting from her kidnapper to her cousin, and back.  Lady Jillian is behind this?

"The witch gave me a second charm," Lady Jillian said, still smiling at her young cousin.  "Once I activate its magic, any visitor to Foxwood who has ever seen Princess Alice will fail to recognize her—present company excluded, of course.  The Queen herself could visit and all she would see would be a rather pretty little snip of a red-haired thrall-maiden—not that Her Majesty or any of her sycophants would ever deign to cross my threshold, of course."  She produced a leather pouch and tossed it to the Drow.  "The agreed upon price, plus a small bonus.  Consider it a retainer against any future tasking I may have for your clan."

A mocking smile on her lips, the Drow gazed into Alice's confused, teary eyes, then shifted her unsettling gaze to her employer.  "The Wolf-Spider Clan does not accept retainers, but clients who have offered tokens of respect will always receive polite consideration."  Both Drow abruptly turned and strode into the forest, passed among the trees... and seemed to vanish.

"How very discourteous," Sydney chuckled.

Lady Jillian's eyes were on the helpless, bedraggled prisoner still kneeling at her feet.  "The Drow have a different concept of courtesy," she said.  "They can be annoying, but better spies and assassins do not exist, although some of the Desert Nomad tribes come very close."

"And what would you like me to do with our Royal cousin?" Sydney inquired.

"You mean my newly purchased drudge-thrall?" Lady Jillian chuckled, then turned on her heel and headed for the door.  "The oubliette, and burn that filthy rag she's wearing.  We'll start her training tomorrow, assuming the witch's charm doesn't misfire and we forget where we've put her, or that she exists."

Sydney and the Saxon laughed.

The Saxon grabbed a handful of Royal hair and dragged the Princess to her feet.  "Come, Princess," she chuckled.  "The Royal Apartment awaits."

Sydney grabbed the pillory-yoke's front chain and led the way.  "I've never whipped a princess, but I imagine their skin marks like any other maiden's."

"You wouldn't whip your own cousin, would you?" the Saxon asked with a mocking smile.

"Watch your mouth," Sydney retorted, "or I'll whip you."

Helpless, flustered, and mewling through her gag, Princess Alice stutter-stepped after her cousin.

"Move it!" the Saxon laughed, prodding the Royal backside with the butt of her spear.

"And—cut!" Constance shouted, and lowered her video camera.  "That take was excellent.  We'll pick it up with the stripping scene whenever tomorrow's guest visit is over."

"Excellent," Jillian said, from the half-open door.  "Good work, everyone.  I'll be in my room catching up on paperwork."  She closed the door and was gone.

Alice stomped her shackled feet and growled through her gag.

"Hold on," Hannah chuckled, and untied the cleave-gag's knot.

As soon as the cloth band came free, Alice spit the rag stuffing from her mouth and glared at Connie.  "Seven takes?" she demanded.  She stomped her feet, again, and the chains of her bonds swayed and rattled.

Constance shrugged.  "I have to have enough for the final editing, in case I have to extend some part to match the voice-overs, whenever we get to them."

"Look, Cecilia B. Demented," Alice growled, "it's a teaser trailer for your 'Rescue the Kidnapped Princess' scenario, to get Jillie's orange-banner customers to want to pay to come rescue me, not your entry in next year's Sundance Festival."  She did a half-turn (nearly tripping on her hobble-chain in the process), and directed her fierce stare at the "Drow", who were emerging from the forest.  "And why the hell did you two have to drag me half-way down to the valley between each take?  These slippers hardly have any soles, and my feet are killing me!"

Cricket stepped forward and planted a kiss on the Regal brow.  "Poor baby," she cooed, flashing her trademark dimpled smile.  "Let me make it all better."  Her hand slid down the top of Alice's half-open gown and cupped the prisoner's left breast.

Alice squealed in angry frustration and tried to take a step back—and immediately bumped against Cody, the other Drow.

"I think somebody needs a time out," Cody purred.

"Time out my ass!" Alice huffed.  "We're done for the day.  Get me out of this damn thing and—M'mmpfh!"

Cricket had retrieved the rag from the dirt, given it a quick shake, and was stuffing it back in Alice's mouth.  The short-haired Dark Elf and helpless Captive Princess locked eyes as Cody seated the cleave-gag, cinched it tight, and retied the knot.

"Her Ladyship did say we should dump her in the oubliette," Sydney noted.

"Don't bother," Cricket said.  "We'll do it."

"It's no trouble," Cody agreed.

The Drow took hold of the Princess's chains and led her away, towards the Stone Tower.

"These new violet contacts are great," Cricket said, blinking her eyes and smiling at her fellow Drow.

"Yeah," Cody agreed.  "The old ones were too dark, especially at night."

Alice continued to struggle and complain through her gag as she was dragged along.

"Now that's acting," Constance said, as she slid the video camera into its padded compartment in her equipment bag.

"Yeah," Sydney chuckled, "you'd think the Princess really didn't want to be locked in the oubliette for the rest of the day."

"That's mean," Hannah frowned, as the Drow and their captive passed from sight around the side of the building.  This was typical Foxwood "treachery", of course, and she knew Alice wasn't really mad—a little peeved, maybe, but not actually mad.

Sydney smiled.  "Oh, I'm sure that after the pipsqueak languishes for a reasonable period of time—say, an hour—the other pipsqueak will pop down and they'll kiss and make up."

"Oh, they'll do a lot more than kiss," Constance muttered, shouldering her bag.

"Probably," Sydney agreed.  "It'll help Her Royal Twerpiness get into character for tomorrow."  She smiled at Hannah.  "Speaking of which, you ready?"

"As ready as I'll ever be," Hannah sighed.

"Your first active role in a scenario!" Constance beamed.  She was using a handkerchief to clean her glasses.

"I can hardly wait," Hannah mumbled, and heaved another sigh.

"Want to practice some more?" Sydney inquired.

Hannah glared at her girlfriend.  "No, I do not want to practice some more," she huffed, and slapped the ax in her belt.  "What I want is to dump this hardware in the armory and find a cold beer."

"Sounds like a plan," Sydney chuckled.  "We can practice tonight."

"Dream on," Hannah muttered, and walked towards the side door.

Sydney grinned, Constance giggled, and they followed the Saxon.
--- Tales of the Foxwood B&B: ASAF
Chapter 1 ---
                                     The next day...                               
Somewhere on the edge of Redwood National Park

"Are you sure we are not lost?" Pilar de la Calva asked her friend.  She was teasing, of course.  The SUV had GPS navigation, and she'd been using a topographical map to verify their course since they'd left the improved roads. 

Ashley Carleton,
            in costume.Ashley Carleton favored her companion with a scathing glance.  "We're exactly where we're supposed to be," she huffed.  "Finish getting dressed."  She wasn't really angry.  The gruff manner was typical of her character, Ashley the Amazon, the most Beautiful and Dangerous Sell-Sword in the Borderlands (when Red Sonja wasn't around).  She was already in her trademark costume: a long-sleeved, low-cut, linen PPS (Poofy Pirate Shirt), suede jerkin, leather corset-belt, purse, sword belt and broadsword, and knee-length moccasin boots.  Her knees and thighs were bare, but the lower hem of her jerkin was long enough to act like a ragged mini-skirt and hide her loincloth (most of the time).

Pilar de la Calva,
            also in costume."I am dressed," Pilar responded, and did a skirt-lifting pirouette.  She was wearing a sleeveless, mid-length, chiton-like dress of boiled silk.  It was dyed either dark charcoal or indigo.  It was difficult to tell in the forest light.  The bodice was bound close to her torso with a long ribbon of brown silk, in the Greco-Roman style.  Her feet were clad in moccasin sandals with very long thong ties that criss-crossed her ankles, shins, and calves, and were tied below her knees.  The dress was sheer, more lingerie than outerwear, but this was entirely appropriate for Pilar's character: a traveling Courtesan Dancer who earned her living entertaining at taverns, markets, and caravansaries.

"That rag is new, isn't it?" Ashley inquired.  "You were told to wear something shabby."

"This old thing?" Pilar laughed, then flashed a flirtatious smile.  With her left leg straight, she bent forward at the waist, extended her right leg back, and spread her arms for balance—a perfect First Arabesque.  A slit up the side of the skirt exposed her leg all the way to the upper thigh.  "It does not matter what happens to this 'rag'," she purred.  "It is already ripped, as you can see."  Her body gracefully flowed into Third Position, and then she relaxed.

"Whatever, Giselle," Ashley chuckled.  She reached into the back of the SUV, pulled out three bundled coils of hemp rope, and tossed them to Pilar.  She then slammed the back hatch and lifted her satchel, water-skin, and blanket roll, settling the straps on her shoulders.  "Let's get started," she said, and triggered the key-remote in her hand.  The SUV's lights flashed and its horn beeped, once.  She dropped the keyring into her belt purse and led the way into the forest.

They were parked in a clearing off a very un-improved road, miles from the nearest Forest Service road or any of the hiking trails marked on the map.  They hadn't passed anyone, vehicle or pedestrian, since leaving US-101.  They really were miles from anything, including their ultimate destination.

They followed a path that was little more than a game trail, and after about ten yards, they came to a small stream.  It was barely a trickle, this time of year, and they crossed it easily, stepping from rock to rock.  They treaded their way through a jumble of fallen timber on the far bank, then stepped through a hedge-like clump of rhododendrons.

"There, satisfied?" Ashley said, pointing to a small metal sign nailed to a post.  It bore the Foxwood logo, and read:
The trail continued past the sign, or rather, the trail joined a more clearly defined trail that was more or less perpendicular to their previous course.  "If memory serves," Ashley continued, nodding to the left, "it's seven miles to Foxwood in that direction..."  She nodded to the right, "...and twelve, that way."

"Good thing these sandals are broken in," Pilar said, and turned to the left.

"And where do you think you're going?" Ashley inquired.

Pilar stopped and gazed at her friend with a coy smirk.  "I suppose it would be too much to ask to be allowed to simply walk to Foxwood and to not become your prisoner until we are almost there."

"Oh, you'll be walking, alright," Ashley chuckled, "but Jillian's charging us for the entire day."  She eased her satchel, bedroll, and water-skin to the ground.  "We might as well get our money's worth."

Pilar sighed (but her eyes were smiling).  She loosened the loop holding the coils of rope together and let two drop into the dirt of the trail.  She tossed the third coil to Ashley, then held out her hands with her wrists crossed.

"Turn around," Ashley ordered.

"Behind the back?" Pilar gasped, her lips curled in a teasing pout.  "That is so very cruel."

"Do it, whore-dancer," Ashley ordered.

Smiling, Pilar executed a graceful half-turn and crossed her wrists behind her back.  "Courtesan Dancer is a sacred calling, blessed by the gods."

"Blessed by the priests, you mean," Ashley chuckled, as she bound Pilar's wrists.  "Whoring out temple dancers is quite lucrative."

"I am not a temple dancer," Pilar purred.  She stood still as Ashley dropped loops of rope over her head and shoulders.  Slack was removed and the bands tightened, above and below her breasts, pinning her arms to her sides.  "Is all of this necessary?" she inquired as additional bands yoked her shoulders and were used to cinch the lower ropes between her arms and torso, but her captor ignored the question.  "You are getting very good with the ropes," she noted.

Ashley was still behind her prisoner.  She put an arm around Pilar's waist, pulled her close, and whispered in her ear.  "Practice makes perfect."

"You still have not done the final cinch," Pilar whispered back, "behind the neck.  That is the one that makes the ropes truly tight and secure."

"I'll do that after I adjust your costume," Ashley said.

Pilar frowned.  "What do you mean after you adjust—"  Her eyes popped wide.  Ashley's right hand had appeared before her face, and it was holding a small knife with a leaf-shaped blade.  "Oh," she sighed.

"Hold still," Ashley whispered.  "I'd hate to damage the merchandise."  She proceeded to slowly, carefully slice the shoulder straps of Pilar's dress.  Her left arm remained around Pilar's waist and she continued hugging the captive close as she tugged and pulled the silk fabric from under the tight bands of soft, conditioned hemp.  More and more of Pilar's tan, smooth skin was revealed.  The ribbon binding the bodice was untied, and the garment fell away, becoming a crumpled mass around Pilar's sandaled feet.  "It won't take much to repair those straps," she whispered in Pilar's ear, "and besides, you said it didn't matter."

"So I did," Pilar purred, and squirmed against her captor's body.  Other than Ashley's ropes and her sandals, her only clothing was a narrow loincloth of soft, coarsely-woven linen dyed nearly the same shade as her smooth, tan skin.  "You are very cruel to treat your captives so."

Ashley threaded the long free ends of the rope binding the captured dancer's wrists through the junction of the ropes binding her arms to her torso, up to the rope yoking her shoulders, passed it underneath at the nape of her neck, and tugged.

Pilar gasped and bit her lower lip as her bondage tightened.

"There," Ashley purred.  "Now things should be nice and tight."  She tied a knot, wrapped the remaining rope around itself in a neat coil, and tied a final knot.  She gave the rope a tug, then leaned close to Pilar's right ear.  "Do you feel like a prisoner?" she inquired, in a husky whisper.

Staring straight ahead, Pilar's smile faded.  She slowly nodded.

"Good," Ashley whispered, then took a step back, "because you are one."

A shiver of dread (delight) rippled down Pilar's spine and through her sex.  A prisoner, she mused... then her smile returned.

"If I see you trying to untie yourself," Ashley continued, "I'll bind your thumbs and fingers with rawhide thongs... after I give you a whipping, of course."

Pilar flexed her wrists and fluttered her fingers.  "I can reach nothing," she responded, "but thank you for the warning.  I will be careful that you do not see me."

Ashley took another step back.  Pilar's bonds were now a flesh-dimpling box-tie.  Her crossed wrists were slightly raised, but her forearms were nearly parallel to the ground.  A stringent tie, but her friend had experience with such things, and she was certainly flexible and in good shape.  Pilar's toned, well-tanned body was an incredibly erotic sight.  The narrow fold of the loincloth cleaving her firm, dimpled buttocks left very little to the imagination.  Pilar did a shuffling half-turn, and her flat tummy, pert breasts, and the coy smirk curling her lips came into view.  The loincloth was narrow in the front, as well, barely adequate to preserve her modesty.

"I think you really have been practicing," Pilar said, "on someone other than myself."  She gave her upper body a twisting shake, executed a full turn as she continued struggling to escape her bonds, then locked eyes with her captor, continuing her teasing smile.  "You have captured me, warrior," she purred.  "What do you intend to do with me?"

"Don't get into character yet," Ashley chuckled.  "Your costume still needs work."  She reached into her belt purse and produced a small bottle of tanned leather.  She pulled its stopper, which opened with an audible pop, and poured a dollop of clear oil into her right palm.  "Hold still," she ordered, stepped forward, and began smearing the oil on Pilar's face.

"Is that jasmine?" Pilar inquired.  "What is this?  Sunscreen?"

"Something like that," Ashley answered, continuing to spread the oil, taking her time and covering her prisoner's entire body from head to toe, taking special care to rub the glistening fluid on her breasts, stomach, thighs, and buttocks.  Finally, after kneeling to rub Pilar's lower legs and feet, where her skin wasn't covered by her sandals, Ashley stood, restored the stopper in the now largely empty bottle, and returned it to her purse.  "Excellent," she said with a smile.  "Now, down on the ground."

Pilar's flirtatious smile wavered... and then returned.  "In the dirt?"
Ashley picked up the prisoner's dress and tossed it to the side.  "Down," she ordered.

Pilar sighed, then dropped to her knees.

"All the way down," Ashley purred.

Pilar sighed, again, then settled onto her side and looked up at her captor, a petulant pout on her beautiful face.

"Roll around a little, silly," Ashley chuckled.

Pilar sighed a third time, then squirmed and rolled on the trail, until her oily skin was more-or-less coated in dirt and leaf litter.  Finally, after several seconds, she rolled back onto her side and frowned up at Ashley.  "Satisfied, sword-maiden?" she huffed.

Ashley smiled.  "Up!" she barked.

Pilar climbed to her feet.  Her body was a glistening, filthy mess.

Ashley reached back into her purse and produced a folded length of coarsely woven natural linen.  She then used the soft cloth to give her captive a brisk and very thorough rubdown.  This removed the larger fragments of dirt and detritus, but Pilar's tan skin remained streaked with grime.  Ashley took particular care with the captive's pouting face, and with her breasts.  "There," she said, finally, and draped the long, scarf-like cloth around her neck.  She then combed her fingers through Pilar's hair, removing most of the twigs and leaves from the tousled mass.  "Trail worn and filthy," she chuckled, "as if I've been dragging you through the forest for days."

Pilar's coy smile returned.  "Attention to detail with a costume is very important.  What about you, barbarian?"

Ashley smiled as she reached into her purse and pulled out a smaller square of the same fabric.  "I'm used to campaigning," she said.  "I know how to keep myself clean in the field, unlike a pampered dancer."

"Oh, I can care for myself in the wild, warrior," Pilar chuckled, "when I am not tied like an animal."

Still smiling, Ashley crumpled the new cloth and stuffed it into Pilar's mouth, then folded the first cloth into a narrow bandage and used it to give her captive a tight cleave-gag.  She cinched the cloth until the prisoner's cheeks bulged, then tied a square-knot at the nape of her neck, under her tousled hair.  "Down, again," she ordered.

Pilar dropped to her knees, then onto her side.

There was one long coil of hemp remaining, and Ashley used it to bind Pilar's ankles together, and then to lash them to her wrists, pulling her into a stringent hogtie.  The remaining length of the coil was hitched around her thighs and shins and then around her waist.  The final knot was tied up near her shoulders, as unreachable as all the rest.

"And now I can be sure you'll be here when I return," Ashley said.

Pilar rolled back into her side, which was about the extent of her ability to do more than squirm.  She gazed up at her captor with a puzzled (gagged) frown.  "Mrmfh?"

"A surprise change to our itinerary," Ashley chuckled.  "I know we agreed that the SUV would be just fine out here, until Jillian sends someone out to fetch it," she explained, "but I really do think we shouldn't leave it, not with your camera bag in the back."  She retrieved Pilar's dress and began folding and rolling it into a bundle.  "So, here's the new plan."  She tied the silk bundle with the ribbon that had cinched the bodice, then tucked it under her arm.  "I'll drive the SUV around to Foxwood, park it in the carriage house where it'll be safe and snug, then I hike back, and we resume our 'adventure'."

Pilar's eyes popped wide and she struggled and mewled through her gag.  It would take hours just for Ashley to get back to the main roads, much less drive to Foxwood, much less hike all the way back here!  She wouldn't make it until well after dark, if not some time tomorrow!

"Oh, I don't mind," Ashley chuckled, as she reslung her satchel, bedroll, and water-skin.  "I know how much you love your cameras."  She walked to the rhododendrons screening the trail from the stream.  "Don't go anywhere," she called back to the struggling, helpless captive.  "I'd hate for you to squirm away and get lost.  And don't worry about the bears.  Jillian tells me they're rather shy.  If one shows up... just tell it 'shoo'."  She stepped through the bushes, and was gone.

I do not believe this! Pilar thought.  She can not do this to me!  She struggled for all she was worth, but the ropes didn't even shift, and the gag remained firmly in place.  She is making the joke.  She will wait a few minutes and then return.  Very funny.

Pilar sighed and let her face rest in the dirt.  A couple of minutes passed... and then she heard the SUV's horn beep, twice.  That was Ashley using her remote, of course.  A few seconds after that, the SUV's engine purred to life.  It revved and then settled into a steady hum.

She is driving away! Pilar realized, and tugged on her bonds, again.  She really is going to leave me here!

The engine noise began to fade... and fade... and then was gone.  Pilar was alone in the wilderness, bound, gagged, and very nearly naked.
--- Tales of the Foxwood B&B: ASAF
Chapter 1 ---
Minutes passed, perhaps five or six. 

This is not funny, Pilar thought.  This is taking the joke too far.

She was angry, but she was also a little scared.  Playing the Damsel-in-Distress was fun... a lot of fun, especially when her friends at Foxwood were involved.  They made it all kinds of fun.  Ashley could be—no, was—fun as well.  They had met and become friends in college, and Pilar had been Ashley's maid of honor when she married Mitchel Carleton.  Pilar and Ashley were not a couple, not in the usual sense, but they enjoyed an unusual, kinky sort of symbiotic relationship.  Ashley used Pilar to practice her rope work, and Pilar used Ashley to practice being a helpless captive.  It was better than self-bondage, and Pilar knew Ashley derived a great deal of enjoyment from binding and "torturing" her best friend, and writhing in Ashley's tight, inescapable ropes was heaven.

The "worst" that had ever happened was the time Pilar was bound in the basement of Ashley's huge house—lashed so tight she could barely squirm and gagged with a two inch ball-gag—and her "friend" had tickled her bare feet.  That had been horrible.  And then there was the time Ashley had tied her up on her bed, naked, bound much as she was now, only stretched full-length and not in a hogtie, and had left her for the entire night.  She'd not been gagged, but a blindfold was tied over her eyes... and Ashley had slept with her... also naked... and they'd done more than sleep, or rather, Ashley had.  All Pilar could do was squirm and return kisses when her captor's lips met her own... which had not been very often, as they were usually involved... elsewhere.

Ashley loved Mitchel, and Pilar knew she loved her, as well—but their love was... different.

And then they'd discovered Foxwood, and Mitchel's wealth and the revenue from Pilar's photography studio had let them play.  They visited Jillian's domain, usually under the orange banner that signaled Damsel-in-Distress role-playing, but never at the same time, until now.  This would be their first joint visit, and their first shared Foxwood scenario—or it would when Ashley hiked back and rescued her—so she could be dragged back to Foxwood as her prisoner, that is.

Suddenly, there was a rustling in the bushes... and a figure stepped onto the trail.
A Cricket-Elf!
Pilar lifted her head and her eyes popped wide, again.  Cricket! 

Cricket was in one of her Elf costumes.  Very realistic, pointed appliances were seamlessly glued to the outer margins of her ears, and her short, dark hair was teased into a puckish, spiky coif.  Her skimpy outfit was of brown leather: a midriff-baring, vest-like top that laced in the front, a short kilt comprised of overlapping leather panels, bracers that laced over her forearms, and moccasin-style knee-boots with fringed tops.  She was carrying a light pole-ax, possibly of Dwarfish manufacture, but she was treating it as much like a walking stick as a weapon.

"Well, well," the fey little scamp giggled, a dimpled smile on her devilishly cute face, "what have we here?"

Pilar rolled onto her side and watched as Cricket made a slow circuit of her helpless, prostrate form, taking her time.  Ashley didn't abandon me, she realized, sighing with relief.  I'm going to slap her silly, first chance I get.  She tugged on her bound wrists.  Or maybe I'll just kick her.

The little Elf reached out and gently prodded Pilar in the side with the butt of her pole-ax.  The captive squirmed away as best she could, which was only a couple of inches, and forced a well-muffled, "outraged" complaint past her gag.

"The Forest Spirits are kind," Cricket purred.  "Out searching for mushrooms, or perhaps some ripe berries... and here I find a ripe human female, all trussed, silenced, and alone in the forest.  She knelt and placed her pole-ax on the ground.  It was ready at her side, but the blade was carefully turned away from the captive.  She began untying the rope enforcing the hogtie.

Pilar sighed in relief as the hemp loops slithered away from her waist, thighs, and shins, then straightened her legs.  She looked down her body as Cricket untied her ankles.  A thrill rippled down her spine (and through her sex).  She is so very cute, Pilar mused, so very, very cute.  It was wonderful to be "rescued" by a mischevious little Wood-Elf.  Pilar loved Cricket.  She loved all the Foxwood residents.  Jillian and Kayley were usually above the fray, at least when Pilar was role-playing under the orange banner; but the others...

Sydney could be deliciously cold and cruel, the perfect Beautiful Villainess.  Little Alice, on the other hand, was the very image of the Spoiled Princess, toying with a helpless captive like a kitten playing with a mouse.  Constance was fun, as well, especially when she played the part of the Scholarly Inquisitor tasked with the interrogation of a captured enemy.  And Cricket?  Cricket was her favorite.  Bubbly, mischevious little Cricket was a ton of fun.  She could be so deliciously naughty.

Cricket coiled the rope and pulled Pilar to her knees.  "Perhaps you were left by a hunter as bait," she purred, "to lure wolves or bears to the area, or maybe you're an offering for the Fairies."  She looped the end of the rope around Pilar's throat, tied a non-compacting knot, then stood and gave what was now a hemp tether a firm tug.  "Well, you're mine now.  Up on your big feet, human," she ordered.

Pilar stood, and watched as Cricket looped the far end of her neck rope around the top of the post with the NO TRESPASSING sign.  It was like she was a bridled horse tied to a hitching post.  It was... (Pilar shivered with delight) ...terribly humiliating.

Suddenly, in one fluid, graceful motion, Cricket picked up her pole-ax, gave it a whistling flip, and dropped into fighting stance, facing the rhododendrons.  "Do you think you can sneak up on a Wood-Elf?" she demanded.  "Come out!"

The green, glossy leaves shook, and another figure stepped onto the trail.
Tales of the Foxwood B&B:
Chapter 1

Chapter 2