|TALES OF THE FOXWOOD B&B
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Five Weeks Later...
The Roman Bath's dry
sauna was lit by "Elven" sconces which cast a dim,
glow throughout the hot, cedar-lined chamber. Under such
conditions, Sydney's freckles faded against her
naturally pale skin, giving her flushed, shining body the look
salmon-pink alabaster. At the moment, however, just
only thing Hannah could see was Sydney's fiery red pubic bush,
using her lips and tongue to
pleasure her writhing, moaning "pretend girlfriend". Both
were naked and slick with sweat. Sydney was sprawled on
bench with her back against the built-in rest and her legs
spread. Hannah was on her knees, and her wrists were bound
her back with a ribbon-like strip of linen cloth.
Sydney gasped, grabbed Hannah's braids, and pulled Hannah's head
to her sex. She
continued to writhe
and squirm for several seconds... then went completely rigid
eyes wide and her mouth
open in a silent scream. Hannah
continued to lick, nuzzle, and probe. Finally, Sydney
took a deep, long, gasping breath, filling her lungs with the
air. She smiled and
pushed Hannah's head away.
"Adequate, thrall," she drawled, "quite
Hannah grinned up at Sydney's flushed, shining face. Her
thrall's collar wasn't around her throat. Cold iron
became uncomfortably hot iron
sauna, so Sydney had unlocked and removed Hannah's badge of
servitude. It was
under a folded towel
outside the sauna
door; however, a thrall Hannah remained, bound by her oath to
Foxwood and by her
infatuation with The Evil Baroness Sydney.
Sydney's breasts heaved and nostrils flared as she
continued to bask in the
afterglow. "Now," she said, finally, "to continue your
lesson..." She reached for another
long strip of cloth, spun Hannah around, and took a turn around
elbows. "Let's test your flexibility." She cinched
Hannah gasped as her
were pulled together, her shoulders rolled back, and her elbows
touched. "That's tight," she complained.
"Unless the elbows are tied," Sydney lectured, "or the wrists
otherwise secured, your captive can work her hands past her
hips, pull her legs through her arms so her hands are in front,
attack the knot with her teeth." She tied a square
is especially easy if
naked and slick as a greased pig."
"But I'm not trying to
Hannah objected, a wry smile curling her
"Which is now an entirely moot point," Sydney purred.
Kayley, and I do yoga
three times a week, midmorning,
near the pond. Be there."
"I know that," Hannah snorted, "but I'm not sure I want
to take up
"It wasn't a suggestion, thrall," Sydney muttered, then spun
back around and reached for the remaining two strips of
Hannah watched as her captor set one strip aside and rolled the
thick wad. "Uh... what are you going to do?"
"Don't be coy," Sydney chuckled and tucked the cloth stuffing
unresisting mouth. She then seated the remaining strip
and over the crumpled mass, took two turns around her head,
cinched it tight, and
tied a square knot at
the nape of her neck. "Now you can scream all you want
demonstrate the proper way
entertain a guest in the sauna."
She stood, stretched, then pulled Hannah to her feet and plunked
down on the
bench. She then knelt on the deck-boards and grinned up
Hannah's gagged face. "Take good mental notes," she
there will be a series of pop quizzes, later." She placed
knees, pulled them apart, and leaned forward.
|| Tales of the Foxwood B&B:
do we leave them in there?" Kayley asked. "Their brains
"Oh... give it five more minutes," Jillian said, "then someone
wander over and knock on the door."
"I'll do it!" Constance volunteered.
Jillian and Kayley laughed, and Kayley ruffled the little
Mistress, Cook, and Scholar were naked and reclined on the stone
benches and chairs of the lounge area. Jillian was on her
and Kayley and Constance were sprawled together and sharing a
bench. An iron collar was locked around the scholar's
term as kitchen thrall had recently expired and she
was next in the rotation.
Suddenly, the door to the sauna opened and Sydney and a bound
gagged Hannah emerged. Both were flushed and dripping with
sweat. Sydney forced Hannah to her knees by grabbing her
braid with her right hand and giving it a firm downwards
then retrieved Hannah's collar and locked it around her
With a gloating grin visible even from halfway across the room,
settled the thong holding the key over her head,
pulled Hannah back to her feet, dragged her to the edge of the
pool, and gave her a shove into the deep, still water.
"Nrf!" Hannah screamed,
entered the water with a resounding splash.
"Sydney!" Jillian shouted in warning.
"Lighten up, sis!" Sydney shouted back. "You know the
trout!" She executed an overhand dive into the pool, then
towards the cleaning alcove.
Meanwhile, Hannah had struggled to the surface and was treading
water. She glared in Sydney's direction, muttering what
a curse but emerged as a gag-muffled growl, then rolled onto her
back and began frog-kicking towards the shallow end. When
the steps she planted her feet, turned, and emerged from the
and braids dripping. She turned to glare at
Sydney, once again. By this time the redhead was busy
body. Hannah turned back and stalked to the lounge area.
"Talk about your wet cat," Jillian chuckled.
"Be nice," Kayley chided; but it was clear she was as amused as
Constance climbed to her feet, scampered to meet the wet
led Hannah back
to the bench. "Poor Hannah," she sighed.
Kayley patted the bench between her splayed legs.
Hannah sat and settled her back and bound arms against Kayley's
body, then dropped her chin as Kayley reached for her
gag. The knot surrendered to the cook's strong, nimble
fingers, the cleaving band was pulled away, and the rolled cloth
from Hannah's mouth. "Thanks," she gasped, licking her
working her jaw.
Constance poured some chilled rosé from an insulated carafe into
a wooden cup and
held it to
Hannah drained the cup. "Thanks," she said, again, then
bound arms. "Would someone like to untie me?" she
"Not especially," Kayley chuckled, pulled Hannah into a tight
and nuzzled her neck.
"Stop!" Hannah complained; but none could doubt that she was
"Maybe we should at least untie her elbows," Constance
Jillian pointed at the carafe, and Constance poured a cup and
carried it over.
"She'll be okay for a while," Jillian purred, took the cup from
Constance—then grabbed the scholar's wrist and pulled her onto
"Eek!" Constance squealed, then snuggled in Jillian's arms.
"Cruel, Cymric bastards," Hannah sighed. "Woden take you
all!" She turned her head and
kissed Kayley's lips.
"Oh!" Constance smiled. "You've been reading that book on
Saxon religion I gave you—eeh—stop!"
tickling her ribs. The naked little scholar giggled and
"Only if you promise
start lecturing on Anglo-Saxon paganism," Jillian chuckled, but
relent in her tickling. She pulled Connie even closer, and
Across the pool, Sydney had finished her bath, dried her body,
walking towards the dressing room door. She made her exit
without a word or
glance at the lounge area.
"And a pleasant eventide to you too, Baroness,"
Jillian focused on Hannah. "So, regarding the
oubliette project... demolition is complete, the
blocks are delivered, the scaffolding and other supplies
are ready, and work begins first thing in the morning."
Hannah nodded. "Assuming I still have the use of my arms,"
sighed, twisting her bound elbows.
Jillian grinned. "Let's celebrate," she suggested, then
in Connie's ear.
The scholar smiled, giggled, and climbed off Jillian's
scampered to a hamper and pulled out a coil of rope.
Hannah watched this development with growing apprehension (and
Still smiling, Jillian passed her hand across her mouth.
Apparently, Kayley understood this as a signal to restore
because she did just that.
"Mrrf!" Hannah complained as the cleaving band was cinched.
"Quiet," Kayley purred, as she leaned Hannah forward and checked
wrist bonds. She then began untying her
elbows. Hannah sighed with relief as the cloth band came
mewled in complaint, again, as Kayley used the cloth to
reinforce her gag.
Constance had returned with the rope, and acted as Kayley's
while the cook looped several bands around
Hannah's arms and torso. "Sorry, Hannah," the little
sighed, "but a
thrall has to follow orders."
Hannah rolled her eyes in mock disgust as
she was eased to the floor. More rope tightened around her
and ankles, then was looped through her wrist bonds and
pulling her into a stringent hogtie. She lay on her side
watched as Constance went to another hamper and returned with a
velvet bag, which she handed to Jillian.
The Mistress of the Keep sat cross-legged on the floor, opened
and shook out five six-sided dice and a small wooden cup.
or hazard?" she asked.
"Tripps," Kayley responded.
"Tripps," Constance agreed. "Hazard's a stupid
game. It's far
What are we playing for?"
"What do you think?" Jillian purred, and all eyes focused on
Hannah. "She's already gift wrapped, but being a kind and
generous Mistress, I've decided
to share the wealth with my devoted subjects."
Kayley and Constance smiled and rolled their eyes, then joined
Ladyship on the floor, matching her cross-legged pose.
Hannah watched as Jillian dropped the dice into the cup and gave
vigorous shake. "The winner has to have our Saxon prize in
midnight," she announced, as the dice rattled.
"In somebody's bed,"
amended, winking at Hannah, "but I assume you mean the winner
make sure our Resident Artisan gets
enough sleep for tomorrow's labor."
Jillian nodded. "Best of three rounds," she said, and
cup to the floor.
Helpless in her inescapable bonds, Hannah rested her gagged head
cool stone flags and watched her "Cymric Captors" gamble for the
privilege of using her naked body for their pleasure. A thrill shivered through
her sex as
the dice rattled and rolled.
|| Tales of the Foxwood B&B:
To work―to work!
helped when they could, even Jillian. The concrete blocks
be moved from their delivery pallets to the empty
torture chamber cell they were using to stage the
then had to be sorted into their different sizes and shapes,
be lowered to the bottom of the now empty elevator shaft.
had decided to go with stone flags for the floor, and lowering
heavy, flat slabs, laying the mortar
bed, and setting the stones had taken two very strenuous days.
ordered to face the shaft walls interlocked in a pseudo-random
she'd also specified the
specialized blocks that allowed them to give the final space
corners. They ran the foil-covered, flexible tubes of the
rammed-air heating system through the four resulting corner
supply, and two exhaust. Hannah would make certain to
blade-thin cracks between the corner blocks of the first dozen
so there would be more than enough space for air
Any potential languishing prisoners would be toasty warm.
existing six-inch drain at the bottom of the elevator shaft was
with a heavy iron grill of the appropriate hand-forged, medieval
appearance. Hannah insisted on adding a basket-trap under
the grill and she verified there was a cleanout in the nearest
plumbing space. When the oubliette was finished and the
dressed with straw, they'd be able to deal with any clogs in
The first course of blocks was set in a bed of mortar, flush
the shaft wall. Subsequent
courses relied on the keyways molded into each block, as well as
periodic globs of builder's adhesive and steel anchors bolted
side of the shaft. The required holes were drilled with
a large hammer-drill.
As work progressed, heavy iron eye-bolts were driven into each
four walls. They awaited the attachment of chains at the
four-foot, and eight-foot levels. Once overtaken by the
shell of concrete blocks, only their terminal rings were
Hannah was the site manager, of course, and for the most part
boots, kilt, and bra-top. The others wore thrall or
costumes suitable for labor, and all wore heavy
Their medieval appearance was more from habit than for
any real reason. Modern electrical cords, work lights,
tools, and scaffolding were necessary "evils" to expedite
progress. There was no way one
could mistake the area for an "authentic"
medieval building site—but this was moot, as
no guests were allowed within sight or sound of the torture
chamber level while work was in progress.
Course after course, the work progressed, slowed only by the
periodic requirement to extend the scaffolding, or when Hannah's
were called away to entertain guests or perform other tasks.
|| Tales of the Foxwood B&B:
dawned which marked the one quarter point on Hannah's project
the Resident Artisan arrived at
breakfast to find Jillian and Sydney already present.
Her Ladyship was in one of her velvet gowns, rather than work
clothes. She had
a backlog of B&B paperwork, telephoning, and other business
attention and would be unavailable for the laying
of blocks. Sydney, on the other hand, was dressed in
boots, tights, and a linen
jerkin. Workgloves were tucked in her leather
M'ladies," Hannah said with a bow.
"Good morrow, Master Artisan," Jillian responded.
Sydney mumbled a greeting as she poured Hannah a mug of coffee.
"The Scholar got off as planned," Hannah announced.
had a series of meetings with her agent and publisher and would
for the next three
days. Hannah had waved as she departed in the pre-dawn
her blue-gray Prius.
"Up at the crack of dawn and on her way to San Francisco,"
confirmed. "Since there are no guests, I let her change
in her room, rather than waste time in the Mews."
"Connie's really cute in a business suit and heels," Hannah
Sydney rolled her eyes and said nothing.
"No sign of the Twins?" Hannah inquired. Alice and Cricket
usually beat Hannah to the Common Room in the morning.
"Indulging in an early boink, no doubt," Sydney purred, and
"Be nice," Jillian scolded, but a tolerant smile curled her
The door to the kitchen opened and Kayley entered,
burdened by a large
tray of covered dishes. "Don't everyone rush to help at
Hannah and Sydney scrambled to their feet. Sydney headed
kitchen and Hannah took the tray from the cook.
"Sorry, Kay-bear," Hannah chuckled.
Kayley pulled out a chair, collapsed in an exaggerated,
sprawl, and glared at
Jillian. "You freed my thrall and sent her off on
holiday to 'Frisco," she accused, "leaving me to do all the
"Oh, you poor thing," Jillian drawled, shaking her head.
clear that Kayley was teasing.
Sydney returned with a second tray. Covers were removed,
revealing scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, and stacks of
"Yum!" Hannah said, leaned over and kissed Kayley's cheek.
morrow, Mistress Cook."
"And a good morrow to you," Kayley responded, then grabbed
one of Hannah's braids and returned the kiss in her usual
manner. "Where are Alice and Cricket?" she asked as Hannah
"Boinking," Hannah and Sydney answered in unison.
"Possibly," Jillian chuckled. "I'm sure they'll come
door at any second."
They all glanced at the door in question...
but the lovers failed to appear.
"Well..." Kayley huffed, as they loaded their plates, "I hope
cold eggs, 'cause I'm not cooking
more and I'm not throwing
"Whatever they're doing," Sydney said, "I hope it's worth it."
|| Tales of the Foxwood B&B:
Sydney filled an hour double-checking the plans, verifying that
proper mix of blocks was staged for the day's work, etc.
Eventually, they had no excuse but to either start work without
Bobbsey Twins, or to go looking for them.
"Hell no!" Sydney growled, when Hannah suggested they start the
course. "I'm sick and tired of that lazy pair getting away
this kind of stuff."
"Cricket isn't so bad," Hannah objected.
"She goes along with every wild-ass excuse for an idea that pops
tiny little mind," Sydney responded. "Being cute is no
Hannah smiled. "It works for you,"
she purred, and kissed Sydney's lips.
Sydney blushed. "Stop it, you flirt," she muttered.
"There's no one watching, so we don't have to pretend."
Hannah pulled her into a tight embrace and kissed her
"Practice makes perfect."
"Flirt," Sydney reiterated, then initiated a third kiss—and this
it was very much a full-force, lip-slurping, tongue-wrapping
worthy of Kay-bear.
Several seconds later... the kiss ended and the blonde and
"Enough practice," Sydney huffed.
"For now," Hannah agreed. "Let's go corral some help."
|| Tales of the Foxwood B&B:
Crimes & Seditious Acts!
and Sydney made their way to the Residents' Wing and Hannah
on Alice and Cricket's door. They waited several
Hannah knocked again.
"Enough," Sydney growled, and tried to open the door.
"Locked. Use your pass key."
"Should I?" Hannah pondered.
"Use it or give it to me," Sydney responded, holding out her
"Okay, okay," Hannah chuckled, pulled her key ring from her
the appropriate key in the lock. "Coming in!" she warned,
opened the door.
Hannah and Sydney stared at the tableau revealed... then broke
gales of laughter.
"I knew it!" Sydney
as she stomped into the bedroom.
Hannah was right behind her.
Cricket was spreadeagled on the bed, naked and on her
Heavy iron manacles and shackles, padded on the inside with
locked around her wrists and ankles. Chains stretched from
tight cuffs to the bedposts, enforcing a taut stretch. Her
was caged with a tight
harness-gag, but one with a curved, glistening, black leather
from the mouthpiece.
Alice, also naked, in chains, and on the bed, was on her knees
Cricket's splayed legs. An iron collar was
around the little redhead's throat, with a long chain attached
linked to a ring hammered in
the ceiling joist directly over the bed. The chain was
enough to give her full rein of the bed (including Cricket's
a few feet to either side,
but it was nowhere near long enough for her to reach the
ankles were in padded
shackles separated by a half-dozen iron links. Her wrists
behind her back, locked in padded manacles which were also
links. A few feet of chain linked the
wrist and ankle chains and the back of her collar, enforcing a
loose hogtie. Like Cricket,
she wore a
Both captives were a sorry sight. Where free of her gag
Cricket's brown mop was a
tousled, damp mess. Alice's long red curls
hung in a tangled mass down her back and over her shoulders,
number of strands plastered to her flushed, sweaty face.
Hannah frowned. "Who―?"
"Ah!" Sydney interrupted, and pointed to a key dangling from a
chain hanging over the foot of the bed. A wooden bowl with
quarter-inch of water was on the floor directly under the
The chain looked like it was probably long
enough to reach the floor; but it was trapped in a snarl of
links up near the ceiling. A simple shake would free the
and let the key drop; but restricted by her chains, Alice was in
deliver such a shake. "Self-bondage," Sydney
"Freeze the chain in a big ice cube, make chained whoopie 'til
the key drops into reach, then unlock your chains." She
smiled at Hannah. "What could possibly go wrong?"
Hannah grinned. "Hmm... the chain could get all tangled
Sydney grinned back. "It might only happen something like
one-in-a-hundred times, but if it
They turned and smiled at the helpless captives. Alice
with a pathetic, gagged pout; and Cricket's doe eyes were
"Writhing on the bed all night," Sydney chuckled, shaking her
head. "No doubt using those gags to run through the entire
Bobbsey Twin Kama Sutra."
"I wonder how long it took them to notice their timer had
"Who knows?" Sydney shrugged. "Anyway... busted!"
"Green calendar page, green lantern, and green flag," Hannah
"No bondage allowed," Sydney nodded, "self, or otherwise."
Hannah looked up at the snarled chain. "You know, if you
that thing with a dozen lengths of stiff wire, linked end-to-end
single rings, you could fold the whole thing into a bundle,
end in whatever you're using to hold the water to make the ice
don't think this would ever happen."
"Very good, thrall," Sydney said with a respectful nod.
for future reference, but they're
Hannah sighed. "Uh... should we tell Jillian, or should we
Sydney snorted in disgust. "Well... I don't like being a
"Ahem!" a familiar voice sounded from the direction of the door.
"―but this is a gross violation
Her Ladyship's rules," Sydney continued, earnestly, and without
"I agree completely,"
said, with exaggerated sincerity. "We have no choice but to tell our
"Not to mention beautiful," Sydney added.
"Oh, stunningly beautiful,"
Hannah and Sydney exchanged a wink, then turned to face the
"Oh, hello, Mistress,"
said, and executed a deep, servile bow.
Sydney bowed as well, then pointed at the bed.
"Look, Your Wonderfulness! Wicked
Jillian was standing in the threshold (of course),
a sad frown on her freckled face. "Oh, Alice," she sighed,
strode onto the room, stopping between Hannah and Sydney.
gazed at the
helpless captives for several seconds, then sighed. "One
she intoned. "The Common
Room. Court baron." She spun on her heel in a flurry
of swishing green velvet, and stomped from
Hannah frowned. "Huh?"
"Manorial court," Sydney explained. "Like I said..."
indicated the captives with a sweeping gesture. "Busted!"
Hannah was still confused. "'Court baron'? I thought
you were the baron
Sydney shrugged. "Her Ladyship holds the actual pretend
but I fill the 'Baroness' role in the scholar's
grinned. "Miss Know-it-all said my title should be nothing, or
Honorable Sydney of Foxwood'; but that sounded stupid, so I
down to the dungeons and tortured her 'til she saw the light."
Hannah rolled her eyes. "Sure you did." She nodded
naked captives. "Let's get them ready. They
to visit the Little Miscreants' Room, like, right now."
The "miscreants" in question mewled and nodded in vigorous,
|| Tales of the Foxwood B&B:
later, as ordered, court baron
convened in the Common Room.
Jillian was in a throne-like chair on the center of the
stage. She was wearing the same emerald gown, but had
white silk veil and her badges of feudal office: a light,
trimmed with white fake-fur draped over her shoulders, and a
circlet gracing her brow.
Kayley stood at her side. She had changed into a gown of
velvet with long, drooping sleeves. A white silk veil,
silver circlet, and heavy gold seneschal's chain completed her
costume. An oak staff was in her right hand.
Hannah and Sydney were still wearing their work outfits, but
added rust-red tabards emblazoned with the Foxwood fox.
had a hand ax tucked in her belt, and a sheathed broadsword
rode Sydney's left hip.
Side-by-side, naked, bound, and gagged, Alice and Cricket stood
Mistress of the Keep. Hannah's hand was on
Alice's shoulder, and Sydney had charge of Cricket. No
been made to clean the prisoners or
dress their tangled hair; but their bondage had been
separated by a foot of heavy chain were locked around their
Their arms were folded behind their backs and faux-hemp rope
their arms, shoulders, and torsos in tight, elaborate
Large rags were stuffed in their mouths and held in place by
Kayley lifted her staff and brought the butt down with a loud crash. "Oyez, oyez,
she intoned. "Draw nigh, those summoned and required to
before the Right Honorable The Lady Foxwood, Magister Temporal."
Sydney forced Cricket to her knees, and Hannah quickly did the
Jillian stared at the kneeling captives for several seconds,
heaved a sad, world-weary sigh. "Alice Foxwood and Cricket
Clarke, I sentence you to―"
"Wait!" Hannah interrupted. "I thought this was a trial?"
"Are you channeling the Scholar?" Sydney muttered. "She's usually the one who
fastidious about this stuff."
"This has nothing to do with judicial correctness," Kayley
Ladyship, the Cruel Tyrant," she said, nodding
the throne, "has things to do, and
so do I."
Hannah was amused but unmoved. "In all fairness..." she
"Oh, very well," Jillian sighed, with a tolerant smile.
the prisoners' gags."
Sydney favored her fellow man-at-arms with a very dirty look as
began untying Cricket's gag. "If The Princess Brat gets
of this..." she growled.
"Don't be silly," Kayley chuckled. "Her Ladyship isn't
go to all this trouble without somebody getting cruel and unusual
"Ahem!" Jillian cleared her throat, struggling to suppress a
smile. "Maintain the gravity of the moment, or I'll hire
and put you all in
Hannah untied Alice's gag and pulled the wadding from her mouth.
"This is unfair!" Alice complained immediately, frowning at
"You didn't violate the green banner?" Jillian inquired.
didn't openly flaunt one of my most important rules?"
"Not openly," Alice
objected. "The bedroom door was locked, and..." Her
trailed off in the face of Her Ladyship's disapproving
"You didn't indulge in unsafe self-bondage?" Jillian
"The chain has never tangled like that before," Alice sighed.
"Oh, well, never mind then," Jillian said, with a dismissive
Alice's eyes widened in surprise. "Really?"
"No," Jillian glared,
She focused on Cricket. "What do you have to say for
Hannah frowned and turned to Sydney. "Wen Elf?" she
"Later," Sydney whispered back.
"Mercy!" Cricket pleaded. "Mercy, Great Lady!"
"I know you know better than this," Jillian said with a sad
"I..." Cricket sighed. "We didn't mean any harm."
Jillian shook her head. "Are you familiar with the term
from the bottom'?" she asked.
Cricket frowned. "How does that apply? I didn't―"
"No, you didn't," Jillian interrupted. "That's the
I expect you to be the responsible adult in these situations, as
don't seem to be able to rely on Alice to control herself."
"Jillian!" Alice complained.
Jillian ignored her young cousin. Her eyes remained on
Cricket. "I indulge you two far too much, but that's
beginning right now. The next time your mistress
something like this, remember your other mistress, and don't let it happen."
"Yes, Mistress," Cricket mumbled.
"Wait!" Alice wailed. "It's my fault. I had her chained to the bed
before she could―"
Jillian shook her head. "Don't even try." She
gaze to Hannah. "Master Artisan, there's good reason for
edict of the green banner. It's impossible to be precise,
best guess is that a quarter to a third of our regular guests
would be very put off
if they stumbled upon
an open display of 'special' activity. That's easily the
between this business turning a profit and going under.
while it hasn't happened since your arrival, we do book families with
"And there are entire herds of
and young slackers running around the Keep during Yule
Festival," Kayley added.
"I understand," Hannah nodded.
Jillian focused back on the kneeling captives. "And so
they. Foxwood's reputation is its most important asset,
won't have it damaged by this kind of thoughtless, unnecessary indulgence."
"But there's nobody here!" Alice objected.
"Nobody but us hedonistic morons," Sydney muttered under her
"And if we had a last minute booking?" Jillian responded, "or a
surprise visitor? What would I do, run up the green banner
Alice opened her mouth to answer... then sighed in defeat.
Jillian shifted her gaze to her "men-at-arms" and passed her
Alice and Cricket offered no resistance as their gags were
"Whipping," Sydney said to Hannah as she tightened Cricket's
"My money's on whipping."
"What's wrong with a good racking?" Kayley inquired.
"Nothing," Sydney answered, "but nothing compares to the slap of
cat against taut, sweaty skin... or bastinado!
I love el bastinado!"
smiled at Hannah. "I do this version I call 'el bastinado con pluma',
where I veeery lightly
tap the feet with a
switch 'til they're nice and sensitive, then tickle them with a
feather. I'll show it to you sometime."
"Or not," Hannah
"Enough," Jillian chuckled, then reasserted her
judicial frown and focused on the
prisoners. "Alice Foxwood and Cricket Clarke, for willful
disregard of the edicts of your Sovereign Lady, I sentence you
thralldom, for a period not to exceed that time required to
entire, the building of the oubliette; plus a term of one
You are in the charge of my Master Artisan and my Master
Cook, and shall perform all tasks and duties required, on pain
Jillian focused on Hannah. "Share their labor. The
oubliette is to be completed with all deliberate speed."
shifted her gaze to Kayley. "But I expect the normal
of the Keep to continue, unabated."
She smiled at Sydney. "Lock the prisoners in belts of
and give the keys to my seneschal. They are to be immured
Stone Tower... separate cells
in the Stone Tower."
Alice forced a piteous whine
her gag, but was ignored.
"The belts are not to be removed for five days and five nights,"
Jillian continued, "except for purposes of sanitation.
that, the belts may be removed at night, but only
if they are diligent in their
labor." She nodded at Hannah and Kayley. "Also,
after five days, they may be immured together, but again, only if they are hardworking and
"Can I whip them a little, please?"
Sydney begged. "Just to
stay in practice?"
Jillian smiled at her sister. "Don't be cute," she
muttered. "I declare
today a day of rest and reflection. Only necessary work
performed." She focused back on Alice and Cricket like a
beam. "I take my 'special' rules very seriously. I trust that
is finally beginning
Cricket sighed, nodded, and dropped her gaze to the floor.
was a pause... and Alice did the same.
Jillian rose from her chair. "A lesson for you all," she
then strode from the stage and left the Common
"I'd say 'all rise', or something," Kayley chuckled, "but we're
standing... except for the new thralls."
"A five-day nookie famine," Sydney laughed. "That is cruel and
took a handful of each prisoner's hair and hauled them to
Both made gagged complaints. Hannah could see that Alice
was not happy.
Also, The Cricket
usual bubbly self. The little brown-haired pixie was much more
subdued than she'd been under similar circumstances in the
However, neither of the "new thralls" appeared to be actually devastated by Her
"I'll handle the collars and belts," Sydney told Hannah.
also handle getting them 'immured' in the Princess Suites.
they cooperate, I might even
their arms before locking them in for the night." She
favored her fellow man-at-arms with a broad smile. "Enjoy
day off," she suggested. "Take a run."
Before Hannah could answer, Sydney started dragging the
towards the door to the main Keep. "Uh... okay," she said
weak smile, then turned to Kayley. "She certainly enjoys
work, doesn't she?"
Kayley laughed as she removed her circlet and veil and shook out
hair. "Don't worry, " she said. "Like everything
happens around here, it's only half real.
Alice and The Cricket are going
have to forgo the usual boinking for the next five days, and we
will be putting them
to work, but
it's no more than that."
"More medieval melodrama," Hannah muttered.
"Exactly," Kayley agreed. "Ever run the trail to
Hannah shook her head. Her eyes were on Sydney and the
disappeared through the door.
Kayley continued. "Three-point-four miles, one way, with
some good hill
work. We can
run down and hike back. I'll pack a light lunch in a
haversacks and meet you at the North Trailhead in one
gotta change out of this stupid gown and sort out the rest of
meals." She stepped off the stage,
kissed Hannah's cheek, then headed for the Residents' Wing.
Hannah watched the cook depart, then headed for the Armory to
"I swear," Hannah muttered under her breath, "this place is a madhouse. I love it!"
Tales of the