The Captive Pt. 10byJaynaVixen©
I am overwhelmed by your encouragement. I am so pleased that you are on pins and needles over these two star-crossed lovers, just as I am! Thank you to all who applied to edit. The next piece was tightened up by our own PallasAthena01. Thank you all for your readership. Dare to dream...I do!
Gods, what was the matter with him?! Ryder shook his head in disgust. He had nearly ravished his captive! Had it not been for her desperate cry, he would have seated himself fully within her virgin channel, taking her for his own. Ryder clenched his jaw. This was turning out to be a much more difficult challenge than he had expected! He took several breaths and once his raging erection had subsided, he headed back to the clearing. He would now have to calm the frightened girl and apologize for his indecency.
Expecting a blushing, nervous maid, Ryder was surprised to find Johanna seated upon a rock trying to work the tangles from her hair with his own comb. She had re-dressed, and he found himself thanking the Gods that she was clothed. He could hardly concentrate as it was! She had smelled so sweet. Ryder swallowed hard. He was sure he had not imagined the hot, wet evidence of her arousal as she lay pinned beneath him.
Oh, how his voice caressed her name! Johanna was determined to appear as though nothing odd had occurred. Her hands trembled slightly as she feigned combing her hair. Johanna found herself staring at Ryder's mouth until he spoke her name again, more urgently. With some difficulty, she managed to focus on his face. Perhaps she should admit her feelings. Perhaps he felt the same?
"I-I apologize. I was half-asleep. I thought you were someone else." He said lamely.
Someone else?! Who? That April girl? Johanna reddened angrily, and then felt her heart start to ache. Of course he thought she was someone else. A man like Ryder could never be interested in her. He had said so much himself. Tears filled her eyes and she was surprised at how acutely his words pained her. Slowly, she nodded. Rogue!
"I understand." She said softly.
That was an odd response! Ryder could not figure the girl out. He plowed on.
"Uh-I have procured some meat. Let us eat and we shall be on our way."
On our way! That meant more hours in the saddle, being rocked intimately against Ryder's muscled chest and thighs. Johanna was not sure she could bear much more. Her body was wound as tight as a bow string, and her heart was on the verge of shattering. How had this happened?! How could she have such feelings about the man who had stolen her?
Steeling herself, she stood up somewhat shakily and accepted the food he offered her. Her hand brushed his palm and the jolt of electricity his touch caused nearly made her jump in surprise. At that moment, Johanna decided to make the best of her situation. For all she knew, she might not see Ryder again after he delivered her. She had only a few days more with the man. She should enjoy them while she could, even if he loved another. So, she resolved to do just that.
There was no telling what kind of life she might have once Ryder delivered her to her betrothed. Johanna forced the frown from her delicate mouth. Better not to think on her future, she thought to herself wryly. Then, once again, she was in the saddle, with Ryder's hard body at her back, and that insistent throbbing pounding between her legs.
* April scrubbed herself hard with a rough brush. Her latest patron had been a disgusting pig of a man. She shuddered, still feeling the man's vile touch on her skin. He had been rough, and angry. She was now stretched, and sore. But it had been worth it, oh so worth it.
Climbing from the bathing tub, April dressed in her most modest day dress. She wound her hair carefully, in the style of a highborn lady. A small smile played about her lips as she ran her finger over the bulging coin purse. Oh, it had been worth it, indeed. She would not give up. She would have Ryder, and she had worked out a perfect plan. Johanna would be ruined, and Ryder would be free of his silly quest.
April grinned, thinking of the additional coin that the girl could bring in once they sold the prissy little chattel. Served the bitch right! She could spend the rest of her days on her back, while April retired in luxury with the man of her dreams.
Once she had dressed and packed her meager belongings, April slipped away from Marie's without a backward glance. Acting every bit the lady, she secured a carriage, claiming to be traveling to meet her betrothed. After all, that was exactly what she was doing, even if the object of her desire did not know it yet.
"To the Ash Mountain Inn, please." She drawled, closing her eyes. If all worked out as she had planned, she would be right on time.
Ryder was finding this leg of their journey extremely uncomfortable. His cock ached from rubbing against his captive's firm behind. To make matters worse, Johanna now seemed to be completely at ease with their close proximity. In fact, she seemed to encourage it!
His captive leaned heavily into his chest, her cheek upon his left bicep. Every so often, her soft breast brushed his arm. Ryder clenched his fists. He was starting to sweat. Even though they had not covered the ground he had wished to cover, he would have to take a break soon to give his aching member a chance to cool off.
He stopped abruptly in a small clearing. This would have to do. They were still a good day's ride from the small town at the base of the Ash Mountains. He had wanted to camp closer to the outskirts of the town, but his cock could not take another moment.
Johanna slipped willingly into his arms from the black beast. Was it his imagination, or did she linger against him? He stepped away hastily and began to set up camp. When all of his preparations were complete, it was nowhere near dusk. They had some time to kill. He chanced a glance at the girl, who perched on a flat outcropping of rock. She met his eyes and then blushed, looking away.
Johanna could not seem to stop sneaking furtive glances at Ryder's muscled arms as he carried wood into the clearing. Her breathing accelerated as he set up their sleeping pallets. He hesitated, and shot her a wary glance before placing their sleeping mats side by side, rather than across from one another.
"Thank you." She said softly.
He looked at her in surprise.
"I will be much warmer near you, Ryder. I appreciate you thinking of my comfort."
Johanna explained, a hint of a blush suffusing her delicate features. Gods, but she looked so delectable, seated on an outcropping of smoky granite. His captive had her legs drawn up beneath her, and he could tell she watched him with great interest. Ryder could feel her gaze touch his back as he finished clearing the debris from the clearing. The tension in the small grassy area was nearly palpable.
"I should search for something to eat for supper. Are you hungry?"
His own voice came out low and raspy, surprising the hardened soldier. In that instant, Ryder was desperate to get away from his captive. All he could think about was ripping her cloak from her shoulders and yanking down the padded underthings he knew she wore beneath her skirts. He wanted to taste her intimately, and his mouth practically watered at the thought.
Hungry? Johanna stared at her captor. Yes, that word described her feelings quite well. By the Gods, she was hungry, but not for food! She had a crazy urge to launch herself into Ryder's arms as he walked past. Now that would surely be foolhardy! Certainly he would rebuff her. There was always the promise of another night lying in the man's embrace, however. Johanna shivered, remembering how it had felt to be beneath the muscled warrior, his hardness pressing into her.
"Are you cold?" Her captor was at her side instantly, wrapping her cloak tighter.
He is both a gentleman and a rogue! Johanna shivered again harder, her thighs quivering with an unknown need.
"Come sit near the fire." He lifted her up into his arms and Johanna let out a low, involuntary moan at his touch.
Ryder was so startled he nearly dropped the girl. Gods help him; she was aroused! He would recognize that sound anywhere. His jaw clenched at the effort it took to avoid throwing his captive down on the hard ground and lifting her skirts. Oh, he could appease her maidenly curiosity, that much was certain! Ryder felt tiny beads of sweat pop out onto his brow as he tried desperately to resist the painful urge in his breeches.
A thousand darts of fire were racing up and down Johanna's spine. In all her life, she had never wanted anything as badly as she wanted to feel this man's mouth on her own. Ryder stood there, holding her above her pallet near the fire, and then he hesitated. She looked into his face and gasped at what she saw.
His eyes had darkened, and she was struck by the intensity of his gaze. Johanna gasped softly at the heat that seemed to emanate from the man's very eyes. Her mouth fell open slightly, and then she set her teeth into her lower lip in anticipation. Ryder's jaw worked furiously and she could feel his arms tighten about her.
"Ryder, please..." She whispered.
Please kiss me! Oh Gods, what was wrong with her?! She craved her kidnapper's touch. She was a wanton, and she did not even care at the moment!
"Johanna." He said in a choked voice.
Suddenly, she could see that he was warring with his own emotions. Her arms were around his neck. His lips were so close. Johanna had never been one to stand by passively when she wanted something, and true to form, she seized her opportunity. She lifted her face to his and threaded her hand through Ryder's white-blond hair, offering her parted lips to him, her eyes falling closed.
Ryder was shaking with need. The girl's lips were pink and moist. Her small, white teeth came out to nibble on her lower lip and he simply lost control. Letting out a feral growl, his mouth came down on hers, hard. He felt his captive jerk back, surprised, and then she went limp in his arms as he plundered her mouth.
His mouth was so hot! Desire exploded low in Johanna's belly at the feel of Ryder's mouth on her own.
Oh Gods, is that his tongue?
It was! His tongue was in her mouth! Johanna moaned as her body was consumed by heat. She clutched at the man desperately, her body crying out for more. She wanted his hands on her, his mouth on her, everywhere.
Another low moan escaped her and Johanna arched shamelessly against the man's hard muscled chest. Her nipples seemed to have swelled, and as they rubbed against Ryder's scratchy tunic, a wet heat began to pool between Johanna's legs. She was quickly losing awareness of everything, save for the feel of the man's mouth and his wicked, wonderful tongue.
Ryder was engulfed in the girl's taste, all honey and vanilla. Her mouth opened beneath his and she moaned into his mouth as he expertly applied his tongue to her own. Oh, she was so sweetly responsive! He could feel the girl's nipples harden beneath her clothing and press into his chest. He crushed her to him, hearing her soft gasp. She was pliant and willing in his arms.
Somewhere, in the recesses of his brain, Ryder knew he must stop. She was not his to take! Ryder groaned into her mouth, and with a sensation that felt quite like searing pain, he managed to tear his mouth from hers. Breathing heavily, he closed his eyes as he tried desperately to reign in his body's fierce reaction to his captive.
Why did he stop? Oh, why did he stop?!
Johanna's pupils were dilated, and her bright eyes were glassy. Her mouth hung slack as she dangled limply in the man's arms. It had been her first kiss. The experience had rocked her to the core. A molten fire had raced from his mouth into her very blood, heating her from within. Johanna was breathless. Gods, would it always be like this when a man kissed her?!
Ryder captured his resolve and placed Johanna on her feet, where she swayed unsteadily.
"I am sorry." He said softly.
"I do not know what came over me. It shall not happen again."
Johanna stared at him, confused. She felt all jumbled inside, and the yearning that had built up deep inside her belly was nearly enough to make her beg the man.
"Not-not again?" She asked shakily. No!
"I need some time to myself." Ryder said, without looking at her.
"Did-did I do something wrong?" Johanna asked in a tiny voice. He would not meet her gaze.
"No." He said curtly. "Remain by the fire."
He heard her muffle a sob as he stalked off. Ryder pushed his hand through his hair angrily. This was getting out of control. He wanted the girl so bad he ached. The only thing he could think to do to quell his raging desire was to immerse himself in the icy cold stream. So, he did just that. Just a few more days, he told himself. He must keep his desperate cock in check for a few more days. Then, he would be rid of his captive. The thought needled Ryder as he stood up in the center of the stream and rubbed a handful of sand into his hair.
The muscled soldier grimaced at his own lack of control. He just could not seem to keep his hands off the girl. Then again, Johanna had not exactly fought him off, either. She had become aroused quickly. The girl was clearly capable of great passion. That part of him that spoke inside his head wondered again if she was trying to manipulate him in some way. Nay, he told himself. Her responses seemed genuine.
Ryder stood and shook the icy droplets of water from his body. He would have to talk to Johanna. She must not tempt him so! The next time, Ryder knew he would not be able to hold back. Certainly, he could not share a sleeping pallet with the girl again! Gods, what was he to do?!
Johanna sat huddled on the sleeping mat, waiting for Ryder to return. She choked back a miserable sob. She had never in her life felt anything like what she had felt when Ryder had kissed her. Had he kissed her out of pity? Why had he stopped? If it had been up to her, she would still be kissing the man! Her fingers came up to trace her kiss-swollen mouth in wonder and confusion.
Johanna supposed that her wanton behavior was because she loved the man. There was no denying what she felt. The sensations she had felt were akin to the ones she had read about in the brothel girl's journal. But Ryder had halted the interaction. Why?! Johanna flushed as she realized she would have let the man do anything he wished to her.
Gods, she had all but thrown herself at him! Perhaps he had stopped because he did not return her feelings. And why would he? Ryder was a tall, handsome lord. Surely, he had bedded many women. Johanna sighed sadly, his callous words echoing in her fevered mind.
"You have nothing I want." He had said.
Well, if that was true, then why had he kissed her? Ah, the man was such a frustrating brute! Johanna wrapped her arms around herself, and was reminded of how Ryder had held her close to comfort her. It had felt so good and right to be in his arms. That feeling was love, was it not? Perhaps she should talk to him. Perhaps she should tell him how she felt. She could not marry one man when she loved another-could she? Johanna was so lost in thought, that she did not sense the danger that lurked only a few feet away.
* The little bitch was alone! What a stroke of luck! Lukas limped closer, listening intently. Faintly, he detected a splash from the stream. That arrogant prick was going to be indisposed, at least for a few minutes. Lukas rubbed his grimy hands together. This was going to be more simple than he had presumed!
Then, another thought slowly made its way through his thick skull: the girl would surely get out a scream or two before he silenced her. The blond brute was fast, and certainly more agile than Lukas, thanks to the permanent damage done to his leg.
Lukas clenched his fists. That cunt! She had ruined his hopes of rising to any sort of dastardly glory. He would teach her a lesson. Lukas rubbed his hardening cock absently as he thought about what he would do to the girl. She wouldn't be able to sit down for a week! But first, he would sneak up on the unsuspecting Lord Ryder, and dispatch him. The man was bathing. He would not be armed. It would be almost too easy.
Johanna sat huddled in misery for a few more moments. But then, she garnered her resolve. She would not sit idly by and wait for Ryder to come to his senses! Thinking back on the brothel girl's journal, Johanna recalled how the author had never shared her true feelings with the man she had loved, and she had never seen him again. The author of the journal had never forgiven herself.
At the very least, Ryder should know that she loved him, Johanna thought. Then, whatever happened next would be entirely up to him. She would lay her cards on the table. Even if she were still impressed into her unwanted marriage, her conscience would be clear. With that thought, Johanna leapt from the ground and went in search of her captor. Hopefully, he would not be too upset that she had disobeyed his order to remain by the fire.
It was over so quickly, Johanna was not sure it had really happened. She felt like she was in a bizarre dream that she could not seem to wake from. Her mind replayed the events over and over again and she was powerless to stop it. She felt slightly ill as she sat at the base of an old oak tree, hugging her knees to her chest.
Heat bloomed in Johanna's cheeks as she recalled coming upon Ryder as he bathed in the stream. She was determined to tell him how she felt, and her mind worked furiously as she tried to piece together the right words. She had certainly not expected to see the man unclothed! From her vantage point behind some trees, Johanna could see every sinew in her captor's broad back.
She caught her breath as her gaze traveled to the man's narrow hips and finely sculpted buttocks. That small part between her legs began to throb as she pulled in her lower lip to worry it. Could she really tell him how she felt? What might his reaction be? Might he kiss her again? Gods, if only she could feel that wonderful heat just once more...
Nay, this was a fool's errand! He had made a mistake, and so had she. Ryder would most certainly reject her. She was behaving like a trollop! Get a hold of yourself, Jo! Turning away, Johanna had detected a slight movement a few feet down the bank. The fine hairs on the back of her neck rose as she spied a lone male figure creeping up on Ryder's flank. Ryder ducked his head beneath the water, and then began vigorously rubbing a handful of sand into his unruly blond locks.
A flash of steel glinted in the unknown man's hand. Johanna felt bile rise in her throat as light hit the would-be assailant's face. It was Lukas! She would know his ugly countenance anywhere. Her heart pounding, Johanna realized that even if she screamed a warning, Ryder would be at a disadvantage. She looked around frantically, and found a sharp, pointed rock lying near her foot.
What a startling coincidence, she thought crazily. Were it not for a sharp, pointed rock, all manner of things might be so different. She mumbled her gratitude for all the sharp rocks in the world, and then she hauled back and let the tiny spear fly.
"Ryder! Danger!" Johanna screamed, breaking out into a run.
It did not occur to her that she should run the opposite direction, to safety. Rather, Johanna picked up a larger rock and raced towards her captor and his would-be assassin.
Ryder whirled in response to Johanna's piercing warning. He hardly had time to register that a man was poised to stab him in the throat before an object whizzed by, clipping the assailant's ear.