The Phantom Pilot

byFive_Eight©

"Yes, master."

To me the Sheikh said, "And you! After you have been ministered to I want you to accompany Jadda to my tent as well."

I inclined my head to him, but indeed, I was more curious about all that ministering business he kept referring to.

He turned his attention back to the kneeling girl to admonish her. He gestured with his whip. His cruelty and his mastery of the girl seemed real enough, but he and she played a strange game with each other. "Girl, you have a quick tongue. You know better than to speak before you're spoken to."

"Master is correct."

"Don't let it happen again."

"It will not, sir."

Another gesture of the switch: "Or you won't be able to sit for a week!"

Was she smiling? "Yes, sir."

"Or maybe I'll give you fifty stripes just because I feel like it."

From where I stood I couldn't see her face, but I knew she was smiling. "Whatever master wishes."

"I know you like getting a smacked bottom."

"Master embarrasses me."

He took something from his sash. "Open your mouth," he ordered her.

The girl obeyed.

He placed something inside her mouth, "After you and he have cleaned up, do not forget to report to me."

"Yes, sir," she said around the object in her mouth.

The Sheikh said to Namtor, "Let us leave these two alone." I heard one of them chuckle as they departed into the jungle.

Jadda turned to face me, still on her knees.

Now darkness had fallen, but light from the heavens illuminated the surroundings. In the sky I counted five moons, three full, two crescents. Since the heavenly body I was most interested in knelt right in front of me I questioned nothing. Time enough for that later.

Splashed in chiaroscuro light and shadow the body of the girl took on an air of mystery. She rose up on her knees to better reveal herself to me. Her plump breasts bounced interestingly with her every move. The light of the moons played upon the deep vertical indentation bisecting the pronounced bare mound between her upper thighs. Her hairlessness drew more attention to that inviting crease.

Jadda clapped her hands together joyously at the sight of my physical reaction. "Here," she said. She took my hand between both of hers. She bent her head down and spat something into my hand. A key.

"What's this?" I asked.

She arched her eyebrows, impatient with me, "The chains." I had been so captivated with her I forgot about the shackles, her nakedness rendered them invisible. "Are you surprised the Sheikh gave me to you?"

Frankly I was, but answered her question with one of my own: "Has he never done that before?"

She pouted, "You do still not remember?"

I shrugged, not thinking, holding the key, but not the one I sought.

"Well?" she said.

"Well what?" I asked.

She held up her wrists to me. "Aren't you going to unlock these?"

I smiled weakly and fumbled with the key until the chains lay in the grass at our feet. Jadda came into my arms, kissing me passionately. I returned the kiss with equal enthusiasm. With my healthy reaction pressed against her belly she ground suggestively against me. Behind her back I reached down to grip a fat cheek in each hand so she could not move away.

Between kisses she whispered, "Before your bath I need to fetch soap and cosmetics from my tent in the camp."

I kissed her again.

She said coyly, "First, there's something I want to do for you." She brought one of my hands to her lips, sucked my index finger.

"Do you like that?" I asked.

Jadda giggled and continued doing what she was doing, her eyes on mine. After a minute of that she asked, "Guess what I really want to suck?"

I nearly groaned, "What?"

She whispered her naughty answer hotly in my ear. She kissed me, she kissed my chest, she kissed my belly, sinking lower. Her hands worked at my belt buckle, stripped away my loincloth. She knelt before me, gripping me intimately. When I saw what she held in her hands I surprised myself. Old man Walker had nothing to be ashamed of however Thwart was a man among men. She gripped in her fists evidence of one big reason Jadda held me in such high regard.

She stroked me, absolute adoration in her eyes. "You're a work of art, darling," she sighed.

I felt the wet dab of her tongue.

After prolonged licking and kissing she made the latest object of my amazement disappear completely. Her mouth engulfed me, the tip of me lodged down her throat. The sensation almost caused me to lose control. She drew back from me, my length shiny with spit and then got her nose wedged against my belly as she swallowed me whole again. After many repetitions displaying the mastery of that skill her head bobbed over my lap as she employed a shallower technique. It proved to be no less effective as I shortly rewarded her efforts with a cry of pleasure and my knees threatening to give underneath me. My hips began pumping involuntarily. Jadda gulped quickly and I heard her repeated swallowing. She made a few retching sounds, but I kept a firm hand in her hair and the other under her chin to assure she didn't slight the task she'd set herself. I held her head in place despite her choking, gratifying myself with the unabridged usage of her bottomless throat. When she finally looked up at me, those adoring eyes glazed, drool trickled from between her lips.

A white pearl formed on the end of me, a lone bead, about to drip. Jadda licked it up before it fell.

My legs shook so hard I collapsed beside her in the grass.

She stroked my face with her fingertips, whispering sweetly to me.

I placed anxious hands on her body, but she rolled away. I let her know how surprised I was but it came out feebly, "I wanted to please you."

She smiled, a gleam in her eye. "Now put your clothes back on, baby." When I reached for her again she got to her feet, the movement causing an interesting shimmy of her flesh. "We must get my bathing things from my tent. I promise to do it again when I bathe you."

I reached for my loincloth, belted on my sword while grumbling in mock protest, "The Sheikh said you were to minister to me, you heard him."

"There's a long night ahead, Thwart."

"But soon we must report to . . ."

"You really don't remember, do you?"

Before I could answer, not that I had an answer, a shape burst from the underbrush in an explosion of leaves. Like before, the sword leaped into my hand before I realized how it got there. Jolly good too; I barely had time to slash clumsily at my attacker. The sword got a solid bite however and made a grisly thunk. A large chap with a grotesque misshapen head too big for his body went down with a crash. The ground didn't shake under my feet, but the big thing fell hard. A brother or cousin of his appeared, with skin a ghastly mixture of purple and white, like an eggplant. He growled in a feral manner, grabbing at Jadda with huge swollen hands. She recoiled in terror. I made an athletic leap to her side. A decisive chop of my sword sliced the top of his big head off in a shower of warm viscera.

No one from the Sheikh's party raced to our assistance.

Two more cousins loomed from the trees and underbrush. One of them landed a punch to the side of my head with a fist the size of a brick. I staggered, but did not fall. Such a blow would've knocked Walker into the middle of next week yet Thwart weathered that love tap without complaint. I snapped the blade against his arm in an attempt to sunder that murderous fist. When that tactic failed I kicked him in the chest hard enough to hear bones crunch. The brute toppled to the ground. My strength and agility continued to surprise me. The accurate violent reactions stemmed from second nature, I did what I did without being conscious of it.

The other one approached me with a club bigger than a ball bat. In my hands the sword danced like a living thing, writing a red end to him. The goon I'd kicked tried rushing me from behind. Hot blood splashed across me again as I carved his belly with steel. Both bodies thrashed upon the ground, convulsing in death, snorting like angry dogs.

I hacked away with my sword, reveling in their destruction. Eagerly I looked around hoping to find additional assailants but only a terrified slave girl knelt before me. She watched the blood drip from my sword. I flicked the blade impatiently, sent errant drops splattering in the grass. My chest heaved with the exhilaration flooding through me. All the blood-letting and swordplay fired my blood as much as Jadda's lovemaking.

Still no one from the camp came to investigate.

I cleaned my sword on the rags one of the corpses had worn for clothing. "What manner of men are these?"

"They're not men, they're creatures," shuddered Jadda. "Mutants."

I noted hands with six and seven fingers, horrible swollen extremities, heads large and lopsided. One of the mutants had an arm longer than the other, joined to an elephantine hand. Another had an eye the size of a golf ball bulging out of its socket. The other eye was normal, but frozen wide open in death. They stared into nothingness from a head the shape of a trapezoid. I saw sloth-like feet with two toes. All four dead mutants had discolored eggplant skin.

"How did they get to be this way?" I asked Jadda.

Instead she licked her lips, bright-eyed from the violence she witnessed. "I have never seen you in battle. Your reputation with the sword is well deserved."

"Answer my question, girl, don't change the subject. What happened to them?"

She crawled toward me on her knees and kissed at my thighs. I could only guess what was next. I pushed her away. Her nipples pointed at me, the tips hard as bullets.

"I asked you what happened to them?"

She hesitated, but said, "They stood too close to the Fire."

"I don't understand."

"The Fire transformed them, changed them. The mutants are shunned by civilization," Jadda informed me, "They wander in the wilderness. They are ill, they spread disease."

I stepped back from the bodies. Insects already buzzed about them.

"What is the Fire?"

"What? The Fire is just there," she seemed at a loss for words, "like the stars and the moons."

Uneducated claptrap, I thought. Wherever I was, science wasn't there yet. "Let's get out of here."

"I agree. We must go to my tent."

I asked her to lead the way, but first she reached down into the tall grass.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

The clink of chain answered my question. Jadda said, "If I lose these, the Sheikh will beat me."

"I will take you away from the Sheikh," I announced.

She laughed like I was being ridiculous, "And how would you keep me?"

"What do you mean?" I wanted to know.

"Without the largesse of the Sheikh you would have nothing," she said. She elaborated, "I would have nothing."

"You must explain all this to me, Jadda?" I put my tattooed arm around her shoulders. She leaned against me, we started walking.

"The Sheikh feeds us. Protects us. Without him we would die," she said as patiently as talking to a child.

I was confused. "Why?"

"Who would furnish us food? Shelter?"

"I can work," I said impetuously, "I would support the two of us."

"You already have work, Thwart. With the Sheikh. Why would you wish to leave his employ? He treats you very well."

"But he beats you. He owns you."

"So?" She laughed at my incomprehension. "Did you hear him say I liked a smacked bottom?"

"Yes."

"He's not wrong. My life among the Sheikh and his men is pampered and exciting."

"He keeps you in chains, like a dog!"

"Not like a dog, Thwart, like a slave girl. There's a world of difference."

I wanted to reply but held my words in check. We walked in silence the rest of the way to the encampment. Up ahead I saw a pair of men in leather armor and helmets. Scimitars were stuffed through the wide sashes around their waists and both held spears. Automatically I reached for my sword.

Jadda told me, "Relax, Thwart. Those are the Sheikh's men guarding the camp perimeter. Do you not recognize Portor?"

Everyone seemed to forget I had no memory. "I recognize no one," I said to her dismay.

"Well, pretend that you do," she said to me. To them: "Hail, fellows. It is Jadda and Thwart."

One of the guards, a large nasty-looking character with a shaven head, grunted in an unfriendly manner. His upper torso bulged with muscle, his chest and arms littered with tattoos of skulls and devil's heads. The other man, leaner and younger, had long brown hair tied behind his head. He welcomed us. The shaven-headed fellow growled something under his breath about slave girls and guard duty. Before he affected to wander off about his own business he spat in the grass close to my feet. Jadda's arm tightened around mine and I ignored the implied insult.

The lean man said, "Don't mind him, Thwart. He's just jealous because he has to work while you're with a beautiful girl." He gazed upon Jadda's attributes in undisguised awe.

"You are so sweet, Portor," Jadda said, "Thank you."

Portor addressed me, "I'm jealous too, but I don't get angry like Kyle does. It's not your fault the Sheikh detailed us to be part of the watch tonight. How many times have I seen you spend sleepless nights walking the perimeter?" His eyes shifted from me to stare again at Jadda's nudity.

I shrugged. Portor seemed infatuated with her, but I supposed most men she came into contact with shared similar feelings. I was glad she was in love with Thwart.

Jadda reported the mutants we'd encountered down the trail. Portor said he'd get word to the Sheikh, notifying him of mutants.

As we moved on Portor said to my back, "I see you're on your feet again. You looked dead when I saw you this afternoon, Thwart."

I lifted my sword arm in thanks.

Jadda informed me out of earshot of Portor that he, along with Namtor, were my closest friends in the Sheikh's entourage. Neither of us mentioned the man Kyle, but I knew he was no friend. I also knew we'd meet again.

My lovely companion occupied a small tent, probably with three other girls. Four metal posts were driven into the ground with short lengths of chain fastened to them for securing slaves. I wondered where her tent-mates might be, but soon discovered they had duties to perform, as did Jadda. A candle burned on a small table. Then I got one more surprise, a first look at myself, or Thwart rather, in a mirror.

My hair was matted and wild, like my eyes. A number of earrings pierced each ear, a string of teeth hung around my neck. Colorful tattoos extended from shoulder to wrist on my left arm. Dragons and feral cats, symbols and runes, unclad maidens and witches, elves and wizards, among other figures, covered my arm. The rest of Thwart's body was clean-limbed and void of tattoos. He had a muscular build an Olympian athlete would envy. Thwart was not older than twenty, a strong virile animal of a man.

My fascinated gazing into the mirror amused Jadda. "Are you going to admire yourself all night?"

I pawed at my face and hair and didn't believe what I saw. The hard lithe lines of a man in his prime replaced Walker's soft middle-aged body, though not as muscle bound as the surly Kyle. The trade did not displease me. Not only did I once again have youth, I had the physique that went with it. That physique was grimy and splashed with blood.

Jadda pushed at me playfully, "Come on, you need a bath worse than I do."

With a last look in the mirror I allowed myself to be guided out of her tent. We went back through the perimeter to a spring lit by the light of the moons, very private, very quiet. I preceded her into the water and once immersed, she soaped my body. She spent long minutes working on me, washing my hair with scented oils, careful of the knot on my head; combing out my tangled hair. Afterwards I sat watching her from the edge of the pool while she bathed. Questions still crowded my mind, but like before I didn't want to spoil the moment asking them. At last she paddled over to where I sat, dangling my feet in the water. She floated between my knees, smiling with approval at the potent totem she discovered. Her hair touched my lap as she bent over the object of her desire. With a slurp she totally swallowed me again.

I knew exquisite pleasure.

"I'm keeping my promise," she said in a muffled voice.

I think I said, "I love a woman who keeps her word."

"I love you too, Thwart." Jadda kept delighting me until I almost had a surprise for her. But I stopped her before the final critical seconds elapsed.

"Let me finish you," she whispered. She tried to capture her elusive prey in her mouth.

I had decided to try a little experiment to further my role as Thwart. "Get your chains!" I commanded her.

"What?" she stammered.

I thrust a rough hand in her hair, "You heard me well enough, slave."

She scrambled from the spring with glee written across her face. The way her naked wet form moved, sensuous in the moons' light, increased my excitement. She crossed the grass and returned, links of chain jingling. Then she kneeled before me again, apparently eager to play the game of slave girl.

"Turn around," I ordered.

She did as she was told. Never had I chained a woman before, but almost immediately I cinched her wrists tightly together behind her, the cuffs nearly touching. I attached the chain from her manacles to her collar, shortening each chain several links. With arms bound and her head pulled back the line of Jadda's breasts heightened. Both of them quivered in anticipation of what lay in store. I touched her erect nipples. I touched her elsewhere.

Securing a slave girl's arms behind her curbs all resistance, every one of her secrets are depths to be plumbed. Jadda breathed heavily, beckoned me with her tongue, again with glazed eyes.

Urging her to her knees I used her like an owner uses the mouth of a chained and helpless slave girl. She choked on my enthusiasm, striving to accommodate my uninhibited exertions. Only when the situation concluded to my satisfaction did I release her. A sticky string connected her lips and me, glistening like a strand of spider web. I put her on her stomach to plumb other depths when a familiar voice came from among the trees.

Namtor: "Are you two all right?"

"What does it look like to you?" I said.

Apprising himself of the circumstances he grinned and leaned against his cleaver. "You have my apologies, but Portor said you found mutants."

I wrapped my loincloth about me, "They won't be bothering anybody."

"You killed them?" asked Namtor.

"Of course, they attacked us."

Jadda remained on her stomach, her bottom in the air. She looked very vulnerable.

"No one heard a thing," Namtor said.

"It was over rather quickly."

A snort of laughter from Namtor: "Rather quickly?"

"Indeed. They're on the side of the trail over there."

"You saw no others?"

"Just the four I killed."

"Four?"

"They interrupted Jadda and me earlier. I am becoming accustomed to such interruptions."

"I appreciate your jest, but I have already apologized," he chuckled.

Hoping he would leave us to investigate, he remained where he stood, much to my chagrin.

"I have a message to deliver. The Sheikh requests the pleasure of your company."

Jadda complained, "I feared as much."

I buckled on my swordbelt, not overjoyed either. I said, "You heard him, slave girl. On your feet. We have an audience with the master."

In her position the little slut needed help. I dragged her to her feet by her chains. She marched naked between Namtor and me, walking proudly, with purpose, like an aroused woman hurrying to her fate. Thinking about what the Sheikh had planned for Jadda in his tent made my blood boil.

We passed through the watch line again and arrived back in the clearing where the Sheikh and his entourage made camp. Dromendaries, horses and pack animals huddled at one end, campfires burned, men and women went quietly about their business. The men looked like conquerors, the women looked conquered. I smelt leather and sweat, fire, animals. I counted four large tents towering over smaller ones pitched around them, perhaps two dozen in all. We passed one of the four palisades, lit from within by tapers and lanterns. I saw the shadows of two men with a squirming girl between them. When we heard their groaning Jadda rubbed a breast against my arm. Outside another tent a maiden had her blonde head buried in a man's lap. I could not see her face, but I heard what she was doing.

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