tagNonConsent/ReluctanceA Tale of Revenge Ch. 07

A Tale of Revenge Ch. 07

byAmoryParks©

Ok, I'm kind of nervous about this chapter. I rewrote a lot of it just recently. I'll get more into it at the end but for now please enjoy! Also, this will make little sense if you start with this section. If you're interested, I highly recommend you start with the first chapter.

*

Three weeks later, the promised weather had started in earnest. Anna and Dev had managed nearly every mercenary between them and the capital. As they traveled, the population became denser and they were able to stay in inns and eat in roadhouses instead of foraging for themselves. Anna took to disguising herself as a boy, magically and mundanely, to avoid questions and looks. She had stood out in her village for her dark hair and eyes and pale skin. As they got closer to the capital she was no longer so unique, but she preferred to draw less attention. They used the coin they took off their targets to pay their way. It seemed only fitting that the stolen money should help them to find those who took it.

Anna and Dev had grown close as traveling companions. He never asked again about the marks he had seen, and for her part she all but ignored her magic until it was time to curse the men they had tracked down. She learned to draw a few runes and place basic healing spells but chose not to push it any further. Dev had quickly gotten over his initial interest in possessing magic as well, which helped soothe Anna's fears that she'd somehow corrupted him.

Dev had asked her to teach him how to fight and she had agreed happily. Unfortunately it became quickly apparent that, never having learned herself, she was completely incapable to instructing another. All she could do was provide Dev a sparring partner high above his own capabilities. Anna was never more aware of her lack of discipline then when she found how little control she had over her movements when confronted. More often than not Dev ended up in the mud, but his skills were improving, despite Anna's inability to hold back.

Dev had also come to terms with Anna's unique brand of dispensing justice. There had been one close call, when Anna had cornered a man Dev recognized as the one who had set the house alight with his father still inside. He had launched himself at the man, forcing him to the ground while holding an arrowhead against the great vein in his neck. Dev stared into the man's frightened eyes and understood, for the first time, what Anna was talking about. He wanted to kill this man, to watch him die at his hands, but he knew it would take more from him than it would put back in.

For Anna the weeks had settled into a strange rhythm that, oddly enough, was beginning to feel normal to her. During the day she was traveling with Dev, a partner in their quest for revenge. He finally managed to draw her out until she was regaling him with her father's stories and the gypsies' songs in return for his folk ballads and wistful recollections. Though she wasn't always the most cheerful traveling companion, they had found an easy pace between the two of them.

At night though, the god would come and take her away, awakening the darkest corners of her sexuality, wringing pleasure from her body as he played on her deepest desires. He bound her, whipped every inch of her, spanked her until she was sobbing and dripping wet. Each night he came to her, he would force her to a shuddering climax on his skillful hands and mouth. He left her exhausted and yet somehow unsatisfied.

She both dreaded and anticipated these meetings. Once he didn't come for three nights together and she had thought she might explode. When he did come the fourth night, he teased her mercilessly until he started in earnest. He had her lying back, arms restrained overhead, her legs bent and pulled back, tormenting her with his tongue and fingers. She had tried not to show her reactions. So he spanked her wet slit until she couldn't hold still any longer, forcing her to lose control once again.

Another night he returned her to the moving trees who were exceedingly eager to see her again and immediately wound around her like excited pets. Leonid had taken full advantage of her state, strung up, hands overhead and legs pulled apart. He clamped her nipples in unyielding metal while the branches twined around her breasts, binding them so tight that they throbbed in time with her heart. He was stroking her to near completion while occasionally pulling on the chain that linked the two clamps whenever she got too close. It was too much, the trees' constant embrace as it moved over her sensitive skin, squeezing her breasts as Leonid seemed to know exactly where to touch her and exactly when to pull away. Anna surrendered. She looked into his eyes and said his name, begging for release. She hoped she hadn't imagined the effect it had on him. His gaze grew intense and he finally entered her with three fingers, stroking her clit with his thumb. She had screamed his name again in climax. The wicked creature that he was, he released the clamps just as she began to clench around his fingers. The pain shot through her, the orgasm she had reached was at once overwhelmed with pain and pushed to an even higher peak. He had soothed her tortured nipples with his mouth as his hand brought her to repeated climaxes until they all bled together and she lost all sense of where her body stopped and her surroundings began.

After he left her, or on the nights he didn't come, she would fall asleep and drift into dreams where he was there with her, facing her completely, no power play or dominance. In her dreams their couplings were anywhere from gentle to carnal in their urgency and they were satisfying in a way her waking interactions with him couldn't be.

But it wasn't always enough to keep her nightmares at bay. She often fell into those dreams of death. She would cover her ears to no avail as the sounds of her loved ones dying filled her mind. It was those mornings she woke with her dark purpose reaffirmed.

Now, finally, they were on their last sell-sword before the capital. She could see the other soldiers were stationed in the palace. She was grateful they were all so conveniently located together. Tracking down all of these dispersed murderers was getting tiring. She and Dev had tracked this last one back to his home on the outskirts of a large town a day's ride from the capital. They had put up for the night in an inn, taking a day to rest their horses before they dealt with him and made their last push towards the city. Anna had settled into a deliciously warm bath she had commissioned from the innkeeper. She let the warm water sooth the aches from riding, along with the familiar soreness of her overworked core after a visit from Leonid the night before. She folded her long limbs in an attempt to submerge all of her skin away from the autumn chill. She felt wonderfully clean for the first time in weeks. She had been more careful to eat and not to overtax her magic and had managed to gain weight again, shedding the gauntness that had clung to her form since that day so long before.

Was it really that long? Anna turned over the events of the past while. It had barely been two months since the soldiers had descended on her village. And they had arrived in high summer with barely any warning. Anna was well aware of the war in the eastern stretches of the kingdom. But her home, in the southwest, has barely felt a whisper of the conflict. As she and Dev neared the capital, the talk of the war had become more omnipresent. More men were being called up, more boys packed their bags for glory. It begged the question why, with so much at stake, an entire troop of soldiers and mercenaries showed up in a tiny village to wreak destruction and death only to disappear back into the land as if they had never been away. Anna frowned. This issue had bothered her before, but she found herself chasing the problem in circles and coming up with nothing. She had posed it to Dev as well with no real results.

Anna sighed, sinking further into the bath, letting her dark hair flow around her head in an inky cloud. There were a few things that didn't add up. What was of so much interest in the tiny village? She considered the old healer woman. Anna had read the entirety of the book of magic she found there several times at this point. Perhaps the old woman was of some importance? Then why murder everyone? They didn't need to send 50-odd men to take out one country witch. And how was Leonid connected to this? He had never spoken to her again of the deal he had made with her ancestor. She had always meant to ask and it always seemed to slip her mind when he was around. Then again there were always more pressing matters to think of when he did appear.

Anna dunked her head and came up for air, wiping the water away from her eyes. There was no use thinking of that. No good in getting all heated now.

"Penny for your thoughts." Anna started at the sound of his voice, but managed not to jerk towards his surely smirking face. The dirt beneath her fingernails got the appearance of her attention.

"You've paid much more than that for unlimited access." A sly smile played on her lips. "Or do you just like sneaking in on women in the bath?"

"Seems I paid for access to that as well." His voice held a promise underneath the teasing tone. Anna schooled her face against the shiver of excitement that shot down her back.

She turned towards him. Leonid was stretched out on the bed, propped up on his elbow, her favorite smirk planted on his lips. She placed her arms on the rim of the bath and perched her chin on top of them, giving him a smile.

"Even a paying customer can overstay his welcome," she remarked conversationally.

"Well, aren't you lucky that I'm no longer paying." His lips continued from the smirk to a cheeky grin. Anna sighed and turned back to her nails.

"I seem to recall you saying you would not be demanding. It seems to me you might be confused as to the meaning of the word."

"Are you attempting to educate me? Have you never learned to listen to your elders like a good little girl?"

Anna laughed at this. "Well I suppose my bath is over then. If you intend on continuing my education."

"Oh I do," came a whisper right behind her, his lips against the hard shell of her ear. She couldn't stop the sharp intake of breath as arousal shot through her, heating her skin in the cooling bath. His fingers traced down her back between the soaked tendrils of hair clinging to her skin. "There is still so much for us both to learn."

Anna only somewhat managed to regain control of her voice. "And here I was enjoying the first hot bath I've had in weeks. Your timing is not optimal."

"Oh?" Leonid's voice slid over her as his lips met the column of her neck. "This tepid water is so tempting? Perhaps I should allow you to finish." He pulled away.

"Well," she said with a sigh, "all good things as they say." With that she stood up, letting the water cascade down her skin. She pulled her long locks over one shoulder to wring the water out, turning towards the god as the water rippled over her breasts. Part of her was aware that it was a bit silly to try tempting a god with her limited, mortal and ever imperfect assets. The bigger part didn't care. This was their dance and this was her part to play. She had stopped fighting it.

She looked up at him, hoping her insecurities weren't written all over her face. Vulnerability, she was learning, was almost infinite in its depths. Just when she thought she had bared herself completely, it seemed there was another corner left unexplored.

Leonid was not looking at her face, to her small relief. But the way he looked at the rest of her set her off balance in an entirely different way. He walked towards her slowly. Anna let her fingers tangle at the edges of her hair, just below the curves of her breast but otherwise resisted fidgeting under his gaze. He raised his fingers and traced the wet skin from her bare shoulder, down to the top of her breast, then directly across her nipple and to the torturously sensitive underside. "All good things," he said with a smile and dropped his hand.

With that the room around them disappeared and Anna was standing in a copse just beyond the boundary of the village. Leonid appeared behind her, his hands smoothing over her shoulders. She realized that the hair under her fingers was completely dry, as was the rest of her.

"And here I was all clean and you drag me back to the woods. Have you never thought of using a bed?" she said, her exasperation only half faked. She had been looking forward to being warm and clean tonight.

His mouth was on her neck again. "I promise to return you just the way you were." His hands came around her body, one to her breast, cupping it with his hands while his wicked fingers found the puckered nipple and started to roll it between them. The second went across her stomach and to the inside of her parting thighs, tickling the skin there.

She melted into him, pressing her body back into his embrace. She tilted her head, giving him better access to where her neck met her shoulder. His lips found the place where she was most sensitive. Anna bit back a moan as his fingers began stroking her outer lips, teasing in the rapidly dampening curls.

"Are we so eager tonight?" Leonid said before sucking lightly on her skin.

"I suffer what I must," she said with a small smile.

"Don't get too smart. I have plans for you tonight. You wouldn't want me to have to teach you manners as well." His voice was light and laughing but the smile left Anna's lips. He would push her again, some new boundary she hadn't met yet. Part of her was scared but the other, deeper part of her, the part that loved the pain and craved the loss of control, that part rejoiced. He felt her stiffen at his words and he came around her front slowly, trailing one hand along her body so as not to lose contact.

Her eyes fell to his other hand where a long black rope was hanging ominously across his fingers. She took a deep breath and looked up at him. He looked back at her and took her arm, running his hand up and down the skin before bringing one length of rope to her upper arm, looping it around above the muscle there. As he worked, the second length followed the same path on its own on her other side. He wound it around her arm twice, then a third time, forming a sort of cuff. She could feel it was made of the softest fibers but it was strong and firm against her skin. She took in a shaky breath.

"Do you remember when your father took you and your sister out and taught you how to tie rabbit snares?" Leonid spoke as he continued to work. He tied off the cuffs around her upper arm, leaving a great deal of rope hanging down. His hands stroked the skin and he moved to coil the rope just below her elbow, forcing her forearms to bend at a sharp angle from her upper arm. Anna nodded, she did remember, but why was he bringing this up now? "You and June practiced tying the slip knots around each other's wrists and pulling them. Do you remember?" Again Anna nodded. Her body was sending terribly mixed messages back to her brain. It felt like her core was writhing though she couldn't be sure if it felt good or terrible. This was always the place he took her to, the line between pleasure and pain, between agony and ecstasy.

Her brain felt cloudy as her breath picked up. His busy fingers had brought the rope to her wrists and wrapped the rope three more times, creating the last cuff. Still more rope hung down from each forearm, which were forced away from her body towards him, her wrists turned upwards as though offering him something from her hands. He tied the last knot at her wrist and Anna felt a jolt of arousal between her legs as if he had touched her but there had been no contact.

Anna's eyes flew to his face. She had felt that before, that day in the woods. When June had pulled her slipknot tight, finally succeeding in getting it right, Anna had felt a shock in her core, just as she had when Geoff threw her into the water. She hadn't understood then what it was.

Leonid bent down and placed a soft kiss on her parted lips. Before Anna had composed herself enough to respond he was gone, moving behind her. He drew her arms back with him, crossing her forearms across her back so they lay against each other. The position forced her back to arch and he used the ropes to secure her wrist to the opposite arm just above the bend of her elbow.

Anna's breathing increased with every moment. The feeling of being so completely bound was both terrifying and exhilarating. Leonid came around her front again, his hand trailing over the line of her arched body, plucking her presented nipples and smoothing over her sides. A bench appeared behind him and he sat, pulling her kneeling onto his lap, her legs on either side of his thighs.

Anna felt off balance, like she might fall at any moment. He wasn't offering her any support at the moment and she tugged her arms reflexively to try and find some purchase. When her arms couldn't come to support her she felt a small jolt of panic. The ropes began to snake their way across her body, crossing first in front of her and then again at her lower back before curling around her thighs, creating the same three turned cuffs around her upper thigh and then directly to her ankle, holding her legs in their bent position. Then back to the arm on the same side, forcing them to spread even further. She was totally helpless, her body held firmly in the embrace of the silk cords. Something like panic began to well up in her chest, her breathing was ragged and uneven, her ears roared. Her wide eyes met his eerily blue ones and she was afraid.

"Anna," his voice was soothing, his warm hands grasped her sides, holding her firmly on his lap. "It's alright." His hands moved across her back, pulling her body more firmly against his, keeping her in a tight embrace. "Anna, do you trust me?"

That brought a halt to her reeling mind. She looked back into his face.

"What?" she gasped.

"Do you trust me?" he asked again.

Anna shook her head confused, "Don't you know?"

Leonid shook his head slowly. "You are unsure."

She was unsure. Did she trust him? Could she trust him? He owned her, he had taken her and piece-by-piece unmasked her innermost desires and fears. He had invaded her mind and wrung pleasure from her unwilling body. And now he asks for trust?

"You forced me."

"I own you."

"I didn't like it."

"Do you like it now?"

Anna thought for a long moment before she nodded.

"Do you trust me?"

There is was again, that disturbingly small question. There was no small answer. He owned her, for eternity, beyond the realm of her mortal life, beyond any timeframe she could possibly comprehend. Did she trust him? Could she even conceive of a trust that could withstand all time? No. She couldn't. But now, in this moment, could she trust him? He had pushed her boundaries, opened up her soul, but he had done it for her pleasure. He had seen in her the desires she had felt all her life but hadn't understood, the buried signs of her particular taste. Did she trust him to know her and bring her pleasure?

She bit her lip and looked at him.

"Well?" he asked. Did he sound impatient?

"Don't you know?"

"Contrary to what you might think I am not always listening in. I do love to be surprised."

Anna smiled at that. She nodded.

"Say it." Anyone less used to the sound of his voice might not have noticed that it was slightly ragged.

"I trust you," she whispered.

"Again," he said, his voice dark and lustful. His eyes burned her and she felt like her entire body would ignite.

"I trust you," she said in a low voice. His kiss almost cut off her last word. His mouth was hot and demanding. Anna was swept up in his fervor. She wanted to tangle her fingers in his hair, to pull him into her as he was pulling her to him. But being bound and vulnerable sent a dangerous excitement through her. Her body moved with every pull of his hands, completely dependent on him. That deepest part of herself thrilled at the loss of power.

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