tagNovels and NovellasAngel of Desire Ch. 03

Angel of Desire Ch. 03

byLaSalia©

Pierre was having trouble sleeping. It wasn't the hard, cold ground, he'd slept on far worse before. It was the image of the demon girl as she was ravaged by the town folk. His cock was painfully hard, but even that wasn't what plagued him the most. The more he played the scene in his mind, the less he was certain that the men had been bewitched.

It was hard to tell with the witch, the men had finished with her, and her eyes were closed when he and his knights had burst upon the scene. Watching as she walked away, and seeing the bruises that had soon formed on her body, it had become obvious that the men had been rough. If she had cast a spell on them, making them desire her so that she could gain her freedom, wouldn't she have made them use her more gently?

He knew some women liked rough sex. Sex with more than one man was inevitably going to be more forceful than with one. However, the woman had acted genuinely brutalized. Pierre was familiar with rape victims, having saved several in his career as a Knight Templar. She showed all the signs during their long ride. She shrank from all the men, jerking away from physical contact, and when Pierre had spoken loudly as they broke camp the first time, she'd nearly jumped a foot in the air.

The demon girl showed similar signs, but was even worse. Her worry for the witch was obvious, and added to his certainty that something wasn't as it seemed. As she'd ridden stiffly against his chest, her eyes had stared blankly at the scenery. When they stopped, she'd barely fluttered an eyelid. The two of them seemed shell shocked.

When he rolled on his mat, to get a better look at his captives, he noticed the slight, restless movements. It seemed they weren't sleeping well either. Biting back a curse, he rose, noting that the women's bodies became instantly rigid when they sensed his movement. Sitting beside them, facing the witch, he took a deep breath of the still night air. No one spoke, at first, but finally he got his courage.

"Are you injured?"

It was the most pathetic attempt at trying to ask if they had been assaulted against their will, and he knew it. The demon snorted. He was glad he could not see her burning red eyes. The witch finally answered, her voice haughty, yet strained.

"Yes, sir knight. We are injured. In both body and mind. You saw what happened. You saw what those men did to my daughter..."

Her voice choked up. Pierre grit his teeth, willing himself to not be swayed by words alone. He found it immediately strange that the witch would only refer to the assault on the demon, her daughter, when it had seemed obvious to him that the witch had been used far worse by their attackers.

"It was a poor plot, then, to bewitch those men, in order to gain your freedom?"

The questioning tone of his voice slipped out without his consent. He'd meant the words to be an accusation. Instead, he betrayed his doubt. The daughter latched on to his doubt with feral teeth, slaying him with her vicious tongue.

"Plot? Bewitch!?!? I would not have let those men touch me with a broom! I would not have let them touch me to save my life! I tried to kill the one who was raping my mother, or did you not notice the gaping wound in the leader's back?"

Pierre had noticed, and that was why he had originally ordered the men to be bound. After their pathetic excuses of being ensorcelled, he wrote it off as the first plan which had obviously failed. Perhaps he was wrong, and it had been the only plan.

"Hush, Celina. You need to rest. I'm sure we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow, and you will need to be fit. If you will leave us to our sleep, sir knight?"

Pierre stared in surprise at the witch. She had admitted they were harmed, had begun to admonish him, yet was now brushing him off. The demon, who the witch had referred to as Celina, was not interested in rest, it seemed.

"I will not be able to rest, not for one minute of one day until I see those men draw their last breaths. They've tormented us for years, and until this knightshowed up, I had kept us safe from them. They will pay, mother, I swear it, by God and heaven. They will pay for what they did to you."

The weary breath of the witch interrupted his deep shock that the demon had called upon the Almighty to witness her vow.

"Celina, love, I am an old woman. It was... it was horrible..."

Alestra closed her eyes, trying to block the memories. The only thing that did it was the blazing anger that rose to the front when she pictured the young, drunk villagers with their dirty hands on her daughter's virgin skin.

"But I will survive it. I only wish I could avenge you. They took your innocence. My baby... I couldn't protect you..."

The witch was sobbing now, leaning against her daughter's back, wracked with heaving breaths. Celina tried to console her, and Pierre could see the glistening tears as they slid off the demon's pale alabaster cheeks.

"Hush, mama, hush! They didn't, I swear! He... he only put his f-fingers in me..."

She took a quick glance at Pierre before her whole body was consumed with a deep rosy flush. He couldn't believe his ears. The demon actually claimed to be a virgin?

"It doesn't matter, my child. You will never be the innocent you were before. I couldn't protect you then. I will not fail you again."

Pierre couldn't stand it any longer. He was a knight, sworn to protect the innocent. This demon, even if she were the spawn of the devil, even if sin were written in her very bones, she had not committed any evil that he knew, and he could not stand to see such injustice, as rape, go unpunished. He came to the decision that he knew would finally allow him to rest through the remainder of the night: he would go back to the village and see the men punished for their crime.

Before he could tell the women as much Pierre felt his face suddenly sprayed with clumps of dirt. He closed his eyes tightly and shouted the alarm. At first he thought that the danger was from outside the camp, until he lunged to cover the women's bodies and found nothing but cold, empty ground. Scrambling to his knees, he rubbed the dirt from his eyes and sprinted off towards a ghostly white specter darting through the woods.

Alestra shoved Celina towards the thicker cover of the forest while she stayed much more visible, hugging the tree line. As anticipated, the knights saw her first and came straight for her. She hoped that separating would give them a better chance. It had been difficult to get Celina to agree to splitting up. Finally she had reasoned with her daughter that even if one of them was captured again, the other would come to her rescue.

Alestra didn't have the heart to admit to Celina that if she were captured again, Alestra would not remain alive long enough to be rescued. She would not endanger her daughter's life any more by waiting for the child to break her free of the well trained knights.

The witch did not fear death. Death was just one aspect of life, and she would finally come full circle, returning to the bosom of the Goddess. No, Alestra's fears were far worse. She'd heard the whispers of the village as they'd passed, watched their captors carefully, and grown suspicious. The men did not wear the white tunics with red crosses, but their mannerisms were all too familiar. Alestra had nearly been burned at the stake once before when Knights Templar had assisted the church in a witch hunt. She'd watched one of her coven sisters as the flames consumed her flesh. She would not allow such a thing to happen to Celina. Nor would she stand to be burned alive herself.

Alestra lead the men deeper into the wood, evading them as best as she could, while leaving a clear trail. When she thought they were in far enough to give Celina a fair head start, she stopped leaving tracks and climbed the sturdiest tree she could. It was not the best tactic. Skilled hunters, used to tracking with dogs, as many of the townsfolk were, would have spotted her easily, even in the dark of night. They would have spotted her because they were looking.

The knights were far more used to human prey, which rarely climbed trees, in their experience. The group went right past her, and she held her breath while she counted their numbers. One, two, three, four, five... where was their leader? He was the one that worried her the most. There was something about him that spoke to her, that destiny had brought him to Celina. Why, she did not know, she only knew that if destiny meant for this man to kill her daughter, she would have to change their fates.

Pierre was closing I on the girl. After his last chase through the woods, he was taking better care to watch not just where, but how she fled, keeping step with her winding path. His longer, stronger legs were giving him the advantage, and it wasn't long before he was just within reach of her long, flowing hair.

Last time he'd tried to catch the whirling tresses. He'd taken his eyes from the path and fallen neatly into her trap. There was still peat caked to the bottom of his boots. This time he made certain he was close enough, and simply leapt, tackling her to the ground.

Celina shrieked, certain she was going to be flattened, squashed against the forest floor. Instead, she felt him roll slightly, absorbing the brunt of the fall on his shoulder, holding her tight to his chest. She wiggled, and squirmed, nearly slipping out of the too large tunic and free of his grasp. When his arms hooked under hers, one hand closing firmly over her throat, she stilled, knowing she was caught.

Celina was frantic. She knew her mother had agreed to rescue her should she be captured, but neither Alestra nor Celina had expected her to be captured. She'd taken the safer route. She was supposed to get away. Lying still, listening to the knight's labored breathing, she realized something else. They were completely alone.

Her mother's plan that the knights would all follow her seemed to have worked, with this singular exception. This man was beginning to become the bane of her existence, always turning up where he wasn't wanted. While she had been struggling to free herself from his hold, she'd also noticed something rather hard pressing into her bottom. It could have been a knife hilt, but Celina knew better.

The brutal assault of her childhood tormentors was still fresh in her memory. She had been able to block most of it out, focusing instead on her mother's assault, filling her mind with thoughts of revenge. But now, with the man holding her tightly against his body, the trauma snuck up on her.

She went wild, kicking and scratching and biting any part of him that he was daft enough to put within her reach. When she realized his hold was too strong and she would not be able to break free, she began to scream hysterically.

"No! No! NO!!!! Let me go, please, no! I won't, I won't, don't make me, don't take me, please no, no, no, nooo...."

Her wailing plea ended with a burst of sobs. He could feel her body trembling violently in his arms. Pierre was at a complete loss. His experience with rape victims had usually been to punish their rapists, and hand them over to the clergy. This part, dealing with a young girl completely out of her mind with fear, fear of him, was something he'd never expected.

Pierre held her tightly, so she couldn't hurt him or herself. As he felt her body slowly begin to relax, he relaxed his grip as well, whispering soothing words and trying to reassure her.

"It's going to be alright, I won't harm you, calm yourself, everything is fine, you are safe, I promise."

Through the fog of her terror his words finally penetrated. They did not make her feel calm, nor safe, however. They made her livid. The knight was here to capture Celina and her mother and drag them off to be burned at the stake at the behest of some priest, she was sure. How dare he make such promises in light of his quest?

Celina struggled to relax herself, to not show her rage, and put the knight at ease. Righteous anger was once again replacing her fear, settling over her mind with calm, calculating commands. Escape. Find her mother. Kill the village men. Hide and live safe. And perhaps, before she left, she would teach this knight a thing or two. She didn't care if he thought he was doing God's work. Men who believed in a God who would create a creature like her only to give men like him a target to destroy needed some sense knocked into their heads. Violently. If she couldn't change his mind, she would have no qualms about killing him too. He was dangerous. This area of France still had many Pagans, and she would not see them suffer at his hands for their beliefs either.

When Pierre felt that she might be calm, he allowed his own body to relax somewhat. Feeling the soft, warm body pressed against his own, he had to forcibly remind himself that she had just thrown a fit in fear of being raped. It would do no good to let her know he was holding his passions in check at the moment.

Struggling to his feet, holding the demon's wrists tightly in one hand, Pierre reached for a leather thong tied to his scabbard and bound her wrists tightly. He was careful to make certain that these knots would need to be cut, and could not be picked apart. Neither of them spoke as he led her back to the camp. None of the men had returned. He assumed they were still in pursuit of the witch.

Briefly he realized how lucky he had been to find the demon. If he hadn't woken, and gone to speak with the women, he might have followed the others after the witch. He could see their tracks as they led away in the opposite direction. It was obvious that the women had planned their escape carefully, with the witch drawing them away while the demon girl slipped quietly into the forest.

Thinking of his luck, he realized that he was not going to be riding back to the village to punish the attackers. He also hadn't told the girl of his decision. He struggled with it now. Some of his knights would be heading back to camp eventually, picking up the horses and resuming the trail. He knew that joining their search with the girl in tow would be a burden, so he would be leaving the group to wait at the old Roman fort, several miles outside of Toulouse.

If they found the witch quickly, they would all travel straight to the cathedral to deliver their charges. If not, he would wait at the fort. Pierre suddenly found himself loathe to disclose to his brother knights that he intended to avenge the witch and demon. If they other horses were not still at camp, he could take his own and ride back to the village. They would return after their own success and assume he was waiting for them at the rendezvous. Unless he was swift, and got there first.

Making up his mind, and not contemplating what would happen if he returned to camp to find the witch safely in custody, Pierre continued through the wood until the trees cleared and he could see the lone horse tethered to his saddlebag. Sighing in relief, he picked the demon up and put her on his horses back. After securing the heavy saddle bag to the saddle, he swung up behind her, turning in the direction of the village, making plans in his mind as they rode in stony silence.

Celina's confusion grew more and more by the hour. It was nearly sun up, and her captor had pushed his mount to a rapid pace, in the wrong direction. She wasn't positive, but it looked like they were heading back to the village. When they passed the mill, just as the sun was peeking above the horizon, she knew it was true. He was taking her home, it seemed.

She felt a brief moment of elation, that perhaps the nightmare was over, some mistake had been made, but knew it couldn't be. When he rode his horse into the barn that adjoined the town chapel, she was certain that rescue was the farthest thing on his mind. She didn't even fight him when he gagged her with a strip of cloth and bound her in a stall. She was just too shocked. Had he determined she was too dangerous to transport? Would they hang her in the village square, like some common criminal? Or burn her at the stake? She knew the townsfolk could start a bonfire quickly enough, and her body shuddered at the image of their twisted faces watching her as she writhed against a blazing post. Finally, the knight spoke, and his words were even more confusing than her fears.

"I am going to avenge your attack. I am sorry I allowed those men to go free. I believed that you and the witch bewitched them. However, I can see that they hurt you, and against your wishes. I do not care if you are devil's spawn, no one should be used in such a fashion."

Her eyes were wide in shock, staring into his stormy dark orbs. He was surprised to note that the red of the iris was slightly lighter than her pupil, more pink than red, giving her eyes less of a glowing, evil look, and more of a human character. They were beautiful eyes, if you could dismiss the strange coloring. Long, darker blond lashes ringed the lids. Her brows were the same, finely shaped and colored just lighter than the nearly white locks on her head. The sight of her rosy, pink lips wrapped around the linen cloth of the gag made his cock twitch. Speaking more sternly than he'd planned, he advised her not to move or make a sound, then strode from the barn and into the growing light of dawn.

Pierre knew where the men were to be found. No wives or mothers had come to pester them when they'd returned beaten and stabbed. They were bachelors, and after such a harrowing experience, he knew he'd find them passed out in the local pub.

Stepping inside the Fuzzy Boar, he noted that the bartender was nowhere to be seen. It was too early for most men to be drinking, and the ale was safely locked in the cellar. The five men were indeed sprawled out asleep on a table together. A few others, all of them very old men, were snoring softly at their own, individual tables.

Pierre had given a lot of thought on how he would punish the men. He did not wish to kill them. Death was far too kind. Besides, he didn't need the families looking for retribution. Instead, he decided to shame them.

Cutting off their offending members would have been too obvious, although he was tempted. Instead, he went to the pile of men on the table and prodded them to determine how far gone they were. Two snored louder, and the other three barely moved. Perfect.

When he'd finished, Pierre briefly admired his handiwork. He'd stripped the men and posed their drunken bodies in obvious sexual positions. Even if they woke before anyone else saw them, they would assume the worst, and their shame would haunt them for the rest of their lives.

It bothered him that they would probably never feel shame for having raped two women, but a drunken orgy with friends who should have known better, that would ruin them entirely. The strong stigma against homosexuality, however, had been taught to him since the cradle, and he knew it would be no different with these men. If they were caught, they faced being stoned to death, or exiled. If they weren't caught, at least it would keep them apart, and probably ruin their sex lives, ladling guilt and doubt on top of every relationship from then on.

Pierre knew this, because he had a Templar brother who fought daily against his urges. Daniel had joined the Templar because he did not want to join the clergy, but couldn't stand the thought of marrying a woman. He had never given in to his desires, but they haunted him, leaving him with a melancholy sense of dissatisfaction the older he got.

Sensing the strange moods of his friend, Pierre had finally convinced Daniel to confide in him, but once done, Pierre hadn't known how to help him. Eventually, Daniel took his life. Everyone else thought he died in battle, and sung his praises as a knight of God. Pierre saw it happen, though, and knew the truth.

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byLaSalia© 13 comments/ 16692 views/ 19 favorites

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