tagSci-Fi & FantasyBound in Silk

Bound in Silk



Night. Moonlight bled through pine branches. Dead men bled in dying firelight.

Lady Kyra Dhallion bit her lip and stared out at what was left of the camp.

Goddess protect me, she thought.

The young noblewoman huddled inside of her carriage, peering out between velvet curtains at the dark forest beyond. Bodies littered the clearing. A few of the fallen still twitched and kicked, as if caught in nightmares and not death itself.

Blinking away tears, Kyra met the blank stare of her guard-captain. The soldier had been her loyal companion, defending the noblewoman since her birth nineteen years ago.

Now, though, he lay watching her with the fixed and glassy eyes of a mounted animal head. His face was purple and bloated. Poison.

The noblewoman had only escaped because the soldier had pulled her from under the horror's twitching legs. She had heard the man screaming as she ran for the coach, the meaty thump of fangs sinking into flesh. His cries cut off when venom sealed his windpipe.

Kyra had been sleeping when the twisted creature had burst into her tent. Now, her long blonde hair was damp with sweat, golden strands tugged from her elaborate braid. Her only clothing - a thigh-length nightshirt of gauzy silk - clung to the curves of her young body in tatters. The garment had been torn open to her navel. She held the lingerie closed with one shaking hand, the full melons of her breasts threatening to spill out with every shuddering breath. In the cool evening air, her stiff nipples stood out clearly against the thin fabric.

Her long legs were bare up to the curve of her ass. No shoes. No weapon.

Yet somehow, she had to make it back to the road. Her only chance.

Kyra burst from the carriage and broke for the cover of the trees. Fell. Tripped.

Something clung to her ankle. Rope: white and thick, glistening in the last light of the campfires. Her hand stuck to it.

No. Not rope at all. Web.

On the carriage roof, something clicked and chattered, a horror of magic that should not exist in a sane world. Too many legs. A line of eyes like wet stones shone in the dark, watching her with eager hunger. . . and something else.

The strand drew tight as the hunter began to haul in its prey.


The sun came up over the hills.

Wrapped in a cloak, Lena sat against a tree and sipped tea from a tin mug. Sighed. Smiled a little in the shadows of her hood.

Pink clouds like rose petals. The robin's egg blue of the sky. Mornings like this made her glad she had never given in to the lure of the city. These quiet hours made her happy she had joined the rangers of the king's Green Guard.

The problem was that Lena never should have seen this sunrise. She had been sent to guide Lady Kyra Dhallion's caravan back to the capital. Only the caravan - and the duke's daughter - had never showed up last night.

Probably nothing. Young noblewoman far from home. Too much wine and not enough common sense.

Believable. Except that didn't feel right to Lena.

The dawn's peace spoiled, she rose and started for her horse.

At twenty-three years of age, Lena had already proven herself to be a skilled scout and tracker, policing the kingdom's wilderness against poachers and slavers. Only one in three of the Green Guard was a woman; of those, Lena was the youngest full member of the order. Yet it wasn't her sharp eye or skill with a bow that made her such a desired partner for the long forest patrols. For good reason, several fellow rangers had propositioned her despite regulations against such trysts.

As she padded towards her mount, Lena pushed back her hood, shaking out a fall of curly brown hair the color of autumn wheat.

She was pretty in a way that made men think of lazy, summer afternoons spent tumbling in a hayloft somewhere, the farmer's tomboy daughter grown up into something beautiful and maybe a little dangerous. Born and raised in the borderlands, this was not far from the truth. Twinkling hazel eyes. Full lips that looked as if they should be smiling around a strawberry. A spray of freckles across her cheeks.

Under the cloak, her lean body was clad in snug-fitting leather breeches and a light, clingy jerkin of thin cotton. Her breasts were firm and perky, smooth handfuls of young flesh the size of small melons.

Her legs were long and slim, well-shaped from years of hiking the highlands. Tall grass hissed against toned thighs and knee-high riding boots.

Yet by the time she made it back to camp, her pretty features were creased with worry.

A lot could go wrong out here. Bandits. Cutthroats. Worse.

Lena wondered if she was already too late. She had learned the hard way that sometimes, one ranger wasn't enough.

It had been early in her time as a Green Guard. Eighteen years old. A cadet on her first solo patrol of the borderlands, she'd pressed too far into the wilds without someone to watch her back. There, she had come across a pair of orc scouts leading a string of settlers back to their camp, families taken from borderlands farms. Slaves or food. Probably both.

In a straight battle, Lena never would have stood a chance. The orcs towered over her: lanky, stoop-shouldered brutes with low foreheads and tusks jutting out over flabby lips. Pig-faced. Dribbling snouts. Skin the muddy green of old lettuce. Each carried a sword as long as her leg.

No. Fighting would only get all of them killed. She couldn't live with herself if she walked away.

So Lena had done the only thing she could: she made a trade.

"Take me," she'd said. "Let them go. I will do anything you want."

In case they didn't understand that, she'd thrown down her bow and sword.

"Me. Not them."

After a brief discussion in their grunting, bestial language, the orcs has cut the farm-folk loose. With barely a look back at their rescuer, the settlers had fled into the forest.

Grinning, the bandits turned their attention to her. Down on her back.

While one orc pinned her arms over her head, the other - an older male with a ring through his snorting hog's snout - had yanked up her knee-length summer tunic. He had chuckled as he tore her skimpy cotton smallclothes from her hips. Forcing apart Lena's slim thighs, he had gone on to haul out the biggest cock Lena had ever seen: a footlong length of veiny meat as thick around as her wrist.

While the second orc had ripped her tunic open to bare her chest, the raider between her legs had spit into his palm to slick his organ, never taking his squinty, yellow eyes from her face.

Looking down between the rough hands groping her breasts, Lena had watched the orc try to push himself into her. She was no virgin, but the way the swollen, crimson helmet of the bandit's cock had stretched her open made her groan despite her efforts. Her bare ass had squirmed around on a bed of pine needles as he stuffed himself between the small, pink lips of her pussy.

Ring-Nose had panted something then in his guttural language. The other orc laughed and gave her hard nipples a rough twist before tugging at the ties of his own trousers.

The next hour was a blur in her memory. Flashes like sunlight on running water.

Ring-Nose had taken her right there on the ground, running the head of his meat up and down over her slit to wet himself before every attempt to cram his massive organ into her tight heat. Too big for her.

One thick finger slipped into her cunt. Then two. She remembered her back arching as he ground the head of his cock into her clit again and again.

Lena had cried out as the orc finally managed to bury his meat in her with one slow and grinding thrust.

With her long legs thrown up over his hairy shoulders, Ring-Nose plowed her hard and fast. He held her by the pelvis, his rough fingernails scratching the wings of her hips as he hauled her onto his jutting cock. Looking down her flat stomach, she had been able to see her lower belly bulging from the size of him.

It wasn't long before she came, her eyes slammed shut and teeth bared.

The second orc had soon pulled his own cock out, his shaft hanging heavy and dark above her face while he kneaded her firm, jiggling breasts with calloused, dirty hands. He'd soon grabbed a handful of her hair and fed himself into her mouth, his shaft throbbing between her lips as she obediently began to suck his meat.

As Ring-Nose's breath came faster, the pair of orcs exchanged words in their growling tongue. The older bandit pulled out as he came, spurting thick and ropy hoists of his yellowish seed across the young ranger's trim stomach. Even before his cock had finished dribbling, the orcs were trading places. The younger scout rolled her over and pulled her ass into the air, his big thumbs spreading open the backs of her thighs.

Lena couldn't remember everything they had done to her before leaving her naked and panting in the dirt, stealing her horse and most of her food. Yet what she never forgot was the way her stupid, animal body had responded to their touch. Blood pushed faster. Heat.

Part of her - some weak and traitorous part of her - had liked it. She had never come as hard as she had that day, her body rocking around the thick organs invading it.

While no one ever learned of her failure - a change of clothes from her pack and a story about horse-hungry wolves saw to that - Lena had learned something that day. It was a lesson that had stayed with her on every patrol since.

She was no use to anyone dead . . . or stuck on an orc's cock, flopping around like a landed fish.

All alone, she was prey, not the hunter. She had to look out for herself before anyone else.

Now though, watching the sun climb higher in the sky, Lena pushed these thoughts aside.

If Lady Dhallion really was in trouble, it might very well be too late by the time Lena returned with help.

She wore the Green. Maybe it was time that she started acting like it.


Lena found the body an hour later.

The shrouded corpse was slumped against a tree along the road, wrapped from head to toe in what appeared to be a white sheet or blanket. Large bloodstains had soaked through the fabric like blooming roses.

The young ranger's heart fluttered in her ribcage like a trapped bird.

Less than encouraging, she thought grimly.

Lena slipped down from her horse, leaving the steed tied off so that the scent of death didn't spook it away and leave her stranded. Already armed with the slim sword on her hip and the dagger in her boot, she shouldered her longbow and a quiver of arrows.

Scanning the silent pines around her, Lena padded towards the corpse.

A shield lay facedown in the grass near the covered figure. She turned it over with the toe of her boot. The Dhallion family coat of arms gleamed on the steel.

Swallowing hard, she turned her attention to her new acquaintance.

Very quickly, Lena realized two things. First, the shrouded figure was too large to be Lady Kyra. In fact, it still seemed to be wearing chain mail and a helm. A guardsman. Second, it wasn't a blanket or sheet smothering the dead man's face. He had been bound up in some kind of narrow rope or thread, the cord white as snow where he hadn't bled through the fibers. The stuff seemed to tug at her fingertips.

Spiderwebs. The fallen soldier had been completely sheathed in fine silk.


It watched from the trees. Glistening eyes. Legs like black bone. Wiry hair and flabby flesh.

The invisible strands that it had left crisscrossed through the forest had snapped, waking it instantly.

New prey. A woman. The shadow paid no attention to her pretty face or the streaming, curly banner of her hair. Instead, its gaze dropped to her long, slim thighs. The curves of her hips and ass.

Young and strong. Even from here, it could scent her healthy blood. Her fertility.

Not just food like the screaming cattle it had slaughtered.

No. This one would satisfy a different hunger.


Behind her, the horse suddenly whickered nervously.

Lena turned, stopping when she spotted something through the pines.

A carriage. Empty.

"Lady Kyra?" Lena called.

Something heard her. It was not the young noblewoman.

Pine needles fell around Lena in a soft green rain. She looked up.

The last thing she saw was the shadow rushing towards her, legs reaching for her like the fingers of a giant hand . . .


Lena jolted awake.

She stared up at tree branches for a long moment before it all came back to her.

Alone in the wilds. Attacked. Webs and death.

She would have jumped to her feet if she hadn't been tied down.

The young ranger was on her back, sprawled out on a bed of pine needles. While her legs were still free, her arms had been hauled over her head. Looking up and back, she found that she had been shackled to a tree with a sticky glob of webbing. From her forearms to her fingertips, she was caught in a tangled knot of silk. The fibers gave only the slightest bit before snapping back into place.

Damn, Lena thought dazedly. This is bad.

Her swordbelt and bow were gone.

Something moved in the gloom of the clearing. Muffled moans.

Lena raised her aching head. Not alone after all.

A young woman stood lashed to a nearby tree, held fast to the trunk by a tight sheath of webbing around her stomach. Aside from her bonds, little covered her squirming body.

Her full breasts - bare, left free from the silk - jiggled and swayed as she strained against the ties, a loop of web running down across her sternum. Her bare thighs flexed and scissored as she tried to work her legs free. Sweat glistened on her bare skin.

She stared out at Lena through the honeyed fall of her blonde hair. Tears spilled down her cheeks. A gag of webbing had been drawn tight over her mouth.

"Lady Dhallion?" Lena whispered.

Kyra's blue eyes widened. She nodded.

"Where is it? The thing that attacked me?"

Kyra looked up into the trees. Shook her head.

"Is it the same thing that killed your men?"

Frantic nod.

For the first time, Lena really noticed that Kyra was completely nude under the webbing.

Lena's eyes dropped to the maiden's smooth and hairless lap, the slim lips of her sex visible between clenched legs.

What happened to you? Lena pushed the thought aside. If she didn't want to find out the hard way, she had to escape.

The claustrophobic clearing they were in had been walled with veils of webbing, gauzy sheets of white that strained out most of the sunlight. There was no telling how far they had been taken into the forest.

We're in its lair, the young ranger suddenly realized.

Lena pulled at the silk binding her hands. No good. If only she could reach the dagger in her boot . . .

"Look at me, Kyra."

The noblewoman exhaled shakily through the web across her mouth and obeyed.

"I'm going to get you out of here," Lena said softly. "I promise."

Kyra began to nod again. Froze. Screamed through her gag.

That was when Lena heard it. Something moved through the trees above them.

With a hiss like water thrown on hot coals, the spider dropped to the earth between the young women.

It's not real, Lena thought numbly. It can't be.

The thing stood as high as Lena's waist. Eight legs: black stalks ending in barbed clubs. The monster's body bulged like a balloon of fatty liquid, sheathed in bristling fur and thick around as a cask of wine.

The head was the worst, a fleshy helmet set with two rows of oildrop eyes. A face as wide as a warrior's shield leered at her from beyond her spread knees. A clump of smaller appendages hung like a gruesomebeard: fangs jutting from poison glands like fat thumbs, a pair of finger-like feelers as long as her hands, and finally a set of scissoring mandibles.

Sweet Goddess above, Lena thought. It's huge.

For a long moment, they stared at each other: twitching bundle of legs and wide-eyed young warrior.

The spider charged.

Lena lashed out, her boot glancing off its head. The spider easily batted aside the blow and crawled onto her. The spider marched over the prone Lena, pushing her long legs out and away as it climbed up her body.

The weight of the thing drove her knees wide open and almost back to her shoulders. Lena's feet kicked helplessly above its bristly back.

It pinned her like that, its flabby weight settling between her spread thighs. Bony legs clamped around her like the bars of a cage. Trapped.

Folded in half under the spider's blubbery abdomen, her hands bound over her head, Lena could only watch its hideous face draw closer. The spider's mouth parts twitched in greedy anticipation, flecking her cheeks with spittle.

She thought of the dead guard in his burial shroud of silk. Instinct took over.

The words shot out of her before she could stop them.

"It doesn't have to be like this," she cried. "Let her go. You can have me. I'll be yours."

The spider froze, seeming to study her.

It knows what I am saying. It understands me.

And maybe it really did. Yet the horrible mouth drew closer.

Lena closed her eyes and hoped the end would be quick. Only the end never came.

Instead, something stiff and wet - a rough shaft of damp flesh - ran down the side of her face to her neck. It swirled around the hollow of her throat and slipped into the collar of her jerkin before it drew away, leaving a track of slime behind.

Lena was stunned. The damned thing had just licked her.

Slowly, she turned her head to face her attacker. The spider hovered over her chest, so close that she could see herself reflected over and over again in the wet jewels of its eyes.

As she watched, the thing slid out the round worm of its tongue again. Pushing herself into the dirt, fighting the urge to scream, Lena grit her teeth as the organ slobbered over her clamped lips. When it could not get into her mouth, it ran down the side of her throat to lap at her collarbones.

"What do you want from me?" she whispered. Just then, it showed her.

The feelers to either side of its mouth flexed like a pair of huge fingers. Twitching wildly, the pedipalps dipped to her chest.

Lena sucked in breath as the pads of the feet clamped around her perky right breast through her clothes. Like a pair of hands in mittens, they began to clutch and tug, roughly grinding at her firm flesh hard enough to hurt.

I don't believe this.

The bristly paddles went on kneading her breast. Her nipple stiffened with the friction, poking up against the thin cloth of her jacket.

Lena could only squirm as one of the spider's legs hooked under the lapel of her jacket. Pulled.

With the purr of tearing cloth, Lena's jerkin tore open down to her stomach. Buttons flew.

Lena's firm breasts jiggled in the gauzy cotton of her bandeau.

The spider's pedipalps curled under the skimpy garment.

"Fine," Lena growled. "Do it."

The spider pulled. Lena felt the pins of the bandeau give along her spine.

Her breasts bounced free from the torn band of cloth. Her small, pink nipples were already standing at attention.

The spider pounced. He caught her breast between the pads again.

Lena cried out as the mandibles beyond closed on her nipple, the bony jaws grinding at the nub hard enough to make her cry out.

The spider tugged on her tit, pulling roughly before letting it fall back against her ribs.

The tongue again, teasing, running over her red, toothmarked nipple and leaving a trail of saliva across her breasts.

It was playing with her. If it was smart enough to toy with her, perhaps it wasn't too late to plead for a new deal.

"You aren't a beast" Lena stammered. "I know that. I'm right, aren't I?"

The spider stared at her with eyes like wet coal. The dangling fingers at its mouth snapped open and shut like a fist.

It knows what I am saying.

"I can help you," Lena said. "There must be something that you want. Something besides - "

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