Helena watched the servants finish packing her things. On the morrow, she would begin a journey with her parents to meet and marry her husband-to-be. As a woman, she of course had no say in whom she married, but she trusted her father's judgment, and was certain he had made an excellent choice. The man she was to marry was an extremely wealthy duke, highly noted throughout the country. Often, Lord Gustavo had fought in wars for the king of the land, and always turned out victorious. Helena considered herself very lucky to have him as a bridegroom.
She was known as one of the most beautiful women in the country, and many men wished to have her as their own. She was not ignorant of this, and often used it to her advantage. With long, curled golden hair and sparkling blue-gray eyes, she flaunted her looks as much as possible. Of course, as she was about to be a married woman, she stopped doing so. Teasing men suddenly no longer pleased her, though she was still a virgin, and with her lineage, no one would touch her without permission. But no matter how modestly she dressed, her pert breasts always tantalized the men in her company, and her small frame begged to be touched and pleasured. However, she was a Christian in this modern sixteenth century, and while some women gave themselves willingly to men, she had preserved herself for marriage.
The road to Boccai was long. Her father wished to go by sea, but her mother insisted on the longer, more dangerous route by land. Helena would have liked to go by water, but the ocean made her sick, and so she agreed with he mother that they should travel by carriage, not ship. Had the women known that the journey would have turned out disastrous, they would gladly have agreed to water passage.
After three days of riding, and only a day away from their destination, they reached an ominous looking forest. Sir Adan, Helena's father, was persistent in their cutting across it. It would save them an extra day's travel, he argued. The women, being mere women, had no say in the matter, but closely followed Adan towards their destination. Three-quarters of the way through, a man appeared. "Who are you," Sir Adan demanded, sword drawn.
"Jus' a poor traveling bard," said the poor, traveling bard. Indeed he looked like a bard, with a lap harp slung over one shoulder and a small bag of possessions in hand. "I can play ye a song, if ye'd like," he added.
The bridal party relented; he appeared harmless. He struck a chord, a most terrible sound, and began to sing off-key. "You are no bard!" cried Adan.
At that, a group of bandits jumped out of the forest. They brandished knives and swords, outnumbering Adan and his men. Frightened, Helena fled, running in the direction the group had been heading. Her mother could not move. At the edge of the wood, the girl found a large bush that she hid behind. The bandits had been so preoccupied with fighting her father's men, they failed to notice her escape. She managed to take with her a small parcel, hoping it contained food and drink. Sliding to the ground behind the bush, she gasped for air. When several hours passed, Helena at last dared to peer out from her hiding place. She heard nothing but birds and the breeze in the branches above her head. The only sight that greeted her was the brown and green foliage of late August. The sun was approaching the horizon, and she began to grow hungry. She slipped the crude string from around her parcel, and opened it, praying for food.
Instead, she was greeted with the clothing of a boy's; it belonged to the squire of a knight in their company. She grimaced, and her stomach did, too. It fell silent just in time, for voices could be heard approaching. "Well, they are all dead."
"All dead? I thought there was a girl with 'em. We ought to find her afore she squeals on us."
The "bard" and another of his men were walking down the path. From their conversation, she could tell they had succeeded in killing her entourage. She stayed silent, for they made plans to kill her, too. It would be very easy to find her, being a woman and alone, they figured. After they moved on, Helena sat thinking. She was not stupid as most women were at the time, and so she donned the squire's tunic and breeches, leaving her elegant gown and underthings in the forest. Her breasts were just small enough that she could lace her own corset, so she made sure the laces were tight enough to keep them flat. This was not terribly difficult, as minimizing the breasts and accentuating the hips was the fashion of the day, and exactly what the corset was designed to do. Finally, she arranged her hair into a queue. As a finishing touch, she stuffed a handkerchief in the breeches, emulating a man's bulge, and was fairly satisfied that she could pass as a young boy. She then set out for the town overlooked by the wood. A large manor house was the first building she encountered, besides elaborate stables, and so she knocked on the large, oak door. A man cracked it open. "What?" he said with a scowl.
"I-I'm looking for the city of Boccai," she said nervously.
"Well, you've found it!" he exclaimed, and motioned to close the door.
"Wait! Can you tell me, then, where I might find Lord Gustavo di Boccai?"
The servant opened the door wider. "You seem to be a good guesser, boy. You've found his manor, as well."
He dragged her into the exquisite hall, and towards a sitting room. She followed nervously, but glad that her disguise seemed to be working. At least, in the post-sunset light, and candlelight of the manor, it worked. What full daylight would brings, she did not know. In the sitting room a fire blazed in the fireplace. A regal man sat in one of the few chairs in the room. As one who had been used to servants and slaves, Helena knew how to act as though she were an inferior. "My Lord," she bowed.
"Rise," said the man in the chair. She lifted her head, keeping her back bent in the bow. "Who are you, and what do you want?"
"My Lord." She took a deep breath, and then lowered her eyes. "I come from Sir Adan. He, and everyone traveling with him were mercilessly slaughtered in the forest today by bandits-I am the only one left alive."
There was an uncomfortable silence. The man, Gustavo, studied Helena. The dim light offered all the protection she could hope for. His face grim, he continued to question her. "What is your name, boy?"
"I'm, um, Henri," she said.
"Well, Henri, I must ask why you did not perish with your Master."
She had not anticipated this sort of question, so she told the truth. "I was frightened, and I ran, My Lord."
"That is very unbecoming of a male. Why, child, did you not stay to help your Master?"
"I…um…well, I am only a simple servant, My Lord. I did not know what to do, and I though I would, uh, try to find help."
Her answers seemed to satisfy him, so far. "And my bride? She is dead, too?"
Helena looked up, startled. This motion seemed to annoy Gustavo, and she quickly looked at the stone flooring. "I am sorry, My Lord." She said no more, but was very impressed that he would think of a woman when her father lay dead somewhere in a forest. As far as she could tell, he was an incredibly handsome man, but as a serving boy, and one who had abandoned his master in a time of need, she felt she was not permitted to look directly at him.
Gustavo was a fair man by anyone's standards, though very militant. He expected everything to be scheduled perfectly, his troops to be in exact formation, and everything in his life was symmetrical. Because of the ordered style his father had trained him with, he was a man who was in control. This little Italian boy seemed honest, but it irked him that such a beautiful woman as Helena was rumored to be now lay dead, and he was alive. "Well, Henri. I shall have to make a deal with you. As you have abandoned your Master and Mistresses to be killed by rogues, you should not go unpunished. You also, it would seem, have no place to stay. As punishment for loosing so many precious lives, you shall be my personal slave. Is that agreed?"
Helena had a strong urge to reveal her true self, but with the bandits on the lookout for her, she did not feel safe in doing so. Besides, she had already fooled him into thinking she was male, and she did not think he would take kindly to such a trick. At least as the Duke's personal slave, she would always be in his protection, should they come after her. He had mentioned that she had no place to stay, which was also true. Before she could answer, Gustavo said, "I assure you that if you go out there alone," he gestured toward a window to emphasize his point, "slavers will capture you anyway, and you will not be treated nearly as well as you will be treated here."
If Helena had any remaining doubts, they were gone. "Yes, sir. I agree with your conditions."
"Good. Now come; your first lesson will be in attending me until I have fallen asleep."
She followed behind Gustavo through the hallways of the manor to his luxurious chambers. There was a large bed in the middle of the room, standing on a high dais. An ornate bureau stood to the side, and in a corner was a scribe's table and heavy chair. There was an adjacent room with a carved, wooden tub. She did not wish to look behind the door. She was instructed to undress the Duke and help him into a nightgown. Never having seen a man nude before, Helena did her best not to stare. She had heard about the things men and women did together, of course, but she did not expect a man's…member…to be so large. Gustavo watched her. "What are you looking at, boy?" he teased.
"I-I am sorry, milord," she blushed and looked at her hands. He did not reply.
Next, Helena was instructed to turn down the fine-woven sheets on the bed. She did so with shaking hands, and watched as the duke climbed in. She tucked the bedclothes around his body and moved to the foot of the bed, where a pallet lay for her to sleep on. The straw mat was less comfortable than she was used to, though better than she would normally have expected. With only the fire crackling, she fell asleep before the Duke.
Fortunately, Helena woke before he did, too. She crept off of her mattress to the east-facing window. Tendrils of light began to fill the sky, and she loathed leaving the glorious sight. But behind her, the duke called for attendance. "Henri, come here!"
She slowly moved to him, feeling that her situation was a bit ironic. She dressed Gustavo in his daily outfit and made the bed. Following him to the dining hall, she found herself expected to wait behind him, pouring wine when he demanded and ensure that his plate was piled with food until he finished. She had not eaten since dinner the day before, and was hungry. But Helena had been around slaves, and they did not ask to eat; those that did were flogged. She stood behind her lord's chair, and when he was done, he let her go into the kitchen and eat what was left on his plate only. After that, she knew to keep his dish filled always with food, for that was all she was ever allotted.
Helena ran errands, delivered messages, and followed her Master about everywhere he called for. She found herself enjoying Gustavo's company, and more, she thought she was falling in love with him. The afternoon of her first day, she was given a pony and rode behind his large horse into the forest where her family was murdered. The stench of rotting flesh attracted flies. Gustavo ordered that the deceased be sent back to Adan for proper burial. "What is odd, though, is that I do not see any woman fitting Helena's description," he noted.
Helena could not keep from weeping at the site. "Maybe…maybe they took Helena…for, well, you know, milord," she said, trying to cover her tracks. "That is Master Adan's lady," she added, nodding toward her poor mother.
Gustavo agreed that the rogues, for their pleasure, had most likely taken Helena. He had also seen his slave's tears, and this had endeared him to the boy. Perhaps Henri was a coward, but he was yet young, and would learn that fear was an unnecessary emotion. The dedication in his face and eyes earned him sympathy from his master, but a good master would not show it. They mounted and rode back to manor.
A few nights later, Gustavo casually asked Helena if she had ever been in love. Shocked, she sat upright on her pallet. That was not a question masters generally asked of their slaves. "I suppose I have been." She wished to ask why, but knew that a good slave would not ask a question that crossed his Master.
Then, he asked, "What was she like?"
Helena's thoughts raced through her head. Should she tell him that she had fallen in love with him? Deciding she would seem ridiculous if she did, she replied, "She was a lot like…like you, My Lord."
"Like me? Then, dear boy, I am very sorry for you. I am sure you could find a better woman than one like me! How old was she?"
"About your age, too," Helena said dismally.
Gustavo was appalled. "If you are going to fall in love, you ought to be older than the woman, not younger! And so much younger! Honestly, at my age women are not worth falling in love with." Helena smiled in the dark. He had no clue that she spoke of him. The subject was never brought up again.
A few weeks after Gustavo had gained his slave, he decided it was time he bathed. "Now, slave, I will show you how to bathe me," he said.
Helena paled. When he was naked, he seemed more intimidating than when he was clothed. At least in dressing him, he was without garments for only a few minutes. And Helena had seen him look at her with lusty eyes. She did not think that he knew she was a woman, but this concerned her. There had been a time when she was dismissed to relieve herself. Going back to her Master, Helena had heard him speaking with a guest. He confided in the other man that he wished his slave were a woman, at times. Henri's personality and temperament certainly fit that of a woman's. She decided she would have to be more careful, and so she observed men closely, seeking to emulate their temperament and disposition.
In any case, she found herself with a very naked man, washing his body as he instructed her. Eventually, he was satisfied that he was clean enough and she dried off his muscular body. Always she averted her eyes as much as possible. She was afraid to appear too interested in his body, although she could stare at his Roman features for hours on end. And he was more than happy to let her watch. He did not normally lust after men, but this effeminate boy had won a special place in his heart. And he felt that Henri adored him, perhaps in a way that he should not. As though comforting himself, he would tell himself that the ancients preferred homosexual relationships to heterosexual. He had expressed a desire that his little slave were female, not male. But this night, he at last decided that, as Henri would never change his gender, he would have to do something.
Henri was more nervous than Gustavo had every seen him. As he wrapped his Master in towels, he was told to kneel. Carefully, he did as he was told. Gustavo finished drying himself off, then flung the towels across the room. His member slowly grew, looking at the boy kneeling submissively in front of him. Henri lowered his eyes as Gustavo began to stroke it. "Henri. This lesson that I will teach you is…different than anything you have learned before."
Helena looked up, past his cock, searching his eyes for what he was implying. "My Lord, I-"
"Don't speak. Just do as I tell you. Now then, give me your hands."
Her fingers were long and slender, compared to his. This was a mystery that had often puzzled Gustavo, how his slave's body was so unmanly. Taking the boy's hands, he wrapped them around his member. "Stroke it," he whispered.
She did not mind, really, although she had never come into contact with a man so intimately. She stroked gently, sometimes tugging at it, quite unsure of what to do. "Act as though you were pleasuring yourself," commanded the Duke.
Helena flushed a deep red, which did not look unnatural in the firelight. Obviously, she had never stroked herself before, and she still did not know what to do. The Duke let her explore him for several minutes, enjoying the slave's touch. "Now, Henri, I would like for you to kiss it."
She looked at him in astonishment. "My Lord?"
"Kiss it. Put your lips around it and suck it, my boy," he told her.
She shook, but kissed his cock and placed it in her mouth. The man relished at the feeling of her soft tongue licking the head, and her warm, wet mouth engulfing him. His self-control lasted long enough that she was beginning to feel comfortable with their position. She then felt him tense, and as she tried to pull away, his hands twisted themselves in her hair and forced her back onto his cock. A gooey, hot liquid filled her mouth, more bitter than the worst of wines. When he finished and released her head, she immediately spit his cum out onto the stone floor. "I'm sorry, my Lord! Please forgive me," she begged, teary-eyed.
"It is alright, Henri. It was your first time."
The slave took a towel, still damp from her Master's bath, and cleaned up the mess. She found herself lifted to her feet when she was done, Gustavo's fingers trying to push down her breeches. "Master…what are you doing?" she cried in alarm. He was about to discover her secret.
"Shh, boy. I only wish to return the favor."
She pushed him away. "That is unnecessary, Sir. Please, I would prefer you didn't."
Helena hated saying that. She desperately wanted him to touch her, make love to her, but if he did that, he would know she was not what he thought. After living with him, even for a week, she could not bear him to be disappointed in her and send her away. "But it is necessary," he replied.
She made for the door, but Gustavo was faster than she. He slung her over his shoulder, and she cried out. "No, please, don't!"
Squirming, hitting, and kicking made no difference to the Duke. He was more resolved to have his slave the more she struggled. He tossed her on the bed, and reached for heavy iron chains she had somehow neglected to notice. It was fortunate, thought he, that he had anticipated this resistance, and had the chains attached to the bed earlier that day. First her slim wrists, then her ankles, the Duke secured her to the bed. She tried to free herself, but the iron bonds were unyielding. Gustavo took his dagger from the scribe's desk, the silver metal glittering in the firelight. He cut away her shirt. Noticing the corset around her chest, he asked with astonishment, "What are you hiding?"
That was cut away, too. Her breasts came free, and she turned deep scarlet. He touched her nipples, tweaking and pinching them. She moaned, and he moved back to undressing her. He sliced at the breeches, and held up the handkerchief she had there. "Nice. Now," he said, kissing her neck, "is there anything else you would like to tell me that I didn't know?"
She writhed under his touch as he stroked her lithe body. "I've never been with a man before," she whispered, arching towards him.
His mouth seized hers, and she kissed him back. They kissed for a long, long time, the Duke gracefully stooped over the bed to meet the immobilized girl's lips with his own. When he at last broke the kiss, she whimpered. "Don't do that, sweet," he said, "or I shall be forced to resort to more drastic measures."
"Like what?" Helena dared.
"Well, I might have to do this, for instance," he replied, and began again down her neck, toward her exposed breasts.
"Wouldn't it be easier if you were on the bed, My Lord?" she pointed out.
He smoothly positioned himself over her body, and continued. She could feel his fingers as they outlined her breasts, her nipples, and traveled down her body to her dampening pussy. It was covered with a few dark, coarse hairs that curled even more as they got wet. Her breathing quickened as Gustavo's mouth worshipped her rosy nipples. He caressed her clit, and she strained in her bonds, moaning all the while. Kissing down her belly, Gustavo found the place where his fingers were, and moved his fingers lower. She could not move, but had she the ability, she would have spread her legs wider. She was squirming again, this time not with the terror of what discovery would bring, but pleasure that she had not know existed. "Oh…please, don't stop!" she cried out.