Venturer Ch. 02byxelliebabex©
Authors Note: This is the second part of a story and as such may be difficult to follow the story line if you have not read the first part. To those people who liked the first part thank you so much for your encouragement to continue the story. This story has been resubmitted, due some overwhelming feeding, with some thorough copy-editing by LaRascasse, thank you for your help and your friendship. ~ellie.
Twice during the short night, she had woken in terror and struggled in his arms. Each time he had held her tightly comforting her, his calm voice reassuring her that no one would harm her again. Nuzzling and petting her until she slept once more, it took more will power than he knew he possessed not to take her each time she woke and his hands travelled over her lithe, supple body soothing her fears.
Pale light filtered into the room through the small windows as the sun rose and Honey murmured sleepily when Kade reluctantly pulled his arms from her body. "Oh the things I want to do to you, my Honey." He thought as he leaned over and kissed her neck before rolling carefully from the bed not wanting to wake her fully. He gazed down on her small form as she slept and wondered at the dreams that terrorised her sleep. He penned a quick note at the desk in the sitting room, left it on the pillow beside her and bent to kiss her a last time. He smiled, so pleased to have her here where he could watch over her but there was much to accomplish so they could be wed as soon as possible. The season of frost was fast approaching making travel arduous.
Greeting the guard, Leneer, as he left the room, Kade told him of his plans for the day in case he was needed and hurried down to the small study he had taken for his office. Spending time penning several missives, he then went down to the dining room and finding three men he trusted sent them to deliver the dispatches with all speed before sitting next to the bleary eyed Jarrau. "I didn't expect to see you this fine morning, my friend. The bar wenches in this town not to your liking?"
Jarrau gave him a withering look, "Didn't want to miss the fireworks here." He shrugged.
Kade helped himself to the food that was piled on platters on the table and ate heartily. "Well you're alive," Jarrau murmured holding his head, "Should I go check on the lady?"
Kade gave his friend an uncharacteristically wide smile, "She is quite well and unharmed I assure you."
Taking a large gulp of watered wine, Jarrau looked at him dubiously and sat up straighter, "Well, well, did you gag her so your men, meaning me, wouldn't hear the screams and come to rescue the damsel?"
"How else could I get her to listen to me?" Kade smirked at his friend. "Plans today?"
"Well since you children behaved last night, I need to go and let Alec know Lady Honiara is well and let him know he can come and visit." He could see his friend's shoulders become rigid as he said the last. "You're not really intending to take her only friends from her are you?"
"She will make new ones," Kade grumbled.
"She will hate you for it and it is because I am your friend I say this: You are an arrogant selfish prick at times." Jarrau took a breath and tried reason, "You will break that girl's spirit locking her away from the world like her father did. If you care about her at all, you will let them in when I bring them this evening."
Kade sat stony faced, the comparison to her father rocking him to his core, "She is finally here with me. I want her to smile at me the way she smiles at them." He was sullen. "How do you expect me to share her," he paused before adding, "with anyone that could take her and those smiles from me?"
"Yes she is here, but willingly? You have made her a prisoner. She thought you were going to throw her in a dungeon, you ass." Jarrau shook his head, "Show her you care that she is happy here let her see her friends. Maybe she will be more accepting." He had known Kade since he was a child. In battle there was no one better, cool clearheaded, ice cold but he also knew that this girl stirred deep passions in Kade that made him irrational, hot headed and far more dangerous.
Kade could not bear the thought of Honey running again and those friends would help her if she asked. He knew the odds of her staying with him were not in his favour yet but the words of his oldest friend had stung him. "Fine" He growled reluctantly, "But if she runs, I will hold you responsible and you can look forward to another season of frost travelling cold roads to find her."
"Good, 'cause I told her that if she gave me a night of peace I would bring them. Now I don't have to look like as bigger prick as you by not honouring my words." He grinned at his friend, a glint in his eyes as he leaned over and teased, "She likes me, you know? Not that we can blame her. No woman can resist my charm and wit and I think this news might just get me one of those smiles your envious of. Want to come and watch?"
"Don't trip over your ego on the stairs my OLD friend." Kade said drolly. "You will ride after her if she runs with or without a broken leg."
Jarrau got up from the table feeling better as the watered wine settled his stomach and cleared his head. He chuckled, "I guess you're not coming then." And laughing loudly he strolled off making the other knights look in their direction.
Kade smirked, his friend was incorrigible, but he always made him see things from a different view always. He was one of the few people who not afraid to call him an arrogant prick. He loved him as a brother and trusted his opinion. Grudgingly, he admitted to himself that seeing Alec and people of the troupe would make her happy. He wanted her to be happy. His thoughts went dark, 'It was just that I want to be the one to make her happy.' He shook his head sadly knowing it would take time and patience but he had a plan and he needed to start putting things in place. With that thought he left the house and walked out into the town.
Honey stayed in the bed long after she had woken alone, unwilling to get up and explore her prison. Rolling to her back she noticed the silk scarf still tied to the bed post and tilted her head. It felt like a dream now when she closed her eyes and remembered the feeling of his tongue on her sex. She rubbed her thighs together as she felt her arousal stir thinking of the delicious feelings he gave her. Lifting her hands above her head as she relived the moment, she found the note from Kade.
"Good Morning Mine,
Regrettably I have business that must be attended to this morning and have had to leave before you woke. Your day will be busy so eat well and replenish your strength, please. Should you need anything at all please ask Delenn or Leneer who is stationed at your door and they will see it is delivered. I will return to you this evening.
Honey could hear Delenn quietly moving around the sitting room. Eventually, the smell of food drove her from the bed. She padded out to the sitting room and flopped into a chair at the table holding breakfast. She dwelt on the note, his calling her 'mine' made her feel as trapped as the knowledge that one of his men stood guard at her door.
She nibbled at the food, the fresh fruit and cheese waking her tastebuds but she found her stomach rebelling after barely eating since Kade and his men had joined their journey to the town. There was a knock at the door and she looked down with dismay realising she had not brought her pack with her and had no clothes to change into. "Delenn, did Sir Kade leave any clothes for me to change into?"
"No Mil..." she looked around before continuing "...Honey. Just the night gown and a house cloak."
"Of course not," She thought sullenly, "It's not like prisoners can leave their dungeons." Feeling antagonistic she asked for the cloak. Putting it on she walked to the door to her rooms and reefed it open suddenly startling the young guard outside who was talking with Jarrau.
"Good morning, Lady Honiara." They said almost in unison.
She realised her clothes were making the young guard blush as he looked anywhere but at her. Taking pity on him, she returned to the room, murmuring a soft reply, "Good morning Sirs."
Jarrau followed her into the room as she sat and began eating again. His eyes scanned the room for signs of trouble from the night before as he sat with her at her request. "Dungeon food is pretty good," she smiled "Help yourself, Sir Jarrau."
He laughed easily at her words, "Seems you were a good girl last night. I don't see any signs of a fight and my big brooding friend was actually smiling when I saw him earlier."
Honey looked up in surprise but recovered quickly as she eagerly asked, "You will bring my friends to see me?" A big smile crept over her face as he nodded popping a berry into his mouth.
"No wonder Kade was envious of those smiles. They light up her whole face." Jarrau thought.
Delenn cleared her throat and Honey turned the girl, "You have a visitor, Milady."
"I shall leave you and go find your friends to let them know you are safe and well and that they can come and see for themselves." Jarrau winked and stood as an older man in the green robes of a physician entered the apartment. Raising an eyebrow at the man, Jarrau turned back to Honey, "You are well, aren't you?"
"Yes, I am fine." She replied her confusion at the appearance of a physician evident on her face.
"Don't get up, don't get up." The old physician shuffled toward the table, "A good breakfast is important. Keep eating young lady." She looked at the man in astonishment as he sat in the chair recently vacated by Jarrau and then back up at the disappearing back of Jarrau. The physician continued "Eat. Eat, while I look over my notes. Lord Venturin asked me to come see you for... Ah yes you were mistreated by a hostile duke. I am so sorry my dear," he said patting her hand, "These are perilous times we live in."
She was stunned, she couldn't speak or eat. She sat there mute and uncomprehending, vivid images of the hostile duke, her father, swimming in her head. She pushed her plate away horrified that Kade, "Lord Venturin", would tell this man of her shame and she hung her head as the physician continued prattling on distractedly as he checked his notes. Retreating into herself and moving where he guided her, she was taken to the bedroom where she endured a thorough examination while her mind played over how she received each and every scar.
Tears rolled unnoticed down her face as she remembered the day her mother died. They had been out riding and the horse her mother rode had thrown her, breaking her neck. Her father had blamed Honey's love of riding for her mother's death and ignored her existence for many moons turning to drink in his despair. Late one night Honey had left the library encountering her father in a dark corridor. He had gasped and called her by her mother's name, Anouria.
When she had protested he had raged at her "You will deny me no longer! It has been too long. A man needs his wife." Pushing her to an alcove he forced her to her knees and pulling forth his fat cock he had slurred at her, "If I feel teeth, I will knock them from your head." Frightened beyond belief, she cried out as he gripped her hair and forced the fat sausage between her lips. She cried, gurgled and choked noisily as he sawed in and out of her mouth, groaning and breathing heavily making her scream in terror as he shot hot salty cum into her mouth.
His eyes seemed to clear as he pulled away from her, his voice lowered as he took in her tear streaked messy face, "Honey! You bewitched me, demon child. You made me do that just as you killed your mother!" Her father seemed almost to run from her leaving her kneeling and sobbing in the dark alcove to eventually make her way back to own her bed. She was woken again before dawn, dragged by hooded men to the castle's dungeon and tied to large wooden beams in the shape of an 'X'. Her father stood to one side as she begged and cried to be set free and a priest approached her. He sprinkled rank oils on her intoning, "You will be free, child, once we purge the demons from your flesh." The first lash of the whip bit into her back then, by the third she had passed out.
She was attended to by acolytes of the temple who were vowed to silence, their salves healing her quickly but leaving raw puckered scars on her body. Try as she might she could not avoid her father who seemed to have lapsed into a state of constant inebriation and visions of her mother. She knew as he called her Anouria that he would push this fat cock into her mouth again then send her to the priests to be rid of the demons that possessed her, bewitching him into thinking she was her mother. It did not always happen this way. Sometimes he knew who she was and more often than not. On these occasions, he stripped her clothes, lamenting the fact she was worth more to him as a virgin for he would sell her to the highest bidder when the time was right.
Living in a nightmare, terrified of being sold to someone worse than him and wanting to avoid the sadistic whip wielding priest, she learned to suck his cock well and block out the cruel words he rained on her. Reliving many occasions of the use and abuse and cringing at the torment of being held responsible for her mother's death, she had not spoken or listened to the physician during the examination, tears falling silently from her eyes. She raised her head as he finally covered her with a blanket and looked at her kindly. "I am truly sorry, Lady. No one should have suffered so."
Her voice was barely a whisper, "Did Kade tell you how ...?" her voice trailed off.
"Oh no, I am only here to make sure you are well and that you do not suffer any further." He sat on the bed beside her his kind eyes holding hers. "Physically you are in no danger. You have been lucky not to have been raped but I am sure you do not feel that way." He patted her hand again, "I fear, though, you suffer in ways I cannot see nor mend. Would you like to tell me what happened to you? Lord Venturin did not give me many details and talking can sometimes heal the deepest scars."
Tears threatened again as she shook her head and whispered, "No thank you."
Delenn knocked softly and the physician went to the door, coming back to her side he smiled "You have more visitors it seems. Are you up to it or shall I send them away saying you need bed rest?"
"I will get up. Thank you for your concern and for your care." Honey gave him a weak smile before gathering her night dress and house cloak and slipping them on.
Walking from the bedroom with the physician she took in a flamboyantly dressed group of ladies who curtsied awkwardly. The physician bid her farewell and Delenn introduced the women as seamstresses sent by Kade to make her some new clothes. Knowing she would need clothes for the visit from her friends, Honey let herself be poked and prodded and pinched into rich fabrics, too tight corsets and underwear for the rest of the day.
The women had either been told or were too polite to mention the scars traversing her torso. By mid-afternoon, she stood in a beautiful dress of emerald green velvet the bodice scooped low hinting at the scars that wrapped her body and the strait skirt flaring slightly from her hips to pool at her feet. Honey looked at her reflection in the large looking glass seeing the girl she had been at her father's castle, the demon child, and gasped.
The painful memories stirred again and her eyes clouded as the women fussed believing she did not like the dress. She smiled assuring them she was just overwhelmed by their skill. Her brain screamed at her to run far away where no one could know her shame. She sat quietly in a chair as they promised to return the next day with more garments for her, now that they knew her measurements. Leaving boots and stockings and a pretty hair band to keep her hair from her face they left, silence surrounding Honey for the first time in what seemed like days instead of hours. Delenn came to stand behind her and began to brush out her hair. "You look so pretty in green, Honey. Sir Kade will be happy to see you dressed as a lady should be."
Honey gazed around the room. During the day visitors had arrived with beautiful flowers, books about the lands to the north where the sun always shone brightly, and baskets full of ribbons, threads, muslins and artists tools.
Kade had ridden out to locate the mayor of the town and the leader of the merchant's guild. He inquired after all his needs including tailors, cobblers and jewellers as well as the local baron. Armed with information, he dispatched the men on his behalf to organise certain items and people he would need to make Honey's stay more comfortable. He made a stop at one merchant personally to design several items and spent longer than he wished explaining his exacting requirements. Only when he was satisfied the man could produce what he wanted did he remount and ride toward the town gates.
Jarrau was lounging against a wall at the town gates talking with the guard as Kade reigned in and cocked his head. "You coming or holding up that wall with your dead weight?"
"Oh I thought I might come for a ride even if only to describe to you the smile I received over breakfast with Lady Honiara this morning. It was like a second sun rising." Jarrau smirked and gathered the reigns to his horse. Kade scowled and kicked his horse into motion galloping out in the country side at speed.
Within an hour, they rode into the courtyard of the local baron's castle and dismounted. Using his full name and title, Kade was ushered inside and announced with a flourish, obviously interrupting the morning's business, as all eyes turned in his and Jarrau's direction. The Baron declared an end to Petition Day to much grumbling of the petitioners and bade the knights follow him as the moved to a smaller room with an open fire and comfortable sitting chairs. The Baron Whitford was known as a pompous man with an over-blown ego, so Kade began with flattery complimenting his lands and castle before dropping the information that he had sent word to his mother that he had decided on these beautiful lands to be wed.
"Of course your mother must stay here in the castle." The baron insisted but as Kade went on about people she might tell and who may arrive with her. The Baron paled and his brain calculated the logistics.
Kade brought forth a small chest of gold and said, "For your troubles, Baron. It would not be right of me to impose otherwise." The obsequious man's eyes lit up with greed even as he acted affronted that Kade would offer gold to a wealthy baron such as himself. Kade played the game insisting on the stipend and promising to let him know details of the guest's arrival as soon as he knew of them.
As soon as they left the room Kade and Jarrau could hear yelling and shouting of orders that continued to ring through the building even as they made their way back down to the stables. Jarrau chuckled, "I don't know what impressed him more, your title or the chest of gold. I thought his head was going to explode when you started listing off royal names. You haven't really invited all those people have you?"
"Of course not," Kade said, "But you know my mother, unpredictable would be understating it." He stepped into his saddle smiling as he pictured his mother and rode out of the gate with Jarrau following a minute later. Reining in to a slow walk as they crested the hill above the town, Kade's face turned sombre, considering how much he needed to tell Jarrau about Honey's past.
Realising something was amiss Jarrau took the lead with his usual bluntness, "Okay, out with it. You have what you want. What is there to brood over now?"