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Authors: Bertrice Small

Tags: #Romance, #Historical, #Fiction

Bedazzled (28 page)

BOOK: Bedazzled
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Tom Southwood had been patient. He understood that if he wanted to succeed he had to bide his time. How many poor fools had attempted escape from captivity in the Barbary States and ended up dead? He had counseled those of his crewmen who had remained with him to practice forbearance. They were not ill-treated, and indeed, except for being confined to certain areas, they suffered not at all. “It is a great adventure you will tell your grandchildren in Devon one day,” he assured them. “Learn everything you can from the place. Enjoy the women. Enjoy the food. Enjoy the sun, and the warmth.
I will get us back to England!”
And while he kept their spirits up, he thought carefully of how they would make their escape. To be successful, the planning must be faultless. There was so much involved. He ruminated over and over again on it like a cow with a cud. The lighthouse keepers would have to be incapacitated so they could not raise an alarm. The great chain between the two lighthouses at the harbor’s entrance would have to be lowered, and then raised again. Most believed the chain was raised only when an attack on El Sinut was thought to be imminent. Few realized it was raised each night to protect El Sinut from a surprise onslaught. It had been the state’s policy as long as anyone could remember that vessels were not welcome in El Sinut’s harbor either before sunrise or after sunset.
The hardest thing, however, would involve getting into the palace by stealth to bring India and her servant girl out. Tom Southwood had learned that his cousin’s personal servant was a Scottish girl, the daughter of a ship’s captain killed when his vessel was taken. Few of that crew had survived, but three had ended up in El Sinut, and one had been wise enough to accept Islam. He had been assigned to “Osman’s” crew. It was from this seaman, Captain Southwood had discovered India’s serving maid was one of them. She would therefore be rescued as well, but how he was going to do it was a difficult problem.
And Adrian Leigh. He was another problem. There was simply no way they could rescue him, as he was chained to his oar with several other men. To attempt to free Viscount Twyford would endanger their plan, for his shipmates would want to come, too, and then so would all the other galley slaves on Aruj Agha’s ship. Many of them were unsavory types, and uncontrollable. They would want to rape and pillage El Sinut before departing. Such rash behavior would destroy any chances they had of making a clean escape. It just couldn’t be done, and he hoped that India would not be too distressed over it. They would, of course, notify young Leigh’s family as to his whereabouts when they returned to England. It would be up to them to ransom the young man then, but at least they would know where he was.
Slowly and carefully Tom Southwood set everything in place. His men were primed, and ready to go. It was just a matter of time. They had to pick the right time, for he knew they would only get one chance. If they failed, they would be killed. And their deaths would not be easy or pleasant ones. He had seen what had happened to men who attempted to escape their captivity here on the Barbary coast. He did not intend such a death to happen to him, or to any of his men. He would be as patient now that the moment approached as he had been over these past months. Then he would succeed, and they would be home in England within a year of their having been gone.
“Soon,” he told his men. “It will be soon. I feel it in my bones. Each one of you knows your task when I give you the word. There can be no mistakes, men.”
And then Thomas Southwood saw the perfect opportunity.
ndia lay naked in her husband’s arms, smiling up at him. “I understand you wanting to hunt, and camp in the hills with Aruj Agha for a few days,” she told him sweetly. “I have five brothers, and many uncles and cousins, my lord. Hunting is a man’s sport.”
He caressed her beautiful breasts lightly, watching with pleasure as her nipples responded. “Did you ever hunt with the men?” he asked her. “I had heard women in your land enjoy the hunt.”
“Some do. My mother and my younger sister both enjoyed riding off with my father and brothers to spend a day on the hills or in the forest, but I never really enjoyed such sport.” Twisting herself about, she licked the flesh of his belly, then looked up at him seductively. “This is the sport I favor,” she murmured.
“You are insatiable,” he said, laughing softly and pulling her back into his embrace where he might continue to caress her. She had the loveliest body, and being just newly with child, that body had not yet begun to change. Her belly was yet flat, and her rounded limbs in perfect proportion. The only change he could see was in her breasts, which had become a bit rounder, and the nipples more sensitive. He pulled her about so that she sat upon his thighs, facing him, and, leaning forward, he took one of those nipples into his mouth, his hand holding the breast to which it belonged firmly in his grasp.
Her senses were atingle. Her nipple was like a small stone niblet, yet so sensitive that she could feel most distinctly his tongue encircling it over and over again. And when she thought she could bear no more of his teasing, he pushed her further, suckling hard upon her nipple while he pushed a single finger between her plump nether lips to find her pleasure place. India’s head was whirling as her entire being was suddenly focused in a different area. The finger pressed gently, and then began to graze the sentient softness until it stiffened, and she was moaning helplessly as the swells of hot delight began to overwhelm her, sweeping through her body and wracking her with shudders of pleasure.
“You devil!” she half groaned at him. “Do you enjoy torturing me? Cease! Cease! I am close to fainting!”
Laughing, he pushed her onto her back and covered her body with his own, his lips nibbling at her mouth. “Aye, I enjoy torturing you, you exquisite creature.” He rubbed himself suggestively against her. “I shall not allow you the upper hand tonight, my precious. I far too much enjoy your cries of satisfaction. His hungry kiss caught her unawares as he pushed his manhood into her trembling body. He filled her full, gently thrusting to and fro. “Do you enjoy this torture, India, my love?” He kissed her again.
She tightened herself about him, pulling her head away from him and demanding boldly, “And do you enjoy
torture, my lord?” Her legs wrapped themselves about his torso, squeezing him outwardly every bit as much as she was squeezing him inwardly.
“Ahhhh, bitch! You mean to kill me, do you?”
“Think of me when you are camped in the damp hills, my lord,” she taunted him suggestively. “In the dark of night, remember my warmth.”
He began to move fiercely upon her. “And you remember my passion as you lay alone in your bed, my precious India,” he said, his mouth once more taking hers in an almost cruel kiss.
She could hardly breathe. For a moment it seemed as if his lips were all there were in the world—and it was enough! She could feel the tensions building within her fevered body. Building and building until it burst in a wild frenzy and they collapsed in each other’s arms, sated for the moment. India lay against his chest listening as his heartbeat eased slowly from its rapid pulse to a calmer thump. She rubbed her cheek against his skin. It was smooth and damp with his relieved lust. And his fragrance. Warm and musky. She had been surprised to discover that men had their own scent, and his was not unpleasant. Rather, it had become familiar and comforting. “I love you, Caynan,” she murmured, kissing his nipple with a sigh.
His arm tightened about her. “I love you,” he responded. Ah, yes, he did love her. So much so that he intended keeping his promise to her when he returned from the hunt. He had recently found a Protestant minister in the town, a gentle Lutheran, who had agreed to marry the dey to his first wife and keep the secret of their Christian marriage.
“I understand well, my lord, the need for silence. It would weaken your position should it be known you yielded to a woman’s plea. Still, Allah will bless you for it. It is obvious you respect God no matter the way in which he is worshipped.” Then the old minister smiled conspiratorially. “I respect God in his many incarnations, too, which is why I am in El Sinut. I am not a man for strict doctrine which gave great distress to my superiors. I was put here to help redeem Protestant captives. It was my bishop’s way of keeping me from corrupting the innocent,” he concluded with a merry chuckle.
The dey had smiled at the kind old minister. “I appreciate your discretion,” he said. “It will make India happy, and it is important to me that she is happy. We will come to you in a few days, for it is easier for me to bring her in secret from the palace than if you were seen within my home. And in return, Pastor Haussler, you will always have access to me in the matter of Protestant captives to be ransomed.”
The minister had thanked him profusely, tears in his eyes, and the dey returned to the palace. Aye, they would be wed, as he knew India’s parents would want it that way. And there was something else. He intended to tell India that he was English. That he was Deverall Leigh, Adrian’s half-brother, and the true heir to the earl of Oxton. He knew this would come as a shock to her, but he also knew that she would believe him when he told her he did not murder Charles Jeffers. That he had been accused unjustly, and, being young, fled, rather than remain to prove his innocence, if indeed he could have proved it. After all, it had been his knife that appeared to have done the deed. A dagger of which he was extremely proud because it had come from his mother’s family. A dagger well known to be his prized possession. India would understand. And then he would pay a ransom for Adrian out of his own coffers, and send his half-brother to his uncle in Naples. Whatever the lad did afterward was his business, but he suspected Adrian would not go home to England immediately for fear of the duke of Glenkirk. And finally, when India had delivered their child, he would allow her to write to her parents. He would not let them suffer as his father had been forced to suffer all these years. Looking down on his wife he stroked her dark curls gently as she slept.
When the morning came, she climbed sleepily from her bed to bathe him, a chore she refused to relinquish, saw that he ate a hearty breakfast, and walked with him, properly veiled, into the courtyards to see him off with Aruj Agha. The janissary bowed low to her, and India nodded graciously in his direction.
“Keep my husband safe from danger,
,” she said.
“I will, my lady India,” he told her with a smile.
Reentering the palace, she was met by Samara, who took her by the hand and said, “Come to the harem. Nila and Sarai are going to tell us how they entertained the visitor from Istanbul. They have saved the tale for just such a time as this so we might all be amused and enlightened, although I doubt there is anything they could tell me that I do not already know,” she concluded smugly.
India would have preferred to refuse, for she wanted to be alone but knew to do so would offend. So she allowed Samara to lead her into the fountain court, where the women were already seated awaiting her. Mirmah immediately arose, and called out to India.
“Come, my lady, and sit here.” She led India to a comfortable divan, insisting she put her feet up. “I have heard it is good to do so when you are with child,” she said.
When the women were finally all settled, and cakes, fruit, and sherbet had been offered, Samara said impatiently, “Well?”
Sarai laughed her smoky laugh. “We all know that a manhood comes in three lengths: the smallest being called
the little fish
, the medium-sized being
the naughty monkey,
and finally the largest being called
the stallion.
Hussein Aga was none of these.”
The women gasped with surprise.
“What was he?” Deva finally ventured.
“We nicknamed him the bull,” Sarai replied with a wink.
“Never in all my days,” Nila told them, “have I seen a manhood so large. This janissary was enormous! As we all know, our lord, the dey, is a stallion, and has a most magnificent weapon. None of us have ever been discontent with him, but Hussein Aga was huge, being both lengthy and thick set.”
“And he was as randy as a billy goat,” Sarai said. “We disrobed him, and when we had, he was already waving his banner at us!”
The women giggled, even India. She had not thought to enjoy this form of entertainment, but she was amused. “Go on. Go on,” she encouraged the two women. “I am the virtual innocent in this room.”
The others giggled again, and then Sarai continued.
“He had strong limbs, and a very broad chest. He put an arm around each of us, and walked with us to the bed. We lay him upon his back, and immediately sought to ease his excitement. He assured us, however, that he was a tireless lover. We should both be more than well satisfied by the dawn. We assured him then that he, too, would be quite gratified.”
“I, then, began to caress him with my hair,” Nila said. “He liked that, but he liked it even better when I took that lengthy rod within my mouth. I practically swallowed him whole, and he began to moan like a boy with his first woman. I would suckle him until he believed he would erupt, and then I would cease, and begin to lick at him. Finally, when he could take no more of such pleasure, I mounted him, absorbing slowly his great length. Allah! He filled me well!”
“He was half mad with lust by then,” Sarai took up the tale. “His eyes were practically bulging from his head.” She pouted. “Nila was having all the fun, and so I put my love box over his face, pressing my nether lips against his fleshy mouth, and rubbing. At first he didn’t seem able to breathe, but then his tongue poked through, finding my pleasure place. It was a most clever tongue, eager and tireless. My love juices were very copious. He drank them like a man who has been lost in the desert for three days, his pointed tongue going beyond my pleasure place into my sheath, while his hot mouth devoured me. Nila and I entered Paradise at almost the same moment.”
“And while she took her own pleasure from Hussein Aga, I rode him hard. His manhood was stiffer than any I have known previously, forcing itself deeper than any man has gone within me. I have never partaken of such fierce lust. I might have been fearful had it not felt so good. Before I closed my eyes and gave myself over to this dark pleasure, I could see his big hands, holding tightly on to Sarai’s ivory bottom,” Nila told them.
The other women were silent, their eyes wide with fascination.
“Go on,”
Samara finally managed to croak.
“Nila was weeping with pleasure, but the brute was not satisfied,” Sarai told them. “He pushed her off his lance, and rolling me onto my back pistoned me until I was but half conscious. Only then did he explode his seed into me.”
“Did you . . .” Leah began.
“Twice more in those moments,” Sarai told them.
“You named him well,” Laylu told the two women enviously.
“Tell us more,” Mirmah demanded. “Did he take either of you as the janissaries are said to do?”
“Each of us,” Nila told them, “but only once, for we did not like it, and reminded him we belonged to the dey who did not use us in such a fashion. Still, I have to admit, I found it exciting, yet too perverse.”
“I did not,” Sarai told them. “He was so big. I was afraid he would hurt me with that huge rod of his.”
India looked puzzled. “I don’t understand,” she said.
“He entered them through their bottomholes,” Samara said without any pretensions of delicacy. “Janissaries are raised without the company of women. They are known, when young, to experiment erotically upon one another. Later, of course, they know women, but not as boys. It is unhealthy for a boy, once his jewels have formed and matured, to pen up his juices. There is little harm in what they do.”
“I think it is awful!” India said with a shudder.
The other women, but for Samara, nodded. She, however, smiled knowingly. “A woman must do that which pleasures her lord no matter her own tastes. I deny our lord, the dey,
of my person.” It was meanly said.
India was stricken for a moment.
“She but babbles like a brook,” Sarai said to the dey’s wife, and then she glared at Samara. “Your tongue is so acid that you could engrave brass pots with it. None of us have ever received the dey in such a fashion, and you know it, Samara. Do not distress our mistress.”
Samara shrugged, but said nothing else, leaving the inference to lie writhing in India’s mind.
“She is a terrible liar,” Mirmah whispered. “We know our master every bit as much as she does, and he does not do such things.”
“I want to make him happy,” India said softly.
“You have,” Mirmah replied. “You are to give him a child, and that, Samara will never be able to do. She is bitter. Do not mind her, my lady India.”
BOOK: Bedazzled
13.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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