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Authors: Louisa Trent

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The Devil of Nettlewood (The Anarchy Tales) (20 page)

BOOK: The Devil of Nettlewood (The Anarchy Tales)
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Chapter Twenty-one

Two days after her return to Nettlewood, a messenger arrived at the small storage chamber that served as her bedchamber, work space, and prison cell, all in one. The herald told her Lord Spur requested her presence.

Request
. What a jest! As if the devil had given her any choice in the matter. A well-armed guard arrived on the messenger’s heels and dragged her to her audience with the overlord. If she fought, there was no doubt but that she would have been slain.

The solar was empty when her escorts pushed her within the chamber. Her head bowed but not at all penitent, Mitri awaited her master to arrive to learn the terms of her punishment.

Slaves who escaped their captivity usually received a whipping, the sentence carried out in public to discourage others from doing the same. Evidently Lord Spur was granting her leniency there. In his mercy, he would administer her punishment in private.

His preferential treatment surprised her. An inflexible man like him bend the rules? For
her?

Her master finally made an appearance. This was her first glimpse of him since he had brought her back from London.

“Step forward, slave,” he said.

She did, with meekly lowered eyes.

Why struggle?

She was here at the keep of her own volition. In the chandler’s shop, it had been her choice to remain silent when she could have saved herself by uttering three words.

She could still say them now. Say
set me free
and she could leave. He would keep his word, in that she trusted.

But she could not say those three words, for those three words would sever her only connection to the man she loved. She would not ask for that release, even if her life depended upon it.

And indeed, it might.

For all she knew, the punishment for her escape was death.

The guard, waiting in the wings, came forward. There was protocol to be followed. As was customary, the big brute of a man-at-arms stripped her naked.

Her master gasped at her shorn head. She had kept her hood raised until then.

She was bared and shamed. Her small breasts ached so. They hurt from missing the hard-hearted nobleman who owned her. Her nipples lengthened and hardened, then painfully jutted. All for love of an overlord who would not, could not love her. And between her legs, a trickle of honey flowed. Her secret for now. But not for long.

“Guard,” the overlord said, “proceed with the restraints.”

The man-at-arms tied each of her hands to the posts of the bed she so admired. He performed the same service to her feet. The posts were a goodly distance apart, and the leather ties splayed her, opened her, humiliated her. She cared not about the guard; only the opinion of one man counted.

And that one man, the only man whose opinion mattered to her, had walked around to the side of the bed where he had a clear view of her front. Would
he
note the moisture of her excitement as it dripped from the slit between her legs?

How could he not?

Her arousal had always been abundantly obvious to him.

After dismissing the guard, her heartless disciplinarian came to stand behind her. “Hear this: you are my enslaved whore. You are so by your own making.”

He stroked her bared breasts, and she purred.

“And you enjoy your work,” said the man she could not bring herself not to love.

She groaned, full-out, when her master applied the same stroke between her splayed thighs.

Then she pulled against the leather cords. Not to get away. Nay, not her. She pulled to thrust her pelvis outward. Better to receive her master’s uncaring, unfeeling touch.

“Your punishment is a flogging,” the Devil of Nettlewood pronounced. “Five stripes across your buttocks.”

Only five?

She thought him more generous than that.

“Make haste,” she cried. “I have missed you.”

“How much?”

“Desperately. I missed you desperately. My loins cried out for you each night. Since we parted, I have had no carnal relief.”

“Do you mean to say, you did not ply your new trade in London to make your way?”

She tossed her head. “You saw how I made my way.”

“You did not prostitute yourself in a stew?”

“Nay! I was an apprentice to a chandler who knew of my work. I told you I would not take another after you, and I have not, nor will I. My body belongs to you.”

“I believe you.”

“My, my, my. And without an elixir too,” she spat. “Too bad, ’tis too little too late.”

“I had no choice but to give you the tongue loosener. We are at war here, Lambkin. How was I to know you would not turn traitor on me and give all my military secrets away?”

“Trust. You could have trusted me.”

“You are naive. We are all here alive due to my lack of trust.”

So saying, he stepped behind her and applied the flogger to her backside. On the fourth stripe, she screeched out a climax and sagged against the ties. On the fifth, he cut her down.

“Your beautiful hair,” her owner, her lover, her master, her disciplinarian whispered as he combed his fingers through the ragged ends. “Why did you do such a cruel thing to me?”

“Cruel! Talk about the kettle calling the pot black. Why must everything be about you?”

“Because everything
is
about me. Without my cruelty, this fortress crumbles. A terrible responsibility.”

That terrible responsibility etched his tired face. Owing her safety to that terrible responsibility, she smoothed her fingers over the grim set of his features.

Like magic, his countenance relaxed, and he laid her on his bed.

On her belly.

Curses! Time to put her foot down. “Nay to sodomy done on my arse.”

“How am I to come into you?”

She sighed. “The usual channel.”

“Lambkin, I warn you—”

“Stuff your warning. Here on out, you will get naught from me unless we see eye to eye on this. And please to take
my
warning and meaning literally. We see eye to eye whilst we couple.” She rolled to her back and grimaced.

“See?” He clucked his tongue. “I was only thinking of your comfort.”

“You were not thinking past your prick. A good thing I like a little pain with my rutting.” She held up her arms to him.

And still he hesitated. “But a babe might come of this.”

“Love might come of this too.”

He moved over her. “Love already has come of this.”

She hoisted her chin. “Pardon?”

“I love you. I told Talon so that night in the pool.” He narrowed his gaze on her. “If you were listening, as you said you were listening, you would have heard my fervent declaration.”

“I departed early,” she said uneasily. “After hearing you gave me that elixir.”

“Then you missed me tell Talon how I worship and adore you, how you hold my heart in your hand, how I love you beyond all reason. Had you more faith in me, you would have stayed. Then you would have heard my impassioned speech, the one in which I expressed my yearning to make you my wife. ’Twas magnificent, that speech, quite romantic, even profound, filled with cupids and flowers and rainbows. You would have enjoyed it.”

She could not resist a barb to puncture his bladder of hot air. “Me, a lowly peasant, your
wife
?”

He pressed his forehead to hers. “In all seriousness, I wronged you greatly. My treatment of you was reprehensible. Shall I beg on bended knee for your forgiveness?”

“Sure. Torture me more. Your cock is poised at my opening, and you expect me to give that up for an apology?” She wiggled her hips. “Mark you my words, you will pay for each of your transgressions. Later. Much later. On this you may trust me.”

“I do,” he said soulfully. “In everything.”

She chuckled and rubbed her hard-pointed breasts against the wall of his chest.

“Evil seductress. And I am a devil. ’Tis a match made in—”

“Heaven. No less than heaven on earth.”

“Lambkin, one more thing—about your sister—please know this, I intend to do everything in my power to reunite you with her. I have already begun the search. I vow to continue to look for her until she is found.”

She believed him. Without question, without pause, she took his promise as truth. Moved as only those words could move her, she took the Devil of Nettlewood into her body and held him tight, not minding his prickles and thorns at all.

Loose Id Titles by Louisa Trent

Bittersweet

Bring It

Captive

Courtesan

Icon

Islet Abandoned

On Moorstead

Sex Stings

Some Rough-Edge Smoothin'

Tempest

The Acquisition

The Pick Up Line

Touch Me

* * *

The BLOOMING Stories

Lilac

Rose

Thyme

Veronica

* * *

THE ANARCHY TALES Stories

The Devil of Nettlewood

* * *

The TAINTED LOVE Stories

Bad Love

Bleeding Love

Tainted Love

* * *

EROTIC INTERLUDES

(featuring characters from the
Tainted Love
stories)

A Christmas Coming

Three on the Fourth

Louisa Trent

I am a writer raised in a family of storytellers. My earliest and fondest memory is of my Irish Nana relating a mystical story of a man looking in a window upon a beautiful lady whose long silvery hair swept the floor as she walked. With a simple telling, my grandmother drew me into her tale. A man. A woman. A forbidden love that wouldn't die. From opening word to shivery conclusion, I lived that story with her. Many years later, I'm still awed by the spell of the fantasy world she created with only the dip and swell of her voice.

There's power in words. Hope in love stories. Joy in a happy ending. I'm proud to carry on my family's storytelling tradition.

BOOK: The Devil of Nettlewood (The Anarchy Tales)
12.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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