Authors: Cara Adams
Grigori placed the basket on the table and they all gathered around it as he pulled out a blue and white checked tablecloth, three wooden plates, a loaf of crusty bread, a small wheel of cheese, a salami, a ceramic bottle with a stopper in the top, an old-fashioned knife, three small salad onions, and a wooden bowl filled with berries.
Damask stared at everything and said, “That’s very clever indeed. Apart from the tablecloth everything is authentic. Cotton wasn’t in Europe then, but the food is perfect.”
“I suspect the recipe for the bread isn’t quite right. It’ll have some seeds in it, but be more refined than back then. Plus, I think we’ll find the ale isn’t as weak as it was then, either, although it’ll still seem watery compared to modern ale,” said Jairus.
Damask didn’t care. She knew the chef had a tough job to make foods that people would eat and enjoy, while still embodying the historical spirit of the times, if not the exact detail. As they ate, she watched the last few guests leaving, then the werewolves checking everywhere to make sure no one was left behind. The turnstiles counted everyone in and out, but she knew people always double-checked as well.
The last of the village traders locked their shutters, then cleaners disappeared into the bathrooms and a team began using a leaf blower to clean all the dust from the courtyard. That was just another clever example of the wolves using modern technology to help out. The cobblestones of the courtyard were uneven. Sweeping them with a broom would take forever. But the leaf blower easily blew the dirt from between the individual stones into neat little piles for another worker to sweep up.
It was dusk as they finished their meal and Grigori loaded the plates and containers back into the picnic basket. “I’ll return this. Wait here. It won’t take me more than five minutes.”
She nodded. She was quite happy watching the sun set and the sky grow dark around them. Lights on the castle walls blinked and flickered as they came on. They weren’t bright like in the daytime, but it was enough light to see where people were going. The cleaners had moved into the outer courtyard and Damask supposed people would be checking the parking lot to ensure the only vehicles in it were staff ones.
“Did it take your people a long time to work out how to balance security issues with having the castle open?” she asked Jairus.
“The pack knew we had to find a way of making a proper living, and this was the best solution anyone could think of. We were lucky in that the business has grown steadily so our knowledge has grown with it. Security is important to us though. The surveillance videos aren’t discarded. But simply counting people in and out also works. No one ever has been left behind though on a few occasions adventurous children have tried to hide and stay behind. One kid planned on sleeping in the jumping castle last year. His mom wasn’t impressed, though.”
Damask laughed. “What about losing anyone in the dungeons?”
“The tour guides are not interested in forfeiting their job. Some of the tourists do wander away though, but no tour guide has mislaid anyone yet. There’s often someone who gets too far behind his group or turns left instead of right. But we expect that sort of thing.”
She saw Grigori coming back toward them, the security lights more than adequate for them to move around safely. “We should have walked across to the castle to meet you, to save you going backward and forward. I’m sorry I didn’t think of that,” she said.
“Not a problem. The exercise is good for me.”
Damask jumped up more than ready to look at the dungeon. She’d hoped to manage a peek inside on her lunch break one day. Having the two men show her around was going to be way better than just looking from the doorway. She’d never seen a dungeon before. Neither a real one, like this was in an old building, nor a fake one in a BDSM club either. In fact, she’d never been to a BDSM club. Her entire knowledge of that, like so many other things, came from the Internet.
She couldn’t totally blame her parents for that. Part of it was living in the mountains in a smaller rural community. Even if there was one nearby she couldn’t imagine ever having enough courage to go inside. “Is there a BDSM club in town? Or even an adult store?” she asked.
“No. Such things are seldom in a small town because everyone knows everyone else’s business. But we don’t need a club. Everything we want is here. Or if not, if there’s new toys we would like, we can order them online,” answered Jairus.
“I was thinking online would be the answer to many people’s needs. The courier would never know what was inside the parcel he delivered.”
“What kind of toys would you like, Damask?” asked Grigori.
She’d never thought that far ahead before. “I don’t know. Maybe I should go online and find out.”
They reached the stairs down to the public dungeon. Grigori flipped the light off then picked up the waiting torch from its holder, striking a long match against the wall just as the tourist guides did, before lighting the pitch and letting the smoky haze permeate the top of the stairwell. “Let’s go. Hold the handrail, Damask. The stairs are very old and uneven.”
“The handrail’s cold for such a warm day.” She rubbed her palm on the seat of her jeans before taking hold of it again, placing her feet carefully on the steps.
“The solid stone here stays cool on even the warmest days, but sometimes the guides play tricks as well, rubbing ice on the handrail or leaving puddles of cold water on the steps and in the dungeon to make it look scarier,” said Jairus.
Damask couldn’t wait to see just how scary it really was. When Jairus pulled a huge old iron key out of his backpack to unlock the door she sighed with happiness. She didn’t care if it was really just pretend for the tourists, it certainly looked ancient and evil.
Grigori took a step into the dungeon, beckoning her to follow him. He walked around with the torch burning smokily in the cooler atmosphere, shining its weak light on the iron maiden, and a rack. “Be very careful not to trip on the chains and eyebolts. Anyone who angered the werewolves was chained to these walls and their spirits still haunt this area,” Grigori said, his voice deep and urgent.
“Have you been memorizing the tourist brochures?” she teased. But the iron maiden did look very scary. “What’s that?” she asked pointing to a triangle-shaped box a bit like a gymnastics vaulting horse.
“It’s called the Spanish donkey. Those who anger the werewolves are forced to sit on it, weights tied to their feet. Gradually their body is forced down and down onto the sharp pointed wood until their bodies are split in half and they die screaming,” said Jairus in a ghoulish voice.
“Right. And you remember this happening in the past?” she asked.
“Many, many times.”
“Uh-huh. Please may I have the torch now so I can look around properly? I really would like to see everything, without the joke commentary.”
Grigori handed the torch to Jairus and left the dungeon. Damask was surprised but stood still, waiting for him to come back. She was reasonably sure she wouldn’t truly fall over anything, but not quite sure enough to put it to the test. Then the electric light turned on and the room was revealed with its genuine stone walls and floor and old-looking equipment. First she walked across to the chains and weighed them in her hands. They were very heavy, worn and rusted in places. Okay, they might be genuine.
The rack, the donkey, and a metal scepter-looking thing also seemed genuinely old to her. But the metal spikes in the iron maiden didn’t seem at all worn or chipped as they should have been.
“The iron maiden is not genuine,” she said, turning to stare at the men.
“Twice over,” said Jairus.
“Good deduction,” added Grigori.
“It’s a copy of a fake from a museum in Germany. Having said that though, the original fake is about seventeenth century I think, just not Middle Ages. The bench and the rack and even the Spanish donkey might only be seventeenth or eighteenth century as well, but the lead sprinkler is old, and so are the chains and bolts,” said Jairus.
Damask wandered around again, entranced by the ancient implements of torture and wondering if the old werewolf leaders really did persecute people. She supposed they probably had. Back then a person’s life had little value. People died of hunger every winter and even telling the leader bad news was grounds for execution. Refusing to obey an order was usually solved immediately by the leader chopping off the head of a rude person. After all, every ruler carried a sword all the time back then, and even peasants always carried a dagger.
She was much happier living in these days. Life could still be harsh and brutal but by and large people were able to live a long and happy life. The sound of the key being turned in the door made her look up, startled out of her reverie.
Grigori and Jairus came and stood right in front of her.
“How much would you like to play a few dungeon games?”
“We could do as much or as little as you felt comfortable with.”
“Stretch yourself a little. Take a step out of your comfort zone.”
“Learn the pleasure that pain can bring. Just a taste to awaken your senses.”
She crossed her arms over her breasts. “You’ve got quite the team thing going on there. Right, left, right, left.”
Jairus leaned into her personal space. “We could spank your ass like that, too.”
“Right, left, right, left, until your pussy was dripping with cream and you were begging for an orgasm,” added Grigori.
“Why don’t you get undressed and you’ll see.”
“Why don’t you get undressed as well?” she retaliated to Jairus.
Jairus dropped his backpack to the ground and unbuttoned his shirt cuffs, then the shirt itself. Damask stood and watched as the shirt dropped from his arms and puddled on the stone floor. She turned her gaze on Grigori. He only unbuttoned the top two buttons then pulled his shirt off over his head, throwing it down on top of Jairus’s. Then they both stared at her.
Okay, her turn. She had a secret weapon though, in that under her T-shirt was a bra. She walked across to stand beside the iron maiden, pulling her T-shirt off and draping it over the head of the maiden. Then she turned to face them again, staring at their cocks. Cocks which were long, thick ridges under their pants. She wondered if they’d play or if this was as far as the game would go. She had a delightful feeling of anticipation and excitement deep inside her. She rather thought she might end up naked before the evening finished.
Jairus bent and unlaced his boots, then pulled them off. Grigori was wearing dress shoes which he toed off. She kicked off her tennis shoes and was surprised at how cold the stone floor felt through her thin socks. She bent and pulled her socks off, rolling them up and placing them inside her shoes.
Grigori was already pulling his dress pants off. Jairus stared at her and she waited him out. Finally he unzipped his jeans and tugged them down his legs so she copied him. Grigori had on a pair of bright yellow boxers and Jairus was wearing black briefs. Her own underwear was pale blue, one of three matching sets she’d bought before coming here to work. She was glad she was wearing that set today instead of mismatched lingerie.
“What would you like to try first? Spanking on the bench? Being stretched on the rack? Some torture with the lead sprinkler?” asked Grigori.
It’d never occurred to her they’d ask her or that she would actually try things out. But she knew people did get stretched to soothe the kinks in their spine. Surely that would be far more pleasure than pain and therefore a good piece of equipment to try first. “The rack.”
“Good choice,” said Grigori. She walked across to the rack looking at it more carefully this time, then lay on the table, raising her hands above her head. Before she had time to think Jairus was tying her ankles to the bottom of the rack and Grigori had her wrists roped to the wooden frame. He turned the wheel at the side of the table and she didn’t notice any change at all. Nor did she on his second and third turns. By the fourth turn of the wheel she was beginning to wonder if the whole thing was just for looks, not action, but then she felt the first pull on her legs.
Then her spine was pulled tighter and the strain started to act on her shoulder muscles. One more turn and he stopped but she could feel her body being tested. Suddenly she understood how a person could be deeply scared yet not actually hurt. The mind envisioned what had not yet happened. It amplified the steady pull on the shoulder, hip, and knee joints into a more definite pain. The change in one turn of the wheel had been quite dramatic. It was very easy to picture how two or three more turns could really damage muscles and cartilage, dislocating body parts. These days a doctor would pop a dislocated shoulder joint back into place in a matter of minutes, and perhaps that could have happened back in the old days, too. But she understood now how the fear of potential pain could encourage someone to tell every secret the Alpha of the werewolves might have wanted to know.
Then Jairus was shaking the scepter—no, the lead sprinkler—over her body. Drops of very hot water landed on her belly, her thighs, and her neck. “That’s hot. How did you do that?”
“It’s just water I had in an insulated cup. They used to prefer hot shards of metal, often lead, hence the name of this implement, or tar or pitch. Things that would burn the person quite badly. This won’t blister your skin.” Jairus shook it again across her torso and once again the tiny hot drops hit her skin. They did feel too hot and burn her, but it was over very fast.