FOXWOOD--Bed & Breakfast

_by Van © 2008

Chapter 7

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The Brave Little Scholar
& the Saxon Outlaw

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~{ & }~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Constance disrobed in the Bath Changing Room, carefully removing her glasses and placing them in the hard case she kept in the inside pocket of her robe.  She padded to the airlock door, and passed through into the Bath.

The water in the pool was still as glass, and Constance was alone... as far as she could tell.  Without her glasses, all she could see was a decidedly blurry image of her immediate surroundings.  Under these conditions, with only indirect, afternoon light from the narrow band of windows above the lounging area, anything greater than ten yards away was lost in a hazy fog, and the lounging area itself, under the relative glare of the windows, was nothing but shadows.  She would have been able to tell if anybody was moving in or around the pool or in either alcove, and she certainly would have been able to hear them... so it would appear she was alone.

So why the hell did Kayley insist I come here? she wondered, and padded towards the cleaning alcove.  Is someone going to show up?  Constance frowned.  If this is a 'Captured in the Bath' scenario, I'll be so mad... especially if it's Alice.  But why in the world would Kayley "lure" her into a trap for Alice?  It wasn't like Kay-bear... but then, neither was streaking around in bondage.  Kayley helped with "Special Guest Scenarios", of course—they all did—but Kayley generally wasn't a "player".  And Kayley never went on "unnecessary" scenario romps, like Alice and The Cricket.

Constance doused herself under the shower, quickly soaped and scrubbed her already clean body, then took a final rinse.  She padded to the pool and dove into the dark water.  The diminutive brunette rolled onto her back, and began backstroking towards the shallow end, setting herself a leisurely pace.  She smiled up at the regular shadows of the Gothic ceiling.  Hmm... this is good.  Maybe Kay-bear just wants me to take a break.  Maybe I'll try the sauna for a while... or the hot-tub.  Yes, the hot-tub, she decided.  She rolled onto her stomach and executed a frog-kick and a slow glide, closing the remaining distance to the shallow end.  She planted her feet and stood, then lifted her chin and combed her fingers through her hair as she mounted the steps.  She lowered her head—and nearly tripped on the edge of the pool!

"Ahh!" Constance screamed, then wiped the water from her face and stared in astonishment.

Hannah—a naked, very tied-up and gagged Hannah—was splayed before her, lashed to the central throne-chair of the lounge area that was usually reserved for Jillian!  Her hands were bound in what looked like a box-tie, Sydney's signature style, and she was perched on her rump and folded arms with her legs bent over the armrests.  How could Sydney think Jillian would let her get away with this? Constance wondered.  And why did Hannah let her do it?  And how the hell did Syd capture Kay-bear??  Constance's head turned as she gazed around the lounge, squinting as she tried to bring the shadows into focus.  Was Sydney lurking behind the other chairs?  She spun in a quick circle, expecting to find the Evil Baroness Sydney approaching, sword in hand.

"What happened?" Constance demanded.  Hannah didn't answer, of course.  She may have been smiling at her through her gag, but without her glasses Constance couldn't be sure.  The naked, wet scholar blushed, realizing the foolishness of asking questions of a bridle-gagged captive.  (She was also blushing because she realized she was openly leering at Hannah's prominently displayed sex.)  Constance took another glance around—still no Sydney—then padded behind Hannah's chair and began releasing the buckles of her gag.

In short order the harness and flap fell away and Hannah spit the cloth from her mouth.  "Thanks," she muttered.

"Uh, you're welcome," Constance responded, kneeling to attack the key knot of the ropes lashing Hannah in place.  "So, has Sydney gone insane, or what?" she demanded.

"I'm not sure about the current state of Sydney's mental health," Hannah chuckled.  "Alice and Cricket said she was practicing in her room."

Constance frowned as she untied Hannah's left ankle and knee.  "So, the 'Bobbsey Twins' are the ones behind this," she muttered.  "I should have known."

"Actually," Hannah responded, "now that you've shown up, everyone is behind this, in some capacity."

Constance paused in the process of untying Hannah's right ankle.  "Sydney, the Twins, Kay-bear—"  She gasped in surprise.  "—Jillian?"

Hannah nodded.  "I take it that's a rare occurrence?"

Constance nodded.  "Uh huh."  She watched as Hannah struggled to extricate herself from her awkward pose.  "Oh, sorry!" she gasped, and rushed forward to help Hannah lift her legs over the armrests and climb to her feet.

"Arr!" Hannah complained, grimacing as she straightened her back.  She took a deep breath—causing the ropes of her remaining bondage to squeeze her arms, torso, and breasts—then smiled at Constance,  "Thanks for the rescue," she purred.

Constance blushed, again, then reached for the knots of the box-tie.  "Here, I'll untie the rest."

"Wait!" Hannah blurted, and twisted away.  "Uh... I can't believe I'm saying this, but Jillian said I shouldn't be untied 'til sundown."

"Oh!" Constance gasped.  "The indoc!  Of course."

"I'm still grateful," Hannah chuckled.  "My spine was really starting to complain."

"Yeah... I hate contorted poses like that," she agreed, then smiled.  "Had lunch?"

"No," Hannah answered, and her stomach growled, as if providing independent confirmation.

"C'mon," Constance giggled, and led the way to the changing room.  "Love the braids," she added, smiling back at Hannah over her shoulder.
--- Tales of the Foxwood B&B: HHH Chapter 7
With Constance back in her glasses and abbreviated costume of slippers, chemise, and faded, work-a-day academic robe, and with Hannah in her collar, box-tie, and birthday suit, the pair made their way to the Common Room.  Kayley's buffet of feast leftovers was extensively depleted, but there was still enough for Constance to make a plate of finger sandwiches: roast goose, Beef Wellington, smoked ham, various cheeses, stuffed olives, and miscellaneous greens.  With the plate in one hand and a couple of brown glass bottles of ale in the other, she led Hannah towards the Resident's Wing.

"Better we eat in my room," she explained.  "If one or more of the others show up, you could get dragged off to the dungeons.  And maybe me too, for helping you."  Her smile brightened.  "Oh, I know!  I'm secretly in league with the Outlaws, and you're the Saxon Thrall I'm helping to escape to the Green Wood.  We'll hide in my room 'til things quiet down, then you can sneak away in the morning."

"In the morning," Hannah purred.  "I take it I'm invited to spend the night?"

"Yeah," Constance answered, then her cheeks colored in yet another shy blush.  "Uh... if you want to, that is."

Hannah smiled. 
Apparently, the scholar has a serious blushing habit, she decided.  What a cutie!  "I'm just wondering," the blond captive continued, "when and maybe if I'm ever going to be allowed to move into my apartment in the Outer Mews."

"Oh, probably in the morning," Constance said, then frowned.  "Although... with Jillian running around playing Evil Lady Foxwood, all bets are off... but probably in the morning." 

They made their way to the Resident's Wing.  Hannah could hear the faint sound of a strumming harp-guitar from behind one of the doors as they passed.

"Sydney's room," Constance whispered.  "C'mon."  She led Hannah to a door further down the hall, managed to turn the knob without spilling the plate or dropping the bottles of ale, then held it open for Hannah.

They entered what was obviously Constance's bedroom.  There was a desk and a comfortable-looking work chair; an easy chair and footstool near a small fireplace; a neatly made bed; a chest of drawers, and a wardrobe.  In addition, a cluttered array of bookshelves virtually lined the walls, from ceiling to floor.  They were crammed with leather-bound tomes of all sizes, interspersed with knickknacks, carved wooden boxes, and art objects, including what appeared to be a small, rust-brown, realistic owl cast in iron, and a quite striking statue of a raven carved from ebony wood.  A large window, framed by more bookshelves, provided a picturesque view of a wooded hillside.

Constance set the plate and bottles on the desk, went to the chest of drawers and produced a large scarf, then returned to the desk and deployed it as a place mat.  She then pulled the easy chair over to the desk and motioned for Hannah to sit.  The Rebellious Scholar and Escaping Thrall shared the sandwiches and ale in companionable silence, with Constance feeding both diners, of course.

"I didn't realize I was so hungry," Constance mumbled around her last bite of goose, capers, and baby spinach on French bread.

"I did," Hannah chuckled, "but I'm fine now.  Thanks."

"You're welcome."  Constance swigged the last of her ale.  Hannah's bottle was already empty.  "I can get more," the little scholar offered.

Hannah smiled.  "No, I'm fine."  She looked around at the overloaded shelves.  "Your library?" she inquired.

"Yeah."  Constance climbed out of her chair, placed the empty bottles on the plate, and placed it on the floor next to the door.  "So, what you wanna do now?"

Hannah eyed the bed.  After the events of the morning, an afternoon nap sounded good.

Sutton Hoo Helm"Oh!  I know!" Constance blurted, padded to a bookcase, and began searching for something.  "I can tell you about the Saxons, for character development.  Here it is."  She pulled out a large, thin volume.  She folded back the leather cover, and Hannah could see it was a modern picture book.  The "medieval" leather binding was camouflage.  "This is about Sutton Hoo," she said, then noticed Hannah's puzzled expression.  "The burial mound in Suffox?  With the ship and the helmet..."  She pointed to the illustration on the cover.  "...and the other burial goods?  First excavation was in 1939?"

Hannah shook her head.  "Sorry."

Constance sighed.  "No matter."  The book under one arm, Constance moved to the bed and began piling her pillows against the headboard.  "C'mon," she said, waving at Hannah.

Hannah grinned, climbed to her feet, and walked to the bed.

"Here." Constance patted the mattress.  "What do you know about the Saxons?"

"Uh... not much," Hannah admitted.  "They were the bad guys of early English history, right?  And they were sort of like Vikings.  I remember them from King Arthur... with Clive Owen and Keira Knightly?"

Constance shuddered.  "Oh, please!  The Saxons in that movie might as well have been orcs!  The real Saxons were skilled warriors, by all accounts, but they weren't murdering psychopaths that bathed in manure.  The Romans actually invited them to settle in Britain, as a buffer against the Picts—the usual Roman tactic of playing one group of 'barbarians' against another.  It worked in the short term, then blew up in their face, like with the Ostrogoths and the Huns.  Like it always did."

Constance helped Hannah recline on the bed and get comfortable, then dragged over her easy chair and sat, propping her feet up on the edge of the mattress.

"Anyway," Constance continued, "the Saxons were one of a number of Germanic tribes that migrated around Europe during the decline of the Western Empire and the early Dark Ages.  Different groups settled in the Balkans, Italy, and Britain."

Hannah smiled at the earnest little scholar and stifled a yawn.  She managed to stay awake while Constance outlined the Saxon history of Post-Roman Britain; but when the lecture turned to the details of the Saxon kingdoms of Essex, Middlesex, Sussex, and Wessex—Hannah lost her battle with sleep.
--- Tales of the Foxwood B&B: HHH Chapter 7
Meanwhile, down in the dungeons...
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Cricket and Alice shuffled into a dungeon cell.  Both were still naked, and now Alice was "dressed" in a set of working chains identical to Cricket's shackles, manacles, collar, and connecting chain.  Jillian was in their wake, but in a costume very different from her usual medieval gown.

The Lady of the Keep had changed into something designed for action: a pair of gleaming brown thigh boots, matching leather pants, and a linen doublet of a muted wine color.  A sheathed longsword and dagger were belted around her waist.  The ensemble may have been more Hollywood than Historical, and it was scandalously male, but with Jillian's wasp-thin waist and ample bosom there was no possibility of gender confusion.  Her long red curls were pulled back and bound in a ponytail with a braided leather thong.

There was a row of five iron rings evenly spaced along the far wall of the cell, set in the stone at about shoulder height.  Iron chains dangled from the rings and disappeared into the loose straw covering the floor.  The only light was from a weakly flickering "Drowish" globe dangling from the ceiling on a thin chain.

"Over there, princess," Jillian ordered, pointing to the ring and chain on the far right.

Alice sighed, then clanked and shuffled to the position indicated.  "Okay, so the planets are in some sort of evil alignment and Lady Jillian's turned into a Wicked Tyrant, but why do you have to rain on our parade?"

"I told you to let Sydney handle Hannah," Jillian responded, "but did you listen?"  She found the end of the chain and locked it to the rear staple of the pouting pixie's collar.

"We only wanted to watch," Alice objected.

"Sydney knew you two were skulking around, hiding in the shadows," Jillian huffed.  "That's why she's sulking in her room."

Cricket's grin faded to a sober stare.  "How do you know that?"

"I don't," Jillian admitted, "not for sure, but I do know she's still in a fragile state

"Hah!" Alice interrupted.  "Sydney in a 'fragile state'," she scoffed.  "Give me a break."

"Sydney's in a fragile state," Jillian repeated, frowning at Alice.  "She's still not over... you know what... and I was hoping Hannah would be just what she needs."  She smiled at Cricket.  "I'm still hoping.  Don't worry.  I'll fix it... but it'll take time."  She pointed to the far left ring, and Cricket shuffled in that direction.

"Hey!" Alice objected.  "We won't be able to reach each other!"

"I think that's the idea," Cricket sighed.

"How else do you expect a 'Wicked Tyrant' to behave?" Jillian chuckled, and locked the end of the far left chain to Cricket's collar.  She then spun on her heel, placed her hand on the hilt of her sword, and walked to the door.

"This is mean!" Alice groused, rattling her chains as she stomped her right foot.

"Quiet, princess," Jillian warned, "or I'll sic the scholar on you."

Alice laughed.  "Oh, I'm so scared.  What's Connie gonna do, talk me to death?"

"Actually," Jillian purred, "I was thinking I might commission a half-dozen new scenarios, all variations on a single theme: 'The Princess Prisoner'."

Alice laughed again... then her smile faded.  "Oh," she whispered.

"I get it!" Cricket giggled, "like... Alice is really the Crown Princess; but the Evil Queen, her stepmother, has had her secretly kidnapped, spirited away from the Royal Court, and hidden in the dungeons of her political ally, The Evil Lady Jillian."

"Hey!" Alice shouted, stamping her foot, again.  "Whose side are you on, you little traitor?"

"I like that," Jillian chuckled.  "I'll be sure Constance gives you credit."  She stepped through the threshold, then focused on Alice.  "You start behaving yourself, young lady," she warned, "or this will be only the start."  She grabbed the handle and pulled the door closed.

"Wait, Jillian!" Alice wailed.  "How long are we in here for?  Jillian?"

Her only answer was the sound of the key turning the lock.

Alice gazed sadly at her equally helpless, equally naked lover.  "So... are we busted for messin' with poor, delicate, wounded Syd, for teasin' the newbie, for failure to be properly manipulated by Her Ladyship, or what?"  She rattled her chains, for emphasis.  "This is mean," she sighed.

"Looks like an all-of-the-above, to me," Cricket giggled, then batted her eyes at Alice and heaved a rather theatrical sigh of her own.  "So near, yet so far."

"I'm serious," Alice grumbled.  "She's probably gonna leave us in here all night."

"I bet she'll come back with some food around sunset," Cricket said, then nodded at the covered wooden bucket and terracotta pitcher in her corner.  "I've got everything I need to make it through the night."

Alice glanced at the matching chamber pot and water supply in her corner, then turned her sad eyes back to her lover.  "I don't have everything I need," the little redhead whispered.

"Stop it, Honey-pie," Cricket sighed.  "Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that.  Be strong."

"I want to hold you so much," Alice pouted.

"Me, too," Cricket whispered, and settled into the straw.

Alice sat, as well, then flopped onto her side... then rolled onto her other side.  "This is mean," she muttered, yet again.  "It's too hot in here, and there's not enough straw."

Cricket giggled.  "You were too cold back in the oubliette, and now you're too hot.  Maybe you really are a princess."

"Very funny," Alice huffed, the rolled back to face her fellow prisoner.  "I'll be okay, as long as I'm with you, Sweetness."  Suddenly, she frowned.  "Ow!" she complained, then reached under her side and produced a tiny object.

"What did you find?" Cricket giggled, "a pea?"

"A pebble," Alice muttered, and tossed away the rock in question.

"Start thinking about ways we can convince Jillian she should chain us together," Cricket suggested, "when and if she comes back."  She rolled onto her back and made herself comfortable.

"What else have we got to do?" Alice sighed, and did her best to relax.
--- Tales of the Foxwood B&B: HHH Chapter 7
Sunset ~I
~~~~~{ & }~~~~~

Hannah's eyes popped open.  "What?  ...oh!"

Still dressed in her sleeveless, white linen chemise, Constance was leaning over Hannah's naked body and untying her rope bonds.

Hannah glanced at the orange light streaming through the window.  "Sunset?"

"Close enough," Constance answered.  She smiled as she helped Hannah sit on the edge of the bed, so she could better unwrap and untangle the loosening ropes.  "Don't worry about the rope marks," she advised.  "They'll fade pretty quickly.  Sydney's good.  She knows how to make things tight where they need to be, to prevent abrasion, but still loose enough to prevent bruising.  The first time I tried a box-tie on The Cricket, she had rope-hickies on the inside of her upper arms for a month.  I was so embarrassed."

"You all do this tying up stuff?" Hannah asked.

"Jillian insists that we learn," Constance explained.  "Even if we all don't usually get involved in the capturing and handling part of the special scenarios, we still need to know how it's done, just in case."

Hannah nodded, then stood and went up on her toes, arched her back, and reached for the ceiling in a glorious stretch.  She looked back at Constance over her shoulder, who was still sitting on the bed, and smiled.  "It feels good to finally be able to move my arms," she sighed.

Constance nodded, trying not to stare at the rippling muscles of Hannah's strong back, dimpled rump, and tan thighs.  "Sorry I don't have anything in your size," she said, "clothing, I mean."

"That's okay," Hannah chuckled.  It was flattering to bask under the little scholar's "secretly" appreciative gaze.  "I suppose I could sneak back to the Bath Changing Room and retrieve my gown and underclothes... assuming it all hasn't been returned to wherever it all came from."

Constance smiled, and shook her head.  "Jillian's gonna let you keep all that, at least until your new costumes arrive.  In any case, you should stay here.  Otherwise, Jillian's men-at-arms might recapture you."

"Jillian's imaginary men-at-arms?" Hannah responded, then laughed and turned to face her now blushing rescuer.   "Just teasing, scholar," she purred.  "I'm still getting used to the mix of reality and pretend around here, but I'll play along."  She glanced at the bedroom windows.  "Is that a balcony out there?"

Constance nodded.  "Yeah.  The windows are French doors.  The lower panels look like part of the wall, but they're not.  The Keep can't have real French doors, 'cause that wouldn't be historically correct.

"I see," Hannah said, as she walked to the doors in question.  "Good job of camouflage with the finish work.  Mind if I exercise a little?  There really isn't room in here."


Hannah smiled, then stretched, again, this time twisting her torso from side to side.  "A little warm-up stretching, some push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks... stuff like that.  I'm kinda stiff."

"Okay," Constance said.  "I'll watch
."  Her face blushed bright crimson.  "I mean, I'll keep watch... for the guards.  I'll keep watch."

Hannah did her best not to burst out laughing.  That's so cute, she thought.  What a sweet little thing.  "That's a good idea.  We wouldn't want Lady Jillian's men-at-arms to barge in and catch us unawares."

Constance smiled.  "I'll sneak out and get us something to eat, later."

"Okay," Hannah said, then opened the French doors and stepped outside.  The Resident's Wing faced the hill rather than the valley, but the view of the thickly wooded slope was quite pleasant.  Up the slope and to the right, Hannah could see a waterfall feeding a small catchment that in turn fed the Mill House aqueduct; and to the left, a cluster of trails led into the forest.  "Beautiful," she sighed.

"I'll say," Constance agreed, then blushed again.

Hannah turned and smiled.  "The scenery, you mean."

Constance nodded, still desperately embarrassed.

Hannah smiled, stepped back into the bedroom, took her rescuer's pink face in her hands, and kissed her lips.  "It's okay, scholar," she whispered.  "I'm very flattered... and I'm sorry I fell asleep in the middle of your lecture."

Constance managed a shy smile.  "More like at the beginning of my lecture, but that's okay.  I'll give you some stuff to read."

"Good idea," Hannah agreed, "but now that I've had my nap, I'd like for you to give it another try, if you don't mind... after I exercise and you get us that supper."

Constance nodded, and her smile broadened.  "I'm really glad you're here, Hannah," she said, quietly.

"Me, too," Hannah laughed, "at least at the moment.  Whenever Lady Jillian decides to continue my indoctrination, I may feel differently."

"I'll always rescue you, when you really need it," Constance whispered.

Now it was Hannah's turn to blush.  Little flirt, she mused.  "Thank you, Constance."  She kissed her again, then returned to the balcony and began her exercise routine.

Constance watched, through the open doors, as the athletic blonde stretched yet again... then bent forward and touched her toes... then put her hands on her hips and began a set of slow torso-twists.  Her short braids flopped and swayed and her muscles stretched and rippled under her tan skin as she moved.  (Also, her naked breasts performed a compelling, oscillating dance as she twisted and turned.)

"Saxon Princess," Constance sighed, under her breath, "an Ætheling of one of the Saxon Kingdoms, captured by a rebellious Earl and sold into thralldom to the Cymry... to Lady Foxwood.  Yes!  A lot of Jillian's 'specials' will love going on a quest to rescue a Saxon Princess!  Sneak into the Keep, get captured, escape and turn the tables, rescue the enthralled Saxon beauty... then re-capture, re-escape... It writes itself!"  She opened her desk and tapped the computer's keyboard to wake the screen.  She then opened her folder of "Foxwood Scenarios" and created a new sub-folder, which she entitled: "The Saxon Princess".

Pausing now and then to drink in the erotic spectacle of Hannah's continuing exercise routine, Constance tapped the keys.
--- Tales of the Foxwood B&B: HHH Chapter 7
Sunset ~II
~~~~~{ & }~~~~~

Kayley hung from her wrists, her body naked and glistening with sweat.  Wide cuffs, padded with fleece, encased her wrists and upper forearms.  They were attached to iron hooks, which in turn were attached to iron rings dangling from the joists of Jillian's bedroom ceiling.  A thick, sausage-like leather tube cleaved and filled her grimacing mouth and was buckled at the nape of her neck.  A pair of small brass bells were tied to her big toes with thin leather thongs.  The thongs were long enough for the bells to rest on the floor, and they would have, had not Kayley been keeping them suspended with her spread and lifted legs.

The Lady of the Keep, resplendent in her Evil Baroness costume, was reclined in a comfortable chair, with the heels of her boots propped on a low wooden stool.  A glass of amber sherry was in her right hand, and a sinister smile curled her lips.

The game was simple.  A sand-glass was on a small table at Jillian's right elbow, and for the half-score minutes required for the sands to drain from the upper to the lower chamber, Kayley was required to keep the bells off the floor and not allow them to make any noise.  If she failed in either task, the penalty was a half-dozen strokes from the multi-tailed flogger dangling across Jillian's lap.  Her reward for success, on the other hand, was an interval of rest, with her feet safely planted on Jillian's footstool and supporting her weight.  Unfortunately, Lady Jillian and the glass were behind Kayley's back, and the suspended captive was dependent on her tormentor to tell her when she could relax her aching thighs and abs and let the bells clatter to the floor.

This was not the first round.  Far from it.  Sweat dripped down Kayley's body and a few drops had even splattered the floor.  Also, her back, rump and thighs were marked with angry red stripes
.  The marks weren't angry enough to qualify as welts, of course, but they were angry enough.

Kayley's thighs and legs were trembling, causing the thongs to shake and the brass bells to quiver.  The bells drooped closer and closer to the stone flags, as Kayley's strength failed.  Finally... the inevitable.  One of the shaking bells brushed the floor, causing a barely audible, metallic ping.

"Oh, so very close," Jillian gloated.  Kayley sighed and relaxed her legs.  Both bells clattered and rolled on their sides, but her pointing toes were still a good eight or nine inches from the floor.  "I estimate there was less than thirty seconds left in this round," Jillian continued.  "There, you see..."  The remainder of the sand drained from the upper chamber.  "... and the glass is still.  Such a pity."  She climbed to her feet, the flogger dangling from her right hand, and walked a slow circuit around her suspended victim.  "Hmm... you appear to be nearly spent... and there's no fun in flogging an unconscious maiden, is there?"

Kayley regarded her tormentor with tired eyes.  She was nearly spent.

"Yes, I think I'll give you your final six after I check on the scholar and fetch us something from the kitchen."  She dropped the flogger on the floor, where Kayley could see it, then slid her footstool under Kayley's feet.

Kayley planted her feet, sighed through her gag, and found the strength to glare at the Lady of the Keep.

"Don't worry," Jillian said.  "I'll be quiet as a mouse while I listen at the scholar's door.  I just want to make sure Constance isn't torturing Hannah... or vice versa."  She reached up and gave Kayley's shining breasts a slow, tender squeeze, then gently pinched her flushed, erect nipples.

Kayley moaned and tugged on her wrist cuffs.  She might not be hanging from the ceiling any more, but she was still in a rather taut stretch.  There was no way she'd be wiggling out of the suspension cuffs or forcing the gag from her mouth.

"We'll move things to the bed after supper," Jillian continued.  "Oh, and I must remember to take something down to the dungeons, to the princess and your thrall."  She heaved a theatrical, mocking sigh.  "No rest for the wicked.  I'm afraid I might be gone for quite a while, my dear."  She turned and sauntered to the door.  "You'll be okay like that 'til I return, won't you?"

Kayley heard the door open and close, followed by silence.

Jillian's suite was at the end of the Resident's Wing, and was the only one with windows offering a view of both the valley and the hillside.  The last of the setting sun was bathing Kayley's glistening form in an orange light, and sweat continued rolling down her stretched body.

I'm glad 'Wicked Lady Jillian' is such a rare visitor, Kayley brooded.  I'm not sure I could take this on a regular basis.  She eyed the flogger lying at her feet, then shifted her gaze to the waiting bed—and a frisson of pure pleasure rippled through her moist sex.  It was a strong sensation, almost as if she'd been physically touched.

Who am I kidding?  Kayley sighed and tugged on her bonds, again.  Being taken to bed by Jillian Foxwood is worth a daily flogging.

--- Tales of the Foxwood B&B: HHH Chapter 7
The Scholar’s Chamber
{After Dark}
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~{ & }~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"So," Hannah said, snuggling her still naked body against the piled pillows on Constance's bed, "the Saxons had three social classes: nobles, freemen, and serviles, not counting slaves and war captives, and no intermarriage was allowed.  What are the names again?"

"The edhilingui, frilingi, and lazzi" Constance answered, "but don't worry about the language, unless you want to try teaching yourself Old English... and I mean really Old English.  I don't recommend it.  The rest of us don't take our back-stories anything like that seriously."

"Why do you know all this Saxon stuff?" Hannah demanded, a smile curling her lips.

Constance shrugged her shoulders.  "I'm using a more or less authentic Saxon kingdom for one of the settings in my new novel.  Research."

"Oh," Hannah grinned.  "Can I borrow a copy of your first book?"

The little scholar's cheeks flushed a rosy red.

Hannah smiled.  And there's that blush, again.  What a cutie!

"I-I'll give you a signed copy," Constance stammered.  "I still have a few left of a box of hardcovers the publisher sent me, gratis.  They're in a storeroom... someplace."

"Thanks," Hannah answered, then finished the last of her wine.

"Want me to sneak out for another bottle?" Constance offered.

"No," Hannah laughed, and set her empty glass on the floor, next to her empty dinner plate.  "Half a bottle of red is more than enough."

"Red wine is rich in antioxidants," Constance observed, downing the last of her wine.

"Yeah," Hannah chuckled, "that's why I drink it.  What about beer?"

Constance shook her head.

"Too bad," Hannah sighed.  "Well, language aside," she continued, "If I'm supposed to be a Saxon princess, how do I behave?"

"Oh, I see," Constance responded, biting her lower lip in concentration.  "We already have a Princess Alice, and one self-important, spoiled brat is more than enough."  Her smile returned.  "I know!  You know you're a princess, and Lady Jillian knows you're a princess, but she wants to keep it secret so you won't be rescued, and you want to keep it secret so your father's other enemies, the ones that didn't do the kidnapping, won't take advantage of the situation."

"Brilliant!" Hannah smiled.

"Oh, and the Saxon caste thing..."  Constance continued to brainstorm.  "You have to behave like a lazzi; or try, anyway.  Brave, defiant, all that stuff... but no matter how it makes you feel, you have to pretend you're a servile.  You have to behave like Lady Jillian is your thane."

Hannah grinned.  "Xena, undercover as Cinderella?"

Constance laughed.  "Exactly, but it doesn't mean you act like a whipped dog.  Being lazzi means you aren't allowed to carry a seax, a freeman's blade, and you're under oath to obey; but it doesn't mean you're a slave.  Slaves were usually foreign captives or petty criminals and had no rights."  Constance regarded Hannah with a thoughtful stare.  "Hmm... you would take the oath thing very seriously.  Lady Jillian might keep you enthralled..."  She made a gesture that indicated Hannah's collar.  "...but it could be a mutual arrangement, more like you're a Saxon Princess in exile, hiding from your father's enemies, rather than a true prisoner.  And Lady Jillian is as much your protector as your jailer.  A Royal Hostage sort of thing.  You can escape only if Jillian releases you from your oath, or if someone bearing a token from your father comes to rescue you.  Otherwise, escape would be dishonorable.  Yeah, this way you get to be a thrall, but we don't have to keep you tied up all the time, or chained to the wall."

"Pity," Hannah said dryly, then climbed off the bed.  She gathered all the plates, tableware, and glasses, and made a pile beside the door, ready to be carried to the scullery in the morning.  She then turned and looked back towards the bed.  "Uh, I don't want to take your bed," she said.  "I can sleep in the chair... or on the floor."

Constance was curled up in the chair in question, still wearing her white chemise.  "I... I thought we could... you know... share the bed?" she suggested.

Hannah smiled.  The crestfallen expression on the little scholar's pixie face was heartbreaking.  "I guess it's big enough," she agreed.

Constance's smile returned, and so did her blush.

Hannah walked to the chair and lifted Constance into her arms.  "I'm so grateful to you for rescuing me," she whispered, and kissed the lips of her precious burden.

Constance continued to smile.  "It was my duty," she said, gravely, "as a Philosopher of Truth."  She reached up, took Hannah's braids in her hands, gently pulled her face close, and returned the kiss.

Their lips smacked and tongues wrapped as Hannah carried Constance to the bed and eased her down on the rumpled sheets.

"How do you turn out these lights?" Hannah inquired.

Constance removed her glasses and set them on a small niche built into the headboard, then pressed a glass tile recessed in the nearby paneling.  The bedroom's globes faded to the weak, flickering, night-light mode Hannah had first noted in the Common Room, the night before.

"Wait a sec while I get out of this chemise," Constance whispered.

"Leave it," Hannah chuckled, and climbed onto the bed (and Constance).  "That way I can peel it off your squirmy little body, later."

Constance giggled.  "Saxon barbarian!" she accused.

"Shut up and suck face, pipsqueak!" Hannah growled.

And they did.

Tales of the Foxwood B&B:
Chapter 7

Chapter 6
Chapter 8