|TALES OF THE FOXWOOD B&B
_by Van ©
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& the Saxon Outlaw
Constance disrobed in
the Bath Changing Room, carefully removing her glasses and
them in the hard case she kept in the inside pocket of her
She padded to the airlock door, and passed through into the
The water in the pool was still as
glass, and Constance was alone... as far as she could
Without her glasses, all she could see was a decidedly blurry
surroundings. Under these conditions, with only indirect,
afternoon light from the narrow band of windows above the
area, anything greater than ten yards away was lost in a hazy
the lounging area itself, under the relative glare of
the windows, was nothing but shadows. She would have been
tell if anybody was moving in or around the pool or in either
she certainly would have been able to hear them... so it would
she was alone.
So why the hell did Kayley
come here? she wondered, and padded towards the
alcove. Is someone
show up? Constance frowned. If this is a 'Captured in
scenario, I'll be so mad... especially if it's Alice.
why in the world
would Kayley "lure" her into a trap for
Alice? It wasn't like Kay-bear... but then, neither was
"Special Guest Scenarios", of
course—they all did—but Kayley generally wasn't a
Kayley never went on
scenario romps, like Alice and The Cricket.
Constance doused herself under the shower, quickly soaped and
already clean body, then took a final rinse. She padded to
pool and dove into the dark water. The diminutive brunette
onto her back, and began backstroking towards the shallow end,
leisurely pace. She smiled up at the regular shadows of
Gothic ceiling. Hmm...
good. Maybe Kay-bear just wants me to take a
I'll try the
sauna for a while... or the hot-tub. Yes, the hot-tub,
decided. She rolled onto her stomach and executed a
slow glide, closing the remaining distance to the shallow
planted her feet and stood, then lifted her chin and combed her
fingers through her hair as she mounted the steps. She
nearly tripped on the edge of the pool!
wiped the water from her face and stared in astonishment.
Hannah—a naked, very
and gagged Hannah—was splayed before her, lashed to the
throne-chair of the lounge area that was usually reserved for
Jillian! Her hands were bound in what looked like a
Sydney's signature style, and she was perched on her rump and
arms with her legs bent over the armrests. How could Sydney think Jillian
her get away with this? Constance wondered. And why did Hannah let her do
And how the hell did Syd capture Kay-bear??
head turned as she gazed around the lounge, squinting as she
bring the shadows into focus. Was Sydney lurking behind
chairs? She spun in a quick circle, expecting to find the
Baroness Sydney approaching, sword in hand.
"What happened?" Constance demanded. Hannah didn't answer,
course. She may have
smiling at her through her gag, but without her glasses
couldn't be sure. The naked, wet scholar blushed,
foolishness of asking questions of a bridle-gagged
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
cloth from her
mouth. "Thanks," she muttered.
"Uh, you're welcome," Constance responded, kneeling to attack
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
Hannah chuckled. "Alice and Cricket said she was
Constance frowned as she untied Hannah's left ankle and
"So, the 'Bobbsey Twins' are the ones behind this," she
"I should have known."
"Actually," Hannah responded, "now that you've shown up,
behind this, in some capacity."
Constance paused in the process of untying Hannah's right
"Sydney, the Twins, Kay-bear—" She gasped in
Hannah nodded. "I take it that's a rare occurrence?"
Constance nodded. "Uh huh." She watched as Hannah
to extricate herself from her awkward pose. "Oh, sorry!"
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
She took a deep breath—causing the ropes of her remaining
squeeze her arms, torso, and breasts—then smiled at
"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
I'm saying this, but Jillian said I shouldn't be untied 'til
"Oh!" Constance gasped. "The indoc! Of course."
"I'm still grateful,"
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
"C'mon," Constance giggled, and led the way to the changing
"Love the braids," she added, smiling back at Hannah over her
|| Tales of the Foxwood B&B:
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
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
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
"Better we eat in my room," she explained. "If one or more
others show up, you could get dragged off to the dungeons.
maybe me too, for helping you." Her smile
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
sneak away in the morning."
"In the morning," Hannah purred. "I take it I'm invited to
"Yeah," Constance answered, then her cheeks colored in yet
blush. "Uh... if you want to, that is."
Hannah smiled. Apparently,
the scholar has a serious
habit, she decided. What a cutie! "I'm
wondering," the blond captive continued, "when and maybe if I'm
ever going to be
move into my apartment in the Outer Mews."
"Oh, probably in the morning," Constance said, then
"Although... with Jillian running around playing Evil Lady
bets are off... but probably in the morning."
They made their way to the Resident's Wing. Hannah could
faint sound of a strumming harp-guitar from behind one of the
as they passed.
"Sydney's room," Constance whispered. "C'mon." She
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
desk and a
comfortable-looking work chair; an easy chair and footstool near
small fireplace; a neatly made bed; a chest of drawers, and
a wardrobe. In addition, a cluttered array of bookshelves
lined the walls, from ceiling to floor. They were crammed
leather-bound tomes of all sizes, interspersed with knickknacks,
and art objects, including what appeared to be a small,
cast in iron, and a quite striking statue of a raven carved from
wood. A large window, framed by more bookshelves, provided
picturesque view of a wooded hillside.
Constance set the plate and bottles on the desk, went to the
drawers and produced a large scarf, then returned to the desk
deployed it as a place mat. She then pulled the easy chair
the desk and motioned for Hannah to sit. The Rebellious
and Escaping Thrall shared the sandwiches and ale in
silence, with Constance feeding both diners, of course.
"I didn't realize I was so hungry," Constance mumbled around her
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
Hannah's bottle was already empty. "I can get more," the
Hannah smiled. "No, I'm fine." She looked around at
overloaded shelves. "Your library?" she inquired.
"Yeah." Constance climbed out of her chair, placed the
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.
"Oh! I know!"
Constance blurted, padded to
a bookcase, and began searching for something. "I can tell
the Saxons, for character development. Here it is."
pulled out a large, thin volume. She folded back the
cover, and Hannah could see it was a modern picture book.
"medieval" leather binding was camouflage. "This is about
Hoo," she said, then noticed Hannah's puzzled expression.
mound in Suffox? With the ship and the helmet..."
pointed to the illustration on the cover. "...and the
burial goods? First excavation was in 1939?"
Hannah shook her head. "Sorry."
Constance sighed. "No matter." The book under one
Constance moved to the bed and began piling her pillows against
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
"Uh... not much," Hannah admitted. "They were the bad guys
early English history, right? And they were sort of like
Vikings. I remember them from King
Clive Owen and Keira Knightly?"
Constance shuddered. "Oh, please!
The Saxons in that movie
might as well have been orcs!
real Saxons were skilled warriors, by all accounts, but they
weren't murdering psychopaths that bathed in manure. The
actually invited them
settle in Britain, as a buffer against the Picts—the usual Roman
of playing one group of 'barbarians' against another. It
worked in the short term, then blew up in their face, like with
Ostrogoths and the Huns. Like it always did."
Constance helped Hannah recline on the bed and get comfortable,
dragged over her easy chair and sat, propping her feet up on the
of the mattress.
"Anyway," Constance continued, "the Saxons
were one of a number of Germanic tribes that migrated around
during the decline of the Western Empire and the early Dark
Different groups settled in the Balkans, Italy, and Britain."
Hannah smiled at the earnest little scholar and stifled a
She managed to stay awake while Constance outlined the Saxon
Post-Roman Britain; but when the lecture turned to the details
kingdoms of Essex, Middlesex, Sussex, and Wessex—Hannah lost her
|| Tales of the Foxwood B&B:
down in the dungeons...
Cricket and Alice
shuffled into a dungeon cell. Both were still naked, and
Alice was "dressed" in a set of working chains identical to
shackles, manacles, collar, and connecting chain. Jillian
their wake, but in a costume very different from her usual
The Lady of the Keep had changed into something designed for
pair of gleaming brown
thigh boots, matching leather pants, and a linen doublet of a
sheathed longsword and dagger were belted around her
ensemble may have been more Hollywood than Historical, and it
was scandalously male,
Jillian's wasp-thin waist and ample bosom
there was no possibility of gender confusion. Her long red
pulled back and bound in a ponytail with a braided leather
There was a row of five iron rings evenly spaced along the far
set in the stone at about shoulder height. Iron chains
from the rings and disappeared into the loose straw covering the
floor. The only light was from a weakly flickering
globe dangling from the ceiling on a thin chain.
"Over there, princess," Jillian ordered, pointing to the ring
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
"I told you to let Sydney handle Hannah," Jillian responded,
you listen?" She found the end of the chain and locked it
rear staple of the pouting pixie's collar.
"We only wanted to watch," Alice objected.
"Sydney knew you two
skulking around, hiding in the shadows," Jillian huffed.
why she's sulking in her room."
Cricket's grin faded to a sober stare. "How do you know
"I don't," Jillian admitted, "not for sure, but I do know she's
in a fragile state—"
"Hah!" Alice interrupted. "Sydney in a 'fragile state',"
scoffed. "Give me a break."
a fragile state," Jillian repeated, frowning at Alice.
still not over... you know what... and I was hoping Hannah would
just what she needs." She smiled at
Cricket. "I'm still hoping. Don't worry. I'll
it... but it'll take
time." She pointed to the far left ring, and Cricket
"Hey!" Alice objected. "We won't be able to reach each
"I think that's the idea," Cricket sighed.
"How else do you expect a 'Wicked Tyrant' to behave?" Jillian
locked the end of the far left chain to Cricket's collar.
then spun on her heel, placed her hand on the hilt of her sword,
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
Alice laughed. "Oh, I'm so
What's Connie gonna
"Actually," Jillian purred, "I was thinking I might commission a
half-dozen new scenarios, all variations on a single theme: 'The
Alice laughed again... then her smile faded. "Oh," she
"I get it!" Cricket giggled, "like... Alice is really the Crown Princess; but the
Evil Queen, her stepmother, has had her secretly kidnapped,
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
you on, you little traitor?"
"I like that," Jillian chuckled. "I'll be sure Constance
you credit." She stepped through the threshold, then
Alice. "You start behaving yourself, young lady," she
this will be only the start." She grabbed the handle and
"Wait, Jillian!" Alice wailed. "How long are we in here
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,
what?" She rattled her chains, for emphasis. "This
mean," she sighed.
"Looks like an all-of-the-above, to me," Cricket giggled, then
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
here all night."
"I bet she'll come back with some food around sunset," Cricket
then nodded at the covered wooden bucket and terracotta pitcher
corner. "I've got everything I need to make it through the
Alice glanced at the matching chamber pot and water supply in
corner, then turned her sad eyes back to her lover. "I
everything I need,"
"Stop it, Honey-pie," Cricket sighed. "Absence makes the
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
other side. "This is mean," she muttered, yet again.
too hot in here, and there's not enough straw."
Cricket giggled. "You were too cold back in the oubliette,
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
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
"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
"What else have we got to do?" Alice sighed, and did her best to relax.
|| Tales of the Foxwood B&B:
Hannah's eyes popped
open. "What? ...oh!"
Still dressed in her sleeveless, white linen chemise, Constance
leaning over Hannah's naked body and untying her rope bonds.
Hannah glanced at the orange light streaming through the
"Close enough," Constance answered. She smiled as she
helped Hannah sit on the edge of the bed, so she could better
and untangle the loosening ropes. "Don't worry about the
rope marks," she advised. "They'll fade pretty
Sydney's good. She knows how to make things tight where
to be, to prevent abrasion, but still loose enough to prevent
bruising. The first time I tried a box-tie on The Cricket,
had rope-hickies on the inside of her upper arms for a
was so embarrassed."
"You all do this
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
we still need to
know how it's done, just in case."
Hannah nodded, then stood and went up on her toes, arched her
reached for the ceiling in a glorious
stretch. She looked back at Constance over her
who was still sitting on the bed, and smiled. "It feels
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
don't have anything in your size," she said, "clothing, I mean."
"That's okay," Hannah chuckled. It was flattering to bask
the little scholar's "secretly" appreciative gaze. "I
could sneak back to the Bath Changing Room and retrieve my gown
underclothes... assuming it all hasn't been returned to wherever
Constance smiled, and shook her head. "Jillian's gonna let
keep all that, at least until your new costumes arrive. In
case, you should stay here. Otherwise, Jillian's
might recapture you."
"Jillian's imaginary men-at-arms?"
responded, then laughed and turned to face her now blushing rescuer.
teasing, scholar," she purred. "I'm still getting used to
the mix of reality and pretend around here, but I'll play
She glanced at the bedroom windows. "Is that a balcony out
Constance nodded. "Yeah. The windows are French
doors. The lower panels look like part of the wall, but
The Keep can't
have real French
'cause that wouldn't be historically correct.
"I see," Hannah said, as she walked to the doors in
"Good job of camouflage with the finish work. Mind if I
little? There really isn't room in here."
Hannah smiled, then stretched, again, this time twisting her
side to side. "A little warm-up stretching, some push-ups,
sit-ups, jumping jacks... stuff like that. I'm kinda
"Okay," Constance said. "I'll watch." Her
blushed bright crimson.
mean, I'll keep
the guards. I'll keep watch."
Hannah did her best not to burst
out laughing. That's so
she thought. What a
little thing. "That's a good idea. We
Lady Jillian's men-at-arms to barge in and catch us unawares."
Constance smiled. "I'll sneak out and get us something to
"Okay," Hannah said, then opened the French doors and stepped
The Resident's Wing faced the hill rather than the valley, but
of the thickly wooded slope was quite
pleasant. Up the slope and to the right, Hannah could see
a small catchment
that in turn fed the Mill House aqueduct; and to the left, a
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
Hannah smiled, stepped back into the bedroom, took her rescuer's
face in her hands, and kissed her lips. "It's okay,
whispered. "I'm very flattered... and I'm sorry I fell
the middle of your lecture."
Constance managed a shy smile. "More like at the beginning of my lecture,
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
you to give it another try, if you don't mind... after I
you get us that
Constance nodded, and her smile broadened. "I'm really
you're here, Hannah," she said, quietly.
"Me, too," Hannah laughed, "at least at the moment.
Lady Jillian decides to continue my indoctrination, I may feel
"I'll always rescue you, when you really need it," Constance
Now it was Hannah's
blush. Little flirt,
she mused. "Thank you, Constance." She kissed her
then returned to the balcony and began her exercise routine.
Constance watched, through the open doors, as the athletic
stretched yet again... then bent forward and touched her toes...
hands on her hips and began
a set of slow torso-twists. Her short braids flopped and
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.)
Princess," Constance sighed, under her
breath, "an Ætheling of
of the Saxon Kingdoms, captured by a rebellious Earl and sold
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
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
to wake the screen. She then opened her folder of "Foxwood
Scenarios" and created a new sub-folder, which she entitled:
Pausing now and then to drink in the erotic spectacle of
continuing exercise routine, Constance tapped the keys.
|| Tales of the Foxwood B&B:
Kayley hung from her
wrists, her body naked and glistening with sweat. Wide
padded with fleece, encased her wrists and upper forearms.
were attached to iron hooks, which in turn were attached to iron
dangling from the joists of Jillian's bedroom ceiling. A
sausage-like leather tube cleaved and filled her grimacing mouth
was buckled at
the nape of her neck. A pair of small brass bells were
toes with thin leather thongs. The thongs were long enough
to rest on the floor, and they would have, had not Kayley been
them suspended with her spread and
The Lady of the Keep, resplendent in her Evil Baroness costume,
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
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
upper to the lower chamber, Kayley was required to keep the
bells off the floor and not
them to make any noise. If she failed in either task, the
penalty was a half-dozen strokes from the multi-tailed flogger
across Jillian's lap. Her reward for success, on the other
was an interval of rest, with her feet safely planted on
footstool and supporting her weight. Unfortunately, Lady
and the glass
were behind Kayley's
and the suspended captive was dependent on
her tormentor to tell her when she could relax her aching thighs
abs and let the bells clatter to the floor.
This was not the first round. Far from it. Sweat
down Kayley's body and a few drops had even splattered the
Also, her back, rump
and thighs were marked with angry red stripes. The
angry enough to
qualify as welts, of course, but they were angry enough.
Kayley's thighs and legs were trembling, causing the thongs to
brass bells to quiver. The bells drooped closer and closer
stone flags, as Kayley's strength failed. Finally... the
inevitable. One of the shaking bells brushed the floor,
barely audible, metallic ping.
"Oh, so very close,"
gloated. Kayley sighed and relaxed her legs. Both
clattered and rolled on their sides, but her pointing toes were
good eight or nine inches from the floor. "I estimate
less than thirty
seconds left in this round," Jillian continued. "There,
see..." The remainder of the sand drained from the upper
chamber. "... and the glass is still. Such a pity." She
her feet, the flogger dangling from her right hand, and walked a
circuit around her suspended victim. "Hmm... you appear to
nearly spent... and there's no fun in flogging an unconscious
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
fetch us something from the kitchen." She dropped the
the floor, where Kayley could see it, then slid her footstool
Kayley planted her feet, sighed through her gag, and found the
to glare at the Lady of the Keep.
"Don't worry," Jillian said. "I'll be quiet as a mouse
listen at the scholar's door. I just want to make
sure Constance isn't torturing Hannah... or vice versa."
reached up and gave Kayley's shining breasts a slow, tender
gently pinched her flushed, erect nipples.
Kayley moaned and tugged on her wrist cuffs. She might not
hanging from the ceiling any more, but she was still in a rather
stretch. There was no way she'd be wiggling out of the
suspension cuffs or forcing
gag from her mouth.
"We'll move things to the bed after supper," Jillian
"Oh, and I must remember
take something down to the dungeons, to the princess and your thrall." She
theatrical, mocking sigh. "No rest for the wicked.
afraid I might be gone for quite a while, my dear." She
and sauntered to the door. "You'll be okay like that 'til
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
windows offering a view of both the valley and the
of the setting sun was bathing Kayley's glistening form in an
light, and sweat continued rolling down her stretched body.
I'm glad 'Wicked Lady Jillian'
such a rare visitor, Kayley brooded. I'm not sure I could take this on
regular basis. She eyed the flogger lying at her
then shifted her gaze to the waiting bed—and a frisson of pure pleasure rippled through her moist
sex. It was a strong
almost as if she'd been physically touched.
Who am I kidding? Kayley
and tugged on her bonds, again.
taken to bed by Jillian Foxwood is worth a daily flogging.
|| Tales of the Foxwood B&B:
"So," Hannah said,
snuggling her still naked body against the piled pillows on
bed, "the Saxons had three social
nobles, freemen, and serviles, not counting slaves and war
captives, and no intermarriage was allowed. What are the
"The edhilingui, frilingi,
Constance answered, "but don't worry about the language, unless
want to try
teaching yourself Old English... and I mean really Old English.
recommend it. The rest of us don't take our back-stories
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
authentic Saxon kingdom for one of the settings in my new
"Oh," Hannah grinned. "Can I borrow a copy of your first
The little scholar's cheeks flushed a rosy red.
Hannah smiled. And there's that blush,
"I-I'll give you a signed copy," Constance stammered. "I
have a few left of a box of hardcovers the publisher sent me,
"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
empty dinner plate. "Half a bottle of red is more than
"Red wine is rich in antioxidants," Constance observed, downing
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
"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
but she wants to keep it secret so you won't be rescued, and you want to keep it secret
father's other enemies,
ones that didn't do
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
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
whipped dog. Being lazzi
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
Slaves were usually foreign captives or petty criminals and had
regarded Hannah with a thoughtful stare. "Hmm... you would
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
enemies, rather than a true prisoner. And Lady Jillian is
your protector as your jailer. A Royal Hostage sort of
thing. You can escape only
Jillian releases you from your oath, or if someone bearing a
your father comes to rescue you. Otherwise, escape would
dishonorable. Yeah, this way you get to be a thrall, but
have to keep you tied up all the time, or chained to the wall."
"Pity," Hannah said dryly, then climbed off the bed. She
all the plates,
tableware, and glasses, and made a pile beside the door, ready
carried to the scullery in the morning. She then turned
looked back towards the bed. "Uh, I don't want to take
she said. "I can sleep in the chair... or on the floor."
Constance was curled up in the chair in question, still wearing
white chemise. "I... I thought we could... you know... share the bed?" she
Hannah smiled. The crestfallen expression on the little
face was heartbreaking. "I guess it's big enough," she
Constance's smile returned, and so did her blush.
Hannah walked to the chair and lifted Constance into her
"I'm so grateful to you for rescuing me," she whispered, and
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
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
paneling. The bedroom's globes faded to the weak,
night-light mode Hannah had first noted in the Common Room, the
"Wait a sec while I get out of this chemise," Constance
"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