Chapter Eight: We make camp in the desert, on the way to Patashqar. On reflection, I may not have been quite as dignified as I had hoped to be
That first night by the light of a burning camp fire, Brinn fed me by hand, cutting slivers of roasted meat that he placed between my lips one at a time. I took the food eagerly for it was the best food I had been given in many months and I felt very hungry. I knelt on some blankets and rugs in the sand with delicate jingling bracelets on my wrists and ankles. The metal chimed softly whenever I moved. Aside from the decorative ornaments, and the earrings I wore, I was quite naked which was the way I soon learned my Master liked me to be in the evenings. Brinn had shot the animal that we ate with a hunting bow earlier in the day as we rode away from the Oasis of the Twenty Three Palms. He had secured me bent over the front of his kaiila saddle, with my wrists secured to a ring on one side and my ankles lashed to a ring on the other side. To protect me from the sun he had covered my body with a sheet of white cloth and tied it in place. It was a humiliating way to travel, but one I would soon get used to now that I was a slave. The animal Brinn had shot was small, maybe the size of a medium dog, and native to the Hamada terrain. Brinn had shown me how to prepare it, season it with spices, rubbing the spices into the meat, and marinating it for a couple of hours before it was ready to roast on a spit over the campfire. My mouth had watered during the entire cooking process and I think that was obvious to him.
“You will learn to cook well now that you are in my collar, Emma. Food is one of my particular pleasures. Girls like you are one of the others.”
“Yes Master,” I had said. The meat was delicious and very quickly I found myself begging for each strip. Brinn laughed as he saw me lick juice from my lips.
“You like it?”
“Oh God, yes. This is the best food I’ve eaten in many months.” It was true. Rashid’s sisters had mostly fed Kara and I with a paste like gruel that they bought in large hessian sacks. It was supposedly nutritious and cheap but with an unpleasant after taste. The dry gruel came in the form of a lumpy porridge like powder that would be mixed with water and a little kaiila milk. I detested it, but Rashid’s sisters refused to waste better food on their slaves.
Brinn insisted I took the food between my teeth without using my hands. I was to keep my palms flat on the ground at all times while I ate, and I was to look up at him as I did so. I was always to be reminded where my food came from. He enjoyed feeding me that way I suppose, reasoning it would in time make me feel very dependent on him, which it did. He would cut each strip with a knife and take his time feeding me, watching my reactions as I chewed and swallowed each piece of meat that was offered.
“You weren’t easy to find, Emma. I spent many weeks tracking you down.”
“How did you find me, Master?”
“You may recall I had your vital statistics – intimate details of your height, weight, hair colour, eye colour, hip and breast size, wrist and ankle sizes and so forth. When it became clear that you weren’t living as a Free Woman within Patashqar, I circulated your measurements to the various slave houses. There was a match with a girl who had been stabled in the pens of Banu Hashim for the period of two months. The match was perfect. I had hoped to buy you from the man who had placed you there, but it seems he had left the city, but not before my sources indicated he had sold a couple of girls to a desert raider.”
“His name was Rashid. He was very cruel to Kara and I.”
“I worked on the principle that men like Rashid don’t hold on to slaves for too long. They like to make a profit as they generally have a high turnover of fresh collar sluts from raiding caravans. There are only two or three main markets outside of the large cities – the Oasis of the Twenty Three Palms being one of the closest, and so I simply watched and waited. Even so, I almost walked past you today.”
“You didn’t recognise me?”
“Not at first. Obviously your features are the same as before, but there has been a marvellous transformation in you, Emma. When last I saw you, you were haughty and free, and now you move like a slut.”
“Master…” I lowered my head, feeling embarrassed. He had, after all, known me when I was proud and aloof, dressed in fine robes and gowns.
“It is a compliment, Emma, not an insult. You have become a ravishing beauty. Rashid was a fool to have sold you so cheaply. Marketed correctly, I could easily see you being sold for two or three pieces of silver. I could easily turn a handsome profit on you in Patashqar.”
“Master is going to sell me?” My life it seemed would be a never ending series of transactions on wooden market platforms where I would be exhibited, put through my paces, and auctioned off to one Master after another.
“No.” Brinn smiled. “I have no intention of selling you, provided you please me, and I think you will please me. I have wanted you in my collar since that day when I carried your palanquin into Corcyrus, and I saw your face for the first time. I knew I wanted you then.”
“You pretended to be a slave in Corcyrus.”
“I did. Though it wasn’t really a pretence. Were I not resourceful, with colleagues waiting close by to assist in my escape, my slavery might have been only too real.”
“I was foolish back in Corcyrus when I told you what you wanted to know.”
“Perhaps, though you had no way of knowing I was there to acquire information. Goreans commonly forget themselves in the presence of slaves. They often speak openly, not caring what a slave might hear. You certainly wouldn’t be the first woman to have done so. What were you doing in the slave pens of Banu Hashim? Was that part of your mission?”
I shrugged. “You may as well know if you wish. I no longer have any reason to safeguard any secrets.” I glanced up at Brinn and licked my lips. “Your girl is still hungry, Master.”
He laughed, slowly cut another thin slice of meat and held it in front of me so that I could smell the wonderful aroma. “Tell me what I wish to know and you will be fed well tonight, Emma. I am not a cruel man. I see no point in starving my slave-girl.”
“I was sent to the Tahari to obtain a set of co-ordinates, as you well know, Master. The co-ordinates were subconsciously implanted in the head of a girl who used to work for Kurgus. Her operational name I believe used to be Yasmina, but now she is a slave called Erin. By the time I reached Patashqar I learnt that she was housed in the slave pens of Banu Hashim. Preliminary enquiries had been made to purchase her, but our offers had been turned down. It seemed I would have to pose as a newly acquired slave to infiltrate the pens, meet her and obtain the information for Kurgus.”
“And were you successful? Did you meet Erin? Did you acquire the co-ordinates?”
“Yes Master, I was successful.”
Brinn smiled as he fed me another piece of the delicious meat. I ate it slowly, as he had earlier commanded, for men generally like their girls to eat delicately, with restraint.
“And you passed the co-ordinates to your handler? Seremides?”
“Yes Master.” I spoke with my mouth full. Oh, but it tasted so good!
“So it is reasonable to expect Seremides is travelling to the location now, intent on securing the weapons cache for his Masters?” Brinn seemed troubled by that prospect.
“It has been a couple of months since I last saw him, Master. He may well be there by now, or at least in one of the cities bordering the Northern Forests, such as Laura or Lydius where he is perhaps preparing and organising an expedition into the interior.”
“With that sort of head start on me, I have little chance of reaching the weapons cache before he does. It will in all likelihood be gone before I can even reach the outskirts of the forests. This is grim news indeed.”
“Perhaps,” I said as I finished the piece of meat. I gazed at the haunch in Brinn’s left hand that he had been slicing. I maybe licked my lips again slowly and seductively in the hope of prompting Brinn to feed me another strip.
“I don’t think there is any perhaps about it, Emma. Seremides has had too much time. Unless he is the sort of man who is overly cautious, he may already have the weapons. At the very least he will now be organising a sizeable force funded by the Kurii to quickly obtain the weapons. This could be very bad indeed.”
“Perhaps,” I said again, and offered Brinn a smile.
“You seem a suspiciously happy slave right now,” he said, “but then I suppose your loyalties to Kurgus remain, and you find it amusing that the Priest Kings may soon fall.” He looked angrily at me. “Are you so stupid that you think a Kurii invasion of Gor will be beneficial to anyone? Do you honestly think your lot will improve under their rule? Or are you so keen to see me fail that you disregard common sense entirely?” Brinn was angry. He stuck the knife into the sand and returned the haunch of meat to his plate. “You were a spoilt and haughty bitch in Corcyrus, and you are now a petty and vindictive slave-girl if you relish the prospect of the Kurii war machines raining death and destruction on the cities of Gor.”
“Is Master angry with his slave?” I asked.
“I am angry with my failure, and your smugness doesn’t make the situation any more palatable.”
I could see he considered the failure of his mission to be his own fault.
“I think my Master will want to feed his girl some more meat,” I said as I looked up at him.
“You really are unbelievable, Emma,” snapped Brinn. “Be thankful I’m not the sort of man who takes out his frustrations and failures on your back with a whip. But fair warning – do not tempt me with any more smug remarks like that.”
“Oh, but I think my Master will want to feed his girl tonight when he hears what she has to say. Maybe he will even give her a little ka-la-na in a bowl to lap.” I continued to regard him with a smile.
”Your last warning, Emma. I am not in the mood.”
“I think my Master misunderstands something.”
“Oh? And what exactly is that?”
“True, Seremides is by now very close to the location he seeks. Maybe he is within a few pasangs of it, or maybe he is still finalising the expeditionary force, but in either event he is likely to soon be frustrated.”
“And why is that?”
“Because Master, the co-ordinates I gave him were not completely accurate…”
Brinn said nothing for a few ihn. I knelt there, all innocence of expression, listening to the crackle and hiss of some wood he had only minutes earlier fed into the fire. And then, with a laugh he shook his head, picked up the haunch of meat and his knife and cut another, fatter, longer slice of the deliciously spiced and marinated meat. He looked down at me, illuminated by the glowing flickering flames of the camp fire, and held the meat towards me with his fingers. “Eat.”
I did so, with delight.
“You gave him… the wrong co-ordinates?
I smiled smugly again as I chewed the delicious meat. I had actually been rather clever.
“I did not really trust him, Master. I decided it might be in my interests to withhold the accurate figures from him, but I suspected that the nature of the numbers meant that there was a relationship between each of the four sub sets. As Seremides explained to me, the first three numbers corresponded to a region of Gor. I couldn't risk changing that for it could simply then be gibberish. The next three numbers corresponded to a sub grid within that region, and the third set of numbers narrowed the location down to an even smaller sub grid. The final set pin pointed an exact spot within that sub grid. I suspected that I had to retain the basic integrity of the numbers or else it might be immediately obvious that, say, the third set of numbers couldn’t possibly correspond to a sub set of the first or second. And so I made just a small change to the final set. Seremides is no doubt within the correct area, but he has a lot of searching to do before he can find what he wants. And I believe there are many trees in the Northern Forest, Master.”
Now Brinn laughed with a mixture of relief and hope. “I go from total despair to optimism in the space of a few heart beats.”
“Master is probably considering how much ka-la-na to place in a girl’s saucer about now…” I said with a cheeky smile.
“Indeed he is.” Brinn poured some of the red wine into a pan and placed it on the rug beside me. “Drink girl. I am suddenly very pleased.”
I needed no further prompting as I set about lapping the delicious wine with my tongue. Brinn said nothing while I drank, but I could sense he was watching me, enjoying the sight of my naked body kneeling on the blankets that he had spread on the hard stone ground. “Slower,” he said, and I slowed my drinking. It wasn’t a great deal of ka-la-na but it was enough to give me a pleasant sense of euphoria.
“Do you hate Seremides?”
“Yes, Master, I do. If you feel that makes me petty and vindictive, then so be it.”
“I too do not have a very good opinion of the man. Do you like the ka-la-na?”
“Very much, Master. The meat too…” I said with a sly smile.
“You’re very brazen, Emma.” Brinn seemed amused by my cheek as he carved another slice of the meat. “Now this next question is very important. You gave the wrong co-ordinates to Seremides. But do you remember the correct ones?”
I looked at the meat and then up at Brinn. In a sense the co-ordinates gave me a certain power, but it was knowledge that Brinn could easily force me to divulge if I were to be stubborn. The value of the co-ordinates was high, but there was no way I could realistically barter them in my present circumstances, for I was a slave-girl in a collar and, alone out here in the vast Tahari desert, I knew I was at Brinn’s mercy. If I made demands in exchange for the numbers, Brinn would probably whip me. And in the end I would divulge the numbers to end the pain. The only option open to me was to make him feel grateful. Perhaps in his gratitude he would free me? It was a forlorn hope, but the only one left to me.
“Yes, I think I still have them.”
“Excellent.” Brinn wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and indicated the blanket. “Lie on your back, Emma.”
“What?” I gazed up, feeling my pulse quicken, my breath stick in my throat. I felt a sense of quickening excitement as Brinn said that.
“On the blankets, just there,” he said, pointing to a spot close to the fire. I lay down as he instructed, with a soft jingle of the ornamental bracelets that I wore loosely on my ankles and wrists. They were barbaric and erotic on my naked body. I think they added to my beauty.
“Have you been used often?”
“Yes, Master. Every night while I was the property of Rashid. I am experienced now.” I felt suddenly hot and aroused as Brinn placed his hands on my hips and moved me slightly on the blankets. This felt like that morning in the stable in Corcyrus! I hadn’t felt anything as strongly as this since then, though I had come close on some nights under my skilful handling by Haroun. My skin was tingling, my legs trembling as Brinn’s hands began to stroke and caress me. I moaned softly, feeling lush sensations that seemed overpowering.
“When I last touched you like this you were a frigid Free Woman in a stable in Corcyrus,” said Brinn. “I was surprised how well you responded under those circumstances. But now you have a brand and a collar and that makes the feelings all the richer, as I think you will find.”
I gasped as he touched me very carefully, knowing precisely where to place his hands. My eyes must have been wide with delight as I began to grow limp and submissive.
“Think how the collar makes you feel. Consider that you are branded now and helpless, and that you belong to me.”
“Oh God…” I moaned piteously as Brinn continued to touch me all over my body. I was in absolute bliss. He was right. This was even better than that morning in the stable in Corcyrus. Was it because of the collar, the brand, the intensive training I had received? Had those things made my body relate to slavery in a way my mind could not comprehend? I don't know. All I did know was it felt fantastic.
“You seem to be rather happy in a collar at this moment in time,” said Brinn as he easily parted my compliant thighs. “I think you are perhaps easily aroused by my touch.”
“Yes, Master!“ I moaned, twisting and writhing on the blanket. “What you're doing to me...” I breathed heavily, feeling the sense of arousal quicken.
“Understand Emma, that you effectively count as the spoils of war. You are my enemy – you worked for the Kurii and if you were a man you would be dead by now, for we would have fought with swords. But a very different fate awaits female agents of the enemy. And you are a very lovely female agent indeed.”
If only he knew, was the brief thought that crossed my mind as I writhed again on the blankets.
“It has always been the fate of their female agents to end up in our collars and chains. You are hardly the first Kurii agent to receive a brand. You will not be the last. You are my enemy, and so I will show you little in the way of mercy tonight. I will use you as I wish and I will do so whenever I feel like it.”
“Yes, please, yes…”
“Oh?” Brinn laughed. “But surely it is your duty as my enemy to resist me? Do you not wish to fight, to struggle, to object? What of your honour, your dignity, your respect? Do you want to be thought of as an easily aroused slut? Do you not wish to protest as you did in Corcyrus?”
“No Master, I do not…” It was true. I was incredibly aroused and it didn’t seem to matter that it was at the hands of a man. No matter how I might have felt in the past, the truth was that at that moment I desperately wanted Brinn to fuck me. My thighs parted wider and I began kissing him wildly. I touched him too with my hands and showed what I had been taught in the slave pens of Banu Hashim, much to his surprise and evident delight. I had him as hard as it was possible to be within thirty ihn or so.
“Yes, I am your enemy, Master,” I said, feeling fire burn in my loins. “Yes, I am your spoils of war.” I crossed my wrists together above my head and stared boldly at him. “And I would think much less of you if you didn’t use me precisely as you wished.”
I lay there, exhausted, but sated for the moment, feeling a warm glow through my entire body. I felt better than I had at any time since coming to Gor. In fact, I felt amazing! Absolutely amazing! I curled myself around Brinn’s body and practically purred in contentment. The sex had been mind blowingly incredible – no, far more than that. I had lost all control earlier that night, and I would have said and done anything to prolong it.
“Master,” I kissed and stroked the thick muscles of his chest as he held me for a time, gazing down at my body as he stroked my hair.
“Tonight… only tonight, you understand… tonight I think I love my collar. Tomorrow may be different.”
He laughed and I laughed too.
“Do you think that matters to me? You will be my slave tomorrow regardless of whether you love your collar or not. It is all the same to me.”
“Oh!” I wriggled, feeling frustrated. “You don’t understand… I have such conflicting thoughts, but here and now… this feels good.”
“It changes nothing,” laughed Brinn. “You’re still my enemy – a lovely, sexually responsive and desirable enemy, but an enemy none the less. I do not trust you, and I will keep you under strict discipline. For all I know you may have been planted in the Oasis of the Twenty Three Palms with the aim of me buying you, so that you could learn of my plans. For all I know Seremides has the correct co-ordinates and you continue to work for him as I speak. For all I know you may be a highly trained assassin who will try and drive a knife into me one night while I sleep.”
“Perhaps you should be scared of me then, Master? Who knows what I might do?”
“You will do nothing provided I keep you in restraints.” Brinn swiftly turned me onto my stomach and, ignoring my half hearted protests, locked my wrists behind the small of my back with slave bracelets. I felt excited by the prospect of being on my belly in bondage in front of Brinn.
I wriggled on my stomach, feeling his hands now drift down between my thighs to my sex.
“Oh God, yes… please…”
“See, now your hands are helpless and your mind is on other things. I feel much safer like this.”
“It is true, Master,” I said, purring in contentment again “I surely can not think of betraying you while you do this to me… Perhaps on reflection it is wise for you to touch me like this regularly so that I can think of nothing else but how it makes me feel…”
“Perhaps,” laughed Brinn. “You certainly seem helpless enough like that. I am feeling safer already.”
“I want my Master to feel safe.” It was coming again, that delicious uncontrollable feeling that rose and rose, spreading from my loins through the rest of my body. I gasped as I became aware of Brinn lifting my ass slightly to provide access and then I squealed with delight as he entered me again.
“Yes, I am definitely feeling safer while you’re like this, Emma.”
I was rocking forward as Brinn pushed deep inside me and thrust with a firm, regular pace. But now that my hands were braceleted behind my back it felt even more incredible.
“You have no idea…” I whimpered softly, feeling like I was about to have a floating out of body sensation. Brinn turned me onto my side at one point and continued to thrust inside me. I was a quivering mass of nerve sensations and I could think of nothing but how good this felt. Right there and then if I had been offered my freedom on the understanding I would never ever feel this way again, I would have turned it down, but of course I am never thinking clearly when I am being fucked like that.
“Do you love your collar, Emma?”
“Yes! God, yes!” I wanted this to go on for ever, but of course that wasn’t really possible, and any way, even my body had its limits. He made me come again before he took his pleasure, and as before I lay there, floating on a bed of virtual butterflies.
“This must be terrible for you,” said Brinn in mock dismay as he slid from my body. “I am your enemy after all.”
“Yes, yes you are… and I obviously hate and despise you for it,” I said with a deliriously happy expression on my face. “I shall never stop hating you and plotting your downfall, you arrogant insufferable man. You had best take every precaution and never take me for granted.”
“Interesting advice,” said Brinn as he reached for the flask of ka-la-na. “You would then advise me to keep you under strict discipline and see to it that you rarely have time to plot behind my back?”
I tried to struggle to a kneeling position, but could not find the leverage to do so with my wrists tightly braceleted behind my back. “That would be my advice, yes, Master. You have no idea what a dangerous and resourceful woman I can be when I’m not being fucked like that.” I wiggled my ass a little before him.
Brinn kept me lying on my side as he lay behind me, his body close to mine, one hand playing with my breasts while the other stroked the brand on my thigh. “You have no idea how difficult it was to leave you behind that morning in the stable in Corcyrus. I came very close to taking you with me, but that would have been a mistake. Kurgus’s men were close behind me with tracking sleen. I barely made it to the concealed tarns in time.”
“Mmm. You would have been in my power then. I would have tormented you so much if you had been recaptured with me over your shoulder.”
“I’m sure you would have. You were petty, vain and delightfully arrogant. Still, you would have had some explaining to do to Kurgus on account of the fact he would have found you with me, naked, braceleted, aroused and helpless.”
“It would have been a difficult conversation, to be sure…”
“One you would possibly have had, still naked, on your knees, in Kurgus’s great hall.”
I squirmed, held perfectly by my Master. “You shouldn’t do that… to my breasts, my nipples, unless you’re planning on….”
“Perhaps I am, sooner rather than later.”
“Again?” I found that hard to believe but I pressed my ass close to him and wriggled, hoping to tease him into action.
“Soon, yes. Sooner even, if you keep squirming like that.”
I beamed happily, though he couldn’t see my face from where he lay.
“I suppose you will be going to the Northern Forests?” I asked.
“Yes. But first I need the co-ordinates translated onto a map of Gor. This Lady Melinda did it for Seremides, I understand. She will do so for me too.”
“I can take you to her,” I said. “I know how to contact her. There is a dead drop in Patashqar.”
“I’m still not sure I can trust you, so you will be in close chains when you do. And if you try and betray me, I will cut your throat. You are still my enemy, remember.”
“Yes, Master.” I had no doubt that for all he enjoyed me in the furs, he would kill me if I sought to betray him.
“We will travel to Patashqar tomorrow, and you will contact her by the dead drop and then you will take me to this woman’s house.”
“And then I shall head north, to hopefully find the weapons cache before your friend and colleague, Seremides does. I will lodge you in a slave pen while I am away to await my return.”
“What? No! Please, no!” The last thing I wanted was to be returned to a slave pen somewhere in Patashqar! I could be there for months before Brinn returned, if he ever did. Out of sight, out of mind – he could easily forget about me during his adventures in the North of Gor. “Please don’t leave me here! I'm terrified of being returned to a public slave pen!”
“You forget I do not trust you. Your desire to travel with me may be because you wish to warn Seremides. Maybe this is all part of some grand deception to trap me.”
“No, it isn’t! Please, I will die if I remain in a slave pen for months at an end.”
“I think you will find the men there will keep you very much alive. You will be perfectly safe until I choose to one day return to the Tahari.”
“No, please, Master… I can be of comfort and use during your travels. I will be everything you want from me. Please do not abandon me here in the Tahari! I will cook for you, make camp for you, clean your weapons and equipment. I will warm you during the night! Please, please, please do not abandon me in the Tahari!”
“This sounds very much like a plot to entrap me. No doubt you have coded signals that you are prepared to send to Kurgus’s men when we arrive in Laura or Lydius. No doubt they will be watching for your arrival at the various city gates, and you will be able to communicate with them in subtle pre-arranged ways such as the turning of an ankle in conjunction with the tilt of your head.”
“No, nothing like that, Master. I do not serve Seremides.”
“I have yet to believe that, pretty agent. And besides, maybe I will enslave this Lady Melinda if she is pretty enough. Maybe she will serve well to cook and clean and keep camp and warm me during the journey north instead of you.”
“No, Master! I have it on good authority that she is as ugly as a sand sleen.” As it happens I had never met her of course. “Take Emma instead. Let Emma please you.”
“I will give the matter some thought. In any event, you do beg nicely.” Brinn began to touch me again, and, startled, my body wriggled as he parted my thighs once more.
There was going to be a long and delicious night ahead of me.
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