Fiona shrank back against the furs in their sleeping chamber. Ulfric was furious; she saw his anger in his stern features, the determined set of his jaw. Surely he did not really mean to flog her, she had not actually attempted to get away. She could not be punished merely for her thoughts…
“Worse, you would be putting yourself in grave danger. Here, at Skarthveit, you live under my protection. You are safe. As a runaway slave you would have no rights, no shelter as the winter draws in. You would be a renegade, at the mercy of any karl who might recapture you though I doubt it would come to that. You would not survive even the first few days alone.”
“I would not… I never intended—”
“You say that, now, as you face me and know that I will punish you. But the thought is here…” He tapped her temple with his fingertip. “It is here in your head. For your own safety you need to let it go, and I will help you to do that.”
“I swear to you, I will never attempt to escape. I know the dangers. Taranc said…”
“I know what he said, I heard him. You will heed his advice, and my instructions.”
“Yes. Yes, I will. There is no need—”
“There is every need, little Celt. Every need to make sure there is no misunderstanding between us on this matter because your life may well depend upon it.” He regarded her for several moments, his eyes narrowed. “Strip, then come and stand before me.” He was already removing his belt.
Her heart in her mouth, Fiona obeyed. In moments she was nude, trembling as he raked her with eyes the colour of ice.
“Hold out your hands.”
She did so, and he quickly bound her wrists together with a strip of cloth. Seemingly satisfied, he glanced up at the rafters above their heads. Fiona followed his gaze to see a metal ring hanging from one stout beam. Was that new? Surely she would have recalled seeing it before.
“I see you appreciate my latest addition to our comforts here. It will aid me in teaching you the consequences of your foolishness.” As he spoke he bent to pick up a length of rope that had been tucked away beside the bed. He tossed one end through the hoop, then tied it to the linen between her wrists. From there it was the work of moments to tug the rope tight, drawing Fiona up onto her toes, her hands stretched high above her head.
“What do you intend to do to me?” Her voice shook. He must hear it, must know how terrified she was.
“What do you think I might have in mind for a wilful little slave who longs to be free of me, even at the cost of her own life? What punishment does such disloyalty deserve, do you think?” His tone was deceptively soft as Ulfric slowly walked around her in a full circle, his appraising gaze reaching every part of her body.
“You cannot blame me for wishing for my freedom. You would feel the same…”
“Would I? Perhaps, but our situations are not similar, my little Celt. For one thing, you are a possession, and I am your master.”
“Please…” Her shoulders already burned from the uncomfortable position and her feet barely reached the earthen floor. “This hurts.”
“And we have barely started. But I wish to make this memorable for you since my earlier efforts have been ineffective. So, shall we proceed?”
“Just… just do whatever you must and let me down.”
“Perhaps I can make you a little more comfortable…” He reached above her to adjust the tension in the rope. He slackened it enough that she could rest fully on her feet. Her ankle was now healed so she was able to stand without discomfort though the change offered no respite for her shoulders. “Is that better?”
“Good. So, we shall start with twelve strokes of my belt. Then, if you are able to convince me that you are sufficiently chastened and no longer contemplating fleeing into the mountains to perish, we shall consider the matter of your escape plans closed and move on to a lesson in what it is to be a possession.”
Twelve strokes? With his belt? Fiona was already sobbing.
“I can see that there is little point in asking you to count.”
He moved in close behind her to encircle her waist with his arms. On pure instinct Fiona leaned back into his embrace and sighed as he cupped her breasts in his hands.
“So beautiful, and very precious to me. You need to understand that I will always protect what is mine, and that includes you, little Celt. You know I will never harm you, do you not?”
“Twelve strokes. You can bear that, and you will remember it.”
She managed to nod, since she knew that he was right. The whipping would soon be over, and she would survive it. Even so, she trembled when he bent to pick up the belt he had laid on the bed while he secured her to the beam.
Fiona gritted her teeth and prayed that he would be quick. He granted her wish, but still she danced on the spot as the first stroke of his belt wrapped around her buttocks. She managed not to scream, but knew it would not take many more strokes before she would be screeching fit to wake the dead.
Ulfric apparently arrived at the same conclusion. “I would not normally mind a little din from you in the circumstances, but Njal is sleeping and I prefer that you do not disturb him. Open your mouth, little Celt.”
Tears streamed down her face as he pushed a wad of linen between her teeth and secured it there by means of another strip tied behind her head. Then he took up the belt again.
The next three strokes were delivered with his customary efficiency and Fiona bore them well, or so she thought. The gag muffled her squeals, but she was managing to absorb the licks of pure flame as he laid on her punishment.
Why had she spoken so to Taranc? How had she not realised Ulfric was within earshot? Normally she was acutely aware of him whenever he was near. How much had she said?
Enough. Too much. She had voiced her confused feelings regarding Ulfric’s part in her brother’s death, and even repeated Ulfric’s hateful words of that first evening. In so doing she had revealed how much he had hurt her by what he said. He was never supposed to know about that.
Five. Six. She was halfway there and still coping. Just.
Seven. She wailed into the gag and hopped from one foot to the other.
Eight. He walked around to stand before her and cupped her face in his hand. “Are you all right, Fiona?”
She nodded as his image blurred, obscured by her tears.
“Four more, then I will remove the gag if you promise to be quiet for me.” The corner of his lip lifted in a half smile. He stroked her wet cheek with his fingertips and lowered his forehead to rest it briefly against hers. “I did not kill your brother, I swear it. If you want, I could attempt to discover who did, but I would not take action against the man. It was a battle, my warriors knew their task and performed it well. I am sorry though, for the grief you have suffered.”
Fiona stared at him, amazed. He had actually apologised to her though she did not blame him, not really. Adair was a headstrong fool, ever one to act without thinking. Their father had taken issue with him often enough on the matter. Adair had no need to confront a mob of Viking raiders armed with just a shovel. Pennglas was hopelessly overwhelmed, they had no choice but to capitulate and the villagers who did had been spared. Adair need not have died.
Ulfric cupped her chin in his palm. He had more to say to her, it seemed. “The words you heard… they were for Brynhild’s benefit, not yours. You are more to me, much more than just a wench to fuck. You always were.”
She blinked, not comprehending. The gag prevented her from seeking more explanation from him but he seemed to know anyway.
“I hoped to divert her attention from you by seeking to convince her that you were of no consequence and not worth her trouble. It is clear I failed to convince my sister, though you took my words to heart and for that I am sorry. I apologise for hurting you.”
With that he kissed her forehead and proceeded to hurt her some more.
Nine. Ten. Eleven. He paused again, as though gathering his strength for one final assault on her senses.
Twelve. He landed the final stroke across the backs of her thighs and Fiona jumped on the spot, howling against the confines of the gag.
Ulfric came to stand before her again and took his time putting his belt back on. He buckled it around his waist then stood, his arms folded as he considered her quivering form.
Would he release her now? He had not said so, only that he would remove the gag. He stepped forward and did exactly that. She drew in a welcome deep breath through her mouth, then wetted her dry lips with her tongue.
Ulfric saw, and at once produced a mug of ale, which he held to her lips. She sipped, grateful for his consideration.
“Yes. Thank you.”
He set the mug down. “I would know your thoughts, now, on the prospect of escape. Do you properly understand the dangers inherent in such a path?”
“I do. I will not speak of it again.”
“I expect you will not, since you are no fool. But will you think of it?”
“I… I will try not to, Ulfric.”
He considered that for a few moments, then nodded. “Fair enough. And now, do you understand why I spoke as I did to Brynhild?”
“I… yes, I think I do.”
“Taranc was right. You should have spoken to me of it if it bothered you so.”
“I could not.”
He frowned. “Ah, but you could.”
She shook her head, vehement now. “I could not. In all the time I have been here, you have been happy enough to take a switch to me because of something I said rather than something I did. I could not talk to you. I dared not.”
“That will change. And, we shall talk now, little Celt, for we have much to discuss.”
“Will you untie me? My shoulders…”
“No, not yet. Before I do that, I promised you a lesson in being owned.”
“I do not understand.”
He turned to pick up a small bowl, which he brought to show Fiona. It contained a knob of butter. Bewildered, she looked from the bowl to his inscrutable features. “Ulfric…?”
He merely smiled and moved around to stand behind her. “Spread your legs, girl. As wide as you are able.”
Fiona did as he asked, a little relieved since this, at least, was familiar territory. She had no qualms, not any more, about spreading her legs for her Viking.
She closed her eyes, her body softening under his touch as he trailed the backs of his knuckles the length of her spine. He took his time, as though he wished to examine each vertebra in turn, finally reaching the lowest one where the seam of her bottom began. Here he rested, his fingers idly slipping into that furrow to stroke and explore.
Fiona sighed, the pain of her whipping receding as his skilled fingers ignited that flame of arousal that only he could kindle. She arched her back and tensed as his questing hand crept lower, closer. Her pussy wept now, her moisture gathering in readiness for him.
Ulfric swept his palm lower to stroke the length of her slit. He gathered her juices and smeared them backwards, back toward that more private place that even he had not yet breached. He circled her rear hole with his finger, slick now from her own wetness, and pressed softly. He had done as much on previous occasions, and although it had shocked her initially Fiona secretly relished the wicked intimacy of his touch. She wriggled within the confines of her bonds and longed for him to take her throbbing clit between his fingers and rub until she found her release. It would be quick; she was halfway there already.
But he showed no sign of wishing to accommodate her in this matter. Instead he continued to toy with her arse, increasing the pressure little by little until, surely, he would…
“No!” The exclamation burst from her lips as the very tip of his finger penetrated her, her reaction more one of shock than pain. “Ulfric, you must not…”
“Must not? But you are mine, your body is my property. I shall do with you as I wish, touch you as I wish, where I wish. Do you dispute this still, little Celt?” His finger remained lodged within her arse as he spoke to her, his tone so soft that she might melt were it not for the unfamiliar and chaotic riot of sensations now coursing through her. Lust mingled with shame, desire with utter humiliation. She sought to move away from him but his free arm snaked about her waist to hold her still.
“I can go further, and I will. You will take my finger, all of it, then two fingers, then three. Then, you shall have my cock. I intend to fuck your arse, little Celt.”
“No, please…” She began to wriggle in his arms, though her struggles were worse than ineffective as each movement she made seemed to have the effect of ramming his finger deeper into her tight channel.
“Be still, Fiona, and let this happen since there is nothing you can do to prevent it. This is what it is to be a possession, to be owned. You have no choice so you will surrender.”
“I have promised not to harm you. Do you trust me?”
Did she? Did she still trust him, after all that had happened, after all that he had done to her and even knowing what he intended?
“Yes.” She almost sobbed the word at him. “Yes, I trust you. Will it hurt very much?”
“I am not a brute and I will help you. First, my fingers, then when I am satisfied you are ready I shall lay you on the bed and take your arse. You will be quiet throughout as I have no wish to gag you again. Are we clear on this?”
“Yes, Viking,” she murmured, even as she marvelled at her own acquiescence. Something in his words had reached her, touched her inner core of submission and she found she could accept what was about to happen to her. She might even welcome it. She was his. It was, after all, that simple.
Ulfric withdrew his invading finger but only for the few moments it took to smear it and the digits on either side with butter. He stood before her, smiling at her as he did so, as the dawning realisation glittered in her eyes. “You see, already I am seeking to make this easier for you.”
He kissed her, the brush of his lips light and swift, but she was reassured by it. He was not doing this in anger and she would be safe in his hands. He moved to stand behind her again.
“Legs wide, feet as far apart as you can and arch your back to lift up your bottom.”
Fiona did as she was told, and managed not to flinch when he parted her buttocks to better examine the tight ring of muscle he was about to breach. She even held still as he inserted his finger again, this time sliding it right in up to the first knuckle. He halted briefly, then pressed harder and the rest of his digit slipped into her body.
It felt… odd, but not unpleasant. The experience was humiliating, an intrusion, but she found she minded that less now than she had initially. With another man, a stranger or one who was less gentle, she would recoil in horror, but with Ulfric… anything seemed possible.
He withdrew his finger, then drove it forward again. Fiona gasped; the sensation was intense and unexpectedly erotic.
“Oh! Ulfric, that is… oh.”
He lifted the tangled hair from her neck and kissed her shoulder as he delivered several more thrusts. He moved slowly within her, and Fiona knew he was taking extreme care not to hurt or frighten her. Even as she wondered what the next stage would feel like, he slipped a second finger in alongside the first.
It was tight, her entrance burning as he worked it wider, looser though there was not a hint of harshness in his handling of her. Slowly, but firmly, he encouraged her to open for him, and then he inserted the third finger.
Now it did hurt and Fiona stiffened. She had not meant to resist, but could not help it.
“Easy, little one,” he murmured and lowered the hand that had been resting on her hip to slide it around the front and rest his finger on her clitoris. “Would it help if I were to pleasure you whilst we do this?”
“Yes, oh, yes, please…” she groaned as moisture gathered anew.
He pressed on her clit at the same time as he drove his fingers inside her now unresisting arse. Fiona yelped as sensation overwhelmed her. It was tight, stretching, burning. Too much, too sudden, too—
“Aagh!” Her release ripped through her before she even had a chance to recognise what was happening. Her body shook and convulsed, her inner muscles contracted around the fingers pressed inside her. She jerked violently within her bonds, desperate for Ulfric to rub harder, thrust deeper. She craved it now, that heady blend of pleasure and pain that sent her spinning, her senses whirling and unravelling.
He held her, his fingers in her, on her, teasing the last shivers of lust from her over-taut body until she settled again. Now, as her arse relaxed fully, he was able to withdraw and plunge his fingers in and out without resistance, her body accepting his intrusion readily enough. She groaned at the lewd delight of it, the sinful, sensual depravity of being utterly possessed, completely within his power.
“You are ready, little Celt.”
“Yes,” she whispered. “I am ready.”
He circled her waist with his arm and withdrew his fingers from her arse. Then he reached above her to loosen the knot that secured her to the rafter. Fiona would have collapsed onto the floor but he held her fast and scooped her into his arms. She moaned as he laid her on the bed, the residual tenderness from the strokes of his belt registering as her weight settled on her punished buttocks. He untied the strip of cloth that bound her wrists and she turned to lie on her stomach. Fiona stretched her arms out on either side of her as she rolled her aching shoulders.
Ulfric placed his hands on her hips and pulled her up onto her knees. She held still as he parted her buttocks again to view her well-prepared arse. She should be cringing in embarrassment, she knew this, but was well past such niceties now. She wanted him inside her, however much it might hurt. She craved him, lusted for this invasion.
“Would you… if it hurts, could you pleasure me again?”
“Aye, if you like. Or you could pleasure yourself.”
“You know by now what you like, how you want to be touched. You do it.”
So she did. Fiona relished the sense of freedom and power as she took her own pleasure in hand. As she looked over her shoulder, watched Ulfric smear butter over his engorged cock, she caressed her clit, sank her fingers into her own juices, even drove one digit into her pussy as he positioned his cock at her rear entrance.
He pushed, and she groaned. This was harder, much harder than accepting his fingers. Perhaps, even now, even after all his careful preparation, she would fail.
“Push back against me, and relax if you can. Let me in, little Celt…” His words coaxed and cajoled, drawing out her submission as he eased the wide head of his cock past the tight coil of muscle.
Fiona whimpered as her body stretched, the burn impossible now. She would surely tear, he would injure her, this was not possible…
“Oh!” she cried out as his cock inched forward, then chewed on her lower lip as he pressed further. She rubbed her fingers over her clit, the pleasure masking the pain of his entry. She hissed in discomfort, tensing despite her best efforts. Ulfric paused, waited for her to adjust, for her body to adapt, then he thrust again. And her body parted to fully accept him.
“There, that is it. You have all of me now.” His breath feathered against her flushed cheek as she lay panting on the bed. With her free hand she reached for—something. Someone. Ulfric laced his fingers through hers and squeezed. “Are you quite well, little Celt?”
She pondered that question before responding, then managed a slow, wondering nod. “I believe I still live, Viking.”
He chuckled. “Then, we shall settle for that. Tell me if you need me to stop.”
He withdrew his wide cock, slowly, with great care. When he was almost fully out of her body he halted, then drove his erection deep again. His greased cock slid in easily now, caressing her snug inner walls as she rubbed even more frantically at her clit.
“Oh, sweet saviour…” The friction was beyond exquisite. She moaned, writhed under him, thrusting back as he buried his cock again and again. She squeezed, gripping him hard though she could not imagine a tighter fit.
“By Odin’s balls, that feels so fucking good, wench.”
“Viking, I… Oh! Oooh!” Her body was racked by another climax more powerful than any that had gone before. He continued to fuck her, harder now, his possession deeper, more demanding. This was intense, all-consuming, beyond her imagination. Her body quivered on the verge of yet another shattering release.
“Again, girl. Scream for me again.”
She did, but into the palm of his hand, which he laid over her mouth to muffle the sound. She remembered, belatedly, the sleeping child in the next room and was glad of his presence of mind. Only as her groans of delight ebbed did he give one final sharp and driving thrust. He swore, obscene but expressive words she had heard from him on other similar occasions and which she now understood. His cock lurched within her arse. Heat bathed her inner space, and they both lay still.
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