Beneath The Ruins of Adiranthe - Chapter 2
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The slender thief-girl crept her way around the dark, winding passages, now deep in the underground. She had managed to avoid all of the traps and even disable two of them.


Kardan watched her from the passage above, through small holes she had no idea were there. Another adventurer, drawn by tales of lost treasures in the tunnels beneath the ruins of Adiranthe.
This one had the sense to tread stealthily, it seemed. And she was alone. That was good – adventurers who came in groups still had never managed to best his defenses here, but it was never so much fun as a one-on-one challenge with whomever managed to get past the traps.
Especially with a slender young woman whose curves were emphasised by her tight black leather thief’s garb. He watched her bend lithely to examine some loose stones. Definitely…

He was going to fight her, and he was going to win. Not to kill, though… Adrenaline started to move more quickly through his veins as he made his way along his passage, nearly as stealthily as she. Towards the place where he would set his ambush.

*          *          *          *          *

Eleria had come to a chasm. She could not see the bottom, and there was only one way across – a narrow strip of rock, barely as wide as her waist.
There was almost certainly going to be a trap, she thought to herself. There had been several traps already. And this was the perfect place for another one. Or an ambush. She checked the walls before the chasm. Nothing.

She took a slender rope from her belt and tossed part of it out onto the narrow rock bridge that spanned the chasm. Nothing. She threw it once more, so that it landed on a different part of the bridge. Nothing. And again, this time to the other side just after the bridge ended. Nothing. She looked up and could not see anything that would be a trap. 

She got down on all-fours and began to crawl, slowly and carefully, across the narrow bridge of rock, completely unaware that she was being watched from the other side, her close-fitting leather trousers hugging her slender curves as she crawled carefully across.
Relief washed through her as she finally reached the other side of the chasm and the solid ground of the passageway. The bridge had not been trapped, and she had made it across! Pleased with herself, she stepped around the next corner, and...

"LUMINOS!!!" bellowed a deep voice.
Bright magical light flooded the darkness where she stood. She threw her arm over her face, instinctively trying to protect her eyes, which had gotten used to the gloom of the underground.
Now!! Kardan launched his attack, tackling the leather clad girl roughly to the ground. A gasp escaped her as they went down together with a jarring thud, his weight on top of her.
She reacted quickly, almost instantly shoving him partly off her and almost managing to wriggle her way free with a strength that surprised him.
But he grabbed her and wrestled her back down to the ground, his strength and skill overpowering her despite her attempts to get free of him. She writhed, struggled, tried to bring arms and legs to bear to get the advantage and break from his grip. But her opponent was skilled in this as well as very strong! Within moments he was astride her body, pinning her down, his hands crushing her slender wrists to the ground. She  bucked and tried to bridge him off, tried to get her legs up to push him off, using everything she could think of, but could not dislodge him! She was completely pinned, and after a couple of minutes she was forced to subside, breathing hard, her eyes wide with the fearful recognition that she was caught as she stared back up at him.
Oh, the sweetness. He revelled in the moment, holding her captured beneath him, feeling her shock and fear as she realised her predicament, his eyes taking her in – the pretty face, her dishevelled long dark hair, wild blue eyes, pale skin contrasting with her black leather thieves’ garb, her shapely body pinned under his larger and heavier form. His backside pressed heavily into her soft belly.

Eleria was frightened, shocked, embarrassed at having let her guard down so fatally as to have ended up here. She stared up into her captor’s dark eyes which blazed with adrenaline and the thrill of victory, and it made her shiver. He wasn't handsome, or ugly, but he was imposing to look at, black hair, leather armour that made his big chest and shoulders more striking somehow, a strong face with a scar across one cheek, and eyes that gleamed with heaven knows what kind of thoughts.
To break the uncomfortable, almost intimate silence, she spat out the first words that came to mind. “So are you going to kill me now? Or what??!”
Kardan laughed to see her defiance. “So the pretty one talks,” he said. He said no more, drawing out the silence, until she began to wriggle under him again. He locked his arms and kept her pinned, much to her annoyance. He noted her look of anger at being unable to get free to fight. Amusing!
When he did speak next, it was not to her. He yelled: “GOBLINS!!”
A scrabbling noise soon came from all around them, and then about a dozen chalk-white, four-foot-tall, misshapen creatures stood in the cavern with them, awaiting Kardan’s orders.
“We have a guest,” he said in tones of dark amusement, and the creatures laughed, a foul, almost coughing sound. “Prepare the guest quarters, and two of you bring her things from outside that you found, they can stay here while we talk.” He added something in the Goblins’ own hissing language, and within moments they had all gone once more, leaving the two humans alone.
“How long to you intend to keep me here?!” hissed Eleria, wanting, needing to know what was going to happen.
“You are my prisoner,” Kardan smiled. “You are paying the penalty for intruding upon my domain, thief. This is my home.”
“This is a trap for unwitting adventurers, and you know it!!” was the girl’s fiery response.
Kardan ‘pretended’ not to have heard her. He wriggled his butt a little on her belly, seated in between her hips and ribcage in the softest part of her abdomen, knowing it couldn't be entirely comfortable for her, but she didn't protest, just glared at him. “So anyway,” he said. “I will take all your magic-crystals, as well as any other possessions, as payment for trespassing in my domain and trying to steal from my home. And you will serve me here for two weeks.”
“And then I can go free?” Eleria asked, hardly daring to hope.
“Probably,” he grinned and she suppressed a shiver. “But you will not remember a thing about this place.”

Two of the goblins returned. They carried a bundle between them which, Eleria could see as they came closer, contained her pony’s gear and other things which she had left hidden outside the Ruins.
“Dapples!!” she gasped in sudden alarm. She looked up at the goblins. “My horse. Is he all right…?”
One of the goblins hissed something in its own language.
“Oh, your horsie is just fine,” Kardan said mockingly, “but you won’t be seeing him again. All your possessions are now mine.”
Alarm shot through Eleria yet again at the thought of what treatment her grumpy, stubborn dapple-grey pony might receive at the hands of a bunch of goblins and this big, frightening man. “I won’t have you riding him!!” she said loudly, protectively, barely realising how silly she sounded giving orders while pinned.
“Why not, little girl?” Kardan laughed again. “You want me to ride you instead?”
A flare of anger showed on her face at this teasing. “Don’t be a lunatic!!” she spat.
“You certainly need a lesson,” her captor chuckled. A gesture to the two goblins and the chalky-skinned creatures scuttled forward with the rope they had been holding as they waited. Struggle and protest as she might, Eleria was soon bound hand and foot, with her leather jacket removed, so that the only thing she wore above the waist was the tight white bandeau that covered her breasts to keep them still while she was at her thievery. In nothing but the bandeau and her tight leather trousers, Kardan decided she made a fetching picture, bound and glaring at the goblins as she was.

This done, it was easy for Kardan to flip her over and put her on all fours. With a chuckle, he sat down astride her bare back as if she were a horse, his feet still on the ground, and bounced his weight on her a little, hearing a soft gasp in response. “What do you think?” he asked her mockingly.
“Get off me…” she hissed and tried to buck her back under him to let him know that she did not approve of the joke. In response he lifted his feet up off the floor so that she was carrying his full weight, and let her arch her back up and down as she wished. She couldn’t do much as her wrists and ankles were bound, so it didn’t endanger his seat astride her; in fact, it felt kind of sexy and nice to ride her like that. She was obviously fit and strong, still fighting despite his considerable weight. He decided to take it a little further.
“Naughty pony,” he laughed. “Bridle time!”

The thief-girl gasped in shock. She struggled, first against Kardan’s sudden fierce hold on her hair as the two goblins messed about doing something with Dapples’ bridle, then against all three of them as the snaffle bit was forced into her mouth and buckled crudely in place with straps and rope around her head. The struggling, unfortunately for her, did her no good at all.
Still holding her long dark hair tightly, Kardan moved back onto her hips and together with the goblin helpers, they wriggled her own saddle, Dapples' saddle, onto her back. Again despite her struggles and her bit-muffled protests, she could not get free as the damned thing was fastened to her with a combination of girth straps and rope, and the stirrup-leathers shortened so they wouldn't bang on the floor.
Soon she stood on all fours, saddled and bridled, her head hanging in embarrassment, hating the indignity. Kardan had moved off her and stood beside her now, likely so he could see how silly she looked, she thought furiously.

“Pretty pony,” Kardan said with a smile. “Let’s see how docile she is.” And he sat down astride her back again, seating himself in the saddle, picking up his feet and slipping them into the stirrups. She gave a soft little groan, whether it was simply at the feel of his weight he could not tell, but it was a pleasant sound to his ears. Her back bent a little bit under the weight before flexing up again; he could feel it even through the saddle.
He picked up the reins, and gestured to the two goblins, who proceeded to cut first the rope around her wrists, then the one around her ankles, so she was free to move. Then both the goblins left, seeming to almost vanish into the rock.

Silence remained. She was free to move now, and Kardan knew she would try something… he gripped the sides of her saddle with his thighs and lowered his hands to her shoulders. And it was as well he did, because it was at that moment that she reared up with all her strength in an attempt to throw him backwards. He shoved his weight forwards against her, pushing her back to all fours.

Eleria threw herself into as wild a fit of horse-like bucking as she could, using every bit of her strength in an attempt to throw this crazy man who wanted to ride her! He was heavy enough that she could not truly leap and buck like a horse would, and each movement took great effort, but she threw herself into it, anger lending her strength, trying everything she could think of, spinning, bucking as hard as she could, rearing up again, not even knowing quite what she was doing, just throwing everything into a violent attempt to get him off her back. A few times she felt his backside lift out of the saddle, encouraging her to keep going. If only she could get him off her and get back to her feet, she would have a chance...!

She heard him laughing as he realised she couldn't quite throw him out of the saddle. Eventually she came to a halt, breathing hard, exhausted for the moment, her head hanging as she tried to recover from the exertion, with his heavy weight still on her back.
He used the reins for the first time, first gently, just a little, as if testing, then used them more firmly, drawing her head back up strongly. 

He sat still astride her panting body for a long moment, feeling his dominance and his victory over her, knowing she was his now. Feeling her body now tired and weakened under his weight.
“That’s it,” he whispered, “now you get to carry me properly…” And he kicked his heels against her thighs.
She gasped at the feel of it, and to his pleasure she began to walk forward on her hands and knees, carrying him across the cavern.

The uneven ground and her tired muscles from the recent full-on exertion made her slow and a little wobbly, but she kept moving underneath him. Step by step she carried him across the cavern, and when he tugged on the left rein, she obeyed him, turning left into the passageway that led towards the very heart of the labyrinth.

What a lot of fun his little joke had turned into.
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