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Forced in the Forest

Wenches and Warriors Box Set One













Taylor Knight

Copyright © 2018 Shieldmaiden Press

All rights reserved.



No part of this book may be copied, written reproduced or distributed without the author’s permission.



This book is a work of fiction: any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental - mostly. All characters engaged in sexual acts are above the legal age of consent.



Cover art by Brandon Bell: for more great illustrators visit www.fiverr.com





SHIELD

MAIDEN



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Contents





Book One: The Bandit Queen’s Booty



1 - Plucked



Valgir moved his hips as the girl’s tongue worked his shaft expertly, head bobbing wetly over him, taking his length all the way into her mouth then slowly sucking it out again. The rogue groaned and ran his fingers through the girl’s hair. She expertly manoeuvred her tongue around his head, and down his shaft, licking his scrotum before taking the full length in her mouth and pumping it with her hand.

The Thrennlander was tired of the city. He had drunk himself into a stupor in every tavern and gambled away half of the coin he’d saved from last season’s campaign. He’d seduced a noblewoman, a lapsed Sister of Compassion and a taverner’s wife, and taken one comely lass in the alley behind the Dancing Stag in the dead of night when the watch had already passed on their rounds. Oh but for the whores! Now drinking at the Stag again he had no longer the patience for seduction nor the energy for force so he had paid one of the young women who worked there to lay with him a night.

Nichanne was a petite girl of perhaps twenty summers. She had full pink lips set into a round, lightly freckled face; shoulder-cropped chestnut hair and a pert nose with a bridge so shallow that some swore she had to be part wood-elf. Her eyes were large and hazel, her breasts small and firm. She had rather wide hips and a large round arse for a girl her size; her legs quite short and thighs thick, but she had a charming smile and something about that big behind just made men want to take her. One wiggle of the hips had been enough to loosen Valgir’s purse.

The sellsword of course, was happy to take his time. He’d paid for her company for the night and there was no rush. He sat naked on the edge of the bed while Nichanne, also naked, kneeled between his legs. The bath they had just exited sat steaming beside them as she closed her full lips over his manhood and drove her head down toward his pelvis.

Valgir grabbed the sides of her head and thrust his cock upward into her mouth. He revolved his hips as the wench pumped her head downward over his shaft, taking the full length in and out of her wet warm mouth. It had been some time since the rogue had been so expertly caressed. He became frantic, thrusting upwards as the girl sucked down on him with every wet stroke. He released her head and clutched the bedsheets, a familiar pressure welling up from the base of his manhood.

‘I’m coming.’ He warned her; she chuckled and continued to suck.

Whores were professionals and somehow he’d always had respect for them. It was only decent to warn the girl. He clutched the bed harder now and thrust powerfully upward. Surprisingly, she could take his whole generous length in her mouth and continue to please him with a flicking tongue and moist jowls. ‘I’m coming...’ he warned again and the girl wrapped her arms around his hips, clutching him closer as she sucked his cock. Recognising the girl’s cue the rogue tensed as his orgasm came, a thick white torrent of spunk gushing out into her mouth. Nichanne continued to suck, coaxing every last drop of his seed out of his sack as she swallowed it all down in expertly timed gulps.

Sighing, the rogue collapsed back on the bed as his orgasm subsided, weakened and spent.

Giggling, she came up for air. ‘My turn, Milord.’

Valgir sat up and gently lay her down on the edge of the bed in his place. Now kneeling between the girl’s spread thighs, the candlelight offered an excellent view of her small, wispy-haired cunny. Her patch was fluffy, slightly curled and the colour of her chestnut head. He kissed down her thick thighs as her chest rose and fell deeply and her soft stomach quivered in anticipation. Approaching her sex, Valgir could make out a small, swollen clitoris perched over full lips that closed just above the taut brown button of her sphincter. The whore was wide open and waiting for him, her musk getting stronger and her pubic hair beginning to glisten. The sellsword hungrily engulfed the Nichanne’s vagina in his mouth and began wetly nuzzling the girl to her moans of pleasure.

Nichanne moaned and rolled her hips, clutching the rogue’s brown cropped hair tightly to her crotch as his tongue roamed wetly over her lips and lapped on her juices. She had a sweet young cunny, fresh to taste and eagerly moistened. She ran her fingers through his hair as he licked and sucked on her, nibbling her clitoris and running his tongue over her arsehole. She giggled as his tongue tickled her anus and groaned as he slipped a finger gently into her vagina. Valgir hooked his digit upward to find the rough lump of skin on the roof of her passage and began to rub it gently while he vigorously sucked on her clit.

Valgir knew how to please a woman and satisfying a whore meant good repeat business. But while he’d left plenty a village lass in the fields and for all he knew with child, he reflected on how much easier it was to go whoring. Seduction was all well and good but yielded mixed results and took much effort. Only with the tavern wenches of the cities and towns he knew, could he truly take comfort in a woman - only with these open and willing girls who’d do almost anything for his coin.

Nichanne was thrusting her pelvis against the rogue’s face now, shuddering and nearing her climax. Knowing a little of how to tease he withdrew his tongue and finger and, grabbing the lass by her ample hips, he swung her around so that she lay bent over the edge of the bed with his face in her rear end. Nichanne lay prone and panting, expecting to be penetrated from behind but instead she felt the rogue’s lips close over her wet lips once again and closed her eyes as a moan escaped her lips. Valgir lapped away on her juices, slobbering over vulva and clitoris as her hips thrust gently up and down. He slid his thumb underneath her belly and began to rub on her clitoris, while he moved his tongue up to tickle her anus.

The whore thrust her crotch backward at his face, filling his nostrils with the scent of her musk; his tongue slick with her sweet juices. He ran his tongue over her anus, licking the tight button in little flicks as he rubbed her clit vigorously with his thumb. She ground her pelvis into him as her whimpering pitched higher and higher and her hips began to shake and shudder. He slapped her large buttocks and she giggled playfully but soon lapsed into gasping and moaning as her climax drew near. Freezing momentarily, Nichanne released herself, shuddering into a long, groaning orgasm, vagina tensing and relaxing as the rogue continued to lap on her juices. As the sensation subsided she drew her pelvis away and allowed the sellsword to come up for air, complementing him on his skill at love play. That was another thing that girls he took in woods and alleyways never did, but he probably wouldn’t stop in this lifetime.

Now kneeling up behind the girl on the low bed, Valgir took his hard tool in hand and guided it between her spread cheeks towards her inviting cunny. She responded heartily as he pressed his manhood up against her opening, drawing her hips backward to engulf his powerful tool in a single, wet thrust, moaning in delight as his thickness penetrated her warm, hungry passage. The rogue began to thrust, slapping wetly in and out of the whore’s love hole. Nichanne clutched the sheets and rammed back at him, soaking up the pleasure mixed with mild pain, panting and moaning as he took her from behind.

Gripping the lass by her meaty hips again, the rogue slammed into her, filling her passage with his long, thick manhood, causing her to groan with each convulsive thrust. She rotated her hips and pushed back to meet his strokes, her cunny sucking warmly on his weapon, gripping it with taut, experienced young muscles. He ran a finger over her crack, tickling her anus as he pounded powerfully into her. The girl was tight, warm and wet. He dipped the tip of his finger into her back passage and she responded with an ecstatic, youthful moan. A dirty whore was the best sort.

Pounding back at him now, her holes closing over his finger and his cock she giggled and groaned, and reached back between her legs to stroke his heavy balls. Valgir pumped harder and faster, ramming the girl and pushing her cheek against the bed as she moaned and huffed beneath him. But she could take it, take all of the mercenary’s club-like tool and his thick finger and probably more. She squeezed on his sack and stroked the base of his shaft.

She only had one request - a common professional consideration, ‘Don’t come inside me.’

Of course the rogue wouldn’t. This wasn’t some village girl he was ravishing after plundering her farm. With these paid professionals, he had to observe protocol and show some courtesy. Satisfy her desires and her requirements, and Valgir of Threnn could have the lovely Nichanne every time he visited Port Thale "Of course not," he panted, ploughing deeply into the girl from behind.

‘Slap my arse,’ Nichanne implored and the rogue spanked her heartily. She was nasty - he liked that. The whore ground backward against his cock, thrusting frantically and squeezing his rod with her tight sheath. He spanked her backside hard and she giggled and pouted has his pumping pushed her face into the mattress. He could feel his climax approaching, a deep torrent welling up from the base of his cock and threatening to spew forth into her welcoming loins. Nichanne cried out as she exploded into her second orgasm, pounding a fist on the mattress as she bucked and twisted beneath him. Valgir clutched her hips and pounded against her meaty flesh until she collapsed whimpering on the bed. Frantically the rogue pulled himself out and taking his member in hand, pumped a long hot spurt of slick sticky come over her arse and back. It splashed over her milky flesh and the sheets, errant streaks running down the left side of her hip and into the crack of her buttocks as she lay panting and spent.

Valgir collapsed beside the girl, as spent as she was. He sucked in air in big gulps as Nichanne leaned over him, taking his penis in her mouth. Gingerly, she licked and sucked the remaining come off his head as his cock still twitched in slow, relaxed post coital glow. Coming up, she giggled cheekily, wiping her lips.

They were startled by a heavy bashing on the wooden door, and the girl dashed for her clothes as the sellsword bolted upright and drew the sheets across his pelvis.

‘Town watch!’ an angry male voice hollered from the other side, ‘Open up in the name of the Duke!’



2 – Mapped Out



‘How many guards?’ Galen asked, waving a hand at the wench for another mug of ale. The Wench’s Cups tavern was fairly full that night, with a roaring fire, the sound of voices laughing and cups clinking, and a minstrel playing quietly on his lute in the corner. The serving girl arrived and reached over the table.

‘A dozen of them, they really outdid themselves. There was no question of fighting back.’ Valgir let his eyes linger on the girl as she took his half-brother’s empty cup and appraised her fine young form sauntering back to the bar, with a glance over her shoulder at him. She was tall, honey blonde with a wide face and huge brown eyes. Her mouth was small and somewhat pouty but she had a strong nose and good solid hips. She was not a small girl at all, nor very slim, but looked the epitome of a northern beauty – sturdy, strong and fit to breed. It had been a three-day carriage ride from Port Thale and he was hungry for a woman again.

‘Caryth’s her name,’ Galen shrugged, noting the sellsword’s hungry eyes. ‘Half the village wants to mount her and I hear the other half already has. I like my women thinner, with darker hair. Like those eastern beauties, have you ever seen one? Or the other girl who works here some nights, the hunter’s niece. Half-elven that one: at least that’s what folk say. And you should see that round arse…’

‘Have you seen it?’

‘Well no, but some say she knows how to use it - and her tongue. Anyway, the guards.’

‘Alright, half a dozen, all armed,’ Valgir muttered.

‘Half a dozen?’ Snorted Galen. ‘The legendary Valgir once took on that many Barundir knights and survived didn’t he?’

‘Barely.’ Valgir knew his brother was mocking him now to remind him of that defeat. It didn’t wound him, for Galen was a lecherous drunk who’d never fought in a battle himself. ‘It nearly cost me an ear and a thumb and I spent half a year in a Barundir gaol you will recall. Still took two of them before they got me.’

The serving maid Caryth returned and placed the tankards on the table with a smile which Valgir returned eagerly. He was near thirty, with cropped brown hair and a trimmed beard and knew women found him appealing, not that it stopped him ravishing a wench from time to time. Being a new face in a town like Fallbrook surely helped, for there were few enough of those. Caryth looked like an enticing prospect: young, full breasted with a brown dress, green bodice and white blouse laced up at the front. Her smile was broad and her skin flawless. Their fingers brushed as he took the beer.

‘And how long did you spend in gaol this time?’

‘Just a night. Turns out the sergeant-at-arms that night was a man I’d served with in Scaldlund. We used to drink and whore together, so they let me go and told me not to come back. I wasn’t to know the girl was a noblewoman’s favourite handmaid.’

‘Oh the number of little bastards you’ve left scattered around this kingdom, brother.’

Valgir had never much liked being called brother by Galen. The man was not a fighter and not even much of a worker, and they had little in common except a love of drink. They didn’t even look much alike for Valgir was taller and broader of shoulder. Galen served as a blacksmith’s apprentice at the local lord’s manor and at his age he should have been blacksmith himself by now. But the old smith was not ready to retire and though he had no sons of his own he would not hand over the reins to this buffoon, even if Galen was married to the man’s daughter. But blood was blood, sort of, and at least Galen had a room for him for a few nights.

‘So what’s the talk of the town you were telling me about? Surely not just that everyone wants to hump the innkeeper’s girl.’

Galen looked around conspiratorially and leaned closer. Valgir could see the lines on the lean man’s face, the greying stubble, and the red veins around his nose. His half-brother had always been an addled fool given to wild stories, but he’d lived in the town a few years and had to know the gossip by now. If a king were slowly poisoning the water to eradicate all the common folk you could be sure that Galen was in his cups again. If it was a more local tale, he was probably repeating something that a lot of people were saying.

‘There are brigands in the woods,’ he began. ‘They’re hoarding treasure that they steal from folk.’

‘There are always outlaws in the woods - that’s why people don’t go there.’

Galen rolled his eyes impatiently. ‘They come out on the roads. That’s when they catch folk. They stop anyone - tinkers, journeymen, anyone. Doesn’t matter if they have a few coppers or a hundred silver, they take whatever you’ve got.’

‘Nobody has a hundred silver anyway,’ Valgir scoffed, ‘Except maybe merchant caravans and they have guards.’

‘Last month even one of those was stopped. The robbers tied up the guards and the merchant, had their way with his wife and daughter and took over a hundred pieces, as well as wine and fine cloths.’

‘And they told you this themselves?’

‘No,’ Galen conceded sheepishly. I heard here from someone who’d met them in Belcroft.’

It was Valgir’s turn roll his eyes. ‘Stories get bigger the more often they’re told.’

‘But folk have been robbed and they’re afraid. They have a leader it’s said...’

‘Said by who?’ Valgir chuckled, reaching for his cup again.

Galen ignored the jab and went on. ‘She has power, they say, an enchantress.’

Now the sellsword was intrigued. ‘What does she look like?’

‘Nobody knows. Well they say she’s dark like a southerner.’

‘Whenever someone sees a foreign woman they call her a witch. The brothels in Port Thale are full of dark-skinned whores.’

‘But she leads the brigands with spells and charms, seduces men on the roads and takes their money. Brinwald the brewer was robbed when he was driving a mule with two sacks of hops.’

‘And did he see her?’

‘No, it was just the men. But they took fourteen pennies off him and the sacks and the mule.’

‘Did they bugger him too?’

Galen looked disgusted, ‘Of course not.’

‘Did they bugger the mule?’

‘Now you’re just being stupid.’

‘How many men?’ Valgir asked, chuckling at his own dig. He was intrigued about the treasure even if the sorceress was a myth. If only a handful of ruffians guarded it perhaps he could enlist or cajole a couple other men to go take it back.

‘Some say she has twenty, fifty, a hundred men.’

‘Ten then at best,’ Valgir corrected him. ‘You can’t support a hundred thieves on the pickings from this district.’

‘Well it’s enough to guard a tower full of treasure, whatever it is.’

‘No dragons then?’ Valgir smirked.

‘I’m serous brother. They say she has a tower in the woods guarded by these men she has enchanted and that’s where she hoards the money she takes.’

‘And where does she spend it? I say we just follow her into town on market day and ask her to hand it over.’

‘Brigands don’t come into town,’ Galen rolled his eyes. ‘I’ll tell you if you’re quiet for a moment. I have a map.’

Now they were getting somewhere. Valgir took another swig of ale and looked over the room to where the thick-built girl was serving other patrons. She didn’t seem to notice him. ‘So show me the map.’

Galen pulled a small folded parchment from the folds of his shirt, laid it on the table and smoothed it out. Valgir shuffled his chair around so they might both look at it upright. Galen looked around nervously again.

‘It’s a tavern brother, travellers look at maps all the time.’ Like his half-brother, he only used the word when he wanted something. This time he wanted assurance that there really was a chest of gold somewhere in the woods.

‘You’ve been through Lyford forest before right?’ Galen asked.

‘Once or twice a few years ago. There were no robbers then.’

Galen pointed to their location at Fallbrook and traced a blackened and calloused finger up the rough, yellowed page. ‘A few miles in you make a right off the main trail, that’s southward. Then when that track peters out into a grass clearing you cross it, walk back west again until a new trail appears some way into the trees.’

‘How do we know where to look for the next trail from the clearing, is it marked?’

‘No, we have to find it. It’s an old map.’

‘And where did you get it?’ 

‘A map-maker sold it to me at the town fair in Brackenbury.’

Valgir dreaded to ask how much money his half-brother had parted with for the poorly-drawn parchment. The ink was smudged, the compass was off in relation to the villages and the roads and trails drawn almost as though they were wide straight avenues paved with gold. He knew that venturing into Lyford forest or any other the ‘road’ was a twisting, winding and deceptive series of tracks and trails used by woodcutters, poachers, runaways and vagabonds. This rubbish was no more likely to net them an enchantress’s tower in the woods than blindfolding themselves and stumbling forward with arms outstretched. He changed tack.

‘Has anyone seen this tower? I mean you can’t just hide a castle keep or something in a well-known forest.’

‘Nobody has seen it and lived,’ Galen warned mysteriously, as if that were a convincing argument in favour of looking for it. What Valgir needed to hear was that someone had seen it, that there was treasure, that it was unguarded and that this beautiful bandit queen had better be waiting there for them with her skirt hitched up and her legs splayed for the taking.

‘Let’s talk about it in the morning.’ Valgir said dismissively, but the idea still gnawed at him. ‘You still have your sword?’

Galen nodded. Though Valgir knew Galen had never wielded it, most men carried swords if they wanted to travel safely or in case they were called upon by their lords. If there were any merit to this rumour – and rumours contained at least a grain of truth – then there were probably at least handful of thieves loose in the woods, carrying some amount of booty, and unlikely able to defend it well from a professional swordsman if he came with help.

‘Good then. Let’s drink.’

The pretty witch in the tower was likely to be complete goatshit, but he needed something to do, he needed some more coin to spend and had the free time, temporary lodgings and an eager if gullible sidekick to indulge in a little time-killing local adventure. There wasn’t much else happening anyway, except the prospect of plucking the innkeeper’s daughter. He cast the wench another look, caught her eye, and they shared a smile that sent a hot flush rushing through his loins. If he could vanquish the bandits and become a local hero, there might just be a little more in it for him than the money.



3 – The Wench’s Cups



Caryth fell giggling into Valgir’s arms in the alleyway behind the tavern and they kissed, his tongue finding hers moist and welcoming. She was passionate, hungry and a strong kisser if there were such a thing. Valgir ran his hands though her long honey-colored hair, where streaks of red light from half-open shutters glazed it gold. Her skin was smooth to touch and her neck smelled earthy and sweet as he kissed up and down it and nibbled on her ear. He pulled her close, feeling her waist through the white shirt and brown dress she wore. She was a big girl, an armful compared to many and he’d had many. Yet she was not fat – her hips were wider than her waist and her breasts full; her skin was supple, not flabby. His hands tracked down to her backside as they kissed and he felt for the first time those large round cheeks through her skirts. She giggled and pushed his hands back up to her waist. ‘Not so fast,’ she teased, ‘someone might see us.’

It was dark outside and the tavern was alive with singing and raucous jokes, but nobody stirred on the village streets outside. The night was warm and humid with fireflies circling near the lights from people’s windows. The alley ran between the back of the tavern and the storehouse and barrels and crates where stacked along the walls.

‘Do you like seducing barmaids?’ Caryth purred, turning away and leaning her back into him.

Valgir moved his hands around her thick waist again and kissed her bare shoulder.

‘Just big blonde ones,’ the sellsword muttered, nibbling at her other ear as his hands slid up her front.

‘Big?’ she paused, making him stop for a moment.

‘Like these,’ he whispered, cupping her ample breasts. Her head fell backward on his shoulder and his lips found hers. Their tongues entwined and he rubbed her nipples hard through the cloth of her blouse.

‘You’re a naughty man,’ the wench sighed, moaning at the end of it as she ground her wide buttocks against him. Valgir was hard as a rock. He could barely keep from thrusting his pelvis against her thick cheeks. He felt her hand reach around between the two of them and begin to rub him through his breeches. Her hand was warm and agile. ‘And a big boy aren’t you?’

Valgir squeezed those heavy breasts and worked his hand under her blouse to touch one in the flesh. It was warm and round and full as it looked. She had large warm nipples and he imagined what they must look like - pink, round and enticing - but had to settle for just a feel in the dark. She was rubbing him vigorously by now and he was starting to move. If she kept this up he’d come in his own undercloth.

He tried a different tack, moving the hand that held her waist down her dress, and pulling it up to stroke those smooth, thick thighs. One of her hands landed on his, but didn’t push it away. She didn’t even push him away when his had found her undercloth and began rubbing her mound through the cloth. She continued to moan, her breathing getting heavier and her hand slacking off his member as she began to lose control.

The rogue found an opening and slipped several fingers between her thigh and the undercloth. Caryth let out a muffled, yelp as his fingers probed through soft thick hairs to find her wet and slick between the legs.

‘Wait,’ she hissed, gripping his wrist, but he began to slide his fingers up and down, locating her crevice and rubbing her clitoris as she gyrated on his hand, slick heat pressing down on his fingers as she tried to push his hand away.

Valgir ached to be inside her, to feel those moist walls engulf him. He wondered if he could convince her to bend over those barrels and let him take her right there. She was ready, she was groaning, she craned her neck and they kissed some more.

He pushed the lass forward over the barrels, fumbling for his pantstrings as he drew her skirts up, catching a glimpse of her broad peach-colored cheeks.

‘Valgir!’ she protested but not yet so loud as to raise the alarm, and she wrestled to free herself of his pressing weight.

He was so close. His big hand closed over her mouth to stifle her squeals of protest and all he needed to do was pull aside that white undercloth and thrust himself into her delicious hairy young cunny. Her big round cheeks quivered in the dim light as she struggled to pull herself away. There was no escape: he had her now.

But suddenly there was a nearby noise; the clunk of wood and a startled cat’s screech and she took the chance to pull away from him.

‘Did you hear that?’ She gasped in a panicked whisper.

‘It was a cat,’ he grunted hopefully as he realized with a disappointed twinge the hinges of a door were creaking. The voices from the tavern suddenly grew louder and then the thunk of the heavy oak hitting the wall.

Caryth bolted. She disappeared around the corner and the last Valgir saw was her silhouette smoothing skirts and tucking in breasts as the wench swayed out of sight. He turned back to the side door that had opened.

‘Throwing up already little brother?’ Galen slurred, staggering out into the alley. ‘Been a while since you’ve had a real drink, eh?’

Valgir had nothing much to say and he was already going limp. Not even a proper goodbye.

‘Aye,’ he answered, ‘It’s been a while.’





4 – Broken Tower



The trek through Lyford Forest to the clearing was barely three miles from the edge of Fallbrook’s fields, but it was off the beaten track and showed few signs that people had passed recently. It was also considerably harder than it would otherwise have been if the midsummer morning hadn’t been so warm and Valgir and Galen had not been so hungover.

The two men they’d found were not so poorly off: a couple of footmen from the esquire’s manor where Galen worked as a smith. One was overweight and short, another tall and too thin, and both looked too young. But both had armor and good swords and more importantly, were trained in how to use them. They’d been promised a share and the landlord had allowed Galen and the two of them to leave for the day to look into the problem of bandits and report back.

It was also, Valgir suspected, because these were the three men their lord would miss the least if they didn’t come back. But a sword was a sword and they had four, and one bow and one axe, for the footmen had brought extra tools just in case. Valgir was dressed to fight. He wore a hard boiled leather cuirass over his linen shirt, steel bracers on his wrists and carried his bastard sword that could be wielded with one or two hands with ease in a sheath at his side. He was lean, quick and powerful when needed.

His half-brother had a shortsword, a light linden shield, an ill-fitting mail coat and a domed iron helm with a nose guard. Working at the castle smithy clearly had its advantages, but the equipment was too heavy for a man unused to wearing it and Valgir wasn’t sure his brother would be much use at all even if he had been trained. Galen was not a fighter, which is why the sellsword had insisted on rounding up at least a couple more men.

Valgir did not fear meeting even a dozen brigands, though he doubted there were that many. Even twice their own number would not want to fight four armed men for fear of losses. Thieving was a business and robbers made their money by going after easier targets. The lowest possible risk for the highest possible return, even those led by a mysterious witch nobody had ever seen. Valgir found his mind drifting as they scanned the clearing. He wondered what this enchantress looked like and if she were comely, lascivious and in need of good deep shagging. He chuckled to himself. If she existed at all she was likely an old hag. Even the fat boy would probably be unwilling to mount her.

‘What are you laughing at?’ Galen asked, slapping his shoulder for attention.

‘Nothing. At least the map was half right.’

‘See? There must be something to it! Who else would know the clearing was here?’

‘Trappers,’ Valgir sniffed drily, looking down and kicking a disused fowl snare. ‘The same hunters who set this, the same ones who helped the mapmaker you met at the fair. Doesn’t mean there’s an abandoned tower in the woods. Who would build one anyway?’

‘Sorcerers need towers,’ Galen pointed out, as if everyone knew that. Apparently he’d remembered the tales they were told as children, but Valgir had always wondered why a wizard needed a tower.

‘Have you ever met one? I haven’t. That’s for children’s tales. Maybe the air higher up is better for their magic, I don’t know, because I’ve never seen a wizard’s tower either. Nobody builds a tower in the middle of nowhere. Towers are built for defence or overwatch. They’re placed on castle walls and mark strategic strongpoints. Nobody just plants one in the woods, where it can’t even look out over the trees in any case.’

‘It’ll be dark soon.’ Mumbled the fatter of the two lads they’d brought and Valgir shot him a mean glance. It was still before midday and they’d only been hiking a couple of hours at best. However, they had slept in and they were moving slowly as last night’s drink wore off. If they did find something another mile into the woods they’d need time to spare to investigate, break for lunch on the salted meat and bread they’d brought along, and then make their way back to the village. They’d planned for a day’s search, not to camp out in the forest. Besides Valgir needed to get back to the tavern and corner that blonde maiden again, though he highly doubted she was still a maiden; in any case, she wouldn’t be when he was done with her if he had his way.

‘Well if the woodsmen saw this then maybe they saw the tower too.’ Galen was holding up the map and turning it around to get his bearings. ‘There, across the clearing on the west side. There’ll be a trail over there somewhere.’

‘Nobody builds a tower in the middle of a wood,’ Valgir sighed. Yet he was sure there was something out there. There were signs woodsmen and hunters had been around – old snares and traps, one rusty arrowhead, carcasses, the occasional dry bootprint. That there were thieves was almost certain, even if the number and fate of their victims had been exaggerated. They had to be hiding somewhere – a cave, or a shack or hovel they’d built or appropriated. Who knew what was standing this far out in the woods where good folk seldom ventured?







Not half an hour later they were standing in front of a tower. It was in a small, overgrown clearing with waist high stone ruins around that suggested it was all that remained of a fort that had once stood there. It was not impressive. It was rounded, made of stone and only about four floors. There were broken and crumbling battlements in a ring around its top, with a gaping hole in the wall that opened the upper north quarter to the elements. It was covered in vines from the forest floor to about halfway up and the lower stones were green with moss and lichen. There was no door in the arched entrance and the arrow slits that dotted its façade were crowded with nests and shrubbery. But it was a tower and in that the map – and Galen – had finally been correct. Valgir was pissed off.

‘See, what did I tell you?’ Galen teased, slapping Valgir’s shoulder again. The rogue hated it when his brother was right.

‘Doesn’t mean anyone lives there,’ he said trying to cover his embarrassment. ‘Hunters probably use it for a place to sleep. Or shit.’

They stepped gingerly into the clearing, avoiding stray roots and tangling vines.

‘I smell wood smoke,’ the skinny lad said from behind them. Valgir drew his sword as they advanced.

There were two or three steps leading up to the arched doorway. Broken planks lay rotting beside the entrance and a large rusted knocker in the shape of a wolf’s head leaned derelict on the stairs.

Inside the tower was nothing but a round chamber, five or six paces wide. Stone stairs spiralled upward to the next level and these too looked crumbling and worn. Nesting blackbirds flitted out into the light as their footsteps disturbed the gloom. Roots reached across the stone floor. There was no sign of habitation, but when Valgir looked back at the slim boy he nodded up at the stairwell, indicating the smell must be coming from up there.

The tower was sturdy and each level had a stone floor. Wood had rotted away years ago. The second floor was as bare as the first and the third was home only to some rats scurrying out of sight. Yet there were broken crates and a couple of empty burlap sacks. These could not have been as ancient as the tower for neither wood nor cloth had been exposed to the elements. The fourth floor, the one with the broken wall, revealed a makeshift mattress and sackcloth blanket, and a wood fire in a brazier that had been extinguished not long before.

‘A lookout spot,’ Galen noted.

The fat boy found a woman’s earring on the mattress and held it up. Fear showed briefly in the faces of the others but Valgir sneered, ‘That doesn’t mean the witch is real. The thieves likely bring captured women back here to have their way with them.’

The thought of it excited the rogue for he’d not had a girl since Port Thale. He imagined the barmaid Caryth; throwing her helplessly down on that mattress and climbing on top of her right there, drawing up those skirts to reveal thick, creamy thighs and a thicker bush, forcing her legs apart to attain that sweet plunder…

‘Valgir?’

His brother’s voice spoiled the daydream. Looking around, he was heartened by the discovery suggesting at least the bandits were real. They had captured crates and barrels and taken the contents and they had taken some jewellery from at least one victim. If he could locate their hoard and chase them off, he really could go back to Fallbrook a hero. He would take that tavern girl and have her properly this time, bend her over those barrels and fill her so full of seed his balls would be empty for a week. He imagined his thick manhood sliding in and out between those pale round cheeks. He was distracted from the fantasy by Galen’s voice again.

‘Over here.’

Valgir looked up to where the stairwell wound into an opening in the roof. He had to shield his eyes as he ascended again into daylight. There was a stool and a few tools for fletching; some arrow shafts and quills on the stone roof. He could see right across the clearing in all directions and over the lower treetops a fair way across the woods. But the after a few hundred paces the view was obscured by taller pines and undulating terrain. He looked in the direction of Fallbrook and could not see the village, though the hills beyond it stood blue in the distance. He sucked in the air, it was nice up here.

Then an arrow flew between them, skittered across the stone roof and clattered against the battlements before falling to the stones. They all dropped low.

‘What was that?’ The Fat boy cried, as another arrow cracked against the outside of the tower and fell away.

A third flew wide and high. Valgir imagined from the frequency there was only one bowman and from the aim, he was not very good. They were hunting arrows, like those scattered on the rooftop that had not been finished. They were probably shot from a hunter’s bow which was probably not the best tool for attacking armed fighting men.

‘You,’ he snapped at the tall boy, ‘Take your bow and stay up here to watch. Everyone else, downstairs with me!’

He ran confidently, not expecting to get hit while he was moving across the field of view, and clambered down the stairs with his sword ready. The chubby lad and Galen followed some distance behind. Valgir bounded out of the tower, rounded it and made his way across the clearing to the west side, where the arrows had flown from. Then he heard a shout of pain behind him.

Turning, he saw Galen was down. He called up to the lad on the tower, ‘Keep an eye out!’ and was happy to see the boy had an arrow notched and was aiming down range.

He went back to where his half-brother had fallen. A boar trap this time. The barbed snare was digging into Galen’s ankle and he was grimacing in pain.

‘I think I twisted it in the fall!’

Valgir felt around the boot and found Galen’s ankle was already swelling.

‘Someone just ran!’ the boy on the tower shouted.

Valgir ran a few steps toward the edge of the clearing and stopped. There was no way he’d catch someone who knew the woods. He paced bitterly back to his brother. He kneeled and took out a knife. It took some time to safely wedge it under the snare, twist and cut, and it still caused Galen another cry of pain. They pulled off his boot to more protests and examined the injury. It was clearly going to be a chore to get him home.

‘I can’t run or fight on this,’ Winced Galen. ‘We’ll have to come back tomorrow.’

‘With more men,’ the fat boy added.

Valgir gritted his teeth. Galen would be unlikely to return. More men meant less share of the booty. If there were as he suspected, just a handful of thieves at most, they wouldn’t have collected much loot. The landlord would claim most of the spoils for himself.

‘Traps everywhere!’ The thin boy had come down from the tower. ‘Why would he let off just three arrows and run?’

Valgir blinked at him incredulously. Wits apparently came sparingly in this town. ‘Because he wanted to lure us in. There aren’t enough of them, so they only need to wound a man then they can get away. They’ve won today’

He was rewarded with silence and that suited him fine.

‘So there aren’t fifty of them?’ The fat boy asked.

‘There are probably no more than a half dozen,’ the rogue responded tiredly. ‘Get Galen to the tower landing and see to that ankle. I’m not done looking.’

They found nothing much else of interest. There was a useable well outside from which they filled their leather flasks and a barred door half hidden behind the vines in at the bottom of the stairwell on the first level. The gate was worn, reddened and old and either locked or rusted shut. There were stairs leading down but nothing but darkness below and it was unlikely to be worth searching. Thieves were superstitious and everyone feared going down into ancient crypts. The brigands had likely never looked down there either. There was nothing to do but help Galen hobble back to Fallbrook and return the next day with more men. Valgir had been hoping to impress the taverner’s daughter, but didn’t expect she’d be too excited by this tale unless he truly spun it. He doubted he could. He decided to take another look upstairs.





5Secret Spoils

The rogue climbed back up the stairwell to the second floor of the tower, pacing the near bare room before ascending to the third. Some of the crates were broken, but the sacks had plenty of grain – stolen property no doubt. But something seemed to stir behind the stacked grain sacks and the sellsword was compelled to look closer. Just as he stepped forward two of the bags tumbled to the floor and a figure darted out from behind them, making for the stairwell on fleet, slipper-clad toes.

The rogue’s hand darted out and grabbed a slender wrist, wheeling the fugitive around to face him and eliciting a sharp, feminine gasp. She was slim, redheaded, no more than twenty summers. Her curls hung in unruly locks about a freckled, oval face with full pink lips. Her eyes flashed a pale blue under long lashes. But aside from being mildly pretty, she was unremarkable: not especially tall, a little underfed, and dressed in a tattered tunic and mismatched leather armor. Her bare legs were paled and toned. A sheathed knife hung from a leather belt – the only thing she apparently had of value for the sheath was ebony, trimmed with gold and the hilt of the dagger was wrapped in fine silk from the east.

‘You don’t look like a witch,’ he snorted. ‘A wench perhaps.’

‘I was just hiding here from the thieves,’ the girl protested.

Valgir knew better. She had to be one of them, armed as she was.

‘How many are there?’

‘I don’t know.’ She said. ‘They brought me here to rape me but when you came they ran away.’

‘And this?’ He yanked the knife from its scabbard to see it was fine steel, probably Rhiennish.

She had no answer.

He squeezed the wrist harder. ‘How many are you?’

‘Seven,’ she winced and he pulled her closer, feeling the pressure in his sack building again.

‘Any other women, a dark woman, a witch?’

‘Just me,’ the girl croaked. ‘Let me go, you can have the knife.’

But she did indeed have something else of value and after days on the road and his failed tryst the night before, Valgir knew just how this waif could pay for his silence.

‘What’s your name?’

‘Ginger,’ she whimpered. It sounded like a nickname for the only redhead in a band of thieves. Her man was probably the leader of the group. He would be stirring the rogue’s porridge tonight.

Valgir shoved the girl back onto the pile of grain sacks and the knife clattered to the floor.

‘No please,’ the lass begged, ‘I’m a virgin…’

That was unlikely at her age and given the company she kept. In any case, his cock was growing hard and his need would not be quenched. He tore at her belt buckle as she tried to stop him.

‘I’m…I’m a married woman,’ she tried, which sounded more likely to him and he pushed her back down by the chest as he unbuckled her belt and streamed it off her. The tunic fell open to reveal small, bare breasts and a ragged undercloth. Hurriedly he turned the helpless wench over and forced her wrists behind her back, using the belt as a strap to tie them fast together.

‘They’ll be back for me’ she sneered, changing tack.

‘Quiet!’ he hissed. ‘Stay there and don’t make a sound or I’ll let the others take you when I’m done.’

That silenced her and she could not go far anyway with three more men outside and her hands bound, so she curled up and watched him balefully as he turned and stalked over to the broken wall and steadied on the crumbled stonework as he leaned out.

‘I need more time to look around,’ Valgir called down to the three below him in the tall grass. ‘It’s getting dark so you lot go ahead and I’ll catch up. You’ll be slower with Galen’s ankle.’

The lads shrugged and hoisted the smith’s assistant to his feet, supporting him as they hobbled off back toward the trail.

Valgir turned back toward the redheaded lass. He wasn’t about to share this treasure with anyone. There was little to stop him now and his cock was pressing painfully against the inside of his leather breeches. She recoiled on the sacks and he approached her again, reaching for her tender young flesh.

‘Tell me your name, lass,’ he insisted.

‘Ginger,’ she growled defiantly.

Valgir roughly grabbed her slender shoulders and spun her over again. ‘What’s your name?’

He smacked her on the rump, a taut, petite yet suitably round peach. The slap was muffled by the linen of her tunic, but she yelped all the same.

‘Tell me!’

‘Flora,’ the wench whimpered as he drew up the shift to expose her small round arse in its white undercloth. ‘You don’t have to do this, I know where the treasure is hidden.’

Valgir had heard all this before, and he knew the only treasure he was interested in plundering. The lass had a lovely little peach, a good fill of flesh despite her size. He slapped it again and watched the pale flesh ripple then turned her over to see her pretty, freckled face, eyes wide and fearful.

‘Stop it, I’ve done nothing,’ she pleaded.

‘You’re an outlaw,’ the rogue grunted dismissively as he started to unwrap her loincloth, her legs rubbing together to stop him. He forced her knees apart and pushed her back down on the sacks as she tried to sit up. As the cloth came off and her legs opened briefly he caught a glimpse of her luscious little lips, trimmed so close they were almost shaved, with only a few wisps of ginger hair dusting the patch.

‘Warrior, you don’t have to…’ but ignoring the wench he hauled her up and threw her over one of the crates, so that she landed prone and bent, her small breasts resting on the wooden slats, her little pale arse pointing up in the air.

Valgir could not hold himself any longer. After the swollen sack he’d received from an unsatisfactory encounter the night before, there was nothing in his world but the pressing need for warm, wet release. Frantically, he unlaced his breeches as the girl struggled on her elbows, hands bound, in a futile attempted to crawl forward and away from him. He yanked down his own undergarment and his hard cock bounced out the swollen hungry tip briefly slapping Flora’s behind as she squirmed.

‘No, please warrior, I know where the gold is.’

‘You don’t have gold,’ he countered as he spat on two digits and fished between the lass’s pale cheeks for her crevice. ‘You rob commoners of grain and goods, but folk like that don’t carry real money.’

‘Please,’ she pleaded as he found her warm lips between kicking thighs and pressed his slick fingers up against her near-bald opening. He nudged her legs apart with a knee and positioned himself between them so the redhead could not close them anymore, but still she resisted, trying to push herself upright on the crate.

He shoved her face down again, this time pinning her back as he slid his fingers up and down the moistening fissure between her legs.

‘They’ll be back,’ she tried again as she whimpered before him, but there was no denying his burning need.

Valgir took his hard cock in hand and guided it to her entrance. Flora squirmed and thrashed but it was no use. He felt her moist petals part as he pushed his cock forward and with a mighty thrust, impaled the petite outlaw lass as she cried out in pain and shame.

Unwilling as she was her cunny was deliciously warm and snug. He could feel her wet warm walls flexing about his shaft as she struggled to escape and he pressed her back harder, holding her in place as his hips began to pump, sliding gently at first on her reluctant slickness. He was grunting, panting heavily as he thrust into the helpless waif bent over the crate beneath him.

This was better than a whore, he mused; better than a lover. Taking some unwilling bitch was just so wrong he got hard every time he thought of it. He watched his thick shaft, roped with swollen angry veins as it plunged between her pale cheeks, her passage reluctantly massaging his length while short whimpering gasps escaped her lips. She wasn’t having as much fun as he was and she wasn’t supposed to. Served the little cunt right for hiding out with thieves. It was the law of the road after all.

His thrusts were becoming faster and he relaxed his hand on her back to grip the girl’s slender hips instead, pulling her back onto his cock as he slammed violently into her. She took the opportunity to try and claw her way forward but he held her fast, his cock almost slipping out of her warm juicy passage as he hammered on into the wench. Beads of sweat dripped from his brow onto her back, splattering the rippling flesh as he pounded mercilessly into her.

He could feel the beginnings of a powerful release. That barmaid had denied him the night before and he’d been thinking about her ever since. He would not be stopped now. His balls seemed to clench in preparation, his shaft painfully swollen and thickening with impending release.

‘Please sir,’ the wench panted looking back over her shoulder with pleading eyes, ‘You mustn’t come in me, I’m…’

‘Quiet,’ he snapped, pushing her shoulders down so her face was pressed against the wooden crate as he fucked her ravenously from behind. He was getting closer now, still watching his cock as it slid in and out of the hapless waif, her arse quivering against his pelvis with every angry thrust.

‘Please stop,’ she whimpered pathetically, ‘Don’t seed me…’

‘You’ll have a little Thrennish bastard by the time I’m done,’ he taunted cruelly as his balls seemed to flex and twitch in the first throes of an orgasm. ‘I’ll breed you better than those outlaws.’

The girl collapsed over the crates, resigned to her ravishing, hopelessly whimpering with each violent pump of the warrior’s hips. He revelled in the comforting sensation of her smooth wet cunny, pulsing and squeezing reluctantly on his shaft and his own growls of passion became louder as the first hot spurts of his seed rushed up his length.

Valgir the Rogue roared triumphantly as his cock finally erupted, a gush of hot slick seed slickening the girl’s slippery passage around his throbbing manhood. He pounded into her with all his might as his semen gushed forth, flooding the unwilling outlaw wench with his fiery, rapacious passion. Her fists clenched and she groaned in frustration and shame as he pumped the last of his villainous discharge deep into her reluctant womb, splashing the wench’s insides with one last mighty spurt.

And as he slowed, fire thundering in his ears, he was aware his passion had been spent and there was little sound other than the first calls of a dusk wren somewhere in the trees and the heavy, exhausted panting of the young woman he’d just ravished.

He pulled out of her, a slick glob of his semen trickling out of her almost bare fissure and splattering the stone floor. He stepped back, pulled up his breeches and began to lace them, watching Flora as she composed what little was left of herself. He could barely recall being so satisfied.

‘You’re lucky I didn’t turn you over to the watch,’ Valgir sneered, fishing for the expensive-looking dagger and its scabbard that had dropped to the floor while he’d been raping her. ‘They’d have bred you bloody, all of them, over and over. At least this way you’ll know your cur’s father.’

He sheathed the dagger and held it between his teeth while he fished in his small leather purse with a couple of fingers. The redheaded waif pulled her linen tunic around her lithe pale breasts for modesty. He held up a copper coin and caught her eyes, teary and full of rage.

‘She’ll find you,’ the outlaw wench spat.

The Thrennlander looked the girl up and down, defiled in tattered rags and registered her hate. There was no witch. It was a story to scare the locals and it was all this little cunt had.

‘Tell the others not to come back here,’ he said and tossed her the coin. Despite her indignation, the little bitch caught it deftly. Valgir turned back toward the stairs, slipping the sheathed dagger into his boot.





6 – Dark Booty



That night at the tavern Caryth was cold to the sellsword, much colder than she’d been the night before. He talked to her a little but her replies were short and curt and so he ordered his beer and left it at that. He got more smiles from the almond-eyed brunette his brother had spoke of and who was working that night as well.

The following day’s search turned up nothing. It had been bright and warm, with only a few clouds that dusted the sky high above. Valgir and his half-brother had wisely eased up on the drinking the night before but in the morning Galen protested his ankle was still too swollen to walk, so Valgir had gone with a dozen of the landlord’s men and searched the tower top to bottom. They found a woman’s underclothes beneath the mattress but nothing else upstairs. The unfinished arrows and other equipment had been removed in the night.

They’d jimmied open the gate under the stairwell and made their way down into the cellars. The chambers beneath were dark and empty, except for skittering vermin and a handful of bats. It looked to have been some manner of gaol, with six small cells arranged around a circular main room. The cells were all open, locks long since rusted away and while the main room was the stone base of the tower, the cells were cut out of the earth around it, and were overgrown with roots, and caved in with dirt in some places. There was an old altar in the middle that showed no signs of use. The thieves had clearly not been down there.


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