Excerpt from Savage Surrender
Lesand had told Rianna that the soldiers escorting the prisoner were members of Lord Sarin’s personal guard. They were camped in a clearing a short walk from the rest of the caravan. Rianna cautiously approached the camp site, taking advantage of the shelter provided by the trees and bushes. She stopped behind a leafy bush covered in glossy green leaves and trumpet shaped pink flowers, and peered surreptitiously into the clearing.
The door of the prisoner’s cage was wide open and the foul-smelling straw was being raked out to be burnt. But where was the captive? She looked around. There were a number of soldiers waist deep in the lake laughing and splashing each other, while two soldiers stood apart from the others, in slightly deeper water, each holding the end of a heavy chain. A head broke the smooth surface of the water between them. The prisoner stood up, water streaming from his body, and shook his head, causing his long hair to flap wetly around his face.
Rianna could hardly believe her eyes. She had expected a pathetic malnourished creature, not this magnificent male. He was taller, far taller than any man of Harn, and broad-shouldered, with the finely-honed physique of a warrior. Every inch of his golden-skinned body was covered by hard muscle. He was strikingly handsome, with the features of a true nobleman; his nose straight, flaring slightly at the nostrils, his mouth wide and full-lipped. She wasn’t close enough to make out the colour of his eyes, but they were an attractive almond shape, which added to the piquancy of his good look. His long hair was at present darkened by the water, but she guessed when dry it would be a pale golden blonde.
Impatiently the two soldiers tugged at the captive’s chains, which were attached to heavy manacles on his wrists. It was clear the prisoner’s ablutions were at an end. He waded from the lake, following the soldiers towards the bank.
As the prisoner slowly emerged from the water, a sudden heat scorched Rianna’s cheeks. His escorts wore black woollen breeches, now dripping wet, but the captive was totally naked. She had never seen an unclothed man before, and she could not tear her gaze from his superb body. The rippling muscles of his chest were covered by a sprinkling of golden hair, descending like an arrow towards his flat stomach, and leading her eyes towards his groin. The hair grew much thicker around his male parts, placing emphasis on the loose sac of flesh fronted by a thick phallus, the skin of which was a few shades darker than his body.
She watched his limp manhood sway enticingly as he strode forward, and her knees began to feel weak. Forcing her gaze away from his male organs, she re-examined the rest of his body. Droplets of water lay on his chest, gleaming damply in the late afternoon sunshine. There were a number of large bruises marring his smooth flesh, and two half-healed wounds, both red and inflamed. One cut deeply across his upper chest and shoulder, the other extended from his groin to his lower thigh. If left unattended, Rianna feared they would putrefy and spread poison through his body. She decided to ask the Chancellor for permission to tend the captive’s wounds. The Chancellor would surely agree, as he wanted this man alive and fit enough to face Lord Sarin’s punishment.
The soldiers escorting the captive found amusement in tugging roughly on his chains. Once, he stumbled and almost fell, but regained his balance, moving with far more grace and dignity than the soldiers, whose sodden breeches clung unflatteringly to their scrawny legs. The prisoner was led toward two trees placed about ten paces apart, and stationed between them. The soldiers attached the chains leading from his wrist manacles to the trees at about shoulder height and pulled them tight. The captive’s arms were jerked apart, allowing him to move no more than a pace forward or backwards.
Leaving the prisoner, the soldiers moved away to dry themselves and dress. Soon the sun would set. It was becoming steadily cooler as the afternoon heat diminished. A light breeze sprung up, wafting lazily through the trees to brush the captive’s damp flesh. He shivered slightly, but there was no sign of discomfort or concern on his face, his expression calm and aloof.
The other soldiers moved from the water. As they dressed, two of their companions, who’d not bothered to bathe, approached the captive. They began taunting him, but he ignored their shouts and raucous laughter, staring stoically ahead.
Frustrated by his lack of response, the soldiers began to poke and prod the prisoner.
One jabbed his stomach, while the other tugged his pubic hair. At last the prisoner reacted, and snarling angrily, he leapt at them. His chains prevented him from touching them, but they still jumped fearfully back, far out of his reach. They started at him nervously as he strained against his constricting chains. Even in his fury he was beautiful, thought Rianna. Each twist and turn emphasised the perfect lines of his muscles, the magnificence of his male physique.