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The Last Princess of Lorrea Ch. 10

Two days had passed since Caspian set out in the middle of the night to secure his kingdom. During those days, Elena spent most of her time planning their wedding and exploring the castle and it's grounds. She ventured out and about without fear of running into Caspian, as Henry had explained in his letter that he was no longer allowed to reside within the castle walls without direct invitation from Henry or herself.

Elena tried to keep the wedding on a small scale, but it seemed that the staff in charge of the event would hear nothing of it, everything had to be grand and over the top. Even her wedding gown, the part that she thought that she'd have the most input, was quickly becoming the most extravagant dress she'd ever worn. Weighed down by layers upon layers of the finest hand woven lace and confined tightly within the whale-bone corset, Elena felt quite claustrophobic.

One evening, Elena was sitting at the window of her bedroom, reading a book of poetry that she found on one of the shelves in Henry's study. After finishing a very complex verse, she looked out the window, pondering it's meaning. However, before long her thoughts drifted elsewhere, to Henry and his books. Elena wondered if he had read the book of poetry clutched in her hands, or was it merely an act, to impress those who by some chance read the spine while standing in Henry's study.

Elena sighed, the uncertainty of her pending marriage weighing deeply on her mind. She had barely eaten in the last few days, a fact that the seamstress who was making her wedding dress, had chalked up to wedding nerves. Along with the loss of appetite, there was the lack of sleep- Elena hadn't slept well since the last time she was in Henry's arms. Such conflicting emotions were driving her to feel extremely jumpy and on edge, and when Elena saw shifting, dark shadows in the castle grounds, she thought at first it was just her overactive imagination.

However, as she squinted and focused more on the dark shapes, she realised that they were actually the figures of two tall men. Elena followed their progress from her window high above them, until they came to an abrupt halt before the flickering flames of a wall mounted torch.

One of the men removed his cloak, revealing him to be one of Henry's soldiers -the one with the scar on his face. Elena's stomach clenched as it always did when she saw him, the captain who tried to choke her. The other figure, taller than the soldier, remained hidden, as he drew out from within the folds of his cloak a leather pouch and handed it to the captain. Elena watched as the captain emptied the pouch into his hand, revealing numerous golden coins that glittered in the flickering torchlight. He returned the money to the pouch quickly and tucked it safely into the folds of his clothing before nodding curtly to the taller figure. He walked away, the other man stood as still as a statue, watching his quick departure. Elena sat on the window's edge, her skin prickling uncomfortably for reasons she could not fathom, as she stared out at the hooded figure below. The tall man lifted his gaze, and it seemed to Elena that he was looking directly at her. Even though she couldn't see his face, she felt a shiver go down her spine as he continued to stare in her direction.

A sudden flash of lightning, illuminated the castle grounds and threw the man's face into sharp relief. Elena gasped as Caspian's cruel features were revealed briefly, before they were swallowed by the previous darkness of the night.

The book Elena was holding clattered to the floor, her shaking hands grasped the sharps edges of the window as she peered out into the night, her hair billowing around her. Elena searched the grounds quickly, her heart pounding painfully against her chest, but she couldn't find Caspian, hooded or otherwise, anywhere below.

Elena closed her eyes as she leaned against the cool stone wall and tried to calm herself. Maybe it wasn't Caspian, she told herself. Maybe her mind was playing tricks on her- after all, it was very late and she was under an unusual amount of emotional stress.

Elena tried in vain to dismiss what she saw, but there was no way around it. Lord Caspian, was standing just moments ago, down in the castle grounds, staring at her. Henry had promised her in his letter, that Caspian and his infatuation had been dealt with in a proper manner and Elena could rest easily, for he was no longer allowed within the grounds without their permission. Yet there he stood, defiantly, within the castle grounds.

Her heart pounding, Elena started to pace before the fireplace, trying to gather her thoughts- but it felt as though her mind was one large sieve- her thoughts slipping right through even though she tried desperately to hold them together.

A knock on the door broke into Elena's reverie. It was around the usual time when one of Henry's men would inform her that the guards were changing, that a fresh eyed soldier would be shortly taking up the post for the remainder of the evening. She walked over to the door and opened it, thinking to alert the soldier on the other side of the of the infamous trespasser. When she did open the door however, she hastily stifled a gasp, for the soldier that stood before her was the same scar-faced man who just minutes earlier had been conversing with Caspian.

"Good evening Princess," he said silkily, his casual manner causing her hair to stand on end.

"Good - Good evening Captain," she stammered, gripping the door handle tightly for support.

"Is everything alright Princess? You seem a little pale." he said, his bright eyes sweeping her enticing figure.

"No... I mean yes, all is well. Are you to be my guard this evening?" she asked, hoping that he would contradict her.

"In a way Princess," he said with a slight chuckle. Elena could swear that she heard the slight jingling of coins as he laughed, but he quickly adopted a somber appearance, quelling the laughter that brought on the tinkling of coins within his cloak. "King Henry sent word, Princess, that you are to join him at once at the Castle of Grayveren."

Elena raised her eyebrows in surprise and held out her hand, her palm open. The captain looked from her face to her hand and back again, a confused look on his face.

"Well?" Elena asked, her hand still outstretched.

"I beg your pardon Princess, but I don't understand."

"Where is the letter? I want to read these directives myself," she said, injecting a little haughtiness into her tone for good measure.

"The King sent word by way of rider, there was no letter," he said, avoiding her gaze by feigning a respectful bow.

"I'm sorry Captain, I mean no disrespect, but I question such a directive when in fact I have received contrary instructions from the King himself about leaving the protection of this castle," Elena said, folding her arms over her chest.

A fleeting look of annoyance showed on the captain's face, however as quickly as it appeared it was gone. He stepped forward causing Elena to take a step back. "I'm sorry Princess, but I must insist. I have my orders and disobeying a direct order from the King would mean my certain death."

Elena noticed his hand travel to the sword strapped to his belt. She was sure that it was not meant to be a threat and he may not have even been aware that he had even done it, but Elena's eyes noticed the movement nonetheless and it was clear that he was not going to take 'no' for an answer.

"Alright Captain, I'll accompany you to the Castle of Grayveren, per the King's request. However you must permit me a few minutes to prepare myself for the journey."

The captain frowned but shrugged his shoulders, as long as she was cooperating- what did a few extra minutes mean? "I'll be right outside Princess. Please be ready in five minutes," he said, stepping back into the hall, allowing her to close the heavy door.

Immediately, Elena's mind went into a full blown panic. All her instincts were screaming at her that something was not right, that leaving with this man was dangerous and smelled of a trap. Henry's words echoed in her mind, that she was safer in the castle than anywhere else - he said explicitly that his journey was not safe.

She looked around the room again, thinking that maybe Henry had left a sword or something that could help her, however the only thing she saw was that sculpture of the archer. That was no match against a professional soldier wielding a sword.

A sharp knock on the door. "Princess," the captain's muffled voice called through the oak. "Is everything alright? Are you ready to leave?"

"Just a minute Captain," Elena called back, as she hurried to the closet and pulled on one of Henry's travelling cloaks, the black material was heavy, with a warm lining and a fur-lined hood. She wished that she had more practical footwear, but all she had were short leather boots, designed for fashion and not for comfort.

"Princess," he called through the door. "I must insist that we depart at once, my orders are considered quite urgent!"

"Alright Captain, I'm coming, please have patience" she said, as she pulled the door open. He stood back, allowing her to walk in front of him, his hand on his hilt again.

They walked at a brisk pace, their footsteps echoing loudly on the flagstone. Elena looked around, noticing the conspicuous lack of servants - she had hoped to encounter someone, anyone, that could help her. However, the castle was eerily empty - the only person who would realise that she had gone would be Catherine, when she came to help her prepare in the morning, and by then it would be too late - she would be long gone.

"Over here Princess," the captain directed her to a single horse, which was pawing the ground nervously, it's breath billowing out in steamy clouds against the cold night.

Elena stopped short. "Captain," she said haughtily. "Where is my steed? Where is the rest of the guard?" she asked, looking around.

"They left earlier to secure the road ahead Princess," he explained as he tightened the straps on the saddle. "It is safest if you ride with me."

Elena felt herself being cornered, escape plans that she envisioned dashed by the fact the she would not be in control of her own horse.

"I'm sorry Captain, but it is improper for me to ride with you. I am the king's fiancée and I am certain he would not allow this," she said, folding her arms over her chest.

"The King's order is to bring you to his side, no matter what," he said, a slight edge in his tone as he stepped towards her. "I interpret riding with me as such."

Elena couldn't see any point in further arguing with him, as she needed him to believe that she was coming willingly and that she didn't suspect him of any wrongdoing. She stepped towards the large horse and flinched as she felt the captain place his rough hands on her hip. "I'm just going to lift you Princess, do not worry," he said, as he lifted her easily and sat her side-saddle on the horse. He placed his foot in the stirrup and heaved his other foot over the horse, settling himself behind her on the saddle.

Elena blushed slightly as she felt him pressed so closely against her, his sweaty scent slightly nauseating. She repressed a shudder as he looped an arm around her waist to hold her in place as he directed the horse towards the castle gate with his other hand holding the reins.

"Ready Princess?" he asked from behind her.

"Yes," she replied, her voice strained and tense.

The captain nudged the horse sharply with his heels, causing the horse to whinny and take off like a lightning bolt, Elena gripping the captain's arm in sheer terror. It was one thing to ride at breakneck speed on a horse- she was no stranger to that, but it was another matter entirely to ride at such speeds on a muddy path at night, while sitting side-saddle!

An hour later the captain had slowed his horse to a steady canter, which in turn allowed Elena's heartbeat to slow too. They were traveling through much denser forest, ducking occasionally as a low hanging branch whipped over their heads. Elena was becoming significantly more nervous, traveling in the darkness of night with the captain as her only company.

"Captain, where are the rest of the men? It doesn't seem safe to travel like this - I'm sure the King would agree with me," Elena said.

Elena felt the captain's arm tighten around her waist, causing her heartbeat to quicken.

"Do not worry Princess, as I said, the men are up ahead, securing our path. Try to relax, maybe even try to get some sleep? It is a long journey."

Now that the horse had slowed, she was able to think clearly - the only thoughts racing through her mind earlier were that they were both going to be knocked off the horse by a branch or that the horse would stumble by putting it's hoof in a rabbit hole - at the time she was just hoping not to be killed.

Now as she leaned back against the captain, feigning sleep, her mind was wide awake and buzzing. It had become obvious to her that he was not following any orders from Henry. They were not on one of the main paths, Elena had no idea where they were - the cloudy night obscuring the stars so that even if she wanted, she couldn't have used them to navigate. She needed to get away, to escape somehow, but she couldn't come up with a plan, running away was not an option. Elena's thoughts were interrupted when she noticed that the captain's hand that was previously on her hip was ever so slowly sliding up her stomach. Still feigning sleep, she hoped that he was just adjusting his grip or shifting slightly, but as his thumb rubbed the underside of her breast she started to panic. The captains breathing became more audible as his hand moved upward to cup her breast gently. Elena couldn't take it anymore, her heart was beating so hard she was surprised that he didn't feel it. She jerked suddenly, falling sideways, causing the captain to use both of his hands to steady her and prevent her from falling off the horse. "Whoa there, easy Princess," he said, pulling her back into position, holding her tightly against him again.

"I must have fallen asleep Captain. Please, we must stop - it is too dangerous to ride like this," she pleaded.

"I am a trained soldier Princess and have fought in many battles, this does not rank as a dangerous activity in my eyes, believe me."

As Elena felt his arm pull her tighter against him, an idea struck her. "Captain, please, we must stop - I need to relieve myself" she said, blushing slightly even though he couldn't see her face.

"We're almost there, Princess, just wait a little longer."

"I'm sorry Captain but I must insist - the combination of the horse's movements and your strong arm pressing against my stomach is more than I can stand- Please, I beg of you to stop!" Elena pleaded, her hand clutching his thigh in desperation for good measure.

The captain groaned loudly and pulled hard on the horse's reins. "Alright, but be quick about it - it's not wise to dismount a horse in the forest at night" he said, jumping down from the horse. He held out his hand, helping the princess to slide off the horse. Elena didn't know if it was on purpose, but the captain had not stepped back when he helped her off the horse, so that when she did dismount, she had to slide down against him, practically rubbing her whole front against his, before her feet reached the floor.

"I beg your pardon Captain, but I can't do this with you standing over me like this," Elena said, crossing her arms over her chest.

"I've seen worse things Princess. Besides, my orders are not to leave your side."

"Well could you at least walk a few meters in front of me and turn around? I'll just be on the other side of the horse, alright?"

"Fine, just hurry. He will begin to wonder where we are," the captain mumbled before walking forwards and turning around.

Elena walked quickly around the other side of the horse. "When you say 'he' you mean the King, yes?" she asked, running her hands over the horse's neck to calm it's twitching, it was imperative that the horse not alert the captain to her next move.

"Umm, yes of course, the King," responded the captain.

Elena, praying with every fiber of her being not to upset the horse or make too much noise, placed her foot in the stirrup and gracefully and silently heaved herself onto the saddle. The horse tossed it's head a little, but was mercifully quiet. Elena leaned down and found what she was searching for. She upended the wineskin which had been attached to the horse's saddle, allowing the liquid to spill a little on the forest floor, the accompanying splashing sound adding the finishing touch.

"Just a few more moments Captain and I'll be finished," she said softly, as she placed the wineskin back in place and grasped the leather reins in her hands, praying for the courage to continue. She chanced a look over at the captain, who stood irresolute with his back turned, not aware at all that Elena now sat astride his horse.

Just as the captain started to turn around, Elena kicked the horse hard, crying loudly to the horse and to the night at large "Hya! Onward!" before clinging on for dear life as the muscular warhorse broke into a furious gallop that nearly unseated her.

Elena chanced a look back and saw the captain running after her, which proved absolutely futile. He was quickly swallowed by the distance and trees she put between them. Exhilarated by her successful escape, Elena urged the horse on, bending low as lethal branches flew over her head.

Soon Elena came to realise her predicament. She had escaped, but she was utterly lost- she had no idea which forest she was in and the sky was overcast so celestial navigation was out of the question. The advantage of the horse was that she was able to put a good distance between herself and the captain, but the horse was also easy to track- a long trail of broken branches and muddy hoofprints gouged into the earth.

Elena glanced up at the trees. Her old custom of tree dwelling wouldn't help her - the branches were too bare and the trunks too wet to scale. Truthfully, she couldn't bare to give up the companionship of the horse. She had spent so much time by herself in the forest of Lorrea that she couldn't bear to force such solitude on herself once more. And then it hit her.

A branch, square in the chest.

Elena had been so preoccupied with the tree crowns that she failed to notice the thick branch that her horse had ducked under. It knocked her clean off the horse, which continued it's frenzied galloping, disappearing completely from sight. Elena crashed to the ground, rolling countless times before coming to a stop, her cloak covered in mud.

Gasping, Elena pushed herself up on her hands and knees. She could barely breathe, she was completely winded. Eyes tearing in pain, she forced herself to stand up and start walking. Elena calculated that she had at least a twenty minute head start, but as soon as the captain would notice her footprints in addition to the horse hoofs, he would pick up the pace despite being weighed down by his armour. Elena started to run, but quickly slowed to a walk as her left side seared in pain with every laboured breath she took. She suspected that she may have broken a rib- if she was lucky it may only be a nasty bruise, but nonetheless it was an enormous impediment.

She wished that she could howl at the injustice of it all, but not only could she not draw a deep breath, any noise may even alert the captain - or anything or anyone else lurking in the forest. She shivered at that thought, realising how utterly defenseless she was. Resigned to her situation, she trudged on, slipping and sliding in the mud. After an hour of walking, a light rain started to fall, which in turn proceeded to develop into torrential downpour. Henry's travel cloak became waterlogged, slowing Elena's progress. She made the quick decision to discard the cloak and set out, battling the elements in her thin dress, but at least a few pounds lighter.
As the night wore on, she began to hear the jingle of chains. Was she imagining the captain's chainmail behind her or was it just her imagination? Elena looked over her shoulder when she thought that she heard it, but saw nothing.

Near dawn, she felt the faintest glimmer of hope, as she saw ahead of her a break in the tree-line. As she reached it, she saw a long grassy slope leading to an ancient looking castle. Elena didn't know who the castle belonged to, but she was sure that she was still on Kravaolian land so whoever was in residence must be loyal to Henry. Just as she started forwards she heard an unmistakable cough from behind her. She whipped her head around and saw to her horror, the captain, advancing on her with a murderous look in his eyes. Elena's only hope was that the captain was sensible enough that he wouldn't try and kill her within view of another nobleman's castle. She knew there was no chance of her outrunning him, especially since running was too painful for her, but she stumbled backwards nonetheless, onto the vast grassy expanse, the early morning sun bathing her in light.

Apparently she was wrong. The captain lunged for her, grabbing her by her throat, his crushing grip causing Elena to gasp for air as her hands ineffectually scrabbled against his, trying to free herself.

"You filthy whore!" the captain roared, sending some birds flying out of a nearby tree in fright. "How dare you steal my horse!?"

"P- p-please... Please..." Elena croaked, trying to prise his grip from her throat.

The captain released his hold suddenly. Elena straightened up, gasping, her hands massaging her throat. Her reprieve was only momentary though, as the captain backhanded her so hard that he knocked her off her feet. Elena cried out in pain, but even with tears streaming her eyes, she scrambled back to her feet, refusing to let him get the better of her.

His nostrils flaring at her impudence, he raised his hand high and slapped her so hard, that when she hit the ground again, she literally saw stars. This time, Elena remained where she fell, the scent of grass filling her nostrils, her cheek burning with his handprint. Her hands gripped the wet grass, her body bracing against the captain's next blow as his shadow loomed over her. He pulled her up by her hair, causing her to cry out in pain as she got quickly to her feet in order to lessen the pressure. The captain ruthlessly pulled her head back, his foul smell invading Elena's nose as his scarred face loomed over hers.

"You're lucky he wants you alive Princess," he hissed through bared teeth. "Otherwise i'd enjoy snapping your pretty little neck right here, right now."

The captain let go of her hair and shoved her roughly forwards. "Move," he spat, pointing up at the castle with his sword.

Elena paled. Apparently the castle ahead was their destination and not her salvation.

They made their way down the wet grassy slope, slipping and sliding as they went. On the few occasions that Elena slipped without regaining her balance, the captain would drag her along for a few meters by her hair until she was able to scramble back to her feet. No amount of pleading or crying softened his grip, his hatred towards her obviously running very deep.

As they neared the gateway the captain pulled her to an abrupt stop. He pulled out from within the folds of his wet cloak a dirty looking strip of fabric and brought his hands up to Elena's face. She flinched as he touched her, but held her ground. The captain wrapped the foul fabric around her eyes, effectively blinding her. He turned her around and wrapped a second strip around her wrists, tying them together behind her back. When finished, he grabbed her by the back of her neck and roughly pushed her forwards.


Elena twisted her head, but was unable to see anything around her. The voice sounded young yet authoritative. She didn't recognise it.

"I'm Captain Damian - your Lord is expecting me, that is to say, he's expecting US," he said, thrusting Elena forwards in emphasis.

"Yes Captain, you may proceed," said the young voice.

"Move," growled the captain in Elena's ear.

Elena stumbled forwards, walking hesitantly, allowing the pressure the captain exerted on her neck to steer her in the right direction. From what Elena could tell, they were walking across a room with very high ceilings, as their footsteps echoed loudly when they walked.

Suddenly Elena tripped forwards, her foot bumping into a hard object. She cried out as she fell against something hard, which Elena realised were steps as they made contact with her already battered body.

Laughter met her ears. "You really should watch where you're going," the captain said, pulling her to her feet.

"Then take off this wretched blindfold so I can see where I'm going!" she said, twisting her face in the direction of his laughter.

"My instructions are to keep you in the dark," he said as he steered her up a winding staircase.

Elena bit her lip. She had hoped that it had been the captain's idea. Such meticulous planning and attention to details sent chills down her spine. Keeping her in the dark meant that she didn't know which way was the exit or the layout of any of the other rooms in the castle. They had been walking for at least five minutes and she had already forgotten the few directions she had tried to remember.

"And whose instructions are you following exactly? Obviously not King Henry's - who by the way, will have your head for this, i'm sure you realise that, no?" she snapped.

"Never you mind, you'll find out soon enough" he said, pushing her along a straight corridor.

Elena stopped abruptly, twisting around to the captain.

"Keep moving," he growled.

"Let me say just one thing Captain," she said, drawing herself up and standing straight-backed and proud. "This is your last chance. If you let me go I'll ask the king for clemency in your case, you will not be treated as an outcast, I promise. Just let me go."

Elena held her breath as the air surrounding her stilled. She couldn't tell if he was considering her offer or if he was simply scratching his head.

"Please Captain," she said, her voice cracking slightly in desperation. "Don't do this."

"You may be true to your word Princess," the captain said slowly. "However, I've known King Henry for a very long time, this is not something he'd be prepared to overlook. I knew that when I took this on. Move."

Elena felt his callused hand tighten it's grip on the back of her neck. "Now, do as I say and MOVE!"

Elena stumbled forwards, shifting her concentration to the ties binding her wrists, but there wasn't much room to move them, let alone maneuver them.

"This way," grunted the captain, steering her to her left. "Stop," he said, holding Elena by her neck.

"End of the road Princess," he cooed, pulling off the blindfold.

Elena blinked as a pair of dark, oak doors came into focus in front of her. The captain knocked three times on the door with one hand while the other grasped Elena's upper arm. "Enter," called a voice from beyond the doors.

The captain pushed open the doors and marched Elena inside the room. Golden light danced across the walls from a roaring fireplace, lighting up the bookshelves and casting eerie shadows about the numerous animal heads mounted along the walls.

A single solitary figure was standing in front of the fire, his hands clasped behind his muscular back. As he turned to face them, his cold blue eyes pierced her terrified eyes- Elena's heart leapt into her throat. She tried to back away but only encountered the solid mass of the captain, who chuckled and pushed her forwards. Losing her balance, she fell to the stone floor, landing on her already bruised hip, causing her to grunt in pain.

"So nice of you to join me, Princess," said Caspian, a triumphant smile playing across his lips.

Elena got gingerly to her feet, squaring her shoulders as much as her binds allowed.

"Please stop pretending, Lord Caspian, that I am here willingly. We both know that the Captain here kidnapped me, so you can dispense with the false pleasantries," she said, hoping that her voice did not sound as scared as she felt.

Caspian raised his long, thin fingers to his chin and rubbed it as he serveiled Elena with amusement.

"You may go now Captain, I no longer require your services," Caspian said, his eyes still locked onto Elena's.

"I'm sorry my Lord, but there is still the issue of payment," answered the captain, pulling Elena's trembling form back against him.

"What nonsense is this? You were paid in full," Caspian spat.

"Things have change, my Lord. You see, when we made our escape, the Princess here thought it a smart idea to commandeer my horse. In her haste to escape me, she fell from the horse and it disappeared."


"So, she owes me a war-horse. As I don't see a purse on her body, and since she is now under your care, it is you, My lord, that owes me a horse."

"Is that so?" Caspian asked, drawing closer, dislike etched into the lines of his face.

"Yes," said the captain, as he casually wrapped his fingers around Elena's throat in a non-too subtle threat.

"Fine," said Caspian, his tone suddenly soft and calm. Elena knew that tone, she sensed something was seriously wrong.

"Captain..." she began to say, before he silenced her with a little pressure from his fingers against her windpipe.

"Let me see," murmured Caspian, searching the folds of his cloak, drawing out a small leather pouch. "Here," he tossed the pouch to the captain, who released his hold on Elena to catch it. The captain opened the pouch and thrust his hand greedily into it's depths.

"Oh, Captain, one more thing," Caspian said in that same soft tone, plunging his hand back into his cloak and drawing out a short silver dagger.

"NO!" Elena screamed.

The captain didn't stand a chance- his one hand holding the pouch as the other drew out a gold coin, he could do nothing to stop the flight of the dagger. The dagger Caspian hurled missed Elena by mere inches, piercing the captain's throat, his eyes bulging as his hand dropped the pouch, it's golden contents spilling out over the floor and rolling in all directions. He grasped the dagger, pulling it from his throat with a sickening sound, before letting it fall with a clatter to the floor. Dark blood trickled out the side of his mouth and throat, a stark contrast to the increasing paleness of his face. The captain stumbled forwards, grabbing Elena for support as the life drained from him before her very eyes.

The captain's added weight was too much for Elena, who inevitably fell backwards. With the captain still clinging to her dress, he fell like a dead weight upon her and with her hands bound behind her, she had no way of pushing him her off her, so she lay there whimpering, feeling the captain's warm blood dampening her dress.

A faint gurgling sound issued from the captain's mouth - it seemed that he was trying to say something. Elena looked down, catching the terrified eye of the stricken man.

"I regret..." he choked, before lapsing into a dead silence, his body stilling against hers.

Elena stared transfixed, silent tears streaming down her cheeks, unable to look away from the captain's vacant gaze.

"Guards!" Caspian called.

Two soldiers came into the room and looked to their lord for instruction. "Take him away," he said with a wave of his hand. The two men lifted the body of the captain off Elena and dragged him out of the room, closing the door behind them.

Caspian advanced slowly on Elena, pausing a moment before walking around her supine figure. Trembling slightly, Elena tried to get to her feet under Caspian's predatory gaze.

"Did I say you could rise?" Caspian said slowly, placing his boot on her shoulder and pushing her back down.

Colour rose instantly to Elena's face and neck. She held Caspian's icy gaze a moment, before trying to stand once again.

The corner of Caspian's mouth twitched into a smile, which vanished just as quickly. It was as if he had expected her to do exactly what she had done.

He walked to her and pulled her roughly to her feet. "Oh, how I'll enjoy breaking you Princess," he hissed in her ear, causing a shiver to run down her spine. "My own little stallion to break and then ride... OVER and OVER again" he whispered, running a hand over her stomach which was wet and sticky with the captain's blood.

Elena bit her lip, choosing to remain silent in the face of his taunting.

Caspian clicked his tongue softly. "Look at the state of you Princess, covered in mud and blood," he said, wiping his hand on the sleeve of her dress, leaving behind a bloody smear. "I think," he continued, "that before we take this any further, you require some form of cleansing."

"Guards!" he called again, summoning in two different men. "Take the Princess down to Brandon, tell him that he is to see to her cleanliness and wardrobe. When he is finished, I want her returned, promptly. Oh, and under no circumstances is she to leave your sight, understood?" he asked.

"Yes My Lord," the men chimed in unison.

"Good," Caspian said, clapping his hands together.

The men grabbed Elena by her arms, each of them holding one arm and pushed her forwards.

"Wait!" called Caspian.

The guards turned Elena around, facing Caspian, who had walked to his mahogany desk and began rummaging in the drawers. He pulled out a pair of manacles, connected by an iron chain. He walked forwards and picked up the bloody dagger that lay on the floor between them. Caspian reached behind Elena and held the cloth that bound her wrists, steadying it before slicing clean through it with the dagger. As soon as Elena's hand were free, she struggled to pull her arms free of the soldiers, but their grip was unrelenting.

"To the front," he ordered the men, indicating to her hands with the bloody dagger.

The men pulled her arms in front of her, despite her feeble attempts to stop them. Caspian wrapped a manacle around each wrist and secured them in place.

"There now, much better. We can't have the Princess trussed up like some animal, can we?" he laughed, her look of indignation causing him to laugh even harder.

"You're the only animal here," Elena spat, pulling her wrists from his grasp.

Caspian surveilled her silently for a moment. Elena expected him to reply with his fists, but he simply ran his hand through his hair instead.

"As you can see men, she has something of a mouth on her. If she becomes particularly mouthy, you have my permission to gag her," he said, dismissing them with a wave of his hand.

Fuming, Elena opened her mouth to reply but was distracted on the account of being shoved roughly out the door and into the adjacent hallway.


The following hour was nothing short of mortifying. At least when Henry had first captured her, he had sent her to a reputable bath house where a kind woman had taken care of her. Caspian's men marched her down numerous hallways and staircases before one of the soldiers summoned a bespectacled middle-aged man from a hidden room, who joined them, bringing their little party to four participants. They continued down a few more hallways before exiting into a small courtyard, bare of anything except a large water trough it's center.

The soldiers, taking instruction from the older man, dumped her unceremoniously into the water. As she emerged spluttering from the freezing water, one of the soldiers grabbed the chain of her manacles and attached it to a protruding hook, essentially trapping her within the water trough. The man withdrew a small knife and despite Elena's pleading, sliced through her clothing until they floated in the water around her , partially obscuring her nudity. She soon learned to obey the man, as each time Elena attempted to resist him, he would dunk her under the freezing water and hold her there until she stopped fighting him.

Elena suffered silently through the humiliation of the man washing her from head to toe, the only comfort were her tears, blissfully warm against her freezing cheeks.

Elena hadn't noticed one of the soldiers leaving, but she noticed him returning with a dress and towel. When the man dunked her for the final time, he indicated to the soldier that he unhook the chain and pull her from the trough.

Her teeth chattering, Elena could barely stand as the man added another humiliation to his repertoire- he took the towel and started to dry her roughly, ignoring her pleas and her embarrassment. The only thing Elena was grateful for was that throughout the whole experience, there was no sexual undertone- the man could just as well have been washing an animal. She wondered momentarily if that was the purpose of the water trough anyway.

The man was about to pull the dress over her, but quickly realised his predicament. He swore loudly at the soldiers. They hadn't brought a key to her manacles - how was he to dress her? He barked an order to one of the guards who scurried off, leaving them to an uncomfortable silence, punctuated only by Elena's chattering teeth.

A few minutes later, the soldier returned, bearing a large ring of keys. The old man snatched it from him, and picked through the numerous keys before finding the one he wanted. He motioned to each of the guards to hold on to an arm, before unlocking one wrist. Elena chose not to fight them, she was freezing and exhausted from the whole ordeal and just wanted it to be over with.

The man pulled the emerald green silk dress over her head, fastening it in place. He looked her over once more before declaring himself satisfied. The man issued a few more orders and the guards locked her wrist back in place, before turning her around and pushing her back into the castle.

Once again, they went down numerous hallways, but not down the same ones that they had traveled previously. It dawned on Elena that they were not worried about her learning the layout of the castle - and with good reason, the place was a maze of hallways and rooms, it would take a long time before anyone could navigate these halls confidently, Elena thought. They slowed their pace before coming to a halt in front of a small door. The man knocked once and entered the room, pulling Elena in after him. Elena looked around, not taking much interest in the Spartan room. Standing before her, other than the older man, was a tired looking woman in a shabby dress who gestured to Elena to sit in the only available chair. The man, Brandon, whom Elena had by now christened 'Glasses', nodded his approval. Resigned to her fate Elena sat down. She had decided that she needed to preserve her strength for when she would face Caspian again, and not waste it on his minions.

As soon as she sat, the woman went to work on her wet hair, brushing and styling the hair until it resembled some acceptable fashion and not a tangled blond mop. Next, she painted Elena's lips and added a few more hints of colour here and there, before Glasses interrupted her and claimed that it was enough, that they were keeping Lord Caspian waiting.

Yanked to her feet again, Elena was marched back up through countless passages and stairways, before she once again stood before the dark oak doors of Caspian's study.

One of the soldiers knocked once on the door and waited with his hand on the door.

"Enter," came Caspian's muffled voice from within.

The soldier pushed open the door and pulled Elena in with him. Caspian was sitting at his desk, his arms folded over his chest. His eyes sparkled gleefully as he looked at Elena.

"Bring her here soldier," Caspian pointed to a spot on the floor near his desk.

"Yes sir."

He nudged Elena forwards, she walked slowly, coming to a halt as she stood near his desk.

"Kneel," said Caspian, pointing to the hard stone.
Elena folded her arms, her chains clinking, and cocked her head to one side. "No."

Caspian smiled coldly and nodded to the soldier behind her.

The next moment she felt considerable pain. The guard, unbeknownst to her, had struck her legs with the hard sheath of his sword, causing her to cry out and kneel in pain. He quickly reached down and hooked her chain to a protruding iron hook at the edge of Caspian's desk.

"That'll be all," Caspian said to the guard, who turned around and left, the door shutting behind him with an ominous sound that vibrated through the air.

Caspian turned and looked down at Elena, staring into her eyes. Elena, squared her shoulders and stared resolutely back, stubbornly refusing to look away, as she knew Caspian wanted her to. When it became obvious to him after a few minutes, that she wasn't going to break his gaze, he spoke.

"So," he hissed. "How does it feel, Princess, to be chained at the feet of the most powerful man in the kingdom?"

"You are not the most powerful man in Kravaolia - King Henry is," she said with a small smile, as she knew it would incense him.

"Henry," Caspian said slowly, "Is the most feeble heir our bloodline has ever produced. Do you know what you do to the runt of the litter? You drown it. Too bad no one ever thought of that earlier," he chuckled.

"He'll come for me, you know that don't you?" Elena said evenly, looking up at Caspian. She hated the words that she used, as it implied a certain romantic overtone. For her, their union was not much more than a smart contract. Perhaps the romantic sentiment was appropriate for Henry, who was more emotionally involved in their engagement.

"What, come for his whore? I don't think he'll risk his precious neck, the coward," Caspian said maliciously.

"No, come for his queen," Elena corrected quietly.

"You flatter yourself Princess. You'll be forgotten as soon as the next woman spreads her legs before him, trust me," he said, leaning closer.

Elena looked at Caspian. "You're wrong," she said quietly.

"Wrong am I? What, do you imagine that you have some sort of magical pussy, that as soon as a man sticks his cock in you he'll be yours forever?" Caspian asked jokingly.

Elena blushed slightly and closed her eyes, attempting to block out Caspian's vulgarity.

"I'd like to see that for myself Princess, what say you?" he said, still chuckling.

Elena's eyes snapped open as she felt Caspian's cold hand reach under her dress and touch her calf. She clutched her legs closed, impeding his hand from gaining any further access.

"I say no."

Caspian's smile faltered, "You will not deny me," he hissed as he withdrew his hand and slapped her across the face.

Elena took a deep breath before looking back up at Caspian. Truthfully, the slap barely even stung, but to Elena it was a preview of what was to come, that Caspian would escalate things very quickly - and that scared her.

"I will deny you, and continue to deny you - with every fiber of my being," Elena replied strongly, too aware of her trembling hands.

"Then you shall suffer needlessly, like the lowest of whores," he spat grabbing her chin roughly.

"Do your worst, but it doesn't change what will happen. Henry will come for me," she repeated, trying to pull her chin from his grasp.

"Really, you think so? You think Henry will save you from wicked old me? Well, let me educate you Princess," he said, letting go of her chin and taking a step back. Caspian let the cloak slip from his shoulders to the floor, his hands moving to the laces in the front of his pants.

Elena closed her eyes when Caspian thrust his hand into his pants and pulled out his cock.

"Oh no Princess, you will keep those pretty eyes open," he said in a soft voice, as he stepped painfully on her bare feet. Elena cried out, her eyes opening in pain.

He stood before her, stroking his cock, bringing it slowly from it's soft and flaccid state to a fully fledged erection. Elena, despite her intentions and better judgment, couldn't take her eyes off his cock. Even though she hadn't seen many, it seemed to her that Caspian's was quite large- or maybe it was just the circumstances that made it seem larger - no matter the reason, it scared her.

Caspian noticed her terrified gaze and chuckled. "I know you are used to Henry's mediocre cock, but it's high time you experience one of a greater caliber. Quite fitting for a Princess, if I do say so myself."

Caspian advanced on her, stroking his erect member. Elena scooted back as far a her chains would allow. "Open," he said as he stood next to her, his crotch in her face. Elena looked up at him in defiance. "Open your mouth," he ordered, pulling her hair sharply. He rubbed the tip of his swollen cock against her cheek, causing her face to turn a dark magenta colour in anger.

"No," she answered through clenched teeth.

"Open it or I will make you open it, you will not like that- I promise" he hissed, yanking her hair again.

"You can force me to open my mouth, but I warn you, anything that passes my lips... Well, let me just say this- it won't remain whole... I bite, you see," she said silkily, snapping her teeth together for good effect.

Caspian's jaw clenched and unclenched a few times before he released his grip on her hair.

"Of course... Of course," he muttered, stroking his cock. "Where are my manners? A princess should not be tied like this, lying on the hard floor."

He walked away, pausing to manipulate his hard shaft back into his pants. Elena watched him warily, knowing with certainty that he was not finished with her.

"My apologies Princess, we shall do this properly, yes? What was I thinking, doing this here," he said mockingly.

Elena responded with a scathing look.

"Don't worry Princess, I'll have you moaning like a whore in the comfort of a bed by tonight," he said softly, his smile spreading slowly. "Also, I am not properly equipped here for such amorous reeducation - your scandalous urge to bite will meet metal, and not flesh, you'll see, i'll cure you of that nasty habit."

There was a soft knock on the door, interrupting the staring match between Caspian's twinkling, malicious eyes, and Elena's raging, defiant gaze.

"Enter," called Caspian, looking over her head at the doors.

A young boy entered the room bearing a tray of food and drinks, which clattered noisily in his trembling hands, stilling only when he had placed it on Caspian's desk.

"Boy, tell the cook that he is to prepare food for two this evening - and it should be brought up to my quarters. We will dine there, amongst other things" he added as he looked hungrily at her, causing Elena to blush.

"Now be gone!" he said, waving his hand. The boy turned and scurried quickly from the room, closing the door sharply behind him.

Elena snorted softly. It seemed that rudeness ran in the family.

Caspian looked up from the food platter her was picking at. "Something amusing you Princess?"

Elena looked away pointedly, looking instead at the eerie stuffed animal heads mounted around the walls. Her stomach growled audibly. How long had it been since her last meal? More than a day, she realised.

Caspian tore off a large piece of bread from a loaf on the tray and held it before Elena, in the palm of his hand. Elena reached for it, but the chains made her come up a few inches short. Caspian chuckled softly, nodding at Elena in encouragement. As much as she strained her arms though, she couldn't reach the bread.

"You are not unintelligent... think," he said, taking a bite of the bread before presenting it in his palm again.

Elena looked from the half-eaten piece of bread to Caspian's smirking face, trying to fathom his meaning. She scowled at him, when it became clear to her that he intended her to eat from the palm of his hand like some animal. She was not starving, she would not yet debase herself so for a morsel of bread.

Elena shifted around, turning her back on him. She heard him laughing raucously behind her, but she just sat where she was, fuming silently.

Elena sat with her back to Caspian for over an hour, noting the passing of time by the dwindling fire, as Caspian's study had no windows. Caspian was working on something, mostly ignoring Elena, which suited her just fine. When he was feeling particularly bored, he would make some snide comment about Henry's feebleness or what he planned to do to her later that night. Elena managed to tune most of it out, which wasn't as difficult as she thought at first, for she was quite hungry and when one is hungry, one doesn't concentrate well, so her mind wandered freely as Caspian hurled abuse at her.

Elena jumped as she felt something hard nudge her foot, breaking her from her trance. She looked around and saw Caspian behind her, holding two cups. Caspian had obviously nudged her with his foot, as if she were a sleeping dog he intended to rouse.

"What?" she asked haughtily.

"Manners Princess" he warned silkily, handing her a cup.

"What is this?" she asked, ignoring his reproach.

"Just some wine. You must be rather thirsty by now and seeing that the chef sent two cups, I thought it prudent that you have drink before you faint," he said with a smirk.

Elena lifted the cup to her lips, but paused. She sniffed it gingerly, but could detect nothing other than a strong smell of wine. She brought the cup to her lips a second time, and paused again. She looked up at Caspian's watching face, suspicious as to his interest in her drinking.

"No thank you," she said, handing the cup back to Caspian.

"You need to drink," he said firmly.

"I'd rather not be poisoned or drugged by whatever sinister potion you've concocted behind my back."

"My, my - so paranoid you are my dear," he said, taking the cup from her. "Here, i'll prove to you that it's as innocent as it looks," he said, drinking deeply from her cup. "Happy?" he asked, wiping his mouth on his sleeve. "Here, you can take mine, now that i've almost finished yours."

Elena took Caspian's cup and sipped it slowly. After pausing for a minute, she drank more deeply from the cup, draining it quickly in her thirst. Caspian took the cup back, a smile playing around his lips.

Elena didn't like the look on his face. He cocked his head to one side and looked at her in a calculating way.

"Would you like the keys to your restraints?" he asked innocently, holding the keychain within her reach.

Elena looked sceptically back at Caspian, but she wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Elena lifted her arm, but midway it dropped back into her lap. "What's going on?" she asked, her speech slurring slightly.

Elena tried to lift her other hand, but it wouldn't move at all. Panicking, Elena realised that she couldn't move her body at all.

"What..." was all she managed to say before speech too, became impossible. She slumped against the desk, before sliding slowly to the stone floor, her arms stretched above her, the hook holding the chain keeping her at an awkward angle.

Caspian stood towering above her. Elena's terrified eyes looked up at his smug expression.

"Your instincts were right Princess, there was something sinister in the drink, Grudjark root - but it was in the other- mine. I assumed correctly that you wouldn't trust a drink that I handed you," he said with a smile.

"Paranoid royals are so easily manipulated - you know this firsthand of course, that's how this whole war started," he said, a devious glint in his eye. "I told the paranoid King Xander of you Lorreans and your war plans - and he jumped like an animal in training," he laughed, reaching out and running a finger down her cheek.

A tear leaked out of her unblinking eye. "Calm yourself Princess, the best is yet to come," he said, a slight growl to his voice as he slid his hand under her dress, squeezing her breast.

As Elena's vision started to blur and Caspian's voice sounded far away, she tried to fight the drug coursing through her system, but she could do nothing as it pulled her deeper and deeper into the dark oblivion.

The last thing she heard, before she was swallowed whole by the encroaching dark mist, was Caspian's voice, whispering hotly against her ear, "We are going to have such fun, you and I."
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