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Authors: Candace Smith

Tags: #Erotica

Dark Journey [Ariel's Desire 2]

BOOK: Dark Journey [Ariel's Desire 2]
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DARK JOURNEY

[ARIEL’S DESIRE II]

By

Candace Smith

ISBN
9781615081837

All rights reserved

Copyright © 2010 Candace Smith

This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission.

For information contact:

SizzlerEditions.com

Sizzler Editions

A Renaissance E Books publication

PROLOGUE

Mike’s hands cupped over his cock, trying to protect it from the hot August sun beating down on the grasslands.
 
Whenever Ethan rode near, the captive’s eyes pleaded with the man, begging the Slave-master to unlash his bound wrists from the ring pierced through the base of his testicles.
 
The bastard continued to ignore him.
 
Mike’s mind wandered to thoughts of escape or the torture he’d been through the past week, and he’d find his hands had automatically dropped to his thighs to ease the strain on his balls.
 
Remembering to shade his shaft required conscious thought.

The group of captives had been walking since dawn across the prairie with its knee high golden grass.
 
They trailed behind their abductors’ horses while the Slave-master kept watch over them.
 
The cut on Mike’s foot had split open again when he slipped on some rocks as he tried to escape last night.
 
It ached with every agonizing step that took him further away from the life he knew.
 
On the way across the cliffs, before they reached the caves separating the two worlds, Ethan had been concerned about such things and made sure the injury was tended to.
 
Mike was in disfavor now and no one asked him if it was bleeding again or checked to make sure it was clean and bandaged.
 
The weary man looked up at the cloudless sky with the sun on its downward arc and judged it to be late afternoon.

The small blue-green jagged spears of the tree line ahead were still distant, and he knew the men on the horses wouldn’t be stopping to rest until they were shaded from the glaring sun.
 
An infrequent warm breeze caused Mike’s wavy black hair to wisp over his eyes and stick to the sweat on his forehead. The mere effort of shaking his head to whip it back to the side required concentration.
 
Moving his shoulders would cause his wrists to tug the ring and he discovered he had to lean forward to accomplish the act without pain. The exhausted man was naked, except for his leather cuffs and a pouch tied around his testicles.

A few hours ago, he’d stopped turning to look behind him at the high mountains for the caves that led to freedom.
 
The original anxiety of leaving the foothills this morning had slowly turned to depression with every step that took him further away from his hope of escape.
 
The trail leading out of this nightmare had been a lot closer last night, and he’d still followed the wrong branch of the stream.
 
Despair overwhelmed him with the realization he could never find his way back.
 

He’d been trudging behind his four friends, watching the muscles in their naked butts tighten with their steps as they suffered the same trauma to that thin strip of skin between their legs as he did.
 
They spoke in low voices, encouraging each other to continue walking.
 
No one spoke to Mike or encouraged him to do anything.
 
He looked ahead at the endless see of grass carpeting the valley hidden in the mountains and reflected on the decisions that had made him an outcast. A week ago, Mike and his college buddies had been laughing around a campsite at the base of the mountain, drinking beer and trying to figure out how to pitch the tent while their girlfriends cooled off in the small nearby lake.

Things had gone to hell after that.
 
Mike felt a sting on his shoulder and toppled into unconsciousness.
 
He awoke to find himself bound and gagged, swaying from a tree limb he’d been suspended from.
 
His friends had been likewise secured and were sitting together in the clearing, slowly waking in wide eyed panicked confusion as they found themselves guarded by a stocky man with an arsenal of whips and knives attached to his belt.

Five bigger men, all dressed in tanned leather with cowboy hats and boots, were rummaging through the campsite.
 
Their horses were tied to the side of the clearing and the strong men with their long shaggy hair reminded Mike of his version of mountain men.
 
Everything from their cowboy hats to their leather boots was in good repair, though obviously worn.
 
Mike didn’t notice any weapons on them.
 
They didn’t seem to have any new, conventional comforts other than what they were confiscating from the campers.

The girlfriends were waking, trembling while they pulled at the leather strips securing their hands in their laps and crying behind their gagged mouths. They’d been spaced around the circle of the clearing away from their boyfriends, and the big men would glance over at them as they continued to methodically organize their loot into separate piles while they joked with each other.

With the same regard given to organizing their stolen plunder, the mountain men also divided the women among themselves. The leader was the tallest of the men and dressed in darker leather than the others.
 
His eyes were the deepest midnight blue Mike had ever seen and he kept his long black hair tied at the nape of his neck.
 
The few times he came over to Mike, he’d smile at him with his frightening, ageless face and Mike imagined he saw a dark red haze ring his irises.
 
The man had chosen Ariel, Mike’s girlfriend for the past two years, and he seemed pissed off at his suspended captive because he‘d been her companion.

Ariel was propped up against a log across the clearing, nervously running her fingers through the end of her auburn braid.
 
Her wide eyes looked up at him, pleading for help.
 
His arms were aching from his predicament and he found himself getting annoyed at her for not asking the leader of the thieves to let him down.

The big man, Lucien, noticed Mike trying to get Ariel’s attention.
 
He stormed angrily toward him and gave him a push, causing the strained muscles in his arms to rip painfully at his shoulders as he swung.
 
Mike groaned and watched Lucien casually cross the clearing and sit down, pulling Ariel onto his lap.
 
While his thumbs brushed across her nipples, he narrowed his eyes at Mike in victory.

The rest of the strong men dragged their chosen women to their laps after the valuables were divided.
 
They began kissing their cheeks, caressing their breasts and stroking between their legs.
 
The big men’s faces softened to expressions of encouragement.
 
They nuzzled the women’s necks until their frightened captives’ shudders subsided to flushed arousal, and they relaxed against their seducers.
 
The boyfriends stared at the ground, making no attempt to rescue them or berate the big men for fondling their girlfriends. Even Ariel’s eyes were half closed with a heated look of passion while Lucien stroked and whispered to her.

When Mike was finally lowered from the branch to eat the dinner Ariel and Shawna were ordered to prepare, he yelled at Ariel to join his position on the ground.
 
She was his, dammit, and Lucien would not maul her in front of him. The man rose and grabbed Mike by his tied wrists, bound him to a tree and ripped his shirt off, baring his back.
 
It was the first time Lucien had whipped him, using one of the fiberglass tent poles.
 
The burning pain reduced Mike to whimpers and ignited his hatred for the brutal man.

During the trek up the mountain, Mike tried to thwart the captors’ efforts and was rewarded with a constant barrage of humiliating punishments.
 
Now, he was in abject fear of the mountain men leading them across the prairie. During some kind of ceremony after Mike’s first escape attempt, all of them had been pierced and branded.
 
The rest of the captives had been given collars and cuffs of their leader.
 
Mike wore bands on his wrists with symbols dyed into the leather.
 
Reflecting back on the long journey, he thought no matter what he’d done, Lucien would have found a reason to punish him because he had been Ariel’s lover by choice, instead of her captor’s manipulative seduction.
 
Mike’s disruptive attempts to impede the abduction had only resulted in alienation by his friends, who suffered the consequences of some of his actions.

He groaned in discomfort when his reddening cock bounced against his knuckles, and he realized his bound hands had slipped below his dick again. The lash attached to the ring under his sack pulled painfully as he raised his wrists to shade his flaccid member.
 
Wincing as he repositioned his hands, he realized the flesh was warm with an already pink hue from the glaring sun.
 
He knew the pain of the sunburn that would radiate from his shaft later.

Mike was distracted as someone called out, “Rider.”
 
He experienced the unbalanced feeling of falling into another time as he watched an Indian in fringed leather buckskins riding bareback through the tall grass.
 
Their procession stopped as he talked to the riders ahead.
 
He made his way down the line of weary travelers.

The Indian stopped by Mike, and his shining black eyes stared at the leather cuffs.
 
He turned, and Mike watched his long black hair sway to the horse’s canter as he rode back to the front.
 
The Indian said something to Lucien, and when his dark eyes looked back at Mike, he grinned with amusement.

Mike shuddered as dread tightened its fist in his gut.
 
He looked down at his bound wrists and realized the symbols on the cuffs looked like the pictures dyed into the leather of the Indian’s breeches.

His logical method of discerning answers from years of pre-law studies, could not find facts to grasp onto since he’d entered this surreal world.
 
There were times since his captivity he suspected he was dreaming, or maybe he’d been in an accident and was lying in a coma somewhere while his mother wiped drool from his lip and his father scowled at yet another failure of his disappointing son.

A worse fear was that what was happening was real, and the sight of a bare-chested Indian with flowing black hair riding across a valley high in the mountains was just something else he had to accept.
 
A week ago, he didn’t believe in Vampires, either.

Mike knew Lucien wanted to kill him when he’d used Ariel in his last escape attempt.
 
She’d almost drowned before he could reach her, but it had given Mike the distraction he needed to run.
 
His only remorse was taking the wrong branch of the stream, and his angry frustration reduced him to tears at being so close to finding his way back to the caves and freedom.
 
Instead, Nicholas and Justin caught him and dragged him back to the campsite where his friends waited, pissed off at him because they were bound again.

Mike had seen Lucien’s anger in his red ringed eyes and distended fangs.
 
Yet, for the first time he held back, barely punishing Mike with more than a hard slap.
 
Compared to the whippings and torture he’d endured so far on the trip up to the Vampires’ settlement, that was uncharacteristically mild.

Mike carefully rolled his cramped shoulders while they were stopped.
 
The newly branded ‘L’ on his back throbbed and itched as his back burned.
 
His pierced nipples didn’t hurt too badly, but the ring between his thighs was painfully raw from the constant tugging that kept it from healing.
 
Last night after Lucien hit him, the Slave-master hog-tied him with a lash through the ring as punishment for the escape.

Then, the sadistic man had twisted Mike’s penis until he shrieked, enabling the leather gag to be shoved into his mouth.
 
Mike didn’t think he slept at all, and every exhausting step across the prairie made his balls swing within the confines of the leather testicle pouch.

The Indian slowly led the group forward toward the shade, with the Vampires slouched low in their saddles.
 
The sun across the prairie was only broken by the sporadic relief of a few trees, and even with wide brimmed hats and faces mostly covered by kerchiefs, it drained the big men.
 
Mike looked at Ariel as she turned in the saddle to whisper to Lucien.
 
There were lines of concern and worry on her face.
 
He narrowed his eyes at his former girlfriend and decided he hated her almost as much as the Vampire she rode with.

The rest of the women were also speaking softly to their abductors, encouraging them to go on.
 
Hell, Shawna had even taken the reigns from Justin and brushed her fingers through his hair as his head rested on her shoulder, occasionally pulling the kerchief higher on his face when it slipped. Her strong ebony legs spurred the horse on.

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