Authors: D Jordan Redhawk
On Azrael's Wings
D. Jordan Redhawk
P.D. Publishing, Inc. (2008)
Ursula, a seamstress's slave, survives the brutal attack on her village by the King's Butcher, General Azrael of the Third Army. Due to circumstances beyond her control she's thrust into the role of body slave for the infamous woman, and must learn to please her new mistress in all ways or end up on the slaver's block. Azrael only wishes to retire at her estate, but her king has other ideas. In fact, King Shonal has many ideas Azrael cannot abide, and one of them has to do with demanding sexual favors from her newly acquired body slave...the one she's unaccountably fallen in love with.
On Azrael's Wings
Smoke filled the air, putrid with the smell of burning flesh, flames casting orange splatters against a sky growing lighter with impending dawn. Screams of the fighting and dying were heard on the northern edge of the village as the last of the resistance was dealt a deathblow. Bodies littered the ground, illuminated by the fires in their last acts of defiance and defense.
Behind a hovel, sheltered from prying eyes, three soldiers laughed at the antics of a prisoner they kept surrounded. Pushing her back and forth between them, they tugged at her peasant clothes, pinching her and feeling her up. Their plaything yelped and sobbed at the rough treatment, unable to get away.
“What do you wager she’s a virgin?” one asked, tugging hard at mahogany tresses before sending the woman reeling into the second man.
“Are you a virgin, sweetling?” he asked, holding her squirming body against his. A bloody, dirt-caked hand latched onto her chin and twisted her head from side to side. “I don’t know, Cor,” he answered. “She’s too pretty to be a virgin. One of these farm boys has got her first, no doubt.”
The third grabbed her out of his companion’s grasp, a meaty hand clamping hard on her breast. “P’rhaps we should check,” he suggested with a laugh. “Just to be sure.” Getting enthusiastic agreement from his friends, he threw the woman to the ground. “Hold her!”
“Why d’you get her first?” Cor complained as he watched the second man do as ordered. The woman tried to roll to her knees and crawl away only to be dragged, shrieking, back into the fray. “I saw her first!”
“Because I outrank both of you,” the third man stated, fumbling with his trousers. “Get her legs or get the hell out of here!”
With a grumble, Cor fell to his knees, grabbing at the woman’s kicking feet.
Between them, they tore the woman’s homespun garments to shreds, fondling her in the process. At one point, she kicked mightily, causing their leader to fall backwards on his butt and almost escaping their clutches only to be tripped and pounced upon before she could make two strides.
“Bitch!” he cursed, breeches hanging at his ankles. “I’ll make you pay for that!” With three powerful blows, he knocked the fight out of her, bruising her face and bloodying her nose. Positioning himself between her now passive legs, he pushed forward.
And found himself being yanked up and backward. Before he could react, his arms were pinned and he registered the sensation of cold steel against his genitals. The expressions of his comrades reflected terror and he swallowed weakly. Around them, soldiers eased out of the gray, their breastplates showing the mark of the Angel’s personal guard. The woman, released by her startled captors, made another attempt to scramble away only to be hauled to her feet by the newcomers.
“What have we here?” a cold voice demanded.
“Nothing, Lord,” the man stuttered, feeling his erection deflate and shrivel. Sweat stung his eyes as he tried to steady his breathing, chest tight against the muscular arm holding him. “We was just having some fun, Lord.”
“Fun?” the voice demanded, wiggling the blade, causing the man’s penis to swing. “Doesn’t look like she’s having any fun.”
He opened his mouth and shut it with a snap, knowing anything he said would be a death sentence.
“You three belong to Atol’s squad?”
The two other men nodded quickly. “Aye, Lord,” Cor said, voice barely above a whisper.
“I don’t recall giving orders to have fun.” The blade nicked the man’s genitals, bringing a whimper and a trickle of blood. “My orders were to take the village and round up the people for judgment. Am I correct?”
Wincing, he kept silent until the knife cut deeper. “Aye, Lord!” he gasped, standing on his toes in an attempt to avoid the blade.
“It would behoove you to follow orders.”
The arm pinning his vanished and, as he stumbled forward, he reached for his crotch. A sharp stab of agony brought him to his knees and he found himself holding his now severed penis. Falling to the ground, he wailed, blood splashing his thighs.
Shivering in horror, the remaining attackers unconsciously clutched at their genitals as they stared. The woman sobbed loudly, slumped in the guards’ grip.
The general’s skin was dark, as was her hair and eyes. Those eyes watched the writhing man with clinical detachment for a moment before turning to the others. Holding up her dagger, dawn and firelight were reflected in its reddish streaks.
Cleaning her blade on a scrap of cloth, Azrael turned her back on the bleeding men. “Suma, keep a guard on them. If they survive to nightfall, execute them.”
“Aye, Lord.” Her captain pointed at two of the men who nodded. “The battle is won, the prisoners are being rounded up. What are your orders?”
“Separate the men from the women and children then assemble them.” She inhaled deeply, looking at the beginnings of a pale blue sky in the east. “Keep a watchful eye on the women. Cull any dissidents from the herd during judgment and they’ll join the punished.”
“What about her?”
For the first time, the general actually looked at the crying peasant still being held by two of her guard. She stepped closer, studying the woman who attempted to gather her tattered blouse to cover herself.
“Keep her apart. If she should protest, send her with the punished.” Pause. “If she survives judgment, bring her to my tent.”
“Aye, Lord,” the captain said, saluting.
All but two of the Angels left, their general following, leaving three of their brethren slowly bleeding in the cool morning air.
The sun was well up by the time all was ready. Gathered in the village square were the survivors of the morning’s battle. Centrally, less than a dozen men were huddled, circled by soldiers. The prisoners ranged in age from fourteen to fifty and most of them were wounded. To one side, a larger group comprised of women and children were being watched over.
The general mounted her horse, setting herself above the people so that all could see and hear her. She wore boiled leather armor, in contrast to the plated and chain mailed soldiers. Her long, black hair hung in a braid down her back and daylight seemed to glow from her nut-brown skin. “Citizens of Theara, attend me! You harbored dissidents in your midst. I am here on the authority of King Shonal to wipe them out.”
An older woman spat in disdain. “There ain’t no dissidents here, woman!” she proclaimed, receiving an agreeable mumble from her friends. “So long’s we pay taxes, you’d do well to leave us be!”
Ignoring the outburst and subsequent squawking as soldiers pulled the woman from the crowd, the general continued. “Your village harbored Donul of Colney after he was declared a traitor. A legal representative of the crown was killed when he came to arrest him. Upon our arrival, rather than submit to questioning, you’re counsel chose to run and hide like cowards and you chose to fight the rightful representative of your liege.”
Her eyes raked over the assembled, glares and sullen faces squinting back. Pointing at the group of men and one woman, she said, “By the command of our liege I, Azrael, sentence these people to death.”
Several people paled at her name, gasps of surprise filled the air.
“Yes. I’m Azrael. The Angel of Death,” she admitted, eyeing them. “Know your enemy before you engage.”
Turning in her saddle, she waved a squad of soldiers closer. They led a cart full of long, sharpened poles. “These men and that woman are to be executed. The surviving women will provide entertainment for my men tonight. They will then be sold into slavery, the proceeds used to repay the crown for this venture. The children will be relocated. It is done.”
Over the following hours, each of the sentenced prisoners was impaled upon the poles and raised. Some had the fortune to die outright while others, after a brief spate of unconsciousness, roused to scream and moan their suffering. The resulting pandemonium from the women was expected and quelled, three of them cursing the King and his butcher as they followed their men to agonizing death.
Azrael wiped the sweat from her eyes. She had personally driven each post home and was covered with more gore than her men. Her dark eyes scanned the small forest of broken limbed misery, ignoring the hysterical cries from the survivors behind her.
“Your orders, Lord?”
Glancing at her captain, Azrael said, “Keep the men busy. Have Razzu’s cohort complete a thorough sweep of the area. Tenango will be in charge of salvaging supplies.” She paused. “What word on the three this morning?”’
“Two are dead. One remains.” Suma shook his head. “It’s doubtful he’ll survive through the heat of the day.”
Nodding, the general frowned. “Since Atol has trouble controlling his troops, his men will clean up this mess. As usual, you’re in charge of the slaves. Keep them safe until called for.” Azrael turned and regarded the rest of the village square. “I saw that Indonatra rousted the most dangerous opponents. His cohort is released from duty for the afternoon. Have them return to camp.”
Suma bowed. “Aye, Lord. I’ll see to everything.”
“I’ll want to see all my captains for debriefing before the evening meal,” she reminded him as she padded to her horse. The animal, skittish from the smells of death, shied away but was brought to task by Azrael’s firm hand.
Mounting, Azrael scanned her soldiers. “Swordsmen! You’ve fought well yet our work isn’t finished,” she called to her men. “Follow the orders of your officers. When the sun sets, a feast will be laid in your honor and entertainment will be supplied.” She waved a hand at the gathered women, a cold smile touching her lips at the resulting cheer from her troops. “Carry on,” she ordered Suma before turning her mount and cantering out of the village.
At camp, Azrael dismounted before her tent, tossing the reins to a handler waiting attentively nearby. Looking at her armor, she decided to forego checking the wounded until she was clean and strode inside, ignoring the guards at the entrance who snapped to attention upon her approach.
Her quarters were Spartan and functional. To one side, a large wooden table squatted, surrounded by several chairs. It was half covered in maps and reports, evidence of the early morning planning session with her captains. The other side had been cleared and a platter of fresh food kept company with a simple ewer and tankard. Across the tent were a large bed and the two chests that held her personal belongings. Toward the rear, Azrael saw a steaming tub of water.
On the canvas floor, a pale woman knelt, awaiting her mistress. “Milady,” she said. “Are you wounded?”
Azrael glanced at her bloody form. “No, Midia, just a few scratches. Help me out of these things.”
The blonde flowed to her feet and neared. Her clothing was diaphanous, a pale blue wrap that left nothing to the imagination. “I’ve drawn you a bath, Milady, and brought food and drink,” she said, her voice soothing as she began removing the armor.
A sudden wave of lust assailed the general as she watched her body slave work. It was all she could do to not crush the woman to her, filth notwithstanding. Fighting it down, Azrael gritted her teeth against the soft touches. There was too much left to do this day - plenty of time to satiate her hunger later.
Midia sensed but didn’t acknowledge the sexually charged atmosphere. Her body betrayed her, flushing as her nipples puckered. Following her mistress’ lead, she ignored it, removing shoulder and elbow guards. Next came the heavy bracers on Azrael’s forearms. The slave was careful to avoid the sharp knives sheathed there, setting the weapons on the table.
Once Midia helped her out of her leather vest and draped it over a chair, the general removed her sword belt, stepping away to place it near the tub. Rubbing at the red lace marks on her forearms, Azrael stood silent while Midia knelt before her. As grieves and knee guards came away, another sudden wave of passion wash through her.
The blonde reached for the muddy boots, looking up at Azrael. “Milady?” she asked.
Standing on one foot, Azrael placed a hand on her slave’s head to keep her balance as her boot was removed. The hair was soft and warm under her callused hand, spun gold against her dark skin, and she couldn’t help but caress it as Midia finished her task. Blood singing with desire, she growled. “Rise.”