Pagan Princess (Chapter Four)

Some days later Antoninus lay in his tent unable to sl**p, he tossed and turned on his makeshift cot. The deadline for that woman to surrender herself was almost up and he really did not want to kill the hostages. Perhaps he had misjudged her? Perhaps she really would let them die rather than surrender to him? He drifted off into a fitful sl**p, his throat irritated him, the constant prickle at his neck, and a musky smell of a sexually charged woman permeated his nostrils. It all seemed so real, even the soft whispering voice in his ear telling him to wake up. He opened his eyes, the tickle at his throat was real, the smell of a woman was real, and here she was in his tent with a fiendish looking sword at his neck.

“Ah he wakes.” Whispered Melissia. “Just stay where you are Tribune, else I cut you a new mouth!”

“By the gods, how did you slip by my sentries?” he snarled, pulling himself up on his elbows.

“Move not one more inch Roman, I want to look at the man who has been sent to capture me!” Melissia dug the point of her sword harder into the Tribune’s neck. She ran her eyes over her quarry; his physique was outstanding, as were his powerful arms and chest muscles. She marvelled at his incredibly muscular thighs and the magnificent phallus that lay between them, Melissia salivated.

“So Melissia.” He had used her name for the first time, for he too wondered at the exquisite creature that stood before him. “Are you going to surrender to me, or kill me?” He raised a quizzical eyebrow.

Melissia having devoured the Adonis before her lowered her sword. “Yes I have come to surrender myself to you and your empire, so take me in return for your captives, do with me what you will but spare the c***dren.”

Antoninus took the sword from her. “This is all very noble of you Melissia but my duties regarding you are quite clear. I will keep my word and release the hostages and you young lady have an appointment with the lash. My centurion Drachius is a master of it; you will be whipped all the way to Nova Magus. Then I am to save a small piece of you for the Consul!”

Melissia folded her arms across her chest, “And here’s me thinking that it might have been something I said!”

That remark earned Melissia a slap across her face; the powerful blow sent her sprawling across the floor. Melissia wiped the bl**d from the corner of her mouth, she went to get up but the Tribune stopped her by putting his foot on her chest.

“Not so fast princess, I am not done with you yet!” Antoninus grabbed her by the leather halter she was wearing and pulled her roughly to her feet.

“Ever since that old man in Middle Hurst described you I have dreamt of the day I would possess you, now that moment has come!”

With that he grabbed Melissia’s flimsy leather top and ripped it from her chest.

“By the gods, Frederick was right, your beauty surpasses you.” He stared at Melissia’s firm breasts, his hand moved down to the chamois leather loincloth she was wearing and tore at it eager to get to the honeyed treasure beneath. She said nothing to him, she knew that this would happen and she wanted it to happen ever since she laid eyes on him. His hand found her vagina and parted the soft fleshy lips, he plunged a finger into her and then withdrew it to examine the wetness he found there.

“Ah my presence is expected, so let’s not disappoint you Melissia!” He said in a heavily whispered voice as he pinned her down on his map table.

Melissia felt him prise her legs apart and then felt his phallus enter her. With one very hard thrust Antoninus burst through her hymen. She cried out more in ecstasy than pain, for his delightful meaty rod filled her to the very limits.

“Ah the rumours were true, you were a virgin princess!” Said the Tribune as he continued to pound into her.

Melissia spoke for the first time since her **** began, she looked deeply into her assailants eyes.

“Yes what a pity it has to be with a pig from Rome!” She gasped as Antoninus’ thrusts gathered momentum.

“Well spoken young lady that will earn you extra time on the whipping frame.” He panted as his tongue ****d her mouth.

“Better to spend more time on the whipping frame then having to endure you between my thighs you Roman dog!” She gasped as she tried to avoid his probing tongue then she felt the Roman reach a thundering climax.

Antoninus did not reply to her derogatory comments as he was busy emptying his seed into her. Her pelvic grip was intense, she was able to wring every last drop from him, he had never known anyone who could do this before.

“Have you quite finished?” Melissia exclaimed as the Tribune withdrew from her.

“I shall never be finished with you young woman!” Replied Antoninus as he poured some water into a bowl to wash the virgin bl**d from his loins.

“Each night when Drachius has finished flaying you, I shall satisfy my lust on your body. That Melissia is my promise to you!”

Melissia’s eyes flashed. “As I said before you spawn of Rome, do with me what you will, all I ask is that you keep your promise and release the hostages!” She stooped to retrieve the remnants of her garments.

The Tribune started to dress himself. “To you I may represent all that is evil Melissia but I am a man of my word.” Antoninus buckled up his beautifully tooled leather breastplate. “Then after their release, your punishment will begin.”

“Very well Tribune, I thank you for that, I will gladly die for what I believe in!” She said as she bathed her bl**died thighs.

Antoninus countered. “Oh no, I will not be granting you a swift death Melissia, you will beg me for it but I shall deny it to you. Believe me I shall keep my word on that too!”

Antoninus had his personal guards arrested and put in irons; he was incensed that the girl had entered his command tent undetected. Their punishment was to be a severe flogging, castration and then returned on the galleys to Rome to serve as eunuchs.

Melissia was taken to a makeshift prison cell in the town. The sheer numbers of soldiers that were assigned as her guard flattered her. She had been stripped naked and suspended by her wrists to a beam in the ceiling. As the joints in her shoulders burned she reflected on the fate that awaited her. Nova Magus and the Roman Consul were three days march away. That meant at least three sessions under Drachius’ whip plus whatever they were going to do to her this day. Her loins still ached from the Tribune’s violent administrations and with the promise of more to come caused her to flush.

Melissia was paid a visit by the centurions Drachius, Marcellus and Drusus. The three men were equally as powerful in physique as Antoninus.

Drachius spoke first. “So this little girl is the one that has been causing so much trouble?” He stood squarely in front of Melissia and unleashed an incredibly hard slap to her face. Her head snapped back from the f***e of it and bl**d flowed freely from her nose and mouth.

“And that little girl is just my hand, imagine if you will what my lash will do to you.” He stood back awaiting her response.

"Ah yes….Roman rhetoric. I've studied Greek, and recall that this was the classic Roman response to Philosophy. You are a strong man Drachius but your blows lack the f***e of logic".

Livid, Drachius held Melissa by the hair and pulled back his massive fist. Antoninus had entered the cell unseen and gripped the centurion’s arm.

"That will do for now - we want her to feel your expert attentions. And I will visit you later Melissia, to give you my attentions…."

"I notice you didn't say 'expert' attentions.” Melissa added, audibly, under her breath.

He turned and went outside to breath in the air of the fresh dawn; the girl troubled him as he reflected.

He must faithfully discharge his commission to punish her, taking her before the Consul humble and powerless. This could be done; it would be like overcoming the natural fear all men felt before battle. The witch had undoubted power but she would be no match for a Roman Officer.

When their eyes had met he was, despite all this, unprepared for the f***e of it. He felt almost dizzy. Her taste was in his mouth; her intoxicating scent in his nostrils - the sound of her voice flogged him: "You are wrong again Roman. I am willing to die but will never beg you for it. Torture is the only example of Roman artistic originality so I expect to be tortured. But remember well the circumstances of our meeting. And know that on the next occasion I will not restrain my blade".

Oh yes she troubled him immensely, maybe he would snap out of it when her punishment began. Antoninus ordered that all available soldiers be assembled in the town square. The carpenter knocked together a formidable whipping frame that would stretch the girl to her very limits. It was designed so that she would not be able to flinch from the lash. Having caught a brief glimpse of her it had become a labour of love to build such a fiendish device.

When all were assembled Melissia was brought out into the strong morning sunlight. Her naked body glistened as the sun bounced off her delectable skin.

She walked with the grace of a young gazelle to the foreboding frame. “Please don’t let them see you tremble.” She had thought to herself.

On her arrival at the frame two soldiers stepped forward and manhandled Melissia into position. Leather straps were tightened about her wrists and ankles. The wrist straps were attached to an overhead beam on the frame; this beam could then be raised and lowered according to how much the occupant of the frame needed to be stretched. The straps about her ankles were fastened to the upright posts either side of her body. Now in this position she formed a perfect X. The beam was raised by a winding mechanism and stretched Melissia so tightly that her joints in her arms, legs and back screamed out in protest.

Drachius stepped out from the front ranks of the assembled soldiers carrying one of his many assorted whips. He was stripped to the waist and Melissia could see every detail of his well-formed muscle structure. The man was a superb athletic specimen.

“At the behest of my commanding officer I am to use a light weight whip on you little girl. You see the Tribune wants to deliver you to the Consul in one piece. This situation will enable me to whip you for a very long time without killing you. I can tell you now that all this makes me very happy and of course light whips cause so much more pain and agony than the heavy ones!” Drachius cracked the whip right under Melissia’s nose to gain a reaction from her.

“Well,” she replied, “if I can bring a little happiness into your pathetic life then so be it, I do hope it doesn’t tickle, I would really hate that!” She looked straight into the centurion’s cruel eyes to gauge his reaction to her remark.

“Goad me all you want little girl, for you will dance for me this very day and your screams will be music to my ears!”

Drachius put his hand between Melissia’s legs and fingered her vagina.

“Ah so you think being flogged will give you a sexual thrill do you?” Continued the centurion as he examined the moisture on his fingers.

“Better your whip centurion than a ministering from your phallus!” She held his gaze and could see her remark incensed him.

Drachius had enough of these verbal jousts and turned to his Tribune for the signal to commence this sharp-tongued vixens punishment.

“Lay it on Drachius, I will tell you when to stop!” Antoninus waved his hand as a signal to start.

Drachius looked at her superbly well-muscled back and decided to start carving a criss-cross of welts on what was to him a blank canvas. His first lash landed squarely across her shoulders and drew a sharp intake of breath from her; he felt a surge of passion as her muscles started to spasm under the shock of the impact.

To Melissia the pain was more intense than she could have possibly imagined.

Before she could draw breath the next blow landed in the small of her back, this produced a small stifled sob from her. After the next six she felt that her skin was on fire, the tightness of her restraints increased her agony even more. Sweat started to run down her outstretched body, she bit into her lower lip in an effort to try and not scream.

Drachius was indeed a very accomplished master of the whip as after 18 strokes most of Melissia’s back, buttocks and legs were covered in angry red welts. Antoninus noted that her bladder had emptied as a result of the intense pain and fear she was feeling at this dreadful moment in time. He admired her spirit; her efforts not to cry out were commendable but as the blows continued Drachius had started to extract shrill screams and sobs from her. The Tribune saw how she curled up her toes and balled her fists in a vain effort to gain some sort of control over herself.

Melissia inwardly prayed for the blessed relief of u*********sness as the incessant blows continued to flay her body. After Drachius had delivered his 30th lash a black veil drew across her eyes, Melissia fell into the arms of Morpheus.

“That’s enough for now Drachius, anymore will not be felt!” The Tribune stepped forward and drew a halt to the proceedings. “Take her down and return her to her cell!” he shouted to the two guards that were stationed each side of the frame. Antoninus watched as his men carried Melissia’s u*********s body back to her confinement. He thought how well she had taken her punishment, Melissia never failed to amaze him. That night he decided to tend to her wounds personally.

The soldiers carried Melissia’s limp body back to her cell. There they placed her face down on a makeshift wooden rack, securing her arms and feet to the four corners. They examined their centurion’s handy work with pride, running their hands over her back and buttocks and legs, feeling and stroking the inflamed patchwork of raised red welts on her skin.

“I must give Drachius credit for his expertise.” Said the first soldier. “These patterns are superb, he made her scream so much I very nearly ejaculated”.

“Me to,” replied the second soldier. “What a superb body this girl has, do you think we could take her, right here, right now? I am so aroused.” He then started to massage his swollen phallus.

“I think not, she belongs to the Tribune, we would take her place on that whipping frame if he found out we had ravaged her!” Replied the first soldier. “We had best leave her untouched!” With that the two soldiers went and stood guard outside dreaming of what might have been.

As dusk fell Antoninus went to Melissia’s cell, he stood over her outstretched body; her breathing was laboured and slow. The welts on her back had grown less angry now but he could tell from her breathing that she was in great pain. He really did not want to torture one so beautiful but he had his orders and his loyalty to Rome superseded his own personal feelings.

As he stood over her she began to stir. “Melissia it’s me, Antoninus!” He could not believe how softly he was speaking to her; she truly had a remarkable affect on him.

Melissia groaned, her voice cracked and broken from screaming so much. “Forgive me if I don’t stand.”

As full consciousness returned to her she became aware of the intense pain she was feeling all over her back, buttocks and thighs.

“Your centurion truly does enjoy his work Tribune, does my skin glow to your satisfaction?”

Antoninus knelt down beside her and removed the lid on the jar of balm he had brought with him and replied in a whispered voice.

“I have something that will sooth your pain Melissia.”

Melissia said nothing as she felt the first cold administration of the creamy unguent that the Tribune applied to a large welt that snaked diagonally from her right shoulder to the small of her back. The balm brought blessed relief to her suffering as Antoninus continued to apply it to her tortured body. For a big man he had a gentle touch and Melissia relished it. She felt his hand move in between her buttocks and felt his finger as it probed her petal like entrance. The balm tingled as he massaged it into her anus; the Tribune noted her audible gasp as he fingered her.

“What are you doing?” She sighed unable to resist the sensation she was feeling. Melissia was totally at the mercy of the Tribune’s administrations.

“I am now going to give you my ‘expert attention’ Melissia!” He said as he released his ample phallus from his loincloth.

“I will take you the Roman way!”

With that he entered her anus, Melissia tried to let out a howl of protest but her voice and sexual cravings dampened her will to scream and resist this strange assault. She clenched her fists and curled her toes as she felt the Tribunes fleshy manhood slide into her most forbidden place. It was an exquisite pain she felt as he continued to ravage her. The feeling of his phallus inside her plus the incredible sensation of the magic balm brought her to an incredibly powerful orgasm. To add to her raptures the Tribune had reached under her abdomen to seek out the engorged bud at the entrance to her vagina. As soon as Melissia felt his touch on that erotically charged nub multiple orgasmic waves shot up from between her legs and exploded through her breasts, only ceasing their rippling journey at the tips of her hardened nipples.

At that very moment she felt the Tribune convulse and empty his seed inside her. She found herself whispering. “Et tu Antoninus?”

The next morning Melissia awoke to noise and activity outside her cell. As she slowly came round her guards came in, released her from the rack and dragged her outside. She could see columns of soldiers preparing to leave the town.

Drachius approached her. “Ah I see you have recovered from our last encounter?”

“Yes!” Replied Melissia, “It is very difficult to keep a good woman down!” She held her head aloof and looked down her nose at him.

Drachius scoffed at her and ordered that she be tethered behind the leading cart.

“You will walk to Nova Magus as naked as the day you were born little girl and if you trip and fall then we will drag you there!” He laughed as he turned to mount his horse.

Just as the column was about to set off a lone rider appeared riding at great speed. Melissia watched as he dismounted and approached the Tribune. She saw Antoninus summon his centurions and after some discussion noted the growing agitation in them. Antoninus broke away from the group and came over to her.

He towered over her and shouted at her. “It would appear that the women and c***dren I sent to the galleys have disappeared along with my soldiers, would this have anything to do with your army?”

Melissia glared into his blazing eyes and replied. “I am no longer in command of my army, they will have a new leader by now and it would appear they are making a very good job of it!” She flared her nostrils at him and held his gaze.

The Tribune gave Melissia a heavy slap across the face that sent her sprawling on the ground. She pulled herself up onto one elbow and wiped the bl**d from the corner of her mouth.

“I take it you are not too happy about that then?”

Antoninus pulled her roughly to her feet. “I’ll show you how happy I am girl!” he bellowed as he beckoned to three nearby soldiers. “Take her to the ironmongers shop now!”

The soldiers dragged Melissia into an opened sided building at the end of the street. The building contained a hot ironmongers forge, she felt the heat from it as she was pushed inside.

“Secure her to that beam!” Shouted the Tribune.

Very quickly Melissia found herself with her hands and arms tied above her head and with her feet and ankles spread and securely bound to beams either side of her.

This turn of events disturbed her very much, staring at the burning forge she knew she was in for even more serious torture. Sweat ran down her gleaming torso, more from fear than anything else.

The three centurions seething with anger joined Antoninus at the forge.

“I need to know what your army plans to do next Melissia? Speak now and avoid this interrogation by branding!” He pushed a long bladed knife into the hot coals and pumped the bellows several times.

Melissia tried to hide her nervousness. “As I said earlier, I am no longer their leader, branding me will not change anything!”

“We shall see, Melissia, we shall see!” The Tribune withdrew the knife from the forge and examined the glowing blade as he approached the woman spread before him.

He held the burning hot blade in front of Melissia’s face; she just stared at it transfixed. She closed her eyes tightly to protect her eyes from the searing heat. Without any further hesitation Antoninus applied the glowing blade to the soft skin on the inside of her left thigh and held it there. Her soft sweat soaked skin made a sizzling sound and Melissia’s piercing screams could be heard throughout the town.

“Yes Melissia the pain is beyond belief is it not and I will not be done with you until you tell me what I want to know!” The Tribune put the knife back into the forge. Preparing it for the next kiss on her writhing body.

The Tribune placed the red-hot blade against the inside of Melissia’s right thigh producing another even shriller scream of agony from her. He held the blade against her tortured thigh for several seconds and watched her buck and writhe desperately in a futile effort to avoid the hideous burning pain between her legs.

Antoninus had to shout to make himself heard above Melissia’s uncontrollable sobbing.

“Ah little princess this is so much more painful than the lash is it not? Please, tell me what I want to know and I will end your torment!” The Tribune noted a pleading look in the girl’s eyes. “Yes you really do want to tell me something don’t you?” He went on.

Melissia spoke through agonised sobs. “ Li….li…listen to me you Roman filth, it would not have been difficult to predict your movements once I was in your custody. My lieutenants have been trained well in Roman tactics and are correctly guessing your every move. They do not need me to tell them how to do that!”

“And may I assume we may be visited by them between here and Nova Magus?” He replied quizzically.

Melissia’s courage returned. “You can assume what you will Tribune, I am dispensable, they will attack you when and wherever necessary, my being your prisoner will not deter them. The destruction of you and your cohort is inevitable.” She held is gaze delighting in his quandary.

“Then we will proceed by another route, thank you Melissia for making it so obvious to me. What a pity I had to mark those wonderful thighs. I will get the apothecary to make up a lotion for you.” With that he plunged the hot blade into a nearby bucket of water, Melissia breathed a sigh of relief.

The Tribune and his three centurions left Melissia with her guards and went to make alternative arrangements for their journey to Nova Magua. The guards released her from the beams and pinned her down on some nearby straw bales. They brutally spread her legs, groped her at her breasts and plunged their fingers into her vaginal folds.

“You seem to have lost our Tribune’s favour girl, seeing you branded like that has made me very excited indeed.” Scowled the first soldier.

With that he withdrew his swollen member from his tunic and started to pleasure himself. His two colleagues continued to grope Melissia’s tortured body. In what seemed like seconds he emptied his semen all over her abdomen.

“Thank the gods you are not my lover!” Croaked Melissia wearily. The remark earned her another slap to her face.

“Oh please wash your hands before you do that again!” She continued deridingly.

In a few short minutes the remaining two guards emptied their scrotal contents onto her face and breasts.

“Well, you pagan whore all your skin is worthy of now is to be a receptacle for our ejaculate!” Exclaimed the second guard as he slapped her face again. “I sincerely hope I will be your guard when you are dragged before the Consul!”

“Yes of course.” Replied Melissia. “All friends should stick together should they not? And talking about sticking I would like to wash your filth from my body!” She continued haughtily.

The first guard was about to slap her again when Antoninus walked in. “That will do! Let her up and get out! The three soldiers hurriedly left the forge.

The pain was so intense between Melissia’s thighs she could not stand. The Tribune walked over to her prone body and stood over her.

“Well now, I leave you alone for just a few minutes and as soon as my back is turned I find you titillating my men, shame on you.” Antoninus’ humour had returned; he felt he was in control of the situation once more.

“Yes, that was some party, what a shame you missed it!” Agonised Melissia as she tried to get to her feet.

The Tribune noted the ejaculate covering her belly and breasts.

“Did they penetrate you?” He asked looking on with some concern.

Melissia scoffed at him. “Huh! Why should you care? They were just playing follow my leader!” She finally managed to stand up.

Antoninus examined her bruised face. “That insolent tongue of yours will be torn out one of these days believe me! Now go wash yourself and apply some of this to your burns.”

He handed her a small earthenware jar and pointed to a large water trough in the corner of the shop. Melissia snatched it from him and went to attend her burnt and bruised body.

While Melissia attended to her wounds and washed herself another messenger arrived outside. This time it was good news for the Tribune. Two more cohorts were approaching from the north, these would swell his army to 900 men, he was jubilant.

‘Let them try and rescue her now’ he thought to himself.

While Antoninus waited for the reinf***ements to arrive new men were posted to guard Melissia. They were warned not to violate her in any way and to do so would bring swift retribution from the Tribune.

The moment the reinf***ements arrived Antoninus called a war council with the nine centurions who were now under his command. He informed them that he expected Melissia’s warrior army to ambush them somewhere between here and Nova Magus. Therefore, he wanted the extra troops to perform a sweep to the south and north of the road all the way to the city. Antoninus was confident that with three cohorts he could repel any form of attack or rescue attempt from the pagan women. He advised his new officers how the prisoner had told him she was dispensable and how he himself thought very differently.

So the advanced reconnaissance f***e was sent out, the remaining f***es were to proceed with all speed to Nova Magus. Drachius was informed that the first stop would be short and subsequently there would be no time to put Melissia to the lash for a second time. The centurion could barely hide his anger, he felt sure his commanding officer was softening toward the girl. With that in mind he decided that the quicker she was taken before the Consul the better.

Melissia hardly noticed the general noise from the gathering troops outside her cell. She busily applied the lotion that the apothecary had mixed for her.

On first application it seemed to cause her even more pain but after an hour it brought here blessed relief. She silently thanked the unknown person who concocted this magical balm.

The guard that was stationed at the end of her cot spoke out. “You will need a lot more of that unguent when the Consul has done with you girl!” He said, laughing at his own jocularity.

Melissia did not even bother to look up from her ministrations but under her breath and loud enough to be heard replied. “You will require a large vat full of this when my army is done with you, Roman pig!”

The guard remembering his Tribune’s warning, suppressed his urge to slap her but retorted. “Curse me all you want for now little girl but heed this. It is we who will break you and your kin and it is you who will dance to the tune of the Consul’s painful torture and it is I who will be the first in line to nail you to the cross when he is done with you!”

Melissia finished tending her wounds and looked up at her tormentor. “And I promise you soldier that it will be you and your kind who will dance on the end of a pagan sword, that is my solemn promise to you and the rest of your murdering kinsmen!”

Before the guard could make a further reply a sentry came in and gave an order for Melissia to be taken outside. She was astounded when she saw how many Roman soldiers had arrived. Drachius appeared from one of the nearby groups, he grabbed her tightly by the arm and lead her to his horse.

Melissia was intrigued. “Am I not to be dragged to Nova Magus then?” she said haughtily trying to break away from the centurions vice like grip.

Drachius gave her a cuff to the head. “I have no more time for your verbal jousts woman, we are to proceed with all speed, your dalliances will not be tolerated at this time!” With that he threw her over his horse.

The centurion then climbed up behind her and joined the column with Melissia protesting vehemently about her exposed position across Drachius’ saddle. She looked around for Antoninus but he was far away at the head of the line of troops.

“Any more noise from you little girl and I will punish these resplendent buttocks that rise up so nicely before me!” Melissia’s anger worsened as she heard Drachius laughing at her predicament.

They rode hard all day and well into the night, finally just before midnight they made camp. Melissia’s head spun from the buffeting she received whilst laying across Drachius’ saddle. Her chest and ribs ached unbearably and she had no doubt that was the centurion’s intention. He pulled her off his horse took out some leather twine, strapped her arms behind her back and tied her ankles together. Four soldiers were assigned to guard her while he went to see his Tribune.

Antoninus saw him coming and noted the anger in the Drachius’ face.

“What is it Drachius?” He asked, wondering what had angered his favourite centurion and friend so much.

Drachius looked his leader squarely in the eyes.

“Tell me Tribune, are you in love with her, has she managed to dazzle you with those doe eyes of hers?” He searched Antoninus’ face for an answer to his question.

“By the gods no Drachius, she has stirred my loins on occasion but no she has not captivated me.” He went to dismiss his centurion.

“Prove it!” Replied Drachius, “Prove to me that there is not more to this situation!” Still continuing to search his leaders face.

“And how should I do that Drachius?” This questioning from his subordinate troubled him.

“You promised I could put her under the lash each and every night on our way to the city!” The centurion held his stare.

“Yes, Drachius I did but……”

The centurion interrupted him.

“You can prove to me there is nothing between the two of you Tribune, let me put her to the lash tonight. Then tomorrow we can present her to the Consul with a beautiful set of fresh stripes!” Drachius waited for the compromise.

Antoninus did feel he was compromised and searched his thoughts for a solution that would spare Melissia this extra punishment before her arrival at Nova Magus. Drachius’ argument was strong and before he could stop himself the Tribune heard himself giving the order for the girl to be lashed immediately.

Melissia was lying uncomfortably on some leafy ground under a large oak tree and her four guards were staring at her nakedness. She was in too much pain to goad them this night and simply glared back at them. She had been denied the lotion given to her earlier and now the burns to her inner thighs began to cause her more distress.

She heard Drachius approach and give orders for her to be strung up to a branch above her head.

“What are you doing?” She protested vehemently, trying in vain to struggle against the strength of the four soldiers as they manhandled her.

“The Tribune said I was not to be whipped this night!” She went on.

Drachius gripped her throat.

“That is where you are wrong little girl!” Tonight will be just for you, me, these four soldiers and this!” The centurion held out a whip in front of Melissia’s face and laughed, as did the four guards.

The branch of the tree had been pulled down to meet Melissia’s outstretch arms. Each of her ankles were secured to a stake in the ground. Then the branch was released stretching her body taut. Melissia made a delightful spectacle, the sheen of her light brown body, her distended ribs topped off by her exquisite breasts. This vision had caused delirious swellings in the groins of her tormentors.

The guards drew back to give Drachius space to weald his whip. Melissia’s eyes flashed defiance at the whipmaster daring him to do his worst.

“Tonight is your punishment for all the insults you have hurled at my men and myself these past few days you little heathen. And do not look to your Tribune to rescue you from this one, he himself ordered this!” The centurion uncoiled the whip.

Melissia’s mind was in turmoil, she had not expected any more whippings before the ordeal she would surely endure at Nova Magus. What had changed the Tribune’s mind since yesterday? Her body was already racked with pain and now she was to suffer even more. Melissia snapped out of her thoughts as Drachius landed the first lash squarely across both her breasts catching the tip of one nipple. Breath flew out of her and she gave a stifled sob, the pain radiated down from her chest and into her abdomen. She struggled against her bonds to no avail; she was totally at the mercy of the powerful centurion who was relishing every moment of her anguish.

As she was getting her breath back from the first lash another landed across her abdomen, this blow produced an even louder sob from her. The tip of the whip had snaked around her hip and raised a painful welt to the top of her left buttock joining the other marks from her previous encounter with Drachius and his dreaded whip. Melissia tried in vain to ride the torturous blows of the lash but she was suspended so tightly all her efforts were futile. Lash after lash rained down on her writhing body, producing tormented screams from Melissia, her breasts, ribs, abdomen and thighs now bore a criss-cross of painful welts, she prayed for u*********sness.

Antoninus lay on his cot trying to shut out Melissia’s screams of agony. His mind was in torment, Drachius’ words went round and round in his head. Was he right? Has this Pagan Princess captivated him? Again Melissia’s shrill screams tortured his ears, the incessant crack of Drachius’ whip as it found the girls soft flesh caused him to wince. After what seemed like an eternity Melissia’s screams ceased but the whipping continued.

Drachius goaded by the four guards continued to flog Melissia’s u*********s body. She just hung from the tightly sprung tree branch, her body bathed in sweat and bearing a patchwork of welts from her neck down to her ankles. Her head hung to one side clearly not feeling anything now.

“CEASE THIS AT ONCE!” The Tribune bellowed at his centurion, grabbing the trailing whip and pulling it from Drachius’ grip. “Can you not see she is no longer feeling your blows Drachius?”

The centurion was incensed by his leaders interference and replied through gritted teeth.

“As I said before Tribune, we would do well to present her to the Consul with a fine set of crimson welts!”

Antoninus replied angrily. “And would you care to experience the Consul’s wrath if we presented him with a dead body?” The Tribune raised a quizzical eyebrow to his centurion.

Drachius conceded that maybe his leader was correct and ordered for Melissia to be taken down. “Yes Tribune you a right, I think she has learned an important lesson today and that is she cannot insult my men and myself and not receive retribution!”

Antoninus put his hand on his centurion’s shoulder. “Drachius she will receive all the retribution Rome can offer once she is put before the Consul, mark my words well.”

Drachius headed his words. “Then let us proceed with all speed when day breaks Tribune, I feel her army may not be far away, we could do well without their interference!”

Later that night Melissia awoke in a delirium, she drifted in and out of consciousness and her head swam as she felt constant rising nausea. This latest session under the lash had been brutal, she felt close to death. Every part of her body cried out in stinging pain, the burns to the insides of her thighs gave out agonising pulses of heat. Rivulets of perspiration ran off her skin as she thrashed about in agony.

The Tribune had given orders for her to be placed inside one of his command tents and had doubled the guard on her. He was troubled by the deterioration in her health, troubled by his feelings for her and most of all, troubled that she seemed to be dieing. It did not bother him now what the Consul would think if presented with a dead prisoner, now he was bothered about Melissia. His mind was in turmoil, he felt like a traitor to Rome allowing this woman to take over his very being; he felt she had possessed him.

Antoninus sent for his personal physician to attend Melissia. The physician wondered how anyone could inflict these terrible things to such a beautiful creature as the one laid out before him. Lovingly he covered her body with cold damp compresses in an effort to bring down the consuming fever that was burning within her. The physician informed the Tribune what he did not want to hear, that the girl was near death.

“She is in deep shock Tribune.” Said the physician, looking genuinely concerned for his patient. “I will give her a potion that will put her into a deep sl**p, her body needs to recover and must not be troubled by consciousness. Her survival will rest upon her own will to live.”

“Thank you.” Said Antoninus “I value your skill, I think this woman’s will to live will surpass all our expectations, I have no doubt about that. It is a pity however, that our efforts may be in vain as the Consul has plans to torture her to death should she survive this trauma!” The Tribune watched as his physician administered his potion and then dismissed him.

Antoninus mopped Melissia’s fevered brow, his heart sank to see her like this and he felt he had been instrumental in destroying a thing of beauty. Even near death she brought out intense desire and lust in him.

“May the gods strike me down if you die Melissia.” He whispered under his breath.

Melissia opened her eyes and tried to focus through the red mist.

In a broken voice she said. “ me your sword Tribune and I will spare your gods that task.” With that she drifted into total u*********sness.

Antoninus’ heart seemed to leap from his chest when she spoke. He replied to the sl**ping enchantress before him.

“You brave brave young woman, it seems nothing can dampen your spirit. If you survive this I will gladly give you my sword so that you may extinguish the life from me.” His words fell on deaf ears as Melissia slid into the darkest of voids.

The Tribune stayed with her the entire night, lovingly mopping her body, applying lotion to her welts and burns totally transfixed by her beauty.

The next morning Antoninus awoke to loud trumpeting sounds coming from the edge of the camp. Bleary-eyed he went outside and was met by his general Honorius Plexus complete with fifty men of the Consul’s personal guard. He saluted his general and took him inside the command tent to see his captive.

The general gazed at the u*********s girl. “It would seem you have done the Consul’s work for him Antoninus?”

The Tribune shuffled uncomfortably. “She was impudent and loose tongued, she goaded my men with derisory remarks. I felt certain punishments were in order General.”

“Quite so Antoninus, in your position I would have done the same.”

Honorius looked more closely at Melissia. “She looks so innocent like this, hard to imagine this little girl leading an army of savage warrior women, why there is nothing of her.”

Antoninus’ confidence grew. “She has been trained well Honorius, she and her army have learned our battle tactics and she speaks several tongues fluently, including our own.”

The general raised his eyebrows and ran his fingers over the girl’s skin feeling the array of raised welts on her abdomen. Honorius salivated. “Magnificent specimen of womanhood Tribune, if she lives we must quiz her as to who her teacher was. Whomever it is they are a danger to Rome and must be brought to task as quickly as possible.”

Eager to please his general Antoninus replied. “Then we must hope the girl lives so that we may question her more thoroughly.”

“Yes indeed Tribune!” The general nodded enthusiastically.

“I will arrange for her to be transferred by litter for the remainder of the journey to Nova Magus. Then whilst there she will be nursed back to health so that she can face an inquisition.”


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