There’s less than a month left before the Steampunk Bundle disappears. In the lead-up to that heartbreaking moment, we’ll be running some hot excerpts from each of the volumes in the bundle. Today we start with Elizabeth Schechter’s House of Sable Locks, winner of the Passionate Plume award, and finalist for the Magnolia Award.
(also available at Amazon, iBooks/iTunes, Smashwords, Kobo and Barnes & Noble)
Chapter Four: Gunner’s Daughter
William stopped outside a door that was almost identical to all the other doors on this floor, and all the doors that he’d gone through on his other nights in the House. This one was made unique solely by the brass plaque that read “Brigantine.” Nothing in the name gave any hint of what to expect inside the room.
This was the last room. He’d tried all the others, on both floors. Some were interesting, others bored him. Most of them had bored him, to be honest. He had promised Gerald, though, and now this was the last. After this, he could return to the fourth floor. He pushed open the door and went in.
He was met inside by the attendant automaton, just as in all the other rooms, and once again, he allowed himself to be prepared for what lay ahead. His mask and gag were removed and laid aside, and clothing was laid out for him to put on. William dressed slowly, intrigued by the fact that he was putting on the uniform of a Captain in the Royal Navy, complete with epaulets, an empty sword belt, and boots. He adjusted the coat and turned to let the attendant add the finishing touches. Leg irons were fitted around his ankles, and then his wrists were bound before him with rough rope that smelled heavily of tar. The final touch was a gag, a simple length of cloth forced into William’s mouth and tied there tightly, almost painfully. The attendant took his arm and steered him to the inner door, and without ceremony shoved him through.
He stumbled, nearly falling as his bad leg went weak under him, and was caught by a multitude of rough, grasping hands. He looked up, startled, to see himself surrounded by men who laughed and jeered as they pulled him further into the room, away from the door. The room was made up to look like the main deck of a sailing ship, but none of the men who were manhandling him were dressed in uniform. Rather, they were dressed in ragged, mismatched clothing that was dark with dirt and sweat. William realized immediately just what this room was meant to represent: a pirate attack. No doubt he was supposed to be the captain of a ship taken by pirates, and somewhere in this crowd was the pirate captain to whom he would be presented as a hostage. Even as he struggled and fought to pull away, even as the pirates pulled him steadily forward, their harsh hands tugging and tearing at his clothes and groping at his arse and his crotch, William was examining the room, the automatons that made up the crew, weighing the possibilities. And growing aroused.
Bruised and disheveled from the rough handling, with one sleeve torn free from his coat, William found himself forced to his knees in an open area of the deck and held there by two of the pirates. In front of him, facing the rail, was a tall man dressed in a once-fine, wine-red velvet coat.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this moment, Captain,” the pirate captain said as he turned to face William. “Do you remember me, I wonder? Do you remember John Forester?” William stared up at the man and shook his head; Forester laughed. “No, of course not. Why should you remember the promising young officer that you sentenced to be flogged ’round the fleet and court martialed?” He grabbed the front of William’s coat, dragging him to his feet. “Do you remember me now, Captain?” he demanded, spitting out the title like a curse. “Do you remember how I begged? How I swore that I had nothing to do with the mutineers and that I was loyal to you?” Forester pitched his voice lower, “Do you remember how I knelt to you, offered you everything I had, if you would only listen to me? How you took advantage of me, and then threw me to the dogs?” He shoved William away, watching as he fell into the waiting hands of the other pirates. “Now I’m the one with the power, aren’t I?” He laughed again and stepped back, raising his voice, “I think that the gunner’s daughter is waiting for our guest!”
William’s muffled protests were drowned out by the cheers and shouts from the pirates as they dragged him away from Forester and further out onto the deck. The sea of men parted, and William saw the cannon, an ancient demi-cannon that had seen better years. Some small, rational part of his mind protested, telling him that it couldn’t possibly be a real cannon. Never mind the fact that the floors would never hold the weight of such a weapon, there was no way in Heaven’s name that Madame could have even gotten the thing, let alone brought it into the house and up four flights of stairs! It was fake, it had to be fake. Even knowing that, it was impossible to deny the delicious thrill that washed over him as the pirates pushed him towards the barrel of the gun. William let them carry him, stumbling slightly over the chains at his ankles until they reached the muzzle of the cannon.
There, he was pushed forward over the barrel and held there while the ropes that bound his wrists were cut and his arms were brought under the barrel and chained there. A noose was tossed around his neck and tightened, almost painfully so, the free end wrapped around the barrel and tied off. William struggled for a moment, tossing his head to try and get the hair out of his eyes, testing his bonds, letting himself get lost in the role. He fell still as the pirates grew quiet; there were heavy footsteps coming towards him, and Forester moved into his line of sight, a heavy-looking canvas bag in one hand. The pirate studied him for a moment, then smiled slowly and stepped back, waving his free hand at his prisoner. “Strip him!”
William closed his eyes and braced himself as the pirates swarmed over him, shouting as gleefully as children with a new toy. Rupesh had once done this—bound William and torn the clothes from his back. It had been exciting, but it had hurt almost more than the beating that followed and it had left bruises behind. This was almost gentle by comparison, the uniform shredding far more easily than William would have expected. In a few minutes, he was near naked, wearing only his boots and a few scraps from the sleeves of his coat. He shifted slightly, moving his hips and smiling slightly around the gag—this position was perfect for either a beating or a fucking. Hopefully both; the last two rooms that he had visited had been very disappointing. This, however, was promising.
The pirates moved away, but before William could open his eyes, his legs were kicked apart and a firm hand ran down his arse and between his legs, grabbing his erect cock. William groaned and opened his eyes, hearing Forester laugh behind him.
“This is a surprise, Captain. You’re no better than a dockside whore.” He tightened his grip, making William moan, then let go and stepped back. “Perhaps this will be more interesting than I thought. Not to mention more enjoyable. Bosun! Bring me the stocks!”
The stocks proved to be a heavy hinged board with two holes bored into it; once the leg irons were removed and the stocks were locked around William’s ankles, his legs were spread almost to the point of pain, and the only thing holding him upright was the cannon, which dug uncomfortably into his belly. The barrel of the gun shifted, and William raised his head to see Forester sitting a few feet away from him, the canvas bag resting on the metal in front of him.
“I made this especially for you, Captain,” he said, untying the mouth of the bag and shaking it open. He reached in and slowly drew out a cat-o-nine-tails made from thick, braided rope. William moaned softly as Forester dangled the cat in front of him, close enough that William could see the thorn-like splinters studding the rough rope falls. Forester smiled and stood, draping the cat over William’s shoulders, then standing back and taking a length of cloth from his coat. Before William could even think about flinching away, Forester had used the cloth to blindfold him, then moved away, running his fingers over William’s bare back as he passed. William tossed his head, pulling against the chains as he tried to dislodge the blindfold, feeling the noose tighten around his neck as he did so. He could hear the pirates jeering and laughing around him, and was very much aware of Forester’s presence behind him like Damocles’ sword.
“We’ve been at sea quite a long time, Captain,” Forester said softly, running his nails over William’s skin, lightly at first, then harder and harder until William was sure that the man had drawn blood. “The question is, should I give you to my men? Or should I keep you for myself?” Forester continued, taking William’s arse in his hands and squeezing roughly. William groaned, trying to push back against the punishing hands, wanting to see, wanting more; he moaned loud enough that Forester laughed.
“You’re a whore, Captain,” he said, then proclaimed loudly. “It’s time for the gunner’s daughter to have her way with him!”
More cheers and hooting, and William felt the rough cat pulled across his shoulders, the thorns catching and scratching his skin. He held his breath, knowing what was coming, unable to do anything to stop it, and not even sure if he wanted to try.
The first strike was a shock, more so because it didn’t hurt at first. William found himself thinking, “That’s all?” Then the thorns pulled free, and pain rushed in to fill the gap left behind; he cried out, more in surprise than pain, and Forester laughed merrily in response.
“I’ll enjoy hearing you scream, Captain!” he shouted, and William heard the cat whistling once more.