Beauty's Punishment

Page 7


"We haven't all day to amuse ourselves with the little Princess," the auctioneer cried, though the crowd urged him on with shouts of "Spank her," "Punish her."
"Calling for a firm hand and severe discipline for this lovely lady, what am I bid?" He twisted Beauty, smacking the soles of her naked feet with the paddle, pushing her head through her arms so that she could not conceal her face.
"Lovely br**sts, tender arms, delectable bu**ocks, and a sweet little pleasure cleft fit for the gods!"
But the bids were already flying, topped so quickly he did not have to repeat them, and through her swimming eyes Beauty saw the hundreds of faces gazing up at her, the young men crowded to the very edge of the platform, a pair of young women whispering and pointing, and beyond an old woman leaning on a cane as she studied Beauty, raising a withered finger now to offer a bid.
Again the sense of abandon came over her, the defiance, and she kicked and wailed behind her closed lips, wondering that she didn't shout aloud. Was it more humiliating to admit that she could speak? Would her face have been more scarlet had she been made to demonstrate that she was a thinking, feeling creature, and not some dumb slave?
Her sobs were her only answer to herself, her legs pulled wide apart now as the bidding continued, the auctioneer spreading her bu**ocks with the leather rod as he had done to Tristan, stroking her anus so that she squealed and clenched her teeth, and twisted, even trying to kick him if she could.
But he was now confirming the highest bid, and then another, and trying to coax more out of the crowd until she heard him announce in that same deep voice:
"Sold to the Innkeeper, Mistress Jennifer Lockley of the Sign of the Lion, for the grand sum of twenty-seven pieces of gold, this spirited and amusing little Princess, surely to be whipped for her bread and butter as much as anything else!"
The crowd applauded as Beauty was unchained and rushed down the steps, her hands clasped behind her back so that her br**sts jutted forward. She was not surprised to feel a strip of leather being forced into her mouth. It was buckled tight to the back of her head and her wrists were buckled to it, which also did not surprise her after the struggle she had made.
"So let them do it!" she thought desperately. And when two long reins were brought round from this same buckle on the back of her head and given to the tall black-haired woman standing before the platform, Beauty thought, "Very clever. She will pull me along after her as if I were a little beast."
The woman was studying her as the Chronicler had studied Tristan, her face vaguely triangular and almost beautiful, her black hair free down her back save for one thin braid over her forehead which seemed a decorative way to keep the full dark tresses out of her face. She wore a gorgeous red velvet bodice and skirt with a puff-sleeved linen blouse.
"Rich Innkeeper," Beauty thought. The tall woman pulled the reins hard, almost jerking Beauty off her feet, and then she slung the reins over her shoulder, dragging Beauty into a fast and unwilling trot behind her.
The villagers pushed in on Beauty, shoving her, prodding her, smacking her sore bu**ocks and telling her what a bad girl she was, and asking her how she liked that slap, and saying how they'd
like to have an hour alone with her to make her behave. But she had her eyes on the woman, and she was trembling all over, her mind curiously empty, as if she weren't thinking at all.
Yet she was thinking. She was thinking, as she had before, "Why shouldn't I be as bad as I like?" But she burst into fresh tears suddenly, and why, she didn't know. The woman was walking so fast that Beauty had to trot, whether she wanted to or not, obeying, whether she meant to or not, and the fresh tears stung her eyes and made the colors of the square flow into one hot shifting cloud.
They entered a little street, rushing past stragglers who barely glanced to the side as they moved in the marketplace. And very quickly Beauty was trotting over the cobblestones of a silent and empty little lane that twisted and turned under the dark half-timbered houses with their diamond-paned windows and brightly painted shutters and doors.
Shingles everywhere announced the trades of the village; here hung the boot of the shoemaker and there the leather glove of the glove maker, and the crude painting of a gold cup to mark the dealer in silver and gold plate.
A strange quiet fell over Beauty, in which all the little aches of her body burned brighter. She felt her head pulled forward hard by the leather reins that brushed her cheeks. She breathed anxiously against the strip of leather that gagged her, and for one moment something about the entire scene surprised her, the winding lane, the deserted little shops, the tall woman in the red velvet bodice and broad red skirt walking in front of her, her long black hair curling loosely down her narrow back. It seemed to have happened before, all of it, or rather to be quite the ordinary thing.
Of course it couldn't have happened. But Beauty felt as if she belonged here in some odd way, and the searing terror of the marketplace was drained away. She was naked, yes, and her thighs burned with welts as did her bu**ocks - she dared not even think of how she looked - and her br**sts as always sent that full throb through her, and there was as ever that terrible secret pulsing between her legs. Yes, her sex, teased so cruelly by the strokes of that smooth paddle, was maddening her still.
But these things were almost sweet now. Even the slap of her bare feet on the sun-warmed cobblestones was almost good. And she felt vaguely curious about the tall woman. And she wondered what she, Beauty, would do next.
She had never really wondered that at the castle. She had been afraid of what she would be made to do. But she was not sure now that she should be made to do anything. She didn't know.
And again there was that feeling of utter normality in the fact that she was a naked, bound slave, a punished slave, being jerked cruelly through this lane. It crossed her mind that this tall woman knew precisely how to handle her, rushing her along like this, past all chance of rebellion. And that fascinated her.
She let her gaze drift up the walls, and she realized that there were people in the windows here and there watching her. Ahead she saw a woman with her arms folded before her as she looked down. And across the way farther on was a young man sitting on the window-sill who smiled at her and blew her a little kiss, and then there appeared in the lane a coarsely dressed man with bowed legs who took off his hat to "Mistress Lockley" and bowed as he went past. His eyes barely touched on Beauty, but he gave her bu**ocks a pat as she went by.
That odd feeling of the regularity of it began to confuse Beauty. At the same time she luxuriated in it, as she was brought swiftly into another very large cobble-stoned square, this one with a public well in the center, surrounded on all sides by the signs of various Inns.