Susan Strict
”Terms of Surrender” is a new novel from Wheldrake, edited and published by Strict Publishing.  Set some time in the Middle Ages in a fictional realm somewhere (probably) in Eastern Europe, a youthful King and his brother decide to wage war on a neighbouring country, ruled over by a powerful Queen.  Having successfully taken one castle just over the borders, it all goes badly wrong.  As a prisoner, the King’s younger brother finds himself learning some painful lessons about the power of sadistic women…

“Quite right,” said the Queen approvingly.  “After all, if I really want to look at you or touch you, I will.”  As if to emphasise her words she reached out and kneaded his balls casually for a moment, then slapped his buttock.  “Up on the horse, Aldric.  Mount it just as you would any other steed, facing the door.”

So that was what the thing was for.  He should have known, especially considering he was in the Riding School.  He glanced from the Queen to Logred and Delina, who had carefully positioned themselves between him and the door, and decided he was in no position to disobey.  He vaulted smoothly onto the horse, if a little gingerly, and immediately realised what made it suitable for a torture chamber.  Sitting on that narrow, peaked edge was almost like sitting on the blade of a huge wooden knife, and it dug mercilessly into his crotch and ass.  The horse was high enough that his feet dangled several inches off the floor, although he could still make things less uncomfortable by putting his hands on the edge in front of him and using them to support a good part of his weight.  Still, his arms were not going to hold out forever, and the crushing pressure on his balls in particular was relentless and mildly painful, no matter what he did.  Aldric wondered suddenly how a woman would feel in his position, with the back of the horse digging in between her labia, but of course the thought was purely hypothetical.  Of the two women in the room, one was there to give commands and the other to enforce them.  Neither was about to exchange places with him.

“Comfortable, Aldric?” the Queen asked with a smile.

“I think you can guess how uncomfortable it must be, Your Majesty.”

She shrugged.  “Only in a vague way.  I don’t know what it feels like when male parts are pressed a little too hard.”  He shifted his weight, trying to relieve some of that unwelcome pressure, and the Queen chuckled and patted his buttock.  “Don’t bother, Aldric.  There’s no way to make it easy on yourself.”  She turned to the two guards and said decisively, “Put the yoke on him.”

Seated on the horse, Aldric towered over even Logred by a few inches, but the guards could reach up to his head easily enough.  He exhaled uneasily as Logred picked up the wooden board from the table and opened each of its three holes with a small key, a hinged section swinging outward at the middle of the board and at either end.  The holes seemed to gape invitingly, a large central one flanked by two that were much smaller.

Delina smiled almost sympathetically as she approached him, but took his chin and hair in a firm grip and held his head steady as Logred positioned the board on his shoulders and closed the central opening around his neck.  The board was not especially thick, and in fact it felt lighter than the iron collar he had been wearing earlier, but he could feel its weight pressing him down just a little more firmly on his diabolically narrow perch.  He struggled for a moment when Delina and Logred took hold of his forearms, and Delina sighed and drove her elbow casually into his flank.

“Come on, Aldric.  Don’t fight us.”

“Ow!  I’m sorry!”

“Don’t be sorry, just do as you’re told.  Give us your arms.”

He moaned as his full weight, as well as that of the wooden yoke, bore down on that narrow line of discomfort beneath his crotch and ass.  Delina and Logred snapped the hinged sections of the yoke shut around his wrists, trapping his hands at the level of his shoulders.

“Now the ankle ropes,” said Queen Arctis, who was looking on from the vicinity of the doorway with one of her small, inscrutable smiles firmly in place.  Her eyes glinted as she watched the guards take hold of his ankles and tie them loosely to the small metal rings on the sides of the horse.  Now he could not move his feet more than an inch or two to the front or back, or lift them enough to use the rings as footholds.

“Perfect,” said Arctis, and slipped off the heavy dark cloak she had worn down to the dungeon.  Beneath she was dressed in a plain white robe that hung loosely on her slender figure, only barely covering the tops of her breasts.  It came down nearly to her ankles, but the sleeves were rolled up to leave her forearms bare.  The robe was a simple, utilitarian garment, permitting plenty of freedom of movement.  It was as if, Aldric thought, the Queen intended to exert herself.

She walked slowly over to the wooden horse with that malevolent glint in her eye.  Aldric flinched away as best he could when she reached for him, but she only rested her open hand on his belly, playing with the fine dark hairs and digging her nails in just a little.  Arctis smiled, walked around behind him, and scratched idly at his lower back and buttocks.  The mild, almost tickling discomfort made him want to squirm, but he had learned that the crushing ache in his groin was more bearable if he held still.

“My poor naked prince,” Queen Arctis said from behind him.  “If boys could be damsels in distress, Aldric, I think the term would certainly suit you.”  She slapped his buttock hard, indeed with more force than he would have thought her arm capable of producing, and he gasped aloud.  Her hand dropped to his left thigh, tracing the old, long scar that ran from his hip almost to his knee.  “Ah, yes, I’d forgotten that you were once wounded on the field of battle.  A sword-blow, was it?  You must have been carved open nearly to the bone.”

“An axe, Your Majesty,” Aldric told her.  “And yes, it cut me to the bone.  I’ve had some practice at withstanding pain.”

“I suspected you might think that,” she informed him, not unkindly.  “You’ll find that it’s very different when you’re bound, unable to do anything to save yourself, and the pain is being methodically and deliberately inflicted by skilled hands.  Tonight, Aldric, I’m going to give you a taste of what pain really is.  Bear down on him.”

Delina and Logred were standing close by, one on each side of him, and at the Queen’s command they each put their hands on one of his bare thighs and leaned on him with all their weight.  The pain between his legs was sudden and brutal, and he gave a full-throated scream.  That awful wooden wedge seemed to be splitting him apart, separating testicle from testicle and buttock from buttock.  After a long moment, the Queen said “Enough” and the guards released him, leaving him trembling and covered in cold sweat.

“A taste,” the Queen repeated, and picked up the whip.  Its braided leather tassel was as long as Aldric’s arm, and parted into three separate strands about two thirds of the way along its length.  She smiled and jabbed the wooden handle hard into his ribs, making him grunt.

“Scream all you like, Aldric.  Not even Huralda will hear you.  We’re very private here, behind that heavy door.”

She backed off a little and flicked the whip lightly across his chest.  He gasped, more in consternation than in pain, and the Queen chuckled and hit him a little harder.  She lashed him forehand and backhand, then forehand again, the level of force increasing just slightly with each blow.  Even after a half-dozen strokes, however, she was still striking from the wrist, barely hurting him at all.  Aldric managed to keep silent after that first surprised gasp, forcing himself to breathe normally and look the Queen in the eye as the leather tassels slapped unhurriedly back and forth across his naked flesh.  She stared back at him intently with slightly parted lips, a flush rising slowly on her pallid cheeks and neck.  It might have been only the physical exertion of swinging the whip, but Aldric suspected that his tormentor was succumbing to a cruel, predatory excitement.

“Get on with it,” he muttered through clenched jaws, but Queen Arctis simply ignored him.  The serpentine, triple-forked tongue of leather kissed his flesh in that same unhurried rhythm, each contact a little less gentle than the last.  She hit each of his biceps with effortless precision, then each of his hips.  The blows were really stinging now, and he had to grit his teeth to keep from gasping aloud.  He rocked back and forth when the middle tassel snapped sharply against his right nipple, only to whimper as his narrow wooden seat dug mercilessly into his crotch.  He managed to keep still and not cry out when the inevitable matching stroke fell on his left nipple, but by now he was genuinely hurt and frightened.  The cruel, measured strokes of the Queen’s whip were continuing to increase in force, and in fact she still seemed to be barely trying, putting her elbow into it but not her shoulder.  The guards were watching as if spellbound; Logred’s face was perfectly impassive, but Delina’s was fixed in a hard, unsympathetic smile.

There was a pause as the Queen moved around behind him.  Aldric turned his head as much as the yoke would allow, and saw her bare her teeth and raise the whip like a woman brandishing a flag.  Terrified, he braced himself, but still gave a full-throated scream when the lash descended hard on his left shoulder blade.  The three tassels struck simultaneously and close together, and seemed to cut like a sword into his flesh.  Queen Arctis gave a low grunt of satisfaction and flung herself into her cruel task, whipping his back and buttocks with savage, astonishing strength.  Although the room was small, he could hear his own shrieks echoing off the walls as the lash fell again and again, the leather tongues now licking him as if with frenzied affection.  She could be diabolically accurate, at one point sending the whip into the hollow of each of his armpits, but for the most part she was content to lay down a blistering hail of blows on parts of his anatomy that made easier targets.  He squirmed forwards in a desperate, instinctive attempt to lessen the pain, only to moan and finally burst into tears as the hard back of the horse punished his balls for the attempt at movement.

Queen Arctis circled back to the front, now sweaty and panting but showing distressingly few signs of real exhaustion.  She caught him hard on the thigh, making him wail, and he looked down and saw an angry red triple welt rise against his pale skin.

“Oh, please, Your Majesty!” he moaned, abandoning all dignity.  “Please stop hurting me!”

She simply laughed and began to work the front side of his body really hard, concentrating mostly on his chest and thighs.  Aldric had given up on trying to suppress his cries, moans and tears.  He sobbed in abject misery as the tassels slammed relentlessly into his nipples, his hips, the soft white flesh of his upper arms.  The yoke held him cruelly open to his captress’ attentions, and would not even permit him to hang his head in submission.  As he felt nausea building in the pit of his stomach, he realised that Queen Arctis had been exactly right.  This was nothing like enduring pain on the battlefield, where an enemy could be faced with a drawn sword and an active plan of defence and retaliation.  Here in the Queen’s Riding School he was a helpless victim, unable to do anything to protect himself from whatever indignities she chose to inflict, and it was so much worse that comparisons were ludicrous.

Suddenly she reversed the whip and drove the handle into the pit of his stomach, knocking the wind out of him.  As he gasped and strove to catch his breath, she darted behind him and brought the handle down several times on the exposed upper halves of his buttocks, wielding it like a baton.  The dull, thudding, heavy blows made him almost long for the sharp sting of the whip, and he howled in pain when the Queen landed a bruising stroke on each of his thighs.  A moment later, to his amazement, she set down the whip and embraced him around the waist, from behind.  He could feel the heat of her flushed cheek against the right side of his rib cage.

“Poor Aldric,” she murmured.  “My poor tormented prisoner.  I’ll bet your cock wasn’t like this when you were having your way with Katrin.”  She actually reached down and took hold of his limp little penis, cradling it gently in her palm.

“What are you doing, Your Majesty?” he quavered through his tears.

“Exploring possibilities,” she replied coolly.  “Don’t cry, Aldric, you’re almost done for tonight.  Shh.”  Her right hand stroked his back, as if she thought to soothe him like a frightened horse, while her left began to move up and down the length of his shaft with a touch that was every bit as sure and experienced as Katrin’s.  Aldric felt broken and exhausted, incapable of any semblance of self-control, and he surrendered to the Queen’s touch just as he had eventually surrendered to the punishing blows of her whip.  His cock stiffened and rose, even as the saddle of the wooden horse continued to press painfully into his balls.  He was no longer crying, although his cheeks were still wet with tears.

“That’s better, Aldric.  When the Goddess made me, She must have decreed that I would never be able to torment a captive body without wanting to use it for my pleasure.  It’s the one thing you might enjoy about being my prisoner.”  Her tone had become almost playful.  “Not, of course, that being used will always be particularly pleasant for you.”  She turned her head, putting her mouth to the smooth skin a little below his armpit.  For a moment, he felt the softness of her lips, and then she bit down hard with her incisors, clamping down on his flesh and holding it in a painful, cutting grip.  He shrieked in pain as the guards laughed aloud, but the Queen’s hand was still moving between his legs and his cock was still as stiff as the wooden handle of her whip.  After a moment she pulled away, scraping him with her teeth even as she released him, and turned to Logred and Delina without another word or caress.

“Chain the boy and take him back to his cell,” she instructed briskly.  “Keep him naked, and make him crawl all the way.”  She swung back towards Aldric with a severe, knowing look on her face.  “I know I’m leaving you with an big, unsatisfied erection, my prisoner.  I intend it to be frustrating, and you are not to pleasure yourself in your cell.  Guards will come by in soft slippers to check on you, and you will be very sorry if they catch you with your hand between your legs.  Understood, boy?”

Aldric sighed, well aware that his cock was still standing up like an exclamation point to emphasise her words.  “Yes, Your Majesty,” he murmured.  “You’re determined to make this hard for me in as many ways as possible, aren’t you?”

“Yes, Aldric, I am.  Now behave yourself and don’t give Logred and Delina any reason to punish you.  They have the authority to do so, of course.  Good night, Aldric.”  She turned on her heel, took up her robe, and swept out of the cell, not bothering with the lantern.  She had only a little way to go before reaching Huralda and her circle of torchlight, Aldric supposed.

“Good night, Your Majesty,” he called after her.

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