Author's Note: I'd like to apologize to all of the diligent fans of my stories who have read, enjoyed, and written to me. It's been way too long since my last post and though I regret the long delay, it was inevitable. Life has a way of doing that to you sometimes.
However, here is a short story for your enjoyment (I hope), which is my way of getting the kinks (no pun intended…really…) out of my cobwebbed writing skills.
Thanks again to all of you who sent feedback and commented on my stories, I am truly humbled. Every time I read them, they make me smile anew.
One last thing, this story is a bit more edgy than my usual stuff, but I hope you like it nonetheless.
If you feel like it, I would love to hear your thoughts:
"I told you to shut up!" the kaffiyeh*-wearing man yelled in a thick, accented voice, at the tied up blonde woman. When she continued to struggle and mutter as loudly as she could through the piece of cloth pushed roughly into her mouth, the man pulled his hand back and slapped her hard across the cheek. The woman stumbled and fell to her knees, her eyes watering in a mixture of pain, humiliation and simmering anger.
Another man who was walking alongside the two turned around sharply at the sound of flesh hitting flesh. He grabbed the hitter by the arm and punched him in the face, throwing him off balance, landing him on his back next to the kneeling girl. He spoke harshly then, in a language unrecognizable to the young blonde's years, but she could assume that it was a form, a dialect of Arabic. He was gesturing wildly with his arms, looking almost mad in his sudden rage. They waited until the man got up from the ground and dusted himself off indignantly. She then felt a strong hand clasp her arm in a vice-like grip, pulling her back to her feet. A strong shove later, she was told to keep moving.
The sun was scorching. The desert sand looked almost surreal. It was so white and pure, and blinding in its intense simplicity. The three had been walking for the better part of an hour. The girl wasn't used to such weather and she could feel its strains all over her aching body. The drugs they had given her left a lingering sensation of fatigue, but their general effect had mostly dissipated. She was hungry and thirsty, her eyes hurt as they looked at the endless scenery. She was hurting and wanted nothing more than to get back home. She had been stupid, did everything the wrong way, and this was where it had gotten her. One tiny mistake, a false promise of pleasure and recreation, a seemingly kind face, and they got her. It was that easy. No one knew where she was, no one would ever be able to find her. She was lost.
Without even realizing, they finally reached what looked like a set-up camp in the middle of nowhere. It looked lavish enough considering the conditions and even though she was more than afraid to discover what lay beyond all those tent flaps, a small part of her was actually relieved to be out of the sun. The tents were all arranged in a circle, around an extinguished campfire. To the south of camp, near the point where they had entered, stood the largest tent. The two men pushed the flaps open and led her inside. The silence of the sprawling wasteland of the outside belied the raucous that existed within. Men were laughing, drinking, talking – much like any ordinary bar in any civilized setting. There were a few women, the blonde noted, but they seemed to be either in charge of the service or of the entertainment. They were being pushed around and used by the men like they were property. And to her horror, the blonde suddenly realized that that was exactly the case – they were all property. Bought and sold. She could vaguely remember being bid on like a prime piece of meat.
They didn't linger in that tent for long. The two men grabbed her arms and led her out of the back. She was shoved into a slightly smaller tent at the back of camp and pushed to the floor on the other side of the entrance. She looked around. The 'room', if one could call it that, was sparsely decorated, but quite tastefully, she had to admit. There was a huge Persian rug covering almost the entire middle of the tent. To the left stood a wooden, carved cabinet that somehow seemed to fit the ambiance, and to the right, was a bed. Or something that resembled a bed. There was no mattress and no wooden frame, but it looked comfortable enough; A dozen or so silky looking blankets piled up one on top of the other and a few throw pillows littering the top.
She gasped when she felt hands grabbing her shoulders from behind and started to struggle when those hands used some kind of dark scarf to blindfold her eyes. The hands did not cease from their task. They continued to tie the blindfold calmly, while another hand held a very sharp blade to her throat. When her eyes were rendered completely useless, her captor moved to her hands, retying the knot to make it sturdier. She was then pushed to her knees and told not to move from her position. Using her other senses to compensate for her lack of sight, she could hear the two men whispering to each other. Soon, she realized, they started to argue. The whispers became more heated and her heartbeat started picking up its pace when she felt a presence drawing near. Her breathing grew labored as she swallowed thickly. Just when she could almost feel the hand reaching over to her, a strong voice put a stop to it. The man who had drawn near pulled away and went to join his companion, she assumed. Her breathing and heart slowly returned to their normal pace.
A few more words were exchanged, some sounded harsh to her untrained ears, and then there was silence. She thought she had been left alone. The silence was deafening. All she could hear was the sound of her own breathing. Her lips and mouth were parched and she craved a drop of water. When her tongue tried to moisten her lips, she felt the sting of parched skin as she tasted the faint tang of blood.
"Hello? Is anybody there?" She asked, her voice trembling.
"Can I please have some water?" She tried again.
A gasp stole her breath when her chin was suddenly touched. A finger slowly trailed up to her lips, circled her mouth, caressed her cheek and then made its way down her throat. It stopped right at her cleavage. She was still wearing her own clothes, but they had seen better days. Her shirt was ripped in so many places, it didn't really provide any cover and her jeans were dirty and torn. Her usually milky white skin was chafed and dry, and in many places, sunburned.
Without realizing, she held her breath, unnecessarily closing her eyes as tightly as possible. A soft whisper breezing its way into her ear made her open her eyes, "Don't hold your breath…"
The voice was somehow, comforting. She was scared out of her mind – alone, among strangers, who didn't seem to want what was best for her. Nonetheless, that voice, as eerie as it seemed, made her shoulders relax a bit.
Her arm was grabbed by a soft one. The softness, however, did not belie the strength that lay behind. She somehow knew that whoever this person was, they could probably kill her without blinking an eye, or breaking out a sweat. She was slowly brought to her feet. While her sight was impaired, her other senses seemed to make up for the loss. She could feel this person circling her, checking her out, studying her from all angles. Then, they finally came to a stop in front of her.
"What is your name?"
The blonde swallowed. She didn't know if she should provide her name. Then it struck her; it didn't matter. They had her and no one could save her anymore. What did her name matter?
"Sarah," she said softly. It hurt for her to speak, her throat so parched.
Her captor seemed to move away, only to return to her side a few moments later. Her hand was pulled up and she was given a goblet. "Here, drink."
Still cautious, Sarah took the goblet and raised it slowly to her mouth. She wasn't sure what she was afraid of. Her life was already forfeit, it would actually be a blessing to be poisoned. But she guessed it was pure instinct that had made her think twice. Placing the metal cup against her lips, she drank in big gulps. She felt the goblet taken from her hand and her grip tightened. She whimpered in her throat, trying to tell them she was still thirsty. She felt like crying again.
"Hey, hey…I'm not going to take it away. Just don't drink so fast. You'll only make yourself nauseous," the voice said. They were being kind. She couldn't understand what was happening.
Her drinking slowed until she finally had her fill. Lowering the goblet, it was rapidly taken from her hand. She thought she could sense another presence in the tent.
"Would you please take off the blindfold? I won't do anything, I swear," Sarah begged.
That sweet breath that accompanied the earlier whisper, made contact with her skin yet again. This time, it caressed her temple and cheek. They were so close.
"You're very beautiful, Sarah." Her request completely ignored.
Sarah closed her eyes again. This time when she licked her lips, they moistened. "What are you going to do? Please don't hurt me." She knew she sounded pathetic, but she was also being a realist. At least she wanted to know what to expect.
"Shh…don't speak now."
Her shirt was suddenly ripped from her body, cut away from top to bottom. Her gasp that followed was as loud as the ripping sound. A deep shiver passed through her body. She started wriggling her hands, trying to free her arms in order to cover her skin from prying eyes. A whisper soon followed, "Don't move."
A slow tear made its way down her cheek, below the blindfold, leaving a wet trail in its wake. She hated herself for crying, but she hated this person who was doing this to her, making her feel so weak, reducing her to a blubbering idiot, more. When she felt the face come closer, without thinking about the consequences, she thrust her head forward and grabbed onto the first piece of flesh her teeth could find. The holler of pain made Sarah both cringe and rejoice. Her long blonde hair was suddenly fisted and pulled back. The pain in her head made her release the captive skin. She knew what would be coming and braced herself. She was backhanded across the face, thrown halfway across the space. An angry growl followed her strike and she could hear a struggle, then a bone-crunching punch and a shallow gurgle of pain.
She cringed, trying to curl herself into a ball when hands reached out for her. Gentle hands. They pulled her up on her knees and she felt as though the other person was facing her on their knees as well. A soft, wet cloth cleaned her bleeding lip, slowly, methodically, gently. "You shouldn't do things like that…" the voice said, leaving the sentence unfinished.
"Come," they said and pulled her to her feet, leading her over to the side.
Following a light pressure on her shoulders, Sarah found herself lying on the soft covers of the pseudo bed. A few more words were exchanged in Arabic – between her captor and the other occupants of the tent, and then all was quiet again.
Deft fingers slowly unbuttoned her jeans and lowered them. Sarah whimpered when those fingers reached around to unhook her bra. She closed her eyes again, willing herself to be anywhere but there. When the soft caresses moved down to her breasts, she again took a deep breath, holding it in, unconsciously making her chest swell right into the hands of her captor.
The hands trailed lower, down to her panties, but they left them in place, moving to her legs and feet, massaging. "Don't hold your breath…" was whispered against her earlobe yet again, followed by a sweet kiss. The lips were so soft and warm. Sarah couldn't believe the thoughts that were running through her head. She must have lost her mind. It must have been the drugs.
When the body of her captor pressed itself into her own, she released the air she had been holding.
Those warm lips trailed her stomach, licking a slow path upwards, toward her chest, bypassing her breasts, and leaving wet kisses all over her collarbones. Then she was kissed softly on the cheek, then on her nose, and finally on her forehead. The kisses were intimate, sweet… misplaced.
Sarah was surprised when the blindfold was pulled away. She was momentarily blinded by the light, but as soon as her eyes focused, she gasped.
Staring at her was one of the most beautiful women she had ever seen. She had dark chocolate eyes and long raven hair. Her lips were naturally red and thick, and her nose, perfect. When she smiled, a pearly white set of teeth along with a pair of dimples winked at her.
"Who…Who are you?" Sarah was completely disoriented. She didn’t know what to think.
"Right now it doesn't matter. You are safe. No one will harm you again," was all she said.
Sarah wasn't convinced. It didn't make it any better if her captor was a woman. It may have actually made it worse. She started to struggle, pushing against the woman's shoulders, trying to dislodge her from her place. Her hands were quickly and efficiently grabbed by her tormentor and pinned to the ground. "Don't fight me. I will not harm you. They will." She turned slightly around and glanced at the entrance, making Sarah follow her direction. At the entrance, stood the two men who had brought her over. They were leering in their direction, touching themselves through their clothes, slobbering like two dogs in heat. Sarah felt like crying again.
The woman turned her gaze back to Sarah and said, "Just look at me. Don't even think of them. Pretend they’re not there. I know it's hard, but it will be over soon and when it is, you'll be free."
Sarah didn’t understand any of it. Why were they still inside the tent if that woman seemed to be their leader, why was this woman being so supposedly kind to her, and could she trust this woman and her promises? Her head was throbbing. When the woman on top of her started moving in a rocking motion, her lower parts started a throbbing of their own. She couldn't help but be somewhat aroused by her. It almost felt like they were making love.
Her panties created a friction that she couldn't ignore. The woman was moving against her in a rhythm that promised to leave her wanting for more. She spread her legs further apart, allowing the woman better access to her once private treasures. She glanced at the doorway, feeling a tear slip from her eye at the sight. She almost regretted having had the blindfold removed. Long fingers touched her cheek, pulling her eyes away from the two men. The woman's movements increased in power and frequency. Their breathing became labored as their bodies moved slickly against each other. The woman kissed the wet tear trail, trying to offer comfort in silence. She brushed her cheek against Sarah's, caressing, offering her warmth while she made her body go up in flames. Cupping Sarah's cheek in her palm, she stared deep into her eyes. Lowering her lips, she kissed her, softly, sensually. Her hips increased their strength as her tongue plundered the recesses of Sarah's searing depths.
They both pulled away for air when the climax tore them apart. Two primal moans of satisfaction laced the thick air. They had become one. Their rocking subsided. They continued to move in unison, enjoying the aftershocks of pleasure. Sarah swallowed, trying to calm her heartbeat and heaving breaths. Without realizing her actions, she raised her hand to the woman's cheek, caressing softly. The woman leaned into her hand, kissing her palm.
"I don't know what to make of this," Sarah said with uncertainty.
The woman glanced at the entrance, noting the two men had left. She turned to look at Sarah. "They call me Ameera, which means leader, princess. Many of the tribe members feel slighted and angry by my title, but they cannot fight hereditary rights. I had to prove myself to them when I was younger, a kind of initiation, if you will. But I am always tested, always observed and while I do not agree with many of the customs, I have to abide by the rules. One mistake, and the punishment shall be swift and irreversible. I know what they do, I know what they deal with, but I have no power against that. If I say anything, I raise suspicions. I have already made a mistake with you. When you bit me, I should have killed you, but I couldn't. And when Abed hit you, I lost it. I had to allow them…" she stopped for a second, swallowed and continued, "to watch in order to be "forgiven." They can be ruthless when it comes to women, especially foreigners. I don't know where they took you from, but I promise, I will get you back home." When Ameera finished, she lowered her head onto Sarah's chest.
Sarah put her arms around her back and held her for moment, mulling everything she had been told. "So, I'm free?"
Ameera sighed, "Yes."
"And what about you?"
Ameera raised her head, her brows frowning, "What about me?"
"You're not free either…Don't you want to be free?"
"Sarah, this is my life, my heritage. I cannot leave."
Sarah's eyes burned with anger, "You said it yourself, you're a princess, you're the leader and they don't want you as it is. Why are you staying?" She had no idea why she was getting so angry, or why she even cared. Yes, this woman claimed she would set her free, but she had to remain skeptical.
Ameera smiled sadly, brushing a strand of blonde hair aside, "Because it's my home. I don't know what happened when I saw you, Sarah. I never act the way I did. Like I said, I don't appreciate many of the things my men do, but I am not very different. I…"
"You what?" Sarah was confused, and apparently so was Ameera.
"When I saw you, I felt like my heart was going to burst. I've had the privilege of being around many beautiful women, but none has affected quite like you have. When I look at you, I want…I want to protect you, to hold you…And even while I say these words, I can't believe how ridiculous they sound to my own ears," she chuckled humorlessly.
"You've captivated me, conquered my stone heart. And when I saw your eyes for the first time, I knew I was lost. That is why I have to let you go."
Sarah shook her head, "I don't understand. Ameera, no one's ever said such things to me before. I've never been as afraid and as intoxicated as I have been since I met you. Without even seeing you, I somehow knew you wouldn't harm me, which is completely insane!"
Ameera smiled, "I know…insane is the perfect word for how I feel."
Without another word, she got up and put on a robe, covering her magnificent, tanned body. "We leave as soon as possible."
"Here, get dressed." Ameera threw some clothes in Sarah's direction, turning her back to her, allowing her a modicum of privacy.
Sarah got dressed without asking another question. When she was done, she was pulled into a deep hug. Ameera caressed her hair softly and kissed her cheek. "I have to put the blindfold back on. Just for a little while, I promise."
When Sarah nodded, she was turned around and her eyes were again covered. Ameera led her outside. She could hear people gathering around.
Ameera barked a few commands in Arabic, which no one seemed to counter, and before she knew it, she was helped into a jeep. The wind fluttered her hair, and she was actually grateful for the blindfold since it helped keep the sand out of her eyes. A few hours later, the jeep pulled to a stop. When her blindfold was removed, she was staring at a very civilized, very modern-looking airport. Sarah turned to Ameera.
"Come with me." The words left her mouth before she could even think them.
Ameera smiled. "You know I can't. But every time I see the sun glint off the sand, I will think of you. I will remember your eyes whenever I come across an oasis and will feel your arms wrap around me whenever the warm desert breeze envelops me at night. I will never forget you, Jami."
Sarah's eyes were watering, this time for a very different reason. She sniffed softly, "What does Jami mean?"
Ameera smiled tenderly, "Beautiful." She took Sarah's hand and kissed the palm before saying, "Now go, before I change my mind."
Sarah pulled Ameera into a heartfelt hug. She could feel her heart breaking. This had been one of the most emotional experiences of her life. With one more kiss, she was taken inside the airport, left in the hands of the authorities.
The rumble of the plane's engines was slowly lulling her into an exhausted sleep. She never thought she would escape alive. And there she was, on her way home, regretting her departure. She may have left the desert with her life, but a piece of her heart will always remain in captivity.
The End (I think…)
* Kaffiyeh – the traditional Arabic headwear
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