The Transformation Story Archive The Other Sex

The Crusader and the Slave Girl

by Christopher Leeson

The Crusader gritted his teeth as he dragged the girl through the granite corridors. The Greek had always been a difficult slave, especially during the first few months. But he had thought that the strap had quelled her wild spirit. Now all this shrieking and clawing! Well, let her fight; the young knight wanted her body and he would have it!

The girl seized the door jamb of the master's chamber, like a butterfly clings to a branch. The knight, growing ever more angry, shoved her through by main force. She spun and struck at his face with her hurting fingers. He was taken aback for just an instant, then retaliated in kind, slapping her hard and twisting her supple arms behind her back to force her along.

The nobleman threw the girl across the silken sheets of his Saracen bed. Let her rage, let her glare at him with hate. He was master here, and the woman, whose beauty sent his Latin blood racing, was only chattel. But such chattel! Sleek like the panther she was, her buttocks full, hard, with breasts large and round, their nipples proud and jutting. Her legs were lithe, but her face -- aye! It was that face which bewitched! She might have been one of the houris of the heathen paradise that these Saracen poets praised so fulsomely, or else some dark angel of temptation born of his own Christian lore. The Crusader saw that the girl had been well prepared by Tanah, the keeper of the women's quarter. Her face was painted, her flesh scented -- and her body glittering with metal bangles, bracelets and strings of jewels. A loincloth warded her modesty, but it only incited him to see her naked. He swatted aside her resisting arms, tore away her beaded girdle and, with it, the wispy garment that it held. Now the slave's hidden curls were laid bare to his gaze and his lust blazed as hotly as did the jagged spears of lightning which crashed over the tower as if to mimic the girl's emotion.

"No -- master -- spare me!" Her tone was now almost abject.

The knight smiled. Her reduction to pleading told the lord that the evening's struggle was almost won. And again the thunder roared above the ramparts of Belvoir castle. . . .

A little less than a year earlier the Crusader Baron Simon Saint-Mihiel had been climbing another tower, climbing so swiftly that he had left his men-at- arms struggling to keep pace. But it had been a summer of victory and he believed that his own crucifix-hilted sword was enough to end the pestilential existence of Muawiya al-Tariq, the wizard.

Reaching the upper landing, the young knight found a door which he kicked open with a heavily-shod foot, Balancing his shield, the Frank stepped warily inside.

The room had two windows -- wrought-iron lattices which divided the daylight into many stars and triangles. Though them the acrid smoke from the burning out-buildings castle wafted strongly. The circular chamber was only a prison cell, its air thick with the odor urine and human waste. A length of chain rattled in the corner and the knight turned en garde toward the sound.

He relaxed as he beheld naught but a girl with light olive skin huddling upon the old litter, naked, her knees drawn up to her chin. Her face might have been beautiful, except for the fear which showed in it.

A link of chain was affixed to the iron collar locked about her slim throat, Saint-Mihiel noticed, but his eyes slid beyond the prisoner, to a second figure lying beside her face-down -- an old man in robes of damask cloth.

Saint-Mihiel approached the figure warily. He jabbed his broadsword into the prone man's back. The nobleman might as well have stuck his blade into a joint of cooked beef for all the reaction that his wound drew. The warrior nodded, satisfied, then clutched the corpse's hoary shocks and raised its head. There was no doubt; it was indeed the wizard whom he had earlier seen upon the ramparts. But now the man's orbs were glazed and staring, his mouth slack. The conqueror frowned, puzzling over the death of the enemy who had defied his siege lines for so long. Then his glance fell onto the pearly hilt of a stiletto dagger protruding from the old man's breast.

The Crusader, parting the corpse's robe, regarded the scar through which the blade had been driven. Over the magician's heart was etched the faded mark of a heathen glyph. As the Frank drew out the suicide weapon, drops of thin blood ran to the point and dripped off. Clearly, the master of Kala'at Sharwar was not long dead.

Just then Saint-Mihiel's men, puffing breathlessly, their armor rattling, stumbled into the circular room. Saint-Mihiel rose, turning away from his vanquished foe with a grimace of disdain. It was a feeble end for the famous sorcerer. Wild talk had attributed many unnatural lifetimes to his adversary. Even the native Christians of the hill country had warned the Franks to shun the conjurer's domain. They had said, too, that the sorcerer kept no faith with the God of the Mohammedans even, but worshiped instead the pagan images of vanished deities -- gods who had grown old long before Joshua had swept out of the desert like a cleansing flame, to destroy the old races and smash the idols of their worship.

Aye, Saint-Mihiel remembered well the stories told about the dreaded wizard. It was said that even the might caliphs of old were fain to leave him at peace in his own stronghold. But why did so many fear the man so greatly? For all the rumor-mongering, the Crusader had found Muawiya al-Tariq to be a commonplace foe. His men were slaughtered despite their stubbornness, his castle had been breached in defiance of its great strength. The sorcerer himself now lay in a wallow of filth, displaying less dignity than might a living beggar.

Saint-Mihiel turned toward the chained girl, whose young body had brought stupid leers to the bruised and smoke-stained faces of his men-at-arms. The Crusader studied his fair catch with the eye of a collector. Her thick raven hair fell in disarray, her features, despite all, were handsome; she could have been little more than nineteen. The baron had given orders to take no captives, to make a clean sweep of the wizard's debased servitors, but before him crouched a girl the likes of whom he had not often seen in his twenty-nine years of life.

She was looking up at him in hope, but he felt no pity as he gripped her hair and hoisted her to her feet. Now that the girl was standing, Saint-Mihiel could see that her body was without scars or sores. A fine catch, truly.

"Please, my lord," she said in the bastard mix of French, Arabic, Greek, and Turkish that served in the Holy Land as a lingua franca.

"Why are you here, wench?" the knight demanded.

"I am Rhea Artavasdos," she stammered; "my father is a gentleman of Thessalonica. Pirates sold me into slavery. I am a Christian like yourself -- free me!"

The rain lashed the stones of Castle Belvoir, and tears of anger blurred the Greek girl's eyes as she fought to escape the Crusader's bed. His hand darted out and dragged her back by the hair. Already having shed his tunic, he held the girl pinned to the sheets in the vise of his muscular thighs.

"No!" the slave protested as her sharp nails clawed for his eyes. But she had only raked his cheek. Growing angrier, the Frank slapped her again, harder this time. Her head fell back, her eyes closed tightly.

The Crusader shifted his position to seize both her hands. The girl felt the bristly length of cord being looped around her wrists. "No! Don't tie me!" she implored.

Unheeding, the Frank bound her skillfully, then knotted the rope to the headboard. As the young woman struggled like a snarled fowl, the knight pressed his mouth against hers. She tore her lips away and spat in disgust but, taking hold of her throat to prison her face, he persisted, kissing her like a thirsting man drinking from a fountain, trying to force his tongue between her clenched teeth. She could smell the strong ale upon his breath, could feel his calloused fingers groping between her thighs, hurting her with their roughness. . . .

Rhea Artavasdos scanned Saint-Mihiel's grim face, as if desperate to find just a hint of compassion there. At that moment, huffing from his long climb, a small man in a tawdry cloak staggered wearily into the cell room. Rhea looked anxiously his way. The heat of the Syrian summer, the smoke and the long ascent, had his fat cheeks running with dirty sweat. When the newcomer saw the girl, his sagging face cast off its fatigue and he raised his hand as if to stay a fatal blow.

"Saint-Mihiel! For the love of God, let this one live! I will pay good gold! Remember, Lord, you promised me first pick of your captives of war -- but your men are putting everyone to death!"

"On my orders!" the nobleman growled. "This place is tainted and unhallowed, Marco Sciarra. You have no reason to complain. You have already grown rich devouring the leavings of my vanguard like a jackal."

"I pay good money for slaves, my baron! Do you think that I have come so far, endured the lice and the flies, the heat and the storms, for a charnel of rotting corpses? I will pay thirty bezants for this beauty -- even blemished the way she is."

"Blemished?" muttered the Crusader, not understanding. He took a second look and now saw that the slaver's keen glance had indeed spied something about the girl that he had himself overlooked. There was a patch of inflamed skin on her flank. He stepped closer to her to examine it. Rhea shank back, but the Frank seized her willowy arm and held her easily.

The mark on the Greek captive was identical to the scar on the wizard's breast, but much fresher. It resembled a burn yet did not look like a brand. It traced a character of some kind -- meaningless to the warrior who could neither read nor write. "What is this mark, slave?" he demanded.

"I am not a slave!" the girl declared stubbornly.

"You said you were sold as a slave and so a slave you are!" He raised his gauntlet as if to strike. "Answer my question!"

The girl bent her head, resigned. "I don't know what it is, Lord. Al-Tariq meant to sacrifice me to the strange gods he worshiped. He put this mark upon my body to prepare me in some manner -- but, when you breached the castle wall, he took his own life in fear of you." She raised her gaze appealingly. "I implore you, Lordship. Have mercy on a woman who has been wronged but has done no wrong. Free me and return me to my family."

"I would be a fool. I have been offered thirty bezants!"

"No, my lord! I am a Christian!"

"You are a Greek, and so an heretic! If you are a true Christian, ask God for mercy, not me!"

The Crusader was not thinking of the religion of priests just then, but of the pleasure of men. Like many Latins in the East, the Crusader had adapted to the luxurious ways of the Saracens. The Turks and Arabs worshipped female flesh and traded in it like the Franks traded in hogs and cattle. In Saint-Mihiel's own camp he had two Arabs and one Turkish girl, as well as a Circassian of blond loveliness. He had captured, bought, and sold many other women before them. But the best of them had hardly been more beautiful than this Greek wench, with her virgin breasts and sleek olive body.

"You are too beautiful to be anything but a slave," he told her.

The young woman buried her face in her hands. Saint-Mihiel glanced back at one of his men-at-arms. "Break that chain, Lothair!" he commanded.

The big soldier clumped forward, then thrust the thick handle of his mace thorough the iron ring which fastened the girl's collar to the limestone wall. Straining, the man threw all his strength against the stubborn Saracen iron, until a loud snap crowned his mighty exertions with success.

Saint-Mihiel picked up the fallen chain and handed it to another of his men, his young squire. "Tell the smith to remove her collar," he said, "and have my women prepare her for my bed."

"My lord!" protested the Italian merchant.

"I may yet take your thirty bezants, Sciarra. She may please me enough to keep her -- but if she does not, you may have her with my blessings."

That night Simon Saint-Mihiel celebrated his victory beyond the stench of the slaughter by feasting with his officers. Afterwards, as the smoke-soiled skies grew dark, he raped the Greek girl -- and well.

The thunder rolled. Her wrists bound to the bed, the girl could do nothing as the Crusader pushed her thighs apart, bruising her flesh as she resisted. He forced her limbs to spread more and more, until her muscles stood out from the straining. The nobleman now moved slightly, and she felt him bring his hot masthead to the dark curls of her pelt.

"Aaghh!" she yelled, twisting her head from side to side, trying to make her vaginal muscles too tight for him to enter. All in vain, as the Crusader's lance easily forced her womanly lips to part.

The girl's entire being was quivering with hate as the knight watched her tender womanhood accepting his forced entry. He could even see her shuddering clitoris standing defiantly erect against the larger weapon which was carrying all before it.

The Crusader plunging forward and down, caused his captive to cry out in pain. His phallus, like a mighty battering ram, swung back and forth into the breech which it had made. The girl felt her thighs being forced ever father apart, and she cried out to Heaven for mercy, for a little respite, but her appeal seemed rejected as another roar of angry thunder drowned out her mews.

The hard and repeated assault of the man's weapon caused her buttocks to tense and her legs to begin kicking. Ignoring this, the knight calmly advanced and retreated with all his considerable strength, determinedly sawing away at her burning flesh.

The slave girl opened her eyes as another deafening crash sounded, as a dazzling flash lighted the intense face of her violator. It cast it into terrible highlights and deep shadows, like the visage of Satan poised above her. . . .

Simon Saint-Mihiel came out of a deep slumber, lifting a hand against the light of the bright Syrian dawn. He sleepily thought on the pleasures of the night and of the Greek girl's body. She had been clumsy -- like the virgin that she had claimed to be -- but her beauty and firmness of flesh had made up for her lack of skill. The Crusader had decided that Sciarra's silver must be damned; he would keep the female -- for many another night like the last one. But the Italian was useful and should not be sent away empty-handed. He would sell him another of his women. The nobleman had to, if he would make room for the Greek. He did not intend to drag his army down with excessive camp followers.

Suddenly a spark of annoyance banished the Crusader's euphoria. He realized that he lay alone and should not! The foolish wench must have slipped away while he had slumbered! Saint-Mihiel sat up and looked around, over the clutter of loot which filled his tent. Well, she would be brought back soon enough and learn the lesson of the strap! His slave Ayida had been like her at the start -- like a wild mare unused to the bit and the spur, until he had broken her. Now she was as eager to please as the tame palfrey which --

Saint-Mihiel, in rising, felt a sway of unfamiliar weight upon his chest and glanced down. "Mon Dieu!" he cried as his fingers fell upon the mounds of flesh that now hung there. He touched them; they seemed as large as the hills over Kala'at Sharwar and they were part of his body! Breasts.

"For the love of sweet Jesus, what --?"

Then the Crusader beheld the hands that had touched the breasts. They opened easily at his will, but he had never seen such hands before -- at least not at the ends of his own wrists. They were his own, but not his own. They were small, their fingers long and tapered, their nails filed sharp --

Now Saint-Mihiel's motions made him aware of a rawness between his legs. He threw back the coverlets and cried out. He had been unmanned!

The Crusader leaped from the bed and scrambled to the largest clutter of gold, ivory, jewelry, and enameled glass. He threw open a strongbox and, casting aside cups, ornate implements, basins, and candle stands, seized upon a brightly polished sliver tray. This he lifted to his face and opened his eyes to his own image.

The Frank threw the reflector aside like a thing accursed. He had not seen the hard, mustachioed, and sun-burned face of Saint-Mihiel, but the olive loveliness of Rhea Artavasdos!

All the horror of blood, slaughter, and torture that Saint-Mihiel had known before paled against the terror that now clawed at him. Was he insane, was he drunk and in delirium? He turned furiously. No! This was magic! The woman whom he had foolishly spared had cast a delusion upon him! He now swore to kill her! Kill a witch, they said, and all her glamours must vanish into the darkness of Hell with the sorcerer's black soul!

Saint-Mihiel raced on bare feet and ducked through the tent flap into the oppressive glare of the mountain dawning. "Guards!" he shrilled, his voice sounding high-pitched and strange. "It's witchcraft! Sorcery!"

The dust-streaked, breakfasting footmen turned with surprise toward the lord's pavilion. Many smiled admiringly at the nude girl standing there in such excitement; laughter and nods passed amongst them.

Before Saint-Mihiel could say another word, a shadow loomed at his side and he swung toward it in desperate appeal, but his thin voice died as he recognized the giant's face.

The Frank retreated back into the tent and the other stooped to follow him. Dumbly Saint-Mihiel stared at what seemed to be his own large-than-life Doppelganger. The man entering the pavilion was the same in face, the same in form, as Saint-Mihiel had been but the day before. The giant, now fully inside, stood up to full height and folded his mighty arms, staring down at Saint-Mihiel with a look which evoked emotions that went beyond mere amusement, hatred, or contempt.

For some reason Saint-Mihiel became aware of a sore spot upon his flank and, looking down, he saw the inflamed flesh and the scabbing that etched a cursive mark. It was the mark he had seen in the flesh of Rhea Artavasdos. The baron looked up, finally understanding. The witch had possessed him and imprisoned his soul in her own cast-off body! The mark was some sort of devil's sign used in the sealing of the spell. For an instant the ensorcelled knight reeled, ready to fall. Then the giant reached out a hand and the Crusader leaped back with a string of invectives:

"Devil! Fiend! Demon from the Pit! Take away your spell!" Instinctively, the girl dived for the weapon belt that hung upon the central tent pole, tearing the familiar broadsword from its scabbard. But as it rasped free, it fell to the floor, almost too heavy to lift. Before the transformed lord could bring the unwieldy thing around, the other Saint-Mihiel moved in swiftly, trapping the feeble hands that held the blade.

The girl, firmly in his grip, cried out, "Monster! Free my soul!"

The giant squeezed her wrists, sending streaks of pain up her arms, shaking the heavy weapon from her benumbed fingers. The enchanted Frank kicked impotently with bare heels and rained punches that did no harm. With the strength of a warhorse, the false baron threw her back upon the bed.

"You are a tasty morsel," the pretended Saint- Mihiel mocked as his victim lay distraught and dismayed. "Accustom yourself to a new life, my maid."

As the girl watched, the giant stripped off his tunic and his boots. His great organ was already swollen with his lust, she saw. But it was not that which terrified Saint-Mihiel, for as yet she could not comprehend what fate it presaged for her. What instead filled the girl with a clawing horror was the sight of the raw and bleeding glyph incised into the lower belly of the giant -- the same accursed mark which was now burning her into her own flank, and which had been an old scar upon the breast of the dead sorcerer Muawiya al-Tariq.

Stunned, the Greek barely defended herself as the giant gripped her and crushed his bewiskered mouth against hers.

The rape was a hard one, but this time, to the Crusader's surprise, the slave was responding.

The hard rain beat against the masonry, slopping over the casement, pooling darkly upon the flagstones. The girl had ceased to struggle thought the pummeling of her loins did not slacken. She now, knew that screaming and fighting would do no good. Nor, strangely, did she wish to scream or fight any longer. As if by instinct, an instinct very new to her, she now wanted to save her strength, her breath, for that which was coming.

The Crusader pushed his throbbing cock home again and again. Its great reach ever sought for the back of her vagina, making her wince at what had become merely physical pain. . . .

In a vast sea of blackness, Saint-Mihiel seemed to drift alone. There was nothing, not even pain, shame, or fear; her mind wandered adrift, as if lost in an empty dream. Suddenly she seemed to hear a man whispering through folds of intense darkness:

"You have caused me great loss, Saint-Mihiel, but Muawiya al-Tariq will have again that which you would have taken from him.

"How easy it would be to slay you, as you have slain my servants. But I have lived a thousand years, Saint-Mihiel -- time enough to learn that revenge is a more pleasing wine if drunken slowly. Instead of your life I shall take from you all that you cherish. I will have your name, your family, your titles, your wealth, your strength, your virility, your freedom, and your pride. By my spell, you shall be denied the power to voice to any other person who or what you once were. I also shall place upon you this curse: When you are forced as a woman for the hundredth time, the man you were shall be vanquished at last, and your true punishment shall only then begin. Fear it, Saint-Mihiel. . . .

Simon Saint-Mihiel woke. She thought that she had just torn free from a nightmare, but then she touched herself and cried out. It had been no dream!

The slave girl looked fearfully around. Her crotch was sore from the brutal use she had been put to by the giant and there were bloodstains on her inner thighs. She covered her face with the sheets, but shame instantly gave way to desperation. She had to flee before the sorcerer came back. She had to be free!

Suddenly the tent flaps parted. The woman gasped. The giant had returned and, behind him, Marco Sciarra waddled, also grown to gigantic stature. The bewitched Crusader tried to cry out to the Italian, to warn him that an imposter walked amongst them, but she had no voice and only her agitated panting reached the merchant's fat little ears.

Sciarra looked at the captive stretching out her arms in wild appeal. He noticed the blood and smiled, supposing that the rude Frank had been hard on her. Good! he thought. The Greek should now be all the happier to go with him. "You shall have every bezant that I promised you yesterday, Saint-Mihiel," he addressed the false baron. "I think I said twenty, didn't I?"

The knight shrugged indifferently. "Twenty is fair. But I warn you, she is proud and insolent. She fought and bit incessantly, until I grew tired of her. She must be well-tamed before she will ever be fit for the bed of a new master."

"If she needs strapping, she shall have it," promised the Italian. Then he beckoned to the girl. "Come, wench. I am your master now."

Flabbergasted, the metamorphosed Frank tried to shout: "I am Saint-Mihiel," but could not manage even the smallest whisper. Then she tried to form other words and one of these finally came in a little mewing voice:


"Mercy?" replied the merchant with a shake of his head. "You shall have mercy when you have earned it! Now, come!"

Sciarra strode toward the girl. She huddled against the pavilion canvas. The slaver stepped over the bed clothes and locked his fingers around her upper arm. "No more of this! Come or I will punish you!"

With a cry, Saint-Mihiel struck at the man's thighs and knees. Annoyed, Sciarra lashed out with the back of his hand. The girl fell under the blow, her eyes closed, the salty taste of blood on her broken lip. She felt like a child in the merchant's grip as he jerked her to her feet. Overcome with horror, Saint-Mihiel made no more attempt at resistance.

As the merchant dragged her to the flaps, Saint- Mihiel threw a dazed glance back toward the imposture. He was not looking after her -- indeed, he seemed to no longer care about her fate. He instead was picking up the silver tray that she had earlier dropped, touching the face reflected in it. Then the girl was pulled from the tent into the painful light of day and Simon Saint-Mihiel saw the master of Kala'at Sharwar no more.

The Crusader felt an ache building in his ballocks; he gripped the girl's shifting hips with his crushing strength. He could feel her shuddering, from her raven tresses to her small bare feet. She felt different, as if her body no longer screamed protest against her violation, but, instead, savored the experience. Yet the man cared not what she felt. His own need was being satisfied, and that was all that mattered.

The slave felt her inner body tightening up, making it more difficult for the man to move inside her, increasing the already intense friction. The effect was astonishing. Had her hands been free, she would have gripped his hips to reinforced his thrusts with her own pulls. As it was, the girl could only lift her pelvis upward in rhythm, to meet his downward thrusts, hoping that she might increase the penetration, if only a little. Increase? Was that what she wanted now? Incredibly, in the midst of her rape, the act had ceased to be rape.

But what had it become?

Whatever she might call the thing that she was experiencing, her excitement was building very quickly, building into a desperate pressure that needed release. She wanted that release, sought to find it and surrender to it. To -- Suddenly, like an assassin striking from the shadows, it was upon her, an orgasmic seizure that tore through her being with the power of a trebuchet. The lightning from Heaven pealed around them, this time with an explosive power that made the strong castle tremble. The girl gave out with a scream as her entire body spasmed.

And neither could the man hold himself back any longer. With a moan in his throat, his rush came. He filled the slave girl's womb with the wild flood of his essence.

Now, at last, both of them had reached the point of exhaustion. The girl lay back quietly, spent. The nobleman withdrew his softening cock and sank down upon the pillow. The captive rolled her blood -shot eyes his way. Her lips parted as if to speak, but she had no words.

The rain now fell softly outside, soothing the man and woman within. A shower would water the fields, the man knew, and awaken the seeds drowsing in their dark furrows, bringing new life and plenty to his land.

The Crusader, Giles D'Avernec, felt pleased with himself. He sensed that matters would be rather different between master and slave from this night on. They had vied for more than three seasons, and he had finally conquered.

Had that been what he had been seeking? Would a dull passive woman, even a beautiful one, spreading her legs meekly to his commands, bringing her tender mouth to his masthead at his bidding please him more or less than had the spirited, black-maned mare who had struggled so bravely against his sharp spurs for these many months?

The Crusader wondered.

For long hours Simon Saint-Mihiel, who for almost a year had lived the life and identity of the slave girl Rhea, lay restlessly in the women's quarter of Belvoir Castle. The sweet, fresh drafts which followed the rain storm breathed life into the curtains and fanned her nude, sweat-dampened body. Shivering, she drew the sheet over herself. Formless thoughts mocked at her and her emotions were hot implements of torture. At last she choked back a sob.

Rhea had counted off her rapes as she had been subjected to them, scoring each of them on her raw and bleeding soul like notches cut into the hilt of a sword. The false Saint-Mihiel had ravished her, then it had been the turn of the fat Marco Sciarra. And each time she failed to please the slaver, which was every time that he had touched her, she had been strapped.

For weeks the merchant had kept her as chattel, displaying her, sometimes in finery, sometimes naked, to the wealthiest of the Crusading gentry. Finally, the young Lord Giles D'Avernec had accepted the Italian's high asking price. This new Crusader had taken Rhea to his castle of Belvoir and raped her that same night.

In the early days, at least, the girl had fought back hard, despite certain punishment. She had been a knight and though a harsh and ruthless one, Simon Saint-Mihiel had always been full of stubborn courage and pride of place. But as Rhea she had found herself in a war that she could not win. D'Avernec was a warrior, too, and doubtless enjoyed his inevitable victory in each new test. The girl might have hated him more than she did, except that she understood the feelings of such a man. She understood because, once, those feelings had been very like her own.

Painful recollections swam in Rhea's mind like nimble minnows, too agile to be caught and killed. Since he had owned her, D'Avernec had frequently loaned her to his friends, his officers, his guests, and sometimes even his favored servants. On some days she had been raped more than once. As the terrible count mounted, the girl could not forget what the sorcerer had threatened during that first night of her womanhood. Finally, this night, in the arms of Lord D'Avernec, she had been violated for the hundredth time.

Afraid of what Muawiya al-Tariq's curse might mean, she had fought D'Avernec as she had not fought him in a long while. But like her every fight before, this one, too, had been useless.

But now, if the sorcerer's curse was upon her, what would it mean? Would her body, or her condition, change in some terrible new way? Rhea felt her woman- flesh wonderingly. She found herself unable to detect any change in either her mind or her person, or even her state. The only thing that had been different through it all was --

The pleasure.

Rhea had been a woman for almost a year, but had never felt like a woman before. She had never before known such a sharp, torturous pleasure. It was as though her body had suddenly rebelled against her mind, forcing it to bend to a new sway, own a new sovereign.

As she lay there thinking feverish thoughts, Rhea realized that she had lost the sense of repulsion and shame that she had always felt when contemplating the bed of D'Avernec or his fellows. She clutched at the blankets around her dismally. But this dismay quickly passed.

Rhea sat up, a strange determination taking hold. She could not go on the way she had. She could no longer fight to defend that which had long since been taken from her. But if she was not what she had been, what in fact was she?

On a sudden impulse, the girl rose from her couch and tip-toed through near-darkness, through the gauzy curtains of the alcove where Tanah, the keeper of his lordship's women, lay in heavy sleep. Rhea knelt beside the woman, hesitating to wake her. She looked up at the moon shining through the arabesque window grate and at its grim smile. The moonlight was spilling in the form of precious silver coins over Tanah's bed. As if living in a dream, Rhea reached out and touched one of them.

Tanah awoke with a start. "Who? -- Rhea? What?"

These last months had not been easy ones in the women's quarter, not for Rhea, not for those who shared it with her. "You have been kind to me," she began haltingly, "but I have not been kind to you. I am sorry, Tanah. You must hate me." Words deserted her and she bowed her head penitently.

The elder woman sat up, sleepy and puzzled. "I do not hate you, child," she said. "You are proud and brave, and this I respect. But you have not been wise. I have hoped that you would one day soon surrender to your handsome young master and let him be kind to you."

"I want to surrender, Mistress," the girl confessed without thinking. Then, realizing what she had said, her face grew hot with a flush that the darkness mercifully hid from the older woman.

"I don't understand, my sweet. What troubles you tonight?"

"I --" Unable to form words, she covered her face.

"Yes?" Tanah urged gently, drawing away the girl's hands away and stroking her tear-slickened cheek.

"I was with the master tonight," Rhea began. "That you know. But you do not know how much it pleased me when I was taken." She choked, overcome with shame.

"Why do you carry on so? What you say pleases me."

Again the younger woman gathered her courage. "I -- I am too ignorant, Mistress. I know not what to do. I have learned nothing during all the time I have been with you. I am sorry."

The matron looked thoughtfully at her moonlit visitor. She then drew the maid close, kissing her neck through her dense ebony hair. "I do not know what has come upon you so suddenly, my lovely one, but I am glad that it has finally come. I and the other women will gladly teach you all that you must know -- to apply paint and the scents, to dance, and to drive a man mad with passion, if that it is what you truly want."

Excitement fluttered inside Rhea's breast like a songbird in a cage of gold. She wrapped her arms around the older woman with a murmur of joy and gratitude.

D'Avernec had feasted with his retainers and now lay drunk. He had seemed pleased with Rhea's belly dance. The girl had hoped that her young lord would summon her to him after the feast, but the knight had drunk too much and had been carried to his chamber alone. Despite her disappointment, Rhea could not help but smile. Men were like that. She appreciated their ways and enjoyed their company. How could she not? Had she not been one of them herself?

Rhea had returned to the women's quarter after the feast, a plan forming in her mind. She had arrayed herself with a gossamer body veil, had applied scent and facial paint as she had learned to do from her sisters in bondage. Then the plotting slave had stolen to D'Avernec's darkened chamber. Moved by desire, the girl now dropped to her hands and knees and approached the bed slowly, like a cat stalking its prey. At the side of the bed she reached out and groped for her master. His strong, thick thigh was hairy and bare. She was pleased. He had on no hose.

Rhea slid up next to Lord D'Avernec and gently took his limp cock into her delicate hands. She knew he would not awaken easily after so much wine. Satan! She wished that he would! But she was determined that when he did awaken, it would be to the most sublime of pleasures. Her nimble fingers began massaging his soft tool, rubbing it, wanting it to become the mighty sausage that she loved to taste.

As her hand fondled his quickening phallus, the sound of his snores changed a little, but he continued sleeping.

Her fingers surrounded the quiescent flesh as she leaned forward and let her hot breath flow over its flaccid head. Her mouth opened wide and began lapping the warm corona with her tongue. Though his conscious mind was heavily besotted with wine, some part of Lord D'Avernec must have remained sensible because Rhea's effort began having its effect. The dome of his cock began to swell, becoming more and more solid, hardening until it reached its full length, much longer than the measure of the girl's hand from heel to fingertip.

Rhea's tongue licked her lord's scepter down to the testicles. These she tickled with her tongue as he slept on, blissfully unaware of the wonders taking place in his body. The cock had by now become a thick- stemmed instrument of pleasure, and the girl gripped its base tightly with her left hand, cupping his stones with her right. Slowly, carefully, her lips slipped over the shuddering head of D'Avernec's mighty weapon and she began teasing the vein-knotted underside with the flat of her tongue as the knob slipped between her lips, raking her bottom teeth. Her tongue gyred, rubbing against the ultra-sensitive surface of his fleshy truncheon, nearly a third of the entire length of his organ having slid past the carmine circle of her lips.

The longer she sucked him, the more astonished she became that he seemed unable to wake up. Even so, her love-starved lips continued their careful work. Now Rhea had more than half of the throbbing cock engulfed. Saliva cascaded down its length, making room for more of the flood welling warmly in her throat.

The slave girl strained, jamming the Crusader's meat deeper and deeper into her mouth until her tongue was pressed flush to the bottom of her oral cavity, until she could feel the other's flesh intruding into the ring of her gullet. Her nostrils flared, as if more air was needed to feed the blazing furnace of her lungs.

Feeling his arms move, Rhea thought that her lord must be waking. But his was a purely reflexive motion as he continued to sleep. Her lips pursed and she sucked more carefully, but more strongly.

The knight's body continued to react. Rhea began to grow encouraged; her head bobbed up and down. She let her master's tool slide down into her throat, like a sword-swallower engorging a blade. Finally, she had the entire length of it between her lips, leaving no room for her fingers. Her hands once again touched his testicles and squeezed them like precious jewels. She let half of his length escape her and then, bobbing her head up and down, exciting his flesh as her mouth continued to savor the taste of him. Her long fingernails now dug into the hard cheeks of his bums while her teeth bit into the base of his cock-stem, thinking to stimulate her lord with just a little pain.

Mon Dieu! she thought, feeling the beginning of a throbbing between her jaws. The knight was going to come very shortly if she kept up her mischievous assault. Rhea could not wait for that. She needed his manly tower to be hard enough to fill her, not limp from having exhausting itself uselessly in her mouth. She ceased her phallic worship and climbed up on the bed, straddling his hips with her knees.

In position, Rhea took D'Avernec's erection into both her hands while continuing to tease it with her fingers. She moved it toward the lubricated lips of her small cony and pushed the blood-swollen corona through the soft labia. She savored the feel of its passage with a deep sigh. Then, pressing her body toward his pelvis, she felt the master of the herd smoothly sliding inside her, plunging into her tightness like a rabbit into its burrow, driven by her gentle forward surges until her outer labia kissed his hard groin and was forced to stop. She imagined that she felt his organ pressing against the very portal of her womb.

Rhea gritted her teeth and began ramming her hips back and forth with more vigor. She imagined herself like the sacrificial lamb impaled by a blade, struggling for life upon the altar of some ancient fertility god, a god of the king that only one like Muawiya al-Tariq himself might still yet worship. How deeply the knife had sunk into her being! She moaned, feeling D'Avernec's heavy flesh flex thickly inside her, stretching her tissues.

The slave felt a stirring amid the tautness of her interior and she began rotating her pelvis, sighing and gasping as her vaginal walls were stroked and rubbed by his velvet-headed polearm.

A moonbeam entering the chamber from a nearby window fell upon them both and Rhea was able to see her herself in a mirror. She could imagine that she was spying upon another master with another mistress. She gazed at the wanton female in the mirror, beguiled by the beauty of her breasts and limbs, her lascivious movements, feeling almost like a man again.

Suddenly D'Avernec gasped under her; he clenched her waist in his powerful grip in reflexive reply. She saw the whites of his astonished eyes blinking in the moonlight. Hurrying now, Rhea excited him with her brazen pelvic motions. Not fully awake, the knight could not control his bodily reactions. She was rewarded when she felt his rush come deep inside her, the hot liquid burst that she had so determinedly sought to call forth. The chamber echoed with the moans of her release, and of his. The pleasure of their mutual orgasm banished Rhea's momentary illusion of being a man and amazed her with the immediate reality of womanhood.

Rhea fell exhausted across her master's body. Only now, with her lust tamed, did the slave pause to think of the strapping that her presumption might have earned her. Well, if so, let it be, she thought.

At that instant a voice inside Rhea's mind recalled Muawiya al-Tariq's curse. But the fear of unknown things had fled away and a new insight had replaced it. Was this, then, the greater punishment that the sorcerer had decreed for his enemy? Was it no more than that she should have a change of heart, become desirous of yielding and pleasing, of loving and seeking for love? Was there no more terror in the magician's mighty spell than this?

Was the wizard just a fool after all? Or did Muawiya al-Tariq, though he had lived for centuries by stealing the lives of others, still believe, as so many men believed, that a woman's surrender was her greatest denigration? The sorcerer might have thought otherwise had he spent more than just single a day in the body of a woman himself.

Rhea laughed softly at her final victory over her would-be tormentor. It was a woman's laugh. The drink-dulled Frank beside her recognized the sound and raised his head. "Rhea?" he muttered. Rhea smiled as she felt her lord turn toward her. She reached out and touched his muscular flesh.

"It is I, Master," the girl softly murmured.

The Crusader blinked, understanding Rhea's prank now, but he was not yet capable of doing more than drawing the girl close. She nuzzled her face in the hollow of his shoulder, giving out with a sigh of "Mmmmmm."

They slept afterwards, entwined and contented. But, hours later, D'Avernec awoke, his mind having grown clearer. Rhea still slumbered next to him, her cheek pillowed upon his firm pectoral, her breathing coming in little sighs and mews.

How she had changed over these past few weeks! the Crusader thought. Her strange metamorphosis had come with such dazzling swiftness he had been left unprepared for it. Rhea had once been like the wild caracal, the cat-beast whose woman-like screams rived the Saracen hills under the blood-red glow of twilight. But now she seemed more like a tame kitten napping upon a cushion, waiting to be awakened and played with.

The knight was coming to enjoy her company more and more. Here, surely, was a woman fit for a man of action. So knowledgeable in the erotic wisdom was she! She seemed to have an uncanny knowledge of a male body and of what gave it pleasure. And the girl seemed wise in other ways, too. She instinctively understood the travails of a man who must bear arms, while expressing insights regarding military affairs in terms so cunning that she had surprised him. He could not take the advice of a woman, of course, but --

It occurred to the lord that Rhea was like the land. The land was a fair one, but not easy to possess. He had had to fight hard to conquer the land, and hard to conquer the girl, but now both she and it were finally subdued. D'Avernec's baronial father had warned him just before he had sailed for the Holy Land that a wise man does not fight merely for the sake of fighting. There comes a time when the conqueror must become the defender of what he has already won. The vine must be planted, the herd husbanded. The field must be sewn, the corn harvested. The warrior must cease to burn and begin to build, he must not go forth in search of foes, but stay at home and protect the people pledged to him. In peace there may not be glory, true, but in peace alone was to be found joy.

To be thinking such mild thoughts after years of slaughter seemed strange to D'Avernec. He was, after all, still a young man and proud to be know from Constantinople to Cairo as a redoubtable warrior. Yet how easily these peaceful musings came to him in the cool drafts of the night as he lay awake, comforted by the nearness of the girl whose warm exhales gently fanned his breast.

D'Avernec touched Rhea's face. Maybe it was time to think about the future. A man without a family had no future. He should find himself a wife. But what woman should he take? What woman should bear his child? The nobleman bent his head and kissed Rhea upon the cheek. She stirred but did not awaken.

Only a few weeks earlier, the Crusader remembered, he had wondered whether he would lose interest in his fair prisoner once he had secured her surrender. He smiled at his own foolishness. Did the knight scorn his charger once he had broken it to the saddle, feel contempt for a mighty steed as it bore him in the charge? No, he treasured it all the more. The knight had not thought about women in those terms often, but Giles D'Avernec was young and still seeking his wisdom.

Now the man settled back, touching his nose to Rhea's hair, enjoying the florid scent of it. His eyes closed, he lay quietly beside her, his hardness pressed against her softness, his hand upon her waist, until he joined his woman in the peaceful sleep that lovers share.


The Crusader and the Slave Girl copyright 1996 by Christopher Leeson.

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