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Subject: CHAPTER 81

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Date Posted: 20:16:30 03/09/06 Thu

Chapter 81

Mikelle reined in the horse for a much needed break. He and Anthony had been searching the woods since dawn and had thus far discovered no trace of the recalcitrant slave. Had she been attacked and eaten by wild animals? He shook off the thought. Even then, there would have been evidence left at the scene of the attack.

Anthony pulled his horse alongside and threw him a questioning look.

“Are we stopping? Not giving up, are you?”

Mikelle shook his head. “No, I’m not giving up. How far back did we lost the trail?”

Anthony squinted into the distance, as if trying to see his starting point. “One hour against the sun at the base of the clearing. It was there, I found the lost golden strands when a branch had snagged her hair.”

“Well, she can’t have just vanished.”

“A rider could have transported her miles away from here by now.”

Mikelle made an impatient movement, startling his horse and causing the animal to sidestep nervously.

“What would a long rider be doing out this far?”

Anthony shrugged. “Strayed too far from camp. Maybe a scout. I don’t know. What do you think happened?”

Mikelle paused for a few minutes without speaking. “This area has many caves. She could have found one and is holding out there until we leave.”

“So, we’re going to backtrack. Right?”

Mikelle didn’t answer, just pulled hard left on the reins, turning the horse back the way they’d come.

Anthony flanked him on the right, keeping back about ten paces. Staying within eyesight of each other, they combed the area for the next five of hours before admitting defeat.

Nicadea closed her ears to the whimpering sound of her own voice, and with trembling hands, pulled her torn tonic to cover her breasts. In another few minutes the beast would have violated already, but knew there were more horrid indignities to come. General Mikelle had taught her that.

Why hadn’t the dirty, smelly man finished with her? She had lost all hope of salvation when a noise from the mouth of the cave had attracted his attention. Her captor had reacted immediately. After giving her breast a last painful pinch, he pulled away to adjust his clothing.

“Stay,” he commanded, as if she were a bitch mongrel to be ordered about, and without a backward glance, he headed outside.

His absence should have been a relief but dread of his return was palpable. Although weak with shock, the unspoken promise of his continued assault was a powerful goad to action. To simply wait for his return was unthinkable.

Where could she go? Where could she hide? Her mind raced for answers even as her eyes searched the darkness for possibilities. The back of the cave stretched into blackness. Did it hold a hiding place? Pushing shakily to her feet, she moved further away from the entrance and was immediately swallowed up in the inky blackness.

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Subject Author Date
Thanks for the new chapter, Kitkat!! I hope there will be...Sheila21:22:07 03/09/06 Thu

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