Prisoner of the Seraglio
A Cordelia Delacourt Adventure
Chapter 2 The Abduction
Scrag Bunyan slipped quietly over the wall behind the
dogs. That was
good. This wasnt exactly
his line of work, but he was being paid well for his nights activity
and he was the best burglar in
He was near the back of the house now and directly below the third story window that was the girls bedroom. It was an easy climb for one of his ability. Using the natural handholds built into the side of the house he clambered toward the bedroom like a giant rat. In a few minutes he was hanging onto the ledge just outside the room. If the layout of the house had been given to him correctly he should enter through the bathroom. That should give him a few seconds to prepare his equipment. With any luck that was all he would need.
He didnt need his pry bar. It
was a hot night and the window had been left partly
open. It took him only seconds
to make an opening large enough to admit
him. He eased his way to the
floor. It was pitch black in
the room, but he could see a faint glow under the
door. This gave him
pause. If his victim was awake
it would make his task much more
difficult. However, he had not
become the premier housebreaker in
After a few minutes he slowly turned the door handle, making sure that there were no alarming squeaks. The door swung open the tiniest of cracks and he peered into the room. A single candle burned in a holder by the bed. His night-adjusted eyes made out the figure of a young woman. The gentle rise and fall of her chest and her slow heavy breathing told him that she was asleep and filled him with other notions as well. She was a beauty. It would be so easy to take her, however, he was not here for that. If he had been into rape he could have taken advantage of the situation on numerous previous occasions. This was not the first time he had entered the bedroom of a sleeping woman.
He had to admit, however, that he had rarely encountered a more beautiful victim. The girls innocent face, relaxed in sleep; the faint scent of her perfume; and the slow rise and fall of her breasts; was incredibly alluring. For a few moments he just stood over her, watching her in sleep. Then, returning to the task at hand he reached into his pocket and took out a small bottle and a handkerchief. Uncorking the bottle, he poured the sweet-smelling liquid onto the handkerchief. He held his breath and moved the handkerchief toward the girls face.
Cordelia stirred. She had been having the most marvelous dream; one in which Mr. Adams and Mr. Wells had both featured prominently. A strange odour assailed her nostrils. Only half awake, she wasnt sure if she was still dreaming. And then her breath was cut off.
She gasped for air and was rewarded with a dizzying lungful of sweet-smelling gas. Her head swam and involuntarily she clawed at the cloth across her mouth, trying desperately to free herself of the hand pressed against her mouth and nostrils. She acted purely on instinct, being only dimly aware of what was happening to her. She understood only that something was pushing her head down into the pillow and that she could barely breathe.
Her hand contacted something and she clawed at it. She was rewarded with a low curse and suddenly the cloth over her mouth was withdrawn. Gasping for air, she was too breathless to cry out.
Bloody little bitch, Bunyan clutched at his face, where the girls fingernails had scored four claw marks across his cheek. Without thinking he struck at her, his fist contacting her jaw. The girl went limp, her head twisted sideways.
Cor, Bunyan thought, now Ive done it. He bent over the girls face. She would sport a bruise where he had hit her. That was something that would not please Janessic. Shaken, he replaced the bottle and handkerchief in his pocket. Reaching forward he placed his hands under the girls shoulders and pulled her into a sitting position; then swinging her around he shifted her body so that her feet were on the floor.
Cordelias eyes opened. Dazedly she realized that something had hit her. Permeating her consciousness was the frightening awareness that she was being attacked. Her assailant was directly in front of her, pulling her forward. She brought up both her knees striking him directly between the legs. The man let out a howl and dropped to the floor, clutching at his groin. Cordelia staggered to her feet and then swayed as a wave of nausea swept over her. She took a step and fell full length on the carpeted floor, driving the air from her lungs. She opened her mouth to cry out, but could not make a sound. Crawling across the floor on her hands, knees, and belly, she tried to reach a chair that was near the bed and pull herself to her feet.
A heavy weight landed on her back and her head was wrenched back violently as a hand seized her hair. You filthy little toffer! a voice said. Then a rank-smelling cloth was slapped over her mouth and nose once more. She shook her head, trying to free herself, but the cloth was clamped tight. Slowly its anesthetizing fumes subdued her. Her body went limp as she faded toward unconsciousness.
She did not completely pass out, but was helpless as she felt her hands pulled behind her back. Her feeble efforts to resist were wasted as her wrists were bound and then her ankles were lashed together. Now you little twist, that ought to hold you.
Bunyan straddled the girl. He had controlled his urge to hit her again, in spite of the pain in his groin. But he took no more chances. She was bound head and foot, but just to make sure he slipped a cloth bag over her head. He had not intended to use it; the chloroform was supposed to make that unnecessary, but the girl had already surprised him twice.
Placing his hands under her arms he dragged her toward the bathroom and the window. He was moving quickly. There was every chance that the unexpected struggle had been heard by someone else in the house. Ordinarily with a cock-up like this he would have dropped everything and high-tailed it out of the house, but Janessic was paying him too well. He had been promised more soft than he would make in a month and there was also Janessic himself. The swell was a bad man to cross or disappoint.
He was at the window now. Uncoiling a length of rope from around his waist, Bunyan, tied it to the ropes binding her ankles. She moaned a little as he did so and he stifled a curse. He should have gagged her. In his haste and confusion at the unexpected resistance he had overlooked that basic precaution. Cutting off a short length of rope he tied it over the cloth bag covering her head, forcing some of the cloth into her mouth. It was a crude gag, but it would probably keep her quiet long enough for him to get her out of the house.
He opened the window as wide as it would go and pushed her out head first, playing out the rope. There you go, me lovely, he murmured as she reached the ground. Tying the rope to one of the legs of the cast iron bathtub he followed the girl out the window, clambering agilely down the side of the building. Picking her up, he slung her across his shoulder. She was heavier than he thought she would be, but then she was actually a little taller than he was so that should not have been surprising.
Janessic was waiting on the other side of the wall. Took you long enough, Scrag. I was beginning to think youd failed me.
Never do that, gov, Bunyan replied. Where do you want her?
Janessic motioned to his carriage. His footman held open the door. Put her on the seat, he ordered. Reaching into his coat he pulled out his wallet. Peeling off several notes he handed them to Bunyan. As we agreed, he said.
Bunyan knuckled his forehead in mock salute. I be thanking yer lordship. He didnt wait for Janessics reply. He didnt want to be around when the toff discovered the bruises on the girls body. In any case he had a rendezvous with a certain Judy he had visited before. He had the money to afford her more than once this time.
Janessic slipped in beside the unconscious girl. Rapping his cane against the roof of the carriage he signaled his driver to move off. Briefly, by the light of the streetlamps, he inspected his prize. Bunyan had done a fair job of tying her up, but he couldnt leave her like that. Rope cut off the circulation and in any case he wanted to have a good look at her. What he could see was impressive enough. She was wearing only a filmy summer nightdress that barely disguised the strong, youthful body it covered.
Taking out his clasp knife he cut through her bonds and took of the hood. Bloody hell, he muttered. The girls face was badly bruised and further inspection revealed bruising on other parts of her body as well. Clearly Bunyan had made a complete balls up of the job. Janessic resolved to make sure the man was taught a lesson. The rankest amateur could have done a better job than he had.
To his relief the girls injuries did not seem to be anything that would not heal. In a few days she should be right as rain. The girl moaned and her eyelids fluttered. She seemed to be regaining her senses. He would need to keep her sedated until he reached the docks. Once aboard ship there would be nowhere for her to go or anyone to call out to. He took out his own bottle of chloroform and soaking his handkerchief placed it over her nose. In a few seconds the girl relaxed, her breathing becoming deep and regular.
Janessic drank in the beauty of the sleeping girl. Her bruised lips were slightly parted and her full breasts rose and fell with her gentle breathing. Why not? he muttered. Bishop wanted her intact, but he had said nothing about not having a good look at her. He tugged at the laces holding the neck of her nightdress closed. The garment parted allowing the girls breasts to fall free. They were the breasts of a young woman, as rounded as a ripe grapefruit and firm and supple. Janessic licked his lips and cupped one of the soft, gently-rounded hemispheres.
He kissed one of the copper-pink nipples, teasing the tender bud until it hardened, glistening wetly in the moonlight. The girl stirred, arched her back slightly and parted her lips. She was almost irresistibly lovely and Janessic could not stop his hands from moving lower. He lifted the hem of the girls nightdress, sliding his hand over her silken thigh. The feminine warmth radiating from between her legs almost had him panting in anticipation. Holding his breath, he slid his hand upward and cupping the soft curve of her mons veneris, slipped his index finger into the warm slit of her vulva.
The girls breathing quickened and her eyelids fluttered. Amazingly, she was responding so strongly to his touch that she seemed on the verge of awakening. He moved closer to her and allowed his finger to move deeper, exploring the outer regions of her valley of pleasure. She was wet, warm, and tight and when he encountered her maidenhead, Janessic had to fight hard to hold himself in check.
The girls very helplessness made her all the more desirable. She hovered on the edge of awareness, neither fully unconscious nor completely awake, but responding instinctively to his touch. She spread her legs and Janessic was able to resist no longer. He might be forbidden to deflower her, but there were other ways he could exploit her charms. First, however, he needed to make sure that the girl stayed where she was. The bruises on her body indicated that she had resisted Bunyans attempt to capture her and he did not want a repeat of that in the carriage. Fortunately, he had brought just the thing to make sure she stayed put.
From the storage compartment over the seat he took out a studded leather collar. It was the same sort of collar he used on his mastiff, although sized for the girls slender neck. He strapped it on and then using a small padlock snapped a short length of chain onto it. He padlocked the other end of the chain to a staple just above the girls head. Satisfied that if she suddenly awoke she could not escape, he returned to his previous activity.
Moving out of his seat he positioned himself on the floor between the girls legs. They spread almost of their own accord and it took him only a few seconds to elicit another moan from his now helpless prisoner. He massaged the inside of her thighs, moving slowly higher with each stroke until his fingers were moving delicately over her vulva. Slowly he inserted a single digit into her virginal opening. The girl moaned loudly and parted her thighs even farther. Janessic probed deeper, working his finger into the enticing warmth of her vagina, until he encountered the delicate barrier of her maidenhead. Carefully he withdrew, overcoming the urge to go farther. He would have all the time he needed on board ship. Bishop had ordered that the girls virginity be preserved, but he had said nothing about any other sort of treatment. There were many ways that a woman could please a man and he intended that the girl receive a proper education.
The sound of wheels on wood told him that the carriage was now rolling along the docks. Here the night thickened, fog closing in about the carriage as it rumbled through the docklands dark shadows. There was danger here. At night the docklands were an unruly place, but Janessic knew that with the driver and his footman, both of whom were armed, he was safe enough.
The carriage rolled through the fog for another fifteen minutes before coming to a halt. Janessic exited as the footman held the door open. He tossed the man the key to the padlocks. Bring the girl, he ordered. Moving toward the ship he strode up the gangplank. A sailor met him on the deck. The man said nothing, but recognizing Janessic he nodded. The captain? Janessic asked.
Forard, the tar answered. He was a heavyset man liberally decorated with tattoos, many of them crudely done. Without waiting to see if Janessic was following he headed toward the bow of the ship. Stifling his anger at the sailors rudeness Janessic followed. He found the captain supervising the loading of a number of bales into the forward hold.
The captain turned as Janessic approached. Ah, Mr. Janessic, yer here on time.
My business went well, Janessic replied. is my cabin ready?
That she be. Do ye need help with yer luggage?
Janessic shook his head and smiled. I have some rather special cargo. My driver and footman will look after it. Is Simmons aboard?
The captain nodded, his dark beard wagging. In yer cabin.
Thank you, captain, Janessic replied. Ill find my way there.
He moved toward the stern. He had commandeered the largest cabin on the ship, actually displacing the captain. Bishop had given him enough gold to more than compensate the captain for the inconvenience.
Simmons was waiting for him when he entered the cabin. Good evening, sir, he said. Everything is ready.
Janessic nodded his approval. The cargo is being brought aboard. You have prepared a place for her?
Indeed, Sir. Simmons motioned to one side of the cabin. Janessic smiled again. He liked what he saw.
Her first sensation was of a rocking motion. Then as her senses returned, queasiness, coupled with a splitting headache. She tried to move and groaned as her bruised limbs protested. And then a voice sounded close by.
Awake, my dear? Cordelias eyes popped open. For a second she simply stared in fear and then her eyes flickered in recognition. It was the dapper stranger who had accosted her at the exhibition. She jerked upright, ignoring the protests from her body and then realized that she was clad only in her nightdress, a garment that was in considerable disarray. She crossed her hands over her breasts and pulled her knees up protectively. It was at that moment she realized that she was not in her own bed and became aware of the chain.
A heavy collar enclosed her throat. From it a four foot length of chain ran to a heavy staple hammered into a bulkhead. She was on a ship and chained like a slave. Who are you? she stammered. How dare you do this?
I am Ivan Janessic and for now, my dear, I am your master. It would be well to remember that. Your welfare depends upon it.
Master? Cordelia asked. Fear seized her, but she forced it aside, allowing her anger to surface instead. No man is my master. I am Cordelia Delacourt, daughter of Sir William Delacourt, High Justice of her Britannic majesty.
Cordelia Viola Katherine Delacourt to be precise, the man replied. Apparently your father or mother had an extreme predilection for Shakespearian heroines. However, I do not care about your lineage. You are my prisoner to do with as I wish and until we part you will do as I wish.
I will never be a slave, Cordelia replied defiantly, however, her anger disguised her terror. There was little doubt that she was at the mercy of her captor. He could do whatever he wished with her and she was helpless to escape. In spite of the hopelessness of her situation, however, she tried to brazen it out.
Apparently you need to be taught who is in charge, Janessic replied. For now we will start with withholding food and water. I am sure that within a few hours you will be more amenable.
Janessics words caused Cordelia to realize that she was indeed both thirsty and hungry. The former was the most pressing. Her mouth was dry and was filled with a foul taste as if her mouth had been stuffed with medicated cotton wool. But she had no intention of showing weakness. She set her jaw and replied to Janessics threat. Where are my clothes? she demanded.
Janessic leered. You dont really need clothes. You arent going anywhere and serving me and your future masters will require little in the way of covering. I could get you a blanket, but you have not shown enough obedience to warrant such a luxury. Without another word Janessic turned and left the cabin. Cordelia was left alone with her thoughts.