Pretender’s Fate Ch. 02

Nisan 15, 2024 Yazar admin 0

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Robert the Bruce’s forces came upon the castle at Ayr so quietly and unexpectedly that Sir Thomas Howard was caught completely off guard. The Scottish warrior was known to be roaming the east coast of Scotland in the late summer of 1297, looking for targets of opportunity to reduce the English strongholds in Scotland and to enhance his reputation as a leader of the Scots, but no one expected him to pop up on the west coast.

The brutality of his army in reducing both English fortresses and their supporting villages to ashes and putting the garrison soldiers to the sword were circulating so strongly that it was assumed—falsely, apparently—that his movements could be traced by the trail of smoke left in his force’s wake.

Thus it was that when his forces appeared outside the gates of Ayr Castle, Sir Thomas was off hunting on the border with England, culling the deer by permission in King Edward’s private preserve near Carlisle, both to keep the forest from being overgrazed and deer from starving and to help provide for the winter needs for meat at Ayr Castle. If there was anything that might rival Sir Thomas’s lust for young male flesh, it was his lust for the hunt.

Not having realized that deBruce was headed for Ayr was not to Thomas’s discredit. Robert the Bruce had bypassed several other English strongholds before appearing at Ayr, so Thomas had no better reason than anyone else to know deBruce was in the area. Much less to his credit, however, was that when he did realize it and realized that a formidable force of Scottish infantrymen stood between him and home, he departed for London—there presumably to request military support from Edward, but nothing is written in the chronicles about such a request.

Thomas had taken his most seasoned knights on the hunt with him, leaving the garrison at the castle stripped of both manpower and experience in warfare strategy. There was only Thomas’s wife, Lady Madeline, at home to command the garrison, which, nonetheless, was loyal to her to the man, happily granting her a loyalty they only grudgingly accorded her husband.

Robert the Bruce laid siege to the castle, remaining so for three months, into the early winter months, under the assumption that the castle was fully manned. His intention was to starve them out—and to intimidate them with the threat of being massacred and having the castle burned to the ground. That he had done so even when castles had surrendered to him didn’t heighten the trust the besieged had in his promises, however.

The intimidation included the daily riding around the castle walls, just out of arrow range, of Robert’s most frightening lieutenant. James Young, a young Highland Scot of prodigious size and musculature, had already gained fame for his brutality, personal bravery and bravado, and sanguinity. His hallmark was to go into battle on a great steed and wearing only a kilt of the Young clan, showing off his heavily muscled, battle-scarred torso. He was a handsome devil in a cruel, rough sort of way, and he was known to give no quarter.

At the sieges of the English-held castles Robert the Bruce had taken and burned this season, Young had done just as he was doing here at Ayr—circling the castle walls several times a day, screaming blood-curdling threats and curses. This was beginning to have a chilling effect throughout the English-held areas of Scotland, as no one seemed able to touch him in battle or in his taunting during the siege—and because he carried out the threats he made once the English garrisons had been worn down for attack.

It took three months for Robert the Bruce’s informants to relay the information from London that Sir Thomas and a majority of his seasoned knights were in London, not at Ayr. Upon hearing that, Robert mounted his horse and rode within hailing distance of the castle walls and called out for Lady Madeline to appear. When she did appear on the battlements, he called out to her that he knew her husband wasn’t there and that it would be in her interests to open her gate to him. If anyone other than Robert and Madeline understand what he was proposing, they did not speak of it. He went on to pledge to her that she and her people would not be harmed if she gave the castle into his hands.

The castle well was running dry and the last of the food was days gone by, so Lady Madeline had little choice but to give the castle up if there was any hope niğde escort of survival. She also had no objection to what else he was proposing. She was smart enough to place her nearly two-year-old son by her side in the castle courtyard when Robert and the vanguard came through the gates. Robert had seen enough of his by-blows and was quick enough with the math to understand why Madeline had brought the boy out.

He jumped off his horse, waved his retinue away, and approached Madeline.

“Mine?” he asked in a low voice, gesturing toward the boy.

“It’s good to see you too, Lord deBruce,” Madeline answered in a calm, even voice. “Yes, he’s yours. His name is William.”

“Sir Thomas?”

“He doesn’t know—although it would be best for him not to see the two of you together. He then quite assuredly would know.”

“I had rather hoped that your husband was home—that I would have the pleasure of pillaging and ravishing . . . and raping.”

“Are you yet a powerful rider?” Madeline asked.

“It would be my pleasure to show you that I still am.”

“If you are good for your word—on sparing my people—my gates are open to you.”

Robert turned toward his retinue and raised his hand in the air. “The lady of the castle and I have some negotiations to conduct. No more than the present number of riders will occupy the courtyard while we are engaged. I command that no harm is to come to any of those of the castle and no property is to be touched before I return.”

Looking up at the battlements, he said in a commanding voice, “Until I return, all of the occupants of the castle will withdraw into the keep.”

A voice of a grizzled old warrior could be heard in the guardroom over the gate tower. “My Lady?”

“It is as Lord Robert stated,” she called out. “When the battlements are clear, Lord Robert and I will withdraw to draw up an agreement of honorable surrender.” Only she and Robert knew who would be surrendering and in what way.

William was left in the care of his squire, Samuel, in the anteroom of Lady Madeline’s chamber when she and Robert deBruce had retired there and shut the door. Sitting outside the door, on guard, was the young giant Scottish Highlander warrior, James Young, dressed only in his kilt and glowering at William and Samuel, as Samuel did what he could to entertain his young lord.

The youngster was showing signs of concern and restlessness, sensing that something had changed in the atmosphere in the castle and wanting his mum to tell him everything was all right. The squire therefore resorted to his most sure bag of tricks in retaining the tyke’s attention, which, in fact, was a bag of tricks. William cackled with laughter when Samuel pulled a gossamer scarf out of his ear—and he was greatly intrigued with the Roman coin Samuel waved in front of his eyes and then, with a swirl of his hands, made into two halves of a Roman coin, neatly palming the whole coin while William concentrated on the one that Samuel had had the metal smith render in two.

“Mine,” William cried out, with a happy laugh, as he reached for the divided coin.

“Only half, my young lord,” Samuel answered, as he made half of the coin disappear and gave the other half to William. “The other half you may have when you yourself are a man. I will keep it until then. It mayst remind you of happy days you spent with the less noble ere you took on the onerous duties of being a leader of men.”

Once again young William cackled with delight as he wrapped his new Roman half coin in the gossamer scarf that Samuel had not taken back.

Samuel was barely a man himself, but William worshipped him and cooperated in anything Samuel asked him to do. In turn, Samuel made his requests such that the very young, but very willful, William thought it was his idea. The squire was small of stature and willowy, but he had already started his combat training and was well-muscled for his body build. He also was very comely, with reddish-gold ringlets encircling his head and a well-featured face with full, sensual lips, and an engaging smile.

Inside Lady Madeline’s chamber, the mistress of the castle was already laying on her back on the bed with her bodice open, her skirts raised and billowing around her waist, her undergarments ripped from her body and discarded in the straw matting on the floor beside the bed, and her legs wrapped around ordu escort the waist of Robert the Bruce. Lord Robert was crouched between her legs and riding her hard and deep. Madeline had the thick silk roping of the bed chain hanging down from one of the posts in her mouth, gripped by her teeth, in an effort to stifle her cries of ecstasy from Robert’s expert cock work inside her.

Her efforts weren’t entirely successful. Both James Young and Samuel could hear and clearly discern what was transpiring in the other room. Young was not surprised—this was not the first castle by any means that Robert the Bruce had stormed, with all that entailed. Samuel was shocked, though, and was blushing from embarrassment. William, of course, had no idea what the sounds portended. He was just happy that Samuel was looking shyly away from the door into his mistress’ chamber and trying to keep William quiet and occupied.

James Young thought the blush on the young man was quite becoming—arousing even.

Young had initially focused his attention on the boy, William. He too had seen enough of Robert the Bruce’s by-blows to have a very good idea of the origins of this young lad. This, he thought, explained not only Robert’s strange behavior in being so nonwarlike thus far in the taking of the castle and the ease with which he had breached Lady Madeline’s gates.

After solving, to his satisfaction, the mystery of the castle taking and the origins of the young William, Young’s eyes went to the handsome young squire. The noises from the lady’s chamber were arousing to Young. But they were arousing to him in a different way to the effect they would have on Robert the Bruce. Young had built up a lust for a battle that had not ensued and now, with the sounds of sex wafting through the cracks around the heavy oaken door to the bed chamber, he was building up an entirely kind of lust.

“Squire, ’tis time to put the young lad to bed,” he said in a hoarse, low voice, his first utterance since he had taken up his position.

“It is still light out. William doesn’t go to . . .” Samuel started to say. Then he looked up at the hulking warrior at the door to the bedchamber and stopped in mid-sentence with a gasp. Young, sitting in a chair balanced on its two back legs as he leaned against the wall next to the door, had lifted the front of his kilt to his waist. He was naked underneath and there was no avoiding the view of the raging, thick, long hard cock standing up from the thatch of his groin.

“No, sire, please,” Samuel said in a strangled voice. “I do not . . . I am not . . .”

“I will cock you. Do you wish the boy to see it, or do you wish to put him to his bed first?”

Young fucked Samuel over the arm of a chair in the small dining chamber off the antechamber, across from the door of the room where William, who happily followed any lead Samuel gave him, was put to bed, clutching his new treasures of a half coin and a sheer scarf in his arms, by a trembling and lightly moaning squire.

Pulling the leather webbing in the seat of one of the other chairs out, Young used the strips to tie Samuel’s wrists to the other arm of the chair and to bind both his ankles and his thighs just above the knees.

The squire was unused and Young was prodigiously endowed. Young preferred a very tight ass. He sought the challenge of a difficult breach of the gates. He thrilled to the seeming impossibility of commanding the channel and then to the slow yielding of the channel walls to the demands of his throbbing cock. And he enjoyed that cry and those grunts and groans and the begging for the mercy he would not give as he began to plow the field that he had so resolutely conquered. He reveled in the feel of the flow of his cum as it leaked past his staff and dribbled out of the young man’s hole—always preferable a young man. When he could get it, a virginal one like this—and a comely lad.

Young got the pleasure he sought: the feel of a young man’s man’s body trembling under him and the panting of breath from the exhausted prey. And then the cry of surprise and moan of recognition as he started to plow again. And, as he was lucky, the feel of the slow capitulation to him. The clinging to him and the begging—now begging for it rather than for relief from it—as Young totally conquered with his massive cock and power drive.

He stuffed Samuel’s tunic in the squire’s rize escort mouth and held that fast with another leather strip around his head. He had already come and was still inside the wilted squire, waiting for a second rise, when Robert the Bruce was ready to descend to the courtyard and was calling him away.

Lady Madeline found the squire there—still alive, but sobbing—when she had gained the strength to come out of her chamber herself. William blissfully slept through it all in his own chamber.

She was still cleaning Samuel up when Robert returned to tell her that his forces would withdraw to the meadow except for those now in the courtyard. He further informed her that food would be brought into the castle and that the castle occupants should remain in the keep for now—that Robert would not be responsible for what happened if any tried to flee.

Then he took her by the elbow and escorted her back to her chamber, bent her over the bed, and plowed her again.

When Madeline returned to her dining room, it was empty. She rushed to the window in time to see James Young carry the young squire into the courtyard, the young man hung over his shoulder like a sack of grain, and sling him over Young’s horse behind the saddle.

She turned to speak to Robert, but she saw both the amusement and the stubbornness in his eyes.

“The squire has left the keep. And the balance here is delicate. The men are being denied their spoils.”

She just lowered her head and brushed past him and went to William’s room. As much pleasure as she had received from Robert—and as much as she had been dreaming of being taken by him again—she was not unaware of the peril she and her people were in. She could not bear sleeping in her own bed this night.

Or so she thought. When the castle had bedded down for the night and Robert had told her what his own sleeping arrangements would be, Madeline docilely joined him in her own bed and opened her legs to him again—and again and again.

A week later, Robert personally led an escort of Lady Madeline; her son, William; and her handmaiden, Elizabeth to the nunnery at Lismore. Madeline had not seen the squire, Samuel, again, and William had become a handful of pout and demand in the absence of his playfellow.

While Robert was on the road, James Young led the Scottish forces at the Castle Ayr in raising the castle to ash, dispatching all able-bodied men, and scattering the rest of the villagers into the surrounding forest.

When Robert returned, he dressed Young down in private, but there was little else he could do. Young had done what he himself should have done, he knew—and what the men following him had expected and demanded to be done.

From there, the forces went directly to Stirling Castle near the eastern coast of Scotland, where William Wallace, in the absence of support from the Scottish lairds, including Robert the Bruce, had already just defeated the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge under the forces of John De Warenne, the sixth earl of Surrey, and Hugh de Cressingham. This was a major English defeat, and Robert wanted to be able to claim some part in the victory even though he had rebuffed Wallace’s entreaties to help earlier. Wallace was gaining legendary status among the populous, and Robert, like all of the other Scottish contenders for the throne, was afraid of his rising power and status. Luckily for Robert, Wallace himself was defeated in 1298 and disappeared from the scene until 1305, when the English captured him at Robroyston near Glasglow and put him to the rack and then had him drawn and quartered. Robert, along with the other Scottish lairds, immediately gave him legendary status and breathed a sigh of relief that he was gone.

Upon receiving the news that Ayr had been destroyed and that his wife and son were at the nunnery at Lismore, Sir Thomas Howard gained the command of another English stronghold, the border castle of Roxburgh near the east coast. Upon occupying that, he sent for his family.

Lady Madeline arrived in Roxburgh five months with child. The handmaiden, Elizabeth, died in the dungeon of Roxburgh under an unyielding interrogation on the source of Lady Madeline’s condition, Thomas not having lain with her in over a year. Elizabeth’s husband, Seth, soon followed her as no longer to be trusted in Thomas’s service. William was sent to visit his London relatives for the first time for the summer months. When he returned, his mother was gone—there had been complications, he was told when he was old enough to understand these matters, in her delivery of Sir Thomas’s second son. Both mother and baby had been lost.

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