“Boss?” Dawn turned and gave Faith a puzzled grimace.
“No…no,” gasped Faith taking a step away from the mayor, “you can’t be!”
“Hey,” the mayor favoured Faith with a sunny smile, “have we met? Because if we had I’m sure I’d remember such an attractive young woman as you.”
“Umm,” Dawn stepped forward after again giving Faith a worried look, “look, my friend hasn’t been feeling well lately…”
“Oh dear!” interrupted the mayor, his eyebrows coming together in a concerned frown, “Nothing serious I hope?”
Smiling Dawn tried to work out what was going on here, this mayor guy seemed genuinely nice, which made a change (mostly officials couldn’t wait to see the back of them) yet Faith was acting like she’d seen a ghost or something. Dawn took a deep breath; it looked like it was down to her to get them out of this situation…as usual. Loosening the two top fasteners of her blouse she stepped towards the mayor and struck what she hoped was a seductive pose.
“Oh ho!” laughed the mayor, “Lets not have any of that sort of behaviour, young lady, I’m a happily married man and I have my reputation to think about.”
Slumping a little Dawn abandoned her attempts at seduction. Oh well, she thought, better luck next time. Ever since her rather hurried ‘deflowering’ carried out while Faith was fighting off a load of guards who were intent on grabbing Dawn for the vacant ‘Virgin Sacrifice’ spot. Dawn’s ‘love life’, if you could call it that, had hit a new low. She sighed wistfully; at least Faith was letting her drink wine now.
“Darn,” breathed Dawn, “like, I was really hoping to get out of this by using my womanly wiles…whatever they are.”
“Hey,” smiled the mayor.
He did seem to smile a lot, mused Dawn; it must be the professional politician thing.
“Look,” the mayor smiled sympathetically, “don’t take it personally, if I was twenty years younger and not coming up for re-election I’d take you up on your offer…and by the way, your ‘womanly wiles’ look lovely.”
“They do?” beamed Dawn, looking down the front of her blouse, “Y’know, a lot of guys just don’t say that sort of thing often enough.”
“Alright,” the mayor lost something of his pleasant demeanour, “to business.”
“Oh,” Dawn glanced back at Faith who was now standing with her back against the wall staring at the mayor, “Okay, like what have we gotta do to get out of this?”
“Nice to meet a young woman who knows when to get down to business,” the mayor crossed the room and poured a couple of goblets of wine.
Bringing one over to Dawn he passed it to her then raised a questioning eyebrow and looked at Faith. Dawn shook her head, best not to give Faith any alcohol until she knew what the freaking hell was wrong with her.
“I’m sorry,” the mayor sipped at his wine, neatly showing Dawn it wasn’t poisoned, “it’s watered down. I don’t approve of strong drink…but it’s the only safe thing to drink at the moment. When I’m re-elected I’m going to have one of those aqueduct things built and bring fresh water right into the heart of the city.”
“Like,” Dawn smiled wondering if this guy wanted them to vote for him or something, “that’s cool.”
“Yes it is, isn’t it?” the mayor was back to smiling again. “Now young lady I know all about you and your friend and what you did to that priest…” the mayor glanced over at Faith who was now sitting on the floor still staring at him. “Are you sure she’s alright?”
“Yeah,” Dawn glanced over her shoulder, “she’ll be like fine…no problemo…” she mouthed the words, ‘time of the month’ and winked.
“Oh…yes,” the mayor coughed to cover his embarrassment, “Anyway, as I was saying about this priest you and your friend…maybe she should lie down or something?”
“No,” Dawn smiled, “she’ll be fine…honest.”
“Well,” the mayor did his best to look stern, “do you know how much trouble this has caused me?”
Dawn shook her head.
“I’ve had their High Priest fellow; now what’s his name,” the mayor snapped his fingers trying to remember, “Radox…” the mayor frowned in concentration, “No! Rexor! Silly name if you ask me.”
Dawn grinned her agreement; it was generally a good idea to agree with the guy who held your life in the palm of his hand. Dawn turned to give Faith an annoyed look, particularly when your only friend and protector was acting all screwy.
“Damn foreigners,” the mayor had a distracted look on his face now, almost as if Dawn wasn’t in the room with him. “Coming into my very own townhall demanding that I catch you and threatening me!” The mayor thumped his chest, he turned to point a finger at Dawn as if it were a spear, “I mean how dare he!? By all rights I ought to have you and your friend tortured to death in the public square.”
“You should!” Dawn gulped and took a long drink of her watered wine, “I mean…you should?”
“Yes I should,” the mayor sighed and gave Dawn a long hard look.
Dawn whimpered a little and waited to hear what her fate was to be, she nearly jumped out of her skin when the mayor laughed.
“HA!” he barked, “What daring! What outrageousness! What insolence! What arrogance! I salute you.”
“Like…you do?” Dawn nearly dropped her goblet she was so shocked.
“Yes,” the mayor stepped over to her and put a fatherly arm around her shoulder and led her over to the windows. “Yes, those snake worshiping so ‘n’ so’s came to Haafi about a year ago,” he explained. “Since then they’ve grown in power, they upset the older town’s people and beguiled the youngsters.” He looked down at Dawn, “Did you know that trade has dropped by 15% since those snake lovers came to the city?”
“No?” Dawn shook her head again; she wasn’t too sure what was going on here. But, she didn’t think she was going to be tortured to death anytime soon, “You don’t like, like snakes?”
“Oh no!” the mayor shook his head firmly, “Yuck! Horrible things, all slippery and slimy,” he gave a shudder, “I’m thinking of having a snake whacking day, y’know?”
“Yeah,” Dawn replied weakly, her smile had become somewhat fixed by now; she really wished Faith would get her head back in the game. “So, um, what can I…we do for you?”
“AH!” the mayor let go of Dawn’s shoulder and strode back to the table with its jug of wine, “Its nice to meet someone so perceptive,” the mayor poured more wine. “If all this wasn’t enough, what with it being election year and all. This Radux fellow has bewitched my only daughter and is holding her in their damn tower. I want you and your friend to get her back for me.”
“Oh!” Dawn said relieved, “Like, we can totally do that. For a moment there I thought you wanted us to assassinate your political rivals or something.”
“No need,” smiled the mayor, “the lions ate them.”
“They did?” Dawn drank the rest of her wine very quickly.
“You know, young lady,” the mayor smiled sadly, “there comes a time, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the mayor’s office becomes a prison, and all that is left is a father's love for his child.”
Dawn managed to resist the urge to rush over and give the mayor a big hug.
“Will you do it?” the mayor asked hopefully.
Ten minutes later Dawn was pulling Faith by the arm towards their lodgings. She’s struck a deal with the mayor; first, all criminal charges against Faith and herself were to be dropped whether they got the mayor’s daughter back or not. The mayor would supply horses and any other useful equipment that they might need and upon successful completion of the task, five hundred gold sheckles…each.
“Like, what is freaking wrong with you?” Dawn found herself sounding like her mother; or worse yet, Buffy!
“Don’t you know who that was?” Faith had recovered a little more as they got further away from the townhall.
“Who? The mayor?”
“Yeah…the mayor,” Faith came to sudden halt in the middle of the street; she looked at Dawn, a slightly insane glint in her eye. “Of course,” she muttered, “you where too young or maybe you hadn’t been made yet, maybe the monks forgot to put that part in…”
“What?” Dawn was starting to get worried now; she didn’t like it when people reminded her that she’d been ‘made’ as opposed to born.
“Don’t you understand?” Faith grabbed Dawn by the collar of her blouse, “That was Mayor Wilkins!”
“Like, from Sunnydale?” gulped Dawn.
“Yeah,” Faith nodded her head, “snake guy himself!”
Dawn thought about this for a moment before saying, “But he said he didn’t like snakes!”0=0=0=0
Not so very far away, Conan the Barbarian rode through an area of forest just to the north of the port of Haafi. After his adventures in Arymlap he’d sobered up and headed north finding employment as a mercenary with the warring hill tribes of the Black Mountains…or were they the Brown Mountains? Whatever, Conan had made himself a small fortune by slaughtering the enemies of his employer, wading through their blood and dismembered bodies until they cried ‘Uncle!’ Family disputes could be a terrible thing.
Now he was going to the coast to put his feet up, have a drink or two and screw around a little. Since he’d stopped taking the herbs that improved his muscle tone he’d found the girls where far more eager to couple with him. To be honest, he could stand to lose a few pounds of muscle bulk and anyway, girls were much more fun.
Riding along with thoughts of wine and girls going through his mind (it was a short journey as he only had a tiny mind), he didn’t notice that the trees had grown bigger and darker and closer together. Hearing a girl’s screams he snapped out of his daydreams of wine, women and sex (who needs song?); he pulled his horse to a halt and drew his sword.
“Vas ist das?” he looked around trying to find the source of the scream.
Again there was a scream, louder this time and definitely female. Only this time he could hear the sound of something big smashing through the undergrowth about fifty paces off to his left. Without a second thought (Conan had hardly ever had a first thought), he kicked his horse into motion and galloped under the low branches towards the sound of the commotion.
“He-elp! He-elp!” screamed the busty young woman in the diaphanous white nightdress as she was being dragged through the forest by a hideous monster.
The creature stood a good eight feet tall, its dun coloured fur was matted with mud and what looked like dried blood. It’s head was like a huge nightmare vision of a lion. While it walked on its hind legs it’s barrel chested body was hunched forward as it held its victim in its wickedly clawed paw.
“He-elp!” screamed the young woman catching sight of Conan, “Sur!” she called, “I beg you, he-elp!”
“Haf nien vorry, little lady,” Conan swung down from his horse, “I vill save you!”
He rushed at the monster and took a swing at the creature with his great sword. The monster screamed hideously as Conan’s blade bit into its hide. It dropped the girl and turned to roar at Conan, it towered above the barbarian foam dripping from its jaws as it bared its long sharp teeth and flexed its long blood stained claws.
“NOOOOOO! DOOON’T DOOO THIS!” roared the monster.
“Kill it! Kill it!” screamed the girl as she staggered free of the monster’s clutches.
Stepping forward, Conan swung his sword again, bright red, copper smelling blood squirted from the monster’s chest where Conan’s sword had made a deep cut, the monster staggered away from Conan holding up its arm trying to ward off the blows that the warrior rained on it.
“NOOO! NOOO!” begged the monster, “You’ve got it all wrong!”
“DON’T LISTEN TO IT!” screamed the girl, her breasts heaving with excitement, “IT’S TRYING TO TRICK YOU!”
Advancing once more, Conan thrust with his sword burying it up to the hilt in the monster’s belly.
“Sir!” gasped the monster as it collapsed to its knees, “I-I…must…protest!”
With a groan the monster toppled over and breathed its last. Conan retrieved his sword and was just cleaning the blood from the blade when the young woman rushed over to him and wrapped her body around his.
“Oh sur!” she gasped, “Thank-you, thank-you! How will I ever be able to repay you?”
“I am sure ve can think of something,” Conan grinned.0=0=0=0
“Come with me,” the girl led Conan through the restless forest, “I need you, I fear the dark and I live all alone.”
There was something in the girl’s manner that gave Conan pause for thought; why did she fear the dark when it was in fact broad daylight? And why did she live alone? Conan ran an appreciative eye over the girls figure. The dark curls that tumbled over her shoulders, her dark smouldering eyes that seemed to drown his very soul. The swell of her magnificent breasts, her lily white skin; all these things would suggest that she’d be fighting off admirers with a stick. Catching sight of an exposed thigh Conan reassessed his conclusion; no she’d have to use a large axe!
So, why was she so desperate to get him back to wherever it was she lived? Conan hesitated for a moment. The girl sensing his reluctance to go any further turned towards him, she ran a hand down between her breasts and licked her lips provocatively.
“I’ll give you wine and food too,” she sighed deeply making the empires of her breasts rise and fall, “and something special after if you like.”
What the hell, shrugged Conan, in for a penny in for a splonder. Hitching up his fur jock strap he followed the girl to her little cottage deep in the forest.0=0=0=0
Everything had seemed to be going so well, Conan thought as he rode away from the cottage the next day. The meal had involved a lot of significant looks, suggestive eating and oddly shaped fruit. The girl had served him a cheeky little vintage which left a fruity, summery aftertaste in the mouth. It was just after they’d finished the dessert and before Conan could even ask if there were any cheese and biscuits that the girl hurled herself at him.
Tearing off her clothes, what little there was of them, she exposed the full glory of her smooth alabaster like skin, her pink nipples were already hard and erect with excitement as her mouth sort out Conan’s. She pulled desperately at his jockstrap pulling it free with an easy tug…and she’d not even offered him coffee or an after dinner mint! A lapse in etiquette that Conan would overlook considering the circumstances.
They rolled across the floor as the girl’s cries of pleasure got louder and louder. Conan thought that he must be doing a pretty good job as the girl bucked and squirmed under him. He was just giving himself a metaphorical pat on the back when it all started to go horribly wrong. Just as they where reaching the mutual climax of the performance, Conan noticed there was something wrong with the girls eyes. They’d become sort of ‘slited’ a little like a cat’s. The girl’s teeth had become elongated and sharp looking and her ears had changed shape so they looked more like those belonging to some sort of green blooded man-creature.
Panic didn’t set in until she tried to rip out his throat with her teeth. Conan, showing remarkable presence of mind considering the situation, rolled off the girl and grabbed for his weapon; then on second thoughts he went for his sword. Just in time he brought up his blade as the girl-devil leaped across the room at him. The razor sharp blade entered her body between her two ripe breasts, the force of her charge drove Conan’s sword right through her until the tip poked out of her back.
“Der Teufel!” gasped Conan as he pulled his blade free from his one time lover.
Having thrown the she-devil out of the cottage, Conan slept the sleep of the just before awaking the following morning. After a good breakfast and looting the cottage for anything that might be valuable or useful he headed out to the little stable where his horse waited patiently for him. Just as he was about to mount up and gallop off into the sunrise he heard a loud moan come from what looked like a pile of discarded skins. Walking over her pulled the top skin aside to find a young oriental man looking up at him.
“Who are you?” Conan asked warily.
“Subotia,” replied the man, “Archer!”
Author’s Note; the Conan part of this chapter is based loosely on a song called ‘The Lady Lies’, by ‘Genesis’ from the album ‘…and Then There Were Three’.