Chapter 1. The arrest.
The guard roughly dragged the awkward thief out of the market place and on toward the police station. The pretty, disheveled girl knew the
series of events well enough from there, for she had been in the exact same predicament before. Arrested for theft, the soldier had taken
her to the crude stone building in the town that served as the police base and there she had been flogged.
On that occasion, she had suffered twelve cuts of the rattan on her bare backside. The chief of police commuting her sentence of the lash,
because she agreed - with indecent haste he rather thought - to satisfying five of the guards on duty and draining the chief himself in her
full, ruby mouth. She had milked them all dry easily enough and the thief thought it was a small price to pay to save herself from a full
blooded four and twenty lashes in public with a cat-o’five-tails. She thought fellating the chief rather more odious than letting the guards
use her vaginally, but even considering that final stab of humiliation; it was far preferable to the public display and the lash.
In fact, the pretty bawd had found two or three of the strong guards quite attractive and the thought of them wanting to use her, quite
turned her on. Opening her legs for them had been easier for her than they may have imagined.
The beating, though, had been damnation itself. Stripped naked, she had been tied high to a beam in the roof of a small, hot, stone cell
and two of the guards that had so recently pumped themselves dry in her, took turns to deliver twelve strokes of their thin five foot rattan
wands across her backside and thighs. It seemed to the pretty twenty two year old that they took only slightly less interest in flogging
her, than they had fucking her, for they thrashed her with undisguised malice and disregard. The pretty girl did not suffer bravely and
wailed pitifully each time one of the long rattans slapped her arse or thighs. She dangled from the rope that bound her, pathetically
writhing to each new swipe, doused with sweat, her face drawn and wet with tears; she could smell the rank musk of her long abuse rising
hotly from her nakedness as she danced and bucked.
Now, though, her mind was working overtime, wondering if again she would be able to tempt the soldiers onto her and off the lash. Perhaps
she would not be so lucky a second time. Theft in the town had reached all but endemic proportions and of late the authorities had stamped
down hard on it. She had seen two of her friends horsewhipped with thirty lashes each for picking pockets only a few weeks earlier and she
did not like her chances of faring any better than they this time.
Cursing her luck and vowing to herself to give up theft for good this time, she realized that the soldier was not taking her to the police
block, instead, they had turned up an adjacent street. Away from the staring people and the hubbub of the town, the pretty, dark haired
beauty felt alone, vulnerable and a little afraid.
"Where are you taking me?" she asked, trying not to sound too anxious.
"Quiet slut! Just keep walking!" growled the guard. He tightened his grip on the pretty girl’s limbs and with a grimace of discomfort and
little choice to do otherwise, she complied.
Just a short way down the lonely street, they stopped outside an inauspicious looking house and, to the girl`s surprise, the guard knocked
on the door before entering. This was clearly not the police house she had expected to be taken to.
They entered the gloomy stone interior and were confronted by three men. One seated at a table, the two others flanking him. The man seated
was dark, about thirty to thirty-five years old, with mature, chiseled good features and even though he was seated, she could see that he
was both broad, but trim. Clean-shaven, with cobalt blue eyes, his glance was at once piercing and memorable. Dressed well, though not
extravagantly, he had an air of wealth and general well being, but none of his soft living had gone to his figure, or his demeanor. He
looked handsome, but sharp as flint, cold and stern. The two standing either side him were both much older, bearded men, their graying hair
and beards giving them an austere, august appearance, certainly not men, the pretty girl thought, to be trifled or played with. By this
time, the girl`s initial fear had been replaced more by curiosity. It was clear she had not been brought to the police, so why was she here
The handsome looking seated man took a most perfunctory glance up as the two entered before returning his stare to the mass of papers
strewn along the surface of his desk. Almost at once, one of the bearded men addressed the guard.
"This is the offender?"
"I have arrested her from the market for theft," replied the guard. "It appears she knows the way well enough to the police block so I
would wager she has paid them visits in the past." The bearded man stared at her for a second.
"So you have been a guest of the police before?" he asked. The girl paused, reluctant to answer.
"I was arrested sometime back, but I paid the price for that. I was beaten at the time and then released. I`m sure there is nothing for me
to answer for that occasion," she blurted out, almost by way of an explanation. The august man smiled slightly.
"Tickle that sweet backside of yours did they?” he asked.
"Like I say," answered the pretty girl with a pout, “I was beaten at the time and then released after. My dues for that misdemeanor have
been fully paid-up!" With that, the handsome dark haired man cut in.
"Enough of that! You`re not here for that offence; you have been arrested in the marketplace for theft just as the guard has said. If I
were you, I would be worrying about that offence and not the one you have already been beaten for. What is your name?"
"And as my guard has said, you were thieving in the market today?" He spoke in monotone, matter-of-fact voice. The pretty young girl seemed
at a loss to offer a plausible answer. Should she reply by way of an apology? Certainly, she believed she would be foolhardy to attempt to
deny it. Giving the only answer she could, she replied.
"Yes sir, it is true, but it was all done out of..."
"Silence!" cut in the handsome man. "We are not here to discuss your guilt or innocence, or even to discuss the reasons behind your
thieving, philandering ways. Can you read?” Bella was totally nonplussed by the out of place question and again, was at a loss to know how
"Well I suppose a little," was all she could think of by way of a reply.
"How little? A small amount, or insufficient to make any sense of a document you may be given? Which one is it?" The girl paused, clearly
on the back foot and puzzled by the line of questioning. It was obvious she did not know what to say.
The handsome man pushed his chair back and tossed a document on the table in front of her. "Read that!" Reluctantly, tentatively, the girl
picked the document up. From where he was sitting he could see she was holding the paper upside-down. She paused, staring at it blankly and
looked at the two bearded men and then the handsome one, before returning to the document. She stood, feeling exposed and a little stupid,
staring mute at the paper, her mind racing to consider her predicament. It was all very odd.
"It`s a little difficult. It`s just that some of the words are a little strange and new to me," she mumbled.
"I would imagine it quite hard to read upside-down too, wouldn`t you?" Interjected the handsome man. With a sigh of exasperation, Bella
threw the paper back onto the table.
"Very well sir, I admit it, I cannot read, but what that has to do with..."
"Be quiet!" Snapped the dark haired man again. "You may be surprised to learn Bella, that you have passed the first test. Your total
inability to read has made you more than suitable for the task.”
"Task sir? What task?"
"Don`t worry. We`ll come to that. Here, sit down and take a drink!" And with that, the man poured himself and then Bella a goblet of wine.
She paused before taking it - it was strictly forbidden for girls to take alcohol. She watched the man take his drink and then he nodded
towards her as a prompt for her to take hers. She did so and he watched her as she took a sip. With a glint of inner satisfaction he noted
that she had taken wine before and probably very often. To be sure, this girl was a law breaker.
"Let me introduce myself to you first Bella. My name is Hubdia," he began and for the first time, Bella noted that he was not pure
Talasian, but had some provincial blood in him. "I am sure it has not escaped you that you have not been brought before the police, as you
may have expected upon your arrest. Were you to have been arrested by a policeman, you would already either be on your knees sucking their
cocks or dancing and squirming on the end of a rope, whilst two of them lashed your sweet naked body with their damnable, five foot canes!"
Bella stared at him levelly and felt a strange pang of excitement in her belly, as he described her naked body as sweet and pictured two
men, one of them probably Hubdia himself, caning her as he had described.
"Indeed, you may know yourself, you being a professional thief as I am sure you are, that the authorities are clamping down considerably on
those arrested for theft and indeed, were you to be caned for the offence, again you would be most fortunate, for normally, such crimes are
now being visited with a public flogging. So it should be for you Bella, by rights, you should be taken out of here into the public street,
stripped to your waist and flogged with the cat-o`-five tails, twenty, two dozen possibly even thirty lashes. At the moment, the authorities
consider horsewhipping too good for thieves and I fear you would not fare easily under them." Hubdia leaned back in his chair and surveyed
the girl sitting before him for a while.
Medium height and medium build, Bella was undeniably a pretty girl. Dark haired and still quite young looking, she had expressive, almond
shaped eyes and a mouth that looked poised and ready to spring into a smile. She wore a red, long sleeved jerkin that had come undone at the
front during the bustle of her arrest and beneath that a purple silk wrap around her breasts that, Hubdia noticed with some satisfaction,
struggled to contain luscious breasts. The silk wrap matched her purple silk trousers that were both wide legged and loose cut, tapering
steeply to her ankles. She wore open toed flip-flops and her hair was tied onto the top of her head in a neat little knot, with a red band
about it. All in all, with her generous, curvaceous body shape, she was an eyeful for any man, and Hubdia eyed her long and fully. He had an
eye for women and this one pleased him.
Having surveyed the girl for a second or two, Hubdia continued.
“Something you must know, I have a great many contacts, with many influential people. These learned gentleman here are in fact judges,”
and Hubdia waved his hand their way. “My good friend,” Hubdia addressed the one bearded judge, “What would you consider as justifiable
punishment for this thief if she were bought before you in court?” The bearded judge observed the pretty Bella as he considered the
“Well,” the judge remarked, “she is young, but not too young; therefore, she is strong and recovery is quick for such girls. Judging by
her build, I can see no good reason for undue leniency. I would have little hesitation or concern in ordering such a well padded one such as
this up for forty lashes with the cat-o’five-tails and thirty days hard labour!” Bella quailed in horror of such a sentence, but Hubdia
remained impassive and unmoved.
“Exactly my learned friend,” he concurred “and let me warn you. my pretty Bella, that a stern taste of the cat-o’five-tails is savage
enough a punishment to make even the most ardent and hardened whore shudder and wail when suffering it and none return without a word of
complaint or a curse for the judge that send them back.”
Despite her dire and alarming predicament, Bella enjoyed the attentions of the handsome and obviously well heeled and influential man
before her. The strong set of his square jaw, the cold, even hard, blue eyes, stabbing Bella like knives of cold steel, all combined to make
her feel insignificant and unimportant before such a vaunted individual as he, yet for all of that - or because of it - being in his
presence was exceedingly exciting to her. Bella perceived him as a strong and at the same a dangerous man and she had a penchant for such
men. In the past, she had actively sought such men and had more than willingly risked even the holy mullah’s fearsome scourge in order to
lie down with such men and open her legs for them. This Hubdia, this half-breed Talasian come provincial, incited the same excitement the
same passion that strong soldiers and guards raised in Bella.
“I said that you were fortunate to have been arrested by my guards rather than by the police,” continued Hubdia. “However, at the moment,
I would imagine that you are having some difficulty in understanding why that is so. What if I were to tell you that not only could I get
your flogging substantially reduced, I could also arrange that upon your release from hard labour, instead of you anxiously looking to join
the casual labour gangs with your already aching limbs, you would walk away from your ordeal with a purse of ten minerla in your pocket!"
Hubdia allowed the revelation to sink in. "Think of it Bella, ten minerla. That`s more than you could earn labouring on farms with the
casual gangs in six weeks. More money than you could earn in six weeks of backbreaking, soul destroying, sweat blinding labour. Think of
Though he could see he had made an impression on the pretty young girl, he could still detect a look of puzzlement in her eyes and little
wonder. To be scooped off the streets as she was and instead of being roundly denounced and condemned, here she was, talking to a wealthy
man, who in normal circumstances would hardly have given her a second glance, not because of her looks, but because of her class. Bella
clearly wondered what it was all about.
"The only thing troubling me master is what is this all about? Why have I been brought here? What is it you would have me do, that would
earn me the money you are offering?" Bella asked him.
Hubdia smiled, but it was not a warm, benevolent smile, it was hard, cold and almost cruel, yet despite that, it sent a shiver of
excitement and even lust through Bella`s loins. Sweat had broken out on the delicious Bella`s body and she became suddenly aware of the all
pervasive heat that threatened to stifle them all in that hot stone room. Feeling hot, wet and sticky, she could smell her own warm musk
rising sweetly from her. "As I have already told you Bella," Hubdia was looking to hammer the message home. "I have a great deal of
influence in many quarters. This learned gentlemen here, the judge, is the man before whom you will stand in court tomorrow. As I have
promised, I can arrange for him to substantially reduce the number of lashes you truly deserve and, if you do as we bid and do it
successfully, you will walk away from thirty days hard labour considerably more wealthy than when you went in. However, on the other hand,
you are quite at liberty to refuse our bargain. My guard will take you away now and deliver you over to the police. There, as you have been
promised, there will be a forty lash sentence, the hard labour, and nothing in return. The choice my sweet Bella, is yours to make and yours
alone. Let me warn you now though, accept this bargain and there will be no turning back. Try to do so and you will not be turning back, you
will be betraying me and then you will see just how damaging my all embracing influence can truly be.”
"Yes master! I accept, I agree to be a party to this arrangement!"
"Splendid!" exclaimed Hubdia, "you have made the right choice Bella.”
"May I say just one thing master?" Bella pleaded before the guard dragged her off. "Is there any way, any way at all that rather than
reduce the flogging, you could dispense with it altogether?" Bella sounded desperate as well she might. Hubdia shook his head. Bella
continued. "I would do anything; I would even accept a reduction in the ten minerla if you could do away with the flogging."
"It is essential to my endeavour that you do not raise any suspicion amongst your peers. Were you to arrive without any signs of flogging,
the women amongst you would avoid you like a plague. I would not even lay even money that would last a week without getting your throat cut.
It is essential for your own well-being and for the success of this plan that we do not draw any unnecessary attention to you. All will be
explained tomorrow after you have taken your medicine. Take her away!" snapped Hubdia finally and with that, Bella was dragged out of the
room and taken to Hubdia`s private cells below his grand town residence.