He was an expert. His hand snapped the whip and it struck like a licking flame across her back.
“Tell what happened! This need not continue.”
Her hands were bound in front of her, and her naked body laid overtop a box. Brunette hair fell forward hard and wet from sweat.
The whip struck again.
Pain seared through her. Though they were limited in ways to kill her, Koke still felt the pain.
“There were vikings and known pirates, all dead. More than one hundred. How did you survive?”
It helped that his words were in English, but she still would not tell him. Having hidden so long in the plain sight of humans, she was not afraid of this idiot, but she needed more than just him and his assistant to be here. There had been at least six guards she had counted coming in, and with her weakened state she needed them closer.
Her mind drifted back…
The Draugr anchored at swimming distance from shore this time.
That shore was the northwest corner of France, and they hoped none would find them there.
Alrik settled his men before he went on a hunt for supplies.
“Sir, we must not separate.”
Alrik gave a kind stare to his new young second-in-command. “Soti, I must go alone. I need some time to think. You keep watch. I won’t be long.”
Typically an easy task of finding some animal meat and berries to take with them, but as he walked south along the coast he found another ship. At first sight, he ducked behind stones and peered at the vessel with sword ready.
It was much larger than his own boat, and he recognized the flag as pirata. From his vantage, he had no idea where they were from, but they outnumbered his own crew at least four-to-one. The beach this crew had chosen was large mostly, he suspected, due to the size of the vessel they had arrived on. Unlike Alrik’s own, this woman of the sea was not as easy to hide as his Draugr.
“What do we have here?” a deep voice said behind him.
By Viking standards, Alrik was extremely well educated. English was his third language behind Norse and the more modern-Germanic. He knew the language well enough to recognize a worthy advisory. Dropping his sword, he stood and turned around.
The pirate, however, was a skinny boy with a shaky sword-hand. “Don’t move.”
Alrik laughed. “Or what, my son? You’ll drop your sword and run?”
“I’ll run y’ah through, I will!”
Alrik suspected British from the accent. “Why are British pirates on the coast of France?”
“What does it matter to you?”
“It doesn’t.” Alrik’s blue eyes shifted to the crew below. “But where are your brethren going?”
Young Pirate shifted his own gaze and watched as his crew picked up swords and ran towards the trees at the opposite end of the beach. “They’re attacking. They’ve their swords. What are they attacking?”
“Mayhap found my crew?”
Young Pirate smiled. “Maybe that’s it.”
Then screams from beyond the trees started.
“Mayhap not,” Alrik dropped again.
The screams were not that of helpless victims, but of a pirate crew being slaughtered.
“I said don’t move.”
“Get down, you fool!” Alrik grabbed Young Pirate’s tunic and pulled him down behind the stone. “I think we have a mutual enemy.”
“I’ll decide who the enemy…” He stopped as the screams of his crewmates attacked his nerves.
Alrik glanced at the boy and watched as fear began to take Young Pirate’s face. “I am Alrik. Captain of the Draugr.”
For a moment the boy just stared. Finally, he lowered his sword. “Dennis…Dennis of Kent.”
“Well, Dennis of Kent, not often I would find a French name on an English man.”
Dennis appeared insulted, at first, by the French name reference. That Alrik called him a man, however, washed the insult from him completely. “What do we do?”
“How old are you?”
“Really? You are…” Alrik’s eyes took in Dennis again.
“Yes, I’m small. So what do we do?”
“We wait. We do not know what we face.”
“You are afraid?”
Dennis straightened up. “No, I am ready.”
“Good,” Alrik said and turned to look back at where the screams continued to come from. “I’m scared shitless. At least one of us is brave.” His eyes returned to Dennis and winked.
Dennis laughed, with a release of tension.
The screams stopped. Only five crew remained on the beach, all looking more frightened than Dennis as they brandished their swords at the cover of trees while backing away.
A black cloud erupted from the tree-line and overtook the crew.
“What the hell is that?” Dennis hissed.
Alrik leapt to his feet. “I know not, but I think we are poorly equipped to fight this beast. Dennis, my friend, run with me.”
Dennis took the command without argument and followed Alrik into the brush.
Koke watched as Alrik went on his hunt. Her work on the islands had scared them enough that they wanted to push further on in hopes they could outrun some mythical beast. As of yet, none suspected her.
This leg of the trip from the islands to here had been four days without stopping.
She was famished. It had seemed a good idea to follow Alrik into the trees on his hunt at first, but she knew that the crew was ordered to guard her. They would all follow if she went. They would never let her vanish. Instead, she had other ideas.
She sat on the beach beside him. “Soti, I am hungry.”
He glanced over with concern. His youth left him with little ability to understand what she was hinting at. “We have berries, m’lady. Might I offer those?”
“I need meat.”
His shoulders slumped in disappointment. “Alrik has gone in search of meat for us. Once he returns…”
“Not the meat I mean,” she hissed at him and dropped to her knees in front of him.
Eyes bulging, he did not move. This was unexpected, but the warmth of her breath on him was welcome, never mind the wetness of her mouth as she took his erection. He was old enough to have experienced this before, but not with the skill level that Koke possessed.
The rest of the crew simply watched with envy.
Well…envy until she stopped sucking his cock and moved up to caress his throat before kissing and biting it.
Soti was dead before his body hit the ground.
The rest of the crew was too tired and too horny to mount any defence against the tiny Mongol whore as she quickly took each and every one of them. Three swords pierced her belly, but they were as useful as blades of grass.
Koke was thankful that this crew was not superstitious or they might have gone after her head. None, however, had the energy to raise their swords over shoulder height and soon blood flowed from the beach into the ocean waters.
Predatory impulse took Koke as she finished off the last of the twenty-two. Her nostrils flared at the scent of more blood from the south, and she simply followed it to where she found another ship crew on a larger secluded beach that was even less prepared than her own Viking travel-mates had been.
The whip seared at her shoulders again.
“One hundred men all dead! And you sleeping among them. What beast are you?”
A door behind her clicked and more sets of boot heels walked on the stone floor into the room.
A guess and check over her shoulder had Koke estimating attendance at eight. She waited until the sound of the whip being drawn back again. Her wrist bindings snapped, and she was at the throat of the whip-master before he swung.
Her estimates, however, were incorrect as there were only six in the room.
It was still enough.
She took them all to their end in less than two minutes.