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And here I stand, chained and bound against the cool rock of my prison. Our prison, I suppose. For the next ten nights we would continue to share it. I desperately search your body for signs of your struggle, looking for injury from your contest.
You stand proud and walk toward me with that unnatural feline grace, not making a sound as our captors lead you to me. But, I stare, terrified to find weakness. Brawny muscles of your thigh flex and contract. Each step is placed with a sure-footed gait. Your arms hand languidly clasped in front of you, comfortable in the shackles they bind you in.
For the past ten days an invisible line marked the boundary between my side of this cave and yours. We met at the middle for one purpose only, and never at the same time. I would not allow that. Food and water we exchanged. Two caged prisoners sharing life-giving sustenance.
Icknor leads you, and your eyes widen when he takes you across that barrier. Ranckor stands beside me. He's placed the force screen in place. It's a tease to you, because you cannot see it, but you will feel it the moment you breach its boundaries.
You see, they are counting on it. Desperately. The pain you give them in the next hours trying to reach me will feed their sadistic minds until the next round in the pit. Of course, I know what to expect. I've lived through this too many times to count.
But today is different. Never have I anticipated the approach of a champion. Never have I desired one as I do you. I just don't know how to hide this from our captors. Luckily, I don't need to.
The way you move, powerful and possessive, has me on high alert. Despite my interest, fear kicks in. It's exactly what Ranckor expects. His tongue flicks out, tasting the air, consuming my fear.
But I am not afraid of you. I'm afraid of what it is I want from you.
Icknor brings you to stand before me, an evil gleam in the blackness of his beady eyes. “The female is yours to smell. The prize for winning your second fight. But do not touch.”
Ranckor wheezes beside me. “Yes, do not touch the female.”
You growl, low and ominous. “Why not? You said she is to be mine.”
More wheezing beside me. “Not yet. You must rise five times for that. Sight and smell is all you've earned.”
“And if I touch?”
Icknor's cackle reverberated through our domed prison. “Try it and see what happens.”
I catch your eye and give a shake of my head, praying you heed the message of my terrified gaze. Others before you have not heeded that warning. They paid a horrible price.
I need you to be strong. You must continue to win.
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