IN spite of her anxiety, Connie slept soundly for three hours. Perhaps it was the pale red liquid she had assumed was juice. It certainly didn’t taste like any wine she’d had before. Maybe it had been drugged. She didn’t feel drugged. She hated to admit it, but she felt fine. Better than fine. If she didn’t have to use the bathroom so badly, she would have stayed in bed and watched for that third moon to come by the window again.

Sitting on the toilet, which resembled toilets as she knew them closely enough, except this one wasn’t made from porcelain or metal but some kind of cross between stone and plastic, she thought about her dilemma. Buried under her anxiety and anger a sense of unaccountable calm sat poised to swallow her every fear, and it bothered her. Following those chills, a part of her memory seemed . . . distant. Like when you’re in a dream and, of course, you don’t know you’re dreaming. Her memory was there, naturally, but she had to concentrate to access it. Not much, but enough to be concerned about.

Was it going to get worse? Dorsa and the others didn’t mention it, and they seemed to recall enough of their pasts. How long had they been here? Must remember to ask.

Leaving the bathroom, which was as lush as she would have expected, with an opulent tub/shower and vanity, no window and plenty of female toiletries, she returned to her room and the sound of three snoring women.

They had talked for hours about this guy Zoot, how no one knew how he obtained his supplies or provided energy to the castle or, indeed, how large the castle was, since none of them except Dorsa had ventured out to investigate, and even she had not discovered its limits. Was he wealthy? Politically powerful? The word “sorcerer” seemed appropriate, if incomplete. To say they were all under his spell seemed satisfying, yet Connie wondered how much could be attributed to him, and how much to the nature of their environment.

Connie strolled around the room, looking for something to give her insight to her condition, finding none. When she came to the door and tested it, she was surprised it opened. No alarms. No guards to admonish her. What would stop her from leaving?

Her nakedness, for one thing, but that was easy to remedy. She stole a sheet from her bed and wrapped it toga-style around her body. Easing quietly through the door, she suspected her captor probably didn’t care about wandering women if, ultimately, they were all trapped on an island, and his confidence that she couldn’t escape revived her anxiety.

What would he do if she decided to cause trouble? So far, only Avalia had mentioned discipline, in the form of hanging her over a cliff. Again, the lack of patrolling guards or security cameras bothered her.

For a castle — the traditionally cold and dank stone fortress she thought all castles were — this one felt comfortable, warm and cozy, if admittedly foreboding and dark as well.

Outside her room she found herself on a deep, wooden landing which curved out, following the octagonal shape of a much larger structure. To her right, three of the eight walls were enormous glass windows, allowing her a breathtaking view of the ocean and sky, giving her, if only briefly, a sense of freedom. Its purpose must be to counter the unavoidable press of claustrophobia that would otherwise overcome the women.

She walked the landing clockwise and counted fifteen doors, including her own, three doors on each of the remaining five walls. Above her landing she could see five more and a ceiling shrouded in shadow.

As she reached the staircases, one leading up to the next level and one down, she heard the whimper, a painfully ecstatic kind of whimper echoing faintly from the room below the railing, and she knew that sound. She’d heard it often from the stewies she had roomed with during her years of flying. Hell, she’d made that sound.

Connie took one step down the staircase and peeked over the banister. From this height the mattress in the center of the grand hall should have appeared small. It should have been not much more than a postage stamp in the center of a manila envelope.

In the first place, it was an octagon, its sides parallel to the corresponding angles of the walls. Much like the mattresses in her room, it appeared to have no frame, which made its size seem even more incredible, at least sixty feet wide.

But size alone wasn’t what impressed Connie. Its substance seemed to be moving, breathing. Mounds of colorful quilts and scarves had been pushed to the rim of the huge cushion, exposing a satiny surface shimmering with waves in the moonlight. No ordinary water bed, though. This bed had muscles. And sprawled everywhere on the mattress, overlapping one another, entwined with one another, tangled and meshed and woven together, dozens of naked women writhed on the cushion, this undulating mattress which did more than merely support their bodies, it massaged them, caressed them, soothed and excited them.

And dead center, wrestling over the heart of this living bed, a couple. Again, the stabbing whimper, from the only person making a sound: the woman under Zoot. None of the others, though engrossed in their own obvious pleasures, made any noise.

As Connie moved down the stairs she seemed to enter a layer of gentle music, the music she had heard earlier that day, but this time much softer and palpable, a lagoon of music she descended into with an instinctive suck of air.

Keeping close to the windows, she looked down at the cliffs below and was reminded of Avalia. The castle must be resting ridiculously high on the island. At the base of the steps she came to an area filled with dining tables and she turned to the center of the room.

Although standing in plain sight of everyone on the mattress, including Zoot, no one acknowledged her and she wondered if she stood a chance of fleeing while he was distracted, if indeed he was.

Three high-arched passages occupied three of the five walls, one directly opposite the windows and two at perpendicular angles. She continued to circle the bed at a distance, contemplating her options.

On each of the angled walls between the passages a grand, plush fireplace glowed with ruby hot coals.

She found it difficult to tear her gaze from Zoot’s hips, thrusting into a woman Connie had to admit was beautiful, with features undeniably — and there was no other way to put it — alien. If the woman was there against her will she didn’t show it. Connie counted three orgasms just since arriving downstairs, three alien orgasms that resonated between Connie’s thighs, tempting her, taunting her, testing her.

Zoot kept his eyes on the woman, whose own eyes rolled back in her head. Between her whimpers she uttered weakly, “Don’t stop . . . uhn . . . yes . . . ah! . . . yes . . .” as Zoot continued to stare down at her with this look of sad concern, of distant unease, of pity. All the while her thighs tightened and lunged against him relentlessly, and Connie listened to the slosh of juices, the slap of skin, the heavy crush of cock in cunt, until she spun away panting, chest palpitating, to face the first passageway.

Recessed deep into the archway were two unconnected doors, much like the doors upstairs.

Oh Christ, choices.

She approached the first one and pulled the handle, but it wouldn’t budge. Some part of her was relieved, and she resented the notion, so she immediately tried the next door with a little more vigor, only to find it secured as well.

Freedom had to be through those doors. Otherwise, why have them locked?

The sounds behind her hadn’t subsided, so Connie braced herself and turned, giving up on the doors. She would have to come back another time with a crowbar or a chainsaw or the U.S. Fucking Marines.

“Turn over.”

The alien woman under Zoot relaxed her thighs and ran her palms down his chest, slick with perspiration. She brought her fingers to her mouth and shuddered as he pulled out of her, his cock as hard as ever, glistening in the moonlight. She allowed him to stroke her cheek lovingly, to gently turn her on her stomach and place a pillow under her hips, elevating her bottom.
“I remember,” Zoot whispered, his peaceful voice carrying across the room, audible even above the music, “you like this.”

The woman flattened against the mattress, which seemed to respond, welling around her arms and breasts, rippling up and down along her body until she squirmed anxiously and tilted her bottom higher for Zoot.

Connie watched more bravely now. If no one had stopped her by now they probably considered her harmless. Also, hadn’t she earned the privilege to gawk, considering her only means of escape was sealed? Her defiance wilted, though, when Zoot pressed the woman’s ass cheeks together and rested his cock, still damp with her come, along the crease, allowing it to sink edgewise into her crack, raging angrily between her cheeks, sliding wetly back and forth. He wasn’t much larger than any of the men Connie had known on Earth, yet he seemed in such command of his dick, so confident of its potential that she took a step back, even though a good fifty feet away.

However bold Connie felt, she wasn’t prepared when Zoot abruptly gripped the woman by both wrists, pulling her face and shoulders off the mattress, contorting her backward, and pitched himself into her, tendons bulging in his hips. The woman shrieked, the inhuman shriek of wild insanity, as Zoot snapped her shoulders in her sockets and thrust again and again.

“You like this,” he commanded.


Up her bottom his cock went, and another shriek echoed so loudly Connie couldn’t believe the entire castle wasn’t out on the landings, filling the stairs.

“You like this.”

“Yes . . . oh, yes!

“So do I,” he gasped, plowing deeper. “Oh . . . so help me . . . so do I.”

And his admission of pleasure made Connie’s knees buckle, forcing her to brace herself against the wall between the closed doors. The look on his face had changed to a plea, an anguished plea for release, a prayer for all to witness, all to partake, all to claim. His legs strained against the bed, this bed now warped around them, supporting them as he rocked his hips against her round bottom, again and again, until Connie imagined her own bottom under his weight, her hips heaving against her fingertips, but how can this be, this man is too brutal, his thrusts too hard, too cruel, too . . .

Screaming now, braying like a wolf, but not her . . . not her . . .


Hands cupped at her crotch, rubbing through the sheet, Connie fought the urge to tear the cloth from her body. Where is Dorsa’s dildo when you need it? Don’t give into it. Fight it. Fight it. Whirl away, and . . .


Her back on Zoot and the woman, Connie held onto the wall, struggling to keep her memories, her past, her self. The sounds behind her had stopped. A cool, comforting breeze tickled the hairs on her arms.

Both doors stood open.

She whipped her head to the mattress, at Zoot kneeling over the alien woman, his cock still stuck up her rear. Both of them stared directly at Connie, with the serious look of two people who just finished fucking but wanted more. When Zoot spoke, he said just one word.