Rachel cleaned the stall and then saddled the stallion that had greeted her with whiffles and snorts. When she swung into the saddle, it pressed hard against all her tender flesh. She started to lift off, and realized that Raven was laughing at her.
“Come on. We have horses to exercise,” he said and rode out of the stable.
It was difficult for Rachel to keep her seat. The saddle rubbed all the tender spots and made her ache to be taken all at the same time. Every time she slowed, Raven would circle back and urge her on. At one point, he leaned close and smacked her ass with a crop. She squealed and turned her attentions back to riding. They stopped an hour after they left the barns. Rachel slid to the ground and tethered the stallion. She could barely walk over to the stream where Raven stood.
“Tender?” he asked.
“Yes, and…” she stopped.
“Needy?” he said.
She looked at him and blushed. Raven walked over to her and took her chin in his hand, and lifted her head so that their eyes met.
“You will answer me,” he said.
“Yes,” she said in nearly a whisper.
“Good. Get the blanket off of my horse as well as our lunch,” he said. Then he walked over to a fairly level patch and checked it for rocks or other debris. He tossed a few rocks off to one side and then Rachel was there. He took the blanket from her and spread it out. Then he motioned for her to sit down next to him.
Rachel handed Raven the food and then tried to figure out how to sit without hitting a sore spot. In the end, she chose to kneel. That lasted about five minutes. Then she tried to sit sort of sideways. Raven smiled and finally decided to help her.
“Come here,” he said.
Rachel moved over to where he sat and knelt. Raven pulled a small jar from the food parcel and opened it. It smelled of mint, beeswax and something else.
“Drop your trousers,” he said.
Rachel started to object and he shushed her with a look. She dropped her clothing. Raven had her turn around and then he spread some of he salve across her ass and then a bit between her legs. Rachel realized that it was cool and almost numbing. He wiped the last of it on her thighs just below her ass and then put the lid on.
“Now, if you’ll get re-dressed, we can eat,” he said. “Otherwise, I’m likely to take you again right here.”
Rachel re-dressed and discovered she could sit. They ate their lunch and after checking the saddles, mounted the horses and headed back to the stables.
Raven watched as Rachel walked back to the main house. He’d sent her to bath and be back in his rooms in an hour. Now it was his turn to deal with Maggie. She’d headed out of the house the moment that Rachel walked in and was stomping her way across the courtyard.
“Now what on earth do you think you’re up to?” she hissed at him.
“Doing my job as lord and master,” he said rather curtly.
“Last time I checked that din’t mean beating a girl half to death and chaining her to your bed,” she growled.
“And just what would you have had me do? Let her drown? Die of starvtion? Or better yet, run off and be sold off yet again?” he snarled right back at her. “Oh, and for your records, if she bothers to survive the next seven months, I’ll be marrying her.” With that, he stomped off toward the house.
“Just you wait a minute!” hollered Maggie.
Raven stopped and turned back to face Maggie. “Yes?” he asked.
“You meant what you just said?” Maggie asked.
“Yes. She tried to kill herself, and I saved her. She wasn’t eating and neither you nor I noticed. I’m also in love with her and took her just a bit sooner than I’d planned. And you know that because you’ve been sending the tea up for her. Now, unless you have any objections, I’d like to go check on her and then have some dinner,” he said.
“Yes sir,” Maggie said with a bobbing curtsy and then headed for the kitchens. She knew she’d crossed a line, but didn’t realize she’d messed up as well. She may be queen of her kitchens, but he still was the lord of the manor.
Raven walked slowly into the house and headed for the baths.
Rachel soaked and soaked until her fingers had begun to prune. It felt so good that she was nearly asleep in the big copper bathtub. She didn’t hear the door open, nor Raven walk over to her.
“Now, I saved you once from drowning. Is this going to become a habit?” he asked softly.
“Oh!” Rachel squeaked as she sat up quickly in the bath splashing water.
“Out of the tub and get dried off,” he said handing her a large bath sheet.
Rachel wrapped herself in it and walked over to the square of sunlight on the floor to keep her warm as she dried off. She watched as Raven emptied the big tub and refilled it. She’d seen him work, but never do menial jobs. He stripped and climbed into the bath.
Raven felt Rachel’s eyes on him as he climbed into the bath. “Good, so she is curious,” he thought. This worked well with his plans for the evening. He scrubbed up quickly and then got out of the bath. He tugged the bath sheet away from Rachel and smiled as he began to dry himself. She had forgotten to bring fresh clothing and was now scrambling to cover herself.
“Rachel, stand still,” he said.
She stopped in her tracks, still trying to cover herself.
“Follow me, hands behind your back,” he said softly.
“Yyes sir,” she answered.
“Now to bring back some of the fire to her,” he thought as he walked down the hall wrapped in the toweling with Rachel trailing behind him.