The first sensation was sound, an echoey breathing, which he gradually realised, must be his own; beyond that there was the crackle of a fire, ‘In August?’ his mind wondered and the unintentionally mumbled words rumbled around the hollow sounding space. He could still smell the resinous herbal smell that had left him senseless but it was a residue, no longer strong and not unpleasant. He could also smell charcoal and wood burning, that added an almost barbecue accent to the surrounding odour. When he finally opened his eyes, for a moment he wondered if he had been struck blind, the darkness was so impenetrable. Then he became aware of the dull glow of a charcoal burner somewhere off to the left and the ruddy glare of the smouldering wood fire ahead of him at the far end of the chamber, as his eyes adjusted.
Angelo had no idea where he was or any clear idea of what had happened. How long had he been out? Where was he? And with these questions hastened a third as he realised he was restrained. He experimented with movement, but found his arms stretched either side of him fixed with what felt like leather straps to some sort of frame at wrist and just before the elbow, so he was almost in a ‘praising’ posture. The same leather restraints attached his ankles and his knees in a spread-eagle position to the dimly seen frame. His feet were resting on the base of the frame and he had the impression he was on a raised platform. Something cushioned but unyielding was pressing into the small of his back gently pushing his hips forward not so much as to be intolerable but sufficient that any movement or struggling on his part had almost no effect whatsoever. He could also feel from the heat in the room and the movement of the air within it over his skin, that he was as naked as when he had been captured... except not quite!
It was as he struggled and writhed, testing his bonds and twisting his naked body as much as he was able, that he became aware of another constriction. A tight band of some material possibly soft leather had been cinched around the base of his genitals, so that his balls were squeezed outward and his cock hung forward semi aroused, despite his predicament. The sudden awareness of this, to his mortification brought further arousal, and he could feel the pulse of blood surging through his stiffening organ and the pounding in his squeezed nuts, producing a dull ache in them, but rather than decrease his arousal this served only to heighten it, as the blood trapped by the restraint throbbed along the length of his quivering penis and thrummed in his testes. ‘Why am I here?’ He shouted. ‘Who are you? Is there anyone there? Why are you doing this?’ As before his voice echoed dully around the cavernous space, but there was no reply to his calling. The stress of his situation, the exertion of shouting at the top of his voice and straining against his bonds in the stifling heat made him breathless and he sagged forward exhausted. As he did so, a log shifted in the enormous grate at the end of the room and a shower of sparks flew up.
He almost screamed as the sudden brief flare of light reflected in the eyes of the three hooded figures in black that had been standing silent and immobile to his right. Their eyes glittered in the flickering dark and resisting the urge to scream or shout at them, Angelo attempted to calm his breathing and asked as gently as his rising terror would allow, ‘Who are you? Why are you doing this? I only wanted to help! Please... what are you going to do to me? Whatever I’ve done, I’m sorry... I can make it right. I promise... Please! Speak to me!’ This last came out almost as a cry of desperation as the continued silence and stillness of his captors terrified him more than any action on their part.
The tallest of the three, the face lost in the shadows produced by the cowl, approached noiselessly and pulling his hood further over his face, gestured to the others. At this silent command the charcoal brazier was brought closer, and from its dull embers a taper was lit which in turn was used to ignite the wicks of multiple candles on stands around the chamber, as a handful of pungent herbs were thrown on the smouldering charcoal, smoking torches were lit from the fire and placed in sconces protruding from the walls. The increased illumination made Angelo’s eyes blink rapidly as he adjusted to the radiance.
When his eyes had grown accustomed to the relative brightness he saw that he was in a long chamber with a row of stone columns down each side. The guttering torches were attached to these. He took in his captors in their long robes. All three had brought their hoods down over their faces, so that all he could see where their cheekbones mouths and chins. The tall one who appeared to be in charge wore an outfit that reminded Angelo of the costume worn by the Emperor in the Star Wars movies; had it not been for his situation he might have laughed at the comparison but all laughter died in his throat as the figure drew closer. The other two attendants were shorter and wore simpler robes that seemed only to cover the front and backs of their wearers leaving the sides gaping, exposing firm masculine flesh beneath.
Again Angelo appealed to them. Trying to keep his voice even, ‘Why are you doing this? Who are you?’ The leader stepped forward and raised one hand forefinger extended and brought it gently to his lips. The universal ‘shushing’ gesture was obvious but still Angelo begged, ‘Please! I meant no harm. Please!’ The slight smile behind the finger hardened and there was a subtle shake of the head. The hand dropped away as if disappointed. The tall figure turned to the other two and after a moments’ hesitation, gave one slow nod before turning back to regard Angelo’s nakedness once more, the glittering eyes barely showing in the gloom of the hood. The tall figure turned silently and glided from the room disappearing around a broad stone column, one of the many supporting the vaulted ceiling. Angelo heard a heavy door opening and closing softly with an echoing boom.
The two remaining figures came forward, their sinewy arms folded across deep chests. Angelo pleaded with them repeating his apologies, trying to evoke some response from them. The two silent figures ignored him and set about preparing a table, utensils and pots by the sound of it, somewhere behind him beyond his eye-line. He tried shouting but that was also ignored. Eventually exhausted once more he lapsed into silence. The hooded figures continued about their business, and so completely did they ignore him and so exhausted was he that Angelo almost nodded off.Next chapter