Chapter 1

Claudette grieved. She grieved for parents she never loved but mostly her mourning was for her past carefree life. Her parents had left huge debts. She had sold furniture but the count was demanding more. She was not obliging.

This was her night to escape before her life would belong to someone else. She gathered a few clothes and blankets. She left her gowns, she was glad to be free of them. It was still early so she laid on her bed and dozed.

She was awoke suddenly by the front door being rammed.

"Oh gods it morn," she cried.

She gathered her belongings and crept silently to the staircase.

"Search all the rooms, she's here somewhere," said the Count.

"She sneaked stealthily to her parents old room now bare from no furniture and climbed out of the window, with her bag thrown across her back. The trellis luckily for her was well maintained, she reached the bottom safely and ran for the stables to get her horse Wiccan.

"Nice try Claudette." Was the response she received.

"Rivon," she replied sarcastically and curtsied.

"I don't like that tone Claudette, you should not treat me like that, me being your future master and all," he responded with an evil smile.

"Master, never."

"Guards take her away."

Two husky men approached her and tried to grab her arms.

"Unhand me you fools," she exclaimed, managing to kick one of them.

"Where's your horse? She's worth a lot of money."

"No not Wiccan, leave her alone."

"Shut up."

She was bundled into the carriage, squashed in-between the two men, escape was impossible.

Claudette awoke to find her self in foreign surroundings. All around her were displays of wealth, such as rich dyed fabrics draped over the four poster bed she was occupying. She sat up, and shook her head to remember her last thoughts.

"Ah you have awoke," spoke an amused Count Rivon.

She jumped up and headed for the door.

"Where are you going?"

"Away from you," she answered.

"Dressed like that," teased Rivon.

"Oh my, where are my clothes," she demanded in an embarrassed tone, as she ran over to the bed and wrapped a heavy blanket over herself.

"Don't cry Claudette."

"I'm not," she spoke trying to control the shakiness in her voice.

"Yes but you want to."

"I want some clothes, and I want to go home."

"Well I'm afraid that isn't even an option, now what to do with you," he mused.

"Let me go, I'll do anything."

"Anything, well that's very tempting, I'll think that one over," he spoke with a leering grin.

"Pig," she muttered under her breath.

"I could kill you for that."

"Go on then I beg you," she said her face expressing triumph.

"Begging doesn't suit you," and with that he walked out.

Claudette turned to face the ornate dresser in the corner of the room. She turned to her harassed reflection. Her green eyes were brimmed with tears, her lips looked puffy and sore, from chewing them nervously. Her long dark chestnut locks, were now lank and matted.

"I need a bath," she thought.

She walked over to the locked door, and started to pound it. The door unlocked and she found a young servant girl standing before her.

"Yes miss?"

"Oh, could I have a bath please," she exclaimed timidly as she was embarrassed by her erratic behaviour.

After the bath, Claudette was given a gown to put on.

"The master wants you to join him for dinner."

She looked down at the gown before her. "I can't wear that its obscene, low cut dresses look bad on me. Kathy I just can't."

" Oh please don't make a fuss Claudette, I'll lose my job," replied the scared girl.

"Isn't there anything else I could wear."

"He said this dress."

"Oh alright, but im doing it for you."

Kathy helped Claudette with the corset.

"Not too tight, I won't be able to breathe."

"You need it tight, otherwise the dress wont fit."

After Claudette got used to breathing, Kathy helped her on with the dress.

"Oh no I can't go out there looking like this."

Kathy took one look of her huge cleavage and choked with laughter.

"The master likes curves." She laughed

"It's not funny I look obscene," she exclaimed distressed.

"Take this shawl, your modesty obviously means a lot to you."

"Thanks Kathy," she replied, and exited the chamber.

As she hastily walked into the dining room, she was confronted with the leering looks of Rivon.

She looked at him with disgust as he motioned for her to sit down.

"Do you like your dress?"

"No, I hate it," she spat.

"Your attitude will have to change, we are expecting company, Lord Havers. You know the Havers, do you not?"

"Yes acquaintances of my father, well they were."

"Well he's going to buy you for his son, as a slave."

Claudette stood up abruptly, her chair toppling backwards. "I'm no slave you can't just sell someone," she cried.

"You are worth a high price." He exclaimed, trying to hide his laughter.

Just as he said this Lord Havers entered the scene.

"Hello Count Rivon, Claudette."

"Hello Lord Havers, what do you make of Claudette then?"

"Absolute bargain." He exclaimed, his eyes undressing her.

"You are disgusting, there is no way I'm going with you," she shouted.

"Guards take Claudette to the carriage," announced an amused Rivon.

They approached her, cautiously as she was hitting out, they eventually settled he and began to take her away.

"Un hand me," she screamed, tears were flowing down her flushed cheeks, she managed to punch one of the guards, he recoiled backwards and she grabbed his sword.

"Ha now who challenges me."

The guard who was still armed stepped up, and blocked her blow, he then gave the sword a little tap, as if to humour her.

"Don't insult me," she insisted with an amused grin as she slashed his face, and he stumbled backwards, clutching his cheek.

Another guard stepped up and resumed the challenge. He did not underestimate her, and she was pleased. She struck her sword down on his left leg, he was too slow to block it and also crawled out of harms way. "Who's next?" She started. She didn't notice an angry Count Rivon standing behind her. He struck her hard on the head, knocking her out cold.

"I'm sorry Lord Rivon, I will fully understand if you change your mind," he said dejectedly.

"On the contrary, she's even better than before," he replied with an evil smile.

Count Rivon picked up the unmoving form and together they walked out towards the carriage, both with large grins on their faces.