Trail Guard by Hayley White
Meris gives up her boyfriend and the security of a nine to five job to hit the road in search of a higher purpose in her life. Broke and spiritually depleted, she is enchanted by the charming New England village of Cherish. Unaware of the danger, she participates in the annual maypole dance falling victim to Nicholas, recruiter and trainer for the Trail Guard. At the camp, the stunned Meris is sent off to Loughlin, housed in a stable and subjected to a program of lunge work, jumping, heavy hauling and bit training before she is turned over to Loughlin to pull his carriage. Although she rebels against this alarming fate and its unfathomable purpose, Meris cannot deny her increasing bond to the woodland and the soft spoken, sexy and broodingly dominant Loughlin. This tale ends in a startling climax in which Meris discovers the reason for her captivity, as she unwittingly takes the final steps toward the very goal of her odyssey.
This sensual, pastoral fantasy contains male domination, consensual and non-consensual submission, humiliation, bondage, an auction, whipping, a rape rack and meticulous pony training. A breathtaking undercurrent of female sexuality flows through this amazing narrative.
No harm, he’d said. It would do her no-
The crack of the whip resounded like a gunshot, wrenching a scream from her as pain tightened in a hot band across her back. She’d never heard such a scream, nor imagined such a sound could come from her own throat.
Where could such a scream go in all this darkness and who could it summon to her rescue? As far as she could tell, the only others here had all been instrumental in her abduction and subsequent delivery into the charge of this torturer.
She shrieked as another lash fell, burning into the band of the first. She glanced up the pole, half blinded by the glare from the lamp overhead as she tried to make logic of the fastenings on the manacles encircling her wrists. She could neither slip free of their leathery grasp nor extricate the chain between them from the lock that shackled her to the iron ring before another lash fell and she shrieked again.
The night was cool, but perspiration streamed in fresh rivulets down her rib cage and, for the first time since they’d quit just before sundown, she was aware of the acrid stench of the sweat she’d worked up that afternoon. The nausea from being carried over his shoulder down the hill was subsiding, but the sensation of the thick gag he’d removed before taking her was still present at the corners of her mouth, the bitter tang of laundry detergent from the cloth mingling with her taste buds.
Another scream ruptured the sweet blend of nature’s night music as the whiplash found a new target across her buttocks. An owl hooted into the brief interval, adding its own odd counterpoint to the inharmonious cacophony of sounds.
She had tried to reason with the man – ludicrously bare, her hands shackled behind her. Shocked, angry, panic rising like a thermometer dropped in boiling oil, she blurted the obvious questions, launched ineffectual arguments, and hurled accusations and unenforceable threats. All the while she’d danced barefoot against the cold earth in an effort to evade further contact with the soft spoken, enigmatic stranger who smelled of Ivory soap and bound her to this lamppost.
She was dancing still, under a spot of soft yellow light, surrounded by an uncaring sea of darkness, as the unseen lash of his whip snaked lightening quick out of this surreal landscape to lick her flesh like a fiery dragon’s tongue. This mysterious man in black for whom the situation held no perplexity. The tears began, her terror compounded by the realization that her life had been swept up by strangers.
Another strip of searing pain and her struggles were reinvigorated, all indignation now choked down by pure desperation. She understood the straining was futile, but she couldn’t fathom why she’d been brought to this place, or how she came to be bound to this post and so cruelly beaten.
She gasped as another lash cut across her shoulders and tried to recount the steps she’d taken into this unforeseen circumstance. Her will and energy seemed to be ebbing away as she visualized the radiant beauty of the surrounding countryside caressed by rays from the warm, benevolent, spring sun. The promise of peace and welcome she’d sensed when she first arrived. It had truly seemed as though the clarification she sought was almost within her grasp. Finally, simple answers were offered to her most complex questions.
Then suddenly the world was topsy-turvy. The man she had seen but not noticed. That other who had stepped into her bright, new, idyllic world like some specter of doom. Directly – indirectly he had handed her over to the one who carried her into this pit of shadows – and pain. An inexplicable infliction of layer upon layer of pain.
Whoo, hoo-hoo, whoo, whoo? asked the owl.
Who? her disbelieving psyche echoed. Who the hell were these audacious brutes?
Yet more lashes cracked, and she wailed under a sliver of moon that was gradually dwindling, like the last vestiges of logic in her life. Streams of tears streaked her pretty, contorted face as she begged to know what in the world she had done to deserve this? And could she honestly say she hadn’t been warned?
If you do this, Meris, you’re bound to run into trouble.
I’m in trouble now. I feel like I’m drowning, she said.
Drowning in what? Daniel sounded desperate. What do you think? There’s some miracle out there waiting for you? How good do you expect it to get? This is it!