Title: Bonded

Chapter: 2

Category: Romance/Historical

Summary: Lord Tarquin was the lethal war lord ready to take over King Samuel's kingdom. Jza was the determined princess fighting to save her father's kingdom and her step sisters' honour even after she ends up being captured herself. Expect violence, bonds and a marriage no one wants (Hey! that rhymed).

Like always sorry for any typos

WARNING: There will be violence! Beware!

Jza closed her eyes as she felt the fight drain out of it. It's all over, she thought. Jza knew her chances of surviving in a castle the enemy had taken over were slim but to be caught so early and so easily was infuriating.

"Who are you?" The man asked in an accent that clearly implied the man was foreign. The minuscule hope that he might be one of their own men was crushed.

Jza opened her eyes to observe the man. He was so close to her that she could not see anything fully beyond his eyes. He had his hand over her mouth so it was ludicrous he had expected her to be vocal with such an impediment. Jza knew that even if her mouth was completely free she still would not talk; too many lives were counting on her.

The man applied more force in his grip. Her captured wrist was squeezed painfully and her mouth started to ache under the pressure. Her only hope was the fruit knife hidden in her free hand. The knife itself was small with a gold gilded handle. It was so small that with it closed into the handle it could easily fit inside a person's palm. This feature made it easily concealable but the knife supposed sharp edge itself was bunt and diminutive enough only for fruit that Jza was worried any attack from it might be completely ineffective.

Jza tried to move her free arm but it was trapped between the man and her body.

"I repeat, who are you?" The man asked slowly as if she her ability to comprehend was limited. He leaned in even closer and Jza felt like she was enveloped in his haunting eyes.

Deciding enough was enough Jza took the only course of action available to her. She bit his hand.

The man instantly backed away with a hiss and Jza took the opportunity to free herself. She tugged at her captured hand violently almost as if she intended to leave it her arm behind if it helped her escape. She managed to break free and headed out the door in a flurry of skirts.

Without even a glance behind her to gauge if her captor was still following her she ran with all the energy she could muster. She cursed her soft slippers and wished she was wearing her more robust boots as she felt herself slowed down because of her footwear.

Jza was running towards the east and she mentally calculated the safest options. The east contained the guestrooms and the entertainment areas. She suddenly remembered the ballroom and its access to the kitchens. On one side of the ballroom was the staircase the servants used. If she went down the stairs she could enter the kitchens and even escape from the castle itself but in the case the kitchens were already occupied by the enemy she could make her way towards the attics. They were large rooms filled to the brim with Royal clutter. Just seeing their dusty, cow webbed countenance would probably hinder the enemy from searching them.

Jza stopped as she reached the corridor which contained the entrance to the Ball room and looked around. She crouched against the wall and slowly walked towards the entrance trying to remain hidden in the shadows. She entered the room and gave a sigh of relief. There was still hope that she might find her safe haven.

The Ball Room was one of larger rooms in the castle. Unlike the rest of castle the floors were covered in white marble and the walls had gold gilded grooves in the panelling. The precious stone hung from the chandeliers added to the grandness of the room. When the torches were put on, the stones reflected in the room in away that made the whole room glisten. She had fond memories of her own debut Ball in this room.

At that moment the room could not match even a fraction of its former glory. The large windows were smashed; the curtains ripped; two of the chandeliers were lying on the floor in pieces and there were parts of furniture everywhere. Jza slowly walked across the room feeling distraught at the damage done to her home.

She was so lost in her thoughts she did not notice a hand firmly come down on her shoulder.

"Look, what we've got here, a lost lamb in midst of so many wolves," A voice taunted her from behind.

The hand swiftly pulled back, spinning her around and effectively killing any chance she had of escaping. She struggled to break free from the hands gripping her shoulders but the man was too strong.

Only one look at her new captor revealed why. The man was twice as wide as Jza and she only reached below his shoulders in height. He was wearing conservative military clothing but they did nothing to hide the strength in the man's muscles. Jza felt even more useless than she had felt the first time she was being held.

Her captor smiled down at her in a way that indeed made her think of wolves and she looked away in disgust at what it was suggestive of.

He cupped her chin and tugged her face up, back towards him.

"What's a little lamb like you doing over here? Lost your shepherd, have we."

Jza tried to jerk her face away from the man's hands but she felt any physical effort made against him was like trying to force a wall to move. She tried to push him back with her fists as he had one hand on her face and the other on her shoulder leaving her hands free.

The soldier only chuckled.

"Feisty little lamb, you aren't getting away from the clutches of this wolf."

She kicked him on one of his legs but he jerked her back by grabbing onto her hair. He pulled her head backwards making her arch her back and nearly lifting her from her feet in the process.

"Not the best of ideas, lamb," He growled, his blue eyes flashing.

"Let go of me," Jza glared back but instead of angering the man further she made him chuckle again. Jza's mind was back to the knife tightly clenched in her hand. She was moments away from opening her fist but a light cough from behind broke her thoughts.

"Caught my prey, have you, Vladimir?"

Her captor let her go instantly and she fell to the ground at the suddenness of the release with a flare of her skirts. Her ankle ached because of the fall but she ignored it to sit up again, preparing herself in case she got another opportunity to make her escape. Jza was not the kind of girl who put herself in the palms of fate. If there was chance of gaining freedom she was going to find it.

"My Lord," the large man bowed reverently and the veneration towards the new comer caught her attention. The man was much smaller than her current captor though Jza knew most of the population would have been smaller then the man she now knew as Vladimir. She found it odd how a man much younger than Vladimir could get the respect he was getting.

The Lord's hair was a pale brown with a mixture of different shades of brown swirled in the mix. He had a pale lean face and defined cheekbones His eyes were his most startling feature. They had a very slight peculiar slant to them not common in Jza's country and they were a brown colour which had swirls of other colours that, in the setting sunlight, reflected as amber. Jza's eyes widened as she recognized the other man through his eyes.

A hand grabbed onto the back of her dress and yanked her up but her feet did not want to cooperate.

"Bow, to your new King; Lord Tarquin," Vladimir echoed as he tired to make her bow like a mannequin but she resisted. He finally gave up and threw her back on the floor.

"I will never bow in front of your false king," Jza hissed; voice low, but she felt like her voice echoed in the dilapidated Ballroom. She cried out as she was kicked in the stomach with a resounding thud. Jza rolled over in pain clutching herself.

"Vladimir, is this the way to treat a young lady," The Lord's voice reached Jza through the pain. The tone wasn't a scold as the words seem to imply. It was uncaring and passive; the speaker couldn't have cared less how Vladimir treated young women.

Jza was still on the floor trying to recover from the blows to her stomach. Her eyes were watering up but she swallowed them in an effort to hide how weak she felt.

"If I remember correctly, we still have a conversation to finish." The Lord tugged her face up by her hair. "Who are you?"

Jza could not physically look away but her eyes spoke volumes as she refused to answer the man's question. The man pulled her up further until she was sitting again.

"Is she one of the Princesses," Vladimir asked, his blue eyes shining.

"No," The Lord answered still searching Jza's face. "She looks nothing like how they're described; No blue eyes; fair hair; not 'breathtaking to behold' as the bard's song goes." The man lifted Jza's hand and observed it. "And her hands are not as smooth as an idle Princesses' should be."

For Jza it was a small victory to not be found out. If she was suspected as a Princess it would be just as damaging as if all her sisters were captured. Even one Princess was good enough to be used a bargaining chip.

Vladimir looked disappointed but the next few words lifted his spirits considerably.

"Take her, Vladimir. Get more information out of her," The Lord turned away to examine the room completely uninterested in the following proceedings.

"With pleasure, Lord Tarquin," Vladimir grinned at her and drew her up again.

"Let go of me!" Jza struggled, "I demand it."

"Wait," The man behind them spoke again. Vladimir turned around and spun Jza along with him her skirts flowing fluidly with that movement.

"I don't think you are a commoner. You are not part of the Royal family but perhaps you are a noble's daughter."

Jza looked away ashamed that something in her had given the man a better idea of who she might be.

"Speak when the Lord bids you to speak," Vladimir growled but there was only silence.

"Take her away, Vladimir," The younger man sighed seeing Jza's determined expression.

Jza was once again forced back towards the exit of the Ball room. Jza tried to kick Vladimir again but she was in the air and on the man's shoulder like a sack of potatoes. She beat her fists at the man's back and tried to rip the collar of his shirt but her efforts seemed to make no dent on his speed.

He only put her down when they reached the entrance of, what Jza recognized as the dungeons. A couple of men were sitting on a bench near it wearing unfamiliar garb.

"What do we have here, Commander Vladimir," One of them grinned as they all leered at her.

"The spoils of war; I told you the end of this war would be fruitful for us. Well, here is my fruit for the day," Vladimir placed an arm around her which she shrugged off.

One of them wolf whistled and Jza looked away trying to keep herself from lunging on the man with her knife. The knife was still in her hand and she was waiting for the right opportunity to use it. Four men against her one knife were not the best odds for her. As long as nobody physically threatened her she decided to keep her temper in check and pray that she manage to get out alive.

Vladimir dragged her along to one of the rooms. She nearly tripped over something and looked back at what it was. Her eyes widened to see it was Raymond's body. It was lying face up, eagle spread with a gash in his throat. Blood had spilt from it profusely and Jza was dismayed to realize so much of it covered the ends of the gown that swept her clothes. Jza felt her feet buckle.

"We don't trust em traitors. Once a traitor always a traitor," Vladimir sneered.

Jza bit her lip and looked away from the dead man's pale blood drawn face. It was obvious he had not been expecting an attack. Jza knew his face would haunt her nightmares for sometime.

Vladimir had his hands on waist again and picked her up and neatly sat her on a desk in the vicinity. Vladimir pulled up a chair for himself as Jza watched him and waited for him to do something. She was waiting on edge, almost ready to wince at the next blow.

She had never been touched like this before in her life. Even in the early years when she lived at the farm she was still the farm owner's niece and was given the due respect required. She was occasionally beaten up for her naughtiness but those beatings were gentle compared to the aggression she had faced now.

Jza had spent some years as a child wrestling and playing with boys her age until she was strictly forbidden by her caretaker that she was too old for such tomfoolery so her comfort level with them was a lot broader then that of other noble women. But it was years since her life in the palace began so the only contact with men was the kiss on a gloved hand and a pat on her head from her father. Such unwanted physical closeness with her captors was now abhorrent to her. The innuendos being thrown at her wanted to make her cry but Jza was determined to keep a stiff upper lip.

"Princess or a Pauper; I don't think I could care less but the Lord gets what he wants. Tell me, are you a noble's daughter."

Jza looked away as she clenched onto her knife.

She winced when the man slammed his fist on his desk.

"Tell me, where do you hail from? Have you always lived in this castle? Where are the twelve princesses?" A stream of questions was thrown at her and she bit onto her lip trying to keep herself from speaking.

Vladimir stood up abruptly; kicking the chair he was sitting on and grabbed Jza by her shoulders. "SPEAK!" Spit fell on her face.

"Never," Jza was defiant as she glared back at the man whose face was inches away from hers. She hoped he couldn't feel her trembling.

"Fine, then we shall have to do this hard way," Vladimir smirked at her. His hand came to one her sleeves and ripped the translucent material, plum coloured material. Jza tried to scramble away from her position but Vladimir's arms were like they were made of stone.

He stepped even closer and breather into her hair. "Sweet as a rose." Jza wrinkled her nose at the smell of smoke and blood emitting from him.

"Stop," Jza's voice was a mixture of a sob and a command. Her fragility was heartbreakingly obvious. A tear trailed down cheek but she still managed a kick even though his presence enveloped her completely.

"Or what, you think you can stop me."

Jza once again felt the presence in her hand and with a click of a small trigger the knife unfolded. Jza stabbed him in the neck.

She watched the giant of a man crash to the floor with an anguished cry. He tried to pull the knife out but before he could be successful Jza put her foot down on the handle and drove it in further. This action caused him to emit another painful growl. Jza looked around frantically, worried the man would overcome his pain and get back on his feet again.

She spun around trying to find another weapon and was joyous to see a sword hanging on the wall. The sword was a memorial to her Great Grandfather's conquest of the bloody barbarians in the previous century. This castle was snatched from them and the dungeons were the place where the King of that time had executed the previous owner of the castle. Jza pulled out the sword from the wall mounting and was surprised at its weight. She struggled to lift it and eventually decided that dragging it to Vladimir was a much better option.

Once she was near the prone man she found enough strength to lift the tip and place it on the man's stomach. Vladimir's eyes widened.

"Yes," Jza sniffled, "I can stop you."

"Who are you," He croaked; this time his question was asked in awe. She could imagine a man like him never thought that he would be at the end of the enemy sword with a woman wielding it.

Jza looked up as the door creaked open. "What do we have here? I was expecting the damsel to be in distress but I seem to have found one of my best men at her mercy."

Lord Tarquin leaned against the door frame looking as calm as he was previously. He seemed more amused than worried.

"Don't come any closer or I shall drive this through your heart," Jza spoke with the sword pointed at the man, adrenaline from this new danger finally letting her lift the sword up.

"Oh, and what makes you think you can stop me," The Lord raised an eyebrow.

"The fact that this man with a knife in his neck said the very same thing to me."

This is a much harder story to write than 'Rejected'. That's why it took me so long to update. I think I'm rubbish at making people do things in my stories and this is a very doing story... if that makes sense.

I don't know how this chapter will be taken especially with Jza being roughed up like. Things will become calmer though and I need to get those two hitched.. 0_o

I promise all of the next chapters will have more of Tarquin. And you'll see his catty Harem soon. Yes, he has a Harem though Jza won't be a part of it. His relation with Jza will initially be more cat and mouse then anything sexualized so no Non-Con.

Thank you blue Swan_17, peaceout, Brandi Heir for the reviews because I was expecting none :)