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I was confined to my rooms for nearly two weeks after that, under a cloud for possibly having a part in the disappearance of Vimala, the former Rawalina. Colonel Agar had disappeared from my side, and everyone I asked about his absence just gave me a blank stare. It was as if he’d never existed at all—which I assumed was the normal way of taking care of people here who had lost their usefulness for the royals.
I feared he might be below ground even because he had been Vimala’s security chief and was revealed to have been spending the nights with me, which probably was a double whammy in the eyes of the prince. Worse, Mir Yusaf Adil wasn’t visiting me either. I wondered if he had become another nonperson in the palace. If so, my own position was more precarious than ever before.
Roger Allard was let in after a week and told me he’d agreed to my confinement here as long as I came to no harm.
“The United States does look after its diplomats.”
“Thanks so much,” I responded somewhat acidly. “Why doesn’t he just release me, then, and I can fly out of here?”
“He says he wants to fly the Magnus again, and I told him you were the only one I’d let him go up with. And there’s the other matter.”
“The other matter?”
“I understand he wants to enjoy you some more.”
“And as long as there’s the slightest chance—”
“Yes, I’m afraid so. Our assignment is still our assignment. Keep the prince happy and neutralized.”
“What has happened to Adil?”
“That I don’t know,” Allard answered. And at this, I thought he looked a little concerned. Like maybe he was more concerned for Adil than for me. But I guess that was natural.
“Have we lost our leverage in the palace, then?” I asked.
“Not altogether. We have other assets. There’s still you, of course. If the Rawal calls for you, I suggest you try to get back into his good graces. But we have other assets too.”
“That woman I saw at the station the last time I was in? The one I saw playing lady-in-waiting to Aruna at the wedding?”
“Noticed that, did you? Let’s just say we have other assets in place. But that’s not why I came to see you today.”
“Oh, I thought you wanted to be sure I wasn’t strung up in a torture chamber somewhere—after a week of not knowing, of course.”
“I’ve arranged for you to have the run of the palace compound again.”
“That’s comforting. I’m glad you’re looking after my personal welfare.”
“Yes, well, I’ve done that because there’s a job I want you to do here later this evening. A diversion is going to be created that will focus attention here in the palace. While that’s going on, I want you to go to the stables, as if after your confinement you want outdoor exercise, and to take a horse and ride to the place I have marked on a map of the palace compound.”
Allard unfolded a map, which showed the walled palace compound to be a couple of hundred acres, the fringes of it wooded.
“And?” I asked.
“You should stay inside the tree line, but there’s something we need visual verification of.”
“You found where the terrorist unit went after they pulled up stakes, haven’t you?”
“Yes, we think so. We think they are here, inside the palace compound itself. If you can verify that this is the case, we’ll send in the Blackshield men during the night to sort the terrorists out. The permissions never came in from Adil, but if the terrorists have moved here, we want to neutralize them. And we do think they are here.”
“And the diversion here in the palace?”
“You’ll recognize it when you hear it. Just be somewhere around the throne room at about seven this evening.”
“And in the meantime?”
“I asked the prince when I saw him just now if he wanted to go up in the Magnus this afternoon. I was working at putting you back in his good graces. But he said he had something else planned for this afternoon—that included you. So, I guess you’ll be busy this afternoon—at least I hope it means he wants you again. Indications are that he’s either forgiven or forgotten your connection with Vimala. Otherwise, he probably wouldn’t have agreed to let you move around the palace again. And, here, I’m leaving you with this miniaturized satellite radio. Whatever you find, call me on this as early tonight as you can. Hide it well until then. And buck up. If everything goes well, we’ll be pulling you out tomorrow. The Rawal says he definitely wants to drive the Magnus tomorrow. We’ll make sure you get pulled back then. We’ll think of a way to keep you from being pulled into his car when he leaves.”
Allard stood and handed me the radio, and I slipped it into the secret lining compartment of my duffel bag.
“I’ll have to shower and puff myself up,” I said, with a sigh. The sigh was şişli escort for effect. I needed sex; I’d been confined for a week. The prince’s sex would do just fine.
Later I was to remember with regret that crack I’d made about torture chambers, though.
* * * *
The call came shortly after Allard left me. And it came in the form of four uniformed guards who were obviously there to ensure that I accepted the invitation to be in Prince Bhadur Khan’s presence.
That was where the torture chamber idea came into play. I found that the palace had a dungeon a good three stories below ground level, all dolled out with vaulted stone ceiling and columns and stone walls and floor. And play equipment.
A figure was hanging from chains facing the wall when I was brought into the chamber. My first horrific thought was that it was Adil—but the figure was meatier than the lithe palace adviser was. The light was too dim to discern more than that during the time it took my guards to strip the sherwani off me as well as my briefs, which were the only other piece of clothing I’d been wearing, and to cuff one of my wrists into a manacle attached to a strong chain that was attached to the wall.
Upon further scrutiny, the figure looked like Prince Bhadur Khan, but that’s hardly the position I’d ever have thought to see him in.
My escorts evaporated from behind me as the near-naked figure of General Ambedkar Sungar strode out from behind a stone pillar. He only wore a white dhoti around his waist and he held a scourging whip in his hand.
That’s when I saw the welts already on the prince’s back. Indeed, it was the prince, I now could see. The welts were just reddened stripped areas at this point.
As I watched, Sungar began to flick the scourge against the prince’s back, which was bringing forth moans and groans from Bhadur Khan. They weren’t groans of pain; they were sounds of sexual arousal such as I’d never heard from him in either his sex with me alone or in concert with Aruna. The general wasn’t exactly punishing him, but the harder and faster he flicked the scourge, the deeper, more guttural the prince’s groans were.
I hadn’t realized that this could turn me on as well, but the sounds of passion that the prince was making affected me as well, and I was stroking my cock with my free hand.
After a bit, I heard the gloriously ominous command from the prince’s lips. “Bring him to me.”
General Sungar came over to me, uncuffed my wrist, and dragged me over to the wall. The instructions from Allard kept running through my brain: Make both of them happy; give them whatever they want. Return to the prince’s good graces.
I found that there was an iron ring in the wall between the two that the Rawal’s hands were chained to. Sungar cuffed my wrists together and hung me from this ring, facing the prince. Then the general reached down and took each of my ankles, one by one, and hooked my legs over the prince’s shoulders. He cuffed these with a chain linking them that prevented me from lowering my legs from that position. I didn’t have the leverage or strength to raise both legs so that I could clear the prince’s head with the chain.
The general then positioned the Rawal’s cock between my butt cheeks. When the prince thrust inside me and started mining my channel, the general resumed his scourging of the prince’s back, which I felt in the thickening and lengthening and more frenetic thrusting of the prince’s cock inside me. This—this military discipline and cruelty—was the key to the prince’s arousal.
I looked into the prince’s face, which was drowned in lust and wanting, and it was the prince who brought his lips to mine and possessively took my mouth with his, thrusting his tongue inside and face-fucking me with it. He was making animalistic noises as Sungar scourge him, and when the prince let me up for air, his lips and teeth went down to my nipples. He punished me there, laughing and grunting at my moans and whimpering.
I heard the prince cry out and felt him flinch, and then he seemed to have lost his rhythm. But there was another rhythm, something else moving him, forcing his cock deep inside me and then relaxing and thrusting again. I opened my eyes and saw Sungar’s huge hands spread on the prince’s chest, his thumbs on the prince’s erect nipples—and his chin resting on the prince’s shoulder. Sungar was fucking Bhadur Khan who was fucking me—but only briefly, because I felt Bhadur Khan shoot his load inside me. He was moaning softly and Sungar was making a growly sort of laugh as his hand slid down the prince’s torso and wrapped itself around my cock.
The Rawal just stood there suspended between me and the general, his cock inside me, still suadiye escort hard as a rock and gasping and grunting more passionately than he ever had done for me before, while Sungar finished getting both himself and me off.
I heard the prince utter a hoarse, “Unchain us both,” and then we were both free, but Bhadur Khan was dragging me over to a cot in the corner and sitting down on that and forcing me on my knees between his spread thighs and my head down to his balls. I gave the orbs the suck I knew he enjoyed, while the general came up behind me, grabbed my waist in his hands, pulled me up on my knees, straddled my hips, and thrust inside me.
Sungar was humping me hard when the prince growled a “Me!” And then it was just me and the prince rolling around on the cot, with him trying to meld with me at every point—a real shock from his earlier behavior—and pumping me to beat the band.
They left me there when they were done, and I just lay there and moaned for several minutes.
Now I knew that it took a little discipline to really turn the prince on. Why was I not surprised. I remembered that the prince had been sent to a strict military school in England for his early schooling. It didn’t take much imagination to figure out the lasting effect that experience had had on him. I told myself that I needed to upbraid Allard on this if I should survive this assignment. Somebody hadn’t done their homework well enough concerning why the prince was as he was. It all seemed to make sense to me now. It wasn’t really me they should have sent here. They should have sent a dominating controller and physical disciplinarian.
* * * *
I took my dinner early in my apartment after showering and taking a nap to regain my strength and composure.
Shortly before seven, I went to my door and tested it. The guards were gone, and no one was there to try to stop me from wandering. I had changed into brown and green riding gear from the wardrobe that had been provided the day after I’d first arrived here and padded down the corridor toward the throne room with my riding boots under my arm.
Allard had been right. It looked like everyone in the palace was drawn toward screeching I heard coming from the throne room. It was the voice of a woman, and she was so angry that I had trouble at first picking out her words. But once she started screaming, “fucking that bitch,” I got the gist of it. And I also began piecing the situation together. It was déjà vu all over again. I hoped the prince didn’t have a handgun with him as he did the day the then-Rawalina, Vimala, had upbraided him for having a mistress on the side. I would be interested in knowing how Roger Allard knew this was going to be happening at this moment.
The crowd huddled near the door into the throne room parted long enough for me to step forward and see four figures. The prince was standing in front of his father’s throne, arms crossed, and looking irritated and haughty. Aruna was pacing the floor in front of him, dividing her attention between him and a worried-looking General Sungar, who was standing on one side of the throne dais, and . . . the lady-in-waiting I had first seen coming out of Roger Allard office at the station, was standing on the other side of the throne dais and, if anything, looking saucy and rather amused. She certainly didn’t seem afraid of Aruna, who was charging her with being the Rawal’s mistress.
At least who this woman was and why I’d seen her in the station was making sense now.
A lot of changing for just two weeks, I thought. But I also thought that this marriage to Aruna would probably end in one of the shortest ones on record, that the saucy lady-in-waiting had likely cooked it all up to give me time to accomplish the mission Allard had set for me, and that I better, literally, get on my high horse.
There were grooms at the stable, but they helped me with anything I wanted. It was only the inner palace staff that seemed to keep a running score on who was temporarily in and who was out.
I rode toward the quadrant of the compound Allard had told me to check out as directly and quickly as I thought I could without seeming to be on the mission that I actually was on. As I drew close to the northwest sector of the compound, I entered a copse of trees, dismounted, and tied my horse’s reins to a low-lying branch. Then I moved as stealthily as I could to the other side of the stand of trees and peeked between the trunks of a twin-trunked tree.
What I saw was a meadow, depressed in a curve like a shallow mixing bowl with trees all around it. It wasn’t a small area, and yet the first impression I got of what I was seeing was of a lake with lapping waves. But the waves weren’t blue. taksim escort They were a brown and green camouflage tenting and they covered a large area to one side of the meadow, with an obstacle course and what looked like an entrance into a firing bunker at the other end of the meadow. It was the breeze wafting through the depression that made the camouflage tenting wave like that. I was surprised that the camp had been picked out of the photographs the Magnus had taken.
It was twilight, and men in camouflaged fatigues and head scarves—all seemingly of Middle Eastern or South Asian origin—were creeping out of the sea of tenting and into the obstacle course. This apparently was the hour of safety for training routines.
Three men in sherwanis were standing at the edge of the tented area, prepared to watch the terrorists—for that’s what they surely were, the disappearing terrorist training unit—preparing to go through their paces. The three men had their backs to me, but I moved my foot and must of snapped a twig, because one of the men, the tallest one, looked around. He didn’t appear to pick me out of the surrounding forest, but I clearly saw his face before I ducked for cover.
It was the Kshatriyas, Mir Yusaf Adil. I could hardly stifle my gasp at sudden realization of everything that was happening here. All of this misdirection toward General Sungar as being a connection to Al-Qaeda. I was willing to bet that the origin of all this speculation had been Adil—and that Allard had believed anything Adil hinted to him, thinking that it was the Kshatriyas that the station had in its pocket. I had to get back to the palace and use the miniature satellite radio to let Allard know both that the terrorist unit was where he thought it was and that Mir Yusaf Adil wasn’t who Allard thought he was.
I turned the horse back to the stable hands without a hitch, but as I was moving toward the palace, I saw lines of uniformed guards brandishing lighted torches streaming out of the palace entrances and into the grounds. I had no way of being sure, but chances were good that they were looking for me.
I was standing by the swimming pool near the Sports House at that point, so I just redirected my steps and headed for one of the doors into the Sports House. As I approached the door, the lady-in-waiting, or possibly the prince’s new mistress or Roger Allard’s agent—or, most likely, all three—emerged from the shadows and put her hand on my sleeve.
“My name as Devasree,” she whispered. “I am one of Roger’s NOCs,” which told me that she was one of the chief of station’s in-country assets. “Are they there or not? The terrorist band.”
“Yes, they’re there. But you also need to tell—”
“Shhh. Guards are there, over by the pool. They are looking for General Sungar and Aruna. We mustn’t be seen together.”
With that, she had retreated back into the shadows before I could say anything about Adil. I crouched down, spun through one of the doors into the Sports House, and moved as quickly and quietly as I could down the corridors.
I was completely lost—at least until I found the locker room. I entered that. I could hear steps outside in the corridor where I’d just been, though, so I went through a door at the back of the locker room. All I could think of was to get back into the palace proper unnoticed and find my way to my apartment to message Roger and then to stay put, playing the innocent and taking it from there.
I went through a series of service rooms that were getting smaller and smaller until I entered another large room that had a whole line of washers and dryers in it. I was circling the banks of those when another door opened and General Sungar entered the room.
“Good. I have need of you.”
“General. The guards. I understand they are looking for you.”
“I understand that as well. Come.”
I hesitated for a moment. I was suddenly lost concerning who was an ally and who wasn’t. If Adil wasn’t true to U.S. interests, perhaps General Sungar was.
I never resolved that conundrum, but Sungar didn’t wait for me to. He evaporated the distance between us in three long strides and closed the vice of his fist over my wrist and wrenched me toward the door he’d entered by.
The guidance not to antagonize either the prince of the general rang through my brain from the instructions Allard had given me. I couldn’t have broken away from him if I had wanted to, but my instructions seemed to be clear on not fighting him.
We were outside. Not in the formal entrance motor court for the Sports House, but in some side service motor court. A beat-up old sedan was half hidden under a cascading willow tree. There was a driver in front, and I could see Aruna in the back, which I could tell by the flash of her jewelry and the metallic-material sari I’d seen her wearing earlier when she was still tongue-lashing the prince, even though he wasn’t there.
“I need a pilot,” the general muttered as he manhandled me toward the car and both the front and rear doors on the passenger side popped open. “And you’re just the pilot I need.”
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