“Experience has taught …..”
Han had gone for another pair of rocks.
Conan knew it was a mark of anxiety about holding himself together that in his eyes this sizeable heap of rocks seemed to have grown. More than his bucket could hold .. more than enough to make things rip …… An illusion but it had him worried.
“ …… a reluctant prisoner benefits from some time to himself.”
Again Han was stood right in front. Sweat had cut trickles through the dirt on Conan’s chest. His lower belly glistened, the hair on his muscled stomach was heavy, matted, thick with dirt and nervous sweat.
“Reflection time. Chance to meditate.”
What the fuck this prick was on about? But still he had Conan tensed up. Watching the muscles in Han’s forearms flex and loosen as he squeezed the rocks in his hands. A deliberate move to get Conan’s attention. And it had. His attention knowing full-well where those stones in his hands were going. Wondering how much his skin could hold.
“Time to reflect. Chance to consider the consequences. Think over the costs of a stubborn attitude …. To ask himself .. What’s it worth? To hang on to his balls?”
That annoying deadpan face. That quiet tone, almost polite .. no aggression, no malevolence .. just doing a day’s work .. while putting Conan’s manliness under extreme threat. Not to say anything about the dragging pain pulling down on his nuts. A gnawing strain that seemed to be dragging his innards out by his balls.
“Use this time well, barbarian. Reflect. Consider. Meditate on your options.”
The fucker’s deadpan attitude! His fucking calmness. His po-faced indifference. Conan wanted to fucking-break his fucking neck. But he slowed down his heartbeat .. breathing deeper .. he fought back down his temper. He clenched his teeth into the fears for his manhood. Getting a grip on those fears.
He had no doubts, they’d never set him free. They planned to get their hands on his secret .. and if they did, he did not doubt they’d be stretching his neck from that frame in the market place .. at the very least. Not the first time his neck had been on the line. But a big part of him would prefer to face that day in one manly piece. Take the drop with his manhood intact. Rationalising, Conan had himself get a grip on his barbarian temper. Wise right now to keep his trap shut. Dangerous to tempt fate .. and another rock lobbed into the bucket.
“Any time you’re ready to talk .. say the word.”
Conan looked down at this impassive face. Fucking annoying, fucking exasperating deadpan face. Wanting like hell to break this motherfucker’s neck. But preferring it if the cynical arsehole didn’t throw those boulders. Choosing to keep his counsel to himself. Conan got a grip. He kept his gob shut.
Han turned to a burly brute.
“When he sees sense, send for me.”
Conan felt a rush of relief. Han was leaving him. No more rocks, then ….?
Han’s hand gestured at the pile of rocks.
“Take good care of him. See he uses this time well ….”
The soldier looked confused. Han sought to put him right.
“If he dozes off .. if the sun gets to him and he loses concentration …”
Han’s hand opened .. to reveal a rock. Conan tensed. He held his breath. Muscles in his arms tightened. But they did nothing to help. The rock clattered on top of the pile in the bucket. The weight tugged. The bucket swung .. jarring.
Han’s face changed. For the first time a slight smile broke on his lips.
“Just like that. See?”
Han addressed the guard. He nodded back. He’d caught on.
“He dozes off .. loses concentration … if he forgets himself …..”
Han’s eyes turned on Conan’s grimy sweat-streaked face.
“ .. if he is no longer taking the time for serious consideration .. not thinking over his Lordship’s generous offer …..”
Han nodded at the pile of rocks. Enough said.
The soldier laughed. He got the message. And he wouldn’t need asking twice .. helping the barbarian scum to accept his Lordship’s bargain. He could lob a stone. He could manage to hit the bucket. After all, orders were orders.
“You are Conan?”
He started their ritual again, His eyes looked over the sweaty grime-streaked torso hovering above him, tied into a helpless X in this frame.
“The barbarian? Right?”
His foot tapped at the bucket. Making sure he had the barbarian’s attention. It swayed slightly under its ponderous weight.
“Named for stealing his Lordship’s gold.”
Conan swore harshly. Barely listening when the prick carried on talking .. still contending with the shock. Still biting down his fears that any moment his skin could shear.
“Remember, think on it.”
“His Lordship wants his treasure back.”
Han was looking up into a glower. A fierce animal-like snarl creased Conan’s face. But he had noted for once he didn’t receive a snarled retort. The brute was keeping his leery tongue to himself. No telling Han what to do with himself. The brute had not told his Lordship to go get fucked. Progress? Was the message getting through?
Sounding concerned, Han looked into the glare above his head and spoke words of reassurance.
“And should the thought be playing on your mind .. Never fear ….”
Conan was clenching his back teeth together. A sudden gnawing of pain on his nuts had got through. The grinding aches achingly dragging his innards out through his balls. The nerves getting to him. Fearing it had to happen soon. Could that thin layer of sensitive skin take this much weight?
“Don’t worry your primitive little head …….”
Han nodded. Seeing the barbarian brute was listening in.
“If you rip ….. when the bucket does it’s job .. if your tear … Rest assured, it’ll be noticed …..”
Han shrugged undisturbed.
“After all … the bucket will clatter to the earth …..”
Was that a slight titter? Did Conan hear this arsehole show some humour? That was supposed to be some flippant remark, Conan thought? Some mock re-assurance about the moment when Conan’s manliness lost his balls? But it was back to normal now .. you’d never tell from Han’s straight-faced look. Obvious, Han’s face didn’t do flippant.
“No worries. The irons are in the brazier .. ready.”
He shrugged explaining.
“To cauterise the open wound.”
Stick a fucking branding iron up his crutch .. where his balls had been ….! Stop the bleeding.
No, Conan had nothing to fucking worry about!
“Ooorrrrr …. “
Han continued in his deadpan way.
“You could go easy on yourself …… His Lordship DOES insists on his treasure back.”
Han’s eyebrows lifted. Questioning. Offering Conan a way-out.
Now Conan did finish off the ritual. He’d had enough. Enough of this prick’s civility. His temper burst through. Answering back. With a customary snarl.
“GO GET FUCKED.”
Expressionless Han shrugged. He turned away. Calling back to Conan without turning his head.
“Anytime you’re ready to ..…..
Conan interrupted. This time he bawled back his reply.
“GO GET FUCKED!”
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