The barbarian had tired of kicking. He just hung. And suffered. Passing out. He’d tried squirming. He’d been wriggling dangling in the air. Doing everything possible .. within the very narrow limitations Kobo allowed.
Throttled. Choking. Off the ground, inescapable. Trapped in Kobo’s unforgiving grip. A waste of time, that struggling. But a victim in his position .. desperate .. out of his mind with panic .. the savage fool was going to try.
Countless others before had tried .. desperate to escape Kobo’s killing grip on their air passage. None had ever managed it. None could break that vice-like hold of their life.
He had waited. Watching. The savage had stopped his kicking. He hung. The barbarian suspended .. helpless off the ground .. throttled. The brute had given up struggling .. waiting to die. Or allowed to live. Not the savage’s choice. He waited .. trusting his partner .. putting his faith in that delicate masterly touch of his. Trusting Kobo to choose the right moment.
The barbarian brute came with a reputation, tough as leather long-drenched in horse sweat. But he was having the fight crushed out of him. Kobo was reading his body .. sensing the resistance through the sweat running off the barbarian’s back .. crushed pitilessly into Kobo’s front. Judging the right moment .. suspended between life and death. Kobo’s decision.
Briefly the barbarian cried out when Kobo released his hold. His feet hitting the sand with a thud. Then the knees gave way. The torso collapsing as he fell. The ropes on his wrists yanked him back with a sharp cry of surprise. Sharp shivers seized his helpless body .. jerking him back to a painful reality.
But then he just hung, swaying off the ropes, knees collapsed, head down, gasping. Pained groans fought for airspace with the tortured efforts of heaving air back into his lungs. Body rocking wildly as he fought for air.
Lesson number one .. a warning .. Never underestimate Kobo’s strength. His partner’s masterly touch .. Kobo’s delicate feel for the right moment — he had crushed much of the fight out of this barbarian hide. Something he’d do well not to forget.
He registered the slight tone of dismay in his voice when Kobo grabbed hold of his sweaty hair and hauled the barbarian effortless to his feet. Kobo kept hold of the prick. It was obvious .. if he let go of the grip in his barbarian scalp, the arsehole would collapse again.
A long agonised bawl. Kobo’s other hand had balled into a fist and slammed all his might into the prick’s lower back. His barbarian front slammed forward. Chest exploding in a yell. His belly extended .. his legs wobbled under him. About to collapse.
But Kobo still had him by the scalp, again with little effort he hauled the savage up by the hair. Pulled him upwards .. keeping his feet planted wobbly on the sand.
He waited. Kobo kept a tight grip on the arsehole’s scalp. Effortlessly keeping him on his feet when his knees had lost their strength. The pain of the grip in his hair was written in his tortured face. But that was only one of the emotions playing havoc with his body. Shock, hurt, confusion swamped his features. This was not one used to being smacked around.
This Conan, this barbarian, infamous .. pirate, brigand, rapist, thief .. he had a willpower which was used to being on the winning side. And the brute had a body to back it up, a physical power that dominated in a fight. His brawling skills in the taverns were legendary. Those foolhardy enough to go up against that muscled brutality soon regretted their stupidity. Any unlucky enough to have his murderous grasp on the poor sucker’s throat got his face smashed to pulp. His fabled toughness broke bones at will. Stomped any opposition into the ground.
Tough, a ruthless brawler, a hard-case used to getting his own way. But the barbarian brute had not come up against a Kobo.