-This story is copyrighted 2000 by Mark Anthony. It may not be reproduced or posted anywhere else in any way, shape or form without express permission.

-This is a work of erotic fiction, involving explicit sexual acts between female adults. If it ain’t your cup of tea, read something else. If you are under 18 years of age, ditto.

-Send comments and feedback to [email protected]. All of it is welcome. Author’s note: Though I have done some research for this story, Castle Streinhenburg & Brachendauch are not actual real-life locations. Any omissions/errors in the story are mine.

Synopsis: Strange incidents are occurring at Streinhen castle, a German Castle turned Inn on the banks of the Rhine; Emily is plagued by dreams where she is ravished by a ghost who bears a striking resemblance to her friend Liana…

9. Awakening

Curled up in a ball beneath the covers of the bed, Emily Bryden was afraid to get up.

She hugged one of the three pillows resting on the canopy bed, clutching it against her body like an anxious child would a teddy bear. In her mind, disturbing imagery flashed on and on incessantly. Closing her eyes as hard as she could, she tried thinking of something else. But the thoughts continued to taunt her, and the heat radiating from her sensitive box served as a cruel reminder of the very real hold they had on her. She felt tears of desperation rise up, but she somehow could not bring herself to let it all out.

She eventually roused from the bed, walking about aimlessly on the carpeted floor, her solitary sulking darkening her mood further. She spared a glance at Liana’s undisturbed bed, and felt sudden pangs of worry and confusion squeeze her heart. Emily had the strangest feeling, like something had happened to her.

As much as she didn’t want to confront the strange dreams that had haunted her throughout the night, she still very much wanted to make sure that the central figure in all of them was safe and sound. Surely there were no sexual implications in that, were there?

Emily left for the bathroom and showered very briefly, as if the mere fact of her nakedness might spur more of the strange urges and feelings she was attempting ignore. She made sure the water was cold, and fought to stay under the icy stream as if it could wash away all of her dark, sensuous thoughts. Much to her chagrin, she felt a brief rush of arousal as she caught a glimpse of herself in the bathroom mirror, water dripping from her curvaceous body, nipples stiff from the frigid temperature of the shower.

She instantly chastised herself, wresting with that elusive part of her subconscious which had signaled her body to react with pleasure at the sight of her nudity.

I must be losing my mind, she thought.

Minutes later, Emily strode into the suite, and sat on her bed, wrapped in a silk, navy-blue kimono. She stared blankly at the window and the green hills beyond it. It was ten, perhaps eleven in the morning, and sounds from the busy medieval town in the valley below reached the top of the cliff where Streinhen castle rested. Emily carefully stepped into that dangerous part of her mind which contained her memories of last night, thinking hard of that last moment when she was fully aware and conscious.

Her eyes wandered to the desk beside the window where she remembered reading the diary. And there did the old book, with its brownish, musty cover, sit.

She shivered involuntarily, and fought the urge to panic. ‘It’s only a book’, she repeated in her mind over and over. Yet the memory of how it had drawn her into the dreamtime was surfacing, and with it fear and incomprehension.

The white candle which had burned next to it had melted down to a fraction of an inch, a hardened puddle creamy wax now resting on the varnished surface. Emily’s eyes shifted between it and the diary with mixture of dread and frustration. She felt thorn between getting to the bottom of the mystery which had so disrupted her life, and retreating to the safety of the castle lobby, filled with plenty of modern-day, real-life tourists who had nothing to do with ghosts and outrageously libidinous dreams.

Emily sighed heavily, trying to exorcise her fear in a single long breath, assembled her courage, stood up and walked over the desk. She reached for the diary hesitantly, opened it and began quickly flipping the pages. She punctuated her glimpses through the worn yellowing pages with long glances outside the window, hoping to shake any influence the book might have on her frail psyche by concentrating on something else every couple of seconds. But it quickly became evident that daylight chased away any such power the diary might have, and Emily found she could easily look away from the ancient scribbling whenever she wished. Furthermore, no strange apathy came over her. Moments later, she began flipping frantically though the personal journal, desperately searching for answers.

10. Kristin’s Diary entries

Anna, oh sweet beautiful Anna, how I long for thee! bursa escort Those few precious moments during the Barons’ feast, where we managed to elude our respective sentries to share a blissful embrace! I kissed thee, kissed every part of thy lovely body, and still thirsted for more! How can I live without knowing such pleasure everyday and every night? I have no choice but to crave thee, crave thy soft touch in every waking moment of my loveless, unhappy existence! Why does Father pursue his vendetta against thy family? Why did my heart find such love, and deny me the right to live it freely, under the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars? Why must I suffer thus?

Father was wounded yesterday by vile retainers of Count Schtaffen who had cornered him while he hunted for sport with his usual entourage. He has professed vengeful oaths anew, to destroy the Count’s whole family line, words which have only drowned my heart with further sorrow. Dear Father, how I love thee, but please do not pierce my heart with the sword that would fall upon my pretty Anna!

I feat Brother Hilmund has begun to suspect strange goings on between our house and Schtaffen’s, and I fear that he might be onto the secret I share with Anna. Precautions must I now take that this record of my most secret thoughts be not discovered by prying eyes. I have kept this diary in a safe place, but prudence counsels that I remove it to another safe place as the seasons change. God forbid he summons my Father to voice concerns real or imagined!

Sweetest, most consuming of passions! A kiss from thine lips, Sweet Anna, is enough to rouse me from death’s embrace and fill my heart with incandescent joy like the phoenix which rises from the ashes at the moment of rebirth! Though the master of the guards appointed by Father sought my person for a day, he will not speak of my momentary vanishing after I have instructed him so. Surely the threat of my Father’s wrath at having lost his precious daughter in a street full of commoners is enough incentive to keep that secret to the grave. If only he knew what pleasures I partook in his absence, if only he suspected the joy his dereliction has bought for me, thought furtive and ephemeral it felt to my restless, loving heart! Anna, I would risk the entire world for an hour at thy beside!

I have tasted and kissed thee, Anna, but wish above all to hold thee in my arms, hold thee as man holds wife, with love and contentment! Rumors of an impending visit by questing knights in search of brides to marry fill my soul with dread, but a look in thine eyes chases all away, replacing it with hope for a future hat must be shared, if need be, in secret. I pray that none will come to my Father’s door, claiming hospitality and the hand of maidens to carry off to their lands. I pray for a continuation of our love, eternal as the flow of the Styx, the rising of the sun, and the shining light of quixotic moon in the cloudless night sky.

Cruel Fate! Cruel Destiny, Chance and Circumstance! A fortnight ago, a man clad in armor and bearing the sword and standard of the Heimdall line shouted for servants to accommodate him after a night’s ride from Boerhen. Seeking an audience with my Father, he forthwith demanded the right for my hand, in accordance to the Germanic tradition, providing proof of his line’s ascendancy over numerous baronies and villages stretching from the banks of the Rhine to the Frankish lands. Father has agreed, on conditions that remain unknown to me, and I have since exiled myself in my chambers, refusing admittance to all but lowly servants.

Father is upset, and I can sense an ominous nervousness in those few servants who bring me food, and beg for me to acquiesce to his demands. I fear that my days may grow short indeed, but I cannot will my heart to cease loving Anna anymore than I can agree to marry this beastly man who seems to thrive of murder and blood, suffer his invasions upon my person or spawn his sons into this world.

Emily reached the last page of writing, all of the rest unadorned by the Germanic writing. She pondered the meaning of the few entries she had just read with apprehension, the unmistakable ominous tone of the final entries arousing worry. There was a fleeting impression as she gazed upon the pages once more, as if she were remembering elements of an old fairy tale she had heard as a child. Somehow, part of her mind told her she knew the details of this strange tale, though she could not readily summon a specific memory of it.

She blinked in a heartbeat, perplexed as she focused on the last line of writing in the diary. Suddenly, the awareness came that every word on the page was transcribed in medieval German.

In a quick motion, Emily snapped the old book shut. The heavy thump echoed in the large suite, and a dusty smell filled her nostrils. She threw it back violently upon her bed, and took deep breaths, trying not to hyperventilate. Strange dreams, weird tales of Gothic lesbian affairs, seemingly ancient diaries written in arcane tongues-yet easily readable by 21st century escort bursa contemporaries… it was all too much.

She looked about, cursing inwardly for the hundredth time and wondering where Liana had gone!

She reached for her suitcase, pulling out fresh clothes with sudden and furious energy. Though shy of nature, Emily Bryden prided herself on being able to exert a surprising force of character when the situation called for it.

One way or another, she was going to get to the bottom of all of this.

11. Ghost Tales

Emily caught sight of the tour guide standing nonchalantly the Inn lobby, and signaled him at once with a gesture of the hand. He waited patiently while she joined him, next to a stone support column which rose and vanished up into the high stone ceiling above.

“What can I do for you miss…?” the guide asked, with a hint of recognition that Emily knew went back to their own visit of the battlements two days earlier. He paid attention to the fact that the woman wore a dark green wrap skirt and a snow-white shirt with supple cuffs, chastely buttoned up to the collar. He could not help but paused briefly to admire her beauty, her blond hair tied back in a simple but stylish knot, her shapely figure graceful and poised. But her delicate features were marred by a disarming look of worry that found its purest manifestation in the deep blue of her pretty eyes.

“Bryden” she stated simply, in guise of introduction. She stared at him resolutely, but her embarrassment was clear when she resorted to a hushed tone. “I was wondering if there’s ever been reports of… strange events occurring in the castle?”

He looked at her mutely for a moment, scrutinizing her. “Uhh… define ‘strange'” he whispered, his voice uncertain.

Emily sighed, and resigned herself to a more direct approach. “I… heard rumors that this was a haunted castle. Two tourists were talking about this incident that transpired here in 1967 or something…”

“I’m afraid I haven’t heard anything of the sort in all my years here Miss Bryden.”

Emily mustered up all the disappointment she could and let it rise up in her eyes as she pouted. The man’s discomfort at disappointing the young woman was immediately, painfully evident.

“Ah,” he quickly added, “Well… although I don’t *personally* know of any strange happenings here, I know of a local legend which finds its origin in a tragedy which took place at the beginning of the fourteenth century.”

Emily’s eyes betrayed her sudden, grave interest. Her hands clasped the man’s arms urgently. “What tragedy?!”

Passing tourists turned their heads towards them while the echo of her exited voice traveled down the corridor.

“Uhm, you understand” the guide began, his voice still hushed, “that the details are sketchy at best, since reliable accounts have been either destroyed, damaged or lost through the centuries. The gist of it, however, is that the daughter of Markwald Streinhen, the most powerful robber baron of the region, died in unfortunate circumstances, sometime in 1305.”

Emily swallowed hard. Her mind worked furiously, one part assessing the truth of the story the diary had partially revealed, the other thinking back to her thoughts and impressions in the dreams that haunted her nights.

“What kind of unfortunate circumstances?” she said, pressing the guide.

The man’s eyebrows shot up, conveying his bewilderment at her apparent agitation. “Some surviving records imply that a knight who had sworn allegiance to an enemy of the Streinhen family may have killed her purposefully, but that seems doubtful since Marlwald was the most established and powerful local authority of the region at that time. Moreso even than the old Count Schtaffen, who was his chief rival. In fact, historians believe that this story refers to the murder of the Count’s daughter, not Markwald’s. The former was old and frail, and evidence suggests the murder of his daughter may have been carried out at Streinhen’s behest.”

Emily’s whisper was like the cold breeze on an icy lake. “Anna…”

The guide nodded curtly, his eyes gazing to the firm grip she held on his arm. “Yes, Anna Schtaffen… you have studied the local history then?”

Emily fired back with a question of her own. “Kristin… Kristin Streinhen was the daughter of Markwald, wasn’t she?”

“Yes, that is correct.”

“How did she die?”

The man frowned as Emily’s hands squeezed his arm desperately.

“It is believed that she threw herself from the East Tower and into the precipice below. Since then, popular myths have propagated stories of her ghostly presence within the castle walls.”

Emily Bryden nodded curtly and finally relinquished her hold on his arm, obviously shaken by his response. He began mouthing some kind of an apology as he rubbed the sore limb, but she merely gave him a stunned look and silently strolled off, her hands dangling loosely to her sides.

12. Searching

Liana had pulled a perfect disappearing act.

Emily would bursa escort bayan have been fuming had she not been so concerned for her friend’s life. The guide’s words were an forbidding omen, a tale that rang true in her mind and soul. On a very basic, almost unconscious level, she hardly even questioned the possibility of having fallen, along with her friend, under the spell of a ghost intent on toying or using them. The rational part of her mind, which began at once to attempt to figure out where Liana might have gone, concluded that it was best to operate on the assumption that she *wasn’t* going mad, just in case there was, in fact, a ghost haunting the castle.

In her heart, a more serious battle raged. Buried beneath the fear and worries stirred a strange, fascinatingly new perspective; a key had turned in a locked door, and it had opened ever so slightly. Emily Bryden has banished the thoughts from her mind consistently, but they just seemed to crop up in her mind again and again. she could not deny the reality of her multiple climaxes in the last two nights, no more than she could ignore the acute sensitivity of her breasts, thighs, pussy – practically her whole body. But the truth of her sudden, hidden yearnings seemed too shameful a concept to sustain prolonged scrutiny in her own mind.

As she attempted to draw information from the castle gatekeeper who had seen Liana drive off in the rented car that very morning, as she quizzed the morning busboys and waiters in the dinner hall for clues as to her friend’s destination, Emily fought not to think about those enthralling nights past, of their unreal yet exciting quality… when she had experienced the soft, intimate touch of another person

She had been certain of her instinctive distaste of male companionship, but the absolute bliss she had experienced in dreamtime now pointed to a new path. If the focus of her search for Liana was aimed at warning her of the dangers of staying in Streinhen, and of initiating immediate departure from the premises for another place to reside in for the night, then why was her heart pounding faster every time she visualized her friend’s face? Why was a subtle current running up her legs, converging in her womb, sending delicious, forbidden thrills through her body, making her sigh despite herself?

All avenues save the involvement of the Hotel and police personnel were exhausted by mid-afternoon, the staff wondering if she wasn’t loosing her mind after she had questioned a sizable lot of them on anything from her friend’s whereabouts to the possibility of the castle grounds being haunted. Emily retreated into a lobby, defeated, and slumped in a cozy leather chair, feeling the tears of frustration welling up in her eyes.

She felt isolated, alone, and powerless… turbulent emotions raging inside her… struggling to breach the surface of her quiet, reserved facade.

“No!” Emily hissed to herself, alone in the richly decorated salon. She breathed deeply, focused on the moment, and felt strength and determination flooding back within her. Her arms clasped around her shoulders as she hugged herself for comfort. This situation called for firm resolve, and she was bent on to living up to her untapped potential.

She made for the main Hotel lobby, next to the administrative offices. Once there, she called a clerk and requested that reservations for two be made for a nightly stay at the Hotel Richtoffen, roughly twenty seven miles downstream from the castle.

“Certainly madam,” the clerk responded, in perfect English. “May I ask for what day?”

“Miss, actually” Emily snapped, sharper than she intended. “Reserve for tonight. I’ll be leaving as soon as my friend arrives, hopefully before nightfall.”

The dark-haired man’s expression grew troubled. “But surely Miss has heard the reports?”

Emily gave him a blank look.

He frowned, his bushy eyebrows coming together. “A bad storm will be hitting the whole region before sundown-a regional warning has been issued. With muddy, unlit country roads between here and Richtoffen, it would be extremely dangerous to drive.”

Emily fought for control of herself and succeeded, her facade remaining untroubled. She slowly turned, in a rigid sort of way which the clerk found a bit upsetting, and walked away without saying another word.

13. Stormy horizons

The whole sky was ablaze with blue lightning by 5 PM. All shutters in halls and suites were closed, except in the newly renovated sitting room of the West wing, which had a thick panoramic window that could easily withstand the high winds and torrential downpours, offering a spectacular sight. Emily had crawled into a heavy black leather chair not unlike the one in the lobby, facing the large pane of glass and the gloomy rage of the elements beyond. She still nursed the same drink, one hour after a waiter had brought it to her.

Outside, under a dark sky, wind blew fiercely and rain poured down violently upon the forested valley below. For the thousandth time, she glanced towards the large outside corridor — the main hallway that lead to the luxury suites Liana would have to pass through in order to get back to their shared accommodations. For the thousandth time she sighed in desperation.

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