Deep Space Peril









“Captain’s Log, Earth Date 23/11/2328, 12 noon EST.  So far it has been a quiet day, with no signs of the reported Raider activity in this quadrant.  We will continue to scout for another day, and then move on as ordered to the next quadrant, unless an incident occurs.


“Crew morale is high, but I can say we all are looking forward to the upcoming shore leave.  Six months in deep space can leave all with desires that need to be fulfilled, and my crew and I anticipate a rewarding and relaxing time.


“Pause recording.”


Captain Louise Simmons stood up from the desk in her cabin and walked to look out onto the vast blackness.  Six months - six months in which she and the three other crew members of the scout ship Pegasus had been moving in this area, keeping the peace on behalf of the Earth Alliance as a fast response unit.  Six months with plenty of contact with other races, but they had all missed their family and friends.


Louise was a tall woman, standing six foot tall even without the heels of her uniform boots, with long black hair that she had brushed back and held in a ponytail that ran down her back.  Her skin was pale - a long time in space will do that - but she kept fit with regular session in the gymnasium, as laid down in the ship protocols.  She had been a member of the EA forces for the last ten years, working her way up to Captain, and she enjoyed her job - even with the long periods of boredom.


Her uniform was standard issue - a white blouse with two large square breast pockets and black shoulder epaulettes, the gold markings of which designated her rank.  The uniform also consisted of a pair of grey trousers, the legs of which were tucked into a pair of brown leather boots that came up to her knees.  How the boots were worn was entirely up to the individual member of the crew, but she found it easier to wear them over her trousers.


Returning to her desk, she sat down and said “Resume recording.


“Crew review comments are generally positive.  Commander Masterson has proven herself to be a most capable and efficient negotiator, and I wish to record my recommendation for a commendation to her for her work with the Medusa colony.”


Alex Masterson was her second in command - a tall woman, who in the days before such terms were outlawed would have been described as African-American.  She had brown hair which she wore in a perm, and her dark skin had proven a point of fascination with some of the races they had encountered.  She was a year younger than Louise, but they made a good pair.


“Sergeant Albright is providing a high level of competence in the maintenance of our craft - her skills mean we have managed to conserve enough fuel to be able to cope with most emergencies.”


Cathy Albirght was a bright young twenty five year old, who had joined the Pegasus a month before after their previous engineering officer had suffered an injury when dealing with the Narn.  A small breach of protocol, but she still needed to be shipped home.  She was also an experienced pilot - which worked well with the final member of the crew.  Cathy had short blonde hair, and was the smallest of the quartet at five foot ten.


Louise thought for a moment before continuing.


“As for Chen - she is a capable and competent pilot, but I also feel she is the one who has been the most affected by this mission.  I would recommend an extended furlough for her, and temporary replacement for the first part of our next mission.”


Cho Chen was of mixed Chinese and European descent, taking the looks from her father and the height from her mother.  She was twenty two, and as such had not had to spend so long in space before now.  Louise knew she was on duty now, and was desperately missing her family.


“End of report, Captain Louise Simmons,” she said as she turned off the computer, in time for a message to come over her link.  Pressing on the front, she said “Go.”


“Captain, it’s Chen.  Can you come to the bridge please - I’ve picked up an unidentified craft approaching the sector.”


“On my way,” she said as she stood up and left her cabin, walking quickly to the front of the craft where the bridge was found.


As the door silently opened to grant her admittance, Louise walked in to see Chen turn round.  She was also wearing the standard uniform, although the insignia on her epaulettes indicated her junior rank.  Her trousers covered the short ankle boots she was wearing.


“Report, Chen,” Louise said as she looked at the monitors.


“I picked it up ten minutes ago Captain,” Chen said as she brought up a display.  “It is currently twenty clicks away, and approaching rapidly.  I have had no hailing frequencies from them.”


“Open a channel,” Louise said, and then she said “Unidentified craft, this is the Earth Alliance scout ship Pegasus.  Please state your business in this sector.”


There was silence for a moment, before a voice came over “Pegasus, this is the transport craft Romulus, en route to the Medusa colony with essential supplies.”


“Romulus, this is Pegasus.  We are required by EA regulations to inspect all cargo bound for the Medusa colony to ensure no risk of contamination.  Please rendezvous with us for routine inspection of cargo.”


There was silence again for a moment, before the voice said “Understood Pegasus.  We will adjust course to rendezvous with you in approximately one earth hour.”


“They’ve broken communication, Captain,” Chen said, “Shall I alert the others?”


“No need - Alex is on required respite, and Cathy will be on duty in two hours anyway.  We can deal with this.”



One hour later, Louise and Chen watched as the large grey ship stopped alongside them.  It was shaped like a crescent, with what looked like a command hub in the centre of it.


“I’ve never seen a ship like that,” Chen said as she looked out, “who are they?”


“The design is Centauri - I have seen briefings, but never encountered them personally.  I know they are sticklers for protocol, so I think we should show them every courtesy.  Open a link.


“Captain of the Romulus, this is Captain Louise Simmons of the Pegasus.  I invite you to join me on board before we start our inspection.”


“Thank you Captain Simmons - I will gladly join you.  We leave in one minute by shuttle.”


“Chen,” Louise said as the door opened and Alex Masterson came in, “Go and escort our guests to my cabin.”


“What have we got,” Alex said as she looked at the small craft approaching.  “Is that a Centauri craft?”


“Looks like it - routine inspection.  Watch the bridge while I entertain our guests.”


Louise walked out of the bridge and towards the entrance to the space dock, adjusting her uniform as she went down.  She always allowed her crew and herself to have their necks open - she felt more comfortable that way.  A few minutes later, she was standing by the internal lock door, waiting as the air pressure equalised and the door slid smoothly open.


“Welcome aboard the...” she started to say, only to be silenced by the large hand that was clamped over her mouth, and the laser pistol that was pushed roughly against the side of her head.  She stared at the man who was holding her as four others came in after him.


“Thank you Captain,” the man said, and she recognised his voice as that of the captain of the Romulus.  “You two, secure the bridge, you two search the crew quarters and bring any other officers to the bridge.  The Captain and I will talk in her private quarters - lead the way.”


He was a tall man, about six foot two, but his most distinguishing feature was the hair on his head.  It was swept right back in a high band that seemed to form almost a coronet at the back of his head, while the rest was shaved smooth.  He had deep blue eyes, and he was strong - far stronger than Louise, who was unable to stop him frog marching her straight to her private cabin.


“We are familiar with the design of your ship, Captain,” he said as he pushed her in, the door sliding noiselessly closed behind them, “You are not the first we have encountered recently.”


“I demand you explain yourself,” Louise finally said as she regained her composure, “we only requested a routine inspection, and the Centorum agreed the terms of such inspections.”


“Ah, I see why you are confused,” the man said as he looked at her.  He was dressed in a white shirt with a matching cravat around his neck, tight trousers with knee length boots, and an ornate long scarlet coat with brown brocade.  “You are under the impression we are an official craft of the Centauri Republic.  I am sorry if you were misled, Captain - we are nothing of the sort.”


Louise paled visibly as she whispered “You...  You’re the raiders reported in this area.”


“We are indeed,” the Centauri said as he reached into his pocket and drew out what looked like a length of rope.  “And your vessel is now officially ours.  Even now my men are rounding your crew up - so convenient of your Earth Alliance to send only four lovely ladies on such a dangerous mission.  You will, of course, do what I say or I will kill you, no?”


“If we are to be taken prisoner,” Louise said, “then as captain of this ship...”


“You are relieved of your command,” the man said as he grabbed her arm and twisted it round and up her back, making her yelp with pain as he forced her to bend over the desk and pulled her other hand behind her back.


“What the hell do you think you are doing,” Louise screamed out as she felt the thin cords biting into her wrists, but as she tried to force them apart they only seemed to tighten more, forcing them together as he wrapped the cord around and between them.


“You will remain quiet,” the man said as he forced Louise up, his hands coming round and pressing firmly into her chest as she gasped, “and you will order your crew to stand down as well.  Do it now or I kill you and all aboard.”


“Never,” Louise said, “I die before I betray my crew.”


“That can easily be arranged,” the man said as he took a large curved knife and held it against Louise’s throat.  She looked at the blade, the light from her ceiling lamp sparkling off the burnished metal, before the door to her cabin opened and one if the invaders came in.


“We have the other crew members secured in the bridge, Captain,” he said, “What are your orders?”


“We will join you,” he said as he pulled the cravat from around his neck and wound it round Louise’s head, pulling it deep into her mouth as he passed it round twice before knotting it off at the side of her head.  She glared angrily at him as he took her arm and dragged her out of the cabin, the trio making their way towards the bridge.


As they walked in, she saw the other three crew members standing by the side, their arms pinioned behind them and bands of the rope like material holding their arms tightly into their sides.  Cathy had managed to dress before she had been dragged there, and was looking round wild eyed at the scene.


All three women had cloths wound tightly round their heads and into their mouths, and their arms pinioned behind their backs, the front of their blouses straining against their chests as they were forced out by the tight bands of rope encircling them.  Their legs had also been bound tightly, at their ankles and knees, as they watched two of the invaders downloading as much as they could from the ship’s record banks.


“How long,” the captain said as he pushed Louise over to the others.


“Twenty to finish,” the other man said without turning round.  The captain nodded and then walked over to Louise, pushing her against the wall as his hands enclosed and pressed down hard on her chest.


“Yes,” he said as his fingers dug into her flesh, making her yelp with pain, “I think she will fetch a high price for us.”


“TKURHNDSFM,” Louise gasped as she brought her knee hard into his crotch, but to her surprise the captain only flinched slightly.


“Good try,” he said as he whispered into her ear, “but not good enough.”  She felt his lips pulling hard on the skin on the side of her neck, as the other three invaders started to grope and kiss the other crew members.  Chen was sobbing loudly, but that only seemed to encourage her attacker, who forced her to her knees and grabbed her from behind, pulling her against his body as he roughly handled her chest.  The fear in her eyes was palpable - but not as palpable as the anger in her as she tried to squirm out of his touch. 


This only seemed to excite him more, as he pressed harder and further in, and started to kiss her neck.  Not gently, as her boyfriend had done before they left, or with care, but roughly, sucking hard as she felt his tongue scraping across her skin.


“LVTHMLN!” Louise screamed, but then she felt her own head been pulled back as the raider captain kissed her neck, his other hand stroking down and squeezing her chest hard.  She gasped at the strength he possessed, particularly as he pulled her blouse open and started to lick her breasts, his tongue rasping over her smooth skin.


Chen was crying as well, as one of the invaders had pulled her blouse open and forced the cups of her bra down, his lisp encircling her nipples as he sucked and made her scream into the cloth filling her mouth.  The other two looked at Cathy and Alex, moving over to grope them and fondle them as Louise felt the Centauri captian’s hand between her legs.


“Information downloaded, Captain,” the man said from the console, “Orders?”


“Leave our usual calling card in the engine room,” the captain said, and as the man ran off he barked out “Take those three to the transport - I will follow shortly.”


“Captain,” another of the invaders said as he looked at the console, “Incoming ship, thirty clicks out - EA by the looks of it.”


“How long until they arrive?”


“I estimate twenty minutes.”


The captain looked at Louise, as he heard in his communicator “Bomb set for twenty five minutes.”


“Very well,” he said before continuing “Captain to first officer - lock on me and other crew members.  One additional with me to beam over.”


Alex watched as a bright shimmering light started to envelop the invaders and Louise.  “Take a last look round,” he whispered into her ear, “this is no longer your place, and you are now under my command.”


Louise looked at him, and then threw her head forward, connecting with his forehead.  He looked at her for a moment, before drawing his hand back and slapping her hard across the face.  Blackness fell as she slumped into his arms, as the light shimmered and faded - leaving empty space where they had stood.


“Pegasus, this is the Achilles - we picked up a distress signal, do you acknowledge?”


Alex screamed through her gag as Joan and Cathy sobbed, their blouses hanging open between the bands of rope....



Louise slowly opened her eyes and looked round the chamber.  “Wha... What happened,” Louise said as she tried to move her arms, only to find they were secured to the wall, the leather manacles around her wrists chained firmly in place.


As he eyes focused, she saw that she was in a bare room, save for the floor covering.  “Where am I?” she moaned as she tried to move, and then called out “I know you are monitoring me - I demand to see the Captain of this vessel!”


The door to the chamber was thrown open, and two guards walked in.  “Bring her,” one of them called out, and Louise watched as two women, dressed in what could only be described as harem outfits, walked in and released her from the chains.


“I demand to speak to the captain of this vessel,” she said as she stood up.  “He wants you,” was the only reply as the two women grabbed her arms in a vice like grip, and walked her out of the chamber.


She found herself in the metal hallway of the ship, and as she was walked down the dark corridor she could indeed hear cries and moans from behind other doors.  They stopped by one door, and a voice she recognised said “Come.”


The chamber inside was opulently furnished, with rich velvet hangings, and a large bed against one side.  On the other side stood the captain of the Romulus, dressed in a  large red dressing gown.


“Ah Captain Simmons,” he said as he turned and drank from a goblet, “Welcome to my chambers.  I am Jaco Volari, the captain of this vessel.”


“You are a raider and a kidnapper,” Louise said as she glared at him from between the two females, “and I demand you release my crew and myself.”


“Well, if that is your wish,” Volari said with a smile, “I will indeed have you ejected from the craft.  Your last minutes will be painful, but quick as the vacuum kills you, but I wish to meet your requests.  On the other hand, if you behave, I think you will find your new life very pleasant.  As for your crew, they are not here - we left them behind on the craft”


“You know the Earth Alliance will send search crafts.”


“And they will find the wreckage of a fusion reactor explosion - sadly, with no survivors,” Volari said as he looked at Louise.  “Strap her down.”




On board the Pegasus, Alex looked up as the doors to the bridge opened and three EA officers came in.  She recognised one instantly and said “DFFDDD” through her gag.


“My god,” he said quietly as he knelt by her side and removed her gag, “What happened here - and where is Louise?”


“No... No time, David” Alex said quietly.  “Bomb - in hold.  I managed to plant a homing beacon on one of the raiders, but we have less than...  less than two minutes...”


“Shit,” David said as he lifted Alex in his arms.  “Get them and get the hell off this ship,” he shouted to the other two officers, who lifted Chen and Cathy as they ran towards the shuttle.


They barely made it to a safe distance before the implosion device went off, crushing the hull of the Pegasus as it created a miniature black hole and then exploded into itself.  “You’re safe now,” David said as he looked at Alex, “but they have Louise?”


“I think so,” she said quietly, “they teleported somehow, and she was with them.”


“Rest - give me the frequency when we get to the Achilles.  I won’t rest until we find them.”






Louise barely had time to react before the two women dragged her over to the bed and made her lie on her back, grabbing a wrist each and pulling them above her head as they were tied to the bed posts with thick ropes.  Volari walked over and sat on the bed, placing the goblet to one side as he stroked Louise’s cheek with his hand.


“You are a very beautiful woman,” he whispered into her ear as he stroked his hand down her chest, “Perhaps I will keep you for myself rather than sell you on.”


“I will kill you for this,” Louise said before she spat in his face.  Volari took a handkerchief and wiped the spittle away, before he pressed own hard on her chest, using the opportunity the gasp she emitted to place his lips over hers and start to explore the inside of her mouth with his tongue.


Louise was not expecting this, and tried to wriggle out of the way, but this only seemed to make him more excited, as he pressed firmly down on her shoulders with his hands and kissed her roughly, his tongue moving inside her mouth and playing with hers before he moved down and started to kiss the side of her neck.


Once again Louise tried to use her legs to kick her assailant, and once again she realised that there was something not quite - human about Volari.  “I am Centauri,” he said as he looked at her, “A fact you seem to keep forgetting.


“You are in my command now, Captain,” he whispered into her ear again, “and you will do well to remember that.”  He then pulled hard at her blouse, the material parting neatly under his grasp before he took a large knife and cut away her trousers, then her underwear to reveal her naked body.


“What... What are you going to do to MEEEEEE” Louise screamed as she felt his hands on her chest, groping and pressing hard as his fingers moved across her flesh.  She could feel her breasts moving under his grip - and she could feel her body responding despite herself, her animal instincts overwhelming the coldly logical part of her brain.


“What... What are you doing to me,” she moaned as Volari leaned down and started to kiss her breasts, his lips pulling out her nipples as he sucked hard on them, and Louise could only moan in response.


“Showing you pleasure, showing you why your new life need not be arduous if you submit,” Volari said as he continued his assault on her chest with his hands and lips, Louise starting to move with him.


“No...  No this is not right, stop this,” she cried out before Volari looked at her, and picked up the cloth he had wiped his face with.  Louise clamped her mouth shut, only to cry out in pain again as her captor attached a pair of silver clamps to her, one to each nipple, with a length of silver chain between them.


The shock was such she barely noticed the cloth as it was pushed into her mouth, nor the leather panel that was placed over her mouth until her tongue brushed over the rubber bung and she felt the straps being secured around her head.  She looked up at him, as he stared down at her, his strong hand snow very deliberately and very carefully massaging her chest as she groaned and moved with him.


“Plsdntdts,” she moaned quietly, and then closed her eyes as she felt warmth spreading down her body, the gentle stroking between her legs as he massaged her breasts with both hands making her moan and groan even...


Louise suddenly stared at him as his gown slowly opened, revealing his bare chest and the loose fitting cotton pants Volari was wearing.  He stopped for a moment, removing the garment and dropping it to the floor as she saw the four snake like appendages protruding from his rib cage, two on each side.  One of them was moving down between her legs as she stared at him.


“I am Centauri,” Volari said with a smile, “and we are different - I told you that already.”  His hands pressed firmly into her chest once again as he leaned over, his lips roughly kissing and caressing the side of her neck, while two of the appendages started to stroke down her sides and legs, and the other two moved between her legs, stroking around and into her clit as she gasped into the cloth and rubber gag.


They filled her passage, pressing against sides and finding every single sweet spot as if they were labelled with big neon signs.  Louise had had difficulty holding on before, but now her whole body began to quiver and shake as she felt them expanding inside her, arousing and stimulating her to such a degree that she was unable to stop herself bucking and moaning at the way Volari was treating her.


She knew it was wrong, she knew it was so wrong, and yet, and yet...

“HMGDDDNTSTP!!!” she screamed out as he moved the appendages further into her, and she felt herself starting to come to a climax, her fluids spilling out as she did so.  She opened her eyes and watched as Volari withdrew one limb and brought it to his mouth, licking her juices off as her eyes started to glaze over.


“See?  I am not human, but I can still satisfy you,” he said as he drove the other appendage further in, and Louise screamed in pain and pleasure...







Alex walked onto the bridge of the Achilles as the first officer turned to address David.


“We have a fix on the craft with Captain Simmons - they are ten clicks ahead of us, moving at half light speed.”


David nodded, a grim and determined look on his face as he said “full speed ahead - I want to teach those bastards what it means to kidnap one of our officers like that.”



Louise slowly opened her eyes and looked ahead, wondering what was going to happen next as Volari donned his gown again.


“I think I will keep you,” he eventually said, “but I have rule with my crew - that they get to share the bounty as well.”  Pressing a button on a wall panel, Louise saw the face of one of the raiders appear.


“This one pleases me - you and the crew may have two hours with her before we return to base.”


“Thank you, captain,” the man said as the two female guards returned.


“Take her back to her cell, and make sure she is well secured,” he said as they removed Louise from the table and carried her between them.  Volari took a sip of his wine and nodded, saying to himself “Yes - she will do very well for my harem.”


Louise has expected to be taken back to the cell, but instead she was taken to a different room, where she found the raiding party waiting for her.  “Captain’s orders,” the female guard said as she was dropped onto a bed of cushions, unable to resist as two of the party took her wrists and held them down as the others began to kiss and fondle her.


“Please,” she gasped, “show mercy and I will do whatever you want...”


“We are showing mercy,” the man she had seen earlier said, “We are going to let you live afterwards.”  She felt his hands on her breasts, the touch of rough bearded lips on her neck and body, and she silently steeled herself for the oncoming assault...



“We have the craft on visual, Captain.”


David looked up at the crescent shaped craft.  “Centauri,” he said quietly, “Damn - if they have done anything to her...”


“What do you mean, Captain?”


“Centauri physiology is different from Humans,” David said as he stood up.  “Number one, you have the com.  I want two security personnel in the shuttle bay stat.”


“Where are you going, Captain?”


“To rescue a fellow officer,” David said.  “Give us fifteen standard minutes, then hail them.  Just keep them talking for a while.”


As he entered the shuttle bay, the two security officers stood to attention.


“Let’s go gentlemen,” David said, “and set weapons to disable.  I want these bastards alive.”






Louise screamed out silently, the cloth rag that had been stuffed into her mouth preventing any sound from escaping, as the men kissed and roughly groped her breasts.  They had tied her spread eagled down to the cushions, and stripped the rest of her clothing off.


At the same time, she was glad of one thing - most of them were human.  As bad as it was, as much as she tried to wriggle out of the way, she could cope with that - but her wide eyed expression of fear just seemed to drive them on still further in their lust, their hands now exploring between her legs as she felt their fingers moving inside her passage.


It was the laughter that was the most frightening thing - the raucous, coarse, ringing laughter that filled her ears as they had their way with her.  It showed the level of respect they had for her, her rank and her soul - precisely none.  She would have done anything to silence them, but she was in no position to do so.


Louise moaned and screamed, she tried to block out the feelings she was experiencing, and all the time she kept praying, praying for rescue.





The small red light in the side of the hull did not attract much attention in the deserted hold, as it traced a circle and then the section of the hull fell in wards, David and the two security officers following.


“Number one, life signs?”


“We have located Captain Simmons, sir - she is in a room with several others.  Head North, up two levels and then along.”


“Roger that - time to announce our presence.  Give us two minutes then hail them.”




Louise arched her back and then collapsed into an exhausted, sweat covered heap as the four men stood up.


“The next group will...”  Their words were cut off by the alarm sounding.  Walking to the wall, he touched a switch as the image of Volari appeared.


“An EA vessel has hailed us - prepare yourselves,” he said, before the door to the room exploded inwards, and they turned to see David standing there, the two security officers behind him.


“Go on,” he said quietly as Louise looked at her boyfriend standing there, “do try and resist.  I cannot tell you how much I would like to kill all of you, right here, right now.”


The four men looked at each other, then at David, before they raised their sidearms...




“I assure you, Commander Williams, we have not encountered the Pegasus on our journey.  If we had, I would have said so.”


“I am sure your records will say that, Captain Volari, but I find that I have to disagree with you.  With great regret, of course.”


“Oh, and why do you say that?”  Volari smiled again, but his smile disappeared as he noticed a red light blinking on his console.  “Forgive me, Commander, it appears I have a small problem to deal with on board my ship.”


“I know,” Number One said with a smile, “and if you do not surrender your vessel now, that problem will lead to your destruction.  I am sure we understand each other.”


“Quite so, Commander, I understand you perfectly,” Volari said as he touched a button on the console in front of him.  The room suddenly turned dark, a bright red light flashing as a voice said “Self Destruct Sequence activated - ninety seconds, eighty nine seconds...”




“At ease Number One,” David said from the shuttle, the two security officers sitting with Louise, “We will be with you in thirty.  Prepare to take on board survivors - and if Captain Volari is amongst them, escort him to my quarters with my compliments.”


He turned and looked at Louise.  “The others are safe,” he said with a little smile, “I will need to debrief you later, but for now you need to recover.”


Louise nodded numbly, trying to rationalise what had happened, the blanket round her as she started to shake and cry.  The shuttle approached the dock of the Achilles, as a bright light appeared behind them.




Commander Williams stood, along with the rest of the crew, as David walked in.  “Captain Simmons is in my quarters,” he told a relieved looking Alex as she stepped forward.  “You may speak with her later.  Report, Number One.”


“We have started to pick up survivors and detained them in the holding bay.  I regret to say there is no sign of the Centauri amongst them.”


David nodded, before saying “Very well - keep me informed.  I will be debriefing Captain Simmons.”





“Thank God you found me David - if they had carried on....”


David nodded and gently stroked Louise’s hair as she sat with him in his quarters.  She had changed into a white silk blouse and a knee length blue skirt, and was nestling against his shoulder, her arms around his neck as she kissed him in gratitude.


“You can thank Alex - if she had not planted that tracer on the raider...”


Their thoughts were interrupted by a flashing light on the wall.  “Forgive me,” David said as he went to answer.


“My apologies Captain - we picked up a message, and I think you both need to hear it.”


“Go ahead,” David said, as Louise walked over to join him.  As she heard the strange accent once again, her arms went around his body as she hugged him tightly.


“Well played, Captain Simmons - your rescuer has cost me a great deal, but I am a patient man, and I do not like to lose.  I will keep my eye open for you - and by the Great Maker, I will one day have you again.”


“Volari,” she whispered as David said “Location of message?”


“Unknown Captain.”


“Very well,” he said as he turned the monitor off and held Louise.  “Don’t worry,” he said as they hugged, “He won’t harm you again.”


“Promise,” Louise said as she looked up at him.


“Promise,” he said with a smile as he leaned down and kissed her.









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