Oathbound

BY : Rubicon_Cross
Category: DC Verse Comics > Wonder Woman
Dragon prints: 61051
Disclaimer: I do not own Wonder Woman or any aspect of DC comics. I am making no money from this. I neither own nor control the fandom surrounding Wonder Woman. This is a work of fantasy. Real life does not and should not work like this.

WONDER WOMAN: OATHBOUND
by
Rubicon Cross / Kimberly Dale
(https://patreon.com/kimberlydale)

Chapter One

 


Countless men (and more than a few women) before me have dreamed of capturing Wonder Woman. I'd love to tell you stories of my ingenuity and iron will, taking a woman who could tear steel in half and decimate half an army and making her mine by sheer superiority.

Well, actually, no I wouldn't love to tell you that, because that's not my thing. But even if we stipulate it was, I couldn't do that. Not and be truthful. The honest truth is, I was lucky.

It was another one of these apocalyptic wars between hero and villain that sometimes litter the landscape. The Justice League was fighting some coalition of villains, and it was a no-holds-barred affair. Superman was facing off against both Bizarro and Black Adam. Batman had his hands full with the Joker, the Penguin and Captain Cold. The Flash was being pinned down by Zoom and -- oh God, I don't know who they all were. I just know it was not going well, and I was caught downtown in Keystone City when it was happening.

And I saw her fight. And she was glorious.

That's the only word. She was glorious. She was glory incarnate. Everything about her made me believe in her.

And I lusted after her. Just like everyone else. Straight women see Diana of Themyscira, and they want her. Gay men reconsider heterosexuality when they see her. I'm not convinced some strains of houseplant don't hunger for her.

Then again, it was a plant that got her. Or a plant girl. Poison Ivy. I know, it seems weird -- here's a green chick that Batman beats every time they meet. Someone who can throw trucks around shouldn't have any problem with her. But she nailed Wonder Woman with some kind of gas bomb. Spores, maybe. Or some sort of mutant plant strain. I don't know what it was, but it made her rubbery, and made her choke. She threw a punch that knocked Poison Ivy back into next week, but the damage had been done.

I watched her plummet then. Fall to Earth, hitting the pavement hard enough to shatter the macadam. Not ten feet away from me.

Helpless. And the bad guys knew it. Deathstroke leapt for her, almost too fast to be seen, and he was clearly going for a kill -- only the Flash tackled him in the last second. The two of them rolled out of the way, and for the moment everyone was too busy to kill or save the Amazon.

Everyone but me.

I'm no one special. I have a degree in English, and a job in a bookstore. But right then, I was the only one near her.

So I crawled out, and I dragged her back. She was shivering, and even her shivers practically threw me back. This woman was strong. But I got her out of the line of fire, and back into an alley. There I picked her up -- not so easy, actually. She's tall, and really strong, so she's heavier than you'd expect for someone so drop dead gorgeous -- and ran to my car.

Why? I can't say. I just knew I had to get out of there or I'd get killed, and if I left her behind in that state, she would get killed. At the time, I'd like to think my intentions were noble.

But I'm no hero. I'm no paragon of virtue. And honestly, what would you have done? I just did it better.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I got her in my car, and reclined her seat, and threw an old blanket over her so she wouldn't be obvious. She moaned softly as I buckled her in, and then I pulled out and got the Hell out of there. I live North of the city, in a small apartment in the basement of a townhouse.

How I got her out of my car, down the stairs and into the apartment I couldn't tell you. How no one saw me I'll never know. Like I said, I was lucky. And my heart was pounding. Here she was -- an Amazon, practically a goddess. And she was in my apartment, unconscious.

I admit. I was tempted right then and there. Peel the costume off her. Do something -- take her. I wanted her.

But I didn't. I didn't because I'm not a rapist. Not like that, anyway. And I didn't because I was scared to death. Scared she'd wake up and tear my arms off. Scared Batman or Superman would show up looking for her -- or one of the Supervillains would find her there.

So I put her on my couch. She lay there, muscles flexing, a sheen of sweat covering her as her amazon body fought the poisons flowing through it. She moaned more than once, but even her moans were strong -- defiant.

And I stared at her. Stared at those legs as they moved, her hips as they shifted. Stared at her breasts and her face and her parted lips. At the rope -- the golden rope tightly held in her hand.

And then she convulsed, throwing an arm out. She caught a bit of the wall, shattering a chunk of drywall like it was tissue paper and exposing the beams beyond it, crying out as her eyes flew open, the lasso falling to the floor.

"It's okay! It's okay!" I shouted. "You're safe!"

"Monsters!" she cried, swinging at the air -- I could feel the rush from it like a stiff wind. I saw her eyes -- her pupils were blown. Jesus Christ, I thought. The most powerful woman on Earth's having a bad trip in my apartment!

She tried to throw herself forward, but she collapsed on the floor. "The visions," she hissed. "I can't -- I must..."

"Can you hear me?" I shouted. "Can you hear me? You've been poisoned! Drugged! You have to stop! You have to stop fighting or you'll take the building down!"

"I -- how can I... what is... Faust! Away with you-- no. No..." She shook her head, her eyes closed tightly as she tried to clear the maelstrom in her thoughts. "Are you real?" she asked, her voice soft as she breathed hard.

"I'm real," I said quietly.

"P-poison?"

"Yes."

"I can't... I need... must... must anchor. Must anchor to truth...."

"What... what can I do?"

She moaned. "The lasso," she hissed. "The lasso."

And I got it.

The lasso was magic. It was part of her legend. Wrap someone in Wonder Woman's golden lasso and they were compelled to tell the truth. Wonder Woman couldn't tell what was real and what was fake -- she was trapped in delirium. The lasso represented truth she couldn't find any more.

"Okay," I said, verrrrry slowly sliding closer to the drugged amazon. "Okay. I'm going to wrap you up in the lasso, okay? I don't want you to fight me, okay? If you fight me... you'll kill me."

"The voice of Darkseid," she whispered. "The voice of evil."

"I'm not Darkseid," I said, lullingly. Soothingly. "I'm not going to hurt you." Carefully, I picked up the rope from where she dropped it. It was smooth -- it felt like metallic cable, but was as flexible as hemp. It was light, too -- this stuff was amazing.

"I... you... I...." she was breathing more raggedly. She looked feverish. She looked horrible.

Slowly... ever so slowly, I wrapped the rope around her upper body. I was behind her, in hopes that if she flailed, she'd flail forward and I wouldn't be killed.

As soon as the rope was draped around her, her muscles relaxed and she slumped forward. She was still feverish, still sweating, but she wasn't trying to fight off invisible parademons or anything.

"Are you okay?"

"I am in a state of confusion," she half-whispered, like her voice was in a trance.

"You are? The lasso didn't cure you?"

"Under the lasso's influence, the hallucinations have faded," she whispered again. "It compels truthful answers from me and gives me enough sense of what is real to not be a threat."

"So... so you're answering like you are because the lasso forces you to answer truthfully, even though you can barely think?"

"Yes." Her voice was soft. Almost docile.

My heart pounded. "Are you a threat? I mean, are you dangerous to me right now?"

"Yes."

Straightforward enough. I swallowed. "How can I neutralize you as a threat to me?" I wasn't thinking in terms of capture, mind. I just didn't want her to accidentally kill me.

"Tie me up in the lasso," she murmured. "As securely as possible. Deny me as much mobility as possible. The lasso's compulsion should keep me focused on where I really am, and if it fails it can hold even me."

"You'll let me do that?"

"So long as at least one strand is coiled around me, I should continue to be anchored. I will not fight you while anchored, though the poisons might make me convulse." It was so strange. Her breath was labored, her body slick with sweat. She was clearly in agony and her mind overwhelmed, but her voice was calm and complete in its answers.

"Okay," I said, softly, and began to work. I made sure to first loop one end of the rope around her, tied with a simple bow. Then, I began to wrap coils around her -- around her hands and legs, encouraging her to bend her knees to make it tight, arms and legs bound together behind her.

It sounds submissive, and it is. It's what I knew how to do. I had an ex girlfriend who got off on being tied up, and I'd gotten good practice in immobilizing her. And I'll admit I was getting pretty turned on. She was sweaty and gorgeous and there, and I was wrapping ropes around her, my hands sliding close to the undersides of her breasts, and then around her thighs... God, I can remember it even now.

And then I was done. She was on her knees, secured and leaning forward, the rope taut enough to hold her in place.

"Are you all right?" I asked, softly.

"No, I am nauseous," she said in that compelled voice. "My body feels like it is on fire. My heart is pounding and I am scared."

"You're scared?" I asked, surprised. "You get scared?"

"All living beings know fear," she answered, as she had to. "I can be frightened like anyone else."

"Oh." I didn't know what else to say there. She didn't seem scared, even though she had every right to be. But then, she was Wonder Woman. "Well, I meant -- are the ropes all right? Do they feel all right?"

"The ropes feel good," she answered.

I blinked. "They do?"

"Yes."

"You... like being tied up?"

"Yes." Just like that. Simple, and quiet.

I blinked again. "Oh," I said. "You... like it... sexually?" My heart was pounding even saying the word.

"Yes. I find being tied up arousing."

"Are...are you aroused now?

"No."

Oh. Of course she wasn't. Her body was on fire and she wanted to throw up -- we'd just covered that. "But the ropes feel good?"

"Yes."

"Well... good." I swallowed. "Do you... does that mean you're aroused when a supervillain captures you?"

"Not usually," she said, her voice slipping out of her body like an echo. I could tell her mind was if anything even less lucid than before. "Though it has happened."

"Do you... have they ever...." I swallowed. "Has a supervillain ever... taken advantage of you while you were tied up?"

"Yes."

I shivered. "Explain?"

"Cheetah bound me and then used me as a bargaining chip with the Teen Titans."

"Oh. Like that. No... I mean... has a villain ever taken advantage of you... suh-sexually." Yes, my voice broke. I was terrified. And turned on like you'd never believe.

"No."

I'm not sure how I felt to hear that. "Have you ever used bondage in a sexual relationship?" I asked.

"No."

"But you'd like to?"

"Yes."

Well, that was plain enough. "Why haven't you experimented with it, then?"

"I have no sexual experience," she answered. "So I have had no opportunity to build the kind of relationship where it could happen."

I was stunned. "You're a virgin?"

"Yes."

I stared. "Third base?" I asked.

"Excuse me?"

"Have you heard the baseball metaphor?"

"Yes. I understand."

"What... how far in the baseball metaphor have you gotten?"

"If I understand it correctly... first base."

"Oh. French kissing?"

"Intense kissing. Some touching, but not of the primary or secondary sexual characteristics."

"Why... not?"

"The situation never seemed right."

"How... how is that possible?"

"Many of the men or women I would find sexually appealing are intimidated by my power, presence, stature or reputation," she said softly. "Others are already in committed relationships. In some cases, a friendship I have built would be potentially compromised if we were to... indulge ourselves."

"But if that weren't the case... you'd start something?"

"No."

"Why not?" I shivered. This was still erotic -- like reading someone's diary, only this time it was in her head.

"I have a certain reputation and position. There would be a risk of compromise if I were to indulge my passions."

"Oh." I blinked, and smiled a bit. "Is that why bondage appeals to you?"

"I do not understand the question."

"Does... are you attracted to bondage because... it means that you're being forced into sexual situations -- there is at least the illusion that you have no choice, so you might as well enjoy it?"

"In part," she said softly. "I also enjoy the sensation of being restrained."

"I... I see," I said. My head was almost swimming. "Um... do you... need anything? To help with the illness?"

"I am thirsty," she said softly. "I am feeling worse."

So I gave her water. And fed her crackers. And I held her hair the time she threw up. I wasn't sure what I would do if she had to use the bathroom -- gone with her, I supposed -- but it didn't come up. I didn't ask her more questions about sex, just then. She seemed in a bad way. I just lapsed into silence and watched her.

It was about twenty minutes into one of those silences when I heard her moan again.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"I'm scared."

"Is it going badly?"

"Yes."

I swallowed. "Are you going to die?"

There was a long pause.

"Wonder Woman?"

"No," she said. "I do not believe so."

I relaxed, just a touch. "How can I help?"

"Talk to me."

"Talk to you?" I was surprised.

"Yes."

"Why?"

"Because I am scared, and because I have always taken comfort in the presence of others," she answered.

"Does... this mean your head is clearing?"

"No. But I can sense the presence of another, and that gives me courage even if I do not understand my surroundings."

"All right."

There was a long pause.

"Do I have to ask you questions to get you to respond?"

"Yes."

"Okay." I looked at her. "Who were the men?"

"What men?"

"The men you would... want to have a relationship with, if it were possible? And why isn't it feasible, other than your reputation?"

"Colonel Steven Trevor," she said. "But he seems older than I do, more paternal than romantic. And he is married. The one you would call Superman, though our values are somewhat different, and he is also married. The one you would call Batman, though we are too different to make it workable, and because he cannot open himself up enough with me. The one you would call Nightwing, though if I were to be in a relationship with him it would complicate my relationship with my sister. Hermes, of the Gods, though I have not worked up the nerve to ask and it would be... complicated at best."

"That's all?"

"There are others, but they are not as prevalent in my fantasies."

"You have fantasies?"

"Yes."

I swallowed. I really wanted to ask her one of them, but I hadn't quite gotten there yet. "You... said... 'the one I could call Superman.' You know his real name?"

"Yes."

"Yes. Yes, of course you do." I shivered, and looked at her. "What do you prefer to be called?"

"Diana."

I nodded. I'd heard that, but I wanted to be sure. "Diana... are you still delirious enough to... to likely not remember what we're saying after you recover?"

"Yes."

I paused. "I... hm. Phrased that badly. Will you remember this conversation after you recover?"

"No."

"Oh. Okay." I looked at her. "Would you... do you find me attractive?"

"I do not know."

"Fair enough. Let me guess -- your physical state makes it hard to figure out your emotional state?"

"In part. I also cannot clearly make you out. Though the lasso compels truth, it has not made me lucid enough to properly judge how I would feel about you."

"That's fair." I sat down close to her. "Do you wear underwear underneath that costume?"

"No."

"Really?"

"I cannot lie while the lasso is around me."

"Does this... line of questioning disturb you?"

"No."

"Because you don't understand it?"

"I do not have a conscious understanding of this conversation. My mind can perceive your presence, and it is comforting to me."

"Good." I looked at her. Maybe part of me was trying to be good, but the temptation was just too great. I'm no iron willed hero. "Why don't you wear underwear?"

"The uniform is designed to be worn over a nude body. The materials cling to skin. Had I worn something beneath it, it might slip."

"So... you don't wear underwear... for modesty's sake?"

"Correct."

"Has the uniform ever slipped?"

"No."

"Has anyone ever taken it off you?"

"No."

"No supervillain has ever stripped you or exposed you?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"A combination of things. Lack of proper opportunity. An understanding of what I would do to them if they did. Inopportune rescue before they would have a chance."

"What... would you do to... a villain... who stripped you?"

"I do not know. It would depend upon the situation."

"Of course." I looked at her. "How... could....."

She waited, her body still slick with sweat.

"Do you need anything else?" I half-whispered. "Food? Or water?"

"Not right now."

I nodded, though she wasn't looking at me. "How... could I... convince you to have a relat... to have sex with me?"

"Convince me it is the only way to execute my mission, presuming I would not be attracted anyhow."

It was so matter of fact. 'Convince me it is the only way to execute my mission.' "What is your mission?" I whispered.

"To teach Man's World peace and harmony, and a better way. To protect the innocent, and fight against evil. To stand with and defend my friends and allies, and teach by word, deed and intention."

"Right." I could hardly believe what I was doing, mind. I was actually trying to figure out how to coerce Wonder Woman into having sex with me. My mind whirled. Teaching Man's World? Peace and harmony or protecting the innocent? Fighting evil? There wasn't any way those could be turned to....

'Defend my friends and allies,' she said.

"Oh," I said softly. "Of course."

I stood up, looking at this beautiful icon before me. I knew that any risk I took could be too much of one. I had to know what I was facing down. "Do you have any weaknesses?" I asked her.

"None that I would acknowledge," she said, her voice still quiet and distant. "I can have innocent lives used against me, forcing me into a submissive stance."

"But you don't lose your powers when we take your belt off or anything?'

"No. Those are rumors."

"Yeah. Of course they are. Do you have any flaws or weaknesses?"

"Yes."

"Such as?"

"If my bracelets are removed, my power and fury become uncontrollable. It is a curse upon the Amazons. It is said that the bracelets can also be made to force us to be docile, but I have never heard of it happening."

"Are there other... side effects like that? In your powers?"

"Not that I'm aware of."

"Where do your powers come from?"

"I am the Goddess of Truth."

I stared. "You're... a Goddess?"

"Yes."

"A Greek Goddess?"

"I serve the pantheon you would call Greek, and I have stood among them as equals."

My heart began to pound. I knew a few things about Greek Mythology. Like I said -- English major when I had been in college.

She continued to kneel, still in her own world.

"Diana?" I asked, barely above a whisper.

"Yes?" she answered, clearly able to hear me.

"Are there... are there any oaths that you can't break? Oaths that bind you completely?" I remembered something from the Illiad, and from other myths....

"Yes."

"What?"

"If I swear an oath by the River Styx, I must obey it, completely, regardless of the consequences," she said softly.

"Or what? You'll be dishonored?"

"It is not a question of dishonor. It is an oath which may not be broken."

I nodded. "So... if you swear by the River Styx... you will have to abide by the terms of that oath?"

"Yes."

"No expiration date?"

"No."

I swallowed, and leaned close. "Diana," I whispered, "would you swear an oath to protect your friends?"

"Depending on the circumstance? Yes."

I swallowed again. My throat was dry. "What circumstances would keep you from swearing that oath?"

"I will not swear an oath to harm innocent people to protect my fellow heroes," she said, her voice still soft.

"Oh. Oh, of course. All right. Diana?"

"Yes?"

"Would you... swear an oath to sacrifice yourself... sexually... to protect your friends?"

"Yes."

"You would?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

"Because my body is not worth more than my friends."

"No. No it isn't." I swallowed once more. I stood up, and slowly walked over to my laptop. I booted it up, and launched the right software to record a podcast. And then I walked back to the Amazon.

She was waiting, body still slick, eyes lidded. She was clearly moving back into sleep. I would have to work quickly, if I was going to do this.

"Diana," I said, my voice shaking slightly. "What is Superman's real name?"

"Kal-El."

I suppressed annoyance. "His secret identity. What is Superman's secret identity."

"Clark Kent." The software's levels jumped as they recorded her voice.

I had no idea who that was. "Where does he live?"

"344 Clinton Street," she said quietly. "Apartment 3-B. Metropolis."

"You said he was married. Who is his wife?"

"Lois Lane."

Okay, I'd heard of her. "All right. What is the Batman's secret identity?"

"Bruce Wayne."

The billionaire? Jesus -- next she was going to tell me Donald Trump was the Green Arrow. "Where does he live?"

We did this for almost a half hour. I asked about her friends in the Justice League. The Teen Titans. Anyone I could think of. I asked for details about their personal lives -- the sorts of things they would only tell their closest confidents. We continued until she fell back into sleep.

I stared at her, as she breathed in and out, and then I saved the file. The file with the Justice League's lives on it. My ears were pounding with blood. I was terrified Batman would burst in right then and beat me senseless. Or any of her other friends.

But they didn't. It gave me a chance to encrypt the file, and take a few steps with it. And then I began to write.

It was ten hours later before she spoke next. "Where am I?" she asked. Her voice was strong. Powerful.

"You're in my apartment," I said, standing and walking around to where she was.

Her muscles were tense. "What have you done to me," she asked. Demanded, really.

"I pulled you out after Poison Ivy poisoned you. Brought you here."

"And tied me up?"

"Whoa -- whoa whoa whoa. Hold on." I leaned close, picking up the loose end of the rope, and wrapped it around my hand where she could see. I'd experimented while she'd slept, and I knew it would compel the truth out of me. "You asked me to tie you up -- you were delirious, a threat to yourself and others, and you thought the lasso would keep you sedate because it would anchor you to the truth."

There was a long pause, and she relaxed, a slight smile on her face. "Apparently it worked," she said. "What is your name?"

I let go of the rope, standing back up. "Tom Dorsey," I said. "No relation to the musician."

She smiled a bit. It made me feel like a heel for a second, seeing that smile. "You seem to have done me a service, Thomas." She smiled a bit more. "Though I think you can untie me now."

I bit my lip. "Not... quite yet," I said. "We have some business first."

She arched an eyebrow, her bearing shifting. She was no fool, of course. "Go on," she said.

"It's about some friends of yours," I said, struggling to keep my voice from shaking or cracking.

"What friends?" That was ice.

I looked at her. "Clark Kent," I said.

Her eyes went wide.

"Bruce Wayne," I continued. "Oliver Queen. Dinah Lance." I paused a long moment. "Donna Troy."

Her expression shifted. It became steel. I knew she was still feeling like Hell, but in that second she was all Wonder Woman.

"You're about to attack me?" I asked.

"Yes," she said. The lasso compelled truth, remember.

"Hold off a moment, and let's talk. I have no intention of using that information against your friends... unless I have to."

Her muscles were coiled. "I'm listening," she said.

"Okay." I paused. "How long would it take for you to escape those ropes before attacking me."

"I wouldn't bother," she said. "I can fly. I'd throw myself at you with the speed of Hermes and slam you into a wall. Then I could work out the knots while you bled." Her voice was cold. And of course, she spoke the truth.

"...of course," I said. "But it wouldn't help." I clicked a button on my laptop, and Diana's voice could be heard, softly betraying the secrets of her closest associates.

She stared at me. "You questioned me while I fought off the illness," she said.

"Yeah," I said. "And the recording's been uploaded... well, elsewhere. If something happens to me, it'll be automatically posted... well, lots of places. Everyone will hear, and learn the Justice League's secret identities." I looked at her. "So killing me wouldn't do any good. In fact, you couldn't even force me to disable the podcasts quickly enough. Or even use the lasso to force me to tell you how to do it. There's not a lot of time, Diana."

"What do you want," she asked.

"I want you."

She paused for a long moment. "This is about sex?"

"Yes."

"You apparently saved my life. Why would you think you had to compel me to have sex with you?"

"Because I'm not looking for a gratitude fuck," I said. The word hung in the room like an odor. It wasn't the kind of thing you said to Diana of Themyscira. "I want something more."

"Something more," she said, with a certain disgust. "And you're willing to use extortion to get it."

"Apparently so."

"What do you have in mind."

I picked up a piece of paper, with the printed oath on it. I set it where she could read it, then stepped back to my computer.

She read it, and her eyes went wide. "You can't be serious," she half-whispered.

"I am."

"I... you can't ask me to swear this oath."

"But I am." I poised my finger over a key. "Either you swear that oath, exactly as it's written -- by the River Styx -- right now, or I'll push this button and the Justice League's secrets will be revealed to the world."

"And you will suffer horribly immediately afterward," she snapped. "Do you have any idea what I will do to you if you release that information?"

"Some," I said. "But to do that, you'd have to be willing to sacrifice their secrets for your body. Are you willing to make them sacrifice for you, Diana?"

"No," she said, then frowned. "Damn it. I forgot--"

"That the lasso means you can't bluff. Are you going to swear this oath, exactly as written, by the River Styx?"

"Yes," she said, defiantly. No long pause -- she had to tell the truth, and I already knew she'd sacrifice herself for her friends and loved ones.

"Then do so."

Now came the pause, as she stared at me.

"Five... four... three... two...."

"I, Diana of Themyscira," she said, her voice cool, her bearing proud, "do swear the following by the River Styx so long as Thomas Dorsy keeps his word to protect my colleagues's identity and secrets: I swear I shall see that Thomas Dorsy comes to no harm over this matter or any other pertaining to me. I swear that for two full days every month, I shall go to Thomas Dorsy, and I shall be his lover for those two days. I swear that during these visits, I shall act as his friend and lover, exploring my sexuality and indulging his desires. I swear that even outside of those days I will only speak kindly of Thomas Dorsy, with never an ill word. I swear that I shall strive to enjoy our time together and explore my passions fully and without reservation. I swear that if these trysts are discovered, I will defend them as consensual and appropriate, and not allow any harm of any kind to come to Thomas Dorsy. I swear that I will allow him to use the Golden Lariat of Truth on me at his discretion, and when bound I will act as though I am his captive, unable to escape. I swear that I will be kind, and warm, and imaginative with him, indulging myself and my own sexual and romantic desires through him, so long as those desires do not cause him to come to any harm. I swear that these restrictions shall be binding upon me so long as he does not violate his word by exposing or otherwise bringing harm to my allies, friends and loved ones. I swear that I will agree to set the visitation times where they are most convenient for Thomas Dorsy, though he shall understand when I must delay or miss a tryst in service to protecting others. However, I also swear that when I must delay, I shall add another twenty four hours to the visit for each day we must delay, and I swear that these delays will only happen when the need is dire and lives are at stake, or when I am physically incapable of making the trip. Finally, I swear that I yield not only to the letter of this oath, but to the spirit and interpretation of it as defined by Thomas Dorsy -- so long as his definition can reasonably be called an interpretation of the oath, and not a disingenuous lie. All of this, I swear by the River Styx, now and forevermore, without end."

I shivered, watching her.

Wonder Woman looked defiant, then shifted back into her crouch. "Well," she said. "That is that."

"Yes," I said.

"Is this our first forty-eight hours, then?"

"No," I said.

She arched an eyebrow. "No?"

"How do you feel physically?"

"Horrible. Nauseous, in considerable pain, and weak. I am nowhere near fully recovered from whatever Poison Ivy did to me."

"Right. And how do you feel emotionally."

"Angry. Scared. Humiliated. Furious at you. Confused and conflicted. Ashamed." She looked defiantly at me. "Should I go on?"

"No," I said. "That's why we're not going to do this now. I want this to be something you enjoy too, and that's not possible right now." I looked in her eyes. "It is possible next time, though. Isn't it?"

Her face burned. "Yes," she said.

"I thought so. Especially if you spend significant time exploring your feelings and how to ensure you can and do enjoy it, yes?"

"Yes."

"Will you do so?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

She kept looking at me, still strong. "Because from now until the day you die, we are going to be lovers, once a month. I cannot resist it. Indeed, I must defend it to any who find out. It makes no sense to rail against it now."

"Agreed."

There was a pause.

"You know I can't untie myself now," she said. "The oath won't let me."

"Oh." I felt stupid. "Right. Right. Hang on. Let me do this first."

"Do what?"

"Delete the file, both locally and on the server. I'm going to wipe them after -- zero them out, so there's no way they can be undeleted."

Diana seemed to relax, slightly. "Good."

I didn't say anything else. Right then, having gotten what I wanted, I was beginning to feel sick. I was just as glad to delete the file.

For the record? I didn't upload it anywhere. It's why I dropped the lasso before I made my claims to Wonder Woman. Why not? Because this was evil enough without actually endangering the Justice League. If I blew my roll and she took me down -- or out -- there was no good reason to take the greatest heroes of our age with me.

"There," I said. "All set." I turned and looked at her.

She was looking at me. Still angry, and clearly still ill, but she was also watching me carefully. Pondering, perhaps.

I looked back at her. "You're quiet."

"I sort of have to be."

"Why?"

"Because I'm upset with you, but I swore a binding oath to only treat you with kindness and kind words." Her eyes narrowed. "And I'm wearing the lasso, so I'm compelled to speak the truth."

I flushed. "The oath is subject to my interpretation. And the injunction to speak with kindness doesn't mean you can't express your opinion to me or about me, so long as you don't do something that could cause me pain or grief."

She inclined her head, carefully. "You'll understand if I be as careful as the lasso allows. At least until you untie me."

"Of course." I paused, looking at her. Realizing, with almost a shiver, that our relationship had begun, even if this wasn't our first night together. And I could see she was realizing the same thing.

I took a deep breath. "Are you thirsty?"

"Yes," she answered.

"Chamomile tea?"

"That... would be nice," she said.

I nodded, and stepped around the beautiful amazon, moving into the kitchen. I didn't offer to untie her, and she didn't ask me to. I did notice her tensing her muscles as I went by, and I remembered what she told me before. About how the sensation of feeling bound felt good to her.

A few minutes later, I carried the drink back out.

She looked up at me. Powerful, but restrained.

I knelt, and lifted the ceramic cup to her lips. Her eyes got wide, but she did not protest.

I gently let her sip.

After a moment, she moved her head back. Silently, I stood, setting the tea down on an end table. I walked around Diana and knelt. Her muscles tensed but again she didn't protest.

My heart was pounding again as I slowly began untying the amazon. Her body was still sweaty -- a reminder she wasn't really healthy, but it was different than the panicked, if erotic act of tying her had been. Diana was poised. Confident and in control of herself. Shifting as needed. And conscious of where my hands were and what they were doing.

I could no doubt get away with feeling her up, but I didn't. It wasn't the right time for that.

Finally, the lasso came free. I stood and moved back, away from the amazon.

Diana stood, her movements fluid, the act almost frighteningly graceful. She stretched slightly, rising about three inches off the floor, before settling on her feet.

"You're not stiff?" I asked.

She arched an eyebrow. "I once spent nine hours crouched over, bracing an entire brownstone's weight on my back until a rescue team could get in to save some children. Do you honestly think a few hours of an uncomfortable position can really hurt me?"

"Heh. I guess not. I... I'm new to all this, Diana."

"I know," she said. She waited a long moment.

I realized I had nothing to say. I bit my lip.

She arched an eyebrow, finally. "Are you going to give me my lasso back?"

I blinked. I'd forgotten I was still holding the rope. Silently, I offered it to her. She accepted, coiling it in her hand. "Would you hand me my tea?" she asked coolly.

"Sure," I said, turning to get the cup.

The sound was like a whip, though it didn't hurt at all. How she managed to get the lasso tied in a slipknot I still don't know, but she got it around me, pulled tight to pin my arms, and pulling me back sharply against her. She caught me carefully -- mindful not to hurt me -- and held me in place.

"Wha--" I think I said, too stunned for any other reaction.

"You didn't intend to do any of this when you pulled me out of harm's way, did you?" she half-whispered, right in my ear.

"No," I said. It was odd. I've read accounts where criminals -- especially those who claimed that Wonder Woman's lasso constituted an illegal search and a violation against self-incrimination -- was unpleasant. An imposition on thought. A compulsion.

It isn't. It doesn't feel like anything at all, at least in your head. It's just... suddenly, there was nothing in you capable of lying or holding back. The concept of deception just doesn't exist any more.

"Why did you intercede?" Her tone was still soft, but very strong. She was in control and she knew it, even though I knew intellectually she wouldn't hurt me.

"I thought you would be killed."

"So you did it to save my life?"

"Yes."

"Why did you bring me here?"

"I didn't think about it. I wanted to get off the street -- someplace safe. And I couldn't leave you out there unprotected."

"Why didn't you call a hospital? Or try to contact the Justice League?"

"It never crossed my mind," I whispered. "And... I didn't want the night to end."

"Why not? Because you planned on coercing me into a sexual relationship?"

"No. Because nothing like this had ever happened to me. And because it was you."

She paused for a moment, considering. "You had no intention of revealing the Justice League's secrets, did you?"

"No," I whispered.

The rope went slack, and she slid it off me. And my heart started beating again.

"How long have I been here?"

"About a day and a half," I said.

"And no one's come looking for me?"

"Not so far."

"Then I have to go. It is possible I'm the only Justice League member still free. Regardless, there is still something very wrong."

"What? But... you're still sick," I said. "You can't possibly--"

"Yes, I can." She stepped away, hooking her lariat to her belt. It seemed smaller and thinner now, though I wasn't sure how it could be. "I have to leave."

"We... need to set a date," I said.

She paused. "Yes," she said. "We do."

"Two weeks from this Friday? That friday night through Sunday night?"

She nodded. "Acceptable. Do we meet here?"

"Yes. At eight o'clock."

"All right then." She moved to the door, that inhuman grace in every step. She paused then, and looked back over her shoulder at me. "You understand I can't thank you for saving my life," she said.

I swallowed. "I wouldn't expect you to."

"Good." She looked at me. "Whatever we make of our new... connection, what you did was wrong, Thomas. And while I will not only help you enjoy it but defend it from all who might enquire? Nothing in my oath prevents me from protecting others from you. If you ever do anything like this to anyone else, you will have to get used to our weekends being conjugal visits in the state penitentiary. Do you understand?"

I nodded. "Of course."

She inclined her head. "Then I will see you soon."

And I watched her leave.

I fell back on my couch. Looking to the side, I could see the damaged drywall. Mute testimony to the goddess that had been here. The room seemed smaller without her.

"Well," I said finally. "The dishes aren't going to wash themselves." And I got back to my everyday life, as if nothing had changed.

 



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