Written by Penny Montgomery and Shellie Williams

COMMENTS: SHELLIE: Uhmmmm: Thanks to Penny because without her influence, this would have been a simple h/c snippet. I'm thrilled to be writing a story with her, and look forward to more in the future. Her talent makes this story look good.

PENNY: This started out as a little h/c fun between Shellie and me, but alas, it's turned into a full blown story. Since my last post was a bit smarmy, I'm glad to say I was lured to the dark side. Thanks as always to Maggs and Cass, who let me share their page, and uh, Marla, since you didn't in Deceived, we made up for it here. Thanks a million Shellie, this has been a blast and you do an awesome hurt 'em up fic!

DISCLAIMERS: Don't own, but want to, yada, yada, except Elmore and Dr. Treadly who live in the dark recesses of Shellie's brain. WARNING: This story may be too intense for the young, the squeamish or the overly sensitive reader! No graphic sex, but VERY DETAILED AND DESCRIPTIVE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL TORTURE (J.D. mostly,of course that includes Buck!) So, if you can handle it, enjoy...


Alfred Treadly stood next to the display of cigars in the General Store of Eagle Bend, watching unobtrusively from under his hat brim as J.D. Dunne bought an apple from the store owner's wife. The young man's face glowed with warm friendliness as he smiled at the woman and handed her money. His easy manner and polite attitude obviously appealed to the female and she gave him a maternal pat on the arm.

"Thank you, ma'am." He tipped his hat politely and her mouth widened in a smile.

"You're welcome, young man. What brings you to town?"

"Just pickin' up something from the Sheriff. Me and some other men run things back at Four Corners, and I had some business to attend to here." He puffed his chest a bit when he talked, and the pride he felt in his dealings with the law showed in his voice.

"Oh, that's a shame. I was hoping you were thinking about settling here in Eagle Bend."

"No ma'am. I'm only staying 'till noon, then I'm heading back home. It's sure been nice visiting with ya'll, though." With another polite tip of his hat, J.D. bid the woman good-bye.

Treadly's eyes traveled up and down the kid's form as he mentally took his measurements. Average weight, a little on the short side, but that doesn't matter. Nice, polite, normally socially developed young man. He looks to be around 19, give or take a year. Yes, he'll do perfectly.

He turned as J.D. waked past him and watched him step outside and greet two women as they walked by before continuing across the street.

He's leaving at noon, that barely gives me time. Keeping his head low to avoid eye contact with those around him, Treadly hurriedly left the store. Stealing a glance over his shoulder to make sure he held no one's interest, he walked around to the back where he's left his wagon. He climbed up quickly and snapped the reins, urging the horses forward. No one noticed as he drove out of town.

The air was warm enough to feel good against his back, without being uncomfortably hot as J.D. traveled at an easy canter toward home. A few miles from Eagle Bend he saw a man standing beside his horse in the distance. Curious, he clicked his teeth and touched his mount's sides, urging his horse faster.

The older man stood in the middle of the road, a helpless look of loss on his face. One foot was raised in a halfhearted attempt to climb into the saddle, but it was clear he would need some help.

"Howdy, Mister" J.D. greeted him politely and dismounted beside him. "Need some help?"

"Thank you, son. It took me nearly an hour to get atop her this morning, you'd think I'd have enough sense not to get down till I got to where I was going." His soft, trembling voice lured J.D. in.

"Here, I'll boost ya up," J.D. grinned as he bent down on one knee, offering his hands laced together in a makeshift stirrup.

Relaxed and completely off guard, J.D. was unprepared for the sharp pain that exploded through the base of his skull. His legs collapsed from under him and he fell to the ground then rolled to his side. Through a red haze of near-blinding pain he squinted up at the old man leaning over him. Years fell off the man as he smiled and reached down to squeeze J.D.'s shoulder. "And again I thank you. As soon as I saw you I knew you'd be perfect."

Blackness swirled inside the red and J.D. helplessly closed his eyes and gave into the darkness. His body relaxed on the ground and he was unaware as a huge muscle-bound man stepped out of the bushes beside the road and picked him up as effortlessly as if he were a rag doll. He melted bonelessly into the giant's arms, oblivion blocking out the discomfort as his head hung back and arched his neck painfully. His bowler hat fell off and rolled to a stop in some nearby bushes, but neither man noticed.

"Take him to the house, Elmore and be quick about it. Tie him up like you did the others. I will be there shortly, I have a few more herbs to gather. Bring his horse with you."

Elmore grunted an inarticulate reply and turned to tramp through the underbrush toward the small wagon he had left hidden beside the road. The young man in his arms grew heavy, and he hefted the body higher against his chest, uncaring of the dangling limbs that bumped carelessly into his thighs. He dumped J.D. in the bed of his wagon and covered him with a thick, dirty blanket, then walked back to get the boy's horse. After he'd tied the animal to the wagon, he climbed atop the seat and urged the horses forward.

They arrived at an old and unkempt rambling two-story house about an hour later. Elmore stopped the wagon and pulled J.D. from the back, then entered the house. He quickly stripped most of J.D.'s clothes off, then threw him atop the table like he would a sack of potatoes. The hard thud of a head hitting wood didn't disturb his thoughts as the big man deftly pulled the kid's wrists up, stretching his arms toward the metal rings sunk into the table's corners. He pulled harder and J.D. groaned but didn't waken as his body stretched. Elmore secured the ropes around J.D.'s wrists and looped the thick cord through the rings before tying them off. He did the same thing to the boy's ankles on the other end of the table.

When he was finished, he stepped back and raked his eyes over his charge, making sure all was as he'd been ordered to do. The young body lay taut before him, unmoving except for the gentle rise and fall of J.D.'s chest. His ribs showed in stark relief and his belly hollowed inward from his stretched position. Smiling to himself, Elmore stepped up to his prisoner and laid his hand on the boy's abdomen. His spread fingers and palm covered almost J.D.'s entire abdomen and he grinned as he pressed the tips of his fingers gently into the boy's ribs.

J.D. flinched and Elmore jumped back as if he'd been burned. Turning quickly, he left the room and locked the door behind him.

J.D. woke up disoriented and dizzy and carefully turned his head. He was lying down, but it took him a moment to realize he was on top of a wide wooden table instead of on the floor. From what he could see, the surrounding room was small and dingy. Spent candles stood in puddles of hard wax and dozens of lamps lined cluttered shelves on every wall. Glass containers and bowls were shoved into crevasses and filled the spaces between the candles, but from his position he couldn't see what they held. His perspective took a moment to catch up with his brain and he squeezed his eyes shut when the room seemed to pitch and roll around him. # His arms were over his head and a quick tug let him know his wrists were caught and tied to the corners of the table. Experimenting with his legs brought the same result and his heart began to pound as fear started a small fire in his chest. It wasn't until he lifted his head slightly to look down at himself that he realized most of his clothes were gone. No jacket, no vest, so suspenders, and no shirt. Only his pants had been left to offer him dignity, and he shivered in the room's chill. An unseasonable warm spell had persuaded him lately to go without his long underwear, but the room's chill made him wish for the extra protection. # Remembering the stranger he'd stopped to help made him look around in panic. That old man -- he'd seemed so kind, so helpless on the trail. J.D. looked around himself and wondered where the old man was. His frantic thoughts turned to Buck and the rest of his friends, and he wondered how long they'd wait before one of them grew worried and came looking for him. # The muffled sound of a door opening somewhere in another section of the house alerted J.D. he had company, and he stiffened on the table. Tugging at his restraints only brought discomfort, so he held still and waited. # Before long the door opened and the old man stepped into the room followed by a giant of a man that made J.D. swallow hard with fear. //My god! Where'd *he* come from?// # "Look, I don't know what you think I may have done, but --" The man and his minion shuffled about the room, ignoring him and placing more containers and small bags on the shelves lining the walls. "Can't you let me go now and let's talk about his?" He craned his neck to get a better look, but couldn't see what they were doing. # Finally, the older man finished and walked over to stand next to J.D. He smiled down at his prisoner and reached out to rub one hand down the helpless boy's side. J.D. flinched and pulled away as far as the ropes would allow. # "Get your hands off me, mister! I don't know what you think you're doing, but my friends will be looking for me soon, and you best let me go." # The man frowned and lifted his chin in an obvious command to the man beside him. "Elmore." The name sent the giant to action and he clamped one huge hand against J.D.'s mouth. The kid struggled to breathe as thick fingers nearly blocked his nose and he pulled his head back in an effort to draw in air. "Not too tight, son, we are in need of a live subject." # Elmore loosened his hold but kept his hand firmly against J.D.'s mouth. # "Time for introductions, I suppose. Must remember our manners, despite our barbaric surroundings." Bending at the waist, the old man smiled at his captive. "I am the famous Professor Treadly, and this is my assistant and son, Elmore. You may call me Professor." # Elmore's hand slipped away and J.D. took the opportunity to shout. "Let me go, you son of a --" # A backhanded slap whipped his head around to slam hard into the table and emptied his brain of coherent thought. # "I will allow none of that vile language in this house, boy. Watch your tongue or I will cut it out." # Insistent buzzing in his aching head distracted him, but J.D. heard the threat and clamped his jaw together. His simple world had turned inside out and dumped him into a hell beyond his imagination. The very real glint of a steel blade caught his eye and he turned gasping back to his tormentor. The Professor held a thin knife in his hand and leaned over him. J.D. did his best to sink into the table. # "Do not try me, boy, I do not make threats lightly. One slice of the knife and no more shouting from you. I have other things in mind, though, and I would like to hear your thoughts as you go through some of the… 'trials' I have planned for later. It would be a pity to deprive science of the subject's observations." # Fear climbed inside his heart and exploded in his head. He tugged feebly at the ropes that bound him and was unaware of the pitiful moan escaping from his throat. # "Keep still, now, or I will have Elmore teach you a lesson." Shaking his head like a parent toward an errant child, the old man backed away from the table. "Children should be seen and not heard. I will let you know when I want you to talk. Understand?" # Trembling with frantic horror that numbed his tongue, J.D. simply stared at the man. # "Elmore." # The giant reached down and carefully enveloped J.D.'s neck with one huge claw like hand. He squeezed gently, and J.D. grunted, then gurgled as air was trapped in his throat. # "I said -- Understand? Answer me, boy!" # "...yes...." # "Good enough. Let him go, Elmore." # Elmore seemed reluctant, but he removed his hand from J.D.'s throat and the two men stood passively watching their victim gasp in air, his body arched with the effort to breathe. J.D. felt a touch on his naked belly and he looked down to find the Professor rubbing him. "What--?" # "Rest, my boy. We have a long night ahead of us, and I wouldn't want you tiring too quickly." He patted J.D.'s abdomen gently and without another word, he and Elmore left the room. # The warmth of his palm lingered and J.D. shuddered with the unnerving memory of that old man rubbing his flesh. His eyes were drawn unwillingly to the room's shelves and the mysterious containers they held, and his imagination came alive.   What was going to happen? The man had called him his 'subject' more than once. Visions of unspeakable pain and torment clamored inside his head. Alone with his waking nightmare, J.D. began to panic.