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It was impossible, of course. Her wrists and ankles remained restrained to the bed until one of the healers returned to release her. That was unlikely to be until morning, still many hours away.

Tears of frustration rolled down Shardine’s cheeks. The itch needed satisfying, and there was nothing she could do about it. She tried to sleep, but that too was now impossible. It felt as though the morning would never arrive.

When, finally, morning did arrive, it crashed in on Shardine in the form of two matogles and a vixling, bringing her breakfast after an argument over whether they should wash her properly first. The argument was somewhat one-sided. Although they thought they should and she thought they should not, as she was still firmly attached to the bed and unable even to aim a punch at any of them on this occasion, she had little choice but to submit to their wishes.

She groaned, as the vixling once again seemed to be washing unnecessarily thoroughly between her legs.

“Does it still hurt a lot down there?” asked one of the matogles.

“No,” Shardine replied crossly. “You wouldn’t want your bits played with either, when you desperately need the bathroom. I’ll be pissing all over you in a minute if you carry on like that.”

“I wasn’t playing,” protested the vixling stepping back immediately. “I was washing.

“Yeah. Right. Of course you were,” Shardine sneered at her, although if she were being truthful she now regretted her comment. The attentions of the vixling with warm water and the sponge were rather pleasant, although far from what she had longed for all night.

After the wash, they released Shardine’s restraints. Clearly they were more than a little nervous of what she might do. As soon as she was free, all three of them stood back out of range of any punch or kick, and ready to grab her arms or legs and hold her if necessary.

Shardine merely sat up, squeezing her thighs together with a shudder and in relief at being able to do that after having had her legs held forcibly apart for those long hours of darkness. She swung her legs over the side of the bed and sat there, looking straight at the three healers without a trace of anger or hostility on her face.

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