"So," said Darwen. "Do you think you can handle three?"

"We're only little" offered the girl with the long blonde curls. He hadn't met her yet. She looked young, or was that just because she was small, like all the Breton women.

The third was Virgilia, who wasn't exactly little. Not in the important places. But she was a lot shorter than the Daedra women, or the Nords, or Sugar, and definitely smaller than Silanu!

It was just that he was comparing her to a petite Breton and a slender Wood elf. She was probably as young as the Breton, and still as giggly as a schoolgirl. That could just be an act, of course, but he liked it.

She was wearing a dress this time, at least for the moment. That didn't fit the schoolgirl image, as it was cut to emphasise her shape, and show off her breasts. It was a rich velvet, with a deep blue color that matched her eyes, and a texture that invited his hands.

But Virgilia didn't want all of his attention - yet. She wanted to introduce him to Meena, the blonde. Meena was a diminutive of Hermine. Hermine Alliot, of the Harcane Grove. She'd have a special tale to tell him tomorrow, so they wouldn't spoil that now. The only thing they'd reveal was that she learned about sex from watching wild animals, so the others were teaching her all the other ways. He'd help with her education, wouldn't he?

"All the other ways?" he asked "How many are we talking about?"

"More than we have time for, but we can cover the basics tonight, and see how far we get," smiled Darwen, slipping out of her buckskins. "Help Meena with her dress, she's still re-learning buttons, too."

They were round the back, where nobody can comfortably reach for themselves. He'd always suspected they were put there so that help would be required. Women are just so devious! He let Meena undo his buttons in return. She did seem unused to them, but at least she could see what she was doing with these.

Darwen and Virgilia were waiting for them on the bed. They took turns to show Meena what to do, and she copied them. Some of the positions were new to him, so Meena wasn't the only one getting an education.

The reporter's next interview was with Meena, the cute little Breton with the intriguing mystery past they'd alluded to last night. He was eager to have it all revealed to him. Her story, he remininded himself. She'd revealed everything else most thoroughly the night before.

When I met "the Boss" I was a virgin. I didn't have any choice in the matter, I was guarded night and day to keep me that way.

You see, Hircine wanted a Unicorn horn for his collection, and they're rare, to say the least. It's not easy to create a Unicorn, and it takes a long time. You have to start with a white horse, and keep it in close contact with a virgin while the horn grows. That takes years.

I didn't know any of that to start with, or none of my story would have happened. I was maybe ten at the time, travelling with my parents down towards Bravil, when we were attacked by bandits. Someone grabbed me and carried me off, and I lost sight of my parents.

They took me to a shrine in the woods, and showed me a white colt that looked as nervous as I was. They told me they wanted me to look after the horse, and I'd be able to ride him when he got a little bigger. If I wouldn't do what they said, then they had some wolves that needed a meal.

I went over to the horse, and he seemed to calm down when I touched him. Someone handed me an apple to feed him, but no knife to cut it with. It was too big to feed him it all at once, so I had to bite pieces off.

They led us to a little valley in the woods where there was a small stream for water, and plenty of grazing for the horse. I got a bedroll on the ground, and a sack with some bread and cheese in it They left me there with the horse, and walked off, back towards the shrine.

I started to run off after them, but a Minotaur blocked my path! I was terrified, of course, but the creature didn't do anything but stand in the way. I walked back to where the horse was nibbling the grass. The Minotaur watched me, but didn't follow.

Over the next few days I discovered that there were at least three of the Minotaurs patrolling around the edge of the grove. If I tried to leave they'd be there to turn me back. The same for the horse. He couldn't leave either.

Eventually I got up the courage to try running past them. The Minotaur was faster than I was, and carried me back, kicking and yelling to the middle of the grove, where he gave me a beating to discourage any further attempts.

The Unicorn didn't try to escape until much later. He was big enough by then for me to ride on his back, but I wasn't riding when he tried to run off. He'd be faster without me. His horn had started to show too, but it was still just a little bony bump on his forehead, and no use as a weapon. He was quick, but the Minotaurs seemed to know where he was headed, and knocked him down.

He was frightened more than hurt, and ran back to me for comfort. He'd do that many more times in the years we were there. The Minotaurs never did us any real damage, but it always hurt.

I was growing, too, and my clothes were getting worn out and tight. My shoes hurt my feet, so I stopped wearing them, and then I wore holes through my stockings. My blouse wouldn't fasten any more, and my skirt was torn in several places. Pretty soon, I'd stopped wearing anything.

A fresh sack of food would arrive while I slept each night, and I had hoped that new clothes would come the same way. Apparently I didn't need to wear anything to look after the Unicorn, so I didn't get any.At the rate my hair was growing, perhaps that would cover me soon!

It wasn't just my hair growing. I was starting to change shape, too. And there were other changes. I could see the horse becoming a Unicorn before my eyes. I wondered if I was turning into something else, too.

Just a woman, it turned out. That's a bit scary, if there's nobody to explain what's happening.

I didn't know much about sex, of course. My parents had only told me what I wasn't to let boys do to me. At that age, I hadn't a clue why they'd want to do that anyway. Out here in nature every day, I'd watched wolves, or deer, a few times, so I was starting to get the picture.

The males always seemed to know when the females were ready for them by smell. I could see him sniiffing the air, and he'd go trotting off towards her with, how shall I put this? Increased interest?

My own cycles seemed to cause some sniffing, too. My Unicorn would flare his nostrils, and sometimes he'd scare me with how he reacted. The Minotaurs sampling the air were even more of a worry. as they're half-human. Except that they had nothing to react with. No wonder they were such a bad-tempered bunch!

Riding the Unicorn was making me feel different, too. The more excited it made me, the faster the Unicorn's horn seemed to grow. It was getting quite long now, and he was becoming more aggressive to the other animals around the grove. He was always so gentle with me though.

One day, I found a man's dead body near the edge of the grove. He was wearing leather, and carrying a bow, but they were all useless now. He'd been badly hacked with an axe, it appeared. Just like the Minotaurs were carrying. One of them saw me and drove me away from the corpse, before he picked him up and carried him away.

I was beginning to understand it all now. The Minotaurs weren't there just as jailors for myself and the Unicorn, but also to stop the hunters from taking the prizes before they were ready. One prize was the Unicorn's horn, of course, and another was me.

I sat down and worked it all out. The Unicorn's horn had been growing really quickly recently, so obviously the older we were, the faster it grew. But there had to be a reason why they needed me here. Was it because the horn wouldn't grow if I wasn't with the Unicorn?

And then there was the question of why me, and not any other girl. Perhaps it was hard to find girls who hadn't done it?

And now the horn had grown big enough for the hunters to start coming, why was I still a prisoner? What would happen if they let me out now? Presumably the horn would stop growing, but was that all? Then it struck me. Maybe the horn would fall off and get lost! That had to be it, nothing else made sense.

But it wouldn't just be going away. It would be what I could do if I went away. That's why they kept all men away from me. Why the Minotaurs didn't have everything they were born with.

I wasn't going to let anyone kill my Unicorn, of course. That horn represented several years of my life, and so I didn't want it wasted, either. The two of us had to escape together, and find a way for me to lose my virginity without the horn getting lost in the woods.

The three Minotaurs were more than a match for us, so we'd need outside help just to get away. When another hunter approached the grove and the Minotaur started towards him, we ran over in the opposite direction and drew the other two Minotaurs with us, to stop us escaping. That left the hunter with only one Minotaur to deal with.

One was enough, especially one with an enchanted warhammer to swing. But the tactic was promising, if the right hero turned up.

And of course he did, or I wouldn't be here today. The Minotaurs fell one by one, and My Hero strode into the grove.

Well, limped, actually, because he'd not escaped totally unscathed. Fortunately, I was riding the Unicorn and he'd put away his weapons, so the Unicorn didn't attack. He was quite calm. I was the exact opposite.

My new Hero told me Hircine had sent him for the horn, and I told him everything I knew about it. He agreed with my theory about how it all worked, and said he knew just how to get the horn without harming its owner. I just had to follow him to Anvil.

I didn't know how far Anvil was, or I might not have agreed. We had to travel very carefully as we couldn't get into any fights along the way. He didn't dare draw a weapon because it would provoke the Unicorn, I didn't have any, and we didn't want the Unicorn to run off chasing anyone.

Well, eventually we arrived at the stables outside town. We put the Unicorn in a stall and closed the gate behind it. The man at the stables, Ernest, rented us a bedroll in the next stall so we could do the rest, without getting too far from the Unicorn.

The following morning, there was just an ordinary white horse in the next stall, and a horn lying on the ground. We were neither as unique as we were the day before, but I didn't regret anything. I'd do it all again, especially that last part!

That's when he told me about Gweden. I had a lot of catching up to do, and there wasn't a better place to do it. He had to go back to Hircine's shrine with the horn, but he'd see me there as soon as he returned.

Tsarrina had been told I was coming and had Juliana help me settle in. She even shared her next customer with me. As she put it "He doesn't know you're inexperienced, he's never done it before himself. Just stay one step ahead and lead him." He was a nice lad, eager to please, and exteremely grateful for everything. And why not, when he was getting two for the price of one?

And what happened to the Unicorn? I leave my white stallion down at the stables, and he's making me gold the same way I earn it. Isn't it strange how the stallions make all the money, but the men have to pay us?