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Introduction:

Brigands then boats then boasts and then bed...
Flights ~ Shen the Skald Book One

Loosen the harness of trust
Survey an impulse of lust
The thespian is far away
Uprooted yet forced to stay

-Opeth, I Feel the Dark


9

When we found them they were laughing and drinking as the sun came up and its rays broke the dark of the wood with shafts of white through gray. It was hard not to leap from the cover of the bushes and drag Chloe free from where she was bound and thrown to the ground by their fire. The bonds, digging into her wrists and ankles, looked cruel; too tight and too confining for such a beautiful woman to be forced to endure.

Of course, I reminded myself, I had placed those bonds upon her.

“I do not know what to do, father,” I whispered into his ear. “There are five of them and only two of us.”

“Three,” Mavia breathed. “There are three of us.”

“You will stay here,” I hissed at her. “Do not go getting yourself killed or caught by these men.”

“I already cut one of them good, Shen,” she said stubbornly, pointing to the blood on the carver’s knife in my father’s fist. “You’re my man, and I will help you.”

“You have a good woman, Shen,” my father said quietly.

Mavia picked up a sharp edged stone and hefted it in her hand before looking at me and nodding curtly. I shook my head and sighed a quiet sigh of exasperation. This would not be easy. Neither would freeing Chloe from the brigands. Mavia’s eager acceptance of whatever strange thing was before her due to her involvement with me troubled me. I had often thought that I would end up with a woman that complimented me more through her denial of what I thought was right than her blind desire to follow. My father had told me my mother was such a woman. I thought Chloe Harver was that woman. Perhaps she was, but what matter that now?

“I have one arrow,” I whispered to them. “One arrow with spoiled flights. And you, father, have but a knife. And now we have a sharp stone. This does not bode well…”

“I can get to the top of the cliff’s ridge,” Mavia suggested. “There I can throw more stones upon them while you and your father rescue Chloe and we can flee.”

“It won’t be enough to flee, girl,” my father told us. “They will pursue. These are desperate men. We will have to kill them to a man.”

Mavia made a face at that, perhaps disturbed by the thought of killing five men. I nodded grimly though, knowing my father was correct. He, more than any, would know the truth of it. He had made a career of dealing with men like this. I had once hoped to grow up to be like him, before I was drawn by the pen and the page and the path of a poet. It had been Colm’s fault; the sort of angry tussle boys get into when they think they are already young men. I broke his nose with a blow, and he broke two of my ribs with his response. The stark finality of two men fighting had not sat well with me.

“Shen,” my father whispered, his hand on my shoulder. “Are you paying attention?”

I shook my head free of memories and nodded. “Yes, sorry. Do you need me to describe their camp, father?”

“I can see it well enough to know. I can fill in the blanks on my own, Shen,” he said. “Let me hold the back of your shirt as we go into the camp, then get us to our things. With a proper blade in my hand we’ll make a fast job of it. Shoot your arrow into the leader once your woman is on the ridge; that will be her signal to cast the stones down on them from above. Then we will rush in. When I have a sword in my hand go for the Harver girl and free her.”

“Are you sure that you are ready to do this, father?” I asked him.

“I am sure that they are ready to do the Harver lass, and so we must be ready too.”

I nodded and looked to Mavia. “Do not be foolish. Stay on the ridge and stay to this plan. My father knows what he is doing.”

“Yes, Shen,” she said obediently. “I won’t disobey you.”

She crept away through the wood and I watched the top of the small cliff so as to see when she was in place. One of the brigands was toying with Chloe, poking her with his boot and making jests about her narrow hips and how he would try to break them. I suppressed a growl and clenched my jaw, nocking my lone shaft to the string of my bow and drawing it half back. Mavia appeared then, her head peeking above a boulder on the ridge fifteen feet above the brigand’s small camp.

“Get ready father,” I breathed.

He nodded and tensed up next to me, his head cocked as he strained to do with his ears what his eyes could not. The brigands were laughing about the sixth of their band, how he had not returned and was likely enjoying the flesh of the girl he’d chased into the woods. One piped up that they should be having such fun as well instead of just talking about it, and made a rough move towards Chloe. Hers eyes went wide in fright and her struggles increased, her shouts of protest loud. The one standing over her held his hand up and shouted that he would be first, and I drew back my bow. Looking down the shaft with the flights caressing my cheek I exhaled and loosed.

The barb took him in the hand, pinning it to his face, and the other four jumped in alarm. There was the faint sound of stone on stone and a rock the size of a man’s chest fell from above and crashed through one of their skin tents. In disarray they looked up, they looked around, they looked everywhere but where it mattered. In my head I found myself thanking Zihn and I dropped my bow and leapt from our cover with my father holding fast to my shirt tails. I barreled into one brigand with my shoulder, knocking him off balance, and my father stepped to that side and plunged the carver’s knife into the man’s chest. I saw where they had thrown our things in a jumbled pile and moved for it. One of the rough men, a pitted and rusted blade held over his head, jumped to my left side but before he could drop his blade into me my father had stepped gracefully towards him and cut his throat.

“Here, Father!” I called, pushing him by the shoulder towards our stolen belongings.

He fumbled for a sword in the stack, pulling it free and swinging it to clear the scabbard from its length. Two remained; both with weapons raised and circling us. A rock pelted off the back of one of them, he shrugged and started and looked over his shoulder and as he did my father came from behind me with a grim set of determination on his old face. The other closed with him, laughing and thinking this easily finished. He lunged with his blade and my father stepped to the side with his head cocked at an angle, hearing more than he was seeing. With a twist of his wrist the brigand’s sword flipped through the air awkwardly and my father smashed his hilt into the man’s face, breaking bone and teeth. The other swung with both hands on his weapon and my father caught the blow on his blade and parried it to the side with a grunt.

“The girl, Shen!” he yelled at me.

I snapped my sight away from the deadly dance my father was weaving and knelt at Chloe’s side to untie the leather thongs I’d placed on her ankles and wrists. The brigands had pulled them tighter and I struggled with the knots. Over my shoulder I saw the broken nosed bandit swipe at my father and cut him on the side, not deep but enough to draw red blood. My father drove the second back with two quick flicks of the sword’s tip to his face, then reversed his grip and stabbed backwards to take the first in the stomach. With a shove on the hilt he shoved the steel deeper into the man and blood bubbled over his lips as he choked on it.

I had Chloe’s wrists free and she sat up to struggle with her ankles. I jumped towards my father’s fray, but he shouldered me out of the way and locked blades with the bandit. Struggling against each other their swords slid and scraped along their lengths until the brigand had to take a step back for balance. When he did my father shoved his right knee up into the man’s groin and pushed with both his arms. The brigand fell to his back on the ground and without a second of hesitation my father threw his shortsword end over end like a knife to thud into the brigand’s neck with a wet crunch.

“Ha ha!” Mavia shouted from the top of the ridge. “We’ve done it Shen!”

My father had a look of satisfaction on his face, and he smiled and nodded in her general direction. Chloe had freed her legs and was rubbing at the marks in her skin from the bonds tight hold. Her soft blonde hair was a mess on her face, dirt and snow and leaves stuck in it and marring its perfection.

“Are you harmed?” I asked her, kneeling at her side where she sat on the ground. “Did they harm you?”

“No more than you,” Chloe spat. “They hadn’t the chance yet.”

“Do you compare me to these men…?” I asked hesitantly.

She only stared at me with a sharp glare, not saying another word. Her eyes were like deep ice, pale blue and cold. Her face, gentle in my memory, was hard and menacing in the present. I stumbled to say the right words. “Chloe…I am not…these men, I’m nothing like…”

“Say nothing, Shen Marth,” she said quiet and cold.

I nodded once and stood. Mavia had clambered down the small cliff from above and while my father squinted and felt his way through our things she was seeing to the horses. Mavia had a natural way with the beasts; I had never been a horseman the way I had never been a warrior, and an appreciation for her started to grow in me. She spoke to them softly and touched them like friends, and they responded to her in kind. I held out my hand to help Chloe to her feet, she refused and stood on her own.

We led the animals away from the dead men in the brigand’s camp until we found a place we could mount and ride free of the tangles of dense forest. We put more distance between ourselves and the blood in silence. Half of one hour later and nearer to the road we stopped in a clearing in a copse of pine.

“You said you were to let me return home this morning,” Chloe said to me in a flat tone.

“Yes,” I said, looking down at the horn of the saddle I sat upon. “About that…”

“I hate you for this, Shen Marth,” she said to me. “I hate you for it but it is the way things have gone and I cannot rewrite what has passed.”

“What are you…?” I started to ask, confused. My father reached clumsily for Mavia’s hand where she sat on her old gray nag and she nodded to him as they turned and rode some way from Chloe and I.

“I hate you for it, but I cannot go now,” Chloe continued, sounding disgusted at her own words. “You’ve saved my virtue and perhaps my life and I cannot just leave now. I must stay with you until the debt is repaid.”

“I hold you to no such debt,” I heard myself saying, startled at my attempt to reject a stroke of fate that freed me from the burden of keeping her with us.

“I do not expect you to understand,” she said, “because it is a matter of honor; something you lack, Shen. My mother and father do not keep strictly to the Scrolls, but my brother and I do. It started as a game when we were young and became our way as we grew older.”

“I do not think I understand,” I said.

“As I said, you could not. What does one like you know of honor?” Chloe asked. “Nevertheless, Shen…I must now travel with you until the debt is paid.”

“This is like something from an old book,” I said lamely. “Debts of honor and the like. I did not take you for the sort to play such frivolous games.”

“My honor is not a game,” she said, sneering at me as she turned her horse to catch up with the others. Over her shoulder she called back, “I am just glad I saw you for who you are before I swooned too hard for you.”

Before I nudged my own horse to follow I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Looking to the right I saw Audin Harver’s specter between two pines, arms crossed and smirking at me. He faded as he turned and went the direction of my father and Mavia and his twin sister with my arrow still standing tall from his back.


10

Esternesse was on a river and barges clogged its docks as we crossed the stone bridge above them on the road to the gate. At the peak of the bridge’s arch a drover with mules pulling a cart waved us down.

“You come from the south east?” he asked. “What word? I’ve heard there are brigands on the road…”

“We slew those brigands,” Mavia said with a crooked smirk while leaning down from her saddle cockily, which drew a chuckle from my father.

“Slew?” the drover asked. “The brigands?”

“Yes!” she piped. “We slew them all!”

The drover looked us over with disbelief in his eyes; a half-blind man, a short young girl with a woman’s breasts, a blonde waif uncomfortable on her horse, and a long haired fletcher’s apprentice. We must have looked like a band of misfits having a laugh at him. “Seriously, fellow travelers; what news of the road to Cotting?”

“That is the news,” I told him. “There were brigands but we slew them. It was a small band, nothing tricky.”

“They were a dozen!” Mavia went on. “And armed to the teeth!”

My father laughed aloud again, and Chloe made a wry grin of her own. The drover, for his part, was still wearing a mask of disbelief and made to move his team past us. “Thank you anyways,” he said.

“We should not spread tales like this,” I said as we made our way through the gate and into the town. “No good will come of it.”

“No harm, either,” my father said. “A tale is as true as its telling, Shen. How many of your mother’s books do you think started as a simple thing and grew in the repeating?”

“We are not on an adventure,” I said.

“Oh but we are, Shen!” Mavia said excitedly, looking around at all the people on the cold streets of Esternesse. “Have you ever seen such a place, Chloe Harver? There are so many people!”

“I’m sure to you it looks very fine,” Chloe said dryly. “This is a small town compared to the cities further north.”

“Will we go to those places, Shen?” Mavia asked me eagerly. “Can we?”

“Yes Shen,” Chloe said pointedly to me. “Where are we going? Do we just ride until we reach the edge of the world? Did you make a plan? Sketch it down on one of your parchments? Or are we just wandering around?”

It had been five days since killing the bandits. Five nights of Mavia’s warm body next to me under our furs in the cold evenings. Five times she had used her perverse words while touching or sucking or making love to me. It was getting harder and harder to look at Chloe during the day as we rode.

“Would it upset any of you if I said ‘no’?” I told them.

I truly did not have a plan. My plan had been born of desperation and had reached its end when I put an arrow in Audin Harver’s back on our second night. I had thought only to get my father free from the danger born of his crime of error. With that fateful event a week behind us I was further from certainty than I had ever been.

“We will make our way as men of old did,” my father said dreamily. He had been far away the last two days, lost behind the mists that clouded his eyes. His wound from the battle with the men who had stolen Chloe from me was healing well, it had been shallow, but the clarity brought on by all the excitement had fled as we rode and he had taken to speaking of nothing most times. “We will take the roads and wander and find our way by the stars…”

“That is a good enough plan for me,” Mavia said, drawing her horse alongside mine and reaching out to hold my hand.

Chloe had a look of disgust on her face, as she usually did. She shook her head and her hair moved like blonde waves on the shores of her shoulders.

“It is not a plan at all,” I protested. “To wander? Are we to be homeless then? Adrift?”

“A man’s home is in his mind,” my father mumbled, casting his eyes upwards and beyond like he was watching things only he could see. “He takes it with him when he rides.”

“I wish to sleep in a bed tonight,” Chloe said. “Can that be made part of the plan?”

“We have money,” I said. “But we should use it for more supplies for the road ahead. We can make a camp outside of the walls this evening.”

“Shen,” my father said to me. “A bed one night is not outside our means.”

“Fine,” I said. “An inn then. For just this one night.”

We found one near the north gate and though I thought to negotiate a price with the owner Chloe took over the conversation and did better than I ever could have with the coin we had. She had a way with merchants it seemed, as Mavia had a way with horses and my father had a way with a blade. It seemed all I had a way with was mischief, and getting us into it. A melancholy was drawing itself across my shoulders like a cloak and I chose to sit in the tavern of the inn with my wrinkled roll of parchment and my mother’s pen while Chloe helped my father with airing out our blankets and Mavia made sure of the horses well being in the stable.

Dead eyes through boughs at night
Pity the man with the fast bow hand
The author pens his plight
Dignity the cost of time’s sand
Slipping through the glass
Ere long from slow slip to fast
Run from a past, not chased
Nor pursued. But running
Flight as muse,
Fright as cue,
Haunted at night
By the man I slew


“You’re a bard?” the bartender asked me, putting a wooden tankard of mead in front of me.

“I haven’t the coin to spare, friend,” I said, pushing the tankard back.

“You write in verse,” he went on, pushing it back to me. “My evening crowd will be in soon. Tell them a tale and your meal and drink is on me.”

“I’m no storyteller,” I said. “My thanks, but I cannot. There are others with me.”

“Then their meals as well if you can amuse a room of drunkards.”

“He is the best storyteller in the land,” Mavia’s voice said at my elbow. I looked at her with a look of warning but she went on anyways. “Shen once held fast an entire band of brigands with a tale while we rescued a maiden they had kidnapped.”

The bartender laughed as he dipped a ladle of mead from the barrel and set it in front of her in a tankard of her own. “That is the story I wish to hear first then.”

“Mavia,” I said as the barkeep went to other customers, dockworkers done work for the day. “What are you doing?”

“Making your skills known, Shen. What kind of woman would I be if I didn’t speak well of my man?”

“You could try speaking the truth about your man,” I said to her.

“It may not have happened, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t have done it anyways.”

I drank deep of the hearty drink and set the tankard down on the bar. “I will do it then, but only because it will spare us coin.”

“That is great news, Shen!” she beamed, putting her arm through my own and pressing her cheek against mine. “And I will be the envy of all the women that hear your words!”

I winced and shook my head at her. She really was little more than a girl. Who else could be so exuberant about our new path, cast adrift as we were to the winds? Who else but a foolish girl would willingly walk this path beside me? My father was daft most of the time, Chloe bound by some errant honor. Mavia had no reason to be here though; none but her own foolishness. I looked into her eyes and saw only mirth, glee, excitement, eager anticipation of whatever trap the gods would put in front of us next.

“Why are you doing this?” I asked her then.

“Doing what? I like to feel your skin against mine…”

“I don’t mean pressing your cheek to mine, Mavia,” I went on. “I mean why are you with me? My father slew yours with a sword and I kidnapped Chloe Harver. Why are you with us?”

“Because you are my man, Shen,” she answered. “If you wish it to be for more than that reason, then know also that I did not want to finish my life as I started it; milking goats and chasing chickens about the barn.”

“It is a good life,” I said to her. “An honest life.”

“Was it good enough for you? I should be satisfied with being a ‘low born famer’s daughter’?”

“You are not low born, Mavia,” I told her. “You could have made a nice life with some man.”

“I cannot hear as well as your father, Shen; but my ears work well enough. You yourself told Colm Ders I was but a low born farmer’s daughter.”

“I spoke harshly,” I said. I surprised she had heard me say that the day I took her girlhood from her…the day before I took her father from her. “I did not mean it.”

“You did mean it, Shen. And it was true. And it is not enough for me.”

I let it drop, asking her instead how the horses fared. I could tell she was aware that I was brushing her comments away like chaff off my shoulder. She seemed to take no offence and let out talk turn from the horses to where we might head next. She was intent on seeing the cities of the coast to the north. I had never seen them but I told her of what I had read in my mother’s books when I was young. I came to see that beneath her flippant and frivolous façade lurked a clever wit and a dangerous edge I had for long been too blinded to see. She had read some of the same books as me, had some of the same dreams, and I found myself genuinely caught up in our talk, wondering how I had missed this all the years she had lived just over the hill from me.

When Chloe and my father came in to the tavern and joined us I remembered then how it had been that I had not noticed that Mavia Hiven had a brain in her pretty young head. It was her eyelashes and the dimples of her smile. As soon as Chloe was within sight Mavia turned her intent face and eager conversation back to the vapid and vacant expression I was more familiar with, batting the lashes and working the smile to appeal to the more base desires of men. I could not ignore what I now knew lay beneath though; the other half of Mavia that her sister Margot did not possess. Intellect hidden well under a polished mask of what men wanted to see in women’s eyes.

Mavia gushed girlishly to Chloe about what a great tale I was going to tell to the rapidly filling tavern. Men freed of the bonds of toil for the day, the women that accompanied them, drunks and revelers and those that wanted only a cup of ale before going home to sleep. Chloe, for her part, was intrigued but not overjoyed for me. Why should she be? My father seemed eager though, clapping me on the back and rubbing his hands in anticipation. With plates of food placed and then emptied and then cleared from in front of us, and with two more tankards of mead to give my courage purchase against my feelings of ineptitude, I stood near the fire when the bartender waved me over after telling those there that a traveling storyteller was to entertain them. There were hearty cheers and claps of approval; a tavern cleaves to free entertainment the way a fresh arrow cleaves to the knife when nocked too deeply.

All seated pulled close, and the standing moved up behind them. In the orange glow of the warm fire behind me a crescent of faces loomed in and in a clear voice I began…

”There were brigands on the road to the south…
That is to say, there were brigands on the road to the south
Before we passed that way five days ago today, friends.
And the bartender said he would pay for my meals, drink and stay
If I told you the way they met their end.
Fall had ended and the snows had descended and we’d been on the road two days;
Forays like this can sometimes go amiss but often in unexpected ways.
One morn while the dawn was breaking I heard the boughs shaking
And as I awoke I looked to the trees
And there in the wood was a sight that if I spoke it
Would bring strong men to their knees.
A wraith floated, speaking, begging me “Shen…please
There is evil afoot and the women are in danger
Take arms and collect your wits
For these brutish shits will take them
And probably rape them”
And this seemed to me good advice from a stranger.
My father was awake and cocking his head
“Shen I hear noises” and I knew he was right
By a few seconds against them we could have led,
But I had at first felt dread as I lay there in bed
And had stalled taking the advice of the dead.
The brigands rushed us and caught us unawares, I’m not ashamed to say
But one woman got away, and that saved the day.
Awakening from a pummeling my father and I and the girl with the knife
Made a plan to snuff the life from those that had taken the woman I wished for my wife.
With stones from above and one arrow and
this small blade
We made away with them in short work, mostly unscathed.
A dozen brigands felled by one small band
And the words of a dead man who wished to lend a hand…”


A hush was across those leaning in towards me in the glow of the fire, and when they saw that I had finished and was pushing my braid back over my left ear they let out a sigh of released tension and the room bubbled with conversation or cheers for me to tell more. I was taken aback, not expecting a simple tale to hold a room so well rapt. My father had a large smile on his face, sipping an ale, content. Mavia was talking with a woman next to her, pointing at me and most likely telling her ‘That’s my man, I’m Shen’s woman.’ Chloe though; Chloe Harver sat with a curious look on her face, her head turned just slightly to the side, looking at me in my eyes. It was not a large tavern, much like the one back home, but the sea of faces between her and I made her look small and far away.

She looked away then, back to her drink, and I looked back to those urging me to tell them another tale. I had never spoken to a crowd of people, and never people I did not know. It was an odd sort of feeling, one I was not prepared for.

“You would like to hear another tale?” I asked them in the clear voice I had adopted.

There were cheers and calls of ‘keep yarning!’ and ‘tell us another of ghosts!’ and so I wove a new story from the air right in front of me. A man haunted by the ghost of someone wrongfully killed, driving him to be the best he could under the watchful of eye of the worst thing he had ever done. I spoke until hoarse, I drank, and then I spoke some more. So pleased was the innkeep at the flow of the ale and mead to the customers that he gave back the coin that Chloe had bartered with for our stay.

I was moving back to join my father and Chloe and Mavia when the man in the robe approached me. He had a keen look in his eye and the chin of a man who says what he pleases. Dressed in blue, with black boots shined bright, he took me by my forearm and nodded and spoke.

“You were born under the sign of Chiron,” he said to me. “Do you keep the Days of Zihn?”

“When it suits me, I do. As with most men,” I answered, pulling away from his grip and trying to get the make of him from his eyes.

“You should come with me to the temple, then,” he said, unblinking grey. “Your star is in ascension.”

“As I said,” I told the man, who seemed surely a priest, “I keep the Days when it suits me. Right now it does not.”

“You speak of ghosts,” he went on. “Wraiths of dead men.”

“A bit of fiction,” I lied. “A tale for the fire was all.”

“Your star is in ascension,” he said again, still unblinking grey.

“Excuse me,” I told him, stepping away. “I have to get back to those I’m with.”

As I walked through the people between me and my father he stayed where he was and just stared. Priest have never bothered me, and there was but one back in Marish, but this one here in his blue robes of Zihn had more intent in his eyes than most men. Taking the mead offered me by the bartender I then turned back to see that he had gone.

“Tell me of the priests of Zihn, father,” I said, leaning down by his ear.

“Priests of Zihn?” he asked me, looking around half-blind. “Priests? Of Zihn? Do you know a tale of the Priests of Zihn, Shen? I would like very much to hear that.”

“Never mind father,” I said, giving up. “Is the ale to your liking?”

He smiled and nodded and rank deep of his cup. Mavia blossomed like a flower with praise of my telling and Chloe sat quietly and seemed deep in thought. She went to bed soon after, and my father quickly followed, leaving me and Mavia alone at the bar. With the others gone her sharp wit returned and we spoke keenly with each other about my tales. Heads warmed with drink we eventually made our way to our room as well and Mavia looked about with eyes wide in awe.

“I have never stayed in an inn before, Shen!” she beamed at me. “Is it true that on the morrow we don’t have to make the bed?”

“I believe that is true,” I told her, shrugging my shoulders. “I have only stayed in inns twice when I was a boy; both times in Cotting.”

“Do you think when nobles travel they have sheets soft as these?” she asked, pulling back the covers on the bed and running her hands along them. They were bleached white, though looked no softer than any at home.

“I do not know of what nobles have or do not,” I replied, unlacing my breeches and turning down the oit lamp on the table.

“We will one day though, Shen,” Mavia said, clutching her hands at her breast and looking off far away somewhere. “We will travel in carriages, and have footmen to bring us things, and neither of us will ever milk a goat again.”

“That sounds very fine,” I said. “Though I think it is somewhat fanciful.”

Mavia pounced on the bed beside me on her hands and knees as I pulled the sheets over my body. She worked at the lacings on the front of her homespun blouse as she continued. “You will see Shen Marth. You will see. We will have all that we want some day. Now that I think of it, neither will ever have to milk a goat again at any rate!”

Growing up I had not liked the goats much. Milk from a cow was a rare treat indeed and thinking of never having to milk an animal for something I did not want anyway ever again was a lighthearted thought. I chuckled then laughed and relaxed for the first time in days. Perhaps for the first time since I had started pining for Chloe Harver. Teasingly, Mavia pulled her unlaced blouse over her head and slipped quickly from her skirt. She slithered under the sheets next to me and her hands began roving about my body slowly and softly. Expecting the improper words to come from her mouth as they always did my thoughts turned immediately to Chloe Harver.

“You’re thinking about her already, aren’t you?” Mavia asked me. I’d grown used to her whispers but here in the room alone for the first time she spoke in her normal voice, soft and high. It was so unlike Chloe’s voice that it broke the illusion that had been forming in my mind.

“Not anymore I’m not, why?”

“I would ask you, Shen Marth,” Mavia said shyly, with her hand on my cock, “to this time think only of me.”

She pushed the sheets back roughly and we lay there naked by the dim glow of a lamp turned low and Mavia crawled slowly atop me. Her thick, long, dark hair was pulled into tails on the sides of her head to keep it out of her face as we rode. It let me see her whole small face with its perfect round cheeks and her mouth that was so full and sensual. She licked her lips and they glistened in the dull yellow light and a giggle escaped past them. She seemed now so far from the lowborn farmer’s daughter I had always taken her as. Her hips, rounded past her slightly soft waist, were not as wide as her skirts made them seem. The curve of her ass tilted out just enough, giving her hips an angle that made me think how foolish I had been to imagine another while laying with her. She was young, barely marrying age, and so her full breasts were pert and firm.

“Why are you looking at me like that, Shen?” Mavia asked with a smile on her lips. She had not a scrap of shyness about her exposed naked body as she leaned on all fours above me. She was slowly lowering her face down towards my stomach and I could feel her warm breath against my skin.

“You are…very beautiful,” I said softly.

“I thought you had noticed before,” she teased me, lifting my cock in her hand and looking up at me under her brow.

“Perhaps not fully,” I breathed, gasping as she licked the underside of my cock with the flat of her small pink tongue. She flicked the tip of it once, quickly, then laughed through her smile.

“So you will think just of me?” she asked coyly, licking again. I nodded with big dumb eyes which slid closed as she wrapped her tongue and her mouth around my cock and started bobbing her head slowly up and down.

It was wet and she was noisy, unlike any time before. With smacks, slurps, and heavy breathing through her nose Mavia worked her hands and her mouth up and down on my cock at a leisurely pace, seeming to savor every moment as much as I did. The sensations coming from her lips and her tongue were something I had never felt before. I did not know that a woman could do this so passionately to a man with her mouth. I opened my eyes and leaned up on my elbows to watch as Mavia stretched her full wet lips around me and sucked on my cock. Her movements became frantic when she saw I was watching, as though she was showing off for her man. After moment of this, then three long and deep strokes, she pounced straddled across me once more.

“I think that you like that very much, do you not?” she asked breathlessly.

I nodded dumbly again, my eyes still wide. She laughed then started to move down again. I stopped her and pulled her to me to kiss. Our tongues intertwined she felt between us with her one free hand and took my hard cock in her grasp. She slid it a few times against her wet and tight slit and started to press my head against her small opening. With a loud groan between her tightly clenched teeth she arched her back and pushed down so I was buried as deep inside her as she could manage. Pumping her hips slowly up and down atop me she grew wet quickly and pushed all the way down. Mavia paused and looked down at my eyes, one of her hair’s tails falling to touch each of my cheeks.

“We’ll ride in carriages, and have footmen, and we’ll just do this all day!” she breathed sensually, and began to gyrate her hips with abandon.

I could not help think that it did not sound so bad, and maybe all things happen as they should. There were worse fates than the one that had befallen me. With my woman astride me like she sat ahorse I took her firm hips in my hands. With giggles and sighs Mavia worked her waist round in circles, pulsing the muscles in her pussy in time my thrusts. Her sighs grew to moans which quickly went louder still and she began calling out ‘yeah’ over and again in a high breathy voice.

Suddenly Mavia lifted herself off me, turned around, and presented her ass with her hips thrust back far. I knelt up behind her and wasted no time putting my cock back past the glistening wet lips of her pussy and pushing it deep up inside. With Mavia’s hips in my hands I fucked her with long and slow strokes, pushing her knees farther apart with mine. She tilted her back at a steeper angle and pushed her face into the bed, reaching back and grabbing each side of her ass with one hand. As I fucked harder her cries grew to screams scarcely muffled by the mattress. Seeing the soft skin around where I went into her pushing in and pulling out with each stroke, I gripped at her harder and started to come.

“Wait Shen!” Mavia panted, pulling away from me and rolling to her back. I moved to straddle her so that she could take my cock back in her mouth as had become our custom, but she spread her legs and guided me back to her pussy instead. “I would like to see you eyes.”

“But…” I started, thinking of our pact that she would not be pregnant just yet.

“Shut up and fuck me Shen,” Mavia breathed, drawing me into her warm and wet place.

I pushed up inside of her and she let out a cry. With my hands on her ribs pushing up at her breasts I pushed in and out of her deep and slow as she watched up at my face and smiled. It did not take long, I had almost been there, and I was soon coming inside Mavia’s pussy. With one long lingering thrust that hit her deep up inside we both cried out and collapsed.

“Carriages, Shen,” she said softly after sometime. I rolled off her and she shuddered as we parted. “Carriages, and footmen, and we’ll do this all day.”

We spoke not another word and fell asleep in each other’s arms. I dreamt of ghosts and things left behind.
7 comments

anonymous readerReport

2012-02-11 19:40:46
jpcfdn Very amusing thoughts, well told, everything is in its place:D

ClyReport

2011-10-06 16:07:51
Hawt. So very hawt.

anonymous readerReport

2011-10-05 21:34:22
Poor Shen.
Such abuse he gets! -chuckles- But I can't say I don't like the amount of mystery that the potentially holds, especially dealing with the Priests of Zihn and the fact that he can see... well, ghosts and the fairy tales of old. However, your prose is quite good.
TCO~

anonymous readerReport

2011-10-04 13:57:16
like it alot! great work as per usual.

PlotFan666Report

2011-10-04 03:05:20
I registered for an account on this website today so I could put my name to my positive votes for your writing. I've read everything since Muse (1). Not as it came out tho, but I caught up fast.

You are fucking amazing sir. Please teach my boyfriend how to fuck me. Or maybe you can just fuck me.

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