The Enchanted Rider Ch. 02
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Note: I kind of got caught up in the story in the middle, but I promise, there’s good stuff at the end that’s worth sticking around for. Let me know what you think in the comments… Thanks for reading.
Sleeping in a hammock is tricky enough alone, but add a companion and things really get sketchy. Jameson was glad that this particular companion had experience with hammock sleeping. Her life as a thief lent it’s self to the convenience of a hammock as they could be set up virtually anywhere up and out of the way. His reasoning for adopting the hammock was different than hers. On the road with a tent, it was easy for him to find somewhere to camp, but usually difficult to secure it from the roving undead. Taking to the trees was, for him, less about avoiding the hand of the law than it was keeping his skin out of the bellies of some zombie.
That was the problem with the land in this era. The war between Melesius and Cavernon ravaged both so severely that the Cavernon Magi took to dark magics. Their intention was to create a gas that would paralyze their foes, turning the tide in the stalemated war. The gas did not work as intended. It killed. Friend or foe alike fell to it’s purple haze and was indiscriminate in it’s zeal.
When the haze dissipated, the real hell began. Those that had fallen, awoke. Hungry for the flesh of the living. They had little use for animals, seeming to crave the life force of any sentient and were contagious, their dark curse shared to those they killed. This plague washed over the continent in weeks. Thousands upon thousands fell and rose, bolstering their numbers. Mundanes who fell awoke mindless, barely able to jog, and unable to climb, their higher functions like balance all but gone. Nothing on their simple minds other than their evil hunger.
Magic users on the other hand lost their past, but retained most of their magic and facilities but shared the hunger of their more simple brothers. These, the Black Lich, lost but hungry became the generals in the new war. They found themselves able to control the mindless masses at a basic level. The more lives they or their minions killed, the more of the mindless they were able to control. Some were quite powerful, but those were rare, thankfully.
The infection had started in the middle of the continent of Hengar and spread to the points of the compass, even crossing the oceans on board ships. North, those in Cavernon were unprepared, their supply lines acting like a conduit for the undead, funneling them toward the main city. South, the people of Melesius fared little better, their more heavy forests doing little to slow down the advancing infection.
Thispin, in the west and largely an observer and supplier to both sides in the war, was besieged but not destroyed since their spies were able to warn their generals to raise the gates to their walled city after observing the massacres in other towns. They found themselves under siege against an enemy they knew not how to fight.
It was a Carvanon general who figured out that destroying the brain and burning the body permanently destroyed the undead. He sent riders out to all cities on Henegar and likely saved thousands of lives as armies in all the cities, most backed into defensive fortifications, sallied forth with the new tactic and cleansed their lands of the menace with swords and torches.
The next several years saw armies, State sponsored or Independent, ride the country side and destroy any undead they found. Most of the continent became cleansed, but there remained areas where people still fear to tread. Basements, caves, the occasional out of the way village all can hold the danger of the undead.
Jameson looked to his bed mate. Her taut muscles, now fully able to move after last night, rippled subtly under her tan skin as she moved in her sleep. Her mane of blonde hair spread over their pillow like the morning’s sunrise over a farmer’s field. Carefully, he moved a few strands away from her beautiful face. Ice blue eyes opened and fixed him with a gaze before half closing in a delicious smile.
“Good morning, thief,” He said, smiling.
“Good morning, my lord,” she said, returning his smile. “It feels like you have work for me, this morning.” Her hand, small but calloused from fighting and hard work, gripped most of his impressive member and absentmindedly stroked up and down.
He closed his eyes, enjoying the pleasure she was bringing him. “You may be onto something. Mmmmm.” His breath caught for a second. “And just what were you dreaming about to get you so moist?” The slick sounds of his fingers tracing over her most delicate of flesh could be heard in the cool morning air.
It was her turn for her eyes to close as she enjoyed the sensation. She adjusted herself in the hammock carefully, and guided his length to her opening. He rubbed his slick fingers over himself and positioned his hands on either side of her, raising up between her muscular thighs. The hammock Escort İstanbul swayed gently as he adjusted positions.
“I dreamt that a foul lord captured me… Mmmmm… and made me his sex slave.” A smile played on her lips, eyes still closed.
He moved his hips slightly, the large knob of him entering her briefly and retreating. It drew out a small mewing sound from her full lips. He re-entered again, just deeper this time and again retreated before gliding up and down her moist slit a few times.
“Foul?” He smiled, looking at her beauty, his glans resting on her throbbing clit. She could feel his heat on her, every movement sending little shocks to her nipples.
“A lord most foul.” She opened her eyes, ice blue looking into dark blue.
He entered her again, and her eyes opened wide. He stopped only part way in, backed most of the way out and repeated. Never giving her everything. Her eyes closed at the delicious sensations his impressive member pulled from her. This would be a good fucking from most men, but he had some in reserve. She felt stretched and filled, and yet she knew there was more. He pulled nearly out, smiling and slid further in, then back. It took a few strokes, but soon he was giving her long, languid strokes.
He stopped, his weighty balls resting where the two lovers met, cock buried deep in her center.
“A foul lord is cruel, or thinks only of themselves, no?” He smiled down at her and she smiled back, nodding. He gave her a few fairly quick strokes and stopped again causing her to close her eyes at the wonderful feeling. Her eyes opened slowly when he stopped. He was again smiling, a fine sheen of sweat on his brow.
“I try to care for my people…” He worked himself in and out at a good pace, her eyes closed again, her breathing coming in gasps as her hands pulled at his back and her legs wrapped around his back.
“Though I always get what I want… ” He adjusted his position subtly and his cock stroked her clit with every stroke, and the thick glans massaged her insides as it moved. Her hips bucked and she bit her lip, trying not to make too much noise. Still, little ‘Mmm Mmms’ accompanied every stroke.
“And what I want is for you to come…” This last was whispered into her ear, a husky, breathy order as his hips slapped into her over and over, his shaft rubbing her clit with every stroke. The slap slap sound reached a crescendo as her muscles inside gripped him tightly increasing the friction for them both.
“Ohh Ohh Ohh…” Her legs pulled him to her and held him there.
“Oh Gods, Gaiellll…” Me moaned in her ear, and they both came, himself to the hilt in her, filling her to overflowing. She could feel him pulsing in her, and it only prolonged her orgasm, the thickness of him stimulating her further, and she could feel their leaking fluids leaving her.
He held himself in her, shifting only slightly to lay beside her, still between her warm thighs. Their breathing was still labored as he planted kisses on her shoulder then laid his sweaty forehead against her hair. She used her strong arms to squeeze him tight, and he returned the affection. Theirs was a strange relationship, having started when she tried to steal his sword. Yet it is he, who had seemed to steal something from her.
Dressed and camp broken, they talked about their plans from there.
“Until last night, I had planned to travel to Dromenshire. I’m to meet Cheeves and get some coin. Then it’s off to Drafenel. I hear they are putting together a Company to go against a Black Lich that occupies the tower at Jamel’s pass.” He was sitting on his stump, his horse saddled and standing next to hers also with saddle. Most of her gear now resided in his small magic bag, so her horse looked barren to her, being that she was used to seeing it burdened with more than the saddle bags it now wore.
“Until last night?” She poked at the cooling coals of what was their fire with a stick, and looked to him, a half smile on her lips.
“My… focus… has changed.” He turned his gaze to the ground for a second before looking again to her, and smiling. “I think I will take some time off from risking my life.”
“I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but…” she paused, looking at the ground. “You caught and bedded a thief. That’s hardly a reason to put down roots.”
She walked to him, and they grasped hands, him looking up at her. He patted his knee, and she sat.
“There is more to it than that, though, truth be told, I think I would be willing to see if a seed so strangely planted could grow into something magnificent.”
She shifted her gaze from the ground to look into his eyes.
“I’m not really used to that kind of thing, let alone the sentiment.” Her voice was far away, vulnerable.
He pulled her close, his arm over her shoulder, pulling her in protectively. “Maybe you haven’t met someone like me?”
Their kiss was beautiful. Soft. Tender. Their lips played with one another. Finally İstanbul Escort Bayan they pulled themselves apart.
“Why do you risk your life anyways? Aren’t you a landed lord?”
“I am. However, I need experience in battle so I can open my school with some recognition. I was young during the great war, so I fought in no battles. My parents saw to that.” His face was hard, the last words bitter. His face softened. “Before he died my father was the King’s best swordsman. He never wanted me in war, though he taught me much. I think that’s why he had me educated in magics.”
She had an arm wrapped under his and toyed with his ear lovingly. “How did they die? You speak like one with no family.”
There was a long pause. “One of the first Lich encountered found my parent’s country home. Father killed 80 undead. Mother… did I mention she was a mage? Anyway, she killed maybe another 30.” His words grew quiet. Eyes closed, he continued.
“When the guard came from the neighboring town, alerted of trouble by the smoke from my mother setting the damned undead on fire, there were 4 left and the Lich.” There was another lengthy pause and she held him tight. “40 knights fell, but eventually so did the Lich and the remaining undead. The lands fell to me. At the time 17, and away at Cavernon, learning languages and magics.” He patted her butt, encouraging her to stand.
They stood and he held her hands in his. “Now I travel and try to grow my name. Soon, I won’t need to battle anymore and can do as my father did, teaching a new crop of warriors. That’s a few years out yet, but I have found something else that I can concentrate on for a while.”
They kissed long and passionately, his hand running over her braided hair. Moments went by. Finally, they came up for air, resting their foreheads together, eyes closed.
“It’s been years since I have had feelings for a man, let alone feelings this strong or so sudden.” Her words were quiet, a lonely tear fell down her cheek. She wiped it away, though he noticed anyway.
“I know not why I feel for you like I do. I pray to the gods that you do not hurt me. My body can take pain, my heart not so well, so I usually keep it covered,” she looked at him, suddenly very vulnerable.
“Yet there was something about you…” Her words tapered off. He kissed her again and they embraced.
Their heads were together, his face in her hair, the smell of her in his nostrils. “I vow to protect your heart.” His words were quiet, genuine.
“I come to steal your sword, and you steal my heart.” You could barely hear her words as the tears ran down her cheek. She was glad she couldn’t see her face. A hard life lived insisted she keep a tough outside appearance.
They had decided to ride on to Dromenshire. The town was fairly large, and would do well as a stop. He’d never been there, but it was on the way. A good sized place to have a rest.
Both were seasoned travelers, so each wore their armor as they rode. His, modeled after the Lorica Segmentata with an armored Kilt like skirt, and hers was the curious concealed ring mail under leather. She rode with her hood up, her muscular build and straight posture usually taken as that of a man, something a traveling woman looked to cultivate.
Riding with as impressive a man as Jameson looked in his armor gave her much comfort, and secretly a touch of lust. She had seen him work out, and was sure he could handle him self in a fight as well as he handled himself in bed. She smiled at herself as they rode, that thought in her head.
The ride was full of conversation and banter. She was quick witted and sharp, fast to make fun. He was smart and curious, always full of questions. They learned much about each other, their habits, likes, dislikes. They did not expect to be so alike, but in many ways, their traveling lives came from similar places even if they started so far apart.
Eventually they could make out the town gates in the distance. The town’s palisade looked well taken care of. In places it was being converted to stone, suggesting the wall had been there some time and the town had money. There were a couple archers on watch in high towers at the wall corners. Overall a good idea, though Jameson thought they would be better served if they were in covered buildings so the enemy couldn’t tell number or get a shot on them. Maybe he’d make a suggestion to the watch commander when he saw him.
They rode along the dirt lane to the gates, farmer’s fields on each side being busily worked by groups of men and some children. Dromenshire had made a remarkable recovery in the years since the war, though Jameson had to remind himself that this was quite West of most of the heavy fighting, so they may not have had such a hard time of it.
“You ever been here, Gaiel?” Jameson looked around at the new looking farmhouses and outbuildings.
“Once three years ago, passing through. It was at night. I stayed in a farmer’s loft, Anadolu Yakası Escort and left at sunrise.” She looked around more. “It was actually that way,” pointing to the outskirts of town. “The farmer was poor, and I was flush with coin on my way to the Sea, but I didn’t want to stay in town, so I traded gold for a meal and a hay bed.”
“Ahh the life of a thief,” he joked.
“It’s served me well so far.” Her smile was wide and beautiful.
When they were several hundred yards from the Gates, the massive wooden things closed, and two guards moved to the middle of the hard packed lane, two more on either side of the gate.
The guards were dressed in Hauberks with a red and black Tabard. A skull adorned the black side at chest level, and a Sun the red side.
“Curious tabards,” Jameson said quietly as they approached the guards. They stopped maybe ten yards from the two guardsmen.
“Hello travelers,” said the larger of the two. He wasn’t fat, just thick everywhere with a booming voice. His companion was shorter, but not by much. They both wore long-swords at their hips, and curious helmets with pointed tops and mail cowls protecting the neck area.
“Hoi!” Jameson, raised his right hand in greeting. They were using the trade language, and he answered intentionally in his native Thispin.
“A Thispinite,” the large one said with a smile, still speaking Trade. Jameson cashed in on his heritage mainly because something about this town made the hair on the back of his neck stand up and Thispin was as close to neutral as any country on the continent and one flush with cash. Most towns don’t close their gates to travelers during the day. “What brings you this far inland, friend?”
He switched to common, “I have a modest holding in Thispin and I had my man courier some papers here.” Jameson wasn’t lying, but wasn’t exactly telling the truth either. “Has he arrived?”
The smaller man spoke this time. “He has. Arrived two days hence.” His Thispin was perfect. “Just where is your land?” His smile was wide, but unconvincing. He was being tested.
“Do you know Halfecht?” The man nodded. “It’s just east of that. Killvarrel Estates. It’s a small vineyard, but we wish to grow.” The facts were mostly true. He did own it, but through a company. His family lands were well known, so he’d purchased the vineyard as a way to make money for his travels with some anonymity.
“I don’t know of that, but that area is known for their wines, so you will do fine, I’d wager.”
The larger man cleared his throat, his left hand resting absently on his sword hilt. “How long will you be staying?”
“Oh, I’d say no more than one night. Our mounts willn’t need much, we’re just out of Wallovia, and just need a quick rest before we continue onto Breanberg. That’s where we hope to make our deal.”
The two guards exchanged looks, and the small one continued. “Your man awaits you at the Bent Oak, near the town square. However, I must insist you leave your blades with us until you leave. Daggers are OK, but your sword and crossbow must stay.”
Gaiel looked to Jameson who smiled wide, clearly false, but genuine looking enough. “Nothing better than staying in a safe town.”
He handed his sword over, Gaiel noticed that it wasn’t the one she had tried to grab the other night. Gaiel handed down her crossbow, but kept her two daggers. There were three they couldn’t see, but they didn’t need to know that, and gods knew what Jameson hid in that amazing little bag.
The gates creaked open as the guards secured the weapons in a locked shed by the gate.
“What’s yours will be available as you leave. Mind urchin street, those beggars will steal you blind.” There was a half smile on the big man’s face as he said that. “Enjoy your stay.”
Inside Dromenshire was not as beautiful as the outside. Two and three story buildings with thatched roofs stood shoulder to shoulder. Main streets were one cart wide and alley ways careened off wildly in odd directions barely wide enough for one person. Most of the windows were shuttered, despite the day’s heat.
They rode along the main street, rough stone cobbled, though in fine repair. The town was larger than Gaiel had remembered, and she mentioned it to Jameson.
“It was maybe half this large. And I don’t remember this many tall buildings.” She looked around, a little feeling of claustrophobia creeping in on her. “Normally, large buildings means large pockets, so I would have noticed.”
He nodded. “These are new, too. They just look utilitarian. No shop faces in the bottoms, just places for folks to live, or storage maybe.”
Ahead the square opened to a massive brick paved area, a fountain dominated the open space. In the fountain, a marble statue of a woman stood over other kneeling marble statues. Her hands outstretched, water pouring from her and onto the kneeling ones from her hands and naked breasts, upturned faces open mouthed.
“That’s not symbolism, or anything…” Gaiel said to Jameson as they approached.
“I can’t wait to meet her.” He looked at her grinning.
“I’m not sure that will be all that fun.” She said, shaking her head.
They found the Bent Oak easy enough. It was the one place in the square with a sign out front.
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