September 1459, Fort, House of Cornish Residence, Training Courtyard
Bartand had kept himself busy for the last two hours, slashing the life out of a straw target Lady Cornish's men and guards used to train with.
With a sword from the armourer, made of steel a long broad sword he had spent over two hours striking the target with his sword. His arm muscles were taut once again, and glistening with sweat as was his face and chest.
He heard the large Oak doors leading into the tower open, and he turned and saw Pixie had come down from the tower. He was happy, and hoping she would forgive him.
She was still wearing her white and grey dress, and she was watching Bartand. Bartand noting her attentions on him, began to strike at the target again pretending he did not see her.
She watched him for a few moments, before slowly approaching him.
"You train a lot don't you Bar... husband." Pixie quickly corrected herself, as the Fort's guards were walking around about their business and overhearing them.
Bartand turned, dropping his sword to rest against his leg.
"I never stop, my love. Better to be ready for what should come, than be caught off guard because I chose to let my training go. If I did, my family would never forgive me." He smiled gently, his family being a respected Clan up in the Highlands where training was paramount, and letting yourself falter through training was seen as a disgrace.
Lady Lott gingerly approached Bartand, with a few of the guards eyes on her and him. The guards did a poor job of hiding their attraction to Lady Lott, and their arousal as they watched her walk.
She knew their eyes were on her, but she had only eyes for Bartand and she wanted his eyes on her.
"My love you are sweating so much, that shirt looks soiled. Let me take it off of you." Lady Lott said gently, as she took hold of the bottom of her shirt, pulling it free out of his breeches.
"My love, I don't believe this is the right place for this. For people to see me..." Bartand protested, Pixie didn't know why as she pulled on it.
Pixie pulled it up, and was unaware of what she was exposing to the air, the sun and the eyes of men and women in the courtyard.
The eyes of those in the courtyard were fixed on Bartand's back, the scarred flesh coming into sight, no longer peeling from years of healing but the marks were still evident. Gasps from the female townspeople trading in the courtyard, were aloud as they watched. Pixie pulled the linen shirt off fully, showing Bartand's scars for all the courtyard to see; even Lady Cornish watching from a tower balcony.
Pixie removed the shirt fully from Bartand's back, and now she saw what everyone else saw.
"I... my love, how did you earn these scars." Lady Lott stuttered.
Bartand said simply.
Lady Lott gently hugged her husband, as she steered him towards the tower.
"Lets clean, and dress you my love."
She steered him from the eyes of the guards, and female townspeople towards the Oak doors and pulled them open with the help of a guard nearby.
They were soon inside the tower, with the doors closed behind them they mounted the stone steps slowly with no words spoken to the door of their bedchambers.
Inside she closed the door, and locked the iron lock. She kept her back to Bartand, as she stared at the Oak door.
"Those marks, those scars... from your life as a sellsword?" She muttered.
Bartand dropped his head.
"Yes, and as a Clan warrior."
Pixie slowly breathed out, as her body shuddered. Bartand could not see her face, but watched as her body shook.
"Thats all you have to show for your life is it? Scars." She said, as if the words cut like a knife through her heart.
"Why does this upset you so Ma'Lady, we are just pretending to be wife and husband... you would never truly marry a man like me. I am a soldier, I always have been and you an agent for Mason why do my scars make you so upset." Bartand retorted loudly.
She sighed and turned to finally face Bartand, tears on her cheeks.
"Because its you... do you think I want to pretend this entire charade? The real thing would be easier for me to act out, no need of lies. Now Lady Cornish has seen your body, she was on the balcony of her bedchambers. She may have saw my face of shock at what I saw, and if indeed we were married I would have seen your scars on our wedding night. Our charade could be over so soon, if she suspects lies with us. She could have us imprisoned here in her lands, and demand Mason to ransom us. She is not our enemy Bartand, nor is she someone we can trust with our plans." Pixie explained.
Bartand said nothing as Pixie stomped over to Bartand who was sat on the linen bedsheets of the large kingsize bed.
"We must be careful here Bartand, we do not know who Lady Cornish truly supports; be it the King or House York. She says she supports the King's Court, and Mason But if war should come once more, she could turn sides to York. We do not want to be in her company, if indeed York wins another victory against the King. The thought of ransoming us off to York, as agents of House Lancaster could cross her mind. I do not want to lose you, nor my own head for her selfish reasons." Pixie said sitting slowly, and gingerly beside Bartand on the bed.
Her eyes wandered Bartand's back and chest, noting every scar his body held.
Bartand turned and saw her eyes trailing all over his body, even down to his bulge in his breeches but Lady Lott was not hiding it from him.
She never looked into his eyes, keeping her gaze on his scars and she began to breath deeply.
"Ma'Lady." Bartand began, before she looked up sharply into his eyes.
"No Bartand, not Ma'Lady... you must call me as how you feel, if we are to make this charade seem more believeable."
Bartand nodded gently, and leant in almost to kiss her lips but he stopped an inch from her lips and breathed hard himself and leant in to breath in her scent from her hair and neck.
She moaned feeling his warm breath on her skin.
"My love, my angel." Bartand moaned deeply as he leant in planting a kiss on her neck, the action made her moan and she felt moist between her legs under her skirts.
She felt Bartand's hand rest on her knee on top of her skirt, and slowly rub deeply.
She moaned into Bartand's neck, hoping no one could hear them outside the chambers; perhaps Lady Cornish had a servant spying on them for proof of their relationship.
It did not concern her now, she had Bartand; she had what she yearned for since their chance meeting four years ago and like Bartand she could not shake off her thoughts for him.
Bartand's hand upon her knee, rubbed more before moving slowly down her leg to the ends of her skirts and he gripped them bunching them up in his fist and began to pull it up exposing her stocking-clad legs.
His hand pulled up the skirt fully around her waist showing her underwears and the tops of her stockings. Bartand shoved his hand between her legs, and found her wet womanhood through the material and began to rub and grope it.
"Oh Bartand my love, feel me. I am so wet for you." She gasped, clenching her eyes shut in her bliss.
Bartand with his hand, took grip of her underwears and tore it open exposing her wet moist womanhood now glistening in the low light of the room and the fire crackling in the corner.
He slid his hand over her moist womanhood, and saw the slight bush she had around her woman lips. He gently pressed his palm against her slit, and felt her dripping for him.
Bartand took hold of her skirts and pulled them up entirely around her waist, and took hold of her bodice and began to unlace it slowly allowing her breasts free.
I want her naked, I want to see every inch of her; shes not just a quick fuck for me I want to see her entire body and have her forever.
He soon had the bodice off, as Pixie flung it across the room and laid on the bed for Bartand. He began to pull up the dress, over her tummy and bare breasts exposing them now to Bartand's gaze. He pulled it off fully and threw it too, into the pile with the bodice.
Her breasts were nice, small but very firm her nipples were standing erect from his touch and gaze alone.
The remants of her underwears, Bartand pulled them off down her legs and added them to the pile.
He spread her legs wide, as she moaned allowing him to see her glistening womanhood and her moist lips wide open for him. She lay on the bed in just the stockings and her heeled boots. Bartand undid the laces and threw them aside leaving her in only the stockings now.
"Gods you are beautiful Pixie, so amazing you have me aroused for you."
She moaned biting her lip, as Bartand dropped low and leant in between her lips to her womanhood. He smelled her juices flowing, and pushed his tongue out and gently licked her womanhood tasting her juices.
Pixie jumped up, as if bitten by some creature or bug and stiffled her movements.
"Bartand my love, i've never been touched by a man like this. A man using his mouth on my womanhood, its taboo." Pixie bit down on her bottom lip, holding in her impulses.
"Everything we do is taboo Ma'Lady, we mascarade as wife and husband and now I am tasting your womanhood. All of this is hard for me to believe my love." Bartand mused, as he continued to lick her slit up and down tasting her wetness for him.
She grabbed hold of his hair, and pulled him into her womanhood grinding into Bartand's face.
"My love, my Bartand ohhhh more kiss me down there please." Pixie pleaded, mumbling.
Bartand followed her moans, licking and sucking on her womanhood lips.
Pixie moaned harder, grinding harder into Bartand's hungry mouth and rolling her hips. Pixie's thighs and beautiful legs began to moisten from the arduous movements, she began to sweat from the lovemaking.
Bartand continued to kiss her womanhood, taking her womanhood lips into his mouth and sucked. Pixie clenched her fists, and began to beat on Bartand's back. She wasn't causing him pain, but he knew he was causing her to do it.
"Ohhh Bartand, please I am going to... I feel like I am going to explode here.... ahhhh yes there, there!" Pixie pleaded, and grinded as she flooded the sheets of the bed with her juices cumming like a volcano.
Pixie gently slowed her movements, they were still sharp and her legs shook but she slowed down more as Bartand licked up her juices.
"Ohhhh Bartand." Pixie leaned up from the bed, and down to plant a kiss on Bartand's head.
Bartand shook and shuddered from her kiss, but kept strong as his manhood yearned for Pixie.
Bartand sat up, and Pixie grabbed hold of his breeches pulling him closer to her between his legs, she sat up fully on the cushions of the bed and took hold of the breeches, and undid one of the buttons keeping her eyes on Bartand's.
With every button undone, now leaving just one left she leaned in close without breaking eye contact and planted a kiss on his hairy muscular tummy.
She found one of his scars under the chest hair, and it was long gliding down towards his lower region and kissed it, trailing along it with her lips making him shudder. Bartand moaned, as he watched Pixie undo the last button and with both her hands tore down his breeches exposing his thick hard uncut manhood. She pulled them down fully, as he kicked them off across the room. Pixie laid back on her elbows on the bed, holding herself up and legs splaid open she simply stared at Bartand's maginificent manhood.
"By god you are hung as a mountain my love, come here and let me hold it." Pixie moaned.
Bartand shuffled closer, as the bed would allow as Pixie cupped his balls with one hand and her other hand closed around his rod. She slowly turned it left to right, looking at it and brought herself closer across the bed to the manhood before her.
She looked up at Bartand's face, and smiled.
"Is this how you like it my love, my mouth upon it?" Pixie asked stroking.
Bartand breathed hard nodding.
She smiled, breathing hard that she was making Bartand so aroused for her. She moved closer, and kissed his manhood on its head.
He shuddered hard, as she took hold of his hand holding tightly.
"Its ok I will go slow my love." She said clenching his hand in hers.
She kissed his manhood from his sack up slowly around his shaft to the head once again, she took a deep breath knowing she would need it and threw her mouth around the thick end of his rod, and slowly took in the first three inches into her mouth.
He moaned hard, fighting the urge off grabbing her head and face fucking her but he didn't want to hurt her. This was special for the both of them.
"My love be careful." Bartand told her as she began to move up and down his manhood with her mouth, unable to go past the first three inches.
She used her hands on the rest of his manhood, as she sucked deeply on the top of his cock.
He moaned hard, trying to keep his stability standing. She sucked now like an eel, trying to shove the manhood into her mouth fully. It was her first cock, but her trainers had taught her what to do to make a man happy and oral was one of them. She moved further down his manhood, attempting another inch she cringed her eyes, and they began to water as she forced the next inch past her gag reflex.
She looked up at Bartand, but she kept forcing it deeper. The difference was from her courtesan training, was that it was all classroom based and the ones they taught her about were not as thick nor long as Bartand's.
She cringed, and was unable to go past the fourth inch and she looked up to Bartand's eyes weeping. Bartand pulled his cock free of her mouth, and she gasped taking in air as she could.
"My love, its alright you did very well. You will hurt yourself, if you force yourself down on it."
But Pixie continued to cry, Bartand was unsure why as she sat on the bed with her she sat up.
"I'm so sorry my love, I have failed to please you."
Bartand gently touched her hands and held them.
"My love you did nothing of the sort, you did not fail to please me."
Pixie swung her head.
"I did fail you! I was trained to please men, come the time but this was my first time sexually with a man. My training failed me, the training given to me by Mason's teachers to become a Courtesan. I failed to please you as a man as I was taught to, I failed you."
Pixie dropped her head, and continued to weep as Bartand held her head close to his chest trying to comfort her.
He held her, kissing her head as he comforted her.
There was a knock at the door, as the two lovers kissed and cuddled.
"Ma'Lady, and Sir. Lady Cornish requires you attendance in the great hall for dinner. The meal has been set." The male voice called from behind the door, it was the man servant to Lady Cornish.
Lady Lott smiled and looked up at Bartand.
"Time for dinner my love, and the company of Lady Cornish."
Bartand squeezed her hand.
"Are you sure my love, we can always make our excuses and stay in our chambers if thats what ya' wished?" Bartand asked.
Pixie wiped her eyes clean of her tears and smiled.
"That would not be Lady like, nor Sir like of us Bartand. We must treat with Lady Cornish, as the laws of guests should be followed."
Pixie smiled and kissed Bartand deeply on his lips, sliding her tongue in touching his own before pulling free of his lips.
"Dress me, and I will dress you my love." She added with a giggle seeing his thick manhood lay free between his legs.
They both stood, and told the man servant waiting behind the door they would be few minutes as they wished to dress for Lady Cornish's company.September 1459, Fort, House of Cornish Residence, The Great Hall
Bartand and Lady Lott had dressed for supper with Lady Cornish; Bartand in a whie silk shirt, a clean pair of brown leather breeches. He chose not to wear his swordbelt, as a sign of respect to Lady Cornish and her hospitality as a guest under her roof. Lady Lott chose an elegant blue and white dress, the top half of the dress was light blue and the bottom clear white. She had her hair up and braided around her ears and up into the bun her hair was rolled into.
She had taken a liking to the luxaries in the bedchambers; and found a make-up set, to match her dress Lady Lott powdered around her eyes with light blue eyeshadow. The pair of them descended the tower's staircase, down onto the ground floor of the Fort and were greeted by the same man servant sent to find them. He was wearing a new crimson red robes, set with a black leather belt around his waist.
"Ma'Lady, Sir Bartand. My Lady awaits you in the great hall for supper, please follow me." The man servant said turning on his heel and began to walk towards a pair of two large Oak doors. Bartand and Lady Lott followed the man servant as quick as they could, as he opened the doors before them and ahead of them was a long large stone table so smooth and well shaped it had to be the hand of a good stonemason.
Lady Cornish was sat at the far end of the table, at its head awaiting them with a chair left and right of her for them. But Lady Cornish was sat speaking to a tall fair haired man standing beside her seat, and it seemed they were in deep conversation.
"Emmmm one moment Sir, Ma'Lady." The man servant hurried into the great hall and walked up to the pair of them, and spoke to Lady Cornish.
"Please send them in, I believe they will want to hear this too." Lady Cornish said aloud, for them to hear her. Bartand and Lady Lott took the invitation, and entered the hall walking towards Lady Cornish and their seats.
Bartand was the first to spot the man speaking to Lady Cornish more clearly now; he was wearing steel plated armour, chainmail around his arms and legs ending up around his neck. The rest of his legs and arms he wore gauntlets, and knee guards. He wore a matching steel helmet, with a pointed shiney helm gleaming in the light of the fire behind them. He wore a white rose sigil upon his steel breast plate.He's a Yorkist, what in the name of god is a Yorkist Knight doing here? Is Lady Cornish a traitor to the King's cause? Is she handing us over to York as prisoners?
Bartand mused, his head spinning thinking of the reasons for a York soldier being in Lady Cornish's company.
Bartand slowly approached the man on his side of the table, he had a shortsword sheathed on his hip and on his other hip he wore a dagger.
Now Bartand was wishing he had brought his swordbelt with him, damning his persistence in following the code of guests.
Lady Cornish was smiling, which put Bartand and Lady Lott on edge.
"Ah Bartand, Lady Lott please meet Sir Reynolt, loyal bannerman to the King. He is the King's tax collector, and he is here to collect my Lord husband's taxes to the King to raise an army it would seem."
Bartand noted how she spoke, as if implying something to Bartand without alerting the Yorkist soldier.
Bartand searched the stone table, for anything that could be wielded as a weapon if he had to fight this Sir Reynolt.
"Pardon me Sir Reynolt, but what seems to confuse me is if you were indeed collecting taxes for the King why do you wear the white rose of York on your breast plate. Those on royal business in the name of the King wear royal colors and carry royal banners. You Sir, carry the colors of House York and not the royal color. Where is the King's Red Rose? You should be carrying his sigil, unless you are collecting taxes in the name of King Henry VI and handing those same taxes over to House York. That sounds almost believeable does it not Sir?" Bartand questioned placing his hand on the table, notably only a few inches away from a silver metal plate that he could use as a weapon.
The Yorkist tax collector clenched his grip on the pommel of his steel shortsword preparing to unsheath it.
"I'd advise you Sir, not to impede us in the King's business. The penalty of such an offence against our great King is execution." Sir Reynolt spat back angrily.
"Indeed it is, execution is the punishment for impeding King's business if that were the case. You are not collecting taxes in the King's name however, you are collecting them for House York to pay for their own army to fight the King." Bartand added, inching his hand closer to the silver metal plate.
"Bastard I would keep my mouth shut if I were you, I am here to collect the King's tax and I will do so with whatever force I deem necessary to do so." Sir Reynolt clenched his fist around the grip of his sword.
"And do tell Sir Reynolt, how many men have you brought along with you to collect said taxes?" Bartand asked now less than an inch of his finger away from the silver metal plate's edge.
The Knight looked around the room noting that there were two of Lady Cornish's guards on the doors leading out of the great hall armed with steel swords and spears, wearing plated armour.
"I have brought thirty of the King's men with me to collect these taxes, and they are prepared to meet out the King's justice on those refusing to give their taxes to the King." Sir Reynolt interated, intending to put the fear into Bartand with the number of soldiers he had brought with him.
Bartand simply smiled.
"Thirty men, that is quite a force. This Fort, has a garrison of over one hundred men-at-arms and guards who are loyal to Lady Cornish and the King. Care to see who will survive a prolonged siege of this town; your men or Lady Cornish's garrison. I dare wager my coin on the guards of this town, against your men." Bartand said, gripping the edge of the silver metal plate in his hand ready to throw it at Sir Reynolt and hopefully knock him to the floor allowing him the chance to attack him.
Sir Reynolt began to unsheat his sword, he had made his choice.
"You were warned, this town will be looted for the coin needed for the King's army!" Sir Reynolt shouted, unsheating his sword but Bartand was quick with the silver metal plate lifting it and striking Sir Reynolt in the face with the plate knocking him to the floor, and a spurt of blood decorated the floor beneeath him.
"By the King's decree!" Sir Reynolt screeched attemtping to get back on his feet, but with all of his armour on it was too much added weight.
Bartand was over the table at knelt at the man's side, clutching a sharp kitchen knife from the table at his throat.
"Now I would advise you Sir Reynolt, leave with your men or I will slit your throat from ear to ear, and massacre your men outside of these walls. Choose what is more important to you; your taxes, or your lives. Choose fast." Bartand said sternly, holding the knife still against Sir Reynolt's throat.
"I AM HERE ON THE KING'S ORDERS!" Sir Reynolt mumbled.
Bartand smiled, but his smile was full of melovance and spite as his hand pressed the knife closer to Sir Reynolt's throat.
"The charade is over Sir Reynolt, you are not here in the King's name nor are you here to collect taxes for the King. Now again choose your fate!" Bartand sneered pressing the knife against Sir Reynolt's quivering adam's apple.
Bartand drew a drop of blood, and Sir Reynolt's screech of pain.
"ALRIGHT YOU WHORE'S SON ALRIGHT! I CHOOSE THE FATE OF MY LIFE AND MY MEN! BUT THE KING SHALL HEAR OF THIS OUTRAGE AND YOU WILL FACE THE KING'S EXECUTIONER!" Sir Reynolt screeched like a bat out of hell, trying to fight Bartand off of him.
Bartand nodded, but he unsheathed Sir Reynolt of his sword and dagger. His only weapons, that he could use to attack Bartand once allowed onto his feet. Bartand slid the carving knife used for carving roasts and meat away from Sir Reynolt's throat, as the knight gulped hard.
Bartand slowly moved to his feet, as he slid the knight's short sword and steel dagger across the floor to the corner of the hall.
"Get up Sir Reynolt, while this peace still exists." Bartand said pulling the knight to his feet by the man's hand, and he gained his balance standing.
Sir Reynolt was sweating hard, and shaking even.
"I demand my sword back, and my dagger." Sir Reynolt muttered shaking.
Bartand smiled, and held the carving knife at his hip ready to strike.
"No, your men outside these walls will have a spare sword and dagger for you. But you will not wield a sword here in these halls, until you are outside the town again."
Sir Reynolt, appeared as if he was going to charge Bartand and attempt to get his weapons back but he backed down with a whim.
Lady Cornish stood from the table, and called out to her guards.
"Guards call the garrison to the rampants, and walls of the Fort and prepare for attack if it should come." The two guards who stood near the doors of the hall, bowed and ran out of the hall to do her bidding. Bartand pulled Sir Reynolt alongside him towards the same doors.
"I will escort you Sir Reynolt to your men outside these walls, and word of warning do not even think of fleeing from me. You may get away from me, but I wager your chances of dodging a bolt from a crossbow are slim at best."
Sir Reynolt understood the threat, the guardsmen now running to garrison the Fort's rampants and walls would be a mix of bowmen, crossbow men, men-at-arms and even spear men who could as easily throw a spear striking a man at a fair distance wounding him. Lady Lott stayed with Lady Cornish in the main hall, with the man servants giving orders to the garrison.
Bartand marched the stumbling Sir Reynolt out of the great hall, and out of the main keep into the courtyard via a pair of large Oak doors. The cold air hit them both in the face, as smoke churned from a nearby smith and smelter used to make weapons and armour. Around them as they marched, the Fort's garrison of guards ran to man the Fort's defensive points against siege.
Bartand kept the carving knife to his hip, as he marched Sir Reynolt to the gates of the Fort.
"Open the gates, prepare for quick closure of the gates." Bartand shouted, as two guards quickly opened the large Oak gates to the town, and ahead of the gates were a small force of soldiers. From first glance it appeared that there were half a dozen calvary, ten archers, and a mix of over a dozen men-at-arms and spearmen.
The gates fully opened, as the guards held them open.
"Go see your men, and take them home Sir Reynolt. Take them back to their families, wives and loved ones. If you do not, then prepare for a bloody massacre on that dirt path they stand upon. We will litter the town streets outside these walls with your dead, if you choose to make siege upon us." Bartand said shoving Sir Reynolt out of the gates into the dry mudland in front of the Fort.
"Close the gates!" Bartand roared to the guards on either side of him holding the gates open. They soon slammed the doors shut, as Sir Reynolt ran towards his men.
Bartand began to run and mounted the staircase to the Fort's rampants and walls, calling a nearby soldier.
The soldier quickly handed him his own swordbelt; with a steel short sword on one hip and on the other a matching dagger. Bartand tied it tight around his waist over his linen shirt and hung over his leather breeches.
Bartand ran to the main rampants, above the gate keeping a hand clenched over the pommel of his sword.
Bartand could clearly see Sir Reynolt's force outside of the Fort's walls, all of the calvary men flying House of York banners.
Bartand prepared for the inevitable, if Sir Reynolt disregarded Bartand's offer to leave the town for safety and attack the Fort.
"No one is to fire a single bolt until I give the command." Bartand shouted to the guardsmen, some did not feel easy with him giving commands but soon saw Lady Cornish with Lady Lott on her bechamber balcony overlooking the Courtyard nod giving Bartand command of the garrison.
Bartand looked up at Pixie standing beside Lady Cornish, she seemed afraid. She had never seen a true battle, those she had killed in the King's name were all drugged, unconcious from drinking too much wine with her and she could simply slit thier throats. This was men on men, in a true battle even a siege. There would be much blood, and death if battle went ahead. She looked down upon her love, Bartand standing on the walls of the Fort.
"God, I implore you look upon my love Bartand and give him strength in battle, and help him come back to me after the battle safely." Pixie whispered to herself, hoping Lady Cornish did not overhear her prayers.
Bartand could see Sir Reynolt, being helped onto his black and white mare. He had difficulty with all his armour on, but he managed it as he called for a sword from his Captain.
Bartand could not see if Sir Reynolt was preparing his forces to attack the Fort, but he could see the Fort's garrison notching their bolts to their crossbows.If Sir Reynolt should choose to attack the Fort, we can take out most of their horseback with arrows. Those on foot could be dealt with by way of spears and secondary bowmen. If any on foot made it to the walls of the Fort, we could pour down burning pitch, stones and spear.
Bartand tactically surmised.
Sir Reynolt appeared to converse with his men on horseback, pointing at the Fort and defensive rampants before them.
"Come on you filthy dog, run away I don't want to have to fucking kill you and your men." Bartand muttered under his breath.
Two of Sir Reynolt's horsemen reared their horses to face the Fort, and after a few words began to bear down on the Fort in rank together galloping hard along the dry mud land before them.
Bartand called out.
"No one fire, except you two." Bartand said pointing to two bow men on either side of him, bolts already notched and ready.
"You two, fire into the ground ahead of the horsemen before they come upon it. Make it clear, to send the message."
The two bowmen, wearing surcoats and chainmail both nodded and notched their bows. They let loose into the air, and the arrows dissapeared for a moment before they came back into sight coming down hard aiming at the ground before the incoming horsemen.
The arrows struck the dry dirt before the two horsemen, mere yards from them. The horses neighed and began to wildly turn back, forcing the riders to adhere to keep their balance. The two horsemen could see the two same bowmen who had fired the warning shots re-notch their bows and both horsemen retreated to their main force for safety.
Bartand cleared his throat, and bellowed out.
"THAT WAS A WARNING SHOT SIR REYNOLT! THE NEXT ONES WILL NOT BE JUST A WARNING, THE NEXT HORSEMEN OR SWORDMEN YOU SEND OUR WAY WILL BE PINNED TO THIS VERY GROUND BY OUR BOWMEN! YOUR CHOICE!"
Sir Reynolt seemed to be arguing with his Captain, over something before Reynolt shouted.
"Enough!" To his Captain, he veared his horse to face the Fort.
"WE SHALL LEAVE SIR BARTAND, BUT WE SHALL BE BACK WITH MORE MEN AND EVEN KING'S MEN! YOU WILL FACE THE KING'S EXECUTIONER SIR!" Sir Reynolt screeched at Bartand.
"GOOD DO THAT SIR REYNOLT, AND WHILE YOU ARE IN LONDON PLEASE TELL THE KING THAT IF YOU SHOULD RETURN WITH THE KING'S STANDARD THEN WE SHALL HAPPILY TURN OVER OUR TAXES TO YOU!" Bartand's last words were an insult to Sir Reynolt, knowing he was not going back to London to see the King but infact his leige Lord back at York in the north to report what had occured.
Sir Reynolt huffed and puffed, but turned his horse in the direction of the fields in the distance of the town and began to gallop away with his Captain at his side, and his forces close behind following. When the force was out of the sight enough to relax, knowing if they should turn around they would have enough time to defend the walls once more, Bartand stepped down from the walls into the Courtyard.
"Stand down for now Captain, but keep some men posted on the walls and rampants should Sir Reynolt return." Bartand told Lady Cornish's Captain of the guard, who took off his helmet to speak and listen. The man was definately into his forties by now, but showed vigor and endurance when running to man the defences.
"Yes Sir, it will be done. Should Sir Reynolt return, with either the same sized force or larger what will we do?" The Captain asked, running his hand through his mop of greying hair down to his thick matching beard.
"Have a few men prepare boiling pitch, a few piles of stones on the rampants and one burning pyre at each defensive point so we can use flaming arrows if we need to. If he should return, we will meet his force with a sustained defence Captain." Bartand retorted, breathing hard running his own hand through his now wet black hair.
The Captain of the guard bowed, and began to bellow the same orders to his men who had began to break away from the defences to the Courtyard.
However for the rest of that day, Sir Reynolt did no return to siege the town and Fort. That evening the time was found for supper to be served once more for them all in the great hall.September 1459, Fort, House of Cornish Residence, The Great Hall
Lady Lott sat on the right side of Lady Cornish at the marble table, with Bartand to her left and Lady Cornish at the head of the table. Behind them on a prepared table, food was being prepared as succulent pig cooked away on the big fire, it was being carved by two pretty woman servants onto plates for the dinner guests. Steamed vegetables, roast potatoes, smoked salmon were all waiting to be served.
The women servants, began to serve first platefuls of the still roasting pig to the guests, and a small plate of vegetables.
Bartand watched as one of the two servants; a pretty redhead placed his plate of pork meat in front of him. He thanked her as the serving girl went to serve Lady Cornish.
"Thats all we really get i'm afraid these days, those who come to my lands are either tax collectors or those seeking refuge from the coming war. Most have little of value with them, and wish to work in the town. Work is becoming scarce now, and the local townspeople are getting agitated. Its a melting pot, waiting to be turned up-ended on all of us. This Sir Reynolt is not the first to come to my town, seeking what is not his. We have had our share of bandits, most upon seeing the Fort garrisoned back down, others have tried to take the town to thier own demise thankfully." Lady Lott went on to explain in detail as she poked a piece of pork with a fork.
"These bandits, are they a threat in the surrounding forests?" Bartand asked poking his own pork meat with a fork, and shoving a succulent piece in his mouth biting down into it.
Pixie sat beside Lady Cornish, and was nursing her own pork meat with some potatoes.
She forked a piece of the meat, and did the same with the potatoe before shoving it into her mouth and began to chew. Bartand smiled watching her eat, she looked up at him and smiled as best as she could cutely with her food.
"Not as bad as it once was, before my husband dealt with the worst ones. He caught a known notorious bandit named Cailin, he and his band of bandits ran wild in the nearby forests. Killing those travelling the roads, and looting from the corpses. My husband eventually tired of his guardsmen reporting back that they had not found the bandits, he himself led a force of about fifty guards into the forest. I didn't hear word back for days, and I had thought Cailin had caught my husband and his men, butchering them. But just three days after my husband departed for those forests, he returned with over forty of his main force and the bodies of Cailin and his second-in-charge Simon Croft. A local brigand, that joined with Cailin months before. My husband had killed Cailin in the battle personally, and Croft was killed by bow man as he tried to flee the woods."
Lady Cornish wiped her mouth, as she swallowed the pork before continuing.
"My husband, and his men returned to the town with the bodies and the loot stolen by the bandits to return to the families of those killed who resided in our town. My husband swore that what Cailin had done in those woods for those years would never happen again, and he even now has men posted there. I believe a dozen, who keep watch on the trade routes and roads."
Bartand nodded, drinking his wine slowly.
"Your husband is a good man Lady Cornish, I have heard so in the King's Court." Lady Lott said gently, praising Lord Cornish. It was the truth also, Lord Cornish was highly respected and well regarded in the Royal Court even by the King, and also by Lady Lott's father, Lord Lott.
He had proven his loyalty to the King in many battles, and also in defiance of House York.
Bartand finished his wine, and was watching Pixie eat her vegetables and he became aroused watching her chest heave and how she looked swallowing the carrots.Fuck I can still remember how she sucked my manhood deep, it was an amazing feeling and sight. I want her again, and again until the day I leave this world.
Bartand mused to himself.
Lady Cornish ordered the women servants to bring more wine in for them all, and to begin preparing dessert for the guests.
"Have you dealt with bandits before Sir Bartand?" Lady Cornish said sipping her own goblet of wine turning her head to face Bartand across the table.
Bartand had to carefully pick his words, it had to be past tense he spoke to Lady Cornish; all happened before he and Pixie 'married' one another.
Bartand put down his fork, leaving just two small pieces of pork meat on his plate.
"Well I've fought my fair share of bandits and even pirates, Ma'Lady. Before I met my love, I saw my fair share of fighting. I fought bandits and renegade Clansmen in Scotland. When I left my homelands up North, I made my way down South and saw a lot of fighting with inter-warfare between noble Northern Houses. When I came to London, I found the South astir with the coming war for the throne. In my time down here in Southern England, i've worked for merchant companies and trade merchants protecting their ships at sea against French pirates. I made a good bit of coin, for protecting merchant ships at sea. Once I found my love, Ladty Lott I left my old ways behind. But in my time, I have seen many things Ma'Lady." Bartand concluded.
"I am sure you have Sir Bartand, do tell how you and such a lovely creature as Pixie met, and married." Lady Cornish said, with a grin that said it all to Bartand and Lady Lott. She knew who they were, even knowing Lady Lott's secret name from within the King's Court. No one except close to the Loyalist supporters knew her as Pixie. Lady Cornish knew more about them both, than they thought.
Bartand had to think, he had to try and keep this charade of him and Pixie being married. He was about to speak, but Pixie jumped in to save him luckily.
"We met when Bartand came to the King's Court in London, my father introduced us. At the time Bartand had returned to London from Southampton, dealing with the French pirate troubles in the Channel. He had earned a lot of respect for his courage out on those waters from my father, Mason and even His Grace himself, the King. I immediately liked him, and my father gave his blessing to Bartand to court me." Pixie smiled beaming across the table, giving her tale of how they met; both her and Bartand knowing it was all constructed. But even though it was all constructed to protect them, the story made them both feel the butterflies in their stomaches once more. It was how they both wished they had met, and not the way they had trully met in battle.
"And he did, we began to Court together. We would meet after his business with Mason, and my own in the Royal Court. We would meet to eat together, wander the Royal palace grounds and we just fell in together perfectly." Pixie continued, her smile not wavering as her eyes were not on Lady Cornish but on Bartand and they were not moving anywhere else but on him.
Bartand smiled gently back, wanting to touch her hand across the table.
"Well it sounds like it was a perfect pairing for you both, I am so surprised your father would consent to the Courting. Scotland is still regarded as a land, where support to House York is strong as the Scottish do not care for the King." Lady Cornish snidely commented.
Bartand was getting annoyed with her comments, but he had to keep his control he was a guest under her roof and he had just saved her town from attack.
"Well Scotland is a large country Ma'Lady, there is indeed supporters to York who have no love for the King but there is support for the King in Edinburgh and the monarchy." Bartand reiterated with a stern tone.
Lady Cornish smiled, lifting her goblet and sipping her wine once more as the women servants scurried around the table pouring wine into their goblets and leaving two full flagons of wine on the table for the dinner guests to enjoy.
"Indeed it is Sir Bartand, a beautiful country it is as its people are too." With her mouth in the goblet sipping the wine, her eyes were dead centred on Bartand. She was trying to seduce him, but Bartand only wanted Pixie to seduce him.
Bartand tore his eyes from her own, and set them on Pixie's and they both smiled.
"What Clan do you hail from Sir Bartand, if I may enquire?" Lady Cornished asked in her own authoritive tone.
Bartand tore his eyes from the woman he lusted for, wanted, loved even back to Lady Cornish's own eyes.
"Clan Anderson Ma'Lady, we have lands north of Stirling in the Highlands. My father is the Clan leader still, I left my Clan at the age of ten and six for war in the surrounding lands in my Clan's name. Clan wars as the South know them as, for lands and resources. I saw most of the heaviest fighting in the Highlands between my own people. Its a sad day... when you have to watch your fellow countrymen kill one another in the search for lands and resources. Your country tearing itself apart." Bartand said solemnly, it was a part of his past he did not like to remember. The death, his own countrymen killing one another in the name of Clans, pride and honour.
"A sad history of your great nation i'm afraid my love." Pixie said gently with a comforting smile, as she looked over the table at Bartand.
"Indeed, a dark history that still continues the Clan wars." Lady Cornish added with a click of her fingers, for a women servant to come to her. The redhead was the one to come to her call, and Lady Cornish demanded the dessert to be served.
The redheaded women servant bowed and ran to the kitchens.
There was a short silence, as Lady Cornish finished her pork and Lady Lott finished her vegetables as Bartand waited for the dessert to be served. He wanted this supper over, to be alone with Pixie.
The dessert was simple fruit, but all kinds of fruits that were shipped in from abroad. There were kiwi fruits sliced open, tangerines, oranges, grapes, strawberries, even banana's. They were all sliced open, and presented on the table for them as the servants came out to serve it.
The serving women at the table piled with fresh fruit, filed plates full of all the different kinds of fruit before serving them to the guests. Bartand, Lady Cornish and Pixie were served the platefuls of fruit, before the servants bowed leaving the hall. Bartand cut a piece of apple in two, and ate one of the pieces chewing down on it.
As they ate down on their dessert, Bartand's eyes wandered across the table to his love; Pixie. The way she ate, even breathed made him smile even butterflies flew in his stomach, everything she did make him love her even more. This charade, was now all he wanted for real in his life.
I love this woman, more than anything in sordid bloody life; everything I have done I would trade it all for Pixie. All who I have killed, all of those I murdered, butchered in the name of Clan honour, even profit I would bring them all back to life if I could have her. But I am just a Sellsword, I'm not of a Royal House nor of any worth to be with, even marry Lady Lott.
Bartand came to his conclusion.
"I love you Pixie... but you and I both know we will never be allowed to be together." Bartand said in a low voice, so low that Lady Cornish would not hear, just he and Lady Lott heard the confession. Lady Cornish was too busy speaking to a women servant.
Lady Lott held her fork, with a peice of fruit on it inches from her mouth as if she had been told a deep seated secret; but what she had been told made her so unhappy and sad she began to tear up and shiver. She slowly dropped her fork back upon her plate, and she stood from her chair with as much modesty as she could gather.
"I love you Bartand, so much... please do not end this."
Before Bartand could say anything back in response, Pixie fled the hall for her quarters crying trying to hide her tears.
Lady Cornish looked shocked, and in guenuine surpise at not knowing what had caused Pixie to become so upset.
"Sir Bartand, what is the matter with Lady Lott. Why is she so upset?" She asked sending away her servant, who even showed some discomfort in the room.
Bartand simply picked up his filled goblet of wine to his lips, and drank deeply of mouthfuls before placing it back on the table.
"I told her the truth, that is all Lady Cornish. I love her, and I cannot hurt her any more than I have already done." Bartand said looking ahead past where Pixie had sat only moments before to a large tapestry hung from the hall's walls. It depicted a bear, a large black bear being attacked by armed soldiers, hounds, and even its fellow woodland creatures.In the end, the big bear is swallowed up whole by those he trusted; and those he detested. I'm that bear, and if I continue to give Pixie the impression that this charade will become reality upon us leaving Lady Cornish's company, we shall both suffer...End of Part Two, to War For A Rose: 1459 as this will most likely be a trilogy perhaps of three parts to this specific year in England's history. Hope you enjoyed it, and can't wait for the next and perhaps final part.
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<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/love-stories/war-for-a-rose-1459-part-two.aspx">War For A Rose: 1459: Part Two</a>