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DarkFyre Chapter Six

Lord Rael brings change to House IronWing
Rael sat at the long, ornate dinner table in the main dining hall with his long legs stretched out before him, leaning back in his chair as he rolled a small apple around in his hand. Selm, his whiskers newly trimmed and looking determined, watched him quietly, waiting for the young Nobleman to speak.

The Knight had fully expected to have some distractions when he arrived home. He hadn’t been to IronWing Manor in a long time, and so much was left undone from his father’s death. He’d even found himself glad for the excuse to return, pleased at the prospect of seeing his old home and seeing to some odds and ends that surely needed his attention.

But he hadn’t counted on things being so bad. He expected some work, sure; some overseeing minor changes here and there, some time spent with his small folk to bolster their spirits and show them that he was a real and true person, and though he was occupied elsewhere, he did still exist, and he did still care. The truth of the state of his holdings was much worse. So much to do. So much wrong to set right.

And he would do it, too. Personal quest or no, these folk were his responsibility. The truth of it all was, their situation, and the state of his home, was his fault. Father had felt sure that things would run smoothly without his presence, but they’d both overestimated Jonor’s loyalty and honesty, and underestimated his laziness and greed. It would take time, and work, but Rael meant to set things right with House IronWing, restore his home and his people and his honor to what it once was. If it meant delaying his search for answers…so be it. He would still search, but he would do it as he settled the House affairs.

The first of which had been bringing Jonor to the city guard in Trelling’s Rest. Rael had escorted the Steward personally, as he would brook no mistake or mishap on the way. He and two of his House guardsmen brought the Steward, shackled and chained, to the great city to be delivered. Jonor had sniveled and whimpered, all sense of dignity abandoned as if he were on a death march. Which he very well may have been.

Rael hadn’t been to the city in nearly four years. It was good to return.

Trelling’s Rest, so named for High King Trelling, Trelling the Bloodied, Trelling the Righteous, Trelling Who Conquers, Trelling the Man-God. Trelling was of the Werdin line, one of the oldest lines of Kings among the Old Fathers who were the root of all Humanity. It was Trelling who first set foot in the Northlands. He founded the first kingdom in his name in the harsh snowed frontier, and tamed DarkFyre Dale for his people before being made one of the new god’s and joining the other eleven gods to form the Circle of Twelve. It was said among the Circle of Twelve, Trelling spoke for and championed Humanity, especially his legacy, the Men of the Dale.

So the tales told. Most credited Trelling with founding Trelling’s Rest and settling the wild North of DarkFyre Dale. Priests and believers of the Circle of Twelve maintained his godhood. Trelling’s Rest was home to many believers of the Twelve, but also hosted followers of the Old Gods, and several churches of The Devout, the faithful children of the Highest Holy. There were also minor small temples to various southern religions and shrines of the Demi-Human races, but these were less popular, and less tolerated.

Trelling’s Rest, despite being predominantly Human Dalemen, was full of many cultures and different kinds of people. It was by and far the largest city in the North, the Jewel of the Dale and home of the noble court of DarkFyre Dale for years uncounted. And it showed; though it didn’t have the grace and elegance of Ser in The Reach to the east, or the riches and scope of RedStone, capitol of the Leflin Empire far to the south in The Ashlands, Trelling’s Rest was a grand city all the same. It was marked by the thickness of her walls and hardness of her stone buildings, built in great tiers arrayed at the foot of the Frozen Keep, seat of power to DarkFyre’s King. The tiers of buildings stretched away from the Keep, moving downward and outward until they butted up against GlassWater, a huge lake of crystal clear waters. Warf’s and docks were set all along the lake’s edge. The lake was the lifeblood of Trelling’s Rest, with natural hot springs under the lake keeping the waters from freezing even in the depth of winter. The warmth of the hot springs kept the worst of the winter chill from strangling the city outright, and kept fish plentiful all year long.

After depositing the Steward with the Trelling Guard, Rael was taken with the urge to linger in the city for a time. He’d spent some years in the city during his days as a squire in service to the Knight Brotherhood. Though most of his days were wrapped in duties and training at the Frozen Keep, he visited the town as often as he was able, taking in the sights and smells of the markets, exploring the narrow, dilapidated streets winding between the sturdy buildings, as hard and hearty as the Dalemen themselves. Trelling’s Rest was a city of bustle and business, people always moving, always about their business lest they be overtaken by the cold. Men of the Dale were a boisterous lot, outspoken and as fierce as the land they called home. It was good to be here again, to see what it was he’d been fighting so hard to protect.

Alas, his visit had been cut short. Duties called him back to House IronWing, where a meeting with Selm awaited. The two of them went over the books together that night, reviewing Selm’s findings in the dining hall as they shared broiled goose, the skin crispy and the fat greasy and filling. They licked their fingers clean, careful not to smear the pages displaying Selm’s figures.

Now, nearly an hour later, Rael rolled his apple from one hand to the other, his movement absent and distracted. At last he noted his restless action, and noted Selm noting it. He placed the apple back in the small dinner basket of fruit on the table, and leaned forward with his hands together.

“I’ll admit, this is worse than I thought,” he said.

“I told you it was bad, Milord,” Selm sighed.

“So you did,” Rael nodded. “I knew the man was a fool, but this…this is…”

“Exceptional?” Selm suggested.

“Exceptional,” Rael agreed. He gave a grim, humorless smile. “I should have taken his head while I had the chance.”

“I’m sure the King’s Justice could bear your advice in mind,” Selm said.

“The King doesn’t bear much of anyone’s advice in mind these days, from what I hear,” Rael said. “Besides, we’re broke. We’re as good as a lesser House at this point.”

“True,” Selm shrugged a small shoulder. “So we’d best get to fixing that problem. You wouldn’t want to be out of style if the King ever does start opening his ears again.”

Rael smiled to himself. He liked the little Halfling man. Not many would dare to speak so glibly about their King, even to their Lord. Especially to their Lord.

“Our priority as of now is food and clean, warm clothes,” Rael said, his smile fading as he returned to the issue at hand. He leaned over the sheets of figures spread out on the table. “This much in our stores isn’t even going to last us through the winter. What was he thinking?”

“I think he was thinking of letting more of us go,” Selm suggested. He reached up and scratched at his great ruddy nose. “I also don’t think the man could count much past his fingers and toes.”

“That would explain a lot,” Rael said with disgust. He ran a hand through this burnished copper hair. “We have to find some money. We will have to start selling some of our goods to get money for the essentials.”

“I thought you’d say something like that. I’ve already thought of the perfect place to start,” Selm said.

Rael studied the Halfling, who was grinning foolishly despite their somber conversation. Then Rael understood, and he couldn’t help but smile as well. “All Jonor’s useless, misbegotten finery.”

“Precisely!” Selm laughed. Grinning still, he pulled a roll of paper from his pocket, rolled it out, and pointed at the figures he’d scrawled. “This is all just estimates, mind, and I’m no merchant. But I guessed as fairly as I could, and this is what I came up with.”

Rael took the paper and ran his eyes over it. The normally unflappable Captain wore an expression that was equal parts surprise, disgust, anger and awe. “How in all the names of the Circle of Twelve did Jonor spend this much money? And this is the resell value? This is ridiculous!”

“Well, he did have his bed special made, with a solid gold frame,” Selm explained with a casual shrug. “Among other things.”

Rael stared blankly at the Halfling, then leaned back in his seat and placed a hand over his face, massaging his temples. “Should have taken his head.”

“This should be a good start, I think,” Selm nodded, allowing himself a moment of satisfaction.

“Indeed, a good start,” Rael nodded. He stood then, and braced his hands on the table as he leaned over it, regarding the books carefully. “There are more measures we need to take, though. We need funds for an ample store of food, clothes, and repairs to the Manor. The grounds need tending and we need to begin to stockpile supplies for the coming year. We are nearly out of candles and lamp oil, and we need to gather firewood. And most especially, we need to hire more help. That will take even more food and clothes and other supplies, and we can’t even begin to hire more people until we’ve fully provided for our own.”

“What do you suggest, Milord?” Selm asked as he grabbed a fresh paper and quill, then stared at Rael expectantly.

“How many horses are in our stables, currently?” Rael asked.

“Fourteen, Milord, including a foal, and your own mount.”

“Good. Keep my mount, and six more. Sell the rest. We can use the coin, and the horse feed will go farther. How fares our livestock?”

Selm glanced at a sheet of parchment briefly. “Eight heifers, three bulls, a calf, ten sow, six boars, five goats, three geese, and a fair number of chickens.”

Rael nodded to himself. “Sell a third of the livestock, and set whoever in the Manor knows the most about livestock and animal husbandry to getting a few of the heifers and sows breeding. Have the same man sort out the best candidates for slaughter. In the meantime, I want four men going out every day hunting. They may take the best horses fit to the task, and whatever hounds are suitable from the kennels.”

“Do you think they’ll find much?” Selm asked doubtfully.

“Winter is young yet. There will still be some game to be found, if they’re clever and work together.”

“Well, here’s hoping to that,” Selm muttered, and he scratched a few notations on the parchment. “I think I know a few lads right for the job.”

“Good,” Rael nodded. “That will be enough for now. Keep me updated as we sell our goods and start to bring some coin in, and as food and supplies are added. Is there anything else we need to speak of?”

“Not right now, Milord. This is plenty for tonight,” Selm nodded wryly as he gathered up his papers.

“Very good,” Rael said with a small smile. “Continue the good work. We will take our progress as it comes.”

“Yes, Milord. A pleasant evening to you.”

“And to you,” Rael nodded, and took his leave.

***

For her part, Silmaria spent several days after Lord Rael’s return an emotional, frazzled mess. She flip-flopped continuously between feeling justified for her actions, and terrified that reprisal was coming any moment. Even after Steward Jonor was taken away to the capital to face the King’s Justice, she couldn’t help but glance over her shoulder often, paranoid and convinced that he would find some way to take his revenge. Her actions had been entirely impulsive and driven by her anger and emotion, and while she couldn’t say she regretted it, she did worry what consequences would come her way. Maybe Jonor would be released and come back with a grudge against her. Maybe he had a friend or two among the servants who would exact his vengeance for him. Maybe Lord Rael would take exception to her boldness and punish her himself. The possibilities circled around in her head until she was warring with herself internally over whether she’d been righteously vindicated, or just plain stupid.

After a week, nothing happened. There was no retaliation from Jonor, and no rebuking from Lord Rael. She swore to herself she would be more cautious from now on, and slowly, began to relax.

As she came out of her panic, Silmaria finally noticed how the mood at IronWing Manor had changed. The oppressiveness, the languor, the lack of direction and drive, the bitterness and melancholy that had been ever present for months, so thick and pervasive that it was a palpable miasma in the air, was gone. Replaced instead by renewed energy and optimism. The servants were glad again, motivated and working with willing spirits. Whatever else she may think and feel about Lord Rael, he had invigorated his people.

Mostly it seemed to do with direction, change, and hope. The serving folk had been in such a rut of grim hopelessness and the whole Manor steadily stagnated. Lord Rael had changed all that almost immediately. He’d taken steps to bolster the House’s coffers, and the estate now had much more food and supplies than Steward Jonor had maintained. The servants were well fed and the pantries and larders were stocked with food and supplies that would last them through the winter. Men had been assigned to ride out and hunt, and had brought in game that was being salted and preserved. Now working on full bellies, morale in the Manor had improved notably, and effort was being put into their work and duties that had flagged for months.

Just two days past, the serving folk had been surprised with new, clean clothes. They were simple and plain, but practical, well made, and new, made by hand by Karee, a seamstress of some skill Lord Rael hired to fill the position Steward Jonor had left empty after dismissing the last seamstress, a wizen old woman named Nina who’d been in Master Edwin’s employ for as long as Silmaria could remember. The gossip was, Lord Rael had tried to find old Nina to rehire her, but searches in the country and Trelling’s Rest turned up no sign of her.

Karee was an Elven woman of some two centuries. Like all her people, the years took no toll on her. She’d spent much of her early life traveling with a group of her people before settling in DarkFyre Dale and taking up needle and thread. Though she’d never studied under a master tailor and risen to that level of craftsmanship, she had almost a hundred years of experience and knew how to make quality clothing on a budget.

In addition to the new clothes that each servant received, thick, soft new blankets were distributed, enough to ensure no one suffered cold and shivering in the coming winter nights. Everyone’s bedding was turned out and new straw and feather stuffing made each pallet far more comfortable. Wood for the hearth in each room was stockpiled so their fires could be made much warmer.

Such simple things, but for the simple folk, each effort made a drastic difference. Warmly clothed, comfortably rested and well fed, spirits soared and the workers tackled their duties vigorously. Smiles replaced the ever present frowns and weary expressions they’d all been wearing for so long. Lord Rael’s name was spoke often, and always with appreciation and high regard.

Silmaria’s voice was not added to the praise. She did not trust the young Nobleman still. Oh, he seemed capable enough, and was taking steps to make things better, she could admit that. But she wasn’t yet able to let go of his failing to keep the estate in good form to begin with. Moreso, she couldn’t forgive his callous absence during Master Edwin’s decline and death. It was simply too much for her to overlook.

The increased rations, the new clothes, the blankets and bedding all felt like bribes of a sort to her. Gifts come too late. Despite that, Silmaria was no fool, and if she was begrudging about accepting the help, she accepted it nonetheless.

Things stayed busy around the Manor now. New servants were added to the staff in a trickle, for Lord Rael was cautious about adding mouths to feed and backs to clothe while the Estate’s resources were still recovering. But help was coming, slowly but surely, and in a few instances the new arriving faces were familiar ones, old fellows and friends Jonor had cast out returning home.

The Manor was turning to its old self. With more servants taking up the slack and work effort improving, neglected duties were well tended again. Repairs had begun that had been long put off, such as the hole in the roof from a heavy storm last summer, and the broken window in one of the sitting rooms downstairs. The cleaning and tidying in the Manor overall was kept up properly for the first time since Master Edwin’s passing.

As the days turned to weeks, Silmaria caught frequent glances of Lord Rael around the Manor. She’d expected he would be far removed from the work and efforts around the great house, as most Nobles tended to be, but that was not the case. On the contrary, Lord Rael was a present and included figure in almost everything around his holding. He oversaw repairs, directed supplies being added to the stock rooms, encouraged the efforts in the kitchen, advised in the cleaning and upkeep of the stables and kennels, oversaw the training and routines of the House guard, and all manner of other efforts being made around IronWing Manor.

He cut a proud figure, standing upright and tall with his big hands resting atop his walking stick. He’d shaved the thick growth of travelers beard away a day after arriving, and now kept his beard short and neatly groomed. He cleaned up well, and his face was well made now that his beard was tamed, his jaw solid and strong, his cheeks set finely, and his beard when properly tended complimented his features handsomely.

Silmaria did her best to avoid him, but even she wasn’t immune to the uplifted spirits in the household. Her mood was more cheerful and optimistic and she caught herself smiling more often. Though she’d been a hard worker even during the grimmest times this past year, she set to her tasks with more energy than before. Cook had gleefully speculated on the state of endowment of the source of Silmaria good mood. Smiling, Silmaria suggested she take a long walk along the docks of Trelling’s Rest in nothing but her knickers.

Some three weeks after Lord Rael’s return, Silmaria was sent to Master Edwin’s study. She made her way along the halls and upstairs, her mood light and pleasant, humming an old folk tune to herself. Her tail flitted behind her, a physical tell of her energy and high spirits, for few things were as soothing to her as spending time in that special place.

As soon as she entered the study, however, her mood shattered. She stared, her big slitted green eyes wide with shock. Where Master Edwin’s desk should have been empty and neat and clean, his chair empty save the memory of her beloved Lord, Lord Rael sat. His big frame was larger than his father’s had been. He had several books pulled out upon the desk and a sheaf of paper at his left hand where he was scrawling notes in tight letters. A strange arrow of some kind rested on the table in front of him.

It took every bit of Silmaria’s self control to keep from screaming at him to get out. She had to take several moments just to gather her wits and force herself to find some shred of calm. She hated him so much in that moment, she could barely bring herself to even stay in the same room with him.

How dare he! The insufferable prick had no right! This was Master Edwin’s place, his pride, and it was the place they’d shared together, been happy together, and spent so much time together. This, above all places, was where she’d grown and learned and loved. And now this young oaf just came in here and presumed to help himself to the books and the desk, ruining it all! He was just…just…

But of course the truth of it was, no matter how much it galled her and she hated it, he did have a right. Silmaria took a deep breath, and let it out slowly, forcing her fists to unclench at her sides. The sudden rushing, then stilling of adrenaline left her shaking. He had all the right in the world. She didn’t like the man, but he was Master Edwin’s heir, and the now rightful ruler and Lord of House IronWing.

It was a bitter pill to swallow. But she had no real choice. Silmaria reached for the door.

“Wait.”

The Gnari girl froze at the word, spoken gently but with unmistakable command. In that single, simple word, Silmaria felt a pinch in her heart, for it reminded her so of her Lord Edwin. He would have said the word just so, and it struck her to her core how similar the word was coming from the son. She couldn’t help but obey the command.

She turned slowly to find those eerie, beautiful silver eyes trained on her. His face was serious and solemn, but his eyes were…curious, perhaps? Wondering? It was difficult to read his eyes, but there was something there. He was studying her, considering her closely. The intense gaze made her keenly uncomfortable.

He shut the book he had been reading and placed it aside on his father’s desk. “I remember you. The Gnari child that followed my father so often. The servants called you his shadow, or his pet kitten. I remember thinking that an unkind thing to call you, but secretly thought it had the ring of truth to it too.”

Silmaria regarded him doubtfully. She had been sure on the few times he visited in her youth that he’d never taken note of her. That he’d noticed her, and remembered her, was even more unnerving than thinking she’d been ignored. She said nothing, having no idea how to reply to him.

Lord Rael continued to watch her. “Tell me. How well do you know my Father’s study?”

The Gnari woman stood up straighter; part of her didn’t want to so much as speak to him. But despite her distaste for the man, he’d touched on something important to her.

“I know the study better than anyone else,” Silmaria said with pride in her voice. “For many years I was the study’s caretaker. It was my primary duty. I helped Master Edwin to organize his books and tomes regularly. Even now, I know where most everything is.”

“Then you would know where any books my Father had regarding magic would be,” Rael replied.

Silmaria’s brow furrowed thoughtfully for a moment. “Magic? Yes, I know where those books would be.” Then, belatedly remembering the manners expected of her, added “My Lord.”

Rael arched a brow at her pronunciation, which was proper and not at all like a commoner or peasant, but he didn’t comment. Instead, he said, “Do you have any other duties requiring your immediate attention?”

Silmaria hesitated. She could lie and say yes. She sensed he would release her if she did, and he seemed preoccupied with something so he probably wouldn’t inquire into her other duties to catch her in the lie. As much as she was reluctant to have anything to do with him, she knew at some point she would have to serve him. Besides, magic…that was some unusual reading, to be sure. She had to admit, she was intrigued.

“No, my Lord. The study was my assigned duties for the day.”

“Very good,” Rael nodded. “Do you think you could find those tomes for me? I’ve need of them.”

Silmaria at last stepped further into the room. She moved closer, careful and skittish at first as she approached him, looking all the world like a nervous cat, but as curious as one as well. She leaned forward, looking over the tomes on the desk. Her hair fell forward in a tumble of midnight curls, clashing with the whites and oranges of her pelt.

She pushed her dense mane distractedly out of the way. “These are the books on Magic you’ve found so far?”

Rael shook his head and gave a wry smile. “These are my attempts at finding the books on Magic. So far I’ve not had very much success.”

Silmaria nudged through the books. He was certainly right about that much. After examining the books on the desk, she stacked the books together, keeping one apart. “That one is a book on traditional Sorcery and Magic of the Orinthian people. The rest of these are more about myths and tales than any real Magic. I can fetch the other tomes I know of if you’ll give me a few moments, my Lord.”

“Very good,” Rael nodded. He rose and began to gather the volumes she’d stacked to the side.

“I can put those away, my Lord,” Silmaria said, feeling a twinge of possessiveness.

“It’s all right. I can take care of them. I remember where they go. I’ll put them away, while you focus on finding the books.”

He rose, gripping his walking stick with one hand while he gathered several large, heavy books with his free arm, balancing them as if they weighed nothing. Silmaria pursed her lips unconsciously and remained silent, unhappy, but fetched the books he required.

Both of them finished their tasks and met back at the table. Silmaria had found a half dozen or so volumes of research and lore on the practical magic, rituals, and spiritual powers of various sects and cultures.

“Very good,” Rael nodded as he picked up one of the thicker books and ran his hand slowly along the leather bound cover.

“Master Edwin was just starting to collect these books before…” Silmaria began, but left the rest unsaid. “He said it was very hard to obtain texts regarding magic. Most sorcerers and mages guard their secrets very closely. But he was pleased with these. Some of these tomes are very old.”

“I see. Thank you for gathering them. I will be very careful with these books.”

Silmaria nodded slowly, watching him as he placed the books carefully side by side, arranging them upon the desk in order of size. “Why are you researching Magic? You don’t seem the type to be taken with enchantments and parlor tricks.”

Rael looked up at her, meeting her strange eyes with his own unique ones. After a moment he gave a wry smirk and said, “Don’t I, though? I’ve always had a secret fascination with the mystical. I have robes for when I’m feeling in the mood and everything.”

It took Silmaria a moment to realize he was joking. Her immediate reaction was a mix of irritation and, for reasons she couldn’t explain, embarrassment. “Well. If that is all my Lord requires, I have duties elsewhere.”

Rael’s brow furrowed. He stared at her for an uncomfortable moment, then at last said, “Yes, of course. Thank you for your assistance, Silmaria.”

Silmaria’s mouth opened and then shut hastily. How in the hells did he know her name? She hadn’t told him, and she certainly didn’t believe he remembered from his few visits during his youth. Now she was totally uncomfortable and confused. He made her head spin, confounding and infuriating her despite not actually doing anything at all wrong. She had to get away from him. The Gnari servant muttered a “my Lord”, dropped the most graceless curtsy she’d ever done, and all but ran from the room.

Rael sat at his Father’s ornate writing desk and stared after the fleeing woman, feeling more than a bit perplexed. More than a lot, even. “Well done, Rae. You’re first time speaking to a woman who wasn’t in a uniform or mail in the god’s know when, and you scare her away just by talking to her. You haven’t lost you’re touch at all, it seems.”

And now he was talking to himself.

Rael sighed, scrubbed a hand roughly through his thick copper hair, and stood to stretch. He had been faking a limp and placing his weight unevenly when he stood for so many weeks now that it was starting to make him limp in actuality.

He sat back down and picked up the unusual arrow meant to end his life, and turned it absently in his hand, his fingers cursorily tracing over the etching of runes. His eyes drifted back to the door unbidden. There was something different about the Gnari woman, strange and fascinating, but he couldn’t put his finger on what it was.

But, of course, he had more important things requiring his attention. The unexpected task of rebuilding his House weighed heavy on him. His people deserved to be properly cared for, and he certainly wasn’t about to be the one to let his House degrade into obscurity and ruin. He would rebuild and renew his estate and bring honor to his House and a better life for his folk.

And then, of course, there was the matter of the arrow in his hand, the magic tied to it, and the people who wanted him dead. He still didn’t understand the means arrayed against him. The arrow seemed deadly enough; if some hidden archer were able to put an arrow through his chest, why bother with the strange magic tied to the arrow? It seemed unnecessary and extreme. Extravagant measures for a simple Knight Captain, regardless of how talented he may be.

Rael was sure that the strange magic tied to the arrow was the key to finding the assassin. It couldn’t be a common spell. And if he found the assassin, maybe he could find who hired him.

He took up one of the books and opened it. He didn’t consider himself much of a scholar, but his Father had instilled in him early that a good Knight and Commander of men must be well read to keep his mind sharp.

If Father were here now, he would have known exactly where to look. Father had always been wise and well learned. Not for the first time, Rael wished Lord Edwin were still with him to advise him. He had spent much of his life away from his Father, but he nonetheless admired the man and had always valued his counsel and guidance.

But he was not. Rael was alone, and he must find answers to this mystery alone. He would not let these assassins go unpunished, nor their masters. Gods willing, the answers he sought would be in one of these books.

Lord Rael turned his attention back to the books on his Father’s desk, and putting all other distractions aside for a time, he began to read.

***

It was a fuzzy, indistinct sort of night. The sky was big and dark, stretching out in a black, moonless nothingness broken sporadically by pinpricks of starlight outside the great big glass window of the study looking out to the north reaches of the Dale, unseen in the night.

The study was near as dark as the sky, with only a few candles lit to give a soft glow to the otherwise shadowy room. The light was more than enough for Silmaria to see by, but her eyes were shut so it hardly mattered. A soft, shuddering breath trembled from between her barely parted, soft lips. The tips of her breasts were hard and aching, her thick nipples stiff from exposure to the cool air. She hardly noticed. The roundness of her lush ass rested on the cool, smooth top of Master Edwin’s desk.

The warm, thick honey of her cunt seeped down her slit to pool at the crack of her ass. She had the brief guilty thought of making a mess on her Master’s desk. Then Master Edwin’s tongue slid firmly up and down the length of her slit, tasting her slick pink flesh before his lips closed around the stiff little swelling of her needy, sensitive clit, and all thoughts fled from her mind in a barely muffled shriek of pleasure. He sucked firmly, his lips pulling and tugging on the bundle of pleasure as his tongue circled it, lapping and flicking and sending bursts of ecstasy jolting through her body, radiating outward from her weeping cunt.

Silmaria’s legs were spread wide, her limber young body open and offered up to her dear Master’s pleasure and desire. She reached up, her hands slipping over the supple, rounded flesh of her breasts, restless and searching, needing to touch something, anything, unable to be still. She caught her nipples between slender fingers and tugged them, sharply, gasping as her back arched, the little sting of sharpness as ever giving focus to the overwhelming haze of unfocused need that was her Stirring.

Her hips lifted, circling sensually against Master Edwin’s mouth. The older Human gripped her widely spread thighs. His hands were strong and weathered and scarred from a lifetime of serving as a warrior. His grip was firm, controlling and guiding her body as his tongue worked at her slick pussy, attacking her clit aggressively, insistently, drawing her orgasm out in no uncertain terms, demanding her to cum and give up her pleasure.

She complied, readily and with abandon, screaming and bucking and near weeping with the intensity. Her release exploded and rushed like the sweetest burning fire through every neuron in her body, leaving her shaking like a leaf in a storm. The only thing keeping her grounded to her sanity was staring down with eyes watery and wide, to see Master Edwin’s focused blue gaze staring up from between her shapely spread eyes, his approval and satisfaction shining in his eyes even as he pushed her even higher, his mouth sucking hard at her clit as his rough fingers thrust firmly into her spasming cunt.

Abruptly then, everything shifted. The study faded away, and Silmaria was in Master Edwin’s room. There was a storm outside, rain coming down in a deluge that would have been deafening if it weren’t drowned out by the frequent clap and crackling boom of thunder. The only light came from a single candle set on a bedside table, and the exploding flashes of lightning racing across the sky, forking and arching and forming intricate white serpents coiling and dancing through the black heavens.

Silmaria was on her belly, pressed into the mattress by Master Edwin’s weight on top of her, her firm round ass arched up as he pounded roughly into her. His thick cock speared into her tender pussy over and again, stretching her cunt wide open as she screamed and moaned and whimpered his name into the sheets and pillows. He’d been fucking her for what seemed like forever and her flesh was stinging and sore and alive where his hands gripped her so tight or his nails raked firmly along her glossy pelt. She took everything he gave, eager and compliant. She was his, his plaything, his little puppet on a string and she would dance whatever dance he commanded gladly.

One strong, capable hand circled under her writhing body to clutch one of her heavy breasts, squeezing and kneading, his fingers sinking into her pliant flesh as his wonderful cock plunged in and out of the welcoming wet warmth of her body over and again. His pace was powerful and demanding and his throbbing length hit all the most perfect spots inside her with every deep, lunging thrust. It was beautiful, and wicked, and earthshattering and soon Silmaria was lost yet again, screaming and quivering, her body thrashing and wriggling but he had her pinned so deliciously to the bed she couldn’t move and could barely breath and he was hot and heavy on top of her and that only made her cum all the harder. Her upraised haunches quivered as she came, her body taut as a bowstring as her pussy milked and squeezed rhythmically at her Master’s plunging length.

Master Edwin hammered and fucked her right through her orgasm, his cock thrusting deep into her core, sliding through the slick, gripping passage of her pussy even as she came violently. Silmaria gasped, sobbing, his pace making her orgasm extend into another, and another, and soon she was squirting all over the bed, a hot, sticky spray of girlcum splashing in silky slick streams from her cock-stuffed slit.

A moment later, she was on her back, shaking and twitching, her legs sprayed out wide in the mess she’d just made as Master Edwin’s thick cock pressed past her panting lips and thrust deep, working its way down her talented, tight throat. Silmaria moaned, shuddering yet again, her pussy clenching on emptiness as she responded to the taste, a heady mix of the taste of her Master’s flesh and the sticky-sweet coating of her own cunt juices. Her muffled moans and whimpers came even as she began to bob her head up and down that hard, throbbing length of flesh, reveling in the taste of their joining.

Master Edwin’s cock was filling her airway, choking her and gagging her even as she pushed forward to try to get him even deeper, her lips pursed and struggling around the base of his cock. As her mouth worked up and down her Master’s shaft her tongue swirled and licked, running firmly along his meat as she gave all of herself, every scrap of her energy and ability and lust focused on pleasuring the man that meant the world to her. She slurped, loud and wet, and the taste of his flesh and her juices combined made her mouth water until saliva ran in rivulets down her chin, and she gave her Master the sloppy, hungry cocksucking he deserved.

Silmaria couldn’t help it any longer. She reached down between her supple, strong young legs and plunged her fingers into the hungrily gripping hole of her cunt. She looked up, to gaze upon her Master with adoration and servitude and love, as she felt him go rigid and shove deep to finally give Silmaria her desperately needed reward.

And then she froze in horror. Master Edwin had changed. In the darkness, his lean, solid, fit form was bigger, taller, broader, more muscular and defined. The lightning outside writhed across the sky. In the flash, she stared up at that beloved faced, and saw instead the face of his son staring down at her with eyes too intense and serious and knowing. The cock in her mouth jerked, and burst, cum spraying thick and hot and creamy, spurting down her throat in generous ropes. It choked her and flooded her mouth, and Silmaria wasn’t sure if the seed on her tongue tasted of the father, or the son.

***

Silmaria woke, shaking, laying in the room surrounded by the deep breathing and soft snores of her fellow serving women. Her heart beat violently, leaping in her chest as her sensitive eyes and ears strained in alertness for a moment. Then she curled into a ball under the covers, buried her face into her pillow, and wept. The dream left her overwhelmed, distraught and frightened and confused and full of an unexplained shame and self-loathing.

And even then, her traitorous body won out as it always did, so shamefully aroused by her dream that her thighs squished when they rubbed together. Her hands slid down between her legs and she frantically plunged three fingers into her sopping sex as her other hand found her clit and roughly pinched and rubbed at it.

She hated herself intensely in that moment, but her flesh would not be denied.

Her sobs were muffled into her pillow. She tried fervently to forget that last moment of her dream, even as she recklessly gave in to her needs, remembering.

***

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