She could see Dragonsreach in the distance. It had been months since she had left here after bringing Jarl Balgruuf word of the dragon attack at Helgen on behalf of Gerdur of Riverwood. The morning sun was on the horizon, casting beautiful red and orange hues upon the clouds. The winds carried the sounds of birds chirping, wolves howling, water babbling in the creek leading to the river as it splashed against the rocks, and then her ears picked up the sounds of a fight. She sprinted toward the sounds then into a full run when she saw a group of people fighting a giant on one of the farms outside of the city. She drew her bow, nocked an arrow and launched it towards the giant in one smooth motion, striking him in his chest. This drew the attention of one of the women who cast a glance towards her before drawing an arrow herself and firing towards the giant. Meliandra nocked another arrow and sent it sailing through the air, landing in the middle of the giant’s forehead. The giant sank to its knees before falling backward. She gave a quick smirk to herself as she hitched her bow on her back once more. The woman looked at her once more, said something to her companions and walked toward her.
“You handled yourself well. Have you ever given thought to joining the Companions?”
“The Companions? Honestly never thought about it.”
“You never thought about the glories of fighting next to shield brothers and shield sisters, to always have someone by your side?”
“I’ve got friends who fight by my side.”
“Do you?” The woman looked behind Meliandra then back at her. “Why not come up to Jorrvaskr and talk to the old man? See how brothers and sisters fight for each other?”
Meliandra smiled. “Perhaps. I have other business to attend to.” She took her leave and headed toward the gates of the city. The pungent smell of mead wafted upon the breeze.
Once again Vex’s words echoed in her head, “Job first; get drunk last.” She just had a feeling she wasn’t going to get the chance. Soon the smell of the mead was replaced by the smell of the stables. She noted the Khajiit tents set up outside the city walls and waved at the trader on her way up the path through the exterior walls and to the gate. The guard, recognizing her, opened the gate and she passed through. She saw Adrianne working at the forge, the sound of her hammer striking imperial steel echoing off the city walls. Children ran past her playing tag; the shop keeper’s assistant was outside chopping wood while she had gotten the attention of a Legion officer who was watching her from afar as she made her way to the Bannered Mare.
The bard sang Age of Aggression as a few of the townspeople gathered at tables and discussed local gossip. She approached the innkeeper, Hulda, and paid for a room. She laid her pack on her bed; it was light save for her potions and her enchanted jewelry, but tonight it will have stolen goods in it, making sure that Whiterun knows that the Thieves Guild is very much still alive and well.
She had hours to fill and a nearly empty coin purse. She slipped her ring of pickpocketing onto her finger then the ring of lockpicking and headed back down to the hearthfire to join the others warming themselves as a cold rain set in outside, the thunder claps echoing across the land. A Redguard woman approached her, a rag in hand. “Get you something to eat? Something to drink?”
At the mention of food her stomach began to grumble. “Yeah, what do you got?” After reciting the menu for the day, the woman headed off to get the food and drink leaving Meliandra to her thoughts. She had not seen Brynjolf since leaving for Goldenglow and knowing him and Vex had some kind of argument set her on edge. She had heard rumors about the two of them having a past but whenever she tried to find out from Brynjolf he would change the subject. Once again, she gave thought to leaving Skyrim and finding a home elsewhere.
The innkeeper’s helper brought her a bowl of venison stew, a mulled wine and a chunk of bread. She broke off a piece of the bread with a murmur of thanks and soaked the hard bread into the savory broth. As she took a bite of the bread the chair next to her scraped the floor and was then sat in by the man who had been watching her.
“Haven’t seen you around before.”
“Just passing through.” She picked up her goblet and took a drink, her green eyes watching him from above the rim of the glass.
“Where are you headed?”
She thought quickly. “Riverwood, friend lives there.”
“Are you a friend of the Empire?”
She smiled. “Of course.”
“Name’s Idolaf. Yours?”
They continued talking until she was done eating and he asked if he could walk with her some. Listening to her instincts she agreed. Though she had been here before, she played the role of the wide-eyed traveler, interested in everything around the town. She found herself in the middle of the Battle-Born home sometime in the afternoon, enjoying a bottle of mead with the eldest son of Olfrid. She almost felt guilty for leading him on but her job was more important. So when the evening hours set in and she found herself laying naked in his arms as he lazily stroked her shoulder after they had thoroughly exhausted one another, she didn’t understand why she felt guilty. She feigned sleep until soft snores came from Idolaf next to her, then, muffling her steps with the casting of a simple spell, dressed. She made her way through the Battle-Born house quietly, depriving them of a variety of valuables on her way out the back door.
The innkeeper’s helper was stirring a pot of stew when she walked through the backdoor of the Bannered Mare. She smiled at the woman, who warmly returned the smile. “You’re back, I was hoping you would be.”
The Redguard nodded. “A courier came through looking for you. He left a letter for you.” She reached into her pocket and withdrew a sealed letter and handed it to her. She glanced at the seal and recognized it as Mercer’s. She slipped it into her satchel with a nod, trying to hide the disappointment that it was not from Brynjolf. She withdrew some coins from her coin purse and laying them atop the table, asked for a bottle of mead.
Her thoughts echoed loudly in the silence of her mind; her doubts pounded in time with her beating heart, a heart that was slowly turning cold. She berated herself again for her youthful naivety and giving into these foolish dreams of hers. She had seen enough lives be swallowed by the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. The mead appeared in front of her with a comment of if she needed anything more to ask. She nodded as she tilted the bottle back.
She sat there at the table in the back, lost amid her turbulent thoughts. She could hear Vex’s admonition against drinking while on the job as she drained the bottle and signaled for another. Vex; just the thought of the blonde thief made her blood start to simmer. Meliandra knew she was young and still had things to learn, but Vex seemed to treat her as if she didn’t know anything and then there were the rumors of a past with Brynjolf. At the thought of the older redheaded Nord she got angry at herself again. She had always guarded herself against feelings of love; she had always told herself it was better to be alone than to feel the chains of commitment but when it came to Brynjolf she lost that control.
She absentmindedly played with the chain that hung around her neck, thoughts torn between wanting to run far away from Brynjolf or running to him. A new bottle of mead appeared in front of her but when she reached for her coin purse the hand of the Redguard stayed hers as she heard, “It’s on me. You look like you could use one.”
“That obvious?” she asked, a sourness edging her voice.
She snorted in response. “Don’t the two always go hand in hand?”
The Redguard sat down next to her, nodding her head. “They always seem to follow one another, don’t they?” She smiled at Meliandra. “I’m Saadia.”
Meliandra smiled back. “Nice to meet you, Saadia. What brings a Redguard to Skyrim?”
“A man.” She chuckled at Meliandra’s raised eyebrow. “An arranged marriage, one I do not wish to be a part of,” she said as she looked towards the fire. “I doubt my father would think to consider looking for me here.” She looked back at the Breton. “What’s your story?”
“Everyone has a story.” She took a drink of her bottle of mead as she watched the young woman, her smile touching her eyes. “So, what’s yours?”
Meliandra sighed then took a long draw off the bottle. Before long she found herself telling this Redguard of her feelings towards Brynjolf and her fears about Vex. She lost count of how many times her bottle reappeared full when she had known it was near empty. Eventually she found herself being led up the stairs to the rooms there, and even though her room was on the other side, she allowed herself to go into Saadia’s room, drunk and her defenses down.
She stood in the middle of Saadia’s room while the dark-skinned woman shut her door. Meliandra had seen the look on her face before, but never on a woman. She was nervous, but the memory of Saadia’s hand caressing her thigh as the Redguard’s eyes held hers excited her. A moment later the woman’s fingers were slowly unthreading Meliandra’s ties, dropping the clothing on the floor. Dark eyes followed the curves of her naked body, fingernails traced along her skin, starting at her stomach and working their way to her firm yet gentle breasts and fingertips started pinching her perky nipples. Meliandra felt a warmth in her groin as a pleasured moan slipped past her lips, biting slightly down upon them. Then Saadia’s lips were on hers softly kissing her as one hand held a breast while the other trailed down to her nether regions. As Saadia’s fingers played in the warm wetness, their kiss deepened and grew heated.
After a moment, the kiss was broken and the older woman stepped back, bringing her fingers to her lips and sucking the wetness off one saying “Mmmhmmm, you taste good. I’m going to have to have more of you.” She smiled as she licked her fingers clean. She undressed herself, then made her way to her bed, motioning for the Breton to sit on the edge of it. She kneeled onto the floor in front of Meliandra and spread her legs open. She again slipped her fingers inside the young woman, slowly massaging her womanhood, watching the expressions that spread across the woman’s face. She increased the speed of her finger strokes as Meliandra started grinding herself against Saadia’s hand. The Redguard’s hand began to feel wetter as the Breton’s moans began t increase in volume; she leaned forward and kissed her between her legs, her tongue dancing within tasting the juices as they began to flow freely. Meliandra let out one last ecstasy filled moan as her body shuddered its orgasm.
Saadia crawled upon the bed, pulling the young woman into her arms. She kissed her neck, trailing kisses along her jawline until she began nibbling upon her lips. At first Meliandra drew back as the woman kissed her but Saadia held her head firm in her cupped hands. Her tongue twirled within the Breton’s mouth, giving her a taste of her own juices. In a moment, the young woman was sucking on that tongue and nibbling on her lips. “See?” she chuckled once the kiss was broken, “I told you, you taste good.”
Meliandra smiled as she climbed atop the woman, straddling her. She her lips as she trailed her fingernails down the woman’s naked body, playfully flicking at the woman’s nipples. After some slight hesitation, she leaned down and started sucking on her breasts; she found she enjoyed this and hearing Saadia’s pleasured moans, continued to suckle them as if she were a babe drinking mother’s milk. She felt the older woman’s hand running through her hair murmuring about how good it felt. She started to gyrate herself on Saadia’s naked womanhood; this only caused the Redguard to push upon her shoulders, saying, “Go down” over and over until Meliandra’s lips were caressing the folds of her femininity. She could smell the scent of desire upon her sex; her tongue flicked through the folds, tasting another woman for the first time. She lost herself in her oral ministrations, finding the Redguard’s juices to be to her liking. Her enthusiasm built up and soon Saadia was writhing beneath her, clutching at the fur beneath her as suddenly her body went rigid and Meliandra was rewarded with a flood of Saadia’s orgasm. She greedily lapped at it like a pup licking its bowl clean, then crawling up next to the Redguard. She lazily traced circles on her skin as they talked into the early morning hours.
When Saadia drifted into sleep, Meliandra slipped quietly out from under the woman’s arm and got dressed. She pulled out the sealed message and, sitting at the table next to the candle, opened it and began to read. Her eyebrow arched when she saw that Maven Black-Briar had requested her personally. Knowing that Maven was not one to be kept waiting, she hastily scribbled out a note to Saadia with a piece of charcoal explaining that she’d been called away but would return when she could. She left the note on the table and slipped out of the room, making her way back to her own room. She gathered her things together, secured the stolen goods in a satchel then hid it in a secret pocket of her traveling pack and then proceeded to head out of the inn.
The early morning sun’s rays were breaking over the horizon as she departed the city gate. The Khajiit were sitting around a campfire, talking amongst one another. She asked if she could buy some ingredients and a few odds and ends she needed and they happily obliged her. She set out towards Riften, staying off the roads as she usually did. Her mind was a jumbled mess as she thought about everything going on as of late for her. Her feelings for Brynjolf were growing stronger despite herself and that was scaring her though she’d never admit it. She thought of her afternoon with Idolaf and frowned. While she couldn’t complain about the sex, she had to admit that he had not satisfied her. Her encounter with Saadia on the other hand had been more erotic and fulfilling than she had ever had before and she knew part of the thrill was the newness of the experience.
She tried to get her mind off things, to pay attention to her surroundings, yet she found herself lost in thought and walking straight into a pack of wolves. “Shor’s balls,” she swore as she conjured a sword. As she thrust the magic sword into the wolf’ body she heard the zip of an arrow as it flew past her ear and into another wolf, dropping it alongside it’s pack member. She glanced in the direction the arrow came from long enough to see Rune a few yards behind her coming from the east, his bow in his hands as he nocked another arrow. She smiled slightly as she turned back to the wolves, thrusting her sword into the wild canine before her as it lunged at her. In a moment’s time the pack lay dead at her feet; Rune walked up to her, a broad smile on his face. “Good thing I was close by, eh Meliandra?”
She smiled back. “yeah, thanks. Just got things on my mind.”
He nodded. “Got your head in the clouds, do you?”
She laughed. “My head in the clouds? What makes you say that?”
“Word has it that you infiltrated Goldenglow when Vex had failed.” Meliandra blanched. “Uh-oh, what’s wrong?”
She shook her head. “Vex doesn’t like me as it is.”
He chuckled. “Don’t take it personally. Vex is just…she’s a perfectionist and a hard-ass and that makes her seem intimidating. Don’t worry, she’s glad the job got done.”
Meliandra raised an eyebrow but nodded. They talked as they walked back toward Riften, Rune making jokes with Meliandra along the way. She soon started to feel relaxed and enjoyed the journey home.