Galmar stood at the door of the war room as he listened to Ulfric’s steward going over a list of the day’s events. When he heard Jorleif mention Meliandra taking authority in the Butcher murders, he began to fume. Waiting for the steward to leave, he went to the table and poured himself a tankard of mead and took a couple large swallows, staring at the table in angry disgust. He listened as Jorleif left the room, the man’s smaller gait echoing through the passageway to the throne room. Once the footsteps died away he turned to see the jarl watching him with an amused look on his face. “You find something funny?”
“You disagree with me allowing the Breton to investigate these murders?”
“You gave that woman full authority? She reports to you? What the hell are you thinking, Ulfric?”
“I am thinking that my general is forgetting his place.” He walked over, joining his friend, and, picking up a tankard, proceeded to pour himself some mead as well, while saying, “Is it not wise that whenever you are confronted with an opponent, you conquer him with love?”
Galmar snorted. “There you go sounding like one of those monks on High Hrothgar again.”
“Watch your tongue; I was supposed to be one of ‘those monks’.”
Ignoring him, Galmar continued, “So, what do you intend on doing? Wooing her until she pledges her loyalty to you?”
The jarl smiled. “There was no need to woo her at all.”
“Wait… what? You didn’t have to? She’s already- “
“In exchange for the Butcher investigation,” Ulfric answered before Galmar could ask. He took a swallow of his drink then continued saying, “Learn your enemy’s strengths, weaknesses, what you can use to your advantage, and how you can manipulate their next moves so that they play right into your hands.”
“What exactly do you want from this thief?”
An image of the Breton naked upon his bed flashed before him as he answered, “I’m not sure, Galmar, but something tells me that we want her on our side when the Empire comes knocking on our door again.”
She exited the Hall of the Dead and looked at Vorstag, her eyebrows raised in an amused look on her face. “Was it just me or is that woman… off?”
Vorstag laughed then replied, “Come on, Mel, give the old gal a break. She probably doesn’t get a whole lot of interaction with people. I mean… living people.”
Meliandra stifled a laugh. “You’re terrible, Vorstag.”
“Yeah, but you’re the one laughing.”
She balked at him. “I am not.” She pointed to the bloodstains on the stones heading toward the more affluent part of the city. “You know, I’ve got a feeling that that’s from our victim…”
“Really?” he retorted sarcastically. “So, what’s keeping us here, Mel? I mean, besides looking for this murderer?”
She shook her head, her black locks swaying side to side slightly. “Ulfric.”
“What do you mean, Ulfric?” he asked warily as they followed the trail of blood upon the stone path.
“The man is paranoid. He trusts no one. Well, he trusts Stone-Fist, but I don’t know anyone else.” She shook her head exasperatedly. “Because he’s been betrayed by people he did trust, he’s hesitant to trust me. I think he still believes that I’m working for someone against him.”
“Well, let’s just find this guy and get out of this city. Let’s get back to Riften. Or better yet, let’s go back to Whiterun and spend some time at your house there.”
She laughed. “Can’t wait to see Lydia again?”
He smiled at her, that lop-sided grin of his that made her laugh. “I bought her a present.”
The Breton nodded as she pointed at the blood trail that led to the door of the house in the corner of the block. “Seems to go to this house. Look around, see if you can find anything amiss.” She checked the door and found it locked, then she began checking the windows, only to discover they were dusty and unclear to see through. She tried seeing if any windows were loose, and, finding none, swore under her breath. She could try and pick the lock, but she was sure she’d be able to get permission to get into the house if she only knew who had the key. Vorstag came back over to her and reported the same on his findings.
She shook her head as she glanced around. Seeing an older guard making his rounds, she called him over. She showed him the writ from the jarl and asked him who had the key to the house.
“Hjerim? Tova Shatter-Shield has the key. She lives next door, but I just saw her in the market, looking at the produce.”
Nodding, she dismissed the guard while signaling Vorstag to follow as she made her way back through the neighborhood and toward the marketplace just beyond the walls of the graveyard. “I have a strange feeling about this whole situation.”
“What do you mean, Mel?”
Frowning, she shook her head. “Just a feeling, nothing I can really put into words, just… something doesn’t feel right.”
He was disappointed and upset. Susanna had seemed like the perfect choice, but still the magic had failed. The more he thought about it, the more he realized he would need a pure source, and the harlot that now lay on a slab in the Hall of the Dead was nowhere near being pure. The bodies were beginning to pile up; if he didn’t find a new donor next time, he was going to have to pack and leave for a while. He paced his bedroom, his thoughts racing as he hurriedly came up with a plan. He had possibly one more chance, but he would have to wait just a little bit longer.
The door made an audible click; turning the knob, she walked into the large house and looked around. She coughed as she breathed in the stale, dusty air, the lack of a fire inside the home for so long made it cold enough to keep the chill in Meliandra’s Breton bones. She saw a chest to the side against the wall; something was odd about it in this mostly empty house and walked up to it. She squat on her launches and lifted the lid and looked inside. Seeing multiple papers, she pulled one out, opening it and began to read; it was a flyer about the Butcher. She tucked the notice into her pocket and stood up. “Let’s look upstairs,” she said solemnly as she began to ascent the staircase.
Flecks of dust hung in the air, tiny beams of sunlight making their way through the long untouched windows. She coughed softly, and an aggravated obscenity followed. The landing was spacious and large; she could see there were rooms in the back and went to investigate further. The first room held no clues; the second room, the main bedroom, it reaped the same result as the first room except the two of them were drawn to the bed that sat in the middle of the room with chairs stacked upon it.
They returned to the first level of the home, Vorstag looking in the kitchen while Meliandra searched the rest of the house. In the back she found an end table with more of the pamphlets about the Butcher, obviously torn down from being posted by the looks of the rips in the papers. She began to turn away when something caught her attention, making her look again.
The jade skull seemingly stared at her from its bone white setting; though it was obviously connected to the darker arts in magic, she could not deny the beauty of what lay in her hand. She turned it over and over absent-mindedly as she looked around the room once more. Checking the cabinets, she found only a few clothes as well as some odds and ends. Opening the last cabinet, she immediately knew something was amiss; there were no shelves in this cabinet and the paneling on the back rattled when she opened the door. Placing her hand on the back, she discovered as she had suspected, that the paneling hid something beyond. Running her fingers along the sides, she sought the mechanism that would trigger the paneling to open.
With a creaking, the paneling began to slip into the wall. She crinkled her nose as the pungent scent of blood filled her nostrils as she stepped into the hidden room. It was everywhere, the walls, the floor. A bloodied effigy lay upon a pile of blood-soaked hay; it was obvious to her that some sort of magic had been done here. Seeing a journal on the altar that had been constructed, she picked it up and looked through it. A chill went through her when she realized what the clues were saying.
He sat at his desk staring at the bed in the next room, his thoughts on the war raging throughout the land. Reports of dragon attacks were becoming more frequent but there were no reports of any Dragonborn saving towns or people. Despite all the stress, though, his mind kept returning to the dark-haired Breton thief with amber eyes who slept within the walls of his palace, just down the corridor from his own chambers.
What was it about her, this young Breton who captivated his thoughts, whose very presence both pleased him as well as irritated him? Images of her played before him in his mind’s eye; he felt a yearning for her growing within him eliciting a deep sigh from the jarl. The woman was a thief, an assassin, and she used methods of torture familiar to him from back when he had been held captive by the Thalmor during the Great War. These were valid reasons for him to not trust her. Yet for reasons he had yet to realize himself, he knew he could place his trust in her.
He saw Rory enter his room, dressed scantily as she usually did; he felt his cock twitch. When she stood before him, he signaled to her that she should undress then he watched as her clothing came off. He instructed her to touch herself, to pleasure herself then watched as she caressed herself. She slipped her finger inside of herself and began to fuck her pussy slowly; his cock throbbed within his clothing. He removed is pants, releasing his sex from its cloth prison, and began to rub himself. The ginger watched him watch her as they each fucked themselves, her finger sliding in and out of her slit, noisily. He watched as the wench worked herself into a frenzy, her orgasm flooding beneath her.
His cock was hard and completely erect as he ordered, “Suck me.” She immediately obeyed him, kneeling before him and taking the length of him in her mouth. He held her head as she bobbed up and down on him; his climax was fast approaching as he started to thrust against her face. Crude vulgarities found their way out his mouth as she sucked his seed from him, a pleased look on the wench’s face for a job well done while he closed his eyes to see a raven-haired thief in her place.