Love and Death

The Imperial looked at her.  “From the look on your face and the sound in your voice, I believe you have someone in mind?”

“Actually, sir, yes, I do,” she answered.  Taking a deep breath, she continued, “If you were to marry Elisif, the Emperor would be more inclined to keep you here during the course of the war.  If you sire a child with her, it also insures your name is remembered.  There are plenty more pros to such a marriage if you give thought to it than there are to remaining single and face the chance of being sent back to Cyrodiil without bringing this rebellion to an end.”

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The royal suite was warm from the roaring fire from the hearth within the bedroom chambers while the rain slowly began to fall outside; she felt content and safe, the combined scents bringing memories of her childhood.  She stared out the window looking across the sea far below, the waves crashing against the rocks below.  She found herself comparing her life now to the life she had imagined as a child that she would have as an adult.  She had been raised very simply in her noble family’s home, learning all the things ladies learn and doing the things that ladies do.  She had had no desire to learn the ways of the world around her or even beyond that world she lived in.

Her father had lived long enough to see his only daughter married to the young High King, but dead not long after that of old age, her mother not long after him.  Her brothers, both were Imperial soldiers, one posted in Cyrodiil, the other missing in action in this war with Ulfric Stormcloak, the same man who killed her husband, the same man who vied for her throne as ruler of Skyrim.  And she knew absolutely nothing about ruling a city much less ruling an entire land.

“My Lady.”

The voice of her steward broke through her thoughts startling her.  She turned around, pushing loose strands of her hair behind her ear as she nervously looked at the man; giving a slight laugh, she said, “Oh, Falk.  I didn’t hear you come in.”

“I’m sorry, milady.  I was hoping to speak to you for a moment privately.”

“Ah, of course, yes, by all means.”

“The people ask how you are doing, if you are still in mourning for High King Torygg.”

“Is there a set amount of time for one to be in mourning?” she asked somberly.

A knowing smile touched his lips.  “In reality,” he said softly, “no.  Everyone mourns in their own way, in their own time.  Some mourn briefly while others never stop.”  He took a few steps toward the young, widowed jarl before continuing, “But, unfortunately, in the eyes of the Royal Court, they wish for a…respectable amount of time to mourn but not a lengthy one, especially under these circumstances.”

“These circumstances?  What circumstances would those be?”

The steward looked at her squarely in the eyes.  “The fact that High King Torygg died childless.”

“But I’m the High Queen…or I should be rightfully.”

The man sighed.  “Many do not look at you as a rightful ruler…merely the woman Torygg was married to who gave him no children.”

“So, my claim to the throne is null and void because I have no child?”

“No, they just want to secure the line of succession.  They fear an attempt on your life, milady, leaving no heir to the throne, leaving the throne open to a Stormcloak overthrow before the Moot.”

“So, what, they want me to remarry and get pregnant?”

He nodded.  “Basically, yes.”

“What?!  Am I n ow nothing more than a cow, good only for breeding at the nobles command?”

“Jarl Elisif…”

“Who would I marry anyhow?”

“There’s plenty of options amongst nobles across the land, though during this time perhaps a union between you and General Tullius would be the most beneficial to you and the city, not to mention all of Skyrim.”

“Tullius?” she retorted.  “Surely you’re joking, Falk.”

“He might be older than you’d like, but he’s a seasoned general with a good head on his shoulders.  He’s well respected by the nobles and citizens alike.”

“I realize that but…, I just think he’d pay as much attention to me as Torygg did.”

Falk looked at her, bemused.  “I’m sorry, milady.  I don’t follow you.”

She chuckled.  “Do you know why Torygg died childless?” She motioned to the bed.  “This was never the marriage bed.”

“Are you saying that the marriage was never consummated?”

A tear escaped her eyelid as she nodded.  “I have never felt the touch of a man in that way.”  She looked away as she turned back toward her window.

Falk walked over to her, laying a gentle hand upon her shoulder.  “I apologize, milady.  If I may be so bold…, I do not see why he would not bed a beautiful woman such as yourself….”

She glanced up at her steward and gave a small smile.  “It’s alright, Falk.  I know that it had nothing to do with my beauty or my personality or anything of that nature.  It was because I wasn’t equipped with what he truly desired more.”

“He favored men?”

She nodded.  “Apparently, he was quite fond of playing the submissive role.”

“Oh,” Falk responded.  “That must have been devastating for you to discover.”

Nodding, she replied, “It was.  I had dreamed of nothing more than having his babies from the time the marriage was arranged…but no one knew that he wanted no such thing.”  She coughed back a sob as she said, “I begged him, I could live with him loving a man and being with a man, if only he’d give me a babe.”

“What was his response?” Falk asked softly.

“That he could not possibly imagine ever putting his…his…penis…into a woman.  Ever.”

He pulled her into an embrace as he responded, “I’m sorry.  I had no idea.”

She started to cry more and turned into the steward’s embrace.  He held her, all the while stroking her back, soothing her, telling her how sorry he was.  Soon the tears stopped, and the jarl stepped back, wiping her eyes of signs of their existence.  “I’m sorry, Falk. I didn’t mean to lose control and break down in front of you,” she said as she looked at him.

“No, milady, it is I that should be apologizing for causing you this anguish.”  He tentatively reached over and cupped her face, hesitated for a moment, then leaned in and kissed her.

#

“Any leads on suspects, Legate?”

General Tullius paced the war room in Castle Dour, his voice level despite the increasing strain he had been under recently.  He thought this was going to be an easy in and out mission, quell this rebellion and return to Cyrodiil in a few months time.  Instead, he found himself still here in this land without much of the conveniences of home.  And now with the murder of the Emperor’s cousin right her in the city that the Legion was headquartered at, right beneath his nose, was beyond an embarrassment to him.  It called his entire leadership here into question.  This could ruin him forever.

“No, sir,” she answered.  “What we do know, though, is that multiple people state that at least one of those involved was wearing the armor of the Dark Brotherhood.”

“The assassin’s guild?” Tullius asked.

“Yes, sir.”

“Well, at least the likelihood of it being related to the war is low,” he stated sardonically.

“Sir?”

He shook his head.  “Nothing, Legate, nothing. What’s the word around town?”
“the usual,” she answered.  “Though,” she added, a hint of gossip to her voice, “the whispers around the palace and amongst the nobles is that the people are anxious for Elisif to remarry since Torygg died without neither a child nor impregnating Elisif before his death.”

“The only reason the people want a brat from that woman is in hopes it’ll secure the throne from Stormcloak hands.”

“Sir?” Rikke was surprised at the general’s crass attitude.

“Oh, come on now, Rikke,” he said exasperatedly.  “You can’t tell me you don’t think she’s as dumb as a box of rocks.”  At her silence, he nodded, saying, “Now imagine any child she births.”  He laughed bitterly.  “The only thing these people can do is hope that whoever she marries has stronger blood than whatever it is that flows through her veins.”

“Yes, there is that and I agree with you,” she responded.

The Imperial looked at her.  “From the look on your face and the sound in your voice, I believe you have someone in mind?”

“Actually, sir, yes, I do,” she answered.  Taking a deep breath, she continued, “If you were to marry Elisif, the Emperor would be more inclined to keep you here during the course of the war.  If you sire a child with her, it also insures your name is remembered.  There are plenty more pros to such a marriage if you give thought to it than there are to remaining single and face the chance of being sent back to Cyrodiil without bringing this rebellion to an end.”

He looked over a her, an eyebrow raised.  “You make valid points.  I might give that some thought.  I don’t know how I feel about having a child though, it’s not something I ever really gave a whole lot of thought to.”

“Well, don’t think too long on it; there’s plenty of other possible suitors for a very beautiful woman.”

Tullius gave a laugh.  “Good point.”  Yawning, he glanced at the door.  Rikke, taking the hint, headed toward the door, excusing herself, saying it was late and she had an early morning.  The man saw her out, then secured the door and locking it.  Stripping his armor off, he thought about the idea of marrying the young jarl.  He had always considered himself to be a confirmed bachelor, never a woman being seen on his arm.  Now he found the thought of marriage very serious upon his mind, and not just marriage but siring a child, a possible heir to the throne of Skyrim.  He had to admit that the idea was more and more appealing the more he gave it thought.  Perhaps tomorrow he would pay a visit to the Blue Palace and call upon the widowed jarl.

#

On the other side of the city, a barwench sang to a man giving him a private show as he imbibed on spiced wine, enjoying the show.  Every so often he’d reach over and pull the wench to him and fondle her breasts and butt cheeks, grabbing them forcefully as he leered at her, his intentions clear in his eyes.  He dropped a purse heavy with coin before her, the gold spilling out onto the floor, his eyes holding hers.  “It’s all yours…but only if I get my way with you, no questions asked.”

Blue eyes flickered down upon the floor, widening as they counted the coins.  Looking at the man through her eyelashes, she licked her lips and nodded her head.  “Whatever you want, honey,” she purred.

As he began to undress, watching the wench undress before him, he told the woman what he wanted to do to her, how hard he was going to do it to her.  As he spoke, his cock hardened to its full length and girth; he began to tug upon it.  Telling her to get on her hands and knees, he positioned himself behind her, fingering both of her holes before thrusting himself into her, eliciting a muffled gasp as she felt herself spread more than she ever had been before.

He went on for a few minutes, keeping his accelerated pace as he felt her ass slapping against his groin; the sound of her grunting with each thrust excited him and he began to fight the need to release.  He pulled out, inserted his fingers in her and began to fingerfuck her instead.  Calling her crude names, he brought her to climax, her orgasm flooding the floor beneath her.

Panting like a bitch in heat, she begged him to fuck her more.  He ordered her to give him oral attention before he gave her what she wanted again.  She eagerly licked upon his thick member, slowly, tantalizingly teasing him until she took the head of his dick in her mouth and began the ministrations the man wanted.  Soon, he was moaning loudly a she took more and more of him in her mouth, even as it grew.  He ran his hands through her hair, losing himself in the ecstasy this wench was creating.  Gripping her head firmly with his hands, he began thrusting himself against her mouth.  He ignored the protests she tried making as his cock began to choke her.

A loud knocking on the door broke through the sex induced haze followed by a man bellowing, “Commander Maro!  I have urgent news for you!”

Maro continued thrusting.  “Can’t” grunt “it” grunt “wait?” Grunt.

“Sir, it’s about your son.”

Maro grumbled as he continued thrusting before reaching orgasm.  Pulling out and ignoring the gasping sounds the wench made, he walked to the door and threw it open.  “What about my son?”

The officer tried to look past the form of his naked command officer, but upon seeing the woman sitting naked on the floor, he forced himself to look at Maro without breaking eye contact.  “I’m sorry, sir.  He’s been found murdered in Windhelm.  It appears he was in a whorehouse in the area known as the Grey Quarter; Dunmer refugees have made that their home.”

Maro heard none of it though.  Upon hearing that his son was dead, he found himself falling into a pit of anger and swearing not just for justice but for revenge.

Death Becomes Her

His eyes flickered with a flash of anger; when he spoke, his voice was level. “And that is why I had you followed, Meliandra. Your allegiance goes as far as the coin pays you, a person’s life and death decided by the weight of one’s purse. While your lips drip with honey, your hand is in another’s pocket. The oath you swore to me means nothing to you, so what is to make me believe you will not betray me to save your own neck?” He motioned toward the bedroom beyond the door. “Just because I allow you to grace my bed, that does not give you a free pass into my circle of trust. So, thief, give me one reason that I should trust you. Assassin.”

She finished her drink and stood up. Looking at him as she set the tankard on the desk between them, she said, “Guess that’s a gamble you’re going to have to take then.”

Her thoughts were on the words Gabriella had spoken to her with echoes of Ralof’s sneering voice as she climbed through a back window of the Penitus Oculatus outpost.  Casting her eyes around the room, she saw an official looking paper on the table closest to the door and swore.  With a flick of her wrist, she muffled her movements and crept forward.  She knew that she could not trust Ulfric, yet the more she was around the man, the more she desired him, for more than the primal stirrings he created in her.  She fed off his hunger for power just as she knew he would if he knew she was Dragonborn.  Once again, she asked herself what it was she was hoping to achieve by taking relationship with him to the level she had.  Her swearing allegiance to him in this war was foolish, more foolish than she wanted to admit to herself and it angered her greatly.  If she were discovered, if it were known that she survived Helgen, the past her mother so desperately tried to protect her from would find her.  She shook her head as she thought of what they would do if they discovered she was the Dragonborn; she would rather die than be forced to bend to their will.

Looking at the paper to confirm it was the itinerary of the Maro son, she slipped back out the window and made her way around the building to see which direction the man was going to go.  As she listened to the Commander sternly address his son, she smiled as she pieced together the type of man her victim was.

“I’m not joking, Gaius,” the older man was saying firmly, a look of annoyance on his face.  “Don’t screw this up.  This is your last fucking chance.  You drop this one, I won’t be able to save your sorry ass.  You’re completely on your own.”

The young man gave a half-smile.  “Yeah, I know.  You’ve been saying this since before we left for this shit hole.”  He looked toward the road.  “Can I go now?”

“No, not yet,” he snapped.  “Do you have your itinerary?”

Meliandra’s breath caught until she saw Gaius pat his satchel on his hip, nodding. “Right here.”

“No divergence from it, do you hear one?”

“Yes.”

“And that means no whorehouses either!”  His voice was stern again.  “There’s still that rebel whore slaughtering Imperial soldiers; all I need is to have to tell your mother you were in a whorehouse!”

“Anything else?”

Commander Maro shook his head.  “No, I guess not.”

The words were barely out his mouth and Gaius stalked off without a word more to his father.  Meliandra cloaked herself in a spell of invisibility and followed the man out of the small town, his destination, Windhelm.

#

Gaius passed through the gates of Windhelm, smiling at the scantily clad woman walking past him as he entered.  She looked him up and down and smioled back at him.  His eyes traveled down the length of her body and lingered on her shapely thighs, as white as the snow that had accumulated on the ground around him.  While he hated being here, he was finding he really appreciated the locals.  He walked to the left, where he could see a marketplace beyond interior stone walls.  The clanging of a blacksmith’s hammer striking metal against an anvil echoed loudly as he made his way toward the sound.  The stone walls were old, and he tried to recall the history of this distant land but found that part of his education was lacking.  He saw the elven merchant watching him and he winked at her.  It drove his father mad his attraction to elven women, but not as much as his other desires would if his father were to find out.

He noted the height of the walls and how deep the stones were; anyone who tried to attack this city would find themselves at a disadvantage.  He made his way past the marketplace and found himself in the marketplace and found himself in the city’s cemetery, deathbells and nightshade creating an aroma that his sense of smell found strangely pleasing.  He continued into the nicer part of the city, older, very stately homes lined the street prominently.  He noticed that the city guard patrolled this area often, having seen at least a half dozen in the few minutes he had been strolling though the neighborhood.  Then out of the corner of his eye, he saw the same scantily clad woman making her way past him and toward the Grey Quarter, catching his eye again.  Smiling with a leer in his eye, he followed the elven beauty.

#

She stormed into Ulfric’s private study, her thick bear fur cloak billowing out behind her as she angrily strode up to his desk.  “How dare you!” she growled as she slammed her fists onto the top of the desk with a strength so strong, his tankard of mead slightly shook.

Ulfric looked at the Breton, a smile hinting upon his slightly upturned lip.  “Hello, Meliandra.  Welcome back.”

“Bullshit!” she snapped.  “You trust me so little that you would have me followed and jeopardize my job with the Brotherhood?”

He picked up a tankard and the pitcher of mead and poured until it was right below the rim.  “Sit.  Drink.  Tell me of your travels, Assassin,” he said with exaggerated concentration on the last word.

She continued to glare at the man, a thunderstorm raging in her eyes until she relented and took the tankard from him and sat down.  She refused to take her eyes off him, even as she drank deeply of the honey mead he had poured her.  “Are you going to answer me?”

He sat back in his chair, tilted his head and chuckled.  “You mistakenly think that you hold some weight with me, My Temptress.  But I do not forget who you are, thief.  You are indebted to me.  Still.  Do not make me find you to be a… costly and… unnecessary asset.”

“Are you threatening me, Ulfric?” she angrily asked.

“No,” he answered as he glowered at her.  “I am merely reminding you of your place.”

She snarled.  “As I recall, when we first met, we were both in the same place, with our names written on the headsman’s axe, both destined to open our eyes somewhere other than here.  Don’t get high and mighty with me.”

“I am your Jarl,” he stated firmly.

She snarled.  “Do you honestly think that means anything to one who calls nowhere her home?”  She laughed bitterly.  “Your title means shit to me.”

His eyes flickered with a flash of anger; when he spoke, his voice was level.  “And that is why I had you followed, Meliandra.  Your allegiance goes as far as the coin pays you, a person’s life and death decided by the weight of one’s purse.  While your lips drip with honey, your hand is in another’s pocket.  The oath you swore to me means nothing to you, so what is to make me believe you will not betray me to save your own neck?”  He motioned toward the bedroom beyond the door.  “Just because I allow you to grace my bed, that does not give you a free pass into my circle of trust.  So, thief, give me one reason that I should trust you. Assassin.”

She finished her drink and stood up.  Looking at him as she set the tankard on the desk between them, she said, “Guess that’s a gamble you’re going to have to take then.”

#

His thrusts grew faster in tempo, the Bosmer’s ass cheeks jiggling with each thrust, the woman moaning as the Imperial’s cock filled her.  His grunts became louder with each thrust, the sound of skin slapping skin accompanying the primal grunts the Penitus Oculatus agent was making.  His climax quickly approaching, Gaius Maro grabbed the Bosmer’s hair and pulled her head back roughly as he slammed himself in her, his seed exploding in her womb, his fingers digging into her hips as the orgasm vibrated through his body.

He pushed the Bosmer away from him, his cock slipping out her, cum began to drip out of her slit and run down her leg.  He grabbed a rag and began wiping himself clean as he stared at her with a smirk on his face.  “So much for the superiority of the Mer,” he heckled her.  “Don’t get me wrong, honey, you’re beautiful and a great fuck.  I’d definitely bring you home to meet my mother, but I don’t have that much gold to spend on you, whore.”  He walked up to the Bosmer laying across the bed in the brothel on the outskirts of Windhelm by the docks.  “Elven superiority and you’re a whore.”  He laughed as he dropped the cum rag on her.  “Clean yourself off, honey, and put something on.  That Argonian should be here soon with that shit.”  He looked back at her.  “And don’t think you’re finished yet, slut.  I paid for an entire night with you.”

#

Meliandra made her way onto the balcony outside the room Maro was in with the barwench.  She had paid the girl a lot of coin to play up to the Imperial, promising her an even greater bonus if she catered to his wanton needs herself.  She had paid the Argonian even more coin to bring Maro the highest quality skooma gold could buy.  She had planned her part of the job down to the minute for as she stood hidden in the darkness of the window, there was a knock at the door; the Argonian had arrived.  Meliandra watched as the naked man made his way across the room to the door, opening it and standing back as the Argonian entered the room.  The Argonian was a vivacious woman, dressed in a low-cut blouse and a short skirt, followed by a brute of an Orc.

Meliandra watched as the Argonian sat at the table and began speaking to Gaius, the Orc standing behind his boss.  “Got the coin?”

“Of course I’ve got the coin; where’s my shit?”

“Gold first.  Then skooma.”

The Imperial gave a slight pout then went over to the pile of clothes in the corner of the room and retrieved his coin purse.  Giving it to the Argonian, he replied, “This should cover it.”

The reptilian woman looked in the coin purse and shrugged.  “It’ll suffice,” she hissed.  She motioned for the Orc to come forward.  “You’ll find this to be of the highest quality; it’ll knock your boots off.”

The Orc set a satchel on the table and smiled at the Imperial.

Gaius Maro’s eyes lit up as he reached over and picked up the satchel and looked in.  The Argonian smiled as she said, “Go ahead and try it.”

Meliandra watched as the Imperial got his set up out and began to fill the chamber with the skooma.  She watched as the main inhaled the vapors created, waiting for the right moment to make her way into the room.  Soon he began to show signs of intoxication; he made his way to the elven wench and told her to suck his cock until he was hard again because he wanted to fuck her in the ass.  She watched as he thrust his dick into the elf’s mouth; she silently cast her spell of invisibility and crept forward.

In his drug induced haze, he perceived no danger around him or to him.  In his drug induced haze, all that mattered was riding the lightning bolt of the high and enjoying what it brought, and right now it was the beautiful elven wench he intended on ravishing all night.  He thought nothing of the Orc suddenly beside him, his own cock in his hand as he stroked himself watching the elf give the soldier head.  “Suck me off,” growled the Orc.

The elven wench obediently turned towards the Orc and began to suck on him.  The Imperial told the woman to get on her knees so he could fuck her; she obeyed and felt the man fingering her ass.

Meliandra crept forward until she stood on the side of the Imperial.  She reached over and grabbed ahold of the length of his hair and pulled his head back hard.  She saw his eyes widen in fear as he saw the unknown woman in his room.

She laughed as she said, “Should’ve stayed out of the whorehouse” and then dragged the blade of her dagger deep across the man’s throat, spraying them with his blood.  Dropping the incriminating letter on the floor next to his now collapsed body, Meliandra smirked and said, “Death to the Empire.”

Spinning Webs

“For the love of –“ He stopped as he felt the edge press harder against his skin.  “Who are you to demand that I go against my orders? Who are you to demand anything from me, whore?”

Without hesitation, she brought up her elbow across his jaw, dropping the hand that held the dagger, the cracking sound loud in his ears.  He looked at her, eyes wide in shock at the strength this little Breton held.  “This whore has your jarl’s trust.”

“Enough trust that he orders me to follow you?” he spat at her.

“Ulfric?” she repeated, her eyes blazing hotly.

“You think that just because he’s fucking you that he trusts you?” He laughed, bitterly.  “Come on, beautiful, I know you’re smarter than that.  Keep your friends close, your enemies, closer.”

After laying in wait for three days, waiting patiently for Meliandra and her traveling companion to leave the sanctuary of the dilapidated, abandoned shack south of Solitude, Ralof was glad to be on the move again; his food stuffs were running low and he was turning a fair shade of red from little protection from the sun.  The Breton and her companion made their way away from Solitude in the dark of night, staying off the main travel ways towards the south.  By mid-day, they stopped at Lake Ilinalta where the Breton began to strip out of her clothes as her companion searched the area around them, possibly seeking food for the two to consume.  Watching the woman who helped him escape the dragon attack in Helgen step into the warm waters of the lake, he sat in the high grass, wondering if this was where she’d be making camp before recalling Ulfric’s comments about the Dark Brotherhood being near Falkreath.

Smiling slightly, he watched with lewd thoughts rolling around in his head as Meliandra dipped beneath the water, her nakedness glistening as the water rippled off her finely toned skin.  He recalled very vividly how limber those legs of hers were, and how they wrapped around him as he drove himself deep within her.  With a slight throb, he continued to watch as he imagined pinning her beneath him on the fallen tower and screwing her long and hard until she was panting like a bitch, dripping wet as he reached his own climax, pumping his cum in her.  He groaned as he tugged on himself, harder, faster, his body starting to quiver when he felt a sharp point in the middle of his back.

“I think we have ourselves a problem here,” he heard as turned his head, seeing Meliandra’s traveling companion.

#

Astrid clawed at the furs beneath her, grunting in time with her lover’s thrusts, her ass smacking against him as he filled her with his length.  She was close to orgasm; as was her lover.  He pulled back hard on the leash fastened around her neck, yanking the collar tighter against her windpipe.  He knew she liked it rough, he knew that she liked to be dominated; she knew he liked to fuck, she knew he was domineering over his sexual prey, they made for an unholy pairing, each giving into their deviancy with one another.

His load exploded within her, triggering hers, his cum mixing with hers as it began to trickle out around his thick member, even as he pumped ore of his seed deep within her.  Pulling out, he gruffly commanded for her to turn around then he shoved his cock in her mouth, ordering her to suck it clean.  Keeping ahold of the leash, he felt himself growing hard again as she sucked their combined juices off him and began to rock his hips back and forth as his member grew hard in her mouth.  “That’s it,” he said gruffly.  “Make me hard again so I can skull-fuck that mouth of yours.”

Obediently, she suckled upon her lover, feeling his growth in the back of her throat.  She felt the leash tighten around her neck signaling his encroaching orgasm; she began to feel her consciousness slip as the oxygen fought to make its way to her lungs past the rushing semen erupting down her throat.  She felt lightheaded as Festus’s voice broke through the cloud that had set upon her brain.

“Easy now, Nazir, don’t want to kill her with that dick of yours.”

The Redguard grunted as he stepped away from Astrid, pulling his pants up and cinching them.  “My Mistress knows how to prevent that from happening.”

Astrid, wiping cum from her lips and licking her fingers dry, stood and faced the wizard.  “You better have good reason to be interrupting us when I distinctly recall leaving clear instructions that I was not to be disturbed.”

Festus glanced at her leerily as he handed her a folded piece of paper.  “Vici is dead.”

#

“What in Oblivion are you doing here?”  The Breton was beyond angry as she confronted the Stormcloak soldier before her.  At his continued silence, she raged.  “Ralof, I am in no mood for this cat and mouse bullshit.  Give me an answer, or so help me, I will not hesitate to pry it from your lips by force.”

“The blond Nord stared at her in slight disbelief.  “Take it easy, beautiful.  I’m on assignment.”

“Assignment?  What kind and for who?”

“The secret kind,” he snapped.  “And none of your business.”

In a single, fluid motion, Meliandra’s dagger found its way against the Nord’s throat, the look in her eyes hauntingly demanding and brimming with an anger he’d never seen before.  “Do not test me, Ralof.  I will not hesitate to adorn your blood upon my blade.”

“For the love of –“ He stopped as he felt the edge press harder against his skin.  “Who are you to demand that I go against my orders? Who are you to demand anything from me, whore?”

Without hesitation, she brought up her elbow across his jaw, dropping the hand that held the dagger, the cracking sound loud in his ears.  He looked at her, eyes wide in shock at the strength this little Breton held.  “This whore has your jarl’s trust.”

“Enough trust that he orders me to follow you?” he spat at her.

“Ulfric?” she repeated, her eyes blazing hotly.

“You think that just because he’s fucking you that he trusts you?” He laughed, bitterly.  “Come on, beautiful, I know you’re smarter than that.  Keep your friends close, your enemies, closer.”

With her anger bristling unfettered, she cast an ice spike that landed an arm’s length from him.  “You go back to that frozen land you call home and tell Ulfric to keep his nose out of my private affairs; he’s messing with a larger threat than he could possibly imagine, and he needs to step the fuck back and let me do what I’m doing without any more interference from him.”

“Meliandra-“ he began before the look upon her face silenced him.

“You need to go, Ralof,” she said flatly.  “You tell him to think twice before sending someone else to spy on me; I might not be so…understanding next time, regardless of who it is.”  She looked over to where Stenvar stood and called out, “Bring his gear over here; our friend is going to be returning to Windhelm.”  She looked back at her former lover.  “I’m serious, Ralof.  Ulfric begins to trust me, or I won’t be as cooperative with him.”

Once she had loosened the bonds that had restrained his hands, he looked at her as he shook his head.  “I don’t know what you think you’ve got over Ulfric, beautiful, but a set of balls you don’t.  Be careful you don’t bite off more than your share; Ulfric’s not one to forgive freely.”

She laughed, a shallow, empty laugh that sent a shiver up his spine.  Her eyes narrowed ever so slightly as her words, cold as ice, pierced his ears and rang over and over the entire length of his journey home.  “Don’t worry about how much of the lions share the lion takes, be wary of the cub who outfights the rest of the pride.”

#

Astrid sat at her desk with the Dunmer assassin, the two of them discussing the next part of Motierre’s plan.  While the air was tense between the two former lovers, they both were excited at the quickly approaching grand finale that would launch the Dark Brotherhood into heights it hadn’t seen in ages.  Gabriella eyed the woman warily though, knowing her dislike of Meliandra, wondering what grand plan the woman had up her sleeve.  The blonde smiled at her, saying, “But she has to do it in the city, not on the roads.”

“In the city? Wouldn’t it be more prudent to kill him with less chance of the guards stumbling across her?”

Astrid stared at her.  “These are the instructions Motierre gave.”

Gabriella nodded.  “Understood, Astrid.”  She glanced towards the entrance, her elven ears picking up the Breton’s voice. “She has returned.”

“Good.  Tell her her new assignment; I don’t want to speak to that whore.”

#

Meliandra watched as Astrid exited the room, a smirk on both women’s faces.  She looked at the Dunmer, a question unspoken on her lips.  Gabriella motioned for her to follow as she exited and headed toward the common area.  “with the Emperor’s arrival in Skyrim now a certainty, his security service, the Penitus Oculatus, will need to begin its preparations immediately.  Security is being handled by a Commander Maro.  Astrid and I have devised a plan to break the man, and in doing so, cripple the Emperor’s protection.  You are to slay the commander’s son, Gaius Maro, and once he is dead, plant false evidence on his body implicating him in a plot to kill the Emperor.”

Meliandra nodded.  “Where do I find Maro?”

“He’s set to leave the Penitus Oculatus outpost at Dragon Bridge, and inspect the security of each city in Skyrim.  You should go there now.  Observe Gaius Maro’s departure and follow him.  Waylay him in one of the cities and send his soul to Sithis.  Once he’s dead, plant the incriminating letter on his body, and let fate take care of the rest.  Oh, and one more thing.  You must not kill Gaius Maro in Dragon Bridge, or on the road.  You must kill him in one of the other major cities he’ll be visiting.  There, the body will be discovered quickly, as will the letter implicating Gaius Maro in the plot to assassinate the Emperor.”

“Perhaps I should wait until he arrives in Windhelm; the protection n I have in that city will afford me the luxury of success without detection.”

Gabriella stopped and looked at her Breton lover.  “Yes…your dalliance with the Jarl of Windhelm… that has come to our attention.”

“What about it?”

“Meliandra,” she started before hesitating.  “Stormcloak is not to be trusted.  His past is …untrustworthy, patched with secrecy of the Thalmor.”

“What are you saying?”  Meliandra’s voice was hard, the same hardness reflecting in her eyes.

“You are but a pawn to the man, a means to an end, his end.  When he has finished with you, do you think he will not execute you, especially if he finds out what you are?”

She shook her head.  “He will never know about my past.”

“Are you sure about that? He was their prisoner for years, Elenwen’s pet project.  Do you honestly believe that he escaped unnoticed?”

“Enough!”  Meliandra’s eyes blazed.  “And how do you know these things?  Were you there, Gabriella?”

“Whether I was there or not does not matter.  The fact that you bed this man who would kill you without hesitation if he knew the truth of your past is importance.  No matter which way the die is cast, no good will ever come from this union.”

#

The night air was crisp and cool as Cicero made his way back to the Sanctuary from  his jaunt into Falkreath, having needed to acquire special oils and balms to tend to the Night Mother’s corpse.  He had needed to get out of the Sanctuary, there was a tension growing within its walls, one that he knew was coming to a head, but what would come from what was brewing, he wasn’t exactly sure, only that it had to do with the Breton assassin who was more than she let on and Astrid.  He saw the looks that passed between the two women and he saw the werewolf avoiding the both of them; he might act the fool but a fool he was not.  The love triangle was what was whispered about in the shadows of the Sanctuary, no one knew but everyone knew.

As he neared the Sanctuary, he saw the blonde Nord leader of the Brotherhood surreptitiously slipping through the Pine Forest.  His curiosity getting the better of him, the Night Mother’s Keeper followed a safe distance away.

Surprise at Whiterun

She stared at him, waiting for him top move and when she saw that he was not going to move, she snapped at him. “I do not pay you to get involved in my personal life.  Don’t forget that.”

“You know what?  I don’t give a skeever’s ass about your personal life.  But if your personal life might put my life into jeopardy, then I have every goddamn right to fucking know.  Now I’ve been watching you since we left Whiterun and the closer we get to Riften, the more edgy you get so something is rattling around in that pretty, little head of yours enough to fuck with you.  So, what the fuck are we headed into?  Is this going to be a friendly visit, or do I need to watch my back on top of yours since that’s what you pay me for?”

The skies, grey and gloomy, opened up allowing raindrops to fall to the ground beneath as Meliandra and Stenvar walked into Whiterun.  The city was quiet, most people seemingly have decided to stay indoors to avoid the coming storm.  She made her way to Breezehome, her house that she had barely spent any time at.  One day she would have to make it a point to spend more than a day or two.

She opened the door and smelled the stew cooking over the kitchen fire followed by the scent of bread being baked in the oven.  Laughter from Lydia’s room filled the silence that otherwise filled the house.  “Lydia?” she called out.  “I’m back!”

“My Lady!” she heard before sounds of rushed movements and her housecarl’s bedroom door being flung open with a harried looking woman rushing out, her face flushed.

“Everything alright, Lydia?”

The Nord woman smiled, nodding as she said, “Yes, my Lady.  Just…startled.”  She began to straighten up the kitchen area, fidgeting with some of the foodstuffs in the pantry behind her.

Meliandra nodded then indicated Stenvar beside her and introduced him.   “I need to replenish supplies and wanted to drop off some things here.  How are the food stuffs?”

Lydia smiled as if laughing at a private joke as she glanced behind her, answering, “They could use some replenishing.”

“Okay, how much?”

Again, she smiled.  “It’d be best to replenish everything.”

“Did something happen?”

“No, not at all, my Lady.  I’ve just used more than expected.”  She shrugged slightly as she explained, “I’ve entertained a few guests in your absence.”

Meliandra opened her mouth then closed it and walked up the stairs to her room.  Stenvar looked around in the foyer outside her room as she opened the safe in her room, pulling out various bags of coins.  “Stenvar,” she called, “take this down to Lydia.”  Shaking her head, she muttered, “Going to have to have a talk with her about throwing parties on my gold.”

The man took the coin purses and walked back downstairs where Meliandra heard him giving her housecarl the money bags.  A loud rapping upon her door jolted her and brought her immediately to the stairwell.   She heard Hrongar, the jarl’s brother at the door asking where she was.

“She’s not here,” came Lydia’s annoyed voice.

“Don’t lie to me, Lydia,” Hrongar snapped.  “She was seen coming into town.  My brother wants to see her.”

“She went out for supplies.  I don’t know when she’ll be back.”

“I don’t care when she gets back.  You just tell her that the jarl wants her up at Dragonsreach.  Don’t make me come get her.”

Meliandra heard the door shut and began to descend the stairs.  She began to thank Lydia for the deflection when she noticed the bulge of her stomach and stopped short.  “You’re with child.”

Lydia nodded.  “I am.”

“The entertaining guests?”

She smiled.  “I’m ravenous.”

Meliandra chuckled.  “I suppose you are.”  She finished coming down the stairs.  “And who is the father?”

“I am.”

Meliandra turned at the familiar voice to see Vorstag standing at the door to Lydia’s room, wearing only a pair of loose trousers, his chest bare.  She looked back at Lydia then turned her attention to her former hired man.  “So, I dismiss you and you come impregnate my housecarl?”

“Oh yeah, Mel,” he said as he rolled his eyes, “that’s exactly what I had planned when you dismissed me.”  He walked toward Lydia, standing beside her and taking her hand in his.  “Look, I don’t care where you and I stand; I’m going to be here for Lydia and our child.”

“Yes, you are,” she agreed with a nod.  She turned to look at Stenvar, tossing him the coin purse she held in her hand.  “You know what we need; sell the things we agreed on.  I better go see what Balgruuf wants.”

#

The jarl’s chambers were dimmer than normal as Meliandra entered.  Proventus gave a slight nod as he shut the doors, leaving her there waiting for Balgruuf to enter.  She looked over the lavishly set table, her mouth watering at the sight of the aromatic roasted venison sitting in the middle, surrounded by loaves of bread and various roasted vegetables with goblets for the wine that filled the ewers on the table.

She heard him walk into the room before she saw him; she felt his breath on her neck before feeling his hands on her arms.  His lips grazed her skin as he welcomed her back to Whiterun, and more specifically, Dragonsreach.  “My darling,” he murmured, “I’ve missed you.”

Meliandra closed her eyes; his touch, while gentle, she knew could turn hard with no warning, his temper flaring on a whim.  She had worn the evidence of that temper before and she had sworn revenge, she merely had to bide her time.  She let him undress her, let him kiss her and fondle her intimately.  She let him guide her to his male member and obediently gave it the oral ministrations he desired, and when he could not contain himself, she drank of his seed, but knowing he was far from done with her.

With their meal growing cold, he took her to his bed, making her get onto her hands and knees, her ass sticking up where he begun to fingerfuck her, only his forefinger at first, then adding his middle finger shortly thereafter.  At her growing wetness, he thrust his cock inside of her and immediately held a fast pace rapidly bringing himself to orgasm, his seed filling her womb as he held her hips until his climax had ended.

He climbed out of bed, wrapped himself in a cloak, and said, “Shouldn’t let this food go to waste; let’s eat.”

#

The mid-day sun beat down on the two traveling companions as they made their way toward Riften; the horses they rode keeping a leisurely pace.  When Stenvar had inquired how she had managed to acquire two horses from the jarl’s personal stables, she had given a cold reply of “Guilty men are easily manipulated.”

He remained quiet for awhile as he thought about things then asked, “You’re sleeping with the jarl?”

She pursed her lips, measuring her words.  “Balgruuf sees a future with me; I use that to my advantage.”

“And he’s a guilty man because…?”

Her answer was short as she simply said, “He is not a nice man.”

“Uh-huh.”

They rode in silence again, Stenvar thinking of all that Meliandra had told him and things he had picked up on.  Things made little sense and he had a feeling that they were only going to get more confusing as time went on.  Turning slightly to ask his companion a question, he noticed she wore a blank expression upon her face, but her eyes betrayed the anguish in her soul.  Concerned, he asked, “What troubles you, Meliandra?”

“Troubles me?” she repeated.  “What makes you think something is troubling me?”

“Everything about you right now.”

She shook her head, saying, “You’re imagining things, Stenvar.”

He kept quiet but continued to watch her as she got more agitated as they got closer to Riften, shifting in her saddle often.  Finally, the Nord stopped his horse on the narrow path in front of her, saying, “You can either tell me again that I’m imagining things, or you can tell me what’s got your pants in a bunch but I’m not budging until you tell me what’s got you so perturbed.”

She arched her eyebrow as she stated flatly, “You do realize that I have no problem Shouting you out of my way, right?”  She stared at him, waiting for him to move and when she saw that he was not going to move, she snapped at him. “I do not pay you to get involved in my personal life.  Don’t forget that.”

“You know what?  I don’t give a skeever’s ass about your personal life.  But if your personal life might put my life into jeopardy, then I have every goddamn right to fucking know.  Now I’ve been watching you since we left Whiterun and the closer we get to Riften, the more edgy you get so something is rattling around in that pretty, little head of yours enough to fuck with you.  So, what the fuck are we headed into?  Is this going to be a friendly visit, or do I need to watch my back on top of yours since that’s what you pay me for?”

She stared at him long and hard relenting only when she realized his words were true and that she owed him an explanation.  “I have to pay a visit to someone in the Thieves Guild.”

“The Thieves Guild?”  he repeated, hesitation edging his voice.

A small smile appeared upon her lips as she said reassuringly, “Yes, I have a lot of dealings with the Guild.  I need to speak with a fence who handles specific items.”

“If everything is alright, why this anxiousness?”

She sighed and glanced away for a moment.  “Because I have a past with one of them; it’s complicated.”

“Ah,” he said in understanding.  “It’s complicated.  I’m starting to see that with you, lots of things are…complicated.  Especially where men are concerned.”

She spurred her horse into a trot and pushed by Stenvar as he pulled his horse back, giving her berth to pass. As she passed him, she looked him in the eye, glaring, and said, “Some wounds take longer to heal than others.”

She pushed her horse into a fast gait as they fell into silence as they continued making their way to the fishing town of Riften, home of the Thieves Guild.

#

Ralof trailed the Breton and the Nord from a distance, his orders from Ulfric being very specific about not being seen by the woman.  He had had to resort to stealing a horse from the Whiterun stables, having been surprised to see her and her companion riding out of town on horses kept separate from the rest of the townspeople’s.

The blond Nord sighed; he knew that Ulfric had bedded the Breton and had claimed her for himself.  Ralof had heard the talk amongst his fellow soldiers about the jarl having been heard bedding a woman the same morning he had seen Meliandra, scantily clad, leaving Ulfric’s bedchambers.  And then he had been ordered before the jarl and given direct orders to follow the Breton undetected but to insure her safe return, the words heavy as Ulfric told the soldier, “Anything happens to my… to Meliandra, I will hold you directly responsible.”

As he sighed once again at the thought of Ulfric claiming Meliandra as his.  In his mind’s eye, he could see the large, rounded breasts of the petite woman as they bounced up and down as he pounded his dick into the wetness between her legs.  He thought about how he’d grab her tits and squeeze them hard as he rubbed them roughly.  He thought about how he’d suck on her breasts, his tongue flicking across her nipples followed by playful biting.  He found his thoughts drifting to the image of her on all four before him, her naked ass cheeks would get as his hands left marks upon them from slapping them.  He thought about how it felt as he watched his cock slide into her as he had her on all fours in front of him.

He felt himself growing harder and beginning to throb against the fabric of his clothing; he swore, knowing he needed release.  He stopped his horse and dismounted; loosening his pants, he pulled his dick out of his pants and sat upon a nearby log and began to stroke himself, yanking on his member quickly.  He imagined the Breton on her knees in front of him, her lips wrapped around his sex organ as he fucked her mouth, her hair wrapped in his hands as he held her head firmly in place.  In his mind, he pictured her fingering her pussy as his dick slid in and out of her mouth, bringing herself to a dripping wet frenzy as he reached his own orgasm.  His seed ejaculated from his shaft onto the ground below, but in his impromptu fantasy, he was choking the woman with his cum as it spilled out of him and down her throat.  His orgasm rocked his body, both in his fantasy and in real life, making his body quiver and shake until he was spent.  After a moment, he tucked his cock back inside his pants, stood up, and climbed onto the back of the horse, setting out to catch up to Meliandra.

Flaring Tempers

“Actually, Meliandra, I’ve been trying to figure out if you’re a Stormcloak.  Rumor at the inn is that you have Ulfric’s ear and are at his beck and call.”

Uncomfortable silence ensued for a moment and when she answered, her words were measured and void of any sign of emotion.  “Truth be told, he has my ear more than me having his and being at his beck and call…” She paused then continued, “I am in his employ; when he requires my services, he sends word.”

 “What does he ask of you?”

She glanced at him, her green eyes piercing him.  “What he asks of me is of no concern to you.”  Again, she paused before asking, “Why the questions?”

“Because I’d like to know if I’m going to be branded a rebel by association.”

After another moment of silence, Meliandra stated plainly, “It suits me to be in his employ, regardless if it is helping the rebels.”

“It suits you?” he repeated.  “That’s all fine and dandy, but allegiance to the Stormcloaks while escaping across Skyrim is walking a fine line.  One day you’re going to find out just how sharp of a double-edged sword that fine line is.”

Stenvar packed the last of the camp Meliandra had made the night before after they had removed the bandits that had previously occupied the tower to the east of Whiterun.  Meliandra had woken early and had caught some salmon that she had roasted over a fire and after pulling out a loaf of bread and a chunk of hard cheese from her pack, and had began to eat, waiting for him to wake.  Once he had woken, she instructed him to gather their belongings after eating so they could continue to the Sanctuary outside of Falkreath; she wanted to get there to await new instructions as quickly as possible.  Soon, he was closing the pack he carried and hitched it upon his shoulder and followed the Breton out into the morning sun.

They walked in silence; he could see that shed still carried the appearance of someone in deep contemplation despite her attempts to distract herself with random conversation.  Every so often he’d see her looking toward the Throat of the World, where the Greybeards made their home in the monastery of High Hrothgar.  He knew that the Greybeards had called for the Dragonborn, had called for her, but she had yet to answer them; she still had yet to completely accept the role fate had cast her in.  He knew better than to try and talk to her about it, though every fiber in his Nord body told him he needed to.

A group of Imperial soldiers were making their way down the road, immersed in discussion.  Meliandra noticed them before they noticed her and drew the hood of her cloak further down her head, obscuring her face from view.  As they drew close, Stenvar could see a couple of the men pointing toward her and beginning to walk toward them when he saw a small coin purse slip out of her hand, gold coins glinting in the sun through a hole too small for them to fall through.  The men held back and waited for Meliandra and Stenvar to pass.  Upon glancing behind them, the Nord saw the soldiers opening the coin purse, greedily looking inside at its contents.

“I do not need the annoyance of soldiers asking questions,” she stated matter-of-factly.  “Losing some gold to keep them away is well spent coin.”

He nodded in understanding but said nothing as they continued walking.

“Looks like a blackbird pecked off your nose; what’s wrong, Stenvar?”

He shook his head, a smile on his face as he imagined the imagery of her words.  “Actually, Meliandra, I’ve been trying to figure out if you’re a Stormcloak.  Rumor at the inn is that you have Ulfric’s ear and are at his beck and call.”

Uncomfortable silence ensued for a moment and when she answered, her words were measured and void of any sign of emotion.  “Truth be told, he has my ear more than me having his and being at his beck and call…” She paused then continued, “I am in his employ; when he requires my services, he sends word.”

“What does he ask of you?”

She glanced at him, her green eyes piercing him.  “What he asks of me is of no concern to you.”  Again, she paused before asking, “Why the questions?”

“Because I’d like to know if I’m going to be branded a rebel by association.”

After another moment of silence, Meliandra stated plainly, “It suits me to be in his employ, regardless if it is helping the rebels.”

“It suits you?” he repeated.  “That’s all fine and dandy, but allegiance to the Stormcloaks while escaping across Skyrim is walking a fine line.  One day you’re going to find out just how sharp of a double-edged sword that fine line is.”

She turned on him, her eyes blazing in anger as she turned on him, her eyes blazing in anger as she said gruffly.  “I pay you for your blade at my side, not for your opinion.”  And with that, she pivoted on her heel and stalked off.

#

Astrid looked at the bed, staring at the naked, spread-eagle form of her Lycan husband.  Her eyes traced the outline of muscles, how firm they were and how well-defined they were, his chest and abdomen down below his waist where his hair turned dark and wiry.  Her eyes continued trailing down his body, noting how defined the muscle there was; she was reminded of all the reasons she had become attracted to him all those years ago.  But he had changed, she had changed, and she did not know if they would ever get back to where they once had been.

She watched as he stirred in their bed, a content sound coming from him as his lips turned slightly upward, smiling in his dream state.  A moan escaped his lips as she noticed he was now no longer flaccid.  Her lips hinted at a smile as thought of the things that she did that made her husband react in such a primal way.

Then she heard him say, ever so lustfully, the Breton Meliandra’s name.

And it was at that exact moment that she heard Meliandra’s voice echoing through the chambers outside her doors.  Her anger suddenly boiled over, erupting violently as she picked up a large book and threw it at her husband, promptly waking him up, startled and growling.

“What the fuck?”  he snapped as he pi8cked up the book and threw it across the room, crashing it into a jar on the table and shattering it into pieces.

“Even in your sleep you dream of that skank!” Astrid yelled.

“So now we fight because of what’s in my dreams?” he roared as he got his pants and began to dress.

“That wench couldn’t have been here long before you picked up her scent!”

“You’re being unreasonable, Astrid,” he grumbled as he made his way toward the door of their shared room.

She stepped in his way.  “I’m being unreasonable?  She comes in here and takes everything that we worked for from us – “

“From us?”  he snarled.  “Don’t you mean from you?  That is if she took anything at all!”

“If she took anything at all?  She’s taken everything!  I should be the one doing Babette’s biding!  I’ve been loyal to the family longer than most everyone here and unquestionably longer than that Breton upstart!”

He shook his head as he pushed past his wife.  “Your jealousy is blinding you, wife, and it will lead you down a dangerous road if you do not pay attention to it.”

#

The room was dark, only a few sconces dimly lighting the chambers.  The coffin stood on end in the corner, the red stained glass giving an eerie appearance to the room turned into a crypt.  It was equally eerily quiet in the set of rooms given to the Night Mother and the keeper, with only the vampire child sitting at the table, pouring over tomes that Cicero had brought with him, learning more of the history of the Night Mother’s legacy.  She had spent much of her time discussing things with the strange jester.  But she grew worried with his gibberish, his talk of pretenders.  She feared his mind broken from the time he had been alone in hiding, protecting the Night Mother.  It was something she’d have to watch from afar until she could discern if any dangers existed.

But until then, she needed to converse with her Breton agent and find out what Amaund Motierre wished for from the Dark Brotherhood; she also knew she needed to address the affair she was carrying on with Arnbjorn.  The discord that came from this wanton affair between the two of them was becoming an issue for the family, one that was slowly ripping them apart.

As if on cue, her vampiric senses alerted her to Meliandra’s approach.  Ina moment’s time the short Breton entered the room and approached Babette.  The undead child looked at her.  Taking a moment to collect her thoughts, she began speaking evenly.  “I have lived for over three hundred years, there is very little I have not seen.  You are not fooling anyone, your dalliance with Arnbjorn is known to everyone.  Normally one’s sex life is of no concern to the Brotherhood, but this is different.  You are bringing discord to the family; this affair must stop before permanent damage is done to our family.”

Meliandra nodded, her expression unreadable.  “As you command, Listener.”

Babette looked at the Breton for a moment, trying to decide if Meliandra would heed her words or defy her before saying, “What does our old friend Amaund ask of us?”

She chuckled, a smirk touching her lips.  She pulled the sealed letter and amulet out of her travel pouch and placed them before the vampire.  “Motierre is a dastardly man, for sure.  He wishes for us to assassinate the Emperor.”

“The Emperor?  To kill the Emperor of Tamriel… The Dark Brotherhood has not done such a thing since the murder of Uriel Septim, and that was two hundred years ago…”

“So, we’re going to accept the contract?”

Babette nodded.  “Astrid and I will iron out the details.  But, I need you to take this” she picked up the amulet and handed it to her “to have it appraised.  I want to know where it came from, how much it’s worth, and if we can actually get away with selling it.  Have Delvin Mallory take a look at it.  Find out everything you can, and sell it if he’s willing.  He’ll offer a letter of credit -that’s fine.”

Meliandra took the amulet and exited the room, heading toward the exit.  From the corner of her eye she saw Astrid watching her, a hateful look upon her face.  She smiled as she passed the table the woman sat at and walked out of the Sanctuary into the blazing sun.

As her eyes adjusted she saw Arnbjorn sitting upon a log by the water’s edge.  The sight of the man excited her; she licked her lips as the image of him buried deep inside of her, fucking her like she was a bitch in heat floated to the front of her mind.  Keeping Babette’s admonishment in mind, she began to walk in the other direction when she saw that the werewolf was watching her.  Sighing to herself, she walked toward him.

His eyes devoured her; her scent was heavy in the air and it was thick with her highly charged pheromones.  His growl was thick with his own lust, her name rumbling off his lips.  “Come to tempt me again?”

“It’s not my fault that you’re weak for me.”

“Why can’t you leave me be?  Do you enjoy causing me so many problems?”

“Arn,” she purred, “do you really want me to leave you alone?  Don’t you crave the attention I give you?”

“I desire my wife!” he roared.

She laughed.  “The wife who refuses to spread her legs for you.  The wife who fucked your friend in your bed while you were on assignment.”  Her voice turned acidic.  “She treats you like nothing but a lap dog and you keep begging for her to pay attention to you.”

“Are you expecting me to come running to you?” he roared.  “I will not leave my wife.  It is her that I love and will remain with for the rest of my life!”

“You think that’s what I want?” She smiled broadly, the laughter showing in her eyes.  “You’re nothing more than a fuck, Arnbjorn, someone to satisfy my need for dick.  I don’t want you for myself, I just want your dick.”

He stood up, glaring at her.  “You’re nothing but a whore.”

Her face remained impassive, but her eyes narrowed.  “And you were more than wiling to bend me over and shove your cock into this whore.”

An angry growl escaped his lips as he shifted into wolf form and disappeared into the thick of the woods.

Foreboding

He reached toward her, his fingers grazing her arm.  “Running away, already?”

She glanced back at him as she walked to his study where her dropped cloak lay.  “Running away?”  A chuckle escaped her lips.  “Haven’t you proven to me that running is futile?  It’s not like I can hide; you know that eventually I’ll be in Falkreath or Riften.  You’ll find me.”

“Will I have to?”  he asked.

“What is it about her that has you captivated by her?” Astrid asked angrily.

Gabriella sighed as she watched the woman stalking around the room, her anger and jealousy radiating through her words.  The Dunmer had grown tired of the jealousy long ago and had done her best to avoid any conversation about Meliandra with her former lover.  “Why do you continue on about Meliandra, Astrid?” she asked.  “To keep doing so will not make things return to the way they were before her arrival.”

“I wish I had just killed that whore,” the blonde snapped suddenly.

“Watch your words.”

“Or what?”
Gabriella turned and walked to the door, shaking her head slightly.  “Astrid, allow me to speak as an old friend… and listen well to the words I say.”  She paused a moment then said, “The woman I met and fell in love with over a decade ago was someone confident in who they were and the people around them.  But something happened to that woman and she turned bitter and cold, trusting no one, not even herself.  Take care, Astrid, for the road you travel is one that will only lead to isolation and death.”

Astrid stared at the Dunmer as she calmly exited, shutting the door behind her.

#

The sound of a sharp rap on his door with his name being called out woke him up.  Opening his eyes, he smiled as he saw Meliandra asleep next to him, her naked body stretched alongside his.  He got out of bed, pulled the bed furs over Meliandra’s nakedness, picked up his cloak, and went to open the door before Galmar’s voice awoke the sleeping Breton.  Unbolting the door, he let his general in and as he headed toward his study, instructing the man to shut the door.

Galmar looked at him quizzically as he shut the door, noting the jarl’s lack of attire and the form of a sleeping woman beneath the furs on Ulfric’s bed.  He smiled, a chuckle escaping his lips as he said, “Wild night?”

“You might say that.”

“As long as it gets your mind off that Breton girl, I’ve got no complaints.”

Ulfric paused, glanced at the bed, then back at Galmar, his eyebrow arched, a hint of a smirk hiding on his lips.  “Then perhaps you should keep your complaints to yourself.”

Galmar stopped and looked back at the bed, seeing Meliandra’s face clearly this time nestled beneath the furs.  His face became angry and he turned to the jarl once more.  “You fucked her?”  He paused then continued, “Obviously you fucked her.  But why?  By your own words you do not trust her.”

“I need not explain myself to you, Galmar.”

The general bristled.  “Have you taken leave of your senses, Ulfric?”

“Have you?” the jarl countered, the irritation in his voice becoming noticeable.

“What do you really know about this girl?” he demanded pointedly.

Ulfric cast a withering look at his friend.

“You know I’m right, Ulfric.”

“I know you overstep your place.”  He sat at his desk and looked at him.  “What brings you to my chambers this morning?”

“I was going to talk to you about our next move, but I think I’m going to wait until we can speak privately.”

Ulfric nodded.  “that would be best.  Meliandra will be leaving for Falkreath later today’ we will discuss what lays before us tonight.”  He glanced at the bed beyond the door to his study and thought briefly about the woman who lay asleep in it, wondering what exactly had brought her to him last night; he looked back at his general.  “Your…concerns are noted, old friend.”

“Hmph.  Just make sure you’re not thinking with your dick, Ulfric.  That girl is nothing but trouble; it’s written all over her face.”

“You are dismissed, Galmar,” Ulfric snapped shortly, his eyes going cold as he stared at his friend.  He waited until he heard the door open and shut again before he got up and walked back to the bed.  Meliandra hadn’t moved during the time he had been out of bed; he removed his cloak and crawled back into bed, pulling the Breton close to him as he kissed the area of her neck that met her shoulder.  Soon she was making pleasured sounds as sleep lifted from her, bringing a smile to his face.  “Good morning, my Temptress,” he murmured against her skin, his lips lightly caressing her skin.  “I trust you slept well?”

Her answer was to turn her head, meeting his gaze as she leaned up to kiss him, pressing her lips firmly against his.  She turned her body into his, his hands running up her arms as he returned her kiss.  She felt his desire stirring against her, the intensity of his kiss growing as his hands found their way to her face, cupping it as his kiss deepened.  Throwing her leg over his waist, she brought herself atop of him, a smirk upon her face as she said, “Morning.”

He looked at her above him, his eyes taking in every detail of her, the trim physique of her body, the definition of her muscle tone, the scars that were evidence to the battles she had fought and won.  She ran her fingernails down his chest, a sparkle of mischief in her eyes.  He went to lean up toward her, but she set her palm against his chest and pushed back, a smirk on her face as she leaned over, pressing her lips against his.  He held her head, her hair entwining in his fingers as he returned the kiss, the passion building inside of him against as it did the previous night.  She began gyrating her groin atop of him, slowly, seductively, making him grow hard against her.

He groaned, wanting her, craving her, needing to have her envelop him once again.  His hands found their way to her thighs, gripping them as she rubbed herself on his groin.  “Even now you must tease me?”

She smiled as she leaned down, placing soft kisses upon his chest, murmuring, “Of course; teasing is only the beginning of pleasure.”  Readjusting herself slightly, she shifted her weight back and felt Ulfric’s shaft slip comfortably deep inside her, eliciting pleasured moans from both of them as she began rocking herself back and forth, eyes closed and biting her lip.

The jarl’s hands traveled up her waist finding their way to her firm breasts where he began massaging them, roughly, tweaking her nipples into stiff perks before raising himself enough to wrap his arms around her, cupping her breasts with his mouth, suckling them as if a hungry babe.  He felt her hands combing through his hair, her moaning, lustfully, as his ears picked up his name being uttered over and over; he found his arousal was becoming more and more demanding as he felt the build up intensifying.

He pulled her closer to him and brought her lips to his, crushing them with the hunger he felt deep within himself.  “Meliandra,” he growled thickly, “his breath coming in short bursts, “you must quench this fire.”

In response, the Breton changed the tempo of her movements, increasing it until she had worked herself into a heated frenzy until finally she cried out as her orgasm spread through her body, his name once more being called out.

Ulfric’s own orgasm began as hers came to its end, his hands gripping her thighs tight as he flooded her womb with his seed.  He reached up, cupping the back of her head with his hand and drew her close to him, kissing her deeply.  “Good morning, my Temptress,” he said thickly.

Smiling, she responded, “Ulfric” and then began to get out of bed.

He reached toward her, his fingers grazing her arm.  “Running away, already?”

She glanced back at him as she walked to his study where her dropped cloak lay.  “Running away?”  A chuckle escaped her lips.  “Haven’t you proven to me that running is futile?  It’s not like I can hide; you know that eventually I’ll be in Falkreath or Riften.  You’ll find me.”

“Will I have to?”  he asked.

“Find me?”  She shook her head, picking up her cloak and draping it around her shoulder, clasping it with a golden brooch.  “No, you won’t. I’ll be coming back.”  Thinking of Amaund Motierre and the job he was paying for, she smiled and continued, “I have a feeling you are going to be seeing a whole lot more of me.”

The Promise

Stunned for but a moment, he kissed her fully as he stood up, his hand finding the small of her back and pulling her to him.  His free hand found its way through her hair as he deepened the kiss, his tongue slipping past her lips and intertwining with hers.  The kiss possessed him, threatening to drown him in the pent up frustrations they both shared.  

He broke the kiss, his breathing heavy.  He cupped her face with both hands and looked in her eyes.  “Why must you persist in torturing me, my temptress?” he said hoarsely, his voice barely above a whisper. 

She met his gaze, answering, “I’m offering myself to you.” 

His eyebrow arched as he searched her face, his forefinger now tracing her jawline to her chin where his thumb then traced her lips softly.  “offering yourself?  Are you…sure you want this?  You did say I was dangerous for you.” 

She nodded.  “If you’ll have me.” 

Ulfric sat in his personal study reviewing reports that had come in earlier in the day but he had been preoccupied with random thoughts of the Breton thief who now lay in a bed down the passageway in the chambers he had started considering hers.  And he was distracted by the images of her in his head hours after he had bid her good night at the end of the evening meal.  He set a report back on the stack with the others again when he had realized that he had barely read the words before him.  He ran his hand over his face as he stared into the fire, his conversation with Meliandra replaying in his mind.  She was skilled in turning conversation away from subjects she did not wish to engage in, having deflected his many attempts to learn of her youth and how she had found herself in the back of the wagon headed to the headsman’s black.  He found it alluring, the secrecy she kept around her like a shroud, yet, at the same time, he saw it as a red flag and that he must proceed with caution.

He picked up his tankard and filled it with mead and took a large drink of it as his mind traced her image before him, her lithe body sauntering toward him, his name dripping off her tongue like honey from a comb.  He closed his eyes, took a deep breath and counted to ten, then opened his eyes, picked up the report and began reading again.

Across the passageway, Meliandra laid wide awake in bed, staring at the ceiling above, listening to the crackling embers of the hearth fire as a snowstorm raged outside.  She thought about her Dunmer lover Gabriella; she loved the woman, but was not in love with her.  And Arnbjorn, she enjoyed sex with the werewolf but he held no claim to her heart.  Brnjolf’s smile, floated to the top of her memory, his voice echoed in her ears; a pang of hurt clutched her chest as she forced his image from her mind.

Suddenly, she threw the furs off of her and reached for the warm thick cloak on the chair near her bed and wrapped herself in it  as she made her way out of her chambers.  She had no destination in mind, only the need to outrun the pained feelings she still carried for the Nord thief.  She blindly walked through the well-lit passages, her memories clouding her vision.  Her conflicting feelings over the Windhelm jarl crept into her thoughts and soon she was remembering the kiss they had shared, short but full of hunger.  She had felt hunger like that before and craved the passion she knew made up that hunger.

But it was Ulfric Stormcloak who aroused that craving within her.  It was a man who would hate her if he knew her truths that distracted her from the ache of Brynjolf’s betrayal.  And she couldn’t help but feel a strong pull to this jarl, no matter how dangerous of a man he was.

#

Ulfric rubbed his closed eyes as he set the report on his desk, a deep sigh escaping his lips as he gave up trying to read these reports at all this night.  His thoughts refused to give up the image of the Breton, blurring the words before him until all he saw was the thief.  Asking her to remain in his city was tormenting him.  He looked at the door in his study that led to the passage to her chambers, a passageway that connected his childhood chambers to these chambers he lived in now, chambers that once belonged to his parents, the passageway that his mother used in caring for him as a babe rather than making use of a nanny or a wet-nurse.  He was tempted to journey down the old passageway to gaze upon her once more as he had done before, but this time he resisted the urge.

He got the distinct feeling he had eyes watching him and, turning to look at the door, he saw Meliandra approaching him quietly, her eyes meeting his.  She stopped directly in front of him, a slight hesitation to her as he opened her mouth to speak, then stopping, closing her mouth and glancing away.

“Meliandra?” he asked, “is everything alright?”

She let her cloak fall to the floor at her feet in response.

He sat in silence for a moment, the naked form in front of him making him lose his tongue as he gazed at the Breton approaching him.  “Melian-” he began only to be silenced by her lips pressing against his.  Stunned for but a moment, he kissed her fully as he stood up, his hand finding the small of her back and pulling her to him.  His free hand found its way through her hair as he deepened the kiss, his tongue slipping past her lips and intertwining with hers.  The kiss possessed him, threatening to drown him in the pent up frustrations they both shared.

He broke the kiss, his breathing heavy.  He cupped her face with both hands and looked in her eyes.  “Why must you persist in torturing me, my temptress?” he said hoarsely, his voice barely above a whisper.

She met his gaze, answering, “I’m offering myself to you.”

His eyebrow arched as he searched her face, his forefinger now tracing her jawline to her chin where his thumb then traced her lips softly.  “offering yourself?  Are you…sure you want this?  You did say I was dangerous for you.”

She nodded.  “If you’ll have me.”

He pulled her close to him again, drawing her into another kiss, his hunger for her consumed him as he lifted her up into his arms and carried her to his bed, laying her atop the thick furs.  Backing away from the bed, but keeping his eyes upon her, he bolted the door to his rooms before removing the pants he wore, leaving nothing more than his braies.  He approached the bed, eyeing the Breton.  He ran his hand along the length of her leg, moved his hand to her stomach, palm down, skimming its way up to her chest, and through the divide of her breasts.  He curled his fingers inward as he brushed them against her neck as he cupped her head in his hand, bending down  to gently kiss her lips.

Climbing onto the ed next to her, he let his free hand roam over her body, rubbing it sensuously as he ran his lips down her neck.  She leaned her head back, a soft moan slipping past her lips, her eyes closed.  He felt himself growing harder as his passion built.  Fingernails ran down his chest, stopping at the waist of his undergarment.  He kissed her lips as he felt her fingers working loose the ties that held those undergarments up.  Her touch was stimulating, making his desire grow more and once she had pushed his garments down his legs, he felt those fingernails resume their enticing touch as they found their way to his sex where her hands began giving him attention.

Neither spoke as they touched and explored one another, kissing one another with a slowly increasing fervor.  He ran his hand along the scar along her lower abdomen, as she traced the many scars that crisscrossed his chest, his shoulders and onto his back.  They recognized the wounds as battle scars of a personal level, both knew the stories behind how the scars came to be were stories kept under lock and key.

Ulfric re-positioned himself, resting his body just above her’s; his hardness resting atop her, making her acutely aware of his desire for her.  He kissed her again, tasting her lips greedily before looking her in the eye and asked huskily, “This is what you want?”

At her nod, he leaned in to kiss her briefly before thrusting himself in her, filling her with the thickness that was his sex organ.  She gasped as she felt him hit deep within her, her hips beginning to gyrate in time with him, her nails now scratching his chest, bringing blood to his skin.

Slowly, Ulfric made love to Meliandra, seeking only to please her first as he savored the very touch of her beneath him.  Her lips caressed his chest every so often, her tongue flicking across his skin drawing pleasured sounds from the jarl.  He leaned down, nuzzling his face against her neck as he placed light kisses upon her shoulder, working his way along her neckline to her jawline until her lips met his and gave way to the force of his kiss, laying claim to her, possessing her.  She met his fervor with one of her own, inflaming both their passions explosively.

Meliandra’s body began to tremble as he drove her to the brink before her orgasm racked her body, her head thrust back as she rode the wave of her climax, her moaning coming to a crescendo.  Ulfric thrust himself into the Breton, her juices sliding down his cock, lubricating his shaft as he pumped back and forth again, slowly bringing her  to another orgasm that had her clawing at him as her body spasmed hard beneath him.

He felt his own orgasm approaching; he knew that he was past the point of no return, that there was no staving off his hunger anymore as he began to chase that elation that sexual release gave.  He was vaguely aware that his temptress was orgasming once more, his name now rolling off her lips as she begged for him to give her his release, hard and fast.  He felt her fingernails tearing into his flesh as she grabbed a hold of him in a frenzy, triggering his climax.

He thrust himself inside her once more and, holding himself above her, his member twitching inside her as he exploded into her, flooding her womb with his seed.  With his release, he looked into her eyes as he drew close to her, his lips brushing hers softly, tenderly before saying, “I promise I won’t hurt you, my temptress.”

A slight smile appeared on her lips as she kissed him then looked in his eyes, responding, “And if I made that promise, it’d be a lie.  I will hurt you, Ulfric, that is my promise to you.”