Tangled Webs

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?”

“Meliandra.”

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.”

“You were?”

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.

“Men trouble?”

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?”

“My 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.

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GoldenGlow

She found the grate for the sewer with no problem. She slipped in unnoticed and quickly changed out of her wet clothes and pulled out dry clothing from the knapsack she had made waterproof. She slowly crept her way up to the door and found it locked. She pulled out her set of lock picks and quickly set herself to work. She snapped two almost immediately and swore under her breath. She closed her eyes, counted to ten, then started again. Her adrenaline was getting the better of her and that was when mistakes were made. She felt the pick slide into its comfort zone and she rotated it, hearing the rewarding click as the lock gave way. She let out the breath she had not realized the she had been holding.

She crept inside the entrance, shutting the door softly behind her. Keeping Vex’s words in mind she drank one of her invisibility potions then slowly made her way down the hall until she came to the first intersecting hallway. She looked down it and seeing no one, made her way down that hall until she came to the first intersecting hallway. She looked down it and seeing no one, made her way down that hall. Her footsteps were silent as she made her way to the next intersecting hall. She told herself to breathe again and made her way around the corner and into the dining area of the vast estate. She heard the creaking of the floor just beyond the wall. She drew her bow and nocked an arrow, concentrating on the sounds her heightened hearing gave her. She saw the mercenary at a table and released the arrow. The arrow flung across the room swiftly, hitting the mercenary at the base of his skull. His last breath escaped his lips in a muffled moan as the steel tip severed the brain stem from the spinal column.

Then she heard metal scraping against a scabbard and a voice cry out, “What the – “

‘Damn.’ She quickly concentrated her thoughts on the flame spell she cast as the second mercenary turned the corner and charged her. The spell was enough to knock him back. She grabbed the sword on her hip and rushed him, thrusting the blade upward through his gut, black blood bubbling to the surface of his mouth as the light in his eyes went dim. She saw the third mercenary a second later but not before she felt the bite of steel in her arm. Her eyes blazed hotly as her brain registered the pain. Her reaction was quick; she looked directly in his eyes as she brought the sword up in an arch, the tip of the blade slicing through his cheek and cutting off the tip of his nose. She readjusted her hold on the hilt, grabbed him by the shoulder, shoved him onto his knees and plunged her sword through his mouth and out the back of his neck.

She pulled her sword out of the corpse, wiped it clean on the fur of the dead man’s armor, then continued, sheathing her sword and picking her bow back up. She used a healing spell her mother had taught her at a young age as she moved down the hall. She ventured up the stairs, finding the door to the second floor unlocked. She immediately noticed that these mercenaries were living it up, leaving filled coin purses strewn about. She took out another potion of invisibility and quickly drank it. She stealthily crept forward, drawing an arrow back in her bow as she approached openings.

She saw the thick, hairy bare arm first; he was relaxed at his post, a mistake for him. Her arrow sailed through the air, landing deep in his side, dropping him immediately. Her aim was true; she knew her arrow pierced his bowels. She quickly reached down and pulled the arrow out. She pulled her sword and quickly severed his hamstrings.
She heard rushing feet, she counted three sets of feet. She backed her way into a bedroom and fished out an invisibility potion along with a health potion. She quickly drank those and readied herself with her daggers and her bow. She would be able to disable one mercenary with a single shot from the bow, the other two she could easily take care of with these blades if her aim was true. The first mercenary came rushing in, his greatsword tin his hands. Her arrow embedded itself into his throat, causing him to immediately drop the two-handed sword and grab at the arrow, pulling it out and desperately trying to clasp his hand over his throat as blood poured out of the wound. The sound of his dying gurgling was soon drowned out by the cries of alarm as his two companions ran into the room.

The daggers were in her hand before they saw her in the corner. She gripped the blade of the first dagger in between her thumb and forefinger, the comfort of it’s familiar weight assuring her of her aim. She released the blade and it flew end over end until it sank into the mercenary’s forehead, a dead look in his eyes as his body hit the ground.
The third mercenary reacted faster than she expected by jumping out of the path of her second dagger. He snarled at her. “What’s wrong, you little wench? Didn’t expect that?” He charged at her, his sword raised high above his head. She reacted instinctively. She grabbed a platter that sat on the table next to her and used it to deflect the blow, then she struck him on the side of his head with it. Startled, he took a step back involuntarily, giving her the moment she needed to draw her sword. He looked at her again, his lips drawn back home and be some man’s whore instead of trying to play with the big boys, wench?”

“You talk big for a man with no balls.” He swung at her but she was prepared this time. As his swing went wide, she brought her own sword up, the point entering his chest cavity and exiting through his back. “Men get so testy about their balls,” she snickered.

She made her way through the rest of the halls until she came upon a locked room in the very corner of the floor. She used a detect life spell and saw a life essence in the center of the room, seemingly in a crouched position. “Come out, come out wherever you are, elf,” she taunted under her breath as she skillfully picked the lock, opening it with ease. She walked into the room and found the elf hiding behind a bookcase. She sheathed her sword and stared at him.

“Worthless mercenaries,” he grumbled as he stood up, sneering at her. “I didn’t think Maven or Mercer would allow me to get away with this, but I had little choice.”

Meliandra cocked an eyebrow at him. “Yeah, little choice.” She gave a false laugh. “Look, I just want the key to your safe. Mercer and Maven can deal with you.”

He shook his head. “I can’t. If I do I might as well cut my own throat.”

She laughed at him. “What makes you think I won’t?”

He paled. “Fine. Take it!” He threw the key at her. “Once the new owner find outs I gave in, I’m as good as dead anyway.”

“New owner?” she silted her head to the side. “What are you talking about?”

He shook his head. “I’ve already said too much. I gave you what you came here for, now go. Leave me in peace.”

“What peace you might have left.”

She turned and headed back down the hall towards the stairwell. She grabbed the gold she saw laying around and seeing healing potions, took those as well. She gave thought to what Aringoth said about selling Goldenglow. She knew of Maven Black-Briar, had seen her on occasion, but had never met her. She knew what happened when she snapped her fingers and she knew about her temperament. She knew that Maven was going to be livid about the sale and she thanked the Eight that she was not the person who was going to have to tell her that piece of news.

She found herself in front of a locked iron gate. She pulled out her lockpicks again and set herself to work. Once she got it opened, she silently crept into the room, listening for any sound. She doubted Vex got even close to this far in. She heard voices down below; slowly made her way down the stairs to see a set of closed doors on the other side of the room. Very carefully she opened the door to the basement and slipped in unnoticed. She saw two mercenaries in the far corner; they were talking and both held tankards in their hands. She slowly nocked an arrow into place as she lined up her target. She bit her lip and released the arrow, quickly drawing another and nocking it while lining up her next shot. She heard the tankard hit the floor as her second target came into view. A moment later, he lay on the floor like his partner was. She made her way through the set of closed doors and then through the halls beyond. She began to think that there were no more mercenaries down when she came upon a hallway with a sheer to the floor. She saw the slight reflection of a mercenary standing in the midst of the oil. She quickly cast a spell of flames and listened to the man scream as the flames from the oil died on out then ventured into the room, seeing the stairwell that led even further below the estate. She found the safe in the corner of the room and quickly opened it up with Aringoth’s key. She grabbed the coin purse and shoved it into her knapsack, then pulled out the piece of paper and, unfolding it, read it.

“Aringoth,

This document acknowledges the sale of Goldenglow Estate and all property, assets and materials contained within. Payment of the property has been made in full by Gulum-Ei as an agent on behalf of the buyer. All dealings with the Thieves Guild in Riften is to cease immediately. To deter any possible retribution for this act, you are to take immediate steps to protect our assets in any way you see fit. I think you’ll find that the Thieves Guild is far more bark than bite and will likely avoid Goldenglow Estate rather than thin their already dwindling members.

“Good luck and may this be the start of a long and lucrative partnership.”

She folded the bill of sale and tucked it into the tunic she wore under her armor, the safest place for it. She closed up the safe and found her way back outside and toward the hives. As she did she thought about the bill of sale and could only imagine what Mercer’s reaction was going to be. She shook her head and could only ask herself what had Aringoth been thinking?

The moons hung high in Tamriel’s sky. She could make out the shape of the five beehives across from the house, she stealthily crept her over to them. As the flames of the first hive licked the sky, she heard a mercenary raise the shout of alarm. As the second hive caught fire she could hear the sound of rushing feet against the crackling of the flames. The third hive joined the brilliance of the fire, lighting up the early morning sky. By the time the mercenaries stood in front of the burning hives, she was deep beneath the waters, hidden by the cloak of night, swimming toward the docks of Riften.

#

Meliandra entered the cistern and looked toward the desk the Guild Master sat at. Not seeing him she headed toward the room often used by members for privacy. She didn’t see Brynjolf in his usual bed and wondered where he was. As she neared the room she could hear Mercer’s voice as he spoke in a commanding voice to someone with him. She could not quite make out what he was saying and she found herself curious and softened her steps. As she drew closer to the door she realized that Mercer was in the midst of a sexual encounter it took her a moment to place the woman’s voice as being Haelga, the owner of the bunkhouse. She found herself intrigued as she listened to the moans and statements of pleasure from the woman while Mercer called her vulgar names as he grunted his primal pleasure. Suddenly she heard the woman cry out as her orgasm echoed against the store walls followed by the satisfied grunts of Mercer. The slap of an ass echoed against the walls and then she heard the telltale sound of gold coins landing on a bed.

“Clean yourself off and get out of here, whore,” he growled. “And hurry up; I’ve got business to attend to.”

Meliandra backed herself out into the passageway, not wanting the bunkhouse owner to see her. As it was, moments after she heard the woman’s footsteps grow silent than she heard Mercer’s commanding voice, “Stop lurking in the shadows and get your ass in here.”

Feeling the slight burning sensation of embarrassment on her cheeks, she walked into the room; she refused to make eye contact with Mercer, who seemed to be gloating as he pulled the pants on, his chest bare. She couldn’t help but noticed the definition of his abdomen, firm like the cobblestone paths alongside the city walls; she averted her eyes from him completely.

“I hope you were more successful at sneaking around at Goldenglow than you were at trying to sneak around out there while I was grabbing a piece of ass.”

She cleared her throat and nodded. “Yes, sir, I was definitely successful at Goldenglow. I found out quite a bit too. You’re not going to be happy, boss.”

He pulled his boots on, grabbed the top of his Thieves Guild armor and approached her. “Don’t keep me waiting, Meliandra. What did you find out?”

He stood before her; her eyes gathered in details about his bare chest before he clasped the tunic closed. She found that she was holding her breath and slowly released it. “Aringoth sold Goldenglow.”

“Excuse me?” His voice was filled with disbelief. “He would never do something as foolish as that, he knows how unhealthy of a decision that would be on his part.”

She frowned as she unclasped her armor, opening it to reveal the tight-fitting tunic top beneath it. She watched as his eyes lingered on her breasts, full and large, the look in his eyes evident as he smiled while watching her reach into the tunic and withdrawing the bill of sale. She handed it to him and watched as his eyes boiled with the anger that rose up within him.

“That fucking two-timing, back-stabbing piece of mammoth shit!” he exploded. “Maven’s going to have his head on a platter when she finds out about his!” He looked back at her, his eyes once lurid now hard and cold boring into hers. Strangely she found his gaze overpowering as her heart beat slightly faster in her chest. “What about the hives?”

She nodded, “Three destroyed, completely burned.”

Mercer nodded as well. “At least Maven will be happy about that.” He looked her over once more, a slight smile to his lips. “Brynjolf appears to be right about you. You pulled off a job that our best infiltrator wasn’t able to do.” He reached over and slowly closed the clasps on her armor, his fingers lingering on her clothing his eyes never leaving hers.

“You’ve earned your pay and a bonus. Come see me later and I’ll have the gold for you. Go get a job from Delvin or Vex; I’ll come find you when I need you again.”

She nodded, then walked out to find Delvin. She walked into the Flagon and found him at his usual table and to her relief she noted that Vex was nowhere to be found; she wasn’t looking forward to Vex finding out how successful she had been. She pulled up the chair by Delvin and sat down.

“Got any work for me?” she asked as she reached over and broke off a piece of bread and shoved it into her mouth, chasing it down with a swallow of the mead next to her.

“Aye, got one that just came in. Real nice and east.” He reached over, got the quill and inkwell and a scrap of paper and wrote down the details, then slipped it over to her.

She looked at the paper, nodded and put the paper in her pocket. “have you seen Brynjolf?”

The older man shook his head. “Sorry, Meliandra, can’t say that I have, not since last night that is. Him and Vex were talking pretty heatedly about something before he took off.”

She slowly nodded her head. “Thanks, Delvin.” She stood up and walked back into the cistern and made her way to her bed. She wanted to get some sleep before she headed out to Whiterun for Delvin but her mind was swimming as she found her thoughts returning to what she had heard earlier with Mercer and Haelga; she kept seeing his bare chest and even now she found herself feeling the excitement rush through her. She could still hear Haelga’s moans of pleasure and found herself wondering what it would be like to have Mercer deep inside of her. She tossed and turned until sleep finally overwhelmed her.

Proving Time

She arched her back, her orgasm racking her body as she bit her lip to keep silent; Brynjolf told her she couldn’t wake up any of the others and if she did he would punish her.  He would punish her by sexually arousing her but forbidding her any form of release until he decided differently.  He enjoyed this game with her; it was one that she was very adept at.  She did as he asked of her, no questions asked and no hesitation and completely willingly.  She gave him absolute control in their sex-play, pleasuring him in every way he asked.  She indeed was very skilled in the Dibellian arts, bringing him to levels of ecstasy he had never imagined possible.

He sat up, wrapping the smaller woman in his broad arms.  She moaned softly as his lips left feathery kisses upon her neck.  He then flipped her over he was atop of her, a glint in his eyes as he smiled down upon this raven-haired beauty.  “We’re not done yet, lass.”

He thrust inside of her, deep and hard, eliciting pleasured whimpers from her lips.  He watched as he breasts bounced with each thrust, he watched as her long slender hands reached up to his bare chest then as they dug into his skin leaving red welts as she ran them down to his waist.  The effect this had on him was immediate as he took her legs and propped them on his shoulders and thrust hard and deep within her.

His climax came fast and hard, his seed pumping into her and then spilling out as he flooded her.  His body quivered as his orgasm subsided and he laid next to her, his arms spread out across the bed.  She laid her head upon his chest and he leaned forward to kiss the top of it.  “Now that’s what I call a proper good morning.”

She played with a few of the hairs on his chest as she murmured her agreement.  “Brynjolf,” she cooed, “when are you going to give me a real job instead of sending me to Delvin or Vex?”

“I think I heard Vekel saying he needed someone to get some books for a client. How about asking him?”

“Are you serious?” she replied hotly, sitting up and glaring at him.  “Don’t you even realize when I’m out doing a job?”  At his confused look, she continued, “I just got back yesterday from getting those books for him!”  A look of understanding came across his face.  “Shit, I’d really like something other than fixing books or picking pockets.  Give me something bigger.”

He sighed.  “Alright.  Let me talk with Mercer.  Come see me this afternoon.  Why not just hang out in the Flagon today?  Get some training in with one of the guys?”

She climbed out of the bed and proceeded to get dressed.  “Fine.  But I’m serious, I want a job with some substance to it.  I’m better than these light weight jobs.”

He watched as she dressed then leave.  He shook his head as he dressed and thought about his young lover.  He knew she had skill, she had proven it time and time again.  She had quickly proven her worth amongst the members of the Guild and had worked side by side a couple of them on a few jobs.  She was smart and he had discovered that she was an accomplished enchanter, alchemist and mage, using those skills to aid her in her jobs.

Making up his mind he went and sought out Mercer.  He spotted him sitting at his desk in the cistern, brooding.  He approached the Guild Master hesitantly.  The older man glanced at his second in command then motioned to him to come over.  Once Brynjolf stood in front of the desk he asked, “What’s wrong?”

“Aringoth hired mercenaries.”

Brynjolf’s eyebrows raised at this statement.  “Mercenaries?  Aringoth?  What is that elf thinking?”  He shook his head then asked, “What did Vex find out?”

“That’s the thing,” the dark-haired man growled.  “She didn’t get in.”

Brynjolf looked credulous.  “She didn’t get in?”  After a moment’s pause he continued, “There’s hardly anything our little Vex can’t get into.  What is our next move, then?  You know Maven won’t –“

Mercer interrupted, firmly saying, “That new girl you’ve been screwing, she’s got a knack for this kind of thing, doesn’t she?” He sat forward and steepled his fingers in front of him.

Brynjolf nodded.  “Aye.  She’s got enchanted jewelry and clothing that muffles her steps and aids her lock picking.  She also has a good supply of invisibility potions.”

“Think she can handle this?”

He nodded.  “She’s perfect for it.  And she has been asking for something else besides what Delvin & Vex have been handing her.”

“Then I want her for it.  Bring her to me.”

Brynjolf nodded as he turned to had into the Flagon.  He couldn’t place his finger on what caused it but he suddenly felt a wave of anxiety pass through him that set him on edge for the rest of the day.

#

Meliandra drained the last of her mead from the bottle and set it down on the bar.  “Dammit, Vekel, why won’t he give me one of the big jobs?  What more do I need to do to prove myself?”  She placed some more coins on the counter and inquired, “Anything stronger back there?”

“I got a shipment of Argonian Bloodwine in.”

“Give me a bottle of that.”

Vekel laughed at her.  “Give me more gold then.”

She stared at him, a glint in her eye and a hint of a smile on her lips and pulled out her coin purse again and starting counting.  Vekel slid the bottle across the counter to her when she had pulled out enough gold to satisfy him, a smile gracing his own lips.  She popped the cork on the bottle and took a large swallow.  The bit e of the alcohol slid down her throat like knives ripping through her flesh.  But it was Brynjolf’s voice behind her that caused her to nearly choke on her drink.

“Get drunk later, Meli.  Mercer wants to see you and I suggest we don’t keep him waiting.”

She raised her eyebrow while looking at the bartender who tilted his head and smiled at her.  She capped the bottle and slid it back to Vekel. “Hold that for me, would you, please?”

“I’ll sell it if it stays too long.”

“I wouldn’t expect anything less from you, Vekel.”  She turned to look at Brynjolf, a smile on her lips.  “Got a job for me?”

He frowned and her smile froze.  “Let Mercer tell you.”

She followed him to the cistern in silence, two steps behind him.  They walked over to the desk where Mercer stood looking over papers.  She had seen him from afar but had never been introduced to him.  Now as she stood before him she was intrigued by what she saw.  He had piercing steel blue eyes set in a hard look as he looked her up and down.  He had strong, very defined features that accentuated the sharpness of his face.  His eyes lingered on her for a moment then he looked at his second in command.

“Mercer, Meliandra.  Meliandra, Mercer Frey,” came the introduction from Brynjolf.

“Thank you, Brynjolf,” responded Mercer as he kept his attention on the young Breton.  “I’d like to speak to Meliandra alone.”

Brynjolf looked at Mercer for a moment then at Meliandra.  “Come see me when you’re done here.”  He walked out of the cistern using the graveyard exit.

“So, you’re the newest recruit.  I keep hearing good things about you.  It’s time I see how good you really are.” He looked her up and down once more, then continued, “Now before we continue, I want to make one thing perfectly clear.  If you play by the rules, you walk away rich.  You break the rules you lose your share.  No debates, no discussions… you do what we say, when we say.”  He met her eyes.  “Do I make myself clear?”

She smiled at him but keep her face serious.  He was straight and to the point and he had a commanding presence about him that demanded her immediate and absolute obedience to him.  “Yes, Mercer.  I understand completely.”

“Good.  Now let’s put your talents to the test.  You know what Goldenglow is I’m assuming?”

“Yes, it’s the bee farm outside of Riften on the lake.”

“Right.”  He sat on the edge of the desk.  “It is also critically important to one of our largest clients.  However, the owner, Aringoth, has suddenly decided to take matters into his own hands and shut us out.  He needs to be taught a lesson.  What we need to do is to burn down three of the estate’s hives and clear out the safe in the main house.  Don’t burn down the whole property either.  Our important client would be furious if you did and the last thing we want to be doing is crossing our clients.”

“And what about this Aringoth guy?”

“Maven prefers that Aringoth remain alive, but if he tries to stop you from getting the job done, kill him.  The Guild has a lot riding on this.  Don’t make me look foolish by fucking it up.”

She nodded.  “So, what’s the best way to get in?”

“That, my dear,” he said as he smirked at her, “is something you’re going to have to figure out on your own.  Talk to Vex.  She’s already attempted to get in.  Oh, and talk to Tonila and get some proper attire for a member of the Thieves Guild.”

She nodded again.  “Yes, sir.”

“I have a feeling you’re going to be exactly what we need around her, Meliandra.”  Mercer smiled at her as she turned to head back into the Flagon to talk to Vex.  Of all the members of the Guild it was Vex she felt had not welcomed her.  She could still remember the first thing Vex had ever spoken to her.

Vex had been sitting at the bar in the Flagon eating roasted pheasant and baked potatoes while chasing it down with a bottle of Honningbrew Mead.  The blond looked at her from the corner of her eye and said in an icy voice,” I’m going to make this perfectly clear.  One, I’m the best infiltrator this rathole of a Guild’s got, so if you think you’re here to replace me, you’re dead wrong.  And two, you follow my lead and do exactly as I say… no questions, no excuses.  Do we understand each other?”

Meliandra tried to avoid Vex as much as she could but when Delvin had no jobs for her she had no choice but to wait for one or get a job from her.  She found it infuriating that Brynjolf found it funny.

She found Vex sitting at a table talking with Delvin.  When Vex saw her a slight frown touched her lips.  Meliandra found herself inwardly groaning as she remembered that first conversation with her.

“Spit it out,” Vex snapped when Meliandra stood before her.  “Time is money and you’re not making any standing here.”

“Mercer told me to talk to you about Goldenglow.”

“Goldenglow?  He’s sending you into Goldenglow?”  She chuckled.  “Alright, let’s see how good you really are.”  She looked at Delvin who excused himself then motioned for her to sit down in the now empty chair.  “That wood elf’s wit… he’s a lot smarter than I expected.  Can you believe that fetcher had more than tripled the guard?  There had to be at least eight of them in there.  I sear, it was like he was daring us to come and get him.”

“How do you suggest I get in?”

“Well, on the northwest side of the island there’s an old sewer tunnel that dumps into the lake.  It’s probably still unguarded like it was when I used it to get in.”

“Any advice?”

Vex smiled, her blue eyes shimmering.  “Try to stay in one piece.”

Meliandra watched as Vex stood up and walked to the bar.  She mumbled “Thanks,” as she herself stood and walked out of the Flagon to find Brynjolf.

#

Brynjolf stood on the docks looking out toward Goldenglow.  From the scent on the breeze he knew rain was coming and from the look of the sky he knew the thunder would follow.  He heard the creak of the wood behind him and glanced over his shoulder to see Meliandra.  He had indeed been right in recruiting her, she had proven to be a valuable asset to the Guild in the couple months she had been with them, bringing in more goods than the others had but things were still in a bad way.  He knew that if anyone could pull off this job his little vixen could, but he was still uneasy about the whole job; something about it just smelled like a three-day dead skeever.  He tried to shake the feeling as he spoke to Meliandra next to him.

“Is this job more to your liking, lass?”

She nodded.  “Yes.  Thanks for suggesting me.”

“I didn’t,” he answered stiffly.  “Mercer asked for you specifically.  Word has gotten around and he wants to see how good you are.”

She looked at him, an eyebrow cocked ever so slightly.  “Really?  Then I will do everything I can to not disappoint,” she said in a sarcastic tone.

“What’s that for, Meli?”

“Seems I’m proving my skills to not just Mercer but to Vex as well.”

He pulled her close to him, a smile on his lips.  “Don’t worry about Vex, she always gets like this when she thinks someone is going to replace her.”

“Hmph.”

He turned her around so he could look at her.  When she refused to meet his eyes, he took ahold of her chin and turned her fact to him “Don’t worry about Vex.  It’ll take care of her, I always do.”  He laid a gentle kiss on her forehead.  “How do you feel about this job?  Are you prepared?”

She laid her hands on his chest, fiddling with the stitching on his Thieves Guild armor.  “I’m going to assume that means do I have enough potions for the job and yes, I made an ample amount of them yesterday.”

“What about health potions?”

“Do you not trust me restoration skills?”  she chuckled.  “Why the sudden concern, Brynjolf?”

He shook his head saying, “Just a strange feeling, that’s all, lass.”  He kissed her forehead again.  “When will you be heading out?”

“Just before nightfall.  I’m going to go get some sleep so I’m rested.”

He nodded, drew her into a tight embrace, kissed her and said softly, “You watch yourself on that island, lass.  Those mercenaries don’t take prisoners.”

Introduction

He watched the lithe figure of the Breton jump from the tower to the burning town below. He knew nothing about her but her name, Meliandra. She was already on the wagon when his men and himself were loaded onto the wagons. She was young, about fifteen years his junior; a child still, except her eyes said differently. He would have been intrigued then if he hadn’t believed that he was on his way to his own death. Now as he watched her jump out the side of the wall he found himself wishing he’d see her again.

 

I do not own any rights to The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.  That joy goes to the creators at Betheseda.