Redemption

Redemption

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Summary

As a fallen paladin Draconian cares little for anything but where the next meal comes from and what little personal comfort he will accept. The night a young man picks him up in a bar radically alters the course of his life as he finds his way back to his faith and belief. A good friend of mine runs a D&D game and asked me to come up with the complete history of a very special item, a suit of armour known as Heironeous' Mercy. It is still a work in progress as there are seven books to write. I will apologise now for having used my favourite character as my pen name and save doing it later. I have used the D&D religion of Heironeous and have done so only out of deep and abiding respect and love for it. I have written added my own analects and personality, but have tried to keep as honestly to some materials found in the D&D world as I can. This is, for legal purposes, a fanfiction under the Open Games Licence.

Summary

As a fallen paladin Draconian cares little for anything but where the next meal comes from and what little personal comfort he will accept. The night a young man picks him up in a bar radically alters the course of his life as he finds his way back to his faith and belief.


A good friend of mine runs a D&D game and asked me to come up with the complete history of a very special item, a suit of armour known as Heironeous' Mercy. It is still a work in progress as there are seven books to write. I will apologise now for having used my favourite character as my pen name and save doing it later.

I have used the D&D religion of Heironeous and have done so only out of deep and abiding respect and love for it. I have written added my own analects and personality, but have tried to keep as honestly to some materials found in the D&D world as I can. This is, for legal purposes, a fanfiction under the Open Games Licence.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Redemption

Author Chapter Note

A good friend of mine runs a D&D game and asked me to come up with the complete history of a very special item, a suit of armour known as Heironeous' Mercy. It is still a work in progress as their are seven books to write. I will apologise now for having used my favourite character as my pen name and save doing it later. As a fallen paladin Draconian cares little for anything but where the next meal comes from and what little personal comfort he will accept. The night a young man picks him up in a bar radically alters the course of his life as he finds his way back to his faith and belief.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 18, 2014

Reads: 970

Comments: 4

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 18, 2014

A A A

A A A

CHAPTER ONE

 

A man sat in a bar, his head hung over his mug. Weary and worn from travel he leant on the bar uncaring of the exhaustion in him. The stench of too much ale was on his breath. While his skin was clean his hair was wild and long, fallen free from its warrior tail. His armour was dull and stained from too much travel and not enough care. No one sat near him, his countenance and grim features enough to scare most merry makers on their way.  The barkeep returned and filled his mug wordlessly as he took the copper piece that had been laid on the wooden counter top.

 

The door opened and a young man walked into the room. His leather armour was old but well cared for beneath his smiling face. Sandy hair kept short, his eyes were lit with awareness as he surveyed the room. He sat at the other end of the counter and waved the barkeep over. The first customer grunted with derision as he heard the young man order cool water. Then he noticed the curious eyes of the young man upon him. He glanced at the young man and raised his mug before taking a long draught from it.

 

Wiping his mouth he noticed the newcomer had moved closer. He shook his head at his delusion and turned back to his drink. Young eyes continued to stare. Raven black hair grown long, well-formed muscles half hidden under worn clothes. He began to think what else lay beneath and caught the man’s eyes upon him. Blushing he dipped his head shyly. Even his eyes were mesmerising. Deep green with golden flecks that sparked when he tightened his jaw. The man noticed the stare and, intrigued, signaled him over with a wave of his head.

 

 “Hello,” he said in way of greeting. Mug in hand the young man sat beside him and smiled,

“Hello, my lord.”

“What are you doing here in Peringot?” he inquired politely.

“I am new to this land. I have come seeking a master to which I can esquire myself. . . . And to meet stunning people such as yourself,” he added with a shy smile. The warrior narrowed his eyes, searching for the lie. Instead he found a young well-formed man in his twenties, his skin tanned from the sun and whose face appeared open and honest. He watched the young man colour again and laughed at the compliment. “I do not consider myself stunning but I thank you all the same.” With a blush the young man looked at the floor as he replied quietly, "You do yourself discredit thinking that with your raven black hair and emerald eyes." He cleared his throat and continued, “Yourself, my lord?” The man pondered a moment before replying guardedly, “Once I travelled far and fought many a foul beast and slew creatures of evil. These days,” he shrugged, “I seek an unending ale mug.”

 

As he spoke the young man’s eyes darkened and he looked away. "And you have become proficient in this art, killing beasts that threaten and destroy?" he asked softly. The warrior smirked recognising the effect he had on the newcomer and laid a hand on his where it rested on the counter. “I had many skills in my day. But adventuring for adventure’s sake is behind me now.” He ran his finger over the back of the young man’s hand grinning as he heard his breath catch in his throat. Taking courage the young man ventured, “I have few skills, my lord, save two. I have many years training as a squire assisting knights back in my homeland." He looked him straight in the eye and leaned closer to reveal the second, "And my other skills lie in the bedroom."

 

At the man’s silence he touched his sleeve, “Have I offended you, my lord?” He smiled and watched his eyes closely. “No young one, you have not offended me at all,” he answered as his eyes burned into his companion’s. He pondered his next words carefully. With a wicked gleam in his eyes he teased, “So you learned your skills assisting your masters in all things, yes?" The young man gulped and nodded, the desire in his eyes no longer concealed.  “Yes,” he whispered leaning close to his ear. “Would you like me to show you, my lord of raven hair?” The man cocked his head to the side and reached out a hand to run his finger down the young man’s cheek and along the line of his shoulder. The young man closed his eyes and shuddered. “What do you want?” the warrior whispered seductively. 

“You,” the youth whispered back barely breathing. The warrior grinned and held out a hand.

“Come.”

 

They walked along a forest path, the warrior and the young man by his side. Far from the village the warrior spun and slammed him into a nearby tree. “Tell me,” he demanded his arm over his throat, “Who are you? Who sent you?” Anger flooded his eyes as his other hand loosened the dagger from its sheath. The young man’s eyes grew wide with fear, his hands grasping the arm cutting off his air as he struggled to speak. “Justin, lord. No one sent me. I’m alone. Please!” he gasped.

 

Using senses long dormant he felt no evil from him nor did he detect deception of any kind. The warrior eased his grip and stepped back, his eyes watching closely as he fingered the plain hilt of his dagger. Justin bent over, one hand holding his knee as he sucked in air swiftly. Touching his throat carefully he looked up from his prone position. Shock and hurt clouded his face as he asked, “Why?” The warrior folded his arms, “I have been hunted before.” As Justin’s face returned to its normal colour he added quietly, “Though never by one such as yourself.”

 

Keeping his distance Justin eyed the warrior with confusion. “If I had offended you, lord, you could have said,” he admonished softly. The warrior sighed and offered his hand.

“Draconian.” Gingerly he took it in his own. The strange warmth emanating from his touch travelled through Justin’s arm to the rest of his body. Swallowing he glanced nervously up at his eyes and found them warm with amusement. With a chuckle Draconian confirmed, “You have a good heart. You could not work for them. Come.”

 

Side by side they walked deeper into the forest until they came to a small grove off the beaten track. Upon reaching the edge of his camp Draconian gestured to an upturned stump. “Sit. Least I can do is feed you, Justin.” The warrior moved to restack the fire. A hand touched his shoulder shyly, “Let me, my lord.” He nodded and stepped aside. With practised ease Justin lit the fire while Draconian put a pot on the heating rock.

 

They worked in silence sharing glances and the brushing of fingers as they handed cooking utensils to one another. By the time the meal was cooked Justin had relaxed and smiled easily once more. “So you came seeking a master, did you Justin?” Draconian asked as he stoked the fire.

“Yes, my lord,” he replied shyly.

 

“And you think that I may be one such master?” He chuckled at his companion’s expression. Justin’s jaw tightened as he replied, “I am strong, my lord. I worked the family farm for many years before joining the local guard post.”

“It takes more than arm strength to be a warrior. You need to be able to endure as well,” the warrior scoffed as he folded his arms across his chest. Justin’s shoulders stiffened. After a pause he said softly, “You do not know me yet, lord Draconian. You do not know what I have suffered. You do not know what I have endured.” His voice was cold, unwavering as his mind clouded with past experience. There was silence following his remark.

 

After the meal they sat around the fire. Draconian stood and poked the embers with a long stick, “You could do better than me, Justin.” The young man looked up, his face unshielded as he stared at him in surprise. Both knew the dual meaning to his words. “I want you to be my master, Draconian,” he answered honestly. The warrior grinned and leant down, gently kissing his lips. Justin moaned and slowly stood as Draconian’s arms wrapped around his waist. The young man’s hand rubbed against the front of his trousers. Draconian smiled and ground his hips into his hand as he deepened the kiss.

 

Breaking from their embrace the warrior held him at arms length to ask, “Are you sure this is what you want, Justin?” He smiled and nodded reaching up to stroke Draconian’s cheek, rough with stubble. Taking his hand Draconian lead the young man down a rabbit trail to a nearby clearing with a pool of clear water.

 

Turning he slowly removed his armour and shirt. His fingers ran over his bare skin as he kissed his neck and collarbone. Justin shivered, copying Draconian’s actions. His hands moved to rest on the warrior’s trousers. “My lord, might I go further?” Draconian nodded and pulled his lover close.

 

His hands swept over his back as his tongue slid into his mouth. Justin’s breathing quickened, his hands brushing over the warrior’s thighs as his pants fell away.  He felt Draconian’s member harden in response. Moaning he fell to his knees and took him in his mouth. The warrior groaned loudly. With a smile he threaded his hands through his lover’s hair. Justin looked up, his eyes dark with desire as he licked and sucked on his tip before sinking further down his shaft. Draconian’s hips pushed forward as his breathing began to catch in his throat. Justin’s tongue twisted and swirled around his tip before taking him repeatedly into his mouth. His hands fell to his lover’s shoulders before him on the ground as he started to thrust his hips, driving his member in and out of his mouth. 

 

Justin moaned, feeling himself harden in response to his lover’s actions. His hand caressed Draconian’s testicles as he continued to kiss and tease his member. He grinned as he felt him thrust harder into his mouth in response. “Damn I’m. . . . close!” Draconian gasped as his grip tightened considerably.  Justin squirmed, precumming at the thought of what was to come as he moved his head in time with his lover’s movements.  With a loud groan the warrior came, his hips jerking each time he sprayed cum down his throat. Justin swallowed it all greedily. When Draconian’s hips slowed he pulled back and gazed up from his knees, breathing hard.

 

Draconian smiled and pulled him to his feet, kissing him deeply. His hand moved to Justin’s cock and started to stroke it gently. Justin shuddered with longing and kissed him tenderly in response. Draconian’s lips moved to suck on his neck and down his chest where he paused to flick his tongue across his nipples softly. Justin’s knees shook as he whispered in awe, “Draconian!” He pulsed in his hand as the warrior moved lower and dropped to his knees before him. His tongue brushed over his tip as his hand began to pump him more firmly. Justin groaned. His knees buckled a little and he steadied himself on his lover’s shoulders.

 

He moved his lips and tongue faster along his shaft, his head moving slowly at first but quickly gaining speed.  Groaning Justin cupped his lover’s cheek lightly, “I won’t last wrong, Dra.” He nodded, his lips moving along his shaft as his tongue licked and teased him to greater heights. Picking up speed Draconian grabbed his lover’s hips and swallowed his cock deeper. With a shout, Justin stiffened and came with force in his mouth. Draconian moaned and sucked him hard as seed dripped down his throat. As Justin softened, Draconian grinned up at him sliding him out of his mouth. Justin fell to his knees before him, his breathing harsh as he stared wide-eyed in awe at him. Unable to speak he pulled Draconian close, kissing him tenderly on the lips. The warrior smiled and wrapped his arms around the young man’s body. He kissed him back and murmured against his lips, “Thank you for doing that.”

“If you are willing,” Justin began nervously but hopefully, “we can do more.”

 

Draconian grinned and nipped his neck softly, “Follow me.” Taking his hand he led him down to a quiet pool of water. Shedding the last of his clothes he walked into the lake. Justin felt his heart begin to race as he quickly discarded his clothes. The water was refreshingly cool on his skin after the heat of the day. The sand at the bottom of the lake was firm beneath his feet as he waded out to join the smiling warrior.

 

He guided his young companion over to a small ledge jutting out of the still water. Placing his hands around the youth’s waist and lifted him onto the warm stone. One finger trailed down the side of his face as he whispered, “I want to be inside your body, Justin.”

 

The young man’s eyes flashed with childlike excitement, "I want that very much too."  He leant forward and kissed the warrior before pulling back, a small frown of concern darkening his face. He chewed the inside of his cheek, "I think I might need to tell you something first, Dra." The warrior nodded and waited with a small smile of amusement on his face.  "I told you the truth before, that one of my skill sets was in the bedroom. I learnt well how to use my hands and mouth to please my masters. But," he glanced away ashamed, "I have not yet had one I cared for enough to, you know . . . Not til now anyway." Draconian nodded in understanding of his nervousness and reached out to him. Lifting his chin so that their faces were level he affirmed calmly, “Now you do.” He kissed him tenderly and felt his young lover’s mouth part beneath his own.

 

“Dra,” he moaned, unconsciously grinding his hips into his. The warrior answered with a groan of his own as he maneuvered him into position. A hand slid along Justin’s back and across his arse. A single finger moved slowly around his opening. His breath caught in his throat and his eyes closed as Draconian continued to massage the area before sliding a finger through his entrance.

 

Justin shuddered and groaned, “Oh Dra!” His head fell onto his lover’s shoulder and he kissed his neck. The warrior smiled and added a second finger, slowing thrusting them in and out of his lover’s arse. He paused as he felt the young man tense, cringing with the strain before relaxing. “Dra . . . that feels. . .  good!” he whispered, awe filling his voice. His smile broadened as he heard the young man’s growing pleasure at his touch. He wanted his lover’s first time to be a welcome and memorable experience, one he would not forget in a hurry. He captured his lips with his own as three of his fingers worked on his arse, stretching as they slipped in and out of his body, causing Justin to gasped and groaned loudly.

 

When he knew his companion was more than ready Draconian slid his tongue along his neck and murmured by his ear, “I want to be inside you now. Are you ready?" Justin nodded back, a little breathless with anticipation and desire. “What must I do, Dra?” The warrior lifted himself onto the stone ledge beside his lover. Kissing his forehead he instructed, “Trust me and enjoy yourself.” He nodded with a warm smile, "I will.”

 

Draconian guided Justin onto his knees facing away from him and knelt behind. Slowly he slid his cock into his tight arse. Justin tensed, the sensations so strong he climaxed, his moan drowned out by Draconian’s as he slipped ever deeper into him.  He started to rock his hips, moving in and out of his lover. He felt himself swell further at the tightness of his tunnel and grabbed onto Justin’s hips firmly. His skin was warm and inviting as he started a smooth rhythm of thrusting into Justin’s body. Kneeling on the rock Justin’s hands clenched into fists as ecstasy rocketed up his spine. “Oh Dra,” he murmured as he felt him slide in deeply with every thrust of his strong hips.

 

Draconian groaned and reached forward to stroke his lover’s cock in time with his thrusts, sending them both higher as they lost themselves in their physical pleasure.  Wildly they moved together til neither could do more than whisper the other’s name. When he could take no more he drove deep inside him, cumming with force. Justin shouted, feeling as though he had been shattered into a thousand pieces as he collapsed beneath him.

 

Panting the warrior cleaned himself with some water and watched his lover as he lay face down on the rock. It had been a long time since someone had caught his eye let alone initiated it. He smiled and pulled him into his arms. With Justin’s head resting on his chest he sighed with contentment. Long forgotten memories rose in his mind. Days where the snow was deep and the wind swept across the plain freezing his body to the bone. Days where he knew the only place to be was inside where he could warm his aching joints by a roaring fire. Yet each day he had risen to face the howling wind to hunt ice giants, kept warm by the thoughts of who awaited him under his bedclothes each night. 

 

He felt a gentle kiss on his skin and glanced down. “Dra?” Justin murmured through closed eyes, “is it always this good?” He nodded and kissed his forehead tenderly.

"Yes it can be. If you have the right person with you," he answered honestly. Justin opened his eyes. The warrior was surprised by what he read therein. It had been a long time since anyone had looked on him in wonder . . . and was that awe as well?

 

The young man began to colour faintly. "Was it . .. I mean . . . should I . ." he began as he struggled to find the words to say. Draconian lifted his face by his chin and saw the effect his smile had on his lover. “Say what you need to say,” he said simply.

 

"You are so good to me." Tenderly he rested the back of his hand on Draconian’s cheek. "Did you enjoy it too? Should I be doing something?” He chuckled quietly as he held him. Shaking his head he replied, “No there isn’t at the moment. Let’s just rest. You’ve exhausted me, my young Justin.” The young man smiled and brushed his hand along his back, loving the feel of his naked body pressed to that of his lover’s. “That’s good,” he joked quietly and lay his head once more on his Draconian’s chest, “as I don’t think I can move my legs.” The rays of the sun and the heat trapped in the rock soaked into their tired bodies and gently lulled them to sleep.

 

 

He awoke to find himself held in strong arms. White and gold birds sang in nearby trees as blue dragonflies skimmed the surface of the pool. He moved slightly and felt Draconian tighten his arms around him. “Hello,” he whispered softly.

“Hey,” Justin replied as memories of the afternoon returned. He sat up, wincing as he did so. Draconian’s hand touched his shoulder. “Hurting?” he asked kindly. At his nod he added, “It’ll pass, lad. There was this one time when Cia`n and I met the wrong end of a wyrm. Bastard threw as both back onto the rocks. Hurt like hell but the bruises faded eventually.” Justin returned his smile and settled once more beside him.

 

A soft tune filled the air. Draconian tilted his head to listen to his lover’s humming as he gently caressed his back. “What is the name of that song?” he asked when he had finished.  Justin grinned sheepishly, “It's an old story I put to ballad when I lived with the guards. My father called it Warrior's Boy." His eyebrows rose in surprise, “That is an old tale indeed. I did not think any spoke it these days.” He nodded, “Aye, back in Brennan Hold it is a common tale. It is told as one of warning and informing its listeners to the fickleness of youthful choice. I used to hear it often.” The young man grinned cheekily. Draconian took his hand in his own, “Will you tell of those days, Justin?” He smiled broadly,

“Of the farm?” The warrior shook his head,

“I meant those days with the guards.”

Justin stilled and his skin grew cold. His chin stiffened and his face took on a guarded expression. “Those were hard times  . . . What do you wish to know?” he asked cautiously.

 

Through his many exploits as a diplomat Draconian recognised that he would have to diffuse his companion’s discomfort if he was to get the information he sought. “If I am to be your master I need to know what you have been taught.” He tapped the side of his nose, “And how many bad habits I’ll need to knock out of you.”

 

“I learnt swiftly how to sharpen and clean the edge of a blade, to polish armour and ready a camp. I have some skill with a bow but my favoured weapon is a short sword.” The warrior nodded before enquiring further, “Any other skills?” His eyes misted as they looked into the past.

“I learnt to listen and say nothing; to bite my tongue and restrain myself when angered. But mostly,” his voice dropped to below a whisper, “I learnt to endure.”

 

He knew he had pushed him as far as he would willingly go this day. He grimaced and patted him on the back offering him the only kindness he could. “Those days are behind you, Justin. You are mine now.” Justin blinked coming out of his reverie. A small smile graced his lips, “I am, aren’t I? Yours I mean.” Draconian chuckled, “I meant as my squire, but yes. You are my lover and mine alone. No more walking up to men in bars, eh?” Justin flushed and returned his grin as Draconian bumped his shoulder with his own playfully.

 

They began to tussle attempting to tip each other into the pool. Justin felt his equilibrium falter and his arms pin wheeled in the air. “Dra!” he shouted as he peered over his shoulder at the water. He heard a laugh as he crashed into the pool. Cool water closed over his head as the sky wavered above, the image broken by bubbles as he sank to the bottom. There was a splash as Draconian dived into the water after him. Pushing off the sandy bottom his arms worked swiftly to bring him to the surface. With a gasp Justin threw his head back and ran fingers through his wet hair. Lips descended on his, crushing in their intensity. His eyes opened wide as he felt his lover’s arms wrap around him and he moaned. Draconian’s lips gentled as he nibbled on his lower lip before pulling back. Holding onto his hand he lead him back to the shore.

 

 

The sun rose awakening the land. Crickets chirped and the first birds began scratching the earth in search of insects. Justin got out of his bedroll and stretched. Glancing around the campsite he saw the disarray. Cooking utensils uncleaned, clothing dropped behind a log, little wood gathered for the fire. Looking further afield he noted a chunk of leather lying on its side. Approaching he realised it was a saddle to which a long rope had been attached. Following it he discovered behind a thicket a horse watching him closely, her silver ears bent in warning. Backing away he returned to his sleeping companion.

 

With his hands on his hips he grimaced. This was not a well kept campsite by any stretch of the imagination. Moving quietly so as not to disturb his master he collected the cooking gear and walked down to the lake. Several ducks glided towards him in curiosity. After watching for a few minutes he rolled up the sleeves of his green shirt and set to work.

 

 

Draconian woke to a lonely campsite. He sat up gazing around for his young lover. Not finding him his shoulders slumped. Typical, he thought sullenly. He must have woken and took off when he saw me. He allowed himself a few minutes of self pity before anger built within him. It would be a long time before he let anyone under his skin again.

 

The sound of a young man’s laughter was heard nearby. He blinked and looked around. Standing he saw Justin re-enter the grove of trees, smiling broadly. His steps faulted as he caught sight of Draconian. He dipped his head his smile growing shy as he waved.  Draconian frowned and folded his arms.

 

He advanced slowly and came to a stop before him. "Good morning, my lord of raven hair," Justin greeted in a quiet voice. When Draconian said nothing he added, "I am ready to serve you in any way you wish . . . If you will have me." Slowly the warrior unfolded his arms.

“I thought you had left.” Justin’s eyebrows lifted in astonishment,

“Why would you think that, my lord?” He shrugged and gestured around the campsite,

“You weren’t here.”

 

Justin smiled kindly and took his hands in his own. His voice was soft as he instructed him to look again. Obediently Draconian’s eyes travelled the length of the camp, finally noting the cleaned cooking apparatus and washed clothes hanging on a line strung between two trees. He tensed as his eyes fell on the saddle, polished and sitting by the campfire without its rope. “Ephonee,” he whispered in concern. Justin laughed, “So that’s her name. Aye she’s fine, but she won’t let me touch her.” He grunted,

“She’s trained for no hand but mine.” The young man simply smiled and began pulling him towards the thicket where the horse had strayed.

 

She nickered upon sighting her master. Her silver head lowered for a scratch that he obligingly gave. He cooed her name softly rubbing a hand down her chest and forearm. He reached behind him and took Justin’s hand. Bringing it close to her nose he bade her sniff it. “This, Ephonee, is my squire, Justin.” He stepped along her body patting her flank as Justin stroked her cheek. The silver head dropped to nuzzle Justin’s hip and he laughed. Slipping a hand into his pocket he withdrew half an apple and offered it to her. Grinning, and with his hand covered in horse saliva, he looked across her neck to his master. Draconian shook his head and chuckled softly. 

 

Together they brushed Ephonee, talking to her in quiet tones as she became used to Justin’s presence and touch.  At last she stamped her foot and flicked her head around. “That’s enough for now,” agreed the warrior with a final pat on her shoulder.

 

He walked over to Justin who had already moved to the edge of the thicket. “So anything in your trousers for me?” Justin fished around in his pocket and pulled out a piece of string,

“Any good?” Draconian grinned and shook his head laughing. He tried his other pocket and came up empty. He looked apologetically at his master and shrugged. Draconian’s grin turned wolfish as he stepped close. His hand moved to cup the front of Justin’s trousers as he whispered by his ear, “Perhaps here?” Justin swallowed, his eyes darkening as desire began to burn in his belly. Draconian nipped his ear gently. “Come back to the campfire, Justin,” he murmured, his voice full of breathy promise.

 

Their feet moved quickly as they stripped the clothing from each other’s body. Joyfully the young man gasped as Draconian fell to his knees. His hands ran along his hardened member as he smiled up at him, “I told you you had something in your pants for me,” he teased lightly. Justin’s eyes darkened as he watched him lick and taste his sensitive tip. “Please,” he begged softly feeling his body burn with desperate need. Draconian took him into his mouth, slowly moving up and down his length. Justin squirmed, his legs shaking as his muscles tensed. Draconian lay his hands on his lover’s thighs holding him still as his tongue swirled around his cock. With a cry Justin climaxed. Leaning back his lover smiled and licked his lips as he watched him. Pulling him down to the ground he guided him to kneel before him.

 

His hand ran across Justin’s arse as he kissed a line up his back. Justin closed his eyes giving himself over to the sensations that coursed through his body. He gasped, his backside rising in the air when he felt his lover’s wet finger slide inside him. The warrior spoke softly, his voice calm as he bade him relax. He turned his head and kissed him as he felt a second finger join the first. “I want you in me, Dra,” he groaned as their lips parted. After moving himself into position he shivered with anticipation as he felt Draconian guide his member into him.  The warrior pushed his full length inside his lover, keeping himself in control by force of will as he felt Justin move and tense deliciously around him. “I am,” he growled grinding his hips against Justin’s arse. He moaned in response as his lover began to ride him, bringing them both to fulfillment.

 

 

 

“Stay here Justin. I’ll be back later.”

The young man scrambled to his feet. “My lord?” he asked.

“This is our last day in Peringot. Tomorrow we head north. We’ll see where fortune takes us.” Justin spoke without thought, “Is this because of your debts, my lord?” Draconian’s eyes narrowed in warning. His squire put up his hands. “I’d only heard rumour,” he began in an attempt to pacify his master, “of your poor luck at the dice and love of drink.” The warrior grunted and tied on his money pouch.

“Mind your place squire, lest you lose it,” he warned with an angered voice. Justin bowed his head,

“My apologies, lord.” Without further word the warrior rode toward the township.

 

Justin looked around at a loss on what to do. Scratching his head his eyes caught site of the clothes that hung between two trees. While putting them away his thoughts turned to where he had washed them. Cool waters with rocks warm from the day’s sun beckoned. He recognised the reeds that grew along the shallow water lines with which to make soap for washing. He smiled and set to work packing the camp. When only the night’s essentials remained the sun had begun its final descent. Expecting his master to  return soon, he hurried to the pool to wash the sweat and dust of the day from his body.

 

 

Dusk had long since passed. Orange skies had faded into darkness while Justin sat and waited. Stars twinkled high above as owls swooped between tree branches. The squire sat shivering, his hands rubbing his arms from the cool in the air. The small cooking fire burned by his feet while he watched the edges of the clearing for signs of his missing master.

 

 

 

The roar of customers in the height of revelry flooded out of the bar’s windows. It’s yellow lantern glow flicked and called in the mid afternoon sun. The warrior had bought their supplies and loaded them onto his faithful horse that stood beside him. The sun was hot and he sweated under the old platemail that he never went without. The wooden door opened as a man walked out grinning and waving farewell to his comrades.

 

His smacked his lips. His throat was parched, his mouth dry and dusty. He had time for a drink. One or two wouldn’t hurt and he’s still be back to his campsite before dark. He took a step towards the bar and felt a nudge. Glancing behind he saw Ephonee’s head lowered to his height. “Come now, girl. Surely you wouldn’t deny your master a little ale now would you?” he uttered patting her cheeks. He led her to the horse rail and tied her loosely before entering the bar.

 

 

“Ya know that tha say ‘bout orange clouds, don’ cha Xander?” one drunken man leered to another. When Xander shook his head his companion continued, “T’is the night da whor’s go haf’ p’ice.” Raucous laughter followed his statement. The warrior drank more deeply of his mug and leant against the bar. Loud voices came from the corner as a fight broke out. Ignoring it he finished his drink and raised it for a new one. The barkeep beckoned him close, “You’re strong. Why don’t you do something about ‘em Drac?” He shrugged non-committal and wiped the head of his ale off his mug.

 

He lifted his arm to drink and was thrust rudely over the bar, ale spilling everywhere. Beside him on the floor was a farmer. Mud still on his boots and cheap ale on his breath he stumbled to his feet and faced the warrior. “Watch it,” growled Draconian as he gestured with his now empty mug. The farmer sneered and lifted a hand, “S’ what ya gonna do ‘bout it?” His companions moved to stand behind him, laughing and jeering as they eyed their lone opponent. Draconian stilled, a small smile crossing his face. “You asked for it.”

 

Swinging his arm the mug collected the farmer’s head knocking him to the side. Draconian’s foot rested on the brace of a chair for a second before thrusting it across the floor and into the other three men. There was a shout from the barman as he dove for cover behind the bench. Fists flew wide of their mark and curses rang in the air. A blonde haired man got in a lucky punch that connected with the side of Draconian’s face. He roared and drew forth his mace. The sight of the warrior, his breath rancid with ale and his face dark with anger gave the men pause. As his murderous eyes turned to them he snarled and lifted his mace in warning. Wisely the men chose to go, quickly spilling out of the bar and into the darkness of night.

 

Draconian watched them go, checking his aching cheek bone for blood with the back of his left hand. Hesitantly the barman peered over the counter. “They’re gone. You can get up now,” Draconian said while he righted a nearby seat. Sitting back down he pushed his mug towards the troubled barkeep. “You wouldn’t have spilt blood, would you Drac?” the barkeep asked cautiously. Draconian tapped the mug pointedly. As the other patrons began to settle once more the barkeep uncorked the keg. Filling the mug high he refused to hand it over until he had his answer.  The warrior sighed, “No. I was not going to bloody them, Arlic. Maybe a nose or two with my fists but nothing else.” The barkeep breathed a sigh of relief and handed over the mug. Draconian took a long swig and downed the ale before placing it back empty on the bench. “Besides,” he said causally, “they’re not worth my time. It would have been a slaughter.” He stood and paid his coppers.

 

Outside his horse neighed when he walked over with a slight stumble. One hand blindly sought the pommel as his foot lifted to the stirrup. Grasping it with his hand he bounced off his right foot, lifting himself in the air and onto Ephonee. He grimaced in pain as his groin brushed over the cantle and he settled in place. Yanking the rope loose from the horse rail he gave her a gentle kick. Her hooves clomped along the beaten road and out of the town. Draconian tied the reins to the horn and settled in the saddle. Lulled by his horse’s steady gait his head fell to his chest and he dozed lightly.

 

 

Justin paced back and forth, torn between anger and concern for his master. Had he been discarded so readily after the last day and night of discovery or had something happened to him? Half a dozen times he had gathered his sword and made for town only to turn back. What if this was a test to see if he obeyed orders? His mind travelled back a time where he had left his post out of concern for his brother in arms only to find him busy with a woman. It had earned him a beating and the midnight shift for a week.

 

There was a scrap of leaves as something brushed past the thicket outside. Justin crouched in a fighting stance and withdrew his sword. The silver head of a horse came into view. Justin paused and peered closely at the shadowed man mounted on the horse’s back. “Lord Draconian?” Justin asked incredulously. “Are you alright sir?” A belch came from the man in response. Standing on the ground beside the horse he helped the warrior out of the saddle. One arm around his neck he walked him over to the campfire and sat Draconian on the ground. Leaving him there he returned to Ephonee. Stripping her of saddlebags and equipment he put a simple rope halter her neck and tied her to a nearby tree. While Ephonee busied herself with the grass he quickly rubbed her down and laid a blanket over her back.

 

At last he returned to the sodden man sitting up the fire. “Look at the sorry state you’re in, Draconian.” His voice lay somewhere between disgust and revulsion. The warrior grunted a laugh, “Who’s there to care boy?” Justin began to loosen the straps of his platemail as he tsked,

“Me for one.” Draconian lifted his arms but otherwise did naught to help his squire as he removed his armour and laid it aside. 

 

When he returned for his shirt the warrior waved him away. Draconian leant over and pawed through the saddlebags. Moments later he withdrew a large glass bottle. It twinkled as the firelight reflected off its fractured surface. Draconian held the bottle like a child in his arms, lifting it to his eyes and gazing through at the fire. “The only ones I once cared about were the gods.” His voice was soft as he lost himself in the changing pattern of the alcohol bubbles. “The gods?” prompted Justin. Draconian looked up at his squire who had squatted on the other side of the flame. For a second his face looked pained and his mouth opened a little. Then he sneered and ripped off the lid with impatience. “Now no one watches,” he hissed in grievance. Taking a long swig from the bottle he belched. The fire crackled and popped between them breaking the silence of the night.

 

Draconian sat on the ground, his arms resting on his raised knees as he tapped the bottle against his shin. “The gods don’t care anymore.” His head lifted and he shot his squire a piercing glance. “Never forget that. If it’s the one thing you learn from me, remember it well. The gods don’t give a damn about anyone but Themselves.” He lifted his bottle and punched the air as he drove his point home, “Not Their followers. Not Their clerics. Just Themselves.” He sounded alarmingly sober in his tirade. Yet his next words were spoken so softly that his companion was unsure that he had heard right. “And if you’re damn stupid enough to give service after seeing all that,” he whispered, “They’ll toss you aside when you have need of Them.”

 

No further words were said. The moon rose high and Justin took to his bedroll, leaving his master to sit staring into the flames, lost in his memories.

 


© Copyright 2017 Justin Fyld. All rights reserved.

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