Ferrezoth Ch. 01byicehead©
The first thing Kalan saw was not Jevanna herself but the light around her. It was the morning light that suddenly poured in from the window that woke him, and at first he only saw a silhouette of her standing there, holding the curtains apart. He had to blink a few times, sitting up in bed with a grunt, before he could make out the details of her gorgeous brown hair cascading down her back, stopping not too far above the delicious curves of her naked backside.
He was not about to complain about the sight of her beautiful face looking back and smiling at him, either. "Good morning," she said.
"I must say, I can hardly imagine a lovelier image to wake up to," Kalan grinned, quite obviously ogling her.
"You're luckier than I, I think," she said with a mirthful smile, sitting down on the bed beside him and running her fingers through his unruly morning hair. "You're a mess in the morning!"
He suddenly grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her squealing down onto the bed, pinning her beneath him. "If I'm a mess, then I'm the mess you made last night," he growled before bringing his head down to place a deep kiss on her. She hugged his neck and let her tongue dance with his, and began moaning softly as he took hold of her breast.
"This is how every morning should be," she sighed as he moved down to kiss her neck.
Kalan responded instantly by lifting his head up and looking down into Jevanna's eyes. "Are you going to start that again?"
"Our twentieth summer is nearly upon us," she smiled, beginning again the words she had spoken so many times already. She held up her left wrist, showing him the silver band that had decorated it since her thirteenth summer. "You know I would love for you to be the one to let me lose this."
Her maiden's bracelet. The band that was placed on the wrist of every girl under Imperial rule when she reached her thirteenth summer, which she would wear constantly until she married. No one except the Imperial craftsmen who made them and the ministers who applied and removed them knew how they worked, but the maiden's bracelet would prevent a girl from bearing children for as long as she wore it, thus allowing the youth of the Empire to freely explore their blossoming sexuality.
By Imperial law, people were allowed to marry once they reached their twentieth summer, and Kalan and Jevanna's was only a few short months away. But just because they could didn't mean Kalan was ready to. He looked down hard at her face. In nearly twenty years she had grown from a giggling little girl playing with him in the fields and on the beaches to the beautiful woman lying beneath him. They had always shared everything; their toys, their food, even the youthful discovery of their sexual organs, and after her maiden's bracelet was put on and they started to mature, there was never any discussion before they started sleeping together. It had just been the natural thing to do. Kalan certainly didn't doubt that one day they would share their life, but not yet. Not yet.
Besides, he had another concern keeping him from taking that leap. "I still think your father would have a few choice words to say about us marrying."
Jevanna rolled her eyes. "I don't care what my father says. A farm boy is more than good enough for me, and I will certainly not marry an Imperial footdog."
"Not even Davir?" Kalan said, half in jest as he pictured the pompous face of that dark-haired muscle-head who was always letting the entire peninsula know that one day he was going to be the Chief General of the armies of Ferrezoth, and who constantly seemed to be surrounded by swooning ladies.
"Especially not Davir," Jevanna said, wrinkling her nose. They both chuckled a moment, and kissed again. "Kalan, don't you love me?" she asked.
"Of course I do," Kalan said honestly. "I always have. But we're still young, and the world is so much bigger than just the two of us. Don't you want to enjoy it for a little longer?"
Jevanna grinned wide. "Right now I just want to enjoy you for a little longer!" With that she pulled his head down with one hand for a fierce, wet kiss, while her other hand reached down to grab his slowly softening member and began stroking it back to the hardness he'd woken up with.
"Are you sure you have the energy after last night?" he asked.
"A good night's sleep was rejuvenating enough, I think," she said just before rolling them over and sitting upright atop him. "And your friend here seems eager enough."
"I didn't say I wasn't," he grinned.
She hoisted herself above the stiff member she gripped in her fingers, and slowly lowered herself down. Kalan felt the familiar warmth of her moist tunnel begin to envelop him, and he gripped her hips in an effort to hurry her descent. Jevanna threw her head back and gasped, relishing the exquisite feeling of having him inside her again.
She began to raise and lower herself upon him with a steadily increasing tempo. A jolt of pleasure shot up through her each time her legs impacted his hips. Her hands came up to cup and squeeze her breasts, and a moment later Kalan's hands moved up from her hips to join them. Jevanna rolled her head to the side and moaned as both Kalan's strong hands plus her own massaged her sensitive breasts. Years of practice with her had taught Kalan all the ways she liked to be touched, and he acted purely on instinct, his fingers and hers moving as one, kneading her mammary flesh and pinching her nipples.
But the moment came when he wanted to do more than simply touch them. His hands moved to grip her sides under her arms and gently leaned her forward, until the hard caps of her nipples were within reach of his mouth. His lips closed upon the flesh of her right tit, and she gasped loudly at the electric tingle as his lips and tongue savored her nipple with practiced expertise.
His hands slid down her back until they were cupped over the curves of her buttocks. He began using his hands to control the pace, moving her back and forth upon him, and moved his head rhythmically to keep his lips locked to her breast. Jevanna smiled. She always loved the way Kalan was able to take control even when she had him pinned beneath her.
Living on a farm did have its advantages: the house was far enough from the neighbors that no one was likely to be disturbed by the noise. And Jevanna was particularly noisy. Not nearly as noisy as she'd been last night, but she certainly was getting more frantic and louder now. At last she threw her head back and went stiff, her pulsing walls clamping down hard on his manhood, as she shrieked in orgasm.
He continued moving her hips for her all throughout her climax, until she finally collapsed on top of him. At that point he no longer needed to take his time. He rolled them over so that he was on top of her, and proceeded to thrust away, driving himself toward his own release. She grunted and squirmed beneath him, and squealed in delight one more time when he finally fired off his spunk deep inside of her.
They collapsed together on the sheets, panting and sweating. For a long while neither of them said anything, the only sounds filling the room being their own heavy breathing. Jevanna finally broke the silence with "You certainly woke up quickly."
"You seem to have that effect," Kalan said. After a few more minutes' pause, he asked, "How long can you stay today?"
"I can stay all day if I want!" she insisted. "Just because my father wants me to accompany him to the summit doesn't mean I have to go."
"Perhaps it's best you heed him, else he may not wait for us to talk to him of marriage before he sends the sends the Imperial Guard down on me," Kalan joked.
Jevanna laughed a little. "First of all, my father is only a senator; he doesn't have that kind of authority. Second, he only wants me to go because he thinks I'll find an Imperial soldier or representative who will give me a better life than you."
"So prove him wrong," Kalan said. "Go with him to the summit and show him that the choice is yours."
Jevanna smiled. "You're right." She gave him a quick kiss. "Alright. I'll go. The airship departs for Tolevant at noon, so we have until then. Shall we...?"
His head lifted up and looked down at her. "Again?"
"Don't tell me you're tired?" she said with a mischievous grin.
They enjoyed one more torrid bout before they dressed and moved into the kitchen for breakfast. As she usually did, Jevanna insisted on cooking. "Are you sure you'll manage without me for two days?" she asked, looking down on the sizzling sausage links.
"I've survived without my parents on this farm for three years," he said. "I can manage."
"I hope so," she grinned, scooping the sausage onto plates. "I'd hate to come back to a starved man."
A few bites into their meal, another thought came over her. "You realize, Kalan, that if I go with my father to the summit, I'll be surrounded by big, burly, sexy mercenaries whom my father will most likely be encouraging to make their moves on me."
"So let them," Kalan shrugged. "In fact, why don't you do yourself a favor and let yourself enjoy one or two of them while you're there." Like most of the youth of the Empire, Kalan and Jevanna had had their share of other lovers. Youth were encouraged to experiment with as many lovers as they could in order to find their ideal match when they decided to marry. The two of them had simply always drifted back to each other.
"And if Davir makes an advance on me?"
"Then I trust you'll tell him what to do with his equipment."
Jevanna laughed. "Alright then. But only if you do likewise. The only way I'll enjoy myself with an Imperial soldier is if I know you're enjoying yourself with a girl here."
"Agreed," Kalan chuckled.
Jevanna left shortly before noon, leaving Kalan to tend to his business for the day. He was due to deliver his next shipment of crops to the market today, and was already deep into loading his supplies onto his cart when he heard the crunching grass that heralded the approach of his assistant in this task. "You're a bit late today, Durren," Kalan said to the slim, handsome, dark-haired figure who approached.
Davir's younger brother and Kalan's old friend humbly tilted his head. "My apologies. I thought to wait until my brother left for the summit."
"Did you not wish Davir to know you were helping me?" Kalan asked, lifting a bushel of fruit onto the cart. He paused a moment as he heard the faint humming in the sky, and looked up into the distance, seeing the great metal airship that was now taking Jevanna to Tolevant lifting off into the sky.
Durren bent down to lift another bushel. "Davir seems disapproving of my simply spending time with you, let alone helping you with farming. I believe he thinks I'll start enjoying the work too much."
Kalan sighed. "How did farming suddenly become so unpopular?"
Durren heaved a heavy sack of vegetables onto the cart with a grunt. "He's still trying to make me become an Imperial mercenary like him. I tell him time and again I have no interest, but he never gives up."
Kalan patted down the last sack onto the cart. "Well, fight for pay or grow food, it's your life. For now, let's get the food to the people."
They hitched up the horses, and Kalan took a seat on the front of the cart while Durren climbed onto the back. Kalan whipped the reins and they set off towards town. "Funny, I had a similar talk with Jevanna this morning," Kalan said, turning his head slightly to let Durren hear from behind him.
"Did you now?"
"I'm somehow becoming quite unpopular with authority figures. What is it about this farm that no one cares for? I have a good life, don't I?"
"Of course!" Durren insisted. "And it would be a fine life for Jevanna, too, no matter what her father says. Does he think being an Imperial senator gives him the right to dictate her life?"
"Does Davir think being an Imperial mercenary gives him the right to dictate yours?"
Durren fell silent. Kalan was about to comment further, but then realized he could understand Durren's hesitation. Both of them had shared the experience of learning that their parents had died in the war in Indegal. But where Kalan had been left alone to carry on the care of his parents' farm, Durren had still been left an authority figure to look up to. And while Kalan could imagine plenty of better role models than Davir, he was still all Durren had left.
They began hearing the clip-clop of the horses' hooves as they moved onto the paved streets. All around them was the bustle and rush of Saum, one of the many towns of Ferrezoth, the sub-tropical peninsula on the southeast of the Alcaric continent. Here and there were street vendors, some of whom were likely selling food Kalan had grown himself, and a few shirtless performers juggled various items on corners. And one never had to look far to see a pair of Imperial guards patrolling the street.
Off to their right they could see the West Beach. The beaches that wrapped around the entire peninsula were the ultimate places of leisure in Ferrezoth, and as usual were populated by various people of all ages enjoying the sun and the sea. Couples relaxing together, children playing, families enjoying a day of rest, all of them nude and free.
On occasion, someone they passed would be accompanied by a slave. The primitive people of the eastern islands that the Empire had conquered centuries ago, identified by their black hair and narrow, dark eyes, were now raised in slave compounds and sold to those who were wealthy enough to afford them. Kalan wasn't sure about slaves in other countries under the Empire, but in Ferrezoth slaves were never given clothes; the only items they wore were the collars that would deliver a painful shock if the slave got too far away from a small device that their master carried. Young female slaves, who were often used to satisfy the sexual desires of their masters, also wore maiden's bracelets.
They reached the distributing station and dropped off the produce, Kalan received his payment, and then Durren suggested they have a few beers at the tavern. While on the way, Kalan noticed how Durren seemed to be intently watching every slave they passed. "Is there something on your mind?" Kalan asked after Durren craned his neck watching a slave who was carrying a load of wood behind his master.
"What? Oh, just something Davir told me before he left this morning."
"And what might that be?"
Durren paused. "He said when he came back with his pay he was going to buy me my own slave."
Kalan stopped suddenly. "Truly? I thought you always said you pitied the slaves."
Durren sighed. "I couldn't find it in me to refuse him. He's my brother."
"I suppose he's going to get you another young girl like the one he has... what's her name again?" Kalan asked, resuming walking.
"Sokia," Durren said. "And yes, that's his plan. He wants me to have a girl at my command to please me. It's another attempt of his to convert me, I think."
"What will you do when he returns?" Kalan asked as they neared the beaded curtain that covered the doorway of the tavern, but both the question and Durren's impending answer were forgotten as they stepped inside, instantly surrounded by a pervasive air of bustle and gossip. And following the direction of rapt attention, they saw the source of the buzzing: seated at a table in the center of the tavern, enjoying a meal and quite aware of the attention they were attracting, was a trio of elves; two males on either side of a single female.
Elves were rarely seen in human countries, especially ones ruled by the Empire. But there was definitely no mistaking them, not with the long, tapered points of their ears protruding from beneath their long hair or their strikingly large eyes. And when one of them reached to pick up his drink, Kalan and Durren could see that they had only four fingers to each hand.
Kalan glanced at Durren, and could see his friend's mystified awe at the sight of his first elves. "Do they fascinate you that much?" Kalan asked.
"They're elves!" Durren said, as if the simple fact by itself was unthinkable. "Real elves!"
"Those same words have been echoing in here ever since they arrived," old Talmah the barkeeper said from behind them. "You ask me, I've never seen anyone so fascinated with my brew as those point-ears."
"Do you know why they're here?" Kalan asked.
"Said they were looking for someone," Talmah said. "Goes by the name Parrik."
"I believe I know a man by that name," Durren said. "A trader who lives two towns southeast of here."
"Don't tell me," Talmah shrugged, with a nod towards the elves.
Kalan grinned, and stepped up to the bar. "Two pints, Talmah."
"You got it."
Talmah poured two tin mugs full of beer and slid them into Kalan's waiting hands. "Come on, Durren," Kalan said, "let's meet them."
Kalan heard a high pitched "What?" as he walked passed Durren and advanced on the elves' table. He stopped and looked behind him once to check if Durren was following him, and for a moment he wasn't, but then Durren proceeded after him.
When the elves noticed their approach, Kalan paused. "Begging your pardon," he offered. "We heard you were searching for someone, and thought we might be of assistance. May we join you?"
"Please do," said the male on the left, a slender wisp of a figure with long brown hair and green eyes, matching those of the female next to him. "Most of your people seem so awed by our mere presence that they fear to even speak to us... like your friend, it seems."
Kalan looked behind him as he took a seat, and saw Durren frozen a few steps behind. "Please, Durren, you're embarrassing me."
Durren awkwardly stepped up to the empty chair and sat down, his wide, unblinking eyes never leaving the three visitors.
"You must forgive Durren," Kalan said. "He's never seen elves before."
"Neither, I suspect, have most of the people here," said the first elf. "Have you?"
"Once. But I was only five then. I won't deny the presence of elves in our town is enough to excite me as well."
The speaking elf smiled. "What is it they call you, human?"
"Well met, Kalan. And you as well, Durren. I am Renas; this is my sister Xeres, and our friend Lesgar."
"...Hello," Lesgar, a slightly stronger-looking elf with platinum blonde hair, said with a thick accent, sounding slightly uncomfortable. Xeres remained silent, but Kalan did notice the curious way she was eyeing him, half-hiding a suggestive smile behind her beer mug.
"Lesgar is not yet fluent in the human tongue," Renas said.
"And your sister, is she fluent?"
"I am quite fluent," Xeres said softly, almost in a whisper. "I simply chose not to speak. I was enjoying listening to your voice."
Kalan cocked an eyebrow and grinned at the elf girl.
"You said you might be of help to us," Renas said. "Do you know a man named—"
"Parrik?" Kalan turned his eyes to Durren.
After a few seconds, Durren seemed to come out of a trance. "Um, yes, Parrik... he's a trader, deals in trinkets and rare artifacts. My brother and I have purchased some items from him on occasion."
"Word has reached our ears of an artifact recovered in this land that may be of elfin origin," Renas explained. "We've followed the trail of rumors, and it seems this Parrik is the one who possesses it. We may be talking about an important piece of our history. We'd like to see if it is worth bringing back to our people."
"Yes, I believe I've heard rumor of this artifact," Durren said. "Parrik lives southeast of here in a town called Guareth. By transport you can be there in less than a day."
The generally positive mood the three elves had conveyed until now became suddenly dampened. Lesgar spoke what sounded like a question in elven, and a brief dialogue ensued between him and Renas. Xeres seemed indifferent to the conversation between her companions, keeping her large green eyes fixated on Kalan. When the conversation concluded, Renas looked back to Durren and said, "With respect, we prefer to travel by more conventional methods. We have three horses outside that we acquired after we crossed the border into Ferrezoth."