Knight in Tarnished Armour Ch. 01byNathon_88©
(The group contained has NO relation to the SCA other than the fact that they both dress up in armour. I don't like lawsuits, so tell me BEFORE you sue, and I'll change whatever the problem is. It's a slow story, so be prepared for a wait for all the sex scenes. Thank you to my Story Support Team (Jacuzzigal, my editor, especially, first amongst equals, I love you all, girls),for their efforts to shine the dull brittle metal that has been buffed and polished into this work)
The girl ran through the woods, panting and jeering following close behind. She risked a quick look over her shoulder, and saw the group of men chasing her start to get closer. She ran harder, but her heart and her head knew it was only a matter of time before they caught her. She cursed the day she had bought that second hand car, and her ex boyfriend, for telling her he could fix it for her in a "jiffy". The heel of her shoe finally snapped, and they were on her. Their hands closing around her. The black haired leader flicked at her blouse with his knife. She winced, and hoped that he didn't cut her. Her blouse ripped under the knife's edge. Her breasts, covered by her pale blue bra, drew the attention of the rapists, and the knife slid down into the hand grasping the catch of her jeans.
"Fuck! Watch it man!" The scream of the man caused a lapse in the attention of her assailants, and Cathy didn't miss it. Kicking out, she managed to get away, barely ahead of the men as they regained their senses and began pursuit again. Her other heel snapped, and she screamed as her ankle turned, but kept running.
She caught a glimpse of silver through the trees, and ran for it. As she approached, her breath caught in her throat as her legs pounded the soft forest floor. Her feet caught on the upturned root of a tree, and she tumbled out into a clearing, into something she could believe. There were.....knights fighting with swords? What was that? Bagpipe music?
The clash and thrill of battle overwhelming him, facing his opponent, John raised his sword and attempted a deft slice towards the area that the warrior had exposed while blocking his last overhand swipe. The warrior responded with a quick jab towards the face. Knowing his helmet would deflect the blow, John continued the attempt, only to be rewarded with a ring as the blade struck the top of the armour. The attempt foiled, John's opponent gave him a truly spiteful grin, then threw his whole body behind his overhand slice. Dodging inward, John raised his shield and rammed it solidly into the fighter. The blow shocked the warrior, and he stepped back, thrusting weakly at John's right side in an attempt to buy time and recover. John started to parry, then, smiling evilly and, overwhelmed by battle lust, lashed out with a foot and caught his opponent under the breastplate, ending the fight decisively. The soldier fell over coughing. He looked around to find another opponent, then heard a shrill whistle breaking through the fog of melee. He sighed, and heard a loud voice call out.
"Number 18! Foul! Retreat from combat! Unlawful use of body and personal combat." The voice stopped, then continued in a slightly more mirthful and sarcastic tone. "The Lords ask, for what they tell me is the 13th time, that Mastersmith John remember that, in the future, he can't simply kick his opponent in the stomach to finish the battle, as this breaks the bloody rules!"
John raised his sword to his helm, and saluted his vanquished foe. He turned to the platform where the voice came from, and gave a somewhat less enthusiastic salute to the man with the megaphone., He removed his helmet, revealing red hair tousled and rumpled. Then, helping his opponent to his feet he asked nonchalantly.
"So would the Lords prefer we continue the fight after Number 23 has recovered, or shall I forfeit the match, again? I keep telling you, it's a perfectly legal maneuver if we were actually fighting for our lives!"
"Excuses be damned, John! Match forfeited. 23 will fight number 5, after a rest to recover. The tourney will continue in half an hour. John, please come over here" The loud voice switched off halfway through the announcement, and the crier waved cheerfully at John. As John walked over, he picked up a leather pack and slung it over his shoulder. Reaching in, he pulled out a leather skin and drank greedily.
"Hi, Sam. Sorry. You know how I get." John blushed, and motioned over to a pair of minstrels playing. "And those gits playing MARCH OF FREAKING CAMBREADTH DOESN'T HELP!" He threw the waterskin towards them, only to see the guitarist stop in mid-play, catch it and drink heavily, pass it to the bagpiper, then continue playing.
"Yeahhhh...Just remember. Don't lose your temper." Sam smiled down at his friend and motioned to the wooden platform. "Want to watch the rest from up here?"
John smiled, then motioned to a small tent at the edge of the nearby forest, a little away from the rest of the fairgrounds. It was green, and simple, lacking the banners and upthrust pikes and turrets of the other tents. A simple wooden sign, charred and pitted, read "John's Armoury".
"Nah. I've got some work to do on that pair of axes that Michael wanted. They're getting there, they just need a few more hours of tender loving care." He smiled, and, playfully waving his sword to the minstrels, calmly walked over and caught the loop of the wineskin with his blade, and cheerfully wandered on back to his tent.
- - -
As she tumbled to a stop, Cathy shook her head, and then screamed as the men started to reach her. The crowd gathered around the fighters obviously couldn't hear her over the clang and the music, but a man nearby jerked his head over and, cocking his head to the side, placed something onto the iron block and started to walk over. Seeing the men in the woods, his legs sped up, his hands moved to the hammer on his belt, and he ran flat out. Cathy lashed out with her nails and feet as the men reached her, rewarded with a few yelps. The black haired man saw the leather-apron clad man, his hair and the laces from the apron flying out behind him, his short beard covering a gentle jaw clenched firmly. The man flicked out the knife, and called to his gang.
"Guys! Leave her. Let's take this geek down, then get her out of here before whatever the hell that is finishes. Gary. Hold her." His friends came nearer wielding their knives, one of them pulling a length of chain out from around his neck. They stood and waited, ominously, for the would-be rescuer, as a brown haired man pinned Cathy to the ground and twisted her arms behind her.
John flew into the line of men, the hammer slamming up into the jaw of one of the fighters. His body fought as his mind let it go, falling back into the crazed battle frenzy of his ancestors, mixed with the brains of those who had defeated that frenzy. His mind positioned the hammer to stop many of the thrusts as the gang got in each others' way, while his feet and left hand kicked and hit, parrying blows at the cost of small cuts. His hammer slid home into the chest of one of the members, leaving three. A quick clash with one of them, and there were two. The others lay on the ground, one quite silent, the other clutching his arm and screaming. John accepted a slash across the forehead in return for an overhand blow onto the top of the remaining goon, and the leader backed away as John, dripping blood down his face, turned, and smiling, stalked forward.
"Come on. You're brave while chasing a helpless woman. Fight, you gutless coward!" He grinned, and kicked out, catching the black haired man in the balls. This time, his opponent fell to the ground, puking and crying out in agony. John reached up and the hammer fell, aimed straight at the exposed neck of the prone opponent. The blow never landed. The hammer was stopped as it hit a sword blade. John whirled around, and the hammer, by reflex, flew into the shield as Sam moved in and entangled him.
"Stop! John! STOP! WHAT IN HELL IS GOING ON HERE?" The voice of command, like a slap to the face, confronted John, and he collapsed to his knees.
"Just....trying...to help....girl.." John panted, the adrenaline leaving him.
"John. Take it easy." Sam looked over at the people taking charge of the assailant. "Are they dead?"
"Nah. One of them has been knocked out cold, one has a broken jaw, but they'll live...." The voice came as a relief to John and he straightened, reaching into his pocket and placing a bandana over the cut on his head, wiping the blood off, more came, but the cut was shallow, and the blood seemed to be stopping. He winced as he felt the cuts on his arms and legs finally.
Cathy looked up as Gary was forcefully yanked away from her. His astonished questions were quickly cut off as he and his friends were led away by these...
"Who ARE you people?" She looked over at the man with a large emblem on his shield.
"We're called the Knights of Fantasy, Ma'am." Sam answered. He looked at her, standing there, a puzzled look on her face. His eyes flicked down helplessly to her breasts, jutting forcefully outward, her shirt having been left behind. "Would you mind terribly if we lend you a cloak or something?" He blushed a little, and someone went to John's tent and grabbed a shirt off the line.
"OH! SHIT!" Cathy covered herself as best she could. "Please?" she asked timidly. "And would you mind calling the police?"
- - -
John rolled his eyes at the nurse.
"Honest! I wasn't fighting in a tourney this time, Lily! There really WERE bad guys." He sighed and then winced as the needle pulled through the skin.
"Well, there. You'll have a few new scars for your collection. Fortunately, nothing seems to be damaged, other than your head." Lily looked down at John with a tired expression. "And honestly, if there really were bad guys, why on earth would you be STUPID enough to go and fight them?"
"There was this girl," John smiled, shutting his eyes. "She was so pretty, too." He sighed. "Somehow I doubt she'll ever really want to thank a guy who, by the time she saw him, looked like Dracula on a 4-day bender."
Lily smiled, and pulled the sheet up past his body, her eyes roaming over the well built form. John wasn't a body builder, but pounding out armour and weapons in his spare time had paid off. She remembered when his husky form had been excessively padded and not as pleasing, even to himself. But now...she smiled and patted his shoulder. Sam was a good man, and John had been perfect as his best man. Lily happily grinned down at one of her best friends.
"Someday, Tiger. Just remember. The police want you to promise never to do that again. You really could have killed them, you know?" Her full lips curved down into a frown.
"Yes, Ma'am. However, the day that I stand by and refuse to help someone out is a day you won't even have to check for a pulse. Just bury me, because I'm long gone. On the other hand, maybe I'll stick to making armour and weapons for people, and not using it. Sam's right. I can't control myself in a fight." His face smiled, seemingly resigned to his fate. "Besides. You remember why I got into the Knights, right? Pretty shiny things that I wanted to acid etch...I really should get back to that. I miss it."
"You're really good at it. I will never throw out my shield, John. You should feel proud. That girl was saved because of you, and some very bad men are going to jail." She smiled and giggled a little. "You made the news, you know? 'Modern day knight in shining armour saves woman from ravishing.' I saved the papers for you."
"Please tell me you're joking." John's face deepened into a frown, then winced. "Ow! You pulled the damn stitches too tight again! It hurts to frown!"
"I keep telling you. You look better smiling." Lily smiled at him. "I'll leave you to get dressed and deal with the press."
"Lily! NO!...You have a back way out of here, right?" John's blue eyes searched Lily's face.
"Okay, okay...eventually they will find you. They ARE the press" She smiled, and patted his shoulder as she left.
John quickly dressed and left the hospital. A reporter was waiting at the back, and he ended up, reluctantly, doing a small interview rather than deal with the threat "I yell, and there will be dozens of us. You're national news, dude."
- - -
Thirty days later, John was sitting in his tent, contently hammering a piece of armour back into shape from an errant blow Sam had received in a recent battle, when a voice called from a distance. He ignored it, knowing all his friends by voice and figuring anyone else would read the sign posted outside, promising both no interviews and destroyed cameras to any reporters. He had paid for 3 since posting that sign, and their destroyed wreckage was displayed underneath the sign.
"Excuse me? They told me you're the guy that saved that girl, right?" The voice caused him to flinch and mar a part of the polished armour. He sighed, gently wiped the scratch, and, making a mental note to re-polish the section, he hung up the hammer and started to clean up the filings and bits of scrap around the workbench.
"Yes. I am. Now, do you want something or are you just here to annoy me? I have given all the interviews I wanted to a long time ago, and have not read anything in the papers or watched the news since." His voice startled even himself, harsh and annoyed.
"Sorry. John, right? I wanted to say I thought you were very brave." John turned and looked. Then he looked again. The woman was wearing a beautiful midnight blue dress that was cut very low in front, displaying her cleavage to an amazing degree. Her strawberry blonde hair was curled up around a stickpin and the exposed neck was long, elegant, and awe-inspiring. The dress flared out around her hips and then ended just above her ankles. She was, in a word, gorgeous.
"Sam set you up as a joke, right?" He almost smiled at her. "I told him to leave me alone and stop sending the bar wenches...what did he do? Raid some lord's private harem?"
"Actually, I talked to him. I wanted to say thank you." Her voice cracked a little, and her eyes seemed to start to tear up.
"Oh....god....you're her, aren't you?" John blushed, then jerked as he realized how stupid he sounded. "I'm sorry. I -have- been paying attention to the reporters when they mentioned your name...you're Cathy?"
"Yes...but all my saviors of virtue can call me Catherine. Sam talked to me for a while and told me a bit about you, but I must admit his idea of the dress seemed to strike a chord." Her voice, deliciously sweet, seemed to float right into John's ear, and he felt a tightening in the crotch that he vainly tried to repress by looking at her face. Her eyes were green, and they seemed to stare right through him as her mouth smiled.
"My Lady, if you are willing to accept a slightly tarnished knight for the evening, I would like to invite you to the feast tonight. Sam is forcing me to accept some awards for the Battle of Green Meadow, as some moron decided to call it."
"John, I would love to go with you. Maybe you should change, though. You seem to be somewhat underdressed for a gala event, right?" Her laughter filled the small tent, and she looked around. It seemed much bigger from the inside.
"My Lady, no one will care what I am wearing if I'm sitting next to you, but, in your honour, I do my best to shine alongside you."
END OF CHAPTER ONE.