Sarlene's Touch Ch. 01-02byFuinimel©
The sun shone down on the city of Haredil as the small group rounded the crest of the hill. The white towers and copper domes and minarets glittered in the light, welcoming them back after their long journey. The last few weeks had been exhilarating, dangerous, as they had probed lost catacombs in search of treasure, fending off monsters and evil spirits to gain their prize. And a good haul it had been, too, the coins now loading down their saddle bags.
Almandar looked around at his companions, staunch comrades in the battles they had faced, and many more beforehand. Lady Tarissa was the leader of the group, despite her foreign origins. Born to aristocracy somewhere to the south, she looked nothing like the nobles of Haredil or its neighbouring cities. Her shoulder-length blonde hair was now free of her helmet, and her pale lips formed a smile as she saw the city ahead. The paladin might be an exile, but Haredil had become a home for her, too over the past few years. With the dust of the journey, and the heat of past battles, only her regal bearing now marked out her high born ancestry, but once they returned, there was no doubt that she would be able to move amongst the nobility once again, her knowledge of etiquette making her ideal as spokeswomen for the group.
Where Lady Tarissa was muscular and heavily armoured, Almandar's fellow magician, Calleslyn, was willowy, armed only with a dagger tucked into her belt. She was wearing travelling clothes now, of course, but by tomorrow, she would, he knew, be dressed in rich robes that only complemented her beauty more. As pale and blonde as Tarissa, her hair was long, currently tied back into a long pony tail to reveal the high points of her ears. She had lived among the forests of the southern island for much of her life, which perhaps explained her mixed expression as the city approached. She looked, Almandar thought, calm and relaxed. Perhaps for her, as an elf, this was just the end of another journey, a pause between travels, rather than a true homecoming.
Vardala, the third of the women, seemed the happiest. The diminutive gnome sat forward in the pony's saddle, her eyes fixed on the city ahead. She had already made some effort to smarten herself up before the arrival, brushing dust from her clothes, and even now, she straightened her russet tunic, and ran a hand through her short brown hair. She seemed to be anticipating the homecoming more than the others, and Almandar reflected that this often seemed to be so. Gnomes, he knew, were a folk fond of family and home, and while Vardala had no living relatives that he knew of, perhaps, for her, this was her hearth, the place she felt most comfortable. Certainly, she was a native of the city, like himself.
As usual, Dolrim was the most difficult to read. The dwarf was taciturn, like all of his kin, and his face showed no emotion now. His armour was heavy and battered, for he had taken the brunt of the fighting over the last few weeks, and would have been crippled or worse had it not been for Tarissa's healing magic. Dark eyes under bushy eyebrows remained fixed on the road ahead, thinking whatever thoughts it was that dwarves so often kept to themselves.
Almandar turned away, and looked back towards the Haredil. It was his home, where he had been born and raised, long before meeting the others. There was no doubt he would be glad to be back. Before too long, he knew, they would be adventuring in the wilds once again, and he enjoyed those times. But the city held many delights that he was denied on the road. It was a place of civilisation, a place of sanctuary. Over the next few days, there would be many things to do. He had to attend the Wizards' College and renew his acquaintances there, as well as brushing up on his studies. And, in addition to making his observances at the chapel there, he would pray at the temple to the deity closest to his heart; Sarlene, goddess of love. But most of all, there would be time to relax, to enjoy the public baths, the fine food and wine, to chat in the marketplaces, and – Sarlene willing – find companionship for the night.
The villa lay near the western side of the city, not far inside the wall. It was a large building, first bought, and then renovated, with the money that had earned while adventuring. Almandar and Vardala had insisted on that; they lived in inns while on the road, but wanted somewhere to come back to, a base of operations they could truly call their own. It had taken a while to restore the building to its current state, for it had been quite run-down when they had first purchased it. But the result was well worth the trouble and expense.
The central building stood two stories high, with, like many others in the city, a wide, flat roof where they could gather in the summer. To either side stretched two wings, one of which contained the stables. Between the wings was a wide courtyard, walled off from the rest of the city. For adventurers, doing without at least some level of defence did not come naturally, safe as they should be in Haredil.
Horvan swung the gates shut as the last of the horses entered the courtyard. He was a young man, competent in his job as steward, but no adventurer himself. They had hired him a year ago, realising that somebody had to maintain the house while they were away in the wilderness.
"Have you done well?" he asked, "I see none of you are badly hurt, thank the guardians!"
Almandar smiled, dismounting, and clapping the young man on the back. "Yes, we have done well. We must take this treasure to the vault, and then clean ourselves up. We should require only a light lunch – give you time to get some fresh supplies in."
He looked around at the others. They had dismounted from their horses and ponies, too, stretching their legs after the journey. Tarissa and Calleslyn joined him in greeting Horvan, but Dolrim just nodded in their direction, saying nothing. Vardala seemed to be busying herself with the packs on her horse, only occasionally glancing in their direction. Perhaps she thought something had come loose... Almandar put the thought out of his mind.
"We'll tell you all about it this afternoon," said Tarissa, "but I, for one, am looking forward to a bath and some clean clothes. And, for the evening, a proper meal, perhaps? Will everything be ready?"
"Yes, my lady," replied Horvan, "nothing much has happened while you were gone, I am pleased to say. Everything is as you left it."
"You know," broke in Almandar, "this evening, I think I would like to head out to a tavern. Spend some of that hard earned money, and remember what it is like to be back in the city! Is anyone with me?"
Dolrim nodded, grunting his assent, but the women demurred. "No, I think a little peace and quiet is more in order," replied Calleslyn, "I'll stay here for this evening."
"As will I," replied Tarissa, then looked over towards the final member of the party, who still had not joined them, "What about you, Vardala?"
"Oh..." said the gnome, as if a little caught by surprise, "no, no, I think I will stay here, too. I, uh, think I'll make an early night of it, though. I'm feeling quite tired after all that time camping in tents."
Almandar nodded. It would, perhaps, be good to spend an evening with different company for a while, having been on the road together with the others for so long. "Just you and me, then, Dolrim," he said, adding, "we'll try not to be too loud when we get back. But first, we have an afternoon ahead of us... and a young man to regale with our stories of adventure, eh?"
The Brass Goblet Inn was busy, as was usual at this time of the evening. Although the place rented rooms, it was as much a tavern as an inn, so with the shadows starting to lengthen outside, many of the good folk of Haredil were arriving for a drink before they headed off to their homes. The clientele was generally respectable, though, so there was little chance of a fight, or, for that matter, of catching something unpleasant, as was often the case at the dockside taverns. This was the reason that Almandar liked it, and, with moderately wealthy visitors from outside the city often staying here, it also tended to be a good place to find work.
But that was not why Dolrim and he had come here tonight; they had had enough of work for the moment. He wanted to relax and enjoy himself, at least for one night. He found a free table, and they both sat down, and ordered a drink. The barmaid, he could not help but notice, was pretty. She looked in her mid twenties, with shoulder-length curly hair the colour of golden sand, brown eyes and a welcoming smile. Her short-sleeved white shirt was low cut to reveal an ample cleavage, her skin, so far as he could see, flawless and lightly tanned.
"You're new," he said, smiling as she approached with a platter of drinks, "what's your name?"
"Helsa," she said simply, gifting him with a grin full of white teeth. As she did so, he noticed that her eyes flicked over him, taking in his dark hair, short beard, and what he hoped was a reasonably trim and athletic body, after a career that often kept him exercised. Her glance hovered slightly over his ears, slightly pointed, and showing his half-elven heritage. "I've been working here a couple of weeks, but I have not seen you before. Visiting?" She put a couple of flagons down on the table, glancing briefly at Dolrim, but then, apparently seeing nothing there of interest, turning back to Almandar.
"My name is Almandar," he replied, "and I actually live nearby. But Dolrim and I have been away of late, out in the wilds."
"An adventurer?" she said, sounding impressed, "or a merchant, perhaps?"
"The former, and I daresay I might have a few interesting tales to tell you, if you have the time." Dolrim raised his eyes slightly at the comment. Doubtless, for a dwarf, even this was a bit too forward.
"Later, perhaps," said Helsa, "there are other patrons." Another quick grin, and she disappeared back into the crowd.
"Well, my friend," said Almandar, turning back to his adventuring companion, and raising his flagon "to our recent victories!"
As the evening wore on, they swapped stories of their recent escapades, and a small group began to gather round the table. Some Almandar knew, were contacts and friends who also frequented this tavern, but a few were people he recognised only vaguely, if at all. Dolrim became more voluble as he quaffed more beer, but the half-elf saw no reason to curb him; he was talking more about fights and near-death escapes than about wealth and treasure, and what was the point of being an adventurer if you couldn't boast a little? Besides, his attention was often elsewhere.
As Dolrim launched into a story about a fight against a shadowy undead, Almandar glanced over at Helsa. She had, he noticed, been paying attention to the stories, and her eyes were on him more than the dwarf, regardless of who was speaking. Right now, though, she was leaning over to fetch a pitcher from behind the bar. Her green skirt fell to mid-calf, so he could see little of her legs, but her ass was well rounded. He imagined it without the skirt, how it would feel in his cupped hands...
"Hmm?" he turned back to Dolrim, aware that he had been looking away, and had lost the thread of the conversation.
"Tell them what you did next," prompted he dwarf, "after Tarissa's vial had dropped into the pit."
He obliged, returning to the story, and momentarily forgetting about Helsa. But then she appeared at the far side of the table, sliding another flagon his way. She leaned down as she did so, very deliberately, he thought, giving a clear and unobstructed view down the top of her shirt, the mounds of her breasts pressing against it. He cleared his throat, "back to you..." he said to Dolrim.
Helsa flashed him that grin again, sliding round the table until she was next to him, one thigh pressed close to his hand. It could not be an accident, so he surreptitiously slid it upwards, feeling the shape of her body through the thick cloth of her skirt, giving her buttock a slight squeeze. She said nothing, and everyone else was looking towards Dolrim at the moment. He looked towards her, and she raised her eyes to the ceiling, the direction of the inn's bedrooms, and gave him a wink. He nodded silently, and then she was gone, back toward the bar and another group of patrons.
Almandar paced the darkened room. The major moon was rising outside, casting its silvery light over the city, and some poured through the small window. The evening had drawn to a close, and Dolrim had left, returning to the villa alone. He had looked resigned about that, not particularly surprised, but not approving, either. Dwarves, after all, did not worship Sarlene.
Almandar had already stripped to the waist, and removed his shoes, his clothing now lying folded on a chair in the corner. The room contained just a bed and a small table; it was not one of the classier rooms at the inn, but that would not really matter. There was no mirror, but the half-elf smoothed down his hair anyway, trying to look his best. He could hear they were clearing up downstairs, now that the last of the guests had either headed home or up to their own rooms.
There was a quiet knock at the door, and he quickly stepped over to pull it open. Helsa stood framed in the doorway, holding a candle in a small dish in one hand. The candlelight lit her face and bosom, her curly hair casting shadows, her lips slightly parted and inviting.
"I was beginning to think you weren't coming," he said, joking, for the wait had not been too long.
"Not a chance," she said, flashing that smile once again. She quickly stepped inside the room, shutting the door firmly behind her, and placing the candle on the table. Almandar moved to snuff it out, but she reached for his hand, holding it in hers. Her skin was soft, warm. "Leave it burning," murmured Helsa, her eyes wandering over his bare chest and down to the top of his trews.
Suddenly she took his head with her free hand and pulled him towards her, kissing him passionately. The kiss lingered, their lips locked together. Almandar put his arms around her, pulling them together, crushing her voluptuous breasts against his chest, separated only by the cotton fabric of her shirt. Her arms wrapped around him, her hands exploring his back, sending tingles of anticipation down his spine. They paused, taking a deep breath, and staring deep into each others eyes, and then kissed again, their tongues entwining.
At last, she pulled back, and he took another look at her, admiring the way her chest heaved. He reached down and pulled her shirt loose from the band of her skirt, sliding his hands over her flanks, and then lifted it free over her head as she raised her arms. She smiled again, uttering the simple word, "well?"
It was a question that really needed no answer; she was magnificent. Instead of replying, he cupped her breasts in his hands, running his fingers over the skin. Her nipples were large and pink, already hard and pert as he teased them his thumbs. He pulled her to him again, and they kissed as he ran his hands through her hair, tracing the contours of her neck.
He carefully led her towards the bed, alternately kissing her and touching her breasts. Helsa sighed as she lay down on her back, and he climbed onto the bed beside her. He kissed her chin, and then her neck, moving down to her collarbone. He paused for a moment, admiring the shape of her breasts, then bent his head to one, flicking her nipple with his tongue. She murmured something inaudible but happy, and he continued, gently sucking and running his tongue over the sensitive skin. He massaged her free breast, then swapped sides. She tasted good, as her own hands ran along his arm, over his shoulder, feeling his firm body.
He looked up, and their eyes locked again. "Mmm... don't stop."
For reply, he kissed her at the base of her breastbone, then moving across her stomach. He reflected again on the smoothness of her skin, and the shape of her body, trim, yet lacking in hard muscle. He reached the band of her skirt, climbing off the bed to position himself between her legs. He pulled the skirt, and her cotton panties, over her hips, sliding them down over her legs to puddle on the floor. Helsa kicked off her shoes, leaving her naked and defenceless before him.
Bare, her legs looked just as good as he had imagined. He ran his hands over her thighs, slowly moving them upwards, and kissed her hips, just to the side of the mound of pubic hair. Her legs were parted, and he blew gently between them, the warm of his breath teasing them, as he gazed at a drop of moisture glinting in the candlelight. "Oh yes," breathed Helsa, "yes, please..."
He ran his tongue along the crack, then parted her lips, probing the warm inviting flesh of her cunt. Helsa gasped in pleasure, her hips squirming against the sheets. Almandar put his hands to her buttocks, and continued to suck and lick, darting his tongue against her clit. Helsa was moaning softly now. A hand reached down to stroke his hair, running along the pointed outline of his left ear. He glanced up, watching those wonderful breasts rising and falling as her breath grew heavier. He returned to his work, now dipping one of his fingers into her cunt as he continued to lap. As he teased her clit, she whimpered, moving slightly beneath him, so he did it again, turning her whimpers into passionate gasps.
He stood up, once again admiring the beauty before him. Helsa propped herself up on her elbows, sweat now beading her face, sticking a stray lock to her forehead. Her gaze travelled down his body, as he once again lowered himself onto the bed beside her. "You enjoyed that, hmm?" he teased her, receiving a kiss in reply.
He reached over to fondle one of her breasts again, as her hand slid down his side. She tugged at his trews, undoing the cord with a little difficulty, and then pulling them down over his thighs. He kicked them off, and her hand sought his cock, stroking along its length, and running her finger over the tip. He kissed her nearer breast again, sucking the nipple, caressing it as her own hand caressed his erection.
He marvelled again at the softness of her touch, which seemed only to drive him to greater ecstasy. She rubbed his cock against the damp hair of her pussy, and he looked up into her imploring gaze. Swinging his leg over, he mounted on top of her, his weight pressing down onto her breasts. She guided him in, as he thrust deep inside her welcoming cunt. "Oh, goddess," she murmured, wrapping one arm behind his neck and gripping his buttocks with the other hand as he continued to rock back and forth.
He was gasping himself now, the pleasure welling up inside him as he thrust again and again into her body. They kissed, as he massaged one of her breasts, and she ran a finger around the outline of his ear. He paused for a moment, unwilling to let the event end too soon. Her brown eyes were alive, glittering in the candlelight, and her grin as infectious and inviting as ever.
He began moving again, feeling her hips grinding back against him, her hand gripping his buttocks harder now, her breasts slick with sweat as he continued to tease her pink and swollen nipples. Helsa cried out when he came, clutching him to her as her own orgasm shook her body.
Even Almandar had not expected his very first night back from adventure to be quite so pleasurable...