Sarlene's Touch Ch. 15byFuinimel©
Almandar had been surprised to receive the letter from Ansreal, the would-be paladin that Lady Tarissa had introduced him to a while ago. In it, she had asked him to meet her at the Silver Crown inn, but not to tell the others. It was a public place, and the woman was a devotee of Pardror, god of chivalry, so there seemed no reason to suspect an ulterior motive. But if so, why the need for secrecy? He had decided to go, of course, but he could not help but wonder what it was all about.
He did not know the Silver Crown very well, although he was aware of its location within the city. It was an expensive inn, catering to wealthy merchants and the like, which he supposed suggested that Ansreal herself might be well-connected. In front of the building was an open courtyard, dotted with tables and chairs around an ornate fountain, and it was there that he found her.
She raised her arm as she saw him arrive, and he waved in acknowledgement as he stepped over to the table, noting that she was alone. She wore the same plain white dress that she had when they previously met, the hemline reaching to her ankles, and the neck open only to her collarbone. It was, he gathered, some sort of uniform, a simple and unadorned costume symbolising the purity and dedication of aspirant paladins.
Unusually for a follower of Pardror, Ansreal was, of course, an elf. Her blonde hair was cut short in a bob, exposing her pointed ears and long neck but, he suspected, chosen more for practicality than looks. Glancing her over, with a slight touch of guilt, he could not help but think that some more colourful or revealing clothes might suit her better. For she was quite attractive, certainly compared with most humans. She was a little on the skinny side, perhaps, but her lips were full, her nose dainty, and her cheekbones high. He could not see her hips clearly from this angle, but the swell of her breasts beneath the white fabric was promising... or would be, were it not for her chosen calling.
"I am glad you could come," she said, as he sat down, "would you like some white wine?" Her elven accent was not so clear as Calleslyn's, suggesting, perhaps, a longer familiarity with the Common tongue.
Almandar agreed, but then insisted on paying. It was after all, likely that he was better off than a squire of Pardror, whose funds must surely be limited until they became full paladins.
"I confess," he said, once the drinks arrived, "that I don't quite know why I am here. Not that it isn't pleasant." He indicated the courtyard, which had only a few other people at this time of the morning, but which was already sunny and pleasingly warm. There was no sign of the rains of a few days ago, which had vanished as quickly as they normally did in Haredil.
Ansreal looked down at her hands for a moment, as if uncertain of what to say, but soon she raised them to him again. "You are an experienced adventurer," she said, "and before too long I will be initiated as a full paladin, undergoing my knighthood ceremonies. It is, as you know, an unusual path for one of my kindred. It is not that I have doubts, for I know the importance of what I am about to do... this world needs protection, and I truly believe that Pardror can provide that. But I do feel that advice would be useful. Of what it is truly like to do what we do... and I think that advice should come not just from my fellow paladins, but from an outsider with similar experience."
Almandar nodded, although it still did not fully make sense to him. It was a reasonable enough request, to be sure, but it could as easily have been asked of Calleslyn, who shared Ansreal's background, or of the both of them together. Although he could understand that she might not find the perspective of Dolrim or Vardala so relevant; neither would have much in common with an elven paladin.
"Of course," he said, taking a sip of his wine, "although I do not know how much I will be able to help. But I will tell you what I can."
"You spend a lot of time out in the wilderness, exploring ancient ruins," she began, "like that forgotten tomb you visited recently. The one with the undead... that must be a difficult life, very dangerous. You must have to rely on each other implicitly."
"Absolutely," he agreed, "there can be no room for doubt. And there is not, because we are all in the same situation. We have saved each other's lives many times over, we almost act together instinctively now. I confess that many adventurers are unsuccessful, but once you have completed a few missions, things become second nature. You know all of your companion's abilities, and how they will react in combat. I am sure you will find the same when you have served with other paladins for a while."
She nodded, "yes, I have no doubt about that. The Church of Pardror is always supportive. But it must still be frightening at times?"
"Certainly. You would not be mortal if you did not feel fear. The important thing is not to let it overwhelm you."
They continued talking in that vein for a little while, about the hardships of life in the wilds, about camping and the sharing of duties, about what it felt like to face terrible monsters. At one point, as he described a wight in what might have been a little too much detail, she shuddered slightly, and, without thinking, he reached his hand across the table to rest it on her own. As soon as he did so, he realised that it might be inappropriate, considering her vocation, but she did not flinch, or even respond. Instead, her slender hand lay there in his as they continued to talk.
He sensed that she was skirting around some more important subject, not truly getting to the real purpose of her meeting. She seemed genuinely curious, but there was something she was not asking. He studied her wide blue eyes, but there seemed no deception in them, perhaps only a little shyness. Feeling the warmth of her hand beneath his own, he wondered if she was interested in him. She had not seemed so when they last met, despite his attempts at flirting, and even now she was giving off mixed signals. Perhaps she did not truly know what she felt herself; the code of a paladin would surely conflict with the easy-going inclinations of most elves.
"What about you and Calleslyn?" she asked suddenly, just as he was about to try and probe deeper into her purpose.
"What about us?" he asked, a little puzzled.
"Well, she is... she is an attractive woman, and you are a young man. You have already said that you spend a lot of time together in the wilds, relying heavily on each other, with no friends beyond your own companions for miles. Doesn't that lead to mixed feelings? I mean, have you and she...?" she left the question dangling.
"No, we haven't," he said, honestly, sensing that this was at last close to her real question. And it might well be one that he could now see she would not want to discuss with her fellows. "And I doubt we ever will. When we first met, it might have been a different story, but we were determined to be professional, and I am glad that we were. Yes, I admit that Calleslyn is attractive; of course she is. But we have fought alongside each other for sufficiently long now that she is more like family than anything else."
"I think of her as I would of a sister. I cannot say it would be the same for everyone, but for me, that comradeship overcomes everything else. I suspect you will find the same for the paladins you work with. Once you have truly faced peril with them, fought side-by-side, you will realise that there are more important things to your relationship than physical attraction. Some adventurers marry each other, so I have heard, with love forged in the heat of battle, but your Church would not frown on that."
"Look... you have served as Sir Larinor's squire for some time. Yet I sensed nothing between the two of you when we last met. He is a handsome man, I would think, but how do you think of him?"
"You are right," admitted Ansreal, yet she did not look much more comfortable than before. "He has been like an elder brother. The training and instruction I have had, the way we work together... yes, you're right, I don't think of him in that way. You think I will be the same with other paladins?"
"I barely know you, so I cannot judge. But I see no reason why it should not be so. The fact that you are concerned about it shows that you can hold your desires in check. And you knew this when joined the Church, when you chose to become a paladin. There are sacrifices required in your vocation that I do not have to make in mine, but I believe you have the strength for them."
He smiled, in a way that he hoped was reassuring. The young elf looked down at the table, instead of meeting his eyes. "You do not look convinced?" he asked.
"Larinor is not..." she blushed slightly, then looked up, watching him intently, pausing for a little while before continuing. "I had a dream a couple of nights ago. About Father Hemboldt."
That, Almandar recalled, was the name of the young cleric who was a friend of Larinor's. It had not occurred to him at the time that the man was particularly handsome, but perhaps the clerical robes had clouded his judgement, and he had hardly been looking much at the male visitors, in any case. He tried to think of something to say, but Ansreal continued before he could frame a response.
"We were fording a river, and we both fell in. We got out onto the bank, which proved easier than it had seemed earlier in the dream. We took of all our wet clothes, and then..." she blushed again, "I should not think of a cleric in this way!" Almandar again tried to think of a reply, but Ansreal continued talking, leaning forward and lowering her voice to almost a whisper. "We were naked, and I was on top of him, and we pleasured each other there on the grass, in the open." She shook her head, "that is why I am worried, because I know those thoughts are wrong for one of my calling. But I could not talk about it with Sir Larinor, let alone Hemboldt himself."
Almandar glanced around, suddenly acutely aware that they were sitting on a table in the sunshine, and that, while the place was hardly bustling as yet, neither were they entirely alone. Anyone could walk past at any moment, and here was Ansreal, an aspirant paladin of Pardror, talking frankly about her sexual fantasies. "I think..." he began, but again she interrupted, seemingly lost in her recollections.
"It was not the first time," she went on, "on another, I dreamt that we..."
Almandar leaned back and put his hand up, "I really think we should discuss this somewhere more private, don't you?"
The elven woman's eyes widened, and she too, leaned back, at last withdrawing her hand from beneath his. She nodded, pulling her chair back from the table rather swiftly, or so he thought. She stood up, glancing about as if nervous, although, fortunately, there was not much to see. She had been talking quietly after all, and he did not think that anyone had yet overheard.
"I have a room here at the inn. We could discuss it there. Put my mind at rest."
"That might well be wiser," he agreed, joining her as they headed to the door.
The room was quite luxurious by the standards of an inn, reflecting the Silver Crown's high prices. There was a table, with a pitcher of wine standing on it, a rich red carpet and a wide bed close to the window. The shutters were partially drawn, but the window was north facing, and there was still enough daylight streaming through to illuminate the place.
After she had taken a few steps inside, Ansreal stopped in her tracks, looking at the light from the window, and facing away from Almandar. He closed the door, and moved towards one of the chairs by the table, thinking to sit down.
Before he could even reach it, Ansreal suddenly spoke, still with her back to him. "I just can't do this!"
"Do what?" Her response was immediate. She turned round to face him, stepped forward, took his face in her hands and planted a kiss on his lips. He was not sure what to make of it, especially given the conversation just minutes before. "I don't..." he began, before she silenced him with another kiss, sliding her tongue over his, and pressing her body against him.
He could actually feel her nipples hardening through the fabric of her dress as she wrapped her arms around him, still kissing. His own body was responding involuntarily, his cock stiffening as she ground her hips into him, but, for the moment at least, he tried to keep his hands by his side.
"I thought this was about being a paladin," he said at last, when she broke away from the kiss, and took a step back.
"I needed to know," she began, unfastening the cord around her waist, and kicking her shoes off, "how much I could resist. A handsome man, obviously interested in me," she was lifting her skirts up, revealing slender legs, and pulling the dress over her head, "alone together, knowing there was a private bedroom nearby."
She was dressed in her shift now, dropping the dress impatiently to one side. Her nipples were clearly visible through the thin fabric, tenting it as she stepped forward for another kiss, her hands fumbling with his shirt and caressing the bare skin beneath. Her passion was evident, and this time his own resistance crumbled, and he responded in kind, gripping her buttocks with one hand and her back with the other.
"I had to know how easy it would be," she confessed, "to suppress my sexual desires."
"So how is that working out for you?" he asked, running his lips over the angle of her chin and down to the side of her long neck as she ran her left hand through his hair.
"I guess we'll have to see..." she replied, dipping her other hand into the front of his trews, finding the tip of his erection.
"And Hemboldt?" he asked, as her hand slid along the shaft, and he began to help her with the fastening.
"Those are just fantasies, not reality. You are reality... so very real, right now."
He stepped back, pulling his trews down and reaching for his shoes. Ansreal took the opportunity to move towards the bed, pulling her shift over her head as she did so, and throwing it carelessly away. He followed her, removing his remaining clothes as he did so, and climbed onto the bed beside her.
She was, as he had seen before, slightly skinny, her waist remarkably narrow and her ribs clearly visible. Her breasts were small but pert, with large pink nipples projecting out like little mounds. They kissed again, hands sliding over each other's bodies, one of her legs twisting around his, pressing his erection against the cotton of the panties that were the only thing she was still wearing.
"I'm not a paladin yet," she said, as he began to kiss her chin and neck, moving down to the collarbone, and filling a hand with one of her breasts. "I can still do this... but it has been so long. I haven't even touched myself recently, even when I wanted to."
He murmured something sympathetic. It seemed she wanted to talk, but there were more important things on his mind now than keeping up his end of the conversation. She was obviously more than willing, and that was all that mattered. His kisses wandered lower, until he reached her breasts, kneading them with both hands, examining her swollen nipples. They really were quite large; not wide, but prominent and protruding, the pink aureole almost conical.
"I think perhaps I need to remind myself of what I will be giving up... ooh, yes," she added as he squeezed one erect nipple between thumb and forefinger. "A last night of love to hold in my memory. What do you think?"
Instead of answering, he kissed one of her breasts, running his tongue over it, savouring the taste of her, feeling the shape of her taut nipple between his lips. She squirmed beneath him, her back arching slightly, pressing the breast further into his mouth. "I think that's agreement," she said, "...the other side, please."
He obliged, then moved back on the bed – it's large size was certainly helpful, and the mattress was soft and comfortable – to run his tongue down her flat belly, over her navel and towards her hips. She reached down to run her fingers through his hair again as he reached the top of her panties, and began to slide them out of the way.
She was still talking, keeping up a one-sided conversation. He wondered if a vow of silence would have been even more difficult for her than a vow of chastity, but he wasn't complaining.
"Do you suppose Lady Tarissa is still a virgin? It's not compulsory, but I think Sir Larimor might be." She was naked now, revealing a narrow tuft of blond hair on her mound, and a moist waiting pussy, as he gently moved her slender thighs apart. He didn't answer her speculation; he knew little of Tarissa's early life, so he could not say what she might have done before her own initiation.
"Strictly speaking, it's not that we have to be chaste," she pushed his head lower, towards her groin. "it's more that... oh, goddess, that's what I've been waiting for!"
He had kissed her damp and swollen pussy lips, feeling her hips shift slightly as she moved her legs further apart to ease his access. He ran his tongue along their length, tasting her juices, then probed inside, licking at the pink folds.
"Yes..." she moaned, "that's it... does this count as praying to the goddess, I wonder? I'm supposed to follow Pardror, not Sarlene, but they are both allies. A little more... oh, that's good..."
His tongue continued to explore her cunt, lapping at her, running over her clit, making her gasp and thrust her hips forward. "I must remember that this is what I mustn't do..." she broke off to let out a mewling cry of pleasure as he sucked again, and gently slid a finger in beside his tongue, "...mustn't do once I am a full paladin. Oh, goddess! Just a little... yes... ahhh..."
She kicked a leg over his shoulder, running the heel down his back, as he parted her pussy lips a little further, finger sliding in her dampness, flicking her clit with the tip of his tongue. That left her panting, bereft of speech for at least a moment, as she held his head with one hand and rubbed her own breast with the other.
"Don't... don't make me cum just yet..." she whimpered, "lay beside me."
He left her dripping cunt and moved up to do as she asked. She moved onto her side, back towards him, and he bent to kiss the back of her neck, below the bobbed hair. Lazily, he slid a hand up her flank, running over her ribs and then cupping a breast again, softly fondling the large nipple, savouring the feel of it beneath his fingers.
"Mmm... that's nice," she said, reaching her free hand out to caress his own hip, and resting her smooth buttocks against his erection. "I've never made love to a half-elf before, but you're good. If this is my last time for a while, it will have been very much worth it." He kissed a shoulder blade, nudged his cock against her body and tweaked her nipple. "I'll just have to remember not to deliberately tempt myself again."
Her hand slid down from his hip, stroking his shaft with her small fingers. "But I really, really, do need this." She raised her leg slightly, guiding him into her, gasping in pleasure as he slid his way inside.
She moved in time with his slow thrusts, pressing her buttocks into his groin, her back against his chest. He squeezed her breast, tweaking the prominent nipple again. He kissed the side of her neck, and she reached up with her free arm, gripping his shoulder, the little fingers kneading his flesh. She was gasping, moaning, writhing her body against his, her words now limited to simple exhortations, the thread of her previous conversation now finally exhausted and overwhelmed by her mounting pleasure.
"Oh, yes!" she cried, any religious inhibitions clearly forgotten, "oh fuck, yes! Fuck me, fuck me... oh, goddess, yes! Make me cum... oh, fuck, YES!"