tagSci-Fi & FantasySarlene's Touch Ch. 38

Sarlene's Touch Ch. 38


Horvan looked around the cell. There was nothing much here, and what there was was familiar. His employers were away on a mission, rescuing some women from the clutches of a demon. Or so he had gathered, from what he had overheard of their planning.

They were often away, of course, venturing into unlit catacombs in the far reaches of the wilderness was, essentially, how they made a living. Normally, at such times, he tended the villa for them. But this time was different. This time they were doing something in the city itself, and more importantly, somebody had sent a demon into the villa.

He shivered inwardly as he remembered facing the thing. He had known immediately that the creature was far out of his league, and that it could kill him in an instant. He had shouted out to it instinctively, before it had turned around and its full nature had become apparent. Not that he was any sort of warrior -- in retrospect it was obvious that he should never have made himself visible to it at all.

Those glowing red eyes had fastened on him, and he had known the gut-wrenching fear that he was about to die. Even being hit with the knife was nothing compared to how terrifying that one look had been. It brought him newfound respect for what his employers did all the time, and he still did not know why it had spared his life at all. By all rights, he should be dead, yet it had not taken the trouble to finish him off. Perhaps he was just too insignificant to even care about.

The attack, however, had meant that while the adventurers were away this time, they had insisted he remain safe, away from the villa. His parents were out of the city, and there were few others he would have been willing to impose upon. But he had an aunt that, like his mother, worked as a healer at the Temple of Felanda. She, at least, was in the city at the moment, and had been able to arrange for him to stay for a night or two at the temple.

He was sitting on a small bed in a spare novice's cell, a sight he was familiar with from his own childhood, although he had never seriously considered the healers' calling himself. He lacked the skill for it, although perhaps he should have studied harder. But he was lucky in having found the job that he did, as housekeeper to the adventurers. At least growing up in the temple had got him used to doing a lot of cleaning and housework.

Now he was back here again, if only for what should be a couple of nights at most, looking round at walls that were bare except for a single religious icon, and a room that contained nothing else save a bed, a small table, and an empty trunk. Novices had few possessions; it was part of the preparation for ordainment as a healer.

He sighed and leaned back against the stone wall. He had already exhausted the supply of things to do here; it wasn't even as if they had any need for more cleaners. There was nothing left to do but think. Naturally enough, his thoughts turned to his employers, and to the danger they were currently facing.

It was always a concern when they were away; that, this time, they wouldn't come back, or at least not all of them. He might not have been one of them, but they were almost as close to him as family now, or so he felt. They were undoubtedly good employers, and he knew that he was privileged to work for them, under their protection -- even if that had not worked out so well recently.

But that was not the only reason; there was also Vardala. Calleslyn and Lady Tarissa were undoubtedly attractive women, but there was just something about Vardala that he found incredibly appealing. Her fine features, her lithe body, her deep brown eyes, all combined to make her the woman that fuelled his desires.

It was something he felt deeply guilty about. There could never be anything in it, not least because she was his employer, She deserved better than him secretly admiring the curve of her breasts, or trying to catch a look at her even partially unclothed -- something at which he had so far failed dismally. But he just couldn't help it.

The guilt and the impossibility of it all were both compounded by the obvious fact that she was a gnome, not a human. Although she had all the curves and attributes of any adult human woman -- in fact, she looked five or six years older than he did -- she barely reached up to his waist. A vision of sexiness in miniature that he should surely have ignored, yet was unable to.

That small size had occasionally fuelled fantasies of her giving him fellatio while they both stood upright, but mostly he just wished that some bizarre piece of magic would transform her into his own size. In the dreams that fuelled his nights, that was how she always was; all but human, until he woke to a damp patch on the sheets and remembered that if such a spell existed, he had never heard of it.

"Horvan, I heard you were here."

He broke from his reverie, and the inevitable beginning of an erection, to notice the woman standing at his door. "Sallisha," he said, "it's been a long time."

Sallisha was one of the novices at the temple, somebody he had known before his life with the adventurers. She had been his girlfriend at one point, but it hadn't lasted, and that was before he met the woman of his impossible dreams. She didn't even look anything like Vardala, even leaving aside the fact that she was obviously human.

Her light brown hair cascaded in ringlets around her shoulders, her slender body clothed in the simple white robes of a novice, a deep cleft plunging from the neck to expose the holy symbol nestled on the thinner white fabric underneath. A narrow girdle wrapped around her slim waist, and the skirt fell to ankle length, giving him only a glimpse of the slippers she wore on her feet. She was, he had to admit, still a very attractive young woman, her skin fresh and supple, her light brown eyes watching him with the caring warmth so typical of healers.

"How is it with... uh..." he struggled to remember the name.

"We broke up. It's a long story."

"I'm sorry to hear that."

"But what about you?" she asked, stepping forward into the cell, her musical voice indicating her eagerness to hear more. "How have you been since... how long has it been now?"

"I, uh... I don't know," he admitted, "but I've been well enough, thank you. Busy at work, you know." He couldn't tell her about the demon, Lady Tarissa had impressed that much on him. And it wasn't something he wanted to remember anyway.

"Yes, that's right; you were with those adventurers, weren't you? But you never decided to become one, did you? It must be a hard life, even if it pays well for some people. A great many never come back."

"No," he said, smiling, "I've never even felt tempted. I'm no warrior, and I'm certainly not a magician. You're right, it's a big risk to take... and not one for me, I have to admit."

"Good," she said, sounding relieved, "You should have become a healer. Like me. Maybe then we wouldn't have broken up."

"Well..." he said, not wanting to get too far into that side of things, "that didn't work for me, either. There's too much learning, and religious dedication... I think it's great that you've found your vocation, and you'll be a great healer once you complete your novitiate. But that isn't me, either. I'm happy the way I am. It works for me."

"Why are you here, then? I got the impression that something had happened, but nobody seems to know for sure. The adventurers you work for... they're not out of the city, are they? It's not as if they'd have anything to do here. We don't have heaps of gold coins lying around in the city guarded by fire-breathing dragons, after all."

This was what he wasn't supposed to talk about. "It's just temporary. Nothing to worry about."

He had obviously sounded less than convincing, because she took another step forward into the room, a worried frown on her face. "If there's nothing for them to do here... has something followed them home from their last expedition?"

"No... I mean, uh... no." A memory of the demon's face flashed before him, the red eyes burning, the large horns dark and menacing, spurs distorting its face into something less than human.

Sallisha's hand leapt to her open mouth as her eyes widened in shock, "oh, my gosh, it has, hasn't it? Something followed them! Are you all right? Did it hurt you?"

He floundered, trying to think of something to say that would allay her suspicions, but nothing came to mind. He really wasn't very good at this sort of thing.

"Oh my goddess!" she gasped, rushing to his side. "You've been hurt! Let me see -- I'm a healer, maybe I can do something."

"It's fine, really, nothing. I mean, it's already been healed."

He winced with the memory of the pain, and she must have caught the look, and perhaps an involuntary twitch in his shoulder, because her eyes immediately darted towards the site of the injury, hidden as it was beneath his clothes.

"No, no, you can never be too sure. There's infections, and all sorts of things. I have to have a look. What do adventurers know about healing?"

"Quite a lot?" he asked, but she was already fiddling with his shirt, which was embarrassing in more ways than one. "Look, don't fuss, it's fine. Lady Tarissa is a paladin..."

"No, Horvan, I am going to inspect your wound, whether you like it or not." A sterner tone had crept into her voice, the way that healers sounded when they obviously weren't going to brook any nonsense. "I'll close the door if it makes you feel better, that way nobody else will see. But I will have a look, just to make sure."

"Oh, for goodness sake..." he said, knowing that he had already been beaten, "it's been magically healed by a paladin laying on hands... there's nothing to see."

"I'll be the judge of that," she said firmly, getting up to close the door.

Reluctantly, Horvan began to peel off his shirt. "See?" he said at last.

"You call that nothing?" She was at his side on the bed again, looking at him with concern.

"Well... nothing much."

There was a scar; even healing magic only did so much. But all that remained was a pale pinkish streak of slightly raised tissue running across the muscle of his shoulder, where the knife had penetrated deep into his flesh. But he couldn't really feel anything; apart from the scar, there was just no sign that he had ever been injured, and he had been told that even that would fade with time.

"That looks serious!" she said, "it must have been really deep." She ran a hand over it, the cool skin of her fingertips pressed against the muscle there. He struggled to ignore that; they had been intimate before, but now she was a healer, and just doing her job. "Move your arm," she said, "and tell me if you feel any pain or discomfort."

Reluctantly, he rotated his shoulder, flexing his arm, the muscles moving beneath the skin as her hand lay over it, stroking him in a way that was beginning to seem more than merely professional.

"Nothing," he said, honestly, "it feels fine, and I've got the full range of movement now. See?"

"Perhaps," she said, a little grudgingly. Her left hand reached behind his back, running up over his spine as her right moved across his chest, cool fingers brushing over his skin, her face just inches from his, her breath warm against his cheek.

"Uh...?" he said; a rather incoherent query.

"Just checking for other injuries," she said, her voice soft now as her right hand circled lower, moving onto his abdomen, caressing him as her left gently brushed over his ribs. "Yes, everything is how I remember it." She kissed him on the side of his neck, a brief exploratory peck with her lips. "Is it how you remember it?"

"Should we be doing this?"

"Why not?" she whispered, "there's nobody else, is there?"

"Well, no, not... uh, no, there isn't." Which was true, really, no matter what thoughts he might entertain in the privacy of his own mind.

"Good." She pressed her nose against his neck, lips kissing the angle of his other shoulder, tongue darting out to taste his skin. "Mmm... you smell good."

"I mean, it's just, we're in the temple, and you're a novice..."

"I'm not a nun. We're not celibate." Her right hand was moving lower, and had reached the hem of his trews, brushing over the top of his hips, the calm, comforting touch of a healer.

"Well, no, but..." he flicked his eyes meaningfully towards the holy icon on the wall, but if she noticed she gave no sign.

"Good," she said again, with a slight giggle as her hand at last slid down into his trews.

Despite himself, he was already beginning to get hard, and as her hand ruffled his pubic hair and slid round to the base of his cock, he found that she was starting to become irresistible. Her soft fingers slid up his length, then moved back down again, gently pulling back his foreskin.

"Uh, Sallisha, are you really sure about this?" he said at last.

In reply, she stroked her left hand all the way around the base of his back, and round to the front where she began to undo the top of his trews and to pull his underwear down. His cock sprang free as her other hand continued to gently stroke it and moved up to run a thumb over the glistening head. She leaned closer and kissed him softly on the lips.

"You don't think I seem sure?" she said teasingly.

He had no answer to that, and when she kissed him again, he at last responded, moving his hands onto her hips, to pull her up slightly onto the edge of the small bed. It wasn't much more than a cot really, but it would have to do. He was never going to have sex with Vardala, that was an impossible dream. Besides, he was all too human to be able to resist what her hands were doing to him.

Her right hand continued to massage his swelling cock as her left moved up to stroke his chest again, and they kissed eagerly. The tip of his erection brushed against the cloth of her robe as she shifted position, moving one leg between his thighs, leaning partially over him as they both sat on the edge of the bed.

Sallisha released him, kneeling back slightly so that she could undo her girdle and throw it onto the floor. She lifted her robes up, pulling them over her head, then shaking her hair loose as they joined the belt. He could see her nipples swelling beneath the thin fabric of her shift, the holy symbol glittering against the white. Smiling, she moved her head down, long hair brushing his chest as she kissed him again.

His hands slid down over her hips, feeling their slight curve, and onto her thighs. Her legs were slender and shapely, much as Vardala's were, but the warmth and softness of their skin was very real beneath his questing fingers. He surrendered to the sensation, kissing the healer passionately as she finally pulled his trews down far enough that he could kick them free.

Stroking his hands up her thighs, he reached under the hem of her shift, feeling the smoothness of her bare back as he rucked it over her hips. His cock pressed against her belly, throbbing with desire as she reached down to gently cup and stroke his balls.

"Oh, yeah..." be breathed. He had forgotten how good this was.

Sallisha moved so that she straddled him now, legs either side of his. Her gentle caress moved up his cock, pulling it up and under her shift, pressing it against the flesh of her belly until the tip nestled in her navel. She kissed him once more, then leaned back to pull her shift up and away with her free hand.

Her breasts had grown a little since he had last held her, but looked just as sweet and inviting as ever, the pale brown nipples obviously hard as she pressed them against him and delivered another lingering kiss. Horvan pushed her away slightly, and stroked a strand of her long wavy hair, pressing it against her skin.

He ran his hands over each globe, feeling the texture of her skin against his fingertips, brushing in ever decreasing circles towards the centre, eliciting a barely suppressed whimper as he at last fondled her swollen nipples. Bending in, he pressed his lips against one, tasting it, sucking her slowly.

At last she gasped aloud, and he began to wonder again if this was wise. The door to the cell might be closed, but it was not locked, and there might be healers walking along the corridor outside. He did not want to be discovered, and, presumably, neither did she.

She evidently had the same idea, for she muttered, "hush, hush... we have to be quiet." Which seemed a little unfair, since so far, he largely had been.

She pulled his head free from the delights of her soft breasts, and kissed him on the lips, long hair draping over his face and shoulders. Her right hand behind his head, stroking his own hair, she struggled to pull down her panties with the other, until he helped her, sliding them down over her long thighs.

His cock pressed against the sparse downy hair of her mound as the young healer reached up to stroke it again. They were still kissing, soft pants of desire all that was escaping their lips. One hand squeezed the round globe of her buttocks, pulling her up closer to him.

"Oh, yes..." she whispered, eyes wide with desire.

It was she that eased him inside, pushing him inch by inch between the eager folds of her pussy. Her eyes never left his face as she slowly pressed him all the way in, biting her lip to keep from crying out. His hips began to buck involuntarily and hers soon responded in kind, leaning over him, knees pressed against the bed, narrow waist sliding between his welcoming hands.

He pressed in and out, taking his time, moving slowly, savouring the feeling as her hard nipples brushed against his chest in time with the motion. She gasped out loud, bit down on her lip, and then cried out with a whimper as he pushed himself back in again.

"This isn't working," she muttered suddenly.

It wasn't? It certainly felt like it was working to him! But there was nothing he could do as she pulled herself away, and turned to lie back on the bed. She must have registered the shock and puzzlement on his face, because she grinned, and said "Not that, silly! Come here..." He moved over her, still confused, cock now pressed once more against her belly. "Make love to me like this," she whispered.

He lost no time in complying, moving one of her legs out of the way to ease himself back inside. "Oh, yes..." she whispered again, her head lying in a halo of brown curls against the pale fabric of the pillow. He began to move again, sliding in and out, pressing her breasts against his chest. Their hands explored each other's bodies, roaming over slick flesh as he began to increase the rate of his motion.

It finally dawned on him what she had meant by it not working when she grabbed the corner of the pillow and stuffed it into her mouth, smothering a pent up moan of passion. She nodded at him, briefly, her cries now as stifled as they reasonably could be.

Horvan closed his eyes and, to his later shame, pictured Vardala underneath him. Human sized, of course, but it was her face that really filled his thoughts as he imagined it was her that he was making love to. His thrusts increased in strength and urgency, as did the pitch of Sallisha's delighted cries. She crossed her legs behind his back, giving him more leverage to press into her, and a hand gripped his heaving buttocks.

He opened his eyes again just before he came, letting out a gasping cry that made something of a mockery of the healer's attempts at silence. It was Sallisha's face before him again, Sallisha's eyes wide with passion, Sallisha's pale lips pressed hard into the pillow as her body shuddered in the throws of her orgasm.

"Oh my goddess..." she said, fingering the holy symbol around her neck, "oh my good goddess..."

He rolled off her, not wanting to look her in the face. It was still not she that would haunt his dreams.

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