The Solitary Arrow Ch. 16bymack_the_knife©
Harlen smiled out his front bedroom window, watching the sunset. The fiery reds and oranges reflected from the high clouds reminding him of Hyandai’s hair. He glanced over his shoulder at her.
Hyandai lay sleeping soundly, still tired from her ordeal the night before. What does this night hold for them? Harlen wondered. Will it be a simple night of peace and quiet, a chance to rest after a harrowing journey through the mountains and evening of sheer terror and heartbreak? Or would it hold equally dark happenings?
A small group of half a dozen town watchmen patrolled past his home, casting wary eyes toward the little house back among the trees. Word spreads fast in Morrovale, and everyone, by now, knew of the incident the night previous.
Several of Harlen’s friends, fellow huntsmen, had stopped by to offer their assistance in protecting his home. He thanked them heartily, but declared that it was his problem to deal with, and that he would take care of his issues. They hesitantly accepted his declaration and moved on, leaving word to summon them if need be.
For the first time ever, he had a lock on his doors, and the windows were now bolted shut on the ground floor. Harlen sighed at the ironic necessity of these precautions. He was fortifying his own home, and against elven folk.
He glanced over his shoulder again, this time not at the beautiful woman who graced his life and his bed, but at the elegantly deadly weapon beneath that bed, peering out where Hyandai could reach it if needed.
That weapon, the Ehladrel of her clan, was the cause of his woes, or so it came into his own mind. The sooner they were rid of it, the sooner Harlen could go about his simple, but pleasant life. As much as Harlen loved Hyandai, and longed for the sublime pleasures offered by her exotic, inhuman beauty and appetites, he wished for a sense of normalcy, as well.
The sun was now gone, and the last glimmerings of the clouds were lying upon the edge of the horizon, themselves. Night belonged to the elves, he knew, and to orcs. These recent events were beginning to make him not care for any of the night-eyed kin of man. He studied the shadows beneath the trees across the lane, and tried to plumb their inky depths.
Turning from the window, he moved to the stairs and down. Trevir was curled upon the couch, a thin blanket over him as he read in the book Harlen had borrowed from his friend. It was a book about elves, a study of sorts, penned long ago. The lad was not a fast reader, as the huntsman had taught him the art of reading and writing, and Harlen, himself, was not terribly adept at those arts.
“Master Harlen?” Trevir asked as the huntsman padded past.
Harlen paused, looking at the youth. “Yes, Trevir?” He responded.
“What does ‘aloof and enigmatic’ mean?” Trevir asked, paging back in the book a few pages and pointing to part of a passage there.
A weak smile crossed Harlen’s face. “It means they appear to hold themselves above baser things in the world and their intentions are not easy to understand.” He replied.
Trevir nodded. “Lady Hyandai doesn’t seem either of those things.” He said, looking at the book with a dubious eye.
A low chuckle came from Harlen’s chest. “No, she does not.” He said. “She seems neither aloof, nor enigmatic. Well, maybe a tiny bit enigmatic. But certainly not aloof.”
Trevir closed the book and sat up. He was still wearing his clothes, and Harlen also noted his bow and long knife were near to hand. He did not approve of weapons being kept about the home, but he could not say much, with the broadsword and large knives he was now wearing, belted to his waist.
“The book says that elves are mostly good.” Trevir said, looking at Harlen. “But those two, last night, would have killed us and Miss Hyandai just to get a magic weapon from her?”
Harlen nodded. “Most elves are very likely very good.” He said. “But, just like humans, they have bad people among them.”
Trevir said. “I would not be able to live with myself if I had slain a good person last night.”
“Nor I, and that’s why you are a good man.” Harlen responded. “Now, let us good men drink a beer and think on things.” He said, heading for the kitchen.
Trevir grinned and walked behind him. Harlen hauled on the rope that suspended the beer keg down the cold-pit. He drew them each a tall beer, then sat at the little kitchen table.
“Trevir, Hyandai and I will be leaving for her lands tomorrow or the next day.” Harlen said. “I wish for you to remain here. But, as before, if we do not return in a month, go to Tammer. He has instructions on how to tend to your needs in my name.”
Trevir nodded. “Of course, sir.” He said, though his eyes did not like this talk of not returning. “Is it really that dangerous?”
Harlen shrugged. “It could be, the people of Hyandai’s folk that are against her returning the weapon to her clan will be there, as well, I’m sure.” He said. “I don’t expect them to take its coming home lightly, nor without resistance. I only hope that we come across elves loyal to her clan before coming across the traitors.
“You should let me come.” Trevir said, smiling. “One more set of eyes, and another bow can’t hurt.”
“I wish I could.” Harlen responded. “But Hyandai insists that her people will only accept me accompanying her, since I am her betrothed.”
“Why do they dislike us so?” Trevir asked, his expression somewhat hurt.
Harlen thought a long moment. “I don’t think they dislike us, as a whole, at all. They are feel both superior and afraid at the same time.” Harlen explained. “Elves are terrified humanity will extinguish them. At the same time, they think that humanity has much maturing to do before being regarded as equals to the firstborn.”
“But, we don’t wish to kill them.” The lad said, a touch defensively.
Harlen laughed at that. “We don’t have to try, Trevir.” He said. “We can do great harm without any effort at all. We are simply too numerous and too acquisitive for them to resist us if they give us even a small opportunity.”
Harlen took a long pull on his beer. “But enough of such depressing thoughts.” He finally said. “Hyandai suspects that you might have been going out earlier to see a young lady friend. Is this so?”
Trevir’s face turned bright pink. “I suppose so, yes.” He said, smiling broadly. “It wasn’t anything, really. Master Hemdan, the baker, has given me leave to court his daughter, in their home, of course.”
Harlen, with a supreme effort, kept his face deadly serious. “And this daughter’s name?”
Trevir’s eyes changed subtly, and Harlen could see the change, and knew it’s meaning well. “Naomi.” Trevir finally said.
“A lovely name.” Harlen said. “A lovely girl?”
Trevir nodded enthusiastically. “One of the prettiest in Morrovale. Maybe almost as pretty as Miss Hyandai.”
Harlen’s eyes widened. “That pretty?” He said. “Then you are a keen-eyed huntsman, indeed.”
The girl was known to Harlen, despite his probing questions. Most people in Morrovale knew one another. She was a pretty young lass, and quite a good baker, herself, if her father was to be believed. However, she had struck Harlen as a bit pushy, and spoiled. If Trevir liked her, though, then it was a blessed thing.
As word of the attack had spread around town, also word of Trevir’s part in thwarting it and in saving Hyandai’s very soul from leaving her fallen body. His status in town had leaped that day, and he was, for a time, a young hero. The huntsman minded not in the least the accolades and praise heaped upon the youth. He knew it would be short-lived, but it was well deserved, as well. So long as his transgressions were minor, the lad would be hard-pressed to do wrong for a couple of weeks.
As Harlen sat the mug in the sink and Trevir, too finished off his beer. Harlen felt its effect taking hold of him, and he was becoming drowsy.
“I must to bed, Trevir.” Harlen said. “You should, as well. Sleep in the guest room for tonight.”
Trevir nodded, and collected his bow and knife, and the thin blanket, and followed Harlen up the stairs. Harlen closed the door, and bolted it, again, a new feature in his home. After he stripped, Harlen slid into the bed beside the still sleeping form of Hyandai, quietly breathing and still lovely, even in her repose. As he reached out to touch her, she opened one eye partially.
“Lover.” She said, simply and curled up against his side, with her head on his shoulder, a tiny smile forming on her soft lips.
As was common in these fall months, the next day dawned dark and dreary. Low clouds dragged their bellies, it seemed, along the tops of the trees. These split open and dumped rain upon Morrovale.
Another long and painfully idle day, Harlen thought, watching the rain fall. Hyandai had left the bed early and was, as Harlen watched her out the window, praying at the elven altar, wearing an oilskin cloak. She had been there for the largest part of an hour, so far as Harlen knew, perhaps longer.
Hyandai knelt before the altar, her mind instinctively expanding to feel the weather and space around her. A subtle and very palpable pleasure overcame her as the spirits touched her mind. The spirits did not directly speak to the person praying to them, and this was such a thing. They were reviewing her days with Harlen, alongside her.
They were trying to show her something, but what? That Harlen loved her? She knew that, already. That she loved Harlen? She knew that with even more certitude than the reverse. She would die for him, if it came to that, and she knew it. Her spirit-expanded mind could feel him watching her from the bedroom window. With most people, that would be an unwelcome intrusion, but Harlen was her betrothed. If anything, he should be here beside her. But he was a Oneian, and they had their own prayers and visions.
The thought struck her. What spirits would she find at the Temple of the One, in Morrovale? Perhaps she should try to pray at the altar there.
Some of the images in her mind were repeating now. She could see no connection in them, though, and did not know what to make of them, or their connections to each other, or her current circumstance: Harlen glowering at the Ehladrel, Harlen fighting with the orcs in the battlefront in the hills. Harlen taking a deadly blow to his leg to give Hyandai a clear shot at Letharon. Harlen singing to her and rocking her to ease her pain from the orcs ravishing her.
Hyandai shook her head and rose. The spirits withdrew, and she thanked them curtly, and with respect, but in frustration. She walked back toward the house across the thick, lush grass of the rear courtyard. The rain had soaked her, for the most part, even through the oilskin, or around it, rather. She shed the cloak as she came into the bathing room and walked through to the common room.
Harlen was already in the kitchen when she came into that area, cooking eggs and bacon.
“Hungry?” He asked as she came through the open archway separating the kitchen from the common room. Harlen held out the pan, showing her the over-easy eggs and the sizzling bacon strips.
Hyandai’s stomach reported in her stead, a rather impressive belly rumble that caused her to blush slightly. “I’ll take that as a yes.” He said, pointing at the little table.
She found bread and jellies arrayed upon the table already and began to spread some of the redberry jelly upon the bread.
By the time she had finished a small hunk of bread with berries, Harlen had slid a plate with two of the eggs and a half dozen of the little thinly sliced strips of bacon. Elves rarely ate meat, in quantity, anyway, and almost never pork, except after a rather successful boar hunt. She liked the crispy strips of bacon, though, and enjoyed crunching them between big, hearty bites of the eggs.
Harlen watched her eat with joy. All of Hyandai’s grace and elegance seemed forgotten when she was taking in food. She looked more like a ten-year-old bolting their food prior to going out for playtime, rather than a knowledgeable and powerful being that was capable of destroying a man’s mind or healing wounds with her mere breath.
As the last bite of eggs disappeared with the aid of the two-tined fork that he had given her, Harlen spoke. “Would you like . . ..” He started, but an out thrust plate and an almost pitiable expression upon her face answered him. Chuckling he loaded it up again, and watched her begin demolishing a second helping of eggs and bacon, washing it down with water.
He finally made his own breakfast and sat opposite Hyandai. “The weather doesn’t recommend travel.” Harlen said.
Hyandai nodded between bites, gesticulating with her fork. “No.” She said. “We should wait for clear weather.” Then promptly stuffed another forkload of eggs into her mouth. “I mean, I am eager to be going, yes, but not so eager that I wish to travel in a morass to get there.” She said, after swallowing that mouthful.
He picked at his food carefully, playing with it more than eating it. Hyandai was nearly done with her second helping.
“I apologize, Harlen, but I am famished.” She said, noting his attention toward her rather wolfish table manners.
Harlen chuckled. “Don’t worry about it, we have plenty of food, and you’ve been sorely tried these last days.” He said. “I won’t fault you for being hungry.”
She smiled brilliantly. “I am gladdened you do not find my appetite disturbing.” Her expression darkened slightly. “My first potential suitor, a lad named Irenolan, found my eating so disturbing that he could not bear to watch me when I was truly hungry.”
Harlen smiled again. “It seems to me you eat like you intend to eat.” He said. “Like you don’t want to mess about mucking with the stuff.”
She nodded. “I suppose it came from my eating and working at the same time.” She said. “Another of my bad habits.”
Oddly enough, he was pleased to know that she had faults, no matter how small they might be.
A grin attempted to cross his face as she reached for the fruit bowl on the corner of the table and began using her nails to flay the skin off an orange. Harlen managed to stifle it, though. No point in embarrassing her about it. It certainly did not seem to affect her figure; he noted with an appraising eye, if anything, she had lost weight since he had met her three weeks prior.
As she turned the orange into a dozen little slices, ready for her consumption, Harlen picked up the plates and silverware and washed them, along with the cooking pan. He suddenly felt hands creeping around his waist and up over his chest.
“For some reason, watching you do that really heats my blood.” Hyandai said into his ear, with a puff of warm breath.
He smiled as he turned about, and was startled to see her nude before him. He could have sworn he had only turned his back for a moment or two. She wrapped her arms around him again, pulling them tightly together. His manhood was already swelling with anticipation, and Hyandai smiled up at him as she felt it.
“By the Spirits’ grace, you humans are ready at a moment’s notice.” She said, smiling appreciatively. “I could not have chosen a better man to betroth myself to.”
Harlen put his arms around her, as well, and leaned down, giving her a long, deep kiss. Her breathing was just as strained and short as his, and he could feel her small hands moving over his rump as she pulled his bulging organ into her pelvis.
Harlen opened his eyes and looked over her head to the table. With a small effort, he lifted her from the floor with his enwrapping arms and moved her back, sitting her upon the table. She giggled at this, leaning back and reaching for a plum out of the fruit bowl.
“Do you remember our first day under the plum tree?” Hyandai asked, looking up with just her eyes and giving him her best naughty expression.
Harlen nodded smiling. “It will forever be in my mind.” He replied.
She held the plump fruit over her breasts and squeezed, it ruptured, spilling pulp and juice over her small, round tits, coating them with sticky pieces of plum.
Harlen grinned even more widely and lowered his head to her. Taking one breast into his mouth, he sucked gently at first, then more forcefully.
Hyandai moaned in response, tilting her head back and letting herself lie flat upon the table under him.
His tongue explored the round lobe, then moved over the cleavage between them, lapping up the sweet nectar from the plum. The taste was divine, the tangy sweetness of plum mixed with a heady dose of cinnamon spicing. Her fingers twined into his hair as his lips and tongue moved over her chest and onto the other breast, circling that pink, hard nipple several times before finally reaching it and sucking upon it while flicking his tongue over the button at the tip.
It took a good while for him to stop tasting plum upon her skin, and only then did he raise his upper body back up and look into her eyes, they were again bronze, rather than her normal golden.
She held up another plum, and once again, squeezed it, this time over her stomach. Harlen leaned back to watch her as her hand progressed downward, dripping great dollops of pulp and juice upon herself, down, and over the folds of her entrance. She lowered that hand and rubbed the fruit itself upon her exposed clit and even around the thickening lips that closed her slit.
Harlen’s eyes flashed eagerly as she pulled back that hand and began to lick the juice from her fingers. He dove down and began lapping at her stomach gently, kissing and slurping the messy bits of fruit from her skin. Her fingers once again crawled over his scalp, gently pulling his hair.
He moved inexorably downward over the smooth skin of her belly, then over the raised pubic mound. Finally, his tongue arrived at her flavored clitoris, and he sucked and lapped at it enthusiastically.
Hyandai gasped and her fingers tightened in his hair, pulling almost painfully. Her moans became more pronounced as he flicked his tongue over the clit between long slow movements over her entrance and over the lips that surrounded it. The taste of plum and cinnamon was driving him onward, and his throbbing erection was a constant reminder of his own excitement.
Before he tasted the last of the plum, Hyandai reached down with another piece of fruit, a kiwi, and Harlen backed off slightly, and watched as she squeezed the tart green juice over herself. His excitement grew as she did this, she then gripped the fruit and slowly, smashed the remainder of the kiwi against her swollen labia and clitoris, reducing the meat of the kiwi into a slimy mess.
Hyandai, once again, brought her hand up to her mouth and began cleaning it. She also touched Harlen’s cheek with her free hand, encouraging him.
He needed little encouragement, and happily began lapping at her clitoris and around it. The tart of the kiwi added another layer of delight to her taste, giving him a blissful mix of textures, flavors, and responses from her as he cleaned the fruit off of her.
Harlen lapped more enthusiastically and wrapped his fingers around her buttocks and drove the tips of his digits into the crack of her ass. One finger pushed against her tight anus, it found the fruit juice to be quite adequate lubrication and slid into her, causing her to inhale deeply as one knuckle after another slid up her backside.
He pushed forward with his intruding finger she gasped as he began working it in and out slowly as he continued his ministrations to her clit and opening. She groaned as he pushed his finger deeply while she was thrusting, attempting to push up into his mouth and back into the finger at the same time.
"Please take me." Hyandai said, touching his hair and pulling upward gently.
Rising from her he moved his lower body up to her, also pulling his finger slowly from her rump. The table was just the right height, and he pressed his swollen cock against her lips. Pushing gently, he slipped into her, spreading her open as he entered her while her hands came down and gripped his arms.