Friendships Never DiebyElenia26©
The woods were so familiar to me, as though I had walked these paths a thousand times, and indeed I had. I was no great pathfinder but it seemed I could almost close my eyes and follow the same routes. I actually tried it, and was startled to find myself on a narrow deer path, the kind of thing I normally never would be able to find, much less follow.
I continued on, wondering, hoping, that Andarian would be in this neck of the woods, as I had been told at the Ranger's Guild. I missed my best friend. It had been...nigh on ten years since I had last seen him.
If you ask how this is possible when I also claim in the same breath that he was my best friend, you can blame this on my now ex-wife, Martia. It was a mistake through and through to marry her.
We never loved each other and married mainly for convenience...but I had thought we were at least fond of one another. I needed a stable, serious marriage, to one of the nobility, to properly further my career as a knight. She was having financial troubles and could not get out of them herself. I had quite a bit of savings built up, so I reasoned it was a match made in heaven, or at least in Finance.
But as time went by, we grew further and further apart. It was never overt, or at least not for a long time. She used subtle ways to cut me down; a thousand cuts over fifteen years of marriage.
Andarian came to my wedding, and I saw him a few times the first few years, but after a while, his gaze was too sharp and he saw too much, and I became embarrassed to invite him. And I couldn't deal with his questions about whether or not I was happy. The visits dropped to once a month, then once every few months, until in the fifth year I saw him only twice, and in the sixth year of my marriage, not at all.
Time went by with Martia cutting my heart out slowly at every opportunity. She derided my painting. She bought beautiful custom pianos that she would not let me play. She insulted my work and my life, and my friends, all so cleverly it could not really be said that she was hurting me in any way.
Finally one day I abruptly came to my senses. Or rather, I was brought to them. I was sitting in a Council meeting, dreading going home. When the meeting ended two hours early as a rare change, for a change I dismissed the carriage and walked home. I came inside quietly and went upstairs to find Martia – to find her in bed with another member of the nobility, a Count Richmond. Shocked as I was to see him there, I did not raise a fuss, instead stepped out quietly and fetched my Captain of the Guard in, after telling him to dispatch one of his men to get my lawyer. When we were all in the room and I had witnesses I got their attention.
I told Martia that this could go two ways – either I could bring the affair to the attention of the whole world, and humiliate her, and ensure she got nothing from the divorce. I told her didn't care who knew I had been cuckolded. (Which was a lie, but she believed me.) Or, for the sake of our two young children, she could grant me a divorce immediately and I would lay down the terms. She had no choice at this point, and acquiesced.
I did not hesitate. As soon as my lawyer showed up I laid out the papers for a divorce. My terms were very good to say the least. The house would be mine, or really, the children's, but Martia would receive our summer home and an enormous settlement.
I left my children in the house with my more trusted servants. Cassandra at almost fifteen was shaping up to be a good weaver – she had learned all of the ladylike arts but I had insisted on a trade, anything she wanted- so long as she could make a living off it if she had to, and Darren at thirteen was too young yet to decide what he was going to do. I knew I would come home and see them often, but I hated the calcified life I had become a member of, and wanted to rebuild my name and reputation, plus continue raising money for my darlings. My businesses would make sure they were self-sufficient, and so at the ripe old age of forty years I began traveling again. I figured I had at least ten good years left in me, and even so, I'd rather die on the road then at home in my own bed.
Or at the very least in someone else's bed.
If I was going to travel again, I hoped Andarian would join me. He was half-elven, so even though he was older than me in years, he was still young and vigorous. I barely knew what he was up to these days, and hoped he wasn't too busy to come adventuring again.
I had been traveling now for two days in these woods. They were indeed beyond familiar, and as I said I was pleasantly surprised at how easily my feet found the path. On the second night, I camped under a large shady maple, and slept with one ear cocked for anyone coming. My adventuring life was coming back to me quickly.
The next morning, I awoke with a feeling of purpose. I had a quick, cold breakfast, then packed my things and hurried ever eastwards. The day stretched on toward evening and I only stopped for a quick meal when the sun was high.
The shadows grew long and I grew weary. I had thought for sure today would be the day I would see him again. I sat down on a stump, pondering. Suddenly I stopped and listened closely. In the distance I could hear...
The soft chords of a lute playing.
I picked up my bag and followed the music. It was a melancholy tune, and very beautifully played. I recognized the playing, it was as familiar as my own soul, I thought. Wouldn't he be surprised to see me? After all, the last he had heard of me was a long time ago.
I was still some distance away and it took me several minutes to trek through the forest. The playing did not stop, though I knew he could hear me. His senses were very good. But I'm sure he could tell it was just one person, so there was really nothing to fear.
And finally I could see through the trees up ahead into a little clearing. There he was...I could see him, dimly. I didn't hesitate but stepped in.
Across the way, sitting against the base of the tree, there he was. He spotted me as soon as I saw him, and abruptly his fingers stopped on the strings of his lute. We looked at each other silently for a few moments.
He was dressed more or less the way I remembered...brown and green clothes, none too new but not dirty, just well-worn. His hair was shaggy and somewhat unkempt, but it was his eyes that I remembered the most. His face was more worn and his eyes had a slightly more experienced look to them, but they were the same ones I remembered.
Memories came flooding back to me of our years spent adventuring together, eight years in all, from the time I was seventeen to the time I was twenty-five and married Martia. Countless evenings spent by the fire. Laughing together. Talking until late at night. His easy-going, relaxed ways, a good counter to my strict rules for my life and the path of the knight. His good, earthy common sense.
Other memories also came back. Before my love Brianna – the woman I loved before I had felt obligated to marry Martia - had come into my life, he had introduced me to a whole other world of pleasures. I remembered his mouth on mine in the dark nights, and I remembered his arms around me. I clearly had an image of looking up at him, his hair in his face, him inside me, looking tenderly into his eyes.
All of that had stopped once I fell in love with Brianna, and once I was married there wasn't even a hope of it. But we always shared that common bond between us.
All of this and more I remembered as I looked into those dark, dark eyes, and he arose with the same look. He was the first to speak.
"Alistair...? Is it really you?"
I smiled. "It is, Andarian. I..." but I had no more words. He held out his hand and I took it, hesitantly, and then he pulled me into a tight embrace, wrapping his arms around me, and I hugged him back. My best friend was back. I had him back. I never wanted to let go again.
When we finally parted my eyes were wet and I could see his were, too. He hesitated, then drew me to him once more and kissed me lightly on the lips. I was not surprised by the instant insurgence of desire; it had been a long time since anyone was even that affectionate with me other than my little girl. Smiling, he said, "I have so much to ask you, starting with what you are doing here. Are you all right? It's good to see you."
"It's good to see you, too, Andarian. I'm quite well. Better than I have been in a long time, as a matter of fact. And of course I'll tell you everything. I have a lot to tell."
"I have a small home here. I don't know if you remember, but I always wanted a home in the woods, a nice treehouse." And now that he mentioned it, I did remember. "We could go there...you'll stay, of course."
"Of course. I would love to see your house."
"Come then." He held me at arm's length, then hugged me once more, then turned and scooped up his lute. He waved me to follow, and I did so.
We came at length to a large oak. He showed me around the back where there was a cunningly hidden set of steps wrapping around the tree. "You'll laugh," he said, "It's exactly what you used to think it would be." He climbed up, and I followed him.
In the branches of the oak were hidden several medium sized platforms, enclosed to make small rooms. Some of the rooms were even in other trees. Between them were paths leading back and forth, cut to look like the tree itself, and very well hidden from the ground. Most of them you couldn't even see until you were almost on them.
He led me into his main room, a circular room, decorated simply. I looked around, seeing many things from our adventuring days together, and many new things as well...I felt a pang for the lost years.
"Sit, I'll get a drink for us." I put my things down and sat comfortably on a hassock. "Your place is very nice."
"Thank you. I finally got it, though it took a while." We were quiet for a moment while he poured the wine, just sitting in each other's company. He brought it over and handed me a glass, and sat on the couch right next to me, putting his arm around my shoulders.
"So. Tell me. I still can't believe it's you. Look at you, back in your armor, with your sword across your back."
I laughed. "I feel great. I've given Martia a divorce, Andarian. I couldn't take it anymore."
He looked grave. "So you're a free man now? Did she give you trouble?"
I shook my head. "Some, but considering what I found...not that much. I'll tell you about it."
I told him the story, more than a little ashamed of having been cuckolded. But of all people he had the right to know. His face darkened and saddened as he listened, and like me, his head bowed from the weight of it all. Yet I felt instinctively that I had done the right thing, that he was happy to share the burden with me, his friend.
I felt, in short, that I had come home.
Afterwards we were quiet for a long time, both of us thinking. I drank my wine and watched his face. Finally he sighed.
"I am sorry, my friend, that I did not do more. I should have kept visiting you...but you were so distant."
I nodded. "I know, my old friend. I was ashamed. Can you forgive me?"
Shaking his head, he said, "There is no reason to forgive. You're back now. So, what do you plan to do these days?"
"I thought I would begin to adventure again. You know, see the world, see how it's changed, and see if I can explore again."
"Do you want company?" His instant asking touched my heart.
"I couldn't drag you out now. You're retired."
"Nonsense. I'd want to come along. Do you want me?"
"In that case, yes. I'd love to have you along."
"Good." He smiled softly. "You look exhausted though. You'll stay the night at least?"
"I'd like that...and I'm in no hurry."
"Fair enough. Do you want to get changed and comfortable? I'll make up a bed for you."
"Sure, that sounds good."
Fairly quickly I was installed in the spare room, and both of us were sitting there, drinking wine, and talking of old times, before I knew it. Unabashedly he pushed my hands aside and laid his head in my lap, his body stretched out sideways across the bed. I was surprised, to say the least, but comforted.
Conversation lapsed at one point, and there was silence for a few moments. Then he turned in my lap and looked up at me.
"Do you think of the old times, Alistair?" His voice was pitched low and I felt a certain eagerness rising in my heart, which I tried to suppress.
"A lot, actually. Especially when it got really rough. I wondered what on earth had gone so wrong. Next time, shoot me in the leg, all right, and don't let me do it."
I had tried to lighten the atmosphere with a joke but truth be told the feelings were so heavy in the room it didn't work too well. His dark, dark eyes continued staring intently into mine, and finally he reached up and put his hand on the back of my neck, and pulled me down toward him.
I did not resist. It was as though I had been anticipating this moment, and went to him, submitting to whatever he wanted. He lifted his head and our lips met and he kissed me.
His mouth was soft and tender and almost cajoling, and I could have wept at the gentleness. He coaxed my lips apart and his tongue slipped inside, exploring, running over my teeth, and teasing my tongue.
When we finally drew apart I was short of breath and hard as a rock. He glanced at my hand and I followed his gaze to realize I had spilled the last few drops of my wine on the coverlet.
"Oh, no. I'm so sorry." I set my glass down and started to try to clean it up. Before I could get far, though, he sat up, and, putting his hands on my shoulders, pushed me against the headboard and covered my mouth with his again.
This time there wasn't any gentleness in the kiss, but rather, passion and need. His teeth clacked against mine, and he shifted his position to straddle my legs. His hands gripped my shoulders.
I, too, could not hold myself back any longer and kissed him back equally hard. I had gone so long without companionship...I pulled at his shirt, anxious to get him naked and feel that skin against me. He broke the kiss long enough to let me yank it off, and I ran my hands over his bare chest, feeling the old familiar scars, the muscles, the light dusting of hair, the honey trail down his belly, everything.
I pushed him back, following, and we ended up with him on his back and me sitting above him. I pulled my shirt off, too, and sank gratefully into his arms, feeling the sweet contact of our skin together. I was bigger than him as I always was, and I covered his thin body with mine. He was hairier than me and I felt his hair scratch against my nipples.
I rubbed my cock against his, through our pants. I could feel that I was leaking and probably moistening my underwear.
"Take off your pants, Andarian, I want you." I growled. He smirked, and rolled me off him, and stood.
He dropped his pants down, then his drawers following, and stood there in his naked glory.
"Better? Now it's your turn, Alistair."
I did the same. I was a little more...hesitant as I undressed. Martia had evinced disgust a few times for my naked body. Never in so many words, but with a moue of disgust on her face, or even just a few words. "Again? We just did last month."
But still I wanted him, and judging by his erect cock he wanted me as well.
Once I was naked, though, he showed no hesitation but came back to the bed, and lay back on it, and opened his arms to me. I took up the proffered invitation, and soon enough our naked bodies were entwined on the bed.
"Take me, Alistair, the way you used to do." He whispered into my ear.
I didn't need to be told twice, and as he lifted his legs to give me easy access, I slipped my hand to his backside, and slid a finger against his anus.
He bit the side of my neck, and when I jumped, growled, "Go ahead. You don't have to wait for anything."
So I didn't. I slipped my finger inside him, and felt him moan and open tightly around it. I didn't hurry, but I didn't go slowly either, as I slid it in to the first knuckle, then the second, then the whole finger was inside him. I muttered back to him, "I want you so bad I don't think I could wait if you asked me to."
"Then don't." And he shifted, pulling himself off my finger.
I was almost crazy with lust, but managed to restrain myself enough to gently press my cock against his opening and push in. He was tight but he took me without much evident pain, flexing against me. I continued my inexorable advance until I sank into him to the hilt, groaning in sweet pleasure. There I rested, fully embedded into him, hard as a rock.
He put his hands on either side of my cheeks and turned my face back to his. "Old friend, I missed this so much. Why did you stay away for so long? I didn't know what to do. I could tell you wanted your privacy. But I wanted you back in my life."
I kissed his mouth before answering, and began to move in him slowly, eliciting a gasp from him.
"I'm sorry. I missed you so much too. I was just so ashamed of my life, what it had become." All of my inhibitions had melted away with our joining, and I wanted to tell him everything. "I was so afraid you'd think badly of me. My pride got in the way."
He shook his head. "I love you. I'm your friend, your oldest friend as I recall. It's my job to criticize but I wouldn't have left your side for anything. Don't shut me out again."
"Never," I whispered, and shoved into him, harder, eliciting a grunt from him.
Words were done with then, and I showed him how much I loved him and missed him with my actions. I gripped his shoulders and pumped into him, urgently, and he bit my shoulder, and groaned, and cried out to me.
My hand slipped down between us and I gripped his cock in my hand. I began to pump it, in time with my thrusts. I felt so right.
"Let me on top," he murmured, and I rolled with him, pulling him with me, until he was straddling me. He ran his hands over my chest, and began moving on me, riding the hard cock that was impaled in his ass. He closed his eyes in bliss and I gripped his hands and held them tight. I tried to let him control the pace but I could not control myself and pulled him down to my level and soon enough my sweat mingled with his and his hair was across my face and I was kissing him, and fucking his mouth with my tongue as my cock fucked his ass, and his elvish eyes were shut tight in arousal and I couldn't hold back any longer and came in him, hard, spurting across his insides, my whole being shuddering.
I collapsed back onto the bed, chest heaving, still gripping his hands in mine. For a few moments I just lay there, his head on my shoulder, unaware of anything except his hand stroking my hair and his soothing whispers in my ears.
Soon I became aware that he was still hard. I lifted him off me, and watched my cock slide out of him, slick with my own come.
I kissed his mouth briefly and rolled him onto his back again, kissing his neck, then scraping my teeth along it. When he tried to move his arms I pressed them back onto the bed.
I caught first one nipple, then the other, in my teeth. Rolling it gently, I could feel his heart thudding away under his tanned skin. His breathing came in short, sharp gasps.
I moved my mouth to that sweet honey trail I had noticed earlier, and began following it, tasting it and licking it as I went, down his flat tight belly, until I felt his cock bump against my cheek. Still, I ignored it, and continued through his dark pubes, rubbing my face against the rough hairs, until I reached his balls.
I opened my mouth and licked them, tasting his skin, and began to fondle them with my mouth. He jerked a little underneath me, and I saw clear pre-cum leaking from the tip of his cock.