Give Me the Man Pt. 02byAlex De Kok©
Well, some of you asked for this, so you only have yourselves to blame! Again, it's an extract from a singularly unfinished work-in-progress. There could be more to come, although there is little sex in what remains. We'll see.
Give me the Man, Part two
Ardan's father was just beginning his breakfast when Ardan reached the guesting house. He smiled at his son.
"Was it well for you, my son?"
"Aye father, it was well." He caught the eye of the heavily-pregnant serving-girl and she nodded, turning to the kitchen to fetch him some breakfast.
"I'll say no more, son. 'Tis a personal thing, not to be shared, I feel."
Ardan nodded, grateful for his father's understanding. "When do you leave for home, father?"
"I leave after the noon meal. I should reach the falls comfortably by dusk." He smiled. "I've reserved the room for you for an eightday. Aye, and paid for it, too. If you want to stay longer, you'll need to dip into the purse."
Ardan nodded. "I'll ride part of the way with you, father. I have little doubt that Shadow needs exercise. What of this morning?"
"Have you forgotten the trip to the armourer?"
"Of course! My sword."
Breakfast over, Ardan and Gerlan strolled along in the bright, spring sunshine to the commercial quarter of Jalx. There was bustle everywhere, the shops and markets busy with customers. The armourer was in a side street near the guard barracks, quiet this Thirdday morning. As they entered, the proprietor straightened from some inlay work he was doing on a belt knife. He nodded to them, courteous.
"Gentlemen. May I be of service?"
"You may, indeed. I require a sword for my son, sir."
The proprietor eyed Ardan. "Military or civilian?"
"Military. The Guides."
"Mainly for horseback use, then. I have some here. Please, feel free to examine them. If you'll permit me, I shall continue my work. Just call if you need assistance.
Gerlan and Ardan began to examine the blades. Despite the proprietor's words, he watched them carefully. Gerlan indicated one, slightly curved, a cutting edge on both edges of the blade for two handspans from the point, a further two handspans of cutting edge on the outer side of the curve, the inner curve thickened to strengthen it.
"That one, perhaps?"
Ardan picked it up, checking the balance. "It balances well, father, but I would prefer more protection for the hand."
"Well, how about this one?" An almost identical blade, but with a hammered steel half-basket hilt, the basket extended back and over the hand, to join with the main body of the weapon above the hilt.
Ardan turned it, noting the riveting joining blade, basket and hilt, strengthening the weapon. He checked the balance, liking the slightly angled grip which made the blade almost an extension of his arm. He smiled.
"Yes, father, this one, if you please."
The proprietor came over to them. He smiled at the weapon, and nodded. "An excellent choice, sir. You know your weapons." He gestured. "A scabbard and harness is included in the price."
"My son awaits his Guide entrance exam results. My buying this sword for him is a father's expression of confidence in a son's ability."
The proprietor laughed. "I think if your son has learned his other lessons as well as he has learned the blade, you need have few worries. My nephew, too, awaits the examination results. You may know him," he said to Ardan.
"His name, sir?"
"Jandol. Jandol Traln."
Ardan smiled. "I know him well, sir. He is a friend." Ardan frowned. "He spoke of an uncle in Jalx. What was the name? Ah, yes. Are you by any chance Peralon Traln, sir?"
"I am! I don't suppose by any chance you are Ardan, are you?"
"Yes, sir, I am. Has Jandol spoken of me?" Ardan was surprised, for Jandol said little that wasn't necessary.
"That he has. Tell me, how long are you in Jalx?"
Ardan glanced at his father. He turned to Traln. "Until Lastday, at least."
"Join my wives and I for dinner on Seventhday, if you would. You, too, sir," he said, addressing Gerlan.
Gerlan shook his head. "I leave this afternoon, for home. My affairs will not keep. My son has earned his stay, and I thank you for your invitation."
"Jandol is staying with us for a few days. He arrives on Seventhday. I think he will be glad of your presence, Ardan. My wives and I have no children near his age." Traln laughed. "And the two we have are girls."
"I accept your invitation willingly, Fro Traln. It will be good to see Jandol again."
"If you would let me have your bill, sir, I will settle with you now," said Gerlan.
"He gave me a substantial discount on the sword, son. He must be fond of Jandol," said Gerlan as he and Ardan strolled back to their lodgings. "Ardan?" His son's attention was elsewhere.
"Sorry, father. I thought I saw someone. What was that you said?"
"I said your new friend gave me a substantial discount on your sword. An excellent weapon for the price of an adequate one."
Ardan laughed. "It's good to know that I can sometimes actually save you money, father."
Gerlan clapped his son on the shoulder, laughing. "I fear it is your sister's dowry that will cost me most when she marries." He pointed. "Shall we eat there?"
Mid-afternoon found Ardan and Gerlan parting company. Gerlan reached across and took his son's hand in his firm clasp.
"Farewell, son. Enjoy your stay in Jalx. Your mother and I will look for you to come home some time in the next two eightdays, not before. Spend your money wisely." Gerlan laughed. "I don't doubt you will, son."
"I'll try, father. Safe journey." Father and son clasped hands again and Gerlan wheeled his horse and put it to the trot, waving a last goodbye as the trail disappeared behind a copse. Ardan gigged Shadow into a gentle canter and made his way back towards Jalx. On an impulse he swung west about the city and came in from a different direction. Just outside the city an encampment caught his eye, for the inhabitants all seemed to be women. The road into the city led straight past the camp and he looked as Shadow walked past. Yes, all women. He was wondering what it meant when he was startled to hear his name.
"Ardan! Ardan Tearo! Wait!" A figure came running through the camp. Amazed, he recognised the woman.
"Vella! What do you here?"
She stopped at his stirrup, looking up at him, smiling.
"Hello, Vella. I confess, I didn't expect to see anyone from home here."
"I was born here. I moved with Tonal when we married." Vella shrugged. "When he was killed, I came home."
Ardan gestured. "What is this camp?"
Vella looked behind her, then up at Ardan. "Is there somewhere we can talk?"
From horseback, Ardan could see an inn just inside the city gates. He pointed. "There is an inn over there. Let me buy you something."
She held up her arm. "Help me up." As Ardan freed a stirrup Vella swung herself up behind him, sitting sidesaddle, her arm around his waist as he gigged Shadow into motion. It was only a two-minute ride before they reached the inn and Ardan tethered Shadow, loosening the saddle-girth. He followed Vella into the inn. They were soon seated at a quiet table, mugs of fruit tea steaming before them.
Ardan studied Vella. He had known her in Vilna Station only as the wife of Tonal Hasdel, a sergeant in the Guard detachment stationed there. Tonal had befriended the young Ardan, encouraging him in his wish to become a Guide, and Vella had welcomed Ardan to their home. Tonal had been killed in a skirmish with brigands a year or so ago and Vella had left Vilna Station without leaving a forwarding address.
Sitting at the table, Ardan studied her. Still only twenty-six or -seven, Vella was a good-looking woman. She smiled at him over her tea.
"Aren't you going to ask, Ardan?"
"About the camp?"
"How are you?"
She frowned. "Still missing Tonal. Especially at night."
Ardan flushed, a vision of Vella and Tonal making love springing unbidden to his mind."I'm sorry," he said, knowing the inadequacy of his remark.
Vella shrugged. "I survive. You wanted to know about the camp?"
Ardan nodded. "Please."
Vella looked away. "We are all either widowed or divorced, all under thirty. There aren't even enough men around for the single girls, so our chances of remarriage are poor." She looked up. "Understand, Ardan, I'm not complaining, merely stating a fact." She nodded, as if to emphasise the point. "The one other thing we have in common is that we want children. For that we need men. Where better than a garrison town." Her tone was lightly mocking, a little bitter.
"So you prostitute yourselves," Ardan said quietly, "hoping to become pregnant."
Vella looked away again. "Yes," she whispered. She turned back to him, unshed tears brimming in her eyes. "I want a child, Ardan, is that so bad?"
He shook his head. "No, of course it isn't. I wish I could help," he said quietly.
"You can," she retorted. "Make me pregnant."
Her words hung between them. She stared at him, troubled, wanting, hoping. He looked back at her. Young, attractive. Desirable.
"Have you taken no lovers, then?"
Vella shook her head. "Not yet. I keep thinking of Tonal. He was gentle. I used to wonder why he ever became a soldier. The few men from the barracks that I've seen seem coarse in comparison. I was amazed when I spotted you. I called out without thinking.
Ardan smiled. "I'm glad to see you. I wondered, after you left."
"I'm glad to see you, too. Thanks for the tea. I'd better get back. Before I go, may I ask. Why are you here?"
"I came for Initiation."
Vella clapped her hands to her mouth. "Oh. Of course. And for testing, too, no doubt."
"Was your Initiation good? I wonder sometimes, what it might be like."
"Ask. They accept widows."
Vella shook her head. "I might, but first I want a child."
Ardan had been thinking furiously, and now he spoke, hesitant. "Vella?"
"My test? Yesterday?"
"What of it?"
"The doctor said my seed was vigorous, and that I should not sleep with an unprotected woman unless I intended to make her pregnant." He smiled at the sudden realisation on her face. She laughed.
"Are you making a proposition to me, Ardan?"
"I'm here until at least Lastday, possibly an eightday longer. If you think I could make a suitable father, I'm willing to help you try, if you so wish." He chuckled. "More than willing."
She stared at him, tears brimming in her eyes, rolling unchecked down her face. "Yes. Please," she whispered. "Where?"
"I have a room near the East gate. It's paid for until Lastday. Two beds, because my father was here until this morning." He grinned and she smiled in response. "But either bed is big enough for two if they're making love."
"Tomorrow night is when I'm supposed to be at my most fertile, Ardan." She was smiling broadly now.
"Come with me tonight, and we'll practise for tomorrow."
"Take me back to the camp, I'll get my things."
At the camp, he waited near the road while she ran to the tent she shared, she'd told him, with a widow from Aarlen. She was back in moments clutching a bulging bag and he hauled her up behind him. They rode away with mostly good-natured jeering from the other women.
At the guesting house, Ardan took the landlord to one side. "This lady is sharing my room for a few days. I know my father paid for the room until Lastday. I'll give you half as much again."
The landlord looked across at Vella as she stood, clutching her bag. "Is she one of those lasses from the camp, the ones that want children?"
"Yes. She's the widow of a Guard sergeant from home. They used to invite me into their home. I didn't know she was here."
"There'll be no extra charge, lad. My first-wife told me about them. I wish you well." He frowned, then smiled. "You may have noticed young Elli?"
Ardan smiled. The heavily-pregnant waitress was unmissable. "Yes. What of her?"
"She leaves on Lastday, to have her babe. I need a replacement. Would yon lass be interested?"
"I'll ask her and let you know. Thank you."
The landlord's face twitched into a lewd, but friendly, smile. "Tomorrow's soon enough, lad. You and the lass need to get on with making a baby." He clapped Ardan on the back and went off, whistling.
"What was that all about?" Vella asked as they went up to the room.
"I offered him extra for your stay. He said no, his wife had told him about the camp."
"That was good of him."
"There's more. Did you notice the waitress?"
"The pregnant one? Yes."
"The landlord says she leaves on Lastday. He asked if you wanted her job."
Vella stared at him. "He said what?"
"He asked me to ask you if you wanted Elli's job."
"Goddess, yes! When can I tell him?" Vella's tone was urgent.
"Relax, Vella. He said tomorrow would do. He said we should get on with making a baby."
Vella blushed. "Yes, please," she whispered. "Where's the bed?"
"In here. I've been using this one."
"Then that's ours." She looked down. "Ardan, I want to do this, but suddenly, I don't know, I'm finding it harder than I thought it would be."
"I won't force you, you know."
Vella smiled. "I know. Would you mind turning your back while I take my clothes off?"
"Of course not. Now?"
Ardan turned away and looked out of the window at the late afternoon. People busying themselves everywhere but he was acutely aware of the whisper and rustle as Vella undressed behind him. He heard the bed-frame creak slightly before she spoke.
"I'm ready, Ardan."
He turned and she smiled at him. Her clothes were in a neat pile on a chair and she had pulled the rugs and blankets up to her chin.
"Do you want me to turn away?" she asked.
He smiled at her. "Not unless you want to." He undressed quickly, conscious of her watching him, conscious too of the sudden inhalation when she saw his semi-erect prick. He lifted the bed covers enough to get in and settled himself beside her. She was rigid, whether with fear or anticipation he didn't know. He propped himself up on his left elbow and looked down at her. A nervous smile flickered across her face.
"Vella, you don't need to do this if you don't want to." Ardan smiled. "I want you, as you may have noticed, but I won't force you. We could go to the Institute. I am sure Doctor Chela knows a method of passing my seed to you."
Vella reached out and touched his arm. "No, Ardan. We shall make a baby in the time-honoured way." She frowned. "I feel as if I am shaming Jonal's memory, but yet I feel sure that if he knew I had the chance for a child, he would urge that I should take it."
"It must be your decision, Vella."
"My decision is made. It's 'yes', it's just that no man has touched me since Jonal's death." She reached for him. "Just hold me for a moment, Ardan, caress me, let me feel that I am wanted."
Gently, Ardan moved his hips so that his erection touched lightly against her. "Can you not feel that you are wanted, Vella?"
Vella giggled and hesitantly reached out to him, her fingers brushing lightly against his hardness. She was tentative, timid even, as if she had never touched a man before, but as her fingers moved over him she became bolder, stroking, squeezing, learning him. "Touch me, Ardan," she whispered.
Ardan slid his left hand under her neck and reached out gently with his right, resting it on her stomach, letting the warmth of her touch him. He began to stroke gently in circles, letting his flat hand glide over her skin. Vella reached out with her left hand and brought his head down, offering her mouth. He kissed her lightly, then again, then let his tongue probe gently between her lips. She shuddered, her mouth opening to him, her lips softening, her own tongue playing with his. Never breaking the kiss, he let his right hand move to the under curves of her breast, cupping, moulding, moving gently up, covering her, his thumb caressing her nipple, the bud hard.
She was breathing quicker now, an excitement seeming to grow in her and she was kissing him as hard as he was kissing her. Her hand came up to cover his on her breast. She squeezed his hand then pulled it away, soft, gentle, moving it down, over her belly, over her mons, leaving his hand poised over the fork of her legs. She moved her legs apart in invitation and he let his finger slide down into her slickness. She was wet, no mistaking her sexual readiness, and she moaned deep in her throat as his finger moved over her labia, then between them, probing, exploring, seeking the woman's core hidden in the folds of her sex.
She broke the kiss, softening it with a quick peck on his lips, her hand caressing his cheek. She gazed deep into his eyes, her breathing quick, shallow, excited. "Now, Ardan, come into me now."
He moved, easing his arm from under her, moving to cover her, gentle, slow. His prick moved towards her opening and she took him in her hand and guided him to her, a soft gasp escaping her as he pressed in, an inch, two, pulling back, spreading her juices, moving deeper, until all of him was in her, moving, pushing in, pulling back, her hips picking up the rhythm, pushing against his, moving faster now, her breathing staccato, almost gasping until, as he came, a tight groan and a whispered 'Goddess be blessed' came from her, her pussy clamping on him, releasing, contracting, milking him as his seed spilled into her depths.
As they stilled, she stretched up and kissed him. "Thank you," she whispered. She clutched at him as he made to withdraw. "Not yet."
Propped on his elbows so as not to crush her, he smiled down at her. "It is I who should be thanking you, for the gift of your body."
"A selfish gift, prompted by greed," she said, smiling back at him.
"Welcome nonetheless." Ardan laughed. "There have not been so many women in my bed that I turn a beautiful, and willing, one away."
"How many, then?"
"How many have I shared a bed with?"
"Yes, and shared a sexual union."
"You are the fourth, and thus far, most welcome."
Vella laughed. "Are you saying you love me?"
"I always have, at least a little. You always made a young lad welcome when he came bothering your husband."
"He loved you like the younger brother he never had, I think."
"You honour me with that, Vella."
"Oops, I think you're about to slip out."
Ardan laughed. "Too late." He swung his legs out of the bed and strode across to the press. A ewer of water was there, a bowl, soft towels. He dampened a cloth and passed it to her. "Clean yourself." He expected her to cleanse herself under cover, but she swung the covers back and lay exposed to him as she wiped. She flushed as she caught his eye.
"It seems silly to be coy when we have just shared love."
"You are beautiful, Vella." He passed her the towel.
Drying herself, she avoided his eye for a moment, then looked up. "May I stay?"
"While this room is mine, it is yours too."
"My thanks, Ardan. Will you not come back to bed now?"
"To sleep a while, yes."
"And then to love me again." It wasn't a question.
"My hope, and my desire." He finished drying himself and got back into bed beside her. She turned away and squirmed back against him, spoon-like, drawing his arm around her. He moved it up to cup her breast and she sighed happily, covering his hand with her own.
He woke once in the night, the room dark, Vella warm against him, her breathing steady. He kissed her ear softly and let himself drift back into sleep. When he next woke, it was the daylight at the window which called him. He glanced at Vella. She was lying on her back beside him, her eyes open, looking at him. She smiled.
"Good morning, Ardan. You slept well?"
"Very well. You?"
"Wonderful. I was getting used to sleeping on the ground at the camp, so this is luxury."