War for a Rose: 1455byscotjock1©
The man was bleeding heavily from his thigh. The arrow had seared and torn through the chain mail that was wrapped around his leg. Blood had begun to seep through the inter-linked chain mails and into the grass as the man fought with all his strength, dragging the injured limb along as he made his way into the nearby forestry.
"Just a bit further, before I get caught by these Yorkist dogs!" The man shouted in a final effort to motivate himself.
If he was caught he would be tortured until he told them what they wanted to know; why had he gone and broken into the hold of Sir Berren, a banner-man to the House of York and attempted to murder him and his wife.
Bartand was the injured man. He squeezed the injury on his leg. He was a sell-sword, a man paid to kill or fight in battle. If the Yorkist forces tortured Bartand they would discover who Bartand really was: a sell-sword, mercenary to the House of Lancaster, paid and given assignments in this war for the throne. To attack the House of York, and thwart their attempts at holding onto the throne. Henry Tudor was the head of House Lancaster, and he was seeking the throne himself, to wrestle it from the hands of York forces.
Bartand was approached only a few months before, by a messenger sent by the House of Lancaster wishing to employ him into their service in the war, killing those they wanted targeted through whatever methods were deemed necessary, be it assassination, deceit, poisons, disguises and even murder.
His first assignment was to murder Sir Berren and Lady Berren of House Berren, loyal to the House of York and sworn to use their power to help in the war. If Sir Berren and his wife were murdered and it was made to appear that House Whent was behind the killings, as part of a blood feud going back a hundred years their support could be called into question as House Whent was bound to support the House of York also.
House Berren, in thinking that House Whent was behind the murders, would ignore the war and turn their attentions on their old rival enemies. But the plan had gone awry. Bartand had been caught entering the room by a handmaiden in his armor and weapons, with a dagger in hand and she screamed and fled the room calling for the guards.
Bartand had fought his way out of the castle with his sword and shield but by the time he got out of Castle Berren he had lost his sword belt, shield and had taken an arrow from a longbow to his leg. His chain-mail could put up a defense, but the longbow was shot at him from quite close, only a few yards away and it tore through the chain-mail on his leg like paper. He had to roll out of a window, into the horses but luckily he had rolled into a bail of hay, thus softening his fall.
From there it was a limping dash through the town's gates, that were manned by only two guards he swept past. However by the time he made it out into the fields of crops, he had lost his only dagger. He was too far away from his drop-off point where he left his provisions and kit, where he had more daggers, his Long-sword and a bow, even a poultice that could heal his injury. But there were just over a dozen Yorkist men-at-arms, a few bowmen and two scouts on horseback hunting for him that were between him and what he sought after.
His only good bet, was to dash into the nearby forest and wait it out for his hunters to pass by him. But that was best hoping, this was Yorkist territory, these soldiers knew these lands and grounds better than he did. He soon heard mutts growling, dogs were brought out to help out in the hunt. He knew these dogs would help their hunt, his scent was out and in the open as these dogs growled. He had to cover his scent, he dragged himself further into the forest and found a muddy pond.
He threw himself into the pond, soaking himself from head to foot and crawled into the nearby muddy patches and covered himself in splotches of the mud, putting some on his face all over his black beard.
He heard the growls of the dogs, as he checked his sword belt. It was empty. He had lost his dagger, his sword and even the small blade he hid on the inside of the belt. It was extremely small and thin, it was his last resort weapon if needed but it was gone. How could he even fight these dogs.
'Better to fight with my hands and fists, than let one of these dogs have a bite at me without even a smidgen of resistance,' Bartand thought, readying himself in the mud for battle.
But the dogs came no further, nor did their growls become louder; they in fact quietened down and eventually they were gone so were the noises of the men-at-arms looking for him.
'Did they give up the chase?' He wondered. 'Why they had me surrounded and caught in this wood'.
Bartand couldn't think properly, his head was a daze and he fell sideways into the mud and fell unconscious. His surcoat and chain-mail now brown and crusty as he lay.
21ST MAY 1455, Southern England, Yorkist Territory
Bartand didn't know how long he was out for, he couldn't remember how he had ended up being pulled along the ground on a wooden shield to protect him from harm. He looked up, his eyes groggy as he saw a horse, it pulled him along the mud on the shield. Bartand tried to see the rider of the horse, but his eyes were too strained to concentrate too much.
He could see the rider had short cropped blonde hair which was very alluring and the rider wore a jerkin and skirt. It was a woman.
He blacked out again, and awoke a bit later, he was now laid back against the trunk of a tree.
He saw a fire had been made up in the hearth of the ground. It was grey in the sky now, darker than usual daytime and it was obviously close to the sun going down.
He turned his head up, and saw the blonde woman tending to the horse that pulled him away safely from the wood. Slowly he dropped his gaze down to his injured thigh, and found it was bound, cleaned and tended to. The arrow was gone now, and wrapped with linen.
"Who... who are you?" He asked groggily, his throat red raw and painful.
She turned. Her features were pixie like. Beautiful eyes, a cute nose, lovely pert full lips and a mischievous face to her. He knew when she would smile he would crack a rib in pleasure. Her hair was cropped and cut short just an inch below her ear.
She had quite a pixie body form, she had to only be 5'2 or 5'3 in height, no more. She had cute hips, obviously not child bearing hips but they would become so in a few years.
He couldn't recognize her, he couldn't place her either. He had never seen her before.
She stood, and she was wearing a grey dress. It was quite tight, the skirt of the dress shorter than most ceremonial dresses, it was cut shorter stopping a few inches above her ankle. He saw she had grey stockings on also, darker than the dress in color. She did not have heels on however, she was wearing rider boots, that looked like they would be good in a sword melee also.
"Who are you... you don't seem like a woman of court, those boots and the cut of your dress says you are something else. Counting the sword-belt on your horse, as well," Bartand moaned.
Jesus that bloody smile! Shes like a pixie or a fairy, shes so fucking beautiful and that smile could blind a man.
As she smiled her lips widened into a cheeky but also innocent smile, and her eyes seem to follow into the movement.
"You spot a lot don't you, Bartand," she said in an Essex accent she had from outside of London in the Essex county.
"How do you know me?" Bartand asked apprehensively.
Something wasn't adding up with this girl.
"Bartand, you are not the only one working for Mason. I do too, and we are both working towards Henry Tudor taking the throne. We are on the same side."
Mason was Bartand's recruiter, he had brought Bartand into the court to the House of Lancaster and recruited him into the organisation that supported Henry Tudor in the war.
Mason was a stout man, old and aged. He had to be in his early fifties, which was quite an age. He must have fought in many wars. He could speak both French and Spanish. He was a war adviser to Henry Tudor and his court. Bartand had guessed that Mason was recruiting agents who would carry out guerrilla tactic attacks on the forces of House of York.
"So why did Mason send you to find me?" Bartand asked.
She approached him slowly and knelt down next to the fire, he poked the wood embers in the fire and looked up. The light from the fire shone on her face beautifully.
"He knew you would maybe hit some trouble... Lady Berren was alerted to an attempt in progress against her life and that of her husband. Mason is still trying to discover what little birdie told Lady Berren you were coming. The castle was already riled up and prepared before you even arrived. Guards were on full alert when I came up, and they seemed to believe someone was already on the grounds. I was about to leave and report back to Mason, but then I saw you escape the grounds and run across the foothills away from the gate. I saw you get hit by the crossbow and I saw you dragging yourself to the forest. I knew once the dogs were brought out they'd find you, so I sneaked back into the castle grounds and set alight to the horses barn. It was a good distraction, the soldiers and dogs came running back and abandoned the search for you."
"I did nod off, after I fell into the pond. I must have missed the wisps of smoke in the trees. So who are you then?" He asked.
The girl once again poked the fire with a branch.
"I got by the name Pixie, or... Lady Lott as others call me," she said not lifting her eyes from the fire to Bartand's.
"Ah, Lady Lott of the House of Lott in Essex I'm guessing. Loyal to the Lancaster's. I've heard of your House. You are a young Lady to the House, your mother would go by Lady Heather Lott. Your father Lord Lott has been rallying his forces under the Lancaster banner. Wait a minute... your father's banner-men are riding for St. Albans, to defend the town against the Yorkist forces. How many of your father's men have gone with the Lancaster host?" Bartand asked getting a reading of who this woman was.
He had indeed heard of her, her nickname in court was "Pixie" because of her features and looks but she was known as younger Lady Lott as her mother Heather still lived. He also knew her father swore allegiance and fealty to Henry Tudor.
It was the eve before the march to St Albans, and it was known in court and in the lands that a Lancaster host was en route to the town to defend it from Yorkist attack.
"My father sent 300 banner-men of his to aid the march to St Albans, about 150 men-at-arms, 50 pike-men, 50 archers and 50 horseback. Its not much of a force but put with Henry's host, it numbers about 2,000. I can only hope my father's forces and the Lancaster host can rally the approaching Yorkist forces or we will lose St Albans," Lady Lott said.
Lady Lott turned around to grab another log, when she fell forward gently but as she did her grey short dress rode up the back of her legs in front of Bartand. The light from the fire illuminated the sight; her dress rode up exposing the tops of her dirty grey stockings. Around the tops of her stockings, were black rings. Bartand's eyes followed further up, her fuller thighs led up to the bottom of her buttocks.
Bartand's thick hairy cock hardened in his breeches underneath his chain-mail. Lady Lott attempted to pull down the back of her dress feebly with her hand, but it caused the dress to bunch up and bounce even higher now exposing her full buttocks. The higher the dress rode, the more obvious it was she was not wearing undergarments to hide her sex.
'God she is young, she can only be ten and ten together. God her buttocks are ripe, and young. Does she not know I can see her bottom, god I can even make out the lips of her womanhood. Bet I could slide up inside her with pleasure, and open her rose wide...'
At that moment she even made the sight even more erotic, spreading her legs in the dirt, her knees parting. Her stockings got dirtier and darker from the earth.
'Would she scream? If I grabbed her, pinned her down over that log there and mount her. She's teasing me for a reason, shes not a dumb stupid girl she knows what I am seeing right now, the dirty bitch...'
However before he could think anymore of it, maybe even attempt what he had thought of, Pixie closed her legs and sat up turning with the log in hand and she threw it into the fire. She pulled the dress down again to cover her legs.
"If Henry loses St Albans, it will be a bad loss to the cause much less the start of this war. Its all been faints, and battlefield poses, but no battles. This could be the first, and then this war will be in full swing. No need then for our underhand tactics," Bartand said.
Pixie gently laughed.
"Mason spoke to me about this, if open war is declared at St Albans then the Lancaster's will have even more use for us. They will want Lords killed off, those who lead the armies. Threaten their families, or even put the hurt on them then the Lords may back down from their allegiances to Richard the Third. When their own families and holdings are under threat. You are a Sell-sword, there will always be a use for you in this war. For me, I'm an agent. If Mason gives me a target I'll go to that target and kill them."
"Only thing that will change when this war is finally declared is we will actually most likely face the Yorkist's in open battle. At least I will," Bartand mused gently poking his linen wrapped wound and it was painful, but not so bad as it was earlier on.
Pixie looked him over.
"Your accent Bartand, you aren't English are you?" She asked but not in a tone of persecution.
"No, I'm from Scotland. But I've always been a Sell-sword, and fought all my life since birth. In the Clan wars and feuds up North, then when I knew I could make some coin from it I came down from the border and began to ply my trade in Wales, England and Ireland. That's how I got my reputation, for Mason to notice."
Pixie smiled gently.
"I don't mind, I like Scots," she said gently grinning.
Bartand hardened in his breeches once again, when she looked at his waist.
"You lost your sword-belt in the forest, you're without weapons. We can't have that, not if we are to face this open war."
Pixie stood and went to the horse tied to the trees, and opened the sack slung over the horse's back. She pulled a brown sword-belt, and in the largest scabbard on it was a short-sword. In another smaller scabbard on the other side of the belt hung a dagger. She stepped towards the fire a few steps and threw the belt at Bartand. It landed right next to him with a crash. Bartand leaned over and lifted the sword-belt into his lap and pulled from the short-sword scabbard the sword.
"King's steel, war hammered. Mason told me to bring you a sword-belt in case you lost yours in a fight. Dagger is the same make, King's Steel also," said the girl. She sat back down on the log in front of the fire.
"We should sleep. The battle may happen tomorrow, and if it is so then these foothills are going to be busy with soldiers and battle lines."
Bartand nodded, and he watched Pixie pull from nearby to her a ragged blanket, and wrapped it around her laying on her side on the earth. Bartand looked to his own side, and found a similar one. She had come prepared and he pulled it around himself to warm himself against the cold. The cold began to seep at his sides, but the fire did its best to ward it off.
22ND MAY 1455, Southern England, Yorkist Territory
Bartand awoke to the sound of rushing horses, and sat up to see the commotion. The horses were not nearby but the volume of them had shaken the ground hard. There were 50 mounted cavalry and they were hauling towards somewhere, but they didn't seem to notice a young girl and man sat around a now dead fire, perhaps believing them to probably be daughter and father travelling.
"What in bleeding hell is going on?"
It had to be mid-day as it was quite light out.
Bartand saw Pixie running back across the foothill towards him, and she sat down on the log in front of the fire.
"I spoke to the cavalry, word has come back from St Albans. Henry Tudor has been injured, and the defensive host he took with him to St Albans has been broken. Yorkist forces broke through the defenses and took them unawares. Everyone is pulling back, those horses are en route to St Albans to further defend the town from a counter-attack by Henry's forces."
Bartand struck the hearth beneath him with his fist.
"A bloody Yorkist victory, what of Henry Tudor's condition?" Bartand asked.
Pixie got her breath back.
"Last I heard he took an arrow to the neck, no more than that is known."
Bartand was surprised, if Henry Tudor was injured with a bolt in his neck how could he survive? This war seemed over before it had even begun.
"We need to get out of here, with all of these forces on the move all we need is someone recognizing me or you, they would know my family are aligned with House Lancaster. They'll hang you, and hold me ransom for my father to pay to have me back," Lady Lott explained, as Bartand's eyes wandered all over her nubile pixie form beneath her grey dress.
It was dirty, but it's effect on the beauty was still strong.
Her strongly bright blond hair shone, and the shortness of it cropped gave her face a cute border that really showed her eyes and smile.
"Where do we go then?" Bartand asked.
"Out of Yorkist territory, they will see this as a win for their cause. Richard the Third will be looking to expand on this victory, if Henry Tudor should die from his injury I do not think we should be around when word is spread. They will hang and behead all supporters to House Lancaster," Pixie said kicking the dead fire with her boot, breaking up the burnt oak to hide its existence, by kicking soil over it.
Bartand attempted to stand, and he almost fell but Pixie helped him keep his balance as he stood.
"Your leg is in a bad way, Sell-sword, better I ride the reigns and you hold onto me from behind," Pixie said, as he waddled over to the horse, clipping his sword belt on to his waist.
She helped Bartand onto the horse first, and he slid to the back of the horse. As Lady Lott did not weigh much, she would be able to sit in front of Bartand, and ride. She was about to help herself onto the horse, as Bartand leaned down wrapping his big thick arms around her waist and lifted her like a bale of hay weighing nothing. He seated her in front of himself, in the saddle.
She felt a tingling in her tummy as he lifted her, only one had ever lifted her like this and it was her father but that was when she was a baby. As Bartand lifted her up, she felt something she had never felt before. The safety of his arms, and the feel of his strong arms around him. She felt herself dampen, in a way only one stable boy had done to her when she was younger in the Manor House stables of her father.
Even then the boy didn't know what he was doing, and kept jabbing his fingers inside her roughly causing more pain than pleasure, but she did feel some pleasure and it was the only time she ever did in that way. The pleasure was here now, saddled in front of this Scottish Sell-sword. Pixie kicked the horse's side to gird it into movement, and they were off galloping fast over the foothills and past the keep and castle belonging to House Berren.
It was a few miles on foot, it had to be they, were breaking ground to avoid Yorkist forces.
They soon found an inn with a stable to tie up the horse. Bartand was first off the horse, with a grunt of pain after landing on his feet. He helped Lady Lott off the animal, the town seemed quaint and quiet and they took all the belongings off of the mare.