child_m.gif (3208 bytes)he General's Sword

Chapter 2

The room was dark now the sun had gone down, the only light being a small candle on the oak desk. From the bed Auberon could see the stars, shining through their window and reflecting off the wine goblet they had left on the table on the balcony. He looked at it anxiously, sweat dripping from his brow. A lot of the other Elves here, the Argani and the Sylvani, complained about the cold winter nights in Edhelnore, but to Auberon they were only slightly less torturous than the summer nights. Where he came from, far to the west, the weather was much milder. His mouth was dry, and he was slowly soaking the sheets in sweat. He looked over to the wine goblet again, wondering if he’d emptied it. He couldn’t quite recall- he remembered finishing the first bottle, a few hours ago. In the afternoon. Then Titta had come home, and they’d had a bottle together. Titta had then left, on some important business with the Queen, or the king, or one of those other idiots, and Auberon had opened another bottle. Or maybe two, he wasn’t sure. When she had returned again, it was dark. She found him on the balcony still, and joined him for a cup. He wasn’t sure if he’d finished it; Titta had dragged him inside, to their wedding-bed, and before he knew it she was writhing like a weasel beneath him.

But the goblet was still there, beyond the window, just out of reach. It was tempting him, and mocking him. The heat was insufferable. This place was damned! Even at night it was hot! Balzot’s arse would be cooler than this place. In frustration he threw off the sheets, kicking them into a pile at the bottom of the bed. Titta moaned softly at the side of him, as the covers slipped off her. Auberon turned onto his side, and looked at his wife. She hadn’t woken- like him, she was used to cooler climes. She lay there now, on her back, her right arm behind her head. She naked body was darker than that of most elves, and she had tattoos down her arms and legs. Her left forearm was no longer flesh, and was instead constructed from Horsan Silver- a demon had decided to experiment on her months ago, and the Snow-Elves had replaced her severed arm with the metal. Her hair was as black as obsidian, like most of the Horsan wildlings, and wavy. It covered her pillow and her shoulders as she slept. He watched her chest rise and fall as she breathed. She had nice tits, he’d give her that.

Auberon had never chosen Titta to be his wife, nor had he expected it in a hundred years. Yet, somehow it had happened. Lexus and Queen Melwen were both keen to have her married, and somehow that dubious honour had fallen to him. It wasn’t that he didn’t like her- he’d travelled with her for nearly a year during the Quest. And he’d sometimes looked at her, with her almost human-curves and large bosom, and imagined what it would be like to bed her. But it had all seemed so quick. One minute Lexus had suggested the marriage, and the next they were sipping from the Union Grail in the Hall of Gilbereth. He’d agreed to it, simply because Melwen had asked him. He wasn’t sure why, he held no allegiance to the Queen of Edhenlore. But the Queen was a comely woman, and it was difficult to say no to her. Besides, as much as he was loathe to admit it, Auberon felt out of place in Emynost. The Elves here weren’t his kin, and they frowned down and him, and treated him as if he was barbarian, or a gold-eating Kuzaki. The marriage would serve as an act of initiation, and the people would be forced to accept somebody whose wedding the Queen presided over.

It was simply the haste that had confused Auberon; it was little over a week between the engagement and the wedding. The Queen seemed almost desperate to bond them, and almost seemed relieved when it was over. Perhaps she didn’t want her newly-appointed handmaiden to be a whorish spinster- but it didn’t seem like the Queen to be prudish.

It wasn’t so bad anyway. He could have ended up with a lot worse. It turned out that Titta was a whore, and he very much approved of it. Their wedding night certainly took away any apprehensions he had, and for the past week she hadn’t given him a chance to get them back. She was insatiable! Day and night, all she wanted to do was ride him. The only time they would stop was when she went to the Queen’s chambers to do her dusting and knitting or whatever it was that handmaidens did. Then, she’d return, strip out of her gown, and mount him till she was screaming loud enough to wake Mausolus. He wondered, sometimes, if she was his reward from the Gods for his part in the Quest. All his companions had become Kings, or Dwarf kings or high priests of some Snakey-headed god with a stupid name. All he’d received was a lousy knighthood from some backward country, and the undying gratitude of some peasants who smelled of shit and probably couldn’t even spell his name. Still, he hadn’t done too bad. Titta was a pretty lass with a hungry quim, and overly large tits! He really couldn’t complain about her tits.

He looked over to her again, admiring her. Her breasts and nipples were covered in sweat, which gave them a titillating sheen. She smelled faintly of flowers, and of sweat and of sex. He smiled. He’d get some more wine, then wake her; if she was his reward from the Gods, he was going to make the most of her.

He swung his legs over the bed, and stood, pausing to push his long-blond hair out of his eyes. Moving quietly, he walked towards the tall window, past the ornate oaken dressing-table which they shared but Titta had conquered. Her small-clothes, silver Horsan jewellery, lip-paints and face powder, and small tubs of cream which Auberon could only guess at- all had been randomly dispatched on the table’s surface to mark her territory. He didn’t know why she didn’t just pee on it- it would be cleaner. Auberon’s storage space was confined to the Cymurian-crafted wardrobe where he kept his sword and his one pair of boots, as well as a few shirts he had obtained in Emynost. That was slowly being taken over by Titta’s excessive range of dresses and gowns, which had grown too large for her own two wardrobes and were threatening to force him out.

As he reached the window, he slid it open, letting a cool breeze rush in. He savoured it for a moment, before stepping out onto the balcony. It was cooler out here, though still not as comfortable as Auberon would have like. Their chambers were located at the top of Gossamer Hall, a tall tower on the northern side of the Mountain-city. It was here that the dignitaries and diplomats were usually housed; The Queen claimed she had set them here as the tower had some of the largest chambers in the city. Auberon suspected it was simply because they didn’t know where else to put them. They weren’t Argani; where would they fit in? The tower overlooked the great White Peaks which separated the Elflands from the Holylands. Titta had been pleased, as she loved mountains, and snow. Oh, and trees apparently. And no doubt puppies and halflings. She seemed to love lots of soppy things. Auberon was more grateful for the icy wind that blew down from the peaks. Below the tower, thousands of feet below, at the base of the mountain, was the Crystal Lake. The lake was fed by a brook which came from the mountains, and its outlet was an underground stream that ran through the lowest caverns of the city. A waterfall cascaded down from just below their tower, plunging into the lake so far below. Auberon could see three figures in the lake, two maidens and a boy, all naked, playing and splashing. From below him he could hear the distant sound of a harp. Elves didn’t need much sleep. The Argani seemed to need none.

Auberon stood a while longer, looking over the white rail of the balcony, and enjoying the cool wind on his naked body. He turned back to the small white table then, and picked up the goblet. He sighed. It was empty. The bottle lay on its side near the western rail; also empty.