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This is the continuation of the Bloodlines Series. I apologize to my readers for taking so long to continue, but life has a way of throwing you curve balls. I am trying to get back into the writing routine, having wrested some free time from life’s challenges. Fair warning; this is a transitional part to the story and although there is some sex described herein, it is not the normal sort about which I write. Once again, all characters portrayed in this story that are involved in any sexual activity of any kind are over the age of consent, not to mention they are purely fictional characters and a product of y imagination.
Thank you to all my readers, and thanks for your patience. The twists and turns of this story make it best if you read from the beginning so if you haven’t read the first five parts I strongly encourage you to do so prior to reading this offering.
As always, any and all comments are greatly appreciated, both good and bad. I strive to keep tis interesting, and enjoyable, while hopefully keeping it unpredictable, and at times a bit frustrating. After all, we write and we read to stir our imaginations and our emotions.
Jouseen woke to the constant drip of water splashing near her. She moved slowly, the searing pain in her head making it hard to focus her eyes. The room was nearly dark, only a faint glow from some flickering torch some distance away allowed her to make out her location. Not that she needed to look to know. The smell would have been enough. There is no mistaking the smell of a dungeon.
“So, you have returned to us.” A voice spoke out from the shadows.
Jouseen rolled onto her side, groaning as her head started to spin.
“Be still, you took quite a blow.” The voice said, a tenderness in it that stirred memories in her.
“Hindor?” she whispered, surprised at how raw her throat felt.
“Yes. I am here, though I shouldn’t be.”
“She is safe, at least for now. Ricah had me send out a search party for her. I sent Kyl, told her he was my best tracker.” He said, chuckling.
“Kyl couldn’t find…” Jouseen started, before she recognized the humor in his voice.
“Oh… So what now.” She said, pushing herself to a sitting position.
“That depends. I guess I should get you out of here before Ricah decides to have you drawn and quartered, or worse.”
“I don’t care much about me, but Grisha needed to go.”
“How much did you tell her.” He said, slipping his arm around her and helping her stand.
“Only that she should go to Listel. I already sent a message. They will be watching for her.”
“And the child. Does she know yet?”
Jouseen shook her head.
“The sickness will hit her soon enough. She knows enough to know what that means.”
“I left a horse for her. I didn’t know how much you had told her so the message I left was a bit cryptic. What of the boy. I don’t much like leaving him here. If they manage, either of them, to get with child…”
“You gave him the shirt, that will provide him some protection. The tonics I slipped Ricah and Ayra will last for a time yet. They will not make a move until at least one, if not both are with child. I believe he will be safe for a while.” Jouseen said, her hand gripping his tightly.
She didn’t sound convinced, but he didn’t press the matter. There were far more urgent issues, like how to get her out safely.
“How long have I…” she started, stopping in mid-sentence as she heard footsteps approaching.
Hindor raised her hand to his lips, kissing her skin softly before turning and stepping from the cell. Jouseen dropped back onto the cot, her fingers gripping the straw.
“Sir, I have scoured the outlying farms. Nobody has seen the girl.”
Jouseen recognized Kyl’s voice. She pitied the lad, knowing the danger he was in, the danger they all were in. At least she and Hindor knew the danger. He was a good lad, a hard worker, with a good heart. She briefly considered taking him with them.
“That’s a’right, lad. I guess I should’a gone wit ya.” Hindor said, his voice quickly slipping into the broken tenor he was known for.
“I did my best, sir.” Kyl replied, a hint of fear in his voice.
“Don’t ya worry, lad. I’m sure ya did. We’ll just have ta keep lookin. I’m sure the lass’ll turn up.”
“I don’t understand, Sir. What’s Milady want with Grisha anyway?”
“Don’t know, and did’na ask. Her why’s ain’t none of our concern. I’m just about done down here. Get my horse saddled up. I’ll be making a go at trying to track the lass before nightfall.”
“Yes sir. I’ll see to it. My horse is still fresh, I could grab a bite and ride along. It would be an honor to perhaps learn a bit of your skills.”
“You’ve done enough lad. Get your horse settled down an’ get some food. If’n I think I might be need’n some help, I’ll call ya.”
The sound of receding footsteps caused Jouseen to breathe a sigh of relief. She straightened her dress, and stood up, just as Hindor stepped back into the cell.
“He won’t get in trouble, Bayrampaşa Escort will he?” Jouseen said, as Hindor took her hand and guided her from the cell.
“Like as not, we’ll all be in a bit of trouble before this is done.” He replied. “Best to worry about getting you out of here unseen. What happens after that will see to itself. Now, I am guessing you can find your way to the tunnel without being seen so I’ll just leave you to it. I’ll meet you at the creek bed.”
Jouseen reached out and quickly touched his cheek, her fingers tracing the lines of his chiseled features. He smiled down at her, his hand reaching up to cup hers against his cheek. She slipped forward, shuddering as he let his hands drop to her waist, pulling her against him. She could feel him pressing into her, his need as deep as her own.
“I know we must hurry, but..” she said, smiling up at him.
He held her tight as his head tilted down, his lips meeting hers in an electrifying burst of passion. As much as she knew they needed to hurry, as insane as the idea of what was happening was, she needed him, and he needed her. The fact that they were locked away in the dungeon no longer mattered as his fingers hurriedly undid her blouse, pulling it back to reveal her warm smooth flesh. She let him force her backwards until she felt the straw cot bump the back of her legs. By then her blouse had fallen away, and her skirt quickly followed suit. She let him guide her onto the cot, wanting nothing more than to feel him inside her, to feel his need build with each touch until he could hold back no longer.
“This is crazy.” Hindor gasped as he felt her fingers tug at his breeches.
As they felt to the floor, Jouseen pulled him to her, her fingers urgently guiding his manhood to her anxious opening. He slid into her easily, their passions united, completely in synch with each other. He would move and she would respond, every touch, every twist and turn, every little gasp seemed planned, and yet natural, like this was how it should be. Jouseen had known it from the first moment. As their bodies melded together, so did their souls, one spirit clinging to two, holding each to the other. Some called it love, but she knew that was far too small a word.
She felt his passion building as his hands gripped her, pulling her to him as he slid deeper into her. This was not the wild crazed rutting of a man and a woman, but the synchronized movements of two, bound together in ways few found, in ways few would understand. There was no headlong rush toward orgasm, but a slow deliberate sharing of emotion, a need burning in each of them to share what they were with the other, an acceptance of each other and a welcoming home. When he finally gripped her tight, his cock swelling and pulsing within her, his seed flowing into her welcoming grasp, she felt her own body respond, burning with overwhelming emotion, every part of her tingling, pulsing and throbbing in response to his touch.
“This is crazy.” He whispered, his lips brushing against her skin making her shudder.
He seemed unwilling to rise, as unwilling as Jouseen was to let him go, yet both knew time was short, and the road they traveled was getting more dangerous every minute. He finally let out a long sigh and slowly stood up, the absence of his touch making Jouseen shudder in fear. It was at such moments, her soul bare, that Jouseen felt vulnerable. Yet she knew he was still there, the reach of a hand away, ready to protect her, ready to do whatever he had to do. She couldn’t help but wonder if her visions had been right, if Ian really was such a man, if he could ever measure up to the noble soul that stood before her. She had seen the potential in him, she just hoped it would blossom and grow. It had to.
Hindor slowly rose to his feet, reaching out his hand to help Jouseen rise as well. They dressed in silence, neither needing to speak, both painfully aware of what the future might hold. Once dressed, they stood facing each other, Hindor finally reaching out his hand to touch Jouseen’s cheek.
“We must hurry.” He whispered, his fingers lightly brushing her lips before he smiled and turned away. She stood there, watching as he walked away. He was a good man, a good and honorable man. For a moment she wished things had turned out differently. As he disappeared around the corner, Jouseen took a deep breath, and turned the other way.
Grisha slowly pushed herself to her knees, wiping her mouth on her sleeve. Her hands shook as she managed to push her hair behind her ear just as her stomach twisted again, rebellion. Tears formed in the corners of her eyes, tears of pain and tears of fear mixing together. She knew what was happening, knew it in her heart yet she prayed she was wrong. Her hand went to her stomach, holding herself gently as her insides rebelled again forcing her forward.
“You’re late.” the stranger said, his face still hidden beneath the hooded robe.
“I’ve… I’ve been sick.” Grisha moaned, afraid to speak the truth, afraid to let anyone know.
“That’s a new name for it.” The voice said, Bayrampaşa Escort Bayan a softness overcoming it. “How long?”
“Three days.” Grisha said, knowing full well that was not what the figure was asking.
“Almost two months.” Grisha said, her head hanging down.
“Fifty seven days to be exact.” She thought, an image flashing through her mind, an image of a stranger suddenly showing her kindness. A stranger who wanted her to feel wanted, to feel …loved.
“And Jouseen? She was to accompany you.” The hooded figure said, kneeling down and tossing some small branches onto the fire.
“Who? I don’t know a…” she started, stopping as he turned his head toward her, his eyes shining under the hood.
In the glow of the fire she could just make out his features. He was young, little older than her, with just the faintest hint of a beard struggling to grow. But his eyes, they were not the eyes of a youth. They seemed to speak, to speak of years and of knowledge, knowledge long forgotten. She gasped as she realized what she was looking at.
“I… I thought you were just fairy tales mother used to tell me.” She stammered, trying to accept that she was actually seeing an elf.
He let out a soft chuckle.
“That is what most believe, it is better that way. But we are real I assure you.” He said, slowly pushing back his hood and standing up.
“I am Kilan. Jouseen sent a message for me to meet the two of you here, and to escort you to the stronghold.” He said, holding out his hand.
“Mother, I mean Jouseen told me I was to go to Listel, that she would meet me there.” Grisha said.
“And Hindor, what of your father?” Kilan said, watching her.
“Hindor? He’s not my… Oh God! You mean…”
She had suspected there was something between her mother and the weathered old swordsman. Just the way her mother would stop to watch him in the yard when he was training the new recruits. But he had never so much as spoken to Grisha, not a single sentence.
“Relax, child.” Kilan said, reaching into his robe and pulling out a small flask. “Drink this. It will settle your stomach a bit. I see we have some explaining to do before we continue our journey.”
Grisha scooted toward the fire, moaning softly as the heat sunk into her. She hadn’t realized just how cold she was until she felt the heat. Kilian held out the flask to her and smiled. She sniffed at it, looking at him suspiciously.
“It is just watered down wine M’Lady. I assure you it will do nothing but ease your stomach, that along with a few bits of bread.” He said, pulling out a small wrapped loaf from his pocket and handing it to her.
“I’m no lady sir. But I am grateful for the food and drink.” She said, suddenly feeling ravenous.
She realized she had eaten nothing in two days, and the odors drifting up from the bread made her mouth water.
“Perhaps, but perhaps not, M’Lady. That is yet to be decided. Until then we will err on the side of courtesy. I had assumed Jouseen had revealed some things to you that apparently she has not. For that and the confusion my statements have caused, I apologize. Let me start by explaining that which brings us to this point.”
Kilan removed his robe and laid it on the ground before sitting down cross legged near the fire. Grisha couldn’t help but stare at his long golden hair shimmering in the firelight. His almond shaped eyes stared at her, their deep blue color seeming to pierce to her very soul as he began to speak.
His clothes were a strange dark green that shimmered and twisted, seeming almost to move of its own accord as he picked up a piece of the bread and popped it in his mouth. He didn’t really smile, yet their seemed to be one, just underneath his skin, ready to burst free. It was a smile of contentment rather than one of joy, and it spread a warmth through her as he looked at her.
Grisha sat wide eyed as the stranger spun his tale. Some of it she knew, some of it she didn’t. Some of it seemed so outlandish that she had to interrupt him.
“I have never seen this Jorda. I am sure by the way you speak of him, I would have noticed him skulking around the keep.” She said, shrinking at the stranger’s gaze.
“Oh, I am sure you have seen him, whether you remember or not. He has a way about him. He’s not exactly invisible, but he doesn’t…, how to put this, he is easily forgotten. He’s careful to make sure he leaves no lasting impression on people.”
“But such a vile creature, surely I would remember him. He must look like some sort of demon.” Grisha said.
“Oh, my dear. He looks nothing like what he truly is. He hides himself behind layers of deceit and trickery. Had you somehow managed to penetrate his veil and see him for his true self, I doubt you would be here to tell of it. Still, he was there, always skulking about somewhere in the shadows. I am sure if you press your memory, you will recall him. Not anything about him, I am sure, but you will recall a figure that always seemed to be there, yet never gave reason to be noticed.”
Grisha rattled her brain, trying Escort Bayrampaşa to picture the loathsome man, but all she could come up with was shadowy glimpses of a nobody, a figure amongst figures. By the time Kilan finished his tale, she was more confused than ever. She had thought little of the boy who, she was certain, was the father of the child already growing within her. He was kind, yes, and handsome. He was…
“Keep telling yourself that. Keep saying you thought little of him; deny that he walks your dreams every night.” She thought, her hand dropping to her stomach. “That doesn’t make it true. You knew from the moment you met him.”
“We have a long journey yet ahead of us.” Kilan said, emptying his cup into the fire.
“Listel can’t be more than another day’s ride.” Grisha said, standing up and smoothing her blouse.
Kilan let out a soft chuckle and shook his head.
“Listel is but the start of our journey.” He said, hanging the wineskin back on his hip and kicking dirt onto the fire. “A very small part.”
Ian slid out of bed slowly, careful not to wake Ayra. She was sprawled out in the bed, her nakedness barely concealed by the sheer silk coverlet. He stood for a moment, staring at her, his mind flooding with memories, memories of life before they had come here. He wished he could go back to then, to the time when it was just him, her and Lia. He knew that was foolish. He knew that even then, even when things had been so much simpler, there had been this plan, this plan forming in her mind.
Ian was no fool. He didn’t trust Ricah, and knew better than to believe what she told him. Still, there was enough truth in the web of lies she spun, enough to let him know Ayra was looking for the same thing. Grisha and Jouseen had made it pretty clear, and yet as he stood there, he couldn’t help but wish things were somehow different.
Even after everything that had happened, Ian couldn’t help but feel his emotions stir as he stared at his mother. She rolled over in her sleep, the covers falling away to reveal her smooth flesh. Ian stood motionless, watching her breath, wondering if somewhere deep inside she still wished for the life they once had. He wanted to believe that was the case, that she was as much a victim of circumstance as he was. He wanted to blame everything on his aunt. It was easier that way.
“I still love you, mother.” He whispered, as he walked quietly to the door and slipped out.
It wasn’t until he stepped into the cold dark hallway that the enormity of what he was about to do crashed down on him. Tiber, the guard that had been placed outside the door sat with his feet up, his helm sitting on the floor beside him as his chest rose and fell in the steady rhythm of sleep. The man was a decent enough fellow, and for a moment Ian actually felt bad for what would happen to him, but there was nothing he could do about it.
Timing was critical. He had just a little over two hours to get to Lia’s chamber, gather her up and get clear of the keep before the guards changed watch. If the new watch caught Tiber still sleeping they might very well check on the chamber and his absence would be discovered. If not, it would give him an extra two hours before daybreak, and by then he planned on being well away from this place.
Taking a deep breath, he moved down the hallway, making sure to stay near the wall and dodging into doorways whenever he heard footsteps. Fortunately at this time of night, few were up and about, and those that were had pressing duties that left little time to wander about. As he walked, Ian relived the time since his arrival at the keep. Nothing had been as his mother had promised, or he had hoped. It had been a series of disappointments and heartbreaking revelations, one after another.
It had been a month since Grisha and Jouseen had disappeared. Ian had been livid when he learned of it, accusing Ricah of doing them harm. But the way she had blown up, accusing the women of plotting against her, and adding that Hindor must have been in on it as well had been enough to convince him that the women had ran off, and done so with Hindor’s help. That had resulted in his Aunt and mother keeping a far closer watch on Ian, including requiring him to spend his nights in one of their chambers, though he wasn’t certain if that was to keep an eye on him, or the sense of urgency they were expressing about getting pregnant.
Despite himself, Ian had performed, spending one night with his mother and the next with his aunt. What had started as sheer bliss had turned into an almost torturous drain on his spirit. He almost wished he had been allowed to stay ignorant about their motives. It would have been far easier to spend his days wandering the halls and his nights between their legs without knowing.
He knew even that wasn’t true. As the days had passed, his mother had referred less and less to Lia. Nothing seemed to matter to her except getting pregnant. At least she was patient. Ricah, on the other hand, was beginning to lose patience, and had begun accusing him of plotting against her. Ian tried to visit his sister a few times only to be turned away by the nurse, claiming she had just gone down for a nap, or was taking her bath, or some other excuse that only served to anger him. It was like his family had been torn from him, leaving him with nothing but two pussies to fill, and days to wander the keep.
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