The Dryad’s Dream
Chapter 2 – Baths for Everyone
“So, explain to me what an Akanit is again?” said Taya as they packed supplies onto their wagon. They would be traveling by horse for the start of their journey, but there was much to prepare.
Wendel nodded. “An Akanit is a being that has been enchanted with a message curse. In this case, the individual carries information from one place to another, or one person to another in a secure manner. The Akanit is placed into a special dream state to receive the information, but they are completely unaware of that information once they wake. When they reach their destination, a key phrase is spoken to the individual, putting them back into the dream state so that the information can be retrieved. It’s actually a fairly secure means of sending messages or information, since the bearer cannot be forced to give it up… they just have no conscious recollection of it at all. There are also provisions in the curse to further protect the information, such as in Briddle’s case… a time limit. It takes either the key phrase, or necromatic blood of the recipient to end the curse.”
“Necromatic?” asked Peleial.
“Blood from the deceased, though only the key phrase will retrieve the information.”
“Oh. So I guess we can’t just go kill the guy?”
Wendel thought about it for a moment. “Not if you wanted what she was carrying.”
“There’s also the small detail of him being a major underworld crime boss. So, not somebody you want to fuck around with. Obviously, it would be easier to simply make the delivery.”
Peleial leaned down from the coach seat and lowered her voice so that Briddle wouldn’t hear.
“Doesn’t that transfer her ownership as a slave over to this Geolt guy?”
He nodded. “Geolt Brent. Geolt is his underworld title. It’s bit like a lord, but without all the moral restrictions. And yes, it does. Right now, I have transfer title as her… er, master. When we reach Holsfield, that ownership automatically ends and Brent would take possession. I know it’s not ideal, but at least she gets to avoid being eaten alive from the inside out.”
A day later, they were on the road out of town, each on a horse of their own, as well as one extra carrying supplies. Everyone was in good spirits, especially Briddle. Wendel decided the slave girl didn’t get out much as he watched her gallop around for the first thirty minutes, laughing.
The first part of their journey was still in the lowlands as they made their way toward the mountain range north of town. It was easy going on a relatively safe and traveled path. Later, they would need to ascend up into the highlands and over the mountains, where it would be both colder and more dangerous. Vel’Orthak was the forest on the far side of the range, and it would be by far the most challenging part of their journey.
Their first camp was at a somewhat hidden area about an hour off the main traveling road. Taya was eager to put more miles behind them, but Wendel cautioned her not to push too hard at first, at least until they knew how the others would handle the horses. Biddle seemed to have no trouble with hers, having learned to ride and care for the beasts for her previous master. Peleial and Lawen on the other hand, were not used to the larger animals. Lawen specifically, was quite sore by the time they stopped near a somewhat sheltered nook at the base of the ranges.
“I feel like my ass is going to fall off,” she commented as she gingerly hopped down from her horse.
“I’ll adjust your saddle,” said Wendel as they unloaded gear. “I picked this site for a reason I think you will find very… comforting. There’s a natural hot spring just beyond those boulders, with plenty of pools for soaking.”
“A hot bath?” said the elf in awe. “By the Goddess, I could kiss you!”
“Well, we should all enjoy them, as they could be the last we see for a while.”
It was still warm enough in the lowlands to do without tents, so once their horses were tended and the camp settled, Wendel caught Peleial’s eye. The elf gave him a saucy look and grabbed a change of clothes for after her bath. When he saw that Briddle was setting out pans to prepare an evening meal, he called out to the girl.
“You too, Briddle.”
She stood there blinking for several seconds, obviously not understanding.
“I… I am to bathe? Now? But… who will prepare the meal?”
He laughed. “Our dinner will wait, and we will all help. Lawen is a great cook.”
“I am, it’s true,” boasted the elf, walking past. “You should taste my Morsmeat Pie. Yum!”
When the human female still did not move, he walked over to her and took the pan from her hands, setting it aside.
“Briddle,” he said, holding her palm in his. “I know this is different from your routine with Lord Tarn, but we work as a group. Everyone pitches in, and we all watch each other’s backs. We’re a team, and for now, you are a part of that team. Do you understand?”
“I… think so,” she replied, looking a little sad. “You do not want me to prepare food now… you want me to bathe you?”
His brows went up. “Uh, no. What I want is for you to bathe now. I can take care of my own cleaning needs, but we probably won’t get another chance at a hot bath for many nights. You should take advantage of that. We will all prepare the evening meal together after. So grab some clean clothes, you’ve been riding in those all day. There’s some soap in your saddle bag, as well as a towel – and come enjoy the water, okay?”
“Yes, Master Wendel.”
The pools were located along the arms of a “Y” shaped set of canyons. Lawen and Taya went down one side, and Peleial and Wendel walked to the end of the other. He was relieved that the slave girl chose one at the neck of the canyon, closer to camp, since it would give him and Peleial a bit more privacy. They were still within sight, at least partially, but far enough away that it wouldn’t really matter.
The pools themselves were formed by softer limestone rock that had slowly eroded away over time to form a series of basins of varying sizes and depth. There were pockets no bigger than a medium sized cooking bowl, all the way up to pools five meters wide and as just as deep. Peleial found one that was just big enough for the two of them, but not so deep that she couldn’t touch bottom. Turning to face the wizard, she gave him a look.
“I think you wanted to stop here for more than just a bath.”
He kicked off his boots and moved up to her, placing his hands on her shoulders.
“Of course. This may be our last chance for more than a hot soak.” His fingers calmly undid the ties at her chest. “Privacy may be hard to come by as soon as we start into the mountains. We’ll need to stay closer together.” Her shirt fell open and looking down, Wendel sighed. To his surprise, the elf had managed to unbuckle his pants. “That’s a nice trick,” he commented as his fingers flowed inward over her bare breasts. “I never even noticed.”
“You were distracted,” she replied, easing his trousers over his hips.
“That I was.”
They were both naked a few minutes later, and Peleial hummed with pleasure as she slipped into the steaming pool. The water was perfect, hot, but not so much that it wasn’t also refreshing after a long day of riding. Wendel was already relaxing up to his neck in the slightly slick-feeling water. Right out of the ground, it was high in minerals, making it very soft. He was smiling as he watched her enter the basin, enjoying the way the late afternoon light played on her naked body above and below the water. She moved right up in front of him, lifting herself slightly so that she could pull her body up onto his lap, her thighs falling to either side of his own. With her whole torso leaning forward against him, she tilted her head up and brought her lips to his. The kiss started slow, but he soon felt her lust start to blossom, and her tongue became much more demanding… as did her hands.
Breaking away for air, she gently ran her fingers along the length of his shaft, teasing him. And then she stopped.
“Something wrong?” He asked.
She took a moment, then laughed softly. “It’s Briddle. I believe she’s watching us, though she’s working very hard to appear that she’s not.”
“Does it bother you?”
“Please… I’m a scandalous lech. Give me an audience and I’ll charge admission. But, that slave girl seems a little too curious for someone who basically grew up in a whorehouse.”
He considered this for a moment. “I do not believe her slave contract was as a lady of the night…”
“Really? She’s pretty enough. She’s also certainly old enough… by quite a bit, knowing the tastes of some of the scum back in town.”
“Even slavers have certain ethics. An indenture can be specified that precludes the sale of her sexually to anyone but Tarn. In other words, it can be agreed that she will not be a whore, though it’s almost certain that Lord Tarn has had his way with her.”
She shivered. “That couldn’t have been pleasant. He doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy that has any respect or kindness in him for women.”
“Or most men… Tarn Lorash is a businessman. Money is all he respects. Please tell me that the girl is at least getting clean?”
She giggled. “Well, I suppose just being up to your neck in the water will do something.”
He sighed. “I suppose. Now,” he said, wrapping his hands around her back side, “where were we? Ah yes…” Lifting the elf, he drew her body up close with one hand, while he positioned his manhood with the other. When he relaxed his iron grip on her pelvis, her own weight pressed his shaft just through her gates. Peleial made one happy gasp, before he was slowly impaling himself within her.
Wendel had taken pleasure in a great many women during his one hundred and thirty eight years, and all of them seemed different. Some were energetic, others preferred to just relax and let him orchestrate their coupling. They each had a unique taste and smell and even different textures of skin and hair. He was always surprised to discover just how varied the women in his life were.
Peleial was especially unique, and not just the fact that she was elfkind. Every time they made love, he discovered something new about her. She was not only sexually creative, but amazing in the way that she could control her body to illicit the most incredible palette of sensations. She could turn and twist her tongue to boggle the mind, and her inner muscle control was almost eerie. When she concentrated, she could roll her vaginal muscles like a second mouth, sucking and squeezing him in delightful ways.
She also just seemed to enjoy sex more than other women he had been with. Perhaps they were merely more compatible with each other, but no matter how they chose to do it, she always found ways to enhance and improve the experience. Without noticeably trying, Peleial was simply a very good lover.
He took several deep breaths as she settled herself over him in one smooth motion, little shivering quakes of pleasure rolling through her body, until she was seated once again flush to his thighs. She sighed, and smiled before very slowly moving her pelvis in a sort of undulating ‘S’ pattern. It not only gently pistoned his member in and out of her liquid slick tunnel, but it changed the angle at which he was plunged within her as well. He could already hear her breathing starting to quicken, but she was moving slow enough that they could both enjoy the coupling for a nice long time.
“Ughmm…” groaned Peleial a minute or so later, “she’s definitely… mmm… watching us. S-She seems quite… ahh… curious.” The elf was looking over his shoulder again.
“Focus, love,” he replied, his hands moving her hips a little more deeply. Peleial gasped in response, her eyes rolling in pleasure. “If our new companion is going to spy on our lovemaking, then we should at least give her a good show, yes?”
“Yes!” she cried, her moment finally starting to overtake her.
“Or… perhaps you might like to invite her over?” he teased.
The she-elf actually turned and looked at him, her mouth open as she was momentarily distracted.
He continued. “You’re… ughmm… thinking about it, aren’t you?”
A deeper blush rolled over her features. “B-both of us… ahhh!… at once? UGHN!”
Wendel made a deep, bellowing laugh that caused Peleial to cry out in little happy gasps as he jerked within her. “You think I can’t handle the two of you?”
“I’m sure… UGHN!… you would like… ahhh! Ughnn… to try! But, don’t you… AHH! Oh goddess… don’t you think she’s a bit…ughnnmm!… young?”
He was feeling close to orgasm himself as he thought for a moment. Comparatively, she would seem quite young. “She’s of legal age, certainly…ahh! In fact… ughmmm… Tarn may be her only exposure to sex… oop, are you alright?” The elf had lost her rhythm.
“That’s a terrible thought…”
He rubbed her back. “Yes it is.”
“We should do something!”
The wizard sighed. “What would you suggest? Do you really want me to call her over?”
“No,” she said after a moment of silence. “At least not tonight. I want you all to myself right now,” she said, shaking her hips to rekindle his arousal. “But, should an opportunity arise in the future…”
He urged her pelvis into motion again. “Very well. Now, my dear… focus.” He brought his hands up to her breasts and gave both her nipples a slight tweak.
“AHH! Oh yessss!…”
They all stayed in the pools until well after dark, then, as promised, all helped with the evening meal. Briddle didn’t quite know what to make of the cooperation, nor did she mention anything about spying on them in the pools. But she did prove to be at least as good a cook as Lawen, and perhaps slightly more efficient.
Briddle wanted to wait to eat until after everyone else had, but Wendel wouldn’t allow it. “You’re a part of the team, Bri… an equal part. Do you understand?”
She shook her head. “Not really. I am a slave…”
He sighed. “Perhaps, but when you are with us, out here,” he indicated the country around them, “you are just as valuable and important as any of us, despite your legal status. We’re a unit. We work and fight as a unit.”
The girl looked terrified. “I… I don’t know how to fight. I’m not even allowed to use a weapon…”
“No, I suppose not. Hmm…” He picked up one of the heavy cast iron pans. “You can use this, yes?”
He smiled at her. “Then, if we are attacked, grab a pan and defend yourself. Can you do that?”
“I… yes, I think I could!”