Author: freeze-dirtbag PM
Tamra faces a crossroads in her life, will she accept the life she has always known as the indentured servant of a lecherous inn keeper on the outskirts of the Great Desert, or a life of danger and adventure with the handsome mercenary Laird Quicksword?Rated: Fiction M - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Words: 1,793 - Reviews: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 03-17-12 - id: 3005813
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AUTHORS NOTE: Ugh, I don't really know what this is... I got inspired by the beautiful art of Boris Valejo. Another chapter or two and I'm done on this one I swear lol, rated M just to be safe.
Hot air blew through the flaps of the tent, the smell of unwashed bodies and stale mead permeated the entire area but the stench was even worse in the kitchens of the way house. Tamra stood elbow deep over a tub of soapy water, sweat rolled down her spine and made the dark reddish brown hair that escaped her braid cling to her neck. She was young and sturdy with skin tanned golden by the harsh desert sun. She worked for the owner of the last way house before the Great Desert's treacherous sands, his name was Filidius Marsh. She had been left behind by a group of travelers, her parents maybe, when she was young. Instead of turning her away, as many would have done, as he often reminded her, Filidius kept her on as an indentured servant. That was many years ago and Filidius took her in, in no way out of the kindness of his black heart. As a child he gained much labor, for the price of a spot to sleep by the fire in the kitchen, and the meager amount of food she consumed to stay alive.
Now twenty Tamra often helped with anything the way house needed, chopping wood, killing live stock, cooking dinner, or in today's case washing dishes. Hers was a life that was neither exciting nor eventful. She was not happy but she never remembered being happy, so this was nothing new. She strained to recall a moment of true bliss and came up with nothing but day after day of monotonous work and nights filled with smoke, strange men, and the slosh of liquor filling empty glasses.
Tamra wiped strands of hair out of her face with the back of a clammy arm and scowled down into the murky water. Something resembling an eyeball floated passed her left elbow.
"Tamra stop with the dishes and see the newcomers, they look as if they have somethin' in their pockets besides sand, and lonely too," Samana, the cook said and left to go freshen up. Tamra flicked the suds off of her hands and toweled her skin dry. She slept with guests, sometimes for money, sometimes not. Her fingers were as wrinkled as prunes; she'd best do something about that before she met the guests.
She freshened up as best she could, put on a new outfit, a loose fitting garment with a square neck line and sleeves that came down to her elbows. A maroon belt with triangular designs cut into the leather gave shape to the off white garment at her waist. Bare feet slapped against the hard packed dirt of the ground a brown bangle clanked against her ankle for decoration. Her hair just grazed her collar bones; she pulled it back in a hasty braid and applied a mixture of fresh water and lily extract to her neck, armpits, and chest. Her hands had by now lost much of their wrinkles. She was ready.
The guests were a rag tag group of almost twenty men in battle scarred armor, their shields hung from dusty horses. She picked out the leader, a large man with short red hair and long braided mustache and beard. A few others caught her eye, a slender youth with narrow hips and dark brooding eyes, a brawny yellow haired brute of a man with a gentle way with horses, and a good looking rogue with scratched armor and windswept brown hair. Tonight she would make money, or perhaps the good looking one with the messy hair and mischievous glint in his green eyes would like some company. She caught his eye and raised an eyebrow suggestively; he grinned and returned her look for look. Perhaps indeed.
The night went by quickly; she helped serve drinks and food with a few other women and paused often to banter with the brown haired guest from earlier. His name was Laird, and he was from the north working his way down the continent with his company of grizzled mercenaries. His boyish charm seemed out of place among the rough and tumble way of living most mercenaries had, but who was she to judge.
She spent the night in the arms of handsome Laird, though little sleeping was accomplished. The next morning she wriggled out of the warm grasp of Laird, his bare chest glistening in the morning heat. He watched her dress with dancing green eyes and just as she finished he wrapped his arms around her from behind and she felt her own desire rise to meet his. Much later red cheeked and flustered she finally managed to slip down to the kitchens for a breakfast roll.
"How was your handsome mercenary?" she was teased by Samana and the ears and eyes of the other workers quickly turned to her. Tamra grinned secretively.
"Wouldn't you like to know?" she said and they all hammered her for details. Laughing she backed away out of the kitchen only to bump into Filidius Marsh. As usual when she spent the night with anyone he was not happy, whether because he didn't get a cut of the profit, or because he didn't get to share in the fun.
"Long night?" He asked grumpily, though he could not begrudge her, happy guests meant more money for him in the long run. She smirked and nodded before shouldering passed Filidius. As bosses go he was not so bad, to hear the other girls talk, she wouldn't know.
It was her day off duty except for the night where she would dance for the guests as she did four times a week. But until then she was free to do as she wished, get some of her own personal chores done. She visited the bath house where she washed the scent of love off of her skin, and gave her hair a good washing. Once she retired to her own tiny room she caught some much needed rest, and woke a few hours before she would dance.
She pulled her hair out of the braid and shook it loose so that it fell in messy waves down her back. Her dancers costume was laid out on her tiny dresser and she donned the mid drift baring top that wound like ribbons around her neck, arms, and barely covered her round breasts. The bottom was a tiny red thong under a sheer red gauze skirt that swirled around her knees and hips as she danced. A red circlet with a bronze pendant hanging between her eyebrows completed the outfit, along with an assortment of matching bronze jewelry. She made her way down to the bar where she would dance along with three other girls.
She sought out Tamina, Yuri, and Lara in the dimly lit smoke filled atmosphere of the bar and found herself chest to chest with Laird. He smiled knowingly at her and complimented her outfit with a raised brow. She giggled and flirted, heart racing with good feelings, and scampered off as Tamina came to drag her away by the arm.
"Come on Tamra, the dancing is about to begin!" Tamina said glancing shyly up at Laird through lowered lashes.
"I must go," she said regretfully remembering the curve of those lips against hers.
"Then we will continue the conversation elsewhere," he agreed grinning.
"He's handsome! You always get the handsome ones," Tamina whined well naturedly. They both laughed, though Tamra felt a pang in her heart at the thought that after Laird there would just be another one in a week or so, maybe less.
The music started with the clicking of symbols and a slow thrumming beat that seemed to reverberate through the floor and walls. Tamra danced seductively, with her hips swaying and twitching and her arms snaking sensuously around her. The night turned into a blur by the time the music ceased to play and another round of liquor was served by the bar maids. Sweat smudged the tiny amount of makeup Tamra had applied around her eyes and she gulped water from a tankard as her body cooled off.
"That was quite interesting, is there anything you don't do around here?" the cool voice in her ear was Laird. She grinned and traced her fingers slowly down his wrist.
"There isn't much," she agreed playfully as he wrapped her in an embrace that quickly became passionate as he buried his face in her neck and began nipping at the tender skin with his teeth.
They soon found themselves in his room with the tiny red dancers outfit strewn across the floor.
The morning dawned with Tamra still in Laird's room. He had an arm draped over her and with his other hand he traced a swirl across her hand.
"Is there anything keeping you here, kids or family?" Laird asked mildly, his green eyes smoldering. Tamra swallowed and answered without pause.
"Ever thought of going off with one of your lovers?" he asked playfully.
"Thought of? Yes. Acted on that whim, no," she said wistfully.
"Why don't you think about it?" He asked and stopped tracing the swirl in her skin. Tamra looked into those mischievous green eyes and saw that he was serious.
"Oh, I…" she had thought she would spin out some obvious reason as to why she couldn't leave the way house. But she couldn't think of one at the moment.
"I think you would be an excellent addition to our group, you can do all manner of useful things," he said and the way he moved his body close to hers she got the feeling that he didn't mean cooking. A thrill went down her spine remembering the feel of those callused fingertips caressing her body.
"I'd have to make sure what I was leaving here for was worth it," she said slowly, though her heart pounded in her throat with excitement.
"Oh, I can't assure you a comfortable bed every night, but my captain has wanted another member of the group to cook and do odd jobs. Gods know I wouldn't mind you if came along as well, you're a lot nicer to look at than the swine I normally see for weeks on end." He was joking now, but his offer was completely serious. Her breath caught when she imagined the possibilities of getting away from the way house.