25 – Anyah Agony

25 - Anyah Anguish 1

Awakening was a struggle, swimming up from depths unknown into a shot of sunlight, piercing from the round window above his bed.  Rakhanar’s back stung in streaks and the sheet clung as he groaned and sat up slowly.  An ache down his left side twisted him.  He grimaced, slapped his palm to his side and brought it up to peer at it.  It came away bloody.  Nausea churned in his gut.

What in the world?  Was I in a battle?

His brain resisted him, stubborn; the memory of the night before hiding from him like a relentless assassin.

Wait… I didn’t go back to Crushbone Keep, I went to the hall.  He closed his eyes, tight, and bit his lip. It all came back in a rush, up to the point where the world went black.

Anyah …

Opening his eyes, he snapped his head to the side and plunged a hand into the tangled mass of sheets beside him.  They were blood-stained.  He was alone.

Rakhanar stared, in shock.  Ye gods, what did I do?

* * *

~Diaman Darshan~

Wizard of Wildfire & Shadow Walker Wordsmith ((a/k/a  The Real Me ))

Diaman Fighting with Fire

24 – For Love or Money

Her breath in his ear formed soft words that kicked him in the gut with a stiletto heel.

“… When I was in Neriak, I used to have sex for money.”  Anyah pulled back slightly, grinning as he turned his eyes to meet her mischievous gaze, close.

Rakhanar stared at her silently for a long time, stunned.  Sex for money? I never would’ve imagined.  The idea didn’t appeal to him at all. If I want a female, I want her to want me, not my gold.

Amused by his reaction, she smirked up at him, reached up to stroke his hair.  “You’re just too cute!  You had no idea, did you?  What, have you never been with a female?”

Instinctively, he yanked his head back, startling at her touch like a high-strung stallion.  He took a step back, disentangling himself from her, and grabbed her wrist.  He forced a laugh.

“I’ve been with lots of females,” he lied.

He didn’t think she was buying it.  “Right.  I see.”  She pursed her lips, nodding sagely as she extricated her wrist from his grip and slowly dropped her hand.  He caught her quick glance at her bracer, as if he might have … damaged it?

“How old are you, anyway?” she said, her one revealed eye narrowing, the other still hiding under the veil of her white hair.

“Si – Eighteen.”  Damn.  Blew it again.  I really suck at lying.

 “Mhmm .”  She crossed her arms under her breasts, again pushing them up in a tantalizing display of cleavage.  He could barely keep his gaze from dropping.

She said ‘used to.’  Maybe she doesn’t do that anymore?  Maybe she’s making a new start and she just wants a friend after all?  He licked his suddenly dry lips and opened them to ask her, hoping …

 “I know another game I’m sure you’ll like…”  Slowly uncrossing her arms, she drew her hands over her own flesh in a caress, then slid them up to cross again, higher, stroking over her collarbones.  She slipped her fingers under the straps of her dress at her shoulders and watched him from that one intense blue eye as she teased them down ever so slowly.

His heart went into overdrive.  A shadow of red broke at the corners of his eyes.  Dangerous.  His body started responding, in spite of his resolve.  Does she just want money, or does she really want me?

Her blue-black fingers moved ever-so-slowly, revealing her smooth flesh, until her dress slipped down over the top of satiny bits of clothing that cupped her breasts magically, sans straps.  She let it fall lower, exposing a flat stomach and a tiny waist with such a sweet curve inward.  Lower, over her hips…  And then she was standing with her dress piled at her drop-dead sexy stiletto heeled boots, in nothing but tiny white satin panties and that matching magic creation that lifted her breasts to his hungry gaze.  And those silver bracers, shining against her skin.

Anyah stepped closer, and he stood frozen as she slid her arms around his neck and brought her face so close to his, he felt her sibilant breath on his lips as she spoke.  “Like what you see?”

He just stared at her, silently, red throbbing at the back of his eyes.

“I’ll let you do anything you want to me.  I’ll even let you … finish inside me…”  She whispered, barely brushing her lips against his.

He moaned.  His black vanguard greaves were suddenly binding, as his shaft pulsed with heat. Why is she doing this? I don’t want a female who just wants my gold.  I want her to want me. She doesn’t even have to do that for me, if she doesn’t want to.  I’d give her money for nothing if she needs it. 

It came to him then, how he could find out what he wanted to know without revealing his ignorance to her.  He narrowed his eyes, gave her a slanted smile and managed to speak in a low, casual tone.   “How much for that trick?”

Anyah chuckled, low, sexy.  “I’ll let you decide that.”

Damn.  Damn, damn, damn.  I was really hoping she’d say she didn’t do that anymore.  He reached up and grabbed her wrists from the back of his neck, prying her off of him as he stepped back.  “Wrong answer.”

It was her turn to stand gaping in shock as he flicked her wrists away and headed for the stairs.  Maybe he was just a romantic, but he didn’t want his first time to be with someone who didn’t care about him, didn’t really want him, just his money.  As he headed up the stairs, he looked down to see her watching him, pouting as she pulled her dress up over her shoulders again.

“Well, my dear berserker, if you change your mind, I’ll be around …”

“Right.”  He scoffed.  He was so disappointed, he nearly went on up without another word, but he paused.  “I don’t need to pay for it, Anyah.  If you needed money, all you had to do was say so.”   Meeting her stunned gaze for a moment, he saw something flash across her eyes. He hoped it was regret, but in all honesty it looked … darker.   Anger?  Shame?  Or humiliation?  Rakhanar continued up to his room, not waiting for her answer.   He thought he heard the click of the door as he tugged at the straps of his new cuirass, then peeled the heavy dark armor from his chest and tossed it in his war chest.   His body was raging, burning for release, but he knew how to handle that.  He stretched and sighed heavily, preparing himself for a long, lonely night, the red still humming behind his eyes.  It’s for the best.  No telling what might have happened.  I might have lost control, and hurt her.  I need a friend, someone who understands, someone I care about, someone I know and trust.  Otherwise, I might mark her as a threat if I black out…

He turned, and …

Anyah was there, in his room.  She pierced him with hot, dark blue eyes, her beautiful black body nearly bare again, so enticing with that stark white wild hair matching her panties and bra.  Heat flared in him instantly as she jumped up, wrapping her arms around his neck, and slung one leg up to hook around his still armored hip.  Her satin sheathed breasts pressed against his bare chest as she spoke, breathless.

“I don’t want your money, Rakhanar.  I just want you.”

Seduced by Anyah

Rakhanar didn’t have a chance. Flashes of fire spiked through his body, red flared in his eyes, throbbing with his quickening heartbeat.  Her hands were deft and demanding, hungry.  She knew how to strip him of his vanguard greaves, and the next thing he knew she was writhing under him in his bed, naked but for the silver flash of her bracers.

“Take me, NOW!”  Her eyes were wild, her voice demanding.

He did.

The red …

… flashed white.

And then, everything went black.

* * *

~Diaman Darshan~

Wizard of Wildfire & Shadow Walker Wordsmith ((a/k/a  The Real Me ))

Diaman Fighting with Fire

23 – Seduction

As it turned out, teleporting into Kelethin in black full plate armor with a dark elf by his side was a mistake.  It wasn’t immediately apparent to Rakhanar, who was used to getting odd looks from the fae as he moved through the city with his hood up or his helm down.

His first clue was the dead silence. The next was when the Fae scurried away quietly, while the Chrono Masters who were posted near the globe glared.

Anyah looked around and bit her lip. “Do you think you could show me where the palace is real quick?”

Rakhanar looked down at her. “I don’t see why not. To be honest, I’ve never been there myself.” He headed off in that direction, moving a little more carefully since his helm, in visible mode, made it slightly harder to navigate across the high hanging walkways; even if the fall from the walkway didn’t kill him, it would certainly kill his chances with Anyah.  Strangely, the friendly Fae guard on the lower levels seemed to have disappeared. As they approached the palace platform, Rakhanar heard shouts and clashing metal, as if the palace guard were readying for battle.

“This may not be a good time for a visit,” Anyah said quietly. “Well, at least I know where it is.” She looked up at him and gave him a sly smile. “We can always come by later. How about you show me your home?”

Rakhanar peered down at her and, nearly forgetting his need for concealment, started to open his helm. He caught himself, glanced around warily, and then leaned over to see her better. “Uh… Wait, what… My home? Oh, sure, yeah…”

Whoa, Rakh, that was smooth. Now Rakhanar was glad for the helm which hid his darkening skin. He tried to remember if he had left anything embarrassing out in full view in his drunken state, and he found to his dismay that his heart was beginning to race.

She slipped her hands around his elbow, as dangerously plated as it was, and he turned to head back to his little acorn house. Suddenly his armor felt like an oven, stifling hot within the helm. He desperately wanted a friend, especially a female friend, but something about this didn’t feel right.

Anyah glanced over her shoulder and then back up at him. Although there was no heavy march of plated boots as with human soldiers, there was a definite sense of approaching chaos as the Fae guard floated closer. It was a silence broken by the slice of shifting armor and drawn swords.

“Maybe we should hurry. I don’t want to get caught in their way.” Anyah looked up at him, dark blue eyes widened slightly. He sensed her fear, along with a strange scent – excitement. Stepping up the pace, he rounded the top of the walkway connecting to the platform where the crafting Hall and the Silverleaf Inn were. The innkeeper, Twiggy, cowered back as he marched by nearly dragging Anyah as she clung to his arm. It was amazing how differently the Fae responded to him simply because his armor was no longer the shining silver of their protector, but the foreboding black of the unknown.

Is that all it is?  It occurred to him that it might appear to Twiggy that he was forcing Anyah into his house until she giggled just as he snatched open the door.

He had the distinct feeling that he was doing something wrong, but he didn’t know what. Guilt, confusion, the world spun too fast, and dammit, his helm was suffocating. Snatching it off, he slung it to the wall, yanking the door shut behind them. He shook his head, swinging beads of sweat from his wild hair.

“Tainted Tunare!  What was that all about?”

Anyah clapped her hands together, clasping them between her breasts in a fetching pose. She beamed, her smile wide with mischief.  “That was about fun!”

“Fun? Something’s not –” Rakhanar growled, but she interrupted him with a dainty skip forward, to catch his arm again. Her scent struck him like a wave she was riding, wafting over him, strong, murder in thistle, myrrh in smoke. Enticing, but somehow deadly.

“Oh, come on, lighten up! Let’s play a game. I’ll even let you go first. This game is called, ‘Secrets,’ and it’s wildly popular where I’m from.”

“Neriak, eh?”  Rakhanar narrowed his eyes, but he allowed himself to be mollified, even while his instincts screamed that it was against his better judgment.  She’s a guild mate, surely Lord Toran checked her outRelax, Rakhanar. He tried to convince himself, taking a deep breath to reinforce it, but it barely stuck.

“Yes, Neriak…  Delightful place!  You’ll love it there.  Er, I mean, you would love it there, if you ever came to visit.”

Rakhanar scoffed, flicking up a brow.  Well, let’s see where she takes this.  “Okay, so, this game? ‘Secrets,’ you call it?”

“Yes. You tell me one of yours and I’ll tell you one of mine.”  She smirked, shimmying a little closer to him.  “All right?”

He studied her.  My secret.  Not much of one, now, but one she should definitely know, if she wants to be my friend.  “All right.” He took a deep breath and let it out slowly.  “I have a problem… Controlling myself.  I have these rages. I have to be careful not to kill people close to me.  My friends, allies… I can’t tell, sometimes. I just go blind with it.”

Her eyes widened slightly, and she shivered, but she was smiling.  “Ooooo…  Dangerous!  How thrilling!  You’re a berserker!”

He looked at her askance.  “Aye.  So I’ve been told.”

“We have quite a few of them in Neriak.  We… well, we don’t see them around much, though.  Only in battle.  Surprising to see you here, in Kelethin, unchained.”

“Unchained?”  He gaped at her in shock.  “You chain them up?”

She tightened her lips, clearly realizing she’d said too much.  “Hmm…  Well, I’m sure they’re not nearly as strong-willed and self-disciplined as you are.”  She leaned into him and pressed her palm against his armored chest.  “Anyway, my turn.”

“So…”  She lifted up onto tippy toes, reaching up to cling to the back lip of his armor at the neck with one hand, while cupping her other hand close to his ear. Her scent was overwhelming now, and if not for his armor, her soft flesh would’ve been pressed against his hot skin, smothering. And his skin was hot, ratcheting up with every passing second and every oh-so- casual, accidental brush of her fingers against his chest and arm. But her next words, meant to be whispered seductively no doubt, hit him like a bucket of ice water in the face.

* * *

~Diaman Darshan~

Wizard of Wildfire & Shadow Walker Wordsmith ((a/k/a  The Real Me ))

Diaman Fighting with Fire

22 – Anyah

After sleeping off his all-nighter in his brand new man-sized bed, Rakhanar woke up with his head strapped to his own anvil and his stomach cursing his stupidity in sickening waves. His first hangover.

If I try to fight today, I will definitely die.  With a moan and a slow stretch, he decided to go in to the Elements guild hall and do some work at the forge, instead.  After all, he might run into some guild mates there who would know more about the interior of Crushbone Keep.  He could plan his next mission with some back-up.

Throwing off the covers, he found that he did, at least, manage to get out of his battered armor before crashing into bed. Stumbling naked over to an old battered trunk he’d found in an orc’s tent, he scrounged around inside until he found a pair of threadbare pants, boots, and his craftsman’s vest.  As he stepped into the pants, balancing on one leg, his head started spinning.  He threw himself backward on the new bed, sending the boots skittering under it.  Spread eagle after the crash, he let loose with a dramatic groan, and after a moment to recover, finished pulling his pants up.  Then he shoved himself upright, pulled the vest over his head and leaned over to fish the boots out from under the bed, nearly losing the contents of his grumpy stomach. Boots on and he was ready.

A call spell later and he was standing in the wide circular entranceway to the hall, staring at the fluttering tapestries. He headed into the crafting hall, but there was no one but the staff around. The table of food had been cleared.  For that he was thankful; the smell of ham at the moment might have been too much to take.

“Morning,” he muttered, as he tossed a few coins to the feline female who kept up the supplies for the hall.

She slung a bag of coal over the counter with an odd flick of a whiskered brow.  “Somewhere, I suppose,” she smirked.  “Sun’s setting outside, last time I looked.”

He rolled his eyes at his own error and her snide reminder, but kept his mouth shut.  A memory flickered in his muzzy brain — Rhygar, the frogman armorer, had come in to do a stint of bartending the night before, taken one look at the mess Rakhanar had made of his armor and shook his head in disgust.  “Ruint,” he’d muttered, clicking his fly-catching tongue. “Long overdue for mumble mumble…”

So, as fast as Rhygar was, at least his late start meant his new armor should be ready.

After stoking the forge, he picked up the tongs and hammer, grabbed a hunk of iron and set to work.  At first, the heat made his head and belly roar right along with the forge, but after he worked up a good sweat, he began to feel better, as if the toxins he had consumed were pouring out through his pores.

Lost in his craft, he didn’t know he was being observed until a soft hand alighted on his shoulder, even as he brought his hammer down to strike.  He snapped his head around to peer into large, dark blue eyes framed by blue-black skin.  It was not Lady Lhasa, but an unfamiliar female.  Her hair was a sultry drape across one eye, and flowed, stark white, around her face.

“Hello there,” she purred.

Rakhanar slammed his hammer down at the wrong angle, sending sparks careening dangerously and a shiver of pain up his arm.  He grimaced, grunted, and dropped the hammer and tongs, steadying himself as red sparked across his eyes and then straightening to look at her.

“Ah… uh, hello.”  Brilliant opening line. “You need help?  I haven’t seen you here before.”

“I just joined the guild today.  I’ve hardly met anyone, yet.” She pouted.  “I’m lonely.”  Her gaze dropped slowly, and though her eyes were hidden under long white lashes and partially concealed by the hair that fell to her shoulders, he could see her appraising him.  A coy smile tugged at a corner of her full, bow-shaped lips.

Rakhanar raised a brow. That’s rather straightforward. He gave a soft snort of surprise. I’ve been lonely myself.  Somehow I don’t think that approach would work with me.

“I am Rakhanar.”   With a polite bow, watching her eyes, he added, “Now you know one more person here, at least.”

Her smile widened.  “Not nearly well enough.  I am Anyah. Where are you from, Rakhanar?”

“I have a place in Kelethin.”

“Kelethin? Really?”  She smirked, a brow up.  “I can’t say I’ve ever been there.  I’m from Neriak.”

“Hmm.  Never been to Neriak, either.”  In fact, he didn’t really have a clear idea where it was.  He’d only heard the name of the city once, as a child.  It had stuck in his head because he overheard his father say that he thought Rakhanar belonged there.  If he’d ever hurt one of the fae in a rage, he would have sent him there.

“Can you show me around Kelethin? A big, strong man like you could protect me there, don’t you think?”

He tilted his head.  Protect her there?  Why would she need to be protected in Kelethin?  The thought barely crossed his mind before he dismissed it, grateful to find a female who was kind to him and apparently willing to be his friend.  Maybe, in time, more than a friend?  He shrugged.

“Of course.  It’s not exactly dangerous.  Except for the orcs, but we manage to keep them at bay.  They’re constantly trying to burn down Tunare’s Sapling, though.”

“Ooooh, orcs!  Nasty creatures!” She shivered and hugged herself, pushing her breasts up, drawing his gaze down.  Suddenly the cleft between them became fascinating.  He stared a second too long, pulled his gaze back to her face, but not before she noticed.  He felt heat rise to his face, but she didn’t seem perturbed.  She just turned her head and offered a sidelong glance, mysterious under her white veil of hair and long, shadowed lashes.

He narrowed his eyes for an instant, studying her.  Something about her made him feel on edge.  She wore silver bracers that ran the length of her forearms, but her dress was a satiny, form-hugging short shift that was definitely made to show off her curves.  He shook off the nagging uneasiness, assuming he was just having a bout of shyness with this assertive and friendly female.

“No need to fear, they’ll never get up on the platforms,” he assured her. He studied her for a moment, thinking. Touring Kelethin.  I need to change, to conceal my face… armor or robe?  Considering her desire for protection, unwarranted as it might be, he glanced over the counter to find the new armor crate waiting for him.  Vaulting over, he snagged a crowbar from the shelves underneath, cracked open the crate and pulled out the armor, setting each piece out on the counter.  This armor was black, shining dully, larger and heavier.  He liked the look of it.

Rakhanar bit his lip, pondering. There was no separate dressing room in the hall.  So does that mean…? He had never been allowed to go skyclad with the fae, though he knew they had no taboo against it among themselves, and he also knew why that had not applied to him, now.  But now he was among humans and elves, so that should mean he was no longer under any such restriction. Making a quick decision rather than display ignorance by asking what would undoubtedly be considered a stupid question, he pulled his vest over his head, kicked off his soft leather boots, tugged at the lacing on his pants, and stripped them down.  When he looked up, Anyah was staring at him, but she did not seem offended in the least.  She actually seemed … slyly appreciative?

So, that answers that question.  If I’d been wrong, she’d be looking away and blushing, right?  He shot a slanted smile toward her and stepped into the soft sweatpants he wore under his armor.  In minutes, he was geared up.  The new weight of the black armor was noticeable but comfortable, making his old, wrecked armor seem light.  He vaulted back over the counter easily.

He hesitated, then offered Anyah his arm, smiling down at her. She slid a hand around his elbow and gazed up at him with her eyes half-closed, a smile on her lips that had a trace of satisfaction in it.  He headed back to the entrance hall to the magic globe across it, tapped the gem on the helm to make it visible, hiding everything but his eyes, and willed them into Kelethin.

* * *

~Diaman Darshan~

Wizard of Wildfire & Shadow Walker Wordsmith ((a/k/a  The Real Me ))

Diaman Fighting with Fire