Season 1, Episode 2
Written by Tof Eklund
Read by Tawn Krakowski
There is a clearing in the densely wooded hills approaching the Fircrown mountains, not far from the town of Talhome. In that clearing, there is a peculiarly carved wheel of stone, fifteen hands across, set into the ground. It was to this clearing that the youngest son of Lord and Lady Pantelos rode, his eyes puffy and his cheeks wet with tears. It was here, in this clearing, that they’d first made love, their unlawful act concealed from the world by the surrounding conifers.
Vivus Pantelos wiped his nose on the sleeve of his doublet. Damn her. Damn him. Damn them all.
He dismounted and tied his horse’s reins to the bough of a pine tree. As he walked toward the carved stone disc, he realized that something was out of sorts. The wheel wasn’t quite where it should be, but off to one side of its usual resting place, set up against a stone. Where the great wheel normally rested, there was a well, deep and dark, that dove into the earth. It didn’t plunge straight down, but angled slightly off toward the mountains.
Looking down into that bottomless shaft made Vivus feel vertiginous, so he stepped away to look at the wheel. The pattern of intertwining knots carved into it had fascinated him before, but looking now, he saw something else, a pattern hidden inside the pattern, running opposite it and diverging into smaller and smaller knots and lacings, very delicate and very fine, seemingly infinite in its detail. He was kneeling to peer closely at this incredible design when a gravelly voice came from behind him.
“Aye, it’s good work. My brother Argos did that.”
Vivus jumped up in shock, and turned toward the sound. He then had to lower his gaze. There before him, half his height but nearly as broad across the chest as he was tall, stood a stout little man with a great red beard, wearing a leather apron covered in fine steel scales and carrying a full bushel of pale, ripe cloudberries under each arm. The little man set the bushels down and peered at Vivus with jewel-bright emerald eyes.
“You’re…” Vivus stammered, “you’re a Dwarf, aren’t you? One of the mountain folk.”
“Y’could call me that.” The Dwarf looked over Vivus appraisingly. “But I’d rather ye called me Kaenath.”
“Kaenath?” The name was an old one, long fallen into disuse. “Well, Kaenath the Dwarf, I am Vivus of House Pantelos.”
“You’re a sad bugger, is what you are.”
Vivus drew back, offended. “Excuse me?”
“I mean, you had it hard, aincha?” The Dwarf gestured to a low, weather-worn boulder. “Have a seat, Vivus ‘a House Pantelos, and tell old Kaenath.”
Despite the oddity of the encounter, Vivus was grateful to have the opportunity to speak openly with someone and plopped down on the stone, while the Dwarf sat next to him. Sitting, they were nearly the same height. Vivus sniffed.
“It’s my little sister. She’s taken my lover away from me.”
“Married him, did she? Well, that ‘aint necessarily the end of things, y’know.”
“No, well, she is getting married. She’s been arranged to the Prince for years, but now she’s going to the capital, and she’ll be staying there.”
“I don’t ken the problem.”
“She chose her retinue from my father’s men, and Geoffery agreed to go with her.”
“Ah, he’s your man, is he?”
The tears were coming back into Vivus’ eyes. “I thought he was. I asked him, begged him to stay, to refuse. But he told me it was his duty, that he had to.” The words came quickly now, spewing from his mouth like vomit. “He said he’ll be able to come back from time to time, but I told him not to bother. I said that he was choosing her over me, and that I never wanted to see him again.”
Vivus blew his nose into his sleeve. His vision blurred and streaked with tears. “He just nodded. That’s all! He didn’t say one gods-damned thing, didn’t even bother to deny it.”
Vivus began to sob. “He never loved me. He…he…I was just a bit of fun to him.”
A thick-fingered hand, firm but not rough, stroked his cheek, wiping away his tears. “There, there. I canna bear to see a pretty boy cry,” said the Dwarf.
Vivus looked up at the Dwarf. The little man’s face was lined, but those lines bore character and strength. Kaenath’s eyes locked with his own, and while there was something hard in their green glimmering, Vivus saw sympathy in them. Understanding of what it meant to be terribly alone, to love an unspeakable love, to lose and have no hope of finding another. Sympathy, and something else.
Vivus closed his eyes as their lips met, then parted. Vivus was struck at how soft the Dwarf’s tongue was upon his own, how gentle his kiss was, even as it became deeper and more passionate. There was even something comforting about the slight scratchiness of that clay-red beard on his smooth-shaven cheeks and chin.
That same firm hand that had stroked his cheek found his thigh, and Vivus reached out to return the caress. His fingers alighted on skin, and he realized that the Dwarf wore nothing but that scale-mail apron. Kaenath’s leg was densely muscled and hard as stone, but warm and hairy. Vivus ran his fingertips up the Dwarf’s leg, and was rewarded for his attentions when Kaenath squeezed his thigh and pressed the kiss.
His head spinning and his heart pounding, Vivus traced a path in between the leather underside of the apron and Kaenath’s skin. His hand passed over the Dwarf’s belly, which was as taught and muscular as his leg. Vivus’ hand moved on its own, without thought, because if he’d thought about it, he might have stopped, and he did not want to stop. Passing though a thick mess of curly hair, his fingers alighted on it, on the Dwarf’s manhood. Vivus grasped it—it was as firm and smooth as polished stone, but warm, almost hot, to the touch. Not to mention thick—his fingertips barely touched with his hand wrapped around it.
It was clearly more sensitive than stone, as Kaenath groaned, a low bass rumble that literally shook the earth. A moment later, Vivus felt the Dwarf’s hand at his waist, yanking down his hose and tearing it in the process. His own erection sprung forth, and Kaenath’s touch became gentle again as he grasped it and began slowly working up and down the shaft. Each stroked the other and they kept time in this mutual masturbation, growing faster and more frantic in their touches as they neared climax.
Kaenath kissed Vivus’ neck and sucked hard. Vivus gasped, shuddered, and came. The Dwarf continued to expertly stoke Vivus throughout the orgasm, and everything turned white and blissful for a moment.
As soon as Vivus recovered himself, he rolled off the stone bench to kneel on the grass and, pulling the apron up away from Kaenath’s thick, hard cock, wrapped his lips around it and began to suck. It only took a few pulls before the Dwarf gave another rumbling groan and shot his seed in Vivus’ mouth. It was hot and thick, but it tasted strangely like mineral water.
Kaenath caught Vivus’ gaze with his own as the young lord raised his head. His emerald eyes burned with secret fire as he spoke.
“Ahim gonna roger you now.”
The word was strange to Vivus, but he knew what it meant. At least, he knew what he hoped it meant.
“Yes,” he said, “please.”
He stripped off his doublet and the remains of his hose as the Dwarf untied and set aside his apron. Completely naked, Kaenath’s body was a wonder of defined, bulging muscles, dusted with red hair. Below that barrel chest and the drum-tight abdomen there was the Dwarf’s member, curving skyward out of a thatch of brick-red curls, like the phoenix rising from the fire. Looking at it, remembering its size in his hand and the way it had filled his mouth, Vivus wondered what it would feel like to have that girth thrust inside him. A little afraid but more excited, he lay, face down, on the bare earth.
Kaenath spread Vivus’ legs and knelt between them. Vivus heard the Dwarf spit, then felt a warm, wet fingertip rubbing his bottom, pressing open the rosebud and stroking around it. There was another spitting sound, then he felt Kaenath’s manhood on his backside. Hot and slick and hard as stone, the Dwarf’s member pressed into him, gentle at first and then, with a quick, hard thrust, suddenly deep.
Vivus gave a cry, and there was a little pain in it, as well as pleasure. Then the Dwarf began moving inside him, and pleasure took over. There was a spot deep inside him that was being pressed and, with each stroke, grew more sensitive and gave even more pleasure. This felt right; the Dwarf above hard as stone but warm as flesh, and the earth below surprisingly soft, like pressing into a cloud. Everything was upside down.
Vivus’ cock was hard, and it pressed into the ground. That should have chafed, but everything, everything felt good. He’d never felt so right, so open and free, not even with his feckless lover. Vivus moaned, gasped, and then, as the sky opened up—no, wait, that was the earth—and the heavens moved above him, he crowed out his glory like a rooster to the dawn, and came. Soon thereafter Kaenath shuddered, pressed deep into Vivus, and shook the world with his own orgasm.
When the trembling ceased, and the stars resumed their courses, and after whispered endearments and drowsy embracing, Vivus noticed that the world was still different. He stood and looked Kaenath in the eye. Why had he thought the Dwarf short? They were clearly the same height. Kaenath finished tying his apron on.
“Y’goin back down, then?” Vivus heard himself ask.
“Aye. Y’comin with?”
“I reckon.” Vivus chucked, a low rumble.
“Grab that other bushel, then, an’ come along.” Kaenath hefted one bushel of cloudberries.
Vivus reached out with thick, strong fingers and grabbed the other bushel. He tossed a few berries into his mouth and tasted the sunlight, the water and soil that had gone into making the fruit.
“Save a few. There’s scores of your brothers waitin’ below, and they haven’t had berries in a long time.”
“They all as nice as you?”
Kaenath turned back to Vivus and winked one emerald eye. “Mebbe.”
They descended into the earth, treading that terribly steep slope with ease. Behind them, the stone wheel slid back into place on its own, and the tunnel became pitch black. Vivus didn’t mind. The darkness suited him just fine.
© 2012 Copyright Tof Eklund
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