Chapter 4, The Heat of Battle
The soon to be heroes went forth for the start of their next test. They would be training in the art of combat.
Upon entering the dim and welcoming establishment of their mentor, the group congregated around a new face. From the comforting shadows of their refuge, she emerged. Long black curls cascaded down her muscled frame, her blue skin a cold contrast to the warm lamp light of the bar. A tattoo of a snake wove itself up her arm and caressed her body beneath her supple leather armor, beyond sight of the curious group. Her name was Stella.
Alfred, our noble and statuesque bard, passes a few playfully sharp remarks with her. He must know her, though the others know not how or why. Their interaction seems friendly though, a relief to the eyes of Jason, who have hungered for the sight of the elfin fellow for days now.
No sign of the mysterious and dark Miles. Unsurprisingly, the group is also absent Leigh, her off color remarks and aggressive behavior leaving a void in the team’s dynamic. There is no doubt they have busied themselves with more…pressing concerns.
Delora is, as always, a bit aloof and dangerously inviting. Her voluptious curves accented by every movement. She is so skilled with the art of her body, none are left unmanipulated. And none can guess at the object of her no doubt molten desires.
Each shake hands with the new vixen, thier fingers tingling as they pass over the snake tattoo, which seems to writhe just beneath her skin.The subtle threat of her two handed blade only bringing a further sense of danger to her already exotic nature.
The posse grabs their weapons of choice, a sword and knife for the mistress of desire, brass knuckles for the lean but powerful Alfred, and for the muscular and rugged Jason, his usual wooden quarterstaff. They take the sling and bullets for the rough edged Leigh. She will meet them in the dark of night, ready to sling rocks like she slings insults, meant to kill.
Stella also seems to know the elusive Miles, a few tantalizing details about him spilling from her lips. But not enough for our heroes to guess at his motives. Other than his weakness for the sharp tongued Leigh, they remain in the dark.
Meeting up Leigh, her sardonic smile blending well with the night, Stella informs them they will hunting a Snipe. After some explanation, as the rag tag team seems to be somewhat ignorant of their own magical world, they set off into the shadows of the nearby forest.
Alfred feels the icy grip of fear dance across his skin. He tries to hide it from the others, mainly not wanting Jason to know, but he is drawn to that protective nature. A strange noise alerts him to something in the underbrush. Crouching low, his breath coming in short gasps, his eyes meet Jason’s across the treed area. Jason has heard it too, and his first instinct is to see to Alfred’s safety. As their eyes lock, heat between them is palpable. Their lust for each other has been so far unrevealed, but in this moment, they cannot hide their naked desire from each other.
Despite their magnetic attraction, the sense of danger overwhelmes their need for each other. As they engage the unknown threat, the dynamic between them shifts. Alfred feels his training kick in and rather than longing for protections,he becomes the protector. He begins to lead in a flank and Jason follows him, a perfect shift between dominant and submissive between them both. They flow together, like water, their bodies in harmony as they close the distance and bare down upon the horror that lies in wait in the bushes.
The fiendish thing has a long curved beak and razor talons. It shrieks from the brush and claws at Jason’s exposed neck. A dark line of blood appears across his chiseled jawline. Alfred’s breath catches in his throat and a surge of raw adrenaline courses through him. The image of that perfect face being marred with violence…his body tenses and he leaps forward, his fist connecting with the creature. It screams as it releases Jason from the impact. Delora falls in with her blades but the two men barely notice. They are so close, they can feel the heat of each other’s bodies. Blood mixed with sweat rolls down Jason’s throat and collar bone, disappearing tantalizingly beneath his shirt collar. Alfred’s breath is so ragged from fear and violence and desire, he almost forgets. But now is not the time or the place. And the battle is not over…