Chapter 12

Chapter 12

A Chapter by Isemay

Syvilas wanted to get rid of the dwarf carcass and put the mine visit behind him. He wanted to find a new face and a new name and begin to attach those threads he had pulled free. The sibling bond would weaken as soon as she saw him differently. As soon as she called him by another name. His desire was eating at him.

“We should find a place to stop for the night. There are some trees ahead that look climbable, we could-”

“No. I do not want to risk being overtaken by the elves. The dark does not concern me.”

“The horse needs to rest Syv, and so do we.” He nearly laughed at that. “The horse may need rest, but I have slept for far too long.” Wrapping his arm around her again and caressing her ear, he teased gently, “If you wish to rest you could lie on the box, I know that sleeping on top of corpses does not frighten you.”

A sharp elbow in his side made him grin. “Fear has nothing to do with it. You didn’t smell like Kaddal does, Syv.” She was quiet for a moment. “We should at least find a farm and trade horses.”

“Tell me where you wish me to go, sister and I will assist you.” If the horse dropped dead it would be much harder to move at the pace he wished.

“The cart is too loud. I know a place. Up ahead a few miles, I’ll show you where to stop and wait for me.”

“Syreilla, going alone-”

“Syvilas,” she imitated his concerned tone mockingly, “I will be quicker and quieter alone. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this you know.” Her exasperated tone made him frown.

“You are tired.” Even he knew that a tired thief might make a mistake.

“I could swap horses in the dark with both hands tied behind my back brother. Do you want to know how I know that?” Her tone was exasperated and sharp.

Arguing would not help. He could feel her determination. “You are as stubborn as a dwarf.”

“Flatterer!” Syr elbowed him again and shivered. “It’s getting cooler. It smells like there may be frost tonight. That’s good for Kaddal and bad for us.”

“Have you forgotten your brother has gifts?” He traced the inner ridge of her ear, brushing the loose threads of desire with a thought. She shivered again. “Come sit in my lap, Syreilla. Cling to me, and you will be warm.”

She hesitated and then tentatively stood and sat sideways across his lap. He adjusted himself on the bench seat to hold her and the reins and began to bring warmth from within his chest. Syreilla pressed closer, feeling it. “You’re like an oven.”

He rubbed his cheek against her hair. “I can be as warm as you require, my sweet sister.”

“I’m not going to want to get out of your lap to swap the horses.” She sighed contentedly.

Syvilas struggled not to push farther. The way she pressed against him was as stirring as it was endearing.

There was silence until she whispered, “Stop the cart under that tree on the left.” The thought of her leaving his lap was unpleasant, the thought of her vanishing in the dark was worse.

“Sister, let me come with you.”

“Help me get the horse unhitched and the tack off Syv.” He looked at her with annoyance. She was ignoring him.

“If I do-”

“If you do I’ll be done quicker, if you don’t it’ll take longer and I’ll be in a bad mood. Pick one.” Her sharpness was unpleasant. He resolved to fix that while she slept. Syv helped her with the horse and once it was free, with only the bridle and reins she was on its back and vanishing in the dark.

Waiting for her was an exercise in self-control. It seemed she had been gone for too long. Every fiber of his being was telling him to go after her, but when he touched the bond he could feel her, calm and unconcerned. Syvilas blinked with the realization, it should be the other way around. He’d expected to feel attached to her with the bond, but not to the point he couldn't control the attachment. Something else to address when she returned and fell asleep in his arms.

Her return with the fresh horse was a relief. He helped her hitch it to the cart and get settled in his arms again before encouraging it down the road. It did not take her long to fall into sleep against his warm chest and he began his work. Laboriously shaping the bond so that it gave him more freedom and bound her to his side. She would feel it if she left him again.

She would be less sharp and more respectful, some small amount of obedience would be pleasing. Loving, Syreilla would feel most at ease held close. Syvilas could not resist priming the threads of desire just a bit more. When they attached they would be like burrs clinging to him.

The sun was rising as she woke. He smiled as she rubbed her eyes and then buried her face in his chest as if in defiance of the sun. “How much farther until we arrive at Delver’s Deep, my sweet sister?”

She grumbled and turned her head to look at the road. “Have you come to the fork yet? Pale and Lew?”


Sighing she muttered, “When you do go toward Lew and wake me.”

“You could keep me company.” He rubbed his chin in her hair.

“I feel more tired now than when I shut my eyes, Syv. My head aches. I swear I slept better on top of the steel box you were in than I did in your lap.”

He shifted on the seat under her wondering if he’d done too much. Putting the reins in one hand he stroked her ear. “Rest, my dear Syreilla.”

“I’m sorry Syv. You didn’t sleep at all, and it can’t be comfortable having me in your lap for hours.” She started to try to slip out of his arms.

“Stay. Please, Syreilla.” Syvilas pressed his hand to her ear. “I can try to ease the pain.”

“Without someone to draw from?” She nestled so sweetly back against him.

“It will tire me.” Her pain was his doing, he needed to try to ease it. “I want to try, sister. Close your eyes and try to sleep.” He stroked her ear and massaged her head with his fingertips using the bond to draw the pain away from her and into himself. His head throbbed relentlessly.

He woke her as she had instructed when they came to the fork at midday. “Syreilla. I need you to wake.” She rubbed her face against his shirt as if she were declining and Syvilas laughed softly. “Sister, you need to eat and I need to be told where I am going.”

With a yawn, Syr slid from his lap onto the bench seat. “Do you want some bread and sausage, brother?”

“I do not eat what you eat, sweet sister. But some wine would be welcome.”

Nodding she fetched his bottle first and then her own food. “Do we need to find something for you?” She settled herself at an angle so that her legs were still touching him.

A glance at her concerned face made him smile. “Not urgently.”

“We’ll be going through Lew and then up toward Delver’s Deep. Lew isn’t bad. They do business with the clans at Delver’s and they’re decent enough. I can point out a few people no one would miss terribly on our way through if you’d like.”

“On our way back down. I will need to keep this face until we have finished our dealings with the dwarves.” Dealings he intended to keep short.

“I was planning to trade the wagon for a horse and show you the long way ’round.”

Syv watched her tear into the hunk of bread like a barbarian. Her mouth barely stayed closed as she chewed the enormous bite. “You look like such a delicate creature sister, and you eat like some sort of animal.”

Syr’s eyes sparkled with amusement as she uncorked her bottle of mead and took a long swig. “You don’t mean to tell me appearances can be deceiving, brother? What has the world come to if a delicate flower like myself can’t trust her own eyes?”

“I mean to tell you there is such a thing as manners, my uncivilized sister. It may even be possible to teach them to you.”

“Says the man who doesn’t chew his food.” Her impish grin turned to laughter as he drew himself up and gave her an exaggerated huff.

Her lack of fear was breathtaking. “I do not think anyone has ever teased me about the way I… eat, sister.”

“Those gods you're so fond of must be punishing you with my presence.” She was clearly in the mood to tease him now.

“If they are, I would know my crime.” Syvilas smiled at her adoringly, “That I may commit it a thousand times over. Perhaps then they will curse me with you forever.”

Syreilla snorted at him and shook her head. “You’ll get tired of me and eat me in a week.” Her grin said she knew better and he decided to tease her.

“Perhaps. But I promise I will chew you properly.” He snapped his teeth at her and was rewarded with her laughter. She laughed until she couldn’t breathe, nearly falling from the cart.

Once she’d calmed from her laughing fit she wiped at her eyes. “Syv,” he grinned at her making her struggle to keep her composure, “You looked like a dragon when you did that, and your grin is so wide.” He studied her amused and adoring face.

“Have you ever seen a dragon?” She had whether she knew it or not. Human and dragon had not combined as prettily as human and elf, he’d tried to balance the hideousness of his form with useful and needed skills. Still, he had not been accepted until he had been given his gifts and been able to change himself.

“Carvings and drawings. I’ve never found any. Everyone says they’re all dead or asleep.” Syr seemed a little disappointed and she noticed his curious look. “I’ve looked for them. Can you imagine getting to loot a dragon’s hoard?”

“My mad sister.” Syvilas marveled at her. “What would you do with a dragon’s hoard?”

“Spend some, take the rest home to Delver’s Deep.” Syreilla shrugged and resumed her mauling of the bread and sausage.

“You would steal a dragon’s bed out from under him to spend it or take it to the dwarves?” He chided her with a smile.

He watched her wash down a mouthful and smile mischievously, “If he sleeps through it it’s his own fault.”

“And if he does not?” He sipped his wine from the bottle, eyeing her bottle of mead. The wine was sour and unpleasant in comparison to the elvish wine he’d grown fond of as king. Her mead was at least palatable.

“Then things would get interesting.” Syr offered him her bottle. “You made a face and looked at mine.”

“This wine is wretched.” Syv took a drink of her mead.”Your mead is surprisingly enjoyable.”

“Liquid gold.” Her tone was almost smug. “Dwarf beer is good too, but-”

“Mead is more suited to a refined palate.” He handed the bottle back and reached to caress her ear before he drew his hand back. “There may be hope for you yet, sister.”

Syr kicked at his leg as he pulled it away and laughed.

She sat close, her shoulder leaning against his for the rest of the ride, talking about her dwarvish family and the mine. Approaching it in the hour before sunset, Syvilas was not nearly as excited at the thought of sleeping inside the stone confines as Syreilla. He tried to hide his sulking from her as she helped the dwarves unload the box and spoke to the Master of the mine.

He only half listened until he heard the dwarf inquiring about the crown and the corpse. It was clear to him that the dwarf knew about the prison. This Kaddal had also known, it was why the lich had used him. The dwarf already suspected him, he could tell. Syreilla, on the other hand, was oblivious.

She returned to him with relief and cheerfulness on her face. “I’ll be back with Batran.”

Syvilas reached out and took hold of her arms, with a frown. “I would rather you not go in without me.”

“For you to be allowed in, Batran has to vouch for you. He’s a good judge of character, he’ll see what I see in you.” She began to laugh as he pulled her into an embrace wanting to make her stay by force if necessary.

“And if he does not?” He murmured into her ear. A dwarf had come to speak with the Master of the mine and he looked at Syreilla in his arms with displeasure.

“If he doesn’t, you shouldn’t wait here, there will be elves coming I’ve already been warned.” Syv tightened his grip on her returning the dwarf’s black look. Syr whispered as if feeling the tension, “If you have to leave, I will meet you at the place I always like to visit. Do you remember? The one you’d prefer I didn’t?”

More dwarves came and stood idly with their axes. If he kept her by force she wouldn’t forgive him for what would happen to her loved ones. He pulled back reluctantly, kissing her cheek before running his thumb along her jaw. “I remember.” Syv lifted his hands and brushed her hair back from her ears letting his fingertips lightly trace the outer edges. “Be careful, I could not bear to lose my sister.”

“You won’t lose me, brother.” His crown hung from her fingers as she wrapped her arms around his neck, and squeezed him. “But let’s hope for the best here, I want to show you my home.”

The way her embrace tightened the bonds made him smile despite his concerns.

The dwarf that had glowered at him barked, “Syreilla!” Syr turned to face him and he scowled at her, “What have you done?”

Syv could only watch and listen as she trotted over. “I did a job I probably shouldn’t have.”

Batran snorted. “That describes all of your jobs.”

“I brought you something, but I need to have it cut up and split the metal and gems with Forgepike’s kin.” Syreilla offered his crown for the dwarf’s inspection.

“And who is that you’re hanging all over?” He didn’t lift his eyes from the crown.

“I wasn’t hanging all over him, Syvilas is my brother.”

The dwarf's eyes raised looking to Syv. “He doesn't look at you like a brother.”

Syreilla turned her head back to him and it took all of his self-control not to call her back to his side. “He’s worried. For some reason, he’s afraid he’s never going to see me again.”

“He’s looking at you like a starving man looks at a roast pig, Syr. I don’t trust his intentions. And I don’t think he’s your brother, you’ve been deceived.”

“Batran! He’s-”

Syvilas took a step forward as the dwarf jabbed his finger down toward the stone and Syreilla sank to her knees, sitting obediently. Bought off of the headsman’s block. Was his mischievous Syreilla a slave to be treated that way? The wretched dwarf tilted her face up and looked at her as she spoke more carefully. “I trust him Batran. He says he’s my brother and it feels true.”

He gave her a dubious look and didn’t let her speak further. “In with you. Take the crown to Kaduil, tell him I’d like him to take it apart.”

She nodded and the dwarf continued, holding her mouth closed, “Whoever that is, Syr, is no kin of yours. He’s not coming into the mine.” His Syreilla looked devastated. “You’re not the trusting type, Syreilla. For you to have that kind of blind faith in a stranger, something’s not right.” The dwarf lifted his eyes to meet Syvilas’ glare. “In you go, Syr, straight to Kaduil.”

Syr looked at him almost helplessly and he pulled the threads. She took a step toward him and the dwarf struck her, commanding, “In.”

That wretch would suffer. All of these dwarves would suffer-

“Be nice Syv, this is my home, and these dwarves are my family.” She held up her hands with his crown dangling from her thumb. Her eyes were pleading.

He could feel it through the bond, if he harmed these dwarves she would not forgive him. He pulled gently, “Do not go in. Stay with me.”

“In, Syreilla. NOW.” The dwarf’s barked command pulled her back. Syr ran a hand through her hair and shifted her weight from foot to foot for a moment before turning to go in with a last apologetic look back.

Closing his eyes, he balled his fists. She would not stay long, she would feel the pull back to him. He opened his eyes and saw the dwarves looking at him expectantly. “I require a fresh horse. In our haste to bring her friend, we did not allow this one the rest it needed.

The one who had sent her in barked an order in dwarvish and two dwarves came forward, pointing him toward stables down the slope, well away from the entrance. She would go to Brosa. He would meet her there.

© 2017 Isemay

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Added on December 27, 2017
Last Updated on December 27, 2017
Tags: thief, dwarf, elf, dragon, gods




Bitten by a writing bug! Review my writing and I will gladly return the favor! I love reading other people's stories, and I try to review honestly and give constructive criticism. I love receivi.. more..

Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Isemay

Chapter 2 Chapter 2

A Chapter by Isemay

Chapter 3 Chapter 3

A Chapter by Isemay