Dullerm

Dullerm

A Chapter by Eddie Davis
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Aurei deals with her jealousy while Eleazar deals with his desire.

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54.

Dullerm

 

Eleazar had sneaked into the bathhouse alone as early as he could, simply to be able to take a leisurely soak without having to fend off Aurei or his own steadily growing desire for her.   It wouldn’t be long, he told himself, and he still felt the excitement mixed with a deep dread that he was going to disappoint her and disgrace himself when they did finally engage each other.

 

The warm water was lulling him to sleep when Aurei blasted into the bathhouse. 

“-like I don’t have any important thing to worry about!” She was mumbling to herself, lost in her irritation, “Who does she think she is anyway?   Behaving like she’s some dewy-eyed virgin when she’s been living with him for months.  But does anyone see that?   Of course not!   She’s too wonderful!”  

She nodded at Eleazar, who was trying to figure out a way to get out of the pool without causing her any other irritation.   

 

But to his amazement, Aurei’s jealousy at Sophia had seemed to render her cold to anything else.   Without a thought, she began angrily to undress in front of him, still grumbling softly about her cousin.

“She doesn’t even live here, for Heaven’s sake!” She said to Eleazar as her dress fell to the floor.  

If she noticed his attempt to avert his eyes, she didn’t give any indication, for instead she just stomped out into the pool and over to him, bare naked.   Her eyes glowed bright red, but he knew that it wasn’t the Ssinssrigg-Chath this time, but envy and frustration.

 


He had kept her at bay for months; seeing only fleeting glimpses of her naked body, but each time he had found himself longing for more.   Now she was so distracted with her mood that she was not even thinking about seducing him and yet for some reason, that just excited him even more. 

 

He began to back away in the water, but he was trapped against the rock wall.   With extreme effort he looked down at the water as she approached.   She was oblivious to his condition.

“The town will spend far too much on this whole stupid wedding and then she’ll go back to Flux and they will grumble about it to me.   They’ll whine around about how much money they spent.   I just know it!   I’ll get a dozen requests for reimbursement.”  

“I’m quite sure the baker will; he is so stingy he probably makes his wife buy bread from him.   I can’t understand what they are thinking!   They don’t even know her!   It’s like she put a charm spell on them!   Maybe that’s it!   She enchanted them, so she’d get a big wedding.”

 

 

She waded right up to him, still ranting and raving, while he fought desperately an intense desire to swoop her up and try to quickly figure out how to romance her for the rest of the night.

 

Amazingly, she didn’t seem to sense his arousal or see how his own red eyes glowed as brightly as her eyes did at that moment.   Eleazar nearly laughed at the irony of the situation.  If she had asked him at that moment he would have happily foregone his vows to wait and made passionate love to her.  

 

But instead she just stood inches away from him, gloriously naked and wonderful, and totally uninterested in any physical contact.

 

“I can’t wait to ride out of here tomorrow!” She continued on with her grumbling as she began washing herself.   At first he attempted to look away, but instead he just smiled slightly and stared at her, taking all of her form in with delight.   She just thought he was politely listening to her complaints and continued to wash.

 

Finishing washing off the day’s grime, she turned to walk over to the waterfall area to rinse off, but when she noticed him frozen in one spot, she came back and took his hand and led him with her.  

 

She seemed to notice something when she took his hand and looked at him closely for a moment with a wry smile on her face.   She led him under the waterfall and he stood there trembling as he held back a nearly overwhelming urge to take her right there.  

 

Aurei was watching him and as she finished rinsing, she came over to him and wrapped her arms around him.   Before she could say anything, he was kissing her wildly, his hands exploring areas of her body that he had never before ventured near.   She didn’t resist at all, feeling that tonight was as good of a time as any to complete their relationship, and the more he touched and kissed her, the more certain of this she became.

 

They were slowly sinking down into the pool area, both instinctively taking positions that would lead to lovemaking, when there was a loud clearing of the throat from behind them.

They shot apart immediately and sank down in the pool until their necks were just showing, turning to face the intruder.

 

To their horror, it was Zeatt.   She had turned her back to them to ease their embarrassment.

“I am very sorry to disturb you.” She said awkwardly, “I thought you both would be finished… bathing by now.”

 

“We are.” Aurei surprised Eleazar by replying, but the fire had left her eyes, “It is a good thing you did disturb us, Aunt Zeatt or else we may have yielded to temptation.”

Zeatt didn’t reply but only nodded, still looking at the back of the cave.

Finally, as they meekly got out and quickly dressed, Zeatt spoke, “Aurei, I want you and Eleazar to know that I am very sorry about this whole wedding thing.   I didn’t realize how much it was affecting you.”

“It’s not bothering me.”   Aurei lied pitifully.

“I know that it is, child.   I… I want to assure you that this will all work out into something wonderful.”

 

 

 

Aurei looked over, puzzled at what Zeatt meant, “Huh?”

“I… I just mean that in the end, you’ll be rewarded for enduring Sophia and Khord’s… extravagance.”

It seemed to Aurei as an odd thing to say, but she just nodded and made sure that Eleazar had clothed himself.   He had, so she told her aunt, “We’re clothed now.”

 

Zeatt still seemed somewhat embarrassed, but patted both of them on the shoulder as they left, “Hang in there, children, for good things are approaching."

 

***

 

The embarrassment put both of their fires out and they went up to their room and lay together while Eleazar read some more from Kinzer’s book.   Then they both embraced, Aurei finding her favorite sleeping spot against Eleazar’s left shoulder, and they fell into a light sleep.

 

***

 

 

 

They left an hour after dawn; the three of them escorted by four of the Paladin recruits.   The day was partially cloudy, but a light wind kept the temperature very pleasant and the trip to Kendill’s Rest was relaxing and uneventful.

 

The Watchtower was mostly done, but not enough for it to have been manned before the bandit raid.   They spent about an hour talking to the people of Kendill’s Rest and Aurei thanked them for their assistance with the prisoners.

 

Soon they were on the road south, and Aurei felt herself relax and actually feel happy.   Vanyasulie was very happy to be stretching his legs and Aurei was equally as pleased to be riding the fine horse.  

 

Alvis and Eleazar noticed the pleasant change in her and they and the recruits had a fine day of riding.   It was late afternoon when they began to enter the gentle rolling hills around the ducal capital of Dullerm, which, like Westmark, was also the name of the city.  

 

Dullerm was somewhat larger than Westmark and was focused on trade in grains and livestock.   It was one of three very important centers for the growth and distribution of food in Northmarch, and as a result, the city was full of wealthy merchants, while many of the largest farms around the city were vast estates fit for noblemen.

 

Aurei had visited the city numerous times with her parents, so she was surprised when the famed Dullerm archers guarding the walls and towers around the city saw her party coming, they sounded a series of blasts from a trumpet.

 

“I’ve never seen that done before.”  Aurei said, puzzled.

“Well, they’ve seen us; surely they realize where we’re from.”

 

As they neared the gate they saw a crowd gathering around and a guard sergeant rushing forward with two men.   For an instant, Aurei and the others with her stiffened, fearful of a bad encounter.  

But the guards came forward, stopped, went into a salute, and the sergeant called out loudly, “Welcome to Dullerm, Eleazar, Earl of Coldburn, Aurei, Archduchess of Westmark!   All hear!  Behold, the Duke and Duchess of Dullerm!” 

 

The guard gestured to Aurei and Eleazar, who were very taken back by the title.

 

“Thank you, sergeant.”  Aurei said, waving at the people just inside the gate who applauded.

“Excuse me, sergeant,” Eleazar leaned over, “I am indeed the Earl of Coldburn, but I’m not the Duke.”

The guard smiled, revealing that he knew something.   He pulled forth a scroll from a belt pouch, which, Eleazar saw, was stamped with a royal seal.

 

The man began to read, “Whereas, Sir Eleazar, Earl of Coldburn, has announced his intention to wed Aurei, Archduchess of Westmark, and Duchess of Dullerm, and whereas the Archduchess has accepted his marriage proposal, I, Haroldris Rex, do hereby bestow upon Eleazar, called Greyskin, the title of Duke of Dullerm, by his marriage to Duchess Aurei.”

“Oh no, another title.” Eleazar groaned, and Aurei and Alvis just laughed at him. 

“Well, we aren’t married yet.” He said to Aurei with a wink, “I could back out now…”

“And I could have you drawn and quartered.” Aurei jested, which drew laughs from everyone, including the people watching from inside the gate.

Eleazar leaned across the saddle and took Aurei’s hand, “Good people of Dullerm, I thank you for your reception and I am most humbled at His Majesty’s wedding gift.   Duchess Aurei and I are yet to wed, but that will occur soon… hopefully.   Until then, we promise you that we will strive to continue the wise and just governing of Duke and Duchess Frampbrum.”

Again the people clapped, and by their expressions, they seemed pleased with both of them.  

 

Suddenly the crowd split in two and through it came Alis and Aeric.   Both were dressed in the rich blue colors of cloth that the duchy was famous for, and they seemed almost like royalty as they rushed up and embraced their friends.  

 

They led them into the Ducal keep, which was a structure much like Westmark’s, but with a somewhat larger floor plan.   As the sergeant and Aeric gave Alvis and Eleazar a tour of the city, Aurei sat and chatted with her friend.

 

“Well?”  She asked the half-Elf, arching her eyebrows, and Alis caught her meaning and nodded, blushing.

“Yes, it is official now.”

“At least the setting was nice.”

“Oh yes, they are most gracious here.   We both were treated like royalty.  I think we met everyone in town yesterday.”

“So you like it here?”

“Yes, it’s not bad… but it’s not Westmark either.   I still want that device Sophia told us about.”

Aurei’s face soured when Sophia’s name was mentioned.

“Uh oh, what’s going on, Aurei?”   Alis asked, and Aurei unloaded the details of the abrupt wedding plans.

“They are even having clothing made for you and Aeric, for your part in their ceremony.”

“Our parts?”

“Bridesmaid and Groomsman.”  Aurei explained, “I was instructed to bring you both back with us tomorrow so we can all go over our parts for the big wedding.”

“Wow, now that must have been stressful.   Are you okay, hon?”  She touched her friend’s knee.

Aurei just flung out her hands, “I don’t know; I guess.  I shouldn’t be so jealous.”

“So why is it bothering you so badly?”

Aurei hesitated, but then decided to just tell her friend about her and Eleazar’s secret plans for a low-key wedding. 

“Well then I’m glad Sophia did that!”  Alis admitted after hearing about the plans, “I would have been very upset if you hadn’t had a nice wedding.”

 

“Alis, it really doesn’t matter to either Laz or me.   There are so many projects going on right now that there is little money for a big church wedding anyway.  I really don’t know where Sophia and Khord are coming up with the funds to finance this.   She has spared no expense and has a ridiculous amount of details.   Ask me about the Coat-of-Arms.”

Alis grinned, “Alright; what about them?”

“Well, since this is such a fancy wedding, she wants it to look very regal.   So she asked me the other evening what my coat-of-arms was!”

“Do you have one?”  Alis laughed.

“Well, I do now!   At first I told her I had no idea, but then the Queen reminded me that I was sort-of supposed to as a Duchess and all.   Father Bugley didn’t have one - at least not that I or anyone else in town ever knew about.   But Sophia insisted that there be banners in the wedding ceremony.  Why mine was important, I’ll never know.”

“So did you design one?”

“Yes!   She had a royal herald there who had come from King’s Reach with the seamstresses.   I sat there for an hour figuring one out.   Eleazar had to come up with one as well.   Crazy, huh?  His is rather neat; it is a gauntleted hand coming out of water, with the palm faced upward.   Then a black sword is balanced on the palm, with the blade point facing the palm.   The background is red.”

“And it is now officially his?”

“Oh yes!   The herald recorded it in the official royal book.”

“What about yours?”

“Mine is odd.   I came up with this black crow with a red eye sitting on top of a silver tower on a purple background.”

“So you are the crow, huh?”

“I guess so.   The herald is supposed to have a coat of arms made for Eleazar and me in a few days.   Alvis already had one and Zeatt isn’t allowed one as an Archbishop of Yesh.”

“Really?  Why?”

“She said that all clerics of Yesh are to serve, not be treated as nobility with family crests and all.”

 

“I wonder if they’ll want a coat-of-arms for Aeric and me?”

“Yes, in fact they talked about it.   Since you are married, he said he’ll just design one that both of you can use.   So be thinking of something to put on it.”

“Wow, that sounds like it has been crazy up there.”

“Be glad you were down here.   It has been very stressful.”

 

The two friends chatted for a long time and were joined by the others in the early evening where they had dinner and then met with the town leaders.   That night as they laid in the ducal bedchamber, Aurei was thankfully in a normal mood.  

“I guess I’ve been acting totally insane since we returned from King’s Reach, haven’t I?” She asked Eleazar as she lay against his chest and listened to the crickets chirping far below.

“The situation is rather insane, Aurei, so no, not really.”

“I’m going to try to be warmer to Sophia and Khord during the wedding.  They’re doing the right thing and I have no right to have a bad attitude.”

“Good; I think your positive outlook will carry you through.”

“I hope so.   I have to admit something to you, okay?”

“What?”

“Well, I sort-of wish it was us who was having the fancy wedding the day after tomorrow.”

“I knew you did.”

“Am I bad for being jealous?”

“No, no, not bad.   Most girls would be.”

“I still feel shameful acting like that.   Mother Bugley would be so upset at me.”

“She may have been somewhat upset too.”

“But if she had, she wouldn’t have shown it.”

“Well, don’t worry about it.   Let’s just get some sleep.”

To his relief, she didn’t argue and simply kissed him then settled down to sleep.

 

 



© 2014 Eddie Davis


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Added on February 19, 2014
Last Updated on April 23, 2014
Tags: Drow, Elf, romance, knights, fantasy, paladins, good versus evil, adventure, magic

The Chronicles of Aurei Book 3: Bane of the Necromancers


Author

Eddie Davis
Eddie Davis

Springfield, MO



About
I'm a fantasy and science-fiction writer that enjoys sharing my tales with everyone. Three trilogies are offered here, all taking place in the same fantasy world of Synomenia. Other books and stor.. more..

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