Chapter 1: Warpaint
She caught her reflection in the cistern's clear water, the hood of her new Thieves' Guild armor laying back as she braided her long hair to hide it under the leather.
She knew what she looked like, but now things were different. She was different.
Once mousy brown hair was bleached orange with dragon's tongue and canis root, bold stripes of snowberry warpaint streaked across her eyes in burgundy red that matched her Dunmer eyes. Her skin, instead of wan and grey was slate blue in the dim light. Even the scar that ran down her face seemed exotic, not the result of her bad choice to break up a fight between a drunk mer and a Windhelm guard.
The girl she was before; boring, average, orphaned Thelsa, little invisible dark elf eeking out an existence in the Grey Quarter? That girl wasn't looking back at her.
"Looks good on you, lass," Brynjolf said as she stood and tucked her long braid into her hood, lifting it up over her head to shadow her eyes. He certainly never saw uptight little Thelsa when he met her in the market. He saw a wild dark elf with a fire in her she only hoped she'd someday have.
"One more thing." he said. "Its time to have a name," he continued, but lifted a hand quickly as she opened her mouth to speak. "Think carefully."
He had a point. She wasn't Thelsa any more. She was a thief now. An exotic Dunmer beauty, just coming into her own -- and you know what they say about Dunmer women? Thelsa just wouldn't do.
"Melivani," she said, smirking at him.
"It's a pretty name," Brynjolf winked. "But not as pretty as you are."
Rest in peace, Thelsa. Won't miss you.
Melivani stole some trinkets. She planted a stolen amethyst in a Bosmer's hovel. Then Vipir bent her over a chest in the training room.
And why not? Melivani was a hedonist. That's what she'd decided. And Vipir was handsome, sturdy with a big fat cock and if he wasn't very smart, why should that matter? She let him bang away at her, like a rutting animal, biting back her moans, if only to prevent Mercer from discovering them, though the idea sent a shudder down her spine. Maybe he'd come in and punish her, and wouldn't that be exciting? He wasn't a Nord like Vipir, so he probably wouldn't be so big -- but a man didn't become the Guildmaster without knowing how to use all his weapons, she figured.
She tried to consider the idea, but Vipir's incessant pounding drove the thought out of her head. Sapphire might bitch that his nickname was more about his prowess than his feet, but she didn't know what she was missing.
Vipir rolled his hips, leaned down and slid his hands under her, one cupping her breast, the other rubbing insistently against her clit.
"You gonna cum for me?" he panted in her ear, "I'm gonna make you cum, you little dark elf whore."
Melivani loved it, and creamed on his cock. She was such a bad girl. Afterwards, as he tucked his cock away, swigging from a bottle of mead, he apologized.
"Don't really think you're a whore, you know," he said. She knew that, but honestly didn't care. She shrugged, non-noncommittally.
"Of course not," she said, straight faced. "You didn't pay for it." He looked shocked, but then she lost her composure and laughed.
"Bitch," he said chuckling. "We'll have to do this again sometime."
Chapter 2: By Way of the Windhelm Jail
Please note, Melivani's game uses lots of mods, including Live Another Life, that allows a starting point other than Helgen. Also, this is pretty much just gratuitous porn, for me to hone my smut writing skills. So...well, enjoy.
Melivani, when she was still called Thelsa, came to the Thieves' Guild in the typical way; she got arrested.
She wasn't so lucky to have gotten stuck with a jail breaker like Cynric, not that she even knew he existed at the time. She'd gotten stuck in a cell with Niruin, who it turns out has several impressive skills, but not a one of which is lock picking.
Melivani...no Thelsa...had gotten arrested in the most embarrassing fashion. She'd always been good at sneaking and locks, just due to her ramshackle orphan's life; necessity made her do what she had to to survive after her family didn't survive the flight from Morrowind when Red Mountain blew. Before, she hadn't really been a thief, not in any seriousness beyond a loaf of bread here and there, but Revyn Sadri had this pendant in his shop. It was a beautiful dragon cast from silver, unlike anything she'd ever seen. Ancient Nordic, probably plucked from a tomb by an opportunistic adventurer she always fantasized about being. Thelsa went to the shop often enough, on errands from the Cornerclub, that it become easy to focus on it just lying there dully glimmering in the glass case. Thelsa couldn't get it out of her head.
She had to have it.
She made the mistake of asking the price and Revyn laughed at her.
"You could never afford it," he tittered, leaning over the counter. He looked her up and down with disgust. Thelsa looked down at herself; too skinny from years of not enough to eat and what little curves she did have hidden by ill fitting rags she called clothes. "And you don't have anything else to bargain with."
Once, Ambarys suggested she should marry Revyn Sadri. Fat chance.
That night, she picked the lock and stole that dragon pendant and got away with it. It made her feel exhilarated, powerful, aroused. She immediately wanted to do it again. She started small, skulking around the merchant's square at night, pilfering things they didn't lock up. She hid her treasures away in a pile of stones outside of town, with the carefully wrapped dragon pendant. Someday, she'd have enough that she could run away from Windhelm and never look back. It was a good plan, if a naive one.
Her success made her too bold, too willing to take chances. One night, Thelsa broke into the Shattershield estate and got caught. Having exactly nothing to bargain with, she was dragged away in irons and thrown into a cell. The guards didn't even bother stripping her down, making some comment about being a 'bony grey skin' and not wanting to lose their interest in women altogether. The blonde one said something about breeding elves like cattle as he slammed the barred door in her face.
She heard a lilting male voice from behind her. "You don't seem too bony to me, my dear. "
Heart hammering in her chest, she carefully turned around to find a slender, lanky Bosmer lounging in the corner.
"You don't happen to have a lockpick stashed away in that baggy dress, do you beautiful?" He grinned at her. "I'm Niriun, by the way."
Niruin had his ankles crossed and his arms up behind his head. He wore only a loin cloth and a smile and it looked incredible on him. Most importantly, she'd never seen him before. That meant he didn't know little mousy, untouchable Thelsa, who'd gotten the reputation of being ragged and dirty, since no one taught her to care for herself and she'd lived off the scraps from the Cornerclub until she was old enough to work for slightly better scraps; little unwanted Thelsa who didn't know what was happening when her courses came and learned about sex by watching Ambarys bend Malthir over the bar after closing, or sneaking around when Susanna snuck in early in the morning to fuck them both.
Thelsa was always so jealous of Susanna; all beautiful and buxom and so confident in her ability to please them, even both at once. The memories of those days, hiding carefully so she could watch them sent an unexpected shock of arousal through her. Malthir sitting on the top of the bar with Susanna between his legs sucking his cock, the pale grey skin flushed with blood to purple against her rosy lips. Ambarys behind her pounding away, one hand digging into her fleshy hip and the tip of his thumb pressed into her ass. The moans. The sweat glistening in the candle light.
Thelsa wanted that for herself. And she was trapped, locked up with a handsome stranger and neither of them were going anywhere fast. Well, not unless she offered him one of the five lockpicks tucked into the bun in her hair.
"I might," she said, careful and slow. She was anxious, but she didn't want him to see it. "But what's in it for me?"
"Ah, an opportunist," he purred. "I like you already. But as you can see, I don't have much to offer you at the moment." He gestured at his near nudity. "No hidden pockets."
"Oh, I don't know," Thelsa replied. She felt so strange, almost lightheaded. "You appear to have several things I might be interested in." She took a few steps towards him and leaned against the wall, looking intently at his lips. They were very nice lips.
Niruin raised a delicate eyebrow at her. "Well, aren't you a pleasant surprise. Perhaps we could use this to our advantage as well if you are interested if getting out of here."
"I'm interested in getting out of this jail, and out of Windhelm entirely," she said. Not one hint of a lie there. She knew she should be frightened, but instead her anxiety was thrilling her. "And maybe you out of that little scrap of cloth."
"By Nocturnal, I do love a woman who knows what she wants," he smirked. "I think I can satisfy several of your wants, my dear. That is assuming you do have a lockpick and know how to use it." He cocked his head, looking her up and down. It was hardly different than the way Revyn looked at her, but clearly this man saw someone different. He just kept smiling lasciviously.
"Don't worry, I can fulfill all your needs," Thelsa replied, mimicking the sultry tone she heard Susanna use so many times.
"Perfect, " he said. "Now let me tell you my plan."
It was a damn fine plan too. Getting out would be easy, since it was one of her particular skills. And Niruin claimed he could help her get past the guards if she could help him get his gear back. They just needed a distraction, something to get the guards thinking about something other than their duties. Smug comments aside, Niruin was convinced her naked body pressed up against those bars while he fucked her thoroughly would be plenty to get the guards thinking with their balls instead of their brains. Once the guards wandered off to release that inevitable tension, they could make their move.
That was when Niruin carefully grabbed the hem of her baggy dress and lifted it up over her head in one graceful move. She was slightly taller than he was, her darker grey skin looking bold against his honey colored hands as he ran them over the flat of her belly. Thelsa wore her breastband tight, and he seemed overjoyed when he unwrapped her like a gift, discovering she had large round breasts with ash colored nipples.
"Divines have mercy, girl," he exclaimed. "It was a crime to hide all this gorgeousness under these rags." He kissed the slope of her breast, moving his way down to pull her nipple into his mouth.
It was so much better than when she touched herself. She trembled against him, hoping he wouldn't notice she was a virgin. But she'd touched herself and put her fingers inside herself enough times she figured he'd never know the difference.
He shimmied them up towards the cell door while taking her hand, and directing her to touch him. Thelsa slipped her hand under his loincloth, wrapping it around his erection. She could feel his pulse.
"Very nice," she hummed. She'd only seen Ambarys and Malthir's cocks before, but she'd never felt one before. It set all her nerves on edge. She never imagined she'd be so happy to have gotten arrested.
Niruin spun her around, nudging her legs apart and pushing her up against the bars so her breasts pressed against the cold metal and bulged out between them.
"Make sure to give them a good show. Lots of noise, " he whispered before licking her ear. He arched her hips back, the tip of his cock pressing against her entrance. A few short digs of his cock and he slipped inside her.
She didn't have to fake the plaintive moan that slipped out between her lips.
"You are so fucking tight," he muttered, pulling out just a bit and thrusting back into her. "Getting arrested is seeming like a better deal all...the...time." He paused between his words, pushing into her hard, their bodies rattling the bars of the cell.
"What the fuck is all this ruckus?" A guards voice bellowed through the hall. He stomped towards them with a rattle of chainmail. He stopped dead in his tracks, temporarily transfixed by her breasts framed between the bars, bouncing with each of Nuriun's carefully timed thrusts.
"The tits of Dibella's herself," the guard muttered, licking his lips. "Bjeld, get your ass down here, you're gonna wanna see this." He shouted back towards the guardroom.
They fucked. The guards watched and fidgeted as the performance went on. The one called Bjeld shuddered and from the look on his face, it looked like he was going to cum before Niruin even did. She felt Niruin chuckle against her back when he realized the same thing. But then he let himself really go; he didn't want them both satisfied. Then the plan might fail, so he increased his pace until she was shrieking under him.
Niruin pulled out and pushed Thelsa down on to her knees in from of him, shooting his spunk on to her upturned face. She sputtered a bit, but maybe that just excited him all the more.
"Fuck," the blonde guard muttered, wiping sweat from his brow. "I was wrong about this little grey skin. She's like a sex atronach, no matter what those other ones say."
"By Oblivion, I'd fuck her myself, if she didn't have all that wood elf spunk on her," Bjeld agreed. "I think somebody better fuck me after this bullshit."
The blonde elbowed him, taking a few steps back and lowering his voice, clearly not knowing about superior mer hearing. "What you say we lock them in here and go see Susanna. I hear she'll fuck two at a time."
The guards laughed and were gone before Niruin's cum had a chance to dry on to her face. He handed her the rag of her dress.
"I hope you have more than one lockpick hiding somewhere, because now we have two doors to pick open." He looked discouraged.
"I have five," she replied, pulling one out of the bun in her hair. "But I won't need them."
Niruin chuckled. "You teach me some of those lockpicking skills, and I'll make sure you're rewarded. Maybe you'll want to come with me and join the guild."
Thelsa's heart leapt at the idea. There could be only one guild interested in her skills; the one that wasn't supposed to exist. The Thieves' Guild. Her face split into a stupid grin that was thankfully rewarded with another chuckle from Niruin. Eager to show him what she could do, she quickly picked the lock on the cell door, tits swaying back and forth, not even bothering to cover herself.
"Beautiful as those things are," he said, pinching one of her still hard nipples. "We ought to get you something better than this old rag to cover them with before we make a break for it. I'm sure there's some confiscated armor around here somewhere." He cocked his head at her. "By the way, you never told me your name."
Thelsa shook her head. She wasn't going to be that mousy girl from the Cornerclub anymore. She was sure of it. That name...she just didn't want to tell him, or maybe he'd recognize it and have heard about her. She didn't want him to change his mind about her. Finally, she decided on the simple reply.
"No," she said. "I didn't." And with that, she opened the cell door and lead them both towards freedom.
Chapter 3: Fucked In All the Wrong Ways
When Mercer asked her to help him chase Karliah, Melivani was legitimately proud of herself. Granted, it should have been just about her thieving skills and how she was quickly out shining the rest of the guild. But that was frankly uninteresting. Stealing and breaking and entering were a means to an end; a way to scrape a new life out of the shadow of the old one. Melivani was more interested in Mercer than the Guild Master.
She couldn't deny she'd been eyeing him up, without any pretense of subtlety but Mercer seemed either oblivious or apathic about it. Even Brynjolf commented on her admiration, when he turned her down too.
By Dibella, that pissed her off. She was fine piece of Dunmer ass, how dare neither of them show interest? True enough, Brynjolf was fucking Tonilla, no matter what they told Vekel, but why the loyalty? She was hardly returning the favor but who knew with men. Some had some stupid ideas about mer, as if they were too foreign to screw. Too bad Brynjolf seemed to be that type, since his voice could melt butter.
Instead, she inadvertently focused her attentions on Mercer. There was no particularly good reason to want him. He was an old, crusty and short little Breton. He was outright an asshole and not to mention completely uninterested. He had power and money and while that was supposed to be appealing, Sibbi Black-Briar had more money, more power and an influential name and that sad fuck wasn't worth getting undressed for. Well, at least not while he was still behind bars.
There was just something about Mercer and maybe it was his lack of interest more than anything else that turned her on.
But when he pressed her up against that wall in Snow Veil Sanctum, she wasn't going to complain about his sudden discovery of interest.
His cock was hard, so gods fucking hard against her thigh through the thin leathers of her armor.
"How long have you wanted this?" He asked. His breath was sour, but she didn't mind.
"Long enough," she whispered. "But you don't seem to fuck anyone."
"I don't kiss and tell," Mercer hissed. "And I swore off Dunmer cunt a long time ago." He ground his erection against her leg. "I won't lie that I miss it. You grey skin sluts have the best pussy."
Melivani snickered but it was forced and felt empty. In the back of her head, she felt like she should be offended but she didn't listen to that voice these days.
"Some even better than others." She grinned at him. No matter what that little voice said, she was going to have him. She was going to fuck Mercer Frey until he was ruined for anyone else.
Before she had a chance to really put a plan in motion to blow his mind, he had her on her knees, pounding into her from behind. Melivani almost didn't want to like it, but she enjoyed how he was seemingly trying to hurt her, pulling on her hair, using his cock like a weapon. The sharp blades of his pelvis were sure to leave bruises on the dark skin of her ass.
"Take it deep, you grey slut," he muttered, rubbing his hips against her, his heavy balls slapping against her thighs.
When he came, she swore he said a name and it wasn't hers. He left her wanting. Mercer wiped himself off on her armor, before dressing himself.
"Come on," he snapped, as if he hadn't just been hilted in her. "There's a traitorous bitch that needs killing."
So maybe, when he turned on her, cutting her fucking throat like a pig, maybe she was a little pissed off.
Then she met the woman he was really fucking down in the dirt, and she was even less impressed. Karliah was beautiful and if she'd been into women, she might have fucked her herself, just to find out exactly why she was worth trying to murder apparently everyone for. She point blank asked Karliah if she'd been fucking Mercer too, and she made a face.
"Yes, I did," Karliah admitted. "But I fell in love with Gallus. After that, I just didn't want him anymore. It was greed for everything Gallus had that drove him to it, not just gold."
Melivani almost felt sorry for him, but her neck still burned where his sword had cut her and she agreed to help punish Mercer, because fuck all if he didn't deserve it, sad story of lost love or not. But first, she needed to find someone to screw to get the bitter taste of betrayal out of her mouth.
She went to Winterhold and found it was not the right place for a Dunmer with even the most limited magical talent to try to find a lover. It was bullshit, the way the natives treated her with disdain, until she met her contact, a most decidedly suave Bosmer named Enthir. After Niruin she found herself having quite a thing (mostly the thing between her legs) for them. She knew they couldn't all be good to screw, but why not find out? Brazen as sunshine, she practically threw herself at him. Unlike Brynjolf who just said no, and .... Fuck, she didn't want to think about Mercer because then she could just feel his dagger again and that was going to dry her up like the desert.
Enthir said yes. With enthusiasm. He fucked her with the same glee. He was fun and he had a bed -- or at least they used a bed in the basement of the inn, and that was good enough. It was novel, that.
He was quite interested in getting to know all her parts as carefully as possible. He was a scholar, so he said, and he read her like a book. Well, if you'd read a book by running your tongue down the cleft between the pages.
He came on her face. She liked it and wanted to make sure that happened again. But she wouldn't be back to screw Enthir, maybe ever. That was okay. That was life and she was even more glad to still have one after the events of this bullshit excuse for an adventure.
Chapter 4: Fucking Markarth
Fucking Markarth was bullshit. This place? Melivani wondered what in Oblivion was wrong with the Dwemer if they thought stone beds were a good idea. They were Mer and supposedly so smart that they invented everything (including indoor plumbing which was the one actually amazing thing about Markarth if she was going to be honest) but they slept in stone beds? Were they fucking nuts or just masochistic?
The stone had really dug into her backside when Aicantar fucked her, but she did have to admit the rest of that was pretty incredible. She had to get hold of his uncle's research and why sneak around or maim or kill when she could just suck a mouthful of gorgeous gold cock and fuck her way into the secret parts of the museum?
And by Dibella, she discovered there was a reason all those Altmer were so fucking smug. His cock was...it was incredible and he was apparently pretty average and was hardly full of the usual high elf swagger. Aicantar was actually very sweet and quite concerned about not hurting her. He'd been warned, apparently, that his giant club of cock was going to be overwhelming to smaller races and he was all concerned about making sure she was nice and wet before he put it in. Not that she was complaining. Certainly Enthir had been quite pleased to make her scream but that was more about puffing up his ego than actually making her come. All the others? Rough tumble fucks, fast and dirty and satisfying in their own way, especially since that was all she really knew. But this? This was the sort of treatment a girl could get used to.
Didn't hurt that he was hung like an orc either. Hm. An orc might be something to try, but she was pretty sure it wouldn't compare to all this expanse of so smooth metallic skin that smelled like an apothecary bench and wool and sex.
The more experience she had with sex, the more she was beginning to like it as more than just a form of rebellion. She started to really understand why she'd fallen asleep to the sound of fucking every night for years. Aicantar pounded into her, bruising her ass on the stone and she found she didn't mind one bit. He had this angle, this sort of cant to his hips so the shaft of his cock rubbed against her clit while his heavy balls slapped against her ass. She soaked him, more than once.
And after he made her come repeatedly and kissed her like she was a goddess instead of a whore, he personally took her to see his uncle's research.
It was easy enough to distract him, send him off to get a blanket and some water so she they could do it again and pretend to be dwemer and that seemed to really turn him on. While he was gone, she quickly made a rubbing of the translation matrix on the stone and stuffed it into her bag. He'd be none the wiser and once she'd used it to translate Gallus's journal, she was going to burn it because she just didn't care about that sort of thing and she'd hate for such a generous lover to get in trouble. She didn't want him to turn her away if she ever got the itch to come back.
Not a woman (or man for that matter) in the world would blame her if they saw him sauntering back towards her with a warm blanket draped over one arm and a basket on the other clearly with more than just the requested water.
"What's all this darlin'?" Melivani asked, grinning at how his black robes were rather askew at the top showing a long swath of smooth, hairless gold skin.
Aicantar looked a little shy and yet sly simultaneously. "Thought you might be hungry," he said. "I thought maybe I ...." He drifted off, as if he was embarrassed to say anything. Melivani leaned into him, laying the softness of her breasts against his arm. She hadn't bothered to put her armor on and was only wearing a shift and she knew she dark nipples were clearly visible underneath.
"I am hungry; you're so thoughtful," she purred at him, smoothing out the blanket on the floor and pulling him down on to it. "And after we eat something, I might just be hungry for you again. Most delicious dish in the Reach."
He looked like a prize cock at that. It was an apt comparison, considering.
Melivani tucked her legs underneath her ass and her hair behind one slender pointed ear. She looked carefully at his face and realized there was a smear of her war paint on his chin. She wondered what she must look like, but he didn't seem particularly disturbed.
"I left a little something here," she reached out and swiped her thumb on his chin. She chuckled. "I must be smudged."
Aicantar shook his head. "You're gorgeous." He grinned showing perfectly straight white teeth. By Dibella these Altmer were made well. "And smudged." With a straight expression, he took a cloth from the basket and carefully wiped her face, smears of red paint appearing on the cloth. Melivani felt more naked under his careful eyes than if her ass was in the air. "There," he said, fussing with the last bits of paint. He gave her a broad smile. "So lovely."
"So average," she groused at him. She shook her dyed hair, letting it settle around her shoulders. At least he couldn't wipe that paint away.
"Hardly," Aicantar said, throwing the rag to the side and completely forgetting about the food as he closed the distance between them and kissed her. Gentle at first, like she was some nice girl. Melivani ... Thelsa actually reveled in it for a moment, remembering days when she had dreams like that and she quickly squashed that madness, pushed aggressively forward, jamming her tongue in his mouth and pressing him down on his back to straddle him. None of that for Melivani the painted woman. That sweet stuff was for nice girls.
Fuck that shit.
She rubbed herself back and forth against his crotch, feeling his cock slowly harden against her. That was better. That big cock was what she needed. Melivani wasn't interested in thinking about anything else and like all the rest of Tamriel, when his blood went rushing out of his head to his dick, Aicantar forgot all about romance and went right for the rutting. Pushing his basket out of the way like trash, he wriggled his ass and hiked his robes up a round his waist.
Melivani wrapped a slender fingered hand around him, her fingers barely touching at the base. She drank in his moan like cold ale. She'd not bothered to put her smalls back on so with only a shift of her hips, she lined the head of his cock of with her entrance and she bore down, just enough to slide the fat head between her folds.
Aicantar's breath caught in his throat. "Fuck," he whimpered.
"That was the plan," she smirked at him, slowly inching her way down his cock.
He was buried deep inside her, ramrod hard and fucking the Oblivion out of her, hips pistoning up against her like a Dwemer engine. She screamed his name loud enough to echo through the museum which caught the attention of Calcelmo's guards and only moments after Aicanter shot his load into her, Melivani lept to her feet, grabbing her armor and with one last kiss with a fair amount of tongue, slipped out the back way. She took the scenic route out of Markarth by way of a swan dive into a fucking waterfall and it was such a glorious move and she'd been so well and thoroughly fucked she thought she might be some kick ass goddess adventurer after all.
Chapter 5: Doing Business
They slaughtered that fucking bastard Mercer Frey like the pig he was and left his corpse to rot and bloat in the water that nearly drowned them all. They'd managed to wriggle out a vent shaft and back out into the clean air like three wet rats. They were filthy and they stunk like bat shit and Falmer.
The glorious fucking Nightingales. It was awe inspiring. Really.
Not that she minded so much. She minded the stink, but the Nightingale bit was actually sort of handy, even if it wasn't exactly glorious. The 'promise your soul to a daedric prince' bit wasn't that big of a deal either in the long run. What was the difference after all? It wasn't like she was some Nord all concerned with going to Sovangarde. She knew the realms of Oblivion were likely her last stop anyway. Might as well be for a smoking hot daedra like Nocturnal who chose to appear with her tits out all the time.
The tits apparently even worked for Brynjolf who had a blazingly obvious erection through the whole ceremony, yet still refused her afterward. Karliah made a little gesture with her hands that made Melivani wonder.
Was he actually fucking Vekel not Tonilla? At least she wouldn't feel bad about his never ending lack of interest then. But of course, if he liked cock so much, she'd be willing to strap one on for a chance at that, like Susanna did for Ambarys sometimes. It seemed a lost cause though because when Karliah laughed and shook her tits at him, which were admittedly nicer than Melivani's were, he still didn't look impressed.
It wasn't until Karliah offered to fuck Melivani and let him watch that he started to look interested. She'd never tried that before, and it wasn't an entirely terrible idea, but with that smarmy Breton asshole still walking around, she'd had different things to focus on.
Now that Mercer was dead and there was chance to breathe, she'd hoped they'd pick up where they left off. It appeared however that Karliah was all talk and without her, Brynjolf's lukewarm opinion of her stood. Instead of a nice bath and good fuck, both Brynjolf and Karliah went their separate ways with their share of the treasure, after agreeing to meet back at the Ragged Flagon later.
Fucking thieves. Their priorities sucked. Gold wasn't going anywhere, but a hot ass threesome didn't just fall in your lap every day.
Melivani figured she might as well do the same thing; sell her loot, get a drink and find someone who was actually interested in a good time. A part of her wished she was closer to Markarth and Aicantar (and wasn't that a fucking surprise) but that just wasn't practical. The closest city was...fuck...Windhelm.
She never expected to go back there again, but Revyn Sadri would buy anything as long as it didn't obviously belong to someone in town. Everyone knew that. So he really was the perfect place to dump all this crap. She looked so different since the last time she was there, and she knew which guards to bribe now, so it wasn't likely she'd end up in the jail this time.
It was the practical choice, as bullshit unpleasant as it was. As much as it made her feel like she'd eaten a hive of bees, Melivani went to Windhelm. She tried to remind herself on the way that Melivani had never been there. That was Thelsa. Mousy, virginal, dirty Thelsa who no one in their right mind would have ever fucked, not gorgeous Melivani with the nice tits (now that she got enough to eat regularly) and the red rowan-berry hair (with brown roots these days, but no one cared) and stripes of blood red warpaint across her face.
Thelsa was dead. No one knew Melivani. It would be fine.
She walked through the gates and not a soul noticed. Well, they didn't notice she was someone they should know or that she'd escaped the jail. They just noticed another grey skin and some of them turned up their noses, though one or two might have noticed the curve of her ass.
So far so good.
That's was how Windhelm was. Mer over here, men over there. No one wanted to admit wanting to fuck a grey skin, yet quite a lot of Nords did. People who liked Dunmer came to the Grey Quarter to see them, not the other way around. In public, they'd sneer but in private, they'd come.
She headed toward Sadri's Used Wares, leaving the leering and half disdainful looks behind her. As she walked, she couldn't help but remember Reyvn and all his fucking contempt for her. He used to look at her like she was less than garbage.
She'd fucking show him.
That was the best idea she'd had all day. She'd fucking show him. She'd fuck him and afterward, while his spunk was still wet and he was calling her a goddess she'd tell that fucking worm who she was and if he was a dick about it, she'd slit his fucking throat, rob the store and never look back.
She stopped at the bathhouse first. She smelled like dead Falmer and she was starting to gross herself out at this point. The bathhouse was just outside of the graveyard and she trailed her fingers along the headstones as she wove her way through. In Morrowind, they put the ashes of their dead in crypts. Her parents had been buried, just like these Nords. It was sad, but she wasn't even sure why. She hardly remembered Morrowind.
The steam from the bathhouse caught her attention. Enough of that mulling crap. Time to get clean and fresh as a rose, sell her treasures to Revyn Sadri and then teach him a very important lesson. She was going to fuck him until he couldn't see straight. When Ambarys said she should marry Revyn, back in the day, she'd thought about it a lot. She learned to touch herself to thought of that arrogant fucker and it made it all the worse when he looked at her like she was dirt. It was time he learned how that felt because she was going to fuck him silly and either leave him wanting or dead.
Either way, he would fucking learn.
She nicked a dress from the bathhouse, carefully choosing something nice but nondescript. Melivani fussed with the laces, with adjusting the bodice so the new rounder curves and muscles showed off just so. It was amazing what proper food, fresh air and learning the fine art of shooting an arrow into a man's skull would do for a girl's figure.
She dropped her armor at the blacksmith to be refitted and cleaned, with the express direction to make sure it didn't smell like a bat's ass when she returned for it. She'd been to the market often enough on errands for the Cornerclub as Thelsa, but no one even looked at her twice, except for Aval. He was a regular at the club and she cringed, until she realized his eyes were riveted on her tits and not her face. Apparently she was even more invisible before than she thought, or she really did look like a completely different person.
Revyn would be the true test. He saw her more frequently than anyone, save for Ambarys and Malthir. She couldn't believe how much she was shaking, just standing outside the door. It was right before closing time. And if she didn't get herself together now, she wasn't sure she'd still have to nerve tomorrow.
She wrapped all the vulgar propositions Melivani had ever uttered around herself like a cloak, reminding herself yet again that Thelsa was a figment of the past. She flipped her newly colored hair over her shoulder and pushed open the door.
It was the smell first. It wasn't a bad smell; musty a little, dust and mildew, alchemy reagents and oiled leather. It was a familiar smell however and it made her heart thump in her chest. She looked up just as Revyn did, leaning on his elbows behind the counter.
He smiled at her without the faintest flicker of recognition. He looked different too, harder somehow, older than he had when she left. His steel grey curls seemed more grey and less steel; the lines in his face were deeper. He was thinner perhaps and yet, it was still such a familiar and heartbreaking face. It was hard to think about how much she'd invested in the idea of marrying him when he made it clear she wasn't good enough for him. Threads of anger wrapped around her heart.
"Welcome to Sadri's Used Wares," he said, standing up, brushing invisible dust off his tunic. "How can I help you?" He looked like he wanted to elaborate, but he said nothing else.
Melivani set her satchel on the counter, a gold necklace spilling out, followed by a Dwemer cup. There were other, simple treasures inside. She cleared her throat and spoke in her most deep, sultry voice. Thelsa never spoke like that.
"I was hoping you'd make me an offer. Found these in a Dwemer ruin."
He raised an eyebrow at her. "An adventurer then?" He didn't seem as dubious of the idea as she expected.
"Among other things," she said. She smiled at him and leaned forward a little, giving him a better view of her cleavage. "Do you think we can work something out?"
Revyn took a long appreciative look, not even trying to be subtle about it. He mimicked her stance, leaning forward to get closer to her. He looked at her face, her lips, her neck a little bit too long and a tiny look of puzzlement fluttered across his face. He seemed to think better of it and turned his attention to the satchel. He gave the items hardly more than a cursory glance before looking back up.
"I'll give you 200 gold for the lot," he said. Then he flashed her a grin. "And I'll buy you dinner."
Melivani licked her lips. "How about 250 and we dispense with dinner and get right to the fucking?"
Revyn sputtered, shocked. "I...what?"
"That is what you're after isn't it?" Melivani asked, shrugging languidly, half turning towards the door. She didn't mean to go, but she wanted him to think she would. "Unless you aren't interested. I'm sure Aval Atherton would be interested in my...offerings."
"No, wait." He spoke too quickly. A slow grin slid across her face. She had him.
"Why don't you lock the door and we can," she smirked. "Do business."
Chapter 6: A Bag Full of Garbage
The bolt on the door slid home; a metal cock into a wood cunt.
Revyn turned around after doing it, his face a mix of arousal and apprehension. She wasn't sure what he was afraid of, but she liked it. She loved the idea that she was the one in charge, she was the one who had the power here, not him.
Not that she felt very powerful, but she was going to fake it.
Revyn fucking Sadri, standing there with a boner for her of all the people on Tamriel. Wonder of wonders.
Melivani hopped up of the edge of the counter, pushing her satchel of Dwemer treasures aside with a special gift hidden in the bottom he hadn't even found in his hurry to get under her skirts. She crossed her legs and hiked her skirt up, showing a nice length of pale grey skin and shapely muscles. Reyvn was predictably staring, eyes following along the length of her thigh practically ripping through her skirts to what little was not exposed with that red gaze. Abruptly he cleared his throat and looked up at her face.
"Yes, I, ah...250 gold was it?" he managed. The front of his pants looked comically crowded.
She hoped that meant he had a big cock. She'd been waiting fucking long enough to see it that it better not be disappointing.
"That's right," she said and uncrossed her legs, letting the skirt hang between them. She leaned forward to give him yet another look at the cleft between her breasts where the corset of the dress carefully arranged them. "250 gold and you get this lovely satchel of Dwemer artifacts...and my gratitude." She cocked her head. "But don't get the idea you're paying for my company. It's not for sale. You're still going to have to earn my participation."
That was important. She might be a slut, but she wasn't a whore. Nothing wrong with being a whore, but Melivani was a thief and a damn fine one. She was willing to steal hearts too, but she wasn't selling her cunt.
He didn't seem put out at all, just rounded the counter to fumble in the cash box, counting out coins and breathing a bit harder than he needed to. The entire situation was making her lightheaded and more aroused than she thought was possible.
It was one thing to want to fuck a pretty stranger. It was entirely another to fuck an enemy you were once in love with. That was probably overdramatic but still, it was sweet.
Melivani held out her pouch and Revyn counted the coins into it, the satisfying clink of gold making her even more excited. She wasn't above being turned on by profit. After being so poor for so long, every gold coin was a kick in the balls to those bastards at the Cornerclub. Fuck, she should burn that fucking place to the ground.
Except for the fact they didn't owe her anything and they were the only people who even sort of gave a fuck about her when she was just skin and bones and with dirt holding it all together.
By Malacath's balls, this was not the fucking time to fret about her sad childhood. That'd dry her up faster than Red Mountain.
She hopped down off the counter and crooked her finger at Revyn instead, leaving the pouch on the counter. She could fondle the gold later. Other things to fondle now.
Revyn was trying to be nonchalant, she could tell, but he looked anything but. His face was flushed, giving his silvery blue-grey skin a purple tint. He was blushing and it was adorable. Melivani took his face between her hands. Dunmer were always warm, true, but he was burning up. She grinned at him and leaned in and slowly, carefully kissed him.
She'd wanted to kiss him for a very, very long time. It was okay to admit it now, because his arms were suddenly around her and his tongue - by Azura - his nimble tongue was in her mouth. She pressed herself up along the length of his body and he grabbed her ass, pulling her tightly against him. He ground his hips into hers and she felt his cock throb in the confines of his pants.
Hard as a fucking stone and all she did was put her tongue in his mouth. Fuck me Dibella.
She almost expected him to start fumbling at her clothes right there and fuck her on the floor in front of the counter. That's how most of her other fucking went, with the exception of Aicantar. But instead he pulled away and just looked at her for a moment, assessing her. She was suddenly afraid he was going to recognize her and throw her out. He grinned with the corner of his mouth and offered her a hand.
"Why don't we find somewhere comfortable?" he asked, though not really a question. He led her through the side door into the room she knew was where his bed was. She knew, because when she broke in and stole the dragon pendant, her first foray into crime, she first had scuttled around foolishly in his bedroom to watch him sleep.
It was so pathetic, little Thelsa indulging in her crush and marveling at the shape of his body under the sheet. At the same time wishing she was a killer so she could make him hurt the way he made her hurt when he rejected her.
She was a killer now to be honest, but fucking him was infinitely better revenge. That's what she kept telling herself anyway as they made their way to his bed.
Melivani pushed the morbid thoughts out of her head and focused on the warm pulse between her legs instead. She tried to take away who she remembered Revyn to be and just see who he was in front of her.
What he was, was a middle aged shopkeeper who was a little soft around the middle, with ruby red eyes and a handsome long face with high cheekbones and ridges marking him as fine specimen of Dunmer. He was going to be her first actual Dunmer, just like she'd once hoped.
Fuck, stop that.
Melivani pushed on his shoulders hard, knocking him on to the bed. She straddled him, her skirt bunching up around her waist and his hands quickly discovering she didn't bother with small clothes. He made an appreciative sound, despite the fact that she knew she was ruining the front of his pants.
"Looks like you were planning for an interesting night," he said, fingers flexing on her bare hipbones.
It hardly offended her, like it might some prudish flower.
"I'm always prepared," she said. She rotated her hips against his crotch as she started to unlace the bodice of the dress. "You never know when you'll met someone worth getting naked for."
He only gave her a slow grin in reply, fingers moving against the soft skin of her hips, eye riveted where the laces fell away. The bodice undone, she slipped the top of the dress down, just a bunch of fabric around her waist. She took a suspiciously deep breath to make her tits move, nipples hard little caps in the cool air.
Without a word, one of Revyn's hands found its way from her hip to her nipple, tapered fingers tweaking against the darker skin, rolling it between his fingers. He tugged and her breast jiggled fetchingly. He groaned and ground his hips up against her.
He seemed incapable of words, so she rocked her own hips, the moisture between her legs soaking through his clothes. He made another strangled noise.
Melivani reached down between them, unfastening his trousers, raising herself up just enough to get the fabric open and get her hand around his cock.
He wasn't particularly large, smaller than the Nord and Altmer men she'd been with, but hard, so fucking hard and his hot Dunmer blood made his cock like a brand against her palm. She squeezed and he closed his eyes. She felt the muscles in his thighs quiver.
"I'm going to fuck you," she whispered. She'd thought of what she would say to him. Revenge made her wet. "I'm going to fuck you so fine that every time you fuck someone from now on, you're going to think about me instead."
Before he had a chance to reply one way or the other, she angled his cock and slid herself down on him. Slowly, slower than she wanted it but wanting to see his face. She wanted to see him overcome by it as she slid down his shaft. His face was a picture of distress and overwhelming arousal and she moved with aching slowness. Finally, he was buried deep and she circled her hips.
"By Azura's tits." His voice was a ragged whisper. "So good. So tight."
Unable to stop herself, she started to ride him, undulating her body so her clit ground against his pubic bone with each stroke, the ridiculously firm rod of his erection gliding over her overheated, wet skin. Revyn's hands grabbed at her breasts, kneading them, fingers flicking over her nipples. He raised his head and pulled one into his mouth, sucking hard enough that she knew he'd leave his mark on her.
The mere idea of that thrilled her. In the delirium of pleasure, she forgot his harsh words, his disdainful looks and only remembered how she used to feel about him; the infatuation she confused for love.
She rode him harder, her hips slapping down against him. She was close, so close to an orgasm when he clenched his eyes shut and shouted, pushing her off of his cock and grabbing hold of it, wanking until he came, spurting white on to his belly and hard enough to splatter some sticky fluid against the underside of his chin.
"Fuck!" she snapped at him, Revyn still panting and whimpering the aftermath of his orgasm. "I didn't..." His hand squeezed his cock again, but then slid between her legs, flicking over her clit. The touch of his fingers sent a renewed shock of pleasure through her. He turned his palm up, middle fingers sliding inside her and his thumb working against her clit.
Melivani closed her eyes and let him work her, images flashing in her head. Niruin, Vipir, Enthir, even goddamn Mercer Frey and his goddamn disappointing cock. And then sweet, dedicated Aicantar and his ridiculous club of a cock and his soft eyes...and fuck she was coming all over Revyn's hand and she hoped to Dibella's hot cunt she hadn't just screamed out the wrong name.
When she could breathe again, she opened her eyes to find Revyn smiling up at her, his ejaculate drying on his chest and his chin without bothering him at all. He twitched his fingers, still buried inside her, his hand soaked.
"That was incredible," he said, still breathless. "You're incredible."
She cocked her head at him. No time like the present.
"What I ought to be is familiar," she said, rubbing herself against his hand. She was still sensitive and half aroused and the idea of telling him the truth, horrifying him that dirty skinny little Thelsa had just fucked his brains out had her ready to go again. And he was still hard. She wrapped a hand around the base of his cock and squeezed.
"Oh I think I'd remember you," he practically purred, his cock in the circle of her fingers jerking against her. "Most beautiful mer this cock's ever had the honor of being inside."
She squeezed him and lifted herself up on to him again. It would be sweeter to tell him with his cock in her. Once he was buried in her again, he rolled her on to her back, pounding his cock into her with a few hard thrusts.
"That's not what you used to call me," she said. She bounced her hips up against him. Unable to stop himself, he started to fuck her again, rhythmic hips slapping against her thighs.
"I'll call you whatever you want...fuck," he panted. "Fuck a daedra's ass I'm going to come again."
Melivani clutched at his ass, holding him tight so he couldn't pull out this time. "Come in me, " she said. "And I'll tell you who I am."
His voice was staccato as he worked her, hammered her. "Only...if you come...with me." His cock dug into her in short fast thrusts.
"Oh I'll come on your cock," she sighed at him. "Just give it to me."
His hips went wild, writhing against her and he grit his teeth before burying his face in the pillow. She felt him come, his cock throbbing and jerking inside of her, enough to just push her over the edge. Her body gripped him, milked his orgasm out as long as it could.
Revyn rolled off to the side, his cock slipping out of her, wet and quickly softening against her thigh. He was panting, but he pressed a series of reverent kisses against her shoulder and her neck.
"So tell me," he said, just more than a whisper. "How do I know you?"
Comforted in the afterglow of her second orgasm, in Revyn's spunk all over her and knowing now that she had him, she chuckled softly before she spoke. "Once Ambarys suggested you should marry me and you were less than impressed by the idea." She smiled to herself. "Once you told me I had nothing to bargain with so I broke into your store and stole a dragon pendant you said I couldn't afford."
"Fuck." His voice was incredulous. Amazingly, he only pulled away enough to look at her, propped up on one shoulder. "Thelsa?"
"Not anymore," she said looking up at him. Not point in denying it. It wasn't like he was going to turn her into the guard now. "But once, yes." She licked her lips. "Guess you were wrong about me."
"I don't even know what to say," he said. His raised both eyebrows. "You're the one who stole the dragon pendant?"
She laughed at him. "Yeah, and you just bought it back in a bag full of Dwemer garbage."
Chapter 7: Mead and Musky Little Kumquats
He gave her back the dragon pendant.
Melivani felt a little odd about it, how affectionate a gesture it was when Revyn hooked the chain around her neck, the silver cast dragon hanging right on the swell of her cleavage. But when he kissed her afterwards, it was less affectionate and more passionate and he didn't ask her to come back.
The man had some sense at least.
She couldn't come back, or she might fall in love with him and she didn't have time for that. She was a thief, what the hell would she do as some wife to a shopkeeper? She's go crazy and fuck or steal half the town until they threw her out again. Best she leave now while she still had some dignity.
At least she admitted it. Emotional maturity or something. But by the Nine, she was going to need to do something to get him out of her head.
She picked up her armor and paid for the repairs with Revyn's money, then headed back to Riften in a hired cart, paid for with the rest of it. She didn't want to keep it any longer than she had to. She slept while the horse plodded along and had restless dreams with too many faces and cocks to keep straight.
She woke when the cart slowed at the gates to Riften. Her panties were soaked.
She brushed the dust off, rubbed her thighs together in frustration and headed through the gates, practically plowing head on into Maul, lounging against a pillar. He smiled at her; a very knowing, dirty smile.
"Congrats on gutting Mercer," he drawled in his gravely voice. "I hear it was an Oblivion of a fight."
Melivani put her hands on her hips. "For a guy that doesn't run with the guild anymore, you sure always know what's going on with it." She cocked her head at him.
He was a big bear of a thing, wasn't he?
"Your brother Dirge tell you everything?" She wondered. Dirge knew how she was, even if he hadn't gotten a crack at her. Everyone knew after the night Niruin and Vipir took turns with her in the training room. They made enough noise people in Whiterun probably knew.
Maul smirked. "Yup."
Melivani looked up at him. Squeezed her thighs together. He'd do.
"That so?" She smiled at him through her eyelashes. "Ever consider doing anything with this information?"
"Besides telling Maven, you mean?" Fuck, Maven Black-Briar, the one person who outranked the Guild Master and Maven Black-Briar Boner-killer, more like.
Melivani rolled her eyes. "Please tell me you haven't told Maven all the sordid details."
Maul chuckled. "Not all of them, but enough that I'm pretty sure she won't let you visit Sibbi again."
"Great," Melivani pursed her lips. "That won't be awkward at all."
He shrugged. "You didn't want to take your next turn with Sibbi anyway, I'll bet."
"I wouldn't take a ride on Sibbi if he was the last man in Tamriel. For the sake of keeping my neck safe from Maven at the very least." She made a face. "I'm reckless, not crazy."
He tipped his chin. "How reckless you feeling?"
The smirk started at the corner of her mouth and slowly crept across her face. "Meet me at the entrance to the Ratway in an hour and I'll let you know."
He only replied with a nod and gestured towards the graveyard. He knew where the secret entrance was apparently, but at least had to good sense not to want to meet there. Fucking in some ancient tomb was one thing, screwing on a new grave was entirely another.
Though, if she'd known what was going to happen in that hour down in the Guild, she would have told Maul to meet her at the Bee and Barb. She needed a fucking drink, and badly.
They made her the Guild Master to replace Mercer.
What in the rat fuck were they thinking?
She couldn't get out of there fast enough. She knew she'd have to deal with how stupid that was eventually, but she managed to make an excuse in time to change out of her armor and get to the entrance before she was late enough that Maul left.
He was still there, sitting on the stairs that lead to the canal, his elbows on his thighs and his chin in his hand. He was surprisingly calm for a man sitting in one of the most dangerous places in Riften. He wasn't even in armor, just a linen shirt and leather pants. The muscles clearly outlined through the thin fabric gave her some idea why he might have not been nervous. She considered sneaking up on him, but reconsidered. If he was going to pounce on her and slam her to the ground, as he was bound to do if she startled him, she'd rather it was for a better reason.
"So, you came," she said, leaning herself against the stone wall behind her.
Maul looked up. He'd unbound his shoulder length hair and it moved softly over his shoulders and he was carefully shaved and had trimmed the edges of his goatee with precision. He looked her up and down, assessing her in her tavern clothes; her low cut top and skirt slit up the sides. "Not yet, but a man has to have goals." He smirked at her as he stood, crossing his arms over his chest.
For all his gruff exterior, he had a clever tongue. Well, stood to reason, since Maven didn't stand for idiots, no matter how well they filled out a pair of pants.
And by Azura, those were some well filled pants.
He caught her looking, assessing him just as he'd done to her. He actually looked mildly embarrassed but he regained his composure quickly. He uncrossed his arms and offered one to her.
She laid her hand in the crook of his arm, on his hard as a stone forearm that was unbelievably large under her fingers. She expected him to just take her right back to his rooms, she imagined his room as a tiny spare deal, either tucked in the back of the Black-Briar place or maybe even at the Bee and Barb.
Instead, he took her to the meadery.
What was this about? Was this, what, a date? Really?
Even Aicanter hadn't done that. She'd sucked him off while hidden behind a pile of rubble before finding an unused room in the keep to fuck. Sweet as he was, he wasn't likely to take her anywhere they were going to be seen together. Imagine the embarrassment, especially now that she stole the Falmer cipher?
Sweet and attentive or not, that ship had sailed.
But here she was and shit, he even pulled out her chair and there was food to go with the mead and wait...he was looking at her eyes and not her tits.
What was he trying to do? Be like normal people who wore amulets of Mara and bought groceries and had sex when the kids were sleeping?
No, couldn't be.
She'd only talked to him a few times before, mostly doing jobs for the guild. A little flirting certainly, but she'd flirt with a goat since innuendo was just what she did. And what would a guy like Maul want with that sort of life anyway? Maul was just as deep in the dirt as she was. He might not be in the guild anymore, but he was Maven's enforcer. That job was far from clean.
"Maul?" she asked, wondering exactly how to put her question. "I have to ask; I thought that we were just going to...you know." He made a sour face. She backpedaled. "I'm just surprised is all."
"Didja just think I was some beast since I'm willing to use my fists when being scary doesn't work?" He looked offended. Shit. She needed to fix this. She had a powerful need to check out what was in those pants.
"No, it's just you said you talked to Dirge, and you knew about me," she said. She gave him a sort of perplexed frown. "Girls like me don't get dinner first."
Admittedly, Revyn had offered dinner. That wasn't the point.
"Maybe I don't have to; maybe I want to," he said. "Maybe I want to get in good with the new Guild Master."
She hated that it made her feel disappointed. She tried to ignore it.
"You could have warned me about that, if you knew." She changed the subject.
He shrugged. "Didn't want to ruin the surprise."
"It's insane, you know that right?"
"Nah, you've impressed Maven," he said. "And me too. There's not another thief in the bunch that can say that. Not even Brynjolf."
"I impress you, do I?"
Maul smiled. "You do and not just your tits either, though I am interested if they live up to Dirge's description."
"I knew he heard," she said, nonchalant. "Didn't know he saw."
"He might be my brother, but he's also a fucking lecher. If there are tits to be seen, he'll find a way to see them."
"I'm hardly shy with them, I'll admit," she said. "Didn't really plan to show them to your brother. He didn't seem the type to know what to do with them." She gave him a grin, turning back to what she knew. "You two aren't much alike."
"Different fathers." It was just a statement, but his brow furrowed a bit. "So, no we aren't. He wants everything fast and now. I'm not interested in rushing it."
And he didn't rush it, not one bit. First they had dinner and mead and she couldn't deny that Black-Briar mead was magnificent. Just enough to make her head feel a little foggy and her body to feel loose. Their legs mingled under the table.
He laughed at her jokes. Got her to tell actual stories about her past (not that she told him precisely about Thelsa but close enough.) and he seemed to genuinely enjoy her company.
Eventually, they headed out into the night and made their way back to the Black-Briar place that was conveniently empty except for some guards and servants.
"The family went to their country house, get away from the the smell. Bolli had a big haul and its hot."
She hadn't noticed.
Maul's room was on the upper floor, right next to where Maven slept. Apparently to protect her. Melivani insinuated that he might be working for Maven, not just working for her and Maul sneered.
"Don't mix business and pleasure," he said. "Not even when requested."
"Lucky that you left the Guild then," Melivani smirked.
That sounded like a fucking challenge and there was nothing Melivani loved more than a challenge.
So she kissed him. She tried to be forceful, throwing her whole weight against him, but in a battle of brute strength she was useless against him. He held her arms, firmly but gently. He kissed her back, but slowly and carefully, the neatly trimmed hair of his beard tickling her face. His lips were full but firm, his skin cool against hers.
His tongue slipped into her mouth, brushing lazily against hers. He might as well have run his tongue between her legs for what it did to her. She felt her blood pulse. She wasn't sure if it was the mead or just his kissing, but she felt lightheaded, dizzy. She sucked in a deep breath and he leaned back, taking a long, slow look at her.
His eyes were pale blue in the sunlight, but shadowed grey here with only the candles to illuminate them; his eyelids looked heavy.
"Mm, very lucky."
Maul kissed her again. He seemed content with exploring her mouth, hands still on her arms, only the varying pressure of his fingers moving against her. Finally, his hands shifted, up her arms to the straps on the bodice she'd jammed herself into. His fingers were calloused but gentle as they skidded along the stitching toward the ties in the middle. He toyed with the knots in the laces.
"Go on," she whispered against his mouth. "I want you to touch me."
Maul smiled; she felt it against her skin, her eyes still closed. He chuckled.
"I plan to." She felt his voice rumble in his chest. Delicately, he tugged on the ties and the laces came free. They gaped open once the knot was undone. "Better than opening a gift on Heart's Day."
He unwrapped her, one piece at a time, batting at her hands when she tried to help or tried to fiddle with his clothes. Scraps of fabric fell to the floor until she was completely nude. Maul stepped back and looked at her, eyes running up and down her body.
He smirked. "Dirge did a shit job describing you." He shook his head. "So beautiful." He didn't mention how she was an elf, how her skin was dark and exotic. Just beautiful. She felt a little tingle behind her ribs.
Ignoring that, Melivani pirouetted on the ball of her foot, sauntering towards the bed and making sure to roll her hips just so before turning around to plop down on the edge of his bed.
Things jiggled in the best way when she did that; she made sure he was looking. Maul took in a sharp breath. He advanced towards her, making as if to kneel down in front of her but she stopped him, wagging a finger.
"Not yet," she said. "Too many clothes."
He didn't reply, but smirked instead, pulling his shirt off over his head in one fluid motion and flinging it to the floor. Melivani bit her lip.
Dibella be praised.
He was meaty, which was unsurprising, all firm smooth pale skin with a mat of thick dark hair on his chest. It was thinner on his ribs, just a narrow trail leading towards his navel when it widened again where it disappeared into his leather pants.
"Better?" he asked.
With another smug grin, he unlaced his pants and shimmied them down over his narrow hips, stopping only to kick off his boots.
The hair on his belly spread down thickly around his cock. She'd seen her share of cocks, but this one was magnificent. Not so long as Aicanter, but thick around as her wrist and hard, sticking out at her, head flushed and pink.
She licked her lips. "Divines preserve me."
He took a step toward her and she realized she was unconsciously reaching out for him. Her fingers rubbed against the ridge of his hipbone and around his side, to the small of his back, finally resting on the swell of his ass. Like this, his cock was poised at the valley between her tits and she moved just enough for the curve of one to brush up against his shaft. She felt a muscle in his back twitch.
Her free hand explored, running up his side and over his ribs then back down again, following the line of hair. Her fingers circling down and conspicuously avoided his erection, but delving below instead, just barely skimming against the thick base of his cock.
Delicate fingertips grazed his scrotum. The sensitive skin puckered at her touch and Maul groaned, deep in his throat. She softly cupped his sack, rolling his balls against her palm. His cock pressed urgently against her breastbone, but he didn't move his hips. Maul's breathing was fast and labored.
She'd never had time before, never been given the opportunity to touch a lover like this. He said he didn't want to rush it, and was living up to his words.
Melivani pressed a fingertip to the warm skin behind his balls and his cock twitched again, bumping her sternum. With a chuckle, she rolled his balls in her hand again, musky little kumquats in skin so delightfully responsive to her touch. She bent her head down and flicked her tongue across the head of his cock. His balls pulled up tight against the base of his erection. This time, he moaned aloud.
So much more delicious than any silly fruit.
She scooted herself back, up on to the bed and Maul followed without question, crawling on top of her. She wrapped a leg around his waist. His cock paused, just barely grazing against her skin. He didn't move, just looked down at her.
Melivani cocked her head at him. She'd played a game with Aicanter and with Revyn, affection mixed with the brute fucking. That was what they needed. She hadn't expected if from Maul, even after the long dinner and courting.
He said he was trying to curry favor with the Guild Master after all. But he was just looking at her. Carefully with his cock just waiting.
"Kiss me," she said even knowing more affection might not be the best idea and obediently he did, his hair curtaining down over them and brushing over her cheekbones. His kiss was soft at first, then more forceful as she pressed down on his hips with her ankle.
She tried not to think about what that kiss might mean.
His hips shifted forward with agonizing slowness, the glans of his cock parting her folds until the head slipped inside her. Inch by inch, he slid inside, stretching her on his thick erection. All the nerves in her skin seemed to blaze to attention, goosebumps raising on her arms and legs.
With a last push of his hips, he was hilted in her, his hipbones sharp against the soft skin of her thighs. Maul pulled away from her mouth breathlessly, his blue eyes hooded.
"Amazing," he muttered. And she hadn't even done anything yet. He'd be amazed all right.
She rolled her hips up against him. "How's this?"
He shuddered and looked like he was struggling to stay still. She did it again and this time, a muscle twitched in his jaw.
"If you don't stop that, I'm going to fuck you so hard you won't be able to walk." He was trying to sound threatening.
"That a promise?" she asked, and before he could reply, she did it again, angling her hips back first and then arching up toward him, the stout thickness of his cock moving with just enough friction to spur him into action.
With a growl, Maul started to pound into her, the heavy bed creaking underneath them. His cock was amazing, rubbing everywhere at once. She was so wet the slippery sound of their coupling reverberated off the stone walls.
He kissed her again, his tongue in her mouth, the thrusts of his hips coming short and erratically. She felt him pulse inside her, felt those heavy balls slapping against her. He set a fast, hard rhythm, but she wanted more, harder, faster. She met his thrusts with her hips, his pelvis grinding just so against her engorged clit.
With a shout he thrust forward one last time, hard enough to push her up the bed a few inches. His cock began to throb in waves inside her. She felt the flush of his fluids rush into her. His orgasm was utterly intense and just enough to push her over the edge. She dug her fingernails into his back, her cries mirroring his.
Sweaty and limp, Maul collapsed on top of her, but only for a moment before his rolled to the side, keeping her pressed against him. Her ear was on his chest and she could hear his heart racing.
"Warned you," he said as he tried to catch his breath. He almost sounded disappointed despite that fervid climax. "Didn't want to rush it."
Melivani smiled against his chest and felt the unfamiliar flutter of anxiety in her chest.
It was one thing to be nervous with Revyn. He was part of her past. There wasn't any reason to feel anything about Maul except satiated. She tried to ignore it. Then she heard herself say something utterly ridiculous.
"Guess we'll have to try again later," she said. "Plenty of time for not rushing it, isn't there?"
He squeezed her tighter against him. "I'd like that. I'd...like to not rush a lot of things."
Melivani's heart did a strange thumping thing and for a second it was a bit hard to breathe.
"That sounds good."
But what it really sounded like was fucking stupid . She couldn't get involved. That was crazy.
No need to ruin the moment though.
That was all this was, right? Pillow talk, sweet orgasm fueled nonsense they'd both feel foolish about later.
Before she could think about it too much, she found herself falling asleep. As she drifted off, she tried to blame the cozy sleepiness on the mead.
She was shit for lying to herself.
Chapter 8: Ridiculous Things
She was so stupid; she woke up in the morning and both she and he were still there.
Melivani did not stay the night. She'd never once done that -- well, she stayed at the cistern after screwing whoever was willing, but that was different. She lived there. She had a bed. Her own bed.
She left in the morning, Maul still half asleep but she kissed him anyway, because damn he was still gorgeous even with messed up hair and smelling like sex.
This was ridiculous.
Heading out into the sunshine, she practically walked into Mjoll who gave her a decidedly dirty look. She was going to be a damn problem, wasn't she? Melivani hated that noble crap. Thankfully, she might be a self proclaimed 'lioness', but she was as cunning as driftwood. The guild was in no danger from her.
The Guild Master went back to the cistern. Dirge gave her a look, but he couldn't have known, could he? Then she went to see the Jarl, at her request.
The Jarl, probably encouraged by Maven, insisted she take Honeyside. A house. And entire fucking house? Apparently they thought she was some sort of upstanding member of the community?
This day kept getting more ridiculous by the minute.
But, Honeyside was nice. Very nice. Warmer than the damp, always just slightly too cold cistern anyway. And maybe she could screw Maul at least a few more times without having to answer the inevitable questions that were bound to pop up.
Vipir and Niruin were not her lovers. They weren't gonna be jealous. Were they?
She hoped. Shit. How did she get herself into these things?Sometimes she missed Thelsa a little. She didn't fuck up like this.
But here Melivani was, sitting in her new house, her leather armor all disheveled, worried about hurting the feelings of a pair of thieves who liked to tag team fuck her because she was pining over some hulking Nord who worked as the enforcer for the worst person in Skyrim?
Fuck, Mara, what's your problem? Goddess of Love? More the Goddess of Fucking Everything Up.
She just sat there, looking at her hands. There was a smear of her red warpaint across the knuckle of her thumb. She'd been painting herself up, trying to run away for a long time now. She even went home and faced what had driven her here, but she was no closer to knowing what the fuck she wanted than she was when she started.
Exciting things, were exciting. Adventure? That was more fun than she expected. Stealing things, well, shit, she was just good at that. But being Guild Master? Having a house and going on dates with big tall Nords who had funny ideas about sex? What the fuck? Did she want that?
She wanted Maul, that was true. But what did that mean?
She had to get out of here.
Melivani packed a few things. She swung her pack over her back. The guild could get fucked.
She headed out into the countryside with exactly no idea where she was going. She came to a signpost, cracked and faded and in disrepair. There were four arrows.
One pointed to Riften. One to southwest to Falkreath. One north to Windhelm. One northeast to Whiterun.
The road to Whiterun would skirt north around the mountains, along the water. It would be pretty. It would be easy, with inns and caravans liking to travel along the river.
She'd only been to Whiterun once, on business for Maven. It was civilized. It was wealthy. There were noblemen to fuck and jewels to steal.
Melivani was going to Whiterun.
She only walked a short way before she inadvertently saved a carriage driver from a Kajiit bandit. Handy though, because he was heading to Whiterun too and was incredibly grateful. Grateful enough that she didn't need to offer to fuck him for him to take her to Whiterun for free.
That was a nice change. Not that she minded sex for favors, but she needed to think.
It was the worst. What she really needed was a nice mug of Sujamma and someone she'd never have to see again. Whiterun would be perfect. It wasn't her kind of town to stay too long in anyway; too many guards, too many priests. But, she was sure she could find some distraction and justify the trip with some loot.
It was fine. She was fine.
It was a long trip. All that jostling around in the cart made her bones ache and her throat dry. She considered going to the meadery, since she was the one who made is possible, but Malleus seemed oblivious to her advances the last time and he was sure to tell Maven she was there. Which meant Maul would know. And the Guild. She wasn't in the mood for complications.
She headed into the city and straight for the Bannered Mare. It was a slow night, apparently. Not much going on, not even the bard singing. There was pissed off looking dunmer in the corner, but she didn't want to deal with that. For some reason, the more angry her people looked, the more likely they were to lecture her about racism in Skyrim and she was so not in the mood.
There was a tall, lanky Nord in a robe like the one Aicanter wore sitting alone at a table, nursing his ale. He looked comfortably into his cups. He had ridiculous side burns, but she liked his face.
She sauntered up to him, in her unfortunate guild armor, but there were worse things. At least this showed off her body a little. He looked up at her and cocked his head. It took a moment but then he smiled faintly.
"This seat taken?" She smiled at him. Very slowly.
He furrowed his brow, glancing the number of unoccupied tables. He seemed to consider. This one was a thinker. She wondered how that would go.
"No, it's not," he said. "Though I can't be certain I'll be the sort of company you are looking for."
Shit, married? Only liked men maybe?
"Why's that?" No point in messing around. She didn't sit down. "Don't like girls? Or elves?"
He shook his head, chuckled. "No, not at all. I like both of those things just fine, thank you. Quite a bit in fact. However, I'm a busy man. It's a rare evening I allow myself-" He paused, choosing a word carefully. "distraction."
"Ah," she said, sliding comfortably into the chair across from him. "I will only be in Whiterun a few days. I am a very busy woman myself. " Melivani smiled again, feeling the slight tug of her warpaint pulling at the corner of her mouth. "I prefer my distractions-" She used his word. "Be to the point."
"In that case," he said, looking vastly amused, stretching his hand across the table. "I'm Farengar. And you are?" His pupils were a little bit dilated.
He laughed. Oh, this was going to be fun.
Chapter 9: Dammit
It only took a single mug of not particularly potent ale before she kicked her boot off under the table and ran her foot up Farengar's leg. He didn't even flinch. He did, however, spread his legs to give her better access.
Nothing better than something simple and uncomplicated. She ignored the whispering of nagging voices in her head.
Melivani ran her toes along the seam at the crotch of the thin trousers he had on under the robes. The fabric was coarse but carefully made, rough and sturdy. For a mage, that seemed to cover what Farengar was about. She felt the unmistakable bulge of cock under her foot.
He only grinned at her. He was practiced at this.
It was a nice cock too, not even totally erect but nice and wide as far as her foot could tell. She felt the throb as blood rushed to his crotch. Not as big as Maul, but he'd do.
Fuck, she needed to stop thinking about him.
Melivani slid the length of her foot against him. Farengar smiled at her knowingly and pushed his hips up against her foot.
"Let's get out of here," he said, quietly enough so only she could hear. "I have a nice little room in Dragonsreach with very thick walls."
She offered him a grin. Felt a little forced. "That sounds like an excellent plan."
He stood and she let him guide her to the door with one hand gently on the small of her back. It was almost gentlemanly. It was an act; on both their parts. This wasn’t much of a seduction. It felt more like a business transaction except no coin was changing hands. She wasn’t sure she liked it. Once they were out the door, he spun her around and pinned her against the door, his hips grinding into her. He didn't kiss her. That was fine by her. She realized she didn’t want to kiss him. Those muttonchops really were stupid.
"I'm going to fuck you until you are walking bow legged and I have to use magic to heal you."
"Is that a threat or a promise?" She pushed her hips back against him. That was the next part. She felt a little warm, but only on the surface of her skin.
"Yes." he nodded, chuckling darkly. "It is."
His rooms were nice. They smelled like alchemy reagents and there were dozens of glinting soul gems on shelves and tables scattered around the study that doubled as a shop. His bedroom was tiny, but the bed was clean.
Farengar sat back on the bed, his robe open down the front, his thin pants not leaving much to the imagination. He jerked his head at her.
"Why don't you show me that body. Let's see if you look as good out of the armor as in it."
"It’s better." He talked about her body like a commodity. So did she. That’s what it was, now.
"Prove it then."
Guild armor was easy enough to get out of, for all the appropriate reasons. A few buckles across her chest for the pauldrons, a pair of buckles on her waist. There were tiny hooks that held the coat shut. She unlatched them slowly. Without embarrassment, Farengar pulled his cock out as he watched her, stroking himself slowly. She tried not to get distracted. Wasn’t as difficult as it should have been.
She slid off the coat and unwrapped the linen that held her breasts entirely more slowly than was necessary. Going through all the right motions. Once she got it loose, she held the fabric over herself, watching him watch her. As the fabric fell, he gripped the base of his cock hard.
"Dibella's tits." he muttered. "Come closer."
Melivani knew this dance. She sauntered towards him, her leather pants hanging low on her hips. He still had one hand lazily stroking himself, but he cupped her breast with the other, his thumb flicking over her dark nipple. He squeezed. He pulled her forward by her tit and flicked his tongue across her nipple.
Felt passably good; a purely physical sensation.
She could feel his knuckles brushing against her thigh as he stroked himself. Farengar was clearly enjoying himself.
Mostly, she was bored.
It wasn’t that he was doing any wrong. And he was pretty, all lean muscles and ridges under that robe, yet still thick and hefty like any good Nord. She liked Nords. She did. Farengar was good looking and his tongue was tracing delicate patterns on her nipple. Her body thought it was okay, but she felt very little else.
Now that she could recognize the difference, this seemed pretty lacking. She even felt more for Vipir than for this man. She didn’t even know him; how could she? She wasn’t unwilling and she was going to finish what she started, but her heart really wasn’t in it.
Shit, she was a lousy hedonist.
She shimmied out of her pants, letting them puddle around her ankles. She closed her eyes. A parade of faces flashed through her head, places she’d rather be and people she’d rather be with; even if it was a terrible idea she imagined Maul and finally she felt her body truly respond to Farengar’s practiced touch.
She turned around, pulling her nipple out his mouth so she could rub her ass on his cock, still wrapped in his fist. She felt him sliding the head of his cock against the give of her flesh. She closed her eyes again.
Maul. He made her so turned on. By Sanguine’s bitches. She also thought of Revyn’s hot fingers. But Revyn himself? No, that wouldn’t do it. He made her feel bad inside; broken, unwanted even after he decided he wanted her.
Dammit. She slid down, squatting over Farengar’s hips still facing away from him. His cock slipped inside her. It felt like a medical procedure, more an irritation than a welcome guest. He didn’t notice her lack of enthusiasm. Maybe she was a better actress than she realized. Maybe he didn’t care. He just gripped her hips and did his thing and she made appropriate noises and managed to not shrink away from him. Wasn’t his fault. He was doing a good enough job that her body still did its own thing, still wet and warm even if the rest of her felt like it was million miles away.
Farengar worked himself inside of her, He tweaked her clit, rubbed her. She didn’t want to come. It seemed like a lie, but she did anyway. Her body liked sex. Melivani felt weirdly disappointed in herself.
He came shortly after, pulling out before he did, his semen arcing up and splattering a few feet away, some even hitting the wall. She realized there was a number of weird stains on the whitewashed wall. She heard him chuckle. Apparently it was a game for him.
He came. She went.
She felt sticky and not a little gross when she scurried out of there before he even had a chance to catch his breath. It wasn’t Faneregar’s fault but she didn’t even want to look at him. He’d never said this was going to be anything except what it was. It was what she thought she wanted after all. But though there was nothing wrong with him, there wasn’t anything really right either.
She hadn’t wanted to fuck him. She only did it because she thought it would make her feel better.
It didn’t work.
Melivani ended up at the Drunken Huntsman. She got blazingly drunk with the Bosmer proprietor and they ranted about how humans just didn’t get it. Whatever it actually was, neither of them were sober enough to identify. He laughed a lot in that adorable Bosmer nasal voice and she wished she’d fucked him instead. She was too drunk to try to seduce him by the time she figured it out.
She blacked out and woke up in a carriage in route back to Windhelm. She had no idea what possessed her to do it, but they were too far to turn back by the time she woke up and the driver refused to turn around, even when offered more coin. He said he had pickups to make in Windhelm and Nord Pride or some other drivel and she paid him with a smile so what in Oblivion was her problem?
She didn’t want to go to Windhelm. She wanted to leave Skyrim entirely. Maybe the whole plane of existence. Maybe Sanguine was hiring. The sun was entirely too bright. She closed her eyes.
Maul’s soft lips. Brynjolf's voice. Karliah’s tits. Aicanter’s gold cock. Maul’s silver eyes. Revyn’s slate grey skin. That stupid Bosmer’s nasal voice. Maul’s hands. Mercer Frey’s foul breath. Farangar’s cum splattered on the wall.
She promptly vomited over the side of the cart into the dust of the road. When she was done heaving her guts, the driver chucked and handed her a flask. She took a deep drink before realizing it was Cyrodilic brandy and she sputtered wildly, unable to catch her breath. Melivani gagged. The driver laughed again.
“A little hair of the dog, as they say,” he said, still laughing at her.
If her head hadn’t hurt so much she would have stabbed him in the face.
Chapter 10: Honestly Unfucked
Melivani took the boat to Solsteim. She was surprised to not be seasick, not that she wasn’t a little nauseous anyway. She was running away like a fucking coward. Again.
She questioned everything that had happened since this all began. Maybe she should have just done her time in the jail in Windhelm and gone back to the Cornerclub. She would have found a husband eventually. Maybe. She would have lived a nice quiet life without complications.
But she fought with herself too. She didn’t want that life; she only wanted it when she didn't know there was another option. That wasn’t who she was at all. Not even when she was still going by that plain boring name and her hair was dark and mousey instead of red.
She tried to get hold of herself. Solsteim was new. It was the closest thing to Morrowind she was likely ever going to experience. It was a another chance to start over, at least until the guild caught up with her. Not that it should fucking matter. Not that there was any kind of sense in the idea of her being the guildmaster.
By the tits of Dibella, what was she doing? Running away from home?
She went up to the bow of the boat and let the spray brush over her face. In the distance, she could see the outline of Solsteim rising up out of the choppy water. It looked grey and lifeless from here. A few withered stalks stuck up against the colorless sky. She assumed those were the skeletons of trees. It was all that broke up the monotony.
Damn, this was not one of her better ideas.
At least they should have all the Dunmer booze she loved. It was only available in Windhelm sometimes, and always expensive as shit. And worse, half the time watered down until it tasted more like piss than Flin.
She realized she was gritting her teeth. She was going to need that drink as soon as they made the port.
Melivani had hardly stepped on to the dock before she regretted it. The voice wasn’t one she knew, but it was similar enough to one she did know that she knew she was fucked.
“There are a lot of people looking for you. Delvin even put up a reward,” the voice said. “And here I trip over you going to pick up my goods from Windhelm.”
Shit. Fuck. Ass.
She looked up under the tip of her hood. The man wasn’t someone she knew, but she had a good guess. Breton with narrow eyes and a lazy smirk she’d know anywhere. She wasn't used to beening recognizable. She should have gotten some different armor. Or cut her hair. Fuck. She should have gone to Cyrodiil or Valenwood or thrown herself into what was left of Red Mountain. The guild was everywhere.
“Great,” she muttered. “Who are you then? His brother?”
The man grinned on one corner of his mouth. “That obvious, eh?” he asked. If a nod could be sarcastic, he managed it. “Glover Mallory, at your service. May Shadow hide you, guildmaster.”
She narrowly resisted the urge to fling herself into the sea and moved straight on to begging. “Please don’t tell them I’m here.”
He shrugged. “Reward aside, Delvin will kill me if I don’t,” he said. “And that’s not a figure of speech.”
Melivani sighed. She wanted to come here to try to be someone else, not just do the same thing that wasn’t working. At the least, she deserved a vacation. But she didn’t have enough coin to bribe him into doing what she wanted.
She sighed in irritation. Though whether she was mad at him or herself, she wasn't sure. She did have a form of currency that was accepted everywhere. She gave him a long look.
He was exactly nothing like Maul which made it a little easier. Glover was short, narrow, with a myriad of burn scars on his arms. His face was sun worn; his skin glossy as an acorn. His smile came easy, even if it didn't reach his eyes. He squinted them anyway, the corners crinkling. A scattering of grey threaded through his close shorn hair at his temples.
She cocked her head. “Can I convince you to give me a week or two? Send word with the next ship instead?” She bit her lip. She put her hand over the swell of her breasts and let it slide down to her belly. She winked.
Glover seemed to be considering whether she was suggesting what she was trying to. She was sure they told him all about her. He wasn’t bad looking, and he didn't seem smarmy and slick like Farengar. He was the odd man out on this island of Dunmer and she knew how they could be. Even in Windhelm, it wasn’t acceptable to fuck someone who wasn’t a dark elf. That’s why Susanna always came after dark.
Glover probably hadn’t gotten any in a long time. Could be interesting. And why not, since it was such an effective way to pay for favors?
She decided to be a little less subtle. She took a step forward and put the tip of her finger on the exposed hollow between his collarbones. There was a tuft of dark hair there, and she liked the way it felt. She slid her finger down, just a bit and stepped closer. Glover looked a promising combination of amused and surprised.
He swallowed hard enough that the apple in his throat bobbed. “I, uh, could probably be convinced.”
She let a slow smile spread across her face. “That’s what I wanted to hear. Why don’t you pick up your shipment and take me back to your place? There will be more shipments, I’m sure. And what Delvin doesn’t know won’t hurt you.”
He looked a bit overwhelmed. That boded well.
“Come on,” she said. “I’ll help you carry your-” She grinned lasciviously. “-package.”
Turned out Glover was a little shy. Not what she expected, since Delvin was anything but. Not that she'd gotten around to bedding Delvin just yet, but that always seemed like a foregone conclusion. She got Glover talking about his forge and armor and that seemed to relax him a bit. She was right that he wasn't used to being seduced. He seemed content being a bachelor, but that didn't mean he didn't need a good healthy screw once in awhile.
Poor man. Really, fucking him would practically be a civic service.
He had kind eyes so it wasn't going to be much of an imposition anyway.
They had a glass of Flin, then another. Just enough to take the edge off.
There was a lull in the conversation, after her told her how he learned to make bonemold armor. It was a nice story. It was a nice night. But she'd made him an offer. Might as well get on with it.
She crawled into Glover’s lap.
He tensed up. But after a few heartbeats, he set his glass down and put his hand on her thigh instead. She put her hand over his and slid his palm higher, around the back of her leg to the curve of her ass. He gave a little squeeze; she made it a point to wiggle her hips against him. His breath sped up, but she couldn’t tell if it was arousal or something else.
He didn’t look aroused. He looked pale. She cocked her head at him and he frowned. Hard. Finally, he looked down, avoiding her cleavage with his eyes which was not the usual at all. She felt his hand slip away from her thigh.
“I’m sorry,” he muttered. “I can’t do this. I know I’m...oh fuck it.” Glover put his hands on her waist and lifted her off. He was gentle when he sat her back down on the couch beside him. He looked embarrassed, but she wasn't sure why.
Maybe he couldn't? Maybe he-
Glover put his big blacksmith’s hand on her knee. After a moment, he looked over at her. “It’s not you,” he explained. “It's not. You're beautiful and I've heard the stories. Any man should be happy to have you. But-" He sighed. "I tried to be the man I was supposed to, having as many women as I could until I found one pretty enough to snare me. I even have a daughter." He snorted in disgust, but it looked to be directed right back at himself. "I left Skyrim because I was tired of trying to be something I wasn’t. Here I’m…” He laughed bitterly. “I’m an outsider for other reasons.”
“So you, uh-” she pondered. Males only maybe? Maybe this was a bigger deal with humans? Mer didn’t really care, as long as you made your babies when it was time. Otherwise, enjoy whoever you wanted. But she was assuming. That hadn’t been going well. Might as well just ask. “Like men instead?”
Glover shook his head. “Nothing that simple.” He made a disgusted noise. “I don’t like sex. I don’t like romance. I like to be. I mean, I like people, friends, my family. Affection is nice too, but it’s so tied up with those other things I gave up on that too.” He looked up at the ceiling, resting his elbows on his knees. “I had a daughter because I thought that was the right way to be. And I hated being with her mother, even though she was a good woman. But I loved my daughter. When she was little?" He smiled; his eyes twinkled. "I got all the affection I could ever want, without having to worry about other complications. But as she got older, I couldn’t fake it anymore. Her mother wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy. So I left.”
Melivani’s chest burned. She felt for him. She didn’t know who she was, not really, but to know who you are and not being able to tell anyone? That would be worse. Maybe that’s why he was telling her now. Maybe it was the Flin. She wasn’t entirely sure.
“After I left, her mother, my ex-wife was murdered. I should have gone back, but by then it was too late. My daughter, she hated me for leaving. Delvin, the rest of the guild, they didn’t trust me. They live for excitement, for sex, for all those wild times I never wanted. They didn’t trust me so close. So I stayed away.” Glover looked back at her. “Look I’ll keep your secret as long as I can. But when you do go back to Skyrim, you can give a message to my daughter.”
She raised an eyebrow. Sounded easy enough. “Who’s your daughter? Where do I have to go?”
He laughed again, even more bitterly than before. “You just have to go home. My daughter is Sapphire, or at least that’s what she calls herself now.”
No wonder he didn’t go back. She’d kill him. Funny though, she didn’t like sex any more than her father did, though probably for different reasons. Azura’s blue ass, she was going to kill Melivani too, when she brought this message. But then again, what choice did she have? Besides, she liked this arrangement better in the end.
Melivani did like sex, but it wasn’t enough any more.
“I’ll do it,” she said. His shoulders slumped.
“Thank you,” he muttered, rubbing his face with his hands. “I think.”
Melivani chuckled. She understood.
“But you know, I can give you something else, just for being honest,” she said. Glover turned his head to look at her, eyes questioning. She looped her arm around his back and put her chin on his shoulder.
“Everyone deserves affection. Especially people like us.”
Glover closed his eyes and leaned his head against hers. They sat together in silence for a very long time.
Chapter 11: Strictly Amateur
Of course, shit was still complicated.
Glover gave her a job as the second part of his payment for not squealing; to get a pickaxe back from some oddity of an Imperial who was digging in the nearby mine. It wasn’t hard to convince the old coot to give it up, but when Glover told her what it was for? Well, that sounded like an adventure.
Stalhrim. Sounded fancy. And valuable.
She figured if she went back to the guild with a big pile of gold or some fancy Stalhrim daggers? They’d forgive her. Maybe if she was lucky, they’d realize how stupid they were and give this ridiculous Guildmaster title to Brynjolf instead. He’s the one who deserved it, not her.
Either way, a nice adventure sounded like an excellent idea. Apparently this stuff was found mostly in old tombs, and that meant drauger to stab in the face. At least that was simple.
She headed to The Retching Netch to see if she could hire herself some help. Sure as she was, it never hurt to have backup if she was going tomb diving.
She walked through the door and was hit with the scent of liquor and sweat. It reminded her of the Cornerclub back in Windhelm, but there was a sharp, dusty overtone to the scent. In a shadowed corner, a man was lounging casually despite wearing his helmet in the humid, hot air. Even if the chitin armor hadn’t been a dead giveaway, she could tell he was a Dunmer by his posture and his long, lanky body. She was intrigued.
Why would he wear his helmet in the bar? Was he scarred? Ugly? That would be a good option. The sort of man who wasn’t comfortable enough to show his face probably wouldn’t be the type to come on to her. She wasn’t up for it.
She sat down in the empty chair on the other side from the table from him, crossing her legs and putting her elbows on the worn tabletop. It felt sticky, even through the leather of her armor.
“Just a guess,” she said, voice neutral. “But I’m betting you’re a mercenary.”
It was weird not seeing his face to gauge his reaction but his body language was more expressive than most. He leaned back further in his chair, his helmeted head tilting to the side.
“Good guess.” He leaned forward. “Teldryn Sero, blade for hire.” He almost chuckled. “If you have the coin, I’m at your service.”
If she hadn’t known he was a Dunmer before, she would have now. He had that perfect lilt to his voice, somehow brightly pitched and gravely all at once. He drew his words out with a flourish of drama. She liked him immediately.
She unhooked her coin purse from her belt and set it on the table. It looked dramatic but it was all she brought with her. She was in a gambling mood. “Are you worth it?” she asked.
“I’ve got swords and spells and other tricks up my sleeve. I think you’ll find I’m full of surprises.”
She grinned and pushed the pouch across the table.
He was amazing in a fight. Worth every coin and then some.
They spent days with hardly any sleep, slogging through an old barrow. It was a maze, twists and turns and every time they thought they had gotten all the drauger another one would appear. She wasn’t sure she’d ever killed so many of those disgusting creatures in her entire life.
But she and Teldryn got along fantastically easy. It was so nice to not worry about anything but staying alive and seeing how much loot they could grab. Her pack was practically overflowing with Stalhrim. It was the wildest stuff, cold, but not painfully so and far lighter than actual ice would have been. It was pale blue and green and glittered like a jewel. It had to be worth a fortune. Not to mention the swords and coins and various other treasures they plundered out of the tomb. Ancient Nords were so weird.
At least the Dunmer cremated their dead and saved the valuables for their families.
But their weirdness was her gain. And Teldryn’s. She technically could have taken it all, but that was ridiculous. He saved her hide more than once. She wasn’t a complete asshole.
They made their way back to the entrance after what felt like a year underground, but was probably more like a week. They were filthy, exhausted and completely overloaded with spoils. They laughed a lot and leaned on each other. Dryn was limping and so was she, both with enough blisters and cuts and bruises to last several lifetimes. It was nice to have someone she could count on, who didn’t seem likely to stick a knife in her back.
She probably shouldn’t trust him so fast, but she did. He had ample opportunity to kill her in the barrow. No one would have been the wiser, but instead he just told stories about his last crazy employer and darted in front of her shooting fire at undead shamblers.
He was really fantastic. He never once tried to grope her or made a single comment about her ass. It was a nice change.
She loved that so much at first -- after all those years being told she was ugly. But now? By Azura, it was nice to have some compliment her skill with a dagger and her sense of humor instead of the shape of her tits.
The barrow wasn’t far from the Skaal village. Crazy as they were, they had that good old fashioned Nord sense of hospitality. The Blacksmith had a few spare rooms just off the forge and he was more than happy to offer after he saw all the stalhrim she had in her pack. Might as well have him make something right away and take his payment in raw materials. Far easier and less to carry.
He said it would take a few days to make a few daggers and a sword. They were welcome to stay.
Melivani was going to give the sword to Dryn. He didn’t know it yet. But he earned it.
Once it was settled, they practically fell into the room from exhaustion. There wasn’t a bed, just a pile of furs on the floor, but she didn’t care. She also had zero interest in modesty. He hadn’t pestered her. She figured he was either old or uninterested in one way or the other.
It was almost too bad. She did like him and honestly didn’t care what he looked like under that armor. And she was always pretty horny after a good haul. She wondered if he slept deeply enough that she could take care of it herself after he fell asleep.
She shifted her hips. With a sigh she put the thought out of her head. Hadn’t she just been complaining about too much sexual interest in her? By Dibella’s tits, she needed to get her shit together.
Melivani unhooked her leather jerkin and shrugged it to the floor just as Dryn finally took off his helmet. He looked up at her and they both stared blankly for a while.
He was gorgeous. That was not fair.
Was he staring?
He looked away suddenly, his grey cheeks going violet. He cleared his throat. “Well, don’t mind me.”
Melivani looked down at herself. She was mostly decent and hardly seductive at the moment. Her breast band was still firmly in place and so sweat stained and filthy it should be burned. Maybe he was just embarrassed for her. She was a mess.
Fuck, she was tired.
She cleared her throat. “Sorry about the surprise nudity,” she said, trying to sound casual.
He didn’t turn back to look at her. “No problem.” His voice sounded a little strained. She wasn’t coherent enough to be able to determine why. Frankly, it didn’t really matter. As nice as it was to not be oogled for a while, he hadn’t. Chances were, she wasn’t his flavor of choice. “You can take first crack at the bath,” he added.
Right, the blacksmith said there was a tub behind the screen. Used to be the old squelching tub for the forge. Something about pipes underneath that kept it from getting too cold? It was very Dwemer sounding. She didn’t care. As long as it wasn’t a block of ice, it would do.
She grabbed her pack and slid gratefully behind the screen. More for Teldryn’s comfort than hers. No point in making it weirder. They had a good thing going. He’d even offered to go back to Skyrim with her. She hoped she hadn’t fucked it up by almost showing him her tits.
Wouldn’t be the first time her tits made things weird, come to think. Why the fuck was everything so complicated?
She tossed her clothes in a heap and slid down into the tub, letting the grime rinse off. It felt amazing, but she didn’t let herself linger. She could have easily fallen asleep in there but she knew Dryn was waiting. She roughly scrubbed the filth off and got out again as quickly as she could. Goosebumps raised on her skin, her nipples puckered. She dried herself off half-heartedly and flung a shirt over her head. Huh. This wasn’t hers. It was worn and yellow-beige, entirely too big and fell halfway down her thighs like a nightgown. Very cozy. Good enough.
It didn’t register for a few moments--not until she was balling up her filthy underthings, debating if they were worth saving-- it was Maul’s shirt. She flung her panties into the fire. The fabric made a sizzle before it turned black. She heard Dryn laugh.
“That’s one way to do the washing.” He sounded amused but his voice was still a bit strained.
She hoped it wasn’t fucked up between them. Yes, he sure was pretty under that helmet, all burgundy eyes and black hair and swirling tattoos over statue worthy bone structure. Yes, he got a look at her sweaty cleavage and was a bit put off. It was going to take more than that to break the bond they forged down in that barrow, wasn’t it?
“Your turn,” she said, braving her way back into the room. He was fiddling with his pack and looked up at her. His face was sort of blank and he looked away fast.
Bullshit. Teldryn was...damn. And she, well, she suddenly like felt like Thelsa again on a number of levels. Maybe that was okay, really. Maybe she’d been fooling herself long enough.
She was fucked up. Or maybe she was too tired to think straight. Whatever.
Melivani flopped onto the pile of furs and burrowed in. The shirt bunched up around her waist, but she was covered by the furs, so she didn’t bother to adjust it. She heard the distinct sloshing sound as Dryn slid into the tub behind the screen.
He groaned in pleasure. That hot water was a fucking marvel, she couldn’t deny. More than that, the sound he made sent a shock of arousal through her. Shit. She was already pretty damned attracted to him before he took off the helmet. Now she’d apparently decided to lose her mind.
“This is incredible,” Dryn’s voice floated across the room. “I might actually feel warm again before I die.”
Melivani chuckled. She knew what he meant. They both fell silent then and she started to drift off to the sound of the gentle crackle of the fire and the sloshing of the water. She tried to put the mental image of Dryn naked in that water out of her head, but it wasn’t going well. She just gave up and closed her eyes, letting her imagination run wild.
She must have fallen asleep for a few moments because she was startled awake by the sound of wet feet on the stone floor. Maybe it was habit from sleeping in unfamiliar places, but she sat up fast, flinging the furs off and gasped aloud, looking around wildly. Teldyrn quickly appeared from around the side of the screen, only thin piece of linen around his waist.
“Sorry, did I startle y-” His voice cut off sharply and his eyebrows raised imperceptibly. His mouth was open, just enough for his breath to hiss out between his flushed lips.
Melivani’s heart pounded in her chest. It took her a few seconds to look down and realize her big shirt was doing exactly nothing to cover her. Her skin was still damp when she’d dressed and it stuck to her body, her blue grey skin showing where the moisture made the fabric transparent. And if that wasn’t bad enough, it was bunched up behind her and in this position, she was exposed entirely from the waist down.
She swallowed. She wasn’t worried about modesty, but if her sweaty boobs were enough to put him off before, this unexpected look at her cunt wasn’t going to do their relationship any favors. Melivani wanted to do something; cover herself, give him an apology, anything other than what she did which was just sit there dumbly, watching beads of water artfully drip down Dryn’s chest. Her eyes tracked a drop make it’s way down, sliding along the sleek delineation of his torso until it disappeared into the linen just below his navel and…
Wait. That was….either he wasn’t put off by the view or…
Dryn cleared his throat. “I...uh….shit.” He tore his eyes away from her and looked at the floor, but the ridge of his unmistakable erection shifted behind the linen. “Look boss, there are some things I do on a strictly an amateur basis.”
Melivani furrowed her brow. “Wait, is that-?” Dryn looked up at her words and met her eyes. “Is that the only actual problem we’re having right now?”
Dryn shrugged and seemed to be trying not to look at her tits. It was nice at first that he didn’t, but she was over it. She wanted him to have a nice long look.
“Teldryn?” she continued, smirking. “You’re fired until tomorrow morning.”
He laughed and a slow grin spread across his face. The little scrap of linen he had draped around his waist fell to the floor.
Chapter 12: Already Weird
Teldryn made no move to come closer, still as one of those statues of the Daedric princes, flickering firelight dancing across his perfectly imperfect grey skin.
He was really too fucking much.
He had tattoos, maybe from his time with his previous crazy Nord employer. He had scars, maybe from the same. And it was like an artist painted them on him, all arcs and curves that somehow enhanced each shape of his body. A pair of matching inked tendrils curved around his ribs and then back, sloping up over the curves of his narrow hips, disappearing where the hair grew thicker. She wanted to bury her fingers in and see if those tattoos went further.
She knew now that he wore his chitin helmet and all that bulky armor for a reason; probably the same reason she was enjoying his company down in the barrow. He was probably sick to death of being ogled.
Or at least ogled when he wasn’t ready for it, since he was still standing there, all perfectly backlit and aroused and letting her get a nice long look. Looking was great, but Melivani was ready for more than looking.
She propped herself up on her elbow and considered doing something coy and sexy like calling him toward her with a crooked finger and a wink. She’d done that before, all those shallow trite expressions of desire, like she was a bird flashing colorful feathers at her mate. It was nice to preen and be wanted for her plumage, but this wasn’t really about that was it? She wasn’t trying to trick him into pleasuring her, trick him into give her attention.
She wanted to touch him and make him feel good. The rest was perks.
Her muscles still ached, but she got to her feet and went to him. She put out a hand to touch his face, but didn’t make contact. She waited. Watched with all the patience she could muster until Dryn moved his head to rest his cheek against her hand. He kissed the edge of her palm with the corner of his mouth but stopped there, his face tipped down so the bright red of his eyes was swallowed by shadows. Melivani ran the pad of her thumb along the dark tattoo that skirted the length of his cheekbone.
The pause afterward stretched out from pleasured hesitation into awkward.
Melivani frowned. Sex wasn’t always easy, but this felt like something else. It wasn’t like Glover -- Dryn was obviously attracted to her. Her heartbeat felt too hard in her chest. Was he having second thoughts?
She wanted to like Dryn in whatever way made him feel good. She was willing to stop.
Her posture shifted and she felt the worn fabric of her shirt, the one she unconsciously took from Maul, gently skid across her thighs. A knot of muscle throbbed under her shoulder blade.
“Dryn,” she started. Her voice was almost too quiet to hear. “If you-” She started to move her hand away from his face.
His hand came over hers before she could finish. His eyes were still in shadow but she could feel him look at her even so.
“No, I do want this,” he said. “Maybe too much. But I want to keep working with you.” He lifted his head. “I like working with you. I like that more .”
She wasn’t sure how to reply to that. Had anyone wanted her friendship more? Maybe, but she never stuck around long enough to find out.
“If we do this, I’m afraid it’s going to get weird.”
“Does it have to?” she asked before she even thought it through. It didn’t have to; but it probably would.
Dryn chuckled mirthlessly. “A long time ago, when I was just starting out as a mercenary, I saved a girl from bandits. Little Bosmer thief they caught trying to pilfer their ill gotten goods. I was there to get back stolen property; she was a bonus. A beautiful bonus too; smart, sly and … well . We worked together for a while; we were a great team. I got her taking jobs stealing things back and she taught me to skim off the top.” His smile shifted from sarcastic to sad. “Until we ended up in bed together. I thought-” He paused. “Whatever I thought, she didn’t feel the same. I got weird. She left. Haven’t seen her since.” His expression was neutral as unsweetened milk. “I’ve made it a point to not get involved since then. I can buy sex anywhere but a partner that won’t stab me in the back? Or...maybe even a friend? That’s harder to come by.”
“It doesn’t have to get weird,” she said. By now her hand was touching nothing but air, but she held it up, waiting.
“I’ll make it weird, I’ll…” His hissed between his teeth in frustration. “I’ll fall in love with you because it’s what I do.”
Melivani blinked at him.
Love. She didn’t know anything about it.
She swallowed hard. “You want to know the truth about me? It’ll make sure that never happens.”
“Come on, sit down,” she said. “I’ll tell you everything.” She dropped her hand and took a few steps backward until her heels brushed against the furs. She plopped down, a puff of dust sparkling in the half light. She patted the wide pile beside her. “Plenty of room. Don’t worry. I won’t try anything.”
He rolled his eyes before giving in and sitting down beside her, pulling a fur into his lap. She didn’t look to see if his body was still interested.
“You don’t have to tell me anything,” he said. “I’ve already made it weird. I’ll, uh, head out in the morn-”
She cut him off. “Don’t you fucking dare. You’re unfired, right now. At least until I’m done.” She sighed. “You can quit afterwards, if you want.”
He waved a hand, trying to look casual. His hand shook a little. They both noticed.
“My parents,” she began, feeling his relief when she didn’t mention it. “Didn’t name me Melivani. I did. To be honest, not sure they named me what I was called before either. Thelsa. ” She said her former name with disdain. “I can’t remember. I was young when they came to Skyrim; old enough to walk but not much else. I can’t say if any of my memories are even real. I don’t even know for sure why we were going to Skyrim. All I know is they didn’t survive and I did. And I didn’t get taken in by some loving family, but by a tavern owner who figured I’d grow up to be good for free work. I was a dirty, neglected wreck. Dirty, gross, skinny Thelsa. Nobody wants her. ”
She didn’t dare look at his face. She’d stop talking and maybe never start again.
“No one told me anything or taught me anything about life, about my body, about how to behave. It’s a wonder I survived at all. I started to steal and fight out of spite, out of anger that I was the laughing stock of the Grey Quarter. And when I was finally caught, thrown into jail with a member of the Thieves Guild, I remade myself from scratch.” She shook her head. “I’m not what I pretend to be. I’m just a dirty orphan who figured out how to steal. And after killing the old Guildmaster in an act of premeditated revenge?...Ha, somehow I’m the Guildmaster instead.”
Sounded almost like an achievement, but she knew better.
“My first act as Guildmaster? I ran away.” She tugged at the end of her hair where it hung over her shoulder, the prickle of pain on her scalp distracting her from other, less tangible pain. She ran away from the guild, from unwanted feelings of remorse about Mercer, from Maul. “That’s it, that’s why I’m here, why I hired you. I ran away from myself and again from the life I made for my new self.” She snorted. “I needed help to do a favor for Glover Mallory so he didn’t squeal to his brother that I was here.”
She finally looked up at him and tried like mad to ignore the lump in her throat.
“So it doesn’t need to...I guess you wouldn’t want to now. But, if you’re still willing to get paid, I do want to work with you. We’re a good team. I can take you with me back to Skyrim, before Delvin Mallory drags me back. There’s still plenty of rich assholes to steal from and plenty of other wild adventures along the way.” She forced a smile, but it didn’t reach her eyes. She was looking through Dryn, not at him. She tugged her hair again. “See, it doesn’t need to get weird. It’ll be fine, okay?”
Melivani... Thelsa…. finally let her eyes focus on him. He blinked at her a few times. She couldn’t read his expression at all.
“This story,” he said. “It was supposed to, what, make it so I wouldn’t-” He cleared his throat. “-fall in love with you?”
She shrugged with one shoulder.
He laughed, soft and low in his chest and leaned towards her until his face was only inches from hers.
“If that was your plan,” he said, breath brushing over her skin. “It didn’t work.”
Before she could reply or cry or even think at all, he kissed her. His lips were warm and gentle against hers. It was a delicate kiss but not tentative. He meant it.
“But what about making it weird?” she murmured against his mouth.
She heard him swallow. “I just fell in love the rest of the way,” he admitted. “How much weirder could it get?”
“What?” Her forehead crinkled down against the ridges over her brows.
He cupped her chin and made sure she was looking right at him. “Melivani,” he said. She opened her mouth but he didn’t let her say anything. “Melivani , you’re fun and brave, both careful and reckless, smart and savvy. You hired me, but went to great lengths to keep me alive out there. You treated me like a partner, right from the beginning. I know why they made you the Guildmaster, even if you don’t. Even if I haven’t known you long.”
Now she could read his expression, even in the low light and deep shadows. He was sincere as the grave.
“Melivani, ” he said again, this time moving until his lips could brush against her hot flushed skin. He kissed her chin right above his thumb and both corners of her mouth. “I love you. It’s already weird. Might as well enjoy it.”
This time, she kissed him, grabbing onto his shoulders to keep herself from falling over. She refused to think about it too hard. She didn’t know love from a daedra, but her whole body was tingling and the arousal that had faded rushed over her like a wave. She wriggled herself closer as she slid her tongue over his and tasted his breath until she was straddling his lap with only a thin scrap of fur between them.
“Shit,” she whispered. “I forgot to fire you again.”
He chuckled. “It’s okay. It was time I went professional anyway.”
Chapter 13: When You’re Ready
Melivani crawled into Teldryn’s lap without even thinking about it, bunching up Maul’s soft shirt over the swell of her hips. His warm fingers dug into the curves, pulling her closer. She refused to think, refused to overthink and ruin it and instead rubbed herself against him, that thin pelt of fur smooth and cool against her thighs. It was soft and silky, but she was desperate for his skin.
He had the same idea and somehow, they managed to pull it out from between them. His skin was still damp from the bath. The length of his cock pressed up against her, hard, warm and waiting. She closed her eyes as her fingers brushed against the shaved sides of his head and his lips moved from her mouth and down the corner of her jaw. He pulled her earlobe between his teeth.
She wanted to talk, so say something, to beg but she couldn’t find the words.
All she could do was shift her hips, move herself against him. In what felt like an act of desperation, she reached between them and slipped her fingers behind his cock. She felt the muscles in his neck tense. The head of his cock nudged at her and she stopped, thighs shivering. She didn’t want to hesitate, but she was frozen in place.
Love. What the fuck was she supposed to do with that?
She had two options -- fuck him and enjoy herself and worry about it later or stop and...shit. Talk about it? Ridiculous. She didn’t know anything to say. Maybe she’d figure it out, but it wasn’t going to happen in the lifespan of an erection, no matter how much stamina he had.
Melivani shifted her hips, felt the head of his cock slip inside her. That she knew how to handle. She worked herself down his shaft. He wasn’t huge, but he was hard, so unbelievably hard it was too much to take in all at once. She rocked her hips, gently, one sweet, slow inch at a time until her ass nestled down against his thighs again.
Dryn buried his face in her neck and groaned as she rode him, letting that sweet, intoxicating sensation dissolve her fear like sugar in Sujamma. Everything else could wait and this had been such a dance to get here, she suspected they’d both race towards satisfaction.
She lifted her weight off him, pushed on his shoulders until he was on his back. He fell back willingly but dramatic, with a huff of air and a grin. Whatever all the rest of it was, now that she had his cock inside her, she knew what she was about. Melivani rode him hard, letting her hair swing down over her shoulders and hide her face in shadows. He felt so good she forgot to be afraid.
Teldryn grabbed her waist as every lean muscle in his middle contracted. His wiry arms held her in place.
“Slow,” he panted. “Or-”
Melivani grinned at him, her face still in the comfort of shadows. “Or what?”
His cock throbbed inside her in reply.
She was suddenly overwhelmed by a rush of heat, not from her cunt, that pool of warmth between her legs, but something else. It was a wave like briny sea water down the back of her neck, over her shoulders; a feeling of languid rightness.
Instead of teasing, instead of some sexy quip, some flutter of muscles that made her forget who she was, she leaned down and kissed him. She held the rest of her body still and concentrated on his mouth instead. He kissed her back fiercely.
“When you’re ready,” she said, her lips brushing against his. “I want you.”
That lit a fire in him. He grabbed her and flipped her on her back, hips snapping against her as soon as her backside hit the furs. She hooked her ankle around his calf, muscle hard and straining under his skin. She dug her fingertips into his back and hung on, his frenetic thrusts and a sudden, surprising orgasm making her whip her head back and scream.
His breath came in ragged gasps. His eyes gleamed down at her.
That was what he wanted. He wanted her pleasure first. He moved again, but slower this time, rolling his shoulders. She tried to catch her breath, tilted her hips up to take him deeper inside. With an expression of contented accomplishment, he pulled out of her. Her hand and his wrapped around the length of his cock, he spilled his seed against her belly.
Wood cracked in the fire.
Teldryn held himself up on one elbow. He wiped his semen off her belly and the side of her hand with the sueded side of one of the pelts. He kissed her shoulder where the wide neck of Maul’s big shirt gaped open. He looked down at her, brushing hairs away from her sweat damp skin. He smiled faintly, his chest still heaving with exertion. He almost looked like he was going to say something but then thought better of it.
She wondered what he saw when he looked at her. It was the first time he’d seen her without at least a smear of warpaint; she hadn’t even tried to change the color of her hair since she left Windhelm -- likely she had a half inch or more of ashy brown roots by now. Could he see Thelsa now that the paint was stripped away?
His voice was quiet, easy when he spoke. “We should get some sleep,” he said. “I was tired before.”
She grinned despite herself. “Me too.”
He laid his head down on the crook of her shoulder and pulled one of the big bear skins from the edge of the pile over them.
“Goodnight,” he muttered. Then he paused as if he was going to say her name, but instead he only repeated himself. “Goodnight.”
She let her eyes drift shut.
Melivani? Thelsa? Or maybe someone entirely different?
Sleep pulled her down to where it didn’t need to matter.
It felt like only heartbeats before she startled awake again. Disorientation washed over her; she didn’t know where she was, and she pulled away from the warm body beside her on instinct and slipped onto the cold stone floor.
Icy cobblestones did not feel good on her ass.
She was still wearing Maul’s shirt, but it smelled like sex now. It made her head hurt in a pinpoint behind her eye. Teldryn made a little noise in his sleep but didn’t wake. Every nerve, every instinct said run. Her heart was beating too fast.
Her dream; full of familiar faces--some she recognized and some she didn’t, maybe they were old memories of Morrowind and her parents or just phantoms of her exhaustion. And then there was Maul in Riften at the docks, starting out into a slowly darkening sky. Missing her.
Vanity. He didn’t know her enough to miss her if he remembered her at all. Even if he did know more about her than everyone else. She glanced over at Teldryn. Almost everyone.
What the fuck was she doing? Her muscles ached to run but she fought the urge. She couldn’t run away again and live with herself. Nirn was only so big and eventually she’d run out of places to run to.
But for now, she needed to get out of this room. She wasn’t going to leave Dryn unpaid and alone on some fucking frozen mountain in the middle of nowhere, but she needed to get some air, or she was going to throw up.
She yanked on her leggings and flung her armor over her shoulders like a jacket, ignoring how cold the leather felt. Her feet were too swollen for her boots but she jammed them in anyway. They were wet inside. It felt miserable.
Her feet crunched on the frozen snow and the air cold air cleared her head even as it made her feet into blocks of agony and her lungs burn. It was still, thin tendrils of smoke from the hut chimneys spiraling up into the clear, black sky. Neither of the moons hung in the sky and there were no lights except a few torches in the center of town and a few glowing windows.
The stars lit up the sky instead. She’d never seen so many stars before. It felt like she was standing on the edge of the world and might fall off.
Would it even matter if she did?
Her whole life felt like a dream. She didn’t choose anything. It was like it all just happened to her without her consent.
Bullshit. Don’t lie to yourself.
She chose. Over and over, even if they were bad choices and felt like the only options at the time. And did it matter who she used to be? Did those mistakes, those unrequited feelings, that ache in her chest when it felt like she meant nothing to anyone, did it even matter now?
Melivani. It was as good a name as any to use but she had to stop hiding behind it. Pretending to be someone else was fun for a while, but the shine was off the soul gem now.
She rubbed her fingers together and remembered what it felt like to get her revenge on Mercer. She’d wanted him in the beginning because he was special, and even more because he didn’t really want her. She wanted him because she knew he’d use her and throw her away. She didn’t expect the knife, but the dirty cock wiped on her tunic and the cold disdain? That she expected from the first moment she laid eyes on him.
She thought that was how life was supposed to be. It was a familiar pain. All those cold eyes in Windhelm as a child, all those fucking nights where she listened to people laugh and fuck and ignore her; that felt like real life. Take, hurt or be stolen from and ignored.
Maybe she was wrong about that too.
Brynjolf saw she was more from the moment Niruin brought her to the Guild. Niruin saw it before that. So did Karliah, Viper, Sapphire and fuck , even Nocturnal herself knew there was something worth knowing inside of her. Then there was Maul. And-
“Melivani?” Teldryn’s voice, thick with sleep broke the silence. He was wrapped in a fur, eyes bleary and worried. “Everything alright?”
Her face couldn’t settle on an expression. “No,” she said. Then she gave him the best smile she could manage. “But it’s not forever.”
His ridged brow wrinkled a little, but he didn’t comment. He offered her his hand instead.
“Come back inside,” he said. “Get some sleep and tomorrow we can figure it out.”
We. Huh. She liked the sound of we.
She never had a family before, but the Guild felt like one for a while. Still did now, if she was honest.
It was time to go home.
Chapter 14: Misery Loves Misery Most of All
Two daggers for Melivani and a sword for Teldryn, both made out of gleaming, icy Stalhrim. Then there was a sack full of ore and enough trinkets and treasures to keep them in booze and food for a long time.
Glover was happy with the haul. A lot of work to get him to not tell on her, especially now that she decided to go back anyway.
It would have been less of a shitshow to head in the other direction. Sure, Vvardenfell was still a smoking crater and everyone in Black Marsh would try to kill a Dunmer on sight, but at least she’d know what to expect.
She tried to let Teldryn off the hook. A part of her wanted to be mean, tell him to pike off and let all that weird stuff he was afraid of actually happen -- but she couldn’t do it. She didn’t know if she loved him and she told him so, but she also didn’t want him to leave either. Honesty hadn’t always been her favorite, but she couldn’t think of a believable lie.
The only time she thought she loved anyone was Revyn Sadri and she knew she was wrong about that. Maybe she was thinking about love when she woke up next to Maul. But that was wrong too.
At least she thought she was wrong. Mostly. It would take some time to sort all this out.
Teldryn was willing to be patient. He was definitely too good for her.
He got on the boat back to Windhelm with a smile, frequently running his hand over the pommel of his new sword. He kept any declarations of love to himself and slipped his chitin helmet back on so she couldn’t read his expressions.
He gave her space to think. Not going to make it weird. He promised and she believed that he meant it. That’s what it means. Love. I mean. It’s doing what you need because I want you to be okay and happy.
It made her insides feel liquid. She tried not to dwell on it. One thing at a time.
Once they made landfall, she had a quick stop to make in Windhelm and then it was straight on to Riften. She had enough coin to get horses instead of a carriage and she figured it was about time. If she was going to be the fucking GuildMaster, she might as well do it. Time to settle in.
She tried not to feel crazy enough to accidentally summon Sheogortath. She had enough fucking problems without even more weird daedric interference.
Might as well be thankful for small favors. The sea was calm. The sky over the water was a solid, unchanging overcast. No storms, no too bright blue skies, just a blank slate of pale grey. Melivani was okay with that. The last thing this stupid shit needed was foreshadowing.
Teldryn offered to go to the stables to look at the stock. He said he had experience and in the same breath insinuated he was old enough to be her grandfather, but she didn’t believe that part. Melivani had planned to find some way to temporarily get rid of him to go deal with step one of this mess, but he seemed to figure it out before she could say anything.
He was good at this. She wasn’t sure if she loved or hated it. Best not to dwell.
What was next was going to be fucking terrible anyway. There wasn’t any reaction Revyn could have to what she had to say that she was going to like. But she had to do it.
If she was going to stop running away, she had to stop running away . No loose ends, at least not any that mattered. She didn’t need to go find Enthir or even Aicanther. They had their fun, but she knew they weren’t sitting around pining for her. Chances we Revyn wasn’t either, but she was still thinking about him.
Time to let go of the past instead of trying to show off. She couldn’t be Melivani if Thelsa was still haunting her. And she couldn’t go back to being Thelsa now that she knew what she was really capable of.
She needed to figure out who she was or she was going to end up dead in a gutter.
She walked right past the bathhouse without stopping. There was a part of her that wanted to go in, that wanted to be pretty and painted with her tits out and enjoy the power that gave her. Fucking Reyvn had been very satisfying, but she only fucked him, only wanted him at all, because he didn’t want her. She wanted him to want her and he did. At least for one night.
She felt like she was walking under water, every step was exhausting. The narrow walkways between the buildings felt absolutely claustrophobic. She tried to focus on keeping moving. She was watching her feet instead of her way. She knew how to get to Revyn’s shop without looking up. Other Dunmer brushed past her, equally caught up in their own problems, not seeing her at all. She felt the bump of a shoulder against hers and caught a faint whiff of a familiar scent — Sujamma and sugar, cheap horker fat candles, overcooked stew. She spun around on instinct and saw the profile of a face she knew better than her own.
Up until this point, this seemed like the boring part of the day; the stuff she wouldn’t be telling when she was sloshed at the Flagon later. She was wrong.His name was out of her mouth and he turned around to look. He squinted at her. Frowned.
“I’m sorry, do I-” He trailed off and his inside corners of his arched eyebrows went up in surprise. “Thelsa? By Azura, is that really you?” He grabbed her arm and stopped to stare at his fingers, maybe noticing how she wasn’t so skinny his fingers could close around her anymore.
“Yeah,” she said. “I guess it’s me. Kind of.”
She wasn’t sure what he’d do; Ambarys was a prickly asshole on the best day, even when he’d be railing Malthyr half the night before. He stared at her for a few awkward moments and then before she could figure out what to do herself, he pulled her into a hug.
“I thought they killed you,” he said. He squeezed her too hard. “Those fucking Nords. Thought they arrested you on a lie and then disappeared you like they have so many others. I thought-” He made a sound, a sad near whimper that made her chest ache. “I thought they killed you.”
“No such luck,” she said, trying to make light and ignoring the burning in the backs of her eyes. “I did get arrested, but I didn’t stick around until they could hurt me.”
Ambarys leaned back to look at her. “Is it safe for you to be here?”
She smiled. “No one cares,” she said. “You almost didn’t recognize me. The guards certainly won’t. Besides, I’m just passing through.”
“Can’t blame you,” he grumbled, his normal foul mood returning. “Nothing here will get better as long as the Stormcloaks are still running things.”
Fuck, if she let him get started she’d be here until Red Mountain froze over listening to this litany. She got it, she really did. The Stormcloaks were a bunch of assholes who made the lives of everyone who wasn’t a Nord like the darkest pit of Oblivion. If Ambarys had any sense, he would have left Windhelm years ago. He’d love Solthiem. But that wasn’t an argument anyone could win. Ambarys would never leave on principle.
And he loved being miserable.
“It was good to see you Ambarys,” she said and was surprised to realize that she meant it. “I’m sorry I didn’t say goodbye last time. But...you know, thanks, for taking care of me when I was a kid. I would have died without you and Malthyr looking out for me.”
He frowned. “I know we didn’t always do right by you.” There was a flicker of a smile, but only for a heartbeat before it disappeared again. “But it looks like you turned out okay anyway.”
Melivani laughed. “I don’t know about that. Still, I’m glad I got to see you. I’m tying up loose ends before I move on.”
He nodded, although she knew he didn’t understand and couldn’t understand. “Take care of yourself Thelsa.” He squeezed her arm. “Azura guide you.”
And with that, he was gone.
Ambarys didn’t know Melivani. He didn’t really know Thelsa either. All he knew was that the world wasn’t fair. He was right, but she was beginning to realize that was no way to live. Maybe what she remembered; the two of them ignoring her, not caring at all, maybe she didn’t have it all right. After all, they weren’t her parents. They could have left her on the streets, but they took her in and to be fair, Ambarys was still as skinny as she ever was.
Maybe they did their best but their best wasn’t very good. Nothing in Windhelm was good for Dunmer, as Ambarys always reminded her. At least not if they refused to play by the Nord’s rules. Instead, Ambarys made his own rules for everyone to live by and no one could live up to those either.
This was too fucking much to think about. She wasn’t built for working this shit out. She wasn’t going to change the world. Hard enough to try to unfuck her life. But maybe she stood a chance with that one.
One last stop to leave Thelsa behind for good. Enough of this tearful crap. She had other tearful crap to deal with.
Fuck. This whole facing things was worse than she thought.
Figured. Her plans usually went to shit. No reason this should be different.
Chapter 15: It Wasn't About You
A slow, dirty smile crept across Revyn’s face when he looked up and saw Melivani come through the door. She knew that smile. His cock was probably half hard and she hadn’t even said hello.
The shop was empty of other people, which was both good and bad. It looked like he'd dusted the shelves since last time she was there. Maybe a bit of rearranging the merchandise. It looked overtly tidy, like he'd had some nervous energy he didn't know what to do with. Melivani pretended not to notice.
No excuses not to get on with it.
“It is good to see you again,” he said, leaning on his elbows in that too familiar posture. She noticed he didn’t use her name. Then again, she didn’t tell him her new one and maybe he realized that the old one didn’t fit anymore.
Melivani shrugged one shoulder. “I need to talk to you.”
He straightened a little and she could practically hear his erection deflate behind the counter. “Is something wrong?” He sounded nervous as Khajiit in an Imperial prison.
She could only imagine all the worst case scenarios that flashed through his head. She had bone-break fever. Was in love with him. Pregnant. She tried not to grin. Maybe there was still a little power in knowing why she came.
Maybe she should just blow him and leave. At least she knew how that would end.
“Don’t look so nervous,” she said. “It’s not like that.” Fuck, she even let him off the hook. What was wrong with her?
He frowned anyway and crossed his arms over his skinny chest.
She half rolled her eyes at him. He was so dramatic. She supposed that was part of why she’d liked him in the first place. Also why she enjoyed fucking him. He made such a big deal out of everything.
“Listen, I’m only passing through but I’m not sure I’m going to be back to Windhelm again. Maybe not ever. And I know you probably remember more about my tits than you do about my childhood, but I needed to say something.”
“Thelsa, it’s n-”
She cut him off. “Call me Melivani. Thelsa’s dead.”
“I doubt that,” he snorted. “Or you wouldn’t be here.” His face took on a sour expression. “I wondered why someone as pretty as you wanted to fuck me in the first place -- once I knew, that’s when it made sense.” That’s when the rest of what she said seemed to hit him and the tension wrinkling his forehead faded. “You’re leaving?”
“I left a long time ago, Reyvn.”
He put his hands on the counter. His fingers flexed, just slightly. “But you came back.”
“Not really,” she said. She paused and looked at his hands, all knobby knuckles with a tracery of visible veins under his skin. His years showed in a spattering of dark violet freckles. She looked up at his face, familiar and strange all at the same time. “But I need to know something, before I go.”
He nodded but didn’t say anything. Looked uncomfortable. He was about to feel a lot worse, she expected.
“Why were you so awful to me back then? Especially once Ambarys suggested you should marry me. Was I really so disgusting you couldn’t help yourself?”
Saying it out loud felt like casting a fire rune and waiting for him to walk into it. The silence that followed made her skin crawl. Revyn’s lips were a strangled line in the middle of his bloodless face. He seemed like he was trying to hold on to his dignity but with a defeated sigh, he deflated.
“It wasn’t about you,” he said. “Ambarys found out I was trying to court Suvaris Atheron and he hated the idea. Said she was a collaborator. So he made a lot of noise about marrying you instead. I thought he was going to ruin my chances so I had to make even more noise about not wanting to.” He snorted. “Not that it mattered. Suvaris was bedding Torbjorn to distract him from her skimming off his books. She only cares about septims, not love. And I did, love her, that is.” He grunted. “At least I thought so.”
“Same way I loved you, I think,” Melivani admitted. It felt strange to say it. Felt like shrugging off her rags in that dungeon cell and standing naked in the cold.
“Is that why you came here? Why you-” He couldn’t finish.
Melvani leaned her hip against the counter, flipped her hair back over her shoulder with forced nonchalance. “I wanted to prove to you and to me that I was different. To prove I was better than you said I was; than everyone said. Not sure it helped.”
He shot her a sad smile. “Makes sense now. But whatever your reason, it was-It was good. I’m-” He cut himself off, hunting for the right words. “Are you sure you won’t stay?”
When he said goodbye before, she thought he knew better, but apparently the sense had worn off in between visits.
“You know I can’t,” she said. She didn’t elaborate. She knew he was smarter and better connected than he let on. She knew he would have asked around. Every good merchant knew about the Thieves Guild or didn’t stay in business long.
“I know.” He smiled with sad eyes. “Just one more prime opportunity I missed.”
“I’m not a shipment of grain, Reyvn.”
He was at a loss for words. But then again, it wasn’t every day that someone from your past waltzed in and broke up a relationship neither of you were ever in. How could he respond? There wasn’t anything he could say that would change things, other than what he already had.
It wasn’t about you.
How many things had been like that and she’d taken them personal? Fuck. She was going to have to rethink everything.
But that rumination would have to wait until later. Best to fuck off into the sunset now, before Reyvn lost the rest of his composure. She used to care about him after all. Maybe still did, at least a little.
“You know,” she said. “I understand. There were a lot of things that went wrong in my life because everyone is afraid to talk about anything involving feelings.”
Reyvn nodded. “You haven’t just gotten prettier.”
Melivani smiled at him. Might have been the nicest thing he ever said about her.
When she walked out the door, it would have been a neat, clean ending if she felt better, but she still felt like shit. Maybe she was always going to feel like shit. Maybe shit was just who she was. But it didn’t matter.
She did it anyway. For the second time in her stupid life, she was honest about something important. First time while wearing pants. Who knew, maybe someday she would get good at something other than stealing and fucking.
Probably not, but it was nice to imagine.