To Claim the Elvin Princess: Warrior

Elvin Princess 2

This is book 2 of a 3 book Saga Book 1, To Claim the Elvin Princess: Apprentice  was published in January of 2015


Rastin was supremely thankful that he had lied regarding who he was. He had traveled from Sardac to Shocara’s village strapped over Shocara’s terranon. He had been dragged off the beast, rudely dragged into the village and stripped, before being tied to a pole. He had been well abused, beaten and whipped a bit, before the Eridians had tired of his stoic manner, and had locked him in a small building. Both his wrists and ankles were well secured with coarse rope, and lying on his side, arms behind his back, he could do nothing that might help him escape.

The camp had been quite busy, and he had been fed some bread and given a bowl of water, much as an animal might be fed. He considered this annoying, but was thankful to even be alive. Part of the warriors had flown off somewhere, and returned two days later, as had the Eridian women and children. He could hear no elvish being spoken, until quite late in the day, when he jerked his head up to listen, hearing the sweet voice of an Elvin female saying something wickedly unkind about her captors, as she passed near. Since the Elvin had only burned a couple of storage buildings, the village was soon back to normal.  Rasten could only listen, and try to guess what was afoot.

It was nearing dusk, on the evening of the warrior’s return, when two large and stout Eridians arrived, to drag him from his place. He was cleaned off by an Eridian female, using cold water and a rough cloth, before being taken and tossed on a pile of furs in a small cabin. His clothing had been taken from him on his arrival, and he had been naked during all four days of his captivity.

The furs felt amazingly soft, compared to what he had been lying on, and he merely relaxed, while waiting for something else to occur. The interior was dark, there being only one window, had there been any light outside to let in. He heard the door open, and a female order someone to be watchful. The door closed, and he listened to this person walk across the floor, avoiding his place. After a few small sounds, a light burst forth, as a lamp was lit. A second one was soon burning, and by this light, Rasten could see who was present; it was Shocara.

She stepped close, to look down on him, her face hard to read, the shadows hiding much of her features. She carefully knelt, examining his nakedness.

“Do you know who I am?” she wondered, poking his strong muscles with a finger.

“You are called Shocara, Princess!” he replied in his dubious Eridian. This surprised and delighted her.

“You speak our language? How is that so?”

“I wished to learn, so that I might better understand your people. One should not fight an enemy they have no understanding of,” he declared.

“You are deeper than I expected! Why does a human fight for the Elvin?!” she demanded. Rasten hesitated to reply, worried that declaring himself half-Elvin would only make him more likely to be abused. This possibility occurred to Shocara also.

“You are not…you are half-Elvin?!” she snarled, suddenly angry.

“I am what I am. Do you wage this war only from a hatred of the Elvin?” he asked. This made her pause, frowning.

“We fight to avenge all we have lost!” she hissed.

“But each time, more die, and more are wounded or lost. How will it ever end?” Rasten asked. He quickly found a dagger at his throat.

“It will end when all the Elvin are gone, and we are free of their oppression!” she insisted. Rasten looked at her as though she was a slow child.

“Princess, do you not know how badly you are out numbered by the Elvin? You could kill a hundred…a thousand  for each one of you lost, and perish long before the Elvin dwindled! They only wish to be at peace with you!”

“Then why do they keep killing us?”

“Because you keep attacking them?” Rasten sighed. Shocara laughed at this.

“Perhaps what you say is true…but we know no other way to be! We are warriors, and our valor is all we have!”

“What shall you do with me? Trade me for some of your people or other things?”

Shocara thought this amusing.

“We hold a death rite for any Eridian who is captured, since none ever return. You will go nowhere. We can always use a strong slave!”

She watched him for several moments, before speaking more.

“You are important!”

“I am just a warrior,” he said and shrugged. Shocara slapped his face hard.

“Do not lie to me, and treat me as a fool! The Elvin followed your commands! You are no ordinary warrior!” she hissed, viciously.

“The Elvin have many who might lead, depending on what task is at hand. I am as capable of following orders, as giving them!” he replied, his cheek burning from her hand. Shocara again watched, before hopping up, and going to the other side of her small cabin. She returned with his sword, drawing it fully. She examined it well in the lamp light, marveling at the engraving, which ran the full length of the blade. Even after fighting herself and other warriors, the edges were razor sharp, and showed no wear.

“You tell me this is the sword of a common warrior? It is a work of great beauty, which our people can scarce dream of! I have seen many of the swords of the Elvin warrior…this is not a common one. You are special! Are you a prince?” she asked, watching him closely.

“No…I would have to do much to earn such a title!”

“What do you mean? You are not a child of royalty?” she demanded. Rasten chuckled at this.

“Dear Princess…the Elvin have no such thing! All titles and positions are granted for the doing of great deeds. Often the children of leaders are much less than able to lead! The Elvin avoid that trap, allowing only the proven ones to hold positions of honor and power!”

“My father led us for many years!” she replied, “do you think me less able, for being his daughter?” she asked, eager to put him in an awkward place.

“You seem quite creative and willing to try original things. The Elvin respect that, and would hope you might consider even more new ideas!”

“Such as?”

“Peace. You like my sword?”

“Of course…I shall keep it! I wish that all my warriors might have such a thing!” she laughed.

“They could…were you willing to stop this senseless war, the Elvin would teach you all of their crafts, from the working of stone, to the making of swords!”

“I find that unlikely…why would they trust us to not turn against them?”

“Princess…” Rasten sighed, exasperated by her stubbornness. “There are hundreds of worlds where the Elvin vanquished other’s who had done wicked things. Those peoples are now free and friends, well trusted, and comrades in arms! Your people could have the same relationship!”

“One of my people returned to us, carrying the same words. Have you been on these other worlds?”

“Not many…I am only recently arrived here, and…”

“You are Sayarin’s son!” she exclaimed, poking him with her finger. Her eyes were wide and she evinced a wicked delight. “And you are mine!” she added, her delight and pride boundless. “Will you deny that you are?!” she demanded, looking like an excited young girl. Capturing such a one would well secure her position as a worthy Eridian warrior.

“What if I am?” Rasten demanded. “You could trade  me for much wealth!”

“You think they might well ransom you? Or would they sacrifice you and simply kill all of our people!” she snarled.

“Princess…they don’t want to kill any of you! Why is that so hard to understand?”

“Perhaps because we know no other thing than war! We certainly have none of your riches or wealth, none of your skills or sorcery. Our people wear out and die, their lives hard and miserable, even without the fighting!” she complained.

“Shocara? That is so needless! The Elvin wish to free you from your misery and want, not make it worse!”

“Yet you came to attack us with a large force of warriors! How was that to be helpful to us?” she laughed.

“We thought it needful, to recover our females. You’ve hidden them again?”

“Of course! I do wish to return them, but considered them useful, should you have your way with us!”

“The Elvin would well regard you, should you send them back unharmed…”

“I’m sure they would!” she laughed. “but that does little to help our lives be better!”

“Princess…there are great tracks of land on this world, untouched and unoccupied, far greater than what your people have ever held, and it is rich land also! A hundred times your present population could live there comfortably,” Rasten suggested.

“And where is this land? Why would the Elvin give us such a thing?!”

“It is south east of your lands, past a range of mountains. It extends a vast distant easterly, before it ends at a…” Rasten stopped, realizing there was no word in Eridian for ocean. “You saw the lake by Alarinad?”

Shocara nodded. “It is water, like a thousand lakes!” he said, hoping she might understand.

“I can not imagine such a thing! Have you seen it?”

“Not this one, but on the world of my birth, I saw several. They are so vast, you could not cross on a terranon!” he suggested. Shocara looked enchanted.

“I should like to see such a thing!” she sighed.

“Take me back to Alarinad, and I can take you to view it!” Rasten suggested. Shocara patted his cheek.

“You are funny…I like that! Your ass is going nowhere! All will be thrilled with my catch!” she declared, clearly pleased. She sheathed the sword, and stood up, laying it on a small, rough table, before bending over to get something else. She returned with Rasten’s mail, sitting back down cross legged, and holding it up for him to see.

“Do you know how these are made?”

“No…the Elvin smiths make them. I gather they take much work and time.”

“They are made of zithoria! That makes them valuable, doesn’t it?!”

“I suppose. The Elvin think little of that…they use it because it is light and strong!”

“It is accursedly so! Our blades can scarcely penetrate it! The Elvin would teach us how to work this also?”

“Of course…should we be at peace, you might have Eridian youth become apprentices, and learn all of the Elvin crafts! Many others come from far worlds, to study and learn, both here and on the myriad Elvin worlds. You are jealous of the Elvin, their skills and ways, are you not?”

“Perhaps. It seems unfair, that we have so little…” she sighed. “So answer me! Why would the Elvin give us such valuable land, as you speak of?”

“Princess…the Elvin are not native to this world…do you know that?”

Shocara frowned. “What does that mean?!”

“It means they came here from elsewhere, far longer ago than you can imagine! They chose this place to be their capital, because it was nearly at the center of all their worlds. Only your people and the Sacarini lived here, in small settlements. Your people were far away from where they chose to settle, probably to avoid the others; they were pretty aggressive and wicked. They eventually annoyed the Elvin too much, and were dealt with sternly. The Elvin wished to leave your people alone, to let you be as you pleased. But every time you’ve grown and spread out, you’ve attacked the Elvin. That gets you beat back and reduced, until the cycle repeats!”

Shocara seemed amazed to hear such a tale regarding her people, their own stories and legends telling none of this.

“So the Elvin don’t belong here!” she declared, crossing her arms and looking pouty.

“Dear Princess…almost a billion Elvin exist here, and have now for more years than you can count. They aren’t going anywhere!” Rasten laughed. He soon had a dagger at his throat.

“You aren’t either!” Shocara hissed, angry, before she grinned, running her hand over his naked muscles.




Amein had been on her way back to Alarinad from the Elvin world of Am-Reiada when she received an urgent message which had been relayed from Tieneri. It had been brief and less than informative, her young elf likely wishing to deliver terrible news in person. It had said simply, Elvin forces ambushed by mass of Eridians, heavy casualties. No Elvin captives present at village.

Amein knew from experience that further enquires would be pointless, her assistant precise and well able to resist her badgering. Instead, she concentrated on getting back as fast as possible. She had confronted horrid news before, and knew well how to stay focused and disciplined, resisting the urge to speculate about what might be involved.

Still, she was now confronted by a stronger feeling of dread, understanding how much deeper her feelings for Rasten were than for even her siblings. She had worried many times, having sent various ones of her family off to fight, and had more than once lost someone. While tragic and dire, none had tormented her like the possible loss of Rasten promised to do.

When she emerged from the gate at the Citadel, she quickly looked at those manning it, looking for any sign of sadness or pity for her. She could see no such, and this heartened her a bit.

“Greetings Princess…was your journey productive?” the gate keeper asked.

“It went well…I was summoned to return urgently. Do you know why?” she asked, and held her breath.

“No…I’m sure your people in the Citadel will inform you!” the elf suggested, giving no hint of dishonesty or evasion. None other displayed such either.

“I should hope so!” she said, and managed a weak smile.

It took much effort not to run, but she was soon striding into the entry, intent on going to her office, and seeking out Tineria. Instead, her father’s statue caught her eye, and she felt drawn to it, stepping up to stand and gaze.

What words might you counsel, to give me strength? she wondered, knowing that Sayarin had lost many friends and companions in his years of war. Nothing came to her, and she stood staring, until the soft voice of Tineria intruded from behind her.

“Princess?” she whispered, having been advised by the gate keeper of Amein’s arrival, as she had ordered.

Amein managed to turn and face her assistant. “Sit!” the young elf commanded, then looked guilty for being so bold.

“Please, Princess?” she added, gesturing. Amein turned and sat, and Tineria did likewise, both turned to face each other.

“Is it as bad as I fear?” Amein managed to ask.

“I can not answer to how the battle went or what occurred. All I can speak to is this; Rasten did not return with the Elvin. Kimarein informs us that he was battling Shocara, one on one, and that they pulled away from the main battle, deeper into the forest. None saw either of them after that, and being driven back, Kimarien chose to withdraw, rather than sacrifice more of our warriors…”

“So none can say if he fell or is captive?” Amein asked, searching for any way to avoid complete despair. “I would speak with Kimarien and the other commanders, and hear a fuller telling.”

“It is late, Princess, would you rather wait until morning?”

“No…ignorance will make no pillow for me tonight…I need to know all aspects of what we faced!”

“I will see to it at once!” Tineria assured her, but instead of leaping up, she hesitated. “I’m sorry! she whispered, knowing her words inadequate, but eager to offer some comfort. They swiftly embraced, both overcome, and sat several minutes, before parting.

“Thank you…no words will ever heal such a wound, or banish this misery, but I am grateful for your care!” Amein sighed, wiping at her eyes.


When she parted from Tinaria, she went to her rooms to change, but soon regretted it, seeing Rasten’s things bringing her to tears. She threw herself onto her bed, and hugged a pillow, crying helplessly, no longer able to hold in her misery. Several of her attendants, who had heard rumor of Rasten’s fall, came to watch, unsure whether to come to her or to grant her privacy. They finally came close, and sat, surrounding her on the bed and waited.

When she had stopped her tears, and pulled away from her pillow, she discovered them, several offering her a hankie, and all looking sad and concerned.

“You’ve heard?” she managed to ask, knowing such gossip would have been well spread and shared.

“Of course…Princess…there is little we might do to sooth you, but do not hesitate to ask it of us,” one whispered.

Her helpers got her to sit up, and one wiped her face with a warm and damp cloth, before drying it. A glance in a hand mirror showed her eyes red and swollen. but she was otherwise presentable.

“Thank you…” she sighed, before going out.

When she reached the meeting room where the commanders had gathered, all stood quickly upon her entry. Kimarien, who had served her since she was made Princess, bowed to her.

“Princess, I am much grieved to be the bearer of such unpleasant news!”

“Kimarien…there are no guarantees in life…we all know this. We lose many, who are dear, no matter what our hearts desire! Come, tell me all that occurred!” she managed to say, hoping her voice wouldn’t fail.

They sat long, as all told parts of what had occurred, each contributing what they had seen. Amein listened intently, asking an occasional question, wanting to fully comprehend how the Elvin had been beaten. When all had fallen silent, they waited to hear what Amein thought of their story.

“The Eridians knew you were coming! And worse, they knew well in advance, so that they were able to move the captives and all their women and children. The men at the village…their job was to get you to go to Sardac!”

“Lord Rasten thought that likely also…our first thought was to go attack under cover of darkness, but upon reflection, he decided we should wait. That allowed us to rest, and arrive at dawn fresh, and we did catch the Eridians asleep or tired. Had we attacked in the dark, we would have been easily overwhelmed, considering where they had placed themselves,” Kimarien insisted bitterly.

“We must discover how the Eridians knew of our plans! We have never suffered such a betrayal!” Amein said, her voice angry and harsh.

“True, but there is another thing we must consider!” Kimarien suggested softly. Everyone stared at him. “Shocara…her leadership and quick thinking was amazing! She guided her men well, and her grasp of strategy is something we’ve never seen from the Eridians. We were well positioned twice to beat them down, but she guided them to elude our force! This whole battle smacks of brilliant planning, and we should not hesitate to confess it!”

“Well spoken. She gives them something they’ve never displayed before…an inventiveness and ability to improvise. We’re used to fighting Eridians who are simple and predictable, and she’s changed that! We must prepare better!” Amein declared. “How many did we loose?”

“More than fifty…we were lucky to not lose more!”

“So…the Eridians drove us off, and their village was spared. They still have our people, and their own women and children?” Amein asked.  Kimarien nodded.

“Then it seems the Eridians won this one, doesn’t it?!”

The commanders glanced at each other, before all nodded.

“What might you tell me of Lord Rasten?” she asked, and sat, scarcely breathing.

“His quick thinking liked spared us much worse casualties, Princess!”

“You said he was fighting Shocara when last you saw him? What can you tell me of that?”

“He was holding his own. She was trying to get him back deeper into the forest…likely to use it to her own advantage somehow, but…with the way the fighting was going, I had no time to watch! Neither of them were visible to me as we departed!”

“Were you fighting as you mounted your terranons?”

“No…the Eridiains seemed to stop as we mounted up, and fled…what do you make of that?” Kimarien wondered.

“Only Shocara would have stopped them from trying to kill all of you! I’m certain she was someplace close enough to issue commands! You know what that likely means…” she ended, suddenly exhausted.

“Of course…but Rasten is a resourceful one…” Kimarien suggested, wishing to sound more hopeful than he felt.

“But even had he escaped Shocara’s blade, he would be alone, many leagues from our land, completely surrounded by Eridians!” Amein sighed.

They talked for a time, about the need to find the one within who had passed along such information, as well as the need to think better of their enemies deviousness. She finally dismissed them, and headed off to her rooms.

When she arrived, she found her mother waiting.

Hiverivi stood, and Amein ran into her arms, bursting into tears. Neither spoke for many long minutes.

“The evil part…is not knowing for certain!” Amein finally sighed.

“None saw him fall?” her mother asked, and Amein shook her head.

“None saw either of them,” she insisted, then explained what she knew.

“You are likely correct…but even captured or wounded…his chances of surviving the Eridians is slim. Should they discover who he is, his end would be terrible!”

“Probably. I’ve never hated the Eridians as much as I do now!” she complained.

“How much are you angry with yourself?” Hiverivi asked suddenly. This caused a new wave of tears, before Amein managed to stop sniveling.

“I will always blame myself! I…had no real reason for not going…I just wanted him to lead, without me looking over his shoulder!” Amein cried.

“I thought so. Your decision was wise, but will now torment you! You won’t heal from this for a long time, unless Rasten somehow escapes and returns!”

“That’s a fools hope…isn’t it?” Amein complained, wiping her eyes.

“Hope is never completely foolish or in vain, especially as it helps you function, while you heal. Your heart will know to let it go when it is time!” her mother assured her.

“I’m not sure I will ever heal from this!”  Amein sighed, feeling much older suddenly than her true age.



Shocara had gotten up, and put the mail garments on the table with the sword.

She returned, kneeling, and used both her hands to examine his body. She examined his maleness, cupping his balls in her hand.

“I make you nervous?” she asked, squeezing them lightly.

“Some.” he admitted. He flinched when she touched his side, where her sword strike had bruised him deeply.

“Were it not for your mail, I should have killed you!” she declared.

“Twice…it is quite helpful!” he said, and grinned at her frown.

“You look like a human…an Eridian with no beard, except for being pretty! That is because you are part elf?”

“Of course. Are you sure you don’t want to trade me for things of value?” he suggested, eager to find a way out of his predicament.

“Of course not!  Besides, I have something I wish you to do!”

“And what might that be?” Rasten wondered.

“I would have you pleasure me, as I’ve heard rumors that some might experience. If you should do so, I will keep you alive; should you disappoint me, you will die!”

“If you would experience such a thing, I would need my hands free, Princess,” Rasten suggested, eager to be able to move.

“I could do that, but you might choose to strangle me! I have no fear of such, as the three guards surrounding this place would cut you down on sight the instant you stick your head outside! Do you understand me?” she asked.

“Of course, Princess,” Rasten agreed, willing to agree to anything to be able to be unfettered.

Shocara left him tied, as she stripped off her leather boots, pants and vest. Seeing her in the lamp light, bare gave his organ a sudden thrill; Shocara seemed quite sexy and luscious.

When she again came close, to cut the rope on his wrists, she leaned over him. Rasten was assaulted by her smell, her unwashed, sweatiness, her dirty butt crack and her ripe puss were all overpowering. He moved his arms, rubbing his wrists, to get more feeling in them. Shocara slipped her dagger under the furs behind her, and slipped close against him. Her dark hair was thick and luscious, but dirty, it having been two weeks since she had last bathed. Like all of the Eridians, she was quite used to her strong fragrance, having no idea that such might offend the humans or Elvin.

In spite of her overpowering smell, Rasten was determined to have her, hoping she might succumb to being had, giving him a chance to escape. He began by kissing her, finding her lips soft and responsive. A few minutes of this had her much delighted.

“Princess, will you promise not to be offended if I guide and instruct you a bit? I can teach you many things, which will make your pleasure greater, if you will permit me to!” he whispered.

“I should be angry only if you fail to please me!” she suggested.

Rasten got her to open her mouth, so he might be able to touch her tongue with his. She quickly mastered this, finding it thrilling, and as Rasten fondled her breasts, she touched his organ, delighted to find it fully erect. This promised her a better outcome, and she toyed with it, as he slipped his fingers between her legs, to explore her femaleness. Shocara gasped at these sensations, spreading her legs, to allow him freer access. Rasten found her to be sloppy wet and eager, and using his fingers, he began stimulating her vagina deeply, while teasing her swollen clitoris with his thumb, after wetting it well with her juices.

When Rasten felt her nearing an orgasm, he decided to slip between her legs, entering her with his hard organ. Shocara moaned with pleasure, and he slowly worked her, his cock deep inside. He pressed hard against her, making her more aroused, and only when he felt her begin to spasm, did he speed up, to join her in an intense orgasm. He held her tightly, staying deep within her, kissing her as she drifted, utterly delighted.

“Did you like that?” he whispered. “We can do more!” he suggested.

When she could again concentrate, she frowned at him.

“How is it that you are so skilled at this?!” she demanded, looking pouty and enticing in the dim light. Rasten shrugged.

“All the Elvin are able to do such…they are much devoted to the art of love, beginning very young to master it. Do the Eridians not devote energy and study to this also?”

“This is another reason to hate the Elvin!” she moaned, before grinning at him. “You shall be my plaything! Please me again!” she demanded.

“Of course, Princess, but you may be embarrassed a bit by what I do next. Just close your eyes and enjoy it!” he suggested. Shocara was puzzled by this but curious, eager to feel more of such delightful sensations.

Rasten moved off her, and worked to position his body where he could lick her female self. His ankles were still tied together, but he ignored this, coaxing her to spread her legs widely, so he could part her furry puss, exposing her tender inner self. He began licking her, only slightly holding his breath, her puss overpowering in its female fragrance. At first she stiffened, shocked at his sticking his nose into her female parts, but as the sensations touched her, she was soon making contented sounds, and becoming highly aroused. Rasten worked diligently, probing her vagina with his fingers as he lapped her hard clit, until she erupted in an overpowering climax. She seemed helplessly delighted, and before she knew what he was doing, he had turned her onto her side, moved her upper leg up out of the way, slipped astraddle of his lower leg, and entered her wet puss, giving her long strokes. This caused more moaning. A few minutes of this, and he again moved her, entering her from behind, as they lay spooned together. He reached over her, and toyed with her clitty, as he had her, and soon had her erupting in an overpowering orgasm.

Rasten snuggled close, not allowing himself to finish, wanting Shocara to go to sleep, and not himself. She was soon snoring, her orgasms handily putting her under, utterly satisfied. Rasten let his organ go limp and slip out, and he slowly backed away from her, replacing his body with the furs. He felt under the bottom most one, and retrieved the dagger, which he used to cut his ankles free.

Rasten was eager to try and escape, but assumed the guards outside would at least be watching her door. He sat, rubbing his ankles, trying to get some feeling back into them as he considered what to do. He finally stood carefully up, taking the dagger, and made his way to the small table. He worked carefully to slip his mail back on, the chain so perfectly fitted and close that it made almost no sound. When he had the pants also on, he looked, but saw no trace of his boots.

A glance at Shocara’s bare form showed her snuggled deeply into the furs, having not moved since her final orgasm. She seemed amazingly beautiful in her naked splendor, and Rasten thought how marvelous she would be, clean and dressed like a proper Princess, and not hidden by the clothes of a warrior. If only they could abandon this stupid war, she might be able to be what she could, in all her beauty! Her skill with a blade was certainly not exaggerated, and neither were the reports of her appearance! If she was clean and well arrayed, she would make even the Elvin sigh at her loveliness! Rasten thought, before turning to escape.

Taking the dagger, he moved stealthily to the rear window, feeling to determine how it was fastened. It took him a moment to figure out how it was held in place, and more time, carefully and slowly prying with the dagger blade to get it loose. He sat it carefully on the floor, flat so it could not fall and wake Shocara or any other. Peering out, he saw no sign of any guards, the night being moonless. There was a slight glow from around the front of the cabin, from a dying fire, but nothing else could be seen or heard. He had played long with Shocara, and was hopeful that most Eridians would be asleep. Slipping back, he picked up his sword, but didn’t buckle it on, wanting to slip out the window first.

Getting over the wall, and down to the ground without making noise was hard, and he felt like he was making more commotion than a wounded beast. When he was standing on solid dirt, he quickly put on his sword, eager to have his hands free.

Rasten had observed the arrangement of the village when he was moved to Shocara’s place, and he had noted the area well beyond her abode, where the Terranons were kept. Slipping across the open area behind her small cabin, he moved between trees, making his way carefully through the gloom slowly, using his bare feet to feel his way, and to avoid anything that might make noise. He arrived at the place where the terranons were kept, and moved furtively among them until he discovered one still saddled and harnessed.

Realizing that, like the Elvin, the Eridians kept at least one ready to dispatch at a moment’s notice, he grinned to himself. That’s quite handy! he thought, climbing the short ladder up onto the large creature. He fastened the lap belt, the saddle’s stirrups cold and hard without boots. When he was ready, he jerked on the reins, and was pleased to have the terranon leap skyward in a flurry of wings. He heard distant yelling from below, but concentrated on making haste away from the Eridian camp.

He hoped to be well away, before any pursuit might be launched, knowing he was at least a day’s ride away from Elvin territory.

He flew in the darkness, watching the stars, thankful his instructors had made him learn the constellations. The lap belt chaffed his thighs, and his balls itched. Worse, his sweaty skin stuck to the leather understructure of his mail. He was thrilled to have escaped, especially with both his mail and sword, the idea of having lost such a treasure too much to bear. His face still held the strong scent of Shocara’s puss, as did his organ. This amused him, until he thought of Amein, and what she might be like, if she discovered he had pleasured her enemy.

I’ll need a bath, he thought, before seeing her. Or I’ll need to have a much better excuse! She’ll never believe I was raped! he understood, before he thought of the others  they’d failed to find and retrieve. It somehow made having Shocara seem even more wicked.

The Eridians had well prepared for us a brilliant trap! Somehow they must have known we were coming! he thought, this idea as certain as it had previously been unthinkable. Do we have a spy within our place? How could that even be possible?! There are none of the former Eridains within the Citadel! Everyone present is an elf, or a human, who can trace their family back generations, having always been close and devoted. How could such a one turn against us enough to aid the enemy? Or has someone young and less wise spoken improperly to someone outside the keep, who has wicked allegiance to the Eridians somehow? Even a chance comment could have informed the Eridians, if carried to them timely. Shocara is certainly wise enough to use such a gift!

Rasten flew through the darkness, his mind darting from one issue to the next. He remembered his dream, which had seemed to well foretell what they had experienced. His vision too returned to give him pause, seeing now how parts of it had been a false display and which had been made real, by the choices he had made.

Listening to the Eridian in Shocara’s village was a mistake…was what she wanted. She guessed we would come eagerly in the darkness, wanting to use it against her. Instead, she was it’s master, being well prepared and ready. Had we not waited until daybreak, we would have been so easily snared!  he though, sighing as he scratched his itching self, the sweaty leather rubbing him unmercifully.

I need to never trust the words of an Eridian under such a condition! he thought, smiling. Consider that well learned…I likely won’t live through a second such lesson! he considered, as he shivered in the darkness, thrilled to be alive.