U.O.T.W. Chapter 229 To Woo a Wolf

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     Once they got back to Jorrvaskr, Aela smothered Fang’s ear with the palm of her hand and pressed him against her bosom, muffling her shout as she called out to those inside.   

       

    The discussion inside the great hall fell afoul of Aela’s hollering shout as she yelled for Kodlak.   

    “Harbinger? Come round the back to the yard. I want to show you what Fang can do”.  

       

    “Don’t take too long, supper’s being served in a few moments”. Tilma called back as she placed a large pot in the middle of the table. By her side was a large tray filled with rolls which were to be divided up between the various oval plates that decorated the table top.   

       

    Aela showed off Fang’s new set of skills, earning a rapturous applause from the Harbinger and the Whelps who followed him outside. They all watched with a quiet apprehensive curiosity when Aela gave Fang the command to sit. The cub obeyed and stayed where his mistress had told him to then to everyone’s surprise Aela hid around the corner.   

       

    All it took was a single call and two slaps on Aela’s hip to bring Fang running around Jorrvaskr to rejoin her.  

       

    After a few minutes Farkas came outside and called everyone in.  

    “Grubs up. Eat it or leave it”. He greedily grinned at the Whelps before returning to the table. “Then there’s more for me”.  

       

    Aela scooped up Fang in her hands then she turned to Sotek and hurried him along.  

    “Move yourself, he means it”.  

       

    The Whelps entered the hall en-mass in what Tilma referred to as a horde. She grunted at each one as they hustled past her to get to any empty chair which would accommodate them. Farkas and Vilkas were already sat at the table in their usual spot, on the end of the long stretch of tables so they were on their Harbingers left. Kodlak took his usual position at the short table nearest to the infirmary. As he sat down he smirked at Sotek who was being tailed by Aela as he briskly marched to the steps.   

       

    As Kodlak watched the Whelps bustle around the table, he pondered upon them and the way in which Tilma, Sotek, Aela and even himself perceived them. Everyone knew Tilma saw them as a horde and more often than not Kodlak referred to them as little more than a rabble; especially when the two brothers were leading them back from a nights drinking in the Bannered Mare. Not that they led; Kodlak simply presumed that they just so happened to be in front of everyone else.   

       

    Sotek however always referred them as a pack and that was how he treated them. They were his pack. Even Farkas and Vilkas were intergraded within Sotek’s hierarchy of a pack. Kodlak was the Harbinger but Sotek was the Alpha. As for Aela, she was the Alpha female with the two brothers as their betas. What Kodlak found interesting was that everyone accepted Sotek’s regime without question. Each member fell into their role as if it was their natural place. It was where they belonged.   

       

    Kodlak snapped back to the here and now by the sound of Tilma’s voice as she called out disdainfully to the uncouth pack leader himself; Sotek.  

    “No you don’t young man; not this time. You can sit yourself down at the table just like everyone else. And Sotek, take that young lady with you; not that she is a lady. Aela! Don’t you even brush your hair in the morning when you get dressed? You look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards. Your hands! They’re filthy. Sotek, Aela go get cleaned up. And move yourselves!”  

       

    The Huntress groaned where she stood and leaned on one leg so she could stick her hip out. She sarcastically spoke back at the maid and spat in the palm of her hand.  

    “I don’t brush my hair Tilma. I spit on my hand and comb it through my hair like this! See? It works”.  

       

    Tilma’s mouth fell open and she stared incomprehensibly at Aela who was now in full smirk mode. Her other half served no better as he was now grinning ear to ear while his tail flapped about playfully. Sotek decided to intervene as he had already caused enough disruption with the introduction of Fang to the Hall. His intervention proved to be both timely and diplomatic. He started by tugging on Aela’s arm and leading her to the table.  

    “Fish is typically oily so we’ll only have to wash our hands afterwards. A little dirt never hurt anyone and the foods getting cold. You’ve gone into so much trouble Tilma; it would be a shame for it to go to waste”.  

       

    All Tilma could do was glare back at him. She knew he was right so she resigned to deal with table manners another time. She huffed in contempt then took her seat to the right of the Harbinger.   

       

    Aela’s eyes narrowed as she looked at the two spare seats left at the main table. Sabre and Sam were sat at the end table opposite the Harbinger and Tilma while Ebony sat by herself with the two empty chairs either side of her. One of these was beside Farkas while the other chair was near the corner where Sam was sitting.  

       

    It wasn’t the fact that Aela couldn’t sit alongside Sotek which bothered her, it was having to decide between two evils. Her first choice was to sit between ‘the ox’ and ‘the dippy one’, who was known as Ebony by everyone else. Her second choice was to be between Ebony and Sam who spent more time drinking than anything else. Neither prospect filled the Huntress with joy.  

       

    Sotek had other ideas though. It wasn’t often he would sit at the table during meal times but when he did there was one chair he marked as his own; the chair Sam was sitting on. Pulling rank, he moved towards Sam. The Whelp nervously looked at the approaching Argonian and relinquished his seat, giving it up. Sabre followed suit, allowing Aela to sit at the very end of the table. As the two Whelps moved to the empty chairs, Ebony too followed their sacrifice and shifted herself along one place so she was next to Farkas, allowing the two men to sit together as they often would.   

       

    Before Sotek sat down he glanced down at his plate and nodded to Sam, thanking him for giving up his place. The Argonian then held onto the back of the Huntresses chair, preventing her from shuffling forwards so she could eat.   

       

    She glanced up at him to find his reptilian eyes bearing down at her. Aela gulped and nervously gazed around the room at everyone. They were all looking at Sotek, wondering what he was doing but she knew exactly what he was up to. She turned to Sabre and faked a smile, hiding the anger at being held to ransom. With her back straight and her head held high she spoke to the Whelp, thanking him through gritted teeth for what he had just done.  

    “Thank you Sabre”.   

      

    Now that Sotek was satisfied that the Huntress had acknowledged the Whelp’s respect and pack ranking, the Argonian let go of her chair and seated himself. He looked directly across the hall to Kodlak who was opposite him and studied the Harbinger, curious as to what Kodlak thought on the last few minute’s events.   

       

    Kodlak easily noted Sotek was in the opposing seat to his own while the She-Wolf of the hall sat opposite Tilma. In his own way, at some point over the last few months, Sotek made himself the master of the hall; despite this though he made sure to keep within the boundaries of the Harbinger’s position. So much so that now the Whelps and even the two brothers sought out Sotek before Kodlak. When he felt it necessary, Sotek would advise they seek out the Harbinger or the Argonian would approach him directly. The dragon attack proved that. Sotek raised his banner and they all followed; even Aela who was always formed her own mind.   

       

    Eorlund’s words from that day echoed through Kodlak’s mind like a cold wind blowing down from the mountain. Such a thought sent a chill down his spine.   

    ‘You are Harbinger because he hasn’t told you to step down. You know it’s he who will take your place. He’ll either wait, or force your hand’.   

       

    All Kodlak could do was watch and wait as that inevitable day drew slowly yet inexorably closer.  

      

    While everyone was now sitting at the table, Fang started exploring the hall. He took more than a slight interest in Sotek's meal and plodded over to him. The cub then commenced in a series of whines to get the Argonian's attention. Fang furthered his goal by resting his front paws on Sotek's leg, causing Sotek to peer down at the hapless animal.  

      

    Aela felt disgruntled at the fact that Fang went to him rather than herself. She openly glared at Sotek and almost accusingly spoke.   

    “Why has he gone to you?”  

      

    Sotek was taken aback by Aela's bluntness. He looked up in surprise and became transfixed by the Huntress's hostile eyes.   

    "Ermm... he’s possibly hungry”.  

      

    “So why to you?” She stated a second time, demanding an explanation.   

      

    “Because I fed him when I found him I suppose". Sotek said while he flicked his tail away from Aela's seat lest she tried to stamp on it. "Why don't you call him to you?"  

      

    Aela glared at Sotek while she called the cub over to her.   

    "I was about to. FANG, here boy". The cub looked over to her, then back at Sotek, within a few seconds, and much to Sotek's relief, the wolf cub chose its mistress over Sotek and it ran to join her. With a triumphant grin, Aela picked him up and sat him on her lap. As she ate the fish supper Tilma had prepared, she fed him some scraps of fish from her plate.  

      

    After receiving a nudge in his side from the maid, Kodlak looked across to the Huntress and sighed.  

    “Aela, not at the table”.  

      

    “So where else am I supposed to eat then?” She mused as she slammed down her fork.  

      

    Kodlak rolled his eyes while Tilma rapped her fingertips on the table top.  

    “Not you! The cub, Fang”.  

      

    She huffed in contempt and shoved backwards on her chair.  

    "Fine; we’ll go to our own table over there. Come on little trouble maker". Leaving everyone else at the main table, she got up and sat at the small table in the corner with the cub on her lap, the next second she stuck her tongue out at the Harbinger.  

      

    The Harbinger frowned then pointed his knife at Sotek. The Argonian raised his hands in defeat and shrugged his shoulders then faithfully followed the Huntress.   

      

    Halfway through their meal, the Whelps started talking about their training over the last few days. Ebony burst out laughing and called out to the Huntress.  

    “Hey Aela, we watched you and Sotek go off earlier, holding each other’s hands. I said to Farkas that was sweet but he said it wasn’t so me and Sabre pressured him to come up with something romantic. Guess what he said?”  

      

    Kodlak smiled at her and he tried to correct her speech.   

    "Ebony, it's Sabre and I".  

      

    "Oh, sorry Harbinger no it wasn't; it was definitely me that said it. You were inside the hall at the time". Ebony stated.  

      

    Both Kodlak and Tilma looked at each other then Kodlak's face disappeared under the palm of his hand.   

      

    Aela smiled at him, knowing what he had unsuccessfully tried to do. She shook her head at the Whelp and replied with a chuckle.  

    “Knowing that moron, not a bloody lot”.  

      

    Ebony laughed then used a silly voice to imitate Farkas.  

    “Oh Ebony, I really like the way you hold that sword”.  

      

    The tone of her voice caused everyone to chuckle but it was Aela’s comment which changed the smirks and grins to a boisterous uproar.    

    "Well you aren't holding Sotek's Sword. That belongs to me!"  

      

    "Sotek doesn't use a sword. He has a spear". Ebony replied, showing her naïve side.   

      

    "And how would you know?" Aela stated through gritted teeth. She tried to look serious but the cheesy grin was all too obvious.   

      

    Ebony felt perplexed as she had completely missed Aela’s innuendo. The septim finally dropped when she looked at Sotek and saw him smirking back at her. She turned beetroot red and hid her face in her hands as she giggled.   

    "That's not what I meant! I was trying to get Farkas to be romantic"  

      

    Farkas frowned at her and mumbled back.  

    “Well I’m no good at that mushy stuff am I?”  

      

    Now that she had recovered from her earlier embarrassment, Ebony turned to Sotek and egged him on.  

    “Go on, show him how its done. Say something romantic to Aela”.  

      

    All of a sudden Aela found herself in the firing line. The grin was wiped from her face and she felt her cheeks redden as she fell under the scrutiny of the entire hall. She discretely punched Sotek in the leg and hissed her warning.   

    "Don't even think about it". She knew she was in trouble when she looked at everyone; even Kodlak and Tilma were grinning at her.   

      

    Sotek smiled vindictively at Aela who half looked at him. She slightly shook her head and repeated her threat.  

    “Don’t, I’m warning you”.  

      

    The meal was interrupted by Vilkas and Ebony who started banging their hands on the table as they cried out in jest.  

    "Dare! Dare!" Within a few seconds even the Harbinger was banging his hand as all of them joined in with the one exception of Farkas who quietly seethed at the Argonian.  

      

    Sotek laughed then held up his hand quietening everyone. He sat silent for a few moments before breathing life into his thoughts.  

    "Aela, your hair blows in the breeze like the grass on the plains. Your eyes shine like Masser and Secunda on a cloudless night when they smother the wilds with their moonlight. Your skin is soft yet weathered like the water from the stream, smooth to the touch and refreshing to taste". He paused for a moment and lovingly took Aela's hand. In front of everyone he lovingly kissed the back of it and held it to his chest. "Your spirit and passion blazes like the campfire keeping me warm when I am by your side. Men bestow upon their ladies gifts of flowers, perfumes and dresses as tokens of their love but such gifts are worthless to a wild untamed creature such as you. A flower you are not but then I have no use for fragrant flowers in their bright yet delicate colors of silk and lace. It is a she-wolf whom shares my bed and it's a she-wolf who has my heart so it is for the she-wolf who I have a gift worthy of such passion and spirit that only a she-wolf can have. A gift for my friend, companion and mate. A gift for you, Aela the Huntress, She-wolf, mate of Sotek. A gift from my own blood and sweat".  

      

    Ebony ended up leaning across the table where she passionately sighed as she dreamily listened to Sotek's words.    

    "That's beautiful. Eww, blood and sweat? Why mention blood and sweat? You had her until you mentioned that”.  

      

    Vilkas shook his head at her and grinned.   

    "You had Ebony when you said 'your hair blows in the breeze'. She has a point though, you blew it at the end I think”.  

      

    Sotek smiled at him then gave the Harbinger a wink.  

    “Not unless I meant it". He turned to Aela and whispered delicately in her ear. "Close your eyes”.  

      

    Aela did as he requested then Sotek got up and went across the room. She could hear him move about but she restrained from peeking while she repeated his words in her mind. She could feel her heart's beat quicken with excitement. She was his tonight, she would make sure of it.   

      

    Sotek was aware of Aela's rapid beating heart. He could hear the powerful muscle over everyone else's. He discretely smiled to himself as the scent of Aela changed. Her lust was all to easy to pick out from the other scents and smells of the hall. At least to him, he knew the others were ignorant to it as they had broken away from their wolf abilities long ago.   

      

    From the chest he kept in the corner of the hall, he produced the Dragonbone bow which he had carried back from Lakeview Manor. Giving the bow a quick wipe with a piece of rag, he then laid it down on the table in front of his mate.  

    “Open your eyes”.  

      

    Aela did so in a flash. She instantly fixed upon the bow and eagerly picked it up, examining the workmanship.   

    “You did it already? You made me another one? I didn’t think you had the time! How? When?”  

      

    He lent over then kissed her on the forehead.  

    “That’s my little secret. Go careful though, the enchantments are a bit stronger this time. Fire and Ice again; you seem to get on with those”.  

      

    As Sotek sat down by Aela's side he winked across to Ebony.  

    "And you thought I blew it!"  

     

    Aela leaned across and pulled him to her, she shook her head then said loudly.   

    “Not a chance”. She  gave him a long, passionate kiss while the others cheered. She went bright red again as she broke off then sat back in her seat. She whispered across to him, fearful that the other's might hear her words yet the urgency and need prevented her from holding back. "My room tonight. You can repeat what you said; Sote...k".    

      

    Sotek grinned like the wolf who got the Venison. He raised his eyebrows as the tip of his tail curled up. It wasn't often but whenever Aela spoke his name like that it meant one thing; sex.   

    "I have to wait till tonight?" Aela never replied although her eyes were filled with lust. She felt the blood rush to her cheeks while a wanting ache from her loins caused her to shuffle in her seat.  

      

    Unfortunately for Aela, Ebony unintentionally drew everyone's attention to her as she pointed to the table she and Sotek were sitting by.   

    "See? You see that Farkas? Now that is romance”.  

      

    Feeling everyone's gaze upon her, Aela shut her eyes tightly and growled.   

       

    Some time later, when the evening drew in, the Whelps vacated the hall and made their way to the Bannered Mare so the Inner Circle could discuss the on going training regime. Sotek had deliberately waited until such a time as now where he could speak to the other Companions and the Harbinger without having Ebony's, or the other Whelp's ears flapping. Now seemed the perfect moment so before anyone else began speaking he grasped the opportunity with both hands.   

    “Harbinger, we’ve been asked by Jarl Balgruuf to clear out a mine. It’s near Rorikstead or rather to the west of the village I believe. Soljund’s sinkhole I think its called. They have a draugr problem; apparently they dug themselves through a wall and came across an old tomb. He mentioned about a shortage of guards so he would appreciate it if we tackled the problem. The Jarl sent over half the gold in advance. Here you go Harbinger, 150 septims”. 

     

    The Harbinger nodded slowly as he sat back deep in thought.  

    "Tasks generally go through the Harbinger before we accept them Sotek. We can't have the Inner Circle accepting and taking on jobs without me being aware of them else we could find ourselves being too stretched and having to ignore tasks. In particular, tasks we have seemingly already accepted and taken part payment for. You've overstepped your mark and you are now swimming in my waters. They run deep and I warn you, such a thing cannot be permitted. Now, if you please, you will go back to Jarl Balgruuf and apologise for accepting this task". 

     

    The other three members of the Inner circle, Aela, Farkas and Vilkas along with Tilma the maid, didn't know which way to look. Their eyes nervously darted around the hall, first to their Harbinger, Kodlak then to Sotek who seemed rather stunned by the Harbinger's remark. As he turned to look at them, they all turned away and stared at different corners of the room.  

     

    Sotek hissed loudly and grimaced at his feet while bitterly chastising himself on his lack of foresight.  

    "I should have came to the Harbinger first! Stupid hatchling......" He slowly approached the table and lifted up the bag of gold while he tried to think of a way to change the Harbinger's mind. It was only when he neared the door that by chance a soft breeze swept across his face from the cranny in the doorway. This soft refreshing breeze was all he needed. "I apologise for overstepping my boundaries Harbinger but if I may, can I speak on his behalf?" 

     

    He turned around to face the Harbinger but instead of waiting for Kodlak's permission, Sotek went ahead and laid out his defence.  

    "He's sorry. He let his emotions and enthusiasm run away with him. It's been a while since we've had a chance to explore a tomb and deal with draugrs. His heart overtook his head and protocols fell victim. He meant no disrespect nor did he mean to overstep his mark". He then turned back around and walked towards the door. 

     

    Kodlak sighed heavily. Shaking his head at himself, he tapped on the table and called  Sotek back. 

    "Wait! Things are quiet around here and it has been a while since we've had a job. Maybe I was overzealous in my response. Come back and sit down Sotek". 

     

    As he watched the Argonian return to his seat, Kodlak turned to each member of the Inner circle and nodded to himself as he decided upon a plan of action.  

    “Sotek, I'll not give the task to you as I feel a lesson needs to be learned. Namely for yourself but the others here as well. I hope you understand". 

     

    "Yes Harbinger; he does". Sotek said softly; hiding his true emotions. The reality was he didn't care who cleared out the mine. He just wanted Andsvarr free to help Aela train Fang. 

     

    Having decided who to pick, Kodlak called across to Farkas and gave the task to him.  

    "Farkas, could you take a Whelp with you in the morning and clear it out?” 

     

    Farkas nodded back although he wasn't sure on Sotek's feelings on the matter. He certainly didn't want to interfere and tread on Sotek's tail like the Argonian had done with Kodlak yet a job was a job and even he relished the opportunity to venture outside.  

    "Yes Harbinger. Have you any preferences to which Whelp?”  

      

    “Yes, I think Ebony would benefit from the experience far more than the others. Sam and Sabre have been doing a lot of hunting lately. Their doing well but she is somewhat dragging behind”.  

      

    Aela laughed, breaking the rather sombre mood. 

    “It’s certainly an experience going off with Farkas”.  

      

    “Oh quit it Howler”. Farkas replied in the hopes of shutting Aela up.  

      

    Aela wasn't fazed in the least. She replied to his banter with a whiplash of back talk. 

    “You quit it, Peppercorn”.  

      

    “I’m not Peppercorn, I’m Peaches”. Farkas blurted it out without thinking. He thought correcting Aela's mistake would show her up but instead of that, everyone burst out laughing at him, leaving Aela alone. He looked around at them all then realized what he had inadvertently said. “Oh to hell with it! Damn your ass Aela”.  

      

    Aela simply blew him a kiss then laughed.  

    "Hehe"

     

     

Comments

2 Comments   |   Ben W and 4 others like this.
  • Ebonslayer
    Ebonslayer   ·  August 15
    Kodlak's panicking. It used to be that Sotek was just taking his place as a mentor for the other Companions, now he's accepting jobs on their behalf. Poor harbinger must've nearly shit himself when he heard Sotek had set up the contract.
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      Ebonslayer
      Ebonslayer
      Ebonslayer
      Kodlak's panicking. It used to be that Sotek was just taking his place as a mentor for the other Companions, now he's accepting jobs on their behalf. Poor harbinger must've nearly shit himself when he heard Sotek had set up the contract.
        ·  August 18
      Yes, not an easy position to be in. Especially when one such as Sotek is capable of the task. I thought it would be interesting to delve into this, the old Alpha and the young alpha.  I'm going to play with this more later.