UOTW Chapter 244 Wild Horses

  • Author’s note: The chapter has not been edited except for odd mistakes and errors therefore the content may change at a later date although the plot will remain the same. The content you read now is as I written it in 2014-2015. I hope this fact doesn’t lessen your enjoyment.

    As always, should you see an error or something you feel is off then by all means let me know.

    Sotek Loyal Hound of Hircine

     

    In the early hours Aela woke up to find herself covered in sweat. Even her straw mattress was saturated. She lifted Sotek’s arm that was strewn over her, and sat up. After looking around the room to get her bearings, she got off the bed then pulled off Sotek’s shirt that she was wearing. The Huntress felt a slight shiver as she walked over to the wash basin. She washed herself down with a wet cloth so she would feel a better then it struck her that she wasn’t feeling hot at all.  

     

    Aela took a clean shirt from her wardrobe then went over to the bed. Sotek was laying on his back, murmuring in his sleep. She leaned over to him and felt his forehead. Immediately her face became full of concern as he was hot to the touch. 

    “Hey, wake up! Snap out of it, wake up”. 

     

    “Huh? What’s up?” He slowly stirred then pulled himself up to see Aela standing over him. “Are you ok?” 

     

    Aela looked at him with surprise. As she spoke she pointed to herself. “Me, Sotek it’s you! You’re burning up. Here, have a drink”. She passed him a flask of water in which he promptly downed in a single go. 

     

    “I do feel hot, now you mention it”. He drank the remaining water from the flask then staggered to the wash basin. Once there he rested his hands on either side then submerged his head in the water. Some water splashed on the floor which fell on Fang. He yelped with a start and ran to Aela’s bed for protection. He laid there with his nose sticking out from underneath the stone blocks that formed her bed. Sotek started feeling cooler but within moments the fever returned.  

     

    Aela headed out of her room.

    “Stay there, I won’t be long”. She went straight to the Harbingers room and knocked on the door. “Harbinger? Are you awake?” 

     

    Moments later she heard him mumbling to himself as he shuffled about. 

    “Oh for the peace and tranquillity... By the nines when are they going back to the plains?” As he opened the door he stopped his mumbling as he saw Aela’s face. “What is it? What’s wrong?” 

     

    “It’s Sotek. He’s burning up”. She led him to her room where Sotek was now sitting on a chair. 

     

    With just one look, the Harbinger could see he was covered in sweat. But at the same time he had a good idea of the problem. 

    “Aela! For the love of the nines girl! He’s been like this before, and so have you”. Kodlak picked up a chair and sat down facing the pair of them. His face held a heavy look of distain. “So do tell me... no, let me tell you. I would guess that Scarface haven’t hunted for the last three? Four days? So probably nor has Red. What the hell do you two expect? They have to feed; you can’t keep them locked away and expect no repercussions; especially Scarface as his metabolisms too fast. He needs to feed far more than Red does. Now you pair of twits tell me I’m wrong. Go on, either one of you tell me he’s ate lately”. 

     

    Aela threw a look at Sotek, who himself just stared at the floor.

    “I told you. I knew you should have made that kill”. 

     

    “Scarface lets Red eat first, you know that. How was I supposed to know it’ll affect me like this?” As he spoke he looked up at her through the corner of his eye, all the while trying to avoid eye contact with the Harbinger. 

     

    Kodlak gave himself a smile.

    “Well at least you’re trying to look out for each other. Aela, follow me”. He led her to the store then pulled off six deer carcases which were hanging up. “Two for Red and four for Scarface. I’ll get the others to replace them. He can’t go out hunting like this”. 

     

    Aela looked back towards her room. She pictured Sotek in his current state. 

    “No he can’t, can he? I’m sorry we put you out like this, it’s my fault”. 

     

    “Show me your hands”. 

     

    “What?” Aela shuddered slightly as a distant memory flooded her mind from when she was younger. 

     

    “Show me your hand”. Kodlak repeated, watching her closely as he did so. 

     

    “Oh fuck”. She mumbled as she complied with his request. She held out her hand to him palm down then waited for the inevitable slap which he bestow upon her willingly. The Harbinger slapped the back of her hand, making it sting then he glared at her. She pulled her hand back and rubbed her knuckles avoiding eye contact just as Sotek had done. 

     

    “He is still getting used to all of this. You know that. Yes, he’s fast and strong, but he’s not experienced, you are. You know damn well that you both need to feed, and often. You’re the Alpha, he’s the Beta, and if he doesn’t like it then Red bites him on the bloody arse. You need to feed and you know damn well he has to as well. This is your fault, you should know better. Now get his sorry backside in here and feed. Tomorrow, you two can replace the venison, shift it”. Then he pointed along the corridor, and sent her on her way. 

     

    She walked down the corridor holding her hand towards Sotek who was standing there watching her approach him. He blatantly walked past her then entered the Harbingers room. 

    “Harbinger, it’s not her fault. She said on the plains we needed to but I wouldn’t listen. I thought we would be ok, I didn’t realise it would affect us so much. It’s my fault, not hers”. 

     

    Kodlak looked at him carefully then he called Aela over to him.

    “Aela come here please. Is this true?” 

     

    She was about to say no, but she guessed that Sotek wanted the blame rather than her so she agreed. 

    “Yes, Harbinger. I said to him about it on the plains”. 

     

    “I see, let me look at your hand”. He spoke softly drawing Aela into a sense of security. She held out her hand which was slightly red across the knuckles. Kodlak held it softly with one hand then he turned to Sotek as he held it. “Aela, I apologise, I’m sorry”. Then he turned to Sotek, all the while he held Aela’s hand. “Aela is like a daughter to me so when I feel the need for punishment it does indeed grieve me just as much as it does her. She told you that you both need to feed but you ignored it, yes?” 

     

    Sotek looked him straight in the eyes; as usual he had no sign of backing down.

    “Yes”. 

     

    Kodlak gave a frown.

    “I never thought I would see you back down... until now. It grieves me so much but I feel it’s for the better. You both run around like a pair of wild horses and for the need of the pack I must break you. Only now do I see how that can be achieved, so I do what I must, just like you have done in the past. Sotek, do you understand?” 

     

    Aela looked at the pair of them, unsure herself as to what the Harbinger was referring to. Sotek slowly shook his head.

    “No, he does not”. 

     

    “It’s quite simple, she told you that you both must feed and because of your stubbornness you didn’t so now you’re weak and vulnerable. What would happen if you were out there and Stormcloaks attacked you both? You made yourself weak and in doing so you made her weak as well. You risked the pair of you because of your reluctance to back down. So, for the greater good I will break your spirit to the point where I can better control you. Aela, I’m sorry”. Then he slapped Aela’s hand again but this time as hard as he could. 

     

    Aela yelled from the impact as her hand turned red instantly. All her knuckles stung. Even Kodlak had to shake his hand a bit from the contact made between them. Before Sotek could react, Kodlak pointed his finger right in Sotek’s face. 

    “Every time you step out of line, she will suffer for it. You ignore her when she says you need to feed and she will suffer for it. You break the rules and yes, she will be the one. Consider yourself broken. Aela, take him to the stores. I don’t want to see you two until morning”. 

     

    Sotek stood there glaring at him but Aela grabbed his arm and started pulling him away. As they headed down the corridor she shook her hand.

    “God damn it that hurt!!”

     

    “This isn’t right”. Sotek growled through clenched teeth. 

     

    “Maybe, but he’s my father for all instances and purposes so what he said stands. You let it go, I god damn mean it”. 

     

    Sotek stopped then turned around to see Kodlak standing at his doorway watching them. 

    “It would seem Aela, that you’re the Alpha”.  

     

    “Yes I am. Come on, we need to eat. Damn that still hurts”. As she spoke she rubbed her knuckles. Sotek took her hand in his and cast a healing spell. Instantly the knuckles turned pale pink once more. 

     

    “There; is that better?” He asked as he kissed her hand. 

     

    Aela gave him a smile. 

    “Yes thanks”. Then she slapped him across the face hard. “Every time he hits me, I’m going to hit you”. Then she poked him in the chest. “So you bloody behave and start listening to me damn it. And no kisses until we are through with this bloody mess”. 

     

    Sotek rubbed the side of his face then followed Aela as she opened the storeroom. She picked two deer for herself and pointed out four for Sotek.

    “They’re yours. Now change and bloody eat something”. 

     

    Red transformed then started consuming the venison, while Scarface done the same. After several minutes they both changed back. Sotek instantly felt a lot better in himself.

    “I’m sorry I got you into this mess with the Harbinger. I’ll sort it out with him”. 

     

    Aela shook her head at him adamantly.

    “No you won’t. We leave it as it is. Come on, let’s get cleaned up”. 

     

    An hour later both Aela and Sotek were sitting upstairs in the hall on their step toasting some bread over the fire pit. Kodlak came upstairs and walked over to them both. 

    “How are you feeling now?”

     

    Sotek glared upwards at him.

    “I’m feeling better for that but I feel angry with you and also with myself”. 

     

    The Harbinger sat down next to them then gave him a smile.

    “That’s understandable. But at the same time you must realise there are repercussions to your actions. Your trouble is that you don’t have any that affects you, until now. So just maybe you will actually stop and think just a little on the consequences”. 

     

    “Yes that may be, but you don’t have the right to punish her because of my actions”. 

     

    Kodlak gave Aela a smile. 

    “No I don’t. And that Sotek, is the dilemma.  She’s your mate, but that don’t entitle you to that right either, does it?”

     

    Sotek gave a sigh and then he placed his arm around Aela and held her tightly.

    “I never bothered to think about how my actions affect you, for that I apologise”. 

     

    Aela gave him a smile.

    “We both done it, but he’s right. We’re a couple, let’s start acting like one”. Then she gave him a kiss. “And no I won’t slap you for that one, I guess it was needed. After all, if I can’t kiss my mate when he needs it, then what are we doing all this for?”

     

    Sotek sat up then gave her a hug then thought for a few seconds.

    “Harbinger, you have my apologies but we can’t ask the others to replace the venison. We have to get to Solitude; there’s a wedding we need to gate crash in a few day’s time”.

     

    Kodlak gave Aela a hug then kissed the top of her head. 

    “Get out of here and go careful. And for the love of the nines look out for each other”. 

     

    Within half an hour both Sotek and Aela headed off. Outside it was still dark but the two moons were slowly disappearing behind the mountain range, heralding dawns arrival which was only a few hours away. Exiting via the main gate, they made their way to the stables where the carriage driver was tending to the horses. On the other side of the path, the Khajiit traders were just setting up their camp. Sotek gave the Khajiit’s a wave as he walked over to them, while Aela gave them a sheepish smile. She still felt a bit embarrassed over the state she was in when they found her weeks before at the old imperial camp site.  

     

    “Greetings”. Ri’saad said as he watched Sotek cross the road towards them. 

     

    “Hello old friend”. Sotek stated as he entered the half assembled camp. Within minutes they had the tents up. Aela still watched in awe as they assembled everything within moments.  

     

    “Did they show you how to set up a camp? I can’t help but notice similarities in your camps and theirs”. Aela asked as the Khajiit’s offered them both a seat by the fire. 

     

    “We have spent a few hours with tents. A natural with the outdoors he is”. Ri’saad stated as Sotek smiled at him warmly. 

     

    Sotek pulled his pack off his shoulders then opened it up. Inside he pulled out the bag of gems Aela saw when they sorted out their packs. “Ri’saad, this is for you. Thanks for looking after Aela the other week. Sorry I missed you then but things were a little hectic”. 

     

    Aela sat there transfixed as Sotek handed the sack of gems over to Ri’saad. The Khajiit opened the sack and stared at the gems for several seconds as he tried to put his thoughts into words. 

    “No, no. Too much... too much... we can’t accept all these. No, it’s too much. This is a king’s ransom. Many sands can you buy with these”. As he spoke he tried to pass the bag back. 

     

    Sotek held his palm out stopping the Khajiit hand back over the bag.

    “It’s no king’s ransom, but definitely the reward for the safe return of a she-wolf. You gave her food and shelter when she was vulnerable and upset. And you bought her home safe. I just wish I could give you more. If you ever need my help you have just to ask”. As he spoke he stared at Ri’saad right in the eyes.

     

    The Khajiit smiled then accepted the bag. 

    “And should you ever need help, just ask Ri’saad”. 

     

    Sotek gave him a smile as Aela still stared at the bag.

    “You gave him all those gems for looking after me?” 

     

    Sotek held her tight in his arms. 

    “Yes and like I said if I could I would happily give more. However Ri’saad; I have a question for you”. 

     

    “Ask away friend”. 

     

    “If you had a special amulet, how special I don’t know, but special enough for a Dark Brotherhood to accept as payment for numerous assassinations, where would you sell it?” 

     

    Ri’saad genuinely looked afraid as he sat there thinking on what Sotek had said. 

    “Is this a joke? No you don’t joke like this... oh Ri’saad’s not happy. But the question you need to ask is this. Where would an assassin sell it? That my friends is simple, Riften”. 

     

    Aela looked up at Sotek.

    “The Thieves Guild! We aren’t exactly welcome there; we had dealings with them in the past, quite often in fact”. 

     

    Sotek thought for a second.

    “So they won’t speak to us then?” 

     

    Aela shook her head. 

    “Not a chance in oblivion”. 

     

    He gave a small laugh as he looked back to the Khajiit. 

    “Good, for a moment there I thought this was going to be too easy”. Thoughtfully he turned back to the stables. “Then again, it just might be that easy after all”.

     

    He gave Aela a gentle slap on her leg making her get up then he stood up as well and said his farewells to the traders. Then he crossed back over the cobbled road and made his way to the stables, with Aela walking by his side. 

     

    As they headed away from the Khajiit camp, Aela held his arm making him stop. 

    “You gave all those gems to them because of me?” 

     

    “No, I gave them those gems because of me. I couldn’t be there for you when you needed me; but they were”. 

     

    Aela placed his arms around her then held his face in her hands. She pulled him towards her and gave him a long loving kiss. 

    “I love you, but don’t you ever do that again. You could have got a bloody house with that lot”. 

     

    “Yes, but what good is a house to me if I can’t share it with you? Come on, let’s sort out a ride”. 

     

    Aela stood there deep in thought. 

    “Is that what you want to do? Share a house with me? Us, live in a house?”

     

    Sotek stopped dead then slowly turned around. Aela stood there watching him. He could tell she looked nervous and a little worried, “Ermm”. 

     

    “Sotek, I love you but… I don’t ...” she paused trying to think of the right words, Sotek gave her a smile then held her tight. 

     

    “What I would like is for us to have options. You know, let’s say we want to go off for a week. I’d like us to have somewhere for us to go, just for that week, somewhere that’s ours”. 

     

    “But not permanent? Just for a week or even a few days?” She asked, as she tried to work out what he was really thinking.  

     

    “Yes. You know like the den I was on about before? When I found Fang?” 

     

    “When we’re finished with all this, will you show it to me? I would like to see it”. 

     

    “Yes, I meant to take you there before but things kind of went off track. Just remember, I don’t want to take you away from Jorrvaskr that’s your home, our home. And of course the overhang on the plains, anywhere else is just a den where we can store equipment and the like”. 

     

    “I don’t want to leave Jorrvaskr. I know at times I’m solitary but I like knowing the others are there, you know?” 

     

    Sotek held her tight then he gave her a quick kiss on her head. 

    “Yes, you like having your freedom but the safety of the pack as well. Come on, it’ll be light soon”. Sotek casually walked over towards the stables where Bjorlam was spreading out straw. As Sotek approached the driver’s horse, he pulled out an apple from his pack. The horse happily approached him and took the apple, biting it easily in half. 

     

    “I need a favour”. Sotek asked politely, but inside he knew the driver would help if he could. 

     

    “Where do you want to go? It’s still early but I’m more than willing once Chestnut’s ready. She’s just resting up now but give it half hour or so”. 

     

    Sotek gave a weary smile.

    “Well, we need to get to Solitude”. 

     

    “That’s no problem. Twenty gold and we’ll be there by the afternoon”. 

     

    “Agreed, however that’s not just where we need to go to”. 

     

    The coach driver patted Chestnut as he checked her hoofs and the state of the horse shoes. All the while he maintained the conversation with Sotek. 

    “Oh really? Well where else?”

     

    Sotek gave Aela a smile then he turned back to the coach driver. “Riften”. 

     

    “Ah... That’s fifty gold. So which one, Solitude or Riften?” 

     

    Sotek answered slyly.

    “Both. Riften first. I need you to wait then once we done our business, we’ll need you to take us to Solitude”. 

     

    The coach driver looked at them both peculiarly. 

    “And what business do you have with Riften?” 

     

    Aela stepped towards him, in her usual threatening manner. 

    “And what the hell has it got to do with you?” 

     

    The coach driver looked at her, as he did so he stepped back a little. 

    “It’s to do with me, because of the way he’s asking”. 

     

    Sotek gave a slight smile which made the driver more nervous. 

    “It has everything to do with him. I need you to introduce us to someone there”. 

     

    The driver walked up to Sotek and stood there with his hands in his pocket, he was relaxed but very intrigued. 

    “Really? Like who?” 

     

    Sotek looked him right in the eyes. 

    “Your brother”. 

     

    “Oh for the love of the nines. Oh crap! You’re serious? The Thieves Guild? Aww come on”. 

     

    “Yes I’m serious; we need to speak to someone in the Thieves Guild who would be interested in buying a rare amulet”. 

     

    “Ahh, you need to see Delvin. Delvin Mallory, that’s the guy you want”. 

     

    Aela pulled Sotek aside. 

    “He won’t see us, we’ve came to blows before”. 

     

    “We?” As Sotek answered, he turned and faced Aela. She looked back at him with her usual bravado. 

     

    “What? I didn’t do anything”. Sotek just stared at her. She knew he was fully aware she had done something and that she was far from innocent.

     

     Aela snapped with frustration,

    “Fine you bloody bastard. I’ve come to blows with him. Last time I interfered with one of his theft jobs. He said if I ever turn up at the Ratway in Riften he’ll kill me”. 

     

    “What happened?” 

     

    Aela’s face broke into a big sadistic grin.

    “Well, simply put, after that threat I went to the Ratway and beat the crap out of the cunt. That’s why he won’t help us”. 

     

    Sotek gave a small laugh.

    “We’ll sort it, but no more of this ‘won’t’, it’s so negative”. 

     

    The driver gave a slight chuckle.

    “It’s true; she shot him in the arse. He won’t see her at all, and if he even suspects you’re a Companion, you’re out as well”. 

     

    Sotek gave a sigh then looked at Aela hard.

    “Is there anyone in Skyrim you get on with?” 

     

    “Don’t be so bloody funny you moron”.

    Then she promptly punched him in the arm. 

     

    The coach driver gave out a loud laugh.

    “That’s a ‘no’ then”. 

     

    Just as they set off, Aela sneered.

    “Their nothing but thieves, crooks and bloody murderers. You know they call themselves a guild? Ha, nothing but a gang of thugs”. 

     

    Sotek gave a loud sigh.

    “Are you going to be a problem?” 

     

    She smiled at him, but the smile belied her actual feelings.

    “No, I’ll behave”. 

                                              

    Sotek sat there watching her. He couldn’t shake the feeling that behaving was the last thing on her mind. 

     

     

Comments

3 Comments   |   The Wolf Of Atmora and 5 others like this.
  • Ebonslayer
    Ebonslayer   ·  August 18
    "By the [Nine] when are they going back to the plains?”



    “Aela! For the love of the nines girl! He’s been like this before, and so have you”.


    " especially Scarface as his [metabolism's] too&n...  more
  • The Lorc of Flowers
    The Lorc of Flowers   ·  July 24
    Nope, no one in Skyrim Aela gets along with :D 
    Btw, I meant to ask. What's with you and "defiantly"? :D
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      The Lorc of Flowers
      The Lorc of Flowers
      The Lorc of Flowers
      Nope, no one in Skyrim Aela gets along with :D 
      Btw, I meant to ask. What's with you and "defiantly"? :D
        ·  July 24
      Ahggrrr!!!!!  Fixed....