U.O.T.W. Chapter 248 Along the Watchtower

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    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

     

    As the carriage made its way along the road that would take them up the hillside to Solitude, Bjorlam  called out to Sotek and Aela who were both asleep in the back of the carriage.

    “Hey, we’re nearly there”. 

     

    Sotek struggled to open his eyes having only managed a few hours sleep. By now the sun should have started to rise, climbing its way up in the morning sky. However, on this particular morning Sotek was soaked with the rain that was still pouring down. It had been raining for most of the early hours and there was no sign of it stopping. He sighed as he pulled off the soaked skins that had covered him throughout the last six hours, letting the rain soaked furs fall to the carriage floor in one big soggy mound. 

     

    “Where’s your other fur? You had two”. Aela grumbled as she too awoke to find herself smothered in wet furs. She pulled off her animal skins one by one, to find a third fur had protected her from the worst of the weather. “You moron, that was yours”. Inside, she still felt angry but not just at Sotek because he wouldn’t let her pursue the intruders at Red’s home but also at herself. She expected more control when she transformed. Red didn’t hold the anger Aela had. Red still wanted Scarface; she wanted him and needed him. That was the one thing Aela wasn’t prepared for, Red’s own emotions and needs. Although the Huntress was grateful to Sotek and even thankful that he covered her up with his second fur, she was in no mood to show it. 

     

    “Once we get to the stables, we’ll be off. Here, this should compensate you for taking you out of your way”. Sotek said as he made his way to the front of the cart by leaning over the front seat.

     

    Bjorlam took the bag of septims gratefully as always.

    “Why thank you. Did you want me to stick around?” 

     

    Sotek shook his head in response.

    “No thanks, we’ll be staying here a while”. Once he sat back down in the wagon, he wiped the rain from his brow.

     

    Upon seeing just how soaked Sotek was, Aela scornfully snapped at him.

    “You’re drenched. Why didn’t you keep the two furs for yourself?” 

     

    Sotek shook his head as he listened to her venom filled remarks.

    “Can you tell him what he has done? At this moment in time he has no bloody idea, and it’s really starting to get under his scales”. 

     

    She looked at him wearily and rolled her eyes objectionably.

    “Skin! You’re quoting the saying wrong; it’s ‘it’s really getting under my skin’, not scales”. 

     

    Sotek smirked a little.

    “I don’t have skin”. 

     

    She sat there on the back of the cart for a few seconds then got up and moved towards the back of it where Sotek had moved to so he could get his pack.

    “I’m sorry, it’s not you, it’s me. I’m having a hard time at the moment”. 

     

    She offered her hand to him which he happily took. Sotek felt how cold her skin was. He rubbed her arms with his hands, trying to warm her up.

    “Ages ago you asked me to promise you something”. 

     

    Aela looked up at him with some surprise.

    “What?”

     

    “You asked me to promise that I will never hate you. Well I don’t, I love you. Now, please tell me what in oblivion is wrong? Talk to me”. 

     

    She silently tried to put the right words in order in her mind, but she just couldn’t. Giving up, she decided to put the conversation to a close.

    “It’s me, I’m early. You know? Girl issues? One of the joys of being me... I’m cranky and wound up, and all this assassin business isn’t helping. I’m bloody tired and we haven’t been on a proper hunt for what seems like ages. I’ll try to keep it to myself. And this blasted rain won’t quit”. 

     

    At that moment the carriage came to a stop. Bjorlam called out happily with the expectation to food and rest while he took shelter from the storm.

    “Here we go. Good luck and farewell. I’m going to the inn for a meal and a drink. Hopefully the rain will stop before midday then its back to Whiterun”. 

     

    Sotek climbed off the back of the cart then stood there waiting for Aela she gazed down at Sotek and tried to shift her mood.

    “Hey, catch me”.

     

    He smiled as he prepared to catch her, Aela jumped and landed squarely in Sotek’s arms. He held her tight and then started carrying her towards the gate.

    “This isn’t exactly low profile you know”. She said as she laughed. 

     

    “No, but if it means you’re happy then it’s worth it”. 

     

    “Fair enough”. She said with a smile. “My hero, carry me to the inn please”. She stated giggling happily. 

     

    The doors to the Winking Skeever burst open, making two patrons jump as Sotek walked briskly inside with Aela in his arms. He placed her by the fire then sat there next to her.

    “So are we friends again?” 

     

    She watched the shadows flicker from the flames across the wooden floor before turning to him.

    “No, we’re not friends again. For that, we have to stop being friends; else we couldn’t become friends once more. I love you, I’m sorry for being a bitch and I’m glad you’re my friend, no matter what I say or what I do, for that I’m thankful”.  

     

    Sotek looked seriously at her.

    “To be perfectly honest I’m not interested. I got other things on my mind right now”. 

     

    She sat there feeling a bit stunned.

    “What? I’m sorry, I really am. I’m sorry”. She felt and genuinely looked upset with his remark.  

     

    Sotek watched her face then burst out laughing.

    “I’m more concerned at us being cold, wet hungry and tired. Sorry but your face was a picture”. 

     

    Aela glared back in response. She just managed to stop herself from slapping him.

    “You bastard! I thought you were being serious”. Then she started laughing as well.  

     

    Sotek got up then sat on the floor in front of the fire place then held his hand out to Aela. She took it and sat between his legs resting her back on his chest as his tail coiled around one of her legs. Sotek then held his hand up to get Corpulus Vinius’s attention.

    “Innkeeper, can we have two towels, two hot meals and two of your finest meads please?”

     

    “Coming right up sire”. Minutes later a maid came over with the towels which Sotek took charge of. He immediately started drying off Aela’s auburn hair as they warmed themselves by the fireside.  

     

    Soon enough the meals were bought over.

    “Do you want these at the table?” The maid asked. 

     

    “No thank you”. Sotek replied. “Right here would be fine”. Aela moved opposite him so they could face each other as they ate. Afterwards, she cuddled up to him again. Sotek moved her hair to one side of her head then started nuzzling at her neckline.  

     

    She felt a shudder trickle down her spine then pulled herself away slightly from him, giggling as she did so.

    “Get a room you animal, people are watching”. She smiled again as she looked around the hall. 

     

    Sotek grumbled then stopped attacking her neck and his hands both came to a stop as they moved across her waistline.

    “Sorry, I didn’t think”.

     

    Moments later she stated laughing. 

    “No you moron, I said get a room. I didn’t say stop, did I?” She whispered lovingly at him. 

     

    Sotek looked surprised.

    “Oh, actually get a room? I thought, never mind, one room coming up”. A second later he stopped as something entered his mind. “But I thought you said you were early?” 

     

    Aela turned around and looked at him; her face was full of shock. “Ermm, I ermm, I lied. I couldn’t find the words I wanted so I made that up to stop the argument”. Then she turned away and sat there solemnly. 

     

    Sotek sat quietly for a few seconds then smiled to himself.

    “Smart move”. A second later he renewed his attack on her neck making her squeal like a baby pig running for its mother. 

     

    An hour later, Aela broke away from Sotek and approached the innkeeper. A minute or so afterwards she dejectedly came back to Sotek and sat miserably down next to him.

    “Curb your hormones lover boy. There are no rooms spare, anywhere! Their all booked up with guests for the wedding tomorrow”. 

     

    Sotek whispered in her ear.

    “Guests and maybe an assassin. Damn he could be anywhere by now”. 

     

    “Now that’s a mood killer. Don’t forget it could be a she. We don’t know remember”. Aela stated as she looked as casual as she could around the hall at the other patrons. 

     

    Sotek got up then helped Aela to her feet.

    “Right leave this to me”. Then he led her to the bar where the innkeeper was cleaning some glasses. “My good man, tell me. Have you seen any Argonians in these parts?” 

     

    The innkeeper looked him up and down then half smirked.

    “And what would he look like?” 

     

    “Well, he would be around my height, possibly this shade of green, with a tail. Oh yess, maybe bone sspikess on his head. Alsso he might hiss when he talkss”. As he spoke, he pointed to his own arm. 

     

    The Innkeeper laughed.

    “Nope, haven’t seen any but if I do you will be the first to know”. 

     

    Sotek thanked him then led Aela away from the bar. She shook her head at him then slapped him across the face lightly.

    “You’re a bloody moron. Seriously, what are we going to do?” 

     

     “First off find somewhere to stay tonight”. 

     Sotek said as he re-approached the innkeeper.

     

    Aela gave him a smile but wasn’t overly satisfied.

    “That’s a good plan, but we need sleep now. There’s no way we can sit around and wait for tonight”. 

     

    Sotek stopped grinning and looked at her eyes; he instantly knew she was right. She was tired and if he was honest with himself he was as well.

    “Innkeeper, is there by any chance a room available just for this morning, say until midday?”

     

    “Actually I believe we can come to some arrangement, yes”. He called over a maid and handed her a key. “Show these two to the second room”. 

     

    “Thanks, we appreciate that. How much will it be?” Aela asked. 

     

    The innkeeper held his hands up to her.

    “Companion, you’ve spent enough gold already and it’s just for a few hours”. 

     

    She gave him a smile then headed off following the maid. Once they got to their room, they both systematically left a trail of armor and clothing from the doorway to the bed. She jumped under the fur bedding then turned her back to him, and then she wriggled backwards tucking herself up to him as he held her securely in his arms. Sotek gave a small chuckle “He had a nerve, ‘you’ve spent enough gold’. I was the one who spent it”. He stated mockingly, but by this time Aela was already asleep. He tucked the fur around her, and then drifted off asleep as well. 

     

    Around midday there was a knock at the door. Corpulus, the innkeeper, called out to them both.

    “Hey, you two! Time to get up”. 

     

    Sotek was the first to respond. He slowly rose out of the bed then started getting dressed.

    “Wake up, get those paws moving! We have things to do”. 

     

    Aela prized herself out of the bed. She tried not to but she couldn’t help but yawn loudly. 

    “I’m so bloody tired! What things?” 

     

    “We need to find out if any Argonians have come to town, so we need to see?” 

     

    “Ermm, hell I dunno. An Argonian? Hey, you’re an Argonian. Have you seen any Argonians around? They look like you?”

     

    Sotek smirked as he watched Aela struggle to her feet.

    “Don’t make me throw cold water over you”. 

     

    She screwed her eyes up as she threatened him back.

    “You do and we won’t be looking for an Argonian; we’ll be looking for a hole to bury the dead body of one in so shut it mister lizard”. 

     

    “Humph!  What we need to do is to find a?” Sotek then paused as he tried goading Aela to think back to their last predicament when they needed information. 

     

    “Oh yea, I remember! A tramp, we need to find a tramp”. She stated happily as she recalled the incident last time.

     

    Although she still felt half asleep, she slowly got dressed then the pair of them made their way downstairs. Aela made her way to a table, completely ignoring the fact that Sotek was heading for the door.

    “Food first!” She stated as she sat down. “Innkeeper, two hot meals please”. Sotek shrugged then went to sit opposite her, which caused her to look at him disgustedly. “Oi! Do I smell or something?” 

     

    He sniggered then went to nod, but Aela’s glare stopped his jest in its tracks. He moved across and sat right next to her. Aela lent into him and wrapped her arms around him while he kissed the top of her head. Moments later the Innkeeper placed down two plates of beef and potatoes. Each plate had three carrots lined up neatly on the side.  

     

    Aela’s eyes lit up as she smelt the food but just as she was going to eat, a voice called out from behind her.

    “Now that isn’t right! What the hell is a pretty young thing like you doing with an ugly thing like that?” 

     

    Both Aela and Sotek turned around. Standing by the doorway, having only just entered the inn were three young Nord men. One of them had a large dog who growled at the pair of them. Aela simply growled back at the dog that seemed to back away. Its senses knew full well that it was completely outmatched. She looked at the dog’s owner and smiled.

    “I beg your pardon? Are you talking to us?”

     

    “No, I’m not talking to lizard filth; I’m talking to you. A fine piece of Nordic stock you are! Why don’t you come over here and see what a real man looks like?” 

     

    Sotek discreetly smiled, it looked like a fight was inevitable but at least they wouldn’t get the blame. The innkeeper himself was far from happy though.

    “Hey, they’re paying customers. Leave them alone”. 

     

    The Nord laughed.

    “I haven’t touched him. Oh sorry, I haven’t touched that! Now girl, like I said before I was interrupted. Come here and see what a real man looks like. I’ll happily brand your ass”. 

     

    Aela shook her head.

    “Sorry, all I see by the door is a coward”. 

     

    “A coward? Me? Why you bitch, I’ll show you a coward. Oi, Argonian, get up damn you”. 

     

    Both Companions rose to their feet. Aela walked over to the man then stood there right in his face.

    “Any man that keeps a dog is a coward! He hasn’t the guts to bite people himself”.  

     

    Sotek instantly grabbed her arm and started pulling her away towards the door.

    “Oh no, we don’t want a fight. We’re leaving”. 

     

    Aela tugged her arm away from him.

    “I do”. 

     

    He shook his head at her then started pulling her away again.

    “No you don’t, Red does and that isn’t happening”. 

     

    The three Nords moved towards them. The first one grabbed Aela’s arm while the other two went to grab Sotek. He hit the man in the throat, sending him sprawling into a table as he gasped for breath. Aela grabbed her assailant by the groins, bringing him to his knees. She brought down her elbow, striking the bridge of his nose. Blood poured all over himself then as one both Sotek and Aela punched the third man in the face as well, sending him crashing to the floor. 

     

    The very next second, a voice called out from the back of the hall.

    “Now I know I didn’t just see two of my officers fighting a brawl in here”. Legate Rikke started walking over to them. “If they did, then they would find themselves in a six by six cell with nothing but rats for company”.

     

    The first Nord got up to his feet then looked over to Rikke. He slyly smirked as an opportunity to get them back had just presented itself.

     “Yes, they were fighting”. 

     

    Rikke walked over to Sotek then laughed.

    “Very well. If you insist. Guards, arrest the three Nords. Take them outside and hang them for treason”. 

     

    The Nord looked horrified as four legion guards came towards him. “What? You can’t do this!” He protested. 

     

    “Actually, yes I can. We are at war. Assaulting an imperial officer in times of war carries the death penalty for treason, unless you five weren’t fighting after all?” Rikke stood there with a massive grin on her face, she had him and everyone knew it. 

     

    “No, no we were just messing. Weren’t we” 

     

    Aela gave him a smile.

    “Yes we were just having a friendly banter. Here let me show you the door”. She tugged his arm to the doorway then booted his backside as hard as she could, sending him falling down the steps with a crash.  

     

     “Tut, tut, tut. You have anger issues you know that?” Sotek said disapprovingly. 

     

    “What, me? Naa”. She stated laughing. 

     

    Rikke led them back to the table.

    “Innkeeper, three fresh meals and three meads please, he’s paying”. As she sat down much to Aela’s amusement, Rikke pointed to Sotek.

     

    “What?” He just sat down in disbelief. “Typical, all you girls are the bloody same”. 

     

    “I beg your pardon”. Aela snapped mockingly. 

     

    “Well except you that is. You’re more of a bitch than the rest of them put together”. 

     

    “And don’t you bloody forget it, lizard”. As she scalded him, she poked him in the chest. 

     

    Rikke sat there shaking her head.

    “You two never change, do you?” 

     

    Both Sotek and Aela burst out laughing, drawing everyone’s attention. Sotek smiled broadly as he answered.

    “Oh yes, near everyday but usually around midnight”. 

     

    “Or if there’s deer running around, or Stormcloaks for that matter”. Aela smirked. 

     

    Sotek laughed a second time.

    “Here, what do you call a Stormcloak on a horse?” 

     

    Rikke chuckled as she drank her mead.

    “I have no idea”. 

     

    As Aela answered, she roared out with laughter.

    “A quick snack”. 

     

    Sotek joined in laughing while Rikke just groaned; that however just made them both laugh even more.

    “We’ll I’m glad your both in high spirits, but tell me, what are you doing here?” 

     

    Sotek gave a sigh then composed himself. Aela quickly followed suit. “We have some information. The assassin is an Argonian. Male, female, we don’t know. We do know the target’s the bride at tomorrow’s wedding ceremony”. 

     

    Rikke looked astounded.

    What That’s Vittoria Vici! Why are they targeting her?

     

    Aela whispered across to her.

    It’s all about drawing out the emperor. We have no idea how she’s tied up in this”. 

     

    I’ll double the guard but an Argonian? That could mean poison or anything! Shadowscales!! Damn it all”. 

     

    Sotek whispered his plan.

    “If you can take care of the dining area then we’ll watch at the ramparts but we will need access to them”. 

     

    “It’s not until twelve tomorrow. Meet me here at six tomorrow morning; I’ll get you on the ramparts. Where are you staying? Everywhere is booked”. 

     

    “There”. Sotek stated as he pointed to the fireplace. 

     

    Rikke followed his finger then looked at the floor by the fire.

    “You're joking?” When she saw the looks on their faces she sat back in surprise. “Oh you’re not joking. Fair enough. Ermm, you want two beds in the barracks?” 

     

    Aela smiled at her.

    “I’d rather we had our own room”. 

     

    Rikke gave her a knowing wink.

    “I’m sure I can sort something out. Hurry up, finish your food then follow me”. 

     

    Once they ate and drank, the three of them made their way to the barracks. From there Rikke led them up across the ramparts then pointed out the areas where they could over watch the wedding. 

     

    By late afternoon the three of them had discussed the possible attack points and various weaknesses then they headed to the barracks where she showed them a room they could stay in.

    ”I’ll be here for you at six. Try to get some sleep you two”. Then she laughed as she headed off to her own quarters. 

     

    Aela smiled as she looked across the room.

    “Oh great a bath tub, I could do with a good warm bath”. But her enthusiasm soon turned to disappointment when she found there was only cold water. 

     

    Sotek though gave her a hug.

    “Go get a few bottles of mead and some food for later. I’ll sort your bath out”. Then he handed her his pouch of gold. She went off but she wasn’t overly impressed with his idea. Sotek however started filling the bath up with the cold water.  

     

    Soon Aela came back and took one look at the tub.

    “I’m not getting into that”. 

     

    “Oh yes, sorry I forgot”. Sotek smirked. He double cast his flame spurt on the water in the metal bathtub.  

     

    Soon enough the water was hot. Aela gingerly put her hand in it and almost yelled.

    “Hey, that’s too hot now you moron”. She stated as she laughed. She poured some more cold in then smiled gleefully as she climbed in. “Thanks, seriously this feels great”. She stated as she smiled at him. 

     

    A short time later there were various bangs on the wall as what seemed like a lone wolf howled out over the course of a half hour or so.

     

    It only seemed like just an hour had passed from when the two Companions fell asleep to the moment when Rikke was banging on the door.

    “Hey, you two! It’s after six, wake up”. 

     

    Aela climbed out of bed then put on Sotek’s shirt and answered the door.

    “Sorry, we’re up. We’ll be with you in a minute”. 

     

    “Oh wow you look rough!” Rikke laughed as she looked at Aela. “You must have had a busy night”. 

     

    The next moment a legionnaire walked up to them.

    “Can’t you keep that blasted dog quiet? He was howling for bloody ages”. 

     

    Aela smirked at Rikke then she barked an order at the unfortunate soldier.

    “We don’t have a dog thank you! Go ask them over there. And while you’re at it, find that bloody animal. Move it”. 

     

    Rikke discreetly shook her head at Aela.

    “Get dressed, you got five minutes. You’re a pair of trouble makers”.

     

     

Comments

2 Comments   |   Shy Knight of the Shovel and 4 others like this.
  • The Lorc of Flowers
    The Lorc of Flowers   ·  July 25
    Well, aren't they cute when they beat the shit out of few buggers :D
    And you have Vivic here again. :)
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      The Lorc of Flowers
      The Lorc of Flowers
      The Lorc of Flowers
      Well, aren't they cute when they beat the shit out of few buggers :D
      And you have Vivic here again. :)
        ·  July 25
      Damn. I went through and checked the other chapters. I must have missed this one. 
      Edit: Haha I've already fixed it. :)
      Thanks for taking the time to point it out Lorc.