U.O.T.W. Chapter 269 Home Fires Burning

  • Home Fires Burning


    As Aela and Sotek headed down the steps from Dragonsreach, Aela held his arm, pulling him back.

    “Wait a second”.


    Sotek stopped then turned to her. He tried to apologise but he really had no idea what to say. Explaining things afterwards never came into it; something he regretted.

    “I’m sorry I couldn’t explain to you about any of it. I didn’t intend for you to get worried”.


    She gave a slight smile at him.

    “Yes, it couldn’t have been easy for you. But as I made you feel better, you can return the favour”.


    Sotek smiled as he held her tight.

    “And what do you have in mind?”


    Aela smiled at him then grabbed his collar, pulling him close.

    “Take a bath! You stink". She then pushed him backwards but as he fell, he grabbed hold of Aela’s arm. With an enormous splash they both landed in the ornamental pool.


    Proventus came over to them, screaming in contempt with every step.

    “Get the hell out of there! Aren’t you in enough trouble?”


    Sotek quickly swam over to him while Aela grabbed hold of Sotek’s back. Within seconds they both grabbed hold of Proventus’s legs and pulled him in. Within seconds Sotek and Aela were out of the water and running to the relative safety of Jorrvaskr, leaving Proventus floundering in the water.


    As soon as they entered the hall, Ebony ran up to Sotek and threw her arms around him.

    “Sotek, you’re back! You are back aren’t you? Please say you are! Oh yuck, you’re all wet!”


    Sotek gave her a slight squeeze then tried pulling her off.

    “That depends on the Harbinger I suppose. I’ve given him some grief of late”.


    Tilma came over to them and swept then towards the stairwell with her broom.

    “You’re both soaked, get yourselves downstairs. Oh by the Nine what’s that awful smell? I’ll run you both a bath, go on get out of it”.


    The first thing Sotek did was to head to his room. He pulled out the soaked letter from the Emperor and opened it out. He wasn’t overly worried about it being soaked, important documents were always protected from water in case of damage. He read the letter carefully then he stored it in the wardrobe. Once he had locked it safely away he headed to the bathing room.


    Aela was already there in the largest tub; her two feet were hanging over the sides of the bath.

    “Come on you, I’m lonely”.


    He smirked to himself as he climbed in.

    “There you go, are you lonely now?”


    “Nope”. She stated smiling. “But I am awfully sober”.


    Sotek gave a sigh as he looked back at the doors. A long soak with Aela for company and a few bottles sounded like medicine to a battered tail. “Sorry, I should have brought down a few bottles”.


    She smiled wickedly and clunked two bottles together.

    “Fortunately I did. Here”. She handed him an open bottle then turned around and leaned against him, resting the back of her head into his chest. “That cell stunk”.


    “Yes, I wonder if they got the door open yet”. As Sotek said it, he pondered on the officer trapped in the cell.


    Aela giggled back, making a mockery of the whole situation.

    “Oh I hope not, he can rot in there for all I care”.


    Later on, when the evening started setting in and everyone was in the hall, Kodlak returned from Dragonsreach. Sotek saw straight away that he was tired. Kodlak slumped in his chair for a second then composed himself and sat upright.

    “Right, Sotek. I... ermm...” he paused as he taped his knuckles. Both he and the Jarl were tired and confused but neither of them was expecting to see a soaked Proventus who came screaming into the Dragonsreach hall. “What in the name of Ysgramor are we going to do with you? Who was it, you or Aela that pulled Proventus into the water?”


    Aela went to answer however Sotek gently but firmly grabbed her arm. Sotek watched him for a few seconds then whispered to Aela before standing up and facing the Harbinger directly.

    “Harbinger, ermm sorry, Kodlak? As of yet I haven’t been actually accepted back as a Companion. Maybe we should discuss certain matters of my behaviour? Can we talk privately in your quarters please, sir?”


    An off white bushy eyebrow raised on Kodlak’s face. He was taken aback when Sotek refused to call him Harbinger but the ‘sir’ wasn’t something he expected. He realised that Sotek never called him by his title as the lad wanted to distance himself as a Companion until Kodlak officially accepted him back in the ranks. Sighing, he shrugged his shoulders and put one matter to rest.

    “I accept you back as a Companion Sotek, member of the Inner Circle. However, if you wish to talk over several transgressions then by all means. My quarters if you will”.


    As soon as Sotek and the Harbinger disappeared, Aela got up and picked up a tray. Ignoring everyone, including Tilma, she systematically gathered a selection of different foods. When the tray was full, she collected four bottles of mead and took the tray downstairs.


    The moment Sotek and the Harbinger entered the Harbinger’s chambers, Sotek shut the door then pointed to the small table and chairs.

    “Sit down please”. Kodlak sat as he was told then waited for Sotek to speak but instead Sotek just stood there. Seconds later Aela knocked on the door.


    Sotek opened the door then let her inside. She placed the tray on the table then headed back upstairs without saying a single word. As she walked down the Undercroft’s corridor, Sotek called out to her.

    “Send Tilma down in fifteen minutes”.


    Kodlak sat there watching him as he glanced down the hallway.

    “What’s this about?”


    Sotek looked hard at him and pointed to the tray of food.

    “I’m not trying to win favours, we both know you don‘t buy into that anyway. However, you’re tired and you haven’t eaten. The mess with Proventus is my doing so I’ll see the Jarl tomorrow and apologise about Proventus. What you’re going to do is eat something and I’m going to watch you do it. Then, you get your head down for the night. We have all of tomorrow to discuss my actions and conduct. Now, eat”. With that Sotek sat down and slowly drank a bottle of mead.


    Once Kodlak finished, Sotek gave him his next order.

    “Now you get your carcass in there and get some sleep”.


    “I thank you for your concern but I am fine”. Kodlak stated at the impertinent upstart who wrought so much chaos to the hall.


    Sotek shook his head then opened the bedroom door.

    “No you’re not, your exhausted, shift”. Kodlak closed his eyes for a few seconds then nodded. He got up to his feet and made his way to his bed.


    As he lay down, the maid Tilma entered the study.

    “Aela told me to come down here. What’s the matter?”


    “You’re excused from your evening duties. The Harbinger could do with some company”.


    She looked shocked as she stared at the bedroom door.

    “What? I’m not going in there”.


    Sotek slyly looked at her and nodded back.

    “Why ever not? You both stayed together when we all went out for the night. Besides, I’m certainly not going to lay with him”.


    With that he started heading out of the study when Tilma nervously called out to him.

    “Who else knows?”


    “Just Aela, but she won’t say anything. Get some sleep; you’re just as tired as the old man is”.


    Kodlak gave up fighting. Feeling way beyond exhausted, he called out to the young Companion.

    “Sotek, it’s good to have you back”.


    Sotek stopped for a few seconds and breathed in the air of the Undercroft. He could smell Kodlak’s sweat, hear Farkas’s boots echo along the corridor and smell his mate’s odour which seemed to waft from her room. He could feel Scarface’s presence and the breath of Red’s breath. He could hear the Whelps talking as if they were there, at the end of the corridor sitting around the large table. He could sense all of these things and more despite the corridor being empty. He rested his hand on the stone wall and felt the very rocks breathe. He was home.


    He looked back over his shoulder and answered.

    “It’s good to be back”. Then he headed upstairs, leaving the Harbinger and his ‘mate’ in peace.


    Kodlak held Tilma in his arm and sighed.

    “He’s right you know; I’m exhausted”.


    “One day you’ll have to stand down. You might pay to do it sooner than later. He’s ready, you know that”.


    “Yes, I will... One day”. The last thing Kodlak heard before he fell asleep was Sotek giving out cleaning details to the others.


    Sotek went upstairs then made an announcement to everyone.

    “Good news, the Harbinger and Tilma are staying out of our way for the night, so when the cat's away...”


    Ebony cheered.

    “The mice throw a party?”


    Sotek laughed.

    “Nope sorry, the wolves get the cleaning duties. Sam, Sabre, you two have the tables. Farkas, Vilkas gather the washing up. Ebony, Kul-et, fill the bowl with water, you are going to need it. Aela sweep, I got the trash. Move it you lazy dogs”.


    Within half an hour the hall was tidied up and cleaned. Sotek quickly went around checking everything and only when he was satisfied, he allowed the others to disperse.


    Soon afterwards there was a knock at the door. Sotek answered it to see a rather stern but dry Proventus standing there.

    “Ah, please come in. I owe you an apology. I’m sorry for pulling you in the water. Should you find yourself short of something, or if you need someone for a job then please don’t hesitate to ask. I would ask of you however not to bother the Harbinger with this matter. He’s had enough for the last few days. But by all means discuss it with Jarl Balgruuf. I’m sure between the three of us you can find something which would be of a ermm, acceptable punishment”. 


    A second later the Jarl pushed the door, opening it wider.

    “He already has discussed it with me, but we accept your apology. Now for some strange reason considering that the dance was such a success, we seem to have an abundance of food left over. Would the Harbinger like to send over the Whelps to collect some?”


    Sotek started smirking. He couldn’t help himself.

    “Yes, I heard that your dances are simply to die for. They must be one hell of a scream. But one shouldn’t lose their heads over simple matters of a dance. I’ll send the whelps over now. Ermm, did you want some food taken to the guards who are on duty?”


    The Jarl Balgruuf shook his head and scowled.

    “No, I have the off duty guards doing that already but there is one thing you can do for me. Cut out the wise cracks, the Emperor's not watching over you all the time is he?”


    Sotek smiled at him and shook his head.

    “No Jarl, at least I hope he isn’t. Ebony, Sam, Sabre go with the Jarl. Mind your manners and behave”.


    The Jarl looked at him sharply.

    “I really cannot believe you of all people said that”.


    Smirking, Sotek had a quick afterthought.

    “Oh Jarl, did Adrianne manage to open the cell door?”


    “Yes, about half an hour ago. Expect a bill for the bars. She had to cut the door off”.


    They all heard Aela start sniggering from behind the door. Sotek rolled his eyes and apologised.

    “I’ll have words with her, leave her to me”. Instantly Sotek joined in laughing as he tried to tell Aela off. “Aela, shut up; it’s not funny”. The Jarl just shook his head then walked off towards Dragonsreach.


    Twenty minutes later the Whelps returned carrying various trays and bags of food and drink. Aela, Ebony and Kul-et set the tables out while Farkas and Vilkas sorted out a ‘drinks bar’ using two of the large end tables.


    Once everything was set up, Aela approached Sotek and enquired about Kodlak and the maid.

    “What about Tilma and the Harbinger? Shall I get them?”


    Sotek thought about it for a few seconds and shook his head.

    “No, let them be. Sleep will serve them better. However they would appreciate it if some food was saved for them, could you see to that for me?”


    “Yes Harbinger, I’m on it”. With that she smiled then picked up a large tray.


    Half an hour later, Ebony and Kul-et approached the two brothers and started dancing with them. Ebony switched between Farkas and Vilkas, while Kul-et danced with the one who Ebony wasn’t dancing with at the time.


    Sotek casually walked up to Aela and bowed down in front of her.

    “Would you care for a dance?”


    Aela took a swig from her bottle of mead and started laughing.

    “Nope I don’t dance with lizards”. Then she grabbed Sam by the hand and dragged him to the floor. She started dancing with her back to Sam but he stood there totally unsure as to what she expected from him. She grabbed his hands and rested them on her hips, but it was obvious to everyone that he was terrified. Also, added to this was the fact that they all knew she was out to wind Sotek up because she never took her eyes off him.


    Sotek laughed then downed a bottle of mead. He walked straight up to the pair of them and stood in front of Aela. While Sotek was right in front of her, Aela sank to her knees while she danced. She rested her hands on Sotek’s hips; her face was within an inch from his groin as Ebony looked over to her. Ebony froze as she stared at Aela, making Farkas look around.

    “Bloody hell”” The next second Ebony gave Farkas a light slap on the face.


    Sotek’s eyes fixed onto Sam’s then a loud heavy growl caused Sam to turn around and practically ran to the side of the hall. Aela stood up then turned around, wondering what happened to Sam.

    “Did you scare him off?”


    Sotek held her by the hair and forced her head around so he could kiss her.

    “What, me? Naaa”. The next second he half spun her around then pulled her backside into him as he kissed her neck.


    She laughed as she turned to face him.

    “Why Sotek, I do believe you're jealous. Now surely it wasn’t because I done this little move”. With that she dropped to her knees again, like last time. Her face was an inch from his groin, but this time she leaned forwards and gently bit into ‘Mr. Wolf’. She knew instantly he wanted her. Both Kul-et and Ebony froze this time and just stared at her but she was oblivious to the fact and stayed there on her knees for several seconds until she got back up.


    Sotek stood there for a few seconds staring at her face the he turned around and went to the table.

    “Damn it; I need a drink”.


    Aela laughed as she followed him.

    “It isn’t a drink you need from where I was standing; you need something else”.


    Sotek sniggered to her.

    “Yea, but you weren’t standing, were you?”


    Laughing, Kul-et walked over to them both and pointed across the hall.

    “Can you two behave? You’re making the boys jealous”.


    Aela burst out laughing as she collapsed on a chair.

    “Well I would have danced with Sam but he ran off”.


    A few hours later everyone started getting tired. One by one they disappeared down stairs until just Aela and Sotek remained. They were sitting on their step looking at the carnage in the hall. Aela leaned her head into him and seductively stroked his groin.

    “I’m feeling randy. Come to bed and I’ll show you the next part of that dance move. Trust me, you’ll like it... a lot”. With that she got up then slowly walked across the floor sticking her hip out with every step.


    Sotek found himself staring at her backside as she walked off but once she disappeared, he looked around the devastated hall and realized just what state they had left it in.

    “Aww rats”. Knowing the moment he entered Aela’s room, he couldn’t come out till the morning, he started tidying it up. The last thing he wanted was for Tilma and Kodlak to find the hall in such a state when it was under his care.


    Ten minutes later, Aela was getting frustrated. She started growling as she watched her door for any sign of it opening but she knew Sotek was still upstairs. Going on the prowl, she climbed out of bed then threw on a shirt and made her way upstairs. As she got to the top, she peered around the banister and saw Sotek tidying up the hall. She gave a slight sigh then headed back downstairs.


    Within a few minutes, Aela, Farkas and Vilkas came back upstairs. Aela smiled across the hall to Sotek and offered assistance to the cleanup effort.

    “You look like you need a hand”. Over the next hour the four of them tidied up the hall for a second time. Sotek and Aela sat back on the step, but within a minute Aela fell asleep. Sotek picked her up and carried her downstairs to his bed. Within five minutes they were both wrapped up in a few furs, fast asleep in each other’s arms.




2 Comments   |   Shy Knight of the Shovel and 2 others like this.
  • Ebonslayer
    Ebonslayer   ·  August 19, 2017
    “Now you get your [carcass] in there and get some sleep”.

    “so when the [cat's] away...”

    I think Kodlak is gonna step down soon, even Sotek is telling him what to do, it'd cause problems if he needs to le...  more
    • Sotek
      “Now you get your [carcass] in there and get some sleep”.

      “so when the [cat's] away...”

      I...  more
        ·  August 28, 2017
      Kodlak's a hard one... I'm just saying this, he really is. 
      Everyone expects him to go either through death or fade to a stagnant position. A hard character to keep in play....