In the Dwarven Stronghold of Gilbrath there are many drinking halls that cater to humans and other races, but for those lucky few who possessed a full pass, the way is open to finer establishments that primarily serve dwarves. The finest of these is none other than the Stone Flagon Mead Hall, home of the famous Gulletaxe Mead. It was in this hall that Victoria sat brooding while her companion Valerie danced one of the provocative dances favored by their dwarven hosts.
The rogue's lithe form twirled and dipped gracefully to the music played by a pair of dwarven musicians, and to Victoria's trained eye the only noticeable flaw in her performance was the woman's short stature. Of course with that short stature and lithe athletic form she was an exotic sight for the dwarves in the hall. Here in lay the reason for Victoria's brooding.
As a bard of great talent and beauty she was used to having those admiring looks and expressions of adoration directed toward her. Here in Gilbrath, and specifically the Stone Flagon Mead Hall, while the dwarves loved her performances her height confirmed that she was still human. With Vivian though they knew she was human they could at least pretend that she was one of them.
Sighing deeply at the injustices of the world, Victoria had to admit the rogue had more claim to the adoration of the dwarves, she did after all share in their bloodlines. Valerie's family was well known for its strong strain of dwarvish ancestry, and not just for their inherent short stature. No, it was the infertility of the males born to the family, for this reason the family had petitioned the High King's court to change the inheritance laws of the Triggadorn Federation to allow the female line to inherit.
"Pardon miss, but might I share your table?" inquired someone with a pleasantly deep baritone voice.
Turning to see whom the voice belonged Victoria beheld a visage of masculine perfection. The owner of the voice was tall with broad powerfully built shoulders. His hair was cut short like a soldier who was accustomed to wearing a helmet on a regular bases, and was black as raven's wings. However, it was the man's piercing blue gaze accompanied by the half mischievous smile gracing his lips that captured her attention. Here was a man that knew his effect on the female gender and who was fully willing to use it to his advantage.
"What?" was that only thing that Victoria's dazzled brain could force past her lips in answer to the man question.
That smile widened a little and amusement flashed in his eyes at her reaction before he repeated himself. "Might I share your table?" This time Victoria, not trusting herself enough to form a coherent or intelligent verbal reply simply nodded.
"Thank you sweet lady," the man replied as he pulled a chair out and took a seat before taking a sip of the wine from the crystal glass he held. "May I buy you a drink?"
Once again not trusting her voice Victoria nodded. By now the man must think she was a complete imbecile from her lack of speech and use of nods in answering his questions. However, his smile never left his lips and the humor in his eyes only seemed to intensify.
Pursing his lips he gave a sharp shrill whistle to get the attention of one of the servers over the loud ruckus of the mead hall. Shortly an young male dwarf in a white apron appeared to take the man's order. "Bring another glass and bottle of the Rovain Red, and just bill it to my room," the man stated before turning back to Victoria. However, Victoria was able to gather her scattered wits in the time it took the man to order, and the small tattoo on the man's left hand helped her in her efforts.
"Thank you for the wine dear sir," Victoria stated in a sultry tone once the man was facing her again. "I always did enjoy a glass or two of Rovain Red."
"Well that makes two of us," the man replied his smile dropping just a fraction as he noticed that Victoria had recovered her wits. "I find that it has a full body and is very pleasing to the palette."
The man's innuendos brought a genuine smile to her lips, leading her to reply in kind. "It also brings a pleasant tingle to the lips," this Victoria stated while artfully lowering her head and looking up at him with a half smile on her lips.
Thus their conversation continued with them trading smiles and innuendos until their wine arrived. Once the stranger had poured her a glass of the ruby liquid he refilled his own and together they each took a sip. Each swirled the wine in their mouths savoring the fine spicy fruit flavor notes before swallowing
"I must apologize my little meadowlark," the man began, "here I have been enjoying your company and I have yet to introduce myself. Call me Octavious."
"Such the gentleman," Victoria returned in such a way that it implied that she hoped he was no always a gentleman in other circumstances. "Well, a name given freely deserves a name given in return. Call me Victoria."
"Victoria...That is a lovely name," Octavious stated rolling her name off is tongue in such a way that sounded like a caress. "The perfect name for meadowlark."
Victoria was having difficulty keeping her wits against Octavious' charm and personality. This tendency toward vapid behavior was so much against her usual character that there must be unnatural influences at work, and the tattoo on his hand only lent more credence to her thoughts. She had to keep herself together long enough to find a way out of this situation, the only problem was that even without the magical charm’s influence she found Octavious attractive and interesting.
“So what brings you to Gilbrath?” Victoria inquired both to buy herself time to think and to clear her head of the effects of Octavious’ charms.
Her question caused Octabious’ smile to slip for a faction of a second before he brought it back as though noting had happened. Apparently he was not used to his targets being able to ask questions. That was good; it may just be her only hope for extraction.
“Business my little meadowlark,” he replied in a mysterious manner. “I have a liking for the finer things life has to offer, and what better place to find them than here in Gilbrath. This trip was even more prosperous than I would have thought since it has brought me into the company of such a lustrous gem as yourself.” This last was uttered as he reached across the table to take her hand in his.
Quickly Victoria drew her hand back from his and brought it to her mouth as though coyly hiding a smile. The flash of irritation in his eyes as she did so actually did cause her to smile, and she let her amusement shine in her eyes. This fencing of words with Octavious may be dangerous but she was greatly enjoying the encounter.
“Why Octavious,” Victoria stated in feigned breathlessness, “you do so flatter me. Your mastery of such sweet words begs me wonder what other talents you have.” As soon a she said those words she knew that she had just unintentionally upped the stakes of the encounter. It was as Vivian had said back in Delverton, her flirtatious habits would one day land her in trouble.
Apparently Octavious knew that the table had once again tipped in his favor and he wasted no time in taking advantage of the development. Like a striking snake his hand shot out to take her hand and pulled her from her chair and into his lap. “It would be wasted breath to tell you.” So saying he kissed her. Victoria’s brain exploded but she managed not to loose her every sense to the kiss, even when she relaxed into it.
As the kiss continued Victoria began to notice a change in the manner that Octavious held her. His touch on her hip gentled and a slight tremor entered into the hand that still held hers. Could it be that the man was affected by the kiss as much as she? Finally Octavious broke the kiss and the look in the man’s eyes confirmed Victoria’s thoughts.
That look in Octavious eyes did even greater damage to Victoria’s will to resist the man’s dangerous advances. Well, Victoria thought, I have already gone this far, but there might still be a way out.
“My you are very talented sir,” Victoria stated breathless in truth this time. “However, before we take this further, how about one last drink? My choice?”
For a second Octavious looked about to refuse and simply whisk her off to sample more of what he had tasted, but to Victoria’s relief he managed to assert control. “Why of course meadowlark. What drink shall we have?”
Smiling coyly Victoria reached down to draw one side of skirts to mid thigh at once giving Octavious a tantalizing view and revealing a small flask secured in a garter strap. Quickly she removed the flask and with a flick of her wrist threw the hem of her skirt back down. Directing her eyes back toward Octavious’ face saw that his eyes were riveted to where she had bared her leg.
Giving a little laugh, Victoria took his chin in her free hand and lifted it till his eyes were looking into hers. “Later lover boy, first for that drink!” So saying she shook the flask she had removed from her garter.
A look of suspicion came over Octavious face, so before his suspicions go any further Victoria acted fast. Quickly she released the latch holding the flask closed and popped the cap, then brought the flask to her lips. Feigning taking a three-count swig she pretend to swallow before offering the flask to Octavious. Giving a contented sigh she spoke, “Its Viniceil.”
This announcement elicited an amused lifting of Octavious’ left eyebrow. Viniceil was a drink known for its use by prostitutes to increase their own amorous feelings for clients. Outside the professional arena it was used to add extra spice to an encounter. With a chuckle the suspicion left Octavious’ eyes and he took the flask from her, but not before giving her hand a promising caress.
Smiling down at her in such a way it sent chills of anticipation down Victoria’s spine, Octavious tipped the flask to his lips taking a six-count swig of the drink. Unlike Victoria, he drank for real appearently secure in the knowledge that he had his pray. This did not bother Victoria at all, for the man had just given her the out she wanted.
Victoria kept the flirting conversation going till she was sure the drink’s effect had taken full hold, and then hopped out of Octavious’ lap. Taking his hand she pulled him out of his seat and lead him up to the suite she shared with Valerie and Vivian.
During her dance Valerie had caught glimpses of Victoria flirting some man, and when the musicians stopped for a breather she took the chance to check the man out more thoroughly. What she saw annoyed her in the extreme. Here they were in the middle of a Dwarven stronghold and the redheaded bard still manages to find a perfect specimen of manhood.
As Victoria led her new conquest up the stairs and most likely to their suite, Valerie shot eye daggers at the bard one last time as the musician struck up another tune. With a toss of her head Valerie dismissed her overly amorous friend and channeled her ire into her dancing. She pulled off positions and movements that a Dwarven woman could only dream of performing and would make a prostitute blush.
Let Victoria have her one nightstand! Valerie thought as her audience began to pound their mugs on the tabletops to the music. I have what the bard really craves. This last thought brought a delighted laugh to her lips and gave more energy to her performance.
Vivian was laying on the bed of the room she had chosen from the three available in the suite she and her friends had rented. While she had originally professed to a headache when Valerie and Victoria had head down for an evening of entertaining, the real reason was that she felt clumsy in the company of the two shorter woman. So here she was bored out of her mind instead.
Just then Vivian heard the suites main door open followed by a stifled giggle that sounded like One of Victoria's. The next sound was male chuckle, which snagged Vivian's curiosity. Getting out of bed she opened her door enough to have a look at what the bard had caught this time.
What she saw took her breath, the man was gorgeous, and the man's gaze on the bard made her hate the woman for one split second. Quickly she shut the door softly and went back to her bed. Still feeling jealous she stared up at the ceiling and waited for the other woman's door to close, when it did she got up to leave the suite. As fast as she was she did not escape the suite before heard the beginning of one of the redhead's notorious encounters.
Too Be Continued...