Monday, January 4, 2016

Unmasked: Part 13: Venturing Out


The frown she gave him when he took the blanket was positively adorable. Perhaps he might have left her to her meager attempts at modesty, but he enjoyed the sight of her too much. And Jurgen was right. She would have to get used to the sight of skin. He stood, giving her an eyeful of it, and took a waist cloth from a nearby chest. It was a simple garment of tanned elk hide, soft and supple. It hung just past his knees as he wrapped it about his waist and pinned it at the hip with a silver brooch. Constantina simply stared at him from her seat on the bed. He watched her back, deftly braiding the hair at his temples to keep it out of his face. The look on her face was hard to interpret. It fell somewhere between fear and arousal. He could smell both. It was a heady concoction.

"Stand, please." he said, taking a stack of folded cloth from the chest.

"Why?"

He arched a brow. "Do you want clothes or not?"

She glared briefly, but stood. Rodrick unfurled a swath of fabric the color of oak leaves in Spring. She seemed confused by the seamless length. He knelt before her and expertly wrapped it about her hips, leaving two panels in front and back to drape to her ankles. The wrapped portion extended from just above her navel to a hand's width below where buttock met thigh. The second bit of fabric was briefer and narrower than the other. He wound it around her chest, tying the ends behind her neck.

She looked down at herself and frowned. "Where is the rest of it?"

He lifted his brow again and gestured to his own minimal attire. Her frown deepened as she wrapped her arms around her middle.

"Don't. You look lovely."

"Even pretty lies are still false."

He landed a sharp smack on her ass, propelling her toward the door. "I do not appreciate the implication that I am a liar."

"I don't really appreciate the hand print on my ass," she mumbled.

He touched her lightly on the shoulder. "We can always add more. I have the time." He leaned in closer, his stubble brushing against her ear. "I also have excellent hearing." She shivered. "My kind are blessed with heightened senses. You might consider that before you commence with your muttering. It will save you some trouble."

"Trouble with you?"

"Your conflict won't always be with me, but it will inevitably be resolved by me. Now," he waved toward the door, "I can show you the village," he pointed toward a chair near the desk, "or you can become better acquainted with my hand. Your choice."

Her gaze lingered on the chair a bit longer than he thought she might have intended. That was promising. Perhaps he should oblige that gaze before she inevitably chose the door. He started pulling her toward the chair.

She dug in her heels. "The village is fine."

He stopped, looking at her. A frown had settled on her face, but she still looked at the chair while trying to tug her arm free of his grip. He should heed her gaze, take her there and clear away that beautiful confusion darkening her brow. But a choice was a choice, so he changed course for the door.

"No shoes?" she said, looking down at their feet.

"We only wear them in winter or when traveling. Armor and boots make it difficult to change quickly, so they aren't worn very often. They are mostly for engaging with other peoples, like the Kin. If you find you need them, I will find you a pair of sandals." He tucked her arm into the crook of his and led her from the room.

They moved wordlessly down the flights of stairs he'd carried her up the night before. The stone steps were cool against his calloused feet. He briefly wondered how it felt to the girl on his arm, a girl who had likely never gone barefoot outside of her bedroom before. She seemed relatively unperturbed by her bare feet, but her hair was hopelessly disheveled from their nocturnal activities. He stopped again in the middle of a hallway, moving behind her to unravel the messy braid. She shivered when he ran his fingers through her hair. Interesting.

When he finished, she looked wonderfully wild. Cascades of rich brown hair fell about her shoulders in soft waves. The ends floated about her hips, brushing against her with every movement. He immediately regretted not loosing her hair last night. Then again, there was always tonight to think about.

It wasn't long before they encountered some of his people going about their morning routines. Men and women wandered past, some clothed like them, others unabashedly nude. Numerous eyes openly stared at the woman at his side. It was a bit rude, but he supposed he couldn't blame them. An unmasked Kin was the rarest of sights. An unmasked Kin dressed like a wolf and walking at his side would have been even more remarkable. Constantina had noticed their scrutiny, or perhaps their nudity, as her eyes were fastened firmly to the floor. She looked rather sullen, gazing at the ground while attempting to hide her bare middle with her arms.

The sounds of fighting erupted around  them as they finally emerged into the courtyard. Most of the fighting men were arranged around the courtyard squaring off in pairs. Some wore leather and scales, sparring with blades. Others faced each other as the hulking wolves that were their other selves. Others, still, stood bare beneath the sky, moving seamlessly between forms. Constantina watched them with wide eyes. Her shock made him want to join the fray. He had never considered himself overly prideful, but he was not above showing off for a woman. He managed to resist the urge. There would be time for that later.

The girl continued to stare as they passed by. The men ignored them. There had been the briefest of hesitations when they first arrived, but once they had determined there was no threat, sparring resumed. Many of the fighters on the field would be at Council in a few hours to discuss the woman beside him. He could hear the uproar already. He could even feel his sister’s disapproving gaze boring into him.

There was a good reason for that. Brunhild stood in the village square, glaring at him with his own eyes. She wore a pinned waist cloth much like his own. A wide leather strap was tied around her chest, containing her moderately sized breasts and providing the smallest hint of modesty. The ensemble left her impressive physique on display. She was all broad shoulders and lean muscle framed by black and silver braids that fell around her shoulders. To any other, such a woman with a tic in that strong jaw and the hard glint in her golden eyes would be a frightening sight.

Rodrick simply walked toward her.



Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

1 comment:

  1. I like the name Brunhild. She sounds strict and strong. I wonder what her part in this story will be :)

    Rebel xox

    ReplyDelete