Building Foundations (Closed)
(Closed to Leoric)
(This thread is for mature viewers as there will be graphic 18+ content.)
A week ago the life of Marina, formerly of Quartzoath, was full of optimism and hope of a future that was fully her own. She had luck on her side then, only meeting people with the best of intentions in helping her get out from her hopeless destiny set up by her mother.
However that didn’t last long, and in two short days her plans went out the window. After being robbed, an attempt at abduction, and then meeting a man who forced himself on women and making them disappear and intended on doing that to her, she had nothing. Despite all this, she had found a glimmer of faith in people, namely in a wonderful woman called Rebby and her little family, and a man more stubborn that any dwarf she’d ever met named Leoric.
After everything that had happened, Marina took on the job of caring for Leoric with his injuries, a combination of his insane training regimen, and the stab wound given to him by Darius, the serial rapist he had accidentally killed the week before. From optimism of the unknown, her life had become routine. She would wake up before the sun rose, boil water in a large cast iron pot that had been a gift from a retired iron worker who’s granddaughter’s disappearance was directly linked to Darius and his boys, before washing herself from head to toe while Leoric still slept. She grew up with the luxury of heated plumbing, and that was something she couldn’t let herself miss, so she figured out a way to provide it for herself.
Once she was cleaned, the sun would be starting to rise, and so she would begin cooking breakfast for the two of them, always something different each day. She was slowly teaching herself to cook, tasting as she went and learning how to mimic the food she had grown up with with what was available at the town market. If Leoric’s increased excitement over the food she would use to wake him up was any indication, she was doing well, and it made her happy to see someone so glad to see her in the morning, even it if was just because of the food in her hands.
The first few days she would have to help him eat, usually eating before bringing him his food so that she could work on helping him back out and go with the rest of their day, but once his arms had free movement again, she would bring in both their plates and eat together. After that, she would help him up and out to the campsite to get him comfortable. It would be about then that Rebby would come by and take over Leoric’s care. The first day of recovery, Rebby had instructed Marina to clean Leoric up while she prepped the bandages and healing ointments, but she adamantly refused. This, accompanied by her heavy blushing and repeating shouts of “I can’t do that!” as if they had asked her to give him a strip tease and a blowjob to help him relax, resulted in a lot of teasing before they let her go. Rebby showed Marina how to make prepare the bandages herself before going to wash Leoric herself, and they continued that way until he could wash himself, which Marina insisted on him continuing with a scolding and a look that would put most mothers to shame, Though Rebby would still come by to make sure it was all fine with the healing.
While Rebby stayed with Leoric, Marina would take that opportunity to go to town. The way many of them treated her seemed to change, and there was more of a calm with the people there than before now that Darius was gone. She hadn’t been there long, and that enough was clear. They treated her well, even if it was because they knew she was with Leoric, but she appreciated it. They gifted her with discounts and the occasional freebie, but they would constantly ask her about his recovery. She kept them informed without giving them too much information that would invade his privacy. Her social training at least helped her with controlling the gossip, which she managed with the grace that would have made her sisters proud. Soon enough, as the first week was coming to a close, one by one they would start asking her to tell him that, once he was recovered, they had things for him. She started with trying to insist that whatever they wanted to give him, they could give to her. The first three laughed, assuring her that she wouldn’t be able to bring all of it back to him herself, but didn’t explain it to her.
Marina stopped as she was looking through the produce, looking up for the one who called her name. The teenage son of the local carpenter jogged up to her, giving her a polite smile which she returned. “Hello, Luke. How is your day going?” She turned her body fully to him to give him her full attention.
Luke ducked his head a little, a small flush going over his cheeks, seemingly embarrassed by her politeness. “It’s going well, thank you, Miss Marina. And how is Mr. Leoric, doing?”
“He’s doing well, he’s able to walk around and complain about being babysat.” She joked softly, prompting a laugh from the boy.
“Good to hear… Do you know when he will be able to come to the village, by chance?”
She shook her head, shifting the basket hanging from her arm. “Not for a few days, at least… Why do you ask?”
The boy shifted on his feet, his smile dropping a little. “Oh, it’s just that.. Well, it’s not that I came to talk to you just for this, cause I like talking to you, Miss Marina.. But my father wanted to talk about that house of his that he wanted to start building.”
Marina’s smile fell, being replaced with a look of surprise. Apparently one bit of gossip had slipped through the cracks. She recovered quickly though, assuming the information had come from Rebby. “He might have mentioned wanting to do something like that, but he’s certainly not well enough to follow through, nor is it more of an idea that isn’t necessary.”
Luke seemed caught off guard by her the fact that she was denying the idea, as if it had been confirmed by fact. That said, she supposed, it wasn’t uncommon for Leoric to do things like spontaneously build a house. “Ah… Well, if he ever plans on doing it for sure, let him know that my father wanted to help him out with that, whatever he needed.”
Nodding slowly, Marina took note to mention this to Leoric when she got back. “I will be sure to do that…” She said with a small sign to her voice, biting her lip as she looked back down at the stalls. There was a momentary pause, and then with a slow breath Marina perked herself up, turning her attention back to Luke. “Oh! By the way, please tell your sister that I love the hair treatment she made for me, and she must show me how she makes it!”
Luke seemed relieved at the pick up in conversation, nodding quickly. “Oh, of course! She is at the shop now, if you wanted to tell her yourself?”
With a bright smile, Marina nodded. “I would love that.”
After another hour in town and her arms full of goods and food that she had both bought and been given. Usually it was just small things as gifts, like an extra bag of spices, a sampling of cheeses she normally would never have been able to get, but the offer to help build a house stuck with her. As wonderfully nice as these people ended up being, it amazed her that they felt so indebted to Leoric, and by some confusing extension her since she was staying with him, to offer to provide to readily. The longer she stayed, the longer it seemed that Leoric had made a large impact on most of the people here for the better. Once you consider how he seemed to act in front of people, it baffled her and didn’t help with her attempt to get to know the man better.
Approaching the camp, Marina saw Leoric and Rebby sitting at the fire, talking casually to themselves and laughing a little. Once she saw Marina approach, the human woman stood up and smiled widely at her. “Welcome back. I see the town has been generous, as always.”
The dwarf laughed, nodding as Rebby came over to help her take some things from her arms. “Of course… Hope things have been well here.”
“Rebby kept me behaved, don’t worry.” Leoric called from where he was lounging without any shirt on, his left arm still in a sling for support and grinning over to them. For some reason, this cause Rebby to turn to him with a slightly reddened face and a narrowed eye look.
When she turned her head, Marina noticed something green sticking out of Rebby’s hair. “Oh! Hold still.” She stepped up, reaching out and pulling a leaf from between the woman’s locks. “A leaf? Did you and Leoric go for a walk?” She asked, tilting her head slightly.
The question made Leoric’s grin wider and Rebby’s face redder, which only continued to confuse the poor former noble. “Yes, we went for a walk, Leoric was getting restless.” She said quickly, giving Marina a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes.
With a laugh, Leoric stood up and approached to two, grabbing the rest of the things from Marina’s arms while she protested, giving the human woman a sly grin. “Yeah, I got very restless, but Rebby was sweet enough to help me out.”
This earned him a quick swat on his good arm, making him laugh again as he went to go put the supplies away, Rebby following him and scolding him for “Saying such things.”
Marina was confused by their behavior, but brushed it off as them just being weird, or some inside joke she didn’t quite understand, and followed them over to where they kept the supplies. “Oh, before I forget, I was told today that Mr. Arns wished to speak to you about helping you with that silly house idea you had… I don’t know how he found out, but…”
“The carpenter?” Leoric finished putting everything away before turning to look at her. With a thoughtful look, he lifted his hand to brush of his beard. “Huh… Guess I should go talk to him, then. Sooner rather than later.”
“No.” Marina said sternly before he could continue that thought. “You still need a few more days, at least!”
“I don’t know, Marina…” Rebby spoke up, moving to stand next to Leoric. “It might be good for him to actually get out and about. Besides, people have been asking about him a lot, right? Maybe he should show his face around the place so everyone can stop that betting pool that he’s dead from infection..”
Leoric’s eyebrows perked up, looking over at her. “Betting pool?”
“Yeah, I’ve got coin on you being alive of course.”
“Good girl, you’ll be making a nice profit.” He laughed, letting his hand fall back to his side. “Alright, let’s get you that coin, Rebby.”
Marina huffed, frowning at the both of them. “But… what if you get hurt again on your way into town?”
“He’ll be fine.” Rebby soothed her gently. “If he could handle…” She paused, the blush returning her to cheeks. “A walk earlier… Then we can take him into down.”
“So that’s that!” Leoric said triumphantly, grinning smugly down at Marina. “I’ll go get a shirt on, you can come with us if you wanted to go back into town, but I would suggest getting that pout off your lips, your face might stick that way.”
Marina huffed, turning with a light ‘hmph’ before storming off to the water where she often went to go calm down whenever Leoric annoyed her. She wasn’t going to stop him if he really was determined to go, there was no force on earth that could stop him.
Last edited by HothouseOrchid; 01-07-17 at 12:34 PM.
The last week had definitely been something foreign to Leoric. He was very much use to pushing his body way beyond its limits and then spending the following few days afterwards doing the ‘survival’ training. Just trying to survive when your body feels like it weighs a metric ton and screams at you when you try to make a simple movement. This time however he had two extremely beautiful woman taking care of him, and to be fair he did need the help, The knife wound seemed to bounce back and forth from being super tender and looking like a possible infection to looking like it had been healing quite fine the entire time.
If there was one thing over the last week that Leoric had learned is that Marina was a very naive ‘princess’. She seemed to shy away anytime leoric had more than his vest off. She also got horribly flustered whenever she was asked to do anything involving leoric being even slightly nude. But it was a fact that was horribly endearing about her. Besides that one fact there was something that made him always seem at ease and more himself when she was around. He didn’t know what exactly it was but it did make the week of being babied almost enjoyable.
Speaking of Enjoyable Rebby had been doing him favors that she hadn’t done for well over a month. And it wasn’t until Marina had left to go into town for supplies and rebby was giving him a bath that he realized why. She had been staying home with little leo cause every time she left him home Darius seemed to come around and try and confuse the kid. Offering to take him away and to train him. If it hadn’t of been both Leoric’s and his mother's warnings little leo would of went to go with darius. And everyone knew that Darius was only planning on using the kid as a tool for blackmailing Rebby into doing whatever he wanted. So as much as Rebby wanted to be around leoric she couldn't for the safety of her son.
Leoric had told her that it was fine, he understood and respected her for her decision. And he would of been upset with her if she had chosen him over her son. And continued that he had spent a year alone in the frozen north of Salvar training. So a month without sex was nothing he couldn't handle. And so Leoric and Rebby made up for some lost time while they could, Marina was in town and little Leo was with Emmanuel.
As Marina returned she had passed along a message to Leoric and Rebby had explained that a betting pool about his life was happening. After Marina’s concerns were voiced and Rebby shot them down after spending quite a rough hour with him she knew he was pretty much back in top form.
“Well That's, that then isn’t it” Leoric said through a smug grin as he made sure the sling for his left arm was done up tightly around his neck and went over to grab the thick velvet coat that he had stolen from Darius as a trophy of his victory. He used his good arm and draped it over his shoulders. The coat was way too large for him to wear it normally and so wearing it as more of a blanket across his shoulders seemed to fit him better, especially with his left arm still in a bit of pain if he tried to move it the wrong way. The coat did well to hide the arm from view, only showing his hand when he would reach out with his right arm, otherwise it concealed his body almost flawlessly.
“Marina, you coming with? I am heading out now” Leoric called out over to the side of the water where she could be seen with her back to him casually pouting. It was something she had been known to do when Leoric annoyed her or she couldn't get her way when it came to his well being. There was little to no response from her so Leoric brought his good arm up and covered his face before slightly letting it droop back down to his side.
Leoric and Rebby were passing Emmanuel’s place on the way into town when little Leo and Emmanuel came on over to the fence in a rather urgent manner.
“Weee oh!” the little one said causing leoric to grin and stoop down low to ruffle the kids hair.
“I see you are still alive and kicking” Emmanuel said with a smirk on his face as he leaned on the fence.
“Of course, you really think i would succumb to a simple knife wound? I have been through worse.” Leoric said as he stood back up and a slight grimace could be seen as a twinge of pain left his shoulder.
“Oh i know, I have seen you in much worse conditions. But it would just be our luck that you finally get rid of Darius and then we lose you to an infection.” Emmanuel grinned as he straightened out his back and a few cracks could be heard.
“You bet Against me didn’t ya?” Leoric said as he cocked an eyebrow. Emmanuel’s face dropped as in a ‘oh shit’ way before looking back at Leoric. “It’s all good i get it, trying to profit from a bad thing, Most people do that now a days. At least the good thing for you is Rebby bet i would live. So you aren’t completely out of it”
Emmanuel looked pointedly over at Rebby who shrugged her shoulders and walked through the gate of their yard. She then picked up her son and rested him on her hip.
“Don’t go dieing before i can collect my winnings you hear?” Rebby said as she rested her index finger on his chest and gently pushed him back.
“Oh please, If i did that who would be around to make your life more difficult eh?” Leoric chuckled as he shrugged his right shoulder and headed into town.
Just before Leoric entered town he heard a soft voice from behind him that made him smile. He turned around just as Marina caught up to him a little out of breath.
“Hey there beautiful” he said with a smirk. Marina’s face seemed to turn an even darker shade of red then it was already in from her trying to catch up to him.
“You could of waited you know, i said i was going to come with you” she chastised
“Oh how was i supposed to know Miss pouty said anything when her back was turned to me when her voice is already softer then my coat here.” Leoric smirked as Marina seemed to Huff and walk past him. Leoric couldn't help but chuckle.
“Leoric!” a voice cried out from the town as they walked in followed by a few echoed voices before a few townspeople rushed on over to greet him. “You are alive, How have you been?”
“Alive.” Leoric said very matter of factly back. “All thanks to Miss Marina here and Rebby”
“We all figured you would of died, Darius is known to poison his knives.” Another said from the crowd as Marina groaned and looked at leoric.
“I survived didn’t i? No poisoning. Don’t worry your cute little face about that.” Leoric reassured Marina as he pushed through the crowd. “I heard some people were looking for me? Also where the heck is the bets being placed? I live so the betting is over now.”
The crowd looked at eachother before chuckling and quietly returning back to what they were doing. Leoric turned and headed towards the Carpenter's shop as he stopped for a second and turned to Marina.
“Look, Poison on a blade is an almost immediate effect as it directly enters the bloodstream, IF he had used anything. I would of felt it or we would of realized before now. Don’t worry yourself over it like i know you are going to.” Marina went to open her mouth in protest when the Carpenter walked on outside.
“Leoric! Just the man i wanted to see!” He said as he gently punched Leoric's left shoulder causing a Grimace of pain to quickly sweep across Leoric's face.
“Please be careful, he isn’t quite healed yet!” Marina cried out as she heard a gasp of pain escape Leoric's mouth.
The carpenter quickly recoiled his hand and put it back to his side before attempting to ask if Leoric was alright.
“I’m fine, Joseph, Just a little tender after this mornings exercises.” Leoric joked as he put his right hand behind his head and casually scratched the back of his head.
“Hey, I thought you said you and Rebby went for a walk? And that’s how she got the leaf in her hair” Marina inquired. Leoric chuckled before turning to face her.
“A walk is an exercise, specially when my body is still trying to recover.” Leoric then looked up at the carpenter who had a questioning look on his face as if to say he knew what happened. Leoric simply winked his way before continuing their conversation. “So you wanted to talk to me about the house i plan on building?”
“Yes sir, we have some spare lumber in our workshop, and the Lumberjack has already said he will help cut down some extra tree’s to get you an actual place to live. With darius and his boys gone we won't need as much wood for repairing the stuff they break around here.” Leoric sighed at Mr. Arn’s proposal before grabbing his coin purse at his side.
“You know me better than that by now, I pay for services rendered whenever i can. Fifty gold coins for your assistance and i will give Mr. Bran his fifty for his assistance as well.” Leoric was counting out the coins when the aforementioned lumberjack showed up behind him.
“No thank you, you should know us by now. We pay for services rendered. You did a great service to us by ridding us of Darius, we wish to repay that kindness.” The hulking man showing up abruptly caused Marina to squeak a little and move closer to Leoric. “And before you say anything, i will be repaying with physical labor. You need my muscle for moving anything about you let me know. Seeing as your arm is still sore.”
Leoric sighed and dropped the coin back into the coin purse. “Fine, you guys can pay me back by assisting but i will pay for the product. We both know you generally also charge for your time. That is the only thing i will let you give me for free.”
The men chuckled as they seemed to have reached an accord.
“How long until you can get the supplies together and ready to head to where i am going to build?”
Joseph seemed to pause for a moment and look at mr. Bran, “I can have a cart load of Timber ready for tomorrow morning.”
“Yeah, i can have some Logs ready for then as well.”
“Fine. me and Marina will stay at the Inn tonight and tomorrow morning as soon as the sun rises, we will head on out.
Marina’s old instincts kicked in the moment the men started talking about their business, to be seen and not heard, while she digested every words said and kept into the back of her mind. These were good men, though, so the effort was wasted as she had no need to listen for hints of being charged too much, or being given a bad product. It was something she had been taught since she was old enough to walk on her own, so it was hard not to do it.
Because of this, she didn’t miss Leoric saying they would be staying at the inn. She frowned a little, brows furrowing but said nothing to interrupt them.
They concluded the agreement not to long after, each giving each other handshakes before Leoric stepped out. Marina bowed her head politely and said her goodbyes before following him.
“Alright, what’s wrong?” He asked the moment the door closed behind her, turning to her with a brow raised.
Marina blinked in surprise, freezing in her spot. “What do you mean?”
“The moment I mentioned the inn, you made the face you make when I say something that makes you uncomfortable.” He said simply, shifting on his feet. “Now, what’s wrong?”
She knew that she couldn’t win when he had that tone of no settling for anything but what he was asking. Taking a slow breath, she turned her gaze to the ground. “I am simply not comfortable going to sleep in the same place I was robbed, especially if it means sharing a room with someone I have known for a week.”
When Leoric barked out a laugh she couldn’t help but feeling offended, feeling he was laughing at her discomfort, which made her duck her head a bit lower. He shook his head a bit and step closer to her, tucking his hand under her chin and making her look up at him. “Look, I understand why you wouldn’t want to be there, but you’ll be staying with me, in one of the connected rooms. We’ll be sleeping in separate beds, with a wall between us. And you know that the people around here know you, and know you have nothing. You’re going to be safe.” Though she was skeptical, She nodded, taking a step back away from his hand which he let fall back to his side. “That’s right. Now let’s go talk to the innkeeper about getting us some rooms.”
Leoric lead the way down the streets, occasionally being stopped by people who knew him, either showing that they were happy to see him up and about, some joking about how they now owed someone money. It was all positive though, and despite all the bad things that happened to her since coming to this town, Marina felt safe here now. She wasn’t able to say for sure whether it was because Darius’s kind have not been seen since it all went down, or if she was currently walking side by side with Leoric, who made everyone in the town feel safe with what he did. Watching all the interactions between the town and him made her feel truly happy for the first time in a long while, as she wondered if this is what a home was supposed to feel like.
Marina screamed at the voice in her ear, making her jump away from the voice and look away from Leoric, while Leoric spun around quickly.
Rebby laughed brightly, covering her mouth in shock at Marina’s reaction and in an attempt to muffle her laughter. “I’m so sorry, Marina, I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“Shit, Rebby..” Leoric sighed, shaking his head at the two. “Scared me shitless, too, making her scream like that.”
“I’m sorry, I really didn’t mean to.” She smiled meekly at the two of them. “Just grabbing a leaf out of Marina’s braid.” She gave Marina a sly grin, though the dwarf didn’t quite get the joke. “I didn’t expect you two to be still in town, I just came in to grab some things to make dinner.”
“We’ll be staying in the inn tonight, so I can start building bright and early tomorrow with Joseph and Bran with getting started on the house and moving the wood over.” Leoric explained, taking steps closer to the two as he adjusted the coat on his shoulders to keep it secure.
“Ooh, comfortable beds for the both of you, then? Rather than the ground?” Rebby teased, putting her hands on her hips. “How about I make some extra food for the both of you, so you don’t have to eat anything at the tavern.”
Marina had started to decline, but Leoric quickly interrupted. “That would be great. Marina’s spoiled me too much, I would rather eat the lumber from Joseph than that crap again.”
“Well it’s settled then. I’ll stop by later with some food for you two. You both get settled.” Rebby smiles sweetly at them and then left them, ignoring Marina’s babbling to try to discourage her.
Leoric smiled down at her, patting her back gently. “Nice try.”
As promised, hours after they had gotten their rooms and gotten settled, and the sun was going down when Rebby had come with dinner as promised. They sat in Leoric’s room, chatting calmly about what Leoric had planned for the house.
“I think I’m going to try to get some sleep..” Marina sighed once they finished eating, getting up from where she had settled on the floor.
“Good idea.” Leoric hummed from where he was lounging on the bed. “Enjoy the bed while you can.” He then glanced to Rebby who was sitting on the bottom edge of the bed at his feet. “Might as well use this chance to… talk about some things, huh?”
Rebby nodded quickly in agreement. “Absolutely.” She then turned to Marina, smiling sweetly. “Get some sleep, okay?”
Marina, oblivious to a whole lot at that moment, nodded. “I will certainly try.” She waved them both goodnight, and then went through the door connecting the two rooms, closing it behind her. Having hadn’t had the chance yet, she let herself fall heavily onto the bed and sighed happily. She didn’t think she’d miss comfort like this, even if she remembered first thinking these beds were hard as stone. Now that she had slept on thinly covered wooden floors, this was heaven.
She lay there for a good while before laying down in her corset made it difficult to breath, so she pushed herself up and began undressing. She removed everything before replacing the loose underlayer she wore under her dressed, and sighed happily as she felt completely free, even if she was still covered. For so long she hadn’t been this comfortable or had this much privacy, and she was certainly going to enjoy it.
Just when she was starting to pull the blankets back from the bed, she heard a strange noise. It made her freeze, waiting for it to repeat itself. It was when she was stock still and quiet, she started hearing the noise more clearly.
Through the thin walls, she was able to hear the bed on the other side shifting. At first she thought perhaps she missed Rebby leaving and Leoric was simply getting comfortable, but the steady rhythm of the creaking told her otherwise, accompanied by what sounded like humming.
Confused, Marina tiptoed to the door, pressing her ear against to see if she could hear anything, but when she found it didn’t help, she took the doorknob and as slowly as she could to keep it from rattling, turned it and opened it a crack.
As soon as it was open, the sounds were a lot more clear, and even though she didn’t need to, Marina took a curious peek anyway. Looking inside, she saw Rebby completely naked as she was straddling Leoric’s equally naked body, rocking her hips against him as she moaned softly, one hand placed over her mouth and the other supporting her on his chest. With each rock of her hips, Leoric would buck his hips up, prompting the moans out of her each time.
“Oh come on, Rebby,” Leoric purred in a voice so low it made butterflies flutter in her stomach. She had never heard him talk like this before, and it made everything feel warm inside her. “Marina’s asleep by now, I know you can get louder.”
“But--” She started, but was cut off with a rough thrust up with caught her off guard, making her cry out in pleasure.
“That’s more like it,” He growled, grabbing her hips with both hands and moving them, controlling each movement so they matched perfectly with one another. This seemed to have Rebby lose all self control, as her other hand moved down to his chest and she just let herself moan as loudly as she needed.
Marina knew she shouldn’t be looking, but she couldn’t take her eyes away. From the way Rebby’s face just twisted with ecstasy, her breasts bouncing with each thrust from the man and the occasional shudder that ran down her body, to the way Leoric’s arms flexed to keep their control over the woman, and how even from this angle, Marina was able to see his abs working to push himself into her.
While she watched the pair, Marina’s body felt like it was overheating in a way she never felt before, and… things were feeling very tingly. She shifted where she stood, biting her lip as she suddenly felt restless and the need to be touched. She didn’t know how, but all she knew was that she felt very pleasant watching the scene before her.
There was a small pause from Leoric before with a grunt suddenly flipped the woman over onto her back while he leaned over her, successfully switching positions. Rebby laughed softly, but quickly recovered. “That’s not fair, you giving me no warning and leaving me empty?” she teased, lifting her hips up against him.
After she said that, Marina then noticed that now with the change of position Leoric was completely exposed in front of her. His muscles were already glistening with a light layer of sweat, a few drops dripping down his stomach. She didn’t even notice that she was able to follow one of the drops until she got an eyeful of Leoric’s erection, fully up and there for her to see. She almost gasped seeing it, as it was definitely not something she could ever compare to anything she’d seen before. Sure, her sisters had tried describing it to her, and maybe she’s had the unfortunate luck of walking in on her brothers having sex before, but it wasn’t like she had ever seen any man’s cock with her own eyes. If she had to be honest, seeing how long and thick it was filled her with both anxiousness and a strange sense of excitement, but she didn’t understand why.
When he started moving again, carefully spreading Rebby’s legs to settle between them, Marina could only assume that as he pressed his hips close to her own and she lead out a pleased sigh, he was back inside her.
Another wave of heat washed over her, and she let her eyes travel up Leoric’s body as he settled, and then she looked to his face to watch his expressions….
With a startled gasp, Marina jumped back from the door, covering her mouth quickly. Was Leoric just….? Taking a step back forward to peer through the crack, she saw that Leoric had begun thrusting hard into Rebby while he held her legs back and close to her chest, making her cry out again in pleasure. She could have sworn she had seen Leoric looking at right at her, but when she let herself look at his face again, his eyes were locked on the woman below him.
Feeling much too strange and uneasy now, Marina closed the door just as silently as she closed it and went back to her bed, crawling under the covers. It was hard for her to believe what she just saw, but it was even more difficult to understand what she was feeling. She didn’t feel disgusted as she thought, had she expected this to happen, she instead felt intensely curious. How was getting something as… robust as Leoric thrust into one’s self as pleasurable as it seemed? Rebby absolutely wasn’t complaining, if her now clear begging for her lover to not stop was any suggestion at least.
And what did their doing this mean of their relationship? Perhaps Rebby had feelings for Leoric, and he felt the same? It would certainly explain a lot if they did, as they seemed to care for one another very much. Besides, if not for a lover, why else would someone like Leoric who had so much potential for good in the world stay in a place like this?
All the same, as she lay in bed continuing to listen to them have sex, the warmth in her couldn’t go away, and she couldn’t help but squirm where she lay. Her legs especially, even with her thighs pressed tightly together to try to ease the strange tingling and internal pressure there, couldn’t stop moving, twisting and rubbing together in a desperate attempt to make the feeling go away. Even after Rebby let out a loud cry of pleasure, and she could faintly hear Leoric groan with her as the creaking from the bed stopped, the feeling wouldn’t go away.
Whimpering softly to herself, Marina curled up as tightly as she could and slipped her arms between her legs to rest there and see if that would help. It didn’t take long to see that it didn’t, and it wasn’t until long after she heard Rebby leave and Leoric finally settle into bed, did the images of his naked body and prominent erection that were plaguing her thoughts fade enough to fall into an exhausted, restless sleep.
Leoric slowly opened his eyes and stretched before letting out a soft yelp from the pain in his shoulder. It may have been a week but it was still quite stiff and sore. He looked around the room and noticed his clothing was still all over the place. It took him a moment but he quickly remembered the night prior of him and Rebby and he couldnt help but let out a cheeky grin. The drowzy brawler grabbed his clothing and got dressed before throwing his velvet jacket over his shoulders. He then took a deep breath and walked outside the Inn to meet the other two gentlemen.
“Still a little sleepy are we Leo?” Joseph chuckled as he saw Leoric groggily leave the front of the Inn.
“Well i woke up a grand total of five minutes ago, and after what happened last night? Of course i am still sleepy” Leoric said with a smirk just before he yawned. “Where’s Marina? That Cutie is generally always awake before me.”
“Haven’t seen her yet this morning” Bran said as he turned the corner and walked to meet the men.
“I will go check her room, see if she is still sleeping” Leoric yawned again as he turned around and started going towards the Inn.
“You mean she didn’t stay in your bed overnight?” The men joked.
“Nah, if she did then me and Rebby wouldn’t have been able to have fun.” Leoric stopped and turned around to offer the men a cocky grin before continuing on his way.
As leoric entered the Inn he couldn't help but yawn again as he grabbed the handle to Marina’s door and twisted it before realizing it was locked. He sighed and walked back into his room before trying the door that connected the two rooms. Unsurprisingly it was opened. At this leoric remembered that he had caught Marina peaking last night as him and Rebby had some fun. He smirked before walking into her room slowly and looked around.
There she was, asleep on her bed, still out like a light. But surprisingly without her messy hair from sleeping she seemed to be an adorable sleeper. No snoring, no drooling, and her face was completely adorable. He sighed as he tried to think of the best way to wake her up. He could make a lot of noise in the room or yell in her ear. Sure it would make him laugh but based off what had happened to her last week. Scaring her would be in rather poor taste. Instead he decided to do a more gentle wake up call.
“Marina, It’s time to wake up cutie” Leoric said softly as his morning voice seemed to begin to fade away. His hand gently moving some of her hair out of her face as she whined and curled up into a ball underneath her covers. Clearly not wanting to wake up. It took leoric's chuckle before she opened her eyes and at first seemed to be confused as to what was all going on. When her eyes finally locked onto Leoric she squeaked and covered herself even more than she already was clearly flustered and embarrassed.
“Mister Leoric, May i ask what you are doing in my room?” She asked as she brushed some loose strands of hair out of her face trying to make herself a little more presentable.
“Well, Unless you want to get stuck here in town without me, it's morning, me and Mr Arns and Mr Bran are heading over to our little spot in the woods. Do start going over idea’s for the house and to start construction.” Leoric stood upright and readjusted his jacket to cover his arm that was back in its sling.
“Oh!” She said as she seemed to remember the plans that were talked about the day prior. “Give me a few minutes and i will be right out, I am so sorry for sleeping in, i didn't mean to”
Leoric nodded his head and left out through the connecting door and just before he closed the door he peaked his head back around and said “I know you were watching last night” before closing the door behind him and rushing back outside to be with the other Gentlemen.
“Alright, so, Joseph, you got your drawing paper right? We should probably work out some idea’s for the house before we get there so we know roughly what we are going to do” Leoric said as he stepped outside of the tavern and walked over to the two gentlemen who were talking about different types of wood and what wood is best for load bearing and what not.
“Well, i thought about that during the week while you were being a baby and being cared for” Joseph joked as he knew Leoric would of rather suffer alone and take care of himself poorly then let someone take care of him properly. “I have a few house idea’s worked out already if you want to take a look at them.”
“You are lucky i just woke up and am not in the mood for using any energy or else you would of got a swift punch for that remark Joseph.” Leoric growled through his gritting teeth before looking down at some of the floor plans that Joseph had drawn up. Most of them just seemed too large for what Leoric was looking for, he wanted something small. Just large enough to hold everything they needed. Maybe two floors if it needed it. “Joseph, you got anything small? Like just large enough for a kitchen on the main floor, fireplace, and a study with two bedrooms? Maybe the two bedrooms on a second floor? I don’t need anything large and Grandiose. Just something so Marina stays safe while i am out of town on a job or something.”
“Haven’t even known her for a week and you are that worried about her?” Bran said as he clasped leoric on the shoulder. “You didn’t even care this much for Rebby when you first met her.”
Leoric mumbled something under his breath about giving bran a good beating if it wasn’t for the fact that Leoric needed his help. Leoric was too proud and too stubborn to admit he had feelings for anyone. Sure he cared about everyone in the town and did his best to try and keep everyone safe and secure from outside forces. But there was something about Marina that Leoric couldnt quite shake.
“I’m sorry, i’m so sorry im late” a little soft voice said from behind leoric. Leoric’s face seemed to turn from the ‘I will punch you if you arent careful’ look to a very soft expression.
“Well now that you are here we can get going.” Leoric said as Joseph and Bran jumped up on the Cart, Bran behind the reign of the donkey’s that were going to be pulling it while Joseph seemed to be scribbling on some paper. Marina walked over next Leoric and Leoric smirked as he took his arm out of the sling and grabbed marina by the waist and lifted her quickly up onto the back of the Carriage.
“H-hey! What was that for?” Marina complained as the cart began to move.
“Wouldn’t want you falling behind because of your short legs. This way we all get there at the same time.” Leoric put his arm back in his sling as Marina huffed and crossed her arms, pouting, and seemed to be able to keep pace with the carriage without too much effort, just simply longer strides.
As the men were getting closer to the forest line where Leoric had been staying for the last few months and marina the last week, Leoric quickly jogged up to the front of the carriage and put his arm up to signal bran to slow down. Leoric spotted his trail and motioned for the Cart to head on down.
“Bran, the trail takes a natural curve to the right, by the time you are on the curve you will spot our camp.” Leoric instructed as Bran nodded and the cart went down the trail. After a few minutes the cart seemed to sink into the trail. The night prior must've been a wet one, in more ways than one, the Donkey’s seemed to have navigated through the especially muddy part no problem, but the cart full of wood and logs sunk quite readily into the moist ground. Bran and Jospeh both jumped down and tried to lift the cart and push it forward. With the combined effort of the two men they managed to cause it to lift and go forward a few inches before they gave up and the cart seemed to slip back down to where it was. Marina went to jump out of the cart to try and make the cart a little lighter for the men when leoric stepped up.
“Stay put Marina, Bran get back on the front and get the Donkeys ready to pull. Joseph, stand off to the side.” Leoric threw his overcoat up ontop of marina as she went to ask him what he was going to do. Before she could pull the coat off of her and push it back into the cart Leoric was already shin deep in the mud, both hands on the base of the cart. Before she could even begin to scold him he lifted with all of his might, Letting out a deep growl before lifting the cart and using his body weight to push it forward. “Now Bran!”
With those words Bran gave the reigns a snap and the cart was pulled free of the mud. Leoric began panting heavily as he sunk to his knees for a second before getting back up with the help of Joseph.
“Holy hell Leoric, When did you get so strong?” Joseph asked as Leoric shook off his help once he was standing.
“What do you think i have been doing while out here in the woods? Staring at the sky?” Leoric chuckled as he stumbled a bit with his first step forward. Joseph shot out his hand to try and grab Leoric as Marina seemed to squeak in concern. “I’m fine, the Mud is just clinging to my boots. Once i am out i will be fine.”
Leoric struggled to keep his balance and climb out of the mod, he stumbled a few times blaming it on the uneven ground where he had sunk so far in lifting the cart out. Marina seemed to whine and groan every time he said he was fine. Once he was out and they were in the clearing of his camp he quickly went over and washed his boots and got some of the muddy water out of there that was around his toes.
“Bloody hell, Leoric, You got a nice setup here.” Bran said as he looked around at the tree canopy watching the sun filter through.
“Oh yes! You should see it at night, the moon light hits the pond perfectly!” Marina said in an excited tone, when she realized she spoke out of turn her face turned a little red and she quickly apologized.
“Marina, This is your home too. You can be excited that it looks beautiful at night. You don’t need to wait to be directly spoken to around here. We aren’t that dignified. After all, look at Leoric over there. He is one of the biggest slobs around.” Joseph said as he patted Marina’s shoulder before moving closer to Leoric. “Hey Leoric, what are these?”
“Hmm?” Leoric said as he put back on his boots and walked on over to his training dummies. “Oh, these, Why don’t you hit one of those clubs there with the back of your hand.”
“Like this?” Joseph said as he hit the Club with a decent amount of force and barely managed to block the other club that came swinging around to hit him in the face. “Leoric! That could of knocked me …”
“Out?” Leoric said as he quickly stopped the first club from swinging back around and hitting Joseph in the back of the head. “Now try doing that with ten pound weights on each arm and a rucksack full of stones for close to 9 hours straight. That is what i have been doing out here.”
Bran’s mouth was a little agape when he realized that Joseph barely managed to block one, yet there was three tiers on the training dummy. “Leoric, what kind of insane monster are you?”
“One of a kind” Leoric smugly said as he looked over at Marina who seemed to quickly avert her eyes from his gaze.
“I will work on preparing lunch for everyone” She sheepishly said as she went to check where they were storing their food.
Leoric smirked as he had a pretty good idea why she seemed to avert her eyes from eyes but that was a conversation for another time. “Joseph, Bran, i was thinking here.” Leoric pointed to the top of a slight embankment that went up maybe three feet before plateauing out into a nice flat area for a small house.
“I mean, It’s nice and flat, but what is the ground like?” Bran said as he seemed to stomp on the ground.
“We would need some stairs up to the front door, maybe a nice wrap around veranda on two sides of the house for Marina? And we should probably make a nice wooden walkway over that trail in. wouldn't want more cart’s getting stuck.” Leoric said as he seemed to begin to visualize the house himself.
“Well, let’s get over to the Cart and plan out what we are going to do then.” Joseph said as the men headed over to the cart and started to sort out everything. It wasn’t long before they had finally decided on the plan of attack and started grabbing some wood from the cart and setting it down it areas around where they would need it. Bran grabbed some logs and headed on back down the trail to make the ‘bridge’ in while Leo and Joe went to work on laying down the Main logs that would give the structure it’s support.
It had been a few hours and Bran had returned from building the bridge over the muddy part of the trail. With all three men working on the house the foundation came into shape rather quickly.
“Joe, mind tossing me the mallet?” Leoric asked as he was holding the piece of wood he was working on with his right hand. And as Joe tossed the mallet over he reached up and caught it out of the air with his left. It took a split second for him to realize this was a bad mistake. His shoulder began to ache and throb in pain. He hesitated but then struck down on the wood before tossing it back to Joe. Leoric then stood up and began to pace back and forth as Marina seemed to chime in.
“Lunch is ready! If you're hungry you can come eat. Except for you Leoric, it’s time to eat…” She said in a stern manner. She knew leoric would skip lunch if he wasn’t forced to eat. She could see him trying to ignore her to get back to work on the house when she spoke up again, “Leoric, now, don’t make me feed you your lunch.”
Leoric sighed and walked down off of the foundations of the house before leaping down the embankment and slowly walking towards Marina. Pain in his eyes from his shoulder, but he wasn’t going to worry her and just keep everything to himself. If the pain got too bad he could get an ointment from the herbalist in town.
“Heh, Look at that Bran, They already act like they are married.” Joe chuckled as he hammered a few more pieces of support into the ground.
“Wouldn’t surprise me one bit if she was the one to finally tame that beast of a man.” Bran chuckled as he stood up and cracked his back before jumping down to enjoy some Lunch.
Joe and Bran complemented Marina on a delicious lunch and mentioned a few times that they wish their wives could cook as well as marina did and went back to work on the house. Leoric had been picking at his lunch and slowly eating it. Everytime he would look up from his bowl Marina would quickly look away and ask him if the food was alright and when he would assure her it was delicious she would prompt him asking if he was alright. He would offer her a fake smile and say of course he was before he went back to slowly eating his lunch. Once he had finally finished the meal he put the bowl down and as he stood up he leaned over and kissed Marina on the forehead and then quickly went back to work on the house, Marina stood there stunned. She was unable to do or say anything as he walked by her towards the house.
Leoric stood up and straightened out his back as several pops could be heard. The Sun had started to set and it was starting to get difficult to see what the men were doing so they packed up the cart with the tools they had left and the spare lumber before stopping to admire their hard days work. They had completed the foundations for the first floor, including the porch on the front side and the right side of the house, and even managed to get the stairs that lead up to the front door installed. Leoric sighed a happy sigh and offered Marina a smile full of glee before ruffling her hair and grabbing his overcoat and wrapping it around himself. When he was sure no one was looking he grasped his left shoulder and applied some pressure as his knees became weak and he seemed to shrink a little in pain.
“Leoric, you going to ride in the cart this time?” Marina asked as she was helped up.
“Yeah, I might as well huh?” He chuckled as he jumped up front and continued applying pressure to his shoulder.
If anyone asked, no, she hadn’t been watching him all day. Marina knew that was a lie, but that didn’t mean she needed to admit it to anyone, even herself if she didn’t want to. She really only took her eyes off him when he was looking in her direction or when she was focusing on her own work, or in other words cooking and then cleaning the resulting mess. She was careful about it, making sure not to let her gaze linger for too long in case he either felt her watching or would look her way without notice.
It was to make sure he wasn’t hurting himself, she assured herself after a moment of doubt. Leoric was the type of man to work himself near death and only then would he let himself rest, which was worrying. And how could she not worry, she would continue to ask in face of her doubts. This man, for unknown reasons, not only saved her life twice, but gave her shelter when she had none. She was only doing what she could to repay him.
But then he would do things that would confuse her beyond all reason. That kiss earlier, especially. He had never done anything close to that before, and she couldn’t think of any reason he would besides to do just that. Or perhaps, as she remembered his words from this morning telling her that he had indeed saw her watching him and Rebby that night, it was to mess with her, his way of teasing her about the whole thing.
Ah, yes, that had to be it. As they day drawn on, Marina convinced herself that Leoric was just teasing her, making fun of her for her momentary perversion. Giving that reason to herself made it easy to look at him again over the course of the day, even with the occasional flashes of memory from the night before which would bring back that strange tingling down in places she’d rather not think about.
In the process of her watching him, however, she noticed that he would start to shift weight onto his good shoulder more often, and have to stop to put pressure on the wound. It concerned her, but she trusted him enough to tell her if something was wrong. It didn’t seem to be enough to concern her too much, until they were packing up to go.
Marina had been focused on fixing her hair after Leoric not-so-kindly messed it up, she didn’t notice his change in posture. “Leoric, are you going to ride in the cart this time?” She asked as Bran helped her up into the back. Now that there was less materials back there, there was plenty of room for the both of them. She turned around, just in time to see him fix himself back up and walk over to the front of the cart. She did not fail to notice him putting pressure on his shoulder again.
“Yeah, I might as well, huh?” He said with a chuckle as he hoisted himself up, settling himself down while keeping his hand over his shoulder.
“Are you okay?” She asked hesitantly, carefully crawling over some of the spare lumber to get close to him. “Did you hurt your shoulder again…?”
“I’ll be fine.” He said easily as Bran and Joseph started the cart to go. “I’m just going to make a stop at the herbalist to grab something for it.”
“How long has it been hurting?” She asked, frowning deeply.
“Don’t worry about it.”
“How can I not worry about it? If you reopened your wound--”
“Marina, just stop.” There was a sharpness to his voice at her persistence that made her stop, taken aback by the tone. He turned at her silence, seeing her hurt expression and let out a small sigh. “I’ll take care of it, okay? If it was bad, I would have told you. You don’t need to mother me, anymore.” His voice was softer, but it did no better in softening the stabbing feeling in her chest.
She frowned, huffing a little bit before turning around quick enough for her braid to swing up over her shoulder from her back. Though her back was turned to him, Marina hurt a small annoyed grunt come from him as he turned back around, and somehow she could just tell he was now annoyed with her. Why he would be the one annoyed, she couldn’t figure out. She just wanted to help him, to make sure he was okay and not in more pain than necessary. She owed it to him, at least, so the least he could do was let her.
That wasn’t the only reason she did it, though, and she knew it. Over the past week she had grown to deeply care for him, to what extent she didn’t know, and for him to dismiss her care as fussy mothering she had to admit hurt her quite a bit, even if she wasn’t sure why.
The ride back to the town was awkwardly quiet, not even any teasing from Bran and Joseph broke the tense silence. Only once they came into the town limits and had the sounds of the townspeople around them did one of them speak.
“So, same time tomorrow?” Bran suggested as he steered the donkey down the streets. “That is if little Miss Marina can wake up on time.”
Marina smiled sheepishly, looking over to them. “I’ll be sure to get plenty of sleep tonight so that doesn’t happen again.”
“Even if it does,” Joseph piped in, hopping off the cart as it was pulled to a stop in front of his shop. “Don’t worry about it. We’ll wait for you.” The two men then went to work putting things from the cart away.
Leoric grunted as he jumped off the cart, his bad shoulder slumped a bit as he pressed his hand into it. “I’ll meet you at the inn later, Marina. I’m going to go pick something up from the herbalist for my shoulder.”
Marina frowned, thanking Bran softly as he helped her down. “I should come with you.”
At that Leoric waved his hand at her, dismissing her comment. “I won’t be long.”
Marina felt her frustration start to build again when another voice cut in. “Back already?” Turning to face the voice, she saw Rebby walking over to them, her son tagging along behind her. She was smiling until she saw the less than pleasant expressions on their face, her gaze especially zeroing in on Leoric’s posture.
“Hi Meester Weeowic!” Little Leo chimed, running over to him before Rebby could stop him.
Leoric put on a somewhat forced smile as he crouched down to meet the kid’s height, reaching out to ruffle his hair. “Hey, Kiddo. Long time no see. You have been good to your mom, right?”
“Uh huh!” the child smiled brightly up at him, bouncing a little excitedly. “I’ve be’n watchin’ for da bad guys.”
“And have you seen any?”
“Nope! Day too scared now.”
“Good, as they should be when we’re around, right?”
Leoric chuckled softly and pushed himself back up, but his smile dropped as an obvious stab of pain went through his shoulder. Marina almost ran over to him to make sure he was okay, but considering how he’d been regarding her help before, she stopped herself, despite how much it killed her to hold off. Pressing down on his shoulder again, he looked over at Rebby. “The herbalist is still in her shop, right?”
The woman nodded, gesturing to little Leo to return to her side which he did. “She should be… Your shoulder giving you problems?” She asked softly, taking her son’s hand.
Leoric shrugged his good shoulder. “It’s not so bad,” He said confidently, but both women could tell he was just putting on a brave face. “Just need to grab a little something to make it a bit easier to move, that’s all.”
Marina’s frown deepened, but said nothing while Rebby nodded slowly. “Alright. Did you want me to make dinner for your two again?”
“That'd be great, I’ll meet you two back at the inn later. I won’t be too long.” Leoric just gave them a short wave before he turned to walk off, not bothering to waste anymore time.
“Leoric!” Marina called after him, frustrated with his stubbornness and started to go follow him when Rebby grabbed her shoulder, pulling her back. She turned quickly to look at the woman, giving her a pleading look. “I can’t just let him go alone.”
“He’s a big boy, Marina.” Rebby smiled down at her, taking her hand off her shoulder. “Sometimes he needs to do things on his own, without us hovering over him.” At the resulting pout from the dwarf, she laughed softly. “Oh come on, you’re acting as if you would act any differently from him if the situation was reversed.”
Marina wanted to argue, but found that unfortunately Rebby was right. Her shoulders slumped as she watched Leoric until he had turned onto another street, out of her sight.
Rebby looked down at her with an almost sympathetic look, before clearing her throat. “How about you come with Leo and I? I could use your help with dinner, since you are much better with spices than I am.”
“Yahh!” Little Leo cheered, pulling from his mother’s hand to go grab Marina’s. “Come home wif us, pwease Mizz Maweena?” He looked up at her with a bright smile, lightly pulling on her hand.
She couldn’t help but laugh at his hopefulness, nodding slowly. “Okay, okay. It’s not like I have anything better to do.” Leo cheered loudly, grabbing his mother’s hand again to start pulling both women back to their home.
Rebby had to admit she was impressed as she watched Marina cook, never having gotten the chance to do so properly with Leoric around. Once she had told to dwarf that she had getting a set of legs of lamb, she had gone to buy a small amount of herbs, and a bunch of bright yellow fruit that she had only seen, never used as it was too expensive. Rebby tended to keep her cooking as simple as possible, so it was interesting to see someone who had more experience with varying flavors and smells, but it was also clear that she was still learning, constantly checking on everything she was doing, and double checking a moment later. Marina herself admitted that she’s “Never cooked Lamb before”, so had Rebby show her how she usually started off cooking it before she took over.
“So, this stuff is supposed to help make it taste better?” Rebby asked skeptically, twisting a sprig of rosemary between the pads of her fingers. “I’ve only seen this stuff used to make things smell better.”
“It can add a lot of flavor, too.” Marina explained happily as she poured the juices the lamb sat in over top of the meat with a spoon. “Though before leaving home, I did only ever use it myself in potpourri.”
Rebby blinked, looking up at the dwarf in confusion. “Pope-par-what?”
Marina’s face flushed a little as she ducked her head down a little in embarrassment. “Potpourri… it’s a mix of dried flowers, spices, and herbs, that makes things smell nice… You can either leave it all dried for subtle smells, or add boiling water to it to make the smells really intense for a day before having to replace it.”
Rebby snorted, giving her a bewildered look. “You lived with that kind of thing? You really are from another world, aren’t you?” Marina didn’t say anything, instead just trying to make herself as small as she should while still keeping her eyes on the lamb. The human woman almost felt bad, so she went over to her, leaning over to take a sniff of the food. “I don’t think that’s a bad thing, if it means you can make food like this.” Though she meant well with it, all she got out of the girl was a thankful smile, before it fell once again.
Rebby took a slow breath, putting the bit of rosemary down and taking a step back. “So… do you go through all this effort just for yourself?” She asked casually, trying to ease up the situation from the almost awkward silence that was starting.
Marina shook her head, looking up from the food. “No, I am perfectly fine with eating plain food most of the time, but when other people get happy when eating food I make, it becomes worth it.” Her expression when she spoke was soft, and Rebby was able to recognize that someone only had that look when they were thinking of someone specific.
“So, Leoric liking your food means that much to you, huh?” Rebby teased, prompting Marina’s face to turn a bright red as she dropped the spoon she was holding in surprise. She tried stammering out denials, but they both knew better, as Marina eventually just stopped trying, her shoulders slumping in defeat. Rebby laughed softly, going over to her to pat her shoulder sympathetically. “You know, there is no shame in falling for him. Stronger woman have tried to deny his charm and failed.”
“I care about him a lot, it’s not as if I've fallen in love with him.” Marina clarified, wrapping her arms around herself. “I hate seeming him hurt, and if being able to take care of makes his life a little easier, or my food makes him happy, then I don’t mind doing it.” She paused, shaking her head quickly. “But it isn’t romantic, I swear, I simply owe him a lot, and wish to properly repay him.” She looked up at Rebby, and knew instantly from her look that she didn’t believe her. For some reason, it was then she remembered what she had seen the night before, and instead of bringing that tingling back, it hit her in her chest hard enough that for a moment, she couldn’t breath.
“Are you sure about that?” Rebby asked softly, keeping her hand resting on Marina’s shoulder.
She nodded, forcing the momentary pain down with a smile. “Truly. Besides, he is much too tall for my preference.” Her joke worked flawlessly, making the woman laugh.
“Alright, fair enough.” Rebby stepped back, removing her hand from her. “But if you do end up feeling for someone, whether it’s Leoric, or someone else in the village if you decide to stay, don’t hold back, alright? Anyone around here would be lucky to have a sweet girl like you.”
Marina could only laugh, rolling her eyes before turning her focus back onto the food. She couldn’t understand what she was feeling anymore, and it was starting to concern her. First the pressure and almost pleasant tingling in places she would rather not think about, and now both butterflies in her stomach when thinking of Rebby’s line of questioning. There was no way that she felt romantic feelings for Leoric, no matter how much he had done for her since they had only known one another for a week. Besides, even if she did, she would know, right?
Later, after Rebby had made sure that Emmanuel and Leo were fed and her son was put to bed, both women walked to the inn together with Marina carrying the food for both her and Leoric. She had opted out of eating with Rebby’s family, as she didn’t feel it would have been fair for Leoric to eat on his own. After exchanging quick pleasantries with the innkeeper they made their way up to the rooms.
They went through Marina’s room first before knocking on the connecting door. When They got no response, she checked to see if it was locked and was glad to find it unlocked.
Upon entering Leoric’s room and finding it empty, Marina’s stomach twisted in anxiety. “He’s… still not back?” She mumbled, putting the food down onto the nightstand by the bed. The sun had been set for a good while by the time they made it back, so not seeing him already here sent a cascade of panicked thoughts though her.
“Marina, breath.” Rebby said softly, sitting on the bed. Having not even notice that she hadn’t taken a breath since she stepped into the room, she let herself finally breath. “Let’s just wait. If he doesn’t get back by the time the food gets cold, we’ll go and look for him, okay?”
Though she was hesitant, Marina nodded, going and sitting next to Rebby to wait, even if she wanted nothing more than to run out the door to look for the man.
Leoric knew that Marina would be frustrated and annoyed with him. But him overhearing Joe and Bran earlier about the whole already married thing got to him. He was known as an untameable beast around town. That no lady could tame or tie him down, yet for some reason the only thing that had been going through his mind lately was how he could make it up to Marina for taking care of him. She had done so much, cooked some absolutely delicious food to the point it blew his mind. Not to mention she was beautiful and had her adorable way of being stubborn. He felt like he was getting weaker, that he wasn’t as ‘strong’ as he always felt like he was. So when he realized he was in front of the herbalist’s hut he took a deep breath and steeped inside.
“Hello, Welcome to Luna’s herbalist shop how can i help you?” She said without looking up from her mortar and pestle that she was working at.
“I need one of your ointments for my shoulder, i might have overdone it a little today.” Leoric said as she looked up rather quickly when he spoke.
“Oh! Leoric, you haven’t been in here in quite some time. Your shoulder? I thought it would of been better by now.” Luna said as she couldn’t help but smirk as she looked at him. “Or are you here to give me a gift like last time?”
“Luna. Not now. Do you have any ointment back there for my shoulder or not?” Leoric scolded as he picked up on her flirty tone and immediately shot her down. It wasn’t as if he didn’t want some lovings or didn't like her, she was rather beautiful. It was more so the fact that he was in ludicrous amounts of pain, had been spending the last week and a bit with Marina and Rebby and for some reason Marina would not leave his thoughts. Especially not since he had spotted her watching him and Rebby.
“Fine” Luna sighed as she turned around swaying her hips a little more then usual. “Ruin a girl’s fun why don’t ya?”
“Maybe some other time Luna, when my shoulder doesn't feel like it’s being ripped off.” Leoric gripped his shoulder and applied more pressure on it as he seethed with pain.
“Alright Come on Handsome you know the drill, sit down back here and show me your shoulder.” Luna said poking her head out from behind her little counter. Leoric sighed and walked behind her counter and sat down on the chair that he had sat in many times before when he needed to deal with extremely exhausted muscles. He used his good arm and pushed off his overcoat revealing his shoulder which was now largely purple and green with bruising. “By the Thaynes, you weren’t kidding with over doing it”
“When do i really ever joke about anything i do or say?” Leoric snapped as another wave of pain washed over him. He quickly went to apply more pressure when Luna slapped his hand away.
“First we need to pull that blood out and then apply the ointment to relax the muscles.” She pointedly said as if saying that Leoric applying pressure would only make it worse as she started moving some vials of ointment around causing quite a few to klink together before finding the one she was looking for. “Leoric! Hands off”
“Shut up, I don’t need you to tell me what to do, just apply the damn ointment so i can leave” Leoric spat as he was barely able to open one eye. Luna came back over and smacked his hand away from his shoulder as she began to rub a fragrant smelling mixture that felt cool as it was applied. Leoric knew she didn't store the vials in a cellar so why was it so cold? It didn’t take long before the moisture rubbed on the surface began to change color and slowly became a red hue. Luna grabbed a rag and applied it to the bruise and wrapped it up, giving it a tug at the end to show she didn't appreciate Leoric’s tone with her. He growled as she pulled up a chair and sit in front of him.
“What made you put on your tough guy act?” She leaned back in her chair and crossed her legs in a dainty manner. “Before you say anything like ‘oh i am not acting i am a tough guy’ or ‘i am always like this’ Bullshit, we both know you are nothing but a softy at heart and your tough guy act was only when Darius and his brood were around. You dealt with them, what is going on?”
“I am not putting on a …” Leoric grumbled through his teeth as another wave of pain hit him.
“Ahh, i said not to say anything like that” Luna stated.
“Actually, you said before i said anything like it. Not for me not to” Leoric smirked as he winced and opened his left eye to look at her.
“Smart ass.” She said as she rolled her eyes. “What is going on.”
Leoric let out a large sigh before sitting up right a little bit more in his chair. “The men of the town seem to think i am going soft ever since i saved Marina and took care of Darius. Joe and Bran made a comment today that me and Marina seemed to be already married. First off no one can tie me down or ‘tame me’”
“Don’t i know it” Luna said under her breath
“Luna…” Leoric scolded as he sighed again. “I am a free man, i do what i want, when i want, and take certain jobs on the fly… Jobs that would put a certain someone in harms way. And if anything was to happen to this town or anyone within cause of me? I don’t know if my mental state could take it.”
“So…” Luna grinned as she seemed to understand what was going on. “You like Little red that has been wandering around town with you as of late. And are afraid to get serious with her cause you directly or indirectly could hurt her. Okay fine, i get it mister over thinker. But what does your heart say. What do you feel every time you see her? When she takes care of you?”
“Everytime i see her adorable face and her gaze meets mine, that smile she gives me just makes me feel like i could do anything in this world as long as she was by my side to support me. She is one of the most beautiful women i have ever laid eyes on even if she is a little short for my usual pick. And when she cares after me, checks on my wound, makes me dinner. I can’t help but feel complete, even though i hate being babied. There is just something about her that calms me down.” Leoric hadn’t really took his eyes off of his boots the entire time he spoke and didnt notice the smile on Luna’s face as he spoke.
“I don’t think you have ever gave it any thought but what about a Soul mate? Someone who is destined to bring you peace and clarity and give your life that filled feeling? So its not so empty?” She leaned forward as she tried to inspect his reaction. At first his eyebrow peaked at the thought of it but then reality struck and he spoke.
“Nah, i know about Soul mates. After all i spent a lot of time attuning myself to nature through my training. And in nature everything happens for a reason. But i can’t help but feel this is set up somewhere, as if i am suppose to fall for this girl and it isn’t sitting well with me. You know me if i am suppose to do something i generally go against it. I decide my own fate.”
“And would falling in love with that little beautiful Strawberry be such a bad thing?” Luna asked as she got up and unwrapped his shoulder. Leoric didn’t even realize how the pain didn’t seem to be there or that most of the coloration was gone and on the rag. He was more lost in thought over everything, especially Marina. “I mean, if everything stays the way they are now i think i wouldn't mind it even if it was setup. Just i don’t know Luna. wouldnt that make me seem weak or soft? Less of a wildcard?”
“The town would respect you more for it, you wouldn't be considered the random muscle bound idiot that shows up when people need you,’ you would be seen as more of a member of the town. Someone to keep around and not just as a deterrent to outside attackers.” She made some good points and leoric just sighed. Could he really love someone? Without hurting them, he wasn’t that great of a person he just had his morals when not on a job. Yet apparently the town loved him for just being around and he didn’t know why besides the ‘deterrent’ that he seemed to bring to the nearby roaming bandits and thieves. “There you go, all good, Just leave this rag wrapped up on your shoulder. It has a mixture of the Neuromuscular blocker and the Arnica ointment on it to help. By tomorrow morning it should be right as rain.”
Leoric stood up and thanked Luna before putting back on his overcoat and heading back out the front door of the herbalist, he wasn’t quite sure how long he had been in there but it had been enough time as the sun was starting to set.
As he walked past the Tailors hut he was motioned to go on inside and he did so. He was given a few shirts that were made out of Darius’ old shirt as well as some shirts of higher quality.
“How much?” Leoric asked as he reached for his coin purse.
“Free” The old man said behind the counter “Consider it payment for services rendered, Darius use to come in here and demand all his clothing be made for him for free because ‘he was the town's best hunter and deserved a freebie for helping out as much as he did’”
“Sorry but i can’t do that. The most i will do is take the time you spent on making it for free. How much to repay you for the materials. You know i won't take no for an answer here” Leoric said as he grabbed a few pieces of coin from his pocket.
“Nothing it is fr…” The man tried to continue when leoric put 10 gold coins on the counter and turned around to head towards the door when he remembered his shirts. So as he went to grab them he noticed a very elegant looking dress on a mannequin on the side of the shop a little out of the way.
“How much for that?” Leoric said as he walked on over to take a look. He gently touched it and his fingers seemed to just glide or float along the fabric never really feeling like they touched it. “It’s so soft and beautiful.”
“Ahh yes, That is made from the finest Spidersilk around, weaved intricately over many many long nights.” The old man said as he seemed to scratch his head. “Normally i would charge around 600 gold or so but for you i would be willing to drop the price.”
Leoric choked a little as the price was said, it surely was a really expensive dress. But he knew of one person he would be willing to spend that kind of money for. He juggled his coin purse a little bit before biting his tongue and offering a deal.
“I can do three hundred gold for that, I don’t have much more on me as i just had to get some stuff done over at Luna’s” Not paying full price for something really made something sit uneasy with him but he knew he had to get Marina a gift as an apology for his behavior and a way to say thank you for all the work she had done for him over the last week and a bit.
“Deal Mr.Leoric, now would you like it wrapped in a box or folded neatly on top of your shirts?” He asked as he walked behind his counter again.
“Folded and put inside a box, it is a gift after all” he chuckled as he counted out the coin for the dress. Once he was done counting the box was put on top of his shirts and he walked outside just in time to see Rebby and Marina head inside the Inn.
“Heh, guess i better get over there. If they don't see me in my room Strawberry may panic a little.” he chuckled as he began walking their way.
Marina almost jumped out of her skin when after only a few moments of waiting, Leoric came walking through the door, his arms full with various cloths and a box. “Oh! Welcome back!” she said quickly, before realizing that her enthusiasm was almost a little too much, which was punctuated by the fact that Rebby started laughing softly behind her.
She was surprised to see him smile though, and it helped her relax somewhat. “Missed me, huh?” he teased, walking towards her and leaning down a bit next to her to place his things down. She started to shift away, but once one arm was free he put his hand lightly on her arm to stop her. “I got a little something for you.” he said in a low tone that sent shivers down her spine. He didn’t linger though, standing straight again and smiling down at the two women. “Hope you two weren’t waiting long.”
“Not at all, we only just got here.” Rebby spoke up, returning the smile while the dwarf stood in a flustered and stunned silence. “Food should still be warm, too.”
“Perfect timing then.” He shrugged off the jacket from his shoulders, letting it fall to the bed.
Suddenly seeing the amount of bandaging on his shoulder took Marina out of her dazed state and immediately went back to worrying. “Was your shoulder really that bad?” she asked softly, leaning up on her toes to get a better look at it. Noticing her attempts, Leoric sat down on the bed to let her get a better look.
“No, it wasn’t. It’s much better though.” to prove his point, he rolled his shoulder and did a full twist of his arm without any show of pain. “it just looks thicker because there is a layer to keep the ointment soaking in all night.”
Marina was skeptical, but remembering her talk with Rebby before, she decided to trust him in knowing to let her help if he really needed it. “alright… well, I’ll get the food.”
While she went to get their food ready to serve, she heard Rebby shift on the bed. “So, what’s this?” she started, and the light shifting of the box that followed was cut off by a loud slam of the box. Startled by the sound, Marina turned and saw Leoric holding the lid if the box closed, shaking his head. Rebby rolled her eyes, letting go of the lid and holding her hands up in surrender. “Okay, okay, I won’t peek.”
“Good.” he said simply, but took the box off the pile and leaned down to slide it under the bed. As much as his behavior regarding the box made her curious, Marina figured it was none of her business, and went on to serve the meals.
During dinner while the humans talked casually about house plans, Marina hardly noticed that now that the anxiety over Leoric’s momentary disappearance had passed, she was exhausted and hadn’t even finished her plate before she started nodding off.
“Marina, go get some sleep.” Her name being said made her aware that her eyes had closed, so she perked herself up a bit, looking at Leoric who looked very amused. “We were starting to worry you were doing to fall face first on you plate.” he teased, giving her a smirk.
“No no, I’m okay.” she said quickly, moving to put the plate down but was intercepted by Leoric taking it and starting to eat her leftovers. Head done this before, so she just made an amused face before letting to go. “Are those the shirts you had made?” she asked softly, pointing towards the folded pile left on the bed.
He nodded, taking a large bite of lamb meat. “Yeah, haven’t had a chance to try any on though.”
Rebby leaned over, grabbing one of the shirts and unfolding it in front of of her. Her eyebrows shot up as she felt the fabric. “These are amazing quality, how much did this cost?” she asked, folding the shirt back up with a lot of care. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in stuff like this.”
“You don’t want to know.” he mumbled, his mouth still full.
Marina reached over and grabbed the pile of shirts, shifting through them to look at what he had gotten. She was intensely surprised by the fabric and style, as the last time she had seen work like this was when she was back home in her own old wardrobe. One shirt in particular caught her attention. “Ohhh, you would look amazing in this!” she exclaimed, pulling it from the pile to get a better look at it. It was a beautiful silk shirt of a light silver color, with fitted sleeves and a band collar. She noted that the sleeves had a subtle white fade to them into the main color, and there was subtle embroidery on the neckline in a filigree design that then followed down the line of buttons.
Leoric looked skeptical, reluctantly putting the plate down. “It’s a bit… much.” he said vaguely, though she understood what he meant.
“Well, obviously it is not for everyday wear.” she scoffed, holding it out to him. “please?”
“You want me to put it on now?” he mumbled, taking it from her hands to get a closer look at it.
Rebby clapped happily, nodding quickly. “Oh yes! Absolutely! Please?”
Marina leaned closer to him, smiling widely. “Pretty please?” she said as sweetly as she could. Rebby mirrored her, though her tone was much more seductive.
Leoric looked between the two before laughing, raising his hands in surrender. “Okay, okay!” he stood up, turning to face them. “if it will keep you two from purring in my ears, fine.”
While Marina was left confused by what he meant, he started taking his vest off which distracted her from her thoughts. Squeaking, she covered her face quickly while her face went red, trying to ignore the laughing from the other two.
After a few moments of shifting clothes and a few ‘ooo’s from Rebby, Leoric gave her the okay to look. When she dropped her hands, her jaw fell as well. He stood before them, the shirt fitting perfectly on him, though a little bit tight on his arms. It looked amazing on him though, even with the thick bandages, and she couldn’t help but stare. The fact that the vest he always wore worked so well with it just added to the entire look. He had the top three buttons left undone, which while she was sure it would have looked sloppy on anyone else, it was perfect for him, and for the first time ever he actually looked like the hero she had always seen him as.
He lifted his hand and brushed his hand through his hair and out of his face, a simple action that somehow managed to make her feel a little light headed. He looked right at her, his gaze stealing her breath away. “How does it look?” he asked casually, a smirk slowly coming to his lips as he took in her expression.
“Amazing.” Rebby answered for the both of them, starting to fan herself. “Unrelated, but is it a little warmer in here?”
“I do definitely feel a little warmer all of a sudden…” Marina admitted softly, though she didn’t quite understand why she felt so warm and tingly.
Leoric’s smile widened after she said that, which somehow made flutters start in her stomach. “Oh really?” he said in a low town that sent more shivers down into low places.
It wasn’t until she started squirming in place and felt a very distinct wet feeling on the fabric between her legs did she finally understand what was happening to her. She stood up quickly, almost tripping over her skirts as she moved towards the door. “I think I should go to bed, I really am rather tired.”
“Alright, just a second.” Leoric voice was even lower, huskier than before and the resulting shiver made her hand miss the doorknob. She waited though, taking a moment to breath before looking over her shoulder at him. He stepped over to the bed and knelt down, pulling the box from before out from underneath and going over to her. Marina turned fully and pressed her back to the door in an attempt to step away from him as he stepped close with only the box between them. “This is for you.”
Marina could hardly breath with him so close, and she let herself look down from that heated look he was giving to down to his chest, noting that it seemed a little tighter and the sleeves strained against his muscles as he made himself bigger. She nodded quickly, taking the box from him, careful to not let their hands touch, and clutched it to her chest. She squeaked out a small thank you before turning around in her spot and opening the door to leave. As she had to step back to allow the door to swing open towards her, she felt her back hit his chest, and how warm he was almost made her want to melt. Instead of giving into the urge to stay where she stood, she twisted closely around the door, muttering a quick goodnight before shutting the door behind her.
Now that there was something between them, Marina pressed her back against the door and allow her already weak knees to lower herself down onto the floor, whimpering softly to herself. How could one man affect her so much? To become aroused like that… Just the thought of admission to what exactly he was doing to her made her face feel like it was going to burn off from her blush.
Picking herself up from the floor, she put the box onto the nightstand and proceeded to strip off all of her clothes, feeling way too warm to want to bother wearing anything, and just cocooned herself within the blankets. She willed herself to try to fall asleep, just wishing for this day to be over.
Unfortunately for her the day refused to end as she couldn’t get comfortable no matter how much she tossed and turned, but she felt intensely restless. Whining in frustration, she stared up at the ceiling, pouting to herself.
Above her bed there was a small portrait of a landscape that really wasn’t worth much attention, but something about it caught her attention. On the edge of the frame was a small line of light that seemed to come from underneath it. It made her wonder where it came from, so she sat up and turned to the wall, pulling the painting from the wall. Suddenly, the light mumbles she had been able to hear between the walls came much clearly as she uncovered a small hole.
“... She really is sweet on you, you know. Even if you are so mean to the poor thing.” Rebby spoke with an amused tone, and how clear her voice suddenly was surprised Marina. Shifting closer, she leaned in to see if she could look through the weird hole.
Sure enough she could, getting a good view of Rebby and Leoric standing at the end of the bed, the woman carefully undoing the shirt for him the vest already off. He didn’t look amused by what she was saying. “She hardly treats me any different than anyone else. Besides, I annoy her, that much is clear.”
Rebby scoffed, undoing the last button and starting to push the shirt off of his shoulders. “I don’t know if you noticed, but you’re the only one she really shows when she is annoyed, otherwise she covers it up with who knows how much noble brainwashing she’s gone through. Remember how she still tried to be polite with Darius despite her being cornered by him?”
The mentioning of the man he killed seemed to sour his mood, prompting Leoric to step back and take his shirt off himself and fold it. “Right. And she isn’t just taking care of me cause of some debt?”
The woman scoffed, putting her hands on her hips. “Is it that hard to believe she really cares about you? She goes out of her way to make you happy, and makes sure you’re safe. She doesn’t go through that much effort for anyone else, that much of clear.” she paused, frowning a bit. “Why do you care so much, anyway?” When Leoric didn’t answer, just grunt and start putting the shirts away. Rebby rolled her eyes, frowning now. “Oh, now you’re getting grumpy again? Do I need to cheer you up a bit?”
Leoric hummed, putting the shirts into the dresser before turning and giving her a smirk. “I mean you could always do that.”
Rebby snorted and shook her head, going over to him. “Stop avoiding the question.”
Leoric’s smile fell, and he looked annoyed for a bit. “Jeez, first Luna, now you. Do I really need to get interrogated every time I’m feeling a little sour?” The look he received seemed to be enough to show that she wasn’t going to let him talk his way out if it. “Fine.” He threw his hands up, going to sit on the edge of the bed. “I’m not grumpy now, but earlier on top of being in a fuck ton of pain, but Bran and Joe were taking the shit about Marina and I, saying we were acting like a married couple.”
“And?” Rebby prompted, going over to sit next to him. Marina couldn’t see their expressions from where they sat, as there backs was to her. “When have you ever cared what people said about you?”
“I care when they start thinking I’m getting soft.” He said with an annoyed sigh, his body shifting as he moved to push his hair back again. “I don’t want people to say that because of her I’m getting weak, or getting tied down. And with the work I do? I can’t let someone as beautiful as her getting in the way or distracting me.”
“Like how she did with Darius?”
There was a moment of hesitation before he nodded. “Yeah, Like she did with Darius.”
Marina felt a stabbing feeling in her chest as he said that, biting her lip to keep herself from vocalizing her pain. As much as she was happy to know he thought of her as beautiful, it hurt her knowing that she was a distraction to him. She sunk down so she was sitting properly on the bed, resting her forehead against the wall.
“Well…” Rebby started after their brief moment of silence. “I think she helped you, too. If she wasn’t there, maybe you would have let Darius off again. And you seemed a lot more motivated and stronger than usual.”
“Yeah…” At Leoric agreeing, Marina perked up a bit. “She does help with that, too.” He chuckled softly. “Luna mentioned something about soulmates, but I really don’t know about that. I don’t like the idea that this is all planned somehow.”
“You keep sounding like this is a bad thing for you, even if you can feel enough for her to buy something really secretive, so probably expensive.” She teased, giving him a light poke to his side.
He lightly swatted her hand away, laughing softly. “It’s still early, anyway, so I’m not going to say anything like I’m in love with her or anything… But she’s definitely something special.”
Marina’s heart was fluttering happily, and she covered her mouth with her hand to suppress happy squeals. She bounced a little in her spot, incredibly excited about what she had overheard. Even though he hadn’t something like he loved her, even denying it at all, for him to feel that way about her at all filled her with joy she could barely contain. She knew she couldn’t sit still so she crawled off of the bed, just barely hearing that Rebby had said something in response to what Leoric had said, but she hardly cared.
She was almost about to happily bounce around her room, but quickly remembered that she wasn’t wearing any clothes as the cold air of the room hit her. Wrapping her arms around herself, she was about to move to put on her dress, but stopped when she caught sight of the box Leoric had given her earlier. With what Rebby had said, him giving her something seemed to be a big deal, so her curiosity got the better of her.
Picking up the box and placing it on the bed, she carefully opened it up. She was surprised to see an article of clothing, and she didn’t even need to feel it to know what the material was. She had only seen three garments made of spidersilk, and it was both of her sister’s wedding dresses, and she could recognize it anywhere. She carefully pulled it from the box, holding it up in front of her. She noticed it wasn’t as long as she was expecting, but she was sure that perhaps on her shorter frame it would be a decent length.
The robe itself was overall dark colours, mostly black with dark blue and purple designs set into it, where she was barely able to see it in the dim lights. In the foreground of the design however was lightly scattered with light blue butterflies, on the edges of the long and loose sleeves and . As she was admiring the intricate design, she noticed that the front of it was left open, and along the middle was a simple black sash made of the same material as the rest. She was surprised that it was in fact more of a robe style, with the sleeves longer than the body of the garment.
She let her fingers feel over the fabric, enjoying how smooth and flawless it felt against her skin. She couldn’t believe that Leoric would buy her something so beautiful, especially since she had an idea how expensive this sort of thing would be.
As she looked it over, carefully moving it between her hands and getting an idea of it when she couldn’t hold off from trying it on anymore. With gentle motions, Marina slipped it her arms through the sleeves, wrapping the garment around her body until she was covered. It fit wonderfully around her, the fabric gliding against her skin so smoothly she let out a pleased sigh. It wasn’t until she tied the sash around her waist did she notice a problem, however.
Normally she had a problem with getting clothes that weren’t tailored for her around her chest and hips, something her mother would often chastise her for and insist she needed to eat less to make her figure more appealing to potential suitors, much like her sisters. She always used the term ‘Humanlike’ for the appealing figure she idolized, which her sisters seemed to have with their slimmer bone structure and less drastic curves. Marina was far more traditional in looks, and due to the traditional genetics no longer being “In fashion,” it had begun to become hard to get clothing to fit her correctly, so to have something fit around her body with no trouble felt like heaven.
That is until she felt the breeze on her backside. Looking down and running her hands down along her sides until her fingers hit the skin of her legs, which was far too high for her liking. She turned her head to try to look, but obviously couldn’t see, so she felt around the bottom seams and let out a distressed sound as she found it didn’t even cover her bottom fully. So while it covered her completely from the front, her full figure ended up pulling up the already short robe up.
Just as she was starting to wonder why Leoric would get her something like this, something so short and almost indecent, and thinking perhaps it was supposed to be some new style of shirt when her thoughts were caught off by a high pitched moan loud enough to be heard clearly from the adjacent wall even with her being several steps away. It caught her off guard, making her forget for a moment the predicament about the robe.
She slowly made her way closer to the bed, she crawled her way onto it and back over to the small hole. Closer now she could hear the now familiar sounds of Rebby’s pleasured sounds a lot more clear. Her curiosity got the better of her as she knelt in front of the peep hole once again, wondering what was happening to get to her to be so loud.
Once she was settled, she looked in to see the woman laying on her back, legs pulled back and her dress riding up to expose herself, and she was able to see the top of Leoric’s head between her legs. Rebby would arch her back up off the bed with her head thrown back and her eyes blissfully closed, whimpering and covering her mouth as something was done to her that Marina couldn’t quite see.
Even if she didn’t understand what was happening before her, that tingling feeling and warmth came washing over her body, making her shiver a bit and grip the wall for support.
Rebby’s body was quaking and she was starting to squirm in her spot, whining softly. “Fuck, you’re so mean!” She cried out into her hand, lifting her head to look down at Leoric, who chuckled softly. There was a momentary pause before the woman almost screamed in pleasure, her head falling back again as her eyes rolled back. “Fuuuuck…”
“Careful, you’ll wake Marina.” Leoric said with a deep purr, though it was slightly muffled as he spoke against her skin. She seemed to respond to this by tightening her hand over her mouth and bringing the other that to reinforce it.
Marina should have felt shame hearing Leoric mention that she could hear them when it can be argued she is doing something worse, but this only made the pressure inside her worse, knowing she was doing something forbidden and wrong. She was seeing something private that wasn’t for her, and yet here she was only becoming more curious and excited to see more.
“Leoric, come on, please!” Rebby whined, letting her hands fall down to grip the sheets. “I need you in me already, please.”
Finally lifting his head, Leoric grinned up at her before wiping his mouth and beard clean of what could be assumed remnants of Rebby’s excitement. “All you had to do ask nicely.” He then pushed himself up, standing up at the foot of the bed. He was in full view for Marina, shirtless and in the dim light of a single candle lit in the room in the most perfect way to show off his muscular body. He was looking down at Rebby, but he seemed to be making a show out of flexing his arms and pecs as he undid his pants as slow as he could. When she made a long whine of annoyance, he only smirked and made no effort to go faster.
Finally he pushed his pants down, his erection falling out in full view for both women. Unconsciously Marina licked her lips and couldn’t help but let her gaze wander over his body, not knowing sure if she would be able to see him like this again. It was wrong for her to see him like this without him knowing, so intimate, but here she was, enjoying what she was seeing as well as the feeling of her heart racing and her feeling like her skin was on fire.
“Alright, get over here.” Leoric growled down at Rebby, grabbing her by her heels and yanking had so that she was pulled onto the edge of bed, getting an excited squeal out of her before he rolled her over. She propped herself up onto her knees and hands, while he grabbed her by the hips. He barely hesitated before pulling her back, and Marina could only assume by the happy hum that came from the woman that he was now inside her as she wanted. Knowing that alone sent the strongest wave of wonderful fluttering through her body and deep into places she didn’t think could want so badly for something she didn’t understand.
While she watched Leoric press deep into Rebby over and over making her moan and start begging for him to continue, Marina started to feel a weird sort of restlessness which she simply didn’t want to sit still while feeling the want to be touched. Not understanding what her own body wanted, she just wrapped her arms around herself and watching in silent fascination. Even as her legs started to hurt as she stayed in the same position to watch while the pair moved on to various others. She watched as Rebby would orgasm one after another from Leoric’s actions, and she really couldn’t believe that something like this felt so good, but still had this wanting inside her to find out for herself one day.
Soon enough with a long groan that gave her one last surge of pleasant shivers through her, Leoric stopped his thrusting from where he was sitting with her on his lap, his arms wrapped around her waist to support her. “Shit, sorry…” He crumbled between short breaths.
Rebby was humming happily, completely blissed out as she sat comfortably on him. She wiggled her hips a bit, causing him to grunt before he started pulling her up just enough for his member to fall out of her. Marina at first didn’t understand exactly what had happened until she was able to see a small trickle of something drip out of her. “You know I don’t mind.” She purred, running her hands over his chest. “It feels so good having you inside me like that.”
“Yes, well…” He gently lay her down before shifting to lay next to her, and out of Marina’s view. “We don’t want any of those seeds to plant, now do we?”
Rebby just hummed vaguely, which Marina took as her cue that they were done. As quietly as she could she replaced the painting back onto the wall and then sat back onto the bed, letting herself think over everything she had seen. The feelings inside her had yet to subside, and she doubted she really could get much sleep just like the night before. All she could hear now was the indistinguishable mumbling from the pair in the other room, and the usual light chatter of the late tavern crowd outside the window, and it felt quite surreal to her. After watching them for so long, she felt different, like some part of her had changed by witnessing something so intimate, and yet the world kept moving on.
Sighing softly, the dwarf tucked herself under the covers. She figured that she should probably take off the robe, but as soon as her head hit the pillow she realized how truly exhausted she was. Even if she felt like a bundle of nerves where even her shifting to get comfortable, the smooth feeling of the silk over her otherwise bare breasts causing a small reaction, it took only a few moments before she fell asleep. Though she wouldn’t remember it in the morning, her dreams were full of reenactments of what she had seen tonight, though in the perspective that saw herself being the one under Leoric and having those dark looks directed at her.
The Night was still relatively young for what Leoric was used to, he was also used to being exhausted after a night of fun. Something was bothering him though, be it the fact that he may have an accidental child on the way, the fact that he had started to acknowledge his feelings for Marina, or that he was starting to think he, himself, was getting soft. Whatever the reason was he was still restless. He couldn’t quite figure out what was causing him to be so restless so when Rebby started to go home he offered to walk her there. He locked his door and left behind her. It was a relative quick walk. To her place where they said good night with naught but a cursory wave towards each other. Emmanuel could be seen looking through the window to make she was safe and Leoric gave him a wave before he shoved his hands into his pockets and continued on down the path towards the in progress house and his training grounds.
Leoric sighed a massive sigh of relief when he saw the pond and the moon light flowing into it. Something about this place always calmed him down, but it never did help his restless energy levels. He had spent a week doing nothing but ‘relaxing’ as Marina would call it. Yet to Leoric a few hours of training was more relaxing then a week of laying around doing nothing. He walked up to his training dummy and casually spun the left club as the right swung around. Before he knew it he was back in his training stance. Though he wasn’t using his wooden weights like he normally would, it was pure club to skin contact. He told himself he wouldn’t be training long but before he knew it the sky was starting to change color. Getting ever brighter and bluer as the sun rose. He flexed both his arms and caught the right club just before it would of connected with his skull. This caused an immediate stop and allowed for him to safely pull out of the training dummy’s radius.
As he was getting ready to head on back to town he caught a whiff of something that was rather unpleasant, it was him, he had been sweating quite a bit while training. He took off his vest and pants and dove quickly inside the pond where he scrubbed his body down rather quickly. He would have to have a bath later with proper soap to really get rid of the smell but for now the fresh training scent would be gone from his body and what would be replaced with old leather.
“Leoric?” Bran inquired as he stumbled across leoric walking out of the forest and towards the town. “What are you doing out here at this time?”
“Oh, Hey Bran…” Leoric started as he let out a smile and ran his hand through his hair. A smile Bran hadn’t seen on Leoric in quite a while. It was his fake i am exhausted and something is on my mind but i am fine look. It was something Bran had seen before. “I am alright, just couldn’t sleep so went and got a few short hours of training in.”
“Training eh? …” Bran smirked as he slung his axe over his shoulder. “Marina causing you that many issues you need to work out some frustrations eh?”
“Nah, nothing like that. Rebby and Luna said some things last night that got to me so i had to work those out.”
“You don’t say” Bran chuckled as he punched Leoric's padded shoulder playfully as his own way of testing how it was doing. When Leoric didn’t even flinch from the impact he scoffed. “You seem fine enough to me, you sure you aren't just letting the ladies baby you?”
“Bran.” Leoric said as he shot a look the man’s way that the lumberjack had only seen him shoot Darius when he was stepping over the line. It caused a chill to flash through bran before he remembered that him and Leoric were buddies and that Leoric wouldn’t actually act upon it, but the look was a warning.
“Heh, Sorry Leo, Just messing with you. You know that” Bran said nervously as they both started walking further into town together. Leo gave him a quick scoff as they turned the corner to the carpenter's shop. To see that Joseph still hadn’t turned up so both of them were early.
“Well looks like we gotta go wake up the other two eh?” Leoric sighed as he turned and started towards the Inn. He didn’t even understand his own feelings at the moment, and training only allowed him to take his mind off of the feelings. Not allow him to work through them as he had thought they would. He wandered up the steps of the Inn and unlocked his door before waltzing in and stretching before letting out a sigh. His shoulder was still doing great after the ointment he was given. He was rather shocked it was working so well. He took off his bandaging to reveal what looked like dried up blood on the padding but there was no mark on his skin, not even slight redness or inflammation.
“Well would you look at that.” He said to himself as he rolled it up and tossed it aside. He quietly opened the door between the two rooms and walked in to find Marina curled up in a ball on her bed, sleeping beautifully, only half covered by her blankets. Leoric smirked as he noticed she was in the dress he had bought her the day before and then quickly realized she wasn’t wearing anything underneath it as there was quite a large amount of cleavage being shown. Leoric was pretty sure he was staring at a nipple but in the dim light of the room he couldn't be sure without getting a closer look and as much as he would enjoy getting closer he was starting to respect and care for Marina a lot more then allowing his urges to take over. He bent over and quickly grabbed the blanket and slowly pulled it up over her so she was covered before starting a gentle wake up call. It took a few minutes before she opened her eyes and realized what was going on around her. She covered herself and apologized for being late and indecent again when leoric simply chuckled and gave her a five minute heads up before leaving the room.
Leoric was waiting outside his door, leaning his back on it as she came rushing out of her room. She didn’t even notice he was there in her rush to turn around and lock her room.
“That was faster than Five minutes there darling.” Leoric said with a smug grin as his voice was a little gravelly from lack of sleep. Where Marina hadn’t noticed leoric his sudden speaking caused her to squeak a little and drop the room key as she turned to see him. Leoric had spent the time to get dressed in one of the shirts that had been made for him just the day prior. It was nothing fancy but it was a nice cotton shirt that fit well underneath his vest. “Letting your hair down today?”
“Well. you said i only had five minutes. I didn’t really have time to braid it.” Marina said as she clambered for her key to lock her door before she turned to face leoric with a determined expression on her face “Ready!”
Leoric couldn't help but grin as her determination was beginning to get Infectious and he ushered for her to go ahead of him. As she walked passed he kicked off from his door and walked behind her. Watching her hair flow from one side to another. He had never seen her with her hair down before and it seemed to really suit her well. It wasn’t like he couldn't already stare at her for hours but with her long hair it seemed to make it so he could stare for even longer.
As they walked out the front door Bran and Joseph were still nowhere to be seen and Leoric went to turn down an alley to take a shortcut to the shop where the cart was parked when Marina said something that seemed to stop him in his place.
“Thank you.” She seemed a little hesitant at first as Leoric turned to face her curious as to what. “I wasn’t exactly awake but i remember someone covering me in my blankets shortly before i woke up. And seeing as you were the one who woke me up it could really only be you. And with what i was wearing as i slept .. i… Thank you Leoric”
Leoric smirked as he turned to face her, he walked up to her and bent down to give her a big hug before Giving her a quick soft kiss on the lips. “I respect you too much to take advantage of you in that state. Besides i would much rather me seeing you like that be on some more fun terms” The look on her face as he pulled away from the kiss was not even something Leoric could of expected. She was incredibly flustered and her eyes as wide as if she had just seen a ghost or a demon appear out of thin air before them. He smirked as he let go of her face and stood up right as Bran and Joe turned the corner with the Cart and were heading right for them. Marina turned and seem to run down an alley as Leoric chuckled and shrugged his shoulders. He half expected her to react this way and the other half was a slap across the face. Joseph broke the silence as they pulled up next to him.
“Dang, Did our lunch ticket just run off? I am going to miss her cooking.”
Without even realizing the company that was with him or what he was saying the words slipped right out of leoric's mouth. “Nah, She is so much more than just a good cook”
“Uhhh, Leoric?” Bran asked as leoric seemed to snap to his senses.
“What? Nothing! Let's get going we are already behind schedule. Go go go. No dilly dallying. She knows where we are workin!” he said as he tried to quickly change the subject. What he didn't know that even in Marina’s broken state she still heard what he had said. And what she heard made her heart race faster than the kiss had sent it.
It had been a Long morning of working, The cart had managed to slipp of the bridge that Bran had made the day prior thanks to the morning dew and it Leoric couldnt lift it back onto the Bridge as it was another full cart of wood and quite a few more heavy logs as well. So they had to carry each piece of wood and heavy log manually to the campsite until the cart was light enough for Leoric to lift it onto the bridge. And even then it took both Leoric and Bran’s combined strength to get it back up and moving. By the time they had gotten everything setup in the camp it was close to mid day but Leoric didn’t let that deter him, nor did he let his exhausted body slow him down. He would push through everything with all the strength he had as they started to put up the main log corners of the house that had pre cut holes in it for the supports that would slot in before being hammered together. They had just finished the Frame of the front wall of the house when Marina was seen by Brain entering the campsite.
“Hey There Missy, glad to see Leoric didn’t scare you off earlier.” He chuckled as he hammered another support into place.
“You sure you aren’t just glad you don’t have to go without lunch?” Leoric joked as he finished laying one of the final supports for the second floor that was going to be installed once the walls were done on the first floor.
“Hey, we were all going to be a little upset if we went without lunch.” Joseph corrected as poked his head out from the wagon where he was working on a few wall segments that they would just have to hammer into place.
“Speak for yourselves, I am just happy to …” Leoric trailed off as his face went a little red as he looked at her and their eyes met. She turned away as quickly as he looked down. The grin on his face evident in what he saw from hers. She had a smile as well although she was barely managing to keep it from being a full smile written across her face.
“Don’t worry, you won’t go hungry. I will start making lunch right away.” She insisted as she rolled up her sleeves and got ready to work hard at making the men Lunch.
Leoric couldn’t help but stand up to stretch, his back was starting to get stiff and his arms felt heavier than usual and to top it off the sun was blazing down on him and his decision to wear a shirt was a rather bad one today. He walked down the front steps of his soon to be house and undid his vest and tossed it over past Marina onto where he would normally pile his clothes if it was just him here, leaning up against the hollowed out tree trunk. Marina’s head turned to face him as she was wondering where the vest came from as he unbuttoned the top few buttons of his shirt and pulled it up over his head. Making his hair a mess and revealing his sweaty torso. His left shoulder was starting to get red and inflamed and Marina noticed this just as she squeaked and turned away from Leoric blushing brightly. She wanted to go and check on his shoulder but at the same time what Rebby had said the day prior still rung out to her. And she figured that if his shoulder was bothering him badly enough he would tell her.
Once Leoric started to smell the familiar smell of lunch he put up his tool belt and jumped off the porch. Not even bothering to take the stairs down. He walked on over just as Marina was turning around to let them know Lunch was ready. He half startled her as she half startled him with saying lunch was ready as loud as she did with him so close.
Bran and Joe could see what was happening and opted to eat their lunch over at the cart while Marina and Leoric ate theirs together around the pond as a cool breeze would blow through every now and then. It was one of the very few times Leoric felt perfectly calm with his life and what he was doing. Marina and himself kept talking about how adorable Little Leo was and how much he acted and was beginning to look like Old leoric. Leoric took offense to the ‘old’ part and both of them chuckled a little as Leoric finished up his lunch and casually went to put the bowl down. As Marina went to put her bowl down to she quickly leaned up and kissed his cheek as he was already bent over to put his bowl down. Her face turning a bright beat red as she turned away to run but was caught by something. Leoric's hand grabbed hers and spun her around slowly before he stared into her eyes for what felt like an eternity before giving her a longer, more passionate, kiss in return. If her face could've gone more red it did as she stood there dazed. Leoric smirked as he turned to get back to work on the house. Bran and Joseph both looked at him as he passed the back of the cart with Cocky looking grins on their face, half way between way to go and told ya so.
“Don’t say a word” Leoric tried to say with a serious face but the grin that was plastered all over just wasn’t going away. The men laughed it off and went back to work as they began to raise the last few walls on the first floor and put in the steps to the second floor. Once the top step was placed Leoric kinda stood on top of it and looked out around the area. Sighing he took the sight in, it was a real beauty of a thing. The beauty was also increased by the fact Marina was within eyesight. She had managed to shake off the stun from the kiss had gotten back to work on washing the dishes and busying herself around the area.
“Leoric, we are just about done for the day. Not many logs left and we have used up all the cut stuff we brought with us! What you think we should do?” Joseph said as he looked up at leoric who was standing on the second floor.
“We have done a good day’s work, and hell we have made some really good progress over the last two to three days. Why not call it an early day?”
“Sounds good to me, I will let Bran know once we empty out the cart we are heading back to town.”
Leoric started walking down the stairs as he stopped for a second and realized that he didn't know what to do for the night. Generally the guys worked until sundown and then would go get dinner and settle down. But with them being down two hours early he was a little lost for what to do. He figured he could find something to occupy him for the extra two hours as Bran lifted in the last log from the cart and placed it where Joseph had instructed to before giving Leoric a clasp on the shoulder as sweat trickled down both their faces from a hard day of working.
As Joseph and Bran loaded up the tools from the day into the cart leoric went and grabbed his shirt and vest from the hollowed out trunk and turned to Marina.
“Well, we are done for today. We are heading on back to town if you want a free ride?” He offered his hand out to her as she was sitting on the ground at the time of him approaching.
“Oh, okay… That would be nice, Thank you.” She said as she took his hand and stood up brushing off any dirt that may have gotten on it from sitting down. As they approached the cart leoric grabbed her by the waist and looked at her and smiled as she looked back and offered him the same smile back as he lifted her up into the cart with minimal effort. The cart ride back to town was rather uneventful. Marina sat across from Leoric as she didn't want to crowd him and the men in front were continuing their discussion of what type of wood was best for certain tasks. They seemed to both have very strong opinions on the matter.
As they entered town Leoric hopped out of the cart and offered Marina a hand down as the cart Kept going. Both men up front were so involved with their discussion they didn't realize that they two others had gotten off the cart already.
“They can get quite heavy and into it can’t they?” Leoric chuckled as he pointed towards the Herbalist's shop. “We are going to see Luna before we head back to our rooms. I need to get something for you”
“Oh, umm, Okay then” Marina hesitantly agreed as they walked inside the Herbalist's shop.
“Welcome to Luna’s herbology and alchemy shop how can i help you?” Luna said as she was busy looking up a recipe from one of her books.
“Herbology and Alchemy are we? Huh Today is a rather important day. Normally it's just a Herbalist shop.” Leoric joked as the door gently closed behind them, the fragrant smells of many different plants lingered in the air, it was mostly pleasant.
“Oh! Leoric! Back already? I wasn’t expecting you for another week.” Luna said as she slowly looked up and her gleeful expression fell to one of a more business look. “That must be the little Strawberry i have seen around”
Marina’s face seemed to scrunch up with frustration at the nickname before it faded to give way to her socialite training and she bowed slightly. “Hi, my name is Marina, Nice to meet you”
“We are here to pick up a bottle of that ointment for my shoulder. As i don't expect to be actually in town a lot once the house is complete and i want to make sure my shoulder continues to heal properly.” Leoric interjected as Luna was about to say something.
“Oh? Well it will be a shame to not see you around as much.” Luna said as she went into the back and clanging bottles could be heard as she searched for a full jar of it. She emerged from the back with a fairly decently sized bottle of it and place it down on the counter. “That is normally about 8 gold coins but for y…”
Luna was cut off as Leoric slammed the 8 gold coins down on the counter and picked up the bottle gently giving it to Marina. “I don’t want any more Discounts or Freebies. The town can’t flourish if i am given shit.” Leoric said with a harshness to his voice. As they got outside Leoric turned to Marina.
“That is for you, So you can always be able to help me no matter what kind of pain i am in.” Leoric looked at her before continuing. “Knowing you, you would want to be able to help no matter what, and that ointment helps my muscles no matter how sore they get.”
Marina looked surprised at first, but quickly broke out in a bright smile, clearly happy that he was going to actively let her help him. “Oh! Okay! Thank you for letting me help!” Her smile fell a little however as she gave him a teasing look. “Just as long as you tell me when you need it, please.”
“I will try my best” Leoric snickered as he placed his hand on her shoulder and they started walking back towards the Inn when they were stopped by the Tailor.
“Oh! Leoric, how did that purchase go last night? Was it the right size?” the older man asked with enthusiasm.
“Marina? How was the dress?” Leoric asked smirking as he looked down at her.
At the mention of the dress Marina’s face instantly turned red and she looked down, starting to fidget a bit. “It’s… It’s very beautiful, and fit nicely in some ways…” She spoke softly, ducking her head down a bit. “But it was a little… short…”
“How short was it missy? Maybe i could add something to it?” He inquired.
Marina seemed to be a little more embarrassed as she remembered just how short it was. “Um… Well, It is indecent to wear in front of anyone.”
“If you have any spare Silk laying around could you see about making a skirt? Something to tie the whole thing together for her?” Leoric asked as he smirked and looked at the man “We.. i mean I will pay for it”
“We do have some spare laying around from when i made the dress, i will see what i can do.”
Leoric nodded and gently pushed on Marina’s should to get them heading towards the Inn. It was time for his shoulder to get some care and him to finally get some rest.
As she was ushered into the inn, Marina was still trying to register the events of the day so far. It was hard to believe that Leoric kissed her, not once but twice, and that second kiss really showed her what exactly all the stories she had read were talking about. If she thought about it too much, her knees still went weak. Not to mention things she had overheard, it was hard for her to register that this was really happening.
She was in such a daze that she only came to when Leoric said her name, and she looked around to see that they were already back in his room. He gave her a little smirk, waving at her from where he sat on the bed. “You awake in there?” He teased before holding the bottle of ointment out to her.
She felt her face heat up for what felt like the millionth time that day as she nodded quickly. “Yes, I’m okay.” She mumbled, stepping closer to him and taking the bottle from him. “You want me to put this on you now?” She looked down at the bottle, looking to see if there was any written instructions on it.
“If you don’t mind. Just rub it on the area.” He shrugged and then started removing his vest and shirt. It was then when she fully realized that in order to help him properly she would have to touch him, and it made her freeze. She turned her gaze away while he undressed, though she wasn’t quite sure why she did as it certainly wasn’t the first time she’d seen him without a shirt on. Perhaps it was because she was actually in the same room as him, and he could actually see if she was staring. “Alright, ready when you are.”
When she looked back at him, she had to turn her gaze to the floor as fast as she could, as the moment her eyes landed on his bare chest a wave of pure need hit her. She quickly pushed that down deep inside her, begging for it to not resurface any time soon. Once she had that handled, she went and sat down behind him on the bed, sitting on her knees so she could properly see and reach the wound. Despite her hands shaking furiously, she managed to open the bottle and put some of the ointment into her hand and handed the bottle to Leoric so he could close and hold it while she warmed it up in hands.
“Okay… ready?” She asked meekly, letting her hands hover over his shoulder. At his approving grunt, she put her hands down and started rubbing the ointment into his shoulder, while massaging the muscles around the wound. She could feel how wound up he was, and she wondered if he had ever had a proper massage before. As much as she secretly wanted to help him with that, she knew it was far to intimate of a gesture to do with him, as a couple kisses did absolutely not mean she had permission to do something like that.
So instead she focused on his shoulder, leaving no part of the area untouched. Just as he started to relax under her touch, she started to relax herself and was able to get a little more into it. Even when she was sure that it was properly rubbed into the area, she let herself be a little brave and start to let one of her hands wander over to his other shoulder. Soon enough she was giving him a proper shoulder and neck massage, and was happy when he let out a pleased hum as he leaned back into her hands. She took her time kneading his muscles and untangling the knots in them, using the rest of the ointment left on her hands to make it easier to glide over his skin.
“Alright, you have to tell me where you learned this.” He said with a low hum, his voice deeper as he was starting to feel truly relaxed under her surprisingly skilled hands.
She giggled at that, focusing for a moment on just his neck. “I had a friend back home.. I mean where I am from who ran a luxury spa, and she showed me and my sisters one day how to give each other back massages, as all of us occasionally have a lot of pain in our shoulders and lower back from time to time.” She didn’t explain why exactly they all had this issue, but as it was hard to hide the size of her chest she figured he was able to figure it out himself. It only barely registered with her that this was the first time mentioning that she even had siblings with him.
He nodded and hummed in understanding, but didn’t say anything else except for a low moan when she hit a particular spot. She giggled again, and just kept working on his muscles. She started moving her fingers up into his hair so she could massage his scalp, occasionally using her nails to rake against his skin.
After doing this for a while, Leoric leaned back enough that Marina thought he was trying to say he was done, but ended up just laying back partially on top of her. She yelped softly, shifting back until his head was rested on her lap. She was confused for a moment before he gently took her hands and moved them back onto his head. Laughing softly, she took the hint and continued the massage while he closed his eyes and moaned happily, relaxing into her.
She wasn’t sure how long she was doing this for him, but she found that she didn’t really care, simply enjoying the relative quiet and peace between the two of them. Knowing that he was able to relax with her like this made her incredibly happy, and was pleased to be able to just ignore the world outside the inn. She started simply combing her fingers through Leoric’s hair, admiring his peaceful expression.
Just as she was starting to wonder if he had fallen asleep, he opened his eyes to look up at her. She was puzzled by his intense stare, prompting her to stop her hand, before she saw him reach up to her. Weaving his fingers into her hair at the back of her head, he pulled her down while he leaned up, meeting her in the middle and leading her so their lips pressed together.
The kiss surprised her, but she let herself relax into it and press herself down a little more into his lips. He then started moving his mouth against hers, and she mirrored his movements, figuring he knew better, and considering how nice it felt to kiss him like this she took it as this being the right way to do things. She trusted him, and let him guide her.
He didn’t let them kiss like that for long, pulling back and sitting up. Marina was disappointed at first, until he turned himself around and moved himself over her, gently moving her to lay down under him before he resumed the kiss.
Her heart was racing and she felt so warm and happy that she almost felt dizzy, but being able to kiss Leoric like this was too wonderful to even think of making it stop. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders to pull him down closer to him, their chests pressing together now. He held himself up with one arm, while he let the other start feeling along her side, making her involuntarily whimper softly into his mouth. She didn’t fully understand it, but she wanted him to touch more than just her sides, and her clothes felt like they were simply in the way.
He seemed to have the same idea as his hand came to rest on her hip before he started pulling the skirt of her dress up. Her legs now free of the restricting fabric, she shifted her legs so that they were on either side of his hips. Doing this seemed to encourage him to press closer, and through the thin fabric of her undergarments she was able to feel something hard under his pants press against her. Instead of feeling scared like she thought she would be, it only surged what she now understood as desire through her. She wanted more of him, and she felt almost drunk on her arousal in that moment as they kissed.
She rocked her hips up a little, wanting to feel more of his hardness against her which made him groan into her mouth and the intensity of the kiss increased as he started pressing his tongue against her lips. Curious about this, she opened her mouth enough to poke her tongue out as well. The moment their tongues touched, she was hit with another surprising wave of excitement, and a soft moan slipped up from inside her. Leoric was urged on by this as he started rocking his hips down against her as well, earning another moan out of her and the need for air, so she turned her head away from his kiss with a light gasp.
He wasn’t thrown off by this at all, which surprised her, as he started kissing along her jaw and then down her neck where he started to lightly suck and bite at her skin. She had no idea that doing that would feel so good, but she was hardly asking questions at this point. She was far too deep in her arousal and she didn’t want it him to stop.
Marina had been so distracted by the kisses to her neck, however, that the sudden touch of his hot skin against the bare skin of her hip surprised her enough to make her jump a little. “It’s okay,” he said in his wonderfully sexy growl, right against her ear. “I’m going to take care of you, Marina.”
The way he said her name made her melt, and she couldn’t think of anything to say so she simply hummed and nodded, relaxing again under his touch. Once she was relaxed again, Leoric went back to kissing down to the base of her neck, giving a special sweet spot some attention.
While he did this his free hand started lightly pulling her undergarments down, moving out from between her legs to rest next to her and free her legs up. She even lifted her hips to help him remove them, which made him smile against her skin and whisper a husky “Good girl,” which sent shivers down her spine.
Once the cloth was out of the way and thrown across the room, Leoric lifted his head to look down at her, his gaze softening a bit. She wasn’t sure what he was looking for in her expression, but he seemed satisfied enough to replace his hand on her hip, feeling along her soft bare skin. Embarrassed by the intense look he was giving her, Marina turned her head to tuck her head a bit into his shoulder, making him chuckle but not pull back. His hand slowly started moving into her inner thigh, so she spread her legs a little for him so he could do what he wanted without being left with little space. “Good girl,” he said again, making her hum happily while he shifted onto his side so he could tuck the arm that had been holding him up under he neck and around her shoulders to hold her close while he touched her. He was gentle with her, which was surprising considering what she knew about him, but he didn’t waste a lot of time either.
The feeling of his warm hand brushing against her most private area made her jump in surprise, having barely ever even touched herself there. The sensation of him tracing his fingers along the outside of her folds was so strange, and she was starting to feel very nervous and vulnerable.
Since he had been watching her expression carefully he seemed to notice this, and nudged her head out away from his shoulder so he could kiss her again. The moment their lips reconnected she was able to relax, and he continued with his exploration of her.
At first his touch was so light it almost tickled, but soon enough he was applying more pressure as she got more comfortable against him. The combination of his heated kissing and his touches was quickly starting to drive her crazy with need, even if she wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted, except for the word ‘more’ kept repeating in her mind. Wanting him to speed up, she pressed her hips into his hand, making his fingers slip between her folds.
Marina was able to practically feel his smirk against her lips, but she ignored it in favor of his fingers rubbing against her entrance. Judging by how easily his fingers glided over her she felt it was safe to assume that, much to her embarrassment, she was soaking wet. She let out soft moans into his mouth as he teased her, and even let herself whine in disappointment when he pulled his fingers up away from there.
Suddenly, as his fingers started tracing circles around something, a startled gasp made her break from the kiss and her head fall back, her eyes going wide. She heard him chuckle above her as he started rubbing his fingers up and down along whatever it was that felt so beyond good, she couldn’t even think to hold back her moans.
He ducked his head down and started nibbling on the lobe of her ear, which again took her by surprise that it could feel so good. “You look so surprised,” he growled between bites as he applied a little more pressure down on her to make her cry out softly. “It’s like you never knew this existed.”
Shaking her head a little, Marina let her eyes close as she just let herself take in the feeling of everything he was doing. With her corset still on she found it was becoming very hard to breath steadily, but she didn’t care at this point. “I… I’ve never….” She stammered out just before it was broken off with another moan.
“You’ve never touched yourself like this?” She shook her head again. “So i’m the first person to ever touch you here?” When she nodded, Leoric let out the sexiest growling noise she had ever heard from him, and the fact that she was able to feel the rumbling in his chest from this made it all the best. “Fuck, Marina… You are so damn beautiful, I promise to always take care of you like this, if you let me.”
Marina had no idea what to think to that, let alone say. She could only make soft and happy moans in response to his words and his continued touching. Taking her continued pleasure in what he was doing as encouragement, Leoric moved his hand down low again, circling the sensitive area around her entrance while he used the heel of his hand to continue to stimulate the other part.
“You like it when I play with your clit?” He asked in a low grumble. Assuming her ‘clit’ was what he was touching before, she nodded quickly, making him laugh. “Good, because I’m planning on making that feel really good in a few moments.”
She could only whimper and press herself down against his hand, still wanting more. Her insistence was enough for him to give her what she didn’t know she wanted, as he carefully pressed one of his fingers into her. At first the sensation was weird, having something inside her like that, but as he started moving she found she really didn’t mind. The slow movements of his hand, stimulating both her clit and inside her, felt far too good to question, and for a split second she had the thought that she finally understood why Rebby seemed to have such an amazing time.
Before she could really start thinking about that, her attention was brought back to Leoric as she started to bite and suck at her neck again. To allow him better access, she leaned her head to the side, which if the low growl he gave was any indication to his thoughts, he appreciated it. She was just starting to get used to the feeling of everything when she felt a second finger press gently into her, and she was more surprised by how it didn’t hurt at all than it’s inclusion into her. Really from everything she had heard about sex before, she was not expecting it to feel as good as it did.
Once again Leoric managed to greatly exceed her expectations however as with a careful curling of his fingers and a quick motion up, a very sharp and sudden wave a pleasure hit her, and she couldn’t stop her soft cry out if she had wanted to. Marina really had no idea what had just happened, and didn’t have time to wonder as he started doing it again over and over as she got louder and louder in response.
In order for to keep her from potentially being heard through the thin walls despite wanting nothing more than to relish in the sweet sounds coming from the dwarf, Leoric kissed her deeply, happily swallowing every sound he could milk out of her.
It didn’t take long for Marina to start feeling overwhelmed in the best way she could even possibly image, and a heavy pressure was starting to build inside her. She had no idea what it was, but she knew she wanted it to keep building, and there was no way she wanted Leoric to ever stop.
Everything stopped however when there was a sharp knock on the door, breaking the two out of their own little world. Leoric broke the kiss, looking towards the door when a voice came from behind it. “Leoric, Marina, are you two in here?”
Marina’s heart dropped when she recognized Rebby’s voice, and have Leoric a bit of a panicked look. She had no idea what to do, and for a moment he didn’t seem to either. He then looked at her with a mischievous spark in his eyes as he grinned down at her. He quietly shushed her as he shifted his arm to be able to cover her mouth with his hand, while the other started moving again inside her. She squeaked against him which only seemed to make his smile grow.
There was another knock to the door as Rebby called out again, and his striations started going faster and more intense. Despite her best efforts to suppress any noise, a few strangled moans slipped out but were thankfully muffled by Leoric’s hand. The pressure from before started building again, faster this time, and Marina didn’t know if she could hold it back from overflowing.
Even though there were no more knocks for a few long and torturous minutes there was the occasional telltale sound of steps right outside the door telling them that Rebby was still outside, and Marina was hardly about to take it. She wanted to scream but knew she couldn’t, not until they heard the footsteps start moving down the hall and away.
After he was absolutely sure that the other woman was gone did Leoric uncover her mouth. “Alright, cum for me, Marina, go on.” Just when she thought he couldn’t go faster, he proved her wrong and sent her over the edge with an ease that would have scared her if she had enough in her to bother.
As the pressure released in a huge wave of pleasure she didn’t think was possible, Marina’s head threw back and she opened her mouth to scream, but no sound came out as she couldn’t breath for a few mind numbing moments. After the first initial wave, another smaller one washed over her entire body, shocking her into breathing with a gasp before letting out a long and shaking moan. Wave after wave hit her, washing over completely and making her whole body quiver.
After a few moments, the waves started dwindling down enough for her to be able to think again, Marina looked up at Leoric, who had a surprisingly sexy look of wanting to devour her where she lay. “You have no idea how beautiful you are when you cum…” He sighed, a large grin on his face. “I just want to do that over and over, just to see you make that face again.
Marina felt unbearably warm, and suddenly very embarrassed as the world was coming back to her. She couldn’t believe that any of that just happened, or that he wanted to do more of it. It felt so unreal, especially since Rebby had almost walked in.
Oh god, Rebby. The realization of the weight of what they just did hit her hard, making her sit up quickly and push her skirts back down. “Marina?” Leoric sat up with her, his hungry look washing off for one more of concern. “What’s wrong?”
“Rebby…” Marina said with a weak voice. “Oh god, we shouldn’t have done that…” She started to move off the bed, but he managed to catch her arm, keeping her there.
“What do you mean?” He asked, genuinely confused. “She probably never heard a thing.”
“That’s not what I mean!” Tears sprung into her eyes as the shame hit her, unable to deal with the betrayal she felt she did. “You and Rebby… I know you two do this sort of thing, I shouldn’t have let this happen and get in the way.” She yanked herself out of Leoric’s hold, quickly getting up off the bed and going towards her door.
“Marina, wait,” Leoric called after her, laughing far too hard for what Marina felt was appropriate for the situation. He caught her hand and pulled her towards him, wrapping his other arm around her to hold her still. He looked down and saw that she didn’t find the situation at all funny, and finally noticed the tears in her eyes. His smile fell, now worried for her. “Hey, don’t cry, beautiful, it’s okay… There is nothing between Rebby and I, not like you think, at least.”
His statement confused her, and only upset her even more. “What do you mean? I saw you two….” She trailed off, looking away so she could try to hide the tears that managed to fall.
“Look at me, okay?” Letting go of her hand, Leoric tucked his hand under her chin and gently tilted her head back up so she would look at him. He gave her a soft smile, using his thumb to wipe away the tear from her cheek. “Yeah, Rebby and I have fun sometimes, but that’s it. We don’t have a relationship or something, like you might think.”
This only made her more confused as she tried to pull away from him, but he held her still. “I don’t understand… You don’t love her?”
“No.” he said quickly. “I care about her, but I’m not in love with her.”
None of this was helping her understand. She had thought for sure that since they obviously had sex often, there had to be something, after all, the way she understood it people only did that if they were married or in love. Her mind was racing, and came to a conclusion that hit her like an arrow to the chest.
“So…. this was the same to you as with Rebby?” She asked meekly, her voice shaking as she tried to fight off tears. She didn’t know why that idea hurt her so much, but now that the thought was in her head, it wouldn’t leave.
“What?” Leoric looked confused before it dawned on him what she meant. “Oh, shit… Marina, no I…” He trailed off, not sure what to say. The mood of the room had changed so quickly he didn’t really know what to do. When he saw the tears falling down Marina’s face faster than before, he sighed, taking hold of both of her hands and taking a few steps back to the bed. He sat down on the edge, pulling her close so he could be close to eye level with her. “Marina, I… care about you a lot. More than Rebby, or anyone really.” He explained calmly as he reached up to wipe her tears away again. “This was more than just some fun to me, I don’t know what to call it but I just know I want to make you feel good like you did just now a lot more. It’s the least I can do after everything you have been doing for me, lately.”
While she didn’t fully understand, his words at least took some of the hurt away, and made it easier to breath. “So… this is just a way to repay me?” She asked softly.
“No no no, god, no.” Leoric sighed, looking up at the ceiling for a moment as if asking for some divine intervention to get Marina to understand what he was trying to say. When he looked back at her, he took a deep breath before speaking again. “I just want to make you happy… to see that beautiful smile of yours more often as I can, and to make you feel good anyway I can. I only want to see these tears on your face if they are from joy… I love….” The words caught in his throat before he could finish, and he quickly changed his mind on what he was about to say. “I love seeing you happy, Marina. That’s all I want.”
What he said slowly sunk into her understanding, but it did little to take the pain in her chest away. She nodded slowly, taking a few steps back and out of his hold. “I think I understand…” She spoke slowly, wrapping her arms around herself. “I think… I should also get some rest… I’m feeling rather tired, after….” She trailed off, unable to say exactly what they did.
Leoric watched her, looking over her body language before nodding. “Alright, go get some rest then… Do you want me to wake you up again tomorrow?”
She nodded slowly, starting to make her way to the door. “If you’re awake before me, then yes please…” She bowed her head a little, still unable to look at him at that moment. “Goodnight, Leoric…”
Even as she turned to open the door she could feel him watching her, and felt it until she had closed the door behind her. Finally out of his sight, her knees let themselves fall weak as she slid down the door, covering her mouth to stifle the sobs that bubbled up from her throat.
Marina was so confused, even though as care as she could tell Leoric had been as clear as he could be. As she silently cried, a part of her thanked her upbringing for allowing her to learn how to do that at least, so that he wouldn’t be able to hear her crying.
Why did she care so much about Leoric’s feelings towards her? She tried desperately to figure that out, wanting to get this pain out of her. Even if he cared a lot for her, she should be happy for that, and yet here she was crying over it.
When her sobs had stopped, Marina got up off the floor and took off her dress and corset, letting them fall carelessly to the floor. After she had the underdress back on, she saw out of the corner of her eye the beautiful robe that Leoric had bought for her and went to go pick it up from where she had left it that morning. As she looked down at it, she felt the pain build again. She crawled into bed, burrowing herself under the covers as she clung the robe to her chest.
As she lay trying to sleep, hearing the sounds of Leoric shifting on his own bed to get comfortable, the answer to all her questions hit her like a ton of bricks, and it did little to ease her anxiety towards the morning.
At some point between the moment he first saved her and who knows when, Marina had fallen in love with Leoric. The same stubborn, vexing man who she owed so much to, and who she wanted so badly to do whatever she could to see happy and safe, and to be with him for as long as she
could. Even if he didn’t love her back, she wanted to do what she could to make his life easier. She had no idea what to do now, or how to act around him, and the idea of having to face him tomorrow filled her with fear of the unknown.
The last thought that she could remember before she fell into another restless sleep was that falling in love in the real world was so much different than in books, and she didn’t know what to expect with it.
As much as Leoric enjoyed the previous night it also left him with quite a few mixed emotions. Sure he managed to have some fun with Marina but it caused so many confusing emotions to be brought to the surface. Not just for him but for Marina as well it seemed. His emotions were just all over the place. Everytime he looked at Marina even if it was just a glance out of the corner of his eyes he couldn't help but smile. And as much as he had tried to keep up his tough exterior just in case any ‘scouts’ showed up in town from a few neighbouring bandit camps. He couldn't do it when she was around. She was too adorable, Beauty personified in its entirety. And if anyone ever pointed out she was short he would simply say that she was perfect the way she was. She didn’t need to be any taller than she already was.
Sure Leoric had liked quite a few people in the past. But those were nothing more than passing fancies. He would bed them and be on his way. Hell Rebby started off like that but then became one of Leoric’s best friends. They just so happened to help each other when their need presented itself. That was normal right? Or at least it was normal to them and that is all that really mattered to them. But with marina it was different, no matter what kind of mood he was in she always seemed to make it better. He didn’t think that any woman, or creature, alive could have this kind of an effect on him. And for once in his life he crawled into bed and rolled over and went to sleep while still enduring an erection.
“Leoric?” a sweet and familiar voice called out to him.
“Mmm?” He grunted as he kinda shifted in his bed getting more comfortable.
“It’s time to wake up, or shall i send the kids in to wake you?” the voice said with a stern yet loving grace to it. Wait did it just say kids? Leoric quickly opened his eyes and looked around as some white almost see through curtains floated from the breeze that came from an open window. Sunlight billowing in and stretching out across the wooden floor. A Wolfhound seemed to be sleeping in the sun and only perked up its ears when it heard Leoric move out of bed. It quickly barked at him and jumped up on top of the bed. Leoric went to pet the dog as he caught a glimpse of what was on his arm. Following his arm back to him he noticed he was wearing actual pyjamas. But not any kind of pyjamas they seemed to of been made of the same stuff of the dress he had bought marina the other day. He swing his feet onto the ground and felt something fuzzy touch his feet. He looked down and noticed a pair of ‘shoes’ but they were missing any form of support. He had heard some noblemen talk about them at one point. Slippers. Leoric has a pair of slippers?
He sighed as he slipped his feet into them and sighed from the sheer pleasure of having something so soft and warm hug his feet. He rested his head in his hands for a second as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and looked around the room before standing up and walking out the door. He was on a upper floor of something, there was stairs leading down and as he leaned out from the doorway to his room he noticed three other rooms as well on this floor alone. The dog quickly walked down the stairs as Leoric stood at the top of them. He ran his hand through his hair and took another deep breath before slowly and hesitantly walking down the stairs.
He got about half way down the stairs before a fragrant aroma hit his nose, why didn’t he smell this earlier?, followed by the sound of sizzling. He got to the base of the stairs and looked around the corner to see Marina, or what he assumed was Marina standing at a wooden stove cooking breakfast.
“Ahh Just in time” She said as she turned to face him with her big beautiful smile she always wore when she was pleased with something she did. “I was just about to send Serena to wake you up”
Serena? Leoric’s brain couldn’t process any kind of information it was a little lost with everything that was going on. Marina set down a plate of food on the table and brushed her hands off in her apron.
“You alright Love? You seem a little out of it this morning”
“Uhh … ye… yeah, I … Think” He barely managed to stammer out as he hesitantly sat down at the table and grabbed his fork. As he was about to take a bit she put down a Mug in front of him that was steaming.
“Good olde fashioned dwarven coffee should help you wake up” She shot him another heart melting smile as she turned back around to work on cleaning up from breakfast. Leoric put the food in his mouth and closed his eyes as it tasted so damn good. It was definantly Marina’s cooking. He then reached out and grabbed the Mug and took a mouthful of the coffee that he was given. It took a moment for the sheer bitterness of the coffee to mask everything else that was in his mouth. Not only was it bitter but it tasted like ‘Dirt’, Literal dirt, like she walked outside and grabbed a handful off the ground just to make coffee. Leoric slowly swallowed the contents of his mouth before slowly putting the Mug back down and pushing it away from him. He grabbed some more of the egg that was on his plate and put it into his mouth as he heard little feet running about on wood.
“Daddy!” a little voice said as it jumped up on the chair next to him and then on to him, wrapping her arms around his neck and giving him a big squeezy hug. Leoric almost choked on his food Daddy? Two other figures could be felt hugging him as well as he looked down at the young boys hugging each of his legs and he assumed his daughter hugging the side of his face.
“Daddy can we twain again when you done eating?” She asked as she loosened her grip on his neck.
“Train?...” Leoric was REALLY Confused at this point. His apparent daughter didn’t look like she was more then five years old yet she wanted to train ‘again’? Why would he train his daughter? His son’s he could see if they had asked nicely. But he always figured if this was his and Marina’s children that she would want to learn from her mother.
“... Not until he has gone to talk to Bran and Joseph in town about the rotting log on the east side of the house.” Marina said without even turning around from where she was.
Rotting Log? Kids? What the hell was going on!
“Serena why don’t you take Ryker out and practice so when your father gets back you can continue from there”
“Okay mommy! Come on Ryker!” Serena replied as she seemed to get super excited about the idea, one of the little boys on his legs let go and grabbed hold of Serena’s hand as they walked outside together. A little too excited for practicing something that leoric was only more confused about. “Malik, Why don’t you come here and help mommy with the dishes?”
“Yea!” the other little boy said as he ran over to Marina who picked him up and sat him next to her on the counter. Leoric looked down at his food and shook his head for a few seconds trying to shake some sense back into his head.
“What?!” He yelled as he shot up to a sitting position. He was back in his dark, dimly lit, room in the tavern. He quickly threw his legs out over the side and the moment they touched the cold wooden floors he understood why people would want some slippers. He rested his head in his hands again before shaking his head and standing up. He walked over to his window and noticed that the sky was just beginning to change color it was now a dark blue instead of just a black night sky.
He turned around and looked at the door to Marina’s room. What could that dream have meant? Was it some weird kind of Vision? Was it something he wanted? No it couldn’t be something he wanted, he didn’t want to have kids of his own. He travelled enough as it was and he would hardly be around for them. So why, why would his brain show him this? How was he going to tell Marina about the dream? How was he going to tell anyone about the dream? He sighed and sucked up his feelings, he needed to wake up Marina and actually give her a few extra minutes warning instead of a ‘we are leaving now’ wake up call.
He gently knocked on her door and turned the handle and walked into her room. He stood in the doorway and gently called out to her as he didn’t want to out right startle her awake. After she didn’t respond a few times he walked on over to her bed and gently crouched down brushing her hair out of her face. He called out to her again and kissed her on the cheek. She made a few cute noises as she managed to mumble his name. Leoric smirked and kinda took a half step back expecting her to wake up. In doing so he noticed she was clutching something to her chest. He brushed the blankets aside and couldn’t help but smile when he saw what was in her hands. The dress he had bought for her the other day. She was clutching it almost as if she expected him to never return and it was the most cherished thing in her possession that reminded her of him.
“Marina, darling, it’s time to wake up.” He said as he leaned in and gave her another kiss on the cheek. Her eyes twitched and then slowly opened as she saw his rather close to hers.
“Oh! Umm Morning Leoric” She said as she seemed to be startled by him being that close to her. Her face quickly going hot. Leoric smirked as he repositioned his legs to give him a bit more balance as he whispered to her as to try and not be so loud in the morning.
“You have about twenty minutes or so, the sun is just now starting to come up” He brushed her hair back again and gently kissed her lips before standing up and walking out of the room. He knew this would probably stun her as the previous kisses had done. He found the thought of his kissing her to completely stun her adorable as all hell. He smirked as he closed the door between their rooms and stretched hearing his shoulder pop. not only did it pop but it also felt really damn good. Like his shoulder had never felt so good in quite awhile. He smirked as walked out of his inn room and locked the door behind him. He showed up at the cart just as Joseph was putting in some pieces of wood, Cut 1 inch thick and few feet long. Just long enough to be hammered to the supports that were put up the day before.
“Hey Joseph. How’s it going?” Leoric said as he grabbed some boards and placed them inside the cart as well.
“Holy shit Leoric, you startled the fuck outta me” Joseph said as he turned abruptly to face Leoric.
“Heh, sorry about that one. How did you sleep?” Leoric inquired, starting small talk.
“Like a Log.” He began chuckling with himself as Bran turned the corner.
“I do believe that is my Joke there Joe” Bran scolded as he grabbed a handful of boards himself.
“Yeah, well it works well for both of our professions now doesn't it?” Joe continued to chuckle as Bran turned to leoric.
“How did you Sleep leo? I thought i heard you cry out something a few minutes ago”
Leoric stopped in his tracks and shook his head before continuing placing boards back into the cart. “Fine, Just fine, i just had a spooky dream that’s all”
“You having a spooky dream? And admitting it? Are you sick?” Bran asked as he placed his hand on Leoric's forehead. “No you seem fine, Maybe just sick in the head.”
“Hardy, har, har, Bran.” Leoric amusedly chuckled. “Just, it’s something that i knew i never wanted. Yet they say a dream is a wish your heart makes. So i have no idea anymore.”
Both men, Bran and Joseph, turned to each other with a shock and bewildered look on their face. Leoric was being open with them. A lot more then usual. He was also getting sentimental on them. After the day prior Bran didn’t dare ask if he was getting soft on him and instead just didn’t really say anything else until all the wood was packed up in the cart. “Where’s marina?”
“She should be along any moment now, why don’t we move the cart around the corner and meet her out front of the Inn?” Leoric said as he reached up and grabbed one of the supports for the cart and pulled himself up.
“No, no, it’s fine! I am here” Marina said as she hurriedly turned the corner and approached the cart. Leoric who was still standing on the back of the cart offered out his hand to help pull her up and gave her a very gentle and warm smile. It was different then his usual smiles. His smiles always seemed to have that conniving look to them, like he was smug and there was always something on his mind. This time it was just a warm smile, one of genuine happiness in just seeing her. She grabbed his hand and returned the smile as he pulled her up onto the cart with a sleep squeak from her.
Leoric moved to the front of the cart and sat down next to the other two and began to actually commence in small talk while Marina did her hair. She couldn’t help but notice that leoric was actually engaging in small talk with the other gentlemen. She shrugged it off as he must be in a good mood and couldn't help but smile as she focused on her hair.
“Joseph, How’s the kids?” Leoric asked as he settled down on a few pieces of board. Both Bran and Joseph looked at eachother then back at him. “Oh and you too Bran, How’s the family?”
“Uhhh Leoric? Are you alright?” Joseph asked as they hit a bump in the road.
Leoric let out a sigh as he shook his head. “Yeah, i am fine, for the second time today. We just don’t really get a chance to talk all that much when we are building and the trip back to town i am normally exhausted or talking to Marina.” Both men looked back at each other before hesitantly joining in on some small talk.
“Well, Luke is doing good, his skills at working the wood isn’t quite as mine yet but he is really getting there. He tries so hard every day and i couldn’t be prouder in him.” Joseph said as he grabbed a small wooden figure from beneath the bench he was sitting on. “He crafted this small figurine himself with nothing but a sharp rock he had found outside. Imagine what he could do if he had access to my tools?”
.Leoric grabbed the figurine in his hand and felt around it, it really was quite intricate and it seemed to be a cylinder with beautifully etched patterns that tapered out to an eagle head facing the sky. Even each individual feather was carved out on the eagles head. “And you say he did this with nothing but a rock?”
“Mhm, He spotted a rock and noticed its edge and realized it could be used for some fine detailing.” Joseph was beaming with Pride in his offspring.
“That is quite beautiful indeed, i am actually a little stunned that he did this himself.” Leoric said as Bran nodded in agreement.
“Oh! And my little girl is doing wonderful as well, she is starting to learn how to cook from her mother, and helping out around the Bakery as well. Both my kids are doing their best to help out our little town, it just make my heart swell with pride.”
Leoric and Bran both looked at each other and smirked as they couldnt help but feel happy for their friend who was just so proud of his own little family.
“What about you Bran? How’s Ella? And the baby?” Leoric said after a few minutes of silence from Joseph.
“Oh you know how a pregnant woman can be, after all you dealt with rebby and she wasn’t even your wife” Bran began to chuckle as he nudged like with his arm. “On a more serious note, she is happy and positively glowing with her pregnancy, The baby seems to be healthy. I think he is a boy, got that fighter spirit in him. Constantly moving around and kicking his mother.”
Bran seemed to be a million miles away as he let out a rather happy sigh. “I couldn’t be happier and can’t wait until i can meet my little man for the first time.”
“You and Ella had been trying for a kid for quite some time eh?” Leoric said as he finally placed down the figurine that luke, joseph’s son, had made.
“Yeah, she was told that it would be hard for her to bear children, It ran in her family and that she herself was considered a miracle baby. The only one her mother ever managed to carry all the way. And now i get my very own miracle baby.” Bran began to get a little choked up at the thought of his own baby boy or baby girl going to be with them soon. Hearing this made Marina’s brow furrow as she was happy for Bran and Ella but it just made her reflect on her own issues which only led to sour the moment for her.
Leoric smirked and nudged the Burly lumberjack with his arm as they started to turn down the path to Leoric and Marina’s house. “Might want to dam up the waterworks there, don’t want feels all over my house.” Leoric chuckled as the sound of cart wheels passing over the wooden bridge marked the fact they were almost home. leoric turned to face Marina who had quickly put a grin on her face as she noticed leoric turning around. Her hair was braided and then put up in some kind of bun Leoric didn’t know when she had the time to do that.
“You know Marina, I really like your hair like that.” he smirked as he slowly moved to the back of the Cart and prepared to jump out the back once they were in the yard.
“Oh! Thank you” She said as the grin on her face got bigger. Leoric quickly leapt out the back of the cart as soon as the back wheels of the cart hit the solid ground of home. He stretched and did some exercises before doing a quick backflip where he stood. He had planned to get quite a bit of work done on the house and needed to get that blood pumping so he wasn’t so sluggish at the start.
“What was that for?” Marina asked with an amused tone.
“Oh you know, just needed to get some stretches in.” Leoric smirked and quickly jogged over to the back of the cart and helped Marina down. Once her feet was on solid ground he couldn't help but just hold onto her hips a little longer as he stared into her eyes. Marina’s face began to go red as she turned her head to the side.
“What are you doing?” She asked with a bashful tone in her voice.
“Just looking at the most beautiful thing in the world to me.” Leoric smirked as he gently let go of Marina’s hips.
“You’re ridiculous.” She muttered as she started to head to do her own thing. Leoric stepped around the side of the cart and was met by Bran leaning up against the cart with a smirk on his face.
“That was a damn smooth move.” He chuckled as he pushed off the cart and stood up. “I will have to remember that one for when i get home tonight.”
“Yeah, Yeah, Just thank me tomorrow if it gets you laid” Both men chuckled at leorics response before they walked up the stairs with Joseph and looked around the skeleton of a house that was there. All they really needed to do was starting putting the boards on the wall to protect them from the elements and then start on the second floor.
“Joseph, you know what you have planned for the bedroom’s why don’t you start putting up the walls on the second floor once we lay the boards down.” Bran said as he was looking at the soon to be ceiling.
“That was my plan, we should focus on installing the floor and ceiling and then while i am putting up the structure for the walls on the second floor you two can work on installing the boards to keep the weather out on the first floor.” Joe added as all three men nodded and stepped outside again. Leoric walked on over to the cart and grabbed where his toolbelt was put and wrapped that around his waist as he took off his leather vest and the shirt he was wearing underneath it. He stretched one last time as he felt the toolbelt slip a little lower on his hips before coming to a stop. He looked marina’s way and tossed her a wink before grabbing quite a few boards and heading back up to the house. It had taken them about an hour to get the entirety of the floor laid down and most of it hammered down into place when Leoric jumped off the second floor and landed on their soon to be front porch with a satisfying thump. With the second floor, floor, almost done being laid he was free to start working on the main walls of the house. He grabbed an arm full of wood and balanced it on his shoulder as he grabbed a handful of nails and dropped them into his nail pocket on his toolbelt.
“Well now i am sure Marina is enjoying the view” A voice said as a multiple pairs of foot steps could be heard on the wooden bridge. Leoric counted about three but he recognized the voice that spoke and deemed it so there was no cause for alarm.
“Well if it Isn’t ole Jimmy two shoes” Leoric chuckled as he took a few steps up the stairs of the house before turning around. “What can i do for yeah?”
“Well, with you so busy building the house we haven't gotten a chance to see you around the Tavern as of late. So wanted to make sure you were indeed alive.”
Leoric sighed and looked at the other two that were with him. He should of noticed the first person right away and leoric couldn't figure out why he didn't. but Rebby was with him and Jimmy’s daughter had also tagged along. Both Ladies were carrying large bags with containers of stuff inside.
“It looks like you are trying to bring me some free stuff” Leoric said with a sternness to his voice that caused Jimmy to flinch.
“Only a few cold drinks!” He said waving his hands in a pleading manner as leoric grumbled and turned to continue up the stairs. “We figured out here you wouldn't have anything really cold to drink so he prepared what we could and came on out.”
“Well, That is very much appreciated Jim.” Bran said as he put down his hammer and wiped sweat off of his brow as he walked down the stairs of the house and started to head out to get his drink. “You know, taking a break for a refreshment won’t hurt”
Leoric sighed as he gently placed the wood down as well as his mallet before walking out front with Bran. “As much as i would Love one of your cold ale’s i don't think getting drunk and building a house is a good idea.”
“Oh no, we didn’t bring those kinds of drinks Leoric” Rebby said as she held up the bag in front of her before heading over towards Marina.”There is some fresh groceries in here too for you”
“Oh! Thank you!” Marina said as she eagerly took the bag from Rebby and started to peruse through it. Jimmy’s daughter handed her bag to her father and bowed politely excusing herself from the conversation before going over to join Marina and Rebby.
“We got some Lemonade in here, followed by one of my daughter’s berry drinks. I never could remember the name she called it. The lemonade is there to make you feel refreshed and the berry juice rehydrates the body.” Jimmy put down the bag and gently pulled out the drinks and handed them to each of the men before grabbing his own. The four men cheered their drinks and began to drink em, besides leoric. Leoric looked over in Marina’s direction and waited until she started to drink before he lifted his up and drank his. He wanted to make sure everyone had some before he began to drink. Once the drink break was over the men headed back inside with Jimmy and started talking about the house.
“Well, Don’t you think it is a little small?” Jimmy asked as he stepped inside and looked around.
“Nah, It’s cosy. That’s all we really need.” Leoric said as he leaned up against one of the pillars of the house.
“But you don’t seem to have room for growth.” Jimmy turned to face leoric who had a confused look on his face. “You know, for kids?”
Leoric scoffed and kicked off the pillar and let his arms fall to his side. “You know as well as i do that i don’t want kids. Besides i wouldn’t be around enough to take care of them. And if Marina ever has a kid then the house is perfect the way it is for her. I can sleep in my shelter outside.”
“You know she wouldn’t let you do that, right?” Bran said with an amused look on his face.
“Who cares, if she ended up having a kid she would probably want to live with that man anyways, and at that point i would either move or let them have this house. It’s fine.” Leoric commented as he tried to hide memories of the ‘dream’ from last night from coming back up into his head.
“Fine, we will drop it” Jimmy said throwing his arms up in defeat. “Anyways Bran how is Ella doing? Does she need anything? Berneice can get some fabric from the tailor and see about making her some clothes or even make a few baby clothes.”
“Well we should be fine, i don’t see us really needing all that much for the Kid. i make enough money i can cover the expenses for my family.” Bran seemed to brush off the offer for help as the men seemed to talk about their families. The more they talked about it the more Leoric remembered from his dream. The feelings that were boiling up from within himself was making him feel antsy and uncomfortable.
“Leoric, Do you plan on having a family? I mean Marina out there seems to be quite taken with you. What about a future with her? I know you said no one can tam…” Jimmy was cut off by leoric quickly turning around and storming out the front door of the house, he walked over to the shack on the side and grabbed the hollowed out segments of log that he had normally used when he would train on the training dummy.
“Leoric, those aren’t what i think they are… are they?” Bran asked as he began to follow Leoric out of concern. When there was no response from Leoric bran called out again. “Leoric!”
Leoric tuned out Bran, the feelings that were now soaking Leoric to his core was making him feel restless and uncomfortable. He only knew of one way to work out frustration and that was with pushing his body well beyond it’s limits. He began to grind his teeth as the feelings began to hit him harder as he saw Marina looking at him with a look of concern on her face. “Leoric?”
Leoric grabbed his Rucksack that he kept filled with rocks. He flung it over his shoulder and put his other arm through the shoulder supports as he approached his training dummy and struck it as hard as he could causing a rather loud smashing sound of wood on wood. There was what seemed like a split second of silence before another crack of wood on wood was heard as Leoric countered the incoming wooden club. It wasn’t long before the only sound that filled the air was Leoric training as he kept increasing the speed and ferocity of his hits.
“There is no way you could live a happy life like them” a voice inside Leoric’s head could be heard. But what was not apparent to Leoric is that he was also speaking it out loud. “Look at the Jobs you have done already.”
Leoric lowered his right arm in a flash and struck the second layer of the training dummy. Causing the sound from the two tiers of spinning clubs almost sound like a constant noise.
“No matter what you do, you could never make her as happy as she deserves” The red markings that had appeared when Leoric was fighting Darius began to return.
“Faster, Need to be faster!” Leoric cried out as sounds of splintering wood could be heard.
“Leoric! What’s wrong? What’s going on?” Marina cried out in desperation as something was clearly causing Leoric so much grief.
“I think i know what’s going on” Bran said as he laid his hand on Marina’s shoulder trying to comfort her. “It might just be something he has to work out himself”
Bran stood up as he focused his look on Leoric, All day he had been acting weird. First it was something about dreams are wishes the heart makes. And then talking to them about their family and just over all being sentimental. And then Jimmy’s prodding with Marina seemed to send Leoric into mad state. Bran had come to the conclusion that Leoric was falling in love with Marina but he was still at odds with himself trying to keep his own facade and ‘look’ about him. But at that moment something else clued in with Bran. the training dummy and the hollowed out logs leoric was using as gauntlets were made out of black Ironwood, one of the heaviest woods that he had ever logged. He had helped leoric build the training dummy and knew how sturdy it was and there was clear sounds of splintering happening.
“What happens if you get a little more high profile? What if people come trying to hurt you?” Leoric continued to hear as he spoke the words out loud. “They could target her, Hurt her, do things to her, just to get at you.”
It wasn’t long before the sound of splintering became much louder and became sounds of cracking causing Bran to take a few steps back out of caution.
“What do you have to be proud of!” Leoric asked himself. “Who do you have to be Proud of?”
Leoric cried out ‘Who’ as loud as he could while full force punching one of the clubs. The resulting damage from that impact followed by the speed and intensity of this quick burst session of training caused the Ironwood gauntlet to shatter and the training dummy to shatter as well, two of the 6 clubs sailing off in opposite directions into the woods as leoric stood there breathing heavily, His arms at his side as he simply stated