The Thorned Rose Ch. 03

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Ariela, Queen of her recently conquered Northern lands, sat perched on her jewel-studded throne reading the letter through, again and again, trying to decide if what it claimed was true. He had been found, it said.

She had fought hard in a brutal conflict to reclaim her stolen throne and with it the Kingdom that she now ruled in a new budding empire of darkness. But at the end her foes, the so-called ‘heroes’, had spited her at the last turn, rushing from her grasp the object of her more physical desires. A foreigner of sorts, as none in her kingdom were as perfect as he had been. Vibrant red hair like living fire. A feminine nature that put even her attractiveness to shame. A quietness and meekness that drove her lust and desire beyond that of the mere power she sought and instead to needs of the flesh.

And those petty fools had ensured his escape, allowing him to travel freely in the lands abroad from her newly established borders. It had been months since he had vanished and Ariela had not been dormant in her search. As she consolidated her power on the throne she had sent out her spies in droves to scour the Kingdoms far and wide, to find her lost would-be Prince and to return him to where he belonged. By her side and on her cock.

This new missive could not be denied. Her spies reported that there were rumors beginning to circulate in the misshapen mess that was the so-called city of Yulani that, even among that jumbled mess of unorganized species a single individual was standing out. Working at, of all places, a tavern.

She read the description her spies had uncovered yet another time. It fit, it had to be him. In her heart, she knew there was only one such person in all the lands that could fit such beauty, her own beloved. She would reclaim him, tear him away from what little meager life he had developed in his hiding and bring him back into the fold, to be her lover and plaything.

“I will see to this myself.” she declared to the few attendants who dared, through no choice of their own, to accompany her during her brooding sessions in the throne room.

Standing gracefully she stalked down the steps to her throne and shot a glare at her steward. “I will be gone for a few days and will return with my new Prince. You will not disappoint me in managing the Kingdom in my absence, or I will not disappoint you in the length of time I can submit a man to suffering without the sweet release of death.”

She didn’t wait for a reply, knowing whatever it would be would be blubbering and cowardly. Instead, she stalked down between the dark finery of her hall and cast open the doors to her balcony. Standing on it she leaned forward against the railing, feeling the cool air wash against her face.

Without hesitation she flung herself from the railing, feeling the air circle around her as her form shifted and changed, the palace attendants left only to gawp at their Dark Mistress as she circled, shape changed into that of an ebony feathered eagle cast into the sky and aimed like an arrow towards Yulani.

Scarlett let out a soft little whimper as he awoke, fingers clawing at the bed sheets as he felt a range of sensations that were becoming comfortably familiar.

The softness of a bed under his body, hugging him with his warmth, caressing him with its soft fabric, the coolness of the air against the nape of his neck, the sound of the early eager birds in the background, the rocking as his body was pushed up and down on the bed, the fullness of his ass as a cock was pushed in and out of him, the heavy, soft fullness of Mayla’s impressive bust resting on his back.

In the few days following his encounter with Ri, her venom had persisted on within his system, slow to leave he had found himself almost insatiable, a condition that Mayla had insisted could only be fucked out of him.

While part of him wasn’t sure if that sounded right, he didn’t much care, the sensations brought to him from her cock hammering in and out of his tight little love hole as she rested atop of him, kissing his back and squeezing his cheeks with her hands as she fucked him felt too good to deny.

That and he genuinely liked Mayla, she had been so kind to him since he had arrived, giving her an amazing deal in her offer of board and bed in exchange for work and allowed him to spend evenings with some of the unique and interesting clients! She had done so much for him he wanted to do something in return for her and he knew, as he moaned out softly and pushed his ass up and back against her that he could at the very least give up his ass to her once or twice a morning. And afternoon. And even evening, if she had the stamina for it..

“A-ah.. G-good mmm.. Good morning.. Mayla..” he whimpered breathily, working his hips back against her as she filled him time and time again, her thick cock pushing deep into him, her heavy full sack pressing against his smaller purse as they met with each thrust, her nipples hard and pressed into his back.

“Mm.. Morning.. Honey.. Betturkey Fucking.. Take it..” she panted back, her hair lying about her face as she rode him, indulging herself in her employee’s perfectly thick ass.

“F-faster..” he squeaked excitedly, arching his back to emphasize the curves of his rear for her, knowing what to do to drive her mad.

She was all too happy to oblige, her body working from memory as she watched her impressive tool vanish again and again inside his sweet delicate rear, his hole visibly stretching to accommodate her, but never any less tight for the amount of cock it took.

He bit his lip and writhed, his own cock painfully erect beneath him, rubbing into the sheets of his bed with each of her deep thrusts, drawing him closer and closer to his own climax.

He was so close! Just a few-

“A-ah!!” Mayla gasped, pressing herself deep into him, hilting herself, feeling every inch of him caress her, squeeze her, milk her as she came inside of him.

He felt it, his toes curling as he felt each hot rope of cum stain his insides, she was so deep, he was so close! He hoped each pulse of her eager cum would be enough to just tip him over the edge, but frustratingly, his fire dimmed, so close to the edge it began to pull him away.

Frustrated, but in another way satisfied he collapsed under Mayla, her weight on his back, the softness of her curves and heaviness of her heaving chest resting on is skin, a layer of sweat between them as she panted, breath hot against his neck.

“O-oh.. Gods.. Scarlett..” she panted, pushing herself up with her hands, leaning back so her cock ever so slowly started to withdraw from him.

As keen as Mayla was she didn’t compare in terms of stamina to the Naga he had encountered. He wondered where on the spectrum they both lay. With only two races to go off he couldn’t tell whether it was odd that Mayla only lasted a little or if it was odd that the Naga had lasted so long, he had to start enticing new subjects. Partners.

He rolled onto his back, long red hair splaying out over his pillow as he looked up at the standing Mayla. Despite his frustration from not finishing himself, he couldn’t help but flash her a playful smile, his own cock starting to soften against his stomach, not that she paid it any attention.

“Well, a good morning to you too..” He purred and stretched his arms and legs out, displaying is litheness.

Mayla grinned a little, eying his display, if she hadn’t just fucked him she’d have thought he was trying to entice her, but she was starting to learn that Scarlett’s flirtation wasn’t probably intentional. The movement of his body, the tone of his voice, he did it all so naturally, he wasn’t probably even aware he was doing it at all.

“Not long until we open.. Should be another busy day.” she commented, wiping herself down with a cloth before she started to dress, her clothes having been discarded at the foot of his bed.

He smiled, excited at the chances it might bring to meet new people, talk to ones that were becoming familiar, and spend the day exploring not only the culture of the city but explore himself too, as as much as he continued to surprise Mayla, he continued to surprise himself.

After washing, applying his make-up, sorting his hair and dressing he arrived on the main floor, instantly drawing the attention of the early morning guests there for breakfast, preparing to leave from the Inn or just in for an early stare.

As he approached the counter Mayla set a coffee down in front of him, sweet and white as he loved it.

He smiled prettily to her, drawing a blush as it often did when she first saw him all made up for work and he picked up the cup, taking a slow loving sip of the glorious drink.

“Mm.. It’ll be a busy day.. But the mornings are usually quiet, no?” he asked, tilting his head curiously, knowing the answer having worked here for a few days now.

Mayla pursed her lips as she wiped down a glass, looking around the room before shrugging, “Well. Yeah, I suppose so. Why?”

He smiled some glancing around, “Well.. I mean I’ve hardly been out since I got here, save to fetch produce from the market and draw water from the well.. I was thinking I’d just take a wander for a couple of hours?.. I’ll be back before lunch!”

Mayla hesitated, eying Scarlett, seeing the sparkle of excitement in his eye, the constant desire to experience and to learn. And yet she felt an uncertainty creeping over her. She hadn’t exactly been entirely truthful with Scarlett about their work ‘contract’, or a lot of other things, truth be told. She’d denied him some basic things, like… Well, a salary. Or the right not to sleep with whomever she told him to.

She felt a little pull on her heartstrings. He was so naive and innocent and she was growing the resent the way she treated him but at the same time her lust for him and her growing distrust that he would leave her fed her to be overly protective.

“…Okaay…” she said, voice Betturkey Giriş hesitant, “But don’t talk to anyone while you’re out there, there’s a lot of people out there who might want to hurt you, they won’t all be as nice as our guests here..” she said, her reluctance bleeding through into her voice.

He seemed to hesitate himself, not having thought of any dangers, having enjoyed the peace of the Tavern. For one sweet moment Mayla thought he might’ve changed his mind, but his expression became determined and bright.

“It’ll be fine! I came here under cover of night, I traveled for weeks from my lands, I’m sure I can handle the streets in broad daylight.” He nodded, finishing his coffee with a long swig.

Mayla let out a tiny resigned sigh, but nodded, putting on a smile. “Well.. Have fun then I suppose.”

He nodded and stood, making for the entrance of the Tavern and setting out into the light, hitting the streets and leaving The Thorned Rose behind him.

As he stepped outside into the sun he felt the warmth of its rays seep into his skin. Reaching up he pulled his hair back, using a bobble from around his wrist to tie it back into a ponytail as he continued his walk.

It was different but similar. As in the tavern wherever he passed every eye turned on him, the difference was the variety. A whole host of races kept him constantly curious, centaurs, lizardfolk, even a couple of giants! That, and the male gender. Mayla seemed to cater to a very particular clientele, especially in the evening. And while the place wasn’t without male patrons, out in the open there seemed to be more men than women, though the looks were just as leering.

Deciding to take a break from the sun and the stares he stepped into a quaint-seeming tavern, The Sun Stone, and made his way through the scattering of patrons to the bar. The air was cooler though the smell of stale ale was ripe, causing him to momentarily wrinkle his sensitive nose. As he entered, as he had expected the room fell almost silent, all eyes on him.

The landlord, a tall man with dark slicked back hair and a chiseled jaw, for his credit, didn’t spit out his mouthful of ale as Scarlett entered, he merely choked on it.

Scarlett eyed the man curiously as he stepped up. The landlord was eying him as casually as he could, while he coughed and thumped himself on the chest with a meaty fist. Scarlett doubted the man would have a weapon behind the bar like Mayla, or a brute squad at the door in the evenings. A man this strong was the brute squad.

“Um.. Do you have anything to drink that isn’t alcohol?” Scarlett asked in a light and airy voice.

The landlord held up a thick finger, still coughing, and turned around.

After a few moments, and a few more coughs he turned back, face red as he forced himself not to cough anymore and placed a glass on a table.

The liquid within looked again, like coffee, but as Scarlett picked up the glass he realized it was cool. He raised it to his lips and paused, flushing a little. “O-oh..” He set the glass down, a little disappointed. “I’m sorry, I just recalled I don’t have any money on me..”

“It’s.. Erk.. On the house, Scarlett..” the man grunted, clearing his throat and plastering a smile on his red face.

Brightening up Scarlett nodded his thanks and lifted the glass his lips, taking an inquisitive sip. It was sweet! Rich and creamy. “Mm~! It’s good! Thank you.”

The landlord nodded gratefully and turned around to cough once more, much to, Scarlett realized, the bemusement of whom were probably his locals, enjoying his little scene.

He took another sip then paused, eyes squinting a little at the landlord’s back.

“Heey.. How did you know my name?” he asked, baffled.

The landlord, face starting to return to its normal color, save for embarrassment, looked back over to Scarlett, equally as confused, “Er.. You’re the Elf lass working down at The Thorned Rose.. Everyone knows of you, specially other barkeepers.. Business got quieter for us once you set up shop there..”

Scarlett flushed with color himself this time and glanced around. “Ooh..” He hadn’t really thought of that. He eyed the crowd around him, suddenly wondering whether or not he had placed himself in a dangerous location by being here.

But instead of the anger or disapproval he had initially expected, he was only met with curiosity and, of course, lust.

Blushing a little stronger he looked back to the landlord and sipped his sweet drink, eying him curiously as Scarlett settled down on a stool, content to stay here for a little while.

“Sooo..” The landlord asked, tossing a cloth over one of his shoulders as he sought for conversation, “Forget your coin at home? I bet Mayla is paying you a pretty penny to keep you there.”

Scarlett blinked curiously and tilted his head, “Pay?”

Mayla glanced anxiously towards the door as she had been every few seconds in between hurriedly serving a guest. It was an Betturkey Güncel Giriş hour past lunch and Scarlett hadn’t returned, while many of the patrons seemed disappointed with the lack of the spectacle that Scarlett provided it was nothing compared to the mounting dread now building inside of her.

Had Scarlett gotten lost? The city was rather sprawling after all. Or worse had she been kidnapped? Or tempted away from her? She wanted to go out there and search for her special companion, but doing so would mean shutting the inn. Half an hour more. Half an hour then she would strike out.

She glanced up, back towards the door and saw, to her relief, a shock of red hair, a pair of pointed ears and.. Her mounting relief fell as she saw the stormy expression on Scarlett’s usually amicable features.

The bar didn’t quieten as the other had when Scarlett entered, his presence here was, after all, expected and not surprising. But as he walked through the tavern everyone could feel the storm building.

He stepped up to the counter, beautiful emerald eyes meeting with hers and even with the storm in them Mayla couldn’t help but get lost in the two gleaming islands of beauty in what was otherwise a tempest.

“..Um.” she said, uncertainly.

“No salary.” He held up a finger, “Whoring me out.” He held up a second finger, “Forcing me to lay with you.” He held up a third finger, then glanced at them meaningfully.

“Um..” she said again, this time weakly, a rising pit of anxiety forming in her chest. Her worst fears realized as easily as that.

Scarlett shook his head and the anger seemingly drained from his face, leaving only disappointment, betrayal.

“Scarlett… I..” She started, shaking her own head, trying to form a defense, trying to think of some excuse or lie.

He held up his hand to silence her, “I don’t care why, though I can guess well enough. All you care about is coin.”

The bar around them was continuing its chatter, though it was awkward and the conversation of everyone’s slightly muted discussion, Scarlett could hear, was their scene.

He turned around then scanning the room. Only strangers to the tavern, seeing him for the first time met his gaze. The others, the regulars who he could now see knew as if it was general knowledge how Mayla had manipulated him couldn’t seem to look him in the eyes. Perhaps ashamed of the small part they played in her charade.

Scarlett felt sick. He had loved it here. Loved meeting new people, learning new things. But everything he had learned, had written down in his diaries had been a waste. He couldn’t trust any of what had come from Mayla anymore. The culture and ways of these people had seemed confusing, but exciting. Now he saw them as only being manipulative, greedy and selfish.

“I’m going to my room..” he said, sullen and more than a little downcast, “Don’t follow me. Don’t send anyone. Don’t say anything.”

And with that he swept from the room, hand to his face to hide his expression from the others in the tavern, not wanting them to see him like this, upset, broken.

As he left the conversation in the tavern picked up again slightly, a few awkward coughs and sideways glances at Mayla, registering the shame and upset on her own expression.

Her greed to keep him had pushed him away, she imagined a wire of elastic between them and with each step he took away from her she saw it growing thinner and thinner. How long until it snapped and he was gone for good.

She wiped her eyes with the back of her sleeve and let out a heavy, quavering sigh. She would just have to wait and see. She let her mind shut down, focusing instead on the only thing she had, running the Inn. Letting her muscle memory do the work as she suppressed her dread.

Scarlett wiped his own eyes, looking at the streaks of mascara on his arm and felt a flash of anger. He stormed to his room, slamming the door shut behind him and leaning on it, shoulders shaking as he let out a few silent sobs.

Who was he?

He looked up and saw the mirror he used for makeup, standing he moved to it, sitting down and looking at himself.

The feminine face that looked back was quickly becoming a mess of streaked makeup, a visage with watery, doe-like eyes and the grimace of someone trying not to cry.

Why was he so upset anyway? He hadn’t been here long at all. He’d only known Mayla for a few days and she had shared little of who she was or who she had been in the past. He hadn’t shed tears when he had left his own people behind so why now? If he was to leave, which he fully intended to do, he would find a new group of humans, maybe in another tavern and set up there. Maybe the Sun Stone.

He reached up and gently set a lock of his fiery hair behind a pointed ear.

No, he wasn’t afraid of losing his place here at the Thorned Rose. Given her recent betrayal, he wasn’t even that upset about the idea of not seeing Mayla again. Then why the tears?

He stared at himself at the mirror and reached out to it, his fingertips touching those of the reflection, cool and smooth under his tips.

He didn’t care. But she did, the face in the mirror. She might not have been born here, but she had been accepted here, found a place here.

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