5. Chapter 5
“Eat.” He rasped, turning away from her to fill the cup again.
She did, pushing the soft, white bread into her mouth, followed by spoonful after spoonful of the broth. Warmth seeped into her, comfort and satisfaction driving away the cold and the distraction. She felt her head begin to swim a little from the wine.
She ate quickly, swallowing hasty mouthfuls before he could take it away again. With her body satisfied, her mind could leave. Wiping up the remainder of the broth with the last of the bread, she crammed the final mouthful into her mouth before looking up.
A slow and lascivious smile distorted his already misshapen face, she suppressed a shudder, looking instead at the wine cup he was offering her again. She snatched it greedily, and gulped the red liquor, spilling a little, knowing it would help her get away.
Wiping her mouth with a hand she tossed the empty cup down, and drawing her blanket tight about her, curled herself tightly up against the wall. Warmth suffused her, her stomach tight and replete, she felt her eyes grow heavy, a strange feeling of sleep driving away her fear as her mind wandered back to its dreams.
Marlûk took a little time to collect the discarded dishes and replace them on the tray, a little time for Norburz’ potion to start to take effect. He mused a moment as he lifted the tiny glass flask, its oily contents swirling with a lazy amber light, before replacing it carefully in his belt. To encourage dreaming, the purveyor had said, of which Elves were so fond.
“Well my pretty one.” He whispered harshly, drawing himself closer to her, “Are you dreaming yet?”
She made no reply, her breathing quiet, eyelids gently closed.
He leaned over her, his breath grazing her fine cheek, his hand stroking the long, pale hair. She made a tiny, soft noise and her head moved under his hand, but she did not pull away.
The sun was golden on the water, its warmth soporific as she reclined, relaxed and happy, feeling the rise and fall of the ship on its journey. The cushions of the couch beneath her spoke of comfort, and the awning above tugged lightly in the summer wind. The soft whisper of his breath against her cheek came as no surprise, although she had been alone on board. A slight feeling of unease stirred within her, something she should know, but the ethereal thought blew away in the warm breeze and she had no inclination to chase it. A gentle hand caressed her hair, easing her, smoothing away her doubts. She sighed a little and lifted her head. Here all was good, all was comforting. There was no fear. No pain. As long as she stayed here nothing bad could happen. The fingers were gathering her long tresses now, lifting them away from her neck, lightly tracing over her long neck and up over her ears.
“My beauty.” He whispered, his voice like honey, the feel of his lips cool against her skin, his hands stroking her slowly. She could feel his body at her back, the hard chest and muscular limbs. A tiny part of her wondered idly who he was, and how he came to be there, but it did not seem to matter. Only the motion of the boat, and the sun on the waves had importance. Now his mouth sought her ear, the warm breath tickling, the wet tip of the tongue surprising her with a tiny jolt of pleasure. A hand moved over her body, gently exploring her, the fine fingers shapely, the long nails clean and white. Curving over her breasts, and sliding down over the dip at her waist to follow the contour of hip and thigh. More ardently now he caressed her through the fine fabric of her gown, his touch intimate but neither arousing nor disquieting. As he slid his hands beneath the silk, baring her long limbs to the warmth of the sun, she felt the heat of his skin press against hers, and desire quicken his breath. And it seemed natural that it should be so.
Marlûk growled softly to himself as he placed his mouth to the back of her white neck. The faint taste of perfume still lingered beneath her hair and he savoured it as he moved his twisted lips over the fine skin and up to her ear. There the growl became a moan as he tasted her with his red tongue, pressing his thick body against her delicate one. He ran a dark hand greedily over her, kneading roughly at her breasts, relishing their ripeness beneath his demanding grasp, digging his heavy nails into the soft fabric. Now down and over the slender curve of thigh and quarters, bringing his crooked fingers to push impatiently against the thin silk between her legs. His blood was high now, and his lust hot. He tugged at her clothing, dragging her gown up over her waist so that his exploration would no longer be impeded. At the sight of the smooth, soft paleness of her skin under his gnarled hand, his breathing became harsher, the pulse of his blood loud. With his twisted fingers, he trespassed into her hidden warmth, causing his readiness to become almost painful, and he hurried to loosen his own clothing. Now as he lay against her back, the dark against the white was yet more exciting, and he paused just a moment at that peak of anticipation and desire, stroking himself slowly against her, knowing that once he entered her his release would be quick.
Her face was in repose despite her clothes being in disarray and her body abandoned to await his pleasure. He pushed his fingers deeper into her, opening the way he would follow, but she betrayed nothing. Even when he withdrew his hand, and entered her roughly, his lust driving him to rut greedily, his hands clutching at her, his rapacious grunts loud in her ear, she made no response, save perhaps a tiny ghost of a smile.
Quick it was, but oh so very sweet, to spill himself, shuddering and groaning, in her depths, his dark face pressed into her sweet hair.
“Oh, my lady Elf,” he breathed hoarsely, “my own pretty one.”
‘Norburz.,’ He thought to himself afterwards as he sat back to readjust his clothing. ‘I owe you one, you old black rat.’ He looked down at her, still lost in her dreams, oblivious to the cold air on her exposed skin, or the sticky wetness smeared on her white thighs. A self-satisfied smirk twisted his mouth, as he reached to tug her gown back down over her nakedness, and drape her once again in her blanket. Usually with Elves the slow death would be starting now, the spirit broken and fled, the light in the eyes gradually fading, but he had a feeling she was going to be with him a while yet. He patted his belt pouch wherein Norburz’ potion was safely tucked, wondering how long it might last him.
The forward scouts had just returned when he entered the guardroom, and they brought with them the news he had expected. A party of Elves had been spotted in the forest.
“Did they find the ambush site yet?” he questioned the commander.
“No, sir.” The younger Orc replied, “but they were on the trail, it won’t take them more than a day or two.”
“How many were there?” Snorbeg swaggered out of the gloom.
“Ach!” Marlûk was scathing, “Not enough to worry us.”
“They’ll bring up reinforcements if they think we have prisoners,” insinuated his lieutenant.
“It’ll be days before they get here.”
“She should have been killed with the others!” Spat Snorbeg. “Your taste for Elf flesh endangers us all!”
With a snarl, Marlûk whirled and latched a strong hand about the other’s throat, pressing him back against the wall. “Listen to me, Snorbeg.!” He barked, “I’m the Captain, I say what goes, and if I wants Elf flesh I has it! Got that?!” He squeezed harder, making the other’s eyes bulge and his hands scrabble. “Well?”
Snorbeg nodded a croaking acceptance, and the older Orc released his grip with disgust. “Get back to your post, lieutenant, and be grateful I’m not having the skin flayed from your back.”
Snorbeg skulked out the door, rubbing his neck sullenly, and Marlûk turned back to the room to find all the others suddenly very busy.