Skyrim: The Dragon's Bane C13
Skyrim: The Dragon’s Bane
Mira quietly slipped out of the bed, grabbed the shawl to wrap around her, and proceeded to stand by the small window set into the eaves of the bedroom. The faint glow of dawn was starting to tinge the horizon, while the dark indigo of night did its retreat. The events of last night was hazy and surreal, and though she slept, it was fitful and full of dark dreams. Then she turned to look at the man that was quietly sleeping in her bed. His dark hair was tousled, some strands falling across his eyes as he slept on his side facing her. She closed her eyes and leaned her head against the rafter, sighing deeply. What had happened? What had she allowed to be done? Fire raged through her last night, arousal and heated passion fueled her senses to where after her and Farkas arrived at Breezehome, Mira willingly allowed the man to take her again…and again. Her body was aching from the hard, rough sex, and yet, after the third time, Mira still ached and hungered for more. Some primal heat burned through her, having her scratching and biting, to where she looked at Farkas, she saw the various deep scratches and the stripes of her claw marks on his shoulders.
They didn’t say much, there was no need. Instinct ruled over them last night. A primal need and lust swept both fighters away to where any thought of guilt or wrongdoing was pushed into the back of the mind. Mira saw Farkas’ emotions for her, the truth to his attentiveness and affection towards her. If she admitted it, Mira found a mutual attraction and affection toward the man. However, in the light of the new day, Mira’s conscience reared its ugly head.
She loved him, had been in love with him for a long time. With some of the whispered talk about his behavior and what he had done to those that were not Nord or opposed his plans for Skyrim, Mira ignored it. With her, he was his old self, just more cynical. He was still the warm and caring man from his youth, with her. He loved his people and her, and his desire to see Skyrim free from the Imperials, made her proud that the man finally had purpose in his life, other than contrived to a life with the Greybeards. Since her return and them agreeing to commit to the other, Mira knew her heart was with him, as was his. Ulfric needed her. He still gave Mira freedom to do the things she had to, and let her make her own decisions. He had enough respect for her not to force things on her. In that regard, he also didn’t let Mira walk roughshod over him, and they would argue. Both of them were strong in will and conviction.
Now things got complicated when Farkas entered the fray. Mira sighed deeply, rubbing at her arms as she watched the dawn rise over the land. He has been a dear friend, an equal partner in the fight. Farkas never demanded anything, and never wanted anything but the simpler life of where the next job would take him. He never demanded more of Mira than she was willing to give or share, and at the same time, he held himself back from showing the depth of his feelings towards her. Farkas surprised Mira at his attentions the previous night. The sex was world shaking but he always took care that her needs were met. No demands were made, Farkas would only coax what she may want, or stop what she didn’t. Mira held a love for the quiet fighter, as he was very dear to her. They both shared the joy for the simplicity of life. Neither of them held any love for politics, and enjoyed their training of a new generation of fighters. Farkas was still the same gentle man from those years before her leaving Skyrim.
Though, last night, with the ritual, when Farkas chased her down and dominated her, it awoke something in Mira that she never knew existed. This was why things got complicated. Was it possible to love two men; who were so different from each other in their views and beliefs, and how they loved her? Mira raised her eyes to the fading stars. Father, mother, what do I do? How I wish you were here because I need someone to talk with.
So lost in her thoughts, Mira didn’t pick up Farkas’ movements until he stood behind her and wrapped his arms around her. “Morning.” He rumbled deeply.
“Morning.” Mira smiled a little smile.
“Something is bothering you.” He stated.
“Yes. I didn’t sleep well and when my head caught up to the morning and what happened…” Mira let the end of the sentence hang.
“You believe this was a mistake.”
“Yes…no…by the Nines, I don’t know!” Mira cried softly and dropped her chin.
Farkas turned Mira around to face him and brought her eyes up to his. “Do you love him?”
There was a brief moment of silence. “Yes.”
“Yet…” It was his turn to leave the words hanging in the air between them.
“And yet…you woke something in me, Black Wolf. I can’t explain what but…” Mira sighed, her face furrowing with guilt and confusion.
“I never would take another man’s woman, Mir, but with you…I would. I’ve loved you for a long time. I watched you leave that night and my heart broke.”
“So, Vilkas claiming that you had feelings were true.” Mira smiled a little bitterly.
“He’s my twin, he knows my heart usually before I know mine.” Farkas’ mouth twitched.
“This type of thing happens a lot in the Empire, that I never thought I would have it happen to me.” Mira frowned.
“Mir, you should have known, and you even felt this between us before you took up a relationship with Ulfric.”
Her silver eyes snapped up to Farkas’ own silver. “You are hard to read at times, Farkas. Ulfric is not.” Mira’s lips pressed together.
Farkas raised a hand to her face and brushed her lips from the angry set with his thumb. “We are also men who have kept secrets from you.”
“How do you know Ulfric so well?” Mira said petulantly.
“I have had dealings with him a time or two when hired professional swordsmen were needed. He is a hard man to like, much less love, unless you are in his court of philosophy.”
“He isn’t always like that.”
“Maybe not with you. He may be for Skyrim’s interest, Mira, but don’t mistake his ambition and prejudice for non-Nords. You say he won’t press you to join him with this war against the Empire, but mark my words, he will.”
“Ulfric won’t allow it!” Mira huffed, getting a rush of heat to her face with anger.
Farkas looked steadily at her, cupping her face between his hands. “I’ve never lied to you, my dear. Not once. Remember who you are, Mira. This civil war is at a stalemate and pretty soon, Ulfric will need something to bolster morale and push the advantage against the Legion.”
“He wouldn’t.” Mira sounded unsure but Farkas was right, deep down she knew it. Wuunferth even warned her about Ulfric. There will be a time when she needed to choose, despite being dovahkiin. Being the Dragonborn, and Ysgramor’s descendant would give the men and women of Skyrim a boost to their national pride. She could sway armies with the call of her name. Her father had done the same during his time.
Farkas gave Mira a light kiss and rested his forehead against hers. “You know the truth, Silver Wolf. Stop blinding yourself because it is something you do not wish to see. As for you and me, this can stop here, this morning. But ask yourself, how will Ulfric feel to know that you are of the wolf blood? You already have the aura of primal power about you. I can smell it. Others will notice it but wonder the truth of it. You will be more aggressive, you will constantly be fighting to remain in control of the beast. You make love to Ulfric, it won’t be gentle because the wolf in you wants that primal satisfaction.” Farkas dropped his voice. “That, I can give you.”
He paused and looked in Mira’s eyes, seeing the confusion and conflicted feelings clear as day. Farkas would do as she asked but if he was giving up on having Mira, Ulfric was mistaken. Ulfric was not a stupid man, and his training with the Greybeards will see the change in Mira easily. She is dovah, she is also wolf. Curse Aela for convincing Mira to drink the blood! This was going to complicate her life unnecessarily.
“I don’t know what to do.” Mira whispered.
“Tell me to go, I will. This night will have never happened and will remain in the memory of the Divines and Hircine.” Farkas told Mira, not without some difficulty.
“If I can’t?” Mira said softly.
“I will give you your space, Silver Wolf.” Farkas brushed her hair back from Mira’s face. “I won’t demand anything of you but…I will be here for you.”
Mira went silent, searching Farkas’ eyes in the growing light of dawn through the window. The sun’s rays shone through, giving off rays of light through the dust motes in the chill morning air. “I think I need some time to sort through this.”
“Alright.” Farkas gave a brief nod and stepped back from Mira.
She watched him as he went over to the end of the bed and gathered his clothes. The morning’s sun shone on his muscled naked form, the old white scars on his back standing out, along with the dried red marks from her claws. Farkas pulled his trousers on, forwent the tunic and shrugged into his studded leather jerkin. He left it untied and Mira let her eyes travel down the trail of dark hair from his chest and down into his trousers. She swallowed and tried to push down the surge of lust in her body. Next, Farkas grabbed the sheathed greatsword, carrying it with him as he headed out of the bedroom. Mira watched his back until she couldn’t see it anymore.
When the door closed downstairs, Mira let loose a fist into the wall, growling out her frustration and confusion. She heard Lydia’s footsteps enter the room. “Is everything alright, my…Mira?”
“No. Everything is not alright.” She took in a deep shuddering breath to steady herself. “Prepare a bath and get my light fighting leathers, Lydia. I need to go see Kodlak.”
“Yes, Mira.” The young woman left to do as asked.
Kodlak looked over the forlorn woman. He could smell the wolf in her and knew of Aela’s part in initiating Mira into the Circle. There was some heated words exchanged and to remember who was Harbinger, Kodlak had changed to smack Aela down to the ground. He may be an old man, but his wolf was wiser and stronger than the Huntress. It was now even more important that his search for a cure for Hircine’s Curse be found. Ysgramor’s tomb was the key but there was something else needed, and Kodlak needed Mira’s help.
“Harbinger, how much does the beast play into sex or lust?”
Kodlak blinked at the forward question but understood the trouble Mira was mulling. Part of it had to do with Farkas. When he arrived back to Jorrvaskr, Farkas went to his room and had remained there all morning, only to leave before lunch. “There is a bit of the beast responsible for the aggression of lust and sex. However, there has to be a mutual willingness and attraction for the wolf to want to mate. If a female didn’t want the attentions of the male, she would let the male know.”
“That is for the animals but werewolves?” Mira asked, her eyes looking at him with cynicism.
“We are a higher evolution of the wolf, Mira. We still have the same needs, the same wants even in our transformed state. Do we not smell the blood when we hunt? See our prey and hunger for the taste of flesh between our teeth? As in lust or love, the wolf is fierce in his desires. The wolf is a loyal creature, Mira. When he finds a female suitable, he will go to any lengths to have her, or die in end. Werewolves share many of the same attributes as our lupine brethren. The Circle is the pack, and I am the Alpha.”
“Well, Aela being the only female, why doesn’t she have her choice of the males?”
“Who says she doesn’t?” Kodlak raised an eyebrow. “Remember how you got that scar? Vilkas knew of Farkas’ affection for you, and he was jealous. Being freshly blooded, he craved for your attention too. As any wolf, he will pursue his prey until he is put down. However, Vilkas drank too much, lost control of himself and attacked without giving you opportunity to fight. Farkas pulled his brother off that night, placing his brother in his place as lesser wolf, and thus putting forth his claim of interest.”
Mira’s mouth opened in astonishment to hear the tale told from that perspective. That night was a red haze and only knew what Farkas and others who witnessed the encounter told her. “Somehow, that makes odd sense.”
“Indeed. Now, as for you going through the blood ritual, my child, this was not to be the way for you. Why would you choose this path?” Kodlak looked at Mira with concern.
“I thought it would help make a difference.” Mira said weakly. “I wanted to understand what Farkas went through, wanted to see if the extra strength and speed was worth it. Gods know I have come out of some dire situations with my health barely intact.”
“But you always have come away alive. That speaks of your skill and tenacity, Mira. You don’t need the wolf to give you that. To be a part of the Circle, you don’t need that either. They are already leaders of the Companions without being a pack, because Skjor, Aela, Farkas and Vilkas, bring their knowledge and skills to the Companions, training future fighters so the Companions thrive. Now, I must admit, in my younger years, I was arrogant and formed this idea of a Circle of leaders for the Companions. I was new in my position of Harbinger.”
“The Circle has gotten elitist.” Kodlak chuckled. “I still make the major decisions when the others feel out of their element in leadership.”
Mira sighed heavily. “What’s done is done, now. I must face Alduin and live with this curse.”
“And I believe the possible wrath of a certain jarl, yes? Should you tell him.”
“Yes, there is that.”
“Well, hold off on telling him until we can do something about Hircine’s Curse.”
“What do you mean?” Mira looked sharply at Kodlak.
“The reason I am so interested in finding the pieces to Ysgramor’s axe is because what is inside his tomb that may help lift this curse. Before that, there is something needed for the curse to be lifted.”
“Tell me what you have in mind, Kodlak.”
The old Harbinger grinned and beckoned Mira closer.
With grim determination, Mira left Kodlak’s presence and walked toward the exit of Jorrvaskr. He told her the story about how Hircine’s Curse came to be and the betrayal by one of the Harbinger’s. For that betrayal, the hagraven’s then made the curse permanent, and for each time a Harbinger or those that shared the curse, used the curse, they would step closer to Hircine himself, and join his Great Hunt. The longer the curse was used, it was hard to relinquish the form. Kodlak also let Mira know that the restlessness she felt was part of the beast in her. Never will there be a peaceful sleep. The only time will there be rest is after giving into the beast inside and allowed to hunt.
Kodlak believed it was possible to break the curse with the heads from the same hagraven’s that laid the curse on the Companions. Thing was, finding the coven was difficult. Every few years they changed locations to make sure they were never found by those that would lift Hircine’s Curse. The axe, however, Kodlak knew of where the other piece was. It was as Aela mentioned, at an overrun fort that the Silver Hand accommodated for their use, killing the Imperials that were garrisoned there. He said that Skjor had left this morning to scout the fort, gauge the numbers of the Silver Hand, and find a better way to infiltrate the fort with little trouble. He was waiting to hear back from Skjor.
Now, Mira was going to her house to pack a few things and leave to find this hagraven coven. It would be good to travel and clear her head. Kodlak suggested she go alone. None of the others would understand the task she was given. She managed to make it past the doors and halfway down the stairs to the Gildegreen when she came face to face with Farkas. He was dressed down in a sleeveless tunic with the front opening unlaced to the middle of his chest. The shoulder length black hair was pulled back in a thong. His face didn’t betray any emotion but Mira knew the look in his eyes.
The moment was awkward and uncomfortable. She licked her lips absently, seeing the little twitch in Farkas’ expression. Breaking away from his gaze, Mira continued down the stairs without another word. She heard an exasperated snort behind her and picked up her pace. Mira smiled to Ysolde and a couple of vendors, greeted Jon Battle-born on her way to Breezehome. As she opened the door, she was pushed inside, turned in a rush, and slammed against the front door. Mira was about to protest and push off Farkas but he roughly captured her mouth. She struggled at first but Farkas had her solidly pinned against the wood. His hands went into her hair and held her head. Mira bit at his lip to which he responded with a growl. Blood oozed from the split as he released Mira’s mouth.
“That bite may deter some men, but not a wolf, Mir.” He slowly smiled.
“You think that pushing me into my home and forcing your way on me is going to get you something? I thought you said you would make no demands?”
“Only if you told me to leave. You didn’t.” Farkas reasoned.
“I don’t have time for this!” Mira said.
“Off to somewhere in a hurry?” Farkas searched her eyes.
“Going to do an errand for Kodlak. Alone.”
“I see. Why would he ask that of you?”
“Because if any of the Companions joined, they would not understand the nature of the job.”
“No, Farkas.” Mira pressed back on Farkas’s weight but he didn’t budge. “Move!”
“No. Not until you answer something.”
“What now?” She said with exasperation. Already the wolf in her was rising, growing impatient at the impudence of this male.
“You know you could have beaten me down for daring to claim you. Why didn’t you?”
“I wasn’t of a mind to…”
“Answer the question, Mira!” Farkas growled. “You are a warrior and can lay a man flat twice your height and weight. I had a hard enough time pinning you down without having your claws raze my throat. So, why?”
Mira’s eyes hardened at the demand. Raising her knee, she attempted to incapacitate Farkas but he blocked the move by moving his leg between her thighs. He leaned his face in closer, his mouth just a breath away from her mouth.
“I think you wanted this.” He rumbled. “I think you are denying something in yourself.”
“Don’t be a fool.” Mira hissed.
“I’m a fool to let you get off so easy this morning.” Farkas brushed his lips across Mira’s.
“I need to pack.” Mira was starting to lose her resolve as heat flushed her skin.
“You still aren’t answering the question.” Farkas said quietly as he trailed his lips over Mira’s chin and along her jaw.
“Tell me.” Farkas whispered in her ear.
“You won’t let this go, will you?” Mira swallowed, her will weakening. Farkas had a way of undoing her resolve that Ulfric didn’t.
“No.” He moved his mouth back to Mira’s, kissing her firmly. He broke off and looked into Mira’s eyes. “Tell me to go.”
“No.” Mira whispered.
“I thought so.” Farkas gave a small smile and ran his hands from her hair along her jawline on each side of her face and down her neck.
“Let me go.” She said weakly.
“Please!” Mira whimpered, barely holding control of raging lust and passion inside, fighting the quivering at Farkas' touch on her skin.
Farkas inhaled deeply at her neck as his hands continued down her chest to undo the laces of the fighting leather jerkin. “No.” He said again. Farkas sank his mouth at her neck juncture to the shoulder, closed his lips, and bit down firmly enough not to draw blood but enough to mark Mira’s skin.
Mira moaned. She should stop this and push Farkas off. It was too soon, this was just a carnal urge, but she gasped when Farkas roughly swept open her jerkin and pushed it off her shoulders. As much as she wanted to deny it, Mira wanted the man. Ulfric loved her his way, but Farkas fulfilled her in different ways. When Farkas relinquished some of his hold, Mira pushed him away, fire in her eyes and a wolfish grin crossing her face. Stepping up to the man, she unlaced the rest of his sleeveless tunic and swept the material off his broad shoulders. Farkas gave back his own wolfish grin. Reaching toward Mira’s trousers, he roughly undid them and pushed them down. The fire of the beast filled both of them as they finished the clothing but too impatient to head upstairs, Farkas took Mira on the stairs.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to join?” Farkas asked while tying his hair back.
“I have to do this alone. I’m sorry, Farkas, you would be a distraction and this shouldn’t even have happened again.”
He grabbed Mira after she finished tying her pack closed and brushed his fingers across her cheek. “I gave you plenty of opportunity to turn me way, to beat it in my head that my advances are unwanted.”
“I said stop.”
“Mira, your scent doesn’t lie to me. You say stop and no, but your body says otherwise.”
She closed her eyes as Farkas’ fingers caressed across her lips. She felt his lips kiss them gently, mindful of the split lip from his own bite on her lips. “If I can just clear my own senses of you for a while, I could think clearly.” Mira told Farkas. “I don’t know if this is lust, love, or what. I love you as my dearest and closest friend from my youth.”
Farkas looked back at Mira with a short nod. “I understand, Mir.”
“Damn you for being so level headed!” Mira chuckled.
“Why should I get worked up over something you need to discover and decide for yourself?”
Mira shook her head. “For if I mentioned this to Ulfric, it would be quite the storm.”
“He sounds like a bit of a hothead.” Farkas chuckled.
“Passionate, more like.”
Farkas shrugged his shoulders. “Seriously, Mir, I’m not leaving, not giving up on you. You are right. You need to know if what you feel toward me is friendship, love, or lust. You know where I stand.”
“If I decide I belong with Ulfric?” Mira looked at Farkas seriously.
“There will be no hard feelings. I will deal with it. I won’t be happy with the choice but I will deal with it. In that event, Mir, you shall have my eternal service.”
“Farkas! I wouldn’t ask that of you!”
“I know you wouldn’t but for my love of you, I would pledge my sword and body to your service as a personal guard. You get involved with Ulfric, you become his equal in rule and politics. His world is far more dangerous as you don't easily know the enemy.”
“Well, let’s see if it gets that point. I’m hoping this assignment might offer some answers and solutions.”
“Huh?” Farkas looked quizzically at Mira.
“Never mind. I don’t have the time to explain.”
“Where are you heading?”
“Somewhere by Solitude.”
Farkas frowned. “I think you should reconsider me joining you. That area is unstable with both Imperial and Stormcloak ambushes.”
“I’m not with the Legion anymore, and I am not allied with the Stormcloaks. I think I could travel safely enough.”
“Still…” Farkas fretted until Mira silenced him with a finger on his lips.
“I will be fine. Remember I can knock you flat on your ass in the training yard.”
Farkas clenched his jaw for a moment and then relaxed, giving Mira a nod. “Alright. Be careful.”
“I will, Black Wolf.” Mira rested a hand on Farkas’ silvering black bearded cheek.
Taking up her pack and then grabbing her cloak and swords, Mira headed out of her house and toward the city gates. Farkas walked with her as far as the stables, where she paid for a horse and settled her things on the saddle. Farkas handed the reins to Mira once she mounted. He didn’t need to say anything.
The Companion watched Mira on her horse trot down to the trade road that led to Dragon’s Bridge and then to Solitude. When she was beyond sight of the city walls, Farkas ran back to the city and Jorrvaskr. She said not to join her but he was going to follow. Not because he was a lovesick fool, but Farkas had a feeling of foreboding about this trip. The Reach was an unstable Hold. No one traveled alone when going there. The road to Solitude was worse, as it was contested between the Imperials and Stormcloaks, along with other brigands.
As he reached the front doors of the mead hall, Farkas blinked to see Kodlak waiting for him, with his armor, sword, and a travel pack. Nothing needed to be said. Farkas gave the Harbinger a nod and grabbed his things from him.
The Whisper of Touch
Now, I need to finish getting things together on the upgrades of this PC. Many more programs to install, not to mention all my Poser files.