“I love you, Bishop!”
I knew very well I had said - screamed - those words out loud. I knew very well Bishop didn’t feel the same way, he had said it himself. He wasn’t in love with me but something kept telling me that he was. When I looked at him, his eyes flashed and flickered with more than desire, as if he was trying to keep something strong deeply hidden within himself, failing ridiculously.
Many times, during dragon fights or bandit attacks he was the first to step out and take a blow for me. He was always checking my wounds, he always had an antidote ready if a frostbite spider or a chaurus had poisoned me.
Every night he would go and take care of any and all wildlife so that I could sleep in peace. I wondered if he slept at all. If he did, it was probably few minutes at a time. He was more alert than usual.
As much as he stressed out that he didn’t give a damn about me, he wasn’t exactly his usual self - meaning that he wasn’t trying to rip off my clothes and have some skin-on-skin action with me when he felt like it. Not to mention how distant he had become. Or he was trying to become.
When Bishop’s weird behavior finally started to get on my nerves, I stopped in the middle of our hike through the Rift’s forest and turned to look at my ranger. He stopped and crossed his arms on his chest, looking confident, arrogant and sexy. His eyes pierced through mine, his eyebrow cocked for a question.
“Bishop…” I started.
“Ladyship”, he said quietly, almost far too gently.
He didn’t sound himself either. He wasn’t the Bishop I had known for so long.
One thing I had learned while traveling with this guy was that I needed to be blunt.
“What the hell is wrong with you?”
Bishop took a deep breath, his eyes never breaking the intensifying glare. He stepped closer, taking slow steps towards me and then his figure overcame mine. My heart skipped a beat when I met his feral predatory gaze. His mouth was a straight line, his breathing heavy and his muscles tensed ever so slightly, as if he was holding himself back… or readying an onslaught where I was going to be utterly consumed.
His hand pressed against my cheek, caressing it softly, never breaking the smoldering eye contact that made my heart gallop faster and faster in my chest. I gasped under its power.
“Goddamn it, I can’t do this!” he mumbled under his breath, turning away and about to start walking when I closed my fingers around his wrist and tugged him so that he would turn to face me.
He turned to look at me and I was shocked from what I saw!
Just moments ago he looked like he was about to attack me - rip off my clothes and ravage me like there was no tomorrow, but now… now he looked so lost and desperate it made my heart throb.
“Bishop, please, tell me. What’s wrong?” I asked quietly, using very gentle voice, the kind that you use when you see a child crying in the middle of the street, lost and helpless in the crowd that didn’t do anything to offer comfort.
He looked at me with darkening eyes. For a moment he looked like he was going to shake my hand off, but instead he pulled me into a tight embrace. I grunted when I met his stout chest, his arms pulling and pressing me tighter and tighter against him. He pressed his chin in my hair and I could hear him breathe in my scent.
“This isn’t me… for my whole life I’ve done nothing for others, I’ve cared for no one else but me. I never knew I could become like this!”
“When I met you, all I wanted was to just… have my way with you”, he interrupted me. “I was the lonely wolf - wandering from place to place, never staying far too long in one place at a time. But after traveling with you, I…”
His hold tightened even more as his voice trailed off to a whisper.
“Bishop, are you saying you are in love with me?”
He pulled back just to look in my eyes. His hands surrounded my face, keeping me there ever so gently. The look in his eyes was kind, their amber hue burned brightly in the light that was sifted through the branches and leaves of the trees around us. He looked so gorgeous and wild and still so lost within his own self he didn’t know what to do or say.
“I thought you didn’t…” I started, but I was interrupted by a kiss.
It was warm, soft, passionate. He held me gently in place as our mouths moved in perfect unison. There was no rush, no apparent desire that needed to be quenched. Only affection and love.
Once he released me from the kiss, I gasped for air and looked into his eyes.
“Princess, I care about you. I love you.”
I stood frozen in silence. All of my suspicion to this moment was now gone with the wind. He said the words I had never believed he would say. He stood there, lost and vulnerable, but still strong and wild like the lonely wolf that he was. But I was part of his pack. Even a wolf loves company every now and then. And I loved his company.
“Bishop…”, I whispered, trying to find the right words.
“No, don’t. I don’t want to hear anything from you”, his tone was cold, as if he was trying to push me away, but the look in his eyes told me another story. He didn’t want me to go. He needed me as much as I needed him.
I leaped into his embrace. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pressed myself tightly against him.
“You fool of a ranger!” I scolded, sobbing and crying out against his shoulder. “Do you not understand?! I’ve died to hear those words from you!”
Bishop’s arms pressed me tightly against his body, his lips found mine in a devouring kiss that swept me off my feet. Our desires burned now, they wanted to be consumed by each other. He pressed me against him, I pulled him closer and closer till we were in a lock that our lips and arms kept together.
His tongue invaded in me and mine answered to his challenge. I moaned against his mouth, taking deep breaths through my nose as he did; and started the battle of dominance. It became a waltz of want, leaving us both breathless and unsatisfied.
He stared at me with frenzied eyes, biting his lips as if savouring the taste of the kiss. I smiled, partly from happiness and partly from the pleasure he made me feel.
“You drive me crazy!” he snarled at me, his keen, piercing eyes walking across my figure.
“Do I need to get undressed so you’ll get a better view, ranger?” I teased with a playful smirk.
“Don’t tease me!” he growled deep from his throat. His eyes narrowed dangerously. “You better run or I’ll have you here and now.”
I saw a playful smile creeping across his face. I took the challenge and turned around, using the power of my thu’um to get a head start. I started to run through the forest as fast as I could, hearing Bishop’s light steps gaining on me. I heard him right behind me when I used the power again to get further away from him.
The game of cat and mouse. The chase of a wolf and its prey. We ran further and further into the forest till it was so tense running would have been dangerous. So it became a game of hide and seek. After the shadows started to grow longer and darker, I ran behind a wide tree trunk, pressing my back against it and listened to Bishop’s closing footsteps.
“Princess, come out, come out where ever you are”, he called out, hearing playful tone in his voice.
I started to sneak through the trees, circling around him, trying to get behind him and run. I was almost out of sight when Karnwyr jumped on me, pushing me on the ground. Its front paws were on my shoulders, his mouth was in a wide grin as if he was laughing and saying: “Ha-haah! Caught ya!” He barked loudly and Bishop appeared behind the trees.
“Good boy!” he praised gently. “Release!”
Karnwyr stepped away from me and I sat up, glaring at Bishop.
Bishop laughed. “You forgot that I’m not alone. Karnwyr likes to play hide and seek too.”
“He finds the prey for you! It’s unfair!”
Bishop grinned widely, ferally, his eyes gleamed with lust and for some reason my heart skipped a beat before it started to race. His whole being was tense, as if he was about to jump on me, ravage me, consume me like I was his prey.
I stood up only to be captured within Bishop’s strong arms. I gasped as I felt his mouth devouring my neck and his hands tugged my armor, as if wanting it to come off just like that.
“Bishop!” I gasped as I surrendered, wrapping my arms around his neck.
“I’m not a man of words. I never was and never will be”, he spoke in a husky voice as he started to undress me. I let him do it. “All the words I have are meaningless when it comes to my feelings for you, princess.”
My headpiece, gauntlets and shoulder plates fell on the ground, letting out a distorted jingle. He then started to fumble with my chest piece.
“I want you, I need you. You are my life. When you fight a dragon, I’m frozen in place. Afraid that I might lose you despite the skills we both possess. I’m afraid to close my eyes at night when you lie wounded on your bedroll. Every waking moment I just want to fight your battles for you so that you wouldn’t get hurt.”
My chest piece fell on the ground and Bishop looked in my eyes. I cried out slightly when I saw warmth, love, affection… desire… unlike most of the time, the usual mockery was completely gone and he showed me the side of him I knew from the start he possessed, but just deeply hidden within his being.
“I know you can fight your battles, you’re strong and you don’t need me… But I just cannot imagine my life without you, ladyship. I want you to be a part of it. Not as a traveling companion or as a pretty face warming my bedroll on a cold night. I want you to be my life.”
“Bishop… I…” I was at a loss of words. His words touched me deeply; and they made my heart throb bittersweetly.
He laid me down on the damp, soft and mossy ground, his hands pulled my boots off and there I was, naked and being scorched by his blazing stare. He removed his armor and then I was imprisoned between him and the ground. His hands walked down my body, from shoulders to my sides, his thumbs gently circling around my breasts till he continued downwards.
His lips fumbled my neck and when I felt his hand opening me up, I gasped only to be muffled by his devouring kiss. His fingers dived in me, stirring me deeply and gently. His tongue fought against mine till mine surrendered utterly defeated.
I moaned against his mouth, breathing in his musky scent. His passion was no longer as aggressive as it had been few times before. This time there was no hurry. He let our desire grow and bloom slowly, so that it felt like torture. And oh, what a sweet torture it was!
“Princess, I love you”, he whispered in my ear as I wrapped my arms around him, lifting myself up, inviting him in.
I gasped and moaned as his hot, throbbing and hard manhood impaled me, reaching the very deepest parts of my being. I had never before felt him like this. Or was it because this time we did it for love and not for desire’s sake?
His arms held me tightly against him as his lips fumbled my skin while he moved slowly, lovingly. His grunts and groans were accompanied by my gasps and moans till the whole forest seemed to echo our joined voices - declaring love and affection as well as the passion we had for each other.
His scorching amber eyes stared into mine, so full of love and affection I felt my heart jump, skip a beat and then it galloped. I placed my hands on his cheeks, pulling him into a kiss as his movements sped up. I tugged his hair, owned his lips, devoured him, lifting my lower body against his, pleading and begging for more.
“My sweetheart”, he whispered, thrusting deep and fast.
“Oh gods!” I gasped as I threw my head back, arching myself like drawn bow. My mind went blank, all I could do was to feel him. His mouth sucked my breasts, his manhood penetrated me again and again. Every time he reached deeper and deeper, till I was sure he would invade the very core of my being.
“Bishop!” I cried out.
I could feel it. My desire was a huge fireball burning in the middle of my chest. It kept growing and growing, as if drawing power from our love we were consuming with our joined bodies. It wanted to explode, it wanted to shatter me into stardust.
Bishop lifted me against him and slowly turned on his back. I was sitting on him, feeling his warmth deep within. I leaned against his shoulders and started to move. Faster and faster…
“You are so beautiful”, he whispered, lifting his hand and placing it on my cheek, caressing it softly and gently.
“Oh, Bishop!” I moaned.
I wanted to explode. I wanted to feel the storm of pleasure wash over me but I wanted to feel it with him.
“My princess, look at me”, he said gently and I lifted my face. He pulled me into a kiss and he lifted his lower body.
My insides felt like it was set on fire. The fireball within me exploded so powerfully I feared that it was going to tear me apart. The waves of pleasure crashed on me and I howled. I howled Bishop’s name again and again till the forest echoed.
I slumped against his chest, breathless, trembling and quaking and filled by his love.
“I love you, Bishop”, I whispered hoarsely.
His fingers ran through my hair, then he placed his hand upon my cheek, lifting my face to meet his satisfied gaze. Gods, how his eyes burned and gleamed. He looked so gorgeous, too gorgeous to be real.
“You are my all, ladyship.”
I kissed him, slowly and gently. He answered the same way. It was meant as a thank you and as an answer that I felt the same as he did.
Once I freed his mouth, he smirked slightly - with the way that I knew all too well.
“You know”, he started as his hands walked down my sides to my hips. “I’m not quite finished with you yet.”
“Bishop-- Mmmh!” I exclaimed only to be muffled by his unrelenting kiss.
I woke up in Bishop’s arms, caged and secured against him. Morning crept through the branches, sifting sunlight so that it illuminated small areas, leaving deep shadows around them. Birds started their mixed morning choir and the whole place smelled of dew.
I looked up to see my lover’s sleeping face. I pressed my hand against his cheek, feeling the rough stubble tickle my skin. I caressed him softly, only to find myself wondering if this handsome, cocky ranger was truly mine.
“My princess”, I heard him whisper softly. His strong arms then pulled me tightly against him and his lips conquered mine. Oh, I had never felt so much love being sent through a kiss. It was so warm, so gentle, so wonderful! There was no desire, only passion and deep affection.
“If you do that every morning from now on… I want to sleep more!” I laughed once he had released me.
“I won’t let you sleep, ladyship”, he grinned playfully. “I need to show you my love.”
I giggled. “I think you showed me plenty last night. I wonder if I’m able to walk!”
His embrace tightened around me ever so slightly. He placed a soft kiss on my forehead. “I can carry you”, he whispered under his breath.
“Oh no you don’t!” I exclaimed and stood up. I wobbled as I tried to find my balance and legs. As I was about to fall, Bishop quickly caught me and helped me to regain my balance.
“Gods, you’re helpless!” he laughed.
“Whose fault is that?!” I scoffed gently. I started to search my scattered pieces of armor and got dressed once I had found them all.
“Mmm, too bad… I love to see you naked ladyship”, I heard Bishop’s disappointed but playful words behind me.
I ignored his remark as I fastened my sword on my side and turned to look at Bishop who already was in his full gear.
“So, where to now, my ranger?”
“Let’s explore a bit. I think it’s here somewhere…”
“Hmm?” I tilted my head slightly to the right, looking at him with a question. Bishop just smirked like the bastard that he was as he walked to me and took my hand into his.
“Come with me”, he said as he started to trek through the forest. I walked beside him, smiling like a little girl that had just gotten a pony.
The thick forest seemed so mystical and peaceful as we passed through it. I couldn’t help but to think that we were the only ones in this world, that the world outside was no longer existing. I didn’t mind. I was with Bishop, my ranger and my only love.
After a while we found a ruin of some old temple. I couldn’t really tell which kind it was. For me it looked a bit elven but also nordic. Time had eroded most of it, but the walls were still standing, some pillars inside reached out to heavens.
“What is this place?” I asked silently.
“I wish I knew. I found this some time ago. I thought you’d love to see it.”
I stepped closer and ducked under a fallen pillar. I entered to a huge hall - or at least something of the sort - and glanced around. Nature had taken over the whole place, leaving only the ancient statues in peace. Statues of gods I didn’t recognize.
In the middle of it all was a figure of a human, kneeled down to a prayer. He or she was dressed as a priest.
“Um…”, I started, speaking in a loud voice.
“Welcome to the Temple of Jyel, my children.”
The priest stood up and turned to look at us. He was an old high elf, his blind eyes staring at our direction.
“Jyel? Is that another name of one of the divines we worship today?” I asked, hearing Bishop scoff.
“Oh, no, Jyel is part of history long forgotten by any and all living beings. He was an elf, much like myself. Only I know his story. I wish to pass it to someone so that it could live on. I have not much time left on this plane.”
As an emphasis he started to cough coarsely.
“Please, do tell!” I asked, looking at Bishop who was just standing there, in all of his seriousness. He was still holding my hand.
“Yes, it was long before history began. Jyel was a young elf when he decided to find his destiny in a faraway place. He traveled across Tamriel, searching and searching but never finding what he was looking for. He didn’t even know for sure what his destiny was, but he was sure to find it one way or another. During all in his travels he gained quite the reputation as a spellsword. Many would come to seek his skill, many would challenge him… But it was a nordic woman, Anya, that finally caught him off-guard.”
My heart was pounding in my chest as I listened to this story. I tried to memorize it as he went so that I could write it down the moment I got the chance.
“They fought only to find they were equals, only to find that they were in love the moment they saw each other. Sword clashes changed into words of love, their fighting spirit changed into affection. It was love like no other. They traveled together, until one day Anya fell ill. Jyel was desperate as he possessed no knowledge in restoration. He left to find help… and once he got back Anya had already passed away. In his sorrow Jyel snapped his sword in two and melted the pieces to make a crown for his loved one. He buried his beloved on this very spot, and in his remaining years he build this grand temple that is now only a forgotten ruin. If you listen carefully, you can still hear their whispers of love.”
The man fell into deep silence, Bishop scoffed again and I tugged his hand firmly, giving him the glare.
“He was going to marry the girl he loved in this temple… but instead they are now buried under these ruins, hopefully side by side.”
I cried out. The story had touched me, because somehow I could see Bishop in Jyel and I was the nordic girl he had met and fell for.
“Thank you for the story, it was touching.” I said.
“Ah, thank you, my dear. You, young man”, he turned his blind eyes to Bishop. I could feel him tense beside me, as if alerted.
“Do you love this woman?”
Bishop grunted silently.
“I take that as a yes”, the priest said with a grin. “Do you wish to marry her?”
I looked at Bishop, who now crossed his arms on his chest. “That’s none of your business, priest.”
“Ah, but you see, love blinds. Eventually everything you see is meaningless. The only true thing you can see and understand is your own heart. I see through yours, youngling. And I see that you love her more than your very own life. Which is weird, because I also see that you are quite the selfish one too. Possessive even.”
The priest could not be more right. Maybe it was because of Bishop’s past - not tied to anything, always on the move… he never had anything permanent. The only things he had were his desire for mead, a warm fire to keep the cold at bay and his companion Karnwyr.
Bishop grunted again.
“It is said that once a pair of true star crossed lovers get married in this temple, the spirits of Jyel and Anya will be set free.”
“Set free?” I wondered. “Are they not resting in peace?”
“It is Jyel’s guilt for not being able to save his beloved one that keeps them apart forever.” the priest explained in a sad tone. “Will you help their spirits to find rest at last?”
It was sudden - for a fleeting moment I saw a young man standing in the place of the old priest. An elven man, with curious, pleading eyes, dark hair and fair skin common to the high elf. He was tall, almost seven feet, walking in an armor I didn’t recognize. As the vision disappeared I looked at Bishop.
“What do you say, my love?”
Bishop’s amber eyes were gentle as they turned to look into mine. His cheeks started to turn red and he turned his gaze away. His mouth moved in silent words I could not quite hear.
“What was that, my ranger? Cat got your tongue?”
“I was supposed to…” he mumbled.
I touched his shoulder. His hand took mine and he pulled me into a kiss, leaving me breathless against his chest. “Will you marry me?” he asked silently.
“Yes!” I gasped.
“Then it’s settled”, the priest said. “Let me do the honors. I am a priest after all.”
Bishop looked into my eyes and smiled as he took my hand and escorted me in front of the priest. We stared at each other once the priest started his speech.
“In a time long forgotten, only one power could overcome everything. It could unite continents, kingdoms and races, it could destroy them just the same. But as we have come to witness, nothing can destroy love, not even love itself. We all yearn for it, we all deserve it. And once we have it within our grasp, we do not want to let it go.”
As an emphasis Bishop’s hold from my hand tightened slightly. I smiled at him.
“Now men and mer alike have forgotten the ultimate power - the power to love and be loved in return. Greed… even if a form of love, it still reigns over the purest of feelings, the True Love that I see in you two. Cherish it, cherish each other and no one will break you two apart. Now, young man, I ask of you: Will you take this woman to be the one and only for your heart and soul? Will you agree to be bound to her and only to her till the rest of eternity?”
“I will”, Bishop answered solemnly, looking deep into my eyes.
“And you, young lady”, the priest turned his empty eyes to me. He repeated the questions.
“I will!” I cried out.
“May eternal love bless you both. May it be true and strong. You may kiss her, youngling.”
Bishop released his full onslaught against my lips. He pulled and pressed me tighter and tighter against his stout figure, devouring and consuming me passionately. Our tongues started the battle for dominance - his won it within seconds.
I was so happy I wanted to cry! I was Bishop’s now, in heart and soul. When we released each other from the kiss and turned to look at the priest, he was no longer there. We glanced around and we turned to look at the entrance, both of us gasped in awe and shock.
Where the ruined entrance once was, now it was in its full glory, two heavy doors wide open to the blooming flower field outside. At the door stood a young woman with flaming red long hair, wearing an ancient nordic armor and a greatsword resting on her back. By her side stood a young elven man, in an armor I had never seen. His sword was resting on his side and they were holding hands as they looked at us with a smile.
“Thank you… for releasing… us…”
The words seemed to come from afar as the two turned around and walked to the flower field. The vision disappeared in a flash of light, leaving me and Bishop standing in a ruined temple.
I understood now. The priest was Jyel, unable to rest because he had failed his loved one. Only seeing a union of love coming true in his temple, he was able to be united with his long, long, long lost love.
Bishop took me in his arms and carried me out of the ruin. I glanced at it once we were far enough. For some reason all the mysteriousness had vanished around it and it was only a pile of rubble. I felt so sad to see it like that. I promised myself to come back to this place and make sure no one would forget its existence. I would make sure the story of true love would remain alive.
I looked into Bishop’s eyes, they were promising an endless night full of pleasure.
“I’m not going to let you rest, my wife”, he groaned quietly.
“I wouldn’t dare, my ranger hubby.” I giggled.
“I’m going to make love to you alot, ladyship.”
I pinched his cheek playfully before planting a moist kiss upon it.
“Then what are you waiting for! The day is young, we are all alone here. No one would find us if we made some noise.”
He put me on my feet, kissing me passionately. He hands removed my armor and I removed his. I admired his muscular figure, drawing every line in my mind as I let my eyes wander. I was sure he was doing the same to me. His eyes wandered on my naked body, eyes keen and wide, drinking in the sights.
“Gods, you’re beautiful!” he gasped after a long silence. “I can’t believe I’m so lucky to have you as my own.”
“Bishop… I think I’m the lucky one.”
His arms wrapped around me, pulling me closer.
“I love you, princess”, he whispered before he placed his lips against mine.
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