The Acrobat’s Daughter

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Part of an unconnected series of stories following a young adventurer named Journey, who gets into various amorous adventures.

The story follows our hero as he is hired as a courier. As he is on the road, he joins up with a caravan. This story started out with a different outcome in mind, but evolved this way.

——————–

Traveling on your own was never easy, especially if you have to do it on foot. My ultimate destination, Braycastle, was still a few days travel away. To make it even worse, it was an unseasonably hot day. It didn’t start out that way. I had been awake since before dawn, and I started my trip early. The day started out cool, but as the sun got higher it got hotter and hotter. It was still mid morning, and I was building up a bit of a sweat.

Unfortunately for me, there were hardly any clouds in the sky to offer me protection. Fortunately for me, the road I was following crossed over the Jules River several times. There was no lack of fresh water, and if things got too hot I wouldn’t be too far away from a chance at a quick dip.

I was traveling relatively lightly. A hat provided me some protection from the sun, and I had decided early on to put my jacket away into my bag on my back. Along with the jacket, were my rations, a few camp necessities, and the book I was being paid to take to Braycastle. I had done some courier work before. Usually it was one merchant needing something delivered to another within the city. Occasionally though, I was offered a job to carry some cargo from one town to another. These usually paid well, and this job was no exception.

I had received her message earlier that day. “I hear you can be of service to me. Come to the Ivy and Briar. Five bells.” A quarter till five bells I made my way down to the Marble Quarter. Just as I was told, there it was, the Ivy and Briar. It was a house of luxuries and antiquities. The building was welcoming, with large windows, and the namesake ivy climbing up over half of the building. Coming up to the door, I tested the door. It was open, so I didn’t bother knocking and walked right in.

There was a small tinkiing of a bell as the door closed behind me.I looked around the establishment. Around the large room were a series of large display cases, well lit by the large windows and a large fireplace. Looking around, I didn’t see the proprietor. Taking a closer look at the cases, I examined their contents. Within were a wide variety of objects: ornate blades, tapestries, prints, and one case was filled with jewels of all kinds. There were even a couple sets of armor, standing guard in the corners of the shop.

“Impressive aren’t they?” a voice behind me said. I jolted, and turned around. Before me was a woman standing in the doorway leading upstairs. Older than me, she had an imposing air. She was wearing a sweeping dark dress that extended to the floor. Her hair was pulled back, and around her neck was a red jeweled pendant emphasizing a long neckline. She walked up to me with a hand extended. I shook it, as she introduced itself, “I’m Saray Briggs, owner of the Ivy and Briar. You are…?” Everything about her from her fashion, to the tone of her voice, to her sheer physical presence gave you the sense that when she spoke you listened.

“Journey,” I replied.

“Good, good,” she said with an assured smile, “I was hoping you had gotten my message.” She went to the door, locking it. “We don’t need any interruptions as I tell you what I need do we? Come. Follow me.” She quickly walked to the stairs. I felt a little lost in her wake, but followed closely behind. There was a small benefit of the good view of Saray’s legs as she walked to the top of the stairs.

She turned to the left into a spacious bedroom and office space whose walls were covered in bookshelves. “You may think the real value of my goods would be in the trinkets and jewels downstairs, but the real value is in books. They are very difficult to produce. They can easily be damaged or destroyed, and only the most educated…and by educated I mean richest can take advantage of them. Can you read?”

I admitted that I could manage what I needed, but had little chance to read for pleasure. Saray looked embarrassed that she had overstepped with her question. Her concern relaxed me. She continued on with the job at hand, “Anyway, what I’m saying is that I need you to take a very valuable book for me from here in Louton to a merchant in Braycastle. You’ve come well recommended by a number of my contacts in town including: the Merchants Guild, the Changers Guild, the…Thieves Guild. I’m hoping you won’t let me down,” she said, giving me a knowing look.

“I’ve already been paid a deposit for the book, so you wouldn’t need to worry about having to handle the money. Payment will be handled through the Changer’s Guild. If you accept this job, I will give you 150 pieces today in addition to some you will need for your travel to Braycastle. On your return, you will get 2500 pieces.”

I blinked at that number, “That…certainly is a generous number. This must be some book…”

Coming closer, she whispered conspiratorially, pendik escort “It is.” She turned around, and opened up a panel hidden in her bed. She came back carrying a small book. “It may not look it, but this book is older than anyone you know, thrice as old in fact.” She had come close, and I could feel her heat, her excitement. I was actually getting a little thrilled by the thought of something so old, something so…powerful?

“Now if you can deliver this for me, you can make me very, very rich.” She took a moment, set the little book onto a table nearby. Leaning close to me, she whispered, “If you can do this for me I will make it worth your time.” She had placed a hand on my now growing bulge. “Fail to deliver the book though,” she leaned in eye to eye with me, “and you will be made to suffer.” She gave my cock an uncomfortable squeeze and backed off.

The memory of the Ivy and Briar filled me with a little thrill. This little adventure could potentially land me quite the landfall…and then some. The book was currently safely in its own little bag, sealed by wax paper to protect it from the water or exposure. I didn’t have to worry about the book for now though, I just had to focus on the trip to the Braycastle.

As I was walking a small caravan started to overpass me. A series of wagons and riders started to pass. It looked like a group of traders and various hangers on, musicians, and the like. “Ho there!” a friendly looking man with a gray beard called out. He slowed his wagon and pulled it to my side of the road. “Which way are you traveling young man?” he asked.

“Well, I’m making my way towards Terrydale, but my goal is Braycastle.” I provided.

“We can take you along with us that way if you wish, but Bray is a bit out of the way,” he lifted a box off his seat next to him, placing it into his wagon behind him. “Hop on.”

I obliged and climbed up onto his wagon settling down next to him. “This is mighty kind of you sir. You can call me Journey if you like.”

He nodded, and offered his hand, “My name is Nathan, but everyone calls me Natt.”

“Thanks again Natt.” We chatted passing the time, talking with the other members of the caravan. He told me of his travels and the other members of the group. There were a couple of families hauling the early harvest, a couple pairs of traders, a monk, an entertainers troupe, and even a trio of bounty hunters that offered their protection services. Apparently Natt had lived quite the life, working a little bit of everything. His early life was as a part of the army. He had been a sailor, tried his hand at smuggling, had a brief stint as a musician, in addition to a few other trades. Currently, he was working as a carpenter.

The bounty hunters passed us by on their horses. It turned out that they were three brothers named Jean, Olivier, and Alex. They were on the trail of a man accused of murder in Tranover, and arson in Hollygate and Morriston. The brothers had been hired on to escort the little caravan as it made its way across the countryside. It was a convenient little arrangement. The bounty hunters got where they wanted to go and were paid a little on the way there. In return the caravan got some muscle for protection. I liked their friendly and easygoing manner. They were friendly, joking with each other and the travelers as they kept watch.

Ahead of Natt’s wagon was the traveling troupe’s wagon. The troupe had four members, seemingly unrelated, all sharing the same wagon. The oldest, known as Alden, was a round little graybeard who would lead the caravan in popular folk songs. He would strum on a lute and sing in a wonderful baritone. His wife would accompany him singing and clapping along, though mostly she would man the reins and keep the wagon on track. Natt told me her name was Agatha. Apparently the two of them had been together for at least a dozen years if not more. After each song the caravan gave its round of applause and the happy couple would give their bows.

The other two members were a pair of young women. During Alden’s songs, they would dance and tumble about showing their flexibility and acrobatics. Perhaps their most spectacular trick was a flying leap out of the back of the wagon, flipping out and landing on their feet. The acrobats were a pair of sisters, Illya and Anya. Illya was tall and thin, with light brown hair. She seemed to be especially adept at tumbling. She would occasionally do one without any notice, flipping and cartwheeling just for the fun of it. On the other hand Anya was diminutive, with darker hair. While capable of similar tumbling feats as her sister, it seemed that she was particularly renowned for her feats of balance. At times she would walk by Natt’s wagon on her hands, making us laugh with her jokes. For the most part though they would dance about with each other in time to the lute, spinning and tumbling. More than once I would catch Anya looking my way. Finally, after catching one last fleeting look from the diminutive brunette I gave her a wink and a smile. Embarrassed, she blushed and looked away.

Natt noticed the flirtation, and maltepe escort muttered to me, “You be careful with that one. I don’t want to see her hurt.”

I replied, “You have my word. She seems more than capable of taking care of herself though.” At that he only gave me a look.

The call came back that we were making camp. Slowly Natt followed the rest of the wagons into the campsite adjacent to the main road, tutting and coaxing his horse as we settled in. There was a large flat clearing next to the river. The wagons formed into an irregular circle, with Natt’s wagon on one end, next to the troupe’s. Someone was already working, building a large roasting fire in the center of the camp. It was just starting to get to dusk as the sun was starting to get obscured by the trees.

After helping to get Natt squared away, and his horse dealt with and watered, I let him know that I would make my way upriver for a quick bath. The day had been long and hot, and while the caravan had been a boon, I was still worn out and soaked through with sweat.

“Make sure to get back quick, it looks like they are planning on roasting the flank of a pig and cooking some potatoes. You don’t want to miss out,” Natt advised.

I assured him that I wouldn’t and headed up the bank of the river, hoping to make use of the rest of the light I had remaining. Less than a ten minute stroll up the river I found a good spot. Setting down my back, wedging it against the base of a large boulder, I began to strip off my clothes. Giving each of them a quick dunk and squeeze,I set them on a series of sun baked rocks near the bank of the river and waded in. It was colder than I expected, but invigorating after the long day. It was just what I needed. Groaning, I stretched out my muscles, rubbing my sore legs and feet. Taking a small amount of sand, I scrubbed my neck and armpits. It felt good, and I was refreshed after getting up early and my day of travel.

I started to make my way back to the shore, but just as my knees rose above the level of the water I heard something. I stopped. There it was again. It sounded almost like giggling. Continuing my way onto shore I called out, “Hullo. Hullo!” No response, and by the time I got back to my clothing all I could hear was the sound of movement in the brush further in. Quickly I donned my clothes and pack, and hurried back to the camp.

By the time I got back to camp, it had gotten dark. Looking around, it didn’t seem like anyone was missing. My stomach started to growl at the smell of well cooked food. It seemed like everyone was around, idly chatting and eating. Natt waved me over to a seat next to him. He was digging into a bowl for himself, and had a bowl for me. Gratefully, I took the bowl from him and dug in. Sparingly seasoned, it was still well cooked. I wouldn’t complain about a hearty bowl of dinner in hand. After the long day, we sat in relative silence, filling up. Licking it clean, I raised it up, “My compliments to the cooks!”

“Hear, hear!” came a chorus of agreement.

Natt and I were chatting with one of the families, passing time, chatting about the harvest, farming, and that one Autumn I worked in an orchard. “So, just as I had set the pressed apples in the still…” I was in the middle of my story when I was interrupted by a call for a song. Alden had gotten his lute back out and was tuning it. He smiled, and started up a few notes making sure the sound was right. After a short cheer he started up a well known two step, “The Bear and the Boy.” Soon the whole camp was clapping along and both Anya and Illya had showed off with a well rehearsed routine. Alden followed up with a slow tune, with Agatha beginning a mournful solo, “The Last Time Away.” By the time she was done, I could see a couple handkerchiefs had made their way out to dry some eyes. Alden then called out, “Let’s liven things up a bit,” and set to start with a traditional jig, “The Way Round the Bend.” First everyone clapped along, but soon we were on our feet. The music was so infectious, that we paired up and started into a series of rounds. Throughout the song the men were passed around from partner to partner, and by the time we reached the last rotation I had danced with each lady, ending with Anya.

Anya and I twirled and stepped as the music sped up for its finale. She held on tight as we danced faster and faster. First I spun her one way, then another. Bringing her back around, I whipped her back dipping her low. As the song reached its finale I pulled her tight against me. We locked eyes. We were both out of breath, and she could certainly feel my arousal. Holding on to each other for just a second longer, we turned and bowed to Alden, then turned to give each other a small bow.

“You dance…surprisingly well. What did you say you did again?” the brown haired beauty asked.

“Oh, at this point I’m just travelling to Braycastle for a job. I do all sorts of things, mostly work with my hands when I get the chance though,” I replied.

“Truly? Well, hopefully you’ll get your chance soon,” she said coyly, making her way to her seat.

“A song! kartal escort A song!” I found myself alone next to the fire. I smiled broadly to the crowd. Waving my hands to quiet them, I asked Alden, “Do you know the ‘Duchess’ Secret?” He gave a hearty laugh, “Of course I do.” It was a well known, and bawdy, tavern standard honoring the marriage of the Duchess and the Duke a few years back.

The first few notes of the song rang through the air and I began:

-The Duchess had a secret,

-She would always keep it.

-The Duke knew he had a beautiful bride,

-That night he gave her a thorough ride.

-It was hidden in her eyes,

-Her most secret prize.

*

-The Duchess had a secret,

-She would always keep it.

-Lifting up her lacy frock,

-He shoved within his lusty cock.

-Feeling the wet inside,

-He thrust until she sighed.

*

-The Duchess had a secret,

-She would always keep it.

-Soon after the lady strips,

-He placed the cock within her lips.

-Deep inside he forced his shaft,

-All the while she pumped the haft

*

-The Duchess had a secret,

-She would always keep it.

-Feeling the Duke’s mighty thrust,

-The Duchess couldn’t sate her lust.

-She took the chance to bounce on top,

-Riding until she made him pop.

When I finished I gave the crowd a little bow. They responded with applause, some laughing, some blushing. Jean asked his brother, “I don’t get it. What was the Duchess’ secret?”

Alex, giving me a wink, “She wanted it up the arse!” This brought another round of laughter. Meeting my eye, Natt gave me a wry smile. When I saw Anya, she couldn’t even meet my gaze.

Sitting down next to Natt he clapped me on the back. “I didn’t think you had that in you youngster.”

“It’s just one of my many talents,” I said brightly.

“Well maybe we’ll just let you stick around,” he said looking towards the fire where one of the farmers was getting up to sing a ditty. We sat comfortably, watching on as a couple more songs were sung. Night was called and we all made our way to our own spots for the night.

I had settled on sleeping in a small grove of trees just beyond the edge of the camp, refusing the offers of places inside the camp. Too many close calls in the past taught me to settle in spots that enabled a quick getaway if things got too dangerous. Surrounded by the underbrush, I lay down comfortably in a small clearing. My pack made for a reasonable, if lumpy pillow, while my jacket acted as an effective blanket. I settled down for the night, letting the night sky wash over me. It was a cloudless night with just a sliver of moon above the camp.

I was just dozing off when I heard a sound in the brush nearby. I knew that Oli was keeping watch, but that was towards the roadside. Reaching up, I made sure that my dagger was within easy access from my bag. Looking toward the sound, I saw the outline of a figure just at the edge of my little clearing. Sitting up, the figure stepped forward. It turned out to be Anya.

“What are you doing here?” I asked her.

“I’ve been looking for you,” she said. “I heard you were going to Braycastle. That means you are going to be leaving the caravan tomorrow.” She took a step closer.

“That’s true. It won’t be long once we get on the road that I’ll have to turn north,” I confessed. Folding my jacket in half, I set it aside.

“So it’s true. You’re going to leave us. I just thought…” she trailed off. She looked a bit defeated.

Standing up, I went to her putting an arm around her shoulder. Anya turned toward me looking up. We stood like that for a long moment looking into each other’s eyes. Suddenly she reached up, pulling my head down for a kiss. It was tender, and sweet. We lingered there feeling the other’s warmth. Pulling back, I looked into her eyes. She was hopeful and longing. Leaning back down I kissed her more vigorously, probing her lips with my tongue. She opened, meeting my tongue with hers. Anya leaned close, pressing her body against me. With one hand I grabbed her firm ass. Sliding it down, I pulled up her leg.

I turned her head, trailing a series of kisses along her cheek up to her ear. I nibbled the lobe, moving up licking and teasing the rest of the ear. Whispering to her, “You dance like fire.” At that she pulled away from me. Looking at me she turned around, moving her hips back and forth bewitchingly. She trailed one hand up her ass. Bending over she planted her other hand on the ground and promptly flipped over to where she was facing me. Sensuously she placed a hand on one breast, and the other tracing just the fingertip of her crotch as she walked towards me. “Is this fire enough for you?” she purred.

Grabbing her, I pulled her close and aggressively kissed her, thrusting my tongue inside her mouth. Our tongues danced together as I reached down to cup her breast. She sighed as I squeezed and teased the petite breast through the material of her shirt. I gasped as I felt her hand reach down and squeeze my now thoroughly erect cock through the material of my trousers. As we kissed back and forth she rubbed up and down my shaft. I felt her fumble with my belt, unlatching it. Turning my head up, she kissed down my neck. I let out a small groan as she found a sensitive spot just above my collarbone.

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