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Part of an unconnected series of stories following a young adventurer named Journey who gets into various amorous adventures.
This story follows our hero as he escapes to the countryside after one of his adventures gets him into trouble with the local authorities. While in the countryside, he makes a new friend.
This particular adventure is inspired by the short story “The Lightning Tree” by Rothfuss.
I had to get out of town quickly. I mean, it wasn’t my fault the sheriff of Terrydale thought I “deflowered” his “precious angel.” It was a late night, and she happened to have a room in the tavern I was a patron at. We had been chatting at the bar for most of the night. When she invited me up, who was I to say no?
It was pretty clear to me that, despite what her father may think, little Josephine had lost her flower well before our tryst. Would I have slept with the sheriff’s daughter had I known who she was, probably, but I would have given it a second thought. Nonetheless, when we parted ways the next day I didn’t think there would be much to come of it. Much to my dismay however, I started to hear word on the wind that the sheriff was looking for the “unholy scoundrel who sullied my beautiful daughter.” I strongly object to the first part. As to the second part, she was the one who asked me to sully all over her face.
“You really should keep your head down at the very least,” my good friend Alrich advised me. “If he finds you, at best he will just run you out of town. At worst I’ll be finding you in a gutter in a week or so.”
“Do you really think so?” I asked him.
“I know so,” was his reply. “Do you remember what happened to Ulfrich?”
“No…wait, yeah! Wasn’t he the one who somebody had, erm…made a eunuch?” I grimaced.
“Yes, and Ulrich had been screwing around with the sheriff’s niece. I mean, the sheriff doesn’t even like his sister, but he had Ulrich’s gibbets removed because he was diddling young Stasia. Get out. The sooner the better.”
Grimacing, “You’re right. I’ll have to get my things together, but I’ll be gone tomorrow bright and early.”
“Don’t stress. The sheriff will soon get his hackles raised about something else and he’ll have forgotten all about you. Most likely Josephine will have made another midnight rendezvous or two before the week is out, and she’ll have forgotten about you too.”
“Ouch.” I smiled at his jab. “Well, I’ll be back. Don’t worry about that. I’ll lay low until tomorrow and then head out.” We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. Alrich was a good man. It’s too bad we wouldn’t cross paths for a while now.
Getting out was the easy part. Keep your hood up, look busy, and keep walking. Fortunately the markets were closing for the week so I had my choice of crowds to accompany on my way out of town. The only potentially close call I had was when heading past the western gate. Despite my best efforts a guard chose just the right time to work his way into the crowd. Fortunately for me, the particular guard, a man named August, and I went way back. I had once gotten August out of a tight spot. He wouldn’t turn me in despite his overzealous boss.
At this point, none of that mattered. I was leagues away after a couple hours of walking now. Traveling with my little cluster of traders and families headed back to their farms, through most of the morning I eventually headed south on a side road. I didn’t have a specific destination in mind, I just wanted to get enough distance between myself and Terrydale. If I didn’t dally I could make it to Blackhall or Emberly by early tomorrow afternoon.
Honestly things could be a lot worse. It was a beautiful day. I was happy, healthy, and my pack was well stocked. Stopping for a moment, I took a good look around me for the first time since leaving town. There was a reason I had been spending time in Terrydale. It was a beautiful countryside. Just outside the city was a rolling landscape of fields and thickets. Scatterings of trees dotted the landscape and the wildflowers were in bloom. Overhead birds called their chirrups and trills to each other.
After a couple turns on the back roads, I was on what might best be described as a footpath meandering its way through the landscape. Pausing I took a moment to examine some flowers growing on the side of the path. They grew a few inches off the ground, small and white, with a hint of blue. I picked one and examined it as a few bees buzzed by. It smelled…I couldn’t describe exactly what it smelled like, but it did remind me of someone. Some lover who’s name may be forgotten, but her smell, her taste, her warmth is not.
Tentatively I popped the flower in my mouth. Disappointing to be honest, no lover’s remembrance here, really no real taste at all. Not the outcome I wanted, but a brief snack. My stomach wanted some food, but I was going to wait until at least getting past the ford of the Lesser Jules River until I would stop Manavgat escort for lunch.
From the looks of it the Jules wasn’t that far away at this point anyway. The Jules River was the main waterway that cut through the country, connecting most of the major cities and towns. The Lesser Jules was a tributary that passed nearest to Terrydale before meeting with the Jules proper nearer to Hollygate. I even passed most of a season as a ferryman at the Hollygate crossing once. It was good, honest work. I met interesting people, heard some interesting stories, and met a few…charmers that way. This would be my first time crossing the Lesser Jules in quite a while.
I could see it cutting across the green of the landscape. Lazily it poured from the north, tumbling over rocks and little falls. Honestly I could pretty easily swim cross it if I wanted. The Lesser Jules was probably no deeper than I am, and was a short stone’s throw across. Swimming came easily enough to me, and on more than one occasion it saved my life while working on the ferry. Today though if I could avoid having to get soaked if I could. The Jules River proper was usually pretty tame, but in the early Spring after the rains things could get treacherous.
Fortunately though the Lesser Jules was picturesque. Alongside it were brushes and reeds, and all up and down its banks were dotted with clusters of trees. I longed to rest in the shade of the trees, but knew I should make my way across. The footpath led up to a low sandy beach, its entrance was flanked by some brush. Here the river was just a gentle ford, the water looked to be no deeper than my knee height. The river bottom looked mostly sandy, but was dotted with a few rocks to be wary of.
Taking off my shoes and rolling up my trousers, I made sure my bag was tightly packed. Holding my shoes up I placed an uncertain step forward into the river. It was pleasantly cool. Stepping further into the river the water was up to my calves, but the sand felt good on my feet after the leagues I had traveled. Halfway across, I had made it to the deepest point and had only had to catch my balance twice. Both times an unseen rock had nearly tripped me up. I could see fish dart around me, mostly unconcerned with the intruder stomping by their little domain.
On the other side of the river there was more stable footing, so I splashed my way up to the sandy bank. It seemed though, I wasn’t alone there.
“Oh, hello there!” a voice called up from a little further the river. I turned to see a lovely young blond sitting on a rock on the shore under the shade of a tree. She was dipping her feet in water, letting them cool. She struck me as some sort of river goddess. The young woman gave me a friendly wave. Taking this as an invitation, I made my way around some bushes, and still barefoot made my way over to her.
Further up from the shore she had laid a blanket in the shadow of a large oak tree. On it sat her sandals and a small pack. Against the oak tree leaned a long crook.
“Good day to you,” I said in greeting. “I apologize, I didn’t see you there. I was a little preoccupied getting across the river.”
Turning around, she smiled up at me. She was wearing a simple white dress with a set of buttons fastening down the front. Her long hair was braided and trailed down her back. “Do not worry yourself. You must be traveling well off the beaten path to find yourself in my little woods.” Getting up, she walked over to her blanket and sat down crossing her legs under herself. “Why don’t you sit down for a while and tell me about yourself? It has been a while since I’ve talked to anyone new. I’m Florence by the way, though you can call me Flora if you’d like.” She blushed, and briefly looked away.
Finding a spot on the blanket, I sat down across from her. “It’s nice to meet you. Call me Journey.” She gently shook my outstretched hand. “What are you doing out here?”
“Well, this is my family’s land on this side of the river for about a league in each direction. We do a number of things, but for right now we are focusing on tending a herd of sheep,” she explained.
“So a shepherdess!!”
“You could call me that. It’s mostly easy work at the moment. They usually keep out of trouble. What are you doing way out here?” she asked.
“Well, at the moment I’m making my way to Emberly,” I said. “I have a couple connections around there.”
She lit up, “Oh I love Emberly. It’s just a lovely little town. Have you been there before?”
“Just the once,” I admitted.
“I wish I could go too,” Flora said just a little sadly. “They have such lovely gardens around the town center. The flowers are wonderful this time of year.” She looked so earnest and sweet.
Moving closer, “Maybe you can come with me?” I offered.
The shepherdess looked a bit resigned. “As much as I’d love to go to Emberly again, I’m needed here. Mom passed away a couple years back, and my dad hasn’t been doing the best Manavgat escort bayan lately. It’s too important for me to stay here. Besides, he wouldn’t want me going anywhere with a…young man.” She looked up slyly at me.
Putting on an air of innocence, “I would never take any fair young maiden into danger.” Putting a hand over my chest, “On my honor, I swear it.”
In a quiet voice she said, “You…you think I’m fair.” It seemed obvious to me that she wasn’t used to the kind of attention I was giving her. Living with her family, especially in these circumstances, she likely didn’t have a chance to interact too often with a handsome young gentleman like me. She was innocent, beautiful but innocent.
Moving a bit closer to her on the blanket, “Believe me when I say this, you are the loveliest creature I’ve met in a long time.” Flora blushed but it was true. She had wonderful blue eyes behind long lashes. Due to her work, her skin had seen some sun. As a result she had freckles dotting all the skin I could see. Self consciously, she turned away and stretched, unintentionally emphasizing her breasts underneath her dress. Just then my stomach broke the tension by letting out a loud growl.
She started giggling quietly, but then it grew to laughter. It was infectious and I started laughing with her. Flora covered her face, tears in her eyes. We both laughed until it hurt. Eventually we both stopped. She lay back on the blanket for a few moments to catch her breath.
“Oh, oh my, do we think we can tame that beast,” sitting up. “Would you like to share some lunch?”
“That would be great. What have you got?” Looking through my bag” I’ve packed some dried fruit, salted pork, and some biscuits.” I showed her my offerings. Folding my jacket, I placed it into the bag.
Rooting through her own pack, she lifted out a small loaf of bread, some smoked fish, and a skin of water. “I’d love some of the fruit if you have any to spare.” Handing her some, Flora said, “Thanks!” with a shy smile. I briefly brushed her outstretched hands. They were warm to the touch.
“Could you spare some of that bread? These biscuits are a bit…tough,” I asked. She tore me off a piece of the loaf, handing it to me.
For a couple minutes we ate in silence. I didn’t realize I had been quite so hungry. The bread was amazing, fluffy and savory from herbs. It seemed fresh, and when I asked her about it, Flora said that since her dad was stuck in the house he had been trying his hand at cooking and baking. “Could I have a little bit of that fish?”
Sliding up next to me, she handed me a piece. Flora Looked at me intently as I popped it into my mouth. She asked me, “Do you like it?”
Closing my eyes, “Oh, wow, this is amazing.” I opened my eyes again, and Flora was looking intensely in my eyes. This time I was a little embarrassed, looking down I happened to catch a glimpse down the front of her dress. Judging from the cleavage that was revealed, Flora’s dress did not do her justice. My eyes lingered on the pale curves that I could see. Not wanting to be caught staring, I quickly looked back up at her, and luckily it didn’t seem like she had spotted my gaze.
Suddenly I realized just how close she was. I could feel her warmth next to me. Flora was looking up at me. For a moment there was a silence between us. Hesitantly I leaned a little closer to her. For a moment she closed her eyes, moving just closer, but then I could see her change her mind.
Scooting away, she turned to face me. She fiddled with the blanket between us nervously,, picking as some fuzz. I didn’t mean to make her skittish, but the tension grew between us. Just then a lamb started bleating nearby. Flora jumped to her feet, scrambling to look for the little creature. I followed her with my gaze until she disappeared into the underbrush.
She popped back into view carrying the pitiful little creature. It was small in her arms, every once in a while giving out a little bleat. I stood up and walked over to her. “Is it okay for me to touch it?” I asked.
“Of course.” The little shepherdess smiled proudly up at me.
Reaching out my hand, I touched its wool. It was soft, curly, and warm from the sun. “How old is it?”
“She’s just a few weeks old. Her mama should be around here somewhere. I should go look for her. It shouldn’t be long,” she answered.
She walked off up the path carrying the little lamb. I sat down anxiously waiting for her. It had been a long while since I had met someone so beautiful, sincere, and innocent. I promised myself that if I could steal a kiss from her I would.
I could hear her coming this way calling out, “Journey! Are you still there?” She rounded the corner and grinned when she saw me. “Reunited with her mama once again. Crisis avoided.”
“What happens if there’s danger, you know like a wolf or something?” I queried.
She ran over to the crook leaning against the oak tree and picked it up. “Well, Escort manavgat I’ll just show them what for!” She started swinging the crook wildly over her head. It was taller than she was, and to be honest I wouldn’t want to be caught by that if Flora had her anger up. She brought it down with a resounding thud onto the ground in front of her sending some dirt flying. “No wolf would stand a chance!”
Standing up, I crouched down into a fearsome pose, “Am I a wolf Flora?” grinning at her.
She playfully swung the crook at me. I dodged to the side. The shepherdess brought it back sweeping the other way.. Ducking down under the crook, I jumped at her growling. She shrieked and turned, laughing as she ran around to the other side of the oak tree. I ran around one side. Giggling she ran around to the other side running away. We circled the tree like that a couple times, the girl keeping a safe distance around the old oak. Changing directions, I doubled back but she heard me coming and skipped off the other direction. Stopping, I ran two quick steps in the same direction, hoping to get her to circle back around. Ducking down I waited next to a particularly large root. Quietly Flora snuck around, hoping to avoid me. Looking back around the tree, she didn’t notice me waiting. Just then I jumped up at her.
She noticed me at the last second, but it was too late. Flora tried to stop, but she only managed to trip and stumble into me. Luckily I was able to catch her as she ran into me,only needing a step back to brace myself. One of her arms wrapped around me, the other dropped the crook.
“There we go, no harm done right?” I said with my arms holding her tight. She was breathing quickly, more surprised than anything. I could feel her breathing hard against me. Flora placed her head against my shoulder. She squeezed against me tighter, her breasts pressing against me. I pulled my arms away from her, giving her a chance to step away. However she stayed close. Flora smelled wonderful, a little earthy, a little salty. I wanted her. I really wanted her
Finally she stepped back from me just a half step, keeping her arm around my waist. The young woman looked up at me with just a bit of apprehension. Her eyes were bright blue, looking into mine studying me, scared, hopeful. Slipping one hand behind her head, I leaned in. She closed those blue eyes, licking her lips she lifted her face toward mine. Our lips just barely touched once, twice, three times. They were soft, waiting, accepting, receiving my kisses. After the third time, we held together for a moment. She had reached up and was holding on to my collar, keeping me close. Our kiss lingered and I could hear her sigh.
We pulled apart for a moment, and I looked to judge her reaction. Flora was looking up at me blissfully, she was still holding on to me. I gave her a small smile and asked, “Was that alright?” She blushed and looked to the ground.
“I…I haven’t been kissed before Journey. Not by anyone,” she confessed. “It was wonderful.”
With one finger I lifted up her chin and moved to kiss her again. Unexpectedly she reached up, pulling my me to her. This time she wasn’t as hesitant as before. She was bolder, more eager. We exchanged our kisses and I nibbled on her lower lip. I ran my tongue along it. Pressing further, I asked a question probing her lips with my tongue. Answering, she parted her lips. My tongue slid into her mouth.
Flora let out a small moan as my tongue touched hers. I moved my tongue around, exploring, feeling the warmth of her mouth and tongue. It retreated out of her mouth, with it her tongue followed mine. This time she mirrored my actions. Her tongue ran across my lips and probed between them. I accepted it into my mouth as our tongues danced back and forth. This continued for another minute until we pulled apart to catch our breath.
She looked up at me with her blue eyes, “Was that good?” eager to please.
I grinned at her, “That was very good.”
Suddenly grabbing her shoulders, I turned her, pushing her backwards up against the oak tree.
I grabbed one of her hands in mine, pinning it up against her head. Leaning down I kissed her aggressively, shoving my tongue inside her welcoming mouth. It darted in and out as my other hand slid up her flank. I started to kiss my way up Flora’s freckled cheek. She turned her head as my kisses made their way to her ear.
“Do you know how gorgeous you are Flora?” I whispered into her ear.
Swallowing, she whispered, “You are making me believe it.”
Nibbling her earlobe, I ran my finger along her dress until it was circling her prominent breast. Flora sighed, as she arched her back, seeking more pressure. I obliged squeezing it in my hand, rubbing my palm across the white fabric.
“Is this what you want?” I hissed into her ear. Flora responded by placing her hand over mine as I squeezed her breast.
I kissed my way back across to her lips. We frantically exchanged kisses, our tongues teasing each other. By this point my cock was fully aroused, straining against my trousers. As I pressed it against her, she gasped. I could feel her writhing against me. For a moment, I just held it there, letting her feel the shaft as she moved against it.
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