Henric and Alex XXIV (v1.3)

Aug 1st, 2014
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  1. Tags: Female Squire / Male Squire
  4. Alex’ face had swollen in the night somewhat and she had a pronounced black eye. That happened when you got kicked there. But she cleaned herself and put on better clothes, awkwardly surrendering her possessions to maids in The Queen’s employ who offered to clean them for her.
  6. She stayed in her room for most of the day. No one came to get her or talk to her or give her any news. She didn’t really want any news--the world could stay exactly in the state of bliss that it was in now, where she was free and safe. Part of her wanted to see the other squires--especially Ellis--but in enjoying her independence from Henric she had to also celebrate independence from everyone else.
  8. Except the maids washing her things that brought her breakfast and lunch here, she conceded to herself. She came up with a few lies to tell her father about why she was switching knights and training alongside another squire from here on out. When the bruises on her face faded, she decided that she wanted to ask Sir Isaac if she could go visit her dad. She hadn’t visited him since she had become a squire. But he hadn't exactly tried to visit her, either.
  11. The squires wanted to know what was happening. They were told Henric was a traitor. They were told Alex was not. They were told Alex had put up with a lot of shit from Henric, in a tone that begged them not to delve too deeply into the subject, especially with Alex. They understood not to bother her about it to the extent that they were scared for her. Ellis knew more than he wished he did, but he only told Sir Isaac when they could be alone, standing outside on a balcony near their shared room.
  13. “Alex told me you knew,” Isaac said sympathetically. “And he said he didn’t let you talk.”
  15. “I feel so bad I couldn’t help him,” Ellis said. His voice was rough. He usually tried not to confuse himself thinking about Alex, whether that friend was man or woman, and when he had to speak he didn’t know what to call her. Him was easiest, a habit. Alex always told him not to worry about trying to figure it out anyway.
  17. “Me too,” Isaac said. “But he survived it, and he doesn’t hate us. He still wants to be a knight. That’s… about the best I can imagine anyone coming out of what he went through.”
  19. Ellis gestured around his shoulder, where on her body Alex' biggest scar lived. “Did he tell you about the… on his skin?”
  21. Isaac looked squeamish, but nodded. “He showed them to us. I guess you saw? I hope you haven’t done anything too… reckless.”
  23. “We haven’t had sex,” Ellis said. This was a topic that Isaac had looked the other way about before, but now that it was out that Alex was female it immediately became uncomfortable with the possibility of pregnancy.
  25. “Thank the gods you two had that much sense. You can’t risk that. It would put Alex at a lot of risk if you exchanged fluids and anything came of that.”
  27. Ellis knew as much and nodded.
  30. Sir Cyrus finally knocked on Alex' door in the evening. In clean clothes, she answered it, and looked at him expectantly with one good eye and one eye half-shut, puffy, and purple.
  32. “Henric woke up,” he said, scratching at his beard.
  34. Anxiety crept back into her heart like a spider.
  36. “We’re going to interrogate him. If you want--and I will not force you--”
  38. “I’ll come,” Alex decided. She gave a resolute sort of nod, and stepped out into the hallway with him. “I need to… say things.”
  40. “Do you think he’ll confess more if you’re there?”
  42. “He’s probably just going to scream profanity at everyone,” she sighed. “But I don’t know.”
  44. “Are you going to scream back?”
  46. “Not so much screaming but… yeah, in a way. Maybe. No promises. But I'll try not to.”
  48. That was understandable.
  51. Sir Cyrus descended the stone stairs into the dungeon and looked at the man in the cell. Henric was pale and ragged, still bloody and dirt-covered from the fight and shirtless. The cut on his abdomen was bandaged but not stitched, but his shoulder was a mess of stitches and padding put together by exhausted doctors after they'd worked on every man before him.
  53. Alex followed after Cyrus and looked at her pathetic knight. He was a mess, but still the sight of him filled her with fear. She had been forced to sleep in his arms, she could never be comfortable in his presence. He was half-asleep.
  55. Isaac and Cuthbert appeared soon after. He spent a long moment re-appraising his former comrade (who, according to the lad, had never truly been a friend at all) and asked Tohru's dungeon guards for a moment of privacy. They consented and left the knights and Alex with Henric. Alex spotted a shelf with Henric’s possessions on it--among them the sword, and her eyes lingered there until someone spoke.
  57. Cyrus started talking in his clearest voice. "Alex told us who he is. And he told us what you did to him these last few years," He sounded as though it meant that Henric had defeated him rather than the other way around. Knowing that a knight had been getting away with such horrible crimes made Cyrus furious, and he had spent the night unable to sleep, thinking on Alex. He considered the last two years of his--or was it her? he wondered himself, but he ultimately preferred to think of Alex as a boy for simplicity--life his greatest failure as a knight. If he could not protect a kid living under his own roof, what good was he? "I would very much like to hear your side of things and everything there is to know about Kerran."
  59. He didn't want to hear anything Henric had to say. He wanted to grab Henric by the neck and slam his face into the bars. But instead he took a chair that rested against a wall, brought it a few feet from the bars, and sat in it facing Henric.
  61. Henric raised his head and opened his wild eyes, almost savage looking. He didn’t acknowledge his squire standing nearby.
  63. "Why? Are you having trouble believing that one of your knights could have done such things?" He struggled to stand up, grunting and groaning in pain as he leaned and shifted. The chains on his wrists and ankles clanked, and he walked as far as they would allow. "Do you doubt the little slut lay down and let me have my way with her? A proper warrior could have done better to protect herself."
  65. Alex crossed her arms on her chest and was reassured to see the knights subdue their frustrations as well. If there was anything Henric could have said to drive nails into his coffin, that would have been it. Ideally she would have been able to leave it alone, but when none of the knights said anything and there was a silence, she snapped at him. “Fuck you. A proper warrior wouldn’t have a stab wound through his shoulder right now.”
  67. He rolled his eyes, typical that Alex would only think that a superfluous wound inflicted on her enemy meant she was a good knight. Had she not learned to plan ahead? To use tactics? To use every expendable resource in her possession? “You still have so much to learn, though I’m sure Isaac would be glad to help you, when you’re not fucking his squire of course.”
  69. Alex blanched and grit her teeth. “I never,” she asserted, and looked sideways at Sir Isaac apologetically, and repeated more softly just to him. “We never did… everything.”
  71. “Self-control,” he reminded her quietly, and she nodded to him obediently.
  73. “Henric,” Cyrus said more sternly. “Talk about Kerran. None of us are interested in listening to you act like an animal.”
  75. “There’s nothing I could tell you about Kerran you don’t already know.”
  77. That bolstered Cyrus’ confidence. He hadn’t told Henric anything of what Alex had said of Kerran, and took this to mean that Henric had expected her to tell them everything.
  79. “How many people do you think you’ve killed doing non-knight work?” Cuthbert asked. He had been most fooled. They hadn’t been close friends, but he didn’t get to spend time with many other people in their tiny barracks. He walked up to the bars of the cell, then paused and backed up. He spotted keys left on a ring hanging on a wall and took them, and opened the cell, stepping inside, still out of Henric’s reach. “I always assumed you were just camping with the boy when you left on long trips.”
  81. “I’ve killed no men. I’ve killed beasts, I’ve killed goblins, elves, but no men.” He smirked as Cuthbert neared him, curious what the knight might do.
  83. “Elves are men under the law,” Cuthbert said. He knew elves, plenty of them. Henric’s racism shouldn’t have been unexpected at this point though.
  85. “And you hired humans to use as shields,” Alex said, this time forcing her tone level. “You let them die so you wouldn’t have to pay them and you wanted me to murder goblins.”
  87. “Those men wished to have fame and glory and coin to feed their families. For those who lived I gave them their coin. I am a man of my word after all.” He smiled and leaned as close to Cuthbert as he could. “And even now, you have my word that I will be king.”
  89. Cuthbert drew back his arm and punched Henric between the eyes as hard as he could. Cyrus was on his feet immediately, going into the cell himself to grab his knight to keep him from doing too much damage.
  91. “Easy,” Cyrus said, putting a hand on Cuthbert’s shoulder.
  93. “Right, right. Sorry.” Cuthbert shrugged his brother knight off of him raising his hands in the air. Henric raised himself smiling at the power he had over Cuthbert. He may have been in chains, but Cuthbert was a slave to his own emotions, emotions caused by Henric. “I lost a bit of control. It won’t happen again.” Almost immediately after finishing his sentence his fist flew back into Henric’s face. Cyrus reached for him once more, pulling him back this time.
  95. “Even Alex can punch harder than that.” Henric spat out a wad of blood from his mouth.
  97. Cyrus shoved Cuthbert out of the cell, and Isaac pulled him gently to stand against the wall with him and Alex. The three of them watched Cyrus stand next to Henric for a moment, and then deliver a much more vicious blow to Henric’s gut, over the cut Yuya had left.
  99. “Traitor,” the knight growled, backing away now. He simultaneously did and did not regret hitting Henric, and realized that if he didn’t leave the cell he’d probably end up beating the shit out of him. “Alex, if you have any other business you need to finish, now would be the time. I don’t think we’re going to get much of worth out of this scum.”
  101. Alex had no speech prepared. So she told Henric her plans. “I’m gonna take my sword back. And I guess… Ian, since he’d probably die otherwise. And I’m gonna train with Sir Isaac.”
  103. Henric was doubled over in pain, gurgling as he fell to his knees. He almost didn’t even hear Alex. He wished he didn’t hear Alex, but he did. She was going to take all he had, then Isaac was going to take the rest. It made him feel worse than his injuries did--she belonged with him and no one else. They were meant to be together, she was meant to be his queen.
  105. When he said nothing more to her in response, the squire looked at him one last time where he was on his knees in pain. This was how she wanted to remember him.
  107. “His things are over here,” Isaac said, indicating a shelf. He pulled down a bundle of fabric and opened it on a meager table the guards played cards on. It clanked and rattled with the sounds of armor, and sure enough it was full of them.
  109. Alex took the sword and left Henric’s dented, dirty armor. He would never be able to force her to put it on him again. She pulled her sword a foot or so from the sheathe, looked, and slid it back in with a very satisfying sound of metal scraping. The blade needed to be cleaned. It wasn't magic and the metal had proven very weak, but it was her prize.
  111. Isaac waited for Alex to give him the okay, and they left in a group, sending the guards back in behind them.
  115. Henric wallowed in self-pity and misery, sitting with his back to the wall and his legs splayed in front of him. His left shoulder hurt him so badly that he almost wanted to tear it off. It wasn’t his sword arm, he reasoned. He could live without it if it kept hurting this much.
  117. Kerran joined him to throw his own pity party partway through the night. The necromancer looked human, and currently he looked almost as bad as Henric did--disheveled, dizzy, ill, dirty. He sat down from the shadows, sinking to rest at Henric's side.
  119. “I spent a decade hiding those bodies out there,” Kerran began in a whisper. He’d made sure that guards were asleep on their posts. “I made them tunnel themselves, foot by foot, underground into places for them to wait. And I left them there until I thought I had enough. What did I do wrong?”
  121. Henric looked at him in the dark, with some faint yellow light from down the hall catching in his blue eyes.
  123. “You’re a terrible tactician,” he said bluntly. “You think that once you have enough soldiers that you can just brute force your way through. You didn’t think that anyone would come and see you, and that if they did you’d be able to fight them. But if you were doing it right, you would never even have had to worry about them finding you.”
  125. Kerran listened. He certainly hadn’t been able to grab Yuya’s soul, and he had relied on that. And he was limited by the necessity of staying relatively close to his army.
  127. Henric went on. “You have some ungodly powers. You’re a demon. But you are out here alone, trying to do everything yourself. You waste all your mind on books and trying to get money to get more books and spying on people who might have books. You need people you can trust who can work together to plan things for you, and you can just work with your… work with your soul projects.”
  129. “I need people like you?” asked the necromancer with an unhappy smile. "That's what you're saying?"
  131. “At the very least. If I’d been in charge you’d already be the king of Fierskeep. And I’d still have Alex and Yuya would be dead.”
  133. “Unfortunately Yuya’s very much alive,” Kerran said with a shudder. He was not looking forward to seeing her again, but it would be soon. He tossed an arm over Henric’s agony-ridden shoulders, and with his other hand offered him a gift. The remnants of the wooden puzzle. “Here’s my peace offering, old friend. Would you mind coming with me? I can supply the bodies and magic and spies and anything you can’t do, I can. You were always important to me, Henric. Leave Roxanne for the time being.”
  135. He took the puzzle box with his right hand and held it in his palm. A heartbeat or so later, it sputtered and the object coughed up some translucent, sickly wisps. They slid like molasses through the air until they could safely bury their fragments in his chest. All the rest of the soul he'd been missing.
  137. As before, he felt no difference. “And you’ll make me a king?”
  139. “Of course, my old friend,” Kerran said.
  141. They left together in a blink of shade.
  145. It was a scare when Henric vanished, but the knights planned anyway.
  147. They got their stories straight: he was missing in action, presumed dead. There would be no report of Alex’ sex anywhere, no report of Henric as a traitor, because it would have raised questions about the squire they all wanted to protect. It made her cry when they went over the paperwork together with the other squires present as well. It was the most wonderful feeling in the world to not have to lie to friends, and to know they would protect her. Simultaneously, it embarrassed her to cry. It just wasn't manly.
  149. In the first few weeks after Henric was gone, she slept in the same room as Isaac and Ellis. She’d tried climbing into bed with Ellis at night underneath Isaac’s loft, but he always heard them somehow and prevented them even from cuddling.
  151. His prudishness was killing them both now that he knew Alex was female, and they had to get creative about sneaking away. It had been easier to do things with Ellis when the knight hadn’t been worried about her getting pregnant.
  153. After the first few weeks of relief and freedom from Henric, violence, and rape, she felt a change in herself. The novelty of safety was gone, and part of her felt that this life of reading books and studying alternating with swordplay and archery was a dream. Sometimes Alex was terrified that when she went to bed she’d wake up in Henric’s arms again.
  155. Nightmares came after that, nightmares like Alex had never had before because of how real they were. She dreamed of beatings and rape and being forced down into Henric’s bed with him breathing into her ear. Alex could smell him sometimes when she was awake, could feel a warm body on the mattress at her side when she lay alone. Plenty of nights she woke up when she shouted in her dream and it carried to real life. And she would cry when she noticed that she was wet, and never tell Isaac and Ellis anything more than that she’d had a horrible dream.
  157. Isaac started letting her share a bed with Ellis when her dreams became too disruptive. Isaac didn’t want Alex to infantilize herself by crawling into Ellis’ arms when bad feelings came her way, to think that she could only be healed through someone else. He wanted her to be able to work through them on her own because it was obvious to him that she had guts, but he didn’t know how to teach her to overcome nightmares of something he couldn’t relate to. So he let her seek solace with her fellow squire and hoped that someday she could live without fear.
  160. They still used the barn loft to hide out around dusk when they were done with chores. Alex had kept Ian reluctantly, but found that without his master the stallion was in a funk, too sad to even try to bite Alex. She’d ridden him a few times to give him exercise and get him used to her and he hadn’t even bothered to try to throw her off.
  162. Laying in Ellis’ arms above the red horse’s stall, Alex pressed her face against his neck and lay her head on his chest. “I don’t think Isaac needs to worry. I don’t think I can have kids.”
  164. Ellis wanted that to be the case, but knew it was selfish to wish that the girl he loved was infertile. Extremely selfish. “It was probably Henric’s fault,” he said, hoping that would lift her spirits.
  166. She shrugged, and clung to him. “Well, we can still have fun, we just need to be careful about when you cum,” she suggested, and rolled on top of him to straddle him with a playful smile on her face.
  168. He blushed at her unexpected sexual forwardness, and Alex saw while she undid his belt. Ellis said, “Isaac says that believing stuff like that and taking risks is why half the babies in the kingdom are born.”
  170. She groaned and tilted her head back in defeat. “Ellis please. For the first time in… in years, I want sex. I really do. And you are lying here trying to talk me out of it.”
  172. “Well don’t say it like that,” he said meekly.
  174. Alex kissed his forehead. “Please, Ellis. I put you through hell before.”
  176. “No, I wasn’t, you were the one who got put through Hell,” he stammered, and sat up. Alex’ hands were resting on his thighs. “It feels strange with you… being… eager.”
  178. “I know,” she said. “I just… I know you kinda wanted to before. And now I want to.”
  180. He couldn’t really deny that. He kissed her on the lips. “I want you happy.”
  182. “I am,” she said, and she started to tear up at the edges of her eyes. “Really. I, I’m free.”
  184. They kissed again, lips meeting messily. Alex ran her fingers through his hair from his temples to the nape of his neck, lifting her hips up by getting on her knees so he could start pulling his pants down, and when his cock bounced out the girl ran her fingers up along the side to make him inhale.
  186. Ellis pushed her into the hay on her back and pulled her pants off. Her strong legs kicked at the air until they were free and she was naked from the waist down just like him. The straw bed was a golden halo around her where she lay grinning. He wrapped an arm around both of her shins to pin them together and hold her legs vertically, binding them to his chest so her feet stuck up next to his head. Alex laughed, a rare girlish giggle instead of her practiced-until-natural boyish laugh.
  188. He swooned, and pushed his way into her while her hands grabbed fistfuls of straw. “Shh!” he reminded her, half a whisper and half a concealed groan. Her instinct was to spread her legs, but he held them still playfully, grinning at her like they were wrestling and he’d taken her to the floor. It was different, but certainly no worse. He leaned down, stretching the muscles in the backs of her thighs.
  190. She was vocal, no longer suppressing her sounds of pleasure while Ellis’ hips pumped heavily back and forth and his cock slid in and out of her faster and faster. He wanted to shush her, to warn her that they might be heard but… he loved her moaning. She sounded happy and she sounded like a girl. She kept trying to buck her hips with him, but it was much less efficient with her legs together.
  192. “No,” he panted. “I got this. Trust me, if you move too much and help me out I’m just gonna cum too fast, Alex. I’d much rather drag this out.”
  194. She sat up on her elbows, breathing almost as hard as he was. There were stars in her eyes and her mouth was slightly ajar. “Well don’t stop then.”
  196. Ellis leaned in further now, so Alex’ legs were nearly pinned to her own chest. She was magnificently flexible from all the stretching they were used to. He slowed his pace--her warmth, her slippery wetness, those things were pulling him so fast to his peak, her insides squeezing him so roughly as she tensed around him. She sat up suddenly, her knees touching to her chest so she could plant a quick kiss on his lips.
  198. He pulled out of her and let go of her lips.
  200. “What’s wrong?” she asked, immediately sitting up.
  202. “I almost came,” he said, rolling back into the hay himself. “I couldn’t do it in you...”
  204. She smiled and looked at the throbbing member between his legs. Red with pronounced veins, the next thing she knew she’d sat up, crawled to him, and fit her lips around the head.
  206. It was Ellis’ turn to groan. He experienced a few moments of ecstatic surprise when her tongue lapped around his cock, and then he exploded into her mouth while he shuddered and gasped.
  208. Alex looked, pleased accomplished. It was a punishment when Henric came, but making Ellis cum made her feel like she had won some prize or award. She didn’t want it to only be a fuck you against Henric, but in part of her mind, it was.
  210. She didn’t mind swallowing his cum and licking her lips, collapsing to lie on top of him afterwards. “That felt amazing,” she murmured in his ear.
  212. “Did you finish?” he asked, a little surprised.
  214. “It’s not about that for me,” she told him. “I really don’t care I just… wanted to be with you today.”
  216. Alex stroked his hair. He mattered. She might have said something more, but they heard Sir Isaac call them in the distance, and both shut up and tried to very quietly pull on pants.
  219. Far, far away, Henric missed her terribly.
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