Of Kings and Queens

A pitch have yet to be written, as the plot-planning is not 100% finished, but I couldn't stay away from writing the actual story itself.
This story is about war. And with war comes hate and love, blood and tears, passion and fear.

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6. Dande

Dande, Ala'Dok

dies Martis, III Iulias, 09:26 PM

 

The inn was loud, it reeked of ale and the air was hot and wet. That was a typical setting for a night at the old Camel Inn.

Hah, what an original name... Dande gave a mocking laugh as he tied his camel to a hitching rail.

He had little gold, and that was going to be spent on a cold mug of ale. He might not enjoy the taste of alcohol, but it was the coldest thing this place sold. As he entered the crowded inn, another roar of laughter erupted, and he flinched when a busty barmaid quickly passed by with mugs of the nasty smelling ale.

It was difficult getting to the bar, when he had to squeeze himself inbetween tough, macho men and loose, curvy women. The bartender was no different, although he had fat instead of muscles, and his oversized chest was as lush with hair as the Jerrav forest was with trees.

The bartender looked down at him with a raised brow, as Dande sat down and tried not to stare at the chest hair that screamed for attention.

“And what do you want?” His voice was deep and rough.

Dande swallowed hard as his throat was dry from the trip across the desert, and he removed the scarf that covered his mouth.

“A mug of ale,” he said, and avoided eye contact as he pulled down in the hood of his dirty cape.

He felt the bartender look at him for a few seconds, before he walked off to get his beverage.

The loud buzzing conversations around Dande made it difficult to distinguish actual sentences. The person next to him on his left then slammed his mug hard onto the wooden counter, which caught Dande's attention.

When Dande turned to face the stranger, the first thing he noticed was a shining cutlass hanging by this man's hips. It had obviously been used a lot, as it bore many cuts and bruises, but it was also cared for, as it shone in the dim lit room.

He knew right away what kind of person he was dealing with here and quickly faced the bar again. Although he could feel the man's eyes burning into him.

When the bartender came back and placed the mug before Dande, the stranger raised his hand to the attention of the hairy fellow.

“This one is on me,” and the sound of coins hitting the wood was heard. Dande carefully looked at the coins, as a fat hand greedily took them.

“Katarina,” the stranger with the cutlass said and snapped his fingers.

A loud, laughing voice in the crowd suddenly halted, and out of the corner of his eyes, he saw a feminine figure step up to his right side. Dande took a deep breath as he tried not to stare at the woman's open chest.

“Why hello there, sugar,” she said and leaned in closer to him.

By the Goddess Ustrina, what have I gotten myself into by walking into this wretched place, he thought to himself as he reached out for the mug of ale.

The moment he lifted it, a strong, yet feminine, hand placed itself on top and forced the mug to the table again.

“What's your name?” she asked with a seductive and low tone.

He didn't wish to tell her, there was no reason for her to know, but if it meant she'd leave him alone sooner.

“Dande,” he said and kept looking down at the table.

“Oh, what a handsome name,” she cooed. “My name is Katarina, and him over there is my brother, Owen.”

She sat down and pulled the chair closer to his. Owen did the same.

“Pleasure to meet you,” Owen said and stuck out his hand, but Dande didn't shake it.

“Don't be like that now,” Katarina said slowly and her hand ran down Dande's back, leaving a trail of goosebumps as he shivered. “We're only looking for some fun and company.”

“I mean no offense, but I am not interested in anything...” Dande said and fought back his curiosity to look at them both.

“Oh no no pal, you don't seem to understand!” Owen said and clapped his back. Dande spat out his drink when the hand hit him a bit too hard. What was it with these two and touching him?

“You see, we're going to this far away land named Jerrav!”

Dande's heart beat extra hard at the mention of Jerrav and his eyes widened as his interest was piqued then. Owen must have noticed how he suddenly turned towards him, but still didn't catch his eyes.

“Oh, now that got your attention, huh? Jerrav?”

Dande said nothing.

“Well, you see, me and my sister here are going to Jerrav, but we can't make the journey alone!”

“It would be oh-so lonely,” Katarina interrupted and kept stroking his back.

Dande would of course never admit it, but it felt so good.

“So we've been sitting here for hours and hours, looking for someone who might be willing to take the trip with us.” Owen smiled and took a swing of his own ale, without looking away from Dande.

Dande needed to get to Jerrav. Desperately. He had little coin, which was intended to be spent here, and he'd then persuade his way onto a boat one way or another, when he'd get that far, but now an opportunity had paid for his beverage.

“What do you say, huh?” Owen slammed his mug hard onto the wooden counter.

“Pretty please,” Katarina leaned in close and whispered in Dande's ear. A strange and warm fuzzy feeling formed inside of him, and he pulled down in his hood again.

“Well I guess I could--” he didn't get to finish his sentence, before they both gave a loud cheer.

“That's it!” Owen stood up and lifted his hand in the air.

“Thank you so much, sweetie!” Katarina too stood up and high-fived her brother's raised hand.

Dande let out a deep sigh when she stopped caressing his back, and he took a swing at his own ale.

Ustrina guide me, what did I just agree to...?

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