Sword & Sorcery stories that swirl with sensuality. These are tales of mages and magic, of warriors and princes and forest folk. But not all battles are won with armies, and magic finds its power not just in heart and soul but in body and desire. Four erotic short stories from some well-known erotica writers and some newcomers: Jason Rubis, Jean Roberta, Argus Marks, and ADR Forte.
She follows, trailing with the stragglers at the edge of the crowd. She doesn’t have to see. She can summon up the ritual in her mind. The High Priest marking the four corners with Earth Mother’s blood, the river water sparkling in torchlight as he throws handfuls into the air. The chants, the incense. The War Lord kneeling to receive the Priest’s blessing. The War Lord and his chosen lover dancing in the fertility circle.
She ponders leaving now, before the ritual ends. Before the crowds spill out to wend their way home or to parties or to continue celebrating in the streets until the sunrise. The streets will be dark and empty and cool. Her black robe is stifling even though she’s undone the collar and rolled the sleeves to her elbows, and she relishes the thought of escaping heat and people.
A few steps away from the crowd, she hears their shouts of blessing. She looks back. On the hill of the sacred grove, she sees the High Priest, arms raised as he finishes his chant. She sees the War Lord standing at his side, solemn and regal. This is his first true Sun Leave, after all. At the last, the old War Lord was still at his side, guiding and shifting the power to his successor. This year, he alone stands as protector and ruler. She watches as they turn and the Lord kneels. She loses sight of him. Hands outstretched, the High Priest begins the blessing chant.
She turns and continues on her way. Tears of pride prickle somewhere behind her eyes, and her lips curve into a smile. Her fears are real, but he understands the old ways. He believes. Perhaps he can heal some of the wounds a little, mend those edges beginning to fray. The War Lord’s power is as great, greater than any Priest’s, than any Aylar’s. And if the Lord has wisdom, he can do much good. This year at least will be a good year…
Noise and movement catch up with her, and she slows her steps. Something is happening. Something has broken the flow.
She stops, turns and sees with shock that the crowd has turned, too. To face her. It has scattered around the figure striding out of the grove, headed this way. And she is standing right in his path.
She ought to get out of the way, but her feet don’t obey for some reason. Rooted to the spot, she stares at the glint of lantern light on armor. Hypnotized, until he is mere steps away from her, until she hears his voice, rich with the command of the War Lord.
He stops. She takes slow, steady breaths to calm herself and she lifts her chin. Standing before her, he stretches his hand out, blue gaze holding hers already.
“Sabell.” At the sound of her name, said so gently, so coaxingly, the breath stops for an instant in her throat and her chest tightens. How? How can he possibly remember her name?
“Will you share my bed tonight, and with me bring Earth Mother’s blessing to all our land?”
She cannot breathe. She cannot breathe at all. She wants to run as fast as her legs can take her. He is asking her. Her. It is impossible, yet she must believe the evidence of her own eyes and ears. She lifts her hand and feels his fingers warm and strong and rough under hers. She must believe the evidence of her own touch, the blood leaping in her veins at his skin against hers.
Surprised that she doesn’t stumble, that she even can manage to walk, she follows him back through the throngs of people. Her stomach tenses horribly at the renewal of sound after the waiting silence and the murmurs around them. Only when they reach the hill and begin to climb it does she realize it is joy she hears. Approval. Awe.
Her feet move by instinct, her mind is too consumed by what her body feels: the muscle of his arm hot against her back, the pressure of his fingers on her hip, the scent of his skin and hair as they dance together. This is nothing like what she dreamed of: this heat in her loins, this rush of hungry need. The sweat on her skin, the drum of her heart from shock and lust and exertion. This is real.
When the music ends, she stands panting. He keeps hold of her hands as if he knows she needs his support to stay upright. The happy cheer of the crowd breaks over them like a thunderclap, disperses into a rain of exultation. She sees the same elation in his face. Lips parted to breathe. She hears his laughter and she becomes that laughter, becomes all laughter. She is joy.
He leads her through the dark of the grove, half-blind as they take the worn path through the trees back towards the palace. And the Lord’s bed.
In his chamber, he kisses her mouth. A light pressure of flesh on flesh, but it is enough to stir her even more than the dance, even more than his scent and his closeness. He unbuttons the robe and lifts it off her.
He stares. She is utterly naked.
Even though heat creeps up her cheeks, she smiles. The robe is too hot to warrant underthings; she would faint clear away if she were to wear anything besides the coarse black material. But in truth, it is a pleasure to have caught him so off guard.
He lifts his gaze from her body to her face. He swallows hard.
She must do something; she must take refuge in action or else she will go mad standing still under his passionate scrutiny and her own flustered, embarrassed desire. She moves to lift the circlet from his head and set it aside, then to unbuckle the straps of the dress cloak at his shoulders. She has begun on the fastenings of the breastplate itself when she feels his hands on her bare waist. She falters in her task.
His hands slide over her hips and down the curves of her buttocks. His skin is rough and callused and his movement throws her off balance. Her nipples brush against the metal scales of his armor. Suddenly dizzy, she digs her fingers into his arms.
With a laugh, he loosens the breastplate himself and flings it aside. She feels the muscle of his arm moving under her grasp. She feels the edge of the plate scrape her bare thigh as he pulls it from between them. He pulls her into him and she feels his skin, warm and sticky on hers. His kiss this time is not glancing. It is a claim he lays on her lips and her blood and her body.
She did not think of this before, but she realizes it now. He is the War Lord, as much as he is the man she has desired. He is a warrior first, as well as a lover, and tonight his blood is fired with ritual and power.
His kisses fall rough and fast, following his hands moving, knowing, over her naked skin. They drain life force, they weaken her. She lies under him on the jumbled, tangled silk bed-coverings and some detached part of her watches with wonder at the way they make love. She cries out when his tongue finds her slit and, at the same time, his fingers move across her erect nipples. She arches her hips up off the bed, her muscles clenched tight. The blood makes its way down her veins, down to her belly and her slit. He is not courting her; this is no slow, lazy loving. But he knows her need.
She grows weaker still, muscles shivering with strain as he draws and draws and draws the energy from her. She feels feverish, her mouth sticky and tasting of copper, her skin cold with sweat. The fluttering in her belly grows, she pulls away from him instinctively, moaning. He holds her hips fast. His tongue moves relentlessly.
With a sigh, she falls still. He lifts his head and she closes her eyes, waiting for each shudder of release between her legs, listening to her heart’s uncertain pause in its wild rhythm each time. Drained. She is the waning moon, the new moon, cold and weak.
He kneels above her, skin glowing with vitality and energy—his own and hers. They are at the turning. She knows what comes next, but she waits in this moment, savoring her helplessness and his impatience. She lifts her hand, her arm and her fingers so languid and pale she almost doesn’t recognize them as her own. She touches the tip of his erect flesh. He closes his eyes and breathes in hard.
She touches his belly, the curves of hard muscle and the curls of hair. He breathes out. Her hand reaches his jaw. She pulls him down.
Their bodies tangle together. He rolls her to her stomach and she feels his cock sliding into her. His arm circles her shoulders as in the dance, holding her to his chest as he drives deeper…
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