The River Monster (Rei Ginsei’s Saga, vol. 2, ch 10)
September 6, 2018
This was basically waiting to be published, it just needed some polish, and since I’m not drugged right this moment I thought I’d see if I could do it before THEY come for me. lol I kind of consider this more Tauryon’s chapter, even if it’s split about 50/50. Things are going to get interesting.
Warning: Descriptions of passive violence involving genital injury.
Rei stood, breathing slowly with his eyes closed.
“Rei?” Sabrael asked, placing a hand on his arm.
“I don’t know how I’m going to weather this,” he said. “The pain feels so good, but if I let myself get hard, the spikes will hurt me in a real way.”
“It already hurts. It hurts so bad I can’t even feel the pleasure you’re feeling.”
“I know. I’m sorry, beauty, I never thought he would have noticed or cared so much.”
Rei walked dejectedly back towards camp, holding Sabrael’s hand. The air was cool and crisp, and that helped keep him soft, but it was still very difficult to fight the pleasure those dull spikes provided. He moaned hard.
“Oh, Rei,” Sabrael said sympathetically, rubbing his arm.
“I wish Ondolemar wasn’t so nosy about it,” he said. “I need to go to our tent. Yours and mine. I can at least say I was getting dressed.”
Sabrael helped him quickly to their large fur tent. His cock was swelling, and the spikes were digging in. As he fell to his knees, his eyes rolled back in his head and he actually felt his tongue loll out of his mouth. He panted hard and dug his claws into his thighs as a forceful orgasm overcame him. It was intense and long, and he fell onto his side, thrusting his hips involuntarily as the pain formed an unwelcome sort of loop.
“It’s okay,” Sabrael said. Rei could feel through his own pleasure that Sabrael was in pain. “It’s okay, Rei, I’m here.”
“I’m s-sorry you have to f-feel this…” Rei shuddered as his orgasms were finally abating.
“It’s okay. I’ll manage.”
“I’m afraid Ondolemar did something he wasn’t counting on.”
“Maybe so,” Sabrael said, “but you’ll be okay. If he gets upset, it’s his own fault.”
Rei curled up into a ball, willing himself to get as soft as possible. He’d have to hide this from Ondolemar, though how, he wasn’t entirely sure. His toes were curling as he shook, and the pain was beginning to turn from the good kind, the playful kind he and Clavicus engaged in, to the kind inflicted on him maliciously, which, he supposed, it was, no matter what that first orgasm said.
“Knock-knock,” a female voice interrupted. “Can I come in?”
“Rei?” Sabrael asked.
“Yes, Vallinalda, come in.”
Sabrael stroked his arm gently, which helped him slow his breath.
“I wanted to say I’m sorry again. I don’t know why he’s so preoccupied with you.”
“It’s not your fault,” Rei answered shakily.
Sabrael kissed his cheek and got up. “I need to go, um, find my sandals. I left them by the water.”
Rei laughed once, quietly. “Be quick, beauty.”
“He knows about us, doesn’t he?” Vallinalda laughed as Sabrael left the tent.
“Yes, he does.”
The woman sighed. “I can’t imagine how those spikes must feel.”
“Not as great as they started out feeling.”
“What do you mean?”
Rei sighed as he panted hard and rolled over onto his back, planting one foot on the ground and rubbing his groin gingerly. “Never mind, just be with me.”
Vallinalda sat beside him and stroked his hair.
He closed his eyes tightly against the growing pain and a sudden sense of illness. He’d never really noticed any sensation associated with the act of swelling by itself, but the injury to his penis was such that soon all he was feeling were the spikes bearing into his tender flesh, harder and harder as the injury was exacerbated.
“You’re sweating,” he heard Vallinalda say. “Is that thing making you sick?”
“It’s just the pain is all. I can handle it fairly well most of the time, but most of the time it’s not something boring into my manhood.”
It took an effort to talk. He knew something had happened that had nothing to do with reaching his pain threshold.
“But your forehead’s on fire!”
“It’s fine, Vallinalda,” he said. “Just hand me the blanket over there, please? I’m cold.”
Silently she did as he asked and helped tuck him in comfortably. “Ondolemar would never heal you.”
“Please don’t worry,” he said. “Come here, darling. Just for a moment, if it’ll help.”
He leaned into her as she lay down beside him, and he let their lips touch.
“Something’s always getting in our way,” he laughed quietly.
“Literally and figuratively,” she said. “But that’s hardly a topic for discussion at the moment.”
“I was only aiming for some levity. You should go. Ondolemar will not be pleased to see you with me this way.”
“Please be okay,” she said.
“Don’t worry,” he said. “I’ll get you taken care of soon enough.”
She laughed quietly and raised a hand in farewell as she peered cautiously out of the tent before leaving.
Rei sighed, happy to be alone, even if he’d enjoyed the company. Every now and again whatever strange part of his brain that enjoyed the pain would inflict an increasingly unbearable orgasm upon him, and all he found he could do was just curl more tightly into a ball, grabbing the device around him in a futile attempt to stop and prevent the painful occurrences.
“Look at him,” Rei heard Sabrael’s voice. He opened his eyes and turned his head to see his kirin actually leading Ondolemar into the tent. “He looks sick! He’s all pale, shaking, and he’s sweating in this weather with nothing on!”
“I fail to see how my device has done that,” the mage said. “He’s only been wearing it, what, an hour? Probably picked something up on the road.”
“Take that thing off and look at him!” Sabrael shouted. “Do it!”
“Do not say one word to him,” Rei said to his master. He was feeling positively miserable. “Take it off or don’t, but don’t say one word to my beloved.”
Ondolemar took a deep breath with his head leaned to one side. “Your little daedra says that device has been driving its spikes into you because you get off on pain. I know that much, but every man has his limits. So is what he says true, or have you been up to shenanigans?”
“It’s true. Almost as soon as it was on I felt those spikes and I just…I kept swelling, and I kept coming, and I couldn’t stop until I guess I got really hurt from it, and honestly I’m on the brink again.”
“Please take it off me,” Rei begged quietly. He’d never felt so vulnerable or humiliated, lying naked on the ground, clutching at himself. But there it was, the pain, and he grit his teeth.
“Take your hands away,” Ondolemar ordered, and he obeyed, rolling onto his back and gripping the furs beneath him. The more it hurt, the longer it took, and it was, by now, hideous.
He heard the heavy step of military boots approach, and he looked up to see his master working the buttons on his trousers. “I’ll remove it, I promise, but just the thought of you so helplessly coming in such pain made me hard as stone, and you know how I can’t concentrate when I’m like that.
“How can you let that happen?” Sabrael cried. “He doesn’t like it anymore, it’s hurting him!”
“Just let this happen,” Rei gasped. His thighs tensed up. The fiery sting was close. “Don’t antagonize.”
Ondolemar’s tool was out, and Rei could see he wasn’t far away, either. Long fingers were working it, pointing it downward.
Rei’s jaw clenched, and his eyes shut.
“So close, Demon,” his master cooed. “So close, so painful, and nothing to stop it.”
This time was so strong that Rei actually screamed. He panted hard as his cock throbbed painfully.
“Oh, so beautiful! Do keep coming, I’m almost…oh yes…oh yes!”
In the midst of his pain Rei felt stripes of warmth paint his face, neck, and chest.
“Gods above,” Ondolemar chuckled as he knelt down to allow the weaker spurts to cover him. Rei felt a hand under his head, lifting it up. “Clean me off?”
“No!” Sabrael interjected. “No, that’s too far! You have no idea how that felt to him, and it was all I could do not to scream, myself. If you need someone to suck the jizz from your cock, I’ll do it, but it’s not fair to ask Rei to when he’s so sick!”
Rei didn’t bother telling him to stop, and simply took the offered head and weakly licked and sucked it clean.
“And this is why he’s my pet, and you’re not,” Ondolemar said to Sabrael cloyingly.
“Leave him alone,” Rei snapped. “He’s protecting me as any husband would their mate.”
“When you’re traditional, you certainly lay it on,” Ondolemar drawled before disappearing the cage in half a second. Its absence was beautiful.
“Oh, Rei!” Sabrael gasped. He could feel the terror and tried to raise his head to see.
“You know if someone pointed to that and told me that was a penis, I might not play with men,” Ondolemar said casually. “My goodness.”
Rei managed to prop himself up and grimaced at what he saw. It was swollen, bleeding, and bruised, and even his sac had drawn up protectively.
“So are you gonna heal him?” Sabrael asked.
“Now why should I do that?” Ondolemar asked.
“Because you hurt him again!”
“Look, my dear daedra, I gave him a perfectly harmless cage, told him exactly what it was for, and still he let you get him off, anyway. So I gave him a sturdier cage, not realizing exactly how attuned to pain he is, and now he’s, at least for a time, broken. Now you can’t get him off, he can’t masturbate, and all he can do is take care of me, and, sometimes, you. I’d say it works out.”
“What if someone did that to you?” Sabrael shouted through tears. “What if someone hurt you there and you couldn’t heal it?”
“Well, I’d drink a potion if I had to, but I’m sure our darling Demon knows better than that. Don’t you?”
Rei sighed, once more curling into a ball against the feverish shivering.
“Go away,” Sabrael demanded. “Get out of here!”
“Well aren’t we demanding?”
“I need to take care of my soulmate. I don’t want you here.”
Rei heard Ondolemar take a few steps closer.
“Little elementals would do well to remember whom they’re addressing,” the officer said softly.
Rei’s heart skipped as a surge of adrenaline shot through him.
“And short little Altmer would do well to watch what they say to ‘little’ elementals,” Sabrael answered.
Rei rolled over quickly and scrabbled to his knees, reaching out to grab Sabrael and pull him close. A wave of nausea and a splitting headache accompanied the rapid, upward motion.
“You keep that thing on a leash, you deviant piece of filth,” Ondolemar spat. “I’d hate to split up another couple.”
“What do you mean ‘another couple’?” Rei asked.
Ondolemar simply smiled sweetly and left the tent.
“What’s gotten into you?” Rei snapped, spinning his kirin around by the shoulders. “Do you know how dangerous what you were doing is?”
The vertigo he’d induced flared, and he fell back down onto the furs, panting.
“You’ve looked after me, and now it’s my turn to look after you,” Sabrael said. “I’m not gonna let him hurt you anymore! Not like this. I mean…look at it. You need healing, Rei. I can get you a potion, I know where you keep them.”
“Don’t Sabrael, please, don’t, I don’t want to deal with the fire again.”
“You leave it to me. I know what that shaking and the fever is. It’s going to get infected and you’re going to die!”
“Pack it in, boys,” Ondolemar called from outside. “Daylight doesn’t last forever.”
Rei imagined it was the trauma, somehow, but his bladder was full again. With a heavy sigh, he pushed himself up, Sabrael’s hands under his arms.
“What are you doing?” his kirin asked.
“Stay here. Start dismantling the tent. I have to wash this come off my face, I need to piss, and I imagine His Majesty won’t want me wandering off on my own.”
Sabrael snorted. “Sick bastard probably gets off on watching.”
“Be that as it may, please listen to me.”
Sabrael didn’t say anything in return, but Rei felt his anger and his hurt. He felt something else, too, something odd coming from his love.
“Rei Ginsei,” Ondolemar drawled when he wobbled out of the tent, “your body is of the gods, but nobody wants to see that thing between your legs. Think you can find it in you to put some clothes on?”
“In a minute, I just need to relieve myself and clean up, and I figured you would rather know than think I’m wandering off.”
“Well, you’d think right, as much as I wish it wasn’t that I had to look at.”
“Who says you have to look, at all?” Rei snapped, unsurprised that Sabrael’s supposition was correct.
They walked back down to the river, Rei’s vision blurring and his legs weak. He almost tumbled head-over-heels down the embankment more then once. Finally they reached an appropriately private place and, with Ondolemar uncomfortably close, Rei closed his eyes and grimaced as he pulled his foreskin back even just that tiny bit. Even the act hurt, which of course meant it felt like it was going on forever.
“Such a shame that lovely cock of yours is so banged-up,” Ondolemar lamented again as he finished. “Always so nice to see-”
Out of nowhere, a huge creature leapt up from the waterfall, screeching like its tail was on fire.
Rei fell backwards as he saw Sabrael landing on top of Ondolemar, who shrieked and tried to get away, digging his heels in the ground to push himself back. Carefully, Sabrael grabbed the front of his robes with his serrated teeth and picked him up.
“I’m bigger than you,” Sabrael’s voice echoed in Rei’s head.
“I…I…I have fire!” Ondolemar stuttered. “The worst fire you can imagine!”
Just as a handful of those nasty green flames appeared, Sabrael wound up and threw the mage as hard as he could against the short cliff on the opposite side of the river. Ondolemar smashed against the rocks and fell down onto the other rocks waiting below. Rei could hear him panting and moaning.
“Sabrael!” Rei called, but he was ignored.
Sabrael was making his way as fast as he could to the mage, and slammed one webbed foot down on his torso before he could get up.
“You will heal my husband,” he demanded. “You will do it right now, while I watch, and if you even think about putting one over on us, you will wish that fire of yours could put your head back on your neck.”
Ondolemar looked up at the Kelpie, terrified.
“Have I forgotten how to speak Tamrielic? I can speak Aldmeris, if you’re having trouble understanding. Go heal him! Now!”
When he didn’t move, Sabrael picked him up again by the neck, made his way to the opposite shore where Rei was standing, looking on in utter shock, and dropped the officer, whose neck now bore slightly bleeding lines where the Kelpie’s teeth clamped down.
“Heal. Him.” Sabrael said.
Ondolemar rubbed his neck with one hand as he pushed himself up with the other, not once taking his eyes off the daedra that towered over him. Slowly he limped over to Rei and looked daggers at him before cupping his genitals. But instead of healing warmth, he felt stinging, burning.
“You’ve made powerful enemies, Demon,” Ondolemar snarled as Rei screamed. It was more fire, spreading through his most delicate parts. He pressed his legs together, grabbing himself trying to put out the flames. It was spreading, just as before, but he was too weak to climb to the river.
“Spineless wretch!” Sabrael telepathically screamed, clamping his teeth down onto Ondolemar’s neck once more, harder, and shaking it once to break it and twice to send the body flying back across the river. “Forgive me, Rei, this is all I can do…”
As the flames were consuming him again, and he writhed on the rocky ground, he felt teeth on his middle and then the sensation that he was flying before finally hitting water hard and sinking. The water was cold and soothing, but he hadn’t taken a breath. By the time he resurfaced, he was coughing weakly, and he felt arms pulling him forward onto the bank to lie down. There were angry and surprised voices not far away, but Rei was in no state to parse their intent.
“Rei?” he heard Vallinalda’s voice. “Rei, are you alright?”
Rei leaned his head against her moonstone-clad arm and panted. “Sabrael,” he breathed. “I need Sabrael. I need Tauryon.”
“Tauryon’s in Solitude,” Vallinalda answered. “You know that, right?”
He nodded. “But where is Sabrael?”
“That thing killed Commander Saelinthar!” a voice called.
“How?” asked another. “How could something manage to kill him? What was it, anyway?”
“I don’t know, but it tried to eat that thing we’ve been carrying with us.”
“We must’ve scared it off.”
Rei’s head was pounding and he hurt all over. He wondered on the chances of getting out of this alive.
“Rei?” he heard Sabrael’s voice. It was audible, not just in his head, and when he looked over he saw that his kirin had managed to transform and get dressed again before people started asking questions. “Rei, I’m sorry I bit you, but-”
“It’s okay,” he breathed. “Just…well, you knew what you’re doing.”
“Did you see that thing?” one of the soldiers asked Sabriel. “It was like a horse, but bigger, and it…it was weird.”
Sabrael shook his head, his innocent demeanor serving him better than it ever had.
“Well, what do we do, now?” asked one of the soldiers.
“Everyone, gather round,” Vallinalda called, transferring Rei to his kirin’s arms. “I don’t know what we just saw here today,” she lied, “if it has something, somehow, to do with dragons, or if there’s some sort of monster living in these waters. Regardless, it has killed our commander, leaving me in charge. The rest of you, take Commander Saelinthar’s body, one of the ponies, and head back to the Embassy and report to Elenwyn. Then report to Captain Camorin, tell him what happened and assure him these two are alright. Tell him he’s needed in Whiterun urgently. We will wait there for five days, after which, barring communication, we will assume he cannot make it and move on.”
“What about you?”
“I’m with them. Ondolemar set out to give Rei Ginsei a ‘test run’, and that is what he will get. Questions?”
Rei didn’t hear any dissent, and in just a little while, Vallinalda was sitting by him again. “Thank you for covering for my beauty,” he said softly.
“He was dangerous, all told, even for a Justiciar. Too many students and soldiers were killed or disfigured because of his propensity for play and a short temper. He had to go.”
“What can we do about Rei?” Sabrael asked.
“There’s the problem, isn’t it? I have potions.”
“So do I,” Rei rasped.
“I don’t know how much good they’ll do, but they’ll ease your pain, at the very least. There’s a temple in Whiterun, isn’t there?” Vallinalda asked. “Surely someone there knows some healing magicka. But we have to hurry.”
Rei allowed himself to be mostly dragged back to the tent, his arms around two people of vastly different heights. The campsite was still being dismantled, and Rei saw the corpse of Ondolemar being wrapped in a sheet before being carefully laid across the pony they were taking.
“A monster out of nowhere,” Rei breathed.
“A monster out of nowhere,” Vallinalda repeated. “And one that almost ate you. It’s good they left his horse. Sabrael, let’s find some way to get Rei into some clothes that won’t hurt him too badly, and I’ll help you get him onto his horse. You take Windy with you, and I’ll stay back and dismantle your tent.”
They nodded in agreement, helped Rei into his pair of loose, silk pants, and into Windy’s saddle, having discussed the matter of a gravely injured person climbing onto the back of a beast the size of Baku.
It hurt, even the short distance to Whiterun City. Rei tried to stand in the stirrups to relieve the pain, but he was too weak. He wasn’t as burned as he had been when a fireball had been thrown, but his genitals were well and truly mutilated, and his legs and lower torso were burned badly. He’d taken potions, but they were only so strong. The pain was too much, his vision was becoming clouded and ringed with black.
Windy was tied to Baku, and Rei didn’t say anything when Sabrael bypassed the stables and rode all the way to the gates.
“We need help,” Rei heard him say as he slouched forward. Windy’s mane was stuck to his forehead from his sweat.
“That’s the Jarl’s new Thane!” one of the guards said. “What help do you need? You have our attention.”
“He’s hurt really bad. He needs a healer.”
The pain that had been steadily mounting suddenly reached a breaking point, and on reflex Rei moved his head to he side as he heaved, evacuating what was left of the previous night’s dinner and the bile that comprised most of his stomach contents. When the first go was done, it happened again, this time his stomach freezing in its contracted position, trying to expel that which was no longer even there. When he finished, his muscles lost their tone, and he felt himself falling sideways off the saddle. Strong arms caught him under the arms, and someone else grabbed his feet. He felt his tail drag through his own sick, and his shuddered.
“It’ll be okay, Rei,” Sabrael said, stroking his hair as he walked beside them.
“Danica and hers have been packed full lately,” a guard said. “Dunno if she’ll be able to get to him.”
“Maybe that older fella’s there, that one’s been comin’ round couple times a week.”
Rei felt himself bounce and jostled, yelping weakly the few times they’d stepped on his tail. Sabrael finally picked it up so that it wasn’t dragging.
The sound of doors being forced open. “The Thane is ill!” one of the guards shouted. “He needs healing now.”
“Look around you!” he heard a woman’s voice. “There are no beds, there are no more healers! I’m certainly not going to turn someone who was already waiting aside, no matter who this person is.”
“I’m done with that one,” a soft male voice interrupted. “I will take him.”
“And put him where?”
“May I say something?” Sabrael said timidly. “He’s injured in a, um, in a very private place. If there’s anywhere you can put him that he’ll be hidden…”
“One of your beds?” the male voice asked.
“One of-” the woman repeated. “-we sleep in those beds, Valgus!”
“He’s not contagious!” Sabrael said quickly. “He was bruised and then burned, that’s all! I’ll even change your bedclothes if you want me to.”
“I realize this temple is not a hospital,” the man said, “but this man is clearly very near death, and I can heal him. If this little one is volunteering to change your bedclothes, I’d consider that at least partial payment, if I were you.”
There was silence for a moment before the woman said, “Fine, fine. Use my bed. It needed changing, anyway.”
Once more he felt himself moving, and soon Rei felt himself placed on a bed with a hard mattress.
“Now, some privacy, please,” the male voice said.
The footsteps of the guards faded, but Sabrael protested: “I’m not leaving him.”
Rei licked his lips and laboriously raised his hand, grateful to feel his kirin’s wrap around his fingers. “My Sabrael stays,” he barely whispered, realizing he couldn’t feel him anymore.
“Rei don’t slip, hang onto me,” Sabrael said.
“So what happened?” the priest asked. “May I?”
“You’ll have to,” Sabrael said. “Just be careful of his tail.”
Rei felt his pants slide down his legs, and he cried out weakly as the fabric brushed over his burns.
“What in all of Mundus happened here?” the priest asked.
“A bad man mangled his…you know…and then burned it. But it wasn’t just any fire, it spread all over, see? His legs, his stomach…he hardly has any skin left.”
“Have you reported this man to the guards?” the priest asked quickly.
“A beast got him, he died. It wouldn’t matter anyway, he was a Thalmor officer.”
“I see. What’s this one’s name?”
“Rei Ginsei,” the priest said. His voice sounded like it was coming from far away. “My name’s Valgus, and I’m a healer. Tails and whatnot aside, I’m a man, too, and I understand it might be a bit odd having a stranger handle you, so I want you to know that when I lay hands on it, it’s purely medical. Is that alright?”
Rei licked his lips again and tried to gather his breath. Finally he nodded and just breathed, almost inaudibly, “Yes, Valgus. Yes.”
A hand was on his forehead, brushing the sweat-soaked hair to one side. “I feel you slipping, Rei,” Sabrael said. “Can you feel me?”
Rei shook his head weakly as he felt warm, gentle hands on his genitals.
“You can’t feel my love?”
“I don’t have to,” he panted. “I know you do.”
“I know,” Sabrael answered, squeezing his hand. “But if you can’t feel it, that means your soul is slipping away.”
Rei closed his eyes and took a shuddering breath. Warmth was in him. “I’ll be okay, beauty,” he said slowly. “I feel the healing.”
“I’m doing my best, anyway,” Valgus said. “I’ve never seen anything like this. Who would do this to a man?”
Valgus’ healing was different than Ondolemar’s. It was very exploratory; his hands moved constantly. Occasionally they would stop at a place and rub, or make a rubbing motion above the wound if the area was too raw. Slowly Rei felt his breathing deepen and relax, and soon he felt his kirin again.
“The burns are fine,” Valgus said. “There may be some scarring here and there, but, for the most part, you’re good as new in that department. However, I’m going to handle you a lot more than I anticipated. Your penis is injured in more ways than you likely realize, and already you’ve contracted blood rot. Please don’t think I’m after anything as I work my magicka into you.”
“Do what you need to do,” Rei answered. “I’m already feeling worlds better.”
He didn’t have to look to know Sabrael was beaming excitedly, and that made him extremely happy.
“Good. Now if we can stop the spread of this fever, this illness, you’ll never know you’d gone through such an ordeal,” the healer paused. “Not to belabor the point, but I have worked on men before in this sort of capacity. Direct healing magicka, especially once you’re near complete health, can incite some…nice…feelings. If that happens, it’s alright.”
There certainly weren’t any nice feelings to start. Just being handled was a terrible pain, but he felt the magicka continuing to work, and he grit his teeth against the pain. It took a long time, and it was certainly odd having someone handle his genitals for so long and in such a strange context, but soon enough, he felt the “nice” feelings.
“Are you almost done?” Rei asked quickly.
“There’s still disease in you, and some of these lacerations run deep,” Valgus answered. “It’ll take a while, yet.”
“I know you said it’s okay, the nice feelings, but, well…”
“I can certainly see, and you’re hardly the first,” Valgus said before turning to Sabrael. “That’s my kit over there. You’ll find a cloth for just these purposes.”
Sabrael obediently hopped over and began rummaging through the bag before producing a thin, white linen cloth. “This one?”
“That’s it. Thank you, Little One. If it makes you feel better, it happens with women, too. It’s just, well, more visible with us. It’s entirely medical, though.”
Rei took the cloth, wondering on the life of a healer that they should experience arousal in such sterile contexts so apparently frequently. But it didn’t bear thinking about when “blue” didn’t begin to describe that wonderful ache in his balls. …When “blue” was just slang. Suddenly Rei’s eyes widened, and he propped himself up to look down, and what he saw made him laugh with relief as he fell back down on the bed. It was his lovely cock and its taut and ready balls, just as if nothing had ever happened. There were vague marks, but they were fading.
“Sabrael, come here,” he grinned. “Kiss me.”
Sabrael eagerly bent and held his shoulders, kissing him deeply and with a joy that seemed Rei hadn’t felt in ages, even if it had only been two days. He moaned happily. It was a nice, clean feeling.
“Captain Camorin!” a very young junior officer, cried, bursting into Tauryon’s office.
Tauryon, who had been deep in thought composing a report on a particular interrogation, jumped, feeling his heart skip.
“What is the meaning of this?” he barked, standing from his chair. “Do closed doors mean nothing to you? I’m ancient, you useless buffoon, do you know what it’s like keeping a train of thought?”
“M-My apologies, Captain,” the soldier apologized, offering an awkward salute. “Lieutenant Commander Vallinalda sent me. Commander Saelinthar’s dead.”
Tauryon’s stomach tried to both sink and leap, and his chest tightened in hopeful disbelief. Just so long as his loves were alright… He looked at the soldier, agog. “Ondolemar Saelinthar…he’s dead? How?”
“Slain by a beast, Sir.”
” “A beast’, what do you mean ‘a beast’? A sabrecat? A bear?”
“I-I don’t know, Sir. It came out of the White River. I’ve never seen anything like it! It was…It was huge, screaming like horses caught in a fire. And it looked like a horse! Only with a tail instead of back feet. It threw Commander Saelinthar against the cliff, broke his neck, and then he almost ate that one we’d been taking along. With the tail.”
Tauryon licked his lips and looked down, wondering what on Nirn could have happened. That was Sabrael he was describing, but Sabrael wouldn’t almost eat Rei. Would he?
“So why are you telling me this?” he asked, finally shaking himself out of his reverie.
“Lieutenant Commander Vallinalda says she’s staying with those two, to continue Commander Saelinthar’s work. She wanted me to tell you that…R…Rei? And the other one. They’re okay, although to be honest the one called Rei looked like he might die.”
“I-I don’t know, Sir! Vallinalda says she needs in you Whiterun immediately, within five days. After that, they’ll be moving on.”
“Auri-El’s beard!” Tauryon cursed, beginning to snuff the candles. “Get out of here, now! I need to talk to people and lock up.”
It took some convincing on his part to get Elenwen to agree to send him out on such a mission. Odd situations aside, he was one of two interrogators, and Rulindil would have to pick up the slack. Luckily Rulindil was fine with the situation and was able to add some extra push with the understanding of Tauryon’s attachment that Elenwen didn’t – and couldn’t – have, and so, after riding hard back to Solitude in the waning twilight and packing bags and trunks, he changed out of his Thalmor regalia for the sake of easiness, donned his cloak and riding cap, and pushed his steed Scandalon as hard as he could through the night.
It was early morning when he reached Whiterun. The sun had yet to rise, and he felt more than a little regret at the pace he set Scandalon to. When he dismounted in front of the stables, ringing the bell on a post for after-hours service, the black coat bore a froth of sweat, and the muscles were visibly quivering. Arguably, the exertion helped with the cold, but now he could only hope Whiterun’s boarders were skillful enough to take care of an overexerted animal.
He grabbed one bag, the only one he’d need for what little time he’d be sleeping, and ran as best as he could to the gates.
“What brings you here, old elf?” a guard asked. “You should be careful running that way. Might break a hip.”
Tauryon closed his eyes and sighed. “I’m looking for someone. Maybe you’ve seen him?”
“I suppose that depends?”
“He’s a little taller than me, another Altmer. White hair, red markings…a tail?”
“Oh, that’s our thane!” one of the guards chortled. “They tell us you lot are gonna leave us alone, but it seems like you’re just going to take office one by one.”
“Please, I don’t have time for this,” Tauryon protested. Unhooking a pouch from his belt, he shook out a fair number of coins. “Look, will this satisfy you?”
“Mighty kind of you. Of course you’re welcome. As for the Thane, he’d been in the Temple of Kynareth being healed, but I’ve heard tell he’s in the Bannered Mare Inn.”
“And where’s that?”
“I guess I can give you somethin’ for free. Follow the road from the gate straight back. Can’t miss it.”
“Thank you,” Tauryon nodded.
“A-ny-time,” the guard drawled, pushing open the gate. “Do enjoy your stay.”
Tauryon rolled his eyes and followed the road to the inn. He tried very hard not to simply burst through the door, and he stood on the stoop catching his breath, trying to will his throat open. He pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his eyes, took a deep breath, and walked into the inn. It was busy, and, save for the brief moment when all went quiet when the improbably old elf stepped into the tavern, it was uncomfortably loud.
“What can I do for you, old-timer?” the bartender asked as he approached. “You look like you’ve been runnin’ from every sabrecat in the hold.”
“I’m looking for someone,” he said, “and I’m hoping very much that you can help.”
“Well, that depends. I don’t tend to give out the name of those who rent my rooms.”
“I wouldn’t ask if this wasn’t beyond urgent,” he said, feeling his eyes betray him and sending tears down his cheeks. “Please, I’m looking for a tall man with a tail. The guard said-”
“You mean Rei Ginsei.”
“Yes! Yes, is he here?”
“Not my business to say whether he is, or not.”
Tauryon took a shuddering breath, clutching the edge of the bar so hard, the arthritis in his knuckles began to flare viciously. “If…If you see him, tell him Tauryon is here. Please.”
The bartender looked at him curiously. “Where might I tell him to look?”
“By that tree, just over from the plaza.”
She nodded. “I’ll tell him. If I see him.”
Tauryon left the inn, for once quite happy to feel the cold air on his face. Why did everything have to be such an undertaking? Why was diplomacy so much harder that outright intimidation? There were benches around the dead tree, dry wood wreathed by brilliant, blooming flowers. A mockery. He closed his eyes and tried not to let the sob escape as a patrolling guard passed.
“Tauryon!” he heard Sabrael cry, and he looked up in time to see the little daedra running towards him and all but jumping into his lap.
All at once the weight lifted from his heart and he embraced Sabrael tightly before kissing him as lovingly as he could. “Oh, my precious one,” he said. “I’m so glad you’re alive and well, and…I’m simply glad. But where’s Celedaen? Where’s Rei?”
“He’s behind me,” Sabrael said, “see? He just can’t move very quickly right now, and I was impatient.”
Indeed, as Tauryon looked up, he saw, first, Lieutenant Commander Vallinalda in civilian clothes, helping Rei Ginsei along.
“Celedaen,” Tauryon said, no longer fighting the tears in his old eyes.
“Tauryon!” Rei answered, smiling, breaking free of the officer’s aid and limping quickly over until they could fall into each other’s arms.
“Oh, gods, help me,” Tauryon sobbed. “I didn’t know what to expect, that junior officer told me such a story. I was so afraid.”
“It’s okay,” Rei laughed, kissing him gently.
“But you’re hurt.”
“I’ll be walking good and proper before the week is out. I just took a bit of a beating, is all.”
Tauryon cast a glance over at Vallinalda, who simply nodded. “It was him, wasn’t it? It was Ondolemar.”
“He almost killed Rei twice!” Sabrael said. “He healed him the first time, but this time…”
“And so it was you,” Tauryon said.
“I had to. I know it was wrong, but…I had to.”
“Permission to speak freely, Sir?” Vallinalda asked.
“Please don’t punish Sabrael, Captain,” Vallinalda said. “What Commander Saelinthar did was unconscionable against one of our own. He was only protecting his soulmate.”
“I don’t doubt that, and, if I’m honest, I wouldn’t hold it against Sabrael, even if he had no immediate cause. Is the story the soldier told me earlier true? Do those present simply think a monster showed up out of nowhere?”
“Thank the stars,” Tauryon sighed. “I’m sure there’s much to discuss, but I’ve ridden all night and I’m tired. If I could just have a moment alone with Rei Ginsei?”
Vallinalda smiled slightly and nodded, and Sabrael gave him one last, tight hug and kiss. “Does this mean you’ll get to sleep with me and Rei again?” he asked excitedly.
“If you’ll have me,” he smiled. “Off with you, now.”
Once they were out of earshot, he turned to Rei, and they took each other into their arms. A flood of memories and a wave of vindication consumed Tauryon, and in a second, he was sobbing against Rei’s neck.
“Tauryon,” Rei cooed, stroking his hair. “My beautiful mer, what’s wrong?”
“There’s so much wrong, and so much right. I’m glad that festering, pus-filled boil on society is destroyed. It was far too long. I don’t care if he meant it or not. Ondolemar was simply hideous. I know that makes me a hypocrite considering my friendship with you, but you don’t know what he did.”
“Vallinalda says he’d use those green flames of his on students and soldiers.”
“You’ve seen them?”
“I’ve felt them.”
Tauryon’s stomach sank. “You poor thing, but how did you survive them?”
“The first time, he’d hurled a bolt of it at my chest and there happened to be a washtub nearby. He healed me then, completely. It was an act of dominance. The second time, yesterday morning, amongst other things, he…he grabbed my genitals and set fire to them. Between that and another rather embarrassing injury, I didn’t think I was going to make it, but one of the healers here took very good care of me. I’m sore, but I’ll be good as new soon.”
“He set fire to your genitals?”
“Sabrael was trying to get him to heal the other injury he’d dealt, and he acted as if he were going to, but…”
“Celedaen, I’m sorry,” he sniffed. He felt Rei untying the ribbon holding his hair back to stroke it properly. “The moment you left I wondered what I had done. The instant you told me about your power, I should have told you to find your own way, that the Thalmor weren’t for a wanderer like you. But I didn’t. I let my complacency with the past get the better of me. I let our cavalier acknowledgement of Ondolemar’s habits cloud my vision. He was obsessed with you. I should have seen it. I should have told you not to go.”
“Tauryon,” Rei said, “you couldn’t have known. And I played my own part in this. I thought I’d found someone like Clavicus. I deserved what I got.”
“It pains me to hear you say that, but, no, you didn’t deserve what he gave you. My Aicanath didn’t deserve what he gave him.”
Tauryon sighed and sat up, pushing his hair out of his face. “Aicanath was, in four hundred years, the only man I loved enough to marry.”
Rei crossed one knee over the other and turned so that his arm ran the length of the back of the bench.
“Not that I don’t love you,” Tauryon managed to chuckle, “but I doubt I would marry you.”
The mirth was short-lived. Tauryon sighed deeply before continuing: “We were married not even two decades when we both were deployed to Sentinel on the Night of the Green Fire.”
“Green fire,” Rei repeated. “It was literal green fire!”
“Yes! And that green fire hit my Aicanath in the back.”
“Oh, gods…” Rei said.
“Ondolemar said yesterday he’d hate to break up another couple, and he’d made vague statements on the journey.”
“I couldn’t say if he was referring to us, it’s been so long,” Tauryon granted. “And I’m hardly one to talk in that arena. He wasn’t stupid, though; I suppose he knew you and I are close and would have assumed you knew. But there are times when I wonder if it was just crossfire or if he’d had it planned. He was rather taken with Aicanath, and I wonder if it didn’t finally come down to a matter of if he wasn’t able to have him, then no one was, and what better cover than what was a very chaotic battle? He acted very put-upon when I asked him to heal him, but that was his way. His way until he died, I suppose.”
“I’m so sorry, Tauryon,” Rei said. “And you never remarried or-”
“I had partners, some long-term. But none were him. None were you. Perhaps it’s a silly thing for a person as long-lived as I am to be so picky and demanding, but you’re my first love, a love that, save for a wavering moment, has always been there and has aged in a fine way, has weathered a terrible thing and survived with a new strength. And Aicanath, he was pure love, distilled into its essence and shared so unselfishly with me. You and Sabrael remind me of us.”
“I wish you had told me this,” Rei said. “Obviously I don’t blame you, but if I’d known of your feelings concerning him, I might have reconsidered.”
“No you wouldn’t have,” Tauryon chuckled. “You want what you want. If there is an insurmountable truth it’s that Celedaen Aedeus gets what he wants no matter what he has to do for it.”
Rei snorted. “In any case, Sabrael killed Ondolemar. I’m alive. And you’re here.”
“I have a prisoner I have to figure out what to do with, but that’s Rulindil’s problem now, I guess.”
Rei moved, and Tauryon smiled softly as their lips met. It was long and quietly playful. “I love you, Celedaen,” Tauryon said.
“And I love you. You’ve aged more.”
Tauryon sighed. “I may as well be truthful. Since Vile I haven’t felt the need to keep up with my longevity, er, treatments.”
“What treatments were those?”
“I have a friend back in Alinor who dabbles in the dark arts. For a substantial fee, he keeps me flush with black soul gems that I’ve learned to extract small amounts from. Necromancy. The usual means, although I think my method’s a bit unusual. Let them last, don’t take them all at once. Fill the gaps with potions and tinctures and lotions.”
“Why? Why stop, I mean, when you’ve got a new start?”
Tauryon shook his head. “I feel like my book is written, I suppose. I helped redeem a friend. His love and the love of his soul bond have helped finally to cross that threshold past Aicanath’s death. I’ve lived a long, long life, Celedaen, and you’re the only one I know who can understand it, your youth aside, but for all our yearning for our immortality, I think perhaps more is gained when one sees an end to the road.”
He watched Rei swallow as a tear fell down his cheek. “What will you do now, then?”
“My time is short. I already had one stint where I stopped my regimen, and I’m much older now. I took my earned leave. All of it, so that I can be with you and Sabrael. If I should return to the Embassy, then that is what shall happen. If not, I will die with the mer and the daedra I love most in all the world. And then, gods willing, I will be with my Aicanath, and all will be well.”
Rei pulled him closer, and they kissed far more deeply than they ever had. Tauryon ran his hand through soft, white hair. He was happy. A deep sigh escaped his nose as Rei’s hand slipped surreptitiously under his cloak and began to rub him. He was soft, but it didn’t take too much effort. Their angle simply made it look like two male mer kissing on the bench, which was apparently enough to make the patrolling guard grimace as he passed occasionally, but Tauryon smiled, knowing they’d be told to shove off if he’d seen the long, clawed fingers massaging his crotch.
“No matter how old you are or appear,” Rei said quietly, “I’ll always want you.”
Tauryon closed his eyes as a comforting sigh relaxed his muscles. He held onto his friend, thankful for everything that was happening. Thankful for Ondolemar’s murder. Thankful he’d left his mark in Altmeri history. Thankful that he would no longer have to worry.
“Oh, Celedaen,” he sighed as a soft, perfect orgasm wrapped him in gentle warmth.
I just thought this fit Tauryon, at least in the context of this chapter. I also kind of picture Tauryon having a similar voice to Glenn Yarbrough.