Tales of Adventure: The Letter

Created On Tuesday, 08 January 2019 18:00 By Kim Powers


Character's Name:  Antonia Claudia Thonnius

Title of Adventure: The Letter

Month: 04-Navus

Date: 22

Year: 956

Story

Antonia had gone over the events of the evening and the morning in her mind. Over and over them as she washed the dirt from her skin and the smell of smoke from her hair. Someone had alerted Kerin about them coming. Someone knew their names and someone wanted them dead. All of them except Julian. Julian was not to be touched. So the letter they'd found had said. Someone wanted to make him a follower of Agrik. The idea sent a shiver through her that sent ripples across the tub.

 

She knew he'd never follow Agrik's teachings. Antonia was positive of that much. She also knew that once whomever it was that had hopes of turn Julian figured that out he'd be killed. Or they'd at least try. That idea pushed her to her feet, forcing the water to rush off her form and down into the tub. She stepped out and dried off. Once dressed, her hair still wet. She went looking for Julian.

 

The Bard had wanted to be alone and he’d not wanted to be recognized  for what he was. So he did something he almost never did, He locked his mandalin up in his room and went to a small tavern called I’m Going To Ask David He had a lot on his mind and though the knew getting drunk wasn’t the best option, that it wouldn’t solve anything. But it would make him forge for a while.

 

He found a quiet table in a back corner and ordered himself a bottle of rum.

 

Antonia stood at his room door for a moment or two before knocking. She’d thought about bursting in but then thought better of it. She knocked, gently at first and when she heard nothing she knocked louder. She thought perhaps he was down in the tavern having a drink or something to eat. But there was no sign of him and with that her worries began to grow.

 

The tavern’s barkeep told her that he’d seen Julian leave some time ago, but the bard hadn’t asked for direction to anywhere and so he had no idea where the man was heading.  She tossed him a copper piece for his information and left in search of her companion.

 

As she searched the small town her thoughts continued to lead her down dark paths. Who would want Julian to follow Agrik? Who did he know? Had he known that he knew someone that followed the God of War?! She’d gone through town checking on the usual places the man had come to consider “hang outs” but no one had seen Julian. The miner’s children, who he’d regularly sing and play for had not seen him either. Her fear continued to mount, until one of the miners said that he’d seen Julian heading into a seedy part of town. There was a tavern out there that few went to. And those that did didn’t want to be found.

 

Antonia practically ran, she didn’t know what to expect. Only that Julian might be out there. That she wanted to talk to him about the letter about her feelings. When she found the tavern it looked very much like a hole in the wall place. A small hidden away gem of a spot. It was dark inside, save the glow of a fire in the fireplace and some lanterns. When she’d come in a few heads had turned to see her. A few eyebrows lifted at her fiery red hair. It took her eyes several minutes to adjust to the dim lighting. She looked around and didn’t see Julian. Antonia asked the tavern keeper if he’d seen Julian and she described him. That was when the man pointed towards the back of the tavern. In the shadows.

 

She walked back unable to see him right away. Antonia wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when she finally did.

 

The bottle was still mostly full when they saw each other. “So, I guess you found me,” he said noncommittally.

 

“I will always find you.” She insisted as she stood there taking him in. “May I?” She gestured to the seat across from him.


 

He thought for a moment, considering his options, then shrugged his shoulders and gestured for her to have a seat.

 

Antonia sat down and stole the bottle of rum from him. She played with it for a moment. And then shook her head. “No.” She stood up and came around the table. She took the back of his chair and tipped it back just enough to spin him until he was facing her. Then she straddled his thighs and sat down. Antonia didn't ask she just kissed him.

 

He resisted. A little bit, at first, but then he yielded to her ministration, then returned the kiss with heat. After the kiss broke he said, “You shouldn’t be around me. None of you should. This is my fault. All my fault. I know who’s behind this who wants you all dead and me to join them and bow my knee to that bastard of a god.”

 

When the kiss ebbed she listened to him. Antonia was insulted at first, she shouldn't be around him. “None of this is your fault. Well, ok. This.” She pointed to herself sitting on his lap. “Is your fault. But what happened today, what's been happening isn't your fault.” She intense blue eyes met his. “And I'm not going anywhere without you.”

 

“You don’t understand, “ he pleaded his gray eyes locking with her blue ones. “I am starting, no I’ve started to have feelings for you.” He paused, unwilling to release her. “And it’s clear you’re feeling the same. But being with me puts you and the others in greater danger. I have a good idea, a really good idea that my family is involved in this whole mess.”

 

She smiled, even though he sounded worried. “Isn't this the same family you told me you didn't care about how they felt about you and I?” she knew that it was. “Julian, I'm not losing you. I'd have fought for you before I cared about you because you were part of our team. Now I'm fighting for you because you mean something to me.” She didn't want him to let go of her.

 

Part of him wanted to push her away for her own protection, even if that meant hurting her, but he couldn’t bring himself to do that. Not yet, not while there was still a chance. He pulled her towards him and kissed her deeply and with need.

 

Antonia took his kiss to mean that he'd given up telling her to go away. Because she wasn't. And she knew no one else was going to leave him to face this alone either. When the kiss finally broke, and it did take a few minutes, she smiled at him. “I should tell you no more often if that is how you are going to kiss me.”  She stayed on his lap. Straddling his legs not wanting to get up. “What were you thinking? You had me scared.”


 

Thanks to her position on his lap and the pressure she was applying to certain areas of his body and as a result of the kiss, his thoughts had shifted rather dramatically and he was doing his best to keep the blood from rushing to those affected areas. Nevertheless he said,  “I was thinking, I wanted to protect the group. Maybe if I wasn’t with you all, you wouldn’t be a target. And then I had a, well a dangerous idea, that I’d need to pursue alone.

 

 

She leaned back rather surprised at his answer. “You were planning to abandon us?” She wasn't entirely sure she'd heard him correctly. “You think we wouldn't be targets with you gone?”

 

“No, not abandon. Just the opposite really. Take the target off your back by letting them think they’ve won. You know, me for the rest of the group.”

 

Antonia thought about slapping him.  “You know we wouldn't stop fighting this fight.  It being personal for you just makes it all that more important to the rest of us. Especially me.” She told him. “You leaving would weaken us. It would affect you and me. I think. I know I’d  be less focused because I'd be worried about you and I'd like to think you'd be worried about me.” She said. “No. No running off. We face this together.”

 

“Alright,” he replied noticing that the temperature in the room  had lowered noticeably even though she was still sitting on his lap stirring up his libido “Look, I get where you’re coming from. But I can’t go…” he paused trying to come up with the right word, “undercover, with everyone else there.”

 

She shook her head. “And we can't cover your ass if you aren't nearby.” Antonia retorted. “I get it, Julian. You don't want anyone getting hurt because of you. I do understand where you're coming from. I'm usually the same way, but trust me. Alone is not the way to go against these people.”

 

“Then I guess I better get used to the idea that I can’t get away from the group. Not to change the subject, but do you have any idea how distracting you’re sitting in my lap like that is. I’m not complaining, mind you, just asking.”

 

Antonia did. She had a very good idea how distracting it was. All his attention was on her and he couldn't help himself but focus on her. In more ways than one. “Well, I wanted to make sure I had your undivided attention.” She said draping her arms over his shoulders. “I assume that I do have it, correct?”

 

Julian managed a lopsided grin “You most certainly do. So, uh, what do you want to do now?”

 

Antonia looked at him and leaned closer. She was more inches from his face. Her eyes drifted down to his lips before coming back up to meet his eyes. “did you say you were starting to have feelings for me?” She lifted one lone eyebrow at him.

 

He met and held her gaze. “Yes,” he admitted, “really for some time now. But you’ve seemed content with detente.”

 

Antonia sat there on him. She moved her hips ever so slightly. Teasing him in a way. “I don't know if I'd call this detente.” She pushed back some of her hair. “Kissing you definitely isn't merely setting aside my hostility.” She leaned forward again and this time she leaned against his cheek and whispered in his ear. “Or do I have to show you I want to go further?”

 

“Gods,” he whispered back, “I think I know exactly what you’re willing to do.  And it does require some privacy. Perhaps, we should go back to my room. But you’re going to have to get off my lap and give me a few minutes to recover. There are some talents I’m willing to put on display for everyone to see and others I’m not.”

 

The tiniest mischievous little smirk slipped across her face. Antonia wanted to get him out of the seedy hole in the wall tavern. If that meant a little time in his room alone kissing and, what was it her sister called it? Oh yes, petting. So be it. He was safe.

 

Antonia leaned back and rose slowly from we're she'd been sitting for sometime now. Her eyes did drift to his lap to see why he needed to recover. She almost asked if she'd caused that, but she knew she had. Instead she sat down across from him at the table. “Better?”

 

“I guess that depends on whether you want to continue what you started,” the Bard replied hopefully.

 

Antonia nodded her head. “Of course I'm going to finish this. And you're not running off to facing anyone alone.” She was completely clueless to what he meant.

 

“I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing,” Julian said, “can I ask you a personal question?”

 

“Of course.” She retorted.

 

“I think you are far more innocent than you claim to be,” he said a tinge of red appearing on his cheeks. Have you ever... uh, have you ever done more with a man than kiss him?”

 

“I never claimed to be anything, Julian.” She told him. “My reputation comes with some expectations just like yours.” She reminded him. “They aren't always true expectations. Until the other day, I'd never even kissed a man.” Meaning he was the first she'd ever trusted that far.

 

“I am honored, deeply honored to have been the first man to kiss you. But I think that answers my question. What you started, but sitting on my lap like that, it, it ignites certain things for a man. And I think you got the wrong idea when I asked if you wanted to finish this. I didn’t mean this thing with the bastard god, though I want to do that too, I meant, you and I doing something a lot more than kissing.”

 

He shook his head, “But, I don’t think you’re ready for that.”

 

She felt the color in her cheeks grow. Antonia had agreed she wanted to start being more serious with Julian. Kissing yes, hugging of course. But beyond that, she wasn't just not ready she was slightly offended by. “I'm sorry. I gave you the wrong impression.” It was after all her actions that had led him to think about it. “I wanted your attention. I didn't mean to mislead you.” Antonia stopped herself. It wasn't misleading. Eventually they'd get that far, maybe, she thought. Perhaps. Did he really think she was that fast? That easy?! “But you want to?”

 

“Yes,” he replied, “of course, “I haven’t been with anyone since… well for a very long time, despite my reputation otherwise. You’re a very attractive woman and you already know I’m falling for you.”

 

She wasn't sure how she felt about that. His proclamation, that is. Antonia wasn't naive, she just wasn't, well she wasn't the type of girl most men went after. Most considered her equal. Some feared her on reputation alone. Julian, she was still trying to understand. “Does it bother you that I am not, there yet?”

 

He  paused considering how best to express his feelings towards her. “I would sleep with you instantly and without hesitation if you were and I would not have any regrets. But, it doesn’t bother me that you’re not. I’m willing to wait. No, let me put it this way. I want to wait for you.”

 

Antonia wanted to kiss him, but she thought it would send mixed messages. But he said he was falling  for her and she was really starting to like him. “Thank you.” She finally said. “So you really think your family is behind this?”

 

“With one hundred percent certainty, no. And I pray that my grandmother isn’t. I mean she’s always had my back and been there for me. But, my father? Well, let’s just say it would not surprise me. Though to be honest I can’t see him being a pious follower. More like an opportunist, out to expand the family’s empire anyway he can.”

 

She sat back in her seat. “Your father is like that?!” Antonia's father wasn't. Her brother was, but not her father. She was thankful that the two men didn't know each other. Or rather didn't like each other enough to team up.

 

“Most of my family too, but I doubt you want to hear about my family life.”

 

Antonia smirked at him. “Tell ya what. Since we know they’re out for us. Why don’t we go and work on your swordsmanship? And we can compare how messed up our families are.”

 

“Good idea,” he replied.

 

She opened the rum on the table and took a drink before handing it to him. “And then maybe just maybe, something a little more than kissing.” She hinted.

 

“You mean like after we get done practicing and comparing? Like tonight maybe, or much further down the road?”

 

She smiled at him,  he sounded so eager and hopeful. “Tonight, maybe.”

 

“I guess I’ll have to practice really hard, you know just as a way to show you how motivated I am.”

 

She couldn't help but laugh at the innuendo. She almost told him if he could best her, he could bed her. But that wasn't going to happen. “ Sounds promising.” She took another drink of the rum before standing. “Let's go then.”

 


Last Updated On Tuesday, 08 January 2019 21:12 By David Tannen