Bus Ride Fantasy

Skyrim FanFiction, Skyrim Erotica, and More

Narova Comes Home

the sanctuary

“Just to be clear, she simply rode off to the west?” Astrid asked, frowning at Arnbjorn. “Didn’t say where?”

“It was either Markarth or the mountains. Nothing else over there,” Arnbjorn said.

He’d been back at the sanctuary for three days, and answered the same question four times. It was starting to get on his nerves.

“I don’t like it. If she’s really one of us, she can’t just disappear like this.”

“You’ve done some disappearing every once in a while, as I recall,” Festus Krex chimed in from his spot in the corner of the room.

It was past midnight and all three of them were in Astrid’s quarters. Festus was on his fifth glass of wine. He swished it around in the goblet and leaned back in his chair. Arnbjorn was standing by the door with his arms crossed, and Astrid was spread out on the floor by the fire.

“Everything I do,” Astrid responded, “is for the sake of the Family. None of us know why Narova does anything.”

“You can trust her,” Festus said dismissively, taking another sip from his goblet.  Arnbjorn noticed that he’d been drinking Alto wine like it was water these past few days. Whether he would admit it or not, he was worried about her.

So was Arnbjorn.

“I barely trust you, old man,” Astrid said.

Festus just shrugged and inspected the inside of his glass.

“Why don’t we return to the issue at hand,” Arnbjorn said. “What are we going to do with all of this?”

He motioned to the chests of Moon Sugar that filled an entire corner of the room. They were worth a fortune—hundreds of thousands of Septims.

“I keep telling you two, it’s simple,” Astrid said, her voice laced with annoyance. “Delvin Mallory will be able to sell them off.  Then we can move out of this shithole sanctuary and buy a castle somewhere. I’ve always liked the hills up near Solitude. A port city is good for murder.”

“Might I remind you that the Five Tenants of Sithis—” Festus began.

“Might I remind you,” Astrid interrupted. “I don’t give two skeever shits about the tenants. We go our own way. That’s why our family is still alive and the rest of the Brotherhood has been ground down to dust and scattered to the wind.”

Festus and Astrid glared at each other. Arnbjorn uncrossed his arms and cleared his throat.

“I don’t trust Delvin. Not with this much weight,” he said.

“You don’t trust him because I used to screw him,” Astrid said flatly. “Get over it. We’re selling the Sugar, then we’re upgrading our abode. And if we have any coin leftover, who knows? Some dragonbone weapons might be in order.”

Festus sighed, emptied his wine, and slowly stood up. His back and limbs cracked like tree twigs snapping. He was getting older, it was easy to see. But Arnbjorn still felt uneasy standing beside him. There was darkness inside of him. Always had been.

“It seems that you’ve made up your mind just fine without my input,” he said sourly, “so I’m off to bed.”

Astrid waved him away with a flick of her wrist.

When he was gone, she stretched out her limbs like a cat and locked her eyes on Arnbjorn.

“When I first met you, I could always tell when you were lying,” she said.

Arnbjorn didn’t know what to say to that, so he just grunted.

“But these days, fuck if I can tell what’s going on in that head of yours. You’ve changed.” She rolled her head around in a slow circle. Rubbed her neck with one hand. “What do you think that means?”

Arnbjorn thought about it for a moment. “Our lives are stitched together with lies and tricks and shadows moving around in the night. I wouldn’t last ten minutes if I was still that easy to read. Not with this life. Not anymore.”

Astrid pressed her lips together, considering that. “You really don’t know where she went?”

“I really don’t.”

“Did you kill her?”

Arnbjorn snorted and shook his head.

“Did you screw her?”

He crossed his arms and met her gaze. She was trying to pry down into him and get at the truth. Once, she could have found it. But like she said, he’d changed.

“Is that why you sent me along with her?” he asked. “See if the big-bad wolf would break its chain?”

“I sent you with her so that you could kill Korman. If it came to that.”

“It didn’t.”

“Say you said.” She sighed. “The mighty Korman, slain by a reptile. Doesn’t seem right.”

Arnbjorn shrugged. “It usually doesn’t.”

Astrid nodded slowly. “You didn’t answer my question.”

Arnbjorn was opening his mouth when the sound of the door to the sanctuary opened, sending a stony echo through Astrid’s chambers. He turned and sniffed at the cool air.

He smelled blood and pine and Narova.

“She’s back,” he said, and walked out onto the landing.

“Typical,” he heard Astrid mutter behind him.

Narova limped down the stairs like a drunk, slipped on the last one, and landed at the base with a hiss and a clatter. Arnbjorn hurried across the room and bent down next to her. Her face was a ruin—broken nose and two black eyes. One cheek was swollen and dried blood was everywhere. She’d bandaged a gaping wound in her thigh that smelled like it was about to fester, if it hadn’t already.

Arnbjorn put a hand on her forehead—her skin was on fire. Her eyes squeezed shut.

“FESTUS!” he roared. “Wake up and get up here!”

Narova stirred at that. Opened her eyes as if she’d been having the strangest dream, and couldn’t quite tell if it was over just yet.

“Miss me?” she whispered.

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3 comments on “Narova Comes Home

  1. Elspeth Aurilie
    January 18, 2013

    Very good chapter. I really like how you depicted the relationships between Astrid/Arnbjorn as well as with Festus. Your characterization of Astrid is spot on.

  2. Fargoth
    January 19, 2013

    Thank you! Replaying the Dark Brotherhood storyline over and over paid off, I guess!

  3. Pingback: Butterflies in the Darkness « Bus Ride Fantasy

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This entry was posted on January 17, 2013 by in Skyrim Fiction, Tales of Narova Black Hair and tagged , .
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