Adira’s Project- Part 2

She slips quietly from beneath the furs, VERY reluctant to leave the warmth of her Jarl’s arms, but determined to work on her project when she finds the time.  The Jarl and Kat shift a bit on the furs but are otherwise unwoken by her movement.  Quietly making her way to the kitchen, she gathers the flour and gets a pot of gruel going on the stove.  She had discovered a way to make it far more tolerable by adding a herbs that she discovered grew in the nearby woods.  The looks on the thralls faces when they ate yesterday was priceless as if she had handed them something magical.  A smile touches the corners of her mouth at the thought.  The Jarl had been so generous with allowing she and Kat to eat the food prepared for him.  She enjoyed spreading the goodness.  She decided to wait on the jarls meal until he was good and awake.

Sliding her kirtle over her head, she moves to sit at the spinning wheel in the corner of the hall.  Pulling the carded wool from the basket where she had left it, she twirls it with her fingers getting it started on the wheel.  Taking her foot and pumping the pedal the wheel begins to silently spin.  She had remembered to ask one of the thralls to oil it for her the day before and was grateful for its silence now with the house still asleep.  As she pumped her foot she added pieces of carded wool, pulling and spinning it into the thread she would need for her project.  She loved the time she had in the early mornings to work on this.  There were also few stolen moments when her other chores were complete that she worked on it as well.  She hoped the Jarl would be pleased with the end result.

spinning

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Adira’s Project- Part 1

Adira picks up the basket of wool that Kat had brought in from the night before.  Retrieving the combs from beside the loom, the stool and a small fur, she walks out into the early morning air; its crispness chilling her and taking her breath away for a moment.  Wrapping the fur about her shoulders, she makes her way to the creek’s edge and sets the stool down in a flat spot to begin her work.  The sun peeks just barely above the horizon letting her know that she has a little time before she needed to get food going in the kitchen.  She pulls at the wool gathering a small handful and sticks it on one of the combs.  Taking the second comb in an opposite direction, she slaps it down on the first and drags them apart pulling at the fibers and combing them out until she has even straight fibers that will be easily fed into the spinning wheel.  She gathers the next piece of wool and repeats the process until all of the wool sits in nice neat pile ready for her to spin it.  Checking the suns location and satisfied with her work, she rises and goes back into the house to begin her normal chores, starting with cooking.

Adira’s first real serve

Over thinking had always been an issue with this girl.  She could do this.  This is what was expected of her now and she really did want to, didn’t she?  She wanted to be desirable to him.  It was one of the things that had frustrated her so in the village that they shared at one time.  She could never express how much she cared for him.  Now not only could she, she was supposed to show him.  Why did this seem so hard then?

“Ouch!” she exclaims as Kat dragged the brush through her tangles.  Her flaxen hair had tight unruly curls.  Her father used to tell her that her hair was as hard to tame as she.  She chuckles a bit at the thought.

“You will do fine, Adira.  Remember what I told you.  I will watch you and you watch me if you have questions.  Use the beautiful body that the gods gave you.”  Kat’s voice was soft and meek. She knew the little bond had a fiery streak in her though.  “And stop over thinking.  You will do fine.”

Adira starts to blush at the compliment and Kat pops her with the brush. “Stop flushing.  A coy blush is attractive but that the scarlet hue you turn whenever you are uncomfortable will not do!”   Adira scowled and rubs her shoulder.

In the kitchen, naked for the serve, she gathers the items for the Jarls plate.  Going over the items one by one, Roast Vulo, mashes suls, fresh sweetened carrots and sa-tarna.  The hall is already full of the men and bonds of the Aett including the Tuchuck free women doctor and her girl.  Adira’s belly clenches with nerves as she pours a horn full of mead and drops the herbs she had gathered special that day for the Jarl.  Kat had already instructed her to take him the platter and to wait for him to acknowledge her, not interrupting any conversation he was having before continuing.

Taking a quick inventory of her senses, she turns around and carrying the laden platter and horn moves slowly to the table.  The Jarl was sitting forward in his chair talking with one of the other Jarls.  His expression flat as he listens to the man speak of something of little to no importance to Adira.  He was shirtless, showing the flawless curves of well defined muscles.  Her breath hitches at the sight of him.  She remembers her instruction and relaxes her steps allowing her hips to sway more as she approaches.  Tonight she left her hair down and not pulled back.  Carefully placing the platter on the table she gracefully lowers herself to the floor at his left boot and waits for his attention to fall to her.  She gazes up at him, committing his face to her memory, his chiseled jaw, his piercing ocean blue eyes, his mischievous grin.  Brushing a lock from her face she continues her vigil at his feet.  Then a quizzical look crosses his face and Adira turns to look at the man that the Jarl was speaking with to find him staring at her.  When she looked back to the Jarl, he too was looking at her.

Catching her slightly off guard she begins to lower her head and then stops.  This is what she wants.  Smiling broadly at the Jarl, her eyes looking up at the man that had saved her, she speaks, “I bring you dinner of Roast Vulo, mashes suls, fresh sweetened carrots, sa-tarna and mead.  May I serve it to you as you deserve, my Jarl.”  Her voice breathy and low.

Adiras serveHe nods and leans back in his chair relaxing.  The leather of his breeches creaking as he settles back.  Slowly, Adira gets to her feet and moves to the Jarls front, her stomach knotting with the flutters of a thousand butterflies yet she continues and sliding one knee onto the chair to his right and the other to his left places herself on the Jarls lap.  Her legs quiver slightly with nerves.  The warm leather of his breeches laying against the cool skin of her inner thigh feels incredibly good to her.  The Jarl shifts, slipping a hand around her waist to help support her, the muscles in his legs flexing and her breath hitches again very noticeably.  She closes her eyes for a moment then opens them and looks down on the Jarl smiling deeply at him.  Bringing the mead around to hold it close to her body, the cold horn sending shivers through her in sharp contrast to the fiery warmth filling the rest of her.  Her nipples respond to the sensation immediately and she looks away for a moment suppressing a blush at her arousal.

“Your mead, my Jarl.” she moves the horn to his mouth and tips it for him to drink being careful not to spill it on him.  She keeps her eyes locked on his the entire time the rest of the room melting away from her.  Bringing the horn back to her, she turns to set it to the side in the horn rack and pluck a piece of roast vulos, waiting to the last possible moment to break her gaze.  The motion of turning to get the food shifts her seating enough that his knee brushes her sex sending a shocking sensation that she had never before felt coursing through her body and she gasps.  Gathering her calm she turns back again smiling, and releases the indrawn breath.  Holding the morse of fragrant meat, trials it over his lips before placing it in his open mouth.  Feeding him like this piece by piece, she completely forgets that there are others in the room.  Her body sensuously perched on his lap.  Her body flaming hot with feelings that she did not expect but did not shun either.  When the meal was finished, the Jarl shifts her in his lap,placing her onto his left leg and flipping her kirtle up so that her bare bottom was touching the leather of his pants, his arm snuggly holding her against him.  Again, the warmth of his body through the leather sent tingling sensations coursing through her.  He looks out over the gathering of men and bonds, his Aett and smiles.

Adira never takes her dark eyes from him and tentatively she reaches up her hand and places it against his chest, fingers trembling slightly.  Her fingertips tingle with the energy and power the Jarl emits and she is at a loss, for words, for feelings, for coherent thought.  Nuzzling her face into his neck she whispers, “Thank you for saving me, my Jarl.”

Renaming, a life anew

As the boat pulled into the inlet, the smell that assaulted Astryyd’s senses was that of fresh turned soil.   She saw the men, both Jarls and thralls, working on the small farmstead that they approached.  A large red shield bearing the mark of the Ursa, Rammer’s mark, hung on a post near the dock.  This was his home and he had brought us here to live and work.

Over the course of the trip,  I spoke much with Kat about what was in store for me and my fears had lessened some.  Rammer had kept his distance from me only occasionally ordering me to this or that chore on the boat. As the boat docked, we were ordered to shore and I had never been so happy to have my feet on solid ground.  Rammer held both of us by the leash as we heeled following him to the yard of the house that was his long hall, a large but not too large wooden structure in an L shape.  Behind the house she could see fields of grain and suls and livestock.  The whole place was bustling with activity.  She stared eyed as the Rammer spoke with several men who hastily begin to unload the boat of its cargo.

Reaching up with nimble fingers, Rammer releases the leashed from our collars and begins to talk of what he expects from us as bonds.  He tells Kat that she is train me well or it will be her punishment and that she will be his first girl.  The men from the boat carry a large crate to the side of the hall and begin to unpack it.  I watch as they unpack and begin to assemble a Meadery.  My eyes flash around to the Jarl eye with surprise and he is staring at me with a smile on his face.  Stepping forward, he tips my face up to his and tells me that he will once again have the best mead in the north from my hands.  Then he touches his forehead tenderly to mind and grins warmly at me.  He touch ignites every nerve in my body and sets off every confused thought in my brain but as he steps back my eyes fall back on the equipment.  Only then do I see the hives beyond the house.  He got these for me!  At that moment, I was not sure if they were a gift for me or him but I did not care.  He would allow me to continue to brew for him and my heart suddenly softened to the man that stole me from the woods.

He firmly spoke to me with his voice loud enough that those around the house could hear.   “You are no longer Astryyd Dalgaard, Brewer of Vahalla Cliffs and Jarnheim.  You are ADIRA!  Bondmaid of Jarl Rammer of the Aett of Ursa. ”

Having my identity, my name stripped from me and replaced should have angered me but it did not.   In this moment, I felt proud to be on this farmstead and excited at the same time.  Gone where the fears of branding and furring for the moment.  I beamed.  Strength…..the name Adira meant strength for that is what he saw in me even when I did not see it myself at this moment.

For the first time in a long while, I felt comfortable and HOME.

A1

Taking of a Freewomen

As Astryyd  is led naked through the forest, she notes the path that he takes and wonders if she had passed this way on her wanderings, so much of this looked familiar to her.  Her thoughts turn inward as she drops her head watching only the boots of the man in front of her.

She tries to fathom what all of this means for her.  He says that this was for HER protection. How in the gods name is being collared to a man protecting her?  This was the thing she feared in all of her travels.  The thing that she swore she’d throw herself from the highest cliffs before she’d willing step into a bond circle.  And she HAD thrown herself from a cliff to escape Jarnheim. Yet her body and instinct had betrayed her and whored itself out for a bota of water and food.  Tears again welled up in her eyes and hastily wiped them with her filthy hands.  She will not cry again in front of him.  She lifted her chin proudly a stared at the mans back.  She was the best brewer in the north.  Her mead had won the hearts of several high Jarls.  How dare this man take advantage of her in this manner?  Someone will pay for my release but as the thought came to her mind she knew it wasn’t true.  Bear maybe have been the only one and he was an opportunistic Jarl.  Likely he would have collared her just the same.  The thought did cross her mind as to why he did not.  It wasn’t like he didn’t have opportunity plenty to do so.

She watched the swaying of this Jarls back, his hair peeking out from the hood which her wore and she wondered what his story was for a brief moment.  Where had his girl gone and why was he here?  He was  a most beautiful man.  The thought entered her mind unbidden and a grin crossed her lips briefly transporting her back to Vahalla Cliffs.  There was a time that she longed for his company, for his companionship but not on the end of his leash.  She had thought him so different from the other Jarls.  He had a soft spot for the girls and she never saw him lose his temper with them.  That gave her a bit of encouragement though this thought led her back to the branding and the smell of burnt flesh.  She gagged audibly and coughed up bile causing her to stop for a moment.  She bent over resting her hands on her knees trying to choke back the taste in her mouth and waiting for the jerk of the chain but it never came.  She turned her head sideways to look at him and he just stood there waiting patiently for her regain her composure.  Spotting a small ginger plant she reached down and with her already dirty fingers dug it up by the roots.  She tried wiping it off as best she could then broke off a small place of root and stuck it in her mouth and begin chewing.

She stood as he looked at her quizzically.

“Ginger” she stated somewhat matter of factually, “It combats nausea.”   She swallowed the lifted her chin proudly cocking an eyebrow at the man in a “carry on” manner and waited for him to continue.  She wanted to slip back into her thoughts but could not with him staring at her with……what is that look?  Concern?  Surely not.  What was I to him but another conquest?  Another bond on his chain.  She briefly feels a bit guilty for the thought but the man had just ripped her freedom from her.  Some how she would escape this fate, had to escape it.  Peeking up again staring at the strong Jarls back and swagger and something clenches inside her.  She had to…..didn’t she?

The end of a Freewoman

Astryyd paused by the rock bracing her unsteady body.  Days had turned to weeks and she knew that she could not survive on berries and water much longer.  She had left the river a half a day ago hoping to find a farm or something where she could get more substantial food.  As she slumps to the ground, her mouth parched, she regrets this decision.  Closing her eyes, she decides to rest then return to the river.   A noise snaps her groggily from sleep.  Her senses dull from exhaustion.  Must be the wind, she thinks to herself.  After a moment she rises and stumbles her way back toward the river only to come to a stiff halt gasping as a figure dark and menacing steps from the shadows and speaks to her.  This man seems to know her and chastises her for the state she finds herself in.  It is a voice from the past and for a moment, her heart dares to hope that salvation has found her.  He feeds and waters her and she accepts eagerly.  She inquires as to what payment she can offer planning to provide this man with all the mead he cares for once she is safely set up in a village again.  His terms, however, where not what she suspected as he stands and draws a bond circle at his feet.  In horror, she loses the contents of her stomach.  He informs her that either she submits willingly or once the sedative he has dosed her with takes effect, he will toss her in himself and she knows the truth, that her time of being a free women is at its end.  Proud tears staining her cheeks, she stumbles and collapses in the ring at his feet.  He tenderly kneels speaking his fondness for her and gently closes a collar about her neck then raises to her feet and strips her of her tattered dress.  Astryyd shudders and attempts to cover herself from his gaze.  He leads her back to his camp and gives her a kirtle that barely covers her and chaining her by an ankle tether to a tree, commands her to sleep as the sedative quickly takes her.  She weeps quietly as she slips into a deep slumber.