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Games of Desire
Julia could still taste the cum in her mouth. Smiling, she kept wiping down the counter, moving the dirty rag in her hand in tight circles across the polished wood. It had been a bit reckless of her to leave the bar unattended, but what could she do? It’s not every day a strapping young soldier, fresh from the front, comes into your bar and compliments your appearance. She simply had to thank him.
And what could be better thanks than a quick and messy blowjob in the storeroom while all your soldier friends wait at your table none the wiser? The look on his face when she’d taken his hand and led him behind the bar had been priceless, but not as priceless as his face when she closed the storeroom door and dropped to her knees.
After the shock had worn off, he’d been quite a gentleman, gasping politely as she worked her lips up and down his shaft, never once cursing or pulling her hair. Not that she minded when men did that, but it was nice to meet a guy with manners every once in a while, even if he had unloaded close to a gallon of semen into her mouth when he finally came.
Julia ran her tongue around her mouth again. A bit bitter, but as come went, not too bad. At least he tasted better than some of the other men she’d blown behind the bar. She hoped he’d come back soon.
Julia chuckled to herself. Gods, she was bad. But she did it so well. And after all, didn’t people always say that the best thing you can do in life is to bring joy to everyone you meet? And if there was one thing Julia was good at, it was bringing joy to people. Sometimes several times a night.
The truth was, Julia loved what she did. Watching someone come gave her a sense of supreme satisfaction, whether it was on her, in her, or just because of her. She’d never forget the time she finished a man off just by whispering into his ear. She couldn’t believe it when she heard him start to groan, and watched as his cock twitched, shooting out jet after jet of sticky white semen all over himself.
It made her feel so sexy to know men lusted after her, and while she had to admit, she was occasionally guilty of leading them on, she always made sure to give them at least a little satisfaction. Honestly, if she wasn’t the owner and sole employee of the Staggering Centaur, she probably would have been sacked years ago, with the number of men she’d dragged upstairs after hours. One of the perks of being the landlady.
Looking up from her cleaning, Julia’s eyes scanned across the bar, taking in the few patrons she had, sat around tables, drinking from tankards and talking amongst themselves. It was going to be a quiet night. She sighed. Ah well, she’d already had her fun. No need to get greedy.
Of the people in the bar, Julia knew most of them already. Hollydour was a small town, and the Staggering Centaur was its only real tavern, which meant as the landlady, very few people slipped past her. Looking out across the bar, she saw a variety of familiar faces, humans, dwarves, and even the occasional halfling as well.
Off to the side, near the fire, two old men sat in comfortable silence, each nursing a glass of brandy. Towards the door, a group of young woman, probably no more than eighteen, giggled amongst themselves happily. All around her, the common folk of the town sat, enjoying the calm atmosphere after a hard days work in the fields.
That was the other reason Julia loved working here. After a life of excitement and adventure, it was nice to live somewhere as peaceful as Hollydour. Sure, the occasional passionate liaison certainly spiced things up a bit, but for the most part, she was content to live at a slower pace. After all, there was more than one way to satisfy people, and most of the time a hot meal, cold drink, and warm fire were all they needed. Julia was happy to provide.
Letting out a content sigh, she stepped back from the polished bar, admiring her work. The wood had certainly seen better days, but at least it wasn’t sticky anymore. She chuckled to herself.
Looking up, her smile widened, as she saw a familiar face walking through the door, heading towards the bar.
Making his way to the bar, the grizzled old dwarf smiled up at Julia with a lopsided grin. “Afternoon lovely!” Hopping up onto a bar stool, Brungard heaved his burly arms down onto the counter with a grunt. Julia turned to grab a tankard.
“Same as always?”
The dwarf chuckled. “Same as always.”
Julia flashed him a smile and reached up to one of the kegs behind the bar. Filling the tankard with care, she turned back and put it down in front of her old friend. “Good day?”
The dwarf grunted. “Same old crap, but yeah, not too bad.”
“How’s the apprentice?”
Brungard shook his head. “He’s keen, I’ll give him that, but the lad wouldn’t know a pair of tongs from a turnip if I didn’t keep reminding him.”
Julia laughed, resting a hand on the bar as she lent on her arm. “That bad, huh?”
“Ah, casino siteleri he’ll get the hang of it. Just as long as he keeps his mind on his blacksmithing instead of every pretty little thing that walks by. I swear, flash that boy a nice pair of legs and he’ll be dead in the head for hours.” Shaking his head again, the dwarf took a swig from his tankard, as Julia chuckled.
“Like you’re one to talk, Mr Stouthammer. I was with you back in Fellscar, remember? The way you went through those elven girls, anyone would’ve thought you’d been celibate your entire life!” The pair shared another chuckle.
“Fair point, fair point. But I wasn’t in charge of a forge then. No, I was still in my ‘glory days'” The dwarf took another swig. Julia sighed, thinking back to her days travelling the world. There’d been a few more of them then, besides Brungard and herself. Salia, the dark-skinned mage from distant Surket Sha, Aeron Greenstrider, the stern elven ranger…
And of course, Sir Michael Carthwaite.
Julia smiled to herself. Of course, he hadn’t been a knight when they’d travelled together. That was a title he’d been given much later. She wondered where he was now. Still serving the queen of Amara as her royal consort. Lucky bastard, she thought.
She missed Michael. Perhaps she should write him a letter.
“Weren’t we all…” She sighed out, speaking in mock-wistfulness “Oh, to be young again…”
The dwarf bellowed out a laugh that filled the tavern. “Young again? Hah! You never knew me when I was young, little missy! I was already well past a hundred by the time you were born!” Julia laughed along with her old friend.
“Fair point, but we can’t all live as long as you. Some of us are only human.”
“Huh, yeah. Don’t I know it.” The old dwarf went back to his cup. “Heard anything from the others?”
“No, not in a while. Salia used to write, but we lost touch two or three years ago. It’s a long way to send, after all, and what with the war in the hinterlands…” Julia let her sentence trail off.
Salia had always been a close friend of hers, and as they’d grown older she’d hoped they’d stay in touch better. But, as the years went on, and their lives took them to different continents, things had become a little trickier. Still, she’d never forget all the wild nights they’d shared together in their mercenary days; drinking till they blacked out, waking up with all sorts of strangers, not always in the same town they started in. Hell, once or twice they’d even woken up together, and only sometimes with someone else in between!
Julia smiled. She missed her travelling companions.
“What about you? Any news?” The dwarf shook his head.
“No, not a word. But then again, when did I?” Brungard chuckled. “Gotta admit though, I do miss those days. Living on the road, nothing to tie me down, exploring forgotten places just for the hell of it.”
The old dwarf smirked. “Killing things for money, then pissing it away on drinks and hookers.”
Julia chuckled along with him. “Yeah, those really were the days. But still, we couldn’t do it forever, could we?”
“No. Gotta settle down sometime. But hell, nothing wrong with a bit of harmless reminiscing.” The dwarf finished his drink, with a long, satisfied ‘ah’. Popping a gold coin down on the bar, he got up from his stool and straightened his belt.
“Well, I better be off. Gonna be a busy day tomorrow; some duke’s ordered gold-plated horseshoes for his stallion, and gods know I’m not letting the boy deal with it.” Heading for the door, he called over his shoulder.
“Thanks for the drink, Jules. And the chat.” Julia smiled.
“A pleasure as always. See you tomorrow.”
“See ya tomorrow” With that, the dwarf made his way back across the bar, and disappeared through the door, leaving Julia alone with her thoughts again. She picked up his tankard, and emptied out the last few dregs of ale, before wiping it over with her cloth and putting it back behind the bar. As she ducked down, she heard the door open again.
As she came back up, Julia saw a face she didn’t recognise. Making his way across the room was a young man, tall and slender, with a neatly pointed beard and dark hair slicked back over a handsome face. His tall riding boots clacked against the floorboards, and as he walked he looked side to side, taking in the room as a faint smile played across his lips.
Strapped to his back, Julia could see a lute. She grinned. He was a bard.
Reaching the bar, the young man flashed her a charming smile and lent an arm casually on the polished wood.
“Good afternoon madam.” His voice dripped with charisma. Julia felt something inside her flutter. “A pint of… well, whatever you recommend.” The minstrel smiled again. Julia threw her rag over her shoulder and lent in close.
“Well, that depends on your pallet, good sir. What do you prefer; strong, or sweet?”
The man laughed a warm and pleasant sound. “Why not both? But, if I slot oyna had to pick, I’d say sweet. Although I’m sure whatever you suggest will satisfy me perfectly.”
Julia stood back up straight. “Well, I do aim to satisfy.” Picking up a clean tankard, she turned her back to the bard, filling it with mead. She couldn’t help but grin to herself. It had been a while since someone so charming had come into the Centaur, let alone a fellow musician, and she couldn’t help but delight in his appearance.
Turning back, she put the cup down in front of him and held out her hand. “There. That’ll be five copper, my dear.” The bard gave her a nod of appreciation, and from within his gilded green tunic, he withdrew a silver coin, which he flicked down into her hand. “Keep the change, as a symbol of my gratitude.”
Julia’s mouth split into a wide smile. Looking at the coin in her palm, she passed her other hand over it, dispelling the magic cast on it. As she did, the bright silver colour faded to a dull copper, and she held it up for the young man to see.
“I’m terribly sorry, my good sir, but it seems you’re a little short.”
Raising his eyebrows in surprise, the bard let out a nervous chuckle. “Ah, sorry about that. Here.” His cheeks blushing red with embarrassment, the young man took out his coin purse and handed Julia another silver piece. “Real, this time, I promise.”
With a smile, Julia slipped the coin into her cleavage and lent forwards across the bar again. “Thank you, kind sir. Although I suggest you check the rest of your possessions for such ‘enchantments’. We wouldn’t want you giving illusionary money to someone else, now would we?”
Again, the bard chuckled nervously. “Yes, quite!” Regaining some of his composure, the minstrel took a drink from his cup and smiled.
“Divine, just like the woman who served it.”
“You flatter me, sir.”
“I should hope so.” Julia couldn’t help but feel charmed by the young man, who reached out a delicate hand towards her. “Emilio Darius, musician, storyteller, and wanderer down life’s great highway, at your service.”
Amused, Julia offered out her hand for him to take, and as he planted a gentle kiss on her knuckles she replied “Julia Wildblossom. A pleasure to meet you, Mr Darius.”
Looking up, Emilio gave her a wink “I assure you, madam, the pleasure is all mine”. Withdrawing her hand, Julia hummed in amusement as the bard stood up straight again, taking another drink from his mead. Turning back to the room, Emilio surveyed the other patrons.
“May I ask, Madam, if you have any entertainment planned for the evening?” Julia shook her head.
“Then, would it be alright if I played a few songs? I’ll keep it brief, and I won’t ask for anything in return, except potentially your applause.” Gesturing to the room, Emilio added: “I’m sure your patrons would appreciate a little light music to go with their drinks.”
Chuckling in amusement, Julia nodded again. “I think that sounds like a wonderful idea. It’s been quite a while since we’ve had any music in the place.” Looking up to the ceiling in mock wistfulness, Julia sighed out “I do sometimes think about getting my old harpsichord down, every once in a while, but if I did that, who would watch the bar?”
Emilio cocked an eyebrow. “A fellow musician?”
Julia chuckled. “Oh of course. Or at least, I used to be, back in my youth. In fact, I was quite the musical savant.”
The young man smirked. “Well, perhaps you could show me a thing or two later this evening?”
“Oh, I’d love to.” Julia flashed him a flirtatious smile, before turning back to her bar. The bard let out a chuckle and made his way towards the corner of the room.
As she watched him go over her shoulder, Julia couldn’t help but chuckle to herself. It’d been a while since she’d met someone quite so charming, and as she brushed the hair from her eyes, she glanced over at the tall grandfather clock in the corner. There were still a few more hours before closing. She hoped she could wait that long.
As he passed the group of girls by the door, Julia heard them giggling, and turned around just in time to see him shoot them a wink before slipping the lute from his back. Taking his place in the corner, he addressed the room, introducing himself in a very similar way to the way he had to Julia.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my very great honour to perform for you tonight.” The way he stressed ‘ladies’ almost made Julia burst out with laughter. He really was a walking stereotype. Continuing on, Emilio gestured humble towards his heart.
“I’m not asking for your money, don’t worry, your appreciation is all the pay I need.”
Sure, along with a few hours upstairs between your legs, Julia thought to herself, as she saw the girls giggling amongst themselves again. She didn’t mean to be hard on the man, but he wasn’t the first wandering musician she’d met. Hell, she’d been one herself, and she knew exactly what he was after. Drinks, sex, and canlı casino siteleri a chance to show off.
She’d been exactly the same when she’d been travelling the world. She couldn’t count the number of times she and her friends had arrived in some small town, made their way to the local tavern with whatever gold they still had, and set about making a nuisance of themselves. It’d start off harmlessly enough, but before long there she’d be, harpsichord in hand, singing some bawdy song while eyeing up every guy in the crowd, looking for the right one to carry her off upstairs for a night of wild passion.
She smirked to herself. Those were the days.
As she watched the attractive young man begin to pluck out the first notes of his song, she couldn’t help but stare, resting against the bar as he began to sing. His voice was sweet and fair, and carried a tone she recognised immediately. She cocked an eyebrow and listened intently as he got into the swing of the song. All around her, the tavern patrons stopped what they were doing, and turned towards Emilio, lowering their drinks and listening as he started to weave an epic tale, his beautiful voice carrying across the room with a clarity and passion few had heard before.
Soon, everyone in the tavern was enthralled by his performance. Standing alone, lute in hand, the minstrel seemed to glow faintly, as his music enraptured the attention of even the most dyspeptic drinkers. To anyone watching, the young man might have seemed like a god, the most amazing musician they’d ever heard, but Julia knew better. Deep in the tremor of his voice, she recognised a power she hadn’t heard in a long time. Emilio was casting a spell. A spell that would make his audience even more susceptible to his charms.
Deep within the music he played, the bard had woven a subtle enchantment, so tiny no-one would notice unless they knew what to listen for. But Julia knew. She knew because she’d used the same spell countless times. Leaning further against the bar, she smiled in amusement as the minstrel plucked the strings of his instrument, his adoring audience none the wiser to the magic they were under.
He was good, she had to admit, but not as good as her.
Coming to the end of the song, the young man gave a short half-bow, as his audience burst out into applause. Drinking in the attention for a moment, he stood back up straight, moving his hands back to his instrument and beginning a new song.
Julia, amused, turned her attention back to her bar. Well, might as well take the opportunity to tidy up a bit while all her patrons were distracted with Emilio’s melodic voice. Grabbing her rag, she went back to cleaning, making sure to check over her shoulder every once in a while to make sure everything was alright.
Well, partly to make sure everything was alright. Sure, she wasn’t under the effects of his spell, but that didn’t mean Emilio wasn’t an incredibly talented musician, and as she worked, his song in the background, Julia couldn’t help but think about how nice it’d be to have someone here full time. Looking over at him, admiring his handsome face as he joyfully strummed his instrument, she wondered if he’d accept.
Probably not. After all, it didn’t really seem his style, as a, what did he call himself, a ‘wanderer down life’s great highway’? The barmaid chuckled to herself.
Looking up again, for just a second she saw Emilio staring at her. He caught her eye, just for an instant, before turning back to his adoring crowd, a look of surprise on his face. Julia chuckled again. He probably didn’t get many people resisting his enchantments. She went back to cleaning the bar and enjoyed the rest of his performance.
As his last song came to an end, the bard thanked everyone for listening. “Remember, life is always better with a song!” Bowing low, one arm extended, Emilio slung his instrument back over his shoulder, and amid the raucous applause of the gathered townsfolk, made his way to the bar. Julia smirked as she saw the table of village girls swooning in the background. She shook her head. They had no idea.
Approaching the landlady, Emilio lent forward against the polished wood of the counter, breathing heavily but smiling wide.
“Out of breath?”
“Only a little” the bard replied. “It’s been a while since I’ve had such a responsive crowd.” He turned back towards the room, before looking up at Julia. “You don’t often get musicians wandering in, do you?”
Julia shook her head. “No, not as often as I’d like. Especially not ones with such… presence.”
Emilio laughed at her choice of words. “I see. Well, I am often complimented on my… presence.” He flashed Julia a half smile. “I dare say, the girls on that table seemed particularly enthralled.”
“Oh, I’m sure they were. A handsome man like you? You’re bound to cause a stir wherever you go.” Julia shifted her body weight forward, pushing her chest out a little as she lent on the bar.
“Well, I’d hate to cause too much of a stir. Pretty girls can get a man thrown out of town.”
Julia smirked. “Oh, don’t worry. I won’t let anyone throw you out. I’m sure I could find somewhere around here to hide you.”
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