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The first thing he was aware of was softness beneath his head, beneath his entire body in fact. Sifting through scattered thoughts and strange flaring sensations of pain that would spike now and then. Slowly, his thoughts gathered in a thin whirlpool of his recollection, sounds drifting through and even a few memories here and there.
Eventually, the whirlpool filled and filled, growing larger, deeper, and stronger until finally there was a snap and his being, his consciousness filled the space in its entirety. He was Edin once more.
He opened his eyes, staring up at the wooden beams of the ceiling. The crackling of a fire was nearby. Birdsong flitted about in the distance, he felt exhausted and ravenous all at once, his body ached as he cautiously turned his head, thirst burning in the back of his throat. Gods, he was so thirsty.
He spotted his skein of water lying on a simple bedside table, his other effects were propped against the wall. Shakily he reached for it, his arm moved at a sluggish pace, his muscles screaming in protest. His back and shoulders felt sore from lying down for a while.
He grasped the leather strap of the water skein and tugged it towards him. It clattered off the table, and he struggled to hoist it up towards him. It took him great effort, but eventually, Edin had the water skein in his hands. He twisted the nozzle and eagerly brought it to his lips, chugging the water as fast as he could, ignoring the need to breathe as glorious water slaked his parched throat.
Eventually, his body forced him to part from the water. He coughed once. His head rattled roughly and causing a dull throbbing pain to radiate through his skull. He winced, immediately feeling the sharp bites of pain along the back of his head and neck.
His mouth feeling better, he slowly lifted a hand to touch the back of his head. He whimpered when he felt the sensitive pain of a very swollen knot on the back of his skull. He let his hand fall away as he slowly sat up. His body was protesting the constant laying on his back. As much as his head hurt, he wanted to change positions.
His vision darted with dots when he sat up, but after a few moments of calm breathing they faded and he looked about the room he was sitting in. It was a rather good-sized cottage, perhaps the size of the main entertaining room back at the House of Red. To the far left of him was the main kitchen area, a few wooden cupboards, and counters overflowing with various dishes and implements. Jars of spices and herbs and a stone sink with a metal hand pump that had a freshly skinned rabbit hanging over it.
Directly across from him was a fireplace, a small fire currently burning away as a black iron kettle was set over the flame. He could smell a very strong sage scent coming from the direction of the flames. The mantle of the fireplace was simple stone and wood. The only thing decorating it was the symbol for the SunMaker, the King-God of the Heavenly Court.
From where he was sitting, Edin could tell he was in an alcove, just off from the main room. There wasn’t a doorway to this space he was laying in but a large woolen sheet on a wooden dowel that was set up as some sort of divider. It was currently pushed all the way to the side, allowing Edin the ability to study his surroundings.
Aside from the kitchen, he could spot two other rooms branching off from the main room. Most likely, one was a storage area or pantry and the other would either be a bedroom or privy, perhaps?
Edin was taken from his thoughts when the door nearby the kitchen swung open. He could tell it was the main entry, as there were several pegs for clothing to be hung up next to the door, as well as a few sets of spare boots scattered near the area.
Leaning forward as far as he dared, he watched as the stranger he had met in the woods exhaustedly shrugged off his bow and satchel. The man, perhaps a few years older than him from what he could tell, had an armful of flowers and a dead pheasant hanging from his belt. Edin watched silently as the stranger walked over to the kitchen, tossing the bird on the counter before putting the flowers on the table.
He began to meticulously pick the petals off the plants before placing them into a mortar on the table. Edin continued observing him, not knowing if or how to catch the stranger’s attention. Eventually, the stranger finished with the flowers before he added small amounts of fat into the pestle to mix in with the petals.
When the stranger turned towards him, a wooden bowl filled with the mixture he had just gotten done creating. The man jumped back, a strange gargled noise breaking from his throat. The voice was grating. If Edin was honest, it startled him with how inhuman it sounded.
He and the stranger stared at one another for a few seconds before the man was rushing over to him. Edin slid back on the bed, unsure of the man’s intentions. The man walked up to him before squatting beside him. Edin studied the stranger. He couldn’t deny the man was attractive, not in a way that Eryaman Escort would cause everyone’s heads to turn towards him, but enough that perhaps a few eyes may wander and rest for an extra moment or two.
He had a strong brow and jawline, chiseled with a close shaved beard. A thick neck that was settled onto equally thick shoulders and arms. Wide chest and a barrel-like belly that dipped in slightly towards the hips.
The man made the same motions in front of him, dipping two fingers into the mixture in the bowl and then dabbing them on the back of his head before pointing to him. It took Edin a few moments before he realized the stranger wanted to put the mixture on the back of his head. He leaned forward, allowing the man to apply the medicine. At least, he hoped it was medicine.
The man smiled. Edin was surprised by it. The smile looked and felt… genuine. A warmth radiated from the stranger. He seemed entirely without motive, other than wanting to help him. Edin watched as the man attentively looked towards his injury. When the stranger was done, he set the bowl aside before putting a finger up and rushed across the room.
He grabbed something that had been lying near the fireplace. Quickly his caretaker came back over, in his hands a slate piece and a small chunk of chalk. The stranger scribbled furiously on the slate before holding it out towards him. Edin was thankful that letters and numbers, as well as some other education, were required for all children. A portion of taxes were levied to fund public schooling at the orphanage.
‘My name is Ashe. You fell in the woods. Brought you to my home.’ It said in very clear and concise handwriting. Edin nodded before motioning for the slate and chalk. Ashe wiped it off with his hand before handing it over.
‘Thank you, I’m sorry for the bother. I have some gold for your time,’ He wrote back, showing Ashe the slate. The man shook his head, a sound humming in the back of his throat. This hum sounded strange and out of tune. Grating once more, like the voice was raw and unused. But it made sense if the man was deaf.
Ashe leaned over, taking the chalk and writing back.
‘No need, Ma taught me to always help others, you’ve been asleep two days’ Ashe replied. Edin gulped. Two days? Oh no, the Lord would have definitely found out about his disappearance. How was the man taking it? Was Mistress and the House of Red safe? He prayed quietly in the back of his mind to Lady of Light, to bless and protect them.
‘How far are we from the river?’ he wrote back. Ashe broke the chalk in two, so each had a small nub to write with.
‘Several miles from the river, I carried you on my back. You are heavier than I thought,’ the man wrote out. Edin snorted, the motion causing a sharp pain to flow through him. Ashe’s eyes lit up in worry and the man reached out towards him, strong, dexterous hand landing on his shoulder and squeezing assuringly.
Ashe lifted a brow. Edin didn’t need the slate to know the man was asking if he was okay. He nodded and forced a smile to let the man know. Ashe sighed in relief before taking his hand off of him. Edin felt strange at the loss. That was perhaps one of the few times someone had ever touched him in such a way. Where it felt genuine, that the person actually cared about his wellbeing for once.
‘Are you hungry? Can make you rabbit stew instead of broth’ Ashe asked on the slate. Edin nodded vigorously and motioned a hand to his mouth. He was starving. Ashe smiled again, mimicking the motion thoughtfully.
Edin was then left alone as Ashe began preparing food. He felt awkward just sitting there and not helping. But he didn’t have the strength to get out of bed let alone help. It was doubly awkward having no noise, just the sounds of Ashe prepping food and the fireplace crackling away.
When food was finally prepared, Ashe instructed him to eat slowly. Bite by savory bite, the rabbit stew filled his belly. While they ate, the two of them took turns writing to one another on the slate. He found out that Ashe lived alone, his older brother had gone off and married the daughter of one of the nearby neighbors. Once a month Ashe would go over and visit. Ashe inherited the small farm from his parents, who both passed a few years ago, his mother from sickness, and his father from a broken heart.
He had a younger sister at one point, but she had passed before his mother. She, like Edin, had fallen in the woods, only her fall had broken her back. She slowly suffered over a few days before passing in her sleep.
Edin felt horrible for Ashe, having to lose most of his family like so. Now the man only had his brother, two nephews and a niece, and a few cousins scattered about the valley. Ashe had always been deaf and his family had grown accustomed to using the slate and chalk to talk to him. Learning was difficult, but his mother was patient and never gave up on him.
Edin, after hearing such an open and honest story, decided to be as Sincan Escort honest as well. He told Ashe that he was a Servent of Red, on his way to find a new House to work in. He didn’t want to fully unload his true story but was direct about what his occupation was.
It was rather adorable to see Ashe hiding his blush from the flames when he found out. Sadly, though, Edin’s energy ran out, and he ended up drifting to sleep with a gentle smile on his lips.
The next few days passed like that, he slowly regaining strength and learning more about Ashe. The two of them figured out a way to communicate with no slate. A fist to the mouth meant he was hungry. Needing something to drink was the drinking motion towards his lips. Ashe seemed rather excited to have these motions. It was so obvious on his face sometimes that Edin couldn’t help but smile to himself, thinking about it. Ashe had grown so used to using a slate and chalk that not needing to carry it around was a relief.
Edin was slowly walking around more each day, he would lean on Ashe to go to the privy, which was thankfully in the house. When he wasn’t up and about, Edin stayed on his cot, and looked out the window to watch Ashe go about his day outside.
Early in the morning, he would milk and feed the goats and collect the eggs from the chickens before letting them out to wander. Then tend to the small garden in front of the house for a bit. Ashe owned three cows that he recently traded for, but they could not be milked until after they had their calves the next spring. So for now they were in the pasture getting fat and doing nothing.
When chores were done, Ashe would come inside and fry the eggs up before straining the milk to drink. Another portion of the milk would make butter. Somedays Ashe would bake bread, other days he’d go out after breakfast to hunt for rabbit, pheasant, or whatever he could find.
When the man returned, he would get a stew going on the fire before relaxing for the day. That was when the two of them ‘talked’ the most. All the way until supper, just learning about each other and their lives growing up.
‘Did you want to be a Red Servent?’ Ashe asked him one night as he was enjoying sitting by the fire. He was feeling more confident walking around the house now. In short bursts, he could go nearly across the cottage in one go without getting winded or feeling dizzy. His injury was lessening. He was sure he probably had a minor fracture, but under Ashe’s supervision and skills, the wound was mending up well. He only felt a dull throb now, unless he moved his head too fast on accident.
‘Not really. It was pushed on me. A man found me when I was very young. Paid for me to learn the Arts. He was my sponsor when I turned ten and eight. I recently decided to leave. He could not hold me any longer. I am free to do what I please.’ He wrote out, Edin was trusting Ashe with more details but still did not want to drag this far too kind person into his mess.
He handed the slate back to the man. The brown-haired hunter stared down at his words in contemplation. Slowly he wiped away his words before writing out a simple sentence.
‘What will you do?’ Ashe asked, leaning over to slide him the slate again. Edin frowned as he stared towards the fire.
‘Was going to find a new House to work in while I figure that out.’ he replied with a shrug. Ashe gave him a confused and horrified look. He practically snatched the slate back before aggressively writing back.
‘Why do something you hate? Life is only once. You should do what you want to do. Not be forced by others.’ Ashe wrote before handing the slate back yet again.
‘Costs gold to live. I didn’t hate the Arts. Just hated I had no choice with him. No freedom. Now I can choose who to commune with and what Art I do.’ He wrote back. Ashe’s reply was to stare off into the flames for a long while after that.
When Edin got stronger, he helped around the house more. He swept floors and cleaned off the counters most mornings while waiting for Ashe to return from outside with the food for the day. In silence, the two of them figured out breakfast in the morning without needing to use the slate. It seemed to Edin that each day they came up with at least three new hands or finger motions to give a name to something.
He found Ashe could be easily startled if he just tapped the man on the shoulder or appeared, so he soon picked up the habit of blowing a breath of air toward the man or shifting slower into view. Edin liked it here the life was simple, relaxed, and with minor struggles to survive. It was the first time he could remember being able to fully sink into his bed or chair without needing to be tense.
He didn’t have to worry about Lord Gareth showing up and demanding something more from him. Didn’t have to wait around each day for Mikah to train him on how to please men. No longer did he have to work a wooden cock into him, his cock no longer throbbing at the bars of his cage as the toy Etlik Escort moved against that spot inside of him that made him feel so much pleasure. Mikah made sure he never teased himself too much with the cock.
Thinking about those training days always made him feel flustered and heated. He very much wanted to take himself in hand again, but he always waited until either Ashe was asleep in his room or was outside.
One morning he waited patiently until Ashe left to tend to the animals outside. The moment the door was closed, and he heard Ashe’s footfalls disappear, he ducked his hand under the cover. His cock was already hard, throbbing with arousal. Edin bit back noises, even though he didn’t have to. It was just… a habit.
His fingers glided over his shaft, squeezing and warm, pushing and pulling his skin in the best ways possible. A thimble of lightning hovered in his belly as he moved faster. His hips jerked up a few times into his hand as he gripped his cock with increasing force. He took two fingers and sucked on them for a moment before he slid them down to his entrance below. Using his fingers like he would use the wooden cock he had trained with.
They weren’t as good as the toy. His fingers didn’t reach as far, nor did they stretch him out so well. But they were enough to reach the spot he needed. Which was all he wanted. Immediately, the feeling of needing to come increased desperately. He rushed himself to his end, thrusting into himself roughly while his hand moved rapidly over his cock until finally, his vision narrowed, red and whites dancing in front of his eyes as he communed with the Lady in Red his seed landing over his belly, in thick bursts, his cock twitched every now and again as his balls felt gloriously lighter.
He hummed and sighed to himself. Each time was just getting better. Who would ever want to live without this feeling? After living for so many months being held back, trapped with no mercy, unable to unload his balls whenever he wanted…fuck, there was nothing better in this world, was there?
He collected himself before easing the blanket aside to not get his spend on it. He sat up to go get a cloth to wipe himself off with. Then froze as he met Ashe’s eyes from across the room. He was standing there with a clay jar of milk in his hands. Staring over at him, unblinking. Edin glanced down at himself, he felt embarrassed at what Ashe must have seen. He quickly held the blanket up to hide as he debated what to do.
In the House of Red, what he had just done was commonplace. Self-pleasure was a normal and nearly cherished thing. Almost every Servant did it once in the morning to greet the day with the Lady in Red. Except for him, of course. But he had witnessed his brethren do the same thing he had done, Lydias and Maryn in the common room. Their legs spread as they touched themselves, fingers rubbing swollen labia lips, slick with their wetness. Clits engorged throbbing as they circled their fingers around their pleasurable nub. With gasps and whimpers they thrashed against wherever they were laying on, their bodies damp with sweat panting from their orgasms.
Then he would be in the corner, leaking and desperately wishing he could join or even just touch himself like that.
But that was then in the House of Red. It was normal and accepted. He knew for most commoners outside of the House, touching oneself was a private affair. Done quietly and in secret. To accidentally or even purposely intrude on someone was indecent. Yet Ashe didn’t seem disgusted or even perturbed. He seemed mostly embarrassed now, eyes cast down as he turned and put the milk jug in the sink.
Edin felt this heavy blanket of awkwardness and silence envelop him. Not just the normal silence that he expected while staying with a deaf person. But this was that weird silence where everyone in the room just… didn’t want to communicate.
‘Oh no, did I ruin what we have?’ he thought to himself. He glanced down at his now soft cock. The drying cum on his body. Did one commune with the Lady in Red make their budding… friendship? Fall apart? What was he thinking? Ashe has made no comments on why he helped Edin. He was just doing what all children are taught to do. To help others in need. A common rule of thumb that most abided by.
Why was he assuming or expecting more from this arrangement? The moment he had his complete strength back, Ashe would probably start suggesting he leave. This event probably was going to make the man demand it sooner rather than later now.
His thoughts were interrupted when he heard footsteps approach him. He glanced over and was stunned to see Ashe standing there leaning forward and dropping…a wet cloth on the corner of the bed. The man bobbed his head once, cheeks reddened as he turned and went back to the kitchen and strained the milk.
Edin glanced back and forth between the cloth and Ashe before he shifted forward and grabbed the article to clean himself off with. When he was done cleaning, he fixed his clothing, shuffled to the privy to rinse and wring the cloth out in the small sink there before he placed the cloth in the basket for dirty clothes. Once a week Ashe would do laundry and Edin was hoping this week, he could help the man out as it didn’t feel right for Ashe having to wash for both of them. He washed off his hands before he exited the privy.
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