Otoluke Tavern

The darkness of clouds threatened the horizon in their endless battle against the sun. Streaks of blue filled the sky, nestled between gray mounds of moisture filtering the sun. A warm breeze, full of the promise of rain, splattered against Morfune’s face and then blew past.

Morfune, a young man in his mid-twenties, brushed a lock of amber hair from his face and looked down the dirt path before him. To his right, he could see a squat buildings staring back at him, bitter and depressed. Laundry hung from open windows, all of them the color of mud and dirt. Mute mothers watched him from darkened doorways as children stared with curiosity.

His green eyes slid left, to more squat hovels and stony faces. His eyes focused back on a larger wooden structure in the middle of the village. It stood out over the squat buildings like a castle, the last refuge of civilization. Painted on the side of the half-rotted walls was the name of the village, “Otoluke.”

Glancing behind him, he watched the sour guard glare at him before swinging shut a wooden gate. Above him, he could sense the sharpened logs that formed the wall around the village. Sighing, Morfune hefted a simple wooden harp in one hand and took a deep breath. Pushing behind the stares of hostile villagers, he pulled an aura of confidence around him. His foot moved for a second, then he began to stroll down the path, toward the tavern.

In his mind, a whisper of music burst through his thoughts, Like a fly into the spiderweb.

In mid-stride, his confidence dissolved instantly and he lurched forward. His ankle protested in pain as he caught a rock and stumbled forward. Around him, the sounds of laughter did nothing for the blush growing on his cheeks.

Gripping the harp tighter, he glared around him as his thoughts filled his mind, At least I’m not a curse! At least I’m not forcing someone to spend the rest of his life wandering the world witho-

In response, Morfune felt more than saw the cracks forming in the building next to him. A shuddering of earth quivered underneath his feet as the dark music in his mind swelled up. His eyes caught the fracture, a jagged crack about his height in length. The fracture slowly spread open as the shuddering grew more intense and the music in his mind angrier.

In his mind, the music cut through his thoughts, You sought me out, mistral. Remember that…

Morfune’s short burst of anger dissolved into fear as he clutched the harp tighter, No, no! Please… don’t. I’m sorry. I won’t do-

The dark music responded curtly, a swell of martial sound, Forgiven, and he got the impression of the darkness leaving him alone. Stopping suddenly, the growing crack halted and was still except for a tiny streamer of dust trickling out of the darkness. Morfune stared at the crack for a long moment, but it refused to grow or shrink beneath his gaze.

Releasing the shuddering breath caught in his chest, he stared at the crack again before striding quickly toward the wooden building. As he moved closer, he could see the sign of a tavern: barrels out front, the half-faded sign above the door with only the image of a barrel visible.

His eyes scanned the street and stopped as he watched two women, barely into their age, walking away from him. The sounds of their laughter, clean and clear in the cloudy day, seemed to vibrate along his spine. One of them had a thick braid of dark brown hair pulled straight. The other has more reddish hair, its thick curls pulled into a loose point before cascading down her back. Neither of them gave him any look as they walked around a corner of a building. Morfune watched for a moment, hoping they would return, but no one graced the street after the two beauties left.

Sighing heavily, he slipped into the tavern.

Morfune’s eyes adjusted quickly the the warm-looking room dominated with tables and benches. Along the wall to his right, a bar blocked off access to the back and to the rack of glass bottles behind it. To his left, a large, blackened fireplace laid quiet, only a iron pot nestled in the ashes.

A voice the sound of gravel on mud interrupted his casual inspection, “You a mus’ker?”

Morfune’s eyes focused on the thin man in his late forties. Streaks of gray were hiding among the dark hair as suspicious eyes looked Morfune over. Used to the growing hostility, Morfune nodded and bowed slightly.

“Yes, sir. On my way to Boron’s festival.”

“Long way from Boron. What’s there?”

“Yes, sir, but every trip starts somewhere. Nikor, the mayor of Boron, is holding a festival there in a few months time. Winner gets a position in his house.”

The dark eyes narrowed, “Don’t like what happened to Boron, not after the change. So, where you from?”

Morfune felt his hands tightening on the harp but he pulled the false confidence around him, “Originally Franome but I’ve been traveling of late. I was just in Dinsruk a few days before.”

“How is Gregor?”

The young minstrel found himself faltering but the dark music in his mind pushed him, “Gregor? I don’t know a Gregor. But, there was a Halik who told me to give a message.”

The older man grunted, “What’s the message?”

“The hickory logs were ready for the tavern to pick up.”

As if he spoke some secret message, Morfune watched the suspicion slip away from the old man. A slight smile, probably the most he was capable of, spread around his face as he nodded to the bar.

“In that case, you want a job for tonight. We could always use a mus’ker.”

Unsure of the rapid response, Morfune hesitated but the dark music in his mind flared up and he watched a crack in the plaster wall begin to widen. Speaking quickly, he nodded, “Yes, I would love to.”

“Half your earnings to the house. Three square meals and a spot in the attic.”

Surprised at the owner’s response, Morfune nodded. Usually he had to fight to keep twenty percent of his tips and sleeping in the stables. The dark music dropped to a thrum of happiness and Morfune relaxed.

The old man glared at him for a moment, “Don’t forget the rules: don’t steal, don’t get drunk, and don’t sleep with the children. You git som’one here pregnant, planning on living here.”

Morfune started to say something, but the older man wasn’t finished, “Get anyone sick, you better hope you die before we get you. Don’t stay more than a week and don’t lie to me.”

Most of the rules were normal for any small village he drifted through in the last few years and Morfune felt himself nodding pleasantly. In a mute response, he lifted his left wrist, where two runes were faintly glowing: visible signs of spells for sterility and resisting diseases, common protections for those on the road. The old man grinned, showing off a missing tooth.

Pointing to the door behind the bar, the old man grumbled, “Through the door. Be useful until the farmers get in after dark. I’ll send out the children to tell everyone we have entertainment tonight.”

As an afterthought, the old man glanced back, “You any good?”

Morfune held his harp tighter, remembering an unpleasant memory, and nodded.

Darkness spread over the village of Otoluke, but Morfune found himself too busy to notice. The kitchen was cramped and hot, but he did his best to be useful as the old man’s wife, a tiny woman with the personality of sour beer. Her cackle haunted his thoughts as she ordered him from one end to the other, from washing out the pots and scrubbing clean the iron grill.

Just as he was taking a break off his feet to stir the thick stew, he heard a young woman’s voice from the door of the kitchen.

“Meris will be in a few, she had to go home and…”

The soft voice trailed off and Morfune felt eyes staring at his back. With as much confidence as he could muster, he turned around slowly.

The woman in the door was from the road before. Her dark brown hair, pulled into a tighter braid, hung loosely in one hand. Dark blue eyes stared at him with faint surprise as he found himself lost in their blue swirls.

He saw her eyes drop down as he rose smoothly to his feet. His own eyes trailed down her body, enjoying the curve of her body. She was wearing a fairly simple dress of blue trimmed with green. A scoop collar showed off the two mounds of her breasts nestled around the shadow of her cleavage. Her hips teased the side of the dress, drawing his eyes along the muscled thigh to her slippered feet.

Feeling a blush growing on his face, he tore his eyes back up to her eyes and found his breath catching in his throat. Her eyes were watching him, sparkling with amusement.

She stepped forward, a sly smile growing on her face, “Hello, I don’t believe we met.”

Morfune transferred his harp to his left hand and held out his right, “I’m Morfune.”

Her voice rose slightly with amusement, “Morfune? Do all of you minstrels have… improper names?”

Even as she spoke, she was lifting her hand and placing it into his. His heart pounded in his chest as he felt her smooth skin in his palm, the heat seeping through his sensations. He started to shake it, but a musical chord in his mind rippled through his mind, giving him directions. Obeying, he drew her hand up to his mouth and gently set a kiss against the soft skin. The heat of his blush felt like a furnace as he glanced up into her dark blue eyes.

A smile quirked his lip, “Only the good ones.”

The woman’s mouth parted slightly as he watched a blush begin to grow on her cheeks. Between his legs, he could feel the tingling heat of his manhood beginning to stir as he stared into her eyes, lost in the feelings that roared inside him.

From the other side of the kitchen, the old woman snapped, “Oh, give it up. Juli, get ready to serve. Minstrel, finish stirring the stew! You can rut later!”

The mood between them shattered and Juli drew her hand back. Morfune favored her with a smile and reluctantly returned to the stew, his hand automatically trailing along the strings of the harp. The soft sounds soothed his pounding heart as he heard Juli picking up a platter and disappearing back into the main room. A slight smile filled his face, but only the stew noticed.

Morfune worked hard for almost a quarter bell, stealing small smiles from Juli as they drifted in and out of the kitchen. He felt himself waiting for her smile to brighten the room as he glanced around from time to time. The old woman noticed and glared at him, but Morfune was too interested in Juli to notice.

As he was in the middle of helping a merchant empty his wagon, he caught a flash of red from the corner of his eyes. Shifted the heavy barrel from one hand to the other, he peeked over it.

A woman was bent over, picking up the contents of a crate that shattered earlier. Her ass was in his full view, catching his breath in his chest as he admired the curves framed by the lines of her thighs. Streamers of sunlight managed to push through the fabric, giving him a tantalizing glimpse of bare skin underneath. Careful hands brushed against the ground as she gathered up the metal flatware; he could see her breasts pressing against her arms as red hair cascaded to the ground.

Groaning, he stood up as he felt his manhood already responding to the view. With a slight gasp, the woman looked between her arm and leg as him, her brown eyes glittering for a moment before she straightened.

Morfune found himself staring at her, from the piercing brown eyes to the elegant curve of her chin. She was wearing a blouse, half buttoned to show off her small breasts. Hanging off her hips was a skirt, streaked with red and brown and rippling gently in the breeze.

His fingers tightened on the barrel as he felt a blush growing across his cheeks. A slight smile quirked the new woman’s lips as she looked him over, her hips sliding slightly to the right as her smile grew wider.

“Uh… hello. I-I’m Morfune.”

Her body shifted closer as she stepped up to the other side of the barrel Morfune was holding between them.

When she spoke, it was a soft, seductive purr with an faint accent he couldn’t place, “A pleasure. I’m Meris.”

Morfune gulped hard as he fought the urge to look at her again, or to fling the barrel aside. There was a heat in her eyes that caught his breath and he found himself staring into the clear brown eyes.

The old woman’s voice cut through the back of the tavern, “Meris too? Have you never seen a woman before, boy?”

Blushing furiously, Morfune let his anger slip slightly. In the back of his mind, a tiny swirl of dark music flared up as he forced himself to smile at the woman.

“After you, madam, I had to make sure I still remember what beauty looks like.”

The old woman cackled with the first smile he saw plastered on her face, “Well, then check out the charms of the horse stalls when you’re done.”

Morfune looked back to the girl but she was gone. With a sigh, he hefted the box and resumed his tasks.

Half a bell later, according to the ancient timepiece in the main room, Morfune found himself sitting near the fire, harp in his hand. The room was comfortably full, but nowhere near to capacity. Most of the occupants were farmers, judging from their hard faces and the lateness of their arrival. A few others were scattered around the room, looking softer and more elegant, people who lived in town. In one corner, a few of the merchants Morfune help unload were dicing as they glanced around the room.

Putting his thoughts aside, Morfune made a show of tuning his harp. A soft whisper of breeze caught his attention and he looked up at Juli. The blue eyes sparkled as she bent over, giving him a generous view of her breasts, to set down a large mug of mead next to him. Her smile sent a shiver down his spine as she stood up and drifted away.

Feeling the heat growing from his cock, Morfune focused his will on the harp, I hope you know what you are doing, this is getting a little uncomfortable.

Underneath his hands, the strings thrummed lightly, Of course, how could I… haunt you if I didn’t know how.

A log in the fireplace cracked in half, scattering sparks of embers up the chimney. Morfune barely gave the fire a glance before his fingers stroked along the strings, And what do you have in mind?

In his mind, he saw both Juli and Meris kneeling on a mattress in a dark, cramped room. The expression of surprise and longing send a shiver down his spine as the false memory faded quickly. Briefly wondering where the room was, or how he was going to get both of them in it, Morfune started to think another question, but a shadow interrupted him. Meris, the red-haired beauty was holding a platter. Sweeping her hand, she set down some stew next to him. Morfune stared at her, enjoying the curve of her breasts nestled inside her blouse.

Finding himself staring, he forced his eyes up into the glittering brown depths. Meris smiled broadly and spun away, her ass sliding into his view as she slipped back into the main room. Right before she stepped out of speaking range, she threw him a look over her shoulder, full of smoldering emotions.

“Are you going to play something or not?”

Taking a deep, shuddering breath, he nodded. His fingers trailed down to the harp strings, enjoying the feel of the metal against his fingers before he began to play. Clear notes, gentle and sweet, swirled into the room, stopping conversation as he played on. His mind relaxed, as it always did during performances, as he watched the crowd as his song drifted further into the room. Part of him knew they would never hear a minstrel as good as him, but it was pushed away as he fell deeper into the music.

It was as if a spell caught the crowd and a wave of silence swelled up inside the main room. Morfune could feel the dark music in his mind and he strained to follow it, as he always did. It curled around him, energy from his performance and he felt the subtle working of the harp through him.

Morfune played on, half playing the harp and half allowing the harp to play him. It was a give and take that took him a long time to adjust to, but now it felt like a friend was with him. A friend who also haunted his dreams.

One song ended and the energy of the music faded. Conversation started up once again as he shifted into a second song, one that didn’t hold the fascination of the first one. Feeling out the room’s emotion, he felt the relaxation of the everyone inside it, the hostility of a new performer gone with the workings of his fingers on the harp.

Song after song drifted past his fingers as he played on. The dark music of the harp withdrew, leaving him to his own talents which were not inconsiderable. His mind drifted away, letting his fingers automatically stroke the metal strands.

After almost half a bell, he reached down for the mug of water. His fingers brushed against warm fingers replacing it and the song faltered for a moment. Quickly smoothing it over with his playing hand, he glanced up at Meris as she stepped closer, her hands stroking along his fingers. He felt an electric tingle across his skin as the blush returned.

To his amazement, his other hand continued to play adeptly, moving automatically as he stared into the clear brown eyes of the red-haired woman. She smiled, her fingers trailing up his wrists.

“You play very well.”

Morfune gulped, “Thank you. I spent almost two decades at Klidar.”

Surprise flickered in her eyes, “Isn’t that almost master level?”

Nodding, Morfune glance down at the hand stroking the inside of his wrists. His manhood was stirring, straining at his pants as he saw the gentle fingers curl around his thumb, encircling it gently.

Her voice purred, “So why are you journeying then?”

Bitter memories crashed into him and he found himself focusing on the one hand playing for a moment. The flood tore into his heart, the loss ripping at him; despite his remembering, his hand played flawlessly. When he spoke, it was almost wistful, “I said I’d give up anything to be better.”

He realized she heard the bitterness when her finger withdrew, “What happened?”

Morfune grinned slightly and shifted into a more rousing song, one that caught up the crowd instantly in a flush of emotions. Barely a few notes into the music, some of the farmers were pushing themselves up to join in a dance. He dazzled her with a smile, “I got better.”

Something burned in her eyes and he felt a primal emotion ripple through his mind. Between his legs, he could feel his cock aching to be released. He shifted slightly, adjusting himself with the edge of the harp. Brown eyes glanced down as she licked her lips.

Her eyes were simmering with hunger as she looked back into her eyes. Her finger trailed along her lips for a moment before she slipped back into the crowd. One look of longing filled his heart before she was swallowed up by the dancers.

Locked in fascination, he curled his free hand around the mug and drank deeply from it. The warm taste slid down his throat and he sighed with contentment. As she opened his eyes to set down the heavy mug, he noticed Juli standing next to him, her beautiful eyes filled with suspicion and hurt.

“What did she want?”

“Who?”

“You know, Meris.”

Morfune could sense a growing tone of jealousy in her voice and started to deny it. But, as he opened his mouth, a brief discord from the harp stopped him. His hand smoothed it over before anyone else noticed, but his professional pride stung from the slip. In his mind, the music redoubled.

Lie to her. Make her feel happy.

Why?

A brief memory of Juli kissing his lips flooded through him. He felt his heart skip a beat as the memory faded quickly. Remembering his motion, he closed his mouth for a moment, then favored her with a winning smile.

Juli’s mouth opened for a second, then a slow blush spread out over her cheeks and down her neck. He watched as her hands toyed with the edge of the platter she was holding. Her eyes glanced up for a moment, before sliding away.

“What… what did she ask about?”

“About my training. My years at Klidar.”

“The bardic college? To the north?”

Morfune nodded, toying with the strands of the harp as he felt energy begin to curl around him. His fingers flew across, weaving one song into another as the harp itself began to take over his fingers. Morfune relaxed, his mind focused on her lips, her neck, her hands. His cock was almost painful as he realized he felt something as primal with her as the gaze Meris threw him.

He felt his eyes sliding down, drinking in the sight of her curves filling in the dress. The shadow of her breasts, the swell of her hips. His body continued to react, a throbbing heat between his legs.

Juli caught his discomfort and stepped closer, pressing her body lightly against his side. His fingers continued to play, teasing the metal strands of the harp as he looked up into her eyes. She bit her lip and leaned forward, whispering in his ear.

“Well then, just ask me for anything,” she emphasized the word with a trailing finger against his ear, “you want.”

Morfune gulped heavily and looked up, his nose brushing against the smooth swell of her breasts. He felt the blush growing as fast as his hardness as he looked up into the blue eyes. The music in his mind quieted as he stared into her eyes for a moment.

Then a voice called out and Juli slipped away, leaving him confused and frustrated. He turned his thoughts back to the harp as his fingers automatically stroked along the music.

Why are you making me do this? Isn’t years on the road enough price? Is not having a home for what, three years enough for your curse?

Twelves years ago, you picked me up. Twelve years you are paying the price for your skill. But, tonight is important. Now not, but later. Then, you can rest.

Morfune was surprised about the twelve years, it didn’t feel like that much when he was walking them. His hand stole up to his face, feeling the smooth skin and wondering why he didn’t feel older. Pushing it aside, he returned his thought with the harp’s.

And tomorrow?

An image of him standing, in the early morning, outside the inn told him a thousand words.

Do I get at least one of them? As some compensation for the last few years? Twelve years without a woman, twelve years without a home.

Getting no response from the harp, Morfune frowned and bent his head to concentrate on his performance. As he played, he watched the two women as they shifted through the main room. Even in the half-trance of playing, he couldn’t miss the acidic glares they sent each other, nor the seductive movements for his pleasure.

The emotions between the three grew for the rest of the night, until it broke as the last patron left. Juli gathered up her things in a hurry, sent a final glare at Meris and stormed out of the room. At the same time, Meris disappeared into the kitchen, with the sounds of the back door slamming a few moments later.

The old man hobbled up just as he was counting his tips, “You play good, mus’ker.”

Morfune bowed his head, “Thank you.”

With a spare hand, he finished counting and handed him twenty marks, half the take. The old man just shoved it into a oil-stained pocket and peered back at him.

“You’re better than any bard we had through here. Why don’t you play somewhere fancy? Heard you talking about the college.”

A brief curiosity on how the old man could hear the talking over the crowds burned past him, but he pushed it aside. Morfune sighed heavily, his mind slamming down the swell of anger and depression that welled up inside. With a false gesture, he hefted the harp.

“I lead where ever she leads me. Until I finish this task, I can do no other.”

The old man shook his head, but there was a smile on his lips, “Romantic.”

“Poor.”

They shared a chuckle before the old man pointed to the door, “Front door will be locked, but the girls both have a key.”

Morfune stared at him in shock, forcing another chuckle from the old man. The innkeeper ran a hair through his finger, “As I see it, at least one of them is going to be in your bed tonight.”

A blush burned his cheeks as he focused on tuning his harp. The old man chuckled again, “I may be old, but I’m not blind, mus’ker. But, seeing how they are going at each other, you probably shouldn’t stay more than a night. Those are good girls and better friends, and I can’t have them fighting over a mus’ker.”

The half-faded memories of Morfune standing outside the inn came back and he nodded slowly, “I’ll be out by tomorrow’s rise.”

With a shaking hand, the man shook his head, “The road may be your mistress, but don’t let her force you down the path. Sleep in, it’s only a half day to the next town.”

Running his fingers against the smooth wood and wire, Morfune shook his head, “It isn’t the road that is my mistress, but if the only one I follow says the morning, then the morning it is.”

The old man chuckled, “Well, good night and good luck, mus’ker. I enjoyed the night.”

“Warm dreams.”

Morfune gathered up his things and hiked up a narrow set of stairs. At the back of the hall, a half-rotted ladder stood up into the darkness. Hefting his pack, he hesitantly crawled into the darkness.

Focusing on the harp in his hand, his fingers trailed along some of the strings for a moment before a faint glow of red burst out from the third string. His fingers continued to stroke it into a soft sound until the red light brightened into a pink glow, then spread out to fill the entire room.

It was small, a wedge of space between boxes and the ceiling. His eyes focused on a straw-filled mattress and smiled; the sheet stretched over it was at least clean and not crawling with bugs.

He spent a few moments repacking his supplies in the dull glow before using a washcloth to clean himself up. Crawling between the sheets, he reached out and silenced the glowing harp string. With the silence that crashed into the room, the light snuffed out.

An angry whisper woke him from a sound sleep. His eyes remained shut as he strained his hearing; years of traveling taught him more than a few useful skills, like not making noise when he woke.

“He’s mine, bitch!”

“In your dreams, I got here first.”

He quickly identified the angry whispering, Juli and Meris. Slowly, he sat up and let the sheet slide to his lap. At the bottom of the ladder, he could hear the two women hissing at each other, their voices growing angrier with every moment. Morfune looked down at the harp in his hand, half curious how it ended up in his arms as he slept.

No music sparkled through his mind and he sighed softly. At the bottom of the ladder, he could hear the sounds of the fight filling in the tiny space. With another sigh, he pushed himself up and padded over to the trap door.

Meris and Juli were at the foot of the ladder, each one holding a small candle. Anger and hatred burned in both of their eyes as they glared at each other. In a sudden sense of sadness, Morfune could see how his presence already drove a wedge between two friends.

Meris was dressed in a dark cloak, the blouse and skirt half-hidden underneath. From his vantage point, he could follow the curves of her small breasts and saw how they contrasted to the Juli’s fuller ones. Juli was also dressed as before, except for a bottle of wine held in one shaking hand.

Feeling the stage was set, he quietly knelt on the edge of the opening, his body half-hidden in the shadows. Sounding more confident than he felt, he cleared his throat.

Both women stopped in utter shock and slowly looked up at him. As the light of the candles brightened his face, he smiled broadly. His voice, a warm glow of sound, drifted down into the hall, stunning the two women into silence.

“Usually it’s the wind or mice that wake me in the middle of the night, but I… don’t recall see such an attractive wind or mouse before.”

Both of them started to say something, but Morfune shook his head, “At least come up and talk like adults. That way the old man can sleep and we can find out which one is the mouse and which one is the wind.”

Immediately, Juli gave one final glare at Meris and began to climb up the ladder. Morfune paused for a moment, half afraid of moving, before he stood up and let Juli crawl into the attack. Glancing down, he look at Meris who was staring up, a frown on her face.

Smiling, “Come on. Just to talk.”

She hesitated, staring up with fear and uncertainty. He tried to give her his most encouraging smile.

“Come on, just to talk. We won’t do anything, unless you say so.”

“Nothing?”

“Not even with Juli, but only if you come up.”

His playful response finally pushed her. With a grin, she scrambled up the ladder, barely minding the candle as she crawled into the cramped space. Morfune swept the candle from her unresisting hand and set it down on the table; Juli’s candle was already resting on the tiny table. Together, the two tiny wicks threw a flickering light across the room.

Morfune looked up, then felt his body freeze as Juli and Meris staring back, both of them watching him with an expression of surprise and longing. The dual image of reality and the harp’s memories. Pushing down the memory, he crawled onto the bed and sat next to them.

“Now, what was the whispering about?”

Both of them stared at the bed. Silence stretched between them for a moment before Meris spoke smoothly, “You.”

Even though he knew, Morfune felt a blush growing on his cheek even as his manhood twitched underneath his briefs. He tried to sound confident as he cleared his throat, “Well, that would explain it. But why are you fighting over me?”

Juli looked up, “We were not-”

Meris interrupted up with a hand on Juli’s shoulder. Juli blushed and looked back down at the bed. Morfune let the silence grow for a moment before speaking softly, his voice cracking slightly.

“I won’t want to get between you. Even if it was just for the night and you never see me again. I cannot live with that.”

Neither said anything, so Morfune continued, “So… how can you be friends again?”

Juli’s hands tightened on the sheet, but said nothing. Meris’ eyes flashed, “So pick one of us.”

Morfune chuckled, “If I picked one of you, you wouldn’t be friends.”

Both of them bowed their head, unable to match his gaze, so he continued softly, “So I have three choices. One, I walk out and leave you alone. Two, the both of you leave and I get some sleep. Three, we all stay the night.”

Juli’s head snapped up. Her voice spread out into the tiny wedge of space, filled with surprised at something she never considered, “Stay?”

Morfune spoke playfully, his body already responding to the thoughts of both, “Yeah, stay. If I choose one of you, your friendship might be ruined. But, you are both too beautiful for me and I’d rather have you both.”

He could see a hesitant smile on Juli’s lips as he watched Meris playing with her hands. He could see them thinking as they glanced shyly at each other. Morfune’s mind spun, imaging their naked flesh against his; his cock hardened almost painfully as he waited.

As the silence continued, he finally spoke up, his voice almost begging.

“You are both… very beautiful women and… I don’t really get a chance like this. So, I would… love it very much if you both stayed with me and… maybe left tomorrow as friends again.”

Both women looked at each other, speaking silently with their eyes. Morfune could see Juli’s lips trembling slightly as she looked back at Morfune.

“How? I’ve… we’ve never done this before.”

His cock straining to answer, Morfune pushed down his libido, “Neither have I, so we’ll play it by ear. But only if you are willing to be friends again.”

He paused for a second, waiting for a response. As one, they nodded, their shy smiles growing across their faces. Morfune let out his breath as he felt a growing tension start to seep out of his shoulders. Between his legs, underneath his briefs, he felt his cock beginning to twitch in anticipation.

Swelling inside him, the harp’s music pushed him forward, breaking the uncomfortable silence by moving his hands. With a confident movement, he lifted both hands and rested them on Juli’s and Meris’ legs. Their heavy breathing filled the room as they stared at his hand.

Morfune found himself focusing on the heat slipping into his hands as he caressed their legs gently. He found himself enjoying the sensations as he stroked along their curves. He made no effort to slip underneath his clothes, but just ran his fingers along the soft fabric with gentle, almost loving, motions.

His chest ached as he slid his hands up to their hips and he felt the subtle differences in their bodies. Meris was more muscular, but Juli had a strange sense of smoothness that excited him just as much.

Glancing up, he stared into the two sets of eyes looking back. Juli’s were trembling, almost afraid of something, but Meris held a burning lust and a soft smile. To his surprise, Meris gently lifted one of her hands and slid it along his thigh. Her other hand moved back to curl around Juli’s waist.

The brown-haired girl gasped at the touch of her friend and looked over with a brief look of fright. Seeing Meris’ smile, she relaxed slightly, unsure of what to do.

Morfune’s hands were stroking up, enjoying the feel of cloth on skin as his left hand reached up to Juli’s breast. The soft mouths sent tiny bolts of hot pleasure through him as he curled his fingers around them. His other hand spread out over Meris’ smaller breasts, his thumb easily finding the hard nipple. Meris moaned softly, leaning forward into his hand as her hand slid up his leg to cup the hard mound of his cock.

It felt like fire, a burning heat pouring into his shaft as he shuddered with pleasure. The fingers stroked along his length, tracing its outlines in his shorts as all three watched in rapt fascination. Juli whimpered slightly and Morfune glanced up to see Meris’ fingers stroking along her neck, along the ridge of the shoulder. Juli’s eyes were closed, her fingers still clenched in her lap.

Sliding his hand down from her breast, Morfune gently wrapped his fingers around one of her hands and guided it forward. Juli opened her eyes, her blue gaze sending a shiver through him as he stared back. His hand worked automatically, lift it and spreading her fingers before setting her palm gently on Meris’ breast.

There were no sounds in the room, except for their heavy breathing. Morfune’s body felt tight, with a burning heat between his legs as Meris explored the tip of his shaft with her fingers. Juli, her hesitation broken, stroked her fingers around Meris’ breast, gently brushing against Morfune’s fingers on the other small mound.

Juli’s other hand relaxed in her lap and reached out, stroking along Meris’ knee and up. Morfune felt his breath catching in his throat again as he watched the delicate fingers slip underneath the skirt, hesitantly moving up toward the juncture of Meris’ thighs.

A soft, almost inaudible, moan poured out of Meris’ throat as she leaned back, her legs parting slightly more. Morfune’s shifted up along the curve of her breast to her neck, his fingers leaving feather-light strokes along the edge of her jaw. Green eyes faded as she leaned back, spreading her legs more for the probing hand. Morfune felt her body sinking away from him. Slowly, Meris laid back, her legs parting and giving him a view of her sex, uncovered beneath her skirt.

Juli’s fingers were stroking lightly against the lightly furred opening, teasing open the pink folds as she leaned forward. Morfune shifted his free hand to Juli, stroking along the hips and side as he watched Juli’s fingers gently probe the pink opening of Meris’ sex. The smell of excitement filled the room, a dual-toned scent that inflamed his need almost to the burning point.

He watched as Juli leaned forward, almost out of his grip, to gently kiss Meris’ lips. Their heavy breathing sounded like one as Juli’s fingers slipped forward, disappearing between the swollen lips. Soft lips embraced each other as the two women kissed. Meris’ fingers slid along Juli’s side, pulling up the dress to expose a pair of white panties nestled between the swells of her ass.

Morfune, feeling a little alone, moved his fingers down to Juli’s hips, easing the panties down to expose the almost naked slit already moist with excitement. His finger stroked along Juli’s length and he was rewarded with a shiver of pleasure. The two remained kissing as he gently parted her labia to slide another finger along the inner edges of her excitement.

The smell of Juli’s excitement drove him further. Taking a deep breath, he leaned forward to breath in the smell of her. The heat and dampness tortured his cock, but he sent a tender lick along her labia.

A gasp of pleasure rewarded him and he licked harder, using the tip of his tongue to probe between the thick folds of Juli’s sex. It was damp, but not wet, and he enjoyed the taste. His mouth pressed against her lips and he began to lick, gentle as first, but more insistently as he felt her body beginning to shake underneath his lips.

As he gave her pleasure, he ran his fingers along Meris’ thigh to the wet juncture of her sex. Curling his fingers around Juli’s, he eased them into the soaked opening; the wet vise around his fingers sent another bolt of pleasure through his cock, but he continued to finger and lick in time with the woman’s moaning.

Underneath his tongue, he felt Juli’s body shiver violently as a tiny cry of pleasure filled the room. His tongue was flooded with her juices, which he lapped up as quickly as he could, flicking the tip of his tongue against her clitoris with each movements. Another cry of pleasure rewarded him before he pulled his face from her damp thighs and smiled.

Both Juli and Meris were lost in each other, their hands stroking and touching. As he watched, Meris’ fingers slid down Juli and between her thighs to push into the wet opening he just abandoned.

Shifting his cock a little, Morfune changed his position and began to creep up between Meris’ legs. The smell of her excitement was drawing him with a hunger as the red-haired woman parted her legs further. He watched as Juli’s fingers plunged in and out of the soaked sex and found himself needing to be closer.

When his breath brushed against her lips, Juli’s fingers pulled out and spread open the darker lips, exposing the pink opening to his hungry gaze. With a thankful smile to Juli, he pushed himself forward, his tongue lapping up Meris’ excitement as the red-haired woman moaned loudly.

His fingers gripped her thighs as he licked furiously. Next to him, he could feel Juli’s movement, but his eyes were looking up at Meris. The small mounds of her breasts excited him further.

Juli’s movements grew stronger, a shifting of bodies and he realized she was pulling off her dress. His cock surged with heat as he bore down on Meris, lapping at the soaked sex with long, deep strokes. The tip of his tongue dipped into the tight opening, invoking a moan of pleasure from them both.

Morfune felt Juli’s movement stop, then start again. As he glanced up, he saw her crawling over Meris until the damp opening of her sex was poised over her girlfriend’s mouth. Above him, he could feel Juli’s warm breath on his neck. Meris looked down and smiled, the smoldering lust was for both of them before Juli’s thighs flexed and lowered themselves.

Meris’ hands reached up to guide Juli’s hips and she lifted her head to kiss along Juli’s inner thigh before moving toward the center, toward the swollen lips of Juli’s excitement. Morfune felt himself groaning as he watched her tongue ease into Juli’s body, then began to lap gently.

Above him, Juli moaned and leaned down, pressing her body against her friend’s mouth. Morfune reminded himself to continue lapping and did so, licking hard and fast as he watched Meris match his movements in Juli.

Meris’ moans were muffled by the warm opening pressed against her mouth, but Juli’s tiny cries of pleasure were accented by the shivering of another orgasm. Feeling muscle strain in his tongue, Morfune lifted his head and pulled back, smiling at Juli.

The brown-haired woman opened her eyes and gave him a smile. The emotions in her eyes told him thanks for not choosing one, but he could see she didn’t have the words.

Morfune smiled and leaned forward to kiss her, “You’re welcome.”

Juli’s lips matched his and he lifted one hand to cup her heavy breast between his fingers. His other hand strokes Meris’ inner thighs and teased the opening before pulling back. His mouth was lost against Juli, their lips frantically kissing as he used his hands to pull down his shorts, baring the hard shaft from its prison.

The cool air swirled around it, but his hands were already moving forward, parting Meris’ legs as he shifted closer. Juli rose up to match his lips, her sex pressing down tighter on her friend until only slurping noises escaped. Morfune, smiled in the kiss and leaned forward until he felt his cock slide up Meris’ thigh and catch on the soaked opening.

The whimper of need from Meris interrupted Juli’s kiss as she glanced down. Seeing Morfune’s cock poised to enter the soaked folds, she purred happily. Curling up, she started to kiss her way down to Meris’ sex, kissing the juncture between the cock and entrance. Both Meris and Morfune moaned as the light tongue caressed them.

Morfune pushed forward, sliding his aching hardness into the heated depths. He felt a moan of pleasure rumble in his chest as he easily buried his length into Meris, feeling every centimeter of hardness as is vibrated inside her.

Juli’s eyes closed and Morfune realized Meris was frantically lapping between the brown-haired girls’ legs. Grinning, he started to thrust inside Meris, trying to bring an orgasm to Juli. As his cock slide in and out of soaked opening, he could see Juli’s body shivering from a growing orgasm.

Losing himself in the pleasure, Morfune thrusted as hard as he could, his hands pulling up Juli to bring her into a heated kiss. Their lips pressed together until he could feel every shiver of her body as he continued to thrust into her friend, the sounds of wet slapping filling them room.

Morfune came quickly, his body screaming with the release of pleasure as he felt his seed burst inside Meris’ soaked sex. A few, powerful thrusts later, he felt he couldn’t go any longer and slowed to a stop, panting.

Juli looked at him with a giggle and eased herself off Meris’ face. Meris, her face slick with Juli’s juices sat up slowly, her breath coming hard and fast; there was a growing smile on her face.

Panting, Morfune look at the two women, “Friends?”

They both nodded. The sounds of their breathing filling the attic for a moment before Juli looked at him with a slight pout, “My turn?”

“Give… me a few… moments.”

False dawn found Morfune waking up to an almost silent chord from the harp. Rubbing his eyes, he crawled out of the bed. He suppressed a groan as his sore body cataloged the long night and very little sleep. The memory of the night brought a smile to his face as he stood up carefully.

A moan stopped him in his movements and he slowly gazed behind him. To his surprise, Meris and Juli were still sleeping in the bed with him, somehow managing to fit all three in a tiny space. Juli’s head was nestled between Meris’ breasts, her hands wrapped around trim thighs. Meris was half-curled around Juli, her mouth tantalizing close to Juli’s hips.

Morfune found his heart and cock aching to crawl back into bed, but a flicker of noise broke the mood. With quiet movements, he rapidly dressed and gathered his belongings. Sweeping up the harp, he looked back over the sleeping women.

Is there anything I can do?

Not now.

Resigned to the harp’s cryptic ways, he stroked a few of the strings. The metal vibrated, but no sound came out as silence filled the tiny attic. With a silent sigh, he crawled down the ladder; the normal creaks were silenced by the strange magic of the harp.

He almost made it out of the tavern before someone caught up to him. He was expecting Meris or Juli, but it was the old man who dumped a bag of food on the table next to him. Morning breath washed over him, but Morfune ignored it as he began to catalog the various breads and cheeses in the pack.

“Good night?”

Morfune looked up, feeling both sadness and joy.

“Yes, they are friends again.”

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