Excerpt: Age of Heroes

Here is a small excerpt from The Age of Heroes. I’m working on the sequel at the moment. I should have finished ages ago… I am still moving forward with it. Hopefully it won’t be too long now.

 

***

 

Rawk sat on the edge of the bed and catalogued his aches and pains. Arm, knee and back. Not as bad as he would have expected.

Adalee couldn’t be blamed for the knee or the arm, but the sore back was all her fault. There was movement behind him and he turned to look at the girl. She sat up, sheet clutched to her breasts, much more demure than she’d been the night before. Several times. He turned away from her and tried to soak up the last calm moment he was likely to see that day.

But she was just a girl. How old had she said? Nineteen? Twenty? Not old enough to know. He felt her arms slide around him from behind and she nibbled his ear. “Shall we dance again before breakfast, my Hero?”

Rawk sighed. “You won’t be having breakfast, Adalee. At least not with me.”

“What do you mean?”

“You should get your things and go.”

“You… But…”

Rawk turned to look at her. “What did you think was going to happen?”

“You can’t treat me like one of your tavern sluts, Rawk. I am Adalee Dan Beketh. If my parents—”

“Wait? What? Who?”

The girl looked a bit smug. “That’s right. My father is Edwin Dan Beketh and if he hears—”

“You’ll tell your father?”

“Well…”

But Rawk didn’t care about her father. “How old did you say you were?”

The sudden change of topic confused her. “I will celebrate my twentieth name day in four weeks.”

Rawk tried to think. He tried to calculate. Melia Dan Beketh? The two headed snake, what a crock that had been, or the giant bear thing? He couldn’t remember; it had been so long ago. And even if he knew if it was the snake or the bear, how long ago had they been? Maybe Weaver would know. He sighed again. “Go home to your mother, girl.”

He turned to watch as she flounced from the bed and made her way around the room collecting her clothes. He had to admit, she was beautiful, and it had been fun. The first time had been fun. Even the second. After that it had just been hard work. When she had laced her shirt up over her breasts Rawk though he should do something about finding his own clothes. But she paused on her way out the door.

“You’d think a man like you would have more in his life than…” She looked around and gestured at the room. “Than this.”

Rawk looked as well. He shrugged. “So people keep telling me. Apparently I’m supposed to grow up.”

“Maybe this frugal, monk-like existence impressed women when you were my age, but now it’s just sad.” Adalee huffed and slammed the door behind her.

Rawk winced. “That went well.” He thought he might well have a visit from Melia in a couple of days. It was years since he’d even seen her so that would be nice.

Rawk wondered if he should do something about redressing his arm when there was a knock at the door.

“Yes?”

Travis came in with a jug of hot water and a large copper bowl. Again. “I saw Adalee leaving.”

“You knew who she was?”

“Of course.”

“You didn’t tell me.”

“I assumed you would ask her.”

“Well… Was she going quietly?”

Travis laughed. “Do you want to do a fresh poultice or just, you know, breathe.”

Rawk worked the muscles in his arm. “A bit of poultice, I think. But I was going to do some more of the breathing thing too. It really cleared my head yesterday and, seeing I drank a bit too much last night, I was hoping it would work again.”

While Rawk worked at the bandage, Travis set about organising the bowl. He cleared his throat but didn’t look up. “I’m not going to be working tonight,” he said.

Rawk raised an eyebrow though the other man still wasn’t looking. “You aren’t? It’s Faraday, isn’t it?”

“It is.”

“You always work on Faraday.”

“Normally, yes.” Travis started working on the poultice. “Can’t trust anyone else.”

“So…”

“There’s a show on at the Veterans’ Club. I thought I’d go to see it.”

“A show? You?”

“Yeah. What of it? I can see a show if I want.”

Rawk held up a hand. “Of course you can. Do whatever the hell you want.”

“I was going to ask somebody…”

Rawk raise the other eyebrow. “Oh. Right.”

“Only…”

“No. There’s no ‘only’. You’re too old to be waiting. At your age if you stand still too long you fall over dead. I’m sure I heard that somewhere. Sylvia would know. You do it, Travis. That’s an order. Ask whoever it is and have a great time.”

“Do you think?”

“Get out of here, I’ve got some breathing to do.”

Rawk shoved his head under the towel and listened to the other man leave. Travis was just a couple of months older than Rawk. Was he too old to be waiting? Too old to be standing still?

Do you think? Not as often as I should, apparently.

Rawk kept his head under the towel for a few minutes. It did help, but he had too much on his mind for it to calm him as it had the night before. With a sigh his sat up and looked around.

His trousers were at the end of the bed. His shirt was in the corner, but it was almost torn in half. He remembered something about that but the details were lost amidst a flurry of thighs and breasts and eager hands.

He donned some new clothes, threw a cloak over the top, collected his sword and headed down stairs.

****

If you liked that and want to read more, you can do so… here.

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