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The Midnight Lantern

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Sometimes a month would pass. Sometimes two. But the witcher came back. He would spend most of the night with you, but always left before you rose in the morning. Every time you woke up from a night of mind-blowing sex with him, he would always be gone. No traces of him ever being there in the first place. The other whores liked to ask you questions about it. If he was animalistic, violent, any number of horrible things. You found yourself glaring at their questions and spitting back scathing replies. Details were to be kept secret, but you disproved any beliefs that he was as monstrous as described. And they backed off at that; they knew to trust you. Even though it didn't stop their own curiosity, they refrained from asking you any more.

The witcher didn't talk much at first, but he was slowly beginning to hold conversations with you. Mostly after fucking, while you both lay together tangled in the sheets. Regardless of his talents in bed, you found those moments to be the most enjoyable. Even in the dark and unable to see his face. His voice often was what lulled you to sleep, exhausted as you were from recent exertions. As time passed you could only find yourself wishing he would stay longer. Long enough to kiss you awake and press you to the mattress before he left again. But he never did. You hadn't even been able to kiss him at all; all of your coupling involved you facing away from him. With every gentle tug to your arm, every whispered request to turn around, every aversion of his eyes, you found yourself complying without resistance. If that was how he wanted it to be then you couldn't deny him. How else would you treat a paying client?

Perhaps these secret desires of yours spoke something of your feelings. But you found yourself growing fond of the witcher despite the fear that coursed through you at the thought of it. He was kind, kinder than a majority of the men you had to service. He ran his fingers reverently through your hair when driving into you from behind. He laughed at your flippant remarks as you lay next to him. He came back and wanted to spend time with you. There was just something about him that made you want for more. At first you thought it was just morbid curiosity. The primal desire to claim someone. A want to find out more about this dangerous man. He most certainly looked dangerous. The puckered flesh of his scars mutilated his face, made him hard to look at properly. It became easier with time, though. And now you could only hope to gaze upon his face for as long as possible before he inevitably retreated into the safety of the darkness.

That was the other constant. The pitch blackness of every room you went to. He vehemently opposed the lighting of any candles, and you granted his wishes without verbal complaint. That didn't stop you bemoaning the fact in your mind, however. With each night you spent together your wants grew stronger. But you resisted the urge to fight with him over it; it was dangerous to feel emotions like this for clients. It was for the best that things were like this. Impersonal. Transactional. He was paying for a service, nothing more.

You were in the kitchen, watching the cook and his assistants work on dinner for the night. It was a more relaxing pastime for you, as Zond often let you sneak bits of whatever he was working on. He also made each visit a learning opportunity, showing you how certain dishes worked and how to make the most out of a few simple ingredients. It was interesting. Flaczki was the dish for tonight, cooked in a pot big enough to feed the entire staff of the brothel. You watched with wide eyes as he ordered the young assistants about.

"You call this thin?" He scoffed, holding up the offending tripe in question. "Dear, you want them to be no thicker than your thumb," he turned to address you at that, slamming the meat down and cutting it down the middle. "Like this."

The doors to the kitchen slammed open.

"Thought you'd be here," Madame Detlira claimed as she entered. "Your regular is back."

"The rich silk merchant?" You asked, smirking and raising an eyebrow.

"Don't get smart with me. The witcher." She crossed her arms over her chest. "He's been paying a pretty sum for you, and I'm not going to deny him what he's been so graciously requesting. Mutant or no." Well, at least she didn't treat him any different than any other client. You patted Zond on the back and hopped down from the stool you sat upon. "I sent him to the Tulip suite," The Madame said as you passed her on your way out of the kitchen. You nodded and left, walking down the halls and up the stairs to the second floor of the brothel. The Tulip suite was the first on the right, and you opened the door.

The sight that greeted you was certainly a surprise. The witcher was standing at the head of the bed, instead of sitting down like usual. He was staring intently at the lit candle that was placed on the bedside table, jaw set. In fact, all of the candles were lit. Their soft light suffused the room with a gentle warm glow.

"I wasn't expecting to have such a pleasant surprise waiting for me," you said, shutting the door behind you and sauntering over to where he stood. You wrapped your arms around his waist from behind and pressed your forehead between his shoulder blades. "A big and strong witcher, glaring at a candle as if it had personally offended him." You felt him jerk a little at that, a silent laugh. Sliding around him, you made to go and extinguish the light. "Want me to put it out?"

"No, I..." You whipped around to face him, lips slightly parted in surprise. He looked down at you and quirked his mouth to the side. The scars pulled angrily at his flesh. "It can stay." Your heart thundered in your chest at the admission. His brow furrowed and he looked troubled, eyes darting down before focusing back on your face. "Unless you'd prefer the dark?" You shook your head adamantly.

"No!" You nearly shouted, clearing your throat shortly after. "I mean, I don't mind." He nodded, ducking his head down and scratching against the scarred side of his face. You couldn't help but feel slightly awkward at the situation too. He wanted the candles to stay lit? This was completely unprecedented. Darkness was always a constant to his visits. But you decided not to dwell on it, in case he ended up changing his mind. "Well then, Master Witcher. What would you like to start with tonight?" You pulled in close and pressed your chest to his; a sultry smirk across your lips. "My mouth first? Shall I drop to my knees and worship that glorious cock?" His hands moved to grip your shoulders, thumbs rubbing against your collarbones.

"I was thinking..." He trailed off, suddenly averting his eyes. You tilted your head to the side in an attempt to catch his gaze. "I could undress you?" A bright smile and a soft giggle:

"Master Witcher, at this point I would be alarmed if you didn't want to divest me of my clothing," you said, pulling away and slowly turning around in order to show him your back. The laces of your corset met in the middle of the garment, and you waited patiently for the brush of his fingers that meant he had started to undo them. Silence reigned as he began to loosen the ties, sliding the corset down your body once there was enough give and letting it fall to the floor by your ankles. You cast a glance behind you, reaching up to hold at the low shoulders of your chemise. It was a bit hard to see him, but his hands moved up your body to lay atop your own. His thumbs hooked under your palms and dragged downwards. You followed the movements of his hands before letting your own fall to your sides, and the chemise fell to pool at your feet.

"You are... Astonishing," he whispered against the nape of your neck. Your heart rate spiked and you bit your lower lip. "And these... Are beautiful. My favorite of yours." His fingers brushed against the tops of your stockings and fiddled with the bands to your garters.

"I've been wearing them for the past week," you said, "hoping for your next visit." Perhaps that was too personal of an admission, but the lack of complete darkness emboldened you. Tonight felt different than the others. You could hear the sharp intake of breath behind you and knew you made the right choice of telling him. "Do you want me to keep them on, like usual?" A low hum and a shake of the head against your upper back.

"Turn around." You spun slowly on your heel to face him. He looked down at you with heavy lidded eyes, gold shining in the scant candlelight. But now you could see him. His dark hair highlighted with strands that caught the light just so. His scars softened but still noticeable. A small grin, ever so slight, crossed his lips as you smiled at him. His fingers dipped below the bands and began to slowly slide the garters down your legs. This was... Unbelievably intimate. More so than ever before. The witcher never took such care with undressing you before, treating each article of clothing like it was made of thin parchment liable to rip at the slightest pressure. He lowered himself to his knees as he pulled the stockings down, pressing his nose to the side of your thigh. A tap to your left foot; you lifted it and let him remove the first stocking along with your thin slipper entirely. He did the same to your other leg before rising back up to face you fully again.

Had you not been an experienced whore, you'd have blushed and withered under his gaze. But you were, and so the only reaction you showed was that of mild excitement. You weren't embarrassed, not of your body. You'd been working in the brothel for so long that terms like 'embarrassment' meant almost nothing to you. The witcher's hands wrapped themselves around your hips again and the tips of his fingers brushed against the waistband of your undergarments. They dipped under and made to pull the flimsy fabric away, letting it fall to the ground alongside the pile of your chemise.

You still had not made any movements to touch him anywhere other than his hands and waist. Nowhere near the fastenings to his jerkin or clothing not including his belt. That tended to close him off, and you didn't want to push him away prematurely. Not now. Not when he was treating you so reverently like this.

He reached down to take your hands in his, lifting them up to hold close to his chest. You let your gaze wander down his body. It really was a shame that he remained insistent on staying clothed in so many layers. His eyes darted from your joined hands to meet yours before ever so gently pressing your fingers to the top fastening of his jerkin. Your breath caught in your throat. Was he...? The witcher released his grip on you and his arms fell to his sides, leaving your hands still lingering at the base of his throat where the clasp kept the leather shut. You looked up at him, and something must have shown on your face because he nodded once. The barest incline of his head; you almost didn't see it. He didn't say anything, but you knew what he meant from that nod alone.

You maneuvered your fingers, slipping them under the clasp and undoing it slowly. The jerkin popped open and you slid it off of his shoulders to let it fall to the ground, leaving him clad in his soft grey undershirt. It was rolled up at the sleeves, exposing the brown fingerless gloves that he wore every visit. But as you moved down to work on undoing his belt, he loosened the ties on his gloves and threw them to the ground as well. Your heart raced. The belt soon met the gloves on the floor and you reached to untuck his shirt from his trousers. He let out a slow and deep breath as your fingers reached under the hem of the fabric to trace across his abdomen. You jerked your chin forwards to signal for him to lift his arms, and you lifted the shirt up and off of his torso. The sleeves caught on his arms but you carefully untangled everything and let the garment fall to the ground with a whisper.

He was gorgeous. Skin taut over rippling muscle, scars crisscrossing over his chest and arms. You let a few fingers trace over the lines, eyes following the length of some of the scars. This was the first time you had seen him without any sort of tunic and you were determined to look and feel your way around him until you knew him by memory.

"There are so many," you whispered, looking back up to his face. His chest rose and fell with steady breaths, and he swallowed before responding:

"Such is the life of a witcher." Your brow furrowed and you focused back on his body. Evidence of life-threatening battles were littered across his torso. A particularly alarming one was located on his left shoulder and part of his chest; it was a massive mess of serrated marks. It took a moment for you to realize that the pattern was in the shape of a mouth. What could have teeth that sharp, a mouth that big? The wound was still red and angry, looking sensitive to the touch. "I have many scars now, and will only gain more as I continue my Path." You traced the edges of the scar on his shoulder, careful to not aggravate it further.

"How did this happen?" You asked, turning to face him. He looked down at the scar before sighing and reaching up to grab your hand.

"Wyvern. It was terrorizing a village not far north of here." He could read the confusion on your face and began to explain. "They're scaled beasts and use their wings to catch prey unawares. I was hired to kill it, and in the battle it was able to latch onto my shoulder before I had the time to run it through." His fingers trailed from your hand up your arm and to your shoulder, mirroring where he had gotten bitten by the wyvern. "Their tails have a stinger at the end, and that's the most dangerous part of any wyvern. It almost whipped me with it while I was distracted by its teeth. Luckily I was able to cut it off in one sweep of my silver sword. The beast released my shoulder and I was able to eliminate it soon after." The story intrigued you, and you tilted your head to the side while still staring at the scar.

"Well, remind me to ask you more about your adventures around the Continent next time you visit." He chuckled at that, shaking his head.

"Of course you would hear a tale like that and wish to know more," the witcher said, brushing his fingers against the back of your neck.

"Should I not be?"

"No, it's just..." He trailed off, looking away. "Most people hear something like that and... It only tends to worsen witchers' public reception." You knew all too well what he meant by that. In fact, you once were one of those people who feared a witcher simply because of his uncanny abilities to fight monsters that terrorized the wilderness. You tightened your grip on his hand and let your fingers trace down the defined muscles of his abdomen.

"Be glad that I'm not most people, then." You playfully raised your eyebrows as you toyed with the laces to his trousers. His smile turned less joking and more serious.

"I am."

Your heart leaped up into your throat and you averted your eyes in order to focus on the ties. You didn't know if you could handle his gaze much longer if he kept looking at you like that. Once his trousers were undone you made to drop to your knees. It would give you a good opportunity to remove his boots and tease him to full hardness. But his grip at your elbows prevented you from kneeling down. That made you look back up at him, trying to discern what it was that made him stop you. "I don't want you on your knees tonight," he murmured, turning you to the side and pushing you back towards the bed. You fell onto the sheets with a soft cry of surprise. The witcher leaned down and toed off his boots before climbing up on the bed on top of you.

"Oh?" You asked, smirking. "And what is it you do want?" He lowered himself to brush his lips against your collarbone. His hands moved from next to your head to near your waist as he pushed himself down your body.

"What I want..." he whispered against the skin of your navel, "is to taste you tonight." Oh... Well that was new. A low heat simmered within you, and you bit your lip at the sight of him slowly inching his way down. You lifted up a leg to trace your foot up the length of his spine, and he let out a low growl.

"Don't let me stop you, Master Witcher," you said as you adjusted yourself, getting comfortable and placing a pillow behind your head. This was a first between the two of you, and you didn't want to miss a single second of it. He paused in his movements, hands on your hips, your legs spread around his broad shoulders. Golden eyes flicked up to fix you with a suddenly heated gaze.

"Eskel."

"Hmm?" You hummed, tilting your head to the side in a question. You couldn't quite hear what he said fully, and hoped he would repeat himself.

"Not Master Witcher. Eskel. Just Eskel." A smile made its way across your lips at that and you brought a hand down to toy with his hair. Your heart throbbed within your chest. After all this time, now he trusted you with his name. A whisper left your parted lips and he repeated it, furrowing his brow. You said it again, adding:

"My name."

Eskel's eyes crinkled with a smile, saying your name with the same reverence one would reserve for a Goddess. You sighed and relaxed back into the sheets further.

"And I shall never forget it," was all he said before surging forwards and planting kisses on the insides of your thighs. A shiver ran down your spine and you let go of his hair to dig your fingers into the sheets. You didn't know what to expect from him, but if his prowess in other avenues gave any hint, then you were about to be in for an absolutely wild ride. Eskel wasted no time, brushing his lips across the sensitive skin of your thighs before leaning forwards and dragging his tongue up the length of your cunt. You let out a high whine and curled your toes against the bed as he started to work. He repeated the long lick before wrapping his lips around your clit, flicking his tongue in little circles around it. Sparks of pleasure shot through you, focusing on between your legs and at the center of your chest.

He was certainly something else. Probably one of the best to ever drop his head between your legs. You didn't know where he learned it from, and you didn't care. As long as he kept up the pace. He knew exactly where to press his tongue, when to move in broad strokes and when to use only the very tip of it. You found yourself arching your back and throwing your head against the pillow more than a few times, moaning loudly. He quickened his pace whenever you made noise, pressing closer into you and bringing you up to the very edge. You cried out, planting your feet into the mattress and biting down on your lip at the sensation.

But then he pulled away. The buildup was left with nowhere to go and your eyes shot open to look down at him with incredulity. A muttered word of question left your lips before dying on your tongue at the expression on his face. His pupils were blown wide, thin rings of gold surrounding deep wells of black. His hair was falling in his face and you reached down to brush it away from his eyes, grazing your fingers across his left cheek in the process. He sighed at the touch and leaned down again, mouthing gently at your thigh before returning to your cunt. He watched you the whole time as you squirmed under his ministrations, eager to find your release.

"Eskel, please..." You murmured, wrapping one leg over his shoulders in an attempt to pull him closer. A small smirk crossed the corner of his lips as he moved one of his hands from its vice grip on your hip, tracing the outside of your thigh before dipping down in between your legs. You felt a thick finger breach you, and he moved forwards to curl his tongue around your clit. It felt like you couldn't breathe, heat suffusing your entire body. Breathy moans and pleas escaped you as he upped the speed of his movements. Your fingers twined into his hair and pulled him closer. A low chuckle against you; Eskel redoubled his efforts and caught your eyes with his own. A quick glance down the length of his spine revealed the flexing of his back. He was rutting into the sheets at a similar rhythm that he had set on you.

Your grip tightened. Your muscles clenched. The thread snapped and you nearly lifted your hips off of the bed. A wordless cry that almost sounded like his name left your lips as pleasure rippled throughout your body in frantic waves. Your other leg claimed its spot over him as you locked your ankles together, holding him in place to you. He didn't stop, if anything he kept going even more determinedly. It wasn't until your happy cries turned strained that he let up, slowly drawing away as much as your vice grip allowed. You let him go, instead lowering your legs and tugging on his hair more doggedly in order to coax him back up your body. "Melitele..." You panted, trying to catch your breath. "Remind me why we haven't been doing that all along?"

He obeyed your wordless commands to ascend; you adjusted your legs and wrapped them around his waist as he planted his hands onto the sheets next to your head. His slightly parted lips glistened in the low candlelight, catching on the angry lines of his scars. His pupils were still dilated obscenely and he had a very familiar expression on his face. You had seen it countless times on other clients. The tip of a pink tongue flicked out and swiped across the corner of his mouth, eyes blinking slowly and chest rumbling deeply. He looked absolutely gorgeous. It was well worth the wait to finally see him. You carded your fingers through his hair and cupped one hand around his jaw. Your thumb dragged back and forth against his bottom lip a few times before you brought it to your own mouth, sucking it in with a quiet hum at the heady taste of yourself. His expression intensified, if that was even possible.

"You very well may kill me," he growled, rocking forwards into you. The hard length of his erection pressed against the cradle of your hips, and you let out a low moan at the feeling. He was so close now, almost giving you what you desperately needed. Eskel made an angry noise in the back of his throat, pulling away for only a moment in order to divest himself of his trousers and braies. Finally. He returned and you held your arms open to welcome him, eagerly awaiting. A few slick thrusts against you had you whimpering and lowering your hand to wrap around him. You couldn't wait any longer. It was simple to guide him, even simpler to have him slip inside. It felt like coming home. Watching him face to face was infinitely better than any other time before; there would be no way you could ever forget him. Not after this. Eskel had made too much of an impression on you, and you would remember him for the rest of your life.

"Eskel..." Your hand came to cup his left cheek, rubbing your fingers soothingly over the skin. He shuddered at the touch and scooted up on his knees to kneel before you. His eyes fluttered shut as you gently traced the line of his cheekbone, other hand resting on his shoulder. You let out a shaky breath and gazed up at him, already beginning to rock your hips. Eskel followed suit swiftly, already setting a quick pace that had you gasping. He was just as eager as you were.

"I," he panted, one hand slipping below your arched back to help press you against him more firmly. "I don't think I..." He closed his eyes and dropped his head into the crook of your neck, inhaling deeply. Every thrust sent choppy waves lapping across your shore. Every quick jolt of his hips crashed into you like the heat of a sun. You didn't think you could last either, if that's what he meant by his stuttered words.

"Come on, it's alright. Let go, you took such good care of me," you started to babble, unable to contain yourself any longer. Eskel exhaled a low whine against you as his grip tightened on the sheets so hard you were almost afraid he'd tear right through them. The sturdy bed-frame began to shake, a feat that you had never seen in all of the years that you had worked at The Midnight Lantern. Breathy moans and pleas kept tumbling out from your lips, unbidden. You didn't even know what you were saying anymore, too drunk on pleasure to even comprehend. "My witcher, my beautiful wolf..."

At that, he came with a sharp cry. So sharp that you worried that he might have started sobbing. The movements of his hips stuttered and jerked with his release, grinding his pelvis into your clit. You bit your lip so hard that you might've drawn blood as his movements sent you over the edge too. You curled around him, pulling him in deeper and clinging for dear life. Eskel had buried his face into your neck as you clawed and cried out.

But life goes on, and all things must come to an end.

Your muscles began to cramp from clenching so hard, and you released him with a soft sigh. Eskel pulled himself off of you and flopped face down next to you on the bed. You let out a short giggle at the sight, turning over on your side to run your fingers through his hair. A muffled groan echoed out from the pillow he was lying on and another laugh escaped you at the sight. "Tired, then?" You asked, flipping back over to face the ceiling. You did a cursory swipe between your legs, cleaning what little of the mess that you could and wiping your hand uncaringly on the sheets.

"You have no idea."

"Well... You could always stay for the whole night. Get some sleep." Your heart leaped into your throat as you propositioned him. He had never stayed the whole night before. You couldn't even recall seeing him sleep in the same room before, as he would always undoubtedly leave once you fell asleep. "If you want." Eskel lifted himself up in order to turn his head to face you. You were still staring resolutely at the ceiling, unable to look him in the eye when he would inevitably reject you.

"Would you like me to?" Now that wasn't what you expected to hear. Your head snapped over to look at him. He was lying on his side, brow furrowed and pupils contracted back into their normal slits. He looked... Confused? You couldn't describe it. Your heart raced so quickly you were sure that it would pound its way out of your chest. Turning on your side, you faced him.

"I would." It wouldn't do to lie. Even if it was dangerous to tell the truth. If anything, he looked even more confused than before, turning over again to lie on his back. You dared to scoot closer to him as he glared at the ceiling. One of your arms wrapped itself over his waist and you cautiously moved to rest your head against his bicep. "You don't have to leave again," you murmured, words catching in your throat. You didn't want him to leave again. You wanted him to stay. So badly. You had to close your eyes, bracing yourself for the denial and subsequent leaving.

Eskel's arm shifted. You almost flinched at the movement, but he only slid it under your head to cradle you close to his chest. He was still slick with sweat, which was mildly uncomfortable. But his fingers dug into your hair and began to brush gently through it. Your hand trailed up to grip at his shoulder and you lifted a leg to hook around his own. Eskel didn't say anything, but you were sure he could hear the rapid beat of your heart. From where you were positioned, you could hear the sluggish rhythm of his own heartbeat. Testament to his nature as a witcher. But slowly, ever so slowly, your nerves eased. You opened your mouth to say something but quickly shut it. You shouldn't say anything more. Maybe he wouldn't notice.

"What is it?" He asked, still lazily carding through your hair. Ah. So he had noticed.

"Just that..." You swallowed and took a deep breath. "Would you stay until morning if I asked you to?" His breath caught in his throat at that; you could feel it against your ear that was still pressed to his chest. He was silent for a few moments and you began to regret ever saying anything. This was such a horrible idea. You should have denied ever servicing him after that first night. If you had known that this would happen...

"Ask me."

"What?"

"If you really want me to stay, then you would ask me." The movements of his fingers stopped; he felt still, unmoving. You furrowed your brow, wanting to push yourself up and meet his eyes. But you couldn't bring yourself to. There was something about the way he said that. Like... It sounded like he wanted you to ask. So you decided to just cut your losses. Things had already progressed well past any point of no return.

"Will you stay? Until morning, with me?"

He didn't respond.