Dragon Knights Fan Fiction ❯ Inside Tetheus's Head ❯ Scent of a Woman ( Chapter 15 )
There is a story that was going to be the last chapter for this series. You'll see why, when you read it, cos I'm doing it next.
Why haven't I updated any of my stories in a while? I've just been very busy. Writing ongoing stories takes a lot more than starting them, or one-offs. That's why I've written a lot of short, lightly edited pieces . It feels good to get something out, but by their nature, those stories are fragments and not entirely coherent. Here's a new, proper story, featuring everyone's favourite pervert, Tetheus.
warning: See above, last sentence.
summary: When a thief sneaks into the castle, Tetheus discovers that a lovely girl can be harder to handle than the castle's most celebrated femme fatale.
italics are Tetheus's thoughts.
An odd smell lingered in the Dragon Castle. Faint, yet undeniably sweet, the scent puzzled Tetheus as he carried out his work. Creeping up to the Dragon Fighters' changing rooms for a surprise inspection, he noticed it grow stronger. It reminds me of flowers, of innocence and sweetness. That's suspicious for a start. He paused outside the door and placed his ear up to it. The noise inside continued in a gay jamboree. Good, they haven't been warned.
He swung open the door and barged straight into the changing rooms. To his disappointment none of the fighters were in a state of undress and in fact, all were decently covered. The reason became apparent as she called out "Hey, why's it gone so quiet in here?"
Tetheus stalked over to the corner from where the voice had come. Fighters dispersed as he approached and several tied extra knots in their towels to hold them secure. Tetheus ignored them all as he made his way, the odd scent leading him through the crowd, toward the speaker. The last dragons stepped aside, revealing a young, plain girl, with laughing eyes and revealing clothing. She held the attention of the room, even now that Tetheus was there. She was self-possessed, had made herself quite comfortable and was obviously human.
"I assume that everyone remembers the rules of the Castle, such as the one that forbids you from bringing unauthorised persons inside the castle grounds?" he asked sternly. He stepped forward and loomed over the young woman. "Who brought her here?"
There were suddenly less dragons than there used to be. A nervous fighter with a slight tic took a step forward and attracted Tetheus's gaze.
"Err," he said, sweating slightly. "We've all known Kitchel for a while now and there didn't seem to be any harm in bringing her in under the guard of seven Dragon Fighters. Right guys?"
He stopped talking to look around the room. Whoever the guys were, none of them acknowledged him.
"Oh?" said Tetheus. "And how often do you bring in impressionable young ladies under armed guard?"
"Look," said Kitchel, sliding between Tetheus and the twitching fighter, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get anyone into trouble, I was just curious about the castle. I'll leave now and everything will be okay."
She smiled, the room breathed and she made for the door. After her first step, she found herself restrained by Tetheus's iron hand.
"I'm sorry," he said, "but it's a bit more serious than that. We can't have unauthorised people allowed free reign inside the castle and you're certainly not going to be left unescorted for the remainder of your stay. First, I need to ask you a few questions. Then, I need to ask a few questions of some others. Finally, I'll ask the Dragonlord to make a decision about what to do with you. Don't worry, your accommodations will be perfectly comfortable and secure."
Still holding firmly onto Kitchel, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a black notebook. He thumbed through it until he reached a blank page and wrote out a detailed list. When he finished, he replaced the notebook and swept his gaze across the room.
"Of course, I will need to see everyone who was in this room, including those who slipped out. You may start coming to my room from ten o' clock tomorrow morning. Please inform those who missed this part of the activities."
He pushed the girl out the door, but couldn't resist pausing at the exit, to give a stern and meaningful glare to the Dragon Fighters inside. He closed the door, squeezing Kitchel's shoulder. His grip was looser than he'd expected. He looked down. He now held a lovely short jacket, but no intruder and looking around, there was no sign of the girl in the corridor. Time for my breathing exercises. He closed his eyes and could just hear stealthy footsteps leading away. He crept after them, twice as silent and relishing the hunt. Tetheus pounced at one of his favourite corners, reaching out to catch the thief, but dropping his hands when he realised that he'd just startled the Dragonlord. Lykouleon jumped backwards, then relaxed when he realised that Tetheus had caught him.
"Thought you were Raseleane," he said as he smiled quizzically at Tetheus.
Shit, I could say nothing about Kitchel. I could pretend infallibility, but that would betray my job. I have to let him know that the castle's walls have been breached. Besides, he's such a flake that he's probably left the kingdom's treasures out in plain sight; just lying around; easy pickings for even the worst thief. Hmmm ... No!
"My Lord, I believe that there's a thief in the castle," Tetheus said, biting the bolt.
"A what, Tetheus?" he asked, his eyes widening and the smile still on his face.
"A thief, my Lord," he replied, stiffening up. "She befriended some Dragon Fighters and tricked her way into the castle. I'm looking for her now, but you should be careful until she's caught. I don't know what she's targeted."
"A thief?" Lykouleon repeated, before exclaiming, "How exciting!"
Tetheus described the thief allegedly known as Kitchel, then warned the Dragonlord to return all valuables to the castle's treasury. He also asked him to lock away all essential documents and treatises. When he'd finished lecturing, Tetheus hunted down Alfeegi and sent him to pick up after the Dragonlord.
Then, the search began. He started at the bottom, with the sealed vaults and ended with the storage boxes in the attic. Once he'd determined that Kitchel wasn't hiding in the last wardrobe of white nighties, he gave up. He slumped into the wardrobe, safely hiding his moment of petulance, but as he did so, he dislodged a rather lacy piece of lingerie. It fluttered down from its hanger onto his head. He left it for a moment, looking through the gauze into the gloom, while pungent fumes from a musky scent filled his nostrils. That's not Raseleane. That smells more like ... let's not go there.
He stood up and replaced it, using only his fingertips. Maybe she used the chance to escape. After all, she knows that I'm on her tail ... Anyway, she's not here. He trudged down the stairs, I'm tired and went to bed.
At least, he tried to.
There was something unexpected asleep in his bed. It was too small to be Cernozoa. She's not the type to wait around for me, either and she never falls asleep when she's horny. He crept closer. The covers had been pulled right over the head of the sleeper. If he wanted to see who was there, he'd have to risk waking her/him? What guy could be that small? Well, if Alfeegi pulled up his knees ... Oh shit.
Carefully, slowly, he grabbed the covers and tenderly pulled, peeling away the blankets from the sleeping form, revealing the very person that he'd warned Lykouleon against, not a few hours before. A gentle snore emerged from Kitchel, oblivious to Tetheus's presence.
He looked around, while keeping his body still. He must have used the handcuffs recently, because they weren't in their usual place. After a quick scan of the room, he spotted them, a little out of reach. Keeping hold of the covers, he reached for the restraints, exposing her shoulder to the cold night air. Kitchel stirred and woke, as Tetheus's stretch fell short. She exploded, bouncing out of the bed and resting her hand over Tetheus's.
"Let's not be too hasty, shall we?" she asked. "Unless you want to use them properly." She purred, rubbing against his arm.
"My dear," said Tetheus, with a cold tone. "You are an illegal intruder in a very delicate position. I don't think that you should try any charms."
"Ah!" she cried, drawing back. "But I've always wondered what handcuffs would feel like."
"I would have thought that with your occupation ..." he started.
"I'm a very good thief," she said, testing the mattress springs in a very healthy way.
"No," replied Tetheus, unfolding to his full height and retrieving the handcuffs. The door was firmly on his side, she couldn't slip past him. He turned to find her face fully covered in a leather mask.
"Can I not even try this?" she said in a muffled voice, reaching her arms through the bedposts. "You can be in charge," she added, submissively.
Tetheus woke with an itch in his shoulder blades. For some reason his arms weren't responding and his vision was restricted. It smelt like he was still in his bedroom, although he could distinguish the subtle scent of flowers. He finally managed to flex his fingers, then attempted to rise from his bed, when he felt the familiar tug on his wrists. Ah. It was the sweetest of moments, until panic interrupted.
"What's the Dragonlord going to say? When he finds me? ... Like this? After warning him? ... About her?" he cried.
Calming himself, he felt out the cuffs and bed posts, finding out exactly how he'd been tied.
"Luckily, it seems that Kitchel's been to the same perverts as Cernozoa," he murmured, relaxing again.
He took a quick breath, before bringing his knees up to his chest, then swinging his legs overhead and catching his feet under the crossbeam of the bedstead. He pulled on his restraints and pushed against the crossbeam, until he neatly dislodged one of the posts and deftly released his restraints. He then pulled off his gimp mask and freed his hands.
Rubbing his wrists, he sighed, "she always threatened to leave me like that. It's lucky I'm always prepared." He replaced the errant post, before dressing and checking his respectability in the mirror.
"Right," he said, gelling his hair down. "If I was Kitchel, where would I be?" The answer came even before he'd finished composing himself and he strode out the door and to the Dragonlord's study.
He didn't even knock. As expected, Kitchel was inside, but she was also perched on the arm of the Dragonlord and looking very pleased with herself. She pursed her lips as Tetheus came in and stretched up on tippy-toes to whisper into Lykouleon's ear.
He turned and greeted his Security Chief.
"Tetheus, welcome. Come in. Let me introduce you to Kitchel ..."
"... the thief and apparently, a very good one," he said smoothly.
"Hello, Kitchel," said Tetheus. He reached out to her and she extended her hand with a smug grin. It faded as the handcuffs clamped onto her wrist. "Thank you, my Lord," he continued. "I've been looking for her."
"Those aren't regulation handcuffs, are they, Tetheus?" Lykouleon asked, peering at the restraints. "I mean, leather, okay, but the fur?" He shook his head. "We'll have questions in the in the audience-hall. Now, can you let her go?"
"Go, my Lord?" Tetheus nearly choked.
"I've hired her," he said, leaning forward and lifting off his heels with a quirky smile.
"She broke into the castle, ignored instructions, escaped from authority, twice, finagled the Chief of Security and snuck into the study of the Dragonlord. She's also, probably, purloined untold riches. Yet you've hired her?" Tetheus stared down the Dragonlord for the first time in his life. This is my realm. She's a thief. How can he over-rule me? How can he go behind my back like this? What on earth do we need her for?
"Sounds like the perfect resumé to me," he smiled. "If she got past you, then she's bound to be able to complete the jobs I have in mind for her. Say hello and be nice. You'll be seeing a lot of each other."