Heart's Desire
Chapter 1

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Fiction,

Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Lord Adrian Aubren is on a King's errand to find the famous Healer of Rae. Little did he expect to find the Healer a woman, and to fall in love with her. SEQUEL TO COME BACK HOME TO ME

The indigo sky left from a summer sunset finally turned into black. Birds settled down in the forest as the light faded, calling occasionally. Crickets had been rubbing their wings together since dusk, their chirping amplified as the night descended. The pulsing sound seemed loud in contrast to the silence of the rest of the forest. A scrawny rabbit peeped out of the forest and timidly nibbled on the dry grass by the side of the road. It froze as the pounding of horses' hooves crescendoed, hopping aside at the last moment before two horses thundered past.

Pushing their horses hard, the riders noted the forest on their left, mere shadow against the full moon. Open fields of wheat stretched infinitely on their right, made silver by the moonlight.

The forest eventually thinned, and they saw dim lights in the distance that must be the town they were looking for. A little later, they slowed their horses to a trot as they passed deserted shops, the empty depths of their windows apparent in the soft light of the moon.

A sudden burst of rowdy laughter erupted from the most prominently lit building on the main street. A wooden plaque roughly lettered with Mallory Tavern hung by the door. The riders looped around to the back of the building; the first rider swinging his leg across the saddle to descend as a sleepy stable boy stumbled out.

"Take good care of our horses," the rider said, as he pressed gold coin into the boy's hand.

His companion swung down from his horse as well and tossed the reins to the stable boy. The two men removed their saddle bags and walked to the front door of the tavern. Warm light welcomed them as they stepped in.

It was a clean establishment for a peasant tavern. Though aged grease veneered the windows a pale yellow, the floors were well-swept. The tables were heavily scarred, but were wiped down. As the smell of human sweat and roasting meat hit the travelers' noses, a group of stout farmers sat at the table in the corner, bursting into occasional bouts of laughter. The strangers summed up their surrounding in a few quick glances, as the rosy-cheeked woman hustled from behind the bar to greet them.

"Welcome to the tavern, Sirs. I am Mrs. Mallory. How may we be of service to ye?"

The man with dark wavy hair stepped forward, his baritone voice cold as he replied, "Nothing more than a warm meal and two rooms for the night."

Mrs. Mallory was forced to look up at the man, for he was tall. A leather strap hung across his chest, the hilt of a claymore barely visible above his shoulder. She shivered slightly at the piercing eyes and the stern visage, nodded, and then led them to an empty table. The man took off his sword, removed his cloak, dropped the saddle bags onto the bench, and sat down. His companion sat across from him, his red hair shimmering in the firelight as he leaned across the table and said lowly, "Lord Aubren, what is the object of our inquiry that we must travel so late into the night?"

A smile twitched beside the lord's mouth as he replied, "What, Master Jordan? Could it be that you doubt my judgment?"

"Of course not, my Lord," Jordan quickly said. "I was only curious."

"Ah, Master Jordan. Did I not inform you that this mission was entrusted to me by the King himself?"

"I understand, my Lord."

"Then trust me. I will inform you with what you need to know when the time is right."

The serving wench arrived with two jugs of ale, purposefully leaning low to reveal her attributes. Lord Aubren did not grant the slightest glance. "Fetch us dinner, wench. We are hungry," he said. She pouted and stomped off as Jordan eyes followed her swinging hips with amusement.

"Don't bother," Aubren said, swatting his hand dismissively. "We can't offer any distractions."

They ate silently for the remainder of the meal. Jordan idly ran his finger back and forth through the flame of the candle as Lord Aubren swirled the last of his ale before tossing it back. When Mrs. Mallory approached, finally interrupting the silence, they followed her to their rooms. Lord Aubren disdainfully pinched up the corner of the sheet, carefully inspecting it for lice and ticks. When the cleanliness was to his satisfaction, he gave Mrs. Mallory a gold coin before dismissing her.

"Jordan, stay awhile," Aubren commanded, loosening his cravat as he pulled out a map from the saddlebag.

"I don't understand why you travel without a manservant," Jordan commented.

"Extra hands slow us down and cause indiscretion."

Aubren beckoned Jordan to the table and pointed to Ciene on the map. "This is our current location. Tomorrow morn we will journey to Triten, where we start discrete inquiry of the Healer of Rae."

Jordan coughed violently. "The King wished us to seek a Healer?"

"Compose yourself, Master Jordan," Lord Aubren said, looking up. "Yes, that is our mission. Though it is generally assumed that all Healers have been exterminated during the last Great War, we have reasons to believe that some Healers survived. In particular, we are searching for the great Healer of Rae. It is rumored that he lives near the city of Triten."

"Is it wise for the king to entrust his health to the Healers? No doubt they bear His Majesty no good will. How are we to convince..."

"Healers are sworn to never cause harm. It is the core character that defines a Healer. As long as we can press the Healer into giving treatment, we can trust him. Go now, for I grow weary. We leave at sunrise."

Aubren rolled up the map, hearing the quiet click of the door as Jordan closed it behind him. He pushed the window open, shivering slightly at the chilly air. We will find the Healer. We must.

Miriam brushed a loose strand of hair away from her eyes, smudging her face with dirt. The humidity made a hot morning almost unbearable. Her faithful dog, Max, was nowhere in sight, probably under some shade or in the house. Traitor, Miriam thought resentfully. She pulled out yet another weed, tossing it into her compost bucket. She dug into the loose soil with her bare hands, relishing the coolness of it. From the leather sack beside her, she took out a branch she had snipped in the deep forest just yesterday. The tree that she took it from was not unusual, for ginkgo trees were common in the forest. What was so special about the plant was the tender purple leaves about to unfurl on the tip of the branch. Miriam had seen nothing like it.

Hearing a coughing fit coming from the cottage, she hurried inside to find her father struggling to sit up in his bed. Miriam put his arm around her shoulder and pushed up to help him sit.

"Ah, how difficult it is for an old man to get peaceful sleep," her father sighed.

"Did the potion last night help at all, Father?" Miriam asked as she straightened the sheets around her father's frail body.

He smiled wryly, "Not even you, my dear, can cure the disease of aging."

"I know the limitation of my knowledge and ability well. You have but tattooed it into my brain."

Isaac peered at his daughter, a small smile tugging at the corner of her mouth, a hint of a dimple barely visible on her cheek. As he sighed again, Miriam glanced at him warily, her brows wrinkled in concern and confusion. Isaac patted the edge of his bed, and Miriam accepted the invitation to sit.

"I grow old, daughter. It is my duty as a father to protect you, but I fear trouble is brewing. Soon our world will be shattered beyond repair. I can no longer shelter and protect you as I once could. You will need to take care of yourself. Will you not promise a dying man that? I want you to lead a full life, not crippled by self-destructive urges. Promise me that, at least."

"Self-destructive urges, Father?" Miriam raised an eyebrow. "Surely you do not think me suicidal. I promise I will take care of myself the best I can."

Isaac nodded, satisfied at last. He took her hand in his frail one, studied hers before saying, "Not suicidal perhaps, but girl, you have a worse temper than a bull in rut!"

Miriam punched her father teasingly on the arm. Growing thoughtful once more, her face turning somber as she asked, "Are you expecting trouble, Father?"

"I have heard rumors that the king is very sick. He may attempt to seek out remaining Healers."

"He'll never have me. I swear it. I will not help the man who had a hand in my mother's death."

"No!" Isaac coughed from his violent outburst. Miriam rubbed his back and took out a pill of dry ground herb for him to swallow, then quickly got him a cup of water. Isaac thanked her, smiled sadly and took the pill.

"You always worry about your child regardless of how old she is," he said. "The king is a ruthless man. We do not know what he will do when provoked."

"I cannot serve the king knowing what he did. And you know that I could never break Healer rule."

"As a Healer, you have no right to judge a patient!" Isaac bellowed. "We help those in need, regardless of their moral behavior. If a murderer is dying, you would have helped him."

Miriam flinched at his fierce response. She bowed her head in deference and said, "Yes sir, I understand. I shall never judge a patient. Forgive me for my mistake."

Isaac placed his hand on her shoulder to ease the harshness of his words. He said softly, "Be well, Miriam. All I ever wanted for you is a chance to live."

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Consensual / Romantic / Fiction /