Willem blinked a little dazedly at the light in the darkened attic room he shared with his elder brother Dannel. "What's going on?" he said, his words muddled by sleep and startlement as he held a hand over his eyes to shield it from the lantern Dannel held up.
"It's time," said his brother hastily, tossing his pants toward him, and immediately firing his shirt his way as well. The clothes flopped over his protective arm and head as he blinked again.
"Time for what?" he protested, worried one of the cows was going into labor, or some other farm emergency. Usually or or two of their milk herd had issues like that each year and invariably at the wrong time of day. But no, it would be his father waking him if it was a cow in labor needing his help.
Dannel, three years his elder - very nearly a man grown, really - gave him an impatient look. "I can't tell you, but trust me, you want to get up."
The two were cut of the same cloth, undeniably the sons of their father, Marcus. Tall, stockily built, with thick, slightly curly brown hair and light brown eyes. Typical of Westron men, they had deep tans from their work in on the dairy farm. Willem was only fourteen, beginning his growth toward manhood, and already several inches taller than he had been in the summer of his thirteenth year, well on his way toward six feet, like his brother and father both, though not nearly so broad of arm or chest yet.
"I want to sleep!" protested the younger boy, but something in Dannel's expression made the end of that demand trail off a little. His older brother, normally the very model of a senior sibling, was excited like a child, eyes sparkling and his grin almost irrepressibly broad.
"No, I promise you do not!" retorted the older brother, grabbing the pants, which had fallen off Willem's arm and back onto the floor, where they had started before all this hubbub, and tossing them back over the younger brother's body. "Now get yourself dressed, we have to move quickly!"
It was rapidly becoming obvious something terribly interesting and very unusual was happening. Hesitatingly, Willem slipped out from under the covers. It was chilly spring night, and he did not need much encouragement, once out of the protection of the covers, to get dressed quickly, tugging his pants on and then his shirt, before pulling the suspenders for his pants over his shoulders.
Dannel was going through things in his little chest of personal belongings at the foot of his bed. He finally brought forth a simple copper band, heavily etched with little nicks and cuts, that made it sparkle wildly, despite it being, in truth, a rather cheap bracelet. "You'll need this, put it in your pocket," urged the older brother, pressing the cold copper into Willem's hand. He did as told, then pulled on his jacket then sought out his boots, one of which had wound up under his bed. He tugged them on and started lacing them to his ankles.
"It better be good, whatever has you so all-fired worked up," warned Willem. It was a hollow threat, for what would he do if Dannel were playing him for a fool? Dannel would thump him soundly if he tried to exact vengeance for the prank. Besides, while Dannel was not above the occasional petty teasing that was the holy domain of any elder brother toward his younger, he had never really been 'cruel' toward Willem, and even that teasing he did do seemed delivered more out of a sense of duty to the role of elder brother than any real desire to be mean.
"It is!" exclaimed the older brother, opening the window that let out onto the long, sloped roof of the farmhouse. He crawled out it and onto the wooden slates of the roof and carefully started down, taking the lantern and light with him.
It was even chillier outside, but Willem followed, keeping in range of the circle of light from the lantern and the two finally reached the lowest point, only five or six feet above the soft, thick grass of the farmstead. They dropped down quietly and started across the pasture toward the distant black line of the edge of the forest.
The dogs only wurfed in curiosity, as they identified the scent of the boys almost immediately, but they were trained well to their duty of guarding the cows and stayed at their posts, lounging in the tall grass while the cattle slept or fitfully lowed protest at the light crossing their pasture nearby.
They clambered through the three-beam fence and into the edge of the forest and Dannel stopped his younger brother. "You know Milly DisLenner and I have been courting for nigh two years now?" he asked Willem.
Of course he knew, and wondered at being asked that particular question on this peculiar night of unexpected eventfulness. He nodded. Dannel turned down the lamp to just a faint glow, only light enough to see the ground around them and one another, leaving even the nearest trees to become black, mysterious shapes in the general darkness of the new-mooned night. A few stars peeked through the dense canopy of the old-growth forest, but shed no real usable light on things, and the woods seemed close and sinister in the chill air, a light fog hugging the ground and weaving among the trees, further softening the light of the lantern.
"Well, she said yes, and her father granted leave, we're to be married!" said Dannel excitedly.
Milly was a pretty girl, two years younger than Dannel's eighteen summers, but that was a fair normal age for a girl to promise herself to marriage, though usually they waited until seventeen or eighteen to actually wed. His brother was now officially engaged, and by Westron custom, he was now expected to be faithful to his soon-to-be bride, just as she was to him.
The people of the Western Realms were not so prudish as to demand virginity in their newlyweds, and likely as not, Dannel and Milly had consummated their affection for one another weeks or months before the request for marriage had been made. This carried no particular stigma among these pragmatic Westron folk, but they did take the relationships seriously, once promised.
"That's great, but hardly a reason to come traipsing into the forest at - what time is it anyway?" demanded Willem. He shivered against the chill air, and tugged his jacket around himself to peer at the dark forest around them, and back toward the relative lightness of the pasture behind.
"It's all the reason in the world, in this case," said Dannel softly, his voice taking on a peculiar earnestness and seriousness not normally found in the young, mostly carefree, man. "Before she said yes, I saw other gels, of course, as she saw other lads."
Willem rolled his eyes. He had courted one of the neighbor girls, as well, and knew how things worked in those matters. "Well, you'll have to stop that, right?"
Dannel nodded, his eyes moving back to the darkness, then returning to Willem's. "Aye, but one - well - this one, it would be cruel to just stop seeing her. She's special and..." his voice drifted off as he heard a sound among the trees and lowered the lamp. "I don't want to hurt her by stopping seeing her cold - and you're going to help or I'll make my last months at home the worst hell you've ever suffered."
"Help? How?" asked Willem, lowering his voice even as Dannel put a fingertip to his lips. He was about to ask again, when a soft, feminine voice, thickly accented and speaking as if unused to speaking, the words somehow clumsily coming from the throat.
"Dan-el?" asked the voice, almost plaintifly, there was a soft sound of movement among the underbrush.
"I'm here," replied Dannel, in a coaxing, warm whisper, a smile blooming on his features. He kept his finger over his lip.
Into the small circle of illumination from the lantern emerged the form of a young woman, crouched low, almost on all fours. She was nude, and her form was fair - no - it was magnificent. Sleek and muscular, with long, lean arms and legs, and a slender back shaped and arched by the One himself. Half of that back was covered in a thick, curling mane of greenish-black hair, and the woman's large brown eyes regarded him from a face of deeply tanned color. Long, elfin ears poked out of the thick hair, tilting and shifting as she regarded Dannel, then him, her smooth forehead furrowing in concern as she backed a tiny bit.
"No, no, he is okay, he is my brother," said Dannel, putting an arm around Willem and giving him a little shake, as to confirm that the younger sibling was under his control and no danger.
Her expression was wary, the eyes bright and alert as she moved back to the light. She stood slowly, unfolding from the crouched pose. Her breasts were small but perfectly formed and firm, high and proud, and capped by dark, perked nipples. It did not surprise Willem, given the cold, though she seemed to not otherwise notice that cold or her own nudity.
"Need - is time," she said, almost pitifully, her eyes softening to an imploring demand.
Dannel nodded. "I - I can't, now, I have a human mate," he explained.
"Mate?" she asks, it was obvious she did not understand. Willem was stunned at being presented with his first fully nude female of his short life, much less that she seemed eager to mate with Dannel. Slowly it started to dawn on him what his purpose here was.
"Willem, do you think she's pretty?" asked Dannel hopefully.
"Gods, yes, she's pretty, but - I can't just - well, you know." he protested
"Aye, you can," said his elder brother. "It's not just doing me a favor, it's doing her one - she is miserable with the need, can't you see that?"
.... There is more of this story ...