Part 27 - Proudspire again

Elisif had already woken, and gone down to the kitchen for breakfast, before Clark surfaced. It made sense for him to go out the same way he came in, invisible once more. He slipped out of the main door behind a guard, and remained invisible he until was on the patio of Proudspire Manor. Then he let it dispel, and opened the door.

He noticed that someone had thought to light the fire. He wondered if they'd done so when they delivered the furniture, or if it had been Jordis. She might have used it to cook something for herself last night. Or she might have just gone to the Winking Skeever. And he'd left her in the mood for some fun, so she might just have brought someone back with her.

He crept up the stairs, considering going invisible again. He decided not to. He hadn't given her any instructions, other than to practice in her new armour.

He opened the door to his bedroom quietly. The new furniture was in, and the place looked much better than the first time he'd seen it. The bed was an opulent four-poster with a canopy rail - and a nude Jordis asleep on it.

Alone, he was pleased to note. Except, that is, for one of those carved horker tusks. Clark wondered if that came from one of his own factories.

Clark left her there, and went down to get himself some breakfast.

Jordis cooks.

Jordis still hadn't put any clothes on when she appeared about an hour later. Since he hadn't told her what she should wear around the house, she wasn't going to just grab something from the closet without asking him first.

Put that way, it almost sounded reasonable. If it wasn't for the way she wiggled her hips as she walked over to the cookpot, and spread her legs before bending over it.

"She's trying too hard," he thought to himself. "Which really means she's not quite sure of herself."

He couldn't help comparing her to Lydia and Iona. Blonder, of course, and maybe a little rounder and softer. She was about the same age as Iona, which would be a year younger than Lydia. She was at the peak of fitness, with breasts that couldn't be larger without starting to droop just a little. She should be confident in her desirablity, so why wasn't she?

Well, he had just put her off to go sleep with someone else. And there had to be some reason that she wanted him right away. Lydia and Iona had both wasted no time, maybe that was part of their training.

"Let me think about your outfit a little longer," he told her. "I quite like the one you're wearing now."

Jordis giggled, but Clark could see relief in her expression.

"Tell me about your training," he asked her. "My other housecarls had the skills to match their equipment, so I assume you know heavy armour, block and one-handed. What else did they teach you?"

"Everyone learns to heal themselves when they're little, so they don't have to run to their mother every time they fall down. And women learn a few other restoration spells at puberty. Housecarl training adds healing others, so I can protect my Thane better. I can use a bow as well, but I wouldn't call myself an archer. And I can cook, even if it's nothing fancy."

"What about the other magic schools? Do you know any conjuration, or alteration, for example?"

"No, we're taught to use potions, or scrolls, for anything like that. We'd need more magicka, and health and stamina are more important for a housecarl."

"Lockpicking, sneaking, pickpocket, speech?"

Jordis shook her head, and a few other parts jiggled in sympathy. "They didn't teach that, but most of us picked up some skill, just being students, if you know what I mean. Those are the best skills for causing a bit of mischief."

"So what were you best at?"

"Up to now, I thought I was good at persuading. Well, men at least. There's no point having all this if I don't use it, is there? And I have to make my Thane like me. I'm sworn to protect him, but he's only going to look after me if he wants to."

That made perfect sense, and Clark was certain that it wasn't her idea. Not when Lydia and Iona had both bedded him within hours of meeting him. Given their duties, it could be a matter of life and death, after all. A Thane who just didn't care about them would quickly get them killed.

On reflection, he'd done the right thing by upgrading her armour and sword. That should have told her right away that he wanted to keep her. And that reminded him, he had enchanted her sword, but maybe he should make an amulet for her as well. She needed some support, or she wouldn't stay that perky for long.

He took her down to the basement and spent the next few hours teaching her the basics of alchemy and enchanting. "There was one other skill I didn't ask you about," he suddenly thought. "Did you learn any smithing?"

"Enough to make the armour and weapons I had yesterday. They make us do that as part of our course. So not enough to improve the plate you just gave me, and certainly not anything enchanted."

"By the time you need that upgraded, you should be able to. Just improve any iron and steel you pick up, and the better leather stuff, before you sell it. You'll get a better price too, especially if you sell the piece you're wearing."

"You won't want to sell this," he continued, and put the amulet he'd just enchanted round her neck. "How does that feel?"

"Uplifting?" she ventured. "I can't really describe it, but I like it."

"Then I think we've found you the right outfit for home," Clark announced.

"Just this amulet?"

"You're only my housecarl, you don't get a ring."

"This is the place," Gilda thought to herself. "And it looks like I have multiple entrances to choose from. They'll typically have the same lock, so you can use the same key anywhere. So I won't go in the basement. I'll go round the back and in the floor above. I'll have more cover back there."

"No shadowmark? That must mean someone new's just moved in. I'll have to add one on the way out."

"Aah! There we go. Nice and quiet. Let's hope they've oiled the hinges already."

She cracked the door open just a little and peered through the gap. There didn't appear to be anyone on this floor; they'd probably gone up to bed already. She slipped in and closed the door quietly behind her. There was some decent silverware on the shelves and tables, but they weren't why she was here. She had a specific piece to steal, a golden model of a ship. Anything else she picked up was hers to sell, but she had enough gold not to bother. This job was for the benefit of the Guild.

"Yes, they're definitely in bed," she thought. "And not asleep yet. But she'll sleep soundly after that, judging by the noise she's making."

There was no sign of the ship on the main floor. Gilda decided to check the basement, and give the couple a little longer to tire themselves out. Even though she just knew it would be in that bedroom. It always seemed to work out that way.

As expected, the model ship was nowhere in the basement, either. Her hunch that it was in the bedroom was getting more likely all the time. However, they didn't seem to be falling asleep as soon as she'd hoped. She was just outside their door now, and she could hear more clearly.

"And have you ever tried this?"

"That's Clark's voice!" Gilda gasped. "I could be standing here for hours, if he's on form."

She pondered a few moments, and came to a decision. Pausing only to undo her jacket, she opened the door.

"Aren't you going to introduce us?" she asked.

"Gilda, this is Jordis, my new housecarl. Jordis, this is Gilda, my apprentice." Clark spoke without interrupting what he was doing. Jordis didn't reply, except to moan with pleasure.

"Good evening, Jordis. I hope I'm not interrupting anything too important. And do you need any help? Clark can be a bit overwhelming until you get used to him."

Gilda let her jacket fall to the floor, and bent to let Clark kiss her. As he did so, she slid off her boots and pants, and kicked them aside. Then she moved to the other end of the bed and started to play with Jordis' breasts.

"Hers are a bit bigger and softer than Lydia's, aren't they?" Gilda asked, running her tongue around the nearest one.

"So?" Clark replied. "They suit her, and they respond to a bit of attention, which is all I care about."

They certainly did, and the young Nord was getting a lot of attention. Twice as much as she bargained for. "I thought you were going to help me, not Clark," she panted. "Not that I'm complaining, yet."

At her first opportunity, she traded places with Gilda. She'd never seen breasts as big as those before, and she was sure the stranger wouldn't mind her repaying her in kind.