An elf returns home to find a rude awakening and meets someone new.
The Bow Hunter
He pulled up to the abandoned road and jumped down from his four foot high truck. He landed on his feet and dust kicked up around his heels as he hit the ground. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, feeling that freedom and serenity that he so badly desired for this trip. He was on a dirt road, but no one has been here in at least a year, it's a little overgrown, and dust had settled.
He hid himself in his family's ancient elven Ranger Elite armor. Dark brown with deep green accents; the tough leather armor seemed to shine as he constantly kept it oiled and pliable. It was designed with function and beauty in mind; it will easily deflect an arrow or a sword. His crest is emblazoned on his arm plates. Two elven ritualistic swords cross near the top of a shield with a picture of an ancient elven helmet in the middle. Flowering vines surround the edge of the shield as they come together in a Celtic knot at the bottom.
He remembered that a member of the high order, made this armor specifically for him, with the measurements being exact to fit his body and his alone. It came after a quest to gain some kind of artifact; its purpose still eludes him to this day. Remembering two of his dear friends that accompanied him on that quest, they had both given their lives to save his as they battled a pair of orcs. One was bashed in the head with a large club. There was no armor to save him from that. His other friend didn't fare well either, being knocked over a cliff with the same orc's club right when he was about to take out it's calf to bleed it out. Not having time to grieve right then he managed to do what his friends couldn't and avoided one last swing as the orc hit the ground hard. He reached for him but wasn't fast enough. Arman stayed just out of reach of the thing. Then he took his sword and put it out of its misery taking it and pushing it into the orc's eye slicing easily into its brain. The orc died right there in front of him. He spat on the thing and went to go see if his friend was alright but one of the other party members had told him to stay, that he didn't want to see this. He went anyway, losing his lunch at the site. Obviously the quest was completed and luckily no other party members were lost on that mission. The armor that he got was also magically enchanted. It had a blessing which made it as strong as any suit of armor or chain mail, maybe even stronger.
He grieved for his friends every time he came out here. That's one of the reason's he keeps in shape the way he does.
His arms ripple with muscles, his legs taught as any runner. He keeps himself well trained. He wanted to keep in shape for these days right here. The tall elf is so well built that he could take down any ogre in the land with just his fighting skills alone, now, he made sure of that. His specialty, however, is the bow. He can see afar and likes to take out his enemies without even being seen. When he's truly at his best he feels absolutely empowered.
His drive to keep himself fit only strengthens his resolve that he was the best in the elite guard, when he served, but not good enough to save his friends that day. He carried that grim attitude wherever he went. That is why he is out here during the time of the Rift; when everybody else is busy slobbering all over each other. This, 'time of the rift' marks the only time within eighty years where the races could conceive. The libido was a hundred times stronger than in any other time. World governments set aside their differences to succumb to the time of the rift and only necessary businesses stayed open: Restaurants, medical facilities, and not even all of them, gas stations and grocery stores. His business closed down for the full eight months during the time of the rift. That is why he came here. It gave him a chance to hone his skills and keep up with new and unusual new methods of warfare.
He can take out a deer at 500 yards with his elite homemade bow. He's always pushing his limits; he's now trying for 600 yards or two kills, with two arrows, on one shot. As he closes his eyes and thinks about the scene, he pictures both arrows gently sliding into both deer's flesh. They both drop where they stand, and that is what he is going to target his goals on this year.
He looked around to his surroundings and sees no humanoid contamination. He pressed a button on his key chain and with three quick beeps a hidden compartment slides out from above his rear wheel well.
He reaches into the secret compartment and pulls out his sword and easily glides it into its scabbard hanging on his hip, then, a bow and quiver of arrows. The compartment disappeared seamlessly into the fender of the truck.
He flipped his bow around after stringing it, to check his sights. He twirled the bow in his hands and does a couple of practice moves before checking the strength of the arms; he quickly slid it onto his back in the special holster he made just for a quick draw. The quiver was lined with ancient elven silk and had some kind of enchantment on the cloth lining that was unknown to him; just the fact that he never ran out of arrows was all he needed to know. He had always wondered what it was, but figured, since none of the other elves had even seen an enchantment like this that he would just let it go. He had to kill an over sized ogre with just his fighting skills alone to obtain it. That was tough enough.
He could have driven ten to fifteen miles farther into the forest, like he usually does, but sometimes walking down the road, alone and seemingly forgotten, is the most refreshing feeling he could get. To feel the wind, notice the changes in air pressure as the trees swayed. The coolness that seemed to flow through his thick leather armor, both exhilarating and bitter cold was almost too cold for this time of year. Something also compelled him to stop here and not further down as he usually does.
He reached into one of his pouches and pressed another button on his keys, the truck soundlessly vanished. He wished to get back to nature and his roots while he's out here.
As he walked down his road he came across the most beautiful Doe he's ever seen. Tan coat, pure white spots and having trouble walking and is still wet from birth. Her ears were twitching at every sound. She seemed scared, but excited at the new life she had just been given.
He crouched down puts his hand out, she saw him and froze. Slowly he walked out into the open road. He stopped and crouched even further not wanting to scare the newborn creature any farther.
'Why is she alone and where is her mother?' He thought to himself. There is an undetermined danger here somewhere. He began to look around. Using every sense he possessed, he begins to become the hunter. He sniffed the air, a certain sense of fear was sensed, and the taste was acidic. He knew that he will need a considerable amount of force to disable this new threat; he also began to retrieve the information in his mind as to what kind of creature could give off both an acidic and carnivorous aura.
His heart filled with dread as he realized that the pressure in the air has dropped and the gravity had grown heavier. He knew there were only three creatures that lurked in these woods that could do this amount of physical damage to an environment. Two of them are thought extinct and if found, are to be left alone, by law. Goddess, he hoped it wasn't one of those; if the creature is too dangerous he would HAVE to put it down. They are also very treacherous; but in all his two hundred and sixteen years of life on this property, he had never seen either of these creatures here, or even the third which is just as menacing.
They are hard to kill to say the least, but they prey on the weak and the young. He could never allow that in his woods!
He sensed every leave blow in the trees; he looked at all of the ground movement. He saw several snakes moving off in the distance and many birds flying, he also saw the way these small creatures were moving . . . deeper into his forest.
The deer still stood frozen in front of him, he knew that moving forward would cause her to run backwards towards the thing that he could tell, was approaching fast. He knew the thing was behind her because as her ears twitched backwards, the acidic taste and the smell of fear grew stronger from her direction. He grew tense. Not knowing what this new thing was, made him a little anxious, his heart started to beat faster; but he knew how to control his feelings in a time of crisis.
His bow was just on his back ready to be used, his sword at his side should he not be able to use his bow. This was going to take some skill, the doe remained still, frozen in fear, a fear he sensed was growing rapidly inside her. Without hesitation he pulled his bow, knocked an arrow, pulled, aimed, and fired into the trees in one fluid motion, his graphite arrow ricocheted off several branches and landed behind the dear's ass in less than a few seconds time. It caused the dear to run into the forest fast and in the exact direction he was trying to get her to go.
As she did, he witnessed a giant shadow chase after her. Arman, Froze for a split instant before he fired off a shot into the shadow. It went through it as if it weren't there. Unexpectedly the tree branches moved to block the thing as it headed towards the doe. 'Another presence?! How could that be?' Then, the creature flew right through the tree limb barrier that was put up there purposely. He wondered what this thing and this new presence was; his anxiety worsened. He couldn't sense this presence at first. His heart beat even faster. 'Who is this new presence, and what was this new creature. What new powers could either have?'
That didn't matter right now! Whatever was in his woods would not stand for long! It had to be put down, and quickly! His eye's trailed where the Twenty foot shadow went. He began his pursuit as he heard A loud roar like an animal possessed followed by a painful squeal of a dying baby doe. Traversing the fallen trees and native brush like it was pavement he had finally made it to where the Doe had once been. There was blood everywhere and he saw some left over bones dripping with thick red goo and hanging skin. Tears of sorrow and hatred trickled from his eyes. This new life was way too young. Vengeance crippled his thinking. He had to catch this thing. His mind had even forgotten the other presence for a few seconds. He saw where it went and plotted a pursuit course.
This had never happened before, not in HIS woods, and nowhere that he's ever heard of before, and this was NOT one of those protected creatures, no, this was a new kind of evil. It flew like a shadow, had no mass, but could take down corporeal creatures, affecting physical things. 'No, this is new; a conjured creature maybe?'
He realized almost right away that the new presence was shadowing his own movements as he swiftly ran after this creature. They were next to him for the most part but far enough away to be just out of sight. They held silent and invisible as they both hunted. This new presence, he knew had the same goal as he . . . for now. Why could he now sense the presence but not before? Had his skills diminished so? Maybe magic was used; having not seen it performed in a while due to the stringent laws against it. He had to be at his best now, more than ever. If this person turned out to be a threat he wanted them to know that he was capable enough. He wanted desperately to find out who, or what else was out there with him, but for the time being they hunted the same thing. It seemed to be something of a shadow dragon, a smoky color that was almost flame like in shape. It flew like a dragon with its wings also resembling that of shadow fire. It was far too small to be a real dragon, but maybe the size of a pygmy dragon, a very large one. His weapon was folded up and put away; as he saw earlier, mortal weapons do no damage to this thing. He hoped his own shadow understood that as well, but somehow knew that they did.
He knew nothing of a beast such as this. He had heard stories as he grew up, about monsters, but they were just the stuff of urban legend, or superstition. Sure they had Ogres and Trolls, where-beasts, and humans, but this . . . shadow dragon thing, was a kind of magic that was just not possible. He felt the magic pulsing through the forest as they slithered through his jungle paradise with ease and purpose.
They had been tracking this beast for several hours. It would let them catch up so that it would be in view, and then it would fly away. It was toying with them. Then it just suddenly disappeared, as did the magic that he sensed.
It was then that he decided to stop and set up camp. He started a fire as it was getting dark and the pitch black of night would soon be upon them. This was sixteen minutes of the night where neither the sun, nor either of the moons were visible in some parts of the world; it would be pitch black, unless he lit his fire quickly. His fire would hopefully draw out his newly found companion; he moved an extra log around the fire, to form a seat across from him, as a means of invite for the newcomer.
His senses kicked in, he could see the shifts in the air, the taste of the surrounding foliage, and the pressure of the arrow that landed square in front of him as he set his campfire, obviously meant to inform him that they were coming. He knew the arrow wasn't meant to kill him, the pressure would have felt differently. He didn't move an inch, he simply lifted his head, his bow at the ready, expecting the worst, given the day he's had so far. The opportunity would present itself, he just needed to be patient, but his patience was quickly running in short supply.
She walked slowly and with purpose out of the darkness and into the campfire light. Her bow around her shoulder, but at the ready should things not go as planned. He could see the full length of her armor as she walked into view. Her legs long and slender, muscular, and defined as was her abdomen all exposed to nature; he wondered what kind of protection that type of armor could serve. Her bosom was not as clearly defined because the armor took on a more gender neutral look to it. It was also made of leather just as his was and looked almost elven in nature; it was an earthy green with ground colored brown accents. Her boots were fur lined as was her top. She had on a small cape which was also green and brown; it bore no markings of any clan or tribe that he could see. Her pack was large and brown and lying against the log he had set out in front of the fire for her.
She was dirty, and sweaty, but a healthy looking woman, if not a bit short. She had a smug look on her face as she walked further into the light. He could see that she was indeed very beautiful. Her face was slender; her dark hair framed it perfectly. He couldn't tell what color her eyes were, it was too dark and the fire would cloud the true color anyway. He never sensed a dark magic or action yet, but he would be cautious all the same.
He reached over from his seat, picked the arrow out of the ground and handed it to her without standing, hoping she would walk over to him. "You lost something." He said smiling.
"Greetings, Elf." She said with contempt. Not at all like the others during the time of the Rift.
"Why, you almost sound as if you dislike me." He replied putting the arrow gently on the ground next to him.
"You're an Elf, shouldn't I?" She answered.
"It is hard to make friends, if one never gives one a chance. By my token, we were both hunting the same creature, and we both tracked it very well." He told her trying to give more than ample leeway to be polite back, in HIS forest. He needed her to be compliant, so that she would be more willing to answer his questions.
"Flattery?" She said. "I never knew an Elf to be so gracious towards a human before."
This comment raised an eyebrow. He looked over at her as she was coming farther into the campfire light and saw that she was indeed human. "You would offer me a place at your campfire?" She asked surprised.
"By my count, we have but just one fire, who would I be to disallow you the chance at warmth and maybe a hot meal; especially after a chase so long as that one. This forest marks my home and it is agreeable to see that you respect her."
"I would respect the forest and all who dwell within her, except those who would see her harmed." She told him. She took a seat on the vacant log; laying her bow against the log next to her pack, still strung and ready to be fired at an instants notice.
Sounding very much like a wood elf; he was surprised to see such passion in a human. Arman sensed that she was more than what she looked like. This would be an interesting turn of events, possibly a positive turn.
"Then you will always be welcome at any camp of mine." He paused, "Unless you try to kill me." He said with a wink and a smile.
"I am a practitioner of the old faith." She told him while looking into the fire. "I respect someone as gracious and will not harm you, but I don't care much for your new ways." She said with respect and a hint of distain for the new ways.
"I do not follow the new ways; I have created my own way!" He stood. "I am of my family's heritage!" He bellowed.
"Down boy!" She said. "I meant no disrespect, relax man." She didn't even move, just looked up at him. "My, aren't we a bit prideful; and you call us humans prideful and vein. I was just stating my opinion, that is all."
"Sorry, I have been around human merchants, most of my life. This is my family's land, once a great and powerful family."
"Alright big guy, sit down." She cracked. She didn't look as if his outburst had affected her even a little. That frustrated him a bit.
She reached into her own pack. Arman quickly and silently reached to grab his sword if needed. She produced several rabbits and handed them to Arman. "This should work for dinner. Before you can say anything, this is my contribution for allowing me to spend the night at your campfire." She said graciously. "Now!" She said a little more forcefully, "We should really talk about what we're hunting."
"It appears that we aren't hunting anything anymore." It's time he asked the more important question on his mind. "My turn. Why are you on my land and in my forest, and more importantly, who are you? I have a barrier around my entire land; it alerts me to any humanoid trespasser who comes onto my property, no matter where I am. I was not notified that you had broken onto my land, it should also have given you a jolt as you passed through it." He stated coldly.
"I didn't know I was on your property good sir. I was following this . . . shadow creature and found you." As she started to grin at him she thought. 'This was starting to get fun.' "And all that jolt did to me was to turn me on a bit." She snarled another grin. "But I had no idea what it was or what it was meant for. And it really wasn't meant for you, the arrow, I mean. I wanted to show you that I was here. But no, I didn't try to kill you."
"I noticed."He said. "I had sensed you were no threat to me or my forest, in fact you were trying to save that doe as much as I was." He stopped and looked at her, and then he stood. "I am Arman, and it is a pleasure to welcome you to my forest." He made sure to let her know that she was indeed trespassing and that he was allowing her to do so, for the time being.
"It is an honor to meet one so refined and caring Arman, my name is Siobhan." She said politely standing then offering a gracious bow. "Looks like the rabbits are finally done, I'm famished." She smiled and waited for him to dish out the food.
This is the first real chance he had to look at her. He tried not to make it obvious that he was looking, he noticed her strong, toned and smooth legs. She had a muscular abdomen. She wore only the armor and maybe some fur padding underneath. It was incredible how she put it all together to work so beautifully with her body. Covering her chest, she wore a shoulder/neck guard; it almost seemed to bear a crest on it, 'her families?' He thought. All these pieces seemed to pivot and move in unison with her body. He couldn't tell exactly how her upper torso looked, maybe that was the point. He found himself wondering, probably more than he should have. When he made it past her neck he simply smiled; she knew he was looking, and she didn't mind it seemed, she just shared a slightly smug smile.
The snap of a twig close by had them both at attention some time after they had finished their meal. His senses kicked in as he felt air pressure and sniffed at the mountain air around him. He looked over at her as she slowly slid her slender fingers over the hilt of her obsidian daggers, which he had to remember to ask her about; they were absolutely stunning in design and form. Her eyes attuned to the darkness behind the fire. The sixteen minutes of pitch had passed long ago so at least the moon lit up the forest a little, not that there was that much moonlight considering that where he was he couldn't even see the moons. They were in a giant ravine blocking most of the moons glow. 'That's why he's here.' She thought. 'He's hiding from the time of the rift, and this ravine reduces the effects of the rift greatly.'
"Deer." was the only word he spoke as he sat back down. The real treat was the fact that she didn't sit right away, she had good instincts and she had to verify for herself. Her muscles moved all at once and in perfect harmony as she pounced over to the other side of the camp to take a look out for herself. Without even a whisper of movement, she crouched down. There was a problem, he could sense it then, could it be that he was getting lax in his own forest? He would have to change that.
"It feels as if we are being watched." He whispered so softly a fly couldn't hear it, but he knew she would. "Shake it off as it were nothing. It's just a It's just a remnant of the shadow-dragon or it's master, it is not a threat to us, leave it be, I don't sense that it means us any harm, at least not tonight, but we must remain vigilant. We can look tomorrow. Both of our senses are attuned to this . . . thing" He said sounding a little unsure of himself.
"Forgive me if I don't trust your senses right now." She said not realizing that she just insulted the man and when she realized how she said it she cringed slightly.
She backed off slowly as her feet never made a sound, as she turned back to face him. Apparently he didn't take offense because there he was gawking again. He couldn't help it. He was a man after all; even elves have a sex drive, especially during the time of the rift. To be honest, she was feeling it too even in this moon sheltered forest.
It had been so long since he had been even close to another woman during the time of the Rift, or at any other time for that matter. His heart did race with strong desire every time he gazed upon her. He really couldn't help his stare and he was not trying to make things awkward. It didn't seem to be working.
"Sorry, I think it's the Rift, I'm normally not like this, please, I beg your pardon." He said embarrassingly.
Again she fondled the hilt of her dagger. It looked as if she were mad, as if she had hated his stare. Truly, she found herself longing for a man who could look at her like he is again, a man who could look at her with that kind of raw desire. She was just a little anxious about the shadow; she had seen the death it could render. She could still sense the evil magic. She managed to bite her lip and push those feelings down to relax a bit, pulling her attention back to Arman and his staring.
"You are, and will be forgiven, I too have partaken in admiring your beautiful body as well, though, not as blatant, but oh well, the Rift will affect us all differently." She said bluntly and now wearing a smile.
The both of them managed to relax a bit and began talking casually for a time before they would prepare to sleep, they even managed to laugh with each other, and the level of evil magic seemed to dissipate. He felt it also.
"We should sleep in shifts." She said, still not trusting her surroundings, or him, fully. "I don't know this forest . . . or you. I also don't know about this new enemy we seem to have."
"That is understandable, and a wise precaution. I believe that the night takes away the shadows power, after all, it can't be a shadow in the dark, however, you are right. I will stand first watch."
He just sat there and stared up at the stars losing himself in the freedom but worried about this new threat. He remembers the first decade or so when he had to fight various creatures on his property. He's reminded of the friends he's lost and the battles waged and how he would have to follow those very dangerous ways once again. He lays back and stares upward toward the sky. The trees being hundreds and hundreds of feet into the sky, the stars seemed so very far beyond them. He couldn't see the moons, but those who could were affected far worse than those who were unable to, or in his case, unwilling to. The force of the rift made it so he had to turn his mind quickly to other things, things of a more mundane nature; so he thought back to what will happen when he finally gets back to his home in the city. He's going to have to start dealing with those miserable humans who all want something for nothing. There are a few, however, with whom he enjoyed bartering with. But now, now he turns and looks over at her.
Siobahn seemed to just lay there as he began to drift off into thoughts of what he could be doing with her right now. He imagined his hand slowly and lightly drifting up the side of her thigh. Her skin so tough and yet so smooth and taught. His thoughts turned to gently running his hands over the many scars that she has probably gotten while in a battle. He imagined his hand wandering into the dampness between her legs. He thought of her writhing in pleasure as he fingered her gently; his other hand slowly moving up her muscular abdomen as if it were a washboard. He wondered if she liked it rough or soft and gentle. It made no matter; he could, in fact, do both. He glanced over to see her turn on her side to face away from him, a part of her ass was showing, he wanted to smoothly run his hand around it. Running his hands over her ass and placing his tongue over the slick lips of her pussy and licking hard, maybe even sucking. He quickly turned his head to the stars once more, his distraction. He had heard her breathing heavily and he needed to stop thinking about her in that fashion. This time of the rift made it so that he could only think about sex and he hated that. That is precisely the reason he came out here during this time, to be away from all that desire and lust that everyone shares during the time of the rift. Then he go up to walk around a bit as his shift had just begun and he didn't want to fall asleep on his watch.
Little did he know, she had turned over on her side because she was having thoughts of him as well. She dreamt of kissing his finely tuned abs until she came down to the place he stood at full attention, she imagined her hands lightly and, oh so gently, gliding up and down his shaft. He was already hard in her mind. He became a moaning mess when she slowly licked her way from the bottom of his shaft to the top. It was big and the girth would definitely satisfy her. She licked slowly and purposely until she saw that little bead of wetness form on the tip of his cock. Then she would slowly wrap her lips around it, giving a gentle squeeze on his balls and as she went all the way to the base of his shaft, she would suck hard. She had rolled over to put her hands on her now wet pussy. She began to rub herself but stopped when she notice how loud her breathing had become. Knowing that he probably heard her, an evil smile crept over her face and she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
Arman awoke the next morning, after her watch, to find Siobahn missing, but most of her gear was still lying at the foot of her bedroll. Arman knew this place well, well enough to know that there was no place to bathe, that's when he noticed her weapons were missing. He was not used to having company with him in his woods let alone a beautifully toned and smart human woman. Had he slept through something? His heart raced as his fears had begun to rise. That's not like him at all, to sleep through something like this. Every noise usually woke him and his senses held him fast when danger was near. Could it be that he trusted her more than he realized? Maybe she was just looking for breakfast. All he knew was that he was getting extremely irritated. He had no doubt that she could handle herself, but she really needed to wake him if something was wrong while she's here in his forest.
Now, she is missing and he grew ever more concerned with every passing moment. He used his sense of smell and air pressure to determine that she had gone to the place that the entity had stood watching them the night before. He crept across the foliage of the forest floor, arming himself first, taking extra care to be as vigilant as he once was. He did manage to creep up, right behind Siobahn. She quickly swung around and put a knife under his jaw and just stared at him. He didn't see that one coming.
"I could hear you a hundred paces away Arman, we have to get you back to your previous form, or you're going to get us both killed." She said this in a most caring tone. He knew that he had caught her by surprise but decided to let it go. Although he realized she was right. He had become complacent. Nothing had happened in his woods for nearly a century. The only experience he's had has been to hunt for meat and money. He had not had an adventure since before his wife had passed fifty seven years ago.
"It came and stood here. It left no trace of who or, what, it was." She stated flatly. "But it is a shadow, what evidence could it leave behind?"
"I would have to agree, I assumed it was the shadow-dragon thing, as did you." He said as a matter of fact.
"Don't presume to know my mind, elf!" She exclaimed
He just looked at her with a stern glare. She looked at him for a minute.
"Yes, okay that is what I thought too, but Damnit, stay out of my mind!" She shot back almost smiling. He did not look amused.
"We best head back to the truck." He said; more of a command rather than a suggestion. "It has more of my supplies for the next eight months, and extras as well."
"Can't we get that stuff later?" She begged. "We need to start tracking this thing again." She pointed in the general direction deeper into the forest.
"Do you sense any evil magic here?" He almost yelled. "Yeah that's what I thought. Now let's go!"
"I would like to stay and see if I can pick up its trail, I wish you would reconsider it." She pleaded.
"First, I would like to get my truck home: second, I wish to get home as quickly as possible, I have books and lore there that may tell us what we're dealing with. And thirdly, it is not here, nor do I feel its presence. I wasn't always just a simple hunter." He seemed irritated. "So let's get back to camp, pack up, and get the hell back to my truck!" Now he just seemed mad, she went along without saying a word, though she was irritated as well now. The weeks of the Rift that had already passed were indeed beginning to take its toll on both of them, and as she silently noted, it was her sexual drive that was irritating her.