Forbidden Love Main Forums Creations 18+ Content Pieces of a Whole (Brooke's Short Stories Collection)

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  • Brooke
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    Post count: 48

    Piece One: Meeting The Ranger

    Brooke

    Heavy feet dragged themselves up the stairs to Riverwood’s Sleeping Giant Inn. The town, though bustling with people, seemed unruffled. That was exactly what Brooke needed at the moment. The events of Helgen have repeated themselves in her mind for hours. Alvor had suggested visiting the inn, possibly to help curb the anxiousness crowding in her mind. She rubbed a hand over her tired eyes before they met the glaring ones of a dark figure. Her attention was deficit, at the best of times, and she hadn’t realized at that moment that she was on the last st-

    And she trips. ‘Way to go’ she thought irritably, still sprawled on the ground. As she gathers her thoughts in her laziness on the patio, she felt a pair of eyes lingering on her, burning through her. She didn’t dare look up.

    Bishop

    The ranger watches her curiously, wondering how in the hell she managed to trip. It was almost laughable. And this was the girl they were sending up to Whiterun? Please. A bunny would have better chances making it there alive in a sea of wolves compared to her. Her pale skin screamed the fact that she had not much experience being outdoors, and her smaller frame suggested she wasn’t doing a lot of manual labor, either. And then there was her expression; lost and confused, and a little frightened. Alvor and his lot couldn’t actually be serious in thinking she would come back in one piece, if at all.

    She begins slowly and reluctantly pulling herself from the floor. She hadn’t made any further eye contact with him, and enters the inn quickly as if nothing had happened. ‘Strange woman’.

    Later in the evening the rain began to pick up, and Bishop decided to call it a day when he headed inside the inn for some mead. He ordered some Honningbrew from Orgnar when he sat next to the fire, and he caught sight of that girl again at one of the tables. From the looks of it, she had passed out cold right there with her head on the surface, sleeping peacefully. At this point he started to wonder just who in Oblivion this girl was.

    Brooke

    The sun peeking into the sky in the morning marked the beginning of Brooke’s journey. Alvor gave her some equipment he thought she could put to use, such as a dagger, a new backpack to carry things like food, water and clothes, which he also provided, and a pouch full of a modest amount of septims. In all honesty, Brooke wondered why they didn’t find someone else for this ‘job’, yet she found that she couldn’t work up the will to say no. Even if that meant possibly getting her killed. Or not.

    As she starts down the path through town, her eyes find themselves glued to the ground. Events streamed through her head, and she worried if she would remember the simple directions Alvor gave her to Whiterun. Just as she was running over the basics, her mind snapped back to reality as quickly as she smacked into a surface. A person. Her eyes looked up anxiously to meet the golden ones from yesterday.

    He stood about half  a foot taller than her with arms crossed and an angry look decorating his features. Brooke immediately went into escape mode. She pulls her eyes off of him hastily and tries to walk past him, stopping only when she heard his voice-

    “You do actually look where you’re going, right? Or are you trying to get yourself a head injury?” She could almost see a smug grin creep into view when she turned back to look at him.

    “Um… pardon?” She was caught a bit off guard at the fact that he actually talked to her. She was hoping to avoid him; not that it was anything against him, she just… wasn’t good with people.

    “You heard me. If you’re heading out into Skyrim, you gotta have more backbone than that. Louts around here’ll walk all over you, princess.”

    “What makes you think you know if I have a backbone or not?” Brooke plays nonchalant.

    “Don’t kid yourself. Walking around as if you’re scared of everything. People around here will see right through that and play you like a fiddle. You must be new here or you’d already know that, sweetness”, he looks directly at her, as if he can read her thoughts.

    Uneasiness begins to settle as Brooke races through thoughts, but she is adamant about not letting it show. “Look, thanks for the… advice, or whatever you want to call it, but I should probably have left by now, so…”, she begins to turn away-

    “Heading to Whiterun alone?” He raises a judgmental brow at her.

    “Yeah, I have to let the Jarl know-”

    “About Helgen.”

    “How did you know?”

    “Conversation was pretty loud.” He sighed.

    “Right, well. You know how important it is that I leave soon then”, she takes her eyes away from him for a moment.

    “Hold on, princess. If you’re going alone, you’d better be more equipped than that.”

    “And your proposition?” Her curiosity peaked at his remark.

    “Why don’t you take someone along who can actually handle themselves out there”, he almost snickered.

    “And that would be?” She asked innocently.

    “I’ll escort you there. You can find your own way back here from that point”, he offered.

    “What is the catch?” She eyed him curiously.

    “I’m surprised you even asked. No catch, just don’t come bug me to help you out later when we’re done”, he answered with a hint of annoyance.

    “Alright, well then. I’ll be sure not to ‘bug you’. And thanks for the offer”, she added with sincerity. “My name is Brooke.”

    “Bishop.”

    _______________________________________

    Alright, so! I have decided to go ahead and write a collection of shorter stories for my dragonborn’s adventures in Skyrim (because I am not sure if I’ll commit to one large chunk of a story yet, anyway) so I’ll be doing some shorter key moments and see how that goes. I hope you all enjoyed! ^_^

    Brooke
    Participant
    Post count: 48

    Piece Two: A Window to the Soul

    Brooke

    Cold, wet droplets fell from Brooke’s long brunette locks as she stood over the dragon. Even in her wildest dreams, it was hard to believe she had just taken one down. Of course, she wasn’t alone. Along with a handful of guards and Irileth, she had another certain… unexpected helping hand. It was greatly appreciated. The Ranger from the day prior had decided to temporarily join up with her after they trekked through Bleak Falls. She had promised to help him find a companion of his; a wolf. Karnwyr.

    Bishop had been helpful to her, though he didn’t seem fond of people. She wondered why. He had something hidden beneath his cool exterior; whatever troubles or emotions it was, it was obscured to her. Regardless, he was actually decent company, even when he tried not to be.

    As she collected her breath, a sudden loud swirling noise shook her from her trance. It surrounded her. She wasn’t sure exactly what she should have been expecting next in that moment, and looked up in horror to Bishop’s direction. It was strange how she felt prepared for anything and yet… not prepared at all. Her deep ivy-green eyes met his golden ones between the drops of rain and threads of light that wrapped around her, hoping for one last chance of reassurance; one last net of safety in the only person she knew even remotely in that very second. The noise that the shreds of light around her made were too loud to hear over when she said Bishop’s name.

    Bishop

    The light engulfed her and all he saw etched on her face was fear. He stood for a moment, watching in disbelief as Brooke stood motionless. As the light began to fade, he briskly walked in her direction and once he was close enough he violently grabbed her by the shoulders. As he scanned her expression, his eyes were filled with uncertainty, and even a bit of mistrust and anger. She slowly took a step back and out of his grasp. He glares at her, questions written in his eyes. She didn’t even try to explain. Bishop wasn’t sure why, but a sudden frustration boiled within him.

    “And just what in all of Oblivion was that?” Venom coated on his tongue.

    She was speechless. She looked unsure of what to say, her eyes vacant and lost in a field of her thoughts. He began to actually wonder if he had made a mistake tagging along with her this whole time. Just as Bishop opens his mouth to question further, a guard came running up behind her.

    “I can’t believe it… you’re… Dragonborn.”

    Bishop’s eyes snapped to the guard.

    “… What do you mean?” Brooke questioned back. She sounded empty, lifeless; confused.

    “In the very oldest tales back when there were still dragons in Skyrim, the Dragonborn would slay dragons, and steal their power. You must be one.”

    Whatever it was that the guard was going on about, Bishop was having none of it. He turned on his heel and hastily walked away; away from all of that Dragonborn nonsense. He didn’t know what had just happened, but he knew he didn’t want anything to do with it. It was only a short time before he heard his name being called, small footsteps hurrying after him. It was her.

    Brooke

    She weaved in between the patches of fire all around her; smoke rising from them as the rain tried desperately to put them out. Bishop’s pace did not slow, but there was reluctance in his movements. When she finally caught up to him she laid a hand on his shoulder to turn him around to her, and she learned too late that that may not have been the best move to make.

    In less than the blink of an eye he had her wrist in his hand, and as he turned to face her he twisted it in his grasp. Brooke yelped and he quickly released it. She saw anger in his eyes and almost turned right back where she came, but then she noticed something else… was it remorse? He dropped his gaze from her at that moment. Her big green eyes held an innocence in them as she continued to scan him; trying to read him. He knew all too well what she was doing.

    “Ladyship… I think this is where we part. I’ve got my way to go… you’ve got yours,” he began. “I think you can figure it out from here-”

    “Wait.”

    Bishop looked back up at her questioningly.

    “I… know that this is a lot to ask. And you have every right to decline. But I would like to continue traveling with you. I don’t… feel safe here,” she somehow managed to stutter out. “I’ll help you find Karnwyr if you need.” She paused briefly. “I’ll understand if you’d rather not have me come along. I’ll find a way to get by.”

    Bishop looks at her in contemplation, doing his utmost to find any crevice of a lie or facade in her words. A long silence settled over them as he shuffled his thoughts.

    He had begrudgingly came to a decision. “… Fine. We set out first thing tomorrow to find Karnwyr.”

    Anyala
    Participant
    Post count: 14

    I love this! I hope you’ll continue; your writing is really enjoyable to read. I already like Brooke– she doesn’t come off as weak to me as much as confused and overwhelmed with her situation and her newfound ability. And you write Bishop perfectly. If I can add just one critique- sometimes the tense jumps from present to past tense and back again, and it’s slightly distracting, though not enough to keep me from wanting to read more!

    Brooke
    Participant
    Post count: 48

    Thank you so much!! Your feedback really made me happy and means a lot. 🙂 I will be updating this as much as I can, and I have quite a bit of free time so I’ll be doing updates frequently. And thank you for the critique; I will try to lessen those jumps more in future updates. 🙂

    Brooke
    Participant
    Post count: 48

    Piece Three: The Mountain that Touches the Sky

    Bishop

    The girl he had found himself traveling with was by far one of the strangest he had met. They had rescued Karnwyr about three days ago. It went… not exactly as planned, but they managed to get his wolf out of Kragslane nonetheless. Brooke refused to use the dagger she carried around, but Bishop was surprised at the fact that she managed hand-to-hand combat fairly well. It kind of threw him off guard, given her small appearance; it was clear that fighting was not something new to her. Though, she had trouble holding her own when approached with weapons, of which she also wasn’t well coordinated with. Bishop took it upon himself to teach her how to master the bow, which she seemed to greatly appreciate. Damn fool almost got herself killed if it weren’t for him and his wolf.

    Karnwyr seemed to definitely take a liking to her, much to Bishop’s annoyance. She was a bit more lively than when he’d met her, but she seemed… closed up, like she was holding back; hiding something. She got along well enough with the wolf, though.

    Bishop would try, every so often, to see what makes her tick; he’d comment about her messy hair, or her poor aim with a bow when he taught her. She just laughed every time; even as he tried so hard to be particularly irritating. He couldn’t get past that fact, and it bothered him to no end. In fact, there were a few times he could count where she actually joined him gleefully. Apparently she thought it to be absolutely hilarious when made fun of in any way. He scratched his head, confusion and frustration building within him the more he thought about it. In all honesty, it bothered him that he couldn’t get under her skin. It made him want to know more, and at that fact alone he mentally cursed himself.

    After rescuing Karnwyr and returning to Whiterun, the Jarl and his court mentioned something about the Greybeards; Those old hermits who live on the highest mountain chanting, or whatever the hell it is they do. Bishop wondered why even bother with them; it wasn’t like they were good for anything anyway. Before he knew it, they were back on the road again and heading to High Hrothgar. Brooke tried leading the way at first, but it turned out that she was preposterously bad with directions, and he went ahead and took the lead before she literally drove him mad.

    He found his patience being tested a lot, and actually wondered if this girl was serious. He didn’t like that fact either; usually he wanted to be the one to break others’ composure. Yet the more he thought about her, the more he realized how little he knew of her.

    Brooke

    They had traveled all the way and reached the rift within two more days. Brooke trails ever so slightly behind Bishop; Karnwyr keeping a steady pace beside her. She holds out a hand for him to lick and laughs softly as she begins to ruffle his fur. A few feet ahead of her, she could almost feel the vexation radiating off of Bishop. He suddenly turns and eyes her as she finishes coddling the wolf.

    “So why did you come to Skyrim, of all places?” He questioned.

    She was thrown a bit by his uncharacteristically random question. “I just needed a change, I guess. Wanted to see what it was like.”

    He narrowed his eyes slightly. “Not much to see, princess. You’ve pretty much got the brunt of it, anyway. Just a giant, cold as all Oblivion wasteland, with Dragons to boot now.”

    She raised her brows at his response, “I didn’t know you thought of it that way. It is a bit cold, but I think it’s beautiful here.”

    “So I’m guessing you haven’t seen much then if you think this place is beauty”, he rolled his eyes at her.

    “Actually, you’re right. I haven’t. Which is exactly why I came here”, she shot back.

    “Is that it? You just came to ‘see the sights’?” He raises a brow.

    “I’m simple like that.” She smiled.

    Bishop

    He couldn’t really put his finger on it, but it seemed as if there was more she wasn’t telling him. He didn’t sense any maliciousness in her mystery, but it didn’t settle well with him. He decided it best he leave it be for now, whatever it was; but he did plan on questioning her further in the future.

    Brooke and Karnwyr trailed behind him until they finally made it to Ivarstead. He decided to rent two rooms at the Vilemyr Inn and called the innkeeper over for a bottle of wine. He stretched his shoulders a bit as he took a seat by the fire, wine in hand. As he stared into orange and yellow ribbons of the blaze, he heard a person sit next to him on one of the chairs. He turns to see Brooke leaning a bit forward, elbows on her knees and hands cupping her cheeks as she looks curiously at him with big green eyes.

    “So what do you know about High Hrothgar?” She inquired.

    Bishop leaned back in his seat and took a sip. “Not a damn thing besides that a bunch of old shitheads lounge about up there all day and shout at the clouds.”

    Brooke giggled. “You’re not looking forward to it?”

    “Don’t really care too much. It’ll probably be tough for you getting up there though; I’d be surprised if you didn’t drop dead on the way up from all the cold.”

    “I think I’ll be alright. I’m sure you’ve got some tips for me on how to keep warm”, she answered without thinking.

    His gaze landed on her heavily. “Is that so?”

    It was that moment that Brooke must have realized how that sounded, and a wave of embarrassment engulfed her. Her gaze shot to the floor and she ran through her next sentence.

    “U-um… I mean you look like you have cold weather survival skills and maybe… I thought you could teach me some things-”

    She stopped again and didn’t look up at him. She knew exactly how she sounded, and now she seemed to be a bit at a loss for words. Bishop smirked wolfishly; her reactions to her very own words in that moment amused him.

    “Sure, I’ll teach ya”, he answered with a tone that seemed to brush off the situation.

    When her eyes rose to meet his, they were filled again with an uneasiness. He knew why. His lingering leer over her had suggested what his thoughts were. She shrunk before him, and for the first time since he met her, he felt like he’d won.

    Brooke

    After she awoke the next day she had already found Bishop preparing for their journey up the Throat of the World. They gathered Karnwyr, who slept outside, and started on their path. It was a long way up, and it was a lot more frigid than she had imagined, but after two long more days, they found themselves at the top. She couldn’t really describe the feeling she had upon seeing the monastery; it was as if it weren’t a part of this world, and she found herself in awe by it.

    She gathered her thoughts and looked to Bishop, who was waiting for her to take the lead up to the building. She then began taking the next steps toward her destination and finally reached the door. She braced herself for what was within as her hands wrapped around the giant handle to the entrance. She pulled open the door and took a few steps inside, Bishop close behind her. They entered the grand hall, and after a moment, footsteps were heard approaching. Four hooded figures emerged into the room with them.

    “Dragonborn. It is you.”

    Brooke
    Participant
    Post count: 48

    Piece Four: A Mess in Winterhold

    Brooke

    The two of them, with Karnwyr in tow, had just arrived in Winterhold in order to visit the college. Brooke thought it best if she honed skills in restoration. Considering her new Dragonborn status, they were bound to face challenges, and it was only fitting they be prepared for them. She always wanted to practice the healing arts anyway. They made it to the entrance and a figure stood in the falling snow waiting for them. A high elf; she said her name was Faralda. She gave Brooke the task of first studying the candlelight spell and casting it before entrance.

    She took the book Faralda had sold her and headed back to the inn. All the while, Bishop trudged behind her, mocking mages and the college.

    “Look at them, prancing around in dresses! They couldn’t possibly think people were taking them seriously?” Bishop jeered.

    “Well, I don’t think most of them care what people think”, Brooke suggested. “Besides, they seem too… absorbed in their work to pay attention to odd glares and questioning looks. At least for the most part.”

    “They’re paying so little attention that they aren’t aware of the dangers all around them, it looks like. The fools would probably run screaming if a dragon swooped down at any moment”, Bishop retorted.

    “I think most people would run screaming if a dragon swooped down out of nowhere”, Brooke giggled.

    “And that doesn’t surprise me in the least”, Bishop rolled his eyes irritably. “Why stick up for them anyway?”

    “Why not?” Brooke looked in his direction.

    “It’s not like they’d do the same for you.”

    “They don’t have to. I just don’t find that I’m one to speak ill of others.”

    “So you’re miss ‘holier than thou’, huh?” Bishop sneered.

    Brooke laughs. “No, but I guess if that’s what you want to think, sure”, she smiled up at him.

    Bishop gave her a questioning look, but was unable to respond when a scream heard near the inn cut them out of their conversation. When they both snapped their heads in the direction of the noise, they saw a group of people running into town with magic and dogs, and very… strange armor. Brooke quickly stuffed the candlelight spell book into her pack and pulled out her simple hunting bow Bishop gave her.

    Bishop

    From the looks of the intruders’ armor and the spells in their hands, these were vampires, and they brought a few of their death hounds with them. It had been a while since he had seen them, but he had no doubt about it. He was slightly confused at how they were attacking in broad daylight, and there were so many of them. ‘Dammit…’

    He had his bow in hand and had already knocked an arrow before Brooke could even blink. Karnwyr dashed toward the onslaught and leaped into the air, catching the throat of the first vampire in the way and dragging him off. Bishop let an arrow fly and strike one of the death hounds, but they persisted in their march toward the town, just a few feet away now from the two of them. The guards jumped in to help as well, slashing off the heads of some. Even some of the mages from the college offered a hand.

    It took quite a few strikes to take them down, but many of them were already dead in the first few minutes. Brooke rounded up a few of the townspeople and moved in front of them, knocking and shooting arrows at the vampires while trying to get the people out of harm’s way. Out of the corner of his eye, Bishop saw Brooke fumble with her arrows, and a vampire closed the distance on her.

    In movements so swift, Bishop knocked an arrow and struck the vampire approaching Brooke straight in the eye, ceasing any further actions from it. It gave Brooke enough time to gather an arrow and strike it again, hitting it directly in the heart. It fell dead in front of her, and in the next moment she looked around to realize all of the vampires were taken care of.

    The townspeople gathered together and collected their breath, making sure loved ones were okay. Bishop approached Brooke with a scolding look on his face.

    “I know, I know… you don’t even have to start”, she breathed, bending over a bit to stretch.

    “Where exactly was your head at, Brooke?” He demanded angrily.

    “It was right here, Bishop”, she responded in monotone, brushing him off.

    “Didn’t look that way to me. If you want to stay alive, you better pull your head out of your ass”, he barked at her.

    She just looked at him wide eyed and began to giggle. “Ooh, someone’s a bit touchy today”, she teased. “Look, I screwed up. Won’t happen again, alright?”

    “It better not.”

    Brooke

    They had garnered their strength and headed back for the inn so that Brooke could get to studying. She was in the middle of pulling the book back out of the pack and skimming through the pages when another voice caught her by surprise.

    “Hello my dear. That was a wonderful performance. Might I get your name, sweet rose?”

    Brooke looked up from the book and blinked. “Performance?”

    She scanned the man standing on the porch of the inn, regarding her. He looked as if he bathed regularly, which was an oddity compared to most in Skyrim. His hair was a soft blonde, tousled just above his silver-blue eyes. His robes suggested that he may have been a mage of some sort.

    “How does such a delicate flower like you fight so graciously?” He continued.

    Bishop lost his composure laughing. “Graciously, HAH! She fights more like a blind mammoth to me.”

    Brooke smirked and rolled her eyes at Bishop before turning back to the man. “My name is Brooke. And you are?”

    “I am Darren. Delighted to meet you, my rose. Would you like to join me by the fire in the Frozen Hearth? It’s much too cold out here and it looks like you could do with some relaxation”, he offered.

    Brooke wasn’t exactly sure what Darren’s intentions were, but she did want to get inside where it was warm so she could study that spell she bought already. “We were already heading inside”, she smiled.

    “Splendid! Shall we?” Darren held the door to the inn open for her. She nods in appreciation and enters. Before Darren could follow her in, Bishop grabbed him by the collar and yanked him off of the door and back onto the patio of the inn. Without even looking back at him, Bishop enters as well and closes the door shut behind him. The last thing he heard being a loud “Hey!”.

    Brooke had settled in the inn and began reading the candlelight spell for a good two hours or so. Darren had entered and attempted to woo her a few times, but after a few glares and a deliberate punch in the face by Bishop, he halted pursuit. She felt sorry for the guy and helped bandage his nose, but she felt relieved that it at least gave her a bit more time to study.

    Now that she thought about it, she wasn’t sure why there was a sudden intense hostility coming from Bishop. Sure, he was an ass most of the time, but toward Darren it seemed tenfold. She mused about it for a moment, but eventually shrugged it off and continued reading.

    Nightfall came and she was sure she had finally grasped the essence of the spell. Brooke hurried outside to practice it, so as not to disturb any of the residents of the inn. She found a secluded spot behind a building and made sure nothing was in the way, and with the book in hand, she attempted to cast the candlelight. In her fist gathered a calm, soft blue light and she released the spell. When a sphere of light struck the ground and remained, Brooke mentally cheered, and the book in her hand vanished.

    She hastily rushed into the inn and grabbed Bishop, who was seemingly annoyed that he had to give up his ale and the warm fire for a moment to come with her to the college. She raced outside and up to the college grounds with him lagging behind. As she thought, Faralda was still there, patiently waiting for her to cast the spell. When it succeeded, she allowed entrance and lit up all of the mage fires to the main gate. She then turned toward Brooke as she gestured to the grounds behind her with a smile.

    “Welcome to the college.”

    Helena
    Participant
    Post count: 159

    Nice read.

    Brooke
    Participant
    Post count: 48

    Piece Five: Unheard Intentions

    Bishop

    They followed random, undisturbed trails through the Rift. Brooke was going on and on about the trees; she squealed in excitement when they had first arrived and continued to gush over them. She closed her eyes and stretched her arms out far, taking a deep breath and reveling in her surroundings. Bishop watched her with a brow raised, unbeknownst to her, and began to form a smirk.

    The sky darkened as night ran the light away. They had set up camp just as the sun set and Brooke began to prepare some leek stew. Bishop was sitting just outside of his tent sharpening his dagger when he suddenly felt a sharp stinging sensation and winced in pain. An annoyed look grew on his face as he pulled a tattered piece of his sleeve back to reveal a deep gash from a bear they had encountered the day before. The wound was a bit larger than when he last glanced at it, rimmed with a purple coloring. The wound had festered while he didn’t pay attention to it.

    To his dismay, Brooke had caught sight of the flash of discomfort on his face, and stares at him for a moment with a knowing look as she continued to stir their meal. He brushed her off and tried to ignore.

    “You know, there’s someone present who has a lot of knowledge in restoration now…” she says nonchalantly as she focuses on her cooking.

    “I don’t need it”, Bishop began, already heavily displeased.

    She looked up again at him, this time with a defiant look. “I beg to differ. And why else would I try so hard to learn it anyway?”

    He scoffed, pretending not to listen to her as he turned around to head inside of his tent. He heard her suddenly rise from her spot and approach him. When he turned, he saw her standing just outside the tent with big eyes and a pleading look on her face. He hated that look. Only because it annoyed him to no end. He hated being begged or asked for things.

    “Bishop, if you leave it like that, you’ll get so sick!” She squeaked.

    “Listen, I’ve got it taken care of. Now leave me alone and go finish making that stew or whatever the hell you’re doing!” He peered down at her with narrowed eyes.

    She wouldn’t have it and held out her hand to him, not breaking eye contact. He despised this woman right now. He heavily sighed, making sure she was aware of his discontent with her, and took a seat where he was in his tent. He sloppily held out his hand. She smiled warmly at him, and he hated her even more. He rolled his eyes as she sat in front of him and took his arm in her hands, peeling back his sleeve to reveal his wound.

    Brooke

    After inspecting his wound for a moment or two, she places her hand over his arm as a glowing light collected in her palm. As she tried to concentrate, she couldn’t help but notice how his eyes watched every single little movement she made, as if she would suddenly pull a knife out and ram it into his throat. She frowned. As the warm light engulfed his wound and the skin began to patch itself back up, she couldn’t help but wonder about the man before her.

    Once the healing had finally been completed, he was more than eager to take his hand back from her and inspect it. She just looked at him and offered a smile, and left without another word to finish their dinner, which was probably done by that moment. As she prepared dinner and poured it into bowls for each of them to eat, thoughts and memories flooded her as she mused over all of the things that had transpired in the last two months on her journey with the ranger.

    Though she thoroughly enjoyed his company, and even took pleasure in joining him when he would belittle her like the unusual girl she was, there were things he would say every now and then that just… got to her. And these things had nothing to do with her, but rather his view of the world and everything in it. How odd, that the more she traveled with him, the less and less she understood him. And she felt… hurt. For him.

    She didn’t understand how someone could go about their life hating everyone and everything; wishing for people to die, looking out for only himself and not trusting anyone. Though she could understand the latter, she sometimes wondered why in Oblivion he was even helping her. She was sure it wasn’t because he felt sorry for her, for that seemed an emotion he didn’t know. So why, then, would he go out of his way to travel with her? To train her in archery, to watch her back? Why would he even take the time out to guide her or mentor her?

    She mulled over all of these notions and possibilities as she ate her meal. To Bishop’s surprise, and possibly relief, she remained silent for the rest of the night.

    By early light the next day, they packed up and continued heading out in the forest toward Riften. The walk was long and quiet, but peaceful.

    Brooke was lost in her thoughts, as usual, enjoying the chirping of the birds and the swaying of the leaves. Bishop would come and go, either treading exceedingly behind, or far ahead to scout for danger. She had closed her eyes and tilted her head back, a faint smile playing on her face as she absorbed her surroundings. And that was when it hit.

    There was a sudden shaking of the ground beneath her, so violent it knocked her off her balance. She prepared for the collision, and a pair of hands wrapped around her in that moment instead, embracing her and pulling her back on her feet. She met the saffron eyes of none other than Bishop, who inspected her closely. She stood surprised, gazing at him and wondering how in the world he showed up so quickly, and at his impeccable time.

    Bishop

    Brooke had no wounds and seemed unfazed, with a bewildered expression. Bishop let her go gently to alarm her of the sudden company. “No time to gawk, ladyship. Seems we’ve got a friend.”

    He pulls out his bow and arrow fast and steps in front of her to the sizable dragon that now lay before them. It opens its jaws and Bishop immediately grabbed Brooke again and lunged to the side as a wave of inferno rushes past them.

    The dragon took to the sky again to get a better aim. Bishop hopped up on his feet like lightning with Brooke in sync, both pulling out their bows. When the dragon descended low enough to the ground, Brooke parted her lips and a shout erupted from her throat, an unstoppable force smashing against the dragon’s face. It lowered to the ground again, and Bishop unleashed an arrow into its nostril. It whined in pain and released another wave of fire when Brooke stood in front of Bishop this time and cast a magic ward to block the flames.

    Arrow after arrow flew, accompanied by a constant barrage of flames and a couple of wings to the face, before they had their chance. Brooke’s shouts dizzied it as it was weakening, and they had finally taken it down completely so she could absorb the soul within its disintegrating scaly hide. She looks to Bishop and smiles widely at their victory as tendrils of light danced around her.

    “I swear, you still haven’t learned how to watch where you’re going”, Bishop shakes his head at her.

    “Maybe, but I have to thank you for saving my ass anyway, huh?” she laughs.

    “I’ve been doing a lot of that lately”, he states bluntly.

    “You have.” The coy smile drops from Brooke’s face. “I can’t imagine why… but I’m grateful.”

    Bishop grunted in acknowledgment turned away from her. He suspected she was trying to pry through his thoughts. He was uncomfortable with that prospect; but he was more uncomfortable with the fact that he wanted to help her so badly in the first place. He questioned himself, and he kept repeating that he was a fool in his mind over and over. It still didn’t change the fact.

    Bishop gathered his pack and his water-skin and continued through the woodland path with Brooke following closely behind. They weren’t too far from Riften now. As he walked, he kept thinking and questioning himself and why he agreed to help her two months ago, and why it was still so important to him now. Even now, one specific question stood out the most.

    ‘What have I gotten myself into…?’

    Helena
    Participant
    Post count: 159

    Thanks for the latest chapter. Great read still.

    Brooke
    Participant
    Post count: 48

    Thank you Helena. 🙂

    Helena
    Participant
    Post count: 159

    I hope you carry on some day. I do love reading a good story. thank you

    Brooke
    Participant
    Post count: 48

    Piece Six: Someone’s Watching

    Brooke

    Riften, on the whole, wasn’t too terrible. Or maybe it was… Brooke was having a hard time really figuring out how she felt about it since she’d arrived. On the one had, it was new and different. Close to the water. Trees everywhere, which was definitely a plus. But then there were the people… the mood… it put her on edge. Which seemed to be exactly how everyone else was.

    Bishop constantly made risque comments about showing her the woods and secluded spots in the Rift. He had found that those were the only things that really caught her by surprise or made her uncomfortable; he relished in it, apparently.

    Throughout their visit in Riften they ran into a lot of shady figures; staring a bit too long and following a bit too close. Bishop took notice. He seemed not too fazed though, like it was a common thing in Riften. He just never removed his hand from his dagger…

    Any odd glare that came their way was met by one of equal threat by Bishop.

    “So… what’s with the… atmosphere here?” Brooke started nervously, unable to take the weight of wandering eyes over the two of them.

    “What, Riften? Place is a shithole. All under the thumb of the thieves guild.”

    “Thieves guild…” Brooke trails off.

    “Haven’t heard of em’?” Bishop scoffs, “Apparently they run this place.”

    “Why? Who allowed that to happen?” Brooke asks, a bit frustrated.

    Bishop merely laughed. “Gold.”

    Brooke raises a brow at him.

    “They pay guards to look the other way while they do whatever the hell they want.”

    Brookes anger had risen a bit, but she internally tried shooing it away. “Coin. Gotta love it,” she lets out sarcastically with an exasperated breath.

    The sun was slowly setting and Bishop lead her to the door of what she found was the inn. The “Bee and Barb”, it was called. He ordered two rooms and a pint of ale, sitting as far away from the other customers as possible. Brooke went ahead and made her way up to her room, throwing her bag down by the door as she closed it and prepared for bed.

    Bishop

    He sat on a bench in a far dark corner across from another bench upon which sat a snobby looking mage. Bishop paid him no mind as he began on his ale, until he spotted two pairs of curious eyes watching him from the other side of the room. Two dunmer, in odd looking outfits. Bishop stared back at them challengingly before they each whispered something to each other, and then they rose from their seats and left, just like that. Bishop grew angry with unease; something was definitely up. He waits for a few moments after they had left until he too rises from his seat to follow them out, seeing where they had gone.

    He takes a look out at Riften for a moment to see if he could spot them, but he found nothing. Still alert, he heads back into the inn. He walks up the stairs and opens the door to Brooke’s room; she’s sleeping peacefully, tired from the day before. He closes it softly so as to not wake her and makes his way to his own room, just next to hers.

    Brooke

    The morning was gray and dull in Riften, and a peace washed over her as she wakes up in the morning to bask in it. She had always liked cloudy weather. She takes a minute to brush through her hair and tie a ribbon into it, throwing on her tunic and her boots and belts before she exits her room.

    As she makes it down the stairs and looks around she finds the inn is much more empty than it was the night before, many of its customers off and going about their day. It wasn’t hard to spot Bishop, chowing down on some bread and meat.

    She walks past and beams down at him, his usual grumpy expression plastered on his face, as always. She purchased a small bowl of chicken broth and sat across from Bishop. “Morning”, she greets quietly.

    Bishop grunts, taking another bite of his bread hungrily. He’s staring at her with a bored yet questioning look as he chews slowly.

    She’s confused for a moment but pays it no mind as she quickly starts on her broth.

    “We’re leaving soon, so get your stuff packed”, his voice breaks through the air.

    Brooke nods, not really putting up any objections as she continues on her food.

    After they had finished their breakfast, it didn’t take them long to get their things ready to leave. Brooke could honestly say she was relieved, yet it seemed like Bishop was more eager to leave than her. He never liked cities much, obviously, and neither did she, but his mood seemed different. Unlike him. On edge, if just a bit. ‘That’s odd…’ she mused. She shrugs off the thought as she meets him outside of their rooms, going down the stairs and exiting the inn.

    Bishop

    Bishop’s thoughts often swam to those two dunmer from the night before. And all he really knew, was the he had a bad feeling about them. Not that he was afraid, but he felt like they were being watched… he awaited a dagger to his throat in his sleep, or to awake to find Brooke dead or something. He didn’t like it.

    The thing was, he knew they’d run into them again sometime. He just planned to have the upper hand when they did.

    Brooke’s gaze finds itself on him as they make their way west from Riften. He felt her eyes bore into him, and he meets her gaze.

    “You alright?” she asked, “You seem more tense than normal.”

    “We’re being watched”, he cuts off, almost irritably.

    “By who?”

    Bishop just shoots a glance at her as he continues walking. He didn’t have a damn clue. “Just be alert”, is all he answers.

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