Some hours later, Katja roused from slumber. She was enfolded in Anders’s arms, his body wrapped around hers from behind. She could tell it was morning, both from the faint light starting to come in through the room’s amber bottle-glass windows, and from the rising of his member where it nestled between her buttocks. She thought back on their previous night’s lovemaking and sighed happily. Over the past few months she had lost most of her fear of Anders‘ power over her. She knew he loved her with every fiber of his being, and he was a good man. To give herself over to being with him did not, as she’d once feared, mean giving up her self.
Not that this acceptance of him and the love they shared meant that she planned to let him inveigle her into screwing around when they had a Moth Priest to catch. She felt well-sated, and in no need of any further sex for the time being. Better they get moving! Rotating in Anders’ arms to kiss him on the forehead, she then wriggled out of his grasp and began doing a bit of a wash-up with the basin and ewer of water supplied by the Skeever.
Her movement woke him, and Anders reached for her only to find her already beyond his grasp. He sighed slightly. Last night had been fantastic, a transporting experience. His second mind, lodged in the head of his rising cock, was quite ready for more. But the one between his ears knew full well they had other business to attend to, and it was time to get up. He rolled over, lying flat on his back, and opened his eyes to accustom himself to the idea before sitting up and climbing out of bed.
Katja turned to him, her ablutions finished, and looked at him with surprise. “Oh, you’re up! Good…” He gave her a sleepy smile and stood at the bedside, his cock beginning to subside as it realized there was to be no joy this morning.
“Is there any more water?” he asked.
“There’s plenty,” she told him. “Sure would like to get a hot bath soon, though…”
As she began getting into her armor he poured fresh water into the basin and washed his face and hands, then used a sponge to perform a perfunctory cleaning of his armpit and crotch areas before drying off with a towel and looking around for his own armor. Its disposition had been the furthest thing from their minds a few hours earlier.
When both of them were ready to go Katja approached and gave Anders a kiss that was anything but perfunctory. “You were amazing last night,” she breathed. Then, all business again, she shouldered her pack and they exited the room. A brief knock at Serana’s door revealed that their vampire companion seemed not to have slept. Hmm, creatures of the night? Katja wondered. They had not yet spent enough time in Serana’s company to form a full picture of the habits of her kind. In any case, she answered so quickly they thought she might have been waiting for them. She was fully dressed in her handsome leather armor and ready to leave.
The three stopped at the bar on getting downstairs, finding Corpulus still (again?) on duty. Did he never rest? Katja and Anders ate some sweet rolls washed down with water, and carried off a few apples for later; but Serana declined any food and instead drank another of the potions she had hinted would hold her vampiric blood hunger at bay. Katja certainly hoped they worked. She was getting kind of fond of Serana, and would hate to have to kill her.
As they stepped out into the bright daylight of a new morning, Serana sagged. “Augh! It’s so bright out here!” she cried.
“Sorry,” Katja said, “but we humans need some light to see by.” Serana pulled the scarf she wore up over her head, shading her eyes, and the three of them walked out through the gates of Solitude and continued on down the road that led to Dragon Bridge. Apparently, Katja realized, the tales she had heard of vampires being unable to tolerate daylight were only partly true. Clearly, it caused Serana some discomfort. But she was not melting before their eyes or bursting into flame, as they walked the few short miles to the village that was their target.
Skyrim being Skyrim, they had to fight off a small pack of wolves and a lone but determined saber cat before reaching Dragon Bridge. The three of them were such a force to be reckoned with that the hapless, suicidal creatures didn’t stand a chance. Collecting a few more pelts, which she would tan for leather and use to improve armors she “found” on her travels, Katja wondered for the hundredth time why they didn’t just run the fuck away.
Dragon Bridge proved to be a village little bigger than Ivarstead or Pied-de-Puce. There were only a few homes, and an inn. A handsome Redguard was out chopping wood, and a few villagers could be seen moving about as their small party came into town. Katja of course made a beeline for the inn, expecting that this would be the likeliest place to gather information about any strangers passing through.
She was disappointed. The female innkeep wanted to tell her about a face sculptor in Riften, and an official-looking fellow standing near the bar only wanted to warn her not to cause trouble in town. According to him, there was some Imperial in town who was the local authority. Katja led her companions back outside, looking for someone that might be able to tell them what they wanted to know.
She first approached the tall Redguard man, who was busily chopping logs into split firewood. She’d done that chore often enough in her life, and she didn’t doubt he would raise no objections to taking a little break. “Know anything about a Moth Priest visiting Dragon Bridge?” she asked him.
He downed his axe and replied, “A Moth Priest? I’m sorry, but I don’t know anything about that.”
As Katja faced him, she suddenly felt a stabbing pain in her side and turned to the right. A woman, dressed in the same sort of figured leather armor as Serana, had just pierced her with a bolt of ice magic! Ripping her attention away from the Redguard, she drew her bow while looking around for Anders and Serana. They were only just awakening to the peril, as the woman who had attacked her was joined by two others.
Katja joined the melee as the three attacking vampires found themselves repelled by herself, the Redguard axeman, Anders and Serana, and a couple of Imperial soldiers who had been patrolling the main road of the village. Outnumbered and fighting under the sun, the three vampires soon fell. Why did they attack us in broad daylight, she wondered? She searched the corpses but found nothing that would tell her who had sent them or what their goal might have been. She had her suspicions, though.
Katja used her Healing spell to repair the damage that had been done during the fight. Then she approached one of the Imperial soldiers who had joined in the battle. “Did you happen to notice a Moth Priest coming through Dragon Bridge?” she asked. He took the question quite matter-of-factly.
“Ah, so that was a Moth Priest, then?” he responded. “He rode through town not long ago with an escort of soldiers. They didn’t stop, just headed south across the Dragon Bridge.”
Katja thanked him, then rallied her troops. They soon departed in that same direction, and they had not gone far past the ominously decorated, eponymous bridge when they came upon a scene of carnage. A wagon lay on its side, with the body of an Imperial soldier near at hand. Beyond it, the corpse of the horse that had pulled it was lying beside the body of a woman who, from her garb, must have been a vampire.
Uh oh, Katja thought. This did not look good. Searching the bodies, she found a note on the body of the vampire woman. It read, tersely, “I have new orders for you. Prepare an ambush just south of the Dragon Bridge. Take the Moth Priest to Forebears’ Hideout for safekeeping until I can break his will.” It was signed, “Malkus.” She had no idea who this Malkus might be, nor did Serana have any information. She supposed they would find out, in due course.