Breezehome’s amber glass windows let in plenty of daylight, if no view of Whiterun beyond its walls. Katja awoke before much of that light had yet appeared, and was downstairs making tea when Anders came down the steps, wearing casual clothing and scratching his head. “Where’s that hot bath?” he asked her. She sighed. “In our dreams, apparently…”
The two breakfasted on slightly stale sweet rolls and some fresh apples, along with their cups of tea. Katja, too, was wearing “street clothes” – a simple but attractive dress, leather boots, and a short cloak with a soft cloth cap. There were no quests planned for the immediate future, at least not until they got Anja relocated.
After Anders had washed the pot, plates, and cups from last night as well as this morning, they went on their way. Katja stopped by Warmaiden’s, right next door, to greet Adrianne and chat with her for a few minutes. Then they fast-travelled back to the Suite. They arrived to a scene that halted them both in astonishment. As they opened the doors, they found Lydia, clad in her uncustomary housewife’s garb, standing to one side of the common room clapping her hands, her eyes twinkling, as Anja, giggling and shrieking in delight, was carried around the room on the back of… Wyll!
Well here was another surprise! Was everyone Katja knew secretly longing for the joys of parenthood? Wyll was a giant, a happily effective killer. And a lover whose passion could sweep her away like a leaf on a gale, beyond coherent thought. But she knew what depths of sweetness, of tenderness he held. There resided within him a gentleness that touched her soul. And she had to admit that little Anja had melted her own heart, as well. So perhaps it was not such a surprise, after all.
Joy welling within her, Katja hurried forward, dropping her pack on the floor. Though she and Anders still had no plans to live at Breezehome, they had left quite a bit of their armor and weaponry behind in the trunk upstairs. It was a quick enough trip, when they needed to retrieve it. She swept to Wyll’s side, embracing him and Anja in a wide-spanning collective hug.
Wyll’s eyes, already twinkling at the fun he was having playing with little Anja, lit even more at the sight of his lover. She and Anders had been away from the Suite for a couple of days and as it happened he had not been there when they brought the child back with them. “Kat!” he exclaimed in his bass voice, folding her in a bear hug made slightly awkward by the presence of the little red-haired limpet clinging to his back.
“I see you’ve met Anja,” she replied smiling. He grinned. “She’s taken over the place in your absence, I believe,” he said. “She looks just like you. Is she your understudy?” Katja had swept in and carried off Wyll’s heart as well as Anders’. Was Anja doing the same? It probably wouldn’t be a bad thing, if so. Helpless little girls needed the love of as many people as they could claim, to protect them in a hard world.
Having greeted Auntie Kat, Anja wanted to return to the game at hand. “Come on, Uncle Wyll! Ride me around again!” “Sorry sugar,” he replied with a grin. He reached back and grabbed her, lifting her over his head to swing her down, up again with a whoop, then gently back down to the floor. “I need to talk with Auntie Kat. Get Aunt Lydia to show you the pretty flowers out on the deck.”
Once again Katja was thankful that Anja’s amnesia had left her untroubled, once her injuries had been healed. Wyll crouched down for the little girl to kiss him, then she ran off to Lydia. The once stony-faced housecarl gave her a sweet, motherly smile and took her little hand, leading her out onto the Suite’s rear deck. It had a lovely view of the river and many planter boxes with alchemical ingredients growing in them. Some of these were quite pretty.
Katja gave Wyll a big, affectionate grin. “’Uncle Wyll,’ huh? Looks like she’s got you wrapped around her little finger already.” He grinned back at her. “Like you don’t? Give me a kiss!” She melted into his arms, giving him not only a deep kiss but a full-body hug as well. Somehow, she found the sight of Wyll playing Daddy to be hot beyond belief. What was going on in her kinky little brain?
As much as Katja enjoyed making love with Anders, her deepest connection with him was from the heart up to the top of her head. With Wyll, it was from the heart down. They both had a piece of her heart, of which she had plenty to give; but just looking at Wyll or being in the same room with him gave her a throb in the crotch and a warm feeling spreading up through her core. Little did she know, though she ought to have guessed, she had the same effect on him.
Throb aside, the morning was young and Katja had things to do yet today before playtime with Wyll. She tucked that hot spark of sexual arousal into the back of her mind, like a treat she was saving for later. Pulling back from the embrace, she grinned at him again. “Guess what? We bought a house!” “We?” Wyll asked, puzzled. “You and Anders are my partners in crime,” she assured him. “So if I spend a big wad of this cash you’ve helped me accumulate, it’s for you and him as well as for me.”
He smiled, pleased at the thought. He had everything he really needed right here – a comfortable bed, pleasant surroundings, plenty to eat and drink, and friends to hang out with. Not to mention, much of the time at least, his little Dragonborn lover to take him on adventures and light up his nights. But he knew Kat was irresistibly attracted to treasure, and if she wanted to include him in her purchases with the proceeds from that treasure he was happy to go along with it.
“Anders and I killed the dragon that murdered Anja’s parents yesterday,” Katja told him, speaking more quietly. “Then I got to thinking that the Suite really isn’t the best place for a little girl to be living. The pools are a hazard, there are frostbite spiders and wolves and triceratops just a few steps off the deck, and there are no kids here for her to play with. So we went up to Dragonsreach and bought Breezehome.”
“That’s the little place next to Warmaiden’s, right?” Wyll asked. He’d been patronizing that establishment, and selling his extra loot there, since coming to live at the Suite a couple of years before. “It’s pretty cute.” Katja could tell that he thought the place too small, for a man of his proportions. And she had to admit it was. But then, she wasn’t asking him to live there. As appealing as she had found it, she had other things in mind.
“I want to move Lydia in there with Anja,” she told him. “It’s convenient to everything, and I think that’s the ‘house’ Lydia was supposed to be the ‘housecarl’ for in the first place. No hostile wildlife roaming the streets, and there are quite a few kids around.” Wyll smiled. “Sounds like a good idea. You want me to help?” “If you would,” she smiled. She walked out the back doors to find Lydia and Anja. They had taken off their shoes and were sitting on the rim of the small soaking pool on the north side of the deck, talking quietly and kicking their feet in the water. Lydia had a hand to Anja’s shoulder, ready to keep her from falling.
“Lydia, Anja, good news! You’re moving to Whiterun!” Katja declared. Lydia looked pleased, and immediately got up – taking Anja by the hand. “What’s Whiterun?” the child asked, addressing her question to Aunt Lydia. “You’ll like it, I promise. There’s lots of places to go visit, and some children there you can play with. And we’ll have our own little house to live in. You bought Breezehome?” she asked, now speaking to Katja. The Thane nodded. “I really like that house,” she told both redheads.
Katja found it amazing how much more human Lydia had become since she had been introduced to Anja. It was as if the winter’s ice had broken, and now sparkling water was flowing where before all had been cold and immobile. I ought to have brought home an orphan months ago, she thought whimsically. To Lydia, she said “I like it too. Anders and I stayed there last night. But we want you and Anja to live there together. We might visit overnight or bring some other guests for you, but it will be your place. Yours and Anja’s.”
Lydia looked Katja in the eyes, her own filled with warm gratitude. And was that a suspicious moisture glinting in her eyes? Couldn’t be. “Thank you so much, my Thane,” she said formally, her voice wavering slightly. “Lydia? I know I’m your Thane and that you have duties to me as my housecarl. But do you think maybe you could call me Katja? I just don’t feel very much like a Thane.” Lydia actually smiled a little. “As you wish… Katja.”
Coming right along, Katja thought. She led the pair back inside, and told Lydia “Please gather up anything you want to take with you. Whatever you and Anja need that you don’t have, we’ll buy in town. Wyll and Anders are going to help with the move.” Lydia nodded her head and, still holding Anja’s hand, went off with her to the spot on the sleeping loft where she usually bunked. She didn’t have a lot, really – a few changes of underwear, some clothing, and the armor and weapons that had mostly been provided by Katja.
“Wyll? Anders?” Katja eyed her men, who’d been standing by watching her affectionately with that “there goes Hurricane Kat” look in their eyes. “Can you pick up one of these beds from the mezzanine, please? I want to put it in that spare nook downstairs in the cottage so that if there are extra guests they’ll have someplace to sleep.” They exchanged a glance, shrugged, then headed off up the short flight of steps and hefted the single bed nearest to the bathing pool. Each of them took an end, and Katja stood there admiring their bulging muscles for a moment before scurrying off to open the doors for them.
In a fairly short space of time the little party was assembled in the road at the front of the building, and they were ready to leave for Whiterun. Katja made sure Anders and Wyll actually had their hands on the bed, and as she’d hoped the map fast-travelled all five humans along with their assorted luggage and furniture, depositing them on the main street of Whiterun just inside the gates. Adrianne, out working at her forge, lifted her head and goggled at them as they lifted their burdens and proceeded the few dozen paces to the door of Breezehome.
The men had to take the bed apart and lift it sideways to fit through the cottage’s door. Then they set it up in the unfinished area off the dining room, and made it up again with its mattress and bedclothes. Next, they helped Lydia haul her collection of things up the narrow stairs. “You can take the master bedroom if you like, Lydia” Katja told her. “And Anja can have this little room for her own.” “I think that for now Anja will be sleeping with me,” Lydia replied. “And I can move us into the little bedroom if you and… uh… whoever, are visiting and want to stay the night.” It appeared Lydia had not quite figured out what the story was with Katja and her two lovers. “All right,” Katja replied. “That will be fine.”
After everything was in place and the move was completed Katja asked Lydia, “Do you have a list of things you’ll need? We ought to go shopping.” Lydia pondered. She had no money of her own, but accepted that her needs would be met by her Thane. “I’d like to go to Belethor’s. And we could use some fresh meat and vegetables from the market. I think we can get some goat’s milk there too.” “Oh! I almost forgot. I asked Lane to get some goat’s milk for the Suite,” Katja exclaimed. “If he comes up with some, I’ll drop it off.”
Turning to the men, who were just standing there, Katja said “Why don’t you two sit down and have an ale or two while we’re out? There’s a few bottles on the shelf. Hey Anders, maybe you can use a Frost destruction spell on it!” Wyll rolled his eyes, his face contorted in an expression of consternation. “Oh, no mistress, not the ale! Please don’t make us sit here drinking ale while you womenfolk have all the fun shopping!” Katja gave him a grin that showed a few too many teeth. “Smart-arse!” she said. Then, turning to Lydia and Anja she continued “Ladies, shall we be off?”
The three of them left, and the two men seated themselves in the reasonably comfy chairs in front of the fire, each with a slightly chilled bottle of ale in hand and an ankle thrown up over the opposite knee. They turned to each other and grinned, then sighed contentedly. After downing around half of his ale in one long swallow, Anders remarked to Wyll, “What is our girl getting us into now? First we save the world, now we’re rescuing orphans?” “Wouldn’t you?” Wyll responded. “She is so damn cute!”
Anders took another sip of his ale. “Who?” he asked then. “Kat, or Anja?” Wyll took a long pull on his own ale, as if lost in thought. “Both of them, of course. But you haven’t spent much time with Anja yet. Just wait. I swear, it’s as if she really is Kat Junior. Minus the, ah, appetites of course. But she even looks just like Kat.” Another pause, considering. “And a bit like you, too, come to think of it. Is there something you forgot to tell me?”
Anders sighed, thinking “I wish.” To Wyll he said, “It is kind of eerie, isn’t it. When I first set eyes on her I thought ‘that’s my daughter.’ Mine and Kat’s. But when I mentioned it to Kat, the whole marriage-and-kids thing, she told me to back the hell off.” He sighed again ruefully, and took another drink of ale before continuing, “I keep forgetting how young Kat is. Sometimes she acts like she’s our mother.”
Wyll was more pleased than he would admit at this confession from Anders. Even though he knew Kat loved him and wanted to spend time with him, he could never quite shake the fear that someday she might dump him to be exclusively with his friend. Both Kat and Anders had intellectual interests he didn’t share.
Aloud, Wyll said “Perish the thought! I assure you I have never felt that way about my mother!” Anders knew what he meant. Kat might be a bit bossy from time to time, but she also had some kind of near-magical ability to stiffen his dick – and presumably, Wyll’s as well. He’d just as soon not delve into those details too much, however. The conversation devolved into a discussion of Wyll’s early life, growing up in Dawnstar. That frozen fishing village didn’t have much to offer a young lad, and like Anders and Katja he’d taken off as soon as he could get away.
Wyll’s parents still lived there, and he had an older sister –- married now with a couple of kids of her own – living in Windhelm. He didn’t visit with the family much. Anders had known Wyll for more than two years, and he was surprised that he’d never learned any of these details before. Admittedly the usual tendency among Suite employees was to talk shop, or politics, or discuss the quests they’d been on and the many beautiful noblewomen they’d bedded. Not that the two of them had discussed the noblewomen much – Anders mostly didn’t do it, and Wyll didn’t talk about it.
As they were each finishing their second ales, the women returned with their arms full of packages. They were chattering – chattering! … and in high spirits. Anja in particular was beaming. Not only had she acquired several new outfits to wear, and a new doll, but she had met a nice girl a couple of years older than her, who was the daughter of one of the sellers in the marketplace.
Lydia now had several sets of non-armored clothing, and the excitement and pleasure she was feeling at the change in her circumstances had brought color to her cheeks and a sparkle to her eyes that made her look positively beautiful. Wyll was a bit dazzled. If she had been like this that time he’d bedded her… But now, he was so besotted with Kat that other women had begun to lose their appeal. He still went with one, now and again, if Kat was gone for days and his horniness was getting out of hand. But it was scarcely any more exciting than jerking off. He no longer took any other woman to his bedroom in the basement, which he’d transformed into a sort of love nest for himself and Kat alone. If a Suite guest wanted him, she’d better be prepared to get cozy on the loft.
Katja had sacks of food, a small cask of wine, and a bottle of goat’s milk. She was also carrying a few bottles of water in her pack, and she poured two of these into a good-sized pot. “Anders,” she asked sweetly, “could you please ‘Destroy’ this water with your Frost spell?” He was pleased to do the honors, and the pot’s bottom was soon covered in a thick layer of ice, the sides of it chilled. Smiling her thanks, Katja placed the bottle of milk and several fresh bottles of Nord mead into the pot, there to cool.
“We’re having a feast in honor of Lydia and Anja’s new home,” Katja announced gaily, “and I am going to cook it!” She looked around at the faces of her friends for some reaction, then added “No, really, I am! I know how to cook…” Anders and Wyll broke into guffaws, and Lydia smiled but politely. She had less experience with Kat and her domestic skills – or apparent lack thereof. Katja joined the laughter, only pretending to be stung.
She knew as well as they did that she very seldom volunteered to do anything whatsoever in the kitchen and would be quite content to have all her meals prepared – and especially, cleaned up after – by others. As the eldest daughter in her household, these chores had fallen to her all too often and it was to escape these, as much as to find adventure and romance, that she had fled to Skyrim.
Katja was willing to make the occasional exception, however. She took out a slim stack of books she had bought at Belethor’s, tales that might be enjoyed by small children as well as adults, and placed them on one of the downstairs bookcases. After Lydia and Anja had returned from stowing their new possessions in the chests upstairs, she gave one of these to Lydia and suggested that they sit on the spare bed and read. The men could continue to sit in front of the fire, resuming their conversation, and she would take over the table for food preparation.
Producing a meal fancier than a pot of stew and some bread (purchased, not home-baked) was nearly impossible in the typical Skyrim kitchen. Katja had heard tell that in the kitchens of grand castles, like the Blue Palace in Solitude, there were immense ovens for the baking of pies, cakes, and breads. These kitchens held many spits and huge cauldrons, banks of tables where scullery maids by the score spent their hours chopping, all to keep the bellies of the high and mighty fed. Here, there was this table. Plus, a single pot stand suspended over the open fire, and a spit on which one could roast meats.
She’d bought a nice haunch of tender young goat from the meat seller in the marketplace, and made that her first priority. She chopped a lot of fresh garlic and herbs to season it with, then with Wyll’s help got it spitted. She tasked him, as he sat there relaxing by the fire, with turning the spit from time to time. No spit-dogs or spit-boys employed in this humble abode!
Given her limited cooking facilities, Katja’s menu for this “feast” was really pretty simple. Aside from the roasted goat, she planned a one-pot ragout with potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, leeks, and some herbs. She’d bought some fresh bread rolls as well. Almost no one in Skyrim baked their own bread at home. Plus, she had a good-sized paper package of fresh boiled cream treats for dessert.
As Lydia read quietly to the rapt Anja, who it seemed had never before had any stories read to her, Katja sat using the tabletop as a cutting board, chopping up her vegetables. When she had them all in the pot, she added the herbs along with some water and a bit of the butter she had brought from the market. Then she put a lid on the pot and hung it on the hook. Now, all she needed to do was wait.
Hmm, but where? Lydia and Anja were such a tight little group on the bed, Katja didn’t want to intrude there. Nor, listen to the story she’d heard countless times during her childhood. She was feeling very happy and pleased with herself, and Wyll’s presence was starting to remind her that it was his turn tonight. She was very much looking forward to some of the occasionally tender, frequently explosive loving he was wont to provide, and considered just sitting in his lap while waiting for the food to cook. But no, that would mess up the homey, casual mood. It might possibly break the chair, as well.
Instead, Katja pulled the small table out from its spot at the fireside, pushing it over against the wall. Then she borrowed a chair from the table near the door and parked it between Wyll and Anders, in front of the fire. She grabbed herself a tankard of wine before joining her two delectable lovers at the fireside. She’d brought along a towel to use as a potholder, and a wooden spoon with which to stir the ragout.
Wyll gazed at her with a mixture of wonder and growing lust as she sat between them. He was as mindful as she was that tonight was his, to do all those things with her they both so very much enjoyed. He could hardly wait. But this was nice, too. He still couldn’t get over the turn of recent events. First Kat and Anders show up with an adorable orphan child. Then Lydia turns out to be the motherly type. Now, here was Kat buying stuff right and left before settling in to cook for them all. What next? Would she take up knitting? Reveal herself as the true heir to the throne of Skyrim? Anything seemed possible, and he was up for it all – as long as he continued to be a part of her life and a regular partner in her bed.
Kat gave him a meaningful glance, but the meaning wasn’t clear until she said, in an undertone, “Wyll! Don’t forget to turn the spit!” He started, grinning sheepishly, and rotated the meat so it would cook evenly. Then his gaze went back to her, as she rose, towel and spoon in hand, to lift the lid on the cast iron pot and stir the contents. It smelled delicious! And she looked delicious bending over that pot, the velvety fabric of her dress snug through her slim waist and draping in folds over her firm yet divinely rounded rump. Other men might prefer a bit more plumpness, but Wyll was a man of action and he appreciated a woman who could keep up with him. In point of fact he appreciated this woman, above all others.
Replacing the pot lid, Kat sat back down in her chair. Then she blew on the hot spoon until it had cooled a little before licking it off, all the while meeting his eyes with wicked promise. Oof! Wyll’s cock went rigid in an instant. It was going to be a long evening. He leaned forward to turn the spit again, hiding his erection. That meat smelled pretty damn good, too.
Anja was hungry before the food was ready, and Katja let her have an apple and some bread and butter. She didn’t expect a five-year-old to appreciate the sort of meal she was preparing, but urged her to save some room for dessert. When the smells in the room were driving them all crazy, Katja got more towels so she and Wyll could lift the spit and slide the now sizzling, medium-rare roast onto a platter to rest. Meanwhile the vegetable ragout was done to a turn, its separate flavors melding into one savory delight, and she took that off the fire as well.
Soon Katja and Lydia were raiding the dining room shelves for plates, and setting the long wooden table. Wine was poured for all save Anja, who had chilled goat’s milk. Her warm brown eyes were alight with excitement, and she surprised Katja with a remarkably hearty appetite. She had seconds on meat, a goodly serving of the richly delicious vegetable stew, and some more bread and butter. And the better part of an entire boiled cream treat for dessert. Much as Anders and Wyll often wondered where Kat put all the food she usually consumed, Katja was amazed at the capacity of this small girl.
Toasts were made, the roast meat was devoured almost to the bone, and the rolls and vegetable ragout were completely consumed. There was animated conversation and even hilarity around the table, as the group – an odd blend of friends, family, and relationships more difficult to define – celebrated the good fortune that they were here in this cozy home, enjoying good food, in good health, and with good prospects for the future. Anja faded as the evening wore on, and Wyll carried her up the stairs to the master bed and tucked her in with a kiss.
Not too long after that, Katja rose somewhat unsteadily. “Don’t worry about the washing-up,” Lydia assured her. “I would be delighted not to worry about that,” she responded. Wyll and Anders exchanged a look. No surprises there. Katja gave Lydia a few hundred septims. “Here’s some money to cover groceries and such. We’ll be checking in with you often, and if you need anything we’re just a few minutes down the road, most of the time. If we’re not home, Lane or whoever is doing innkeeper duty will see you have whatever you need.” She gave Lydia a spontaneous hug, which the transformed housecarl returned with a certain amount of hesitance. “Good night!”