It was at this moment that the Suite’s front doors opened and Katja walked in, dressed as an upper class woman and accompanied by a regal-looking older Nord – and another who looked positively ancient. Wyll’s eyes lit up. Oh, he had missed her! “Kat!” he shouted enthusiastically. Both he and Anders noticed, as she came out of the shadow of the sleeping loft and into the center of the common room, that their beloved seemed to be glowing with happiness. This was a good sign…
“Wyll! Anders!” Katja cried in response, a huge smile lighting up her face like a beacon. She broke from the side of her two elderly companions to rush to the table where her two loves sat, eagerly awaiting her arrival. She stood between them and threw an arm around each one’s head, squeezing their faces and planting kisses on their hair. Then, recalling herself, she turned to the gentlemen who were still making their way toward the table.
“Wyll Jarskarvir, Anders Lanya, may I present Igmund, formerly Jarl of Markarth, and his uncle Raerek. They’ll be staying here at the Suite so I can take them with us to Argis and Lydia’s wedding.” Wyll and Anders stood in respect. Neither of them had ever met Igmund while he was Jarl, but all they’d heard of him suggested he was a fair and honorable man. After hands had been shaken all ’round Anders asked, “Are you gentlemen tired? Would you like food or drink, or perhaps a rest?”
Raerek, who looked 80 if he was a day, spoke up, squinting around at the room and its inhabitants. “It seems like it was just lunchtime, but it’s getting dark outside!”
Katja put a reassuring hand on his arm. “It’s just the fast-travelling, Raerek,” she told him. “Sometimes it can be… surprising.” The old man seemed to recall. Someone in his position must have zipped around the continent via fast-travel often enough in his life. He subsided.
“Perhaps you would like to soak in a hot bath?” Katja asked. She was eager to turn her guests loose and get next to her men.
“That’s a hot pool?” Igmund asked, gesturing.
“Yes!” She replied. “It’s wonderfully relaxing. And nobody here pays any attention to nudity.”
Igmund eyed her wryly, his gaze pointedly going to the pool where a buff young man and a couple of attractive women were enjoying the waters. “I can see that,” he remarked.
“Let me find you two some beds,” Katja urged. You can put down your packs, and then we’ll get you some robes and you can have a nice soak before supper.”
Igmund nodded. “Come on, Uncle. Let’s go see what the rest of this place is like.” Raerek was still looking around him with a certain amount of confusion, though Katja noticed his eye kept returning to the women in the pool.
She led the two elder Nords up the stairs to the sleeping loft, and found them an alcove with a couple of single beds and some nightstands and chests of drawers. She helped them get settled, and produced a couple of the Suite robes out of one of the chests of drawers. These were laundered regularly and scattered around the Suite for the use of the guests, one size fits most.
“Well,” she said, extricating herself. “Enjoy your stay. Food and drink are available just about every hour of the day or night at the bar, the pool is always hot, and you’ll find plenty of towels at poolside. We usually have some entertainment in the evenings. And Whiterun is just a short walk up the road from here. I expect that we’ll all be going to Riften for Argis’ wedding in about two weeks’ time. If you need anything, please check with whoever is dressed as an innkeeper.”
Igmund, amused at her obvious eagerness to be free of them, nodded graciously and smiled. “Thank you Katja, I appreciate your hospitality. We’ll see you later, I’m sure.” Katja smiled at him in turn and darted back down to the common room, fairly bursting with her news. Wyll and Anders, who’d been sitting there waiting for her return, saw her streak down the stairs and approach them comet-like, radiating joy like a spring sunrise.
She hurled herself into Wyll’s lap, only to bend and enfold Anders’ head and shoulders in her arms, giving him a deep kiss. Feeling slightly cheated, Wyll squeezed her buttocks beneath the soft fabric of her dress and then wrapped his arms around her in a bear hug, and pushing her hair to one side, kissed her neck. Realizing there was no way she could hug up both her men at the same time, Katja popped back up out of Wyll’s lap and pulled a chair over to sit between them.
“We are getting married…!” she squealed. Oh, that explained it. Anders and Wyll failed to completely share her excitement at the news, but they warmed with enjoyment of her enthusiasm. And what had they been doing, these past few days, but work toward making a home where they would all live together after that blessed event?
Anders was quicker off the mark. “That’s great, love!” he exclaimed, grabbing her for a hug and a kiss.
Wyll, thinking about their project, added “Um, when’s the day?” “The 10th of next month!” she exclaimed. “In the courtyard of the Temple of the Divines in Solitude! We can have a real wedding!” Both men did their best impressions of suppressed enthusiasm. What was it with women and their love of weddings? If you were lucky, a wedding was a brief but meaningful ceremony followed by a great party. But the marriage that followed it would go on, with any luck, for hundreds of times longer. Why all that focus on the preliminaries?
Being men who loved Katja, as well as men who were not completely stupid, they kept these thoughts to themselves. “That gives us a little over five weeks,” Anders remarked.
“Oh!” Katja exclaimed, her eyes going wide. “Did you have any luck finding us a place to buy?”
“We’re still looking,” he said. “There’s not all that much real estate on the market around Whiterun, so I think we’re going to have to find a place and put pressure on the owners to sell.”
Katja considered this. She’d been afraid that would be the case. In the world of Skyrim, families held onto their property for hundreds of years and all of the really good places had been snapped up generations ago. Not that there weren’t thousands of square miles of empty land ready to be homesteaded; but she didn’t think she and her family-to-be were up for fighting off hostile wildlife and bandits on a daily basis.
“Let me give you some more money,” Katja said, reaching into her pack and pulling out a fat sack of gold. “Did you get a good price for the stuff I left?” she added, as she scooped gold coins out onto the tabletop. Anders and Wyll were staring at the growing pile of gold, trying not to grin like idiots. Seemingly there would be no need for subterfuge to get the extra gold they expected they would need to cover Hegmar’s bill when he submitted it.
“We turned most of it over to Adrianne and Ulfberth,” Anders told her. “They didn’t have enough cash on hand, but Adrianne really wanted it all. She says your work is getting so good she’s afraid you’ll put her out of business. Anyway, we worked a deal with them where they’ll pay us the rest as the money comes in. Probably in another two or three weeks.” Katja practically purred at hearing of Adrianne’s assessment of her work. She had no real desire to set up as a full-time smith, but she did love working with her hands and it filled her with pride that her friend, whose skills she admired, should account her an equal.
Grinning at Anders and Wyll in turn, Katja continued counting out gold until it was fairly spilling off the edges of the table. “How much do you think we’ll need?” she asked. She had more than 100,000 gold stashed here and there, and could double it in a month if she needed to, the way things were going. As she’d promised them they would be, back after they’d defeated Alduin, they were rich – and the sky was the limit.
Wyll and Anders, in turn, just watched with wonder as the pile got larger. “That’s about 25,000 gold,” Katja told them. “Do you think that will be enough?” Considering that Proudspire Manor, the most prestigious available house in Solitude, was going for that much, she certainly hoped it would be enough for a small country manor of some sort here in the Whiterun area. As much as she liked Whiterun, it was not a bustling center of trade and political activity like Solitude. It wasn’t even a seaport.
Wyll got up and went over to the bar to confer with Ellis, returning in a moment with a sack that had recently held apples. The sweet scent of them rose up as he held the mouth open near the edge of the table, and Anders scooped the glittering coins into it. There was something slightly hypnotic about running your hands through all that gold. “With this, we should definitely be able to convince somebody to sell,” Anders promised Katja.
She beamed at them. Despite Katja’s enthusiasm for plunder and treasure in general, money really meant very little to her. As long as she had her home and her lovers and enough food to eat, there was little enough use for the stuff. Except for occasions such as this one, and what could be better than to wave the magic golden wand and make all her dreams come true? She hoped.
Wyll scooped the last few coins into the sack and pulled the drawstring, tucking it up against one of the table’s legs. He smiled broadly at Kat, the import of her news just beginning to get to him. “We’re getting married!” He wrapped her in a hug and planted a deep, enthusiastic kiss on her lips. As he did so, she reached down between his legs and stroked his erection where it pressed against the front of his trousers. Oh, she knew him too well!
Wyll broke away from the kiss, looking deep into her blue-gray eyes with his sky-blue ones. He saw joy, and love, and wicked desire. But a little decorum here in the middle of the common room might be in order. They’d been snacking and thinking about supper before Kat came in with her entourage. “Are you hungry?” he asked. The wicked desire in her gaze increased fourfold as she looked him up and down, her eyes lingering on that bulge in his pants.
Katja loved them both, loved them deeply. But there was no getting around it that, when it came to sexual arousal, Wyll held the upper hand. She had tried to analyze it but had failed to come up with any answers. Whatever that connection was, it completely bypassed the rational functions of the mind and went straight for the crotch. Tonight, after days apart, she wanted each of them – but she wanted them separately. The threesome thing was fun and exciting, but it didn’t allow for the level of concentration that one-on-one did.
She decided to hold off a little longer on a decision as to who would come first, and have some supper. It had been at least a few hours, she thought, since her delayed breakfast/early lunch at the Skeever. Katja motioned to Ellis, who came right over and welcomed her back. They ordered food and drink all around, and sat talking as they waited for their meals to arrive.
Katja chattered enthusiastically about her trip, not revealing the reason for her visit to Thongvor Silver-Blood (a secret she meant to hold tight until she’d successfully accomplished the separate parts involved), but telling them about Dudestia and Rorlund, the mysterious amulet, and the dress she planned to surprise Lydia with. She glossed over her own dress, as this was in some ways intended as a surprise for them.
The food arrived and the three of them tucked into it with their usual enthusiasm. There were no picky eaters to be found in this group. Anders and Wyll were short on conversation, as the Big News that was boiling within them was a secret they were keeping from Kat. They wanted to present her with Chillfurrow Farm (got to change that name, definitely) as the house of their dreams, not a work in progress. So, they exclaimed and asked questions, letting her dominate the talk as they finished their meal.