Kindred Spirit Lodge Presents
Drinks at Eight
by WarriorJudge & Lady Aria
It was night-time. The Judge went up-stairs to Her chambers. Her body was heavy like a sack of bricks, yellow ones the Judge smirked. She lit up a few candles in her bedchambers and washed Her face. She relished the cool fresh water against Her pale skin. It has been a long day. She stood opposite the large mirror, which was hanging above Her dresser. She combed Her red smooth tresses with Her fingers and breathed deeply.
Too many thoughts were running rampantly in Her mind. She realized She had been harsh with Aria. It's just that the woman managed to make the Judge struggle to keep Her calm.
Slowly she undid Her belt, placing her sword and gavel on her dresser. She took off Her Black robe, Her Judge's robe and then She undid Her white silk blouse, button by button. She looked at her naked taut breasts.
Her stormy relationship with Aria took out the worst in her as well as the best. It was the worst the Judge didn't appreciate.
She heard a knock on her chamber door. Quickly She put on her robe and covered her nakedness. She opened the door. She was surprised to see the assassin standing there. And even more surprised Aria actually bothered to knock. The Judge could smell the booze of Aria’s breath. No surprises there.
As Klancy carried Shasa upstairs, the Lady had a booze soaked moment of clarity and reflected on some of the Captain’s words. Something had been gnawing at the Lady for days now… she had known for a while she was attracted to the Judge, but for some reason, every time she had a chance to show this to the Judge… she acted like a fool instead. Seeing the Judge sitting alone nursing a drink brought a feeling of instant remorse to the tipsy Lady.
“Excuse me Oisin… there is something I need to tend to.” The Lady said as she attempted to right a wrong.
The Lady was already standing at the Judge’s side when the warrior looked up. For a moment there was this odd softness between them, it was as if their defenses were down for a change. Aria asked if she might sit and have a word with the Judge, a wave of the warrior’s hand indicated to Aria that her invitation was accepted.
“Ok… I am more than a little inebriated so I will make this as concise as possible.” Aria ignored the raised eyebrow and proceeded on. “I want to apologize for being a complete and utter brat. There is just something about you that can make me crazy. I further realize I have been antagonizing you from the moment you returned home. Though I suspect it is nothing more than a form of protection… okay I am digressing, what I need to do is treat you with the same respect that I offer to the other Warriors here… on occasion. You have my word that I will try to be better.”
Taking a deep breath and hoping these warm and fuzzy feelings were not fueled only by the booze in her system and Aria waited...
The Judge was silent. She went to sit in her armchair. She wasn’t expecting it. I wonder how much of it the Lady would remember come morning and hangover. As if Aria could read the Judge’s thoughts, she approached the Judge and knelt before Her. She placed a gentle hand on the Judge’s large one, as if offering her a silent peace offering.
“For the life of me I can’t understand why you have such an insane affect on me. I’m known for being a rational, cool…even stone cold person.”
Aria kept quiet. The Judge thought Aria hadn’t had an answer for her. The Judge pulled Her hand from under Aria’s and grasped her wrist in one swift motion. She leaned down, Her face, an inch and a half away from Aria’s.
“You make me want to kiss you and slap you hard at the same time?” She said under Her breath. She could see the candlelight flicker in Aria’s bright eyes. She could see Aria’s lips quivering…anticipating? Boozed up? The Judge wasn’t sure.
After a few moments which no words passed between them, as if frozen in time for what seemed like hours, the Judge muttered, “It’s getting late, dear Lady. I think it best you retire to your own chambers. As I’ve told you before, I show you the same respect you show me.” The Judge stood up and chivalrously helped the Lady to her feet. She escorted her to the door. “And do try not to fall down the stairs or bump into walls on your way.”
For the life of her, Aria could not understand why a stampede of horses was galloping across her brain so early in the morning. Her head hurt so badly she was afraid to move. Forcing open one eye at a time, she tried to wake up enough to get out of bed.
The last thing she remembered was having a drink at the bar with Shasa and Oisin. There were vague images of Klancy and even fuzzier moments with the Judge. A feeling of fear coursed through her body as she lifted her blankets praying she would not find herself butt ass naked. Fully clothed albeit not a good sign, brought the Lady some relief. She worked very hard to keep her feelings about the Judge to herself, and with that much booze in her system and the company she was keeping... there was no telling what might have happened.
Steeling herself, she headed downstairs in search of a gallon of water, a few dozen aspirin and some answers.
The Judge tucked her gavel in her belt and took one last look at the slender lengthy form in the mirror. She rolled down her sleeves, covering the tattoos on Her forearms, which read "Ed noctum" (Into Darkness). Darkness…Darkness…Strangely enough She began thinking about Aria again. She wondered how long would the peace treaty hold for. As soon as the alcohol intoxication wears off, no doubt.
She took a deep breath and promised Herself She'd be stoicism itself. There would be no thoughts of penetrating that lady nor would there be any thoughts about smacking her…where ever, kissing her, pinching her nipples and…Ok I'll rephrase, there would be no thoughts about any kind of physical contact with Aria. None what so ever, or I'll cite Myself in contempt.
She wasn't sure whether it had been wise of Her to be so candor and relatively open with Aria about the way the latter had made her feel. The Judge wasn't one to give others any sort of power of Her. With any luck, Aria wouldn't remember and then it would be business as usual, occasional clashes and nothing more. To be on the safe side, a little cross-examination was in order the Judge reckoned.
The Judge opened Her chamber door and went downstairs, and lo and behold, if it wasn't Aria, looking a tad bit slow and out of it. The Judge smirked and felt sorry for the pretty lady at the same time.
"Good morning, dear lady," the Judge said, a little louder than necessary, grinning. The devil inside her couldn't resist making Aria sorry for drinking too much the night before.
"Judge dread, with Her usual delicacy," Aria's said forcing a smile.
"You look like you've spent the night with Shasa… "
"You…Hell, it's too damn early and I'm too damn hung over for this, Judge,"
"I don't believe this…I actually agree. How about you join me for a drink later on tonight?" the Judge offered.
"Trying to kill me with kindness, are you!?"
Maybe that's the way to kill she-demons that taunt me. "Well, I would have used a sword, but…Never mind, so what's your answer, yay or nay?"
"Ok" Aria finally muttered.
Now once more with feeling why don't you. "Very Well. I'll see you then. Oh and your bedchamber is that way," the Judge pointed out and went on to the stables.
After a very necessary nine hour nap, Aria was feeling much better. The cobwebs had cleared, the throbbing in her head and the nausea had passed, yes by God, she actually felt fabulous. The Lady found her cigarettes on her night table, rolled over on her back and planned what she would wear tonight for her drink with the Judge.
Even though Aria cognitively told herself this was no big deal, she systematically dismissed 90% of her wardrobe as unacceptable for this silly little drink with no one of importance. The Lady visualized her extensive collection and deemed each piece too short, too low, not low enough, wrong color, too frumpy, too Shasa... one by one the ax fell on most of them.
Rationally the Lady told herself this was no different than a drink with Klancy or Rider or her new partner in crime Shasa. Aria abruptly snuffed out her cigarette and sighed as her thoughts went to Dagger and how much the Lady truly missed her good friend. But even poor Dagger was unceremoniously trumped by something far more important. Sitting in front of her vanity, perched atop a mint green velvet tufted stool, Aria swept her hair up, allowing the mass of curls to fall softly into place, then she tried it down, but pulled back at the temples, all the while assuring herself it was good to mingle with the M/members, even the scary ones... yes, mingling was good, mingling was healthy.
Nope, Aria thought on the way to her scented bath, nothing special about this.
The Judge polished Her best sword with even monotone strokes. She mindlessly gazed at Her already polished armor, which rested in Her armchair. For some reason, which was obscure to Her, She wanted to look impressive tonight. Besides wearing fine armor on a date with an assassin, and with Aria of all assassins, was common sense. She wouldn't allow Aria's arrows to penetrate Her. There would be no penetration tonight. I didn't just say "date" now, did I? It's just a measly drink and nothing more. A date with Aria, She scoffed at the notion; I'm a sadist not a masochist, after all.
Once again in front of the mirror, the Judge could feel the great scales tattooed on Her back. She stood still in Her britches looking at Her muscular body. She wished Aria wouldn't unleash the lion quietly roaring breath the surface. Yet I wish She would. She wished for a tranquil time of light conversation, yet I wish for mayhem and fire. She wished control. Yet She wished all hell breaks loose.
The scales were even tonight.
She put on Her leather pants followed by Her leathered boots and Her white silk shirt. She lifted Her armor and gently placed it on Her strong hard torso. She wore Her long black Judge's robe. She tucked Her gavel in Her belt on Her left thigh and Her sword Sheath over Her right thigh.
The Judge heard a tapping on Her chamber door. Aria's there and nothing more She smirked.
She opened the door.
Aria stood at Her threshold. She looked so beautiful it nearly took the Judge's breath away, however the mask of stoicism concealed it well.
"Good evening, My Lady," She offered Her hand.
The moment the door opened, Aria knew she was not the only one that put some thought into her appearance for this evening. The Lady thought the Judge looked magnificent. Neither said anything of course, they did not have to, but complimented the other without uttering a word.
Not wishing to make "an entrance" Aria slipped her hand out of the Judge's the first chance she got and walked a few steps in front of her. The Lady knew all eyes would turn to them the minute they walked into the room so Aria darted ahead and secured a table in a small semi-private alcove.
Aria's behavior and motives didn't go unnoticed. The Judge was amazed at how embarrassed Aria felt being seen with Her. So much so that Aria was actually forgoing her "Drama Queen" trademark demeanors. The Judge almost looked slightly offended by the time she made it to the table but she sat without saying a word. This is going to be fun like fist-fucking with no lube, I would imagine.
The barmaid appeared and the Warrior placed their order, Ale for the Judge and the "usual for the Lady." Aria wondered if this could possibly feel any more strained . . . when she got her answer. The girl set a silver tray on the table carrying with it a mug of deep Ale and a dark green bottle, beautifully scripted in silver ink, Private Reserve - - From Lord Sirius for her Lady.. Aria reached for the bottle in order to turn the label away from the Judge's sight line, but it was too late. The Judge had already seen it and unwillingly moved a little uncomfortably in Her seat. Aria registered the Judge's movement and She just couldn't hide her satisfaction.
"You still miss her, don't you?" That question was the Judge's way of making Aria pay for her transgression, picking inside what She knew was Aria's open wound, at least to some extent.
"That's hardly any of your business, Your Honor."
"It never ceases to amaze Me how words like "Your Honor" sounds like an insult that even Shasa wouldn't dare utter, when coming from you". The Judge gallantly raised the green bottle and poured the wine into Aria's glass.
"What should we drink to?" the Judge lifted Her mug.
"I can tell you what we ain't drinking to, if you like though."
"To you then, dear Lady," the Judge finally said and they both took a sip of their drinks.
With an exquisite motion, Lady Aria took out a cigarette from an ornamented casing, and placed it between her gorgeous full lips. The Judge immediately leaned forwards and lit up Aria's cigarette.
Aria exhaled a small cloud of smoke, leaned back into her chair and said, "I see you've finally acquired much needed manners while you were away."
"Oh, dear Lady, I've certainly learned a few new tricks whilst away," came the Judge's quick reply. The Judge lit up her own tobacco. "Speaking of which, I couldn't help but notice a thing or two has happened around here also while I was gone…Let's see…Sirius, for instance..."
For a minute there the Judge could see Aria's blood running from her face, but Aria, being the feisty Lady she was, who could definitely carry her own, composed herself quickly and replied: "I didn't realize you had it in you to bring up Sirius."
Shasa and Oisin sat in a nearby table. Shasa turned to Oisin and said, "Some unexplained powerful force is compelling me to remain in my seat telling me I shouldn't miss this for the world. Yet, on the other hand, since self preservation is an instinct I possess, another part of me says we should run fast and far for cover."
The Judge wasn't too keen on the direction Her evening with Aria was taking, but it was too late. Sirius' presence was strongly felt by both of them, even though she was no longer there. It was obvious to all that Aria and her Lord had an important love for each other and in time the Judge would be able to piece together why they were no longer together.
"You know, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
"I suggest you watch your tone with me Warrior, did you leave your manners in your other robe?'
The Judge smiled. "The last lady that gave Me a similar suggestion couldn't sit for a week after I had given her some good ol' medieval Justice, Aria. Out of respect to you and Our history I allow you latitude. Do not abuse it by testing my patience. Now let's change the subject now, shall we? What else happened around here?"
"Hmmm…let me see," Aria placed a finger on her shapely chin and with a mischievous glint in her eyes said, "I'm leaving at the end of this week for a trip abroad and will be gone quite some time."
"What!?" the Judge let slip out before She could catch Herself.
"Oh please, if this evening was any indication, I doubt seriously you will even know I am gone".
"Oh, how wrong you are, dear Lady. Of course I'll notice your absence, since it'll finally be tranquil around here. Well I hope you have a safe trip and do take care of yourself Lady Aria, I would not wish any harm to you while you are so far away from your home."
Running her fingers over the silver lettering Aria poured herself another glass of wine and she smiled sweetly at the Judge, " I did not say I was going alone, Dear."
The Judge raised Her eyebrow in surprise. "And who's the poor soul you're dragging with you!? A pet, perhaps?"
"Rider, as a matter of fact," Aria replied almost nonchalantly and took another sip of her wine. She knew she just tossed a hand grenade. She leaned back into her seat smugly anticipating it to go off.
Shasa and Oisin winced over at the next table.
"I'm putting 50 Dinars on Aria," Oisin whispered to Shasa.
"I don't know…If this altercation will remain verbal, then I agree, but if it'll deteriorate into a physical one, I don't think Aria stands a chance."
The Judge felt her blood coursing in her veins, rushing in her ears roaring, making it almost impossible for Her to hear Siskel and Ebert over at the neighboring table. It took all Her willpower not to disclose what went on inside Her. Nothing of value is without a price in this world, She thought. She refused to let Aria the pleasure of witnessing any cracks in her cool exterior for free. "It's a shame you should be contented with a mere substitute," the Judge finally said.
Rider whistled as she grabbed a few last minute things for the trip -- a dagger at her hip, the long Bowie nestled between her shoulders, the throwing stars tucked in the nearly invisible pockets that trailed down the thighs of her tight breeches. She fingered a new ornate one. She couldn't wait to show it to Aria. The ex-assassin appreciated a good blade as much as Rider did.
She had been surprised but pleased when Aria asked for her company on the short journey. Their deep friendship had just clicked since the moment they met. Rider grinned as her mind ran over their harmless flirting. This trip was going to be fun.
Rider took one last look in the full length mirror and took inventory. Blades in place, lucky diamond in her right ear, short whip at her hip. She grinned at herself and playfully flexed her bared biceps -- damn she was having a great hair day.
Leaving their steeds in front of the lodge, Rider sauntered in. Her swagger stepped up a notch when she saw Aria's eyes settle on her, a small smile beckoning Rider to her side.
"That, my dear judge, is no second string warrior," Aria murmured.
Rider ignored the other woman at Aria's table -- damn, she didn't say anything about taking the Judge, too.
She extended a polite hand to pull Aria to her feet. "I hope you are ready to leave, love, You look particularly ravishing today," she smiled. "I suppose I should have packed my long sword, too, so I can defend you against the thousands who will seek you favors."
Aria raised an amused eyebrow, her eyes deliberately raking down Rider's lean, muscled frame. She fingered the short bull whip coiled at Rider's hip. "I think this may be enough to keep them at bay, darling. But then ..." she raised her eyes to hold Rider's amused gaze. "... perhaps you brought this along for fun."
Rider summoned her best leer. "One or two new games come to mind," she said. "And..." Rider leaned down so that her face was mere inches from Aria's and stage whispered so that everyone could hear. "... I have a new blade in my pants to show you."
Aria's eyes lit up with delight. Rider was always game to play. Maybe the Judge could use a little tweaking to fuel what appeared to be reluctant interest. She made a split second decision that she herself would wonder at later.
She took a step forward and pulled Rider's hard body against her own softer one. "That's what I love about you. You are such a Boy Scout ... always prepared," she said softly, placing her hands on Rider's cheeks and pulling her into a kiss. Not just any kiss, a sizzling, open-mouth, tongue-tussling lip-smacker.
Startled at first, Rider responded quickly. There would be time to ask why later. Her large hands slid down to grasp Aria's luscious hips and pulled them tight against her own. The Beast growled, the scent of its most sought-after prey summoning it.
After a long moment, Rider pulled back, turning Beastly yellow eyes at the Judge in challenge. "Mine," the eyes conveyed before Rider blinked and her eyes darkened again to soft brown.
She cleared her throat and grinned. Hmm. Guess the Judge isn't coming with us.
"We better get started. We have have to make frequent stops along the way," she said, winking at Oisin, who sat with her eyes wide and mouth open in a perfect "O."
Just before She left them, Rider pulled Aria in for one last kiss.
It's not that The Judge couldn't believe her own eyes, She just couldn't believe Aria's daring. She stood up abruptly, almost knocking back Her chair. With one swift motion She took out Her gavel, which was tucked in Her belt as always. Strongly gripping Her gavel in Her skillful hand and slammed it as hard as Her strength allowed Her on the table before Her. The table gave out and cracked from under the sheer force of the blow.
The uproar the gavel made impacting with the table was almost deafening and it startled both Aria and Rider. With a jolt they broke off their kiss. On an instinct Aria clutched Rider, both their eyes on the Judge.
There was silence at the Lodge. All murmured conversations amongst the other L/lodgers stilled, even Bert and Ernie . Everyone's eyes were fixed on the Judge. There was no movement, not even breath; even the air hung as if it was frozen.
The Judge's voice sounded sarcastically, breaking the stillness like magic: "Oh, I'm sorry…Did I break your concentration!? Surely, I haven't interrupted anything, have I!?"
Aria seemed as if awakened from a trance. She was almost bewildered, so out of character for an assassin.
The Judge could hardly contain Herself any longer. She felt rage and hunger from being denied and perhaps even belittled for too long -- For way too long, ever since Sirius and now Rider…and it was just too damn crowded around desirable Aria.
She moved the table out of Her way. She reached out Her muscled arm, clasped Aria by her wrist and violently tore the Lady from Rider's arms and pulled the Lady like a rag-doll closer to Her. She put Her gavel under the Lady's chin, forcefully compelling her to look at Her.
Their faces merely an inch and half away from each other. Their lips so close they could almost taste one another…That kiss that has been hanging between them for so long just kept on hanging there like something no one would touch. Aria seemed paralyzed and offered no resistance. For a split second there she wondered whether she might had made a mistake.
The Judge's face seemed disturbingly calm. Her dark eyes bore into Aria's. Her stare was so intense Aria felt as if she was being penetrated, almost violated. The Judge held her tight in what seemed like the grip of death, leaving Aria no room to even move uncomfortably. Aria almost regretted pushing the Judge perhaps a little too far.
The mute communication between them was burdensome. At that point the Judge seemed too quiet and calm in Aria's eyes and it nearly made her feel some uneasiness. The Lady realized she preferred the Judge loud, fuming and wild, because that was familiar to her.
"Trisha," The Judge called out to the shape-shifter, who sat at the edge of the bar, wisely trying her best to make herself small enough, not to be noticed. The Judge went on saying, never breaking eye contact with Aria, "I think I'm ready to tell you your misfortune now. I'm afraid I have some bad news...But on the brighter side, I guarantee you'll enjoy it." the Judge smiled widely. That smile nearly froze Aria's blood in her veins. The Judge released Aria from her grip.
"Would you care to join us, Judge?" Rider said trying to lift the awkwardness.
The Judge turned to look at Rider. "I'm afraid not, my Friend. I simply have oodles to do around here," She said following trisha rushing up the stairs with Her eyes.
"Besides, frankly, I think Aria can barely manage one of Us Warriors at a time." The Judge knew it wasn't true, but She said it to spite the Lady. "Now, if you'll excuse me…" She said offering Rider a handshake. "Enjoy your trip both of you".
"And Oisin, dear Friend, close your mouth or else a chinchilla might get in it," the Judge said as She turned to retire to Her chambers.
The End - 'Drinks at Eight' - by WarriorJudge & Lady Aria
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