Ciri slurped another mouthful of soup before tearing off a chunk of bread. Her fair face was dirty, her ashen hair was wet, and her green eyes darted for the next morsel she could shove in her mouth.
The Baron watched the girl eat, studying his unexpected guest with tempered curiosity, his keen eyes didn’t miss the signs of someone who’d been living on the road. As his eyes traced the feminine curve of her neck, he couldn’t help wonder if her animalistic hunger was any indication of what sort of lover she’d be, but he averted his gaze and cleared his throat as if to speak.
She didn’t acknowledge him. Instead, she looked to the empty chair beside her. “She’s taken well care of, you’ve my word,” he said, referring to the young girl Ciri had come in with. One of his peasants had found them both lost in the swamps, brought them to him, hoping the eldest to be his lost daughter. She wasn’t of course, but he had to admit, the stunning young woman was a welcome distraction.
Ciri ran two fingers around the base of the bowl and pressed them to her rosy lips, running her tongue up her fingers as she finally made eye contact with the man that had taken her in. His large face was terribly ruddy, and blushed deeper as he watched her lick and suck the soup from her hands. He was wide as a wagon, and dressed in a fine red coat that couldn't hide his weathered breastplate and large bandit dagger he displayed like a badge of honor. He had been a soldier, she knew, overweight barons usually bent under the weight of heavy stomachs but this man had a backbone.
His chin and lower cheeks were overgrown with a mostly white beard, two dark tendrils still clung to the thick black mustache above his prominent lips and Ciri decided he had been handsome once. Now however, the fat man’s dark greasy hair hung from his leather skull cap and clung to his forehead which seemed to be at all times slick with sweat.
They studied each other in silence. The longer she looked him over, the fewer questions she had. It was the opposite for him, and so, he spoke first. “What’re you runnin’ from girl?”
Ciri’s eyes narrowed, she had misjudged the large man. She could see into the eyes of men, and his eyes were brimmed with so much sadness and regret, she had missed the sharp edge of an intelligent survivor, but she saw it now.
He took advantage of her hesitation and spoke again, “no one wanders into my bog less some’in much worse is behind ‘em. Now, we’ve got ye fed and mostly dried, but I need to know what’s got a girl so motivated.”
She thought about telling him the truth, that the wild hunt was one step behind her, but the last thing she needed was to be seen as some batty loon. She could tell she wouldn’t get a lie past the already suspicious man though, so she told the only truth she could. “I’m safe for now. Thanks to you,” She added, not with the typical seductive tone of a damsel in distress, but with the grateful validation she knows all men crave, but rarely get. She wasn’t proud of her gifts at true manipulation but she needed an ally, a warm bed, another bowl of soup.
“I’m called Phillip,” the baron said. He wasn’t sure what to make of this mysterious waif, but he wanted to help her, not in the way a man looks to wet his cock as soon as he’s owed something. He wanted to help her because the father’s of the world owe it to each other to do what’s right when a daughter needs an ally, a warm bed, a bowl of soup. “Stay as long as you like. You’ve an empty room at the end of the hall. I’ve had clean bandages brought to your room.”
Ciri smiled and nodded. “Cirilla, but you can call me Ciri. The boy who brought me said you were called ‘The Bloody Baron.’ Most men would wear the moniker like a pin, polish it daily.”
The baron went still. “You’re too young to understand the weight of titles given, let alone titles earned. Some names are more accurate than you’d like them to be.” He shook his head with a tired sigh and chuckled, breaking the tension as best he could. “The blobtits can’t help but want a leader with a fearsome name. If the trail of corpses behind me keeps the trail ahead of me clear, so be it.”
Ciri thought of her father, The Butcher of Blaviken, and saw the gruesome alias in a new light. She placed the thought on the stack of things to share with him when they finally reunited.
The baron stood and motioned to the door. “Keep your door locked at night, I’ve a hundred hard men that come and go.”
Ciri stood and bowed her head, “Thank you, Phillip.”
She walked down the hall and a round faced guard leered at her the way only a round faced guard knows how to do. She leered back at him before closing the door and latching it behind her. The room was larger than any room she’d ever seen at an inn or even some houses she’d stayed in. It reminded her of the time she spent at Kaer Morhen with its stone walls and narrow halls. She reminisced of studying with Vesemir and training with Geralt as she picked up the well used rag doll from the bed.
“Hello little one,” she said, petting the yarn hair of the cloth effigy, “what’s your name?” She looked around the room and her perceptive nature began to spot small details. The armoire was left open and mostly empty, the drawers too were similarly disheveled and she looked through the clothing that remained. “No traveling clothes left behind,” she said to herself, as witchers tend to do when they think.
“Not you though…” she said, holding the doll in both hands. “She’s older then, perhaps my age, which would explain Phillips' hospitality.” She had seen a poster for a missing girl nailed to the gatehouse as she was led into the keep and a story began to take shape in her mind. The wooden tub was bone dry, which meant the baron’s daughter hadn’t been there for some time.
The thought of a hot bath pulled Ciri from her investigation. “Maybe I can kill two Nekkars with one slice,” she said to the doll still in her hands.
She propped the doll back on the bed and grabbed the clean bandages before walking back toward the dining hall. It was empty. She explored the hallways and rooms of the keep until she rounded a corner and almost bumped into a tall man wearing a red gambeson. They both stopped.
His eyes were sunken as if he’d never slept and the lines on his face told Ciri he hadn’t smiled in a long time. “Hm,” he grunted. “You’re the baron’s new guest.” It wasn’t a question, so Ciri didn’t bother answering.
“And you are?” Ciri asked, forcing politeness.
“Sergeant Ardal, second in command of this shit bucket.” His voice was edged with resentment and bitter regret.
“The keep doesnt agree with you?” she asked, motioning to the bare walls of the small castle.
“The bucket isn’t what rankles my nose,” he said with no inflection. “You really shouldn’t be out of your room at night, we’ve-”
“A hundred hard men, I know. I’m actually looking for Phillip. Could you direct me to his quarters?”
“The baron’s door is off the same hall as your own, past the stairs. Now’s not a good time though, he gets worse at night.”
The man looked past her as if he’d rather be somewhere else. “He drinks. Heavily. Night’s are the worst of it.”
“Thank you sergeant.” For some reason the man unnerved her more than the lecherous guard. His eyes were corpselike, the kind that didn’t cry, not even for women and children. A chill ran up her spine as he watched her walk back the way she’d come.
She tapped lightly on the door to Phillip’s room. The young guard posted at his door eyed her nervously.
The baron opened the heavy door, still fully clad in his breastplate and outer robe, she wondered if he slept in full kit. Some soldiers got so used to their outer shell they felt truly naked without it, removing only to apply oil before strapping it back to their stinking bodies without bathing. He stared at her without speaking and she could smell the everluce on his breath. The sergeant had been right, his eyes were more bloodshot than when she’d arrived, as if he’d been crying.
“Clean bandages are worthless without a hot bath,” she said and looked past him into the lavish room. There was a tub twice the size of the one in her room and her eyes practically glittered.
“You should go,” he said, refusing to look at her.
Ciri ignored him and turned to the soldier next to his door. “Tell the men a pot of boiling water will get them a look at me without these dirty clothes in the way,” She ducked under the baron’s arm before he could respond and walked up to the half barrel tub.
“I’ll need help with my bandages, Phillip. There are wounds on my back that I can’t see or reach.” The tub was half full with clear room temperature water.
The baron nodded wearily to his wide-eyed soldier and the young man jogged down the hall. He turned to see Ciri pulling her shirt over her head and he raised his thick hands to cover her from view. “Bloody hell, girl, at least wait till the tub is warm.”
She stopped in the middle of unbuttoning one of her belts, her breasts continued their motion for a second longer. She blew a strand of white hair from her face and smirked. “Is the sight of me so hideous? That can’t be it…” She pretended to think for a moment. “You certainly aren't a man of the cloth. You don’t seem to have a wife.” He dropped his hands and his eyes brimmed with fresh tears. The last piece of the puzzle. Her face softened. “I’m sorry Phillip, when did they leave?”
The baron wordlessly lumbered over to the small table with a large bottle and poured two cups of wine. He drank his in three loud gulps and repoured before walking over to Ciri and handing her the other cupl. He sat next to her in a chair while she finished undressing, swirling his drink and shaking his head as he thought.
A chilly shiver danced across her skin as she slipped into the cool water of the tub. She crossed her legs and leaned back against the wooden wall, resting her arms on the edge. The clean water caressing her bruised and dirty skin seemed to revitalize her, even without the warmth of a traditional bath. She closed her eyes and relaxed, patiently waiting for the baron to speak.
He had prepared a whole story, a tale of how she’d been taken in the night and that her captors needed to be tracked down, but he was vulnerable when he was drunk, which made him angry and volatile, but also honest. Besides, she seemed to have put it together in the first hour of her arrival, he doubted he would get anything past the clever girl.
“I killed my unborn child in a drunken rage, my wife took my only daughter and left me while I pissed myself in my sleep.” He took another long drink of his cup and nodded, as if he’d done a perfectly adequate job summing up his life thus far.
Ciri chewed her lip, not expecting the story to be quite so grim. She never knew what to say in these moments, having been raised by witchers, so she did what she always did, and tried to speak from the heart. “When I first saw you, I saw pain, grief, and guilt in your eyes. Do you know what that means?”
“Means I’ve done unspeakable things to people I love,” he swallowed a knot in his throat and his voice cracked, “means I’m shite covered bones in a red coat.”
Ciri sighed and shook her head. “It means, after everything you’ve been through, the trail of corpses, the deeds done to earn a name like ‘The Bloody Baron’, none of it was enough to harden your heart.” She moved to the side of the tub closest to Phillip and placed a hand on his. “Regret is the herald of better men Phillip, monsters don’t feel remorse. Your pain of loss will always be as deep as your love for those lost, but your wife and daughter are not yet lost.”
The baron sat next to the girl in silence as tears dripped into the tangled hair of his beard. He wiped his cheeks and finished his cup. “Tis a speech for the day, girl. Nights are for drowning sorrows.” He pulled his hand away and stood.
“They don’t have to be,” she said, leaning back against the tub as he refilled his cup.
Before he could respond a soldier walked in with a cauldron of sloshing water. The baron blocked his view of Ciri with is massive frame and his face reddened further as he exploded in an unexpected rage, “She said boiling you fucking nob!”
“As long as it's warm, I’ll accept it,” the white haired beauty said, craning her neck around the baron’s girth. It was the soldier from the door, he must have put a cauldron on before telling the others. Phillip stepped aside and the man awkwardly carried the heavy cauldron to the edge of the tub, his eyes glued to Ciri’s exposed breasts. “Not too fast now,” she said as she pulled her legs out of the way. “You want to make it last dont you?” She slowly opened her bent knees and he spilled his bucket into her warming bath with an open mouth.
The baron grabbed him by the back of his neck and jerked him away after he’s finished. Phillip then took his own eyeful of Ciri and his face darkened before looking away.
“Tell me about them,” Ciri said, sipping her wine and looking up into his sad eyes.
The Baron sat next to her, told her of his wife and daughter, of his failings as a father and husband, but also of the few good days he had with his daughter. Soldiers came with hotter water and Ciri was generous with their payment, cupping her breasts or spreading her legs. Once the tub was full the baron closed and locked the door, refilling her drink and finishing his tale. He told of his wife's infidelity, and the subsequent dismemberment of her lover, he cried as he got the night of their departure. It really had been an accident, Ciri believed that.
Then she was alone with her thoughts, accompanied by the rhythmic snoring of the baron and the warm steam of the bath. She scrubbed the grime of the road and the swamp from her body and hair, then closed her eyes and thought about her own family history, equally bloody and unfortunate. She finished her cup of everluce and sighed in delight. “A girl could get used to this,” she said, and stood from the tub, perking her nipples in the cooler air of the room. She stepped from the tub and dried with a small cloth, gathered her clothing, and was about to retreat back to her room when the baron fidgeted on his bed.
“No,” he said and his glistening brow furrowed, he was laying on his back, jerking and twitching. “No, Anna please.”
Ciri put her clothes on the chair and laid next to him. “Shh, Phillip, it’s okay,” she whispered in his ear. “Anna’s here..” she cooed in his ear. He seemed to calm some and Ciri laid her head on his shoulder.
“I have an idea,” she said, reaching over his stomach. She unbuttoned his cod cloth before flopping his doughy penis free of his trousers. She ran a trail of spit across her palm and reached for him again, wrapping her hand around his short meaty cock. “Tonight, you will dream of better things.”
She squeezed the base of his shaft and jerked, flopping the upper half of his flaccid cock around until he began to stiffen. His breathing began to calm and she smiled as he hardened in her hand. His pudgy thickness solidified into a beast she couldn’t get her hand around and her curiosity got the better of her. She scurried down between his legs and nodded in approval. A girthy oblong cock sprouted from a nest of wiry black hair between the baron's legs and she sucked her lower lip.
It was tapered and uncircumcised with most of the thickness near the center. She leaned over it and dripped more drool down onto the mouth of his rumpled foreskin before her hand continued sliding up and down its length. She reached down into the mess of damp pubic hair and pulled his balls out to hang below his mostly hard cock. His heavy testicles pulled his scrotum into a long leathery sack and the smell hit her like a wave. It was the culmination of saddle sweat, body odor, and weeks of unbathed taint.
Ciri was a witcher though, she’d gone digging through the entrails of long dead drowners. To her, marinated balls were a delicacy. She hadn’t planned on more than a quick tug while he slept but she couldn’t help herself after smelling his intoxicating musk. She leaned down and slowly dragged her tongue across the hairy surface of his bulging scrotum. He breathed in a raspy sigh of pleasure and she smiled to herself, before lowering her head again, this time wrapping her pink lips around one of the fleshy bulbs.
She stroked the length of the cock as she sucked, inhaling the tangy musk of his manhood. The taste of his filth ignited her taste buds and she moaned softly, losing herself in the act as she lifted his scrotum. She filled her cheeks with his balls and her mouth gushed with fresh drool. Her chin dripped, her lips sucked, and her hand stroked as she pleased the sleeping baron. She rolled his giant hairy balls around her sopping mouth with her smooth tongue as she cleaned them, sucking and swallowing layers of caked sweaty grime, then licked up the taut skin of his scrotum to the base of his fat cock.
She could smell her own breath from the now sticky slobber she had spread across him and knew she would have to supply more lubricant if she wanted to finish him. Her green eyes focused on his foreskin and she slowly pulled it back, revealing the blushing, segmented bulb of his ruddy glans. She pressed her lips into the exposed underside of his turgid cock and kissed as she licked, then licked as she kissed. The tight skin of his cockhead was smooth and hot and the taste sent her into a cock-hungry frenzy. She held her lips to the silky pink flesh and loudly spit a bubbling glob of saliva from her dripping mouth. She pulled the thick cover of slime over the ridge of his fully exposed tip and licked the crevice of his undercock.
Her hands squeezed the fattest part of his shaft and she tried to remember if anything as thick had ever entered her, but nothing came to mind. She opened her mouth and let her lips wrap the ridge of his cock’s tapered head, then tried to push further but it ballooned out too wide for her jaw to stretch. She spit again and stroked him faster, twisting and spinning her hands as she licked and sucked on what she could manage to get her lips around.
His breathing was heavy and measured now and she squeezed tighter, pulling his heavy cock as she moaned in exertion and pleasure. She could feel the vibrations of her grunts and groans run down his cock as she worked to finish the fat old man and she hoped he could feel them too. Then his cock burst without warning, coating the inside of her throat with a thick stream of salty goo. She gagged once at the unexpected sensation, then slowed her stroking from a frantic jerking to a sensual milking. She pressed her lips against his cockhead and licked as another stream splurged out of him, painting her lips and tongue.
She closed her eyes and continued her work, stroking, licking, sucking, and swallowing until the excited cock began to relax. She licked his lumpy cum from her lips and wiped an errant strand from her cheek before licking her fingers clean. His breathing slowed and his measured snoring returned, louder than before. Ciri smiled and kissed his softening cock before sucking the last drops from his flaccid tip and gently tucking his manhood away.
She pulled the edge of the blanket over her and snuggled up in the crook of Phillips arm, the stink of his body odor and the sound of his gentle snoring soon lulled her into a deep sleep, and on that night, she too dreamed of better things.