Lothar walked over to Farulf the next morning. He’d cleaned up and tried to make himself presentable. “Farulf, I need speak to you.”
Farulf turned, a questioning look on his face. “Yes?”
“I… um… Ellisif and I…”
Farulf turned to Lothar and gave his a crusty look. “She fighting with you? Causing problems?”
“No. I… I wanted to make sure it was all right that we are together.” Lothar felt like an idiot trying to say things without turning red.
Farulf laughed. “You Okay. No bride price. She should pay you. Just keep your sword in your trousers while we sail the boat.” With that, he turned his back on Lothar and went on directing the cargo loading. He laughed quietly under his breath.
Lothar stood there stunned. “Keep my sword in my trousers?” he thought.
Gundar came up behind Lothar and pounded him on the shoulder. “See? It alright. Now maybe Ellisif make you a new tunic.”
Lothar stood there totally confused. In the end he went to help load the trade goods.
Ellisif smiled as she watched her fader and Lothar talk. She’d spoken to her fader that morning, and explained that she didn’t need anything except Lothar. She knew that when Farulf died that the boat and trade would be for her and the men on the boat. Now she was wondering how long it would take to reach Miklagardr. *
Once the Dragon Boat was loaded, they headed down the Dneiper estuary, and hugged the western coast. The air was warm and the men began to pull off the heavy overtunics. Ellisif had taken off an overdress and worn just her undertunic and apron dress. She stood at the tiller next to her fader.
“You and Lothar. Sleep up this end.” Farulf jerked his head toward the area he meant.
“Trade will be busy. We have much to do. Be good daughter.”
Ellisif nodded and kissed her fader on his head and then moved down towards the center of the boat. She enjoyed the wind on her skin.
“Have you ever been to Miklagardr?”
Lothar looked up to see Ellisif standing next to him. He’d been concentrating hard on keeping the boat on the course Farulf had given him when it was his turn on the tiller. “No. I’ve never been this far south.”
Ellisif sat next to him. “It is hot and full of Greeks and other people. Some of our men, Varangians, are part of the Emperor’s Guard.”
“Most of them are mercenaries, like you.”
Lothar wondered where Ellisif was going with this conversation. “Are… are you afraid I go work for the Emperor?”
“No. Just that you should know men will want you. Your sword is very good.” She smiled at him.
Lothar blushed furiously, knowing that she was both serious and teasing him at the same time. “I think I will keep my sword skills here for the boat. How soon after trading do we head north?”
It was Ellisif’s turn to smile. “Soon. Within a moon’s turning. Fader doesn’t like the city. Says it is too hot and not safe.”
Lothar thought about what she was saying. He had no idea of what goods were deep in the trade bundles, but had realized early on that only the top few layers were ever opened. He hoped that things went well. Ellisif leaned on his free arm as he worked the tiller.
“Farulf! I see the walls! So many boats, ships and buildings!” Lothar stood at the tiller, hoping that Farulf wasn’t asleep.
Olaf and Ragnar walked back towards Lothar and Ellisif.
“Something eh?” said Olaf as he clapped Lothar on the shoulder.
“Here, I take the boat,” Ragnar. He and Lothar traded places. Lothar and Ellisif moved towards the front of the boat.
“Never seen such buildings.”
“It is a very big. Noisy, dirty, smelly and dangerous,” Dagr said as he came up too to watch the boat enter the city.
“There is a legend that my many greats grandmother came from this part of the world,” said Lothar. “A city where women gave themselves to the gods before marriage.”
“Ah, what a bridegroom a god would be,” laughed Dagr.
“Aye. So many women, so little night time.”
“Men. You think your cocks are so special? Eh? Without us, you’d all be shagging sheep.” Ellisif turned back to the city and left the two men to let their blushing faces cool.
It didn’t take long to dock in the merchant area that Farulf frequented. He got lodging for himself and a few of the men. Ellisif, Lothar and some of the men would stay on the ship to protect it, the cargo and Ellisif herself.
“Fader, please? I want to go to the silk market.”
“In the morning. If it is safe. With guards.” He growled and turned to leave the boat. Ellisif stopped, knowing that it would do no good to argue.
Lothar turned to ask Gundar why Farulf was so adamant.
“Years ago, Birla almost stolen right from under Farulf’s nose. Slavers are very good down here. They like young blond women. Any women. Hell, they even take ugly old things like you or I.” Gundar thumped Lothar in the arm.
“I hear that the Emperor has a guard of vikings. Varangians.”
“Yes. Don’t get ideas. They are bad men. Good Vikings, but bad men. Ellisif would slit your throat if you went with them.”
“I don’t want that. I like my life.” Lothar smiled at Gundar. Now he knew to keep alert and not let Ellisif out of his sight.
That night in the bed furs Ellisif was boisterous. He swore that the entire dock area must have heard her cry out her pleasure. She shuddered and lay on his stomach, waiting for their bodies to stop twitching. Before he could catch his breath, she kissed her way down his stomach and began kissing and sucking his cock until it stood at attention once more. After Ellisif had worn him out, they talked about the trading to be done and shopping to be done in the next few days.
For those wondering where I find some of my information… http://www.valhs.org/index.html