Dawn brought the Dragon Boat to Abydos. They waited their turn navigating the narrow channel. When it was their turn, a young man dressed in not much more than a loin cloth waved at them from a small boat.
“Hail! You need pilot?”
Farulf looked to Ragnar. Ragnar nodded and waved the young man aboard.
“Darius,” he said pointing to himself.
“Angnar,” Ragnar said pointing to himself. The crew had decided in the night to give false names to anyone a few days ride from Miklagardr. They were still worried that the Varangian Guard would show up to haul them back to the Emperor.
“Where? Athens? Chandrax? Ephesus?” The young man pointed west and south.
Ragnar looked at Farulf with a shrug. Farulf shrugged as well. “Athens.”
Darius smiled. “I take you there. Ten solidus!”
The two men looked at one another. They knew it was excessive, but it was well within their means. Yet, Farulf dickered. “Eight.”
“Oh sir! I am the best pilot in this whole area. The rest are thieves that would sell their mothers or grandmothers to slavers for a goat! Worse yet, they’d take over your fine boat and sell you into slavery. Nine solidus.”
Farulf laughed. The thought of anyone taking over his boat made him smile. “Nine solidus and five numini.”
Darius smiled and held out his hand. “Deal.” Farulf took his hand and shook.
Five minutes later, the Dragon Boat was headed out to sea with Darius at the tiller with Ragnar.
Darius was amazed at the speed at which the Dragon Boat sailed. It took less than three days to travel the distance. He had expected them to anchor at a small island each night. Instead, they dropped the sails but did not anchor. One man always sat at the tiller. They steered by the stars as well as a sunstone. He realized that most of his skills were to point out which islands were inhabited and where there was good water or provisions. Myrina was one of the first stops. Darius was also surprised to find Ellisif aboard. He’d not seen a Varangian woman and was full of curious questions. While they danced across open waters, he asked question after question.
“You always live on this boat?”
“Why you no stay home?”
“Because fader wanted his family with him.” Ellisif was getting frustrated with Darius. He was like a puppy who wouldn’t stop barking.
“Does your man stay at home?”
“No. I’m right here.” Lothar had come up behind the young man silently. Darius screamed. That made everyone laugh. After that, Darius stopped asking so many questions.
When they reached Athens, everyone was ready for a soft bed and a bath. Farulf traded some of the amber he’d held back. He was amazed at the good price he got for it. Hadr and Tryggvi kept watch on the boat the first night.
“Goodbye Darius,” Ragnar said as they headed for the inn.
“Good… Goodbye.” Darius walked down the warf slowly. He kept looking back at the Dragon boat and it’s disappearing crew. When he reached the end of the pier, he sat down and swung his legs out over the edge.
Ellisif helped Olaf sit up. They had done their best to keep him clean on the boat, but it was good to be able to use as much sweet water as they needed. “Olaf, you stink!”
“I miss the jar. My left hand is no good.”
Lothar smiled. “I understand. Broke my arm once. Needed my mother to pull up my pants. Oh the pain of it.”
Olaf laughed. It felt good to sit up and stretch. His arm was healing. The bruises were purple blotches all down his right side. The swelling had gone down a bit too, which made him and Ellisif feel better. Once they got him cleaned up, they all went to the main room for dinner.
That night, Ellisif didn’t bother to dress after she bathed. She walked over to Lothar and helped him clean up. “I… want you.” Her voice was soft and husky with need.
Lothar bathed quickly and took Ellisif in his arms. He had wanted her in the last few days as well, but between the broken ribs and the crowded ship, it had been impossible. He lay on his back, to keep his ribs from hurting too much. Ellisif moved so that she took his cock in her mouth. He gasped and shuddered. She licked and sucked him until he pulled her by the shoulders to him. Ellisif straddled him and guided his cock deep inside.
“Ooh,” she moaned as her muscles wrapped around his cock. She rocked back and forth, feeling her body react to his. Lothar’s hands cupped her breasts and squeezed her nipples. Ellisif increased her pace and rode him harder. He gasped and moaned, then grabbed her hips and thrust up as hard as he could. His whole body screamed for sweet release. His balls twitched, gathered up and then his orgasm burst. Ellisif felt him go off, and her body responded in turn. Muscles clenching and the heat of emotion bubbling up her spine. Her orgasm wrapped around him so well, that he felt as if he was coming a second time. Slowly, they shuddered and then collapsed.
“You stole my bones, my body.”
She giggled. “You make me ache for the touch of your hand.”
He rolled to one side, and with his hand, tickled her clit until she cried out once more. As she shuddered her release, he spooned up behind her and they slept.