Elf Boy's Friends - V
Visitors to Elysion
Six months after their fight with the bandits the rangers switched patrol sectors once again. Aodh returned to Elysion while Brandon's cousins the fully human boys Garret and Lorn joined the half-elf at the cabin which left only three rangers at that post.
Madden Sexton and his full-elf colleague Dylan rotated along with Aodh to Elysion and took up quarters in the ranger post on the edge of the village and close to the manor. They looked forward to more of a social life than they had had in the isolated cabin at the foot of the mountains. The two of them got along well and were good friends but the elf fancied pretty boys while the wir wolverine consorted exclusively with the female half of the species. Social isolation was the reason the Forest Patrol intended to close the hunting lodge in favor of rented accommodations at a nearby wayfarers' inn, meals included.
In Elysion Madden's rugged good looks attracted the attention of the unattached females in the local population. Very much an alpha male, virile, outgoing, and a good conversationalist, the man was in his element, playing the field, bestowing his favors on one pretty young thing after another. Dylan's elvish good looks sparked the interest of more than a few local boys, but Dylan had bigger game in mind: the famous twins Jemsen and Karel. Dylan had a weakness for blond boys with brains. He had no time for the dull-minded.
Dylan knew that the twins would soon arrive for an extended visit. Aodh had offered to show Jemsen and Karel around the New Forest, as the exclave of the Great Southern Forest was called these days. It was one part of the Commonwealth the twins had never actually explored, and now it was magically alive, a hundred thousand square miles of green sentience though as yet only dimly self-aware.
The main section of the manor housed the Klarendes clan, Count Taitos Klarendes, his heir Artor and his younger son Ebron, his spouse Aodh plus the twins. The druids Dahlderon, Meirionnydd, and Owain occupied the formerly little used east wing of the manor which the count had turned over to them rent free. While Owain was of fully human stock, Dahl and Meirionnydd were elves though they had all met while Merry wore the form of a unicorn. The trio of lovers had the own chambers, offices, workshops, and dining room though they frequently ate with their hosts. The Order of Druids compensated the count for the services of his kitchens and stables and other facilities though the druids brought their own personal staff from their stronghold in the Great Southern Forest.
From time to time Count Klarendes invited Aodh's colleagues in the rangers to join the family and the druids for dinner. He very much enjoyed the stories Madden spun of his many adventures over the last three centuries. And if some of the tales sounded rather improbable, well that made them no less entertaining especially when related by as engaging a story teller as the wir wolverine.
"It's too bad Count Klarendes that your friend Drew Altair is on assignment with the Navy. I had rather hoped he would interview me for a book portraying my adventures."
"The book was my suggestion, Taitos," Aodh said. "a way for Madden to relate the mighty deeds which have contributed to his growing legend, as he puts it."
"Oh?" Karel said. "How is it that we have never heard of your legend? No offense Lord Sexton."
"None taken, youngling. The fact is that most of my exploits happened on the eastern continent of Karelia. Little wonder then that I am still so little known here in Valentia. Which is why I do not insist on the honorific titles that have been conferred upon me by grateful governments, so please just call me Madden."
"What honorific titles would those be?" Karel persisted.
"Very well young man. Know then that on formal occasions you should address me as Lord Madden Sexton, Earl of Drangiana, Baron of Osrhoene, Conquering Lion of Sogdiana, and Master of the Royal Hunt."
"That's a real mouthful!" Aodh grinned. "We ourselves all have titles though we seldom insist on their use. I myself am simply Sir Aodh of Llangollen and Elysion but my spouse is addressed in full as the Honorable Taitos Klarendes, Chief District Magistrate, Dispenser of the Middle Justice and the Low, Dwarf-Friend, Captain of Militia, Lord-Zamindar of Elysion, and Count of the Eastern March".
"And our good friends the druids have variations on 'Lord Dahlderon, Senior Adept of the Ancient Order of the Druids of Haven, Dwarf-Friend, Dispenser of the High, the Middle, and the Low Justice, and Stalwart of the Commonwealth'.
"Stalwart? Is that a military honor?" Madden asked.
"No," Klarendes replied. "It refers to the highest award for civilian service the Commonwealth can bestow. Lord Dahlderon devised a way for his fellow druids and magical Healers to enhance the vitality of valuable citizens like our war wizards and others with magical gifts or who otherwise had made important contributions to the Commonwealth. The twins and Drew Altair were among the first beneficiaries."
"And lest you overlook us," Karel added in a exaggeratedly orotund voice, "know gentles that you stand in the august presence of no less than Captains Sirs Jemsen and Karel, Twice Holders of the Military Cross for Valor, Elf-Friends, Dwarf-Friends, Giant Friends, Stalwarts of the Commonwealth, and Masters in the Honorable Guild of Cartographers."
Jemsen smiled at his brother's sonorous delivery. In these occasional duels of impressive titles Karel always laid it on thick.
"Gosh," Dylan complained, "All those capital letters while I don't have a single title to my name."
"Maybe not yet, my young friend," Taitos assured him, "but you have plenty of time to make your mark. As a long lived elf, you have centuries to collect all the capital letters anyone could wish. Believe me, our own titles are brief compared to those of nobles of truly ancient lineage. I once met a duke who was proud of his fourteen hereditary titles though I could not think why. It was not like he had earned them."
Dylan brightened, encouraged by Klarendes' assurances.
"Er, Madden, if you are a titled aristocrat, a man of means, why take a job as a forest ranger?" Jemsen asked.
"I do draw a comfortable income from my estates, but I seldom live there. As a predator, I am simply not cut out for the life of a gentleman farmer. No offense, Count Klarendes."
"None taken. Your feelings are much like those which send my spouse on walkabout from time to time."
"Indeed, which is why a job as a forest ranger appeals to both of us. And it pays well enough that I really don't have to draw on the income from my estates. In fact I am looking to invest large sums in some of the new industries and businesses that have sprung up here in the Commonwealth. I understand you yourself are an investor in iron roads, street cars, and this new refrigeration business. Perhaps you can give my some investment advice?"
"I'd be glad to, and I can also introduce you to leading men of affairs in the capital." Klarendes assured him.
"As for that book," Aodh added, "Drew Altair should be back soon. The naval campaign is going well according to his dispatches and official statements."
Drew Altair was on assignment as a war correspondent for the Capital Intelligencer reporting on the seizure of the Ashokan Archipelago in the southern reaches of the the Great Inland Freshwater Sea. Once secured the Ashokan Islands would become the staging area for a full-scale invasion of Amazonia or rather its liberation from the genocidal trolls. Together with the naval base in the Scilly Isles in the northern reaches of the sea, the Commonwealth would gain complete control of the sea lanes in the eastern half of the gigantic lake.
Dylan quickly bonded with his fellow hunters and woodsmen Jemsen and Karel. Dylan after all was an elf and the twins were elf-friends with all that implies: going around skin clad as often as possible, same gender sexual orientation, and a physical beauty beyond the norm. It wasn't just a case of sexual attraction though that was a big part of it. Dylan and the twins were just the same sort of people. And since they could looked forward to centuries of youth, they hoped theirs would become a lasting friendship.
The three youths certainly looked good together. Dylan was taller than the twins and darkly handsome with the glabrous skin, lissome build, and smooth musculature of his kind. Dark eyes twinkled over the killer cheekbones characteristic of his race. For their part the twins were a pair of palomino colts who exuded good health and sex appeal.
Between patrols Dylan and the twins liked to run over to the lakeside resort which had a splendid view of the scenic waterfall and the perpetual double rainbows its spray created overhead. Add in the reflections in the lake and you had a quadruple rainbow. You really could not stand under the cascade itself. The torrent was too powerful.
The lake water was pleasantly warm in the shallow coves and embayments but the main part of the lake was deep and cool. A rock ledge about twelve feet above the water was their favorite spot to dive from or rather to jump in, boulder style with a tremendous splash.
"That's not diving!" Dylan snorted then proceeded to demonstrate several graceful dives popular among the elves in his home vale. In one he stretched his arms out wide like the wings of a swan before closing his arms and knifing into the water. In another he did a forward somersault in the air, and in another he bent forward in mid air, hands reaching for his toes only to straighten out at the last second and slice cleanly into the water, feet slipping under the surface last.
"Now that is what I call diving!"
The twins insisted he train them to dive as he did. Anyone could see that fancy dives like those were splendid ways to show off the beauty and athleticism of the male form. Okay so maybe the sport of diving owed as much to sex appeal as to athletics, but it was a hell of a lot of fun and a great way to meet new friends and catch the eye of potential suitors.
At midday the resort offered a light meal which was called lunch in deference to the city folk for whom the main meal of the day was that served in the evening. To country folk, dinner came at noon or thereabouts and was the main meal with supper being a lighter repast of cheese, cold meats, salads, and fruits. Since the count owned the resort, everything was on the house.
Dylan was an inquisitive sort, always trying to expand his knowledge of people and places he might one day travel to. With a long life ahead of him he wanted to see and experience as much as he could of what this planet of theirs had to offer. For once then it was the turn of the twins to be plied with endless questions about the lands the had explored, traversed, mapped, and fought over.
"What's with Dylan and all those questions?" Jemsen asked his brother one time when they were alone.
Karel shrugged. "We are just getting a taste of our own medicine. Aren't we the ones who always say that questions are how you learn things not written down in books?"
The three youths sometimes made love outdoors though away from the resort buildings. The gardeners had planted lawns and mossy banks and built bowers and hidden nooks for the use of the honeymooners who were its chief customers. The twins were past masters of the amatory arts, having early on worked as rent boys to pay their way across the continent of Valentia in the company of the elf-boy, now druid, Dahlderon, the shapeshifter Aodh, and their mentor, the late Dread Hand of the Commonwealth Sir Balandur of Leinster.
Druidical healing magic had granted the twins perpetual youth and a life span of half a millennium or more, to match that of their friends the elves. The normal human lifespan was traditionally described as five score and ten though these days many humans expected to reach a full score beyond that. The really longest lived races on the planet of Haven were the Frost Giants who lived for a thousand years and wirs and druids who had no definite lifespan but lived till misadventure or foul play brought their days to a close.
All three youths were hard-bodied outdoor types: hunters, scouts, and rangers. Athletic and energetic and acrobatic, they made love with abandon, limbs entangled in all manner of positions, their slick sweaty bodies pressed together. As with the elves the twins' sweat glands cooled the skin but never exuded the oils that turned rancid and produced body odor. Hence the twins and Dylan always smelled sweet though they did taste salty.
Usually Dylan paired with the twins one at a time though sometimes they had a three way. The young elf knew that he was born for male sex. He craved the press of a male body against his own, rigid members trapped between their bellies, both boys giggling at their brazen naughtiness as they engaged in foreplay.
After a month, Dylan moved in with the twins in the main part of the manor. Madden did not mind. He now had the cottage all to himself and could entertain his lasses in complete privacy. Which was just fine with Dylan. The walls of the cottage were thinner than those in their old log cabin, which let the sounds of lusty sexual congress with Madden's female guests penetrate Dylan's own bedchamber, much to the young elf's dismay. Sex with a female? Ugh!
In Madden's case his bond with the twins was platonic, but the twins found him to be an engaging informant, someone they would ply with endless questions about the many lands he had explored, traversed, hunted, or fought in. Jemsen and Karel resolved one day to visit the eastern continent of Karelia themselves. After all hadn't the younger twin been named for it, at least indirectly, after some ancestor who came from there?
The twins went along on patrols to the New Forest. Already it had a different feel from other forests they had explored. Just beyond the bowl in the mountain which cradled the valley of Elysion, a dense hawthorn hedge marked its boundary. Far from being an impenetrable wall it was really a sign to visitors that the rules were different here. This was a wilderness and must always remain so. The hand of man would always lie lightly on the landscape. No logging, mining, farming, or settlements of any kind were allowed.
Already those sensitive to magic could feel the magical aura of the sentient forest, a half-sensed presence, vast, non-judgmental, and benign. Under the protection of the druids and the rangers this New Forest would in time become a component of a system of protected forests around the globe, preserving part of Haven as the wilderness it was before humans and the other races settled the planet.
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