In which we meet the protagonist for the first time, and where we get a hint to his character. (I.e. a bit of a prat, and a sap!)
Weedsley drifted upwards through the last soft clouds of sleep and opened his eyes. The first dappled rays of sunshine were falling on the canvas of his tent, filling the small space with warm light that shivered with each breath of air that whispered through the trees outside. The tent was light and airy, kept warm but not suffocating by a refreshing zephyr of morning air. He felt the hairs on his legs and and chest move with the ebb and flow of it, savouring the sensation as the heat was lifted from his skin by the moving air. His morning erection was his only nexus of tension, but he dismissed its insistent nagging and heat, and listened to the whistling birds and their light hearted songs of territoriality and sex. A memory was tugging frantically on his mental sleeve, trying to get his attention, but he ignored it.
A shiver of relaxation passed through him and he smiled contentedly. Something was tickling his stomach, so he reached down to scratch it. His finger tips encountered something solid, rhythmic and apparently made of hair. He looked down at the increasingly fierce heat between legs and stomach to see a cascade of brown hair obscuring the view of his feet. The exasperated memory finally gave up all pretensions of politeness, threw up its hands, and jumped to the front of his brain.
The frenzied pink memory of the previous night came back in a rush, all flickering diffuse firelight and soft curves.
The elegant girl had met Sir Benedict’s party as they continued their meandering away from the Imperial Citadel. Benedict’s Knights Errant, chisel jawed fops to a man, had been suggestively polite as they had passed her. She had curtsied, swooning only slightly as Sir Benedict bent to kiss her hand from horseback, striking just the right chivalrous pose as he did so. Most saw this as a sign of a true hero, but as sole squire to the whole sorry crowd Weedsley saw how much nightly effort the good knight put into his image. He was undoubtedly handsome, in extremely good shape, and in specialised areas extremely intelligent. However his narcissism tended to clog up his normal human appetites until something aside from satiation was in the offing, such as the favour of a powerful woman, money, or fame. It was for this reason that Magda had come to him. Sir Benedict was her hero, she’d confided, but as a poor girl of middling stock she could not hope to be noticed by such a man.
“But you, Sir Quadrangal, you are not of noble blood, are you? You must be a warrior of great prowess to be Sir Benedicts bodyguard!”, she had said, coquettish smile on her delicate lips.
Squire 2nd class (on probation) Weedsley Quadrangal had nodded modestly, and informed her that he had served Sir Benedict’s house for some time in the same capacity as he now did, and that the noble gentleman depended on Weedsley a great deal, and that there were many things that Weedsley could teach the knight. Would she like Sir Quadrangal to show her?
He had had to admit, the girl was an eye opener. Her shy demeanour had evaporated with her clothes, but for all her obvious experience she had sung his praises as he lay, spent, in the tent as the fire burned low outside. He had smiled, drunk on hormones and platitudes and promptly fallen asleep.
His attention drifted inexorably back to the bobbing shadow below him, and remained so his shuddering conclusion. She looked up at him, mischief in her glittering blue eyes. She crawled up to him and kissed him on the mouth as he fell asleep once again.
Weedsley sat bolt upright, adrenaline doing the work of a cold dip in the river and a run around the clearing.
“Quadrangal! Come forth from that canvas whore house you call a tent! Quadrangal!”
He looked around with incremental levels of panic for Magda, his clothes, and then anything else he could cover himself with. All three missions inevitably failed. Left with little further choice, Weedsley crawled out of the low tent flap, and stood to attention, blinking in the mid-morning sun.
Sir Benedict, resplendent from the waist up in his armoured helm and chest plate loomed like a sparkly thunderhead over the naked squire. Weedsley looked down – he couldn’t help it, the suns reflection from the Knights white legs stole the show. All he wore from his waist down were a pair of short linens. His bare feet tapped an allegro beat of annoyance on the flattened grass.
Behind him could be seen the other knights errant similarly clad. Sir Bruno the Morose appeared to be wearing only his helmet, although mercifully not on his head.
“Care to explain, Quadrangal?”
“I couldn’t possibly, my Lord.”
“We appear to have been robbed, Quadrangal, and the only visitor to camp was last seen in a state of some undress leaving your tent. I am assuming she is no longer your guest?”
“No, my lord, I appear to have misplaced her.”, mutter Weedsley, looking around for signs of his recent conquest. No, he thought, his recent conqueror. Damn. He returned his gaze to the furious knight.
“Quadrangal, we cannot continue our journey like this. I have no… I mean, we can’t be seen in the…”
For the first time ever the knight appeared flustered. Weedsley stared his lords reddening face in astonishment. Sir Benedict made a mighty effort, and made an effort to stand even straighter – his breast plate seemed to puff outwards.
“Quadrangal, I deem this your fault! You will ride forthwith to the nearest town, and acquire supplies for our noble venture. To whit, one pair of platemail legguards.”
The other knights piped up.
“Cod piece, and chainmail tunic!”
“All of my armour, damn yer eyes!”
“Four sets of breeches, and my chainmail.”
“Breeches and mail tunic, greaves, short sword and boots”, muttered Sir Bruno dejectedly, before looking down and adding “And a new helmet.”
“Get riding, Quadrangal”, finished Sir Benedict, menacingly.