"What is with orcs and bars, it's so stereotypical by now," Matilda asks me. I glance over at her with a smirk.
"Just like how stereotypical that the waitresses at these orc infested bars are normal curvy and busty," I hip check her.
Matilda looks down at her cleavage," can't help that. Men around here respond nicer to us thick ladies."
"Damn straight," Ed down the bar says. He is an old Dwarf who has been here every Saturday night since the place opened.
"See, they just have good taste," Matilda laughs.
"need another one Ed," I glance down the bar. He looks over then taps his almost empty tanker to the table. I walk over and refill his mug. Handing it back to him with a wink.
"Oh the fairest of them all," he stares dreamily," what I wouldn’t give to be 20 years younger. I could give you a run for your money."
I roll my eyes," Always the charmer Ed. Could talk a cobra out of a basket." he laughs before chugging his beer. I give a grin before turning back to the crowd.
For a Saturday it was fairly slow. The crowd was dispersed at their own tables. A few Elves talking beside the hearth. A group of miner dwarves singing near the back wall. Then near the door is a small cluster of orcs. Seen them a few nights but not enough to get to know them. It’s a nice night, going to get some good tips from those nearly piss drunk dwarves.
A little while later as the crowd dwindles the door opens. Ringing the small bell above the frame. I glance up from the bar I'm wiping down. Its another orc, a little smaller than the rest. He takes a booth seat near the opposite corner of the door. He rests his head against the wall and relaxes.
"You think he will be the last of the night," I ask Matilda. She glances to where I'm looking.
"Probably, hasn’t been that busy today. You don’t mind taking him right," she asks," I still have to check the kegs in the back. Ritz wants them recounted before he orders another batch."
"Yeah sure, just holler if you need help," I wipe my hands on the rag. I look back over to the orc, noticing how tired he looks. I can't imagine why he would come to a bar if he was so exhausted.
I walk over to him, stopping by his table. He looks at me with his head tilted back. At the closer look, I can't help but notice he is handsome. Orcs have never been my type, always loud and boisterous. But he seems like an anomaly. I could be wrong, he is tired.
"Would you like something, got food or beer. Can't ask for much more than that," I try to joke. It works a bit, he huffs with a curt smile.
"Just an ale please," he grumbles. I nod then head to the bar. Grabbing his drink then delivering it to his table. He takes a quick swig but leaves it on the table after. Closing his eyes and resting against the wall. I leave him to it, deciding to clean up the taps so I won't need to do them later.
Watching the orc out the corner of my eye I don’t notice the door open again. It isn't till someone knocks on the bar top do I acknowledge the two who walk in. looking up I immediately notice they are elves. The damn cocky bastards, never much cared for them.
"Hello, I want a honey mead," the one at the bar asked. I nod, glancing at the second one who is looking over his shoulder. As I pour the drink the second one bumps the first with his elbow. Nodding towards the orc in the corner. My defenses go up. Elves and orcs generally don’t get along. I could be wrong, I hope I'm wrong. They could just recognize an old friend. But I highly doubt it.
I hand him the mead and he passes me some coin. I take it but don’t look away as the two walks over to the lounging man. The first elf places his hand on the table, startling the orc awake. There are a few words but I can't hear from back here. I turn around the bar's end. Skirting around the edge of the room, acting like I'm cleaning by the hearth.
"-same idiot who took our kill. Can't figure you still have it," the second one says. I keep my head low and listen. Not wanting to jump to conclusions.
The orc grunts, leaning on his forearms. Cupping the mug in his large hands as he tries to ignore the two. That just pisses the elves off more.
"Answer me when I'm talking to you," the second slams his hands on the table. The cup rattles loud as its jostles in the orc's hands. A few patrons on the opposite end look over. Probably expecting a show soon.
"He probably too stupid to answer. Just a big ugly troll," the first one jokes. I don’t much care for that.
"Some bloodthirsty idiot who can only steal kills then get piss drunk with the money he takes from em," the second on laughs," perhaps we can take the coin off you. Just a fair trade for the meat you stiffed us." the orc growls but keeps his head low.
"So hand over the purse and we will be on our way," the first one leans over the table and tries to grab something off the orc. The orc gives a wide swing, knocking the elf's arm away. In second the elf pulls his sword out and points it at the orc. Aiming it towards his throat. The orc tilts his head away from the blade and sneers at the man.
Without much thought on my part, I run over. I've been working here for well over two years and I've never done something so rash. I'm not sure if it's from the spite of the situation or just cause it seemed unfair. But I still walk over, grab the arm of the second elf. Pull him towards me as my fist connects with his nose. It’s a satisfying feeling, at first. I can almost understand why men do this so often. There is something so pleasing about punching your anger out. It isn't until I feel the immediate pain that I realize why men are perhaps dumb. That fucking hurt.
"You little wench," the second one grabs his nose. Blood streaming between his fingers. Alright, that’s also very satisfying. I'll give men a little bit of slack then. The pain may be just a little worth it to see this idiot's nose bleed. A grotesque satisfaction.
"I'll have your head," the first one lunges forward. Before he can raise his hand to me the orc reaches out and grabs his neck. Standing away from the booth I can admire his height. He is tall.
"You will do no such thing," the orc sneers. Growling inches away from the now choking elf. He tries to snarl out some insult but he cants over the crushing of his throat.
"Don’t kill the lad," I rest my hand on the orc's arm," don’t want to kick you out or lose my job. The pasty twit is hardly worth it." the orc's arm twitches, straining as he grips the elf a little harder. Then he let go, the elf falling onto his knees. It’s a bit poetic to see him kneeling in front of the orc.
The second one still clutching his nose slaps at the first one shoulder," let's go." quickly the two run out the door, the Dwarves laughing as they retreat.
"Quite the hit there las," one of them tips there drink to me," he will be feelin' that for a while." the lot laughs along with him.
"Damn hope so, the man had a strong skull. Might be feeling that for while," I lift my hand. A bruise already blooming over my knuckles.
The orc beside me turns and grabs my hand. I wince but say nothing. He looks it over and sneers.
"Sorry," he grumbles," but you shouldn’t have stepped in. was a foolish thing to do."
I glare up at him," it didn’t look like you were going to do anything. And most people say thank you." I snatch my hand away from him.
"Why would I thank recklessness? It was a stupid thing you did," he growls.
"Stupid like you sitting there taking it? Excuse me for taking care of my patrons," I snap back," you enjoy your ale, sir. I will leave you be for the night." I turn, cradling my hand to my stomach. I stomp to the bar, throwing a small tantrum as I aggressively clean the bar. I don’t even glance back at the orc. If he wants to be ungrateful then let him be.
He leaves shortly after, leaving some coin on the table before he does. When I go to collect it I'm shocked its a gold coin. Well, that is unexpected.
Sunday night is slow, its no surprise. Tomorrow is a working day so the later it gets the fewer people are here. Tonight is generally used for deep cleaning. Doing the weekly chores like running the line or clearing the drains. It's going to be a boring night.
As I'm polishing some tankers I hear the bell ring. I turn towards the door and shocked to see the orc from yesterday. I guess this is the only pub in town but I can hardly imagine he would want to see me. Maybe he thought I wasn’t working tonight. That thought leaves when he walks towards me. He grabs a stool from the bar and sits.
"One ale please," he grunts out. I cock a brow, watching him as I grab his drink. Passing it along the bar. He grunts in thanks before taking a chug. Banging the tanker to the table when he gets his fill. He wipes his chin with his large arm then looks down at me. "Thank you for yesterday," he grumbles then leaves the bar. Dragging his drink along with him as he sits at the booth he was at last night. We'll alright.
The night progresses uneventfully. He sits in his corner, our eyes catching a few times when I look over. I continue cleaning. After about an hour he gets up and leaves. Once he is out the door I walk over to the table to grab his payment. It’s silver this time but there is also a small figurine. It’s a wolf carved from bone. The creature is sitting down, its tail hanging beside its legs. It's not badly made either, it is just a little larger than my palm. I pocket the gift and return to work.
The rest of the week repeats like this. He comes in orders a drink, then sits at his booth. The seat is never taken, the weekdays being slow. Only regulars come in, mostly older folks. He sits for about an hour then leaves. Dropping his coin and a gift. Some days it was a carved figure. Made from either bone or wood. Once it was a carving attached to a chain. The head of some creature I'm not familiar within the center of the necklace. Like before I pocket all of them. I take them home and set them on my bed frame.
On Friday he comes in like clockwork. Coming to the bar I'm already making his drink. I set it on the counter when he nears.
"Ale, don’t try to trick me today," I try to joke. Despite our rocky start, I've been kind to him. He doesn’t seem to enjoy our conversations. Always grunting in response then going to his table. I still try.
He pays my joke no mind but glances at my chest," your wearing it?"
I look down at the necklace he left me," Yea, I thought it was cute." he grunts, a start of a smile on the corner of his mouth. Then he turns and sits back at his table. That’s the most I've gotten out of him all week. Not much of a conversationalist, but I still enjoy the gifts. I consider them his apology. From the little, I know of orcs I know they are honor-bound individuals. I guess these little figures are tokens of his appreciations. I'll be a little sad when he stops.
Matilda walks over to my side, patting my shoulder." He here again," she nods to the orc," think we got ourselves a new regular? Maybe you should punch people more often," she laughs.
"Maybe I should, here I thought they came in because the drinks were cheap and the staff is cute," I joke.
"Anyway, can you help me move the barrels back there, I think one is leaking," she walks towards the backroom. I follow her. She points to the large puddle of brown liquid.
"Yep, no good," I mutter.
We together roll some of the barrels away. Struggling with the ones that were stacked. Before I could reach over and grab another I see a dark green hand beat me to it. Gripping the lip of the barrel and lifting it with ease. I turn around and see the orc. He guides the barrel to the side, setting it down gently.
"Damn, your boyfriend is strong," Matilda teases. I don’t bother glaring at her. I look at the orc and cock a brow.
"what are you doing back here," I ask.
"Helping," he grunts. He then grabs another barrel and guides it away from the growing puddle. We finally see the one with a bit of splintered wood at the top. The ale is pouring from the crack, dripping all over the floor.
"What a waste," I grumble. The orc grunts in agreement.
"Gotta grab some containers, see if we cant save it," Matilda looks around the room. She spots some large buckets in the corner. She flips them upside down, clearing out the debris.
"Wash that out first," I shout before she can bring it over. She rolls her eyes then heads out the back door to the well. I look over to the orc when she leaves. "Don’t mind helping a little more, don’t think I can tilt that by myself," I point to the barrel. He grunts. I'll take that as a yes.
Matilda returns a moment later. With the orc's help, we pour the leftovers into the bucket. The task made easier with his help. Its very kind of him to lend a hand. I know we could have figured something out but it's just simpler when someone has blind strength.
I leave Matilda to clean up the mess as I walk the orc back out to the main room. "Thanks for helping, really appreciate it," I pat his back," also for the figurines. Did you make them yourself?" I try to start a conversation.
"Yes," he answers shortly. I wait for him to add more, he doesn’t,
"Alright, well for your help how bout a drink on the house," I offer. His lips quirk again but not yet a smile.
"ok," he walks with me back to the bar. I fix his drink, passing it to him with a smile.
"I have to get back to work but thanks again," I pat his hand," don’t mind if I ask your name?" he focuses on our hands. I feel awkward, maybe he doesn’t like that. I slide them away but he snatches it before I get too far. Holding his hand over mine.
"Azhug," he grunts. I almost don’t catch it, too focused on us. It’s a simple touch but I can't help but stumble over my thoughts.
"I'm Emma," I answer," I need to get back to work." before I can retreat my hand he lifts it. Bringing it to his lips where he gives a quick peck.
"It's nice to meet you, Emma," he looks directly at me. I stare wide-eyed, lips parted. My heart stutters and my thoughts run away. Before I can say something stupid he drops my hands and walks away. Taking his drink to his booth.
I take a second to come back to now. Blushing as I try to think of what I should be doing.
The weekend passes and the week is introduced. When I come in on Monday I see Azhug already in. he is behind the bar screwing around with something. I head over and lean against the bar top. Pushing on my toes to see what he is doing. He startles when he notices me, recovers quickly. Messing with the shelf against the wall. All the harder liquors are on the table and he is changing the board.
"Whatcha doing Azhug," I ask. He drops his head, sighing before turning around. "I didn’t mean to bother you," I quickly add.
"No bother, just like hearing you say my name," he corrects.
I cock a brow," Is that right Azhug?"
"Yes," he looks me up and down. I feel a chill run up my spine. If I didn’t know any better id assume he was flirting, just a little bit.
"good to know, butter you up some when I need anything," I take to teasing.
"Don’t need to do that, just ask for anything," he raises a brow. His lips quirking just a bit. What I wouldn’t give to see him smile.
"Anything," I lean against my arms. Perking my chest a bit. I grin when I catch him peaking for a second.
"yes," he grunts.
"Then I want to know what you are doing," I lean back, standing straight. He huffs, his shoulders losing some tension I didn’t notice he had.
"Fixing the shelf," he points behind himself.
"I got that much, why are you fixing it," I reiterate.
"Was going to break, I asked Ritz if I could fix it for you," he answers.
"Fixing it for me," I tilt my head," don’t see how I benefit too much from this." he turns away from me and continues his work. I assume he isn't going to answer but he surprises me.
"Didn’t want you to get hurt," he finally answers," could break and fall while you are here."
I watch his back as the shirt is pulled a little taunt when he raises his arms," well that’s kind of you." he grunts in acknowledgment and continues working. I figure it’s the end of the conversation so I head on to the back to get ready for work.
The week goes about similar to that day. He is around fixing things in the bar. Having short conversations with me when I ask what he is up to. They are pleasant conversation but always short. Azhug isn't much of a conversationalist. With all the tasks he is getting done I just hope he is getting paid properly. I know Ritz can be a cheap son of a bitch.
As the week comes to an end on Thursday I see the usual group of orcs walk in. loud as always, a strong contrast to Azhug's personality. I walk over to them and take their orders.
"Hello boys, what will you all be having," I grin at the group.
"All have a pint of ale, don’t know why you bother asking. We aren't very original," one laughs.
"I don’t know, I'm feeling the mead this time," another ponders," Nah, ale hits the spot better." the group chuckles at him.
"Say where is that heavy-hearted lad at, I don’t see him," one of them looks over to the bar.
"Who you asking about," I look where he is looking.
"The lad who is courting you, I had a question about something," he looks back at me. I squint at him confused. Who is courting me?
"I'm not sure I know who you are referring to," I answer.
He looks at me like I'm dumb," the less bulky looking orc. The one who has been all over you for the past two weeks. Are you daft?"
"Azhug? No, he isn't courting me. Man can barely keep a conversation with me," I huff at myself. They don’t think it's so funny.
"Believe me, Emma, he is courting you. Shouldn’t be too long before he lifts you on his shoulder and takes you off to wear your thighs like ear muffs," he laughs. My face immediately gets red. I look away from the group, hiding my face from them.
"what are you doing," I hear someone say from behind me.
"Its lover boy himself. I didn’t see you back there, fixing something for the lass in the back I'm assuming," the loud one greets Azhug. I turn and see him glaring at the orc. I startle when he hand holds my waist, pulling me back against him.
"No need to get so taunt, we aren't trying to steal her away," another orc calls from down the table.
"Yea, we just educating her on our culture. Say, when are you sweeping her off her feet. Can't imagine you are too far away from that," a different one calls. Azhug sneers at the group. His hand sliding over my stomach, my back flush with his front.
The room gets tense as Azhug glares at the party of orcs. Seeming to stake his claim in front of them all before leaning down towards me.
"Sorry," he mumbles. He then turns with me and guides me back to the bar. Leading me around the table and letting go when we are near the drinks. I can faintly hear the group laughing behind us.
"What was that about," I ask as I fix the party's drinks.
"Nothing, they are just teasing," he glares over me. I snap my fingers in front of his face, catching his attention.
"I don’t think they were just teasing," I look between his eyes," answer me honestly. Are you courting me?" he squints down at me, trying to figure out a way to deny it.
"yes," he grunts. He remains tense, waiting for my response. His fists are clenched and his shoulders taut. I can't help but admire the way his arms flex. The muscle tempting and alluring. Azhug is surely an attractive man.
"Ok, good," I answer. He looks transform to shocked, a little confused.
"What, really," his mouth quirks.
"Yea, I think you could be a good mate. I just need you to talk more," I grin," can't keep a conversation with just myself. Think you can do that?"
He nods," I can do that."
"then alright. Court away," I flourish my hand," but can you explain it to me first."
"Yes, I can do that. Uh, courting happens in parts. Gifts, actions, then taking. I gave you the gifts I made, you took them. Then I'm supposed to help fix up your home or our future home. I don’t know where you live and didn’t want to scare you. So I'm helping the pub. Then finally I take you," he explains. This is the most I've heard him speak in one go. It's nice.
"Take me, like what," I tilt my head.
"Sex," he answers bluntly," we make love. Its where we claim each other and are official." I can't help the blush.
"When does that happen?"
"two days," he takes a step forward. He rests his hands on the bar behind me. Trapping me between himself and the table. He leans down near my ear," I will take you, going somewhere I choose. I'll show you how I will treat you for the rest of our lives. Make you cum as much as possible before reaching my own end. Learning your body as intimately as I can. I will worship you, love you like no one ever before. That is what will happen in two days because you have accepted my courtship. You will be mine Emma and I will be yours."
He leans back and looks upon my red face. I'm biting my lip and damn near whimpering. I know I'm wet, his deep voice having rumbled through my chest. His hot breath on my ear as he whispered those dirty things. I think I might be excited about it now. This large handsome orc wishes to worship me. I can get behind that.
Glancing up at his face I can see a large smile. Its everything I thought it would be. It's an amazing look for him. His eyes slightly crinkled as his cheeks are pulled up. His tusk protruding proudly and his other teeth visible. I can't help it, I cup his face and stand on my toes. I give a quick kiss to his lips. I can feel him stop breathing.
"I can't wait," I peck him again.