Chapter Eight: Cleansed

As Baronk pulled back to thrust his entire length into him, Samson squeezed his eyes shut, waiting for the inevitable pain. Then . . .

"RARRRRGHHHH!"

Samson's eyes snapped open with a gasp.

Dalthu?!

It was true. The golden-eyed warrior was charging toward them with an expression so murderous that even Samson felt a bolt of terror in his belly. He felt Baronk's arm jerk in alarm. Taking advantage, Samson relaxed his body, allowing gravity to pull him out of Baronk's grasp.

Samson looked up and saw Baronk's gray eyes widen as he realized he'd lost his prey. He was left completely unbalanced when Dalthu tackled him. Samson watched in mesmerized horror as Dalthu and Baronk grappled with each other on the ground, both punching whatever they could.

A small hand on his shoulder pulled him out of his trance. Ulam, the little orc child, had come back.

"Come on," the orcling insisted, tugging his arm. He eyed the two battling orcs warily. "It's not safe here."

Samson half-crawled while Ulam half-pulled him, offering soft encouragement.

"Just a little further," he said. "The rest are coming—"

Samson didn't have to wait long to find out what he meant by "the rest." The air filled with shouts and exclamations as a crowd of burly orcs swarmed into the alleyway and surrounded Dalthu and Baronk.

"Hey, Dalthu! Wait!" "Stop—" "Let 'im go Baronk!" "What were you thinking—" "Grab him!"

A morbid curiosity filled him as Samson slid back toward the fray. From his low viewpoint, he could see patches of wet, red grass and dirt.

Whose blood is it? Dalthu's?

One of the orcs stepped back suddenly and nearly crushed Samson's head. Ulam repeated that they should leave, and this time, Samson allowed himself to be pulled completely away.

It was like entering another world as they emerged from the alleyway. Where the quiet alley had been dark and confining, the village square was bright and open. Samson didn't see the group of captives he'd arrived with. Instead, he saw a familiar orc with two black braids bounding over to him.

"Goddess," he growled, looking both relieved and furious. "We'd been looking all over for you. If it weren't for Ulam—"

He stopped, looking past Samson. Samson turned and saw Dalthu, his face and hands bloodied, emerging from the dark alley.

His eyes . . .

The orc's now-black eyes locked onto Samson's and he stalked toward him, holding Samson captive with his gaze. The braided orc stepped swiftly up to Dalthu.

"Easy now," he said lightly. "Don't want to scare him, do you?" His voice was pitched low and had a soothing musicality. It reminded Samson of his father. Once when one of their horses had spooked, he'd used the same voice to calm it down.

But Dalthu was not a spooked horse. He was a raging bull. His lips pulled back into a snarl. "Get out of my way . . ."

"No," said a small voice. It was Ulam. His hand was outstretched, and while Samson could see his hand trembling, his voice didn't waver. "Don't come any closer, Zau'Opash."

The words meant nothing to Samson, but for Dalthu it was like he'd been slapped. He froze, finally breaking his gaze from Samson. He glared down at the defiant orcling.

"What will you do, foshnu?"

Ulam blinked rapidly but didn't drop his hand. "I will keep my honor."

If the words before had been a slap, these were a punch to the gut. Deflated, Dalthu sank to his knees.

The braided orc let out a roar of laughter. "Goddess Dalthu, I almost pissed myself when I thought you were going to have a go at me," he pointed at Ulam, who doggedly still had his hand up, "and you take the knee for an orcling."

"Shut up, Shakil," Dalthu growled. He then, more gently, addressed Ulam. "Stand down, little one. I am recovered."

Ulam dropped his hand in obvious relief.

"Someone should tell the elders what has happened," Shakil said, still chuckling to himself.

"I'll go." Dalthu stood up and patted the orcling on the head. "I am indebted to you, rog-vokak."

Ulam blushed, but stood straighter as he asked, "Then, may I have a favor?"

"If it is within my power, I will grant it."

"It is actually a favor from your mate."

Dalthu's eyebrows shot up, but he motioned for Ulam to continue.

Ulam cast a shy glance over at Samson, all bravado forgotten. "C-could you . . . would you still fix my sword?"

************************

After Dalthu left to meet with the village elders, Samson had shown Ulam (and Shakil, who had been sneaking looks over his shoulder) how to use the charcoal, water, and sap to make a strong adhesive. The orcling was now swinging the newly repaired sword enthusiastically over his head.

"One day," he said, shouting with each swing, "I will be properly blooded within the hoard."

"You will be a mighty warrior, I'm sure," Samson smiled. The little orc stopped swinging and turned seriously to Samson.

"And then I will go seek my own mate." Ulam took Samson's hand in his own. "I hope I will find someone like you."

Samson looked down at the small, earnest face. He couldn't imagine Ulam taking part in the barbarism of kidnapping. Overcome, he pulled the orcling into a tight hug. When he released him, Ulam's eyes were wide.

I must have startled him.

"Oh, I'm sor—"

"When I'm bigger, I'm going to steal you."

Before Samson had a chance to respond, Shakil picked up the orcling and threw him over his shoulder.

"Oy, what are you saying? What happened to honor and all that?"

"Put me down!"

"What is going on?" Dalthu had returned.

"Apologies, me and the wee one were just leaving." Shakil gave a short nod to Samson and strode off with Ulam still shouting and kicking. Samson and Dalthu watched them walk away in silence.

"I thought I told you to stay—"

"I'm sorry," Samson sniffed. Now that they were alone, he was imagining what would be happening right now if Dalthu hadn't arrived when he did. "I'm sor—" his voice broke and tears rolled down his face.

Dammit Samson, get ahold of yourself.

Two large arms wrapped around Samson, encasing him in a cocoon of warmth. It smelled like blood and sweat and . . .

Dalthu.

"When I couldn't find you—" Dalthu started, but couldn't find the rest of the words. Samson couldn't see his face, but felt the orc's body tense. Dalthu shrugged helplessly.

"Dalthu, I—"

"We should go." The orc strode away a few paces and then stopped, keeping his face turned away from Samson.

Realizing the orc was waiting for him, Samson hurried to his side, knowing that for now it was the safest place for him to be. He cleared his throat as they made their way through the village.

"Where are we going?"

************************

They entered what looked like an enormous mead hall. There were no windows inside, but the room was still bright, lit with many lanterns that gave off a warm green glow.

In the center of the room was a large stone bathing pool. The water was steaming and looked inviting. The sides of the pool were lined with colorful glass bottles filled with strange liquids.

Dalthu stood in front of Samson.

"Disrobe," he ordered.

Samson looked warily at the bathing pool. "Why?"

"All breeders must be groomed before being presented."

Groomed? Presented?!

"What? No, wait, I—mmph!"

His objection was cut off as his tunic slipped over his head. Dalthu stepped back and ran an appreciative gaze over Samson's nakedness. Heat rushed to Samson's cheeks, and he covered his manhood with both hands. He could feel the orc's gaze traveling over his body, almost as if he were actually touching him.

"What?" he asked, turning his back to the orc. "Why are you looking at me like that?"

"Am I not allowed to admire what is mine?" Dalthu countered, approaching softly. Samson shuddered as he felt the heat from the orc's body against his back.

Samson's nipples had pebbled and were now strutting out shamelessly.

It's the cool air. That's the reason why.

He risked a glance up at Dalthu. The orc's muscles were highlighted by the shadows cast in the candlelit room, and the flames reflected in his golden eyes danced brightly. Samson had to admit that Dalthu was a fine specimen.

For an orc.

"Do you like what you see?" Dalthu asked as he grinned wolfishly at Samson, who whirled away, his heart pounding.

Since when does he have a smile like that?!

"N-no . . . of course not."

"What did I tell you about lying, little tiger?"

Samson yelped as Dalthu's hands swiftly uncovered his sex, revealing his stiffening cock. Samson sputtered an excuse, but it fell on deaf ears. Dalthu scooped him up into his arms and stepped into the bathing pool until they were both submerged in the warm water.

It was luxurious. Hot baths were hard to come by in his village, and Samson was reveling in this unexpected treat. He couldn't help his whimper of indulgent pleasure as warm water splashed over his body.

Dalthu picked up a small brush and a green bottle of oil. "Hold still," he ordered. Samson didn't need to be told twice. He was in heaven. Dalthu took the brush, poured some oil on it, and proceeded to scrub Samson's shoulders.

God . . .

Samson couldn't lie. It felt glorious. He could feel the stress of the past few days sliding off him with each gentle pass of the soft bristles. Dalthu had chosen an oil scented with lavender, rosemary, and mint. The scents mingled and soothed his mind and body, the mint leaving a pleasant prickling sensation. The oil lathered and slid down his chest and he let out a contented sigh.

"Does this please you?" The orc's voice was uncharacteristically soft.

Samson hummed his approval.

"Is this the way to earn your obedience?" Dalthu teased. "Should I reward you with baths?"

"Actually, that's the best idea you've had," Samson chuckled. He felt Dalthu freeze and for a moment he was worried he'd actually offended him. He began to apologize ("a stupid joke!") when Dalthu shook his head.

"That's the first time I've heard you laugh," he said.

Before Samson could respond, the brush slid over his nipples, and, before he could stop himself, Samson let out a moan. He clapped his hands over his mouth, but it was too late. Dalthu grinned and scraped the brush over his nipples again. And again. Back and forth . . . back and forth. Samson whined but remained still. A strange sensation was building up between his legs.

Dalthu worked on Samson's nipples, teasing them with the brush and rubbing them with oil. Samson squirmed and wiggled. Dalthu gave up the brush and replaced it with his hands. He rolled the tips of his fingers across Samson's now-swollen nipples, rubbing them in circles and pinching them, leaving Samson gasping for air and his dick begging for release.

He was not alone. Dalthu's breath was quick and noisy, nearly grunting. His eyes glazed over, looking drunk. Dalthu pushed Samson onto his back on the pool's edge with his legs dangling into the pool from his knees down. Dalthu pushed his legs open and slid his body between them.

"Lean back."

Samson obeyed and Dalthu began to fondle his prick. Samson felt the warm water and soap rubbed slowly over his sex. He could feel the suds beginning to form.

"I think it's time now."

"T-time?" Samson could barely form a thought, seduced by the orc's ministrations and the perfumed bath water.

"To clean you inside."

"Inside . . . inside?" Dalthu brought out an instrument. It looked like a tube attached to a bladder filled with water. Realization hit Samson like a bucket of ice water. "Wait, what are you—"

"I am going to remove every trace of others from your body. Now, show me your ass."

To be continued . . .

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