I followed Kalum up the dimly lit stone stairs to our chamber, distracted in turn by the shifting globes of his ass and the tiny yellow-green scale stuck to the back of his rubberized chain mail. Though no larger than a fish scale, in the gloom of the passage I could see that it still sparked faintly. I would tell him when we got back to our room while I helped him check for others, but I held my tongue just then. There was nothing to be done until it could be disposed of safely, and I knew Kalum was in no mood for conversation. So I focused on the more engaging sight: Kalum’s powerful, sweat-soaked body toiling up the stairs before me.Four weeks after our adventure with the Howle out on the western frontier, Kalum and I found ourselves on the edge of the great southern desert where the Guild had received a request to root out an infestation of lightning wyrms. Our charge was to destroy the creatures before they grew numerous enough to rise up as a plague – a ravenous horde that drifted with the wind and stripped the flesh from anything in its path.Killing lightning wyrms was a dangerous, grueling task, but in our case was made more arduous by the dragonlings’ choice of roost. They had been discovered in the old tunnels beneath Ahnt, capital city of Belialla, a small vassal kingdom on the edge of the Empire. Ahnt, it’s capital and most populous city, stood at the edge of the Sear, the desert that stretched endlessly across the southern reaches of the continent. In an effort to escape the blistering winds that scoured the region, the city’s inhabitants had spent generations tunneling directly into the bulbous rock formations that looked as if magma had been frozen in the act of bubbling up from the depths of the earth. The lower levels, ancient beyond memory, were narrow, oppressive and windless, and had been abandoned when the Beliallan tunnelers had learned to make better-ventilated dwellings. The forgotten lower tunnels made a perfect hiding place for the wyrms. When we reached our chamber on the second level of the inn we had adopted as our home base in Ahnt, Kalum unlocked the door and stepped forward. isvecbahis He stopped short when the door did not give before his palm. We’d chosen this inn because it was one of the oldest in the city and offered direct access to the ancient tunnels where, for each day of the last week, we had descended into darkness to hunt lightning wyrms. The accommodations themselves, however, were underwhelming and offered few creature comforts and a host of frustrations – like twisted door frames and immovable doors. Kalum stood unmoving for a long moment and from the rigidity of his shoulders I could tell he was wrestling with anger born of exhaustion. I winced when he suddenly threw his shoulder against the door, which shrieked and burst open. Still silent, I followed him inside after scanning the floor for scales that may have been shaken loose from his gear. Our room was small and spare, furnished only with a set of beds, a small table, and two chairs. I had also ordered two large basins and a set of water pitchers for washing, despite the innkeeper’s protestation at the waste. The fading light of the afternoon shone in through a skylight set between the beds, amplified by the white plaster of the walls.I closed the door with a shove and turned to watch Kalum. He leaned the handle of his hammer against the table then spread his arms before gesturing vaguely with one hand.”Commence your inspection,” he said, “if you would be so kind.” After hours of walking through ancient tunnels between chaotic encounters with flying electric serpents, I wanted nothing more than to sit and rest, but I went to Kalum without a word. All day he had been swinging a hammer at the sparking, snarling creatures, crushing however many of the beasts my castings uncovered. I would rest when we could rest together. Using a small magnet with a makeshift rubber handle, I searched for the scales and teeth that sometimes embedded themselves in Kalum’s gear after an explosive blow from his hammer sent them showering down around him. I found only three. I dropped them into a ceramic tumbler on the table and poured a handful of sand isveçbahis giriş over them. Unable to leech energy from living flesh, they would spend the last of their energies overnight and become inert. “All clear,” I said, patting Kalum on the back.Kalum grunted and let his arms fall to his side. After a moment he raised them again with an exhausted sigh. “Help me out of this thing. Cut it off if you have to.” “Yes, majesty,” I said, helping him lift the rubberized chain mail up over his head. The thin linen shirt he wore beneath it was soaked through with sweat and plastered to his skin. I stood and watched him for a moment as he set about divesting himself of the rest of his gear, then began stripping down to his small clothes. “I will not miss this furnace of a kingdom,” Kalum said, letting his sodden clothes fall to the floor.”Mm,” I said, wanting to peel out of my own gear, but loath to look away from that perfectly muscled form as Kalum worked free of his clinging garments. When he bent to push his breeches to his feet, then struggled to step out of them, I suppressed a sigh of appreciation at the sight of those powerful legs and his muscular ass twisting and straining. His small clothes were the last to go. They clung to his ass like a second skin and he thumbed them down his thighs with impatience. When they fell to his feet, he walked out of them and stepped toward the basin he had claimed as his own. My dick lurched as I watched. I glanced away when he knocked the lid of the basin, stepped into the warm water that filled it halfway, and turned to face me. “Get out of that shit before you melt and go do your thing with the water,” he said. He nodded at the table and the covered pitchers, then sat in the basin with his arms on his knees. I rolled my eyes and began to undress. Kalum’s encounter with the sweltering heat of Ahnt had transformed his attitude toward nudity from casual indifference to strident advocacy. He refused to wear anything while we rested in our room and he had accused me of prudery until I relented and joined him. I’d had no objection to his exhibitionism, but isveçbahis yeni giriş I had worried at first that, given the painfully obvious effect he had on my body, he would begin to wonder at my near-constant state of arousal. Fortunately, he noticed the effect but seemed unconcerned about the cause. “I don’t know how you manage to remember all your castings,” Kalum said, looking pointedly at my hard-on as I laid my gear out to dry. “Don’t you get lightheaded with that thing pulling blood from your brain all day?” “It isn’t all day,” I said, walking to the table. I enjoyed the little exhibitionist thrill of Kalum watching my dick bouncing in front of me as I crossed the room.”All day, every day, seems like,” Kalum said, still watching me with almost clinical detachment. I shrugged, resisting the urge to reach down and give myself a little tug. Instead, I picked up one of the pitchers and moved to stand behind Kalum. “Make it cold,” he said, grunting the last word for emphasis.I smiled as I muttered the casting, repeating it until frost began to gather on the outside of the pitcher. Then, without warning or ceremony, I poured the pitcher out onto Kalum’s hunched back.He convulsed and gripped the edge of the basin. “Ho!” he shouted. When he caught his breath, he turned to glare up at me. “You fuck!” “You wanted it cold,” I said, dropping the pitcher lightly into his naked lap and turning back to the table. “I didn’t ask you to stop my heart, you shit,” he said.I jumped and made a shrill noise as a handful of slush pelted my naked back. “Fair enough,” I said, stepping to my own basin and muttering the casting once more. Over the next hour, I cooled the water in our tubs twice as we moved in and out of casual conversation and Kalum’s mood improved. When he finally stood and began to pace the room I admired him as he let the desert air pull the excess water from his skin. “I think you were right,” he said after a while. He stood with hands on his hips by the table, looking down at the little ceramic tumbler that held the scales I’d plucked from his gear. “One more nest of the squirming little monsters to clear out. Maybe two. Then we can go the fuck home.” “Mhm,” I said, gazing at the impressive length hanging between Kalum’s legs. Despite being bathed in chill water for nearly an hour, it still hung a significant way down his thigh.