U.o.t.W. Chapter 332 Cold Waters

  • After a few moments of staring at them, Vilkas called the Khajiit and Aela over.

    “Hey, Aela… Get your backsides inside. The Harbinger wants to see you both. Mainly to see that you’re both alive”.


    Aela snapped out of her trance then walked to the doors. She paused for a few seconds and drew a deep breath then walked inside. To her surprise, and somewhat to her relief, Sotek wasn’t there.

    “Where did he go?”


    Ri’saad and the Harbinger breathed a little easier as Kite walked timidly behind Aela, she stood there for a few moments then turned to Ri’saad. As she spoke, she felt her voice crack from her mouth feeling dry.

    “I’ll be at the camp”.


    Kul-et shot a look at Ebony then got up off her chair.

    “You can’t go because of that. Trust me, I went through the same sort of thing. Except with me it was Aela”.


    Ebony joined her friends’ side and pulled a chair out then called Kite over to the main table.

    “Come and take a seat, tell us about yourself”.


    Aela watched them for several seconds then called out to everyone, repeating herself.

    “Where is Sotek?”


    Sam, who was thankful he was well out of the way of it all, pointed towards the main door.

    “He went outside”.


    Aela watched the doors for a few seconds, half hoping Sotek would walk back inside. The other half of her though was dreading his return.

    “We’ve... We got to find him”.


    Kodlak nodded then sighed as he glanced at everyone in the hall.

    “Aela’s right. Farkas, Vilkas take the Whelps and search around. See if he went out the main gate, find him”.


    Everyone stayed where they were and eyed each other, waiting for someone else to say something. Eventually Kul-et stood up.

    “No, Harbinger, I’m sorry but we’re not going out there. You seen what he can do! I’m not going. I’m not trying to defy you; I’d never do that but. You are my Harbinger and I’ll do whatever you ask… We can’t face him… Aela terrifies me, I know it and so do you. But Sotek? Hell, I’d rather tell the Huntress off than run into him in this mood”.


    Aela gulped then held Kodlak’s arm.

    “She’s right, I have to. I’ll find him”.


    She walked over to the door then slowly opened it, but before she could step through Kul-et called out to her.

    “Oh, damn it all, wait up. Come on you lot, help. Kite, you as well”.


    As one the Companions and Whelps headed off to search around Whiterun, leaving Kodlak and Ri’saad alone in the hall. Kodlak pointed to the doors as he assured Ri’saad of Kite’s position within the Companions.

    “She’ll be ok. Sotek don’t hold his temper for long, nor does he bear grudges. She’ll be fine. Go back to camp. The others will look after her”.


    Ri’saad slowly nodded but then expressed his concerns.

    “I should have known it wasn’t him. I didn’t realize there are two Dovakiin’s”.


    Kodlak shrugged his shoulders in response.

    “Neither did we”.


    Over the next half hour, the Companions scoured the whole of Whiterun then met at the market. Aela checked with everyone as to where they looked just in case they all missed any areas within the city.


    Farkas pointed to the Inn and reported on his lack of success.

    “We checked the Bannered Mare, he’s not inside”.


    Upon hearing this, Aela rolled her eyes at him and Vilkas, cursing them both.

    “Where else have you checked?”


    Vilkas stepped back slightly as he watched Aela carefully.  

    “We checked the rooms and the kitchen. He’s not in the hall or near the bar”.


    Aela snapped instantly, at that point she could have throttled them both.

    “You only checked the Inn! That is the one place he won’t go, you morons”.


    Farkas yelled back at her, then joined Vilkas.

    “Hey, he’s your mate, not mine. I don’t want to find him with him in this mood. When he’s calmed down, he’ll come back”.


    Kite’s eyes opened wide with shock as she glanced back at Aela.



    Aela’s response was her typical heavy growl, but Kul-et took Kite by the arm and led her off.

    “They’re a couple. Yes, it’s a bit weird, but it makes sense with those two. Come on”. She then led Ebony and Kite along the streets behind the market as they resumed their search.


    Aela sat on a wall watching the others walk along the path then she started muttering to herself.

    Couple huh? It doesn’t feel like it at the moment. Damn you and your bloody temper. Oh, Sotek where the hell do you go to calm down?


    “What’s up?”


    Aela spun around and saw Adrianne walking towards her.

    “Oh, the usual, me and my temper. I can’t find Sotek, he’s disappeared.”


    Adrianne sighed then sat alongside her.

    “What happened?”


    Aela stared at the ground, inside she felt ashamed and angry with herself.

    “I erm, I smashed a bottle over his head”.


    Adrianne found herself stepping back slightly.

    “Oh Aela, you have to control that temper. What would your mother say if she were alive? Well, where do you go when you’re hot and bothered”.


    “She wouldn’t say anything, she’d give me a bloody good hiding and scream. She has a temper as bad as mine”. Aela quickly turned back to the steps as a thought entered her mind. “Hot?” She called out to the others then gave Adrianne a quick girly hug. “Oi you lot, get back to Jorrvaskr, I know where he is! Thanks Adrianne, I owe you”. She jumped off the wall then headed up the steps. The others followed her but then she continued up the stairway and headed for Dragonsreach. Kul-et just shrugged her shoulders and entered the hall.


    As Aela headed up the steps she stopped by the pool of water where she and Sotek swam in a few times. True enough by the rocks ten feet under the surface was Sotek sitting there, motionless. Aela looked over towards Jorrvaskr, then back at Sotek but in that short space of a few seconds, Sotek swam through the tunnel under the steps into the other section. Aela went to the edge of the second pond but of Sotek there was no sign, except for a puddle of water where he climbed out. Aela sighed heavily then headed back to the hall.


    As she headed off Sotek broke the surface of the water and watched her head inside.

    “You check for the exit, but there’s no wet footprints, oh Aela the huntress has lost her prey. Well I’m no one’s prey”. He then swam to the edge and walked over to the Skyforge where he resumed his blacksmithing. A few hours in the evening Kul-et and the other whelps entered the yard and were surprised to see Sotek working the forge. Kul-et went straight back inside and informed Aela and the Harbinger. “Sotek’s at the Skyforge, it looks like he’s working on his armour again”.


    Aela headed out in the yard, she intended to approach him but instead ended up just standing there in the centre of the training area watching him. He cast the odd glance down but blanked her and just carried on with his smithing. Later that night, the Whelps went to show Kite where she could rest but Aela stopped them in their tracks.

    “Stay here, sit down, you’ll have to wait. He’ll be in shortly I expect. I’m sorry but I need you to wait”.


    By midnight even the Harbinger was feeling tired. He looked over at Aela who was sitting on the step waiting for Sotek to return.

    “Aela, he could be out there for hours, you know that. Get some sleep, all of you”.


    Aela moved across the hall to where a pile of furs were. She then picked up an animal skin and wrapped it around herself before sitting back on the step as she watched the door.

    “I’ll wait a bit longer; he won’t be long”.


    As the others headed downstairs, Kul-et exited the rear doors. She walked over to the forge where Sotek still worked and sat alongside him, watching him hammer the scales.

    “She’s inside you know, waiting for you”.


    Sotek ignored her for a few seconds then quietly answered.

    “I know. She’s probably sitting on our step wrapped up in a fur as she watches the door”.


    Kul-et glanced down at the rear door.

    “How do you know that?”


    Sotek huffed slightly, he could feel Kul-et getting on his nerves but he held his temper in check.

    “Because Ku-et I know her, ok”.


    Kul-et nodded, she was quite happy seeing a perfect window so she went for it.

    “Then you would know she’s sorry. Don’t be a bastard, put her out of her misery. She had no right to hit you, but this isn’t right either. Don’t be that man.”


    Sotek stopped his hammering and tapped himself in the chest as he glared at her.

    “I’m not the bad guy here”.


    Kul-et got to her feet and turned to face him. She held his cheek in her palm as she gently turned his head to face her. Sotek’s head followed effortlessly having given no resistance. Kul-et pulled his head down then kissed his forehead, like she saw him do with Aela every so often.

    “I know you’re not. That’s why you’re going to put that hammer down, go in there and tell her you love her. Because you’re a good man and she needs you. Goodnight egg brother”. Then she turned away and headed inside.


    Before she got to the door, she smiled to herself as she heard the hammering stop then the dull metallic bang as the hammer hit the ground. Five minutes later Aela awoke as Sotek’s arm wrapped around her. She opened her eyes to see him watching her intently.

    “I’m sorry, I didn’t think. I was so...”




    Aela shook her head and tucked it into Soteks chest.

    “Stupid, I was stupid”.


    Half hour later for what could have been the first time, nearly everyone awoke to an excessive howling coming from the main hall. It wasn’t the howling which marked the event as unusual, it was the fact that most of the Companions awoke thinking ‘Oh thank the Nine for that’.


    However, the newest member, Kite, woke up with a start. She laid there half wondering if she imagined it, but then another howl tore through the silence of Jorrvaskr.

    “What the hell is that?”