U.o.t.W. Chapter 335 Get Her Off!



    Kodlak awoke far earlier than usual. All night he struggled to sleep and found himself waking up every half hour or so. A few times he actually sat in the hall, watching over Red and Sotek while they slept. Last year he had some doubts as to whether Sotek and Aela would survive as a couple due to their differences. But now his doubt returned except this time it was based on Aela’s attitude. They all knew she had a temper but as she hit her early twenties, there was no doubt it was getting worse. He watched over them both but he couldn’t help but feel that this time Aela simply gone too far.


    To his credit, Sotek stayed there holding Red’s head in his lap all night. He never left her side, and he wouldn’t let anyone else see to her wound. But even so he cared, the Harbinger felt his love for Aela was a thing of the past. At that moment movement from the stairway caught his eye. He looked over to see Tilma slowly head towards him. She quietly pulled out a chair and sat nearby then casually looked over towards Red and Sotek.

    “He’s still angry with Aela. He’s worried, but there’s an anger in him. I hope he controls it. Have you decided what to do about Aela? With regard to a punishment? you can’t let Red’s accident waylay Aela’s actions. That was a nasty wound on Soteks head”.


    Kodlak watched Sotek sleeping, his tail lay motionless except for the slight twitching which it would do when he was dreaming.

    “Sotek’s not stupid, he cares about her and loves her. That’s clearly evident. But I fear he’s come to realise their relationship isn’t a healthy one. I fear she’s lost him. This time she’s gone too far and lost him. He always forgave her so quickly, and yet I feel when Aela awakes, his anger will return. She swore to him that she’ll never hit him again, now their sun sets. That will be hard for her, She’ll have to accept it. That in itself will be punishment enough”.


    Tilma sat silently drinking a glass of water until she cast a quick look at Red.

    “But if they are finished, what about Red and Scarface?”


    Kodlak shrugged his shoulders.

    “To be honest I don’t know. But I suspect that Red and Scarface will have their own agenda. Sotek and Aela might be finished but I bet their wolf forms are far from done with each other. Sotek referred to Red as Scarface’s mate. If Sotek and Aela separate, they might find the others won’t. That in itself will give them an unbreakable chain. One which won’t leave them free to find someone else. Aela might not realise it yet and nor will Sotek. But even if they do break up, they’ll never be free of each other. So no, I’ll not punish her anymore, that will be enough”. The moment Kodlak  finished talking, he covered his mouth as he yawned.


    Tilma yawned as well, then got to her feet.

    “It’s still early. Go back to bed, we’ll know soon enough if she wakes up”.


    Kodlak finished his glass of water then rose out of the chair.

    “Yes, you’re right”.


    As they headed off downstairs, Soteks tail twitched. His eyes slowly opened as he scanned the hall to see who else was about. After watching Kodlak and Tilma walk down the stairway, he muttered to himself.

    “He’ll do what he’s told, I don’t answer to him. He answers to me, and he will bloody learn to obey”. However, he knew Kodlak was right, Scarface and Red had sworn to one another. Inside he could feel Scarface was aware of the situation. Despite Sotek’s feelings on the matter of Scarface and Red, he shuddered as he felt Scarface howl his defiance, shaking Soteks very soul.


    That morning Ebony, Farkas and Vilkas all entered the hall around the same time to find Tilma quietly preparing breakfast. By a small table sat a visitor which Vilkas was extremely quick to join.

    “Hi, what brings you to Jorrvaskr?”


    Rikke discretely rubbed her foot against his leg under the table as she casually glanced over towards Sotek, who was still sleeping.

    “I thought I’d check on Aela, but I didn’t realise she was this bad. How long has she been out for?”


    Ebony walked over to them and refilled the jug Rikke was using. As she poured in more water, she started her usual chatting.

    “Oh she’s been like it since last night. She fell in a spike trap but that don’t exist anymore. Red’s legs hurt real bad, but Aela should be fine. I don’t know how long she’ll be asleep for, Arcadia thinks she could be out of it for a few days. Do you want breakfast?”


    Before Rikke could answer, Sotek stirred and stretched out as his eyes fought the light from around the hall. He covered his eyes to protect them as he became aware of the others around him. Farkas walked past him, holding his nose as he headed towards the table.

    “Phew, you stink”.


    Sotek’s entire reaction was to just close his eyes and rest his chin on his chest. He sat there for a few seconds until the Harbinger called out to him.

    “Sotek, have you eaten yet?”


    Sotek looked up towards the Harbinger and nodded.

    “Yes, I ate earlier”.


    The Harbinger looked across to Tilma as he weighed up a few things. “Well, come and get some lunch. Tilma’s just laid it out”.


     Sotek huffed slightly as he repositioned Red’s head on his lap.

    “I ate a big breakfast, I’m not hungry at the moment. Honestly Harbinger I ate at breakfast”.


    Kodlak nodded as he watched Kul-et. She however stopped eating and stared at Sotek, feeling somewhat confused she turned to Veezara who sat next to her.



    The Harbinger as if to answer Kul-et’s confusion called out once more to Sotek.

    “Oh Sotek, by the way. This is breakfast. As I was sitting here when Tilma prepared it, how in all of Tamriel did you eat earlier?”


    Tilma walked over to Sotek and tugged his collar.

    “You’ve been busted young man. Get downstairs, bath, change then get your tail back up here and eat. Move”.


    Sotek’s shoulders dropped as he gave up the fight. He gently laid Red’s head down on the furs the headed to the Infirmary.

    “I’ll dress her wound first, Tilma can you run me a bath please”.


    As Sotek got up, Tilma’s eye suddenly switched to Soteks back. His shirt was covered in large patches of Reds blood from when they pulled her out of the pit. But where he wore it all night the blood was completely dried and mixed with soil and dust.

    “Certainly, but ermm. Do I wash those clothes or burn them?”


    As Sotek changed Red’s bandage, Kul-et looked on nervously. Over the course of the morning, she had pieced together a few things and had started to feel that she made a grave error. Once Sotek headed off downstairs, Kul-et sought the Harbingers council for confirmation. “Harbinger, why didn’t Sotek get changed last night when he went downstairs?”


    Kodlak beckoned her to his side and as she made her way over, his eyes tore into her. She obeyed and stood next to him, all the while she kept looking back towards Veezara. Kodlak looked at her with his big owlish eyes as his voice echoed across the hall.

    “I told you to back off from him and yet you won’t listen. He never went downstairs last night. He sat there and looked after Red. Why are you so hell bent on attracting Soteks wrath? You’re underestimating him, that will only lead to you getting yourself hurt”.


    Kul-et looked back at the lifeless form of Red. Slowly she turned towards Veezara, but she didn’t speak to him directly, rather to the room as a whole. Her face was contorted, twisted, like she was in pain.

    “I didn’t understand. Oh, by the Nine, what have I done?”


    Veezara came over to her and held her in his arms. She gripped him tightly as she collapsed in his chest. The Harbinger looked on with fresh concern.

    “Kul-et please explain what it is you feel you have done?”


     As she rested in Veezara’s chest, she turned towards the Harbinger.

    “The night before last, I went out there at the Skyforge and talked with Sotek. I fear it was I who convinced him to patch things up with Aela. We all heard them that  night, but the next morning... I thought he took what I said and twisted it so he could use her that night. I honestly thought he built her up then deliberately threw her to the side. I did not realise how angry he really was. To be honest, I don’t think even he knew how angry he was”. As she lifted her head up to Veezara, a single tear ran down her cheek. “He done everything for us and I swore that when it mattered I’d be there for him. Instead of being his friend, I became his enemy. I didn’t understand”.


    Veezara sighed heavily then gave Kul-et a tight squeeze.

    “You’ll sort it out. I’ll help you. But you need to explain to him, he’ll listen, you’ll see”.


    Tilma, who entered the hall from downstairs, clipped Kul-et on the back of her head.

    “You stupid child, you should know better than to interfere in those two”.


    Kodlak slightly chuckled as he looked upon Kul-et.

    “Yes, that’s Tilma’s job”. He stated as he pointed to the maid.


    Tilma screwed her face up but then she threw Soteks shirt and trousers down on the table just in front of Kodlak.

    “Hmmp. Really? Well solve this one Mr Harbinger. What, in all of Tamriel, will Sotek wear when he gets out of that bath? That is his last pair of trousers, and his last shirt. The only other shirt is in Aela’s room. So, he walks about naked or she walks about topless. It’s your call”.


    Kul-et shot a look at Red who was still laying out on the pile of furs near the fire pit.

    “I know, I know how to sort it. I can fix this”. She gave Veezara a quick peck on the lips then shot out the main door and disappeared towards the market.


    Kul-et ran down the stairway towards the various stalls in the Plains District, screaming out at the fruit and veg seller.

    “Apples, I need apples. How... How many do you have?”


    Carlotta watched her with some concern as Kul-et grabbed the side of the stall. The Argonian was panting heavily as she tried to get her breath back.

    “Well, I have a box full. How many did you want?”


    Kul-et looked across at the crate, then picked up six of the big green ones.

    “These. I’ll be back, I need a basket”. She then ran towards Belethor’s shop.


    Belethor was currently on a ladder, stacking a shelf when the door to his shop swung open quite suddenly and crashed into the wall. The surprise caught him totally unaware, causing him to fall backwards. He landed in the middle of the shop floor with a loud thump. Kul-et shouted out as she entered the premises.

    “Belethor! Where the hell are... What are you doing down there?”


    She stopped and just stared at the shopkeeper who was sitting on the floor rubbing his back.

    “Oh, I just enjoy the view of the floor here. It makes my customers feel superior so they spend more gold. What the hell do you want?”


    Kul-et stared at him with unblinking eyes.

    “You’re stupid, you know that? Ah a basket. I need some trousers and a few shirts. You got any?”


    Belethor shook his head in confusion.

    “What? No, get out”.


    Kul-et groaned as she scanned the shop racks for any suitable attire but then her eyes fell upon him once more.

    “Oh, for the love of....” Her eyes fixated upon his waist and she pointed to his clothing. “Fine, give me yours”.


    Belethor, who had started to get up, sat back down on the floor again. He looked at her like he wasn’t sure if he heard her right.

    “I beg your pardon?”


    Without thinking things through, Kul-et shouted at him as she lunged towards him while she almost screamed excitedly.

    “Give me yours”.

    Before he could do anything to stop her, Kul-et’s hands started pulling at his belt as she tried desperately to pull down his trousers.


    He hit her hand as he wrestled with her, trying to fight her off. They both rolled along the floor as he shouted at her, while she tried to pull his trousers off.

    “Get off me, let me go. Rape, assault, guards help!”


    He managed to get away and crawl across the floor shouting out at her. “Behind the counter, the counter”.


    Kul-et got to her feet then looked behind the counter. True enough there were four shirts and two pairs of dark brown trousers.

    “Perfect, these are the type Sotek wears. How much?”


    Belethor done his trousers up and re buttoned his shirt. He pointed towards the doorway as he yelled back with more than a hint of panic in his voice.

    “Nothing, take them. Just don’t touch me, I want to live”.


    Kul-et’s eyes squinted as she thought about what he said.

    “No, that’s theft. I want to buy them. How much?”


    Eager to get the miscreant out of his shop, Belethor grabbed the shirts and trousers then threw them out through the entrance into the street.



    Kul-et froze as she watched the shirts on the path. Moments later a guard walked over to the shirts and went to pick one up.

    “Belethor what in Oblivion are you doing?”


    Kul-et suddenly screamed at the guard, making him jump.

    “Get off! Leave them alone. They’re mine, mine I tell you!” She ran out of the shop, then began swiping the clothing off the ground as quickly as possible. Once she held tightly onto the clothes, she turned to the guard who was dumfounded as he blankly stared at her.

    “What? Haven’t you seen a girl shop for clothes before?”


    As she headed to the veg stall, it dawned upon her that she forgot something. Kul-et stopped then looked back at the shop.

    “Belethor, I need a basket!”


    The shop door swung open just slightly. Then unexpectedly, the market stall holders, Kul-et and the guard saw a basket launch across the pathway out from the shop to land just in front of Kul-et. As Kul-et picked up the basket, she called out.

    “Thank you”. She ran to the veg stall with the basket then filled it with the apples. After she paid for them, she placed the shirts and trousers on top. Feeling apprehensive, Kul-et headed off to Jorrvaskr.


    The guard shook his head as he watched her walk off.

    “Bloody Argonians. She’s as bad as he is”.


    Moments later everyone in the hall of Jorrvaskr jumped as Kul-et burst in the hall, throwing the doors back. She looked around for Sotek but as he wasn’t around, she breathed a sigh of relief.

    “Is he still in the bath?”


    Tilma tutted as she closed the doors.

    “Whatever are you on about?”


    Kul-et held the basket out like it contained all the answers.

    “Sotek, is he out of the bath yet?”


    Tilma glanced over to the stairway.

    “No, not yet. He’s only got in it, why?”


    Upon hearing this, Kul-et hurriedly headed for the stairway.

    “Good, I need to see him”.


    With a face full of confusion, Kodlak called out to her.

    “Kul-et, he’s in the bath”.


    Kul-et answered but without stopping, her voice faded as she headed down the stairway.

    “I need to have a word. Besides, you lot saw him naked. Hell the whole town has”.


    Veezara’s head shot round to the stairs.

    “I beg your pardon?”


    Instantly Ebony started laughing.

    “Oh, don’t worry, she’s on about seeing him starker’s. We all have, except her”.


    Veezara’s jaw dropped as he stared blankly at Ebony.



    Kodlak covered his face with his hand.

    “Ebony, explain it please”.


    Ebony started laughing as she sat down on a chair.

    “Well, it all started with Aela. She wasn’t naked though… She set the boys up for a night at the inn, but in the early morning she took all their clothes, blankets, furs, the lot. Farkas, Vilkas and Sotek had to walk from the Inn to Jorrvaskr to get  their clothes back. So you see, we all have seen them naked. That’s what Kul-et meant”.


    Downstairs, in the Undercroft, Kul-et knocked on the bathing rooms door.

    “Sotek, you in there?” She listened for an answer but as there wasn’t one, she slowly opened the door. She breathed a sigh of relief, thankful that Sotek wasn’t just getting in or out of the bath. The sound of running water drew her attention to one of the tubs so she headed over towards it with the basket in her hand. “Sotek?”


    Sotek’s head quickly rose out of the bathtub, splashing the water around the bath, making Kul-et jump slightly.

    “Oh heck, you made me jump”.


    Sotek cupped his hands together and scooped up some water to smother his face with. He then sat up and turned the cold water tap off before leaning back against the tub. His voice sounded tired and unemotional, almost toneless.

    “What is it?”


    She stood there motionless as the words drained from her mind. She looked around for inspiration, but after drawing a blank, she settled on grabbing a chair instead.

    “We need to talk, or rather I do”.


    Sotek slid under the water quietly for a few seconds then rose up a second time. He started to wash his face as he spoke, but he never bothered with eye contact, almost like he was refusing to acknowledge her presence. Every word he spoke was drawn out.

    “Can this wait?”


    Kul-et watched a small pool of water slowly form on the floor, she found it eased her mind so she could concentrate more.

    “No, it’s pointless if I wait. It has to be now. You’ve done so much for...”


    Sotek sank beneath the water for several seconds while he weighed things up in his mind. Once he was ready, he broke the surface of the water with a loud splash.

    “Very well, he will start. He had the Dark Brotherhood, the Shadowscale’s and the divines knows what else against him. You deliberately held back information which would have helped. But he not only forgave you, but he personally forced your father to leave you here, where you belong. He personally forced the Shadowscales to consider Veezara to be dead. All of this so you two could be together. For all that he, I, asked nothing in return from you. You swore an oath that you would be there for him when It counted. Aela, she is hard work at times and on other occasions she’s nigh on impossible. He needed a friend. Instead of being the friend he needed,  you turned against him. You have fallen somewhat short of your oath”.


     With her face racked with pain, Kul-et wiped a few tears from her face. She tried to look at Sotek, but she just couldn’t.

    “I know, I said the same thing to the Harbinger. You even bought that shop so Veezara had a home. Sotek, I’m sorry”. Kul-et ran out of the bathing room in tears and ran upstairs. She burst into the hall and threw herself at Veezara.


    Sotek sank in the bathtub again. This time however he stayed below the surface of the water as he thought about Kul-et. After several minutes, he climbed out of the bath and dried himself off. It was only then that he noticed the basket Kul-et had bought in.


    Sotek picked up the trousers and shirts then put on one of each. As he lifted the basket his nose picked up a familiar smell. He pulled out the shirts and trousers to find the apples Kul-et had purchased earlier. He sat on a chair in the hallway and proceeded to eat one, but before he realised it, he had eaten four apples. Sotek took a bite from a fifth one then stuck the sixth apple in his pocket and headed upstairs.


    Kul-et was sitting at the table, composing herself while everyone else was trying to work out how to handle the whole situation. Sotek’s eyes immediately fell upon Kul-et, but then his attention switched to Red. He checked on her but there was no sign of any change whatsoever. Sotek stood up then cast his eyes over towards Kul-et once more.   

    “Kul-et, come here”.


    Kul-et got to her feet then nervously walked over to him. Once she was next to him, Sotek pointed to the step.

    “You sit there, you look after her. Now you listen to me Kul-et Bright Tail, you don’t dare leave her alone. Your task now is to watch over her, keep her safe until I come back”.


    As Sotek headed towards the courtyard doors, Kodlak called out to him.

    “Sotek, where are you going? Nowhere far I trust?”


    Sotek pulled the apple from his pocket then held it tightly in his hand. “I’m going to the Skyforge. I’ve still got some scales to work on. If I stay in this hall any longer, I’ll go crazy”. He cast one last look at Red then he called out to Kul-et. “Hey, catch”. He threw Kul-et the apple which she caught easily. “Thanks for the clothes and apples, egg sister”.


    Kul-et immediately broke into a wide grin.

    “Do you mean that?”


    Sotek shook his head.

    “Nope, the apples were sour!”


    Kul-et groaned while the other Companions laughed.

    “I meant calling me your egg sister”.


    Sotek just gave her a wink as he headed off outside.