Tuesday, April 26, 2011

K'thyri whistles for Horse, and I fly, and together we make pretty good time, pulling up outside the Lodge at pretty much the same time. The gallop has put more color in her cheeks and she fidgets a little while I get the door unlocked. Once we're in, she gives me a quick kiss and says, "Be back in a minute" - then hightails it for the lades' room.

Ah, so that's why she was fidgeting…!

She looks calmer when she comes back minutes later, and in the meantime I've hung up my duster and locked the place up again. She meets my eyes dead-on when I ask, "You're sure of this?".

She nods emphatically. "I'm sure. I've wanted this for a long time."

I give her a somewhat crooked grin. "You know you could have had me any time you wanted, Ky."

She smiles back. "That's reassuring, but it wasn't that simple. I had to be sure that it wouldn't affect what I have with Gareth, or Raina." She grins. "This is a weird arrangement we have here, and there's a lot more than just two people's feelings to be considered."

I nod, acknowledging that we do, in fact, have an arrangement many would consider weird in the extreme - but it seems to work for us, so who gives a fuck how anyone else feels?

I let my eyes rove over her abundant curves, then take a step forward - and then she holds up a hand. "Not just yet. There's something I need to say, and if you start kissing me now, I'll never say it."

I stop dead, waiting.

"This is just between you and me, Nick, not to be shared with anyone else, especially not Gareth or Raina." I nod my assent. She looks up, choosing her words with care. "Things are different in the Unformed Plane. There's not much in the way of monogamy there, and you seldom have time for much in the way of foreplay, let alone seduction. I like that about Gareth… he likes to take his time and tease me and just wring everything he can out of me before he's done. Still… there's something to be said for just being spontaneous, grabbing a lover and just taking what you want, then and there…."

Her eyes are hot and direct, locked with mine. "I like it rough sometimes - bend me over the bed, pull my hair, smack my ass and fuck me like there's no tomorrow. I'm not talking bondage or sadism here - and if you try hitting me for real, I'll put you on the ground and shove a stake straight up your ass for you. But if you can fuck me so hard that I'm still aching from it a couple of days later… mmmm, I'll be sneaking into your bed a lot….

And one other thing, Nick. I know you're a gentleman at heart, and I appreciate that… but if we're going to be lovers, you're going to have to loosen up. If you walk in on me showering, don't turn around and walk out - stay and talk to me, it's not like I'm shy… or join me, for that matter; that could be even more fun. I don't want our relationship to be formal… I want it to be fun! Think you can live with that?"

I watch as Ky lifts the lower edge of the shift - all that remains of the "traditional" garb - and begins to lift it upward. "Uhhhh… yeah, I think I can manage…." Ky grins widely and keeps going, revealing - well, everything, considering she apparently decided to go commando tonight…. "Don't just stand there gawking, dead boy - get over here and grab a handful."

Like I'm going to turn down an invitation like that….

I move tight against Ky and start kissing while my hands explore every glorious naked inch of her. She moans as our tongues play… I pinch her already-stiff nipples, tug them hard and she grinds hard against me. I lift my arms as she pushes my t-shirt over my head, drops it to the floor and plasters herself tight against me, skin to skin. "Mmmm… your skin is so cool… feels nice," she purrs. "More…."

I drop my pants, step out of them and grab her ass to pull her close again. "Oh yeah, Nick… that's more like it!" Her eyes sparkle with excitement and one hand reaches down to cradle my cock. "Mmmm… nice and hard… just the way I like it!" Without warning she goes to her knees and smiles up at me. "Fuck my mouth, lover… we have all night, and I want to taste your cum.…" I clench my fingers in her soft red curls and thrust my cock into her warm wet mouth. She takes me in without hesitation, swallowing my pulsing length until I can feel the head against the back of her throat. She sucks on my shaft, moving her mouth up and down my length, raking with her teeth, nipping now and then… and when I'm fully in her mouth again, she presses forward to take the last bit of me down her throat. Her eyes have a wicked gleam as she sucks my cock… she holds up her hands, making an "o" with her thumb and forefinger and miming fucking it with the finger of her other hand.  

Never let it be said that I can't take a hint…. I tighten my fingers in her hair and fuck that sweet wet mouth; she opens her throat and takes me in, all of me, sucking and licking… her nails teasing my balls, my cock throbbing with every thrust between her luscious lips. She's good… damn good, and I know I'm not going to last long at this rate. Partly it's her oral expertise and partly it's that I've wanted to make love with Ky for a long time. She can tell I'm close, for suddenly she thrusts forward to meet my thrusts with her own, completely unselfconscious, working like hell to make me cum… I hit a peak and my voice rips from my throat, a growl of pure animal passion as I cum and cum and cum… she keeps going, sucking and swallowing and licking until I'm utterly drained… She managed to swallow most of my juices, but some hit her lips and cheeks and chin, and the last little bit dribbled onto her tits. She gives me the most amazing smile and says, "Now, isn't the direct approach better?" I pull her up and kiss her deeply, my hands moving over her breasts, down her back, squeezing her ass, tasting myself on her lips… and I smile as I think of the next time, and the time after that, and the time after that….

Once I've caught my breath - metaphorically, anyway - I begin again, kissing her, my fingers tracing the outer edge of her ears, stroking the flaming glory of her hair. I lick and nip at her throat, her shoulders, her nipples; she moans, writhing beneath me, her legs parting unconsciously. I swirl my tongue in her navel, making my way to her bare mound, one finger easing deep inside her, and a soft moan comes from deep inside her. "Oooooh, yes, Nick, right there… oh gods, yes, just like that…" I circle my finger gently all around and over her g-spot, my mouth moving inexorably down, tasting her skin… My thumb presses against her clit as I lick and nip at her inner thigh, rotating, pressing firmly down against the hot little button… I ease my finger out of her with a final caress then seal my lips to her pussy and lick. I hold her hips tightly, keeping my tongue deep inside her, tasting her juices directly now. Her voice is a long, low continuous moan, punctuated by an occasional gasp as her legs come up to lock around my neck and shoulders. I explore her with my tongue, tasting every little nook, enjoying every nuance of scent and taste. Her hips jerk, little cries escape her lips, together with an unending stream of sometimes-intelligible encouragement. I ease my finger back inside her and the moaning hit’s a new level as I finger her pussy and eat it at the same time.

"OhfuckNickyou'regonnamakemecum, ohgodsdon'tstop!" I part her legs farther and let my tongue play at her asshole. She jerks - with surprise, I think - then the wailing begins anew. Now I move back and forth between her pussy and her ass, keeping her guessing, never staying in one place for long. "Ohbabythatssogoodmore!" Her fingers curl into my hair and she humps furiously against my mouth. I've added her clit to my repertoire now and it's evident she's not going to last much longer. I pull my finger out of her pussy and slowly ease it into her ass, never missing a beat, and she jerks and screams and drenches my face with her wetness. She cums and cums and cums as I finger-fuck her round little ass, sucking her clit ravenously… and then she just shatters around my face with an awe-inspiring scream, locking her legs around my neck with a strength that could break a man's neck - if he were human.

A few aftershocks later….

I come up to clutch her close, length to length, kissing her with a mouth wet with her own juices. She kisses back with abandon, reaching down to clutch at my throbbing cock. "I want you inside me, Nick. Now."

Well, when you put it like that…!

One final kiss - though not really; I expect there'll be lots of kissing in the months to come - and I brush Ky's hair back out of her eyes. "On your knees," I say, my voice little more than a whisper. She scrambles up onto hands and knees, looking back over one shoulder with a grin. "Is this what you had in mind?"

For answer, I take her hips in my hands and press my cock against her pussy. She shivers just for a second, then I thrust home, burying myself deep inside her. I can feel her splitting around me and a low growl is torn from her throat as she takes me to the hilt. "Oh gods, Nick, just like that, just like that! Fuck me!"

I pull out almost all the way and then ram back hard, pounding into her hard and fast, her pussy clamping tight around my cock. "Godsgodsgods yesNick, fuckmehardlover!" And I do, slamming into her without restraint, fucking her hard enough to hurt - later. She's soaking wet, so I know I can't be doing any actual damage, but she's so tight and her muscles have such a grip that it feels like I have to force my cock into her on every thrust; and that, I think, is what she's after - another kind of battle to be fought, but one with an amazing denouement for us both.

She's not shy about joining in, slamming backward to meet my thrusts with a hunger that rivals my own. Her hair is all over the place, a crimson mane that damn near shoots sparks as we fuck. I lean far over her, my chest level with her back, and nip at her throat. It ratchets things up another notch, with her pussy grinding down on my cock like she's trying to wring it out. I let my nails play down her naked back and a shiver runs down her spine. "Fuck me, Nick, GODS yes, give it to me! Gods that cock feels good, don't fucking stop, don't ever stop…!" The rest is lost in an inarticulate wail that spirals up and up and ends with a whimper.

This can't last too much longer - or rather, I can't, not at this pace. I smack her ass with the flat of a hand, just enough to sting. My fingers curl into her hair, tug her head back and my voice is thick with lust. "Cum for me, Ky, cum all over that hard thick cock!"

I'm not sure exactly what set her off or if it was a combination of things; but on the instant she starts to shake, vibrating like a tuning fork. She lets out a feral howl and cums explosively just as I blast deep inside her hot clutching pussy, pumping her full of scalding-hot cum, and that sets her off again, cumming again before the first orgasm is properly finished, her pussy clamping down, wringing the last drop of my juices from me, and the wail goes on and on and on….

Afterward, I hold her in my arms and kiss her lightly. I see her smile in the semidarkness and hear an exhausted… "It was worth the wait…!"

At a lull in the conversation Tannr pulls out the business card from Marcus. “Hey sis... take a look at this. I was offered a job at this place.” and he hands the card to Raina.

Taking the card and looking at it Raina starts to laugh. “Really? As what? I heard they added male prostitutes to the lineup, but I really cant imagine Tori being too happy about that...”

Shaking his head Tannr says “Nooo....nothing like that. He said it was for security. I need a job, besides the patrols and helping Erik with the place. Not that I mind that...” He was silent for a moment, “I really dont know what Tori would think of it, one way or the other..”

“Well havent you talked about things....I mean like are you dating exclusively or not?” Raina sighs at the blank look on Tannrs face. “You havent had that discussion? Dont you think you should?”

Tannr shrugs and looks down, knowing Raina was right, but afraid to do or say anything that might change things with him and Tori. Afraid he wouldnt be good enough for more than a casual relationship or hated by her family, like Thoras. He had never been good enough for them either...

Raina could have bitten off her tongue when she realized exactly what Tannr was thinking. “Dont listen to me, brother. What do I know? Nothing. Could be a fun job actually. Do you suppose you get discounts as an employee?”

Alise chokes on her wine and Tannr starts to laugh.

“Somehow I doubt it. Did you want me to ask if family members get a discount?” Tannr teases.

“Yeah, would you? Nick and I will be right over checking out the ... umm... possibilities..”

As the teasing and laughing continues Raina notices that Tannrs eyes constantly stray to the band and the red headed gar on the stage...

Alise is busy watching all the goings on in the tavern, much as she did when spirit. When Stoney causes her to moan she quickly puts a hand over her mouth, not sure if the sound was actually audible to those sitting near or not.

Raina comes up behind her and leaning close says “I saw that...” her grin wolfish, causing Alise to blush furiously.

Mon Dieu, did you really hear me? I am so embarrassed...” Alise covers her face with both of her hands.

Laughing Raina pulls out a chair next to her and Gareth sits across. After a few minutes of friendly bantering back and forth, Tannr joins the group and brings drinks for everyone.

Merci Tannr. I think I need a cold drink...” Alises eyes move from the group to Inari, who turns from the bar and with Keon moves towards the stairs.

Raina follows her eyes then looks at Alise and winks. “I bet we dont see them come back down...”

“Stoney and I were talking about that earlier. They were staring during the ceremony. But we thought it might be forbidden, the light court and the dark...”

Raina gives a small shrug, “I think unless expressly forbidden by Titania, Inari does pretty much as she pleases, as long as it doesnt interfere with her duties to the Queen.”

“You are probably right ma souer.” Alise looks around the dance floor, “Where is Nicholas? And K'thyri? There were here a few minutes ago...”

“I think by now they are fucking each other senseless...” Raina laughs as the blush creeps up Alise's face again.


“Hey, you asked. I thought he was gonna let her have it right on the dance floor..”

Gareth laughs at first, then quiets at the pensive look on Alise's face.

Turning to Raina, she asks, “And you really dont mind? It doesnt bother you at all? You dont worry that he would find more pleasure with another woman?”

Gareth and Raina exchange a glance and Raina sighs. “No, I dont worry. I know what Nick and I have together and that wont be threatened by anyone. Besides, I love Ky, so its fine. And it leaves Gareth and I alone for a night of fun...”

Alise let Stoney listen in since he wanted to know why the sudden serious face. His thoughts caress her and he says, Remember when we talked about you and Raina together?

Laughing Alise replies, I am not asking in front of Gareth and her brother... I have been embarrassed enough for one night....

Inari relaxes in Keons arms, enjoying the closeness and his warmth. When the second song ended and the third began, they still clung together, Keon's arousal apparent. Inari's breath was quicker and she felt flushed. Her eyes betray her desire and she lowers them, taking a deep breath, trying to control the need she was feeling.

Keon lowered his head, lightly kissing a ear. She was so much smaller than Cassie and yet he could feel the strength of her, muscles hard from hours of training, but still feminine, and so desirable... He stifles a groan as she presses closer...

“Yer beautiful....the court dress suits ye...”

Inari smiles at the compliment, “Thank you. But it is very impractical for my ...other duties...”

Keon nods, “I understand.” His thumb slowly strokes her jaw, “There is a widows walk here, it would offer some privacy... and quiet... we could talk...”

“I have a room here too, but some fresh air would be welcome. And a glass of wine...” Parting reluctantly the couple moves towards the bar to ask Monty for drinks.

Erik sits down and pulls Star into his lap. When he asks if she wants to dance Star sighs and shakes her head. “I just want to sit here with you for awhile, if thats all right...”

“Of course it is...” Erik wraps his arms around her, pulling close. “Are you tired Princess? We can go home if you like..”

Star giggles in her quiet whispery way. The sound still a little strange and unchanged since she started speaking. “No, we arent going home tonight. I got a room here for us. So we could have some alone time.”

“Alone time? You mean as in.... are you sure? Isnt it too soon for that....” Erik tips her chin up to look in her eyes.

Star smiles, her eyes fading from blue to pink, then purple with passion. “Its fine. Rowan even says its fine...”

Erik smiles and nods, more than ready for the party to end....

Pandora had ceased trying to talk with Silk as the band broke into their first song... the magick and sensual tension seemed to weave about the room... and she could not concentrate on anything but the feelings Ob was raising in her from the stage.

Silk, being a creature that fed off such feelings... was still; and drawing in what she could without harming others.

Finally they broke, then slipped into something for the crowd to dance to... and Pandora turned her attentions back to Silk.

"Silk, as you know Ob and I are trying for another child... and I am sure it will happen soon... I feel that too." She looked into Silk's eyes." I am having dreams; they are always variations of the same thing... and that is why I needed to talk with you in confidence." She looked away and then back to Silk again; the hint of moisture in her eyes.

"I fear our child is going to be a son, Silk... but not like Chloe...I fear he is going to have Ob's deamon blood; for all my dreams involve a beautiful boy babe... but there is a cruelty to him; a glint in his eyes when he does something evil, as if he enjoys pain inflicted on others." She relates the dream where the child bites her as she nurses and laughs at the pain in her face.

"I have kept this hidden from Ob, for I know how much he fears the daemon blood being carried on...S ilk, what should I do; just keep my fears to myself?" If he even dreams this could happen he might ask me to end it... and I couldn't do that. Do you think we could control the boy if he is indeed daemon?... teach him to hold back his natural instincts to blend with the rest??"... Pandora turns her face to look at Ob as he plays; enjoying his time on stage as his fellow gars do... turning back to Silk she pleads... "Please, tell me you have some answers for me; and if your instincts lead you to the same conclusion... can you guide me; will the birthing be different?... I have so many questions, Silk."

The lights slowly dim and  Tori whispers into the mic. "Weeee're baaaa-aaack"

Ob hits the downbeat to Time Of The Season. His voice is gravelly, but sensual, as he slides his thoughts along the curve of Pandora's leg. The song itself is a promise of pleasure, Ob takes it to the next level, feeling her squirm as she tries to talk with his cousin.

It's the time, of the season
When the love runs high
In this time, give it to me easy
And let me try,
With pleasured hands

(To take you and the sun to)
Promised lands
(To show you every one..)
It's the time of the season for loving

The floor fills with couples, moving against each other to the rhythm. Keon offers his hand to Inari, escorting her to a spot near the middle of the dancers. Sliding an arm around her waist, he pulls the Ambassador close, feeling her echo the movement of his hips to the rhythm. He closes his eyes, drinking in the feel of her against him.

What's your name?
(What's your name?)
Who's your daddy?
(Who's your daddy?) (He rich?)
Is he rich like me?

Has he taken
(Has he taken)
Any time
(Any time to show)
(To show)To show you what you need to live?

(Tell it to me slowly)
Tell you what?
(I really want to know)
It's the time of the season for loving

Stoney plays the bridge as if each note were alive, sending a thrill of electricity along the nerves. There is a slight surprise at the feel of magic to the music, the touch of otherworldly magic. He glances up as the bridge ends, noting the sparking to the Wards' energy. Ob nods. High Court flavor. More than we have had here before. Stoney relaxes and lets the music flow.

What's your name?
(What's your name?)
Who's your daddy?
(Who's your daddy?) (He rich?)
Is he rich like me?

Has he taken
(Has he taken)
Any time
(Any time to show)(To show)
To show you what you need to live?

(Tell it to me slowly)
Tell you what?
(I really want to know)
It's the time of the season for loving

Dark hair falling forward over his shoulders, Stoney's fingers caress the keys. He opens himself to Alise, letting her feel the magic sliding, not just through the music, but through his own being. He feels the gasp of surprise, the soft moan, which neither of them is sure she stifles. His fingers tremble as he lets her feel the brush of music over her nature, turning the pleading nature of the song into a promise of sooo much more.....

When the song ends, Ike puts her hand over the mic and swallows hard. Re'mi, if you do that again, make sure your shields are tight. I almost lost it! I am soaked and I hope I don't kill Monty later! Better yet, maybe I should kill YOU NOW!

Tori grins hard. Aw hell Ike. Use it later. I'm going to store it up... Hope Tannr can walk in the morning

Ob laughs. I hope all our *amorati can... and that those of us with offspring don't get interrupted. On that note, My Nestlings ...  how about a little Eagles? One Of These Nights?

Without missing a beat, Tori slides into the opening notes...


Being with the Courts has left a wary tension in Keon's shoulders. He had seen Silk arrive and his interest in her arrival from both queens. But he had also noticed that Inari followed her with her eyes, and noted that he had glanced back to the door, watching for another.

Mab rises, smoothing her skirts. She nods to Titania as one of her escort holds her cloak. "Well Cousin, it has been a pleasure to visit with You, but I feel a need to return to My own lands. Will You remain, or shall We ride as One?"

The Fair Queen smiles sweetly, rising as well. Both escorts appear as if summoned from nowhere. "I concur Cousin. Only a little time has passed at Home, but there are ever matters of which to attend." Her pale gazer turns on Keon, and Twillon, who has joined them when his own patrol was over. Weebit watches, hidden among his long locks.. "My Lords, and lady, do bid Our farewells to all? 'Twas a pleasure to spend time among the residents of this Realm."

The men bow to the Queens and heads turn as the assembled Courts drift from the Tavern. Inari halts at the door,hand on Titania's sleeve. The Queen smiles and Inari bows. As the door closes the petite Fae returns to the table after stopping with Star and Erik for a moments. She lowers herself into a chair and sighs, visibly relaxing.


She smiles, much more casual than in the company of the Queens. "Oh please... Inari. And I already said their goodbyes to Star and Erik, so don't feel as if their request still stands."

Twillon smiles. "In that case, if you will both excuse us for about twenty minutes... Weebit would like to become a bit more... Well, we will be back."

Weebit's urgent whisper has Twillon smiling. Moments later he is nearly racing up the stairs to their room. Inari raises a brow and Keon laughs.

"Her changing has a rather... intense and pleasurable, result." The sound of chords being strummed draws their attention to the stage. The sisters are checking their guitars as Ob and Stoney kiss their wives before taking the stage.

Keon gives Inari a slow smile. "My Lady Ambassador, would you grace this humble assassin with a dance, if they play anything slow?"

Inari laughs, a genuine bubble of laughter not heard in the Halls of either Court.

"My Lord Keon, I know full well that the Dark Lords are not the assassins most want to paint them. Please, call me Inari, and I would be honored."

"Then Inari... my friends call me Ke... and I will be right back."

He catches up to the brothers as they reach the stage. There is a hurried discussion and Keon drops back into his chair moments later. "They will do their best."

Well, that was impressive.

The young redhead comes back to the bar without looking like he exerted himself overmuch, even though I just saw him lift a man off his feet. I wonder if he's in the market for a job?

I unfold myself from my seat and stroll over to where he's standing. "You handled yourself very well there," I say casually. "Are you perhaps available for security work?"

"What? Police stuff, rent-a-cop?" I can tell the idea doesn't sit well with him.

"No, essentially what you just did. Mostly it involves people who get a bit rowdy, or who decide to leave without paying what they owe. Once in a while you might have to exert yourself a bit more, kick someone's ass for them, but I won't lie to you - on very rare occasions, you may have to resort to deadly force."

"Yeah? Exactly what kind of work are we talking about?"

"Ah, my apologies. My name is Marcus." I hand him a business card.

"The NiteOwl Club? Where have I heard that before…?"

I smile wryly. "Let's say we're a place where young men such as yourself go to burn off some testosterone - for a price."

It hits him then. "It's a whorehouse?"

"Well, yes; though we prefer to refer to it as a 'house of assignation'." I indicate the card again. "My number's on the back. Think about it and give me a call, either way."

He gives the card another look, slips it in his pocket and moves to the far end of the bar where the other redhead waits.

Tannr didnt let go of Tori as the lights came on and Ob announced that the band was taking a short break. He pulled her close and whispers, “How late is the band playing? By the gods, I could strip you right here and...”

Tannrs words are interrupted by a commotion near the front door. Jeb was trying to 'escort' one of the shifters out. He wasnt going quietly and was trying to make his case as loud as he could. One of his buddies was hanging onto one of Jeb's arms when another shifter tried to grab the other arm and free the one being hauled out.

Tannr sighs. “Damn kids. They started arguing about that girl sitting with them as soon as they got here....” He leans close and kisses Toris forehead. “I'll be back Red...” and he moves through the crowd to help Jeb.

Approaching from behind Tannr grabs one of the guys by the back of his shirt and when he starts to struggle, trying to break free, Tannr lifts him off the ground.

“What the hell? Put me down! You cant make me leave... who the hell are you?!” The young mans struggles to break free only make Tannr hang on more tightly as he makes his way to the front door, right behind Jeb.

Once outside Tannr sets the guy down and gives him a shove towards the stairs where he joins his friends.

Jeb grins at Tannr , “Thanks! I knew there was gonna be trouble with that girl and her teasing.” He turns to the young men who are standing at the foot of the steps. “Go on... you can come back tomorrow if you can behave yourselves.” He claps Tannr on the back as they re-enter the tavern.

As Tannr makes his way to the opposite end of the bar he sees the girl the shifter guys were fighting over. She is standing at the bar waiting for Monty to bring her a drink. Tannr stops and as the girl looks up her cheeks turn a faint rose color and she lowers her lashes flirtatiously.

Tannr smiles and lowers his head, “Sweetheart, Jeb said you'll be next out the door if there's any more trouble...”

The girl blushes furiously, embarrassed to be scolded when she thought he was interested. She shakes her head and quietly says “I wont cause any trouble...” and taking her drink heads back to her table.

Monty smiles at the exchange and gets Tannr a Jack and coke. “On the house. I'm sure Pandora appreciates the help. She wants everyone to have a good time, but preferably without the fighting...”

My patrol is finally done. It has been a long, extremely uneventful, evening.

Pausing in the kitchen side alley, I take a moment to send the twins home for safekeeping. My leathers mist, shifting with a little Djinn magic, into silken skirts, embroidered choli, and sari. My Rider's cloak covers me in darkness as I make my way to the front. I flip open my cell, leave a message for my love, Magnus, and open the door.

I enter the Tavern during Tori's performance. I am impressed. She has a lithe body, a dancer's flexibility. She has aroused so much sexual tension in the room, I could easily get drunk off it.

Jeb kisses my hand. The werewolf is always a force of muscle and strength, and yet whenever I come in the front door, he greets me like a lady. I kiss his cheek, making the beast-man blush. I move to his side, observing the room as he helps me remove my cloak. Such a gentleman. He does growl softly in my ear, telling me I smell exotic. I stroke his cheek, kissing it gently.

"Grazi Jeb. You know how to warm a woman's heart."  I wink slowly, adding, "among other things." He chuckles as I move into the crowd.

Pandora had asked to speak with me. She sounded worried, and as Josi had not mentioned anything, other than the fact they were trying for another child, she was obviously hiding it from him... and doing it well.

I find her among the crowd and scan her energies. Worry emanates from her as sex does from Gareth and Raina. I lay a hand on her shoulder, startling her. I kiss her cheek and lean close.

"Peace Cooza. We will speak when Ob is back on stage after this break, si?"

Suddenly the lights go OUT. There is the sound of snapping fingers, the slow rhythm of a 60's coffee house. Ob hits a downbeat and a bass guitar joins with the slow pattern. A sultry voice voice drifts into the darkness.

Never know how much I love you
Never know how much I care
When you put your arms around me
I get a fever that's so hard to bear

A spot light slowly brightens on the woman standing before the stage, leaving the others, on the stage, in shadow. As her head comes up Tori's gaze brushes over the crowd.Tugging the mic from its stand she begins to glide among the tables, fingertips brushing along shoulders, touching hair.

You give me fever (you give me fever) when you kiss me
Fever when you hold me tight (you give me fever)
Fever ... in the mornin'
Fever all through the night

She caresses a woman's cheek, touching lightly as she glides by.

Sun lights up the day time
Moon lights up the night
I light up when you call my name
'cause I know you're gonna treat me right

You give me fever (you give me fever) when you kiss me
Fever when you hold me tight (you give me fever)
Fever ... in the mornin'
Fever all through the night (WOW!!)

Pausing before the Queens she gives them a wicked smile, green eyes lit by red embers.

Everybody's got the fever
That is somethin' you all know
Fever isn't such a new thing
Fever started long time ago

She continues her round, slipping between tables with a liquid grace. A touch here, there, a slip of her hip along someone's arm, all adds to the sensuality of the moment.

(You give me fever)
Baby, turn on your love light (yeah, yeah)
Let it shine on me (yeah, yeah)
Well, baby, turn on your love light (yeah, yeah)
And let it shine on me (yeah, yeah)
Well, just a little bit higher (yeah, yeah)
And just a little bit brighter, baby (yeah, yeah)

You give me fever (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
You give me fever (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
You give me fever (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

She sinks a hand in Guunnar's unruly tresses, tugging his head back. The Viking grins broadly, as she sings to him.

Romeo loved Juliet
Juliet she felt the same
When he put his arms around her
He said, "Julie baby you're my flame"
Thou givest fever when we kisseth
Fever with thy flaming youth
Fever I'm on fire
Fever yea I burn forsooth

She lets go and he moans, making his tablemates laugh. She gives him a lazy smile, smoothing his mustache before brushing her lips over his forehead. Her body sways gently as she weaves her way through the room toward the bar.

Captain Smith and Pocahontas
Had a very mad affair
When her daddy tried to kill him
She said "Daddy oh don't you dare"
"He gives me fever with his kisses"
"Fever when he holds me tight"
"Fever, I'm his missus"
"Daddy won't you treat him right?"

People at the bar have turned to watch. She leans between two men, brushing against them as she takes a sip of someone's drink. Her eyes close, as she licks the wetness from her lips. The man next to her groans.

Now you've listened to my story
Here's the point that I have made
Cats were born to give chicks fever
Be it Fahrenheit or centigrade
We give you fever when we kiss you
Fever if you live and learn
Fever till you sizzle

She spies Tannr near the end of the bar and slowly drifts closer. His eyes meet hers. She purses her lips, blowing him a kiss.

What a lovely way to burn
What a lovely way to burn

When she reaches his spot, she leans against the counter as the stool next to him is suddenly vacant, the man standing to give her more room. Her hand slides up along Tannr's cheek to cup the back of his head. She draws him closer, her cheek brushing his. The last two lines almost sung against his lips.

What a lovely way to burn, ah
What a lovely way to burn

Her lips meet his and, two beats later, the lights go out.

Ob and Stoney knew they were in the doghouse with their wives, and that Nick would find a sweet revenge later. But Tomas had asked for the theme song, and how could they resist... Nick walked in with the Bat Signal on his chest!

As for their follow up song... Tori offered to emasculate them if they played Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song. So no razzing the Vikings.

The songs played after that were a few fun songs, that was until Alise and Pandora brought their hatchlings up to say night to papa, and they, along with Ruarc and Mera, were taken up to be tucked in.

As soon as their women had returned, the lights went down and the sirens started. Ike's silken voice introduced the band, apologizing for the delay of their signature opening.

"Gentry and Common, People of the Realms. Tonight we celebrate life, no matter where you come from. With our apologies, let me introduce my companions and myself..." The sirens and bombs begins "We are the Rock band known as..." Tori's strikes the first chords. "Mooon-Teee-Neeee- GRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

People are on their feet and out on the floor by the time Stoney hits the lyrics. From their the songs follow the usual eclectic variety. During one of the more suggestive slow songs, Stoney sees Nick and Ky leave. He wasn't going to worry about it, but he knew he'd get them back. The sibs catch the thought and there is a distinct good from Pandora and Alise.

When the band starts playing, I take a chance. Taking Ky by the wrist, I help her to her feet. "Would you care to dance?"

The smile in her eyes is all the answer I need….

Out on the dance floor, Ky mold her body to mine, pressing close… "Kiss me, Nick," she says quietly. "Kiss me like you really mean it." I let my eyes close, forgetting the dance, the music, the other dancers… I let go of everything and just feel K'thyri's lips on mine, soft and wet and yielding. I let my hands drift up her back, nails scratching lightly while our tongues dance a measure of their own. Her heat, her softness, the strength of her next to me… I lose myself in it so that, for this moment, nothing and no one else exists.

I tease the tip of one ear between thumb and finger and she moans into my mouth. I can feel her nipples hard and hot against my chest, even through two layers of fabric. I lick along the edge of her ear, slowly, lingeringly, not caring who sees or what they think of it, and her whole body goes fluid against mine. "Gods, Nick," she moans against my throat, "don't stop…. "

I ease a hand between us, my back hiding my actions, gliding up her belly until she arches her breast into my palm. I squeeze gently, tug at her nipple while my mouth comes back to hers and I kiss her hard, fiercely… she arches her whole body into mine. "Yesssss," she moans, "Oh gods, Nick, just like that… fuck, I'm so wet…."

I move then so she can feel my hardness against her thigh. "I want you, K'thyri - now, tonight, before another hour passes."

"Gods, Nick, I want you, too…." She looks up, her eyes warm and inviting but somehow pleading as well. "Take me home and fuck me till the sun comes up?"

I look around the room, finding Raina and Gareth in an equally compromising embrace. I raise an interrogative eyebrow and Raina whispers, too low to be heard by anyone but me - "Take her home, doofus, and shag her ass off before she changes her mind. We'll see you tomorrow night."

That's all I need….

Stoney pulls the band from his ponytail and shakes his hair free. He kisses Alise, and heads for the stage. Tomas runs to him, wanting to be lifted up. The gargoyle stops, lifts his son high, tossing him in the sir. The little boy giggles. Please papa? Stoney grins, hiding his thoughts. Perhaps Tomi. I will speak to your aunts and uncles. Kissing his son, Stoney sends him back to play with his kith as he mounts the stage.

Alise feels the tight shield as Stoney converses with his sibs. She catches the laughter as instruments are tuned. Chiot? What are you up to? He says nothing, just caresses her gently. She looks at Pandora, who shakes her head. Both women sigh, knowing they will find out when everyone else does.

Ob slips onto his stool, twirling his sticks. More of his hair has slipped its braid, giving him more of a barbarian look than usual. Tori shrugs her strap into place, and grins at Ike. The youngest sister leans close to the mike. Her silken voice drifts out, quieting conversations.

"Good evening Members of the Court, friends and of course family. Instead of our normal opening, there has been a... request for the first song of the night. And yes... it is child friendly. Nick? Where are you?" She scans the crowded room, spying the vampyre. "Please stand?"

There is a commotion around him as his lovers tease him into standing. The blankness of his face is enough that his friends know he is not comfortable with the attention.

"As you can all see by the symbol emblazoned on his armor, Nick is our very own "Bat Man". Jack, I commend you. I know it has been very hard to not hassle him about it." The grave digger raises his bottle with a smile. "But this song is NOT requested by Jack. Instead this comes from a fan."

The campy music has people rocking in time. Tomas runs up to Nick and points at his chest  "BATMAN!"

Nick grins. The smile is fierce and Tomas wraps his arms around the vampyre's leg. He grins up at Nick.  Alise disentangles her son before Nick can decide to laugh it off, or eat the little boy. She meets Raina and K'thyri's eyes, noting their own stifled laughter. She mutters "*Je suis désolé, Nicholas. I will make them pay for this later."

She carries Tomas back to Mer Cronigh, shoulder's shaking in silent laughter. Nick sits heavily and leans across the table to speak quietly to his lovers.

"This damn armor comes off... NOW."

* I am sorry Nicholas.

Mab's eyes settle on Mer Cronigh. "Was this your idea, Crone?"

Fea smiles broadly. "Not at all, Mab, Tis all the wee ones. There is one more, but ta dearie has fallen asleep in her da's arms. Fo' as small as she is, tis a strong willed babe she be."

Mab's eyes narrow and Mera grins even more, if that is possible. Keon stifles a shudder and Mera turns, tugging at the woman's skirts. The Crone looks down, her smile softening. The girl raises her arms and Fea lifts her, bouncing her on her hip. Mab frowns as Titania lifts her glass to her lips, hiding a smile.

"Do you have an interest in these children, Crone?"

Mab's gaze takes in everything. Tomas and Tara link hands, concentrating. Chloe moves slightly in front of Fea and Mera. Her dragon lifts, hovering above the group. Mera lays her head on Fea's shoulder, patting gently. Fea laughs, chuckling at the shocked faces of the Courts.

"An interest, O Queen of the Dark? Aye, ye could say that. Tis mutual indeed. I claim these young as Kin of the Sea, an they claim this ancient Fae as Gran."

As Mab's energy builds, Mera touches the Crone's face. Her eyes flash between the Queen and Fea. Tara's eyes stay on Titania. The Queen of the Bright Court laughs, the merry sound breaking the tension. Tara nods, turning her gaze to Mab and Fea as Titania soft voice drifts into the conversation.

"A grandmother. How long has it been since any of us could claim such? Perhaps it is best to leave it be, Cousin. Fea has..." She nods regally to Fea. "Our Sea Crone relates very well with the wee ones. I say tis a good thing she also sponsors The Child of Two Worlds. What say you, Cousin?"

Mab sits back, looking as if nothing had disturbed her good mood. "Do not fancy yourself a Queen, Fea. The Prophecy says nothing of new Courts. Fine. So, young Tomas has several to teach him and Ruarc the sword. The girls will learn as well?"

Keon bows slightly, "I shall assume, Dark Lord, that other tutors will be found to school them on the ways of the Fae Realm?" Again Keon bows slightly. "Fine. Tis done then."

Mera sits up in Fea's arms. "Gran Mer? Dance?"

"Tis nae music dearie."

Chloe tugs at her skirt, pointing to the stage. Lunar Eclipse has begun taking their places and Fea smiles. She bows her head to the Queens and gathers the twins. "Come dearies... Tis a jig I be thinkin?"  She sets Mera on her feet. Fea begins a jigging step, making the children giggle. They try to mimic her steps, prancing in her wake to the stage.

Keon murmurs to Erik to lead Star and Ruarc from the Queens, lingering behind as the couple bows and moves away. Mab stops him with a gesture.

"Watching their backs, Dealg Drubh?"

"Aye Your Highness."

"I thought, Lord Keon, that you held no part in the belief of Prophecy."

A brilliant smile flashes across the coal planes of his stark features. "I never thought to find love, take another blood brother, nor see the Sea Hag merrily cavort save on the destruction of an enemy. And yet, O Queen, I have done all three in a short period of time. How can I NOT see what is happening?"

He turns away and joins the dancers, matching the surprisingly nimble Sea Hag step for step.

Pandora sits with Obsidian and squeezes his hand as they watch the children with the queens; and she is overwhelmed with emotion when she hears her daughter's request... she was astonished! Chloe always seemed so intent on her wings and flying that Pandora didn't realize she was really aware she could develop her mother's wytch's charms as well. Ob slips an arm around her shoulder and hugs her close as they watch the children act with such poise before the queens.

Pandora knew all the children possessed knowledge and skills far beyond others their age... but Chloe's request showed her their reasoning skills were far advanced as well, and felt she should talk with Alise and Star about starting some rudimentary schooling for the children.

She scans the room,looking for Mortuis and Silk... she figured they would make an appearance... and she was hoping to fill Silk in on her need to talk about her dreams.

Returning her mind to the present, she watches the queens; and hears their comments about the children... and she is proud of them all.

Lunar Eclipse had been playing through dinner and the early part of the party. They kept the tunes upbeat, modern. Byte had heard what happened at the
clearing and decided not to play anything that had to do with war or survival. After all, better to raise spirits when there are children and Queens in attendance.

Taking a break, he seeks out Ike and Tori to find out what set up they needed for later. So many people, so many in costumes from the Viking era. He hides his smile at the sight of the fabled Sea Hag playing tickle with four little children. Not even the sight of her jagged teeth scare the kids. It is all
part of Gran Mer to them. If anything, it is the Queens of Fae who seem a
little put out at how the children ignored them for her.

Chloe crawls into Ob's lap and presses her forehead to his. Keon leans close when Ob leans his way, and the Dark Lord is laughing as he picks Chloe off her daddy's lap. Guunnar joins him, scooping up Mera and Tara. Tomas holds his hand out to Mer Cronigh until the Hag takes it and rises, chuckling as Teon explains.They stop by Erik and Star, Keon leaning close to whisper something to the proud parents. Moments later they are wending their way through the crowd, Tomas and Mer Cronigh leading.

When the group stops before the Queens, Fea whispers to Tomas. He takes Star's hand and tugs until she and Erik walk forward with Ruarc. He looks at Keon, then his Gran Mer. At their nods, he bows, then falls back to where his cousins wait with Guunnar. Keon steps forward and bows. Inari's eyes sparkle as she hides a smile.

"Your Majesties, and Courts of Shadows and Light, May I present to You, Ruarc, son of Erik, son Of Star. The Child of Two Worlds.  May I also present the next generation of Warrior Born. Tomas and Tara, Children of Stone and Spirit," The twins walk forward hand in hand, stopping beside Star. "Chloe, Child of Stone, Smoke, and Magick," Chloe nearly dances to Erik's side.

"And Mera, Child of Waters and Deep Night." Mera toddles up between her father and Chloe. Absynthe circles the group, then lands on Chloe's shoulders, wings fanned to keep her from overbalancing her little mistress.

Mer Cronigh steps close behind the girls, Guunnar stepping behind the twins. Titania smiles at the group, nodding regally. Mab raises a brow and purses her lips. Chloe watches her carefully then looks up at Keon.

"Un' Ke, say?"

He nods to the little girl. Bowing to her, he turns to the Queens. His face is bland, schooled to no expression.

"Your Royal Majesties, my young Neice has a request to ask of the Courts. When she is old enough, she would like to try to master some of the Fae Magicks. One spell in particular has her interest. My Queen of Darkness and Shadows, Chloe was impressed with the casting in the Clearing. She understands such knowledge will be many years in the coming. She has already discussed this with her father and he is amenable, as long as it waits until she has learned control, and shown a talent for Magicks."

Chloe raises her chin and Keon continues. "My Niece has already learned Magick is like the Sword, it must be honed and practiced before one can advance to such spells."

Mab's smile is slow, thoughtful. "We will consider the request. If the daughter shows the same character as the Stone Dragon has shown, We of the Dark Crown shall be honored to arrange for her instruction." She fixes the little girl with a steady gaze. "I foresee much in these Human Realm children."

Titania smiles as a demifae lands on Tara's shoulder. It whispers in the little girl's ear, then flits away. The child raises lavender eyes to her own, then past her to Inari. Titania smiles and replies to Mab's comment. "As do I, Cousin. As do I."

I like Star and Erik, and I have nothing against babies, but I can't wait to get out of this ridiculous outfit and into my usual duds. Gareth looks good in his armor and surcoat, but hell, Gareth looks good in anything (and even better out of it). Me, I look ridiculous - but the invitation said "traditional", and the closest I had to Viking-wear was the armor and surcoat they found for me in the Unformed Plane - the one with the bat emblem on the chest.

If Jack makes just one "Batman" crack, I'm going to shove his head so far up his ass he'll be eating his last meal for the second time….

I escort Raina in… now Raina looks good in the Viking dress, despite the fact that it hides those amazing legs… but it's soft and clingy, and that's almost as good. Not being much of a partier - at least not beyond one-on-one (or even two-on-one) - I don't really know what's coming next. A meal, I'd guess, then maybe dancing and small talk… I'm not much on small talk, can you tell? - so this looks like an evening I'll endure rather than enjoy.

Then Gareth shows up with K'thyri in tow…

One word: WOW!

Okay, explain something to me, If you can. I've seen Ky completely naked and damn near spread-eagle a couple of times - but now, in a floor-length dress, with her hair down, she looks good enough to eat.

Part of it is the color, I'm sure… the dress is a pale turquoise that does amazing things to her eyes, makes them look dark and mysterious… enticing…. Her hair - worn down, for a wonder - is a mass of soft curls and ringlets that seems to make her look softer somehow… more accessible, less like she'd put a dirk in your ribs as soon as look at you. I never realized how clothes can change your whole look before - me, with a century and a half under my belt!

Gareth sidles up to us. "Looking good, lovers," he grins.

My mouth is suddenly dry. "Oh, yeah," I mumble. "You, too."

Gareth is looking at me knowingly with just the faintest hint of a grin… what does that devious little elf have up his sleeve? "We should find  seats before all the good spaces are taken," he says matter-of-factly. Raina and Gareth take the lead and find us seats facing each other across the table. Ky moves to sit beside Gareth, but I take her hand - "May I?" - and move her to sit next to me. Raina gives me a surprised look, then smiles and sits down next to Gareth.

I smile at Ky. "You don't mind too much, do you?" She gives me a grin in return and shakes her head, mouthing the word finally….

The meal begins, but I can't tell you what we ate - apart from myself, of course. I vaguely remember some spicy buffalo wings - which I love, even though they have all the nutritive value of corrugated cardboard as far as I'm concerned - but that's it. Ky looks so alive tonight, sparkling with wit and wicked humor. Every now and then she pulls my face around and kisses me lingeringly while Gareth and Raina grin from ear to ear.

Why do I suddenly feel like I've been set up?

The kisses last long enough that everyone notices - not just the people at our table, mind you, everyone in the bloody tavern - and I get the feeling that a point is being made. I just hope I'm reading it right….

The moment Mab dispatched the assassin in her usual dramatic fashion, Hell Hounds slid among the people assembled. Trooper trotted forward to take his place by Keon's side. Touching the Hound's grizzled head, the Dark Lord frowns. No one had stepped from the Veils, save the Queens and their courts. Each had been checked for glamour. The assassin had been none of them.

Three Hounds inspected the scent trail where Mab's prey had stood. A sharp bark and two took off through the woods, following the scent in reverse. The third huffed a command, gathering the others. All leave save Trooper, who stays among the group in the front.

As the Blackhawks step from the trees, Keon smiles. One touch, and Trooper slips from his side. The Dark Lord nods to the other side of the clearing, acknowledging Mab's, still hidden, Spyder Corps. Slipping through the milling people, Keon makes his way to where Trooper is softly growling at anyone who would touch the arrow. He lays quiet as Keon plucks the feathered shaft from the earth. Miko lands on his shoulder, waiting until Keon holds the arrow by its nock for his inspection. The small warrior flies the short length, then hovers directly before the tip.

He shakes his head, moonlight glittering among the jewel toned strands in his hair. "No poison. I can't believe his shot was tan mal, so bad... Do you think it was a warning, Lord Keon?" When Keon looks at him, drawing his eyes from the magick he is using to look for a spell, Miko continues, his accent rolling r's with the voicing of his thoughts. "Was he trrying to let us know that they can get close without being seen, knowing Mab would kill him... he wouldn't have to report back... and his familia would be safe... I mean he DID trry..."

Keon sits back on his heels, dark sight turned within as he thinks over what Miko has suggested. He barely hears the small man's sighed Too bad she destroyed him. Cannot question now. Keon smiles as he hides the arrow up his sleeve. Wish had said not all of the darker ones want Ruarc dead. Could there be dissension among those who wish the Prophecy not to be?

Guunnar hails him. Mera wants Da to hurry. She wants to see Gran Mer and play! With a smile, he joins his old friend and child. His last thought, before turning his attention to the night shadowed trees is, if Mab's anger had been cataclysmic, Wish would have been even worse, had she and Pike not been watching the cabin, as requested.

The Queen hadn't finished with the assassin, but Tannr and I were already bracketing the cradle to prevent a second attempt. Tannr stripped enough of his sleeve to let Raven loose to scout ahead. That damn bird has eyes all over its damn body, I sometimes think. It got me into trouble more than a few times in my youth when I was dallying with a milkmaid or whatever; but now I'm glad he's here looking out for my son.

Star is pale to the lips, but her face is hard and set, too - the face of a mother whose child has been threatened. She watches Mab deal with the assassin and doesn't flinch in the slightest. Truth to say, I think she'd help if she could.

The bird returns with (Tannr tells me) no news of other assassins; but I can't forget that we didn't see this one, either, for all our precautions. I turn to Star. "We should take Ruarc and go, maybe to the Manse, at least for awhile. They've tried once; they may try again."

"No." Star's eyes are blazing with determination, and I know better than to even try to give her an argument. "I will not be made to run away and hide. This is our place, our people. This is what Ruarc's life is going to be, for better or worse. We're going to face these people, and we're going to beat them back. Every time they send a killer, we’re going to send them a corpse back, until they learn that they can't beat us." She turns those blazing eyes on me, every inch a Warrior, for all her seeming fragility. "Don't fight me on this, Erik; my mind is made up."

"I wouldn't dare." The words are a bare whisper, so awestruck I am by the change in my formerly-timid wife. There's always been a core of steel in her… you seldom see it because of the packaging; but it's there. It's what allowed her to survive being raped and left for dead. It let her watch, coldly and dispassionately, when Keon and I killed her attackers. It only gives way when the emergency is over, when she can be soft again; but it's always there in readiness.

I think the Drow have bitten off way more than they can chew, and Star is going to be there, to help us ram it down their collective throats till they choke on it.

It was pretty anticlimactic after that. Mab knelt once more to bestow her blessing - no sign now of the rage that had whittled a man down to atoms. She left a kiss on the baby's cheek just before she rose and returned to her place. Rowan finished the whole thing off with a blessing on all present; and we adjourned to the Tavern for the celebration.

I am not letting Guunnar con me into drinking mead….

“Really Mab... did you have to make such a mess of him?” Titania sighs as she looks at the worried and scared expression on Stars face. “And you have scared this poor child to death... Inari?”

“Yes, your Majesty?” Inari inclines her head towards her Queen.

“Call the Nighthawks to offer escort and guard the Warrior so he and his parents may get to their home safely.” She turns to Erik, “ I understand from there you will take an automobile to the celebration?”

As Titania visits with Star and Erik, Inari moves to the edge of the crowd and gives a low, long whistle into the trees. Several guards appear, materializing from the woods.

Mab gives Titania a look with an arched brow and Titania smiles. “Dont look at me like that Mab. I am sure your guards are watching in secret on the other side...”

“If I told you it wouldnt be a secret now would it?” Mab grins wiping her hands on a cloth one of her retainers has given her.

“If I can see them, it isnt much of a secret to begin with...” Titania smiles, knowing Mab wont look, but some of her people do. “Can we dispense with this endless bickering for one night? Its old and tiring and we really should just enjoy the celebration and the company...”

Mab nods and sighs. “Its proving most entertaining so far...”

Titania rises with inhuman grace from where she kneels by the child. Whatever blessing she gave, it was too soft to hear, unless maybe those pointy ears are good for something besides just looking weird. Nick might have heard it, if he's here.

Mab comes forward to take Titania's place, seemingly radiating a dark chill in her wake. She kneels - and there's a soft rush of air, more felt than heard, and a short, stubby arrow embeds itself in the earth maybe a foot away.

In its short flight, it passed within maybe two inches of Ruarc's head.

Mab was crouched over the baby, about to bestow her blessing, and unaware till just that moment of what was going on. When she sees the missile, she looks up and back, her eyes wide and wild, flaring with rage and dark magic.

"You dare?!!!" It's more than a scream. Nearly everyone present claps hands to their ears against the inhuman shriek, a sound like nothing I've ever heard before; and I pray by all the Powers That Be never to hear such again.

It comes from the dark Queen, the Queen of Air and Darkness, from Mab of the Unseelie. It's insane rage incarnate. Mab rises howling into the air ten, twelve, twenty feet and her voice alone strips the clothes from the would-be assassin. But it doesn't stop there, oh no; it holds him upright in a grip of iron, and it peels the skin from him with exquisite precision, sends it flapping off into the distance; then the muscles are abraded away, as if by an invisible sandblaster. Layer by layer she peels him down to the core, somehow sustaining that banshee scream throughout; now spinning slowly in the air, like a tornado in human form; and when nothing is left but dry bones, she tears the bones apart and sends them spinning to the four corners of the earth. Only then does her spin slow to stillness, and the shriek wanes to silence. She spirals down to settle in her seat as lightly and gracefully as a butterfly. The expression on her face then - dear God, how to describe it? Like the cat that ate the canary, it's a look of pleasure, of satiation, coupled with a terrible, bottomless greed, for more, more! I think suddenly that she would never look this way after the most satisfying sex of her endless life; and I go suddenly cold, and very, very afraid.

She turns to Titania with a gracious smile and says - every inch a queen - "I thank thee, my sister, for this entertaining diversion. Shall we continue?"

Alise smiles as she watches everyone take their places in the clearing. Tara's violet eyes are wide, taking in the colorful dresses and demifae. She giggles at Mya, who is wearing a tiny version of Stars pale pink wedding dress. She arrives on Lobo, holding a ear for balance and takes her place up front, near Rowan. Stoney is holding Grace, and Laila has Tomas who has to be told that he can play with Wolf and Lobo later, not right now as he wants.

Taras eyes go wide and she sends to Alise as the Fae Queens make their entrance. Maman! Regardez !

The Queens enter and take the spots near the front, each on opposite sides of the crowd. Alise marvels at their robes, the fabrics soft and loose and almost seeming to change colors with every movement. It reminded her of Stars eyes, sometimes the change was so subtle you werent sure of what you just saw. Mabs gown was darker, with shades of red and gold threads shot throughout. Titania looked like a spring vision, pale colors with silver and her long blonde hair flowing down her back.

Several retainers joined the queens and a few guards took position around them. Tara giggles softly as she watches a small Fae enter. The woman is small, even by Fae standards and is dressed as one of the court. Her robes are the palest gold and green colors and the fabric shimmers as she moves gracefully down the aisle. Her golden brown hair is unbound and flows to her knees. As the woman moves past Alise she looks up and smiles.

Mon Dieu! Chiot, was that Inari? She is so beautiful, I never would have guessed...

Alise watches as she takes her place and happens to catch the look passed between her and Keon. A lingering appraising look, one that left little doubt that there was some attraction there....

Did you see that? I imagine nothing would come of it, each being from a different court. It is most likely forbidden...

Stoney smiles at his wife. I dont know Chaton, but I would not be surprised if such a thing were not allowed them...

Just then, Star and Erik arrive with Ruarc. All the Fae in the group bow, as they did for the Queens when they entered. They approach the front where Rowan and Traeger are waiting , Star waves to Mera who waves back from Keons arms. Keon passes her to Gunnaar when Rowan asks for Keon and Inari, Jack and Laila to come forward. Then the ceremony begins.

Being so short, Alise cant see a thing. Stoney fills her in as to what is happening but her attention is taken with gazing at the fabrics the Fae are wearing. She is dying to touch one of the robes to see if it feels as soft and silken as it looks. I wonder if Inari could get me some of that? Maybe Raina could ask Ky... Her thoughts interrupted by Stoney telling her about the ceremony.

She picked two sets of sponsors for Ruarc so that he would be taught about all the Realms. He cant very well defend what he does not understand Star says. So Keon for the Unseelie side, Inari for the Seelie. Laila for the human side and Jack b ecause he is long lived... they must have put a great deal of thought into this...wise choices, all. Oh... and she is asking Rowan to consider herself grandmama, since Star thinks of her as her mother...

Ohh... Chiot. She is so sweet. And that must make Rowan very proud and happy... Alise was trying to stand on her toes in order to see better.

Merde! Why couldnt I have been taller?

It looks like they are making some sort of formal presentation of Ruarc to the Queens. Star looks nervous...

Alise looks up at the sky, the early evening full moon hiding behind gathering clouds. Before she can get Stoneys attention, huge fluffy snow flakes start to drift from the sky. Tomas who has been watching from Ramjis arms tilts his head back and sticks out his tongue, trying to catch one. When Tara sees him she does the same.

Stoney, its going to get cold. Ruarc should get inside, he is too little for this..
. she smiles at her children, mouths open wide, tongues out to catch the flakes.

Inari has stepped forward and is speaking to the Queens and Rowan. Rowan says the protocol must be shortened a bit to get the baby inside... Titania is giving her blessing to the baby...

Mon Fluer, I could lift you on my shoulders so that you could see better...

Alise elbows Ob in the ribs... Behave Barbare.. .or I will tell your wife on you...

Stoney smiles at the good-natured teasing. Suddenly there is a commotion up front and the guards move towards the queens and Ruarc.

Pandora cannot believe her eyes... she has never seen Ob in this tunic, never knew it existed; but it is perfect for the occasion... and the dark purple shade draws the highlights out in his multicolored hair, whisps of which have escaped his braid to lay around his face. The colors compliment the girls outfits perfectly... and she is proud of what a handsome warrior he is... and his daughter glows as she cuddles in his arms.

Having got the demifaes reports that all is in readiness; they descend the stairs... anxious to see Tori in this dress they keep hearing about.

Pandora almost gasps as she sees Tori turn around from Tanners arms... she is beautiful, the Viking outfit compliments her red hair... and somehow the light that emanates from her face is softened to a more feminine turn. Pandora realizes a lot of that is because of Tannr; he has drawn something special out in Tori.

The room is full of familiar faces turned majestic in their finest garb for this special occasion... its not often they are in the company of kings and queens. There is an air of anticipation at the coming festivities.

Chloe demands her daddy put her down... and is soon crisscrossing the room going to people who's clothing and jewels catch her eye. Her parents smile at her undisguised interest... her small dragon trailing after to watch over her. Soon she finds Keon and Mera;  and lingers for awhile... crying out in delight when she spies the Sea Hag. As terrifying as she is to some by reputation... to the children here she is a beloved gran,and soon Chloe is settled on her lap.

Keeping his thoughts completely closed to Pandora (and his sisters), Ob had slipped into the bathroom and locked the door before his wife could see what was in his arms. The tunic was old, but had been well cared for. The black linen had faded with time, becoming a washed out deep purple instead. He knew Tori would recognize it. He had been wearing it the first time the four now-sibs had played together.

He had kept it, never expecting to wear it again, but Ruarc's naming gave him a reason to bring it out. The near-lavender colored tights tied him to his girls, and he smiles as he drags a comb through his wet hair, untangling knots. Donning the clothes, Ob looks down at himself. The lack of embroidery didn't bother him. He picks up the brocade belt and wraps it twice around his waist before tying it off. The belt is the only concession he makes to his Gypsy heritage. He knows Pandora expects him to wear his saroules and salwar, but he hopes she will like this as well. Pulling on his knee boots, Ob stands and adjusts the tunic to hang just mid-thigh. Pulling his hair back into a loose braid, Ob opens the door to the high-pitched chatter of excited demifae.

Pandora stands before them, nodding at their voices. It takes him a few moments to understand what they are talking about. Chloe turns, hand still clutching a fold of her mother's dress. Her eyes light up and she runs to him. Absinthe launches from the bed's headboard and lands on his shoulder as he stoops to catch his daughter before she falls in her haste.

"Pa'pa! Pa'pa! Sooo pretty! Pa'pa... An Tor in dress!"

He stands, carefully so Absinthe doesn't slip and tear the fabric, and laughs at his daughter's bright emotions. He laughs even harder when Pandora turns and eyes widen at his clothes.

Ike watches the couple dance, wrapped in each other. Her thoughts go to another time, green hills and laughter. Closing her eyes, she pushes the memories away before Tori catches them. Puzzled, Tori glances at Ike, who turns to lean across the bar to give Monty a kiss.

Keon waits until Tori is again looking into Tannr's eyes. He clears his throat, getting Ike's attention. Mera reaches for the blonde gargoyle. Ike nuzzles the little girl, who giggles and pats Ike's face.

"You have a gift for bringing people out of melancholy, sweetheart. This is a happy day. No time for reliving sad memories."

She kisses Mera and hands her back to Keon. "I wonder, Keon. Will all our children be such treasures?"

Keon tickles his daughter until her giggles turn into shrieks.

"I hope so, Ike. I sincerely hope so..."

Tannr watches from a spot in the shadows near the back door. He nodded at Keon in greeting and pauses to watch Ike place the headband on Toris red spikes. He smiles when her hand reaches to feel the small jeweled snake around her neck.

Tori turns when she hears Tannr approach and he gives a soft whistle.

Startled, she bites back the smart remark she was going to make about the dress when she sees the look in his eyes.

“By all the gods... you are a vision... beautiful....” He pulls her close and tips her chin up. “The dress suits you..”

Tori swallows hard, “It doesnt remind you... of someone else?”

Tannr smiles and shakes his head, one hand lingering along her neck. “No. It reminds me of how gorgeous you are. Although seeing everyone dress this way makes me a little homesick. Raina looks so much like her mother its spooky.” He lowers his head and whispers, “And later I will show you just how beautiful you are to me...”

Wrapping their arms around each other while the music plays on the jukebox they start to sway slowly, Tannr pulling her close, letting her know he wanted her and there was no one else on his mind, dress or not.

Keon and Ike watch from the bar. A slow grin twists Keon's lips. "Tis a softer side yer sister shows to Tannr."

Ike smiles sadly. "She was a lot more like that when we were kids. Now..." Ike grins as she watches the couple. "Viper fits her well."

Tori fidgets. Ike was driving her crazy with this outfit. Trepidation kept her still, letting Ike do a few final fixings. This was her element. Her younger sister loved clothes. Tori didn't. She had to admit though, this wasn't half bad for a dress.

The chemise was soft, loose enough to move, yet not so loose she felt naked. The pale green was a soft, nearly white color. The tabard apron was a dark color washed into the greens of summer grasses. As Ike adjusts the apron ties, Tori runs a finger over the embroidery along the top of the apron. She smiles at the feel of small flames done in gold and red threads. Ike sits back on her heels.


Tori glances at her. "Well what?"

Ike sighs. "About the headband? Will you wear it?"

Tori sighs again. "Fine. As  long as I can put my necklace back on."

Ike makes a face. "It is lovely, but it isn't.."

Tori cuts her off. "Put the damn tie around my head. Then give me back my necklace. I don't care if it isn't period. Tannr gave it and I am going to wear it."

Ike hides a smile as she positions the embroidery across Tori's forehead, making sure the extra length lies just right. A soft sigh escapes her sister, echoing release of tension in her shoulders, as the small snake nestles in its accustomed place. Ike schools her features, stepping away.

"You should wear dresses more often." Ike grins at the sour look that crosses Tori's face.

Pandora was content that the feast was well handled... and took time to go upstairs and make certain everything was ready to wear to the festivities. Ob had conceded that since the festivities were more Viking; the dresses she had made for her and Chloe in Celtic style for his picture were perfect for the festivities. The bodice was soft violet gauze with a scoop neck that showed Pandora's ample breasts and the sleeves were long and flowing, and a vest of soft velvet in a green tone that matched her eyes fit right beneath her breasts and laced up with ribbon. The skirt was a print of violet and purple flowers and twining leaves on a soft beige background... and it had a slight drop in back that softly skimmed the floor. Chloe's dress was a more juvinile version of hers and came to her ankles... and she had soft violet boots to complete the look. Pandora was a February Pisces... so she was going to wear amethysts at her throat and ears... and had a tiny pair for Chloe.

Ob would wear his native garb; as befitted a warrior... and altogether they would look quite handsome.
Tugging at his tunic, Keon adjusted its lay along his trews. The soft kelley green made the deep coal tones of his skin nearly glisten. Mera rode on his hip resting her head against his shoulder. She touched the waves ib the embroidery, then the blue in his hair. Looking up she gave him a big smile.

"Da pretty. Mer-ra pretty baby."

Guunnar laughed aloud. "Ja Mera. Du hast a pretty Dada, und his little moon ist a pretty baby." The big viking tickles her with his moustache. Mera giggles reaching for the man.

"Unca Guun... Fuzzy! Tickles!"

Guunnar swings her into the air, tossing the little girl high, catching her as she drops down. Her peals of laughter bring a smile to Keon's oft times too somber face.The dark Sidhe pulls back the top layer of his hair, catching it with a silver hair clip. Guunnar grunts in approval.

"Ist gut, Ke. If ears were nicht pointed, und color vas.... sunshine nicht midnacht... du vouldst  be Viking!"

Keon raises a brow. "Old Friend... I think it would take a wee bit more than coloring and eartips. I wear Viking gear to honor my sworn brother and family on their day of pride."

He ties a sash around his waist and follows Guunnar and Mera from the room. There is a commotion downstairs. Several demifae zip past heading for Ob and Pandora's rooms. One stops just long enough, to tell them Tori has arrived, before tearing off after the others. The two men shrug and head downstairs.

Tori stands in the middle of the dance area arms stretched out at shoulder level. Ike circles her, making final adjustments to Tori's outfit. Mer Cronigh is laying Norse and Saxon jewelery on a table. Picking up a belt made of bronze plates. She smiles and lays it aside, rubbing at a spot. The Sea Hag smiles as she spies the two men.

"Ach, here ye are Dealg Drubh. A fine bit of Saxon ye make. Guunnar, Norseman, come tell me what bit of sea treasure would be proper for the yer Little Sister and her men." She raises a gnarled hand, the palm filled with a gem set broach. Guunnar's eyes widen, recognizing the glyphs around the stone.

"How came du mit dat? It ist mein family crest."

She lays it in his hand, watching his face carefully. "Spoils of the seas, Laddie. Tis a long time since ye went a'raidin'. Thought ye might be likin this back. There's more on the table. Tis yers by right."

Stunned, Guunnar hands Mera to Keon and moves to the stash. He slowly starts to sort pieces, tears gathering as he recognizes piece after piece, some still showing signs of scorching from funeral fires. Picking up the belt, he stares at it for a moment, then bundles everything back into a pile and disappears upstairs.

"Fea, a gifting to Guunnar?"

The Hag watches until Guunnar is gone from sight. "Aye... Something was tellin me he will be needing them." Her eyes sparkle at Keon. "So, the Queens are coming to the Naming. " When Keon nods, she smiles, sharp teeth showing. "Tis here I will be staying then until ye all return. I'll be gifting the family with a bit of Me own treasures."

Reaching up, Fea takes mera from Keon's arms. The little girls touches the wrinkles on the Hag's face, eyes large as the old Fae chuckles. "Yer gran is happy to see ye growin so big and merry. Ma Star is good about yer swimmin I see. Yer gills are healthy. Aren't ye a bonny one..." She kisses Mera on the cheek, blowing against her skin to make the little one laugh. With a doting smile Fea hands Mera back to father.
"Bring her to see me soon, Keon. Tis a dip in the waters of Faery she should have."

With that, the Sea Hag makes her way to the bar, and the cup of salt water waiting for her.

The morning of the naming ceremony everyone in Exton it seemed was awake early. Pandora and Monty were busy supervising the cooking and decorating while Chloe watched all the goings on from her highchair.  Absinthe was posed on the back and Chloe was watching the demifae flit around and eating her breakfast which she was sharing with the little dragon.

Alise was putting the finishing touches on the gown she had made for Ruarc. It was a deep shade of blue with brown, gold, green and ecru embroidery. Alise had designed the patterns with Rainas help, the Runes around the bottom and up the center of the front entwined with leaves and vines and just a few flowers so it didnt look too feminine. She had also added a few stars and crescent moons into the pattern. Star had left the design up to Alise and had just asked that it not be white. Alise was planning on taking her the outfit and helping Star to get the children and herself ready.

At the old speakeasy Nick was resting for the day, and Gareth was making lunch. Raina was sorting through her clothes trying to decide what to wear. She had several traditional outfits but couldnt make up her mind about what color she felt like wearing. Ky enters and watches from the doorway as Raina starts tossing things out to land on the bed.

“Nothing you like?” Ky smiles at the muffled response from the depths of the walk-in closet.

Raina finally emerges with something in pale turquoise draped over her arm. “I cant make up my mind, but I found the perfect dress for you to wear...”

“I have to wear a dress? Isnt my warrior gear traditional enough?”

Raina grins at the panic in Ky's voice, “No, no warrior stuff for the women. Not today. You can add your darts , just in case for safety reasons..”

“I'll look like a dork..”

“What? You could never look like a dork. Erik is planning one hell of a party. You should go all out, doll yourself up, wear your hair down...” Raina cant stifle her laugh at the horrified look on Ky's face. “Whats wrong? Youre gorgeous, and you cant tell me you have never worn a dress before...”

“I never wore dresses. My mother tried to make me wear one once. Drai and my brothers teased me until I punched him in the face and took the dress off. Going naked was easier...”

Raina laughed out loud, “Well, then maybe its time. Isnt Inari going to be in full court dress?”

Nodding slowly, Ky agrees. “I imagine so, since Titania will be there.” Ky sighs. “All right, just dont make me look like an idiot, and no high heels. I dont know how you people walk around in those things..”

“All right, no heels. I bet Nick will be surprised to see you all dressed up. That might be kinda fun...” Raina winks at Ky who smiles at first and then her expression turns more serious.

“Raina, I dont think he likes me.”

Rainas eyes go wide, then at the sadness in Ky's eyes she puts her arms around her. “What makes you think that? I know he cares for you, he has told me as much himself. I know he's attracted. You should see the way he looks at you when you arent watching...”

Ky shakes her head. “But that night when you stayed with Star and me and Gareth and Nick were home alone? He didnt even try anything, I mean..I invited him upstairs with me and Gareth to watch...and thats all he did. Well, besides taking care of himself, that made me even hotter..” Ky smiles at the memory. “I thought for sure he would join us.... What the hell does he need? An engraved invitation?”

Raina makes a mental note to kick Nick a good one next time she sees him. Why are these two dancing around each other like this?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Upstairs, away from the madness….

I drop the ruined t-shirt into the trash. Raina can get Gareth or Ky to go to the Lodge and pick me up another. In the meantime, I have more pleasant prospects in mind. I get my boots off while Raina slithers out of her clothes, making it look effortless - but how the fuck do those leather pants come off so smoothly for her? Sometimes when I try to do it, it's like trying to skin a snake… alive.

She tsks over my shoulders, but sees in a moment that the damage is only superficial… lots of blood makes it look worse than it is. She gets an arm under my shoulder and "helps" me into the bathroom. I ogle her ass while she adjusts the temperature… showering with a vamp, you have to make it a little hotter than usual to counteract our lack of body heat.

We step under the spray and the blood starts sluicing down the drain - Psycho, anyone? - making things look about ninety percent better. Raina washes my shoulders carefully, pressing her breasts against my back… then she reaches around and glides a hand along my cock. "Ohhh, my," she says in a little-girl voice, "look what I found."

"You know what to do with that, right?"

She just grins and goes to her knees….