I was pissed off in both worlds. In the parallel world, Phaisel had managed to get an assassin into our private apartments, even if it was only a spider. That was a blot on Carira's honor that would not go unpunished. I was mad as hell and he was going to regret ever targeting my family.
In the here and now, Solomon Frisco had followed a trail of corruption that led all the way back to a strange conspiracy of business interests. The FBI was running around 'finding' Communists for that idiot McCarthy and ignoring the way that this consortium was slowly taking over the country. They'd procured influence by buying the politicians, judges and law enforcement officers that they could, then used them to get the laws and judgments they wanted.
David Denver was one of their paid lackeys and would no doubt hand down judgments that would benefit the Council of Nine, as they were known. They were used to being ruthless and took a proactive approach to what they wanted. That's why a smear campaign against Dad would make sure that he would never be considered a serious candidate for a judgeship.
The conspiracy was vast and I felt like our family was very, very small in fighting-back resources. But Dad remained calm and he said that we'd be all right. He'd gotten a phone call that made him smile and when he told us that Robert McCall was coming for dinner, I felt better myself. The debonair man was almost as dangerous as my alter-ego was.
Our home remained calm and protective, it was only when we went shopping or into the outer world that I felt the weight of the opposition against us. I refused to let them win so I met with old friends, played tennis with Bess weekly at the country club, had lunch twice a week with my husband and generally kept myself busy. Of course, during it all I held my babies close and watched them grow.
I was a lucky woman to have my heart's desires fulfilled so young.
We'd been fooled by a fake orange glued together with a cool odorless gel that dissolved in the heat of the room, releasing the deadly spider. It was only the favor of the many-eyed goddess that the spider had taken a moment to orient himself before leaping. That and the quick actions of my Sisters had saved Lord Nephrites and his son. I was going to carve out Lord Phaisel's black heart and feed it to the vultures for this.
Lord Carthenal didn't blame us for our failure but I still felt the pain of knowing we'd allowed danger to enter his secure retreat. Lord Nephrites put a good face on his fear but we could all sense his shock and worry for his son and bonded. This would not happen again. Sepira stayed behind to make sure that nothing else entered their rooms while they were at dinner with the hawk lord and his Chosen.
The other triad had secured their rooms and every bit of food was picked up in the kitchens by Karel and Jarwhal. Nothing was going to disturb their dinner. Karel's nose for poisons was as keen as my own Sepira's so I didn't fear another attack from that quarter.
The two great lords acted at ease but I could see the tension in their necks and shoulders. Their bondeds would have their work cut out for them tonight in relieving the muscle strains. Little Sarpendon was having great fun eating with the big people and he made everyone laugh with his comments.
The two Chosens fed their lords by hand and I could see the bond deepening between the hawk lord and his bonded. Lord Laital looked years younger and was displaying a dry sense of humor that delighted his lord and their friends. My fellow Sisters would have a good home with the people of the hawk.
Of course, it would be better with the dangerous Lord Phaisel out of the way. I plotted while I took my leave to go and check with my sources among the other lords. I picked up little tidbits from several different informants including one of a strange odor coming from his suite this trip. But nothing indicated what he planned next. He appeared to be working completely on his own this time and that puzzled me.
Perhaps he was getting desperate at each failure, I thought to myself and slipped back into the hawk lord's rooms. Little Sar had fallen fast asleep in his mother's lap and Lord Nephrites was curled in his lion lord's fond embrace. Across from them, Lord Roylant held his bonded close while he nursed the new girl child. That was a very satisfying sight and I said another prayer to the many-eyed goddess for allowing Lasira to destroy the evil Lord Sacralus.
The Chosen would be well taken care of for the rest of his life, the way he should have been from the beginning. I had an idea that now that Lord Nephrites had an ally among the Chosen, he was going to work on freeing the other eight who were still slaves. Bonded Chosen hadn't happened for over two hundred years. The Great Lords had no idea what was going to happen to their world.
I was looking forward to helping my Lord in his quest to make sure all the Chosen were loved and taken care of. But first, I needed to know how to reach Lord Phaisel so I could erase his evil presence from our world. He had to come out of his rooms sometime.
********* Carson/Carthenal *********
Robert was a breath of fresh air when he visited. He was amazed at our new home and all the new family members. He looked a little dazed after meeting everyone and I poured him some of the good scotch to help him through the pre-dinner chaos. George liked him right away and he enjoyed her dry wit. Ned took a little longer to warm up to him but I think that was a bit of jealousy.
McCall is an alpha-wolf himself. But Ned soon grew comfortable enough to tease me with that swivel-hipped walk that he'd inherited from Nephrites. He was going to get nailed to our bed about two minutes after Robert left, I promised myself. Dinner was full of laughter and we adjourned to the patio for after dinner drinks and a planning session.
Jimmy, Laura and Solomon had joined us for dinner and they stayed to add their input. Robert listened to what we had so far but even his pleasant fašade was shaken when we got to the Council of Nine. His respect for Solomon's resources increased by a thousand fold by that little bit of research. He volunteered to steer us clear of any more minefields and I accepted his aid gratefully.
The bigger this problem grew, the more I wanted our family safely out of it. It's said that children are our hostages to fortune and I agreed wholeheartedly with that axiom. My need for us to be safe overrode my desire for justice. I'd like to take down the whole Council and give America back to the sometimes inefficient but always democratic people.
But my family came first and always would. I was no caped crusader and bullets wouldn't bounce off my chest like some TV Superhero. When I got Robert to one side and voiced that opinion, he smiled and agreed. His help would be invaluable while we set up a trap to silence Denver and take him out of the running for the bench. It wouldn't do any good just for me to bow out since then he'd be free to go after Judge Skelling.
I wanted this menace over and done with so we could get on with our lives. The children were growing so fast that it seemed each day brought a new growth spurt. I didn't want them living in fear and heaven knows they picked up on our emotions constantly. Peace not anger was what I wanted for them.
Roylant and Laital came for dinner and we welcomed them with cool drinks and the delicious savories that the kitchen had prepared for us. Laital was still shy but he laughed more readily now and he enjoyed tasting food from his bonded's fingers. Ro loved him so teasingly that I remembered back when my beautiful Nephrites had first come to me.
He was so shy that it was all I could do to get him to raise his eyes to me. He was also unaware of anything but his female sheath and what he had to submit to in order to give me a child. The priests had taught him how a woman pleases a man but had given him no instruction on how a man pleases another man. It sounded like Laital hadn't had even that much knowledge.
But my Nephrites loved me and that had made those first few days we were together a small piece of paradise. I prayed it would be so for the lovers sitting across the table from me. Laital was nursing his daughter and that reminded me that one day in the not too distant future my sweet bonded would be doing the same. I could hardly wait.
Carira had been out hunting for information and when she returned, she spoke quietly to us about what she'd learned. The odd smell made me stop and think about a tale that the lord of the ox had told me. I brought it up because it had a strange smell in it, too.
"Lord Kellin told me that just on the other side of the border he shares with Phaisel, there was a lightning strike that blew a crater into the ground two thousand dokars across and almost three hundred dokars deep. Some of his people ventured over to see it and they said there was an acrid smell that was different from what they usually smelled after a summer storm."
"Acrid," Ro frowned. "An acrid smell reminds me of something I read in one of my many-great-grandfather's journal about the mines of Ehprites where once our ancestors mined emeralds. He wrote that one of the wizards from those Before Times had invented a black powder that when lit would blast open a new tunnel or seam of ore with a huge explosion. He mentions a dark smell that burned the nostrils and made men cough up black bile for days afterwards."
"That sounds horrible," Nephrites said with a grimace.
Carira was silent, her eyes far away then she snapped back into the here and now with a smile that wouldn't have looked amiss on one of Phaisel's crocodiles. "Thank you, my lords. I believe that I have enough information to protect you better. It is getting late."
I knew a hint when I heard one and I looked down into my bonded's eyes. "Now that Sar is asleep, perhaps we can put him to bed and rest ourselves."
He put on his prim look that makes me want to sweep him up into my arms and make love for hours. "Thank you, my lord. A good sleep is just what I was wishing for."
I growled just a little and his sweet giggle told me that sleep was the last thing on both our minds. Disentangling our robes, I helped Nephrites to his feet while Lasira took our sleeping son from him. We whispered our goodnights and I saw Ro sweep Laital up into his arms with a smile on his face before the door closed completely behind them. It looked like loving was on everyone's mind.
********* Hannah/Laital *********
Ro swept me up in his arms and my stomach trembled. I was still a little bit afraid of his huge shaft but he was so gentle and kind that I was content to take any pain that came. I kissed his cheek and he slanted his lips over mine so it felt like he touched me everywhere. Karel had turned down the bed for us and she unobtrusively helped us both off with our clothes before bowing herself from the room.
My body was on fire and I couldn't help but moan a little when his big, warm hands caressed me. No one had ever made me feel so much pleasure before and I wanted to give that same pleasure to him so I let my fingers smooth soft caresses over his skin wherever I could reach. Skin to skin felt so good that I arched beneath him, intent on touching more of him.
His chuckle sounded so wonderful to me since I'd never known that laughter and teasing could be part of a relationship. He liked it when I let myself laugh and each time he'd reward me with a kiss. I said a prayer to the many-eyed goddess, thanking her once again for my bonded and my sweet daughter.
Ro was kissing his way down my body, stopping to gently nurse at my breasts while heat flooded my whole body and I grew damp. My fingers wound themselves in his dark hair and I gasped again and again while he licked me from my navel, down to my shaft, past my shaft to my dripping entrance and then to the sweet spot that the Sister had shown me.
I had to bite my hand to muffle my cries when suddenly I exploded like the powder that they'd spoken of earlier. I'd never felt anything like it in my entire life. He was gentle with me while I quivered on the soft cushions that were our bed. Tenderly, he rolled me over, putting a pillow beneath my hips so my spent shaft wasn't squashed. I heard the bottle of oil being unstoppered, then his hands stroked me from my neck all the way down to my cheeks.
I was so relaxed that I let him have his way with my body. Whatever he did would only bring me pleasure, I just knew it. Pausing a moment, he leaned down and kissed each of my cheeks while I blushed. That seemed like such an intimate thing to do even after he'd put his tongue inside my mouth. His callused fingers stroked me delicately then slowly drifted down my crease and across the small hole waiting there.
Little tingles were beginning to shoot up my back and I wiggled just a bit to see what he'd do next. "You're beautiful here, Laital. Your cheeks remind me of plump ripe peaches just begging to be eaten."
I chuckled at that and dared to tease him. "Did my lord not have enough dinner? I'd be glad to get up and get you something to snack upon."
He spread my cheeks apart and licked a path from my balls to the top of my crease. "Oh, that's all right, little love, I have something right here that satisfies all my appetites."
All I could do was moan while his oily fingers began to open me and his mouth kissed each and every scar on my back. The burn was back but so was the flash fire when his fingers hit something inside of me. I wanted more and when I first felt some pain, I had to drag my mind back from Nirvana to see why.
"Relax for me, sweet Laital. I've got three fingers inside of you and your back is telling me that it hurts. Do you want me to stop for now so you can get used to them?" His voice soothed love over the ache and I knew just how lucky I was that he wanted me.
"I am yours, my lord. Every part of me wants you and the pain is fleeting compared to the good feelings when you spark that gland." I relaxed my back with a conscious decision and knew he felt it when he went back to kissing the whip scars on my back.
"I am yours, too. All of me wants all of you, my bonded." His husky whisper made my heart soar. "I'm going to take out my fingers and try my cock this time. If there is any pain, I expect you to tell me at once."
Nodding, I let him bring me up to all fours, wishing for the sudden emptiness to be filled. His warm soft crown nudged my small hole and I pushed out against him, the same way that I'd pushed out to birth my daughter. He rocked a little, pressing further and further in until with a sudden flair of pain his crown pushed completely through the tight ring of muscle.
It hurt. It hurt a lot but it also felt good in an odd kind of way. Panting, I pushed back a little to take him in further. "More, Ro, please more."
"You're so tight I'm about to come just from this." His voice shook and that gave me such a feeling of power.
I was giving him this pleasure. It was my body that was opening for him. So I pushed back hard and felt him slide deep, hitting that warm spot that made me want to scream. "Oh, so good . . . it's never . . . never been . . . so good."
"Yes-s-s," he pulled slowly out then thrust back in while my arms shook and my stomach clenched in pleasure. "You are my beautiful Laital." His thrusts were beginning to quicken and I felt as if my whole body was on fire. "I love you more than any other in the world." His hands were tight on my hips and I reveled in their possession. "Some day I will come inside of your other sheath and we'll create the most beautiful child in all the lands."
I moaned in agreement, feeling his love spread throughout my entire body. The tingles were taking over and I was panting so hard, I was afraid I'd faint. Not even the painful labor of the day before could stop me from wishing the same dream. One day I would know what my lord's giant cock would feel inside of my other sheath and the child we created would be loved and wanted from the moment he or she was conceived.
Suddenly I felt hot liquid flood through my bowels and I shrieked and came for the second time this night. Ro collapsed on my back, forcing me flat against the cushions but he kept enough presence of mind to roll us to our sides so I could breathe. His arms cradled me against his furry chest and I brought both of my hands up to cover his.
"Beloved, are you all right?" He sounded a little worried but I smiled and wigged just a bit.
"I am happier than I've ever been in my whole life." I hugged him tighter around me. "I can see why Nephrites told me that I would enjoy this. When I've healed completely, will you come inside my other sheath and show me how good that can be, too?"
He chuckled and licked the sweat from the back of my neck. "I promise that once the baby is six months old, I will come inside of you there. I want you completely healed and strong again before we ask the gods for another child."
His shaft slipped from me and we both moaned. Turning in his arms, I kissed his lips and he slid his tongue into my mouth. We feasted for long moments before we separated to look at each other. I don't know what my face told him but his smile and happy eyes told me that he was well pleased with his bargain.
"Until then, I promise to be a most attentive student for my master's teachings." I fluttered my eyelashes the way that I'd seen Nephrites do to his lord and Ro's reaction was much the same.
I could get used to this, I thought while tasting his mouth again. My body felt young again even though I already had 21 summers and five pregnancies behind me. I sent up a prayer to the patron goddess of the Chosen that I would have twice that many years to give to this lord who owned me body and soul.
Not even that would be long enough.
The end of part 18