I was a little ashamed at my reaction to Robert McCall. He was poised, intelligent and Carson's age. He also had a history with my lover and I could feel the hair on the back of my neck try to stand up whenever he touched Carson. But finally I accepted his presence and decided to work on making my handfasted so hot that he'd nail me quicker than Carthenal pounced on his Nephrites.
Something worked because about two minutes after we put the babies to bed he threw me over his shoulder and spanked me all the way down the hall to our bedroom while I laughed quietly and protested not at all. We stripped off fast and he pounced on me, rolling me over and taking a very short prep time before impaling me on his cock. He slid home and stilled for a long moment, all the while stroking long caresses down my back.
Nothing feels that good. No one in the world makes me feel like the most precious person on Earth, save for Carson. It doesn't matter which universe we're in, I belong to him just the way that he belongs to me. Our eyes met and we both smiled before settling in to make love to each other.
I wanted to be gone from this place with my bonded and our child. I was visiting with Laital again while our lords met in conference with the king. The Chosen was moving a little stiffly but his smile was bright while he confided in me that Lord Roylant had shown him what pleasure could come from his male sheath. It had hurt a little, he said but the pleasure had soon banished the pain.
We laughed together and made plans to visit each other in the very near future. Karel had made him another new robe and Laital showed it to me with unalloyed pleasure. He whispered that he'd never had a new robe just those left behind by Sacralus' mother. That explained the outdated colors and styles, I thought, but didn't say out loud.
He asked questions about Sar, who was playing with his blocks near us, and when he'd accomplished certain things, like sitting up or rolling over. It was so sad that he hadn't had the chance to find out these things for himself.
Carira poked her head in and told us that our lords would be with us shortly. Laital smiled and I rejoiced that in such a short time he already looked forward to seeing his lord. We checked each other to make sure that our appearance was seemly after playing with Sar and little Jasmine. My arms ached to hold a baby again and I stroked my stomach, wishing I could hurry this pregnancy along.
They came in with a swirl of their robes and we greeted them with kisses. My Car had been nibbling dates and he tasted sweeter than honey. When our lips finally parted, he chuckled and held me close. "We're going home, little one. The king has dismissed us all."
"You will love the Lodge of the Hawk, sweetheart." Lord Roylant told his bonded eagerly. "But if you don't like something, we can change it. I want you to be happy in our home."
"Where ever you are, there is my home." Laital said quietly and his bonded just had to kiss him again for those sweet words.
"Yes," Car forestalled me, "we will visit each other shortly." I stuck out my tongue at him and he gently swatted my nether cheek. "Behave little one or I shall not indulge you on our journey home."
I assumed an angelic pose that he saw right through before smiling sweetly at him. "If you're too tired, my lord, I can ride with Sar in the second carriage."
"Little demon," he whispered in my ear, "I would bid you to do so if it wouldn't pain me past belief to be without you."
I kissed him immediately for his pain was my own. "Then I shall be a perfect bonded and pander to your every need."
Lord Roylant was frowning at something Laital had said and the Chosen looked so bewildered that I hoped it wasn't serious. "Beloved, you will ride with me in the main carriage along with our daughter. I never want to be alone again."
"My lord," Laital smiled tremulously, "I will do as you wish, of course."
He kissed both of the slender hands he held in his. "Good, we will start at daybreak tomorrow. That will give us one last night all together so we can store up more good memories for when we're apart."
"Laital, did you ever meet Lord Sacralus' brother, Ahmed?" Car asked the Chosen.
"No, my lord, I was not allowed to meet with anyone save my . . . old lord." He almost stammered. "The servants said that he is a good man but very poor."
"Would it bother you to meet him tonight at dinner?" His bonded asked him and Laital shook his head. "Good, we will join Car and Nephrites then in the second banquet hall to dine with the new lord of the deer. He brought his First Wife and heir with him so it will be a friendly family gathering. The Elephant and Leopard lords are taking the noon meal with him and his breakfast will be with the lords of the Crane and the Horse."
"What was the ceremony like when the king invested him with the title?" I asked them both and we sat down to eat a light luncheon while they described the rite of passage. I could tell that they both had liked what they'd seen so far of the unknown man who was now the leader of the deer people.
That made me feel much better about meeting him myself. I'd feared that he would be like his brother and one of him had been enough. Sar fell asleep in Car's lap and we returned to our suite to tuck him in. Carira asked us politely to stay in the rooms until she returned and Car looked at her for a long moment before agreeing. She bowed to him and murmured something that I didn't hear before leaving.
"Is there something wrong, Car?" I couldn't help but ask and his smile was distracted when he looked down into my eyes.
But whatever was wrong, he shrugged it off and pulled me hard against his broad chest. "She goes to prepare a trap for Phaisel, I think. Part of me wants to participate but the rest of me wants to take you to bed and make long, sweet love to you."
His shaft was hard against me and I dampened with sudden need. "Yes, please let's go to bed so you can take care of this ache deep inside of me where our daughter is growing."
Gathering me up into his arms, he carried me to bed and stripped away my robes. His skin was hot everywhere he touched me and my nipples were already more tender at just one week of being with child. His tongue laved each of them to hard, aching peaks while I spread myself wide to coax his shaft within me. We were both panting when he slid deep inside my needy sheath.
He filled me everywhere and his strokes were deep and slow until I was on fire with wanting him. The next six months were going to be a feast of lovemaking until I got too big for us to comfortably move together. But then he would hold me close from behind and gently stroke the mound that grew in front of me. I was looking forward to that and by his low whispers, he was too.
Solomon had come for a late night meeting with the family and it turned into a strategy session. He and Carson took opposite sides of the problem then reversed and argued from the other point of view. It was almost dizzying to watch them while Nancy and George threw out ideas. But it was Ned who came up with the simple notion of letting Denver find Laura so the next part of this underground campaign could begin.
When the session was over and everyone dispersed to bed, I took a deep breath and offered Solomon my bed for the night. He took my hand in his and stroked it gently. "We've been dancing around this for a couple of months now. Are you sure, Hannah?"
"It's been a very long time for me, Solomon." I squeezed his hand. "I've made a few preparations and I think if we take it slow, I'll be just fine. I'd like to see if this would work between us."
"Me, too" he leaned in and kissed me tenderly.
That felt better than good and when the kiss ended, I led him back to my suite.
I was so nervous that I could hardly eat a bite. The new lord of the deer looked a little bit like his brother and my mind was caught between the past and the present. His wife, Rifa, was a little bird of a woman, her soft voice like the cooing of the doves outside the window. His son, Saren, was nine years old and more like his mother than his father which made me relax a little.
My wonderful Ro kept me close to his side and fed me small bites of the delicious feast before us. I snuck little glances at the lord across the low table but soon I found myself relaxing. He smiled at us hesitantly and I wondered if he'd ever been with such a distinguished group of lords. Perhaps he never had, I thought to myself and relaxed even further.
Lord Carthenal invited his opinions on various topics like the canal to be built. He was a bit unsure but he did venture a comment about it making easier the transport of our grain. I caught myself short at that thought. Their grain was no longer my concern and I didn't even know if the people of the hawk had fields to tend and produce to ship. Looking up at my bonded, I traded his smile for one of my own.
He would tell me all I needed to know when I asked him. I was growing more confident in my place with my bonded. I could hardly wait to see my new home. Nephrites had promised to come soon and help me make it a welcoming place. I'd known only the two small rooms that were allotted to me and occasional glimpses of other parts of the estate. There was a tiny garden off my bedroom and I'd spent a lot of time there since my sleeping chamber was quite stark.
My flowering purple laras had kept me company while I grieved each small life snuffed out by my master. Perhaps, I thought hopefully, Ro would allow me to have a garden so I could grow even more than just that hardy flower. There was so much to look forward to that I felt overwhelmed. But Ro must have felt that because he slipped another savory under my veil and fed it to me with a little whisper in my ear of what he'd be tasting later.
I blushed all the way down to my toes, thankful of the fact that my skin was dark enough not to show it. I was growing damp for the first time since that horrible day when I came to my life of servitude. My virginity had been taken matter-of-factly by my late lord with no thought for my feelings or the pain he caused me. I'd hoped for more until the first time he killed my child. Then all hope had died and my ability to feel pleasure had died, too.
But I'd been remade into the cherished bonded of the most wonderful man in the whole world. Jasmine began to fuss a little and I started, looking first to Ro for permission to leave the table and then to Karel who was holding her a few dokars behind us. My bonded helped me to my feet and bowed me away from the rest of the party. I sat behind a lacy screen of ebony and brought her to my breast.
Nothing had ever felt more right than her tiny rosebud lips suckling at my nipple. I rocked her slowly and hummed an old lullaby I still remembered from before I was taken from my family by the priests. Perhaps someone could teach me the words that belonged to it someday. I'd ask Nephrites before we parted. A whisper of sound brought my eyes up to see my friend join me with the new Lady of the Deer.
I felt frozen in fear. What if she asked me about the late lord?
"Do not fear, my lord." She patted my knee gently. "I wish you nothing but joy with the Lord of the Hawk. Ahmed's brother was a joyless despot who is better off dead. I rejoiced when the news came and so too will all our people when it's announced across our realm. You had a lucky escape and now a fine, healthy daughter."
"I am very lucky, my lady, I know this." I finally whispered.
"We will send your things from the estate to your new home." She smiled happily at me.
Thinking about the barren rooms that held my scant few robes, I shook my head while I burped Jasmine. "There is nothing there that I need, my lady. It would please me most if you donated the clothing to the poor. I have my daughter and she is all I need from my old life."
Our eyes met and she nodded in sudden understanding. "Then that is what I'll do. I think it will be many months before I've cleansed the house of his presence. My sister wives have pledged to help all they can but Miri is pregnant again so she'll be of little use in the heavy cleaning."
She prattled on about her plans for the estate of her lord, asking our opinions and barely stopping long enough to hear our answers. I grew more comfortable with each passing moment. There could not be more difference in her loving lord from his nasty brother. The people of the deer were in good hands with this family.
We rejoined our lords a few moments later in time to say goodnight. Ro tucked me under his arm and held me close for the short walk back to our suite. Nephrites waved good night and called to me softly that he'd see me first thing in the morning. The Sisters had already begun the packing and wicker trunks sat around the edges of the room, some already half filled with robes and pillows.
"Beloved, are you too tired to finish the packing?" Ro asked me with worried eyes.
No one had ever been that concerned for me and I blinked back sudden tears. "Nay, my lord, I will help the sisters however I can."
He kissed me softly and I smiled at the gentle touch. "Good, then I shall go to the stables and make sure that our carriages are ready for our trip. When I return, perhaps we should take a hot bath to relax us."
My eyes lit up. "Indeed, my lord, I would enjoy that. Hurry back." And I went up on my tip-toes to kiss his lips.
He hugged me close and turned the kiss into one of hunger and need. My whole body tingled with the pleasure I knew only with him. When we broke apart, his smile told me that he would be hurrying back to me and I hugged that knowledge to me with glee. Sister Simbal went with him so I didn't have to worry about his safety.
There really wasn't much more to pack since I'd brought so little with me. Sister Karel had made three new outfits for Jasmine and I blinked back old tears at the thought of the white robe that I'd sewn five years before. She was the first to wear it and I said another prayer for my lost babies. Perhaps if the gods were kind, they would send back their sweet souls so I could bear them again for my wonderful Roylant.
We left open the last of the baskets for our sleep clothes and last minute items like the new hair brush that Jarwhal had given to me. I'd never had such a soft one before and she brushed my hair with long tender strokes that made me want to purr. Lord Roylant seemed to like running his fingers through it, too. Sighing, I sat down to nurse little Jasmine while we waited for our lord to return.
********* Laura *********
I was scared stiff but determined not to show it. Dialing the number that I'd memorized months before, I waited for him to answer. I'd rehearsed the speech a dozen times and Connie had helped me make it more natural sounding. She was a good friend, better than any friend I'd ever had before and I blessed Carson's intuition and caring. He'd known that I needed a refuge and someone to talk to.
Connie was all of that and more. She was cheerful, happy and loving. Her big family had given her their support even when she told them that she wanted to work in the theatre. I was an orphan, raised in an orphanage by hard working people who did their best. But it wasn't like a real family or at least what I imagined a real family was like. I coveted the warm camaraderie of the Drew and Nickerson families and wanted it for my own.
His voice came over the phone, a little impatient as always. "Hello?"
"David . . . I hear that you've been searching for me." I didn't even have to act calm for I suddenly was.
"Laura, where in the world did you go? Is there something wrong?"
If I didn't know better, I'd think he really cared. "You told me that you weren't serious about us so I left."
"I thought you understood that we were just playing. You're a lovely girl but my mother has picked out someone for me and I have given in to her wishes." The unspoken thought was 'you were good enough to fuck on the side but not good enough to marry'.
"That's what I thought you were going to say, David. The announcement of your engagement made that abundantly clear." I took a deep breath and lied. "Unfortunately that left me in an awkward position since a visit to the doctor told me that the rabbit died."
Dead silence on the other end of the phone. I smiled and turned the knife a little harder into the wound. "Luckily, one of my old classmates knew a doctor that specializes in such . . . problems. You'll be glad to know that you will 'not' be a father any time soon."
"I don't know what to say, Laura."
"Then say nothing and quit looking for me. I've found another law firm that is willing to take a chance on a woman. I should thank you for having me do research on Carson Drew. He's even nicer than his record says. I never want to see or hear from you again. Goodbye, David, have a happy life." I hung up and shook for a few moments. Connie was right there to hug me close and rub my back in little circles that relaxed me further.
"Good, that's over with." She said fiercely in my ear. "Now we can leave it up to Solomon and Mr. McCall. How would you like a hot bath in the Jacuzzi?"
I sniffed a little and said a muffled 'yes'. She hugged me tight then slowly let go, bringing my chin to look into my eyes. "I think I'll join you so I can massage away the thought of him.
Blushing beet red, I nodded slowly. I'd been having all kinds of odd feelings lately and some of the most erotic dreams where I'd wake up damp and tingling. Women populated my nights, all different kinds of women with soft lips and strong arms and clever fingers that brought me to ecstasy over and over again.
Could it be possible that women really made love to each other? David had left me feeling sore and damp but I'd never experienced what some of my friends talked about. Maybe, if Connie was willing, I could explore some of those vivid pictures that dampened my panties and made my nipples ache.
Her slow smile and strong hand up from the chair gave me hope that she would indeed be willing. But first I needed to call over and let Carson know what had been said. Once that was done and with his 'good job' echoing in my ears, I let Connie hold my hand all the way up the stairs of the old farmhouse. The bathroom was decadent beyond belief and I adored the double sinks.
It made getting ready for work so much easier with two women trying to get finished at the same time. But the tub was my idea of heaven. I'd never been in a Jacuzzi before, although they were all the rage back in California. Poor working students didn't have that kind of luck or at least I never had.
Connie poured in a little lavender oil and got the water running before turning back to me and cupping my chin in her hand. "Are you sad or just glad that it's over? Did hearing his voice bring back regrets?"
"No!" I exclaimed and leaned into her touch. "The only regret I have is that I didn't see him for what he truly is sooner. Whatever Carson and the others do to him has my full and complete blessing."
"Good," her slow smile did something severely damaging to my heart. "Would now be a good time to tell you how much I admire you . . . how much your friendship means to me? How much I want to strip you naked and run my hands over every square inch of satin skin?"
My eyes widened and I shivered with sudden need. "Yes please, maybe you could show me, how to return the favor?"
"Oh my, yes." She all but purred and dropped her fingers to my blouse, slipping each pearl button out of the holes until they were all undone and she could push it off my shoulders.
I'm well endowed and the 'D' cups barely held up my breasts. I'd always thought them kind of a nuisance because they just got in the way when I was playing volleyball. David had hurt me by squeezing them until they ached and biting my nipples until they were too tender for even my laciest bra. So I flinched when she brushed a gentle touch over my nipples.
"Sensitive, I love that." She leaned over and sucked lightly through the lace, wetting the material and making my nipple stand to attention. "I'll never hurt you, Laura. If something doesn't feel right, you need to tell me at once. I do love your breasts though so I plan on kissing them often. Is that all right?"
All I could do was nod while watching her hands cup my breasts and tenderly bounce them a little on the palms of her hands. But she noticed the water getting high and she stopped undressing me for a moment to turn off the faucets. Then she pulled her turtleneck off over her head and I could see her pale skin peek through the lacy black bra that held her own breasts.
They were smaller than mine but her nipples were already peaking through the lace and I couldn't help but reach out to touch them gently. She sighed and her hands found the snap at my waistband. In no time at all, I was undressed and so was she. Once we were in the hot water and all the jets were blasting at slow, she slid up and over me so we touched everywhere.
Her lips were pink and full and she scattered kisses all over my face. That had happened in my dreams but it felt even better in reality. I was sighing in contentment when she finally reached my lips and slid her tongue inside my mouth. When David did that I felt like I'd been kissed by a St. Bernard. In other words, he was a sloppy kisser. But Connie tasted like chocolate chip cookies while our tongues danced together.
That ache was back, the one in my breasts and between my legs. One of her legs had slid between mine and she was pressing it against my mons while the tension grew inside of me. I'd felt this before once or twice when I was masturbating. One of the older girls in the orphanage had shown me how. It didn't always work but right now I was willing to bet that Connie knew what she was doing.
"I'm going to kiss your breasts now." She said into the hollow of my throat. "Hm-m, you taste so good. I knew you would. Tell me if it hurts. Every woman is different when it comes to their breasts."
I nodded and felt her cup my left breast in her hand while her lips ever so gently touched my rigid nipple. "Oh God, that feels good."
Her smile was blinding. "It's supposed to feel good. Just think about how it must feel for Nancy or George when they're nursing one of the babies." Her lips engulfed my nipple and sucked gently then a little harder while I all but writhed beneath her. "Oh yeah, you like that idea, don't you, Laura? Let's see if this one tastes as good."
My hands found her sleek blond head and I ran my fingers through her soft hair. I was getting wound too tight and I wondered if it was possible to come with just this much stimulus. And my question was answered almost instantly when one of her hands dropped from my breast to my mons and rubbed the magic spot. I bowed my back and came hard.
I shook all over and she held me close and said my name over and over until I calmed. "You're beautiful when you come, Laura. Do you mind if I do that again?"
Chuckling, I shook my head. "You know how much I love learning new things, Connie. Maybe I can practice on you?"
Her brown eyes sparkled. "I think that a wonderful idea, love. Let's finish bathing and take these lessons to bed."
I laughed out loud and nodded. I could hardly wait to learn some more.
End of part 19