Season 4, Episode 1
Written by Tof Eklund
Read by Tawn Krakowski
“That was good,” I said as I smiled down at Kaye.
My lover lay beneath me, flushed and panting. His hazel eyes focused on me, and his delicate lips moved silently for a moment before forming the words.
“You haven’t hit your peak yet,” he said, then gave me a sly smirk.
“True,” I said, “but look: no glowing marks,” I stretched out my bare arms and ran my fingers through Kaye’s light dusting of chest hair, “and I barely felt the pull of the magic.”
“Let’s try something else,” he said, a sudden mischievous grin lighting his features. “Let me lick you.”
Since the night when the magic sigils had reappeared on my skin, occult disturbances had accompanied our lovemaking. After a few nights lit by showers of blue sparks, and another when I saw cracks spread through the walls and ceiling, I thought that we would have to abstain from sex, or risk bringing the castle down around our ears.
It was Kaye who suggested that we begin a deliberate study of these manifestations. It was frustrating, having to stop at the first flicker of unnatural light, but it paid off. I’d learned to distinguish the early signs: a faint scent in my nostrils like night air after a lightning strike, and a low throb that echoed my pulse.
Then I was able to resist the rising tide of the magic with meditative exercises, bringing my attention to my breathing until the stink of thunder evaporated, and letting the tempo of my heartbeat slowly absorb the echo. Unfortunately, mediation and sex are a lousy combination. It was like trying not to enjoy sex: the moment I let go, I had to stop.
This time, I had been able to keep going until Kaye climaxed. A moment before he cried out, my ears popped and that carefully-suppressed background tempo lurched out of sync with my pulse, throbbing wildly as Kaye’s cock jerked inside me.
“Kaye,” I said, “I barely kept control a moment ago. If you make me come, I’m going to lose it.”
“But that proves it,” he said, his hands gripping my hips. “This thing responds to my pleasure as well as yours. Now that I’m…” he licked his lower lip, “sated, it shouldn’t be as strong.”
“Your logic is impeccable,” I replied as I stroked his cheek, “but the magic doesn’t always obey the laws of common sense.”
“We won’t know if we don’t try.”
Kaye lifted me up, off of his erection, and I felt his seed drip out of me, onto his cock and stomach. There was a lot of it, reminding me that he too had been left frustrated by our incomplete lovemaking.
“Very well, my naughty boy,” I husked, “should I clean up first?”
“No,” he replied with a gleam in his eye. “Just slide your legs up against my head and press yourself down upon my lips.”
I felt my cheeks warm as I shifted up, past Kaye’s chest. As I aligned myself over him, another warm, sticky drop fell from my labia. I heard Kaye smack his lips as he caught it.
“Mmmm,” he murmured, “nectar from the gates of the temple. I beg you, my Goddess, give me more.”
I shivered and lowered my sex to meet his open mouth. Kaye’s tongue dashed over the flushed lips of my womanhood, and I groaned. Kaye’s face was hidden from sight by the swell of my belly, but I could have sworn he was smirking as my weight came to rest on his lips and chin.
“Aah!” His tongue was pressing in below my clit, and now alongside it, and over on the other side. “Ohhh, Kaye…aaaah…aaaah…”
My body strained as I fought to keep my mind calm, my attention on my breath.
There was the smell, night air after lightning. There was the throb. There were Kaye’s hands, still tight on my hips, keeping me in place as he…
“Ohhh, ohhhh…ohhhh nooo, wait…”
My ears popped, my hips ground down into my lover’s face. I was losing it, the tempo of the magic heavier, insistent.
The delicious sensation of Kaye’s tongue moving against me drew to a halt, but it was too late. An electric tingle arced over my fingers, but then I felt it, the thread of the Power, like a gust of air, a passage through my thoughts and flesh, a sluice of crystal water directed into me, and I knew how to stop it. I pushed against it as hard as I could. The connection broke, the thread snapped, the gate slammed shut. Suddenly the magic was gone, completely gone.
“Kaye!” I gasped, “I did it! I can’t feel it at all!”
In response, he caressed me with his tongue.
“Nnnnnaaa…yes! All I feel is you!”
There was a fast, fluttery sensation against my clit, and words left me.
“Nnnnaa…ahhhhh, ah ah ah ah ahhhhaaa!”
Dawn light streamed through the window. I kicked off the heavy blankets and sheets covering me, then pulled them back up again when the chill air hit my skin. Surely day could wait a little longer.
Thump, thump, thump!
Someone was pounding on the door.
“Regent Yelena! I must speak to you!” The voice, muffled by the heavy wood, was high and querulous.
I sighed, and got out of bed. Kaye shifted, but did not wake.
Where was my nightgown? On the floor. At least I wasn’t sticky. I didn’t remember bathing, but I must have cleaned up before falling asleep.
There were sounds of a scuffle outside, and the muffled voice shouted, “Let go!”
I threw on and cinched up my robe, and yanked a purple snood over my head. No time for gloves. I leapt for the door and threw it open, prepared for anything from a tirade about the shortage of spices to an assassination attempt.
There was Father Eolus, and a pair of guards, holding him by the elbows as he struggled.
“Sorry, Milady Regent,” spoke one of the guards, a man I recognized by face but not name, “shall we throw him in with the other clergy?”
“What?” It took me a moment to realize what he was suggesting. “No! Release him at once.”
Once freed, Eolus stretched and smoothed his robe before glaring at me. “Lenelius is dead, if you care.”
“High Priest Lenelius. They let me in to see the body, but wouldn’t let me speak to the survivors. He was sick, but you kept him in a dank hole until he vomited his guts out and died without even a final unction.”
The High Priests. Their attempt on my life, and that of the Queen, seemed so distant now. It had been some time since I’d last spoken to Brother Gosdan, and longer since I went by the cells where they were held.
“Eolus, will you come in?”
“Into the private chambers of a half-naked woman? No, by all that is holy, I shall not.”
I sighed, and Eolus bristled. “Very well,” I said, “we will talk out here. I didn’t know that Lenelius had taken ill.”
“Do not lie to me, witch. He had been unwell for some time, and it is my understanding that you have taken credit for it, claiming you cursed him.”
“He never recovered from the curse?” Goddess blight it, I really had lost track.
Eolus looked at me with alarm. “Truly? You laid foul magics upon holy men?”
“I did not find them to be holy, Eolus. I did what I did to protect Theobel, and myself. I hope you will believe me when I say that I did not desire or intend that anyone should die.”
“Nonetheless,” the old man said, squaring his shoulders “It is intolerable that the remaining High Priests should be left to rot. They are old and—”
“They were trying to seize power, Eolus. What else should I do?”
“There are cells by the temple,” he said simply, as if it should have been obvious from the start. “They are intended for contemplation, not incarceration, and not so dank and filthy as the dungeon. Let them be confined there, for their health’s sake, and so that their spirits may be cared for as well.”
“Keeping the High Priests away from the acolytes was Theobel’s idea,” I replied. “I do not think she was wrong to separate them.”
“I will see to the acolytes’ instruction,” Eolus said, “and the High Priests’ reform, if I can. Lenelius was a hardliner and an egotist, but he was earnest enough.”
“I do not think it wise—” I began, but Eolus cut me off.
“Please trust me with this,” he implored. “Otherwise, you may as well throw me in the dungeon.”
“Listen, Eolus,” I said, “we will try this, but I am holding you accountable for the good behavior of all of the clergy in the palace, and if there is any disturbance, the High Priests will go right back into the dungeon.”
“Thank you, Regent,” he said, a little stiffly, but I could hear the relief in his voice. “When it is seen that you are a true friend of the Church, the common people and moderate clerics will warm to you, weakening support for Lord Uombardies’ coalition.”
“I intend to oversee the Priests’ transfer personally,” I said. “Meet me at the temple in an hour.”
I closed the door and shook my head. Me, a friend of the Church of the High King? I laughed at the absurdity of it, and of my entire situation.
The next day, the armies besieging us decamped, but they did not depart. Instead, they drew closer, forming a new ring just outside of arrowshot. If we’d had any siege weaponry, we could have harried them, maybe driven them back. To our surprise and relief, they also seemed to lack heavy equipment.
© 2013 Copyright Tof Eklund
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