tagNovels and NovellasA Dangerous Legacy Pt. 10

A Dangerous Legacy Pt. 10

bymadam_noe©

©Nora Quick 2013

Chapter Twelve


I was dancing with anticipation when I opened the door to Andre. It had been a good day indeed. Valerius was so pleased by word of my performance at wolf chess that he did not prod me any further on finding a witch lover, and as he taught me better control of my magic he told me stories of things from history he had witnessed, many funny.

I learned conjuring large things and small, keeping to principles of the universe. I learned how to take the magic I spooled and weaponize it. I transported Diego to help with that and my familiar found it hilarious. It had actually been as much fun as it was grueling. I learned to manipulate things and gave myself pink hair, then gave Valerius a Mohawk. He responded by turning me into a house cat which w as a harrowing five minutes until he changed me back and showed me how to do it. I had just one more lesson to go before I would learn to traverse time and space.

Still, I felt light and free because I knew with each lesson I came closer to finally mastering my own life. At lunch I dined alone while Valerius went off with his wolves, and I read much of the book getting a sense of the convoluted history of this new world. It seemed no queen I'd read of yet had been a student of history, and most laws or rules they instituted were sweeping and contrary to precedent. The result were s weeping reforms every two hundred years or so that changed the culture. The only thing that kept the hoi polloi from revolting was that no law could stop the witches from making money, and a rich society is a content one.

Handy, but hard for an American to wrap her mind around. Our entire legal system was built on precedent, minor alterations of what came before. I supposed most the modern world was that way, but not witches. If all this were real, I realized I had a hard choice facing me: reform the correct w ay by slowly adapting new policies from old, or follow precedent and make sweeping reforms that would probably be ignored with the next queen.

All that faded when I saw Andre and ran to him. He looked beautiful in the sun, the red in his hair shining in the sun even drawn into a ponytail, and he was shirtless wearing just navy trunks and was barefoot. Tanned and sculpted, a twinge rolled through me as I hurried to his arms.

"I like seeing your smile, but what has placed it there?" Andre asked after I jumped against him and kissed him soundly, all the while Diego danced beside us.

"Oh, the thoughts of a leader and the thoughts of a woman I find may traverse the same course."

He raised an auburn brow.

I took his hand and we began walking back to our hut through the air conditioned halls of the main hotel. "Fear not. I seek no consort nor will I. If I am to rule, if I must, it will be recorded as ruling alone. But history will remember you and your brothers, the way it remembers the lovers of Catherine the Great."

He smiled. "She was a good woman."

"You met her?"

"Once. You do remind me of her in spirit, however she dreamt of rule since childhood and you seem most begrudging."

"I could spend a life with three gorgeous men I love and who love me, my furry best friend and I have been granted long lives, and I have magic at my fingertips. How is that not fantastic by itself? To lead is to be responsible, to bear the weight of problems of a people and be tasked with resolution as well as protection from further problems."

He put his arm around my shoulders as we emerged into the hot sun. "And that is why you will be the best queen we have ever had."

I snorted, doubting that very much. "I can simply only promise to do my best. So, are we dining at home tonight, or with the hoi polloi?"

"What a charming way to put it. I would advise that for appearances you come to dinner with all your wolves in tow, even the guests."

"I thought you would say that. And I learned from last night, more bling."

He grimaced at the term and I had to resist saying "YOLO" just to watch lose it. "If you put it that way."

I laughed and leaned into him. "I'll dress everyone as they wish, but I want time to swim before dinner."

"You do love the water."

"I grew up in the land of ten thousand lakes and spent most of my childhood running from the city and seeking them all out. Water just soothes my soul."

"I look forward to having the completed pool in our new home."

"Not as much as I."

We reached the bungalow and I broke off and gave Andre a wink as I used my magic to turn my simple tank top and skirt into a string bikini. Diego woofed, my familiar happy I'd used magic, and together we ran into the water.

I swam out a ways just enjoying the warm water and buoyant feeling. Diego was paddling in heaven as the gentled waves reached us. I could use small magic, but major summoning or time/space travel was not allowed. So I summoned only real things and got a large raft for me and a wooden one for Diego. I summoned him a bowl of freshwater and for me a rum drink from the bar. From my own things I summoned my sunglasses and sunblock and made sure I was covered.

Then I kept a hand on Diego's raft and we drifted for a while. He kept jumping into the water, swimming, and coming back up to dry off. We found jeweled crabs and fish protecting their eggs, and I turned over onto my stomach so my tan could be even.

After nearly an hour I heard the splashes and within moments I was surrounded by my pack.

Andre spoke as Pierre traced a finger along my thigh. "You look happy but we really need to get ready for dinner."

"Do we have to?" I sighed, aware I was whining. A sudden fantasy of sending Diego back to the hut and expanding the wooden raft to fit all four of us played in my mind, and it sounded a lot better than dinner.

Julian smiled. "Yes, we do. A queen must keep up appearances."

"Fine then. Come on, Diego." I rolled into the water and used magic to put the conjured items back.

He yipped as he was thrust into the water, but quickly took up the spirit. Swimming back to the ladder on our deck turned into horseplay and it was indeed fun, but time was low. Diego swam around to the beach and then ran to the door where he scratched until our guests let him in.

Inside we found Jericho and Olivia waiting, wondering at us. With a deep breath I waved my hand and concentrated. I removed water from us all as well as salt, and summoned clothes. I found it was easier if I asked my magic to choose what was right for all and the occasion. It took another wave to do hair for all and makeup for me and Liv, but I was learning.

I saw stoic pride on my men's faces, but Andre smiled. "You forgot your 'bling,' my love."

I summoned the watches the men had from the night before as well as one for Jericho, and jeweled cuff links that bordered on garish, just right. For me and Liv I summoned diamond and platinum confections that made me roll my eyes. Liv wore a dress in blue, simple chiffon falling from a strapless sweetheart neckline, and mine was emerald satin, slim to my ankles with a deep slit, the same curved neckline, but two small straps.

I understood the desire to dress up, but I felt like Liv and I were auditioning for a Heart music video and giggled. "All right, we're all set. I feel like I should make Diego a diamond collar."

He woofed and walked out of the room, making us all laugh.

Dinner was actually fairly nice. With seven in our party it left two empty chairs at the table, but no witch would join us without their pack in attendance. Oh, Valerius dropped by before dessert to suggest I attend him in a dance, and Sebastian stopped by to say hello, but otherwise we kept to ourselves.

Dinner was heavenly. There was chicken with sausage stuffing, cheesy mashed potatoes, vegetables on rice, both stewed and steamed, sourdough and butter, and corn casserole along with the soup, salad, and other courses that were mainly seafood, and delicious. I enjoyed a few beers although I did ask for them in a wineglass to keep Andre's objections down. I also let Julian and Pierre feed me, pretending to be the dominant the witches expected.

Dessert was crunch cake, and Julian admitted the chef had asked after my favorite dessert. It was served with berries and I enjoyed a piece though I felt truly stuffed.

When the music began I accepted Pierre's invitation to dance, desiring to work off the food. It was a rhumba, and I blessed the instinct that made me wish for grace under my aunt's power. That allowed me to follow Pierre's lead and move smoothly without faltering, even though I did notknow the dance. Pierre was graceful innately, and a good teacher, and he directed me with hands everywhere that teased and excited, even as he grinned like a fool.

I had to admit, even as full as I was, dancing excited me. I had never appreciated how it felt to move with a man's body in dance, how it mimicked the act I was now craving. By the end of those five minutes I found myself blushing and yearning to leave.

The music began anew and it was slow, something modern. I saw Valerius tap Pierre's shoulder.

"May I cut in?"

Pierre's face flashed irritation but then schooled into the submissive wolf look I'd seen all over the island. "Certainly, sir."

"Tonight, I want you alone," I whispered to Pierre, just to see him smile again. That smile had been all-too absent as of late.

I put my hands on Val's shoulders and he on my sides, just above my hips as we moved to the music. Knowing he was my ancestor made it feel like dancing with my uncle, or what dancing with an uncle would feel like. I'd never done such. To say my father and step-mother were the black sheep of their families was putting it kindly. No relatives would have anything to do with them, and now that I was grown I understood the setiment.

"Word of your enjoyment of wolf chess has prompted a new entertainment tonight."

"Oh?" I forced myself to say blandly though I feared something horrible was coming down the pipe.

"Have you seen the theater? You have your own box."

"Oh, this resort...does not cease to amaze me. What exactly is the planned show?"

"You will enjoy it. I hope to see you there." He left me and I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was Julian and we finished the song, then I danced with Andre. It was the first time we'd danced and I discovered he moved with even more sinew and grace than his half brothers, and once more I found myself aroused and flushed. He left me with a wink after leading me to our party.

To keep up appearances I danced with Jericho, though I insisted on sharing the fast paced song with Liv as well. The more debauched I looked the better it was in the witches' eyes. We didn't talk and I just smiled, but felt the sensual pull between them. Luckily any wolves could smell my lingering arousal from dancing with my own lovers, and I hoped they mistook it for interest in the couple with me.

The song ended and Jericho escorted me and Liv to the table. After a brief discussion we agreed to endure the unknown play, but take respite first. There was time before the mysterious show, albeit not that much, and I chose to use it bringing food back to Diego with Pierre in tow. The other wolves I let walk the beach, instructing them to listen for any useful gossip.

I had meant what I told Pierre and I was craving the intimacy that could only flow between two people alone together. I loved having all three of my lovers with me, but it too often felt selfish of me. There was simply nothing to do with three men but enjoy and react, and though I liked submitting to their desires it seemed too passive for me to do constantly.

Diego ran up for a pet and scratch behind the ear and then we fed him selections from dinner and he went into dog heaven. I felt anxious and couldn't even make it up the stairs and brought Pierre trailing, hand in mine, into the large bathroom. He closed the door and for a long moment I looked at him, dark hair falling to blend with his black suit, his blue eyes bright.

I reached for him first but Pierre was more insistent, and I was wrapped in his arms quickly. Sinking my fingers into his hair I clutched him close and opened for him, delighting in his taste as he sank in.

"No time," he whispered between sliding kisses and I understood perfectly. I used magic to remove our clothes as he lifted me onto the counter and stepped between my legs. The dancing had been enough foreplay but still he tried to be so nice, belying his words. Strong, rough hands cupped my breasts as his thumbs lazily circled my nipples.

I brought my own hand down to his thick cock and found it hard, fluid already leaking. "No time," I moaned and guided him inside me.

Pierre didn't need much prodding and as soon as he found purchase he slammed in. I wrapped my legs around him, wrapping my ankles, and threw my head back hitting the mirror as I clutched at his shoulders. He growled, and dipped his head to kiss me again as he began to thrust, and then it was a hot and heavy ride toward pleasure.

I kissed him desperately, thrust my hips against his, and all the while he filled me, so incredibly thick. My nipples rubbed against his sparse chest hair and he did something clever with his hips, swiveling and ducking, thrusting up, and it was in-cred-i-ble. I rushed to orgasm and to my delight Pierre was right there with me.

I cried out, and almost laughed when a room away Diego howled with me. Then Pierre worked a hand between us even as his cries matched mine, and he stroked my clit. I went right into another climax as his rolled on, filling me deep, and we entered a kind of heaven. I screamed now with my releases and his mouth, fused to mine, drank in my cries like he was sipping wine. My nipples were hard and aching as I rubbed against his chest and swallowed his own groans. After, he stayed inside me and rested his forehead against mine, nearly purring in contentment as we vibrated together from the fast and furious ride.

"Mmmm, I do like when you deliver on promises, Anna."

"As do I." I kissed him and used magic to transport the mess to the garbage can. I waved my hand towards our clothes but his hand jumped to mine and stopped me.

"Wait," Pierre said suddenly.

"Hmm?"

"Don't replace the panties." He gave me a wicked smile and could only return it as I transported out clothes back on, no panties for me.

"Anna," he asked quietly as we let Diego outside to use the sand.

"Yes?"

"Now that you know you are queen, what will change?"

He needed reassurance. We sat on the stairs up to the hut and I put my arm around his incredibly broad shoulders, or tried. It didn't work, so I hugged his waist and he draped a brawny arm across my bare shoulders. "I suppose if I am expected to maintain a public image and entertain a court as the book leads me to believe, we're going to need a house. The one we're building in downtown Chicago will be my private retreat, but I suppose we'll need something like a palace."

He hugged me but his smile was half empty, and it was clear I hadn't answered his question. "And a consort?"

"well, you only get a consort when you have a child. I'm not quite ready for children, and when I am, if I must have one with a witch, I think I'll look into in vitro fertilization."

"What?"

I smiled. "Test tube babies. Humans have done pretty damn well without magic all these years, and I like the way they think." He looked confused so I sighed and kissed his cheek softly, pulling back to smooth his hair. "I suppose after all this time, now ironically I realize I am human after all. What I mean is I've come to see sex and love as entwined. Oh, they're not the same thing, but I don't want to have sex with someone I don't love. And I love you, and your brothers, so I don't want to have sex with anyone else.

"Love, to me, is something permanent, once given it belongs to the person you give it to, forever. So if you're afraid I will stop loving you, not I won't. I've always thought I have only so much to give and you, and your brothers, are all the men I want in my life. So if you think I'm going to fall in love with anyone else, I won't. And I was raised not with magic but with science, and there are many ways to have a child without having sex. So if you think that I'll traipse off to fuck a witch, get knocked up, and make him my consort, fall in love, and cast you aside...don't, Pierre. Don't doubt me like that. Believe in me, believe in us."

"So..."

I smiled up at him in the soft night. "When I said I loved you, I didn't lie. Neither was I lying when I said I wanted no other. Maybe other witches didn't think they were lying, either, but again my idea of love is something permanent and equalizing. If I ever felt the urge to bring another man into our arrangement, I would demand you each find another woman. It's only right."

Pierre looked out across the ocean. "No witch has ever even entertained such a thought."

I turned his face back to me with my finger sin his chin. "Have they always treated you like an object?"

He nodded.

I took a breath. "I don't think I ever want to tell you the full story of my childhood. But I can tell you this: once, one day, the worst day I can remember, I learned what it is like to be seen as an object, as less than a person. I know how the soul dies a little death when the people who are supposed to love and protect you give you away as something pathetic and meaningless. Many people claim they know, but few truly do. I do. I swore on that day I would never, ever allow anyone I cared for to feel that way, and I would never feel that way again. Above all, I am a fighter and a woman of my word."

He slid his hand along my cheek as well. "That you are." He kissed me and it was sweet, soft, yet consuming, a stronger kind of passion than lust. Diego came up to us yipping.

"Come on," I whispered, pulling back. "We had best return for the show." Diego slid into the door and I took his arm as we set out.

Walking back to the hotel, I realized Pierre had understood everything that was happening, but unlike the others, he was hoping I would turn my back on being a queen. It had been the terror of hope that had been confusing him. Few people knew what it was like to yearn with all you being for the very thing you feared. There were deeper waters to Pierre, my fun-loving and crafty lover, but was he right?

I nearly faltered in my steps when that thought hit me. Could I do it? If I did, would they let me retain this magic I was learning to use and enjoy? More to the point, could I keep them, the men I loved?

"Anna?"

"I'm all right." I looked past Pierre and saw two male witches down the beach forcing female wolves from each pack to get a mite bit more than friendly. My stomach turned to lead. Someone had to lead this people, someone had to put an end to the cruelty. "Just thought I forgot something."

No. No, I had to go forward to keep what I loved. I had to be the queen these people needed.

Pierre grabbed my hand and squeezed as we went inside the hotel. I looked at him and it struck just how much power I had over his life and his brothers'. It was awe-inspiring. I would simply have to show him I would never be the queen he feared.

***


The theater was built like a European opera house in that the boxes were reserved for the oldest family lines with the supposed promise of privacy, yet made for everyone to see. Mine was large and fit us all. We could have taken Valerius and his pack, but chose not to. If I understood what was to happen, I did not want a man I saw as an uncle in the box when things began.

The show was impromptu, but I gathered had been performed for past queens. The beauty of immortal beings was practice and experience, and tonight those talents would be on prime display. I knew from my readings other queens had also enjoyed watching sexual acts, but in my mind who didn't? However, I had earned a reputation as a voyeur, which could only help me. Partly based in truth, embellishing it would surely be the best path to convincing witches I was as debauched as them. Still, I preferred private, small amusements, but if sitting through grand spectacles let me blend in, I would suffer.

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