tagSci-Fi & FantasyFey World Ch. 20

Fey World Ch. 20

bymadam_noe©

Always before in battle my thoughts had calmed. It was strange meditation of my people, our hearts singing the joyous song of battle. Death was a friend, an ally, a welcome foe. But with my children inside me, all I felt was stark fear.

She landed on top of me, a light wolf with yellow fur, her muzzle dripped with saliva and filled with an impossible amount of teeth. I screamed again and she bit my shoulder deep. The pain was searing and I clutched at her the shoulders of her forelegs, desperate to find purchase. She pressed on my belly and even through the pain all I could think was she was crushing my children.

Suddenly another wolf hit her, lighter blonde, bigger. They trembled to the side, knocking over tables, and as she broke she tore more flesh.

I scrambled back and my husbands were there, dragging me into their arms.

"Kill the wolves!" Angoralt yelled to the Fey who had arrived with Angorlandians in tow.

"No! Thomas saved me. The other wolf...father, it is your wife! She attacked me!" The Fey had drawn their swords.

"Thomas!" I screamed, and the big wolf looked from where he had the smaller pinned to her back, teeth on her throat. He let go and as she snapped at him and struggled to her feet, he changed.

As was custom, Elfgwyven stepped before me to block my view of my naked friend.

"Kings, she attacked the queen!"

My father stalked around us, marching to his wife, his face twisted in fear and revulsion. "Susanamon, is that a you?"

She snarled at him, muzzle dripping with spit and my blood.

"Heal her," Angoralt ordered Elfgwyven, and he left us.

I leaned on my husband's chest and felt his heart beating. He used magic and the wound closed painfully. I kept my sounds to myself and held his eyes, blazing with worry.

Angoralt grabbed Thomas by the shoulders and shook him. "Will she change? Is she a wolf!"

Thomas looked around him to me and I shook my head slightly. He sniffed the air and then shook his head. "One bite is not how the change happens, your wife is safe."

"Susanamon, you will die for this."

His wife rushed him and Thomas moved ith blinding speed. Still human he wrestled her, body wrapped around hers, and he put his forearm to her neck as they crashed to the floor. Guards rushed forward but it was Angoralt who pulled my father aside.

"Jarl Thomas, will you take her to the dungeons, and will your men guard her?" MY father asked, his voice coolly authoritative.

"Yes, your highness."

Humans and Fey stood aside as wolves returned to help Thomas. Two took the weak wolf and one handed Thomas robes. When he dressed at last Elfgwyven moved to my side to hold me, and Angoralt took my other side.

"Swear to us she will not be a wolf," my Seelie husband demanded.

Thomas took a deep breath, exhausted visibly from his rapid changes. "I swear upon my life that that bite will not now, nor ever, make her a wolf."

I felt myself relax. We as children had never met any Fey, but we had heard the stories, and knew how truth could be played with.

No one spoke as they led the queen, still in wolf form, out of the room. When they were gone my father bellowed for everyone to leave but the regents, and so Thomas, I, and my husbands remained.

"Sir Thomas, do you count her as one of your people?"

"No, your highness. Only the one who changed her, and I swear to you, we will find the rogue."

My father sighed and reached out as he sat. I broke from my husbands to take his hand, kneeling beside his feet. "Father."

"I am so glad you are all right. And the babes?"

"Fine," I assured him, though I could not have put to words just how I knew, or if I was even sure myself.

"Sit, please, all of you. You in a chair, Anni."

I hugged him and took the couch that my husbands righted, they settled on either side of me. Thomas claimed the foot stool that had sat before a chair, badly broken in the fight.

"Susanamon tried to kill my daughter. This is high Treason. Officially Anni is Queen of Fey, and by our treaties recognized as a Queen of the North. She is princess here. Susanamon is my wife, traditionally were either of you to kill her for her trespass it would cause war, unless we came to an agreement."

Elfgwyven sighed. "Our queen is healthy, the babes too. The Seelie claim no recourse."

Angoralt too knew what my father was really asking. "The Unseelie are satisfied solely by our queen's health."

We looked to Thomas. "The north does not consider her our problem, but we do ask she not live to the full moon."

"Tomorrow. Tomorrow at the festival, we will treat her as we treat those who commit treason. We will take her head."

"I will loan you one of our wolves, strong enough to deliver the blow."

"And though we leave tonight, we, both Seelie and Unseelie, shall gift you with a sword of silver," Elfgwyven promised.

"I ask one thing, father. Pietyr...I know you needs must help him grow to be more than a man, a king, but he should not bear witness to his mother's death." Emotion threatened to clog my throat and I turned to the fire, fighting my own memories. "Let him come to Fey, stay until his nephews are born. He is too young to page, we can continue his tutoring. Please, spare him this agony."

"Tonight. He will be ready in two hours."

"If he travels by magic we must give him something to sleep," Angoralt said. "I will prepare this, brother, see Hannah safe."

I stood and ran to my father, hugging him tight. "I'm so sorry," I said into his shoulder.

He smoothed my hair. "I know what you mean, but it is I who am sorry. I married her out of tradition, and were it not for Pietyr I would regret it. My deepest regret is that I missed her true nature."

"Being a wolf brings out your instincts to the forefront. If you are nurturing and gentle, then you become ore so," Thomas said, rising. "If you are vicious and cruel, unusually so for a human...it would be easy to miss the change."

"Go now, and be safe," my father told me, even as I hugged Thomas. "The future of our lands resides in your hands now," my father told my husbands cryptically.

I knew they were thinking of me, the babes, and Pietyr when they nodded.

Shaken, I took Elfgwyven's hand, and from one breath to the next, I was standing in the forest of Fey.

***

We'd walked on foot for an hour in silence, holding hands, trying to calm ourselves. I did not have my bearings and assumed we walked to the lands of the Seelie, but soon we came upon the shining temple of human magic.

"Angoralt and I shared a dream. I cannot tell you more than this, my most amazing love. You have accomplished so much on this day, but there is one last great task I must ask of you. Enter your temple and ask the mother and father to grant us what we need."

He looked tired and I knew I felt it just as much, if not more, in my bones, but so far the mother and father, the god and goddess had been faithful guides, so I left him, and stepped into the light.

I had been dressed to meld my three worlds, but now I was dressed simply in a white gown, loose and long. My hair hung free, the strands closest to my face we held back by a daisy chain of flowers that felt soft to the touch.

Once in the middle I closed my eyes, tipped my face back, and spread my arms. "God and goddess, you have given so much, for which I am grateful. I ask of you one more boon, and that is to provide me with what I need to see my sons born strong and healthy."

No one had directed me that that was the reason I was here, but I felt it in my bones. My children, tiny within me, not even human or Fey yet, seemed to fill with happiness at the words and so my heart stilled with happiness.

The earth shook but I could sense we were all safe. I kept my stance of supplication as the trembling continued, and the light seemed to grow brighter. Somehow, even with closed eyes, I knew it was blinding, it felt hot, and most strangely it seemed to pull from and push something back.

I was breathless and staggering before long, and still it continued. By sheer force of will I stood there for what felt like an eternity, certainly nearly half an hour in my best estimate, and then the shaking stopped.

"Home," whispered across my skin, in the voice of both the god and goddess.

"Anni!" Elfgwyven's voice reached me.

I turned and saw him enter the light, transforming to a beautiful human, and smiled before my legs went out. He was there, still fast, but not Fey-fast. I hit the ground before he reached me but the gods had made it as soft as any mattress and I hit with a sigh.

"Anni!" He clutched at me, kneeling, and drew me up.

"I am well, the babes are too, but whatever happened...I cannot explain it. I need rest."

I closed my eyes and smiled, and felt him pick me up. He grunted a bit more with his human strength, but soon he walked, carrying me, and when we left the light our clothes and original condition returned.

I felt a pang inside me, the scent of woods not Fey, the urge to howl. The temple had cleansed me of wolf...I would remember this on the full moon.

We walked for a few minutes and then stopped. "Anni, look."

I opened my eyes to see in the forest a clearing existed, filled with a house. It was like the house of my youth, but huge. The walls were pale and white, the roof thatched with seal skins dried free of smell, and the windows were the only thing foreign, filled with the leaded glass of Angorland, not open as my people made them.

Lights blazed and we walked inside, the door opening for us.

"Did you do that, husband?"

"Not I, my lovely wife."

Inside it was cozy, clean, tidy, and furnished. I saw wood floors, a rare luxury of all worlds I knew, and the rugs were like those of the east my people collected. The tapestries were Angorlandian, the paintings Fey.

The furniture was mostly that of my childhood, spare bits of wood cushioned with furs, but these were more solidly made and elegant.

There was a second floor, something not common to my first world, and Elfgwyven climbed the stairs. Candles in silver sconces reflected light which danced on the walls. The screens were stained glass such as churches had and it made the effect whimsical. I sighed and snuggled into him as we created.

He tried the door at the end, and it swung open to reveal a suite as large as his or Angoralt's. The theme continued here, but I closed my eyes to it, thoroughly exhausted.

I hit a soft bed and felt magic around me. My hair was braised loosely and my clothes replaced by a slim silken gown for sleeping.

"Anni, you must drink this." He pressed a cup to my lips, and I d rank in the sweet taste of pure magical water, and then I feel into a deep sleep.

***

I woke to Pietyr's blinking eyes. "Anni! You're awake at last!" he began to bounced on the bed and I yawned, stretching beneath the soft sheets.

"Stop that brat."

"I'm in Fey! King Angoralt said I adjusted better to the magic than any human he's ever seen. Isn't that amazing!" He stopped bouncing but was still a ball of energy.

No one had told him about his mother, I realized.

I sat up, blinking, wondering how to do this, when Angoralt swept in the door and saved me. "Out, young man, your sister needs food. My brother has need of you, I do believe he wishes you to learn something of swordplay today."

"Oh, boy!" He haphazardly hugged my neck then bounced out the room, making my dark husband smile.

Once gone, Angoralt closed the door and smoothed his long dark hair. "You need food." Before his statement was finished a tray over my lap appeared and it was heavy with food. I was starved, I felt like I hadn't eaten in days, not hours, and so I dove in.

The eggs were spied and filled with cheese, the bacon was fresh, and the biscuits were buttered and fluffy. There was fresh milk, juice from organs, and water.

"And an explanation," he said with a smile, sitting at the foot of the bed.

"Last night Elfgwyven sent a sword while you were in the temple. I gave it to your father and created a potion to help your brother sleep.

"My brother tells me this is your magic. It is perfect. This house is safe in the land between the two kingdoms, so both my brother and I may dwell here with you. There is room enough for us and attendants, and even a separate cottage for the ambassadors when they come.

"As with all wild magic, it will stay until we need it no longer."

"Fantastic," I replied and moved the tray aside. "Just tell me we have Fey plumbing."

Laughing he helped me up, took my arm, and guided me to the room I needed. I did the necessary, cleansed my teeth and breath, and freshened up.

I felt strangely ebullient today, and I paused, staring into the mirror. With a touch of guilt I hat to admit I looked quite beautiful. The soft gown Elfgwyven had given me was white, a warm tone that made my pale skin fairly glow. My hair escaped the braid often, floating in a red cloud around me, and my blue eyes were deep and shining.

Was this because my step-mother was about to die? Was I that capricious? Stricken, I turned away from the mirror and rested my backside on it, gripping it as I breathed.

No, I slowly realized. No, I was sad for Pietyr, and relieved for my people in Angorland, but it did not make me happy. It was whatever had come into me in the temple. It was like a magic, not Fey, not wolf, something else, and it made my soul feel like pure light inside me.

"Hannah?" Angoralt knocked on the door.

"I'm all right, I just feel...different."

He opened the door and smiled. "You're nearly glowing, like a Fey."

"In the temple the gods took magic from me to make this home, and they gave me this in return. I...I feel so happy, and yet no one has told Pietyr about his mother and-"

"Hannah," he said simply, and then I was in his arms, kissing him.

I needed this, oh yes, I realized as my body ached. I needed to feel the touch of one of my sennschats, and it was a furious desire.

"Angoralt," I moaned when his hands gently traced the silk along my body to find my nipples. He was being gentle, too gentle, and I knew it was from concern, but it was his passion I wanted.

"Take me, now," I ordered with a growl, and bit his lip.

He shivered and grasped my hips, pushing me up on the counter and stepping between my legs.

One hand cupped the back of my head as his lips devoured me, and he felt so warm in contrast to the stone of the garderobe, the contrast delighting me.

His other hand slid up my naked thigh and found no barrier, sinking two thick fingers inside me. I cried out, clutching at him, but he sank down, nibbling, until he claimed a nipple through the silk. He bit and laved, wetting the material, making me groan with need such as I had never known.

His hand left my head to fumble with his pants and then his lips returned to mine. I clutched his shoulders, my hands pale and shining almost as right as his skin. His clothes were as black as his hair, and again contrast strangely thrilled me.

"I love you," he ground out as he thrust inside me.

I was aching, needful, but raw, and it was almost painful, such a sweet, sweet blend. Then I felt his magic, and though there were lips on mine, there were echoes of his mouth all over. Sweet butterfly kissed down my back, hungry fastening on my breasts, even a wicked tongue on the nubbin above where he filled me.

Angoralt moved with his fierce passion, but through it all there was a concern for me. Love filled my soul even as lust filled my body, and with shocking speed I was there at t he shimmering pinnacle, colors exploding behind my eyes.

He filled me deep, stretching me, and the feel of those ghostly hands and mouths pushed me over the edge. I screamed into his corporeal mouth and shivered with it.

Angoralt growled like a beast and kept moving, pressing me back, changing the angle, and fucking me harder. Now it was his hard body that rasped the nubbin and his passion was immense. The ghostly hands disappeared as my head touched the mirror and I clutched at his scalp even as his moved to kiss my neck.

Again I came, yelling his name, throbbing with it, consumed by passion, and joyful when he tumbled with me into ecstasy.

The need was quite but still present and I found myself laughing with joy. "I don't understand this."

He kissed the tip of my nose, silver eyes glowing bright, even as his skin faded to it's normal pearl sheen. "Once humans had magic all their own. I believe the goddess and god have given it to you. Perhaps it was not this house that was needed so much, perhaps human magic is what the queen of all Fey, very human, needs to protect her Fey sons."

He pulled back, still inside me, and his hand rested on my lower stomach. I felt a tingle of his magic and then I felt an answering call inside me, and gasped.

"That's amazing!"

"They are Fey. Life will be nothing like you expect, but I promise you, it will always be magical."

My dark, tempting husband looked so innocent and earnest I laughed and pulled him to me for a hug. "I love you, but promise me now: don't treat me as a fragile piece of glass. Every dark, wicked thought that crosses your mind, I want to act out with you."

He shuddered, eyes blazing, skin glowing, and inside me he began to harden again. "In that case..." He pulled out, helped me down, and turned me over.

After that, there were no words, only dark delights and satisfaction.

***

The oldest stories of the Fey were called fairy tales, and they often hinted at glorious promise, and a dark future. There were stories of witches who ate children, of shape shifting hordes of Fey who ran down hapless human victims in the night. There were also stories of wolves stalking young girls through the woods.

My husbands explained to me that like my own people, only the truly great and truly horrible were remembered after time. Humans preferred the stories of the truly horrible and ignored the truly good.

Still, after five months, I began to fear I was living such a tale. I was living in an enchanted cottage with my two husbands, and Pietyr. Shara and her husband Karl joined us after her first full moon, and never had I seen her looking better.

Her face was still aged, but smoother, and she walked with the confidence and strength of a much younger woman. Being a wolf had only strengthened her powers and so I followed her advice.

My husbands had men and women of their councils and government come and go, but they kept to my side. If one had to hunt, the other stayed behind. By day we tutored Pietyr and they dazzled him with magic, and by night I reveled in the love of two men.

Our fairy tale had an enchanted place, an innocent human, Fey, a witch, wolves, and a big bad monster waiting. And that monster was me.

I spent much time praying in the human temple alone as my children grew inside me. I asked for guidance but the god and goddess told me the same thing over and over. I must bear my children and then share my wolf self with my husbands so they knew my sons were not wolves...yet.

When they were grown one would have an affinity for wolves, the other would be a wolf. Unlike their fathers they would not share a soul, and so it would be the destiny of one to rule the North, for the other to rule Fey.

It would be up to me to unite the two kingdoms of Fey, but how could I do this once my lies were revealed? When I asked this, they just cupped my cheeks and told me to hold my faith.

Pietyr had been quiet when he learned of his mother's fate, but after a few months he seemed to understand her transgression with the knowledge of a king.

So routine had settled over us, changing only when the full moon rose. Here in Fey it was different than in the human world. The moon was nearly full constantly, but like the human world, it grew full only every twenty-eight days.

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