Hidden Magic Ch. 21bymadam_noe©
There were too many people there for safety's sake, I knew. Those of the Council who had been in attendance remained, the guards spread thin. Many had gone with the queen to meet my old lover Donarre and the Northern army, and those who stayed watched us all or left to seek out the rogue Duchess and Duke.
I wanted Tomass with me, but what I had said was true. He remembered every lesson I'd taught him with my sword, had discussed with our own guards at length, and he was naturally stronger than I.
Still for his large size, my husband was amazing graceful. He moved like a jungle cat from the far North, and how I wished we were alone. We'd drawn a crowd to our sword play and I was not the only woman who admired his sinewy form glistening with sweat, muscles flexing with every move.
His attention never wavered from the task at hand but still I found myself gritting my teeth, wanting to turn my weapon on the women there. It was common amongst the women and men of my station to carry on affairs after progeny was secured, but not for us. Any woman who so much as touched my innocent husband would die a most excruciating death. Never in my life had I felt jealous over a man, but then again, never had I loved. The sensations were dizzying and humbling.
The swords clashed against one another, ringing out, and the crowd of nearly twenty women of the Council tittered and gasped with each blow.
Tomass moved quickly, pulling his blade from mine and turning, following through. I knew what he meant to do; he meant for my block him and he would move, turning the force up to knock the sword from my hands.
Grinning, I ducked down and used my sword to knock his aside as I tackled him. We were in a lounge and the swords clattered to the polished marble floor as he fell to his back and I landed on top of him.
His dark hair was loose, a few strands sticking to his forehead. I smoothed them back and smiled, feeling him hardening between my legs. I knew in my bones this was pat of the magic the elders had given us, but the craving for him was near-constant and almost painful.
The look he gave me was smoldering. Pure desire blazed tinged with the hesitant shyness innate in him. The combination was the most seductive thing I'd even seen in my life and whatever response shown in my face made him gasp.
He waved his hand and suddenly we were in my office, the swords against the wall, and we lay as before on the couch.
"Why waste magic?"
"I would rather not take you with an entire room watching."
I trailed my fingertips along his hot skin and he nipped at them, catching my finger with his teeth and laving the tip with his tongue. I followed the movement, biting my own lip, knowing that he knew just where my mind had gone with that tempting action.
"Take me? I won, and tackled you."
"Then take me."
The words were deep and husky, and he was already hard. Magic or not, I didn't care to question the desire. We could very well die that day, and if I had to, I wanted no regrets. I wanted to feel alive, to show him with my words and body just how much Tomass meant to me.
I kissed him sloppily, simple need and no artifice, and he responded so sweetly. Between up I parted his trousers and slid my skirt up. He was hard as rock, his skin hot and soft, and I was already wet and aching. Quickly I took him inside me ad swallowed his gasp.
Goddess, he filled me so perfectly. I wished we had more time, I wished we were in nature where he was happiest and frankly sexiest to me. I wanted to memorize the lines of his body with my tongue and hear him cry out.
This time, however, it had to be hot and fast. No matter how foggy my mind became with passion, I could not lose sight of the magic.
But for this moment, he was mine. I sat up and took his hands, bracing myself on them, and began to move. His eyes darkened to almost black with pleasure and then closed as he threw his head back. He was a creature of pure sensuality and he was mine. Never had any woman ever won such a far prize.
His hoarse shout was a warning that is pleasure was close, too close, but it was music to my ears. With a sigh I knew we had to change positions, slow things down, but I was loathe to do it.
I pulled off him and stood.
Blinking up at me he was an erotic picture. Shirt open, pants open, his cock soaring up an dripping my with juices, his hair a mess.
"Tomass...whatever you want, take it."
He nearly roared and stood quickly, tackling me and throwing me back onto the couch. How had I ever thought him shy, I wondered as he knelt between my legs, placed my legs over his shoulders, and dipped his head to feast.
Then it was me who closed her eyes and cried out, still gripping his hands. He was so good at this, and that he seemed to enjoy my pleasure almost as much as I did was too much. He suckled and licked, teasing my folds until I begged, and then he flicked his tongue over my sensitive nubbin and the world shook. I came shouting his name, but he was not done.
In my mind I fantasized about the ruins, our secret place, the waterfall. Only in my fantasies magic was not the issue, only his pleasure. I thought of his cries and release when I took him into my mouth, I thought of him begging even as I did. In my mind it was he who peaked again and again even as he brought me to soaring climaxes one after the other.
I begged and begged and then his body covered me. I tasted myself in his kiss and brutally he thrust in. I wrapped my legs around him and forced him faster, harder. Tomass held nothing back, worked at no skill, just gave me simple, honest passion, what I had come to crave from him. In his arms I lost my own skill, the ability I had to create a sensual world of total control, and like him became a beast of pure need.
He filled me again and again, his body sliding and slamming, rubbing me. He held me with his thick arms and I clawed at his back. The thick hair above his cock rubbed me perfectly and I felt myself tightening, begging now for him to join me.
With a cry he did and we climaxed as one, bodies trembling and falling as one as he filled me. After the tremors passed, again his body was dancing with excitement and I wished for a nap.
"One day, when this is all over, and we have no need to raise magic, I am going to do that to you."
"Do what?" He kissed me softly and withdrew, standing, sparing light magic to clean us both.
I sat up and began to right my clothes. "Pleasure you mindlessly until you beg, and watch you cum again and again, just for me."
He blushed at that, slightly, and my heart tripped. Only he could be so bold a lover one moment, then such a shy young man the next.
"We'd best return and check on the hunt." He said this quietly, almost into his chest.
I raised his face to mine. "Never hide from me. Why blush to know I desire you. Wasn't it your name I was screaming just moments ago?"
"It's what you said. I...I would very much like that." He swallowed thickly.
Kissing him quickly I turned and grabbed my sword, strapping the belt on and passing him his. "Let's hope they show soon. The sooner, the better."
"So eager to fight?" He asked softly, showing the barest hint of nerves.
He returned my hug and for a long moment we held one another. "So eager to win. Come on."
Once more we made the long walk from my offices. Always before I'd walked these halls with grim determination, going about business. Now I would have precious memories of passion and love. More than that, I would use my time going forward in those halls to make the world just as I promised the man I loved.
"Minn." Tomass stopped suddenly, eyes going wide, and then we were running. He grabbed my hand and pulled me along, racing so fast my feet barely touched the marble as we ran towards a dull roar.
Once more in the grand chambers the council was in attendance, only the guards were not among them. Some of Serinne's followers had joined us, functioning as guards, only they kept the council members in their seats, the dozen of them armed and none of the Council.
On the dais now stood the man I took to be M'Graough, and held in front of him was a woman I took to be the earless we could not rescue from his clutches. She was beaten and bloodied, eyes swollen shut, dressed in rags.
The sight shocked me to my core. That the women following Serinne would also follow this man...this was the very argument used to keep men as second-class citizens. Their innate physical strength was seen as a danger, and in the time that I had been away at war I knew the opinion had deepened to casting men as little more than animals, and we women as shepherds.
"Good, you've joined us." M'Graough's voice was deep. Like all sorcerers I'd met his brown hair was long and his handsome face clean shaven. Unlike the villains of story books he was not twisted and ugly, rather he looked like a young man who belonged on the marriage market. The look in his eyes, as eerily light as his wife's, was pure evil.
"Let her go, M'Graough."
He looked at me at last, having stared at Tomass long enough. He inspected me much like a young girl with an evil bent would appraise a fly she wished to pull the wings off.
His eyes held mine as his hand at the earless' throat began to move. Too late my blood chilled when I realized he held a knife, and in its trail blood welled. The bruised eyes widened to pure white and then she fell, gasping. The dark sorcerer closed his eyes as if savoring the moment and the room froze.
Suddenly Tomass shoved me aside and as I sprawled a bolt of lightning flew from his hand, heading straight for the dais. It hit and the other man sprawled backwards as the crowds exploded into action.
Serinne's cronies drew swords and began to attack the unarmed council members.
I found my feet as did M'Graough, and their duel began. I wanted to help him but the women needed my help more, and so I dove into the stands with my sword out.
Behind me came the thundering sounds of magic, of plaster falling as the walls and floor shook with it. All around me was a mass of screaming women. All of Serinne's camp were soldiers of duelers of talent; those who had come at the queen's behest ranged in age and too few were fighters. Some of them were struggling, a few even managed to grab swords from the other side.
I jerked an older woman behind me and met a young fawn's sword with my own. She was too young to have seen the war, was used to fighting drunkenly in the early morning against other impaired women with seconds and a healer in attendance. I knew war, fighting when there was no room to, and she fell quickly enough.
I held nothing back. There was a time to take a moral high ground and there was a time to get things done. Luckily those who fought like me felt the same way and after what felt like hours we cut down enough the others turned and ran.
The women we defended ran in the opposite direction creating further chaos until there were bodies everywhere. Some fell from the magic cast between the men, both sides had causalities.
Tomass was holding his own but the amount of power M'Graough had was astounding. The murdering bastard flung spells with both hands, lightning and blasts of light. His was grayish-purple and Tomass did the same, his whitish and blue. It would have been beautiful if not so deadly.
I stopped a woman I'd known in my school days, the Baroness DuChaall, grabbing her arm. "Get them out through the north entrance, keep them off the floor!"
She had served in the last campaign, if I remembered correctly, and the order of a superior officer sank in. She ran to a few others and they began to stem the tide away from the men who'd now fallen towards the south end of the floor.
They were bruised and battered, and Tomass seemed to be giving as good as he was getting. I recognized what he was doing and my heart soared with pride. He was drawing M'Graough in close. Knowing he could not win by magic he was getting the other sorcerer close enough to taste his sword.
Just when M'Graough was close enough he let off a blast that lifted Tomass up and sent him spinning into the air, crashing into the wood rail behind him. I ran at the sorcerer only to have him whip towards me and another bolt hit my chest. It was like being kicked by a horse and I went flying, landing on my back, the wind knocked from me twice.
I lay there for a moment, knowing I had to clam my panic and not struggle for breath. I didn't move, hoping to not drawn notice, but I heard his boot heels clack close to me.
"No!" Tomass shouted and then the blasts began again.
By the time I could breathe again and found my feet, the grand hall was cleared except for far too many bodies and the men.
Tomass was enraged, and I sensed it covered fear. Fear for me. Stupidly I had gotten involved and endangered myself, a liability for him, and now he was in high temper. M'Graough was still deadly calm and cool, and his magic was stronger. Holding both advantages, it was only a matter of time.
I tried to catch my husband's eye, to plead for the plan in my mind, but he was focused entirely on defeating his opponent. While they were distracted I began to move slowly around him, heart pounding.
Where the hell was Serinne? Only a dozen or so of her puppets had come to hold the Council, where were the other hundred?
Something shook the building and it made the sorcerers pause, for it had not been their magic. Biting my lip I held my breath and then it came again, a boom. I recognized it all too well; the sound of war.
The men began again and I knew Tomass could hold him, so I ran into the halls, finding my way outside. It was eerily calm in the grounds of the Council and the palace. At the north end of the city I heard the sounds of war.
I had to run two blocks before I found a living soul the bustling city seemingly empty.
I found woman rushing, her clothes proclaiming her a baker.
"What is going on!"
"An army from the north. Some duchess raised a militia to fight them and the sorcerers have joined in. You'd best get to safety, my lady, the sorcerers are fighting the militia. We'll be overrun!"
So that's where Serinne was. She'd obviously been heading for the sorcerers and Donarre's army arrived just in time. I prayed the queen reached him first and everyone knew what they were about, otherwise all was for naught and Serinne may get the new war she wanted.
I stood there torn. Run to my queen and make sure our country was in order, or run to my husband. Born to leadership and privilege I hesitated for a second, but the decision was easy, and I ran back to the chambers where the duel raged.
There were fires now and the room was a total loss. The men were panting, clothes torn, skin bloodied, and still they fought. Hands flew and feet danced, magic burned and sizzled with furious speed. It was artwork in the canvas of violence. I stood there for a long moment gaping.
In many ways I had seen Tomass as part child. It was not only that he was so much younger than me, it was that is life had been sheltered. Somewhere in that idyllic forest, the sorcerers had secrets I'd never imagined.
Now he was like a dark god, the two men battling with more fierce determination I'd ever seen in a swordswoman. He bore marks and wounds with more grace than I'd ever known in another, and he moved like lightning itself. M'Graough clearly had the upper hand, but Tomass had taken his anger and turned it into a driving force from within.
A bolt of power came for me and I dove, rolling out of the way, sword still out. I was helpless on the sidelines, never a position I'd known before. It was a commanders job to lead troops into battle, and though often I'd ridden my mount around the lines, I'd never let my sword arm rest before.
The crash and sizzle of magic was deafening, and the sounds of battle outside were closer. Had I made the wrong choice?
Tomass cried out in pain and I knew I had done the right thing.
I saw an opening and moved quickly, coming up behind M'Graough and to his left. He was using magic to push Tomass back, and my husband's distraction at a wound had cost him his ability to do more than put up some kind oh shield. He was losing ground, and I struck.
My sword went for M'Graough's middle but the dark sorcerer was fast and moved away. The tip caught his side and he turned one hand to me. I dove away from the blast, but the assault on Tomass weakened and my husband was bold.
Dropping his shield he sent a large blast of magic that knocked M'Graough back, flipping him rapidly in the air as he crashed. Limping and bleeding, Tomass was still as fast as a cat, and he ran to the other man, pinning him with one hand, the other ready to deliver a killing blast of magic.
"Do it!" M'Graough sneered. "Do it! When you kill me, you'll take my magic and my soul. Did you know that was the secret to death magic?"
"Tomass, kill him, end this! Do not listen to his lies!"
He glanced at me with an unreadable look as I found my feet and walked slowly to them.
"Those goody-goodies made me weak, but I am still stronger than you, Tomass. I will live in you, my mind will live in you. I will make you strong, and dark. This is not over!"
"Shut up!" I kicked his head as he laughed, turning back to me bloodied and grinning.
Crouching net to Tomass I put my hand on his shoulder. "He lies. You must do this. We are close, so close Tomass. This is the real duel, with yourself. There is no shame in killing that which is evil."
His eyes were wide as he looked at me. "Minn...I can't."
My heart tripped. The rules as decreed by the queen were clear. I looked around the chambers but aside from the falling ceiling and the fires, there was no movement.
"Give me your sword." I stood and held out my hand.
"Do it, Tomass, do it and waste all this magic. You could have your beloved mentor inside you too, but let it go to waste."
"Tomass, do it quickly."
His hand seemed to glow with magic and he turned back to M'Graough. I thought he might do it after all.
"No!" I shoved him free and Tomass went sprawling, staring up at me with hurt in his eyes.
There was no time to explain. I grabbed his sword and cleared the scabbard. M'Graough was still jabbering, taunting, and smiling. The smile stayed even when his head flew from his body.
For a long moment Tomass stared at it, finding his feet very slowly. "why?" His voice was a whisper, his eyes not meeting mine.
"Lying or not it didn't matter. If his soul was in you or not it didn't matter. His death was ugly and would have changed you. I have much death on my head, I am a warrior. You are a gentle soul...I swore to protect you. From all things."
He accepted my arms around him, the bloody sword falling to the ground beside us. First he was stiff, and then his body softened. He held me tightly as he began to cry, and I understood.
Ever since that awful man had killed his mentor, the only family he'd ever known, he'd dreamed of this moment. He'd begun to live for M'Graough's death and always thought himself capable of the act. I'd known in my heart he wasn't and that was why I had come back, but I'd never in my life admit it to him. Men were creatures of pride, and even an old warrior than I knew not to offend such a feeling.
In the dark of my heart M'Graough was just one more death in a long line. The count for the day was only six, and that was low in my life. I regretted life's blood must be spilled in the name of peace, but I understood the process. I would sleep well, better than ever knowing Tomass was safe.
None of this he would ever know. For the moment I let him cry, mourning the passing of a destiny not realized. There was more to come but for the moment I would fight even time itself to give him these moments. When the day passed and the world was righted, I would lay down my sword. No more battles for me, for us. I would take my gentle husband home and we would farm, make love, and build a family to pass our days. I could almost taste the warm breeze of home over the stench of fire.