Remember... Ch. 03byCrazyCatGuy©
Chapter 3: A rook with two Rooks
Yay third chapter! This one's short and sweet. Kinda. "Sweet" is debatable. I hope you guys like it!
Since this is posted in Sci-fi/Fantasy, I'm going to have a content warning for people that might not like this.
Content Warning: Reluctance
Comments and criticisms are always welcome.
"I've got a surprise for you today," Mark declared out of the blue.
Amanda frowned and turned her head in question. "Mmm?" She was curious.
"First, let me ask you a question."
Amanda bit her bottom lip and closed her eyes. She took a deep breath and nodded. "Ok?"
"So how much has that... Miss Villa, was it? Your teacher at the Society? How much has she taught you?"
"Just simple... things. Push. Flash," she breathed deeply again, shaking her head. "The two boys there, she didn't... she didn't want to teach them dangerous spells."
Mark pulled back. "Really? She's teaching them... no, teaching you, cantrips. Nothing more... Nothing more..." he searched for the words, unsuccessfully. Despite his act, he didn't really want to think about this. "interesting?"
"Mmm!" She pouted. She didn't really want to think either.
"No? Nothing?" He leaned downwards to kiss her neck.
"Uh-uh," she moaned softly. "Nothing."
"Well this should be good then, maybe," Mark resumed, pushing his length back into her slick sheath.
Amanda whimpered appreciatively as her arms quaked under her. This felt so dirty. So hot. She moaned as Mark roughly grabbed her hair, twisting her head to the side and kissed her parted mouth. She collapsed onto her elbows. She was so close.
"You're going to come aren't you." Mark hissed into her ear. It was a statement rather than a question.
"Yes, Mark. Make me come. Make me come again," She panted.
With a growl, Mark pulled out her arms from under her and twisted them roughly behind her back pushing her face and breasts into the bed. "You're mine."
"Yes. Yours. Take me! Ah!" She shivered with delight at her helplessness. Having already been brought to her peak twice earlier, she had no strength to fight the rapidly rising pleasure building inside her. With a sharp moan, she was sent over the edge, her body shaking as her pussy tightened around her lover's cock. Despite being so lost in the moment, she heard Mark's loud gasp, feeling him thrust into her one last time as he released himself into her willing body. The corners of her mouth turned upwards to form a small, proud, self-satisfied smile.
Mark released her arms and collapsed onto the bed next to her, panting for breath. Too tired to do much else, Amanda turned on her side and leaned backwards until she felt his chest against her back. It was a very comfortable position for both of them. She closed her eyes.
It only felt like a few seconds or at most a minute had passed before she felt Mark suddenly sit up in the bed. "Shit! We're going to be late." With that, he was out of the bed and putting on his shirt.
Amanda sat up as well and rubbed her eyes. "Huh? Late for what?"
Mark turned his head with a quizzical smile on his face. "Don't you remember what I said earlier? Or were you too busy coming?" He laughed as he tried to unsuccessfully dodge a flying pillow. "Hey! Be nice! I said that I had a surprise for you!"
Amanda rolled her eyes and looked around the room, finding her underwear lying along a trail of clothes leading in from the door. She quickly put on her black laced panties and shift. She had to follow the trail of clothes downstairs, playfully fighting with Mark along the way as he tried to gather his things before she found her green dress. It took another minute of kissing and giggling before they made their way out the front door.
As they climbed into the back of a hired carriage, Mark playfully and lecherously smiled at her.
"You look hot. Freshly fucked hot," He leaned in to whisper in her ear and took a deep breath. "And you smell of sex."
Amanda giggled. "So do you! So what's my surprise that we're going to be late for?"
Mark leaned back with a content smile. "We're meeting a friend. I'm buying her lunch in exchange for a favor I want from her and we can ask her if she knows someone who can better train you at the Society."
"Oh! That'd be wonderful!" She thought for a moment. "I should probably not show up looking and smelling like this then."
He waved a hand dismissively. "Nah, it'd be funny to see her reaction. My friend Chris does this to her occasionally and it's great. Now I can try!"
"Mmm... let's not. You can but I'd rather like to leave a good first impression with your friend," Amanda said as she began to construct a spell with her hands, mumbling the words under her breath. A moment later, with a shake of her head, her hair that had previously looked just a tiny bit unkempt became docile, looking as if it was just brushed. The sheen of sweat on her skin disappeared as well, and a light lavender scent permeated the inside of the carriage. She looked and smelled as she had just stepped out of a bath.
"Aww, alright. Do me too, then."
Amanda narrowed her eyes and smiled. "No. You can look and smell like sex. I think I like you this way."
He laughed. "I'm going to get you for that."
"I look forward to it," She grinned.
Mari looked at her pocket watch. It was ten-past already. Mark is usually more punctual about this. She idly played with the salt and pepper shakers, levitating them with magic and making them do a little dance.
"Yes... yes... this is a fertile land and we will thrive," The salt shaker nodded towards the pepper mill. "We will rule over this land, and call it: This Land."
Suddenly, the pepper mill turned towards the salt shaker. "I think we should call it: Your Grave!"
The salt shaker jumped. "Ah! Curse you and your sudden but inevitable betrayal!" It squeaked out as a glass of water suddenly appeared over it, about to pour its deadly contents over the hapless salt shaker.
Mark coughed. "Hmm. Interesting predicament Mr. Salt has got himself into over there."
With an embarrassed squeak, Mari swung around and jumped up from her chair. "Mark!"
"Hi!" He gave her a warm hug. "Mari, meet Amanda. Amanda, this is Mari. She's an old friend of mine. Known her since we were like 9 or something."
Amanda smiled and greeted her with a hug as well. "Hello Mari. Your hair... very unique." She pointed out. She also quietly took note of how pretty the human girl was. An unwelcomed mental image of Mari and Mark appeared in her head but she immediately shook it off.
"Hello!" Mari looked up at her bangs to remind herself. "Oh yeah, the purple matched my robes," She offered as explanation.
Sitting down across from the purple haired sorceress, Mark snatched the still floating cup from above the table. "You got better at this. When did you stop dropping them like a klutz?" He teased.
She narrowed her eyes in a threatening manner but her smile remained on her face. "Chris got me that one time. I wouldn't make that mistake again."
"Damn," he laughed. "Sorry about being late. We got caught up with something," He shared a smile with Amanda sitting next to him.
"Mmhmm. I'm sure you did," Mari rolled her eyes, finally settling them on the elf girl on the other side of the table. She was quite pretty but looked suspiciously innocent. Most elves, having centuries of experience under their belt, don't have that shy smile that played at the corner of her lips and her eyes. Mark usually avoided being with elves for that very reason. They would catch on to his odd behaviors too fast, determine that he's hiding something, then after his unwillingness to come clean, dump him. This one, though...
"So how have you been?" Mark interrupted her thoughts.
They chit chatted as they ordered and waited for their food to arrive, talking about what he had missed in the last four months, much of which he already gathered from speaking with his brothers right after he got back. The conversation eventually segued to Amanda's daily activities: her martial training with Captain Banks and her nightly lessons with Ms. Villa.
"She's not going to teach you anything," Mari declared as soon as Amanda mentioned the name. "The boys she's tutoring are Albeus Long's nephews. He's the Head Sorcerer of the Conjuration school. His sister, the boys' mother, specifically told Brook Villa not to teach them anything that might lead them to seriously hurt themselves. Although to be honest, other than being kinda sheltered and immature, I think the boys are pretty talented and would make pretty good students if they actually applied through the society properly."
Amanda cocked her head to a side. "Huh. That makes sense now. But the boys, I just thought they were kinda disruptive and annoying."
"Yeah, I'm sure they are. They're kids. Allan, the older brother is like... what, 13? 14? I don't remember. Alex, the younger one, is like 12 or something. If you're bored out of your mind in that class, I'm pretty sure it's even worse for them."
"I've never thought about it like that," she blinked.
"Don't worry about it," Mari smiled. "Unlike you, I've seen them outside that class. They're not always brats."
"Well, this does bring up something that I wanted to ask you about," Mark began. "Do you know anyone else who can train Amanda in some actual combat magic? Or, I mean, something more useful than little cantrips."
"Hey! Don't knock cantrips! I make great salt and pepper plays with them," she laughed as she snatched the pepper mill out of the air in front of her. "But yeah, I understand what you're saying." She thought for a moment, grabbing the salt shaker as well, putting them both back down on the table. "Why are you so interested in combat magic anyways? Until you can start constructing them without having to think about it, until it becomes second nature to you, it's not exactly practical for self defense. Your sword lesson with Captain Banks and whatever Mark can teach you will probably be better suited for that."
Amanda shrugged. "I just really want to learn. I mean, I don't think I'll be participating in any wars as a Combat Wizard but if someone is shooting a firebolt at me, I want to be able to shoot one right back, instead of cowering behind somebody."
"I think you'll be pretty safe here in the city. No one's really going to do much combat magic before the Society Enforcers comes down on their asses."
"Well, something like that has happened before," Amanda shared a look with Mark. "Not here, but it's happened. I was lucky that I had help, but I don't really want to depend on others if I can help it."
Mari did not miss that exchange between the couple but shook off her curiosity when the waiter arrived with their food.
"So before we eat, where's my puzzle?" Mari grinned, stretching out her open palm.
"Ok, ok, here you go," Mark laughed as he produced a small grey pouch and placed it in her hand. "Though it's not as much of a puzzle as I just want to ask you where this came from. If it's any help, Magus Keith said he wasn't sure exactly where it was from but that it wasn't from the drow."
"Magus Keith... Vincent Keith? He was with you the whole time? I thought he vanished himself or something," Mari laughed, "I should've guessed that was the case when both of you disappeared at about the same time and no one knew where he had gone off to.
"Huh. Actually, that makes so much sense now! He came back like a week and a half ago, about when Andrew said you'd be back... how did I not make that connection sooner..." Her voice lost its amused tone as she pulled out the black leather collar, still attached with seven of the runes. She frowned. "Where did you find this?" She looked back up at Mark. The elf girl next to him scowled, clearly uncomfortable at the sight of this collar.
Mark took Amanda's hand and gave her a reassuring squeeze. "You know I can't tell you that. I just want to ask you if you know who could've made this."
Mari frowned. From Amanda's reaction and her insistence on learning how to protect herself, she had a good idea of just how she and Mark had met. She decided not to press the matter. Opening the pouch a little more, she emptied its contents onto the table and counted. She thought for a moment, then put all but two of the charms back into the pouch.
"These two last charms," she said finally, "I have never, never, seen before."
"But you know what they are, right?"
"Of course I do," Mari rolled her eyes. "I have a collar with two runes permanently attached buried somewhere in my room."
Mark raised an eyebrow. "You do?"
"They're fun little toys," she shrugged. "And they're not hard to get if you know where to look. But anything above a set of six is like impossible to find. The only reason I've even seen twelve is because of some drow exhibit at the Society a few years ago."
"Yeah Keith said as much. The only set of fourteen belongs to Queen Renia?"
"As far as I know, yeah," she looked down at the collar, "but then you bring me this. Let me take a look here," she began to mumble something under her breath, constructing a spell.
Almost a minute later, Mark felt the flows of magic stop. "So...?"
"I don't know. There's something weird about these," Mari shook her head. "The magic patterns on these are nothing like the ones I have, which were made by the fae. I don't remember the drow patterns very well but I'm almost certain these are not drow either."
"Hmm," Mark frowned. "Well, you said there was something weird about these. What is it?"
"I'm not sure. Something feels very," she searched for a proper word, "unnatural, about this set. I just can't put a finger on it."
Mark leaned forward, thinking contemplatively for a minute, then shrugged and leaned back into his chair. "Bleh. Lots of help you are," he chuckled. "This meal was totally wasted on you."
"Ha! This was the worst puzzle ever," she scoffed, making a face at him. "Not interesting. Not even a little bit!" She said as she put everything back into the pouch and tossed it to him.
Amanda just laughed as they finally touched their cooling meals.
"It was really nice seeing you again," Mark smiled as he gave Mari a hug.
"Yeah it was. Now that you're back, maybe I can get to see you or your brothers more often," Mari smiled back. "Sorry about not being able to help you with the collar thing."
"I can't wait to hear what Chris will do to prank you next time," Mark laughed. "As for the collar thing, don't worry about it. I can ask around to see who else has experience with these things."
"You know," Mari glanced at Amanda briefly before continuing, "you can probably ask Madam Kessing about this. I've heard she has a drow set up to the sixth charm. Maybe she can provide you with some insights?"
"That sounds like a good idea," he nodded. "I need to stop by there soon anyways. Thanks!"
Mari then turned to Amanda. "It's nice meeting you," She hugged her as well.
"Likewise. It's nice to meet some new people in the city finally," She smiled. Then a curious look appeared on her face. "So who's Madam Kessing?"
"I'm going to leave that to Mark. You can ask him about her," Mari laughed.
Amanda turned towards Mark with a confused expression but he was pointedly not meeting her gaze.
"So," Mari said as she held Amanda's hands. "You're really serious about wanting to learn combat magic, aren't you?"
"What do you mean? Of course I am."
"I mean there must be a very good, personal, reason that you seem so bent on being able to protect yourself, isn't there?"
Knowing that this was a secretive topic, both women glanced at Mark, who shrugged and nodded in consent. Amanda nodded.
"Look, I don't mean to make you feel uncomfortable, but from the way you reacted back in the restaurant when Mark pulled out that pouch, and how you seem to be terrified of being a victim again, I can guess what had happened."
Amanda slowly nodded again. "It was just a close call," she explained. "Mark came and saved me before anything too bad happened."
"Good. I'm glad," Mari smiled with obvious relief. "But... hmm... so, if you want, I can teach you combat magic. If you want."
"Oh thank you! I would love it if you would teach me!" She exclaimed happily. "Thank you so much!"
Mark was quite surprised, himself. "Wow, thanks Mari!"
"Wait, wait, hear me out first. I can't do it every night: maybe only twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at your regular hours with Brook, er, Miss Villa."
"That's fine! That's great!" Amanda could barely contain her excitement.
"And you still need to go train with Miss Villa on the other nights to learn to control the spell construction process better."
"Yep! Of course!"
"Ok, well, good then. We can start this Thursday if you like. Just meet me at the fountains in the courtyard, ok?"
"Yes! Yes! Thank you!" Amanda hugged Mari excitedly.
"You're welcome," she laughed. "But there's something else, related, that I need to say to you," she paused, "to both of you. First, Amanda, until you get lots of practice, you're going to have some trouble controlling the magnitude of your spells. Even the Push cantrip can be a little too forceful if you're not careful."
"Yeah I've noticed that, but I think I'm getting better at it."
"Um. Good. So, Mark, I know we don't talk about this subject, so I'm not sure how to say this," Mari looked at the ground, then back at the couple, "but have you talked to her about that interest of yours? The one that got Lena upset last time?"
"Mmph. No," he grunted. He knew where this was going.
"Uh, well, sorry about bringing this up now, then," she offered an apologetic look. "You guys do have to talk about this before I start teaching her offensive magic, though."
"Huh? Why? What interest?" Amanda looked at the two of them, confused.
"I didn't want to bring it up so soon," Mark ignored her question. "Is this really necessary?"
"It is," Mari nodded. "If she reacts badly, I don't want her panicking and hurting you without meaning to."
"Shit. Alright," he groaned.
"Mark? What is she talking about?" Amanda took Mark's hand.
Mari took a step back as she began to construct her Jump spell. "I'll let you two talk. See you around, Mark. Amanda, don't be afraid of what Mark is going to tell you. You're safe with him. I'll see you on Thursday?"
"Um. Ok. I'll see you on Thursday. Thanks again!"
With a smile and a wave, she was gone.
There was a silence between the two.
"So. What is this interest of yours that I should know about?" Amanda finally asked, cautiously.
Mark looked up at a nearby clock. It was nearly three. Shit. Holding Amanda's hand, he began to walk.
"I don't have much time left, and I don't want to leave you confused," he began. "I was going show you later. Ease you into the topic. It might sound a little scary to you but I'd really like to first introduce you to it before you make any judgments about it."
"So normally, this isn't even really an issue. But as my last relationship taught me, I really need to communicate better."
"Well, yes, communication is important," she nodded, but she wasn't sure where this was going.
"So my only doubt is that this might be a touchy topic for you because of the circumstances surrounding our first meeting and I really don't want to scare you off."
"Mark!" She pulled him to a stop next to a long, narrow alley. Checking that there's no one around, she pulled him inside a good distance away from the crowds on the street.
"Yes?" He looked at her uncertainly.
Amanda had to suppress a giggle. Although they really have not known each other for that long, she never would have expected him to be so nervous about anything. Sure, he still sounded confident but she could tell that he was trying to suppress his uncertainty. "Mark, just tell me already. I'm not going to run away."