A Harem Fantasy Ch. 13bymadam_noe©
Things were moving fast, too fast. In the morning I sat in my glorious bath alone, soaking away the aches of the night before, and ruminating on the deeply ingrained lessons of history imparted through my education at Cassipe's hand.
Ours was a violent Queendom. Once we had been hundreds of tribes, all quite different, according to many even some of those tribes had been ruled by men. Then slowly overtime, in each of the five regions, a strong leader emerged who led their tribes to conquer others. The small battles had lasted two hundred years, and when the dust settled there were 5 Queendoms: North, South, East, West, and Central. The Central was Caldor, a very small city-state of high wall, the great pyramid, small dusty streets, long row houses, and temples. For a 1,000 years this had been life, until the first red-haired queen called both the moons at once and was told by the Great Mother to conquer all the lands.
Since that time there was no direct lineage. Rulership passed from one red-haired woman to the next, and many systems had been erected to make it as smooth as possible. At first they lived together in the pyramid until murder became a problem, then the heir was given to foster with a noble family. Plots and schemes became common and so a hundred years ago care of the heir was given over to the Cult Of the Goddess, the extremist temple that ruled all others in the Capitol. It's where Antal had been raised; it was where her predecessor, Cassipe's love, had been raised.
Antal had been the most recent to change tradition again. Other Queens had kept harems; men of their family who needed protection, lovers, a consort, concubines, landless priests and knights under outside threats. It had always been small and friendly, a place of protection and respite. Some earlier queens had kept women there as well, as lovers or just as friends or family. Antal had changed it all, filling it with the powerful, those of good families, those who could threaten or challenge.
I still did not know how the old queen got her to agree to let a priest foster me, but I knew I was the first of a new line, Antal a strange, failed experiment. In the past to the citizens it may have seemed abrupt violence often changed Queens sitting upon the throne, but every other one had been raised in Caldor. Every other one knew the city guard, the priestesses, the nobility the merchant princesses. Everyone but me.
Lucius and Cassipe believed in me, but I knew I was young, unfinished, and even if I could kill Antal my hold was tenuous at best. My plan to soften the nobility by appealing to the men was a slow plot at best. They wanted me to move quickly and I understood why. Torture at the queen's hand was no easy thing, and though I loved both men in their own ways, I could not put their happiness above that of the Queendom.
My responsibility was to the people, and I knew nothing about them.
The queen had ridden her stock hard and slept late, and after my bath I was left free, with no combat training commanded. I found myself back amongst the archives, reading histories of the five kingdoms. I had servants bring my meals in there, assigned one scribe to read scrolls to me as I ate so I may not dirty them.
After my meal I did the necessary and for all the pleasure the night before had wrought I had to have one of the healers apply a salve so I could sit comfortably. As evening neared I was alone in the archives when Lucius appeared.
"You are a fine warrior, an excellent priestess, perhaps the best, but I begin to feel were you not the Queen's heir you would be a scholar by choice."
I set down the scroll I was reading, a history of farming exports from my own North country. "Is knowledge such a bad thing?"
He sat beside me on the small bench. "In this world Queen Antal has created it can be most dangerous."
"Just as a sword, it is necessary."
He stared at me, so beautiful, his amazing green eyes quietly searching my face. "Did it work?"
"Did she drive a wedge between us?"
I pulled his face to mine and kissed him deeply, as much as the night before. "You tell me."
He pulled back and looked to the narrow windows. "I wish it could say it did not, but..."
"I do not like to see you with others."
I reached for his hand with mine and gripped it tight. "Would that I ruled the world, I would want no other. The Queen rules and the Queen commands, and we must follow. Remember she controls our actions and our bodies, but our hearts and souls are our own. Take pleasure in the acts she deems cruel and know you bring pleasure to others. We must be patient. What good is acting rash and taking what we cannot hold?"
He understood my meaning and pulled my hand to his lips and kissed my knuckles softly. "We could leave."
"And go where? Where can we hide? Two nights, a priest and priestess, and I so marked by my hair? Where would we not be hunted?"
"The Queendom starves as drought covers two lands, the rich are paying exorbitant taxes, and the queen spends it on her friends, on crooked priestesses, on training more and more commanders of the city guard to instill martial law across the land, and she lives for sick torture. This cannot go on."
"It won't, but would chaos be the answer? Should the head of a family fall, and her heir is too young or unable to hold the estates, what becomes of them?" I spoke in metaphor, not knowing what ears leaned towards us for snatches of conversation to be carried straight to the queen.
Lucius looked away. "I was resigned to my fate, living in the hope the Queen had no heir and when she faltered, the world would change. I welcomed the thought of chaos. Then you came, and now I find myself hoping for more."
I shifted to kiss him and winced at the sharp pain in my bottom. He placed his hands on my arms. "You're hurt."
"The healers have salved me, but yes, it does ache."
"Let me heal you." He did not wait for my response he kissed me and pulled me gently into his lap. Sitting sideways I steadied myself with my arms around his neck and enjoyed this kiss, sweet melancholy, and slow.
His hands slipped easily under the loose white dress I wore and he palmed one full breast with his hot hand. I shivered, impossibly arousal was yawning awake in me. His switched hands so that one wrapped around me, caressing my aching nipples, and the other slid now along my thigh.
Though only fingers had been inside me the night before after the calling of the moon, I was still sore and stiffened. He nipped at my lips and suckled it to steady me., and his lower hand did not move my skirt aside, instead he stroked over it.
I gasped when I felt his fingers part the folds of my sex, the thin fabric softening the sensation, making it lighter. My body softened as he began to stroke in a steady, circular rhythm around the nubbin. My juices flowed and my hips began to move with him, begging more. His hand at my breasts pulled back, finger tips fluttering over a nipple as light as butterfly wings.
I clutched at him, kissing him deeply, feeling the hard heat of our tongues sliding together. The world melted away, there was nothing but this man, this feeling of being surrounded by his strength and yet victim to his gentility. On that thought I broke, gasping and crying out simultaneously. He swallowed my cries and refused t stop his movements. My hips ground for his hand, rubbing against the steely length of his arousal.
In desperation I moved, kissing him harder and harder as the waves of pleasure washed over me. I wanted to feel Lucius inside me more than anything, but all he did was slowly rub and tease me, and kiss me with immense passion.
I expected a break as I came down but there was none. My consort kept up his ministrations and soon the vortex of need drew me in and I crested again. I rode this peak just as before, but my desire did not diminish, it increased. Madness touched me.
I forced his hands away and straddled him, rubbing my aching wetness over his hard length, chewing on his lip, and perversely asking permission of my own subject to impale myself and sate us both.
"Virtal, we mustn't," Lucius groaned out, breaking the kiss to hold me back.
I stared into his eyes, seeing my own desire reflected there. "Please," I begged quietly, and a dark shiver passed through him.
"We must call the moon tonight, and this desire must be allowed to grow, to build, and when we come together we must show the Queen how strong we are."
At mention of Antal ice cooled my veins and I sat still, pressed against my consort still, but no longer rubbing end enticing. "We must succeed and yet what penalty must we pay tonight?"
He kissed my temple. "Think of it not. You feel better, don't you?"
I shifted one leg between his and sat on a powerful thigh with only a distant, dim ache. "Much better."
He smoothed my hair back from where it had escaped from the thin gold net. "I don't want to face tonight. I want it to be you and me, and let the world watch, I care not, but I don't want to face her."
"We must live our lives one moment at a time. I have spent all day reading the histories of all the lands. Cassipe taught me to rule, but he taught me to rule Caldor, not everything. It was expected the Queen would finish my education but I must finish it myself. We must be patient. I will protect you as much as I can, but you must be strong for me. Yu are my consort and one day I shall be Queen. Until that day, you must never act rashly. Promise me, Lucius."
He nodded and kissed me softly and quickly.
I climbed off him and stretched. "It is time to prepare for the ceremony. I will see you shortly, and again, tonight,, do as I do and trust me," I called back as I walked to the door.
He stood too and looked sad. "I do."
That it was the truth and that it disturbed him as much as my feelings for my consort perturbed me made me smile.
Again the world melted away after I and Lucius had been prepared. From her canopied throne, cloaked in black mourning, the Queen watched us with glittering eyes. The stock watched us from bent positions, and the rest of the top tier of the harem stood in position in front of the Queen's guard who watched beneath their helms. None of it mattered, not even the eyes of the nobility below us.
When I took Lucius into my body it was smooth and perfect. All during my bathing I had touched myself, keeping alive the fires he had built in the archives, and never had I felt so wet, never had he seemed so thick and hard.
The moon burst forth, blood red, drawing gasps from all around but it did not register. I rode my Lucius to completion for both us, a release of joy, elation, a bursting of the soul as well as satiation of the body. It was beautiful, peaceful, thrilling all at once.
And then came the gasps of shock from below, the thundering applause, louder than ever before, and I opened my eyes to smile down at Lucius. I had done it, I realized; I had won the nobility. One thing I had read about every queen of long life and great legend was their ability to project a goddess-like quality to the masses. For the first time in two thousand years, I had called two blood moons.
I kissed Lucius softly and turned to the Queen, ignoring all other eyes. She stared at me as if we had never met, as if we were two queens of two equal lands. I saw it then; a flash of fear in her eyes, and a great wash of pity flowed over me. I did not let it show, I let no vulnerability show, even as I sat there naked, still perched upon my consort.
Taking a deep breath I did my best not to sound like a young woman, but like a Queen. "Your Highness, your mourning is not yet complete. As you can see your queendom is in good hands, and you may rest easy."
She could form no response and so I nodded to Marxim, who caught my meaning. As I climbed off and the harem helped me and Lucius, garbing us in the robes for after the ceremony, I stilled the hands of the queen's guards from closing the curtains and blocking us from the people below.
The Queen jerked a nod and Marxim led her off, looking like a lost little girl in his large arms. The remainder of the harem stared at me, looking almost as lost.
I stepped back to the balcony and raised my arms, and a cheer rose. The voices of the men were loud and raucous, almost drowning out the noble women below. I had started to secure the nobility. It would be a long process, but I had laid mythology for them. Word of my spirituality would spread along merchant roads and toll ways, to villages, and in taverns the story would grow until my reputation reached the shores, cloaked in Goddess-robes.
What I had learned, what had been percolating in my mind, was this base. I would have to bide my time, but the next task of a hero was to win a great battle. The High Priestess of Caldor seemed a good target as currently there were no wars to send the heir of the Queen out on in her stead.
That would depend on my reputation. If the High priestess, known as the most direct conduit to the goddess for the people, felt threatened, she would find me. All that would stand between us was the Queen, but like in chess, she would be the last piece to fall.
I turned back to the shocked faces, Lucius' shining dangerously. There was love there, and love was a beautiful thing, but power and objectivity would direct us best. I had to get him to pull back and see the bigger picture.
"Tonight we shall revel in the usual manner set by Antal. However, I ask that the stock retire to their quarters for a night of peace. Markal, Uloga, you shall attend me. Missiply, Annist, Morganna, you shall attend my consort."
I kissed Lucius' shocked face and whispered into his ear, "Enjoy the pleasure, guard your heart." Turning from him, I led the other men of the top tier to my chambers.
Tonight I was to be in charge. For all that my education had taught me to lead as a knight, as a priestess, as a scholar, and commander, sex had never been part of my education until the last night. It had only been months ago but felt like years as I led the two scarred, handsome knight-priests into my chamber.
My maids bowed and left, closing the curtain, and leaving us in low torchlight. A flagon of spiced brew had been left along with assorted breads, cheeses, and fruits. Starved, I grabbed a few while Markal and Uloga stared at me.
"How did you call the red moon two nights in a row?" Markal asked, sitting on the edge of my large bed.
I swallowed a bite of cheese and poured us three glasses of brew, passing them each one as Uloga leaned against the wall pensively. "I have been reading, and combined with the education I was given, things have become clear. Do you know why only a red-headed woman may serve as queen?" both shook their heads.
I sat at my desk so I could be close to the food cart and piled a trencher high with fruit, cheese, and bread. "Back when there were five queendoms, Caldor was the smallest, yet central. When the goddess came too earth in material form, she took that that had never been seen; a red-haired woman. She bore a child when the god took material form and declared that first great Queen would be queen of all. Each generation they would choose one woman, not of a family line, to rein.
"The red-hair shows connection to the goddess. If you look at queens of old, the redder the hair, the stronger the connection. Mine is pure; when I call the moon I can see her, feel her in my mind, in my body. Sometimes, I feel I become her. And if the goddess wills great power, it is hers to command."
They stared at me. Good, I thought, with some sadness. The legend had to grow here in the seat of the power, as well as with the nobility and the people at the farthest corners.
"What are you planning?" Uloga asked at long last, his dark eyes questioning.
With a toss of dark hair Markal's frown disappeared for a moment. "This is dangerous."
I smiled and set down my empty plate. "This is the line of succession. This is what the goddess intended. This is righting the wrongs. Now, attend me in my bath."
I pulled off my robe and naked, crossed to the back room and plugged the tub, increasing the fall of warmed water. Quickly it filled and I added oils I felt were sensual, not too feminine, many used in fertility rites. I wanted passion, not children, as such was forbidden to the Queen, and so I added other herbs from pots and jars to turn the bath to turn the fertility magic to lust.
Markal and Uloga filled the doorway; one dark and slim, one compact and strong and light. Muscles and scars showed through their clothes, embodying male beauty, but I wanted more. "Remove your clothes."
They moved immediately, stripping down their fancy ceremonial clothes until they were naked. I slipped into the bath and laid back against the rim of it, shitting off the flow of new water. "Grab those sponges, and bathe me."
I closed my eyes as they moved, heard them dip the sponges into the water, felt the waves. All around us the sounds of the harem rang out; sounds of pleasure, laughter, and soft music. The smells of the herbs and water were sensual and pulled, and then I felt their strong hands lift my hand foot and the rough sponges caressed me.
I kept my eyes closed, enjoying the feel, and I let them move me, direct me as needed. I felt Markal's rough sword hand caress the very tops of my breasts and Uloga's firm grip moved my legs apart to scrub my thighs.
Soon the sponges had cleaned me thoroughly, and returned to my sensitive spots. One rasped my nipples, sliding along between air and water while the other, wet, soft, and heavy, played between my legs.
I raised my hand and slung it over Markal's broad shoulders and moaned. I felt sensitized, and though great pleasure had recently been mine the desire that had built up that day remained, blooming like a night rose against all known reason.
Fingers, thick and callused, joined the sponges, and the desire spun around me. One nipple was abraded by the sponge, the other gently stroked on the cool air, and two fingers filled me even as the nubbin crowning my apex was teased by the sponge. Pleasure, freely given, was so sweet I did not fight it.
I rode it, climbing high and fast to the apex, and I broke with a swan song of pleasure, shaking. I felt the goddess then, smiling at me, and my consciousness merged with hers.
In flashes I saw what happened. I kissed Markal with great hunger as Uloga drained the water. Lips pressed to my apex and suckled even as the goddess laughed with freedom and promise.
Next I knew we all knelt in the bathing pool, fresh water cascading over us like a waterfall and I had taken Uloga into my mouth, while Markal filled me. All touch was gentle and we flowed like the water.
Curiously I felt the god in me too, coupling reverently with the goddess even as my body was filled with pleasure and need. They surged into me like twin waves, filling my head with taste and sensation and need, and the goddess granted me hers, the god too, and suddenly we all broke.
Uloga spilled his seed into my mouth and Markal filled my depths, the god and goddess cried out with me, shivering, and the pleasure of us all combined. It was the deepest spiritual moment of my life and even as I swallowed the seed I rose laughing.
They joined me, and together we washed clean in the water, splashing like children. Just when Uloga, behind me, turned my head for a kiss and Markal bent to my breasts, there came a voice.
We broke apart to find Cassipe standing there, looking dazed.
"What is it?"
"The second moon has raised, and turned red in the sky when it rose white!"
This rang something in my memory, but my head was still filled with power; trilling bells, laughter, and music. "What does this mean?"