tagSci-Fi & FantasyGryphon Keep Ch. 01

Gryphon Keep Ch. 01


Clawson was the first to spot the doors.

At first, he thought he was seeing things. The magnificent onyx doors had been dulled by soil that had no doubt been driven into the deep etchings by dirt devils and dust storms and untamed gorse bushes and wild heather had grown over the façade, ivy winding around the ringed handles and lodging itself into the cracks and crevices. He stepped back and took a mental image, then turned 65º to the west, closed his eyes and began his transmission.

* * * * *

Princess Coleta sighed in a combination of boredom and comfort, trying to ignore the sharp pain that was traveling through her wrist, upset that Grinda was taking so long to complete her manicure. Ordinarily, she would have been complaining long before now but she was trying to be a good girl. Her father, Coleuss, had taken her aside, intent on giving her instruction in royal etiquette and ended up in tears, afraid that the High Council would exile her to a finishing school because of her high-spirited antics.

She had promised that she would straighten up and King Coleuss had assigned a scholar to assist her in her education. Maxy was sitting on his stool, reading the latest transmission from the High Council and every now and then, he would read an article aloud, pointing out the importance to the Princess. She politely thanked him for the information and sighed again. She wished her mother was still alive. She would have wanted to ask her a question: Is this all there is to being a Princess?

As sweetly as she could, she said, "Are you done, Grinda?"

"Um, yes, ma'am. I was just doing a little extra."

Coleta pulled her hand from Grinda's grasp and examined the woman's handiwork. "Oh, Grinda! My nails look wonderful!"

"Thank you, milady."

"If you'll leave me, I'll finish my bath now. Thank you." Coleta watched the older woman leave, noticing that she lightly touched Maxy's shoulder before she left. The scholar remained with his back to her, his rheumatic knobbed fingers rapidly scrolling through the information on his portable Vid-Screen. "Is that all the news for the day?"

"Uh, yes, except that the High Council sends its regards and is pleased that you are comfortable in your new castle."

The princess slashed at the water with her hand, sending a wave cascading outside the tub and onto the floor. "That's bullshit! They're just happy that I'm out of the way!"

"Now, Coleta, your father doesn't feel that way."

"My father is ruled by every decision that council makes. Of course he feels that way." Coleta sighed, reaching for the sponge and dipping it into the rose soap. "I love my father but I wish his backbone was a little stronger."

Maxy laughed, closing the message and setting the electronic tablet down. "I pity the man that takes you to wife, princess."

"Why do you say that?"

"Because he will not be able to rule you, I'm afraid."

"You are correct." Coleta rinsed off, standing in the tub and turning toward him. "I'm ready to dry off."

"I'll call Grinda."

"No." Her single word stopped him in his tracks. "You attend me."

"It's not proper, princess."

Princess Coleta stepped from the tub, her arms still out and sniffed. "I am waiting, Maxy."

The scholar sighed and turned around, wondering how he was going to keep himself from gazing at her body. Even though he'd just been assigned as her personal scholar, he had been with the family for several years and had watched the princess grow into the beautiful woman that she was today. He headed straight for the oversized towel that Grinda had lay out and held it up, advancing toward her and obscuring his sight.

"You're such a gentleman, Maxy." She giggled, snatching the edges of the towel from his fingers and wrapping the absorbent fabric around her body. "And you shouldn't be." She stepped down and headed into the bed chamber, carelessly letting the towel slip. Maxy dropped his eyes to the floor, following her shapely heels until they left the carpet. She crawled onto the bed, stretching and purring like a cat. "I need some education, Maxy."

"E-Education, milady?"

"Yes, that is your job, isn't it? To provide me with education?"

"Er, yes, milady. What is it that you require?"

"I want you to educate my pussy." She stretched again, turning her head and noticing that he wasn't looking at her. "Maxy, look at me." It took several seconds before the man's head raised, his eyes widening at the sight of her beautiful, naked body sprawled across the sheets. "Princess Coleta, this isn't proper."

"Of course it is. Boys get education, don't they?"

"That's different."

"Is it?" She sat up, running her fingers along one distended nipple and gave it a pinch, gasping lightly. "Why is it different that I don't get to know what sexual pleasure is all about?"

"Princess, you know about ascension ... "

"And I know that I will be ruler, despite what the High Council says!" She took a deep breath, remembering her promise. "I am my father's only child and am the rightful ruler of Methuria."

"Who will be married off to a man who will assume the throne."

"Not if I can help it." Coleta hissed, then leaned back, lightly stroking her thighs. "Until that time, you are my official scholar and I am in some need of education. Now, come here."

Maxy thought twice about the situation he was in. On the one hand, he was officially obligated to provide education to the princess. The king said nothing about sexual instruction being out of bounds so technically, he wouldn't be betraying his directive. But on the other hand, Princess Coleta had to remain a virgin if she was going to have any chance of achieving her goal of becoming Methuria's regent. His 'education' might well be the way to save her.

"A question first."

"Yes, Maxy?"

"Are you a virgin?"

"Maxy ... "

"Princess Coleta, please!" He glared at her, glad to see that the urgency in his voice had caught her attention. "Are you are really serious about attaining the regency?"

"You know I am."

"Then answer my question."

Coleta stared at him, suddenly afraid and confused at the same time. "Y-Yes. I am."

"Good. Make sure you remain that way." He said, allowing himself to touch her slender thigh for the first time. "I will give you this education on two conditions." Coleta looked up at him with a curious look. "One, I am to be the only one, and I mean, the only one to give you this education."

Coleta shivered and sighed, mesmerized by the sight of Maxy's dark Arab skin moving against her alabaster skin, particularly when those thick fingers were making their way up the sensitive flesh of her thigh, a place where only her fingers had been before. "And the second?"

"That you let me help you ... " His fingers stopped inches from her quivering center. "That you let me help you be queen."

Coleta's heart fluttered. She had her first supporter. "All right."

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