tagSci-Fi & FantasyQueen Yavara Ch. 12

Queen Yavara Ch. 12

byWhite_Walls©

PRESTIRA

Yavara was in good spirits, having gotten the message this morning that both Brock and Elena were alive and well. From what little Zander had risked putting on the parchment, I gathered that he'd set plans in motion for finding a Froktora. I liked Brock, truly I did, and the Terdini were renowned for their strength and size, but they were just too small a clan. The Protaki were the largest tribe in The Pines, but even they paled in numbers compared to the hordes of The Tundra. The ten tribes of The Tundra (aptly named 'The Ten' since orcs are so fucking creative) would be outraged if anyone other than one of their own was named Froktora. Even then, their hatred for each other ran so deeply that simply naming one of them a candidate might spark a war. Still, that was better than outright rejection, which is what I feared Yavara would get if she presented Brock to the Ten. A war could be ended swiftly with a few key deaths, but political embarrassment lasted a lifetime. Yavara had shown some political acumen when she'd spun the rescue mission, but she still had a lot to learn. Her fierce loyalty to her friends was her greatest weakness, and would be used against her. So, I categorized her friends as 'assets' and 'liabilities,' weighing the benefits and risks each brought. Zander was certainly an asset, and I believed myself to be one as well. Brock wasn't yet a liability, but he was bordering on it, and Elena... Elena Straltaira was a ticking time bomb. If there was any benefit to the wayward ranger, it was to keep Yavara centered. For I'd seen a shadow of what Yavara could be without her moral anchor, and it was terrifying.

I shook myself from my contemplation, and focused on the task at hand. None of this would matter if we couldn't secure a loan from King Dreus, and to do that, Yavara would once again have to rely on her raw political acumen. As the high sun baked the stench of dead fish into the air, I coached her to the best of my ability.

"We need to be careful with our words, Yavara. He will want to be treated as above you. You cannot allow that to happen, but you cannot disrespect him, or he will be compelled to save face." I explained to Yavara as we walked along the docks. The hood of my white robe covered my face, the symbol of the Holy Mother stitched across it. Yavara wore a similar priestess outfit, the hood covering the top half of her own face. Even savage gangs respected the work of the church, and attacking priestesses would be a violation of street law. We traveled incognito for two reasons: one, because even though we were in the docks, where there was no shortage of Alkandran loyalists, Yavara's safety was still not guaranteed; and two, because of optics. Now that the world knew who Yavara was, her reputation had to be nurtured like an ailing infant. If everyone knew that Yavara had gone to Drake Titus to ask for aid, it would make her look weak, and though Yavara's subjects could overlook many undesirable traits in their Dark Queen, weakness was not one of them.

"So, I should show him respect, but use subtle language that tells him I'm better than he is, without disrespecting him completely?" Yavara asked, "I'm confused; this man is the leader of the most notorious gang in the city, and I'm supposed to talk down to him in his own court?"

"Don't talk down." I explained, "Just use prefixes of an equal, but make sure he calls you 'queen.'"

"I suppose it won't be as easy as sucking his cock and promising him money." Yavara grumbled.

I snorted. "No, this situation calls for more tact than that. Just think your questions to me if you have any, I'll guide you through it."

"Do you know Titus?"

"I was close with his blood-mother, Gloria Titus, for a time." I said as we rounded the corner, "She went across the sea to Hektinar to chase heathen idols, as she was one to do. That's the place there." We came to a large loading door, with a smaller pedestrian door embedded into it. I knocked three times. The window opened, and two black eyes stared down at us.

"What business do you have here, sisters?" The orc asked.

"We are here to speak with Drake Titus." I responded.

"What business do two sisters of the church have with Mister Titus?" He growled.

"His business, and not yours." I replied. The window slammed shut in our faces.

"Nice one." Yavara hissed at me.

"Just wait. Titus runs a smuggling operation beneath the city temple. He'll be curious as to why we are here."

The window opened again, and the orc spoke. "Titus will see you now."

I smirked at Yavara.

You smug little bitch. She telepathically replied.

We stepped through the door, and our ears were immediately assaulted by loud thumping music. Flash pots blasted the dark room with a strobe light, making it seem like the dancing crowd was shifting rapidly. Cages hung from the ceiling where naked dancers of different races gyrated to the music, their sweat dripping from their bodies, flinging from their tossed hair. People were fucking in the middle of the dance floor with wild abandon, their movements synchronized with the beat, their faces that of animals. The orc guided us along the perimeter, parting the crowd as he did.

This place is fucking amazing! Yavara's shrill voice echoed in my head.

It makes our little spectacle at the bar look like child's play. I mused.

The orc guided us to a door on the side of the room with "V.I.P." crudely painted over it. "Open your robes and put your hands in the air." He commanded.

Yavara and I complied, and endured his thorough and dispassionate search of us. Our hoods stayed over our faces, and thankfully the orc didn't deign to blasphemy by making us remove them.

"You may speak with Titus, sisters." The orc opened the door and beckoned us through before slamming it behind us. My eyes were greeted with yet another scene of depravity. Masses of pale flesh writhed together like some pulsating beast of sex, it's many moans and screams forming a discordant drone. The room was poorly lit by torches burning red flame, giving the orgy a hellish glow. Every member of the orgy had skin as white as snow, hair as black as jet, crimson irises baring feline pupils, and blood-red lips parting to expose white fangs. If there was a benefit to vampirism, it was eternal youth and beauty, for all the women were statuesque and voluptuous, and all the men were tall, lean and strong. Their gothic features were sensually predatory, and focused on the smell of fresh blood.

"Sisters!" A man called jovially from the center of it all. I didn't have to guess that it was Drake Titus; the extravagant chair, the adornment of jewels, and the two women worshipfully licking his cock were all the evidence I needed. Gloria would be proud of her blood baby. Taking a steeling breath, I stepped through the debauchery, watching errant limbs retreat before my path. I wasn't an extremely adept telekinetic, but I could blow the roof off a building, and expose everyone to the high noon sun. I'd picked the time of our arrival purposefully. I stopped ten paces from Titus, wary of the hungry eyes and sharp fangs that lurked at my periphery.

"Remove your hoods, sisters." Titus commanded, "I need to see the eyes of the people I'm dealing with."

Yavara glanced at me, and I nodded. Together, we drew back our hoods. There were no gasps to accompany the reveal of the Dark Queen, for vampires were not prone to such human exclamations. There was only a sudden muting of the revelry, making the room quiet enough to hear a pin drop. For her part, Yavara didn't seem the least bit out of sorts. She held her head high and proud, unflinching before Drake Titus.

"The Dark Queen herself comes to my home!" Titus exclaimed, "I wished you had warned me in advance, Your Highness; I would have made myself presentable."

"You're fine as you are." Yavara said wryly, her eyes navigating the length of his cock. Titus smiled back at Yavara, though I could see he was simply looking at her neck.

"And what brings royalty into my humble chambers?" Titus asked.

"We have a proposition for you, Titus." I said to him, not liking the gleam in his red eyes. They turned to me, but the wanting glint did not diminish.

"Prestira Rasloraca. My mother always had some choice words for you." He cocked his head, his smile sliding to a crooked smirk, "What kind of a proposition does the infamous miser of Ardeni have in mind?"

"It's my proposition, Titus," Yavara said, "I ask that you join me in Alkandra."

"Why would I do that?" Titus laughed, "I have riches beyond my imagination, I have fresh blood every night, and I have new daughters every week." Titus slapped the asses of the two women servicing him. "Ivanka and Tiffany, say 'hi' to Queen Yavara Alkandi and Prestira Rasloraca."

"Hi Yavara, hi Prestira." They said seductively, staring unabashedly at our throats. While I was nearly consumed with the compulsion to duck my chin, Yavara dared to tilt hers slightly upward. She thought this was fun.

"Queen Yavara." Yavara corrected, smiling back at the women.

"I'm sorry, Your Highness," Titus laughed as he brought his daughter's heads back down, "They were lowborn girls once, and were never taught proper etiquette. Biting privileged sons and daughter lends unwanted complications, you understand. Now, your proposition sounds like a demand of fealty, and in case you haven't noticed," Titus gestured around himself, "I quite like being the boss. What would I have to gain from bowing to you?"

"Wealth, land and titles in Alkandra." Yavara replied.

"I have wealth, I have land, and I have no use for titles." Titus's grin broadened, fangs shining sharply in the red light, "Do you know what I want, Queen Yavara?"

"What?" she asked.

"You."

"That is out of the question!" I yelled, clenching my fist, feeling the air around me, the wooden beams of the ceiling rafters, the joints that held wall to roof. A nearly imperceptible creak sounded from above, but Titus heard it. He inclined his head upward, then looked back at me, undaunted.

"That's my condition." He said, shrugging his shoulders, "I will only throw my wealth and arms behind your banners if I know that my people will be well represented. Otherwise I'm risking a lot for the unknown, and I don't put money behind bad investments. If Queen Yavara shares my blood, I will know that her interests and mine are aligned."

"That is not a condition we can accept. I'm sorry for wasting your time." I said, turning to leave. Yavara put a hand on my shoulder.

"What's it like, Titus?" She asked, "Vampirism, what does it feel like? Speak honestly."

"It's not terrible. If you have a reliable blood supply, you hardly notice the cravings. You don't need to sleep, you have limitless energy, and your senses are heightened. Not to mention eternal youth and beauty, though, I see you're both doing fine in that department." Titus said with considerable charm. If we were maidens, we might've blushed.

Yavara, don't even think about it. I said into her mind.

We need him, Prestira. There's no other way.

You would sacrifice everything if you did this. You will never get to walk in daylight again, and the pleasures of life will fade in the ever-present need to feed. Eventually, your entire being will be consumed by it. Death is preferable.

"I thank you for the offer, but it is not one I can accept." Yavara said.

"I can make concessions." Titus smiled congenially.

"Like?" asked Yavara.

"I'll take Prestira instead."

"Me?!" I nearly sputtered.

"You have the ear of the queen, and you're one of the most powerful beings on earth. I would concede you as a viable alternative."

You're right, let's get out of here. Yavara said, "I'm sorry, Titus, but you ask too much."

"I can make one last concession!" Titus yelled as we turned.

"You seem to be in quite the generous mood today." I smirked over my shoulder, "What is your last concession?"

"Day-walkers. I make both of you day-walkers, but it has to be both of you."

"I am unaware of what a 'day-walker' is, Titus, please explain." Yavara requested.

"A day-walker," Titus answered, twisting his lips, "is a half-measure. You retain none of the benefits of vampirism, but as long as you stay in your natural form you also avoid the... side effects as well. The name is somewhat of a derogatory term, but I'm sure you'll add some prestige to it." Titus turned to his left and yelled, "Brutus, come over here!" From across the room, a homely man of middle years lumbered out from behind the bar, setting down a glass he'd been polishing. "Brutus is a day-walker," Titus explained, "we needed someone who could go on booze-runs during the daytime."

The balding little man stepped clumsily through the orgy, occasionally tripping over limbs that had been cruelly set in his path. He kept his eyes downcast, as well he should, for the beautiful beasts around him stared with unmasked contempt. I had a feeling that Brutus had once been given the same choice Yavara had, and he'd chosen poorly in the vampires' eyes. He stopped before us, not daring to raise his head, his shoulders sloped in decades of defeat.

"This is a day-walker?" Yavara asked, ducking to connect eyes with Brutus. He looked away, and I felt a pang of pity for him.

"Pathetic, isn't it?" Titus sighed.

Yavara took Brutus's head into her hands, and gently forced his gaze to hers. "Brutus," she said with unfettered kindness, "can you show me what it means to be a day-walker?"

Brutus glanced fearfully at his master.

Titus rolled his eyes. "Brutus, Queen Yavara is going to take over your mind now. Try not to shit yourself."

Yavara focused on Brutus' mind and immediately shot into it. He stumbled forward, caught himself, then straightened. By the proud angle of his back, and the lack of fear in his eyes, I knew Yavara had control.

"How do you feel?" I asked Yavara in Brutus' body.

"Like a fat guy with a drinking problem and a lot of regrets." Yavara frowned. She pulled Brutus's waistband outward, and glanced at the contents of his pants. She raised her brows. "But I guess he's got that going for him."

"So, where does the vampire element come into play here?" I asked Titus.

"Yavara, you should feel a part of Brutus' mind that is dormant. It should feel like a muscle you aren't using, like if your arm were to fall asleep and you lost function of your fingers. Do you get what I'm saying?" asked Titus.

"Yeah, I feel it. Should I just... flex it?" Yavara asked through Brutus' voice.

"Go ahead." Titus answered.

Brutus' body changed dramatically. His skin turned pale, his hair turned black, he grew nearly a foot in stature, and became lean and hard where he'd been soft and fat. Yavara blinked from red eyes, the slit pupils dilating.

"Wow." She gasped.

"Pretty cool, right?" Titus smirked.

"Yavara, how is it?" I asked her.

"I feel so... alive! The power... oh, the power! I feel like I could tear a man in half! And my sex drive is just... wow."

"And the craving?" I asked.

"No one under my care suffers the craving, not even Brutus." Titus said resolutely. I suspected that had more to do with Ardeni Dreus being a vampire's all-you-can-eat buffet than any benevolence on Titus's part, but a good leader always takes credit for good things, even if they're not his doing.

Yavara reduced Brutus to his lesser form, then returned completely to her body. Brutus blinked stupidly for a second, his eyes vacant, his entire being void of any of the glory it had just expressed. He walked back to the bar, and resumed cleaning glasses.

"I accept these terms." Yavara said.

"And you Prestira?"

I glanced nervously at Yavara, her orange eyes alight with excitement. 'Let's have some fun!' they seemed to say. I relented a smile to her. "I accept."

"Great!" Exclaimed Titus as he patted the seats next to him, "Come sit over here and we'll put some fangs on you."

Titus' daughters moved out of the way as Yavara and I sat next to him. "Who's going first?"

"I will, Titus. If anything goes wrong, it should be on me." I responded, my voice shaking slightly.

"Oh, there's a noble side to you after all, Prestira. Rest assured, nothing will go wrong. Just sit back and relax." Titus whispered in my ear.

Titus' strong hands gently pulled the robe off my shoulders, letting it drape from the slopes of my breasts. I felt his breath on my neck, so cold, like a winter chill caressing my throat. There was an intimacy to his touch that bordered between sexual and predatory, and I nearly wilted under it. His bite was painless. I felt a pleasurable weakness permeate from the source, like a tickle within the flesh. Then it diminished, and I felt... fear.

My heart beat faster. A whimper escaped my lips. My heart beat faster. Coldness dripped down my neck. My heart beat faster. It spread outward, like ice moving gelatinously through my veins, like I was infected with it. My heart beat faster. It dripped into my chest. My heart beat faster. It pooled into my heart. My heart beat slower. My tense muscles relaxed. My heart beat slower. I was so weak. My heart beat slower. My head was so heavy. My heart beat slower. Everything was so cold. My heart beat slower. I fell against Titus. My heartbeat stopped.

My heart beat. My heart beat faster. Faster, faster, faster. I am strong! I can feel the blood rushing through me, surging like a torrent within! Blood. Blood. I need blood! There's a woman; she has blood! I rush over and take the woman, bending her neck to present the pulsing vein. I can see it through her skin; I can smell it! I sink my fangs into her and suck through the capillaries. She whimpers. I don't care. Keep feeding. Keep drinking blood. So good. Blood-blood-blood. I feel the life rush through me, electrifying every muscle, every nerve and neuron. I am powerful, I am life at its very edge, burning, burning from inside! The woman collapses in my arms, and I bear down on her like a lover, like a killer. There are strong arms on me, pulling me away. I gnash and snarl at unfamiliar faces as they part me from my prey. Who are they to take what is mine? That man is talking to me. He doesn't have any blood for me. I recognize him. Titus. His name is Drake Titus. What is he saying? "How?" "How do you feel?" He's smiling. I look down at the woman. She is cradled in Tiffany's arms, and she is still alive. "Prestira?" Titus says. Is that my name? Prestira? Yes, that's my name. My name is Prestira. My name is Prestira Rasloraca, and I am a witch, and I am in love with Zander Fredeon. And I am Yavara's friend. Yavara. The woman in Tiffany's arms is not Yavara. Yavara is sitting next to Titus. She's afraid of me. My memories flood back to me. I regain control. I come back from the eternal now, and live once again in the universe of past and future.

"Prestira, how do you feel?" Titus asked.

"...Alive." I said back to him after some consideration, still dazed. I looked down at myself. My skin was only slightly paler than it had been before, and my hair was still black. That was where the similarities ended, for the body beneath me was unrecognizable. My petite breasts had swelled to pressing domes, my modest backside bulged into alluring globes, and the gap between my thighs had narrowed to nothing. Lithe muscle rolled beneath my silken flesh, shadows belying striations and cords when I moved my hand. My clothes were tatters on the floor, but I felt no shame in my nudity. Why would an apex predator of such terrible grace and beauty worry about something as benign as modesty?

"I can see that." Titus chuckled, "It's quite the rush, isn't it?"

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