Sisters of the Mists Ch. 16


"That is but a little cosmetic enchantment. Wouldn't want them getting in the way of your spell casting. Now, take one of Danica's marvelous wands, and push it against the clasp of the bracelet, holding the wand near the tip."

The illusionist followed Damian's instructions, and marveled as the wand vanished. When only the jewel between her fingers remained, the wand vanished from sight.

"The enchantment is somewhat similar to that of a bag of holding," the master craftsman explained. "Now, think of the wand, and give a snap of your wrist."

When Marlena did so, the wand appeared once again, and hovered near her palm until she grasped it. "They're marvelous," she remarked. "Thank you so much."

"Your smile is all the thanks I need. The bracelets will each hold up to three different wands, which you can call upon with a thought." He then opened the second rosewood box, revealing four more wands. "I'm quite happy to offer these from my collection."

"If anything does manage to get through your illusions, it's going to wish it hadn't," Danica said as Marlena accepted the final gift.

Marlena gave a little shake of her head and a shrug. "I... I'm overwhelmed."

"Pish posh," Damian countered, and then dipped into a bow. "Use them well. Now, if you will forgive me, my wife has informed me rather pointedly that I have been spending too much time in my craft. Good journey to the both of you."

"Thank you," both women said in unison as he took his leave.

Marlena turned to Danica and began, "I..."

"Pish posh," Danica echoed her old mentor in the art of crafting magical items. "Finish getting ready. We all need a rest. If I know Brandon, he's wearing a track in the floor of the Hall waiting for you."

"What about you?"

"I'm going to go home, take a nice long bath, and go to bed early." She then twitched her eyebrows and said, "You should try to get some rest too — afterwards."

Marlena laughed, and color filled her cheeks as she turned to finish getting ready.

Danica felt absolutely effervescent from the growing joy and confidence that she saw in her once somber friend.


Andrea and Ashley appeared atop the teleportation pattern in Blackhawk Hall, and barely had time to cross the boundaries of the circle before Brandon appeared in the doorway of the room.

"Don't look so happy to see us," Andrea teased when she saw his shoulders slump.

He rubbed the back of his neck and chuckled. "Heh... Sorry. I was just expecting Marlena."

"Is she coming, then? She and Danica have been at Darkni's school, so we've barely seen each other for the last couple of weeks."

"Yeah, she sent a message a bit ago." He gestured toward the door and said, "You'll probably want to find Kronk. That fella from town's been asking about you about every day."

Andrea beamed as only a woman who knows that the man she's set her eye on is inexorably caught in her web.

The Duchess elbowed Brandon as she walked past him into the room. "A watched pot never boils, you know."

"That's not true. I've done it when I was drunk once," he countered.

Christi rolled her eyes and sighed, prompting a laugh from Brandon as he gave a salute to the two visitors and went on his way.

"Ashley, isn't it?" The Duchess asked.

The redheaded witch nodded.

Andrea said, "We needed a break, and I said she should come with me, since she's never seen the city."

"I imagine that you already have plans," Christi said to Andrea, and then winked. "If you want to see the city, Cerebus and I were about to head out to one of the best parts of it. Join us for dinner at the Wayfarer's Rest, Ashley?"

The Duchess made no attempt to hide her admiration of Ashley, which caused the witch to blush. Andrea knew how persuasive the Duchess could be, and strongly suspected that dinner would be only the beginning of her sister witch getting to know the Ducal couple.

"I've actually heard of it," Ashley said as she got over the initial flash of embarrassment from Christi's sultry appraisal of her. "If it's as good as its reputation, I'd be glad to."

"Nothing anybody says can do the Rest justice, and we've always got the best table in the house." Christi then directed her gaze to Andrea and offered a crooked smile. "Someone just showed up at the gates of the Hall. If you hurry, you can probably surprise him."

Andrea waved and said, "Bye," as she hurried from the room.


Danica had barely appeared within the familiar confines of her room before she started toward her dresser for some clean clothes. The bath was calling to her.

She heard a knock on the door and called out, "Come in," without pausing in her task. Celes walked in as Danica turned with a clean pair of panties and a light robe in hand.

"Thought I heard you," Celes said, "How are things going on the isle?"

"The mirrors are almost ready, and our new spells work perfectly. Marlena went to see Brandon, and I'm home for a long soak in the baths."

Celes turned around the chair in front of Danica's small worktable in the room and sat down. "Just put some fresh candles in the cabinet. Lavender. Andrea and Ashley went to the Hall, too."

"Why didn't you go with them?" Danica asked as she tossed her bag of holding onto the bed.

Celes shrugged. "Getting in the habit of avoiding people is hard to break."

Danica nodded, and decided not to press. Celes had endured the enslavement of Zoraster for even longer than Danica, and had his curse of an aged body to bear as well. "How are things going here?"

"We've got a hundred of her potions ready to go. The study reeks of cloves. I was just about to head out to that cave the girls were sneaking off to and have a look around."

Danica sat down on the bed and asked, "Is that a good idea, after what happened last time?"

"I had a chat with the girls, and they gave me an idea of what the various crystals show. The red ones are the only ones that might be trouble. I'm going to cast Ironmind before I go in there, though. Your girls never got caught up in the red crystals, so I'm thinking that their psionic powers probably protected them. I felt a touch something like your powers when I looked into them."

Danica considered it for a moment. "Why don't I just go with you — at least this first time?"

"I won't mind the company. You might be able to sense something I don't," Celes said as she stood up.

Intrigued by what she'd heard about the cave and the crystals, Danica didn't really mind putting her bath off for a little while. She picked up her bag of holding, and the two chatted while they made the trek out of the manor and across the valley. In unspoken agreement, neither discussed all the hard work over the last several days, but instead, the moments between.

Danica couldn't hold back a laugh when Celes cleared the first opening into the mists with a girlish pirouette. The witch's sense of direction was perfect, and she emerged directly in front of the cave mouth.

The interior of the cave shone with dozens of spots of twinkling, multicolored light. No one crystal illuminated more than a handspan of the darkness, but the combined effect provided just enough light to see within the cavern.

"How did the girls even find this place?" Danica wondered aloud as she drank in the sight.

"Good question. None of them are talking, and Edna hasn't even picked up the answer with her powers." Celes moved her hands into the initial position of the gestures required for the Ironmind spell, but then let them drop. "Since you're with me, let's just avoid the red ones and skip the spell. It might block out something that could be important."

"Okay. If you're right, my powers should protect me, and I can pull you out if I get worried."

"I want to start with one of the amber ones. The girls just say that they show things. They weren't specific, and sounded as though they considered the amber boring, but I'd like to see for myself."

"As good a place as any to start," Danica agreed, and followed her friend inside.

"Don't look directly at any of the crystals. That seems to be what sets them off." After a few seconds of scanning the inside of the cave, she said, "There we are," and started toward a small circle of amber light.

Following Celes' advice, Danica only looked at the crystals in her peripheral vision. As her eyes scanned over those within sight while walking, she could feel just the briefest tickle in the back of her head.

Celes walked up to the yellow-gold aura of light and asked, "Ready?"

"Go ahead."

A few seconds later, Celes hummed a quiet, "Hmm."

"What do you see?"

"It's just a farm. I can see why the girls sounded a little bored. Why don't you see if you can see it, or if you see something different?"

Danica moved in beside her friend, trusting the witch's judgment, and let her eyes focus on the crystal. The light seemed to expand, and she could suddenly see a middle-aged man and two boys herding hogs toward a rough-hewn log structure.

"A man and two boys herding pigs?" Danica asked.

"That's what I see. Do you feel like you're sort of hovering somewhere near them? I can almost smell the pig pen. Not that I want to, mind you."

Danica giggled. "Yeah. It's odd. I can sense you beside me, but it's different. It feels like we're both there instead of here."

"I'm going to look away and see what happens."

"Okay," Danica acknowledged, and almost immediately exclaimed, "Oh," when the scene shifted.

"You okay?" Celes asked, her voice sounding somewhat distant.

"I'm okay," Danica answered. "It just surprised me when what I was seeing changed so suddenly. It's not much different, really. It's a woman who looks like she's on her last nerve, trying to cook and keep two girls from fighting at the same time."

She could feel Celes joining her in the vision. "I can see it now," the witch declared.

"So, we can see different things, or see what the other is seeing. That's interesting. I'm going to look away."

"Me too."

The light receded back into a small circle around the crystal, and Celes revealed, "Just as I looked away, I caught a glimpse of somewhere else. All I really noticed was a tree." She then pointed off to the side and said, "Let's try a green one. The girls say that those always show somewhere with lots of trees."

Once again, Celes took the lead, with Danica joining the scene after a few seconds. When the emerald light expanded, Danica saw a dryad standing near a circle of mushrooms. The graceful creature of nature had an uncharacteristically concerned look on her face, and appeared to be conversing with two fairies that flittered about nervously within the circle. Danica's magical earrings, which had never failed her before, couldn't translate the language to offer any insight into what the three were speaking of.

"Gods, that's boring straight into my head," Celes muttered.

Danica understood the sentiment, as the language of the forest creatures was painfully high-pitched, and so rapid paced that it was nearly white noise.

"Enough of that," Celes declared, and Danica felt her leave the odd connection with the scene.

Danica pulled away as well and a thought occurred to her. "Maybe the girls are feeling a bit of cabin fever. That could be what drew them here. We could take them to Blackhawk. They wouldn't stand out too much there, if we kept an eye on them."

Celes chuckled. "May be, but I think it's something else that kept them sneaking in here." She pointed to a pink crystal near the entrance. "That's the one Danielle was so interested in."

Danica already knew what sort of things the pink crystals showed, but followed her friend to the blushing spot of light.

"Oh my," Celes moaned as she focused her eyes.

Danica moaned as well when she fell into the scene. Several dusky-skinned women of the desert kingdom writhed upon a pile of pillows and cushions, pleasuring each other with wild abandon. Cries of ecstasy and whimpers leading toward the same filled the room.

The Awakening surged within Danica with such rapid power that she couldn't resist it. She felt Celes' hand caressing her thigh long before the magic could have affected the witch, though.

"You kept me company, so why don't I return the favor for you in the bath," Celes whispered, her voice full of husky desire.

Danica's answer was to pull back from the window to another place and seek her friend's lips.

The mists swirled up to carry them to the bath in the manor mere moments after the first needy kiss.


Andrea led her beau to the stairs in Blackhawk, her nipples stiff against her blouse. Turner seemed more than a little nervous, so she gave his hand a reassuring squeeze as they ascended the steps, and let him see just a little of the desire she felt in her eyes.

She'd already decided hours ago that the time was right, but her connection to her sister witches only increased her anticipation. Back home, Celes and Danica shared a passionate embrace. Upon reaching the upper floor, Ashley's pleasure was actually audible, singing out from the Ducal chambers down the hall. A moment later, Marlena's voice joined the sensual serenade from her own room.

Andrea continued toward her room as if she heard nothing, but she could see Turner's incredulous grin as he listened to the sounds of sex emerging from all along the hall.

She opened her door and tugged him inside, closing the portal behind them. "It can get a bit loud around here some evenings," she said with a coy grin.

"So I noticed."

A chill swept through Andrea's body from the sound of his voice. So not in keeping with one who made his living around the smoke of a forge, Turner's voice was smooth, deep, and sensual.

She'd purposely kept her reason for asking him to come to the Hall vague. The look in his eyes suggested that the subtle clues of her arousal had spoken far louder than any words she could have uttered. He moved closer, and Andrea's lips parted of their own volition.

She erased any doubt that he might have harbored as they kissed. The feeling of his hardness when her hand slipped between his legs likewise chased away the last of her inhibitions.

Andrea moaned into the kiss and squeezed his manhood. His hand snaked beneath her blouse to the bare skin of her back. The kiss quickly transformed from one of the soft pecks that they'd shared so far into something far more ardent. Her tongue slipped over his as her passion took control, and her fingers twined into his hair.

She whimpered when his hands both moved to bunch up her blouse. The fit was far too tight to pull over her head, so she reluctantly released his cock and pulled away from the kiss.

Despite the heat of the moment, her cheeks still warmed as she opened the buttons of her blouse, starting from the bottom. His eyes followed the movement of her fingers, his breathing deep and slow. The parted cloth revealed her tummy, and then the swell of her breasts when she popped open the button straining to hold them contained. He stepped forward as she finished with the button at her neck.

His hands moved into the part of the cloth, gliding along her sides and fully exposing her breasts. One hand remained at the small of her back, while the other moved to her shoulder. Then he leaned in and kissed the pink point of her right nipple.

Her head lolled backward from the feeling of his lips on her, and she moaned, "Oh, Turner."

"You're so beautiful," he whispered as he moved to her other nipple and kissed it as well.

His tongue swirled over the stiff points, and he kissed the firm globes, causing her to pant. She tugged the tail of his shirt free of his pants, and bunched the linen between her fingers. His lips caressed her once more, and then his hot breath kissed the moist point as he stood up straight.

Andrea reached out to trace the defined muscles of his torso even before he managed to remove his shirt. She drank in the sight of him, his body made hard by the daily swinging of his heavy smith's hammer. When he dropped his shirt to the floor, she smiled and took a step back, her legs bumping into the bed.

He followed, and kissed her again — even harder this time. Andrea pulled him close, her breasts pressing against his chest, which was decorated only by a sparse triangle of hair.

His lips moved to her neck, causing her to gasp. "I want you, Andrea. I can't stop thinking about you, and you haunt my dreams," he whispered into her ear before planting a kiss behind it.

Andrea gasped. The demands of her body and the sheer sexual energy swirling about them erased her daydreams of a soft, sweet first encounter. She needed him as badly as he needed her.

"Then take me," she responded in a rush of breath.

She whimpered in surprise when he unhooked the top button of her skirt and pulled down hard on the pleated cloth. His other hand joined the first, and the skirt slipped past her hips to pool at her ankles.

His fingers curled around her rounded bottom as she stepped out of both the skirt and her shoes at the same time. She sat down on the bed as soon as her ankles were free, his hands sliding up her hips and side. As she started to recline, he jerked down his pants.

Andrea's eyes widened as his cock caught in the cloth on the way down, causing it to spring free and bounce before her eyes. She couldn't resist curling her fingers around his naked manhood, and he rewarded her with a deep, quavering groan.

He was incredibly hard, and throbbed as she stroked her hand over his shaft. Though hardly the biggest she'd ever seen, her fingers barely touched around his girth. A drop of pre-cum welled up from the swollen head, making her mouth water.

Before she could indulge the urge to taste him, he leaned over her, a hungry kiss pushing her back down to the bed. His lips didn't leave hers as he pressed two fingers against the damp cloth of her panties, causing her to start, and then shiver.

"Oh yes," she sighed as he traced kisses down her cheek and neck, then took one of her nipples between his lips again. Her pulse quickened when he pulled down her panties and cool air washed over her hot, wet need.

His lips continued their journey down to her tummy, where his tongue swirled in her naval while he caught her gaze and smiled. Andrea giggled and twitched from the delightful tickle of his tongue. Another kiss landed lower, just above the patch of short, light blonde curls on her mound, and he sank to his knees next to the bed.

His strong hands pushed her knees up and out, revealing her moist pink folds. Andrea whimpered when his fingertips traced the lines of her labia while he leaned in, closed his eyes, and drank in the scent of her need.

"Please," she begged, the aching need almost unbearable with him so close.

A quiet moan escaped him in response to her plea, and his fingers curled around her thighs. The seconds seemed as hours to her while he lowered his lips into the valley between her legs.

With the first touch of his tongue, Andrea's back arched up from the mattress and a sharp yelp burst from her lips. She tried to lift her hips, desperate for more, but he held her in place, the tip of his tongue tickling her folds. She couldn't contain the stream of high-pitched, needy moans as he teased her.

"Oh yes, Turner. Yes!" she cried out when he at last relented, a broad stroke of his tongue pushing tight against her folds and ending at her bud.

"So sweet," he moaned while she trembled in his grasp.

She squealed when his tongue began a rapid, flickering dance over her.

"Oh yes. Like that. Like that. Oh yes," she encouraged him while squeezing her breasts and teasing her nipples.

He lapped and suckled her folds, ever seeking new pleasure points to make her moan. She never knew when his lips or tongue were going to dart to her clit, and she cried out with each unexpected shock of bliss that those touches sent through her. All the while, he stayed in control, never letting the involuntary lurches of her hips impede placing the next swipe of his tongue exactly where he wanted it.

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