The Stone Magic Ch. 01byKaryn Gardenia©
The sun was a hazy, quivering crescent on the nearby hills when Alesandra finally emerged from the inner gardens, carrying a book she could no longer read in the falling dark. The candle she had gone in with had been badly crafted, and the wax had pooled and smothered the wick a half hour or more before she had really planned to go in for the night. It was one thing to study in the even lighting of her chambers, interrupted every half-moment by a servant or a seamstress or God-fearing, her own impossible father. The flickering, sensual dance of light across the inner breadth of the green shrubberies surrounding her reading place provided just enough light to illuminate the pages without spoiling her hiding place.
She nestled her book into the crook of her arm, placing it against her chest that had risen with tiny goose bumps in the late, chilly air. The water in the garden's decorative pool had risen dramatically after the prior day's rain, and without abandoning her quick pace or her direct path, she caught her reflection as it glided by... now a grown woman wrapped in the silvery satin and lace she had envied as a child. She didn't waste time watching her reflection, for she knew what she was, and what little would be left of her if she were to dawdle outdoors under the impending dusk.
As she disappeared from sight, Broman took a deep, windy breath that he had been saving, lest she hear him so close to the place she thought she had kept secret. It was a game they had never played as children- this game of hide and seek- for their childhoods had been spent far separated, with the only bond being their common father. If they had played this way, he thought with a half-smile, he would have known all of her instinctive hollows. He had, in fact, been watching her every move for as long as he could remember.
Alesandra had a way about her that drew forth all kinds of people, from the lowest stable boy, clad in little more than brown rags and wide eyes, to the Lords of the township that exchanged appreciative glances with one another whenever she happened to walk by, lost in her own ambition. In the past two years, Broman had felt her charisma transforming her from the infectious, smiling princess that she had been raised to be. What became of her was something he could not describe without feeling somehow guilty of its implications to their family relation. He wished he could talk to someone who would understand.
As he moved out of the garden, still wary of the slanted light and being discovered away from his work, he thought that perhaps his own Master of Studies would be the one to talk to. After all, the man had had close relations with the family for decades, and would certainly understand the magic of the transformation young Alesandra had made...and if nothing else, he would surely have a spell or two that could help him get over his stirring, blinding obsession with the essence of the Princess.
Broman pushed open the heavy door to his work area, conscious of the loud squealing of the hinges. Master Aris would probably step in after a few moments with an indulgent smile and ask what folly had finally convinced him to take a break from the toils of the stone magic.
Instead, it was full dark before he made his presence known, tossing a thin book upon the table in front of Broman. He had not used the door, nor had he conjured a spell to grant him magically entry into the room Broman used as a study. He had come up from the cellar that's entrance sat uncovered in a corner, inviting countless mishaps in a dark room where one was likely to stumble. The wizard himself, still an energetic man approaching his forties, seated himself across from his apprentice with a smile so wide Broman thought he must have come across the secret to eternal life.
"The day is approaching, my fine worker bee," he spoke with good cheer, immune to Broman's troubled frown. "You will soon have a workshop so complete that even Militorne will come scraping at your door for spells."
Militorne the Unrivaled would do no such thing, he knew. He also knew that his inheriting the Wizard's manor was simply the work of politics. He had been doing scraping of his own for nearly sixteen years- ever since his father had witnessed his first stable steps and had rushed him to begin his learning immediately.
"Lord Aris, sir..." he began, realizing immediately that he had made the mistake of addressing the Sorcerer as a landowner. His Master did not seem to notice, but was instead ready to interrupt him.
"Allow me to save you the trouble of confessing your deep, dark secrets to me, my boy. A man of my experience is immune to secrets... especially those of a prince who has been fed nothing but secrets and lies his whole life."
Broman had listened to Aris clear up a good many of those secrets and lies over the years, but he always had a feeling that they were only chipping away at an iceberg that represented his royal family.
"You're to inherit the throne on the mark of the ides," he began again after no response from Broman. "It's about time you knew a little something about the lie you are inheriting."
As the evening progressed, and the hour when Broman would be expected back inside for his family's customary late meal surfaced, the world was pulled apart and reshapen as a sculptor shapes the melted bodies of natural rocks. The older wizard had sat across from him and talked of Broman's mother, a woman whose beauty was without description, who had died exactly one year after giving birth to him. Her death was the reason that the King had ordered the young prince into the care and teaching of Wizard Aris at such a young age. Simply looking at the boy reminded him of his former Queen, who had been such a prize. The King had not talked with his son about any of this, and it turned out that this information was collected through the hushed talk of the townspeople and the jabbering of careless servants. Aris had offered to finish this talk another time, for Broman would be expected at dinner any moment.
Broman thought about her and what she must have been like as he settled into his seat at the right hand of the King in the dining hall. He hadn't had time to really freshen up from his day in the wizard's study, and was relieved to find that he hadn't gathered up much dirt or dust from the hard, uncarpeted floors.
His thoughts were interrupted as a slender, wine-colored figure closed in on his right, and he could instantly smell the perfumes the servant girls used after cleaning Alesandra's gowns. She had taken the time to prepare for dinner, he noticed. Earlier, as he had watched her big, green-brown eyes trailing back and forth across the pages of her book, he had memorized the shade and lines of her dress- the shimmering satin one with the brocade lace that made her look like pure moonlight. For dinner, she had donned a heavier gown in burgundy that seemed to suck in light rather than reflect it. That light then seemed to glow in her honey-colored skin, which was a central feature of this particular low-cut gown. Broman needed only to glance to have a striking view of the tops of her perfect breasts as they were held up and together by the close knitting of her bodice. He wondered how he would keep from panting aloud at the way her garnet pendant fell between them and was squeezed there, trapped in heaven.
He looked up to meet her eyes before she could catch him in his inappropriate stare. He nodded a greeting and returned his gaze to the lower floor, where some of the King's lords and ladies sat, talking amongst themselves. This would be the night when he and Alesandra would be excused early so that the king and his queen could discuss business with his friends and neighbors. He was glad. It was nearly impossible to keep his eyes to himself, and the erection that had swelled in his lap wasn't showing signs of going away.
Later, when he thought back on the way he had tasted her perfume on every bite of his dinner, he knew he must do something to rid himself of this infatuation. It wasn't right, and it wasn't going to be sated. Why must he torture himself any further? Were the fleeting pleasures he gave himself in his chambers each night enough to manage this burden?
Simply thinking of it made him stiffen once more, and with a weary sigh he seated himself in a stuffed chair facing his chamber window. He was grateful that he did not have a view of Alesandra's own room, which lay on the opposite side of the manor, and thanked the gods that no one had a view of his. He took himself in his hand gently at first, wondering if perhaps he could just force his thoughts to change and go on to bed. The contact of his rough fingers with the smooth skin of his shaft ended the possibility, and his mind's eye saw his sister's fluttering eyelashes and parted lips. Her wine-colored gown was lying in a puddle of smooth, heavy fabric at her feet, and her hands were on her own round breasts. Suddenly, she pitched forward, her hands gripping the heavy decorative wire at the foot of her bed, and Broman saw that it wasn't her hands that held her breasts savagely... it was his own pair. With Alesandra now bent, he saw himself behind her, his head thrown back in pure pleasure as he invaded her gorgeous body from behind. He felt himself pushing into her, reveling in the way her womanly juices flowed down the length of his engorged manhood, and as he pulled out of her fiery center...
He loosed a torrent of his own hot load into the palm of his hand, fighting for breath after his pleasure had taken it from him. The natural, overwhelming state of the orgasm was suddenly joined by humiliation as he noticed another figure in the room with him. He knew there was only one person who could have breached a barred door without signaling him.
"I can see now that I don't have to wonder about your ability to perform, my boy," the wizard said cheerily, waving away Broman's attempt to cover himself. "Oh please... I've practically raised you. You think I haven't seen that particular secret of yours?"
Broman pulled a cloth towel from his bureau and cleaned his hands, trying to ignore the fact that his elongated manhood was in plain sight of his master. After a few moments had gone by, and he could be sure he had covered his apprehension, he adjusted his clothing and turned to the wizard.
"What is it you need, Master Aris?"
Broman blinked as Aris conjured an image identical to the one he had just been conjuring in his own heated mind. Alesandra's lovely form seemed to be standing right in the center of his chambers, the hands that he now knew were his own cupping her splendid breasts.
"I take it this is what got you so hot and bothered?" the older Wizard asked, his blue eyes dancing with amusement. "Perhaps this is what has been troubling you."
"Yes sir," Broman answered meekly, returning to the stuffed chair that had borne his sinful indulgence. "How do I get rid of it?"
Aris laughed then, and Broman realized just how much youth was left in the fair-haired wizard. His teeth were white and straight, and shone as he let out his unstifled mirth. Broman could only cringe, awaiting any number of embarrassments from this overly comfortable wizard.
"My boy..." he began, his face suddenly falling into seriousness that showed his experience. "This is not something to be rid of. I did not come here tonight to watch you pet yourself in rapture and then seal away these feelings as if they had never occurred. There are more lies to be relinquished."
And so, as it were, Broman and Aris spent the better length of an hour discussing the iceberg of lies and sensitivities that plagued the family Rodenod. The most shocking revelation was delivered when Broman asked why the gods would allow him to feel such lust for his own sister, and Aris informed the lad that he indeed had no sister.
"Your mother, Lydian...she was a radiant jewel, much like your dear Alesandra. The gods had great plans for her. One of which involved submitting to the will of one ever-so-dedicated wizard. Your mother and I gave in to our desires, and in my seed, I unwittingly left a spell that I had been conjuring for nearly a decade. I knew not what it was meant to do, only that I was charged by the gods to make it, and set it in your mother's ravishing body."
He paused for a moment, realizing that a son may not want to hear such sexual details about his own mother, but Broman did not flinch. He had never known her, after all. His thoughts had already moved to the end of the equation, where Aris would tell him that he was his rightful father. Still, the wizard was lost in his memories and could not seem to resist elaboration.
"Your mother gave birth to you, and spent the next year of her life in an agony of lies. The spell lay roasting in her abdomen, preventing her from speaking of the encounter that had brought her son to be, and instead encouraged lies from her own sweet lips which endorsed her husband as your true father. It was that same spell that killed her. I believe it was the desire of the gods to eliminate beautiful Lydian so that Reginald would then take another queen... one which would undoubtedly grant him an irresistible daughter."
Broman shook his head slowly, taking in the new information. He had been groomed for his moment his entire life- hearing stories of his own family from Aris, coming to Aris with any questions he had at all about the history of his lineage. Aris had always been the one to deliver the truth, when all others would simply turn away with closed faces and empty eyes. Aris had bedded his mother twenty years ago, making him Broman's only living relative.
"What am I supposed to do now?" he asked, a bit of contempt in his voice despite his wishes. "So I'm inheriting a throne that isn't really mine, and I'm obsessed with a woman who now isn't really my sister. What's to prevent me from pursuing her? How can I keep this secret?"
Aris had a way of smiling whenever discussion brought the two of them to an intriguing conclusion. He had been doing it as long as Broman remembered, and he was doing it now. The smile on the wizard's face was surely the winning smile he had given Lydian as he pierced her delicate body.
"You know something, boy?" he asked, rising on a thin layer of mist that always formed before he disappeared into his invisible magic. "Not only have you inherited my golden features and clear-sky eyes... but now I can attest to your endowment. You'll have your woman, my son... and she will struggle with the half of that snake of yours."
He chuckled softly as Broman wrinkled his brow, and then vanished into nothingness. The mist on the floor cleared a moment later, and Broman collapsed back into his chair, his mind an insane whirlwind of doubts, fears, and fantasies... a whole collection of them that he had suppressed before. They had now been unlocked, for better or worse, but he now had someone else to share the blame with.
He pulled off his loose clothing and climbed into his inviting bed, knowing that this was only the beginning. His very existence would be plagued with visions that were now somehow justified, and somehow twice as forbidden. He would learn more tomorrow, he thought, just before slipping away into the soft, seductive scape of his dreams, his pillow clutched possessively in one strong hand.