"These-you must buy more of these," he whispered, kissing the top of my lacy panties. I would have to-he ripped them away with power. "Are we ready, Reah?" Two fingers slipped inside. "Ready enough," he sighed and took me swiftly.
"So beautiful." I woke later to dim light in Wylend's bedroom. Corolan lay beside me on Wylend's huge bed. I frowned-when had Corolan come?
"I haven't come. Yet," Corolan murmured, reading my thoughts and brushing my left nipple with a knuckle. "Tell me if you don't want this, little girl. The stars know I do." Corolan leaned down and kissed me. His loving was slow and erotic, making me crazy after a while, and I was begging him with my body to increase his pace. Smiling down at me, he gave me a little before backing off again. Corolan had my hands in his, both raised over my head. He refused to let me use them while his body worshipped mine. That's the only way I can describe it. His skin against mine nearly drove me wild. Now I knew why Wylend wanted Corolan in his bed. Corolan thrust faster after I begged him to do so; I came, and then came again, crying out with the pleasure.
"Yes, that's what I wanted to hear," Corolan said softly, before his thrusts increased and he took his pleasure as well.
"Sleep, Reah." I moaned when Corolan left the bed early the next morning. I did sleep, for perhaps another click or two, before someone else lifted me from the bed and carried me to Wylend's private bath.
"Father will not come to you, because he knows I desire this." Radolf had come from somewhere, and he carried me into the shower after using his ability to turn it on and set it at the right temperature. I was a little sore from the night before. Radolf took care of that, loving me in the shower and then meticulously washing my body. Wylend found us huddled together in bed, my head on Radolf's shoulder while he sipped tea that had been left in the bedroom for us.
"We wore our little Queen out, Radolf," Wylend chuckled.
"I can't move," I moaned.
"You don't have to," Radolf murmured. "The palace will wait on us today. They'll feed you by hand if you wish it, heart's love." Radolf was stroking my hair when my heart seized.
"Fuck!" I shouted and skipped away.
Lok had two blades out, facing Ra'Ak spawn on school grounds. These spawn no longer resembled the humans they'd once been; they'd changed already. Students, ranging in age from twelve to fifteen, were huddled against a fence at Lok's back while teachers pressed against them, trying to keep them calm. Lok didn't know to take their heads and there I was, clad only in a towel, staring at nearly a dozen hungry spawn.
"Reah!" Aurelius appeared, tossing a Ranos rifle to me. I started shooting the moment it reached my hands.
"Nice outfit," Lok commented dryly after the spawn dusted.
"Don't be an idiot," I muttered, pulling my towel up and attempting to secure it better. "We need to check every one of those students. If any one of them can't speak when normally they do, then they were bitten."
"I'll help," Aurelius went toward the crowd still huddled against the fence. Norian, Lendill, Gavin and Tony showed up to help, just as the local authorities did. Gavin, Tony and Aurelius would know if any of those children were spawn, just by Looking or sniffing. They sorted three out of the crowd. I felt ill.
"We can't kill them here," I was brushing tears away. The students had been traumatized enough already. "How did you know to come?" I turned to Lok.
"I came to speak with Andree's boyfriend. He was one of those you just shot. And what did you call them?"
"Those are Ra'Ak spawn. So, Andree's boyfriend really hasn't spoken to anybody since the incident, has he? His parents covered for him and this is what they got." I shook my head. "You have to cut their heads off, or shoot them with a Ranos pistol or rifle. That's the only thing that will kill them," I added.
"I watched the boy turn into that creature the moment I called out to him," Lok said. "And then he charged me. I was wearing my blades beneath my coat." He had a long coat lying on the ground nearby. "I cut several of them; they surrounded the boyfriend and all turned at the same time. Everybody was running and screaming."
"Can we go now? I'm a little underdressed," I complained.
"And turning blue." Lok lifted his coat and wrapped it around me.
Auri, I'm going to the apartment. Come by when you're done, I sent.
I will. I grabbed Lok's arm and skipped away. He made tea for me this time, while I was dressing in the warmest fleece I could find. I was still shivering when he handed the hot drink to me after I scrambled onto a barstool.
"Reah, you're still shivering, love," Aurelius appeared, followed by Lendill, Norian, Gavin and Tony a few ticks later.
"I'm trying to warm up," I said, sipping the tea. Lok made it stronger than I did, but that was to be expected-he was Falchani.
"Gavril says that the core must be repaired on Campiaa," Gavin sat on my other side.
"I know. I was going this week." I'd always been frightened of Gavin, for some reason. He never let you see what he was thinking and that always worried me. Aurelius was his vampire sire, and Gavin was Teeg's father. Either way, I had to deal with him.
"Am I something to be dealt with?" He tilted his head slightly and looked at me. Gavin was a Spawn Hunter, just as Aurelius, Tony, Drake and Drew were. He could lift thoughts from heads just as easily as the rest of them.
"You scare the bejeezus out of me," I admitted, using one of Lissa's terms. Chash and I used to laugh over that one-we never could figure it out.
"He scares you? Reah, I just watched you shoot eleven of those creatures in four ticks." Lok shook his head.
"Yeah? You're not married-inadvertently-to his son, either."
"Is that what you call ours, too? Inadvertent?" Lendill looked at me while reaching for the sugar across the island. I stared in amazement as it moved on its own, slapping into his hand.
"Uh, honey, you just pulled the sugar to your hand," I pointed out.
"Well, maybe I'm not such a disappointment to my father after all. Now, back to the question." Lendill was like a bulldog. A handsome bulldog, but a bulldog, all the same.
"What would you call it?" I said. "You show up with your father, you're both speaking a language I don't understand and then he says say yes, Reah. I say yes and boom! We're married. Isn't that inadvertent? And before you start," I turned to Gavin, "Arvil San Gerxon demanded that Teeg and I marry. I'd say that was inadvertent, too. And you still scare the bejeezus out of me."
Tony started laughing. Maybe he could. Maybe he'd never been afraid of tall, dark and brooding.
"I do not brood." Gavin declared and sipped his tea.
"Child, she can't interpret what you don't show," Aurelius told Gavin over my head.
"Reah, how would a High Demon stack up against a Spawn Hunter?" Tony was only chuckling now.
"I have no desire to find out," I snapped. If I had anything suitable at hand, I might have thrown it at him.
"What's a High Demon?" Lok was watching and listening with his usual inscrutability.
"Reah." Several voices said at the same time.
"Reah, it is decidedly inconvenient to have to search constantly for you." Corolan showed up, his arms crossed over his chest.
"You could have sent mindspeech," I said, trying to make myself smaller.
"Would you answer?"
"Yes. All those times, you would have gotten something from me, if you'd just bothered."
"Stars have mercy," Corolan rubbed his forehead.
"Who is this?" Lok said.
"Corolan, uh-what's your title?" I asked him. I couldn't say concubine; that was demeaning and didn't fully explain what he was. Well, now he was my lover, too, and I still didn't know how to explain it.
"Special advocate to the throne," Corolan looked at me. "Reah, I want to glare at you. Perhaps chastise a little. Wylend has court, or he would be here himself."
"I know. But leather pants over here can't be alone for a click without getting into trouble." I jerked my head in Lok's direction. Lok lifted an eyebrow at my statement but remained silent.
"And you should consider explaining things to Radolf, he thinks he did something wrong," Corolan continued.
"Oh, for heaven's sake, is he still there?" I asked.
"He's probably in Queen Lissa's kitchen on Le-Ath Veronis, preparing a meal. Badly."
"Let's go," I slid off the stool. I didn't know he'd taken another job. Truly. I thought he was still cooking for Wylend. All of us, Lok included, were taken to Le-Ath Veronis by Aurelius, who volunteered.
"Honey, what's this about you cooking a bad meal?" I stood in Lissa's palace kitchen staring at Radolf, who was grumbling and stirring batter-much too hard.
"Reah, where in the universes have you been?" Radolf dumped the bowl onto the island and nearly ran toward me.
"I had to go kill Ra'Ak spawn. You didn't do anything wrong."
"Heart's love, don't scare me like that again." Radolf put his arms around me and rocked me gently.
"Hon, just send mindspeech next time, all right? I'll answer, even if I'm mad."
"I will. I don't suppose you'd help me cook?" He stood back and looked at me.
"I'm starved. I haven't had anything to eat all day. What are you making?"
"Ox-roast. And I'll feed you something while it cooks."
"Sounds good." I wrinkled my nose at him.
"I love you," he said, leaning in to kiss me. And in front of at least eight other witnesses, I told him I loved him, too.
Radolf, Corolan, Aurelius and Lendill were all there, sitting and eating tiny sandwiches and fresh oxberries while Radolf cooked and I offered advice. Radolf teased me. Fed me a berry. I sat between Aurelius and Lendill, with Corolan on Auri's other side. I wasn't surprised when Tory walked in and sat beside Lendill.