Queen Yavara: Chapter 34

Big Boobs

Day Seventeen


I immediately locked down my thoughts, shutting Yavara out from even the most banal of my musings. She pouted her lips.

“I was only trying to see what you were dreaming about.” Though I was groggy with alcohol, I could smell the wine fresh on her breath. She’d already been drinking, and it wasn’t even eight in the morning.

“How did you get in here?!” I snapped, my breath tight in my chest.

“Last I checked, this is my castle.” Yavara tittered. “And if you must know, I used the portal to get in. I figured you’d be in the royal bedroom, and here you are. I love what you’ve done with the place, by the way,” she gestured to the fur and weapon décor, “it’s very… ranger-ish. But I think it’s missing something; where is Furia? Did you two not work out after all? I hope that whole thing with Trenok didn’t strain your relationship. He told me all about it, you know. And I understand you’re expecting! How exciting! We should throw a baby shower!”

I just stared at her. She grinned toothily back.

“Hmm. You’re not much of a morning person, are you?” She sniggered as she looked at my state, “No, you’re clearly a night owl. I wondered how long you’d keep up that stoic ranger act; guess it wasn’t too long, huh? I took a peek beneath the covers, and you look like a crime scene. Do you think we should wash these bedsheets, or just burn them?”

“These are fine silk.” I mumbled stupidly, as if the bedsheets were of foremost concern. I felt like a sheep that been dropped into the lion’s cage.

“Hey, when did you get that tattoo? It’s so pretty. Who is it? A girl you met? Maybe I should get a tattoo, what do you think? A tramp-stamp? Or maybe something on the thigh? I once ate out an Ardeni girl and she had one around her butthole! I think that would be apropos for me.” She giggled, “You’ll have to tell me all the sexy things you’ve done! I want to hear every grimy little detail of your descent into depravity, and don’t skimp on the adjectives!”

“I’ve had sex a few times, I guess.” I muttered, finally gaining my bearings, but not dropping my guard even a little.

Yavara’s tooth-cracking grin turned into a relaxed smile. “I came on a little strong, didn’t I? It’s just… we have so much to catch up on! I haven’t seen you or any of the others for… gosh, what has it been? Over two weeks? It’s like a lifetime happened since then.”

“I understand the feeling.”

“Well,” she brought her hands together, “you get washed up and get some coffee in you, and then we’ll catch up, OK?”

“Why are you here?”

“Do I need a reason?”

“Yes.” I said flatly.

She giggled at that. “Still so authoritative. Well, Head-ranger, if you must know, I am here to celebrate our victory on the battlefield.”

I felt the color drain from my face. “A total victory?” I asked.

She tilted her head, studying my expression. “A decisive victory. A rogue elven regiment saved the army, and the rest retreated across the marshes and pulled their bog bridges behind them. It’ll be at least ten days before the horde crosses the marshlands, and by then I’m sure the entire rift will be entrenched. We’ll dig in, set up supply lines, and wait for Leveria to come negotiate.”

I couldn’t help but show my relief. Yavara laughed.

“You thought I’d march a horde of raping, murdering beasts into my homeland? You think so little of me, Adrianna. Now,” she peeled the sheets off my body, and grinned at the evidence crusted over my flesh, “go get yourself cleaned up, Governess.”

I was in the bath for a long time. I could hear Yavara shuffling through my things in the next room, musing aloud at what she found as though to broach my conversation through the door. I didn’t know why, but I’d begun to think of her as more of a force than a person, like a waterfall in the river of my life that I would have to tumble over no matter what, and all I could do was hope to survive it. The luxuriant bathroom felt like a prison cell, and the hangman’s noose was waiting just outside. Her strange friendly demeanor didn’t put me at ease; if anything, it put me more on edge. What game was she playing with me? When would the trapdoor close? I scrubbed my flesh nearly to rawness with worry, then washed out my hair, and toweled off. Before I dawned my white robe, I reached behind the sink, and grabbed the dagger there. I strapped it to my thigh, made sure the robe was loose enough to conceal it, then walked back into the bedroom.

“That’s a cute outfit.” Yavara said, lounging in a chair. She’d pulled out the toys Furia and I used on each other, and had clearly tested some of them while I was in the bathroom.

“This is a robe of state. All hybrids wear them to official functions.”

“I like it. It’s elegant, but just slutty enough.” She smiled, indicating the slit in the robe that ran to my pelvis, “What’s the occasion? Wait, don’t tell me. I’ve been like a princess on her birthday waiting to open her present, and I can’t wait any longer!” She got up and walked toward me, and I wondered for a moment if she thought I was the present to be unwrapped. I prepared myself, feeling my nethers awaken with excitement even if my heart thrummed with fear, but she walked past me, and headed instead toward the western window.

“Trenok told me a few details, but you know orcs; they could see the face of god, and their only de***********ion would be, ‘she was hot.’” Yavara chuckled, then stopped a few paces from the window, and turned around, “Haven’t you ever given a girl a surprise before, Adrianna? Cover my eyes.”

I stepped behind Yavara, reached around her, and laid my hands over her eyes. As I guided her to the western window, I contemplated the dagger beneath my robes. I could do it now. Who even knew she was here? Those in the Tundra did, but they wouldn’t be coming through the portal any time soon. A knife to the base of the skull would kill her instantly, and I could book passage on a ship for Hektinar that afternoon. Instead, I walked her forward three steps, then pulled my hands from her eyes.

She just stood there for a moment. I could only see the back of her head, and her posture didn’t emote anything. She was still for nearly a minute before she spoke.

“How?” She whispered, turning around. Her eyes were puffy, and her cheeks were wet, “How did you do this?”

“I had help.”

“It’s greater than anything I’d ever dreamed of!” She cried, spinning on her heel to gaze out at the sprawling metropolis. “There’s a downtown, and a shopping district, and a market, and a stadium! There’s statues, and streets, and bridges, and… oh my god, is that a fountain?!” She wheeled on me, and pulled me into a crushing embrace. “Thank you!” She blubbered in my ear, “Thank you so much, Adrianna! It’s the best gift anyone’s ever given me.”

I patted her back, trying not to tremble in her arms.


I had woken up before the crack of dawn to help Brianna direct foot-traffic, and it had been a shitshow. Getting orcs to move in any kind of order was like herding cats. Once we finally got them all moving in the right direction, suddenly they started to turn around! Soon, the stadium that I had worked so hard to get filled was emptying, everyone moving toward the urban strip. Brianna and I looked disbelievingly at each other.

“What the fuck is going on?!” I yelled to one of my captains. He just shrugged back. It was then that two messenger doves descended upon Brianna and me. We extracted the letters, looked at each other, then sprinted to the castle.

Ten minutes later, I was peeling off my sweaty leather skirt and top, and hurriedly donning my ceremonial robe. When we reached the moat, we quickly adjusted each other’s hair, and burst into the castle atrium.

We were the only ones there.

“What… the… fuck…” Brianna wheezed, catching her breath, “Was this all some bullshit drill Adrianna set up? Can that woman ever stop being a ranger?!”

“Funny, I asked her the same thing.” Came a familiar voice from above. Yavara Alkandi was floating around the rafters, examining the masonry of the windows. I immediately dropped to one knee. Brianna took her time doing it.

“Rise.” Yavara said, floating down to us. She had on black leather boots and a tight black dress, and I could see that she wasn’t wearing anything beneath it. She landed before me, and examined me with a curious eye.

“Watch Commander Dafian, you’ve customized yourself.” She mused, looking at my tattoos, “There’s a sword, and skull, and a… what is that?” She asked, looking at the illustration that disappeared beneath my robe. She gently slid her hands in the folds of my neckline, and looked up at me. “May I?”

“Of course, my queen. I didn’t get them to hide them.”

She pulled my robe over my shoulders, and let it fall to my ankles, exposing my nakedness. I stood proudly before her as she examined each piece of art, crouching to examine the floral patterns on my lower petals.

“Beautiful.” She muttered, “And you even got your clit pierced. So, you became the badass chick, huh? I guess you have to be to be watch commander. Let me see your hands.” She looked at my battered and bruised knuckles, and nodded approvingly. “As you were.”


Yavara stepped before me next, and smiled. “Populations Director Brianna Dedaclia, I have to know what dress you have on beneath that robe.”

“It’s a Geroni custom.” I said boastfully, letting the robe fall to reveal the deep red dress beneath, its neckline as risqué as the robe’s. Yavara gawked at it.

“Brianna, where the hell did you get a Geroni custom?”

“Her wardrobe is worth more than our nation’s GDP.” Faltia mumbled.

“You can’t buy a Geroni custom. Only royal Ardeni women get them.” Yavara said.

“Well,” I smiled, “it turns out that the Ardeni ambassador is somewhat of a queen. He let me borrow his.”

“Prince Mathew? He’s gay?” Yavara dropped her voice, “That kind of ruins my plan for negotiating a better trade deal.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that, Your Highness.” Eva chuckled as she strutted into the room with Soraya following, “We negotiated it for you.”


I knew within in one second of looking at Yavara that I was going to fuck her, and I knew within the next second how she would want it. Anal, bareback, hogtied and humiliated as she screamed around a gag-ball.

And I thought I was the one who could read minds. Her voice snickered in my head as she stepped up to me.

“Outreach Director Eva Alecia, what are you hiding beneath that robe?” She asked, and pulled my robe off, revealing the crisscrossing leather dress I wore so well, and the mural of debauchery I had on my flesh. “Oh,” she purred, “you’re trouble.”

“The worst.” I smirked, actively imagining all the things I wanted to do to her.

She gave me an appraising smile. “Alright, Domina. Let’s keep it in your head… for now.”


I was still kneeling when Yavara stepped up to me. “You may rise, First-Scribe Soraya Poneria. Eva didn’t even bother kneeling, so I don’t know why you should.”

I got to my feet with false trepidation, waiting excitedly for her to disrobe me. She gently slid my robe off my shoulders, and gasped when she saw the gold-chain dress that covered my inscribed flesh.

“Beautiful.” She whispered, “Like a prisoner of her own lust. Is this a dog collar you have around your neck?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Mistress, hmm?” She chuckled, gently grasping the chained leash, “I like it.”


I hustled into the atrium with Kiera running behind me, and we skidded to a halt before the Dark Queen. I hastily got to one knee, then rose when she bid me.

“What is this?” She asked, brushing the dust off my forearms.

“Masonry debris, Your Highness.” I gasped, catching my breath. She looked down at my work boots, then smiled up at me.

“Are those the only things you have on beneath that robe?”


“Well, let’s see what two weeks of swinging a hammer has done for you.”

I shook off my robe, and Queen Yavara unapologetically eye-fucked me.

“Why do you keep your breasts and belly untattooed?” She mused.

“So that I can better see the suction marks.”

She nodded, enjoying that answer. “Faltia chose you well, I think.”


I’d already taken off my robe before Yavara even got to me. She looked me over, her eyes running over each narcotic flower inked upon my flesh.

“Are you a botanist?” She asked.

“More of an herbalist.”

My cock twitched a little when her orange eyes rested on it.

“Full bush, huh?” She mused.

“All natural.”

“So you’re the free spirit of the bunch. Is that why you were so eager to get out of your robe?” She procured my robe from my arm, and outturned it, “Or is it because you have twenty different hidden pockets in it?”

“All that stuff is legal here.”

“Drugs will turn your brain to mush.” Yavara admonished.

“Yeah, that’s kind of the point.”

She giggled at that. “You’ve never rolled until you’ve been on pixie plasma.”

“Pixie plasma?” I crinkled my nose incredulously, “For what, a blood transfusion?”

“It’s a specialty drug.” Yavara winked, and her eyes were suddenly blood red, and her incisors were fangs. Before I even had a chance to feel the terror, her face was back to normal.

Hit me up if you want a real experience, Kiera. She thought to me as she folded my robe back into my arm.


I didn’t care if Yavara had arrived, I wasn’t going to rush the graduation ceremony. For each student, I gave a diploma, a sigil that she would have tattooed upon her face, and a passionate kiss. I addressed them with a tearful farewell speech, then officially graduated them.

Ten minutes later, I was in the atrium. Yavara was in conversation with Kiera, but her orange eyes fell on me the moment I stepped into the room.

“And there’s Magistrate Furia Augustinia.” She grinned, and walked over to me. I knelt, and she bid me to rise. “What does this tattoo on your face mean?”

“You apparently don’t know your own history, my queen.”

She raised her brows. “Would you care to enlighten me.”

“Where is Adrianna?” I asked instead.

“I threw her out of the tower window.”

She stopped my knife an inch from her eye, and laughed. “Still Furious Furia, huh? A magistrate with a lethal temper is a volatile mix.” She grasped my frozen wrist, and guided it to my side, “It was a distasteful jest. Adrianna is currently coordinating things with Certiok. She should be down in a moment.” She cocked her head inquiringly, “Why were you so ready to believe that I would do that?”

“Maybe you felt threatened by her.” I said, purposefully filling my mind with nonsensical thoughts. It was a trick Adrianna had made me learn after she’d told me the truth of Elena. Don’t try to not think of something; that will only lead a mind-reader to their destination. Think of a million things at once, and she’ll be lost in your head. I could feel her probing, but it was only with a benign curiosity that she did, lingering on my thoughts of sex and the flashes of desire I felt when my eyes lingered on her breasts.

“I don’t feel threatened by Adrianna, nor any of you.” She said, guiding my knife back into its scabbard, and smirked up at me, “I would prefer that the next time you try to stab me, you use a different weapon.” She rested her hand over the bulge in my cloak, and gave me a peck on the lips. It was a closed-mouth kiss, but the mere touch of her was enough to make me achingly hard. She left me with a knowing glint her eyes, and turned to reveal Adrianna standing behind her, watching us.

“They are ready to see you, Your Highness.” Adrianna said, bowing her head.

“Your Highness, my queen, my lady,” Yavara made a disgusted noise, “when it’s just us friends, call me ‘Yavara.’”

“Friends?” I mouthed to Adrianna as Yavara walked to the atrium’s entrance. Adrianna just shook her head.

We followed Yavara across the drawbridge and into the light of day. A sound like I’d never heard in all my life swelled from the city, and when Yavara stopped at the top of stairs, the sound exploded. The people were packed between the towers, covering the boulevard, stretching back all the way past the Knife River bridge and onto the imperial highway. They roiled like sea, waving thousands of banners, roaring like the wind until the sounded gained rhythm. “Ya-va-ra, Ya-va-ra, Ya-va-ra…” Yavara basked in it at the top of the steps, holding her arms outstretched as if to embrace the entire city. Then she raised one open hand, and a silence washed over them.

“My people,” she shouted, “I have come to bring you news of victory!”

And if the sound before was ear-splitting, this was deafening. It seemed to hit us like something physical, vibrating in our chest, ringing between our temples. Yavara kept her fist clenched high in the air, standing like a statue of triumph. Then she opened her hand again, and the crowd quieted.

“The imperials have been driven from our homeland, and now flee for their lives across the marshlands. They think we will not pursue them, but we will chase them to the end of the earth!” They roared back their agreement, their pitch high with the fervency of bloodlust. I exchanged a look with the other hybrids.

Yavara calmed the crowd once more. “With this victory, we have secured our place in this world for all time, but the victory on the battlefield pales in comparison to the victory achieved here. It is by your blood and sweat alone that Alkandra has been built, and by your hearts alone that it beats with life.”

I glanced at Adrianna and the others again.

“But let us not dwell on platitudes.” Yavara called to her people, “Let us celebrate this victory in the way only Alkandrans can! To the arena!” The crowd cheered flooded back into the shanty town, moving like water through the streets toward the arena in the distance. Yavara planted her feet into the rock, then leapt into the air, and soared over everyone.

I held Adrianna’s hand. “She could’ve at least mentioned you. None of this would’ve happened if it weren’t for you!”

“It was always going to be a thankless job, Furia.” Adrianna smiled ruefully, “There are no statues of us in this city, though we were the ones who built it. It was not built for us, or even the people who live in it.” I nodded to Yavara as she flew in circles over her sprawling gift, “It was built for her.”

“Things are going to change around here, aren’t they?”

She nodded gravely. “Yavara isn’t interested in governing. Yavara is interesting in ruling.”


I connected minds with Yavara as she soared over her city, and I quickly exchanged the necessary information. I wasn’t very interested in talking to her. I turned my attention back to the girl in my arms, my little Rose, my most favorite daughter. I brushed her blonde hair from her pale face, and looked adoringly upon her freckles, her pointed nose, her pouty lips parted to yield sleeping breaths. We had spent our last night together. I had let her do abhorrent things to me, then I had done those things to her, as she had begged me to. She wanted me to be cruel and to debase her, to shame her for the incest, to make her dirty. I had urinated on her, my own daughter, because she had writhed on the ground with mud all over her body, and pleaded for me to do it. It had aroused the succubus spirit within me, the part that desired the heinous and wrong simply because it was heinous and wrong, and I had shared in the darkness with Rose. Covered in my steaming piss, I’d ridden her face, grabbing her by the horns and making her taste my womanhood and anus, and she did so with relish, sucking upon my anal ring, slurping my petals, dragging her tongue along the space between to torture me so deliciously. I had forked my tail once more, and invaded the deepest reaches of her, holding her arms behind her back so that I could taste her breasts with lips, tongue, and teeth. We danced like devils in the moonlight, and she only found sleep after I’d used her until her holes would not close.

“Mother.” She muttered, cracking open her eyes. They were tinged violet on the edges of her emeralds.

“Rose.” I whispered back, running my fingers through her hair. Her ivory ram horns were flaking away, making room for what was growing beneath. Too late. The moment she had seen Elena, it had been too late.

She blinked into the sunlight. “I can’t hear the forest anymore.”

“But you still know me.” I smiled, my tears splashing on her face.

“Yes.” She smiled back, caressing my cheek. “Mother?”

“Yes, Rose?” I sniffed.

“Where did Crystal learn those songs? Those ones she sang to the seed.”

“I taught her them when she was Tulip.”

Rose’s eyes were wet. “Will you teach them to me?”

“Why do you ask this of me?” I sniffed, “Are you trying to hurt me?”

“No.” Rose smiled, “She remembered them, even if she didn’t remember you. Maybe I’ll remember them if you teach them to me.”


The stadium was filled, and those who hadn’t gotten a seat within it lined the surrounding rooftops and climbed the statues. Sand had been brought in from the nearby shore to cover the arena floor, where she-orcs and succubi danced to the heavy rhythm of tribal drums, their lascivious motions working the crowd into a frenzy. Yavara, Prince Mathew, and the hybrids all sat int the box overlooking the stadium, though Eva, who was the director of today’s events, was in the dugout coordinating things from below.

“I can feel you staring at me.” Yavara said beside me. She looked at me from the corner of her eye, “Is it about the speech?”

“Chase them to the end of the earth.”

“Hyperbole. I needed to prepare my citizens for the possibility of years of warfare. Telling them we’re doggedly pursuing the fleeing imperials is much more palatable than saying we’re stuck in a stalemate, and the only victory we can achieve is through financial attrition.”


She smirked crookedly at me. “You really want to think I’m a monster.”

“I don’t need any more proof than I already have.”

“I like to think I’m quite benevolent, actually.”

“What did you do with elven prisoners of war?”

“I had their hands chopped off and sent them on their way.” Yavara giggled at my appalled expression, “Orcs don’t take prisoners of war, Adrianna; they take torture toys. I had to appeal to their brutal nature if I wanted to spare the Highland captives a horrific end. They took their severed hands with them. When they get back to the front, their mages can reattach them.”

I looked side-eyed at her. “You truly are merciful.”

A serving girl demurely set a pitcher of wine before us, then retreated. Yavara poured herself a glass, then poured me one.

“I’m pregnant.” I said with a shake of my head.

“It didn’t seem to stop you last night.”

“So I should just keep making mistakes?”

“I’ll heal whatever damage is done to the fetus.”

“That doesn’t change the fact that it’s nine in the morning.”

“It would be poor form to make your sovereign drink alone.” She smirked with a twinkle in her eye.

“Are you ordering me to drink?”

“I’d greatly appreciate it.”

I sighed, and took my glass. I still had a hangover that was splitting my skull, and nothing cured a hangover like more booze. Yavara ordered more pitchers for everyone else in the box, and we all nursed our glasses as Eva directed the show below.


I ordered the dancers off the sand, and briskly made my way to the dugout. Lutok Protaki was sharpening his sword with grim exactness, his face set.

“You ready, old man?” I asked him.

He regarded his sword instead of me. “I’ve been ready for a decade. No warrior should ever have to suffer growing old.”

“Remember: I need you to bleed a lot before you die.”

He snorted, “Don’t worry, Eva. I intend to bask in my final glory.” He looked up at me, “I’ll show them my guts.”

I grinned, took his massive head in my hands, and consumed his mouth. He pulled me roughly against him, drinking in my kiss with the avarice of a condemned man. I was left breathless when it ended, my lips still yearning for his even as he walked away without looking back. I had to gather my bearings before rushing out onto the sands after him. I stepped before the churning stands that rose a hundred feet on all sides, and placed the astral gemstone against my throat gaziantep travesti to project my voice.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” I announced to roaring crowd, “I give you, Lutok Prooooooooooootaki! Champion of Alkandra!”


“What’s this?” Yavara asked.

“Gladiators.” I said, “Eva picked old tribe warriors and offered them a chance to die well.” I sighed as I watched old Lutok raise his fists before the crowd, “I’ll miss that old fucker.”

“Gladiators?!” Yavara turned to Adrianna, “You surprise me.”

“I’ve been around orcs a lot longer than you, Your Highness.” Adrianna replied.

“I told you to call me ‘Yavara’ when it’s just us.”

“Is that an order?”

Before Yavara could respond, the gong sounded from the arena floor, and Lutok’s challengers appeared. There were seven of them, all non-warrior males of fighting age from the Ten. They had been disgraced by being denied a chance to fight in the horde, and so they sought honor in the only avenue they could. They circled Lutok like wolves around a buffalo, and indeed, he stood at least a foot taller than the lot of them, and outweighed each by a hundred pounds. He was still as they closed in on him, not even attempting to get into a guarded stance. I could see that the challengers were nervous. They had never faced the end of a sword before, and now they stared up at a grizzled killer who was determined to kill as many as he could before he died. In that moment, I imagined they questioned their need for honor, but it was too late to back out now. The gates had been shut behind them. There was only one way out.

One of them shouted an order to charge, but only three obeyed. They came at Lutok in a disjointed hurtle, and his sword flashed out. A head toppled from a pair of green shoulders, an arm was chopped off at the shoulder, a stomach was opened up to spill guts onto the sand. There were screams, but they were drowned out by the roar of the crowd, now heavy with the satiation of its bloodlust. The one with the missing arm stumbled back, the one with the missing head flopped to the ground, and the poor disemboweled fool dropped to his knees, trying to hold himself in. The other four rushed Lutok in a charge of pure terror, screaming war-cries that did not belong to them. Lutok dodged a spear thrust, caved in a skull with his pummel, crushed a chest with a brutal kick, ducked a sword strike, and impaled the assailant. Two more bodies dropped to the sands. The surviving two looked at each other, then ran away. They attempted to scramble up the wall, reaching desperately for someone to hoist them up. But even their own mothers wouldn’t have saved them then. Lutok yanked one off the wall, and broke his neck over his knee. The other begged Lutok, and Lutok showed him mercy with a painless splitting of his skull.

The crowd cheered, and Lutok raised his bloodied fist. Eva strutted to the center of the arena in all her leather-clad glory, and announced the next round of challengers.


These challengers were condemned men, those who had fallen into a situation where a trial by combat would prove their innocence. Three of them had been found innocent by the jury, and I had found them guilty, while the fourth was the opposite case. In all four cases, I’d been certain of my decision. Orcs were easily swayed by bravado, and so the charismatic guilty men coaxed mercy from the jury, but Joe Alkandra, the former Ardeni dockworker, had no tribal charisma, and the fact that he was an immigrant made the jury hard on him. I hated that it was that way, but it was the fairest system I could implement. All I could hope for was that gentle Joe found some of that tribal fury that lay dormant in his veins.

“Oh, this is absolutely fantastic!” Prince Mathew exclaimed excitedly beside me, “We have nothing like this in Ardeni!”

“I’m glad you’re enjoying the show, my lord.” I replied. I forgot when exactly my hand had ended up in his pants, but I’d been kneading his buttocks for a while. “My lord,” I said, “there’s a secret passageway from here to the dugout. If you want, you can watch the fights with Eva from the sands themselves.”

“I can?!” He shouted delightedly, then lowered his voice. “I’d love to, Furia, but I’m afraid I would be a poor diplomat to leave my charge when she has so graciously invited me to sit with her.”

“Go, Prince Mathew,” Yavara offered him a charming smile, “enjoy yourself.”

The Lowlands prince practically sprinted out of the box. Alexa watched him go with a rueful smile. “Well, there goes my lunch.”

“I’ve got something for you to eat.” Faltia giggled, her arm wrapped around her lover.

Yavara watched them from the corner of her eye, and I wondered if I saw jealousy in her expression. Then the gong dinged, and the fight began. The three tribesmen charged Lutok with practiced ferocity. He parried one man, blocked another’s blade on his gauntlet, but could only angle his shoulder against the third, and took the spear high on his back. The crowd roared to see his blood drawn, and he roared with them, yanking his body around to wrench his assailant’s hands from the imbedded weapon, using his lacerated muscle tissue to disarm him. He grabbed the orc by the jaw, and tore it clean off. Another one of the tribesmen used the opportunity to slash at Lutok’s side, and the blade went deep. Lutok reared on him, and with a mighty downward thrust, he split the orc’s blocking sword in half, and split the orc beneath it as well. But the third tribesman was behind him, and put his spear through Lutok’s back. It came out of Lutok’s chest, bringing the old orc to his knees. Before the tribesman could tear the weapon out, Lutok had his hand around the head, and yanked it forward. The orc was sent sprawling over the top of Lutok’s head, and Lutok grabbed him, and eviscerated him. Then, with the blood of his enemies and the blood of himself drenching his flesh, Lutok stood on his own two feet one last time, and I pointed his sword at Joe. The stands erupted. Even Yavara leapt to her feet and fervently applauded.

“Stay back, Joe.” I muttered, gripping the arms of my chair, “Just let him bleed out. Don’t do anything stupid.” But the crowd compelled the Ardeni dockworker toward his doom, his own insecurities moving his feet.

Adrianna put her hand over mine, and gave me a solemn smile. Brianna wiped tears from her eyes, though she was beaming as she watched Lutok position himself for a final kill. Joe brandished his sword, and held it shakenly before him. Lutok reared back, and Joe charged. There was a flash of metal, a clang, and Joe’s sword was flung across the arena. Before he could even turn around, Lutok’s foot was on his chest, and Joe was lying on his back, mouthing for breath. Lutok raised his sword high in victory, then angled it for the kill, and fell backward, dead. A silence fell over the crowd, then all heads turned toward the box.

Adrianna looked at me. “What’s your ruling, magistrate?”

“By the rules of trial-by-combat, Joe won.” I said.

Yavara guffawed. “He was disarmed and pinned! How can you say he won?”

“Because the other man died.”

There were boos being sounded from the crowd, peppered by the occasional angry shout and jeer. Soon, the entire stadium was sounding its displeasure as Joe dusted himself off, and the gates opened for him. Yavara stood up.

“Shut the gates!” She shouted.

“My queen, he won!” I hissed.

“I said shut the gates!” She shouted louder, and this time, the command was heeded. The crowd roared its approval, and Yavara cracked a smile.

“My queen, he is innocent!” I insisted, grabbing at her dress, “He was the victim of prejudice, and trial by combat was the only way I could give him a chance at justice! Let him live!”

Yavara looked from me, to the crowd, then back to me, then back to the crowd. She held up a hand, and the stadium went silent.

“If this man desires to proclaim his innocence, then let him prove it in truth! I present to you, your new champion!” And the crowd burst into laughter and applause. Yavara sat down with a satisfied smile, and upended her glass of wine.

“You killed him all the same.” I muttered.

Yavara looked hurt that I said that. “I gave him a chance, Furia.”

“This isn’t justice.”

“But it is the queen’s justice.” Adrianna said.

Yavara chewed on her lip without looking at us, then poured herself another glass.


I didn’t much care for the gladiator fights, and watching poor Joe get zealously cut down by a bunch of Kraklari orcs didn’t make them anymore entertaining to me.

“Where are you going?” Faltia asked as I stood up.

“Just for a walk.”

Yavara looked over her shoulder at me. “Won’t you stay a while longer?”

“If you insist, my queen.”

She frowned. “I told you to call me ‘Yavara.’ Why don’t you have another drink?”

“I’m not thirsty.”

Yavara furrowed her brow. “I’m not comfortable with you walking around on your own.”

“I’ll go with her.” Faltia said quickly, taking my arm, “No one would dare touch her with the watch commander at her side.” And she guided me hastily from the box. When we were out of earshot, I looked inquiringly at her.

“No one would dare touch me regardless, Watch Commander.”

“I was looking for any reason to get out of that box.” Faltia confessed, “Being around her feels like I’m walking on a knife’s edge.”


Though Alexa had designed the stadium, she apparently wasn’t too familiar with its acoustics, because her and Faltia’s voices carried from the tunnel right into the box. I watched Yavara nervously, but she only tipped back her fourth glass of wine, pretending not to have heard. The box was silent for an agonizingly long time before I finally mustered up my excuse to leave.

“I got to get ready.” I said with an apologetic smile as I pointed to the program, “My act is coming up, and I… I need to prepare, you know. I’d rather not make a mess in front of the whole city.”

Yavara just waved her hand, and I tiptoed out of the room, and down the tunnel to the dugout. Eva was there, directing the next group of gladiators onto the sands from behind her desk.

“Pet, what are you doing down here so early?” She asked, shuffling her papers, “You’re not on for another hour.”

“You could cut the awkwardness in that box with a knife. Yavara’s been drinking wine like water, and I worry about her temper.” I shuddered, “Maybe you should go up there and see if you can’t break the ice. You seemed to get along with her well.”

“I’d rather not.”


Eva looked over her shoulder at me. “A drunk and angry Yavara isn’t someone I want to be anywhere near.”

“You’re afraid of her! You?!”

“Of course I’m afraid of her. The first time we met her she gave us an ultimatum of join her or die, and that was after she’d killed the entire company. And let’s not get started on the things she did to the commander. Call me a sadist all you want, but I would never actually torture someone.”

“No, you’re just a big sweetheart under all that leather.” I giggled endearingly, and kissed the top of her head.

“Yeah, well don’t tell anyone.” She chuckled, and grabbed hold of my leash. I was guided around her and beneath her desk, and I dutifully took my place between her legs.

I shouldered away the person already there. “Move over, Prince Mathew!” I hissed, “This is my spot!”


Brianna had gone to “estimate the attendance,” leaving three empty chairs between me and Yavara. She was on her sixth wine glass, and hadn’t relaxed in the least. Her jaw was clenched so tight I thought she might crack teeth, and she was blinking too often; watching the show, but only seeing her thoughts. I shuffled over three chairs, and pulled out my pipe.

“Hey, Yavara,” I whispered, “wanna smoke some weed?”

She eyed the bottom of her glass. “I’ve never done it before, but I’d heard from my old noble friends that it doesn’t mix well with alcohol. What was it that Britta Ternias used to say?” She mused aloud to herself, “‘Weed first, then liquor tasted; other way around, and the weed’s been wasted.’”

“I guess there’s truth to that.” I said, packing the bowl for myself.

She eyed the pipe. “Did Rose make that for you?”

“Have you ever seen Rose do woodwork before?”


“Then that was too good a guess to be coincidental. Maybe don’t read my thoughts if you want to have a conversation.”

She smiled apologetically. “I don’t mean to pry.” She watched disinterestedly as Eva strapped Soraya to an apparatus in the middle of the arena. “Experience has made me very untrusting. You remind me of someone, you know.”


“My blood-daughter, Patricia.” Yavara smiled ruefully, “She was a lot like you in a way.”

“How so?”

“In spirit, mostly. I loved her like a mother, but I barely got a chance to know her.”

“And you fucked her.”

“As any good mother would.” Yavara giggled. Then her smile slowly faded. “Rose and her mother are having problems, huh?”

“Didn’t I just tell you—”

“I talked to Arbor while I was flying over the city. We saw each other, our minds connected.” Yavara poured herself another glass, “She doesn’t much like me. She doesn’t understand my ambition, and she doesn’t recognize my power. Why should she? She’ll outlast us all. To her, I’m just a tool to ensure the Highlanders don’t come here and cut her forest down for lumber.” She chewed on her lip, “To Zander, I’m just a promise he made to a dead woman. To Brock, I’m just a symbol to put on a flag. I miss those first days I had with them, before I’d learned any of my powers. They treated me like a friend then.” She brought the wine to her lips, “Go to Rose, Kiera. You don’t have to make an excuse for me.”


My flesh felt like it was on fire, but it was not unpleasant. Mother’s hands moved down my shoulders as I gyrated sensually in her lap, my back resting against her pillowing breasts, her forked tail gently violating my holes. I stretched splendidly from her, arching my back to groan my satisfaction, feeling her invasion so deep within me, her pliant tails squishing the delicate division of my channels, moving in alternating thrusts to grind against each other.

“Squeeze my tits.” I moaned, and she did, tenderly cupping and squeezing until the mammary fat protruded from her digits.

“Call me a whore.” I groaned, squishing my ass into her lap.

“You are a whore, Rose.” She whispered in my ear, but it wasn’t demeaning. It was with the most love that she said it, then drew a hand up my neck, and turned my face to taste her kiss.

Mother broke our locked lips. “She is coming.”

“I told you she would.” I smiled, “She can’t resist my innocence.”

“If you have any—”

“I don’t, Mother.” I said, putting her fingers over her lips, “I thought about it all night, and I don’t have any doubts. This is my destiny now, and you will be here with me to realize it. Now, fuck my mouth.”

Her tail sprouted a third appendage, and it slithered between my splayed legs, rubbing against my clit, sliding up my belly, between my breasts, wrapping once around my neck, and filling my mouth. I hummed a moan around it as it gently burrowed down my throat, pushing back and forth to sensually tickle my esophagus. I needed to be filled. My holes, every single one of them, they longed to pleasure and feel pleasure. My mouth was but a tool to say words that would coerce someone to silence me, my anus was but the forbidden orifice to inflict filthy felicity, and my pussy salivated ceaselessly for its meal. I wriggled in the delight of my incestual captivity, moving like no nymph should, reacting to new instincts that called seductively for me.

There was a rustling in the hedges, and Kiera appeared in the arboretum. She stopped, and stared.

“She is ready for you, Kiera.” Mother said from behind me. She extended me from her body by her tail, wrapping me in the tendrils of the appendage, and presenting me to Kiera. I undulated in the air, running my hands down the enticing curves of my body, looking at her with beckoning eyes. My blonde hair was tangled in my horns, my freckled complexion was marred with red pressure points, and my nethers oozed viscous nectar down Mother’s writhing appendage, lubricating the stretching of my tight holes. Kiera took it all in, the front of her robe tenting with her arousal. She looked behind me.

“Arbor, are you sure about this?”

“It is not my decision to make.” Mother said sadly, “Rose has chosen her own path.” Mother’s tail sprouted three more tendrils, and they extended to Kiera, and disrobed her. I had seen the beautiful hermaphrodite naked many times, but now that she would be mine, I thought she was the most beautiful thing alive. Her platinum hair hung in dreads, her angular features portraited her big blue eyes, her curvaceous tattooed body framed her rising cock. The tendril of tail vacated my mouth, and I sounded a needful moan.

“Kiera, please do this for me.”

She took a trepid step forward, then another, then another. She looked from Mother, to me, and her steps became bolder. There was no question of morality for her, for she had already been transformed into something wicked. It was a small leap for her to do the same to me. Her beautifully-depraved mind broached no arguments when flesh was freely given, and she had sought mine ever since we’d locked eyes.

“Lie down.” I commanded softly, and she did. I crawled up her legs, mother’s wriggling tendrils still moving through me, providing me with deep pleasure, stealing all fear and apprehension from me. She laid beside us, and watched with anticipatory eyes as I climbed Kiera’s legs, and brought my lips down to her cock.

“Rose—” the unsure objection finally bubbled from Kiera, and it was cutoff the moment my tongue came out. I tasted what frothed from her apex, and my changing body became electrified with it. My heart beat slow and heavy, my mind melted, and my vision veiled violet, focusing only on her. My eyes drew up her flat belly, her breasts heaving with slow breaths, her lips parted to expire, and finally connected with those beautiful bright orbs, gazing fixedly down at me as I swirled her head so, so gently with my tongue. When I could take it no longer, I wrapped my lips around her crease, and took every inch into my mouth.

Her brow knitted in astonishment when she breached my coiled throat. It was painful, I’d never taken anyone so big, and so I gagged and around her invasion, my eyes watering. The pained contraction of my gullet did not expel her, but sucked her further down my neck. My lips smooshed her furry base, and I focused on my breathing, letting my heart drop, relaxing my throat, accepting her. It took a minute, but that was all. My hands moved beneath her and gripped her supple ass, and I pulled her against my face, opening my eyes to gaze into hers. She stared adoringly down at me, and ran her hand through my hair. Oh, how I loved her touch. More than any of my brothers’; more even than my mother’s. For though it was gentle, it was not the maternal kindness that promised me safety in lust, but an unpredictable brand of carnality, something dangerous, something wild. Something that could take me.

I fed upon her shaft for minutes, sensually drawing my mouth along her, forming a seal so tight that my cheeks became hollow and my lips slurped. My tongue lathered her, moving back and forth with my oral passes to taste all that it could, turning her static rod into a pulsing, throbbing piece of meat. When I finally relinquished her member, it was swollen and red.

“No,” Mother said when I made to climb atop Kiera.

I flashed her a dangerous look, and she lowered her face to Kiera’s lap. “We will share in this together.” She said, and parted her purple lips. Her bright pink tongue slithered forth, and divided into ten long tendrils. Like wet pink tentacles, they wrapped around Kiera’s cock, encasing the entire organ in pulsating moist flesh. Kiera stared wide-eyed at what was being done to her, then the sensations overtook her mind, and her head fell back with a whimper. What Mother did to the hermaphrodite when she brought her tongue back into her mouth, I could not know. She sealed her lips around the base, and kept Kiera’s organ inside, only the shifting motions of her gullet giving evidence to what she was doing. Kiera balled her fists in her own hair, unable to contend with the pleasure, and she cried out, her voice high and desperate. I dipped my head between her legs, and soothed her with my tongue, circling her puckered anus, traversing the hairless division of her taint, then tasting her femininity at the source, and repeating. There was squelching sound above me, and Kiera let out a sigh of relief.

“She is ready for you, Rose.” Mother said, and divided her tail once more. Two slithering appendages moved beneath me to penetrate the holes I’d prepared, and Kiera’s back arched from the ground. The tendril in her ass pumped with stronger oscillations, stretching her tight anal ring, rubbing against her prostate, and with every tremor, Kiera’s cock pulsed and bubbled at the tip, turning purple with arousal. The tail in my pussy left, and moved alongside the one in my ass, easily sliding inside my clinging rectum with the grease of my sex. I squatted over Kiera, took her cock in my hands, and with a deep breath, I guided it inside me.

“Rose!” She called.

“Kiera!” I whined back. Oh, it was so good! Every delicious inch of her split my soft pussy, pushing through my resistances, breaking them, owning me. I became more her slut with every degree I descended, my eyes fluttering when I felt her press against my bottom. I stayed there for a moment, trapped in the static worship of her, feeling her heat burning so pleasantly into my most precious depths. Then, she began to thrust. I groaned, then moaned, then whimpered. She held my hips, and guided me. I’d never needed guidance with my brothers, for I was dominant, but I was left helpless for her, and all I could do, was whatever she wanted! I rode her like the stallion she was, undulating the way she wanted, fucking myself, ruining myself, stretching my tight hole until it was molded just for her. Every time I cried out, it sounded like I was sobbing, but if I was weeping it was for joy. Mother silenced Kiera’s whines with her crotch, straddling her face. Her tail lifted behind her to show me Kiera’s chin moving with the motions of her lips as she ate Mother’s pussy. Mother let her salt and pepper hair cascade back with the tilting of her head, her mane running between a set of black nymph horns and a set of black succubus horns, possessed of a dichotomy that I now balanced precariously upon, but it was not stable for me. Every thrust pushed me further into darkness, and the oscillations of my hips no longer needed Kiera’s guidance.

We moved together for minutes, then hours. I lost track of time. Mother’s wonderful tail divided again and again, and soon Kiera and I were wrapped together within it, our bodies trapped in the pulsating binds as the invading tendrils worked ever deeper into our holes. We would’ve kissed each other, but Mother’s bottom was in the way, and so we touched tongues along the division of her ass and pussy, me tasting her fertile hole, and Kiera enjoying the vile delights of Mother’s sinful side. Then she switched, and I savored the decadent tang of her rectum, and the way her great mauve cheeks pillowed against my face, suffocating me so sweetly. Her indulgent tones sounded above us as Kiera thrusted, and I rode her lap, our bodies merged, our minds melded, moving and thinking as one. Then, it happened.

Kiera surged into me with a final thrust, and exploded into my starving depths. What I felt then was more than an orgasm. It was my transformation. The sensation boiled within me, hot, searing and unbearable, an ecstasy the likes of which I’d never known. It coursed through my veins like a river, turning my muscles to molasses, my bones to jelly, my mind to mush. My flesh came alive with foreign sensations, my insides churned and moved, and though it should’ve been agony, it was only a terrible pleasure, a mutilation no one should ever revel in, but God, this hell was such paradise! The horns that I’d had all my life crumbled like ash, in their place, I felt new horns rising. My spine arched, and from its end, a tail sprouted.

Mother felt it in me, and dismounted our faces. She held my head in her hands as I sputtered and blubbered, foam coming from my mouth, tears of ecstasy streaming down my cheeks.

“Rose.” She whispered. She was violet. The world was violet.

“Mother.” I whimpered back, and kissed her. She did not give me a hedonistic kiss, but one with closed lips, a mother’s kiss, one last time.

When she pulled back to look down upon me, I did not know who she was anymore.


The creature did not yet have a name to call herself. I had released her from Kiera’s enslavement the moment she changed, and now she stood at the mouth of the arboretum, disinterestedly examining the flowers she once tended with such care. The violet had left those eyes now that she was sated with sperm, but they had not returned to emerald. They were amber now, almost golden, and the green veins that once branched beneath her flesh were gone. Two ebony horns curved demonically from her head, a smooth thin tail had sprouted from her tailbone, and every motion she made was seeped in seduction.

“If she is kept in civilization, she will relearn language quickly.” I said to Kiera, my voice hollow, “Once the hunger comes to her, she will be compelled to hunt, enslave, and feast until her victim is dead. She is a creature of instinct now, and so she must be domesticated. There are brothels in Alkandra, many with true-born succubi who can teach her how to control herself. You will take her to one of those places.”

“Brianna knows all the brothel owners.” Kiera said, “She’ll make sure that she’s brought to the best place with the best people.”

“I do not want any of your kind to touch her. Her mind should stay free.”

“Of course.”

“Thank you.” I muttered, watching the creature pluck the petals of a flower nonchalantly. A nymph would never kill a plant so carelessly. She turned around, and I averted my eyes. I would not look upon her face again, and see that unrecognizing stare.

“Will you be alright?” Kiera asked, putting a hand on my shoulder.

“No. Not for some time.” I looked at my hands, and noticed that they were trembling. “Grief is brutal with my mortal form. I cannot escape it like I could when I was bodiless. It is interesting. In all my life as a sprit, I always thought suicide was the most idiotic thing a person could do. Now I understand.”

“Arbor, you’re not going to—”

“No.” I looked up at her pleadingly, “But I do not know how to cope with this pain. She was my everything, Kiera.”

Kiera crouched so that we were eye-level. “Do you know why I started doing drugs? I watched my dad get trampled by a moose. He looked fine after the fact, except for the hoofprint in his head that went all the way through like a tunnel. I saw it all, and I didn’t know how the fuck to deal with it. A friend of mine came up to me after the funeral, offered to smoke a blunt. I did, and I still felt the pain, but I could deal with it. I could separate it from myself for a little while, and look at it like it was someone else’s.”

“So, what you are saying, is that I should… get fucked up.”

Kiera tried to keep her face compassionate and understanding, but it broke into a laugh. “Yes, Arbor,” she sighed, “you should get really fucked up.”

I nodded, taking that instruction to heart. “I do not know how to get fucked up. Will you get fucked up with me?”

“You know, getting fucked up doesn’t sound too bad right now.” She stood up, “Let me find her a place in town, then you and I are going to get fucked up.”


Yavara was alone in the royal box when I went up to it. She had just made the closing speech to the ceremony, and the bodies of wargs, orcs, centaurs and ogres were being dragged from the sand. There had been death, there had been torture, and there had been sex; it was all the people of Alkandra could have hoped for, and yet, I thought that Yavara’s speech to end it all had been flat and uninspired, something that was wholly wrong coming from her.

“Your Highness?” I asked her.

She tipped back her glass, and finished her wine. “Your Highness…” she answered with a hiss, “When did everyone become so formal?”

“I’ve always treated you with respect.”

She hoisted the empty pitcher into her hand, and with a flick of her wrist, she launched it across the stadium. “No one told me my tolerance would go through the roof once I transformed. It took me a liter of rye to get saucy at Prestira’s bar, and I’ve been training my liver ever since. At this rate, half our GDP will go to my habit.”

“Has it become a habit?”

“Are you my mother?” She smirked over her shoulder at me, then sighed. “There’s not much to do in a military camp but fight, fuck and drink. Zander’s a great guy, but you know him, he’s… stern. I’d go out at night to the barracks to have a good time with the boys. They’d show me a good time too, do the things I wanted them to do, but uh… I don’t know. They treated me like a god. Even when they had their cocks ten inches up my ass and I was licking jizz off the ground, they still treated me like a god. It gets tiring.” She picked up a jug beside her, and examined the scant remnant of wine as she swirled it, “Maybe I drank until I could pretend that they were treating me like one of the boys.” She pulled the cork out and downed the contents, then threw the jug over the railing. It crashed onto the arena, the glass shards twinkling in the setting sunlight. “Have you ever had insomnia, Certiok?”


“Arbor gave me a tincture for it before I left for the Tundra, but the supply ran out. I’ll be exhausted when my head hits the pillow, but then my thoughts start waking up. I asked Zander one night to put me under with a spell. It was a mistake. My thoughts don’t sleep if I do, but trapped in my own mind, I’m a slave to them. They didn’t used to be so… cruel.” She snorted derisively, “Now I gotta be so fucked up that there’s nothing in my head when I shut my eyes.”

“Your Highness?” I asked.

She closed her eyes, and breathed through her nose. “Please don’t call me that, Certiok. Not you. I can take it from Brock since he’s gone full general on me, but you have no excuse.”

“Ok… Yavara.”

She snorted. “Could that have sounded more awkward? What changed since that night we shared in Brock’s hut?”


Yavara took that in silence for a moment. I wished I hadn’t said it. She nodded. “Yes. Yes, it all did. You know, sometimes I wish I could talk to Alkandi. I met her once before the beginning.”

“What would you ask her?”

“Nothing. I’d just… talk. Just talk with someone who understands me.” She tapped her temple, “But now she’s part of me, and now there’s no one who understands. Well, that’s not entirely true.” She hoisted another jug into her lap, and popped the cork, “Your enemies understand you very well. Leveria, she understands me. Adrianna, she understands me.”

“Adrianna is not your enemy.”

“But I kind of wish she still was. We were closer then.” She chugged the wine, then threw it onto the arena. “Why did you come here, Certiok?”

I stepped toward her, and showed her what I’d had hidden behind my back. It was a black crown, encrusted with orange gems and horned with sultry outlines of women.

“You looked strange addressing your people without one. I had the best smiths of the Ten working on it for a week.”

“It’s beautiful.” She whispered, holding it to the sunlight to examine all the intricate details. She beamed at me. “Thank you, Certiok.”

“You’re welcome, Your Highn—Yavara.”

Her smile faded. “If you don’t mind, Certiok. I’d like to be alone for a while.”


Alkandra was beautiful at night. From our vantage point on the castle steps, the city was laid out before us like a carpet of flame, the millions of little fires shining from the windows, the streets, the rooftops where revelers cheered to those processing below. Drums and horns sounded through the constant drone of celebration, and the occasional firework was launched into the sky. There was no use trying to police the city when it was like this, so Faltia had taken the night off. Her men would observe the anarchy, and only intervene if someone was an unwilling participant in the chaos. There would be dozens of dead to clean from the streets the next morning, but there would be hundreds given new life this very night. It was a celebration the likes of which we’d never seen before, but we were not a part of it.

“Can you see her?” Furia asked, her head on my shoulder.

“No.” I said, “But you can bet she’s in the thick of it.”

“They worship her.” Alexa muttered, Faltia in her arms, “They don’t even know her. What has she done for them?”

“Do I hear jealousy, Sergeant?” Faltia smiled, looking up at Alexa.

“I designed this whole city, and no one once thanked me for it. She comes in, and they act like she brought the sunrise with her.”

“I put on today’s games, and she didn’t even mention me in the speech.” Eva said with an irreverent wave, petting her Pet with the other hand.

Brianna snorted. “Who gives a shit about credit? You want a plaque? What about a banner? Your deeds are inked on your flesh, bro. When you walk through the streets, you can see it in their eyes that they know.”

“She could’ve at least thanked me.”

“Do you want validation from her?” Soraya asked Eva.

“No. Maybe. I don’t know!” She sighed, “Before, it felt like our city. Now, it just feels like hers, but she didn’t do anything for it. We made this whole thing, we did the impossible, and it feels like…”

“Like she stole it from us?” I asked with raised brows, “Remember who your queen is, Eva.”

“It would be easier if she acted like a queen.” Furia mumbled, “She’s not a responsible person, Adrianna. She doesn’t know how to govern. She just goes by the will of the mob. That doesn’t bode well for peace.”

“For an evil bitch, she sure cares a lot about what people think of her.” Eva snickered.

“She’s shown that she can be pragmatic.” I said.

“No, that’s Zander who’s pragmatic.” Faltia said, “It was he who told her to spare you, it was he who came up with the plot against the Ten, and it was he who got Arbor on our side. I agree with Furia; Yavara is not ready to be queen. If left to her own devices, she’ll either do whatever feels good, or whatever the mob wants her to do.”

“She doesn’t know how to govern. She didn’t even ask about what it was we were doing, she just recounted our titles back to us like knowing them was enough!” Eva said.

“Delegation is the most important part of being a leader.” I said, “If Yavara doesn’t know what she’s doing, then it’s best that she cedes power to those who do.”

“Why are you making excuses for her?” Furia asked me.

“I’m not sure why you’re all so dead-set on blaming her. You all knew what she was.”

As I looked around the group, I realized that it wasn’t so. They had not seen Yavara as I had seen her; an insecure girl with terrible power and unruly emotions, a woman easily persuaded to darkness because she mistook it for strength. They had only seen Yavara the warrior queen, Yavara the seductress and enchantress, Yavara the transformer. They had not seen Yavara the person.

My eyes caught a glint of white moving across the moon, and Arbor came into focus, carrying Kiera in her arms. They landed on the steps awkwardly, and stumbled over to Brianna.

“Hello, my dearest bitch!” Kiera said grandly, bowing to Brianna, “Hast thou taken careth of the hussy I put in your care?”

“Rose is—”

“Do not call her that.” Arbor said in her eerily calm voice.

Kiera leaned in, “We do not call the hussy by her name. The hussy doth no longer have a name.”

Brianna gave them both a curious look. “The hussy hath been boarded in the finest of establishments. Her caregiver, a fair wench by the nameth of ‘Strawberry’ hath been well paid to tutor and care for her. Holy hell, bro, what did you guys take?”

“Well, my dearest bitch,” Kiera said, putting an arm around Brianna, “we started the evening with some absinth. Then we moved to salvia –just one hit, mind you—then we moved to mushrooms, a fair dosage. After cleansing our palate with a bit of whisky, we drank a mixture that might’ve been peyote. We had drug-fueled sex, then we each had a panic attack, then we ran around the woodlands naked because we thought the trees formed a path—”

“The trees do form a path.” Arbor insisted with a serious nod.

“Well of course they do. They formed a path to a pond—”

“The cleansing pond.” Arbor nodded again, “Where you can wash your soul.”

“…right. Anyway, we kind of floated in the pond for about an hour or so—”

“It was five minutes.”

“For about five minutes. Then we hiked up that mountain.” Kiera pointed to a small hill, “And at the top, we listened for the voice of God.”

“I have longed to hear such a voice.” Arbor lamented to the starry sky, “I can hear the whispers of trees and the songs of flowers, the sonnets of the wind and the tomes of rocks, but in all my life, I have not heard the voice of the heavens! Is there no guidance in this world of transience? Are we but sheep without a shepherd in a forlorn valley, meant to wander aimlessly?”

“Obviously, God wasn’t too talkative today. So we came down here to talk with you guys instead.” Kiera said as she casually urinated onto a suit of armor.

“Would you care to get fucked up with us?” Arbor asked. If I had a drink, I would’ve spit it out. She reached into a leafed pouch, and procured her vices. “We have marijuana to wet the palate, this flower contains methaqualone to make you loose, then we have cocaine to excite the senses, then this bud contains methylenedioxymethamphetamine to make you ecstatic, and this is heroin.” She paused and scratched her chin as she pondered her substances, oblivious of the slaw jaws surrounding her. She snapped her fingers in remembrance, and reached into her pouch once more. “And this is adrenaline in case anyone’s heart stops.”

“We’ll just… save the heroin for a rainy day, OK?” Kiera said, putting the syringe back in the pouch, “Right… so, who wants to get weird?”

I expected everyone else to slowly back away as I was doing, but then Eva’s hand shot up, then Soraya’s, the Brianna’s. Alexa and Faltia looked at each other, and to my shock, they raised their hands. When I turned to Furia, her hand was up, an excited twinkle in her eye.

“I’m curious to see where this goes.”

“People die from curiosity every day.”

“Ah, but a life of safety is a life wasted.” Kiera said in her odd grandiose manner as she packed a pipe with ground marijuana.

“Faltia?” I queried.

She smiled guiltily, “I’m off duty, Commander.”

“If you won’t do it, then I won’t do it.” Furia said, her ocular smirk telling me she was well aware that she was being manipulative.

“Fine.” I grumbled, “But you have to deal with the consequences.”

Most of the hybrids were seasoned tobacco smokers, so few of us coughed when the marijuana pipe went around the circle. Furia hacked out her lungs, much to the amusement of everyone, but she took their abuse with grace. I took the pipe into my mouth, and drew the smoke into my lungs. Then I took Furia’s head in my hand, and let the thick rank fumes cascade into her mouth. She took it better then. The pipe went around and around, and the effects began to creep on me. I’d always thought a narcotic would have more visceral effects, but it was quite mild. The auditory hallucinations were a mere reverb of the voice, and the visual changes were mostly due to motion. The biggest change was my mood, which had slipped from anxiousness to blissful seamlessly. My head was resting on Furia’s breast, and I was enjoying the drumming of her heart. She played with my hair, and the tips of her fingers against my roots was heavenly. Kiera strummed on a guitar, and we droned out old ranger songs. Arbor even sang along, apparently knowing the melody from hearing it so many times in the forest. Laughter was easy for me, and turned to a cackle if even the most benign joke was said. I was sexually aroused by the lassitude in my body, but I had no urge to force the issue. Sex would come naturally, and we would all delve into a languorous pile of limbs, tenderly filling holes and tasting one another. But before we got to that, the next drug was introduced.

“This flower will make you very tired at first,” Arbor explained, “you will feel tempted to sleep, and so the cocaine will be used to excite you.”

“Doesn’t it feel like we’re escalating things quickly?” I objected mildly.

“No one is making you partake, Governess.” Arbor smiled impishly.

I rolled my eyes. Truth be told, I only raised the objection because I felt like it was my job to. We were all hedonists to the core, and our inhibitions were low. Arbor crushed the flower, sprinkled it in coconut milk, the brought it to a boil with a rock she’d kept in the coals. She brought the coconut to her face, and inhaled the fumes deeply. When it came to Furia, we inhaled the steam together, then passed it to Faltia. For a moment, I didn’t feel anything. Then my body seemed to turn to warm liquid, and I melted like butter against Furia. She collapsed into the stone steps, running her hands along the grooves of mortar like she couldn’t comprehend the feeling. The drowsiness took hold a second later, the world began to dim. Everything was so warm, and I was boneless and slippery, ready to break from the confines of my flesh and spill down the steps like water. Then I felt a cold invasion in my anus. Someone had poked me there. Was what was that? A metal straw? There was the sound of someone blowing, and I felt air in my vilest place. Then… then I felt alive!

My senses came back to me, but the euphoria of the flower still captured my flesh. Kiera backed away from me with a mischievous smile, and packed white powder into her straw before she moved on to Faltia. Furia had already been dosed, and her blue eyes were nearly all pupil when I stared into them. Our smile creeped into grins, and our grins became euphoric grimaces. We were kissing, we were giggling, we were kissing, we were talking, we were kissing, we were giggling again. Soon giggling and talking overcame kissing, for though our bodies swam with carnal desires, our mouths and minds were moving at a thousand miles an hour! The final narcotic came around, and we ingested the bud without a second thought. On top of the euphoria of our bodies, the looseness of our muscles, and the quickness of our minds, came an ecstasy that thrummed in the back of our heads, plastering a smile across our faces, fusing with the cocaine to compel our bodies to move, and our mouths to sound our thoughts without a barrier.

“We should get married!” Furia squealed.

“How come none of us have gotten married!” I demanded, “What the fuck is wrong with you all?!”

“We got engaged our first night!” Alexa shouted, proffering her ring.

“And you didn’t tell anyone?!” Eva shouted, “You inconsiderate slut!”

“So selfish.” Soraya cackled, hugging her knees and rocking on her butt.

“Brianna,” Kiera said, dropping to her knee before her paramour, “will you be my bottom bitch until my dying breath?”

“Bro,” Brianna sniffled tearfully, “I will be your bottom bitch.”

They embraced and kissed with devouring sloppiness. Brianna broke the kiss, and turned to me. “Adrianna, marry us right now!”


“You’re the governess! You can marry anyone!” Kiera exclaimed gleefully, and dragged Brianna over to me. I struggled to my feet, and the other hybrids formed a rapid audience on the steps. Arbor grew a floral wreath from the grass, and put in on Brianna’s head. They stared adoringly into each other’s eyes, and linked their hands.

I stood there blinking. “What do I say?”

“Make some shit up.” Brianna hissed out of the corner of her mouth.

I cleared my throat. “By the power invested in me as governess of Alkandra, I proclaim Brianna Dedaclia and Kiera Lestria to be bound in matrimony until death do they part. Amen.”

They embraced once more, their postures swaying with the euphoric narcotics. They took two stumbling steps onto the grass lawn that flanked the steps, and began their honeymoon right there.

“Us next!” Soraya cried, dragging Eva after her. Eva snatched the wreath from Brianna’s head, and laid it atop Soraya’s when they stood before my makeshift altar. They beamed into each other’s faces like excited virgin lovers, none of their debauched power-love shown on their faces. I made the same brief speech, and they too joined Brianna and Kiera on their honeymoon, unable to get each other’s clothes off fast enough. Alexa and Faltia were the most romantic pair, as both had tears in their eyes when I announced their marriage, but the sentimentality disappeared the moment I said ‘Amen,’ and they rushed to join the pile.

“Well?” Furia smiled coyly, placing the wreath atop her head.

“Can I marry myself?” I mused.

“I will stand as the holy woman.” Arbor said, taking my place on the steps. I linked hands with Furia, marveling at the texture of her flesh, amazed by the dazzling colors that played off her beautiful face. A thousand little stars twinkled from the shine spots on her cheeks and forehead, a dark blue nebula formed by the tattoo that framed the left half of her face. Her pink lips were plush beds of flesh, glistening with moisture, but it was her eyes that so captivated me, the depthless pools of blue and black, each one filled with such love. Yes, I was out of my mind on drugs, but nothing got me higher than her.

“…before the Holy Mother, I proclaim Furia Augustinia and Adrianna Alkandra to be bound in holy matrimony. Amen.” Arbor said, and Furia and I came together. Her mouth was an oasis, her tongue moving with mine in a dance we knew every step to. Our hands moved down each other’s bodies, and marveled at the feeling of the other’s flesh, entranced by such a new perspective of it. I picked her up, and she wrapped her legs around my hips, her cock pressing hard into my belly.

“Wait!” Someone yelled. I turned to see a naked Eva running from the flesh pile, her stiff cock wagging between her legs. She grabbed Furia’s hand. “Furia, I bear your child and I love you; will you marry me?”

“What?!” I shouted.

“Yes!” Furia cried.

“We can do that?” Kiera yelled from the pile, “Hold up, I also want to marry Furia!”

“And yes to you as well!” Furia giggled.

“Wait a second—”

“Hey bro, can I marry Eva while we’re at it?” Brianna asked Kiera.

“Do whatever you want, bitch.”

“Who said I would I marry you, Brianna?”

Brianna dropped to one knee before Eva. “Eva, you and I have been fuck-buddies since we first joined E company. Will you be my fuck-buddy forever?”

Eva sniffled sarcastically. “That was the most beautiful thing anyone’s ever said to me. Yes, Brianna, I will be your fuck-buddy forever.”

I felt a tap on my shoulder, and turned to see Faltia dropping to a knee before me. “Commander, I have respected and admired you as a man, and my admiration and respect have only grown for you as a woman. Had you not convinced me that day to choose life, then I would never know so much love, and that love extends to you. I love you, and I always stand with you. Will you marry me?”

“And me?” Alexa asked, dropping to a knee beside Faltia.

I mouthed like a beached fish for a second before I sputtered. “Uh… yes. Yes! Yes, of course I’ll marry you! Both of you! All of you!”

And so we all got married, and performed many more ceremonies, each one reflecting the unique dynamic of the newlywed’s relationship. Alexa wanted to marry each person individually, and tearfully professed to each one why she loved us. Brianna married herself to the other women all at once, then did the same with hermaphrodites. Soraya had each one of us hold her leash while she professed her love, and ended by getting on her knees, and kissing our feet. Faltia wanted everyone to line up in company formation, and she had me marry each of them with martial exactness until she turned around, and married me herself. Eva wanted us to crawl to her individually and suck on her ring finger as Arbor announced our matrimony with a grave tenor. Kiera shared a blunt with each of us, though I didn’t think we could get much higher, and Furia was content with wearing the bridal wreath, and having us all dote upon her.

When it came to me, I just said, “I’ve married half of you five times already! Now are we going to have our honeymoon already?!”

“What about me?” Came a voice from the back of the castle. The hair on my neck stood up. The sound of boots clicking against stone tiles echoed from the darkness of the long throne room. She appeared from the shadows like an apparition, her hips swaying with drunkenness, her orange eyes alight with power and rimmed red. An ebony crown crookedly adorned her head, and a near-empty jug of wine filled her hand. She tipped it back, and drank the rest before dashing the jug against the far wall.

“Does no one want to marry me?” She asked, splaying her arms out, “I am Alkandra’s most sought-after bachelorette, and yet, I have no suitors.” She stopped at the top of the steps, “Well? Will none of you propose to me?”

“Your Highness, you are very drunk.” Arbor said.

“And you all are very high.” Yavara slurred, “I watched you, all of you. I was touring the castle—this castle, that will be my home for the rest of my life. That’s funny, because I’ve felt like an unwelcome guest in it since I got here. But I can forgive that. After all, it was you all who finished it, worked in it, and lived in it. Why, it’s practically yours! I’m just the dumb cunt who came in and stole it all! Right, Eva?!”

“I didn’t mean—”

“I’m only joking!” Yavara giggled, her teeth bared, “Just a little lighthearted ribbing between us friends.” She nearly fell over with her next step, and swayed precariously on her feet, “I was searching for the wine casks, and I found them there in back of the throne room where it’s nice and cool. I was going to bring the finest barrel to you all so that we could have a wonderful party, just us friends, but you started the party all on your own, and gosh, I’m such a wallflower; I joined it from all the way back there! I laughed at all your jokes, I guffawed at your antics, and I partook in your wonderful banter from my dark little corner. You all have such a delightful dynamic, and I found my place in it, way in the back there. Did you hear my jokes? Sometimes I thought you were laughing at them, if I timed the punchline just right.” She reached the top step, and beamed at us, “I was afraid to interject myself. I was worried that I’d be intruding, but of course my worries were foolish, for you’re all of my flesh and blood, and would never push me away! Still, I needed a little liquid courage, then a little more, then a little more. I just couldn’t work up the nerve until my face was numb!”

“Your Highness—”

“Please don’t call me that.” She said fixing a smile on her face. “Friends don’t call each other that. And here we all are, the best of friends, making memories that we’ll laugh about years from now while we sit with our children.” She pitched forward, and vomited. When she was done retching, she wiped her eyes, and laughed. “There’s a memory right there! We can all laugh about the time the I tried to join your party, and made a complete fool of myself! How humiliating it was, how cringy. None of you want me here; what was I thinking?”

“Your Highness—”

“Don’t call me that!” Yavara bellowed, “Prestira didn’t call me that! Patricia didn’t call me that!” She glared down at me, not saying the last name.

“What do you want from me?” I asked her.

“Gratitude.” She said, open her arms as though to embrace us all, “I made them for you, Adrianna. I knew what kind of bond you’d all share, and it has come to fruition. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? This love we are capable of.”

“I am grateful.”

She snorted, descending the steps. “Maybe I just wish you’d show it differently.”

I slid my robe off my shoulders. “Is this what you want?”

She stopped before me, and examined my body. “What do you feel when I look at you like this?” She asked softly.

“Attraction.” I answered.

“Is that all?”


She looked into my eyes. “Where has your hatred gone?” She reached out, and gently grasped my breast. I sucked in air, the feeling mingling with the narcotic sensations that tingled from my chest, then from my belly, then from my crotch as her hand slid lower. I wilted against her when she penetrated me, the index and middle fingers sliding into my wet heat, the pinky and ring fingers pushing past the resistance of my anal ring, tenderly burrowing deeper. I moaned against her shoulder, swaying precariously on my feet, the pleasure threatening to bring me to my knees at any moment. She had never been inside me, yet she knew my spots in a way even Furia didn’t, and she played them to perfection.

“What do you feel now?” She whispered in my ear.

“Pleasure.” I gasped, resting my head on her shoulder.

“Nothing else?”

“Fear.” I moaned.

“Why?” She hissed, sounding angry, “Why now? Why not when I craved your terror above all things?”

“You took everything from me.”

“But I have given you so much.”

“And now I have something to lose.”

Yavara’s eyes flickered. “I can see you flanking me, Alexa and Faltia. Furia’s already behind me with a knife in her hand, and Eva has a crossbow behind her back.”

“There’s no reason we have to fight.” Furia said from behind Yavara, “You can let her go.”

“She doesn’t want me to let her go.” Yavara hissed on my lips, her foul breath filling my nostrils. It was true. Her fingers unlocked me from the inside, pressing and rubbing with an exactness that turned my sheaths to pulsating channels, sweltering with my desire. I mewled and whimpered, undulating against her body, unable to contend with such tortuous pleasure.

“I made you, Adrianna.” She whispered, “I know you inside and out. I know every way to make you moan, and every way to make you scream.” She shoved her hand hard into me, squishing my taint between the fork of her fingers, and my legs gave out. With her immense strength, she held me aloft by my crotch, toying with me as my toes dragged helplessly.

“Please, Yavara!” I cried.

“Please… what?” She asked, “Please make you come? Please stop?”

“Please!” I screamed again, my body infected with her euphoric touch.

“That’s the truth of it all, isn’t it?!” Yavara snarled, “This is what we are! This is the pinnacle of our existence! Not love! Not friendship! Just pleasure, meaningless and empty, a replacement for what’s been taken! Beg me to make you come, Adrianna! I want to hear you squeal!”

“Make me come!” I squeaked, and she did, fucking my holes with a fervency until her fingers squelched against my squirting juices, each spurt pumping its contents with her thrusting hand, dribbling down my taint to grease my sodomy. I panted against her, lightly holding myself upon her shoulders, trying to touch as little of her as possible as she delivered orgasmic wave after wave inside me until I couldn’t breathe! When it was done, she slid her fingers out, each of them webbed with my nectar, and I dropped to my knees before her, my chest heaving with desperate intakes. She crouched before me.

“I gave you so much; so much that you don’t deserve.” She touched my lips with her sullied fingers, and I opened them to taste myself. “I could’ve made you love me like April loves Brock. I could’ve broken you to nothing and built you to my liking, but then you would’ve been ruined.”

“What do you want from me?!” I hissed.

“What you stole from me!” She hissed back, grabbing my head and forcing my gaze to hers, “I want love! I want friendship! I want someone who knows me down to my bones! You stole that from me, and now you have it, and I want it back!”

I stared into her wrathful gaze, and whispered, “I can’t give that to you.”

“But I can take it from you.” Yavara whispered back. Eva aimed the crossbow, Faltia and Alexa dug in their heels, Furia brandished the dagger. It wouldn’t matter. A thousand of us didn’t stand a chance against her. I summoned moisture into my dry mouth, and spat into Yavara’s face.

“No, you can’t!” I snarled, “You can kill them all before my eyes, and not steal what I have! I am whole and you are broken, Yavara. Even Elena realized that before the end, for she cursed your name when they were cutting pieces off her!”

Then, the world was red. It quivered before my eyes, pulsing with the sudden acceleration of my heart. Her eyes were burning before me, staring through my lenses and into my mind, the connection between us growing like a vine corded with thorns, tearing into my mind, sawing, cutting, scraping through thoughts and memories. Blood was coming out of my eyes. It was running from my nostrils. There was a whining scream in my ears, and it became higher and higher, the sound splitting through my skull! Furia was on top of Yavara, furiously stabbing at her with a knife whose blade bent every time it struck the Dark Queen’s flesh. Faltia was trying to break her arm, Alexa was trying to yank her backward, Eva was loading another crossbow bolt. The others were pulling at me, trying to get me away, but I was locked between Yavara’s hands, forced to stare into those eyes as the last of my heartbeats drummed through my fevered mind.

Run, you idiots! I thought to them, I bought you a few seconds, now run!

The screaming pitch broke, and my ears burst. I felt the blood running hot down my neck, and only heard the drumming in my temples. In the inferno of my dying moments, I couldn’t summon the will to fight, or even to plead for their lives. I could only feel a resigned sorrow, a coldness of my psyche that could only take solace in the knowledge that it would all be over soon. The red world faded. The agony turned to a dull ache. My thoughts slowed and drifted, turning to transient moments that I could not discern from reality. Alexa gnashed her teeth, trying to pull Yavara away from me. Alexa grinned, trying to pull Faltia off Brianna in a wrestling match. Faltia delivered blows to Yavara’s elbow. Faltia boxed Eva on the training grounds, both women wearing bloody smiles. Furia was screaming as she punched Yavara’s head with the broken hilt of her dagger. Furia was giggling as brushed the hair from my face. “I love you.” She whispered. I repeated it back to her.

Oh my god, what am I doing? Came a voice from the depths of my mind. The agony came back to me, the piercing red filling my vision, that terrible scream lancing through the cacophony of my cerebral pulse. Then the world was color once more, and the pressure in my head was gone.

Yavara fell backward, an expression of utter horror on her face. Then Furia’s fist smashed into Yavara’s cheek, and her head wrenched to the side. Her shield was down. They came upon her like animals. Eva sent a heel to her ribs, Faltia brought an elbow down on her stomach, Alexa pounced on her and delivered blow after blow to her chest. The others surged in after, their killer’s training guiding their wrathful strikes, smashing knuckles into soft tissue, caving-in cartilage, fracturing bone. Yavara curled herself into a fetal ball and took the punishment, crying into her arms as her shoulders and back were brutalized, her interlocking fingers smashed with kicks being dealt to her head. They were going to kill her, and she was going to let them. I was going to let them.

There was a sudden gust of wind, and everyone was blown back. Arbor beat her mighty wings again, and those that still stood were sent sprawling. She crouched before Yavara, and made to take her in her arms, but Yavara held up a staying hand, three of the fingers snapped crooked. She shakenly got to her knees, and vomited once more. With all the wine in her belly, I couldn’t tell how much of what she expelled was blood. She managed to get one foot beneath her, but she could not stand. After two failed attempts, she began to crawl. Up the stairs of her castle, the Dark Queen labored, her bloody knees and hands leaving prints in her wake. She crossed the atrium, climbed the final steps before the throne, and disappeared into the blackness from whence she came.

“I can’t fucking believe you took her side.” Kiera growled at Arbor.

“My duty is to my children, Kiera. Yavara is too great an enemy for me to contend with, and if I had let you kill her, the vengeance the orcs would wreak would not end with you.”

“Hopefully the cunt will just bleed out.” Eva snarled.

“Either way, we need to leave.” Faltia said, “I’ll go down to the docks and warn the captain. We’ll be halfway to Hektinar by dawn.”

“I’ll go to the treasury and secure our funds.” Soraya said.

“I’ll get provisions from the stores.” Brianna added.

“I’m not leaving.” I muttered.

Furia grabbed me by the shoulders, and forced my face to hers. “You are getting on that fucking ship, Adrianna! If I have to tie you the fucking mast, I’ll do it!”

“She let me go.”

“She’s a goddamn maniac!”

“She’s still at war with our homeland.”

Furia snatched the dagger that was strapped to my thigh. “Arbor can’t take us all at once.” She whispered, “If the others swarm her, I’ll go do what needs to be done. It’s like we talked about.”


“We don’t need to kill Brock. With the Highland Rift entrenched, they’ll have no chance of invading without Yavara.”

“No!” I shouted, and climbed to my feet.

Furia got in front of me. “Don’t do this!” She hissed, “You were right about her all along, and we should’ve listened to you! Now listen to yourself!”

“Get out of my way.”

“You’re in no shape to fight me, Adrianna. If I have to choke you out, I will.”

I took her chin in my hand. “This place is my home, and I’m not leaving it like a coward.”

“She’ll kill you.”

“Maybe that would be justice.”

“Justice?! After what she’s done to you?”

“The score isn’t even yet, Furia.” I kissed her lips before she could speak, and left her at the bottom of the steps.

I followed the trail of blood across the atrium, up the risers before the Black Throne, and beyond it. The darkness swallowed me, my path lit by shafts of moonlight that streamed from the windows high above, displaying an archway of lunar light that illuminated the stone floor. I passed one, then the other, then stopped at the third. She was huddled on the ground, weeping silently to herself. Each breath was ragged and hoarse, rattling in her broken chest. Her lip was bloodied to a pulp and split five different ways, her nose was crooked, and her eyes were dull. In the lunar light, she a monochromatic blue, but her blood was purple. I sat cross-legged beside her on the stone, the shaft of light barely catching my face.

“I remember when we first met. Not as ranger and princess, but as enemies.” I said, “You tried to kill me in Ardeni Dreus, do you remember? I thought I was rescuing you, then I felt you in my head, and my body was no longer my own. If it weren’t for the city guard, you would’ve made me cut my own throat.”

She blinked at me, a pool of blood forming from around her mouth.

“Not exactly a great first impression.” I mused, “And I guess our relationship didn’t get much better from there. We gave each other every reason to hate. It was easy to think of you as a monster.”

“I am a monster.” She croaked.

“In so much as people are monsters.”

“I’m broken. You said so yourself, and I tried to kill you because it was the truth. That’s what monsters do. It’s what Leveria would do.”

“Do you worry that you’re like her?”

“I know I am.”

“You’re not. I know you both very well, and I can promise you that Leveria would never be goaded to murder because someone insulted her.”

“So I’m worse.”

“No. Leveria would’ve had me killed weeks ago. She’s pragmatic like that, but you’re sentimental in a really fucked up way.”

Yavara snorted blood. “I guess I am. I thought about you a lot while I was up at the war camp. When Trenok told me about you, I knew you’d become who I hoped you would. I was proud, like how a mother is proud. Call it my fucked-up sentimentality. I thought maybe when I came back, you would’ve changed enough, and enough time would’ve passed that I could join the family. What kind of psycho delusional shit is that?”

I watched specs of dust float in the lunar beam, and shook my head. “These last two weeks have been the best days of my life, and it gnaws at me. There’s a part of me that wants to be miserable, but I can’t be, try as I might. It felt like I was letting you beat me. Now I see that I’ve actually won.”

A tear tracked along Yavara’s swollen cheek. “No one ever told me how lonely it would be.” She whispered, “I always thought Leveria had no friends because she was a hateful bitch, but she was the heir; she could never have friends. No wonder she fell in love with the only man who could understand her. Father practically groomed her.”


Yavara cracked a horrendous smile. “You didn’t know? Some director of intelligence you were.” Her smile faded, “But at least she has someone. You took all my someones away from me, Adrianna. With no one there to fill the void, I tried to groom you. Even if you hated me, at least you hated me as a person, but now you don’t even hate me anymore.” The tears dripped freely from her eyes, “I wish I could take it back. All of it. I wish I had gone to Castle Thorum that day instead of choosing to camp by the forest. Then you and I would’ve been nothing more than friendly strangers, and I would’ve never known who I was. I’m so, so sorry, Adrianna. I’m just so fucking alone.”

She wept silently into her broken hands, her diaphragm wracked with spasms every time she took in a sobbing breath. I gently took her head in my hands, and rested it in my lap. I stroked her hair as she vented, suppressing each sob with a hiss so that her grief would not echo in the halls. Even now the chains of power shackled her, not letting her express the depths of her despair. Wasn’t this what I wanted? Wasn’t this the vengeance I had sought? Then why were there tears in my eyes? Why was my chest so laden with guilt?

I took one breath, then another, and let them both out slowly. “Elena is alive.” I whispered.

She froze in my lap. Her sobs ceased. She elevated her head a fraction, turning it so that one eye narrowed up at me. “What did you say?”

“Elena is alive and well in Bentius. She tried to contact you on my mirror, and I didn’t tell you, because I wanted you to suffer.” I barely could say the last words; my voice was shaking so. She slowly got off my lap. Her flesh ignited with energy, her scratches healing, her swelling subsiding, her bones clicking back into place. Her orange eyes burned from the monochromatic blue cast of her body, shining like furious flames in the lunar curtain. I could hear the castle groaning around me, the sound of beams being put under great strain. I could feel the floor shaking beneath me. Yavara extended her hand, and grabbed me by the hair on the back of my head. Then she pulled me against her, and wept into my shoulder. This time, she let her grief sound unfettered from her mouth, and it echoed through the hall, beautiful and sonorous, harmonized with her joy. She held onto me like a lifesaver, and I found myself embracing her in turn, weeping into her shoulder, feeling the weight of the world being lifted from me.

“I’m so sorry!” She bawled, “Oh my god, Adrianna, I’m so sorry!”

“So am I.”

It was natural for us then to bring our lips together. Though it was sexual, it was not hedonistic when our interlocking legs parted to join ourselves at our centers and feel the other’s lust pressing into our own. When we rolled on the stone floor with our tongues entwined and our bodies heaving to grind our crotches, it was not with a desire for the flesh that we acted, but a desire to heal. We were dark-elves, and for us, sex was a language unto itself. Her breasts molded into mine, her nipples stabbed against me, and her wet heat saturated my nethers as our clits fought in wriggling combat, each pass making them swell, each motion heightening the sensation. My hands were filled with her ass, and hers were filled with mine, and we spread each other to deliver fingers, sensually penetrating in congruence with our deep undulations. We made love as equals on the stone floor, and we panted into each other’s mouths when we ascended into sweet ecstasy.


Adrianna came out of the darkness with Yavara. The other hybrids stood with their provisions ready, waiting to leave. They didn’t say anything to each other, just stood and stared. Furia was the first to break from the group, and walk up the steps. I could’ve heard what Yavara said to her, but I decided not to listen. The words didn’t matter much anyway. Yavara dropped to her knees before Furia, and Furia put arms around her, and looked to Adrianna for answers. There was still a secret there, something that hadn’t quite been said, but enough had been spoken to heal the wounds that had festered in the Dark Queen. One by one, the hybrids dropped their things, and went to her. They surrounded her and embraced her, and she stayed on her knees before them, prostrating in apology. I knew enough about dark-elves to know where this was going. Yavara flipped up the bottom of Furia’s robe, and took all nine inches of Furia’s tattooed cock deep into her gullet. Someone sounded a whoop, and suddenly all clothes were being thrown off. I shook my head, and flapped away.

As I glided over the city, I listened to the sounds of revelry that came from it. There were so few plants that I was nearly spiritually blinded, and could only see through the scant weeds that grew in less trampled-upon areas of the streets. It was chaos down there. I did not understand it. There was no harmony in that life, only a percussive discordance of brass instruments and drums, lived in the explosive moments and dying just as violently. Somewhere down there, was a woman I once loved more than anything, and she would find herself at home in all that chaos. I flapped harder, and sped over the cityscape as fast as I could. When I reached the fields, I felt like I could breathe again.

I descended to my arboretum, and snuggled myself in the nest I’d made in the trees. While my immortal mind was always wakeful, my mortal flesh needed sleep. The drugs had begun to withdraw from my system, and I was left so sapped of energy that I nearly passed out the moment my head touched the straw. Something kept me from slumber. Singing. I heard singing. It came from a soft voice, and the words it spoke were not words at all, but infantile imitations of them. I peered from the edge of my nest, not daring to make a sound.

She was in the arboretum, dancing on her toes, twirling as she examined the flowers she once tended, the bushes she once grew, the fruits she once labored over. She didn’t seem to understand them, yet there was slight recognition in her eyes. It amounted only to a benign curiosity, but there was a question in her expression nonetheless, something that compelled her to wonder. She did not know why she had come, but she had. She remembered something.

“That is an orchid.” I said to her.

Her eyes shot up to me, and she narrowed them, assessing if I was food or a threat. When she deduced that I was neither, she turned her attention back to the flower. “Orchid.” She echoed. She pirouetted down the path, and paused at another flower.

“That is a tulip.” I said.

“Tulip.” She repeated. She cartwheeled around the garden, then did a flip, and stopped at another flower.

“That is a rose.” I whispered, my voice catching in my throat.

She cocked her head. “Rose.” She said, and smiled.


She leaned forward and sniffed it, then beamed broadly. “Rose!” She exclaimed.

“Yes!” I said tearfully back.

She plucked the flower, tore off the thorns, and placed it in her hair. She walked to the basin, and examined herself in the reflection, striking lecherous poses as though practicing her seduction. Rose. Rose would be her name once more, but she would not be my Rose. The flower would be but the bate of innocence to lure her prey into her arms. She tied the stem around one of her horns, securing it there, then she looked out at the path from the arboretum to the city. She walked that path, then paused, and looked over her shoulder to the Great Forest. The smile she’d dawned faded. Her eyes glowed a slightly violet. She slowly turned, then stepped away from the city, away from civilization, away from language, laws, and safety to heed the whisper of the wildlands. She would not be a domesticated whore growing fat in a brothel. She would be a huntress, spectacular and deadly, wild and free, the terror and desire of any man or beast who was foolish enough to enter her domain. She entered the darkness of my canopy, and scampered into the bosom of the Great Forest. I wiped the tears from my eyes, and smiled. My daughter had returned to me.

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