Monday, November 14, 2016
October 16, part 3
Clan Seot’s sea-rock home had been dramatic. Luxurious. Stunning. While Clan Aslada’s domicile didn’t have quite the exterior oomph, it was far bigger and grander on the inside. Grander as in OH DEAR FUCKING PROPHETS, THIS PLACE IS INSANE.
Like the government building, the men made their home within a hill. Or rather, a series of hills, because it was big. Mansion-big. Maybe palace-big. We’ll settle for the description of freaking-big, shall we?
Doors made to look like wood (but of some manufactured material instead) led into a couple of these hills. One was the main entrance, a stately faux-plank set of double doors painted the same green as the surrounding grass. Think castle doors to the emerald city of Oz. They were magnificent. The wide walkway leading from the nearby lake to the entrance was constructed of large, smooth rocks. If not for the enormous doors, it would have looked sweet and cozy. A garden plot of uncountable blooms greeted us after we landed in an attached bay, also sequestered in the hills. We could have accessed the home through an underground walkway from where the clan’s small fleet of craft sheltered, but the guys wanted me to enjoy the outside view first.
And what a view. The lake was a mirror of an aquamarine jewel under the clear sky. It had a beach and a few small brightly colored boats were pulled up on shore. I’ll admit I had visions of sitting in a boat holding a parasol over my head. Jaon would be pulling on the oars and Meyso would be reading poetry to Aslada and I as we drank wine. It had that feel to it.
All around, the hills rose and fell, an undulating carpet of the purest green, with little patches of wildflowers punctuating the landscape. A bit of exposed rock showed here and there, interesting footnotes. A few hills were crowned with great trees that reached thick branches to the perfect sky. It wasn’t quite as breathtaking as the view from Clan Seot’s seaside home, but it was darn close.
Then we went in the big double doors. Holy crap.
The hill we entered was tall and made taller still by virtue of us descending a dozen steps into the entrance hall. Hall? More like a castle ballroom. It was insanely huge. I’ve seen houses smaller than that one area. Made up like a gallery, it boasted window-vids and fine art. The flooring was polished marble. The ceiling was arched and painted with murals, like a cathedral.
I’d felt out of my league with Clan Seot. I was a pure bumpkin in the home of Clan Aslada. All I could do was stand there and gape. Opulent didn’t begin to describe my surroundings.
Aslada chuckled. “It’s impressive but still less than you and Anrel deserve. However, we’ll try to make you as comfortable as possible.”
I swear I couldn’t move for several seconds. Mind blown.
Even now, I can’t describe the place. It’s too enormous to put into words. It really is a palace, each room grander than the last. Even the last few Imperial Clans haven’t lived like this. They have a place within the Royal House that is on par, I’ve been told, but they have eschewed that particular set of apartments for cozier digs. I can’t say I blame them. It’s overwhelming.
Anrel and I have adjoining suites, each the size of a generous house. I kid you not. A huge nursery for her with a connecting pair of rooms for her ‘manny’ (as I call her Imdiko nanny Snoy), two huge lavatories, a sitting room, a private meditation room, my sleeping room, a greeting room for me to entertain guests, a little dining space, and the pair of rooms my personal manservant uses (yes, I have a personal manservant!!!). Sweet prophets. It’s beyond insane. And mine is one of ten guest suites.
Beyond the guest wing is the main living area for the clan, their own private suites of rooms, entertainment space, a full-sized gym (yay!), indoor swimming pool, and a monstrous kitchen. I couldn’t even see the far end of the kitchen when I went in to give the head cook his marching orders for what Anrel needed. Holy cats.
That’s the part of the house (can I call this estate a house?) that I know of. I think there’s more. A lot more.
All of it is styled to the max. Fine furnishings. Luxurious fabrics. State-of-the-art technology for entertainment and ease of living. Art that I worry might be priceless, so I’m not touching one damned bit of it. I can’t believe people live like this. I can’t believe I have the chance to live like this. I’m not sure I want to…except I really like Clan Aslada. I wonder if they’d downsize to a cottage for me?
Despite the new surroundings, Anrel at long last couldn’t keep her eyes open another second. She fell asleep on her manny’s shoulder. He’d taken her from me to get acquainted as soon as we arrived. While I had been leery of the inexperienced childcare staff at the Matara Complex, Imdiko Snoy’s demeanor and references put me at ease right away. His older but attractive and honest face was made for guileless smiles. He cuddled fussy Anrel like a pro. Which he was. He’d been a manny to the few high-ranking children born in the last hundred years, children who’d all become members of the Royal Council, ambassadors, and governors – yes, even Aslada himself.
I ventured to ask him why he wasn’t clanned. “I was, to the only men I could ever love. Soulmates, I think you’d Earthers call them,” Snoy said, a moment of sorrow passing over his face. “But they died, ten years apart. I was still young enough and could have had my pick of clanmates after that, since my rank was good and my breed is rare enough to attract instant interest. I didn’t want any other clanmates though. No Nobek or Dramok could compare to what I had.”
Sweet prophets, could there be a sadder story? Snoy, too heartbroken to love again but too Imdiko to not care for others, devoted himself to the children of those few who had them. Much like Cifa, he was the oldest brother to several siblings and had plenty of practice dealing with kids. He’d been a natural manny and tutor to his young charges.
While Snoy whisked Anrel away to her nursery for her nap, I followed Clan Aslada to the not-so-common common room, where they liked to get together to relax.
It was another overwhelming room. There was a huge vid game table, where the surface displayed whatever contest was programmed and played. Tokens, if used, were rendered in 3D that was so real, you’d swear you could pluck them right off the table.
A map was displayed on the table. From the tiny figures of ground troops standing on the landscapes and the military craft hovering in the air over them, I guessed this to be a kind of war game, something that entailed involved strategy. It had been paused at some point, with everything frozen at a standstill. It was fascinating to look at, but having seen the aftermath of the real thing recently, I felt my stomach churn a little.
The info/entertainment system was immense too. The vid screen nearly covered an entire wall. There were four more smaller screens, two on each side of the mammoth one.
“As governor, I need to keep up on a lot of news,” Aslada told me. “Even though the feeds strive to be objective, some bias can slip through. I like to get a feel for how different sections of the public view what’s happening.”
“Not to mention catching the first updates on the election returns on voting day,” Jaon smirked.
Aslada gave him a disgruntled look. “If I have the means to keep track, why shouldn’t I? And I don’t see you complaining when there is a kurble match, a shuttle race, and the fights on at the same time. I really do insist on all the vids for the news,” he insisted to me.
If they were going to argue over Aslada’s purposes for having his own multiplex, it was cut short by the arrival of Nomol. He went straight to the carved wood bar that took up half the wall opposite the vid wall. He smiled at me. “Would you like to try another drink, Matara? Give me a flavor and let me see if I can come up with something to please you.”
“How are you on Earther tastes?” I challenged him. “I’m a coffee and chocolate addict.”
His grin widened and he started mixing. “I’ve had the opportunity to try them both. I think I might have something you’ll enjoy.”
A couple minutes later I was sipping a frothy concoction that tasted of a dark stout with strong chocolate and coffee flavoring. It was perhaps the best drink I’d ever had in my life. I told Nomol he’d better save the recipe for that one.
As with the rest of the place, the furnishings were elegant, almost too fabulous for me to dare touch. The massive seating surface that faced the vid wall was more a piece of art than furniture. Its back and sides were sculptural metal, formed to look like the intricately woven branches of the trees that dotted the nearby hills. The leaves were metal too, and colored in various hues that stunned the eye with amazing detail. It curved halfway around the great circular firepit in the center of the room.
When Meyso indicated I was to make myself comfortable on the dark green crushed velvet upholstery of this couch, I sat down gingerly. It was surprisingly comfortable, as soft and giving as any well broken-in sofa. I was terrified of spilling my drink or of doing any damage to such a magnificent piece. I only relaxed when Jaon flopped down next to me, with no more care than if he sat on an old, battered recliner. Meyso sat on my other side, also with casual indifference.
“Did you like the tour?” Aslada asked after settling himself on Meyso’s far side. His playful attempts to kick Jaon over so that he could sit next to me hadn’t budged the Nobek for an instant, so he gave up with an exaggerated pout.
“It was wonderful,” I said. “This is a beautiful area.”
“I’m glad you think so,” Aslada beamed. “Everyone is always going on about the capital and the cliffs – and yes, it is picturesque there – but this continent has quite a bit to offer as well.”
“You said you hope to have a second Matara Complex built on this side of the world.”
“Right in my own territory,” Aslada confirmed. “In fact, that’s one of the proposals I’d like your help in making a vid for—”
He was interrupted by my portable com going off. “Sorry,” I said as I fumbled it out of the pouch I kept it in. “I bet it’s from one of my friends. I forgot to let them know I got here safe and sound.”
I checked the frequency and felt my face go hot. It was not Candy or Katrina. The com was from Larten. I swear I was trying to send his call to record a message, but I hit the wrong darned icon and connected the damned thing instead.
I couldn’t very well click off on him, so I said in a weak voice, “Hi.”
His voice sounded darkly gleeful, almost as if he could sense the bad situation I’d put myself in. “Hello, Shalia. I take it you made it to your destination all right?”
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jaon’s brow rise at the sound of another man’s voice. Yeah, try sounding casual in my situation. Ha. This sucked on so many levels.
“I’m here in one piece. Having a lovely time. It’s quite beautiful.”
“And Anrel? How is my other sweet girl after her journey?”
I knew Larten had guessed I had an audience. He’d put plenty of emphasis on the word my. Jaon’s other brow traveled up.
“She’s great. Napping.” Desperate to snatch this awful scene from the jaws of calamity, I asked, “Can I com back later? This isn’t such a good time.”
I swear I could hear the grin on Larten’s unseen face stretching from ear to ear. “No need. I just wanted to let you know I’ve sent that list of physical and combat trainers you wanted.”
This time it was Jaon who made a dismissive sound. I ignored him.
“Thank you, Larten,” I sighed. There had been no reason for him to com. I would have been alerted to the new files on my handheld. He knew that. He was playing Nobek games, apparently.
“Have a nice visit, Shalia. Give my other girl a kiss for me.”
“Goodbye, Larten.” I heard a short bark of laughter, cut off when I disconnected.
Aslada’s expression was a pleasant mask. He addressed Jaon. “I thought you were taking care of that.”
“What’s to take care of? I’m here. Shalia has no need to worry over her safety.”
“I should hope not.”
I gave the Nobek a sidelong look. “As I told you, training is important to me. Whether or not you can keep me safe while I’m here is not the issue. I want this.”
Jaon looked flummoxed. “Why? There is no need. Just because others couldn’t keep you from being attacked during your trip—”
I was not about to hear him denigrate Oses or any of the Pussy ‘Porter’s security. “Let me stop you right there,” I said, keeping my tone as non-confrontational as I could. “I had the best damned weapons commander in the fleet looking out for me. I had a transport full of highly-trained security and destroyers ready to fight to the death for me. And just like all of life, shit still happened.” I put my hand on his. “I know you’re good at what you do. I can see you’re a hell of a Nobek, an incredible protector. It could be you’re right, that training is a waste of my time. Even so, I need this. For my own peace of mind, if nothing else. Because if I’ve learned nothing else, I know for a fact that shit will continue to happen to me.”
I hoped I hadn’t shattered Jaon’s fragile warrior ego. He sat perfectly still for several moments, during which time I supposed him to be turning the matter over in his handsome head.
He relented. A little. “Well, I suppose it will do no harm,” he said. “If it makes you feel better.”
Aslada put his diplomat’s hat on, eager to smooth things over. “So that’s settled. You should have Jaon look over this Larten’s recommendations, however. I know I’d feel better having my Nobek’s seal of approval on this matter.”
Wanting to put the momentary unpleasantness to rest, I readily agreed. “Sure. That would be great.”
Of us all, Meyso acted most unaffected by my wanting to train. He looked at each of us as if trying to figure out what the fuss was about. After a moment or two, he shrugged his shoulders and smiled at me. “So I’m not going to get to watch you and Jaon wrestle for dominance now? And here I thought I could win some money off Aslada by betting on you.”
He’d opened the door for us to lighten the mood, and I jumped at the chance. I stood up and struck a bodybuilder pose, snarling in my best angry-Oses imitation at Jaon.
My would-be Nobek obviously wanted to get past our little tiff as much as I did. He left all dignity behind to squeal – yes, squeal – and cringe in pretended fright. In a falsetto that no man with two dicks should be able to achieve, he cried, “Save me from her, Meyso!”
Let me say, a screeching and flinching Jaon is a sight to see. It was so ludicrous that I fell back on the lounger, laughing like a loon as Aslada and Meyso roared at the spectacle. I was also touched that Jaon would put aside the usual Nobek dignity to make us laugh.
“Oh, you scared me,” Jaon said. He grabbed my hand and kissed it, fawning over me. “How does such a beautiful woman inspire terror as you do? Ah, you are a gorgeous and terrible goddess that I must do all in my power to appease.”
“Sweet prophets,” I giggled. “You are full of it.”
“Full of worship, my adored Shalia.” He grinned at me, his fierce face admiring. My insides felt gooey as I basked in the frank approval that broke through the silliness. “You make a Nobek want to lift you up in adulation.”
“It’s getting deep in here,” I snorted, but yes, a part of me was eating the accolades up. I wondered what it would be like for a man to really feel that way about me.
“Not at all.” Meyso joined in. “You are remarkable given all that’s happened to you. Strong, sure of yourself, a devoted mother—”
“Smart, talented, and beautiful as well,” Aslada interjected.
Goodness, I didn’t know there would be a Shalia Appreciation Society to deal with. I could feel my face going hot from all the compliments, compliments I knew were more than I deserved. “Guys, come on. I can’t live up to all you’re putting on me,” I said. “You’re sweet to say those things, but you don’t know me yet. Wait until you see me without coffee. Or for longer than a few hours when I’ve run out of energy for good behavior.”
That got me plenty of chuckles. The men curled close to me, huddling us in a tight knot on the sofa. I was cocooned in hot, yummy men who insisted on telling me how wonderful they thought I was and that I could do nothing to change that idea.
Am I the luckiest woman in the universe, or what?
They are Kalquorian men, so of course things didn’t stop with snuggles. I’m not sure who delivered that first hot kiss because as soon as one mouth left mine, another was there to take its place. I am Shalia, so of course I fell prey to all that rampant manliness surrounding me.
I thought you wanted to take it slow with your potential clans? a sly voice sneered in my head. But my body wasn’t listening to good sense – as if it ever had. Tongues stroked mine, tasting me in a way that left me dizzy. I couldn’t help but taste back, goading them to kiss harder, deeper. The sofa beneath me seemed to rock, but muscled arms were there to steady me.
My clothing shifted. Cool air greeted my skin. They were baring me, pulling my blouse and skirt up for questing hands to investigate. My bra and panties remained in place, but that didn’t stop the men from exploring. Hot hands cupped my lace-covered breasts. Fingers and thumbs seized my hard nipples to squeeze enough to make me squirm. I moaned into the hot mouth possessing mine. I’d had little to drink, but I was intoxicated just the same. Drunk with desire, aching for more. When someone’s hand slid up my inner thigh, I spread my legs in welcome. Fingers rubbed over my pussy, galvanizing my clit so that lightning zapped through my core. I cried out.
A hoarse voice groaned, “Beautiful, sweet girl.”
Horny girl. I rubbed myself over those fingers, chasing sensation hard. They shifted, and for a moment I thought I was to be denied. Instead, they slipped inside my panties, sliding in the wetness to touch bare, wanton flesh.
It was almost too much, feeling calloused digits sliding over my swollen slit, my clit captured between knuckles to be rubbed until my whole body flushed with fiery need. My hips lifted and lowered, unconsciously pleasuring myself with his hand, doing all but begging them to satisfy me. The men didn’t deny me; they doubled their efforts, hands and mouths all over me.
I wanted more, though. I wanted to be filled, front and back. I no longer cared we were practically strangers. I forgot I missed Oses and Betra, that my conscience might go into full-on guilt over sleeping with men other than them. I forgot Clan Seot, who I’d thought of with more desire than Clan Aslada – until now. All I knew was I needed to be made love to, to be fucked as only Kalquorian men could fuck me.
Those soul-stealing kisses kept coming, not allowing me to plead for what I wanted. And their hands kept playing me, edging me closer to being obliterated until the first sweet flick of orgasm teased my pussy. My body seized, each muscle going taut as I begged myself, not yet, not yet, I want all of it, not just this.
The men would not be denied. Intuiting that I’d reached the verge of release, they went at me harder than ever, shoving me into the abyss of climax. I plunged in, my body jerking wildly as sweet dissolution swept me from head to toe. They kept at it, dragging every last quake, every diminishing spasm from me to leave me weak and shaking.
I blinked up at three handsome faces, each one of them insufferably pleased with himself. The scent of their desire, spent so that their trouser crotches were dark, filled the air. From the smug looks they wore, I had the idea Clan Aslada had planned to get me like this all along.
Aslada grinned, his smile bright against his dark face. “I think we can call this a successful introduction. I look forward to us being acquainted well enough for the rest.”
Once again, it was the Kalquorians saving me from my rampant lust by not taking me too far too quick. It wasn’t only Clan Aslada who had preserved me. Thank goodness Nomol had been discreet enough to leave the room at some point. My face flamed to think of how much of our encounter the bartender might have seen.
Like Clan Seot, Clan Aslada had decided not to rush me into full-on sex so soon after meeting me. They told me they too planned to take things slow until they were sure I was ready. Everyone but me has sense during the heat of passion, it would seem. It’s weird. Since when is it the woman who tries to get into the men’s pants without success?
Twat-blocking. It’s apparently a thing on Kalquor.