For CENSORED version: Click Here (censored for assorted lady bits)
We met the guy who may or may not solve Cassie’s vampire problem, after Bella got in touch with her cousin Jerry…Oberon is a little ornery, but heavily armed and probably scrappy if the scarring is any indication (fingers crossed).
Persephone and her sons had a pow wow in the kitchen slash crime scene, and we determined that witch blood is extra stainy (RIP Orion’s fave shoes), but frankly, that space looks better without a carpet anyhow.
They were circling around The Truth a little bit, but Khafre had to go and ruin it all by appearing in a mystical flash of light; investigation totally derailed (thanks Khafre).
Finally, Mosi went outside to be a little emo about Mommy vs Sire, but Anubis came to collect him and they totally snuck off without saying goodbye (omg, what is with the men in this family?)…except Oberon totes saw them.
“I’m afraid I do not understand,” Kumya tried his very best not to sound impatient…
…for he wished that the wretch would speak openly with him.
“What’s there to understand?” Her words were soft, defeated, “I told you I was scared shitless that I was gonna get dead if I stayed, not that any of you assholes believe me, so I ran…”
“If you wish to be believed, girl, you must speak sensibly; I know for certain that before yourself, there have never been any babes conceived in the harem of our present King,” it was growing increasingly difficult not to accidentally set her on fire, silly creature, “if such a thing were true, The Ayar would speak of it at length–”
“Maybe not,” her voice was hoarse, perhaps from yelling, or perhaps from disuse? “But the other girls talked about three of us who died after ending up pregnant, back when the king first got crowned or whatever; I was freaked out.”
Could it be true? Could there have been others? Kumya supposed it would not be unheard of for the sudden death of a concubine to be hushed up by the Seneschel, or some lower person…especially if illness were suspected.
“Tell me how they died, these girls.”
“Choking on nothing,” she lifted her head, “flopping around like fish out of water, purple, and swollen, and gross.”
Those unnerving red eyes of hers were clear of madness, but haunted.
“I…see,” there were few things in this world that could cause death in such a particular way. Illness, yes; at the end of long suffering, there were those who succumbed to water-filled lungs, or convulsions, or swelling that resulted in suffocation. But it was by more unnatural means that one could bring about all three simultaneously, on command.
“You guys are gonna kill me, right? After this baby is born, or whatever,” she squeezed her eyes shut, as though trying to prevent herself from weeping, and Kumya had to admit he was marginally moved by her pitiful state.
“I cannot make you any promises, girl, but if you are honest and forthcoming, I can do my best for you.”
“Deshret, my name is Deshret, not girl,” she had the audacity to correct him; not as cowed as he’d assumed, then.
“Very well, Deshret, I have a follow up question, in regards to your condition,” he tried to look serious, but not intimidating, “was your child sired by our king?”
The concubine leaped to her feet and glared daggers at him; definitely not yet cowed, even after months of confinement. If he hadn’t been on such serious business, he might have had a moment to spare to be impressed by her spirit…but there was no time for such nonsense.
“Peace, gir–Deshret; I am not your enemy,” he attempted to look sympathic, “did you know, that when the Scion is born, he who is Marked by Ayar with a crown of silver, all of his brothers are rounded up and sacrificed in his honour?”
Her strangled gasp suggested that she had not known; a common thing among these foreign slaves.
“Man, boy, and babe; all of them, slaughtered like goats at the foot of the Conqueror’s Throne,” it was not his usual order of business to terrify pregnant young women, but he needed her to understand the severity of her child’s potential fate.
“…but it seems to me that there may be foul play afoot; something unnatural preventing our King from siring babes on his harem,” he paused to give her a significant look, “you understand, of course, that this makes you an oddity?”
“You think someone’s messing with the King,” she whispered, clearly still off kilter from his revelation.
“At first I considered that someone was tampering with the harem, ah, but how much simpler to tamper with one person, instead of dozens? The only complication, of course, is that this particular person is the most difficult to access…” he trailed off, mind still dissecting the implications.
“What would happen if I said this kid wasn’t the king’s?” She asked quietly, “would you guys kill us when it’s born?”
“I have not come to condemn you, Deshret,” he told her with all the frankness he could muster, “I seek only the truth, in this, and all things related to it; I can promise only that I will not reveal your secret to any other soul, unless it becomes necessary for my investigation–”
“Or if I have a boy, okay?” She demanded, “you promise me, mister sorcerer guy; if I pop out a boy, you tell them he’s not the king’s, I mean, maybe they’ll still kill him, but maybe they won’t…”
“I swear to you, I will do that much, should you bear a son,” he wished he could give her assurances as to the outcome, but it depended very much on the whims of their king, “tell me truly, though; was that child in your belly sired by another man?”
“I mean…probably?” She admitted, and all the fire drained out of her eyes, “like, there’s this other guy, and we’re in love…”
“Thank you for your honesty,” so it was as he suspected, “you’ve been very helpful, Deshret, and I will not forget it.”
One questioned answered, and a dozen more to take it’s place; there was still much work to be done.
“Do you not think it is blasphemous the way he treats us?”
Kebechet let her eyes track the offender as he crossed the settlement; how she yearned for the days of her grandmother, when men were obedient to the will of their betters.
“Treats you,” chuffed Hatshepsut, “Anubis is perfectly cordial toward me–”
“Of course he is! He delights in tormenting me alone, and I cannot see why!” Did he not understand that one day she would be Queen? Perhaps he thought himself beyond her reach once he went to the temple…
“You are easy to torment, sister,” Hattie stood, “I don’t suppose you’re planning on helping me with our shared chore today, are you?”
Kebechet ignored the question; queens shouldn’t have to pull weeds anyhow, it was far too menial. “There must be a way to bring him to heel,” she muttered, how did the Amazons of times past do it? Through strength of arms, most likely–
Hatshepsut’s (rather theatrical) sigh interrupted her thoughts, “if I tell you how, will you cease your obsessing and help me?”
“I am not obsessing! I am concerned for the upholding the Will of the Goddess!” Obviously! “However, if you are indeed the keeper of such knowledge, I will finish the rest of the weeding myself!” She should order the girl to be silent, but a part of her had to admit to a certain amount of curiosity.
Hatshepsut sighed, “it will go faster if we do it together though; many hands make light work–”
“Are you going to tell me or not?”
Hattie smirked at her sister’s impatience, “it’s really nothing overly brilliant; just seduce him.”
“That’s stupid!” Declared the elder girl…wasn’t it? “You’re trying to trick me! You just want to see me make a fool of myself!”
“What I want is peace among us, and you doing your fair share of caring for this settlement, sister,” it was pretty hard to know for certain what Hatshepsut was thinking, but she was not in the habit of saying idle things, “it seems to me that the simplest way to make peace between you and Anubis, is for you to appeal to his baser self; I’m afraid that the opportunity for you to earn his respect has long since passed.”
“Don’t be ridiculous! I am his future queen; he is required to respect me,” the protest fell from her lips, even as her mind dissected her sister’s words, “besides, there is no guarantee that he would want…that, from me…”
Hatshepsut shrugged and went back to weed pulling, “he is a young man full of urges, and his own importance; do not discount the combined power of flattery and wiles.”
It was possible the inferior had a point. Possible…
Kebechet bent down, without another word, and helped her little sister pull weeds, though the wisdom of Hatshepsut’s words had yet to be tested…
“You look absolutely ridiculous,” it had been quite some time since that particular voice had invaded his sanctuary to deride him.
“Ah, if it isn’t my radiant evening blossom, come to enrich my day with the blessing of her presence–”
“You do not know why I am here, do you?”
“I must confess, I do not; did you suddenly and inexplicably decide you missed me…?”
“Perish the thought; I’m here for the conception ritual, nothing more,” she snapped, “which, to no one’s surprise, you seem to have completely forgotten.”
“Already?!” His rod of pleasure began to retract into his body at the shock.
“I am sixday past my first moontide since–” she inhaled, unwilling to say it.
“Since our son’s birth,” he finished with unusual gravity, “what did you call him, again?”
“Samin, his name is Samin,” she hissed, “the least you could do for him is to remember it!”
Nay, the least he could have done for the poor boy was to have spilled his seed on the coverlet, but alas.
“It is easier for me if I do not,” did she think he did not grieve for their son already?
“Yes, well, you will forgive me if I am not interested in making anything easier for you.”
“Peace, wife, I do not wish to quarrel.”
“I expect not, quarreling indicates care, after all; and we all know Kon cares only for himself.”
“That isn’t fair, Marketa–”
Why must he always bear the brunt of guilt for every misery between them?
“I do not wish to discuss it any further; wash your face before you undress, I’d rather fuck a man than a mummer.”
Kon complied, ignoring the sting of her dismissal; it was the sensible thing to do, unless he wanted to prolong her visit…and he most certainly did not.
“Did you at least bring me a new tincture?” He called to her, the familiar pang of a craving stirring his arousal at the very thought.
“Why, yes, husband, I most certainly did.”
Well, at least she likes him enough to make sure he doesn’t run out of tincture! (What a nice lady)…I wonder if she makes it herself? 🤔
I hope we all enjoyed the shenanigans and promise of tomfoolery to come (cum?) *snerk* curious to know what folks think the fallout for these things will be 😈
Anyways, here; after all that talk of baby killing etc, let’s enjoy a nice cuddly moment between A/U Selene and the newest member of her A/U brood: