Authors: Morgan Blayde
Tags: #Dark Fantasy, #Horror, #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction
on with a hundred and six million volts. I didn’t have time to scream: “Fuck that hurts!” I remained conscious. The electrical fire burning in me was drained, swallowed by my inner dragon. In my mind’s eye, I saw jags of lightning playing over his writhing scales. He roared with pleasure, the golden light of his eyes blazing stronger.
One more person getting off.
New strength filled me. I needed to use it while it lasted. I released the stun guns, willing them to return to my collection, and gripped the chains that anchored me to the bed. I wrenched them and heard the sound of splintering wood. I still wore the chains, but now they’d make handy weapons in my hands—iron whips.
A wide, wicked smile in place, I shoved off the bed, letting its recoil help push me to my feet. I teetered, my legs debated collapsing. I stood, defiant—on the way to triumphant. Smelling like a whorehouse, my cock swung in the wind.
Wait, wind? Where’s that coming from?
“The best time to tell the truth is when
you know you won’t be believed.”
I heard a booming echo like doors being blasted off their hinges. This came with a roar of wind, biting and icy. The dark chamber brightened with a fresh, swirling, icy fog. I concluded that my guys had finally tracked me down through the GPS built into my zombie-apocalypse suit. The women wrangling the giant snake—and the snake herself—paused, frozen by surprise. Next, spears of fork-tipped lightning stabbed into the room.
It was Izumi’s voice. “Over here,” I yelled.
Izumi had brought demon support that was compatible with her own magic.
. Enemies that might risk fire and ice were less brave in the teeth of lightning, standing in the rolling boom and grumble of thunder.
Izumi ran up to me, swords of ice in both hands.
The nagi squealed and ran for cover, too genteel for violence of a non-sexual nature. They took the snake with them.
“Are you hurt?” Izumi studied me carefully, taking in the chains, the bed, my nakedness, and my still-damp cock. Her gaze finally settled on the unconscious women on the floor.
“Not my fault,” I said. “They attacked me. I was forced to beat them off.”
them off?” Her gaze returned to my happy-but-tired cock. “I think I know what you beat them with.”
Coming up behind Izumi, Holy stared wide-eyed at the fallen women. “Like clubbing baby seals. They never had a chance.”
“Hey!” I growled at her. “I’m the victim here.” I rattled my chains to prove it.
The obsidian demon—Mr. Rock Pile—followed Holy, reaching us at last. He was hella strong, but not the most mobile demon around. The grating noises made by his motion was as irritating as a dry hump. However, I
delighted to see he had my apocalypse suit draped over a shoulder.
Only, someone seemed to be inside it. “Why is someone in my suit?” I asked.
“The guards will be here soon. We need to go,” Holy said.
“Why is there someone in my suit?” I said.
Mr. Rock Pile grounded out an answer. “Found it that way. Couldn’t get the suit to open up and spit him out.” His voice was an icepick in both my ears.
Holy said, “Suit’s in lockdown.”
Izumi gestured, a wiping motion like she were cleaning the air beside her. The mists there swirled, forming an icy pane. She touched its center. Fey power flashed at her fingertips, skittering across the window. It deepened and lengthened, almost touching the floor. The window became a gateway, a fairy door edged in silver fire.
I heard shouts from naga warriors as they spilled into the harem chamber. Their hisses and the clangs of swords on shields, wasn’t dissimilar to the warning rattle of a viper about to strike.
My cue to leave. I only hoped it was Arnie in my suit and that he was still wearing the giant emerald. If so, it was now officially spoils of war. I staggered into Izumi’s portal, letting her steady me with a hand on my arm—and butt. I didn’t argue that gripping me there wasn’t necessary. Some things you simply let a hot chick get away with.
Holy and Rock Pile followed. Our gate closed behind us. We slid down the gullet of winter, lost in a blue-white haze of Elven power. I thought the biting cold rather bracing, but wouldn’t have minded some pants. And boots. And a shirt. And a coat. My dragon-born toughness had taken a severe hit and hadn’t fully reasserted itself yet. And my cock was shrinking.
I leaned against Izumi. The delightful fullness of her tits was covered by chainmail. Fortunately, the chainmail shirt was fashionably cropped to show her bellybutton. I was able to reach up and in from the bottom hem.
“At a time like this?” Izumi said nothing about my weakness, playing it off as me being my usual lecherous self. She understood my need for pride.
I shrugged weakly, burning through the adrenaline in my system rather quickly. “There were only fourteen of them. I barely got warmed up.”
The obsidian demon bringing up the rear whistled shrilly. “No wonder you’re an urban legend.”
So no one else could hear, Izumi softly murmured in my ear. “I’ve got you, baby. I’ll get you home.”
“Home? We’re not going back to the haunted school?”
She said, “No reason to. We’ve got their leader. The naga will behave or they’ll be getting deep-fried chunks of snake back by special delivery.”
“Mission accomplished, boss,” Holy said.
No. Wrong. There is something else I was supposed to do—besides hunting down and destroying the revenant. Something the Old Man said I needed to do. What is with my memory?
I so need an energy drink.
The magic gullet opened up into a new world, all but spitting us out on the bricks of a courtyard where ornate silver braziers cradled ashy coals and dancing flames. Their orange light washed everything else that color. A cavernous roof hung overhead, blocking the sky. Nearby, I smelled stables. Horses whinnied their greetings. Armored fey guards ran up in silver armor.
“It’s just the Lord and I,” Izumi called out. Send word to housekeeping to prepare our room, and hot food for all.”
I straightened, drawing on my limited strength to achieve regal arrogance. “Hot tub first.”
“Hot tub first,” Izumi echoed. “And the rock giant is carrying a prisoner who needs to be confined.”
Rock Pile swung the suit and its occupant off his shoulder, holding the prisoner close to me. I located a hidden punch-pad and inputted a release code so the suit would end lockdown and allow us to get at Arnie. Rock Pile and Holy quickly stripped off the suit.
I reached over and snatched the big emerald off Arnie’s turban.
My inner dragon glared at me.
Holy took custody of the suit. “So, um, boss, where the hell are we?”
Ignoring her, I knelt and rested my wrist-cuffs on the ground. Closing my eyes, I let my magic trickle into my hands, into my palms. A pulse of my raw magic entered the earth, a vibration traveling deep. My touch brought a response, a kick of power. The land welcomed my return, shattering the cuffs so that the chains dropped off me.
“Thank you,” I whispered.
Izumi answered Holy. “We’re Under the Hill, our fey kingdom, the northern mountains. The border to the Kingdom of Winter is near here, and my mother’s castle.”
I slanted a look at Holy and Rock Pile. “You guys kick back and relax. Ask the staff; they’ll provide rooms for you and show you the way to the kitchen. I’m not much on formal parties, long tables, and tedious manners. Just keep yourselves occupied until time to go. And Holy, that thigh knife on the suit, Thorn says it’s very important. Do
I hadn’t yet found out why I needed it, but Thorn was a seer. The knife would be important before all this was done.
Izumi slid an arm around my waist. Hip to hip, we walked toward the Great Hall. One of its two massive doors had a hexagonal snowflake on it. Izumi’s symbol. The other had a dragon’s eye laid across a lightning bolt. The doors opened as we got there. Servants waited within to be ordered about.
Coming here was the right decision. There existed a tie between me and my land. I felt its joy at my return—and its concern over my poisoning. From where my bare feet touched the courtyard, fresh vitality seeped into me, recharging my batteries with each step. While here, I’d have to find some time to be alone with the land and commune with her to renew our bond, a bond most of the fey despised an outlander having.
I yelled at the staff. “Someone fetch me a robe. I seem to be naked here.” My glance sent a couple of maids into startled flight. I noticed they’d been staring rather directly at the huge monster cock swinging between my legs.
No doubt wondering how much bigger it can possibly get.
I’d been around naked shapeshifters and involved in far too many impromptu orgies to feel embarrassed now. That wouldn’t make sense; depravity is its own source of strength.
Leaning less heavily on Izumi, I let her guide me to a staircase that wasn’t where I remembered one being before. Come to think of it, the double doors had looked new, too. The railing of the stairs was spiral-cut willow, resembling a unicorn horn. The wood steps were stained the bright gold of aspen leaves.
Ascending, we passed regularly spaced wall niches, each with one of my contracted Will-O-the-Wisps napping, providing light until summoned for some other task. I could definitely see Izumi’s influence in the keep I’d built for our joint coronation.
“Wait until you see the nursery,” she said. “Mother’s been helping decorate it.”
“That’s damn scary, as scary as the thought of her taking an interest in my love-life.”
“She means well. And you should see the stuffed polar bear she sent. Coming upon it suddenly, you’d almost swear it was still alive. The glass eyes, they follow you around the room.”
Though every inch a bastard, there were some things I’d never subject a child to. My early experiences with the Old Man had taught me how easily it is to scar a young soul.
“The cycle of abuse can be broken,” I muttered.
“What was that?” Izumi said.
“Nothing. Are we there yet?”
She stopped. “The keep is part of the land. It responds to your needs and desires. Let it bring to you the room that you want.”
“Yeah, right.” Yeah, things in fairy are often defined by point of view and subject to change, but you also need strength. But you also have to have magical strength. Mine sucked at the moment. “Can you do it for me?”
She looked closely at me, but didn’t comment on my refusal.
She shifted her gaze down the hall. We stood there as the forward hallway contracted, rooms passing us on either side like subway trains. One room with an open archway, no door, slowed. Warm steam scenting the air spilled out.
“The royal bath.” Izumi guided me inside. Stepping over the threshold, I felt a shimmer of power, like walking through a magic curtain. I looked back at the floor. On the threshold was a seal—one of the secret seals of Solomon.
Izumi saw me studying it.
“Selene put that there. She said a bathhouse is where assassins strike most often, knowing how vulnerable naked people are. The seal is keyed to allow only the household servants and people brought through by you and me.”
“What happens to people who sneak in to do us grave bodily harm?” I asked.
“I asked her that. She just laughed in this very creepy way and walked off. I never did get an answer.”
“Thoughtful,” I said, “in its way.”
I gave my attention to the rest of the sprawling space. White marble tile lined a hot tub that did a great impersonation of an Olympic-sized swimming pool. There was an island in the middle of the steaming water, a pedestal that rose five feet in the air. Atop the pedestal were two sinuous figures, a pair of entwined dragons. One was carved from red jasper, a stone whose energy has a stabilizing effect, helping a person to balance their energy. The other statue was also jasper, a yellow variety known to nurture inner strength and mental clarity.
Exactly what I need.
Almost hidden in the coils of the red dragon was a naked female that looked an awful lot like Selene, the Red Lady. Hidden in the golden coils was a male figure with a raging hard-on. He looked a lot like me except the cock could be bigger.
I noticed something else. “Hey are those two dragons…?”
“Copulating furiously?” Izumi smiled at me rather strangely. “The answer is yes. Don’t blame me. Selene sent it as a coronation present.”
“If it bothers you, you could just put it in the garden to scare away the crows,” I said.
“She said it holds great sentimental value for you. Besides, I tried that. I had a white moon phoenix in here for a while. It got mysteriously destroyed. And the dragons came back on their own, as if they love that pedestal to death. I decided it’s better to pick a battle I can win.”
I nodded. “Selene
“She visited here while mom and I were setting up the nursery. She laughed at our efforts. And terrorized my mom. Do you know what it takes to scare my mom? She pissed her pantsuit.”
“Selene didn’t like the nursery?”
“She loved the bear, but she said not to expect a child; you’re protected. Caine, what exactly did she mean by that?”
“It’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about. Can we get in the water and soak while we have this conversation? Just standing here like this is hard on me.”