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Cornellian VIP Intrigue (Cornellia Only)

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
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Ghant
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Cornellian VIP Intrigue (Cornellia Only)

Postby Ghant » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:55 pm

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This thread is for members of the Cornellia region to describe the lives of "VIPs" (very important people). It can be an ongoing story, a one shot, or whatever you like. The idea of this thread is to demonstrate VIP intrigue involving your nation. Have fun and enjoy!

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The following thread may contain scenes of implied adult situations.
Reader discretion is advised.
Last edited by Ghant on Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:36 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Ghant
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Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Gaemarlen Nights

Postby Ghant » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:20 am

"Gaemarlen Nights" (I)
Gaemarlen, Gaemar, Ghant


Gadiel of Gaemar was hosting Servia Ahenobarba and Legate Servius Ahenobarbus for dinner at his Palace in Gaemarlen. Servius represented Rome as Legate to Gaemarlen, and his sister was with him. Gadiel himself was rather fond of Servius, and enjoyed spending time with him, discussing culture, politics and history. He was 20 years old, roughly 6 foot and thin, yet strong. He had reddish brown hair, some dark freckles, and blue-green eyes. He was cleanshaven and a had an easy smile. He sat at the head of the feast table, enjoying the main course of dinner- a juicy medium-rare steak with mashed potatoes and dark red wine. He was wearing a dark green robe, one that fit him loosely but comfortably. He was smitten by Servia, who was of an age with him, but he was also to good a gentleman to express his feelings in her brother's company. So rather, he merely laid his eyes on her when the chance arose, and tried to avoid staring. The mere thought of eye contact with this girl was enough to make him smile, blush and turn away.

Servia was actually kind of flattered that the Prince of Gaemar was into her, but she didn't know how to say that. She smiled and blushed a little, and dug hungrily into her meat. Like most Ahenobarban women, she refused to eat like a bird.

Servius for his part watched the interaction carefully, noting that there was quite the mutual interest. It both pleased and worried him. Would this be seen as yet one too many Ghantish connections or as a healthy exchange between Gaemar and the Empire?

"So tell me Servius, how fares the Empire of late? I yearn to hear of news from Court."

"Well, I am never at court, to be honest. Given my blood, that is understandable. But I try to be of service. Still, I have friends and they tell me that the Emperor is really grooming Titus Clemens as his heir, because he is the best chance for a grown successor."

"Aye, so it would seem. A shame about the blood, truly. Sicinius is remembered as a tragic hero around these parts, one who could not overcome his Patu, and suffered dearly in the end for it."

"I see. Well, my own Patu, as you put it, has sent me to New Edom, to Shrailleen, and now to here, the birthplace of my illustrious ancestor, Ahenobarbus III. I must admire that God has a sense of humor after all. He took my leg but put me in a place to witness history."

"Consider yourself fortunate then. I can think of much worse places to be in Ghant. Gaemar is a beautiful country, green and lush, with country manors and hidden valleys of glens and lakes. A good place to be, indeed, if one can stomach the history."

"Yes, I hear of some places up North with dark gods and blood cults, as well as savage practices even today. Gaemar at least seems to take pride in history and culture."

"We have been a Kingdom for a very long time, and we are quite proud of it here. Unfortunately, unlike Dakmoor, we never had the benefit of mountains to the south, to keep us from the strength of Ghish."

"That is very unfortunate for Gaemar. Just so you know, I do feel very burdened by the legacy of Sicinius. He was a great soldier, but I feel that he wronged your young girls. For that, I do feel some regret, though not guilt since I did nothing myself."

"He reaped his patu. After all, the father of one of those girls was the Captain of the Gates...hence why he opened the gates when William and Charles came. You can go to that spot, right there under the gates, where they fought. It is marked to this day, with a little plaque. Could you imagine seeing that unfold?"

"Yes, I could, but I imagine that my sister does not wish it regaled before her. Dear sister, what are your thoughts on Gaemar?"

Servia responded. "Well, my dear older brother and my distinguished host have both failed to mention the best thing about Gaemar."

Gadiel looked at Servia. "Oh, and let me venture a guess? Could the best thing about Gaemar be...the fact that you are here to grace it with your presence?" He shot a coy look at Servius, hoping that he did not give offense.

"That is very flattering, but it is sadly not quite what I meant. The best thing about Gaemar is its men."

"I am glad you think so, my lady. Tell me, what do you like about men of this land?"

"That is very simple. They're the most Roman."

"Indeed they are. Especially me, the King. Such a pity it is indeed, for finding a Queen that suits my tastes is rather difficult. The banner ladies of these lands are not quite to my liking."

"Banner ladies, my lord?"

"The daughters and sisters of the Lords of Gaemar. There are many, and most of them would like to be my Queen. With my father and older brother dead, it falls on me to continue the family line."

"Ambitious lot, are they? Perhaps your answer lies outside of that circle."

"I would suspect that it does. We Caliens are passionate people, we burn for romance. I am not exception. It is love that I seek, not the favors of powerhungry lords."

"Perhaps you already have what you seek. There is a story of four people who came to a strange land and sought a wizard for answers. When they met him, he showed them that they already had wanted they sought."

"And what do you seek, my Lady? I often wonder, what a woman of your beauty and breeding desires within your heart. Do you seek a man who is twice your age, who will support you and provide your life with structure?"

"That is the safe, Roman answer, and I admit that it has its virtues. But I am not lacking in wealth, security, or anything of the sort. I do not need to marry for them. I am free to marry for what I like, and even my brother here understands this, since he has given me a strange gift, that of the freedom to choose."

Servius spoke. "Yes, well, she is right that we're rich and have no real need to marry for security or dowries and such. She's not in line for the throne, either. So she is safe to marry for love, as alien as that concept is to most Romans of our class."

"This is good. You should be able to choose. Choose happiness, love and romance. Feel the warm passionate affection of a man whom you desire." He turned to Servius. "Look at Nathan and Sophia. I am no fan of either, but there is no doubting that they burn for each other."

Servius: "Well those two are not my favorites, either, but I will admit that Sophia has at least managed to shut the cabinet up. As for my sister, I nearly died. She was there for me. I have been like her uncle more than her brother for much of her life, but it is time that she does what she likes. She has had one older male figure in her life, namely me.
"She doesn't need another."

Servia responded. "Servius is being modest. He's more like my father than my brother or uncle. But it is true. I have had enough security and structure. I want to be free and rely on myself for a change. I want an equal. It's not very Roman, but one father is enough for this girl, and I've already had two, though thank God for the second."

"The Dakmarans are climbers, and the Gentrys are woefully dysfunctional, have been for quite some time. Gaemar keeps its nose low to the grindstone." He turned to Servia. "Is it passion that you desire?"

"It is love that I want. Or more to the point, who I want. Have you ever heard of coup du foudre?"

"Ah yes, thunderbolt."

"I never believed in it. Until I came here, to Gaemar."

Gadiel looked at his plate, noticing that it was clean, and that his wine glass was empty. "Perhaps it is time to call it a night. If you would excuse me, good sir and good lady." He got up from the table, and he smiled at Servinia, even as his eyes pointed the way towards his quarters.

"Well, Your Highness, perhaps I can invite you to the Legation for supper soon. Servia, try not to be too late. Or if you are, please do call me on the way back."

"Certainly, I would love to go down there and treat with you sometime soon. Tomorrow or the day after that perhaps." He had a hard time focusing on his words and on Servius, as he could feel his hunger for Servia build within him. He wanted nothing more than to get her alone.

"Perhaps you do not have to wait so long for all of it."

"Indeed, perhaps not." His heart was racing as he waited for Servius to leave. He was on the verge of exploding.

"Your Highness, if you will excuse me. Vale, my dear sister. I must needs depart. Try to return before dawn. You do have studies."

Servius walked out then, leaving Servia behind, who simply smiled and curtsied.
"Your Highness, my brother is far too well-bred to admit what he knows, which is that my intentions are not perhaps as honorable as yours."

At that, she planted a kiss on the man's mouth that would leave no question of her intentions.

Gadiel savored the taste of her. He was no stranger to women, but he wanted this one...badly. "...My Lady...perhaps you would like to...see the view of the city from my...personal chambers?"

"It would be my personal honor. Would it trouble you terribly if I also requested a bath?"

"Not at all. You can...use mine...if you would like." He offered her his arm to lead her around.

Following him, Servia headed to the Prince's chambers, at which point she asked him, "Which first, my lord? The bath or the view?"

"The view, of course." He opened the doors and revealed the chambers. They had a comfortable, yet powerful feeling to them. One could tell that they were the chambers of a King.

"Very well, then. I will be content to hang on your arm, if you do not mind. Your Highness realizes, of course, that my maidenhood belongs only to my husband." Servia then stood in quiet awe of the splendid chambers. "Suppose you know of such a man, worthy of my virtue?"

"There is the window, looking east. Go see for yourself. The opposite window is of the sea. I might know of such a man, but the view is something you must see."

Servia looked out eagerly toward the view in question, the breeze pleasing her greatly. She turned and smiled coyly. "Yes, this is quite the view. It would be a pity to ever have to leave this behind." Then she turned toward the sea view. "So, this is the other great panorama…I would never want to leave such a palace, not for life, that is."

Gadiel approached her from behind, and ran his fingers through her hair, while kissing her neck at the same time. "Then don't."

"Permit me to bathe, then. It is the custom for men and women to bathe together in my country, openly and unashamed of our bodies. No sense in hiding it from you then. I have dropped hints. Now I will be blunt. I want to stay…You know what that will mean, if I stay, Your Highness?"

He kept kissing her neck, and touching her sensually. "I want a dirty Queen in my bed. The bath is to wash the smells of passion."

"So I was right. Your Highness knows the meaning of my stay. Perhaps I can let you judge how dirty I am. Just remember, there is no turning back. Once I give this to you, I give you everything that I have and am. You are stuck with me. Stuck with a Roman Queen of the Ahenobarbi."

"So, shall I give this to you?"

He was wild with passion now. "Yes, give it to me, my Queen. I would claim you this night, and every night to come. And I will please you, I will make you feel satisfied every time. And then we can have this bath, and I will feel you, and savor you." He kissed her passionately now, his hands working at her clothes.

"Very well. Here it goes. I am all yours now. I love with everything I have. I have nothing left for others. Nothing to spare. I will expect nothing less in return." So answered Servia, as she aided Gadiel in removing the last of her garments.
Last edited by Ghant on Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:16 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Ghant
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Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Gaemarlen Nights

Postby Ghant » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:39 am

”Gaemarlen Nights" (II)
Gaemarlen, Gaemar, Ghant


Gadiel and Servia were in his deluxe bathtub, the water warm and soothing. He held her close as they bathed in the watter, and he scrubbed her back, gently.

"So, that is what it is like, making love?" Servia let the smile reach her voice. "I imagined it, but actually doing that....it was incredible."

"The first time is always different. A bittersweet pain. It gets better, more enjoyable, after that, after a few more times it is even better. I will show you."

"It wasn't as painful as I feared. Perhaps the rumor that I heard was true. But, still.....I look forward to more."

"I was gentle with you too though. Some men spear their maidens like pigs. That hurts."

"Yes, you were gentle, for which I thank you. It is best for the first time, just as I heard. However, I am an Ahenobarba. You do not always have to be gentle with me."

"Well, after the first few times, you will learn what you like. And then I will please you, and leave you feeling satisfied. Perhaps that means having it rough. We will find out in time, after all, we have a lifetime."

"And I will do my best to satisfy you, too. You are my lord and husband, after all. We Ahenobarban women like to make sure that our men are sated. With some...notable exceptions, sadly. Nothing that you need worry about. The rumor that I heard, perhaps you heard it, too, about girls and riding their horses?"

"Oh? Are you referring to girls losing their maidenheads whilst riding horses?"

"Precisely. Surely you noted the absence of a certain barrier."

"I can see now. Yes, you are a rider. Good, I like that."

"I wouldn't mind riding other....beasts."

Gadiel grinned. "Whatever you want. It is yours. You need only say it."

"I see. Well, as this is a rather cold climate, I suspect that you will need the warmth of some fire....some red heat, quite often."

Now he was smirking. "Only as often as is feasible."

"Meaning only as often as this soldier stands and salutes?" Servia pointed southward.

"If you meant to make love to me everytime I was hard for you, I am afraid we would be fucking nonstop." He laughed.

"Fair enough. Doesn't mean I won't be a little aggressive at times, though."

"We could certainly try. See if you get tired of it. I want you to get aggressive. Take charge."

"Not always, though. I like a man to take charge as well. No reason not to share the power."

"Hmm, yes indeed." He scrubbed her back and put shampoo in her hair, massaging her scalp.

"I see that you know how to pamper me. I will have to find ways to do so as well, perhaps teach you some Roman practices in the bath," Servia smiled with her double meaning.

"Please do whatever your heart desires. I mean to satisfy your every whim."

"And I yours. You are a cousin, albeit distant, you know," Servia grinned as she enjoyed his pampering her.

"Nathan wants to match Marcia to his own son. Tell me, what do you think of his obsession with these bloodlines? I know that your brother is in a strong position among the Romans, should Valerian and Titus brood fail."

"I do not understand exactly how he expects to get far in the Empire itself. However, perhaps he can improve Ghantish/Roman ties if the socialists don't muck it up. As for the Emperor of Ghant, I gather that you have no great love for him."

"Indeed, the relationship we have with the Obsidian Throne is tenuous at best. The bloodlines. And I doubt Valerian wouldn't strongly consider his daughter as a candidate for the Obsidian Throne. No Roman since Paulina has had it."

"Fair enough, but the current Emperor plays everything for actual diplomatic leverage, not just the dynasty. He wouldn't be content to just marry the families together. As for my brother, he does need a bride. His chances of Principate are fairly slim, though, unless a tragedy kills both the Augustus and Caesar at once. Frankly, that would doom any marriage deals here, as he would probably need to wed Livia."

"Why didn't your brother marry Livia? Such a match would have made sense."

"Because the Emperor wanted to handpick Titus as the next Emperor, mostly due to more experience. My brother is a great man, but younger and less senior. He hasn't been ruled out completely, but he is not yet proven enough for the Emperor in terms of politics."

"A silly notion, my love. I sense...bias against your family. After all, did Ahenobarbus III have any experience? No. Valerian was afraid...hence his choice of Titus. Your brother should feel insulted."

"My dear, I love you and you mean well, but you still do not know Romans yet. But you will. Ahenobarbus III was in the right place at the right time. He was a gift of Providence. The Roman tendency is to favor seniority whenever possible and to raise each man as he proves himself."

"Indeed. Do not doubt Nathan though. He is bullheaded...once his mind is made up, there is no changing it. He will haggled Valerian about a match for 20 years." He laughed, as he ran his fingers through her lathered hair. "You will meet him soon enough, and that Empress of his."

"I look forward to it, especially as he is likely to be green with envy. Even more so if we can find Servius a wife. Any suggestions?"

"He is 33...hmm..." Gadiel nuzzled the back of her neck, and ran a finger down her spine. "The Emperor has a cousin who is 30. He might work at that, if he thinks it would boost his cause for matches with either Valerian or Titus's children."

"But would that would be something that you wish? If not, perhaps we can find someone else. Don't forget that Servius has a great deal of input here. He did me the courtesy of respecting my wishes, not usual for a brother with his sister so much younger. He deserves the same courtesy."

Gadiel kissed her passionately on the side of the neck. "I would be fine with that, insofar as it would please your brother. Nathan's cousin Rosalia is a career oriented woman, but attractive and well bred. She is 30, and so the match is feasible from that standpoint." He felt the smoothness of her skin with his hands and mouth.

"And Gaemar's troubles with Ghish would not preclude this?"

"Nathan and Sophia cannot afford to alienate us, and neither of them would dare, especially Sophia. I think with you as my Queen, that will get their attention." He pulled down on her hair ever so gently, and with her head tilted back against him, kissed her on the mouth.

Servia returned the favor with a good degree of extra tongue, hoping that she didn't overdo it, of course.

He enjoyed that, and kissed her back likewise. "How soon do you want to be my bride?"

"If we can arrange it, I'd elope, but I will consent to a larger wedding for the good of the state."

"The wedding is very important for the bride. Please, let me know what you want, so I can better please you. It makes no difference to me."

"How about two weddings? A smaller one here, and then another one for the people later? In case they want good live TV," she grinned at him, thinking of the glamour of the Roman state wedding with Empress Serena. "I recall the Emperor's wedding to Empress Serena. She was the talk of the town, very much admired as she took her vows and he placed the coronet on her head."

"We can do better, no doubt. Two ceremonies...that can be arranged. I wonder if Valerian and Ttius would come?" All this talk of her being his Queen made him eager for her...he wondered if she could feel him in the water, even as he caressed her and kissed her neck and shoulders.

"I would urge my dear cousin the Emperor to do so. He is my cousin, after all."
Servia kissed Gadiel repeatedly on the chest now.

"Good. After all, such would be a grand occasion. The Queen will not be denied her satisfaction." He was losing his train of thought now as passion consumed him once again.

Servia now switched to kissing Gadiel's arms and shoulders. She answered, "Thank you, my lord, and no I will not. Including right now." At which point she descended with her head below the water.

Gadiel trembled in pleasure as he grabbed some towels. He would marry this girl as soon as possible, the decision was already made. He waited for her to surface, so that he might encourage her to join him outside the tub.

Rising and licking her lips, Servia told him, "In case you wondered, I read about that in a book of my brother's that I borrowed."

"Oh, what book is this?" He grinned, as he kissed her.

"Tropic of Cancer," she grinned now, kissing him back.

Thankfully, there were towels on the bathroom floor. He stood up out of the tub and stepped out, pulling her with him, and then tumbling down onto the towels with her on top of him. "Show me what else you learned in this book." He said as he kissed her deeply.

"Yes, but I must warn you. I intend to cease taking the pill now. If we keep this up all week, I will conceive," she warned him as she leaned over him for a better view.
Last edited by Ghant on Sat Nov 01, 2014 12:00 am, edited 4 times in total.
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"Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias
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User avatar
Ghant
Minister
 
Posts: 2405
Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Gaemarlen Nights

Postby Ghant » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:55 am

”Gaemarlen Nights" (III)
Gaemarlen, Gaemar, Ghant


Within a few days, word seeped out of Gadiel and Servia Ahenobarba. Naturally, this compelled Gadiel's previous lover, Miranda Voor, to venture to Gaemarlen to confront him, as women scorned often do. After arriving via car, she stormed the Palace herself. Security was unable to stop her, and she burst into the lounge area, where she found Gadiel.

Gadiel seemed suprised. "Miranda, good to see you."

Miranda, a girl of 5'10'', with soft, curly brown hair and big stony blue eyes, was clearly incensed. "Got something you want to tell me?"

Servia walked in right at that moment, wearing only a Draconian chiton that covered very little and even bared one breast. "Ave, Miranda. I am Servia Ahenobarba. I believe that you will see a lot more of me, as I am His Majesty's fiancee. Don't you wish to congratulate us on our engagement?" she smiled at Miranda as if nothing was amiss.

Miranda eyed her with horror, before introducing herself. "Aye, Servia, well met. I suppose Congratulations are in order, if one can call it that." She turned to Gadiel. "I see, your own kind isn't good enough for you...and some Roman broad, the descendant of Sicinius the Snake, jumps on your cock and you make her your bride?"

Gadiel shrugged. "I merely saw an opportunity to strengthen ties to Rome..."

"Fuck Rome." Miranda snapped back.

"Miranda, Miranda, you really should fuck Rome, or rather Romans. I can find a Roman or two for your pleasure who won't mind a saucy Ghantish woman like yourself. Want me to set you up? The only condition would be keeping your claws, lips, and other parts away from my husband," Servia proposed, not caring how Voor took it.

"I am not interested in Rome, or any snakes from it's den. And he is not your husband yet, and he was mine first. We don't take kindly to thieves in Ghant, especially the kind that steal men."

"Do not be a fool, Lady Miranda Voor. I know who you are. You fancy yourself high and mighty, and your blood the bluest of the blue. Yet I am a nobilissima, a direct descendant of Ahenobarbus IV. I am related to your own Emperor as well as mine. I am related to your King, also, not to mention the Grand Duchess of Wielkilas. I want to be your friend, but if you choose to make me an enemy, I will crush you like a cockroach. I did not steal your King's affections. He gave them to me of his own free will."

Miranda turned to Gadiel once more. "Is this what you want?"

Gadiel nodded. "It is indeed."

"How will the Lord's view this? They won't like it!"

Gadiel nodded. "Luckily, Miranda, I am aware that my older sister Daena and your older brother Gabriel have had longstanding affections, only to set them aside to accommodate you and me. You and me would have been a political match, surely, but the love there between us was never great, you know that just as well as I."

Servia spoke. "And if you change your mind, perhaps Marcus Macrinus Asinius might be open to such a match with you, or maybe Lucius Silvanus, or even Sextus Galerius or Junius Ausonius. All are prominent Roman nobles of worthy blood, if you are so inclined." Servia gave Miranda a stare that basically said, "Take what you can get and accept your defeat gracefully, or else."

"I am not interested in tainting my body with Roman seed. And Gadiel is a fool to accept your taint. Your kind have brought Gaemar nothing but trouble." She turned to Gadiel. "Fair enough, I will tell Gabriel to reignite his pursuit of Daena. I cannot deny my brother that satisfaction, after all. At least some good can come out of this mess."

"You forget, Miranda, that my kind produced your King. You would do well to remember that if you call us tainted, you insult your own King as well," Servia retorted sharply, her anger visibly just under the surface.

Miranda felt the need to test this woman, if she would be her Queen someday. "I know how to treat this King." She walked up to him and kissed him on the mouth, very quickly, and catching him unawares. She then turned back to Servia, and grinned. Gadiel seemed shocked.

Servia then gave Gadiel a kiss of her, a deep, lingering tongue kiss, as if to purge his mouth of any traces of Miranda, one meant to say that she staked her claim for all to see on this man, and then she began running her fingers through his hair as well as embracing him tightly, her body very close to his.

Miranda bit her lip. "Aye, I see how it goes. Behave yourself, Servia. For if you wish to rule well, you will need the support of Gaemar's lords. For the sake of Gadiel, I will accept you. But I will be watching you." She bowed and walked away.

"No need for her to worry on my account. I would rather die than betray my King," Servia told Gadiel, kissing him again.

"She is angry. Her brother and my sister were together for some time, and they broke so that Miranda and I could pursue a relationship. Gabriel wanted to see his sister become Queen, and was willing to set his own affections for Daena aside for that advancement of the House."

"And your relationship precluded his. Interesting. Very ambitious, I see. But I am of Roman blood and will not stomach my ancestry mocked."

"The Voors joined William the Golden Knight, Lord Ordos and Lord Bogardan against Gaemarlen, and they cast down the Ahenobarbans. They are proud and fickle in regards to their historical commitments."

"So they are a contentious and sometimes disloyal sort. I will remember that. Anyway, you needn't fear. I have given you my body, heart, and soul. I am all yours and will never betray you."

"That is good to know." He began to caress her and kiss her neck. "You will find lords like that everywhere. In ever province with a King, there is a rival lord. Even the Obsidian Throne had the Dakmarans to deal with."

"Ah, well noted. What do you think of the Dakmarans, by the way? My husband's alliances are mine, you know," Servia said, while dropping her chiton in plain view of everyone in the room.

"The enmity between Gaemar and Dakmoor is ancient, and is defined by vendetta. Our houses are no friends to each other either." Fortunately, there was no one else in the room at that point, so Gadiel was free to please her.

Several minutes later, a very grateful Servia told her intended, "Well, my love, I am hungry, but first things first."

Gadiel got the message and stripped down.

She led Gadiel back to the baths, where she knelt before him....

"Servia, my love, are you familiar with the number just before 70?"

"It sounds like a wonderful number, if a bit short of 70. Perhaps you can teach me something of it, my mathematician," Servia smiled as she stepped into the bath.
"And I can teach you the Roman style of baths."

"I would love to teach you. Let me show you how it is done." He grabbed her and pulled her back, and then laid her on top of him opposite of him.

"I would love to teach you. Let me show you how it is done." He grabbed her and pulled her back, and then laid her on top of him opposite of him.

When the act was done, Servia smiled and told Gadiel, "I could get used to that, but I do need to eat. How about some lunch?"

"Certainly. What did you have in mind?" He said as he ventured into the bath, bringing her in with him.

"Well, I have developed quite the appetite. What kind of stews do they have in Ghant?'

"Stews of all kind. Stew is preferable to roast in Ghant, as a stew captures all the nutrients of an animal. So there is literally many types. I really like Highland stew, which consists of White beans, collard greens, pork, and other things."

"That does sound good, and hearty. Perhaps with autumn coming, we should eat some of that. I find that the more I enjoy you, the hungrier I get," Servia told Gadiel, kissing his face at the same time.

"A voracious appetite, there is no doubting that." He kissed her face back.

"Yes, indeed. I love to eat.....many things, and drink many others," she smiled and kissed him again. Servia rose a little higher in the bath and then dropped suddenly in a rather...unusual way.

He gasped. "You should be careful with such things...water can be dangerous if it gets stuck inside you."

"I thrive on such danger. What about you, my love, mea vita?"

"I don't want you to come to harm. I want you safe, happy and healthy at every moment."

"Oh, I will be, I assure you," she told him as she moved around a bit and made herself more comfortable.
Last edited by Ghant on Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:17 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Novitera
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Postby Novitera » Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:28 pm

OOC Disclaimer: This is a look into the corporate intrigues of Novitera centering around Kenneth Sorley, a top notch attorney who often has to deal with VIP types. He'll be helping a certain corporation make some acquisitions through bullying, blackmail and shady deal cutting.

Gun For Hire
Part 1: A New Client


San Crispiano, Novitera

Plumes of smoke rose up from a table at one of San Crispiano's five star luxury hotel casinos. A man sat, stone faced smoking a cigar. He looked like one of those guys from a men's fashion magazine. Impeccably dressed with light brown hair parted just right to the side. Unlike most patrons he was not here to gamble as gambling was for men who had no strategy in his mind. They called him the Hitman, though not for reasons one might think. Kenneth Sorley was a Gallows Street attorney and perhaps the best. Every top tier corporation in Novitera knew him as the man that could get things done and one who held no reservations about morality. They just told Kenneth what they wanted, paid him an absurd amount of money and he would go get it for them. He was a gun for hire of the modern era.

For now, though, he was just another patron of the fine establishment he was in. A pretty waitress brought him another neat scotch, smiling as she set it down on the table. Kenneth raised the twenty five dollar glass to her then took a sip. He enjoyed the quiet music and ambiance of this bar. The prices were exorbitant but they imported the best drinks out there. The scotch was from Schottia and the cigar was home grown Noviteran, just how he liked it.

The night was late so many of the major clubs were beginning to shut down. Bars like these however stayed open day and night. A noise interrupted Kenneth's peace as a group of drunken clubbers walked in. It was a group of men in their late twenties or early thirties and girls in their mid twenties. The leading man had one gorgeous woman kissing the side of his neck. He was good looking too but that was probably not why the woman was so affectionate.

As soon as they were seated the man called out. "A bottle of Cadmar wine! And 2 grams of snow! Let's keep this party going!"

Soon enough the waitress brought out a bottle of white wine and glasses for all of them. She also set down a slab of glass at their table with lines of cocaine already organized. A set small plastic tubes wrapped in a napkin were set down for them to use. While this was going on Kenneth shook his head and went back to enjoying his scotch and cigar.

"I know you!" The leader of the party yelled out. Kenneth knew the words were direct at him but did not look over. "Give me a moment." He said to his entourage before making his way over. The man sat down at Kenneth's table which he found annoying.

"You're Kenneth Sorley aren't you?" The man asked to which Kenneth nodded.

"Jack Wiyrkomi." The man said.

Jack had this look on his face expecting Kenneth to be surprised. He looked severely confused when Kenneth continued to sit there coldly staring at him.

"You know who I am?" He asked pompously.

"Well you aren't Gale Wiyrkomi, CEO and major shareholder of the Wiyrkomi Corporation. Are you enjoying your daddy's money?" Kenneth asked insolently.

Jack frowned then started laughing. "What else would I do with it? Anyways, how's business at your firm? Land any new top clients?"

"I don't discuss my clients unless I have to. I think you know that if you know me." Kenneth replied seriously.

"You do know that Wiyrkomi just fired our counsel and we are looking for a new firm don't you? It'd do you a service to be a bit more pleasant." Jack stated.

"When you're as good as I am, the clients come to me. I lick no man's boots. Especially not some spoiled punk." Kenneth spat back.

"I'm not as spoiled as you think. My father set me on this trip because he knew you would be here. Wiyrkomi has it's ways of knowing these things. Anyways...I'm here to bring you in." Jack said confidently. As if Kenneth was just going to throw himself at Jock.

"Like I said, the clients come to me. What's my incentive?" Kenneth asked casually.

"My father wants to make some considerable moves in the coming months. You see these foreign companies...Adiran, Vysrarian, Ossorian...well they're bringing the heat. So when I say making moves, I mean blitzkrieg. We need guns for hire and my father thinks your firm and you especially, are just the people we need. Which is why we will pay a premium on billables for at least the next year." Jack said seriously.

Kenneth sat thoughtfully considering what Wiyrkomi wanted. He guessed it meant hostile takeovers and leveraged buyouts. There would have to be a considerable amount of bullying and deal cutting. If his firm took on Wiyrkomi as a client they would have their work cut out for them. But it also meant millions in billables. Not that Kenneth cared so much about the money anymore. Now it was all about the game. He put out the cigar in the ash tray and began to tap his fingers on the table.

"Tell your father I'll call him on Monday when I'm back in Avantine." Kenneth replied after a few moments.
Last edited by Novitera on Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:33 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Novitera
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Postby Novitera » Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:27 pm

Gun For Hire
Part 2: Warlord


Heselory, Novitera


The paperwork had been signed. Wiyrkomi Corporation was officially a client of Arlen-Sorely LLP, Kenneth's firm which had his name on the door. When that was through, Gale Wiyrkomi wanted a personal meeting so Kenneth had to fly to Heselory where the headquarters of Wiyrkomi was located. The elevator climbed the many floors of the Wiyrkomi skyscraper located in downtown Heselory. It was one of those new age ones with glass walls located on the side of the building so one could see the outside. Kenneth hated to admit he felt a bit queasy looking out. He went all the way to the top and entered Gale's luxurious office. Everything was mohagany from the shelves to the desk and walls.

A secretary let him in where a bald older man sat. He had wrinkles and hard eyes. Gale stood up to shake Kenneth's hand, but Kenneth could tell Gale felt that courtesy was beneath him. Whatever Gale felt, Kenneth took no offense. Gale was paying enough money for Kenneth to put up with any insult from him. They sat. Kenneth would have liked to have been offered a drink but there was no sign of a liquor table. He took note that Gale was a serious, bone dry sober authoritarian.

"I think you may have guessed correctly what we are up to but let's start small. I want to see what you can do first so a warm up is in order." Gale said coldly before passing a folder across the table. The man's voice was deep and made Kenneth uneasy. It reminded him of the voice of some sci-fi villain he had seen in a film as a kid that gave him nightmares.

Kenneth took a quick look at the contents and looked up. "You want Celestial to sell its analytical software division?" He asked, already knowing the answer.

"At a discount too. We could use their IP protected algorithms and the R&D they have so far." Gale answered. That could be translated to, I want it, therefore it shall be mine.

That meant Gale wanted to buy up the division then gut it for what he found valuable. Like stripping the copper out of a perfectly good machine before tossing it in the junkyard. This man was a monster. Kenneth had dealt with monsters before. They went around eating up what they could, picked their teeth with the bones then moved on. If this were an earlier time Gale would have made an excellent warlord with Kenneth as his enforcer.

"Should be easy for a man like you I presume." Gale remarked while Kenneth looked over the file again.

Part 3: An Old Friend


Next Day
Avantine, Novitera


Kenneth called an old friend for lunch. They agreed to meet at a upscale Roman cuisine restaurant in downtown Avantine about equal distances from their offices. Harvey Gentry was a blue blooded investment banker and venture capitalist before going into government. His family was a major shareholder of Wallstryn Bank and his father the CEO at one point. Wallstryn Bank backed Harvey's bid for the Commonwealth Party and he was now a member of the Directorate. The two of them were in the same fraternity at Torcuil University in Avantine. Harvey arrived second. The two made a friendly embrace before sitting down.

"How've you been buddy? We haven't spoken in months. They say you're one hell of an attorney." Harvey said.

"Damn straight. I've been well. You need to get yourself back into the private sector where the dough is." Kenneth replied.

"Please, I have plenty of money. The game I was playing got boring." Harvey said dismissively. His family was already very rich. "You seeing anybody? I thought you'd be married by now."

"Been on a few dates with some marketing research girl at Blythe-Gariushi. But you know, work and all...What about you? Haven't you bagged some princess yet at these state functions you get to go to?" Kenneth replied.

"Ha! I wish! I represent the United Commonwealth government when I'm out of the country my friend. You should have seen this ball I went to in Albicia. There was a duel and everything. When it comes to foreign nobles, I'll pass!" Harvey exclaimed.

"That's a way different Harvey than I remember from those formals back in college." Kenneth said and grinned.

Harvey ordered some whiskeys, Noviteran Ahkour Bourbon.

"The stuff that comes out Ahkour is good, but I've taken a liking to Schottian lately." Kenneth remarked.

"Oh come on! We use to drink this stuff like water back in college. Do it for old times sake." Harvey said to which Kenneth agreed.

The food came and they ate. When finished the waitress took their plates away and they ordered another round of whiskeys.

"Look Harvey, there's something you can help me with which is why I asked you here today." Kenneth stated.

Harvey frowned at that comment. "You know I can't divulge what I'm doing in government. Other than what you're hearing in the press." He replied glumly.

"Nah, not that. I need some information about Celestial. I know that you were one of their angel investors." Kenneth said.

"That I can do. What do you want to know?" Harvey asked.

"Well, what problems do they have? Matt Achura? What's he like?" Kenneth asked referring to the majority owner and CEO. Matt Achura was a young man, in his late twenties and a techie. The man dropped out of Alesia Tech to start Celestial, a software company which had become largely successful so far. It was still a small company but was on the rise to becoming a big player in the game.

"Matt Achura, he's a genius. That's why I invested. But the man is a geek. He's no businessman and has problems commercializing his products. Don't get me wrong, their products are good but they usually take a while to get to market. The company has a lot of cash flow problems which is why Celestial depends on a revolving door line of credit from their investors and the banks." He said. That was good, something Kenneth could use.

"Any dirt?" He asked.

"I don't think so. Like I said, Matt is a geek. He's clean as a whistle. Although, he has been known to overestimate revenue projections when looking for investors. They're probably annoyed by him already but they put up with it because Celestial's advancements are considerable." Harvey added. "Why are you asking me this?"

Kenneth shook as to say he was not at liberty to say. "You're going after them aren't you? Buying them out for some corporation?" Harvey asked rhetorically. The man was very astute. Kenneth did not break his poker face but Harvey could tell he was right. "Don't worry. I'm on the Intelligence Committee, I know how to keep a secret. Just know that Matt Achura is not going to want to give it up."

For the next 20 minutes they stopped talking business and went back to stories of their college days. Kenneth thanked his old friend and the two parted. He now had all the information he needed to make a good bluff and force Matt Achura into selling.
Last edited by Novitera on Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:52 am, edited 9 times in total.

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Novitera
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Postby Novitera » Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:44 pm

Gun For Hire
Part 4: The Bluff


Alesia, Novitera

Alesia was similar to Avantine, just smaller and hotter. The population was a bit denser overall. Alesia was known for being a major tech start up center. Celestial had rented out a few floors in a downtown Alesia skyscraper. The company was not big or old enough to have its own and every floor was packed full of programmers in cubicles.

Kenneth entered Matt Achura's office which was small and sparse. Though the kid was a multimillionaire he still had the attitude of a geek in a dorm room. The guy was short, lanky and had glasses on black plastic frame glasses. He was wearing a polo and jeans. Kenneth noted that if Matt just got a decent hair cut he would be moderately handsome.

Matt looked up from the code he was hammering out at Kenneth. "What do you want suit?"

"Your analytical software division. Along with all its development, intellectual property and for you to sign this non-compete. I represent Wiyrkomi Mister Achura." Kenneth replied right away.

"I'll tell you the same thing I told everybody else. Fuck off." Matt said bluntly.

"Before you make a decision there's some things you should know that I know." Kenneth said and took a seat in front of Matt's desk. "I know that your product is not going to get to market by the time you told your investors it would. I also know that the revenue projections you gave them while good, are on a much longer time horizon." He bluffed. Kenneth did not know that for sure. Everything depended on this deception. Even if it did not work, Kenneth could always hire some private investigators to find the leverage he needed. "Now, if I told them this, what do you think they would do to your line of credit? They're already upset with you aren't they? I mean, they're waiting for a return on their investment while you drive around in a Sukujitsa convertible." He had taken the time to do some more background research.

"They know I'm coming out with advanced software that will make them a great deal richer. You really think you can come in here for a shakedown asshole?" Matt shot back. He was defending himself. That was a good sign he did not see through the lie.

"They know that if they sell what IP you have now, they'll still take home a hefty profit and that'll be a win in their books." Kenneth stated matter-of-factly. He tapped his fingers on the arm rest and already had a look of victory on his face. It was all part of the bluff which seemed to be working.

"My investors can't do shit except collect on the money I may them! You see I hate suits. I started this company to not have to work under your heel so every investor I got is a silent partner. They can't sell a damn thing." He replied spitefully.

"And what do you think they'll do once they find out how far you are from market? They'll shut off their lines of credit. Then what will you do when the lights go out and you're paying your employees with handjobs? Celestial will be out of money in three months, less time it takes for your new product to hit the shelves. They'll be able to collect theirs at bankruptcy court. But if they don't find out until later and after you've made a heft profit on selling the division, I think they'll be more inclined to just stick it out." Kenneth replied calmly. A defeated look began to form on Matt's face at the threat. He had bought it.

"Look Matt, analytical software is not even this company's core competency. You've done a good job with it but it's only to complement the software you're producing now. Let it go." Kenneth said in a more sympathizing tone now.

"Analytical software is a fourth of our damn business!" He exclaimed angrily.

"The other three-fourths will just have to do." Kenneth answered back.

Matt really looked defeated now. He was shaking his head and rubbing his temples. This was almost too easy. "How much?" Matt asked while looking down.

"Five hundred and twenty million." Kenneth replied quickly and coldly.

Matt looked shocked at the answer. "Five-twenty? I can sell for six! Isukone offered me that along with some foreign firms. One-twenty is a fucking rip off! "

Kenneth shrugged. "You can go to those other firms. But them I'll go to your investors and tell them the state of affairs here. One-twenty is still a generous profit. The investors will be happy and you'll keep your company. Or else Wiyrkomi buys up everything in the bankruptcy sale. You'll get to see them reap the full extent of your hard work." He threatened once again.

A few moments went by as Matt considered his options. Kenneth guessed what was going through his head. For one it was pride. Matt clearly had his own personal dislike to being muscled by a lawyer in a suit. To him, Kenneth probably embodied the school yard bully who took his lunch money. Then it was the love for his company. For something that he created and the people that worked in it. He was no being forced to chop off the arm to save the body. Kenneth knew just how distasteful this was. But this was his job and he was going to be damn good at it. The client comes first.

"What will happen to my employees in that division?" Matt asked quietly.

"Wiyrkomi just wants the IP and whatever has been developed there now. Most will be let go." Kenneth answered, faking a tone of sadness.

Matt slammed a fist to his desk. "I promised my employees that I would take care of them. That the usual corporate bullshit would not happen at this company." He said frustratingly.

"You chose this game. Now you have to play. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win." Kenneth offered.

"I never want to see your smug face again you condescending bastard. Yours is the kind that impedes progress while men like me actually do something to make this country better. Get the fuck out and fax the paperwork. Don't come back!" Matt spat.

"A pleasure as well Mister Achura." Kenneth replied before leaving.
Last edited by Novitera on Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:54 am, edited 10 times in total.

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Novitera
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Postby Novitera » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:02 am

Gun For Hire
Part 5: One Redeeming Quality


Avantine, Novitera

Most football stadiums were outdoors. Although Kenneth found himself in some indoor private seating for the 26ers and Dockers game. These accommodations cost a man top dollar. Kenneth doubted Gale ever submitted himself to the cheap seats. He however still enjoyed them as that was how he traditionally saw games growing up. It was the 2nd quarter and the 26ers were already up by 14. Kenneth sipped on a Schottian scotch. As he set the glass down the Dockers managed to get a 3rd down stop. One of their line backers swatted down a bullet pass just in time and now the 26er punt team was taking to the field.

"Outlaws or Bulls?" Gale asked him who entered. He was the one who paid for this establishment. Judging by the question, Gale knew where Kenneth grew up which was Folkport. Folkport had two teams, the Outlaws and the Bulls. It was pretty arbitrary which team you picked growing up in there. For many they just followed what their family chose to support.

"Outlaws." Kenneth replied. His old man was a crane operator and a staunch Outlaws supporter. Although they were never really any good in those days.

"They're suppose to perform well this year. You a betting man Kenneth?" Gale asked.

"No sir." He replied right away.

If Gale approved of that, Kenneth could not tell. The man had no ticks, tells or any other body language cues about how he felt. If Kenneth could guess, that was something Gale trained himself to do. Just so he make people uneasy.

"Me neither. I don't put anything on the line unless I know I will win. Which is why I had to test you first. Excellent work on Celestial. The paperwork is being finalized as we speak." Gale complemented him. Complements from this man must be rare. "Though I cannot say what your success with them impresses me." There was the put down that Kenneth expected.

"Would you like to be impressed?" Kenneth asked him.

"Echelon Systems." Gale responded as if it were a paltry matter, avoiding the question.

The reality was quite the opposite. Wiyrkomi was far a larger company than Echelon, but Echelon was a player in their own right. Another company that was competing successfully against Wiyrkomi in certain niche markets. Right now however, their stock was at a vulnerable point for having some of their preliminary injunctions for patent infringement being denied at the Federal appellate courts.

"Merger or acquisition?" Kenneth asked.

"Acquisition of course. I conquer Mister Sorley, I do not compromise." Gale replied.

"What's stopping you from planting your flag on Echelon Systems?" Kenneth wondered, other than that they were a powerful company.

"For one, I'm looking to do a leverage buyout. So you need to convince Wallstryn or Gideon Bank to disperse the funds. I've also been working on getting their Board to vote in favor of being acquired but one of the directors refuses me. Walter Finch. Get me the money then bring Finch into the fold or find away to force him out." Gale ordered, like a general commanding his troops.

"Now kindly leave. My wife is coming to join me." Gale said.

That was strange. Kenneth thought him to be nothing more than a career obsessed tycoon in his late 50's. But it seemed that Gale still made time for romance. Every man had some redeeming quality about them no matter how much of an asshole they were, Kenneth believed though did not know what his own was. Perhaps being a good husband was Gale's. Of course, Kenneth would still be holding a gun behind his back when shaking hands with this man. For once Gale no longer had any use for Kenneth, he would be fed to the wolves.
Last edited by Novitera on Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:27 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Ghant
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Under the Shalumite Sun

Postby Ghant » Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:34 pm

“Under the Shalumite Sun”
Aragon, Shalum


The hot Shalumite sun beat down on the runway, the temperature in the mid 90s as summer hit its hottest time of the year, before fall arrived to cool things down once more. As the Ghantish ambassador's private plane touched down, a convoy of four black SUVs pulled onto the tarmac, waiting for the place to come to a complete stop before they moved on any farther.

Riding shotgun in one of these SUVs, was Captain Matthias 'Matt' Keller of the Capital Guard, a unit tasked with defending Aragon, along with the ambassadors and who visited it. He was tall and strong, standing at 6'3, with a muscular build. He had olive skin and brown hair, common traits in the southern nation. However, his eyes were blue as the ocean, a rarity this far north. This vehicles came to a stop alongside the private plane, the men, all of whom were in dress uniforms, disembarking as stairs for the plane where wheeled to the door. Matthias disembarked before anyone else, standing at a parade rest as he waited for the ambassador to step down from the plane. All he knew was that it was a Ghantar, and it was a woman.

Once the plane touched down, the Ghantish ambassador emerged. She was relatively tall and lithe, roughly 5'11''. She had fair skin that seemed to glow in the intense sunlight, and dark curly hair that went past her shoulders, in a ponytail. She wore a thin white silk dress, and had a Lady's umbrella in hand that kept the sun from beating down on her, along with a pair of big black sunglasses. She kept the parasol above her head as she stood at the base of the steps of the plane, the gentle breeze tugging at her dress, which left little to the imagination regarding the curves of her body.

Matt's eyes, which were concealed by sunglasses of his own, followed the woman as she stepped down; admiring her from afar. "Rumors must be true" he muttered to himself in muse. There was a lot of talk of Ghantar in Shalum, as rumors abounded that the High Prince had one himself in some fashion, whether it be a lover or fiancée, that was unknown. All that was known, was that she was very attractive, as the High Prince accepted no less; and that Ghantar all seemed to run pretty, or handsome depending on gender. Without faltering, Matt stepped forward to meet her at the final steps of the runway. He mentally paused for a moment, as he tried in vain to remember her name; not wanting to embarrass himself

She spoke first. "Greetings. I am Koru Altuna, the new Ghantish Ambassador to Shalum."

Matt nodded, offering his hand as she reached the last step, to help her down if she needed; more out of respect than actual necessity. "A pleasure, Miss Altuna. I'm Captain Matthias Keller of the Captain Guard. I'm to be your escort while you're in-country. Welcome to Shalum."

She smiled. "Thank you Captain. By all means, escort me."

Matt gave her a smile in reply, though it was a bit more tight lipped as he was on-duty. "No problem ma'am. Right this way" he said, motioning toward the middle SUV, which only had a driver in it. He opened the door and held it for her, before walking around to the other side to sit beside her, as protocol dictated. He gave a small sigh of relief as the AC washed over him, enjoying the cool feeling, compared to outside. "We're about twenty minutes from embassy row, assuming traffic isn't bad" he informed her as the vehicles started to move. "Again, welcome to Shalum" he said as he removed his sunglasses to reveal his eyes. "Is there anything you need to know?"

Koru climbed into the SUV, and folded up her parasol. Once the car door was shut, she took off her sunglasses, revealing eyes a deep color of blue-green, and thin, dark eyebrows. "How far away is the embassy from the Palace?" She asked, as her eyes flickered.

Matt studied her for a moment before he responded. "By car? Another ten minutes or so. Embassies are located a lot closer to the Palace for diplomatic purposes"

"Good, I was hoping that would be the case." She found herself attracted to the Captain, but thought it would be best to keep that in the back of her mind.

"Yes ma'am. If you ever need to visit the palace, feel free to tell me, and I can have it arranged" he replied, doing his best to not look at her; as 'attractive' didn't do her justice. "I've been assigned to your protection detail of sorts ma'am, its common in Shalum. My unit has been tasked with guarding the embassy, at least the exterior" he informed her
shifting slightly in his seat.

"Thank you Captain, I appreciate your dedication to my safety. Although, I wonder to what degree there might be danger...perhaps a moot concern, with the strong protection of noble men like you." She smiled.

Matt returned the smile, this one a bit looser, more relaxed as he leaned back into the leather seat a bit. "Its no problem at all ma'am, an honor really" he replied. "I must admit...much of this precaution is moot, as there has never been an attack on an ambassador as far as I can remember"

She grinned. "There is a saying in Ghant. It is better to have something when you do not need it, than to not have it when you do."

Matt nodded, smiling back at her, not comfortable grinning back just yet; as the driver could still see him in the rear view window. . "That is something I understand quite well, and take to heart, ma'am" he replied. Outside, the mega-city of Aragon never stopped, as the convoy moved through traffic, police escorting them. Ambassadors got the special treatment in the capital city of Shalum.

Koru admired the city, and while she sat and stared out the window, she let her hair loose, and shook it, running her fingers through it, and baring her neck.

Matt gulped a bit as he watched her, secretly hoping that it wasn't audible, as it would be rather embarrassing. "If you want ma'am, once you get settled in of course, I can provide a list of places you may want to visit; whether it be the beach or shopping" he said.

"Thank you, captain, I would like that." She said as her eyes lit up with a big smile framed by loose dark hair.

"No problem ma'am" he replied, his cerulean eyes a warm as he watched her. He was attracted to her, but then again, a lot of people probably were, going by her angelic beauty alone. Outside, they passed the New Edomite embassy, which meant they were only a couple blocks away from the Ghantish embassy.

"What about you, Captain, what do you like to do?"

Matt's eyes got a bit bigger in surprise for a moment. It was rare that the ambassadors actually inquired about their escorts lives, that much he had experience with. Needless to say, it felt a bit odd, but not in a bad way. "I enjoy going to the beach when I can, or going to the gym, occasionally playing some soccer with some friends at a local field.
Unfortunately, I don't get much time off" he replied honestly. "What about you, ma'am?"

"I work hard, and a lot. That is how I got an ambassadorship at the age of 26. Although, I like to have fun sometimes, when the time and the situation permits."

Matt nodded sagely in reply. "I know the feeling, ma'am. I'm 25 myself, and making Captain at my age...isn't easy without hard work. No much time for 'fun' anymore, it seems anyway. Very rarely do I get to slow down anymore" he replied. It wasn't a complaint by any means, but merely an observation. Not to mention, he was now tasked with basically following her around whenever she needed him. It could have been worse, all things considered

"Indeed. There can always be fun...if you can find ways to blend business with pleasure."

A small smirk played on Matt's lips for a moment as an idea came to mind as he eyed her. "Mixing, eh? That's a bit harder in my line of work, unfortunately. Most ambassadors are either old men or women. The soldiers in my unit and are female are either taken, or aren't interested, for one reason or another" he replied. It was hard to concentrate for a moment as he tried to squash an thoughts that may have been rampant in his mind.

"Why wouldn't they be interested?"

Matt coughed, feeling a bit awkward. "Some are, I assure you" he replied. "Many however, are already engaged in relationships with other, both military and civilian; as the rules are a bit more lenient with the Guard. A few are even married. But a few of them, including one who I may have tried to pursue a relationship with are...not interested. In men"

"Such a shame, really, I never understood the appeal of sharing a bed with a woman. When it comes to men, what's there not to like?"

Matt nodded. "I'm not quite sure myself, then again I'm not exactly qualified to answer either" he chuckled, absently adjusting his dress uniform's beret. Outside the vehicle, the SUVs slowed a bit as the Ghantish embassy came into view. It was a large, not bad looking place, the flag already flying at the front in preparation.

Koru put on her sunglasses and grabbed her Parasol, and stepped out of the car. "Not too shabby." She remarked of the embassy.

"Its one of the newer embassies actually ma'am" he said before walking around the side of the SUV to meet her. "One of the larger ones too, Ghant got a bit luckier in the draw I suppose. It even has a small pleasure garden in the back" he said. "If you want, I can give you the tour"

"Please do, Captain."

"Of course" Matt nodded, resisting the urge to offer his arm to her as a regular escort may have. As much as he wanted to, his nervousness held him back. He opened the door for her, the two immedialty finding themselves in a large greeting hall of sorts. "This is the main area, a place for parties and such" he informed her, waving his hand to signal to the
Room.

"Very nice. I will have to put it to good use." She said as she took off her sunglasses again and folded up her parasol. She was sweating, and it made her dress cling to her.

Matt blinked a few times, his eyes locked on her dress, which was thin; and hugging her body rather tightly, much to...dismay? While he greatly enjoyed he way she looked, he didn't want to be unprofessional either. He could get fired for that, or worse. "Of course ma'am" he replied, trying to recompose himself. He led her to the back of the room, and into a hallway. "These are the main offices, for your staff. There's also kitchens, common areas, etc. Upstairs is the ambassador's area, i.e bedroom and living room"

"Very good, thank you." She said as she wiped the sweat from her brow, and tugged at her dress.

"No problem" he replied back, smiling, looking away sheepishly for a moment as she tugged at her dress. "If you want, I can show you up there, or you can go yourself. Is there anything you need to know about the embassy?"

"I was hoping you could show me the gardens."

Matt smiled a bit and nodded. "Of course ma'am, right this way" he said, motion to the hallway. They walked for a dew moment, before coming to a set of French doors, which he opened for her. Outside, there was a well kept garden, not overly large, but not small either; filled with well kept flowering buses and flowers. The centerpiece of the garden was a shaded gazebo, with comfortable furniture and even a swing.

"This is very nice, thank you. I shall make good use of it and keep it nice and tidy. Perhaps you might be willing to show me around upstairs?"

"The government provides gardeners, but if you want, you can maintain it yourself; either way. I would" he said, leading her back inside, where it was far cooler. They trekked up the stairs, into what almost felt like a house, as the ambassador had a fully furnished, but not personalized, living room waiting for her. "This is the living room, ready for you" he said as they entered, passing a set of couches. "Beyond that door" he said pointing, "is the master bedroom, outfitted for you as well. There is a bathroom with both a tub and a shower depending on what you prefer"

"I would like to maintain it myself, for the time being. Tis the proper way." She went upstairs with the Captain. "Why don't we take a look at this master bedroom?"

Matt took a mental note to call off the gardeners, who had enough on their plate as is. He was a bit hesitant at being caught in the master bedroom, with the female ambassador no less, would be scandal; but he couldn't say no. "Sure" he said, moving forward dot open the door for her. The master bedroom was large, with a bed king sized bed in the middle as promised. The curtain, which had a floral pattern to them, were drawn, making the room a bit darker. Off to the side, the lamp was off as well.

"This is very nice. I can't wait to break in the bed."

Matt paused, gulping a bit at the statement, his mind thinking thoughts that surely conflicted those of the ambassador. For once, he was actually left a bit speechless, causing him to flush a bit in embarrassment.

She turned to the Captain. "Thank you for showing me around the Embassy, Captain. You have been very helpful today, and I look forward to working closely with you in the future."

He turned to face her. "No problem ma'am, its part of the job. I also look forward to working with you. If I'm ever needed, there should be a government provided phone around here with my contact information on it, along with a panic button" he replied; smiling a bit.

"Thank you Captain. Rest assured, I will be contacting you as my needs require." She said with a smile.

"It is as you say, ma'am" he replied with a small smile. "If you want, I can leave, give you some time to settle in"

"Very well." She offered a handshake, with her soft, delicate pale hand.

He offered her his hand, his grip light as he didn't want to hurt her. His hands were calloused after years of military work. "If that is all, I will depart" he replied, prepared to walk out the door; and back out into Aragon.

As was typical, as he shook her hand, the other hand came out and enclosed his hand between her two. "Have a nice day, Captain."

"And to you ma'am" he said, saluting, before her departed. Maybe this new assignment wouldn't be so bad after all...

Koru was left alone in her room, wondering what the future had in store for her…under the Shalumite sun.
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Novitera
Diplomat
 
Posts: 808
Founded: Jul 14, 2014
Anarchy

Postby Novitera » Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:35 pm

A Conspicuous Coupling


OOC Disclaimer: This is a story between myself and Ghant. We will both be making posts on it.

Arragard, Province of Arrautsa, Empire of Ghant

Molly Aitor never thought that learning Ghantish was going to come in handy. Not that she was that fluent in the language. It had only been a side course at her private education but she took to it well. Molly hated long flights. Tavish International Airport in Heselory was hectic as it always was. There was her private jet but the thing was having mechanical problems and Molly did not want to be late for the ball. First the Noviteran Airlines flight landed in Ghish. She had to go through customs and immigration which went smoothly. The immigration officer gave her a strange look when she answered why she was in Ghant.

"Here to bag a noble and marry him." She answered in Noviteran Latin. He stamped her Noviteran passport anyways.

After that it was a three hour layover for another domestic flight to Arragard. As soon as Molly stepped out of the airport, a frigid wind blew catching her shoulder length dirty blonde hair. She had checked the weather ahead of time and prepared with a fashionable overcoat. But this cold was still completely new to her. It was a stark difference from sunny Calirma. The temperature never got below fifty in the colder months and since she lived by the beach, Brompton Beach in Heselory, hardly ever above 85.

A taxi took Molly to her hotel which was the best one in town. She quickly prepped herself. Makeup, very light. Her natural beauty made it so not much was needed. The gold dress fit on her snug body which had been toned from swimming in college at the University of Calirma. She chose the color gold for being a 26er fan. Of course it was natural to be a fan of that team. Her family, Kelan and Harold Aitor, did start the gold rush of 1826 which the team was named after. Her family now owned both the team and was a majority shareholder of Aitor Mining. She herself held fifteen percent of the company since her father died but the Aitors did not control the company anymore. Molly curled her hair which was naturally already wavy. Two quick sprays of Tolly perfume was the final touch before she grabbed her overcoat and was out the door.

Another cab took her to the King of Arrautsa's palace where the ball was being held. The Lord she was after would be there as what Aitor Mining Corporation's private investigators confirmed. Molly admired the old architecture for a moment that looked like a castle. Nothing like it in Novitera so she took a moment to inspect the place. At the entrance, a guard moved a metal detector over her body while another searched her purse. They found nothing of interest so a servant ushered her in.

This proposal had been presented to her rather fast by other family members and the Aitor Mining Corporation's board of directors. So Molly did not have the time to learn protocol or anything else. Instead of hanging back, she did the Noviteran thing and made her way straight to the bar of the exquisite ballroom to order an Ahkour Bourbon on the rocks. There were already plenty of women there and her presence went quite unnoticed. Many of them pretty, some that better have a great personality or be rich. She leaned against the bar and surveyed the area.
Last edited by Novitera on Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Ghant
Minister
 
Posts: 2405
Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

A Conspicuous Coupling

Postby Ghant » Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:07 pm

”A Conspicuous Coupling" (II)
Arragard, Arrautsa, Ghant


Nori Brontzezko was the sort of man that never missed an important event. Not even a stuffy ball.

Especially ones involving Taboro of Arrautsa. The “King” of Arrautsa hosted a ball once a year, generally around August-September, for the purposes of congregating the Lords and Ladies of Arrautsa into once place. Nori of the House Brontzezko was a Lord of lands not too far away from Arragard, so he of all people had few excuses to not attend.

His family was rather modest in comparison to some of the heavyweights of Arrautsa. They had a comfortable palace suitable for their needs. Nori, his mother and sister were the patrons of the house, and it was relatively quiet and uneventful. Nori didn't mind the occasional excursion into Arragard, be it for business or for pleasure. This particular event seemed more like business than pleasure, however, as Nori was often loathe to surround himself with the fickle lords of Arrautsa.

Nori came alone by car, as his mother and sister were ill with the flu. Nori was fortunate enough to keep away from them, and a good thing he had, as Taboro would have taken insult to nobody from House Brontzezko showing up. The car was a modest sedan, driven by one of the men in his service, a good man, loyal and true. Such values were highly cherished in Arrautsa, as honor and the Old Laws still held sway in those lands, concepts that became more watered down as one descended south.

He was dropped off by his driver at the entrance to the Palace. It was a very old Palace, of ancient stone, obsidian, onyx, and whatever other minerals the Arrau dynasty could dig up. To an outsider, the Palace might seem rather dark and foreboding, large and black, with ominous orange light being emitted from the large fires that burned in the towers of the Palace.

Before going inside, Nori stood for a moment, staring out into the night. He felt a chill blowing from the north. The massive Ilun Mountains separated Arrautsa from its northern neighbor, Eskura…the savage part of Ghant. As a boy, he heard stories of hordes of Northerners passing through them to war the Kingdom of Arrautsa. He tried to imagine that…the northern savages swelling in those mountain passes, filling the lands beneath them like some infernal swarm…


ooooooo


It was his favorite story. The Battle of Thirteen Kings, in the year 1215. A foreign dynasty came into possession of the Obsidian Throne roughly 100 years prior, and much harm they did, and much abuse of their station was done. The Gentry claimant to the throne, Edmure, had endeavored to claim the throne back that the last Gentry King had lost 100 years previously. He rallied the Kings of Dakmoor, Odolargia, Ibaiek, Noduar, Ziri, Jehenna, Thule, Gauekoizarra, Arrautsa and Harrizaharra to create the Army of Ten Kings. They were joined the northern clans, tribes, Blood Knights, Knights of Izarra, the free companies, fighters guilds, and even the Mammoth Riders of Thule, who ride their giant shabby mounts south. Edmure and his son Edward led their vast host, said to number in the hundreds of thousands, through the Ilun Mountains in June of 1215.

The King of Ghant had a formidable force as well. King Magnus V of Ghant, joined by his son, Crown Prince Eric, rallied the Kings of Izotza and Gaemar, and they joined his cause. And all the great houses of the south and their enameled knights and war machines present. The southern King and his forces were outnumbered, but they advantage in terms of quality weapons and armor. Their army was said to be roughly 100,000 men.

They met in the lands near Arragard, to the west. As their armies clashed under Mt. Arragard, the mountain erupted, spewing forth the magma, the blood of earth. For as the armies of the two clashed and bled, so too would the earth.

For seven days they battled under the mountain, in the flat earth of that part of Arragard. Nori’s ancestor, Lord Borig Brontzezko was there, with his warhammer, crushing the bodies of the southern knights who made the perilous journey north. The earth was covered in the corpses of the fallen, the stench of death intense, all under a blood red sky, with the fire of Mt. Arrautsa looming large behind them.

On the seventh day, Crown Prince Eric was cut down attempting to lead an attack on the flank. The northerners caught him, and supposedly they butchered him like a pig. When word reached King Magnus, he exploded in grief at the knowledge that his only son and heir was cut down savagely, and that his dynasty would become extinct, as he was the last of his house. His grief soon turned to rage.

King Magnus lead the charge with his knights, deep into Edmure’s host. They cut their way into the core of the fighting, until Magnus came face to face with Edmure himself. Magnus, with his warhammer, dueled Edmure himself, striking at him with savage blows. Eventually, Magnus triumphed, as he crushed Edmure’s chest in with warhammer, and sending Edmure’s sword flying from his hand, landing in the blood stained dirt.

Edward was present, fighting other men of Magnus’ guard. He saw his father laid low, and he cried out in anguish. Then he noticed his father’s sword, laying not too far away. It was Ordainsari, the legendary Arragard steel sword forged for Robert I, the first King of Ghant. The name Ordainsari was Ghantish for “Retribution”. Edward fought his way to the sword, and picked it up.

Indeed, the sword would have a taste of Retribution once more. Magnus noticed Edmure’s son and heir claim the sword, and attempted to lay him low as well. Yet, Magnus was already weak from his duel with Edmure. He underestimated Edward, who came at Magnus with a savage ferocity. With his father’s sword in hand, Edward dueled Magnus, and beheaded him. When Magnus died, and with his head in the soil, the Crown of the King of Ghant flew from his head, and rolled on the ground.

Edward placed the Crown upon his head, and cried out in triumph, raising Ordainsari high into the air. The southerners broke and fled, or threw down their weapons and bowed before their new King…the Gentry Dynasty redeemed.

So it was that King Edward VII of Ghant, the Redeemer, came to be, having regained the throne in the Battle of Thirteen Kings, the largest battle in the history of Ghant…right here, in these lands. The lands of his ancestors.


ooooooo


He broke his gaze from those ancient mountains, and the flat earth beneath them, and felt his cloak flap in the wind. He turned and walked to the entrance. He flashed the seal of his house to the Palace Guard, and walked inside, through the giant ancient doors of the Palace, opened just enough for him to walk through.

The Inside of the Palace of Arragard was hardly different from its exterior. Enameled black stone or ancient engraving comprised the walls and ceilings, appearing smooth but rather rough to the touch. The floor was a dull grey, with red carpets running the length of them. The hallways were wide, with high columns towering in the darkness of the ceilings, where bats were said to reside. Tapestries depicting ancient battles and famous events taking place in Arrautsa were displayed here and there. He could spot a few…the Battle of Thirteen Kings, the Forging of the Obsidian Throne in the fires of Mt. Arragard, the forging of Zarandar, the first Arragard steel blade by the hero Toran, the great battle in the Morea Mountains between Arrautsa and Dakmoor, in which the King of Dakmoor and his invading armies were vanquished, and the fall of Tertullus Ahenobarbus, the ill fated son of Emperor Ahenobarbus II of Rome who met his end in the Grisa Mountains to the west, when he was cast down the mountainside by his own men upon the sight of the large host led by Lord Bogardan sent to do them battle.

His shifted from the tapestries. There were lights installed, but also the traditional torch sconces, with torches lit and placed firmly here and there. After all, it wouldn’t be a proper Ghantish Palace without some torches here and there. It was as much about tradition as it was about aesthetics...Ghantar in general had an attraction to the past, a longing for it…and a great fear of modernity and the future, which made them uneasy.

Nori focused on the ballroom entrance in front of him. The Palace Guard nodded to him as he approached. Acknowledging them, he walked into the ballroom. The ballroom was also large, round with a high vaunted domed ceiling, and it was well lit…at least compared to the hallways of ancient and cryptic flare.

There were long tables along a wall with food and drink, consisting of meats, vegetables, and bread, with punch, tea, and water in tall, enameled glass pitchers. There were numerous round tables for people to sit, with many people sitting and chatting, including old men and other old men, old women and other old women, and young men and young women, more than likely cultivating romance, as young Ghantar often did.

The ballroom floor was filled with Lords and Ladies dancing to the sounds of the stage performers…an orchestra. There were many beautiful women and handsome men, dressed to the nines in elaborate gowns specifically for ballroom events, and suits of fine materials meant to wow any lady that might entertain a glance. The sounds of harps, violins, cellos, saxophones, oboes, flutes, bass and a piano could be heard. He looked into the crowd to see if he noticed anyone that he knew.

Among the ancient and esteemed noble houses present were the Houses Bogardan, Pazuzu, Altzairu, Burdin, Kobrea, Eztainu, Leza, Ziz, to name a few. The biggest Houses that were there naturally were the Bogardans and the Pazuzus…led by Lord Ozrik Bogardan and Orzibal Pazuzu…two men in their mid thirties that hated each other with a loathing passion. Nori would try to avoid them if he could, not wanting to get tangled up in that ancient feud.

Nori wasn’t in the mood for dancing quite yet. Nori was the kind of man that liked to be a little tipsy before taking the floor and making himself look like a fool. His insecurities were purely mental in nature, however. He was 6’2’’, with very dark brown hair and grey eyes. He was a decent looking fellow, he believed, with a nice smile and a boyish handsomeness to his face. He was wearing a dark suit with the cloak of his house draped behind his back, featuring the sigil of his house upon it.

The bar itself was rather large, a carved stone enclosure with several rows of beers, liquors, wines and other alcoholic beverages. The bartender was a pretty girl with long, curly black hair tied behind her back, wearing a black dress that contrasted with her fair skin. There were a few people there, talking to each other…except for one…a woman in a gold dress. She had dirty blonde hair, green eyes, and fair skin but tanned…she looked like she could have been a foreign girl. Damn, she is sexy, Nori thought, observing her leaning against the bar.

This woman was striking to him. The sight of her made him tingle…sending the sensation to his knees, making them shake. His heart began to beat faster, and his eyes grew wide. Almost having to force himself, Nori approached her, and with his thick Ghantish accent, spoke to her, hoping to catch her attention. Arratsalde on, nire dama. Zer egiten duzu gaur gauean edateko? (Good evening, my lady. What are you drinking tonight?) He waited for her response, on pins and needles.
Last edited by Ghant on Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Ghant
Minister
 
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Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Under the Shalumite Sun

Postby Ghant » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:33 am

”Under the Shalumite Sun" (II)
Aragon, Shalum


Koru was in the embassy garden in a very thin silky dress, digging in the dirt with her backend sticking out. She had dirt all over her hands, and flowers and stems tangled in her fingers. She could feel the sweat running down the length of her body...fortunately she had very strong sun block on, and had some shade from a nearby tree.

Matt was patrolling as usual, moving from place to place, chatting with the Shalumites guards as he passed them; exchanging pleasantries. Unlike the first time he had been to the embassy, he was in a bit more casual dress, long BDU pants, but a short sleeve shirt with an army logo on it; one which showed off his muscular arms in the process.
As he wiped some sweat from his brow, his eyes widening as he saw the ambassador working in the gardens; her dress clinging to her, something he saw even from where he stood. He gulped a bit, trying not to stare at her. If she looked up, she would have seen him clear as day.

Koru felt a strong breeze that tugged at her dress. The feel of it in tandem with the sweat made her shake a bit, and her rear-end shook a bit as the bottom of her dress was shifted with the wind. A bit embarrassing to her was the notion that somebody could see her panties, and she did have a nice ass, many an ex of hers had told her.

Matt groaned as he watched her, the wind ruffling her dress enough for him to see her panties, and shapely rear. He felt himself flush in a momentary burst of excitement, before he shook his head, trying to ward off any stray thoughts, as it wasn't appropriate to think of the ambassador in the manner that he did. He wanted to move, get away before she saw him, but his legs refused to cooperate.

Koru, in the process of digging, looked down beneath her body to grab a plant that was beneath her. She noticed a pair of feet behind her, and in that moment she squealed and jumped. She landed on her back in the dirt, and laid there, breathing heavily. "Hello Captain. How nice to see you...enjoying the scenery?" She laughed, a mess of sweat, dirt, and sticky dress, leaving little to the imagination.

Matt couldn't help but laugh as she jumped back, her head practically landing on his feet. "Sorry, sorry ma'am" he chuckled; forcing his eyes to meet hers’, though they wanted to roam over her beautiful body. "I didn't mean to scare you, just making my rounds. Need a hand?" he offered with a smile, leaning down a bit as he offered his hand to her.

"Yes, please. I feel so faint. This sun of yours is making a ruin of my strength." She reached up with both hands, and grabbed his.

He helped her up, his strong arm able to lift her with little problem. As she stood up, he used his free arm to steady her, his hand on her back, near her neck; so that she wouldn't fall over. "Maybe we should get you inside ma'am, get some water and cool off" he told her, arm still on her back in-case she needed him to help her.

Koru seemed to enjoy Matt's touch, and it made her tingle. She looked in his eyes and smiled. "That sounds like a great idea. Perhaps you can help me to the Master bedroom. I need to get out of these clothes and into a cold bath asap."

He smiled back at her, his hand feeling like fire, as if electricity was running through it. Not a tingle, but something along those lines. He smiled back warmly at her, one that reached his eyes and made them light up. "Master bedroom it is, ma'am" he replied. He gulped and tried to not think about what he would want to do, especially after the little show he had just seen.

"I feel so weak, Captain. I was wondering if you might be able to carry me, lest I fall and hurt myself."

"I-er" he stuttered, feeling flustered by the request. "I would be honored ma'am" he replied, unsure how else to reply. "Hold onto me" he said, before kneeling down to pick her up; his strong arms cradling her protectively.

She jumped up underneath his arms, and used her arms to cling to his torso. Her head rested against his chest, and her sweaty hair clung to his side. She looked up at him and smiled. "Such a dutiful soldier you are!"

He chuckled a bit as she jumped into his arms. He tried to not stare down at her, though it was hard to do. He smiled warmly at her, feeling a bit awkward, but not in a bad way. He had never carried anyone before, at least like this. "No problem at all" he replied sheepishly, walking forward easily. She was light, and was no problem for him, especially compared to his body armor and weapons.

She patted him on the chest with a delicate hand. "Well, let's go Captain, I really need to get out of this dress and into some ice cold water." She laughed, waiting for him to take her there.

He grinned down at her. "As you say then" he smiled. Getting in the embassy was easy, as the door had been a bit ajar, enough for him to stick his foot in and open it. Immediately, they were bathed in cool air, courtesy of the embassy's powerful AC. "Enjoying the garden?" he asked as they moved up the steps, slowly so that he wouldn't jostle her.

"I am very much so. I get the sense that you enjoy the garden as well. It has an...excellent view, does it not?" She had a look of mischief.

He flushed a bit as they got to the top. "It certainly had a...lovely view" he admitted sheepishly; it a bit too clear for his liking that he had seen other things but the garden.

"Oh, I am not done with it yet. It will get better and better. Before long, my garden will be the envy of Aragon." She grinned.

Matt chuckled as he looked down at her. "Will it eh? I'm sure you've got a good chance of making it one of the best. One day, if you ever visit the royal palace, you should visit those gardens; get a feel for what Aragon has to offer" he replied with a small grin of his own as they entered the apartment's living room. He opened the master bedroom with his hand, which had been tucked under the small of her back, near her bottom the whole time. He replaced it quickly, supporting her weight. "Umm...how much help do you need?" he asked a bit nervously.

"Thank you Captain. Perhaps you could help me run a bath, and while the tub is filling with the bathwater we can talk about...matters concerning the security of the embassy."

"I can do that" he replied innocently. "Do you want me to set you down on the bed while I do that?" he asked, meeting her eyes from above as they stood near the bed; not far off from the bathroom door.

"Hmm, better not. I wouldn't want to contaminate the bed with my filth...at least not yet." She grinned. "You can just put me down somewhere round these parts, if you are so inclined."

His eyebrows shot up at the comment, and he bit back a groan. "I-I-I can do that" he said, kneeling down to set her in one of the chairs in her room that was open, and didn't look too important. "I'll go run the water real quick, be right back" he said to her as he sat her down.

"Thank you Captain, you are very helpful. You must feel very hot too sometimes, in that uniform. It must feel nice when you take it off."

"No problem ma'am" he smiled. He paused at the doorway, leaning against it as he eyed her. "Yes, it can get rather hot in it, especially this time of year. Occasionally, a soldier or two can suffer from heatstroke if he doesn't care for himself, myself included. Unfortunately, I don't get to go without it often." Matt disappeared for a moment to run the bath for her, turning the cold water nozzle. It would take a few minutes to fill the overly large tub up. As he returned, the sounds of water flowing could be heard through the open door.

"Hmm, that is good. If you would like, perhaps I can make it so that when you are here, you can dress more casually...as no one in my service will mind. Anything that happens here, can stay between us." She smirked.

Matt's eyes widened at the statement, his cheeks red. "I-ah-thank you for that ma'am, I'm not really sure what else to say" he smiled sheepishly. He knelt down in front of her, one knee on the ground so that he wouldn't tower over her. "I'm glad that things here are a bit...easier going than at other embassies I've worked at in the past."

She smiled as he knelt down before her...she thought he would be able to catch her scent in that position. She wondered if he was interested in her. She wouldn't force a first move on him, though. That would be unprofessional. She wanted to see if the Captain would succumb to passion...oh the treat that would be. "Indeed, Captain, you will find that among the Ghantish, everything is very...casual."

He gulped as he looked up at her. The woman was intoxicating by every sense of the word. So much so that he was having a hard time focusing. He wanted nothing more than to carry her back to the bed, and stay there for a while, but he was hesitant to do anything. If she didn't want that, though it appeared she did, he would be in serious trouble.
"I'm glad to hear that they are. Though I must ask...how causal?" he questioned with a small grin.

"...Casual enough for people to be themselves, and not be restricted by inhibitions placed upon them by societal expectations and tight personal regulations. People only have one life to live, Captain. We Ghantish want to spend ours well, enjoying ourselves while at the same time doing the things we enjoy doing." She looked in the direction of the bathroom. "Don't forget to check the tub. Wouldn't want it to overfill." She tapped him on the shoulder playfully.

He at her, meeting her eyes, even when he was kneeling. "That...sounds quite nice. In Shalum...we're a bit more strict about things, not as much time for play; though we still believe that there is only one life to live, and to make the most of it" he replied. He glanced at the bathroom and smiled at her as she tapped him on the shoulder.

"Don't worry, I won't" he chuckled as he stood up. He walked away to check the tub, letting it run for a few more seconds before he shut it off; finding that it was almost ready for her. As he returned, he smiled at her. "The tub is ready ma'am, if you are."

"Very good, Captain. Thank you. Now don't look...I will know if you are peeking." She waited for a moment, and then pulled the sticky dress off of her, and quickly jumped out of her wet bra and panties. She scampered off into the bathroom, and sank into the tub. "Alright, it is safe now." She gasped as she immersed in the cold water. "Oh my, I feel so good right now, Captain."

Matt nodded at her, and closed his eyes, even going as far as covering them with his hands so that he wouldn't be tempted. As he heard her jump in, and gasp rather loudly, he uncovered his eyes and opened them. "That's...good to hear ma'am" he replied back, lingering outside so that he couldn't see her, even if he wanted too. "Do you need anything else, ma'am?" he asked.

"Come in and let's talk. Don't worry, you can't see anything...unless I get careless. I wanted to talk about security and whatnot. Don't be shy."

"Alright then" he responded, voice trembling a bit in nervousness. He entered and leaned against the door, a bit too shy to venture any further. He eyed the angelic woman in the tub, desire in his eyes. "So…what about security, ma'am?" he asked.

Koru dipped her head under the water, and then came back up. He long smooth legs poked up above the water and pressed against the wall of the bathroom. "Make yourself comfortable, and grab a seat. I am curious to learn more. What can you tell me about Azurlavai?"

Matt gulped as he watched her, before tearing his eyes away to meet hers before she noticed, at least so he hoped. He sat down, back against the wall opposite to her. "They're our neighbors to the south. We have a...odd relationship. Fifty years ago, they ruled us, at least the south; and now we're helping them rebuild after a civil war."

"Who are Shalum's greatest enemies, then?" She said as she soaked in the tub, with only her arms, legs, head and neck sticking above the water.

Matt paused for a moment before responding, the wall cool against the back of his head. "We...don't really have any enemies, at least a true nation that we grate against. Our only real problem is the rebels from Azurlavai that cross from time to time to raid and loot, not much more than that" he replied.

"Would there ever be any worries of them...penetrating...Aragon?" She said, tilting her head.

Matt looked back at her. "Not in the least ma'am. Those rebels have never been within a thousand miles of Aragon. Even if they made it this close...they'd have to get through a dozen different army units; mine included. You're safe ma'am, that I assure you" he smiled faintly.

"Has there ever been any issues with any of the embassies here in Aragon? Anyone ever up to no good?"

"There has been a few overzealous reporter or two, but nothing bad has ever happened. Between the onsite security and the embassy security systems, we've made sure its safe. No one bad has made it into an embassy to my knowledge."

"That's good. Tell me, out of curiosity, do the Edomites walk around in their embassy naked and such?"

"I...don't actually know ma'am, I've never been to the Edomite embassy; though there is not rule against it, as it is their embassy. So I would say yes they do."

"What embassies have you been in?"

"Lets see...this one of course. The Azzie embassy and the Jedorian embassy. I got promoted to embassy protection only about six months ago, so I haven't had much time to visit others. Before I was tasked protecting embassies, I worked security in the commercial districts near the beach."

"...Which embassy have you most enjoyed so far?"

He grinned a bit. "This one by far, ma'am."

A smile crept across her face. "Oh, really? What about this embassy in particular makes you say that?"

He eyed her. "Yes really. Everything is a lot more laid back here than at the Azzie or Jedorian embassy. The people here are a lot more...welcoming. Not to mention a lot better looking" he replied. His eyes widened in surprise, as he had meant to leave the last part out.

"This is very true. We Ghantish have a reputation to maintain, after all." She grinned.

Matt decided throw caution to the wind and see where it took him. "Yes, but I must say, the Ghantish reputation barely scratches the surface. Seeing, in person, why your people have earned it is so much better than simply hearing of it."

Koru raised an eyebrow. "Oh? Perhaps you could be more specific..."

Matt hoped he hadn't just backed himself into a corner. "Well...look at you for instance ma'am. You're quite beautiful, exquisite actually.”

She blushed. "Why thank you Captain. You are not so bad yourself..."

He flushed a bit in response. "Its no problem ma'am, I speak only the truth. And...thank you" he smiled.

"...So you are attracted to me, yes?" She raised an eyebrow and grinned.

"Very much" he replied quickly, his cheeks reddening. "I mean, yes" he replied, while eyeing her.

"That is good to know, Captain." She blushed. "Now what are you going to do about it?"

He grinned at her, rising from the wall, though his back was still pressed against it. "I have a few ideas" he replied. This was the most courageous he had felt in a long time. "But...you were tired only moments earlier. Are you sure you are up to it?" he asked, wanting to know that he wouldn't hurt or wind her anymore than she may have already been.

"...Up for what?" She asked, benignly.

He stepped forward a bit, not hovering over her, but near the edge of the tub. He crossed his tan, muscular arms, giving her a coy look. "There are things people do when they're attracted to each other, as you know. They can be rather strenuous at time however."

She looked up at him benignly, her lips moving around, puckering and such. "Oh, you mean like wining and dining?" She said with a coy look.

He chuckled, eyes looking over her. "Yes, that's exactly what I mean" he replied. He knelt down beside the tub, at her eye level. He hadn't been in a situation like this before, and was afraid to say anything else that may have disrupted the balance that was present.

Koru reached out with a wet, fair and delicate hand, and patted him lightly on the side of the face, while she searched his eyes with hers. "Good. I still need to familiarize myself with Aragon, and see what it has to offer. Such exposure would be useful in my efforts to serve as Ambassador appropriately."

He smiled at her, enjoying the feeling of her hand on he cheek, it felt rather nice. His brown eyes looked back at her own eyes, filled with warmth, no hint of deception of any kind. "That can be arranged. I would be honored to show you around the city" he smiled.

"Good, I would like that. I want to see you nice and loose, see you out on the town. That would...please me greatly. Find some time when we can do that and let me know."

He smiled, but was nervous. It had been close to a six months since his last date, and he felt like he would be a bit rusty. "I would love to show you around, its a nice city to see, especially at night" he replied. "Technically ma'am, my schedule can be dictated by you, but I have this Friday night off if you would want to venture out onto the town."

"Good, Friday night. Be ready." She reached out a bit from the tub and kissed him on the cheek. She brought her head back and smiled. "You are very dutiful, Captain. I will make sure that both your superiors and mine are aware of your outstanding service. For now, I should finish up my bath." She blushed.

"Oh I will be ready" he promised with a small grin. His eyes widened in surprise as she kissed him on the cheek, but not much more. By this point, it was unable for his cheeks to redden anymore. "Thank you ma'am, you're more than kind. I guess I should leave you though, make sure the guards are...still guarding" he chuckled, face flush.

"Very good, Captain. Have a nice day. Try to enjoy yourself...life is good, and it only gets better."

"Have a nice day, ambassador" he replied as he stood up. He paused at the door, turning to look back at her. "I will ma'am. Life is only getting better with each day, I'll make sure to make the most of it. Thank you" he smiled and nodded, before he let her alone. He wore a grin or smile the rest of the day as he patrolled the embassy.
Last edited by Ghant on Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Novitera » Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:27 am

A Conspicuous Coupling (Part 3)


OOC Disclaimer: This is a story between myself and Ghant. We will both be making posts on it.

Arragard, Province of Arrautsa, Empire of Ghant

While the guests mingled, Molly Aitor continued to stand by the bar sipping on her Ahkour Bourbon. She admired the decor and interior design which spoke of an era long dead. These Ghantar even still used torches for illumination though she knew that was more for aesthetics than actual lack of electricity. There was a bar full of the finest liquors from all of Cornellia after all. The place was a stark contrast to her own home. Brompton Beach of Heselory was bright, sunny and the people generally happy. Palm trees lined the streets where people jogged or rode their bikes. Cars often had their tops down or sunroofs open. On the weekends the beaches were full of sun bathers, pick up volleyball games and surfers. Arragard seemed gloomy and depressing to her. Although the Ghantar surely did not lack for well done parties which any Noviteran could appreciate. Plus every place had its attractions like the palladium deposit found on Brontzezko land which Aitor Mining was after. Still, Molly made a pledge that she would try and convince this Nori Brontzezko to move back to Calirma with her if this enterprise became successful.

The gowns that the women wore contrasted her own Noviteran style dress. Formal, business and casual dresses in Novitera most often came no lower than the knee. The style came from the frontier era, where shirts or short dresses were easier to ride, work or if the worst happened, run in. It also fit with the climate which was much warmer so that was why the style continued. That and because it was more provocative. Women would often wear leggings during the colder months in southern Novitera. Not that Molly did despite Ghant's climate for that would have hidden her well toned legs shaped from years of swimming in high school and college.

Just the person she was looking for came by. There were many pretty girls in the room but maybe she looked vulnerable all by herself. Molly was pleased that Nori was handsome. She had dated better and worse looking guys than he. They included men that could have passed as models, a football player in college and even a software geek who would not have turned any heads but Molly found adorable. Then there was the occasional one night stand. Every girl could appreciate a handsome man but she put more stock in wit and charm. As long as they looked like they took care of themselves in regards to hygiene and fitness which it certainly looked like for Nori.

Molly smirked at Nori then turned away, studying the room again. "I'm willing to bet you can come up with an opener more original than that." She said in a heavy accent without looking at him.

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Wielkilas
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A Ghantish Guest and What’s a Girl to Do?

Postby Wielkilas » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:16 pm

A Ghantish Guest and What’s a Girl to Do?


The Winter Palace
La Lucette, Wielkilas


Standing amidst a well manicured and squat shrubberies planted in well executed swirls and loops, a tall young woman with long brown hair stood gazing in the direction of the sea. It was a cool summer afternoon and a small group of rusty red finches painted with thin black stripes chittered away as the young woman squinted and continued her watch with one hand lifted to her forehead in order to block the sun from her eyes. Barely visible from her vantage point were a pair of individuals taking a leisurely pace in her direction. She smiled to herself and then pointed her gaze in the direction of the small gaggle of finches that continued their chirping, oblivious to the woman watching them.

Passing a patch of brilliant blue blossoms, a tall young man with a strong, stubbly jaw and short cropped hair sprouted from his head in gentle wave, turned his head to a young woman just a few centimeters shorter than himself. “How long do you plan to keep dancing around the subject? I am quite certain that if you just say something, then you might be pleasantly surprised by the response you get.”

The young woman, lightly curled chocolate brown hair falling past her gently sloping shoulders, pointed her grey-blue eyes in the man’s direction and gave his shoulder a light pinch. “You don’t think I know that? It’s just, well, you know.”

The man shook his head, “I do not think I do, but I’ll wager it’s because you are a scared little kitten.”

An elbow planted itself in the man’s side as the two continued to walk. The man raised his hands and a grin spread across his face. “Sorry about that. It is just that we have had this same conversation several times already, Fleur. I am no sure what else to say.”

Fleur put a hand on the spot she had elbowed the young man, “Sorry about that Alexandre. You should know by now how that affects me.” She then let a long sigh pass through her lips. “How can I say anything when she doesn’t even know herself? Would it really be fair to her to say something out of the blue.”

Alexander followed Fleur’s sigh with one of his own. “I suppose not, but you can’t keep holding this off forever. You have to say something eventually, otherwise it might be too late by the time you get around to it.”

Lightly curled hair bobbed in a nod, “I know. It is just so difficult when someone is so oblivious, It is a real pain in the ass.” A smile spread across Fleur’s face, “Speaking of oblivious Alexandre, who do think is worse, the mother or the daughter?”

A laugh escaped Alexandre’s mouth as he put a strong arm across Fleur’s shoulders. “I am not quite sure how to answer that one. They can both be about as dense a block of lead sometimes, so it is really hard to tell.”

Fleur shrugged, sighed, and then laughed. “I really wish she had picked up more on her father’s observational skills.” She put an arm across Alexandre’s shoulder, “At least when it comes to me.”

Moments later Fleur and Alexandre came to stand beside the tall young woman who had been intently watching finches hop across the garden path. “So Izzy,” Fleur said with a grin, “I take it is almost time to head out?” Izolda gave her friend a stern look and put her hands on her hips. “Of course it is, and thanks to you we are going to be late.” Fleur said nothing and gave her friend and equally stern look. Several moments passed while Alexandre waited for things to play out between the two women. Eventually, the stern look planted across Izolda’s face disintegrated into a rolling boil of laughter. “I surrender, I surrender,” she managed to get out between breaths.

Fleur grinned in Izolda’s direction and nodded her head. “You know you can’t out stare me Izzy. I have a golem’s eyes.” Continuing to laugh, Izolda threw an arm across Fleur’s shoulder. “Let’s get going. We don’t want to keep our Ghantish guest waiting at the airport.”

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Civil Rights Lovefest

A Conspicuous Coupling

Postby Ghant » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:36 pm

”A Conspicuous Coupling" (IV)
Arragard, Arrautsa, Ghant


Such an intriguing woman, Nori thought. He grinned. "That is what I would expect the most interesting woman in the room to say...the dress gave you away."

"Most interesting." Molly repeated Nori's own words derisively. "A shameless flatterer too I see." She said. Noviteran women were generally very wary of complements and most men did not start off with them. "Yes, the dress. I did not know the style would be different before coming here." Molly remarked. This time she had turned her head to speak to Nori and looked him in the eye. But did not face her body towards him. "In Novitera when two strangers meet for the first time one introduces themselves by giving their name and extending a hand. I presume it's not too different here in Ghant..." She offered cheekily.

"...I bid thee forgiveness, my lady. I knew not that you were a Noviteran, as I have never seen one at a Ball hosted here in the Palace of Arragard." He accepted the offer of a handshake, and delicately embraced her hand. "My name is Lord Nori of the House Brontzezko, sworn bannerman of Great Lord Taboro of Arrautsa...who more or less is King." He bowed his head.

"Molly Aitor." She replied quickly. Molly took Nori's hand and for a moment found herself liking the feel of it. Her body was now turned towards Nori. "I can understand why we don't come. There's still a slight contempt for any kind of nobility in Novitera. But you'll find I am above such antiquated attitudes." Molly said, lying. Although Nori was not so bad. "That's great and all but you'll have to forgive me when I say I have no interest in your King or your Emperor...Nathan is it? No matter. Why don't you tell me what you're looking for here Nori?" She asked.

Nori seemed surprised. "...I find it interesting that a scion of the great and ancient House of Aitor would hail from Novitera. I wonder how that came to be? Is this line of yours related to Lord Osrik Aitor, or from one of the more...common lines?" He asked, thoughtfully. She was very pretty, and it would be a shame to give her offense. "Indeed, Emperor Nathan, the Fourth of His Name...he has some Aitor blood in him, as is often boasted by the Aitors of Gotorleku, whish I would assume your ancestors were originally from." He grinned. "I am here because to not be here would be seen as a slight by Taboro...and I am not like to paint myself in a negative light, especially since Taboro has taken a liking to my sister." He laughed.

Molly eyes looked to the side as she thought about Nori's question. "My ancestor, I don't know how many greats, Kelan Aitor was a gutter born commoner from Ghant who fled the country with his brother Harold during the War of the Thistles. They bought a plot of land in Calirma to start a farm then eventually struck gold in Lady Irena Valley which was named after their sister who died of sickness before they left Ghant. Anyways, this caused the Calirma gold rush of 1826. Kelan and Harold became very rich from starting their own mining company. Harold ended up getting killed in the War of Independence decades later. But Kelan's line and his company lives on. You ever heard of Aitor Mining Corporation?"

"...Can't say that I have heard of it." Nori shrugged. "I don't really blame them for leaving, as the War of the Thistles was nasty business. Gaemar was raiding and burning all those lands to the southeast of them...the Aitors and several other good folk of Gotorleku were in their crosshairs." He leaned in close. "I would be careful who you talk to that about, my lady, as some lords here take madarikatuak more seriously than others...like the Pazuzus. Stick with me tonight, and I can promise you that their ilk will not bother you." He liked the way she smelled, and lingered there for a time, before pulling back and meeting her eyes straight on again...getting lost in them.

"I can't say I blame them either. A stain on our bloodline in Ghant for riches in Novitera. My Kelan and Harold made a gamble and they won." She said shamelessly. Molly had heard of the status of 'madarikatuak' before coming and realized she was one of them. Journals from Harold Aitor revealed that was one of his great regrets. But Kelan was not so bothered by it and certainly were none of their descendants. "Oh, you'll be my protector. Such a gentleman." Molly said sarcastically and rolled her eyes. "I can take care of myself but very well." She reached out and took his arm by the elbow, some what aggressively. "Explain to me what is being depicted on one of these tapestries. I have neglected to study my history."

Nori liked her aggressive elbow grab, and he used his other hand to cover hers. "Well, that one over there depicts a great battle between the Arraus and the Pazuzus. The Pazuzus have always been the principal rival house in Arrautsa to the Arraus...every province with a great lord has one." As he spoke he kept eye contact and very deftly caressed the grasp on his elbow with his opposite hand. "Back when the Pazuzus were kings, they marched upon Arragard with an army of demon worshippers. They were defeated, but only because the King in Arragard had so many good knights that fled the Pazuzu lands on account of their cruelty. It was those same knights that fought Lord Pazuzu with zeal, and laid him low in battle. My own ancestors were there, to have seen it. They then marched upon Pazuak itself in the northeast...and what they found was horrifying, to say the least. To put it mildly, that is the last place in Ghant that anyone would want to be a madarikatua."

Molly looked over the tapestry with genuine interest. Such ancient histories could not be found in Novitera but they had their own paintings depicting the War of Independence and the Frontier Era. "I take it you aren't too fond of these Pazuzus. My, these feuds must go back a long ways." She remarked. "What about the Brontzezkos, who do they have problems with?" Molly asked keeping her hand on Nori's elbow, enjoying it.

"Indeed they do, sometimes for a thousand years, for one reason or another. We don't really have any problems with anyone, because we are very close to Arragard. We had the benefit of being within quick access to the King, who was interested in keeping us nice and cozy, for the most part."

After looking at the painting one last time Molly took her arm away and turned to Nori. They were alone now so she felt like it was time to get down to business. "Nori, I must admit. I'm not here to mingle with Ghantish nobles. I'm here for you." She said seriously and paused. "Specifically, the palladium deposit just found on your land." This was a business deal but it turned out that Nori was a handsome fellow. "Don't go until you've heard me out please." She pleaded hoping that Nori would not find her to be a gold digger or in this case, a palladium digger.

Nori laughed. "You can see how this looks, can't you? The spawn of a madarikatua returning to Ghant to pillage the earth of its resources for financial gain. It is a good thing I like you, otherwise I would have told you to get bent." He smiled at her, searching her eyes for something that might help him understand.

That made Molly smile. She got right to business. "Aitor Mining wants you to sell them the mining rights. I'm on the board but they don't really take me seriously. I think they would if I brought something to the table like this. Maybe even make me Chairman. I should get a larger say in a company with my family's name on it!" Molly exclaimed, fuming. There was a pause before she was able to calm down again. "Now, with Ghantish laws and Noviteran laws...this whole deal would go a lot easier if we were to umm...marry." She said carefully. "But before you say anything let me tell you what's in it for you. I personally own 13 percent of Aitor Mining shares which is valued at 1.7
billion Noviteran dollars. If we registered our marriage in Novitera before then, our joint property laws would make you entitled to any capital gains. An announcement of getting mining rights on your land would make the stock price jump. You'd be entitled to around one to two hundred million dollars worth of my assets." Molly said happily hoping that would catch Nori's interest. "Plus, as my husband, I promise to take care of you. I'm very rich." She winked and put a hand on his chest while saying that.

Nori laughed. "Woah, woah, easy girl, easy. Damn, you move fast, don't you? Listen. I don't care about the money, or the riches, or the prestige. I just want to be happy, and be with someone that I love, and who loves me. I could tell you that if you were my lady wife, then you would be the Lady of both my House and my lands...and you could do with it whatever you saw fit, as would be your rights." He held her close then, after she put a hand on his chest. "At least dance with me and let me take you out to dinner a few times first, if that is what your heart desires. A beautiful, intelligent woman such as yourself shouldn't have a very hard time winning the heart of this gentleman here."

Molly did not come into this arrangement looking for love, romance or anything other than business which was strange because she let Nori pull her in. Nori was not so bad from what she had seen and it was worth exploring that option of something more than a marriage of convenience. She had not dated in a whole year after all. "You would court a foreigner, descending from a quite unremarkable bloodline and a madar...whatever its called...uninterested in the money?" She asked quite astounded. Coming into this Molly was convinced that the money would be her most valuable bargaining chip.

"I think the prospect of courting a beautiful, intelligent, and wealthy woman of Ghantish origin sounds good to me...a change from the usual courting of stuffy noble ladies." He smiled. "You want to be happy, be in love, and maybe live as a noble lady should?" He raised an eyebrow, thoroughly interested in where the conversation was going.

Unlike Nori's past flattery this one got through Molly's shield and she grinned. "Fine, I'll give something real a go. Love and happiness, yes. But what I said about my attitudes towards nobles compared to most Noviterans...I lied." She said teasingly. "I also only dance Noviteran Swing."

Nori chuckled. "I think that is just that Arrautsa needs, things here have gotten stale." He bowed before Molly, and moved to take her hand in his and kiss it. "Can I trouble the Lady Aitor for a dance?"

Molly liked the kiss to the hand. No man in Novitera would do something like that. "I told you, I only know Noviteran Swing. Ghantish traditional dances elude me. Do we want to be humiliated before the King's court?"

"Let me teach you. No man would dare make fun of you as long as you with me...remember, the King likes my sister, and is not like to get on my bad side." He smirked.

She laughed. "I suppose I do not mind if they did anyways. Lead the way cowboy." Molly used a Noviteran expression.

Nori took her hand, and led her out onto the floor. Once there, He took one hand in his, interlocked fingers, and raised it up. With the other hand, he wrapped it around the small of her back. "Now you put your hand behind my back, so that our arms are touching to our sides. Then just move with me, but not too fast." He said into her ear, before making eye contact again, this time much closer. She had beautiful eyes.

Molly did as she was told, enjoying dancing. Even something slow like this though usually did not partake loving the fast pace of Noviteran Swing much more. She looked at Nori who seemed so handsome and very confident in himself which was something Molly was attracted to. A man who was gentle but took charge. "Don't get any ideas cowboy." Molly said softly.

After dancing for a bit, as Nori lost track of time, he spoke to her in between songs, eye to eye. "You are a natural...enough Ghantish in you to make you an adequate dancer even for the first session. Quite impressive." He said with a smile, even as the thumb on his hand that was entwined with hers moved around, interacting with the skin of her hand, soft and smooth.

It had been a long time since Molly was intimate with anybody. Between finding comfort in being close to Nori, she listened to the soothing Ghantish music. Noviterans could say all they wanted about nobles but when it came to music, she had to admit the Ghantar got it right. Despite Nori's complement, Molly did feel a bit awkward dancing like this at first. "If this impresses you, wait till you see me do a dance I know." She bragged. "You said you had a sister. How old is she?" Molly asked meeting Nori's eyes.

"Estella is 26. She couldn't make it, due to the flu. Don't worry, I am not sick. I do have cooties though." He laughed.

Molly chuckled at his joke. "Well you aren't going to infect me tonight that's for sure." She stated haughtily. "Is Lord Taboro disappointed your sister is not here?" She asked, becoming more interested in the world of Ghantish nobility as well as Nori's own circle. "Perhaps your sister is healthy as a horse and just did not want to be heckled."

Nori chuckled. "I am not the type of man to press my luck. I have enough respect for you not to contaminate you so soon." He blushed. "Taboro doesn't mind...I let him know that she is sick with the flu. Estella likes him too...she was disappointed in not being able to attend. The two of them will catch up soon enough, I would imagine. He will come visit, or she will come here when she can."

"It's not about time, it's about work. There's ways to expedite the process if you're clever enough." Molly challenged him. "I would like to meet your sister sometime and your parents." She said thoughtfully. Most likely she would have to win over his family too. "The night is getting late. I should be going. I'm staying at a local hotel."

"My mother and sister would be honored to meet you. Please, allow me the honor of seeing you out."

Molly took as arm again to leave. The night had been successful. She was not the cutthroat type and could not play Nori into selling the land. The honesty route had proved particularly effective luckily. "You will pick me up at noon tomorrow and take me to lunch. I like to sleep in when I can." She said not in an ordering tone, but as if it were a fact.

Nori enjoyed walking her back to the cabs. He nodded as she spoke to him. "As you wish, my lady." He said in response. He smiled and kissed her on the cheek...not wanting to press his luck on the night they first met. He did linger for a moment there, in case she wanted to steal a kiss.

The kiss on the cheek was a nice touch she had to admit and could tell Nori wanted more. "You aren't the first I've dated Nori. I know that look. Just hold off on the appetizer for now and you'll be invited to the buffet." She said before getting into the taxi.

Nori bowed and smiled. "Good night, my lady. Parting is such sweet sorrow. Until tomorrow." He shut the cab door behind her, and watched as the cab drove off. Then he went back inside, eager for what might lie ahead.

Out of sight and on the road, Molly put a hand to her cheek and smiled.
Last edited by Ghant on Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:39 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Civil Rights Lovefest

A Ghantish Guest and What’s a Girl to Do?

Postby Ghant » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:26 am

A Ghantish Guest and What’s a Girl to Do? (II)
The Airport
La Lucette, Wielkilas


Another day, another flight. Another state visit. Nathan knew this one was different from the others. Even a fool could see that.

Nathan sat in his seat aboard the private jet of the Royal Family, with Sophia next to him. He was wearing a black tunic trimmed in white. Nathan was twiddling with his thumbs, and reading a book, which sat upon the little mini table in front of him. The Histories of the Grand Dukes of Wielkilas.

Wielkilas was an ancient ally of Ghant, and many a time have they exchanged royals into the other’s lineage. Why in fact, there was even a Gentry Grand Duke of Wielkilas.

As Nathan sat in his seat aboard the plane, even as it was initiating its descent into La Lucette, he mapped it out in his head.

Grand Duchess Ania I was born in 1700. She married John, Prince of Ghant, also born in 1700, and whom was the younger brother of King Nicholas II…the mean, fat degenerate one. History often did that with brothers of the crown…one being a good man and true, while the other brother, not so much.

Although the most famous of these Ghanto-Wielkilasian matches had to be Ksenia, daughter of Grand Duke Bolesław III, with John, the son of Emperor Nathan I. A most tragic tale indeed, but not one that Nathan wanted to dwell upon at this particular moment.

Sophia was sleeping against his shoulder, and her long dark hair was a mess on Nathan’s side. He enjoyed the feeling of having her sleeping against him, and he felt a great sense of contentment when he stroked her hair. Deftly with his right hand, which was behind her, he ran his fingers through the long loose strands. Her hair was long and thick, but also soft, and smelled good. Not like fruit or anything like that, but a natural, healthy smell, one that Sophia had a knack for being able to pull off. He liked to pull on it too, ever so gently, when the situation called for it…

Nathan thought for a moment about his lot in life, and the situation in Ghant. He knew what people said about him, as he watched enough TV and was on social media enough to have an idea. Sometimes it hurt his feelings, made him feel bad. Yet, at the end of the day, he didn’t really care. Sophia was the only thing he ever wanted, this intelligent, beautiful woman sleeping on his shoulder, with his child inside her. He felt a great sense of contentment and satisfaction in life. As long as Sophia was in his life, nothing else mattered, he would be happy. He knew that she felt the same way as well, and that sensation made it all the more worthwhile.

Nathan thought about Wielkilas again, and the Winter Palace. Grand Duchess Izolde was a beautiful and intelligent woman as well, with a Ghantish name to boot. Izolde was also kin to Nathan, albeit distantly, both being descended from Bolesław III. Nathan had last seen Izolde and her friend Tara at the Star Ball in Albicia earlier in the year. He looked forward to seeing them again, as did Sophia, he did not doubt.

Sophia woke up as the plane touched down. She nuzzled Nathan’s neck with her face, and she kissed his neck too. “I must have been sleeping for awhile, if I were to venture an assumption.”

Nathan nodded, but not before kissing her forehead. “Indeed, you have been. I was just catching up on some Wielkilasian history white getting the knots out of your hair…with my deft hands.” He grinned.

“…Please don’t talk about Ksenia, though. Let’s keep the atmosphere fun and upbeat.” Sophia said, concerned. She had a knack for expressing her concerns at things Nathan might do or say.

“As you wish, my lady love. I might get bored though, being in the company of so many women. I figured I would just let you all talk about girl things, and I will keep myself occupied however I can, ever the polite gentleman that I am.”

“You do that. I am very excited to spend some time with Izolde, Tara and Fleur, and make a good impression that will keep our nations friends.”

The plane came to a stop, and the ding sounded. Sophia got up and stepped back, while Nathan grabbed all of her things for her…he didn’t mind that, as he wanted her to be happy and without any troubles, luggage included. Twas a few bags, nothing Nathan couldn’t handle.

The walked through the tunnel and into the airport, Nathan in front with all the bags and Sophia behind him, and their personal guard and staff not too far behind, roughly a dozen all together. Nathan didn’t like having personal guard following him around, as he was the type of man that would prefer to defend himself and his lady wife. However, with Sophia getting deep into her pregnancy, and with Nathan having no heirs in between himself and his dreaded Uncle Albert, Sophia insisted that he be not like to take any chances. So he didn’t.

Sophia looked around. “Izolde’s people should be here anytime.” She said to Nathan, chipperly.

“I would hope so, Sophia. Although, women do have a tendency to be late,” Nathan remarked sarcastically.
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A Ghantish Guest and What’s a Girl to Do?

Postby Wielkilas » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:38 pm

A Ghantish Guest and What’s a Girl to Do (III)
The Airport
La Lucette, Wielkilas


The Ghantish couple had arrived at a gate reserved for foreign heads of state and government only a few minutes after Izolda, Fleur, and Alexandre had arrived at the airport themselves. “So,” spoke Izolda as they passed through a fairly empty hallway connecting the gate to the parking area, “What do you think Sophia is like Fleur?” Izolda’s best friend shrugged her shoulders as she marched alongside Izolda in a pair of black, knee-high leather boots. “I couldn’t say Izzy. I am sure she nice enough.” Sandwiched between his cousin and her best friend, Alexandre nodded his head. “I have heard that she is a lovely girl.”

“You know Alexandre,” whispered Fleur as she leaned into the magnat, “It could do Nathan some good to spend some time with you. Maybe some of your confidence and manly swagger will rub off on him if he does.” Alexandre shrugged lightly and whispered in response, “I suppose, but I am he will be fine with or without my company.”

“Well,” Fleur continued, “You can take him out for a good time at the very least. Do some hiking or climbing. You know, those outdoorsy things that you love to do.”

“I suppose that can be arranged Fleur. Who knows how long he will keep his sanity if he has to hang around you the all time.” A grin spread across Alexandre’s face only seconds before Fleur gave his arm a hearty pinch. Noticing the last bit of her cousin’s and Fleur’s interaction out of the corner of her eye, Izolda turned her head and looked the two over. “What are the two of you up to now?”

“We were just deciding where I should take our friend Nathan while he is here, “ answered Alexandre without any indication that his shoulder was in a small amount of pain.

“We were thinking it would be could for the boys to have some man time and the girls to have some girl time while everyone is visiting,” chirped Fleur with a smile, “What do you think Izzy?”

Izolda nodded her head as they came within site of the gate’s well appointed waiting area. “That sounds like a wonderful idea you two. Once we get them settled in and rested, we should discuss it with them.” Fleur then tugged on Izolda’s white blouse and pointed at the Ghantish imperial couple as they stood chatting with each other. “It seems their flight was on time Izzy.”

Following Fleur’s pointing finger, the Grand Duchess made sure she was properly postured and then walked toward Nathan and Sophia with friendly smile spread across her face. “It is good to see you again Nathan and it is lovely to meet you Sophia. The both of you look wonderful.” She then offered her hand to both of them and then put a hand on Alexandre’s shoulder, “This is my cousin Alexandre,” she then placed her other hand on Fleur’s shoulder, “And this is Fleur, my BFF. I believe you have met her before, Nathan.”

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Civil Rights Lovefest

A Conspicuous Coupling

Postby Ghant » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:14 am

”A Conspicuous Coupling" (V)
Arragard, Arrautsa, Ghant


Molly did not sleep in as she said. Jet lag had her waking up early and thinking about what would come of this. First, there was work from back home. To occupy herself, Molly pulled out her tablet to review the company's financials although Nori kept intruding on her thoughts which she found both pleasant and irritating. There was a brief call to her lawyer, Kenneth Sorley who warned that registering her marriage in Novitera would make her husband entitled to a good deal of her assets. "Well I'll be entitled to his land by Ghantish law." Molly stated.

"You have to make sure you can trust him." Kenneth stated before hanging up. Was Nori trustworthy? She tabled the question for another time and got ready for his arrival. This time she dressed simpler, a red skirt with leggings and a black blouse.

Nori rolled up in his black sedan, and got out of the car. He was dressed in casual business clothes, i.e. sperries, khaki pants and a dress shirt. He went up to her room and knocked on the door.

Half apprehensive that Nori would not show up, she opened to door to find him standing there. She appreciated that he took the effort to dress well. "Hey!" Molly exclaimed with her face lit up. "Oh, hold on, let me put on my shoes." She said before bending over in front of Nori to throw on some sneakers. It was completely unintentional.

Nori took the opportunity to admire her ass, albeit discreetly, for the most part. "Take your time," was all he said, as he leaned in the doorway, smiling.

Oblivious to Nori's inappropriate glances, Molly put on her shoes and stood up. She gave him a quick hug. "Good to see you again. But I doubt you have anything better to do anyways." She joked. "Let's go. Where are you taking me?"

Nori offered Molly his arm to escort her to his sedan. "Artosi's. It is a really good place, high end, that has great Ghantish food and some foreign stuff too. Really great atmosphere, personable people, I think you will like it." He responded eagerly.

Molly took the arm. "I look forward to it." She stated. In truth at this point Nori could be taking her to a scummy dive bar and she would feel the same way. They walked to the car. It was nice but Molly was never really into automobiles whether they be fast, luxurious or a junker.

Nori opened the door for her, and once she was in, he walked back around to the driver's side, shut the door and started driving. "So how are you finding Ghant so far?" He asked, curiously.

"Cold." Molly said irritably. "I live by the beach and the sun is always out. But it has a certain peculiar beauty and mystery to it that I'm drawn to. Not enough reason for me to stay of course. But maybe you are." She said. "Ever been to Novitera?"

"No beaches around here, and the sun doesn't shine much. It is usually very cloudy around here. Nice sunny beaches to the west in Gaemar and east in Dakmoor...if you could call those beaches." Nori laughed. "I find that Ghant has a certain ancient charm that many other countries lack. Things more or less stay the same in Ghant, and should you ever find yourself north of the Iluns, well, then things start to get very mysterious and peculiar. I have never been outside of Ghant...more a matter of lacking any reason to go anywhere else, I suppose. I would like to venture out at some point though."

"Never left Ghant?" Molly asked astounded. "I can see why you would love your home. I think I would too if I grew up here. Tell you what, your first trip outside the country will be with me to Novitera. I'll take you surfing." She stated adamantly. Molly loved the water. Whether it be a pool, lake, river or ocean. She was a competitive swimmer in high school and college after all.

"So, what would you be doing right now if you never met me?" Molly asked, wanting to know more.

"That sounds like fun. I think I would enjoy that." He pondered her question. "I would probably be reading up on some history, digging around the archives, or maybe even sparring with one of those cockstrong lords that came for the ball. Arrautsa is famous among Ghant for having the most talented fighters, on account of the wide circulation of hand to hand weapons forged right here in Arragard." Nori smiled.

"Sparring? With what?! Swords?" Molly asked alarmingly.

"Swords, maces, warhammers, spears, ball and chains, stuff like that. I stick with swords, but every lord has his preference. The Bogardans like to use warhammers."

"What the fuck!? Don't people get killed?" Molly inquired further. Here was the culture shock she had been waiting for.

"No, no. Sparring weapons are used, ones that are blunt, so they cannot cut or stab. The warhammers are hollowed out and blunted too so the worst that could happen is a bruise. Bruises go away, and give you an excuse to lay in bed." Nori laughed.

“Some hobby you got there. I want to see!" Molly exclaimed. She grabbed Nori's hand that was resting on the car's shifter and shook it excitedly. "You'll show me won't you?"

"Absolutely. I would wear the lady's favor in any match, and defend thine honor in any bout of arms." He replied, enjoying her touch.

That made Molly laugh to the point where she covered her mouth. She knew Nori was serious and appreciated that. But at the same time what he said sounded incredibly corny. Getting a hold of herself she looked back at him. "Where is this place? I'm hungry."

"Good timing, we just got here." Nori pulled up into a parking spot. The restaurant was on a corner on a big street in the heart of the city, with the parking lot behind it. There were some flickering streetlights, and people walking around the streets, in rythm to the sounds of distant music. Nori turned off the car, got out, shut his door and walked around to Molly's side, opening the door for her. "Here we are!"

Molly got took the hand and got out of the car. "Looks nice. Ghantish cuisine joints in Novitera are sort of popular but I doubt they're authentic." She said and looked around at the old world buildings. Nori was right, there was a certain charm to the place.

Nori took her hand and walked with her into the entrance. Even at noon, the place was busy. A heavy set man with dark curly hair and pale blue eyes greeted them. "Nori, my boy, good to see you in here today, yeah?"

Nori laughed and accepted a big hug from the big man. "Good to see you, Bobo. Bobo, I would like for you to meet Molly Aitor. Molly, this is Bobo Artosi."

Bobo Artosi smiled and nodded at Molly, bowing slightly before her. "Oh, look at you, my lady. Lucky girl you are, yes. Don't get many Aitors up here. Welcome to Artosi's! Just for you two, I got a special dining arrangement, yes?" He laughed.

"Nice to meet you!" Molly said enthusiastically. "Wonderful restaurant you have here. It's actually my first time in Ghant. Yes, I'd like that." She stated. Her accent revealing that she was a foreigner. It seemed that Nori was a regular at this establishment so whether the food was good or not she decided she would pretend to like it.

Bobo took them to a table in the back, one that was more private then the rest. "Here you go, take a look at these menus here, and you need anything just holler. Dalla will be out shortly to take care of you." Bobo smiled and disappeared into the back.

Nori nodded. "Most people around here are on a first name basis with the lords. Bobo is a good guy and cares alot about being friendly and down to earth...a common trait among most restaurants. We don't really have any chains outside of the south, it is all local and family businesses. They do alright and maintain their base." He looked at the menu. "Is there anything in particular that you like to eat or might be willing to try?

"Well first things first, I want a drink. I don't know what Ghantish custom is but its never too early in Novitera for that. Do they have Brigand Ahkour Bourbon here?" She asked, referring to the top shelf Noviteran whiskey. "I don't know Ghantish cuisine well either so I'll have whatever you're having. I trust your judgment."

"Yeah, there is some of that here. Also, I am thinking we could stick with something basic, nothing too crazy. Maybe some lamb chops and mashed potatoes, and some chowder in a bread bowl. One of the cool things about the main course is it comes on a trencher, so you can eat it after everything else is done!"

"Ahh...this is my first time here Nori and I'm not some noble lady you have to tip toe around. I want the full Ghantish experience. Let's get crazy shall we..." She answered him with a sly grin.

"Alright, I can see you are ambitious. We will go with a double order of Alubias de Tolosa-for eight." He grinned.

"Sounds perfect." Molly replied having no idea what could be coming. This was a new world and she was excited. Whether it be the food, the customs or any other sites like the King's palace. She pulled her hair into a ponytail letting the bangs hang down the sides. Unlike last night and this morning, the hairstyle revealed three ear piercings. Nothing fancy, just two small hanging pendants from her ear lobes that she got at a stand in Brompton Beach. Then a ring on her upper ear on Nori's right side.

"...That is a lot of piercings." Nori remarked.

Molly raised an eyebrow. "Is it? I thought two in each ear was standard and a third to be just a tad extra. Do you not like it?" She asked.

Nori shrugged. "Whatever makes you happy. Piercings aren't really big in Ghant. Especially with Sophia setting the standard for what is attractive in women...and she doesn't have any."

"She gets featured in our tabloids once in a while. But I don't read that trash." Molly commented. "I see. Well, I'll take the ring out if you want but the dolphin pendants are from my father. I expect to be buried wearing these." She said sternly. Her face for a moment flashed to sorrow but then Molly went back to smiling. "I suppose I have a bit of a learning curve when it comes to what is normal here."

"Leave em in, they don't bother me." Nori shrugged. "Ghant isn't hard to figure out. Make the right friends, and the rest takes care of itself."

"You make it sound so easy." Molly stated. "So who are your friends?" She asked

"Taboro, the Bogardans, the Dakmarans, even. The Emperor...not so much." He laughed.

"Did you fall out with the Emperor over something?" She said worriedly. That could have an affect on the business.

"Oh no, nothing like that. I beat him in a sparring match, and he was a poor sport about it." He laughed.

"I think I need to teach you something about guile Nori." Molly said disapprovingly.

"Don't get me wrong, the Emperor thinks I am pretty cool. We like to discuss history." He smiled.

"Ah, it would be a shame if you were on his bad side. I don't think I've read a history book since freshman year of college." She said and laughed. "The only things I read now a days are spreadsheets."

"Nothing wrong with that., not at all. No, I am not on his bad side, if that was what you were wondering."

"Sounds like you have too much time on your hands Nori." Molly said.

"One of the benefits of being a Lord, I suppose."

"Yes, a distinction you inherited but did not earn." Molly said derisively. "I suppose I'm in no position to throw stones. My own wealth came from my father. But you could say I'm earning my stripes."

"One could argue that I earned it by being born." Nori laughed.

Molly leaned back in her chair frowning. Nori's cool confidence was beginning to seem more like self-centeredness from where she was sitting. The man had neglected to ask any questions about her since picking her up from her apartment. It was unattractive but she still needed to play the part. "I need a drink." She said sourly.

Nori picked up on her body language. The waitress picked the perfect time to come out with the drink. The Brigand Ahkour Bourbon had arrived. Nori poured Molly and himself a glass. "I am sorry Molly, this is a new experience for me. I have never gone out with a foreign girl before, and truth be told I am quite nervous...especially around a woman that is so much more attractive and intelligent than myself. I wish I knew what to say...what to ask...sometimes that is hard to figure out. I want to know about you, your life, your dreams and your aspirations...but asking the right questions seems to elude me."

That made Molly smile. "More attractive, definitely." She teased. "More intelligent...we're both in the majors. I just play a different game." It would do well to give him credit there. "You can start by saying whatever you want. I'm the one trying to marry you remember? Have you never been on a date with a pretty girl before?"

"I have yes, but none as pretty as you. You are intimidating, you know that?" He smiled.

She laughed, her body language now back to positive signals. "I can see that. Nori, I've dated less attractive, poorer and less intelligent guys than you. You stack up, trust me." Molly assured him. "Now, what do you want to know, specifically?"

"Tell me about your family. Mom, dad, brothers and sisters."

Molly appreciated that Nori asked that question but the topic only brought her sadness. "I have a 20 year old brother. He's at University of Calirma having too much fun right now. That's where I went for undergrad too. I love him but he can be a brat sometimes. Smart kid. My mom left us when I was young. I don't know why and don't even remember her. My father had a heart attack two years ago and passed away. Before that he was really good to me and my brother. The kind of father that everyone wants but not everybody gets. I got lucky there. When he died, I took over his seat on the board for Aitor Mining." She answered. "Gotta look after the family business. They don't take me seriously over there because I'm too young. But I think I do an exceptional job." Molly shrugged.

"I am very sorry to hear that. I believe that your father would be proud of you. I am."

"What about you? Parents around?" She asked.

"My mother still lives, and is in good health. My father passed away 2 years ago...cancer got him."

"I suppose we both know what that is like then." Molly grabbed his hand for a moment. She picked up her glass of whiskey and raised it up. "To our fathers and to filling their shoes the best we can."

Nori accepted her hand, and gently held it. He raised his glass. "To our fathers." He said. The waitress came out with the food not long thereafter.

Molly drained her glass then took a look at the food, her expression uneasy. "Well, I'm not one to run away so easily." She started filling her plate with the different dishes that were presented.

"It's good stuff. People wouldn't eat it if it wasn't." Nori laughed. "Flavor is big here in Ghant."

"I'll take your word for it." Molly replied and started eating. "Not bad." She commented, finding the meal enjoyable. "Maybe I'm just hungry, but good choice."

"I told you it was good!" He exclaimed, happily. At that point, he got a bad feeling. It was confirmed when Lord Pazuzu emerged into the restaurant and got seated at a table not too far away from Molly and Nori. Pazuzu was a tall and thin man, with pale yellow eyes, pasty white loose skin on his face, a wide, narrow mouth, long nose and short graying black hair.

"What's wrong Nori?" Molly asked worried. She sensed apprehension in his body language.

"Lord Pazuzu just came in, he is sitting over there."

"And?" She said confused. "You look like Jocky Hazel just walked in the door and he's here to shoot you." Molly said, reminding herself that Nori probably did not get the reference to the most renowned gunslinger in Noviteran history.

Nori shrugged. "What do you typically eat in Novitera?"

“I usually go to a taco stand or bring a salad. Work keeps me busy. Cuisine from all over Belisaria is popular. Everybody eats Noviteran barbecue." She answered. "Who is Lord Pazuzu?" Molly asked quietly.

"Lord Orzibal Pazuzu of Pazuak, in the northeast of Arrautsa. Somebody I was hoping to avoid...your father's family must have told you some old stories about the Pazuzus?"

"Nori, my last name may be Aitor but the last two people who were truly Ghantish in my family were Kelan and Harold. They died over a hundred years ago. As far as the Aitors of Novitera are concerned, our family history begins in 1824. When Kelan and Harold landed in Novitera." Molly answered him.

"Alright, well, do they have the Boogieman in Novitera? If they do, well, the Ghantish equivalent is House Pazuzu."

"We've got Willy 'Warthog', a notorious outlaw. My father always told me he would come to get me if I didn't behave." Molly, lacking discretion looked over at Orzibal meet his eyes for a brief moment before turning back to Nori.

"In Ghant, they tell you that the Pazuzus will come and get you even if you are good." Nori laughed. "Being good is never enough...you have to be smart too."

"I think we can outwit some pasty looking creep." Molly said confidently. "Should we be worried?"

"No, not really...oh my, this turned out to be really good, didn't it?"

"Agreed. Good choice." Molly answered. "So, what do you have planned after this?"

"I thought you might be interested in checking out my lands."

"I'd like that. How far away is it?"

"About a 15 minute drive to the west. I can take you back to your hotel later on as well."

“Yes. I'm about done here. There's too much and I have a figure to look after." Molly said and wiped her lips with the napkin. "Why don't you let me get this one since you'll be driving me around." She pulled out her purse.

"By all means, knock yourself out." He nodded. "I am full, I don't know about you. Not even anything left of it!"

"You're suppose to insist on it jerk." Molly replied jokingly, handing the waitress her credit card. The limit on it was five hundred thousand dollars. When she returned with the bill, Molly wrote in a more than generous tip. "Shall we?"

Before Nori could get up, he found Pazuzu standing there, behind Molly. "Good day, Lord Brontzezko. I wasn't expecting to cross paths with you today."

"...Neither was I, Lord Pazuzu." Nori replied, albeit apprehensively.

“…And who is this...young woman in your company? I espied her at the ball last night. I am afraid I am unfamiliar."

Molly turned around and extended her hand. "Molly Aitor." She said in an unmistakable Noviteran accent and faking a smile. "Nori is being a gentleman and showing me around town."

Pazuzu just stared out with a blank expression on his face, and he ignored her offer for a handshake. "I see. Tell me, how could it come to be that an Aitor of Gotorleku might speak with such an...unfortunate accent?" He gave Nori that look, the kind that said don't interrrupt.

"I'm an Aitor of Novitera that never took my Ghantish language classes too seriously." Molly responded somewhat proudly. It seemed that Lord Pazuzu would not be shaking her hand so Molly retracted it.

A strange, unnatural looking man...his voice was sonorous and bellowing, yet soft and gentle at the same time. "...There are no Aitors of Novitera. Just Aitors that are traitors to Ghant...we don't have much use for traitors here." He looked at Nori. "I see what's going on here, Lord Brontzezko. Fraternizing with madarikatuak now, are we? What does she want from you? Surely it is something without honor, for madarikatuak have none."

"I may have no honor but this madarikatuak has enough money to buy your land out from under your feet so be careful Pazuzu." Molly intentionally left out the 'Lord' title. She moved over to Nori's side and slipped an arm through his. "And it'd be in your interest to be kind to Nori. He's got a rich girlfriend who likes to spoil him." Molly kissed his cheek.

Nori stiffened his back. "Enough of this, Lord Pazuzu. I won't tolerate any disrespect towards the Lady Aitor. I will give you this opportunity to leave us be, lest I bring the matter before Taboro...and I doubt he would be thrilled to hear about it."

Pazuzu just stood and stared. Then he inclined his head. "So be it...but be careful. I am going to be watching you, madarikatua, so your intentions best be pure. For if they are not, then neither shall mine." He turned around and walked away, presumably to the restroom.

Let me know if you see anything you like." Molly replied back. She turned to Nori. "Lets get out of here. Bitter cook isn't he? Thanks for having my back."

Nori pulled her close. "Yes, he is, but like I said, no need to worry. You had him under control...I was just there for support. Naturally I have your back...I do like your back...tis quite sexy." He laughed.

"I think it's my best feature." She said jokingly. "But Pazuzu is sort of right Nori. I came to you only on behalf of AMC. It's that's why I'm here in the first place. But everything since then has been genuine. I hope you believe me."

"Of course I believe you. I like you too much not to. Come on, let's get out of here."

Molly followed him out and got in the car wondering if she reciprocated the sentiment of trust. She liked Nori too but trust was another matter. Novitera's high stakes cutthroat corporate world and a few ex-boyfriends left her hoarding what trust she had to give. "Is Pazuzu dangerous? I can call in some bodyguards. AMC has private security on retainer." She looked at Nori. "Nah, you'll do."

"Trust me, I got that taken care of." He smiled. He opened her car door for her.

Molly got in the passengers seat and took the moment to pull out her phone which showed she had received a hefty amount of emails. She put it away not wanting to spoil her vacation. Those could wait until later. "Nori, I can extend my stay in Ghant but you know I'll have to go home sometime."

"No worries, I understand." He said as he shut her door and walked around to the driver's side.

"You could come with me." Molly said when Nori got into the driver's seat. The statement beckoned for an answer. "Bring your sister and mother too."

As Nori got seated and started up the car, he nodded. "Sure, that sounds like fun. I think they would like that too." Then they drove away.
Last edited by Ghant on Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:39 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Ghant » Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:17 pm

”La Macabra”
Dakar, Dakmoor, Ghant


Prince Martin of Dakmoor was riding around Dakauregia, under a partly cloudy sky. He was dressed in his riding uniform, with tall leather boots and gloves. His horse was black as night, as was his clothing, and he could feel the wind in his hair as he rode through the forest and the town.

Maria was riding as well, trying to hide her excitement as she saw and chased Martin around the area. She admired his calves and thighs as he rode his black steed, while she mounted her Arabian. She always found an equestrian to be a serious stud and Martin most of all. She just hoped that she could catch up with him and surprise him. Wearing tight trousers and riding boots, as well as a rather bright red blouse to draw attention to herself, she also had the traditional jockey helmet on, clearly looking the part.

Martin’s horse came to a slow trot, as Martin began to breathe in the fresh air and take in the sights around him, only concerning himself with his horse and the scenery.

“Well, what do you have here? The great prince of Dakmoor himself, out for a nice ride in the inclement weather, much like myself. So, handsome, care for a riding companion?” Maria teased him a little.

Martin was not expecting to see Maria, of all people. He jumped, his horse grew startled, and Martin fell from his horse and landed on his back upon the dirt beneath.

Maria, not being a weak girl at all, stopped Felicia, her mare, and climbed off to help Martin up from the ground. She took extra time to lightly touch him as she did so, however, and then she checked for any broken bones. “Nothing broken, thank God. Sorry to startle you and your fine stallion. What’s his name?” she smiled as if to entice him.

Martin always considered Maria attractive, even now. She was so petite, so tiny compared to him. He was 6’5’’ and she was 5’4’’. The 13 inch height difference was easily noticeable when he got back to his feet with the tender assistance of Maria. Any man as tall and strong as Martin was would naturally think about what he could do with such a woman in bed. Martin entertained such a thought before shifting towards answering her question. “It would take a lot to break these bones, my Princess. This stallion is named Mamu.” He said. He brushed her arm with his hand, one time. “It is good to see you again my Princess. Welcome to Dakar. How fares thee of late?” He asked her tenderly.

“I am well, sweet prince. If a bit lonely, to be honest. Tell me, how are things for you?” She looked up at the giant and smiled with her utmost charm.

“I fear that I am lonely as well. Crown Prince of Dakmoor comes at a cost it would seem. You look radiant as ever though, my Princess.” Martin smiled. “Would you like to ride with me? Perhaps we can share a horse? We can always tether your Arabian for a time.”

“Very well, but I warn you. I don’t do side saddle. I ride like a real equestrian….and I will want to hug you very close for the comfort and safety of it,” Maria tethered Felicia and then put her arms around Martin in a sudden embrace.

“So be it, my Princess.” Martin lifted her with relative ease and sat her upon the saddle of Mamu, before climbing up himself. He waited until she was comfortable and then they began to ride.

Maria held tightly to Martin, enjoying the smell of him as they rode, trusting him to ride it and simply going along for the ride. She trusted him to keep the proper stride, after all. It was fantastic, riding with the man who had stolen her heart already.

As they rode around, Martin began to speak. “How fares your brother and sisters? It has been some time since I have seen any of them.”

“They are well, or so I’ve been told. Diego is working at reconciliation, which pleases Aunt Isabel, but then he never approved of the harshness of Grandfather’s decrees. He is conservative in his own way, but more reasonably so. I hope to meet them again soon, though Blanca might take longer, since she lives in New Edom now. How are Sophia and Michael?” Maria asked as she lightly pecked the back of his neck with her lips.

“Sophia and Michael are both well...they are both in Ghish at the moment. Michael is courting Queen Mara of New Edom, I have heard. Good for him. He was always a bit jealous that I was heir to Dakmoor and not he. Perhaps if he plays his cards right he shall be a King, and in more rapid time than myself.” He laughed. “Did you come here by way of Gauekoizarra, from your Grandmother’s place up there...and did you see my grandmother too?”

“Yes and yes. Grandmother is the same as always. Yours and mine. Not much changes there. Grandma always had a lively spirit, maybe that’s where I got my rebellious streak and Aunt Isabel got hers. What do you think?” Maria giggled, deliberately blowing on the back of Martin’s neck.

“Our grandmothers are very close friends. They are always spending time together...scheming. My grandmother is always trying to get me to pursue you...I wonder if her and Bessie prodded you in my direction.” Martin grinned, sheepishly even as Maria giggled and blew on the back of his neck.

“What if they did? What that be such a terrible thing? Not that I needed much prodding. I’ve been waiting for you all my life. You’re the only man I’ve ever truly loved. Shocking?” Maria admitted.

Martin held the reins with one hand as he touched her hands with the other. “No, it wouldn’t, not at all by any means. I have always fancied you myself, but I knew that you were fragile, physically and emotionally, and I felt that pursuing you would have been selfish and ill timed. I had always assumed that your affections were merely a result of me having saved you from your grandfather. It was the right thing to do, and I would have done it a thousand times over. Fate would have it that it fell upon me to save you from his vile touch. Now here you are, oh such a sweet and beautiful creature, professing thine love for me.”

“I fell in love with you at that time, yes, but it hasn’t changed, so it must be the real thing. My ambition is still to be your wife, whatever your title is. It’s you that I love, not your position. I’d marry you yesterday if I could. If you wanted to leave all this behind and elope to some strange foreign land without titles or royalty, I would join you without hesitation. I’ve already proven that I am not afraid to risk that, after all,” Maria explained.

Martin was in the process of bring his horse back around to hers, on account of having rode for a good 15 minutes by that time. “Alas, my Princess, my duty is to be Crown Prince, and someday King of Dakmoor. I will not deviate from this course. It is for that reason that I have hesitated much in the way of seeking a bride, for the choice cannot be made easily. My father is reluctant to have a scion of the Mad Emperor on the throne, but if you are the one that I want to make my wife and Queen, then I will not take no for an answer.”

“Let me assure you that I am nothing like that man, ancestor though he is. I am also descended from Michael and Luz, after all. Not to mention Caitria Silven, Nathan II, and whichever son of Nathan I was really Nathan’s father. Both were descended from Aelius Castor and Aelia Paulina, at any rate. I will be a very good wife to you, I swear upon my life and my eternal soul. I even converted for you, in case you wondered,” Maria referred to her change of Catholicism for Protestantism, which was done entirely to be of the same fate as Martin……

…..Heaven or Hell, she resolved to spend eternity with him, either way.

When Martin pulled his horse up to her’s, he came to a stop and jumped off. He was overwhelmed by her words of affection. Something in him burned for this woman now. Once he was on the ground he picked up the petite princess, and with her in his hands he kissed her...wondering if that was the right thing to do.

Kissing Martin back with a great amount of desire as well as tongue, Maria kept whispering, “I am yours, my Prince. All yours. I have never been with another man and never will be. I refuse to be with another man, ever. I am faithful to you, I swear it. I am a true maid, as from my mother’s womb. Completely chaste, except with you. Though since I ride, I won’t bleed the first time.”

Martin realized in this moment how badly he wanted this woman. Twas fate that led him to saving her from her grandfather’s lechery, and even the Gods willed her into his arms. He wanted nothing more than to rip her dress from her body and take her tenderly right there nearest the forest...but he would not. His father had eyes everywhere, and he could not risk that exposure. He kissed her back as he pressed her against his body, and then after he heard what she had to say, he responded. “We will have to discuss this matter with my father. For the time being, I say we should stable these horses, and perhaps you wouldn’t mind joining me in my solar for dinner?” He asked her with a smile. After all, there were no eyes in his solar…

“The solar it is, then. For dinner. I look forward to dining with my handsome host. Perhaps we can discuss some other things pertinent to the future, such as Dakmoor’s destiny,” she winked at him, using a sort of code.

Martin called the kitchen in advance to have food prepared and brought to his chambers, and by the time the two had stabled their horses and entered Dakauregia through the rear door and up to his chambers, dinner was ready and waiting on the table in his solar, hot and steaming...like he was. She was too, presumably.

Steak, potatoes, steamed vegetables and clam chowder in bread bowls was what was on the menu, along with red wine, which Martin poured two glasses of. He had dreamy eyes as he stared into hers.

“You went all out, Your Highness, or shall I call you my Prince? Or just Martin. Thank you, Senor. You are quite the host. Excellent dishes, and I do adore potatoes. Red wine, too. Much like that back home. I love a fine steak as well. No vegetarians in my family. I do love meat,” Maria couldn’t resist a little bawdy pun, virgin though she was.

“Call me Martin, please, my Princess. You are most welcome. You deserve as much and more. Would that I could pluck a star from the heavens, or the rarest flower from the highest peak, and deliver it to you. Would that do you justice? I think not, for there is nothing in the heavens or in the world that can match you in terms of splendor.” He smiled then. “I should warn you of the meat...there might be more than you can handle.”

“Try me,” Maria winked, kissing him, before she said, “Your words….they make me melt. It’s like one of those sexy novels from that Countess lady in New Edom. You make shiver. So, what should I have first?”

She poured the red wine for both of them and handed Martin his glass.

“Make a plate with the steak, potatoes and vegetables together, with gravy on top. I think you will enjoy the meat here at Dakauregia, it is quite tender and juicy.” He took the wine and rank deeply from it, his mind focused on what sound her riding pants might make if he were to rip them off. He stuck his legs out under the table, and touched her foot with his.

“Thank you and I will,” Maria said, making herself a plate, and then one for Martin, another way of serving him.

Martin was quite hungry, working up an appetite from riding, and he dug into his dinner with zeal, albeit with couth in the presence of the Princess. meanwhile he caressed her legs with his feet underneath the table, wondering how she would react to such a touch.

“I can see that I am not the only one here with an appetite. Just so you know, I meant what I said. My virginity is yours, and yours alone, to take whenever you wish. Now, tomorrow, our wedding night, or the night before. It’s entirely up to you,” Maria promised Martin.

Martin laughed, even as he ate. “My Princess, such things just happen naturally, in the heat of the moment. I can assure that since it is your maidenhead, you are the one that calls the shots. I lost mine awhile ago, so I would defer such a monumental decision to thine judgement.” He drank some more wine and continued eating, wondering if he was going to claim this woman that very evening.

“Well, you did say that we had privacy, yes?” Maria smiled at him in a suddenly predatory fashion, belying her petite and innocent look.

Martin finished his plate, feeling full. Yet he still hungered. “...There is total and unparalleled privacy in my chambers, my Princess.” His eyes were fixated on hers, longingly.

“Well, then, my Prince. Your wish is my command,” Maria said, kissing his hand and planting a serious one on his mouth.

That was all that Martin could handle. The moment she kissed him, he burst forth from the table, and with eager hands he plucked Maria from her seat. He kissed her passionately, and as he carried her off to his bed, he ripped at her riding pants in an attempt to get them off.

“Now, that is exactly what I dreamed of having you do to me, Senor,” Maria said with a heavy Spanish accent as she cooperated with him, “you don’t mind leaving the boots on, do you, my Prince?”

Like some voracious beast, Martin threw her on the bed and began to work at her clothes, kissing her mouth, neck and shoulders with passion. “No.” Was all he said, too busy showering her body with his kisses.

Unable to resist at all, Maria simply kissing him back as urgently as she could and began to sigh, even breathing sharply as she felt those kisses on her skin. She knew very well that she was going to yield it all that night. This was the time. She would give Martin of Dakmoor her virtue, whatever the consequences. Before she knew it, Maria had her hands working to free Martin’s own special gift to her from its wrapping. She knew exactly what she planned for that, down to the last act….if it were up to her, at least.

Not wanting to remove her boots, Martin continued to rip and tear at her pants with one hand and was undoing the rest of her garments with the other, while kissing her with great passion. He had to make a conscious effort to make sure he was gentle with her. He would have plenty of other opportunities to take her with savage passion.

Maria kept kissing Martin back while removing his clothes, finally having nothing between them but the air. She then grabbed his head and guided him where she wanted him to go, knowing that he could take the hint. Once that was done, she would be quite ready….very receptive and warm, as long as he did his homework.

Martin was good at taking hints, and made a motion to please her with his tongue, wanting her to be prepared for the deed that was soon to come. In that moment, Maria la Macabra was home at last.
Last edited by Ghant on Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Ghant » Fri Oct 03, 2014 5:03 pm

”A Conspicuous Coupling (VI)"
Arragard, Arrautsa, Ghant


Nori and Molly were driving in Nori’s sedan out west to Nori’s home. The road was long and winding, and the ground was hard and rugged, not quite totally flat but less than hilly as well. In order to pass the time, Nori turned on the radio, and changed it to a classic rock station. Ghantish classic rock relied on instruments such as the guitar, drums, bass and keyboard to produce catchy tracks with competent lead vocals. It wasn’t turned up too high, to where Nori and Molly couldn’t talk, but not too low to where he couldn’t hear it either.

Molly listened to the music. Sometimes when the lyrics were too fast it was difficult to understand. Her Ghantish was not as good as her English or mainstream Latin. The drive was pleasant however. At least compared to the traffic clogged roads of Heselory. Why her home city did not have subway like Avantine was a wonder.

“Is this your favorite kind of music?” She asked though not derisively. It sounded nice and some of the lyrics were catchy when Molly could follow along.

“I wouldn’t say that I have a favorite, truly. I just change stations until I find a song that I like. Just so happens this is the one that struck my fancy. Feel free to change the station whenever.”

“I’ll let you handle the music.” Molly replied while staring out the window. She was still getting use to the stark contrast in scenery. “How long has your family been living here?” Molly asked.

Nori made an “hmm” sound for a moment as he pondered the question. “I believe roughly 3,000 years...not that long.” He answered, playfully.

That made Molly laugh. “Seriously, how long?” She asked, believing Nori to be joking.

“3,000 years...ish” Nori responded, as they were approaching his town.

“Quite amazing. I got my place just two years ago, ha!” She said, believing it now. How a family could stay in one spot was beyond her. “You never thought about getting a place in Ghish or one of the larger cities?”

“I could if I wanted to, but I have never felt the need. This is my home, and that of my ancestors. I am the Lord here, and this is my place. I know other lords get townhouses or second estates in Ghish and other places, but that is expensive too, and I find the cost to be greater than the return on investment. Whenever I go to Ghish for a meeting of the Jauneketxea, I usually just stay at Taboro’s place down there, as he keeps a room for me. Then I can tell my sister how kind and hospitable he is.” Nori laughed.

“Hmm...can’t say I share your sentiment. As soon as I could I left home. Did my graduate studies out of state too in Avantine. But if this goes well you won’t have to worry about money again.” Molly replied with a wink. She knew what the Jauneketxea was, having did some research on Ghant’s political system.

“I suppose if I had the money I would get a townhouse down there.” Nori drove through his town, which was littered with old stone buildings. There were not too many people out and about either. He made a right turn, and at the top of a low, wide hill was his family estate. It too was made of stone, and much larger than the other buildings. There was a fortified stone wall with a portcullis gate that was open, and the road went right up under it. “If you look up you can see the murder holes. There hasn’t been any boiling tar in them since the Civil War though, so don’t worry.” He laughed. There was a carport in the corner of the walls, just beneath a rampart. “Well, here we are. My mother and sister are inside there, somewhere.” He gestured towards the keep, which was large and square shaped, with towers at corner. Despite showing its age, it looked warm and inviting, with light eminating from all the windows, and smoke rising from a chimney.

“Marvelous.” Molly commented looking up at the gate as they drove through. She had seen similar structures in some of the older countries she had visited as well but it was striking all the same. She was also excited to meet Nori’s family and so checked her face in the car mirror briefly. First impressions were important anywhere. “How many times has there been a siege here?” She asked as they stepped out of the car.

“Too many, I don’t recall the number. The last one was in 1864. The King of Jehenna came down here and burned this lands and put its people to the sword...at least the ones that didn’t seek refuge in this keep. We were loyal to the Emperor Nathan II, and Charles and his hordes made these people suffer for that. My ancestor Lord Barl Brontzezko surrendered to Charles rather than see his people killed and his family murdered. Those were very dark days in Ghant, the likes of which people from Ghish to Tor wish we never see the likes of again.” He explained with a sad face. He knocked on the iron pull on one of the large wooden doors.

It opened, and a middle aged woman in a gray dress with faded dark hair and stoney blue eyes poked her head out. “Nori, my baby.” She exclaimed as she pulled her son into her.

Nori blushed in embarrassment. “Mother, this is the Lady Aitor I was telling you about.” He turned to Molly. “Molly, this is my mother, the Lady Astrid Kuartzoa.”

Molly listened to the sad story recalling the Aitor’s own tragic history at the Battle of Lady Irena which happened just 6 years prior to the siege Nori spoke of. She smiled at Nori’s mother.

“Nori here flatters me. I’m not Lady in the Ghantish sense.” Molly said revealing her foreign origins with the accent. She held out her hand. “Pleased to meet you.”

“Where is this sister of yours Nori?” Molly asked.

Astrid reached out with both hands and shook Molly’s extended hand. “Nonsense! You are an Aitor, and Aitors are quite Ghantish. Doesn’t matter that you weren’t born in Ghant, my girl. My father used to tell me, ‘just because a cat had biscuits in the oven, that doesn’t make them biscuits.’ You might think you are a biscuit, but perhaps deep down you are still a cat.” She laughed. “The pleasure is all mine, Molly of the House Aitor.”

Nori laughed and responded to Molly. “Estella is probably…”

Astrid cut him off and yelled. “Estella, come, come!”

Within a minute, Estella emerged at the door. She was about 5’11, an inch or so taller than her mother, and she had gray-blue eyes with raven hair and smooth fair skin. She was slender, yet shapely...perhaps a bit more on the shapely side. She was wearing a dark blue dress that looked to be more for comfort than style.

Estella smiled and tilted her head as she did a curtsy. “This must be the Aitor girl. Pleasure to meet you, my lady. I am the Lady Estella of the House Brontzezko.”

“Lady it is then. Thank you.” Molly replied. She wondered whether Nori had told them about the Madarikatuak status of her family.

The warm welcome pleased Molly who did not know how to respond to the curtsy and so held out a hand for Estella who was also comely. Molly could see the resemblance to Nori. “Hello Estella. Molly Aitor. A shame I did not get to meet you last night at the gathering. I hear there’s a King there who’s sweet on you. Lucky girl.” Molly said.

Estella blushed and flashed a pearly white smile. “Yes, the King is quite...eager to pursue me. So is the Pazuzu boy...and I can’t say I was too thrilled with having to deal with him all night. King Taboro is more than welcome to come visit me here, and he is more than welcome to whenever he pleases.”

Astrid shook her head. “My daughter likes to play games, forgive her. She knows she is pretty and smart, and is always flashing it around. She has been getting letters from all over concerning her hand. Quite the economist, my Estella is.” She looked at the sky for a moment, taking note of the cloud formations. “Please, children, come inside. Make yourselves comfortable. Our home is yours.”

Astrid pulled open the door a bit wider, revealing a large and wide entrance hall, with a long red carpet running the length of the floor, and a hearth fire burning in the center of the room in a four sided fireplace facade. The walls were decorated with banners, weapons and paintings, and in the corners of the hall were tables with tall and bright lamps.

“Ha! Estella, you should teach me your tricks then. I feel I am getting a bit rusty these days. And it seems you are not the only one who has had unpleasant run ins with these Pazuzus.” Molly exclaimed. Estella certainly was pretty. Her curves contrasted with Molly’s even more slim and toned figure but both would be appealing to any man.

Molly entered the Brontzezko keep to see more of the ancient Ghantish flavor that seemed to permeate every facet of the environment.

“If Nori has not told you yet, I’m from Novitera and they don’t make homes like this there. It’s very beautiful Miss Kuartzoa.” Molly stated.

Estella’s face lit up as she walked over to where the furniture was. “Tricks? Just make yourself look pretty all the time, wear sexy dresses, and never let them forget what it is that you have to offer. They will come running. During the Great Summer Ball of 2006, I even had the Emperor of Ghant wrapped around my finger...until Sophia of Dakmoor showed up. That woman is magic, let me tell you.” She sat down on a cushy couch, and leaned her head back, showing her tender white neck. “Yeah, those Pazuzus are a real pain, and they have trouble finding spouses for a long time. They usually end up with northern clan women and the daughters of landed knights.” She laughed.

Astrid responded to Molly’s statement. “Ah, Novitera, tis far away, opposite of Rome. Indeed, homes in these parts of Ghant usually have different flairs. They tend to be more defensible, and much older. An ancestor builds a home, and then his descendants live in it. Even when there is a new home built, a younger son or such would still live in the old one, and do homage unto the land of his ancestors.” She took a seat next to Estella, and began playing with her daughter’s hair.

Nori sat down on the opposite couch. “They don’t make furniture anywhere like they do in Ghant. Ghantish furniture maximizes pillowy comfort.” He laughed.

Molly took a seat next to Nori and listened to Estella’s advice. She had never been one for playing games with men though did know how to make herself noticed. Not that she needed to often for Molly was the key to the Aitor fortune.

“I work in corporate and usually wear a suit. Not often I get to wear a nice dress but I always enjoy it when I can.” Molly replied.

She looked at Astrid. “Yes, it is a long plane ride. I told Nori here that he and the both of you should come when I go back. I have a place in Heselory you can all stay at.” Molly offered. “As for homes, that strikes me as quite different from our own practice. Usually children move out as soon as they can. I have already sold the place I grew up in.” She stated. It was a luxurious apartment in downtown Heselory. Molly wanted to move to Brompton Beach.

Astrid nodded. “That sounds interesting. We have never been out of the country. Never had much of a need to travel, I suppose.”

Estella had a smile on her face. “I have some dresses you could try. I think you would look very pretty, more than you already are. I can see that my little brother has an eye for it.”

Nori chuckled and put an arm around Molly, confidently. “Now, now, it hasn’t even been that long. I think the start has been good though.”

“Thank you Estella. Perhaps later as Nori here says he is going to show me the Brontzezko lands.” Molly said with an appreciative grin.

She leaned in closer as Nori put an arm around her. “And Miss Kuartzoa, travelling is best when you do not need to do it. I can say that much. Estella, we need to get you into the big city as well. As beautiful as this place is, a girl like you should not be kept hidden in the countryside.”

Estella beamed. “Yes, I would like that. I went to school in Ghish, and that was a lot of fun. I have been meaning to get back into the scene.”

“I suppose there is some wisdom in that.” Astrid responded, before looking at Nori. “When are you going to show Lady Aitor the lands?”

Nori shrugged, as he began play with Molly’s hair. “Whenever she wants to see them, I suppose. She knows that I am at her disposal, and that there are many things I wish to show her.” He turned to Molly and grinned sheepishly. Estella sniggered at that, while Astrid blushed. “Nori does take after his father…”

Molly let Nori run his hands through her hair though kept her attention on Astrid and Estella knowing how important it was to win over the family. She wondered whether Estella would be able to hold her own against the well educated, high paid and often arrogant yuppies of Heselory then decided they would be no match. In response to Nori’s comment, Molly gave him a slight playful jab in the ribs.

“I’ll be showing you the palm of my hand.” Molly said jokingly. “I lost my own father not long ago. A great loss I would imagine if he’s like Nori here.”

They talked for an hour. Molly told them about her work at AMC trying to be humble about it. Perhaps Ghantar did not find an executive level position at a major corporation as much of a big deal as Noviterans did. She asked a few questions as well such as where Nori and Estella went to school.

Nori told Molly more about the University of Arrautsa, Estella talked about her time studying business at the University of Ghish...and how she was a straight C student. Astrid meanwhile regaled them about her time attending a finishing school in the 80s.

“Business? Have you been putting that degree to use Estella? I got my own MBA at the University of Soletrek.” Molly asked, intrigued.

“I manage our estate, lands and incomes. Believe me- Taboro isn’t after me just for my looks.” She laughed. “I got an MBA too, although you seem to be much more savvy with the stuff than myself.”

“Impressive. Does Nori here help? I only have my position because I inherited a large amount of the company shares. If it wasn’t for that, well, I don’t know where I would be.” Molly replied.

“Thank you. He helps a little bit, but he is not really mathematically inclined. I do most of the heavy lifting around here.”

Molly turned to Nori and shook her head disapprovingly though it was obvious it was not sincere. “Uh oh. You should know I like a man who gets off his ass and works.” She said. “So how about that tour of the lands?”

Nori laughed. “I word hard and often...my sister is just being modest. I go to Arragard and Ghish all the time for Jauneketxea stuff...yeah, lets get a lay of the land, shall we?”

Nori and Molly went out into the land to scope it out. The ground was cold, barren and hard, filled with rocks and stones. “Alright...so what does Palladium look like? All I see is bare earth and rocks.”

Molly grabbed the necklace she was wearing. It was a thin chain and at the end a small locket. “Like this.” She said. “It’s a very lucrative metal. Used quite often in creating electronics. You won’t find it walking around though. Not that I am familiar with geology anyways. We’ll have to dig with industrial mining equipment.”

“How do you know its down there?” Nori asked.

“AMC keeps an eye out on geological surveys all over the world. We are constantly reviewing public records. It seems there is a large deposit on your land.” Molly answered bluntly.

“Yes...so it would seem. I guess it is a good thing that the deposit isn’t on land that is currently be used for anything important.”

“Well even if it was, you’d still have to consider the price AMC will pay for it...which should be upwards of 200 million UFD.” She said plainly hoping that would catch Estella’s and Astrid’s interest.

Nori gulped. “Some things are more important than money, you know.”

“Of course dear. Just not in the business I’m in.” Molly replied and patted his arm. She gave him a smile as to say that beneath her pretty face, there was a hard businesswoman.

“I find it ironic that you would say that. You are more important than the money...and yet you say not in the business you are in.” Nori laughed. “I would pay 200 million UFD just for you...and that still wouldn’t match your value. Some things are priceless, after all.”

While Nori’s words were sweet and Molly knew they were sincere, she also found them to be incredibly corny and started laughing. It took a few moments for her to calm down after which she kissed him on the cheek. “You scored some points. Lucky for you you’re in a position to get both. Let’s go?” She beckoned.

Nori nodded his head without saying anything, and as he went to walk away, he reached for her hand. Molly took it and followed him out. The returned to Nori’s estate.

“Goodbye Miss Kaurtzoa, Estella. We’ll see each other again.” She said while walking away.

Astrid and Estella both did curtsies. “Please come back soon...don’t be a stranger.”

Estella agreed. “Yeah, don’t be long from here, Molly.”

With that, Molly and Nori went back to Nori’s car, and they took off, driving back to her hotel.
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Posts: 2405
Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Ghant » Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:40 pm

"A Conspicuous Coupling" (VII)
Brontzezko, Arrautsa, Ghant


It didn’t take long. After three days of living out of her hotel, Molly accepted the Brontzezko’s offer of staying at their estate, with full accommodations provided free of charge, including her own personal quarters near Estelle’s. By now she had been there for about a month.

She was on her phone in the room pacing around while getting ready. This was suppose to be an important day for their relationship. In trying to look more Ghantish she was wearing one of Estelle’s casual dresses.

“Yes, send a plane to Arragard. I have to be back in Heselory very soon and make sure it’s stocked with amenities for four passengers….” Molly spoke. She was chartering a plane back for the return trip.

Ghant had been wonderful but it was time now to go home. There was work to be done and her absence, if prolonged any further would raise questions about her professionalism. At least she was coming back with something to show for her travels.

The Brontzezko estate had visitors...more than they were used to having. Among the esteemed guests included Brioar Bogardan, Osrik Pazuzu, Andar Aitor and even King Taboro himself. They were staging a small tournament at arms in the sparring yard, a field of eight combatants, consisting of the aforementioned lords and even a few knights to boot.

Nori was among them. His sister helped him suit up in his armor, which was black and gray. The cape bore the sigil of House Brontzezko. “Only three fights and I am the champion...do you think I can win, sister?”

Estella laughed. “The more important question is do you think you can win, little brother. You have to think you can.”

Molly entered to see Nori all dressed for battle. She went over to him giving Estella a smile while doing so and put an arm around his waist. “You sure everything is going to be alright? I’m a bit worried.” She said though at the same time was just as excited to observe.

Nori smiled. “Indeed, there will be a few noble ladies here to observe. The champion of the tournament gets to grant any lady present the boon of ‘lady love’...I wonder upon whom I should bestow such a boon…” He looked at Molly and grinned.

“Already assuming that you’ll win. I like that.” She replied, meaning it. “Win or lose, you’ll still get me.” Molly passed over a bandana to Nori. It was blue and gold, the colors of their family and the 26ers football team. “I hear it is traditional in Ghant for men to wear their lady’s favor in battle.” She stated, not really knowing if that was true getting the idea from movies. “Garth Aitor, Kelan’s son and my ancestor, wore this bandana when he rode with the Charmed Rangers back in the War of Independence. It is the colors of the Aitors of Novitera.” Molly explained, beckoning him to take it.

Nori accepted the bandana. “Indeed it is. I was just about to ask you for your favor...I am glad to have it this tournament.” He put it on, and then Estella gave him a slap on the back. “You are ready, go out there and do your thing, brother.”

Nori nodded, and went out to the tournament grounds to view the lists.

The order was as follows:

Nori Brontzezko vs Andar Aitor
Osrik Pazuzu vs Todo Tobar
Brioar Bogardan vs Inigo Stagu
Taboro vs Sancri Astagar

Nori laughed out loud, and turned around to see Molly. “Looks like I drew your cousin, Molly. If you decide to stay loyal to your House, I wouldn’t hold it against you.” He gestured towards Andar Aitor on the other side of the field. He was tall and broad shouldered, with dark brown hair and grey eyes. He was wearing enameled blue and gold armor, with a blue cape. In his hands he clutched a blunted two handed greatsword.

That made Molly chuckle. “I don’t know these Aitors.” She said then grabbed Nori by the armor to draw him in close to kiss him passionately. “Kick his ass.” She whispered.

Nori drew her into him and pressed her against his armor as they kissed. “Indeed I shall try.” Nori and Andar were the first fight, and Nori grabbed a blunted two handed greatsword to match his opponent. When the fight began, Andar took the initiative. He was strong and swift, but grew tired quickly. Nori evaded the hefty blows, and after ten minutes, Nori was able to lay some blows on Andar’s back, forcing him to the ground and to yield. The other fights commenced in short order, and after about 45 minutes, the second round was next.

Nori Brontzezko vs Osrik Pazuzu
Brioar Bogardan vs Taboro

Nori was not looking forward to fighting Osrik Pazuzu. The Pazuzu heir had vanquished Todo Tobar maliciously, to the point that Tobar had black and blue and had to be dragged off the field. Nori looked back to Molly as Pazuzu readied his maul.

Molly was truly impressed at the feats of arms displayed. The practice to her was ancient and no longer practical it seemed but amazing all the same. It seemed like a long fight and she was relieved he had won the first bout. Molly had shed any appearance of propriety and cheered loudly as Nori fought. She caught Nori’s gaze and returned a smile.

Pazuzu was wearing solid black glistening armor with a red cape. He came at Nori with his maul, and fought with an aggressive, overpowering swagger. He landed some hits on Nori, who tried to parry with his own maul, albeit unsuccessfully. After about ten minutes, Nori took a hit to the chest and fell to his knees. Than Pazuzu hit him in the back, making him fall to the ground face down. Pazuzu stood over him, and gripped his maul hard intending to bring it down on Nori’s back. Molly’s heart sank as she saw Nori go down and it took a great deal of willpower not to cover her eyes. She screamed at him to “look out!” but it was doubtful that Nori heard.

Nori was waiting. As Pazuzu was about to bring his maul down, Nori spun and kicked Pazuzu’s legs out from under him, sending him to the ground. Then Nori was able to get up and bring his maul down on Pazuzu’s chest. Nori’s recovery had Molly cheering again in glee.

Pazuzu took the hit, and then he grabbed the maul, pulling Nori down with him. They struggled in the dirt, attempting to smack each other with their mauls, before Nori was able to push himself up again, with Pazuzu doing the same. The young Pazuzu then made the mistake of attempting to ram Nori with his maul, in fury. Nori merely sidestepped him and with his offhand, reached out and backhanded him in the face with his gauntleted fist. Pazuzu fell on his back to the ground, knocked out. Molly had some skill in combat having taken a few classes in Noviteran knife fighting and boxing. She could tell that Pazuzu’s attack was reckless and done in anger. Nori’s ability to keep a cool head in response was exceptional she concluded.

Nori clutched at his chest and walked off to the side of the grounds to await the victor of the higly anticipated Taboro - Bogardan matchup. That was by far the longest, hardest fought duel, going on for some thirty minutes as both men slammed each other with their warhammers. It was no secret that both men wanted Estella, and so they were willing to fight until they couldn’t fight no more. It was evenly matched and came down to the end, when Bogardan was lucky enough to land a blow on Taboro’s chest that sent him to the ground, unable to get back up and continue the fight.

It was thus that the final matchup consisted of Nori Brontzezko vs Brioar Bogardan.

Molly made her way over to Nori who was standing off to the side. She did not pay attention to the next match and instead wanted to go speak to him. “Wow! It looked like he almost had you!” She exclaimed with pride. “But my Nori is too skilled for that. Just one more round and you could win!”

Nori smiled as Molly came up to him, but winced a bit in pain at the same time. “One more round...against Bogardan. That is a tall order...but he is pretty banged up. Taboro made him pay for that victory. Let’s see what he’s still got.” He got up, grabbed a warhammer, and made his way out to the field.

Bogardan was waiting. He was a tall and barrel chested man, wearing bright red armor. He was strong enough to wield a warhammer in one hand, unlike Nori, who had to use two. They danced around each other for a minute, and then Bogardan made the first move. He arched his warhammer up, and it hit Nori, sending him flying through the air, landing hard on his back. Bogardan moved quickly, and attempted to bring it down on Nori’s chest.

Nori anticipated that, and rolled to the side. He got up and jumped back. For the next twenty or so minutes, Nori danced around Bogardan to avoid his mighty blows, and eventually Bogardan went for one last might blow to knock Nori out. Nori ducked under the swing, and came up with his warhammer in a sideways arc, hitting Bogardan in the ribs. He went down to the ground, and Nori recouped to hit him again in the chest. Bogardan fell on his back, and yielded.

The crowed cheered, and Nori dropped his weapon. A herald came out, and rose his gauntlet into the air. “I hereby pronounce Lord Nori Brontzezko the Champion of this Tournament at Arms. As is customary, you may now crown any Lady you see here as your ‘Lady Love’. A girl came out with a crown of roses upon a cushion, and Nori snatched it up. He walked over to Molly then. ‘I choose Molly of the House Aitor to receive the boon of ‘Lady Love’, and to crown thee such.” He placed the crown of roses upon her head.

To Molly, the next fight was as riveting as the last. She cheered and awed at the display of skill before Nori finally used his stamina and speed to win. It was like something out of a fairy tale when Nori put the crown on her head. She had been a candidate for prom queen back in high school but lost out to another girl which was more disappointing than Molly would admit. But this was even better.

She kissed Nori again as if they were alone while jittery with happiness. “I don’t know what the custom is Nori, but we have to go...now.” Molly urged with a look of determination on her face.

Nori’s victory didn’t come without a price. He dropped to his knees in pain, clutching at his chest. “No pain, no gain.” He said as he grimaced.

Molly shrieked as Nori went down. “Oh dear! What’s wrong!” She said kneeling down and putting an arm around. “Can you stand? Will you need to go to the hospital?”

“No. I just need to get to my chambers and get out of this armor and into a bath.” He replied.

“Ok, I’m coming with you.” Molly said determinately. She tried to help him up and the two walked off slowly into the keep.

After a few minutes of laborious walking through the keep, Molly and Nori reached Nori’s chambers. Nori sat down in a chair, and started to take off his armor, starting with the gauntlets and vambraces. He leaned forward a bit, so Molly could help him with other pieces if she was inclined to do so.

Molly did, undoing the straps slowly and carefully at first. Then moving faster until it was clear she was in a bit of a rush to get his clothes and armor off. “That’s a dangerous hobby Nori. But I’m very proud of you.”

“With great danger comes great reward.” He replied, as he removed the last of his armor with Molly’s help. Nori took his shirt, revealing toned muscles and a six pack...not the most profound by any means, but enough to take proud in. He examined his chest to look for any cuts or bruises.

“Indeed.” She said and ran her hands through his body thoroughly excited. Her heart was beating very quickly. “I ask that you take your reward now. Unless you are too exhausted from the contest.”

Nori didn’t respond with words. Rather, he pushed himself up from his seat and kissed her neck, and ran his hands over body, seeking out ways to get them off. Molly let him while desperately trying to remove her own dress and responding with moans of pleasure. She was no stranger to making love and was eager to use the full extent of her bedroom skills on Nori.

While kissing her and pressing her against him, he backed her up against the side of his king sized bed, and he moved to bring her down upon it with him. Together they were working to discard her articles of clothing, and he had his hands on her skin, exploring her body. The rest happened quick.

They later laid there naked in a tangle. Molly was catching her breath, the flush from her face slowly dissipating. “If I had known you were that good I would have snuck into your bedroom nights ago.” She mused. “When do we have to be back downstairs? I suppose it would be inappropriate if we appeared as so it were obvious as to what we just did.”

Nori caressed her body and played with her hair, and kissed her all over her upper body. “I tried to tell you, but you wouldn’t listen. Now you know.” He laughed. “We should draw a bath. I have a large tub that we can share. I want to scrub your back and rinse your hair, and kiss your neck...by the time we are done, it should be time for the feast.”

“Do you Ghantar not have showers? It has been a long time since I had a bath in a tub.” Molly asked.

“I have a shower in there too...but the tub is much more relaxing, and intimate. I want to share that with you...I think you will enjoy it. Let me spoil you.” He kissed her.

“Fine.” She replied as if she did not want to do it which was certainly not the case.

Nori ran the bathwater, making sure it was warm, but not too hot. Once the tub was full and they got inside, Nori got behind her and massaged and scrubbed her back and shoulders with soap and a loufa. He got her hair wet and shampooed and conditioned it himself, taking his time with her scalp and her hair, and enjoying the feeling of it beneath his fingers, and the feeling of her skin against his.

Molly delighted in Nori’s gentle fingers. But as he would find out like all her previous boyfriends complained was that her mind was ever pushing towards business. She forced herself to relax for a few more moments before speaking.

“I chartered a jet home Nori. There’s things back home that need my attention. I’m afraid I’ll have to go in two days.” She stated wondering what he thought of that.

“Fair enough, my lady love. it is as it must be. Business is important, and I wish you good luck and Godspeed.” He said as he nuzzled the back of her neck.

“I thought you said you would come with me.” She said worriedly.

Nori smiled. “Of course, indeed I did. I would love to accompany you.” He responded as he kissed the back of her neck and traced her spine with his fingers. “I still wish you luck in your business maneuverings. I want to see you succeed”

“Thank you Nori. But I don’t believe I need any. I don’t believe in luck either.” Molly said bluntly. “With the two of us together, luck is unnecessary.”

“...I am lucky to have you.” Nori responded with a chuckle.

She turned around and kissed him for that. “...and I’m blessed to have you.”

Molly and Nori finished up their bath, and Nori got dressed in a warm and fuzzy green doublet and slacks, and waited for Molly to get dressed and ready to join him for the feast. She put on a new dress this time, borrowed from Estella. At first, Molly contemplated wearing one of the Noviteran ones she had brought to shamelessly flaunt her foreign origins. But decided to respect the Ghantish way in order to help put Nori in a better position with his peers. This one was yellow. Molly always thought yellow matched her playful personality. She found Nori again before going downstairs.

Nori offered Molly his arm, and together they walked down to the feast hall. All the noble lords, ladies knights of people of import were present at the table, as Nori and Molly were the last to arrive. Nori took his seat at the head of the table, and the beside him, usually reserved for Nori’s mother or sister, was left open for Molly. “My lords and ladies, thank you for your patience. Please, let the feast commence.” There was a roast boar, a pheasant, steamed vegetables, beef stew in bread bowls, tapioca pudding and a fruit salad with some whipped cream in a side bowl.

Molly was hungry but remembered to stay proper when it came to the food. She did allow herself generous portions however. Walking into the loud feast hall had been a shocker and she was worried at first that their lateness was rude. It turned out that everything was still in order.

“Where is your mother and sister?” She asked Nori.

Nori gestured to the other end of the table. Estelle was flanked by Taboro and Brioar Bogardan, both vying for her affections, and Astrid was not too far away, drinking some red wine and being flirted with herself by an older knight.

“Ah, I was worried they would be alone but it seems neither lacks for company.” Molly commented.

Sitting close to Nori was Andar Aitor, who was dressed in a blue and gold tunic. “Twas a fine tournament, Lord Brontzezko. Your prowess at arms is most impressive, as was your ability to host such a fine tournament.”

“Thank you Lord Aitor. Although most of the credit should go to my mother. She always knew how to throw a party. Tell me, have you met Lady Molly of the House Aitor?”

“No, I have not yet thus far. Alas, that is why I came...I heard an Aitor was among your company...and I am always interested in meeting...long lost kinfolk.” He turned to Molly. “Hello my lady, I am Andar of the House Aitor, son of Lord Gorka Aitor.”

Molly took a look at the newcomer trying to find any kind of resemblance. The Aitors of Novitera, while original Ghantish, had mingled considerably with the many other immigrants to the nation. If Molly were to guess, she had a fair amount of Jedorian, Roman and Ceti ancestry as well. Like Andar, if he was genuine, Molly was also intrigued by what family Kelan and Harold may have left behind long ago.

“Hello! Molly Aitor. My father was Waylon Aitor.” She replied politely. It was not the Noviteran custom to introduce yourself in such a way, identifying who’s son you are. Molly thought to mimic their way. Waylon Aitor probably meant nothing to them but it was a big name in Novitera before he died, as he was CEO of AMC for many years. “I suppose I represent the offshoot of our line residing in Novitera.”

This seemed to peak Andar’s interest, as he studied her face as he drank his wine. “Interesting...an offshoot line of House Aitor. Tell me, what Aitor’s line begot thee?” He asked curiously. Others at the table began to drift their eyes in that direction.

“Two penniless Aitors arrived in Novitera from Ghant in 1824, Kelan and Harold. They were brothers fleeing from the onslaught of the War of the Thistles. Harold died at the Battle of Lady Irena during Novitera’s War of Independence in 1858. I am descended of Kelan’s lines.” Molly explained. “That’s as much as our family history goes over there. What we’ve taken from their journals. They had a sister too, but she died of sickness before the brothers left Ghant. Tell me Andar, do the Aitors have an illustrious history here?” Molly asked.

Andar shifted in his seat uncomfortably, looked at Nori, and sighed. Then he responded, uneasily. “Quite an illustrious history, going back thousands of years in the Aitor valley of Gotorleku. Our line was...prolific, to say the least. Many Aitors, both high born and low, living and working together for the betterment of our House. Then one day came the War of the Thistles. We Aitors got hit hard by Gaemar and their marauders, and my ancestor, Lord Mendebal Aitor was tasked with gathering the banners and organizing all of his loyal and honorable kinfolk to help defend not only their lands and their people, but also the crown itself, whose own Empress was poisoned by the enemies, in addition to the Emperor Nathan himself being a target. Alas, Kelan and Harold were gone...abandoned and deserted our family and county in its time of need. Lady Irena Aitor was thought to be a lover of Prince William of Ghant himself...the Golden Knight of Ghant as many know him. She tainted the Prince, and her brothers ran away to Novitera. And at last the spawn of that foul seed hath returns...madarikatua. My family had to live with Harold and Kelan’s dishonor. It was Mendebal who had to bear that shame before the Emperor, who had to suffer disrespect and mocking from the other lords before the Jauneketxea, my family that had to suffer accusations of being a foul tree that bore rotten fruit, their honor and loyalty being questioned at ever turn.” Andar seemed sad as he explained.

At that point, all other conversations stopped, and all eyes were on Molly. Nori took her hand and waited to see what she would say.

Molly’s grip tightened around Nori’s hand. Andar it seemed was speaking the sad truth of the matter instead of being accusatory which she appreciated. “I’m sorry about the grief that Kelan and Harold brought your house. However, Aitors of Novitera praise their efforts and hold them in the highest regard. We see their leaving Ghant as leaving a war they did not want to fight and seeking fortune where it was more likely to find it….and found it they did. Then when the time came to fight for a cause that meant something to them, they fought. Kelan and Harold were no cowards. The Battle of Lady Irena was one of the bloodiest in the war. Fought right in the valley where Kelan and Harold struck gold and named after their lovely sister. Harold Aitor and his son gave their lives for Novitera. Whatever is said about them in Ghant, their statues stand in Lady Irena Valley to this day as they are honored heroes.” She said proudly and gave Nori a satisfied look.

Andar spat upon his napkin in disgust. “Our lands were burned, our women and daughters raped, and our children put to the sword. Was that not a cause that Keland and Harold found worthy? Avenging them? Putting an end to that...bringing those monsters to justice? They had no loyalty to their lands, to their people. They brought dishonor upon their family, themselves and their descendants. They are madarikatua...and so are you.” He turned to Nori. “Were you aware of this?”

Nori didn’t hesitate in his answer. “I did. That happened 190 years ago. Molly is not responsible for their actions. And she has returned to Ghant to redeem her family honor.”

“Oh, is that right Lord Brontzezko? And how does she intend on doing that? You my lord would be a fool to trust a madarikatua. Most likely she will use for something...take advantage of you and taint you with her dishonor.”

Molly now shot him a cold look. “Don’t give me that. Kelan and Harold would have been fighting to keep one Emperor on the throne or to put another on it. For land that they did not own. Why shouldn’t they flee to become the Lords of themselves? Jordan Tavish, the father of Novitera himself, was at Harold’s funeral. Like I said Andar, whatever is spoken about them in Ghant, they will always be heroes in my heart and the hearts of Noviterans across the State of Calirma.”

Nori had put words in her mouth. How was she to redeem her family honor in Ghant? First she had to decide if she really cared anyways. Molly decided to ask Nori later on if it was important to him she shed her family’s disgraced status in this country.

Andar was angry. “You are not in Novitera, now are you? You are in Ghant, getting cozy with a Ghantish Lord.” He turned to Astrid. “Lady Kuartzoa, were you aware that a madarikatua was under your roof, fraternizing with your son? How would your late husband Maren feel about this?”

Astrid was aghast. “I didn’t know...but I doubt Maren would be pleased...I don’t know...she is such a sweet girl…”

Pazuzu slammed his fist on the table. “I have heard enough of this. Lord Brontzezko shunned my sister Ohana for this madarikatua here. I will not tolerate such disrespect from a lowly creature such as she.”

Nori was turning red. “I will not tolerate such disrespect under my roof, Pazuzu. This is none of your business. This is a matter between Aitors.”

By now there was a ruckus in the feast hall over the issue at hand, a mixture of anger and shock.

“Enough!” Molly cried out to silence the people around her at least. “Nori and I have been very happy together these past few days. Who knows where this relationship is going to go. But wherever that is, it shall be decided by the two of us alone, despite all your objections. I mean this in the most respectful way I can muster, say what you will, it does not change my mind about Nori.” Molly stated firmly. She turned her attention to Astrid. “Miss Kuartzoa, I have taken a fancy to your son and will keep seeing him if he wishes it.”

Taboro finally spoke. “Actually, Lady Aitor, Nori is my sworn bannerman, and as such it is not the two of your’s decision alone, but also mine...I happen to have certain views on the matter of madarikatua…”

Estella was sitting next to Taboro. She leaned in his ear and whispered a few words, and then kissed his ear, before pulling away. Taboro blushed, and he continued to speak. “...that consist of giving their descendants the benefit of the doubt. I say we judge this woman here based upon her own merits, rather than those of men long since dead.” He turned his eyes to Andar. “I understand your concerns, Lord Aitor. But now is not the time or place to seek resolution. Feel free to do that on your own time, and in private with the Lady. I don’t want this feast to turn into a grievance session, and neither does our generous Lord host.” He nodded to Nori, and turned his head to smile at Estella. Estella looked at Molly and smirked.

Molly was taken aback by Taboro’s interjection. That astounded her to know that Nori did not have full choice on who to marry. She gave Estella an appreciative nod then turned to Nori.
“Nori, I don’t give a shit about being madarikatua…” Molly whispered then grabbed his hand from underneath the table. “...unless it bothers you.”

“It doesn’t bother me, my love, but as a Lord, I must be considerate to the feelings of others. I want you and I want to be with you, but I would encourage you to make good with your Aitor kin, for they have bore the shame of Harold and Kelan. I can help some, granted, but you are now the one that represents Harold and Kelan, and it is up to you to clear their names.”

That made Molly a bit defensive. “I am nothing but proud of my relationship to Kelan and Harold. It infuriates me to see their names spat on. But I will do so for Harold. It was one of his great regrets, as we have found out through his journals.” She replied.

“Good, do it for him then, and let the names of Harold and Kelan of the House Aitor be remembered with goodness here in Ghant.” Nori turned to Andar. “You satisfied, Andar?”

Andar’s eyes were narrowed. “Tis a start, my lord. I can accept that.”

“And how does one go about this quest of redemption exactly?” Molly asked, completely ignoring Andar’s gaze.

Nori answered. “Did Harold ever say anything about what should be done with his remains upon death?”

“No. He’s buried at Lady Irena Valley, with his son, Kelan, Kelan’s son, and every Noviteran Aitor since. My father is buried there too.” Molly answered.

“Do you think Harold would have wanted to buried in his homeland?” He asked.

“No.” Molly said right away. “Kelan and Harold loved that valley. They loved the soil, the streams, trees and the gold they found in it. Harold died to keep Lady Irena from the hands of the Imperials. He would be furious to know his bones had been moved from it.”

Andar Aitor responded. “Fair enough. Perhaps at some point in the future, you might be willing to come to Aitor valley, and there we can make peace and bury the hatchet. We can visit Lady Irena’s tomb. It is quite nice.”

Molly nodded. It would serve no purpose to keep shunning Andar for his remarks earlier when peace was being offered. “Very well. I’m curious, Irena was a lady in Kelan and Harold’s hearts. But I was not aware she actually held the title in Ghant.” She said, beckoning for an explanation.

“In Ghant, all men are Sirs, and all women are Ladies. Irena was special...she won the affection of the Golden Prince of Ghant, and her death shook him. Twas he that paid for her tomb, and he placed roses upon it when he could.”

“This, I did not know and was not mentioned in the journals. Only that Irena was lovely and her brothers held her in high regard. It appears they were not the only ones who thought so.” Molly commented.

“Indeed this is true. Her tomb is bedecked in blue and gold, the colors of House Aitor.”

“Much appreciated. I was also not aware that Kelan and Harold chose our colors to match that of the Aitors of Ghant. For all I knew it was their own idea. The 26ers WBFL team also sports blue and gold as their colors.” Molly added. “I suspect I may be the only fan who knows this.”

“Well, all the Aitors in Gotorleku are fans of the 26ers for that reason. Not only because their colors are our colors, but also because we scored a great victory in 1826 against Gaemar.” Andar nodded.

“It appears that 1826 was a blessed year for the Aitors. That was the year Kelan and Harold struck gold and caused a massive gold rush. I’m also happy to know you support my team. Though I am unhappy with the general manager at this moment. Once his contract is up I am going to fire him.” Molly replied kindly. It seemed that her and Andar were getting along.

Andar nodded as he ate some tapioca “At least Kelan and Harold maintained the House colors...that was honorable.”

Nori was happy too at the progress being made. He stroked Molly’s thigh underneath the table. That caused her to give Nori a glance but she did not stop him. She leaned in to whisper. “You want another helping already?”

Nori leaned back into her and whispered. “Dessert is always my favorite course.” His left hand shifted to scratching her back and caressing her skin.

“As soon as we can get away.” She whispered back wondering who desired the dessert more. “Actually, I need to go say a thank you to your sister before that. Estella certainly has the King wrapped around her finger.”

“The way they are flirting, he might have her wrapped around his finger soon as well...if you know what I mean.” Nori smirked and sniggered.

Molly made a note to keep an eye on Estella in Novitera for her sake. Estella seemed like a level headed girl but one could never be too careful around womanizers. She looked over and saw Taboro and Estella enjoying themselves. “I’m happy for your sister then. It’s no fun unless you’re hooked too.”

Nori finished up what remained of his food, and then he excused himself. “Oh man, everything turned out great. I should retire to my quarters and let my food digest.” He smiled at Molly and gestured towards his quarters. Molly got up to join him eagerly.

En route to his chambers, Astrid wished to speak to Nori alone. He turned to Molly. “I will be right back...feel free to wait in my chambers if you would like.” He grinned.

“Of course. I’ll be there.” Molly replied and continued on down the hall. Down one of the corridors she found herself alone and walking slowly to admire the decorations.

“And there she is.” Said Osrik Pazuzu, emerging from around a corner. “You know, its not often that I see a madarikatua that my father hasn’t dealt with.” He smiled sadistically.

Molly could hear the mockery in his tone. “Perhaps you should fetch him and we can have a fair fight.” She said and leaned against the wall.

Osrik laughed as he approached her. “You got a mouth on you, don’t you? I wonder if that is why Nori has taken you into his bed...to let you work your madarikatua charms on him.”

“You say that as if I am so repugnant. I’m sure you would to. Unfortunately pigs don’t fly and I don’t screw pathetic little boys.” Molly replied calmly.

Osrik snorted. “I would rather fuck a pig than a madarikatua bitch. You better watch yourself around here, madarikatua. I would put you in chains myself, and send you back to whatever shit country you came from in a bag. I would be doing Lord Brontzezko a favor, and he could be with a real woman, like my sister Osana, whom he spurned for a madarikatua. I won’t forget that.”

“Correct Pazuzu. I should watch myself. Ghant is a dangerous place and I am aware there are characters here I need to be careful of. I doubt somebody as irrelevant as you is one of them. Perhaps your father.” Molly said then paused. “I’m sorry Nori rejected your sister. Why don’t you send her over to Novitera. There are quite a few wealthy individuals in my social circle I can set her up with.” She said it sincerely but knew it would come across as condescending.

Osrik spat. “Fuck Novitera, and fuck you.” He moved in closer.

Molly did not move a muscle. “You are upset. Why don’t you run along and tell daddy how a foreign girl hurt your feelings. I’m sure he’ll remedy the situation.”

Osrik reached for his sword belt. “I would rather remedy the situation myself…”

“What’s going on?” Nori asked as he appeared down the hall.

She kept her eyes on Osrik though heard Nori’s voice, relieved that he had come back. “Pazuzu here was just showing me the virtues of his Ghantish chivalry.” Molly said taking a step back. “Keep your sword in its sheath Pazuzu. It is the only sword of yours that will ever have that privilege with your attitude.”

Osrik bowed. “Lord Brontzezko. I was just leaving.” He turned to scowl at Molly one last time before walking away.

Nori watched him leave, and then he leaned up against Molly, pressing her gently against the wall. “I seem to find myself in a dilemma, Molly. You see, I happen to have a sword that needs unsheathing, and there is this very pretty girl standing outside my chambers. I was wondering if you had any ideas as to how to solve that?” He grinned.

“Ah of course. I shall see to it at once. You need not worry.” She played along then grabbed his chin. “But if you ever leave me alone with folk like Osrik again then your sword shall go unsharpened and unoiled until it rusts. Do you understand Nori?”

“Fuck Osrik. I would end him for you if that was your wish.” He said, as he kissed her neck and reached for her thigh to better caress it.
Molly responded by wrapping her arms around Nori’s neck and grabbing his hair. “No. No killing. We outwit our enemies. That makes victory so much sweeter.”

Nori kissed her and ran his fingers through her hair. “I understand. Anything for you, my lady.”

She pushed Nori away forcefully then opened the door to his room. Molly then grabbed his hand and yanked him into the room.

...And then Nori’s sword was unsheathed not long thereafter.
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Novitera
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Founded: Jul 14, 2014
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Postby Novitera » Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:00 pm

“A Conspicuous Coupling” (VIII)
En Route to Heselory, State of Calirma, Novitera


Molly was asleep in her chair, Nori sitting next to her. A private jet landed in Arragard two days after the feast. Molly, Nori, Estella and Astrid boarded to take the long flight back to Novitera. It had come fully stocked with champagne, food and other amenities. A soothing voice came over on the plane’s intercom.

“Captain speaking. We are beginning our descent to Tavish International Airport. The time is 10:30 am. Heselory weather is 82 degrees and sunny. We should be landing in about twenty minutes. Welcome back Miss Aitor and to the Brontzezkos, welcome to sunny Calirma. I hope you had a pleasant flight and enjoy your stay.” The captain said then shut off the intercom.

Groggily, Molly opened the window to the dark interior of the plane. The sunlight that shined through blinded her. Slowly, she adjusted then turned to Nori.

“Looks like we’re here. I despise long flights.” She said to him.

Nori, Estella and Astrid were all sleeping. Nori was wearing a thin tunic and Estella and Astrid were wearing summer dresses. Nori shifted in his seat. “Mmm.” He said.

Molly just let him sleep longer and massaged his head. Soon enough the plane touched down. The landing would have woken anybody. It pulled up to a private hangar. Molly saw Damian’s black SUV parked just outside. For once her little brother was making himself useful. The plane came to a halt outside the hanger and the captain opened the doors, flooding the interior with sunlight.

“Get up Nori. Time to go.” She said soothingly.

Nori woke up. He stretched and yawned. “We are here now? Splendid. Let’s go.” He looked at his mother and sister. “I will let you deal with them, while I get the bags.”

“There’s no need for that.” She replied. Already some of the airlines attendants climbed aboard and began to unload the bags for them to take to the SUV. “Wake your mother and sister. They can sleep more at my place if they wish.”

“Oh, ok.” He turned to his mother and sister. “Mother, Estelle, wake up...we are here.” Astrid and Estelle got up in short order then...Estelle a bit more grumpy than Astrid.

“Estella, Miss Kuartzoa. Please get up. There is so much to see.” Molly beckoned and led the party out of the plane and down the stairs that had been wheeled up.

The sun was bright and it was hot. Molly relished the northern Noviteran sun for a moment then looked ahead to see her brother climbing out of the drivers seat. He was 20 years old, handsome and had the same dark blonde hair as hers. Unlike her green eyes though his were brown. Damian was wearing a tank top, shorts and slippers. He had on a pair of black plastic frame designer sunglasses. It was the typical Heselory look. Although Molly knew he would still be wearing those sunglasses if it was cloudy. Damian was probably in an ill state after having partied all night.

“Molly!” Damian called out.

“Damian! Ahhh! Good to see you again. You need to visit me more often.” She replied then gave her brother a hug.

“Busy studying.” He replied lethargically.

“Studying my ass.” She said derisively then turned back to the Brontzezkos.

“Nori, Estella, Miss Kuartzoa….this is my brother Damian.” She introduced them.

“Brought back some Ghantar I see.” Damian said and looked at them. “Damian Aitor. Pleasure to meet you all.”

Astrid did a curtsy. “Damian of the House Aitor. Tis a pleasure to meet you, sir.”

Estella shook her hair. “Indeed, such a pleasure to meet you, young Aitor. Look at you...you are just adorable, you know that?”

Nori bowed before Damian. “Greetings, Damian. I have heard many good things about you. Might I say that you look not entirely unlike your Aitor kinfolk back in Ghant. Me and Molly feasted with Andar Aitor, son of Lord Gorka Aitor, and I can see the resemblance.”

Damian stood there perplexed by their bizarre customs. The curtsying and bowing. He then began eyeing Estella interestedly until Molly shot him a threatening look.

“Ah, thank you Miss Kuartzoa.” He said nervously then looked at Nori. “There’s Aitors in Ghant?”

Molly pushed his head. “Damian here has neglected studying our family history which he will take care of soon. Let’s go. This sun will burn your skin if you aren’t careful.”

“Why don’t you drive Molly. I can sit next to Estella.” Damian offered.

“Not a chance Damian.” She struck him lightly in the ribs. “Nori, why don’t you sit up front with Damian. I’ll sit in the back between your sister and mother. That way all of you get a window seat to view the city and beach as we drive through.” Molly insisted.

Nori nodded. “Sounds fine to me.” Nori climbed into the front passenger seat. “Lot’s of Aitors in Ghant, in the Aitor valley. They have a magnificent fortress, and all the little Aitors have little castles in the hills. The Aitors smaller than them have ranch houses and villas and such.”

“Ah, interesting. Is the fortress like Fort Jocky in Avantine?” He asked while climbing into the drivers seat.

Molly answered for him. “Damian, Fort Jocky is a sandcastle compared to what they have in Ghant. You should see what they have there.”

“But Fort Jocky is the largest fortress in Novitera.” He retorted confusingly.

Estella panted. “Oh my, it is so hot here. I really want to just slip out of this dress. Give my skin some room to breathe.”

That made Damian gulp. “I wouldn’t complain.” He said under his breath which only Molly heard who cuffed him on the head again.

Astrid shook her head at her daughter. “Forgive Estella of her manners. She is very much like her father, always looking for an excuse to get out of her clothes. Even as a toddler I used to have to chase her around the house because she wouldn’t put any clothes on.” Astrid explained as her and Estella got in the back seat.

Molly gave Damian a look that said she would stab him in the heart if he made a lewd comment on Astrid’s statement. Instead, he quietly started the engine and drove off. They made their way out of the airport and into the streets of Heselory.

The area a ways out of the airport was none too welcoming. It looked a bit run down but was not as bad as some parts of Heselory which were plagued with crime. They did pass a group of Heselory PD squad cars with their lights turned on. Eight rough looking men had their hands on their heads while officers searched them. Another two were aiming their shotguns at the men. On the hoods of the cars were bags of what were likely illegal drugs and there were some pistols too.

“Damn Sangre Comillo.” Damian muttered. “No worries though. These street gangs are no where close to where we live.”

He turned his car onto the freeway ramp and entered the main freeway that cut through the city. It was 6 lanes wide and clogged with traffic. On each side of the freeway were billboards that advertised a wide array of products. There were also buildings as far as the eye could see. Heselory was a concrete jungle although the high rises were few and far in between. They were not even in business part of the city although would not be going through there today.

“I know it doesn’t look promising now. But wait till we get to Brompton Beach. I swear you’ll be wowed.” Molly assured them.

Nori yawned while they drove through the city. “Damn, this place reminds me of Onmutu.”

Estella laughed. “Lawmen don’t put shotguns to people and search them in Onmutu though...what were the lawmen looking for?”

Astrid pondered the question. “Lotters, perhaps. Bandits...maybe.”

“They were Sangre Comillo, one of Novitera’s most notorious street gangs. Sangre Comillo has chapters in every Noviteran city but they are especially prevalent here in Heselory. We’ve got plenty of those and shootings.” Damian explained. “Molly, you should have been here. While you were gone the police did a raid in South Eastmont against Sangre Comillo and I heard it turned into Azurlavai over there. Guns blazing. It was all over the news!” He exclaimed.

Molly sighed. “Yeah, the gangs and crime is definitely a problem in Novitera. My father opened up a program to get ex-cons jobs in our refineries but he died and the new CEO shut it down.” She said sadly. “The State of Calirma has long been benefactors of my family. We do what we can.” She looked at Nori. “Are you tired love? Perhaps the jetlag is getting to you.”

“I am thinking it’s the jetlag. I am sure I will shake it off soon enough, my lady.” Nori responded. Molly reached over and gave his shoulder a rub.

“The police were probably looking for illegal firearms or narcotics Estella.” Damian threw in looking for any chance to say something to her. “Some places in Heselory are not too friendly but I think you’ll like Brompton Beach where Molly lives. I’m over in Jockyside where the University of Calirma is.”

“Illegal narcotics in Novitera? Say what? In Ghant, there is illegal drug.” Estella commented. She smiled and then continued. “Oh, a University boy are you? I bet you have trouble keeping all those University girls away, don’t you?” She asked playfully.

Damian was glad Estella could not see him turning red. “I uh, I do well enough for myself.” He managed to choke out. “But umm...only a few drugs are illegal. Cocaine, marijuana...you can buy that at any shop or have it served to you at the bar.”

Astrid sighed in response to that. “Reminds me of how your father always had to chase them away from you, Estella...probably what sent the man to his grave.”

After driving on the freeway for about 40 minutes in the Heselory traffic jam, Damian pulled the car off the freeway and into a nicer looking part of town. Palm trees lined the sidewalks while people biked, skateboarded or jogged. There were still advertisements everywhere though. He took a right turn and suddenly they were on Seaside Avenue which was right along the beach. To their left was a the beach with the water about three football fields away. It was clearly visible. They could see sunbathers and people playing pick-up volleyball games on the sand. Women in bikinis were rollerblading down the sidewalk. On their right were high rise apartments mixed in with some office buildings of tech companies and shops. They pulled up to one high rise apartment in particular. It was about 35 stories high and looked affluent.

“We’re here. Thanks Damian. Make sure you are back for dinner tonight.” Molly said and kissed her brother on the cheek. “And wear something nice. No shorts, no tank tops.” She warned him.

“Pleasure to meet you all. I’ll see you tonight.” He said while they got out of the car.

Estella seemed disappointed. “You are leaving, Damian? Tis a shame. I was hoping you might linger if not for a time. I much enjoy your company.”

His face lit up for a moment and then he frowned. “Err, yes. I have some cleaning to do back in Jockyside and Molly insists I go put on some nicer clothes.” He replied lying. By cleaning he meant laying in bed and nursing his hangover for the next several hours.

Molly went up to Nori. “Tonight you’ll meet umm...my bannermen...to put it in Ghantish terms.”

Astrid seemed surprised. “You have bannermen, my dear?”

Nori nodded. “More like business associates, mother. Like father and Lord Bogardan...I think…”

“Indeed. Not bannermen in the Ghantish sense. Allies, partners and friends I have in the industry. Some are truly loyal. Some are loyal because I pay them well or think I’m the winning ticket at AMC. The only nobles in Novitera are ones that visit from elsewhere or decide to settle down here for one reason or another.” Molly explained then turned to Nori. “You’ll have to meet Kenneth, my godfather Nori.” She said hoping that would go over well. That was not so worrying as Nori was very personable even if she was not falling in love with him.

The apartment’s attendants took out their bags and loaded them onto a cart. Molly gestured at the Brontzezkos to follow. They entered a lobby where an attendant waved to them. It was an older man with gray hair.

“Welcome back Molly. I see you have some guests.” He said cheerfully.

“Yes Rick. My new boyfriend and his family from Ghant.” She replied.

The old man smiled at the Brontzezkos. “Welcome!” He said then pressed the elevator button for them.

It took them to the top floor. Molly’s apartment was a lot smaller than the Brontzezko household. Far smaller but just as luxurious. The many windows kept it well lit and the decorations were very modern. On a shelf were numerous family pictures of Molly, Damian and Waylon, her father. There were also copies of black and white photos of Kelan, Harold, Garth and the first Damian Aitor who her brother was named after. Along with them was a nugget of gold which happened to be the first piece of gold that Kelan and Harold chipped out of Lady Irena Valley. Mounted on the wall right next to it was a display that held some old black powder six shooters and a bowie style knife favored by Noviteran pioneers behind the glass. There was also Garth Aitor’s Charmed Rangers shoulder patch and three Calirma Militia patches that belonged to Kelan, Harold and Damian. Everything was a relic of the War of Independence.

“There’s two guest rooms. One for each of you. You’ll have to share a bathroom.” She said to Estella and Astrid. “Nori can sleep in my room if you don’t find that too improper.” Molly added carefully wondering what Astrid would say about that. “There’s a hot tub on the balcony. If you aren’t happy with the accommodations just say so. I won’t be hurt. I can put you up in a nice hotel nearby.”

“This should be fine, much accommodating.” Astrid responded. She turned her eyes to Nori. “Have you taken the Lady Aitor as your mate, my son?”

Nori blushed, exchanging glances between Molly and his mother. “Yes mother, I have.”

Astrid shrugged. “Then I don’t see a problem with the two of you sharing a room.”

Estella grinned mischieviously at her brother.

That went easier than Molly expected. “I’m glad you are fine with this Miss Kuartzoa.” She said to her. “Well, you are all free to sleep more. I know how tired everybody was. The beach is just right across the street too. You should all see the view from the balcony. Damian will take you and Estella around tomorrow to see the sights. Nori and I have to go to AMC headquarters.” Molly addressed them all.

Nori, Estella and Astrid went out to the balcony to see the view. They took some time to take in the sights.

Below was Seaside Avenue that held little traffic. On the other side of it was a sidewalk lined with palm trees. Just a bit further was the sand which stretched out about three to four hundred yards to where the water was. They could see the beach line in both directions for miles which was not too crowded. Out in the water were some surfers and people swimming.

“Calirma is second to none in beaches. Too bad I never have time to go. I got this place because I love the water.” Molly commented. “Anytime any of you want to come back you’ll always have a place to stay. Estella, you should call Taboro and see if he can come out while you’re here. I can see the two of you walking along the sand.”

Estella laughed. “I don’t think Taboro would like your brother very much.”

Nori laughed as well. “Taboro doesn’t like any man that acts all swag with you. He and Bogardan nearly beat each other to death over that. It would have been a real shame if Bogardan won that tournament and crowned you his lady love...Taboro would have gone crazy.”

Astrid sighed. “Estella should just marry him and get it over with. I want grandchildren already.”

That made Estella and Nori both squirm.

Molly laughed with them. She had missed the sunshine, palm trees and ocean of Brompton Beach dearly while away. Now she found herself missing Ghant too.

“My brother is harmless. The boy can get himself a pretty thing easily. But a woman like you Estella...well I think Taboro will be smart enough to know what is and isn’t a threat.” Molly said and laughed. “It’s my godfather you need worry about. Be careful when you’re around him tonight. Kenneth can be something of a lady killer.” She warned playfully.

Estella’s eyes light up. “Oh, is that right eh? We shall see what this Kenneth fellow is all about then, won’t we?”

Astrid put a hand on Estella’s back. “Be careful, my daughter. This is not Ghant. You should be aware of the cultural differences here. What is acceptable and funny behavior in Ghant might not be the case here.”

Nori nodded. “I look forward to meeting this Kenneth fellow myself. Although, I should be rested before I meet him.” He turned his eyes to Molly. “Molly, would you be so kind as to show me around your quarters?” He grinned.

“Kenneth is technically my godfather but more like an older brother. He’s also the best damn lawyer in Novitera and he will be the lawyer of the House Brontzezko.” Molly explained. She was always thinking ahead.

“Yes, of course dear.” Molly said to Nori and grabbed his hand. “Estella, Miss Kuartzoa, Rick downstairs can direct you wherever you want to go. Brompton Beach is a safe place.” She led Nori away into her room.

It was tidy save for her desk which had papers strewn about all over the place. There were more family pictures on a shelf and a poster of Edgar Burnside the actor. He was dressed in cowboy attire for the film in which he played Jocky Hazel. The poster was a remnant of Molly’s school girl crush on the actor. She just shrugged at Nori when he saw it.

“I’ll replace it with a poster of you. Now, you aren’t too tired are you?” She asked while biting her lip.

Nori knew what to do. He wrapped one hand around behind her head and ran his fingers through her hair, while the other hand reached around and pulled her close to him, pressing her against him with his hand on her lower back. Then he kissed her neck. “I am never too tired...for you I always have the energy. The real question is can you keep up?”

Molly was running her hands over his chest and enjoying his kisses. “Is that a challenge? You should know better than to challenge me.” She jumped on the bed. “Wait!” Molly exclaimed then went over to her bag. She pulled out the crown of roses that Nori had given her from the tournament and put it on. “I want to wear this.”

“As you wish.” He said as he hopped onto the bed and stripped down.

Both came into the bedroom tired yet found themselves suddenly rejuvenated with energy.

Later in the night, Molly drove the party along Seaside Avenue to a restaurant situated right on the water. They were all in formal clothing. Molly brought in one of Damian’s business suits in the Noviteran style for Nori to wear if he chose to while they were getting ready. Once at the restaurant a valet attendant took Molly’s luxury sedan away and they entered. A hostess showed them to the upstairs where a balcony had been closed off for them. Already present was Molly’s associates and Damian seated at a long table. He was sitting next to Kenneth wearing something more appropriate this time, a dress shirt, slacks with a jacket. As soon as they entered the balcony everyone rose from the seat and gave warm greetings to Molly and the Brontzezkos. Four seats were empty and they all sat down. Molly in between Nori and Astrid. Estella ended up being next to Kenneth who was leaning back in his chair with an aura of mystery about him.

“Everybody, this is Nori, Astrid Kuartzoa and Estella of House Brontzezko. They have come back with me from Ghant.” Molly addressed the table.

Estella and Astrid did curtseys in their evening dresses. “Greetings, Kenneth Sorely.” Estella said shyly, as she took a seat next to him.

“Well met.” Astrid said as she took a seat next to her daughter.

Nori was wearing the suit that Molly offered him from Damian’s wardrobe. “A pleasure to meet you, Kenneth.” He said as he took his seat.

Everyone raised their glasses to the Brontzezkos and Molly before saying one cheerful thing or another and taking a sip.

Kenneth made eye contact with Estella and held an intense gaze for a few moments. “I take it Molly has spoken of me. I trust she has not said anything too incriminating. A pleasure to meet you as well Estella.” He responded.

A portly man wearing glasses addressed the Brontzezkos. “We Noviterans are honored you could make the journey all the way here. I myself was just in Ghish last year and ventured about Gaemar for two days. Beautiful country. We can understand why you would never want to leave. I am Patrick by the way. Molly and I work together and I worked with her father before.” He said to them.

“Drinks!” Molly exclaimed suddenly. “Waiter!” A waiter came and the newcomers ordered what they wanted. Molly asked for a dark beer.

Estella made shyly glances at Kenneth and twirled her hair with a finger. “I heard you were a ladykiller. I will be the judge of that.”

While Estella made glances Kenneth did not break his gaze. He picked up the glass of bourbon on the table and took a sip. “You should know, my specialty is getting judges to believe what I want them to believe.” He responded.

Damian decided to interject. “Kenneth was the one who taught me about girls.” He stated. It was clear that Damian just about worshipped the ground Kenneth walked on.

Astrid coughed at Partrick’s introduction. “Tis quite nice to be here indeed. The Kuartzoa lands are not too far away from Gaemar. Beautiful country indeed...with insufferable lords. My father used to have to shoo them away as if they were feral dogs surrounding a chicken coop. My own late husband had the same problem with Estella too though…” She chuckled.

“Err...well I wasn’t there for the politics, just the scenery.” Patrick replied.

Nori merely nodded as he looked around at the new faces. “There truly is no place like Ghant...takes a bit of adjusting going away from it for the first time. It’s odd not seeing any castles anywhere.”

Another man, this one skinny and lanky, chimed in. “The only standing fortress left in Novitera is Fort Jocky which was the largest. Jordan Tavish had all the other Roman ones torn down. Said it was a symbol of Imperial oppression that had to be done away with.” He said sourly.

“This is William. We just call him Bill. Bill works with me as well.” Molly said to Nori and smiled at Bill. “Nori, can we talk alone for a moment?” She asked.

Estella narrowed her eyes curiously at Kenneth. “...And I wonder how many of those judges were Ghantish.” Estella giggled before turning her eyes to Damian. “Silly boy, only girls can truly teach boys about girls.”

Kenneth grinned for the first time. He had a striking smile. The man looked like he jumped out of a page of a magazine. His gray suit costed thousands and the pocket square was impeccably folded. In honor of Molly, Kenneth wore a blue and gold tie to the dinner. The hair on his head was combed and parted to the right. “After tonight, I expect at least one.” Damian on the other hand just pouted. “She’s right Damian. I’ve only taught you the tip of the iceberg.” Kenneth added.

Astrid gasped. “Oh my, they tore down all the fortresses? Such a shame. What happened to those that dwelt within them?”

Patrick shrugged. “They went back to Rome I suppose. Our fortresses only had garrisons not entire communities like in Ghant. The frontier era fortresses were much smaller in comparison. Fort Jocky was the largest and does not hold a candle compared to what I saw while I visited.”

Nori nodded at Molly. “Sure thing, my lady.” He got up to go speak with Molly in private.

Molly grabbed his hand and took him over to the side out of earshot. “I think it’s important I inform you of the situation and these people.” She said. “Patrick worked with my father. They were friends but the only reason he has latched himself to me is because he thinks I’m on the rise. As soon as he thinks otherwise, Patrick will betray me. But the man has his uses so I keep him in my camp. You are good at reading people Nori. If you think he is going to turn, I should know.” Molly explained.

“...I will keep my eyes on him then. My mother can help with that too. She has great judge of character...perhaps that is where I got that from.”

“Good.” Molly whispered. “Bill, the lanky bastard is in league with my enemies. Kenneth, I do not know how he found out, has told me as much. I know this but Bill thinks he has me fooled. Do not trust him. Yet, make it look like you do. I want Bill to keep thinking he has the upper hand. That way I can control what information my adversaries receive. It has benefitted me greatly in the past to mislead him.” She grinned deviously.

Nori nodded. “If I didn’t know any better I would guess that you were part Gentry.” He laughed. “I will watch that one too.”

“I recognize that name. We’ll talk about that in a moment.” She replied. “Watch him, but do not give the impression you are suspicious. Next is Damian. Damian is family.” Molly looked over to see Damian laughing with Estella and Kenneth. “We can trust him entirely. I love my little brother. He is clever in his own right but quite useless. No matter, he is still young and I want him to enjoy that. Damian will make a good drinking buddy however. And if you ever want to work on your hand-to-hand combat, him and Kenneth are quite skilled. They’d be ecstatic for you to teach them the sword too.”

Nori nodded. “Fair enough...I understand. Estella says the same things about me sometimes.” He laughed. “Yes, I will keep all that in mind for sure.”

“I don’t believe that. You could be the strings behind the throne of Arrausta if you wanted to.” Molly encouraged him. Whether that was true she did not really know. “The rest can more or less be counted on for one reason or another. Kenneth, I was not exaggerating when I said he is the best lawyer in Novitera. The man is very dangerous, ruthless and well connected. His best friend happens to be....somebody who has a lot of influence in government, on the FDP, very handsome too....Harvey Gentry! That’s it.” Molly said. “I would have been forced out of the company by now if it were not for Kenneth. The CEO, CFO, COO and Chairman are all against me. They fear Kenneth though but I cannot hide behind him forever.”

“Fortunately for us, Kenneth adored my father and is my godfather. We are brother and sister in our hearts if not by blood. He came around often after my father died to check up on Damian and I. Kenneth we can count on.” She stated and paused. “I am your woman no matter what. But it is very important to me that Kenneth approves of you. Just be yourself and I am certain he will.”

“I will make sure that earning his approval is a priority, then. Rest assured I shall be myself.”

“Thank you Nori.” She replied then led Nori back to the table.

Soon enough the food was brought out. The dishes were an amalgamation of gourmet Noviteran barbeque, Noviteran seafood and some Roman dishes which the Noviterans favored since they first arrived in this land.

“Molly has told me this is your first time out of Ghant Estella, is that true?” Kenneth asked.

“That is very true indeed. Do tell, Kenneth, have you ever been in Ghant?” She asked him playfully.

“I have traveled for business but never to Ghant. Never has been a reason to. Perhaps I will find one in the near future. Unlikely however.” He teased. “I travel quite a bit actually. My firm is based in Avantine but I flew out today to see my goddaughter. She claims that I will be working for your family very soon.”

“...There is a lot of work for my family to be done. After all, we have a saying, that ‘once you go Ghant, go elsewhere you shant.” She grinned.

“I would not mind. If this deal goes down with AMC, you my dear will become a very eligible bachelorette.” Kenneth stated. “If Molly is to be a Brontzezko…” He paused, his tone saying he was not quite sure about the idea yet. “...you will be seeing me in Ghant more often.”

Estella shrugged. “I think you would enjoy it there. After all, there is something about Ghant that keeps everyone coming back.” She smirked.

Astrid ahemed. “Molly would be under no obligation to change her House name, as in Ghant a woman might be married, but she is still her father’s daughter. Hence why I am still Astrid Kuartzoa.” She smiled. “And if Estella married King Taboro of Arrautsa, she would still be Estella Brontzezko.”

“And if you had grown up in Novitera, what would that something be for you?” Kenneth asked.

“Estella and the King of Arrausta have a thing for each other.” Molly chimed in and winked at Estella. That made Damian look sour.

“A King? I suppose very few men can compete with that.” Kenneth said, as if he had just been issued a challenge.

Molly then spoke to Astrid. “My father would not mind and neither would I. I suppose a hyphenated name can do. But let us not speak of this. We are jumping the gun. Nori has not even asked yet.”

That got Nori’s attention. “That I suppose is a bridge worth crossing at a latter point.” He nodded.

Estella responded to Kenneth. “...You would be surprised.”

“I would hope so.” Molly countered to Nori. “Don’t forget our custom. You must ask my godfather first.” She whispered to him.

Kenneth looked at Estella. “My friend Harvey has told me that he met the Empress of Ghant at a state function. Now, I know there is a hierarchy to the nobles there but have any of you met the royals?” He asked.

“I have quite a bit.” Estella responded. “I went to University in Ghish, and while I was there I had the chance to vie for the Emperor’s affections. At his Summer Ball in 2006, he was mine, I tell you...until Sophia of Dakmoor snatched him like a bird of prey snatches a mouse.”

Astrid grinned. “My father threw me out in front of Nathan’s father, Prince John back in the 80s. We ended up talking about politics for an hour before he excused himself. His brother Albert seemed to fancy me, but that man was such a bore! Then there was Stephen...such a charmer, but he had a habit of playing the field...he never could keep to one bed.”

“I used to spar a lot with the Emperor when I went to Ghish to visit my sister or go to Jauneketxea sessions on behalf of my father.”

“Bah! Nobility, royals! Useless!” Somebody down the table said. In return he got a threatening look from Molly and her associates. The man politely excused himself and was off. Despite the Noviteran cultural mockery of the system, he should have known better than to disrespect Molly’s guests. In reality such sentiments were only acceptable to be expressed in jest now a days. Everyone then went back to chatting.

“I suppose to be in the presence of your Emperor and Empress is a rare and valuable thing for a Ghantar. How fortunate you are. We know of Sophia for she is featured in our tabloids once in a while. A shame Nathan turned you away for her Estella. But where one door closes, another opens, perhaps with a larger pot of gold on the other side too.” Kenneth commented and smiled. “Your Emperor seems personable. Our Chief Executor, his excellency James Trask, claims to be the voice of the common man. Yet very few seem to be worth his time.”

“I’ll not have you speak ill of our Chief, Kenneth. Long live the Patriots!” Damian interjected playfully. James Trask was of the Noviteran Patriot Party which the Aitors and AMC supported.

“Long live the Patriots!” A chorus at the table responded, including Molly. They raised their glasses and drank.

Kenneth then looked at Nori. “Spar with the Emperor? Are you a student of the martial arts Nori?” He asked.

“Kenneth was a kickboxer at Torcuil University. Damian also competes at U of Calirma.” Molly said proudly. She would let Nori tell them to their astonishment most likely that he fight with swords.

“Indeed, Kenneth. With sword, mace, maul and warhammer.” Nori answered. “I won a tournament not too long ago actually, held at Brontzezko. I defeated Andar Aitor with a sword, Osrik Pazuzu with a maul, and finally the mighty Brioar Bogardan with a warhammer. I crowned Molly my Lady Love, as is customary of the champion.”

Astrid smiled. “I even made the crown or roses myself.” Nori glanced at Molly mischieviously.

She smiled back. “It was a magnificent crown Miss Kuartzoa. One I shall keep and treasure forever.”

Damian’s face lit up and he leaned closer hardly believing it. “Those weapons are archaic but that is fascinating.”

Patrick, always the sycophant, took the moment to add his own thoughts. “Novitera missed the middle ages. The first settlers to this land came in the late 1700s.”

“There is a unique Noviteran fighting style. It mainly involves hand-to-hand and a bit of grappling. The only weapons involved are knives.” Kenneth explained. “Have you any skill with a knife Nori?” Kenneth asked inquisitively.

“I do at the dinner table.” Nori responded with a laugh.

That made Kenneth smile again. Everybody was eating their food quickly without forgoing proper table manners as they had to wait on Molly and the Brontzezkos to get here. Kenneth, the methodical man he was ate slower than the rest. Once that was finished, the tables were taken away for the group to mingle. One by one, Molly’s associates introduced themselves to the Brontzezkos.

Soon enough, Kenneth and Nori were alone in one corner. “Molly can be a bit aggressive and sharp tongued at times, do you agree?” Kenneth asked.

Nori nodded. “Very typical thing for Ghantish women, so I like that about her. Passive and submissive women tend to be unattractive.”

That made Kenneth chuckle. “She was never submissive. Molly was a bit warmer before. You did not know her before her father died. Her demeanor is a mask. That is because Molly is afraid and lonely. Well, I don’t know about lonely anymore. Can you see it?”

“...Maybe a bit guarded at first, I could see that. A young woman in her situation ought to be, I would think.”

“Molly has many enemies and few people that she can trust. She must be wary of those who wish to take advantage of her wealth or those in league with her adversaries. Tell me Nori, do you plan on marrying my goddaughter?” He asked nonchalantly.

Nori thought for a moment and gathered himself before responding. “I love her and want her to be my Lady and the mother of my children. Yes, I want to marry her, and I seek thy blessings and approval.”

Kenneth nodded. “Love is very important I suppose.” He himself had never been in love. “Yet, it is not enough that you love her. Molly needs an ally, a partner and one that will be a great boon to her. I tell you now, even with all her wealth she will not lay down and live a quiet life. Hers will be an uphill fight and you will either be at her side or left behind. Do you understand that?”

“An uphill fight? Everything seems to be going exceedingly well thus far. Shoot, if my sister becomes the Queen of Arrautsa, that alone would give Molly many friends and allies, perhaps some Southerners and even some of the Northerners to boot...but yeah, I get what you are saying.”

Kenneth took a step forward looking Nori in the eye with a stone cold face. “Look me in the eye and tell me you love her one more time.”

Nori took a step forward and locked his eyes with Kenneth’s “I love Molly, with ever fiber of my being.”

A few moments passed where each of them did not break eye contact. Kenneth broke the silence. “I believe you and give my blessing. With Molly comes me. I am your man too now.” He extended a hand.

Nori reached out and shook his hand. “Thank you Kenneth. That means a lot to me.”

He chuckled. “Means a lot to me too. Molly is going to pay me a small fortune to represent House Brontzezko. Now go to her son.”

Molly on the other hand was chatting with Estella. “Kenneth was not too troubling I take it?”

“Nothing that I can’t handle. He is like a puppy compared to Taboro Errauts and Brioar Bogardan, let me tell you.” She chuckled.

Nori entered the conversation, approaching from behind Molly and wrapping his arms around her waist, and then kissed her neck. “Taboro and Brioar don’t have anything on me.” He said whimsically.”

“That is because I asked him to play nice. That you’re spoken for and he should respect that. He can be quite…brutal or conniving otherwise.” Molly explained. She grabbed Nori’s arms. “Of course dear. What did you and Kenneth speak of?”

“Oh you know, just some man to man talk.” He chuckled as he held her and kissed her neck on the back and side.

“I see. Good to see the two of you are getting along. We should be going. Tomorrow is a big day for us.” She said.

“I agree. Let’s head back.” Nori responded.

The night had been a success. Molly could only hope tomorrow would go the same way.

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Ghant
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Posts: 2405
Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Allaria's Allure

Postby Ghant » Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:40 pm

“Allaria’s Allure”
Costa Gravas


The sun beat down on the hot beaches of Costa Gravas, the cool ocean air sweeping in, counteracting the effects. The sounds of rolling waves could be heard as seagull squawked at each other above. Along the beach, a private villa sat in solitude, a bit away from the rest of the tourist areas, nestled among the tall palm trees. Sitting on the beach was a couple, the male of the two with olive skin and a strong build. He had an arm wrapped around the woman for the moment.

The woman was sprawled out on a beach chair underneath a white umbrella. She was wearing a green bikini and had white sunglasses on. Her skin was naturally fair but was darker at present as a result of the sun. She was wearing strong sunblock in any case. She enjoyed the feeling of the man’s arm wrapped around her. She moaned lightly. “Your skin is always so hot, you know that? It feels so good.”

The man was of strong build, with a well maintained body that was the result of military service. He was wearing blue swimming trunks, with no shirt to cover his muscled form. His own pair of black sunglasses were set to the side for the moment, so that he could admire the woman in his arms more fully. He grinned down at her, rubbing her exposed arm a bit. “And your’s is always so cool, I don’t know how you do that. Its a nice feeling though” he replied; giving her a small kiss on the forehead.

She shrugged. “I save my heat for when it is most needed.”

He eyed her curiously. “You northerners can take the cold a lot better I suppose” he replied continuing to admire her beautiful form. He was content to remain under the umbrella, but the ocean also looked rather appealing at the moment, the idea of going for a swim coming to mind.

“Only because we have to take it. Naturally there are ways to stay warm,” she laughed.

He chuckled a bit, thinking about ways to keep warm that far north, his mind wandering off for a moment. Ever since the night of the ball, his mind had done that when she was in his presence. He glanced down at her “Oh yeah? I’m sure there are a few ways” he winked.

“...I wouldn’t be Allaria of the House Belmore if I didn’t know of a few,” she boasted.

“Oh I know, I learned that myself” the Shalumite High Prince smirked, holding her a bit tighter for a moment. “Sometimes a few tricks is all it takes.”

“Well, I warned you. You didn’t listen though, so I had to show you.” Allaria laughed.

Matthew laughed with her, rubbing her arm a bit more as he did so. “Sometimes it pays to not listen to warnings, I suppose. Though I must say...not listening is probably one of the better decisions I ever made” he continued.

“I have heard it said that the Hollands are a stubborn lot. All the better for me, I suppose.” Allaria said as she planted a kiss on his lips.

The prince smiled and ran a hand through her hair as he returned the kiss, pulling her closer to him. When they had broken he replied. “Stubborn indeed, we’ve gotten good at being that way over the years I hear” he murmured in reply. He hoped that she would one day find her name among the names of the Hollands, even if she didn’t take the name herself.

“There is some Gentry in there too, I can tell. I find it fascinating that you knew Prince William of Ghant...what was he like?”

Matthew nodded. “Yes, I get a bit of Gentry blood from my father...it has served me well over the years. You mustn't forget I’ve got Azzie in me as well, they don’t exactly bend easily” he added. He is brown eyes met her own as he continued. “He was a good man, I enjoyed the time I spent with him. He died when I wasn’t much more than a teenager, unfortunately. He was always nice to me, taught me about the world...regardless of what he thought of my mother.”

Allaria shrugged. “Well, what can you expect from a man who grew up at the court of the Mad Emperor and the mighty Caitria Silven? After all, his brother Robert’s forbidden and doomed romance with the Thief Princess is well known, and I have heard it said that it got Robert killed in the Great War.”

Matthew nodded sagely, knowing the story all too well. “You have a point, Allaria. I’ve always tried to remember him in a good light though, honor his memory. He wasn’t perfect, none of use are or ever will be” he shrugged.

“I wouldn’t be so sure. Perfection is a very attainable goal...in bed.” Allaria laughed.

A grin spread on Matthew’s lips once more. In the blink of an eye, he had reached over and wrapped his free arm around her waist, turning her onto her side to face him. “Touche my dear. Perfection can be attained there” he smiled. “I know about that myself” he replied, before kissing her on the lips gently. “Its takes a good partner though to reach that state of perfection” he added quietly.

“...I doubt you shall find one better than I.” Allaria said she ran her fingers up and down Matthew’s chest.

His eyes were locked with hers, though his chest felt like small trails of pleasant fire were coursing across him. “Oh...I’m confident that I’ll never find one better than you” he replied with a grin. “You’re by the far the best I’ve come across to date” he replied honestly. He had sampled from the best of the selections of available, but Allaria had simply outdone them all. “You’re a rare, very fine vintage, milady.”

“We Belmores have had to earn our place. The Galians have long cast a shadow over us, but perhaps now we can poke our heads out from their shadow. You would know a thing or too about poking heads out, wouldn’t you Matthew Holland?” Allaria asked coyly as she kissed his neck, while her left hand drifted down his chest towards his boxers.

“Maybe this will be the Belmores’ chance...if you’re willing to take the chance” he replied with a small grin; shuddering a bit as she kissed him. He groaned under his breath as he realized what was happening. “I’d say I’m quite knowledgeable on the subject, yes” he replied as he met her eyes; his own brown ones intense with a sudden fire.

“I am always willing to take chances. I am willing...to seize the things I want.” She said that last part as found something in his boxers.

Matthew grunted, resting his head against the crook of her neck as he spoke through grit teeth. “That, babe, is quite obvious. I think the Hollands and the Belmores would make an excellent union” he mumbled.

“I am glad you think so. Your little friend seems to agree.” She said coyly, as her hand found itself rather busy.

Matthew grunted and continued to hold onto her at the waist. “How did I get lucky enough to get you?” he asked quietly.

“It is always a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I saw the way that Vyrsarian bitch was playing games with you and your friend, and how she sent that little whore to deal with you...I decided I would show you how a real woman treats a real man.” Allaria explained this as she grinned mischievously, shifting her head down to where her hand was.

Matthew grinned wryly at her. He wasn’t happy about those games, but those Vyrsarians were still his friends, even if they had shot him down more or less. “I’m forever thankful that you rescued me from their clutches, milady. It was merciful of you. Too bad for my friend Alexander though” he mumbled. He grinned back and let go of her. “Isn’t this how I asked you to marry me?” he questioned.

“...Yes it was.” She said when she had the opportunity, before continuing. God I am such a filthy little lady, Allaria thought. Yet, she loved every minute of it.

“Very few men shall be lucky as I am” Matthew mused as he glanced at her. She was a beautiful woman, scratch that, she was angelic. Her abilities only made her better in his eyes. “Someone looks pretty pleased with themselves” he smirked as he glanced at her again.

“That makes two of us.” Allaria was never afraid to bust out some new tricks to see how Matthew might react, which she didn’t hesitate to do at this present time.

Matthew laughed as he sat back contently. “You’re certainly a woman of many mysteries and talents, one of the things I like about you, milady” he replied as he stifled a groan. “Never feel a need to hold yourself back.”

“I don’t plan on it.” She said, wondering if he was enjoying himself as much as she was.

Matthew grinned down at her with a hungry, predatory glint in his eyes, expressing his approval with the look; though he doubted she needed to know. “Good then, I was hoping you weren’t” he grunted.

“You should never feel the need to hold back either.” Allaria chuckled, as she continued doing what she was doing.

Matthew tried to laugh, but it turned into something of a growl that could have sent shivers down the backs of those who heard him. “I never hold back milady, especially not for you. If anything I only try harder” he replied through grit teeth.

“Don’t try too hard. You are already hard enough.” Allaria laughed.

Matthew chuckled as well. “You should know” he replied. He glanced at her and continued. “If you want, I’m sure I could help you out as well...somehow” he offered.

“...Let’s see what you got, iron man.”

Matthew grinned at her and sat up. Using his long arms, he pulled her into his lap, smirking as he did so. He clicked his tongue as he looked over her. “My oh my, I have quite a few ideas” he replied and his hands moved to under the thin strings that held her clothing together.

Allaria gasped. “Clever boy.”

Matthew’s hand were deft with years of experience, and before long, he had accomplished his mission; even at the angle that he had to work with. He tossed the fabric aside, kissing her on the lips as he did so. “I’m glad we got a private beach” he laughed as they broke once more.

“You are a nasty boy, Matthew Holland.” Allaria said as she pushed herself against his face.

Matthew grinned and her as she did so. “And I could say the same to you Allaria Belmore” he replied; reaching down to lift her up. “But that’s not a bad thing is it?” he questioned with a trademark grin.

“I don’t think so...and neither do you I suspect.”

He peppered her with kisses. “No..not in the least” he replied as he lifted her hips a bit to accommodate. “Dirty isn’t a bad thing...especially if you’ve found someone to share yourself with” he smiled.

Allaria shivered under Matthew’s kisses, her toes curling. She became more thorough in her task...at hand. “Sharing is caring.”

Matthew paused to laugh. “Yes it is, mon amant” he replied before kissing her once more; focused on his task. He knew what buttons to push, and it seemed it was working so far.

Allaria shuddered, finding it hard to focus on what she was doing. She didn’t have any words for him this time. Rather, she decided to turn up the heat, escalating the situation.

Matthew gasped as she did so, finding himself unable to speak, only groan in pleasure. “Jesus Christo ma petite” he to grit out, barely able to speak.

Allaria had enough of this. She broke free, and shifted her body. She sat upon his lap, and kissed him on the lips as she eased into him with a gasp and a shudder. “...the heat…”

Matthew growled into her ear as she did so, pleasure shooting through his body. He used his hands to help her if she needed it, willing to guide her. “Damn...ma petite...the heat indeed” he chuckled strained.

She kissed his neck and mouth, made eye contact when she could, and dug her fingers into his hair, neck and back. “You are mine, Matthew Holland. I want to be your Imperatrix. And to bear the fruits of our passion in due time.”

His brown eyes met her own. “And you Allaria Belmore are mine. I wish to have you at my side for the rest of my days” he replied with an honest, lopsided grin.

“Good. I plan on making it worth your while.” After a certain amount of time that Allaria was unsure of, she came to rest upon Matthew’s chest, breathing against him as her sweaty hair stuck to him.

“As do I” he replied. Things became a blur to him as they lost themselves to passion. When it was over, he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her forehead. He gently rubbed small circles into her back as he smiled down at her. “Mhi solus tome, mhi solu dar'tome, me'dinui an, mhi bajuri verde” he whispered quietly; loud enough for her to hear. It was an ancient Shalumite sentence that spoke volumes. “It means ‘We are one when together, we are one when apart, we will share all, we will raise warriors’. You’re mine Allaria Belmore” he laughed.

Allaria just laid there, nestled against him, enjoying the warmth of his skin and the feeling of his affection. “I want to raise Imperators, Queens and Empresses,” she chuckled, wiggling her body against his. “I want the Holland name to soar to new heights. I can do that.”

Matthew smiled and kissed her forehead, his arms wrapped around her at the waist. The idea of seeing little Matthews and Allarias made his heart flutter a bit. “I would have it no other way. I would love for you to raise the next generation of Shalum’s rulers” he smiled softly. “We can do that, together, you and I” he corrected her lightheartedly. “What do you say?” he asked.

Allaria shifted a bit to look down at the mess in Matthew’s lap, before turning her gaze back to Matthew. “I think the answer to your question lies down there,” Allaria answered with a smirk.

Matthew couldn’t help but laugh at her reply, his body shaking a bit. His eyes followed her’s down and back up. “That’s one way of putting it” he chuckled; a matching smirk on his lips. He had half a mind to say those ‘three’ words, just to test the waters, but he felt that it was probably too soon.

“Well, I have half a mind to go swimming myself.” Allaria, already naked, climbed off of Matthew and went into the water.

Matthew grinned and followed her. “I think I could use one as well” he replied as he followed. He loved the water, and during his military training, it had become a second home to him at times. His eyes were on Allaria as he entered, the pleasantly cool waves washing over them.

“The water feels really good.” Allaria said upon surfacing.

Matthew surfaced a moment later, running a hand through his brown hair as he did so. “It feels great, a lot nicer than Shalum this time of year” he replied.

“So I have heard. Hopefully nobody would mind if I either just went around naked or in the thinnest silk dress money can buy,” she laughed.

Matthew grinned and swam closer to her. “I doubt they would. You’d be too popular for anyone to care. Plus ever since Edneism came to Shalum, naked isn’t as taboo” he shrugged.

“Me? Popular? Miss Ghant 2014, popular in Shalum?” Allaria laughed. “Might have to settle with that silk dress...last thing I would want is to provoke the envy of your countrymen, your father and brothers.” Allaria laughed again.

Matthew laughed a bit, close enough to kiss her cheek, an arms snaking around her waist under the water to do so. “Yes popular. You’d be the High Princess after all” he replied. “I would prefer silk in public, otherwise you’d drive half of Aragon crazy” he grinned.

“Plus, if your daughter is to be Empress of Ghant, the last thing I would want is to give Sophia another arrow in her quiver of apprehension towards me,” she grinned.

Matthew grinned back. “Imagine that...a Holland on the throne. That would be quite the sight. I’m sure Sophie would just love every minute of that, don’t you think?” he winked as he questioned her.

“I actually don’t think she would mind all too much. I heard she was smitten with you once...even going as far as to avoiding you at the Star Ball. Nathan might have gone nuts if he saw her talking to you,” she laughed.

Matthew blinked in surprise at Allaria’s words, genuinely surprised. “Well...that’s news to me” he replied; looking rather sheepish. “I thought she was avoiding me, I just didn’t know why” he admitted with a small, pleased grin at the revelation. “I’ll consider that a compliment” he laughed.

“Indeed, it is. The mighty Sophia of Dakmoor is a rare prize. Is what they say about the two of you true? I am most curious.”

Matthew gulped a bit. Sophie was quite a beautiful woman, the idea of her being attracted to him made his pride swell at bit for a moment. He met Allaria’s eyes and nodded hesitantly. “I’m going to say yes...though I’m not sure what everyone says. I’ve got a bit of a reputation in the court, but I didn’t know it preceded me.”

“That in the past seven years, during one of your many illustrious tours in the north, that the two of you became...close.” Allaria grinned. “Sophia would never admit anything. She was always such a coy tease.”

A grin spread on Matthew’s lips in remembrance. He knew what she was talking about. Sophia was quite a woman. “After getting to know me” he leaned in close and whispered. “What do you think happened between Sophie and I?”

“I think the two of you started off as friends, talking and going out to lunch...and then you starting fucking clandestinely, but because you weren’t Nathan, it was never going to anywhere beyond that. So either you took the proverbial money and ran, or she decided that what the two of you were doing was wrong, because her heart was never fully invested in you. Imperatrix of Shalum is nice and all, but for Sophia, it was always Empress of Ghant.” Allaria shrugged.

Matthew nodded. She hadn’t missed a beat on the subject. “That is all true. She and I became close friends...and then it sorta happened. We had a hell of a time together” he chuckled quietly. “But as you said, it was never for her, so we had our time; and went our separate ways. It was nice while it lasted....but now I have you” he smiled; wrapping his arms around her. “You Ghantish are a dangerous breed” he smiled.

“Never tell Nathan what you told me. No man holds a grudge quite like him, let me tell you. If he ever found about about that, he would hound you until the day he dies,” she laughed. “Besides, I always suspected I was a better lover than she. She has the passion, and the moves, but she doesn’t have that x factor that I just happen to possess. Although, she might have gotten better over the years...”

Matthew nodded and sighed a bit. “I hold Nathan in high regard, believe it or not, he has always been a good friend to me. I would never tell him of what Sophia and I did, it wouldn’t be right” the prince replied. “She’s passionate alright...but you’re right, you’ve got that factor. I like that factor” he smiled, kissing her cheek affectionately as he held her body close to his.

“I know that Arietta thinks John is cute. You should watch out for that girl...she would corrupt your brother and turn him into a beast,” she laughed again as she gave him a kiss and slipped away into the water, mischievously.

He chuckled and followed her at a leisurely pace, eyes following her body as she moved through the water. “John? A beast? I doubt that’s possible, he’d need a lot of experience for that. He has a lot of potential, though most women just like him for the position. He’s not bad looking, just smaller than my brother and I, at least in stature” Matthew laughed. “Arietta and John...that’s a scary thought.”

“Especially since you know that Arietta doesn’t care about the position...well, at least not that position…

Matthew chuckled. “So I’ve heard. She could either be very good for John, or very bad; though I don’t really want to think about what they’d do. Could be worse I supposed” he replied as he swam. If he wanted to, he could easily catch her and seize her, just for the fun of it; but he held out.

“Well, John’s gift is his mind. Something tells me he would use less and less of that the more and more he used Arietta...or rather the more and more she used him.” Allaria swam up behind him and wrapped herself around his back, resting her chin on his shoulder.

Matthew smiled softly and reached behind him, holding onto her at the hips. “That’s what I’m afraid of. He’s a genius...but that could all be moot if she got ahold of him; or not, but I’m afraid it would happen. My father wants him to possibly think about a Vyrsarian, if they were willing. He’s got his eyes set on that northern nation for some reason. Whoever John finds, I hope he’s happy” Matthew replied quietly. “Maybe he’ll find a nice Ghantish girl though” he smiled.

Allaria scoffed at what Matthew said. “The Vyrsarians do not marry outside of Vyrsar...they never have. Your father would be wasting his time.” Allaria thought a bit more. “You know...Nathan’s half-sister Alexia is single again, as per trending the grapevine. She is also 18, and very smart, sweet and gentle. That might be something worth considering, especially considering the fuzzy relationship between the Hollands and Gentrys at present.”

“You need not remind me, he tried with me, but I actually got close at one point...or so it seemed. He’s stubborn though, not one to give up easily” Matthew replied, leaning back a bit. “I’ve heard of her. Rebecca and John skyped me about her coming to visit them soon actually. That would do good for the standing between the two houses” Matthew replied. “Only time will tell, I suppose.”

“I do like Rebecca. I know she is friends with Arietta and Alexia. It would be good for her to get some friends to come visit. I just hope that John can handle all those pretty girls being around all at once.”

Matthew laughed. “Allaria, you don’t know my brother. He’s gotten quite good at handling being surrounded by women of their caliber over the years, granted, he hasn’t really gotten good at talking to them” he replied lightly. “He’ll do fine...I hope.”

“You are right. I don’t know him, I only know what’s said through the grapevine. I also heard through the grapevine that there was talk once of your sister and Nathan...but Nathan shook his head and laughed when I asked him about that.”

“I heard about that. Anna did the same thing. No offense to Nathan, but I just didn’t seem them ever coming close to working out. Plus...Anna has some noble guy now so I hear” Matthew replied.

“Oh? Does she now? Who?”

“Count Alexander Blackburn, he’s royal infantry, and is assigned to protect me. A close friend actually. He and Anna were raised together, they’re best friends. Technically, they’re not together, but you could cut the sexual tension with a knife” he laughed. “There’s bets about when it’ll happen so I hear.”

“Oh, isn’t that Rebecca’s cousin?”

“Yes it is, the older of the two boys”

“Ah ok...small world. Good for them. I know their aunt, Lady Elizabeth Blackburn, and she is a very good woman. If they are anything like her, I bet Anna will be happy.”

“Yeah, they’re a lot like her. Smart, laid back and they’ve got their father’s looks so I hear which doesn't hurt them. Their mother isn’t the nicest woman unfortunately, it was an arranged marriage. I try not to think about my sister off with other men, but Alex is one man who I trust.”

“Damn, you gotta hate those arranged marriages. Elizabeth got lucky. Just like me.” Allaria smiled as she kissed Matthew.

Matthew nodded in agreement, but stayed quiet. William’s problem was a secret, and would stay that way if all went well, though Allaria would find out eventually. He smiled warmly and kissed her back, turning so that he could hold her. “No...I’m the lucky one here, milady.”

Allaria blushed as she let Matthew hold her in the water. “What can I say...I guess it’s just my allure.”
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Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Allaria's Allure

Postby Ghant » Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:55 am

“Allaria’s Allure” (II)
The Belmore Estate
Belmore, Langael, Ghant


Belmore was an idyllic town north of Galian, near the border of Onia and Gotorleku. It was a nice day, and the sun was shining upon the green fields of Belmore. The Belmore estate was large and modern, with paige walls and big windows. There was a gate and a fountain in between the gate and the manor itself, with birds chirping as the frolicked in the cool water.

There were two young girls sitting by the fountain at a small table, sipping tea and talking about those things which girls often talk about at their age. Both had brown hair and green-blue eyes, the older one in a green dress and the younger one in a blue dress.

New to the Belmore Estate, was Urban Holland, the representative chosen by the Imperator to represent the Holland family. He had been selected due to his standing in the family, high up, but not high enough that his absence would cause problems. He was a tall man, though short compared to some of his relatives standing a solid six-foot even. He was dressed in a formal military uniform that marked him as military intelligence of some form, apparently high ranking at that.

He wasn’t quite sure where to go, as he had been merely dropped off. He spotted a couple of girls by a fountain, and not quite sure what to do, began to walk over toward them.

The younger girl, having heard footsteps, poked her head up to see who was coming. When she saw the man, she shrieked and ran inside the manor. The older girl got up and straightened out her dress, and adjusted her hair and her dress as the man approached her.

Urban adjusted his uniform a bit as he walked, smoothing down any areas that may have been ruffled. His cap was tucked under his arm as he moved, showing off his raven hair, which was beginning to grey, probably due to the stress of his job. “Excuse ma’am” he began awkwardly, not quite sure how to introduce himself. “I’m Urban Holland, representative of the royal family of Shalum. I’m looking for a...Arlan Belmore” he stated; hoping he got the name right.

The girl thought for a moment as she looked at him, and then she realized what this was about. She did a curtsy. “I am Mallori Belmore, nice to meet you sir. Come inside, my father is in his office. I can show you the way. Don’t mind my sister either, she is such a frightful thing.” Mallori offered Urban her arm as if to lead him like a lady might.

Urban nodded and smiled a bit, trying to look less intimidating than he thought himself to be. His hands had become scarred over the years, as he had worked in the field before earning himself an office in Aragon. “Thank you” he replied, linking his arm with her’s as it appeared she wanted to lead him. “Lead the way then” he nodded towards the house.

Mallori led the way into the manor. It was in immaculate condition, with a patterned tile floor and painted walls the color of beige and green. There were pictures on the tables and ornaments, with paintings hanging from the walls. Mallori didn’t have to go far before stopping in front of a set of double doors. She knocked on one. “Dad! Dad!”

“What is it, Mallori?” A voice asked.

“You have a guest. Open the door!”

“I am busy...and I wasn’t expecting anyone.”

“But Dad, he’s from Shalum...a representative of the Royal Family.”

The voice didn’t respond, but rather there were a series of rapid movements and the sound of things clattering. Within a few seconds the door opened. The man that emerged was in his mid forties. He stood about six feet tall, lanky, and had a youthful face with green eyes and soft brown hair that had begun to turn grey. He was wearing a fuzzy green polo shirt and slacks. “I am Lord Arlan Belmore, and to whom do I have the pleasure of meeting?” Arlan asked, jovially.

Urban had listened to the exchange with a certain amount of confusion. He had been told that he was supposed to meet with Arlan today. Had they had a technical mishap with scheduling? Nevertheless, Urban maintained his professional look as he waited for Arlan. He blinked in surprise though as it sounded as if the man stumbled over himself to get to the door.

Urban cleared his throat as he looked at Arlan. Before speaking his bowed slightly in acknowledgement of Arlan’s statues. “Colonel Urban Holland of the Shalumite royal house at your service, sir” he greeted demurely. Normally, Urban was known for being rather jovial, even with all he had scene in his line of work; but he was on business this time, so he wanted to maintain some sense of properness.

“Pleasure to meet you...you are Vicky’s son, if I recall correctly. Yes, now that I recall, I should have been expecting you. Sorry, it has been very hectic here lately, with the new Privy Council business. Please, come in.” Arlan turned to Mallori. “Go tell your mother that the Shalumites are here.”

Mallori nodded and ran off down the hall. Arlan laughed. “These daughters of mine make me scatterbrained and my hair grey trying to keep up. I am sure your grandfather had plenty of stories to regale you with. Let’s get down to business, shall we?”

Urban smiled a bit and nodded. “Yes sir, Victoria is my mother” he replied, shifting on his heels to let go of the young girl’s arm. His smile grew at bit as he watched the child run off. “Yes sir, I’m quite sure he did” the colonel winked.

“Anyways, yes down to business. I don’t think this shall take too long, I’m merely here to inspect the household and meet you and your wife. Common in Shalum when a royal marriage is on the table” Urban replied.

“Hmm yes. I am still rather surprised that Allaria earned the affections of the High Prince. The thought of being the father of an Imperatrix has taken a bit of getting used too...I would have been happy if she married some well bred lord. Needless to say I can’t find myself complaining in the least.” Arlan explained as he sat down at his desk and poured himself some wine. “Please, sit down if you would like. I have some wine for us to share as well should you find yourself inclined.”

“Ahh yes, I could go for some wine I suppose” Urban said as he sat down across from Arlan. “I was actually surprised by the news myself. No offense to you or your house, I just always saw him marrying a woman of high birth, like a princess. However, it’s not my place to judge either” Urban shrugged. “If she makes him happy, and can do good for both our houses, her social rank is of little concern to me and my family.” the Shalumite continued. He then chuckled a bit. “I think being the father of the Imperatrix would be hard to wrap your head around, regardless of who you were.”

Arlan chuckled a bit when he heard Urban explain that first part. “I seem to recall your grandmother having that conversation one time with your Uncle. Here in Ghant that got people’s attention. That was the same logic your Uncle Edward used when he denied Rosalina to Jack. Poor woman. She is friends with my wife. An intelligent and pretty woman, but sad and depressed. Edward’s excessive pride cost his daughter her happiness, and the whole thing is very tragic. Have you seen your Aunt Alyssa since you have been in Ghant?”

Urban nodded in understanding when Jack was mentioned. “Tragic indeed. I’ve known Jack for a while, met him through the military and at a few events at the Imperatorial palace. He’s a good guy in a bad situation. It seems that he was rather depressed himself about the whole thing, took him another decade and a half to marry in an attempt to make up for lost time” the colonel replied. “I can’t say I haven’t, unfortunately. I only arrived this morning, I haven’t had much time to do anything like that.”

The door behind them opened, and a tall, elegant looking woman stepped inside the room. She had long dark brown hair, fair skin with dark freckles and blue-green eyes. She was very shapely and had curves in all the right places, and age did little to diminish her beauty, looking ten years younger than she actually was. She was wearing a loose blue-green dress that allowed a good idea of her behind, wide hips and her busty bosom. She sat down in the seat next to Arlan, and she kissed his neck.

Arlan chuckled. “May I present my wife, the Lady Andraste Broda.” Arlan turned to his wife. “This is Urban Holland, Vicky’s son.”

Andraste’s eyes lit up. “Such a pleasure to meet you, Urban. So nice to see you here, so tall and strong as well. I swear, all you Hollands are such ladykillers. Poor Allaria must have been no match for your cousin’s charms.”

It took a lot to not grin at the sight of Andraste. She was a beautiful woman, her body perfect in Urban’s eyes, not seemingly close to the age that he had been told that she was. His brown eyes looked her over as she passed, trying not to stare at her well sculpted body. He laughed a bit at the mention of the Hollands.

“Yes, it seems my family has gotten that kind of reputation over the years, though I suppose it’s well earned. You Belmores aren’t so bad yourselves” he smiled a bit more. “I hear that Matthew took an instant liking to Allaria himself” he continued. “And that, my friends, is why I’m here.”

“Well, seeing as how the girl takes after her mother, I can’t be all that surprised.” Arlan laughed.

Andraste wrapped her hands around his head and pulled him in for a kiss, gumming his bottom lip as she pulled away. “Such a sweet man, my Arlan. The Belmores might not be so bad, but it is that Broda blood in their veins that gives them the heat. Our son Artos is sowing his wild oats at University even as we speak, I do not doubt.” Andraste grinned.

Urban blinked in surprise at how affectionate they were in a meeting of this nature. Nevertheless, he didn’t mind, as it was nice to see that they were this loving at their age. “I’m sure many people his age are, I know Jack Harper and I were” he laughed. “The High Prince has done quite well for himself, I must say” he smiled hintingly. If Allaria looked as good as her mother did in the future, Matthew would be set for life, more so than he already was anyway.

“Well, this one here was very shy and a tad awkward. I met him at a ball back in 1990. It didn’t take me long to earn his affections.” Andraste explained.

Arlan nodded, meekly. “Andraste has always been a very...persuasive woman. Allaria too is fairly...forward.” Arlan grinned.

Urban grinned and shifted in his seat a bit, taking a sip of his own wine which he had partaken in. “That is how I understand it. From what I hear, she and the prince met at a ball and got together very quickly, been hard to separate them since. Matthew has always been forward, but I think he was beaten at his own game this time.” Urban was a bit more relaxed now, the stress that he assumed would come with the meeting gone for the most part. They seemed relaxed, so why couldn’t he?

Andraste smirked. “He is a smart boy, then. He knows a good thing when he sees it. So does Allaria too.”

Arlan nodded. “Has...Tyler expressed any concerns thus far with this whole arrangement?”

“Nothing but the best, just like his father” Urban shrugged before taking another sip. “So far...none at all actually. He’s rather content so far with the Belmore’s standing and Allaria even if they’re a bit lower than he expected Matthew to marry. As I understand, Allaria’s appearance is enough to sway his vote” Urban winked.

“If anything, I’m mostly here out of tradition as you know. One thing he has told me is that he would like to meet you two in person before the wedding, get to know you a bit, since you’re going to be in-laws. Do you have any concerns?”

Arlan nodded. “I understand that Shalumites take additional wives if so inclined. If I approve of the match, I want certain assurances that he wouldn’t take another wife other than Allaria.”

Andraste laughed. “Not that he would need another one anyway.”

Urban nodded. “From time to time, yes they do, though its been a few generations since a Holland took a second wife. I can assure you that he won’t take a second wife...though I doubt he would anyway. He seems rather content with her, I believe she’s all he can handle anyway” Urban replied with a small grin.

Arlan laughed. “Just like his mother.” Arlan turned his head to Andraste like a flower turns to face the sunlight.

Andraste rewarded him with another kiss. When she pulled away, one might be able to tell that there was a bit of tongue in that. “So...when do we get to meet Tyler and Allison?” Andraste asked, coyly.

Urban grinned a bit. “Well...you can whenever you have time I suppose, just make arrangements ahead of time. They would like to meet you in Shalum if at all possible, show you around the palace. Unless that would be an issue of course” Urban replied.

“That shouldn’t be an issue at all. I think I would like to speak with him on the phone first to iron out some of the details. Is that something you think I can do?” Arlan asked, still distracted by his wife’s affections.

Urban did his best to focus on Arlan, and not the supermodel quality woman sitting in his lap. “I don’t see why not. You could even call him now, he should be free at the moment” Urban replied. “If not, a later date is fine as well. I’m sure he’ll make time for you.”

“Might as well get it out of the way now if that is possible, and if you don’t mind calling him.”

Urban nodded and fished his phone out of his pocket, going to his contacts and hitting the call button without hesitation. “One moment” Urban requested as he put the satphone to his ear. The answer came surprisingly quick.

“Hey Urban, what you need?” the Imperator asked rather informally; the sounds of papers rustling in the background heard.

“I’ve got Lord Belmore here and he wanted to talk to you. Is that fine?” Urban asked.

“Sure, I’ve got a few minutes to myself, put him on” Tyler replied. There was a pause as Urban handed Arlan the phone.

“Hello Imperator! This is Arlan. I serve on the Privy Council with Edward and Alyssa! How are you today?”

The Imperator was surprised by the jovial greeting, a small smile playing his lips as he leaned back in his chair. “I’m doing quite well Arlan, thank you for asking. I hope you’re well as well. Feel free to call me Tyler by the way” the Imperator offered.

“Thanks Tyler. Say, I was just talking to your nephew, and he broached the idea of me and Andraste coming to Aragon to meet with you and Allison. I wanted to know what you thought about that.”

“Well, I was hoping that you could meet us in Aragon at some point. If we’re going to be related by marriage, I was thinking that it would be best to show you around the palace, plus I wouldn't mind getting to know you; your daughter will be the Imperatrix one day after all” Tyler chuckled.

“Yes, we would like that. We can come out as soon you deem appropriate. I do wonder though, should we bring the children, or just come her and I?”

“Anytime is fine really during the next two weeks if that’s acceptable, just tell me when and I’ll clear the schedule. If you want, you can bring your children” Tyler offered. “They might find this a bit boring though.”

“Yes, that is a good point. Perhaps it might be better if it was just us...I think we could both use a break from the children...daughters can drive a man insane, I am sure your father would tell you. You should count yourself fortunate you only had one.” Arlan laughed.

Tyler laughed a bit. “Yes, yes, I understand what you mean. Consider it a vacation. If you don’t mind a bit of heat, you could visit the beaches of Aragon, or we could even go down to Niece. Its a resort city that I like to go to a couple times a year. So...what do you say?”

“Sounds very nice. How soon can we be there?”

“Well, I’m free this week, and most of next if you want to come on short notice. Two weeks after that I’m free for a while, though I’m sure I could make time before that. I need a break from this all myself” Tyler chuckled.

“Then perhaps we ought to come out this week.” Arlan laughed.

Tyler smiled a bit. “Awesome. That would be fine with me, and I’m sure Allison would approve as well. Do you have any questions before you come to Shalum?”

“Nope, can’t say that I do. I am just excited to come out and spend some quality time in Shalum.”

“I am glad to hear that. If you come up with any, don’t hesitate to ask...Urban I suppose, he’s rather qualified to answer them. I look forward to meeting you and your wife, Arlan. If that’s all, I think I’m gonna hang up now. It seems there’s always something for me to do” the Imperator laughed, though he wasn’t looking forward to any more paperwork.

“Yes...I know the feeling no doubt…” Arlan glanced at his wife. “Have a nice day Tyler, and we shall see you soon.”

“Have a nice day Arlan, I look forward to meeting you. Cheers mate” Tyler replied, before ending the call. He set the phone down and sighed, glancing back at his laptop. At least he had something to look forward to now other than talking to his pregnant partner.

Urban smiled and retrived his phone from Arlan. “That appeared to go well, did it not?” he asked. Glancing between the duo, he wondered if retreating now would be a good idea, considering the looks they wore.

Arlan nodded. “I think it did. Glad to see things moving in a good direction.” Arlan looked at his wife again, who was wiggling a bit. “Was there...anything else I could do for you today?”

Urban coughed awkwardly, noticing the way his wife moved, her dress not leaving much to the imagination. “I...I don’t believe so. If you’re in agreement that all is squared away for the moment, I think we’re done” Urban offered; ready to leave.

Andraste smiled. “If you would like, I can call Alyssa and let her know you are around, and then maybe you can visit her. She would like to see you...her and your mother are still very close.”

Urban smiled gratefully. “Thank you for that, I’ve been meaning to see her. Feel free to call her. I was planning to head back to my hotel and rest for a bit before I went to see her.”

“I will let her know to get in touch with you. Thank you for coming Urban, and I hope you found your visit here pleasant.” Andraste continued.

The Shalumite colonel smiled and stood up, straightening his clothing. “Thank you for having me Arlan, Andraste; it was a pleasant experience. Have a nice day, may we meet again as family” he smiled. “I can see myself out” he said as he shuffled toward the door, winking at Arlan as he went.

“...You should shut the door behind you.” Andraste said, whimsically.

Urban chuckled. “I was planning on locking it too” he replied. “Have a good day” he grinned at the two; the door closing behind him with a click.

Now alone, Urban took a moment to explore the place, not afraid of being caught red handed. It was a nice place, and obviously rather expensive to own and maintain. He did this for a while, before leaving the way he came, bidding the two younger girls good day as he left.
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User avatar
Ghant
Minister
 
Posts: 2405
Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Allaria's Allure

Postby Ghant » Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:03 pm

“Allaria’s Allure” (III)
The Imperatorial Palace
Aragon, Shalum


The Shalumite sun beat down on the Imperatorial Palace as the convoy, which carried Arlan and Andraste arrived. The temperature was in the upper eighties, the ocean breeze sweeping it to make it a bit cooler; however it wasn’t a reason to be conservative with sun block. As the cars ground to a halt, they were met by a group of formally dressed Royal Infantry and Knights who had formed two lines on either side of the walkway as to force one to walk toward the broad doors of the palace. Standing ready to greet them, were two people, a man and a woman.

The man stood at an imposing six-foot-four, with a muscled build. He had brown hair and eyes, with olive skin that was a bit darker this time of year. He had a chiseled jaw and intelligent eyes that watched everything around him. While most would mistake him for a well dressed brute he was actually a very smart man; and was apparently quite handsome to most women. He was the Imperator of Shalum.

Beside him was his wife, Allison Holland. She stood at five-foot-ten, with a toned body and tan skin that she hadn’t been born with. Her golden hair was pulled back into a ponytail. She was well formed, with an ample bosom and wide hips. If one saw her without knowing any better, they would not have suspected that she was a mother of four. Her eyes were cerulean, deep as the ocean was blue. She had the look of someone who was ten years younger than she actually was.

When the convoy came to a stop, Arlan emerged from the car first, wearing a white tunic to keep his body cool in the heat. He reached down and pulled Andraste from the car, who had her long hair hanging loosely behind her, and she was wearing a white silk gown that left little to the imagination in terms of her curvaceous figure. The pair smiled as they approached Tyler and Allison.

Tyler and Allison stepped forward to meet the couple, smiling back as they did so. It took a lot for Tyler to not oggle the Ghantish woman, as she was rather exquisite in appearance; though Allison didn’t seem as set in Tyler’s ways, her eyes looking over the two with absent interest. The Imperator offered his hand to shake. “Arlan Belmore, welcome to the Imperatorial Palace” he greeted jovially. “I’m Imperator Tyler Holland, and this is my wife Allison” he continued.

The blonde Imperatrix smiled at the two. “Its a pleasure to meet you two” she added, offering her own hand to shake.

Arlan and Andraste took their time shaking their hands. “Thank you for the welcome, it is a great pleasure to be here.”

Andraste smiled wide. “I can see why Tyler bucked his family's desires for you, Allison. You are quite the beautiful woman.”

When it came to shaking hands, Allison let her own linger for a moment or two more with Arlan and Andraste. At the comment, she flushed a bit. “Why thank you for that, you’re quite exquisite yourself” she replied.

Tyler smiled at Alran. “Thank you for coming out here on such short notice, I’m glad to have you here.”

“Thank you for letting us come on such short notice!” Arlan exclaimed jovially.

Andraste raised an eyebrow. “An interesting contrast, I might add, as I have heard that Holland boys hardly ever come on short notice themselves.”

Tyler went red at the comment, while Allison giggled a bit. “Oh you have that right, indeed, never quick to my memory” she winked a bit. “I swear there’s something up with these Holland boys. Must be the Ghantish blood in them” she chuckled. “It runs...quite hot.”

“Indeed it does, especially up north. My own father, Andar, although from an ancient house with much land, was rather poor. He had trouble finding a southern girl, so he ended up finding a northern one. Northern girls are a wild bunch.” Andraste grinned.

“Those apples never fall far from the tree.” Arlan laughed.

Tyler was grinning, albeit a bit sheepishly, while Allison’s was matching Andraste’s. “A wild bunch eh?” she asked, the thought a bit tantalizing as she looked over the Ghantish woman. “I think I know what you mean. I’m from northern Azurlavai myself, a little town called Bruhl. From what I understand, we can be rather wild ourselves” the Imperatrix winked. “Isn’t that right, Tyler?” she asked nudging her husband.

“Yes” Tyler replied simply, chuckling a bit. “Come on...let’s head inside, its a cooler in the palace” he said; nodding toward the large building.

Arlan and Andraste nodded and prepared to follow Tyler and Allison inside the palace. Arlan spoke thus. “Lilliana wanted to come out and visit Rebecca and John, but we needed her to stay home and watch the younger ones. Can’t trust those rascals to have their leave of the Palace, especially those boys.”

Tyler laughed a bit. “I understand what you mean. As much as I trusted my kids, I never really wanted to leave them alone with the palace, even when they had knights supervising them. Maybe in the future though, I’m sure John and Rebecca would love to see her” he replied.

As they reached the main doors of the palace, two guards opened the broad fixtures, allowing the group to enter. They found themselves in the greeting area to a great hall capable of holding at least two hundred people, with high ceilings painted yellow like the sun. It was, indeed, much cooler here. “This is the main area, where we throw a lot of our parties” Allison commented as they stepped in.

“Very nice. Impressive indeed.” Arlan commented.

Andraste nodded in agreement. “Some grand parties no doubt.”

Allison nodded and looked at the two. “Yes, we try anyway. The Hollands have a reputation for putting on good get togethers. They’re nice to throw, especially around Christmas time. Would you like a tour of the place, or would you like to go to a lounge and settle in so that we can talk?” the blonde inquired.

“Perhaps we should go to a lounge first...and ease into it.” Andraste grinned.

Arlan agreed. “Yes, it has been very hot and the journey long, so perhaps the lounge would be good for now.”

Allison grinned and looked at her husband, who simply shrugged in response. “Lounge it is then, follow me” she told them; her hips swaying a bit as she walked. They moved through a few hallways, finally coming to a formal sitting area that appeared rather comfy, with leather couches and chairs. Often, the Imperator and Imperatrix spent their time here when on break.

“Here we are, make yourselves at home” Tyler smiled. “Would you like anything to eat or drink? There are servants on call for that” he offered.

Andraste’s hips swayed as he walked over to a couch and sat down, wiggling into the cushion. “Oh yes, Imperator...the heat has left me feeling...quite thirsty.”

Arlan chuckled as he sat next to his wife, taking her hand and kissing it tenderly. “Me too, if it is not much trouble.”

Tyler grinned a bit at the Ghantish woman, and idea coming to mind, one which he had to quell rather quickly or else it would have probably caused problems for him. It was hard not to think about when a woman like her was around. “I’ll have the servants bring us a few waters, we can nurse on those for now, maybe we can enjoy something...else later” Tyler chuckled and picked up a tablet that had been laying to the side, placing the order.

Beside him, Allison sat down, crossing her legs as she did so; leaning against her husband. “I’m quite parched myself...and I was barely outside” she laughed, looking at the two Ghantar, especially Arlan for a lingering moment.

Arlan noticed Allison’s lingering eyes, and then shifted his gaze to Tyler. “...I...um...still find it rather strange to think that your son and my daughter are together. It happened so fast...like lightning. One minute she is Sophia’s principal Lady-in-Waiting, and the next she is running around with Matthew. Alot to soak in, you know?”

Andraste chuckled. “Allaria is a hard girl to resist...runs in the family.”

Allison smiled a bit. “I know what you mean. Before the Star Ball, Matthew had been single, with no hint of a woman in his life and then--bam! He and Allaria are running around attached at the hip” she giggled. “They appear quite happy though, so that’s good.”

Tyler chuckled. “I can see how she is hard to resist” he added as he glanced at Andraste. “Then again...Matthew is quite the catch as well. Many a woman have vied for his attention so I hear.”

“Why was Matthew single for so long, and William married off so quickly?” Arlan asked, curiously.

Andraste twirled her hair as Tyler glanced at her. “Perhaps Matthew was just sowing his wild Holland oats…”

Allison answered Arlan’s question, enjoying the opportunity to look at him. He was a nice looking man, and was on par with her husband; though she still would have chosen Tyler. “Matthew, as the High Prince, is allowed a bit more freedom to do as he pleases when choosing a partner, since that girl will be the Imperatrix. William met his wife earlier on, and they married” Allison replied, souring a bit toward the end. Lavinia had been a point of stress for the two over the last few days.

Tyler glanced at Andraste and nodded. “He most definitely was, so I hear anyway. He went on a lot of trips across the region to meet many royals, I’m sure he sowed plenty of oats. I know I did” Tyler laughed. He still was sowing them, though that was a different story.

“Oh, I am sure you were. I remember you from back in the day. Such a strong, handsome and dashing young man you were.” Andraste said, as she turned to Arlan. “This one here had a sense of humor, and he was so cute.” Andraste kissed him on the neck.

Arlan blushed slightly. He had always been tall and lanky, and his face had a dignified look to it, and a youthful exuberance. His green eyes flickered. “...I...uh...never really got around too much...this one here got to me pretty quick.” Arlan laughed. “Allaria’s birth didn’t slow her down much. Got eight of them now, three sons and five daughters...just like your own parents.”


Tyler grinned in remembrance of his younger days. He had gotten around, and have even been to Ghant to visit his mother’s sort-homeland. He didn’t remember Andraste, but he was sure he had a reputation that preceded him. “Allison didn’t get me till I was already a few years into my...prime I guess, though it was pretty quick for us too” he laughed. “Matthew came around surprisingly quick actually” he added.

Allison smiled at Arlan. “I’m surprised. A guy like you didn’t get around too much? You’re a bit too good looking to say that” she laughed lightly. “But I know what you mean. When I found Tyler, I knew that any more getting around was over” she smiled at her husband.

Arlan blushed. “Well, I was always a bit on the...shy side. Talking and making moves was never truly my forte. It took a girl that was...rather forward to...uh...bring me out.”

Andraste laughed. “It was Emperor Albert’s coronation ball in 1986, Tyler. I was 18 at the time...I remember seeing you from afar, but...there were too many other boys that got in the way. I also recall Princess Caroline trying to catch your eye.”

Allison smiled widely at Arlan’s expression. “This big lug made the first move...but when it got down to things, I had to take over. He used to be a shy guy to, it just took me pushing the right buttons...to get him to where he is now” she replied.

Tyler grinned in remembrance. “Believe it or not, I actually remember you” he laughed. “I saw you a time or two, but as you said, too many people. I ended up...dancing, yeah dancing, with another girl” he turned a bit red; a sign that ‘dancing’ could have been used as a looser term. “You’re just as beautiful now as you were then, I must say.”

Andraste was flush. “You are far too kind to say so, Tyler. You are just as handsome now as you were then as well, if not even more so. You apparently have aged like a fine vintage.”

Arlan chewed a bit on his bottom lip. “I wonder, Tyler...did you dance with Princess Caroline at that Ball? Albert has been grumbling about that ever since.”

It was Tyler’s turn to redden, for more reasons than one as both spoke to him. “I speak only the truth, Andraste. Beauty has no age. I’ve been doing a lot to stay healthy in recent years. Once a marine, always a marine and all that, you know?” he smiled.

Tyler tilted his head to look at Arlan. “Yes...she and I did dance, we had a nice time on the floor. But no, I did not take her back to my chambers if that’s what you’re asking. That is merely a rumor” Tyler replied cooly. It wasn’t the truth, but it wasn’t something you could talk about either. He planned to take that secret to the grave.

Andraste nodded. “While I was never a marine, I understand. I am just a Ghantish girl at heart that likes to spend time in the garden and handle seed.” Andraste fingered a bead of sweat from her cleavage and twisted her finger in Arlan’s ear.

Arlan laughed. “...Huh...uh...leave it to Albert to find faults where none exist...”

Allison looked at Arlan but stayed quiet. She knew the real truth, and it was far from what Tyler had said. For once, Albert was in the right, Tyler had taken Caroline away from something more than dancing; in her own chambers no less. “Yes...they’re just petty rumors to be thrown at us” she shrugged.

Tyler eyes followed Andraste as she wiped her bosom, finding it hard to look away, though he managed to. “From what I understand, few handle seed as well as you do” he replied.

“Oh? Me as in me personally, or as in Ghantish women in general?” Andraste asked, flattered, wiggling a bit on the couch. She also squeezed Arlan’s hand with interlocking fingers.

Arlan responded, sensing the energy. “It is not uncommon for Ghantish women in general to spend time gardening. Andraste is certainly no exception. The connection to the earth is strong in Ghant.”

Tyler smiled at Andraste, eyeing her subtly. He noticed the way she moved, her dress leaving little to his imagination. Already, his mind was running wild with thoughts.”I was thinking you not Ghantish women in general, myself. From what I understand, you’re quite good at what you do, very...in tune with the earth and the seeds of it” he smiled.

Allison smiled at Arlan. “Gardening is rather nice, I enjoy it myself from time to time. I’ve raised many strong, healthy plants over the years, though now its for fun more than anything else” she winked with a hint.

“Oh of course. It runs in the family.” Andraste answered, coyly.

“...How good is your fertilizer?” Arlan asked, curiously.

A small, amused smirked appeared on Allison’s lips as she glanced between the two. “Shalum has especially good fertilizer” she replied; glancing at her husband for a moment. “You have to be careful with it, rather potent stuff you see. Last time I was gardening, I brought Tyler along, and he spilled too much fertilizer on one particular seed. And even though it wasn’t much more fertilizer than any of the other plants got, it was enough to make this one seed grow larger than the others in a short time” she replied.

“...Uh huh.” Arlan nodded, stroking his wife’s arm, looking around curiously.

Tyler opened his mouth to speak, but before he could, a servant entered; arms laden with a tray that had four waters, which were bottled and chilled. “Four waters, as requested” the servant said, moving around the room to disperse the order.

“Thank you” Allison smiled, taking her own water. As she took a sip, some of it dribbled down her chin and soaked her business suit.

Andraste took a bottler and guzzled it down. Arlan on the other hand took smaller drinks. “Have you met Allaria yet?” Arlan asked the royal pair.

Beside Tyler, Allison leaned against her husband and took another sip. “No, we’ve yet to meet her in person, but we plan to soon” Tyler replied. “My son speaks highly of her though, always complimenting her beauty” he continued. “We look forward to it. Have you met Matthew?”

“We have not him yet, although Allaria speaks highly of him, so I rest easy knowing that she is in good hands.” Arlan nodded.

Tyler smiled a bit. “If I recall correctly, they decided to take a trip to the island of Costa Gravas. Its a nice place, known for it’s beaches and tourism.”

“Good hands indeed, Matthew has quite good ones so I hear anyway” Allison said quietly.

Andraste raised an eyebrow. “And who does he get that from?”

Allison blushed and wiggled a bit in her husband’s arms. “My husband of course. He’s quite good with hands. Marines are known for their...precision” she replied. “They’re also known for being good at adapting.”

“No wonder you are such a good Imperator. You are quite the contrast from your brother William. A decent man, and your mother loved him, but his strengths were in other areas.” Arlan said sagely.

Tyler’s expression matched Arlan’s. “Indeed. I loved my brother very much...but he wasn’t exactly leader material. He tried to turn the STG into a secret police force to reinforce what power he had. Tis a shame” the Imperator sighed.

“My own brother wasn’t exactly leader material either. He would have me help him get the cookie jar on top of the cabinet, and then he would eat them all himself. Good leaders take care of the people that helped them get there.” Andraste laughed.

The Imperator chuckled a bit. “Sounds like something William...or John would have done to me. You have a point, a real leader takes care of the little people, those who help him get to the top and more importantly, stay there” he smiled at Andraste.

Andraste raised an eyebrow. “...Do you like being on top?” she asked Tyler. Arlan chuckled under his breath.

Tyler reddened a bit. “...Why yes I do. I enjoy being on the top. The power of it can be rather...enjoyable. Though...sometimes a good leader has to lead from behind” he replied.

“Or learn to be at the bottom for a bit.” Andraste replied.

Tyler coughed a bit. “I can safely say that’‘ve been on the bottom before. Allison can be rather...take charge at times” he chuckled. In his arms, Allison glanced at Arlan for a moment and smiled, before returning her gaze to her husband.

Arlan’s eyes narrowed. “I wonder if we are talking about leadership styles or about sex.”

Andraste laughed. “Silly husband, of course we were talking about...leadership styles!”

Tyler was sufficiently red at Arlan’s statement. “I have no idea what you mean. We were most definitely talking about...leadership styles” he replied nervously; hoping that something wasn’t going to go down over this.

In his arms, Allison sat up, straightening her clothing. “Yes, leadership, nothing sexual” she replied; though it was easy to tell that she was having a hard time not laughing.

Andraste laughed. “My husband is such a dirty man, isn’t he? His mind in the gutter like that!” Andraste gave him a playful nudge.

Arlan shook his head. “Sometimes I find it hard to keep my mind out of the gutter when I am around such a beautiful woman. She doesn’t make it very easy for me. She makes it very...hard.”

“...Of course I do!” Andraste grinned.

Allison laughed, her blue eyes shining. “Andraste, tell me about it. This one here...his mind is always in the gutter it seems” she replied; before kissing her husband’s neck, since she couldn’t reach his cheek.

Tyler held up his hands in surrender. “So not fair, Allie. When you’re around, it’s hard not to think about those sorts of things” he replied.

Andraste observed Allison and took her cue from her, kissing Arlan’s neck. Arlan laughed. “Women...and their magic, am I right?” he asked Tyler.

Tyler chuckled, squirming a bit as Allison decided to continuing kissing him. “I...yes their magic” he laughed, a bit strained. “It makes things quite...interesting. Its quite enchanting though, leaves you always wanting more.”

“Indeed. So tell me, was there anything you wanted know about us?” Arlan asked, his wife cradled against him.

Allison followed Andraste’s lead, stopping her kisses so that she could be cradled by her husband. Tyler appeared to be having a bit of a time focusing, but he managed to hold firm. “Not at the moment, no. We’re good at the moment. In the same hand, is there anything you want to know about us? Anything at all?”

“What is your relationship like?” Andraste asked.

Allison looked at Andraste as she spoke. “We’re quite a solid couple, I would say. I’m sure some would find our views...different though” she replied honestly.

“...What views?” Andraste asked, her head cocked.

Allison blushed a bit. “We’ve...been known in the past to have a little fun outside our marriage from time to time. Nothing serious, just a bit of supervised fun” she replied; in too deep to lie now.

Arlan’s eyes grew wide. “Wait...you are swingers?”

Tyler coughed awkwardly. “I wouldn’t say swingers necessarily, but by definition I suppose so. We have...swung once or twice in the past” he replied.

“You may find it odd, but if anything, it’s only made our relationship stronger. I’m not saying I’m recommending it though, its not for everyone I suppose, but it’s not the worst thing that’s ever happened in our relationship” Allison admitted.

“How has it made your relationship stronger?” Andraste asked curiously.

“Its allowed us to see how other people live in a sense. And along the way, we met a rather...wonderful woman, who changed our life for the better. I can’t tell you her name, but I’m sure you’ve heard it” Allison replied.

“Was it Andraste?” Andrasted asked coyly.

A grin formed on both Tyler and Allison’s lips. “Not in this particular instance...but nothing that says you can’t be added to that list” Allison winked.

Arlan made an “hmm” sound before he spoke. “You know, although I can see certain wisdom in that, I would think that for the sake of our children, we might keep things...unawkward between us. After all, I would hate for our grandchildren to find out that their grandparents were...fooling around with each other.” Arlan said.

“I don’t see the harm in it, but then again Arlan has always been the sort that needed a bit of convincing.” Andraste laughed.

Allison smiled and laughed a bit. “I understand what you mean, but one thing that’s great about it, is that there’s no strings attached. It’s all about having fun and enjoying life, while knowing full well that when it’s over; you’re going back home to someone who loves you very, very much. Whatever happens stays a secret, that much is guaranteed” Allison replied.

“Please understand, if you don’t want to do this, we’ll never hold it against you” Tyler promised.

Arlan couldn’t help but ask. “...And what about vows that are sworn between husband and wife? Do these vows mean less in Shalum than they do in Ghant?”

“Arlan, stop being such a prig!” Andraste said as she caressed his arm. “Loosen up a little.”

Tyler shifted a bit. “No, they mean just as much in Shalum as they do in Ghant. You must understand that in our culture, this was a more common event. There were times when women actually outnumbered men in Shalum due to war, swinging wasn’t as unheard of then. I assure you, I meant those vows back in 1988, and I still mean them today” Tyler promised; a sudden subtle fire in his eyes.

Allison stayed quiet but shot Andraste a ‘go get em’ look in approval.

Arlan nodded. “Uh huh.”

Andraste sighed. looking at Allison, and shifting her eyes to Arlan, and then back to Allison again.

Tyler was quiet, not sure what to say. He had been in some odd situations, but this one was especially so. He glanced at Arlan and shrugged helplessly.

Meanwhile, Allison was looking back the couple, her eyes shifting between Arlan and Andraste. She bit her bottom lip and nuzzled against her husband.

“...So, what’s for dinner?” Andraste asked, scratching Arlan’s back.
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Factbook | IIwiki | RP Resume | IIwiki Admin | Recipient of the Greater Dienstad Roleplay Reward
"Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias
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