A Word of Caution

Welcome to the realm of the Unseelie Court. Feel free to wander and browse, but know that the content you will find here is not for the faint of heart. The visions portrayed are often darkly erotic, even disturbing, and should be traversed only by those with the appropriate character and mental age.

You have been warned.


Tales From the Fae – Unseelie Summer

Chapter 4 – Books, Baths, Bars, and Brownies

Candice, Douglas and I made our way slowly through the Market, laughing and generally chatting about nothing in particular. We were just coming to an elbow in the cobbled path when suddenly there were nine of us. Three groups of the three abruptly split and headed in different directions, one continuing forward, and one group each going to the left and right. None of the groups changed pace, and we all seemed to be talking about the same things. A lone faerie with deep red hair quite literally came out of the shadows a moment later and stood in the place where the groups had separated, looking down each path at our backs, trying to decide which to follow. It didn’t really matter, since they were all fakes.

The illusion was simple enough in theory. We ‘recorded’ ourselves using a combination of ego-exortus and some of the new communications protocols Candice was working on. We sent image ‘copies’ of ourselves down the other streets as decoys while the real versions of ourselves stood behind another set of illusions that simply blocked us from view, making us effectively ‘invisible’. It was quick and dirty, and wouldn’t stand up to any real scrutiny, but then, it didn’t have to. All we needed was a few moments of distraction. One second she was alone in the street, the next she suddenly found she was standing only a few feet from the very group she had been tracking, all facing her. Panic and surprise flashed across her face for an instant, then she turned to flee… and ran right into Michelle.

She probably reacted out of instinct at having been cornered, but it hardly mattered. There were four quick snaps between the two, and the faerie suddenly found herself on the ground on her back, Michelle’s knee on her chest, and an ugly Iron knife at her throat.

“Wait!” she yelled in genuine fear. “I’m a Royal Guard of the Unseelie High Court… I was sent by Cailleach to watch for you!”

“Why should we believe you?” said Michelle, pressing the point of the blade against the Fae woman’s neck until it started to draw blood.

Frantic, the faerie was wide-eyed and obviously terrified. I wasn’t exactly sure why until I remembered something that Rachael had mentioned about the Fae and iron. The metal had a tendency to disrupt magic more easily than other metals, and so it was avoided by most Fae entities. A blade made of iron was viewed as highly dangerous to a faerie. For a purely magical creation, such as a nymph, it could be deadly, provided, of course, you could actually get close enough to strike.

“She told me to tell the brown-haired one, ‘By protecting you, I protect myself.’ She said you would know what it meant!”

I blinked in surprise as I recalled my conversations with the Unseelie Principality while in Sherith Mal. Then, after a moment’s consideration, I indicated that Michelle should release her. I saw that the girl locked eyes with the faerie for several more seconds before finally backing off. Rubbing her neck, the Fae woman slowly sat up and took a few deep breaths.

“I see why they call you Bel’ora-Merna,” she said, looking up at Michelle. “I wouldn’t have believed a human could take me down so easily.”

“We startled you,” she replied without emotion. “And forced you to react out of pure instinct. Fast, but uncontrolled and without strategy.” She held out her hand. Taking it, the faerie was hoisted to her feet.

“Whereas you were prepared… I see now. You are a wise and talented warrior.” The faerie placed one hand loosely over the other in front of her and bowed slightly from the waist. My redheaded friend nodded once in reply, looking a little unsure of proper protocol.

“Yeah, yeah, she kicked your arse,” said Douglas, frowning. “Now, who the hell are you, and why are you following us? You mentioned the Unseelie Royal Guard…”

“I am Ruari-seth’oka, North House Watcher, Third Rotation. I was sent by direct order of Cailleach to watch for you. My instructions were to wait until you arrived, and then, covertly if possible, ensure your safety while you were here at Aonach na Milseáin.”

“Ensure our safety? Why? Are we in danger?”

The faerie sighed, thinking. “Perhaps it would be a good idea to get out of the street… I know a place.” She started to walk. None of us followed. Finally, she looked back in frustration. “Well?”

“Either we trust her or we don’t,” I said to Douglas. “That phrase was given directly to me by Cailleach while we were together in Sherith Mal. No one else would know of it unless she had told them.”

“Or they beat it out of the one she did,” added Michelle, semi-seriously.

“This is still your game, love,” I added. “I’ll go with however you want to play it.”

He nodded. Then, turning to the faerie he said, “Lead on then.”

Rauri took us about a block east, to a smaller building at the very edge of the “Pub” district. The door bore no signage save for a small ornate placard in the upper right corner. It was covered in symbols in a language I did not recognize. Whether Douglas understood them I couldn’t tell. He started to follow the Fae woman into the room beyond when Michelle stopped him.

“Let me go first and check it out.”

He only hesitated a moment before nodding once. It was mostly dark beyond the doorway, at least compared to the sunny afternoon we were enjoying, so I was greatly relieved when the girl came back out a few moments later and ushered us inside.

I wouldn’t have guessed the place to be a restaurant from the outside, but it was completely obvious as soon as we walked through the door. A cacophony of food smells assailed us at once, some pleasant, and some utterly alien. If I had to pin it down, I’d call it a combination of New York street cart and Fisherman’s Wharf. They quite clearly catered to seafood, but none of the scents that reached my nose matched anything that my own palate had ever sampled.

The place itself was mostly empty. A few patrons were spread out in what looked almost like little rooms. Closer examination showed them to be a sort of booth, complete with a door that could be closed for privacy. For those less worried about being disturbed, there were also open tables, and even a long, somewhat vertically-challenged bar.

“Ri Ri!” exclaimed a very short woman coming from the direction of the source of the smells. She was garbed in a long kitchen apron over a loose deep blue kimono-like outfit and carried a knife that was several inches longer than her entire forearm. Michelle started to step between us, but Candice held her back. I saw that the woman was a brownie and was addressing the faerie guard. They briefly kissed in a way that might have been just a little personal outside of the Fae. “You don’t usually grace my halls save for Wednesdays, or did Braoche finally bust you back to Standard… eh, what’s this then,” she added, looking a bit surprised when she noticed the rest of us standing there.

“Mamu Nena-san, these humans are temporarily my charges. Forgive me for bringing them here unannounced, but I need a private table… very private.”

The tiny woman eyed us with a scowl while she rubbed her chin with her free hand. I noticed a number of dark tattoos on her wrists and forearms, but the symbols were, like the placard on the door, meaningless. Finally, she seemed to make up her mind.

“Official court business is it?” she asked of our guide.

The faerie bowed her head.

“Very well then, this way.” The brownie turned and started off through the restaurant without waiting to see if we were following her. As she passed the doorway into the kitchen, she brought up her wrist, and with a snap, deftly sent her knife spinning into the cooking area. It landed with a hard thunk into a beam near what I took as a large cooking stove. I glanced at Michelle, who was smiling slightly. The brownie obviously had skills beyond simply preparing meals.

At the end of the hall were three doors, one bore the symbol of a crescent moon, and from the slightly odorous smells, I figured must be a bathroom of some sort. I also wondered if the moon mark was as universal in its meaning as I thought. The other two were unmarked and apparently magically locked. Nena waved her hands in a flurry before one of them, and it opened on its own. She then stood aside.

The faerie said something in what I guessed was the language of the brownies, and bowed slightly before stepping down a flight of stairs. I saw that Michelle quietly nodded to the woman as she passed, and I did the same. Then, after a briefly worrisome passage down a dark stairwell, I found myself in a small wood-paneled room with a single large table in it’s center. There were a dozen chairs around the old wooden flat, and on the ground, nearly reaching to the edges of the room, was a circle literally etched into the stone floor. A closer look revealed complex spell marks as well.

Rauri seemed to point to the circle, which then glowed with a soft blue light, before taking a chair. She waited while we settled ourselves. Michelle opted to stand.

“We can speak openly here. The charm on the floor prevents any outside observation. Nena can be trusted. She’s built a reputation on being discrete.”

“Her establishment,” remarked Douglas. “It’s Unseelie only?”

The faerie tilted her head slightly. “More like Nena-approved only. She’s definitely Unseelie, with a hard dislike of humans in general, but she makes her own rules. She serves who she wants. If she doesn’t like you, she will tell you so. Those that give her any guff about it usually find themselves back out on the street in one piece only if they’re very lucky. Her blades aren’t just for chopping fish.”

“Very well,” said my lover, taking on a more serious face again. “For now, we are choosing to trust you, Watcher Rauri-seth’oka. Suppose you tell us why it is you felt it necessary to bring us here and talk in a secure manner.”

“You may use just my given name if you wish, sir, but perhaps introductions all around first? My Mistress gave me descriptions and names, but formalities should be extended.”

Douglas hesitated. “In the interest of security, why don’t you place us.”

“Prudent. As you wish. All of you are Seconds, so I shall leave titles be for now. You are Douglas McBride, Historian, and somewhat known in the Market. Next to you is Candice Mellions, who I am not familiar with, but who is rumored to have been accepted to the Troggeyder’s Guild, an unprecedented accomplishment for a first year human student. Michelle Stuckey, also known as Bel’ora-Merna stands by her side. Her reputation more than precedes her, and I can personally attest that the name is well deserved. Finally, there is Miranda Summers, my specific charge, though the implication was to see to the safety of you all. Of you, I have little information, save that my Mistress thinks extremely highly of you. It is rumored that you were recently the target of a Black Blood curse?”

I shivered slightly in remembrance. “So much is true. It was the reason Mistress Cailleach was called to our Court. Without her skills, I would be dead.”

“The Sluagh grows bolder by the day,” commented the faerie, shaking her head. “Mamu Nena serves all kinds here, even the Abdicates, but the Sluagh are never welcome in her house.” I had no idea who the Abdicates were, and I wasn’t about to ask. “It is the Sluagh that has caused us to be here…”

“How do you mean?” asked Douglas.

Rauri took a deep breath. “Master McBride, I was not the only one who was following you today.”

Next to me I felt Michelle stiffen, Candice actually gasped.

“Go on,” prompted my lover.

“Being that the Market holds a different time, I have waited patiently here for more than three days, never leaving my post near your entrance portal for more than a few minutes at a time. My Mistress told me only that you would be coming to the Market, and that I should wait for you. I was relieved of my normal duties for this task, which conveyed upon me the seriousness of the command. I have been a Watcher for a very long time, sir.

“When you first arrived, I happened to be seated within sight, so I noticed the moment you passed through the portal. My vantage point also happened to allow me to view the Unseelie gate as well, something that you yourself would be unable to do. So, it was with great surprise that three known members of the Sluagh arrived only moments after you, and then immediately faded into shadow. They were unaware of my presence, and so I was able to track them, even cloaked, but I was worried that I would have to let them go in order to follow the four of you. I called for aid the moment it became apparent that your path and theirs was the same. They were stalking you.”

“Were,” queried Michelle.

“By the time you were engaged in your shopping, I had two other Watchers in place. We were ready to intervene, but they perceived our presence and made a dash back to the portal. We lost them there. Unfortunately, there was a time in which others could have come through, so I needed to see to your safety before we searched the Market. That was when you spotted me.”

Douglas was silent, thinking.

“Why do you think they were here?” asked Candice to the faerie. “Surely they wouldn’t attack us in broad daylight in the open Market?”

“You assume much, Crafter. The Sluagh consider themselves above our laws. I agree that it would be unusual… they are bold, but not foolish. They wouldn’t risk such heresy without dire cause.”

I glanced at Douglas, who met my eye and quickly shook his head ever so slightly. If the faerie noticed, she made no indication. We would leave the reason for our outing a mystery. Something was bothering me about her story, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Apparently, Douglas sensed my concern.

“Ran? You have that look… Something got your hackles up,” he prompted, and tilted his head in a very cute way.

“I… I’m not sure. Watcher Rauri, you said that the Sluagh came through the Unseelie portal ‘moments’ after we did. Could you be more specific?”

The faerie seemed a little surprised, then thought about it. “Perhaps four of your seconds. I’m sorry I can’t be more accurate than that…”

“No, that’s more than sufficient, thank you. Douglas, am I correct in my perception of traveling through the portal when I say that subjectively about ten seconds pass between the time we step into a portal and the moment we come out into the Market?”

“Um, that sounds about right.”

“So… traveling time, if you could call it that, is ten seconds. But once we are here in the Market, we are operating at twelve-to-one time, yes? Candice?”

My former roommate perked up. “Correct. Twelve minutes pass here for every one that passes at the Academy right now, or anywhere else, to my knowledge… Oh! I think I see what you’re getting at!”

“Perhaps you could enlighten the rest of us,” mumbled Michelle, in a slightly grumpy tone.

“If the Sluagh had been watching the Seelie exit gate into the Market,” she continued, “and then reported back the second that we came through, and then sent a team through at once, with no delay, there still wouldn’t be enough time. And since it would take them at least a second to pass through the gate, at bare minimum they should have come through twelve seconds after we did, not four.”

“If a faerie leaves station ‘A’ going west at fifty miles per hour…” commented Michelle, sarcastically.

Douglas was frowning as well. “That’s assuming that the Unseelie gate has the same travel time, though.”

“If I may, Second McBride,” interrupted Rauri, “all gates have the same travel time, regardless of destination, and you are correct that it is almost exactly ten of your seconds.”

I filed that tidbit of information in my brain to consider later. “Is it possible that they could have simply foreseen our arrival with time sight?”

The faerie shook her head. “The gates are protected from time sight, for just this reason.”

“What about someone watching within the Academy? A spy maybe?” asked Douglas.

“I don’t like the sound of that,” answered Candice, looking worried.

I still wasn’t convinced. “Possibly, but whoever would have alerted the Sluagh would have had to have been sitting there watching the gate or us. Our trip was completely random.”

“Professor Poppins told me that the guards are trained to watch for anyone cloaked around the gates,” added my lover, “so they would have had to have been right out in the open. I don’t recall anyone, do you, Ran?”

“No. We were alone when we went through. I remember because it was so crowded the last time I was there. But we are missing an even simpler possibility, and that’s that someone in the Sluagh has figured out how to monitor the gates remotely. They are part of Gaia’s network, and so, subject to attack. Douglas, do you remember Cara Lang? She told Brightly not to trust the gates. Do you think this is what she meant?”

His brows furrowed on his head. “It’s quite possible. Specifically, she mentioned the tree-gates, but it seems apparent that all the gates may be at risk.”

“Wait, I was unaware of this information,” said Rauri, looking a little panicked. “How do you know this?”

I looked to my lover.

He took a deep breath. “Watcher, you are involved, so I will give you this information in honor of the good faith that currently exists between the Courts…”

She nodded acknowledgement.

“Recently, a Seelie Historian was killed as she attempted to return to the Iron Mountain. In a report she made just prior to her arrival, she mentioned that the tree-gates were not to be trusted. She was not able to give us specifics, and was apparently targeted by the Sluagh. The curse that was used on her was like nothing previously seen, and well beyond the skills of Healer Clias to dispel.”

The faerie gasped.

“It would be prudent to take extreme caution when using the gates until we fully understand what is going on. The fact that it is the Sluagh that may have this ability is all the more reason to worry.”

We all agreed that it would be best for us to get back to the Seelie Court as soon as possible, but I explained to Rauri that I would be returning the following day to meet Cailleach. She wasn’t keen on me coming back alone, but seemed to relax when I mentioned Michelle would be with me, at least until we were through the gate. She had her own meeting to attend, of course. I was surprised when my freckled friend stepped aside on the way out and bowed to Nena, who was watching from the kitchen door.

“Nena-san, thank you very much for hosting us. If it would be acceptable to you, might I humbly ask your permission to return at a later date on my own?”

The brownie looked almost surprised, then, after a tense few moments, she nodded her head once to the girl. Michelle bowed low once more, then turned and followed us out the door.

“Do you really want to eat there?” asked Candice when we were outside as she quietly crinkled her nose in distaste.

Michelle smiled. “Sure! Dark and sinister… just my kind of place! Besides, I think that Nena is the kind of person you want on your side when things get ugly.”

I couldn’t argue with that. If the Sluagh were really hunting us, then having a few friends like Mamu Nena could really come in handy.

I sighed, relaxing into the warm water of the bath, letting it pull the cares of the day from my body like ice evaporating into the sun. Behind me, Douglas was quietly doing his best to take me in another direction. His soap-slick fingers were idly caressing my arms and sides in ways that promised untold delights if I would only give in. I wasn’t planning on resisting him for long, but the game was one of distraction. One way or another, I was going to stop thinking about the Sluagh, deadly curses, and what was waiting for me in the morning. My lover’s hands moved in over my torso and ran along the sides of my breasts.

“Mmmm…” I moaned softly, smiling. “You better be able to deliver on the offer you’re making, McBride.”

“You mean you can’t already tell,” he quipped, lightly nibbling on my ear.

In fact, his manhood at my back was pretty hard to miss. I let him lovingly tease me while my mind drifted, but even my lover’s erotic touch could not push back the questions that still swirled in my thoughts. Apparently, he noticed.

“Still thinking about the books?” he asked finally.

I sighed. “Do you think he’s right? Are they really manuals of some kind?”

“The Headmaster is not often wrong about such things, and more so, Marly agrees with him.” Our trip to see the bookseller had gotten us the third tome, but when added to the others, produced only more questions rather than answers. The strange, encrypted text remained mostly unreadable, save for one section near the beginning of what we labeled the first volume. Two short paragraphs and a map had manifested out of the gibberish. The Old Fae text was a preface of sorts, basically confirming what we already knew, that all four books must be present in order to recover their contents. The one new piece of information was what Professor Brightly was calling the “fallback” passage. In essence, it explained to the reader that if one volume was lost, that the creators of the work could be reached by following the map. It didn’t specifically say what the reader would find there, but the Professor was even more certain that it was the lost gate to the elves.

I frowned. “But why send you? Surely he has more experienced people at his disposal…”


“You know what I mean, Douglas. We know that the Sluagh is watching us. They may have been targeting me at the Market, or they may already know about the books, in which case, they’ll be after you!”

He gave me a little squeeze. “All the more reason that it’s me who has to go. There’s a leak somewhere, Ran, he knows that. The fewer people that deal with those books the better. Marcus won’t bring anyone else in on this project until we’ve found out how the Sluagh is getting their information.”

“I don’t like it.”

“Nor I, love, but I’ll be fine. Besides, I’ve been itching to get out on an actual assignment in the field.”

“I know,” I replied, smirking. “I think you want to know if your charm works as well outside the Fae as in…”

“Do you doubt my abilities, miss?”

I pinched his leg. “No, I don’t… which is part of the reason I want you safely here in the Iron Mountain where I can keep my eye on you!” I said the last half jokingly.

“Miranda… I… I wouldn’t ever willingly hurt you, you know that, don’t you?”

“Yes,” I answered in a whisper, an emotional pressure building behind my sternum. Love was a feeling that I resisted with every part of me, yet held onto so tightly that it was indistinguishable from blind faith. “I love you, Douglas McBride, and I know you love me. But this is the Fae. I can’t lay claim to you the way I would elsewhere. I can’t expect to be your singular lover.”


“No, hear me, Douglas.” I rolled over so that I could look him in the eyes. “You are an Historian, and you’re a good one. I know that Marly feels you are perhaps the best student she has ever had… a real natural. I also know that part of what Historians do is politics, and in the Fae, that can mean sex.” I placed my finger on his lips when he started to talk, stopping him. After a moment he relented.

“I’m not some old prude, love. Nor do I have illusions as to your commitment to the Seelie Court and your profession. You tell me that I have your heart, and that’s good enough for me. No matter what roles you must play, or with whom, I have chosen to hold on to the belief that I am special to you.”

“You are!”

“And you to me.”

I rolled back over again, pulling his arms around my torso. We were silent for a bit, then I felt him make a deep sigh.

“You’re amazing. I’ve been trying to figure out how I was going to breach this subject with you for weeks, and you come along and beat me to it.”

“It doesn’t mean I WANT to share you, just that I get it. Sex has different meaning in the Fae.”

“That’s for sure. Say, speaking of sharing, it goes both ways, you know. I have to be willing to share you as well.”

I paused, thinking fast. If Douglas noticed my reaction, he made no comment. “You wouldn’t be jealous?”

“Of course I would! But if my classes with Marly have taught me anything, it’s the difference between love and lust.”

“Oh really? Just what sort of things do you DO in those classes?!”

I felt him chuckle behind me.

“Well, let’s just say that Rachael isn’t the only one teaching sex at this school.”

I was open mouthed. “Huh. So, do you have the hots for teacher?”

He must have been expecting my question, because he never hesitated. “Mrs. Brightly is a pretty package to be sure… You and her are a lot alike, actually…”

“Oh yeah?!…”

“…But,” he answered quickly, “she’s way out of my league.”

I had to laugh. “Oh boy, I don’t know whether to be relieved or offended!”

“How about you?” he asked, obviously trying to change the subject. “Ever been tempted by one of your instructors?”

I was suddenly so warm that I’m sure Douglas felt it, even under the water. I was also stunned silent and stiff.

“Oh ho!” he exclaimed. “So you have! I suspected you might be attracted to Marcus…”

“What?! No, no… He’s not even close to my type.”

“No? Hmm, well, judging by your reaction to being kissed by that brownie in the Market today, I take it you have no reservations about playing the other side of the street, so to say…”

“No fair, that was a spell!”

I could feel him smiling behind me. “Which you enjoyed, quite a bit, I’d say.”

I shrugged my shoulders. “Not that I had a choice, but for the record, yes, Sticky is a very good kisser. I hope you took notes…”

“Indeed! But I notice you avoided my question.”

I sighed. “Not going to let me off the hook, are you?”


“Well,” I replied, taking a deep breath. “I sort of almost had a bit of a tryst with Sheila-Kay…”

“Your white-haired Illusions Professor?” he asked, surprised.

“The same.”

“Really? Wow! I can certainly understand the attraction, I mean, she’s one of the most beautiful faeries in the whole Academy, and that’s saying something.”

“That’s just it, Douglas, I don’t think you really do understand the attraction. What you don’t know is that for a while, I suspected that she was my Sheeaghan.”

“Wait… Your faerie spirit? No shit? Miranda, do you know how rare it is for a human to actually find their Sheeaghan?”

“I know. From what she told me, it’s actually a lot more likely than you think. As Tuatha, we are naturally attracted to our paired Fae match, but there haven’t been any Tuatha for a while, so…”

“If you don’t mind me asking, why did you think she was your Sheeaghan? I take it there was more than simple sexual attraction.”

I nodded. “It’s hard to describe, but there was a physical tingling along my spine when I was near her. It was quite distinct and very distracting. She shared the feeling.”

“Wow… But, wait, you said you thought she might be your faerie spirit. She wasn’t?”

“There was certainly a connection, but I know she’s not…”

My lover had stopped his caresses, much to my disappointment.

“Um, not that I doubt you, but how do you know? Did you two, uh…”

“Only kissing, but that’s not how I know.”

I heard him sigh behind me. “You’re going to need to draw me a map, love…”

“I know, Douglas, because I found my actual Sheeaghan.”

“Okay, now I’m confused. Sheila-Kay gave you the tingles, but she’s not your faerie spirit… well then who is it?”

I bit my lip. “You have to swear not to tell a soul…”

“Well, sure, but it’s nothing to hide or be ashamed of. It’s awesome that you found the one faerie with whom you have such a deep link.”

“It’s… complicated. Swear, Douglas.”

“Okay, okay. I swear on the name of the Mother that I will keep the identity of your Sheeaghan a secret. Now, don’t keep me in suspense, who are they?!”

“It’s… Cailleach.”

Douglas was speechless.

“Cailleach, the current head of the Unseelie Court… that Cailleach? Holy shit, Ran! Are you sure?”

“I’m sure. No doubt about it.”

“Whoa. When did you…” he asked, hesitantly.

“In Sherith Mal. It became blindingly obvious the moment we were alone together with no external stimulus. And… yes. We had sex.”

To his credit, my lover did not flinch, even a little.

“I’ll be dipped… Cailleach. Wow, love, you sure know how to pick ‘em!”

I sighed. “Yeah, it surprised us both, to be frank.”

Douglas was silent for a moment, then said, “So, um, not to pry or anything, but… how was it?… Having sex with a Principality I mean.”

I smiled. “You mean with another woman… I saw how you got off watching Sticky and I. It was amazing. Different. She’s had a very long time to perfect the sexual arts, Douglas, and was able to show me exactly how two women sharing intimacy is completely unlike a man and a woman doing the same, so you don’t have to worry that I’m going to lose interest in your attentions.”

“Well, that’s a relief. Talk about having performance anxiety… There’s no way I could compete with someone who’s had thousands of years of practice.”

“Nor should you. I love you for who you are, Douglas, as well as who you aren’t. And think how I feel. In Sherith Mal, she was doing most of the pitching. Granted, being a faerie, she gets to feel what I do when I think about her, but how am I supposed to return the favor, if you know what I mean? It’s not like I’m any kind of expert on the subject…”

“Oh, I don’t know about that,” said my lover, his hands slipping sensuously up over the sides of my breasts, my nipples pinned in the ‘V’ of his fingers. “Like so much else, you’re a quick learner, love. You pick things up almost in real-time.” He teased the hardened peaks of my breasts until I was moaning, then slid his hands down my body.

“Ummm… Are you really leaving tomorrow?” I closed my eyes and let him slowly seduce me under the water.

“Probably late in the day, but yes. It would seem we’re all going to be busy for the summer. You’re off to the Unseelie Court, with Cailleach. Michelle is likely training with Talise. I’m going to Nepal in search of a rumor… The only one of us who’s staying put is Candice, and the Headmaster has her so occupied reconfiguring this place that I doubt we’ll recognize it when we return.”

“Nepal?… How in the world are you going to get there if you can’t take the gates,” I asked, turning slightly so I could partially face him.

“The ‘old fashioned’ way… those archaic metal boxy things. I think they call them jumbo jets.”

“Ha ha. Hope your passport is up to date… And your cold weather gear.”

“All being taken care of while we speak. Relax, love, Professor Poppins is giving me a crash course in practical field magic in the morning. Tonight, all I want is to give Cailleach an honest run for the money.” His hands moved down over my belly, and lower.

I bit my lower lip and slightly parted my thighs. “Oh…. yes please. Mmmm, right there. So… it really doesn’t… uhnmmm… bother you, I mean… ahh!… about me and Cailleach?… Oh god…ummmm!”

“Why should it? Has she done anything to hurt you?”

“No, not at… ughnn… all. Just the opposite… UGHN!… She has saved my life at least once… OH!.. and has stood up for me… AHHH!… on numerous… OH GOD!… occasions… UGHNNN!!  AHHH! YESSSS!” My hips twitched and shook as my orgasm jumped up my body from my pelvis. Gratefully, Douglas gave me rest and moved his fingers back to my belly, tickling me lightly as I panted.

“I am only jealous that she will get to spend so much time with you, while I must be elsewhere freezing my balls off,” he said after a bit.

I rolled over, sprawling over his body like a sleepy cat. “Awe. Poor Douglas,” I said, pouting. “What will you do?” I was reaching into his lap.

“Comfort myself with warm memories, I suppose… hey! Careful with that!”

I giggled and rubbed the tip of his manhood in a very specific way I knew would drive him wild. He groaned, his breathing deepening. “Maybe you should find some Tibetan snow bunny to help keep you warm at night…hmm?”

“That wouldn’t bother you.. ahh!”

I teased his shaft until I started to feel the beat of his pounding heart in the veins. “No more than you worry about me with Cailleach.” I met his eyes and held him while I gently moved my body up higher and eased him under me. I made sure he was watching my face as he slipped through my outer petals and then began to glide inside. It took a wonderfully long time for him to fully enter me, at the end of which, we were both panting. My eyelids fluttered in renewed arousal and I very very slowly let my hips press down on his, changing the angle and pushing him just a little deeper. Then I let up and started repeating the pattern. Between the soapy water and my previous orgasm, my tunnel was slick and easy. It was difficult just to keep the friction I wanted, which was enough to bring my lover to the brink in just a few short minutes.

I felt Douglas wrap his hands around my rear, drawing me even tighter to him on each repetition, and I knew he was close. So was I, for that matter. We each held off for as long as possible, staring into the other’s eyes. Finally, I cried out once rather loudly, and Douglas slid his hands to the small of my back, where he held me still while he grunted and erupted within me, his whole body shaking with the force of his release.

I shivered and gasped and continued to have little minigasms for several minutes afterward, reveling in the feel of his safe embrace and the warm water that held us both. I wanted nothing more than to stay just like that forever, but I knew that tomorrow was coming, and with it the complete separation of our whole band of four.

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