So, last week on First Chapter Friday, I promised this would be an ongoing thing.
AAAAAAAND I promptly fucked the goat by being preoccupied with dealing with a broken slave and injured sub (NOT MY DOING, mind you!) and surviving this heat wave. My apartment got to a balmy 115 degrees one day, with something like 40% humidity, which my Vegas-acclimated self was in NO way prepared for. But now, in the comfort of my very nicely air-conditioned temporary lair, I can actually think and wanted to make it up to my readers.
Besides, The Gael and the Goddess drops on Tuesday at midnight Eastern time, and I wanted to break you off another taste of the good stuff. If you missed First Chapter Friday, you can click here to read it. And check out the awesome cover by Bianca Sommerland of I’m No Angel Designs!
Several thousand miles away, far below the waves of the Australian Ocean, the Sea Goddess bent over a table constructed of a god-forged metal unknown to humankind. With a long fingernail she skidded across a line of text in a language all but lost to the surface world, its sole echoes now heard in the roots of certain Middle Eastern languages. Her fingertip stopped abruptly and hovered over a particular phrase. She tapped it twice for emphasis, thoughtfully.
She glanced up at the room’s only other occupant. “It is time, Amphichrale.”
The nymph bowed, her seaweed-green hair cascading around her shoulders and bare breasts in a luminous curtain. A quick flick of her two-lobed, finned tail propelled her across the chamber. She inclined her head to study the text as well, hovering inches above the silvery surface of the floor.
“Has it really been so long?” she asked in a voice so sweet and clear it chimed off the walls like the note drawn from the most perfect crystal flute.
“It has.” Yemala drew herself to her full height. “I must go to the surface. Erecura will be awaiting me, and she gets cross when she thinks I’ve forgotten my duty.”
“Pah!” the nymph scoffed. “She only has three parts of our world to concern herself with to your seven. It seems she could be a bit more understanding, your majesty.”
Yemala, Queen of the Sea and Goddess of the Ocean, smiled radiantly, flicking her scarlet tresses behind her. “Perhaps, but she doesn’t see it that way. Bear in mind that she holds all of humanity under her sway, until they venture from the shore into my realm. She is naturally concerned about their safety and well-being, which is why these summits are so important.”
“And what of her concern about how the humans are poisoning your realm? Has she no care for that?”
“She does,” Yemala assured her chancellor. “After all, what humans put into the sea has a nasty habit of winding up on their own shores. Have we not seen this often enough?”
“Aye,” the nymph agreed grudgingly. “Even so, one would think they would be more cautious.”
The goddess raised an elegantly canted eyebrow, folding her arms under her generous bosom. “Perhaps. Hubris was, mayhap, one gift we should never have given them. It came with their ability to choose their own way, to worship or not as they saw fit. Although they have forgotten us, in the main, we have not forgotten them or our duties.”
The nymph’s angular face quivered with indignation, clearly on the verge of an angry outburst. After a moment, she subsided. “As you say, your majesty.”
Yemala considered her chancellor carefully. She was a beautiful nymph, and dangerously powerful. As Yemala’s deputy, she had been given sway over the storms that built in the heart of the ocean. With her newfound power, she had demonstrated her contempt for humans often enough to make the goddess wonder if she had chosen wisely in giving Amphichrale such power. A mere three decades of wielding her newfound authority, the flicker of an eyelash to an immortal, had claimed mortal lives on a scale not seen since the first man built a boat to give at least some of the life on earth a chance at survival. While Yemala could not fault the nymph’s zeal, she could not help but question her control.
“Lord Aquus agrees with you, if it makes you feel any better.”
“It does not, your majesty. I understand your perspective, insofar as I can, but I cannot and will not pretend to agree with it when you know better.”
“You mean you will not lie to me?” The nymph shook her head. “You are wise, Amphichrale. I can tolerate anything except deceit. See to it you recall that, and speak openly with me. I may not always agree or act as you think best, but I will at least listen.”
The nymph bowed deeper, signifying that from her position, the conversation was over. “As you wish, your majesty. How long do you think you will be gone?”
The goddess shrugged ruefully. “I cannot know. Sometimes Erecura gets…chatty. If she’s in such a mood I could be some weeks. However, I do not anticipate this summit lasting longer than a fortnight at the most.
“Before I depart, however, I wish to make a few things absolutely clear.”
The nymph squared her shoulders as if anticipating a physical blow.
“First, you may not use the power of the storms except in the direst exigency.” Amphichrale opened her mouth to speak and then closed it again with an audible snap. Her jaw tensed, and Yemala could clearly hear the nymph’s teeth grinding. “Think carefully before you do, Amphichrale. I will judge not by whether you think it is sufficiently dire, but whether I agree with you.
“Second, you are under no circumstances to attempt to occupy the throne in my absence.” She gave a long, pointed look at Amphichrale’s shapely tail. “If your fins so much as flick in its direction, I will burn them off. Your task while I am away is to ensure my realm remains precisely as I left it, no more and no less. Every one of my retainers knows their place and their proper business. Your only objective is to ensure they fulfill it.”
Yemala did not believe in ruling by fear. Even so, every so often a little prophylactic chastisement prevented later unpleasantness, a lesson she had learned eons before. There was no harm in repeating the instruction for Amphichrale’s benefit.
“Yes, your majesty,” Amphichrale huffed sullenly. “What of the Stormbinder?”
Yemala lowered a hand to her bare hip and the chain that rode there. The links had been exquisitely forged by none other than Vulcan himself in stylized, cresting waves. From the front, dipping almost to the narrow tuft of fur topping her mound, hung a bright blue stone in the shape of a drop of water. The item looked like a belt and wore like jewelry, but as with nearly everything else the gods had wrought, its appearance belied its true nature.
“The Stormbinder will stay with me,” the goddess said mildly. “After all, if I were to fail to arrive with the gift Erecura’s own husband bestowed upon me, she would think I was being intolerably rude. And we cannot have that, can we?” She bent the full weight of her gaze upon her chancellor.
“No, your majesty. That would not do.” The tone of her voice accorded ill with the words themselves.
The goddess noticed, but elected to make no sign. Better to let her think her position shields her from repercussions and address her impertinence at a more propitious time.
Aloud she said, “Very well. Have Frasius bring in the scrying mirror, if you would.”
For a split second an expression of pure hatred rippled across Amphichrale’s features, flickering like the first lightning over the ocean horizon before a typhoon. She quashed it, but not quickly enough to prevent her patroness and liege from noticing. In an attempt to hide her gaffe, she bowed more deeply, so her hair nearly scraped the floor.
“I will send him at once, your majesty.”
As the doors to Yemala’s private chamber boomed closed, she relaxed her stance. She had learned much about her chancellor during this interview, a great deal of it troubling. If Amphichrale could not learn to conceal her emotions better than that, and that acting upon those emotions at whim was unacceptable, Yemala would have no choice but to reclaim the power she had bestowed and choose another to wield it.
Her brilliantly polished adamant divan, cleverly worked with base impurities that lent the metal a cool opalescent sheen, embraced her hips and back as if she was curling into a lover’s body. She sighed in relief as the tension soaked out of her body. Vulcan had truly outdone himself with this particular bit of luxury, although she suspected he and Erecura had enlisted the aid of some of the more…sensual…goddesses in its construction.
She floated against the softness until a series of three sharp raps on the door brought her eyes open.
The male nymph who nudged the door open was truly a feast for the eyes. Unlike Amphichrale, who seemed to revel in running around with the bottom half of a fish and the trunk and head of a woman, this nymph had adopted a more typical human form. His powerful body bulged with muscle, particularly around the thighs and stomach. His large cock hung heavy and limp against his leg, backed by a weighty pair of testicles.
Nudity in the palace was far from abnormal. In direct contrast to the ridiculous myths she knew circulated in the world above, the stewards of the sea did not commonly waste time with foolishness such as breast restraints made out of seashells. The goddess herself disliked the feeling of anything but the Stormbinder upon her body, preferring by far to invite the deep currents to touch her skin as they would. In much the same way, her courtiers looked upon her body to their own content. Occasionally she would send for one she knew not to be mated, and pass a pleasant and athletic night. While any of her servants would have serviced her if she only suggested it, she chose to honor the sanctity of lovers’ vows. She also knew only too well many in her dominion preferred the company of their own sex and would be as glad as their male counterparts of an evening spent in their mistress’s chambers. While she respected their desires, she also found herself puzzled by them. The mechanics simply seemed to defy all logic, and she could not imagine turning away a thick, filling cock in favor of a warm, soft orifice.
Frasius approached, carrying a mirror covered with an ice-blue drape. Three paces from her divan, he knelt, eyes fastened upon her.
Ah, poor Frasius. He would give much to share my couch for a night. Unfortunately for him, I prefer less…meaty…fare.
“Your majesty, you look lovely as always.” There was no blandishment in his tone, simply a statement of fact.
“And as always, you charm me, Frasius.” She smiled openly at him, even though her heart cringed. Why can I not consider him a suitable mate? There are many in my realm who no doubt think me mad for it! Perhaps I am mad, she mused pensively.
“I speak only the truth, your majesty.”
Perhaps that was the issue. It had nothing to do with his looks, really; those would provide adequate fantasy fodder for a thousand nymphs and a million mortal women, and no small amount of males, if she was being honest. The real problem was that he lacked personality, that spark of individuality that would make him a worthy mate and conquest.
Or perhaps you wish to be conquered instead.
Me? A goddess? Who could conquer me? Zeus himself tried and failed. I take what lovers I choose, when I choose, and leave them grateful for my attentions.
All the more reason.
She sighed and stood. “Show me the meeting place,” she commanded. Of all the times for her to be daydreaming like a postpubescent nymph, when she had the business of her realm to attend to!
Frasius withdrew the slipcover as he tilted the mirror to precisely the right angle. For a moment, the smooth, dark crystal threw back a negative image of her own body: high, firm breasts, generous hips, a narrow stripe of crimson down between her thighs, and a long, graceful neck. Then the image shifted, and she beheld the image of the appointed location for the caucus.
The inhospitable-looking shore, covered with boulders rounded and smoothed by ceaseless centuries of onslaught from the waves, hunkered placidly as the ocean swept in and out in its tidal rhythm. As if a point of light had flared to life in her mind’s eye, she knew the precise location of that particular shoreline, on a tiny, unremarkable island in the North Atlantic.
“Hmm,” she pondered. “Erecura guides me to her very doorstep this time. Interesting.”
The male nymph smoothly replaced the cover and rose. “Will you be needing anything else, your majesty?” The hopeful note in his voice scraped her ears with the razor sharpness of barnacles.
“No, Frasius, that will do. I will depart within the hour.”
He inclined his torso in a way that left his large endowments pointing at her freely. She tilted her own head in acknowledgment, feeling absolutely nothing at the sight.
Perhaps I can get Amphichrale together with him. Mayhap if she is mated, she will be more satisfied with the power I’ve given her, and less quick to use it as well.
After a moment just a beat too short to become uncomfortable, he turned and departed.
Yemala sighed. A queen’s work is never done, she grumbled.
With an effort of will, she collapsed her physical form, exploding into a jet of bubbles. The mass gathered into a sharp point and rushed out of the palace window, tracing a warm, fast current to speed it on its way.