Monday, January 21, 2019

The Shalafae Archives - Afterglow

Another one told from two perspectives. These two just nestle too well together to have been made into separate stories.

***

She was in her elf's room, sprawled across his bed. Shalafae's hand clenched around Stormbringer's hilt. She'd lain with the elf; the scent of sex and pleasure still filled the air.

"I knew you'd come." Elthanael stood in the window, back to the Sidhehan lord. The elf wore only loose pants, no shirt, and he gleamed in the morning light. Long hair couldn't obscure the bloody scoring on his back. The elf turned, keeping his eyes down. "I've been awaiting your judgment."


Rage filled Shalafae, deep and hot. Someone had touched his daughter, had tasted her passions. Taking a step forward, he wanted to cut out Elthanael's still beating heart. Only love for Morrigana stopped him. "What judgment do you think it should be?"

The elf approached, head down, and knelt before the ancient emperor. The act of fealty and submission was marred by the welts and marks left by the hybrid girl. Shalafae's rage built, and he drew a silver dagger. The elf tensed briefly, but made no sign of moving as the blade was pressed to his throat. "Whatever my lord sees fit to serve upon me."

How could he kill this whelp? There was no arrogance, no smugness. Nothing out of line. Nothing to provoke the Sidhehan into killing him. Only the solemn loyalty Elthanael'd shown to the Shalafaes for millenia now.

Lord Shalafae had encouraged Morrigana to expand her horizons, to find passion with another, but hadn't expected her to turn to her elf. Not someone so close to her, her only friend outside the family. Kyra had seen this, had warned him, and he'd ignored his sister. The emperor had expected his daughter to maybe take a dragon, or one of his generals, or a complete stranger. Anyone else. Then, when he let his jealousy take over, she wouldn't be hurt by it.

But she'd taken Elthanael, had given herself to him. Shalafae's knuckles tightened on the knife, and he pressed it harder to the slender neck before him. A trickle of blood formed, staining golden skin, joining the marks of passion on the lithe elf.

And still the assassin knelt, accepting his punishment.

"Look at me," Shalafae whispered. Amber eyes rose, neck moving against the blade. The Sidhehan moved it, placing the point just below the elf's jaw. He held Elthanael's soft gaze, seeking any trace of defiance. There must be something that would give Shalafae reason to tear him apart.

If he was going to wound his daughter's heart, he needed more provocation than sex. Sex that Shalafae himself had encouraged.

It still wasn't there. The only light in the elf's eyes was the deep love for Morrigana. The centuries of longing and desire that he'd suppressed because El knew he couldn't have the girl. He'd never made a move on Morrigana, or being anything but her friend and second-in-command. They all knew of his love, but no one ever said anything about it.

"I would die for your daughter, Master." Elthanael winced as the dagger nicked his jaw, releasing another line of blood. "I would die for her right now if you asked." Shalafae gave into the tiniest bit of temptation, and pressed the blade deeper. The elf groaned, back stiffening, but not pulling away. He meant it when he said he would die for Morrigana.

"But even in death, I will do everything I can to protect her. I will never leave her."

The elf was serious. Even with an inch of silver blade in his throat, Elthanael feared nothing but not being near Morrigana, not being able to follow her orders.

Time paused as Shalafae contemplated his actions. He could kill the elf, and deal with his daughter's tantrum. In time, she would forget about her little toy, and would pick a new second-in-command. She would find other lovers, possibly, and he would kill those as well. She would be happy, despite any fights they might get into over Shalafae's jealousies.

But would she ever find another who would be so dedicated to her?

"Father?" She growled, awakening. She was barely awake, but already on the defensive at this tableau. Through their bond, Shalafae became aware that she would fight to keep her elf alive. She might even be fast enough to stop him.

Elthanael kept his eyes on Shalafae, not looking to his mistress. The Sidhehan glared down at the elf, seeing every gouge and welt Morrigana had left on him. His daughter knelt on the bed, still growling, and he knew this little boy had heard her moans, had felt her orgasms.

~He's mine,~ his daughter warned telepathically.

Blood spilled down the elf's chest, tracing the line of a scar. Shalafae frowned, remembering when Elthanael'd received the wound. In defense of Morrigana, nearly costing him his life. But the elf had never held back, had never demanded recompense. The boy had actually renewed his vows of fealty, and Shalafae had rewarded him with a new blade.

Crossing the scar, wrapped around the elf's collarbone, was a new wound. Teeth marks from Morrigana, gouged deep, glossy and newly healed. The half-dragon had marked her elf. Claimed him.

"Father." This time her growl was a low warning. She would allow no one to take her elf from her.

"Watch us," Shalafae whispered to Elthanael. "Watch us, and know she will always belong to me." He removed the blade, and turned to Morrigana. The elf watched with tears in his eyes as Shalafae ravaged his daughter.

***

Blood woke her from a relaxed sleep. Pain and anger filtered through her bonds, from both her father and her lover. Her elf.

Morrigana growled before her eyes were open as she tried to assess the situation. They were in danger, and she needed to be at their side.

Looking around Elthanael's room, she paused in surprise. The elf knelt, shirtless, blood trickling down his neck. Alzair loomed over him, Stormbringer on his hip, a dagger at the elf's throat.
In the elf's throat.

Her father was going to kill El for what she'd done. It hardly seemed fair that her pleasure was going to condemn her friend. She needed to stop him, to get Alzair away from her beloved cousin. One lunge from the bed, and she'd be there, pulling the knife away. Putting herself between Stormbringer and El.

Her father wouldn't use that cursed sword on her. Ever.

Alzair continued to glare at the elf, body tense. He would surely try to bring El down before she closed the gap. ~He's mine,~ she mentally growled, flexing her claws.

Her elf remained quiet through their link, completely shut off. Her neck stung faintly with an echo of his wound, but she had no other sense from him. No fear, or anger, or any emotion. He waited patiently for the Lord Shalafae to make his move. El trusted her to protect him.

Protect him she would.

She tensed, ready to spring. Her father turned, pulling the knife from El's neck, sparks in his eyes. ~You chose him?~ Their telepathic link sizzled as he approached, tossing the knife aside.

~You would have me pick a stranger?~ She was on her knees, tail lashing behind her, arms trembling as she crooked her hands. Anger suffused her, increased by the disruption to her peaceful morning.

Alzair stood beside the bed, within arm's length. He began unbuckling his sword belt, unblinking as he glared down at her. ~I did. Then you wouldn't care if he died.~

She laughed, deep and cruel. ~Do you think I would be disloyal to you with someone I don't know? That I would act so much like you, with one of your floosies?~ Morri wanted to rip at him, to see him bleed.

He was growling back at her, undoing his buttons. She flushed, knowing what was coming. She still tasted El's kisses and blood, still knew the touch of his skilled hands, and Alzair was about to have her. Morri spared no glance for her elf as she concentrated on her father's impending attack.

Alzair had no reply for her. His clothes came off, falling to the floor, and he crawled onto the bed, growling low in his throat. She flushed, tingles racing along her back, and lunged. Her father caught her, grabbing hard a handful of her hair, pulling her into a kiss. His tongue plunged into her mouth, and he clasped her to him.

A lover had a place, surely, but there was nothing to compare to this. The flame of passion and love between them could ignite a galaxy. Their kisses were legendary, their bodies longing constantly for each other. Morrigana sighed as her father pulled her down, mounting her, forcing himself onto her.

No matter how she loved Elthanael, no matter how nice it had been to finally experience him, to claim him for herself, it was to her father that she belonged. It was his back that should be under her claws, his slender hips her thighs should lock around. Morri gave herself up with abandon, forgetting her liaison with the elf, or the reasons she'd given herself to El.

She cried out, and trembled, and let her father have her. And she never saw the pain on Elthanael's face, nor the tears in his eyes.

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