Megan stretched languidly and let out a small groan before relaxing back into her her seat. “I think I need a break,” she declared to the room at large, though in fact she was more aware of Emma growing stir crazy through their link than she she was concerned for her own state. Rather than being bored with the ongoing parade of faeries who’d chosen to swear allegiance to her, Megan had been fascinated. And, truth be told, a little intimidated. After all, to herself she was still just a college girl. A recent graduate, sure, but the extent of her managerial experience was hanging out with her friends and talking about manga they wanted to translate.
What do I know about being a queen?
Megan quashed the little bit of self-doubt, just as she had every other time it had risen up and started trying to wriggle its way into something bigger. If nothing else, she knew that she had friends who would help her figure it all out.
Jack stepped forward from his position by the gate into her impromptu bed-and-throne-room and bowed. “As you wish, my lady,” he said. “Bertram will let the remaining supplicants know that there will be a brief break before the oath-givings resume, and I’ll see if there any other matters have arisen that need your or my attention in the interim. Just call me when you are ready to continue.”
Megan nodded to him. “Of course, Jack,” she said with a small smile. The first time a faerie had called her ‘my lady’ she had responded with alarm: afraid that the faerie in question was attempting to institute a coup by trapping her in a geas. Fortunately, Jack had been on hand to explain that particular facet of their tradition in greater detail and calm her.
Apparently, there was a difference between claiming someone as one’s servant and claiming someone as one’s superior. Any claiming of a relationship by a faerie was something the weave would react to — particularly if it was done with formal, traditional phrases. But if a faerie was already subservient to another, than acknowledging the other as ‘my lady’, ‘my liege’, ‘my queen’ or whatever only served to reinforce the existing bond. It was when no such bond existed that there was a danger, because then the weave had nothing to go off of when reinforcing — or in that case creating — the link other than the intent of the faerie making the claim.
Jack and Bertram, the gnome who’d set off the entire incident, had gone well out of their way to demonstrate the difference so that Megan could feel the different reactions forming and be able to easily recognize when the weave was reacting on intent as opposed to reinforcing an existing bond. As a result, Jack had wound up with a personal assistant in Bertram and the two of them had been coordinating the rest of the morning’s oaths — Bertram had remained beside the portal where those who hadn’t sworn themselves yet waited, while Jack stayed beside Megan’s. Bertram would inform Jack of the name of the next faerie to approach, and Jack would announce them — and then let Bertram know when they had departed, since the portals could apparently link to many places at once and relatively few of Megan’s new subjects wished to spend more time in the ‘antechamber’ that held the others who were waiting their turn to swear their loyalty.
After Jack left, Megan slid out of her throne. She didn’t much care for the raised seat, but it was one of those ‘appearances matter’ things, apparently, so she’d gone ahead and made it after partitioning off the rest of the torture-chamber-turned-bedroom. Megan then turned and slipped between the Japanese shoji screens she’d made to work as the partition. On the other side was the bed Emma had slept in, as well as a pair of overstuffed chairs they’d sat in while talking things out. The room wasn’t particularly well furnished, though Megan had given it proper walls, ceilings, and a floor. Once she figured out how to make portals herself, she intended to add windows that looked out on scenic parts of her new realm.
There was a small table between the two chairs that Megan had added later, when Jack had shown up with a bag of fast food he’d fetched as Zane. The empty bag was crumpled on the table with a couple of Emma’s books sitting on top of it — Jack had picked those up as well while he’d been out. Megan felt a brief surge of gratitude to Jack for considering Emma’s well being: Emma had torn into the food ravenously, as she hadn’t had anything to eat in over twenty-four hours. Which reminds me: I should ask him to have ‘Zane’ fetch something for lunch. It has to be getting around that time by now.
Emma sat in one of the chairs. She’d had, she’d said earlier, way too much of being stuck in a bed. She’d meant it, too: the make up sex that had followed their rather painful and very needed talk about why they’d broken up had taken place almost entirely in Megan’s chair. Now, Emma was leaning with her head against the backrest of the seat Megan had made for her, staring up at the ceiling.
“How are you holding up?” Megan asked. She could feel Emma’s emotions, but they were roiling around again. Despite being very much as complex as anyone with an intact aura’s emotions could be, it was more the rapid shifting of their strengths that made reading Emma’s overall mood difficult for Megan. But regardless of that, Megan preferred not to peer in at Emma’s emotions too much, anyway. Communication was an important part of a relationship, and in Megan’s opinion there was a difference between feeling something, and that feeling being important. What Emma told her about her own condition would be more meaningful, in many ways, than what Megan could feel through their bond because it would be the cumulative result of what Emma felt and what Emma thought about what she felt.
“I’m bored,” Emma said. She stopped staring at the ceiling and turned to look at Megan. “I mean, it’s been interesting enough to listen in on these conversations — but at the same time? I’m just sitting here. I’m restless and just… I’m sick and tired of being the damsel in distress.” She blew out a sigh and stood up. “I know that I suggested I stay back here while you received your oaths of loyalty from the others so they wouldn’t see you being the familiar of a mortal and get any screwy second thoughts, but… I kind of want to sit out there for the rest of them just so that if someone does take exception — or even makes a snarky comment — I can punch him in the face.”
Megan briefly covered a smile, but then dropped her hand so Emma could see her amusement. It wasn’t often in their relationship that Emma had been fierce, and it was a side of her that Megan rather liked seeing come out. It was a big step from the crushed, abandoned girl she’d been when they’d first met. “I think that can be arranged,” Megan said. Mentally, she started extending the dais her throne was on and crafting the glamour of a second one. She’d have to double check her work visually, but she thought she’d gotten enough practice to manage duplicating the one she already had.
Emma chuckled and walked up to Megan. “Thanks,” she said. “I know I’m not usually this… this moody. It’s just been a hell of a couple of days. I can’t believe I almost died! Not when I feel so alive now. I mean: I feel great. Physically, I feel like I’m perfectly healthy.” She slipped her arms around Megan’s waist. “Emotionally, I feel mostly normal except that so much has been going on I’m all off-balance.”
Megan nodded. “I think… well, from what I can feel of it I think that’s because you are off-balance. Abby tore up whatever spiritual membrane keeps your aura intact, so it’s been leaking pretty bad, right? I mean, if the amount of energy I keep pouring into you is any indication, you’re actually still losing a lot of your essence from moment to moment. Which means that even though I’m keeping your aura full it’s…”
“The waters aren’t still,” Emma interrupted, going back to an analogy they’d used in their conversations after Abby left. “My emotions can’t settle down because my energy is constantly flowing in and out of my aura, rather than pooling up like it would be normally. Yeah, I get it. It still sucks. I mean… Argh!” She let go of Megan in a fit of frustration and started to pace.
“I want to lash out at someone for putting all of us through this,” Emma said hotly. “Except anyone I might’ve lashed out at is already dead or imprisoned except Abby, and I don’t really want to take anything out on her because I offered to let her feed on me, so it isn’t even really her fault that it turned into this.” Emma pivoted on her heel and started pacing the other way. “Besides, when I think about Abby what I really want to do is tackle her and kiss her silly for getting you back in my life, and then find out if she still wants me in hers and then pay her back for the mind blowing sex we had the other night.”
This time when Megan grinned she left her hands over her mouth to help stifle her urge to giggle. Blowing Abby’s mind with hot lesbian sex was something she’d thought about plenty of times in the past: she’d just envisioned herself doing it rather than someone else — and about half of those fantasies turned into nightmares as her fear that Abby would react like her parents had to the revelation that she was bi took over the narrative and subverted it from sexy fun to a yawning pit of rejection and misery.
Emma shot Megan a narrow-eyed glance, and Megan let her hands fall to her sides again. Megan bit the corner of her lower lip and thought about how Emma’s declared desires might play out — and her own desires — before replying. “Think I could watch?” Megan asked. She was less than half-teasing with the question, though she imbued her tone with plenty of mischievousness to cover that up.
Emma’s cheeks immediately flushed. Megan was well aware of her exhibitionist streak, and had taken ample advantage of it when they’d been dating before: frequently making out with her in public at Club Luminescence and occasionally engaging in more intimate activities in the presence of close, consenting friends in more private quarters. They’d even discussed, a couple of times, attending a play party where Emma could be on stage.
Emma pivoted and stalked up to Megan, then threw her arms around Megan’s neck and kissed her fiercely. It left Megan slightly breathless. “I’ll ask,” Emma promised, prompting Megan’s cheeks to warm. Emma kissed her again, just as fiercely, before breaking it off to ask. “And how about you? How are you holding up?”
Megan suppressed the urge to squirm. She could feel that Emma was getting worked up, and that was something she’d always responded to. Emma being so aggressive was also something unusual and exciting, especially since after having played the part of a queen all morning Megan was feeling more than a little desire to have someone else be in charge for a bit — even though that had rarely been Emma in their previous play. She must be really frustrated with the whole damsel in distress thing to be channeling it into this, Megan thought.
“Well, I asked for a bit of a break,” Megan said with faux meekness. “And I was thinking I should send someone out to bring us lunch,” she added innocently — curious to see just how aggressive she could tease Emma into being.
Emma growled slightly. “I am hungry,” she admitted, but when she started walking it wasn’t toward the shoji screens. She turned, forcing Megan to turn as well, and then strode forward, backing Megan toward the small sitting area she’d just vacated. “But I think that after a little exertion we might be very hungry, so why don’t we wait to order take out until after we’ve broken in your other chair?”
Megan squeaked as she was pushed back into the seat Emma had left. She was far more than a little turned on now herself. Very aggressive, She thought inanely while desire washed away most of her other responses. “Emma,” she gasped.
Emma leaned over her and covered Megan’s mouth with a kiss. Emma’s tongue slipped between Megan’s lips and Emma’s hands cupped either side of Megan’s head, keeping Megan from pulling back or turning aside — not that Megan had any intention of doing either.
Emma was the one who did. She broke the kiss and straightened so that she was standing while Megan looked up longingly at her. Emma looked away, and Megan felt her emotions roiling harder. Dammit! Megan thought — but her curse was too soon, because Emma turned back toward her, emotions briefly focused once more.
“I’m not usually the possessive type,” Emma said. Megan didn’t say anything, because there wasn’t anything that really needed to be said to that: Megan knew that Emma liked to feel like she was someone’s more than she cared about feeling that they were hers. “You know that,” Emma added in parallel to Megan’s thoughts. “But right now, I…” Emma struggled briefly as her emotions surged again, and Megan watched her aura settle into flowing patterns once more.
“I pushed you away once,” Emma said firmly. “And I apologized for it, and explained it, and you forgave me, and…” Megan nodded. They’d gone through all of that earlier, before Megan had been willing to start entertaining the oaths of her subjects-to-be. Sorting out their relationship had taken precedence over faerie politics. Emma squeezed her eyes shut and gathered herself up.
When Emma opened them again, her gaze was as fierce as her kisses had been. “I’m not usually possessive,” she repeated. “But I want you to know that I’m never going to push you away again, okay? I’m not going to make that mistake again. And I’m not a hypocrite. You can belong to as many people as you want to. Like Abby, if you want, or whoever. I was stupid and afraid you’d leave me for her — well, for Fumiko — and I pushed you away because I couldn’t face that. But now that I know it was Abby, and now that I know Abby, I kind of think she’d be into both of us. And I’m okay with that and I shouldn’t have fucked things up because of being afraid of what I imagined might have happened, before.”
Megan started to say something to reassure Emma, but Emma held up a hand to forestall her.
“I know,” Emma said. “I know we’ve gone over all of this already.” Megan could see that her emotions were a mess of eddies and currents. At some point they’d gone from a flowing river to a rapids: all rushing and powerful and scattered. “The point I’m trying to make is… I’m not taking all of that back. That’s all true. But so is this.”
Emma fixed Megan with her stare. Megan’s breathing quickened. She’d never seen that look in Emma’s eyes before. A part of her was alarmed. A part of her saw it as a sign that Emma was getting over the abuse of Salvatore abandoning her and was relieved. A very large part of her became even more turned on.
“You’re mine,” Emma said vehemently.
Megan nodded fervently, unable to vocalize a response. Megan could feel the weave reacting; feel it twining around the conduit that their leyline had become. And she didn’t protest it. She didn’t even want to. She’d told Abigail, days ago, that she knew what she wanted in a relationship — and she did. Moreover, she knew who, and it had broken her heart when Emma had split up with her. She’d just shed her tears in private because she’d been too afraid that Abby would reject her like her family had if she shared them with her, and Fumiko was not the sort of person who was comfortable providing comfort to others.
And this? This was the person Megan wanted to be with, staking her claim. And it was exactly what Megan wanted, because she could feel the intention that was directing the weave as it twined strands along the leyline between herself and Emma. They weren’t lines of objectification, or obligation, or servitude. But there was possession in them, despite that. And Megan didn’t care if the weave was taking it upon itself to place a compulsion on her to be Emma’s girlfriend, lover, partner — because she had no intention of being anything else.
“And you’re mine,” Megan whispered back.
Emma couldn’t feel what the weave was doing, Megan knew, because she was mortal — unless she had some way of sensing it as a witch — but Emma smiled anyway. She nodded.
“I am,” Emma said. “And now, your Majesty,” Emma added with a mischievous grin, “Your clothes. Gone.” Although it had started teasing, the command came out firm and very serious.
With an instant’s thought Megan dispelled the glamoured gown she’d been wearing, leaving herself naked and exposed in Emma’s seat. Emma leaned in and kissed her. Fiercely. Passionately. Possessively. Megan arched into it and pressed her naked flesh as much against Emma’s clothed body as she could.
Then Emma broke the kiss. She slipped down onto her knees, trailing her fingertips over Megan’s body as she slid down its length. But despite kneeling in front of Megan, Emma remained the aggressive one. She parted Megan’s knees, and her hair caressed Megan’s legs as she lowered her lips to the inside of Megan’s thigh.
Megan squirmed in her seat, leaning into the backrest and arching her back, gasping as Emma’s kisses wound their way up the insides of both her legs. Oh god, yes, Megan thought. But while the gasps had been in response to Emma’s lips caressing her sensitive skin, the thought encompassed far more than the pleasure to come.
She was Emma’s, and Emma was hers. And even if there was magic in that bond, it didn’t magically mean that everything would be perfect between them — but it wouldn’t get in the way of any other relationships they might have, and other relationships — like whatever might work out between Emma and Abby — wouldn’t get in the way of it. But far more importantly? It also meant that for the first time since Mr. Salvatore had kidnapped Abigail something was right again in Megan’s world. She whimpered, moaning as Emma’s kisses reached the juncture of her legs.
Oh god, Megan thought again — and this time it was entirely because of the intensity of the ecstasy that swelled within in her at Emma’s fervent insistence.
Oh god, yes.